Fourth Parliament of Great Britain. ; Sir Thomas Hanmer chosen Speaker. ; Mr. Steele's Speech thereupon.
On the 16th of February, the Parliament of Great Britain
met at Westminster, and the Commons, at the Desire of the
Lords Commissioners appointed by her Majesty, attending
their Lordships in the House of Lords, the Lord High Chancellor signified to them her Majesty's Pleasure, That they
should forthwith proceed to the Choice of a fit Person to be
their Speaker, and present him the Thursday following. Accordingly, the Commons being return'd to their House
unanimously made Choice of (fn. 1) Sir Thomas Hanmer, Bart. to
be their Speaker: Upon which Occasion Richard Steele,
Esq; made the following Speech:
At the Close of the last Session of Parliament, her Majesty was graciously pleased to declare from the Throne,
that the late rejected Bill of Commerce, between Great Britain and France, should be offered to the House.
That Declaration was certainly made, that every Gentleman who should have the Honour to be return'd hither,
might make himself Master of that important Question.
It is Demonstration that was a most pernicious Bill, and
no Man can have so great Merit to this Nation at this Time
as his, by whose Weight and Authority that pernicious Bill
was thrown out.
I rise up to do him (fn. 2) honour in some Measure, and distinguish my self, by saying, I wish him our Speaker, for that his
inestimable Service to his Country.
(fn. 3) The new Speaker having received her Majesty's Approbation, by Lords Commissioners appointed for that Purpose,
and the Members having qualified themselves, as usual, to
assemble, adjourned to March 2. When her Majesty came to
the House of Lords, and delivered the following Speech from
The Queen's Speech to both Houses of Parliament.
My Lords and Gentlemen,
I Have much Satisfaction in being able, at the opening this
Parliament, to tell you, that the Ratifications of the
Treaties of Peace and of Commerce with Spain are exchanged, by which my Subjects will have greater Opportu
nities than ever to improve and extend their Trade. Many
Advantages, formerly enjoyed by Connivance, and procured
by such Methods as made a Distinction between one British
Merchant and another, are now settled by Treaty, and an equal Rule is established.
It has pleased God to bless my Endeavours to obtain an Honourable and Advantageous Peace for my own People, and
for the greatest Part of my Allies. Nothing which I can do
shall be wanting to render it universal, and I persuade my
self, that, with your hearty Concurrence, my Interposition may
at last prove effectual to complete the Settlement of Europe.
In the mean while, I congratulate with my own Subjects,
that they are delivered from a consuming Land-War, and
entered on a Peace; the good Effects whereof nothing but
Intestine Divisions can obstuct.
It was the Glory of the wisest and greatest of my Predecessors, to hold the Balance of Europe, and to keep it equal
by casting in their Weight as Necessity required. By this Conduct they enriched the Kingdom, and rendered themselves
dreadful to their Enemies, and useful to their Friends. I have
proceeded on the same Principle, and I doubt not but my Successors will follow these Examples.
'Our Situation points out to us our true Interest; for this
Country can flourish only by Trade, and will be most formidable by the right Application of our Naval Force.
Gentlemen of the House of Commons,
I have ordered such Accounts to be prepared and laid before you, as will shew you, at the Conclusion of the War,
the true State of your Condition, whereby you will be better able to judge what Aids are necessary; and I only ask
of you Supplies for the current Service of the Year, and for
the Discharge of such Debts as you shall find, on Examination, to be just and reasonable.
My Lords and Gentlemen,
The Joy which has been generally expressed on my Recovery from my late Indisposition, and on my Coming to this
City, I esteem as a Return to that tender Affection I have
always had for my People.
I wish that effectual Care had been taken, as I have often
desired, to suppress those seditious Papers, and factious Rumours, by which designing Men have been able to sink Credit, and the Innocent have suffered.
There are some who are arrived to that Height of Malice,
as to insinuate, that the Protestant Succession in the House
of Hanover, is in Danger under my Government.
Those who go about thus to distract the Minds of Men,
with imaginary Dangers, can only mean to disturb the
present Tranquillity, and to bring real Mischiefs upon us.
'After all I have done to secure our Religion, and your
Liberties, and to transmit both safe to Posterity, I cannot
mention these Proceedings without some Degree of Warmth;
and I must hope you will all agree with me, that Attempts
to weaken my Authority, or to render the Possession of the
Crown uneasy to me, can never be proper Means to
strengthen the Protestant Succession.
I have done, and shall continue to do my best for the
good of all my Subjects. Let it be your Endeavour, as it
shall be mine, to unite our Differences, not by relaxing from
the strictest Adherence to our Constitution in Church and
State, but by observing the Laws yourselves, and enforcing
a due Obedience to them in others.
A long War has not only impoverished the Public (however some particular Men may have been Gainers by it) but
has also greatly affected the Government itself.
Let it be your Care so to improve the present Opportunity,
as to lay the Foundation of recovering it from those Disorders.
'I had the Concurrence of the last Parliament in making the
Peace; let it be the Honour of this, to assist me in obtaining such Fruits from it, as may not only derive Blessings on
the present Age, but even down to latest Posterity.'
Mr. Gore's Motion for an Address of Thanks. ; Sir Peter King's Remark thereon.
The Commons being return'd to their House, and their
Speaker having reported her Majesty's Speech, Mr. Gore
moved, that an humble Address be presented her Majesty, to
return the humble (fn. 4) Thanks of that House, for her most
Gracious Speech; and according to the several Heads of it,
which was resolv'd accordingly, without any Opposition. Sir
Peter King only suggested, That they ought not to act
by a Spirit of Divination, and return Thanks for the Treaty
of Commerce with Spain, before they knew, whether the
same was Advantageous or no. Which occasioned some Modification in the Address, as to that Head.
On the 4th of March, Mr. Gore reported the said Address
to the House, and the same being agreed to, was, the next
Day, presented to the Queen, as follows:
Most Gracious Sovereign,
We Your Majesty's most Dutiful and Loyal Subjects, the
Commons of Great Britain in Parliament assembled, do
with all Humility, return our sincere and hearty Thanks for
your Majesty's most Gracious Speech from the Throne.
We beg Leave to assure your Majesty, that as nothing could
be more afflicting to your People, than the Indisposition of the
Best of Sovereigns; so nothing has ever been an Occasion of
greater Joy and Satisfaction to them, than your Majesty's late
We congratulate your Majesty on the Conclusion of the
Treaties of Peace and Commerce with Spain, whereby your
Majesty is pleas'd to declare, That you have procured new Benefits to your Subjects: But your Royal Care hath not been
confined to your own People; It hath been extended to all
your Allies. And your Majesty's Goodness must be for ever
admired, that, notwithstanding any Discouragements you may
have met with, you are pleas'd still to continue your Endeavours to make the Peace Universal, and thereby to complete
the Settlement of Europe; and your faithful Commons will
never be wanting in an hearty Concurrence to assist your Majesty in all such Measures as your Majesty shall judge proper
to finish a Design, so Great and so Glorious.
Your Commons will with all Cheerfulness grant such Supplies as are necessary for the current Service, and for the Discharge of such Debts as are just and reasonable; they can never sufficiently express the Sense they have of their Happiness
of being delivered from the Calamities of a consuming War,
they will therefore (in Duty to your Majesty, and in Justice to
those they represent) do all that is in their Power, that the
good Effects of Peace may not be obstructed by any Intestine
Divisions: They will, as far as in them lies, disappoint the Designs of malicious and unreasonable Men: They will, on all
Occasions, shew their just Abhorrence of the licentious Practices in publishing scandalous Papers, and spreading seditious
Rumours. And as your Commons will always support and
maintain the Protestant Succession in the House of Hanover,
they can't but be astonished at the malicious Insinuations of any
who would suggest, That Succession to be in Danger under
your Majesty's most auspicious Government. For, when we
consider that tis secured by the greatest Obligations Civil and
Sacred, by Acts of Parliament, Oaths and Treaties, we cannot but declare our entire Acquiescence in these Securities, and
must look upon such Insinuations to be groundless in themselves, and affronting to your Majesty and Your Government.
And your Majesty may depend, that your loyal Commons
will never be prevailed on by any Pretences whatsoever, to
countenance Attempts that may tend to weaken your Majesty's
Authority, and to render the possession of the Crown uneasy
to you, which can only proceed from the Rage of a disappointed Faction, and the Spirit of Rebellion.
The Queen's Answer.
To this Address the Queen return'd the following Answer.
This Address is so dutiful and expresses so fully the Sense
of my loyal Subjects, that I esteem it as a Proof of the
good Choice they have made of you to represent them.
I give you my hearty Thanks for it.
The Confidence you have in my Affection, the Abhorrence you declare of the malicious Insinuations of the Protestant Succession being in Danger under my Government;
and your Acquiescence in the present Securities for it, are
very suitable Returns for the tender Regard, I have always
had for what concerns my People, and will most effectually,
by the Blessing of God, unite the Minds of my Subjects, and
disappoint the Designs of those who would disturb the present Tranquillity.'
The Speaker having reported this Answer to the House
it was resolved to return her Majesty the humble Thanks of the
House for the same.
Resolutions about the qualifying of Members.
The 6th the House, in a grand Committee, considered the Act
of the Ninth Year of her Majesty's Reign, intitled, An Act
for securing the Freedom of Parliaments, by the farther Qualifying the Members to sit in the House of Commons; and came to
the following Resolutions.
I. That, notwithstanding the Oath taken by any Candidate,
on or after any Election, his Qualification may be afterwards
II. That the Person whose Qualification is expresly objected
to in any Petition, relating to his Election, shall, within fifteen
Days after the Petition read, give to the Clerk of the House
of Commons, a Paper signed by himself, containing a Rental
or Particular of the Lands, Tenements, or Hereditaments,
whereby he makes out his Qualification: Of which any Person
concern'd may have a Copy.
III. That of such Lands, Tenements, or Hereditaments, whereof the Party hath been in Possession for three Years before the
Election, he shall also insert in the same Paper, from what
Person, and by what Conveyance, or Act in Law, he claims
and derives the same; and also the Consideration, if any
paid, and the Names and Places of Abode of the Witnesses to
such Conveyance and Payment.
IV. That, if a fitting Member shall think fit to question the
Qualification of a Petitioner, he shall, within fifteen Days after
the Petition read, leave Notice thereof in Writing with the
Clerk of the House of Commons; and the Petioner shall, in
such Case, within fifteen Days after such Notice, leave with
the said Clerk of the House the like Account in Writing of his
Qualification, as is required from a fitting Member.
After having taken these Resolutions, the House adjourned to the 9th, when the same were reported, and with an
Amendment to one of them, agreed to by the House.
Accounts and Estimates ordered to be laid before the House.
After which, the Resolution for granting a Supply being
reported and agreed to, the House ordered to be laid before them, 1. An Account of the Deficiency of the Moneys
granted in the Year 1713. 2. An Estimate of the Ordinary
of the Navy for the Year 1714, with the half-pay to the Seaofficers and Marines. 3. An Account for the Extraordinaries
for the Guards, Garrisons, and Land-forces for the Year 1713.
and also of the growing Charges for the Guards, Garrisons
and Land-forces, for the Year 1714. 4. A State of the Debts
due to the Army at Christmas last, distinguished under the several Heads of Subsistance, Off-reckonings, and Clearings. 5.
An Estimate of the Charge of the Office of Ordnance by Land
service for the Year 1714. 6. A State of the Debt of the Navy
to Christmas last. 7. An Account of all the Ships in Sea-pay,
which had been employed, with the several Complements or
Number of Men, borne or mustered from the first of July last,
to the first of March Instant. 8. An Account of all Orders
for discharging of any Ships since the first of July last, the Date
of those Orders, and the Time of their Discharge. 9. An
Estimate of the Sum that will be wanting to complete the
Fund of the South-sea Company for the Year 1714. 10. An
Account of all Ships in Sea-pay, which had been employed,
with the several Complements or Number of Men borne or
mustered from the 25th of December 1712, to the first Day of
July last: And resolved That an Address be presented to her
Majesty, by the Members that were of the Privy-Council, that
the proper Officers might be directed to lay before the House
the said several States, Accounts, and Estimates; which was
accordingly presented and complied with.
Complaint lodg'd by Mr. Foley against Mr. Steele.
The next Day, the whole House, in a Committee, considered further of the Act for securing the Freedom of Parliaments, by the further qualifying the Members to fit in the
House of Commons. But came not to any farther Resolution:
And then they 'ordered Accounts to be laid before the House
of what Money was issued for the Service of the Navy, out of
the Funds granted by Parliament for the Service of the Years
1712, and 1713, and to what Uses applied; distinguish'd under the several Heads thereof.' On the 11th, a Bill was ordered to be brought in for securing the Freedom of Parliaments,
by limiting the Number of Officers in the House of Commons:
After which it was moved to take into consideration that Part
of her Majesty's Speech to both Houses of Parliament, which
related to the suppressing seditious Libels and factious Rumours.
This Motion being levelled at Richard Steele, Esq; a Member (Mr. Arthur Moore) represented, That that Gentleman
having the Honour to be a Member of that House, they ought
not to full upon him, while he was absent; and thereupon it
was resolved, to put off the Consideration of that matter till
the Saturday following. The next Day, Mr. Auditor Foley
made a Complaint to the House of three printed Pamphlets,
one entitled, 'The Englishman, fromSaturday, January 16
to Tuesday, Jannary 19, 1713 / 14, wherein is a printed Letter to
the Englishman, to which is subscribed the Name Richard
Steele: Another entitled, The Crisis; in the Title Page whereof it is said, By Richard Steele, Esq; And the other entitled,
The Englishman, being the Close of the Paper so called; in
the Title Page whereof it is also, By Richard Steele, Esq; As
containing several Paragraphs tending to Sedition, highly reflecting upon her Majesty, and arraigning her Adminstration
and Government:' Which Pamphlets being brought up to the
Table, it was ordered that Richard Steele, Esq; a Member of
that House, should attend in his Place next Morning. After
this it was resolved to address her Majesty, That she would be
pleased to direct the proper Officers to lay before that House,
Accounts, &c. call'd for.
I. An Account of the Expence of the Navy and Victualling, between the 30th of September 1710, and the 31 st of
II. An Account of the Sum Total, of which the Capital
of the South-Sea Stock did consist on the 25th of December,
1713. And also of the particular Tallies and Orders, Bills,
Tickets, Certificates and Debentures, which have been taken
or admitted into the said Joint-stock, and the Sums for which
they respectively were taken.
III. An Account how much of the Capital of the SouthSea-Stock, has been admitted, or subscribed for the Use of
the Public, and at what Time the whole, or any Part thereof
was actually admitted or subscribed, and what Interest hath
been paid or Dividend made thereupon, to whom, and at
IV. That an Account be laid before this House, how much
of the Public Stock has been transferr'd Half-Yearly, and to
what Uses it has been applied, and what remains of it.
V. An Estimate of the Value of the Stores, which were in
the several Yards of the Navy at Christmas 1710, and also at
And VI. An Account of the Ships and old Stores, which
have been sold in the Year 1712, and 1713, and for how much
they were so sold.
Mr. Quin committed to the Custody of the Serjeant at Arms.
The same Day Mr. Speaker acquainted the House, That
the Day before he receiv'd a Letter sign'd by one John Qnin,
with a Petition enclos'd, drawn in a Form to be presented to
the House, in which Letter was contain'd a Scandalous Offer
of a Sum of Money to be paid to him, upon Passing such an
Act of Parliament as was desir'd in the said Petition: Which
Letter being read, the said John Quin was order'd to be sent
for immediately into the Custody of the Serjeant at Arms, and
was afterwards examin'd touching the said Letter.
Order'd out of Custody.
The next Day the said Mr. Quin, an Irish Gentleman, put
up a Petition to the House, 'Acknowledging his Offence, as
being committed by him through Inadvertency and Ignorance,
being a Stranger, and unacquainted with the Method of obtaining Acts of Parliament, and begging Pardon of Mr. Speaker
and the House, for his Offence; and praying to be discharg'd
out of Custody' Which being read, it was order'd that the
said Quin be brought upon Monday Morning next to the Bar
of the House; where having upon his Knees, receiv'd a Reprimand from Mr. Speaker, he was order'd out of Custody
paying his Fees.
Mr. Steele allow'd four Days to prepare for his Defence.
Mr. Steele attending in his Place, according to Order, on
the 13th, several Paragraphs in the Printed Pamphlets,
complain'd of the Day before, were read: And Mr.
Steele desiring time till Thursday next, to be heard touching
the same, the further Consideration of the said Pamphlets,
was order'd to be adjourn'd to that Day. The same Day,
the Consideration of that Part of her Majesty's Speech, relating
to Libels, was put off till that Day Se'ennight.
His Motion about the Papers relating to Dunkirk carried in the Negative.
The 15th, Mr. Steele moved, and the Question was propos'd, 'That an humble Address be presented to her Majesty, that she would be pleased to give Directions; that the several Representations of her Majesty's Engineers and Officers,
who have had the Care and Inspection of the Demolition of
Dunkirk, and all Orders and Instructions given thereupon,
might be laid before the House.' But the previous Question
being put; whether that Question be now put, it was carried
in the Negative, by 214 Voices against 109.
Accounts call'd for. ; Bills to regulate the Forces. ; Resolutions for a Bill to prevent the Running of Wool. ; Place-Bill read the first Time. ; Papers relating to the Pretenders Removal from Lorrain call'd for.
The same Day, the House resolv'd to address her Majesty, that an Account be laid before the House of the Funds
for the Payment of the Annuities to the East-India Company,
to Michaelmas last, and then a Bill was order'd to be brought
in, for the better Regulating the Forces to be continued in her
Majesty's Service, and for the Payment of the said Forces, and
of their Quarters. After this Sir Edward Knatchbull reported
from the Committee, to whom it was referred, to consider of
proper Heads for a Bill, for the more effectual preventing the
Running of Wool, that they had prepared proper Heads for
that Purpose, which they had directed him to report to the
House; and he read the same in his Place, and afterwards delivered them in at the Table, where they were read, and
agreed unto by the House, and are as follows, viz. 1. That
the Register or Entry of all Unwrought Wool be made
throughout the whole Kingdoms of Great-Britain and Ireland.
2. That all Permits or Sufferances, whereby any Unwrought
Wool is removed, be extended to all the Persons that shall buy
it, or to whose Use it shall be delivered. 3. That all Persons
receiving any Unwrought Wool, do give a Receipt for the
same, that it may be traced, through the several Hands, till
the same be fully manufactured. 4. That upon Information
of any Quantity of Unwrought Wool, or Woollen Yarn, that
is run, any Justice of the Peace of the County, shall have
Power to summon the Party; and upon Conviction, to levy
a Penalty upon his Goods and Chattles; out of which, the Informer, Aider and Assister, is to be rewarded. 5. That all
Persons removing Wool at any time, except between Sun and
Sun, shall be liable to the Penalty, and be deemed Runners of
Wool. 6. That all Persons have Power to seize the Person or
Persons, as well as the Wool, of such who shall remove it in
the Night-time. 7. That not above— Men shall be allowed to travel with any Waggon, Cart, or other Carriage of
Wool; and not above —Men to — Horses loaded with
Wool, and if such Person or Persons be found armed, to be
deemed Runner or Runners of Wool, and be liable to the same
Penalties. 8. That every Custom-house Officer, or others
concerned in the Execution of this Act, shall be obliged to
grant a Permit or Sufferance when demanded. 9. That every
Custom-house Officer, or others concerned in the Execution of
this Act, shall be obliged to discharge his Book from the Entry upon the Sufferance granted. 10. That every Customhouse Officer, or others concerned in the Execution of this
Act, who upon Informatoin shall refuse or neglect to apprehend the Person or Persons of those, who shall be concerned
in Running of Wool, shall suffer the Penalty of—: And a
Bill was ordered to be brought in, upon the said Resolutions.
Then Sir Arthur Kay presented to the House, a Bill for Securing the Freedom of Parliaments, by limiting the Number of
Officers in the House of Commons; which was read the
first Time, and order'd a second Reading: After which upon
the Motion of the Lord Lumley, seconded by the Earl of
Hertford, it was resolv'd, Nemine Contradicente, 'That an
humble Address be presented to her Majesty, That she will
be pleas'd to order an Account to be laid before the House,
what Steps have been made for the removing the Pretender,
from the Dominions of the Duke of Lorrain, pursuant to the
Address of both Houses of the last Parliament; and what Answers have been given to her Majesty, or any of her Ministers, by the Duke of Lorrain, or any of his Ministers. And
Ordered, That the said Address be presented by such Members
of this House as are of her Majesty's Privy-Council.'
Accounts call'd for. ; 10,000 Seamen voted for the Year 1714.
The 17th, it was resolv'd to address her Majesty, that
there be laid before them, 1. An Account of the Deficiency
at Michaelmas 1713, of the Yearly Fund of 186670 l. for
the Classis Lottery of Two Millions, in the Year 1711; And
an Account of the Deficiency at Michaelmas 1713, of the
Yearly Fund of 168003 l. for the Classis Lottery of 1800000 l.
in the Year 1712. Then, in a Grand Committee, on the Supply, it was resolv'd. That ten thousand Men be allow'd for
the Sea-Service, for the Year 1714, beginning from the first
Day of January 1713; And that a Sum not exceeding 4 l. a
Man per Month, be allow'd for maintaining the said ten thousand Men, for thirteen Months, including the Ordnance for
Sea-Service: Which Resolutions being on Thursday the 18th
of March reported by Mr. Conyers, were agreed to.
Proceedings on Mr. Steele's Case.
The House being informed, that many Persons (some of
great Quality) were in the Galleries, and in the Speaker's
Chamber, who refused to withdraw; the Orders of the second Instant, were read against Strangers, being in the House
and Galleries, and for clearing the Speaker's Chambers, and
locking the Back-doors, and bringing the Key to the Table;
and it was Ordered, That the Serjeant at Arms attending this
House, do take into Custody such Strangers as shall refuse to
withdraw out of the Galleries and Speaker's Chamber. Then
the Order of the Day being read, for taking into further Consideration the printed Pamphlets, complained of to the House,
intituled, The Englishman, from Saturday January 16, to
Tuesday January 19, 1714; The Englishman, being the Close
of the Paper so called; and the Crisis; as containing several
Paragraphs, tending to Sedition, highly reflecting upon her
Majesty, and arraigning her Administration and Government:
And Mr. Steele appearing in his Place, owned he wrote and
publish'd the said Pamphlets, and the several Paragraphs
therein, which had been complained of, and read to the
House, with the same Chearfulness and Satisfaction, with
which he had abjured the Pretender. Then a Debate arising
upon the Method of Proceeding, Mr. Auditor Foley propos'd,
that Mr. Steele should withdraw; but, after several Speeches
it was carried, without dividing, That he should stay, in order
to make his Defence. He desired that he might be allow'd to
answer to what might be urged against him, Paragraph by
Paragraph: But tho' he was powerfully supported by Mr.
Walpole, General Stanhope, the Lord Finch, (eldest Son to
the Earl of Nottingham,) and the Lord Hinchingbrooke, Son
to the Earl of Sandwich, yet Mr. Steele's Accusers insisted,
and it was carried, That he should proceed to make his Defence, generally, upon the Charge given against him. Mr.
Steele proceeded accordingly, to make his Defence: And, for
near three Hours, spoke to the several Heads extracted out of
the three Pamphlets above-mentioned, (which had been
printed, and given to all the Members) with such a Temper,
Modesty, Unconcern, easy and manly Eloquence, as gave
entire Satisfaction to all, who were not inveterately prepossess'd against him.
Mr. Foley's Speech. ; Mr. Walpole.
Mr. Steele being withdrawn, and Candles order'd to be
brought in, most Members expected, that Mr. Auditor Foley
would have sum'd up, and answer'd Mr. Steele's Defence,
Paragraph by Paragraph; but he contented himself with saying, in general, 'That, without amusing the House with
long Speeches, it was plain to every Body, that the Writings
that had been complain'd of, were seditious, and scandalous,
Injurious to her Majesty's Government, the Church, and the
Universities, and moved that the Question should be put thereupon.' This occasioned a very warm Debate, that lasted till
Eleven o'Clock at Night: Robert Walpole, Esq; who spoke
in Favour of Mr. Steele, made a very long and most eloquent
Speech, wherein he went to the Bottom of the Affair; shew'd
that this violent Prosecution, struck at the Liberties of the
Subject, in general, and of the Members of that House, in
particular; justify'd Mr. Steele, on all the Heads of the Accusation raised against him; and said, he hoped the House would
not sacrifice one of their Members to the Resentment and Rage
of the Ministry, for no other Crime, than his exposing their
notorious Mismanagements; and like a good Patriot, warning
his Countrymen against the imminent Dangers, with which
the Nation in general, and, in particular, her Majesty's Sacred
Person, were threatned, by the visible Encouragement that was
given to the Petender's Friends. 'If a Papist, said Mr. Walpole, or to that Purpose, nay an Irish Papist, who for many Years
has been a Servant to the late King James, and the Pretender,
(meaning Sir Patrick Lawless) one who has borne Arms against
her Majesty in France and Spain; one who is strongly suspected, of having embrued his Hands in the Blood of the
late Duke of Medina Celi, and Marquess of Leganez: If,
said he, such a Man be not only permitted to come into England, but to appear at Court, in the Presence-Chamber: If
he be caressed by the Ministers: Nay, I speak it with Horror,
if such a Man be admitted to her Majesty's private Audience
in her Closet, will not every good Subject, think her Majesty's
Person in Danger? And is it then a Crime in Mr. Steele, to
shew his just Concern, for so precious a Life?
As to that Passage of Mr. Steele's Crisis, wherein he says,
That a late treasonable Book, on the Succession of Hereditary
Right, has publish'd the Will of King Henry the Eighth,
which seems to be intended as a Pattern for the like Occasion.
And a little lower, Let those who act under the present Settlement, and yet pretend to dispute for an absolute Hereditary
Right, quiet themselves with the Arguments they have borrowed from Popery: Mr. Walpole said, it could not be denied,
'That the Lord Treasurer was the Patron of learned Men, for
whose Use and Improvement, he had set up a fine Library;
and that it appear'd by the Book call'd, the Hereditary Right
of the Crown of England asserted, &c. that the Author had
free Access to that Library, and had drawn very material Passages out of some Manuscripts in it. But that the Lord Treasurer's Care, to supply him with Materials towards that Work,
went yet further, since his Lordship had employ'd a Man to
look among old, musty Papers, the Will and Testament of
King Henry VIII. which the said Author had inserted at
Length in the Appendix to his Book. That he appeal'd to
Mr. Lowndes, a Member of the House, and Secretary to the
Treasury, whether he had not paid, by the Lord Treasurer's
Order, 12 or 14 l. to the Person that had made that great
Discovery; but that, in case he should deny it, he, Mr. Walpole, had Evidence to prove it.' Mr. Lowndes, seem'd not
to deny the Fact. 'He only said, that Will was not so rare a
Piece, since it was to be seen in a Place he named, in Westminster-Abbey.'
On this Occasion, Mr. Walpole mentioned three Points, in
which he endeavour'd to prove the Peace had been already
broke. 'The first, he said, was the Demolition of Dunkirk,
which ought to have been finish'd five Months after the signing
of the Treaty: But that instead of that, the French had, yet
only pull'd down Part of the outward Fortifications, without
touching the Foundations; which, on the one hand, rendred
the English Garrison useless, and exposed to any Insults, and, on
the other Hand, would afterwards make it easy for the French
to restore and rebuild those Fortifications; which was the more
probable to be in their Thoughts, since, instead of ruining the
Harbour, they were actually repairing the Sluices, and working on a new Canal. That the 2d Point, was the Renunciations of the Princes of the House of Bourbon, which were laid
down as the Foundations and Basis of the Peace, on Pretence
that thereby the Crowns of France and Spain, will be more
divided than ever: But that supposing, (what he could not by
any Means grant) that those Renunciations were to be depended upon, they were yet conditional, and suppos'd the Emperor's Renunciation to the Crown of Spain: And therefore,
as no Care had been taken to engage his Imperial Majesty to
agree to that necessary Condition, so the Renunciations of the
Princes of the House of Bourbon, became thereby not binding, or void.' The third Instance which Mr. Walpole gave
of the Violation of the Peace, was the French King's Ordinance, dated September 18th, N. S. 1713. forbidding the
Children of French Refugees, tho' born out of his Dominions,
to come into them, without his Permission, upon Pain of being
sent to the Galleys. Mr. Walpole farther represented. 'That the
said Ordinance was against Natural Right, and the Law of Nations, and, in particular, derogatory from the Rights and Liberties of the British Nation, which the Children of the Refugees born in England, were entituled to enjoy, as well as the
other Natives. That he would adventure to say in their Behalf,
that it were to be wish'd, that all who have the Happiness to
be born in England, were as good Englishmen as the Sons of
the Refugees; and that the British Nation, was the more concern'd in having that Ordinance repeal'd, in that the Refugees
and their Children, were the fittest to carry on a Trade with
Mr. Hor. Walpole.
Mr. Horatio Walpole back'd, what his Brother Robert said
in Favour of the French Refugees; and 'deplored the lamentable Condition of their Ministers and the Poor amongst
them, to whom the Lord Treasurer, had not paid one Penny
of the 15000 l. per Annum, voted by Parliament, and allow'd in the Civil List, toward their Assistance and Relief,
since he came into his Office.' He said to that Purpose, 'That
some amongst them, suffer'd now more in England, than they
did during the Persecution in France; since there were always
some charitable People who reliev'd them while they were in
Prisons and Dungeons, whereas here they were let starve.'
Lord Finch. ; Sir William Wyndham.
My Lord Finch, back'd also Mr. Robert Walpole, and
gave early, pregnant Proofs, of the Eloquence hereditary in his
noble Family. His Lordship, among other Things, endeavour'd to justify Mr. Steele, with relation to the nicest and
tenderest Part of the Charge against him, viz. his Third Wish,
in the Close of his last Englishman, That his Electoral Highness of Hanover, would be so grateful as to signify to all the
World; the perfect good Understanding he has with the
Court of England, in as plain Terms, as her Majesty was
pleased to declare she had with that House, on her Part, He
said thereupon, 'That, supposing there were in this Wish,
some injurious Insinuation, yet the same, could not, without
Injustice, be apply'd to the Queen, but only to her Ministers:
That no Body doubted the good Understanding between her
Majesty and the House of Hanover; but that it was notorious,
that the Ministers shew'd no great Regard to that Illustrious
House, Witness, (to pass over other Instances) the Slight they
put upon the Baron Bothmar's Memorial; which the Queen
had perhaps, never seen, had not the Dutchess of Somerset,
shew'd it her Majesty in Print, in the Daily Courant.' My
Lord Finch likewise justify'd Mr. Steele, in relation to his
Reflections on the Peace: We may, said his Lordship, give it
all the fine Epithets we please; but Epithets do not change the
Nature of Things. We may, if we please, call it here honourable; but I am sure it is accounted scandalous in Holland
Germany, Portugal, and over all Europe except France and
Spain. We may call it advantageous, but all the Trading
Part of the Nation, find it to be otherwise: And if it be
really advantageous, it must be so to the Ministry that made it.'
Sir William Wyndham saying thereupon, 'That the Ministry
would not say that the Peace was advantageous to them:'
The Lord Finch very smartly reply'd, Then 'twas plain, it
was advantageous to no body.
Mr. Steele expell'd the House.
My Lord Lumley, Son to the E. of Scarborough, my Lord
Hinchinbroke, and some other Members, spoke with a great
deal of Vivacity in Favour of Mr. Steele, and against the Conduct of Ministry: But Mr. Auditor Foley, Sir William
Wyndham, the Attorney General, and some other Courtiers,
being supported by a great Majority, which, in popular Assemblies and Consultations, generally supplies the Want of Arguments, still insisted on the Question, so that at last, it was
carried by 245 Voices, against 152, First, 'That a printed
Pamphlet, intituled, The Englishman, being the Close of the
Paper so called, and one other Pamphlet, entituled, The
Crisis, written by Richard Steele, Esq; a Member of this
House; are scandalous and seditious Libels, containing many
Expressions highly reflecting upon her Majesty, and upon the
Nobility, Clergy, Gentry and Universities of this Kingdom,
maliciously insinuating, that the Protestant Succession in the
House of Hanover is in Danger under her Majesty's Administration, and tending to alienate the Affections of her Majesty's
good Subjects, and to create Jealousies and Divisions among
them. Secondly, That Richard Steele, Esq; for his Offence
in Writing, and Publishing the said scandalous and seditious
Libels, be expell'd this House.'
Mr. Bailie. ; Sir James Steuart.
It is observable that two (fn. 5) Scotch Members only spoke in this
long Debate, to wit, Mr. Bailie, and Sir James Steuart, Judge
Advocate in North-Britain. The first said, 'He was little acquainted with the Affairs of England, but had made it his Business, to know those of his own Country; and that, by all
the Observations he could make for some Years past, they
who appear'd the most zealous for the Pretender's Interest,
were the most favour'd and countenanc'd, by those in Power.'
This was confirm'd by Sir James Steuart, who added, 'That
to his certain Knowledge, three or four thousand Pounds had
been yearly remitted to the Highland Clans, whose Chiefs;
and the Men under their Command, were known to be entirely devoted to the Chevalier.'
Place-Bill read the second Time. ; Regimental List of the Half-pay Officers call'd for.
On the 19th, the Bill for securing the Freedom of Parliaments, by limiting the Number of Officers in the House of
Commons, was read a second time, and committed to a Committee of the whole House; after which it was resolved to address her Majesty, That a Regimental List of the Half-pay
Officers for the Year, 1714, might be laid before the House.
A Bill to take off 3 d. per Pound of the Drawback upon Tobacco exported to Ireland. ; Place-Bill ordered to be engrossed. ; Commissions of Commissaries of Trade called for. ; The Commons adjourned for a Week.
The Parliament of Ireland having been prorogued to the
Month of August next, before they had provided for the Maintenance of the Government in that Kingdom, a Project was
set on Foot here to supply that Defect by retrenching the
Drawbacks upon Goods exported thither from England. According to this Scheme, the 22d, the House, in a grand
Committee, considered the present Laws with respect to
Drawbacks upon Tobaccoes, Muslings, and East-India
Silks, carried to Ireland; and came to two Resolutions, which
were reported the next Day, and with an Amendment to one
of them agreed to by the House, as follows: viz. '1. That
Three Pence per Pound, Part of the Drawback on Tobacco
to be exported from Great Britain for Ireland, be taken off.
2. That the said Diminution of the Drawback do take Effect
upon all Tobacco exported for Ireland, after the 24th of
March 1713, and continue until the Additional Duty of three
Pence Half-penny per Pound upon Tobacco in Ireland, expiring on the said 24th Day of March be regranted:' And
ordered a Bill to be brought in upon the said Resolutions.
The same Day, the Commons, in a Committee of the whole
House, took into Consideration the Bill for securing the
Freedom of Parliaments, by limiting the Number of Officers
in that House, and made several Amendments to the same,
which were on the 24th reported, and, with an Amendment
to one of them, agreed unto by the House, and the Bill, with
the Amendments was ordered to be engrossed. After this, it
was resolved to address her Majesty for 'a Copy of the Commission appointing Commissaries on her Majesty's Part, to treat
with Commissaries of France concerning the Trade of both
Kingdoms;' as also for 'Copies of all Commissions appointing Commissaries to treat, in Matters relating to Trade, with
the Commissaries of any foreign Princes or States, since the
Time of the Restoration:' And then the House adjourned till
that Day seven-night, by Reason of the Easter Holy-days.
Bill to prevent the Running of Wool.
The 31st Sir Edward Knatchbul presented to the House
a Bill for the more effectual preventing the Running
of Wool, which was receiv'd and read the first Time:
After which it was resolv'd to present two Addresses to the Queen,
that she would be pleased to direct the proper Officers to lay
before the House, 'An Account of the Charge of Provisions
furnished by the Commissioners for Victualling her Majesty's
Navy, to Land Forces or Garrisons, since the First of August, 1710,
when and for what Services the same were supplied, and what
Money has been received by the Treasurer of the Navy, towards
reimbursing the said Expence. Secondly, An Account of the Produce of the Duties and Customs upon French Goods for the
two last Years, ending at Christmas last; as also, an Account
of what Surplusage, or Unappropriated Money, has been paid
into the Exchequer since Michaelmas, 1710, and to what Uses
the same has been issued and applied.' Mr. Gwyn, Secretary
at War, presented several Estimates to the House, which, with
some others, were referr'd to the Grand Committee of the
Bill to lessen the Drawback on Tobacco exported to Ireland.
April 1, the Directors of the South-Sea Company were order'd to lay before the House, the Reasons, why the Sufferers
at Nevis and St. Christopher's, had not been admitted to subscribe the Debentures into the Stock of the said Company; and
Mr. Conyers presented to the House, according to Order, a Bill
for lessening the Drawback on Tobacco, carried into Ireland,
which was receiv'd, and read the first Time.
Papers about the Pretender laid before the House, and others call'd for. ; Supply voted. ; Papers call'd for.
The 2d, the Commons resolv'd to address the Queen, 'for
an Account of the Deficiencies arising upon an Act, pass'd in
the 3d and 4th Years of her Majesty's Reign, for granting to
her Majesty, a further Subsidy on Wines and Merchandizes
imported:' After which Mr. Secretary Bromley, also, presented
to the House, pursuant to their Address to her Majesty, 'An
Account of what Steps had been taken for removing the Pretender from the Dominions of the Duke of Lorrain, pursuant
to the Addresses of both Houses of the last Parliament; and
what (fn. 6) Answers have been given to her Majesty, or any of
her Ministers, by the Duke of Lorrain, or any of his Ministers,
and also a Copy of two Letters in French; the one being an
Answer of the Baron Le Begue to a Letter from the Bishop of
London, dated November 9, 1713, and the other being a
Letter of the Duke of Lorrain to the Baron Le Begue, dated
November 27, 1713.' And the said Account was read, after
which it was Order'd, That the said Copies of the said Letters
be referred to a Committee to translate, and report the same
to the House. A Committee was accordingly appointed; and
Resolved, 'That an humble Address be presented to her Majesty, That she would be pleased to direct, That an Account
be laid before this House, what Instances had been used with
the Emperor, for the revoking the Passport granted by him,
for the Pretender's residing in the Dominions of the Duke of
Lorrain, or against renewing the same.'Then the House, in
a Grand Committee on the Supply, 'Resolv'd to grant the
Sum of 245,700 l. 00 s. 3 d. for the Ordinary of the
Navy, for the Year 1714, including Half-Pay to the Sea-Officers.' After which it was resolv'd, to present four Addresses
to the Queen, that her Majesty would be pleased to direct the
proper Officers to lay before the House, 1st, An Account of
the Charge of the General and Staff Officers, and of the Expence of each Garrison of Great Britain, for the Year 1714.
2dly, An Account of the State of the Fortifications and Harbour of Dunkirk, and what Representations had been made,
from time to time, by the Engineers and Officers, appointed
to inspect the Domolition of the same, with the Answers thereto, and the Orders given thereupon. 3dly, An Account of
what Instructions had been given for the settling the Trade with
Flanders; and what Progress hath been made therein. And
4thly, An Account of what Forces were in her Majesty's Pay,
in the Year 1711, and what are now subsisting.
Place Bill pass'd. ; Resolutions on the Supply.
The 5th, An Engrossed Bill for securing the Freedom of
Parliaments, by limiting the Number of Officers in the House
of Commons, was read the third time, amended, pass'd, and
sent to the Lords for their Concurrence: After which a Bill
was order'd to be brought in, for allowing a Draw-back upon
the Exportation of Salt, to be made use of, for curing of Fish,
taken in the North Seas, or at Iseland; and, in a Grand Committee on the Supply, Resolv'd, 'That a Sum not exceeding
498085 l. 10 s. be granted to her Majesty, to make good
(for the Services of the Navy) the like Sum, which, in the Year
commencing from Christmas 1713, is to be paid by the Treasurer of the Navy, by Quarterly Payments to the South-Sea
Company, pursuant to the Act of Parliament in that behalf.
2. That the Number of Men to be allow'd for Guards and
Garrisons in Great Britain, and for Jersey and Guernsey, for
the Year 1714, be Eight thousand two hundred thirty two
Men, Commission and Non-Commission Officers, and the two
Independent Companies in North Britain included. Which
Resolutions were, on the 7th of April, reported and agreed
unto by the House.
Papers about the Pretender call'd for.
The same Day the Commons resolv'd to address her Majesty, That an Account of the present State and Condition of
the Navy, might be laid before them; and then unanimously
resolv'd, to consider of the State of the Nation, with regard
to the Protestant Succession, that Day Seven-night: In order
to which they also resolv'd to address the Queen, 'That the
Letter from the Bishop of London to the Baron de Begue, Minister of the Duke of Lorrain to the States-General, concerning
the Removal of the Pretender, from the Dominions of the
Duke of Lorrain, might be laid before the House.
Three Addresses ordered. ; Bill for Relief of the Tobacco Merchants.
The 8th, it was resolved to present three Addresses to her
Majesty, that she would be pleased to order to be laid before
them, 1. An Account of the State of the Negociations of the
several Treaties of Peace, between her Majesty and her Allies
and France and Spain, and of the Obstructions, which occured in carrying on the said Negociations. 2. An Account
what Licences, Privy-Seals, or Passports have been granted
since the Year 1688, to Persons outlawed or attainted in Great
Britain or Ireland, or who have borne Arms in the Service of
her Majesty's, or the late King's Enemies, for their returning
into these Dominions. And 3. A Copy of the Articles and
Capitulations of Limerick and Gallway. Then the House
proceeded to the hearing of the Merits of the Election of the
of Linlithgow; and the Counsel on both Sides were called in;
and the Petition of John Howston, Esq; complaining of the
said Election, was read; and the Writings produced as Evidences, both for the Petitioner and sitting Member were read,
and the Council on both Sides were heard and then they withdrew. Then a Motion being made, and the Question put,
That Sir James Carmichell, Bart. had a Right to vote for a Commissioner to serve in this present Parliament for the Shire of
Linlithgow; it passed in the Negative. Another Motion being made, and the Question put, That Sir James Carmichell,
Bart. is duly elected a Commissioner to serve in this present
Parliament, for the Shire of Linlithgow; it passed in the Negative. And resolved, That John Howston, Esq; is duly elected a Commissioner for the Shire of Linlithgow. The same
Day, upon the reading a Petition of the Merchants of London, trading in Tobacco, on behalf of themselves, and the
Planters of Virginia and Maryland, it was ordered, that a Bill
be brought in for the Relief of the Petitioners: But a Petition of the Merchants of London, trading to and from Virginia and Maryland, against the Bill for lessening the Drawback on Tobacco carried to Ireland, being offered to the
House, and the Question put, That the Petition be brought
up, it passed in the Negative.
Account of the Moneys paid to the Highland Clans; and other Papers called for. ; Resolutions on the Supply.
The 9th, the Commons resolv'd to address her Majesty, 1.
For 'an Account of all Sums of Money, which had been
paid to the Highland Clans in North Britain since the Year
1688, with the Names of the respective Persons, to whom any such Sums have been paid, and by whom. 2. For the
State of the Garrisons in North Britain, and an Account of
what Arms and Ammunition, have been brought out of North
Britain into South Britain, since Michaelmas 1710. And 3.
For Copies of the several Papers and Representations, relating
to the Garrisons of Jamaica, and the Leeward Islands, which
had been sent over from the respective Governors of those
Places, and the Opinion of the Assembly with respect to the
Forces there.' The same Day, in a Committee of the whole
House upon the Supply, it was resolved to grant, 1. 386427 l.
17 s. 10 d. for maintaining of Guards and Garrisons in Great
Britain, Jersey and Guernsey, together with the two Independant Companies in North Britain, for the Year 1714. 2. 54645 l.
1 s. 3 d. for maintaining her Majesty's Forces and Garrison at
Minorca, for the Year 1714, 3. 34856 l. 14 s. 9 d. ½ for
maintaining her Majesty's Forces and Garrison at Gibraltar,
for the Year 1714. 4. 20170 l. 1 s. 6 d. for maintaining of
four Companies at New York, four Companies at Anapolis
Royal, four Companies of Placentia, one Company at Bermudas, and the Garrisons of Annapolis Royal and Placentia,
for the Year 1714. 5. 67358 l. 15 s. 7 d. for supplying the
Deficiency for the Fund for the Classis Lottery in 1712, for
the Year ending at Michaelmas 1712. 6. 67546 l. 4 s. 3 d. ½
for supplying the Deficiency of the Fund for the Classis Lottery in 1712, for the Year ending at Michaelmas 1713. And
in the 7th Place, 42576 l. 6 s. 4 d. to make good the Desiciency of the yearly Fund, granted by an Act in the Ninth
of the late King William III. for the Benefit of the Company
and others, trading to the East-Indies.
These Resolutions, being the next Day reported, were agreed to by the House; after which it was resolved, to put
off the Consideration of that Part of her Majesty's Speech,
relating to seditious Libels, and factious Rumours, to that Day
sevennight; and in a Committee of the whole House,
they went through the Bill, for lessening the Drawback
on Tobacco carried into Ireland; and made some Amendments to it, the Report of which was put off till the Wednesday following. The same Day, the Gentlemen appointed to
bring in a Bill, for the Relief of the Merchants in London
trading in Tobacco, &c. were discharged from preparing and
bringing in the said Bill: And the Consideration of that Matter, was referred to the Grand Committee of the Supply.
Bills for the Relief of Tobacco and Wine Merchants.
The 12th, upon the Report of the Resolutions of the Committee, to whom the Petition of the Merchants, Drapers, and
other Dealers, in mixt or medley Broad-Cloaths, had been referred, a Bill was ordered to be brought in, to explain and amend
an Act passed in the tenth Year of her Majesty's Reign, intituled, An Act for Regulating, Improving, and Encouraging
the Woollen Manufacture, &c. Then, in a Committee of the
whole House on the Supply, it was resolved, That three Bills
be brought in, one to impower the Lord Treasurer, or the
Commissioners of the Treasury for the Time being, to compound with Robert Wife, and his Sureties for Customs of
Tobacco; another for the Relief of the Merchants and Traders in Tobacco; and a third for the Relief of Wine Merchants: Which Resolutions were immediately reported, agreed
to, and the said two Bills ordered to be brought in accordingly. The same Day the Grand Committee of Priviledges and
Elections examined, the Merits of the Election for the Town
of Buckingham, and adjudged it for Dr. Ratcliff, and Thomas Chapman, Esq; sitting Members.