The History and Proceedings of the House of Commons: Volume 1, 1660-1680. Originally published by Chandler, London, 1742.
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The eleventh Session of the Second Parliament.
Sir Job Charleton the new Speaker.
On the fourth Day of February, both Houses met according to Prorogation, and Sir Edward Turner, the last Speaker of the House of Commons, having been made Lord-Chief-Baron of the Exchequer, the first thing they did was the Choice of a new Speaker; to this end Sir Job Charleton Serjeant at Law was recommended to them, and unanimously elected. Who, being presented to the King, desir'd to be excus'd from so difficult and weighty a Concern; but the Lord Chancellor Shaftesbury in another Speech to him, let him know that no Excuses wou'd be admitted, and particularly said in the presence of the King and both Houses, 'The Conjuncture of Time, and the King's and Kingdom's Affairs require such a House of Commons, such a Speaker; for with Reverence to the Holy Scripture, the King may upon this Occasion say, He that is not with me, is against me: For he that doth not now put his Hand and Heart to support the King in the common Cause of this Kingdom; can hardly ever hope for such another Opportunity, or find a time to make Satisfaction for the Omission of this.'
The King's Speech to both Houses.
I am glad to see you here this Day; I would have called you together sooner, but that I was willing to case you and the Country, till there was an absolute Necessity. Since you were last here, I have been forc'd to a most important, necessary and expensive War; and I make no doubt but you will give me suitable and effectual Assistance to go through with it. I refer you to my Declaration for the Causes, and indeed the Necessity of this War; and shall now only tell you, that I might have digested the Indignities to my own Person, rather than have brought it to this Extremity, if the Interest, as well as the Honour of the whole Kingdom had not been at stake: And if I had omitted this Conjuncture, perhaps I had not again ever met with the like Advantage. You will find the last Supply you gave me did not answer the Expectation for the End you gave it, the Payment of my Debts. Therefore I must in the next place recommend them again to your especial Care.
'Some few Days before I declared the War, I put forth my Declaration for Indulgence to Dissenters, and have hitherto found a good Effect of it, by securing Peace at home, when I had War abroad. There is one Part in it that hath been subject to Misconstruction, which is that concerning the Papists; as if more Liberty were granted to them, than to the other Recusants; when it is plain there is less: For the others have public Places allow'd them, and I never intended that they shou'd have any, but only have the Freedom of their Religion in their own Houses, without any Concourse of others. And I cou'd not grant them less than this, when I had extended so much more Grace to others, most of them having been Loyal, and in the Service of me, and of the King my Father; and in the whole Course of this Indulgence, I do not intend that it shall any way prejudice the Church, but I will support it in its Rights, and in its full Power. Having said this, I shall take it very ill to receive Contradiction in what I have done. And I will deal plainly with you, I am resolv'd to stick to my Declaration. There is one Jealousy more that is maliciously spread abroad, and yet so weak and frivolous, that I once thought it not of moment enough to mention; but it may have gotten some ground with some well-minded People, and that is, that the Forces I have rais'd in this War were design'd to controll Law and Property: I wish I had had more Forces last Summer, the want of them then convinces me I must raise more against the next Spring; and I do not doubt but you will consider the Charge of them in your Supplies. I will conclude with this Assurance to you, that I will preserve the true Reformed Protestant Religion, and the Church as it is now establish'd in this Kingdom; and that no Man's Property or Liberty shall ever be invaded. I leave the rest to the Lord Chancellor.'
The Lord Chancellor Shaftsbury's Speech.
Who spoke as follows: 'My Lords, and you Knights, Citizens and Burgesses of the House of Commons, the King hath spoken so fully, so excellently well, and so like himself, that you are not to expect much from me. There is not a Word in his Speech that hath not its full Weight: And, I dare with Assurance say, will have its Effect with you. His Majesty had called you sooner, and his Affairs required it, but that he was resolv'd to give you all the Ease, and Vacancy to your own private Concerns; and the People as much Respite from Payments and Taxes, as the Necessity of his Business, or their Preservation wou'd permit. And yet (which I cannot but here mention to you) by the crafty Insinuations of some ill-affected Persons, there have been spread strange and desperate Rumours, which your meeting together this Day hath sufficiently prov'd both malicious, and false. His Majesty hath told you, that he is now engag'd in an important, very expensive, and indeed a War absolutely necessary, and unavoidable. He hath refer'd you to his Declaration, where you will find the personal Indignities by Pictures, and Medals, and other public Affronts, his Majesty hath receiv'd from the States, their Breach of Treaties both in the Surinam, and the East-India Business: And at last they came to that height of Insolence, as to deny the Honour and Right of the Flag, tho' an undoubted Jewel of this Crown, never to be parted with, and by them particularly own'd in the late Treaty of Breda, and never contested in any Age. And whilst the King long expected, and then solemnly demanded Satisfaction, they disputed his Title to it in all the Courts of Christendom, and made great Offers to the French King, if he wou'd stand by them against us. But the most Christian King too well remember'd what they did at Munster, contrary to so many Treaties, and solemn Engagements; and how dangerous a Neighbour they were to all Crowned Heads. The King and his Ministers had here a hard Time, and lay every day under new Obloquies. Sometimes they were represented as selling all to France for Money, to make this War: Portsmouth, Plymouth and Hull, were to be given into the French Hands for Caution. The next Day's News came, that France and Holland were agreed. Then the Obloquy was turn'd from Treachery to Folly: The Ministers were now Fools, that some days before were Villains. And indeed the CoffeeHouses were not to be blam'd for their last Apprehensions; since if that Conjunction had taken effect, then England had been in a far worse Case than now it is, and the War had been turn'd upon us. But both Kings knowing their Interest, resolv'd to join against them, who were the common Enemies to all Monarchies, and I may say especially to ours, their only Competitor for Trade and Power at Sea; and who only stand in their way to an Universal Empire, as great as Rome. This the States understood so well, and had swallow'd so deep, that, under all their present Distress and Danger, they are so intoxicated with that vast Ambition, that they slight a Treaty, and refuse a Cessation. All this you and the whole Nation saw before the last War; but it cou'd not then be so well timed, or our Alliances so well made. But you judg'd aright, That at any rate, Delends est Carthago, that Government was to be brought down. And therefore the King may well say to you, It is your War! He took his Measures from you, and they were just and right ones: And he expects a suitable Assistance to so necessary and expensive an Action; which he has hither to maintain'd at his own Charge, and was unwilling either to trouble you, or burden the Country, until it came to an inevitable Necessity. And his Majesty commands me to tell you, that unless it be a certain Sum, and speedily rais'd, it can never answer the Occasion.
'My Lords and Gentlemen, Reputation is the great Support of War or Peace This War had never begun, nor had the States ever slighted the King, or ever refused him the Satisfaction, neither had this War continu'd to this day, or subsisted now, but that the States were deceiv'd in their Measures, and apprehended that his Majesty, in that great want of Money, must fit down under many Affronts, and was not able to begin or carry on a War. Nay, at this day the States support themselves amongst their People by this only Falshood, that they are assured of the Temper of England, and of the Parliament, and that you will not supply the King in this War; and that if they can hold out till your Meeting, they will have new Life, and take new Measures. There are lately taken two of their principal Agents, with their Credentials and Instructions to this purpose, who are now in the Tower, and shall be proceeded against according to the Law of Nations. But the King is sufficiently assured of his People; knows you better; and can never doubt his Parliament. This had not been mention'd, but to shew you of what Importance the Frankness, and Seasonableness of this Supply is, as well as the Fulness of it. Let me say, the King has brought the States to that Condition, that your hearty Conjunction, at this Time, in supplying his Majesty, will make them never more formidable to Kings, or dangerous to England. And if after this you suffer them to get up, let this be remember'd, The States of Holland are England's eternal Enemy, both by Interest, and Inclination. In the next place, to the Supply for carrying on the War, his Majesty recommends to you the taking care of his Debts. What you gave the last Session did not near answer your own Expectation. Besides, another considerable Aid you design'd his Majesty, was unfortunately lost in the Birth; so that the King was forc'd, for the carrying on his Affairs, much against his Will, to put a stop to the Payments out of the Exchequer. He saw the Pressures upon himself, and growing Inconveniencies to his People by great Interest; and the Difference, through all his Business, between ready Money, and Orders. This gave the King the Necessity of that Proceeding; to make use of his own Revenue, which hath been of so great Effect in this War. But tho' he hath put a Stop to the Trade and Gain of the Bankers, yet he would be unwilling to ruin them, and oppress so many Families as are concern'd in those Debts: Besides, it were too disproportionable a Burden upon many of his good Subjects. But neither the Bankers, nor They, have reason to complain, if you now take them into your Care, and they have paid them what was due to them, when the Stop was made, with Six per Cent. Interest from that Time. The King is very much concern'd both in Honour and Interest, to see this done. And yet he desires you not to mis-time it; but that it may have only the second Place, and that you will first settle, what you intend about the Supply.
'His Majesty has so fully vindicated his Declaration from that Calumny concerning the Papists, that no reasonable Scruple can be made by any good Man. He has sufficiently justify'd it by the Time it was publish'd in, and the Effects he hath had from it; and might have done it more from the Agreeableness of it, to his own natural Disposition, which no good English-Man can wish other than it is. He loves not Blood, or rigorous Severities; but where mild or gentle Ways may be used by a wise Prince, he is certain to chuse them. The Church of England, and all good Protestants have reason to rejoice in such a Head, and such a Defender. His Majesty doth declare his Care, and Concerns for the Church, and will maintain them in all their Rights and Privileges, equal, if not beyond any of his Predecessors. He was born, and bred up in it: It was that his Father died for: We all know how great Temptations and Offers he resisted abroad, when he was in his lowest Condition; and he thinks it the Honour of his Reign, That he hath been the Restorer of the Church: 'Tis That he will ever maintain, and hopes to leave to Posterity, in greater Lustre, and upon surer Grounds, than our Ancestors ever saw it. But his Majesty is not convinc'd that violent Ways are the Interest of Religion, or the Church. There is one Thing more, that I am commanded to speak to you of, which is the Jealousy that hath been soolishly spread abroad, of the Forces the King hath rais'd in this War. Wherein the King hath open'd himself freely to you, and confess'd the Fault of the other hand. For, if this last Summer had not prov'd a Miracle of Storms and Tempests, such as secured the East-India Fleet, and protected their Sea-Coast from a Descent, nothing but the true Reason, Want of Money, could have justify'd the Defect in the Number of our Forces. Tis that his Majesty is providing for against the next Spring, having given out Orders for raising of seven or eight Regiments more of Foot, under the Command of Persons of the greatest Fortunes and Quality. And I am earnestly to recommend to you, That, in your Supplies, you will take into your Consideration this Necessary Addition of Charges.
The Conclusion of it.
'And after his Majesty's Conclusion of his Speech, let me conclude, nay let us all conclude with blessing God, and the King: Let us bless God, That he hath given us such a King to be the Repairer of our Breaches both in Church and State; and the Restorer of our Paths to dwell in: That in the midst of War and Misery, which rages in our neighbour Countries, our Garners are full, and there is no Complaining in our Streets; and a Man can hardly know that there is a War. Let us bless God, that he hath given this King signally the Hearts of his People, and most particularly of his Parliament, who in their Affection and Loyalty to their Prince, have exceeded all their Predecessors. A Parliament with whom the King hath many Years liv'd with all the Caresses of a happy Marriage. Has the King had a Concern? You have wedded it. Has his Majesty wanted Supplies? You have readily, chearfully, and fully provided for them. You have rely'd upon the Wisdom and Conduct of his Majesty in all his Affairs; so that you have never attempted to exceed your Bounds, or to impose upon him: Whilst the King, on the other hand, hath made your Counsels the Foundations of all his Proceedings; and hath been so tender of you, that he hath, upon his own Revenue and Credit, endeavoured to support even foreign Wars, that he might be least uneasy to you, or burdensome to his People. And let me say, That tho' this Marriage be according to Moses's Law, where the Husband can give a Bill of Divorce, put her away, and take another; yet I can assure you, it is as impossible for the King to part with This Parliament, as it is for you to depart from that Loyalty, Affection and Dutiful Behaviour, you have hitherto shewn towards him. Let us bless the King for taking away all our Fears, and leaving no room for Jealousies; for those Assurances, and Promises he hath made us. Let us bless God and the King, that our Religion is safe; That the Church of England is the Care of our Prince; That Parliaments are safe; that our Properties and Liberties are safe. What more hath a good English Man to ask, but that this King may long reign, and that this Triple Alliance of King, Parliament and People, may never be dissolv'd?
Members return'd by Crown-Writs, expell'd. ; A Supply voted. ; Sir Job Charlston quits the Chair, and Mr. Edward Seymour chosen in his Place. ; They address against the Declaration for Indulgence.
Neither this Speech, nor the Chancellor who deliver'd it, were then agreeable to the House: He having issued out Writs under the Broad-Seal, for filling up such Vacancies as had happen'd in the House since the last Session, which they look'd upon as injurious to their Privileges, and warmly complained of, even before their own Speaker was approv'd of: Which occasion'd his Majesty, immediately after the two Speeches, to declare to them, 'That he had given Order to the Lord Chancellor to send out Writs for the better Supply of their House, having seen Precedents for it: But if any Scruple or Question did arise about it, he left it to the House to debate as soon as they could.' Accordingly, the very next Day the Commons, after warm and angry Debates concerning those Writs and Returns, voted them irregular, and expell'd those Members so elected; notwithstanding which, taking into Consideration his Majesty's extraordinary Occasions, they freely resolv'd, 'That a Supply be given of eighteen Months Assessment, according to the Proportion of the last royal Aid, not exceeding seventy thousand Pounds per Mensem; which, in all, amounted to twelve hundred and sixty thousand Pounds. After this, Feb. 10. the King's Declaration of Indulgence, having been first read in the House, they resolv'd, That penal Statutes in Matters Ecclesiastical cannot be suspended but by Act of Parliament. And on the 15th, Sir Job Charleton the new Speaker having pleaded an Indisposition to excuse his Attendance, the House, notwithstanding the pressing Affairs then before them, adjourn'd to the 18th. When the Speaker's Disorder still continuing, and the King having signified his Permission, by Mr. Secretary Coventry, that a new Speaker should be appointed, Mr. Edward Seymour was unanimously chosen in his room. Then, being determin'd that Redress of Grievances should accompany the Money-Bill, on the 19th, they presented the following Address to his Majesty, at the Banquetting-House; 'Most Gracious Sovereign, We your Majesty's most faithful and loyal Subjects, the Commons assembled in Parliament, do in the first Place, as in all Duty bound, return your Majesty our most humble and hearty Thanks for the many gracious Promises and Assurances, which your Majesty hath several Times (during this present Parliament) given unto us, That your Majesty would secure and maintain unto us the true Reformed Protestant Religion, our Liberties and Properties; which most gracious Assurances, your Majesty hath, out of your great Goodness, been pleas'd to renew unto us, more particularly at the Opening of this present Session of Parliament. And further we crave Leave humbly to represent, That we have, with all Duty and Expedition, taken into our Consideration several Parts of your Majesty's last Speech to us, and withal the Declaration therein mention'd for Indulgence to Dissenters, dated the 15th Day of March last: And we find ourselves bound in Duty to inform your Majesty, That Penal Statutes in Matters ecclesiastical cannot be suspended but by Act of Parliament. We therefore, the Knights, Citizens and Burgesses of your Majesty's House of Commons, do most humbly beseech your Majesty, That the Laws may have their free Course, until it shall be otherwise provided for by Act of Parliament: And that your Majesty would be graciously pleas'd to give such Directions herein, That no Apprehensions or Jealousies may remain in the Hearts of your Majesty's good and faithful Subjects.
The King's Answer.
This Address was deliver'd to the King on the 19th of February; to which his Majesty answer'd, 'That it was of Importance, and therefore he would return his Answet in Writing." Accordingly, four Days after, he sent this Answer to the House. 'Charles Rex, His Majesty hath receiv'd an Address from you, and hath seriously consider'd of it, and returneth you this Answer: That he is very much troubled That that Declaration, which he put out for Ends so necessary to the Quiet of this Kingdom, especially in that Conjuncture, should prove the Cause of Disquiet, and give Occasion to the questioning of his Power in Ecclesiastics, which he finds not done in the Reigns of any of his Ancestors. He is sure he never had Thoughts of using it otherwise, than as it hath been entrusted in him, to the Peace and Establishment of the Church of England, and the Ease of all his Subjects in general: Neither doth he pretend to suspend any Laws, wherein the Properties, Rights or Liberties of any of his Subjects are concern'd, nor to alter any thing in the establish'd Doctrine or Discipline of the Church of England: But his only Design in this was to take off the Penalties the Statutes inssict upon the Dissenters, and which he believ'd, when well consider'd of, you yourselves would not wish executed according to the Rigour and Letter of the Law: Neither hath he done this with any Thought of avoiding or precluding the Advice of his Parliament; and if any Bill shall be offer'd him, which shall appear more proper to attain the aforesaid Ends, and secure the Peace of the Church and Kingdom, when tender'd in due Manner to him, he will shew how readily he will concur in all Ways that shall appear good for the Good of the Kingdom.'
The Commons immediately came to this short Resolution, That the Thanks of this House be return'd to his Majesty, for his gracious Assurances, and Promises in his Answer to the Address.' But, being still dissatisfy'd, they took the said Message into Consideration again; and, after some little Debate (in which a Passage from his Majesty's Speech of Feb. 18, 1660. was read, viz. 'If the Dissenters will demean themselves peaceably and modestly under the Government, I could heartily wish, I had such a Power of Indulgence to use upon Occasion, as might nor needlesly force them out of the Kingdom, or, staying here, give them cause to conspire against the Peace of it.') Agreed upon the following second Address:
The Commons Second Address.
'Most gracious Sovereign, We your Majesty's humble and loyal Subjects, the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses in Parliament assembled, do render to your Sacred Majesty our most dutiful Thanks, for that, to our unspeakable Comfort, your Majesty hath been pleased to reiterate to us those gracious Promises and Assurances of maintaining the Religion now established, and the Liberties and Properties of your People: And we do not in the least measure doubt but that your Majesty had the same gracious Intentions in giving Satisfaction to your Subjects, by your Answer to our last Petition and Address. Yet, upon a serious Consideration thereof, we find, That the said Answer is not sufficient to clear the Apprehensions, that may justly remain in the Minds of your People, by your Majesty's having claim'd a Power to suspend Penal Statutes in Matters Ecclesiastical; and which your Majesty does still seem to assert in the said Answer, to be entitled in the Crown, and never question'd in any of the Reigns of your Ancestors: Wherein we humbly conceive, That your Majesty hath been much mis-informed; since no such Power was ever claim'd, or exercis'd by any of your Majesty's Predecessors: And, if it should be admitted, might tend to the interrupting the Free Course of the Laws, and Altering the Legislative Power, which hath always been acknowledg'd to reside in your Majesty, and your two Houses of Parliament. We do, therefore, with unanimous Consent, become again most humble Suitors to your Sacred Majesty, That you would be pleased to give us a full and satisfactory Answer to our said Petition and Address; and that your Majesty wou'd take such effectual Order, That the Proceedings in this Matter, may not, for the future, be drawn into Consequence, or Example.'
Mr. Alderman Love opposes the Declaration, &c.
In the midst of these vigorous Proceedings with regard to the King's Declaration, it was observ'd to the Honour of Alderman Love, a City Member, That, altho' a Dissenter himself, he stiffly opposed the Indulgence; warmly declaring, that he had much rather still go without their desired Liberty, than have it in a Way that wou'd prove so detrimental to the Nation. And when, by the Instigation of Lord Clifford a Motion was made in favour of the Dissenters, with a design to embroil the House, a Stop was put to it, at his Instance; That nothing (as he express'd himself) with relation to them might intervene, to stop the Security that the Nation, and the Protestant Religion, might have by that new Act. Ho was seconded in this by his whole Party, and their Behaviour on the Occasion was look'd upon to be so merirorious, that a Bill was brought in for their Relief in Matters of Religion, consisting of the following Heads:
An Act design'd for the Ease of the Dissenters. ; Another for Catechising of Youth. ; An Address of both Houses against Papist and Jesuits.
'1. That Ease shall be given to his Majesty's ProtestantSubjects, Dissenters in matters of Religion, who shall subscribe the Articles of the Doctrine of the Church of England, and shall take the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy. 2. That the said Protestant-Subjects be cas'd from all Pains and Penalties for not coming to Church. 3. That the Cause in the late Act of Uniformity for declaring the As sent and Consent, be taken away by this Bill. 4. That the said Protestant-Subjects be eas'd from all Pains and Penalties for meeting together for Performance of any Religious Exercise. 5. That every Teacher shall first give Notice of the Place where he intends such his Meeting, to the respective Quarter-Sessions; where in open Court he shall first make such Subscription, and take such Oaths as aforesaid, and receive from thence a Certificate thereof, where all such Proceedings shall remain upon Record. 6, That any such Teacher may exercise as aforesaid until the next respective Quarter-Sessions, and no longer, in Case he shall not first take the Oaths, and make such Subscription before two of the neighbouring Justices of the Peace; and shall first give them Notice of the Place of this intended Meeting, and take Certificate thereof under the said Justices Hand; a Duplicate whereof they are to return into the next Quarter-Sefsions. 7. That the Doors and Passages of all Houses and Places where the said Dissenters do meet, shall be always open and free, during the Time of such Exercise. 8. That if any Dissenter refuse to take Church-Wardens Oaths, that then he shall find them another fit Person, who is no Dissenter, to execute that Office, and shall pay him for his Pains.' At the same time it was ordered, 'That a Bill be prepared and brought in to enjoin all Persons that are in Ecclesiastical Preferments, to Catechise and Instruct the Youth within their several Parishes and Places of Incumbency every Sunday in the Afternoon, in the Church-Catechism, and to explain the same; and to expound thereupon to the Congregation.' The first of these Bills was stopt in the House of Lords, and the second was never compleated: But, in the mean while, both Houses unanimously joined in the following Address to his Majesty; 'We, your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal Subjects, the Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons in this present Parliament assembled, being very sensible of the great Dangers and Mischiess that may arise within this your Majesty's Realm, by the Encrease of Popish Recusants amongst us; and considering the great Resort of Priests and Jesuits in this Kingdom, who daily endeavour to seduce your Majesty's good Subjects from their Religion and Allegiance, and how much your loyal Subjects are disheartned to see such Popish Recusants admitted into Employments of great Trust and Profit, and especially into Military Commands over the Forces now in your Majesty's Service; and having a tender Regard to the Preservation of your Majesty's Person, and the Peace and Tranquility of this Kingdom, in all Humility desire, 1. That your Majesty would be pleased to issue out your Royal Proclamation to command all Priests and Jesuits (other than such, as, not being natural born Subjects, are oblig'd to attend upon your Royal Consort the Queen) to depart within thirty Days out of this your Majesty's Kingdom: And that if any Priest or Jesuit shall happen to be taken in England, after the Expiration of the said Time, that the Laws be put in execution against them; and that your Majesty wou'd please in the said Proclamation to command all Judges, and other Officers, to put the said Laws in execution. 2. That your Majesty wou'd likewise be pleas'd, That the Lord Chancellor of England shall, on or before the 25th of March instant, issue out Commissions of Dedimus Potestatem to the Judge-Advocate and Commissaries of the Musters, and such other Persons as he shall think fit, to tender the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy to all Officers and Soldiers, now in your Majesty's Service and Pay; and that such as refuse the said Oaths, may immediately be disbanded, and not allow'd to continue in any Pay or Pension; and that the Chancellor shall require due Returns to be made thereof, within some convenient Time after issuing out of the said Commissions. 3. That the Commissaries of the Musters be commanded and enjoin'd by your Majesty's Warrant, upon the Penalty of losing their Places, not to permit any Officer to be muster'd in the Service and Pay of his Majesty, until he hath taken the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy, and receiv'd the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, according to the Usage of the Church of England; and that every Soldier shall take the said Oaths before his first Muster, and receive the Sacrament in like manner before his second Muster. And this we present in all Dutifulness to your Majesty's Princely Wisdom and Consideration, as the best Means for satisfying and composing the Minds of your loyal Subjects; humbly desiring your Majesty graciously to accept of this our Petition, as proceeding from Hearts and Affections entirely devoted to your Majesty's Service, and to give it your Royal Approbation. The King's Answer was as follows:
His Majesty's Answer.
'I do heartily agree to the Matter of your Address, and shall give spcedy Order to put it in Execution; but hope it was not meant in the Parts thereof, that it should extend to the Forces to be employ'd immediately beyond the Seas.'
His Speech to both Houses. ; The Declaration of Indulgence cancell'd. ; Their Thanks for it.
The next Day, March the 8th, his Majesty went to the House of Lords, and sending for the Commons, he made this following Speech to both Houses. 'My Lords and Gentlemen, Yesterday you presented me with an Address, as the best Means for the satisfying and composing the Minds of my Subjects; to which I freely and readily agree, and shall take care to see it perform'd accordingly. I hope, on the other side, you Gentlemen of the House of Commons, will do your Part; for I must put you in mind, it is near five Weeks since I demanded a Supply; and what you voted unanimously upon it, did both give Life to my Affairs at home, and disheartned my Enemies abroad: But the seeming Delay it hath met with since, hath made them take new Courage, and they are now preparing for this next Summer a greater Fleet, as they say, than ever they had yet; so that if the Supply be not speedily dispatch'd, it will be altogether ineffectual; and the Safety, Honour and Interest of England must of necessity be expos'd. Pray lay this to heart, and let not the Fears and Jealousies of some draw inevitable Ruin upon us all. My Lords and Gentlemen, if there be any Scruple yet remaining with you concerning Suspension of penal Laws, I here faithfully promise you, that what hath been done in that particular, shall not for the future be drawn into Example and Consequence. And as I daily expect from you a Bill for my Supply, so I assure you, I shall as willingly receive and pass any other you shall offer me, that may tend to the giving you Satisfaction in all your just Grievances. In Confirmation of this Speech, Mr. Secretary Coventry gave the House to understand that his Majesty had ordered the Declaration to be vacated, and that he had seen the Seal taken off accordingly. All which was so pleasing and obliging to the Parliament in general, that both Houses join'd in the following Vote, 'Resolved nemine contradicente, That the humble and hearty Thanks of these Houses be return'd to his Majesty, for his gracious full and satisfactory Answer this Day given to their humble Petitions and Addresses.' This was declared to the King in the Banqueting-House, by the Mouth of the Lord Chancellor at the head of both Houses; to which his Majesty made this Answer, 'My Lords and Gentlemen, I hope there never will be any Difference amongst us; I assure you there shall never be any Occasion on my Part.
These Answers did not hinder the House from proceeding to the Redress of Grievances: For on the 18th the King's Letter and Proclamation regarding Ireland being read, whereby several Licences were given to all Papists to live in Corporations and exercise their Trades there with all Privileges, Sec it was resolved that an Address should be presented to his Majesty on that Head; as likewise, another on the Subject of Grievances in England. But while these were in Agitation, Mr. Secretary Coventry was ordered to acquaint the House, 'That his Majesty intended them a Recess on the 28th Instant.' But this not taking the desired Effect, a written Message was sent by the said Secretary on the 24th, which was as follows:
The King's Message to the House.
'I am commanded by his Majesty, in pursuance of his late Message, to acquaint you that his Majesty intends you shall rise before Easter, and therefore expects an Expedition of such Bills as are of most Importance; the Bill of Popery, and that of Supply particularly: And for such other Bills as concern either the Public or Particular, I cannot be so soon ready. That they may not receive a Disappointment, his Majesty resolves to make this an Adjournment till the Beginning of October, when you may continue their Prosecution; in the mean time his Majesty will take such Care of the Protestant Religion, that you shall have no Cause to complain.'
The Commons Address concerning Orievances in England.
The first is, 'Most gracious Sovereign, We your Majesty's most loyal Subjects, the Commons in this present Parliament assembled, conceiving ourselves bound in necessary Duty to your Majesty, and in Discharge of the Trust repos'd in us, truly to inform your Majesty of the Estate of this your Kingdom; and tho' we are abundantly satisfy'd, that it hath been always your royal Will and Pleasure, that your Subjects should be govern'd according to the Laws and Customs of these Realms; yet finding, that contrary to your Majesty's gracious Intentions, some Abuses and Grievances are crept in, we crave Leave humbly to represent them to your Majesty's Knowledge; and to desire, 1. That the Imposition of Twelve Pence per Chaldron upon Coals, for providing of Conveys, by virtue of an Order of Council, dated the 15th of May 1672, may be recall'd, and all Bonds taken by virtue thereof, cancell'd. 2. That your Majesty's Proclamation of the 4th of December 1672, for preventing Disorders which may be committed by Soldiers, and whereby the Soldiers now in your Majesty's Service are in a manner exempted from the ordinary Course of Justice, may likewise be recall'd. 3. And whereas great Complaints have been made out of the several Parts of this Kingdom of divers Abuses committed in Quartering of Soldiers, That your Majesty would be pleas'd to give Order to redress those Abuses; and in particular, That no Soldiers be hereafter quarter'd in any private Houses; and that due Satisfaction may be given to the Inn-Keepers and Victuallers where they lie, before they remove. 4. And since the Continuance of Soldiers in this Realm will necessarily produce many Inconveniences to your Majesty's Subjects, We do humbly present it as our Petition and Advice, That when the present War is ended, all the Soldiers that have been rais'd since the last Session of Parliament, may be disbanded. 5. That your Majesty would likewise be pleas'd to consider of the Irregularities and Abuses in pressing Soldiers, and give Order for the Prevention thereof for the future. 6. And altho' it hath been the Course of former Parliaments to desire Redress in their Grievances, before they proceeded to give a Supply; yet we have so full Assurance of your Majesty's Tenderness and Compassion towards your People, that we humbly prostrate ourselves at your Majesty's Feet with these our Petitions, desiring your Majesty to take them into your Princely Consideration, and to give such Orders for the Relief of your Subjects, and the removing these Pressures, as shall seem best to your Royal Wisdom.'
Another concerning Grievances in Ireland.
The Second concerning Ireland was as follows: 'Most Gracious Sovereign, We your Majesty's most loyal Subjects, the Commons in this present Parliament assembled, taking into Consideration the great Calamities which have formerly befallen your Majesty's Subjects of the Kingdom of Ireland from the Popish Recusants there, who for the most part are profess'd Enemies to the Protestant Religion, and the English Interest, and how they making ill Use of your Majesty's gracious Disposition and Clemency, are at this Time grown more insolent and presumptuous than formerly, to the apparent Danger of that Kingdom, and your Majesty's Protestant Subjects there, the Consequence whereof may likewise prove very fatally prevented: And having seriously weigh'd what Remedies may be most properly apply'd to these growing Distempers, do in all humility present your Majesty with these our Petitions. 1. That, for the establishing and quieting the Possessions of your Majesty's Subjects in that Kingdom, your Majesty would be pleas'd to maintain the Act of Settlement, and Explanatory Act thereupon, and to recall the Commission of Enquiry into Irish Affairs, bearing date the 17th of January last, as containing many new and extraordinary Powers, not only to the prejudice of particular Persons, whose Estates and Titles are thereby made liable to be question'd; but in a manner to the overthrow of the Acts of Settlement; and, if pursu'd, may be the occasion of great Charge and Attendance to many of your Subjects in Ireland, and shake the Peace and Security of the whole. 2. That your Majesty wou'd give Order, that no Papist be either continu'd, or hereafter admitted to be Judges, Justices of the Peace, Sheriffs, Coroners or Mayors, Sovereign or Port-Reeves in that Kingdom. 3. That the Titular Popish Arch-bishops, Bishops, Vicars-General, Abbots, and all other exercising Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction by the Pope's Authority, and in particular, Peter Talbot, pretended Archbishop of Dublin, for his notorious Disloyalty to your Majesty, and Disobedience and Contempt of your Laws, may be commanded by Proclamation forthwith to depart out of Ireland, and all other your Majesty's Dominions, or otherwise to be prosecuted according to Law. And that all Convents, Seminaries, and public Popish Schools may be dissolv'd and suppress'd, and the Regular Priests commanded to depart under the like Penalties. 4. That no Irish Papist be admitted to inhabit in any Corporation in that Kingdom, unless duly licens'd according to the foresaid Acts of Settlement; and that your Majesty wou'd be pleas'd to recall your Letters of the 26th of February 1671, and your Proclamation thereupon, whereby general Licence is given such Papists as inhabit in Corporations there. 5. That your Majesty's Letters of the 28th of September 1672, and the Order of Council thereupon, whereby your Subjects are required not to prosecute any Actions against the Irish for any Wrongs or Injuries committed during the late Rebellion, may likewise be recall'd. 6. That Colonel Richard Talbot, who hath notoriously assum'd to himself the Title of Agent for the Roman Catholics in Ireland, be immediately dismiss'd out of all Command, either civil or military, and forbid any Access to your Majesty's Court. 7. That your Majesty wou'd be pleas'd, from Time to Time, out of your Princely Wisdom, to give such further Orders and Directions to the Lord-Lieutenant, as may best conduce to the Encouragement of the English Planters, and Protestant Interest, and the Suppression of the Insolencies and Disorders of the Irish Papists there. These our humble Desires we present to your Majesty, as the best Means to preserve the Peace and Safety of that your Kingdom, which hath been so much of late in danger from the Practices of the said Irish Papists, and particularly of the said Richard and Peter Talbot. And we do not doubt but your Majesty will find the happy Effects thereof, to the great Satisfaction and Security of your Government and Person, which of all earthly things is most dear to us your Majesty's most loyal Subjects.'
The King's Answer. ; Thanks voted. ; Acts pass'd. ; The End of the eleventh Meeting of the second Parliament.
These two Addresses being presented to the King, his Majesty immediately return'd this following obliging Answer, by way of Message; 'That he observed the Addresses consisted of many different parts, therefore it cou'd not be expected there shou'd be a present Answer: But for the several particular things contain'd in them, he would, before the next Meeting, take such effectual Care, that no Man shou'd have Reason to complain.' With which the House thought themselves and the Nation so well secured, that they presently Voted, 'That the humble Thanks of the House be presented to his Majesty, for the often Accesses they have been admitted to his Majesty's Person; and for his most gracious Answers to the several Addresses of this House; and particularly for the last gracious Message, and for the Care he hath declared he will take of the Protestant Religion.' The Money-Bill immediately pass'd, but under the Title of a Supply of his Majesty's Extraordinary Occasions; and with a particular Proviso tack'd to it, That no Papists shou'd be capable of holding any public Employment. On the 29th of March, before the Bill in favour of Protestant Distenters, and some others cou'd be finish'd, the King came to the House of Peers, and, besides the Money-Bill, pass'd nine public Acts, viz. 1. An Act for the King's Majesty's most gracious, general, and free Pardon, but with many Exceptions. 2. An Act continuing a former Act concerning Coinage. 3. An Act for enabling his Majesty to make Leases of his Lands belonging to the Dutcky of Cornwall. 4. An Act for preventing Dangers which may happen from Popish Recusants. 5. An Act for reviving the Judicature for the Determination of Differences touching Houses burnt down by the late Fire, &c. 6. An Act for taking off Aliens Duties upon Commodities of the Growth and Manufactures of this Nation. 7. An Act for encouraging the Greenland Trades, and for the better securing the Plantation Trades. 8. An Act for Repeal of a Clause in a former Act to prohibit Sales-men from selling fat Cattle. 9. An Act to enable the County Palatine of Durham to send Knights and Durgesses to serve in Parliament. Upon passing these Bills, the King adjourn'd the Parliament to the 20th of October.