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1710. they gave their opinions in council, according to the best of
their judgment; their intentions were very fincere for the
ing on the war offenfively in Spain was approved and di-
Spain, and to the disappointment of the expedition against
he had the honour of commanding the army in Spain, did perform many great and eminent services; and, if the opinion he gave in the council of war at Valencia had been ' followed, it might very probably have prevented the mis« fortunes, that had happened since in Spain.' The lords of the high-church party having, by the help of the Scots, who all voted on that fide, carried these questions, the earl of Wharton moved, that such lords, as were against them, might enter their protests, which was readily granted (r).
(r) The protest to the first re causes subsequent to that adSolution was as follows:
vice ; the ill success of it, as we
apprehend, being juftly attri.
buted to the other manifeft rea-
Here was a new and strange precedent of censuring a re 1710. solution taken in council, and of desiring the queen to order all that had passed in council, to be laid before the house. In all the hot debates in king Charles the First's reign, in which many resolutions taken in council were justly censurable, ret the palling any censure on them was never attempted by men, who were no way partial in favour of the prerogative ; but they understood well what our constitution was in that point : a resolution in council is only the sovereign's act, who, upon hearing his counsellors deliver their opinions, forms his own resolution : a counsellor may indeed be liable to censure for what he may say at that board; but the resolution taken there has been hitherto treated with a filent respect; but, by this precedent, it will be hereafter subject to a parliamentary enquiry. The queen was so defirous to have a censure fixed on her former ministry, that she did not enough consider the wound given to the prerogative, by the way in which it was done. .
After these proceedings it was moved by the duke of The earl of Buckingham, that the thanks of the house ihould be given rough to the earl of Peterborough, for his remarkable and eminent thanked by services; which being ordered, the lord-keeper Harcourt the lords.
Pr, H, L. addressed himself to the earl, in a speech, wherein he ohliquely reflected on the rewards that had been received by the duke of Marlborough :
Such is your lordship’s known generosity and truly o noble temper, that I assure myself, the present I am now
offering to your lordship is the more acceptable, as it comes
pure and unmixed, and is unattended with any other re"ward, which your lordship might justly think would be an allay to it.'
The next morning the earl set out for Vienna, and the lords, not content with what had been done, 'entered, on
1710. the last day of January, into an enquiry about the force we
was found not to exceed fourteen thousand men, though the
some, who voted with the rest, seemed alhamed of it. They Burnet.
said, somewhat was to be done to justify the queen's
(s) Bishop Burnet too juftly observed at this time, that the
beforehand, the de- words, that they had the mabating concerning them is only a jority, and would make use of piece of form used to come at- it, as he had observed done by the question with fome decency: others, when they had it on their and there was so little of that fide.
to lay the load there. The management of the public 1710. treasure was exact and unexceptionable ; so that the single w misfortune of the whole war was to be magnified : fome were more easily drawn to concur in these votes, because, by the act of grace, all those who had been concerned in the administration, were covered from profecution and punishment: fo this was represented to fome, as a compliment that would be very acceptable to the queen, and by which no person could be hurt. They loaded fingly the earl of Galway with the loss of the battle of Almanza, though it was resolved on in a council of war, and he had behaved himself in it with all the bravery and conduct, that could be expected from a great general, and had made a good retreat, and secured Catalonia with unexpreffible diligence.
The earl of Galway was also censured for not insisting on the earl of the point of honour in the precedence to be given to the fured for English troops, as soon as the Portuguese army entered into giving the Spain. The earl being indisposed with the gout, the lords precedence sent him a question in writing: 'Why, whilft he com-tuguese. • manded the British troops in Spain, he gave the right to Burnet. • the Portuguese?' To this he answered, “ That, by the Pr, H. L.]
treaty with Portugal, the troops of that crown were to have the right in their own country, and that, in order to engage them to march to Madrid, he was obliged to allow them the fame honour, for otherwise they would never
have stirred out of Portugal.' It is certain, if he had made the least struggle about it, the Portuguese, who were not easily prevailed on to enter into Spain, would have gladly enough laid hold of any occasion, which such a difpute would have given them, and have turned back upon it; and so, by his insisting on such a punctilio, the whole design would have been loft. We had likewise, in our treaty with them, yielded expressly the point of the fag in those seas, for which alone, on other occasions, we have engaged in wars; so he had no reason to contest a lesser point. However, the lords thought fit to resolve, by a majority of fixty-fix against forty-four, · That the earl of Galway, in
yielding the post of her majesty's troops to the Portuguese . in Spain, acted contrary to the honour of the imperial
crown of Great-Britain. This was the conclusion of the inquiries made by the house of lords, a representation of which was, in an address, presented to the queen on the 10th of February
In the mean time, the commons were no less intent upon what seemed to be the principal business of this seffion, to
caft an odium on the late ministry. To this end, on the scensured by
3d of January, Mr. Harley informed the house, that, in
the examinations relating to the navy, some very confiderPr, H, C. able abuses were discovered in the victualling ; and that a
member of the house was named therein. The commons,
address be presented to her majesty, to cause Mr. “ Ridge to be prosecuted for the same." However, this gentleman was not prosecuted, but continued to serve the navy as before ; for, upon examination, it appeared, that in fact the public fuffered no wrong. The case stood thus : the service of the fleet had of laté lain for the most part in the Mediterranean, where the difference of climate rendered the beer sent from hence useless ; and the feamen, being not able to drink it there, required wine and water, which is ordinarily used on board the feet in those parts. But as the Victualling-office can, in their accounts, charge beer only, it was allowed to the feamen by the office to take * inoney of the brewer, wherewith to buy wine in the Streights. Thus, though the beer was not delivered; and the feamen drank wine, yet the nation paid for no more than the allowance of beer. Many other brewers were complained of on the same account, but it was plain this was only a shew of zeal, and a seeming discovery of fraudulent practices, when in reality there was no such thing, or at least the abuse was such, that it was suffered to go on as
ayowedly as ever. Two lokte. The money did not come into the treasury fo readily as ries, Burnet.
formerly, neither upon the act of four shillings in the pound, Pr, H, C. nor on the duty laid on malt. So, to raise a quick supply,