the war. On his arrival in England he had formed a resolution not to be astomished at anything the ministry could do; for after the sample they had given him, he saw they were capable of the greatest extravagancies; but when he found the situation we were in with regard to France; when he found that a gallant general was treated in the most unbecoming manner, he was, in spite of his resolution, perfectly astonished. He felt as a soldier for the situation of that brave officer; he felt the utmost indignation against those who could so disgrace the military profession as to treat a soldier who had fought their battles, in a manner so disgraceful to a soldier. He had discovered the dawning of a spirit among the people, which he hoped would soon blaze forth, and make ministers feel that they have acted wrong. Lord George Germain said he would not attempt to contradict any thing the hon. gentleman had advanced from his own knowledge; but he would certainly set him right in what he delivered as conjectures: for there he was better informed. There had been no promise made to the army in America to send out 20,000 men to reinforce them this campaign. If the hon. gentleman informed the House that the drafts of the Bills had been received with contempt by the Americans, he also informed them, that if they had been Planned by other men, they would have een received : it was not therefore the measures but the men that America objected to : if they had no other objection, it would be a very easy matter to make peace. . If they should reject the terms as not making sufficient concessions, it would then appear that they were not disposed to treat upon any terms; and then he should be sorry that the Bills had ever been sent out. With regard to the general alluded to, he did not understand that he had mentioned any cause of complaint but one, and that was, that he had been prevented from going into the royal presence: and that was a hardship which he felt in common with every officer whose conduct required an enquiry. Mr. Fitzpatrick did not mean to charge the noble lord with having made a promise to send out 20,000 men ; but this he would say, that reinforcements were promised; that the new levies had been destined for America; and when the army there should expect to see them arrive, their longing eyes were to be saluted by count

d'Estaing's fleet, which in all probability +

must destroy both lord and general Howe's forces; which were now so few in number, that they could act only on the defensive, He complained of the scandalous manner in which sir William Howe was abused here, while he was beloved, respected, may adored by the whole army in America. General Burgoyne said, he had more causes than one to complain; but he did not wish to take up the time of the House with his personal affairs. When he arrived in town, he waited on the noble lord; and entered into a long conversation with him, in which he unbosomed himself to him as one friend would to another: at the end of it, to his great surprise, he was informed that a court of enquiry had been appointed to enquire into his conduct, and that he should absent himself from court till after that enquiry: he declared that he could not have been more astonished if the noble lord had pulled a dagger from his pocket to strike him with: an enquiry he wished for most earnestly. But his idea led to a court-martial; and he did not expect that the business would have been carried on in such a manner. The general then adverted to the desertions from the northern army; and desired to know if any steps had been taken to release that gallant army, which, without disparagement, would be equal to twice their number in the field; from having been accustomed to hardships, lying without tents, living on slender meals, and being well used to fire. He complained that officers well acquainted with the whole business of the expedition, had never been examined by the noble lord relative to it; whilst runaways and fugitives, with M. St. Luc at their head, were questioned and caressed; nay, while a menial servant of his own, who had been turned out of his family, was heard with attention. Lord George Germain was of opinion, that the declaration of the Congress relative to the convention, was well worthy the most serious consideration: no one wished more heartily for the release of the army than he did; but the utmost circumspection was necessary, With regard to the general he did not think he deserved such severe censure; he had at night received a letter by colonel Jenkinson from him, informing him that he was in town ; not knowing what to do on the occasion, he sent the letter to the King, from whom it was returned to him the next day, with an intimation that it had been settled that a court of enquiry should

sit upon him, and that he should not in the / The Speaker of the House of Commons, mean time appear at court. That was all on presenting the Money Bills, addressed he knew of the affair. He had not thought his Majesty in substance as follows: it necessary to call upon such of the offi. « That, at this time of public alarm, his cers as were in England for information, faithful Commons were happy to find that when he had received such circumstantial his Majesty had called out the constituaccounts from the general's own public tional force of the kingdom for its deand private letters. He never gave encou- fence; that they hoped his Majesty would ragement to any one who wished to de- in consequence be enabled to employ his fame the general. There had been one other forces on essential services without who announced himself as an officer, who the realm ; that as they had liberally said he had been ill-treated by general granted supplies to the fullest wishes of Burgoyne; and that he wanted to lodge his servants, they trusted his Majesty a formal complaint against him; and yet would make such use of the money as though several persons spoke well of that was most likely to preserve the honour man, still he never would and never did and dignity of his crown, and promote the consent to see him, because he thought it welfare and interest of his dominions ; would have been indecent.

| finally, that they heartily wished for a Mr. Fox entered largely into the argu- speedy return of the Americans to their ments which he thought most forcibly allegiance, and did not doubt but in due proved the inexpediency of a prorogation time his Majesty would be able to chastise at the present juncture: he condemned and repress the insolence of his natural the manner in which the drafts of the l enemies.” Conciliatory Bills had been introduced among the Americans; ridiculed the idea The King's Speech at the Close of the of expecting that America would treat Session.] His Majesty closed the Seswith us, while the King on his birth-day sion with the following Speech to both bestowed in the most solemn manner cinque Houses : ports and blue ribbons as marks of appro- “ My Lords, and Gentlemen; bation on those very men, who had plunged “ After so long and laborious an applithe colonies and the mother country into cation to the public business, I think it the war. He shewed the inconsistency of proper at this season of the year to give the Tories, who in New York on the 30th you some recess : I come at the same time of November last, St. Andrew's day, had to return you my particular thanks, for pulled down the statue of lord Chatham; the zeal you have shewn in supporting the and now trophies and statues were to be honour of my crown, and for your attenerected to his memory. They hated him tion to the real interests of all my subliving and revered him dead; and were jects, in the wise, just and humane laws somewhat like the emperor of Germany, which have been the result of your deli. who seeing a sumptuous monument which berations, and which, I hope, will be athad been raised over his rival in the empire, / tended with the most salutary effects in wished that all his enemies were as every part of the British empire. sumptuously interred.

“My desire to preserve the tranquillity The question being put, that the order of Europe has been uniform and sincere ; of the day be now read, the House di. I reflect with great satisfaction, that I vided :

have made the faith of treaties and the Tellers.

law of nations the rule of my conduct;

and that it has been my constant care to WS Earl of Lisburne . . EAS Lord Westcote

give no just cause of offence to any fo..

reign power ; let that power by whom this Sir James Lowther .

tranquillity shall be disturbed, answer to * Sir P. J. Clerke -

their subjects and to the world, for all the So it was resolved in the affirmative : fatal consequences of war. Sir J. Lowther's motion was consequently « The vigour and firmness of my parlost.

liament have enabled me to be prepared

for such events and emergencies as may Mr. Speaker Norton's Speech to the happen; and I trust that the experienced King on presenting the Money Bills.] valour and discipline of my feets and June 3. The King came to the House armies, and the loyal and united ardour of of Peers to put an end to the Session, the nation, armed and animated in the dea fence of every thing that is dear to them, 1 forborne to disturb the public tranquillity, will be able, under the protection of Di- in violation of the faith of treaties, and vine Providence, to defeat all the enter the general rights of sovereigns; at first, prizes which the enemies of my crown by the clandestine supply of arms, and may presume to undertake, and convince other aid to my revolted subjects in North them how dangerous it is to provoke the America; afterwards, by avowing openly spirit and strength of Great Britain their support, and entering into formal

o Gentlemen of the House of Commons; engagements with the leaders of the re

“ I thank you for the cheerfulness with bellion, and at length by committing open which you have granted the large and hostilities and depredations on my faithful ample supplies for the service of the cur- subjects, and by an actual invasion of my rent year, and for your care in raising dominions in America and the West them in a manner the most effectual, and Indies. the least burthensone; and my warmest “ It is, I trust, unnecessary for me to acknowledgments are due to you for the assure you, that the same care and con. provision you have enabled me to make cern for the happiness of my people, for the more honourable support of my which induced me to endeavour to prea family.

vent the calamities of war, will make me is My Lords, and Gentlemen :

desirous to see a restoration of the bless« Your presence in your respective ings of peace, whenever it can be effected counties may at this time be of great with perfect honour, and with security to public advantage; it is unnecessary for the rights of this country. me to recommend to you to do your duty “ In the mean time, I have not neg. in your several stations ; on my part, 1 lected to take the proper and necessary have no other wish or object but to de- measures for disappointing the malignant serve the confidence of my parliament, designs of our enemies, and also for mako and the affections of my people.”

ing general reprisals; and although my

efforts have not been attended with all the The Parliament was then prorogued to success, which the justice of our cause the 14th of July ; and was afterwards fur- and the vigour of our exertions seemed to ther prorogued to the 26th of November.* promise, yet the extensive commerce of

my subjects has been protected in most of

| its branches, and large reprisals have been FIFTH SESSION

made upon the injurious aggressors, by

the vigilance of my fleets, and by the OF THE

active and enterprizing spirit of my people. · FOURTEENTH PARLIAMENT

1. “ The great armaments of other powers, OF

however friendly and sincere their proGREAT BRITAIN.

fessions, however just and honourable

their purposes, must necessarily engage The King's Speech on Opening the Ses- our attention. sion.] November 26, 1778. His Ma- |

“ It would have afforded me very great jesty came to the House of Peers, and satisfaction to have informed you, that the opened the Session with the following

conciliatory measures planned by the Speech to both Houses :

wisdom and temper of parliament, had “ My Lords and Gentlemen ;

taken the desired effect, and brought the

troubles in North America to a happy " I have called you together in a con

conclusion. juncture which demands your most serious

« In this situation of affairs, the naattention,

tional honour and security call so loudly “ In the time of profound peace, with

cupon us for the most active exertions, that out pretence of provocation or colour of

I cannot doubt of your heartiest concurcomplaint, the court of France hath not

rence and support. Froin the vigour of

your councils, and the conduct and in* Immediately after the prorogation, Ed

trepidity of my officers and forces by sea ward Thurlow, esq. Attorney General, was created lord Thurlow, and appointed Lord

and land, I hope, under the blessing of Chancellor, in the room of earl Bathurst.

God, to derive the means of vindicating Alexander Wedderburp. esg. was appointed | and maintaining the honour of my crown, Attorney General, and James Wallace, esq. and the interests of my people, against all Solicitor General.

our enemies.

“Gentlemen of the House of Commons; | feating the designs of our enemies. The

* I will order the proper estimates for present crisis, he acknowledged, was crithe service of the ensuing year to be laid | tical, and in some respect, alarming. before you ; and when you consider the France and America were connected in importance of the objects for which we the most unnatural alliance; other powers are contending, you will, I doubt not, might interfere; the most solemn asgrant me such supplies as you shall judge surances of friendship and neutrality were necessary for the public service, and ade- not wanting, but it was prudent to be prequate to the present emergency.

pared for the worst that might hanpen; in “ My Lords and Gentlemen; . | either event, however, nothin; out the “ I have, according to the powers vested most vigorous exertions could pronrise to in me for that purpose, called forth the free us from our present perilous situation. militia to assist in the interior defence of He observed, that although the vigorous this country; and I have with the greatest efforts made in the course of the last camand truest satisfaction, been myself a wit- paign were not correspondent to the public ness of that public spirit, that steady ar- expectation, our commerce had been prodour, and that love of their country, which tected, and very considerable reprisals had animate and unite all ranks of my faithful been made on the enemy in sight of their subjects, and which cannot fail of making | own coasts, by which they were sorely us safe at home and respected abroad.” distressed, and the captors and the nation

proportionably enriched. He returned to Debate in the Lords on the Address of consider the conduct of America, and Thanks.] His Majesty having retired, said, that the people of that country hav.

The Duke of Chandos rose and moved an / ing obstinately refused the late offers made Address of Thanks. His grace began with them by the British parliament, he trusted siating the many public and private virtues the people of this country would unite, and of the sovereign, and the obstinacy, base no longer consider the revolted colonies ness and ingratitude of his rebellious sub- | as struggling for the privileges of British jects in America; a prince, who had made subjects. but as a sovereign independent the constitution the rule of his govern- state, leagued with a foreign enemy, for ment, and the happiness and prosperity of our destruction. Measures of force were, his people the leading objects of his life. I therefore, become necessary, measures History furnished no example of the kind; calculated to defeat and dissolve so unna. that in a time of profound peace, without tural alliance, whatever appearances might pretence of provocation, the court of in some particulars indicate to the conFrance, contrary to the faith of treaties,'trary; but that the spirit and resources of had not only entered into engagements this country were vet fully equal to the with the leaders of rebellion in America, chastisement of both our declared foes and but had committed hostilities on the faithe | rebellious subjects. ful subjects, and had actually invaded The Earl of Plymouth confessed that the dominions of the British crown in the present was a most inauspicious period, America and the West Indies. He took and called pressingly for the instant aid of a retrospective view of the repeated as- every heart and hand in the kingdom to surances of amity and sincerity given by ward off the blow, now meditating against that perfidious court, while they were se- | us. He professed himself entirely of opicretly encouraging and assisting rebels in nion of the noble duke, that nothing but arms against their lawful sovereign, until the most decisive measures would answer the moment arrived, that they imagined any good end. The enemies of this counthey could, from the embroiled situation try must feel its resentments in acts of of our affairs, publicly avow that perfidy. power and hostility before peace could be This circumstance, joined to the conse- restored upon a safe or honourable footquences which were justly to be dreaded, ing. Any concession on our part must be if not timely guarded against, would, he fatal : our commerce and manufactures, trusted, be sufficient to produce unanimity which were the great sources of our wealth among their lordships and the nation at and national power, must be ruined, if large; and create a proper sense of the America was relinquished. He lived in a injuries attempted to be put upon it, and great manufacturing county, (Worcester. of the wound which its honour had re- siire) where he was a daily witness to the ceived. He said, vigorous measures were distresses of both the manufacturers and the only sure and honourable means of de- of those whom they employed. The manu. facturers had ceased to carry on their busi- | terms in which it was drawn up. Being ness, for want of a market ; and the working averse to the prosecution of the American mechanics were starving forwant of employ- war, in every precedent stage, it could ment. In some of the towns immediately in hardly be expected, that he would lend his neighbourhood, he was acquainted with his approbation in the present instance, opulent tradesmen and manufacturers, who when so many additional reasons confirminstead of employing a hundred or fifty ed him in his former dissent. He did not hands each, did not now employ above ten come prepared to propose any amendor 'five, gr. in that proportion. He had | ment, nor did he see what amendment often heard it dwelt upon by several noble could meet his ideas, without altering the lords in that House, that America would | tenor of the whole Address : otherwise, be able to resist the utmost exertions of he should very readily support every mea. this country; that France would at length sure which would go to separate the idea interfere in her support; and frequently of making war upon France, distinctly since he had heard great merit taken on from America. So far he was ready to the score of those predictions; but the co-operate in any steps necessary for final event thereof was not yet known, nor carrying on a war against our foreign foes; were the authors always justified in what bnt he begged leave to repeat, that expethey said. Among other assertions, he rience had strengthened his former opiremembered to have heard it insisted upon nion, and supplied him with additional from the same quarter, that the militia, if reasons, for advising a discontinuance of called out into actual service, would never hostilities against America, as the only answer the purpose of national defence: the means of restoring that country to the contrary had been proved in the course of British empire. the preceding summer and autumn. He To go into the question, as it presented believed, those who were most sanguine in itself to their lordships, it would be necesthis opinion would agree with him, that sary to consider it previously, as connected there never appeared a finer body of men, with many relative and collateral circumnor better disciplined, considering the stances. This could be only drawn from shortness of the time they were instructed facts, or from fair and candid reasonings in the use of arms. He therefore had no l on those facts. The former would be the doubt, but several other predictions of the actual state of this country, at the comsame tendency would be proved equally mencement of the contest, and at present; erroneous. His lordship concluded, with to compare those periods, and from thence giving it as his firm opinion, that the mea determine on the probability of success. sures recommended from the throne were The same mode of investigation would be the only means now left of procuring pub- necessary in respect of America ; look at lic safety, and of avoiding that public dis- her, see what she was, and what she is. grace and ignominy, which must follow He would, however, as the point of most any concession which a mistaken prudence immediate consequence, consider the inand timidity might suggest, or an insolent ternal and external state of this country. and perfidious enemy think proper to pre- | This, he affirmed, would be found to be scribe. He would therefore second the deplorable indeed. Our armies were Address moved by the noble duke. either mouldering away, by death, deser

The Earl of Coventry rose to repeat his tion, and sickness, or reduced by loss in former opinion respecting America, which / battle; were defeated or captives, or act. had never altered since it became a sub ing upon the defensive. Our navy was ject of debate in that House, but had been far from being in a formidable state. Our uniformly directed to impress this one im- manufacturers were unemployed, starving, portant truth on their lordships, that the and burthensome to their respective paattempt to coerce America, was a measure rishes. Our commerce was declining ; hazardous in the onset, impracticable in and was carried on, upon such a risk, and the execution, and if even prosperous, in- | on such high premiums of insurance, as to finitely pernicious and impolitic. This was render it but of small advantage to the an opinion he would never retract. He merchant, and burthensome to the conwished, in the language of a noble lord sumer. Public credit drawing fast towards (Bute) on a former occasion, to have that annihilation. Our stocks fallen, nearly as opinion engraved on his tomb-stone. As low as at the conclusion of the late war ; to the Address moved by the noble duke, and their ruin suspended only by a thread, he could by no means assent to it in the which the least 'adverse accident would (VOL. XIX. ]

[4 N]

« ElőzőTovább »