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nourable captain was described as the owneriand captain of the ship Etrusco; aand they were to come in with him share and share alike. The honourable captain then sail ed for Ostend, and in the cove of Gork was taken by his majesty's ship the Diamondonla the papers it was stated the Etrusco had been visited three times in this manneris first by a privateer, then by the Diamond, and lastly by the Brilliant: A gentleman who was lieutenant of the Diaz mond at the time was ready to depose on oath, that there was a prize master on board the Etrusco, and ibət she had esenped being capturech at that time solely owing to the declaration of the honourable, captain, that he was owner Ootno part of the ship or cargo (hear). But as the war 1 had bg this time broke out with Frances fresh papers were procured, leaving out the name of one of these parties, which might sender thei wessel less liable to capture on this accouat i and there was an allidavit among the documends on the table statings that this was with the privity and consentdof the honourable captain. From Cuxhaven the vessel sailed for Ostend ; and when of Dungeness, the transaction drappõned much he had before called smuggling, and he was not now disposed to retract that denomination Ma Lushington here ad verted to the exis dence of Gibert Bricegithe then frate of the Etrusca, now an officer in the navy, ayd of others, proving the facts that the honourable captain had gone ashore that five boats had come alongside the ships and that somes cliests of tca and rhubarb, with7sundty other goods had beeg, taken from the cargo, and sent away in these beats at 12 piclock at night, by the order of sir Heine Poplam. If this was not sufficient, he had the pages of fivefor six persons who had h assisted the honourable, captain in this piece of sinugOgling, and would produce them if required. The Etrusco was afterwards captured by the Brilliant frigate at Ostend, and brought to the river-Thames. A suit was commenced in the acliniralty court. The hoviearably captain objected at first to the capture as being
made its Ostend roads. This, bihowever, would not dg. Avariety of claims were then bipreferred; and, among the restopne by the honourable cap. jain for tlue whole of the property, by a most extraordia Bary atlidayity to which he would presently advert; remarking only in the first place, that the honourable captain had not appeared to be examined, as was usual in such 9093 Vol.111.-1808. 2N
cases, thóigh a compulsory process had issued for that puf pose! In this affidavit; filed in 1796 or 1797, the honourable captain described himself as formerly of Ostend, merchant, now an officer in the way! He admitted that
he had gone to the Dast Indies to trade, though his leave had been obtained expressly with a view to disresiding at the Danish settlement of Fredericknagore. The honour-able captain further stated, that he had been in terms of inMimady with lord Cornwallis, vandi the honourable Charles Stuari, who acted as governor of the absence of dord Cornwallis, that he dined with them, and that they knew of his trading. In addition to this he stated that inone 1of the enemies of Great Britain had any right of title to any part of the ship or cargo, and not agent or factor of the French had any concern with the property ; and yet it swould be recollected, that in the agreement at Canton, it - was provided that the supercargo of the French East India
company was 16' come in with the honourable captain share and share alike! He asked then, how it was pos
sible to say with truth, that no French agent or factor bad barly share in the concern in 1797 the vessel was con
deinned as prize to the king, after which there was an ap- peal to the privy council. Several memorials were then "given in, and, among the test, one by sir Hone Popham,
stating that the vessel had been condemned on account of the illegality of the traffie, that he was not aware at s the time that he had been Violating the law, and that the
hoped be should not be deprived of his property on ac. count of a trade which he was carrying on "unadvisedly. * Mr Lushington hete read ex træets from letters of sir Home
Popham, written at the time, to prove that the bonourable captain must have known that the trade was illegal; and in one of the letters, sir flome begged of the person to whom he was writing, not to be offended at bis proposing to him an illicit comincrce. Mrt bushington proceeded to vindicate ford Cornwallis, and said that it was extremely improper in the honourable captain to defend himself by aspersing the memory of so worthy a toblerpan, who could
hot now answer for himself. If lord Cornwallis and -7 Mr. Stuart connived at the trade, where was the use of the
strange colours, and the other stratagems to which the bosonourable captain had been obliged to have recourse ?
Fortunately, however, the honourable Charles Stuart was alive; and he (Mr. Lushington), on hearing of the defence
that was to be made, wrote to him, The answsr was, that Mr. Stuart hoped that sir Home Popham and his friends liad some better defence, than the turning of his civility to a stranger into a connivance at illicit traffic ; that he then knew lieutenant Popham only as a naval offi. cer, but he could not boast of any great intimacy between them; that he knew nothing of his commercial concerus, and that he could not suppose that sir Home and his friends would rest their defence On so base an insinuation against him. The house would judge from this of the accusation against lord Cornwallis! The honourable gentleman then dwelt upon the hardship of the situation of admiral Robinson, who conld not even get his expences, while the honourable captain had obtained so large a sum, and when another of the partners had a share restored to him. Ad. miral Robinson had carried on this suit with the advice of the ablest coussellors, with two precedents in his fa: your, and with every motive to persevere. He was a most meritorious officer ; had been in the service forty years ; his father had been in the service till seventy, and had lost a limb in it at the age of sixty. He thought that an officer of this kind had as good a claim as one carrying on an illegal traffic unadvisedly, and much more than an officer who'car. ried on a trade which he must have know to be illicit. He did not, however, mean to charge this strongly against the persons who made the grant, because they might bave probably acted from misconception. The honourable gen ileman proceeded to state some instances in which the captors had been rewarded, where the claims were not nearly 80 strong as that of admiral Robinson, as in the case of the Russian frigate captured at Portsmouth, &c. He also mentioned, that admiral Robinson had refused a bribe of 40,0001, (or 4,0001., we are not quite certain which), at Ostend, for releasing the ship. If the honourable captain doubted that, admiral Robinson was in town, and would prove it at the bar. Much evil consequence, he contended, would result from this mode of treating naval officers, and from permitting illicit trade. The East India company, he mentioned, had expressed a strong di position to prosecute in this affair if they had proofs ; and upon being furnished with the papers by admiral Ro. binson, they did not wish to interfere, as it was not certain whether the vessel would be condemned. He con. flyded by observing, that this transaction had begun in
fraud, continued in deceit, and ended in an imposition vpon ministers. He was sorry'to have such heavy charges to make against any member of the house, and deeply regretted that he was obliged to word his resolution so strongly against a nayal officer. He then moved the fol, lowing resolutions :
That it appears to the house, that by the decree of the lords commissioners of appeal for prizes, dated the 11th of August, 1803, the ship Etrusco, with such part of her cargo as was claimed by H. R. Popham, Esq. now sir. Home Popham, was condemned as good and lawful prize to the king:
That by a warrant of trcasury, dated the 11th of September, 1805, a third of the proceeds of the ship Etrusco, amounting to 29,555l. subject to certain reductions not exceeding 6001., was granted to sir Home Popham, who had been detected in the prosecution of illicit trade, and who had absconded from justice.
That this was a gross misapplication of public money, contrary to all custom and precedent, as departing from the usage by which those proceeds had been hitherto granted to the captors ; that it was contrary to the laws of the country, as granted to one who had failed in his duty as a British subject, and had disgraced the character of a British officer ; that it operated as a discouragement to the naval service; and that it was an incitement to act in opposition to the laws of the land, by holding out the ex. ample of a reward bestowed on those who had violated those laws.
Sir Home Popham. Before I reply to the various charges brought forward against me by the honourable gentleman, I trust that the house will indulge me with a patỉent bearing, while I offer a few preliminary observa, tions, which are the more necessary to the yindication of my character, as they relate to circumstances immediately arising from the original question, or brought forward in this house since its first discussion. I wish not to detain the house by frivolous and irrelevant matter, but to oppose facts to calumny, and to combat prejudices and falsehoods with no other weapons than truth and plain dealing. The persecution which has been exercised against me for several years past must be strong in the recollection of every member of this house; but of all the exertions which have been used on former occasions to traduce me, and to reneler
me odious to the country, none have been equal to those exercised on the present occasion.'4. No pains have been spared, no means scrupled at, to lower and vilify my cha: racter : the poisoned arrows of my enemies have been aimed at me both as a public man and a private indi: vidual; they bave raked into every part of my life to find ont some personal weakness, in order to use it as a calumny against me; the follies of my youth, and any attendant foibles, have been held out to the public as theanost enormous crimes; all the private transactions of my life liave been gone into ;. and such an effect has it liad, that unless I yield in all cases to what I consider an imposition, # threat of impeachment is held out against me, and this by the house entertaining discussions on private transactions, Having, sir, mentioned the unprecedented pains tbat have been taken to hunt me down, I cannot help observing, that before another court of honour the accused, in the preamble of his defence, very higbly complimented the editors of the newspapers for the strict silence they had observed from the moment of its being publicly knowir that the officer alluded to was to be tried; whereas the iné stant the honourable gentleinan opened his masked battery, upon me, the literary assailants began in every way to take me in flank and rear, with a view of raising ihe whole country against me. Sir, I will take the liberty of read: ing one paragraph which accuses me of being a traitor to my country, and carrying gunpowder, tu the enemy; which is the bighest crime in the mind of a British pub. lic. I am sorry that lowering me in the public esteem should be an object of such higli importance, that such unworthy means are resorted to against me. I did think the liberal constitution of this country considered every person arraigned for an offence, as under the protection of the court before which he was arraigned; and above all do I still think, that, in my peculiar situation, I am under the protection of the dignity of this house. Good God, sir ! is it possible that one of its members could have been guilty of carrying arms and ammunition to the enemies of bis country: Such a person surely ought to be tied to a stake in Palace-yard. With the house, however, it will rest to say, what ought to be the fate of any man who falsely and flagitiously brings such a charge agaiost one of its members. " I do think the documents on your table will satisfy the bouşe that I any little calculated to carry into effect