Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Law and Justice?


"That whereas Her late Majesty Queen Ann, after several unsuccessful Attempts, in Conjunction with Her Allies, to establish His present Imperial Majesty on the Throne of Spain, being informed that the People of Catalonia were inclined to cast off the Yoke imposed upon them by the French, and to return to the Obedience of the House of Austria; and Her Majesty being desirous to maintain and improve that good Disposition in them, and to induce them to put the same speedily in Execution; did send Mitford Crow Esquire to them, with necessary Powers and Instructions to carry on so great a Work, for the Advantage of Her Service, and the Good of the common Cause; and, to that End, to treat with the Catalans, or any other People of Spain, about their coming into the Interest of King Charles the Third, His present Imperial Majesty, and joining with Her Majesty and Her Allies against the common Enemy; and Her Majesty, after Her gracious Assurances to assist them with Men and Money, was pleased to authorize Her said Minister to give them Her utmost Assurances, to procure the Establishment of all such Rights and Immunities as they had formerly enjoyed under the House of Austria; and that, for their further Satisfaction, She had sent for Powers from King Charles the Third, for confirming the same, and was willing to become Guarantee that it should be done; nevertheless, on this express Condition, that they should receive the said King Charles as lawful King of Spain, and utterly renounce the House of Bourbon; and, together with the said Instructions, Her Majesty was pleased to sign, and cause to be delivered to Her said Minister, Credential Letters, to the Nobility, Magistrates, and all other Officers Civil and Military, of Catalonia, desiring them to depend on the Promises He should make them in Her Name; and, in Her Majesty's Instructions to the Earl of Peterborow and Sir Cloudesly Shovell, in or about the Month of May One Thousand Seven Hundred and Five, they are ordered to use their utmost Endeavours to induce the Catalans to join with them in their Undertaking; and to assure them of Her Majesty's Support; and to promise them, in the Queen's Name, that She would secure them a Confirmation of their Rights and Privileges from the King of Spain, that they might be settled on a lasting Foundation to them and their Posterity; and in case Persuation should not prevail, and the Catalans should not make a suitable Return to those kind Offers, they were ordered to annoy their Towns on the Coast of Spain, and to reduce them by Force: And in Conformity to these Instructions, a Manifesto, or Declaration, was prepared, by the Privity and Advice of Robert Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer, then One of Her Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State, and delivered to the said Earl of Peterborow, full, on the one Hand, of the Assurances afore-mentioned; and, on the other Hand, of Menaces to them, in case they declined Her Majesty's Overtures; which Manifesto was afterwards published by him the said Earl of Peterborow in Catalonia: And whereas the Nobility, Clergy, and the whole Principality of Catalonia, and the Inhabitants of the Isle of Majorca, relying on the Faith of those Royal Assurances, did utterly abandon the House of Bourbon, and acknowledged King Charles the Third, His present Imperial Majesty, for their lawful Sovereign, and did join their Arms with those of Her Majesty and Her Allies, against the Duke of Anjou; and it having pleased Almighty God so far to bless Her Majesty's pious and generous Undertaking, as, by most sigual Successes, in a short Time, to deliver the Principality of Catalonia from the heavy Yoke of French Bondage; and great Supplies having been granted by Parliament for the reducing the whole Kingdom of Spain to the Obedience of the House of Austria, the Arms of Her Majesty and Her Allies were attended with vast Successes, having Twice entered the Capital City of that Kingdom, and obtained many other signal Consequents, to the great Advantage of the common Cause; and, through the whole Progress thereof, the Bravery and Firmness of the Catalans being always remarkable, thereby, as well as from the repeated Assurances given to them, from Time to Time, in Her Majesty's Name, by every General and Minister sent from Great Britain to Spain, the Hearts of that brave People were united under the strongest Ties of Affection and Gratitude to Her Majesty; and they were justly held in the strictest Dependence on the Continuance of Her Royal Protection; he, the said Robert Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer, being an Enemy to the common Liberty of Europe, and having traiterously entered into Conspiracies for subjecting the whole Spanish Monarchy to to the House of Bourbon, and designing most maliciously the utter Ruin and Destruction of the ancient Rights, Liberties, and Privileges, of the Catalans, who had made so glorious a Stand for the Preservation of them, did, together with other false and evil Counsellors, form a most dishonourable, wicked, and cruel Contrivance, not only for abandoning the Catalans to the Fury and Revenge of the Duke of Anjou and his Adherents, but for the final Extirpation of all their Rights, Liberties, and Privileges; and, in Execution of that his Intention, during the private, separate, and pernicious Negotiation of Peace, which was carried on between him and the Ministers of France, and before any Negotiation of Peace was set on Foot in due Form of Law between the Crowns of Great Britain and Spain, did advise Her Majesty to give Directions to the Lord Lexington, Her Ambassador to the Court of Spain, to acknowledge the Duke of Anjou King of Spain; but was greatly wanting in his Duty to Her Majesty, in not advising Her to give Instructions to Her said Minister, at the same Time, peremptorily and absolutely to insist on the securing the Catalans Liberties, at the Conclusion of the Peace: And although the private, separate, and treacherous Practices of him the said Robert Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer and others, in Combination with the Ministers of France, did afterwards, on or about the Fourteenth of March One Thousand Seven Hundred and Thirteen, necessitate His present Imperial Majesty to conclude a Treaty for the evacuating Catalonia, whereof Her Majesty was Guarantee, without any express and positive Stipulations for the Catalans Liberties; His Imperial Majesty relying in that respect on Her Majesty's Declaration to interpose for them in the most effectual Manner, and on the Promises of the French King to join His Endeavours for the same Purpose; and although Her Sacred Majesty did, both before and after, frequently declare, by Her Ministers in Spain, "That She thought Herself under the strongest Ties of Honour and Conscience, not to abandon a People, whom the Necessities of the War had obliged Her to draw into Her Interest;" and though the French King did not join His Endeavours for the Purposes aforesaid; he the said Robert Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer, together with other false and wicked Councellors, having, from Time to Time, amused and deceived the distressed Catalans with groundless Hopes of Her Majesty's effectual Interpositions in their Favour, thereby engaging them in a more obstinate Defence of their Territories against the Duke of Anjou, was not only highly wanting in his Duty to Her Majesty, by not doing what in him lay, as a faithful Minister, to have prevented the Conclusion of the Treaty of Peace with Spain, till just and honourable Conditions were secured for the Catalans; but did, falsely, maliciously, and treacherously, advise Her Majesty to conclude a Peace with the King of Spain, without any Security for the ancient and just Rights, Liberties, and Privileges, of that brave, but unhappy, Nation; and did further advise Her Majesty to send Sir James Wishart, Her Admiral, with a large Squadron of Men of War, at a great Expence, to favour the said King of Spain in the Siege of Barcelona, the Capital City of Catalonia; and with express Instructions, "That in case the Inhabitants of Majorca should refuse the Terms that should be offered them by the Duke of Anjou, to employ his Squadron in countenancing and assisting all Attempts that should be made for reducing them to a due Obedience;" by which most vile and detestable Counsels, Her Sacred Majesty, contrary to Her most pious Intentions, the Faith of Nations, and the Duties of Religion and Humanity itself, and contrary to Her solemn and repeated Assurances, was prevailed on to abandon a distressed People, drawn in and engaged by Her own Invitation into an open War with the Duke of Anjou, for the Preservation of the Liberties of Europe, and the Commerce of Great Britain; and the Persons, Estates, Dignities, Rights, Liberties, and Privileges, of the Catalans, were given up, as a Sacrifice to the implacable Resentment of their enraged and powerful Enemy; and the Honour of the British Nation, always renowned for the Love of Liberty, and for giving Protection to the Assertors of it, was most basely prostituted; and a free and generous People, the faithful and useful Allies of this Kingdom, were betrayed, in the most unparalleled Manner, into irrevocable Slavery; and in Consequence of which most dishonourable and perfidious Counsels, the most execrable Hostilities, Burnings, and Plunderings, were committed upon them throughout their whole Province, without sparing the Effusion of innocent Blood, and without the Distinction of Age or Sex; and that unfortunate People were afterwards forced to undergo the utmost Miseries of a Siege, in their Capital City of Barcelona; during which, great Multitudes of them perished by Famine and the Sword, many of them have since been executed; and great Numbers of the Nobility of Catalonia, who, for their Constancy and Bravery in Defence of their Liberties, and for their Services in Conjunction with Her Majesty and Her Allies, had, in all Honour, Justice, and Conscience, the highest Claim to Her Majesty's Protection, are now dispersed in Dungeons throughout the Spanish Dominions; and not only the Catalan Liberties extirpated, but, by those wicked Counsels of him the said Robert Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer, Catalonia itself is almost become desolate: All which Crimes and Misdemeanors were committed and done by him the said Earl, against our late Sovereign Lady the Queen, Her Crown and Dignity, the Peace and Interest of this Kingdom, and in Breach of the several Trusts reposed in him the said Earl; and he the said Robert Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer was either Commissioner of the Treasury, or Lord High Treasurer of Great Britain, and One of Her Majesty's Privy Council, during the Time that all and every the Crimes before set forth, were done and committed: For which Matters and Things the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses of the House of Commons in Parliament assembled, do, in the Name of themselves and of all the Commons of Great Britain, further impeach the said Robert Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer of other high Crimes and Misdemeanors, in the said Articles contained.

"And the said Commons, by Protestation, saving to themselves the Liberty of exhibiting, at any Time hereafter, any other Accusations or Impeachments against the said Earl; and also of replying to the Answers which the said Rob't Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer shall make to the Premises, or any of them, or to any Impeachment or Accusation that shall be by them exhibited, according to the Course and Proceedings of Parliament; do pray, that the said Rob't Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer be put to answer all and every the Premises; and that such Proceedings, Examinations, Trials, and Judgements, may be upon them, and every of them, had and used, as shall be agreeable to Law and Justice."

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