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William III: February 1698

Pages 63-118

Calendar of State Papers Domestic: William III, 1698. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1933.

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February 1698

Feb. 1. Scheme for an establishment for Ireland, to be allowed only the present subsistance and clothes. There are to be 4 regiments of horse, each consisting of 6 troops of 50 troopers; 2 regiments of dragoons, each of 8 troops of 60 men; 18 regiments of foot, each of 13 companies of 50 privates. In all 13,860 men at a yearly charge of 181,527l. 13s. 4d. [S.P. 8. 18. f. 38.]
Feb. 1.
Whitehall.
Ja. Vernon to Ld. Ambassdr. Williamson. Since my last I have received yours of the 24th, 28th and 31st past, and both your letters of the 4th inst. [N.S.], which have been laid before the King.
Major-General Erle's hostage has come over, and I hope our ships have been likewise released in pursuance of the orders which were communicated to you.
I perceive we shall not know how it stands as to the French post till we hear from Lord Portland, but letters come very slowly that way, for his Majesty has not yet had so much as an account of his arrival in Paris.
The Admiralty sends word they will have an advice boat ready at Plymouth in 8 or 10 days to carry the papers to St. Christopher's.
As to the demand made by the Danes of what is in arrear on account of subsidies, that matter is before Parliament in the estimates under consideration.
As to Hamburg, the King would be glad if they would satisfy themselves in the manner Sweden has done in reference to Bremen that the using the same style to these towns which has been always practised can have no consequence to the prejudicing any other rights or pretensions whatsoever. Endorsed, R. 5–15. 1½ pp. [S.P. 32. 15. ff. 25–26.]
Feb. 1.
Doctors' Commons.
George Oxenden to [Sir J. Williamson]. I suppose Mr. Secretary may have sent you the copy of the decree in Lambert's cause, which was given by my direction at Dover by the deputy to the governor of Dover Castle. He may constitutionally sit as a judge, but, being a person wholly unskilled in such affairs, he acts in these matters by my direction. This may serve to clear any doubts why the sentence was not in my name. For I often hear matters by consent of parties here, and afterwards send directions to the court at Dover to give the decree in form. Lambert himself appeared before me here, with his proctor and counsel. When, upon the whole matter, I declared the law to be as I wrote to you, then by his counsel's advice he consented that the ship should be released, his counsel being convinced of the law, otherwise he might have appealed to Delegates. He prayed me that the decree might be drawn up as if the ship were delivered by his consent, which I consented to, because it would make no alteration in the matter, and because, by such free consent, he hoped to obtain more favour in the Courts of France. This may serve to explain to you why there is no mention in the decree of the reasons in law; it was upon my declaration of the law that he consented, and not before.
I understand that the French demand a sum of money for a privateer brought in by one Captain Lapthorn after the peace, the privateer being stranded by storm in Ramsgate Bay. The pretence is that, the ship being taken after the peace, the captor is to answer all damages, and they bring this damage done by storm into the account. I think they are much in the wrong in this, for I understand this ship resisted and fought, and therefore cannot be said to be unjustly taken, Captain Lapthorn not knowing of the peace. She was released by the judge as soon as the time of capture was known. And for the damage by storm the captain could not be answerable for this by any law whatever. For Casus fortuiti a nemine praestandi is a rule in the Civil Law and Law of Nations. And Major General Earl may as well demand satisfaction of the Dragon privateer for the loss of all his baggage, for he was taken by the Dragon and detained for a tide, or else he would have been in England that day, but by reason of his detention he was in a storm next day and lost all his baggage. I believe the captain of the Dragon was in mala fide, for they showed him papers, which might reasonably have convinced him of the peace, and it may be proved he knew it. However, I procured a constat of the value of that privateer lost at Ramsgate and put it into Mr. Secretary's hands.
Colonel Strangways' commission for the clerkship of the pells has been allowed of, the Lords of the Treasury claiming the right of nomination and the Barons of the Exchequer refusing to swear any person into the office but by Treasury warrant. This has been the controversy for some time and so determined.
I suppose you have had an account of a quarrel which happened in the committee of Elections last Wednesday night between Lord W. Pawlett and Mr. Hammond. It was upon the election of a Cambridgeshire knight—upon petition of Mr. Pigot against Sir R. Cullen—my Ld. and Mr. H. went out and fought in St. James's Square in the dark, and my Ld. wounded him in the thigh and broke his sword and returned back to the committee. I don't hear but that Mr. H. is like to do well. Endorsed, R. 5–15. 4pp. [S.P. 32. 9. ff. 143–144.]
Feb. 1.
Whitehall.
Newsletter to Sir Jo. Williamson. The Earl of Ailesbury and Lord Montgomery not having obtained licence from his Majesty to remain in England, on account of their having been in France during the late war, went away on Saturday last, pursuant to the Act of Parliament made this Sessions, intending as is said to go and reside at Antwerp. Divers other persons have left this kingdom upon the same account.
Mr. Edwin, son of the Lord Mayor of London, is made Usher of the Exchequer in the place of Mr. Packer, deceased, which was at first designed for Mr. Pelham.
Transports are providing for the 5 Regiments of Foot and 2 of Horse ordered for Ireland.
To-morrow, being Candlemas Day, there will be a Ball at the Princess's Court at St. James.
Yesterday the anniversary of the murder of King Charles 1st was observed, and the Parliament did not sit. Endorsed, R. 5–15. 21/5 pp. [S.P. 32. 9. ff. 147–148.]
Feb. 1.
Whitehall.
R. Yard to the same, with news as above. Endorsed, R. 5–15 Feb. 1 p. [Ibid. ff. 149–150.]
Feb. 1.
Whitehall.
J. Ellis to the same. Mr. Stepney went from hence on Saturday morning.
The House of Commons seems to intend to be very severe upon Mr. Duncomb, Mr. Knight, and Mr. Burton. Only Sir Stephen Fox spoke in favour of Mr. Knight, and Mr. Pultney in behalf of Mr. Duncomb, but to no effect.
The King has granted licences to stay here to about 400 persons, yesterday being the last day the Act allowed for that purpose, which yet involves, as some compute, above 30,000 persons. Endorsed, R. 5–15 Feb. 3 pp. [S.P. 32. 9. ff. 145–146.]
Feb. 1.
Whitehall.
Ja. Vernon to the Portuguese Envoy. The poor French sailor about whom I spoke to you this morning is named Elisha Tessier. He was captured in a Portuguese vessel Le Sacrement bon Jesu and taken to Havre de Grace, where he has been a prisoner for seven months. As he was taken whilst under the protection of the Portuguese flag his Majesty thought that you might use your good offices to obtain his release. French. [S.P. 44. 99. pp. 437–8.]
Feb. 1.
Whitehall.
The same to Mr. Stock. I send you two packets for Lord Portland.
There was no list in your letter of January 30th of those that went off with Lady Strickland. I don't know that passes are now necessary, but notice should be taken who they are that go and come. Suspicious persons should be sent hither. If any of those you mention have been in France, and so liable to the Act, you will let me know it, and what proof there is. [Ibid. p. 441.]
Feb. 1.
Kensington.
Warrant to the Privy Council of Scotland, ordering Brigadier Maitland's regiment to go to Fort William, and Colonel Hill's regiment to be disbanded. [S.P. 57. 16. p. 505–6.]
Feb. 1.
Kensington.
Warrant to the Lords of the Treasury of Scotland, reciting that Brigadier Maitland has been appointed Governor of Fort William in the place of Colonel Hill, whose regiment is to be disbanded. The lords of the Treasury are to instruct Brigadier Maitland how to discharge his trust, and to assist him in his settlement there: the former regiment are to leave behind them what belongs to them and the Brigadier shall think needful. Orders are to be given for payment of the value of what shall be retained and has not been paid for since the establishing of the garrison; with the addition of the pay of the master gunner at 2s. 6d. and of two other gunners at 1s. 3d. a day, omitted out of the establishment. [Ibid. p. 506–7.]
Feb. 1.
Kensington.
The King to the same. By our letter of Jan. 15th ult. we fully determined what was represented to us concerning the state of the accounts before the date of your commission, and we have now considered what you have written to our Secretary in waiting concerning that matter, and we find no reason to make any alteration of our former letter, we having already declared you free from what has been done by the former lords of the Treasury where there are precepts, warrants, or receipts, as to which they are to be liable, conform to the determination of the auditors. But as to the accounts of incident charges or disbursements in the exigences that did then occur, and in all other cases which had not been determined by them, we remitted the same to be determined by you. Therefore, where you find articles of that nature clear and plain, we expect that you will state and determine them, and as to those wherein you find difficulty you at least are to give your opinion and you may transmit the same with the reasons to us. [S.P. 57. 16. p. 507–8.]
Feb. 1.
Kensington.
Warrants to the same to admit —Earl of Mar and — Earl of Lowdon as Commissioners of the Exchequer of Scotland. [Ibid. pp. 508–9.]
Feb. 1.
Kensington.
Warrant for a letter of exoneration and discharge in favour of John, Lord Carmichael, as Commissioner of the General Assembly of the Kirk of Scotland. [Ibid. p. 509–10.]
Feb. 1.
Kensington.
Warrant to the Lords of the Treasury of Scotland to pay 400l. to the Moderator of the General Assembly. [S.P. 57. 16. p. 510–1.]
Feb. 1.
Kensington.
Docket of the warrant for a charter granting to William, Earl of March, and his heirs "and others above written" the lands of Over and Nather Glenraths and of Glenrathness, lying in the Sheriffdom of Peebles, as for the principal, and the lands of Easter Dawick in warrandice of the lands of Over Glenrath and lands of Pirn, proceeding upon the resignation of Sir John and John Veatches, elder and younger, of Dawick, James Nasmith younger of Posso and Alexander and William Horsburghs and others, for new infeftments thereof to be granted. These also contain a new gift of the premises with a dispensation for a seisin to be taken at the Tower and Fortalice of Easter Glenrath, commonly called Nather Glenrath, or at the Castle of Neidpath. The King changes the holding of the said lands and others principally disponed from simple ward to taxt ward: excepting the lands of Over Glenrath, the holding whereof was formerly changed in the barony of Posso, and for which the taxt duties above mentioned are to be paid as a proportional part of the taxt duties of the lands and barony of Posso, whereof the said lands of Over Glenrath is a part, and the said lands of Easter Dawick disponed in warrandice are to be holden for the rights, duties and services used and wont, conform to the said Sir John and John Veatches their infeftments of the barony of Dawick. (See The Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland X, p. 302.) [S.P. 57. 16. p. 512.]
Feb. 1.
Kensington.
Warrant, reciting that the King on April 29th, 1695, [see Cal. S.P. Dom., 1694–5] gave 300l. yearly to the University of Aberdeen, of which he appointed 100l. for the provision of another professor of divinity, besides the professor formerly established: that the King is now informed that the salary of the former professor is small and no ways a sufficient allowance or encouragement for a person of such learning and literature as is necessary for that station, and that part of the 100l. may be more usefully bestowed as salary to a professor of the oriental languages. Therefore the King allocates 600 marks Scots of the 100l. to be added to the salary of Mr. Charles Gordon, present professor of divinity at Aberdeen, and his successors, and the remaining 1,200 marks to be settled upon Mr. George Gordon (to whom the King has granted a presentation to be professor of the oriental languages at Aberdeen) as a yearly salary for teaching and professing the said languages. [S.P. 57. 16. p. 513–4.]
Feb. 1.
Kensington.
Commission to John, Lord Lindsay, to be lieutenant-colonel and first lieutenant of the troop of Lifeguards in Scotland of which Archibald, Earl of Argyll, is colonel and captain. [Ibid. p. 514–5.]
Feb. 1.
Kensington.
Warrant for a grant of letters patent to James Van Daalen, burgher of Amsterdam, for an engine or carriage with four wheels and double troughs, which open in the middle and shoot out the load at once, and return to their places again, which is wrought together with stellings and stages, that are removed and wrought either with or without wheels. [S.P. 44. 347. p. 136.]
Feb. 1.
The Hague.
Pass to Peter Corneille, a weaver of London, bringing a certificate from the minister of the French church there. [S.P.44. 386. p. 10.]
Feb. 1.
Kensington.
Commission to Richard Marshall to be lieutenant in Captain John Bannerman's company in the Earl of Orkney's royal regiment of foot. [S.P. 44. 167. p. 312.]
Feb. 1. Votes of the House of Commons. Numb. 43. (Printed.) 4 pp. [S.P. 32. 9. ff. 151–153.]
Feb. 1.
Whitehall.
Notes of proceedings of the House of Commons. 1 p. [Ibid. ff. 154–155.]
Feb. 2.
Whitehall.
Ja. Vernon to the Lords of the Council of Trade: transmitting by command copies of a letter of December 24th last from the town of Bremen to the King, relating to the trade between his Majesty's dominions and that republic, and of two letters, of 1st and 8th January last, from Mr. Greg, minister at Copenhagen, to the Secretary of State, with a report concerning the Swedes encroaching upon and engrossing navigation. [S.P. 44. 99. p. 438.]
Feb. 2.
Whitehall.
The same to the Lords of the Treasury. Mr. Abraham Kicke, H.M.'s consul at Rotterdam, having been employed during the late war in preventing suspected persons coming over and prohibited goods being brought, and having been, according to his account, at considerable expenses, the King has allowed him 300l. for all his pretensions. [Ibid. p. 439.]
Feb. 2.
Whitehall.
The same to the same. The King commands that 100l. be paid to each of four messengers [named] on account; they have been appointed to attend the Earl of Portland for carrying his Majesty's packets between Calais and Paris. [Ibid. p. 440.]
Feb. 2.
Kensington.
Royal warrant to the Lords Justices of Ireland to recover and pay to John Yeard, Dean of Achonrye and Chanter of Killala, certain profits of the deanery. Printed in the Calendar of Treasury Books Vol. XIII, p. 237. [S.O. 1. 14. p. 56.]
Feb. 2.
Whitehall.
Proceedings upon the petition of Robert Davis; setting forth that one Jno. Speed, a doctor of physick, had lately obtained judgment on ejectment against him in the King's Bench, and desiring a writ of error returnable in Parliament. Granted. [S.P.44. 238. p. 185.]
Feb. 2. Votes of the House of Commons. Numb. 44. (Printed.) 4 pp. [S.P. 32. 9. ff. 156–157.]
Feb. 3.
Whitehall.
Ja. Vernon to Mr. Stock, enclosing letters from the King to be delivered to a messenger at Calais. [S.P. 44. 99. p. 442.]
Feb. 3.
Kensington.
Licence to Samuel Moyer, esq., High Sheriff of Essex, to live out of that county. [S.P. 44. 163. p. 103.]
Feb. 3–7. "The Journals of the House of Lords," for Sir Jos. Williamson. 1 p. [S.P. 32. 9. ff. 161–162.]
Feb. 3. Votes of the House of Commons. Numb. 45. (Printed.) 4 pp. [S.P. 32. 9. ff. 158–160.]
Feb. 4.
Whitehall.
Ja. Vernon to Ld. Ambdr. Williamson. His Majesty commands me to add to what I wrote to you by the last post, in relation to the exceptions taken by the Danes at the town of Hamburg's being styled, in his Majesty's inclusion of them in the treaty, a Free Imperial City, if the Danish ministers shall not be satisfied with the declarations made that this nomination was not intended to derogate from any rights or pretensions of the King of Denmark, but shall insist to have it more authentically explained, his Majesty is willing you should declare the same accordingly before the Mediator.
What is due to the Danes on account of subsidies was reported this day to the House from the select committee.
His Majesty went to Richmond this day to take the air, and does not return till to-morrow.
I must trouble you with the enclosed for Mr. Stepney, not knowing otherwise how to send it to him. Enclosed, Rd. 9 Mar. N.S. 1¼ pp. [S.P. 32. 15. ff. 27–28.]
Feb. 4.
Whitehall.
J. Ellis to the same. We have no news but what the House of Commons affords, and that is not much at present. The King is gone to Richmond to shoot, and stays there all night. His Majesty, coming to St. James's chapel on Sundays, has declared he will allow an hour after chapel to give audience to the ladies who have any business with him. Endorsed, Rd. 9 Mar. N.S. 3 pp. [S.P. 32. 9. ff. 163–164.]
Feb. 4.
Whitehall.
R. Yard's newsletter to the same. Letters dated on the 26th ult. have been received from the Earl of Portland, giving an account of his reception in Paris. Also that Goodman was taken up by an order of the French court, but the occasion of it was not known.
The squadron designed for the Straits is getting ready with all expedition, and is to be composed of 17 men of war, two whereof are to go to Turkey with Sir James Rushout, ambassador to the Grand Signior; the commander of the squadron is not yet appointed. Endorsed, Rd. 9 Mar., N.S. 3 pp. [Ibid. ff. 165–166.]
Feb. 4.
Whitehall.
Thomas Hopkins to the same. We have been in such a hurry at our office with granting licences to persons to stay in England, that I have no news to send. Endorsed, Rd. Mar. 9th, N.S. 1 p. [Ibid. ff. 167–168.]
Feb. 4. Warrant for the apprehension of Sarah Hubin for high treason for going into France and returning since the 11th December, 1688, without leave. [S.P. 44. 349. p. 52.]
Feb. 4.
The Hague.
Passes to James Douglas, soldier, in Capt. James Boyd's company in the Scotch regiment belonging to Col. Colyear in H.M.S., having served 24 years and bringing a discharge from the Colonel, dated Bruges, Dec. 25, 97. [S.P.44. 386. p. 10]: and to John Scott, soldier, late of Capt. Delaet's company in Col. Colyear's regiment, discharged Dec. 25, 97 [ibid.]: and to Robt. Imbrie, of the same company, having served 24 years [ibid.]; and to John Reed, soldier, late of the garrison of Amsterdam. [Ibid. p. 11.]
Feb. 4. Votes of the House of Commons. Numb. 46. (Printed.) 4 pp. [S.P. 32. 9. ff. 169–170.]
Feb. 4.
Whitehall.
Notes of the proceedings of the House of Commons. Endorsed, Rd. 9 Mar., N.S. 1 p. [Ibid. ff. 171–172.]
Feb. 5. Draft of an establishment for 350,000l., presented to his Majesty, February the 5th, 1697.
Horse. First Troop of Guards (21 officers and 150 private gentlemen); three Troops more of the same numbers; Troop of Grenadiers (31 officers and 150 men); Royal Regiment consisting of 6 Troops (59 officers and 300 men): King's Regiment the like; Queen's Regiment the like; two regiments of Horse consisting of six Troops (each regiment of 59 officers and 276 men).
Total of Horse:—Number of men, including officers, 2,612; number of private men, 2,202; pay per annum, 170,302l. 18s. 4d.; subsistence per annum according to Flanders Regulation, 130,266l. 6s. 2d.; difference, 40,036l. 12s. 2d.
Dragoons. Royal Regiment consisting of six Troops (84 officers and 276 men); two Regiments more the like.
Total of Dragoons:— number of men, including officers, 1,080; number of private men, 828; pay per annum, 40,277l. 15s. 0d.; subsistence per annum according to Flanders Regulation, 30,922 10s. 0d.; difference, 9,355l. 5s. 0d.
Foot. First Regiment of Guards, consisting of 28 companies (323 officers and 1,680 men); Second Regiment of Guards, consisting of 14 companies (163 officers and 840 men); Blue Foot Guards, consisting of 26 companies, including 2 companies of Grenadiers, of 101 private men each, and a company of Cadetts of 86 private men (299 officers and 1,668 men); Royal Regiment, consisting of 26 companies (248 officers and 1,092 men).
Total of Foot:—number of men, including officers, 6,313; number of private men, 5,280; pay per annum, 136,902l. 7s. 6d.; subsistence per annum according to Flanders Regulation, 38,176l. 19s. 6d.
Total of Horse, Dragoons and Foot:—number of men, including officers, 10,005; number of private men, 8,310; pay per annum, 347,483l. 0s. 10d.; subsistence per annum according to Flanders Regulation, 259,914l. 4s. 2d.; difference, 87,568l. 16s. 8d. [S.P. 8. 18. ff. 39–40.]
Feb. 5. "Off-reckonings of the several Regiments provided for by the scheme of an Establishment presented to his Majesty, February the 5th, 1697," amounting in all to 50,316l. 16s. 7d. In this list the Coldstream Regiment of Guards occupies the place of the Second Regiment of Guards. 1 p. [Ibid. ff. 41–42.]
Feb. 5. Votes of the House of Commons. Numb. 47. (Printed.) 4 pp. [S.P.32. 9. ff. 173–174.]
Feb. 5. "Proceedings in the House of Commons." The House were this day upon the examination of one Powell, who first gave the occasion to take notice of the false endorsements of Exchequer bills. He, being full of his discovery and otherwise a talkative, half-witted man, took up an imagination that the Lords of the Treasury were concerned in this practice, and told the House he had it from some of the trustees that nothing but a parliament could come to the bottom of this business, there being so many great men interested. He was confronted with those trustees, who denied their having said any such thing to him, but that it was his own way of talking, and he named the Lords of the Treasury to them, for which they chid him. The House, considering the temper and circumstances of the man, pushed it no further than to a reprimanding him on his knees. Old Sir Samuel Barnardiston was obliged to ask pardon of the House for having reproached one of the witnesses, who contradicted what Powell had said about great men. Mr. Pulteney moved that the Lords of the Treasury might be vindicated by a vote. They thanked him for his good intentions, but desired to waive it. They said they were upon their inquiry, which it was fit they should proceed in, and their justification would arise thence; otherwise they pretended to no favour. 1¼ pp. [Ibid. f. 175.]
Feb. 5.
Whitehall.
Ja. Vernon to Mr. Gore. I have received yours and Mr. Hezelrigg's letter with the examination of Thomas Benn. I cannot send for him till I know how his committment was. If it be for high treason pursuant to the Act he ought not to be removed but by Habeas Corpus. If he be committed only upon suspicion I can send for him. Let me have a copy of his committment. [S.P. 44. 99. p. 442.]
Feb. 5.
Whitehall.
The same to Postmasters general, desiring a box, directed to Geo. St. Lo, esq., one of the Commissioners of the Navy residing at Plymouth, to be despatched "this night by a Flying Packet." [Ibid. p. 443.]
Feb. 5.
Whitehall.
Warrant for the apprehension of William Taylor, Andrew Howell, — Baker and Thomas Browne for high treason, for going into France and returning since 11th December, 1688, without leave. [S.P.44. 349. p. 53.]
Feb. 5.
[Whitehall.]
Post warrant to Capt. George Harris and a guide to go to Holyhead. [S.P.44. 387. p. 146.]
Feb. 6–8./16–18.
Paris.
Lord Portland to William III. Paris, 16th February, 1698. Since the letter which I wrote to your Majesty by the Duke of St. Albans, Marshal de Bouflers has taken an opportunity of speaking to me of the surprise and indignation which I had expressed rather publicly at seeing the Duke of Berwick and certain other persons at Versailles: whereupon I said that my blood ran cold when I saw them, and that I hoped it was not intended to accustom me to the sight of the assassins of the King my master. The marshal then tried to calm me, and spoke in a way which made me think that the feeling I had displayed had been reported, and that he had orders to speak to me about it. For this reason I thought it necessary to show him somewhat more clearly what I thought of the stay of King James in France, and of their tolerating, and maintaining in this country, villains who had attempted your life, which was not in accordance with our agreement, nor with what the King had said to me. He replied that I could not say that he had pledged the word of the King, his master, to oblige King James to quit his Kingdom, and that I was too honest a man and too much his friend to attribute to him any such expression. I then said that I had not been able to exact any such promise from him, since he was not then in a position to give it to me immediately. I repeated to him, word for word, the conversations we had had together on the subject, and I assured him that I was so far his friend that I should not mention the matter unnecessarily to anyone, if he disliked my doing so; but, if I found myself forced to speak, I besought him to believe that the interest and the service of the King, my master, were more to me than all my friends, and in that case I should mention the matter to the King himself in his presence, that he might see that I added nothing.
He again tried to persuade me to change my mind; but, when he found me determined, he changed his tone, and said it would be ungracious to lay stress on the matter; that it was more suitable to let the King take the initiative, if something must be done, and, instead of making a claim as of a point conceded, it would be better to arrange the matter, and settle it by give and take and negotiation.
I replied that I did not think it right to negotiate on a point which had been so fully explained on both sides; and which, as I had declared at the time, was essential to the preservation of peace; and I reminded him that, at the close of our conversation, we had discussed the place to which King James might withdraw; that I had suggested Rome, and he had suggested Avignon; but that, as regards method, I would gladly fall in with the King's wishes, and he should do it in the way he thought most dignified and honourable, provided it was done; and of this I would not and could not doubt, after what the King had said to me in general terms, on which I implicitly relied. I added that I should speak to the King himself on the matter and claim the fulfilment of his words. We then parted with many compliments.
Marshal de Villeroy has been to see me since and started on the same topic. I said much the same thing to him, and remarked that he was so well informed of all the details that he must have received instructions, consequently I must adopt the same tone with him, and not allow him to have the least hope that I might change my mind or make any concession. He is highly polished, and adopted a most soothing and insinuating manner. He said that the King was moved by compassion and pity, which your Majesty must feel also; that, if there were people who might be suspected of so awful a crime as assassination (which had not seemed so clear to them here) the King must be informed and he would certainly not tolerate them; that the Duke of Berwick had only gone to England about the business of the invasion, and that Sir George Barclay was paid off with his company.
I said that time had shown clearly enough that your Majesty had shown more compassion and pity on every occasion than was to be expected, and especially on the present occasion, in agreeing to give so large a sum for the support of King James, without any obligation to do so after the numerous attempts on your life: that I was astonished that he should suggest any doubt that there were people here who might be suspected of assassination; that the matter was too clear to admit of any doubt; the more so that people had been executed who had not only confessed their crime in their last moments, but had had the audacity and the hardened wickedness to maintain that they were impenitent. I added that they were harbouring Goodman here, who had confessed all in my presence; and yet these monsters were tolerated and maintained here in service, a thing which was done nowhere else in the world; that I could not doubt the King's general assurance; that if he were not so well informed as I hoped he was, I was certain that, as soon as I had spoken to him about it, he would hand over these assassins to your Majesty, to be punished as they deserved. That as for the Duke of Berwick, if he had only been in England for the purpose of the invasion, he would not have been regarded or dealt with differently from other rebels; but that it was known that he had been privy to the conspiracy, and that it was for that reason that his name had been inserted in the proclamation, and a reward offered for his arrest. When he took leave, the Marshal said that he had to go to Versailles, which he had not mentioned before, though he might have done so. I was convinced therefore that he was going to report our conversation.
I came to the conclusion that I had better not press for an audience, but had better wait a few days, to see the result of my talks with these gentlemen. I waited till yesterday, Saturday the 15th inst., but Marshal de Villeroy did not come to see me again, and Marshal de Bouflers, who came, said that he did not wish to interfere, as he was not Minister; so yesterday I sent M. d'Allonne to M. de Torcy at Versailles, to ask for an audience of the King, and M. de Torcy replied that he would let me know the day.
I had just got so far in this letter and I was about to send it by express, that your Majesty might be no longer ignorant of what is passing here, when a man, sent by M. de Torcy, came to tell me that the King has fixed to-morrow morning for my audience; so I am keeping back the express till I return from Versailles so as to be able to report to your Majesty what happens.
Paris, the 17th February. I went this morning to Versailles, and I saw the King. In order that your Majesty may be better informed of what I said, I am sending your Majesty a written report annexed. When I had finished speaking he said that he could not think why I asked him to make King James withdraw; he was his near relation; he was touched by his misfortune; he had helped him so long, he could not in honour make him withdraw; Marshal de Bouflers had told me the same thing positively, and thereupon I had not pressed my request, and that we ought to be satisfied if he gave his word that he would not aid him, and would sincerely keep the peace.
I replied that there was no need for compassion in the matter of his withdrawal, since your Majesty had undertaken to give to him or to the Queen, his wife, about 50,000l. a year, to live elsewhere; that if he refused to withdraw on these conditions, it could only be in the hope of using this money in fomenting disturbances or something worse: that your Majesty expected this withdrawal as an understood thing: and, if I had not insisted on its being made a term of the Peace Treaty, it was only out of consideration for his Most Christian Majesty, and that your Majesty had not wished to insist on anything which might be disagreeable to him; but that I had told Marshal de Bouflers positively that, without this withdrawal, the peace could not last: that then he had asked me to what place it was wished that he should withdraw: I said to Rome or Modena: that he had then asked me if Avignon would not be suitable, and I agreed to that: that however much your Majesty might trust the word of his Most Christian Majesty, there could be no confidence in matters which did not depend on him, for example the possible enterprises of seditious persons in England: that the English moreover would be in constant uncertainty as to the continuance of peace, and that, as the Government was constituted, Parliament would not undertake to do what was necessary for its continuance, and that the chief means to that end was to induce him to withdraw. To which he replied that nothing would induce him to cause him to withdraw.
I then reminded his Majesty that he had given me no answer on the second point, about the assassins. He told me that he did not know them, or that there were any here, and that he was imperfectly informed in this matter. I said I could well believe that his Majesty did not know such people, or at all events as such, and that, if he wished to be informed of the persons and the fact, I would furnish any formal proof required before any steps were taken. I gave him the names of the chief people in the proclamation. He replied that the Duke of Berwick could only have been in England about the invasion: that Sir George Barclay was paid off, with his company, and he did not know where he was; that, as to Harrison, he had never heard of him, though I told him that he had been made prior of an English convent here; and as to Birkenhead, his Majesty told me that he had only been employed in carrying letters. After a short pause, he said it was useless to discuss the matter further, as he could give me no other answer on one point or the other, and I then withdrew.
I may add that the Most Christian King spoke to me in a much colder tone on this than on the first occasion. After my report of what took place your Majesty will be able to form an opinion as to the situation and give me orders as to the course I am to adopt. [Signed] Portland.
18th February, in the morning.
[P.S.] Yesterday I saw the Duke of Berwick again at Versailles. Lord Middleton was there too.
[The following postscript is in Lord Portland's handwriting.]
P.S., 18 February. I beseech your Majesty to instruct me as soon as possible as to the line I am to take: you see that, without absolutely proclaiming that you will not pay King James unless he withdraws, I have spoken all along pretty clearly in that sense, so they must expect it. I pray your Majesty not to allow any English adherents of King James to live in England contrary to the Act of Parliament: and if your Majesty were to base your general refusal on the refusal of King James to withdraw, I think this would make them very annoyed with him, and perhaps compel him to withdraw of his own accord, giving the money as the reason. [The following sentence is in cypher] Your Majesty will see from what I have just said how much the peace can be relied on and how much trust is to be placed in professions which are not carried out. Your Majesty knows that I am in no way surprised at this, which is what I expected from the moment you decided to employ me on this mission.
[Enclosure] Copy.
I thought, Sire, that your Majesty would not be offended if I addressed myself directly to you as a proof of my perfect confidence in the assurances of your Majesty's wish to maintain really friendly relations with the King, my master, which leave no doubt in my mind that your Majesty will remove any difficulties whereby these relations might be disturbed.
It is a fact, Sire, that King James's stay in your Kingdom might have that effect.
And the King, my master, who expects his withdrawal, will have reason to think, if it does not come about, that the peace recently concluded does not rest on sure foundations.
Because, if this prince prefers to abandon the 50,000l. per annum which the King my master wishes to pay him, rather than withdraw from France, it is reasonable to suppose that it is with a view to supporting a party, which he thinks he has in England, and to stirring up trouble there, and because he counts upon your Majesty's support and protection, especially if your Majesty allows him to stay in France, notwithstanding the King my master's requests to the contrary.
Moreover, Sire, the King my master, expects your Majesty to cause the conspirators, who have attempted his life and whose abominable crime is notorious, to be handed over.
He cannot but think that your Majesty's goodness and kindness have been abused by persons who have implored your protection for assassins and villains while concealing the enormity of their crimes, which is notorious, and clearly established by the depositions of witnesses and dying confessions.
Otherwise it is inconceivable that so just and magnanimous a prince would have tolerated persons so unworthy of his protection, in opposition to a King with whom your Majesty declares it to be your intention to maintain in future an inviolable friendship. [Endorsed] Note of what I said to the King.
French: cf. Dr. Japikse I, pp. 227–233. Nos. 201 and 201a. Grimblot I, p. 159. [S.P.8. 18. ff. 43–52.]
Feb. 7.
Whitehall.
Ja. Vernon to the Mayor of Dover. As to Mrs. Hall and Newman, who have been taken up and committed. If the former is liable to the late Act, for coming out of France without licence, I send the Proclamation that you may see the directions. As to Newman his circumstances do not appear. One would guess he is a poor servant going away in obedience to the Act. In that case he should not have been hindered. I shall send the keeper of your prison's bill to the Treasury to be paid. [S.P.44. 99. pp. 443–4.]
Feb. 7.
Whitehall.
The same to the Lords of the Treasury. The late Lords Justices having by Order in Council of 8 Nov. last directed that all persons coming from France, Flanders, Holland or Hamburg without passes should be apprehended, and the Mayor of Dover having committed to the gaol several such persons, I am commanded to transmit the prison keeper's charges. [Ibid. pp. 444–5.]
Feb. 7.
Whitehall.
The same to Mr. Lowndes. I desire you will put the Lords of the Treasury in mind of the 4 messengers appointed to carry the King's packets between Calais and Paris, that they may be supplied with 100l. each. Otherwise I do not see how they can perform the service. It is scandalous to hear they are already borrowing money of strangers at Calais, to carry them on to the next stage. [Ibid. p. 445.]
Feb. 7.
Kensington.
Warrant for the insertion of Cecilia Labree in the next general pardon for the poor convicts of Newgate, with the condition of transportation: she was convicted of counterfeiting coin and was reprieved. [S.P.44. 347. p. 137.]
Feb. 7. Votes of the House of Commons. Numb. 48. (Printed.) 4 pp. [S.P.32. 9. ff. 176–177.]
Feb. 8.
Whitehall.
Ja. Vernon to Ld. Amb. Williamson. I received yesterday your letters of the 7th, 11th and 14th inst. [N.S.], which have been laid before his Majesty. I am sorry the box containing Colonel Codrington's commission was misdirected, and that an authentic copy was not sent you at the same time; but there is no difficulty in your opening it, and delivering it to the French ambassador, when you think fit. The duplicate, with the instructions, was sent on Saturday last to Plymouth, where the Admiralty promised an advice boat should be in readiness.
As to Richard Eldrich, demanded by the French ambassador, I suppose he is now a prisoner in the Savoy under the name of Richard Devereux alias Derrick, who is married to a woman of St. Malo; he was not among the fifty whose liberty was promised by the protocol at Ryswick, and so was not sent away with that set. His name was given to Lord Portland with those of the remaining prisoners whom his Majesty was willing to release, provided the French would do the like to some protestants in prison or the galleys, whose case is not much different to this man's, —a subject of his Majesty taken in the enemy's service. I have given Lord Portland notice of this demand, that he may take occasion to procure the same favour for some afflicted protestant; and then there will be no difficulty as to this person.
The governor of the Russia company tells me that the six ships, the release of which you demanded, are still detained at Dunkirk. I did not imagine the King of France's orders would be so ill obeyed, but hope Mons. de Bon Repaux will remove any obstacle they have laid in the way.
I am obliged to you for the ease you are willing to give me as to the news part, which I must be forced sometimes to make use of, as business lies heavy. It must not be concluded from this day's vote of the land tax that more than 3s. in the pound will not be laid on land; it is meant that is all will be assigned of that fund to the uses mentioned in the vote. I take it for granted the other shilling is reserved for the civil list, that that may have as good a fund this year as any of the other charges.
His Majesty has ordered two regiments of horse and five of foot to be sent hence to Ireland. The horse are the regiments of Levison and Langston, and the foot are Col. How's, Webb, Stanley, Stuart and Ingolsby.
There will be no need to trouble you to write to Mons. Dyckvelt, it will be a favour that you speak to him on his return from Brussels.
I hope some considerations will be had here how the carrying of such quantities of wool to Scotland may be prevented; who will otherwise furnish all parts to the ruin of our manufacture. Endorsed, Rd. 9 Mar., N.S. 3 pp. [S.P.32. 15. ff. 29–30.]
Feb. 8.
Whitehall.
R. Yard to the same. The business of the grants came on again yesterday in the House of Commons, and the current run so strong that there was no opposing it, and consequently little was said on the Court side. On the other they propose to raise a great sum of money by selling these estates to the highest bidder, or obliging the present possessors to pay so many years' purchase to the public. Perhaps this may be too great a work to be finished this Sessions, but in the first place they intend to lay their hands upon the Irish forfeitures, concerning which they have heretofore made Addresses to his Majesty and received very gracious answers.
They talk of sending [to Ireland] 10 regiments of foot more and 2 of horse from hence. If so, those that remain in England may be likewise kept up, after being further reduced to about 30 men in each company. Endorsed, Rd. 9 Mar., N.S. 1 p. [S.P.32. 9. ff. 182–183.]
Feb. 8.
Whitehall.
Tho. Hopkins to the same, with news as above. Endorsed Rd. 9 Mar., N.S. 1 p. [Ibid. ff. 184–185.]
Feb. 8.
Whitehall.
Newsletter. This evening Lord Lexington and the Baron de Friese arrived here from Holland. Endorsed, Rd. 9 Mar., N.S. 1 p. [Ibid. ff. 186–187.]
Feb. 8. Votes of the House of Commons. Numb. 49. (Printed.) 4 pp. [Ibid. ff. 188–189.]
Feb. 8. Brief notes of the proceedings of the House of Commons. 1 p. [Ibid. f. 190.]
Feb. 8.
Whitehall.
J. Ellis to Lord Ambr. Williamson. I do not hear of anything that my Lord Privy Seal or the Earl of Jersey are doing towards procuring the payment of their arrears for their entertainment, nor has the former yet made a bill of extraordinaries, but the latter has his allowed.
We take notice here of the French preparations by sea, but cannot guess to what purpose they are made.
There was a ball last night at St. James's House, where the Czar was incognito. He intends to remove out of Norfolk Buildings, and has hired Mr. Evelyn's house at Deptford, as being more private and nearer the shipping, which he most delights in.
Mons. Tettau has made a short turn hither, with a message from the Prince of Hesse Cassel to the King. Mr. Aglionby came hither last night from Calais, without having settled the post-office. Endorsed, Rd. 9 Mar., N.S. 3 pp. [S.P.32. 9. ff. 178–179.]
Feb. 8.
Whitehall.
Newsletter to the same. The Czar has been several times privately to wait on his Majesty at Kensington, and was last Thursday to see the Prince and Princess at St. James. It is said his Majesty intends to give him a Garter before he goes away, there being two to be disposed of, by the death of the King of Sweden and the Earl of Peterborough.
The Czar being desirous to live somewhere below bridge, that he may be nearer the ships, a house is taken for him at Redriffe.
We have an account by letters from Dublin of the 29th past that the 5 regiments ordered thither from Flanders, viz.: Bridges, Puisar, Hamilton, Brewer and Tiffany were arrived in that kingdom, except 9 companies of the last, who were put ashore in England and are since gone thither from Chester.
The Lords Justices, pursuant to his Majesty's directions, had issued orders for reducing the several regiments of foot in Ireland to 40 men in each company, and the troops of horse and dragoons to 36, servants included.
[The Commons] this day went into a committee of the whole House and resolved that a supply of 3 shillings in the pound upon lands, offices, etc., shall be granted his Majesty for the service of the next year, which it is reckoned will amount to about 1,500,000l. Endorsed, Rd. 9 Mar., N.S. 3 pp. [Ibid. ff. 180–181.]
Feb. 8.
Kensington.
Warrant to stop all further proceedings against the ship St. Paul of Archangel in Russia, and discharge the security given in the High Court of Admiralty. The ship, of which Paul Vor was master, was bound from Archangel to Bilboa and Bordeaux, having a pass from the Czar of Moscovy, and was last year taken by two of our ships, the Sunderland and Severn. She was brought into Falmouth upon some doubt of the reality of the pass, which, however, appears to be a true pass under the seal of the Czar, in the usual form of his passes, and the captors have thereupon declared their consent to waive their pretentions to the ship and her cargo. [S.P.44. 347. p. 138.]
Feb. 8.
Whitehall.
Ja. Vernon to Mr. Stock, enclosing a letter from the King, to be delivered to a messenger at Calais. An answer has been sent to the Mayor of Dover about Mrs. Hall and Newman. [S.P.44. 99. p. 446.]
Feb. 8.
Whitehall.
The same to Mr. Edisbury. I have received your letter of the 5th with a list of persons who have gone over that way. What I desired Mr. Manly to enquire after was, who they were that went, in pursuance of the late Act, for having been in France and not obtaining licence to stay. In your list I don't know any such besides Sir Andrew Foster. [Ibid. 446–7.]
Feb. 8.
Kensington.
Licence to John Billers, esq., Sheriff of the county of Hertford, to reside out of the county. [S.P.44. 347, p. 138, and S.P.44. 163. p. 104.]
Feb. 9.
Whitehall.
Proceedings upon the petition of Capt. Thomas Warren, commander of the Windsor; setting forth that he went a long voyage, in obedience to his Majesty's command, in which he lost several men, and was at great expense upon his own account, for provisions and other necessaries, and that in returning home he took a prize, but in consideration of the premises humbly desires his Majesty's part. Referred to the Lords of the Treasury. [S.P.44. 238. p. 185.]
Feb. 9.
Whitehall.
Proceedings upon the petition of Jos. Horneby; setting forth that there was a grant to him 1,352l. 17s. 10d. out of the hereditary revenue of the Excise, and that judgment was given in the Court of Exchequer for the petitioner in 3 Will. III, but has been since reversed. He desires a writ of error returnable in Parliament. Referred to the Attorney or Solicitor General. [Ibid. p. 186.]
Feb. 9.
Kensington.
Royal warrant to the Lords Justices of Ireland, to pay to the seven French ministers of the French churches of Dublin, Kilkenny, Cork, Carlow and Portarlington such sums as they think fit. Printed in the Calendar of Treasury Books Vol. XIII, p. 242. [S.O.1. 14. pp. 54, 55.]
Feb. 9.
Kensington.
Licence to William Burk of Barna Darrick, esq., who has been in arms under the late King James in Ireland since 13 Feb., 1688, to return. [S.P.44. 351. p. 57.]
Feb. 9. Votes of the House of Commons. Numb. 50. (Printed.) 6 pp. [S.P.32. 9. ff. 191–193.]
Feb. 9–11. "Proceedings in the House of Commons." 9 Feb. Sir John Philips, taking notice of the King's Speech about his intentions to suppress profaneness and immorality, moved that an Address might be made to the King for that purpose; upon which many things were engrafted about irreligion and Socinianism and for the restoring of justice and virtue; that there be no privilege against debts and discharges of trust; that the licentiousness of the press should be stopped; and a greater care taken of the Protestant religion, by putting the laws in execution against Roman Catholics, that being so much the more necessary as we are alarmed from abroad with the carrying on of a Catholic League. It was ordered therefore to draw up the Address upon the whole debate.
It being moved and carried that no further duty should be laid this year upon land, Sir Thomas Littleton moved that, to make what they had given most effectual, the 3 shillings should be raised according to the proportions of the first two shillings Aid, which made upwards of a million, the account thereof being fairly transcribed and kept in the Exchequer, and it was proposed that each county should be charged with the entire sum they paid then, and the Commissioners should afterwards make the distribution of it to the several parishes to lay it most equally. It was carried this way, notwithstanding the objections against it, which are like to be revived again, that this will raise endless contests about proportioning the tax, and that, rents being fallen since the first 2 shillings Act, some places will be obliged to pay more than 3 shillings in the pound.
10 and 11 Feb. The business yesterday in the committee and to-day in the House was settling the quantum due for the arrears of subsidies pursuant to the treaties made with several foreign princes, which would have been discharged by the 500,000l. given last year for the Extraordinary and Contingencies of the war, if that money had not fallen short.
The debate both in the committee and in the House was about what was demanded as due to the King of Denmark, in pursuance of the Treaty in December, 96, whereby, among other things, the said King agrees that his subjects should forbear trading into France. It was objected to this demand that, the House never having been acquainted with this Treaty, they were not obliged to pay a charge they knew nothing of; they did not know the conditions had been performed on the King of Denmark's side, and if his subjects had continued the French trade, the King was not obliged to perform his part alone; that the peace ensued so soon after the Treaty that it seemed unnecessary, and therefore not to be paid for, and they would be satisfied whether the King of Denmark published any proclamation or edict to prohibit a French trade since that Treaty was made.
It was answered whenever the House addressed for any treaties they were laid before them, but this last year, as they had done some time before, they chose rather to give a sum in gross that should include all those uses, and this, coming within the compass of it, was no new charge: that it ought not to be surmised that the Danes had not done their part, since nothing appeared to the contrary: the King of Denmark went as far as he could do by allowing his subject's ships to be confiscated if they drove that trade, and their venturing, after that, was no more to be imputed to him than the English nation was to be taxed for breaking the alliance by the ships that stole away from Rumney Marsh or Scotland into France, who did in that run their own risk; and no Danish ships had been taken, or at least acquitted, but such as had sailed from their own ports before the ratification of the Treaty, and were allowed so much time to return in: that, when the Treaty was made, there was no such certain prospect of peace; but it is rather to be concluded that the making it contributed towards the peace. The Question was carried in the committee for allowing the sum by a majority of above 30, and the Resolution was agreed to upon the report in the House by 164 against 108. 3 pp. [S.P.32. 9. ff. 194–195.]
Feb. 9–14. Notes of the proceedings of the House of Lords, for Sir Joseph Williamson. 1 p. [S.P.32. 9. ff. 196–197.]
Feb. 10. Notes of proceedings in the House of Lords. There was a long debate this day upon a report made from a committee of Lords, to whom it was referred to inquire into the proceedings in Westminister Hall in the question depending there about the Earl of Banbury's peerage. They gave the House an account that Lord Chief Justice Holt and Mr. Justice Eyre refused to inform the committee what were the reasons they gave for that judgment, and the House requiring it of them, they still persisted that they thought themselves at liberty not to answer in a matter upon which any accusation might be grounded against them; they sat entrusted with the distribution of justice according to law, and acted upon their own oaths; if their judgments given betrayed any weakness, it would be fit to displace them; if there appeared anything of corruption, there was another way of proceeding against them; if their judgments were erroneous, they were reversible by a writ of error. They were satisfied they had done nothing but according to a good conscience and the best of their understanding; but they could not submit to be schooled and catechized on all the decisions they should make, and they thought none would accept of a judge's place on those terms. There were some motions made that these judges should withdraw, in order to consider what to do further; but the question was diverted, and it was resolved to adjourn the debate and the House till Monday next. It is to be hoped this will not be revived again, or at least that it will not be prosecuted to extremity, since it would be a great embroilment of the two Houses, if either of these judges should be committed. 1½ pp. [S.P.32. 9.ff. 198–199.]
Feb. 10. Votes of the House of Commons. Numb. 51. (Printed.) 4 pp. [Ibid. ff. 200–201.]
Feb. 10.
Kensington.
Commissions to Sir James Jefferys to be governor of Cork [S.P.44. 167. p. 311]; William Leath to be ensign in Captain Edward Corker's company in Colonel Frederick Hamilton's royal regiment of foot; Tobias Purcell, esquire, to be governor of Fort Dungcannon in co. Wexford in Ireland, in place of Sir James Jeffreys, knight. [Ibid. p. 314.]
Feb. 10.
Whitehall.
Ja. Vernon to the Lords of the Treasury. The King directed some time since that 4l. per week should be paid to Capt. Fisher, in consideration of his services by several discoveries. The King directs that Mr. Fisher's weekly allowance be made equal to that of Capt. Porter. [S.P.44. 99. p. 447.]
Feb. 10.
Whitehall.
The same to the Lords of the Treasury. In consideration of the service performed by Abraham Sweet, the King has given him 50l. to pay his debts. [Ibid. p. 448.]
Feb. 10.
Whitehall.
The same to the Mayor of Grimsby. In consideration of the attestation given of John Shee from Holland, the King orders his discharge in order to his returning thither. [Ibid.]
Feb. 10.
Whitehall.
Warrant for the apprehension of William Godding, John Gray, Eliz. Hunt, Herbert Burden and Andrew Howell for high treason for going into France and returning since 11th December, 1688, without leave. [S.P.44. 349. p. 53.]
Feb. 10. 'A like warrant' for the apprehension of John Burworth, James May, Thomas Brown and James Every. [Ibid.]
Feb. 10.
The Hague.
Passes to John Lucas, servant to the Duke of Holstein: and to Henry Johnston, late servant to the Baroness of Wassenaar: and to John Reed, soldier, late of Col. Brauw's (?) regiment in the service of the States General. [S.P.44. 386. p. 11.]
Feb. 11.
Whitehall.
Ja. Vernon to Ld. Ambassador Williamson. I have this day received your letter of the 8–18th inst., which has been laid before his Majesty.
As to what concerns the inclusion of Hamburg, his Majesty supposes nothing more will be requisite than the declaration he directed you to make by the last post, if it should be insisted on.
The Swedish Resident has desired an instrument of inclusion on behalf of the Duke of Holstein Gottorp. His Majesty is willing he should be included in the same manner as is done with the other states. You will inform yourself of this, and cause the like instrument to be prepared. I do not know if it is necessary the King should sign it; if so, please send it here.
I have seen a letter from Mons. Pajot, one of the farmers of the post office in France, written to Mr. Aglionby and intended to be given to him at Calais, but he had come away. It was to let him know Mons. Pajot would meet him at Calais, to adjust what concerned that post. Perhaps we shall not now hear further of it, till we hear from Lord Portland, who has an instruction on this point.
We should be glad to know what the French intend by their great naval preparations. I think we in England are most concerned to inquire into it, and I wish we may sufficiently lay it to heart. The great debt we labour under, and the difficulties we must meet in discharging it, is that which chiefly employs our thoughts.
I hope the Danes will be satisfied with what the House of Commons have done upon their demands; I send you a fuller account of it, since you have been interested in it. I wish all matters that more nearly concern our preservation may be carried by so great a majority; it is worth their meeting with an opposition, to surmount it by such a number. You know whom we have to deal with, and how often humour, the spirit of contradiction, and a disregard to foreigners prevail. Mr. Molesworth (I think very unadvisedly) took this occasion to show his resentments at what dissatisfied him in Denmark, but with an air so unbecoming one who had borne a public character, that showed rather a waspishness than gave any force to his arguments. Endorsed, Rd. 9 Mar., N.S. 2 pp. [S.P.32. 15. ff. 31–32.]
Feb. 11.
Whitehall.
The same to the same. A petition of Samuel Eyre, merchant of London, owner of a ship called the Orange flower, taken by the French, and retaken by a Zealand privateer, having been laid before the King in Council, he has ordered me to write to you to represent the case to the States General, that H.M.'s subjects concerned in ship and lading may have justice. I send copies of the petition and order in Council. Endorsed, R. 10–20 Mar. 1 p. [Ibid. ff. 33–34.]
Feb. 11.
Whitehall.
J. Ellis to Lord Ambr. Williamson. I received this morning your letter of 8–18 inst. with one enclosed for Mr. Addison, which was speedily delivered to him.
The House of Commons are proceeding in their Bills about grants made in this and the two preceding reigns; which will not, it is supposed, be made Acts of Resumption but rather of Composition, the parties who now possess them paying a certain fine, and having the grants confirmed by Act of Parliament. This seems more reasonable than to take them away, after they have passed, most of them, through many hands and settlements.
The House of Lords are fallen severely upon Lord Chief Justice Holt, on account of the pretended Earl of Banbury, whom the House of Lords refused, some time since, to admit to be a peer, and made a Resolution to that purpose; after which Mr. Knolles killing a man, and being to be tried for it before the Lord Chief Justice, he pleaded his peerage, which my lord admitted, which, it is said, he could not by the common law refuse him. This the Lords taking as a breach of their privilege, call the Lord Chief Justice to account for it, and require his reasons for not trying Mr. Knolles. The Lord C. J. refuses to give his reasons, saying he is not obliged to do it. They debated the matter till 6 o'clock in the evening yesterday, and the L. Ch. Just. had many friends. They had like to have sent him to the Tower, but have adjourned the matter till Monday, in hopes he may be persuaded, by that time, to more compliance with the House, which if he does not then use, he will surely be sent to the Tower, which may prove a matter of ill consequence, if he should appeal to the Commons, as he may do, being a commoner. Endorsed, Rd. 9 Mar., N.S. 4 pp. [S.P.32. 9. ff. 202–203.]
Feb. 11.
Whitehall.
Newsletter to the same. Lord Lexington and Monsr. Overkirke are arrived here from Holland. Mr. Gray intends to embark next week in order to go to his Government of Barbados.
On Wednesday Lady Macclesfield's counsel produced two women who had lived with my lady, as witnesses on her behalf; and the scope of their evidence was to shew that she had been ill treated by her lord, and that the old Earl of Macclesfield, when my lady lived with him at Gerard House, Lord Brandon her husband being then in the country, had turned her woman out of his house, and had told my lady she could not stay with him, because he was going into the country.
The Commons were on Wednesday and yesterday in a committee upon the Supply. Yesterday they had the Estimates of arrears of subsidies due to the King of Denmark, the Dukes of Cell, Hanover and Wolfenbuttel, and Bishop of Munster, as likewise what is due for bread, forage and other services in Flanders, amounting in all to 428,055l., which the committee agreed to, though they had a division upon two of these particulars, viz.: 200,000 crowns due to the King of Denmark, and about 150,000 crowns to the Bishop of Munster. The first was carried by 101 against 69, and the last by one vote only, 62 against 61. Endorsed, Rd. 9 Mar., 97–8. 2½ pp. [Ibid. ff. 204–205.]
Feb. 11.
Whitehall.
R. Y[ard]'s newsletter to the same, with news as above. Endorsed, Rd. Mar. 9, N.S. 1 p. [Ibid. ff. 206–207.]
Feb. 11. Votes of the House of Commons. Numb. 52. (Printed.) 4 pp. [Ibid. ff. 208–209.]
Feb. 11.
Whitehall.
"Journal of the House of Commons." Yesterday Monsieur d'Auverquerc, General of the Horse, and the Comte d'Aversperg, Envoy Extraordinary from the Emperor, arrived here from Holland. Endorsed, Rd. 9 Mar., N.S. 1 p. [Ibid. ff. 210–211.]
[Feb. 11.] Sir Thomas Littleton's report to the House of Commons on Supply. Endorsed, H. Commons. Arrears and Debts, etc., Feb., 97–8. 2 pp. Printed in Journals of the House of Commons XII, p. 97 and p. 117. [S.P.32. 10.f. 1.]
Feb. 11.
Whitehall.
Proceedings upon the petition of Sir Simon Leach, knt. of the Bath, [in the margin Bart.], John Paddon and Alexander Leeman; setting forth that one John Thompson brought his action of trespass and ejectment against the petitioners, together with William Tucker, Cha. Heddon, Jno. Squire, Geo. Pudner, Jer. Thorne, Giles Cawsey, William Pouncefort, Thomas Drew and William Petherick for lands in co. Devon; whereupon he obtained judgment only against the petitioners in the King's Bench; and desiring leave to bring a writ of error returnable in Parliament by granting a warrant to the Cursitor of the county of Devon for issuing such a writ. Granted. [S.P.44. 238. p. 186.]
Feb. 11.
Whitehall.
Warrant for the apprehension of John Peirce for suspicion of high treason. [S.P.44. 349. p. 54.]
Feb. 12–22.
Paris.
Lord Portland to William III. Since my last letter to your Majesty I have spoken to M. de Pomponne about my last audience with his Most Christian Majesty. I told him what took place in great detail, and I left with him a copy of the paper which I sent to your Majesty. He told me that the King could not be otherwise than very pleased with my mode of address; and he assured me again of their wish to maintain a perfect and durable peace, and most friendly relations: that, as to King James, close blood relationship, compassion and pity made it painful for the King to think of what was required of him; and that it was repugnant to his sense of honour to do a thing which had been publicly discussed by everybody, it being generally said that I had come with instructions to procure the withdrawal of King James and the surrender of the assassins.
I replied that, since peace had been concluded, the public, particularly in England and Holland, had regarded these two things as natural logical consequences, which would have ensued before my arrival; and it was to be expected that that should be said publicly, as everything touching the maintenance of peace was highly interesting to the people of every country, who had their eyes fixed upon the Kings our masters, and were rightly of opinion that the solidity and duration of the peace depended on their mutual relations; and it would be inconceivable that they should be convinced of a real intention to preserve a peace resting on mere assurances and declarations, when they saw that words were not followed by deeds: that, as for the assurance that the stay of King James in France could not harm your Majesty, that must be limited to the assistance which the Most Christian King assured me he would never give; but as regards the harm, which might result in England from his stay here, the King, his master, could not be answerable for that, and that your Majesty was the best judge of what was expedient in your own kingdom: that the way in which English rebels were allowed to come to Court every day, publicly, even when I was there, was everywhere the subject of comment, especially among the English and Dutch here; and it would give rise to much more comment if the Most Christian King not only refused to surrender the assassins, but continued to tolerate them in his kingdom; that that was bound to have a bad effect, when it became known, since such a thing was done nowhere else: that moreover very little confidence was ever shown: every letter I had written or sent to Holland, on private and domestic affairs, had been stopped and opened; and I showed him the envelopes which had been sent to me, which had all arrived a post later than they should have done. He excused himself with difficulty, and repeated the excuses which, as I have told your Majesty, had been given to me before; and to avoid coming to the point, he wandered from one thing to another. As to the letters he admitted that they seemed to have been opened, and very clumsily, but according to him it must have been the Spaniards, it certainly was not done by his orders, and not therefore by the French postal officials, who are under him. I said the Spaniards had no reason to do so, and the letters I had written to Brussels had been stopped with the rest.
Yesterday I was at Meudon, to pay my respects to the King and to the Dauphin, and I gather, from what Marshal de Villeroy has told me, to put the best complexion on what they do or rather refuse to do, it is to be suggested to me that the Most Christian King heard the two points (the subject of my representations to him) publicly discussed, before I had spoken to him or his ministers, and therefore the King thought himself bound in honour to do nothing. It seems to me most odd that I should be bound to keep a thing secret, which everybody was talking about when I got here, and all who come from England and Holland quite as much. I always distrusted my powers of speech; but I admit I thought I was not lacking in self-control, and could hold my tongue when necessary. I believe the English in attendance on King James will not be allowed in future to come where I am, and perhaps that is all that I can expect.
The fact that the river is in flood is annoying, as it prevents my baggage coming beyond Rouen, and without it I can not make my entry.
Paris, 22nd Feb., 98.
French. Holograph: cf. Dr. Japikse I, pp. 234–237, No. 203; Grimblot I, p. 177. [S.P.8. 18. ff. 53–58.]
Feb. 14.
Whitehall.
Ja. Vernon to the Lords of the Treasury. Having received from the Lords of the Admiralty a copy of a letter from the captain of the Experiment, concerning his having brought in to Shoreham a French vessel, the St. John, laden with wool for France, which he suspects to be English, and of a letter from the same captain of his having stopped a sloop, the William and Mary, laden at Rye with English wool for Topsham, as is alleged, I am commanded to transmit them that you may order the Customs officers at Shoreham to examine and report. [S.P.44. 99. p. 449.]
Feb. 12.
Kensington.
Warrant appointing Mr. George Gordon to be professor of oriental languages in the university of old Aberdeen. The warrant recites that the King understands that the professor of theology, now serving in the university of old Aberdeen, is sufficient for the discharge of that profession, and that the university has no professor of oriental languages: that Mr. George Gordon, upon the encouragement of the Assembly of the church of Scotland, has for several years applied himself abroad to the study of the said languages. [S.P.57. 16. p. 515–6.]
Feb. 12.
Kensington.
Commission to Lieut.-Col. John Forbes to be second LieutColonel of the garrison of Fort William, of which Brigadier James Maitland is Colonel and Governor. [Ibid. p. 517.]
Feb. 12.
Kensington.
Warrant to the Lords of the Treasury of Scotland to pay to Lieut.-Col. John Forbes, as above, 15s. a day, to be added to the last establishment. [Ibid. p. 517–18.]
Feb. 12.
Kensington.
The King to the same. We granted a gift to Lieut.-Col. John Forbes of the sutlery of the garrison of Fort William as a reward for his diligence in the concerns of the fort; and understanding that he has built some houses, breweries and milns on his own charges for making the gift more effectual, and which prove an advantage to the garrison, we appoint our gift to continue until Brigadier Maitland, now governor of the fort, shall pay him what he has laid out for the houses and accommodations of the sutlery. [S.P.57. 16. p. 518.]
Feb. 12.
Whitehall.
Proceedings upon the petition of John, Earl of Bath [similar to that of Jan. 26, v. sup.], "this case being exactly the same with that against Griep" [of Jan. 14, v. sup.]. Granted. [S.P.44. 238. p. 187.]
Feb. 12.
Whitehall.
Proceedings upon the petition of Captain Benjamin Holman, commander of the ship John and William of London, setting forth that being at Newfoundland on a fishing voyage, he chased and fought a French privateer, called the Mignon of Avalon, and brought her into St. John's on Nov. 6th last. The petitioner having no commission of Mart or reprisal, and being informed that the prize is a perquisite of the Admiralty, and the ship being of little value and having only a small quantity of salt on board, prays that the ship and loading may be bestowed on him for the use of himself and owners. Referred to Sir Charles Hedges, knt., Judge of the Court of Admiralty. [Ibid. p. 188.]
Feb. 12.
Whitehall.
Proceedings upon the petition of Daniel Lench of the city of Worcester, now grown in years and destitute. He desires a Beadsman's place in the Cathedral church of Worcester. The Clerk of the Signet is to prepare a bill for granting the petition. [Ibid. p. 191.]
Feb. 12.
The Hague.
Passes to N. Grant, lieutenant in the Scotch regiment of foot belonging to Col. Murray in the States service, having his furloe from the Prince de Nassau: and to Nic. Gordon, ensign in the same regiment: and to Mr. Roger Hawys, late of Caius Coll., Cambridge, having spent some time at Utrecht in the study of physick: and to Symon Weaver, lately a preacher to an English congregation at Amsterdam, and bringing a certificate from Mr. Milling, English minister of Leyden. [S.P.44. 386. p. 11.]
Feb. 12.
Whitehall.
Post warrant to Mr. Samuel Atkinson, one of H.M. Commissioners for transportation, and his servant and a guide, to go from London to Liverpool, Highlake, or elsewhere. [S.P.44. 387. p. 146.]
[Feb. 12.
Whitehall.]
Pass for Mr. John Jackson, Mrs. Julia Shelcross, Mrs. Mary Skinner, Mrs. Ann Cheritt and Alice Edmonds and Conrad Bechsteiner, their servants, to go to France. [Ibid.]
Feb. 12.
Kensington.
Royal warrant [to the Earl of Ranelagh] to pay 2s. 6d. a day allowance to the Marquise de Vevevelle. Cf. Calendar of Treasury Books Vol. XIII, p. 245. [S.O.1. 14. p. 63.]
Feb. 12.
Spalding.
E. Stevens to —. "My neighbour Richards at the George, where Mr. Johnson has had many Court dinners, some before my being bailiff and some since, and their being unpaid is attributed to my averseness to comply with the stewards to pay the same" [the writer asks for instructions in the matter]. 1 p. [S.P.32. 9. f. 212.]
Feb. 12. Votes of the House of Commons. Numb. 53. (Printed.) 6 pp. [Ibid. ff. 213–215.]
Feb. 12.
Kensington.
Warrant for a grant of the dignity of a baronet of the kingdom of England to Tho. Tipping of Wheatfield in the county of Oxford, esq. [S.P.44. 347. p. 135.]
Feb. 12.
Whitehall.
Warrant for the apprehension of Charles Bayles for suspicion of high treason. [Ibid. 349. p. 58.]
Feb. 13.
Kensington.
Royal warrant to the Lords Justices of Ireland, reciting that Thomas Nugent of London, merchant, had by petition to the King represented that he is a protestant and a trading merchant to "one of our American plantations, wherein he lately lived with his family" but is now settled in London; that he never bore civil or military employment nor was any ways concerned in the late rebellion in Ireland, yet by mistake was indicted, and outlawed of high treason in one or more counties there; that he has besought an order for the reversal of the outlawry and a pardon; that the King has taken the hardship of his case into consideration, with the reports and papers annexed to the petition and the provision made for reversal of the outlawry by an Act passed in the present Parliament, and has by advice of the Privy Council thought fit to condescend to his request. The warrant requires that Thomas Nugent of Sheomstown, co. Westmeath, be admitted to reverse the outlawry and attainder, and that Letters Patent be passed under the Great Seal of Ireland granting him a free pardon. [S.O.1. 14. pp. 53, 54.]
Feb. 14. [Newsletter. House of Commons.] There was a hearing at the Bar this day by counsel for and against Mr. Duncomb's Bill. The chief of what was said in his defence was, that he being out of office when he paid in the 10,000l. in Exchequer Bills, which was the balance of his account, he could be looked upon not as an accomptant but as a debtor to the King, and the Act of Parliament which establishes Exchequer Bills, for giving them a greater currency, allows them to be current not only in all payments for Customs, Excise and all the Aids, except the 3 shillings in the pound, but in all other payments whatsoever due from any person to the King: that since Mr. Duncomb was put out of his place, of 150,000l. returned out of the country upon the duties of Excise by bills drawn payable in milled money or gold, there was 7,000l. only paid in money and all the rest in Exchequer Bills, which the Commissioners of Excise allowed for a good payment, though it were as exceptionable as what Mr. Duncomb did; and that this very payment of Mr. Duncomb's had in June last been taken notice of at the Treasury, and yet he was called to no account for it till the Parliament had begun the prosecution against Knight and Burton.
It was answered that Mr. Duncomb's case could not be understood to be within the meaning of the Act which allows all sorts of payments to the King in Exchequer Bills, for he had the King's money in his hands, which he was entrusted with by the Commissioners of Excise, who are properly the Receivers and accomptants; that he had, few days before, received out of the Mint 20,000l. of new coined money that had been paid in hammered money upon the Excise; that by the course of that office and the orders given him, he should have paid it in weekly in the species he had received it, but instead thereof he employed it to buy Exchequer Bills, to make a gain to himself of 5 per cent., and imposed upon the Tellers office by a fictitious endorsement, as if the same had been paid into the Revenue, and accordingly had tallies struck for his discharge: that the Treasury heard of it no otherwise but, when the Tellers clerk was called upon to make good his cash which was in arrear, he told Mr. Lowndes how he had been used by Mr. Duncomb, who put upon him 8 or 10,000l. Bills which he was fain to lose the discount of; Mr. Lowndes acquainting the Lords of the Treasury therewith, they understood only that the Tellers clerk had been over reached, but in what manner they knew not, nor heard anything then of these Bills being paid for the Duty of Excise.
Mr. Duncomb brought a young servant for a witness, who said that de Costa, the Jew, who sold his master the bills, had desired him to endorse them; but there was no likelihood of that, and the contrary appeared by de Costa's evidence. The same witness was as much mistaken in what he said concerning the Tellers clerk, that his master told him those bills had not regularly passed through the Revenue, but the clerk replied he could take them however, for he had read the Act and found himself authorised so to do; whereas the clerk declared he said no such thing, nor was any occasion given him, nor had he then read the Act, but he took it for granted they had passed the Revenue, finding them endorsed, and did not believe Mr. Duncomb would have brought him any other, and, if he had known it, he would not have taken them.
The hearing lasted till past six; then a Question was moved for candles, those who were against were for loosing the Bill, but it was carried in the affirmative by 164 against 101.
House of Lords, 14 Feb. The adjourned debate against the Lord Chief Justice Holt was not taken up, so that matter is over, which it was feared would give a great disturbance to the public affairs. 3 pp. [S.P.32. 9. ff. 218–219.]
Feb. 14.
Whitehall.
Proceedings upon the petition of James Dolliffe and Humphrey Radborn of London, merchants, owners of the sloop Mary, whereof Thomas Humble was late master, and her cargo; setting forth that the sloop, in her voyage from Mallaga bound to London, was on 7–17 Oct. last, 25 leagues W.S.W. from Ushant, taken by a French privateer called the Robert, whereof Capt. Cosset was commander, and carried into France. That by the late Treaty of Peace, concluded the 10–20 Sept. last, all prizes, taken in the British seas above 12 days after the signing of the peace, were to be restored, and the vessel not being taken till 27 days after, the petitioners caused her to be claimed; but upon the trial the dispute was whether the place of the capture was within the British seas or not. The petitioner's advocate pleaded that the British seas was always accounted to reach as far as the Northern Cape called Cape Finister, which is beyond the place of capture, but the Court notwithstanding condemned the sloop and her lading, which is a public injury as well as private injustice. The petitioners pray that his Majesty may take such course for their relief and the public good as shall seem meet. Referred to Sir Charles Hedges, knt., Judge of the High Court of Admiralty, who is to consider thereof in respect to the extent of the British seas, and report his opinion. [S.P.44. 238. pp. 189–90.]
Feb. 14.
Whitehall.
James Vernon to the Lords of the Admiralty. I have laid before the King the copies of letters from Captain Trevor, commander of H.M.S. Experiment, and Mr. Poole, muster master at Shoreham, concerning two French vessels, viz.: the Isabella, laden with wine, brandy, etc., and the St. John, with wool, brought into Shoreham by the Experiment upon suspicion of ill practices. The Isabella is to be discharged, but the St. John detained till her wool has been examined by the Customs House officers, to discover whether it is foreign or English wool.
The King approves of the list of ships proposed for the West Indies. [S.P.44. 204. p. 160.]
Feb. 14.
Kensington.
Warrant to insert George Dickenson in the next general pardon for the Western Circuit, upon condition of transportation: he was convicted at the last Assizes at Salisbury of felony and burglary. [S.P.44. 347. p. 142.]
Feb. 14.
Whitehall.
Warrant to search in the Cross Keys Tavern at St. Martin's Lane end, information having been given that several barrels of powder and ball were concealed there, upon some design against the Government. [Ibid. 349. p. 55.]
Feb. 14.
Whitehall.
Warrant to search at the Corner House of Swallow Street, going into Burlington Street, for dangerous and disaffected persons lying concealed there. [Ibid.]
Feb. 14.
Whitehall.
Warrant to search in the Garter Inn at Mortlake, — Winterhouse, — Wats's house at Limehouse and — Crookshanks house at the Thistle and Crown in Wapping, for several dangerous and disaffected persons frequenting them and lying concealed in them. [Ibid. p. 56.]
Feb. 14.
The Hague.
Pass to Phil. Floyd, Dr. in physick, bringing a certificate from the Comte de Frize. [S.P. 44. 386. p. 11.]
Feb. 14. Votes of the House of Commons. Numb. 54. (Printed.) 4 pp. [D.P. 32. 9. ff. 216–217.]
Feb. 15.
Whitehall.
J. Ellis to Lord Ambr. Williamson. This N.E. wind is good for nothing so much as bringing the letters quickly from Holland. It brings us the most terribly cold weather.
The expectations were great yesterday what the Lords would do with Lord Chief Justice Holt, and the disappointment was greater, for they let the matter quite fall, without making any mention of it at all. It is not doubted but that Mr. Duncombe will be lustily fined.
They are sending now 8 regiments of foot, 2 of horse and one of dragoons into Ireland; it is thought more will follow. The Lords tend to make an Address to the King that he will encourage the wearing of English manufactures only. Endorsed, Rd. 9 Mar., N.S. 3 pp. [S.P. 32. 9. ff. 220–221.]
Feb. 15.
Whitehall.
Newsletter to the same. Yesterday Mr. Duncomb was brought from the Tower to the Bar of the House of Commons, where the Bill against him was read the second time, and after that counsel pleaded on both sides, Sir Thomas Powis and Sir Bartholomew Shore being for Mr. Duncomb, and Mr. Serjeant Wright and Mr. Dorman against him. [The arguments follow, substantially as already stated above, and witnesses were examined.] After the counsel had done, and they and the prisoner were withdrawn, it was moved that the Bill against him should be committed, which was seconded. Others (viz.: his friends) desired that the House being wearied and it growing dark, the debate might be adjourned, but they could not effect it. For the Question being put for candles it was carried in the affirmative, the Yeas 161, the Noes 104. Accordingly candles were brought in, and then without further opposition the Bill was committed.
Orders are given for disbanding several regiments, as well here in England as in Ireland.
This day the Commons were in a committee upon the Supply, and had before them the Estimates of what remains due for the Transport service, the Ordnance and the Navy, as also what is due to the Army; and it appearing that there is due for clearings to the Army, from 1 April, 1692, to the last September, 1697, 1,200,000l., they resolved to discharge part thereof within this present year, to wit 139,000l.; which will clear the Army to April, 1693. They resolved likewise to raise 203,000l. for clearing the subsistance of the Forces in England from 1 Jan., 1696, to the 1 Aug., 1697, as also 450,000l. for the subsistance of the troops in Flanders to the 4 Oct., 1697, and 137,000l. for clearing the subsistance in Flanders from the 4 Oct. to the last Dec., 1697, and 50,000l. for the General Officers. Endorsed, Recd. 9 Mar., N.S. 4 pp. [S.P.32. 9. ff. 222–223.]
Feb. 15.
Whitehall.
R. Y[ard] to the same: news as above. Endorsed, Rd. Mar. 9, N.S. 1 p. [Ibid. ff. 224–225.]
Feb. 15.
Whitehall.
Ja. Vernon to the same. I have received your letter of the 21st inst. [N.S.], which has been read to the King, who is pleased to approve of your inserting that in the instruments of inclusion the form prescribed by the treaty of expressing a mutual consent be observed.
Several of his subjects, whose effects were seized in the Dunkirk ships by Monsr. de Bart and carried into Copenhagen, having applied to his Majesty for relief, he commands me to send you their petition, with the specification of the goods they claim; you are to advise thereupon with the Pensioner, for the King supposes several merchants in Holland have suffered in like manner, and consider with him how the release of the goods may be most effectually obtained, and demand them, either by way of the French ambassador or the Danish minister, or both.
You are also to consult with the Pensioner about the sum that may be demanded by the Danes from his Majesty and the States under the treaty concluded at the Hague, 3 Dec., 1696. Though his Majesty has laid an estimate before Parliament he would not have it understood that the whole sum of 50,000l., agreed to by the House of Commons, is therefore due to the Danes. You are to inquire of the Danish minister what their demands are.
The Countess dowager of Clancarty died on Saturday last.
Mr. Addison has shown me a letter from you about one Dickenson, condemned at Salisbury for burglary. I have moved his Majesty on his behalf; he is to be inserted in a general pardon with condition of transportation. It is to be doubted whether one who has contracted a habit of ill courses will be reformed any other way.
I hear Sir James Rushout, our Turkey ambassador is fallen very ill. Endorsed, Rd. 9 Mar., N.S. 2 pp. [S.P.32. 15. ff. 35–36.]
Feb. 15.
Kensington.
Commission to Francis Strickland, esquire, to be captain of that troop whereof Major Henry Foubert was captain in Brigadier Hugh Windham's regiment of horse. [S.P.44. 167. p. 312.]
Feb. 15.
Kensington.
Warrant to present Josias Alsop, clerk, B.D., to the rectory of Rendelsham, co. Suffolk, in the diocese of Norwich, and in gift of the King, now void by the death of Edward Keen, clerk, the last incumbent. [S.P.44. 347. p. 142, and S.P.44. 151. p. 22.]
Feb. 15.
Whitehall.
Warrant to the Keeper of Newgate to permit the Lady Margaret Macarty, Lady Elizabeth Macarty and the Lady Catherine Davis to have access to the Earl of Clancarty, their brother, at convenient hours. [Ibid. 349. p. 56.]
Feb. 15.
Whitehall.
Proceedings upon the petition of Francis and Nicholas Grueber; setting forth that Chr. Hanbury obtained a judgment against them in an action of trespass, afterwards affirmed in the Exchequer Chamber, and praying leave to bring a writ of error. Referred to the Attorney or Solicitor General. [S.P.44. 238. p. 189.]
Feb. 15.
Admiralty Office.
Copy of minute of proceedings of the Lords of the Admiralty respecting the raising of the complement of the William and Mary yacht by ten men [S.P.42. 5. No. 79]. Appended is their consequent order to [the Navy Board] of the same date. [Ibid. No. 79 i.]
Feb. 15. Votes of the House of Commons. Numb. 55. (Printed.) 4 pp. [S.P.32. 9. ff. 226–227], and Numb. 57, Address of the House of Commons to the King (reported from the Committee appointed to prepare an address to his Majesty to suppress Profaneness and Immorality). In duplicate. (Printed.) 2 pp. Printed in Journals of the House of Commons Vol. 12, pp. 102–3. [Ibid. ff. 228–229.]
Feb. 15.
Whitehall.
"Journal of the House of Commons." Endorsed, Rd. 9 Mar., N.S. 1½ pp. [Ibid. ff. 230–231.]
Feb. 15. Notes of proceedings in the House of Commons. 2½ pp. [Ibid. ff. 232–233.]
Feb. 16. [Notes of proceedings in the House of Commons.] It was laboured this day to have made it a crime in Mr. Mountague that he had procured and accepted grants from the King. The debate began upon a grant he had taken, in the name of Mr. Railton, of forfeited recognizances and securities in Ireland to the reported value of 12,000l. Mention was afterwards made of another grant he had in a borrowed name, of 2,000l. per an. for 7 years to be raised out of the woods in Dean Forest. It was endeavoured to be aggravated as to his case in particular, on account of his being a privy councillor, a commissioner of the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer; that it was a breach of trust and contrary to his oath to have solicited such grants and taken them to himself, when it was his duty to have advised the King against it, if anyone else were to have had them, especially in a time of war and public necessity, when the nation was overburdened with taxes, and when the King had promised the forfeitures should not be disposed of.
There was no Question formed at first, but several things were hinted at, to try the pulse of the House, that there had been proceedings in this case by impeachment, and if it were a member of the House who was accused, he had been expelled and made incapable of bearing any office. But it was submitted to the House what method they would take for censuring such a crime, only it was insisted on he should withdraw after he had made his defence, if he thought fit to do it. His withdrawing was opposed, since nothing was laid to his charge that might deserve it. It was opened that the oaths he had taken as privy councillor and Chancellor of the Exchequer (for as commissioners of the Treasury they took none) had no relation to grants of any kind, much less did they oblige him not to accept a grant if the King should give it him; that the Lords Treasurers in all reigns had taken grants from the Crowns, which their families enjoyed to this day. That it was no crime in the Treasury or other offices, if they passed grants which the King was resolved to bestow. That this particular grant of Irish recognizances was not within the King's promise, who said only the forfeited lands should not be disposed of till the matter had been further considered in Parliament; that it rested so for two years, without any disposal of them, and they seeming to neglect it, the King had since passed some grants, which he might do, since they allowed he should dispose of one third of those forfeitures; and if they were worth two millions, as some had valued them, the King had not given away above the tenth part; and what Mr. Mountague had there was so uncertain, that it was not believed to be worth 3,000l. That those who accused him allowed him to be a person of merit, and his services were so distinguished that it was not to be wondered at if his Majesty thought him deserving of such a bounty; and whatever became of grants in the general consideration of them, he ought not to be singled out to be charged particularly as a criminal for the little share he had of them: and therefore his friends pressed for the Question of withdrawing, that they might give their negative to it, which was accordingly carried by 209 against 97.
Then Sir William St. Quintin proposed a Question for the vindication of Mr. Mountague under the imputation he might otherwise be liable to, that it was the opinion of that House that Mr. Montague for his services to the government deserved his Majesty's favour: which was opposed, but carried without a division. Then Mr. Mountague, who had not spoke before, returned his thanks to the House for their vindication of him against aspersions, which he knew not how he should have incurred but for his zeal to the public; and he desired their favourable opinion of him no longer than he continued his fidelity both to the King and his country, whose interests were inseparable. As to his grants, he had no hand in procuring them; if he were not particularly marked out, and the King's prerogative and honour in granting only questioned, he should readily submit his grant and give his assistance, as far as anyone, towards vacating the rest in the general way they had begun it. 3pp. [S.P.32. 9. ff. 234–235.]
Feb. 16. Votes of the House of Commons. Numb. 56. (Printed.) 4 pp. [Ibid. ff. 236–237.]
Feb. 16.
Whitehall.
Ja. Vernon to the Lords of the Treasury. Capt. Prendergast having petitioned that the deficiency of the bounty ordered him, of 500l. p. ann., may be supplied, I am to acquaint you therewith that it may be made good to him. [S.P.44. 99. p. 450.]
Feb. 16.
Whitehall.
The same to the same. As to the enclosed petition of John Lunt and George Wilson, I am to transmit them to you, in regard of the services they have performed and are still employed in, for your consideration what may be done for their relief. [Ibid.]
Feb. 17.
Kensington.
Warrant for William Dobby, esquire, Lieutenant-Colonel of Colonel Emmanuel How's regiment, to call a court martial and be president of the same. [S.P.44. 167. p. 312.]
Feb. 17.
Kensington.
Commission to Mr. Charles Stanley to be lieutenant in Captain Millington's troop, in the Earl of Oxford's regiment of horse. [Ibid. p. 321.]
Feb. 17. "Journals of the House of Lords," for Sir Jos. Williamson. 2 pp. [S.P.32. 9. ff. 241.]
Feb. 17. Votes of the House of Commons. Numb. 58. (Printed.) 4 pp. [S.P.32. 9. ff. 238–240.]
Feb. 18.
Whitehall.
J. Ellis to Lord Ambassador Williamson. The House of Commons sat till past eight this evening in a committee upon Mr. Duncombe, and have resolved to take away two thirds of all his estate, and that he shall never serve in any place of trust, which will be the measure, as is conceived, of the punishment of Mr. Knight and Mr. Burton. This severity his friends have drawn upon him by endeavouring to reflect upon the Chancellor of the Exchequer for a grant of forfeited recognizances in Ireland, which turned extremely to his advantage.
Sir James Rushout, who was ready to go to Constantinople as ambassador extraordinary, died yesterday after a few days' sickness. His lady died a week before him.
The frost is broke here, but the easterly wind is not changed. 3 pp. [S.P.32. 9. ff. 242–243.]
Feb. 18.
Whitehall.
Thomas Hopkins to the same. The debate in the Commons about Mr. Mountague grew so high that nothing less than an impeachment would satisfy the angry party. After five hours' debate the Question was put whether he should withdraw (the forerunner of being sent to the Tower), but carried in the negative. Yeas 97, Noes 209.
The House of Lords have agreed to an Address to the King to desire his Majesty by his example to encourage the wearing of English manufactures only: this mightily pleases the people and is likely to prove more effectual than any law whatever. Endorsed, Rd. 9 Mar., N.S. 2 pp. [Ibid. ff. 244–245.]
Feb. 18.
Whitehall.
Newsletter to the same. The House of Commons proceeded on Wednesday upon the business of the grants, and the particulars of the grants lately made to the Earl of Portland, Earl of Albemarle, Marquis Puisars, Mr. Maurice Annesly, Mr. Cooke and to Mr. Railton (which according to the order of the House had been presented by Mr. Lowndes) were read; and then Col. Granville stood up, and took notice that the 3 first mentioned grants were to persons who might have them for their services: but, for the other, he desired it might be explained whether they belonged to the persons named, who had never done anything he had heard to deserve them. Mr. Montague hereupon acquainted the House that the grant to Mr. Railton was for his use. He had served his Majesty to the best of his power and hoped he might partake of his royal favour. Then Sir Thomas Dyke made a long and set speech upon the subject of these grants and particularly against Mr. Montague, who as one of the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury, ought to have dissuaded his Majesty from granting them, much less have taken one himself, which he thought a breach of his trust and oath, and that the House could not do otherwise than censure him for it. Sir Francis Winnington seconded him, and so they entered into a warm debate. Sir Thomas Littleton, Mr. Smith, Mr. Boyle, and many others spoke very well for Mr. Montague, and Mr. Lowndes particularly shewed that this was no breach of trust. During the debate Col. Granville, speaking very much against these grants, Mr. Norris answered him, saying he wondered very much to see a gentleman so angry with those that had grants, when his own family had had so many, and was thereby raised from a mean estate to what they are. Col. Granville resenting this, and some members apprehending a quarrel, they acquainted the House therewith. Mr. Norris made an excuse that he meant no reflections upon his family, and so the business was made up. Endorsed. Rd. 9 Mar., N.S. 4 pp. [Ibid. ff. 246–247.]
Feb. 18.
Whitehall.
R. Yard to the same: notes of news as above. Endorsed, Rd. 9 Mar., N.S. 1 p. [Ibid. f. 248.]
Feb. 18. Votes of the House of Commons. Numb. 59. (Printed.) 4 pp. [Ibid. ff. 249–250.]
Feb. 18.
Whitehall.
Ja. Vernon to Ld. Ambassador Williamson. Sir James Rushout, who was going Ambassador to Constantinople, died on Wednesday last: there are several pretenders putting in for it, as Lord Chandois, Lord Dursley and others. You will understand that when the House sits till near nine at night, there is not much time left for letters. 1 p. [S.P.32. 15. ff. 37–38.]
Feb. 18. Notes of proceedings of the House of Commons. Endorsed, Rd. 9 Mar., N.S. 1 p. [S.P.32. 9. ff. 251–252.]
Feb. 18. Proceedings in the House of Commons. In the Committee upon Mr. Duncomb's Bill there was a long debate whether the crime should be called a false endorsement, since there was only a name signed, and it was not filled up as paid into the Excise. It was likewise disputed whether it should stand in the Bill that the fact appeared by his confession openly made in the House of Commons, as well as by other proof, since it could not be made evident to the Lords by oath, as their proceedings require, that there had been any such confession. To which it was answered that it was not to be doubted but the Lords might be satisfied of it at a conference, so that nothing in the Bill was allowed to be altered. 1½ pp. [Ibid. ff. 253–254.]
Feb. 18.
Whitehall.
Warrant for the apprehension of Edward Dymon and John Baldrey for suspicion of high treason. [S.P.44. 349. p. 57.]
Feb. 18.
Whitehall.
A similar warrant for the apprehension of Samuel Blundell. [Ibid. p. 58.]
Feb. 19./Mar. 1.
Paris.
Lord Portland to William III. Your Majesty will have seen from my previous letters how badly things were going, and they soon came to a head. As I have told your Majesty, they seemed to wish to suggest that I had made the matter, which I had to negociate, public, before I had even spoken to the King or his ministers. This talk at Court and in the town increased to such an extent that I became the subject of conversation among many people of different sorts; such as professional flatterers, who wish to stand well with the Court and to injure me, and the grumblers, who want to find fault with the King and the Government. They put into my mouth countless things I never thought of, which form no part of my instructions, and would do your Majesty harm. All this has been very embarrassing, but, since receiving your Majesty's letter of the 18–8 inst., I have changed my tactics. I went to call on M. de Pomponne and M. de Torcy, and I made all this a matter of complaint to them. I asked them to reflect and to appreciate that I could not have said what must be most injurious to me, especially what was obviously untrue. This showed that people had invented things which I had never said, and which could only do me an injury. I asked them to represent this to the King, so that foolish inventions might not be attributed to me. They told me they would gladly do so, but that I had nothing to fear on that account. I besought them to assure the King that your Majesty's orders had compelled me to do what I had done, and I must continue to do the like; that your Majesty's opinion was that peace could not last unless the things I asked for were done; peace was what your Majesty sincerely desired, and you thought it incumbent on you to make the strongest representations as to matters which must disturb it sooner or later; and as the Most Christian King and they, in his name, protested so strong a desire to make the peace a lasting one, action must be taken accordingly, and I expected the proof of the sincerity and wisdom of the Most Christian King. [I said] that though your Majesty had done and would always do everything to strengthen peace and unity, I asked them to reflect that possible eventualities could not be imputed to your Majesty; that I was determined after this to make no further representations, having discharged my duty; that, as the matter was equally important to both your Majesties, I would leave it to his Majesty's judgment, and he would weigh it and consider what was consistent with his interest and his honour; that I would wait, without urging him, that he might of his own initiative choose his own time and method of handling the matter; that for the future I desired to comply with his wishes which were similar to your own; that I would not speak to anyone but the King or to those whom he might appoint, and that I desired to fall in with his views and to make myself acceptable to him if possible. They both expressed great satisfaction, and assured me that it was the right way to get a favourable reply and to succeed in dealing with the King. I asked them whether they thought I ought to speak to his Majesty at an audience or to find some opportunity of mentioning the matter, and I said that the latter course seemed more suitable, as I might seem importunate, if I asked for an audience for such a trifle. They agreed with me, and said I ought to find an opportunity of mentioning the matter to the King; that a favourable opportunity would present itself whenever I wished, since remarks agreeably introduced could not fail to be well received.
This took place the day before yesterday, and afterwards M. le Daufin asked me if I would go wolf-hunting with him the following day, and I did so. When I got to Versailles I went straight to his rooms, not thinking that I could have an opportunity of speaking to the King so soon. When I went upstairs with him to the King's apartments, his Majesty had just dressed and gone into his closet; but M. de Torcy, knowing that I was coming and thinking that I should have come sooner, was waiting to tell me that I could speak to the King when I liked, but that now it must be postponed to another time or another day. It is accordingly postponed, which is preferable, because meanwhile other well disposed persons will speak to the King and prepare the way. I shall then try to get leave to attend him now and then at Marly. This must be approached cautiously, so as not to meet with a refusal; for very few go there, and no foreign envoy has ever been admitted there: the same thing applies as to seeing (il en est de mesme de voir) Made. de M[aintenon], who is so modest in all matters of business that she will not see any minister.
Since adopting this tone, I notice already that people are anxious to show me more attention than they ever did since these discussions began, though attentions were not lacking. I am told now that the King has ordered that attention be shown to me. I must admit, Sire, that it is impossible for anyone coming suddenly to this Court to find his bearings, and your Majesty says rightly that it is utterly unlike anything I have ever seen, and utterly foreign to my habits and disposition. However I will do my best to try to get to know the Court a little, in order to serve you, and to describe it to you. I hope in time to do so, when I have got to know the people and their ways, but it is quite impossible before I have had time or opportunity to win the confidence of those who form the Court. Honest folk are as rare here as elsewhere, and those who make the greatest show of frankness and candour are often the greatest dissimulators. When I have the pleasure of seeing your Majesty again I can tell you more of this. I fear, however, that this will not be so soon as I hoped, as my baggage has not come yet. This is extraordinary, as it is many years since the river has been blocked for so long. But I hope, when my effects have arrived and I have made my entry, that I shall not have to stop very long. What makes me most apprehensive, however, is that I have done nothing yet in the less important matters of business. I have not even made a beginning. I have been entirely occupied in removing the great obstacles, and in getting on an easier footing with the King and his ministers, so as not to fail all round. But I shall not waste time now, whether things go well or ill.
M. de Gourville no longer sees anyone, because of his age and infirmities, and I doubt whether I shall be able to see him. I am much concerned to hear what your Majesty tells me about affairs in England, but the weather there is variable: and fine weather follows the storm. Since Lord Sunderland is apparently withdrawn, and is no longer mentioned by enemies or friends, perhaps your Majesty will now have a better opportunity of doing what you formerly intended.
Now I will give your Majesty a description of the gardens, houses and hunting parties. Owing to the bad weather I was in no hurry to see the gardens, for everything looks dead and dirty and the fountains are not playing, as the frost has prevented the pumps from filling the reservoirs. The orange trees at Versailles are very fine, large and numerous; the stems are beautiful and lofty, but the crowns (testes) are not like those at Honslaerdick, and those at Trianon are of little account in comparison with the others. The strange thing is that in the whole of this district I have been unable to find the fruit trees I want, and I have had to send to Orleans to get them. I have not seen one of the thousands of flowers, with which the flower beds were said to be filled at all seasons and of which you have heard so much, not even a snowdrop; and in winter the gardens are not so well kept as ours; nothing is done to them.
The general effect at Versailles is splendid, both gardens and buildings, but the latter are open to criticism, though I am no specialist in architecture. The expenses there are enormous. Trianon is most delightful and charming, but Meudon is the best situated of all, and the air there must be like the air at Windsor. The prospect is rich and beautiful, and your Majesty would love the place. Well, that is all I have seen. The wolf-hunt, which I only saw yesterday, was a surprise, as I had imagined that it was rough, swift, and lasted a long time. It is nothing of the sort. We hunted one yesterday, which was only a year old. The country was the worst in these parts. We caught him in a fair chase in less than a couple of hours, though the hounds are not nearly as fast as yours. They hunt the stag along the roads and the forest rides, as in England in an enclosed country (dans le pays couppe). Madame never lost her way and never left Mr. le Daufin. Your Majesty can imagine what difficulty I had in keeping up. I shall go stag hunting with Mr. de Rochefoucaut on the first fine day. The Comte d'Armagnac will take me one day to hunt with him at Royaumont, where they say the country is very fine. Monsr. le Chevalier de Lorraine, a great huntsman, keeps the pack in good order. His hounds are all English; Mr. le Daufin's pack is half English and half French.
The Comte de Tallard thinks of leaving soon. Having regard to the reception they gave me here, I hope that the ambassador of France will get the same as far as possible. I will describe to your Majesty as soon as I can what the ceremonial will be in my case. Amongst other things he told me that he would ask for a passport for two English priests. I told him I was sure that that would not be granted, and advised him not to expose himself to a refusal: that there were orders and regulations that envoys should only take with them priests, subjects of the monarchs they represent, as attached to their establishment. Moreover it was unnecessary, as English priests were tolerated for the local inhabitants, and that the laws were severe for all English or other of your Majesty's subjects coming from here, so he expects a refusal if he asks it. I quoted as a precedent what I did when I came here. Living is very expensive here, especially in Lent. Horses cost three times what they cost in Holland. Portland.
The Marquis de Mouy, brother of the Prince de Ligne, is expecting your Majesty's support, which I am told you promised him lately at Brussels, in accordance with old treaties of which the Kings of England are guarantors. I shall await your orders, if you wish my intervention, which I advise in a general way [?]. I am rather sorry that Lomans is leaving. The time which your Majesty allowed him to stay will expire so shortly that he leaves before I have been able to begin to entertain, because my baggage has been delayed and it is still Lent, so that he will not see how the tables are supplied with food. Paris, the 1st of March, 98.
French, holograph, of. Dr. Japikse I, pp. 237–242, Nos. 205, 206; Grimblot I, p. 185 seq. [S.P. 8. 18. ff. 59–68.]
Feb. 19.
Whitehall.
James Vernon to the Lords of the Admiralty, directing a yacht to be sent to Calais to await the Count de Tallard, French ambassador extraordinary, and bring him to England. [S.P. 44. 204. p. 161.]
Feb. 19.
Kensington.
The King to Henry James, D.D., Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, requiring him to admit Ralph Holden (who was long since admitted into Magdalen College, but, having discontinued residence, did not take the M.A. degree) to the degree of M.A. [S.P. 44. 163. pp. 104, 105.]
Feb. 19.
Kensington.
Warrant for a grant to Richard Simpson of the vessel La Flesh or the proceeds, if sold. Simpson had represented that he, whilst employed as master and part owner of the Bridgeman, sloop, in carrying goods between Harwich and the Brill in Holland, before the Peace, met with and took the La Flesh, a small privateer of Dunkirk, mounted with six guns, and carried her into the Brill, where she had since been adjudged a perquisite of Admiralty. [S.P. 44. 347. p. 141.]
Feb. 19. Warrant for the payment to Robert Sutton, esq., appointed Secretary at the Court of Vienna, of 2l. a day for his ordinary entertainment from Nov. 1st last till his return, with the other usual clauses. [Ibid. p. 143.]
Feb. 19.
Kensington.
Warrant for the denization of Ann Chamber, widow of Sir Tho. Chamber late of Hanworth, co. Middlesex, knt., deceased, an alien born. [S.P. 44. 347. p. 140. Docquet. S.O. 3. 20. f. 142 v.]
Feb. 19. Votes of the House of Commons. Numb. 60. (Printed.) 4 pp. [S.P. 32. 9. ff. 255–256.]
Feb. 20.
Kensington.
Commission to: Charles Hall, esquire, to be lieutenant in Lieutenant Colonel Francis Palmes' troop in Brigadier Hugh Windham's regiment of carbineers; George Robinson, esquire, to be captain lieutenant in the same regiment. [S.P. 44. 167. p. 312.]
Feb. 20.
Kensington.
Warrant for a licence to John Talbot Stoner, esq., who went into the French King's dominions since 11 Dec., 1688, to return to England. [S.P. 44. 351. p. 48 and S.O. 3. 20. f. 142.]
Feb. 20.
Kensington.
Licence to John Chetwood, esq., sheriff of the county of Stafford, to reside out of the county. [S.P. 44. 163. p. 105.]
Feb. 21. Votes of the House of Commons. Numb. 61. (Printed.) 6 pp. [S.P.32. 9. ff. 257–259.]
Feb. 21–22. Feb. 21. Notes of proceedings of the House of Commons. There was little more done to-day than reporting the amendments made to Mr. Duncombe's Bill, which were agreed to without opposition, only it was endeavoured by some, who had not favoured the Bill, to add an appropriating clause that this confiscation should be applied to the use of the public as parliament should appoint; the reason given for it was that this punishment should not be turned to private advantage, and be granted to those who should beg it. The appropriation was no otherwise opposed than that it might by this means look like a money Bill, which the Lords were not at liberty to make alterations in, and from thence take an occasion to enter into disputes with the House of Commons, perhaps to the endangering the Bill. This being a judgment by the legislature, both Houses had equal liberty to except against any part of the Bill, and might either increase or moderate the fine as they thought fit, and that only must be inflicted which both Houses should agree in; when that was once settled, they might direct the uses of it as they thought fit, either in a Bill by itself or by joining it to any money Bill, and then the Lords could not have the same reason to except against it. It was therefore carried that there should be no such addition, and there was no division upon it.
The Bill for regulating Elections of Parliament is like to admit of a long debate, some being desirous to remove out of the House men in offices, and others maintain it is contrary to the Constitution and liberty of the boroughs to prescribe who shall or shall not be chosen.
Feb. 22. A debate was moved this day, which seemed to be levelled against all the Lords of the Treasury as well as the Commissioners of Excise, which begun upon an account, that was laid before the House, of the returns made out of the country from the Receivers of Excise by Bills of Exchange, made payable in milled money or gold, and which had been received in Exchequer Bills, the merchants upon whom the Bills were drawn refusing to pay them any other way. It had been proved at Duncomb's trial that 140,000l. had been so paid by the allowance of the Commissioners of Excise and the Treasury, who did not disown that they were consenting to it, since it was insisted on by the merchants as a good payment, pursuant to the Act, and the refusing and contesting it, they apprehended, would have raised the discount of Exchequer Bills, and so far have discredited them at the beginning that they would have been useless when there was nothing else to be depended on.
The Treasury had long debated it among themselves and were of different opinions about it, and they had consulted the Attorney and Solicitor General; who thought it a doubtful case, and there was no obligation of receiving Exchequer Bills for discharge of Bills drawn to be paid in milled money: but it was at the discretion of the receiver; who was to take care the public received no prejudice, and that the loans to which this money was appropriated should not be disappointed: all which being duly provided for, the Treasury thought it most expedient to accept Exchequer Bills, for the encouragement of their currency and the bringing in the arrears of the Revenue much faster than otherwise. The advantage they found by it was that they could make remittances with Exchequer Bills at 10 gilders 10 styvers for the pound sterling, which went before at 9½. However those who had a mind to censure them got a Question formed, that the receiving Exchequer Bills in that manner was illegal and a loss to the public; which was carried in the negative by 170 against 88. 3 pp. [Ibid. ff. 260–261.]
Feb. 21.
Whitehall.
Ja. Vernon to the Lords of the Council of Trade. I am to send you the enclosed letter of Mr. Steele, a merchant trading to Tunis, that you may report to the King whether it has been usual to send presents to the government of Tunis upon appointing a new consul, and what should be done in this case. [S.P.44. 99. p. 451.]
Feb. 21.
Whitehall.
The same to the Lords of the Treasury. It having been represented on behalf of the town and port of Dover that, by a violent storm on the 15th inst. at night, the sea burst over part of the wall of the harbour and carried away a house that stood there, and was in great probability of breaking down the defence of the harbour Pent, which if it had unfortunately done, the whole must have been lost and the town in hazard of being destroyed, and that they are still in danger, till the damages be repaired, a greater charge than they can sustain, his Majesty bestows on them 200l. for that use.
You are to inform yourselves in what condition the presents are for the governments of Algier and Tripoli, that they may be ready to be sent with the squadron now fitting out for the Mediterranean. [S.P.44. 99. pp. 451–2.]
Feb. 21.
Whitehall.
The same to Mr. Newton. About the sending for Cook from Ireland, Mr. Attorney is of opinion it may be done if there be an information upon oath. I don't doubt you have one; and I desire a copy, that I may write accordingly to Dublin and Chester. [Ibid. p. 453.]
Feb. 21.
Whitehall.
The same to the envoy of Brandenburg. I have spoken to the King about the poor man who lost his ship, and I think I can get him a grant of twenty pieces shortly, to make good his loss. I am writing to Dimchurch to the man who took his anchor and cable, that they may be restored to him. [Ibid.]
Feb. 21.
Whitehall.
The same to the Lords of the Admiralty. The King commands me to send you for your report, a petition from the town of Dover, representing the usefulness of that port as it might be improved. A survey is to be made, and the expense estimated, for the King's consideration; also a survey of other parts of the coast to the westward of Dover, where any harbours may be conveniently made.
I send also a petition from some masters of vessels still kept prisoners at Dunkirk on account of their ransoms. The King would have you send for the owners of these vessels, and inquire why they have not taken care to free the masters.
His Majesty approves the draft of instructions to cruisers on the coast of Kent and Sussex, in order to prevent the exportation of wool, with this restriction, that their commanders are to be cautioned not to visit ships unnecessarily, and to avoid all occasions of creating disputes between the King and those in friendship with him.
About two years since, when a present was ordered for Tripoli, two cables were ordered to be sent, one of 16, the other of 18, inches, which the Dey of Tripoli had desired. The commander of the Eagle, on which the present was shipped, was forced to use one of these cables in stress of weather, and says that he never received the other. Two such cables are to be supplied forthwith, and the commander-in-chief of the squadron designed for the Mediterranean is to take and deliver the presents prepared for the Governors in Barbary.
A poor Algerine named Agillons ben Azza, lately brought in an English ship from Portugal, where he was in slavery, is to be sent home with the rest of his countrymen, for whom orders are already given. [S.P.44. 204. pp. 161–164.]
Feb. 21. Grant of the next alms-man's place in the Cathedral church of Worcester to Daniel Lench of the city of Worcester. [S.O.5. 31. p. 116.]
Feb. 21.
Whitehall.
Warrant for the apprehension of John Pierce of London for high treason in aiding and abetting his Majesty's enemies. [S.P.44. 349. p. 58.]
Feb. 21.
The Hague.
Pass to Isaac Day, a watchcase maker in London, as certified by a letter to Mr. Dorrington. [S.P.44. 386. p. 12.]
Feb. 22.
Whitehall.
J. Vernon to Ld. Ambassador Williamson. I have none of your letters to acknowledge, the post not having yet arrived. The Lord Chancellor came abroad on Sunday last, but I hear he is out of order again to-day. Vice-Admiral Aylmer has kissed the King's hand for the command of the Mediterranean squadron, which he says will be ready to sail within three weeks. The Duke of Shrewsbury is expected in town within a fortnight. 1 p. [S.P.32. 15. ff. 39–40.]
Feb. 22.
Whitehall.
J. Ellis to the same. Letters from Paris of 18–28 tell us the French King has given M. de Harlay and M. de Crecy pensions for their good services in the treaty at Ryswick, and made Mons. Callières "secretaire du cabinet."
The William and Mary yacht, which the King himself uses when he goes to sea, is, by way of compliment, appointed to bring the Comte de Tallard from Calais.
The King, it is said, will recommend Lord Dursley to the Turkey company for ambassador at the Porte; but, if they might choose themselves, it is thought Lord Chandois, who has a mind to go again, would stand the fairest for that post. Lord Delaware is likewise a pretender to it.
The Earl of Sunderland will be in town 3 days hence, and the Duke of Shrewsbury is expected shortly, so that we may see are long whether his Grace will change the seals for a white staff. Endorsed, Rd. 9 Mar., N.S. 3 pp. [S.P.32. 9. ff. 262–263.]
Feb. 22.
Whitehall.
Newsletter to the same. Orders are given for disbanding 7 regiments of foot in England, viz.: Bolton, Cook, Sanderson, Earle, Gibson, Northcot and Farrington, and there is a discourse that four more will be broke here. Eight regiments of foot are ordered for Ireland, to wit, Stewart, Webb, Jacob, Tidcomb, How, Stanley, Ingoldsby and Brudenall, two of horse, Leveson and Langston, and Ross's Dragoons. Five regiments were sent from Flanders to Ireland, and, of the 11 regiments of foot that were in that kingdom when the peace was concluded, two are to remain on foot, and the other 9, with Wolseley's regiment of horse, are ordered to be disbanded.
Count Roussy is arrived here from France to make his mother, the Countless de Roy, a visit.
The King has appointed Vice-Admiral Aylmer to command the squadron designed for the Straits, which will be ready to sail in three weeks or a month. Endorsed, Rd. 9 Mar., N.S. 3 pp. [Ibid. ff. 264–265.]
Feb. 22.
Whitehall.
R. Y[ard]'s newsletter to the same. Another attack was made to-day upon the Lords of the Treasury, because by their direction bills of exchange, drawn out of the country in milled money or gold, were allowed to be received in Exchequer Bills. Sir Ch. Musgrave, Sir Edw. Seymour, Mr. Harlay and others would have made this a great fault in the commissioners of the Treasury, who answered that what they had done was with intent to serve the public, and to give a credit to the Exchequer Bills at their being first given out; which in great measure had the effect they proposed in lowering the discount upon the bills. However, when they found the discount continue, they put a stop to this mode of payment. This satisfied the House, and the Question, endeavoured by Sir Edw. Seymour and the rest of the gentlemen on that side, was carried in the negative by a great majority. One would think, after so many unsuccessful attempts of the same kind, this ought to be the last.
The Duke of Shrewsbury intends to be in town next week. Endorsed, Rd. 9 Mar., N.S. 1 p. [Ibid. ff. 266–267.]
Feb. 22. Votes of the House of Commons. Numb. 62. (Printed.) 4 pp. [Ibid. ff. 268–269.]
Feb. 22.
Whitehall.
"Journal of the House of Commons." 1 p. [Ibid. f. 270.]
Feb. 22. Warrant for the apprehension of — Mollineux, esq., Richd. Townley and Francis Stafford, esq., for high treason for going into France and returning since 11th December, 1688, without leave. [S.P.44. 349. p. 59.]
Feb. 22. Warrant to search for dangerous and disaffected persons lying concealed near Acton or Ealing. [Ibid.]
Feb. 23–26. "Journal of the House of Lords" for Sir Jos. Williamson. 2 pp. [S.P.32. 9. f. 272.]
Feb. 23. Votes of the House of Commons. Numb. 63. (Printed.) 2 pp. [S.P.32. 9. f. 271.]
Feb. 24.
Althorpe.
The Earl of Sunderland to the King. Having received a letter from my Lord Shrewsbury relating to his coming to town, I think it my duty to lay it before your Majesty with a copy of my answer to it. Mr. Vernon has acquainted me with your resolutions concerning my Lord Clancarty, which obliges me. I assure your Majesty I do most willingly submit to your pleasure, and acknowledge the consideration you think fit to have of me and my daughter. [S.P.8. 18. ff. 69–70.]
Enclosing, copy of the Earl's letter to the Duke of Shrewsbury of the same date, as follows:–
I have received your letter of the 16th with very great satisfaction, being so particular a mark of your favour. I must own, that when I laid down the Chamberlain's place, I did it with a desire never to have anything to do again in public business, for sure it was the wrongest step that could be made, if I had not been very positively of that mind. My judgment and inclination are still the same, but I submit both to the King, who was more displeased and angry at what I did than I imagined, and took it with less indifferency in relation to his affairs than I could have thought without presumption; which obliges me, who owe him so much, to be disposed of as he pleases, provided he gives me leave to serve him as a privy councillor only without a place, which would now be insupportably ridiculous, after having quitted one so lately. I know not what the King's mind is; but I do know that if he thinks to make use of me in business, and that you retire from it, I shall then be the most unhappy man alive, for there will be nothing but disorder, confusion, and groundless fears and jealousies. I can say with exact truth that for 5 or 6 years that I have had the honour to be near the King, I have assisted the party I joined with, and every individual man of the party, according to my dealing with them, to the best of my understanding. But if 19 things are done, and the 20th remains undone, though it is impossible, you know how it is, and yet my politics are not changed, nor shall they. Endorsed, Ld. Sunderland's answer to the Duke of Shrewsbury. [S.P.8. 18. ff. 71–72.]
Feb. 24.
Kensington.
A Proclamation for preventing and punishing immorality and profaneness.
As we cannot but be deeply sensible of the great goodness of Almighty God in putting an end to a long, bloody and expensive war by the conclusion of an honourable Peace, so we are not less touched with a resentment that impiety, profaneness and immorality still abound. Being moved by the pious Address of the Commons in Parliament assembled, we have thought fit to issue this proclamation, and do declare our resolution to discountenance and punish all manner of vice, immorality and profaneness in all persons, from the highest to the lowest, and particularly in such who are employed near our royal person: and that for the greater encouragement of religion and morality we will, upon all occasions, distinguish men of piety and virtue by marks of our royal favour. And we do expect that all persons of honour, or in place of authority, will, to their utmost, contribute to the discountenancing men of dissolute and debauched lives, that they may be enforced to reform, that the displeasure of good men towards them may supply what the laws (it may be) cannot wholly prevent. And we command all our Judges, Mayors, Sheriffs, Justices of the peace, and all other our officers and ministers, ecclesiastical and civil, to be vigilant in the discovery and punishment of all who shall be guilty of excessive drinking, blasphemy, profane swearing and cursing, lewdness, profanation of the Lord's Day, or other dissolute practices; and we command our Judges of Assizes and Justices of peace to give strict charges at the Assizes and Sessions for the prosecution and punishment of all that shall presume to offend in any the kinds aforesaid, and that they, at their Assizes and Quarter Sessions, cause this proclamation to be read in open Court immediately before the charge is given. And we command every minister, in his parish or chapel, to read this proclamation at least four times in every year immediately after Divine Service. And that all vice and debauchery may be prevented, and religion and virtue practised by all officers, private soldiers, mariners or others, employed in our service, we command all our commanders and officers that they take care to avoid all profaneness, debauchery and other immoralities. And whereas several wicked and profane persons have presumed to print and publish several pernicious books and pamphlets, which contain impious doctrines against the Holy Trinity and other fundamental articles of our faith, tending to the subversion of the Christian religion, therefore, for punishing the authors and publishers, and for preventing such books and pamphlets being published, we charge and prohibit all persons that they do not presume to write, print or publish any such pernicious books or pamphlets, under the pain of our high displeasure and of being punished according to the utmost severity of the law. And we strictly charge all our loving subjects to discover and apprehend such persons. Printed. [S.P.45. 13. No. 161.]
Feb. 24.
Whitehall.
James Vernon to the Lords of the Admiralty. The royal transport designed for the Czar of Muscovy is to be put under the orders of the Marquis of Carmarthen, as she was formerly, till the King disposes otherwise. The Marquis is to order what he thinks further necessary for her finishing. [S.P.44. 204, p. 164.]
Feb. 24.
Whitehall.
The same to the Mayor of Dartmouth. Some of Mr. Aylward's friends have been with me to satisfy me that he was in France before the Revolution, and never was in the service of the late King. They are to bring him to the office when he comes to town. You need not obstruct his proceeding on his journey. [S.P.44. 99. p. 454.]
Feb. 24.
Whitehall.
The same to Mr. Handfield. A ship called the Perseverance, Michael Scade, master, carrying in December last some soldiers of his Majesty's army from Ostend to Ireland, and being forced ashore by stress of weather near Dimchurch, from whence she might in all probability have been got off, if the country people had not disabled her, by taking away a cable and anchor put out to make her float, and afterwards sinking her, after they had taken away all her tackle, whereof one good cable and anchor are, as the master and mariners inform, in your hands, and their miserable case having been laid before the King, this misfortune having happened to them in his service, his Majesty commands you to restore forthwith the anchor and cable to the master. [Ibid. pp. 454–5.]
Feb. 24. Warrant to the Keeper of Newgate to receive into custody John Peirce, for high treason in aiding and abetting the King's enemies. [S.P.44. 349. p. 60.]
Feb. 24. Votes of the House of Commons. Numb. 64. (Printed.) 4 pp. [S.P.32. 9. ff. 273–274.]
Feb. 25–26./Mar. 7–8.
Paris.
Lord Portland to William III. Paris, the 7th of March. My baggage having arrived I had counted on making my entry the day after to-morrow without difficulty, since the Most Christian King had approved of the day and everything was arranged and settled. But this morning Mr. de Bonneuil came and showed me a letter from the Marquis de Torcy, intimating to him that the King desired that the carriage of the Duchess of Verneuil should attend my entry and consequently come in front of mine. The same proposal has been made to various ambassadors, the Venetian amongst others, and I was forewarned. They have never allowed it, as being a complete novelty, this lady being distantly descended from the natural sons of the royal House. I told M. de Bonneuil that I was sorry that they should propose such a thing to me, for which there was no precedent and which even the Venetian ambassador had refused. I said I should not consent. I should not invite this lady to send her carriage, as others are invited, and if she sent it of her own accord, I should not allow it in front of my own carriages, which would immediately follow that of the Comte de Toulouse; and if I could not hinder the line of my carriages being broken by force, I should be informed of it by my people and I would have the carriages stopped. I should get out of the King's carriage, and should not make my entry till I had communicated with your Majesty and received your orders.
The introducer of Ambassadors expressed surprise, though he told me before that this had never been done. I said I should expect his answer as soon as possible, to know whether I should make my entry or not, and I asked him to explain clearly to Mr. de Torcy what I had said. I will tell your Majesty the answer to-morrow, and will keep the post back till then.
I have just been to see Mr. de Pomponne, and have talked to him about the various points in my instructions, of which I left him a note. He said he would mention the subject to the King. I did not mention commerce or the post, with regard to which your Majesty ordered me to reply when they addressed me on the subject, which they apparently do not intend to do. I do not know whether I am deceived when I am told that the general opinion here is that England stands in greater need of trade with France and cannot do without it, and that therefore they contemplate raising the duty on English tin and lead.
I spoke to M. de Pomponne about the surprising difficulty in which I had been placed in the matter of the ceremonial, and I said to him what I said to the introducer, and shall await the answer. Portland.
8th March. I have just received the introducer's letter, and I send your Majesty a copy annexed. So this difficulty is removed.
Portland.
French, holograph, of. Dr. Japikse I, p. 243, No. 208; Grimblot I, p. 205. [S.P.8. 18. ff. 73–76.]
Feb. 25–26./Mar. 7–8.
Paris.
Lord Portland to William III. Paris, March 7th in the morning. Since writing my last letter to your Majesty I have received your letter of the 23rd of last month. I am delighted beyond measure to hear that you are better, though you say you have been troubled as you were last year. May God, of His great mercy, preserve your life and health for many years.
I am very glad to see by your Majesty's letter that I have anticipated your wishes by doing what you order. I admit it does not suit my honour or character, but I must overcome these weaknesses, when they are known and your interests require it, remembering the saying of the late Lord Rochester that in the world you must live as others do. I went on the 4th to Versailles as if to pay my respects. I waited for the King at the door of his closet, as he came from Mass, and I asked, as he passed, to be allowed to speak to him. He took me in with him, and I said to him as briefly as possible what I said to Messrs. de Pomponne and de Torcy, as I have already reported. He received me most kindly, repeated his protestations of esteem for your Majesty and the assurances of his desire for the continuance of your friendship and the maintenance of peace. I made a suitable reply: whereupon the King said that he would do everything that could reasonably be expected of him, confirming what he said with many obliging expressions and an open and smiling countenance. I added with regard to myself that I besought him in future not to form an unfavourable opinion of me because of things said, but to judge me by my actions, which I hoped would meet his wishes, so far as your Majesty's commands permitted, which did not in any way conflict with what I had told him of my intentions and desires. I besought him to tell me himself of anything in my behaviour which he disliked; and if he wished to tell me something which he did not wish to be known, I would keep the matter secret, provided he did not tell anybody else. He replied in terms too flattering to myself to be repeated in a letter, which would turn the head of a man who knew himself less than I do. I then withdrew, after he had told me that I could speak to M. de Pomponne about the other matters with which I had to deal. In the afternoon the King went to Marly, and will not come back till to-morrow night.
As my baggage has arrived I shall make my entry on Sunday, the day after to-morrow, and shall have my audience on the following Tuesday. The Marshal who is appointed to receive me at the former is M. de Boufflers, and the Prince who is to introduce me at the audience is M. de Marsan.
I do not know, Sire, that it would have been preferable to meet with a refusal at the end rather than at the beginning of my embassy, for in this case they will perhaps be easier in all the other matters about which I shall have to speak, unless they want to break entirely with your Majesty, which does not seem to be the intention, judging by what the King and the ministers say to me, and the language of those at Court who are best informed. It is true that these latter connot be greatly relied on, but one can form some idea.
I am to see M. de Pomponne this afternoon at 4 o'cl. and will tell you what happens before the messenger leaves. Your Majesty's refusal to allow the English, Irish and others to live in England contrary to the Act of Parliament, sets them against King James and troubles them greatly, because they are badly off and find it difficult to live here.
The Duke of Lauzun, King James's chief adviser, seems to make a show of being so polite to me that everyone is surprised. I do not know what the idea may be, but I think there must be one. As King James often goes hunting with Mr. le Daufin I often cannot go, as I do not want to meet him. Everyone says he speaks well of me, and one might suppose that he would have no objection to meeting me.
I do not know yet whether I shall be allowed to pay my respects at Marly, because I have thought it better to feel my way quietly, through a friend, rather than make a direct application and run the risk of a disagreeable refusal.
I have been in no hurry to go to see gardens, because of the weather. It freezes hard every night, and I shall be so busy with ceremonies all next week that I shall have no time to think of anything else. Monsieur asks me to visit him at St. Cloud the week before Easter. I think I shall find a good huntsman here who knows his job and sounds the horn well, and a man for the hound in leash (valet de limier). I shall see the former at the hunt before deciding. Mr. le Nostre will make me a plan for the gardens contemplated at Windsor. I do not think that the beds and furniture which they make here would be at all to your Majesty's taste, for everything made here is fringed or embroidered with gold or silver. The beds are square up to the top, that is to say there is no coussette (?) at the top, where they are no wider than at the bottom, where also there is no basement but a soupante after the old fashion. They must keep to the old fashion here, because in the great houses they have magnificient family furniture, which would be out of fashion if it often changed. So I think it would be much better to have the furniture for Loo and Dieren made in England. I am having an estuy made for your Majesty.
Just at this moment they have come and made the difficulty about the ceremonial, and I shall have to keep the post back. I have received also your Majesty's letter of 21 Feb.–3 Mar. to which I hope to reply.
Paris, the 8th March. I had not intended to write two letters to your Majesty this time. I doubt whether it would be advisable for you to speak yourself to Count Tallard, on his arrival, about King James, as the matter is not very pressing. I think it may wait till we see how things go.
I am sure your Majesty is pleased with Mr. Dobberzentsky. He is a very good fellow and a sensible man. I have spoken here to M. Spanheym, who is also a dependant of Madame the Electress, who promised me he would write faithfully and let me know her reply. I have already written to the Pensioner about Mr. Steyn. It seems he is not inclined that way, saying that he is one of the youngest in the government of the town, so I am thinking no more of it. M. de Guartigny has written here by this post to another man in town for a huntsman for your Majesty. I do not think you have room for two without increasing the establishment, so please let me know if you wish me to take one of them. Perhaps you have forgotten that you asked me to do this. The person who has received this commission is named la Bussiere, a surgeon, brother of the one in London, and he can't know anything about huntsmen.
It is true that it is difficult to form an opinion as to how the business of a Parliament may go. If those who belong to a party had the same opinions about public questions, the affair of Mr. Montagu would show that the men of that party could do what they like. I hope your Majesty's patience will overcome the difficulties, since the behaviour of this Government does not open the eyes of Parliament, which is closely watched here, and much attention is paid to everything it does, as well as to the paying-off of the troops. Staying here too long troubles me, in truth the expense is excessive. To judge from the way in which the questions of trade with Holland are dealt with here, one would think that they have no intention of keeping the treaty of peace, as they declare positively to the Dutch commissioners that what the treaty gives them, viz., the tariff of 1664, will not be granted to them. Your Majesty will have seen by my other letter that an attempt was made to "try it on" with me as regards the ceremonial, and, if I had been less positive, I think they would have insisted. From these samples you can form some opinion of the whole. Portland.
I have not heard yet that your Majesty has appointed anyone to succeed me here, which makes me fear that I shall have to stay some time, if I have to await his arrival.
Just now they come to tell me that Monsieur has asked the King to allow me to come to pay my respects to him at Marly, and he has granted permission, but not this time, because the fountains are not working owing to the frost, and he would like me to see them at their best. I don't think he will return there till they are working, which will not be perhaps before Easter. Next week I shall be entirely taken up with ceremonies, and then the Court will be occupied with Holy Week and religious exercises.
I am sending to your Majesty annexed a note of some points on which M. de Lubières writes, and he must be informed of your wishes as to them. I got him to make it as short as possible, to spare you trouble.
French, holograph. Printed by Dr. Japikse 1, p. 244, No. 209; of. Grimblot I, p. 198. [S.P.8. 18. ff. 77–86.]
Feb. 25.
Whitehall.
Ja. Vernon to Ld. Ambassador Williamson. I received yesterday your letters of the 25th and 28th inst. [N.S.], which I laid before his Majesty, but have nothing in command to send you.
You will have received by the delayed posts instructions as to the inclusion of Hamburg, also of the Duke of Holstein, in the same manner as the States should think of doing it, who no doubt will consider what exceptions may be taken at it by the King of Denmark, and how far that ought to weigh with them.
We had a confirmation of what you observe about establishing the French post, viz.: that it was referred to the farmers of that branch of the revenue; for we hear that Mons. Pajot, who is the chief of them, has been lately at Calais, hoping to have met Dr. Aglionby there. He intends to return there again for the same purpose, after making a short tour through French Flanders; by that time, I believe, Mr. Aglionby will get to Calais.
The Turkey company desired another ambassador in place of Lord Paget, and applied to the King for leave to choose one. He let them know he thought Lord Dursley very proper for the employment, and accordingly intended to recommend him. By what I can perceive, he is likely to be very acceptable to them. Endorsed, Rd. Mar. 11th, N.S. 2 pp. [S.P.32. 15. ff. 41–42.]
Feb. 25./Mar. 7.
Whitehall.
J. Ellis to the same. I sent your letter for the Duke of Schomberg to his house in Kensington by the King's messenger, who carried his Majesty's letters thither.
I should have been very ready to have done service to the Comte de Bonde, the Swedish ambassador, upon his own account, having had a very advantageous character of him from the Swedish resident here, but your commands will more excite my diligence, and I shall so inform myself what part of the ornaments of a Knight of the Garter are to be returned to the sovereign, as to be able to give him, on his arrival here, an exact account of it.
The House has been to-day upon Supply, and have postponed the Subsidies due to foreign princes, to be considered next year, and they would not hearken to a proposal of raising one quarter of them this year. They are resolved to pay first the debt due to the nation itself, which is very great, and no less can be raised this year than four millions and a half. Endorsed, Rd. 11 Mar., N.S. 4 pp. [S.P.32. 9. ff. 275–276.]
Feb. 25.
Whitehall.
Newsletter to the same. After the summing up of their evidence by counsel for both parties in the Macclesfield divorce case, the depositions on both sides, which were taken in writing, were read, to refresh their lordships' memory.
Letters of the 23rd inst. from Chester announce that Major General Leverson's regiment of horse had arrived there to embark for Ireland. The other regiments designed for that kingdom are marching to the sea ports at which they are to embark. Endorsed, Rd. 11 Mar., N.S. 2½ pp. [Ibid. ff. 277–278.]
Feb. 25.
Whitehall.
R. Y[ard]'s newsletter to the same. The squadron designed to the Straits is hastening away under Vice-Admiral Aylmer. I believe he will have orders to pass along the Barbary shore, to visit those governments. Endorsed, Rd. 11 Mar., N.S. ½ p. [Ibid. ff. 279–280.]
Feb. 25.
Whitehall.
Thomas Hopkins to the same, with brief notes of parliamentary news. Endorsed, Rd. 11 Mar, N.S. 1 p. [Ibid. ff. 281–282.]
Feb. 25. Newsletter. The charge of the ordinary of the Navy was brought in this day and referred to the committee of Supplies. I suppose it will be considered on Tuesday next, and then will be debated what shall be the establishment for the marines, which make at present two regiments of 1,500 men, and it will be endeavoured to double the number.
It was proposed this day at the committee that a fourth part of the subsidies stated and allowed to be due to foreign princes, pursuant to the treaties made with them, should be raised this year and paid to them; that, since the whole could not be paid them at a time, they might be satisfied of the intentions of the Parliament to discharge that debt as fast as they were able; but it was represented that the provision they were to make for paying off the Fleet and Army, which was a growing burthen upon them, together with the charges of the Civil and Military List and the fitting out the ships they had ordered, would be more than they could find money for this year, and therefore there was an absolute necessity of postponing this debt, which was the resolution the committee came to.
Several petitions were brought in this day, and more are ready to be presented from those who think themselves affected by the Bill of Irish forfeitures, particularly that part of it which restores the outlawries that have been reversed and revokes the pardons granted. There is such a number of cases to be considered, that are more than enough to obstruct the Bill, and I wish they don't take up too much time. Endorsed, Rd. 11 Mar., N.S. 1½ pp. [Ibid. ff. 283–284.]
Feb. 25. Votes of the House of Commons. Numb. 65. (Printed.) 2 pp. [Ibid. f. 285.]
Feb. 25.
Kensington.
Warrant for the payment of the extraordinary expenses of John Robinson, H.M. resident at the Court of Sweden, from Aug. 3, 1697, to Feb. 3, 1697–8. The expenses include "second mourning for the late King of Sweden." [S.P.44. 347. p. 152.]
Feb. 25. Caveat that nothing pass in relation to a pardon for Rowland Norton without first giving notice to Alexander Johnston, esq., at his lodgings in Spring Garden, near Buckingham Court. [S.P.44. 75. p. 1.]
Feb. 25.
Kensington.
Commission to Daniel Sherrard, esquire, to succeed Captain — Worthington, deceased, in Brigadier Thomas Fairfax's regiment of foot. [S.P.44. 167. p. 312.]
Feb. 25.
The Hague.
Pass to Mathew Filford, soldier, late of the garrison of Amsterdam, in Capt. John Brohensen's (?) company. [S.P.44. 386. p. 12.]
Feb. 26–Mar. 1. Proceedings in Parliament for Ld. Ambr. Williamson. 26 Feb. The House sat till past 5, there being a debate of 3 hours whether the Bill against Mr. Duncomb should pass. Mr. Attorney spoke against it, using all the arguments that might alleviate the crime, and to induce men not to go into extraordinary methods or to inflict heavier punishment than the offence deserved; which, he observed, had often fatal returns upon those who were most forward in it, and pressed the rate of moderation in doing to others as they would have done to them, which was answered by Mr. Solicitor. Mr. Harlay was for the Bill, but would not allow this case to be much different from what they had under consideration the other day, when the House determined there was no fault in receiving Exchequer Bills for Bills of Exchange made payable in milled money: but Mr. Montague shewed where the difference lay. The House divided upon the Question, but it was carried by 130 against 103.
Sir Richard Onslow brought in his Bill for regulating the Militia: it is to lie upon the table for the members to consider it, particularly how they intend the blanks should be filled up, which relate to the numbers of men that are to compose the Militia, what sums are to be raised for that use, and the entertainment of the officers that are to have pay, at what time the Militia shall be drawn together each year, and what estates will be requisite for such as shall be appointed Lord Lieutenants, Deputy Lieutenants, Colonels, Captains and Ensigns. There are only Majors and Lieutenants who are not to qualify themselves by their estates, either real or personal, but all are obliged to be resident in the county they serve in.
28 Feb. and 1 March. Little was done these two days. Mr. Burton was heard by his counsel, who rather gave a character of the man than said much in extenuation of the crime. Mr. Knight relies upon the letter he writ to the Speaker, recommending himself to the compassion of the House. I think there is a compromise made as to Lord Macclesfield's Bill, that the lady shall have her estate, to remove all other obstructions, and therefore Fitton Gerard has withdrawn his petition, who claims a title to part of that estate by his father's settlement. 2¼ pp. [S.P.32. 9. ff. 287–288.]
Feb. 26.
Whitehall.
Ja. Vernon to the Mayor of Bideford. I have your letter of the 22nd giving an account of a mutiny at the embarking of Major General Stuart's regiment. I have heard since that the Lieut. Col. has acquainted Mr. Blathwayt that the disorder was over and the whole regiment was gone on board. So I hope your trouble and concern is at an end. [S.P.44. 99. p. 455.]
Feb. 26.
Whitehall.
The same to the Lords of the Admiralty, asking for the discharge of Andreas Johnson (at the instance of the Swedish resident). Johnson, a subject of Sweden, coming from Sweden to England on a Swedish ship, which was wrecked on the coast of Scotland, went on board a collier at Newcastle, bound to London, in hopes of an opportunity to go home. On his way he was pressed on H.M.S. Kingston, 8 months since, where he still is. [Ibid. p. 456.]
Feb. 26.
Kensington.
Docket of the warrant for a gift to George, Earl of Orkney, of the escheat of John Wilkie, merchant in Edinburgh, "through his being upon the 14th of February inst. denunced your Majesty's rebel and put to the horn at the instance of the said Earl of Orkney and John Earl of Ruglen, his factor." [S.P.57. 16. p. 519.]
Feb. 26.
Kensington.
Warrant to the Privy Council of Scotland to continue the adjournment of Parliament from Mar. 11th prox. to June 28th prox. [Ibid. p. 519–20.]
Feb. 26. Authority to the treasurer of his Majesty's Chamber to pay for stationery delivered to the Duke of Shrewsbury's office in Whitehall. [S.P.44. 348. p. 21.]
Feb. 26. Three similar authorities to pay the bills of William Churchill, stationer, from March 24th, 1697, to Dec. 25. [Ibid. p. 23.]
Feb. 26. Votes of the House of Commons. Numb. 66. (Printed.) 2 pp. [S.P. 32. 9. f. 286.]
Feb. 27.
Kensington.
Royal warrant to the Lords Justices of Ireland, reciting that Bryan Fitz Patrick (commonly called Lord Baron of Upper Ossery) had represented to the King, by petition, that the late Barnaby Fitz Patrick (commonly called Lord Baron of Upper Ossery) upon application to the King for relief, upon an outlawry of high treason, obtained a reference to the Justices of Ireland, by whose report and the reports of the Solicitor General and the Commissioners of forfeitures it appeared that the estate of Barnaby Fitz Patrick was set by the King's Commissioners of Inspection at the rate of 25l. p. ann., but that Barnaby Fitz Patrick died before anything could be ordered therein; that Bryan Fitz Patrick (who was no ways concerned against King William but actually in his service) by the death of the said Barnaby his uncle became entitled to his honour and estate, if the impediment of his uncle's attainder were removed; that Bryan has no other estate to subsist on, or to maintain the title of honour he bears, but the lands so seized into the King's hands, and has prayed the King to grant him an order for the reversal of his uncle's outlawry and to be restored to the estate: that the King condescends thereto.
The warrant directs that Bryan Fitz Patrick be admitted to bring writs of error for the reversal of the outlawry of the deceased Barnaby Fitz Patrick in Ireland and the attainders, and that his uncle's estate in Ireland be restored to him. [S.O.1. 14. pp. 61, 62.]
Feb. 27.
Kensington.
Commission to Philip Griffin, esquire, to be captain of Captain — Whichcot's company in Colonel Thomas Sanderson's regiment. [S.P.44. 167. p. 333.]
Feb. 28.
Whitehall.
Ja. Vernon to the Lords of the Treasury, asking for a reply to his letter of the 14th inst. about the vessels William and Mary, and St. John, "the English ship being forcibly gone out of the harbour of Shoreham for Topsham, as is pretended, and the French ship pressing to be discharged." [S.P.44. 99. p. 457.]
Feb. 28.
Whitehall.
The same to the Lords of the Council of Trade. On your representations the King has directed the Admiralty to appoint two fourth rates and a sixth rate to be sent to the East Indies for suppressing the pirates and destroying their settlements, either by force or by bringing them to submission, upon terms of pardon and money which the commander of the squadron shall be empowered to offer. Accordingly his Majesty would have you consider what those conditions should be, and how the persons who submit may be disposed of, and what other instructions should be given to the commander.
The King approves your former proposal that the like laws for the restraint of pirates should be enacted in the other colonies as are already passed in Jamaica, which he would have signified to the respective Governors. [Ibid. p. 458.]
Feb. 28.
Whitehall.
The same to the Lords of the Admiralty, ordering the discharge of Peter Everson, a subject of Sweden, who was lent at Nevis about 10 months since from a merchant ship to H.M.S. Colchester, whose captain promised to return him to his ship; but he was afterwards turned over to the Lincoln now at Spithead. [S.P.44. 204. p. 165.]
Feb. 28.
Whitehall.
The same to the same. I have laid before the King the copies of Mr. Poole's letter from Shoreham and Captain Trevor's from Spithead, reporting that the William and Mary, a vessel laden with wool, had gone forcibly out of the port of Shoreham, having put ashore a midshipman left on board her by Captain Trevor. His Majesty leaves to your consideration whether the midshipman has done his duty in quitting his post.
In accordance with the report of the Lords of the Council of Trade, that it will be necessary to send two fourth and one sixth rate ship of war to suppress the pirates in the East Indies, who resort to the island of Santa Maria near Madagascar, the King directs that such ships shall be fitted out as soon as may be. [Ibid. p. 166.]
Feb. 28.
Whitehall.
Proceedings upon the petition of Thomas Holland and Charles Score; setting forth that in April last the petitioners seized at Constantinople one Capt. Evans, concerned in the late conspiracy. They were obliged, in recognisance taken by Lord Paget, to appear before the Secretary of State. They accordingly did so, at their own cost. They pray an order for reimbursement. Referred to the Lords of the Treasury. [S.P.44. 238. p. 192.]
Feb. 28.
Kensington.
License to Sir Charles Skrymsher, knt., high sheriff of the county of Derby, to live out of the county. [S.P.44. 162. p. 75.]
Feb. 28. Warrant for the apprehension of — Mony for suspicion of high treason. [S.P.44. 349. p. 60.]
Feb. 28.
Whitehall.
Warrant to the Keeper of Newgate to receive into custody Peter du Fermond, sent for high treason in washing and diminishing the coin. [Ibid.]
Feb. 28. Votes of the House of Commons. Numb. 67. (Printed. In duplicate.) 2 pp. each. [S.P.32. 9. ff. 289–290.]
Feb. 28. Journal of the House of Lords, for Sir Jos. Williamson. ½ p. [Ibid. f. 291.]
Feb. His Majesty declares that the present dean of St. Peter's Church in York is a residentiary by reason of his deanery, as any canon of the same church may be by reason of his canonship: and that the same privileges shall be extended to his successors: and that the number of the residentiaries shall be five and no more. [Docquets. S.O.3. 20. f. 142.]
Feb. Docquet of the grant to James van Daalen of a patent for an engine or carriage with 4 wheels and double troughs. [S.O.3. 20. f. 142 v.]
Docquet of the grant to Thomas Tipping of Wheatfield co. of Oxford, esq., of the dignity of a baronet. [Ibid. f. 143.]
Docquet of the presentation of Josias Alsop, clerk, B.D., to the rectory of Rendlesham, co. Suffolk. [Ibid.]