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name, of the French King, the kingdom of Sicily for his said Royal Highness and a treaty of peace being afterwards made between the French King, his Royal Highness, and the Duke of Anjou, wherein a cession is made to his Royal Highness of the kingdom of Sicily, without any concurrence or participation of his Imperial Majesty; he the said Robert Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer did basely and scandalously advise her sacred Majesty to consent to the same by an article inserted in the treaty the treaty of peace between her Majesty and the French King; and afterwards, by his privity and advice, her Majesty was prevailed on to assist his Royal Highness against the Emperor, then in alliance with her Majesty, with a part of her royal fleet, at her own expense, in order to put him in possession of the said kingdom of Sicily, whereby the greatest injustice was done to his Imperial Majesty in direct violation of the grand alliance, and contrary to her Majesty's frequent declarations from the throne, and her plain and full instructions to her plenipotentiaries at Utrecht, for obtaining his just and reasonable satisfaction; and whereby national faith, and the honour of the crown, was vilely betrayed, and the naval power of these kingdoms, and the supplies granted by Parliament for reducing the common enemy, were perfidiously employed against the great and faithful ally of this kingdom.
That whereas the dignity and support of the imperial crown of these realms has in all ages greatly depended on the wisdom and truth of the communications made from the throne, especially in Parliament, as the sure and only means whereby the Kings and Queens of this realm can receive the sincere and faithful advice of their people, in matters of the highest importance; and which, by the fundamental laws and constitution of this government, ought to be inviolably observed, as the sacred band of the duty and affection of subjects to their sovereign: and whereas, by the most ancient and known laws of this kingdom, it is indispensably in
cumbent on the great officers of state that surround the throne, to maintain, as far as in them lies, the sacredness of the royal word on all occasions, it being most apparent that the greatest dishonour to the throne, and the greatest danger to these kingdoms, must inevitably ensue, whenever that fountain of truth, by wicked counsels, shall be in any degree corrupted, and thereby lose its just influence and necessary authority: and whereas the power of making peace and war, one of the ancient, undoubted, and most important prerogatives of the crown, has always been exercised by the sovereigns of these realms with the strictest regard to the honour of the crown and the welfare of the people, and for that end they have, in great wisdom, in all ages taken the advice of Parliament on such weighty occasions: and whereas her late Majesty Queen Anne declared from the throne her gracious intentions to communicate the terms of peace to her Parliament, for their deliberate and serious advice therein; wisely foreseeing, that the safety of her person and government, of the Protestant succession to the crown, which she had nearest her heart, and of the Protestant religion, and of the liberties of Europe, did inevitably depend on the happy conclusion of the said negotiations: he the said Robert Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer, then Lord High Treasurer of Great Britain, having taken on himself, throughout the said negotiations, a most arbitrary and unwarrantable authority, and the chief direction and influence in her Majesty's councils, and most wickedly designing to prostitute the honour of the crown and the dignity of Parliament, and not only totally to deprive her Majesty of the wholesome and necessary advice of her Parliament in so great a conjuncture, but, by misrepresenting the most essential parts of the negotiations of peace, to obtain the sanction of Parliament to his traitorous proceedings, and thereby fatally to deceive her Majesty, her allies, her Parliament, and her people: he the said Robert Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer was not only wanting in the discharge of that duty to his sovereign which became his high station, by not advising against, and, as far as in him lay, in all events, by not preventing,
even any intimation from the throne to the Parliament, which was not conformable to the exactest truth and impartiality; but, taking advantage of his ready access to her Majesty, and his exorbitant influence in her councils, did prepare, form, and concert, together with other false and evil counsellors, several speeches and declarations, to be made by her Majesty from the throne to her Parliament, on the subject of the said negotiations of peace, and did advise her Majesty to make the same to her Parliament: and particularly, by means of his false and evil counsels, her Majesty did, among other things, on the 7th of December 1711, declare from the throne, in the words or to the effect following: "That notwithstanding the arts of those who delight in war, both place and time are appointed for opening the treaty of a general peace; our allies, especially the States General, whose interest I look upon as inseparable from my own, have by their ready concurrence expressed their confidence in me :" Whereas it was then notorious to all Europe, and the said Robert Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer, and others his accomplices, well knew, that the principal allies of her Majesty, and particularly the States General, then had in the strongest and most pressing manner represented, not only to her Majesty's ministers in Holland, but afterwards by a minister of their own, directly to her Majesty, the insecurity and danger to the common cause, by entering into general negotiations with France on the propositions signed by Monsieur Mesnager, and also their firm opinion of the fatal consequences that might ensue thereon; and although they had still great apprehensions concerning the method of opening the conferences, and the consequences that might happen thereupon, yet being wrought on by the menaces and other extraordinary methods used with them by her Majesty's ministers, and relying on the solemn assurances and declarations of her Majesty to support the interest and concern of their state, and to act in perfect confidence and harmony with them, they did at last with the greatest reluctance consent to enter upon a general negotiation of peace with France. And in the same speech her Majesty was prevailed on, by the evil counsels of
hin the said Robert Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer and others, to declare in the words or to the effect following: “That the princes and states which have been engaged with us in this war being by treaties entitled to have their several interests secured at a peace, I will not only do my utmost to procure every one of them all reasonable satisfaction, but I shall also unite with them in the strictest engagements for continuing the alliance, in order to render the general peace secure and lasting." And, in her message of the 17th of January following, her Majesty again expresses the care she intended to take of all her allies, and the strict union in which she proposed to join with them: whereas, by the evil influence of him the said Robert Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer, her Majesty was not only induced to enter into a private negotiation with France, exclusive of her allies, but the same was in like manner carried on by him the said Robert Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer and others; and the several interests which the allies were entitled to by their treaties were not only not secured to them by the peace, nor any reasonable satisfaction given to them, but the main interests of her principal allies, especially of his Imperial Majesty were, by the wicked practices of him the said Robert Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer and others, given up to France; and no engagements were obtained for continuing the alliance, in order to render the general peace secure and lasting. And her Majesty having on many former occasions expressed her resolutions, never to make peace with France and Spain so long as Spain and the West Indies remained in the House of Bourbon, she was prevailed upon by the advice of him the said Robert Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer and others, to declare herself, in answer to an address of the House of Peers, the 11th of December 1711, to the effect following, videlicet, "I should be sorry any one could think I would not do my utmost to recover Spain and the West Indies from the House of Bourbon:" whereas it is most manifest, that the leaving the kingdom of Spain and the Indies in the House of Bourbon was the
foundation of the private and separate treaty between Great Britain and France, which had been before that time signed eveu with her Majesty's consent; and the same fundamental resolution was immutably observed between them, to the conclusion of the peace. And her Majesty having frequently declared from the throne, “That her resolutions in entering into the said negotiations were, to obtain a general, good, and lasting peace, and the plenipotentiaries at Utrecht being instructed to treat with France conformably to that end;" he the said Robert Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer, in order to remove the just suspicions which had been conceived of his private and separate negotiations with France, did advise her Majesty to make this further declaration, in her said message of the 17th of January, "That the world will now see how groundless those reports are, which have been spread abroad by men of evil intentions to serve the worst designs, as if a separate peace had been treated,* for which there has not been the least colour given:" whereas a private and separate negotiation had been carried on, for five months together, between Great Britain and France; and, during that time, private propositions had been sent from England, and a private treaty with a minister of France, signed even by her Majesty's privity, exclusive of all the allies, before the said declaration made by her Majesty; and private and separate measures were thenceforth carried on, by the said Robert Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer, and his accomplices, on behalf of her Majesty, with the ministers of France, even to the conclusion of the peace with France. Her Majesty was further prevailed on, by the wicked advice of him the said Robert Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer, in her speech of June the 6th, 1712, to declare, "That, to prevent the union of the two crowns, she would not be content with what was speculative, but insisted upon something solid;" and, in the same speech, to the effect following: videlicet, "The nature of the proposal for a renunciation is such, that it executes itself, and France and Spain