The History and Proceedings of the House of Commons: Volume 1, 1660-1680. Originally published by Chandler, London, 1742.
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The Thirteenth Session of the second Parliament.
When both Houses of Parliament met at Westminster, according to the said Prorogation, after a Recess of two Months and three Days; and the Session was opened by his Majesty on the Throne, with the Speech that ensues:
The King's Speech to both Houses.
When I parted with you last, it was but for a little Time, and with a Resolution of meeting suddenly again. That alone was enough to satisfy my Friends that they need not fear, and my Enemies that they could not hope for a Breach between us. I then told you, That the Time of this short Recess should be employ'd in doing such Things as might add to your Satisfaction: I hope I have done my Part towards it; and if there be any thing else you think wanting to secure Religion or Property, there is nothing which you shall reasonably propose, but I shall be ready to receive it. I do now expect you should do your Parts too, for our Enemies make vigorous Preparations for War, and yet their chief Hopes are to disunite us at home; 'tis their common Discourse, and they reckon upon it as their best Relief.
'My Lords and Gentlemen, It is not possible for me to doubt your Affections at any Time, much less at such a Time as this, when the Evidences of your Affections are become so necessary to us all. I desire you to consider, that as the War cannot be made without a Supply, so neither can a good Peace be had without being in a Posture of War. I am very far from being in love with War, for War's sake; but if I saw any likelihood of Peace without Dishonour to myself, and Damage to you, I would soon embrace it. But no Proposals of Peace have yet been offer'd with Intent to conclude, but only to amuse. Therefore the Way to a good Peace is to set out a good Fleet, which we have time enough to do very effectually, if the Supply be not delay'd. If after this a Peace should follow, yet the Supply would be very well given; for whatever remains of it, I am willing should be appropriated for building more Ships. To conclude, a speedy, a proportionable, and above all a chearful Aid, is now more necessary than ever, and I rely upon you for it. I lately put you in mind of my Debt to the Goldsmiths; I hope a fit Time will come to take that into Consideration. I cannot conclude without shewing the entire Confidence I have in you. I know you have heard much of my Alliance with France, and I believe it hath been very strangely misrepresented to you, as if there were certain secret Articles of dangerous Consequence; but I make no difficulty of letting the Treaties, and all the Articles of them, without any the least Reserve, be seen by a small Committee of both Houses, who may report to you the true Scope of them: And I assure you there is no other Treaty with France, either before or since, not already printed, which shall not be made known. And having thus freely trusted you, I do not doubt but you will have a Care of my Honour, and the Good of the Kingdom. The rest I refer to my Lord-Keeper.'
The Lord-Keeper Finch's Speech.
Accordingly the new Lord-Keeper, Sir Heneage Finch, late Attorney-General, made a long and eloquent Speech, beginning thus: 'My Lords, and you the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses of the House of Commons, the King hath already in part told you, what he hath done for you since the last Recess, what he is still ready to do, and what it is he doth now expect from you: And this in Terms so full and obliging, so generous and so satisfactory, that he whose Affections are not rais'd by that Discourse, he who cannot acquiesce in the Fulness of this Assurance, he whose Heart is not establish'd by it in such a Belief as may entirely dispose him to the Service of the Crown, will hardly be recover'd to a better Disposition by any other Expedient. For indeed what better Way can be found to undeceive those who have been abus'd? The King refers you to the Time past; not to his Promises, but to his Performances; gives Men leave to judge by what they see, of what they hear; by what hath been done since the last Session, of what is offer'd you now, and what is likely to be done for the Time to come. And doth not every Man see that the King hath given new Life and Motion to such Laws as were long dead, or fast asleep? That he hath once more repaired the Hedge about our Vineyard, and made it a Fence against all those who are Enemies to the planting it, who would be glad to see it trodden down, or rooted up, and study how to sap and undermine our very Foundations? Do we not see that the King hath made it his Care and Business to do all that is possible to preserve our Civil Rights too; That he makes the Laws of his Kingdom the Measures not only of his Power but his Prudence; That he suffers no Man to be wiser than the Laws; That he thinks he cannot judge of the Health or Sickness of his State by any better Indication than the Current of his Laws, and suffers nothing to remain that may in the least hinder Justice from flowing in its due and proper Channel? To name a few Instances: If the Conviction of all Recusants, and bringing them under the Penal Laws, can suppress Popery: If, without saving for Forms of Law in Points of Conviction, the present forbidding of Papists, or reputed Papists to come to Court, and the extending this Prohibition to his royal Palace at St. James's, be enough to discountenance them; if the not extending his Prerogative beyond its due Limits, can secure your Liberties; if his lessening and reducing all his Land Forces, and maintaining so few extraordinary, as will scarce be enough to man his Fleet this Summer, can extinguish the Fears of a standing Army; if a rigorous and severe Prosecution of all the Officers and Soldiers in his Majesty's Guards, when they misbehave themselves towards the meanest Subject, can secure your Properties; if the Abrogation of all the Privileges from Arrests, claim'd by his Majesty's Servants extraordinary, who are very numerous, can prevent the Delays and Obstructions of Justice; Then surely his Majesty hath Reason to believe, that nothing is wanting which can lawfully be done, or modestly be wish'd, either for your Satisfaction, or your Security. These are not single and transient Acts, but such as flow from Habits; these are not Leaves and Blossoms, but true, solid and lasting Fruits: Long, long! may that Royal Tree live and flourish, upon which these Fruits do grow. And yet his Majesty's Indulgence to you rests not here; he gives you leave to study and contrive your own Assurance; and if you think you want any further Security, if any thing has escap'd his Majesty's Care, who meditates nothing more than your Preservation, you see you have free Leave to make any reasonable Proposition, and his gracious Promise that he will receive it. This is a Satisfaction equal to all your Wishes. Now, if ever, your Joys are full; there wants no more to the Improvement of this Happiness, but the Wisdom of the Parliament to use these Advantages with due Moderation. If therefore upon Enquiry you shall think it needful to apply any other Remedies, it is extremely to be wish'd that those Remedies may be few, and withal, that they be gentle and easy too. For the Sick perish as often by too many Remedies, as by none at all; but none fall so fatally and so finally, as they who, being enter'd into some Degrees of Convalescence, resolve to recover it in an Instant; and had rather make some great Effort, or try some bold Experiment upon themselves, than observe the Methods, or attend those gradual Progressions which are necessary to perfect that Health, and compleat that Recovery.
'I must not omit one Instance more of his Majesty's Care for you, and that is the great Industry and Application of Mind which his Majesty hath used all along, in hopes to have obtain'd by this Time, if it had been possible, an honourable and just Peace.' Then he made a large Deduction of the Dutch Averseness to Peace, their uncivil Demeanour to the King's Plenipotentiaries at Cologne, and how indirectly they dealt with his Majesty in all the Overtures of Peace, by appealing to his own People, &c. After which he proceeded in these Words: 'I have done with these few Instances of his Majesty's Care, those of his Kindness are infinite; That which you heard this Morning is of a transcendent, and indeed a very surprising Nature; 'tis an Act of so entire a Confidence on his Majesty's part, that it can never be repaid by any other Tribute on your part, but that of a true and humble Affiance in him. I must now proceed to put you in mind, that there are some other things which his Majesty, with great Justice, and great Assurance, doth expect from you again. The first is a speedy and proportionable Supply; and this is of absolute Necessity both for War and Peace. His Majesty is well assured his Fleet is in such a Forwardness, that if the Supply come in any reasonable Time, you will find no Time hath been lost in the Preparation; and it was no small matter to bring it to that pass, that we may be as forward as our Enemies, if we please, or very near it. If the Supply be at all delay'd, it will have almost as ill Effect as if it wete deny'd; for we may chance to be found like Archimedes, drawing Lines in the Dust, while the Enemy is entering into our Ports. And if the further Progress of this Fleet be stopp'd for want of your Concurrence, make account all Hopes of Peace are stopp'd too; for tho' the Fruit of War be Peace, yet it is such a Fruit as we must not hope to gather without our Arms in our Hands. It is not the Way to have a brave Peace, to shew ourselves weary of the War: Who ever trusted in the Good-Nature of their Enemies? It is a vigorous Assistance of the Crown that must make not only our Arms considerable, but our Treaties too. On the other side, if the putting of ourselves into a good Posture of War shou'd produce a Peace, as possibly it may do; yet you will have the best Account of your Supply your Hearts can wish, for his Majesty is content it be appropriated to the Building of more Ships: Therefore if the Discourse upon this Subject be a little more pressing than ordinary, you may be sure the Occasion is so too. There cannot be a higher Gratification of your Enemies, than to be backward in this Point; the very Opinion they have that you wou'd be so, hath already done us so much harm, that perhaps it is one great Cause of the Continuance of the War Had the Enemy despair'd of any Division here, 'tis likely his Proceedings had been more sincere, and our Peace had not been so far off as now it seems to be. There is one Thing more the King hath mentioned to you, that is the Consideration of the Goldsmiths, which involves so many Persons and Families, that the Concern is little less than National: It is an Affair the King lays very much to heart, and hopes a proper Time will come when a favourable Regard may be had to it.
'My Lords and Gentlemen, The King doth not only assure himself of your Affections at this Time, but from such Affections so known and so try'd as yours, he doth yet expect for greater Things than these. He doth expect that you should do your Endeavours to restore and improve the mutual Confidence between him and his People, and that you shou'd do it in such a degree that it may recover its full Strength, and quite extinguish all their Fears and Jealousies. For the King takes notice, that the Malice of his Enemies hath been very active in sowing so many Tares, as are almost enough to spoil that Harvest of Love and Duty which his Majesty may justly expect to reap from the good Seed which he himself has sown. Among the venomous Insinuations which have been used, the Fears and Jealousies of Religion and Liberty are of the worst Sort, and the most dangerous Impressions. Certainly Malice was never more busy than it hath been in these Reports, and it hath been assisted by a great deal of Invention; but it is hoped that no Man's Judgment or Affections will be either mis-led or disturb'd by such Reports. For Calumnies and Slanders of this nature are like Meteors in the Air; they may seem perhaps, especially to the Fearful, to be ill Prognosticks, and the direct Fore-runners of Mischief; but in themselves they are vain Apparitions, and have no kind of Solidity, no Permanence or Duration at all. For, after a little while, the Vapour spends itself, and then the base Exhalation quickly falls back into that Earth from whence it came. Religion and Liberty stand secured by the most sacred Ties that are; nay, the King hath a greater Interest in the Preservation of both, than you yourselves: For as Religion, the Protestant Religion, commands your indisputable Obedience, so it is a just and lawful Liberty which sweetens that Command, and endears it to you. Let other Princes therefore glory in the most resign'd Obedience of their Vassals, his Majesty values himself upon the Hearts and Affections of his People, and thinks his Throne, when seated there, better establish'd than the most exalted Sovereignty of those who tread upon the Necks of them that rise up against them. Since the World stood, never had any King so great a Cause to rest upon this Security. They were your Hearts that mourned for the Absence of the King: They were your Hearts and Affections which tir'd out all the late Usurpations, by your invincible Patience and Fortitude: It was you that taught our English World to see and know, that no Government cou'd be settled here, but upon the true Foundations of Honour and Allegiance. This, this alone made way for all the happy Changes which have follow'd. And yet Posterity will have cause to doubt, which was the greater Felicity of the two, That Providence which restored the Crown, or that which sent us such a Parliament to preserve it when it was restored. What may not the King now hope from you? What may not you assure yourselves from him! Can any thing be difficult to Hearts so united, to Interests so twisted and interwoven together, as the King's and yours are? Doubtless the King will surpass himself at this Time in endeavouring to procure the Good of the Kingdom; do but you excel yourselves in the continual Evidences of your Affections, and then the Glory of reviving this State, will be entirely due to this Session. Then they, who wait for the languishing and declension of the present Government, will be amazed to see so happy a Crisis, so blest a Revolution: And Ages to come will find cause to celebrate your Memories, as the truest Physicians, the wisest Counsellors, the noblest Patriots, and the best Session of the best Parliament, that ever King or Kingdom met with.'
Both Houses address for a Fast.
Notwithstanding these affecting Speeches, both Houses soon manifested their Discontent at the Continuance of the War with Holland, at the exorbitant Power of France, the Prevalence of Popish Counsels, &c. which they took care to signify, by joining in an Address to his Majesty for a General Fast, using these very Words: 'We your Majesty's most loyal and obedient Subjects, &c. being passionately sensible of the calamitous Condition of this Kingdom, not only by reason of the War wherein it is at present involv'd, but many other intestine Differences and Divisions amongst us, which are chiefly occasioned by the undermining Contrivances of Popish Recusants, whose Numbers and Insolencies are greatly of late increased, and whose restless Practices threaten a Subversion both of Church and State; all which our Sins have justly deserv'd, &c.' To which the King readily comply'd, and the 4th of February was appointed for the Day of Humiliation.
Proceedings against Popery. ; Resolutions to redress Grievances. ; Address to the King to raise the Militia. ; Address to the King to raise the Militia.
The House of Commons, proceeded with great Warmth and Vigour; and first agreed 'That the humble and hearty Thanks of this House be return'd to his Majesty for those Acts which he had done since the last Prorogation, towards the suppressing and discountenancing of Popery, and for his gracious Promises and Assurances in his last Speech.' But when they proceeded to the Consideration of the Speech itself, which they did upon the same Day, they soon came to this grand Resolve, 'That the House will, in the first place, proceed to have their Grievances effectually redress'd, the Protestant Religion, their Liberties and Properties effectual ly secured, and to suppress Popery, and remove all Persons and Counsellors popishly affected, or otherways obnoxious or dangerous to the Government.' Which being being done, to shew their further Detestation of Popery, they immediately order'd an Address to his Majesty, 'That the Militia of the City of London, and County of Middlesex, may be in readiness at an Hour's Warning, and the Militia of all other Counties of England, at a Day's Warning, for suppressing of all tumultuous Insurrections, which may be occasion'd by Papists, or any other malecontented Persons.' To which Address his Majesty made this gracious Answer: 'That he wou'd take a special Care, as well for the Preservation of their Persons, as of their Liberties and Properties.'
Proceedings against the Cabal.
The House, in the next place, proceeded to strike at three Members of the famous Cabal, which were Buckingham, Arlington and Lauderdale: They began at the last, and resolved, nemine contradicente, 'That an Address be presented to his Majesty to remove the Duke of Lauderdale from all his Employments, and from his Presence and Counsels for ever, being a Person obnoxious and dangerous to the Government.' Soon after they debated upon some Heads of Accusation against the Duke of Buckingham; but, while the Debate continued, a Letter was sent from the Duke to the Speaker, requesting to be heard before that honourable House, which was granted, and he was admitted with great Ceremony on the 13th Day of January. When his Discourse seem'd so loose and uncertain, that they resolved the next day to tye him down to some certain Queries, drawn up in Writing, to which he was to give distinct Answers. Accordingly the next Day he appear'd in great Splendor, and made this following Speech:
The Duke of Buckingham's Apology for himself before the House.
'Mr Speaker, I give the House my humble Thanks for the Honour you have twice done me, especially expressing my self so ill Yesterday. I hope you will consider the Condition I am in, in danger of passing in the Censure of the World for a vicious Person, and a Betrayer of my Country: I have ever had the misfortune to bear the Blame of other Men's Faults. I know the revealing the King's Councils, and corresponding with the King's Enemies, are laid against me; but I hope for your Pardon if I speak Truth for my self. I told you Yesterday, if the Triple League had any Advantage in it (I speak it without Vanity) I had as great a hand in it as any Man. Then, upon the Instance of the French Ambassador, I was sent into France upon the sad Subject of condoling the Death of Madam, where I urg'd for the Service of the King, that the French ought not to endeavour to make themselves considerable at Sea, of whom we had reason to be more jealous than of the Dutch, because the French then wou'd have Power to conquer us. When I return'd, I found all Demonstrations that the French had no such Thoughts, but that the King of England shou'd be Master at Sea. I do not pretend to judge whether I or other Men were in the right; I leave the Judgment of that to this honourable House. At this time my Lord Shaftesbury and my self advised not to begin a War without the Advice of the Parliament, and the Affections of the People; this was my Lord Shaftesbury's Opinion and mine, but not my Lord Arlington's. My next Advice was not to make use of French Ships, half their Value in Money wou'd have been more serviceable, I alledg'd they wou'd be of no use to us, by reason of their want of Experience in our Seas, and there wou'd be great Danger in their learning the Use of them; which Advice my Lord Arlington oppos'd: notwithstanding the King was so desirous of avoiding a Breach with France, that he sent me to Dunkirk, and my Lord Arlington to Utrecht, where I still endeavour'd to get Money instead of Ships. At my first Audience, the King of France was willing to comply, but, after, some Returns and Letters from hence, he was alter'd; but I make no Reflections upon Persons, but barely state Matters of Fact. Then it was my Lord Shaftesbury's Advice and mine, so to order the War, as that the French shou'd deliver us some Towns of their Conquests into our Hands; an useful Precaution in former Times. My Lord Arlington wou'd have no Towns at all for one Year; and here is the Cause of the Condition of our Affairs. We set out a Fleet with intention to land Men in order to the taking of Towns: the French Army go on conquering and get all, and we get nothing, nor agree for any. Pray consider who it was that was so often lock'd up with the French Ambassador. My Spirit moves me to tell you, that when we were to consider what to do, we were to advise with the French Ambassador. I will not trouble you with Reports; but pray look not upon me as a Peer, but an honest English Gentleman, who has suffer'd much for my Love to my Country. I had a Regiment given me, which was Sir Edward Scott's; I gave him sixteen Hundred Pound for it: There is no Papist Officer in it, nor Irish Man. I shall say nothing of my extraordinary Gains, I am sure I have lost as much Estate as some Men have gotten, and that is a big Word! I am honest, and, when I appear otherwise, I desire to die. I am not the Man that has gotten by all this; set after all this I am a Grievance: I am the cheapest Grievance this House ever had; and so I humbly ask the Pardon of the House for the Trouble I have given.
His Answers to their Queries.
The Speaker then procceded to ask the Duke the following Questions by Order of the House, to each of which his Grace gave an Answer. 1. Whether any Persons declared to your Grace any ill Advices or Purposes against the Liberties and Privileges of this House, or to alter the Government? Who they were, and what they advis'd? A. 'There is an old Proverb, Mr Speaker, Over Shoes over Boots. This reflects upon one that is now living, and so I desire pardon for saying any thing farther, fearing it may be thought a malicious Invention of mine, the Person being dead. I have said nothing yet but what I can justify, but this I cannot.' 2. Some Words fell from your Grace yesterday, wherein you were pleas'd to say you had gotten nothing, but others had gotten three, four or five Hundred Thousand Pounds: Who were they that had gotten it, and by what Means? A. 'I am not well acquainted by what means he got so much, being not at all acquainted with the Ways of getting Money. What the Duke of Ormond has got is upon Record, being about five hundred Thousand Pounds; my Lord Arlington has not got so much, but he has got a great deal.' 3. By whose Advice was the Army rais'd, and Monsieur Schomberg made General? A. 'I cannot say by whose Advice, but upon my Honour, not by mine. I was told by a Man that's dead, that my Lord Arlington sent for him, and it will be easily prov'd.' 4. By whose Advice was this Army brought up to awe the Debates and Resolutions of the House of Commons? A. 'I must make to this the same Answer as I did before; it was a Discourse from a Man dead to one now living. If I had deserved the Honour, I think I might have had the Command of that Army before him; but Schomberg was told my Lord Arlington would have the Government by an Army.' 5. Who made the Triple Alliance? A. 'My Lord Arlington and my self were only employ'd to treat; and, finding the Danger we were in of being cheated, we press'd the Ambassadors to sign before they had Power; and, tho' it was an odd Request, yet they did sign.' 6. Who made the first Treaty with France, by which the Triple Alliance was broken? A. 'I made that Treaty.' 7. By whose Advice was the Exchequer shut up, and the Order of Payment there broken? A. 'I was not the Adviser; I am sure I lost three Thousand Pound by it.' 8. Who advis'd the Declaration in Matters of Religion? A. 'I do not disown that I advis'd it; being always of Opinion that something was to be done in that nature in Matters of Conscience, but no further than the King might do by Law.' 9. Who advis'd the attacking the Smyrna Fleet before the War was proclaim'd? A. 'It was my Lord Arlington's Advice; I was utterly against it, as careful of the Honour of the Nation, and incurr'd some Anger by it. My Lord Arlington principally moved it, and I might say more.' 10. By whose Advice was the second Treaty at Utrecht? A. 'My Lord Arlington and I were sent over, and I found in Holland the greatest Consternation imaginable, like the burning of the Rump in England, the People crying, God bless the King of England! and cursing the States; and, had we then landed, we might have conquered the Country. The Prince of Orange wou'd have had the same Share in the Peace with France that we had, but tho' the King's Nephew, I thought he must be kind to his own Country. If we had made Peace then, we had been in a worse Condition than before; and lastly, the 'Prince of Orange hoped for a good Peace with us upon that Treaty; but I never could consent that France must have all, and we nothing. The Consequence wou'd be, that Holland must entirely depend upon France? and I think it a wise Article, that the French were not to make Peace without us.' 11. By what Counsel was the War begun without the Parliament, and thereupon the Parliament prorogu'd? A. 'My Lord Shaftesbury and I were for advising with the Parliament, and averse to the Prorogation. I can say nothing, but I believe the Parliament will never be against a War for the Good of England.' 12. By whose Advice was the Parliament prorogu'd the 4th of November last? A.—
Their Vote against him. ; Their Articles of Impeachment against the Earl of Arlington.
The House was so little satisfy'd with the Duke's Speech, and his several Answers, that, upon a further Debate, they came to this Resolution, 'That an Address be presented to his Majesty, to remove the said Duke of Buckingham from all his Employments that are held during his Majesty's Pleasure, and from his Presence and Councils for ever.' The next Day they enter'd upon a Debate about the Earl of Arlington, who, at his own Request, was likewise admitted to be heard in the House. In making of his Defence, he answered some Parts of the Duke of Buckingham's Speeches, and fairly gave the Honour of the Triple Alliance to Sir William Temple. But he was so far from giving Satisfaction to the House as to his own Conduct, that they presently drew up Articles of Impeachment against him, under this Title; Articles of treasonable and other Crimes of high Misdemeanor against the Earl of Arlington, Principal Secretary of State, viz. '1. The said Earl hath been a constant and vehement Promoter of Popery, and Popish Counsels. 1. By procuring Commissions for all the Papists lately in Command, who made their Application to him only, as a known Favourer of that Faction; there being not one Commission sign'd by the other Secretary, many of which Commissions were procured and sign'd by him since the several Addresses of the two Houses of Parliament to his Majesty, and the passing the late Act against Popery. 2. By procuring his Majesty's Letter, commanding Irish Papists and Rebels to be let into Corporations, and admitted into the Commissions of the Peace, and other Offices of Trust, Military and Civil, contrary to the establish'd Laws and Constitutions of that Realm, to the great Terror of the King's Protestant Subjects there 3. By not only setting up and supporting the aforesaid Papists there, but bringing the most violent and fiercest of them to command Companies and Regiments of the King's English Subjects there, to the great Dishonour and Danger of this Kingdom. 4. By openly and avowedly entertaining and lodging in his Family a Popish Priest, contrary to the known Laws of the Land; which said Priest was a noted Solicitor and Promoter of the Popish Faction, and hath since fled out of this Kingdom. 5. By procuring Pensions in other Mens Names for Popish Officers, contrary to, and in illusion of, the late Act of Parliament 6. By obtaining Grants of considerable Sums of Money to be charg'd upon the Revenue of Ireland, for the most violent and pernicious Papists there; particularly two thousand Pounds for one Colonel Fitz-Patrick, a notorious Irish Rebel, whose Mother was hang'd in the late Wars for murthering several English, and making Candles of their Fat; this Grant being procured for the said Fitz-Patrick, at a time when he was accus'd to the said Lord Arlington of high Crimes by the now Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. 7. By procuring his Majesty to release to several Irish Papists, some whereof were deeply engag'd in the horrid Rebellion of that Kingdom, the Chiefries, or HeadRents reserv'd to the Crown, out of the forfeited Estates of Papists there, being a principal Part of his Majesty's Revenue in that Kingdom.
'II. That the said Earl hath been guilty of many undue Practices to promote his own Greatness, and hath embezelled and wasted the Treasure of this Nation; 1. By procuring vast and exorbitant Grants for himself, both in England and Ireland, breaking into the Settlement of that Kingdom, and dispossessing several of the English Adventurers and Soldiers of the Proprieties and Free-Holds, in which they were duly, and legally stated, without any Colour of Reason, or Suggestion of Right 2. By charging excessive, and almost incredible Sums for false and deceitful Intelligence. 3. By procuring his Majesty's Hand for the giving away, from his first Entrance into his Office, the Value of three Millions of Sterling Money at the least; the several Grants whereof are extant, countersign'd by him, and by him only. 4. That the said Earl, presuming to trample upon all Estates and Degrees of the Subjects of this Realm, the better to subdue them to his Will and Pleasure, hath causelesly and illegally imprison'd many of his Majesty's Subjects. 5. That he did procure a Principal Peer of the Realm to be unjustly imprison'd, and to be proclaim'd Traytor, without any legal Proceeding or Tryal, and did maliciously suborn false Witnesses with Money to take away his Life, upon pretence of treasonable Words.
'III. That the said Earl hath falsly and traitorously betray'd the great Trust repos'd in him by his Majesty, as Counsellor and Principal Secretary of State. 1. By entertaining a more than usual Intimacy with the French Ambassador, not only lodging him in his House, but letting him into the King's most secret Counsels. 2. By altering in private, and singly by himself, several solemn Determinations of his Majesty's Council. 3. By procuring a Stranger to have the chief Command of the late rais'd Army, for the Invasion of Holland, to the great Dishonour and Discouragement of all the legal Nobility and Gentry of this Nation. 4. By advising his Majesty to admit of a Squadron of French Ships to be join'd with our English Fleet, (the sad Consequence whereof we have since felt) notwithstanding the King of France had agreed to send a Supply of Men, in order to have the Fleet wholly English. 5. Whereas the King was advis'd by several of the Counsellors to press the French King to desist from making any farther Progress in the Conquest of the Inland-Towns of Holland, whereof England was to have no Benefit, and to turn his Army upon those Maritime-Towns that were by the Treaty to be ours: his Lordship gave the King Council to desist, whereby that Part of our Expectation was wholly frustrated. 6. Whereas the King was advis'd by several of his Council not to enter into this War, till his Majesty was out of debt, and had advis'd with his Parliament; his Lordship was of Opinion to the contrary, and gave his Advice accordingly. 7. When the French Ships were dispers'd after the late Fight at Sea, and had lost all their Anchors and Cables by reason of the soul Weather that then ensu'd, he persuaded his Majesty to send them eighty Cables and Anchors, although it was then objected, and he knew it to be true, That his Majesty had not at that time any more in his Stores to supply his own Ships in case of the like Necessity. 8. He hath traitorously corresponded with the King's Enemies beyond the Seas, and contrary to the Trust repos'd in him, hath given Intelligence to them.
A new Test against Popery.
The Houses next proceeded to prepare a severe Bill, for a general Test, to distinguish between Protestants and Papists, and to prevent the Danger and further Growth of Popery, and for more easy and speedy Conviction of Popish Recusants; and those that shall refuse to take it, be made incapable to enjoy any Office, Military or Civil, to sit in either House of Parliament, or to come within five Miles of the Court. The Test itself was in these Words: I A. B. do solemnly from my Heart, and in the Presence of Almighty God, profess, testify, and declare, That I do not believe in my Conscience that the Church of Rome is the only Catholic and Universal Church of Christ, out of which there is no Salvation; Or that the Pope hath any Jurisdiction or Supremacy over the Catholic Church in general, or over myself in particular, or that it belongs to the said Church of Rome alone to judge of the true Sense and Interpretation of the Holy Scriptures; Or that in the Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist, there is made a perfect Change of the whole Substance of the Bread into Christ, Body, or of the whole Substance of the Wine into Christ's Blood, which Change the said Church of Rome calleth Transubstantiation; Or that the Virgin Mary, or any other Saint, ought to be worshipped, or pray'd unto; And all these aforesaid Doctrines and Positions, I do renounce and disclaim, as False aud Erroneous, and contrary to God's Word, and the Christian Religion.
The King's Speech concerning certain Proposals for a Peace.
At the beginning of this Session I told you, as I thought I had reason to do, That the States-General had not yet made me any Proposals which could be imagin'd with Intent to conclude, but only to amuse. To avoid this Imputation, they have now sent me a Letter by the Spanish Ambassador, offering me some Terms of Peace, upon Conditions formally drawn up, and in a more decent Style than before. It is upon this, that I desire your speedy Advice: for, if you shall find the Terms such as may be embraced, your Advice will have great weight with Me; and if you find them defective, I hope you will give me your Advice and Assurance how to get better Terms. Upon the whole matter I doubt not but you will take care of my Honour, and the Honour and Safety of the Nation, which are now so deeply concern'd.'
Thanks voted, &c. ; The King's Answer.
With this Speech, the King deliver'd to the two Houses Copies of the Memorial from the Spanish Ambassador, together with Proposals from the Dutch in order to a Treaty. Upon the reading of which, and the Dutch Proposals in the House of Commons, they voted their humble and hearty. Thanks to be return'd to his Majesty for his most gracious Speech; and immediately after they resolv'd, 'That, upon Consideration had upon his Majesty's said gracious Speech, and the Proposals of the States-General of the United-Provinces, this House is of Opinion, That his Majesty be humbly advis'd to proceed in a Treaty with the States-General, in order to a speedy Peace.' The Lords also joining in the same Resolution of Advice, it was solemnly presented to his Majesty, who return'd this Answer; 'My Lords and Gentlemen, I cannot better thank you for your Advice than by following it; which I shall endeavour, and doubt not of your Assistance to enable me to perform it.'
Resolution concerning Grievances. ; Reasons against the King's Guards.
After this, the House, on the 7th of February, went into a Committee of the whole House, to take into their Consideration the Grievances of the Nation, in which they particularly resolv'd, 'That the Continuance of any StandingForces in this Nation, other than the Militia, is a great Grievance and Vexation to the People; and it is the humble Petition and Address of this House to his Majesty, That he will immediately cause to be disbanded that Part of them that were rais'd since the 1st Day of January, 1663' This Matter gradually led them into an uncommon Debate concerning the King's Guards, which had been establish'd soon after the Restoration; and these following Reasons were given in, for disbanding the Horse and Foot-Guards, commonly call'd the King's Life-Guard. 1. 'That, according to the Laws of the Land, the King hath no Guards but those called Gentlemen-Perisioners, and Yeomen of the Guard. 2. That ever since this Parliament, although there have been so many Sessions, they never settled the Life-Guard by Act of Parliament; nay, they have been so far from it, that, whensoever they have been so much as mention'd in the House of Commons, they would never in the least take any favourable Notice of them, always looking upon them, as a Number of Men unlawfully assembled, and in no respect fit to be the least countenanc'd by the Parliament of England. 3. That they are of vast Charge to the King and Kingdom. 4. That they are altogether useless to this Kingdom, as doth plainly appear by his Majesty's most happy and peaceable Reign since his blessed Restoration; there being so much real and mutual Love, Confidence and Trust between his Majesty and his good People, which is daily manifested by his Majesty's frequent trusting and exposing his Sacred Person to his People without a Guard. 5. That Guards, or Standing-Armies, are only in use where Princes govern more by Fear, than by Love, as in France, where the Government is arbitrary. 6. That this LifeGuard is a Standing-Army in disguise, and that as long as they continue, the Roots of a Standing-Army will remain amongst us; and therefore it is impossible effectually to deliver this Nation from a standing Army, till these Guards are pull'd up by the Roots. 7. That the Life-Guard is a Place of Refuge and Retreat for Papists and Men popishly affected, and a School and Nursery for Men of debauched and arbitrary Principles, and Favourers of the French Government, as did too plainly appear in the Case of Sir John Coventry. 8. That if the Life-Guard were disbanded, the King wou'd thereby save some hundred thousands of Pounds per Annum; which wou'd in a few Years enable him to pay all his Debts, without burdening his good People with any further Taxes to that End.'
The King's Speech to both Houses, on the Conclusion of the Peace with Holland.
In pursuance of your Advice, I have made a speedy, an honourable, and I hope a lasting Peace with the Dutch. As to your Address for the disbanding of the Forces, I have, since the Peace made with the Dutch, given Orders for disbanding them; nay, I have order'd to disband more than you desired. As for your Address about the Irish Regiments, I have order'd to send them back into Ireland. But I must needs acquaint you, That there is a great want of Capital Ships, and I wou'd be glad to be equal in Number with my Neighbours, and I hope I shall have your Assistance upon so good an Occasion, to preserve the Honour and Safety of this Nation.'
This Speech produc'd an immediate Resolution, That the humble and hearty Thanks of their House be return'd to his Majesty for his making a speedy Peace, and for his gracious Answers to the Address of their House concerning the standing Forces.
Further Proceedings. ; The Habeas Corpus Bill pass'd.
After which, they proceeded to the further Consideration of the Grievances of the Nation, and particularly voted, 'That a Committee be appointed to inspect the Laws lately made in Scotland, whereby an Army is authoriz'd to march into England, or Ireland; and peruse such other Laws as do tend to the Breach of the Union of the two Nations.' They likewise in a grand Committee, shortly after took into their Consideration the State and Condition of the Kingdom of Ireland, and resolv'd, 'That a Committee be appointed to inspect the State and Condition of that Kingdom; and more especially to consider of the State of Religion; and the Militia, and the Forces of that Kingdom, and examine the Matters of Fact relating thereunto.' About the same Time, when they were upon the Topic of Grievances, they appointed another Committee 'To inspect the Laws, and to consider how the King may commit any Subject by his immediate Warrant, as the Law now stands, and to report their Opinions: And further, they were order'd to consider how the Law now stands touching the Committing of Persons by the Council-Table, and to report the same.' Upon which Occasion, they brought in a particular Bill concerning Writs of Habeas Corpus, a Bill much for the Liberty of the Subject, which was read three times, and pass'd. They likewise order'd a Bill to be brought in, For a Test to be taken by the Members of both Houses. But on the 24th Day of February the King came to the House of Peers, where sending for the Commons, he made this following Speech to both Houses:
The King's Speech at the Prorogation.
When I was here last, I told you the Peace was sign'd; I am now come to tell you it is ratify'd; and I hope it will prove a happy and lasting Peace to both Nations. This, and the Spring coming on so fast, it will be convenient for you to be in your Countries, both for your own Business and mine. And I therefore think fit to make a Recess at this Time, the Winter being more convenient for Business. In the mean time, I will do my Endeavour to satisfy the World of my Stedfastness for the securing the Protestant Religion, as it is now establish'd, and your Properties; and I desire that you, in your several Counties, will endeavour to satisfy the People therewith. I have no more to say at this time, but that I have commanded my Lord-Keeper to prorogue the Parliament to the tenth of November next.'