The History and Proceedings of the House of Commons: Volume 4, 1706-1713. Originally published by Chandler, London, 1742.
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First Parliament of Great Britain open'd by Commission. ; Sir R. Onslow proposed for Speaker, and Gen. Merdant's pleasant Motion thereon. ; Sir R. Onslow placed in the Chair.
On the 16th of November the new Parliament met, and her Majesty having granted a Commission to the Lord Chamberlain, the Lord Treasurer, Lord Steward, and the Master of the Horse, to represent her Royal Person, the Commons were sent for to the House of Peers, to hear the said Commission read: After which the Lord Chancellor signified to them, that they should proceed to the Choice of a Speaker, and when they returned to their House, Lord William Pawlet moved to chuse Sir Richard Onslow; he was seconded by Sir William Strickland; but Major-General Mordant, with his usual Pleasantry, said, 'I am for chusing Mr. Jodrel Clerk of the House, who having been Assistant to good Speakers, to indifferent ones, and the worst, seems to be as well qualified for this Station, as any body.' But when he had had his Jest, the Major-General supported Lord Pawlet's Motion, and with very great and just Encomiums on his Merit, recommended Sir Richard Onslow to their Choice, who was upon this led to the Chair by Lord William Pawlet, and Sir William Strickland.
L. Chancellor's Speech to both Houses.
'We are, by her Majesty's Command, in the first place to observe to you, that the extraordinary length of this Year's Campaign, hath obliged her Majesty to defer your Meeting longer than otherwise she would have done, that you might be inform'd with the greater Certainty of the State and Posture of the War, in order to your Resolutions for the ensuing Year.
'This necessary Delay hath now so far shewn us the Success of Affairs abroad, as that whether you consider the Places acquir'd by the Allies, or the farther and continued Proofs given this last Year of their superior Courage and Conduct (which as to the future Part of the War is equal to all other Advantages) we may, with Thanks to God, and Justice to those he hath been pleased to use as Instruments in this great Work, conclude. That, upon the Whole we are brought much nearer than we were the last Session, to the End of our undertaking this War, the reducing the dangerous Power of France, and settling such a Peace as may secure itself from being violated.
'Her Majesty therefore commands us to assure you, she hath not the least doubt, but that this Parliament will be of the same Opinion with her last, as to the vigorous Prosecution of the War, and the Ends of it, believing it impossible, the Representative of the British Nation can endure to think of losing the Fruits of all our past Endeavours, and the great Advantages we have gained (particularly in this present Year) by submitting at last to an insecure Peace.
'And therefore, since, probably, nothing can hinder our Success abroad for the Time to come, but Misunderstandings among ourselves at home, we have it in our Command to conjure you, by your Duty to God and her Majesty, your Zeal for the Protestant Religion, your Love for your Country, and the Regard you cannot but have for the Liberty of Europe in general, to avoid all Occasion of Divisions, which are ever hurtful to the Public, but will more especially be so at this Juncture, when the Eyes of all our Neighbours are upon you with a very particular Concern, and your Unanimity and good Agreement will be the great Satisfaction and Encouragement to all our Allies.
'You cannot but be convinc'd, that several Parts of the War, which were provided for by the last Parliament, will require your Support, at least in the same Degree But in Flanders the Nature of the War is much alter'd, by the great Advances made there towards entring into France, which hath so far alarmed our Enemies, that they are drawing more Troops daily to that Side, for the Defence of their own Country: And therefore her Majesty hopes you will have so right a Sense of our present Advantages, as to enable her Majesty to make a considerable Augmentation for preserving and improving them, which by the Continuance of God's Blessing on our Arms, must soon put a glorious Period to this long and expensive War.
'As to the Condition of the Fleet, we have it in Command from her Majesty to acquaint you, that the constant and remote Services in which the Ships have been employ'd, have made a greater Sum than usual requisite, as well for the extraordinary Repairs, as the building of new Ships. And the taking of Port-Mahon, as it hath afforded the Means of having a part of the Fleet operate with more Readiness and Effect on the Enemy, or where-ever it may be useful to the common Cause in those Parts; so the making such Provisions at so great a Distance, as will be proper for that Service, must of Necessity cause some extraordinary Expences. All which her Majesty recommends to your serious Consideration, desiring you to provide timely and effectual Supplies for those Ends, and likewise for the carrying on such Fortisications for the Security of our Ports, and extinguishing the Enemies Hopes of Prositing by Disturbances in Scotland, as you shall think fit.
'The Union is esteemed by her Majesty to be so happy and great a Part of the Successes of her Reign; and her Majesty hath so much at heart, the confirming and improving it, that she is pleased to command us to remind you of preparing such Bills, as shall be conducing to that End, and particularly to make the Laws of both Parts of Great-Britain agree, as near as may be, for the common Interest of both People, especially as to those Laws which relate to criminal Cases and Proceedings, and settling the Militia on the same Foot throughout the united Kingdom.
'Her Majesty is graciously pleased, we should also assure you, that if you can propose any Means for the Improvement of our Trade or Manufactures, or better Employment of the Poor, her Majesty will take the greatest Satisfaction in enacting such Provisions; there being nothing she so earnestly desires, as that God would bless her with more and more Opportunities of doing all possible Good to so well-deserving a People, so firm and so affectionate to her Interests.
'And as her Majesty doth not doubt, by God's Blessing, and your good Affections, to continue to defeat the Designs of the Pretender, and his open and secret Abbettors, so her Majesty will always endeavour, on her Part, to make her People happy to such a Degree, as that none (except of desperate Fortunes) shall enter into Measures for the Disturbance of her Government, the Union, or the Protestant Succession, as by Law established, without acting at the same time manifestly against their own true and lasting Interest, as well as their Duty.
Resolution of the Commons of Condolance to the Queen.
The Commons on the 22d, resolved, Nemine contradicente, that an humble Address should be presented to her Majesty, to condole with her upon the Death of his Royal Highness, Prince George of Denmark, and to desire her Majesty to take care of her Royal Person (upon whose Health the Happiness of the Kingdom, and the Liberties of Europe so much depends) and to assure her Majesty, that the Commons of Great Britain would support her against all her Enemies, both at Home and Abroad.
Address of Congratulation. ; Queen's Answer to the Message of the Commons.
On the same Day they came to a Resolution upon another Address to the Queen, to congratulate her on the glorious Success of her Arms, and those of her Allies in this present War; and to assure her Majesty of their utmost Endeavours, to enable her to carry on a vigorous War against the common Enemy, until the Liberties of Europe might be secured by a safe and honourable Peace, and also to support and defend her Majesty, and the Succession as by Law established in the Protestant Line, against the Pretender and all his open and secret Abettors. The first of these Addresses being reported to the House on the 23d, by Mr. Bromley, and the other the same Day by Sir William Strickland; the House ordered, that such Members of that House as were of the Privy-Council, should attend the Queen, and humbly know her Majesty's Pleasure, when and in what Manner she would be pleased to be attended with the said Addresses. Those Gentlemen attending accordingly, Mr. Secretary Boyle re ported, that her Majesty was graciously pleased to answer; 'That she took very kindly the Application of the House to her in that manner; and that it was her Majesty's Pleasure, that such Addresses as the House of Commons desired at that Time to present to her Majesty, should be delivered to her by such Members of that House, as were of her Majesty's most honourable Privy-Council.' Both the Addresses and the Queen's Answers, are as follow.
Commons Address of Condolance.
'We your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal Subjects, the Commons in Parliament assembled, take this first Opportunity of expressing to your Majesty, the deep Sense we have of the great Loss your Majesty and this Kingdom have sustained in the Death of his Royal Highness Prince George of Denmark, whose tender Affection to your Majesty, and Love to our Country, had gain'd him the Hearts of all your good Subjects, and will render his Memory ever dear to them.
'We humbly beseech your Majesty to moderate the Grief so justly due on this sad Occasion, since it cannot be indulged without endangering the Health of your Royal Person, on whose Safety the Happiness of Great Britain, and the Liberties of Europe do (under God) depend.
'Your faithful Commons think themselves obliged more particularly at this Time, to assure your Majesty of their inviolable Fidelity to your Person and Government, and of their firm Resolution effectually to support Your Majesty against all your Enemies both at Home and Abroad.'
Commons Address of Congratulation for the Success of her Arms.
'We your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal Subjects, the Commons of Great Britain in Parliament assembled, beg leave to congratulate the glorious Successes of this Year, gain'd by the Arms of your Majesty, and those of your Allies.
'The great and signal Advantages that have been so wonderfully obtained, so vigorously prosecuted and improved, and upon all Occasions so happily accomplished, are repeated Instances that no Difficulties are insuperable to your great Commanders, and no force of the Enemy able to obstruct the Progress of your victorious Arms; which give us good Grounds to hope for further Success, before the Concludon of this long and active Campaign.
'Your Majesty's good Subjects, through the whole Course of this War, have most cheerfully granted the necessary Supplies, for supporting and carrying it on with Vigour; and have seen such good Fruits of their former Zeal, that your Majesty may be assured this House will never be wanting in their Duty to your Majesty, or the Interest of those they represent; but are determined to give such Supplies, as, by the Blessing of God, may be the most effectual for reducing the Power of the common Enemy, and forcing him to accept such a Peace, as your Majesty, in conjunction with your Allies, shall think honourable and lasting.
'The Union is so great a Glory to your Majesty, and Advantage to all your People, that we shall do every thing on our Part, to strengthen and improve it; but above all, it shall be our utmost Care, to defend your Majesty's sacred Person, to support your undoubted Title to the Crown, to disappoint the Hopes and Designs of the Pretender, and all his open and secret Abettors, and to maintain the Protestant Succession as by Law established.'
'That her Majesty returns you many Thanks for all the hearty Assurances you have given her in this Address, particularly for those of assisting her, in bringing the War to a safe and happy Conclusion, which her Majesty does very much desire, for the Ease and Security of her People: And as she does entirely depend upon your Dispatch of the Supplies necessary to that End, so she hopes God Almighty will still continue to bless the Endeavours of her Majesty and her Subjects, for the good of the common Cause.'
The Commons on the 26th, received her Majesty's Answer by Mr. Secretary Boyle, to their Address of the 25th, that Directions should be given to the respective Offices, that the several Estimates and Accounts relating to the Navy and Land-Forces, should be laid before them.
As to Matters touching Returns and Elections, the House had resolved, even on the 22d, that they should be heard on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays; and the Question being put, that all Questions at the Trial of Elections should (if any Member insisted on it) be determined by Ballot, it passed in the Negative, and all Elections in this Parliament, were to be heard and determined at the Bar of the House.
Debate in the House of Commons about the Scots Peers eldest Sons sitting there. ; Arguments against it. ; The Peers of Scotland's eldest Sons declared incapable to sit in the House of Commons.
Dec. 3d, the House of Commons took into Consideration that part of the Act for uniting the two Kingdoms, which relates to the Election of Members to serve in that House, for that part of Great Britain called Scotland; and, having heard Council, and the Petitions and Representations relating to the Incapacity of the eldest Sons of Scots Peers, to represent the Commons of Scotland in the Parliament of Great Britain, being read, the Substance, both of the Council's Arguments, and of those Representations, was, That by an Act of the Scots Parliament, intitled, An Act for settling the Manner of Electing sixteen Peers, and forty-five Commoners, to represent Scotland, in the Parliament of Great Britain; which Act was ratified by the Act for uniting the two Kingdoms, it was declared, That none shall be capable to elect, or be elected, to represent a Shire or Burgh in the Parliament of Great Britain, for that part of the united Kingdom, except such as were then capable, to elect or be elected, as Commissioners for Shires or Burghs to the Parliament of Scotland. That from hence it evidently followed, that the Scots Peers eldest Sons could not sit in the House of Commons of Great Britain, unless it did appear, that they were capable to be elected, and to sit as Members of the Parliament of Scotland; but, as a Proof of the contrary, several Instances were alledged of their being always rejected by the Parliament of Scotland; and, in particular, the Viscount Tarbat's eldest Son, in the Year 1689. That the fundamental Law of the Union had most expressly reserved to the Commons of Scotland, that valuable Privilege of electing their Representatives in Parliament, from among the best qualified Gentlemen of their own Number and State, in the same manner as they had formerly used to do. That in electing Members of Parliament, the Choice of the Electors ought to be made as free as is possible from the Influence either of Bribes or Threats; and, in justice, should only be determined by the Honesty and Candour of the Person to be chosen; that his Character be such as promises a faithful Discharge of so great a Trust: And that his Inclination be accompanied with a sufficient Capacity to serve the particular Interest of his Constituents, as well as the general Interest of his Country. But that few in Scotland could be supposed to be in a Conditioa to maintain this Character, the Commons there being surrounded with a numerous and powerful Peerage; who, like so many Sovevereigns, judge and determine, within their respective Bounds, in criminal as well as civil Matters, being vested with vast Superiorities and heretable Jurisdictions; so that no Commoner holding any part of his Lands of a Peer, or indeed being in his Neighbourhood, could be reckoned at liberty to make a free Election of his Representative: So that the Commons of Scotland, whereof the majority of their Parliament consisted, had invincible Arguments for preserving entire to themselves, that necessary Privilege of excluding their Peers eldest Sons, from being Members of that House. That if the Parliament of Scotland, which consisted of Peers and Commoners, sitting together in the same House, enjoying the same Liberty of Speech, and the same common Privilege, and judicative Capacity, being also restricted to the same Rules and Forms, had so many weighty Reasons for excluding their Peers eldest Sons, how many more Arguments, of greater moment, might be urged in the House of Commons of Great Britain, who subsisted a separate and distinct House from the Peers; enjoying, by themselves, so many valuable Privileges and Immunities, which could not be encroached upon, or subjected to a House of Peers, without endangering the whole Constitution of the House of Commons? And, in the last place, that England and Scotland being now united, and their Interests inseparably joined, it ought to be a Maxim with all true Britons, that the Liberty of the Commons of Scotland, will always be an Advantage to those of England; and that the Slavery of the first cannot fail ending in the Destruction of the latter. Little was offered, on the other side, against these Arguments; so that the Question being put, 'That the eldest Sons of the Peers of Scotland were capable, by the Laws of Scotland, at the time of the Union, to elect or be elected, to represent any Shire or Borough in Scotland, to fit in the House of Commons of Great Britain,' it passed in the Negative.
In pursuance of which, three Days after, the Commons ordered their Speaker to issue out his Warrants to the Clerk of the Crown, to make out new Writs for the electing Commissioners to serve in this present Parliament for the Shire of Aberdeen, in the room of William Lord Haddo, Son of the Earl of Aberdeen; and for the Shire of Linlithgow, in the room of James Lord Johnstown, Son of the Marquess of Annandale; who being eldest Sons of Peers of Scotland, were declared to be incapable to fit in that House.
Address about the Navy and Army.
'That she would be pleased to give Directions to the proper Officers, that an Account might be laid before that House, what Number of Men were wanting to complete the British Forces, and what Money had been paid, pursuant to the Address of that House the last Parliament; for paying four Pounds per Man, for an Encouragement for recruiting her Majesty's Army; and when, and to whom the Money was paid: And also, what number of Men might be wanting, to man her Majesty's Navy for the Year 1709.' They likewise ordered another Address to the Queen, 'That a Lift might be laid before them, of the Names of all such Officers as were sent into the several Counties of Great Britain, to raise Recruits, pursuant to An Act for the better recruiting the LandForces and Marines in the Year 1708, together with the Numbers of Men so raised in the several Counties.' Having received satisfactory Answers to these Addresses; a Motion being made on the 7th, and the Question being put, That the Commissioners of the Navy, as constituted by virtue of the present Commission, were Commissioners employ'd in the OutPorts, within the Intent of the Act of Parliament of the 6th of the Queen's Reign, entitled, An Act for the Security of her Majesty's Person and Government, and of the Succession of the Crown of Great Britain in the Protestant Line, it passed in the Negative; and so Mr. Anthony Hammond, being Commissioner of the Navy, and employ'd in the Out-Ports, was voted thereby incapable of being elected, or voting as a Member of that House.
Commons give their Thanks to Major-General Webb.
On the 13th, the House came to an unanimous Resolution, to give Thanks to Major-General Webb, for the great and eminent Service perform'd by him at the Battle of Wynendale; and the Major-General being then in the House, the Speaker gave him in his Place, the Thanks of the whole House accordingly.
Money for augmenting the Forces.
On the 16th, they voted that a Sum not exceeding 220,000 l. should be granted to her Majesty, as her Proportion for augmenting the Troops, which were to act in conjunction with her Allies in Flanders, for the Service of the Year 1709; and on the 21st, received for Answer to their Address of the 18th, 'That she would use her utmost Endeavours with her Allies, to engage them to furnish their Proportion, towards the Augmentation of the Forces for the Service of the Year 1709.'
Address to the Queen about the Invasion of Scotland.
On the 22d, it was resolved, Nemine Contradicente, that an humble Address should be presented to her Majesty; 'That she would be pleased to give Orders, that, there might be laid before that House, a State of the whole Matter of the designed Invasion of North Britain; what Proceedings had been thereupon, the Proceedings against the late Lord Griffin, and others taken in open Rebellion in the said Invasion with the Pretender; and also an Account of the Names of all those that were taken upon Suspicion, and the Proceedings thereupon; and in what posture of Defence the Castle of Edinburgh, Dumbarton, and Sterling, and the Garrison of Inverlochy, were at that Time, and now are.'
The House had all this while, the Recruiting the Army under Consideration; and on the 23d unanimously resolved, That for the speedy and effectual recruiting her Majesty's Land-Forces and Marines, Encouragement should be given to the several Parishes of the Kingdom, for raising a sufficient Number of Men, for the Service of the Year 1709.
Parliament's Address to the Queen upon the Reduction of Ghent.
'We your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal Subjects, the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons in Parliament assembled, do most humbly congratulate your Majesty upon the Reduction of Ghent, the last great Effort of this glorious Year; a Year that will be ever famous in History, as well for the entire Disappointment of all the Attempts and Hopes of the Enemies, as for the many wonderful Successes, with which God has blessed the Arms of your Majesty and the Allies; the unusual Length of the Campaign, the Variety of Events, and the Difficulty and Importance of the Actions, having given many Opportunities to your Majesty's General the Duke of Marlborough, to shew his consummate Ability, and all the great Qualities necessary for so high a Trust; whereby, in conjunction with the Renowned Prince Eugene of Savoy, such considerable Progress has been made, and the Conquests so far advanced, that we have reason to hope, the Enemy, in spight of all their Presumption, will soon find themselves under an absolute Necessity, of submitting to a safe and honourable Peace.'
The Queen's Answer.
Land-Tax Bill passed.
The same Day that the Parliament's Address was presented, the Commons were sent for up to the House of Peers, at which time the Lords commissioned by her Majesty, gave the Royal Assent to a Bill, entitled, An Act for granting an Aid to her Majesty, to be raised by a Land-Tax in Great Britain, for the Service of the Year 1709, and then the Parliament adjourn'd.
Bill for raising Recruits.
Jan. the 10th, both Houses met again, when Mr. Compton presented to the House, A Bill for the speedy and effectual Recruiting her Majesty's Land-Forces and Marines; which was read the first Time, and ordered a second reading.
Three Addresses to the Queen about the Application of 500,000 l. and about the Forces and Navy in Spain and Portugal.
Two Days after the House resolved to present three several Addresses to the Queen, that she would be pleased to give Directions to the proper Officers to lay before the House: 'First, An Account of the 500,000 l. given the last Parliament for the Augmentation of her Majesty's Forces, in order to strengthen the Army of the Duke of Savoy, for making good the Alliance with the King of Portugal, and for the effectual carrying on the War, for the Recovery of the Spanish Monarchy to the House of Austria. Secondly, An Account of the Application of the Moneys given the last Parliament for maintaining her Majesty's establish'd Forces in Spain and Portugal, end of the Number of the effective Men there, and likewise of the Contracts for remitting of the Money for the said Services. And, Thirdly, An Account of the Contracts made for victualling her Majesty's Navy in Spain and Portugal, during the last three Years, and of the Contracts for remitting the Money for the said Services.' With which Addresses her Majesty readily complied.
Resolution about the Supply.
The same Day, the House in a Committee of the whole House, consider'd further of Ways and Means for raising the Supply, and resolved, 'That the several Duties upon Malt, Mum, Cyder and Perry, granted by an Act of the first Year of her Majesty's Reign, and continued by subsequent Acts until the 24th of June 1709, be further continued from the 23d Day of June 1709, until the 24th Day of June 1710, and no longer, except Malt made and consumed in Scotland.' Which Resolution being the next Day reported to the House, was agreed to, and a Bill ordered to be brought in thereupon.
Bill against Bribery and Corruption.
The 17th, the House ordered another Bill to be brought in, for preventing Bribery and Corruption in Election of Members to serve in Parliament. And, the next Day, renewed several Orders made the 24th of November 1699, in relation to the passing of private Bills through the whole House.
Bill against Wagers. ; Papers relating to the Invasion, said before the House.
The same Day the Bill to prevent the laying of Wagers relating to the Public, was read the third Time, unanimously approved, and sent to the Lords for their Concurrence; and, on the 19th of that Month, Mr. Secretary Boyle presented to the House, (pursuant to their Address to her Majesty for that Purpose) 'A State of the Matter of the design'd Invasion of Scotland, of the Proceedings thereupon, and against the Lord Griffin, and others taken in Rebellion; And also an Account of such as were taken upon Suspicion; and in what Posture of Defence the Castles and Garrisons were in at that, and at this Time.' Which Papers were ordered to lie on the Table to be perused by the Members.
On the 22d, the House resolved to present two Addresses to her Majesty, the first, 'That she would be pleased to give Directions, that there might be laid before the House, a List of the Ships of War that were employed upon Account of the late intended Invasion of Scotland, under the Command of Vice-Admiral Byng, and Rear-Admiral Baker, and of the Names of the Captains who were employed in that Expedition, and what Journals had been delivered in, relating to the same:' And the other, 'That such Treaties or Agreements, as had been made in relation to Contributions, might also be laid before them:'Which was afterwards done, according to their Desire.
The Commons vote their solemn Thanks to the Duke of Marlborough, tho' absent.
The same Day the House unanimously resolved, 'That the Commons of Great Britain being truly sensible, not only of the great and eminent Services perform'd by his Grace the Duke of Marlborough, the last 'successful Campaign, so much to the Honour of Great Britain, and Advantage of all Europe; but also the indefatigable Zeal he persevered in, for the Service of the common Cause abroad, while he might, with Reason, expect to be received with all the Marks of Honour and Satisfaction at home, did, with a just Regard to his glorious Actions, return him the Thanks of the House: And order'd their Speaker to transmit the same to his Grace; which being done accordingly, the Duke of Marlborough was pleased to return the following Answer:
His Grace's Answer.
'I am extremely sensible of the great Honour which the House of Commons have done me, in the Vote you have been pleased to transmit me by their Order: Nothing can give me more Satisfaction, than to find the Services, I endeavour'd to do the Queen and my Country, so acceptable to the House of Commons: And I beg the Favour of you to assure them, I shall never think any Pains or Perseverance too great, if I may (by God's Blessing) be instrumental in procuring a safe and honourable Peace for her Majesty, and my Fellow-Subjects. I am with Truth,
Order of Council for leaving out the Prayers for the Queen's Royal Issue.
In the mean while an Order having been made by her Majesty's Privy Council, in pursuance of her Majesty's Pleasure to them signified, 'That in the Form of Prayer with Thanksgiving to Almighty God, to be used in all Churches and Chappels within this Realm, every Year upon the eighth Day of March, (being the Day on which her Majesty began her happy Reign) in the Prayer at the Communion-Service, immediately before the reading of the Epistle for the Queen, as supreme Governor of this Church, these Words following be left out, 'And that these Blessings may continue to After-ages, make the Queen, we pray thee, an happy Mother of Children, who, being educated in thy true Faith and Fear, may happily succeed her in the Government of these Kingdoms;' And that no Edition of the Book of Common-Prayer, with the above mentioned Form of Prayer and Thanksgiving, be printed but with this Amendment.
Mr. Watson, Son to the Lord Rockingham moved, 'That an humble Address be presented to her Majesty, that she wou'd not suffer her just Grief so far to prevail, but would have such Indulgence to the hearty Desires of her Subjects, as to entertain Thoughts of a second Marriage.' This Motion being seconded by several other Members, was unanimously carried, and a Committee appointed to draw up the said Address; which being agreed to by the House, and the Lords having given their Concurrence to the same, was on the 28th of January presented to her Majesty, by the Lord Chancellor, on the Part of the House of Peers, and by the Speaker of the Commons, on the Part of their House, being as follows:
Address of both Houses to the Queen for her second Marriage.
'We your Majesty's most loyal and dutiful Subjects, the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons in Parliament assembled, being truly and deeply sensible of the many and great Blessings we have enjoyed during the whole Course of your Majesty's most glorious Reign, do most humbly conceive we should be inexcusably wanting to ourselves and the whole Kingdom, if we should neglect to use our most zealous Endeavours, that those Blessings may be derived down to future Ages; and therefore, with Hearts full of the most profound Respect and Duty to your Royal Person, we most humbly beseech your Majesty graciously to consider the universal Desires and most humble Supplications of your faithful Subjects, that your Majesty would not so far indulge your just Grief, as to decline the Thoughts of a second Marriage.
'This would be an unspeakable Joy to your People, who would join their most servent Prayers to Almighty God to bless your Majesty with Royal Issue: All of them concurring in this Opinion, That no greater Happiness can be desired for your Kingdoms, than that they and their Children may long continue under the gentle and gracious Government of your Majesty and your Posterity.
The Queen's Answer.
Address about the Pagers concerning W. Gregg. ; The Recruiting Bill past.
Mr. Speaker having reported this Answer to the House of Commons, they resolved to present another Address to return her their Thanks for the same. Three Days before, the Commons had resolved to present another Address to her Ma jesty, 'That she would be pleased to give Directions, that all Papers and Proceedings, concerning the Examinations, Confessions, and Condemnation of William Gregg, sometime since executed for High Treason, might be laid before their House:' Which Address being presented to the Queen, her Majesty gave Directions according to the Desire of the Commons. The same Day the Queen having granted a Commission, under the Great Seal, for the passing the Royal Assent to a Bill agreed to by both Houses, the Commons at the Desire of the Lords Commissioners, went up to the House of Peers, where the said Commission being read, their Lordships passed the Royal Assent to the Bill entitled, An Act for the speedy and effectual Recruiting her Majesty's Land-Forces and Marines for the Service of the Year 1709.
Resolution for making the Laws relating to High-Treason the same.
On the 28th, the House in a Committee of the whole House, took into Consideration that Part of the Speech of the Lords Commissioners for opening and holding that present Parliament, which related to the Improvement of the Union, and resolved, 'That the Laws relating to High Treason, be the same throughout the whole Kingdom.' Which Resolution was, the next Day, agreed to by the House; and a Bill ordered to be brought in thereupon.
Debate on the Abington Election.
Sir Simon Harcourt having been returned for Abington, and John Hucks, Esq; having lodg'd a Petition against him towards the latter End of this Month, the Merits of the Cause were argued, Council heard on both sides; and the Debates continued till two in the Morning, when Mr. Hucks carried it by a considerable Majority, Sir Simon having first taken Leave of the House with the following Speech:
Sir Simon Harcourt's Speech.
'Had it been the Pleasure of this House to have construed the Charter, under which this Election is made, according to the natural and plain Words of it, as the Inhabitants have always understood it; in such a Sense all former Parliaments have frequently expounded it: Had you declared the Right of Election to be in those Persons, who have, without any Interruption, exercised it for 150 Years, you could not have heard it insisted, that I had not the Majority. Even as you have determined the Right, my Majority is still unquestionable. No Gentleman, with Reason, can disprove my Assertion, whatever Reason he may have to refuse me his Vote.
'Whoever sent him on such an Errand; what mean and contemptible Notions must he entertain of the then ensuing Parliament? He must suppose them capable of the basest Action, of being awed and influenced by Menaces or Promises, and to prostitute their Consciences at the Word of Command.
'Had there been such a Parliament elected, and I declared not duly elected, I should then have left my Place with a Compassion for the unfortunate Friends that staid behind me; whoever could have framed such a Project to himself, mnst undoubtedly have wish'd for, perhaps have wanted such a Parliament,
'As for the indirect Practices charged on my Agents, I had no Agents; I knew of no Opposition till the Morning of the Election, nor had the least Apprehension of any. I thought no Agent necessary to promote my Interest, nor had I employ'd any Person whatsoever to sollicit for me: But what Solicitations, what Menaces and Promises, have been used against me, and by whom, are but too well known to too many.'
Resolutions about the Supply
'1st, That five hundred forty-nine thousand two hundred thirty-five Pound twelve Shillings and eight Pence three Farthings, be granted to her Majesty, to defray the Charge of maintaining Guards and Garrisons in Great Britain, and for Payment of Invalids for the Service of the Year 1709, including Five thousand. Men to serve on board the Fleet.
'3dly, That Forty nine thousand three hundred and ten Pounds, four Shillings and ten Pence half Penny, be granted for the Payment of one Year's Interest of the unsatisfied Debentures charged upon the Irish Forfeitures.
A Committee appointed to consider of Methods to put the Laws in force against Pensioners and Place Men sitting in the House.
These Resolutions being on the 5th reported, were agreed to by the House, and a Bill ordered to be brought in, for continuing the former Acts for the Encouragement of the Coinage. The same Day the Commons unanimously resolved, 'That a Committee should be appointed to consider of Methods for the effectual Execution of the several Laws now in force, for excluding from the House of Commons, Officers, and such as received Pensions during Pleasure, and to report their Opinion therein to the Houses' which Committee was appointed accordingly.
Mr. Wortley Montague's Motion for Naturalizing Foreign Protestants.
This done, Mr. Wortley Montagu made a Motion for the bringing in a Bill for the naturalizing Foreign Protestants: And, in a fine Speech, shewed the Advantages that would accrue to the Nation, by such an Act; alledging among other Particulars, 'The Example of the King of Prussia, who had not only invited, but furnish'd abundance of French Refugees, with Means to settle in his Dominions; where he had fertilis'd an almost barren Country, improved Trade, and vastly increased his Revenue: Adding, that if Foreigners were induced to settle under a despotick Government, where they found Protection and Encouragement, they would undoubtedly be the more inclin'd to bring their Effects, at least their Industry into Great Britain, where they would share the Privileges of a free Nation.
Mr. Compton and several other Members back'd Mr. Wortley's Motion; and Mr. Campion saying only, 'That if such a Bill were brought in, there should be a Clause inserted in it for obliging such Foreigners, as should be willing to enjoy the Benefit of it, to receive the Sacrament according to the Usage of the Church of England; the House order'd the said Bill to be brought in.
Resolves about the Supply. 181,083 l. and 144,000 l. granted.
On the 7th, the House in a grand Committee, consider'd further of the Supply, and resolv'd, 'To grant 1st, One Million eighty one thousand, eighty three Pounds and four Pence, for maintaining the Forces in her Majesty's Pay, to serve in Spain and Portugal for the Service of the Year 1709. And 2dly, One hundred and forty four thousand Pounds towards defraying the Charge of transporting LandForces:' Which Resolutions were agreed to the next Day.
As also 553,843 Land 310,748 l.
On the 11th, in a Committee of the whole House, it was resolved to grant to her Majesty, '1st, Five hundred fifty three thousand eight hundred fifty five Pounds, fourteen Shillings and four Pence, for her Majesty's Proportion of the Subsidies payable to her Allies, pursuant to the Treaties, for the Service of the Year 1709. And 2dly, 310,748 l. 7s. 11d. to defray the extraordinary Charges of the War already incurr'd, and not already provided for by Parliament:' Which Resolutions were likewise agreed to by the House the next Day.
The Funds already found out scarce answering one half of the necessary Sums for the Service of the Year, and the Commons being somewhat puzzled about Ways and Means to raise the rest, the Ministry bethought themselves of encouraging the Bank of England, to lay the following Proposition before that House:
Proposals of the Bank of England to the Commons.
'The Governor and Company of the Bank of England humbly propose, That their present Fund of One hundred thousand Pounds per Annum, payable out of the five Sevenths of the nine Pence per Barrel Excise, being continued to them unto the first of August, One thousand seven hundred and eleven, they are contented after that Time to accept six Pounds per Cent. per Annum, for their original Stock of Twelve hundred thousand Pounds, together with Four thousand Pounds per Annum, towards their Charges of Management (hitherto paid them) out of the said Fund. After which Payments there being a Remainder of twenty-four thousand Pounds per Annum, on the said Fund, they are ready to advance Four hundred thousand Pounds, at such Times as shall be agreed upon, at six Pounds per Cent. per Annum, being allowed a Discount at six Pounds per Cent. per Annum, for such Money, from the respective Times of its Advance, until the said first of August, One thousand seven hundred and eleven. And they humbly annex to this Article, That they be continued a Corporation, with the said Fund preserved entire to them, for the Term of twenty one Years, from the said first of August, One thousand seven hundred and eleven, with all the Grants, Privileges, and Immunities, they now enjoy, by virtue or in pursuance of any Act or Acts of Parliament, redeemable afterwards by Parliament, on a Year's Notice, and Repayment of the twelve hundred thousand Pounds first advanc'd, and likewise of the Four hundred thousand Pounds now to be advanc'd, and all Monies then due upon Tallies, Exchequer-Orders, or other Parliamentary Securities.
'They are content to take an Annuity of Six Pounds per Cent. per Annum, payable to them out of the Duties on Houses, for all the Exchequer Bills that have been made out of them; and which, for any Arrears of Interest to be due the Five and twentieth of March next, are to be made out to them, in pursuance of the Act of Parliament in that Behalf (redeemable by Parliament on a Year's Notice) and to deliver up the said Bills, as fast as they can get them into their Custody, to be cancell'd, so as sufficient Provision be made for the Payment of the said Annuity weekly, for the intermediate Time, between the said Five and twentieth of March next, and the first of August, One thousand seven hundred and ten, when the said Duties on Houses are first to become payable, by the Act last mentioned; or, that they be allowed Interest upon the Whole, by way of Rebate, for the said intermediate Time: And so that their Fund of one hundred thousand Pounds per Annum, and Corporation, have the Prolongation desired by the first Article.
'The two preceding Articles being agreed to, to supply the public Exigencies farther than they are now able to do, the present Proprietors (being allow'd the Dividend of March next) are willing to admit new Subscriptions for doubling the present Stock, paid in, of two Millions two hundred and one thousand one hundred and seventy one Pounds ten Shillings, (upon the Payment of one hundred and fifteen Pounds, for every hundred Pounds subscrib'd) in order to enable them to circulate two Millions five hundred thousand Pounds, in Exchequer-Bills, for the Government, provided they be not obliged to such Circulation, unless the Subscriptions above mentioned, be completed. And in case they are completed, they are willing to undertake the Circulation of such Bills, to the Value of the said two Millions five hundred thousand Pounds, upon the Terms, Allowances, and Conditions following, (which they pray may be received as part of the Proposal contained in this Article,) viz.
'That a sufficient Fund or Funds be appropriated for the Payment of one hundred and fifty thousand Pounds yearly (being six Pounds per Cent. per Annum, upon the said two Millions five hundred thousand Pounds) to be thus applied, viz. Seventy five thousand Pounds, one Moiety thereof, for the Payment of Interest on the Bills, to run at three Pounds per Cent. per Annum, or two Pence a Day for each hundred Pounds, and in proportion for lesser Sums; and seventy five thousand Pounds, or three Pounds per Cent. per Annum, to be paid Quarterly to the Bank, for the Circulation of the said Bills, as Money, after they have pass'd through the Revenue, and re-issued from the Exchequer, (in proportion to what they are standing out) till the whole Sum be paid off, or cancell'd.
'That the Bills so made out be received in all Taxes, Loans, and Payments whatsoever, upon any Aids and Duties, granted, or to be granted, to her Majesty, till the full cancelling or paying off all of them; and that, until the said Time, they may be lock'd up as Money in her Majesty's Exchequer.
'That the Bank be no longer obliged to such Circulation or Contract, than that the said Premium of three Pounds per Cent. per Annum be duly paid them, and the said Bills be accepted in all Payments, as aforesaid.
'That the Bank have all other Privileges and Exemptions in relation to the said Exchequer-Bills, as they are entitled to by Act of Parliament for the Bills they now circulate, with such further Privileges as the Parliament in their Wisdom shall think fit, for the better enabling them to perform the Contract proposed.'
The Proposal of the Bank accepted.
1. That, towards the raising the Supply granted to her Majesty, the Proposition of the Governor and Company of the Bank of England, for raising of several Sums, amounting to two Millions nine hundred Thousand Pounds, upon such Terms and Conditions, and with such Discount, and by such Subscription, as are therein mentioned, be accepted.
2. That an humble Address be presented to her Majesty, That she will be graciously pleased to issue a Commission under the Great Seal of Great Britain, for taking Subscriptions, for enlarging the Capital Stock of the Governor and Company of the Bank of England, for the better enabling them to comply with the Proposition of the said Governor and Company, agreed to by the House.
The Queen's Commission for taking in Subscriptions.
Pursuant to the said Address, the Queen, by a Commission under the Great Seal of Great Britain, dated the 6th of February, constituted and appointed Sir Thomas Abney, Sir Jonathan Andrews, and divers other Persons therein named, or any seven or more of them, to be Commissioners for taking the voluntary Subscriptions that should be made by, or for any Person or Persons, Natives or Foreigners, Bodies Politic or Corporate, of any Sum or Sums of Money, not exceeding in the whole, the Sum of two Millions two Hundred and one Thousand one Hundred and Seventy-one Pounds ten Shillings, to be added to, and engrasted upon the like Sum of two Millions two hundred and one Thousand one Hundred and Seventy-one Pounds ten Shillings; (being the present Stock paid in of the said Governor and Company) for the doubling thereof: And who should pay down at the time of the said Subscription, one Fifth Part of the Sums by them respectively subscribed; and he willing to pay the remaining four fifth Parts-thereof, together with fifteen Pounds per Cent. more (being in all one hundred and fifteen Pounds for every hundred Pounds subscribed) in the manner, and at such times as should be appointed either by Act of Parliament, or by the Court and the Governor and Company of the Bank of England (fn. 1).'
Address about Composition of public Debts. ; Petition of the Royal Boroughs of Scotland.
On the 26th, the House resolved to address her Majesty, 'That she would give Directions that there might be laid before them, an account of what public Debts had been compounded; what had been received upon such Compositions; and what Receivers had compounded.' Then the House took into Consideration the Petition of the Royal Boroughs of North Britain, formerly called Scotland, which was, in substance, the same as had been presented to the House towards the end of the last Sessions of the last Parliament, without any Effect. It set forth, 'That by the Treaty of Union it is provided, That all Fish exported from Scotland beyond the Seas, which shall be cured with foreign Salt only, shall have the same Eases, Premiums, and Drawbacks, as are, or shall be allowed to such Persons as export the like Fish from England: And that for the Encouragement of the Herring-Fishing, there shall be allowed and paid to the Subjects Inhabitants of Great Britain, (during the present Allowances for other Fish) ten Shillings and five Pence Sterling for every Barrel of White Herring which shall be exported from Scotland: That, upon the Faith and Credit of the Act of Union, divers Quantities of Herrings, Cod, and Salmon, were cured with foreign Salt only; the Drawback of which Fish amounted to 26,967 l. 9s. 1d. in the whole: And that the Custom-House Officers of North-Britain had not only refused Payment, but even Debentures for the Eases, Premiums and Drawbacks by the said Act directed; alledging, that the Salt wherewith such Fish was cured, (being in Scotland before the 1st of May 1707) did not pay the high Duties: Of which Grievance the Petitioners pray'd to be relieved.' A warm Debate arising upon the Matter of this Petition, the same was adjourn'd to the Monday following.
Resolution towards raising the Supply.
The same Day the Commons, in a Committee of the whole House, resolved, 'That, towards raising the Fund of one hundred fifty Thousand Pounds per Annum, pursuant to the Proposition of the Governor and Company of the Bank of England, agreed to by the House for raising part of the Supply granted to her Majesty for the Service of the Year 1709, the further Subsidy of Tonnage and Poundage, commonly called the Two Thirds of the Subsidies which were granted by the Act of the third Year of her Majesty's Reign, entitled, An Act for granting to her Majesty a further Subsidy upon Wines and Merchandizes imported, be continued from the Expiration of the Term last granted in, and be payable to her Majesty, her Heirs and Successors.' Which Resolution being reported the next Day, was agreed to by the House.
A Bill ordered to be brought in for allowing Drawbacks, &c. to the Scots.
Two Days after, the House resumed the adjourn'd Debate upon the Matter of the Petition of the Representatives of the Royal Boroughs of Scotland: Which being read, and the Council for the Court of Managers for the united Trade of the English Company trading to the East-Indies, heard, and then withdrawn, a Bill was ordered to be brought in, For ascertaining and directing the Payment of the Allowances to be made upon the Exportation from Scotland of Fish, Beef and Pork cured with foreign Salt, imported before the first Day of May 1707.
Address for an Account of Pensions paid to Members of Parliament.
The 23d of the same Month, the House had resolved to address her Majesty, 'That she would be pleased to give Directions to the proper Officers, to lay before the House, an Account of what Pensions had been paid out for Secret-Service-Money, to Members of Parliament, or any in trust for them, if any such there were.' And accordingly her Majesty caused afterwards the said Account to be laid before the House.
Reasons against a general Naturalization.
Whilst the Bill for the naturalizing of foreign Protestants was depending, a Paper was printed and industriously dispersed, containing in Substance, '1. That the Conflux of Aliens, as would probably be the Effect of such a Law, might prove dangerous to our Constitution; for these would owe Allegiance to their respective Princes, and retain a Fondness for their native Countries; and therefore, whensoever a War should break out, might prove so many Spies and Enemies. Besides, under this Pretence, the professed Enemies of our established Church and Religion, might flock over with design to effect their Overthrow. 2. That a general Naturalization might undoubtedly spread an universal Disgust and Jealousy throughout the Nation; particularly, in those Cities and Towns that are places of Manufacture. There having been many Complaints and Commotions in London, and elsewhere, on occasion of Foreigners. 3. That the Design of inviting Multitudes of Aliens to settle here, might prove, in time, a farther Mischief; for they would not only be capable of voting at Elections, but also of being chosen Members of Parliament; have Admission into Places of Trust and Authority; which, in process of time, might endanger our ancient Polity and Government; and by frequent Inter-marriages, go a great way to blot out and extinguish the English Race. 4. That, anciently, Naturalizations, by Act of Parliament, were seldom or never made but upon some special Reasons and particular Occasions. And tho' some Acts had given Encouragement to foreign Merchants and Weavers to settle here, it was when our weaving Trade, and other Manufactures, were inconsiderable to the Advancement they had since attained. Besides, from the Settlement of the great Customs in Edward I's Time, in all Acts of Parliament since passed, Aliens had always been charged with an Increase of Customs, above Natives, and a Discrimination kept up between them, as was particularly remark'd by the learned Chief Justice Hale, in a Tract against a general Naturalization. 5. That it was more than probable, that the greatest Number that would come over would be of poor People, which would be of fatal Consequence with respect to the many poor, industrious Families, who would be reduced to the utmost streights hereby; it being evident, that no Hands were wanted to carry on our Manufactures, from the great Quantities that lay on hand, their cheapness, and the lowness of Wages now given: What then would be the Effect of such an Addition? For these Aliens would altogether settle in Places of Manufacture; there being no Instances of any of the late Refugees betaking themselves to the Spade, Plough, or Flail. Secondly, It would be a very great Charge to those Parishes wherein they would settle; there being now great Numbers of French, who, for want of Work, were relieved, and in great measure maintained by the Queen's Bounty, and Charity of their Churches, and other well disposed Persons; who, when naturalized, would have recourse to their own respective Parishes for an Allowance. 6. That a general Naturalization would, in effect, defeat the Patent of the Act of Navigation, which had always been esteem'd to conduce to the Interest of the Nation, by the Incouragement and Increase of the English Mariners and Advance of Trade. 7. That hereby, in Process of Time, Aliens would be advanced in Riches, and her Majesty's Subjects impoverished: For those beneficial Trades of buying and selling by Commissions, Remittances, and Exchanges of Money, would, in great measure, be engrossed by Foreigners, by reason of their many Friends and Relations abroad. Besides, such Aliens generally living in Lodgings, and at little Charge, frequently escaping public Taxes and Parish Duties, would be able to under-sell and undermine the native Merchants. 8. That hereby the Treasure of the Nation would be exhausted and remitted into foreign Parts: For it might well be supposed, that those Aliens that had valuable Estates, could not, or would not transport the greatest part thereof hither; and leaving Children and their nearest Relations behind them, they would come hither only upon a design of getting Riches, and to return home again therewith; particularly upon a Prospect of War: An Instance of which we had in the Practice of our Merchants, who when they had got Estates abroad, constantly return home to enjoy the same. 9 That the Queen's Customs would hereby be considerably diminished: For many Statutes, which lay a greater Duty on Aliens than on Natives, would, as to this, be repeal'd. 10. That Opportunity would hereby be given to Merchants to colour the Goods and Merchandizes of other Strangers beyond Sea, their Correspondents, Friends, or Relations, either out of Friendship, or to the great Detriment of her Majesty's Customs and Trade of the native Subjects: A Practice which was offer'd to be proved before their late Majesties and the Lords of the Treasury; which Reasons did influence the Judgments of our Ancestors, as appears by the Statutes of 1 H. 7. c. 11. 11 H. 7. c. 14. 22 H. 8. c. 8. 11. That the Duties of Package and Scavage of the Goods of all Merchants, as well Denizens as Aliens, were the indispensable Right and Inheritance of the Commonalty and Citizens of London, let to Farm by Lease (wherein are about 18 Years to come) for a Fine of 1000 l. and the yearly. Rent of 950 l. and among other things, are by Act of Parliament charged towards the raising of 1000 l. per Annum for ever, to the Orphans and other Creditors of the said City; which Duties would be wholly lost, to the great Prejudice of the said City, and would render them incapable to support the Government of the same. 12. And in the last place, That the Nation being now engaged in an expensive, though necessary War; Taxes high, Trade obstructed, great Quantities of Woollen, and other Manufactures lay unsold; And, as the Effect hereof, the several Prices of making them very small; many Families destitute of Work throughout the Kingdom. What then, at such a Time as this, must be the Consequence of inviting hither by a general Naturalization, Multitudes of poor Foreigners, who would only employ themselves in Trade and Manufactures?
Reasons for it.
On the other hand, the City of London having petitioned the Commons on the 18th, that they might be heard by their Council against the said Bill; and their Request being granted, their Lawyers chiefly insisted on the 11th of the before-mentioned Reasons; but, upon Examination, it was found, that the Duties of Package and Scavage did not, of late, yield above twenty Pounds per Annum, most of the foreign Merchants being already naturalized. The Majority of the House easily discerned the Captiousness of the other popular Arguments, being throughly convinced, both by their own Observation, and the Reasons alledged, both within and without the Walls, That (as the Preamble of the Bill sets it forth) the Increase of People is a Means of advancing the Wealth and Strength of a Nation. Which Maxim, the Fundamental of found Politics, was abundantly verified, not only in Prussia, Holland, and other Protestant Countries, which had vastly increased in Riches by the French Refugees settling there; but principally in Great Britain, where, by the Industry of the said Refugees, several new Manufactures had been set up, and others improved, to the great Advancement of Trade, and the total turning the Ballance thereof, to the Prejudice of France, and Benefit of this Nation. That, besides the Improvement of Commerce, the French Refugees had greatly contributed towards the Support of the Revolution Settlement, by putting the best part of their own Substance, and of their Friends and Relations abroad, into the public Funds: (Of which they had a fresh Instance in their subscribing near 500,000 l. into the Bank of England) Insomuch, that, by a modest Computation, the Refugees were reckon'd to have above two Millions Sterling in the Government. That as they could not be supposed to have brought one half of that Money into England, so it was prudence to divert the Thoughts they might have, upon the Conclusion of the War, to carry their vast Gains abroad, (which would very much lessen the current Cash and Credit of Great Britain,) by granting them the Advantages and Privileges enjoy'd by her Majesty's natural born Subjects; which would not only invite them to settle here, but likewise bring over such of their Friends and Relations as might hope to inherit their Estates. That the French Refugees had, at all times, in their several Stations and Callings, given signal Proofs of their Love for our happy Constitution, and of their Zeal and Affection for the Government: And in particular such of them as had military Employments, which they had discharged, both in the late and present War, with distinguished Bravery and Conduct. That this War had already consum'd such a vast Number of Men, that it was highly necessary to supply that Loss by inviting Foreigners to come over, whether the War continued, which would still encrease the Scarcity of Men; or whether it was drawing to a Period, in which case a great Number of Hands would be requisite to carry on the Manufactures. And in short, that all the Objections against a Naturalization were grounded upon this false Supposition, 'That Foreigners would ever continue, and be look'd upon as such:' Which was sufficiently confuted by past and daily Experience. Upon the whole Matter, it was resolved, That the said Bill be committed to a Committee of the whole House, who were empower'd to receive a Clause for preserving the Rights of the City of London: Which was accordingly inserted in it, but afterwards left out, upon a just Consideration, That most of the French Protestant Merchants, settled in the City of London, being already naturalized by private Bills, were thereby exempted from paying the Duties of Package and Scavage; and that the Jews, foreign Papists, and other Traders, who could not enjoy the Benefit of this Act, were sufficient to answer the yearly Sum at which the said Duties had been farm'd out.
The Bill passed.
On the last Day of the Month, a Motion was made and the Question put, That it should be also an Instruction to the Committee of the whole House, to continue the same Provision as was made by the Statute of King James the First, Cap. 11. which being carried in the Negative, the House in a grand Committee went through the said Bill; and two Days after ordered it to be engrossed. This Bill being past the House of Commons, and sent up to the Lords, the City of London follow'd it thither, and were there also heard by heir Council, but with no better Success; for the same Reasons that had sway'd the Commons.
Acts passed by Commission.
On the 24th, the Lords authorized by her Majesty's Commission, sent a Message to the Commons, desiring their immediate Attendance in the House of Peers, whither the Commons went up; and the Commission being read, empowering the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lord Chancellor, and several other Lords to pass the Royal Assent to an Act for charging and continuing the Duties upon Malt, Mum, Cyder and Perry, for the Service of the Year 1709, and to three private Bills, their Lordships passed the Royal Assent to those Bills accordingly.
Addresses about Arrears of Taxes and public Accounts, and Pay of the Troops.
The 26th, Mr. Bromly having delivered his Report from the Committee appointed to examine the Accounts laid before the House by the Agents for Taxes, the Commons resolved to address her Majesty, 'That she would be pleased to give the necessary Orders for getting in the Arrears of the LandTaxes, and for obliging the Receivers-General to make their Payments in due time:' And two Days after the House resolved to make another Address to the Queen, 'That she would be pleased to give Directions, that an Account might be laid before the House, what Accomptants had made up their Accounts for Moneys issued since the Commencement of the present War, and what Process had issued against such as had not made up their Accounts.
Motion made by Mr. Secretary Boyle, for demolishing Dunkirk, approved.
March the 2d, the Lords having sent down an Address to the Commons, for their Concurrence, relating to certain Conditions to be insisted on, as the sine qua non, of a Treaty with France, Mr. Secretary Boyle represented, 'That the British Nation having been at a vast Expence of Blood and Treasure for the Prosecution of this necessary War, it was but just they should reap some Benefit by the Peace: And the Town of Dunkirk being a Nest of Pirates, that infested the Ocean, and did infinite Mischief to Trade, he therefore moved, That the Demolishing of its Fortifications and Harbour be insisted upon in the ensuing Treaty of Peace, and inserted in the Address:' Which, with that Amendment, was unanimously approved, and carried back to their Lordships by Mr. Secretary Boyle. The Queen having appointed the 3d, at fix of the Clock, for receiving the said Address, the Lord Chancellor, on the part of the Peers, and the Speaker of the Commons, on the Part of the Commons, attended her Majesty with it, being as follows:
Address of both Houses to the Queen about the ensuing Treaty of Peace.
'We your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal Subjects, the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons in Parliament assembled, considering the great Expence of Blood and Treasure that your Majesty and your Allies have been at, in prosecuting this long War, for securing the Liberties of Europe, do most humbly beseech your Majesty, That, for preserving the Repose and Quiet of Europe, and preventing the ambitious Designs of France for the future, your Majesty would be pleased to take Care, at the Conclusion of the War, to continue and establish a good and firm Friendship among the Allies; and that the French King may be obliged to own your Majesty's Title and the Protestant Succession, as it is established by the Laws of Great Britain; and that your Allies be engaged to become Guarrantees for the same.
'And that your Majesty would take effectual Methods, that the Pretender shall be removed out of the French Dominions, and not suffer'd to return to disturb your Majesty, your Heirs or Successors, in the Protestant Line.
'And for the Security of your Majesty's Dominions, and the Preservation of Trade, and the general Benefit of the Allies, your Majesty will be graciously pleased, that Care may be taken that the Fortifications and Harbour of Dunkirk may be demolished and destroyed.'
The Queen's Answer.
Resolutions about Ways and Means to raise the Supply.
This Answer being reported to the House, they order'd an Address of Thanks to be presented to her Majesty; and the same Day, they, in a Committee of the whole House, consider'd farther of Ways and Means for raising the Supply, and came to these Resolutions: 'First, That, in further part of the yearly Fund to be settled pursuant to the Proposition of the Governor and Company of the Bank of England, for raising part of the Supply granted to her Majesty, for the Service of the Year 1709, the Duties on Coffee, Chocolate, Tea, Spices and Pictures, and the fifteen per Cent. on Muslins, which were continued, and the new additional Duties on Coffee, Tea, Spices, Pictures, Drugs, China-Wares and Callicoes, which were granted (amongst other things) by the Act of the third Year of her Majesty's Reign, entitled, An Act for continuing Duties on Low Wines, and upon Coffee, Tea, Chocolate, Spices and Pictures, and upon Hawkers, Pedlars and petty Chapmen, and upon Muslin; and for granting new Duties upon several of the said Commodities, and also upon Callicoes, China-Wares and Drugs, until the twenty-fourth Day of June 1710; and which, by an Act of the sixth Year of her Majesty's Reign, were continued from the twenty-third Day of June 1710, for the term of four Years from thence next ensuing, shall be further continued from the Expiration of the said Term of four Years, and be payable to her Majesty, her Heirs and Successors for ever. 2dly, That, immediately from and after the Time that the Sum now remaining unsatisfied of the Loans not exceeding seven hundred thousand Pound, secured by the said Acts of the third and sixth Years of her Majesty's Reign, upon the said Duties on Coffee and other Commodities therein respectively mentioned, and the Interest thereof shall be duly paid off and discharged, or that sufficient Money shall be reserved in the Exchequer for that purpose, All the Moneys which shall, or may from thence forth arise by the Duties of Coffee, Tea, Chocolate, Spices and Pictures, Muslins, Drugs, China-Wares and Callicoes therein continued or granted until the 24th Day of June 1714, shall be subjected and made liable towards making good the said yearly Fund to be settled as aforesaid. 3dly, That, immediately from and after the Time that the Sum now remaining unsatisfied of the Loans, not exceeding six Hundred thirty-six Thousand nine Hundred fifty-seven Pounds four Shillings and two Pence, secured by several Acts of the third and sixth Years of her Majesty's Reign, upon the two Thirds of the Subsidies therein mentioned, and the Interest thereof shall be fully paid off and discharged, or that sufficient Money shall be reserved in the Exchequer for that purpose, all the Moneys which shall or may from henceforth arise by the said two Thirds of the said Subsidies, until the seventh Day of March 1711, shall also be subjected and made liable, towards making good the said yearly Fund, to be settled as aforesaid. 4thly, That, towards raising the Supply to be granted to her Majesty, the Impositions upon Wines, Vinegar, and Tobacco, which were first granted to King James the Second, in the first Year of his Reign; and the Impositions upon the East-India Goods, and other Goods charged therewith, which were first granted to their late Majesties King William and Queen Mary, in the second Year of their Reign, and the additional Impositions upon several Goods and Merchandizes which were at first granted to King William and Queen Mary, in the fourth Year of their Reign; and the several Duties on Whale-Fins imported, which were granted to King William in the ninth Year of his Reign; all which Duties have Continuance by several subsequent Acts; until the first Day of August 1714, shall be farther continued to her Majesty, her Heirs and Successors, from the last Day of July 1714, to the first Day of August 1716, and no longer. 5thly, That, from and after the Time that all the Principal and Interest, which by former Acts of Parliament are charged upon the said Impositions upon Wines, Vinegar, Tobacco, and East-India Goods, and upon the said additional Impositions, and upon the same Duties upon Whale-Fins, or upon them or any of them, jointly with other Duties, shall be paid off and satisfied; or that sufficient Money shall be reserved in the Exchequer for that Purpose, all the Monies which shall from thenceforth arise by the said Impositions upon Wine, Vinegar, Tobacco, and East-India Goods, and by the said additional Imposition and Duties upon WhaleFins, shall be appropriated towards raising the Supply granted to her Majesty. 6thly, That all Tobacco to be used or consumed on board any of her Majesty's Ships of War in any Part of Europe (which shall be sold by the Commander or Purser) be stampt. 7thly, That a Duty be laid upon the said Stamps. 8thly, That the said Duty be one Penny for every Stamp to be affixed to every four Pound Weight of such Tobacco, the same to be paid by the Manufacturer thereof.' Which Resolutions being the next Day reported by Mr. Farrer, were agreed to by the House.
Further Resolutions about Ways and Means.
On the 7th, the House consider'd farther of Ways and Means and resolv'd, 1st, 'That, for making good the Allowance of three Pound per Cent. per Annum, for Circulation of the Exchequer-Bills, to be circulated by the Governor and Company of the Bank of England, from the time the said Exchequer-Bills shall begin to be issued, and the Interest of two Pence per Diem for every one hundred Pounds to be borne upon the said Bills, until the Funds which are to be made liable to the said Allowances for Interest and Circulation shall take effect, and be sufficient for that Purpose, a Power and Direction be given for issuing like Exchequer-Bills quarterly for so much as the said Allowances for Interest and Circulation shall amount unto; and that the said quarterly Bills have also the like Allowances as to the Interest and Circulation from the respective Times of their being made forth, and have the same Currency in the public Revenues, and be also chargeable upon the same cancelling Funds, and be in all respects circulated upon the same Terms and Conditions as the other Exchequer-Bills, to be made forth in pursuance of the Proposition of the said Governor and Company. 2dly, That, towards raising a sufficient Fund or Funds for the paying off and cancelling, in some certain Time, the Exchequer Bills to be circulated by the Governor and Company of the Bank of England, in order to her Majesty's Supply for the Service of the Year 1709, that Moiety or half Part of the Subsidy of Tonnage and Poundage, and other Duties and Sums of Money payable upon Wines, Goods and Merchandizes imported, which were granted to his late Majesty King Charles the Second for his Life, by an Act of Parliament in the twelfth Year of his Reign, and which, by several subsequent Acts, have been granted to continue till the first Day of August 1714, shall be further continued from the last Day of July 1714, and be payable to her Majesty, her Heirs and Successors for ever; and that the same and all Arrearages thereof (not already appropriated by any former Act or Acts of Parliament in that Behalf) shall be made subject and liable for, or towards the Payment of two hundred thousand Pounds per Annum, to be appropriated and applied for, and towards the paying off and cancelling the said Exchequer-Bills until they shall be wholly discharged; the said two hundred thousand Pounds per Annum, to commence from the Time that the Loans made, or to be made upon an Act of the 6th Year of her Majesty's Reign, and charged on the said half Subsidy, and other Duties therein mentioned, and all the Interest thereof shall be satisfied. 3dly, That the Excess or Surplus which shall from time to time arise, of and from the other Moiety or half Part of the Subsidies of Tonnage and Poundage, and other Duties and Sums of Money payable upon Wines, Goods and Merchandizes imported, which were first granted in the twelfth Year of the Reign of King Charles the Second, and which, by several subsequent Acts, had Continuance until the first Day of August 1712, for the Purposes therein mentioned: And by an Act of the 6th Year of her Majesty's Reign, were further continued for the Term of ninety-six Years from the last Day of July 1712, for Payment of Annuities, not exceeding eighty thousand Pounds per Annum (which Excess or Surplus, by a Clause in the said Act of the 6th Year of her Majesty's Reign, was reserved to be disposed for the public Use and Service, and not otherwise) and all Arrearages of the said half Subsidies and Duties not already appropriated, or to be applied by any Act or Acts of Parliament in that Behalf, shall also be made subject and liable for, or towards the Payment of the said two hundred thousand Pounds per Annum, for cancelling and discharging the said Exchequer-Bills as aforesaid. 4thly, That the Excess or Surplus which shall from time to time arise, as well by the Duties of Coffee, Tea, Chocolate, Spices, Pictures, Muslins, Drugs, China-Wares and Callicoes, as by the Two third Parts of the Subsidies of Tonnage and Poundage, made liable to the Payment of the Allowances amounting to Six per Cent. per Annum, or thereabouts, for Interest and Circulation of the said Exchequer-Bills after the same Duties and Revenues shall commence and take Effect for that Purpose (which Excess or Surplus shall remain from Time to Time, after discharging or leaving sufficient to discharge the said Allowances, amounting to Six per Cent. per Annum, or thereabouts, shall likewise be made subject and liable for, or towards the Payment and making good of the said two hundred thousand Pounds per Annum for cancelling the said Exchequer-Bills aforesaid. 5thly, That, in case at the End of any Year, after the Time when the said two hundred thousand Pounds per Annum is to commence as aforesaid, it shall appear that the Funds intended, as aforesaid, for making good the same, shall be deficient for that purpose. Then, and so often every such Deficiency shall and may be made up out of the Produce of those Funds in any subsequent Year or Years, in which shall appear to be an Overplus, to be applied for, or towards making good of such Deficiency. And 6thly, That the Duty upon the Exportation of Copper of the Produce of Great Britain, and all Brass Wire made here be taken off.' Which Resolutions being the next Day reported, were agreed to by the House, and a Bill order'd to be brought in upon these, and the other Resolutions agreed to three Days before.
The Bill for exchanging Tobacco for French Wines drop'd.
Some time before a Bill had been brought into the House of Commons, for the Exportation of Tobacco and other Commodities and Manufactures of the Growth and Product of Great Britain, the Design of which was, to exchange Tobacco for French Wines: But the Portugueze Ambassador having by a Memorial represented to her Majesty, and by Word of Mouth, to several Members without Doors, That the Bill was contrary to the Alliance between her Majesty and the King his Master; and it being considered besides, that the said Exchange would redound to the Advantage of France, and to the Benefit of Five or Six Persons in Great Britain only: After the Bill had been twice read, and committed to a Committee of the whole House, the Question was put on the 9th, that the whole House should then resolve itself into the said Committee; which being then carried in the Negative, the Bill was dismissed, by putting off the Consideration of it for a Month. And on the other hand, a Bill was ordered to be brought in, for the more effectual prohibiting the Importation of French Wines, and all other Commodities of the Growth and Product of France.
Votes of the Commons approving the Conduct of the Government about the Invasion.
The next Day the House took into Consideration the Papers relating to the designed Invasion of Scotland, and the Proceedings thereupon, and against the Lord Griffin and others taken in Rebellion; and relating to the Persons taken upon Suspicion, as also to the Garrisons in Scotland. Whereupon the House resolved, 'First, That Orders were not issued for the marching of the Troops in England until the 14th Day of March, it being necessary for the Security of her Majesty's Person and Government, that the Troops in this part of the Kingdom should not march into Scotland, till there was certain Intelligence that the Enemy intended to land in that Part of the united Kingdom. Secondly, That timely and effectual Care was taken by those employed under her Majesty, at the Time of the intended Invafion of Scotland, to disappoint the Designs of her Majesty's Enemies both at home and abroad, by fitting out a sufficient Number of Men of War, ordering a competent Number of Troops from Flanders, giving Directions for the Forces in Ireland to be ready for the Assistance of the Nation, and by making the necessary and proper Dispositions of the Forces in England.
A Clause to the Bill.
About this Time a (fn. 2) Bill being depending for preserving the Privileges of Ambassadors and other public Ministers; and the said Bill and Amendments being read the 12th, the House added a Clause, 'That no Person be proceeded against, as having arrested the Servant of an Ambassador or public Minister, by virtue of this Act, unless the Name of such Servants be first register'd in the Office of one of the principal Secretaries of State, and by such Secretary transmitted to the Sheriffs of London and Middlesex, who shall hang up the same in some public Place in their Offices, &c. And ordered the Bill to be engrossed.'
Resolutions about Nevis and St. Christophers.
On the 14th, the House in a grand Committee took into Consideration the Report of the Lord High-Treasurer, made upon the Address to her Majesty the 18th of March 1709, relating to the People of Nevis and St. Christophers, and resolved, 'That it did appear that the Losses they had sustained by the late Invasion of the French, did amount to upwards of 300,000 Pounds. 2. That it would be for the Advantage of the Trade of Great Britain, that the Inhabitants of the said Islands be enabled to resettle there.' These Resolutions, being on the 18th reported, were agreed to by the House; and at the same time a Motion was made, that a Supply be granted for enabling the said Inhabitants to resettle in those Islands; which on the 21st, in a grand Committee, was carried in the Affirmative. And on the 25th, likewise in a grand Committee, it was resolved, 'That the Sum of one hundred and three thousand two hundred and three Pounds, eleven Shillings and four Pence, be granted for the Use of such Proprietors or Inhabitants only of Nevis and St. Christophers, who were Sufferers by the late French Invasion there, and who shall resettle, or cause to be resettled their Plantations in the said Islands.' Which Resolution was, on the Sixth of April, reported, and agreed to by the House.
And the Trade to Africa.
On the 17th, Mr. Ward reported from the Committee of the whole House, that they had come to these Resolutions 1st, 'That the Trade to Africa was very advantageous to Great Britain, and necessary to the Plantations thereunto belonging. 2dly, That the said Trade ought' to be free for all her Majesty's Subjects in a regulated Company, under such Rules and Provisions as might be for the Preservation of the said Trade, and maintaining such Forts and Castles as were necessary for that purpose.' Which Resolutions were agreed to by the House, and a Bill ordered to be brought in pursuant to the same: (But this Bill met with Obstructions which hinder'd its passing.)
Address about the Commissioners of the Equlvalent.
Five Days after the Commons resolved to address her Majesty, 'That in regard the greatest part of the Money paid to Scotland by way of Equivalent, was already issued out to the several Persons having Interest therein: Therefore, that her Majesty be graciously pleased to give Directions for reducing the Number of the Commissioners for managing the same for the future, as her Majesty in her great Wisdom should think fit:' With which Address her Majesty readily comply'd.
The Queen having granted a Commission under the Great Seal, impowering the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lord Chancellor, the Lord Treasurer, the Lord Privy-Seal, and several other Lords, to pass the Royal Assent to several Bills agreed to by both Houses of Parliament; the Lords Commissioners sent on the 23d a Message to the House of Commons by Mr. Aston, Deputy Gentleman-Usher of the Black Rod, to desire the House to come up to the House of Peers with their Speaker, to be present at the passing the said Bills into Acts. The Speaker and the House went up accordingly, and the Lords Commissioners passed the Royal Assent to the several public Bills following, viz.
The Increase of the Debt of the Navy inquired into.
The next Day the House took into Consideration the Report from the Committee to whom it was referred, to examine the Accounts which had been laid before the House, of what Ships had been employ'd as Cruizers and Convoys over and above the Ships for the Line of Battle, and for Convoys to remote Parts; and also the Estimate of the Debt of her Majesty's Navy, as it stood on the Heads mentioned in the said Estimate on the 30th of September, 1708. Resolv'd, 'That an Address be presented to her Majesty, that she would be pleased to give Directions to the proper Officers, to lay before the House an Account of all Sums of Money granted, or voted since her Majesty's Accession to the Crown, and how far the same had proved deficient: And ordered, That the Commissioners of the Navy do lay before this House the Causes of the Increase of the Debt of the Navy. But no Answer was return'd to that Address.
Proceedings on the Bill for improving the Union. ; Alteration made by the Lords.
The House of Lords on the 28th, sent down a Bill to the Commons, which their Lordships had passed; it was entitled, An Act for improving the Union of the two Kingdoms, to which they desired the others Concurrence. The Bill being read twice, was referred to a Committee of the whole House; and on the 5th of April they order'd that the said Committee should be empower'd to receive one or more Clause or Clauses, for ascertaining what Offences should be adjudged High-Treason, or Misprision of Treason; the Method of Prosecution and Trial; and the Forfeitures and Punishments for such sorts of Offences throughout the united Kingdom of Great Britain, in such manner as might be more conducive to the Security of her Majesty's Person and Government, the Succession as by Law established in the Protestant Line, and for the attainting of the Pretender: Then the House in a grand Committee took the said Bill into Consideration, which occasioned a warm Debate; the Scots Members making several Speeches against the Clause, for rendering the Scots, in Cases of Treason, liable to the same Forfeitures as the English, contrary to the ancient Laws of Scotland. This Debate being put off to the 7th, the Scots Members, who were supported by a strong Party, prevailed so far, that several Amendments were made to the Bill, whereby the Nature of it was entirely changed: For instead of subjecting the Scots to the English Laws concerning Treason, it was on the contrary provided, that no Attainder for Treason should extend to the disinheriting of any Heir, nor prejudice the Right and Title of any other than the Offender, during Life, throughout the united Kingdom. This Amendment was the next Day reported, and agreed to by a Majority of 164 Voices against 112. The Bill thus alter'd, being sent back to the Lords, their Lordships, who, in this Bill, had nothing in view, but to give a further Security to the present Government and the Protestant Succession, did, by the Lord Somers's wise Motion, allow the fore mentioned Amendment, in relation to Scotland, from the first of July 1709, and in England only after the Decease of the pretended Prince of Wales, and at the End of three Years after the immediate Succession to the Crown, upon the Demise of her Majesty, shall take Effect, as the same stands limited by several Acts of Parliament.
Act of free Pardon.
On the 20th of April the Lord Chief Justice Holt, and Mr. Baron Lovell, carried a Message from the Lords to the Commons, 'That the Queen had been pleased to send their Lordships a Bill, entitled, An Act for the Queen's most gracious, general, and free Pardon, which their Lordships had humbly accepted and pass'd, and to which they desired the Concurrence of the Commons.' Whereupon the latter read the said Bill, pass'd it, and sent it back to the Lords by Mr. Sollicitor-General. The next Day the Lords Commissioners sent a Message to the House of Commons, to desire the House to come up to the House of Peers with their Speaker, to be present at the passing the said Bills into Acts. The Speaker and the House went up accordingly, and the Lords Commissioners gave the Royal Assent to the several public Bills following, viz.
2. An Act for continuing several Impositions and Duties to raise Money by way of Loan, and for exporting British Copper and Brass Wire, Duty-free, and for circulating a farther Sum in Exchequer-Bills in case a new Contract be made in that Behalf; and concerning the Oaths to be administred in relation to Italian Thrown Silks; and touching Oils and PlantationGoods of Foreigners, taken, or to be taken as Prize; and concerning Drugs of America, to be imported from her Majesty's Plantations; and for appropriating the Menies given in this Session of Parliament; and for making out Debentures for two Transport Ships in this Act named; and to allow a farther Time for Registering certain Debentures; and for Relief of Persons who have lost such Tickets, Exchequer-Bills, Debentures, Tallies or Orders, as in this Act are mentioned.
3. An Act for ascertaining and directing the Payment of the Allowance to be made for, or upon the Exportation from Scotland of Fish, Beef and Pork cured with foreign Salt imported before the first Day of May 1707, and for disposing such Salt still remaining in the Hands of her Majesty's Subjects there; and for ascertaining and securing the Allowances for Fish and Flesh exported, and to be exported from Scotland for the future.
15. An. Act for the public registring of Deeds, Conveyances and Wills, and other Incumbrances which shall be made of, or that may affect any Honours, Manors, Lands, Tenements or Hereditaments within the County of Middlesex, after the 29th Day of September, 1709.
17. An Act for continuing the former Acts, for the Encouragement of the Coinage, and to encourage the bringing of foreign Coins, and British or foreign Plate to be coined, and for making Provision for the Mines in Scotland, and for the prosecuting Offences concerning the Coin in England.
20. An Act for appointing Commissioners to treat and agree for such Lands, Tenements and Hereditaments as shall be judged proper to be purchased for the better fortifying Portsmouth, Chatham and Harwich.
22. An Act for making perpetual an Act for the better preventing the counterfeiting the current Coin of this Kingdom; as also for giving the like Remedy upon Promissory Notes, as is used upon Bills of Exchange; and for better Payment of inland Bills of Exchange; and for continuing several Acts made in the fourth and fifth Years of her Majesty's Reign, for preventing Frauds committed by Bankrupts.
The Lords Commissioners Speech to both Houses of Parliament.
Being now, by the Queen's Directions, to put an end to this Session, we have it in Command from her Majesty to assure you, her Majesty is extremely sensible of the Zeal and Affection you have shewn for her Service and the Good of her People, and of the Prudence and Dispatch with which you have completed the important Business of this Session.
'The Vigour and Firmness of your Proceedings have already had a very good Effect on Affairs abroad; and there is ground to hope, that, by God's Blessing on her Majesty's Endeavours, this will every day appear more and more evident.
'We are to return you in particular her Majesty's Thanks, for your having provided so timely and effectually the Supplies found necessary to the Prosecution of this War, with an Augmentation of those Forces, which, in Conjunction with our Allies, have, by God's Assistance, procured us the present Advantages over the common Enemy.
'Your Cheerfulness in giving such large Supplies at this Juncture, and the ready Advances which have been made for their being effectual, with so little Burden to the People, shew you perfectly understand how to make a right Use of our past Successes, and that nothing is too difficult for so dutiful and affectionate Subjects, acting in Defence of so good a Cause.
'Her Majesty, thro' the whole Course of her Reign, having been desirous to shew all possible Instances of Goodness and Clemency to her Subjects, hath now, for the strengthning the Union, and quieting the Minds of all her Subjects throughout the united Kingdom, thought fit to grant them an Act of Grace and free Pardon, in a more full and beneficial manner than hath been formerly used; not doubting but all her People will make a right Use of, and suitable Returns on their part, for so extraordinary an Indulgence.
'Her Majesty, having also been graciously pleased to give the Royal Assent to the several Bills you have presented during this Session, commands us to observe to you on that Occasion, that the Life and Benefit of all Laws, how wisely soever they are framed, do chiefly consist in a due and regular Execution of them; and therefore to exhort you, that, when you return to your Countries, you would think it indispensably your Duty to set a good Example towards an impartial and steady Observation of the many good Laws which have been enacted (especially since the late Revolution) and which fall within your Province to execute.'
'It is her Majesty's Royal Will and Pleasure, that this Parliament be prorogued to Thursday the nineteenth Day of May next, and this Parliament is prorogued accordingly to Thursday the nineteenth Day of May next.'