Committee to prepare an Address

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Then the Lords following were appointed a Committee to prepare an Address, pursuant to the said motion, viz:

Lord President, Duke of Marlborough, Duke of Ancaster, Duke of Chandos, Duke of Bridgewater, Lord Steward, Lord Chamberlain, Earl of Denbigh, Earl of Peterborough, Earl of Sandwich, Earl of Essex, Earl of Doncaster, Earl of Rochford, Earl of Abercorn, Earl of Galloway, Earl of Loudoun, Earl of Aberdeen, Earl of Marchmont, Earl of Rosebery, Earl of Dartmouth, Earl of Pomfret, Earl of Bucks, Earl of Hardwicke, Earl De Lawarr, Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Bishop of London, Lord Bishop of Norwich, Lord Bishop of Landaff, Lord Bishop of Chester, Lord Bishop of Worcester, Lord Bishop of Rochester, Lord Bishop of Bangor, Lord Le Despencer, Lord Willoughby, Bart˙, Lord Willoughby, Par˙, Lord Paget, Lord Cathcart, Lord Trevor, Lord Masham, Lord Edgcumbe, Lord Sandys, Lord Bruce, Lord Hyde, Lord Mansfield, Lord Scarsdale, Lord Boston, Lord Pelham, Viscount Townshend, Viscount Weymouth, Viscount Falmouth, Viscount Wentworth, Viscount Dudley, and Viscount Ward.

Their Lordships, or any five of them, to meet immediately in the Prince' s Lodgings, near the House of Peers, and to adjourn as they please.

The House was adjourned during pleasure, and the Committee withdrew to prepare the Address.

After some time, the House was resumed; and the Lord Viscount Townshend reported from the Committee an Address, drawn by them, as follows, viz:

"Most Gracious Sovereign:

"We, your Majesty' s most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Lords spiritual and temporal, in Parliament assembled, beg leave to return your Majesty our humble thanks for your most gracious speech from the throne.

"With the utmost abhorrence and indignation we set; the real design of those desperate men, who, by the grossest misrepresentations, have deluded and precipitated our unhappy fellow-subjects in America into measures no less subversive of their own happiness and true interests, than dangerous to the prosperity and safety of Great Britain. The powers they have assumed, and the arbitrary and oppressive acts which they have done, leave no doubt of their traitorous purpose to induce the Colonies to shake off the control of the supreme Legislature, and to bury in an ungrateful oblivion the remembrance of the great industry with which they have been planted, the fostering care with which they have been nursed, the many advantages which they have enjoyed, and the expense of blood and treasure with which they have been protected by this nation.

"We cannot avoid expressing our concern that the great tenderness with which your Majesty has proceeded, and the conciliatory disposition which appeared in the last session of Parliament, instead of having the desired effect of undeceiving the misled, and establishing a confidence in the parent State, have been turned to the advantage, and made instrumental to the purposes of this dangerous attempt; and

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whilst we acknowledge this to be the consequence of the difference of intention which prevailed here and in America, we are penetrated with a just sense of the motives which have regulated your Majesty' s endeavours to prevent, if it had been possible, the effusion of the blood of our fellow-subjects, and the calamities which are inseparable from a state of war; but since the rebellion is now become more general, and manifests the purpose of establishing and maintaining an independent empire, we cannot but applaud your Majesty' s resolution to vindicate the rights, the interests, and the honour of this kingdom, by a speedy and most decisive exertion; and for this purpose we think it our indispensable duty to declare that we will support your Majesty with our lives and fortunes. And being fully persuaded that, in the present state of these disorders, the most active will, in its effects, be the most merciful mode of proceeding, we hear with pleasure that your Majesty has increased your naval establishment, and also greatly augmented your land forces. We are sensible of your Majesty' s kind consideration in having done it in such a manner as may be the least burdensome to your kingdoms; and your Majesty may be assured that we shall cheerfully concur in whatever may be necessary to enable your Majesty to profit of the friendly dispositions of foreign powers.

"We are deeply impressed by the gracious motives which induced your Majesty to send a part of your Electoral troops to the garrisons of Gibraltar and Port-Mahon, by which assistance this country will be enabled to employ a larger number of its own established forces, in the maintenance of its authority. And we return your Majesty our sincerest thanks for having so providently pointed out to us a further resource in that national body of men, so constitutional in their nature and so zealous in their duty — the Militia of this kingdom.

"We cannot sufficiently admire your Majesty' s benevolent declaration, that when the wished for period arrives, that the unhappy and deluded multitude, against whom this force will be directed, shall become sensible of their error, your Majesty will receive the misled with tenderness and mercy. And we are fully sensible of the wise and compassionate sentiment which has determined your Majesty to delegate authority to certain persons upon the spot, to grant general or particular pardons and indemnities in such manner and to such persons as they shall think fit, and to receive the submission of any Province or Colony which shall be disposed to return to its allegiance; and we will most readily concur in granting to the persons, so commissioned, such further powers as may best tend to promote and effectuate your Majesty' s salutary measures.

"Permit us, sir, to offer our grateful acknowledgments to your Majesty for the full and explicit communication which your Majesty has been pleased to make to us, and, at the same time, to express the just sense we entertain of the numerous blessings we enjoy, flowing from the source of never-ceasing attention with which your Majesty is occupied, for the safety and happiness of all your people. And we beg leave to assure your Majesty, that we participate in the same desire which animates your royal breast, and feel no other wish than to re-establish order and tranquillity through the several parts of your dominions, upon the basis of a close connection with, and constitutional dependance upon, Great Britain."

Which Address, being read by the Clerk, was agreed to by the House.

Ordered, That the said Address be presented to his Majesty by the whole House.

Ordered, That the Lords with White Staves do wait on his Majesty, humbly to know what time his Majesty will please to appoint to be attended therewith.