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For JULY, 1769.
For the POLITICAL REGISTER. MINISTERIAL OPPRESSION exemplified in the Case of Tho
MAS MORTIMER, Esq; late his Majesty's Vice Consul for the
the world, the following very fingular case, points out the propriety of addressing it to you, that you may have a fair opportunity of canvaffing every fact therein ftated; and of comparing your unprecedented behaviour to me, with the conduct of your predecessors in office, who honoured me with a confiderable share of their confidence, who approved my services, rewarded me for them publickly, and promised me their protection, and recommendation to the King.
You will probably be called upon by an equitable, generous and compassionate people, to align a sufficient reason for the removal of a commercial officer from a station of such importance to the trading interest of this country, as the port of Oftend; and for leaving him, by a sudden, inftantaneous deprivation of his office, totally unprepared to settle his private affairs, or to screen himself from the resentment Vol. V. B
of the magistracy of Ostend ; whose displeasure he had incurred by an active and diligent discharge of the duties of his office, in a point of the utmost iinportance and of the greatest delicacy.
I am aware that you are furnished with a variety of excuses for this measure, all of them equally frivolous, and calculated by low policy to deprive me of my worthy patrons. Tired however of waiting the long expected time, when you should make some retribution for the irreparable injury you have done me, by removing me without any previous notice from his majesty's service, I now carry my cause, by appeal, to the tribunal of an impartial public; where I hope to make it appear that there never was such an instance in England, of an officer so dismissed, and so wronged for doing his duty. And give me leave to observe, that I should not have delayed this publication so long, if I had not been buoyed up by the assurances given me, by your particular friends, that you were sensible of the injustice you had done me, and that Mr. Wood in particular, was forry fo: it, « and wished to provide for me, but could not find an « opening.”
Another inducement for postponing this narrative was, a hint from a respectable character abroad, “ that you would " look upon the publication of my case, as intended to foment those
political factions that have lately distracted us at home, and “ rendered us contemptible in the eyes of all Europe.” Professing myself a firm friend to our happy constitution in its genuine purity, founded on revolution principles, and of course a zealous advocate for the rights and privileges of the people, I forbore troubling the public with the private griefs of an obscure individual, not because I dreaded the imputation of fomenting political factions, but because I was unwilling to divert the attention of my countrymen from those important objects which demanded all the efforts of national virtue, and every exertion of that noble ardour in the cause of public freedom, which distinguished and dignified our forefathers. I have therefore chosen the present interval of domestic tranquility, which cannot be of long duration, for a publication, the chief intent of which is, to convince my friends in particular, and the world in general, that I have not deserved the shameful treatment I have met with from you.
Your lordship's removal with your under-secretaries from the Northern to the Southern department, doubles the weight of the blow, you have given me, and increases theneceflity
of presenting my case at this time to the public. By this removal the scene is closed upon me in the Northern department, and the nobleman who now holds that office is left an utter ftranger to my person, my character and my pretensions in case of a future vacancy; when had your lordship been continued there, it would hardly
have been possible for you to have evaded my juft expectations. The succeflion to the consulship of Flanders had been repeatedly promised to me by successive administrations, when your lordship, or more properly speaking, your lordship’s secretaries, came into office, and I may venture to affirm they made little other use of the seals than to remove me from my employment, and enable Mr. Hatton and Mr. Irvine to put the finishing hand to a venal contract, commenced in 1766, and at that time rendered abortive by the candid, benevolent conduct of the right honourable General Conway.
I must observe here, that it has been hinted to me by some gentlemen of distinguished rank, that the tranfient civilities I shewed Mr. Wilkes in the month of December, 1767, while he was wind-bound at Oftend, in waiting for a passage to England, had done me fingular differvice with your lordship. It has also been afferted, 66 that I was one of Wilkes's faction.” I therefore think it incumbent on me in this public manner, to declare, that I detest the name of faction as much as Lord Weymouth, and that from my soul I abhor all tumultuous, irregular proceedings that ter.d to disturb the peace and good order of a wellregulated civil government, if it were for no other reafon, but because I wish the friends of the constitution of this free country, would avail themselves of the true spirit of the laws, which afford the most specdy and effcctual method of inflicting condign punishment on bad ministers. Those that knew me in office, can teftify the proofs I gave of my loyalty to my sovereign on every occasion, proofs that are incompatible with the idea of faction; but which did not debar me of fhewing politeness and civility to a private gentleman in a foreign country, which was all the connection I ever had with Mr. Wilkes, and since my dismission, however I might privately espouse the cause of freedom, I have not attached myself to any man's particular interest. Mr. Wood knows the contrary. Having said this, let me express my grateful fenfe, as an Englishman, of the services Mr. Wilkes has rendered his countrymen; by the spirited measures he took in support of his own inherent rights as a British subject, and of his acquired privileges as a representative of a free people;