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and my firm belief, that it was wholly owing to the glorious stand he made against the arbitrary proceedings of the secretaries of state, when his person and papers were illegally seized, that the attempts then made to infringe the liberty of the press, which is the only preservative against ministerial oppression, failed of success. To him I am probably indebted at this time, for the privilege of publishing my case, without the horrid apprehension of having my printer and publisher's houses ransacked, and their perfons taken into close custody.
In a word, not being of sufficient consequence to add strength or influence to any political party, I can only most fincerely wish for the success of the best friends of the illustrious house of Hanover, and of the protestant cause--The independent Whigs—those real supporters of the constitutional rights and privileges of the people; and severe scourges of popery and despotism. But should this publication happily secure me their patronage and protection, I shall esteem it one of the most fortunate events of my life. For the time is fast approaching-when the intricate situation of public affairs will render it absolutely necessary to place the direction of government in the hands of those, whose ancestors established it in the present royal family, that it may be recovered from that state of internal discord and debility, into which it has been plunged by the fubversive measures of a set of men, who have vainly endeavoured to bury the spirit of national liberty, in the ruins of party distinctions when the ministerial operations of 1768 and 1769, shall be held in as much deteftation by the real friends of their country, as the inglorious æra of an unnatural rebellion against the good old king--And then there will not be any occasion for petitions, nor for addresses, except of congratulation. For prince and people, nobles and commons, the rulers and the ruled shall be of one mind. GEORGE THE CLEMENT, shall be almost adored at home, and universally respected abroad--the field of blood shall only be found on hoftilc fhores—the free-born Briton shall not be lain in any ignoble cause, but shall freely devote his life to the service of his country, against a common enemy-the majority of the representatives of the people shall be endued with honesty enough to be safely entrufted with the sacred rights of their constituents, and courage fufficient to maintain and support them against the strongest efforts of Machiavellian, or which is the same thing, Butean policy-and then my lord, your lordship, your under secre
taries, and the author of this address, will probably be forgotten, and I hope forgiven, for all the past errors of their conauct.
In the year 1763, Michael HATTON, Esquire, Conful for Flanders, who had just acquired an immense fortune by the lucrative employment of Commissary to the army in Germany, finding that his majesty's subjects trading to and refiding at the port of Oftend, began to complain loudly that there was no consul or vice-consul to officiate there, thought proper to apply to the right honourable the Earl of Sandwich, then secretary of state for the northern provinces, for leave to stay at home, and to appoint Mr. Mortimer to be vice-consul for the ports of the Austrian Netherlands, in virtue of a power granted under the consul's commiffion of appointing a sufficient deputy. The secretary of state, the proper judge of the sufficiency of such deputy, after having taken a considerable time for deliberation on Mr. Hatton's request, was pleased to accept Mr. Mortimer as vice-consul under Mr. Hatton's commission, which vests the same power in the deputy, as in the principal, and to order him to repair to his station. Mr. Hatton by this arrangement was left at full liberty to pursue the most important object of his life, the adjustment of his commissarial accounts with the treafury, and to attend to a contingency which it was hourly expected would add to his good fortune: The death of the duke of Dorset, then lord warden of Dover castle ; on whose demise Mr. Hatton's earthly maker, lord Holderness, fucceeding by reversion to that port, Mr. Hatton was certain of the appointment he now holds under his lordship of lieutenant colonel of Dover castle. Mr. Irvine, who had formerly acted under Mr. Hatton, in a limited canacity as his deputy at Oftend, when Mr. Hatton mader that place his usual residence, and only absented himself occasionally, was at this period, deputy conservator of the Scotch privileges at Campvere in Zealand, which employment can only be held by Scotchmen; and having some private obligations to Mr. Hatton, he saw himself under a neceffity, if Mr. Hatton infifted upon it, of quitting a station which was agreeable to his inclination and his interest, in order to act again under Mr. Hatton. In this situation of affairs, Mr. Irvine hit upon
the expedient of recommending Mr. Mortimer who was an utter Atranger to Mr. Hatton. Mr. Mortimer being differently circumstanced from Mr. Irvine, having a large family, could not possibly think of accepting the office on the fame terms as Mr. Irvine had held it, who had never been presented to any secretary of state, nor acknowledged by the government as a crown officer, because Mr. Hatton was in his time fupposed to be refident.
The first question therefore which Mr. Mortimer put to Mr. Irvine was, Whether Mr. Hatton ever intended residing again in Oftend? His answer was in the negative, unless the ministry should at any time oblige him to it, and of this there was little or no probability if Mr. Mortimer was prefented to the secretary of state, and acknowledged by the government to be the sufficient deputy under the commission, to which he added, that Mr. Hatton detested the country even while the English army and his best friends were in it, and while he was in the prime of life, and anxious to better his fortune ; but that now he was happily at his ease, and was on the point of purchasing an estate in Kent as near Dover as possible, and therefore would be glad to be left to the en-joyment of his wealth, and the pursuit of the objects already mentioned, without molestation.
The second question was, As to the income. This Mr. Hatton and Mr. Irvine both assured Mr. Mortimer was very small, arising from the consulages paid by the masters of Bria tish vessels, and amounted to about forty pounds per annum ; but that he had a right to form commercial connections which might be done to great advantage and prove a genteel fupport for his family. And that on Mr. Hatton's demise, there could be no doubt of Mr. Mortimer's succeeding him, and of enjoying the government salary annexed to the office, viz. 200l. per annum. Imagining that such a falary was an object deserving Mr. Irvine's attention, Mr. Mortimer then asked Mr. Irvine if he should never turn his thoughts towards that fucceffion, or employ his interest to obtain it ? which that gentleman made answer-No, by the living God, or it would be no act of friendship to recommend you to Oftend. I have other views, the conservatorship of Campvere ; and shall never think of Flanders, but on the contrary, will use my best endeavours to promote your interest there, and if you behave well you cannot miss of the reverfion; it being very unusual to set aside a commercial officer who understands the trading connections of the port where he resides, and has given fufficient satisfaction to the king's subjects engaged
in the several transactions of his department. This being confirmed by Mr. Hatton, who indeed declined saying more upon the occasion than was absolutely necessary, their proposal was thankfully accepted by Mr. Mortimer, and on the receipt of a note from Mr. Phelps under-secretary of state, acquainting him that the earl of Sandwich expected him to set off for Oftend as soon as his affairs would allow of it, he repaired to his station without loss of time. *
At Dover Mr. Mortimer received the following letter from Mr. Phelps, Sir,
Whitehall, Dec. 2d. 1763. Enclosed you have a letter for Sir James Porter his majesty's minifter at Brussels, from whom you will receive all kind of instructions and civilities. I heartily wish you a good passage and journey, and am with great truth, &c.
RICHARD PHELPS. From that moment to the hour of Mr. Mortimer's dismiffion, Mr. Hatton's name was never mentioned verbally or in writing by any of the secretaries of state who did him the honour to correspond with him, nor by any of the great officers of state in any other department, upon any occasion relative to the consular office in Flanders. But after that dismisfion by the appointment of Mr. Irvine the 30th of March 1768, to be conful of Flanders, Mr. Wood very rudely told Mr. Mortimer, at his office in Cleveland row, that, their office, then the northern department, had nothing to do with him or his services, nor could he have any claim on the office, to be provided for or recommended, for he was only Hatton's deputy; and on this foundation he very humanely discarded him, and totally ruined his fortune.
It will be seen in the fequel in what light Mr. Mortimer was really considered by the government in the course of a very interesting correspondence.
On his arrival at Oftend, he found the merchants, the masters of vessels trading to that port, and the British inhabitants in general, bitterly. complaining of the very great oppressions they laboured under from the augmented heavy duties on all articles of the British commerce with Flanders ; declaring that the Flemish government had taken every method to banish them, and to cut off the British trade to that country, since the alliance between the courts of Vienna and Versailles.
Mr. Mortimer having represented this to Sir James Porter, to whom he was obliged immediately to repair, to be admit
* Dated Whitehall, Nov. 2ift. 1763.
ted by the Flemish government, to exercise the functions of his office, that able minister ordered him to draw up and transmit to him a general state of these grievances, which he accordingly did on his return to Oftend, and on this occasion Sir James Porter did him the honour to express himself in these terms, in a letter dated at Brussels, January 11th, 1764.“ Sir, “ I have not thanked you for your instructive letter of the « 23d of December, as I should have done, I have however “ made a proper use of it, and sent it where it will corrobo.
rate some facts which rested on a single evidence--and if I
can, as possibly I may, promote your interest and affift « your future fortune, I certainly fhall." In the month of July following, Mr. Mortimer received his majesty's commands in dispatch from the right honourable the earl of Sandwich, strictly enjoining him to transınit to his lordship, an account of the contraband trade carried on from the coafts of Flanders to Great Britain and her colonies, agreeable to proposals for that purpose, contained in three papers, from the lords commiffioners of the treasury to the said secretary of state, a copy of which his lordship inclosed, and further ordered Mr. Mortimer to send a duplicate of his informations to the lords of the treasury. In obedience to these orders, and animated by an ardent zeal to promote the commercial interests of his country, Mr. Mortimer applied himself so diligently and effectually to this service during the winter of the year 1764, and the spring of 1765, that he had the honour of obtaining the particular approbation of the right honourable George Grenville, then firit lord of the treasury, expressed in the following terms by Charles Jenkinson, F,fq; then secretary to the treasury, Sir,
London, Nov. 27th 1764. I have had the favour of your letter, which I have laid before Mr. Grenville, he directs me to say, he very much approves of your diligence in procuring and transmitting information of the illicit trade carried on from the ports of Flanders to this country.t-Mr. Grenville bids me at the
+ If any gentleman or merchant is desirous of seeing copies of the original informations sent by Mr. Mortimer to the lords of the treasury and to the custom house, he will readily lay them before them ; but as some of the measures which he had the honour to advise are still pursuing by go. vernment, and the whole of this affair must necessarily be