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"We protest therefore against the refusal to suffer such petitions to be presented, and we thus clear ourselves to our country of the disgrace and mischief which must attend this unconstitutional, indecent, and improvident proceeding.(Signed)

which was, that they might be heard be- | tation in resolving, add much to the sucfore" any resolution may be taken by cess in executing any plan that may be this right honourable House respecting pursued. America" to refuse so much as to suffer them to be presented, is a proceeding of the most unwarrantable nature, and directly subversive of the most sacred rights of the subject: it is the more particularly exceptionable, as a lord in his place, at the express desire of the West India merchants, informed the House, that, if necessitated so to do, they were ready, without counsel or farther preparation, instantly to offer evidence to prove that several islands of the West Indies could not be able to subsist, after the operation of the proposed address in America. Justice with regard to individuals, policy with regard to the public, and decorum with regard to ourselves, required that we should admit this Petition to be presented. By refusing it, justice is denied."

"2dly, Because the papers laid upon our table by ministers are so manifestly defective, and so avowedly curtailed, that we can derive from them nothing like information of the true state of the object on which we are going to act, or of the consequences of the resolutions which we may take. We ought (as we conceive) with gladness to have accepted that information from the merchants which, if it had not been voluntarily offered, it was our duty to seek. There is no information concerning the state of our colonies (taken in any point of view), which the merchants are not far more competent to give than governors or officers, who often know far less of the temper and disposition of the people, or may be more disposed to misrepresent it than the merchants. Of this we have a full and melancholy experience in the mistaken ideas on which the fatal acts of the last parliament were formed.

"3dly, Because we are of opinion, that in entering into a war in which mischief and inconvenience are great and certain (but the utmost extent of which it is impossible to foresee), true policy requires that those who are most likely to be immediately affected, should be thoroughly satisfied of the deliberation with which it was undertaken; and we apprehend that the planters, merchants, and manufacturers, will not bear their losses and burthens, brought on them by the proposed civil war, the better, for our refusing so much as to hear them previous to our engaging in that war; nor will our precipi

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Richmond, Camden, Torrington,
Archer, Stanhope, Cholmondeley,
Rockingham, Wycombe, Craven,
Courtenay, Abingdon, Effingham,
Ponsonby, Fitzwilliam, Scarbrough,
Abergavenny, Portland, Tanker-

Protest against the Address to the King upon the Disturbances in North America.] Then the main question was put, "Whether to agree with the Commons in the said Address, by inserting the words, Lords spiritual and temporal, and ?" It was resolved in the affirmative. "Dissentient'

"1st, Because the violent matter of this dangerous Address was highly aggravated by the violent manner in which it was precipitately hurried through the House, lords were not allowed the interposition of a moment's time for deliberation before they were driven headlong into a declaration of civil war. A conference was held with the Commons; an address of this importance presented; all extraneous information, although offered, positively refused; all petitions arbitrarily rejected; and the whole of this most awful business received, debated, and concluded in a single day.

2dly, Because no legal grounds were laid in argument or in fact to show that a rebellion, properly so called, did exist in Massachuset's Bay, when the papers of the latest date, and from whence alone we derive our information, were written. The overt-acts to which the species of treason, affirmed in the Address, ought to be applied, were not established, nor any offenders marked out. But a general mass of the acts of turbulence, said to be done at various times and places, and of various natures, were all thrown together to make out one general constructive treason. Neither was there any sort of proof of the continuance of any unlawful force from whence we could infer that a rebellion does now exist. And we are the more cautious of pronouncing any part of his Majesty's dominions to be in actual re

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bellion, because the cases of constructive treason under that branch of the 25th of Edward the 3rd, which describes the crime of rebellion, have been already so far extended by the judges, and the distinctions thereupon so nice and subtle, that no prudent man ought to declare any single person in that situation, without the clearest evidence of uncontrovertible overt acts, to warrant such a declaration. Much less ought so high an authority as both Houses of Parliament, to denounce so severe a judgment against a considerable part of his Majesty's subjects, by which his forces may think themselves justified in commencing a war, without any further order or commission.

"3dly, Because we think that several acts of the last parliament, and several late proceedings of administration, with regard to the colonies, are real grievances, and just causes of complaint; and we cannot, in honour or in conscience, consent to an address which commends the temper by which proceedings so very intemperate have been carried on; nor can we persuade ourselves to authorize violent courses against persons in the colonies, who have resisted authority, without at the same time redressing the grievances which have given but too much provocation for their


"4thly, Because we think the loose and general assurances given by the Address, of future redress of grievances, in case of submission, is far from satisfactory, or at all likely to produce their end; whilst the Acts complained of, continue unrepealed, or unamended; and their authors remain in authority here, because these advisers

forcing the authority of the British legislature, is confined to persons of whose capacity, for that purpose, from abundant experience, we have reason to doubt; and who having hitherto used no effectual means of conciliating or of reducing those who oppose that authority: this appears in the constant failure of all their projects, the insufficiency of all their information, and the disappointment of all the hopes, which they have for several years held out to the public. Parliament has never refused any of their proposals, and yet our affairs have proceeded daily from bad to worse, until we have been brought, step by step, to that state of confusion, and even civil violence, which was the natural result of these desperate measures.

"We therefore protest against an Address amounting to a declaration of war, which is founded on no proper parliamen tary information; which was introduced by refusing to suffer the presentation of petitions against it, (although it be the undoubted right of the subject to present the same;) which followed the rejection of every mode of conciliation; which holds out no substantial offer of redress of grievances; and which promises support to those ministers who have inflamed America, and grossly misconducted the affairs of Great Britain.(Signed)—

Richmond, Craven, Archer, Abergavenny, Rockingham, Wycombe, Courtenay, Torrington, Ponsonby, Cholmondeley, Abingdon, Portland, Camden, Effingham, Stanhope, Scarborough, Fitzwilliam, Tankerville,"

of all the measures which have brought on List of the Minority who divided upon


Richmond Devonshire


MARQUIS. Rockingham.

the calamities of this empire, will not be
trusted while they defend, as just, neces-
sary, and even indulgent, all the Acts com-
plained of as grievances, by the Ameri- Cumberland
cans; and must therefore, on their own
principles, be bound in future to govern Portland
the colonies in the manner which has
already produced such fatal effects; and
we fear that the refusal of this House, so
much as to receive previous to determina-
tion (which is the most offensive mode of
rejection) petitions from the unoffending
natives of Great Britain and the West
India islands, affords us but a very dis-
couraging prospect of our obtaining here-
after any petitions at all, from those whom
we have declared actors in rebellion, or
abettors of that crime.

"Lastly, Because the means of en


previous Question.

Abingdon Besborough Cholmondeley Coventry Effingham Fitzwilliam Scarborough Shelburne





VISCOUNTS. Courtenay Torrington.




King Sondes.




The Joint Address of both Houses to the King on the Disturbances in North America.] The Joint Address was as follows:

"Most Gracious Sovereign;

"We, your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Lords spiritual and temporal, and Commons, in parliament assembled, return your Majesty our most humble thanks, for having been graciously pleased to communicate to us the several papers relating to the present state of the British colonies in America, which, by your Majesty's commands, have been laid before us: We have taken them into our most serious consideration; and we find, that a part of your Majesty's subjects in the province of the Massachuset's Bay have proceeded so far to resist the authoerity of the supreme legislature, that a rebellion at this time actually exists within the said province; and we see, with the utmost concern, that they have been countenanced and encouraged by unlawful combinations and engagements, entered into by your Majesty's subjects in several of the other colonies, to the injury and oppression of many of their innocent fellowsubjects resident within the kingdom of Great Britain, and the rest of your Majesty's dominions: this conduct on their part appears to us the more inexcusable, when we consider with how much temper your Majesty and the two Houses of Parliament have acted in support of the laws and constitution of Great Britain. can never so far desert the trust reposed in us as to relinquish any part of the sovereign authority over all your Majesty's dominions, which by law is vested in your Majesty and the two Houses of Parliament; and the conduct of many persons in several of the colonies during the late disturbances is alone sufficient to convince us how necessary this power is for the protection of the lives and fortunes of all your Majesty's subjects.


"We ever have been, and always shall be, ready to pay attention and regard to any real grievances of any of your Ma. jesty's subjects, which shall, in a dutiful and constitutional manner, be laid before us; and whenever any of the colonies shall make a proper application to us, we shall be ready to afford them every just and reasonable indulgence. At the same time we consider it as our indispensable duty, humbly to beseech your Majesty, that you will take the most effectual measures to enforce due obedience to the laws and authority

of the supreme legislature; and we beg leave, in the most solemn manner, to assure your Majesty, that it is our fixed resolution, at the hazard of our lives and properties, to stand by your Majesty against all rebellious attempts in the maintenance of the just rights of your Majesty and the two Houses of Parliament."

The King's Answer.] His Majesty returned this Answer:

"My Lords, and Gentlemen, "I thank you for this very dutiful and loyal Address, and for the affectionate and solemn assurances you give me of your support in maintaining the just rights of my crown, and of the two Houses of Parliament; and you may depend on my taking the most speedy and effectual measures for enforcing due obedience to the laws, and the authority of the supreme legislature.

"Whenever any of my colonies shall make a proper and dutiful application, I shall be ready to concur with you in affording them every just and reasonable indulgence; and it is my ardent wish that this disposition may have a happy effect. on the temper and conduct of my subjects in America."

The King's Message for an Augmentation of the Forces.] Feb. 10. The following Message was presented to both Houses:

"G. R.

"His Majesty being determined, in consequence of the Address of both Houses of Parliament, to take the most speedy and effectual measures for supporting the just rights of his crown, and the two Houses of Parliament, thinks proper to acquaint this House, that some addition to his forces by sea and land will be necessary for that purpose; and his Majesty doubts not but he shall have the concurrence and support of this House (on whose zeal and affection he entirely relies), in making such augmentation to his forces as the present occasion shall be thought to require."

Debate in the Commons on bringing in the Bill for restraining the Trade and Commerce of the New England Colonies.] Feb. 10. The House having resolved itself into a Committee on the Papers relating to the Disturbances in North Ame rica,

Lord North moved, "That leave be

ants of that colony an opportunity of carrying on the fishery. The same might be said of Rhode Island; and as the same argument of vicinity might be applied to both the provinces as well as to New Hampshire, in order to prevent the de

His lordship added, that he was not averse to admitting such alleviations of the Act as would not prove destructive of its great object. 1st, Therefore, he would move it only as temporary, to the end of the year, or to the end of the next session of parliament. 2dly, He would permit particular persons to be excepted, on certificates from the governor of their good behaviour: or upon their taking a test of acknowledgment of the rights of parlia ment..

Mr. Dunning thought the Americans had a right of fishing on the banks of Newfoundland. He said there was no rebellion in Massachuset's Bay; nothing that could be construed into treason; even if there was a rebellion in some parts, why was the whole to be punished? Why New Hampshire? Why Rhode Island? Why Connecticut? If the fact was true, that general Gage had attacked, was sacking and burning the town of Boston, and the Connecticut people resisting, the latter were not in rebellion. He said the ministers were the best authors of a receipt to make a rebellion.

given to bring in a Bill to restrain the trade and commerce of the provinces of Massachuset's Bay, and New Hampshire; the colonies of Connecticut and Rhode Island, and Providence Plantation in North America, to Great Britain, Ireland, and the British islands in the West In-feating of the Act, they also ought to be dies; and to prohibit such provinces and included in the prohibition to fish and to colonies from carrying on any fishery on trade. the banks of Newfoundland, or other places therein to be mentioned, under certain conditions, and for a time to be limited." He supported his motion, by declaring, that as the Americans had refused to trade with this kingdom, it was but just that we should not suffer them to trade with any other nation. That the restraints of the Act of Navigation, were their charter; and that the several relaxations of that law, were so many acts of grace and favour; which, when the colonies ceased to merit, it was but reasonable the British legislature should recall. In particular, he said, that the fishery on the banks of Newfoundland and the other banks, and all the others in America, was the undoubted right of Great Britain. Therefore we might dispose of them as we pleased. That although the two Houses had not declared all Massachuset's Bay in rebellion, they had declared, that there is a rebellion in that province. It was just, therefore, to deprive that province of its fisheries. That in the province of New Hampshire there was still a governor and a government; but government was weak in that colony; and a quantity of powder had been taken out of a fort there by an armed mob. Besides, the vicinity of that province to Massachuset's Bay was such, that if it were not added, the purpose of the Act would be defeated. Rhode Island he stated not to be in a much better situation than Massachuset's Bay; that several pieces of cannon had been taken there, and carried up into the country; and that they were arraying their militia, in order to march into any other colony, in case it should be attacked; and this could, in the present circumstances, be for no good purpose. That from Connecticut had marched a large body of men into the Massachusets, on a report that the soldiery had killed some people in Boston; and though this body had returned, on finding the falsity of that report, an ill disposition had been shewn, and that this colony was in a state of great disorder and confusion. To this he added, that the river Connecticut afforded the inhabit-executive power.

Mr. Attorney General Thurlow said, that no resolutions, though of both Houses, can make a fact, or decide the law. He had given his opinion upon pa pers laid before him, that there was a rebellion in Massachuset's Bay. He defended his opinion, by an explanation of the facts upon which he gave it; to treason, next as to rebellion.

first as

Mr. Dunning to explain. Rebellion is that state between government and its subjects, which between two hostile states would be war.

Mr. Solicitor General Wedderburn rose to prove a rebellion in America from the hon. gentleman's definition.

Mr. Speaker Norton gave his opinion on the point of law, divested of the facts, and left the committee to apply the facts, and the opinion. The law does not know the word rebellion.' Levying war against the king is treason; so is endeavouring to wrest the sword out of the hands of the

then took it up in a serious light, and said, that he had heard with pleasure many young members speak with much ability on this occasion. They all had apologized for their want of experience in this session. That he was obliged to consider, and apologize for himself, as a very young member of parliament. This will appear, said he, very strange to those who know that I have sat a great many years in this House. It is true I have carried through many turnpike Bills, several draining Bills, a multitude of navigations, and inclosures without num

Governor Johnstone said, that the proposition was absurd and cruel: absurd, because it took away trade from our own colonies, which, those who understood that trade must know we should not be able to transfer to ourselves, when it was taken from them that God and nature had given that fishery to New and not to Old England: that when it was once destroyed, we should not be able to restore it to those from whom it was thus violently taken; because the little capital, vessels, and implements of fishermen (many of them poor) were only kept up by constant re-ber; but I am now come quite a novice to turns of profit: when the profits failed, the ways and means for the ruin of trade the capital and implements would not be and commerce, and the dismemberment of restored. That France, who was suffi- a great empire. He then entered into ciently alert at taking advantages, would the general argument, concerning the juscome in for a part, at least, of the bene- tice of making all parts of a state contri, fits of which we thus thought proper to butary to the support of the whole, and deprive our own people. It was cruel, he that those who receive protection ought said, in the highest degree, and beyond to submit to taxation. He admitted the the example of hostile rigour. That a general maxim to be true; but observed, maritime people always drew a consider that this was only in cases where all the ble part of their immediate sustenance parts received the same protection in equal from the sea. This Bill, therefore, would benefits and equal privileges; otherwise be inhumanly to starve a whole people, equal payment for unequal protection except such as a governor should think it would be injustice itself. That people by proper to favour. That this partial per-compact might give up a part of this right; mission must give rise to unjust prefer- but then this compact ought to be proved; ence, monopoly, and all sorts of jobs. and it ought to be proved also, that an He said he had served in the navy the adequate compensation was given for it, whole of the last war; he had in his eye else the bargain would not be fair. And several captains, who had cruized off the this brought him to the doctrine of resistenemy's coasts during the whole war, and ance, which had been handled as best he appealed to them for the truth of what suited the purposes of those who used it. he asserted, that it was a constant rule in That if rebellion was resistance to governthe service to spare the fishing craft, ment, he could not consider all rebellions thinking it savage and barbarous to de- to be alike; there must be such a thing prive poor wretches of their little means as justifiable rebellion-and submitted to of livelihood, and the miserable village in the House, whether a people taxed withhabitants of a sea coast of their daily food. out their consent, and their petitions Mr. T. Townshend urged strongly the against such taxation rejected; their charcontradiction which prevailed in the printers taken away without hearing; and an ciples of the proposed Bill; for if the other provinces were in rebellion, as well as the Massachusets, why were they not declared so? If not, why were they included in the very same punishment?

Sir George Savile rallied with pleasantry some arguments of the lawyers about treasons, and exposed the idea of depriving a whole province of its subsistence, because a rebellion, we know not where, nor by whom, is lurking in it; and then punishing a second province, because it is next door to rebellion; a third, because it would be doing nothing if you let them escape; and a fourth, because otherwise ministry could not square their plan. He

army let loose upon them without a possibility of obtaining justice; whether a people under such circumstances could not be said to be in justifiable rebellion?

Sir W. Meredith expressed great sorrow and surprize, that the hon. gentleman should call the rebellion in America a justifiable rebellion, since it was the laws which they resisted; and he (Sir George) had consented to the Declaratory Act, which asserted a right in parliament to make laws to bind America in all cases whatsoever. The power of God himself was bounded within the limits of strict justice; a power to bind, in all cases whatsoever, had never been claimed by

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