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case shall, according to the course of parliament, require; do pray, that the said Thomas earl of Strafford be put to answer the said crimes and misdemeanors, and receive such condign punishment as the same shall deserve; and that such proceedings, examinations, trials and judgments, may be, upon every of them, had and used, as are agreeable to law and justice."
The Articles were delivered to the Lords on
the 1st of September; on which occasion lord Strafford made a long speech of complaint, and after debate, obtained (besides permission to take a copy of the Articles and a month's time for putting in his Answer) leave to cause to be taken copies of all Journals of Parliament, of the public treaties referred to in any of the Articles exhibited against him, or the preamble thereof, of all other records whatsoever, and also of all such papers as were delivered up by the said Earl, which are, or whereof any copies now are in the secretary's office, or in the hands of any of the clerks of the privy council. Farther time being afterwards given to him to put in his Answer, he did not put in the same till parliament, which had been prorogued, re-assembled for dispatch of business.
Jan. 9, 1715-16. Lord Strafford delivered in to the House of Lords the following Answer: THE ANSWER OF THOMAS EARL OF STRAFFORD TO THE ARTICLES EXHIBITED BY THE KNIGHTS, CITIZENS, AND BURGESSES, IN PARLIAMENT ASSEMBLED, IN THE NAME OF THEMSELVES, AND OF
ALL THE COMMONS OF GREAT BRITAIN,
BEEN BY HIM COMMITTED.
The said Earl, saving to himself all advantages of exception to the said Articles for the uncertainty and insufficiency thereof, and of not being prejudiced by any words, or want of form, in this his Answer; and also saving to himself all rights and privileges belonging to him as one of the peers of this realm; in answer to the said Articles, admits, That divers treaties and alliances were entered into by the crown of Great Britain with the several potentates mentioned in the preamble to the said Articles; but, for more certainty as to the contents thereof, the said Earl refers to the said treaties themselves; and, with the utmost deference to the memory of his late royal master king William the third, doth acknowJege the great wisdom of that glorious prince, who, by the Grand Alliance, formed a noble design of settling a due balance of power in Europe; but humbly begs leave to observe, That the affront offered by France, in acknowledging the Pretender king of Great VOL. XV.
Britain, though justly mentioned by her late majesty queen Anne, of ever-blessed memory, as one cause of the war, which, in May, 1702, was by her declared against France and Spain, could not be any inducement to the forming the Grand Alliance, as is suggested in the preamble to the said Articles; being subsequent to it, as most evidently appears; inasmuch as that alliance was not only formed, but concluded and signed at the Hague, during the And the said Earl admits, that the emperor, life time of the late king James the second: and the States General, did also, about May, 1702, declare war against France and Spain; and that other kings, princes, and states, of Europe, soon after became parties to the said confederate war; which having been carried and treasure, her said late majesty, out of her on, for many years, at a vast expence of blood tender regard for the good of her people, and from a sincere and real design to prevent the further effusion of blood, and to ease her
subjects from the heavy burden of taxes, which they had so long endured, did hearken to overtures of peace from France, after former negive instructions to the then lord privy seal, gociations had been rendered fruitless, and now bishop of London, and him the said Earl, to treat thereof at Utrecht, in conjunction with the ministers of her allies, in order to bring the same to an happy conclusion; and, among such instructions, several clauses were interspersed to the effect in the said preamble set forth; but, for more certainty, refers to his original instructions; which, together with all his other papers relating to his negociations in the Low Countries, were taken from him in the beginning of January last, and, he supposes, may continue in the bands of one of his majesty's principal secretaries of state: But the said Earl is totally ignorant of any treacherous correspondence with the emissaries of France, or of any private or destructive ne. gociation of peace set on foot with the intent to weaken, or dissolve, the confederacy be. tween her said late majesty and her allies: and, for particular Answer to the several matters wherewith he stands charged in the first Article, the said Earl saith, that, having been employed by his late majesty king William in the army, during his whole reign, and likewise in his court for several years next before his death, and having also had the honour to be sent as his majesty's minister to the king of Prussia, he was so happy as to reconcile some differences which had lately arisen, between those two princes; and, upon his return, received his royal master's approbation her late majesty queen Anne, soon after her accession to the throne, was pleased to command him to leave his post in the army, and to go again to the said court of Prussia, in the year 1702, where he had the character of her ambassador extraordinary; and continued in that quality till April, 1711; at which time her majesty thought fit to appoint him her ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to 3 U
the States General; and in June following, | principal secretaries of state, a paper supposed her majesty was pleased to honour him with to be signed by monsieur Torcy, containing the title of one of her privy council; and, about some proposals for setting on foot a negociation December, in the same year, to appoint him of peace, with orders to communicate the same one of her plenipotentiaries to treat at Utrecht, to the Pensionary of Holland, that his sentiwith the ministers of France, of a general ments might be known thereupon; and to aspeace and the said Earl thought it his duty sure that minister, and others of that republic, not to scruple any danger or pains for her service; believing his zeal therein was the best as in making war, to act in concert with the that the queen was resolved in making peace, evidence he could give of his hearty affection States: in pursuance of which orders, be the to his country; and he constantly did, with said Earl did immediately communicate the the utmost sincerity, endeavour, according to said proposals to the Pensionary, and unto two his abilities, to pursue the true ends of his commissions and powers; to promote the honour been employed in the negociations at Gertruyothers of the States General, who had formerly and safety of her majesty, and her kingdoms; to denberg, and whom the Pensionary thought the answer the engagements she was under to her most proper to be entrusted with that matter; allies; and to secure the common liberties of and they having considered the said proposals, Europe: But he must with the utmost de- did pray the said Earl to return her majesty testation and abhorrence, deny, that he was thanks, in the name of the States, for her conin the least devoted to the interest or ser-fidence in them; declared themselves weary vice of the French king; or that he ever of the war, and ready to join in any measures acted in defiance of any of the said treaties, her majesty should think proper for obtaining or of the advice of parliament; or of any declarations of her majesty from the throne; jesty would bring the French to explain more a good peace; and that they hoped her ma or of her assurances to the States General, to particularly the several points contained in the act in concert with them in making peace, as above-mentioned proposals: of this the said in making war; or of her instructions to him Earl sent an account to her majesty's secretary under her sign manual: the said Earl admits, of state; and, soon after, received her comthat as he was a privy-counsellor, it was his mands to repair to England; and on his arrival duty truly to have advised her majesty in all here, acquainted her majesty with his proceedmatters treated of in council, whilst he was pre-ings at the Hague; but being, by her gracious sent; and had any thing, so treated of, ap- permission, allowed to follow some private afpeared to him to have been to the dishonour of fairs of his own, he was often in the country, her majesty, or to the prejudice of her people, and so much engaged, that he did not know of the said Earl would not have been wanting to any of the transactions with monsieur Mesnaadvise against, and, with all humility, to op- ger, or what was done in relation to the expli pose the same: but, as he was her majesty's cations the States had desired her majesty to ambassador and plenipotentiary, he looked procure from France, upon the points of monupon himself as a ministerial officer, whose sieur Torcy's proposal, till, in October followduty it was to pursue such instructions as he ing, he received instructions, dated the first of should, from time to time, receive; and since that month; whereby be was required to rehe could not doubt, but that all orders, sent him túrn to Holland, and to communicate to the by her majesty's directions, had been first ma- States some propositions, which had been signturely weighed and digested, be bumbly appre-ed by the said monsieur Mesnager, the 27th hends, your lordships will think it had been too day of September before, as a foundation for great a presumption in him, to advise against, opening the conferences of peace with France; or oppose, such orders, which carried not in which he supposes to be the instructions intendthemselves any apparent illegality, when he ed by those mentioned in the preamble to the knew not the springs or reasons of them; and Articles, as dated the 21st day of October; none which, therefore, it became him to believe well of that date appearing amongst the copies of warranted, and to have proceeded from just and his own papers he has been permitted to take: proper grounds and motives: and the said Eafl' but the said Earl never saw monsieur Mesnasaith, he was so far from advising or exhort- ger till he met him at Utrecht, in January, ing, that any private, separate, dishonourable, 1711-12; nor, during all the time of the said or destructive, negociation of peace should be minister's stay in England, was in the least continued, and carried on, between the minis-privy to, or made acquainted with, any transters of Great Britain and France, without communication thereof to her majesty's allies, according to their treaties; or from being instrumental in promoting any such negociation, as in the said Article is charged; that he did not know, or believe, that any such negociation was entered into: and for a plain relation of the said Earl's proceeding in this affair, be saith, that about May, 1711, being then her majesty's ambassador and plenipotentiary to the States General, he received, from one of her
action between him and any of the queen's miinstructions, took his journey for Holland; nisters: the said Earl, having received his said and on his arrival there, in pursuance thereof, imparted to the States General the said propositions, and what had been communicated to him concerning any transactions between Great Britain and France; and at the same time, in further pursuance of his said instructions, declared to them, That if they did not think those propositions a sufficient ground to open the con
for High Treason. ferences, but were desirous to carry on the war, her majesty was willing to concur with them; but could no longer bear that disproportionable burden which had been yearly increased on her subjects; nor that deficiency her allies had been guilty of in every part of the war; and that therefore it was incumbent on them, if the war continued, to furnish such quotas of ships and forces, for the future, as they had to that time been wanting in: that this was what her majesty thought she might justly insist on, that they should comply with her in war, or in peace; since in the former, she required nothing but what it belonged to them to perform, | and what was necessary to the success of their arms; and since, in the latter, she had done, and would continue to do, what was in her power towards obtaining such a peace as might be to the satisfaction of her allies: soon after this, the States General sent monsieur Buys to England, as their plenipotentiary, to confer with her late majesty's ministers, and inform himself of the circumstances of affairs, and make report thereof to his masters; who having continued here some time, and transmitted to Holland an account of the posture of affairs, the States General consented to open the conferences for peace, and to invite the other allies to send their ministers to Utrecht, the place agreed on for that purpose; and in order thereunto, granted passports for the French ministers to repair thither: and the said Earl is informed, that, amongst other transactions by the said monsieur Buys, whilst in England, he signed a Treaty with her late majesty's ministers, who were empowered for that purpose, dated the 18th day of December, 1711, O. S. for the carrying on the war, and the negociation of peace, according to the mutual engage ments of former treaties between England and Holland; which Treaty was ratified by her said late majesty the day after it was signed, and was sent to Holland by the then ford privy seal; but the States General, though their ministers were often called upon, never ratified the same: and the said Earl admits, that the said lord privy seal, and himself, were appointed to be her majesty's plenipotentiaries at the said congress at Utrecht; and he can, with great truth, affirm, that he acted, on all occasions, with the highest and most disinterested zeal, for procuring a general peace, for the mutual advantage of her majesty's subjects and allies, in pursuance of the powers and instructions received for that purpose; and is firmly persuaded his colleague did the same: the said Earl saith, that every one of the confederates had their ministers at Utrecht, who all agreed in the method and manner of proceeding in the said negociation; and had frequent meetings and conferences to that end, among themselves, in order to lay down a general scheme for their conduct; and for the better concerting these measures, it was thought fit to have two conferences a week with all the allies, two with the Dutch apart, and two with all the allies with the French; and in those with the Dutch
and the other allies, what was to be proposed
to that part which charges him with commend-
should be considered apart, and not at general conferences with the French; which seemed the more requisite, since no prince or state had undertaken the part of a mediator, to reconcile the differences which might happen to rise among them, as has been usual in former treaties: If therefore, in a letter to a minister of the queen, from the consideration of the possibility that some might be for the contrary method, he intimated, that the inconvenience of such a method would best appear by beginning in the congress to argue on some demand of one of the allies; which would probably induce such ally to propose the debating separately; he hopes this can never be construed the suggesting a method for France to make use of to create dissensions among the allies, or which could have any tendency to dissolve the confederacy; it seeming rather to him a likely means to prevent any such unhappy conse quence: sure he is, that he sincerely laboured to prevent it; and, for that end, employed bis utmost endeavours to obviate and discourage any fallacious or unjustifiable manner of tran sacting the negociation of peace: and he denies, that he did, at any time, suggest any method whatsoever for France to make use of to create dissensions among the allies, or separate nego. ciations between any of the allies and France, thereby to dissolve the confederacy; and as he constantly opposed what he apprehended or suspected, to have any such tendency, so he never failed to support, in the best manner he could, her majesty's allies in their demands against France and denies, that in the course of the negociation he was guilty of any trea cherous proceeding, or of any practices what soever, whereby he could prostitute the honour of the queen, or the imperial crown of these realms; or whereby he did violate his powers or instructions; the treaties her majesty stood engaged in to her allies; or any assurances he had given them by her order, or in her name; or whereby the design of the confederacy, or the support expected from it, were rendered useless; or the affairs of Europe given up into the hands of France.
In Answer to the Second Article; the said Earl saith, he always thought an union and good correspondence between her late majesty and the illustrious House of Hanover of the ut most importance; and therefore used his best endeavours to continue and improve it; and never had the least design to create or widen any differences or misunderstandings between them he acknowledges, that the parliament, with great wisdom, provided laws for preserv ing the Protestant Religion; establishing the Protestant Succession; and laying the obliga tion of an oath on the subjects of these realms to maintain the same: and the said Earl humbly hopes, that he, in his station, hath never been wanting in his faithful endeavours for the gene-security thereof; and to his great honour, he hath frequently received from her late electoral highness the princess Sophia, and from his present majesty, their approbation of his seal
was so far from being prevailed on by his advice, to make a cessation of arms with France, without concert with his electoral highness, or against the consent, or representations, of any of the allies, that he can and doth, with truth, affirm, that her majesty's resolutions concerning the said cessation were not taken upon his advice, or with his privity: the said Earl doth admit, that, about June or July, 1712, he was sent to the army, by her majesty's command, with particular instructions touching the said cessation; and that, in pursuance of his said instructions, be discoursed several of the generals of the allies, particularly monsieur Buleau; and that be might, in such discourse, on the 16th day of July, 1712, affirm, as he then thought, that her majesty had made no truce with France; and the said Earl was then of that opinion, the articles demanded by her majesty for a cessation of arms, as the conex-ditions without which no cessation was to be made, not having at that time, to his knowledge or belief, been performed by France: And the said Earl can assuredly say, that he doth not remember he hath, at any time, knowingly affirmed to the ministers of his said electoral highness, or any other of the allies, any untruths, or any thing contrary to the intentions, or interest, of the late queen, thereby to deceive or impose upon his electoral highness, or any of her majesty's allies and apprehends, that he bath not in any of his ne gociations or proceedings prostituted or dishonoured the character he was invested with ; or done any thing tending to dissolve the mutual confidence and good understanding between her late majesty and the illustrious House of Hanover.
for their service: and he does, with great plea- | sure and satisfaction reflect on the happy success of his endeavours in the late Treaty of Peace at Utrecht, by which France and Spain were brought to acknowledge our present sovereign's right of succession to the imperial crown of these realms, and to engage never to oppose or disturb the same, directly or indirectly; whereby his majesty had a peaceable accession to the throne; and the benefit of the several laws made in support of the said succession will more securely be transmitted to posterity: the said Earl denies, that he, by false representations, or by any reflections upon his majesty when elector of Hanover, in any letter to the late queen's ministers, or otherwise did endeavour to alienate her majesty's affections from his electoral bighness: and saith that to such a general charge it is impossible to make any particular answer and defence; but the said Earl is firmly persuaded, there is not any pression in any letter by him wrote, that carries the appearance of any such false representation or reflection; such expressions being as remote from his heart and intentions, as they are inconsistent with that respect to the illustrious House of Hanover, which, by the whole tenour of bis actions, he hath endeavoured to demonstrate; and therefore the said Earl hath that assurance of your lordships' justice as to believe, that no doubtful words, or passages, contained in any of his letters, no accounts, or censures, if any such there be, of what was said, or done, by any minister, or servant, of his electoral highness, inconsistent, as he apprehended, with that deference which ought to have been paid to her late majesty, will be taken by your lord ships as an evidence of any design to alienate her late majesty's affections from his then electoral highness, or to create, or widen, any differences or misunderstandings between them with which the said Earl is charged in the said Article and as to the particular reflection, supposed to have been made by the said Earl, in his letter of the 17th day of July, 1712, on his then electoral highness; the said Earl humbly hopes, that your lordships will not interpret any expression in that letter to have been meant of his electoral highness, who is not so much as once named throughout the same, and whom the said Earl hath never mentioned in any letter whatsoever, without the highest respect and veneration; but that your lordships will rather understand it, as it was meant, with respect to the general of the Hanover troops, whose conduct, the said Earl owns, he hath expressed himself, as well in that as in some preceding dispatches, not to have been entirely satisfied with: how far he was right in his opinion, he submits to your lordships' wise determination; but humbly hopes, that no representation thereof by him made, however be may be thought to have been mistaken therein, proceeding only from a sincere zeal for the honour of his royal mistress, and the interest of his country, can be judged criminal: and the said Earl saith, that the late queen
In Answer to the Third Article ; the said Earl denies any pernicious negociations of peace to to have been carried on by him with the ministers of France; and saith, that in the paper mentioned in his instructions to be signed by monsieur Mesnager, and delivered to him, together with his said instructions, on or about the 1st day of October, 1711, it is said, the French king will acknowledge the queen of Great Britain in that quality, as also the succession to that crown, according to the present establishment: And, in the specific explanation of the offers of France, delivered the 11th of February following, it is said, the king will acknowledge, at the signing of the peace, the queen of Great Britain in that quality, as well as the succession to the crown, according to the present establishment, and in a manner most agreeable to her Britannic majesty: but the said Earl denies he ever heard, that the French king proposed such acknowledgment should not be before the signing of the peace; nor doth he conceive how the proposal (before the entering into the negociations of peace) in definitely to acknowledge the queen, and the subsequent concession to do so, at the signing of the peace, in what manner her Britannic majesty should please, doth necessarily infer, that he would not do it sooner; nor are there, in any