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be called together annually; and that no governor may be allowed to diffolve or prorogue them when he fhall be informed that they are preparing a petition to our gracious King and Parliament of Great Britain.
Moft Gracious Sovereign, we have unhappily experienced, that the redrefs of our grievances, and thofe requested regulations, could not come from us in the conftitutional mode of laws, which muft have paffed a council, fome of them without property in the province, or intereft in our welfare.
May the God of all goodness fhower down on our gracious Sovereign, and his beloved family, every temporal bleffing.
May the spirit of concord, justice, and public virtue, direct the counfels of the British fenate; and may the Father of mercies preferve conftitutional freedom to the British race in every part of the globe. W. NESBITT, Speaker. Halifax, June 24. 1775.
Leave was given by the Commons, Oct. 27. to bring in a bill, to enable his Majefty to call out and affemble the militia, in all cafes of rebellion within G. Britain, or any of the dominions thereunto belonging, The bill was prefented on the 30th, and read a first time. At the fecond reading, Nov. 2. Mr Dunning began the debate. He first introduced fome flrictures on addresses, particularly that of the first regiment of the Devonfhire militia. He faid, he was much alarmed at the terms in which that military addrefs was couched: The military had profeffed their readinefs to attack the internal enemies of his Majefty's government *. Mr Dunning faid, he did pot know but they might mean him; for if, by his Majefty's government, they meant the prefent administration, he was certainly a moft virulent enemy to them. He wished to know what object we were now contending for with America? It was not for taxes, as we might eafily perceive by Gen. Burgoyne's letter to Gen.
[The paffage here alluded to, is thus in the addrefs. The conftitution has pre fented to us our sphere of action; but we muft beg leave to affure your Majefty, that we fall at all times be as ready to exert our utmost efforts to fupprefs any internal ene mies of your Majefty's government, and this conftitution, as our gallant countrymen have been in afferting the juft rights of the British empire in America."]
Lee [xxxvii. 480.]; for a gentleman his good fenfe, and who held fo high poft under government, would not ven ture to affert fo much without fome au thority. It could not be faid, that w were contending for the general unlimi ted power of parliament over every part of the empire; for the fecretary of a neighbouring kingdom had contradicted that idea, by asserting, "that expreffions of that kind which had been made in that Houfe by a gentleman in a high office, were no more than the rafh inconfiderate opinion of an hafty individual."- Mr Dunning wished to be fairly understood with regard to his ideas of" rebellion :” he faid, he never had confidered it as a genus, which might be divided into several different fpecies: yet he was apt to imagine, that there might be one fort of rebellion lefs deferving our hatred than another; that there might be a provoked and an unprovoked rebellion, of which each merited different degrees of cenfure. He then proceeded` to ridicule the motley complexion of our intended forces, which were to consist of Hanoverians, Ruffians, favage Canadians, and Irish Roman-Catholics. Mr Dunning had heard, that a fingle regiment could march from one end of North America to the other; but he defired to know, if it was not more probable that 20,000 Ruffians could march from Johnny Grot's houfe to the Land's End. On the whole, he declared, that he was againft this, as well as most of the other meafures of government; that he stood alone, unconnected with any party; that he defpifed any man who, at fuch a critical juncture as the prefent, could be fwayed by any perfonal motive whatever; that for his part he fpoke ex animo, and he hoped the Houfe would give him credit for this affertion. He concluded, by obferving, that although he might not perhaps be able to give that clofe attendance to the business of the House which he could with, yet he would uniformly oppofe the miniftry in every step they fhould take to enforce measures which he heartily condemned.
Mr Rigby replied, that it would require a great deal of natural fubtilty to comprehend the practical fubtilty of the Hon. Gentleman; but, from his reafoning about rebellions, he could collect very clearly, that there was a rebellion which he liked, and a rebellion which he difliked. Now, for my part, lays Mr
Rigby, although I do dislike all kinds of rebellion, I cannot, in any inftance, carry my refentments fo far back as the Hon. Gentleman; for whenever the Americans fhall return to their duty, and behave as loyally as the people of Mancheiter, I fhall not, by any means, confider them as deferving my hatred. The Hon. Gentleman very kindly informed us, that as term will commence in a few days, he shall probably be occupied in the mornings at Weftminster, and in the evenings at Guildhall, infinitely more to Lis profit than his attendance in this Houle. It was exceedingly obliging in the gentleman to inform at once, ex anim, what his thoughts were, that he might not have occafion to honour this Houfe with too frequent attendance at a time when he may be so much better employed in his vocation.
As to the position which was advanted by the fecretary of a neighbouring Lingdom, it has been very logically argued, that because "the ministry in Ireland are supposed to have the ear of adminiftration here, and because one of the miniftry there declared, that the affertion made in this houfe with regard to taxing Ireland in the British parliament, was only the rafh inconfiderate opinion of an hatty individual," ergo, this must be alto the opinion of administration in England [xxxvii. 727.].-This is excellent reafoning: but give me leave to say, that I neither care what secretaries fay in Ireland, or minifters fay in England. I will fapport my former doctrines as long as I find it laid down in the ftatutes of our parliament. Nothing can establish a right on a firmer bafis, than one party enacting, and the other peaceably acquiefcing under any particular claim. Hath not an act of the English legiflature taken away the right of appeal from the Irish Houfe of Lords [xxxvi. 456.]? Hath not the kingdom of Ireland peaceably acquiefeed under that law? And fhall I hesitate, on account of this man's affertion, or of that man's affertion, to maintain a doctrine, the truth of which is confirmed by facts of fuch notoriety? -But let me, at the fame time, obferve, that I have never entertained a thought of our taxing Ireland. The generous contributions of that country, cramped and narrowed as are her refources, render every idea of this kind altogether unReceflary. In times either of difficulty # of war, with the Irish it has ever
been only," Afk, and have." Mr Rigby hoped to fee the day when England would confider of fome additional advantage to be given to the trade of fo deferving a people; and he fincerely wifhed the conduct of Ireland might be a lesson to America, over which the parliament of Great Britain had never yet exercised fuch a ftretch of power as had been manifefted towards Ireland in the instance adduced.
Mr Acland averred, in juftification of the ministry, that they had not deceived him in their operations of last year; for adverting to the opinion and information of a very learned gentleman, (Mr Dunning), who pofitively afferted, "that no rebellion at that time existed in North America," Mr Acland thought the force that was fent fufficient; and he asked the gentlemen who now complained of a fufficient force not having been then sent to America, "whether it would not have been very abfurd, to fend over an immenfe army, equal to the conquest of the whole continent, only to quell a few trifling riots in the province of Massachufet's-bay?"
Col. Barré, Mr Edmunde Burke, Lord North, Mr T. Townshend, and Mr Charles Fox, fpoke likewife in the debate. The principal objections against the militia-bill were, That should a riot. or infurrection rife up in Bengal, Bencoolen, or St Helena, it would be in the minifter's power to call this a rebellion, and inftantly draw out the militia; by which means, befides the power with which the hands of government would be ftrengthened, the poor husbandman would be greatly diftreffed, and the different counties burdened with the support of their wives and children. The question being put, the numbers were, For committing the bill 259, Againft it 50.
In the committee, Nov. 15. a motion was made, to add reftrictive words, "That the faid power should not extend beyond the continuance of the prefent rebellion;" but the question being put, came out, Ayes 55, Noes 140.
Mr Adair propofed another amendment, "That the militia fhould not be called out of their respective counties unlefs in cafe of actual invasion.". - It paffed in the negative.
Mr Hartly offered a clause, "to impower the King to call the parliament together in fourteen days."-It was agreed to without a divifion.
toerwife, he said, was Lord Mansfield fpeech on the indemnity for the embarg on the corn, when he thought proper ride the great horse Liberty; which, sa he, I with his Lordship would do ofte er, for no man knows better how to ma nage him.
On a motion by Ld North, Nov. leave was given to bring in a bill, “ indemnify fuch perfons as have advise his Majefty to fend to the garrisons Gibraltar and Port-Mahon, a part of th electoral troops of Hanover, during th recefs of parliament."
Ld North prefented the bill, Nov. and it was read a first time.
On the third reading, Nov. 25. a clause to make it a temporary law, for feven years, was offered by Sir George Saville, and agreed to by the House.
The bill having paffed the Houfe of Lords, received the royal affent, Dec. 4. The Hon. Mr Martham, in the Houfe of Commons, Oct. 31. called upon Lord North to declare explicitly, if he intended to bring a bill into parliament to indemnify thofe perfons who had advised his Majefty to employ his electoral troops to garrison Gibraltar and Minorca, with out confent of parliament.-Ld North replied, that he did not apprehend bills of indemnity were ever applied for to parliament, or ever granted, but for mea fures which would otherwise subject the King's minifters to private actions at law: fuch was the indemnity for the embargo on corn, which affected private property. However, faid he, if the Houfe has any precedent of bills of indemnity for meafures fuppofed to be criminal, and liable to impeachment, I have no objection to fuch an act as may make minifters heads more fecure in future. But if this is not the form of business, I fhall propofe a refolution to be made by this House, in order to calm the minds of thofe gentlemen who seem to apprehend fome future ill confequence from the precedent arifing from the employment of the electoral troops.
Sir James Lowther moved, "Thi introducing his Majefty's electoral troop into any part of the dominions of G. Br tain, without the confent of parliamen firft had and obtained, is contrary t law." He fupported his motion on th ground of its being a direct violation the Bill of Rights.-He was feconded t
Gov. Johnstone; who, to strengthe his arguments, appealed to the condu of the parliament after the peace of Ry wick, which reduced the ftanding arm to 7000 men, and obliged K. William t difband his Dutch guards, and to fen them home, though contrary to th known fenfe of that prince: fo wifel jealous was the parliament, at that time, permitting foreigners to remain within th kingdom. He ordered the Journals March, 1689, to be read, where th King's requeft and the pofitive refusal Parliament to grant it are both stated*
His Lordship then read the refolution, viz. "Refolved, It is the opinion of this House, that his Majefty having ordered a body of his electoral troops to compofe part of the garrison of the fortresses of Gibraltar and Minorca, whereby the greater part of the troops of this kingdom may be employed for the fupport of his autho rity, has fhewn his attention to the interefts of this country; being, in the opinion of this House, a measure neceffarily 'demanding more dispatch than was confiftent with waiting for the affembling of parliament. He added, that he fhould propose a conference with the Lords, that it might be a refolution of both houses.
[The cafe, as ftated in the Journals, as follows.
" The Earl of Ranelagh acquainted th Houfe, That he had in command from b Majefty a meffage to deliver to this Houf figned by his Majefty, and all of his ow hand-writing, which the faid Earl delivere in to Mr Speaker; who read the fame to th Houfe, and is as followeth, viz.
"His Majefty is pleased to let the Houl know, that the neceffary preparations ar made for transporting the guards who cam with him into England, and that he intend to fend them away immediately, unless, ou of confideration to him, the House be dispo fed to find a way for continuing them longe in his fervice, which his Majefty would takı very kindly."
Gov. Johnftone faid, when the queftion of contracting for thefe troops fhould come on, he should object both to the refolution propofed by the Noble Lord, and to the bill of indemnity: in the mean time he muft obferve, that he was furprifed the Noble Lord fhould affert, that bills of indemnity were not ufual except in cafes where the King's fervants were liable to paltry, private actions. Far o
Upon which it was refolved, That a com mittee fhould be appointed to draw up a humble addrefs, to be prefented to his Ma jefty, reprefenting the reasons why the Hou
Mr Serj. Adair spoke very fully to the matter of law, and shewed, that upon every principle adhered to in expounding a ftatute, the Bill of Rights militated direaly against the measure, both in letter, fpirit, and legal construction.
Lord Barrington defended the measure, and infifted, that the Bill of Rights never was, nor could be intended to extend fur. ther than the kingdom: he instanced, in proof of his affertion, the garrifons of Dunkirk and Tangier, in Charles II.'s time, and that of Calais at a much earlier date.
Mr Solicitor-General entered fully into the confideration of the matter, and defended the measure on a variety of grounds.
Mr Burke faid, The learned gentleman, Mr Wedderburne, had ranfacked hiftory, ftatutes, and journals, and had taken a very large journey, as was ufual with tim; through which he did not wish to follow him; but he was always glad to meet him at his return home. Let us, (ays be) ftrip off all this learned foliage entirely from his argument; let us un
fwathe this Egyptian corpfe, and strip it of its falt, gum, and mummy, and fee what fort of a dry skeleton is underneath. -Nothing but a fingle point of law.-The gentleman (faid he) afferts, that nothing but a bill can declare the confent of parliament, not an address, not a refolution of the Houfe; yet he thinks a refolution of the Houfe would in this case be better than a bill of indemnity:-fo that we find a bill is nothing, an addrefs is nothing,
refolution is nothing; nay, I fear, our liberty is nothing, and that, ere long, our rights, freedom, and fpirit- nay the House itself, will vanish-in a previous queftion.
Ld North defired to know whence the proofs and authorities of a point of law could be better drawn, than from hiftory, ftatutes, and journals; he did not think it was from wit, flowers, and eloquence, that they fhould be deduced. He said, he admired the Hon. Gentleman's method of proving a resolution to be-nothing; an addrefs-nothing; a bill -nothing; and by the fame mode of reafoning he was inclined, he said, to con
fubjects, who have fo eminently fignalized themselves on all occafions during the late long and expensive war."
To this addrefs his Majesty was pleased to give the following answer.
. I came hither to restore the ancient conftitution of this government; I have had all poffible regard to it fince my coming; and I am refolved, through the course of my reign, to endeavour to preferve it entire in all the parts of it.
I have a full confidence in the affection of my people, and I am well assured they have the fame in me; and I will never give them just cause to alter this opinion.
As to my fubjects who ferved during the war, I am an eye-witnefs of their bravery, and of their zeal for my perfon and government; and I have not been wanting to exprefs my fenfe of this to my parliament, as well as upon other occafions.
I have all the reason to truft and rely upon them that a prince can have, and I am fatiffied there is not one man among them capable of entertaining a thought, that what was propofed in my message proceeded from any diftruft of them.
It shall be my ftudy, to the utmost of my power, to perform the part of a juft and good King. And as I will ever be strictly and nicely careful of obferving my promises to my fubjects, fo I will not doubt of their tender regards to me."]
On the third reading of the indemnity. bill, Nov. 24. Mr Marsham moved, That inftead of the words in the preamble, Whereas doubts have arifen," &c. the words, "Whereas it is contrary to the fpirit of the conftitution," &c. be inferted. After a warm debate, the amendment, on a divifion, was rejected, 131 against 58.
A motion was made in the Houfe of Lords, Nov. 30. for reading the indemnity-bill. The Marquis of Rockingham oppofed it in very ftrong terms. His Lordship obferved, that it would be a difgrace to our statute-books, as it held out an indemnity, while in fact it afferted the perfons indemnified were guilty of no offence whatever.
Lord Weymouth faid, he agreed in fome degree with the Noble Marquis; he thought the bill totally unneceffary. He was fire the meafure was in itself perfectly legal and juftifiable.
Lord Suffolk followed the laft Noble Lord in his idea. He faid he could not fee any neceffity for the bill. Befides, though fuch a bill thould be looked up on as neceffary in its prefent form, he could never approve of it, becaufe the preamble was at direct variance with the enacting claufes; that is, it proposed to indemnify fuch perfons as advifed his Majefty to fend his electoral troops into the garrifons of Gibraltar and Minorca, while the preamble, which is always taken as the ground of the bill, ftated, that
doubts having arifen," &c. Lord Gower united in opinion with the other two Noble Lords; faid, his fentiments from the beginning were the fame as now; that he thought the meafure legal and conftitutional, and had accordingly advised it in concert with the reft of his Majefty's minifters; and now, in conformity with thofe fentiments, voted for having the bill rejected.
The question being at length put, the bill was rejected without a fingle Con
tent in its favour.
confent of parliament, is dangerous an unconftitutional." Lord Rochford, reply, entered into a juftification of the meafure, as fafe, conftitutional, and ex pedient; on which ground he moved the previous queftion; that is, to take the fenfe of the Houfe, whether the depend ing motion fhall be put. An interefting debate followed. The speakers in fupport of the previous queftion, or in favour of the legality and expediency of employing the electoral troops, were the Lords Talbot, Rochford, Weymouth, Denbigh, and the Lord Chancellor: in fupport of the Duke of Manchester's motion, the Dukes of Grafton, and Richmond, and the Lords Effingham, Lyttelton, Shelburne, and Camden.
The Duke of Manchefter had moved, in the House of Lords, Nov. 1. to refolve, "That this Houfe is of opinion, that introducing any part of the King's electoral troops, or any other foreign troops whatever, into the fervice of the crown of Great Britain, previous to the
A difcovery of the perfon who beheaded King Charles I.
From the examination of William Lilly, before the first parliament of K. Charles II. in June 1660, as related by Mr Lilly himself,
T my first appearance, many of the young members affronted me highly, and demanded feveral fcurrilous questions. Mr Wefton held a paper before his mouth; bade me anfwer no body but Mr Prinn. I obeyed his command, and faved myself much trouble thereby; and when Mr Prinn put any difficult or doubtful query unto me, Me Wefton prompted me with a fit anfwer. laft, after almoft one hour's tugging, I dered to be fully heard what I could fay as to the person who cut Charles I.'s head off. Liberty being given me to fpeak, I related
what follows, viz..
That the next Sunday but one after Charles
was beheaded, Robert Spavin, fecretary
unto Lieutenant-General Cromwell at that time, invited himself to dine with me, and brought Anthony Peirfon, and feveral others along with him to dinner: That their principle difcourfe all dinner-time, was only, who it was that beheaded the King One faid, it was the common hangman; another, Hugh Peters; others alfo were nominated, but none concluded. Robert Spavin, fo foon as dinner was done, took me by the hand, and carried me to the fouth window: faith he, "These are all mistaken; they have not named the man that did the fact: it was
Lieutenant-Colonel Joice; I was in the room
when he fitted himfelf for the work, food behind him when he did it; when done, went in again with him. There is no man knows this but my mafter, viz. Cromwell, Commiffary Ireton, and myself." Doth not Mr Ruthworth know it?" faid I. doth not know it," faith Spavin. thing Spavin fince had often related when we were alone.
"No, he The fame unto me,