The History and Proceedings of the House of Commons: Volume 2, 1680-1695. Originally published by Chandler, London, 1742.
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From the Dissolution at Oxford, March 28, 1681, to the Death of Charles II. which happened Feb. 6, 1684-5, Parliaments seem hardly to be thought of: But being necessary to his Successor, one was summon'd to meet at Westminster May 19, when His Majesty being come to the House of Peers, commanded the Gentleman-Usher of the Black-Rod (viz. Sir Thomas Duppa Knight) to acquaint the House of Commons, that 'tis His Majesty's Pleasure they attend him immediately, who being come to the Bar of the Lords House, Sir Francis North, Baron of Guilford, and Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England, having first received His Majesty's Pleasure, spoke to this Effect.
Lord Keeper North's Speech.
'My Lords, and you, the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses of the House of Commons, I am Commanded by His Majesty, to acquaint You, that there are divers Preliminaries for You to do, and several Oaths required by Act of Parliament, for us all to take, before you can proceed to Business. It is therefore His Majesty's Pleasure, that you, Gentlemen of the House of Commons, do go back to your House, and make choice of a Speaker, and come and present him to His Majesty at Four of the Clock, and when you have done that, and taken the usual Oaths, His Majesty will then acquaint you with the Reasons why he call'd you together.'
Sir John Trevor chosen Speaker.
The Commons being returned to their own House, my Lord Middleton named Sir John Trevor, as a fit Person for their Speaker, and one that would be acceptable to His Majesty; whereupon the Commons unanimously made Choice of Sir John Trevor, who took the Chair, and the House adjourned 'till Four of the Clock.
Post Meridiem. His Majesty being again seated on his Royal Throne, adorn'd with the Royal Ornaments, &c. sent the Usher of the Black-Rod, to command the Commons to attend him immediately in the House of Lords; where being come, the Commons presented Sir John Trevor, whom they had unanimously chose their Speaker. Sir John endeavoured to excuse himself to His Majesty, as being not capable of undertaking a Place of that great Weight and Importance, as the Office of a Speaker requires; but the Excuse not being allowed, the Lord Keeper, by His Majesty's Command, ratified and confirmed him Speaker; adding, that His Majesty was well satisfied of his Experience and Ability, and that he was every way sitted and qualified for that Employment. Mr. Speaker, after having made a short Speech, giving His Majesty Thanks for his Gracious Acceptance of him, made these humble Petitions following.
The 22d, His Majesty being come to the House of Peers, and seated on the Throne, &c. sent the Gentleman-Usher of the Black-Rod to command the House of Commons to attend him immediately at the Bar of the Lords House, where His Majesty made a Speech to them.
The King's Speech to both Houses.
After it pleased Almighty God, to take to his Mercy the late King my dearest Brother, and to bring me to the peaceable Possession of the Throne of my Ancestors, I immediately resolved to call a Parliament, as the best Means to settle every thing upon those Foundations, as may make my Reign both easy and happy to you: Towards which, I am disposed to contribute all that is fit for me to do.
'What I said to my Privy-Council at my first coming there, I am desirous to renew to you, wherein I fully declare my Opinion concerning the Principles of the Church of England, whose Members have shewed themselves so eminently Loyal in the worst of times, in Defence of my Father, and Support of my Brother, of Blessed Memory; that I will always take care to defend and support it. I will make it my Endeavour to preserve this Government both in Church and State, as it is now by Law Established; and as I will never depart from the just Rights and Prerogatives of the Crown, so I will never invade any Man's Property; and you may be sure, that having heretofore ventur'd my Life in the Defence of this Nation, I will still go as far as any Man in preserving it, in all its just Rights and Liberties; and having given you this Assurance concerning the Care I will have of your Religion and Property, which I have chose to do in the same Words which I us'd at my first coming to the Crown; the better to evidence to you, that I spoke them not by Chance, and consequently that you may firmly rely upon a Promise so solemnly made.
'I cannot doubt that I shall fail of suitable Returns from you, with all imaginable Duty and Kindness on your part, and particularly to what relates to the settling of my Revenue, and continuing it, during my Life, as it was in the Life-time of my Brother. I might use many Arguments to enforce this Demand, for the Benefit of Trade, the Support of the Navy, the Necessity of the Crown, and the Well-being of the Government it self, which I must not suffer to be precarious, but I am confident, your own Consideration of what is just and reasonable, will suggest to you whatsoever might be enlarged upon this occasion.
'There is one Popular Argument which I foresee, may be used against what I ask of you, from the Inclination Men have for frequent Parliaments, which some may think would be the best Security, by feeding me from time to time by such Proportions as they shall think convenient; and this Argument, it being the first time I speak to you from the Throne, I will answer once for all, that this would be a very improper Method to take with me, and that the best way to engage me to meet you often, is always to use me well.
'I must acquaint you that I have had News this Morning from Scotland, that Argyle is landed in the West High-lands, with the Men he brought with him from Holland; that there are two Declarations published, one in the Name of all those in Arms, the other in his own; it would be too long for me to repeat the Substance of them, it is sufficient to tell you, I am charged with Usurpation and Tyranny, the shorter of them I have directed to be forthwith communicated to you.
'I will take the best care I can, that this Declaration of their own Faction and Rebellion may meet with the Reward it deserves, and I will not doubt but you will be the more zealous to support the Government, and give me my Revenue as I have desired it without delay.'
The Messengers being returned, acquainted the House, that their Lordships had agreed to the Vote of Thanks for his Majesties most gracious Speech, and that their Lordships had attended his Majesty to know his Pleasure when he would be attended therewith, and his Majesty had appointed 4 of the Clock this Afternoon, to be attended in the Banqueting House at White hall by both Houses of Parliament.
The late King's Revenue granted for Life.
Resolved, nemine contradicente, That all the Revenue given to his late Majesty, and enjoyed by him at his Death, be given and granted to his present Majesty King James the IId, and settled upon him during his Life.
That his Majesty could say no more to them than what he had said, but that he would be as good as his word. And that he did not doubt but with the Assistance of both Houses, to maintain the Government against all Rebels and Traitors.
Earl of Argyle's Declaration.
The Declaration of Archibald Earl of Argyle, Cowall and Campbel, Lorn, &c. Heretable Sheriff and Lieutenant of Argyle and Tarbet, and Heretable Justice General of the said Shires, and of the West Isles, and others; with his Orders to his Vassals and others in the said Shires, and under his Jurisdiction, to concur for Defence of their Religion, their Lives and Liberties.
I Shall not mention my Case published in Print in Latin and Dutch, and more at large in English, nor need I repeat the printed Declaration emitted by seveveral Noblemen and Gentlemen, and others of both Nations now in Arms; but because the Sufferings of me and my Family are therein mentioned, I have thought fit to declare for myself, that as I go to Arms with those that have appointed me to conduct them for no private or personal end, but only for those contained in the said Declaration, I have concorded with them and approved of their Design, so I claim Interest but in what I had before, the pretended Forfeitures of my Friends, and have sufficient Right to.
And that I do freely, fully, and as a Christian forgive all Personal Injuries against my Person and Family, to all that shall not oppose, but join and concur with Us in our present Undertaking, for the mentioned Reasons in the said Declaration. And hereby I oblige myself never to pursue them in Judgment.
And I farther Declare, that, obtaining the peaceable and quiet Possession of what belonged to my Father and myself before our pretended Forfeitures, I shall satisfy all Debts due from my Father and myself, and as my Faithfulness to his late Majesty and his Government hath sufficiently appeared to all unbiassed Persons void of Malice, so I do with Grief acknowledge my former too much complying with, and conniving at the Methods taken to bring us to the sad Condition we are now in, tho' (God knows) never concurring in the Design. I have now, with God's Strength, suffered patiently my unjust Sentence and Banishment three Years and a half, and have never offered to make any Uproar or Defence by Arms, to disturb the Peace, upon my private Concerns. But the King being now dead, and the Duke of York having taken off his Masque, and having abandoned and invaded our Religion and Liberties, resolving to enter into the Government, and exercising contrary to Law, I think not only just, but my Duty to God and my Country, to use my utmost Endeavours to oppose and repress his Usurpation and Tyranny.
And therefore being assisted and furnished very nobly by several good Protestants, and invited, and accompanied by several of both Nations to head them, I resolve, as God shall enable me, to use their Assistance of all kinds towards the ends expressed in the said Declaration.
I do hereby Command all my Vassals every where, and all within my several Jurisdictions, with defensable Men in their Commands, to go to Arms, and to join with us according to the said Declaration, as they will be answerable at their Perils, and to obey the particular Orders they shall receive from me, from time to time.
Resolved, nemine contradicente, That this House will stand by and assist his Majesty with their Lives and Fortunes in Defence of his Royal Person, against Archibald Campbel the pretended Earl of Argyle and his Adherents, and all other Rebels, and Traytors, and others whatsoever, that shall assist them or any of them.
Presented to his Majesty.
'I could expect no less from a House of Commons so composed, as (God be thanked) you are: I rely on the Assurances you have given me, which are the natural Effects of Monarchical Church of England Men. I shall stand by all such, and, so supported, have no reason to fear any Rebels, or Enemies I now have or may have.'
Immediately Mr. Speaker left the Chair, and the Committee went through the said Bill with Amendments. The House reassum'd— Mr. Speaker reported the said Bill with the Amendments— To which the House agreed.
The 27th, Sir Thomas Meers Chairman of the Committee for Religion, reports, That the Committee had drawn up two Votes (viz.) That it is the opinion of the Committee, that this House will stand by his Majesty with their Lives and Fortunes, according to their bounden Duty and Allegiance, in Defence of the Reformed Religion of the Church of England, as it is now by Law established. That an humble Address be presented to his Majesty, to desire him to issue forth his Royal Proclamation, to cause the penal Laws to be put in execution, against all Dissenters from the Church of England, whatsoever.
Resolved, Nemine Contradicente, That this House doth acquiesce, and entirely rely, and rest wholly satisfied on his Majesty's gracious Word, and repeated Declaration to support and defend the Religion of the Church of England, as it is now by Law established, which is dearer to us than our Lives.
Ordered, That Sir Gilbert Gerrard, Sir Thomas Player, Colonel Whiteley, and Colonel Birch, Commissioners appointed by the late Act of Parliament for disbanding the late Forces, do bring in their Accounts to this House, on Saturday Morning next.
The 30th, Sir Thomas Player, and Colonel Whiteley appearing, were called in, who gave some account of their Proceedings in disbanding the Army, and were ordered to attend again on Monday Morning next.
And also that their Accounts and Vouchers be brought in by the Auditor at the same time. And that Mr. Speaker be desired to write to Sir Gilbert Gerrard and Colonel Birch, who are in the Country, requiring them to bring in their Accounts speedily.
A Message from his Majesty by the Usher of the Black Rod, for commanding this House immediately to attend him in the House of Peers. Where, being come, Mr. Speaker presented his Majesty with the Revenue-Bill, in hæc Verba.
The Speaker's Speech at presenting the Bill of Tunnage.
'May it please your sacred Majesty, The Commons of England have here presented your Majesty with the Bill of Tunnage and Poundage, with all Readiness and Chearfulness, and that without any Security for their Religion, tho' it be dearer to them than their Lives, relying wholly on your Royal Word for the Security of it; and humbly beseech your Majesty to accept this their Offer; and pray that God would bless you with a long Life, and prosperous Reign over them.
The King's Speech thereupon.
I Thank you very heartily for the Bill you have presented me this day, and I assure you, the Readiness and Chearfulness that hath attended the Dispatch of it, is as acceptable to me as the Bill itself.
'After so happy a Beginning, you may believe I would not call upon you unnecessarily for an extraordinary Supply: But when I tell you the Stores of the Navy are extreamly exhausted, that the Anticipations upon several Branches of the Revenue, are great and burthensome; and the Debts of the King, my Brother, to his Servants and Family, are such as deserve Compassion; that the Rebellion in Scotland, without putting more weight upon it than it really deserves, must oblige me to a considerable Expence extraordinary: I am sure such Considerations will move you to give me an Aid to provide for those things, wherein the Security, the Ease, and the Happiness of my Government are so much concern'd. But above all, I must recommend to you the Care of the Navy, the Strength and Glory of this Nation, that you will put it into such a condition, as will make us considerable and respected abroad. I cannot express my Concern upon this occasion more suitable to my own Thoughts of it, than by assuring you I have a true English Heart, as jealous of the Honour of the Nation as you can be; and I please myself with the Hopes, that, by God's Blessing and your Assistance, I may carry its Reputation yet higher in the World, than ever it has been in the time of any of my Ancestors.
'And as I will not call upon you for Supplies, but when they are of public Use and Advantage, so I promise you, that what you give me upon such occasions, shall be managed with good Husbandry: And I will take care it shall be employed to the Uses for which I ask them.'
A Supply voted.
Resolved, Nemine Contradicente, That a Supply be given to his Majesty for Repair of the Navy, Ordnance, and Stores, and in Defence of the same, for all other Occasions mention'd in his Majesty's Speech.
June 1st, A Bill for the additional Duty of Excise upon Wines and Vinegar, towards a Supply to be given his Majesty for Repair of the Navy, and Ordnance, and Stores for the same, and for Supply of his Majesty's Occasions, mention'd in his last Speech, read, and ordered a second Reading to-morrow.
The Accounts of Sir Thomas Player and Colonel Whiteley, with part of the Accounts of Sir Gilbert Gerrard and Colonel Birch, for disbanding the late Forces, were this day brought into the House, and referred to a Committee to examine the same, and report their Opinions therein speedily to the House. Adjourn'd till eight to-morrow.
The Cause between Sir Jos. Williamson, and Mr. Heveningham about the Election for Thetford, was heard at the Bar. And then resolved, that no Mayor can duly return himself a Burgess to serve in Parliament for the same Borough for which he is Mayor at the time of Election.
The 3d, the House entring into Debate, whether the Election for Thetford should fall on Sir Jo. Williamson, or not; the House divided, and it was carried by five Voices, that Sir Joseph was not duly elected.
The Bill for Reversing Lord Stafford's Attainder.
'Be it Enacted, by the King's most excellent Majesty, by, and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons in Parliament Assembled, and by the Authority of the same: That the said Judgment and Attainder, and all and every Act and Acts of Attainder of Treason, of, or against the said late Viscount Stafford, shall be, and now is hereby reversed, repealed, revoked, annulled and made void to all Intents and Purposes, as f the same had never been.'
The 10th, The Case of Cricklade Election was reported, and it appearing that Mr. Freak had sometime abated one of the Electors 20 l. on Condition that he and his Friends will give their Votes for him:
A Message from the King, by Sir John Ernley.
'That his Majesty did heartily Thank the House for their Readiness in his Supplies. That he desired no more this Session than what they are about. That he would make Trial of the Impositions on Sugars and Tobacco, but if he should find them injurious to his Plantations, he would not make use of them, but hoped they would supply him some other Way.'
Report from the Committee, concerning the Prices of Corn, and Wool.
Mr. Thorold and Mr. Dassel, the one Mayor of Lyme, the other an Officer belonging to the Customs, being in the Lobby of the House of Commons, were called into the House, where they gave this Account of the Landing of the Duke of Monmouth, as followeth, viz.
Account of the Duke of Monmouth's Landing.
That about half an hour after, they sent another Messenger in a Boat, and they kept him likewise; that about nine a Clock at Night they failed into the Cobb, and the Duke of Monmouth came on Shore with divers Men all well armed, and genteel in their Habit.
That the Duke led them on to the Market-place, or Cross of the said Town, and there set up his Standard, being a blue Flag, and exercised the Men himself, who were, as these Informants do guess, near 150, or thereabouts.
That the said Duke of Monmouth and his Men being asked what they came there for, said, to settle the Protestant Religion, and to destroy Popery: Inviting all Persons that would, to come and join with them; being told, there were no Roman-Catholicks there, but Protestants, and there was no need for them to come there.
Resolved, That this House do wait on his Majesty, and give their Thanks for his Favour in imparting the said Intelligence to this House, and do humbly offer to assist and stand by his Majesty with their Lives and Fortunes, against the said Duke of Monmouth, and all Rebels and Traitors, and all other his Majesty's Enemies, whatsoever.
Resolved, That a Bill be brought in for the Attainder of Jam s Duke of Monmouth of High-Treason, praying his Majesty to issue out his Royal Proclamation, promising a Reward of 5000 l. to any that shall bring in the Body of the Duke of Monmouth dead or alive.
A Message from the Lords.
The 16th the House receiv'd the following Message from the Lords, viz. 'Mr. Speaker, the Lords, by the King's Command, have had communicated to them, a traitorous /?/er, entitled, A Declaration of James Duke of Monmouth, &c. upon which they have made this Order, and their Lordships desire the same may be return'd to them, as soon as the same shall be read, in regard it is to be burn'd by the Hands on the Common-Hangman, this day at one o'clock,
Monmouth's Declaration, order'd to be burnt by the Common-Hangman.
'That he thank'd the House for their loyal Address; and particularly for their Care of his Royal Person: That he would venture his Life for the Defence of his People, and for their Peace. And that he did not doubt, but, with God's Blessing, and the Assistance of his loyal Subjects, to quell all Traitors and Rebels.'
'His Majesty was pleased to give his Royal Assent to these five Bills following, viz. The Bill for Imposition on Wines and Vinegar. The Bill for Imposition on Sugars and Tobacco. The Bill for Attainder of James Duke of Monmouth. The Earl of Ossory's Bill, to enable him to make a Jointure. A Bill for Naturalization of several Persons.
Resolutions to lay a Tax on New Buildings.
Reports were made from the Committee, That a Tax be laid upon such new Buildings as have been erected within the Bills of Mortality, except such Houses as have been built within the Compass of the late several Fires in London and Southwark.
A Message from his Majesty desiring a present Supply.
A Message from his Majesty by the Earl of Middleton, acquainting the House, 'That he judges it necessary for the Members (on whose Loyalty and Affection he depends wherever they are) to be present in their respective Counties, and therefore designs there shall be a Recess in a very few days; but because the Rebellion in the West will occasion an extraordinary Expence, his Majesty desires there may be a good Fund for a present Sum of Money, to answer the immediate Charge his Majesty must be at, and to the end the Bills now depending may not be prejudiced, his Majesty is pleased this Separation shall be an Adjournment, and for some short time only.'
400,000 l. granted.
The Bill for settling the Queen's Jointure read.
A Bill sent down from the Lords for settling the Queen's Jointure, read, and ordered a second Reading; by consolidating the Estates-Tail and Reversion in Fee, which his Majesty hath in the Post-Office, and 24000 l. per Annum out of the hereditary Excise.
The 20th, the Bill sent down from the Lords for consolidating and settling the Estate of his Majesty in the PostOffice, and 24000 l. per Ann of the Excise, and the Bill to enable his Majesty to make Leases of Lands in the Dutchy of Cornwal, were read a second time, and ordered to be read a third time.
Report from the Committee of the Supply.
The two Bills sent from the Lords, one for consolidating his Majesty's Interest in the Post-Office, and 24,000 l. per Annum in the Excise; the other, to enable his Majesty to make Leases of Lands in the Dutchy of Cornwal; were read a third time, and passed.
The 24th, the Bill for an Imposition on Silks, Brandies, East-India Commodities, &c. read a second time, and committed to a Committee of the whole House, to consider of the Bill, with power to bring in a Clause of Credit to raise Money for his Majesty's Supply.
Mr. Sollicitor reported the said Bill, with some Amendments: The Bill commencing from the first of July, 1685, till the first of July 1690. And a Clause to be added for giving the King a Credit for raising a Sum on this Revenue, at Interest, not exceeding the Rate of 81. per Cent.
Several Bills passed.
July 2d, The House being met, the Gentleman-Usher of the Black Rod commanded the Commons to attend his Majesty in the House of Peers immediately; where being come, his Majesty gave his Royal Assent to these following Bills:
An Act for the Improvement of Tillage, &c.
An Act for making St. James's a distinct Parish.
An Act for Encouragement of Building Ships.
An Act for reviving several Acts expired, or near expiring.
An Act for the Augmentation of the Vicaridges in the Bishoprick of Bangor.
The Parliament adjourn'd by Command.
'My Lords and Gentlemen, I am commanded to let you know, that it is his Majesty's Pleasure, that both Houses adjourn forthwith, till Tuesday the 4th of August next; not that his Majesty intends that then there shall be a Session, but that the Members that are about Town, shall then meet, and adjourn themselves from time to time, as there shall be occasion till Winter. And when his Majesty would have a full House, he will give notice of it by Proclamation.
Monday Nov. 9, Both Houses of Parliament met, pursuant to the last Adjournment, His Majesty being seated in his Royal Throne in his House of Peers, commanded the GentlemanUsher of the Black-Rod to give Notice to the House of Commons, that they immediately attend his Majesty in the House of Peers. Where being come, his Majesty was pleased to make a most Gracious Speech to both Houses of Parliament.
The King's Speech to both Houses.
'After the Storm that seemed to be coming upon us when we parted last, I am glad to meet you all again in so great Peace and Quietness; God Almighty be praised, by whose Blessing that Rebellion was suppressed: But when I reflect what an inconsiderable number of Men begun it, and how long they carried it on without any Opposition, I hope every body will be convinced, that the Militia, which have hitherto been so much depended on, is not sufficient for such Occasions, and that there is nothing but a good Force of well-disciplined Troops in constant Pay that can defend us, from such as either at home or abroad are disposed to disturb us. And in truth, my Concern for the Peace and Quiet of my Subjects, as well as for the Safety of the Government, made me think it necessary to increase the number to the proportion I have done: That I owed as well to the Honour as the Security of the Nation, whose Reputation was so infinitely exposed to all our Neighbours, by having lain open to this late wretched Attempt, that it is not to be repaired without keeping such a Body of Men on foot, that none may ever have a thought of finding us again so miserably unprovided. It is for the Support of this great Charge, which is now more than double to what it was, that I ask your Assistance in giving me a Supply answerable to the Expences it brings along with it; and I cannot doubt but what I have done so much to the Honour and Defence of the Government, will be continued by you with all chearfulness and readiness that is requisite for a Work of so great Importance. Let no Man take exception, that there are some Officers in the Army not qualified according to the late Test for their Employment: The Gentlemen, I must tell you, are most of them well known to me, and, having formerly served me on several Occasions, and always approved the Loyalty of their Principles by their Practices, I think them now fit to be employed under me, and will deal plainly with you, that, after having had the Benefit of their Services in such time of need and danger, I will neither expose them to disgrace, nor my self to the want of them, if there should be another Rebellion to make them necessary to me.
'I am afraid some Men may be so wicked to hope and expect that a difference may happen between you and me upon this Occasion, but when you consider what Advantages have risen to us in a few Months by the good Understanding we have hitherto had, what wonderful Effects it hath already produced in the change of the whole Scene of Affairs abroad, so much more to the Honour of the Nation, and the Figure it ought to make in the World, and that nothing can hinder a further Progress in this way to all our Satisfactions, but Fears and Jealousies amongst our selves; I will not apprehend that such a Misfortune can befall us as a Division, or but a Coldness between You and Us; nor that any thing can shake you in your Steadiness and Loyalty to me, who by God's Blessing will ever make you all returns of Kindness and Protection, with a Resolution to venture even my own Life in the Defence of the true Interest of this Kingdom.'
The Earl of Middleton, a Member of the House of Commons, and one of His Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State, moved, that the House would immediately return their Thanks to His Majesty for his most Gracious Speech, and also proceed to the Consideration of answering the Ends therein mentioned.
After some Debate, it was resolved, That the House resolve it self into a Committee of the whole House on Thursday Morning next at Ten of the Clock, to take into Consideration. His Majesty's Speech: And the House adjourned till Thursday the 12th Instant, Ten o'Clock in the Morning.
Sir William Clifton.
'We have lately had an unfortunate Proof how little we are to depend upon the Militia, and therefore sure we must all approve of His Majesty's increasing the Forces to what they are. France is formidable, now Holland's Forces are greatly increased, and we must be strong in proportion, for preservation of our selves and Flanders, and toward that the good Harmony betwixt the King and this House hath greatly contributed. It has had two other great Effects abroad:
'1. The French King's Army last Spring was marching towards Germany, Crequi was far advanced; but when the King of France heard the Kindness of this House to the King, and the Defeat of Monmouth, he recalled them.
'The Question is, whether a Supply or not. I do not intend to arraign the Militia, but seeing a Soldier is a Trade, and must (as all other Trades are) be learned, I'll shew you where the Militia has failed, viz. At Chatham, and in June last, when the late Duke of Monmouth landed, and had but 83 Men, and 300 l. in Money; who in spight of the Militia, nay, in spight of such other Force as the King could spare hence, brought it so far as he did.
Sir T. Clarget.
'His Majesty, on his first entrance on the Crown, told us, he had been misrepresented, and that he would preserve the Government in Church and State now established by Law, and to maintain us in all our just Rights and Privileges.
'The present Revenue is 1,900,000 l. or two Millions yearly; the Charge of the Government (admitting this Army kept up) is but 1,300,000 l. yearly: And pray let us not forget that there was a Bill of Exclusion debated in this House; I was here, and shewed my self against it; the Arguments for it were, that we should, in case of a Popish Successor, have a Popish Army.
'You see the Act of the Test already broken, but pray remember what the late Lord Chancellor told you when the late King (of Blessed Memory) past that Act; (the Words were to this effect:) By this Act you are provided against Popery, that no Papist can possibly creep into any Employment. I am afflicted greatly at this Breach on our Liberties, and seeing so great difference betwixt this Speech and those heretofore made, cannot but believe this was by some others Advice.
'This struck at here, is our All; and I wonder there have been any Men so desperate, as to take any Employment not qualified for it, and would have therefore the Question put, That a standing Army is destructive to the Country.'
Sir J. Ernley.
'The number of the standing Forces is about 14 or 15000 Men, and they were about half so many before, and I conceive we are not safe without these Forces to aid and help the Militia. I am not for laying the Militia aside, but I say, there is a necessity for a standing Force.
'Half the Charge of those Forces is about 300000 l. yearly, the whole, being 600000 l. yearly, I conceive is all we need to give for it; of that there remains 200000 l, unreceived of the 400000 l. given last; so that 200000 l. may go towards it, and the rest may be supplied by a Tax on such Commodities, as, for balancing of Trade, may better be charged than not. I am for a Supply.'
Sir Hugh Cholmondely.
'I stand up for, and would not have the Militia reflected on, it was very useful in the late Rebellion of Monmouth, it kept him from Bristol and Exeter, and is as good as any Army we can raise against any at home. I am for the Militia.'
'Kings in old time used to send not only an account of their Revenues, but of the Charge they were going to be at, to the Parliament, when they demanded Aids. Henry the Vth had but 56000 l. and Queen Elizabeth had 160000 and odd pounds yearly. I am for a Bill for making the Militia useful, and would know if we give Money, that it be not for setting up a standing Army.'
Sir William Twisden.
'I am for good Guards, the Kingdom guarded by Law; we are now in perfect Peace; the King is both feared and loved; an Army little needed; Men justly afraid: That which made the last Rebellion as it was, the Man that headed it, was a Favourite of the Faction, and though he had got such a number, he was beaten by 1800 Men only. I am against an Army.'
'This last Rebellion has contributed to our future Peace, and those engaged in it have sung their Penitential Psalm, and their Punishment is rejoiced at by all good Persons. I do not commend the Militia, yet it is not to be rejected, but to be new modelled; and for my part, I had rather pay double to these, (meaning for keeping up the Militia) from whom I fear nothing, than half so much to those, of whom I must ever be afraid; and say what you will, 'tis a standing Army.
'The last Force preserved the Peace, and was sufficient to do it in the late King's time, and is now; all the profit and security of this Nation is in our Ships, and had there been the least Ship in the Channel, it would have disappointed him.
'And for Officers employed not taking the Tests, is dispensing with all the Laws at once; and if these Men be good and kind, we know not whether it proceeds from their Generosity or Principles, for we must remember, 'tis Treason for any Man to be reconciled to the Church of Rome, for the Pope by Law is declared Enemy to this Kingdom.
'A Supply given as moved for, is a kind of an establishing an Army by Act of Parliament, and when they have got the Power into their Hands, we then are to derive it from their Courtesy; and therefore I would have the Question be,
Sir T. Clarges.
Sir T. Meers.
'There was a bitter Spirit in the three last Parliaments, not yet well allay'd, and so I conclude a considerable Force needful besides the Militia. I call those raised, Guards, and would have a Supply given to support his Majesty's Extraordinary Occasions.'
'There is already a Law, that no Man shall, on any Occasion whatever, rise against the King. Lords and DeputyLieutenants have power to disarm the disaffected: If you give thus a Supply, it is for an Army, and then may not this Army be made of those that will not take the Test? which Act was not designed as a Punishment for the Papists, but a Protection for ourselves, and giving this Money is for an Army, I am against it.'
Sir Richard Temple.
'I must concur with the King, that the Militia, is not sufficient; I am for mending the Militia, and to make it such as the King and Kingdom may conside in it; to trust to mercenary Force alone, is to give up all our Liberties at once.
'There is no Country in the World has a Law to set up an Army, we have already made an ample Supply for the Government. Tis for Kings to come to the House from time to time on extraordinary Occasions, and if this Army be provided for by Law, they will never more come to this House.
'I am for a Supply, but not on this score of the Militia; there was not a Company formed till 1588, and as soon as Queen Elizabeth had done with her Army, she disbanded it. Armies have been fatal often to Princes. The Army in the late King's time often turned out their Leaders. I am for moving the House for leave for a Bill to mend the Militia.'
Sir William Clifton.
Mr. Thomas Howard.
The House thereupon resolved itself into a Committee of the whole House, and the previous Question being then put for the House to go on with the Supply, or proceed to the next Paragraph. The House divided.
The House resolved itself into a Committee on that Paragraph of his Majesty's Speech, which next follows the Supply. When Sir Edward Jennings moved for an Address humbly shewing: That those Officers of the Army who are not qualified for their Employments, by the Acts for preventing Dangers which may happen, from Popish Recusants cannot, by Law, be capable of the said Employments, and that it be part of the said Address: That his Majesty would be pleased not to continue them in their Employments.
Others moved the inconveniency of it, if not granted, and so let it alone. Others to have the Catholics, who had been so useful and well known to his Majesty, named and compensated. Some seemed to doubt his Majesty's Compliance. Others that it was not to be doubted, when addressed by such a House.
At last it came to this Conclusion, That Instructions be given to a Committee, to draw an humble Address to his Majesty; wherein the last Words in the above Motion were ordered to be alter'd as follows. That his Majesty would be graciously pleased to give such Directions, that no Apprehensions, or Jealousies may remain in the Hearts of his Majesty's good and faithful Subjects.
The Commons Address.
'Most Gracious Sovereign, We your Majesty's most loyal and faithful Subjects, the Commons in Parliament assembled, do in the first place (as in Duty bound) return your Majesty our most humble and hearty thanks for your great Care and Conduct in suppressing the late Rebellion, which threatned the Overthrow of this Government, both in Church and State, to the Extirpation of our Religion as by Law establish'd, which is most dear unto us, and which your Majesty hath been pleased to give us repeated Assurances you will always defend and maintain, which with all grateful Hearts we shall ever acknowledge.
'We further crave leave to acquaint your Majesty, that we have with all Duty and Readiness taken into our Consideration your Majesty's Gracious Speech to us: And as to that Part of it, relating to the Officers in the Armies not qualified for their Employments according to an Act of Parliament made in the 25th Year of the Reign of your Royal Brother, Entitled, An Act for preventing Dangers which may happen from Popish Recusants.
'Therefore out of that great Reverence and Duty we owe unto your Majesty, who has been graciously pleas'd to take notice of their Services to your Majesty, we are preparing a Bill to pass both Houses, for your Royal Assent, to indemnify them from the Penalties they have now incurred, and because the continuing of them in their Employments may be taken to be a dispensing with that Law without an Act of Parliament, the Consequence of which is of the greatest Concern to the Rights of all your Majesty's Subjects, and to all the Laws made for the Security of their Religion.
'We therefore, the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses of your Majesty's House of Commons, do most humbly beseech your Majesty, that you would be most graciously pleased to give such Directions therein, that no Apprehensions or Jealousies may remain in the Hearts of your Majesty's most loyal Subjects.'
Some debated, that it would carry with it the greater Weight, and be more likely to have good Effect, and if the Concurrence of the Lords were asked, the Judges in the Lords House would have an Opportunity of speaking their Opinion to it.
Others oppos'd it, for the Lords having already given their Thanks to the King for his Speech, as being contented therewith, and that it would be more for the Honour of the House of Commons to Address alone.
The House divided. For asking Concurrence, Yeas 138, Noes 212. It pass'd in the Negative. Then the Members of the House that were of his Majesty's Privy-Council, were ordered to know when his Majesty would be pleas'd to be attended therewith.
Debates on the Supply. ; Lord Campden.
Sir J. Ernley.
Sir T. Courtenay.
|Additional Duty on Wines 8 Years||Yearly 150,000 l.|
|Tax on Sugar and Tobacco 8 Years||Yearly 200,000 l.|
|Tax on Linnen and East-India Commodities 5 Years.||Yearly 12,000 l.|
'Let us give little now, to have Opportunity to give more another time; for if we give too much now, we shall have nothing left to give; and if we proceed thus, what we have more will be taken from us.'
Sir Edmund Jenkins.
'To give 1,200,000 l. now, because such a Sum has been given, is no Argument; once 2,400,000 l. was given here, and therefore should it be so now? 200,000 l. with what is already confess'd to be in Cash, makes 400,000 l. and that will maintain the Charge one Year and better; and giving all at once is doubting the Affection of the People'
'You unanimously voted a Supply last Night, and naming so little now, is not so ingenuous a Way of proceeding. We are told six Millions have been this Sessions given; I would have you, Gentlemen, take notice, the giving his Majesty what the late King had, is but settling a Revenue that before was not sufficient for the Support of the Government; what was given besides, was part for the late King's Servants, part for the Fleet and Stores, and part for suppressing the late Rebellion.
'The Revenue his Brother had, had Uses enough, as—
The Wine and Vinegar Act, rated at yearly 150,000 l.
For the Fleet, Stores, Ordnance, and Servants.
The Sugar and Tobacco Act, rated at yearly 200,000 l.
For the said Stores, Ordinary, and Fleet—
Sir William Clifton.
'If we give too little now, hereafter, if we see Occasion, we may give more; but if we now give too much, I do not see how we shall ever have it again, though I have heard of such a thing in Queen Elizabeth's time,
'The King (reckoning what he had of his own into it) has 600,000 l. yearly, more than the late King had, and when there is need, I am for more; but now only 400,000 l. and to raise that easy you will be put to it: How will you do it?
Mr. Wyndham, of Salisbury.
'We give because we are ask'd; I am for the least Sum, because for an Army, and I would be rid of them as soon as I could; and am more now against it than I lately was, being satisfy'd that the Country is weary of the Oppression of the Soldiers, weary of free Quarters, Plunder, and some Felonies, for which they have on Complaint, no Redress: And since I heard Mr. Blathwaite tell us, how strict Rules were prescribed them by the King, I find by their Behaviour, the King cannot govern them himself, and then what will become of us?
Sir William Honeywood.
'The Rebellion is suppress'd, and the Army is urged to be small, but it is so thick of Officers, that by filling up the Troops, which is easily at any time done, increases their Number to a third Part more. I am for providing for them but one whole Year only, and only for 400,000 l.'
'I agree to the 400,000 l. We owe besides that, a Duty to our Country, and, are bound in Duty to leave our Posterity as free in their Liberties and Properties as we can; and there being Officers now in the Army, that have not taken the Test, greatly flats my Zeal for it, and makes me esteem the Militia; which, if we well modelled, and placed in Men's Hands of Interest in their Country, we are certain of, and so is the King secure; for there is no such Security of any Man's Loyalty, as a good Estate.
Sir Thomas Chages.
'There are seven Millions of Souls in England; but the Strength of England consists in our Navy, in which (for want of Men) France can never equal us; their Trade will not breed them; a Ship of 50 Tuns will carry 100,000 l. of their Goods, Linnen and Silks. Ours are bulky Goods, and employs twenty times more, unless you (by burdening of Trade) let them into the West-Indies. Armies are not manageable, Commanders have been very often known to rebel: The Measure of our Supply is our Security.
Sir William Twisden.
Sir Christopher Musgrave.
Sir Hugh Cholmondeley.
Sir Jo. Williamson.
'The Use is to direct the Quantum. I see a present Necessity for continuing these Forces till the Militia is made useful; I am for trying two Years, and so for 400,000 l. and so leave the Door open for coming hither to give another time.'
Sir Thomas Meers.
'An Island may be attacked notwithstanding any Fleet. Ours is much mended, a thousand Men daily at work, ever since we gave Money for it, and not one Man in it an Officer, that has not taken the Test.'
'New Troops are not so good as old, and more subject to commit Disorders, but will be less so, when they are longer under Discipline. The King of France never sends Troops to his Army, till they have been two or three Years on foot in a Garrison.'
Sir Thomas Clarges.
700,000 l. voted.
The Question for 1,200,000 l. being thus waved, it was Ordered, that the Committee of the whole House should tomorrow proceed on his Majesty's Supply, and on Wednesday to consider of Heads for a Militia-Bill.
Farther Debates on the Supply. ; Sir John Ernley.
Moved, that such an additional Duty might be upon Wines as might yield 400,000 l. yearly; and upon other Goods he named, as might raise about 600,000 l. Yearly; which with the Continuance for some Years of the late Act of Imposition of French Linnens, and East India Silks, &c. might make up the Sum; and told the House, he propos'd this way, to avoid a Land-Tax.
The Goods he named to be rated, were Soap, Pot-ashes, to pay 7 d. ½ to treble; unwrought Silks, Deals, Planks, and other Boards to double. Raisins and Prunes 2 s. per Cent. to double. Iron now pays 7 s. per Cent. to double. Copperas 18 s. per Cent. to double. Oils to 8 or 10 per Tun, pay now 30 s. Drugs will bear ⅔ more than rated. Drugs and Spice from Holland, Salt, and all prohibited Goods, 20 l. per Cent.
Sir Dudley North.
Moved much to the same effect, and enlarged on it, and said, the Book of Rates had been well consider'd, and these Goods were capable of bearing the Duties propos'd; but if the King took the 4 l. per Tun on French Wines at above twenty thousand pounds Yearly, he would be a loser by it.
'The Pepper that is expended here, paying one Penny a Pound, might pay one Penny more, and so yield 70 or 80000 l. yearly; and that Bullion exported to the Indies, might bear 5 l. per Cent. and encourage the sending of other Goods (in some measure) instead of it thither.'
Sir Richard Temple.
Moved Subsidies or Land Tax; but the House inclining to what was first propos'd, and being consented to by the King's Ministers, seem'd contented with it; so was voted, That an Act for laying an Imposition on French Linnens, East-India Goods, Brandy, &c. should be continued for five Years from Midsummer 1690. and be given to his Majesty as 400,000 l. And that
The time how long this 4 l. per Tun shall be laid, is not yet determined, an Account being first to be brought from the Custom-House Books, of what Number of Tuns are yearly imported; 'twas said 100,000 Tuns: Others affirm'd, there were near double so many.
The 18th, Mr. Speaker acquaints the House, that his Majesty having been yesterday attended in the BanquetingHouse at Whitehall with the Address of Thanks from this House for his great Care and Conduct, in suppressing the late Rebellion; and likewise concerning the Officers of the Army not qualified for their Employments, was graciously pleased to return an Answer, to the effect following.
The King's Answer to the Address.
'My Lords and Gentlemen, I did not expect such an Address from the House of Commons. For, having so lately recommended to your Consideration the great Advantages a good Understanding between us had produc'd us in a very short time, and given you warning of Fears and Jealousies amongst ourselves; I had reason to hope, that the Reputation God had blessed me with in the World, would have seated and confirmed a good Confidence in you for me, and of all that I say to you.
Mr. Coke said, 'he intended no ill by it; and that he did not believe these the Words: And that if he had said any thing that had given that House Offence, he was sorry, and would ask them Pardon for it.'
Sir Christopher Musgrave.
Sir J. Talbot.
Sir H. Cholmondeley.
Lord P. Lord Middleton. Mr. Solicitor.
'This needs no Aggravation; a Reprimand for an Offence to this House, might do; but this does not end there, and 'tis a question whether it be in the power of the House to pass it by; the Offence is given to the King as well as you: I am for calling him to the Bar in the first place.'
Mr. Coke sent to the Tower.
'And if we do take this Matter into Consideration, I doubt not but we shall behave our selves with that decency to His Majesty, that we may hope for a more satisfactory Answer, than as yet this seems to be to me.'
Sir J. Ernley.
Sir T. Meers.
Sir T. Clarges.
Proceedings on the Supply.
The 19th, The Committee appointed to search the Custom-House Books, how many Tuns of French Wines were yearly imported, report to the House, That 4 l. per Tun laid upon French Wines, would, all Deductions allowed, bring in yearly 350,000 l.
To which the House agreed, and Mr. Sollicitor was order'd to bring in a Bill on the Debates of the House, with a Clause of Loan for the said Imposition of 4 l. per Tun for the said nine Years and a half, from the first of December 1685. And then adjourn'd.
'Mr. Speaker, It is His Majesty's Pleasure, this Honourable House do attend him immediately in the House of Peers.' Where being come, the Lord Chancellor, by His Majesty's Directions, said as followeth.
Lord Chancellor prorogues the Parliament.
'My Lords, and you the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses of the House of Commons, I am commanded by His Majesty to let you know, that it is His Majesty's Pleasure, for many weighty Reasons, that this Parliament be prorogued till the 10th day of February next: And accordingly this Parliament is prorogued till the 10th day of February next.'
'Tis remarkable the King lost 700,000 l. by this Prorogation; to which he added three more; and, after trying all sorts of Practices to render the Members more ductile in vain, dissolv'd the Parliament July 2. 1687.
Prince of Orange lands. ; The King withdraws. ; House of Lords meets. ; Their Address to the Prince of Orange.
The next Year the Prince of Orange came over by Invitation from the People, and the King being deserted by his Army, Friends, and Children, withdrew to France; which was no sooner known, but the House of Lords exerted their Authority, and immediately assembled themselves in their House at Westminster; where, after a long Debate, relating chiefly to the Prerogatives of a King of England, they resolv'd to begin with the following Address to the Prince of Orange: 'We the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, assembled in this Conjuncture, do desire your Highness to take upon you the Administration of Public Affairs both Civil and Military, and the Disposal of the Public Revenue, for the Preservation of our Religion, Rights, Laws, Liberties and Properties, and of the Peace of the Nation; and that your Highness will take into your particular Care the present Condition of Ireland, and endeavour by the most speedy and effectual Means to prevent the Dangers threatning that Kingdom: All which we make our Requests to your Highness to undertake and exercise, till the Meeting of the intended Convention, the 22d day of January next; in which, we doubt not, such proper Methods will be taken, as will conduce to the Establishment of these things upon such sure and legal Foundations, that they may not be in danger of being again subverted.' Dated at the House of Lords, Westminster the 25th of December.
Having made this first Step, their Lordships proceeded to consider of the most effectual Way for summoning the said Convention, and the same Day drew up their Opinions, in this second Address to the Prince: 'We the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, assembled at Westminster in this extraordinary Conjuncture, do humbly desire your Highness to cause Letters to be written, subscrib'd by your self, to the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, being Protestants; and to the several Counties, Universities, Cities, Boroughs, and Cinque-Ports of England, Wales, and the Town of Berwick upon Twede: The Letters for the Counties to be directed to the Coroners of the respective Counties, or any one of them; and in default of the Coroners, to the Clerk of the Peace of the respective Counties: And the Letters for the Universities, to be directed to every Vice-Chancellor: And the Letters to the several Cities, Boroughs and Cinque-Ports, to be directed to the Chief Magistrate of each respective City, Borough and Cinque-Port; containing Directions for the chusing, in all such Counties, Cities, Universities, Boroughs and CinquePorts, within ten Days after the Receipt of the respective Letters, such a Number of Persons to represent them, as are of Right to be sent to Parliament: Of which Elections, and the Times and Places thereof, the respective Officers shall give Notice, within the space of five Days in the least. Notice of the intended Elections for the Counties, to be publish'd in the Churches, immediately after the Time of Divine-Service, and in all the Market-Towns within the said respective Counties: And Notice of the intended Elections for the Cities, Universities, Boroughs and Cinque Ports, to be publish'd within the said respective Places. The said Letters, and the Execution thereof, to be return'd, by such Officer and Officers who shall execute the same, to the Clerk of the Crown in the Court of Chancery; so as the Persons so to be chosen may meet and sit at Westminster, on the 22d day of January next.' These two Addresses were subscrib'd by about ninety Lords, that were then present in the House.
The Proceedings of the Prince of Orange. ; He summons the Commons, &c.
In the mean time the Prince of Orange proceeded with all Vigour and Diligence. His Highness seem'd never to doubt a considerable Party among the Peers; therefore the regular Concurrence of the Commons of England appear'd the most important Point; and to assemble them after a legal Manner, was no small Difficulty. There was no King in the Nation, nor any particular Style or Form of Government; the Writs were destroy'd, and the Great Seal thrown away and lost. After a long Consultation upon this weighty and knotty Affair, a late Precedent was produc'd, which seem'd to agree with the present Exigency. About the latter End of the Year 1659, General Monk, with the Nobility and Gentry that labour'd for King Charles's Restoration, in opposition to the Rump Parliament, who pretended to continue sitting, issu'd forth their Summons in the Names of the Keepers of the Liberties of England, for a Convention or Parliament, to meet on the 25th of April, 1660. And tho' this was done by unqualify'd Persons, without the formal Consent of the People, yet after the King's Return, he was so well satisfy'd with their Proceedings, that it was Enacted by the King and the Three Estates of the Realm, 'That the Lords and Commons then sitting were the two Houses of Parliament; notwithstanding any Want of the King's Writs, or any other Defect whatsoever.' From whence his Highness's Council inferr'd, 'That if the Necessity of Affairs was a forcible Argument in 1659, it was certainly of a greater Force in the present Conjuncture:' Now because the Commons of England have not the same Power to assemble as the Peers, the Prince publish'd this following Order; 'Whereas the Necessity of Affairs does require speedy Advice; We do desire all such Persons as have serv'd as Knights, Citizens or Burgesses in any of the Parliaments that were held during the Reign of the late King Charles the Second, to meet us at St. James's, upon Wednesday the 26th of this Instant December, by ten of the Clock in the Morning. And we do likewise desire, That the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen of the City of London would be present at the same time; and that the Common-Council wou'd appoint fifty of their Number to be there likewise. And hereof we desire them not to fail.'
His Speech to them.
Pursuant to this Summons, many Members of the Parliaments in King Charles's Reign, to the Number of about a hundred and sixty, and the Aldermen and Deputies of the Common-Council of the City of London, assembled at St. James's, on Wednesday the appointed Day; where the Prince made this following Speech to them: 'You, Gentlemen, that have been Members of the late Parliaments, I have desired you to meet me here, to advise the best Manner how to pursue the Ends of my Declaration, in calling a Free Parliament, for the Preservation of the Protestant Religion, and the Restoring the Rights and Liberties of the Kingdom, and settling the same, that they may not be in danger of being again subverted. And you the Aldermen and Members of the Common-Council of the City of London, I desire the same of you. And in regard your Numbers are like to be great, you may, if you think fit, divide your selves, and sit in several Places.' The Lord Mayor being absent, upon the account of his Indisposition, the Prince gave the Copy of his Speech to Sir Thomas Allen, as being eldest Alderman, and styled Father of the City, desiring that he and the rest wou'd take that Paper into immediate Consideration.
They form themselves into a House.
Accordingly, by Agreement, they all repair'd to the Commons House in Westminster; where being seated, and having chosen Henry Powle Esq; for their Chairman, the first Question they debated, was, What Authority they had to assemble? Upon which it was soon agreed, That the Request of his Highness the Prince was a sufficient Warrant. The next Question of Moment was, How his Highness cou'd take upon him the Administration of Affairs without a distinguishing Name or Title? Which Objection being started by Sir Robert Southwell, was sufficiently answer'd by Serjeant Maynard, who said, That the Assembly wou'd lose a great deal of time, if they waited till Sir Robert cou'd conceive how that was possible. A Temporary Offer of the Government being made to his Highness, one propos'd that it shou'd be, not for a Month only, but for a whole Year; to whom it was answer'd, that the Convention ought only to consider of that. Others mov'd that the Association, that had been sign'd by the Lords, might likewise be subscrib'd by this Assembly; but it was carry'd, that the said Association shou'd be left upon the Table, and every one be at liberty to sign it or not. After these previous Debates, they resolv'd upon Heads for an Address to be made to his Highness, and appointed Persons to draw up and prepare the same; and in the Afternoon it was done accordingly, and read and approv'd in this Form:
Their Address to the Prince.
'We who have serv'd as Members of Parliaments during the Reign of the late King Charles the Second, together with the Court of Aldermen, and Members of the Common-Council of the City of London, assembled at your Highness's Desire, in this extraordinary Conjuncture, do, with an unanimous Consent, tender to your Highness our humble and hearty Thanks, for you coming into this Kingdom, and exposing your Person to so great Hazards, for the Preservation of our Religion, Laws, and Liberties, and rescuing us from the Miseries of Popery and Slavery: And desire your Highness, (for the Pursuance of these Ends, and for the Preservation of the Peace of the Nation) will take upon you the Administration of Public Affairs, both Civil and Military, and the Disposal of the Public Revenues. We do also desire, that your Highness will take into your particular Consideration, the present Condition of Ireland; and endeavour, by the most speedy and effectual Means to prevent the Dangers threatning that Kingdom. All which, we desire your Highness to undertake and execute, until the Meeting of the intended Convention, the 22d day of January next.' Then, for the Chusing of Members for the said Convention, they propos'd the same which has been mention'd in the Lords Address; and so concluded in these Words, 'This we humbly offer to your Highness, as our best Advice, in this Exigency of Affairs, for attaining the Ends of your Highness's Declaration; and as the best Means tending to such an Establishment, as that our Religion, Laws and Liberties, may not be in danger of being again subverted.'
His Highness's Answer to the Lords, and their Address.
His Highness having appointed to receive the Address the next Morning, he was then attended by a Body of them; and the Address was presented and read by Mr. Powle to his Highness; who was pleas'd to declare, That it being a Matter of Weight, he wou'd consider thereof, and give his Answer the next Day. Accordingly, on Friday Morning, December 28, his Highness first gave the following Answer at St. James's to the Lords Spirtual and Temporal: 'My Lords, I have consider'd of your Advice; and, as far as I am able, I will endeavour to secure the Peace of the Nation, until the Meeting of the Convention in January next; for the Election whereof I will forthwith issue Letters, according to your Desire. I will also take care to apply the Public Revenue to the most proper Uses that the present Affairs require; and likewise endeavour to put Ireland into such a Condition, as that the Protestant Religion and English Interest may be maintain'd in that Kingdom. And I further assure you, That as I came hither for the Preservation of the Protestant Religion, and the Laws and Liberties of these Kingdoms; so I shall always be ready to expose my self to any Hazard, for the Defence of the same.' And in the Afternoon, his Highness was pleas'd to return the very same Answer to the Commons.