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the Nation was never troubled withal before) Refolved to make my Application to the House of Peers, in order thereunto, I drew up Articles against the Lords of the Admiralty, the Commiffioners of the Navy, and the Commiffioners for the Sick and Wounded Sea-men, which are as follow.
1. That the prefent Commiffioners for Sick and Wounded Sea-men, and exchanging Prisoners at War (depending on the Admiralty) not regarding Inftructions, or the good of the Government, have committed grofs Enormities, as holding, or conniving at an unlawful Correspondence with the French, and wronging both King and Subject in their Accounts, with other great Mifcarriages, all which has been about a Year fince, laid in Writing before the Secretary of State, by one Mr. Bafton, and by the King's command, examined before the Lords of the Admiralty, &c. And it will appear, the faid Commiffioners have been very Injurious to the Poor Saylors in particular, and very detrimental to the Government in general.
Secondly, That the Lords of the Admiralty and the Commiffioners of the Navy have acted contrary to the Publick good, by Countenancing, Supporting and Preferring Criminals, and on the contrary, Perfecuting the Discoverers, and turning Juft Men out of their Offices.
Thirdly, That the Lords of the Admiralty have had great Discoveries laid before them, of Embezelments, and other great Frauds committed in the Kings Yards, attended with Forgery and Perjury.
Fourthly, That it is manifeft, that fome of the Commiffioners of the Navy, have in that Office advanced themselves from Sallaries of 30 Pounds per Annum, to vaft Eftates. Having paffed great Frauds, and totally discouraged the Discovery of Embezelled Stores, to the great waste of the Publick Treafure.
Fifthly, That it hath been a long practice in the Navy, to make out Falfe Tickets and Powers, fufpending and delaying the poor Saylors in their juft Payments, to the great Difcouragement of them, and ftarving their Families.
These Articles, with my Petition, I Prefented to a Noble Lord, who was pleased to receive the fame, and cause them both to be read in the House of Peers; upon which I was ordered to give in a Lift of my Witnesses, as I did in part, and then their Lordfhips proceeded upon the matter, and at the Bar of the House, examined divers Witneffes upon the first Head; by whom I proved that an Apothecary in Watling-Street had ferved in at the Laboratory in the Savoy, for the Ufe of the Sick and Wounded Seamen, a great quantity of Damaged Rhubarb, which coft him but about 9d. per pound. But as I was proceeding, the forefaid Commiffioners of Accounts, fent their Secretary to the House, and humbly prayed They might have the Examination thereof. Whereupon their Lordships made an Order of Reference to that Board touching the First Head, and the Day following, the Second and Third Head and that they should examin them, and then transmit them and the Examination, to the House, which Orders were never obey'd (tho' fome Proceedings
ceedings they did make, of which an Account fhall be given) notwithstanding their Lordships afterwards, upon my humble Petition, made two feveral Orders in my Favour, requiring the faid Commiffioners to proceed in examining my Articles to them Referred, and tranfmit the fame to the House, yet neither ofthofe Orders were ever obeyed: By all which, it may plainly be feen, the Houfe of Peers were of Opinion, the examining into thefe Articles would have been of great Ufe and Service to the King and Kingdom, and prevented a great deal of Fraud and Wickednefs, which was then on foot, and has fince involved the Nation in Debt, and brought an univerfal Poverty upon the part of the Nation, and that which is even worse, and more grievous (being Entailed upon Pofterity, unless fome extraordinary Means are used) our Trade given up to the Dutch (who to give them their due, are among themselves ftria Obfervers of Justice, and, like Death, Spare none that wittingly break their Laws, the Fruits of which they reap, being free from Faction, tho' a Compound of all Religions, and the Richest, and most Powerful State, confidering the extent of their Territories, that is now, or ever was in the World; a juft Reward of their Vertue) or to fpeak more properly and truly, driven out of the Kingdom by Corruption and heavy Impofitions, which alone is fufficient to Ruin the whole Kingdom; for it eats up the People, prevents the Confumption of the Product of the Nation in Foreign Parts, and has laid the Foundation of Clandeftine Trade, never to be removed, until fomething else be found in lieu thereof, to answer the end for which thofe Duties were given.
But to proceed in Profecuting these Articles, I' unhappily fell under the Displeasure of the House of Peers, and was by their Lordships Order, taken into Cuftody by the Ufher of the Black Rod, for Reflecting upon the House, and refufing to make Answer. But their Lordships, upon my humble Petition (which through the Favour of a Noble Lord was read in a full Houfe) were pleased to order me to be Difcharged without paying Fees, and never called me to the Bar of the House to Reprimand me upon my Knees; fo the Favour I received was exemplar, and without Prefident, for which I am, and ought to be thankful.
After this, I was committed to the Poultry Compter, (where I remained for the space of about fix Weeks,) by a Juftice of the Peace, for Publishing a Book,Entituled, A Dialogue between a Modern Courtier, and an Honest English Gentleman, which he in his Warrant of Commitment, was pleased to call a Seditious and Scandalous Libel, notwithstanding at the fame time he Committed me, he publickly declared before near twenty Perfons, it was a very Honest Book, and his own Loffes could fufficiently speak as to the Truth of it; but faid, he durft not do otherwife, he thould be chid and gain Displeasure: In fine, I laid my Caufe before both Houses of Parliament, which occafion'd an Expedient to be found in order to my being Released, so I was by a Meffenger taken into Cuftody by a Warrant from the Secretary of State, for Publishing a Seditious and Scandalous Libel, and coming out of the Prifon, the Messenger and I parted, and there was an end of my Confinement for Publishing that Seditious and Scandalous Libel, Entituled, A Dialogue, &c. Only
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two or three days after, I went to the Secretary's Office, and there made Oath, (which I offer'd before, but it would not be accepted) Mr. Bafton was the Author of the forefaid Dialogue, for which they detained him about fix Weeks longer, in all, about. three Months (he having before been taken into Cuftody) and then discharg'd him upon his own Recognizance. Yet no fooner was he at liberty, but he Dedicated and Prefented this Seditious and Scandalous Lilel to the House of Commons (to which I must confefs I was acceffary) to whom he appealed for Juftice, but the Houfe took no notice. of it one way or other.
Now as to the Proceedings of the Commiffioners for ftating the Publick Accounts, I fhall. wave giving a Relation of Matters in reference to that Board, more than what is abfolutely neceffary, they being all gone (but two) to state their Accounts at the great Tribunal of Heaven. There appeared, (for formality fake) before the faid Commiffioners, three of the Commiffioners of the Navy, who produced, in their Vindication, a Folio Book, by which they pretended to Shew how faithful they had been to their Truft, and infifted upon it as a great Evidence thereof; the faid Book contained the Names of a multitude of their Officers, whom from time to time they had Muct 5, 10 . per Man, for Embezel, fl. ling his Majesty's Naval Stores, whereas a greater Evidence could not poffibly have been given of their Fraud and Breach of Truft: For by the Law, it was Fellony without Benefit of Clergy, or eight Years Servitude in the West-Indies, not to return upon pain of Death, to Steal, Embezel, or Purloin any of his Majefties Naval Stores, to the value of Twenty Shillings, 22 of K. Charles 2d. Chap.5. By all which