The History and Proceedings of the House of Commons: Volume 4, 1706-1713. Originally published by Chandler, London, 1742.
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Queen's Speech in Parliament.
'In the beginning of this Year our Enemies made use of all their Artifices to amuse us with false Appearances and deceitful Infinuations of their Desire of Peace, in hopes that, from thence, Means might be found to create some Divisions or Jealousies among the Allies; but they were entirely disappointed in their Expectation, and such Measures were taken upon that Occasion, as made it impossible for them long to disguise their Infincerity. The Operations of the War were not delay'd, and the Campaign, which, notwithstanding the Backwardness of the Season, immediately followed, has been, at least, as glorious for the Allies as any of those which have preceded it.
'God Almighty has been pleased to bless us with a most remarkable Victory, and with such other great and important Successes, both before and after it, that France is thereby become much more exposed and open to the Impression of our Arms, and consequently more in need of a Peace, than it was at the beginning of this Campaign.
'However, the War still continuing, I find myself obliged again to desire you, Gentlemen of the House of Commons, to grant me such Supplies as you shall judge necessary for the assisting our Allies in all Parts, and the vigorous Prosecution of our Advantages, that we may put the last Hand to this great Work of reducing that exorbitant and oppressive Power, which has so long threaten'd the Liberties of Europe.
'I assure you, that all you give shall be carefully applied to the Uses of the War, if it continues, or to the lessening of the Debts it has necessarily occasioned, in case of a Peace; which, though the many Wants and Distresses of our Enemies may naturally lead us to expect, yet our own late Experience may fully convince us, is not to be depended upon any other way than by being in a Condition to compel them to such Terms as may be safe and honourable for all the Allies.
'I cannot conclude without observing to you, of what great Advantage it will be at this time, to the End we all propose to our selves, that the greatest Dispatch be given to the necessary Preparations for carrying on the War.'
Commons Address to the Queen.
'We your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal Subjects, the Commons of Great Britain in Parliament assembled, beg leave to return our most humble Thanks to your Majesty for your most gracious Speech from the Throne, and to congratulate your Majesty upon the continued Successes of the last Campaign, particularly the Victory obtained near Mons, by the Troops of your Majesty, and those of your Allies, under the Command of the Duke of Marlborough.
'A Victory so remarkable in all its Circumstances, as must convince your Enemies that the Courage and Resolution of your Troops, conducted by so great a General, are superior to the greatest Difficulties.
'And your Majesty may be assured, that, since the public Credit has been so well supported, since your Councils have been so steady, and your Allies so firm, no French Artifices could create Jealousies or Divisions amongst them; and since your Arms have been so powerful, that no Intrenchments or Fortifications could withstand them, we, your faithful Commons, under such Encouragements, in Duty to your Majesty and those we represent, will, by speedy, and effectual Supplies, enable your Majesty to dispatch the necessary Preparations for carrying on the War in such a manner as shall, by the Blessing of God, oblige the common Enemy to accept a Peace upon such Terms as shall be a lasting Security to your Majesty and your Allies.'
The Queen's Answer.
'I return you my hearty Thanks for your Address, and the Assurances you give me of providing speedy and effectual Supplies for carrying on the War, which, I persuade myself, will have a very good Effect for the Advantage of the whole Confederacy.'
Thanks given to the Duke of Marlborough.
In the interim, even on the 15th instant, it was resolved, nem. con. by the House, That the late Victory at Blaregnies, obtained by his Grace the Duke of Marlborough, and the other great and important Successes of the last Campaign were so remarkable, that this House thought itself obliged to express how sensible they were of the Honour and Advantages which the Kingdom and the whole Confederacy had received by his eminent Services; and that a Committee, by order of the House, did give his Grace their Thanks, and congratulate his Grace's Safety and Return to Great Britain.
The Duke's Answer.
On the 23d, Mr. Comptroller reported, That the Committee appointed had waited upon his Grace the Duke of Marlborough, and delivered to him the Resolution of the House, and that thereupon his Grace was pleased to make this Answer: It is a very great Honour and Satisfaction to me, that the House of Commons is pleased to take so much notice of my Endeavours to serve the Queen and my Country.
'I cannot be just to all the Officers and Soldiers, who have served with me, unless I take this Occasion to assure you, that their Zeal and Affection for the Service, is equal to the Courage and Bravery they have shewn during this whole War.'
Complaints in the House of Commons of Dr. Sacheverell's Sermons. ; Resolution of the Commons.
On the 13th of December, a Complaint being made to the House of Commons of two printed Books, the one entitled the Communication of Sin, a Sermon preached at the Assizes held at Derby, August 15th, 1709, by Dr. Henry Sacheverell: And the other entitled, The Perils of false Brethren both in Church and State; set forth in a Sermon preached before the Right Honourable the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Citizens of London; at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, on the 5th of November 1709, preached also by the said Dr. Henry Sacheverell, and both printed for Henry Clemens; which Books were delivered in at the Table, where several Paragraphs in the Epistle Dedicatory preceding to the first mentioned Book, and also several Paragraphs in the latter Book were read: They resolved that both the Books were malicious, scandalous, and seditious Libels, highly reflecting on her Majesty and her Government, the late happy Revolution, and the Protestant Succession, as by Law established, and both Houses of Parliament, tending to alienate the Affections of her Majesty's good Subjects, and to create Jealousies and Divisions among them. After which they ordered the Doctor into the Custody of the Sergeant at Arms.
Address the Queen to prefer Mr. Hoadly. ; Queen's Answer.
Debates hereupon arising in the House, and one of the Members saying another Divine's Works about Government ought to be examined, by whom Mr. Benjamin Hoadly was meant, that Point was so far from being carried, that it was resolved by a great Majority, that the Reverend Mr. Benjamin Hoadly, Rector of St. Peter'sPoor, London, for having often strenuously justified the Principles on which her Majesty and the Nation proceeded in the late happy Revolution, had justly merited the Favour and Recommendation of that House; and accordingly, having addrest her Majesty, that she would be graciously pleased to bestow some Dignity in the Church on the said Mr. Hoadly, for his eminent Services both in Church and States Her Majesty was pleased to Answer, 'she would take a proper Opportunity to comply with their Desire.'
Dr. Sacheverell's Impeachment before the Lords. ; Detained in Custody.
In the mean time, Dr. Sacheverell, being in the Sergeant's Custody, Mr. Dolben, in the Name of the Commons of Great Britain, was sent up to the House of Lords, to impeach him of High Crimes and Misdemeanors; and a Committee was appointed to draw up Articles against him: The Doctor petitioned the House he might be bailed, but the Commons having, at the same time that they impeached him, acquainted the Lords, that their Sergeant was ready to deliver him up to the Gentleman-Usher of the Black-Rod, when their Lordships should please to give Orders therein; they appointed a Committee to search Precedents in the Case, and the Result was, that he could not be bailed, and he continued in Custody till some time after the beginning of the New Year. The Division on this Occasion was, Yeas 64, Noes 114; and on a Motion for recommitting the Articles of Impeachment, Yeas 131 Noes 232.
We have neither Room nor Inclination to pursue this insignificant Affair to a Period. The Doctor was the Shuttlecock between two Factions, who, by their Heat and Indiscretion set the whole Nation in a Ferment, which lasted till the Public had sufficient Reason to be satisfied, that the Church had as little to apprehend from the Whigs as Tories. It is sufficient to say, that, after a long and solemn Trial, in Westminster-Hall, before the House of Lords, an Honour that so contemptible a Tool very ill deserved, the Doctor was acquitted, to the inexpressible Joy of Knaves and Fools.
Lottery Bill passed.
January 10th, her Majesty gave the Royal Assent to the Lottery Bill, entitled, An Act for continuing Part of the Duties upon Coal, Culm, and Cinders, and granting new Duties upon Houses having Twenty Windows or more, to raise the Sum of 1,500,000 l. by way of Lottery for the Service of the Year 1710. (fn. 1)
Resolutions against absent Members.
The House, on the 25th, taking into Consideration that many of their Members, at that critical Juncture, did no attend the Service of the House; they resolved that such of them as absented without Leave, should be reputed Deserters of their Trust, and Neglectors of that Duty they owed to that House and their Country.
Votes with regard to public Mournings.
February 2d, the Matter of a Petition from the Cities of London and Westminster, relating to public Mournings, which had been referred to a Committee, was reported to the House, together with the Opinion of the said Committee thereon, which was contained in the following Resolutions:
'1st, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, that, by reason of the frequent public Mournings, many thousands of Families, employed in the Silk and Woollen Manufactures of this Kingdom, have lost their Trades and Employments, and are become an insupportable Burthen to the Parishes wherein they inhabit; and if a speedy Remedy be not applied, it will endanger the Loss of the Silk Manufacture so beneficial to this Kingdom; and at last center in a foreign Trade.
'2dly, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, that the House be moved for Leave to bring in a Bill for ascertaining and limiting the Time of public Mournings:' Whereupon it was ordered, That Leave be given to bring in a Bill for ascertaining or limiting the Time of public Mournings.
Place-Bill pass'd by the Commons. ; And rejected by the Lords.
The 4th, the Bill for securing the Freedom of Parliaments, by limiting the Number of Officers in the House of Commons, was read, pass'd, and sent up the House of Lords, where it was unanimously rejected.
A Speech occasioned by the said Bill.
'What I rise up for is to propose a Bill, which may remedy the Inconvenience, that the worthy Gentleman complains of; a Bill, on which the Safety of the Nation seems to depend, as much as on the Success of the War in which we are engaged. The carrying on the War would be throwing away so much Treasure, and so many Lives, unless at the same time, that we secure our Liberties against a foreign Enemy, we cannot prevent the Danger of their being undermined at home.
'If every Gentleman's Office and Employment were added to his Name as it is called over, every Call of the House would put us on considering, Whether some new Law is not wanting to lessen the Number of such Members as possess them? And I am afraid it would now appear to you, that they are more numerous than ever, notwithstanding the several Bills, that have passed both Houses, and several others, that have passed only this House; by which the Sense of the Commons hath been so often declared; though perhaps, not so well as it might have been, had we observed the same Order, when many Members are personally concerned, that we do, when one Member is, by obliging them to withdraw. The opposers of these Bills have often been so few in number, that they might be only such as were in Employment; and if they had withdrawn, the Bills might have passed without a single Negative.
'Though the Civil Officers should not be increased, the Continuance of the War must make the Military Officer's more numerous and more powerful. Those, who have no other Fortune, depending on the War, than the Command of a Regiment, have nothing else to do but to make a proper Disposition in the cloathing of it; by which Means such an Interest may be made in most of the Corporations, as no Gentleman in the Country is able to resist. Promotions may be made every Day in the old Regiments, and new ones raised, and a very great Share of these Preferments falls to this House. The number of such Members therefore is so far from being restrained, that it seems likely to increase, as long as the War lasts. The heavier the Debt is upon the Nation, the more of those who receive the public Money will fit here, and impose the Taxes, out of which they are paid.
'One of the wisest and most flourishing States does not allow any Town to chuse a Military Officer for its Representative; and though there is no Prerogative in that Country, from which they can fear an Encroachment on their Liberties; yet Officers are thought to be improper, Checks on themselves, or on those who recommend them to their Employments.
'The Corruption of the Boroughs is grown to such an Heighth, it is so easy to procure a Return, and such a Latitude is left by the Variety of our own Determinations, that whenever any Set of Ministers think fit to exert themselves, they may bring in so many Military Officers, as, together with those who have Civil Employments, may make up a Majority.
'I hope we shall be consistent with our selves in what we did the other Day, when we came to those Resolutions for preventing the Danger of arbitrary Power. When a Majority can be commanded here, despotic Power may be established by Law, and Resistance be made illegal. To render it, at the same Time, lawful for the Subject to resist, and easy for a Prince to become absolute, is bringing the Nation into perpetual Danger of War between the King and the People. If so many Members should be gained here, as to vote a sufficient Army, Resistance might be impossible, though it were lawful. But admitting the People would be always able to regain their Freedom, it cannot surely be thought more advisable to to use the Remedy of Arms, than to keep our Liberties safe in a quiet way. If we take care that there always be a sufficient number here to oppose the ill Designs of Ministers, there will be never any Need of Resistance by Arms.
'It cannot be denied that, in ill Times, Places, whether Civil or Military, will have an Influence over ill Men. For a Member of this House to receive a private Pension hath always been esteemed a Breach of Trust, and a Violation of our Constitution; and a known Pension, during Pleasure, excludes a Man from sitting here. That a Place of little Trouble, is as valuable as a Pension, of the same yearly Income, we see by the great Crowds of Candidates, on every Vacancy, and the high Prices that we hear are paid for them.
'In a common Trial, all Persons, concerned in Interest, are not only excluded from being Jury-men, but even their Testimony as to Matter of Fact is not thought fit to be credited; and will an ill Man, in ill Times, gain nothing by his Voting?—When a Place makes up a considerable Part of a Man's Fortune, is it not plain, that, if the Liberty of the Subject comes in Competition with the Prerogative, it will be his own Interest to oppose the Interest of those, whom he represents? May it not easily happen, that the private Advantage of almost every Man in Office, will be contrary to that of the Public? And should a Prince become absolute, would they not share amongst them the Spoils of their Fellow-Subjects? Is it not their Interest more than his, that he should have no Controul?—But allowing that it would not be for the Advantage of some, who have great Fortunes of their own, to go into violent Measures; yet there may be several Cases, in which they may apprehend no great Danger in paying a Compliment.— I hope every Gentleman here is satisfied, that, in Time of Peace, we shall want no greater Number of Men for Guards and Garrisons than before the War; but since that Establishment hath been increased, a Vote must pass, in order to reduce it; and must not many Gentlemen, in that Case, vote away their own Preserment? I don't at all doubt, that several will do it; but if it should be thought proper to increase the Number of Guards and Garrisons, as hath been done in this War, and perhaps without Damage to the Public (because the greatest Part of them have been employed abroad, though indeed the Precedent seems dangerous) would any Arguments be able to convince such Men, as would have their Subsistence from the Army, that the Addition of a few more Troops than the last Settlement would give us up into the Hands of the Prince?. Or that, without such an Addition; his Civil List might enable him to compass our Destruction? If a Proposition for granting a Civil List were under Debate, and the Question should be, whether it should be settled for Life, or even increased, would such Points be properly decided by those, whose Salaries were to be paid out of it? Could we depend upon it that Men would deduct that Part out of their Calculation, which would be set aside for their own Wages? When Men in Places are not above being governed by Interest, they will certainly be directed by those who prefer them; so that it will be no Security to us, that the Crown can neither increase nor diminish the Number of Members; for, as long as it hath the Power of raising Regiments, and bestowing Places and Pensions, it may, at any Time, take off from those who ought to represent the People, and add to those, who may be induced to represent the Court.
'But, if we could suppose that Places would never influence Men; and their sitting here would raise them to more generous Thoughts than we commonly see in others, I say, if we could be satisfied of this, yet we ought to take all possible Care to keep our selves from any Imputation of that kind, and consider that the Honour, Dignity, and Power of this House can only be supported by the Opinion which those without Doors have of its Integrity; for it is not enough to be uncorrupt, unless we have the Reputation of being so too. It is to the unblemished Conduct and Character of those, who have sat here before us, that we owe all the Advantages we now enjoy by our Constitution. When the good Name of Parliaments hath declined, their Authority hath always been diminished in Proportion; and what can be the Weight of five hundred Gentlemen, who are to stand by themselves, as they always will, unless they can convince others, that they are carrying on their Interest, as well as their own?
'The high Opinion, which we all have of the present Sovereign, can be no Objection to the using our Endeavours for obtaining a Security against this Danger. Were she not entirely in the Interests of her People, it would be in vain to hope for any such Laws. They are never so likely to be obtained, as when they have the least Effect. They are only necessary in a bad Reign; and when that comes it is too late to think of them.
'But I must take the Liberty to say, that, notwithstanding the great Confidence, which we all so justly repose in the present Sovereign, there never was more Reason than now, to provide for our future Safety.—If we had nothink else to sink us, the Debt of the Nation is heavier than it ever hath been, and than the Nation was ever thought able to bear. The People are extremely weakned by it, and in Proportion as the Commons are weakned, the Crown advances in its Power over them; so that, although the number of Officers here had not been increased, the Debt being such as the People were never burthened with before, it imports us more than ever to provide against the Danger of any Encroachments from the Crown.
'The landed Men are not only lessened in general, but every particular Gentleman, the more he feels the weight of Taxes, the more he loses of his Interest in the Country, and the more of that Interest is transferred to the Persons, who receive their Pay out of those Taxes.
'If we would effectually put the Protestant Succession upon such a Foot that it cannot be shaken, we ought to convince Men that they will be free, when they are under it. They will always be most zealous in Defence of that Establishment, under which their Liberties are most secure,
'There are few Gentlemen here, who have not, at one time or other, even since the Revolution, been sensible how necessary it is for our Safety to make some Provision in this Matter. If every Man, who hath once been of that Opinion, should be so now, a Bill for it would pass more unanimously than any, that was ever offered to the House; and if there be some Persons, who think our Constitution secure for the time to come, as well as the present, it is to be hoped, that they will have so much Regard for those, who are of a different Opinion, as to remove their Apprehensions, and give them some convincing Proof, that our great Successes abroad will effectually prevent any Attempts upon our Liberties at home.
Resolutions about Ways and Means to raise the Supply.
The 6th, Mr. Farrer reported the Resolutions taken in the Committee of the whole House, about Ways and Means to raise the Supply, the most material of which were as follows, viz. 'That new Duties of Excise be laid upon all exciseable Liquors in Great-Britain, over and above all other Duties now payable for the same; that the said new Duties be granted for the Term of thirty-two Years, to commence from Lady-Day 1710: That a new Duty of one Shilling and Sixpence per Pound-Weight, be laid upon all Pepper imported into Great Britain, to be paid by the Importers thereof, over and above all other Duties, now payable upon the same, be granted for the said Term of thirty-two Years: That a new Duty of five Shillings per hundred Weight, be laid upon Raisins; and the present Duties upon Cinnamon, Cloves, Mace and Nutmegs, doubled, for the like Term of thirty-two Years, to commence from that Day: That a clear yearly Fund of ninety Thousand Pounds be charged upon, and made payable out of the said new Duties, for the aforesaid Term of thirty-two Years, from Michaelmas 1710, for the Service of the Year 1710: That a new Duty be laid on all-Candles, of what kind soever, to be made in Great Britain, or imported into the same, to be paid by the Makers or Importers: That a Duty be laid on all Money to be paid or given with Apprentices or Servants to learn any Prosession, Trades or Employments in Great Britain, except such Apprentices or Servants as shall be put or placed out at the Charge of any Parish or Township, or by any public Charity: That the said Duty be Sixpence in the Pound for every Sum of fifty Pound, or under, and one Shilling in the Pound for every Sum exceeding fifty Pounds so given or paid, to be paid by the Matter or Mistress.'
Resolutions about the Trade to Africa.
In the mean while the House, in a grand Committee, having several times considered of the Trade to Africa, and heard both the Royal African Company, and the separate Traders to Africa, upon their several Petitions, came at last to these two Resolutions.
Secondly, 'That the Trade to Africa be free and open for all her Majesty's Subjects to trade to Africa, from any part of Great-Britain, or the Plantations, under such Regulations and Provisions, as may be for the Preservation of the said Trade, and maintaining the said Forts and Settlements: Which Resolutions being, on the ninth reported, were, after some Debate, agreed to by the House; and the further Consideration of the Trade to Africa put off to the Monday following.'
Further Resolutions about Ways and Means.
1. 'That the Quantities of Pepper on the 8th Day of February, 1709, remaining in the Hands of any Merchants, or other Traders or Dealers in Pepper, or any Person in trust for them, or to their Use, be charged with the Duty of one Shilling and Sixpence per Pound Weight.
2. 'That the several Impositions upon Wines and Vinegar, which were granted to the Crown, by an Act of the first Year of the Reign of his late Majesty King James th Second (entitled, An Act for granting to his Majesty an Imposition upon all Wines and Vinegar imported between the twenty-fourth Day of June, one thousand six hundred and eighty-five, and the twenty-fourth Day of June, one thousand six hundred and ninety-three,) and which, by several subsequent Acts since passed, have continuance until the first Day of August, one thousand seven hundred and sixteen, be further continued for and upon all Wines and Vinegar, which shall be imported into Great Britain from the last Day of July, one thousand seven hundred and sixteen, until the first Day of August, one thousand seven hundred and twenty.
3. 'That the Impositions upon Tobacco granted to the Crown, by another Act of the first Year of the Reign of his said late Majesty King James the Second, (entitled, An Act for granting to his Majesty an Imposition upon all Tobacco and Sugar imported between the twenty-fourth Day of June, one thousand six hundred and eighty-five, and the twenty-fourth Day of June, one thousand six hundred and ninety-three,) which Act, as to Tobacco only, hath Continuance only by virtue of several subsequent Acts passed in that behalf, until the first Day of August, one thousand seven hundred and sixteen, be further continued for and upon all Tobacco which shall be imported into Great-Britain, from and after the last Day of July, one thousand seven hundred and sixteen, until the first Day of August, one thousand seven hundred and twenty.
4. 'That the several Duties or Impositions upon several sorts of Goods and Merchandizes granted by an Act of the second Year of the Reign of their late Majesties King William and Queen Mary, of glorious Memory, (entitled, An Act for granting to their Majesties certain Impositions upon all East-India Goods and Merchandizes, and upon all wrought Silks, and several other Goods and Merchandizes, to be imported after the twenty-fifth Day of December, one thousand six hundred and ninety,) and which thereby, and by several other Acts already made, have continuance until the first Day of August, one thousand seven hundred and sixteen, be further continued for and upon the like Commodities to be imported into Great Britain, from and after the last Day of July, one thousand seven hundred and sixteen, until the first Day of August, one thousand seven hundred and twenty.
5. 'That the additional Impositions upon Goods and Merchandizes, granted to the Crown by an Act of the fourth Year of their said late Majesties Reign, (entitled, An Act for granting to their Majesties certain additional Impositions upon several Goods and Merchandizes for prosecuting the present War against France) which thereby, and by several other Acts already made, have continuance until the first day of August, one thousand seven hundred and sixteen, be further continued and payable within and throughout the whole Realm of Great-Britain, from and after the last Day of July, one thousand seven hundred and sixteen, until the first Day of August, one thousand seven hundred and twenty.
6. 'That the Duties upon Whale-Fins imported, which were granted to the Crown by an Act of the ninth Year of the Reign of his said late Majesty King William the Third, (entitled, An Act for taking away half the Duties imposed on Glass-Wares, and the whole Duties lately laid on Stone and Earthen-Wares, and Tobacco Pipes, and for granting in lieu thereof, new Duties on Whale-Fins and Scots Linnens,) and which thereby, and by subsequent Acts, have Continuance until the first Day of August, one thousand seven hundred and sixteen, be continued for and upon all WhaleFins to be imported into Great Britain, from and after the last Day of July, one thousand seven hundred and sixteen, until the first Day of August, one thousand seven hundred and twenty.
7. 'That from and immediately after the time that all the principal and interest Moneys, which by any former Act or Acts of Parliament, are charged or chargeable upon the like Impositions or Duties thereby granted or continued for or upon such Wines, Vinegar, Tobacco, East-India Goods, and upon the like additional Impositions, and the like Duties on Whale-Fins as aforesaid, shall be fully paid off and satisfied, or that sufficient Money shall be reserved in the Exchequer for that purpose; then all the Moneys which shall from thenceforth arise by the said Impositions or Duties so granted, or continued by the said former Acts for the remainder of the Terms formerly granted, and therein then to come and unexpired (except the necessary Charges of collecting and levying the same) be appropriated and applied towards raising the Supply granted to her Majesty in the present Session of Parliament.
8. 'That immediately from and after the Time that all the principal and interest Money, secured by an Act of the first Year of her Majesty's Reign, (entitled, An Act for making good Desiciencies, and for preserving the public Credit,) shall be fully paid off and satisfied, or that sufficient Money shall be reserved in the Exchequer for that Purpose; then all the Money which from thenceforth, until the first Day of August, one thousand seven hundred and sixteen, shall arise, or be due, or payable, or be secured, or in Arrear, of and for the Duties upon Salt, and Rock-Salt, granted or continued to his said late Majesty King William the Third, his Heirs and Successors for ever, by an Act of Parliament which passed in the seventh Year of his Reign, (entitled, An Act for continuing to his Majesty certain Duties upon Salt, Glass Wares, Stone and Earthen-Wares, and for granting several Duties upon TobaccoPipes and other Earthen-Wares, for carrying on the War against France, and for establishing a national Land-Bank, and for taking off the Duties upon Tonnage of Ships and upon Coals) (except the necessary Charges of collecting and levying the said Duties upon Salt and Rock-Salt) be appropriated and applied towards raising the said Supply now granted to her Majesty.
11. 'That the Quantities of Snuff, not being of the Product or Manufacture of her Majesty's Plantations, on the eighth Day of November, one thousand seven hundred and nine, remaining in the Hands of any Merchants, or other Traders or Dealers in Snuff, or of any Persons in trust for them, or to their Use, be charged with the Duty of three Shillings per Pound Weight.'
1. 'That it be an Instruction to the Gentlemen who are to prepare and bring in a Bill or Bills on the Resolutions of Monday last, that they do make the same to extend to the Stock of Pepper which was the eighth Day of February, one thousand seven hundred and nine, in the Hands of any Merchants, or other Traders or Dealers in Pepper, or of any Persons in Trust for them, or to their Use.
3. 'That they do provide that the Surplus of the Duties on Coals and Houses, granted by an Act of this Session of Parliament, which at the end of any Year may arise, after all the Payments directed or authorized by the said Act for each Year shall be satisfied or Money reserved for the same, be made liable to make good any Deficiency of the said Fund of ninety thousand Pounds per Annum, in case any such Deficiency should happen; and in Default thereof, such Deficiency to be made good out of the then next Aids to be granted in Parliament.
Four days after a Bill was brought in upon these Resolutions, To raise ten hundred thousand Pounds by Sale of Annuities, and (in Default thereof) by another Lottery, for the Service of the Year one thousand seven hundred and ten.
The Bill about public Mournings dropt.
On the 11th, Mr. Medlycot reported to the House, from the Committee to whom the Bill for ascertaining and limiting the Time of future public Mournings, was committed, the Amendments they had made to that Bill, which were agreed to, and another Amendment was made by the House: But the Question being put, that the Bill, with the Amendments, be engross'd, it pass'd in the Negative.
Petition about the Mine-Adventure. ; A Bill brought in thereupon March 18.
On the 13th, a Petition of several Creditors and Proprietors of Principal Money, Annuities, and Shares in the Mine-Adventure of England, on Behalf of themselves, and several Widows and Orphans, Members and Creditors of the Company of the said Mine-Adventure, was presented to the House, and read, praying, 'That Leave may be given to bring in a Bill to transfer the Management and Government of the Mines into such Persons as should be chosen by, and represent the Creditors of one hundred twenty-five thousand Pounds, and by the Annuities granted in Lieu thereof, and by Bonds and seal'd Bills, subject to such Constitutions and Regulations, with all necessary Provision for the Payment of the Company's just Debts; and that the respective Persons having acted in the Management of the Mines (as in the Petition is complain'd of) may be excluded from the further Management thereof, and may deliver over all Deeds, Writings, Books, Papers, Effects and Accounts, relating to the said Mines, upon Oath, to the Persons that should hereafter be chosen to manage the same, and might make Satisfaction for their Management; and that the Petitioners might have such other Relief (being altogether remediless in the Premises elsewhere) as to the House should seem meet.' The Consideration of this Petition being referr'd to a Committee, upon their Report a Bill was order'd to be brought in, for the Relief of the Creditors and Proprietors of the Company of Mine-Adventurers of England, and that the Management of the Mines be put in the Hands of Trustees; which was brought in accordingly, and read the first Time on the 18th of March. Sir Humphry Mackworth, who, by the Report of the Committee, appeared to have embezzelled a considerable Part of the Principal Money and Stock of the Mine-Adventure, having petitioned to be heard by the House, he was, on the twenty-third of March, call'd in, as were also the Council for the Petitioners, and in part heard, relating to the Matters of the said Report. Being withdrawn, a Debate arose upon what they had offered, which was adjourned to the twenty fifth, when both Sir Humphry Mackworth, and the Council for the Petitioners, were heard again; and the further hearing of them put off to the twenty eighth, then to the next Day, then again to the thirtieth, and so to the thirty first; when the Commons came to these unanimous Resolutions:
Resolutions against Sir Hum. Mackworth.
1. 'That it appears to this House, that Sir Humphry Mackworth, Deputy-Governor of the Company of MineAdventurers of England, is guilty of many notorious and scandalous Frauds, and indirect Practices in Violation of the Charter, granted to the said Company, in breach of his Trust and to the manifest Wrong and Oppression of the Proprietors and Creditors of the said Company.
2. 'That it appears to this House, that William Shiers, Secretary to the said Company, is guilty of many notorious and scandalous Frauds, and indirect Practices, in Confederacy with the said Sir Humphry Mackworth, to the Wrong and Oppression of the said Company.
3. 'That it appears to this House, that Thomas Dykes, Treasurer to the said Company, is guilty of many notorious and scandalous Frauds, and indirect Practices, in Confederacy with the said Sir Humphry Mackworth, to the Wrong and Oppression of the Proprietors and Creditors of the said Company.
1. 'That the Report from the Committee to whom the Petition of the Creditors and Proprietors of Principal Money, Annuities, and Shares, in the Mine-Adventure of England, was referred, and also the said Resolutions, be printed.
2. 'That a Bill be brought in to prevent the said Sir Humphry Mackworth, William Sheirs, and Thomas Dykes, their leaving this Kingdom, and their alienating their Estates until the End of the next Session of Parliament.
Having dismist this Matter, we return and observe, that the Commons having been inform'd by Sir Gilbert Heathcot, a Member of their House, of the Advances made by France, towards the renewing a Negociation of Peace, and that the States-General were inclin'd to grant Passes to French Plenipotentiaries to come to Holland for that Purpose, resolved to present an Address to her Majesty, That she would be pleased to send the Duke of Marlborough forthwith into Holland. This Address being drawn by a Committee, reported to the House, and agreed to, was sent to the Lords for their Concurrence; and their Lordships having readily join'd in it, both Houses, on the 18th, presented the said Address to her Majesty, being as follows:
Address of both Houses desiring the D. of Marlborough be sent into Holland.
'We your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal Subjects, the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons in Parliament assembled, having Reason to believe, that the Negociations of Peace will suddenly be renewed in Holland, and being justly apprehensive of the crafty insinuating Designs of our Enemies to create Divisions among your Allies, or by amusing them with deceitful Expectations of Peace, to retard their Preparations for War, do think our selves bound in Duty, most humbly to represent to your Majesty, of how great Importance we conceive it is to the Interest of the common Cause, that the D. of Marlborough should be abroad at this Juncture.
'We cannot but take this Opportunity to express our Sense of the great and unparallelled Services of the Duke of Marlborough, and with all imaginable Duty to applaud your Majesty's great Wisdom, in having honour'd the same Person with the great Characters of General and Plenipotentiary, who, in our humble Opinion, is most capable of discharging two such important Trusts.
'We therefore make it our humble Request to your Majesty, that you would be pleased to order the Duke of Marlborough's immediate Departure for Holland, where his Presence will be equally necessary, to assist at the Negociations of Peace, and to hasten the Preparations for an early Campaign, which will most effectually disappoint the Artifices of our Enemies, and procure a safe and honourable PEACE for your Majesty and your Allies.
'I am so sensible of the Necessity of the Duke of Marlborough's Presence in Holland, at this critical Juncture, that I have already given the necessary Directions for his immediate Departure; and I am very glad to find, by this Address, that you concur with me in a just Sense of the Duke of Marlborough's eminent Services.
Petition of the French Refugees. ; A Bill to prevent the French King's Subjects from inheriting in her Majesty's Dominions dropt.
On the 23d, a Petition of Peter Jaquin St. Pierre, Matthew de Gastine, Paul Boyer, John Dubourdieu, Peter Silvestre, &c. in Behalf of themselves and many other French Protestants, as also of several Children (of French Protestants deceas'd) settled in her Majesty's Dominions, was presented to the House, setting forth, 'That the French King had made several Edicts, Decrees and Declarations, whereby all the French Protestants who had fled for Refuge into her Majesty's Dominions on account of their Religion, were declared and adjudged to be outlaw'd, and to have forseited their Goods and Estates, and excluded from claiming and enjoying any Inheritance in France, which Edicts and Declarations were put in Execution with the utmost Rigour; That, on the contrary, many Persons living in France did frequently either come themselves into this Kingdom of Great-Britain, or appoint Proxies and Attornies to claim and inherit the Estates of their deceased Relations; and being possessed of them, did afterwards return into France with the same, to the prejudice of the other remoter Relations of the Deceas'd, settled in her Majesty's Dominions; who were thereby for ever deprived of such Estates as might fall to them, either by Lineal or Collateral Succession; and therefore the Petitioners pray'd, That Leave be given to bring in a Bill, to prevent the Subjects of the French King, residing in his Dominions, from claiming or enjoying any Estates of their Relations dying in her Majesty's Dominions.' This Petition having been read, a Bill was order'd to be brought in accordingly, which Mr. Hampden did on the 11th of March: But upon the private Suggestions of some French Protestants, that this Bill would be more prejudicial, than advantageous to themselves and their Fellow-Refugees, who, from time to time, received considerable Remittances of Money from their Relations in France, the second reading of it was put off, and so the Bill dropt.
Sacheverel's Affair, and an Address for a Fast, and the burning certain heretical Books, took up the principal Attention of the House till March 10th, when the Queen went to the House, and gave the Royal Assent to the several Bills following:
1. An Act for granting to her Majesty new Duties of Excise, and upon several imported Commodities, and for establishing a yearly Fund thereby, and by other Ways and Means to raise Nine hundred thousand Pounds by Sale of Annuities, and (in default thereof)by another Lottery for the Service of the Year 1710.
Bill to regulate the Trade to Africa.
The House having several times in a grand Committee taken the Trade to Africa into further Consideration, order'd a Bill for settling that Trade to be brought in, which, after the Hearing of the Council, both for the Royal African Company, and for the separate Traders, was read a second time, and committed to a Committee of the whole House; to whom an Instruction was given to receive a Clause or Clauses, to provide for the instructing of the Negroes in the Plantations, in the Knowledge of the Christian Religion: But this Bill was never brought to Perfection, and the only Thing the Commons did in favour either of the Company or separate Traders, was the voting of an Address to her Majesty, 'That she would be pleased to give Directions, That such Ships of War be appointed for protecting the Trade to Africa, as might be necessary for the Preservation and Security thereof.'
Amount of the Supply.
2. An Act for continuing several Impositions and Duties upon Goods imported, to raise Money by way of Loan, for the Service of the Year 1710. and for taking off the over-Sea Duty on Coals exported in British Bottoms, and for better preventing Frauds in Draw-backs upon Certificate Goods, and for ascertaining the Duties imported in Venetian Ships, and to give farther Time to Foreign Merchants, for Exportation of certain Foreign Goods imported, and to limit the Time for Prosecutions upon certain Bonds given by Merchants, and for continuing certain Fees of the Officers of the Customs, and to prevent Embezzlements by such Officers, and for appropriating the Monies granted to her Majesty, and for replacing Monies paid or to be paid, for making good any Deficiencies on the Annuity Act, and for Encouragement to raise Naval Stores in her Majesty's Plantations, and to give farther Time for registring Desentures, as is therein mentioned.
3. An Act for discharging the Attendance of Noblemen, Baronets, Freeholders, upon the Lords of Justiciary in their Circuits, in that Part of Great-Britain called Scotland, and for abolishing the Method of exhibiting Criminal Informations.
'And I am to thank you, Gentlemen of the House of Commons, in a very particular manner, for the great Dispatch which you have made in providing, so early in the Year, such great and effectual Supplies for the public Service: This cannot but make me very desirous to repeat the Assurances I gave you at the opening of the Session, that they should be very carefully applied to the Uses for which you have designed them.
'I am confident no Prince that ever sate on the Throne has been more really and sincerely kind to the Church than myself, nor ever had a more true and tender Concern for its Welfare and Prosperity than I have, and always shall continue to have.
'The suppressing Immorality, and prophane and other wicked and malicious Libels, is what I have always earnestly recommended, and shall be glad of the first Opportunity to give my Consent to any Laws that might effectually conduce to that End: But this being an Evil complained of in all Times, it is very injurious to take a Pretence from thence to insinuate that the Church is in any danger from my Administration.
'I could heatily wish that Men would study to be quiet, and do their own Business, rather than busy themselves in reviving Questions and Disputes of a very high Nature, and which must be with an ill Intention, since they can only tend to soment, but not to heal our Divisions and Animosities.
'For my own part, as it has pleased God to give Success to my Endeavours for the Union of my two Kingdoms, which I must ever esteem as one of the greatest Blessings of my Reign, so I hope his Divine Goodness will still continue favourable, and make me the happy Instrument of that yet more desirable Union of the Hearts of all my People in the Bonds of mutual Affection, that so there may remain no other Contention among you, but who shall exceed the other in contributing to advance our present Happiness, and secure the Protestant Succession.
'Finding by the Advices from abroad, that our Army has not yet taken the Field, and that the Plenipotentiaries of France are still in Holland, I think it proper at present to make the Prorogation but for a very short time.'
After which the Lord Chancellor, by her Majesty's Command, prorogued the Parliament until Tuesday the 18th Instant; which was dissolved the 21st of Sept. and a new Parliament order'd to meet on the 25th of Nov. following.