Imatges de pÓgina
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many voters offering to poll for the said Sir Thomas Halifax and Thomas Rogers, by the said rioters and disturbers. And we, aflisted by the magistrates and peace officers, endeavouring, by an exertion of all the power and authority vested in us, and particularly having appointed 236 additional constables, to preserve the peace, to suppress the said tumults and riots, and to remove the said obstructions, and to open a free access to the booth, for the voters on both sides to come up to poll, were, notwithstanding, riotously and forcibly affaulted and driven back, and otherwise ill-treated, to the imminent danger of our lives, and the voters were, by numbers and force, violently and illegally hindered from giving their votes, so that out of two thousand voters, and upwards, no more than eighty three were polled, and a free election could not be had ; but we were, by means of the said tumultuous and illegal force, interrupted and obstructed in the execution of the faid writ, and of our duty and office, and in making the said election. For which causes aforesaid, we did not cause to be elected, nor could we cause to be elected, two citizens of the said city and county, according to the exigency, form, and effect of the said writ. Given under our hands and seals, this fixth day of Oct. in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty.

Tho. Noxon and Tho. BULLER, Sheriffs, Ordered, that Mr. T. Noxon and Mr. T. Buller, late Shes riffs of the city of Coventry, do attend this House upon Thursday fortnight, the 23d day of this inftant November.

Mr. Speciker reported to the House, that, when the House did attend his Majesty upon Wednesday last, the first instant, in the House of Peers, his Majesty was pleased to make a most gracious speech from the throne to both Houses of Parliament, of which Mr. Speaker said he had; to prevent mistakes, obtained a copy, which he read to the House, and is as followeth, viz.

My Lords, and Gentlemen, It is with more than ordinary satisfaction that I meet you in Parliament, at a time, when the late elections may afford me an opportunity of receiving the most certain information of the disposition and the wishes of my people, to which I am always inclined to pay the utmost attention and regard.

The present arduous situation of public affairs is well known; the whole force and faculties of the monarchies of France and Spain are drawn forth, and exerted to the utmost to support the rebellion in my colonies in North America,

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and, without the least provocation or cause of complaint, to attack my dominions ; and the undifguised object of this confederacy manifestly is to gratify boundless ambition, by destroying the commerce, and giving a fatal blow to the power of Great Britain.

By the force which the last Parliament put into my hands, and by the bleffing of Divine Providence on the bravery of my fleets and armies, I have been enabled to withstand the formidable attempts of my enemies, and to frustrate the great expectations they had formed; and the fignal successes which have attended the progress of my arms in the provinces of Georgia and Carolina, gained with so much honour to the conduct and courage of my officers, and to the valour and intrepidity of my troops, which have equalled their highest character in any age, will, I trust, have important consequences in bringing the war to a happy conclusion. It is my moft earnest defire to see this great end accomplished; but I am confident you will agree with me in opinion, that we can only secure safe and honourable terms of peace by such powerful and respectable preparations, as shall convince our enemies, that we will not submit to receive the law from

any powers. whatsoever, and that we are united in a firm resolution to decline no difficulty, or hazard, in the defence of our country, and for the preservation of our effential interests.

Gentlemen of the House of Commons. I have ordered the estimates for the ensuing year to be laid before you. I fee and feel, with great anxiety and concern, that the various services of the war must, unavoidably, be attended with great and heavy expences; but I desire you to grant me such supplies only, as your own securi'y and Jasting welfare, and the exigency of affairs, shall be found to require.

My Lords, and Gentlemen, I repose an entire confidence in the zeal and affection's of this Parliament, conscious that, during the whole course of my reign, it has been the constant object of my care, and the wish of my heart, to promote the true interests and happiness of all my subjects, and to preferve inviolate our excellent conftitution in church and state.

The Hon. Mr. De Grey moved, " That an humble address be presented to his Majesty to return his Majesty the thanks of this House, for his most gracious speech from the throne. To congratulate his Majesty upon the safe delivery of the Queen, and the birth of another prince; and to assure VOL. XVIII. E

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his Majesty, that we take a fincere part in every event that contributes to his Majesty's domestic happiness.

“ That we acknowledge, with the utmost gratitude, his Majesty's condescending goodness, in his desire to meet his Parliament at this time, and his gracious expressions of attention and regard to the disposition and wishes of his people. That we are impreffed with a due sense of the difficulties of the present arduous conjun&ure, when the whole 'force of France and Spain is combined and exerted to fupport the rebellion in his Majesty's colonies, and to attack all the dominions of his crown; and when it is but too mani. fest to all the world, that the real views of this most unjust confederacy are to give a fatal blow to the commerce and power of Great Britain, in resentment for the successful efforts which this nation has so often made to save the liberties of Europe from the ambition of the House of Bourbon.

That we have cbserved, with great and just fatisfa&ion, that his Majesty, by the support of his parliament, and the spirit and bravery of his fleets and armies, has, under the Divine protection, been enabled to withstand the formidable attempts of his enemies; and we offer our most cordial congratulations to his Majesty on the signal fucceffes which have attended the progress of his Majesty's arms in the provinces of Georgia and Carolina, and in which the conduct and courage of his Majesty's officers, and the valour and intrepidity of his troops, have been so eminently distinguished.

. That we consider his Majesty's earnest desire and solicitude to see the war brought to a happy conclufion, as the strongest proof of his Majesty's paternal regard for his people; but we entirely agree with his Majesty, that safe and honourable terms of peace can only be secured by such powerful preparations and vigorous exertions as shall convince our enemies that his Majesty and his Parliament are united in a firm and stedfast resolution to decline no difficulty or danger in the defence of their country, and for the maintenance of their effential interests. To assure his Ma. jesty, that we are thoroughly sensible that these ends cannot be effected without great and heavy expences; and that we will grant his Majesty such supplies as the lasting security and welfare of his kingdoms, and the exigency of affairs shall be found to require. That his Majesty may rely with entire confidence on the most zealous and affectionate at. tachment, of his fathful Commons to his person, family and government, and that we acknowledge, with the liveliest fentiments of reverence and gratitude, that the constant tenor

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of his Majesty's conduct shews, that the object of his royal care and concern are to promote the happiness of his people, and to preserve inviolate our excellent constitution in church and state.ro

Mr. De Grey supported his motion by taking a cursory view of the present pofture of American affairs, which he contended, was far more desirable than memory could trace it at any period fince the convention of Saratoga ; the splendid success of Lord Cornwallis in the southern colonies had enhanced the reputation of British valour, and intimidated our enemies. Carolina was universally reduced to the obedience of our arms, and the friends of Britain there no longer feared to avow their sentiments. He complimented the brave general, by whose conduct and fortitude these ad vantages were derived, in the highest strain of panegyric ; Colonel Tarleton too, and the other officers in the southern army, had their tribute of applause. With respect to the propriety of assuring his Majesty, that the House would supply the means of prosecuting the war with energy, he coni tended that our situation precluded every prospect of ho. nourable peace, but through the medium of victory. it is no longer, said he, a question of allegiance and independency between us and our Colonies ; but whether we shall relinquish those valuable provinces in favour of the House of Bourbon ? No lover of his country can hesitate to depreciate such an accession of strength to our natural enemy; and no friend of America can with we should resign her to the yoke of an arbitrary sovereign.

He next contended, that by consenting to the independency of America (should a measure so humiliating be pro. posed as the basis of that peace, fo fervently to be wished for) we must endanger the loss of all our transmarine poffeffions, and fink the native confequence of this kingdom to a mere nothing in the scale of Europe. The prosecution of war then, until it might be terminated on better and more honourable grounds, was essential to the political existence of Great Britain ; by the example of other nations, wise and powerful, we might learn never to defpond; but expect the happy effects of fortitude, even in the most adverse situation. Upon these and various other grounds he recommended the address, which echoed as usual every paragraph of the King's speech, with profeffions of attachment and aifurances of support.

Sir Richard Sutton feconded the motion, and presaged the Sir Richard future success of our affairs in America; said he had been Sutton.

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Mr. Gren. * ville.

always sanguine in his expectations that the iffue of the war would be fortunate, and was now as confident as ever ; but should any gentleman think less favourably of our situation than himself, still what measure but the prosecution of hoftilities would now be adviseable? Should we give up America, and expect conditions of peace from France and Spain ; or should we withdraw our arms from that continent, and contend solely with the House of Bourbon ? The latter alternative could probably not be in our option ; for America was bound, he thought, by every tie of policy and honour not to defert her allies, or leave them exposed to our collected efforts in a war commenced for her advantage.

Mr. Grenville, professing his loyalty and dutiful regard to his sovereign, rejoiced Gincerely in every event that encreased the felicity of the King and the Royal Family; he therefore heartily acquiesced in the first part of the address proposed, which congratulated his Majesty on the happy delivery of the Queen, and the birth of a Prince. He declared that he was ready to go as far as any man in supporting the essential interests of his country; but whether the prosecution of the war in America ought to be reckoned among those interests was the question. The conjuncture in which we stood was indeed, according to the phrase in the fpeech from the throne, arduous. A most powerful and dangerous confederacy was formed against this country, and every Englishman wished to break its power. But was that practicable ? Could England alone, without a single ally in the world, contend successfully against America, France, and Spain ? He represented the strength of those confederated powers, and contrasted that with the decayed trade and nearly exhausted resources of this country. Unable to carry on the war under the disadvantages which we felt, and which he enumerated, we ought perhaps to recall our troops from all unavailing efforts in America, and to direct our whole force against the House of Bourbon ; but certainly we ought to do the former; for experience had taught us, or might have taught us, that all attempts to subdue America under the government of this country were as vain as they were ruinous and oppressive to this languishing nation.

At the commencement of the war, ministry, he acknowledged, had some pretext for pursuing the coercive measures which they adopted. At that time, it was said, that the voice of the nation was for war; the high spirit of this country being unwilling to give up our foreign and most valuable dependencies without a struggle. A Itruggle had

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