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deposed, that in his own house in Burntisland, The Jury, by a plurality of voices, found the upon a Sunday in April last, he was sent for into prisoner guilty of leasing making against the the room where the prisoner, two English sea- duke of York. men, and William Tarbett were drinking.. He On the 4th of August, the court sentenced heard Niven and the other Englishman speak- the prisoner to be banged at the cross of Edining extravagant commonwealth language, and burgh on the 18th ; but, on the 6th of that particularly concerning the duke of York. month, the court, in consequence of an act of He could not be positive that the words were privy council, proceeding upon a letter from the those charged in the indictment, viz. that he king, suspended the execution till his majesty's had come to make a party to introduce popery, further pleasure should be declared; and it does but thinks they were to that purpose.
not appear that the Sentence ever was executed.
275. Proceedings in Parliament against EDWARD SEYMOUR, esq.
a Member of the House of Commons and Treasurer of the Navy, upon an Impeachment of High Crimes, Misdemeanors, , and Öffences : 32 CHARLES II. A.D. 1680. [Journals of both Houses ; 8 Grey's Debates, 35; 4 Cobb. Parl. Hist. 1222.]
mour has attempted this, or not. I hope you House of Commons. Noo. 19, 1680.
will think that none guilty of such crimes, but Mr. Vernon. “I HAVE Articles of Accusa- fear a parliament. One thing more ; with what tion of crimes of a high nature against Mr. Sey- imperiousness did he put the Commons in conmour. I think he is not here. I shall under-tempt, and did talk of “Wind-guns !" I betake to prove them. I move that he may be lieve you will find matter against him, to send here to-morrow morning to answer, and his him to the Tower. charge will be brought in. To charge him, Mr. Seymour. In order to methods of parliaand not present, I know not the method of par- ment, the reading of the Articles must have the liament, but we have Articles ready.
motion seconded, and I do second it, that the Mr. Pilkington. I desire he may be here to- Articles may be read. morrow to answer his charge.
The Articles were then read, and are as Ordered, That Edward Seymour, esq., do follows: attend the service of this House, in his place, to-morrow morning.
Articles of Impeachment of High Crimes, November 20.
Misdemeanors, and Offences, against Ed
WARD SEYMOUR, esq., one of his majesty's Sir Gilbert Gerrard acquaints the House,
most honourable Privy Council, Treasurer That he had Articles of Impeachment of High
of his majesty's Navy, and one of the memCrimes, Misdemeanors, and Offences, against bers of the House of Commons now in ParEdward Seymour esq., one of his majesty's liament assembled. most honourable Privy Council, Treasurer of the Navy, and a member of this House; and “ 1. That, whereas the sum of 584,9781. 28. then proceeded as follows:
2d. was raised by an act of parliament, for the Whenever such Articles are brought to my speedy building of 30 ships of war, and thereby hands, and I am satisfied with the proof of appropriated to the said use, by which act it them, I take it to be my duty to exhibit them. was particularly directed, “ That the treasurer I shall only say, I have known this gentleman of the navy should keep all monies paid to him a long while ; his fortune was raised in this by virtue of the said act, distinct and apart House, and how he comes now under suspi- trom all other monies, and should issue and cion of these Articles, he can best answer. pay the same by warrant of the principal offiThis gentleman (if what fame says is true) has cers and commissioners of the navy, or any laboured with industry to prorogue or dissolve three or more of them ;” and mentioning and this parliament, which all think will ruin the expressing; “ That it is for the building, the king, religion, and all we have. I make this guns, rigging, and other furnishing of the said use of it, that the king knows whether Sey- thirty ships of war, and to no other use, intent,
This Mr. Seymour, who succeeded to a ba- seq. and the Continuation of lord Clarendon's ronetcy upon the death of his father in 1688, Life). It is observable that Arlington [See his and is perhaps more known by the appellation Case, ante, vol. 6, p. 1053] Seymour and Osof Sir Edward Seymour, had been thirteen borne (See the Cases of the eart of Danby and years before this time very active in the pro- of the duke of Leeds, infra] who had all been secution of lord Clarendon (See the proceedings most eager and most bitter in the attack upon against the earl of Clarendon, vol. 6, p. 317, of Clarendon, all in their turns became the objects this Collection 4 Cobb. Parl. Hist. 470 et of sinnilar attacks. In the Continuation of the
or purpose whatsoever;" he, the said Edward
parcel of the said sum, raised by the said act, Seymour, ou or about the year 1077, being being then in his bandis, for and towards the then treasurer of the navy, did, contrary to the support and continuance of the army then raissaid act, and contrary to the duty of his said ed, after such time as, by an act of parliament, offices, lead the sum of 90,000l. at 8 per cent. the said arny ought to have been disbanded; Life of lord Clarendon, contains a passage which those persons had before that time been imis neither uninteresting in itself, nor unconnected peached, if the chancellor's sole industry and witb this observation :
interest had not diverted and prevented it." "Before the meeting of the parliament, See also lord Carnarvon's Speech cited in the when it was well known that the combination case of lord Danby, infro. was entered into by the lord Arlington and sir Burnet says of him: “ The ablest man of his William Coventry against the chancellor, seve- party was Seymour, who was the first Speakerof ral members of the House informed him of the House of Commons that was not bred to the what they did and what they said, and told him, law. He was a man of great birth, being the elder * That there was bat oue way to prevent the branch of the Seymour family, and was a grace* prejudice intended towards him, which was by | ful man, bold and quick. But he had a sort of a falling first upon them ; which they would pride so peculiar to himself, that I never sawany care to be done, if he would assist them thing like it. He had neither shame nor decency *with such information as it could not bit be in with it. He was violent against the court, till * his power todo. That he never said or did any he forced himself into good posts. He was the * thing in the most secret council, where they most assuming Speaker that ever sate in the
two were al vays present, and where there chair. lle knew the House, and every man in were freqent 'occasionsof mentioning the it so well, that by looking about he could tell proceedings of both Houses, and the be the fate of any question. So, if any thing was
haviour of several members in both, but those put, when the court party was not well gathered ' gentlemen declared the saine, and all that he together, he would have held the House from
said or did, to those who would be most of doing any thing, by a wilful mistaking or misfeaded and incensed by it, and who were like in stating the question. By that he gave time some conjuncture to be able to do him most to those, who :vere appointed for that mercenary mischief : And by those ill arts they had ir- work, to go about and gather in all their party. reconciled many persons to him. And that if And he would discern when they bad got the he would now, without its being possible to be majority. And then he would very fairly state taken notice of, give them such information the question, when he saw he was sure to
and light into the proceedings of those gen- carry it.” tlemen, they would undertake to divert the Afterwards, speaking of the parliament which
storan that threatened him, and cause it to fall met on March 6, 1679, he says: “Seymour * upon the others.' And this was with much had in the last session struck in with such heat carnestness pressed to him, not only before the against Popery that he was become popular meeting of the parliament, and when he was upon it: so he managed the matter in this new fully informed of the ill arts and upgentlemanly parliament that though the Court named Meres practice those two persons were evraged in to yet he was chosen Speaker.” This heat of his do him burt, but after the House of Commons against Popery was probably one cause of the was incensed against him ; with a full assur- king's rejection of him as Speaker (See the acance," that they were much inclined to have count of the proceedings thereupon given in 4 aceused the other two, if the least occasion was Cobb. Parl. Hist. 1092 et seq.) but subsequently giren for it.'
to that occurrence he had strenuously opposed * But the chancellor would not be prevailed the bill of exclusion, which probably' was one with, saying, “That no provoeation or exam- cause of the hostility of the Commons against *ple should dispose him to do any thing that him on the occasion before us. Nevertheless * would not become him: 'That they were both we are informed by Burnet, (1 Own Times.) *privy counsellors, and trusted by the king in 196, that in the next year (1681) he liked the his most weighty affairs ; and it he discerned project of declaring the prince of Orange regent anything amiss in them, he could inform the with whom the regal power should be lodged. king of it. But the aspersing or accusing when the prince of Orange had landed he joined * them any where else was not his part to do, him at Exeter, and was the proposer of the • As
por could it be done by any without some re- sociation. The Prince intrusted to his governflection upon the king and duke, who would be ment Exeter (of which he was Recorder,) and much offended at it: And therefore he ad- Devonshire. Of the various subsequent changes vised them in no degree to make any such at- and chances of his conduct and fortunes, Burnet tempt on bis behalt; but to leave him to the mentions several particulars, but I doubt whe
protection of his own innocence and of God's ther any of them are sufficiently uncommon good pleasure, and those gentlemen to their in the history of political life to require distinct own fate, which at some time would humble mention in this place. "them. And it is known to many persons, and The following may serve as specimens, and possibly to the king himself, for whose service it is to be hoped, will satisfy thi generality of only that office was perforined, that one or boib readers :
whereby the said two several acts were eluded, new charge of raising and paying the sum of and the said army was continued, and kept on 200,0001. for the disbanding of the said army. foot, to the great disturbance, hazard, and “ 2. That, whereas an act of parliament had danger of the peace and safety of this king- passed for raising money by a poll
, for enabling dom ; and the nation was afterwards put to a his majesty to enter into an actual war against
In relating the discovery of the corruptions sistency, disinterested patriotism, and numerous of the old East India Company in the year 1695, other virtues. Thus it is, as Mr. Burke says, the bishop tells us, “ It was observed that “ These gentle historians (your Garters and some of the hottest sticklers against the com- Norroys, and Clarencieux, and Rouge Dragons) pany did insensibly, not only fall off from that recorders and blazoners of virtues and arins, heat, but turned to serve the company as much dip their pens in nothing but the milk of human as they had at first endeavoured to destroy it. kindness. They seek no farther for merit Seymour was among the chief of these, and it than the preamble of a patent, or the inscripwas said that he had 12,000!. of their money tiun on a tomb. With them every man created under the colour of a bargain for their salt- a peer is first a liero ready made. They judge petre.”
of every man's capacity for office by the Again in speaking of king William's fifth offices he has filled ; and the more offices
, the parliament which met for dispatch of business more ability. Every general officer is with on the 10th of March 1701, Burnet says, them a Mariborough, every statesman a Bar“ Upon the view of the House, it appeared leigh, every judge a Murray or a Yorke. very evidently, that the Tories were a great ma- They who alive were laughed at or pitied by all jority ; yet they, to make the matter sure, re- their acquaintance” (he might have added who solved to clear the house of a great rany, that were contemned or detested by all who had any were engaged in another interest : Reports were knowledge of their characters] “ make as brought to them of elections, that had been good a figure as the best of them, in the pages scandalously purchased, hy some who were of Gwillim, Edmonson and Collins.” Letter to concerned in the new East India Company ; a Noble Lord, published in the year 1996. instead of drinking and entertaininents, by I subjoin the following passage from Mr. which elections were formerly managed, now a Fox's History of the early part of the Reign of most scandalous practice was brought in of James the Second, because it exhibits a meritobuying votes, with so little decency that the rious part of Seymour's conduct, and also beelectors engaged themselves by subscription, cause it throws light on the authenticity of to chuse a blank person, before they were trust two eminent writers of English history. In ed with the name of their candidate. The old relating the transartions which occurred at the East India Company had driven a course of opening of the parliament in the year 1685, he corruption within doors with so little shame, says : that the new company intended to follow their * As the grant of revenue was unanimous, &c example, but with this difference, that, whereas there does not appear to have been any thing the former had bought the persons who were which can justly be stiled a debate upon it elected, they resolved to buy elections. Sir thougb Hume employs several pages in giving Edward Seymour, who had dealt in this cor- the arguments which, he affirms, were actually ruption his whole life-time, and whom the old made use of, and, as he gives us to understand company was said to have bought before, at in the House of Commons, for and against the a very high price, brought before the House of question; arguments wbich, on both sides Commons the discovery of some of the prac- seem to imply a considerable love of freedom tices of the new company: The examining and jealousy of royal power, and are not whol into these took up many days; in conclusion, ly unmixed even with some sentiments disres the matter was so well proved, that several pectful to the king. Now I cannot find, eithe elections were declared void: and some of the from tradition, or from contemporary writers persons so chosen, were for some time kept in any ground to think, that either the reason prison; after that they were expelled the which Hume has adduced, or indeed an House. In these proceedings, great partiality other, were urged in opposition to the gran appeared ; for when in some cases, corruption The only speech made upon the occasioi was proved clearly against some of the Tory seems to have been that of Mr. (afterwards s party, and but doubtfully against some of the Edward,) Seymour, who though of the Tor contrary side, that, which was voted corrup- party, a strenuous opposer of the Exclusie tion in the latter, was called the giving alms in Bill, and in general, supposed to have been a those of the former sort."
approver, if not an adviser, of the tyrannic An anecdote of Seymour's modesty and re- measures of the late reign, has the merit gard to decency is to be found in a note to vol. having stood forward smgly, to remind u 5. p. 1359, of this Collection, and more circum- House of wisat they owed to themselves a stantially in 5 Cobh. Parl. Hist. 412, 413. their constituents. He did not, however, d He lived till the year 1708, and being an ances- rectly oppose the grant, but stated, that t tor of dukes of Somerset his memory is ho- elections had been carried on under so mu poured with a very encomiastic display by Col- court influence, and in other respects so illega lins of his incorruptible integrity, indexible con- ly, that it was the duty of the House first
the French king; and the money raised by the said service; and whereas certain Eastland virtue of the said act was thereby appropriated merchants were desired by bis majesty's officers to the said use, and to the repayment of such to furnish and supply great quantities of stores PETSUDS as shall furnish his majesty with any for the navy, and, as an encouragement theresums of money, or any stores necessary for unto, were assured, that the sum of 40,0001, ascertain, who were the legal members, before does indeed say, that among the gentlemen of they puceeded to other business of importance. the House of Commons whom be accidentally Afärr having pressed this point, he observed, met, they in general seemed willing to settle a that
, if ever it were necessary to adopt such an bandsome revenue upon the king, and to give arder of proceeding, it was more peculiarly so him money; but whether their grant should be now, when the laws and religion of the nation permanent or only temporary, and to be rewere in evident peril; that the aversion of the newed from time to time by parliament, that English people to popery, and their attach- the nation might be often consulted, was the ment to the laws, were such, as to secure these question. But besides the loo.,eness of the blessings from destruction by any other instru- expression, which may only mean that the nestality than that of parliainent itself, which, point was questionable, it is to be observed, that bowever, might be easily accomplished, if there he does not relate any of the arguments which Fere once a parliament intirely dependant upon were brought forward, even in the private conthe persons who might barbour such designs ; versations to which he refers; and when he that it was already rumoured that the Test and afterwards gives an account of what passed in Habeas Corpus Acts, the two bulwarks (four the House of Commons, (where he was prereligion and liberties, were to be repealed; that sent,) he does not hint at any debate hav., what he stated was so notorious as to need no ing taken place, but rather implies the conproof. Having descanted with force and abili- trary. ty upon these and other topics of a similar “This misrepresentation of Mr.Hume's is of tendency, he urged his conclusion, that the no small importance, inasmuch as, by intimatquestion of royal revenue ought not to ing that such a question could be debated at all, be the first business of the parliament. and much more, that it was debated with the enBarillou's Dispatches, June 2d, and 4th. lightened views, and bold topics of argument Appendix. Burnet, 2. 322.] Whether, as with which his genius has supplied him, he Burmet thinks, because he was too proud to gives us a very false notion of the character of make any previous communication of his inten- the parliament, and of the times which he is tions
, or that the strain of his argument was describing. It is not improbable, that if the judged to be too bold for the times, this speech, arguments had been used, which this historian whatever secret approbation it might excite, supposes, the utterer of them would have been ibid not receive from any quarter either applause expelled, or sent to the Tower; and it is or support. Under these circumstances it was cer- tain, that he would not have been heard not thought necessary to answer him, and the with any degree of attention, or
even pa grant was voted unanimously, without further tience.'
" As Barillon, in the relation of parliamentary It has been a fashion with some writers to proceedings, transmitted by him to his court, depreciate the veracity of Burnet
. Sir John in which he appears at this time to have been Dalrymple says, “it is a piece of justice I owe Fary exact, gives the same description of to historical truth, to say that I have never Seyanour's speech and its effects, with Burnet, tried Burnet's facts by the tests of dates, and there can be little doubt but their account is of original papers, without finding them wrong. correct. It will be found as well in this, as in For which reason, I have made little use of', many other instances, that an unfortunate inat- them in these Memoirs, uuless when I found tention, on the part of the reverend historian, them supported by other authorities. His book to forms, has made his veracity unjustly called is tae more reprehensible, because it is full of in question. He speaks of seymour's speech characters, and most of them are tinged with as if it had been a motion in the technical sense the colours of his own weaknesses and pas, of the word, for enquiring into the elections, sions :? 1 Memoirs, 34. (As to the accuracy which had no effect. Now no traces remaining of sir John Dalrymple himself, see lord Holof socha motion, and on the other hand, the
elec- land's Address to the Reader prefixed to Mr. tions having been at a subsequent period inquired Fox's History of the early part of the reign of into, Ralph almost pronounces the whole ac- James the second, the Notes to + Laing's Hist. elsment to be erroneous ; whereas the only mis- of Scotland, and the Case of lord Russell, A.D.
1683, infru). And Dr. Johnson, in more thanBagçestion, upon the question of a grant. It one passage of his works, gives countenance is whimsical enough, that it should be from the to the imputation. It may therefore not be imenabled to reconcile to the records, and to the that already adduced by Mr. Fox in favour of account of the French ambassadør, that we are proper to present some additional testimony to elation made by a distinguished member of the (Y. Y.), after having by the evidence of a letter English Blouse of Lords. Sir John Reresby from the duchess of Cleveland, verified an
parcel of the said monies raised by the said act, I badl furnished his majesty with flax, hemp, was at that time actually in the hands of the and other necessaries for the said service: of said Edward Şeymour; which he did acknow which said deceit and injustice the said merledge so to be, and did promise that the said sum chants did complain in the last parliament. should be paid to the said merchants, in part of “ 3. That the said Edward Seymour, being satisfaction for the said stores, which they did treasurer of the navy, and then and still having furnish upon the credit of the same affirmation a salary of 3,000l. per annum clear for the same, and undertaking: He, the said Edward Sey did, during the time he was Speaker of the late mour, did, on or about the year 1678, issue Long Parliament, receive, ont of the monies out and pay the said sum to the victuallers of appropriated for secret service, the yearly sum the pavy, by way of advance, and for provi- of 3,000l. over and above his said salary ; which sions not then brought in, contrary to the true was constantly paid to him, as well during the intent and meaning of the said act; whereas the intervals as the sessions of parliament, and same, by the provision of the said act, ought to particularly during the prorogation of fifteen have been paid to the Eastland merchants, who months.
“4. That, on or about the eighteenth year highly improbable incident related by Burnet, obseries, " From this letter, we may judge of pretends to be, always correct in dates; and in the goodness of Burnet's intelligence; and his latter days he was undoubtedly credulous. rectify an opinion, by too many entertained, But his narrative is neither to be rejected bethat he was hasty and credulous, and a mere cause the dates are displaced, nor are the glow. recorder of the tales and scandals of the times.” ing characters of nature to be discarded because Ralph unjustly accuses_Burnet of inaccuracy they coincide not with the prejudices of party respecting the Bill “ For the Preservation of writers. If we compare his narrative and chathe Person and Government of bis gracious racters with those of Clarendon, and consider Majesty King James the Second,” and asserts, how superior they are to every cotemporary pro• That unfortunately for us, or this right rev. duction, how frequently they have been silently • author, there is not the least trace of transcribed by succeeding authors; (Hume • any such bill [as Burnet had spoken of] himself, for instance, who blames them mest), * to be found in any of the accounts of this and how imperfectly their loss would have been * parliament extant; and therefore we are un supplied by more recent memoirs, we shall
der a necessity to suppose, that if any such discover the real value of Burnet as an histo. clause was offered, it was by way of supple- rian.” • ment to the bill for the preservation of his See, too, as to the comparative accnracy of 'majesty's person and government, which, no Burnet and Dalrymple, the Note to Mitchell's doubt, was strict enough, and which passed Case, ante, vol. 6, p. 1222. In that Note, by a the House of Commons while Monmouth was slight error of the press, the reference to Dal. in arms, just before the adjournment, but rymple’s Memoirs is printed p. 94, to ed. 1771, never reached the Lords.' 2. 911.
instead of p. 9, 4to ed. 1771. An instance of Upon which, Mr. Fox remarks, “ Now the Burnet's want of exactness in bis expressions enactment to which the bishop alludes, was which has been so injurious to his character not, as Ralph supposes, a supplement to the for veracity, may be tound in what he says bill for the preservation of his majesty's person, (see vol. 6, of this Collection, pp. 1420, 1481) but made part of the very first clause of it; and of “ The Trial of Ireland and others." See the only inaccuracy, if indeed it deserves that the Trials of Ireland, Pickering, and Grove, name, of which Burnet is guilty, is that of vol. 7, p. 79; and of White alias Whitebread, calling the bill what it really was, a bill for De- and others, vol. 7, p. 311. claring Treasons, and not giving it its formal title of a Bill for the Preservation of his Ma- and Ắchitophel,' in which Dryden has ranked
Seymour is the Amiel of the " Absalom jesty's Persen, &c. The bill is fortunately him very highly: preserved among the papers of the House of Commons, and as it is not, as far as I know, “ Indulge one labour more, my weary muse, any where in print, I have subjoined it in my For Amiel; who can Amiel's praise refuse? Appendix.”
Of ancient race by birth, but nobler yet That careful, judicious, and sagacious histo- The Sanhedrim long time as chief he ruled,
In his own worth, and without title great. rian, Mr. Laing, vol. 4, note 1, says, Their reason guided, and their passion cool'd :
" Burnet's veracity, at least in Scottish af- So dextrous was he in the crown's defence, fairs, is attested throughout by his coincidence So form'd to speak a loyal nation's sense, with Wodrow's History and original materials ; That, as their band was Isr'el's tribes in small, an immense mass of MSS. in the Advocates' So fit was he to represent them all. Library, which I have carefully inspected. Now rasher charioteers the seat ascend, The coincidence is the more remarkable, as Whose loose careers his steady skill commend Wodrow, who published in 1721, 1722, had They, like the unequal ruler of the day, never seen Barnet's History, published, the Misguide the seasons and mistake the way. first volume in 1723, the second in 1734. In While he, withdrawn at their mad labour siniles, writing from memory, Burnet neither is, nor And safe enjoys the sabbath of his toils."