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that occasion : on the contrary, his commander. But let the conrt par. majesty did every houour to his enter- ticularly look at the letter recently prizing mind.
published from thatillustrious officer, In the American war, ia 17-, lord Nelson, to sir Simon Taylor, of sir Peter Parker, I believe, and ge. Jamaica, relative to his discretion neral Dalling, the then naval and in going from the Mediterranean to military commanders at Jamaica, the West Indies. concerted an expedition against the These precedents, sir, will clearly Spanish settlement of Omoah, which prove the existence and toleration of was to a certain degree successful. that discretionary power on which I No blame, I understand, was attach. have acted. ed to either of those officers, for ha. I have said, sir, that when the ving directed this attack without admiralty learnt by ny letter of the orders.
9th of April, that I had sailed with At the beginning of the late war, the squadron under my orders for in 1793, lord Hood entered Toulon, the Rio de la Piata, that board did and afterwards attacked Corsica, not at first apparently disapprove of without orders, and, I believe, against my conduct; and I think I am borne the opinion of the general, who out in this conclusion by the tenor would not co-operate with him. of Mr. Marsden's letter, acknowYet that admiral was not brought ledging mine of the date last men. before a court-martial for having tioned. The letter in question is so acted; nor was it ever known that dated August 6, and is in the folhis conduct was censured.
lowing terms : In 1796, lord St. Vincent (then 65 Sir; I have received and com. sir John Jervis) sent the heroic municated to my lords commission, lord Nelson to attack Teneriffe, in ers of the admiralty your letter of consequence of information which he the 8th of April last, informning received, that two ships had loaded them of your intended proceedings their treasure there.
with the squadron under your orders. is acquainted with the issue of that
&c. expedition, which lost to the coun
on WM. MARSDEN." try so many brave men, on
Now, sir, on comparing the precount of which, notwithstanding the ceding letter with a letter from Mr. disastrous result of this intended Marsden, dated the 1st of March, coup-de-main, which was incontes- 1806, in answer to one from me, con: tably undertaken without orders veying a piece of intelligence, which from any superior authority, it is I cannot but suppose must have been certain that no public inquiry was gratifying, the two letters will prove ever instituted against lord St. Vin to be written exactly in the same cent; although, if an opinion were style. The letter of the 1st of March to be formed from the event only, is as follows:withont consideriog the motives of " Sir; I have received and laid the enterprise, there would perhaps before my lords commissioners of the appear sufficient ground on which admiralty your letter of the 13th of an accusation might have been ex« January last, with the several papers pected and supported against that therein referred to, relative to the
capitulation of the town and cape of Lord Melville sworn and examined Good Hope.
by sir Home Popham, "I am, sir, yours, &c.
Q. Will your lordship have the 66 Wm. MARSNEN." goodness to relato to the court all the The conclusion which I think circumstances in your recollection, every unprejudiced man would draw respecting the communications | from the perusal of these two let held with Mr. Pitt and your lordtets is, that if the admiralty-board ship, collectively and individually, did not judge proper to express to respecting the expedition to South me any approbation, not merely of America ? my own conduct, as commander of A. Some time after I came to the the naval force employed in the re. head of the board of admiralty, I, duction of the Cape, but of that of had occasion to learn, that the ada the officers and seamen who contri. ministration preceding that of buted to this conquest, still the which I formed a part, held com. board could pot well be displeased munications :with general Miranda, with it; and that by their secretary respecting some project he enterhaving left me also in the dark, or tained relative to South America. rather to my own conjectures, in I did not immediately give much athis reply to my Jetter acquainting tention to that subject, because, not him of my having sailed with my being then at war with Spain, I did squadron to the Rio de la Plata, it not think that consistently with that was equally presumable that the consideration, this country could board did not then disapprove of my take any active part in the business. having proceeded on that expedition In the progress of the summer of
-that is, by the tone and character the year 1804, and particularly toof the two letters, they looked up wards the autumn of that year, 1 „on the capture of the Cape, and the had little doubt, from the official siarrangement for the squadron's sail. tuation i held at the head of the ad. ing to Rio de la Plata, precisely in miralty, and from communications the same point of view, or that one with the heads of other public dewas as likely to meet their approba- partments, that such a war would dion, or to prove advantageous to soon take place. I therefore thought the country, as the other.
it my duty, through sir Evan NeSir Homc Popham having conclu- pean and others, who I had reason ded his defence, which lasted above to think were acquainted with what four hours, the deputy judge-advo- passed under the former adminiscate, proceeded to call over the 'tration, to inform myself more names of the witnesses who were minutely relatively to the views summoned to appear at the court- of general Miranda. I likewise had martial, to give their testimony more than one confidential comas to their knowledge of the trans-munication with general Miranda actions and orders, &c. given to sir himself; and the result of my opiHome Popham.
nion was, that, although it might The witnesses, having answered to not be wise or expedient, or pertheir names, were directed to with haps within the means of this draw, and wait until their respective country at that time, to commit evidence were called for.
themselves to the full extent, it
was of the utmost consequence to conversations held with Mr. Pitt, this country so far to watch the pro. from day to day, on this subject; gress of his operativns as to make and those communications continuuse of them, if they couid be made ed during the period I remained subservient to the purpose of open- at the head of the admiralty. I ing the ports cf South America to ceased to be in that situation im. the trade and manufactures of this mediately after the 8th of April, country; and upon that principle, 1805. I had many interviews as well as upon every other public with Mr. Pitt after that period, subject, I had almost daily commu- indeed during the whole remainnications, both in town and at Wim- ing period of his life, till our final bledon, with Mr. Pitt, then at the separation in the beginning of the head of the government. The sub- year 1806 : from that time I ject was more familiar to my consi. ceased to be his colleague in office, deration, because for many years and I made it an invariable rule to past, particularly in 1796, I had oc- avoid all conversation with him upon casion to consider it very maturely subjects of a public nature ; so that in concert with the then board of from my own knowledge, I can admiralty. I was at that time secre- speak to nothing after the 8th April tary of state for the wardepartinent. 1805, but the last time I saw Mr. In consequence of the conversations Pitt was in 1806. I had with Mr. Pitt, as already men. Q. Does your lordship recollect tioned, about the month of October directing me to attend Mr. Pitt, at or November, and in consequence of Wimbledon, when we discussed all the war with Spain, from the cap- Miranda's views ? and when there ture of four Spanish frigates, 1 dc was no person present but yourself sired sir Home Popham to attend and him ? me, in order that he might be at A. I recollect such a circumstance hand to attend Mr. Pitt and myself and interview, but cannot charge at any time we had occasion to con my memory with the precise sult him; and I think about the month. same time, the ship Diadem being va Q. Was it on the night of the day cant, I wrote a letter to sir Home, that Mr. Pitt went to Weymouth to dated Wimbledon, 1st of Nov. 1804, the king ? stating that gen. Miranda not being A. It was very likely to be on more urgent with him than with me, that night, as he went from my as he thought we were at war with house. Spain, to commence an attack on Q. Does your lordship recollect, Spanish America, and not knowing after conversing with Nir. Pitt on any thing more convenient than that subject, as to the readiest way to place sir Home on-board the for forwarding all the vicws of geDiadem, the letter directed trim, if neral Miranda, Mr. Pitt's directing the weather was fair, to come up. me to draw up, in concert with him, This letter was not signed 'by the a memoir, explaining all the views of official secretary, but sent by myself. general Miranda, from time to time Sir Home Popham came in conse. communicated to me, and deliver. quence; I had many communica- ing it, through myself, or by him, tions with him, in consequence of the to Mr. Pitt?
A. I recollect perfectly well re. so far advanced, that the part in ceiving such a memorial, and being which I was particularly to be emvery glad to know the full extent of ployed was io restriçi me to the general Miranda's views; but cer. particular object of ihe Cape, or to tuinly avoided to commit myself, allow me a discretion of prosecuor the British government, beyond ting other objects, with a view to the object I have already sated re open the markets of South Ameri. lative to South America; upon which ca? subject I had certainly entertained A. Undoubtedly the South-Amea most anxious wish at that time, and rican market was the great object; almost from that time until I was called but I cannot speak to any farther to take the public concerns under details at so early a period of the my more immediate consideration ; business. The business was not so and that anxiety certainly never di. far advanced as to be the sub. miuished, but much increased, in ject of detailed instructions, which consequence of all the events which might have fixed the particulars for some years past had taken more firmly in my niemory. It oc. place in the East Indies, the West curs to me, at this moment, as not Indies, and, above all, on the con- improbable, that the coast of South tinent of Europe.
America, in the neighbourhood of Q. In consequence of your lord. Trividad, was at one time looked ship’s great pressure of Uusmess, it upon as a probable scene for opera. is possible you may not recollect all tions. the circumstances relative to this Q. On hearing of the capture of object 30 well as myself, who had Buenos Ayres, did your lordship connothing else to think of; but you sider it as an object materially admay recollect employing me to drav sancing thegreat object Mr. Pitt and up such a meipoir ?
you had in view with rospect 10 A. I certainly did employ you to South America ? draw up such a memoir, and I Mr. Jarvis objected to this ques. thought I expressed myself so be- tion; but the court considered it a fore.
mere question of opinion, and over. Q. Does your lordship, when ruled the objection. you did me the honour to appoint Sir Home Popham said, that by me to the Diadem, recollect that it the question he only meant to prove was for prosecuting some of the the opinion of the cabinet as to their plans mentioned in the said memoir? original plan of attacking South
A. When sir Home Popham was America, and their design to follow appointed to the Diadem, the ob. up that intention. ject then immediately in view was Mr. Jarvis answered, that it was to co-operate, either with or with quite sufficient for him that the court out Miranda, in such objects as, objected to his objection, to induce mentioned in the memoir, might be bim to relinquish it. thought conducive to the interests A. No doubt the capture of Bue. of Britain.
nos Ayres was highly beneficial to the Q. Does your lordship recollect object we had in view ; but I am hy so far as to bring under your con no means sure if I may not have ta. templation, whether the season was ken that impression from the cir.
But I may
sumstance of Buenos Ayres having admissible; and it is the business of been one of the specific objects in sir Home Popham to shew, that offi. view when the armament was in cers had generally exercised a dis-' contemplation in the year 1798 ; I cretionary power. remember there was an armament Lord Melville.-l really would then in contemplation, which was to state the affair fully, but I am exgo round Cape Horó, and take Bu. tremely embarrassed upon the sub. enos Ayres in its way.
ject, lest I may be led to discluse Q. Does your lordship recollect confidential matter which should my having been confidentially em. not be made public. But I ployed, both in the late and present give a general answer; that I know, war, by different members of the sir Home Popham has been employ. cabinet ?
ed confidentially, and has received A. I certainly know sir Home the full approbation of govern. Popham was employed confidential, ment. ly by the different members of the Admiral Stanhope.--He may, I cabinet which he alludes to. think, answer this question, in or.
Q. Is it in your lordship's con. der to shew, that sir Home Popham templation, that, in the execution was, upon other occasions, permit. of those instructions, circumstances · ted to exercise discretionary pow. arose which were not provided for ers. in my instructions, nor indeed could Cross-examined by Mr. Jarvis. they be; and that, under these cir. Q. Was sir H. Popham appoint. cumstances, I exercised any very ed by your lordship to the Diadem large diseretion to obtain the great with a view to carry offensive ope. object for which I was so employ. rations against Spanish South Ame. ed; I particularly allude to one of rica, and what part of it in parti. my missions to the court of St. Pe- cular ? tersburgh.
A. I believe sir H: Popham was Mr. Jarvis objected to the ques. appointed to that ship with a view tion, upon the ground, that the of co-operating with general Mi. prisoner sought to infer that, be. randa, to the extent of taking ad. cause he had, upon other occasions, vantage of any of his proceedings, exercisca ao enlarged discretion, he which would lead to the acquiring, was therefore warranted to do so on on the continent of South America, this occasion.
a trade favourable to this country ; Sir Home Popham.--I used it to but I do not recollect any precise shew that I was meeting the object place having been appointed. of the government by whom I was Q. Was sir Home Popham ap$0 employed, and as a justification pointed by your lordship to any for my deviating from my original command authorizing him to attack instructions.
any part of South America ? The court.--You have no occa. A. Certainly not, in the proper sion to trouble yourself as to having sense of the word, before excrcised an enlarged discre Q. Is there any note, or official tion; you had no reasonable right document, on the records of the ad. to presume, that the exercise of a miralty, in your lordship's recollec. large discretion, in this case, was tion, stating the object for which sir Vol. XLIX.