Journal of the House of Commons: Volume 10, 1688-1693. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1802.
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Sabbati, 21 die Decembris; 1° Gulielmi et Mariæ.
Impressing from Merchant Ships.
MR. Christy reports from the Committee appointed to examine the Matter of the Petition of Arthur Bayley, and others, Owners of the Ship Averilla; and also the Complaints against Captains of Men of War, who have pressed Seamen out of Merchant Ships, whereby they were left without Defence; That the Committee had examined into the Matter of the said Petition, and also into the Complaint of one Benjamin Parsons, Commander of the Ship Recovery; and had agreed upon a Report to be made, without any Resolutions thereupon: The which he read in his Place; and afterwards delivered the same in at the Clerk's Table: Where the same was read; and is as followeth;
As to the Matter of the said Petition, Abraham Wild, Commander of the Ship Averilla, Burden Thirty Tons, testified, That he coming with the said Vessel, bound for England from Virginia, with a Cargo of Nine hundred Hogsheads of Tobacco, worth Five thousand Pounds to the Owners, and which had paid and secured Seven thousand Pounds to the King, was on the Eighth Day of May last, met off Beechy by the Henrietta, one of their Majesties Men of War, Captain Nevill Commander; who sent his Pinnace full of Men (whereof the Boatswain, Purser, and Cockswain were chief), who boarded the Avarilla, and presently took away the Command of the Ship from him the Commander, and altered his Course by bringing the Tacks aboard, and standing down the Channel after the Man of War; and in that time pressed and took away Six of his best and ablest Men, viz. his Boatswain, Gunner, Boatswain's Mate, the Quarter-master, and Two more; thereby rendering the rest of the miserable Ship's Crew, which were only Thirteen, whereof Five were Boys and sick Persons, uncapable of sailing the Ship, and defending her, in case of an Attack: And that, although the said Master told Captain Nevill's Men and Officers of such their unwarrantable Actions, in disabling the Vessel as aforesaid; and that, if they would convoy her safe into Port, being then within Six Hours Sail thither, and under a fair Wind, that he and all his Men would be at the King's Service; yet, that notwithstanding they so impressed and took away his Men, and left the Vessel a Prey both to the Sea and Enemy.
That, on Ninth May, being the next Morning, the said Avarilla, being so disabled, was met with by a French Privateer, who had but Eight Guns; and she Eleven Guns, but Eight Men; and was by him engaged, and taken; and carried, with all the Cargo, and the Remainder of the Ship's Crew, Prisoners to Dunkirk; where they were forced to lie till lately, that the said Mr. Wild's Wife, after much Labour and Charge, procured an exchange of the same Number of French, taken here, as were of the Company with her poor Husband.
That Captain Nevill was not contented only in taking and pressing Captain Wild's said Men from him, but also forced him to give the said Men Notes under his Hand to pay them their Wages; for which, notwithstanding the said Captain's Losses and Sufferings, they brought their Actions against him in the King's Bench; where they obtained Judgment against him, and have recovered the same.
That John Cotterell, Mate; testified, That the said Vessel was but weak in Men, having only the Number aforesaid on board, when Captain Nevill met her; who, in the time of taking away their said Men, stopped and detained the Ship above Two Hours, who then lay under a fair Wind and Tide for the Downs; and might doubtless, if she had not been so detained, and disabled as aforesaid, passed byand escaped the said Privateer before the Morning.
As to the Complaint of the said Benjamin Parsons, That Mr. Baile, a Member of the House, tendered an Attestation, signed by Samuel Eastlake, Notary Publick at Plymouth, bearing Date the Eleventh Day of October last; which purported a Complaint against Captain Avery, Commander of their Majesties Ship the King's Fisher, to the Effect following; viz.
That Benjamin Parsons, Commander of the Recovery, Burden One hundred Tons, richly loaden to the Value of Twelve thousand Pounds; bound for New England; and Abraham Passmore, Commander of the Elizabeth, Burden Sixty Tons, bound for Barbadoes; having obtained Promise of Convoy by Four of their Majesties Ships, one of which was the Coronation, Captain Thomas Raines, Commander in Chief, from whom the Attestants had and received their Sailing Orders, and Instructions to attend their Motion; the which they put themselves in a Readiness to do: But that, on the Tenth of October, the Attestants being ready to come to sail, and the Convoy being under Sail, with about Forty Vessels, Merchantmen, the said Captain Avery, with his Pinnace, boarded the Two Ships, and impressed and took away out of the Recovery Six, and out of the Elizabeth Three Men; by which Means the said Parsons and Passmore were both obstructed from following their Convoy, being detained by Captain Averye several Hours after the Convoy were under Sail, and gone out of Sight, before he could be prevailed on to let them have their Men: But that then it was so late, though they came to sail, and used their Endeavours to overtake the Fleet, and got as far off as Fowey, but could not reach any Sight of their Convoy: And it being very late in the Night, and dark, and being under Fear of French Privateers, they were forced to come back again to the said Port, yielding their intended Voyages to be lost and ruined by such the said Captain Averye's detaining and disabling them as aforesaid, as by the said Attestation more at large appeareth.
And that, to the said Attestation, the Notary Publick annexed a Letter, directed to Mr. Edward Seaward and Company, Proprietors of the said Vessels; giving them an Account of the said Protest; and also telling them, how he was vilified and abused by the said Captain Avery at the Manifesting of the Protest to him, by the said Averye and Officers, after very scurrilous and abusive Expressions, offering to draw their Swords and Bayonets on him, and threatening his Mischief; to avoid which he was forced to make his Escape by Flight, not giving any manner of Provocation.
Resolved, That the Commissioners of the Admiralty be acquainted with the said Complaint against the said Captain Nevill: And that they be desired, that, when he comes into Port, he be sent for to appear before this House, to answer to the Matters charged upon him.
Resolved, That the Commissioners of the Admiralty be acquainted with the said Complaint against the said Captain Avery: And that they be desired, that, when he comes into Port, he be sent for to appear before this House to answer to the Matters charged upon him.
A Petition of Nathaniell Bond, Esquire, Serjeant at Law, was read; setting forth, That there having a new Writ been ordered to issue, for the chusing another Member for Dorchester, the Petitioner was duly elected by the major Part of those who had the Right of giving their Voices in the electing of Members, notwithstanding Thomas Chaffin, Esquire, was returned, in Prejudice to the Petitioner: And praying the House to take his Case into their Consideration.
Leave of Absence.
Greenwich Court of Conscience.
Leave of Absence.
Ordered, That Mr. Speaker do issue his Warrant to the Clerk of the Crown, to make out a new Writ for the Electing of a Citizen, to serve in this present Parliament for the City of Wells, in the room of Tho. Windham, Esquire, deceased.
A Motion being made, That Leave be given to bring into the Bill for Preservation of Salt taken as Prize, from being destroyed, a Clause for Gilbert Heathcott and Arthur Shallet, of London, Merchants, to have Leave to import into the Port of London the Two hundred Ton of Spanish Brandy, mentioned in an Act of this present Parliament, intituled, An Act for prohibiting all Trade and Commerce with Frances in regard the same hath not been imported for want of Convoy;
Punishing Mutiny and Desertion.
An ingrossed Bill, come down from the Lords, intituled An Act for punishing Officers and Soldiers who shall mutiny or desert their Majesties Service; and for punishing false Musters; was read the Third time.
* *, Line *, to leave out "or Leave for Absence;" and, Line *, after "One-and-thirtieth," to insert "Year;" and, Line *, after "Agents," to insert "which shall grow due from and after the said One-and-thirtieth Day of December;" and, at the End of the Clause, to add "and the One Day's Pay in the Year, for the Use of the Royal Hospital at Chelsea;"
Members charged with drinking late K. James's Health.
Mr. Goddard said, That Mr. Kniveton had told him, That one Mr. Whitwrong had said, That some Members of this House had so done: And Mr. Kniveton owned, That he had told Mr. Goddard so; and that he heard one Mr. Whitrong say so.
Provision for Prince and Princess of Denmark.
Sir Wm. Leveson Gowre reports from the Committee appointed to prepare an Address to be presented to his Majesty, That he will please to make a Provision for the Prince and Princess Anne of Denmarke, That they had prepared an Address accordingly; which they had directed him to report to the House: and he read the same in his Place; and afterwards, delivered the same in at the Clerk's Table: Where the same was twice read: And, after an Amendment, agreed upon, and made at the Table, the Address was, upon the Question put thereupon, agreed unto by the House; and is as followeth;
WE Your Majesties most dutiful and loyal Subjects the Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, having a due Sense of the eminent Virtues and Merits of their Royal Highnesses the Prince and Princess Anne of Denmarke; and how instrumental they have been in contributing to Your Majesty's glorious Success in the late happy Revolution; do unanimously beseech Your Majesty to make a Provision for the Prince and Princess Anne of Denmarke, of Fifty thousand Pounds, in the Whole, for the Year, beginning at Christmas next: And that Your Majesty will be pleased to direct the same to be effectually paid to the Prince and Princess Anne of Denmark, by equal Portions, at the Four most usual quarterly Days of Payment.
Supply Bill; Collecting Revenue.
Omission to take Oaths.
Also the Lords put this House in mind of a Bill sent down from the Lords, intituled, An Act for Relief of such Persons as had not taken the Oaths, mentioned in the late Act of Parliament, for abrogating the Oaths of Supremacy and Allegiance, and appointing other Oaths within the Time limited by the said Act.
Leave of Absence.
Supply Bill; late Queen Mary's Estate.
Supply Bill; Poll Tax.
Ways and Means.
A Motion being made, and the Question being put, That the Order of Yesterday be now read, for the House to resolve into a Committee of the whole House, to proceed in the further Consideration of Ways to raise the rest of the Supply granted to their Majesties;
Address on, Miscarriages of the War.
Mr. Hamden reports from the Committee appointed to prepare an Address to be presented to his Majesty, to represent to his Majesty the ill Conduct and Success of our Affairs in Ireland, the Armies and Fleet; and humbly to desire his Majesty, That he will please to take into his Consideration; and in his Wisdom to find out the Authors of Miscarriages; and to appoint Affairs to be managed by Persons unsuspected, and more to the Safety of his Majesty, and Satisfaction of his Subjects; That they had prepared an Address accordingly: The which he read in his Place, and afterwards delivered the same in at the Clerk's Table: Where the same was read, and is as followeth;
WE Your Majesty's most dutiful Subjects, the Commons, in Parliament assembled, having seriously taken into our Consideration the State of the Nation; and being deeply sensible of the ill Conduct of publick Affairs, and the unhappy Success of them, as well in reference to Ireland, as to your Majesty's Armies and Fleet; do think ourselves obliged, in Duty to Your Majesty, and in Discharge of the Trust reposed in us by those we represent, most humbly to lay before Your Majesty the Wrong that hath been done to Your Majesty and Your People; and the present imminent Danger of this Kingdom, and of all Your Majesty's Protestant Subjects; from the want of Ability or Integrity in those who have had the Direction of the said Affairs, and by whose Advice not only the Reducing of Ireland has been obstructed, but the Treasure of this Kingdom wasted, and the Lives of many brave Soldiers and able Seamen lost, without any such suitable Effect as might reasonably have been expected.
We cannot but reflect, with the utmost Grief, upon the Neglect of relieving Ireland during the first Months of Your Majesty's Administration, when Your Majesty's Ministers did not use such effectual Means as were apparently necessary to have prevented a War in the said Kingdom. And, when the Earl of Tyrconnell had levied Forces to oppress and destroy Your Majesty's Protestant Subjects, neither Men, Money, nor Arms, were, for a long time, sent to enable them to defend themselves and their Country; insomuch that, without mentioning other Particulars, several Thousands of them perished miserably in the Town of Londonderry, for want of timely Succour: And when, after many Neglects and Delays, an Army was appointed for Ireland, necessary Provisions were wanting, and Matters so ordered, that the Endeavours of Your Parliament, and the Supplies granted for that Service, proved ineffectual; at the same time that many such experienced Officers, as were known to be Enemies to Your Majesty and Your Government, were suffered to go beyond the Seas; where they entered into the late King James's Service, and have since that time been his chief Instruments for carrying on the War in Ireland.
The Miscarriages, in reference to the Fleet, have been as destructive to Your Majesty's and Your People's Interest, as those in the Army; many of Your Majesty's Subjects having been ruined, and others greatly damaged in their Estates, by the want of Station Ships and Convoys; and some Sea Officers, whose Duty it was to have convoyed the Ships of English Subjects, exacted Money from Merchants, and unnecessarily pressed their Men; by which means Trade was discouraged, Your Majesty's Customs diminished, and many of Your loyal Subjects impoverished: Your Majesty's Fleet was also served with unwholsome and corrupted Provisions, which caused the Death of many of Your best Seamen, and has deterred many others from the Service.
It will be too tedious to multiply Instances of Miscarriages and ill Conduct in Your Majesty's Affairs, through the ill Advice of those who have undertaken the Management of them, to which the Success in all Points has been answerable.
Our Remedy, under God, consists in Your Majesty's Wisdom, and Affection to Your People; which, we doubt not, will incline Your Majesty to hearken to the Advice of us Your dutiful Commons; who do most humbly beseech Your Majesty to take the abovesaid Matters into Your Consideration; and, in Your great Wisdom to examine into, and find out the Authors of Miscarriages; and to appoint Affairs to be managed by Persons unsuspected, and more to the Safety of Your Majesty, and the Satisfaction of Your Subjects.
Punishing Mutiny and Desertion.
Mr. Speaker, We are commanded by the Lords to acquaint this House, That they have agreed to the Amendments proposed by this House to be made to the Bill for punishing Officers and Soldiers, who shall mutiny, or desert their Majesties Service; and for punishing false Musters; without any Alteration.
Members charged with drinking late K. James's Health.
He was called in; and examined touching the Matter before mentioned: And he further said, That he usually drank something too much; and did not remember any thing of the Matter, or that he had told any such thing: And Mr. Kniveton acknowledging, That he believed Mr. Whitwrong had sat up all Night before he told him;
Ways and Means.
Resolved, That the House do, upon Monday Morning next, at Eleven of the Clock, resolve into a Committee of the whole House, to proceed further in the Consideration of Ways to raise the rest of the Supply granted to their Majesties.