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1755. PROCEEDINGS of the POLITICAL CLUB, &c. the 31 of king Charles II. against its continuance, this new a&t was billering of soldiers any way repeal. made to continne for a whole year ; .ed, ro that any alehouse or inn-keep- fo that it was almost in every respect er in this kingdom might have se. more extensive than the former. fused to allow any soldiers to lodge Thus, Sir, we may see how quick. in his house. But the ice being once ly this precedent in favour of arbroke, and a precedent made, by A bitrary power was improved, and it the passing of this bill, limited and has been improving ever fince; but confined as is was, and Ireland con. it would be tedious, and almoft end. tinuing in the same, or rather a worse less, to take notice of all the im. ftate, at the beginning of the next provements and alterations that have feftion, a new mutiny bill was got been made in this annual perpetual passed, much more extensive than law; therefore I fall only observe, the former ; for all crimes relating to B that from its first appearance upor false musters were made liable to be our records until after the peace of wied and punished by courts martial, Utrecht, it was never passed but and it was made death for a poor when the nation was involved in foldier, let him be never so ill used war abroad tho! not at home. AC by his captain, to leave the compa that remarkable æra, as the parliany or regiment he belonged to, and ment did not meer till April 9, 1713, list in any other company or regi- C she mutiny act which had been par menc in his majesty', service. I do sed in the former session had expired not by this remark mean, Sir, that the 25th of March 'preceding, so foldiers ought to have leave to do so that we continued without any mu. whenever they please, and without tiny act until July 25 following, returning the lifting money to their and without any power in the crown, captains ; but surely it is not a crime as it was then a time of profound equally heinous with that of desert. D peace both abroad and at home; ing the service, much less with chat to exercise martial law, by virtue of deserting to the enemy; and the of preragative ; and yet during that last is, I think, the only sort of de. whole time no one officer so much sertion that hould ever be punished as threatened to throw up his comwith death. Then as, to the persons mission, nor did any of the soldiers pow made liable to martial law, cheir : of any regiment, troop, or company number was considerably increased ; E in the queen's service, so much as for all commissaries, muster-masters, attempt to disband. This, Sir, is pay-matters, agents, or clerks to any extremely remarkable, and it is the regiment, troop, or company, were more remarkable, as there was then now for several offences fubjected to as violent and as well supported an be tried and punished by courts mar. opposition to the administration as tial, and the act of the 311t of ever was in this kingdom, and this Charles II. was so far repealed, that F oppofition, with regard to the be his majesty was impowered, and the haviour of the army, the more co conftables were authorised, to quar: be dreaded by our minifters, as it ter as many soldiers as they plealed, had at its head the moft successful, and for what time they pleased, up the most favourite gexeral, I be. on every publick house in the king. lieve, that ever li.et and died a dom, the keepers whereof were by subject. This, I say, Sır, is ex. this new act obliged to furnith the tremely remarkable, because it shews Soldiers so quartered upon them, with Ghow vain the hopes of some gentledry lodgings, stable room for their men are, who fondly imagine, that horses, and with fire and water, and a standing army once fully establish. necessary utensils to dress their vic. ed, with an ambitious, priace at its tuals. And lastly, as to the time of

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TA PROCEEDINGS of the POLITICAL CLUB, &c. Jan. if head, would presently disband, extent"; for it is in effect à law for should this house in any succeeding enabling the king, by his sole auseffion refuse to pass a new mutinythority, to make what laws he pleases bill of any kind.

for the government of his army'; It is true, Sir, that at the time I which we have, indeed, of late got am speaking of, our mimfters so far in foine degree limited, but confi. prevailed as to get a sort of mutiny Adering the severity of some military bill palied in the ensuing session, but punishments which do not extend to as it was the firit that was ever passed life or limb, the limitation can have when the nation was in peace abroad, little or no effect ; for we know that as well as at home, no punishment if a poor soldier happens to be fear to be inflicted by martial law was to expiring before he has receive she extend to life or limb; and every fol number of lashes allotted him, dier was a ter three years intitled to B carried off and pampered w demand and have his discharge if he a few days, in order to be m thought fit. But tho this act was fo new spectacle of military sev moderate as to punishment and service, Who would not suffer death r occasion was taken from the title of than undergo such a punishment it, which was, An act for the better I Mall not trouble you, Sir, regulating the forces, to extend the an account-of-the growth of power of courts martial to a multi- C noxious weed which has already tude of other offences ; for by à : moft over shadowed our constitut clause in this act courts martial were any further than to take notice i impowered to inflict corporal punish the clause I have mentioned for ment, no! extending to life of lowing soldiers to demand their limb, on any soldier, for immora. charge after three years notice, w lities, mibehaviour, or neglect of in the first of the late king mac duty. Which clause has been care: D conditional, upon their giving thre fully continued ever since, and to months notice of their intention this are owing the many cruel whip and in the very next mutiny act, pings we now daily heat of. Upon which was passed the same sesion of the expiration of this act at Lady parliament, this indulging clause was day, 1714, we were again without entirely omitted, as it has been ever any law for the exercise of martial fince ; from which time every lifted law, until June 5, following, yet no E foldier became a soldier for life, and disbanding entued ; and a new mu so he ftill continues to be, unless he tiny act of the lame tenor with the can obtain a discharge from his com: former having then taken place, it was manding officer, upon a proper arenewed in the first of the late king, greement between them, and often, but presently after, and in the same fel.

we may believe, upon as valuable a fion, a new mutiny act was passed with consideration as it is in his power to all the terrors and severicies of any F give. I must likewise take notice, former; and with a new and extra that in most of our mutiny acts there ordinary clause for impowering his has been a clause for declaring that majeity by his sign manual to make a convillion or acquittal shall be and constitute articles for the better a bar to any future trial for the same government of his forces, and inflict

offence, yet. of late years there has ing penalties by fentence or judgment been introduced what they call a re.' of courts martial even here at home, G vision : That is to say, if the comand in time of peace ; which clause mander in chief does not like the has likewise been ever fince conti- acquittal or the sentence pronounced, nued, and is really carrying the ex he may order a rivision of the trial, Arcise of martial law to its utmoit upon which an oílicer or foldier,

who

1755. PROCEEDINGS of the POLITICAL CLUB, &c.

13 who has been acquitted, may be the crown itself. Our Eaft-India condemned and thot; but as this company, Sir, was forft established affair has been so lately before thé by a charter from queen Elizabeth, house, I need not take up your time and by that charter had granted them with thewing what oppreffion and an exclusive trade to the East-Indies, týranny it may be the cause of,

which was illegal, notwithftanding I beg pardon, Sir, for giving you fo A its being granted by that wise and much trouble, but I thought it necen gracious qaeen: They had a new fary to thew the rise and rapid progress charter from fames . with the same of the exercise of martial law in this exclusive privilege, and consequently kingdom, and shall conclude with as illegal as 'the former : From observing, that tho our first mutiny Charles II. they had another new icts extended only to the land offis charter, still with the same exclusive ers and soldiers within this king. B privilege, and fill illegal. Howlom, yet that of the 4th and sth. ever, they continued to enjoy this of William and Mary was made to exclusive privilege, but exercised it ottend to Jersey and Guernsey ; that with great caution, because even of the 8th and 9th of king Williami they themselves doubted the legality was made to extend to all officers of it, as monopolizing charters of ind soldiers in the marine service ; all kinds had been loudly complained hat of the 13th of king William C of in parliament towards the end of vas made to extend to Ireland as queen Elizabeth's reign'; therefore vell as England, and indeed to all when the famous, or rather infahe forces his majelty should have on mous Jeffreys was raised to the oot any where in the world ; that bench, they took an opportunity to of the i ft of queen Anne was made have their exclufive privilege deo include likewise all those belong. clared legal by him for they were

ng to the trains of artillery ; and D sure they had then a judge who hat of the oth all the invalid com: would decide in favour of every

panies ; the ad mutiny act of the thing that tended to exalt the power ift of his late majesty's reign was of the crown. made to extend to Gibraltar and Mia What was the consequence, Sir? norca ; and ever fince the beginning they began presently after to act in of his present majesty's reign, our fo oppressive a manner abroad, thač inutiny acts have been made to ex- E great complaints were brought home tend to all his majesty's dominions against them, which they had in Auż beyond the feas, besides all the ence enough to fife, probably by places I have before particularly the fame means they practifed for mentioned

obraining a new charter and act of These 'extensions of our now writ. parliament soon after the Revolution ; ten martial law, I say, Sir, I thought for whea their affairs were brought it necessary to mención, in order to F under the confideration of 'parlia? convince gentlemen how cautious ment in 1695, it appeared, that they they ought to be ist agreeing to any had bribed leveral members of para new exiension of it, especially that liament, and had attempted even of purting fo dangerous a weapon in to bribe the crown itself by an offer the hands of a company, whose first of 50,000l. and that for there cor.! establishment was illegal, and who rupt purposes they had laid out a as soon as 'cliey but fupposed they G very large sum of money, ard were had got a legal establishment, bé. to have laid out a much larger, in came oppressive, and soon after of case their intended act had pated, dangerous consequence to the honour amounting in the whole to betwechi of parliament, nay, I may lay, of 3 and 400,00ol. To this amount,

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PROCEEDINGS of the POLITICAL CLUB, &c. Jan. I say, an actual discovery was made; war with that prince in such a man. and it is probable, that several other ner ; and I doubt if it could ever lums were laid out, or intended to be be ended in any other. It is for this laid out by them, of which no disco reason, that the French court have very was ever made. Whether that wisely taken care not to send any of company have ever fince attempted their king's troops to the Eaft IAany such practices, or what the many A dies ; for all the troops they have favours they have fince received may fent thither, are sent and kept up have coft them, I hall not pretend there in the name of the company, to guess ; but the discovery then tho', perhaps, at the expence of the made Tould make gentlemen cauti crown ; because it is impossible ever ous, left, under the pretence of se. to treat in the name of the crown curing or promoting the trade, of -- with any of those Eastern princes, that company, they should be drawn

who are haughty even to a degree in to serve the ends of corrupt men,

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of ridicule. I am far from supposing, Sir, that For this reason, Sir, I look upon any such practices have been, or are the present measure of sending some intended at present, because the fa, of she king's-troops to the East Inyour proposed to be granted them dies, to be a measure of the most cannot be thought equal to such an dangerous consequence, not only to expence, I am really, of opinion, the company, but to our trade to that it will do them an injury. The C the East-Indies, whatever new foot, Lending of any of his majesty's ing it may, or can hereafter be put troops thither will of course draw on; and besides this, it will in sevea the crown into all the contests they ral respects be found inconvenient, have happened, or may hereafter By the bill now before us, the comhappen to have with the sovereign mander in chief of his majesty's princes in the East- Iodies, which, I, forces, wherever any of them are, think, cannot redound to the profit D emp

ed, is to have the fole power of the company, and may, I fear, of appointing courts martial, noe fome time or other, bring dishonour

only to try any of his own officers upon the crown of Great Britain

or soldiers, but also any of the com, for if in the persons of those troops pany's officers or soldiers that are font the crown should be affronted by upon the same command. Whether the great Mogul, or any of his Na. this be right or no, I hall not at pres bobs, I do not see how we could B Sent dispute ; but can we imagine, vindicate the honour of the nation, that it will not occasion dangerous, by compelling them to make fatif.

disputes between the company's go faction for any such affront. If a vernors or officers, and his majesty's breach should enfue upon any such officers in that country? As these: occasion, surely you would not ac

two .corps are upon a different foottept of such a phirmaund, such a F ing, and of a quite different charace, treaty as the company called it, as ter, a jealousy will naturally arise the company accepted of from the

between them : The company's great Mogul a little before the Revo. troops will naturally be patron led by lucion, which put an end to the war. the company's governors, and his that had been carried on between majesty's troops will as natura ly and, him and the company, and which probably more deservedly be patro

was really nothing but a pardon in G nised by his majesty's commander in - such a haughty itile, that it was chief. 'I say more deservedly, Sir,

scandalous even for the company to because, if I am rightly informed, accept of it. Surely, I say, the there are some of the company's, crown could not put an end to any officers of a very low character. One

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1755. PROCEEDINGS Of the POLITICAL CLUB, &c. 15 of them was formerly a trumpeter to an argument in favour of the bill, à raree-thew in this country ; and that it is a strong argument against it. when he was discharged that ho If the company's troops have bepourable service, he lifted himself in haved fo well without any military the company's service as a common law, why should we subject them to foldier ; and I suppose was made an one ? Some few of them may, pera officer by one of their governors, for A haps, have deserted; but can you trumpeting to him better than any altogether prevent defertion by any other man could do in chat country. law you can make ? Sir, the bel Another of them, I am told, was a way to prevent it, is good usage low sort of barber, one of our shave. and this bill, if passed into a law, for-a-penny barbers, here in Lon.

may encourage the company to use don : And another of them was a their troops worse than they ever did butcher here, and when he is not B heretofore. In every light, there upon duty, I am told 'he ftill exer fore, in which I can view this bill, ciles his trade there. Can we think, I think it not only unnecessary, but that fuck officers will not be despised of the most dangerous consequence by gentlemen who have the honour to to the company; and what is fill bear his majesty's commission ? And worse, I think it of the most dan. as such men, when advanced, are gerous consequence to our liberties, both jealous and proud, frequent C for it is not only an extension of our contests will certainly arise between written martial law ; but as it is an them. These contests being patroa extension without any limitation of nised, as I have mentioned, will be time, 'it may be made a precedent of the worst consequence to the fer for rendering perpetual our written, vice, and may entirely ruin our af. martial law with regard to the fairs in that country, before advice troops in every part of the king's of them can be sent home, and pro-D dominions ; which to me is of itself per orders returned for putcing an alone a sufficient reason for being end to such contests.

against the committing of the bill. Having mentioned the characters of some of the company's officers in The next Speaker was Quintus Mucius, the East Indies, I leave it to gen the Purport of wbele Speech was tlemen to confider, whether it be as follows. proper to intruft such men with a & power of life and death over any.

Mr. Presidenti British rabject, especially in a coug

SIR, try where the sentence is to be exe Do not rise up to follow the cured before it be approved by his noble lord thro' the whole of majefty, and beforc he can have an his long argument ; for, in my opi. opportunity to extend his mercy to F nion, the most of what he said was an unhappy convict. Such officers quite foreign to che present question, may properly enough be intrusted which is plainly, and in short this, with a power to kill the enemies of Are our East India company to have their country by the laws of war ; troops in any of their forts or fetile. but I am sure, Sir, it can never be menis in chat country, or no? And proper to intrust them with a power I could not observe, that the noble to kill their fellow subjects by any G lord said one word against this ques. law whatsoever. If our late accounts: tion. Indeed, it is lo evident, that from thence can be relied on, they if the company must have forts, they have fewn, that the first sort of must have garisons to defend those truft may be very properly lodged in

in forts, that it is poffible for the wit them ; but this is so far from being

WM.

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