Reported On This Day 280 Years Ago (March 3 1739): Papal decree renews condemnation of the Freemasons

The front page of the Belfast News Letter of February 20 1738 (March 3 1739 in the modern calendar)
The front page of the Belfast News Letter of February 20 1738 (March 3 1739 in the modern calendar)

From the Belfast News Letter of Tuesday Feb 20 1738 (March 3 1739 in modern calendar)

Since my last arrived two British Packets, which brought two Mails from Holland, viz.

ITALY Rome Jan. 24.

THE Chevalier St. George had lately an Audience of, and a long Conversation with the Pope. A Decree has been published renewing the Condemnation of the Fraternity of FreeMasons, with a Promise of a Reward of 100 Crowns of Gold to any one that shall discover any of the Heads or Members of that Society, and the same for those who point out the Place where they assemble in this City.

Leghorn, Jan. 23. We have just received Advice, that one of the Transports of the Convoy sent from Antibes to Corsica, has been cast away on our Coast, but that five Companies of French Soldiers who were on board that Ship had the good Fortune to escape to Shore. That another Vessel of the same Convoy, with five Companies on board, sprung a Leak off of Capraia; and notwithstanding all the Efforts made to save her, she sunk with all the Men in her: That another large Ship belonging to that Convoy, with 270 Soldiers, 15 Officers, and the Military Chest on board, has been wreck’d on our Coast, and all the Men drown’d; and that several other Vessels have met with the like Fate both on this and the Coast of Genoa.

The last Advices from Corsica bring, that the Malecontents, after holding a general Council, in which it had been resolved not to accept of the Accommodation proposed by France and published the Reasons which had engaged them to this Refusal, which are in Substance, ‘That the Happiness of the Kingdom of Corsica required that is should be governed by a Sovereign, who, having no other Possessions should therefore find himself obliged to remain in the Kingdom, and apply his whole Attention to govern his People like the Father of a Family, who, having but one Child, has not other View than procuring it all possible Advantages. That God had given them such a Sovereign as they demanded in the Person of Baron Neuhoff, who they have acknowledged and proclaimed for their King. That this Baron, who possess’d no other Land, apply’d himself wholly to the governing of the Island according to its Laws, and to render his Subjects happy. That he and his Descendants, who are all Corsicans by Nation, exempt from all Ambition, and content with the little Kingdom they shall possess, will open the Ports of it, and furnish it with a perfect Neutrality all Nations with Provision, which will bring Plenty into the Kingdom. That they had no room to flatter themselves with ever enjoying a like Happiness under the Reign of any other Sovereign, as well because under their Reign the Island could only be govern’d by Ministers, who would be always a Charge to the Nation, as by Reason that Foreign Princes being subject to be in War, the Kingdom of Corsica would be exposed to feel the Inconveniences of it.’ One of the Members of the Council, to support these Reasons, said, ‘That the Arrival of French Troops in the island would by no Means alter their Resolutions, since the Body that was there already was not at all formidable; and if a greater Number was sent, they could not subsist.’

DENMARK Copenhagen, Feb 1.

The Baron de Bernsdorff, Minister of the King at Ratisbon, being at Hanover, Orders have been sent to him to declare to the Regency of that Electorate that his Majesty is disposed to amicably accommodate the Affair of Steinhorst; but in order to labour successfully to bring about this Accommodation, it is necessary that Things should be put in the same Condition in which they were before the Hanoverians took Possession of Steinhorst; for which reason it was proper to withdraw them, and as soon as his Majesty receive Advice of it, he would shew, by his Facility to enter into a Negociation, how much he is inclined to forward its Success. The King contents, on his Part, to draw off his Troops at such a Distance from Steinhorst, that the Regency of Hanover shall have no room to apprehend their surprizing the Place.

LONDON Feb. 8, and 10.

Tuesday last and Yesterday the Lords received and read several Petitions for private Bills, and reported the Prince of Wale’s (sic) Answer to their congratulatory Address.

Yesterday the Commons read several Estimates of Accounts from the Commissioners of the Customs, relating to prohibited Goods, remaining in the Ware-houses from Michaelmas 1738, to Michaelmas 1738.

They also read his Majesty’s Answer to their Address of Tuesday, that he give Directions to lay before them several Estimates of Accounts as desired. They also order’d several Estimates of Accounts to be laid before them relating to Greenwich Hospital, and of the Number of Seamen employed in the Royal Navy.

Also order’d, that the Serjeant at Arms do take into Custody any Strangers that he shall see or be informed of, to be in the House or Gallery, while the House or any Committee of the whole House is sitting, and that no Person so taken into Custody be discharged without the special Order of the House; and that no Member of the House do presume to bring any Stranger or Strangers into the House or Gallery thereof while the House is sitting.

This Day the lords read the Convention ratify’d between his Majesty and the King of Spain, for adjusting the Losses sustained by the British Merchants and the same was read and order’d to be printed, and after some Debates was ordered to be taken into Consideration in a Committee of the whole House on Tuesday Fortnight, and the lords to be summoned.

The Commons also read the said Convention, and ordered it to be printed.

Resolved, That an humble Address be presented to his Majesty, that he will be graciously pleased to give Directions, that there be laid before this House, Copies of all Representations, Memorials or Petitions, made to his Majesty, or his Secretaries of State, since the Treaty of Seville, relating to any Losses sustained by his Majesty’s Subjects by Deprecations committed by the Spaniards in Europe or America, which have not already been laid before this House.

Resolved, That an humble Address be presented to his Majesty, that he will be graciously pleased to give Directions, that there be laid before this House, Copies or Extracts of any Letters from any of the British Governours in America, his Majesty’s Minister in Spain, and Consuls in Europe, to the Secretaries of State, Commissioners for executing the Office of the High Admiral of Great Britain, or Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, since the [words missing] of Seville, relating to Losses sustained by His Majesty’s Subjects in Europe or America.