Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

upon my Lord Harcourt for putting the Great Seal to the Spanish Treaty, &c.

The whole Ministry has many things objected to them in general

The Report is not complete, there remaining several particulars to be added of the Assiento and Dunkirk, which occasioned Sir H. Bunbury to oppose the reading of it a second time till the remainder was brought in, especially since it was so late, the present Report having taken up six hours in reading. Mr. Smith moved that some part of it might have a second reading to-night, and the rest be despatched to-morrow morning; by which means (says he) we shall have time to come to some Resolutions upon it to-morrow. This alarmed the opposite party, who insisted upon the Report lying before them a few days before any Resolution should be taken

upon

it. Upon a division, it was carried as Mr. Smith had proposed, though some of our friends divided against it. It is not known how they will proceed to-morrow. Mr. Walpole and the Secretary are for going into the main point immediately. I find our lawyers are against it, though I believe they will not separate from the former, if they persist in that opinion.

The Report takes notice of many papers suppressed, which are referred to in the several letters. This will have a good and just effect. It was observed, that our Ministers were so wary as not to countersign anything relating to the peace. The House was particularly attentive to the affair of the Catalans,' which is well drawn up. I am, sir, your most humble servant,

J. ADDISON.

THE SAME TO THE SAME.

SIR,

London, June 9th, 1715. It is now seven o'clock, and I am just come from the House, without having yet dined. I have dictated to Tom Addison so much of the Report as remains in my memory.

See case of the Catalans, in Tindal, vol. iv. p. 215, &c. Lord Mahon says, “ the treatment of that poor people by Oxford's administration is, perhaps, the foulest of all the blots upon his memory.” They had first been roused to revolt at the instigation of England, and at the Peace of Utrecht their promised Fueros were utterly neglected.

I have endeavoured to procure a copy of it, but it is not practicable. There is but one, besides that brought into the House, which is preparing for the Prince, and it will be printed before another can be made.

J. A.

June 10th. Whilst the Report was reading by the clerk, which lasted till about four of the clock, there was a great division among our friends, whether they should adjourn the consideration of it till a future time, or proceed immediately upon it. Mr. Boscawen and the younger part of the House were very violent for the last, the lawyers and the Speaker for the former. Mr. Stanhope, upon the first settling of the committee, had unluckily promised that the House should have some days to consider of the Report, after its being brought in, which obliged him to be silent, or, if a division should happen, to leave his friends in that point. In the mean time, messages went to and fro between the opposite corners, and it was in a manner compromised to proceed on the Report upon Monday next, which was all the time the Tories then asked; but when they found the Whigs whispering very warmly among themselves, they declared they would not rest satisfied with so short a day. Upon which, our friends agreed to offer Monday, and if that was not accepted to proceed immediately.

When the Report was finished, Sir Joseph Jekyll stood up, and declared himself satisfied that there were several matters in the Report which did amount to a charge of high treason, and ended with a motion that they should be taken into consideration on Monday next. Mr. Barrington Shute spoke to the same effect, and seconded the motion.

Mr. Ward the lawyer answered, that this Report was rather a narrative of matters of fact than a charge on particular

persons, and that he saw in it no crimes of a capital nature, and then moved for a longer day.

Sir Robert Raymond said it would be impossible for the Members to be masters of the Report unless they might all have the perusal of it, which could not be done, unless the Report were printed. This he said might be done by Monday, and if it were put off three or four days further every Member might be prepared to give his opinion of the facts before them.

Mr. Heysham, the City Member, said: As man's life was concerned in it, and as every one there must answer in another place for his conduct in this affair, he was for putting it off till Wednesday next.

Sir W. Whitelock seconded him, adding, that he could see nothing like high treason in the Report.

Mr. Freeman said it was the same thing whether they proceeded on it now or on Wednesday, since neither could answer the intent of such a delay; it being impossible for all the members to peruse the Report within that time; and therefore moved for Monday sevennight, observing at the same time that there was an omission in the Report of those words which directed the Duke of Ormond to correspond with the Secretary of State.

Lord Coningsby said we were to impeach, and not to, judge, and cited the precedent of the Popish Plot for proceeding immediately. He put the House likewise in mind of the present day, which was the 10th of June, the birth-day of the Pretender; and as, says he, I hear there is a flag already hung out upon one of the churches, so, if you do nothing to-day, there will be a flag hung out upon every church in England.

[N. B. There was a flag hung out upon St. James's church in Clerkenwell, and ringing of bells at St. Dunstan's church.]

Sir Thomas Cross insisted upon the declared sense of the House, when Mr. Stanhope promised a longer day; and as for my Lord Coningsby, he did not question but his Lordship was prepared to give judgment without a further hearing; but as for himself, he had not his Lordship’s parts and experience in parliamentary affairs; and therefore was not in a readiness to give his opinion. He concluded for Monday sevennight.

Mr. Comptroller, in answer to the omission of words in the Duke of Ormond’s Instructions, said they were referred to in the Reports, and placed at large in the Appendix, which contains all such original papers as were too long to be inserted in the Report. He observed that the Duke of Ormond had been visibly betrayed by the Ministers; for that in other instructions it was usual to give an express direction to obey such orders as should be received from time to time from a Secretary of State; he concluded that

i Sir Robert Walpole.

VOL. V.

2 u

he did not think Monday could be of any use, and that therefore they should order the doors to be immediately shut, and proceed upon the Report.

Mr. Bromley endeavoured to answer the precedent of the Popish Plot, and instanced my Lord Coningsby's own case when impeached of murder by my Lord Bellamont, when he had a reasonable time allowed him for an answer, adding, that he very well remembered this, as being one of those who had cleared the said Lord.

Lord Coningsby said if Mr. Bromley should be in the same condition he should be glad to return his civility, and to clear him too, if he should appear as innocent upon an impeachment as he himself had done.

Mr. Foley wondered at the comparison which Lord Coningsby had made between the conduct of the late ministry and the Popish Plot, endeavouring to show that, upon the worst construction, the former fell infinitely short of the latter, and that there could be no high treason found in it.

Mr. Aislabie said he would begin with the words made use of in the late Treasurer's letter as inserted in the Report, with relation to the Dutch, viz. The warriors are driven out of their outworks, and their last retrenchment is delay."

He urged that, since the private compromise for Monday next was not stood to by the gentlemen of the other corner, he thought all further delay was unreasonable; that no time ever had been given to such criminals accused to the House, as particularly in the last impeachments for the PartitionTreaty, and in the case of my Lord Danby, when impeached by Mr. Montague; and that in this Report there were matters of as high treason as were ever charged against minister ;-concluding for Monday or now.

Mr. Lutwych required time for comparing the Report with the Appendix, and the Appendix with the originals, before he could find high treason; and answered to Lord Danby's case, that it proceeded only upon two short letters, which were produced by Mr. Montague, and read to the House.

Mr. Denton said that this delay till Monday next was a great indulgence to persons charged with high treason, and unnecessary in itself, being only used as a caution to prevent clamour; but, for his own part, he was neither for å delay

"Of Mr. Secretary Bromley, formerly Speaker, see ante, page 347. He appears to have been a staunch Jacobite, see Mahon, i. 47.

nor precipitation ; upon which account he thought Monday next a proper time.

Sir W. Wyndham harped upon the word indulgence, ask. ing whether it was meant from the committee to the House, or from the majority to the minority, desiring at the same time that the accused should be treated as Englishmen, and urging that the honour of the House was concerned in it; that the cause of the people was not so much interested in the Report as that of the ministry; and that he hoped nobody in this affair would be influenced by party-vengeance or private resentment.

Sir H. Bunbury spoke to the afore-mentioned precedent of my Lord Somers' impeachment, but, being mistaken in matter of fact, was set right by the Speaker.

Mr. Snell declared himself against gratifying the revengeful spirit of an angry ministry, and hoped that nobody in a case of blood would be acted by places or pensions.

General Ross said he was not ready to give his judgment in matters of life and death; that he observed a person for whom he had a great respect, the Duke of Ormond, was mentioned in the Report, -upon which, he enlarged handsomely enough on the part which his, Grace had in the late Revolution, on his services under King William, on his generosity and other noble qualities : and that he hoped treason would not be charged upon him by any nice construction.

Mr. Walpole, junior, insisted much upon the words partyvengeance, private resentment, and angry ministry, adding that, if this impeachment was not proceeded upon, not only the Ministers were likely to lose their stations, but the King himself.

Sir John Stonehouse was not prepared to give his opinion, and would not pin his faith

upon

the Committee. Mr. Hungerford found, by Mr. Walpole’s words, that this prosecution was the prosecution of the Ministry, and that they could not keep their places without it; in which he was inclined to agree with him. He could not see by the. Report that anybody was guilty of treason, except the Abbé Gaultier, who was to transact, by word of mouth, everything for the Pretender.

Mr. Walpole senior, showed the present demand of time not only to be unprecedented but unnecessary, by explain

« ZurückWeiter »