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ADDISON'S MEMORIAL TO GEORGE I.1
Written probably about June or July, 1715.
THAT your Memorialist was sent from the University by K. William, in order to travel and qualify himself to serve H. M., by which means he was diverted from making his Fortune in any other way.
That the King allowed him an annual Pension for this end, but H. M. dying in the first year of this his allowance, and the Pension being discontinued, your Memorialist pursued his travels upon his own Expense for above three years.
That upon his Return to England, after having published an Account of his Travels, the Lord Godolphin recommended him to be Under Secretary to Her Majesty's principal Secretary of State, which Place he enjoyed under Sir C. Hedges and the Earl of Sunderland.
That my Lord H(alifax), upon going to Hanover, desired him to accompany him thither; at which time, though he had not the Title of his Secretary, he officiated as such without any other Reward than the Satisfaction of showing his zeal for that illustrious Family.
That upon his Return to England he took all occasions, both by his writings and conversation, to promote the cause which, God be thanked, has so wonderfully prevailed, and to publish those Royal virtues which the nation sees at present in your Majesty.
That your Memorialist was afterwards Secretary to the Earl of W (harton) in the Government of Ireland, and endeavoured to behave himself with that Diligence and Integrity that he has gained the friendship of all the most considerable Persons in that kingdom.
1 This curious Memorial, which is said to be in Addison's own hand-writing, was first published by Miss Aikin from a much worn and somewhat mutilated copy in the possession of Mr. Tickell. It has since been reprinted in Mr. Cunningham's edition of Johnson's Lives of the Poets. If ever presented, the duplicate of it ought to be found in one of the public depositaries, but we have searched for it in vain.
That when Baron Groet was your Majesty's Minister in these Kingdoms, your Memorialist was employed to meet and discourse with him upon such Points as might be thought conducive to the Interest of the Protestant Succession, the said Baron Groet having proposed to my Lord H(alifax) this method (as) the means to avoid giving any umbrage to *
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That at this time your Memorialist was employed to draw a new Credential Letter from that Excellent Princess, the late Electress Dowager of Brunswick, with other Instruments of the same nature, for which he thought himself amply satisfied by the Pleasure he took in doing anything which might promote your Majesty's Cause.
That, upon the Queen's Demise, without any previous Solicitation, your Memorialist was, in that critical conjuncture, appointed Secretary to the Regency.
That during this very troublesome office, he was ordered by the then Lords Regent to draw up a Preamble to the Prince of Wales' Patent,' for which there was no gratuity allowed him.
That he received no fee, salary, reward, or perquisite whatsoever for this his service to the Regency, notwithstanding he was at a considerable charge in keeping clerks, and other expenses that accompanied his attendance in that office, and notwithstanding the incredible fatigue of that office very much impaired his health, and would have endangered his life, had he continued much longer in it.
That the Lords of the Regency, upon the determining this office, declared unanimously that they were highly satisfied with the diligence and fidelity of their Secretary, and that upon their first attendance on your Majesty they would with one voice recommend him to your royal favour, for a mark of your Majesty's bounty.
That the Memorialist's profits as Secretary under my Lord Sunderland have fallen very much short of what might have been expected from that office, and (contrary to the profits of other the like offices in this first happy year2 of your Majesty's reign) have amounted to no more than they usually are in
1 Printed at our page 420.
2 The first regnal year of George I. ended in August, 1715; this Memorial would therefore be somewhat earlier.
any common year, by reason of his Lordship's absence from that kingdom, and his not being qualified to give out military commissions.
That your Memorialist has not thought fit to mention the expenses he was at to get himself elected into the three last sessions of parliament in the last reign, and can appeal to those who were witnesses of his behaviour, that he never departed from those who were well-wishers to your Majesty's interest, though often pressed and tempted to it by the opposite party. Nor will your Memorialist's modesty permit him to insist upon his endeavours, which were not thought unsuccessful, in securing such a spirit among the people as disposed them to favour the interest of a prince who is so justly esteemed a friend to the liberties of Europe and a **** of mankind.
It is therefore an unspeakable mortification to your Memorialist to find himself thrown out of place, and for that reason to be regarded as one who has forfeited your Majesty's favour, and I humbly beg that Y. M. * *
The amount of the Pension referred to in the second paragraph of this Memorial, has, by some of Addison's biographers, been stated at £300 a year, but no official record of it is now to be found. In searching for it, however, we have discovered a grant by K. William to Addison of £200, dated June 1, 1699, which is about the very time that Addison set out on his travels. This grant is evidently not intended to be a Pension, being described as a "free gift and royal bounty, payable out of any treasure or revenue remaining in our Exchequer, applicable to the uses of the Civil Government." It is signed, Montague, Tankerville, Fox, Smith, Boyle.
(In respect to the office of Keeper of the Irish Records.) Endorsed, "Grant of office of Keeper of the Birmingham Tower Records for life, at £500 a year."
Right trusty and right entirely beloved, and right trusty and right well-beloved Cousins and Councillors, we greet you well.
Whereas our trusty and well-beloved Joseph Addison, Esq., Keeper of our Records in our Tower of Birmingham in our kingdom of Ireland, hath most humbly represented1 unto us, that in the year 1709, upon his petition to our late Royal sister Queen Anne, setting forth that he was in possession of the said office, and that the same was of great consequence to the public, being the proper repository of the Records of that kingdom; and that to make the said office thoroughly useful it was necessary that the papers and records there should be carefully examined, methodically digested, faithfully transcribed, and referred to in proper catalogues, which would require several hands and a diligent attendance; and prayed that a salary suitable to the importance of the said office might be annexed thereunto; and also that by a report made to our late Royal sister by the Lieutenant of that kingdom upon the said petition he was of opinion, that it might be reasonable that a salary of £500 per annum should be annexed thereunto. Nevertheless that our said Royal sister did not then think fit to make the said salary any more than £400 per annum. And whereas the said Joseph Addison hath also represented unto us that he was appointed Secretary to the Regency of our kingdom before our arrival here, which he executed with fidelity and diligence, and hath not received any recompence for his said service; and hath prayed in consideration of the premises, that we would be graciously pleased to grant the said office of keeper of the records in Birmingham Tower to him for life with the like allowance of £500 per annum, as was formerly proposed by the report of the said late Lieutenant of that kingdom. And we being resolved as a mark of our royal grace and favour to
The Memorial itself has not been found.
the said Joseph Addison, to grant the said office of keeper of our said records in Birmingham Tower to him during his natural life, together with the said salary of £500 per annum; with all which you have been made acquainted; Our will and pleasure is, and we do hereby direct, authorize, and command, that by and with the advice of our counsel learned in the laws there, or some of them, you forthwith cause good and sufficient Letters Patent to be passed under the Great Seal of that our kingdom, containing a grant from us to him the said Joseph Addison, of the said office of keeper of our records in the Tower of Birmingham, with a salary of £500 per annum to him during his natural life, to commence from the date of our said letters patent hereby directed, and to be paid in like manner as other the salaries within the civil list of the establishment of our expense in that our kingdom are paid and payable. And you are to cause to be inserted therein all such necessary recitals and clauses as are usual in grants of the like nature, and as may make our grant hereby intended most firm, valid, and effectual, according to our royal intention herein before delivered. And for so doing this shall be as well to you as to our Lieutenant, Deputy, or other chief Governor or Governors of our said kingdom, also the Chancellor or Keeper of our Great Seal there, and all other offices whom they may concern, a sufficient warrant. So we bid you heartily farewell.
Given at our Court at St. James, the 4th day October,
By command of the King.
To our Right Trusty and right entirely beloved Cousin and Councillor Charles, Duke of Grafton, and to our Trusty and right wellbeloved Cousin and Councillor, Henry Earl of Galway; our Justices and general Governors of our Kingdom of Ireland; and to our Lieutenant, Deputy, and other chief Governor or Governors of the said kingdom for the time being.