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marines, 'should be augmented to 28,000 men, and the number of ships of war to eighty, upon the American station ; and the land forces also to consist of 25,000, of the selected troops in the service. To counteract this, the enormous expences of the troops stationed at Boston, were arrayed in order, together with the slight impression they had been able to make upon the American forces. Next William Penn was introduced, to shew by his testimony to ministers the true character, and situation of America. . On the 10th of November, the Duke of Richmond procured an examination of William Penn before the House of Lords; the substance of which is as follows—" That Congress was in the highest veneration imaginable, by all ranks, and orders of men. That he believed implicit obedience was paid to their resolutions through all the provinces. That in Pennsylvania 20,000 effective men had voluntarily enrolled themselves to enter into active service, if necessity required, and that among them were persons of the most respectable character in the province. That he presumed the major part were in flourishing situ. ations. That beside these 20,000, there were 4000 minute men, whose duty was pointed out by their description ; they were to be ready for service at a minute's warning. That the Pennsylvanians understood perfectly the art of making gun-powder; that they had made that, and saltpetre, and that the art of casting cannon had been carried to great perfection. That small arms had been made to as great a degree of perfection as could be imagined. That the Americans were equally expert with the Europeans in ship-building. That he was sure the language of Congress expressed the sense of the American people in general. 'That the petition he had presented to the king, had been considered as an olive branch, and that he had been complimented by his friends as the messenger of
peace. That he imagined the Americans, who placed much reliance on the petition, would be driven to desperation, by its refusal. That he imagined that sooner than yield to what they supposed to be the unjust claims of Great-Britain, the Americans would take the resolution of calling in foreign aid ; and that in his opinion the neglect with which the last petition was treated, would induce the Americans to resign all hopes of pacific negociations," &c.
When William Penn had withdrawn, the Duke of Richmond moved—“that the matter of the American petition affords ground for the conciliation of the unhappy differences subsisting between the mother country and the colonies, and that it is necessary that immediate steps should be taken for the attainment of so desirable an object.” A warm, and animated debate ensued, and the question was taken and lost, 86 to 33.
When the subject of supplies came up before Parliament, and they found that the taxes in America were not likely to ease the burthens of the nation, as had been contemplated, under their system of coercive measures, the weight about to come on their purses made them pause, and reflect, more than all the principles of injustice and corrupt policy that had been urged home to their consciences. When ministers therefore, talked of abandoning their system of taxes, Parliament declared they would abandon their system of supplies. To meet this, ministers were obliged to resume the plan of American taxes ; and then the gentlemen were ready to grant supplies, even with a land tax of 4s. upon the pound, equal to one fifth of its value.
When the bill prohibiting all further intercourse with America was introduced, it opened a fresh debate, wbich was conducted with great warmth, and spirit. . In the course of this animated debate, it was urged, that the guardian genius of America had presided over the counsels of this house, and inspired them with such measures and resolves, as were best calculated to promote the union, and interest of the colonies, and that this bill might be fairly said to stand at the top of the class of those meas. ures, and therefore the title ought to be changed into that of— A bill for carrying more effectually into execution the resolves of Cougress.” True and forcible as was this remark in itself, and firm as it was, in connection with the corresponding debate, the motion for the bill was carried, December 11th, 192 to 64.
The same spirited opposition attended the bill before the House of Lords, in which the whole force of the ar.. guments of ministers was summed up in a war of necessity, by the following anecdote.
The critical situation of our affairs, says a great law lord, compels us to fight. The laconic speech of a certain Scotch general in the army of Gustavus Adolphus, made to his soldiers, is percisely applicable to our situation. Pointing to the enemy he said—“See you those men? kill them my lads or they will kill you."* The question was carried at midnight, 78 to 19.
This bill was also followed with a spirited protest signed by eight noble lords, with the Duke of Richmond at their head, in which “they reprobate the clause in the bill, with indignation, which by a refinement in tyranny, and in a sentence worse than death, obliges the unhappy men who shall be made captives in this predatory war, to bear arms against their families, kindred, friends, and country; and after being plundered themselves, to become accomplices in plundering their own brethren.”
The noble lord doubtless had his mind upon the speech of Gustavus Adolphus, in the battle of Lutzen, a tew minutes before his death, on seeing three spuadrons of imperial cuirassiers clothed in armour, be called to him Colonel Stalhaus, and pointing to the squadrons said “Stalhaus, charge home these black fellows, for they are the men that will undo us."
His majesty gave his assent to this bill, in the house of peers, December 21st, 1775.
His majesty made application, with his own hand, to the States General, for a Scotch regiment in their service, to be employed against America ; but it was refused, with a becoming spirit. His majesty's message to the Irish Parliament met with success, and they voted bim 4000 men out of the 12,000 voted for the defence of the kingdom, provided they be no expence to Ireland, after quitting the kingdom. The Protestant troops proposed in the message, as a substitute to be 'stationed in Ireland, were
refused. . • On the 29th of Deceniber, the ships Acteon and Thun. der bomb, sailed from Portsmouth for Cork, carrying Sir Peter Parker, and Earl Cornwallis, and the American Col. Ethan Allen, to convoy the transports with the 4000 troops to America.
Colonel Allen had been treated with great severity in England, as well as his fellow prisoners, and had been confined, until this time, in Pendennis Castle, in Cornwall. When Colonel Allen arrived in Cork,, a subscription was opened for his benefit and his companions, which afforded them ample supplies ;. this was the first succour they had received.
This fleet were ready for sea by the 20th of January; but were delayed by the lord lieutenant of Ireland, in the settlement of some doubts about his powers, until the 18th of February, when the fleet put to sea, consisting of 43 sail and about 2500 troops, destined, as was supposed, for the middle states of America. This fleet were overtaken by a terrible storm on the 18th, and were scattered ; a part driven back into Cork, others into Plymouth, Portsmouth, &c. and left Sir Peter only 25 sail, to prosecute the expedition.
On the 19th, Lord North moved, “ that his majesty's treaties with the Landgrave of Hesse Cassel, the Duke of Brunswick, and other German princes, for 17,000 men to be employed in America, be referred to the committee of supply.” This motion caused a warm debate, which involved the questions of propriety, as well as expediency of hiring foreign troops, and the measure was severly reprobated; but the motion was carried at half past 12 at night, by a majority of 242 to 88.
The same question produced the same animated oppo. sition in the House of Lords, where it was stated, that this body of 17,000 foreign troops would cost the naiton 1,500,0001. in twelve months. . All that language could • express, was said to excite the feelings against applying to foreign princes for aid in this sanguinary contest ; princes who trade in human blood ; but more especially against calling on the people of England, to sanction by their support, so barbarous an action. The example of foreign aid was also urged, which America would not fail to follow, and then this measure would involve England in a war with all Europe. But the plea of necessity carried all before it in this case, as in the others, and the question was car. ried in favour of ministers, 100 to 32. This was also met with a powerful protest.
But when the minister brought forward his demands for the sum of 845,0001. on the 11th of March, to defray the extraordinary expences of the last year, from March up to January, a most violent opposition burst upon the minis: ter, and appeared ready to overwhelm him.
Calculations were immediately made to shew, that every man in garrison at Boston, had cost the nation more than 1001, in less than one year, and that even under this enorinous expence, their privations had been great, and their supplies wretched in the extreme ; that if such an expence had been necessarily incurred, when the resistance