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Howe had desired; and on the 9th the admiral sailed lV**' from Plymouth. Lord Howe had been deceived into his command; had been deceived while in the exercise of it; and being tired and disgusted, had required permission to resign *.
General Burgoyne landed at Portsmouth. On his '?3+ arrival at London, he soon discovered, that he was no longer an object of court favor. He was refused admission to the royal presence; and from thence experienced all those marks of being in disgrace, which are j so well understood, and so quickly perceived by the re- \ tainers and followers of courts.
Sir George Saville moved for leave to bring in a bill 14* for the repeal of certain penalties and disabilities provided in an act of the 10th and nth of William 111. entitled an act to prevent the further growth of popery. He proposed that a sufficient test might be formed, by which the papists should bind themselves to the support of the civil government by law established. The motion was received with universal approbation. A bill was brought in and carried through both houses with uncommon unanimity; ministry and opposition vied with each other in activity to forward it; the first considered it as a prelude to the employing of papists in the fleets and armies: that respectable body, who called themselves old whigs, took the lead avowedly in support of it; and the bench of bishops co-operated heartily with the other promoters of it: it was passed without a single negative, and received the royal assent on the 27th of IVIay. By this act the clause in the act of William III, for prosecuting of popish bishops, priests or Jesuits, is * Lord Howe in the house of commons.
Vol. III. I repealed j
127& repealed; also that for subjecting papists keeping school* fpr the education os youth to perpetual imprisonment; and that likewise, which disables papists from inheriting lands by descent, and gives to the next of kin (being protestants) a right to inherit such lands; beside that which disables papists from purchasing manors, lands or hereditaments, in England or Wales; but the act leaves all lands in possession just as they were, and all causes in.litigation, as if it had never been made; and the benefits arising from it, rest on the condition of taking a certain prescribed oath of allegiance wkhin six months of its passing into a law. **ay Sir William Meredith observed in the house of commons, that the British ministers had early and complete intelligence of the French preparations at Toulon. He said, that on the 3d of January they had notice of the equipment; on the 8th of February they had advice of the number of ships that was to compose the squadron; and on the 28 th of the same month that the crews were all completed; and that they had early information of count d'Estaing's arrival, and of the day on which he intended to fail. He moved, among other matters, that it did not appear to the house, that any orders were sent until the 29th of April, for any fleet of observation, to attend the motions of that from Toulon: but the strength of ministry was too great to admit of its being carried. June On the 3d of June a period was put to the session of parliament; and on the 9th, the earl of Chatham's remains were honorably interred in Westminster Abbey at the public expence; at which also, a magnificent monument;
hument has been ordered to be erected in the fame place 17^ to his remembrance.
. Warlike preparations are going forward in every part of Great Britain; but the French have undoubtedly the start, and are in the greater forwardness. Admiral Keppel sailed from St. Helen's on a cruise off Ushant, with ip twenty ships of the line; but not in that excellent order, nor so well manned, as the critical situation of affairs between the two nations appears to require*
What could not be mentioned in the order of time* must now be related, that capt. Jones, of the Ranger privateer from Portsmouth in New Hampshire state* toward the end of April; landed in the night, at Whitehaven in Cumberland, a party of 30 men, and set fire to one of the ships in the harbour: by the exertion of the inhabitants the flames were extinguished before they had reached the rigging. He afterward landed some men on the western coast of Scotland, and plundered the house of lord Selkirk, near Kirkubright, of plate, jewels and other valuable articles. He is a Scotchman 'by birth* and is said to have lived formerly with his lordship;
You may expect from me the earliest intelligence of those important transactions, that are about X& GOm> mence in this quarter of the world.
Rotterdam, Jug. 15, 1778.
; Friend G. . ---. ;..
TH E Frenth, to perplex the councils of the British . i, „. court, assembled a multitude of regiments from
all parts of the kingdom, and marched them down to the sea side, where they formed large encampments opposite to the shores of Great Britain. These manœuvres occasioned the calling out and embodying of the militia of England upon the rising of parliament. The militia being joined by the regular forces, camps were formed in different places: but the nation trusted most to the navy.
My last closed with the account of admiral KeppePs having sailed. He was deservedly in the highest esteem with his own profession, as well as the public. It was extremely proper therefore that he should be appointed to command that fleet, to which was committed the defence of the island, the protection of the homeward bound trade, and the preservation of the dignity of the British flag in the adjoining seas. On his arrival at Portsmouth toward the end of March, he found matters very different from the opinion that had been generally circulated, and from what he himself had been led to expect. Instead os a strong and well appointed fleet, he discovered to his astonishment, that there were only fix sail of the line in any degree of condition for imme
diate seryice; even, these on his reviewing them, with a 1778. seaman's eye, gave him no peculiar pleasure. The pau- 1 city and condition of both men and ships was not more | alarming, than the deficiency of all kinds of naval stores was! lamentable; but the admiral acted with such prudence and caution, as to prevent that increase of the public i alarm, that a display of these circumstances must have ] occasioned. He urged his private applications to the admiralty, with such assiduity and effect, that a new spirit and unusual degree of vigor were suddenly seen to pervade the naval department; and such industry was used, that beside dispatching the twelve ships for America under Byron, he was enabled to take the seas with a fleet of twenty fail of the line, at the time already mentioned. He had scarcely arrived at his station in the Bay of Biscay, when two French frigates, with two smaller, vessels, appeared in fight, and were evidently taking a survey of the fleet. War had not been declared, nor reprisals ordered: but it was necessary to stop these frigates, as well to obtain intelligence, as to prevent its being conveyed. A general signal for chasing was made: a ship June of the line got at length along side of the Licorne of 17* 32 guns; on her firing a gun, the Frenchman stood to her and was brought into the fleet. Mean while, the j other French frigate, La Belle Poule, of twenty-six heavy twelve pounders, beside several others of lighter metal, with a schooner os ten guns in company, were closely pursued by the Arethuja frigate of only twenty-eight six pounders, and the Alert cutter, till out of sight of the, fleet. The Arethusa .getting up with her chase, capt. Jvlarjhall requested the French officer, lieutenant Chadem dc la Clocheterie, to bring to, and acquainted him with
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