The History and Proceedings of the House of Commons: Volume 2, 1680-1695. Originally published by Chandler, London, 1742.
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The Parliament met at Westminster, Nov. 7. and his Majesty made this Speech to both Houses.
'My Lords and Gentlemen,
'I Am always glad to meet you here, and I could heartily wish that our Satisfaction were not lessen'd at present by the Disadvantages we have receiv'd this Year at Land, and the Miscarriages of our Affairs at Sea. I think it is evident that the former was only occasioned by the great Number of our Enemies, which exceeded ours in all Places. For what relates to the latter, which has brought so great a Disgrace on the Nation, I have resented it extremely, and as I will take care, that those who have not done their Duty, shall be punish'd, so I am resolved to use my utmost Endeavours, that our Power at Sea may be rightly manag'd for the future. And it will well deserve your Consideration, whether we are not defective both in the Number of our Shipping, and in proper Ports to the Westward, for the better annoying our Enemies, and protecting our Trade, which is so essential to the Welfare of this Kingdom.
'My Lords and Gentlemen,
'I am very sensible of the great Affection wherewith you have always assisted me to support the Charges of the War, which have been very great; and yet I am persuaded that the Experience of this Summer is sufficient to convince us all, that to arrive at a good end of it, there will be a necessity of increasing our Forces both by Sea and Land the next Year. Our Allies have resolv'd to add to theirs; and I will not doubt but you will have such regard to the present Exigencies, as that you will give me a suitable Supply to enable me to do the like. I must therefore earnestly recommend to you, Gentlemen of the House of Commons, to take such timely Resolutions as that your Supplies may be effectual, and our Preparations so forward, as will be necessary both for the Security and the Honour of the Nation.'
The 13th, Resolved, nem. con. That this House will support their Majesties and their Government, and will next enquire into the (fn. 1) Miscarriages of the Fleet, the last Summer; and take into their Consideration, how to preserve the Trade of the Nation.
In pursuance of this Resolution, several Orders were made, the same day; and among the rest, one for the Attendance of Sir George Rooke, who for that time excused himself, on account of Indisposition.
Bill to regulate Trials brought in.
The 14th, A Bill for regulating of Trials in Cases of Treason, and Misprision of Treason, was brought in, and a Motion being made, That the said Bill be now read, it pass'd in the Negative, Yeas 100, Noes 110.
Copies of Petitions from the Turkey Company, and Admiralty Orders so laid before the House.
The 15th, the Turkey-Company attended, according to Order, with Copies of their several Petitions to Her Majesty, and the Commissioners of the Admiralty, as did likewise Lord Falkland, from the said Commissioners with an Account of what Directions had been given to the StreightsFleet, since Sir George Rooke was appointed Admiral, and a List of the Ships and Vessels employ'd in their Majesties Service, in the Main-Fleet, Convoys, Cruizers, &c.
Conduct of the Fleet censur'd.
The 17th, the Admirals who commanded the Summer before, attended the House, and Sir George Rooke being lame with the Gout, was set at the Bar in a Chair: Then all being examin'd, and afterwards withdrawn, the said Sir George was, for the present, dismis'd on account of his Indisposition: And the Question being put, That upon Examination of the Miscarriages of the Fleet, this House is of Opinion, That there hath been a notorious and treacherous Mismanagement of the Fleet this Year; and an Amendment being proposed to the Question, by leaving out the Word treacherous, the House divided, and it pass'd in the Affirmative, Yeas 140, Noes 103. The Words, of the Fleet this year, were then changed to, in that Affair, and the Vote pass'd.
Estimate for the Navy.
The 18th, an Estimate of the Charge of the Navy for the Year 1694, was presented to the House according to Order: An Abstract of which, is as follows:
|Abstract of Ships to be employed.|
Remainder of the 40,000 Men, to be employ'd in Convoys, and Cruizers.
400,000 l. voted for the Navy.
Resolv'd, That the Sum of 400,000 l. be granted to their Majesties, towards the Maintenance of the Fleet, for the Year 1694.
To be rais'd on Credit at 7 l. per Cent.
Resolv'd, That whoever shall lend any Sum, not exceeding 400,000 l. upon the Credit of the Exchequer, in general, towards the Maintenance of the Fleet, for the Year 1694, this House will take care to see them repaid with Interest, after the Rate of 7 l. per Cent. &c.
Not to be a Precedent.
Resolv'd, that this Manner of Proceeding shall not be drawn into Precedent after.
The 22d, Mr. Hanpden, Chancellor of the Exchequer, according to Order, presented an Account to the House of the Deficiency on the Million Contribution Bill, which
|And of the 300,000 l. to be raised by a Review of the Quarterly Poll-Bill, which was||l. 2293,692||17s.||10d.|
The 24th, An Account of the Wages due to Seamen, having been order'd to be brought in, a Motion was made to adjourn, but pass'd in the Negative, Yeas 64, Noes 100. After which, the said Account was presented by Lord Falkland, first Commissioner of the Admiralty, whereby it appear'd that the Public ow'd on that single Article only, 1,036,415 l.
The 25th, Resolv'd, nem. con. That the Sum of 500,000 l. be rais'd, towards the Discharging the Wages due to Seamen.
2,500,000 l. voted for the Navy.
That a farther Sum, not exceeding two Millions, be granted to their Majesties in full, for the Maintenance of the Fleet, including the Ordinary, by reason of the Revenues now falling short.
Proceedings on the Miscarriages of the Navy.
The 27th, the Question was debated, Whether there was sufficient Beer on board the Main-Fleet, when Sir George Rooke separated from it, to convoy the Merchant-Ships out of Danger of the Brest Squadron; and these Words and the Toulon Squadron, being offer'd as an Amendment, it pass'd in the Negative, Yeas 165, Noes 191. A Motion was then made, That the Members of the House, who are Victuallers of the Navy do withdraw, and pass'd in the Negative, without a Division. The previous Question being then put, that the main Question, viz. Whether there was sufficient Beer, &c. be now put, it pass'd in the Affirmative, and then the said main Question being put, it pass'd in the Affirmative, Yeas 188, Noes 152.
And on the Bill for frequent Parliaments.
The 28th, the Bill for more frequent Elections of Parliaments, being read the third Time, an engross'd Clause was offered as a Rider, That, within Years after the Dissolution of this present Parliament, there shall be a Session of Parliament; which being read, and the Question put, for a second Reading, it pass'd in the Negative. After which, the Question being put, That the Bill do pass, it pass'd in the Negative, Yeas 136, Noes 146.
Farther Proceedings on the Fleet.
The 29th, the Admirals Shovel, Delaval, and others, having been examin'd touching the Miscarriages of the Fleet, last Summer, and having withdrawn, the Question was put, That it doth appear to this House, that the Admirals, who commanded the Fleet last Summer, had (on the 11th of May last) Information that Part of the BrestSquadron was going out to Sea, it pass'd in the Negative, Yeas 161, Noes 170.
London-Petition, in Behalf of the Orphans.
The 28th, the City of London presented a Petition, praying the Consideration of the Honse, in order to a Provision to be made for the Payment of the Debts due to the Orphans of the said City: Which was referr'd to a Committee of the whole House.
Bill for free and impartial proceedings in Parliament, pass'd. ; State of the war, for the Year of 1624.
Dec. 4th, An engross'd Bill touching free and impartial Elections in Parliament, was read the third Time and pass'd.
The 5th, Lord Ranelagh by his Majesty's Command, presented to the House A State of the War for the Year 1694, whereby it appear'd, that the Army was to consist of,
A Bill to regulate Trials, &c.
The 6th, A Bill for regulating Trials in Cases of High-Treason, and Misprison of Treason, was read the first Time.
Farther Proceedings on the Miscarriages of the Fleet.
The same day, the House severally re-examin'd the Admirals Rooke, Killigrew, Delaval, and Shovel, on the Miscarriages of the Fleet; and the Question being put, that the Admirals, who commanded the Fleet, last Summer, by not gaining such Intelligence as they might have done of the Brest Fleet, &c. are guilty of a high Breach of the Trust that was put in them, to the great Loss and Dishonour of the Nation; the House divided, and it pass'd in the Negative, Yeas 175, Noes 185.
The 7th, (fn. 2) Mr. Harley, from the Commissioners for taking the public Accounts, acquainted the House, with the Matter of the Examination of Mr. F. Rainsford, Receiver of the Rights and Perquisites of the Navy; which in Substance was as follows;
The Examination of Mr. Rainsford.
'That the said Rainsford, being examin'd upon Oath, as to his Accounts in general, did acknowledge, that the Account (deliver'd to the said Commissioners) did not contain all that he had received and paid within the Time of the said Account, but said it should be rectify'd in the next.
'That being examin'd, Whether the Balance, mention'd in his Account, was in his Hands, or what thereof he had paid either before or since, to any Member of either House of Parliament, he answer'd upon Oath, as follows:
'That being sent to, by the Lord Falkland, about the 8th of March last, to know how much Money he could advance as Receiver, for his Majesty's Service, and enjoin'd to pay as much as he could, he engag'd to furnish 4000 l.
'That the 22d of the said Month, he received a Letter from Lord Falkland, of which the following is a Copy,
Mr. Rainsford, March 22, 1692.3.
I Am directed by the King, to receive of you the Sum of 4000 l. for his Majesty's Service, for which I have his Orders in Writing to deliver to you, upon the Receipt of the Bills, which I desire you will get for me against to-morrow Morning 8 o'clock, or sooner if you can, for I am to deliver those to him in the Morning. Pray let them be in eight Notes, upon Sir Francis Child, and Mr. Fowle; two for 1000 l. a-piece, payable to Randolph Keyne, the other two for 500 l. each, and four of 250 l. each, payable to Mr. John Thomas, Mr. Joseph Williams, and Mr. Jacob Thompson, two to each, or Bearer. Pray take no manner of Notice of this to any one, and endeavour to do it by the Time, for I shall stay within to expect you. I am,
That Mr. Rainsford added upon his Oath, That he believed this to be a true Copy, and that he had the Original in his Custody till Monday last; when being sent for by the Lord Falkland, about 5 or 6 o'clock in the Evening, he shew'd the Original to the said Lord, who kept it.
'That, in pursuance of the said Letter Mr. Rainsford attended his Lordship the 23d, to acquaint him, that he could not bring Notes that day for the whole 4000 l. Whereupon his Lordship order'd him to bring Notes for 2000 l. and the rest within 14 Days.
'That the same day Mr. Rainsford brought six Notes from Mr. Fowle; two of 500 l. each, and four for 250 l. each, payable as before directed; but to which of the said Names the 250 l. and 500 l. Notes were apply'd, he had forgot; not having read Directions on that head.
That, upon the Delivery of the said Notes, the Lord Falkland desiver'd to him the following Orders, sign'd by his Majesty and Clerk of the Signet.
'Our Will and Pleasure is, that you forthwith pay to the Lord Falkland the Sum of 4000 l. out of the Moneys in your hands, arising out of the Perquisites of the Lord High Admiral of England, taking his Receipt for the same. Given under our Hand this present 22d of March, 1692–3.
To Francis Rainsford Esq; &c.
Copy of the Certificate.
I have directed Mr. Rainsford to pay 4000 l. out of the Moneys in his hands, arising out of the Perquisites of the Lord High-Admiral of England, for my immediate Service; which I will take care shall be made good to him again, or allow'd to him upon his Account.
'That Mr. Rainsford being ask'd whose Hand-writing the Papers were of, answer'd he believ'd them to be Lord Falkland's.
'And it being observ'd to him, that the Sums contain'd in each Note were written with different Ink, and so crouded that the Notes seem'd to be at first drawn with Blanks; Mr. Rainsford answer'd, that he believ'd the Reason thereof to be because his Lordship could not tell what Money he could advance, till he had inform'd him, as above.
'That Lord Falkland gave him a Receipt for 2000 l.
That, after 14 Days, on receiving a Message from Falkland, he waited upon him with a Note upon Mr. Fowles for 1000 l. payable, as he supposes, to Randolph Keyne, or Bearer: That about the 20th of April, he waited upon his Lordship with such another Note; upon which his Lordship took up his former Receipt, and gave another for the whole 4000 l. which was produc'd.
'Upon Examination of Thomas Wootton, it appears the said six Notes, making in all 2000 l were paid the said 23d of March, all to one Person; but to whom, it doth not appear by Mr. Fowle's Books.
And of the Lord Viscount Falkland.
'That, December 10, the Lord Viscount Falkland attended the Commissioners, and, upon Oath, did acknowledge the Receipts of the said Notes; but could not charge his Memory with the Names of those to whom they were payable.
'That, by the King's Order, he did the same day deliver the said Notes to one who is no Member of either House, and of whom he hath a Receipt for the same.
'That the other 2000 l. is still in his hands, and that he hath attended his Majesty since his Return; who told him he had Directions for him therein.'
After the said Report had been read, Lord Falkland was heard in his Place: After which he withdrew, and the Question being put, That the Lord Falkland for withdrawing the Letter to Mr. Rainsford, be committed to the Tower, it pass'd in the Negative. Yeas 137, Noes 175.
Resolv'd, That the Lord Falkland be call'd in, and reprimanded in his Place; and Mr. Speaker reprimanded him accordingly.
An Account of the Confederate Forces.
The 8th, the House having address'd his Majesty for the Treaties and Alliances between him and the Consederates, and an Account of the Proportion of Forces they are to furnish; Mr. Secretary Trenchard acquainted the House, by his Majesty's Command, That as to the Treaties they were the same with those formerly laid before the House, except one new Treaty with the Elector of Hanover, which lay on the Table; and that the Proportions of Forces were as follow, viz.
118506 l. 5 s. voted for supplying a Deficiency.
The 9th, Resolv'd, That the Sum of 118506 l. 5 s. be rais'd, for supplying the Deficiency of certain Customs and Duties of Excise.
An Account of the Receipts, Issues, and Profits of the Revenue, order'd to lie on the Table.
The same day, Mr. Foley, from the Commissioners for taking the public Accounts, presented to the House an Account of all Receipts, Issues and Profits of the public Revenue from Michaelmas 1692 to Michaelmas 1693; which was order'd to lie on the Table.
The same day, Mr. Harcourt, from the said Commissioners, presented to the House an Account of Moneys issued for secret Service, and to Members of Parliament, in Substance as follows:
Report of Sums issued for secret Service, and paid to Members.
'That the said Commissioners have, in every Year's general Account, deliver'd to this House the Sums issued for secret Service from the Exchequer, or elsewhere; and that they did formerly return an Account of Moneys to Members of Parliament by William Jephson Esq; deceas'd, as far as your Commissioners could have it discovered to them: They also desire Leave to put this House in mind, that they did in their preceding Accounts represent the great Endeavours they had used to obtain a full Account of those other Payments made by him to Members of Parliament; and did return in Writing the final Answer, which Mr. Robert Squib (who hath Mr. Jephson's Accounts) was order'd, as he said, to deliver to your Commissioners.
'Upon examining several Persons to whom Money has been issued for his Majesty's Privy Purse, or for secret Service, the Commons find divers Sums of Money paid to the Members of this House, in Re-payment of Principal, InterestMoney, Freight of Transport Ships, and also to return to Envoys abroad, or to Members deceas'd; which, if the House commands, shall be deliver'd to them in particular.
The other Payments, since this Government, as far as your Commissioners have hitherto discover'd, are as follow, viz.
Order'd, That Mr. Robert Squib do attend this House.
The 10th, the House order'd a blasphemous Pamphlet, by way of Question and Answer concerning the Deity, to be burnt by the Hand of the common Hangman; and, likewise order'd an Enquiry to be made after the Author, Printer and Publisher thereof.
The same day Mr. Squib attending the House, according to order, and being examin'd concerning Mr. Jephson's Accounts, declar'd he would make up the said Accounts upon Oath, and would attend the Commissioners therewith, together with an Account upon Oath of what Moneys he had paid to Members of Parliament.
The 12th, Resolv'd, That towards the raising the Supply for the Fleet, any Person be at liberty to add a second Life to the Life that is or shall be nominated upon the voluntary Contribution Act for raising a Million, towards carrying on the War, upon paying the Sum of 35 l. for every 100 l. paid in, or to be paid in upon the said Act; and for adding a third Life 15 l. for every said 100 l. and so for any greater Proportion.
Resolved, That a Bill be brought in upon the said Resolution, and upon the Resolution for raising 118506 l. 5 s. 10d. for making good the Deficiencies of certain Rates and Duties of Excise.
Earl of Bellamont impeaches Lord Coningesby.
The 16th, the Earl of Bellamont presented to the House Articles of Impeachment against Thomas Lord Coningesby, late one of the Lords Justices of Ireland; which were in Substance as follow:
1. That the said Lord Coningesby hath traitorously abus'd the Power and Authority of his Government, and exercis'd the same tyrannically, by discouraging and terrifying the Militia, and framing and imposing on them a new, arbitrary, and illegal Oath, contrary to the King's Instruction, &c. And ordering the Governours of Counties to subject the said Militia to Martial Laws, contrary to the known Laws of the Kingdom.
2. That the said Lord Coningsby did traitorously, &c. exact and force free Quarters for the Army; and did also by Force of Arms levy Money on the Protestant Subjects, &c.
3. That the said Lord caus'd a great Scarcity of Provision in the Army before Limerick, by obliging the Suttlers to take out Licences, and by laying Taxes on Beer and other Provisions sent to the Camp.
4. That the said Lord, assuming to himself a tyrannical and arbitrary Power over the Lives as well as the Properties of the People, did, in Council by Word of Mouth, order one Gafney to be hang'd without Trial, the Courts of Justice being then open, &c. and the said Gafney was immediately executed according to the said verbal Order.
5. That the said Lord, by himself, or his Agent, did traitorously carry on a Trade with the Subjects of the French King.
6. That the said Lord did embezzle vast Quantities of their Majesties Stores and forfeited Estates, both real and personal.
7. And that the said Lord, during his whole Government, did favour and support the Papists in their Robberies and other Outrages, &c.
And Sir Charles Porter.
The Earl of Bellamont then exhibited the like Articles against Sir Charles Porter, another of the late Lords Justices of Ireland.
And afterwards, upon a Hearing of the whole Affair, the House resolv'd, That the imposing the Oath mention'd in the first Article, was illegal: But, considering the State of Affairs in Ireland at that time, did not think fit to ground an Impeachment either on that or any of the subsequent Articles. Upon which the said Lord Coningsby and Sir Charles Porter were restor'd to their Places in the House.
Stockbridge Election voted corrupt and void.
The 20th, a Report being made of the Merits of a disputed Election for the Borough of Stockbridge; Resolv'd, That the said Election for the said Borough, was corrupt and void.
A Bill ordered in to disfranchise the said Borough.
That a Bill be brought in for disabling the said Borough to send Burgesses to serve in Parliament for the future.
The same day, the House came to the following Resolutions.
Resolutions with regard to the Land-Forces.
1. That the Number of Land Forces be increas'd for the Service of the Year 1694.
2. That six new Regiments of English Horse be rais'd, of the same Numbers as the Queen's Regiment, to be commanded by Officers, who are their Majesties natural-born Subjects.
3. That four new English Regiments of Dragoons be rais'd of the same Numbers as the Royal Regiment, to be commanded as above.
4. That there be 15 new Regiments of Foot rais'd, each of the same Number as Colonel Selwin's Regiment, to be commanded as above.
5. That 83121 Men, including Commission and NonCommission Officers, are necessary for the Service of the Year 1694, to be employ'd in England and beyond the Seas.
6. That 210773 l. 4s. 5d. be allow'd for the extraordinary Charge of the Office of Ordnance, in relation to the Land-Forces for the Year 1694.
7. That a Sum not exceeding 31058 l. 8s. 6d. be allowed for the Pay of the General Officers.
8. That a Sum not exceeding 100160 l. be allow'd for Levy-Money.
9. That 40808 l. be allow'd for Transports.
10. That 1,990,781 l. 16s. 10d. be allow'd for the Pay of the Horse, Dragoons and Foot, for the Year 1694.
And the Question being put, That 60,000 l. be allow'd for Hospitals and Contingencies, it pass'd in the Negative, Yeas 120, Noes 184.
Lords Amendments to the Bill for free and impartial Proceedings in Parliament rejected.
The 21st, the House proceeded to take into consideration certain Amendments made by the Lords to the Bill touching free and impartial Proceedings in Parliament, and the Question being put to agree to the said Amendments, it pass'd in the Negative; and a Committee was appointed to prepare Reasons to be offer'd at a Conference with the Lords upon the same.
Resolutions with respect to the Navy.
The same day the House came to the following Resolutions, That the Sum of 2,500,000 l. be granted to their Majesties for the Maintenance of the Fleet; of which 1,000,000 l. to be charg'd upon Land.
That towards raising the said Supply, a Duty of 3d. per Gallon be laid upon all foreign Salt.
That towards raising the said Supply, a Duty of 1½ d. per Gallon be laid on all English Salt; to be paid at the SaltWorks by the Master thereof.
Order'd, That a Bill be brought in upon the said Resolutions.
That a Clause be added to the said Bill for settling the Price of Salt.
That another Clause be added to discharge all English Salt exported, from the said Duty.
The 22d, Resolved, That a Sum not exceeding 147000 l. be allow'd for Hospitals and Contingencies, and other extraordinary Charges for the Service of the Year 1694.
The same day, an Answer of the Commissioners of the Treasury to the Reply of the Commissioners for stating the public Accounts was presented to the House, and order'd to lie upon the Table.
The engrossed Bill from the Lords, for the frequent calling and meeting of Parliaments being read the third time, the Question was put, that the last Clause in the Bill, viz. That a Parliament shall be understood to be holden, altho' no Act or Judgment shall pass within the time of their Assembly, be left out of the said Bill; it pass'd in the Negative, Yeas 131, Noes 222.
The Bill for frequent calling and meeting of Parliaments rejected.
The Question being then put, That the Bill do pass, it pass'd in the Negative, Yeas 172, Noes 197.
Resolv'd, That the Bill be rejected.
The 26th, Resolv'd, That, towards the Supply, a farther Sum of 1,000,000 l. be charg'd upon Lands; and he 29th the said Land-Tax was fix'd at 4s. in the Pound, (for the first time.)
4s. in the pound charg'd upon Land for the first time.
Jan. 5. The following Reasons to be offer'd at a Conference with the Lords, for rejecting their Amendments to the Bill touching free and impartial Proceedings in Parliament, were read and agreed to by the House, viz.
Reasons to be offer'd at a Conference on the Bill for free and impartial Proceedings in Parliament.
That the leaving out the last Proviso, with part of the Clause preceding, and supplying the whole with Words that have no relation to the said Proviso, is not generally practised in Cases of Amendment.
'That the Speaker of the House of Commons, being frequently a Person eminent in the Law, is by his constant Attendance in that Chair hindred from his Practice in the Courts below; so that if he be made incapable of other Office or Employment, the Commons in the Choice of their Speaker will prejudice the Person they design for that Employ.'
The said Bill passed by the Lords.
The said Reasons, together with the Bill, were then left with the Lords; and the same day the Lords declar'd by Message, That they did not insist on their Amendments, but had agreed to the said Bill.
Capt. Pickard order'd to be prosecuted for plundering a Prize.
The 11th, the Commissioners for stating the public Accounts deliver'd in a Report, whereby it appear'd, that a French Prize taken by their Majesties Ship the Monmouth, Capt. P. Pickard Commander, had been designedly plunder'd and deserted by the said Captain; and Mr. AttorneyGeneral was order'd to prosecute him for the same.
The 12th, a Report having been presented to the House relating to the forfeited Estates in Ireland;
A Bill to appropriate the Irish forfeited Estates to the use of the War.
Order'd, That a Bill be brought in to vest the said forfeited Estates in their Majesties, to be apply'd to the Use of the War.
Report of a Conference between both Houses, relating to the Conduct of the Fleet.
The 16th, a Conference having been desir'd by the Lords, Col. Granville reported from the Committee appointed to attend it, that the Duke of Bolton manag'd for the Lords, and acquainted them: That the Lords having had laid before them by the Earl of Nottingham an Extract of a Letter dated from Paris June 1, N. S. receiv'd May 30. O.S. 1693. as follows:
There are 68 Ships, in which there are 30118 Men, and 4876 Guns.
'We have news since that this Fleet was fail'd, and was out of sight.'
And whereas upon an Address to the King, that such Lords as are of the Privy-Council, may have Permission from his Majesty to acquaint the House when the Intelligence of the French Fleet's sailing from Brest was communicated to the Admirals of the Fleet:
Whereupon several of those Lords inform'd the House that the said Letter was laid before the Committee of the Council, and that it was taken for granted, that the Intelligence therein was sent to the Admirals of the Fleet; but it not appearing clearly, whether it was so communicated or not, their Lordships desire of this House to enquire by the most proper Methods, of the Members of this House, who are of the Privy-Council, whether this Intelligence of the French Fleet's being fail'd out of Brest, was communicated to the said Admirals, and when it was so communicated.
Accordingly, the 19th, an humble Address was voted, that his Majesty would be pleased to command that a Copy of the said Letter may be laid before the House; and likewise that his Majesty would permit such Members of this House as are of the Privy Council, to acquaint the House what Intelligence was receiv'd of the French Fleet's sailing from Brest, and whether and when the said Intelligence was communicated to the said Admirals.
The same day, the Report being made from the Committee appointed to examine and consider the several Petitions against the East-India Company;
Vote on the E. India Trade.
Resolved, That all the Subjects of England have equal right to trade to the East-Indies, unless prohibited by Act of Parliament.
The 22d, to the end that all the Debates in this House shall be grave and orderly, as becomes so great an Assembly; and that all Interruption should be prevented by it:
Order for observing decorum in the House.
Order'd and declar'd, That no Member of this House do presume to make any noise or disturbance, while any Member shall be orderly debating, or while any Bill, Order, or other Matter shall be in reading, or opening: and in case of such Noise or Disturbance, that Mr. Speaker do call upon the Member by Name making such disturbance, and that every such Person shall incur the Displeasure of this House.
The Land-Tax Bill pass'd.
The same day, the Land-Tax Bill was pass'd.
The 25th, the Lords pass'd the said Bill, with Amendments; which, being only such as corrected certain Mistakes made by the Clerks in engrossing it, were agreed to by the House, with an express Order that the said Amendments be particularly enter'd into the Journals of the House, to the end that the Nature of the said Amendments may appear.
Royal Assent given to several Bills.
The same day, the King gave the Royal Assent to the Land-Tax Bill. An Act to repeal such Parts of several former Acts, as prevent or prohibit the Importation of foreign Brandy, &c. except from France. An Act for repealing an Act by which Justices in Wales were limited to eight in each County. An Act for Importation of fine Italian, Sicilian, and Naples thrown Silk.
The 26th, the House, according to Order, enter'd into a grand Committee on the State of the Kingdom; when the following Resolutions were prepared, and afterwards agreed to by the House, viz.
Resolutions on the State of the Kingdom.
Resolv'd, That whoever advis'd the King not to give the Royal Assent to the Act touching free and impartial Proceedings in Parliament; which was to redress a Greivance, and take off a Scandal upon the Proceedings of the Commons in Parliament; is an Enemy to their Majesties, and the Kingdom.
A Representation to the King, thereon.
That a Representation be made to his Majesty, humbly to lay before him, how few the Instances have been in former Reigns, of denying the Royal Assent, to Bills for Redress of Grievances; and the great Grief of the Commons, for his not having given the Royal Assent to several public Bills, as particularly to the Bill above-mentioned, which tends so much to the clearing the Reputation of this House, after their having so freely voted to supply the public Occasions: And a Committee being appointed to draw up the said Representation, it was the next Day reported to the House, when the two first Paragraphs being exactly conformable to the Vote, were agreed to, but the third was rejected.
A Paragraph rejected.
The said rejected Paragraph, ran thus:
'We beg, Sir, you will be pleas'd to consider us as answerable to those we represent, and it is from your Goodness, we must expect Arguments to soften to them, in some measure, the necessary Hardships they are forc'd to undergo in this present Conjuncture; and therefore, humbly beseech your Majesty, for the removing all Jealousies from your People, (without which the Parliament will be unable to serve your Majesty, or to support the Government) to be pleas'd to follow the Course of the best of your Predecessors, and direct some Expedient, whereby your Majesty, your Parliament and People, may reap the Fruit design'd by that Bill, to which, your Majesty, by ill Advice, was pleas'd so lately to deny the Royal Assent.
That inserted in its stead.
Instead of which, the following Paragraph was agreed to.
'Upon these Considerations, we humbly beseech your Majesty to believe, that none can have so great a Concern, and Interest in the Prosperity and Happiness of your Majesty and your Government, as your two Houses of Parliament; and do therefore humbly pray, That, for the future, you would be graciously pleased to hearken to the Advice of your Parliament, and not to the secret Advices of particular Persons, who may have private Interests of their own, separate from the true Interest of your Majesty and your People.'
This Address was presented by the whole House, when the King was pleased to reply;
'Gentlemen, I will consider of your Representation, and give you a speedy Answer, and desire you to meet me here on Wednesday Morning at 10 o'clock.'
The King's first Answer.
Accordingly the House then waited upon his Majesty, when he was pleas'd to speak to them, as follows;
His second Answer.
'I am very sensible of the good Offices you have express'd to me, upon many Occasions; and the Zeal you have shewn for our Common-Interest: I shall make use of this Opportunity, to tell you that no Prince ever had a higher Esteem for the Constitution of the English Government than myself, and that I shall ever have a great Regard, for the Advice of Parliament.
'I am persuaded, that nothing can so much conduce to the Happiness and Welfare of this Kingdom, as an entire Confidence between the King and People, which I shall by all Means, endeavour to preserve: And, I assure you, I shall look upon such Persons as my Enemies, who shall advise any thing that may lessen it.'
Motion for a second Application over-rul'd.
Feb. 1. The House, according to Order, proceeded to take into Consideration the said Answer, and the Question being put, That an humble Application be made to his Majesty, for a farther Answer, it pass'd in the Negative, Yeas 88. Noes 229.
Resolutions on Ways and Means.
The 6th, the House agreed with the Resolutions of the Committee on Ways and Means,
That towards the Maintenance of the Fleet, and Army for the Year 1694, a Fund of 140,000 l. per Ann. be rais'd, and vested in their Majesties for the Term of 16 Years, for recompensing such Persons, as shall advance 1,000,000 l.
That the Impositions, lately resolv'd, to be laid on Salt, be Part of the said Fund.
That for the farther answering, and securing the said Fund, one Moiety of the Duties of Excise, granted to their Majesties, in the second Year of their Reign, be granted and continued to their Majesties, after the Moneys charg'd upon the said Duties be satisfy'd.
Two Petitions of the Borough of Stockbridge, rejected.
The 7th, Two Petitions, in behalf of the Borough of Stockbridge, for the disfranchising of which, a Bill was depending in the House, on account of their corrupt Proceeding on Elections, were presented to the House, read, and rejected.
The 8th, the Lords at a Conference for maintaining a good Correspondence between the two Houses, re-capitulated, what they had propos'd to the Commons, January 16. (Vid. P. 430.) And added as follows: 'Upon which their Lordships hoped, That some farther Information might be had, by those that are of the Privy Council, in this House, in order to the Discovery of the Causes of some of the Miscarriages in the last Summer's Expedition at Sea: But their Lordships not having yet heard any Thing from this House, concerning this Matter, thought fit, at this Conference, to remind them of it, as a Business the Lords conceive to be of great Consequence, and fit to be enquir'd into.'
Royal Assent given to certain Acts.
The same day, the King gave the Royal Assent to An Act to supply the Deficiencies of the Money rais'd by a former Act, to secure certain Recompences to such as should advance 1,000,000 l. towards carrying on the War against France: An Act to prevent Disputes and Controversies concerning Royal Mines: And a private Act.
The 9th, Mr. Harley, according to Order, presented to the House, from the Commissioners for stating the public Accounts, the Information given upon Oath, by the Lord Viscount Falkland, and also an Account of the Pensions, Salaries, and Sums of Money paid, or payable to Members. Both which are, in Substance, as follow:
Lord Falkland's Examination.
Question, Your Lordship named four Persons in your Letter to Mr. Rainsford; where do they live, that they may be sent for?
Answer, All, but Randolph Keyne, are fictitious Names.
Quest. Why were those Names used, if the Money was for his Majesty's particular Use?
Ans. His Lordship knew no Reason, nor that any Money was to be paid to Keyne, till he went to Kensington.
Quest. Had your Lordship any Direction to have 8 Notes, as you require in your Letter to Rainsford?
Ans. No: But his Lordship having ask'd the King, Whether he would have one Bill, or several, his Majesty answering several, he doth not recollect any Reason for requiring such Notes, but did it by his own Fancy.
Quest. By what Order of his Majesty, did your Lordship allow 14 Days, for the Payment of the last 2000 l?
Ans. None: He had directed Mr. Rainsford to get it as soon as he could; and then acquainted the King with what he had done, who approv'd thereof.
His Lordship added, That notwithstanding what Mr. Rainsford had said, upon his Lordship's giving an Acquittance for the Whole, (which was March 28) he had given his Lordship his own Note for the remaining 2000 l. which he afterwards delivered up, on the receipt of Mr. Fowles's Note.
Quest. Where is your Lordship's Order to deliver the Notes, or pay the first 2000 l. to any Person?
In Answer, his Lordship produced two Papers, which he acknowledg'd to be written-by his own Hand; the Contents of which, were as follow:
March 23d, 1692-3.
You are hereby directed to pay to Mr. Randolph Keyne, the Sum of two thousand Pounds, which I order'd to be paid into your Hands, for my immediate Service, taking his Receipt for the same.
To Anthony, Viscount Falkland.
March 23d, 1692-3.
Received then of the Lord Falkland, by his Majesty's Direction, and for his Majesty's Service, the Sum of two thousand Pounds.
Quest. At what Time, since his Majesty's Return, did your Lordship acquaint the King, that you had the remaining 2000 l. in your Hands?
Ans. His Lordship did not remember.
Quest. Was it before Mr. Rainsford was sent for by the House of Commons, or since?
Ans. His Lordship could not be positive, but it was within ten Days of this Time. But, that, he had before desired a Time to speak to his Majesty; when he did intend to mention this Matter.
Quest. We desire to know, if your Lordship advis'd or spoke to any Member of Parliament, to beg or procure this Money, or any Part thereof; or to join with your Lordship therein; and to what Member?
Ans. To no Member, that did any thing therein. His Lordship did propose to the Speaker, some time since, to join with him in begging it; but doth not remember he did propose it to any other Member.
Quest. What Time did your Lordship propose it to the Speaker?
Ans. It was while the Parliament was sitting, before his Lordship knew the certain Sum in Rainsford's Hands.
Quest. Did the King, when your Lordship deliver'd the Notes for the first 2000 l. declare, or promise your Lordship should have the other 2000 l?
Ans. I cannot say it.
Quest. Did your Lordship expect the Money for your own Use?
Ans. I have deserv'd more than that from this Government; having been a great Loser, since the Revolution, and serv'd it faithfully.
The House having ordered Mr. Robert Squib to return an Account to the Commissioners, of all Moneys paid by William Jephson Esq; to Members of Parliament; the said Squib did give the following Account upon Oath, as far as he could collect from Jephson's Papers, above and over what the Commissioners have already laid before the House.
[The said Commissioners, upon strict Examinations upon Oath, have found divers Payments, made to Members, which do not appear to be upon extraordinary Occasions, and which, therefore, are not here exhibited: viz such as are for the ordinary Service of their Offices: or in Consideration of Estates purchas'd, or where their Names are used for other Persons, or for Rent payable from the Crown for Lands by Contract made many Years since, or in Repayment of Money lent, or Interest for the same, or to be return'd beyond Sea, or Charity-Money to French Protestants, or to such as were Members of the late Convention, but are not Members of this Parliament, or are now deceased.]
Mr. Robert Squib's Account of Moneys, &c. paid to Members.
Memorandum, Mr. Preston, is the Heir Male of the said Sir Thomas, who, on his refusing to change his Religion, settled it to superstitious Uses; and Mr. Preston was himself at the Charge of vesting it in the Crown; and the House of Commons have formerly agreed to a Proviso, for confirming the said Grant.
December 1691, To John Dutton Colt Esq; 1254 l. 1s. 9d. Part of 2508 l. 3 s. 8 d. (due upon Composition from several Persons at Bristol, for Duties on Tobacco, and recover'd on Information,) for his good Services therein.
Dec. 1693, To Samuel Reynold Esq; and his Heirs the Mannor, or reputed Mannor of Cowhorn, in the County of Hereford, with its Appurtenances, escheated to the Crown.
April 1693, To Richard, Lord Colchester, a Grant of Walwood in the Forest of Waltham, with the Appurtenances, for 99 Years, under the Yearly Rent of 6 s. 8d.
April 1693, To Henry Herbert Esq; 2181 l. 4 s. 6d. ½ and all other Moneys, due from Denis Lloyde Esq; one of their Majesties Receivers General in Wales; likewise 324 l. 3s. 4d. and all other Sums due from John Nash Esq; another of the said Receivers, for the Year, ending at Michaelmas 1688.
Mem. Mr. Herbert inform'd the Commissioners, he received no Benefit from the said Grant, by reason other Persons had Claims on the said Arrearages.
Dec. 1693, To Edward Russel Esq; Admiral of the Fleet, in Consideration of his many faithful Services, especially destroying a considerable Part of the French Fleet, in 1692, a Grant of the Residne of 20,000 l. to arise from the Fall of Hasle in the Forest of Dean, after such Payments are made, as are already charg'd upon it.
Mem. It doth appear to the Commissioners, That above 10,000 l. hath been already dispos'd of, out of the said 20,000 l. viz. To Sir John Guise 7,000 l. as before mentioned, 500 l. to Daniel Osborne Esq; to repair the Town of Heydon, and 2500 l. for secret Service, to Mr. Guy.
The 10th, Mr. Secretary Trenchard, according to Order, presented to the House, an Account in writing, of the Letter and Intelligence, mention'd in the Report of the Conference with the Lords, on Thursday last, (Vid. P. 433.) viz.
Mr. Secretary Trenchard's Account of the French Letter of Intelligence, &c. mention'd at the Conference of both Houses.
That he believes the Earl of Nottingham did, on May 31, bring to a Committee of Council, a Letter from Paris, dated June 1, N. S. and received May 30, O.S. an Extract of which, the Lords communicated to this House: But he does not remember the Letter was publicly read at the Committee, tho' several of the Lords might read it singly: But, that it remain'd in the hands of the Earl of Nottingham, there being no Resolution taken at the said Council, that the said Letter should be communicated to the Admirals of the Fleet. That, to the best of his Remembrance, a List of the French Fleet, being Part of the said Letter, was, the same Day, sent to him by the Earl of Nottingham, a Copy of which List, he sent to the Admirals, as does appear, by comparing it with the Papers, deliver'd by them into this House.
That the same Day, there came a Letter from Scilly, dated May 7, with Advice that the French Fleet was seen off that Island; which Letter being publicly read at the Committee, a Copy thereof, together with the beforemention'd List, was immediately, by two Expresses, sent to the Admirals of the Fleet, and were received by them.
Resolv'd, That the same be communicated to the Lords at a Conference; which was done accordingly: But it does not appear that it was attended with any extraordinary Consequences.
The Lord Falkland censured.
The 17th, The House Resolv'd, That the Lord Falkland, a Member of that House, by begging and receiving two thousand Pounds from his Majesty, contrary to the ordinary Method of issuing and bestowing the King's Money, was guilty of a high Misdemeanor and Breach of Trust, and that he should be committed to the Tower, during the Pleasure of the House. He was, two days after, discharg'd upon Petition.
During this Session, a Bill was brought in for naturalizing all Protestant Foreigners; but was vigorously oppos'd, especially by Sir John Knight, who spoke against it, as follows:
Sir John Knight's Speech, against the Bill for naturalizing Protestant Foreigners.
'Mr. Speaker, I have heard of a Ship in a violent Storm, in danger of perishing every Moment; [it was not such a sham Storm as we were lately entertained with in the Gazette, which deceives the People, by affirming that many Ships going for France, laden with Corn, were cast away; tho' those Ships, and many more are since safely arrived in France; but it was such a real Storm, as on the 7th of the last Month destroyed on the Coast of Cornwall, upwards of 70 Sail of our English Ships, most of which were laden with Corn, and several Sorts of Provisions, for the Use of our Dutch Allies, to enable them to live cheap, by making the same dear at Home; perhaps some was for the Support of our half-starv'd and unpaid English Soldiers now in Flanders; when perished likewise more than 700 Sailors, who have left a great many Widows, Children, and poor Relations, to curse our Conduct at Sea, the cause of this Calamity:] In such a dreadful Storm it was [that the foresaid Ship was in] when the good Commander seeing the Danger, and apprehending Death, desired his Crew to assist with Resolution, and preserve themselves and the Ship, which the Sailors refusing to do, he retired to his Cabin, humbled himself in Prayer, and implored the Powers, that alone can save in time of Need; that tho' the Ship and the Company might be justly swallowed up, for the Disobedience of the Sailors, yet that he, and his Cabin might suffer no Damage.
'Sir, I cannot, as that good Commander did, be so vain as to hope, that either myself, or the Place for which I serve, can be preserved from the general Inundation, which this Bill we are now debating lets in, on the Liberties of my native Country and Country-men; and therefore be unconcerned for the Good of England, provided Bristol were safe: To hope for and expect Happiness in Life, when all Mankind but myself are dead, would not be more deceiving, than to propose Comfort and Security to myself and Corporation, when Strangers are admitted to possess and enjoy, by a Law, all that's valuable in the Kingdom; for this Bill doth enfranchize all Strangers that will swear and protest against Popery, with the Liberties of every English Man, after the vast Expence of Treasure and English Blood, it hath cost this Kingdom in all Times and Ages of our Fore-fathers, to secure them to themselves, and their Posterity.
'Wherefore, Mr. Speaker, I must beg Pardon, if at this Time I cannot sit silent, but express a zealous Concern, as well for the Kingdom in general, as for the Place I represent in particular; and I am more moved thereunto, whilst I see so many Members sent here by their Country, for the Conservation of the English Mens Liberties, so warm as to part with all to Strangers with one Vote.
'The Argument of the honourable Person near me, to render all the Care of our Fore-fathers of no Esteem amongst us, who are, or ought to be the Representatives of the Kingdom, was to prove, that this Age and Generation are Wiser (he did not say Honester) than the former.
'I remember a West-country-man, many Years past, undertook to prove the same to me, and my Company beyond Sea, by declaring his Father was a Fool to him: I yielded him that Point, by concluding both to be such, and yet our Fore-fathers might be Wise Men; I shall not at this time question the Wisdom of those who promote the Bill, or their Fathers. For myself, I declare in Behalf of the Wisdom and Honesty of our Predecessors; nor can I assent to the yielding up of the Liberties and Laws they derived unto us, only because some Gentlemen think better of themselves (and perhaps mistakenly) than of their Parents.
'Sir, I was early instructed in a Principle of Deference to the Wisdom of our Ancestors; and, at this Time, I tremble, when I reflect on the Correction given me by my Master, that I might not forget, but imitate and defend in all Times this Rule: Let them only be accounted Good, Just, and wise Men, who regard and defend the Statutes, Laws, Ordinances and Liberties, which their Fore-fathers Wisdom and Experience obtained for themselves and Posterity. Now it is my opinion, Mr. Speaker, that if those Gentlemen who approve of this Bill, had not only been taught that Rule, but as well corrected as my self, they would be of my Judgment; and I wish that they who depart from that Rule, and sacrifice our English Liberties, to a Number of mercenary Foreigners, may not meet with a much more rigorous and exemplary Chastisement, from their enraged and ruined Countrymen.
'The Arguments used for the Bill, are in substance these: First, A want of Purchasers for our Lands. Secondly, Of Merchants. Thirdly, Manufacturers, who can work cheaper than the English. Fourthly, Husbandmen to till the Ground.
'To all these I shall return short Answers; but if I debate not on them with that Advantage and Reason as our Land-Admirals can (no doubt) with great Ingenuity on Sea-Politics, I hope the House will pardon me; for my Observations never cost the Kingdom such Expence of Money at home, and Losses at Sea, as hath the Experience of those honourable Persons in Sea-Affairs.
'First, It's argued by some, that we want Purchasers for the Lands; this is a melancholy Consideration: I therefore desire those Gentlemen who approve of this Bill, to tell me what it is hath brought us to this Condition, that the Landed Men of England are reduc'd to so low an Ebb, that they must sell, and none are left able to buy, unless Foreigners are naturalized? Doth this prove our Fore-fathers wanted Understanding? Or, doth it not rather conclude it's occasioned by our want of it, and by our not following their Examples, who never taxed their Country to the ruin both of themselves and their Posterity? Nor did they expend the Money of the Kingdom on such Allies as ours: who, as we have been informed by some of the Privy-Council, are not in our Interest, and will spare us none of their Men for our Pay, without great Pensions likewise for themselves. Can any Man hope to persuade me that our Fore-fathers would have brought foreign Soldiers into England, and pay them, and naturalize them likewise, and at the same time send the English Soldiers abroad, to fight in a strange Land without their Pay?
'Let us abate our Taxes, and after the wise Precedent of our Fathers, pay our own Sea-men and Soldiers at home, and send the Foreigners back. Then the Money will be found circulating at home, in such Englishmen's hands, who may buy the Lands that are to be sold, without naturalizing Strangers.
'Secondly, It's said we want more Merchants: Whom may we thank for bringing so many to Poverty? But I shall forbear grating, and desire the liberty to consider in short how the Trade of England hath hitherto been carried on. Gentlemen have placed their younger Children to Merchants; their Masters observing their Honesty and Diligence, when they have gained some Experience in the necessary Parts of Trade, generally send them abroad to Turkey, all Parts of the Levant, to Spain, Portugal, the East and WestIndies; and all Parts where England holds any considerable Commerce; there the young Men are employed by, and entrusted with the Stocks and Estates of their Masters and Friends, whereby all Parties, both the Principals at home, and the Factors abroad, are advantaged, and England enriched, (for there in the end all centers:) and, at last, when they are satiated with Gain, they return to their native Soil, their Friends and Relations, for Ease and Enjoyment, making room for a younger Generation to succeed in their profitable Employments. Thus hitherto this Kingdom hath advanced in Riches, whilst Foreigners could not with Success plant their Factories on us, through the Advantage we had by our Laws; let us but turn the Tables, and consider the Consequence: Suppose we pass this Bill, and the Dutch (who no doubt will take the Oaths as this Bill directs, and protest against Popery and Paganism, and, on occasion, Christianity too, as at Japan) send their Servants and Factors hither, and we naturalize them, and let the Capital Stock, which gets an Employ to these new-made Englishmen, belong to their Masters and Friends, who never did, or ever will live amongst us; will it not then follow, that the Profit will be their's and not England's, and will not the newmade English (yet Dutch-Men still) return to their Country and Friends with their Gain; as our People hitherto have done? We may observe by our Inland Trade, that it's seldom they who make the Manufactories, gain Estates, but those who employ their Stocks in buying and selling what others make; and it's the same with the Merchants, those that export and import are the Gainers; the first Maker very seldom, the Consumer never.
'The Conclusion then of this Experiment must be this: That what hath hitherto been Gain to England by English Merchants and Factors, will be turned to a Foreign Land, by the Foreign Merchants being naturalized for their own not England's.
'But this is not all, for at once the Art of Navigation will be rendered useless. Whence then will be a Nursery for Seamen? For foreign Merchants will naturalize foreign Seamen; and when the Press-Masters find them, they will Dutchen spraken, ya min Heer, and avoid the Service; but at the Custom-House, Exchange, and in all Corporations, they will be found as good Englishmen as any of this House. From whence it followeth, that Trade will be only carried on by Foreign Merchants and Seamen, and the English Seamen condemned to our Men of War, and perhaps live there, as hitherto, without their Pay, till another Million be owing them for Wages; and in the interim have this only Consolation and Reward for Service done, and to be done, that their Wives and Children may be subsisted with the Alms of the Parish, whilst Foreign Soldiers are maintained at home and abroad with their Pay.
'A third Argument for admitting Foreigners, is upon a supposed Want we have of Manufacturers, especially such as will work cheaper than the English: In my opinion this Reasoning is extraordinary, and ought not to take air out of the House, lest the old English Spirit should exert it self in defence of its Liberties; for at this time, when all Provisions are become excessive dear by the great Quantities exported to Holland, which puts the poor English Manufacturers on starving in most parts of England, for want of a full Employ to enable them to support their Families, by their honest and painful Labour and Industry, shall an English Parliament let in Strangers to under-sell our Country, which they may easily do, whilst they live in Garrets, pay no Taxes, and are bound to no Duty? How shall we answer this to our Country who sent us here? When, by so doing, instead of making the Kingdom more populous, we provide only for the Subsistence of Foreigners, and put our Countrymen to the choice of starving at home, or to turn Soldiers, and be sent to Flanders, and starve there for want of their Pay? For it's well known, that, at this time, more Commodities are made in England than can be consumed, abroad or at home, which makes the poor Manufacturers so miserable. All Country Gentlemen within this House have for several Sessions laboured, what they could, to raise the Price of the Provisions which their Lands produce, and some think it not great enough yet, and they would despise that Man, who should endeavour to lower the Rates, by proposing a free Importation of Irish Cattle and Corn, tho' he had no other design, than that charitable and necessary one of relieving the Poor; and yet these very Gentlemen are for this Bill, because they would have the Labour of the Poor brought to a lower Advantage: In my opinion this is a very unequal way of reasoning, that whilst we raise the Price of the Product of the Land, for the Gentlemen to live in greater State, at the same time our Consults are how to make the half starved Manufacturers, that live by their daily Labour, more and more miserable. What opinion will the common People of England have of this House, and the Gentlemen of the Kingdom, whom nothing can please, but what is made by Foreigners, or comes from abroad?
'Our Palates for a long time have been so nice, that nothing but a French Cook could please them; nor could we persuade our selves that our Cloathing was good, unless from Head to Foot we were a-la-mode de France. The Gentleman was not well served without a Frenchman, and the Lady's Commode could not sit right, if her fine French Woman did not put it on: Now, on a sudden, the Change is as violent in favour of the Dutch, who are great Courtiers, and the only taking People, and our English are a sort of clumsy-fisted People, if compared with the modish Dutch Hans and Frow, and in short the Englishmen are fit for nothing but to be sent to Flanders, and there either to fight, steal, or starve for want of Pay. There is one thing, Mr. Speaker, which comes into my mind, with which I shall close this Consideration: What reason was there for blaming the Mayors, Aldermen, Common Councils, and other Governours of Corporations, for surrendering their Charters, tho' they still retain'd their Rights, for Englishmen only to come into new Charters, and at the same time hope to justify our Proceedings, tho' we throw up the great Charter of our English Liberties, to admit Strangers?
'A fourth Pretence for this Bill is, A want of Husbandmen to till the Ground. I shall say little on this Head, but request the honourable Person below me, to tell me, of the forty thousand French, which he confesseth are come into England; how many does he know, that, at this time, follow the Plow-tail? For it's my firm opinion, that not only the French, but any other Nation this Bill shall let in upon us, will never transplant themselves for the Benefit of going to Plow; they will contentedly leave the English the sole Monopoly of that Slavery.
'Upon the whole, Sir, it's my Judgment, that should this Bill pass, it will bring as great Afflictions on this Nation, as ever fell upon the Egyptians, and one of their Plagues we have at this time very severe upon us; I mean, that of their Land bringing forth Frogs in abundance, even in the Chambers of their Kings: For there is no entering the Courts of St. James's and Whitehall, the Palaces of our hereditary Kings, for the great Noise and Croaking of the Frog-landers.
'Mr. Speaker, this Nation is a Religious, Just, and Zealous Nation, who, in some of their Fits of Zeal, have not only quarrelled and fought for the same, but have murdered and deposed Kings, Nobles, and Priests, for the sake of their Religion and Liberties, which they pretended to prove from the Bible. We are the Religious Representatives of this Religious People. Let us therefore learn Instruction in this Case before us, from that good Book; where we may be informed, that St. Paul by being born Free of Heathen Rome, escaped a Whipping, and valued and pleaded that Privilege; and the chief Captain of the Romans prides himself, that he, with a great Sum, had obtained that freedom, and feared greatly when he had violated St. Paul's Liberty, by binding of him; and shall we set at nought the Freedoms of the English Nation, who are a Religious, Christian Kingdom, and part with the same to Strangers, for nothing, unless the undoing of our own Country-men, who sent us here, but not on this Errand ? Certainly we should follow the Example of the Roman Captain, and fear and tremble when we consider the just Provocation we shall give to the Kingdom, who will expect that we preserve, and not destroy every English. Man's Birth-right.
'Sir, We may further learn, from that Book, the Fate of the Egyptians, who experimented, on the score of Charity, what it is a People may expect from admitting Strangers into their Country and Councils; Joseph was a Stranger, sold a Slave into Egypt; yet being taken into Pharaoh's Council, he, by Taxes, and other fine Projects, brought the seven Years plenty God had blest the Egyptians with, into the Granaries of Pharaoh: but when Dearth came on the Land, and the People cried to their King for Relief, they were sent to the Stranger Joseph, who getteth from them, for that which was once their own, all their Money, their Cattle, the'r Lands, and last of all, their Persons into Slavery; tho' at the same time, he did far otherwise by his own Countrymen, for he placed them in the best of the Land, the Land of Goshen, and nourished them from the King's Store. This Example should teach us to be wise in Time, seeing all this was done by the Advice of one Foreigner in the PrivyCouncil; and what may that Country expect, where the Head, and many of the Council are Foreigners?
'Sir, I perceive some Gentlemen are uneasy, perhaps I have offended them, in supposing they are Religious Representatives; or concluding that their Religion is to be proved from the Bible; if that be it which displeaseth, I beg their pardon, and promise not to offend again on that score; and will conclude all with this Motion, That the Serjeant be commanded to open the Doors, and let us first Kick this Bill out of the House, and then Foreigners out of the Kingdom.'
The King clos'd this Session of Parliament, April 25, with the following Speech.
'My Lords and Gentlemen,
The Proofs you have given of your Affection to me, and the Zeal you have express'd for the Support of the Government, oblige me to return you Thanks before I put an end to this Session; and in particular, to thank you Gentlemen of the House of Commons, for the large Supplies you have provided to carry on the War.
'I will endeavour to do my Part, and it is from the Blessing of God we must all expect such Success as may answer our Desires.
'My Lords and Gentlemen,
'The Posture of Affairs making it necessary for me to be absent for some time out of this Kingdom, I recommend it to you, that in your several Stations, you be careful to preserve the Public Peace.'