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1711-12. resolved to put out of the way of disturbing them in the age house. The charge against him was thus : Mr. Walpole,
as secretary of war, had contracted with some persons for forage to the horse that lay in Scotland. He, finding the contractors made fome gain by it, named a friend of his own to be joined with them, that he might have a share of the gain : but the others were unwilling the secret of their management should be known; fo, instead of admitting him, offered him five hundred guineas for his fhare, which he accepted, and the money was remitted. But the contractors, not knowing how to direct to him, addressed their bill to Mr. Walpole, who endorsed it, and the person concerned received the money. This was found out, and Walpole was charged with it as a bribe, that he had taken for his own use, for making the contract. Both the persons that remitted the money, and he who received it, were examined, and affirmed, that Walpole was neither directly nor indirectly concerned in the matter, but the house insisted upon his having endorsed the bill, and not only voted this a corruption, but sent him to the Tower, and expelled him the house. Not content with this, when Mr. Walpole was afterwards chosen again for Lynn Regis, the commons, upon a petition against his election, resolved, “That Robert
Walpole, esq; having been, this feffion of parliament, 6 committed a prisoner to the Tower of London, and ex« pelled this house, for an high breach of trust in the execu
tion of his office, and notorious corruption when secretary of war, was, and is incapable of being elected a member to serve in this present parliament.' (f)
(f) This proceeding against words of the writ, nor from Mr. him was examined in the Poft- Walpole's being a prisoner in the fcript to the second edition of Tower, nor from his having been Mr. Walpole's Case in a letter expelled the house.
And, upon from a Tory Member of Parlia- the whole, he declares, that if • ment to his friend in the coun. Mr. Walpole was to be tried by
try. The author of this piece • the law of the land, or by the considers, .Whether Mr. Walpole • law and usage of parliament,
was, at the time of his election, or by any known rules of rea. incapable of being elected a ' son and justice, there was no
member to serve in parliament; « foundation to declare, that he ļ and if he was capable, how far was incapable of being elected a second expulsion was just and a member to serve in the pre
reasonable and then thews, ' fent parliament: and that it that such an incapacity cannot will be thought an hardship of Wife either from the tenour and • the first impression, that for a
The next attack was on the duke of Marlborough. 1711-12. On the 24th of January, his affair was debated. The
The cenfure money received from Sir Solomon Medina was said to be a
put on the fraud, and the deduction out of the pay of the foreign troops duke of was said to be public money, and to be accounted for. MarlboThe debate held long. It appeared, that, during the former Pr. H.c, war, king William had fifty thousand pounds a year for con- Burnet. tingencies; which were often reckoned to have coft much
The contingency was that service, which could be brought to no certain head, and was chiefly for procuring intelligence. The duke of Marlborough had only ten. thousand pounds for the contingencies; which, with all the other items joined together, amounted but to thirty thoufand pounds; a sum much inferior to what had been formerly given : and yet, with this moderate expence, he had procured so good intelligence, that he was never surprized, and no party he sent out was ever intercepted or cut off. By means of this intelligence, all his designs were so well concerted, that he succeeded in every one of them; and, by many instances, the exactness of his intelligence was fully demonstrated. It was proved, both by witnesses, and by formal attestations from Holland, that, ever since the year 1672, the Jews had made the like present to the general of the states army; and it was understood as a perquisite belonging to that command. No bargain was made with the Jews for the English troops, that made by the states being applied to them ; so that it appeared, that the making such a present to the general was customary ; but that was denied. So it was resolved at last by two hundred and seventy voices against a hundred and fixty-five, " That
the taking several sums of money annually, by the duke • of Marlborough from the contractors for furnishing the • bread and bread-waggons for the army in the Low-Countries was unwarrantable and illegal.' After which, tho' the duke, had the queen's warrant to receive it, they also voted, that the two and a half per cent. deducted out of the pay of the foreign troops was unwarrantable, and to be accounted for. These resolutions being laid before the queen, she answered, I have a great regard for whatever is pre' sented to me by my commons, and will do my part to re
slight offence, proved by no di ' in the strongest terms, impri• rečt evidence, vindicated by po- foned, and expelled the house, • fitive evidence upon oath, a
and afterwards expelled again.' . gentleman should be censured
1711-12. ' dress what you complain of.' To colour this censure, the
commons voted, " That the two and a half per cent. which • had, or ought to have been made from the pay for foreign • forces, be continued for the year 1712, and applied for ? the service of the war. And it is observable, that though some of the foreign princes, who had troops in the queen's pay, did some time after order their ministers in London to represent, that the two and a half per cent. was their
own money, but they were willing to allow it as a free ç gift to the duke of Ormond, as they had done to the duke
of Marlborough ;' which representation seemed to be a full justification of the latter, The queen however was prevailed upon to send an order to the attorney-general to profecute the duke for the fifteen thousand pounds, which was deducted yearly out of the pay of the foreign troops, for the receiving whereof he had her own warrant,
The court espoused these resolutions of the commons bels against with great zeal, and paid well for the great majority by the duke, of Marlbo
which they were carried. Upon this, many virulent writers rough. (whether set on to it, or officiously studying to merit by it, Burnet, did not appear) threw out, in many defamatory libels, a
great deal of malice agaiust the duke of Marlborough : they compared him to Cataline, to Crassus, to Antony, and ftudied to represent him as a robber of the nation, and as a public enemy. This gave indignation to all who had a sense of gratitude, or a regard to justice. In one of these scurrilous papers, penned on design to raise the rabble against
him, a period began thus, He was perhaps once fortunate.' By Burnet. This paffage being mentioned * to prince Eugene, he plea
santly said, it was the greatest commendation could be given him, since he was always successful : so this implied, that in one single instance he might be fortunate, but that all hiş other successes were owing to his conduct. It was answered, that single instance must then be, his escaping out of the hands of the party, who took him as he was going down the Maese in a boat (g).
(g) Among the libels against IX. So flagrant is thy insolence, the duke was published, by ei. • So vile thy breach of trust is, ther Prior or Swift, ' A Fable "That longer with thee to dis¢ of the Widow and her -Cat,'
pense, the last stanza of which is as • Werewantof power, orwant follows:
of sense : Here, Towzer, Do him justice.'
His innocence ap
Secret inquiries were made, in order to the laying more 1711-12. load on the duke of Marlborough, and to see whether posts in the army, or in the guards, were sold by him ; but nothing could be found. He had suffered a practice to go on, peared evithat had been begun in the late king's time, of letting of dently. ficers sell their commissions ; but he had never taken any
Burnet. part of the price to himself.
Few thought that he had been so clear in that matter ; for it was the only thing, in which now his enemies were confident, that some discoveries would have been made to his prejudice : so that the endeavours used to search into those matters, producing nothing, raised the reputation of his incorrupt administration, more than all his well-wishers could have expected.
In this whole transaction was seen a new scene of ingratitude, acted in a most imprudent manner; when the man, to whom the nation owed more than it had ever done, in any ag to any subject, or perhaps to any person whatever, was for some months, pursued with so much malice. He bore all with filence and patience, appearing always calm and chearful: and, though he prepared a full vindication of himself, yet he delayed publishing it, till the nation should return to its senses, and be capable of examining those matters in a more impartial manner.
Another affair of a more public nature was now taken the barrior into consideration by the commons, namely, the barrier treaty.
Burnet, treaty with the states. Both houses had, in the year 1709, agreed in an address to the queen, that the protestant succeffion might be secured by a guaranty in the treaty of
It is no wonder the, duke of • wicked persons to follow ill
lings reward; or, if he will vo-
a very tall, thin, swarthy com ' future, he will firmly adhere to
plectioned man, between sixty • the church of England, in which • and seventy years of age, wear ' he was so carefully educated by
ing a brown coat, with little • his honeft parents. There were • fleeves, and long pockets, has also lampoons, and other libels, < lately withdrawn himself from both in verse and prose, published his friends, being seduced by against the same peer.
1711-12. peace; and this was settled at the Hague to be one of the
preliminaries. But when an end was put to the conferences at Gertruydenberg, the lord Townshend was ordered to set on a treaty with the states to that effect. They entertained it very readily; but at the same time proposed, that England should enter into a guaranty with them, to maintain their barrier, which consisted of some places which they were to garrison, the sovereignty of which was still in the crown of Spain, and of other places which had not belonged to that crown at the death of king Charles the second, but had been taken in the progress of the war; for, by their agreements with Great-Britain, they bore the charge of the fieges, and so the places taken were to belong to them. These were chiefly Lisle, Tournay, Menin, and Doway, and were to be kept still by them. But as for those places, which, from the time of the treaty of the Pyrenees belonged to the Spaniards, they had been so ill looked after by the Spanish governors of Flanders, who were more intent upon enriching themselves, and keeping a magnificent court at Bruffels, than on preserving the country, that neither were the fortifications kept in due repair, nor the magazines furnished, nor the soldiers paid ; so that, whenever the war broke out, the French made themselves very eafily masters of places so ill kept. The states had therefore proposed, during this war, that the sovereignty of those places should continue still to belong to the crown of Spain, but they fhould keep garrisons in the strongest and the most exposed, in particular those that lay on the Lys and the Scheld; and, for maintaining this, they asked a hundred thousand pounds a year from those provinces ; by which they would be kept better and cheaper than ever they had been, while they were in the hands of the Spaniards. They asked like wise a free paffage for all the stores that they fould fend,to those places. This seemed to be fo reasonable, that, since the interest of England, as well as the states, required that this frontier hould be carefully maintained, the ministry were ready to hearken to it. It was objected, that, in cafe of a war between England and the states, the trade of those provinces would be wholly in the hands of the Dutch : but this had been settled in the great truce, which, by the mediation of France and England, was made in 1609, between the Spaniards and the states. There was a provisional order therein made for the freedom of trade in those provinces ; and that was turned into a perpetual one by the peace of Munfter. King Charles of Spain had agreed to