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of Great Britain, of the highest abuse of her Majesty's goodness and embezzlement of her treasure, and of the greatest injustice and oppression of other her Majesty's subjects.


That whereas, by the established and known laws of this kingdom, the allowances or appointments for the maintenance and support of ambassadors, envoys, plenipotentiaries, and other public ministers of the crown in foreign courts, ought to be ascertained in due form of law, as well in honour as in justice to the imperial crown of these realms; and whereas the said Robert Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer, in or about the month of July or August 1712, sent Matthew Prior, Esq., an instrument and creature of his own, into France, for the carrying on his separate and dangerous negotiations, and did afterwards, in the month of November 1712, by his evil counsels, prevail on her late Majesty, without the privity of, or any communication with her allies, to send the said Matthew Prior as her Majesty's plenipotentiary to the French King, with instructions to treat and conclude matters of the highest importance relating to the general negotiations of peace; but the same was a treacherous and wicked contrivance of him the said Robert Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer, for the more effectual carrying on and promoting his private, separate, and dangerous practices, with the ministers of France, and the enemies of her Majesty and her kingdoms; he the said Robert Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer, not regarding his oath or his high trust, or the laws of the kingdom, did most corruptly and scandalously combine with the said Matthew Prior, for the defrauding her Majesty of very great sums, under the colour of his said employments in France: and, to that end, the said Earl did contrive that the said Prior should be sent into France, with the character aforesaid, but without any settled appointments or allowances; but, in the stead and lieu thereof, he the said Robert

Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer did give the said Matthew Prior an unlimited credit, and did promise to answer and pay such bills as the said Prior should draw on him during his residence in France; pursuant to which contrivance and corrupt agreement, he the said Matthew Prior did, between the 27th of August in the year 1712, (N. s.) and the 10th of July 1714, or thereabouts, at several times, draw bills of exchange, to the amount of 12,3607. or thereabouts, on him the said Robert Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer, which he, being then Lord High Treasurer of Great Britain, did advise and prevail upon her Majesty to sign warrants for the payment of, and did countersign the same, although the said Prior was no way entitled to any such allowances by reason of his said employment, and the same greatly exceeded the allowance even of an ambassador of the crown of Great Britain. And the said Robert Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer did, in the years 1712, 1713, and 1714, without any colour of authority, but for the further promoting his corrupt and wicked purposes, prevail on and advise her Majesty to sign warrants, which were countersigned by himself, for the payment of the sum of 5,5601. or thereabouts, to the use of Thomas Harley, Esq. a near relation and emissary of him the said Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer, out of the monies appropriated to the use of her Majesty's civil list; and did, in like manner, at several times, in the years aforesaid, most illegally, fraudulently, and corruptly issue or direct, or advise the direction and payment of several other large sums of money, to other persons, out of her Majesty's treasury: by which most illegal and scandalous management, he the said Robert Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer has introduced a practice highly prejudicial to, and utterly inconsistent with, the constitution of this kingdom, and of the most pernicious consequence, by opening a way for the most dangerous corruptions; and was not only guilty of a notorious breach of his oath, but entered into the most base and scandalous combination with the persons above-mentioned and others, under pretence and colour of promoting her Majesty's

service, to defraud her Majesty of the public money, which he was entrusted with the management of for the support of the honour and dignity of the crown.


That whereas the revenues arising to the crown from the hereditary excise and post-office, or some parts thereof, were, by virtue of letters patents of the late King James the Second, charged with, and made liable to, certain annuities, or yearly sums, in trust for, or to the use of, Mary the consort of the said King James the Second; but the said revenues were afterwards, by several acts of parliament, granted and settled for the support of the royal household, and of the honour and dignity of the crown, or for other public uses, without any saving or exception of the said letters patents; and whereas, by an act made in the twelfth year of her late Majesty's reign, the sum of 500,000l. was granted to her late Majesty, for the discharge of divers arrears of salaries, diet-monies, and other allowances, and sundry debts for preemptions, provisions, and other causes, which had been incurred, and grown due to her Majesty's servants, tradesmen, and others, and were occasioned by several extraordinary expenses, since the act for the better support of her Majesty's household, and of the honour and dignity of the crown; and the said sum of 500,000l. was expressly appropriated to the uses aforementioned, in aid of the said revenues or branches which were appointed for the support of her Majesty's household, and of the honour and dignity of the crown: and whereas, by an act made in the 13th and 14th years of his late Majesty King William the Third, it was enacted, "That for preventing traitorous correspondence between his Majesty's subjects and the pretended Prince of Wales or his adherents, that if any of the subjects of the crown of England, from and after the first day of March 1701, should, within this realm or without, hold, entertain, or keep, any intelligence or correspondence, in person, or by letters, messages, or otherwise, with the

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said pretended Prince of Wales, or with any person or persons employed by him, knowing such persons to be so employed; or should, by bill of exchange or otherwise, remit or pay any sum or sums of money for the use or service of the said pretended Prince of Wales, knowing such money to be for such use or service: such person so offending, being lawfully convicted, should be taken, deemed, and adjudged to be guilty of high treason, and shall suffer and forfeit as in cases of high treason;" he the said Robert Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer having, by the means of the said Matthew Prior, held a private and unlawful correspondence with the said consort of the late King James II., then residing in France, and being determined secretly to promote as far as in him lay the interests of the Pretender, but yet contriving to avoid the said penalty of high treason; and the said consort of his late Majesty King James II. having empowered Abbot Gaultier, a popish priest and busy emissary between Great Britain and France during the said private and separate negotiations of peace, and who was particularly entrusted as the common agent between the ministers of Great Britain and France in transacting the most secret affairs relating to the Pretender, to concert with the said Robert Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer the settling the payment and remittance of a very great yearly sum out of her Majesty's treasure into France, under colour and pretence of the said letters patents; and the said Robert Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer having held frequent clandestine conferences with the said Abbot Gaultier, on the subject aforesaid; and having by his evil counsels sacrificed to France the common interests of Europe; and being resolved that the first fruits of the peace with France should be an offering, made by his immediate procurement, to the nearest and most avowed adherent of the Pretender, though at the great expense of the honour and safety of her Majesty and her people,—did, soon after the conclusion of the peace with France, agree and undertake to procure the payment of the yearly sum of 47,000l. and upwards, to, or to the use of, the said consort, during her life; and, in execution of his said purpose, did afterwards, on or about the 23rd of


December 1713, being then Lord High Treasurer of Great Britain and of her Majesty's Privy Council, advise her late Majesty to sign a warrant to himself, in the words or to the effect following : videlicet, "Anne R. Whereas our late royal father King James II., by letters patents under his great seal, bearing date on or about the 28th day of August 1685, did grant unto Lawrence Earl of Rochester, Henry Earl of Peterborow, Sidney Lord Godolphin, Robert Worden, Esq. and Sir Edward Herbert, Knight, (who are all since deceased,) divers annuities, or yearly sums, amounting to 37,3281. 13s, 7d., to hold to them and their heirs, during the life of his then royal consort Mary, now Queen dowager, in trust for her; and, by other letters patents, bearing date on or about the third day of December 1686, did also grant unto the said Queen a further pension or yearly sum of 10,000l. to hold during her natural life all which were made payable in such manner as in the said several letters patents is more fully expressed our will and pleasure now is, and we do hereby direct, authorize, and command, that you cause payment to be made, to the heirs of such of the said trustees as was the longest liver of them, of so much as, since the 25th day of March last, 1713, is incurred or grown due on the said annuities or yearly sums, amounting to 37,3281. 13s. 7d., and to the said Queen dowager or her assigns, of so much as, since the said 25th day of March last, is incurred or grown due on the said annuity of 10,000l. according to the purport of the several grants or letters patents above recited; as also of what shall hereafter become due and payable upon the said several annuities quarterly, during the life of the said Queen Dowager and for so doing this shall be your warrant. Given at our Court at Windsor Castle, the 23rd day of December 1713, in the 12th year of our reign." And did afterwards, on or about the 24th of December following, sign a warrant to the auditor of the receipt of her Majesty's exchequer, requiring him to make and pass debentures, for paying to such person or persons as is, are, or shall be authorised to receive the same, the sum of 9,3321. 3s. 4 d. for one quarter incurred upon the said several yearly sums therein mentioned, from Lady-day

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