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Address of the Gentlemen



Address of the Gentlemen, principal Manufacturers, and Inhabitants of the Town of Nottingham, presented by Lord Howe and Lord Edward Bentinck.

The humble Address of the Gentlemen, principal Manufacturers, and Inhabitants of the Town of NOTTINGHAM.

To the King' s Most Excellent Majesty:

We, the Gentlemen, principal Manufacturers, and Inhabitants of the Town of Nottingham, beg leave, at this interesting period, to approach your royal presence in the character of your most loyal and affectionate subjects, whose attachment to the illustrious house of Hanover, and the Constitution of the British Empire, has been received by us as the sacred injunction of our parents, has been inviolably preserved, will be carried with us to our graves, and transmitted to our posterity. Devoted to these interests, we rejoice in every opportunity which invites a declaration of our principles; we would not yield in these noble sentiments to any subjects of your Majesty' s Government, but, like them, be prepared with life and fortune to maintain the true dignity of your Majesty' s crown, the just, the useful, and practicable rights of the British Legislature.

Inspired with these sentiments, we have no fear, Sire, in conveying to the throne the sense we have of the present situation of our Country, and of those steps which alone remain to rescue it from that impending danger into which it is plunged. We presume not to question the good intention of those who approach your Majesty with a different language; but, convinced that the measures which they recommend lead to irrecoverable ruin, it would ill become us to sit silent spectators in such an hour of danger; in an hour on whose resolves the fate of Britain hangs.

However just the claims of the British Parliament, however constitutional its sovereignty over every member of its extended Empire, the situation of America we apprehend to be such as renders it imprudent, and of no advantage to the common welfare, (the great end of sovereignty,) to enforce all these claims. No benefit can be greater than what results from the union of affections, of commerce, and of interests, with such distant Provinces. We lament the interruption of this union, and trust that, in the return to it, your Majesty will find the true policy of your Government, the best happiness of your Kingdoms.

In this great national question, Sire, we decline the mention of our particular interests, (the manufacturers of this late flourishing Town and neighbourhood,) which are deeply affected by the unhappy differences with your American Provinces, and will, we more than fear, be attended with irreparable injury to the merchant and artisan; but we earnestly wish to obviate the conclusions which may be drawn from the present state of trade throughout the Kingdom at large, as if it stood in no need of the tribute which our American settlements have hitherto paid to it. To accidental and temporary causes — the peace of Poland, Russia, and Turkey, and the expected departure of the Spanish flota — its very fortunate support at this hour is owing.

This extraordinary flow must soon subside to its natural level, when the vacancy, which America has been accustomed to fill, will be dreadfully felt throughout the whole British trade; but the wisdom and providence of your Majesty will look forward to that period when the policy of other nations shall have possessed them of the manufactures which they at present demand of Britain; when the general decline of our European trade shall leave us no other resource, for supporting our rank in Europe, than a friendly and commercial interest in our American Colonies, which may know no limits to their increase from the parent which protects and smiles upon them. From this approaching fate save us, Sire, while safety may yet be found. The event of continual war may be dreadful, and repentance unavailing though universal. Victory cannot avert the mischief which it threatens, but returning peace carries no terrours with it; it promises every blessing which


can secure to ages the glory of your Majesty' s house, the prosperity and happiness of your envied Country.

Receive, most gracious Sovereign, our humble request as the tribute of true loyalty: dissipate the tears of your afflicted people. In your Majesty' s goodness, stay the hand of war, and recall into the bosom of peace and grateful subjection your American subjects, by a restoration of those measures which long experience has shown to be productive of the greatest advantages to this late united and flourishing Empire.