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13 de set. 2016

Report to the Committee of Secrecy Papers concerning the Catalans. R. Walpole

from the Committee of Secrecy,
Appointed by Order of the House of Commons
to examine Several Books and Papers laid before the House, relating to the late Negotiations of Peace and Commerce, & c.

Reported on the Ninth of June, 1715


Together with an APPENDIX, containing Memorials, Letters, and other Papers referred to in the said Report.

Publish'd by Order of the House of Commons
Printed for Jacob Tonson, Timothy Goodwin, Bernard Lintott, and William Taylor. 1715.

From: https://books.google.es/books?id=ROpbAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA68&lpg=PA68&dq=Ministers+did+at+least+aquiesce&source=bl&ots=x8yeqQV6NA&sig=OhcgIvH16bp12TLRxtGAKiVu4zg&hl=ca&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwio3t_D8IvPAhUCRhQKHUzZBJoQ6AEIQDAH#v=onepage&q=Peterborow&f=false

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Your Committee having thus gone through the chief Transactions relating to the Negotiations of Peace and Commerce, proceed to offer to the House what they have found material in the Papers referr'd to them concerning the Catalans.

After several unsuccessful Attempts by the way of Portugal, and the Design upon Cadiz, to settle King Charles on the Throne of Spain; and that the Confederate Fleet had appear'd before Barcelona in 1704 without the desir'd Success; Her Majesty, in the Beginning of the Year 1705 sent Mr. Crowe as Her Minister to Genoa, with private Instructions which are here annexe, (No. 45.) to the following Effect:

That Her Majesty being inform'd, that the People of Catalonia were enclined to cast off the Yoke impos'd on them by the French; and by withdrawing themselves from the Power of the Duke of Anjou, to return to the obedience on the House of Austria, was desirous to maintain and improve that good Disposition in them; and to induce them to put the same speedily in Execution, had made Choice of him to carry on so great a Work for the Advantage of Her Service, and the Good of the Common Cause. He is therefore order'd to repair to Genoa, Leghorn, or such other neutral Country or Place, as he should judge most proper, for carrying on Her Majesty's Service in this particular; and to treat with the Catalans, or any other People of Spain, about their coming into the Interest of Charles the Third of Spain, and joining with Her Majesty and Her Allies. For that Purpose he is to inform himself, what Number of Forces they will raise, and what they expect shall be sent to assist them: If any of the Nobility insist upon a Sum of Money to be advanc'd to them, he must assure them, he does not doubt but that he shall be impower'd to remit to them whatsoever is necessary and reasonable for their Support, as soon as they are actually in the Field: That he shall give the Catalans, or other Spaniards, Assurances of Her Majesty's utmost Endeavours to procure the Establishment of all such Rights and Immunities as they have formerly enjoy'd under the House of Austria: That She has, for their further Satisfaction, sent to King Charles the Third, for Powers for confirming the same to them: and that She is willing, if they insist on it, to give Her Guarranty that it shall be done."

   Mr. Crowe also had a Commission (No 46.) of the same Date with his Instructions, to treat with the Catalans upon the Terms beforementioned, upon this express Condition on their side, that they should acknowledge, and receive King Charles as lawful King of Spain, and utterly renounce the House of Bourbon.

   He had with this, credential Letters (No. 47.) Sign'd by the Queen, directed to the Nobility, Magistrates, and all Officers Civil and Military, of Catalonia, desiring them to depend upon the Promises he should make them in Her Name.

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   The Earl of Peterborow, and Sir Cloudfly Shovel, by their Instructions, No. (48), dated May 1, 1705, are likewise order'd to use their Endeavours to induce the Catalans to join with them in their Undertakings, and to animate that People to prosecute their Liberty with more Vigour; they are empower'd to assure them of the Queen's Support, and to promise them in the Queen's Name, that she will secure them a confirmation of their Rights and Privileges from the King of Spain, that they may be settled on a lasting Foundation to them and their posterities. But lest Persuasions alone should not prevail, they are ordered, in Case the Catalans make no suitable Return to these kind Offers, to annoy the Towns on the Coast of Spain, and to reduce them by Force.

   In conformity to these instructions, a Declaration was drawn here, and deliver'd by Mr. Secretary Harley to the Earl of Peterborow, for his Lordship to publish in Spain, full of Assurances in the Queen's Name, of Support, and of their Liberties on the one hand, and Threats on the other; which Declaration his Lordship, on his Arrival in Spain, did accordingly publish, No. (49).

   The Success of that Expedition needs not be here particularly mention'd; King Charles, in his Letter to the Queen, of October 22 1705 gives an Account of them, and what they were owing to, viz. "The Assurances of your Majesty's generous Protection, upon which my Subjects in Catalonia expose their Lives and Fortunes.

   No Want of Fidelity or Zeal for the Common Cause, during a long War, that abounded with extraordinary Turns of Fortune, was ever objected to these People; on the contrary, they received to the last the Applauses of the ALlies, and Assurances repeated to them by every General and Minister that was sent from Great Britain to that Country, that they should never be abandon'd.

   When the Queen enter'd into Separate Measures of Peace, Lord Lexington was sent Ambassador to Spain, at which time, considering the Circumstances of King Philip's Affairs, and the obligations he had then received from the Queen, the Catalan Privileges, if plainly demanded and insisted upon, could not have been refused, and without it, could never be expected to be granted to a People so remarkably zealous for the Common Cause.

   But his Lordship's Instructions, No. (50), instead of directing him to insist upon this, as a Condition of the Queen's Coming into the peace, order him only to Represent to the Court of Spain, that it is no less for the King's Interest, than for the Queen's Honour, that a general Amnesty without Exception be granted to all Spaniards who have adhered to the House of Austria, and in a particular manner to the Catalans, with regard to their Persons, Estates, Dignities, and Privileges.

   These instructions, tho' very defective, were not complied with: for Lord Lexington, in the 11th article of his paper, which is called Demands, No (51), deliver'd to the court of Spain, upon his arrival there expresses himself thus: That the Queen prays his Catholick Majesty, that a general Amnesty, without Exception, be granted; but leaves out the words in his instructions, with regard to their Persons, Estates, Dignities, and Privileges."

   The King's Answer was, "That the General Amnesty, relating entirely to the general peace, was not proper for the present Treaty; and therefore he leaves it to be then treated of: that his Majesty will make Use of his great Clemency, provided the Queen will contribute to the Safety, to the Repose, and to the Interests of so many faithful Subjects, who, according to their Duty, had followed his righteous Cause in Flanders, and in all the Parts of Italy;  and that an express Article be inserted in the Peace, wherein it shall be declared, That all Subjects who have done their Duty, by adhering to his Catholick Majesty, shall be established in their Estates and Honours, of what Nature soever they be, which they enjoyed when they were under his Obedience; and that they may mortgage, exchange or sell, at their Pleasure; and that they shall have full Liberty to continue in the Service of their King; and that neither upon this pretext, or any other whatsoever, they shall receive the least Prejudice, or the least Harm in their Estates or Honours, or any Molestation whatever, and that any Municipal Law to the contrary (if there be any such) shall be made void by the Treaty of Peace."

   Lord Lexington transmits this Answer to England, which, though containing a direct Refusal at present of what was desired, and only general Assurances of Clemency from the King, on Conditions that could not possibly be expected

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to be complied with; yet his Lordship in his Letter to Lord Dartmouth, writes Word,  That the 11th Article, (which is this about the Catalans) was agreed to; and thinks what they desire is but Justice: and then goes on; "Thus, my Lord, I have finished my negotiations in the best Manner I could, and hope it will be to her Majesties Satisfaction."

   No Dissatisfaction was shewn by the Ministry in England, either with this Manner of negotiating, or the Fruitlessness of it, but he is ordered to proceed in the Business, both as it was an Act of Humanity, which every one to the utmost of their Power ought to promote; and that the Interest of the King of Spain was most nearly concerned by that Means to get the Germans out of the Country.

   Hereupon another Memorial for an Amnesty is presented, the Motive used to induce the King to grant it, is his own Interest, and to remove the Germans, without any Notice being taken of the Queen's Honour being concerned in the Affair.

   The King answered, "That the Catalans had deserved little from him; that they were now reduced to a small Extent of Ground, by the with-drawing of the Troops of Britain and Portugal; that his Troops, and those of the King his Grandfather, were entering into their country by three several Ways; therefore more in Complaisance to the Queen, than for the Arguments that had been offered, he was willing to grant his Pardon to those Catalans, who acknowledging his Clemency, and repenting them of their Error, should submit to his Dominion and Vassalage, within a Time to be prefixed.

   Count Sinzendorff, in the Project for Evacuating Catalonia, insisted upon the preserving the People their Privileges; But the King of Spain refused it, and would only grant them an Amnesty and Pardon.

   Lord Dartmouth, in his letters both to the Marquis de Monteleone and Lord Lexington, says,  He cannot express the Queen's Surprise to hear, that the Privileges of the Catalans were not intended to be preserved to them by the Court of Spain; that those Privileges were necessarily included in the Meaning of a General Amnesty already granted; that this was an affair wherein the Queen's Honour was extremely concerned, and that she was obliged by Motives of Conscience not to depart from it. Lord Lexington is hereupon ordered to insist again upon it iin the strongest Manner imaginable; that when the King of Spain is convinced of her Majesty's Steadiness, and the Firmness of her Resolution to adhere to this Demand, no doubt he will yield to what has so solemnly promised, and is in itself so reasonable.  That the Marquis de Monteleone, being restrained by his Instructions from treating upon this Point, the negotiating of it must intirely lie upon Lord Lexington.

   Accordingly his Lordship presents another Memorial for a general Amnesty, with the Confirmation of all their Privileges. The Amnesty, he says, was granted, but the Privileges intirely refused, and in such a positive Stile as he never met with, but in demanding a Tract of Ground about Gibraltar.

   In another Letter, speaking of the many Denials he met with in Spain, he says, "Things are not here upon the same Foot as they were before the Suspension, for the King told me these Words, We know that the Peace is as necessary for you as for us, and that you will not break it off for a Trifle."

   It may seem at first sight unaccountable how the Queen's Endeavours could fail of Success, when she declared her Conscience was concerned in this Matter, and that, though she desired a Peace, she would not act inconsistently with Honour and Justice to obtain it.

   The First fatal Step to the Ruin of the Catalans, was the orders sent Lord Lexington, (contrary to his first Instructions) upon his arrival at Madrid to acknowledge Philip as King of Spain in a private Audience, before any one Article of Peace or Commerce was settled with him, which put him in a Condition of refusing this, and whatever else he should think fit.

  The Manner how Spain gained this important Point appears to be as follows: Lord Dartmouth has acquainted Mr.Prior, that Lord Lexington was not to acknowledge Philip as King of Spain, till he had agreed to the Demands his Lordship was to make in the Queen's Name.

   However Lord Dartmouth thinks it convenient the Sentiments of the French Court should be known upon this Matter as soon as possible.

   This Method of proceeding with Spain was very much disliked in France, and Mr. Prior writes Lord Dartmouth a very elaborate letter, full of Mons.

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Torcy's Reasons to induce our Ministry to recede from that Point, and concludes with this remarkable one: "That the whole Treaty being eventual, this Acknowledgement of Philip as King of Spain, would fall as the other Points, unless the Conditions were made good, and the Peace agreed and ratified."

   Hereupon Lord Bolingbroke determines this Matter in Favour of Spain, by imputing the former Directions to Lord Dartmouth's mistaking the Queen's Meaning: And writes Mr. Prior Word that he was equally surprised and vexed, to find by the uncouth way of explaining the Queen's Sense, that Mr, Prior had been led to imagine it was intended Lord Lexington should make any difficulty of acknowledging the King of Spain as such.

   "The proceeding this way, by acknowledging the King in the First Place," (says his Lordship,) "seems natural, civil, and unexceptionable, but any other Scheme is absurd, and inconsistent with all the rest of our Proceedings." And then concludes, "For God's sake, dear Mat. hide the Nakedness of thy Country, and give the best Turn thy fertile Brain will furnish thee with, to the Blunders of thy Countrymen, who are not much better Politicians than the French are Ports".

   Lord Dartmouth it seems thought fit to aquiesce, and the same Day that this Letter was writ, dispatched Orders to Lord Lexington, to acknowledge King Philip in the first Place, notwithstanding his former Instructions to the contrary.

   But to return to the Catalans, Nor did the Ministers shew that Zeal for the Queen's Honour as might be expected, but plainly gave this Matter up. Lord Bolingbroke, in his Letter to the Queen's Plenipotentiaries at Utrecht, tells them, "It is not for the Interest of England to preserve the Catalan Liberties: and likewise begs Leave to make an observation to them, that the Catalan Privileges are the Power of the Purse and the Sword; but that the Castilian Privileges, which the King of Spain will give them (in Exchange for their Catalan) are the Liberty of trading, and resorting to the West-Indies, and a Capacity of holding those beneficial Employments the King has to bestow in America; which, says his Lordship, "are of infinitely greater Value to those who intend to live in a due Subjection to Authority."

   Lord Lexington also, instead of supporting the Catalan Privileges, treated the People as Rebels; and to induce Spain to make Peace with Portugal, puts Monsieur Orry in mind of the Necessity Spain is in of withdrawing their Troops from Andalusia, in order to end the Rebellion of the Catalans. No (53.)

   When the Convention was forc'd upon the Emperor for the evacuating Catalonia, the Imperial Ministers at Utrecht insisted upon the preserving by that Treaty the Privileges of Catalonia, Majorca, and Ivica; but France and her Confederates insisting, that that Matter should be referred to the Peace, the Imperial Ministers as last acquiesced, upon the Queen of Great Britain's declaring again, that she would interpose her good Offices in the most effectual Manner to obtain the Privileges of Catalonia,  Majorca, and Ivica: and the French King engaged sat the same Time to join his endeavours for that Purpose. Hereupon the Negotiation in Spain was kept up till our Treaty of Peace with that Crown was ripe, by which the Catalan Liberties were to be abandoned. This Lord Lexington signed, contenting himself with protecting against that Article, at the same Time he signed it; as he had writ Word before he intended to do so, and that therefore the Queen was intirely at Liberty to reject it.

   Notwithstanding the King of Spain's former refusal, Lord Lexington is again directed to insist upon the Catalan Privileges, and is again told, That the Queen thought herself obliged by the strongest Ties, viz. those of Honour and Conscience, to insist upon it, for a People whom the necessity of the War had obliged her to draw into her Interest. His Lordship had signed the Treaty with Spain before these Orders to present another Memorial arrived.

   He thereupon acquaints the Marquis of Bedmar, that he was sorry to be obliged to do any thing which he knew was against the King's Sentiments, but having received express Orders, he must follow his Duty, and presents the following Memorial.

   THE under-written Minister of the Queen of Great Britain, in pursuance of the strict Orders he received the last Post, is obliged most humbly to renew the Instances he has so frequently made to your Majesty, in favour of the Catalans: The Queen orders him to represent, that she has nothing more at heart, than to obtain for those People the same Privileges they formerly enjoyed;


which she thinks herself obliged to do, by the Two strongest Motives that are possible, viz. Honour and Conscience, that she may not leave a Nation, which the Misfortune of War obliged her to draw into her Interest, in a worse Condition than she found them. She hopes, after all the Pains she has taken for procuring a solid and lasting Peace to Europe, your Majesty will not leave her with the Grief of having been the Occasion of the Loss of the Privileges of that People, but rather tham in regard to the strict Friendship  which with God's Blessing is now near being established between both your Majesties, as well as the Union so necessary to the Interests of both Nations; your Majesty will not make any Difficulty any longer to grant this Favour to her Majesty, which she has so much at heart.

   The Marquis of Bedmar's Answer to this Memorial was, that this Point about the Catalans having been debated in the Treaty lately concluded, and signed in this Court by his Excellency and himself, which his Excellency will own, and may be pleased to acknowledge, the King does not see that any thing further is to be done in the Matter.

   This Treaty was sent to England, and ratified by the Queen, Lord Dartmouth says that Lord Bolingbroke had the principal share in the Negotiation, and that the Article of the Catalans was put in as soft Terms as was consistent with the Queen's Honour to allow.

   The Terms of the Treaty are, that the Catalans shall have the same Privileges as the King's best beloved Subjects the Castilians enjoy.

   When the King of Spain had received this convincing Proof of our Ministry's Attacment to his Interests, and that the beforementioned Ties of the Queen's Honour and Conscience were of no focr with them when opposed to his Desires, he takes a further Step, and directly proposes to Lord Lexington, that the Queen would assist him with Ships to block up Barcelona (No 56.)

   His Lordship's Answer was, that he was afraid this Proposal would meet with this Difficulty, that her Majesty would be very unwilling to lend her Ships to exterminate a People that had taken up Arms in a great measure as the Instigation of her Ministers;  and that she would think she had done enough to gratify the King, in not insisting upon the preserving for them their ancient Liberties, without helping to destroy them. But the Regard the Ministry had to the Request of the King, will afterwards appear.

   The French Ambassador and the Princess des Urfins proposed to Lord Lexington, and the Night before he left Madrid, the King sent for him, and engaged him to write a Letter, concerted with, and approved by, the King, to the Regency of Barcelona, No (57) advising them to submit themselves to the King. His Lordship assures them of his constant Endeavours to do the best he could for them; that God had not permitted him to do more than he had done; That if they would take their Resolutions soon, before he was out of Spain, he would write for them in the manner they should desire; and concludes his Letter with new Assurances of his Concern for their Interests.

   To make this appear the more friendly to them, he tells them, he had entrusted the Consul at Alicant to get this Letter conveyed to them, upon some Pretence or other; tho' a Duplicate of it was also sent to the Count of Lecheraine, one of the King of Spain's Generals before the Town, with Direction to have it sent in as by a Deserter, without his Knowledge. No (58)

   Mr. Burch, his Lordship's Secretary, amongst other Reasons, gives this for the writing this Letter; That if the Catalans had a mind to accommodate, the Queen would have the Mediation; and if they had not, that then the Court of Spain would see, that her Majesty would be always ready to serve them. No (59)

   But this Artifice to induce the Catalans to abandon their Defence in Hopes of his Lordship's good Offices, had no Effect upon Men determined to die for the Liberty of their Country.

   Nothing but Force could extort that from them; and therefore sir Patrick Lawless, in September 1713, presents a Memorial (No 60.) to the same Effect with what was proposed the Month before to Lord Lexington in Spain, setting forth that the Catalans and Majorcans had not submitted themselves to the King's obedience, and interrupted all Commerce and Correspondence in the Mediterranean; and submits it to the Consideration of the Queen, not only as Guarantee of the Treaty of Evacuation, but as it concerned the Interests of

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Great Britain; and therefore his Catholic Majesty hopes the Queen will order a Squadron of her Ships to reduce his Subjects to their Obedience, and thereby compleat the Tranquillity of Spain, and of the Mediterranean Commerce.

   As soon as the season of the Year would permit, a Fleet is accordingly fitted out for the Mediterranean under the Command of Sir James Wishart, whose first Instructions bear Date 28 Feb. and the Additional 18 March, 1714. by which No (61, and 62.) he is ordered to inforce a strict observance of the Treaty of Evacuation in all its parts, upon any complaints of the Queen's Subjects, of Interruptions of Commerce, or Depredations by the Vessels of Catalonia, Majorca, Sardinia, Naples, and other Places, to demand Restitution; and, in the case of Refusal, to make Reprisals. To repair with the Fleet before Barcelona, then besieged by the Enemy, and demand immediate Payment of the Value of the Queen's Stores in the Town, or a sufficient Security for Payment in some reasonable Time.   To take care to time his Arrival before the Town, according to the Advices from Lord Bingley, then designed to be sent to Spain; By the strongest Representations to induce the Regency of Barcelona to accept the Terms that shall be obtained for them.  To take all the necessary Measures pursuant to the Queen's Intentions to put an end to the Confusions that reign in those Parts; And all proper Methods of persuasion to induce the Inhabitants of Majorca to submit to the Terms that shall be offered them; and in case of Refusal, to employ his Squadron in countenancing and assisting all Attempts which may bne made for reducing them to a due Obedience.

   It may not be improper in this Place, to take Notice,

   1tly, That although the Queen had engaged herself, by the Treaty of Evacuation, to interpose her good Offices in the most effectual Manner, to obtain the Catalans their Liberties, yet instead thereof the most effectual Methods were used to the contrary; and Mr. prior acquainted Monsieur Torcy, that the Queen was assured the Catalans would submit upon the Terms being offered by the King of Spain, without so much as mentioning their ancient privileges any more (No 63.)

   2dly, That the French King who had put himself under the same Obligation as the Queen, by the said Treaty, after this account from. Mr. Prior, of the Queen's Sentiments, thought fit also not to ask for their Privileges; Mr. Torcy also alleging, that the King had little Interest with the Court of Spain.

   3dly, That Britain was under the same Engagements by that Treaty, to support the Privileges of Majorca, as those of Catalonia, at the Time Sir James Wishart had direct Orders to attack them.

   4thly, That when these rigorous Measures were forming against the Catalans, Lord Bloningbroke writes Word to Mr. Prior, That by what we observe in the Catalan Agent here, of whom we have never taken the least Notice as a public Man, it is pretty plain that a reasonable Accommodation might be made, as he expresses it, with that turbulent People. (No 64.)

   What was called Turbulency in the Catalans, may appear by their Answer to the Duke of Populi, the King of Spain's General, who summoned them to surrender. They told him that they would die rathert than be Slaves; but if their ancient Liberties were confirmed to them, they would open their Gates, and receive him with all Gladness.

   The House of Lords expressed their Concern in a public Manner for the Miseries of the Catalans; and by their Address to the Queen, the 3d of April, 1714, made it their most humble and earnest Request to her Majesty, that she would be pleased to continue her Interposition in the most pressing Manner, that the Catalans may have the full Enjoyment of their just and ancient Privileges continued to them.

   Her Majesty's Answer was, That at the Time she concluded her Peace with Spain, she resolved to use her Interposition upon every Occasion for obtaining those Liberties, and to prevent, if possible, the Misfortunes to which that People are exposed, by the Conduct of those more nearly concerned to help them.

   Hereupon, for Form's Sake, and to allay, the Indignation conceived against the Ministry by the People in general, who compassionated the Calamities of those who fought for Liberty, the Demand of the Catalan Privileges is again put down in Lord Bingley's Instructions, who was before ordered to go to Spain, but was never sent.

   So that the only Favour obtained from the ministry by this earnest Address of the house of Lords, in behalf of the Catalans, was an Intimation sent by Lord Bolingbroke to the Admiral, not to appear before Barcelona, nor to attach the Majorcans, till he should hear from Lord Bingley, and receive Directions from England.  And also a Letter from his Lordship to Mr. Grimaldo, above Two Months after the Address, though the Town was invested at the Time of making it; wherein he makes a kind and friendly Complaint, as he terms it, that the Catalan Privileges had not yet been

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granted them, nor any reasonable Terms offered, which they must either have accepted, or forfeited the Queen's Compassion, and that of the whole World.

   The Admiral also had his Scruples, whether his orders, couched in ambiguous Terms, would justify him attacking Barcelona. He therefore writes to Lord Bolingbroke and Lord Bingley upon it, and submits it to lord Bingley's Consideration, whether the Catalans might not refuse Conditions that may be most advantageous, if they find he is not to act by Force; and desires that his orders to act before Barcelona, either by Force or otherwise, may be very plain and clear, assuring him that he will most punctually obey those already given him, and such as he shall hereafter receive.

   When Sir James Wishart arrived at Cadiz, he gave the governor a List of the Ships under his Command for the Mediterranean Service, who sent it immediately to Madrid;  but though several Messages came from Court to the Governor during the Admiral's stay there, no one Compliment was made him, to signify his Arrival was welcome, or any Question asked about what Services he was to perform, which a little surprised hem; that as soon as they had an Account at Madrid, of his Arrival in these parts, and how far we are on our Way to the Mediterranean, yet the King would not seem to owe the Success of such Agreement to the Queen and her Ships, but to Franco only.

   But this negotiation of Mr. Orry failing of success, by the Catalans refusing to submit without having their Liberties granted to them, obliged the Court of Spain to take more Notice that otherwise they were inclined to do of the Admiral, who from Alicant writes to Lord Bingley, then expected at Madrid, that he had received a very civil letter from Mr. Grimaldo, who sent him the King's Order for exempting the Provisions of the Fleet from paying any Duty.  He tells him, that this Exemption was usually granted to the Admiral himself that commanded, but being a Trifle, he submits it to his Lordship's better Judgment, whether the granting him this, might not be a Means to prevent any Thing that might be intentded by the Court of Madrid more to his Advantage, and leaves it to his Lordships' Consideration what may be most for his Interest at that Place; and hopes by his Friendship to find some Marks of Favour from thence, in regard to his Expence in this Expedition, so much intended for their Service, and for which he has no Allowance from home but his Pay, with will not defray half his Charges. No (65.)


   After Barcelona had been invested a considerable Time by the Spaniards, and reduced to great Difficulties for want of Provisions, the French King, though engaged with the Queen, by the Treaty of Evacuation, to employ his good Offices in the most effectual Manner, in Favour of the Catalan Liberties, thought fit to sne hid Troops against them, commanded by Marshal Berwick, who opened the Trenches before Barcelona, the first of July O.S. 1714.  And on the Eighth of the same Month, Sir James Wishart, in the Queen's Name, writ them a threatening Letter, No (67.) directed to the Deputies, and others who possessed gthe Government there, telling them, that Complaints had been made of their disturbing the Commerce of the Queen's Subjects, and that they had insolently presumed to take, carry up, and plunder, their Ships, and used the Men in a barbarous Manner; he had therefore thought fit to send Captain Gordon with Two Men of War, to represent to them these unwarrantable and presumptuous Proceedings; and by the Queen's command demands immediate Satisfaction for the same, and the Punishment of the Officers of the Ships with the utmost Severity. If this be not punctually complied with, he leaves it to themselves to judge what the Consequences may be.

   The Deputies returned Answer, No (68.) that only one of those Vessels mentioned in Captain Gordon's Memorial, was taken by them into Barcelona, being laden with Salt, for which they pais the price immediately to the Captain of it; that being besieged, they thought they might do so with Justice, and by the

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Law of Nations; that they were far from living like Pirates, as their Enemies suggested in order to distress them, by preventing anyone's coming with provisions for their relief; that what English Vessels had entered their port wirth Provisions, had been well treated, and had freely sold their Merchandize, and at a higher Price than they would have got any where else; that they had paid them with their best Sort of Money, and to all their Satisfactions; that they had that Day published an Order, forbidding upon Pain of Death any of their Ships to molest any English, even though they were going with provision to the Enemy.

   They hope his Excellency will be satisfied with their Conduct, which is conformable to the Rights of People that are besieged; assuring him that when they shall know of any of their Ships, either with Commission, or without, that shall have caused the least Damage to any English, they will not only immediately inflict a rigorous Punishment, but repair all the Damage; desiring to live in the good Correspondence they have had with his noble and generous Nation, with the utmost Deference for theQueen, and ready to obey his Excellency's Orders with all Affection and Respect.

   The Government of Barcelona in their Extremity writ another Letter to the Admiral, dated July the 23d, No (69.) setting forth, That his Excellency very well knew that the Engagement Catalonia entered into to receive Charles the Third for their King, was founded on the Protection of the High Allies, but most particularly of England, without which they were not capable of undertaking so great an Enterprise.  That they had for Seven Years together endeavoured to serve the English Nation in everything it was possible for them to do, by contributing Troops and considerable Sums of Money without Interest.  And though they had pleased themselves with the Thoughts of the Happiness to be always Subjects of Charles III, yet by the ordinary Change to whiih human Affairs are liable, they now see the Troops of the Duke of Anjou, aided by the French, Masters of all the Principality except Barcelona and Cardona, committing through the whole the most execrable Hostilities, Burnings, and Plunderings, without sparing the Effusion of innocent Blood, and without Distinction of Age or Sex.

   That for a Year together the Enemies Army had oppressed Barcelona by Sea and Land, making them continually suffer the Calamities of so long a Blockade; during which Time the Enemies have thrown Fourteen thousand Bombs into the Town, which have ruined the greatest Part of the Houses; that now they expect to be attacked in Form; and that in Twenty-four Hours the Town will be battered in Breach. They cannot express their Affliction, to see the Danger of the Inhabitants exposed to be the Victims of that Cruelty with thich the Enemy threatens to treat them.  Having no Comfort left, they fly to the Queen of Great Britain, beseeching her protection by the inclosed Letter to Don Dalmases, their Envoy at London; and in the mean Time, till an Answer can come, they beseech his Excellency from their Souls to mediate with the French Troops who oppress them, for a Suspension of Arms, since the Congress at Baden, now fitting to conclude of a general Peace, may still determine this Affair;  they doubt not that his Mediation will be able to procure them this Relief, since his Squadron is superior to that of the enemy.  They see no other Remedy in Nature for their Misfortunes, and therefore hope his Excellency will not refuse them, that if Catalonia has merited any Thing by its Services, and by its Conjunction with the English Nation, this is the Time to receive the Fruits of it; that it is worthy of his Excellency to comfort the afflicted, and not to deny them this Favour in their great Necessity.

   How the Admiral was affected with this Letter may appear by One of his to Lord Bingley, dated August the 7th, No (70.) wherein his acquaints him, That Mr. Grimaldo had signified to him from the King of Spain, that all the King's Ships of War being employed before Barcelona, his Majesty could not send any of them to meet his Flota then coming home; and therefore desired the Admiral to send Three of his upon that Service, which was accordingly complied with. Of this he had acquainted Lord Bolingbroke, and hopes to meet with his Majesty's Approbation.

   The Catalans thus abandoned, and given up to their Enemies, contrary to Faith and Honour, were not however wanting to their own Defence, but appealing to Heaven, and hanging up at the High Altar the Queen's solemn Declaration to protect them, underwent the utmost Miseries of a Siege, during which, what Multitudes perished by Famine and the Sword! How many have since been executed! And how many Persons of Figure are full dispersed about the Spanish Dominions in Dungeons, is too well known to need any Relation.

   It is hoped however, that the Calamities of the Catalans will not be imputed to Great Britain in general, abused by the Ministry, with repeated Assurances, that every thing was doing for the preservation of that unfortunate People.


Appendix. p. 77

No 45.

Instructions to Mitford Crow, Esq. Given at Our Court at St. James's March 7th, 1705, in the Third Year of Our Reign ....

Appx. p. 78
No 46.

Mr. Crow's Commission to treat with the Catalans....

Appx. p. 78
No 47.

Mr. Crow's Credentials to the Catalans & c.


Appendix, p. 80
                                                              No 50.

Extract of Lord Lexington's Instruction when he went Ambassador to Spain. Dated at Windsor the 1st. Day of Sept. 1712.

[...] You are to represent to his Majesty, or his Ministers, that it is no less for his Interest than for our Honour, that a General Amnesty be granted without Exception to all Spaniards, who have adhered to the House of Austria, and in a particular Manner to the Catalans, with regard to their Persons, Estates, Dignities, and Priviledges. 

No 51.

Extract of the Demands made by Lord Lexington to the Court of Madrid, on the Part of the Queen of Great Britain, October 1712.

   Art. 11.  THE Queen of Great Britain prays his Majesty to grant a General Amnesty, without Exception, to all Spaniards, who have adhered to the House of Austria, and particuarly the Catalans, the Queen thinking it as necessary to the Interest of his Catholic Majesty, as for her Honour.

p. 81
 No 52.

Lord Dartmouth to the Marquis of Monteleone, Jan. 14th 1712/13.

   THE Queen having understood by the Duke of Shrewsbury's last Letters, that the Catholic King did not intend that the Amnesty be granted to the Catalans should extend to the Preservation of their Privileges; I cannot express to you, Sir, how much Surprise her Majesty showed upon it; foir to speak plainly to you, 'twas never thought his Catholic Majesty designed to take away the Lives of the Inhabitants of a whole Province, so there was no Occasion to provide for itby a Treaty.  The sole Thing then intended in stipulating a General Amnesty, could be no other, than that this Province should be permitted to enjoy the same Privileges, and be upon the same Foot in every respect, as it was at the Death of the late King of Spain, Charles the IId.  The Queen, Sir, has ordered me to represent this to your Excellency, in a most earnest Manner, as a Matter in which her Majesty's Honour is very much concerned;  That she looks upon it as an Article already stipulated in all its Forms, and which she thinks herself obliged by Motives of Conscience not to depart from.

No 53.

Translation of Lord Lexington's Letter to Mr. Orry, Aug. 16th, 1713.

I SET out tomorrow for nth Escurial, to enjoy the only Moment of Leisure I have had since my arrival at Madrid. I beg I may have an Answer to my last Memorial touching St. Sacrament, at my Return, to send it away by the next Post: Also I intreat you, Sir, to consider well your own Interest, if you will not do it in Regard to the Instances of the Queen my Mistress; your Suspension of Arms on that Side, which ends in less that two Months; the Necessity you are under to withdraw your troops from Andalousia, to put an End to the Rebellion of the Catalans; and if it would not for these Reasons be very much for your Convenience, to make peace with Portugal in the present Conjuncture. I ask you a Thousand Pardons for concerning myself in your Affairs. 

No 54.

Extract of the King of Spain's Answer to my Lord Lexington's Memorial, the 15th of Dec. 1712.

   AS to the Amnesty which is proposed and desired in the Sixth point for the Catalans, though his Majesty might refuse it, as well on account of the little those People have deserved from him, as of the Condition to which they are now reduced in the little Ground they are possessed of in that Principality, being without the Assistance fo her Majesty of Great Britain's Troops, and those of Portugal, which are withdrawn, and his Majesty's Troops, and those of the King his Grandfather, being ready to enter, in this very Month of December, by three several Ways into their Country; notwithstanding all these Reasons, his Majesty, more out of Complaisance to her British Majesty, and to give her Satisfaction, than for any of the Arguments that have been offered, is willing to grant his Pardon to all the Catalans, who acknowledging the King's Clemency, and repenting them of their Error, shall submit to his Dominion and Vassalage, within the Time that shall be prefixed for that Purpose.

p. 82
No 55.

Extract of the Convention for evacuating Catalonia, & c., March 14th, 1713.

Art. 1   ALL the Troops of the Emperor and of the Allies shall be sent away out of the principality of Catalonia, and the Islands of Majorca and Ivica.
     8.   Moreover a General Amnesty and a perpetual Oblivion, & c. shall be granted, and shall be published immediately, in due Form, from the Time that the Evacuation begins for all the Subjects and Inhabitants of Catalonia, and of the said Islands, as well secular and ecclesiastical. 
      9. But whereas the Plenipotentiaries of his Imperial Majesty, have still insisted upon the Enjoyment of the Privileges of the Catalans, and of the Subjects and Inhabitants of Majorca and Ivica, before the Evacuation, but on the part of France, and of her Allies, whatever relates to this Affair, is referred to the Conclusion of the future peace, her Royal Majesty of Great Britain, has again declared, that she will interpose her good Offices in the most effectual Manner, whenever there shall be Occasion, for the future, the Inhabitants of Catalonia, Majorca, and Ivica, may enjoy their Privileges, in which the said Imperial Plenipotentiary Ministers did at least aquiesce, since the Most Christian King himself had ordered it to be declared by his Plenipotentiary Ministers that he would also join his Endeavours for that Purpose.

No 56.

Extract of a Letter from Lord Lexington to the Lord Dartmouth, August 7th, 1713.

MONSIEUR Orry spoke to me from the King last Week, saying that his Majesty desired, that the Queen would be pleased to lend him Six or more Ships to block up Barcelona; and this Morning the Princess pressed me extremely upon the same subject: I answered to both, that I could say nothing to it, but that I was afraid it would meet with this Difficulty, that her Majesty would be very unwilling to lend her Ships to exterminate a People that had taken up Arms in a great Measure at the Instigation of her Ministers; and that she would think she had done enough to gratify the King of Spain, in not insisting upon the preserving for them their ancient Liberties, without helping to destroy them; and that if his Majesty could have been prevailed upon to have been less rigid upon that Head, all this had been avoided, and the Catalans perhaps in a great Tranquillity, and as obedient Subjects as any in Spain at this Day.

No 57.

Translation of the Lord Lexington's Letter to the Deputies of Barcelona, November 28th, 1713.


   I WISH I could have seen, before my Departure for England, the Desires of the Queen my Mistress accomplished; but it is so long since I have received her Majesty's Orders to return, that I cannot defer the same any longer, and I set out this Day from Madrid, in order to go and embark at Lisbon, where one of our Men of War stays for me, so that the best I thought I could do for you, was to employ the last Moments of my Stay, in supplicating a-new the King your Master, to receive your Obedience in the Words of the Treaty of Utrecht, and to pardon your Refusal of the Amnesty which was offered you by his Catholic Majesty. I charge the Consul at Alicant to convey this Letter to you, under any pretext whatsoever, that it may induce you, for your own Good, to take the Resolution of having Recourse to the King's Clemency. There are advices here which assure us, that you have applied to the Queen my Mistress, for using her good Offices with the Catholic King, for obtaining this Favour in your Behalf; relying upon those Advices, I venture writing to you upon this Subject, having always been desirous to contribute to every Thing most favourable that might be demanded for you at this Juncture, which is such, that I must repeat to you, I cannot give you a better Advice, than that of accepting the Amnesty in the Manner it was offered you, since God has not permitted that any Thing more could be obtained in your favour. I leave my Secretary at Madrid, to whom the Consul will transmit your Answer, which may come to my Hands at Lisbon, before I embark; in case you take my Resolutions without any Delay, and soon enough for that Purpose, I could write from thence in such a Manner as you should desire, having always been full of good Will for you, and ready to lay hold of all Opportunities of shewing you how much I am, & c. 


See also extracts from 

The History of England. Rev. N. Tindal. 1745. http://estudiscatalans.blogspot.com/2016/09/england.html   

The History of Spain. References to 1714. F. Thurtle. 1890.

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