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On the report that the petitions of the people to the Kwill be referred to the confideration of the H of C


Oakingham, Berks, Dec. 15, 1769.


N feveral of the news-papers, a few days ago, I read the following paragraph.


"We are well informed, that a certain great affembly upon their meeting, will immediately take into their confideration the late petitions prefented to his M-y, and that all neceffary preparations are making for that purpofe."

Now, Mr. Editor, what is it that this affembly are to take into their confideration ---Whether they think proper, or not, to be diffolved, or that his M----y fhall comply with the demands of his people - If fuch, (and they can be no other) be the motives for the pt's being to deliberate on the faid petitions, can any thing be more evidently prepofterous and abfurd, or more diametrically oppofite to the rules of juftice and propriety.

The major part of the nation have, from the prefent alarming conjuncture of affairs, thought it expedient humbly to reprefent to the King, their Sovereign, that in concert with the miniftry, their reprefentatives in pt have violated the truft repofed in them by their conftituents, and have acted upon principles repugnant to the ends for which they were appointed to fit in the Houfe; wherefore, they pray that his M----y will be graciously pleased to diffolve the Pt, in which they can no longer place any confidence, in order that another, composed of more patriotic members, may be, as foon as poffible, con


What then, Sir, has the prefent Houfe of Cns to do with the confideration of this application to the throne? Is it to be left to them to determine whether the faid reprefentations of their conftituents be juft, or not; or whether it fhall be advisable for his My to gratify the requests of his loving fubjects? Is it any way probable that they will acknowledge the veracity of the charges exhibited against them, or acquiefce with the people's opinion, that it is highly reasonable they fhould be difmiffed from their feats ?


Would it not, Sir, be just as repugnant to common sense, when indictments are preferred against an affociation of public offenders at the Old-Bailey, (I do not affert that these appellations, are applicable to any of the parl---y or min----I delinquents) and equally inconfiftent with found policy, to leave the above-named gentry to take into their confideration the legality of the faid indictments, and to determine whether the demands of their profecutors fhall be complied with.

Or rather, when the judges of fuch culprits have paffed fentence upon them agreeable to the laws of the land, are they afterwards to be left to resolve, whether they chufe or not, to submit themselves to the punishments of fuch fentences fo inflicted upon them?


Now the proper judges of the national affemblies are their conftituents.. By them the conduct of the present pt has been inveftigated, and found to be highly culpable; in confequence of which, they have fentenced it to be forthwith diffolved, according to the laws of the realm; and is it juft, or neceffary, that the will and pleasure of that houfe fhould be confulted before fuch a sentence can be allowed to take place?

The general tenor of the petitions, prefented to his My, is, that the prefent pt may be diffolved. The power of doing this being the prerogative of the crown, and the request made immediately to the throne, the pleasure or concurrence of the p▬▬t, or min y, is not neceffary to be obtained. Had fuch petitions been addreffed to the pt, their being to take the fame into their confideration would have founded with fome degree of propriety; but as they have not, and we do not look for any redress from that quarter, they have nothing to do with the fhare of attention that fhall be paid to them.

I fhall conclude my animadverfions on this point with one farther remark: members of parliament are bound to perform their duty to their conftituents as much as an apprentice is bound by his indentures, to fulfil his obligations to his mafter. If the latter is convicted of having acted directly contrary thereto, his mafter, if he chufes it, can difmifs him from his fervice;; fo the people (whofe fervants their reprefentatives arc) can claim a diffolution of them, whenever they have acted in a similar.

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And now, Sir, give me leave to anticipate in fome measure, the refult of the p- -t's deliberations on the above named applications of the people to their fovereign; though I do not profefs myfelf an infallible prophet.

The convening of this auguft affembly has been postponed longer than ufual, for reafons beft known to the min-y, but, probably, as being fubfervient to their united endeavours to fruttrate, or intercept, as long as poffible, an enquiry into the conduct of fome national delinquents. It cannot be, I prefume, because the prefent fituation of affairs does not require their immediate attendance, or that there is no more bufinefs for them to do than may be conveniently and properly executed before they will want to repair to their country feats.

When they are affembled, the faid petitions may, very probably, be taken into confideration more early than otherwife. they might be, in order to attempt a fuppreffion of the prevailing fpirit of liberty, by a profecution of the principal perfons who have been acceffary in promoting its rife and progrefs.

If this fhould be found impracticable, and that the fons of freedom will not be intimidated by their menaces, but boldly continue to maintain the authority of their rights and privileges, they will then, perhaps, in concert with, and by the defire of the min- -y, condefcend to let Mr. Wilkes take his feat in the houfe, as knight of the fhire for Middlefex, and pacify the lieutenant colonel with the prefentatiou of a regiment, a go



vernment, or a large penfion, out of the public revenue, as an intance of their oeconomy to leffen the enormous debt of the nation.

They may farther, perhaps, fubmit to gratify the people, in fome other trifling conceffions, in order to appease their rage, protempore, and filence the national cry for a diffolution.

In this view fhould the minifterial party fuccecd, their prefent fubmiffions not being the refult of their voluntary inclinations, or proceeding from any genuine patriotifm for the welfare of their conftituents, but only for the fake of preventing their difmiffion, they will still remain the fame cort pt, and the fame cor- -pt min- -y; and after a few months have elapfed, when, they think the people are grown lefs attentive to their proceedings, begin to play off their old game. Befides, even though they may, for a while, feem externally to comply with the defires of the people, they may be, at the fame time, fecretly deceiving us; which fort of leger-de-main the pt may always be greatly affifted by the prefent m who are pretty well verfed in fuch practices.

In this manner we have often been duped by the French miniftry; who, after being reduced, and while they are unable to moleft us, are feemingly attached to our intereft and welfare, when, at the fame time, they are privately hatching fome plan or other to difturb us, as foon as ever they may have it in their power publicly to affauit us.

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I fhall only add, upon the whole, that it is to be hoped, the people, whofe eyes feem now to be fufficiently opened, will not, accommodate their differences with the prefent p -t and min- -y, upon any other terms, than a difmiffion of both.

And as I doubt not, from the univerfally acknowledged virtues, and general characteristic of his Majefty, but he will confult the good of his people in the appointment of a more faithful adminiftration, it is to be hoped that the people on their tide, will, when they have an opportunity, be careful enough to elect a more patriotic houfe of Cs, and return only fuch for their reprefentatives whofe names have not been enrolled in the infamous lifts of the miniftry.

I am, Sir, your Humble Servant

W. R.

An bumble Addrefs to their Royal Highnelles the Dukes of G--and C--

May it pleafe your Highneffes.


Ta time when the apprehenfions of a people rife high, and a general diffatisfaction has fpread throughout a nation, it is natural for the human mind to feek after fome refuge, or the beft apparent fecurity that can be imagined against an approaching deftructive evil. Many are the petitions made to the throne for redress of grievances, this addrefs to your Highnefies, confiders


you, as not only princes who are nearly allied to majefty, but as Occupying pofts of power and influence, in the land and fea military fervice. It confiders you as firft characters in our great public, and as perfonally interested in the weal of the British empire. Your princely education and obfervation must have informed you, that the elevation of your family to the throne of thefe kingdoms, was folely owing to its being proteftant; which gave it the preference to all other claimants to the British fceptre. You must be perfuaded, that the fettlement of the fucceffion was alfo owing to the glorious revolution under William III. of molt refpectable memory, emphatically fo to you, and to your Houfe. You must be well affured, that Jacobites and Papifts, thofe avowed enemies to your auguft family, and to the protestant religion, are, by no means, proper perfons to be employed in places and pofts of power and influence under the government; and especially, in directing the national military force, either by land or fea, which opens the capital defign of this humble addrefs to your Highneffes, viz. that you would be pleased to infpect carefully the civil and religious principles of all thofe officers who are employed either in the army or navy, and give the needful information to your royal Brother, which cannot but be a most important fervice, and every way worthy your high ftations; for if any covert scheme has been laid to fubvert the British conftitution, there muft have been proper hands introduced to conduct the national force, whether in the primary, or in the more fubordinate commanderies.

Your Highneffes will look favourably on this addrefs, when the addreffer informs you, that he greatly rejoiced at the death of Queen Anne--moft heartily prayed that the acceffion of George I. might be peaceful and happy; and in the year feventeen hundred and fifteen, voluntarily offered to fpill his blood in defence of the Hanover fucceffion! it is then amiable princes, no other than the humble and earnest advice of a loyal fubject, a faithful. citizen, and AN OLD MAN.


No. I.

To his Grace the Duke of GRAFTON.

My Lord.

T HOUGH my opinion of your Grace's integrity was but lit

tle affected by the coynefs with which you received Mr. Vaughan's propofals, I confeís I gave you fome credit for your difcretion. You had a fair opportunity of difplaying a certain delicacy, of which you had not been fufpected and you were in the right to make use of it. By laying in a moderate ftock of reputation, you undoubtedly meant to provide for the future neceffities of your character, that with an honourable refiftance upon record, you might fafely indulge your genius, and yield to a favourite inclination with fecurity. But have difcovered your purpoles too foon, and instead of the modeft referve of virtue, have



fhewn us the termagant chastity cf a prude, who gratifies her paffions with diftinction, and profecutes one lover for a rape, while the folicites the lewd embraces of another.

Your cheek turns pale; for a guilty confcience tells you, you are undone. Come forward thou virtuous Minifter, and tell the world by what intereft Mr. Hine has been recommended to fo extraordinary a mark of his Majefty's favour; what was the price of the patent he has bought, and to what honourable purpofe the purchase-money has been applied. Nothing less than many thoufands could pay Colonel Burgoyne's expences at Preffuch a ton. Do you dare to prosecute creature as Vaughan, while you are bafely fetting up the royal patronage to auction? Do you dare to complain of an attack upon your own honour, while you are felling the favours of the crown, to raise a fund for corrupting the morals of the people? And do you think it poffible fuch enormities fhould efcape without impeachment? It is indeed highly your intereft to maintain the prefent House of Commons. Having fold the nation to you in grofs, they will undoubtedly protect you in the detail; for while they patronize your crimes, they feel for their own.


On the fame Subject.

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No. 2.

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My LORD, FIND with fome as ferve. Your most determined advocates have fcruples about them, which you are unacquainted with; and though there be nothing too hazardous for your Grace to engage in, there are fome things too infamous for the vileft proftitute of a news paper to defend.

In what other manner fhall we account for the profound fubmiffive filence, which you and your friends have obferved upon a charge which called immediately for the cleareft refutation, and would have juftified the feverest measures of refentment? I did: not attempt to blaft your character by an indirect, ambiguous infinuation, but candidly ftated to you a plain fact, which ftruck directly at the integrity of a privy counsellor, of a first commiffioner of the treafury, and of a leading minifter, who is fuppofed to enjoy the first share in his Majefty's confidence. In every one of thefe capacities, I employed the most moderate terms to charge you with treachery to your Sovereign and breach of truft in your office. I accufed you of having fold, or permitted to be fold, a patent place in the collection of the customs at Exeter to one Mr. Hine, who unable or unwilling to depofit the whole purchafemoney himself, raifed part of it by contribution and has now a certain Doctor Brook quartered upon the falary for one hundred pounds a year.- No fale by the candle was ever conducted with greater formality- I affirm that the price, at which the place was knocked down ( and which, I have good reason to think was not lefs than three thoufand five hundred pounds) was with your connivance and confent, paid to Colonel Burgoyne, to reward him, I prefume, for the decen y of his deportment at


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