Address to the King moved by Mr. Acland



Thursday, October 26, 1775.

A Message from his Majesty, by Sir Francis Molyneux, Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod:

Mr˙ SPEAKER: The King commands this honourable House to attend his Majesty, immediately, in the House of Peers.

Accordingly, Mr˙ Speaker, with the House, went up to attend his Majesty.

And being returned,

Mr˙ Speaker reported, That the House had attended his Majesty in the House of Peers; where his Majesty was pleased to make a most gracious speech from the throne to both Houses of Parliament; of which, Mr˙ Speaker said, he had, to prevent mistakes, obtained a copy; which he read to the House.

Mr˙ Acland said: Sir, when I consider the importance of the subject brought under our consideration by the Speech from the Throne, that on our firmness or indecision the future fate of the British empire, and of ages yet unborn, will depend; when I behold the eyes of all Europe fixed on the temper and first proceedings of this assembly, I cannot rise without feeling the inferiority of my own abilities, and dreading to sink under a burden I find myself almost unequal to bear; but if the kind indulgence of this House will support me, I will beg its attention but for a few moments, and then conclude with moving a dutiful Address to the King.

Reflecting, sir, on the present situation of America, so greatly altered since our last meeting; when I see her rising, from her subordinate relation to this country, to the undisguised assertion of independence and empire; when I attempt to deduce the consequences, that will thence flow, not only to this country but to all Europe. I confess I stand amazed at the extent of the object. But, sir, however awful the situation of publick affairs may be, I hold it to be the first duty of a great national assembly, deliberating on a great national concern, not to despair of the republick; for whoever, sir, attentively examines the spirit of opposition that has been so long fomenting in America, whoever traces its course from its origin to its present enormous height, through all the various appearances under which artifice, passion and interest have alternately disguised it, must admit, as I do, that the reducing America to a just obedience to this country is not without its difficulties; but he will conclude with me, too, that where the interests of a great people are concerned, difficulties must be overcome, not yielded to. Nor are the difficulties superior to the strength of the nation that has to encounter them. Recollect the strength, the resources, and, above all, the spirit of the British nation, which, when roused, knows no opposition; let me remind you of those extensive and successful wars that this country has carried on before the continent of America was known; let me turn your attention to that period when you defended this very people from the attacks of the most powerful and valiant nation in Europe, when your armies gave law, and your fleets rode triumphant on every coast. Shall we be told, then, that this people, whose greatness is the work of our hands, and whose insolence arises from our divisions; who have mistaken the lenity of this country for its weakness, and the reluctance to punish, for a want of power to vindicate the violated rights of British subjects; shall we be told that such a people can resist the powerful efforts of this nation?

The steps hitherto taken by Parliament have been marked by forbearance and moderation; for though it was well known that parts of America had been labouring to throw off the authority of this country, yet so unwilling was Parliament to exert its arms, that during the last session it continued to proceed by the coercion of civil power, trusting that the infatuation of the Americans would at last cease, and the sword might remain peaceful within its scabbard: but the Americans reasoned differently; they took advantage of our inclination to peace to prepare themselves for


war; and though It was contended at our last meeting that New-England was not then in a state of rebellion, it cannot now be contended that America is not in a state of war. From the very beginning of this quarrel the point in dispute between us has been perpetually fluctuating; and whatever the original contest might be, it is now lost in a contest for independence and empire. That the Americans have been long contending for independence, I believe I am not the only gentleman in the House who is firmly persuaded; but now they hold a higher tone; presuming on a supposed invincibility of strength, they speak a clearer language.

The Congress, in their observations on the conciliatory plan offered by Parliament last year, triumphantly demand, "What right Britain has to interfere with her Government, since she does not interfere with that of Britain?" Is not this the language of an independent State? It is a language that might well become France or Spain, but which cannot be reconciled to any idea of obedience from a Colony to a another country. In the private intercepted correspondence of their leaders, we find them boasting "of their labours in modelling a new government; raising, clothing and subsisting a large army, creating a marine, and founding an extensive empire." But their actions still more loudly declare their intentions than their professions: they have raised an army, they are creating a marine, and the Continental Congress, under the assumed power of its own self-created assembly, have issued bills on Continental credit; they have made war, too, in all its forms, on the people of whom they would wish to be independent.

The question is now, therefore, reduced into a very short compass: Do gentlemen choose to acquiesce in the independence of America, or to enforce their submission to this country by vigorous measures? We shall be told, perhaps, not only of the difficulties of such an enterprise, but of the few advantages we can draw from a country reduced by the calamities of war: but this argument has little weight with any one who considers that the same force which is sufficient to subdue the disobedient spirit of America is also sufficient, and will be exerted, to repair her losses and alleviate her calamities. How soon were the mischiefs of the last war repaired! How soon was commerce restored, and industry reanimated in all parts of the world! But, admitting this argument in its full force; admitting that America is regained, weakened and exhausted by the unnatural struggle: compare this situation with that of American independence; compare it with the perpetual loss of those exclusive advantages you have hitherto enjoyed in her trade; consider, too, that the moment America is independent, she becomes the arbiter of your West-Indian trade, and a dangerous rival in many of the other branches of British commerce; from that moment, the North-American merchant becomes the rival of the British merchant in every part of Europe, Asia, and Africa, whilst the European, Asiatick, and African merchant will be received as favourably as the British through the whole American continent: and I must maintain, that it would have been better for this country that America had never been known, than that a great consolidated American empire should exist independent of Britain.

Would gentlemen, not mutually reproaching each other for what has or has not been done, without passion and without prejudice, consider what the exigency of affairs requires now to be done, they will perceive, whatever its origin might be, to such a height is this dispute now run, that no measures can be proposed that the Americans, confident in their own strength, would now accept, that would not terminate in real though perhaps not in nominal independence; as, therefore, there is now no medium left between their submission and their independence, those who think it for the advantage of this country that America should be reduced to a due submission to its Legislature, will, of course, strengthen the hands of the executive power for that constitutional purpose; those, if there are any such, who wish to see America independent, may live to lament the consequences of their misjudged partiality to that country, fatal to the interests of this, which ought to be, and I trust will be, the first and dearest object to the representatives of British freeholders.

The honourable gentleman then moved, "That an humble Address be presented to his Majesty, to return his Majesty the thanks of this House for his most gracious Speech from the Throne.


"To assure his Majesty that we have long lamented the condition of our unhappy fellow-subjects in America. Seduced from their allegiance by the grossest misrepresentations, and the most wicked and insidious pretences, they have been made the instruments of the ambition and traitorous designs of those dangerous men who have led them, step by step, to the standard of rebellion; and who have now assumed the powers of sovereign authority, which they exercise in the most despotick and arbitrary manner, over the persons and properties of this deluded people.

"To declare that his Majesty' s faithful Commons tool: a sincere part in his Majesty' s benevolent and paternal desire rather to reclaim than to subdue the most refractory of his Colonies; and that, excited by his Majesty' s great example, we were anxious 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; we still hoped that his Majesty' s people in America would have discerned the traitorous views of their leaders; would have considered how ruinous even their success must be to themselves, and been convinced that constitutional subjection to Great Britain is the freest and happiest condition of any civil society in the known world. But we now see with indignation that no other use has been made of the moderation and forbearance of his Majesty and his Parliament but to strengthen the preparations of this desperate conspiracy; and that the rebellious war now levied is become more general, and manifestly carried on for the purpose of establishing an independent empire.

"To assure his Majesty that we entirely concur with his Majesty in thinking it is now become the part of wisdom and (in its effects) of clemency, to put a speedy end to these disorders, by the most decisive exertions; and that we learn with the greatest satisfaction, that, for this purpose, his Majesty has increased his naval establishment and greatly augmented his land forces, in such a manner as may be the least burdensome to his kingdoms; and that we will cheerfully and effectually enable his Majesty, when the occasion shall require it, to avail himself of the friendly offers which his Majesty has received of foreign assistance; that we thankfully acknowledge the gracious considerations which induced his Majesty to send a part of his Electoral troops to the garrisons of Gibraltar and Port-Mahon, in order that a larger number of the established forces of this kingdom might be applied to the maintenance of its authority; and that we are bound in duty to return his Majesty our particular thanks for pointing out to us, from the throne, the constitutional resources of our well-modelled and well-regulated national Militia, which, upon every great emergency, cannot fail of affording security to his Majesty' s realms, and of giving, at the same time, extent and activity to his military operations.

"To assure his Majesty that we hear with the highest satisfaction and gratitude the affectionate declaration of the father of his people, that when the unhappy and deluded multitude, against whom this force will be directed, shall become sensible of their error, his Majesty will be ready to receive the misled with tenderness and mercy; and that his Majesty' s gracious communication of his intention to give authority to certain persons on the spot to grant general and 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 may be disposed to return to its allegiance, demands our warmest acknowledgments; and that we shall be ready to give our concurrence to such measures as may best contribute to carry his Majesty' s wise and humane intention into execution.

"To declare that every motive and every interest that can animate the hearts of loyal subjects, call upon his faithful Commons to grant his Majesty such support as the circumstances and exigency of affairs may require; and being fully convinced that the security of every benefit and advantage derived to the commerce, manufactures, and the navigation of his Majesty' s kingdoms, from the American Colonies, must ever depend on their being held in that due subordination to the Legislature of Great Britain in which the Constitution has placed them; we would be wanting in the duty which we owe to our Constitution, ourselves, and our posterity, if we did not engage, with our lives and our fortunes, to support this great and important cause, in which


the rights of his Majesty' s crown and the interests of his people are so essentially concerned; and we hope and trust that we shall, by the blessing of God, put such strength and force into his Majesty' s hands as may soon defeat and suppress this rebellion, and enable his Majesty to accomplish his gracious wish, of re-establishing order, tranquillity, and happiness, through all the parts of his united empire."

Governour Lyttelton seconded the motion. He expatiated on the necessity of strengthening the hands of Government, if coercive measures were intended to be pursued. He compared America to a chain, the upper part of which was strong, and the lower weak; he explained this by saying, the Northern Colonies, or upper part of the chain, were strong, populous, and of course able to make resistance; the Southern Colonies, or lower part, were weak, on account of the number of negroes in them. He intimated, if a few regiments were sent there the negroes would rise, and imbrue their hands in the blood of their masters. He was against any conciliatory offers being made; said that this was the most proper time to speak out; and thought, at all events, the honour of the nation required coercive measures; that the Colonies ought to be conquered, and then to have mercy shown them; concluding from Virgil, with "parcere subjectis et debellare superbos."

Lord John Cavendish moved, as an amendment, to leave out from the words "To assure his Majesty that," to the end of the question, in order to insert these words: "We behold with the utmost concern the disorders in the British Colonies rather increased than diminished by the means which have been used to suppress and allay them; a circumstance alone sufficient to give his faithful Commons just reason: to fear that those means were not originally well considered or properly adapted to answer the ends to which they were directed.

"We are satisfied, by experience, that this misfortune has, in a great measure, arisen from the want of full and proper information being laid before Parliament, of the true state and condition of the Colonies, by reason of which measures have been carried into execution injudicious and inefficacious, from which no salutary end was reasonably to be expected, and which necessarily tended to tarnish the lustre of the British arms, to bring discredit on the wisdom of his Majesty' s councils, and to nourish, without hope of end, a most dangerous civil war.

"Deeply impressed with a sense of this melancholy state of the publick concerns, we shall, on the fullest information we can obtain, and with the most mature deliberation we can employ, review the whole of the late proceedings, that we may be enabled to discover, as we shall be most willing to apply, the most effectual means for restoring order to the distracted affairs of the British empire, confidence to his Majesty' s Government, obedience, by a temperate and prudent use of its powers, to the authority of Parliament, and satisfaction and happiness to all his people.

"By these means we trust we may avoid any occasion for having recourse to the alarming and dangerous expedient of calling in foreign forces for the support of his Majesty' s authority within his own dominions, and the dreadful calamity of shedding British blood by British hands."

Sir James Lowther seconded this motion. He strongly urged the great impropriety and danger of vesting the important fortresses of Gibraltar and Minorca in the hands of foreigners. He condemned the Address throughout; attacked the whole system of Colony government, and the measures arising from it; and, with peculiar energy, urged the interest he had in the event of those measures, the stake he had to lose, and the motives which might consequently be supposed to influence his conduct.

The Lord Mayor, Mr˙ Wilkes, said: Sir, I entirely agree with the honourable gentleman who seconded the motion for an Address to his Majesty, that every man ought now to speak out; and in a moment so important as the present to the whole empire, I think it ill becomes the dignity and duty of Parliament to lose itself in such a fulsome, adulatory address to the Throne as that now proposed. We ought rather, sir, to approach our Sovereign with sound and wholesome advice, and even with remonstrances against the conduct of his Ministers, who have precipitated the nation into an unjust, ruinous, felonious, and murderous war. I call the war with our brethren in America an unjust, felonious war, because the primary cause and confessed origin of it is,


to attempt to take their money from them without their consent, contrary to the common rights of all mankind, and those great fundamental principles of the English Constitution for which Hampden bled. I assert, sir, that it is in consequence a murderous war, because it is an effort to deprive men of their lives for standing up in the just cause of the defence of their property and their clear rights. It becomes no less a murderous war, with respect to many of our fellow-subjects of this island; for every man, either of the navy or army, who has been sent by Government to America, and fallen a victim in this unnatural and unjust contest, has, in my opinion, been murdered by Administration, and his blood lies at their door. Such a war, I fear, sir, will draw down the vengeance of Heaven upon this devoted kingdom.

I think this war, sir, fatal and ruinous to our country. It absolutely annihilates the only great source of our wealth, which we enjoyed unrivalled by other nations, and deprives us of the fruits of the laborious industry of near three millions of subjects, which centred here. That commerce has already taken its flight, and our American merchants are now deploring the consequences of a wretched policy, which has been pursued to their destruction. It is, sir, no less ruinous with regard to the enormous expense of the fleets and armies necessary for this nefarious undertaking, and of consequence the enormous supplies to be raised; so that we are wasting our present wealth, while we are destroying the sources of all we might have in future. A humane mind must contemplate with agony the dreadful calamities and convulsions which are the consequence of every civil war, and especially a civil war of this magnitude and extent.

I speak, sir, as a firm friend to England and America, but still more to universal liberty and the rights of all mankind. I trust no part of the subjects of this vast empire will ever submit to be slaves. I am sure the Americans are too high-spirited to brook the idea. Your whole power, and that of your allies, if you had any, and of all the German troops, of all the ruffians from the North, whom you can hire, cannot effect so wicked a purpose. The conduct of the present Administration has already wrested the sceptre of America out of the hands of our Sovereign, and he has now scarcely even a postmaster left in that whole Northern continent. More than half the empire is already lost, and almost all the rest in confusion and anarchy. The Ministry have brought our Sovereign into a more disgraceful situation than any crowned head now living. He alone has already lost, by their fatal counsels, more territory than the three great united powers of Russia, Austria, and Prussia, have together, by a wicked confederacy, robbed Poland of, and by equal acts of violence and injustice from Administration.

England was never engaged in a contest of such importance to our most valuable concerns and possessions. We are fighting for the subjection, the unconditional submission, of a country infinitely more extended that our own, of which every day increases the wealth, the natural strength, the population. Should we not succeed, it will be a loss never enough to be deplored, a bosom friendship soured to hate and resentment. We shall be considered as their most implacable enemies, an eternal separation will follow, and the grandeur of the British empire pass away. Success, final success, seems to me not equivocal, not uncertain, but impossible. However we may differ among ourselves, they are perfectly united. On this side the Atlantick party rage unhappily divides us, but one soul animates the vast Northern continent of America, the General Congress, and each Provincial Assembly. An appeal has been made to the sword; and at the close of the last campaign what have we conquered? Bunker' s Hill only, and with the loss of twelve hundred men. Are we to pay as dearly for the rest of America? The idea of the conquest of that immense continent is as romantic as unjust.

The honourable gentleman who moved the Address, says, "the Americans have been treated with lenity." Will facts justify the assertion? Was your Boston Port Bill a measure of lenity? Was your Fishery Bill a measure of lenity? Was your bill for taking away the Charter of the Massachusetts-Bay a measure of lenity, or even justice? I omit your many other gross provocations and insults, by which the brave Americans have been driven into their present


state. He asserts that they avow a disposition to be independent. On the contrary, sir, all the declarations, both of the late and the present Congress, uniformly tend to this one object, of being put on the same footing the Americans were in the year 1763. This has been their only demand, from which they have never varied. Their daily prayers and petitions are for liberty, peace, and safety. I use the words of the Congress of the last year. They justly expect to be put on an equal footing with the other subjects of the empire, and are willing to come into any fair agreement with you in commercial concerns. If you confine all our trade to yourselves, say they; if you make a monopoly of our commerce; if you shut all the other ports of the world against us, do not tax us likewise. If you tax us, then give us a free trade, such as you enjoy yourselves. Let us have equal advantages of commerce, all other ports open to us; then we can, and will, cheerfully, voluntarily pay taxes. You will have a free-will offering given with pleasure, not grudgingly.

It must give, sir, every man who loves this country, the deepest concern at the naming in the Address foreign troops — Hanoverians and Hessians — who are now called to interfere in our domestick quarrels, not to dwell this day on the illegality of the measure, the danger and disgrace attending foreign mercenaries. The Militia, indeed, are, we are told, to be now employed, and that noble institution is at present complimented by Ministers; but we know they hate the very name of a Militia, and that measure is adopted only because the imbodying of these forces enables Administration to butcher more of our fellow-subjects in America.

Sir, I disapprove not only the evil spirit of the whole Address, but likewise the wretched adulation of almost every part of it. My wish and hope therefore is, that it will be rejected by the House, and that another dutiful, yet decent, manly Address, will be presented to the King, praying his Majesty that he would sheath the sword, prevent the further effusion of the blood of our fellow-subjects, adopt some mode of negotiation with the General Congress, in compliance with their repeated petitions, and thereby restore peace and harmony to this distracted empire.

Sir Adam Ferguson said, that if experience did not show that scarce any question ever came before that House without some variety of opinion, he would have flattered himself that, however much they had hitherto differed, they should now, at least, have come together with some degree of unanimity. That gentlemen should differ about some particular points of Colony government, as, for example, how far it was expedient or inexpedient to tax America, considering how much that question was involved in difficulty, and how much could be plausibly said on the one side or the other, was not much to be wondered at; but it was matter of no small surprise to him, that they were still likely to differ in opinion, when the question was no longer confined to taxation, or to any particular exercise of the authority of Great Britain, but extended to the very being of the sovereignty itself, and to those rights of which this kingdom had been in possession ever since the existence of the Colonies. The honourable Magistrate (the late Lord Mayor, Mr˙ Wilkes) who spoke last had said, that the Congress had declared they did not aim at independence. They certainly had done so in general terms. But how did their particular claims correspond to this general assertion? He was afraid, if these were examined, it would appear that the pretensions of the Congress went the length of a total exemption from the power and authority of Parliament.

They had declared, in the most express terms that Parliament had no right to intermeddle with their provisions for the support of civil government, or the administration of justice. Their language was, that while Parliament pursued its plan of civil government within its own jurisdiction, they insisted upon pursuing theirs without molestation, plainly claiming an authority, in each of the Colony Assemblies, exclusive of that of Parliament. An exclusive right of legislation, in all matters of internal policy, had been, in the most express terms, asserted by them; and not only the late acts of Parliament more particularly complained of, but every other which touched upon the internal polity of the Colonies, had been treated by them as unjust encroachments of Parliament upon the rights of a Legislature as independent as itself.

In military matters, their pretensions were equally


extravagant. They expressly denied that Great Britain had a right to keep a single soldier in the whole extensive continent of America, without the consent of the Legislature of that Colony where the troops were kept. With regard to revenue, had not a declaration been made, in words intelligible to all mankind, that America never would be taxed by Parliament, unless they refused to contribute their proportion to the common expenses of the State? They even knew that any reasonable sum would be accepted of; but they would not gratify this country so far as to say that they would contribute a single shilling. The only particular in which they seemed inclined to admit the authority of Parliament, was in what related to the regulation of their trade. Even with regard to that, they expressed themselves with a sufficient degree of caution; but in everything else they asserted an absolute independence on Parliament.

In what manner things had been brought to that unhappy dilemma, did not seem the proper object of their present inquiry. There might be time enough for that inquiry afterwards. The present object was to remedy the evil. Were he to give his opinion upon that subject, he should be apt to say that the fault did not so much lie in this or that particular set of measures, as in that variable and fluctuating conduct, which cannot be altogether avoided in a Government such as ours, and which had remarkably prevailed with regard to America. He should be apt to say, that no Ministry, since the time of the Stamp Act, had been altogether free of blame; but he should at the same time add, that, perhaps, more than any Ministry, those had been to blame who, not satisfied with expressing their disapprobation of particular measures, had argued, both within and without doors, against the authority of the supreme Legislature itself; who, from an excess of zeal in support of America, seemed too much to forget the interest of the mother country, and, from an apprehension lest the Colonies should be ruled with too heavy a hand, seemed inclined to adopt measures which had a tendency to exempt them from the dominion of Great Britain altogether, and to erect them into so many sovereign independent States.

But instead of investigating the causes of the evil, it was more material now to consider what was proper to be done to remedy it; and in this he saw but one choice: either to support with vigour the authority of Great Britain, or to abandon America altogether. Some speculative men have said, and published their opinions to the world, that it would be no such fatal stroke to Britain, as is generally imagined, were America to be abandoned altogether. He had not opinion enough of his own foresight to say, with certainty, what the consequence would be; but so much benefit he had reaped from these speculations, as to hope that the welfare and prosperity of Great Britain would not be desperate, even were such an event to happen. But who would be bold enough to advise such a measure? and who could, with certainty, answer for the effects of it? If no person would, what remained but that they should exert every nerve to reduce their rebellious subjects to obedience. After they had reduced them, and convinced them of their inability to resist the power of this country, then, and not till then, would be the time to show them all possible indulgence. Any further concession now; would be considered as extorted from them by their fears, not as the voluntary effect of their favour.

But can this country reduce them to obedience, or must the contest be given up for want of power? If it must, there is no help for it; but at least let us put it to the trial. For his own part, he could not entertain a doubt of it, He did, indeed, see that those were mistaken who said the Americans would not fight; but those were at least as much mistaken, if there were any such, who would entertain a doubt of their being reduced by a proper exertion of the power of Great Britain. As he could not doubt of the strength of Great Britain to reduce them, so he hoped, if that strength was exerted, it would be done effectually. If a force is sent to America, both prudence and humanity required that it should be such a one as, humanly speaking, would carry its point. The error hitherto had been, to have too small a force there. To continue the same error still, was to protract the miseries and horrors of a civil war. He did not mean merely that such a force should be sent as would be sufficient to beat their opponents. It ought to be such a one as would deprive them of all idea of resistance. These


being his sentiments, he could not possibly give his assent to the amendment proposed by the noble Lord.

He concluded with expressing a wish that (in this great and trying crisis, in which the power, the authority, the importance of Parliament, was at stake; in which the question was, whether the King, Lords, and Commons, should continue, as he had always understood them to be, the great governing power of the whole British empire, or if America was henceforward to be subject to the King alone, while Parliament was reduced to a level with one of the Provincial Assemblies) gentlemen would lay aside the animosity of party, and confine their views singly to their country; that he knew that, while this Government subsisted, there must be different parties, and that the Minister, merely because he was Minister, must he opposed; that he did not wish it otherwise — he was afraid such opposition was necessary to supply the want of publick virtue; but that though such opposition was to be expected in the ordinary course of Parliamentary proceedings, there were some cases of much too serious a nature to admit of it; and such he thought the present case to be.

Governour Johnstone. Sir, the speech of the honourable Baronet, who spoke last, is very much like that we have just heard from the Throne, full of assumed false facts and general undisputed axioms, which the people in America are as ready to close with as their adversaries on this side. For instance, the honourable gentleman says "the Americans had some reasons for their conduct in the first of those disputes; but now they have refused their just proportion of taxes, by rejecting Lord North' s conciliatory proposition of last year, and resisting the constitutional authority of Parliament, he is ready to devote them to destruction. "Who does not see that the whole question, even according to this honourable gentleman, turns upon just proportion, and constitutional authority? Now, I deny that the people of America have ever refused to contribute their just proportion, when called upon in a constitutional way; and those who assert the contrary, ought to prove it. If the honourable gentleman vindicates the severity of his conduct against his fellow-subjects in America, for rejecting the proposition of last year, which the noble Lord introduced about the middle of the session, I think he rests on as feeble ground as any man ever stood on. How does he vindicate the severities in which he concurred, before it could be known whether the subjects in America would accede to this marvellous indulgence or not? His mind must have been strangely biased to the noble Lord, if this could turn the scale of his reason. I really thought this foolish piece of paper had been so universally condemned, that I should never again have heard any arguments founded on so flimsy a foundation. The purpose was clearly to amuse the people on this side the Atlantick, and to divide the people on that. Having failed in its effect, I understood from many friends of Government, that every rational argument, in support of the proposition, had been reprobated; for what, indeed, can be more truly ridiculous, than, in a dispute concerning the power of taxation, seriously to say to a sensible people, We admit there are many unanswerable reasons why this assembly are unfit to impose taxes upon you; and, therefore, if you will only tax yourselves to our satisfaction, we will forbear the exercise of a right to which we declare, by the proposition, we are incompetent. But some men will say, the Parliament can judge sufficiently well of the gross sum, though unfit and incapable of determining on the manner in which it is to be raised. Who, that is accustomed to reason accurately, does not perceive that the estimate of supply must be regulated from a thorough knowledge of the ways and means, and that they are united in common sense, as well as by the English Constitution, to reside in the same persons. But the honourable Baronet forgets that the main argument which drew the concession of the conciliatory proposition, turns on this: The Americans have no representatives in the British Parliament; they have not the security of other subjects residing in Britain, who may not be represented, namely — that the members in taxing them must tax themselves; on the contrary, it is the interest of every member to lay as much as possible on America, to ease himself. This was the consideration which "drew iron tears from Pluto' s cheek," and has affected so many members, not remarkably tender towards the feeling of their fellow-creature. But let us consider if this irresistible objection, as it has been


called by one of the friends of Administration, against taxing America by the British Parliament, does not equally apply, when we approve of the sum offered, and tax them in the lump, as when we tax them by detail.

However, sir, absurd as this appears, it is not my capital objection to that mode of raising money, nor is it the objection of the Americans; they maintain the power of giving and granting their own money, by their own free and voluntary consent, is the only security they can retain for the just administration of Government, at so great a distance from the seat of empire; that it is the main spring in their several establishments upon which the meeting and power of their several Assemblies depend, from whence the singular prosperity of the British Colonies, above all others on the face of the earth, have flowed. They admit you have the power of limiting the means by which they may acquire property, but they deny you the power of disposing of this property after it is so acquired. Thus in his Majesty' s speech the same general undefined axioms prevail. "To be a subject of Great Britain, with all its consequences, is to be the freest member of any civil society in the known world." All America, with one voice, agree in this truth; their writings and their actions proclaim their belief: but they maintain, as I assert in their behalf, that one of the unalienable consequences of that situation is, the giving and granting of aids for the support of Government, according to the exigency that shall appear to their own understanding; and that to tax them in an assembly where they have no representatives, and by men who have no interest in the subsidy they impose, is contrary to the spirit of the British Constitution, and, in its consequences, must deprive them of all the essential rights of a British subject. Another essential right of a British subject is trial by jury. Has not this been abrogated in many cases by the late acts of Parliament, and totally destroyed in all civil causes in the extensive Province of Quebeck? The writ of habeas corpus is another essential right of a British subject. Has not this also been done away? I forbear to enumerate the other oppressive proceedings, contrary to the whole tenor of our Government; dissolving of charters without evidence, trial, or forfeiture; laws to deny the natural gifts of the elements, confounding the innocent with the guilty; because when once the three great pillars of the British Constitution are removed — taxing without representatives, trial without jury, imprisonment without relief by writ of habeas corpus — the whole must necessarily fall into confusion, and the rest is not worth contending for. The people in America wisely foresee the suppression of all their rights, in the train of those iniquitous innovations. They perceive that every thing which is dear to a freeman is at stake, and they are willing, as becomes the children of their ancestors, to put all to the risk, and sacrifice their lives and fortunes, rather than give up the liberty of a subject of Great Britain, with all its consequences.

The honourable Baronet has concluded his speech with another reason for inducing us to join in the coercive measures proposed by the Address, which is still more extraordinary, saying, "Whether we succeed or not may be uncertain; but if we fail, we shall even then be no worse than we were." These are the very words of the noble Lord on the Treasury bench last year. I am persuaded the worthy Baronet has words of his own so much at will that he borrows from no man; but I am more surprised he can sanctify such opinions by his voice. If America is forced to invite foreign powers to share in her commerce; if she is driven to the necessity of following the example of Holland and Switzerland; if our armies are destroyed, our fleets wrecked, our treasures wasted, our reputation for justice and humanity lost, our Senates corrupted by the emoluments which must fall to individuals in the prosecution of so expensive a war, and four shillings land tax entailed on us forever, will the honourable gentleman say we are only where we were? What objects can call the attention of the House in a stronger degree than those I have enumerated? And yet they are all involved in the question now before you, if you reject the amendment proposed. I say, it is unfair in Administration, and an affront to every individual member of the House, without any information laid on your table, without evidence brought to your bar, destitute of every material by which a rational creature can resolve, to require he should give his unlimited sanction to measures of such moment, on the very first day, perhaps, of his arrival


in town. The reason is obvious to me. The Minister clearly perceives if men were acquainted with the real state of things in America; if they had time to acquire information, to reason and reflect, that all men of generous feelings would leave him, and even his most desperate followers might be shaken. Men are to be brought to this black business hoodwinked; they are to be drawn in by degrees, till they cannot retreat. On the one hand, a dutiful address to his Majesty, full of those general assurances of loyalty and respect becoming subjects to the first magistrate, is offered to your determination: on the other, a hasty approbation of measures you have had no time to consider, from men you have every reason to suspect, lies before you. Is there a man who feels the dignity of his situation, that can hesitate in his choice upon such an alternative?

I shall now expose to the House the false facts which are assumed in his Majesty' s speech, as composed by the Minister. First, the Minister tells you he has called you early together. This I deny. The commencement of open hostilities was in April, the battle of Bunker' s Hill in June, and the Petition from the Congress in July. They severally arrived in England within five or six weeks after the events. Now, I maintain, as a member of Parliament, intrusted with a voice in the supreme authority of the empire, that I am called late to deliberate in the national council on such great events. The next notorious untruth is, that the Americans are collecting a naval force. The third assertion, that the Americans meant only to amuse by vague expressions of attachment to the parent state, is equally injurious to their honour and to truth. This can only be inserted as an excuse for the bad conduct of Administration and their ill success. The Americans told you, in language the most direct and simple, again and again repeated, that they would resist to the last appeal those arbitrary innovations, but you affected not to believe them; nevertheless, I maintain, the armaments were calculated to resist men in arms, and the insufficiency arose from a total ignorance of the force, character, and dispositions of the people in America, as well as a misconception upon the effect the several restraining bills passed last session would produce; in short, from a perfect ignorance of the operations of cruelty and oppression on high-minded men, acting under the spirit of freedom. All their knowledge seems to have been drawn from one source, that of Governour Hutchinson. The civil war now raging in America seems, step by step, to have been carried on by his advice. Whoever reads his letters lately published in America, sees every measure pursued by Administration to have been antecedently pointed out by this gentleman in his confidential correspondence, until his sentiments seem dictated at last more by revenge and disappointment than any other principle. What confidence should be placed in the advice of a man who has declared, in the cool moments of committing his reflections to paper, that every Machiavelian policy is now to be vindicated towards the people in America? I am here supposing the letters in my hand to be genuine; and there is little reason to doubt their authenticity, as they remain uncontradicted. It matters not to me, as a judge, how they were procured. The only question respecting my opinion on the conduct of Mr˙ Hutchinson at present is, are the letters genuine or not? For in this I always differed from the Lords of the Council, who determined on the complaint of the Province of New-England against Governour Hutchinson, on the former letters they discovered. The Lords of the Council laid the whole stress on the manner in which the letters had been obtained. No man could admire the abilities of the advocate more than I did on that occasion; it was his business to inflame the passions, to cover the turpitude of Governour Hutchinson' s conduct; under crimes of a greater dye: but it was shameful in the judges to be led away, it was unworthy the discrimination so necessary to that character, to mingle the manner of obtaining the letters with the fact they were brought to prove. I shall suppose the letters had been obtained as infamously as the Essay on Woman, and more infamously it is impossible; yet my judgment on the conduct of a Governour, writing to meg in high authority on the political affairs of his Province, and concluding as his advice that the liberty of British subjects must be abridged, would not have been altered from that circumstance. And here I must avow my sentiments as freely as Governour Hutchinson has communicated his, that any officer in Government, much less the supreme


magistrate, entrusted with the preservation of the rights of every individual in his Province, who could entertain such sentiments, is unfit to be employed in any office, civil or military, after a fact of so heinous a nature against the Constitution being fully proved. I am confident our ancestors, instead of giving such a man an enormous pension, would have inflicted the punishment he deserved, which I think should have been an address to the Crown, that he might never more have been employed in the service of the publick.

I know there are many men, high in favour, who are for abridging the liberties of the people in the Colonies. My system, on the contrary, is for preserving them sacred and inviolate, according to their several ancient institutions, the variety of which forms the harmony and beauty of the whole. There is no middle institution, as in this country, to balance between the People and the Crown: the Assemblies are their only barrier; they are, therefore, the favourite institution of the people; to them they look for protection against the exactions, oppressions, and extortions of Governors, and are, on that account, cautious and jealous of any infringement that shall diminish their power. The honourable gentleman who seconded this Address has been long employed as his Majesty' s representative in the Colonies, first in Carolina, and lastly in Jamaica. Everything he offers to this House must derive great weight from these circumstances; his abilities are undisputed. I have not the honour of knowing him; but I have heard his talents universally acknowledged. Having been on the spot in some places, it must give him many additional advantages, for I maintain it is impossible for any man who has not seen with his own eyes, and heard with his own ears, to know equally well the manners, customs, dispositions, and other circumstances necessary to form a true judgment on the present contest with the Colonies; but it is also necessary to know some leading circumstances respecting the person who offers his information and advice, before we hastily concur in his opinion. The honourable gentleman says: "It may appear strange, that he who has grown grey in the service of America, should now appear among the first to propose those coercive measures which, by some, are termed cruel and harsh;" but this he excuses from his humanity. I say, it may appear strange to some who are not acquainted with the history of that gentleman' s administration so well as I, that he should take this forward part. But here I premise, that I do not enter into the merit of the dispute which that gentleman had with the Assembly of Jamaica, because it is beyond my present argument; all I assert is, that he had an unfortunate dispute with that body, which lasted two years; that during this period they would do no business with him, or raise any money; that he dissolved the Assembly more than once, and still a great majority were found against his measures; that he was at last recalled, and a successor appointed, who cancelled his proceedings, upon one of the most unfortunate representations that ever attended any man on leaving his Government. I am, therefore, not surprised that the honourable gentleman should be inimicable to American Assemblies, or that he should be ready to join with those who have found out a shorter way of governing them than by the general sense of the people, seeing they are so troublesome, on many occasions, to the repose of a Governour.

The honourable gentleman has given us some account of the debilitated state of men in the other Provinces he had the honour to command, and hinted at means for subduing their spirit, in a manner which inclines me to believe he has not left many more friends behind in that Colony than in Jamaica. Administration has been so much misled by those partial and illiberal accounts of men in the gross, that I dare say they will be cautious how they trust to such intelligence again. Neither my reading or observation give me leave to think the people in Carolina will be behind any of the Colonies in supporting and defending rights which are so essential to securing everything that is dear to them as British subjects. The honourable gentleman had occasion to lead them to war on a certain occasion; I wish he would tell the House how they behaved. If Southern climate has such strange effects in enervating the human frame, give me leave to hope at least that the honourable gentleman has escaped this contagion. The other scheme he alludes to — of calling forth the slaves — is too black and horrid to be


adopted; neither would it answer, if Administration were wicked enough to make the attempt: the state of slavery cuts off all the great magnanimous inventive powers of the human mind, but it rather strengthens fidelity and attachment. The Roman history fully confirms this. Amidst the multiplied treachery of friends and relations, amidst the greatest temptations, during the corruptions of that Government, the slave was seldom or ever unfaithful to his master. The principle lies in human nature. Where mankind are deprived of the means of getting subsistence, where they are accustomed to look up to another for food, raiment and protection, they insensibly forget the original injury they sustained, and become attached to their master. In general, I must also observe, that masters are kind to their slaves. It is not he who uses the scourge and the whip, which the honourable gentleman has mentioned, that is the first to put the musket on his shoulders in such glorious contests as these. It is not he who tortures and frets his fellow-creatures; but he who feels that universal benevolence which extends his affections to all men in their several stations; who feels the spirit of equality, who knows the principles of liberty, who understands the consequence of those rights, without which we are always worse men and worse subjects, and who is willing, for the benefit of children yet unborn, to seal the truth of his doctrine with his blood. It is not to men of this temper that slaves will prove unfaithful. I shall rather expect to see them flock round his standard, though I admit the experiment is too dangerous on either side. I say again, the whole of our blunders, oppressions, and mistakes in these unfortunate disputes, have arisen from ignorance in the first principles of Government; gross ignorance in the several Constitutions of the Colonies; ignorance in the power we could apply to subdue, them, and still greater ignorance of the end to be obtained by such an attempt. To each of these I will severally speak. I say it demonstrates a perfect ignorance of the history of civil society, to assert (which is the captivating argument used in this House for breaking down all the barriers of liberty in America) that two independent legislatures cannot exist in the same community, and therefore we are to destroy the whole fabrick of those Governments which have subsisted for so many years. Mankind are constantly quoting some trite maxim, and appealing to their limited theory in politicks, while they reject established facts. I say, a free Government necessarily involves many clashing jurisdictions, if pushed to the extreme. I maintain this species of Government must ever depend more on the spirit of freedom that first established it, than on all the parchment you can cover with words. I aver that in the most active triumphant commonwealth which ever appeared on the stage of the world, two distinct legislative authorities did actually exist: the comitia tributa and the comitia centuriata. The whole Government of Athens would appear as containing so many ridiculous paradoxes to those wise politicians. The actual state of Holland, where every town is a distinct Government within itself; the deliberations of the States-General, where no money can be raised unless the whole are unanimous; no new laws made or any old repealed against one dissenting voice; — all these would appear impossible to such politicians who are ever supposing mankind ready to destroy themselves; nevertheless the facts are equally certain. If the best parts of our Constitution were to be stated to a foreigner: the trial by jury, where twelve men must be unanimous in their opinion, in causes the most intricate and nice, where even the ablest counsel differ in opinion, he would be led to imagine justice might stand still; yet we all know nothing proves so easy in the execution. The danger of pushing things to extreme, makes the good sense of men prevail, while the power of resisting in every individual juryman, prevents prejudice and injustice from trying their strength on matters that are not tenable. The springs of a free Government are not obvious to every understanding, while the meanest foot-soldier knows all the powers of despotism. Here the supremacy of the magistrate solves every question. In the same manner the advantages derived from America, in the circle of commerce, are not so evident to a vulgar understanding, as so much palpable cash paid into the exchequer. For this reason I am ready to forgive those who differ with me in opinion concerning this American contest. It demands a process of reasoning to which common understandings


are not generally accustomed. I should not be surprised if half the people in England should at first join against the Americans; national prejudice, pride, false glory, and false arithmetick, all contribute to deceive them; but that any man assuming the character of a statesman, should proceed in this mad career, to destroy in a few years that beautiful system of empire our ancestors have been raising with so much pains and glory; first under the false, pretence of raising a revenue, and next under a more false pretence that America wishes to throw off her just dependance on Great Britain; this, I confess, does surprise me. For this reason my indignation chiefly rises against the noble Lord on the floor. I am willing to acquit all his colleagues and most of his followers, even if they had not the interested motives of places and pensions to bias their judgment; but that the noble Lord, who yearly considers the riches that come into the publick treasury, who knows and can trace all the circuitous channels by which riches flow into this country, that he should place no more to the credit of America than the paltry sum collected by his insignificant Commissioners, and endeavour to mislead others by such assertions, — this, indeed, is beyond belief. When the noble Lord is pleased to take the other side of the argument, what abundance of wealth does he sometimes pour forth in the most copious flow of eloquence. When he supports this rugged coercive system, how he labours and flags; nothing but sounding words and unmeaning phrases. The dignity of Parliament! Now I say this is the best supported by humanity and justice, and maintaining the freedom of the subject. The supremacy of the legislative authority of Great Britain! This I call unintelligible jargon. Instead of running the different privileges belonging to the various parts of the empire into one common mass of power, gentlemen should consider that the very first principles of good government in this wide-extended dominion, consist in subdividing the empire into many parts, and giving to each individual an immediate interest, that the community to which he belongs should be well regulated. This is the principle upon which our ancestors established those different Colonies or communities; this is the principle on which they have flourished so long and so prosperously; this is the principle on which alone they can be well governed at such a distance from the seat of the empire. Yet we are breaking through all those sacred maxims of our forefathers, and giving the alarm to every wise man on the Continent of America, that all his rights depend on the will of men whose corruptions are notorious, who regard him as an enemy, and who have no interest in his prosperity, and feel no control from him as a constituent.

The most learned writer on Government has defined civil and political liberty to consist in a perfect security as to a man' s rights. After the acts of Parliament of last year, can any man on the great continent of America say that he feels that security? Could anything less than a dread of losing every essential privilege have united a people so divided in customs, manners, climate, and communications? Could anything less than an entire want of policy, a species of political phrensy here, have produced this wonderful effect? You blame the Americans, but do not consider the next step which your conduct necessarily drives them to. You assert they aim at independence. I assert they wish for nothing more than a constitutional dependance on Great Britain, according as they have subsisted from their first establishments, and according as Ireland depends on the British legislature at this moment. Can any man who knows the power of the Crown in the legislative and executive parts of our Colony Government; who understands the force of the several acts of navigation; who knows the incitements and attachments by the education of youth in this country; who knows what would be the effects of mixing the Colonists in our fleets and armies, and every other office in our Government; who considers the effects of appeals in the last resort to his Majesty in Council; who knows the power of his Majesty in annulling laws made in the Colonies within three years; who perceives the advantages that every part of the empire derives from the prosperity of the other; — who is there, I say, capable of digesting those thoughts, and can entertain the ignoble jealousies daily expressed against the Americans, or show any motive why the people in America should break the bond of union with this country for ages yet to come, unless driven to that


extremity by following Mr˙ Hutchinson' s advice in abridging their liberties, which is as much a part of their birthright as of any man living and born in England? The nature of Government will not allow us to define what are the precise points where resistance may be made to the governing powers. But will any man conclude from thence that acts of King, Lords and Commons, ought not to be resisted, if they should sap the fundamental principles of the Constitution? Nothing but the general feeling of the community can determine the point. And was ever the sense of a people so unanimous on any subject? I declare, upon my honour, I have not conversed with one man from America (and I have chiefly sought out the friends of Administration) who have not universally agreed, that all America is unanimous in resisting the power of taxing them by the British Parliament where they have no representatives; that they will never yield this point; that in case they were made easy on this point, and secure as to their charters, on which their property depends, they would immediately return to their duty and obedience. This I aver to be the universal report and opinion of all men with whom I have conversed from America. If any one disputes the truth of my assertions, I now defy him to bring any evidence to contradict me, and I now undertake to bring men of the best characters in support of what I aver. But respecting general opinion, I still go further: I maintain that the sense of the best and wisest men in this country are on the side of the Americans; that three to one in Ireland are on their side; that the soldiers and sailors feel an unwillingness to the service; that you never will find the same exertions of spirit in this as in other wars. I speak it to the credit of the fleet and army; they do not like to butcher men whom the greatest characters in this country consider as contending in the glorious cause of preserving those institutions which are necessary to the happiness, security, and elevation of the human mind. I am well informed, that four field officers in the four regiments now going from Ireland, have desired leave to retire or sell out. I do not mean to say, that the soldiers or sailors in America have shown any signs of cowardice; this is below their spirit: I only assert that they in general proclaim it a disagreeable service; most of the army feel it as such. That numbers have not deserted is owing to their situation. There is a wide difference between the English officer or soldier who barely does his duty, and the general exertions of the New-England army, where every man is thinking what further service he can perform; where every soldier is a Scaevola. To a mind who loves to contemplate the glorious spirit of freedom, no spectacle can be more affecting than the action at Bunker' s Hill. To see an irregular peasantry, commanded by a physician, inferior in number, opposed by every circumstance of cannon and bombs that could terrify timid minds, calmly waiting the attack of the gallant Howe, leading on the best troops in the world, with an excellent train of artillery, and twice repulsing those very troops who had often chased the chosen battalions of France, and at last retiring for want of ammunition, but in so respectable a manner that they were not even pursued, — who can reflect on such scenes, and not adore the Constitution of Government which could breed such men! Who will not pause and examine, before he destroys institutions that have reared such elevated spirits! Who is there that can dismiss all doubts on the justice of a cause which can inspire such conscious rectitude? The conduct of the people of New-England for wisdom, courage, temperance, fortitude, and all those qualities that can command the admiration of noble minds, is not surpassed in the history of any nation under the sun. Instead of wreaking our vengeance against that Colony, their heroism alone should plead their forgiveness. What my worthy friend (Mr˙ Burke) said last year of their industry, may now be applied to their warlike achievements. Consider the power of such materials in the hands of a Minister who knew how to encourage their industry, and apply their courage to the purposes of national defence. But all the secret of our Colony Government is now reduced to mere force, the baneful engine of destructive despotism; nevertheless it is with pleasure I perceive the force of this country, when wielded in such a Cause, is totally inadequate; your own army is not sufficient; your illegal application for foreign mercenaries at the beginning of the contest sufficiently shows your weakness; your navy is equally incapable of effecting the


purposes which are expected from it. It may rum their foreign trade; it may destroy some of their towns, (though that is doubtful;) but the lying in their rivers, as some suppose, without a superior military force to protect them on shore; I say, as a sea officer, if the war is thoroughly kindled, the thing is impossible. We are apt to judge from what happened at Quebeck, where the French, never remarkable for naval enterprise, though naturally brave, quitted their fire-raft, and left it to the chance of the stream, or to be towed off by boats; but this I maintain, that any fleet lying in a river where they cannot command the shore, that such fleet is liable to be burned if the people are willing in that enterprise to run the same risk of life and danger to which the crew of the ships are exposed — I mean by sticking by the fire-vessel, whatever she may be, till with wind and stream they lay the enemy athwart hause; and who can doubt that the people in America are capable of such exertions of courage, when we see them refuse quarter, when we find them devoting themselves to death with such enthusiasm? Another circumstance respecting ships is not generally known. The wonders they have hitherto performed has been owing to the ignorance of engineers in placing their batteries; but I am afraid the secret is now out as to their power against the shore, without a military force to assist them. A single gun in a retired situation, or on an eminence, or a single howitzer, will dislodge a first-rate man-of-war, and may burn her, to add to the disgrace. I speak this publickly, that you may not expect more from the sea service than it is capable to perform. Ruin their trade you certainly may, but at an expense as ruinous to this country. Has any of the Ministry considered the immense expense of such naval armaments on the coast of America, in transports and ships-of-war? Have we calculated the chance of destruction by those horrid streams of wind peculiar to that coast, that sometimes sweep all before them?

Where are the resources on which this country can depend in case our empire in America is lost? I do not say you will feel the disadvantage immediately; I know the various channels to which commerce and industry may divert their streams; I am also certain that the wants of America must be supplied in some way or other with certain goods from Great Britain; I further know, that a nation can only trade to the extent of its capital, and in case one vent is cut off, it will probably find another, while its manufactures are cheaper and better than those of other nations. I believe such to be the case with many branches of our manufacture at present; but is it possible it can long continue? Must not the same laws of nature follow this commercial country that has affected Venice and Genoa, the Hanse Towns, and other commercial States? The acquirement of wealth must produce dearness in living; dearness of living must produce dearness of labour; dearness of labour must produce dearness of manufactures; dearness of manufactures must conduct trade to some place where cheapness of living will give the preference in the markets. Thus the circle of commerce has hitherto run: but the settlement of North America, under the old establishment, seemed to defy the powers of these fleeting principles. America was bound to take your manufactures only, to whatever price they might rise; you were bound to take most of her raw materials, and to give her commerce protection; a complete system in the exchange of all commodities was established within your own dominion, which might last beyond the views of human calculation, if properly conducted. This is the great purpose to which I look up to America as a naval and as a commercial power. How often have I indulged myself in these thoughts, unable to see the end of our glory from the same causes which have destroyed other States, little dreaming that one infatuated Minister could tempt, seduce, and persuade a whole nation to cut the strings of such harmony. The honourable gentleman who opened the debate has remarked how we recovered from the interruptions of our commerce during the last war. The honourable gentleman forgets that we had the free and uninterrupted resources of America during the last war; that in seizing the ships of our enemies we added to the national wealth and increased our own commerce; the progress was double, here it runs in an inverse proportion, no man knows the final effects as yet; like the bursting of a burning mountain, it is sport and play to the distant spectators who think themselves safe, but the eruption may spread to cover this city in ruin.


I come now to consider the consequence of all those measures, supposing we should succeed. If national strength is to be calculated from the fitness of every part to preserve and improve the advantages of their Constitution, and to support their country in pursuit of its objects; if institutions that secure property and prevent oppression, encourage the settlement of families, and facilitate the rearing of children, are the most favourable to mankind, and therefore to be protected and preferred, (as the best writer on Government has asserted,) surely the establishments of the English Colonies, as excelling all others which have appeared in the history of the world, deserve to be revered in this respect. But a success in the present war, after destroying all the principles which have produced those glorious effects in civil society, must leave the country desolate, must spread through that wide dominion, forfeitures, executions, change of property, military oppression, and every misery that can engender hatred and distract mankind. But these are but temporary evils, in comparison to the last dreadful catastrophe. It must establish a military despotism in the Colonies, which the revenues of an oppressed people never can pay; an army that the men of this country can never supply, which, therefore, foreign mercenaries must fill; and all this with additional powers in the Crown, that must end in the subversion of the Constitution. I make no doubt many men labour in the support of this business, purposely to effect that end. The contentions in a free Government do not accord with their feeble, corrupt, luxurious dispositions. That the spirit of the people should so long lie deceived by their arts and management, is to me astonishing. I shall wait patiently some further calamity, for no reasoning on the certain progress of things in a growing empire can affect their narrow minds. That this may soon happen in a small degree, as the only means of saving the dissolution of the whole, I sincerely wish, for the good of the publick. Misfortunes, if duly watched, are oftentimes as profitable to an unfeeling multitude as they are useful to private individuals. But let those who now encourage measures that must inevitably end in such dreadful calamities, beware of the turn of the tide. Let them look into history, and remember the fate of cruel, oppressive and arrogant statesmen. Let even Kings attend to the examples which history presents on this subject — but I blame not them; it is unnatural for beings, with human passions, placed in such high situations, mixing little with men, and generally deceived, to bear contradiction to their will, and opposition even to their arms, with any degree of patience: irritation and resentment must be the consequences; encroachments on their part often proceed from a conscious rectitude of their own intentions: but the people I do blame are the members of this House, placed as the guardians of the people' s rights and privileges, daily sacrificing them to some interested motive. Let any one consider all the national advantages that can be drawn from Colonies, and ask his own heart if we have not hitherto drawn, and may not in time to come draw all these from the ancient Constitution. To what motive, then, can these innovations be imputed? I have showed you the bad consequences in proceeding; show me the good you propose from slaughter and devastation. That the paymaster of the forces should urge you to those measures; that the treasurer of the navy should press for large equipments; that contractors, jobbers, dealers in scrip, and all those who fatten on publick supplies, should eagerly concur, this I can easily imagine; but that a landed gentleman should give his consent to rush into a civil war, that must entail four shillings land-tax on his estate for ever, that must drain him of men and money, and all the resources of naval power, to protect his country against those neighbouring powers who will, in all human probability, attack him when defenceless and exhausted; in a contest that must end, on whatever alternative, in lowering the value of his estate: all this exhibits a degree of infatuation beyond example in my little reading, and can only be accounted for from the revival of ignoble party-distinctions, gratifying resentments at the expense of their country. Have the country gentlemen ever considered the expense of maintaining a war across the Atlantick? Have they considered the expenses of a fleet? Have they calculated the amount of transports? Have they thought of feeding an army with porter, sheep, and sour-crout, across a tempestuous ocean? I am told a curious spectacle of such management has lately been exhibited in the Downs, where


Moating carcasses of dead sheep have marked to passing nations the folly of such attempts. The project of sourcrout has, indeed, one circumstance attending it that gives me pleasure — I understand the contract is given to one of the worthiest men in the community; at the same time such magazines are new in my notions of war; it may be a proper preparation for a Russian army, but I believe English soldiers will hardly be delighted with such griping food. The project of calcining ice into gunpowder is not more truly ridiculous!

I shall suppose, then, for a moment, that war with America is really necessary; yet, will any man allege, after such gross mismanagement in every part, that these are the proper men to carry it on? Has there been consistency in any part of their conduct? Has one scheme they have offered succeeded? Has not every one produced a contrary effect? Have they not been told so at the time of passing their various laws? Have they been checked in any of their intentions? Has any uncommon accident of wind or weather been unfavourable? Can our affairs be possibly in a worse situation? Do they state any rational plan of ways and means, by which we are to extricate ourselves? It, after answering all those questions in the spirit of truth and justice, this House will still persist in supporting such feeble Ministers of so mighty an empire, I must submit to a majority, but with this melancholy consolation: when the day of tribulation shall come, that at least my feeble endeavours were not wanting to prevent the impending mischiefs; nor has my voice been lent on any occasion in support of oppression. Other gentlemen, of a contrary opinion to me, have declared they give their opinion for more coercive measures, from motives the most pure and disinterested: I declare I give my opinion against them from the sincerest belief they are oppressive and unjust. I am now at an age when my character must be fully known. A conduct in life that has not flattered the passions of men must have frequently called forth the examination of many with keen resentments; but I here defy any man to say I was ever actuated by interested motives during the course of my life. My conduct at present is influenced from a conscientious belief that the greatest good any man can perform is to preserve institutions favourable to the freedom of mankind; the greatest evil they can commit is to destroy them. In that belief I heartily vote for the amendment, and to the utmost of my power oppose this sanguinary Address.

Mr˙ Rice said generally, that the conquest of America was a popular measure in England.

Lord Stanley rose, in the name of the freeholders of Lancashire, to avow the addresses from Manchester, & c˙, which he was well persuaded was the sense of the freeholders at large.

Mr˙ Temple Luttrell. Sir, we might reasonably suppose that the Ministers who had a hand in fabricating this voluminous speech would he impatient to obtain our approbation and thanks, as representatives of the community in general, in the name of the people of Great Britain, who are our actual constituents; in the name of the people of America, who, as they tell us, are our virtual constituents. Those evil counsellors who have so long poisoned the ear of the Sovereign, would now make us believe they have perverted his principles also; they wish us to consider the Speech before you as conveying his Majesty' s own sentiments. Sir, we know that to be impossible. Our King is too humane, and, besides, too well acquainted with the history of this country and its Constitution, with the memoirs of the Stuart race, and of his own illustrious House, to imbibe the despotick doctrines here imputed to him. His Majesty knows, that whenever either of the three estates of this empire, or the whole in conspiracy together, shall arrogate power to which they are incompetent — such as infringing the original rights and liberties of the people in any part of the British dominions — it is the exertion of such power, not the resistance to it, which constitutes rebellion. If this be not the case, the glorious Revolution was, above all rebellions upon record, the most atrocious.

We, who are the deputies of the people, assembled together from the different counties, cities, and boroughs of the kingdom, ought faithfully to impart to his Majesty the real wishes and dispositions of his subjects. As the first counsellors of the Crown, it is our peculiar province to advise and direct his Majesty on every national emergency like


the present. But, sir, in order to qualify us so to do, affection to our King, obligation to our country, and sober wisdom, all combine in requiring the closest and most deliberate discussions, and the deepest researches into the true bias of the times, previous to the offering up any address to the Throne whatever. An address at such a crisis as this, upon such important and decisive matters, cannot be considered as a mere point of etiquette, or personal compliment to our Sovereign; if it could, there is not a member of this House would be more forward in duty and obsequiousness than myself. Are we not totally ignorant of the real state of Great Britain and her Colonies? Sir, the sense of society at large is not to be ascertained by the signature of a score of Provincial corporations, under corrupt ministerial influence; it is not to be ascertained by the voice of repletion and revelry, by a few mistaken individuals, brought together under the hospitable roof of a great Baron' s castle. Sir, within those battlements Kings are not, now-a-days, made or unmade, [alluding to the famous Earl of Warwick, who alternately deposed Henry VI, and Edward IV;] it is not to be ascertained by the cry of a few Tory justices, ductile magistrates, huddled together by their creator, the Lord Lieutenant of the County, to approve of proscriptions and proclamations, devised in councils where he himself takes the lead as President. Sir, I will tell the noble Lord who spoke last, that if the people of Lancaster, Liverpool, and Manchester, were the oracles of British law and policy, the Electors of Hanover had never swayed the imperial sceptre of this realm. I admire, however, the spirited zeal and consistency of the addressing inhabitants of that part of England; I admire their firm reverence for the divine authority of Kings; their defence of popery, of arbitrary government, and sword law. The same political tenets which now fill the heads of these loyal addressers, filled also the heads of their townsmen in 1745 and 1746. Those heads which, being impaled over Temple-bar in the last Whig reign, were, soon after the commencement of the present, when a mighty Northern Thane came into office, taken down with veneration, and are now, it is said, enshrined in a certain interior cabinet, where a right honourable household officer in my eye, and others of the White-Rose junto, frequently offer, upon a bended knee, their secret orison and incense.

Sir, the noble Lord who spoke last, and the right honourable member who preceded him, have assured you that the sense of this country is against the Americans. I am confident, as well from the intelligence I have been able to procure from a multitude of persons widely different in station and description, as by my own remarks in the progress of many a journey through the interior of this Island during the summer season, that the sense of the mass of the people is in favour of the Americans. They think that the provocation given by a rash and insufficient Ministry to the Colony of Massachusetts-Bay, in lawless and oppressive exactions, enforced by famine, devastation, and slaughter, at length constitutionally justified an appeal to arms. A very learned judge, who now does signal honour to the coif, assures us, in his excellent book of Commentaries, that every freeman is warranted in the use of arms for defence of his rightful possessions and liberty. And that great luminary of his profession, Lord Chief Justice Holt, in pronouncing judgment on the memorable case of Tooly and Dekins, says: "When the liberty of the subject is invaded, it is a provocation to all the subjects of England." Where, then, will these grievances, this civil war and carnage, terminate? I shall now borrow the words of Sir Charles Sedley, in the last age, to express my astonishment that a nation sick at heart as ours is, should wear so florid a countenance. But, sir, is it not that hectick bloom which is frequently found to accompany a radical decay of the constitution, or rather, some artificial beautifier spread over the surface of a cadaverous substance for popular show and delusion? We have heretofore found it expedient, when this kingdom has been shaken to its foundation from one extremity to the other, as it now actually is; when the original compact between the governing power and the subject has been differently construed, and in danger of being totally dissolved; I say, sir, that the Commons, in Parliament assembled, have found it expedient to inquire, in the first place, into the actual state and condition of the nation in general; for this we have a recent precedent, almost within the memory of man, not


strictly speaking in the Journals of the Parliament, but in the Journals of a national and constitutional assembly, which has done more good than all your Parliaments since the days of Henry III put together, which restored and established, on a firm basis, the Protestant religion and civil liberties of the people, and which brought in the amiable families of Nassau and of Brunswick to maintain that religion, and to protect us in the enjoyment of those liberties; I mean, sir, the Convocation or Congress in the year 1688, whose acts and resolutions ought, like the leaves of the sybils of old, to be sanctimoniously reverted to, at all times of state perplexity and peril. I therefore desire that the motion made at the opening of this Congress, commonly called the Convention Parliament, and which was the groundwork of the Revolution, be now read.

The motion was then read, which stands upon the Journals in the following words: "That the House do appoint a day to take into consideration the state and condition of the nation;" which motion passed nem˙ con˙ for the Monday following.

I now move you, sir, that this House do appoint a day to take into consideration the present state and condition of Great Britain and her Colonies, in order to ground thereupon an affectionate and dutiful Address to the Crown, in an answer to his Majesty' s Speech this day delivered from the throne.

I am sorry not to see the honourable member who proposed, and so ably supported this Address, now in his seat, or I flatter myself he would acknowledge his motion premature, and admit of the necessity to take the preliminary step of ascertaining the temper and resources of Great Britain and her Colonies, in order to address his Majesty with good effect; when we shall, I trust, open his eyes to the manifold impositions put upon his royal confidence, by some dark and dangerous parricides, ambushed too near the throne, and help him to restore that peace, good order, and happiness, throughout all his dominions, without which it is impossible that he can continue to reign over us with security; or that so pious and benevolent a Prince as he is, though he wears the most brilliant diadem in Christendom, can make it sit easy on his brow.

General Conway apologized for opposing the King' s servants, but thought it his duty to oppose this Address, because it approved of the American war. He condemned that war as cruel, unnecessary, and unnatural; called it a butchery of his fellow-subjects, to which his conscience forbade him to give his assent. Though joined with the King' s servants, he detested that principle of implicitly supporting every measure of Government; and was severe upon those officers of the Crown who, because they are linked with others in Administration, think they are bound to wade through thick and thin with their colleagues. He demanded, with an emphasis, what was the state of the British empire in America? Called upon the noble Lord in the blue ribbon [Lord North] to give it, or at least to lay some information of the state of affairs in America before the House. Asked Administration, what part of America was to be called their own? Is Canada yours? he said; is Halifax yours? At this time, is even Boston yours? It is reported, that Boston is to be abandoned. Where, then, are the troops to be landed in the spring? Are they, like the first emigrants from this country, to sail along the coast till they find a place? He reprobated the idea of conquering America, declared explicitly against the right of taxation, and wished to see the Declaratory Law repealed, since so bad a use had been made of it. He declared his conscience forbade his assent to the butchery of the Provincials, and therefore he firmly protested against the Address.

Lord George Germaine replied, in favour of the Address; but did not say anything new, except that he had received a letter from General Burgoyne, who said, that notwithstanding the distresses and obstacles the King' s troops met with, they were zealous and determined in defence of their country.

Captain James Luttrell. Sir, I confess that I do not feel much surprise at the inflammatory language of some gentlemen opposite to me, for I am persuaded, from the vindictive, cruel, and oppressed measures they have recommended and pursued towards our fellow-subjects in America during the recess of Parliament, they determine to stake the prosperity of both countries to their own emolument and


revenge, and at every risk to endeavour to keep their places as long as they can, without attending to reason, humanity, justice, or good policy; therefore, with them, as with the mercenary and necessitous, it may be in vain to argue, for they will probably be found as callous to conviction as the leaders of Administration are, who, instead of being convinced of the fatal errors they have already been guilty of, by the most horrid scenes of bloodshed, seem, with equal rashness to be precipitating the Colonies, the West-India Islands, this country, and all its dependencies, into every species of wretchedness, poverty, disorder, and distress, that can render us miserable or contemptible abroad. But, sir, a chance still remains that we shall be able to avert these impending dangers; it is, that we may meet protection from the independent gentlemen of England, and from those who have been deceived by the misrepresentations of such artful and designing men as I shall endeavour to mark, by separating the voice of faction from that of truth. We have found, sir, by woful experience, from which side of the House misinformation has hitherto come. The noble Lord and his adherents, to obtain the support of those whom no private interest or party zeal could bias, assured us in the last session of Parliament, with plausibility too sufficient to impose upon such as neither doubted their integrity, nor were aware of the enthusiastick spirit for liberty which at that time prevailed throughout all America, that the dispute was by no means of the alarming nature gentlemen apprehended; that it was a contest between a single Province and this country; that the Americans in general were friends to Government, and waited but the arrival of a single regiment to manifest their approbation of measures which, we were told, were just, politick, and necessary, and eventually would prove successful. The noble Lord had not a single doubt but that peace, reconciliation, and good fellowship would take place speedily, happily, and without bloodshed: but he assured us, if the contest continued, we stood upon ground that would enable us to enforce by arms an acquiescence with those laws we had a right to impose; that the Insurgents neither merited protection from this nor from that side the water, for they had added the crime of the highest ingratitude to illegal resistance; that the late war was an American war, undertaken merely for their protection and support, which had involved this country in a heavy debt, and now they refused to contribute to it; in short, that the contest was, whether New-England or Old-England should get the better; though I fear this will prove the most losing game, on both sides, that ever was played; for no penetrating eye yet can discern if the victors or the vanquished will eventually be the greatest sufferers. Sir, a right honourable member, too, who enjoys a very beneficial employment, told us, for our comfort, that our fellow-subjects in America were indiscriminately a race of cowards; that they would not abide the resolves of the Congress, nor ever be brought to face General Gage' s Army. Sir, with language like this, dressed in the best attire of eloquence to render it persuasive, and the temporary bait of three shillings land tax, (of which, I fear, we may take our leave forever,) have Administration endeavoured to lull gentlemen into a political lethargy; if with success, I hope they will awake at this critical moment, and pause at least before they concur further in measures which must render us a nation bankrupt in men, in treasure, and in consequence. Now, sir, what did we learn from this side of the House, and from some gentlemen near me of rank, property, character, and integrity? Why, that Administration were either very ill-informed themselves, or meant to deceive us; that the dispute was unfortunately of a more serious tendency than probably any gentleman had formed an idea of; that it was by no means what the noble Lord represented — a partial dispute between a single Province and this country; but the manly, firm, laudable, and constitutional efforts of free-born subjects to preserve, at the risk of their lives, that liberty with which their fore-fathers emigrated, and which have been hitherto (long may it continue so) the natural produce of this soil; that the late acts of Parliament respecting America were reprobated from one end of that Continent to the other, as the most arbitrary violation of the liberties of mankind in general, and of their rights and privileges as English subjects in particular, which they would never sacrifice to the pride, ambition, or persecution of any set of Ministers whatsoever. Now, sir, by truth' s fair test, let the foes as well as the friends of America


be judged. Was the dispute of the trifling nature Government represented, and are the Americana so easily to be vanquished? Have they not hitherto conformed to the resolves of the Congress as minutely as to any laws upon the face of the earth? Will they not fight in a just cause? and may they not even be provoked to face General Gage' s Army? In short, sir, has not the notorious fallacy of every argument of Administration, in the course of a very few months, been made manifest to the universe? But I am aware it will be said by some, that the Americans are neither exonerated from the charge of ingratitude, nor an attempt to became an independent State. To these, I answer, that these are assertions, weak and absurd as those I have recapitulated, and will equally fail in proof; for you must either deny that America is like any other mercantile nation, which derives its wealth and consequence from commerce; or admit that, without one ship of force to boast of, she must, for the present at least, and probably for a century to come, seek the protection of some great maritime power, or be subject every day to have her coasts insulted, or her trade destroyed, by the most piratical petty States that can boast a moscheto fleet, in the like manner they now unfortunately and unjustly experience from the formidable navy of England, whose interest, as well as duty, it is to prelect and defend them. Sir, on the score of ingratitude, I must observe, that where great nations, like France and England, ever jealous of the power of each other, feel themselves in a situation to take up arms, they will not be long rinding an occasion; but it so happens that the first hostilities previous to the late war commenced in Asia, not in America; the battle of Arcot was fought by Lord Clive (then Captain Clive) against the French; that of Tritchinopoly by Major Lawrence, and a powerful fleet ordered to India, under the command of the Admirals Watson and Pocock, before the French were known to have committed any encroachments on the Ohio. But, sir, the Ministers of those days, in every respect very unlike the present, regarded America as a mine of inestimable value to this country, and were therefore tenacious of every acre of that possession. They had spirit enough to resent the insults of foreign powers, and wisdom enough to see the importance of the contest; that it was not merely whether you would suffer the French to harass our fellow-subjects in America, which humanity or justice ought to have forbade their acquiescence in, but that it was of no less moment than whether the Colonies should remain dependant upon England, or become an appendage to the Crown of France.

Sir, the French, at that time, were not only masters of the best fortresses and most accessible harbours in America, but of a vast tract of territory there, exclusive of the great possessions of the Indians, whom they had artfully, politicly, and industriously gained over to their religion and interest; by whose assistance they defeated your army under General Braddock, and would probably have become masters of the country, had you not fortunately intercepted their reinforcements, and beat them at sea. Sir, the advantages you derived from that victory, to the fatal hour in which you madly threw them away, I will not take up the time of the House to enumerate, though they are very many that fall within the scope of my superficial knowledge. I will only say, that in addition to the increase of some millions, annually, to your publick stock, the wealth, prosperity, and consequence of your West-India Islands are all derived from America. She, sir, has furnished them with the necessaries of life, and with almost every kind of store fitting to carry on their works. She has taken in barter their rum and molasses; the sugars have been mostly sent to this country, and the net produce of them circulated amongst us. Now, sir, the planter may seek a distant market for his commodities. He must purchase his stores with specie, at vast disadvantage. Part of his plantation will be turned into provision grounds, and the losses he daily sustains by this unfortunate dispute will inevitably increase every hour it continues.

But I expect to be told, as we were last year, that these are imaginary grievances, temporary inconveniences, and short-lived distresses. Here, sir, admitting that the late war was undertaken merely for the support and advantage of the Americans, then, sir, to them we fortunately owe the great and flourishing state of this nation at its conclusion. How unlike, sir, was that war to the present. It was constitutional,


honourable, popular, prosperous, and glorious. This, sir, is unnatural, unjust, unprofitable, cruel, and revengeful. It commenced in ignorance and despotism, and is pursued with a rancour bordering upon madness, which can end at best but in the destruction of your Colonies, with the loss of your troops. Then, sir, are the lives of the bravest officers and soldiers this or any other country ever produced, the only tribute that can satiate the blind passion and revenge of Administration? Why will they not relax a little, and be satisfied to entrust the execution of their bloodthirsty measures to such as are better suited to the temper and disposition of their employers — I mean their favourite army of bigoted Canadians and Roman Catholick marines, now raising in Ireland, and fitting for such laudable purposes? They, sir, are the natural enemies of both countries; and if they prove successful, will be ready to obey the first beck of their masters, and return with swords stained in the blood of every American Province, to enforce either the Declaratory Act, a Popery Bill, or any arbitrary assessment of Administration in Ireland; for we have been told, by very prevailing authority, [Mr˙ Rigby and Mr˙ Charles Jenkinson,] that the establishment of their Parliament does not preclude us from taxing them, which we may and ought to do whenever we judge proper; for that the Irish had the power to make by-laws, but nothing more. Indeed, the Minister of that House of Commons insists that this is but the rash opinion of some individuals, not that of Government. I wish he may be right: for I fear the Whigs and Protestants of that country would be able to make but a faint resistance against such an army. Which way they might probably be next disposed of, I will not venture to foretell. But however pleasing or beneficial the smiles or friendship of Ministers may be, it is with a heartfelt satisfaction I reflect that I differ, as widely in principle as in politicks, from a set of men whose aim, I am afraid, is the subversion of the Constitution; whose delight appears to be in blood, and in destroying the peace of millions.

Colonel Barré entered minutely into the particulars and consequences of the summer campaign; described the situation of the King' s forces as on a wen or little excrescence of land, blocked up within the town of Boston, and the fleet not even master of the river in which it lies. He drew a conclusion, that if an army of twenty-two thousand of our forces, with twenty thousand Provincials, and a fleet of twenty-two sail of the line, with more than as many frigates, were three years in subduing Canada, though completed every spring, what little prospect could there be for ten thousand men to effect the conquest of all America. He told the Minister, that as he expected but little information from him, he would give him some: That he had received a letter from a Major Caldwell, who was settled on a large estate in Canada, who assured him that the Canadians were not, by any means, to be driven into the war; that he had tried the arts of persuasion in vain; that he assembled about twelve hundred of them together, who came with large sticks, but had concealed four hundred fire-locks in the woods, which they were determined to make use of against the English, if they forced them to take either side. He said that General Carleton and Lord Pitt were within a quarter of an hour of falling into the hands of Jeremiah Duggan, a barber, who was now a Major in the Provincials. He laid the blood of his gallant friend Colonel Abercrombie, at the Minister' s door — a man whom particular circumstances, which he could not then mention, but which the noble Lord was well acquainted with, should have secured from such a fate. He added, as to himself, he stood there, it was true, an humble individual, brought into Parliament with reluctance on his own part, by the hand of friendship; that his Majesty thought proper to call him into his service; but when the matter of general warrants was discussed in the House, and his conscience directed him to oppose the measure, (which he modestly did by a silent vote,) a younger officer was purposely put over his head, as an intimation that his services were no further necessary. He retired, without repining, on a scanty pittance, as he would have done to the most mortifying state, without a murmur. His Majesty again thought proper to call him into his service, and made him one of the joint Vice-Treasurers of Ireland, which he held but a short time, owing to change of both men and measures. Since that time, he had retired with the name, indeed, of Colonel; yet, in truth, simply


but Mr˙ Barré. He desired the noble Lord before him to say if he had ever solicited the smiles of Government; nay, Ministers had empowered him, since the last session, to say more, but he should be silent.

In touching on the War Office arrangements in America, he said, though he had lost one eye in America, he had still one military eye left, which did not deceive him. The Americans had been called cowards; that the noble Lord at the head of the Admiralty had wantonly raked up the ashes of a deceased Admiral, to confirm his hasty assertion; but now he had sent for a living Admiral home, to give the departed one the lie. As to cowards, they were certainly the greatest to his knowledge; for the Forty-Seventh Regiment of Foot, which behaved so gallantly at Bunker' s Hill, (an engagement that smacked more of defeat than victory,) the very corps that broke the whole French column, and throw them in such disorder at the siege of Quebeck, were three-parts composed of these cowards. He would not say much of himself in a military capacity, to give weight to this account; yet it could not but be flattering to him to reflect that the dead Wolfe and the living Amherst honoured him with their esteem. He animadverted with great severity on the Minister having said, some time ago, that if Parliament would give him the men and the money he asked, he would immediately pilot them safe through this American storm. He then ridiculed the absurdity of General Gage' s signing the flowery answer to General Washington' s clear and manly letter: affirming that the letter was not the composition of the Commander-in-Chief, but that he was compelled to father it by superior powers: he was a good officer, but a plain man. He spoke highly of General Howe and of General Washington. He observed, that he and his friends were held up as the leaders of faction; that the conversation of Ministry with each other was, which of them should go to the Tower first; but this they regarded not. Oppose the King, they could not wish to do, for their ancestry seated his family on the throne; but to carry their point against the present unfeeling Administration, he would readily go to the block. He concluded with a recommendation to the Minister, to embrace the present, the only moment tolerated by Heaven, for an accommodation with the Americans: if they were driven a step further in resistance, the whole American continent was lost forever. He said, as he had mentioned General Gage' s letter, a quotation from it might now supply him with a general inference, with which he would conclude, as a seasonable memento to Administration: "Be temperate in political disquisition; give free operation to truth; and punish those who deceive and misrepresent; and not only the effects but the causes of this unhappy conflict will be removed."

Lord Barrington answered Governour Johnstone and Colonel Barré, and denied the disaffection of the officers, & c˙; and assured the House that they would receive satisfactory accounts to the contrary, in seven or eight days.

Mr˙ Wedderburn said: Mr˙ Speaker, the importance of the present subject of debate is confessed on all hands, and that importance must plead my excuse for trespassing upon the patience of the House at so late an hour of the night. Indeed, were I not emboldened by the former indulgence of this Assembly, which has so greatly exceeded my deserts, I should have remained content with a silent vote. But however much I think myself called upon to express the genuine dictates of my heart, (for such I would always be understood to deliver in this place,) I will obey the first hint from this House, and yield, as an inconsiderable individual, to the sense of a body of men whom I so much revere.

Sir, after premising that I do not consider this Address as merely complimentary, but as marking out the general line of conduct that we mean to follow in this great national question, I must observe that the gentleman who spoke last, [meaning Colonel Barré,] either did not understand the force of his own arguments, or, understanding their force, did not, from the premises which he had laid down, choose to draw any conclusion. What he could riot or would not do for himself, I will do for him. I will suppose his own state of the case. I will suppose Boston abandoned, Halifax taken, Canada reduced, and, in a word, America, for the present, lost. What is the inference to be drawn from these premises? Not, surely, the pusillanimous alternative proposed by Opposition; neither the dastardly


relinquishment of America, nor a fruitless plan of accommodation. The former would little suit the magnanimity of a British Senate, animated by the sacred fire caught from a high-spirited people; the latter would be as ineffectual as inglorious, and without example in the history of mankind. Relinquish America! What is it but to desire a giant to shrink spontaneously into a dwarf? Relinquish America, and you also relinquish the West-Indies, and confine yourself to that narrow insular situation, which once made you hardly discernable on the face of the globe. My heart swells with indignation at the idea. Relinquish America! Forbid it ye spirits of Edward and Henry, whom Englishmen once held in veneration, and burned to imitate! Forbid it thou spirit of Wolfe, who, if thou hast any consciousness of thy country' s wrongs, blushest to see a companion of thy victories so tamely give up thy conquests.

But in what does an offer of accommodation differ from a total relinquishment? The consequences of such an offer amount to a relinquishment. Are we not exultingly told of the triumphs, of the rising glories of America? Admit them. Can such a state be a time for reasonable accommodation? No man can be more friendly to peace than I, but I would have an honourable and adequate peace; and in order to obtain it, I contend, in the terms of the King' s Speech, for the most vigorous exertions.

Establish, first, your superiority, and then talk of negotiation. Did Rome, when Hannibal marched triumphantly up to her walls, sue for peace? She had more wisdom and spirit. She knew the moment was not favourable, and would not listen to any propositions till the tide of fortune changed, and commanded such an ascendency as the city' s courage and perseverance had a right to expect. Why should we not follow so bright an example? Our resources are greater, and I hope our spirit and constancy are not less. I am sure we do not struggle against such fearful odds. I own that, from fixed, radical causes in our Constitution and form of Government, the present aspect of affairs is rather inauspicious. But when did fortune smile upon us at the commencement of a war? Ever since the Constitution has been properly balanced, and the chief weight thrown into the scale of the people, time has been requisite to rouse the people, to rouse this assembly, in which alone the voice of the people can be clearly distinguished from that of clamorous faction. On this occasion, indeed, the people, seeing a party in the State willing, for reasons too obvious to need explanation, to give up their dearest rights, have spontaneously stood forth in support of their just claims, and convinced the most obstinate stickler for American independence, that the Minister has the nation with him. Opposition has confessed this truth; else why do they call upon the Minister to check the madness of the people? Many respectable members have, in enforcing coercion, declared that they speak the language of a great majority; and several, of every one of their constituents. Has Opposition been able to say as much? Not a syllable of this nature have they uttered. Why, then, do we hesitate? Because an inconsiderable party, inconsistent in their own politicks, and always hostile to all government but their own, endeavour to obstruct our measures, and clog the wheels of Government? Let us rather second the indignant voice of the nation, which presses in from all quarters upon the Sovereign, calling loudly for vigorous measures, and for the suppression of faction. Shall we be deaf to its call? Sir, we have been too long deaf; we have too long shown our forbearance and long-suffering; faction must now be curbed, must be subdued and crushed; our thunders must go forth; America must be conquered. Had my advice been taken, (and gentlemen insinuate that it is taken too much,) the House must do me the justice to own that a much more powerful force than General Gage had would have been sent to America. But it is not yet, I apprehend, too late; for I am not one of those ill-boding prophets who, from every disaster, augur destructive consequences, and whose prophecies, like those of antiquity, contribute more than any other circumstance to their own completion. I hold it dastardly in the counsellor of a great and mighty empire to encourage despondence, and to be the croaking raven of future mischiefs and calamities. Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito fortiaque adversis opponito pectora rebus; exert your courage in proportion to the difficulties to be surmounted; and, like your own oaks in the ocean,


rise superior to the storm. Such is the language of the genuine friend of England; such, I am persuaded, is the language expected from us by a gallant nation, whose spirit, instead of being depressed, is only roused by adverse accidents. Shall we stand as a mound in the way of this torrent, which has hitherto borne down all opposition? Sir, I do not approve of that policy that would repress plebeian haughtiness, as it is called, and check that pride of empire with the idea of which the souls of our common people swell, feeling their own importance.

"Our lowest mechanicks, (it has been urged,) now talk familiarly of our subjects." And why should they not? Feeling their own consequence, why should they not, like freemen, give free course to their thoughts? However lightly this spirit may be now prized, it is what has raised England to the great and glorious state which she now occupies. Do you imagine that the allurement of six pence a day fills our armies, mounts a breach, or takes a battery of cannon? No, sir; we owe all this to the ferment of youthful blood, to the high spirit of the people, to a love of glory, and a sense of national honour. Let us cherish so noble a principle, and we shall soon feel the good effects of its operation. This principle it was that frequently humbled the pride of France, that formerly ruined the Spanish armada, and lately baffled the Bourbon confederacy; the principle, in short, that lately crushed every power that ever had the temerity to encounter your collected rage. View the state of England in Elizabeth' s reign, and learn fortitude from her example. Was not Ireland disaffected and rebellious? Did not plots and conspiracies exist within the realm? And was she not pressed from without by the most powerful Monarch then in Europe? Yet she did not listen to pusillanimous counsels; not a word was heard of accommodation. What was the event? Her firmness and magnanimity excited that of her subjects, and they laid her enemies prostrate at her feel. In similar circumstances, what was the conduct of William III˙, whom the abetters of America affect to prize so highly, and who, indeed, was a great and magnanimous Prince? Though engaged in a consuming war upon the Continent; though embarrassed with a dangerous rebellion in Ireland; though menaced with an invasion by France; pressed with real conspiracies at home, and opposed by a powerful party in Parliament ready to tear him from his throne, at least infinitely more hostile to him than, I hope, Opposition is to his present Majesty, — he stood unshaken in the storm, and the invincible constancy of the people saved him from shipwreck.

What happened within our own memory? At the commencement of the last war, did not every packet bring us the news of defeats in America? Were we not accustomed there to as many defeats as battles? Even the mighty General Washington himself, with his redoubted riflemen, was vanquished by the Indians on the banks of the Ohio. Disasters attended our arms in every quarter of the globe; the East-Indies were almost lost, and the Company bankrupts; Hanover was reduced; the Hanoverians were obliged to stand neutral; our only ally stood trembling on the brink of destruction; Minorca was taken; we were beat, at sea, (our own element,) and a universal dread of an invasion had seized the people. Did this assembly then yield to the suggestions of fear? Though opposed by the greatest powers in Europe, it stood firm and resolute, and communicated its fortitude to the whole empire. Everybody knows the event. Who, then, with such a picture before his eyes, can be so dastardly, or so weak and wicked, as to advise an infamous relinquishment of America, or an equally infamous accommodation? Whoever imagines that the thunders of our Navy may be set at defiance by a single cohorn and a shifting battery of a single gun, may; but I will not, till I hear more cogent arguments, till it is proved to me that the experiment has been made, and has been successful. Nor will I readily believe that our fleets may be set on fire in the great rivers of America by floating rafts of combustibles till I am convinced that the Americans are more daring and intrepid than English sailors, and that they will pursue this plan with more art and more courage than the Canadians did last war in the river St˙ Lawrence. The Americans are said to be formidable from the enthusiasm with which they are inflamed. It may be so; but I trust that there is a spirit in British troops that will be a full match for all


their enthusiasm. At least, nothing has hitherto happened in America that gives the least ground for a contrary suspicion.

Much, indeed, has been said of our corruption and degeneracy, and still more of the heroism and rising glories of America. What, then, is become of those heroes who, ten years ago, made England the arbitress of Europe? I hope they are not all extinct, and that their fire is not yet quenched. I hope they did not exhaust all their vigour in the last war, but left a little to their posterity, to keep us in countenance during the present contest. Was it ever heard before, that a nation confessedly distinguished for every virtue, civil and military, should have lost them all in so short a space of time, and become totally corrupt and degenerate? The supposition is, at least, improbable. Let me look around. Methinks I recognise faces that assisted in the deliberations, aye, and in the campaigns, of the last war. Let us, then, assume a little courage, and not give ourselves up as lost, because a few gentlemen choose to be jocular, for they cannot seriously think what they speak. They cannot seriously think that Heaven has wrought a miracle in favour of the rising glories of America, and suddenly converted a nation of heroes into cowards. They will, at least, except themselves, that they may be thought the only persons capable of saving this sinking land. This, indeed, they with great modesty affirm, and I cannot see what other reason they had for making England undergo such a wondrous metamorphosis — a metamorphosis which has not only affected our hearts and made us cowards, but also weakened our understandings and reasoning faculties. Sir, our lawyers, pace tua dixerim, nam tua res agitur, our lawyers are the worst statesmen in the world; our lawyers, if you believe these sagacious gentlemen, are totally incapable of all political discernment. And why are they incapable? Autos epha, these prophets, as they would be thought, these oracles have said it; and what further proof can you desire? To be serious, if a lawyer is a sorry politician, it is the fault of the man and not of the profession. To be a complete lawyer, it is necessary for a man to have the most liberal and extensive education, to be a master not only of our own history and Constitution, but of the history and Constitution of all European States, as well as of ancient Kingdoms and Republicks. To acquire any degree of eminence, he must be thoroughly versed in our own municipal laws, and in everything that affects publick or private property. With all this acquired knowledge, he must be possessed of an intuitive quickness of discernment, to separate truth from falsehood, and by practice must have improved this faculty into a habit approaching to nature; and, as Cicero held that none but a good man can be a complete orator, so I hold that none but a good man can be a complete lawyer. See, then, how many qualities of a politician he derives from his profession, or rather, of how few, if of any, he is destitute. Do not imagine that I am here arrogantly describing myself; I am too well acquainted with my own defects to be so presumptuous; I only plead the cause of a profession of which I am an unworthy member, and which, without including its present luminaries, has produced as many great men, I had almost said, as all the other professions taken collectively, certainly more than any one of them singly; of a profession which, from its nature, seems peculiarly calculated for expanding the human mind, for giving it scope for its utmost exertions, and for training legislators and statesmen. If not from among the lawyers, whence will you take your politicians? From the order of country gentlemen? Their profession is to attend to the culture of their lands, to take care of the game, and of their hounds and horses. From the order of the nobility? They stand in the same predicament as the country gentlemen. From the order of merchants or physicians? The latter have studied the preservation and reparation of the human body, and the former the preservation and reparation of their own fortune. Each, I own, may have treasured up political knowledge as an ornament or an amusement, but cannot claim it as a necessary requisite to his condition of life. The lawyer, alone, asserts as his peculium, as a property inseparable from his station, this most perfect branch of ethicks, the science of legislation, and of regulating the commonwealth. He may never be called to this arduous task, but, if called, and a complete lawyer, he is qualified, and is not the less fit for his own employment when he


descends from a publick to a private station. In short, politicks are in no shape incompatible with his profession; the smiles or frowns of a Minister may sometimes increase or diminish, but cannot destroy his practice. Not so with the soldier: when he forsakes the war of swords for the war of tongues, and commences a candidate for civil instead of military fame, he frequently becomes, if unsuccessful, a pernicious member of society. I wish the same observation were not applicable to the other orders that I have mentioned; and that, soured by disappointment and urged by want, they did not proceed to unjustifiable lengths, but preserve that moderation and decorum for which lawyers, not past the Chancellorship, have, from the permanence of their business, been hitherto distinguished. Of publick characters, I know none more dangerous than a disappointed politician by profession. He is ever restless, ever plotting; constantly thwarting Government in laudable no less than in blameable plans. Would to God the present age were less fertile of this breed, and that the people addressing the Sovereign had less reason to brand them as the primary authors of our present calamities. Pudet haec approtria nobis et dici potuisse et non potuisse refelli.

Mr˙ Burke rose at ten o' clock, and spoke for near two hours. He repeated some expressions of Lord North, on American affairs, some time since; such as, that he would bring the Americans to his feet, & c˙, and contrasted them with the late Events in America, which caused a good deal of laughter. He then drew their serious attention to the present situation of affairs. He compared the Americans to a people who had emancipated themselves, and described the mother country as a piratical disturber of the ports and trade of the Colonies. He spoke largely on the disgrace brought upon the British arms, by being cooped up a whole campaign in Boston, by those who had been called an undisciplined cowardly rabble. He strongly represented the danger to Great Britain in carrying on the American war: and concluded with advising the Minister no longer to make England appear like a porcupine, armed at all points with Acts of Parliament, oppressive to the trade and freedom of America; but to show a friendly countenance, and to meet the Colonists with open arms.

Mr˙ Fox described Lord North as the blundering pilot who had brought the nation into its present difficulties. Administration, he said, exult at having brought us into this dilemma. They have reason to triumph. Lord Chatham, the King of Prussia, nay, Alexander the Great, never gained more in one campaign than the noble Lord has lost — he has lost a whole Continent. Although he thought the Americans had gone too far, and were not justifiable in what they had done, yet they were more justifiable for resisting, than they would have been had they submitted to the tyrannical acts of a British Parliament; that when the question was, whether a people ought to submit to slavery, or aim at freedom by a spirited resistance, the alternative which must strike every Englishman was, the choice of the latter. He took occasion to speak of his father, and the fluctuation of Ministers at the commencement of the last war. He declared his father was Secretary of State only four months, and finding himself without power, and merely a nominal Minister, he did as every man of spirit should do on such an occasion, he gave up his place. He then applied this observation to the noble Lord on the Treasury bench, and in a very pointed manner intimated that it was high time a change of men took place, that a change of measures might accompany it. He took occasion to mention the political distinctions of Whig and Tory, and describing the present Ministers as enemies to freedom, declared they were Tories. He made a comparison between the conduct of Administration and the conduct of America, showing the weakness, the error, and the imprudence of the former, and the firmness, the spirit, and the just pursuits of the latter. He combated the argument of the King' s Speech which inferred that America aimed at independency; and by a chain of reasoning he showed, that to be popular in America it was necessary to talk of dependance on Great Britain, and to hold that out as the object in pursuit. He rallied Lord North on the rapid progress he had made in misfortune, having expended nearly as large a sum to acquire national disgrace, as that most able Minister, Lord Chatham, had expended in gaining that glorious lustre with which he had encircled the British name. He did not approve of everything done by Lord


Chatham, but all must confess his great and surprising talents as a Minister. He declared opposition to be cordially united in every part. He retorted on Administration for their having last year roused the younger part of the House by their appeals to the spirit of Englishmen to enforce vigorous measures, and asked whether that spirit was discernible in the pitiful party of the military sent to Boston, or in the vigorous measures of that party; declaring, that if the spirit the Ministry had appealed to was still in existence, it would not be possible for them to keep their places. After severely rebuking them for endeavouring to shift the blame from themselves to General Gage, he concluded with advising Administration to place America where she stood in 1763, and to repeal every act passed since that period, which affected either her freedom or her commerce.

Lord North said, he held the pity and contempt of the honourable gentleman [Mr˙ Fox] in equal indifference. He declared the words quoted with so much humour by another honourable gentleman [Mr˙ Burke] had never been used by him in the sense in which he had applied them, and complained of the injustice done him both in the English and American newspapers, by printing false accounts of his speeches in Parliament. Respecting the observations made by the last speaker on the changes in the Ministerial Departments at the commencement of the war, he begged the House to recollect, that though the men were changed, the same measures were pursued, but that, for his own part, he wished not to remain a day in office after he was thought inactive, inattentive, or inconsiderate. That if the scheme of repealing every American act passed since 1763 was adopted, there was certainly an end to the dispute, for from that moment America would be independent of England. That many of the acts were framed for the necessary support of the superiority of the mother country, on points in which her right of superiority had never been questioned till America was refractory; that all the acts were rather acts of justice than of cruelty, and that the act preventing the Colonies from trading with other countries, which the gentlemen in opposition made so much route about, was not passed till the Colonies, by a non-importation agreement, had refused to trade with England, who had nurtured them to their present greatness, and had, therefore, on the principles of gratitude and recompense, an exclusive right to the benefits of their commerce. His Lordship then said, that if he understood the meaning of the words Whig and Tory, which the last speaker [Mr˙ Fox] had mentioned, he conceived that it was the characteristick of Whigism to gain as much for the people as possible, while the aim of Toryism was to increase the prerogative. That, in the present case, Administration contended for the right of Parliament, while the Americans talked of their belonging to the Crown. Their language, therefore, was that of Toryism, although, through the artful designs of the real enemies of freedom, the good sense of the people of England was endeavoured to be misled, and false opinions were industriously inculcated throughout the kingdom. The Speech and the proposed Address tied the House down to no point; it could not, therefore, be of ill consequence to carry the latter to the Throne. The measures Administration meant now to pursue were, to send a powerful sea and land force to America, and at the same time to accompany them with offers of mercy upon a proper submission. This will show we are in earnest, that we are prepared to punish, but are nevertheless ready to forgive; this is, in my opinion, the most likely means of producing an honourable reconciliation.

Mr˙ Dunning was against the Address. He had heard it was the intention of Administration to send a large force to America to compel submission, and that foreign troops were introduced into the British dominions for that purpose. He said the measure ought not to have been taken without the consent of Parliament Without such consent he peremptorily pronounced it to be illegal. To this was to be added, not only the disgrace, but the bad tendency and evil consequences of which this measure might be productive, if suffered to pass into a precedent.

Mr˙ Attorney-General Thurlow, in support of the Address, declared that, in his opinion, there was no illegality in the measure of sending Hanoverian troops to garrison the fortresses of Gibraltar and Mahon, and therefore that no bad tendency or evil consequences could arise from it.

Sir A˙ Fergusson, Mr˙ Rice, Mr˙ Jolliffe, and Mr˙ Freeman,


spoke likewise for the Address, and Sir Edward Astley against it.

At four in the morning, the question being put, That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the question:

The House divided. The Yeas went forth:

Tellers for the Yeas,
Mr˙ Acland,

Tellers for the Noes,
Mr˙ Byng,
Mr˙ Plumer,

So it was resolved in the affirmative.

Then the main question being put:

Resolved, That an humble Address be presented to his Majesty, to return his Majesty the thanks of this House for his gracious Speech from the Throne.

Ordered, That a Committee be appointed to draw up an Address, to be presented to his Majesty upon the said Resolution.

And a Committee was appointed of Mr˙ Acland, Sir Richard Sutton, Mr˙ Lyttelton, Mr˙ Cornwall, Mr˙ Rice, the Lord Stanley, Mr˙ Ellis, Mr˙ Solicitor-General (Wedderburn,) Mr˙ Jolliffe, the Lord North, Sir Grey Cooper, Sir Gilbert Elliot, Mr˙ Charles Townshend, Mr˙ Robinson, Sir Charles Whitworth, Sir Adam Fergusson, Mr˙ Freeman, and Lord George Germaine, or any five of them; and they are to withdraw immediately into the Speaker' s Chamber.

Ordered, That his Majesty' s most gracious Speech to both Houses of Parliament be referred to the said Committee.



*List of the Minority.

Ashe, Gen˙ Acourt
Adair, Serj.
Anderson, Evelyn
Astley, Sir Edward
Barré, Rt˙ Hon˙ Isaac
Barrow, Charles
Bayly, Nathaniel
Bentinck, Lord C˙ Ed.
Benyon, Richard
Bertie, Hon˙ Peregrine
Brand, Thomas
Bridgeman, Sir Henry
Burke, Edmund
Cavendish, Lord Geo.
Cavendish, Lord Fred.
Cavendish, Lord John
Cavendish, Lord Rich.
Cavendish, L' d G˙ Aug.
Clarke, Jervoise,
Clayton, Sir Robert
Coke, Wenman
Conway, Rt˙ H' n H˙ S.
Cooper, John
Coxe, Rich˙ Hippis.
Cox, Laurence
Crewe, John
Dempster, George
Dunning, John
Fielde, Paul
Finch, Savile
Fleming, Sir Michele
Foley, Thomas, Jun.
Fox, Hon˙ Ch˙ James
Frankland, Sir Thos.
Folkestone, Viscount
Goddard, Ambrose
Gordon, Lord George
Goring, Charles
Gowland, Ralph
Granby, Marquis of
Gregory, Robert
Grenville, James, Jun.
Guise, Sir William
Halliday, John
Hamilton, Rt˙ H˙ W˙ G.
Harbord, Sir Harbord
Hartley, David
Hayley, George
Hopkins, Richard
Hunt, George
Hussey, William
Johnstone, George
Johnstone, John
Keppel, Hon˙ Augus.
Lennox, Lord George
Lowther, Sir James
Ludlow, Earl
Luther, John
Luttrell, Hon.
Temple Luttrell, Hon˙ John
Martin, Joseph
Mawbey, Sir Joseph
Meynell, Hugo
Miller, Sir Thomas
Molesworth, Sir John
Molyneux, Crisp
Montagu, Frederick
Mortimer, Hans Wint.
Needham, William
Oliver, Richard
Pierse, Henry
Pelham, C˙ Anderson
Pennyman, Sir James
Polhill, Nathaniel
Popham, Alexander
Pulteney, William
Ratclifle, John
Robinson, Sir George
Rushout, Sir John
Salt, Samuel
Savile, Sir George
Saunders, Sir Charles
Sawbridge, John
Scawen, James
Scott, Robert
Scudamore, Ch˙ Fitz.
Scudamore, John
Seymour Henry
Smith, John
Standert, Frederick
Stanhope, Walter
Thornton, Thomas
Townshend, Rt˙ H˙ T.
Trevanion, John
Tuffnel, Geo˙ Foster
Turner, Charles
Tyrconnel, Earl of
Verney, Earl
Vernon, Hon˙ G˙ Ven.
Wake, Sir William
Walpole, Hon˙ Thomas
Walpole, Hon˙ Richard
Walsingham, Hon˙ R.
Weddell, William
Wenman, Viscount
Wilkes, John
Wilkinson, Jacob
Yonge, Sir George

Plumer, William
Byng, George.