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weight of the government, adds very much to my concern, lest I should not be as successful in my endea vours, as I am, above all things, desirous to make you a great and happy people.
I heartily wish that this first solemn declaration of my mind in parliament, could sufficiently express the sentiments of my heart, and give you a perfect and just sense of my fixed résolution, by all possible means, to merit the love and affection of my people, which I shall always look upon as the best support and security of my crown.
And as the religion, liberty, property, and a due execution of the laws, are the most valuable blessings of a free people, and the peculiar privileges of this nation, it shall be my constant care to preserve the constitution of this kingdom, as it is now happily established in church and state, inviolable in all its parts; and to secure to all my subjects the full enjoyment of their religious and civil rights.
I see with great pleasure, the happy effects of that vigour and resolution which was exerted in the last session of parliament for the defence of the rights and possessions of this nation, and for maintaining the tranquillity and balance of power in Europe. The strict union and harmony, which has hitherto subsisted among the allies of the treaty of Hanover, has chiefly contributed to the near prospect of a general peace; I have therefore given all my allies the strongest assurances of pursuing the same measures, and of making good the engagements entered into by the crown of Great Britain.
The cheerfulness with which the supplies necessary for carrying on this great work were raised, making it but just that the public expense should be lessened, as soon as the circumstances of affairs will permit. I have already given orders for sending back some of the regiments brought from Ireland, and will proceed to reduce my forces, both by sea and land, as soon as it can be done,
without prejudice to the common cause, and consistently: with the interest of my kingdom.
Gentlemen of the house of commons, You know very well, that the grant of the greatest part of the eivil list revenues is now determined, and that it is necessary for you to make a new provision for the support of me and my family; I am confident it is needless, in any particular manner, to recommend to your care the consideration of what so nearly and personally concerns me; and I am persuaded that the experience of past times, and a due regard to the honour and dignity of the crown, will prevail upon you to give me this first proof of your zeal and affection, in a manner answerable to the necessities of my government.
My lords and gentlemen, I recommend it to you to give all possible despatch to such business as shall necessarily be brought before you; the season of the year and the circumstances of time requiring your presence in the country, and making it improper to carry this session to any great length.
Was member for Saltash. He was one of the most vehement and vigorous opposers of the measures of government through the whole of this reign; and, no doubt, had imbibed a very strong tincture of Jacobitism. But he was a man of great firmness and independence of mind, a manly, vigorous, and correct speaker; and whatever his personal motives or sentiments might have been, the principles which he uniformly avowed and maintained, were sound and constitutional
Mr. Shippen's Speech on the Address.
I RISE not only to offer my sentiments against the terms of the address proposed, but likewise to make a mo
tion. It has, sir, upon such an occasion, been the ancient custom of this house, to present an address of thanks to his majesty, for his most gracious speech from the throne; but such addresses were in former days always in general terms: there were in them no flattering paragraphs, no long compliments made to the throne, for transactions and successes which had never been laid before the house, and of which, by a necessary consequence, the house must have been supposed to have been entirely ignorant.. It is true, sir, we have of late years fallen into a custom of complimenting the throne, upon every such occasion, with long addresses, and this custom has been followed so long, that I am afraid it may at last become a thing of course to vote an address to his majesty, in such terms as shall be concerted by those very men whose measures are approved of by the compliment made to the throne. F confess, sir, that I am so little of a courtier, that I cannot return thanks for: what I know nothing of, nor can I applaud before I know a reason for such ap! plause. I am not at all against an address of thanks in the usual style; but though I should happen to be single and alone in my opposition, which I hope I shall not, yet I am resolved to oppose addressing in the terms moved for, if it were for no other reason but this that such a motion may not stand upon the journals of this house, as agreed to nem. con. For if not taken notice of in time, such humble addresses to the throne may at last come to pass as a matter of course, and be as little regarded or opposed as some affairs now are, which at first stood a long contest before they could be introduced.
Sir, it is no new thing in me to oppose such addresses; I have always opposed them; and though I do not thereby appear to be a good courtier, yet it shews that I have some respect for the honour and dignity of this house. Besides, sir, when such addresses have been proposed, it has been promised, and we have been as-:
sured that no advantage should afterwards be taken of any words contained in the complimentary part of such address; but every member in this house knows, that when the house had an opportunity of examining things more particularly, and debates ensued thereupon, they have then been told that they could not censure any of the past transactions, because they had approved of them all by their address of thanks to his majesty for his most gracious speech from the throne. I hope, sir, for the sake of my country, that all things are well, that our affairs, both abroad and at home, are in that prosperous condition in which they have been represented to us; but as we cannot as yet judge from the effects, and as the treaties from which this great prosperity and lasting tranquillity is to arise have not yet been laid before us, I cannot but look upon it as an anticipation of the resolutions of this house, to thank his majesty for those treaties which we have not as yet had an opportunity either to peruse or consider; and therefore I move, that the first part only of the motion already made should stand, and that all the other complimentary pa ragraphs should be left out.
SIR W. WYNDHAM,
(Member for Somersetshire.)
Was born 1687. In 1710 he was made secretary at war, and in 1713 chancellor of the exchequer. He was dismissed from his place on the accession of George I. and being suspected of having a concern in the rebellion in 1715, was committed to the Tower, but liberated without being brought to a trial He died 1740. It was to him that Lord Bolingbroke addressed that celebrated letter in defence of himself, which is the best of all his works.
Sir W. Wyndham's Speech on the same occasion.
CANNOT agree to the terms for addressing his majesty proposed by the noble member who spoke first, because,.
though every thing may now be well settled upon a solid and lasting foundation, yet I cannot think that our conduct has in every respect been right, or that the interest of this nation has been by his majesty's ministers principally and steadily pursued. At one time we were frightened out of our wits with apprehensions that the pretender was to be put upon us, and that without any reason for all that I have yet seen or heard upon the subject. Then Don Carlos was made such a giant of, that he, that infant, was to swallow up and destroy all the powers of Europe; and at that time we sued to France for an alliance, and besought their assistance, by which we put it in their power to commence a war whenever they pleased; and if they had not been more taken up with whims and disputes about religion than any wise nation ought to be, they would certainly have involved us in a war in conjunction with them, and thereby would have made us assist them in recovering all that they had lost by the two last wars, the taking of which from them had cost us so much blood and treasure. Some time after, we shook off all fears of the pretender, Don Carlos was again diminished to an ordinary size, and then we began to bully France as much as we had courted it before. Such conduct cannot appear to me to be right; at least, it does not appear to be steady and uniform. Upon the other hand, it must be said of the imperial court, that they have acted with steadiness and prudence; they have firmly adhered to the proper interests of their native country, and have steadily pursued the aim they had in view, through all the dif ferent shapes in which the affairs of Europe have been put within these few years; and by this firmness and resolution they have at last brought us to their own terms, and have accomplished their designs, notwithstanding the conjunction and alliance of so many formidable powers against them: whereas we have been obliged, in some manner to comply with the demands VOL. I.