Motion, by the Earl of Dartmouth

v1:1570

The Earl of Dartmouth and the Marquis of Rockingham both rising to speak, a debate arose who should speak first.

In this confusion the Lord Chancellor put the question "Is it your Lordships' pleasure that the Earl of Dartmouth be now heard?" This called up the Duke of Richmond, who contended that it was a most slavish position to say that any Lord in that House should have a preference before another; and that the preference should be determined by the House.

Lord Mansfield replied that he had always understood it was in the option of the Chairman in either House (the Speaker in the other, and the Lord Keeper in this,) to so far decide as at least to put the question on which of the two persons he pleased. To prove this his Lordship cited an instance in a Committee of the House of Commons on the Spanish Convention in 1739, when two Members rising at the same instant to make motions of a direct contrary tendency, Mr˙ Winnington, the Chairman, pointed to one of them in preference to the other, which gave birth to the witty observation of Mr˙ Pulteney, afterwards Earl of Bath,

v1:1571

in the course of the debate, "that the Chairman had made the deadest point he ever saw in his life."

Lord Camden urged the necessity and justice of their previously accepting the Petition of the Merchants, which he understood the noble Marquis had to present, and hearing the Merchants' allegations; he told the House they not only set there in their representative, but in their judicial capacity, and were therefore bound by all the ties of official duty, to get every light and information upon the subject before them; otherwise, their coming to a determination could not be acting in the spirit of the Constitution. He pressed them but for a day, which would not create any delay, and in that time he had no doubt their Lordships would receive that solid information founded on the truest proofs, commercial experience; which would, perhaps, influence their Lordships to think differently from what they then did.

Earl Grower insisted that such a mode of proceeding was totally unusual and unparliamentary; that very early in life, much about the period the noble and learned Lord alluded to, he remembered a circumstance which came directly in point; it was on an intended motion of the late Lord Halifax' s, when the Lord Keeper decided against him, that another noble Lord should be first heard.

The Earl of Denbigh observed that the preference was with the noble Earl, out of the respect due to the other branch of the Legislature.

The question was then put, "Whether the Earl of Dartmouth shall now be heard?"

It was resolved in the Affirmative.

The Earl of Dartmouth accordingly rose, and after putting in his claim to be heard, on the question at large, moved, "To agree with the Commons in the said Address, by filling up the blank with ‘Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and’".

The Marquis of Rockingham acquainted the House that the matter which he rose to was to present Petitions, one from the Merchants of London, concerned in the commerce to North America, and the other from the West India Merchants and Planters; that he imagined their contents were of the highest importance, were immediately relative to the business under consideration, and were well worthy of arresting any determination of this House, for at least one day, being certain that, within that short period, information of infinite consequence would be laid before their Lordships, perhaps sufficient to alter, or at least soften the rigour of the measures they were now madly, hastily, and blindly proceeding to adopt. His Lordship then desired the Petitions might be read, which being complied with, he observed, as a question was now before the House, that must be first disposed of; and as consequently the subject matter of Petitions could not regularly come under the cognizance of the House; and that he still hoped the House would be willing to hear the Petitioners, as men suffering under the heaviest misfortunes, none of which could be attributed to their own misconduct, he would be under the necessity, as the only means left, of moving the previous question, which would open a door for taking into consideration a general state of the Petitioners' grievances.

He moved the previous question accordingly, and then his Lordship proceeded.

He observed, that until the previous question was first disposed of, he could not regularly enter into a discussion of the Address; but he would, nevertheless, in this stage of the business, assure the House that there was one paragraph in it which he totally disclaimed, and desired to be understood neither to have act or part in, that was, where both Houses were to assure his Majesty they would, in support of the measures therein recommended, hazard their lives and fortunes; for he now openly declared he would neither risk nor hazard life or fortune in such a cause. He said the noble mover adverted to something which he did not perfectly understand about unanimity. If every man who opposed this Address was presumed to be actuated by false notions of popularity, or factious motives, he believed four-fifths of the Nation would fall under that predicament; but this he could answer for himself, at all events, that he should not tread in the steps of his noble, but ill-fated ancestor, (Lord Strafford,) who first courted popular favour, and then deserted the cause he had embarked in; for as he had set out by supporting the cause of the people

v1:1572

against the tyranny and arbitrary measures of Ministers, so he should never, for any temptation whatsoever, desert or betray them, but would persevere, to the last, in endeavouring to obtain for them a full reparation for all the injuries they had sustained.

The Earl of Pomfret contended that the Sea was our proper element; was against a Land war, and strenuously urged the necessity of sending a Naval Force sufficient to block up their Harbours, and by that means to cut off their communication with all other Powers, and put a total stop to their commerce.

The Earl of Denbigh united in this opinion on general principles, but insisted that a Military Force would be necessary for the protection of his Majesty' s loyal subjects, who would be otherwise exposed to the fury and violence of their merciless persecutors.

Earl Gower adhered closely to the question before the House, the propriety of entering into an immediate examination of the matter contained in the Petitions intended to be presented by the noble Marquis. He said, the Petitioners were persons who deserved every mark of attention and respect which the House could pay them consistently with the interests of the Empire at large; and although their grievances were imaginary, their complaints were, nevertheless, deserving of indulgence. He trusted, however, when they maturely considered that the steps now taken were to prevent the return of such evils in future, they would cheerfully acquiesce in the wisdom of Parliament in the present instance, and be gratefully thankful hereafter; for if the supremacy of the Legislature was once given up, their trade, commerce, and every possible advantage accruing from either, would soon be annihilated. He therefore hoped that the Merchants would, on the present occasion, submit to a temporary inconvenience, nay, a short-lived distress, to insure the most permanent and important benefits; and manifest that degree of magnanimity which a sense of their own interests, founded in submission and acquiescence to the wisdom of Parliament must, upon mature consideration and past experience, most certainly suggest.

Lord Mansfield said, it was impossible to confine the attention of the House merely to the matter of the previous question. He perfectly coincided in sentiment with the noble Earl, who asserted that we were reduced to the alternative of adopting coercive measures, or of forever relinquishing our claim of sovereignty or dominion over the Colonies; for consider the question in ever so many lights, says his Lordship, every middle way, every attempt to unite the opposite claims of the contending parties, ends, and is ultimately founded in one resolution or the other. His Lordship observed, that one of the most able American writers, after the fullest and clearest investigation of the subject, at last confesses that no medium can possibly be devised, which will exclude the inevitable consequence of either system absolutely prevailing; for that take it up on which ground you would, the supremacy of the British Legislature must be complete, entire, and unconditional; or, on the other hand, the Colonies must be free and independent. His Lordship next proceeded to examine very minutely the several Acts of Parliament complained of in the Congress which assembled at Philadelphia, and endeavoured to prove that every one of them, more or less, confirmed the principles he had laid down, and the conclusions he had drawn from them, and directly struck at the Legislative superintending power, which it was contended they were willing to submit to, not barely to the subject of taxation. He more particularly adverted to the Acts for the establishing the Admiralty Courts in that country; for regulating the Rates of Postage of Letters; for ordering persons in any part of the Dominions of the Crown to be tried in any English County, for being charged with setting his Majesty' s Dockyards on fire; for the quartering of Soldiers, and one or two more of the same nature; any one of which, if repealed, would be a total renunciation of the sovereignty, even if the other proposition were true, that we had no right to tax them. But that claim of non-taxation, it was, he said, that introduced all the rest; if the doctrine was a just one in any instance, it must of inevitable consequence extend to all the rest; for it was to the last degree monstrous and absurd to allow they had a right distinct from the British Legislature in any one particular,

v1:1573

and not in all; if they had such a right, the defence of it would justify resistance; and to contend that subjects had a right of resisting the Government, was a doctrine he should be glad to hear maintained, on any principle of Civil Government, reason, experience, or common sense. This led his Lordship to the subject of the Petitions, but he contended that they did not at all come in the way of the present motion. He did not doubt but the Petitioners were aggrieved; he did not doubt but they laboured under great and singular distresses; he did not doubt but every degree of men, the landed Gentleman, the Merchant, the Manufacturer, the Mechanick, would all heavily feel, in their several situations, the threatened calamities. Nay, he went further, he did not promise certain success from the present measure. The Army might proceed to hostilities, they might be defeated, the Americans might prevail, we might be forever stripped of the sovereignty of that country; but what of that? the events of war were uncertain; the question was, allowing all the inconveniences as set forth in the Petitions to be precisely just, and taking into full contemplation every possible contingency that human foresight and prudence could suggest, Whether we should relinquish our rights, or resolve at all events to resolutely persist in asserting them? His Lordship again returned to his former argument, of the Acts they had protested against, and observed, that though he was not present when a noble Lord on a former occasion (Lord Chatham) had insisted, that in return for their temporary suspension and constant repeal, he would insist on the most unequivocal declaration on the part of America, of the supreme Legislative controlling power of the British Legislature, in every other case whatever, but that of taxation only, he could not help remarking, that they avoided every declaration, equivocal or unequivocal; for all they promised in return, was to consent to the Act of Navigation, while they were boldly contending for the repeal of every one Act almost which was to give that great constitutional law the least force or effect. He next proceeded to prove, by a variety of arguments, that the Colonies were in actual rebellion; insisted on the right of the mother country over the Colonies; doubted of the expediency of taxing now, on account of the repeal of the Stamp Act; but said it was utterly impossible to say a syllable on the matter of expediency, till the right was first as fully asserted on one side, as acknowledged on the other. He loudly condemned the bad policy of laying the taxes on in 1767; and laid all our present troubles and political confusions at that door. He said it was the most absurd measure that could possibly be imagined, for all the purpose it answered, was at once to throw the Colonies into a ferment and ill-humour, and to hurt the commerce of Britain, by furnishing the Americans with a temptation to smuggle; that is, loading our own Manufactures with duties, and permitting other Powers to supply the American markets with the same commodities, without paying any.

Lord Camden took up the last noble Lord on his assertion, that the Colonies were in rebellion. If rebellion and treason meant the same thing, he would be bold to say the Colonies were not in rebellion. He said he knew no species of treason but those described by the Statute of the twenty-fifth of Edward the Third, which were, levying war within the Realm, or compassing or imagining the death of the King. He owned that there were many precedents in the books of constructed treason, where certain acts of an atrocious nature were adjudged and referred to one or other of those; but he contended that no one act hitherto committed in America, came within any of those precedents. He said constructive treason was a dangerous thing; the rule should be certain and definite; for, were it otherwise, no man could tell where it would end, as the lives and properties of the subject would be then at the mercy of the Judge: the culprit would then suffer at the will of the Judge, not by the spirit or the letter of the law. He insisted he had as great and good a Judge as ever sat in Westminster Hall, Lord Hale, to support him in this opinion, who, after laying down the law of Edward the Third, and the expositions of it in the several decisions of his predecessors, asserts, in the most absolute and unreserved terms, that nothing should be deemed treason, by any parity of reasoning or similarity of circumstances, unless it came expressly within the Statute, or the interpretation of it, as

v1:1574

laid down in the several decisions which had been given since the passing of the law. He added, on this head, that the wisdom of the framers of it had provided for any mischief that might arise, by directing the Judges to apply to Parliament for their advice, should any new case arise which did not come within the words or obvious meaning of the Statute. He next replied to the noble and learned Lord, as being seemingly involved in the censure passed on the Administration which consented to lay the duties, one of which, (that on Tea) was now the original cause of the unhappy disputes subsisting between Great Britain and the Colonies. He utterly disclaimed having the least hand in that measure; said he was not consulted in the framing the law which laid on those duties, and that he was at the time closely and laboriously employed in discharging the weighty functions of his office. He next entered into a very full and detailed view of both the previous and detailed question. He said he was astonished to hear a noble Lord, in the course of the debate, advise the very extraordinary measure of blocking up the American Ports, and thereby preventing them from all commerce whatever. He observed, that sending an Army thither in a hostile manner, was insanity the first; but were the present proposed measures adopted, it would indeed be insanity the second. It would be no less than a political felo de se; and would be like a man, who, to be revenged of a person that he supposed had injured him, should sheath a poinard in his own bosom. Our commerce, says his Lordship, is at once the source of our wealth and of our power; it both gives us seamen to man our Fleets, and money to pay them; without commerce, this Island, when compared with many countries on the Continent, is but a small insignificant spot; it is from our commerce alone that we are entitled to that consequence we bear in the great political scale. When compared with several of the great Powers of Europe, England, in the words of Shakespeare, being no more than a "bird' s nest floating on a pool." What then would be the consequence of adopting so wild and dangerous an expedient? We should neither have Ships to defend us, seamen to man them, nor money to pay them, and we must of course fall a prey to the first invader; for both the means of defence, and the sources which were wont to support it, would be at once cut off. He said every engine had been set to work, and art essayed, to prejudice the landed interest, and distinguish it, on the present occasion, from the commercial, as if the latter could sustain any injury that the other must not equally feel. What rose the value of the lands but commerce? What supported commerce again but the lands? — their interests being as inseparable as the benefits they derived from each other were mutual and reciprocal. He concluded generally on the high sounding unintelligible phrases of Legislative supremacy and Parliamentary omnipotence; but, for his part, they conveyed to his mind precisely such an idea, and gave equal satisfaction, as the answer given by the fine gentleman in the play, who, being charged with baseness by his friend, who told him he had eat his meat, drank his wine, and lain with his wife, made no other reply, at the end of every sentence, but, "Sir, I wear a sword."

The Duke of Grafton rose with great warmth, and after observing that his ideas on this important subject did not coincide with what had been urged from any side of the House, and that he meant to reserve his opinion till the great question, with all its several relations and collateral circumstances, came to be taken into consideration and finally decided on, animadverted with no small degree of acrimony and resentment on the conduct of the two learned and noble Lords who preceded him. Of the latter (Lord Camden) he insisted it was mean, and much beneath the dignity of one who acted in the exalted station he did, at the time the duties now mentioned were imposed, to come at this time to screen himself from the disagreeable consequences that measure produced, and shift the blame of his own shoulders to lay it on those of others, whom he was perfectly convinced, and fully conscious, had no more particular hand in it than his Lordship. The measure, said his Grace, was consented to, at least, in the Cabinet. The noble Lord acquiesced in it, he sat in that chair, (pointing to the Lord Keeper' s) while it was passing through this House in its several stages. The learned Lord was the very person who signified the Royal approbation of this law

v1:1575

in his official capacity, under the seal of his office; and shall he now come to tell this House and the publick, that it passed without his approbation or participation? He then observed, that matters which had passed in that House were frequently misrepresented without doors; but he was glad of an opportunity of testifying to the publick that it was no measure of his, perhaps it was contrary to his judgment; but he reserved his sentiments on that subject to a future occasion; as what he meant now was, that let the measure be good or bad, all he wished was, that every Cabinet Minister who acted and deliberated in that capacity at the time of passing that law, should equally share the censure, if it was a bad one, or be entitled to an equal claim of merit if it were a good one. In reply to the other noble and learned Lord, he said he totally differed from him as to the commercial effect of that law; for if the law itself was wise, and the principle it originated from expedient and equitable, the regulation was certainly no less so; for there was no other possible mode left of enforcing the Declaratory Law, (internal taxation being totally abandoned by the repeal of the Stamp Act,) but by laying on Post Duties. And he knew of none against which the noble Lord' s objections would not lie as forcibly as those proposed to be levied by the Act under consideration. He lamented the misfortune, that the Administration he was connected with was the only one who wanted the assistance of the noble and learned Lord. He was certain that some of the preceding Administrations had profited of his great abilities; and though he was deprived of the support which might be derived from such sage counsels, he was happy that the Nation experienced the good effects in the aid he had given to some of the Administrations which preceded the one in which he was concerned, and perhaps, nay probably, the one that succeeded it.

Lord Mansfield feeling this as a direct attack, implying an interference in the publick Councils, endeavoured to exculpate himself from the charge. He said he had been a Cabinet Minister part of the late reign, and the whole of the present; that there was a nominal and an efficient Cabinet; that for several years he acted as a member of the latter, and consequently deliberated with the King' s Ministers; that however, a short time previous to the Administration in which the noble Marquis presided at the head of the Treasury, and some considerable time before the noble Duke succeeded him in that department, he had prayed his Majesty to excuse him; and from that day to the present he had declined to act as an efficient Cabinet Minister. He said he had lived with every Administration of equal good terms, and never refused his advice when applied to; that particularly the noble Marquis must recollect his giving him every assistance his poor abilities were capable of affording; nor was it his fault that noble Duke did not experience the same; for had he been applied to he would have cheerfully rendered him every assistance in his power. That he had not changed his opinion on the present subject, he appealed to every side of the House; for when the repeal of the Stamp Act was brought into it, though he wished to give the measures of Government every support consistent with his judgment and his publick duty; yet, foreseeing the consequences exactly in the same light they have since turned out, he voted against it; but assured the House that he took no other private or ostensible part whatever in that business; and so careful and studious was he to avoid the least appearance of any thing of that kind, that he even returned a proxy that was sent to him against the repeal, sooner than seem to take any publick part against the King' s servants. His Lordship likewise apologized to the noble Duke, and assured him that he had not the most distant intention of passing any censure on any measure pursued in the Administration in which he acted; so far from it, that he highly approved of putting the Declaratory Law into execution; all he at most insinuated was, that the present Minister' s plan was much better calculated for giving it effect, as if at once destroyed the temptation to smuggle, by reducing the duty from one Shilling to three Pence; for who would risk his whole property against such a trifling duty? or how was it possible that the smuggler could come to the market upon equal terms, under all the circumstances attending that trade, with the fair importer.

The Earl of Shelburne, after taking a general view of both the previous and main question, respecting the propriety

v1:1576

of hearing the Petitioners, and the madness of a civil war, upon every ground of justice, prudence, and sound policy, in a very able and comprehensive manner, said he hoped the day of inquiry and publick retribution would come, when the author of the present dangerous measures would be discovered, and of that despotick system which has governed our Councils for some years past, clearly developed. Candour obliged him to testify to the conduct and sentiment of the noble Duke, (Grafton,) that he was averse to the measure; and the day it was brought in as part of a Money Bill from the other House, never rose to support it, as the strongest mark of his disapprobation. He was certain the noble and learned Lord (Camden) equally disapproved of it; and, for his own part, who had then the honour of occupying a very high post in Administration, his sentiments were too well known to call for explanation. He said further, that his situation gave him an opportunity of knowing the sentiments of a very high personage, and he could affirm, from his own knowledge, that they were extremely favourable towards America. It was therefore a matter well worth knowing, and extremely deserving of inquiry, how this unexpected change was effected, and by what overruling, fatal influence, this great Empire was brought to the eve of being plunged into all the miseries and horrours of civil war.

Lord Lyttelton contended for the universality and unity of the British Empire over all its territories and dependencies, wherever its domination extended. He was severe on the noble and learned Lord (Camden) who spoke so fully on the dangerous consequences of constructive treason. He asserted those little evasions and distinctions were the effects of professional subtilty and low cunning; that it was absurd to the last degree to enter into such flimsy observations on this or that particular phrase or word, and thence draw deductions equally puerile and inconclusive, that the Colonies were not in rebellion. For his part, he should not abide by such far-fetched interpretations, he would be guided by common sense, and only consult the papers on the table, to prove beyond question that America was in rebellion. What! will any noble Lord in this House rise and tell me seriously, that a country is not in rebellion when it openly disclaims all obedience to the laws, all dependence on the Legislature! when they offer to appropriate the publick moneys to the very means of resistance! when they prevent the Courts of Justice from assembling, and the Counsellors appointed by the Crown from acting! Will any noble Lord pretend to say, that any or all of those are not manifest acts of rebellion? or that it is not treason in every obvious, substantial, and legal meaning of the word, to attack one of the King' s Fortresses, make his Troops render it up, and seize and convert the King' s stores to the direct purposes of openly resisting his legal authority by force of arms? Are these acts of the most flagrant rebellion and treason? or are they, according to the ingenious doctrine and legal language of the noble and learned Lord, only to be construed mere misdemeanor or felony? His Lordship next entered into a very spirited defence of his noble and learned friend who spoke on the same side, and dealt his blows very liberally on all those who had attacked him. He bestowed the highest encomiums on his talents, integrity, and political conduct; and charged his accusers with being weak and evil counsellors, no less in their general sentiments than in their personal attacks. He recurred to his former arguments, and contended without reserve for the Legislative supremacy of Parliament over every part of the British Dominions in America, the East and West Indies, in Africa, in Asia, in every part and quarter of the globe, nay, over Ireland itself, if it should become necessary; the right of taxation and legislation being indivisible and unconditional, over every place to which our sovereignty extended.

The Duke of Richmond condemned, in the most pointed and direct terms, what his Grace called the inflammatory and ill-grounded representations of the learned and noble Lord (Mansfield.) He said it was very unbecoming the gravity and dignity of his situation, and of the several high relations he stood in to the state, to endeavour to inflame and mislead at so alarming a crisis. He observed that the noble Lord had laboured all in his power to prove the Colonies in rebellion; but for his part he did not perceive that be used one solid argument in proof of this cruel assertion; an assertion, in

v1:1577

every view of it, big with the most horrible and direful consequences; an assertion which, as soon as sanctioned by a vote of both Houses, authorized every species of rapine, plunder, massacre, and persecution whatever. His Grace then turned to the consideration of constructive treason; and observed, that the noble and learned Lord and his friends ought to be the last to approve of lax and indefinite interpretations of treasons, as it might, on some future day, open a door for obtaining of substantial and effectual justice on those who, through the whole course of their lives, had been as sedulous to evade the law, as they were industrious to break it. He entered fully into the propriety of postponing the contents of the Address; and at least listening to hear what the Petitioners had to offer. It would be decent to pay some degree of attention to so respectable and useful a body as the Merchants, and though no Petition had been presented, it would be manifestly indecent, and totally derogating from the dignity of that House, to blindly and implicitly adopt the present measure, without examination, deliberation, or inquiry. This night' s debate, he confessed, brought back strongly to his mind what had often been the subject with him of great astonishment and serious consideration. The measure which had been originally the cause of our present dangerous situation, was now openly disavowed by three Cabinet Ministers, then occupying the first departments of the state. They had, each of them, he remarked, solemnly declared it was no measure of theirs, jointly or separately; one of them (Lord Shelburne) has assured us, from his own knowledge, that it did not seem to be agreeable to the sentiments of a great personage. Whence then, says his Grace, are we to suppose it originated? I will not say that the noble and learned Lord knows; but this I will venture to remind his Lordship of, that when I came into office, I saw several foreign despatches, on the margin of which were written observations in that noble Lord' s hand-writing. I need not tell his Lordship, but I shall take the liberty to inform the House, that the correspondence with our foreign Ministers, at a convenient time, is sent round in little blue boxes to the efficient Cabinet Ministers; and that each of them give their opinions on them in writing. These are the opinions and the observations I now allude to. His Grace, besides, in the course of his speech, condemned very severely the Acts respecting America, passed during the last session, particularly to that which gave a new power to the Sheriffs, unknown to the Constitution; that of creating what he called pocket-juries; and the other, which, if possible, is of a much more dangerous tendency, preventing all meetings, under the penalties of high treason; for if it be treason to resist an Act of the British Parliament in the manner now contended for, it must of consequence be treason to assist at the Assemblies, which the Bill for altering the Charter positively prohibits.

Lord Mansfield rose in great wrath: he said he could hardly bring himself to believe the several insinuations thrown out on the other side of the House could be directed at him; yet, on the other hand, if they meant any thing, he knew not otherwise how to interpret them. If they were intended to be imputed to him as a crime, they missed their aim; for in his opinion, they had, perhaps undesignedly, done him the greatest honour. What, do their Lordships insinuate, that I have been the author of the present measures, and it is I that direct them? I should be proud to own them if it were, because I think them wise, politick, and equitable; but surely they will permit me to repeat again, that I have been a nominal Cabinet Minister part of the last reign, and the whole of the present; that I was an efficient Cabinet Minister during part of both periods; but that since the time before alluded to in this debate, I have had no concern or participation whatever in his Majesty' s Councils. Threats are thrown out, and inquiries predicted; I heartily wish they may be speedy; I am prepared for them, and put their intended authors to the most utter defiance. It has been urged against me as a crime to-day, that I have courted popularity. I never did court it; but I always have studied to deserve it. Popularity will always fly the pursuers; she must follow. I do not mean to say that I despise it; on the contrary, I sincerely wish for it, if not purchased at too dear a price; at the expense of my conscience and my duty. If a faithful discharge of one, and execution of the other, be the means of

v1:1578

procuring it, I hope I shall always be a warm candidate for popular fame. I have hitherto, to the best of my abilities, acted on that plan, and I hope I shall persevere to the end. I have seen much of Courts, Parliaments, and Cabinets, and have been a frequent witness to the means used to acquire popularity, and the base and mean purposes to which that popularity has been afterwards employed. I have been in Cabinets where the great struggle has not been to advance the publick interests; not by coalition and mutual assistance to strengthen the hands of Government; but by cabals, jealousy, and mutual distrust, to thwart each others' designs, and to circumvent each other, in order to obtain power and pre-eminence. I have been no less careful to observe the effects of popularity, where it has been courted and gained for particular purposes; but where every engagement was abandoned which led to its attainment, when the keeping of them became no longer necessary to the views of self-interest and ambition. I am threatened! I dare the authors of those threats to put any one of them in execution. I am ready to meet their charges, and am prepared for the event, either to cover my adversaries with shame and disgrace, or in the fall, risk the remnant of a life nearly drawing to an end, and consequently not worth being very solicitous about.

Lord Lyttelton rose a second time, to defend his noble and learned friend; and the Duke of Richmond in particular, and one or two other Lords on the same side, having dwelt much on the probable consequence our present civil dissensions might have on the conduct of France and Spain, his Lordship pressed the King' s servants to declare what steps they had taken to bring these Courts to an explanation on this subject.

The Earl of Rochford replied, that he believed the noble Lord had spoken by inspiration. He declared he had no sort of conversation with him relative to the subject, whatever appearance it might have of being concerted between them; but he thought it extremely fortunate, that the question furnished him with an opportunity of acquainting the House, that he had received a letter that very day from the King' s Minister at Paris, giving him the most full and unreserved assurances that the French Court would prohibit all commerce with the British Colonies; and that should any of the subjects of the Crown of France, after such declaration on their part, presume to carry on any trade with America, his most Christian Majesty meant to be understood, that they were to be deemed out of his protection; and that the British Court were at liberty to seize the Vessels and confiscate their Cargoes. His Lordship said, that it might possibly be objected to this declaration, that we ought not to depend on French faith; and that probably those assurances were given only with a view of lulling us into a fatal security; but he said he had every reason to believe France sincere, as well by the pacifick Councils which at present prevailed in that country, as from the permanent policy of both France and Spain, who were determined on their own account, against countenancing, abetting, or bringing into precedent, any measure which might operate as an encouragement Id the Colonies in the new world, to render themselves independent of the parent state. His Lordship then referred to a work lately published in France, wherein it is expressly asserted, that it would be bad policy in the extreme, for France to interfere in the present disputes between Great Britain and her Colonies.

The Earl of Shelburne returned to his general charges of a fatal and over-ruling influence, He observed, it was very extraordinary that the Bills passed last session of Parliament, respecting America, were disowned by the Law Officers of the Crown; and who, in the name of God, could have framed them, says his Lordship? We cannot suppose it was the Minister who framed them. We are almost certain that none of the Members of Administration drew them up. We know they were fabricated by some person conversant in the law. It is impossible we can hesitate a minute, therefore, to pronounce them to be the work of some hand who is unwilling to own them. The Law Officers of the Crown have disavowed them. Who then framed them? The publick naturally look at a law Lord, notoriously high in favour in the Cabinet, with whose sentiments and doctrines they perfectly agree. Is not this, my Lords, enough to raise suspicions in the most unsuspecting

v1:1579

mind, that the King is Betrayed, the Nation undone, and the Ministry rendered mere cyphers, to give a sanction to a system of measures, which, sooner or later, must be the ruin of this Country, or at least of its constitutional liberties? The noble and learned Lord has confessed, that though for some years he has ceased to act in the character of an efficient Cabinet Minister, there was a time when it was otherwise; there was a time when he united in his character two things in the English Constitution, the most repugnant in their nature; that of an acting Cabinet Minister, and a Lord Chief Justice of England. For my part, I always imagined, according to the true principles of this Constitution, that it was the great pervading principle and excellence of it, to keep the Judicial and Executive powers as separate and distinct as possible, so as to prevent a man from advising in one capacity what he was to execute in another. I hope the time will come when those matters will undergo a full and impartial discussion, without a personal allusion to any man, when we shall be able to point out, with certainty, the real author of the present measures; and be at the same time informed, where the Judges in Westminster Hall have kept within their own province, and where they have invaded the Constitution, by substituting their own prejudiced and partial opinions for the law of the land. In particular, I sincerely wish, that means may be devised, for leaving the Members of the Cabinet, at the time the duties imposed on America were laid, at liberty to declare freely what they know of that matter, so that the real authors may be discovered, and the framers of this pernicious, fatal measure, held forth to publick detestation. The noble and learned Lord has disclaimed having any direct concern in the present business, and endeavours to strengthen his bare assertion, by shewing what little or no temptation he could have to interfere. But the noble Lord knows, every noble Lord in this House knows, a Court has many allurements, besides even place or emolument. His Lordship denies any obligations or personal favours whatever. I am ready to give his Lordship full credit for this declaration; but he will permit me at the same time to observe, that smiles may do a great deal; that if he had nothing to ask for himself, he has had friends, relations, and dependants amply provided for; I will not say beyond their deserts; but this I may say, much beyond their most sanguine expectations. Independent however of these considerations, I think the pride of directing the Councils of a great Nation, to certain favourite purposes, and according to certain preconceived principles, may possibly effect great things, and tempt to great hazards, considering The frame and temper of some men' s minds.

Lord Mansfield now rose, in great passion. He said, he thought it had been the leading characteristick of that assembly when contrasted with the other House, who too often descended to altercations and personal reflections, to always conduct themselves like gentlemen; but he was sorry to see that rule departed from this evening for the first time. He charged the last noble Lord with uttering the most gross falsehoods. He totally denied that he had any hand in framing all the Bills of the last session; and was certain, that the Law Officers of the Crown never asserted that they had no hand in them; but whether they had or had not, was of no consequence to him; for he was clear; the charge, when applied to him, was as unjust as it was maliciously and indecently urged.

The Earl of Shelburne returned the charge of falsehood to Lord Mansfield in direct terms; he appealed to the House, whether the words he had used, were not, "that if among the Bills of the last session, there were some disavowed by the Law Officers of the Crown, it was natural for the publick to look at a law Lord, notoriously high in favour in the Cabinet, to whose sentiments the principles of those Bills appeared to be particularly adapted, and with whose doctrines they entirely agreed;" which he called on his Lordship to contradict, if he dared.

The Duke of Richmond animadverted, in very severe terms, on an expression which fell in the heat of debate from a noble Lord (Lyttelton.) He said no man could impute, littleness, lowness, or cunning, to any Member of that assembly, (alluding to what his Lordship had pointed at Lord Camden,) for delivering his sentiments freely, unless he drew the picture from something he felt within himself, as, by illiberally charging others with low and sinister designs,

v1:1580

the charge could only be properly applied to the person from whom it originated. His Grace entered into a full consideration of the true purport of what had fallen from a noble Lord in office, (Lord Rochford,) relative to the present language and disposition of the French Court. He said, the assurances now quoted, with so much official parade, and so seasonably brought under consideration, without any design, were, or were not, to be relied on; that they were not to be entirely relied on, the noble Lord partly confessed, by insisting, that we were prepared for the worst; he should be therefore glad to know what those preparations consisted in; what proportion they bore to the strength of those, who in the contest might possibly become our adversaries; and above all, he should be obliged to the noble Lord, who presided at the head of the Naval Department, to lay before the House an authentick, precise state of what our Naval Force consisted in; because he had observed, that on a former important occasion, we received the most full and solemn assurances, that our Navy was on a very respectable footing at the time of the dispute about Falkland' s Island; yet it was afterwards discovered, that we had not a single Ship-of-War fit to proceed to Sea. His Grace then proceeded to discuss the question at large, relative to our present unhappy disputes with America, and by the several important lights he let in on the subject, and the variety of interesting facts he adverted to and elucidated, he shewed himself to be very fully and thoroughly informed of the conduct of the contending parties; of the provocations given on one side, and the effects they produced on the other; and, above all, the total ignorance of Administration, relative to the temper and disposition of the Colonies.

The Earl of Sandwich, to answer his Grace, apologized for rising at that late hour of the night. He said, he had employed himself in taking notes the whole evening; and intended, before he went away, to have eased himself of the burthen, (an expression of Lord Shelburne' s;) but as the matter had been already so fully discussed, he should not, at so unseasonable an hour, trespass on their Lordships' patience, but solely confine his reply to the information desired by the noble Duke, relative to the department over which he had the honour to preside. He said, when he came to the Admiralty Board, the Navy was in the most ruinous condition; insomuch, that within the last four years, there were no less than forty Line-of-Battle Ships broke up, and even six in the course of the last year; that there was not six months Timber of any kind in the Yards, and in some, he believed, not fifty Pounds worth; and that he did not impute the least blame to the great and gallant officer, the first in the world in his profession, (Sir Edward Hawke,) whom he had succeeded, and who had retired purely on account of his age and infirmities. His Lordship next contrasted the present state of the Navy. He said, we had now nearly fourscore Ships-of-the-Line, and several more building in the King' s and Merchants' Yards, with a proportionable number of inferiour rates, all either stout, clean Ships, or Vessels newly built; that we had three years seasoned Timber in the Yards; that all that were not on actual service, or turned in Guard-Ships, were in dock, where they could not meet with any injury; that the Guard-Ships, which formerly were useless, in cases of emergency, not being fit for the Sea, nor having rigging, or more than a third of their complement of men, were now ready for any service, at a few days notice, which he instanced in the year 1773, at the time we meant to send a Fleet to the Mediterranean, when ten Men-of-War of the Line actually sailed from Plymouth within three days after they received their orders. He next informed the House, that there were twenty Guard-Ships, three of which, of the Line-of-Battle, were on the American station; that we had squadrons besides in the East and West Indies, the Leeward Islands, and Mediterranean; that after sufficiently providing for those respective services, the Naval Force for home protection would consist of seventeen Men-of-War of the Line, besides Frigates, seven thousand two hundred Seamen, and eight hundred Marines; that after the peace of Aix la Chapelle, in 1748, our whole Naval establishment did not exceed that now reserved for the Channel alone, eight thousand Seamen, including Marines, being only voted; and that he would pledge himself to answer all the demands, and co-operate with the intentions of Administration,

v1:1581

with only an augmentation of two thousand men. He added further on the same head, that we had a Fleet superiour to any that the combined force of France and Spain could fit out; that our Ships were all clean, well provided, rigged, and ready to proceed to Sea on a few days notice; and that we had a supply of seasoned Timber in our Yards equal to three years consumption. That this was a force fully sufficient to defend us against any sudden attack of the combined Fleets of France, and Spain, though he was well assured they had no such intention; but if they had, we were prepared for them; and that he would now pledge himself to the House, and the publick, that with an augmentation of two thousand Seamen more, he would supply Government with such a Naval Force as would at once protect us at home, and be sufficient to enforce its measures respecting America. He begged, however, that the House would not understand that he arrogated any peculiar merit to himself relative to the present state of the Navy, compared to what it was when he was called to the head of the Admiralty, for very little of it fell to his share. He had only performed his official duty; it was to Lord North, who had been the means of so amply providing for it in the House; and to his Lordship, therefore almost the sole merit was due, that our Navy was now put on so respectable a footing.

The Duke of Richmond controverted several of the positions laid down by the noble Earl, (Sandwich,) both respecting the disposition of the French and Spaniards, and the force sufficient to resist them, should they make any attempt on these Kingdoms, or give an occasion for a rupture by their conduct in the American Seas. He again commented very ably on the answer given by the French Minister. What does this answer import, says his Grace, supposing it to be literally kept on their part? That if you detect any of their Ships trading with our American subjects, we shall be at liberty to seize them, and confiscate their cargoes. Does the noble Earl pretend to interpret this explanation, generally, so as to authorize our taking their Vessels at Sea? If he does not, what can such a vague deluding promise avail? If he does, then I will venture to assure his Lordship that he is miserably deceived; and that the first attempt to prevent French or Spanish Ships from navigating the American Seas, for pretences will never be wanting on such occasions, will furnish them with an opportunity of asserting their maritime freedom, of making reprisals, and of justifying their conduct to the other great states of Europe, who are known to be long jealous of what they are pleased to call our despotick claim to the sovereignty of the Ocean. The noble Earl gives us a melancholly account of the deplorable, ruinous state of our Navy, at the time he came to preside over our Naval concerns. He said our Ships were rotten, and our Guard-Ships useless. I would be glad to know from his Lordship what have been the means employed to work this miraculous change. He speaks of so many Ships-of-the-Line proceeding to Sea in three days; and of Captain Barrington' s great merit in that business. No Lord in this House has a higher opinion of that gentleman' s merit as an officer than I have. I remember well the time the Royal Naval review was at Portsmouth, that able officer had his Ship some hours ready to proceed to Sea, before the Division under the command of a noble Lord in this House, (Lord Edgcumbe.) The noble Earl dwelt greatly on the manner our Guard-Ships are manned and provided; yet I well recollect that in the Royal presence, when we may presume every nerve would have been strained, the Plymouth Division took above three hours in weighing. The apology then made was that the Ships had not more than half their complement of men; and I can affirm, that Captain Barrington' s Ship was the only one which seemed to answer the anxious expectations of the spectator.

The Earl of Sandwich replied humorously, in the words of the old ballad of Chevy Chase, written, as he said, in the time of Henry the Fourth. "I trust we have many as good as he." He insisted, without any disparagement to the honourable Captain, there were several as able officers in the Navy as he; that wind and tide, and a variety of circumstances attendant on them, were not to be commanded. He assured the noble Duke, let the consequences be what they might, they would not wait for the French Ships being in Port, or even in with the land; but would seize

v1:1582

them without ceremony in the first instance, and trust to the event, be it what it might; Administration being determined to abide, and, if necessary, to enforce the true terms of the explanation, in the sense only it was desired and given. As to the other part relative to the state of the Navy, and his reasons for pronouncing, with so much confidence, concerning it, he told the noble Duke that the case was now entirely different from what it was in 1770; for that towards the conclusion of the late war, when the publick exigencies called for a powerful Fleet, they were obliged to make use of green Timber, of any kind of Timber in the construction of our Ships-of-War; that those Ships rotted at the end of five or six years; whereas these built lately would stand thirty, as they were built of seasoned Timber, of which we had a large three years' stock; and that besides we made use of another precaution, which was still seasoning the Timber while the Ship was building, by giving orders that no Man-of-War should be hastily built, or launched in less than three years after she was put upon the stocks.

The Bishop of Peterborough (Doctor John Hinchcliffe.) Throughout the whole of this day' s debate, and indeed on every question relative to America, it has been to me of very serious concern to see so much of your Lordships' time taken up in mutual charges and recriminations. It is but too evident that a complicated variety of very untoward circumstances have combined to bring Great Britain and her Colonies into so great difficulty and embarrassment, that to extricate them requires all your Lordships' temper as well as wisdom. Yet while we have heard, on the one hand, Lords, eminent for their abilities and experience, assert that the Constitution is violated, and the sacred rights of our fellow-subjects encroached upon by principles of arbitrary power, till resistance itself is thought justifiable; we are assured, on the other, by authority no less respectable, that opulence and security have begot a desire of independence in our Colonies; that a spirit of discontent and disaffection is gone forth, which has been unhappily increased by the arts and encouragement of some men here at home, under the influence of like passions, till America is become impatient of all legal restraint, and determined to break through every tie which has hitherto connected her with the mother country.

I rise not to trouble your Lordships as an advocate for either extreme of opinion, but profess that, above all things, I wish for reconciliation upon the very easiest terms that, consistently with the just authority and pre-eminence of this country can be admitted as a ground of re-union. Yet sensible as I am that it is my duty, nor is it less my inclination, to promote peace, yet cannot I, for fear that our commercial concerns should suffer a temporary interruption, wish to see the honour and lasting prosperity of this country sacrificed to its temporary interests. For, waiving all discussion of that great constitutional question, whether or not the Legislative supremacy implies or not the right and power of taxation, there is, to my understanding, a very evident distinction between an Internal General Tax, and a Port Duty, upon any article of trade, which the subject is at liberty to purchase or not, as he thinks proper.

I am aware that the advocates for the total independence of America have endeavoured to prove that a duty so raised is illegal and oppressive as any other tax whatever; but to have made it so, Parliament must have done by the Tea in America, what is done in France by the Salt, have obliged every family to have bought, not as much as they were willing, but as much as it was thought they were able to consume.

That there is a power in this country to regulate the trade throughout all the Ports of the whole British Empire, is what, I believe, hardly one of your Lordships will contest. It would be of use, therefore, in shortening this debate, to recollect that it was for the tumultuous resistance to this acknowledged right of the Legislature, that the Port of Boston was shut up. I am free to own that there may be an oppressive exercise of even an acknowledged right; but it will be a difficult matter to bring the duty upon Tea under that description. The noble Lord (Camden) before me, acknowledges that he made no objection to it at the times it was laid, though he was then in the highest department of the law, with so much credit to himself and satisfaction to the publick; he will allow, therefore

v1:1583

that there was no appearance of illegality in its origin; it was also moderate in its exercise; it affected not a necessary of life, and left the American consumer of a foreign luxury in a much better situation than any subject in Great Britain. But admitting that the people of Boston, either from their own notions of the matter, or from prejudices instilled into them, thought the duty upon Tea an oppression, it surely was incumbent on them to have presented a Memorial or Petition to Parliament; not to have invaded private property with violence, nor to have treated the sovereign Legislature of Great Britain with insolence and contempt. Reparation ought long ago to have been made for these offences; and it is in order to obtain it that I understand Administration think themselves under a necessity of adopting coercive measures as the only means to bring about a lasting union.

As a learned Lord, (Camden) in the course of this debate, has taken occasion to censure the two Acts which passed in The last session, after the Boston Port Bill; I will beg your Lordships' indulgence while I say a few words to each of them. First, as to the Bill for the impartial administration of justice in Massachusetts Bay; was I to take my idea of this Bill from what has fallen from the learned Lord, "that by coupling it with the Statute of Henry the Eighth, it gave a full power to bring the Americans over here to butcher them in the King' s Bench," I should conclude that it was a Bill empowering Administration to tear any obnoxious person from his wife and family, and carry him to a foreign judicature to answer for crimes said to be committed in his own country; whereas, in truth, it is a Bill of mercy, as well as of justice, giving security to persons acting under legal powers, that they shall not, in the discharge of their duty, be subject to the resentment of a factious and deluded populace, who neither acknowledge the laws, nor the authority of the Magistrate; besides the Bill is temporary, and respects only the present tumultuous state of the Province.

As to the other Bill, for altering the Charter of Massachusetts Bay, which the same learned Lord represents as an exorbitant abuse pf Parliamentary power, I will only say, that alteration, full as material, in that very Charter, was made by King William immediately after the Revolution. Shall it then be said, in this House, that it is an abuse of power for the present King, sitting in his Parliament, to do an act similar to what King William, that great restorer of British freedom, did by the advice of his Council only; though that Council was composed of men that loved liberty as well, and hazarded as much in the preservation of it, as any set of Patriots before or since.

As to the Papers upon your Lordships' table, it appears from them to be the general opinion of all those who, either from their office or their situation, are capable of judging what will be the probable effect of it, that a steady perseverance to support the rights of the Legislature will, in the end, bring the Americans to a just sense of their duty and their interest. It will then be time for tenderness and forgiveness. May I not add, it will then be time for indulgence even to popular prejudices, and that idea they are so fond of, the right of taxing themselves. But was Great Britain tamely to submit to the indignities that have been put upon her, her condescension would defeat its very purpose, and be treated as a meanness and timidity. It might, indeed, procure peace; but it would be only drawing ashes over the embers that would still be burning underneath, or, like the act of an unskilful Surgeon, who heals the wound outwardly, while it is still left festering within.

I shall, therefore, give my vote for this Address; not because I love coercive measures, though, to a certain degree, they may become necessary. I approve of it rather, because it takes the middle way, so much recommended by the noble and learned Lord; for the steadiness is the means, vet reconciliation is avowedly the end proposed. Reconciliation is what I shall never lose sight of; and I am persuaded that, could your Lordships be induced to join unanimously in this Address, it would speedily bring about what all your Lordships are desirous of, the peace, harmony, and lasting prosperity of the British Empire.

The Duke of Richmond observed, that he thought it was extremely improper for the Right Reverend Bench to take any part on the present occasion, or to be at all accessary to the shedding of the blood of their fellow-creatures

v1:1584

and fellow-subjects. It would be much fitter, if they interfered at all, to act as mediators, than as persecutors; more consistent with the principles they professed to teach; but much more particularly suited to the sacred functions they were called to discharge. He said, that by the specimen now given, he should not be surprised to see the lawn sleeves upon those Benches stained with the blood of their innocent and oppressed countrymen on the other side the Atlantic.

The Duke of Manchester animadverted with great energy on the very indecent and unprecedented attack made by a noble Lord, early in the debate, (Lord Lyttelton) on all those who happened to differ with him. He said it was a pretty method of convincing an adversary, to tell him that his opposition to measures was founded in the worst motives; and that all who entertained contrary sentiments to his own, were weak and wicked Counsellors. Such language had been always discountenanced, and he hoped would always meet with the strongest marks of discouragement and disapprobation in that House, as it would otherwise banish all sober deliberation and free discussion from within those walls; and introduce, in their stead, the most improper personalities and disgraceful altercations.

Lord Lyttelton endeavoured to exculpate himself from the charges of the two noble Dukes. He said, any thing severe he might have dropped respecting a noble and learned Lord on the other side, was only upon certain suppositions. He had not, however, changed his opinion relative to the true interpretation of treason; nor could he bring himself to subscribe to his Lordship' s definition of it; as the more he thought on the subject, or heard it argued, the fuller he was satisfied that America was in rebellion, He said he had a very high authority to support him, (Lord Chief Justice Foster) and a real friend to liberty, who enumerates several species of treason, besides those expressly defined by the Statute of the twenty-fifth of Edward the Third, and lays it down as law, though a consultation to levy war, in which the person of the King is not meant to be injured, may appear not to be treason within the Statute of Edward the Third, yet that an overt act of one species of treason may be good evidence to prove an intention to commit the other.

Lord Mansfield assured the House that he had not given the least intimation to the noble Lord of what he now urged; but that it was nevertheless the general doctrine laid down by those who had written on the subject. He was personally acquainted with the great law authority now quoted, who assured him he was present in Court at the trial of the offenders in Queen Anne' s time, who pulled down the Meeting Houses, and that Holt, Chief Justice, and the rest of the Court agreed that evidence of an overt act of one species of treason, was sufficient proof of an overt act of another species of treason.

Lord Camden still retained his former sentiments; he entered into a warm eulogium on the learned Judge alluded to; insisted the doctrine now imputed to him was not his; offered to meet the noble and learned Lord on the other side on that ground; and remarked that the intended object of the language held this day, was to bring the unhappy Americans to England, to be tried under the Act of Henry the Eighth, and have them butchered in the King' s Bench. Early in the debate Lord Mansfield having said that the Ministers of the Church of England were persecuted by the fanatics of Boston, and other parts of New-England, Lord Camden reprehended him very severely for using such inflammatory language.

The Earl of Dartmouth closed the debate. He said that he approved of the measure; that America would be tenderly and gently treated, if they would return to their obedience; that he was directed by his own judgment, not by Lord Mansfield' s; and that he believed Lord Mansfield was totally unconnected with the present Administration.

v1:1585

The previous question was then put, "Whether the said question shall now be put?"

It was resolved in the Affirmative. Contents 90, Proxies 14—104; Non-Contents 29.

Notes

nts

* This extraordinary debate was attended with some singular circumstances. A great law Lord, who had been so severe in his charge against the Americans, condemned also, in the most explicit and unreserved terms, (to the great surprise of most of his auditors,) the measure of laying on the Duties, in the year 1767, which he declared to be the most absurd and pernicious that could be devised, and the cause of all our present and impending evils. If this declaration, was unexpected, the acknowledgment that followed was more so. Three-great Lords who were at that time Cabinet Counsellors, and held the first offices in the state, declared separately in their places, that they had no share in that measure, nor had ever given it any approbation; and two of them condemned it in express terms, while the third, who was still high in office, did not by any means pretend to support it. It seems they were in some way overruled. But the manner in which a measure of Ministry was carried against the opinion of Ministers, was not explained.

It cannot be wondered, that such a disclosure relative to a matter, which had already convulsed the whole Empire, and was still more to be dreaded in its future consequences, should excite the most general amazement, mixed with a great share of indignation and regret in particulars. The fatal and overruling secret influence, which, as they said had so long guided and marred all the publick affairs of the Nation, was accordingly deplored and animadverted upon in different parts of the House.

In the course of the heat, which sprung from much collateral matter that was thrown in upon this occasion, a series of arraignment, justification, assertion, denial, animadversion, and recrimination took place, in which many things passed, that were either new in that House, or extraordinary in their nature. The learned Lord who had condemned the measure of laying on the American Duties in the year 1767, was himself, partly by implication, and in part directly, charged with having a principal share in those secret counsels, which had been stigmatised as the most obnoxious and ruinous to the Nation; notwithstanding his repeated declaration, that he had not acted as an efficient Cabinet Counsellor for several years. These charges were urged and opposed with a degree of asperity, and a harshness of personal altercation, not often heard in that House; with violent threats on the one side, and general defiance on the other. — Ann˙ Regis.

* List of the Minority who Divided upon the Previous Question: —

DUKES. — Cumberland, Richmond, Devonshire, Portland, Manchester.

MARQUIS. — Rockingham.

EARLS. — Abingdon, Besborough, Cholmondeley, Coventry, Effingham, Fitzwilliam, Scarborough, Shelburne, Spencer, Stanford, Strafford, Tankerville.

VISCOUNTS. — Courtenay, Torrington.

LORDS. — Abergavenny, Archer, Beaulieu, Camden, Craven, Fortescue, King, Sondes.

BISHOP. — Exeter. (Frederick Keppel)