The History and Proceedings of the House of Commons: Volume 2, 1680-1695. Originally published by Chandler, London, 1742.
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A new Parliam. call'd, Sir John Trevor chosen Speaker.
March 20. The new Parliament met at Westminster, and the House of Commons having chosen Sir John Trevor for their Speaker, with the usual Forms, the King made the following Speech to both Houses from the Throne.
The King's Speech.
'My Lords and Gentlemen,
I Am resolved to leave nothing unattempted on my part, which may contribute to the Peace and Prosperity of this Nation: And finding my Presence in Ireland will be absolutely necessary, for the more speedy reducing of that Kingdom, I continue my Resolution of going thither as soon as may be; and I have now called you together for your Assistance, to enable me to prosecute the War with Speed and Vigour: In which I assure myself of your chearful Concurrence, being a Work so necessary for your own Safeties.
'In order to this, I desire you will forthwith make a Settlement of the Revenue; and I cannot doubt, but you will therein have as much regard for the Honour and Dignity of the Monarchy in my hands, as has been lately shewed to others: And I have so great a confidence in you, that if no quicker or more convenient way can be found, for the raising of ready Money, (without which, the Service cannot be performed) I shall be very well content, for the present, to have it made such a Fund of Credit, as may be useful to yourselves, as well as to me, in this Conjuncture; not having the least Apprehensions, but that you will provide for the taking off all such Anticipations as it shall happen to fall under.
'It is sufficiently known, how earnestly I have endeavoured to extinguish (or, at least, compose) all Differences amongst my Subjects, and to that end, how often I have recommended an Act of Indemnity to the last Parliament: But since that part of it, which related to the preventing of private Suits, is already enacted, and because Debates of that nature must take up more of your time, than can now be spared from the Dispatch of those other things, which are absolutely necessary for our common Safety; I intend to send you an Act of Grace, with Exceptions of some few Persons only, but such as may be sufficient to shew my great Dislike of their Crimes, and at the same time, my Readiness to extend Protection to all my other Subjects, who will thereby see, that they can recommend themselves to me, by no other Methods than what the Laws prescribe, which shall always be the only Rule of my Government.
'A farther Reason, which induceth me to send you this Act at this time, is, because I am desirous to leave no colour of Excuse to any of my Subjects, for the raising of Disturbances in the Government, and especially in the time of my Absence; and I say this, both to inform you, and to let some ill-affected Men see, that I am not unacquainted, how busy they are, in their present Endeavours, to alter it.
'Amongst other Encouragements, which I find they give themselves, one of the Ways, by which they hope to compass their Designs, is by creating Differences and Disagreements in your Councils, which, I hope, you will be very careful to prevent; for be assured that our greatest Enemies can have no better Instruments for their purposes, than those who shall any way endeavour to disturb or delay your speedy and unanimous Proceeding upon these, necessary Matters.
'I must recommend also to your Consideration, an Union with Scotland: I do not mean, it should be now entered upon; but they having proposed this to me some time since, and the Parliament there having nominated Commissioners for that purpose, I should be glad that Commissioners might also be nominated here, to treat with them, and to see if such Terms could be agreed on, as might be for the Benefit of both Nations, so as to be ready to be presented to you in some future Session.
'My Lords and Gentlemen, I have thought it most convenient, to leave the Administration of the Government in the hands of the Queen, during my Absence; and if it shall be judged necessary to have an Act of Parliament, for the better Confirmation of it to her, I desire you will let such an one be prepared, to be presented to me.
'I have this only to add, that the Season of the Year, and my Journey into Ireland, will admit but of a very short Session; so that I must recommend to you the making such Dispatch, that we may not be engaged in Debates, when our Enemies shall be in the Field. For the Success of the War, and the more thrifty Management of it, will both principally depend upon your speedy Resolutions. And I hope it will not be long before we shall meet again, to perfect what the Time will not now allow to be done.'
The House being return'd, and the Speech as usual read,
Resolved, nem. con. That the humble and hearty Thanks of the House be presented to his Majesty, for his gracious Speech to both Houses.
Resolved, nem. con. That the House will assert and support the Government under their present Majesties King William and Queen Mary, both by their Council, and with their Assistance to the utmost of their power.
Resolved, That the whole House do attend his Majesty with the said Resolutions.
Presented to his Majesty.
The 25th, Mr. Speaker acquainted the House, that he had with the House waited upon his Majesty, and presented the said Resolutions: to which his Majesty was pleased to reply to this effect, viz.
His Majesty's Answer.
'Gentlemen, I thank you for your Address, and for your Resolution to assist and support me: And, as I have ventur'd my Life for the Nation; so I am resolv'd always to do.
'I hope you will take my Speech into your speedy Consideration; and that this may be a happy Session.'
The same day, the House took into Examination a Quarrel which had happened between Sir Thomas Mompesson and Mr. Okeden, both Members; and Sir Thomas appearing to be the Aggressor, he was order'd to ask Mr. Okeden's Pardon in his Place, which he did accordingly.
A Supply voted.
The 27th, Resolv'd, nem. con. That a Supply be given to their Majesties, to enable his Majesty to prosecute the War against France, and for reducing Ireland with Speed and Vigour.
Votes order'd to be printed.
The 28th, Order'd, That the Votes of this House, from the Beginning of the Session to the End thereof, be printed, &c.
The same day the whole House resolved itself into a Committee upon the Supply; upon which occasion Sir Charles Sedley spake us follows:
Speech of Sir Charles Sedley.
'Mr. Speaker, We have provided for the Army; we have provided for the Navy: And now, at last, a new Reckoning is brought us, we must likewise provide for the Lists. Truly, Mr. Speaker, 'tis a sad Reflection, that some Men should wallow in Wealth and Places, whilst others pay away, in Taxes, the fourth Part of their Revenue, for the Support of the same Government. We are not upon equal Terms, for his Majesty's Service: The Courtiers and Great Officers charge, as it were, in Armour; they feel not the Taxes, by reason of their Places, whilst the Country Gentlemen are shot through and through by them.—The King is pleased to lay his Wants before us, and, I am confident, expects our Advice upon it: We ought therefore to tell him what Pensions are too great; what Places may be extinguished, during the time of the War, and public Calamity. His Majesty sees nothing but Coaches and six, and great Tables, and therefore cannot imagine the Want and Misery of the rest of his Subjects: He is a brave and generous Prince, but he is a young King, encompassed and hemmed in by a Company of crafty old Courtiers. To say no more, some have Places of 3000 l. some of 6000 l. and others of 8600 l. per Ann. and I am told, the Commissioners of the Treasury have 1600 l. per Annum a-piece. Certainly, public Pensions, whatever they have been formerly, are much too great for the present Want and Calamity that reigns every where else: And it is a Scandal, that a Government so sick at heart, as ours is, should look so well in the Face.— We must save the King Money wherever we can, for I am afraid the War is too great for our Purses, if things be not managed with all imaginable Thrift. When the People of England see all things are saved, that can be saved; that there are no exorbitant Pensions, nor unnecessary Salaries, and all this applied to the Use to which they are given; we shall give, and they shall pay whatever his Majesty can want, to secure the Protestant Religion, and to keep out the King of France, and King James too; whom by the way, I have not heard named this Session; whether out of Fear, Discretion or Respect, I cannot tell. I conclude, Mr. Speaker, let us save the King what we can, and then let us proceed to give what we are able.'
After a Debate, the House came to the following Resolutions, viz.
Votes on the Revenue and Supply.
'That the hereditary Revenues, which the late King James was entitled to, December 10, 1688, became, and are vested in their present Majesties, King William and Queen Mary, in Right of the Crown of England, except the late Revenue arising by Fire-Hearths and Stoves.
'That a Bill be brought in to declare that the said Revenues are so vested, and that therein Provision be made that they shall not be alienated from the Crown, nor chargeable with any Gift or Grant to be made for the future.
'That a Bill be brought in for the settling on their present Majesties, that Moiety of the Excise which was granted to the late Kings, Charles, and James, or either of them, for their Lives, and the Life of the longest Liver of them, with a Clause to make the said Revenue a Security for raising Money towards a Supply not exceeding the Sum of—
'That a Bill be brought in to grant to their Majesties for the Term of four Years, from Christmas next, the Customs which were granted to the late Kings, Charles and James, for their Lives; with a Clause to make the said Revenue a Security for raising Money towards a Supply not exceeding the Sum of—
A Supply of 1,200,000 l. voted.
April 1st, Resolved, That a Sum not exceeding 1200000 l. be the Supply to be granted to their Majesties for the Public Occasions, between this and Michaelmas, in prosecuting the War against France, and reducing of Ireland with Speed and Vigour.
The 2d, Resolved, That it be an Instruction to the Committee of the whole House, That the Supply to be given to his Majesty be not levyed upon Land, without Leave of the House.
That towards the Supply, his Majesty be enabled by a Clause in the Bill or Bills for settling the Revenue, to raise a Credit of Ten Hundred Thousand Pounds: [so express'd by Amendment instead of one Million.]
The 3d, Resolved, That a Bill be brought in for a Poll, for the raising of the Sum of 200,000 l. being the Residue of the Sum to be given to their Majesties.
The 4th, Resolved, That a Bill be brought in to attaint all Persons guilty of Rebellion in Ireland, or elsewhere, against their Majesties King William and Queen Mary, and to enact and declare their Estates to be forfeited, and to be sold for the reducing of Ireland.
Bill order'd to reverse the Judgment on a Quo Warranto against the City of London.
The 8th, Resolved, That a Bill be brought in to reverse the Judgment in a Quo Warranto against the City of London, as arbitrary and illegal, and thereby to restore the City of London to its antient Privileges.
Bill to recognize King William and Queen Mary, & pass'd.
The 9th, an engross'd Bill from the Lords entitled, An Act for recognizing King William and Queen Mary, and for avoiding all Questions touching the Acts made in the Parliament assembled at Westminster February 13, 1688. was read and pass'd; a Motion having been first made, that the Bill should be committed, which pass'd in the Negative.
The 10th, a Motion being made for the Naturalizing all foreign Protestants, it passed in the Negative. Yeas 77. Noes 82.
Clauses added to the Poll-Bill with respect to Papists and Quakers.
The 11th, two Clauses were added to the Poll-Bill, viz. That all Papists refusing the Oaths to the Government, should be double tax'd. And that all Quakers who subscrib'd a Declaration of Fidelity to the Government, should not.
The 14th, the Poll-Bill was pass'd, and sent up to the Lords for their Concurrence.
The Royal Assent given to the Act of Recognition, &c.
The same day the King gave the Royal Assent to the Act for recognizing King William and Queen Mary, &c. and a private Bill.
The 17th, the House being informed that the Sheriffs of London attended at the Door with a Petition, a Motion was made that they be called in; but pass'd in the Negative. Yeas 166. Noes 215.
The 24th, a Bill to appoint and enable Commissioners to take an Account of all Public Monies, since November 5, 1688. was read a second time, and committed.
Resolved, That the said Commissioners be nominated by the House. And the Question being put, that no Member of this House, be a Commissioner in the said Bill; it pass'd in the Negative.
Thanks presented to the King, for his Care of the Church.
Resolved, That the humble Thanks of the House, be presented to his Majesty, for the great Care he has express'd of the Church of England, in the Alterations he has made in the Lieutenancy of the City of London.
The House divided on the Words Alterations in the Lieutenancy; but they were carried in the Affirmative. Yeas 185. Noes 136.
When this Vote was presented to the King by the whole House, his Majesty was pleas'd to answer as follows.
The King's Answer.
'It shall always be my Endeavour to employ such Persons as shall be most serviceable to Church and State'
The 26th, a Bill for an Oath of Abjuration of the late King James, to be taken by all Persons in any Employment, or Trust Ecclesiastical, Civil or Military; was read the third time. And a Motion being made to commit it, it pass'd in the Negative. Yeas 178. Noes 192.
The Abjuration-Bill rejected.
A Motion was then made, that the said Bill be rejected; and it pass'd in the Affirmative. Yeas 192. Noes 165.
The 28th, the engross'd Bill for settling the Customs on their Majesties was read the third Time.
Tunnage and Poundage-Bill pass'd.
Resolved, That the Bill do pass, and that the Title thereof be An Act for granting to their Majesties a Subsidy of Tunnage and Poundage, and other Sums of Money payable upon Merchandize
And a Bill to regulate Elections.
The same day, an engrossed Bill to regulate Elections of Members to serve in Parliament, was read the third time and pass'd.
The 29th, the House took into consideration, the Heads of a Bill to secure the Government under King William and Queen Mary, against the late King James and all his Adherents.
Votes for the Security of the Government under King William and Queen Mary.
Resolved, That by Orders from their Majesties, the Lord Lieutenants and Deputy Lieutenants be empower'd to draw up together the Militia, with a Month's Pay, (notwithstanding the Month's Pay already advanced be not reimburs'd,) and for a longer Time than the Law already allows.
That all Papists or reputed Papists, be obliged forthwith to repair to, and continue at their respective Dwellings, and not depart from thence above the Distance of Miles with out Licence; and that if they be found at a greater Distance, they be taken to be Papists convict, to all Intents and Purposes whatsoever.
That a Test or Declaration of Fidelity to the Government under their present Majesties, King William and Queen Mary, against the late King James and all his Adherents, and all other Enemies to the present Government, as it is now establish'd in Church and State, be enjoin'd to be made, repeated, and subscribed by all Persons above 16 Years of Age.
Royal Assent given to the Tunnage and Poundage-Bill. ; Mr. Rowe, a Member, accused of dispersing a Libel.
May 2. His Majesty gave the Royal Assent to The Tunnage and Poundage Act, and two private Acts.
The same day, Mr. Rowe, a Member, was accus'd by Sir Edward Seymour, of dispersing a Paper, highly reflecting upon their Majesties Government, and upon several Members of the last Parliament, being entitled a Letter to a Friend upon the Dissolution of the Parliament, and the calling of a new one; together with a List of those that were against making the Prince and Princess of Orange King and Queen; a Debate arising, a Motion was made to adjourn the said Debate; but pass'd in the Negative. Yeas 156. Noes 180.
Resolved, That the said Paper, &c. is a false and scandalous Libel, reflecting upon their Majesties and their Government, and the Rights and Privileges of Parliament.
The Bill to reverse the Judgment on a Quo Warranto, against the City of London, pass'd.
The 8th, the Question being put, that the Bill for reversing the Judgment in a Quo Warranto, against the City of London, and for restoring the City of London to its ancient Rights and Privileges, do pass, the House divided, and it was carried in the Affirmative. Yeas 166. Noes 76.
Proceedings on the Bill of 500 l. Forfeitures.
The 9th, the House having resolved itself into a Committee to consider of the Bill for vesting the 500 l. Forfeitures in their Majesties; and Mr Speaker having resum'd the Chair, a Motion was made to adjourn the House, but pass'd in the Negative, Yeas 76, Noes 80.
After which Mr. Grey the Chairman of the said Committee having not been directed to make any Report, the House again resolv'd into a Committee, and the Report was referred till the next day.
The 10th, the Question being put for making the said Report, it pass'd in the Affirmative, Yeas 176, Noes 93.
Mr. Grey then made the Report accordingly, and a Clause was admitted, to be Part of the Bill, for the Money to be paid into the Exchequer, and that a distinct Account to be kept thereof.
The Question was then put, That the Bill with the Amendments be engross'd, which pass'd in the Affirmative, Yeas 152, Noes 106.
The 14th, a Motion being made for reading the said Bill, it passed in the Negative. Yeas 92. Noes 111.
The 15th, Evidence having been given to the House of several Persons confederating, and designing to rise in Rebellion, and to disturb the Peace of the Kingdom:
Resolv'd, That a Bill be brought in for the more effectual securing their Majesties Government, against all such Persons so conspiring.
A Motion was then made to adjourn, but pass'd in the Negative,
Resolv'd, That the Bill for vesting the 500 l. Penalties, &c. be read the third time.
An engross'd Proviso was then offer'd to be added, as a Rider, That the Bill shall not charge any Person, who accepted any Office or Commission, and executed the same without qualifying himself, if the said Person do qualify himself as requir'd, before the first day of August next:
It pass'd in the Negative.
And the Question being put, that the said Proviso be read a second time, it pass'd in the Negative.
Another engross'd Clause, was likewise offer'd, that no Person shall incur the Penalty, who shall at the next Quarter-Sessions, take the Oaths on the Statute for Abrogating the Oaths of Supremacy and Allegiance, and appointing other Oaths: and make the Declaration in the Statute 25 Car. II. And the Question being put, That the said Clause be read, it pass'd in the Negative.
Another engross'd Clause was offer'd as a Rider, 'That, whereas a Judgment was given in Easter or Trinity Term 1686, in a Suit between Goodwin and Hales, contrary to Law, and 'tis enacted, That every Judge of the Court who consented thereto, and also every Judge and Baron, who delivered any Opinion for the giving the said Judgment, or for dispensing with the Statute shall forfeit. . . . . . .
'And; That every Person, who pass'd any Patent, dispensing with the same, shall be for ever disabled from holding any Employment or Trust; and That every Judge or Baron, that were so in the said Easter or Trinity Term, who shall not appear before the Commissioners for that Purpose appointed, and prove that he did deliver his Opinion against the said Judgment; such Judge or Baron shall be adjudg'd to be convicted, and to incur the said Forfeitures, and Disabilities.'
Resolv'd, That the Blank be fill'd up with 500 l. And an Amendment was then propos'd to be made in the said Clause, by leaving out the Part relating to the Disabilities which upon the Question, was agreed to by the House.
The Question being then put, That the Clause be read a third Time, it pass'd in the Negative.
Another engross'd Clause was offer'd as a Rider, That this Act shall not extend to charge any Person, who after Octob. 8. and before Feb. 13, 1688, accepted any Office, or Commission, and executed the same without qualifying himself: If such Person do qualify himself before Aug. 1, next; which Proviso was twice read, and the Question being put, That it be read the third Time, it pass'd in the Negative, Yeas 160, Noes 150.
The Bill pass'd.
Resolv'd, That the Proviso be made Part of the Bill. The Question being then put, That the Bill do pass, it was Resolved in the Affirmative, Yeas 137, Noes 91.
Mr. Dockra's Case recommended by the House, to the King.
The 16th, Mr. Dockra, The Projector of the Penny-Post, having again laid his Case (Vid. pag. 344) before the House;
Resolved, That it be humbly represented, and recommended to his Majesty to relieve him therein, as to his great Wisdom and Justice shall seem meet.
A Clause added to the Bill, for declaring the hereditary Revenues, vested in their Majesties.
The 27th, An engross'd Bill, for declaring the hereditary Revenues of the Crown to be vested in their Majesties, being read a third Time, an engross'd Clause was offer'd as a Rider, to be made Part of the Bill, reciting, That the said hereditary Revenues have been much encumbred by Letters-Patent in the two last Reigns, and enacting that all Pensions or Sums of Money, which shall be hereafter granted by LettersPatent, out of any Part of the Hereditary-Excise, PostOffice, or Wine-Licences, shall cease at, or upon the Death of the King or Queen, who shall make any such Grant:
Resolv'd, That the said Clause be made Part of the Bill.
The Bill pass'd.
After, two other Provisos being added, one in Confirmation of a Grant to the Earl of Torrington; and the other to stipulate, that no Right is by this Bill given their Majesties to certain Lands, &c. belonging to Theodore Bathurst Esq; which were seiz'd by the late King James; the Bill was pass'd, and order'd up to the Lords.
Proceedings on the Bill to appointing Commissioners, for stating the public Accounts.
The 19th, the House proceeding with the Consideration of the Bill for appointing Commissioners to take an Account of all public Monies since November 5, 1618.
Resolv'd, That the Number of the said Commissioners to be appointed, be nine and no more.
That no Person be a Commissioner who hath any Office of Profit, or is accountable to their Majesties.
That every Member of this House do prepare a List in Paper of nine Persons whom he shall think fit to be Commissioners, and put the same, roll'd up, into a Glass at the Table to-morrow Morning.
And the Question being put, that every Member do subscribe his List, it pass'd in the Negative.
Royal Assent given to several Acts.
The 20th, the King gave the Royal Assent to An Act for the Exercise of the Government by her Majesty, during his Majesty's Absence. An Act for reversing the Judgment on a Quo Warranto against the City of London. An Act to declare the Rights and Freedoms of Elections for the Cinque Ports. An Act for for the discouraging the Importation of thrown Silk. An Act for confirming the Trade and Privileges of the Hudson's-Bay Company. An Act for the encouraging and better establishing the Manufacture of White Paper in this Kingdom: And two private Bills.
The House then being about to proceed on the Bill for securing their Majesties Government against all such as conspire to rise in Rebellion and disturb the Peace of the Kingdom, a Motion was made to adjourn, but pass'd in the Negative.
The same day the Commissioners for taking Account of the public Monies, were nominated according to their Numbers, as follows:
|Col. Rob. Austen,||183|
|Sir John Guise,||173|
|Sir Ben. Newland,||135|
|Sir Tho. Clarges,||133|
|Sir Rob. Rich,||125|
|Sir John Matthews,||114|
|Sir Jos. Williamson,||108|
|Sir Sam. Barnardiston,||100|
But this last Gentleman acquainting the House, that he was one of the Accomptants to their Majesties, and desiring to be excus'd, Mr. Coulson of London, Merchant, was inserted in his room.
The same day Mr. Justice Eyres and Mr. Baron Turton brought the following Message from the Lords.:
A Bill for a free Pardon sent from the Lords.
'Mr. Speaker, His Majesty has been pleased to send this Bill, entitled, An Act for the King and Queen's most gracious, general and free Pardon; which the Lords have accepted and pass'd nemine contradicente, and now send it down to this House.'
And then the Messengers withdrew.
Resolv'd, That the Bill do pass.
Resolv'd, That a Committee be appointed to search Precedents, and prepare Reasons to be offer'd at a Conference with the Lords on their late Message.
A Clause offer'd to the Bill for appointing Commissioners.
The 23d, the engrossed Bill for appointing Commissioners to take the Accounts of all public Monies, &c. being read a third time, an engrossed Clause was offer'd as a Rider, for an Account to be made of the Monies issued in the time of the late King James, for Repair of the Fleet; which was twice read, and a Debate arising thereon; Resolved, That the Debate be adjourn'd till after the Conference with the Lords.
The Reasons to be offer'd at the said Conference were then reported as follow, viz.
Reasons to be offered at a Conference with the Lords, on their Message.
'That the Commons having receiv'd a Message from their Lordships, in these Words, That his Majesty, &c. have desir'd this Conference to acquaint your Lordships that they conceive this Message is not according to the usual way of transmitting Bills between the two Houses: For that neither House do acquaint the other by what Number any Bill before them do pass; and the introducing any Alteration in the usual Method of Proceeding may be of dangerous Consequence.'
But a stop was put to this Affair, and all others, by the King's coming to the House of Peers the same day, where he gave the Royal Assent to the Bill For a (fn. 1) free and general Pardon; and made the following Speech.
The King's Speech to both Houses.
'My Lords and Gentlemen,
I Have had such Assurance of your good Affections to me, that I come now to thank you particularly for the Supply you have given me. The Season of the Year is so far advanced, that I can no longer delay my going into Ireland; and therefore I think it necessary to have an Adjournment of the Parliament.
'Altho' it shall be but a short day, yet, unless some great Occasion require it (of which you shall have due notice) I do not intend you shall sit to do Business until the Winter; and, I hope, by the Blessing of God, we shall then have a happy Meeting.
'In the mean time, I recommend to you the Discharge of your Duties in your respective Counties, that the Peace of the Nation may be secur'd by your Vigilance and Care in your respective Stations.'
The Parliament adjourn'd.
And then the Lord Chief-Baron Atkins signify'd his Majesty's Pleasure, that both Houses should adjourn till July
7. After which the Parliament was twice prorogu'd, twice adjourn'd, and then prorogu'd again.