Thursday, November 4.
When the Parliament met, and his Majesty, in the House of
Lords, made the following Speech:
"My Lords and Gentlemen,
"I am very glad to meet you again in Parliament, where I have
an opportunity of thanking you for the great Supplies you have
given me, for the prosecution of this War; and I hope, by your
Advice and Assistance, which has never failed me, to take such
measures as may be most proper for supporting our common interest against the excessive power of France.
"We have great reason to rejoice in the happy Victory, which,
by the blessing of God, we obtained at Sea (fn. 1) ; and I wish I
could tell you that the success at Land had been answerable to
it: I am sure my own subjects had so remarkable a part in
both, that their Bravery and Courage must ever be remembered
to their Honour.
"The French are repairing their losses at Sea, with great
diligence, and do design to augment their Land-Forces considerably against the next Campaign; which makes it absolutely
necessary for our own safety, that, at least, as great a force may
be maintained at Sea and Land, as we had the last year: And
therefore I must ask of you, Gentlemen of the House of Commons,
a Supply suitable to so great an occasion.
"I am very sensible how heavy this Charge is upon my
People; and it extremely afflicts me that it is not possible to be
avoided, without exposing ourselves to inevitable ruin and destruction.
"The inconvenience of sending out of the Kingdom great
sums of Money, for the payment of the Troops abroad, is indeed
very considerable; and I so much wish it could be remedied,
that, if you can suggest to me any methods for the support of
them, which may lessen this inconvenience, I shall be ready to
receive them with all the satisfaction imaginable.
"My Lords and Gentlemen.
"None can desire more than I do, that a Descent should be
made into France; and therefore, notwithstanding the disappointment of that design this last summer, I intend to attempt
it the next year with a much more considerable force: And, so
soon as I shall be enabled, all possible care and application shall
be used towards it (fn. 2)
"And, upon this occasion, I cannot omit taking notice of
that signal deliverance, which, by the good Providence of God,
we received the last Spring, to the disappointment and confusion
of our Enemies designs and expectations. This has sufficiently
shown us how much we are exposed to the attempts of France,
while that King is in a condition to make them. Let us, therefore, improve the advantage we have at this time, of being joined
with most of the Princes and States of Europe, against so dangerous an Enemy. In this surely all men will agree, who have
any love for their Country, or any zeal for our Religion. I
cannot therefore doubt, but you will continue to support me in
this War, against the declared Enemy of this Nation, and that
you will give as speedy dispatch to the affairs before you, as the
nature and importance of them will admit; that our preparations may be timely and effectual, for the preservation of all that
is dear and valuable to us. I am sure, I can have no interest but
what is yours: We have the same Religion to defend; and you
cannot be more concerned for the preservation of your Liberties and Properties than I am, that you should always remain in
the full Possession of them; for I have no aim but to make you
a happy People.
"Hitherto, I have never spared to expose my own Person,
for the good and welfare of this Nation; and I am so sensible
of your good Affections to me, that I shall continue to do so,
with great chearfulness, upon all occassions, wherein I may contribute to the honour and advantage of England."
The House being returned, adjourned to Thursday.
Thursday, November 10.
Resolved, Nem. con. That the humble and hearty Thanks of
this House be presented to his Majesty for his most gracious
Speech; and to congratulate his Majesty upon his safe return to his
People, after the many hazards to which his Majesty has exposed
his sacred Person, and for his Deliverance from the Malice of
his Enemies; and to assure his Majesty, That this House will
always advise and assist him in the supporting of his Government against all his Enemies.
Resolved, Nem. con. That an humble Address be presented to
her Majesty, acknowleging her prudent Administration of the
Government, in the absence of the King.
And a Committee was appointed to prepare them.
Friday, November 11.
Resolved, That the Thanks of this House be given to Admiral Russel, for his great courage and conduct in the Victory
obtained at Sea the last summer. And the Speaker gave him the
Thanks of the House accordingly.
Ordered, That the Commissioners of the Admiralty, and the
Honourable Member that commanded the Fleet, give an Account,
to the House, of the last summer's Expedition.
Saturday, November 12.
Lord Falkland, from the Commissioners of the Admiralty,
according to Order, presented to the House several Papers of Instructions and Orders for the last summer's Expedition, in relation to the Fleet; and also several results of Councils of War
held touching the same; which were read at the Clerk's
Mr Goodwin Wharton.] I desire the House may be
informed, why Sir John Ashby had fallen short of his
Duty, who should have pursued Tourville, when he
was divided from the rest of the French Fleet (fn. 3) ?
Admiral Russel.] I received an Order yesterday to
give an Account to the House of the disposing of the
Fleet after the Battle, and why the Victory was not
pursued, and Trade not protected, and why the Ships
lay so long in Port after the Battle. There was not
one Transaction of the Fleet, without the Consent of the
Council of War; they were all unanimous. I have prepared a Paper to give you an Account how the Wind
stood, the time the Fleet lay in Harbour.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] I did move that the Commissioners of the Admiralty should lay before you the Papers
of their Transactions. You are told, by Russel, of the
Council of War of the Flag-Officers; but I mean the
Council of the private Captains, for carrying on the
Descent to be made, by the Fleet.
Mr Foley.] 'Tis not material who was at the Council
of War, but I would see the Papers of opinions of the
Council of War about the Descent.
Lord Falkland.] We have no original Papers of the
Descent at the Admiralty-Office.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] I would know why the Fight
was in May, and the Descent not till July?
Mr Smith.] This seems to me a defective prosecution
of the Victory, and not as it should be. I move that
you would go gradually to enquire what defect there
was in the prosecution of the Victory, before you come
to the matter of the Descent.
Admiral Russel's Paper was read, [giving an Account] why
the Victory at Sea was not prosecuted, and why the Fleet lay so
long on the French Coast.
Sir Robert Howard.] The advice you may give the
King, in this matter, may be in the nature of another
Supply. Russel did engage, and did fight, but not all
the Ships, and from them he might justly expect pursuing the Victory that we had got at Sea. Stick to this
particular, why the Victory was not pursued. An English
Priest at St. Malo's had abused an Englishman; Cromwell demanded him, and his Admiral, Blake, battered
the Town so long, that the Priest was delivered him.
I would know whether the Sea and Land is not the same
as formerly? And if this was done then, why not now?
Sir Thomas Clarges.] I would know what Answer
came from Lord Nottingham? They lay long enough for
it. I would know, in that time, from July to August,
Mr Foley.] The Fight was the 19th of May. There
is a relation of it under Tourville's hand. If Sir John
Ashby had done his duty, why were not the French
pursued? He pursued but three Ships, and so the rest
Sir William Strickland.] I move that Ashby may be
sent for, to give you an Account.
Sir Charles Sedley.] I think Tourville's relation is
a great reflection upon Ashby—He will do it upon
our best men. I would send for him, and let him tell
his own Tale.
Sir Edward Seymour.] I think it fit to have all before
you, because you have a seeming Accusation. If you
examine, and punish none, you confirm the Miscarriages.
Why the Victory was not pursued relates to Ashby:
Therefore, before you proceed farther, send for Ashby.
As for the Miscarriages of the Ships, 'tis not the business of the body of the Fleet to lurk after particular Ships.
Great time was spent to prepare this Fleet. Though they
said not, they would not go aboard—But they are bold
Commissioners to advise prosecuting a Descent against
the Opinion of all the Council of War at Sea.
[Ordered, That Sir John Ashby do attend this House with all
Sir Thomas Clarges.] This Descent cost you some hundred thousand pounds. All we find, is bandying it
from one to another. The Sea-Officers will not
meddle without the Land, nor the Land without the
Sea—Except this Victory at Sea, there has been but one
act since this War towards abating the French power—
I would know, whether the Admiralty ordered this?
I have spoken with Newfoundland men, who say that
the French go to fish there by August. The French had
two little Forts there, which were attempted and left,
and two little Frigates, in 1682, took them—All is
very unfortunate. I thought, after a Victory, to have
been secure in Trade; but we have lost above a hundred Ships. I would know who had the Direction of
the Descent? I hear, that, after this Victory, it was
very terrible to the French. To lie still from the 19th
of May till the 24th of July, was very strange! There
was great diligence formerly, when Van Tromp put up a
Be-som on the Top-Mast, and said, "He came to sweep
the Channel." We were not in so good hands, and
good understanding then, as we are now; but then we
took many Ships. But I know not how it happens,
there is not that Zeal now to the Government, as was
then; and though we have been successful at Sea, we
have been very unfortunate on Shore. I would know
who had the direction of the Descent, so late, and retarding the Land-men?
Sir Robert Rich.] The French were not gone from Newfoundland, but lay under the Fort. But I would
know, whether it was not the middle of July that our
Ships went out thither?
Admiral Russel.] 'Tis enquired, what the Fleet did
after the Fight? I aver, the Season proved so tempestuous, that they could not stir. But it is not an argument now (by what has been told you) to what was
done forty years ago about the Priest at St. Malo's. It
was the 14th of July before the Ships could sail, and
they must be clean before they take so long a Voyag.
Neither the English, nor the French, ever sail from Newfoundland till the 20th of September.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] What Russel says of his own
knowlege, I do believe, but the French go always a
month before the English come away; and I do say that
two Privateers did take the Fort.
Sir Peter Colleton.] I move to know, who had the
particular charge of the Transport-Ships?
Sir Robert Rich.] The Commissioners of the Admiralty had no cognizance of other Ships than those of War:
That belongs to the Commissioners of Transports.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] The thing we would know, is,
the time when these Ships were ordered; they pretend
want of Money, but there was no defect of that. I
would know when these Orders were given?
Sir Robert Rich.] You are now sending for Ashby, the
second Flag-Officer. I would consider, whether it is
for your Reputation to send for him. I think it were
better to send for him by intimation from the Admiralty-Board. (But the thing was already ordered.)
Sir Thomas Clarges.] I think the Commissioners of
the Admiralty in an unfortunate condition. I think some
of them are worthy men; but they are in a hard condition. I cannot but take notice, that if cross Orders
should be sent to the Fleet, in time of service, it may
be of great mischief. There may be cross Orders from
the Queen in the King's absence, and from the Commissioners of the Admiralty. The Commissioners are
Admirals by Act of Parliament.
Mr Smith.] I desire all respect may be used to Ashby.
The common Method is a Summons; your Order is already made; pray do not make another to contradict it.
Mr Hampden.] Your Order is for Ashby to attend the
House, but not how to be summoned. Therefore
I move that the Speaker may summon him by his
Col. Titus.] I know not how Ashby deserves such a
favour as a Letter from the Speaker. You sent for
Delaval by your Serjeant; I know not why it may not
be so now.
Sir Christopher Musgrave] I think it is the best way
of respect to Ashby, to send a Summons, and let your
Messenger deliver him your Order, and he may come at
his case. To receive an Order by a Messenger of your
own, is no reflection at all; but to send a Summons by
the Post, unless it be better managed in other Counties
than in ours, I know not when it will come to his
Sir Edward Seymour.] 'Tis well advised, that Ashby
be summoned by your Order. I know no diminution
to any person to let him know the Order of your House
by your Serjeant.
[Monday, November 14.
The House waited on their Majesties with their Addresses.
Tuesday, November 15.
The Serjeant at Arms acquainted the House, That Sir John
Ashby having been served with the Order for his attending this
House, he returned Answer, "That as soon as any Person came to
take the charge and command of the Fleet, he would attend the
[November 16 and 17, Omitted.]
Friday, November 18.
The Bill for regulating Tryals, in cases of Treason, was read
the second time.
Sir William Whitlock moved for Commitment of the Bill.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] I have perused the Bill, and it
came last Session to a Committee of the whole House.
But since it has been already passed, there is no necessity that it go to a Committee of the whole House. But
I submit it to you, Whether you will put it to a
Committee of the whole House, or a select Committee?
Sir John Lowther.] I cannot agree to the Bill. I
would have the security our Ancestors had, be so to us,
especially in this time, so few have been tried for Treason. The Bill says, "Indictment is not to be presented but in ten days;" 'tis impossible in our County
[Westmorland] where the Assizes are but once a year,
and witnesses may be dead, or tampered with, or the
Criminal may escape, and so not be punished. I should
be glad my Country and family may be secured, but I
think this Bill is no security.
Mr Attorney Somers
(fn. 4) .] I shall never consent that any
thing of the Liberty of the Subject be taken away. I
have not given occasion to any man to say I ever strained
any construction of Law. To several parts of the Bill
I disagree, but am totally against timing the Bill, as unnecessary and inconvenient. I declare my Judgment against the last Clause: The only thing, besides giving
Money, by the Commons, is the right of Impeachments; if that be brought down to ordinary proceedings, the Commons will never undertake Impeachments, when Counsel must stand upon an equal foot
with the Commons, and put themselves under a very
low degree. If a man have the good luck to conceal
Treason for a time, he may escape prosecution. Yesterday Perjury was made a Capital Law (fn. 5) . Taking this
Bill altogether, it is so difficult to prosecute any man
for Treason by this Bill, that I think it unnecessary,
and ill-timed, and I am against it.
Sir Christopher Musgrave.] The learned Person that
spoke last, has thought this Bill unseasonable, and spoke
to several parts of it, which may be good instruction
to your Committee. I remember, in the Convention,
one Grievance was, misinterpreting the Law, and misconstruction of it, in cases of Treason. Few but did bewail the misfortune of the last Government in misrepresentations of Law; and it is just to prevent it for
the future. As for the objection about the Impeachments, that is proper for the Committee to consider;
but I would know whether such a Bill is not requisite?
If so, what security have we more than we had before?
When Princes strain hard upon their subjects, it will be
hard to get such a Law. The time therefore now is
Mr Sollicitor Trevor
(fn. 6) .] There are great objections
against this Bill—It seems to aim at those things that
every honest subject ought to do; and if the ends of it
could be accomplished, I should be for it; but I take
it to be quite contrary: No doubt but we should secure the protection of the Lives of the Subjects, but
this Bill gives protection to offenders, and does not preserve the innocent, and then the Bill is not to be passed.
I shall not deny, but there have been misinterpretations
of the Law in former reigns; the way to prevent that
for the future is to prevent the Authors of them. This
Law now will have no greater sanction than the former
Laws. There are too many, I fear, that correspond
with our Enemies abroad. Now, whether is it proper
to pass a Law more difficult for prosecution, than in
times of our Ancestors? Nobody but will think then
that this Bill is an encouragement to impunity. Will
the innocent be protected in letting loose so many ill
men against the Government? What then will be the
consequence? Tyranny and Popery will be the subversion of this Government. Then will this be a protection to Posterity? All the Laws we can make, will not
protect us, if there be an encouragement to those who
would subvert the Government. 'Tis said, "The Bill
passed last Session;" but if it did, the objections against it
are stronger now. 'Tis known, since that Session, what
attempts have been made to invade the Kingdom, and
too many engaged in it here. Though there were
not two Witnesses against them, yet we are persuaded
some did deserve it—Shall we now give them greater
encouragement to be offenders?
Mr Harley.] I observe, that those who spoke against
the Commitment of the Bill, have used arguments that
are against the whole Bill. If you are not for the Commitment of the Bill, you are for throwing it out. In the
Convention there was a Committee for public Bills, and
this was one of them. Has any thing since been done
against offenders formerly? Because you did it not then
will you not do it now? The Statute of 25 Edward III
regulates Treasons after great Revolutions. In Henry
IV's time, there was such a Revolution as this. It is
said, "The Bill is not suitable to the Disease;" if it be
not strong enough, I hope you will make it so.
Sir Charles Sedley.] I would by no means endanger the
King's safety, and for ours we can do no less than commit the Bill; that we who canont make long Speeches,
may speak to the parts of it.
Lord Coningsby.] I always thought the impunity of
the Government would hazard the security of it. If the
Plotters succeed, there is no security to you; and if
this Bill helps to restore those who violated formerly,
you are still worse. One particular you allow; public
Enemies are those who own not the Government. Are
they to have the advantage of this Bill, and the Papists,
that will bring Popish Evidence against us?
Mr Foley.] There have been Misconstructions of Cases of Treasons. If there had been no Misconstruction in case of Treasons but in the late King's Reign
—But in others, the proper remedy is a Law declaratory. If you commit the Bill, I hope great care will
be taken, that no guilty may be protected. 'Tis said,
"It will be hard by this Bill to bring a Man to Tryal;" but the true Reason is, because there is no proper
direction given for the Prosecution.
[The Bill was committed to a Grand Committee, 170 to 152.]
[Saturday, November 19.
Sir John Ashby, at the Bar, gave the House an Account of
the reason why the French were not pursued, after the Fight at
Sea, to St Malo's, &c. "That the Fleet would have been endangered, by reason of the shallows; and one of his Captains,
a Trader formerly there, assured him that he was run aground in a Vessel, but of 100 Tons." And then withdrew.
And, being called in again, the Speaker acquainted him, "That
the House had taken notice of his ingenuous behaviour at
the Bar; and had commanded him to tell him, that they are satisfied with his Account; and that he was dismissed from farther attendance".]
Monday, November 21.
On Foreign General-Officers:
(fn. 7) .] I wish the King would reward
and punish more than he does—Trumpeters and Corporals have been made Officers—And I receive not
the third part of my pay, to keep up the grandeur
of my place of Captain—I cannot believe that 14,000
came over out of Ireland. I believe that most people that
came over, came for getting—If that be not the reason of the vast debt in Ireland, I hope we shall have
another reason. The Compiler heard him imperfectly.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] We have been told of great
Misdemeanors in Ireland; the Government is divided
there into Civil and Military Hands. I would know,
who had the command of the Army in Ireland, Lord
Coningsby, or Lord Athlone?
Sir Peter Colleton.] There are many brave men in
the Nation, and some sit in your House, qualified for
General-Officers, and there is no need of Foreign
General-Officers. The Foreigners would have raised
the Siege of Athlone; the Foreign Generals were against storming; but an English General was for it,
and it was taken: For ought I know, had it not been
done, Ireland had been still to reduce. Englishmen
naturally love their Country, and will not willingly
destroy their Country. Foreigners cannot have that
affection for England. When King James set up to
overthrow Parliaments and Property, the English Officers gave up their commands. We know not how
soon we may fight for our all on English ground—I
think we are much safer in English hands than in Foreigners. None are ignorant of the melancholy story of
(fn. 8) ; every one knows that Tragedy. The
common Soldiers had no opinion of their Officers. I
move, "That none but Natives should command
Mr Wharton.] The thing is just, to encourage Englishmen, and as long as there is a necessity of a War,
I would continue it on our own foundation. We want
not Foreign Officers; we have Natives fit for employment—Nothing but an English Army can preserve
our English Liberties and Properties. Encourage them
to be entirely English, from the Soldiers to the Officers.
Lord Falkland.] I have as much esteem for English
Officers as any body, but the King, who is a witness
of their Actions and Merits, [is the best judge] I would
have that come only from the King. You know not
what Officers the King designs. When you come to
the State of the War, it will be proper to speak to
Sir Edward Seymour.] I wonder, that, on such a subject as this, and so little debating upon it, Gentlemen
call for the Question so suddenly. I shall only observe, that there is a great deal of difference in what
came from Brackley (Mordaunt) and what from Town.
There was nothing of Mutiny for want of pay, but
for the reason of it; Subsistence Money was regularly paid, sixpence a day, but threepence, the offreckonings, was for cloathing and necessaries. This
has been punctually paid. It is true, Officers have
but half pay, and as for Trumpeters, &c. it was rectified, because, under the notion of Officers for Ireland,
there are Commissioners stating the Accounts of
Quarters, how much is owing to the Country. Thus
much I can say, this falls not out by Chance—We have
had experience, that Officers, to whom money has
been paid, have defrauded the Soldiers, and let the
Soldiers do what they will, as to that—In relation to
Foreign Officers, that fell not out by chance; it was
necessity, and not chance. Men are not born Generals. A man may be a good Officer, and not a good
General. We have not of our own men fit for that
employment; the King knows men, and I hope you
will not offer the King men unfit. Men that get into
employment, think it an injury if they are not Captains presently. Men that have not gone through all
employments, can never be fit for the Army, or Navy, and return with all disadvantage. What number
have you fit for General-Officers? They are few;
and will you think to discharge and send away Foreigners, till you have Generals of your own? I am not
for Foreigners, for Foreigners sake. If we have not
General-Officers of our own fit for this employment,
I hope you will not put the Foreign Officers out.
Captain Mordaunt.] I hope, as good Advice may
come from Brackley as from Exeter [Seymour] That
of the Trumpeters, &c. lasted a whole Campaign—
If there are ill Men, both in the State and Army, I
care not how soon they are punished. Great Men
have had great Sums in Ireland, that have nearly
cleared the pay—As for General-Officers, I would
have no man discharged, that has done well by the
English Officers. I have served under Foreigners, who
did very well, and I hope they will be excepted.
Sir John Lowther.] I find some ambiguity in the
Question, viz. "That, for the future, no Foreign
General-Officers shall command Englishmen." What
will you do with those you have? The great ignorance
of Military Affairs, in King James's Army, was not one
of the least advantages of the Revolution, by the conduct
of these Foreign Officers; when an Army is only for
parade at home, and nothing to be done abroad. From
the Foreign Officers we had experience. I do not question, but in two years, we may have General-Officers
of our own, but we have lost four General-Officers,
which is a great many, and no wonder we have so
few. It is the proper business of the Crown to bestow
marks of favour on the General-Officers, and I doubt
not but the King will take care to do it. A great
many think, that so much gratitude is due to them for
the good they have done you, and the skill they have
taught you. Therefore I would not put this
Sir Charles Sedley.] I think it the highest ingratitude
to turn out those Generals. These Gentlemen have
been the King's Companions of his Arms; 'twill be
hard upon the King to turn them out.
Earl of Ranelagh.] No man shall be more for the
advantage of England, or Englishmen, than myself;
but pray look into the matter of fact. The King has
not Resolved on his General-Officers for 1693. For the
present, there are two Generals, five Lieutenant-Generals, five Major Generals, and ten Brigadiers. If
you examine their names, you will find two Lieutenant-Generals, English born, the Earl of Oxford, and General
Talmash; the Duke of Schomberg, M. Auverquerque,
the Earl of Portland, and the Duke of Leinster, are naturalized. The old Duke of Schomberg's son you will
look upon as naturalized. There are six Brigadiers that
are English. The last Session, every one of these men
had the approbation of the House, and Money given
them; and not one of these but ventured their lives
for reducing Ireland, and delivering you from Popery
and Slavery. Pardon me, if I say, this will look ungrateful. An Army composed of several Nations
must have Generals in several places. In the last Campaign, the King made three Natives Major-Generals,
viz. the Duke of Ormond, the Earl of Scarborough, and
Col. Bellasis. Douglas, Kirk, and Lanier were lost (fn. 9) .
We know not who the King intends for General-Officers this year, 1693; and if, upon the List, you find
any Foreigners that you approve not of, then is the
time, when the King has determined it, to address
Sir Thomas Clarges.] We are told by the honourable
Person, "That one Chief Governor of Ireland could not
redress the disorder of the Army, because he had not the
Command of the Army;" but [he should have] told you
who commanded. I was of the Council in Ireland, in the
Years 1662 and 1663. I know, though the Army for
some time had not two Months Pay, there was no complaint; but there was a Contribution of Provision settled;
things were quiet then, and the Lands were planted, and
the loss equally distributed: But the reason of the disorder might happen from the Generals, who do not understand the nature of Ireland. You are told, "We can
have no General English born, and therefore we must
make use of Foreigners." I can name ten, who, if
they were now in France, would be Marshals of France
at this day. If they have served twenty or thirty years
in foreign Wars, I believe they are as fit as any Foreigners. 'Tis true, they are not Earls and Lords;
they are private men. I have known Troopers, and
Foot-Officers, risen up to be fit for Generals; many
that have served in Portugal and Tangier. 'Tis impossible that the King could know this, if men about him
will not inform him. 'Tis said, by Lord Ranelagh, "You
have approved of them, and given them Money." I
thought such a List, as he has named, sufficient to command 100,000 men—But if so many are cut off, I
fear the King's expectation will not be answered with
success, without English Officers; but if we are so unhappy as not to trust English Officers——'Tis impossible but, by the date of their Commissions, that English
Officers should come to Preferment. Every private
Soldier, and Officer, thinks he has an interest in the
Laws and Religion. From this ingratitude to the
Officers, you have lost the Discipline of the Army, because they are not commanded by those of their own
Country—And then you shall not have that licence of
free quarter. You had an Act within an hour of
passing, against free quarter; I know not how it slipped,
by what Counsel; but for quarters in private Houses.
mens hearts begin to be alienated. I know not well
when Subsistence began, for formerly the Army was
paid every two months; but then a scheme was made,
so much for the Army and Contingencies; and then
nothing was added to the Establishment of the Army,
but by the two Secretaries, the Council of War, and
the Lord Treasurer; this was then, and the Secretaries
of State did not offer a Commission, till established—
To this day, there is no Establishment of the Army.
Should Gentlemen take up the best advice of former
times——But if the King is misguided by false lights,
I know not where it will end. What is intended, is for
the service of the King; but as for foreign Generals,
I think it is for the King's service that English Forces
be commanded by Natives.
Lord Colchester. (fn. 10) ] I find the business of Steenkirk
sticks with some Gentlemen. The chief occasion of the
ill success there was the wrong information given to
the King of the ground we were to pass, which was so
full of hedges and woods, that we could not draw up
one body to sustain another; Horse and Foot were
mingled. I saw the attack made by Fagel; Dutch,
English, and all Nations: They beat the French from
hedge to hedge, but their very weight of men bore
us down.—The French came up to us, and Auverquerque came up, and behaved himself as well as any
man in the World—He sent us two Danish regiments,
and we retreated to the main body, and from thence
to the main camp. Others can give you an account;
but as for what Lord Castleton has said, it must be by
hearsay; he was not there himself.
Col. Earle.] No man is of less sufficiency to speak
than myself. I have had the honour to serve in three
or four Parliaments, and have not troubled you. I
was a Colonel of Foot in the Engagement at Steenkirk,
where the ground was mistaken, and so we were forced
to retreat. As to the Question, no man is more pleased
than I for English Officers to command the English
Army; but I do not think that three or four years
service can make a General. I wish we had men fit;
but before you have them, pray do not rid yourselves
of all foreign Generals. I hope, when you come to the
Question, you will not part with all the foreign Generals, before you can have some of your own to come
in their places.
Col. Godfrey.] I find Gentlemen possessed with great
Miscarriages, especially at the Engagement at Steenkirk—The difficulty was so great, that, if we had not
succeeded, it might have been the loss of Flanders.
Other Nations, as well as the King of England's subjects, and particularly the Dutch battalion, did behave
themselves with great honour; but whether they came
down early enough, [may be doubted]——The French
poured so many dragoons on us, that there was no standing; so the prudentest way was to retreat. The King was
ill-informed of the ground, and we could not bring
our men into any manner of line. The foreign Generals are of great experience and bravery; but I can
come thus far up to the Question, "That none but
the King's native subjects should command Englishmen
for the future."
Col. Cornwall.] When this attack was formed, General Solmes was there, with ten battalions, to sustain
them. Solmes said, "That to send more men, was to
slaughter more." They received Orders from Solmes,
which never came near them (fn. 11) . Reduce the Question
singly to Solmes; put it upon him. He is a man very
haughty, and puts Officers under such hardships, that
I am sure the service will be ill done as long as he is
General of the Foot. He was made General at the
King's coming over; he was before Colonel of the
Guards; and I move for Talmash to be General (fn. 12) .
Lord Colchester.] I think Talmash is fitter for it
than Solmes; he is full as brave a man; but I was
not posted so in the Engagement as to know what is
said of Solmes.
Col. Godfrey.] I think there is not a better nor
more deserving man than Talmash. Mr Wroth came
to me in a great heat and anger—Talmash desired the
King to send battalions. The King ordered Mr Wroth
to go to Count Solmes, who said, "Tell Count Solmes,
I will not go near him."
Sir Thomas Clarges.] I'll tell you the notice I have
had of this. I was informed that the advanced party
under the Duke of Wirtemberg, and General Mackay,
made an attack at two o'clock, and possessed themselves of the enemy's guns, and drove them from hedge
to hedge, and the Army was two miles off—If they
had been sustained, what a glorious Victory might we
have had! The Enemy flew before us—The Duke of
Ormond got three or four battalions; but being met
by a superior Officer, was asked, Whither he went?
He said, "To sustain his friends:" But he was
Mr Wharton.] I shall collect, in a few words, what
has been said—Though comparisons are odious, yet,
in this case, they are necessary——Talmash is a better
man than Solmes—Ask whether the French sutlers did
not begin to plunder our Camp—The Question is, If
Count Solmes did not sustain those men? The point is
clear—The King having not yet named Officers, now
is the proper time.
Mr Comptroller Wharton.] I will not trouble you
in a thing I so little understand, as an Army. I am
sorry for the comparison between Solmes and Talmash:
I think only, that Talmash has served very well; and
the longer you use him, the better you will like him.
I wish you would lay the Question aside; but I would
vindicate your Countrymen, and frame the Question
something of this kind, "That, for the time to come,
the King would be pleased to fill up the Offices of the
Army, as they shall become vacant, with his own
Mr Waller.] This day's Debate ought to increase
the good opinion of the King of his English Officers,
I am for the Question moved by Wharton; but with
this Addition: "Or such as have been naturalized."
Mr Smith.] This will take off those who possess the
King that he can do no service without Foreigners,
I am not fond of a Favourite, because he will not lay
his bottom in England, but retire from hence upon
farther occasion. By the true friendship I have for
Talmash, I would not, under the notion of a service,
do him an injury; but consider, you are putting out
and putting in Officers for the King. Pray put the
Question in the most decent manner, "That, for the
future, the King would be pleased to employ no foreign
Col. Cornwall.] You have all the Foot under Dutch
General-Officers, and the Cannon too. I hope they
will not play foul play; but, if they should, you have
a scurvy business of it. Whether a General ought not
to be stirring about in an attack, and whether the
Soldiers were satisfied with Solmes, you may enquire,
before you form your Address.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] I am afraid that, by this Debate, you are making General-Officers. You gave
Thanks to the King, and approved of them all. I
hope, when the State of the War is given in, you will
not find so many General-Officers. I think this is only
preparatory for the next year.
Sir Christopher Musgrave.] Several things have been
propounded for laying aside the Question. The weightiest
argument I hear is, "That it is not seasonable, because the State of the War is not before you;" but
that is a reason against it, if the King takes his resolution before that come in. The King has desired you
to advise him; can you do better, than in what is of
so great concern as the Fleet and Army? It is said,
"You have given Thanks to the King, and approved
of them all;" but shall it be entailed always upon foreign Generals to continue them for ever? If we have
Peace, to keep them, and discharge all the English
General-Officers? You are told, "The King was
mis-informed of the ground our men was engaged
upon." I would know, whether the General did view
the ground, and not trust other men? If so, sure that
was an unpardonable fault. If all that are in, shall be
in, what is your Vote for? If you mean for the future, do you mean for this time? If not, then they
will be continued. Though I have a great honour for
Talmash, and hope his service will be valued as it
merits, yet pray explain plainly, if you mean all the
General-Officers to continue, or from this time; else
your Address is nothing.
Sir Edward Seymour.] I would have all your Advice such as you may justify in another place. 'Tis to
be passed conjunct by both Houses. The King asks
Advice of both Houses; and pray let us take no Resolutions from hence, that we shall not be able to justify to the Lords.
Sir Edward Hussey.] If that pass for an Argument,
"That what we do will not be acceptable to the
Lords," then we may do nothing. When Gentlemen
get preferment, I observe they are apt to be gagged,
and abandon the interests of their Country. Let a
brand be set on them, or him, whoever they are.
Mr Hampden.] I easily guessed, that you had gone far
enough in a Debate that has occasioned this heat (I
know what a gagg is)—If my Poetry be as good as
Hussey's, Solmes is nearly related to the King. For
such a Person to have a brand upon him! I move,
That you would lay the Debate aside.
Sir Edward Hussey.] I desire to explain myself. I
meant not Hampden; but if he be one that has abandoned his Country, then I mean him.
The Question was put, "That the King be advised, that
no General-Officers, for the future, shall command Englishmen, but such as are Natives of his Dominions."
Mr Harley.] I find, Gentlemen have showed as much
modesty in the House, as courage in the Army. I
would make this distinction in the Question, "That
the English Foot may be commanded by English Generals."
Mr Foley.] 'Tis a great prejudice, that English
Forces should be commanded by foreign Officers——
When the Law sets some men at liberty by Habeas
Corpus, that a foreign Officer should set Guards upon
them, has given great discontent in the Army. The
King is not like to be well served thus. This summer there was a mighty great confusion in the English
Army; Orders were given in Dutch, and French, to the
English, who understood neither Dutch nor French. Our
Officers are men of Estates; to subdue the Enemy, and
not make a Trade of the War. There will be no end
of the War, but pushing for it. If our men had been
seconded last summer, there had been an end of the
War, and no need of this Debate. The General-Officers
were at Dinner, when they should have sustained our
men, and other Officers with them; they have been the
loss of the Victory this year. I would prevent them
for the future.
Lord Castleton.] Orders were showed to Officers in
French, and Dutch, who understood neither Language.
I stand up for the Question. I am sure we had better
have Natives than Foreigners for General-Officers.
Sir Thomas Littleton.] Foley has assured you, "That
we might have had the Victory last summer"—The
fault was in the General-Officers, not your Countrymen—
But all he says, is from hearsay, and they are as much to
blame that were at Dinner.—
Col. Granville.] Till the French King had German
Troops and Italian Ministers, he never could enslave his
Country. All commands in the Army for these four
years have been in foreign hands—And the Descent in
the Frenchmens hands.
Sir Robert Rich.] I was none of those that sawned
on the Dutch when they came in, and nauseated them
when they had done our work. Talmash, whom I honour
much, has a fair rise, to come up from Colonel to Lieutenant-General—I hope the King will consider all we
have said, and take order in it (fn. 13) .
In a Grand Committee. Sir Francis Winnington in the Chair.
On that part of his Majesty's Speech, whereby he desires the
Advice of this House (fn. 14) .
The Report was read of Ships taken by the French, for want of
Sir Thomas Clarges.] The King's Speech asks your
Advice to take such measures for the common interest
against France, &c. Our first consideration is to know
the state and condition we are now in; if we know not
that, if we understand not that in some sort, we shall
never be able to preserve ourselves, or support the War
three years. At Sea we have been very unfortunate,
since we were at War, whether by unskilful management or treachery. One year we were driven into our
ports, though, as the Lords of the Admiralty represent
it, we were strong. The French covered all our Seas,
and we were surrounded, and we lost 1500 Ships. Three
millions stock of the Nation was lost for want of guarding the
Sea. How we are at Sea, we see today by the Report—One
of the Admiralty, Priestman, was named, how he should
say, "If we keep one Ship in three, it is enough for
you." The Robbers all over England, is a certain sign
we are impoverished; twenty in a Company. The last
year, we had a Victory at Sea; the King rejoiced at it,
and so did we; but we are unfortunate that those we
have overcome, yet, notwithstanding this Victory, take
1500 of our Ships. The reasons why the Victory was
not pursued do not satisfy me. You have heard of a
Priest, who abused some Englishmen, demanded at St
Malo's, &c. in a former Government (fn. 15) . Why should
not we preserve the strength and honour of the Nation
as well as they? By the method we have taken, I fear
we have undone all our Allies. As an Island, naturally
you should strengthen the Sea; yet we send all our force
into Flanders, where you draw all the strength of France,
where he is irresistible. Holland, Brandenbourg, and the
rest of the Confederates, had 90,000 men in the field,
and could not save Namur, the Barrier for Holland; and
in the mean time we ruin England. 'Tis too memorable
to be forgot, the ill success we had at Steenkirk; and
our Countrymen might have had a glorious Victory if
they had been seconded. There is no diminution by ill
success, but attempting things improbable ruins us.
There must be some unskilfulness in Councils, and, in
the King's absence, no advice but must come from the
King first. The strength of the Nation is the Commonalty, and I doubt not but the King will take the
Commons advice. I should be glad to hear some wiser
than I speak their Judgments in this condition we are
in, to advise something to relieve us.
Captain Mordaunt.] I know no Great Council of the
Nation, but here and the Privy Council, without a
private Cabal. Most of those people that King James
left behind him, are continued in places of trust and
profit. I hope they will take care to chuse us better—
Those Allies we have, must either come sooner into
the field, or when they come there, do better. One
advice that I desire you to give the King is, that the Army
be better paid; though I mix my interest with your
advice. It is hard that we should pay for our heads at
home, and not be paid for venturing our lives abroad.
We have but a foul prospect abroad, if not better sustained than we have been. 'Tis better for Foreigners to carry
on a foreign War. I would have all those worthy foreign
Generals returned, though to our great loss (Jeering.)
Mr Wharton.] When the King asks your Advice, it is
because he sees great necessity for it. I doubt not but
the King sees that private men, called a Cabal, have led
him into some Errors, and calls for your Advice; which
is the best thing he could do. The State of the Nation has been in a great measure opened—I would make
the most of the Allies, and not the least, and I hope
we shall stick to them, and they to us. To advise the
King not to go abroad, is so tender a thing, that I would
not advise it—If the Confederates are lost, I think we
are lost with them, but you may hold out longer than
they—The English want not bravery nor understanding,
nor want Money, nor hearts to give, but the great fault
is, the English are not led on by Officers of their own
Nation; they follow them naturally, and trust them
more, and Foreigners ought not to concern themselves so
much. In the last Engagement, our men were not so
led on as they should have been, and they reaped not
the advantage of so much honour and bravery as they
showed. Really we must not deny ourselves; we grow
less and less, and must not destroy ourselves and posterity.
I honour those Gentlemen in Command, and I think
they have done for the best; but it is reasonable that there
should be an equal number in the Admiralty of Gentlemen bred at Sea; and I desire one part of the Advice
may be, "That the Commissioners of the Admiralty
may have an equal number mixed." For the Civil Government, the Council is the soul of all. You have had
one Secretary of State, and it cannot be denied, but that
is too great a load for one man. There have been always two, that one might be a curb to the other. The
matter of Government lies there. The man in that Government ought to be very generous, because of getting
secret intelligence; those managed by them, must be rewarded, and well chosen. This is of great weight, and
if the Secretary be not ready to give something of his
own to reward persons, besides the public allowance, intelligence will starve. The next quality in a Secretary
of State is Courage and Bravery, so set and tempered
for the Cause, that he is to hazard himself and fortune for that interest. In a difficult Government, and
when there are great enemies to oppose, in such a Government, persons that are entrusted most, do some bold
action for the Government—This makes it absolutely
necessary to represent to the King, that he must have
Secretaries with these qualifications. In intermissions
of Parliament, Kings have consulted with their PrivyCouncils; formerly they went not into lesser Cabals—
Under any other notion none can be distinguished—
Suppose, not well-affected to the Government—There
are no Books nor Records to be seen, and you cannot
punish them because you have no light into their actions—I move, "That a part of your Advice be, that the
King call his Council, and that they do set their hands to
their advice, or their dissent." These are some of the
chief Heads of your Advice, I believe, that you are upon.
Then for the Lieutenancy, and particularly that of London—I hope no Gentleman will attribute what I have
said to any thing of party. I would have but one distinction made; that is, who is for this Government, and
who against it—Not to have this Lieutenancy totally
altered, but there are so many ill men in it, and so unfit,
that I doubt, if it should come to a push, you would be
foiled. One thing also troubles me much. I think
that unhappy division worth your notice. I mean that
unhappy breach between the Princess and the Queen (fn. 16) ;
she is presumptive Heir of the Crown—When things are
gone so high, it becomes your care that no corner may
be to have recourse to. I know that there are no fallings out among friends, but there are some mistakes;
when found out, they are the easier brought together.
Therefore my thoughts on this matter are, that you
vote, "That it is the Judgment of this Committee that
two or three be appointed to wait on the Queen to know
the cause of this difference, and to receive an Answer
from the Princess;" and I hope there may be some
fruit of it. The King ventures his Person and Life—
Consider, when he is abroad, you cannot have that success in the Government, in going and coming for Orders—
Some Orders must be too late. The Queen has done all
things, in the King's absence, like a prudent woman,
and a good wife, but if she thinks fit to send for Orders
from the King, when beyond sea, before any resolution
be taken; I hope for the future you will take care
Mr Harley.] I cannot pretend to add to what has
been said, but I hope there may be some fruit of it.
'Tis proper to proceed by steps regularly. I would first
take into consideration the Sea, and what condition you
are in there. The Sea must be our first care, or else
we are all prisoners to our Island. We have had a glorious Victory at Sea; though we have had the honour
of it, your Enemy has had the profit, by taking our
Merchant-Ships. Edward III, had the greatest advantage in his invasion of France, by being master at Sea,
where he had a glorious wound—The King tells you
the danger—and we are a miserable Nation, if the sword
be drawn amongst us—The pretence of a Descent into
France has been a topic used to get Money from you.
I am sorry to be told, that the Orders of it were not
practicable; if not, why were they given? If practicable, why not followed? I hope the King will not consult with Empericks, but will take the Advice of this
Mr Waller.] I move, That you would take one Head
after another. The Motion was made to put the Admiralty into hands that may be trusted, of skill and
Mr Smith.] I shall speak only to the Sea. No man
but will allow that it has been ill managed. The Admiralty apply themselves to it as much as they are capable; I wish their knowlege was as much as their fidelity; but if they were ever so knowing, I fear they
have no power. Orders are sent to the Fleet from time
to time, and they have no knowlege of them: They
give Commissions to the Admiral, and he is to have
Instructions elsewhere. I would enquire how it should
happen, that when a Descent was resolved by a Council
of War to be impracticable, yet Orders were given to
pursue it, and your Ships that were foul to lie by, and
no Orders to clean them, and that those that were clean
had no Orders to go out? You are insormed of Salvage,
for reward of re-taking Ships, detained, and the men
forced to plunder Neutral Ships—The Salvage paid
into the Admiralty. I move, That all Orders for the Fleet
may be hereafter from the Admiralty, and persons employed in it proper for the employment.
Sir Richard Onslow
(fn. 17) .] I am improper to speak on
this subject, being one of the Commissioners of the
Admiralty. I have always observed, that Gentlemen
are tender of the Honour of Gentlemen. I believe that,
notwithstanding the Report that has been made, the
Admiralty can justify themselves. All the complaint of
the loss of 1500 Ships comes from the Insurers principally, and not from the Merchants. Pray proceed, Head
by Head, on the Report, and let the Admiralty answer it.
Col. Granville.] I am obliged to give you an account
of the Report. Since I am up, I will say something to
your Question. 'Tis no wonder that of late we have
been so unfortunate; since unsuccessfulness is the natural product of unskilfulness—The work is too great for
the Commissioners of the Admiralty. We had the good
fortune to beat the French Fleet, and how came that to
be unsuccessful? The fault was not at Sea, it must be
here; we were never more pestered with Privateers;
their trust is too great for the Commissioners experience.
'Tis a great while since the Battle at Sea, and Sir John
Ashby has not been examined any where about the prosecution of the Battle, but at your Bar, and he must,
with all that guilt upon him, be still trusted. I have
all respect for the Commissioners of the Admiralty, that
they are very well intentioned for the Government, but
I should be glad that trust was put into the hands of
those that have experience. I believe they think not
themselves skilful Admirals; it seems the Government
does not think so, for the Fleet must have such Orders
as the Queen shall think fit. If they must not be trusted
with Orders, I think them not fit for this great Affair.
Lord Falkland.] That which seems to be the Ground
of the Question is, the Report made from the Committee. I may say that Report was too sudden, and
there are material omissions in that Report. A great
part of your losses proceeds from getting protections,
and they get insurance, and so venture out, and are
taken; this ought to have been maturely examined,
when, where, and how lost. Unless you have Ships for
cruising, let who will be Admirals, it will be the same
thing still—There is experience required in a Chairman,
as well as an Admiral.
Col. Granville.] I appeal to the Gentlemen of the
Committee, if one third part of those Ships foundered at Sea, as is said? Alderman Berry said, "If
he had time, he could make it appear that 3000 Ships
have been lost."—Priestman said, "If one Ship in three
escaped, they were gainers." But Sir Robert Rich said,
"He was of another Opinion."
Mr Smith.] I do acknowlege, Lord Falkland did tell
you, the last Session, there were not Ships enough to
cruise—But the Dover Frigate lay a fortnight without
Orders for cruising.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] I never saw the like upon this
occasion. You ordered a Report; that was made on Saturday—and now we spend all our time in arraigning that
Report, and the House. I think it very extraordinary,
after the Report has been received, for all the Committee to be arraigned, and to put you from your business. Advice is now your business. In all the public
prints, there is not a week but you have news of losses
at Sea of twenty, and thirty, and fifty Ships. This of
Lord Falkland is but a little matter of the complaint.
We are obliged to the Hollanders to set out fifty Ships
and 17,000 men; if so, we have 13,000 men to supply our Trade, and make Convoys. I was in hopes we
had sufficient men to guard the Seas.
Sir Edward Seymour.] I did easily foresee that a Debate of so large a field would be a long one. I would
be tender how I enter into the Debate of the insufficiency, or unskilfulness, of the Admiralty. As for the
first, it cannot be attributed to an Englishman; for the
latter, I am sorry it is so great, to the ruin of themselves, and the whole Nation. As for Alliances, if once
you shake that part of Alliances, they can make Peace, and
you not, when you want those Alliances, and the Ally
against you that will be worse than the Alliances.—I agree, it is for the interest of England, and its security, to
be found only in the Fleet; but this I agree, by the way,
if you are at the charge of a Fleet only from Spithead
to the Land's end, you will have a very ill account of
the War. If you have no other ways to annoy the
French King, but your Fleet, you will come short of
expectations. Before you advance any Judgment, or
Advice, know how these things come to pass—That
the Admiralty is not trusted, is a mistake; they are as
much trusted as ever any—The number of Ships was
never in the Admiralty—The Question is, Whether there
has been any neglect in securing of Trade? Then, they
failed in their Duty, but if it cannot be prevented by
them, they are not in fault; Merchants run away without Convoy, for Lucre, and fall into the hands of the
Enemy, and they are gainers if one or two come safe
home. Your losses have been as great in other Wars
as this. I do affirm, that you have not Ships enough to
maintain the War and Trade too. If there had been,
there had been reason for your advice, but now the Commissioners have got experience, and at your cost have
learned it, it would be strange to turn them out.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] I would not have the House
misled. It is said, "you have no convenient Ports"—
But at Brest, and St Malo's, they must have several
winds to go in and out; and if we have no more Ships,
we cannot help this. But you gave 1,700,000l. for the
Ordnance and Fleet, which, considering what wear and tear
you gave for Ships, would have built Ships for the service of your Trade. No aid formerly was given for
Ships; the Customs ought to be for that. The first
Money was not half spent for Ships, and till you appropriated it, it was not done. We never lost so many
Ships in so short a time. To have such great losses, and
we know not how, is very unfortunate. I think it reasonable, under such misfortunes, to change hands, not
only in the Admiralty; but I would go through all. I
think the charge of so great a Fleet, though very wise
and gallant, too great for one man. The French King
had some others joined with Tourville—In this extremity we catch at the first thing we light of.
Col. Austen.] Give me leave, my modesty safe, not
to consess myself so ignorant in the Affairs of the Admiralty as some Gentlemen would have me. If I show
there is no fault at all in the Admiralty, I take off all
that has been said against them. Of what was alleged
at the Committee; there was no proof, no names of
Ships, no Places, &c. The Insurers have brought
these losses upon you, by making the Ships ready to
go without Convoys.
Sir John Lowther.] I fear there is something in the
Question, that may give the House occasion to repent
afterwards. 'Tis said, "Ships have been lost," and
you have had reasons on one side, and another, why—
You were told of want of Ships last Parliament—And the
Office of Insurance have forty per Cent. if the Ship
comes safe home, and if taken, twenty per Cent. and so
the Merchant cares not if his Ship be taken. I hope
some remedy may be provided for this.
Sir Edward Seymour.] This happens unluckily, that
the only person of experience is the only person complained of; Priestman.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] This is to excuse Priestman, who
should do it himself.
Mr Finch.] I have heard of complaints, and I wish
things better managed; but when I give Judgment, I
must see that these miscarriages be proved. As for
the power of the Admiralty, I am not able to determine that matter, but to say their Commission does not
authorise them, is no objection upon the persons. I
can neither condemn nor justify the ability of the Gentlemen of the Admiralty. As for the Merchants, they
are hasty to make their profit, and this, it is said, comes
from the Insurance. The Ship that was retaken by seven
men and a boy, when they came home, demanded their
reward, and had it declared in the Admiralty; but the
Owners were so far from allowing it, that they moved
for a prohibition: It was wondered at; but being enquired into, the Merchants were sorry the Ship was retaken, and would have been much greater gainers by
the Insurance, if the Ship had been lost.
Col. Churchill.] Some men are employed in the Fleet,
not Seamen; as Capt. Warren, condemned for Cowardice, and in the West Indies he lost a Ship of 50 Guns—
We have Brewers Clerks put in for Commanders by the
Sir Robert Rich.] If I had put a man into the Fleet
in command, not a Seaman, I were not fit to sit in the
Admiralty; but, as to what is said of taking men upon
trust, I know not this Captain Warren condemned for
Cowardice—I know not that he was a Brewer's Clerk,
but he married a Brewer's Widow—He submitted to
all the examination of the Admiralty—That he was an
eminent Seaman, the Navy-board testified; but the hurt
is not here: Till you bring the Fleet to better discipline,
to prevent the Captains from taking Convoy-Money (fn. 18) , the
Fleet will never be in a better condition.
Col. Churchill.] Since Rich has mentioned taking Convoy-Money, I hope some will be punished for Mismanagement, as others have been for taking Convoy-Money.
Mr Attorney Somers.] As the Question is worded,
I cannot come up to it. If the Question be, "to constitute Persons skilful in maritime affairs," it must imply, that those that are in the employment of the Admiralty are not.
Admiral Russel.] I am so sensible that I am not able
to give advice in what is before you, that I shall not
offer at any. That there is a loss of Merchant-ships,
there is no doubt of; whether provision has been
made to secure them, I shall not say. 'Tis impossible
to have a Fleet and number of Ships to guard forty
places. Possibly the Commissioners did not so well understand the business of the Admiralty as they do now;
and as for what Priestman said of the Merchants Losses,
I should have said it myself.
Resolved, That his Majesty be humbly advised to constitute
Commissioners of the Admiralty, Persons of known experience
in the Admiralty-Affairs (fn. 19) .
[November 22, Omitted.]