Protest

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The following Protest was entered:

"Dissentient,

"1st. Because we cannot, as Englishmen, as Christians, or as men of common humanity, consent to the prosecution of a cruel civil war, so little supported by justice, and so very fatal in its necessary consequences, as that which is now waging against our brethren and fellow-subjects in America. We have beheld, with sorrow and indignation, session after session, and notwithstanding repeated warnings of the danger, attempts made to deprive some millions of British subjects of their trade, their laws, their constitution, their mutual intercourse, and of the very food which God has given them for their subsistence. We have beheld endeavours used to enforce these impolitick severities at the point of the bayonet. We have, on the other hand, beheld so large a part of the empire, united in one common cause, really sacrificing, with cheerfulness, their lives and fortunes, and preferring all the horrors of a war, raging in the very heart of their country, to ignominious ease. We have beheld this part of his Majesty' s subjects, thus irritated by resistance, and so successful in it, still making professions (in which we think it neither wise nor decent to affect a disbelief) of the utmost loyalty to his Majesty; and unwearied with continued repulses, repeatedly petitioning for conciliation, upon such terms only as shall be consistent

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with the dignity and welfare of the mother country. When we consider these things, we cannot look upon our fellow-subjects in America in any other light than that of freemen driven to resistance by acts of oppression and violence.

"2dly, Because this unnatural war, thus commenced in oppression, and in the most erroneous policy, must, if persevered in, be finally ruinous in its effects. The commerce of Great Britain with America was great and increasing; the profits immense; the advantages, as a nursery of seamen, and as an inexhaustible magazine of naval stores, infinite; and the continuance of that commerce, particularly in times of war, when most wanted to support our fleets and revenues, not precarious as all foreign trade must be, but depending solely on ourselves. These valuable resources, which enable us to face the united efforts of the House of Bourbon, are actually lost to Great Britain, and irretrievably lost, unless redeemed by immediate and effectual pacification.

"3dly. Because Great Britain, deprived of so valuable a part of its resources, and not animated either with motives of self-defence, or with those prospects of advantage and glory which have hitherto supported this nation in all its foreign wars, may possibly find itself unable to supply the means of carrying on a civil war, at such a vast distance, in a country so peculiarly circumstanced, and under the complicated difficulties which necessarily attend it. Still less should we be able to preserve by mere force that vast continent, and that growing multitude of resolute freemen who inhabit it, even if that or any other country was worth governing against the inclination of all its inhabitants. But we fear, that while we are making these fruitless efforts, refusing to give credit to the declarations of our fellow-subjects, and blindly confiding in the insidious professions of the natural enemies of this country, we are preparing an easy prey for those who prudently sit quiet, beholding British forces, which, if united, might be in a condition, from their valour, numbers, and discipline, to carry terror into the very heart of their kingdoms, destroying each other. Every event, which ever way it turns, is a victory to them. Our very hospitals furnish them with daily triumphs, the greater, as they are certain, without any risk to them of men or money.

"4thly. Because we conceive the calling in foreign forces to decide domestick quarrels to be a measure both disgraceful and dangerous; and that the advice which Ministers have dared to give to his Majesty, which they have avowed and carried into execution, of sending to the garrisons of Gibraltar and Port-Mahon, the dominions of the Crown of Great Britain, a part of his Electoral troops, without any previous consent, recommendation, or authority of Parliament, is unconstitutional; that Hanoverian troops should, at the mere pleasure of the Ministers, be considered as a part of the British military establishment, and take a rotation of garrison duties through these dominions, is, in practice and precedent, of the highest danger to the safety and liberties of this kingdom, and tends wholly to invalidate the wise and salutary declaration of the grand fundamental law of our glorious deliver King William, which has bound together the rights of the subjects and the succession of the Crown.

"5thly. Because the Ministers who are to be entrusted with the management of this war, have proved themselves unequal to the task, and in every degree unworthy of publick trust. Parliament has given them every assistance they asked; no unforeseen accidents have stood in their way; no storms have disabled or delayed their operations; no foreign power hath, as yet, interfered; but notwithstanding these advantages, by their ignorance, negligence, and want of conduct, our arms have been disgraced; upwards of ten thousand of the flower of our army, with an immense artillery, under four Generals of reputation, and backed with a great naval force, have been miserably blockaded in one sea-port town; and after repeated and obstinate battles, in which such numbers of our bravest men have fallen, the British forces have not been able to penetrate one mile into the country which they were sent to subdue; important fortresses are seized, the Governours are driven from their Provinces, and it is doubtful whether, at this moment, we are in possession of a single town in all North-America. Whether we consider its extent or its commerce, England has lost half its empire in one campaign. Nor

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can we impute the misconduct of Ministers to mere inability, nor to their ignorance of the state of America, upon which they attempt to justify themselves. For while some members of Administration confess they were deceived as to the strength and condition of the Provinces, we have from others received official information, that the insufficiency of the Navy was concealed from Parliament and part of Administration, from a fear of not receiving support from its members. We cannot, therefore, consent to an Address, which may deceive his Majesty and the publick into a belief of the confidence of this House in the present Ministers, who have deceived Parliament, disgraced the nation, lost the Colonies, and involved us in a civil war, against our clearest interests, and upon the most unjustifiable grounds, wantonly spilling the blood of thousands of our fellow-subjects.

"EFFINGHAM,
BOYLE,
CHOLMONDELEY,
FITZWILLIAM,
DEVONSHIRE,
PONSONBY,
ROCKINGHAM,
CRAVEN,
KING,
ARCHER,
CHEDWOHTH,
ABINGDON,
RICHMOND,
SCARBOROUGH,
PORTLAND,
THANET,
TORRINGTON,
STAMFORD,
MANCHESTER."