Journal of the House of Commons: Volume 10, 1688-1693. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1802.
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Veneris, 19 die Aprilis; 1 Willielmi et Mariæ.
ORDERED, That Mr. Speaker do grant his Warrant to the Clerk of the Crown, to issue out a Writ, for the Electing of a Citizen to serve in this present Parliament for the City of Hereford, in the room of Sir Wm. Gregory, Serjeant at Law, who is made one of the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas.
Supply Bill; collecting Revenue.
Resolved, That the Bill be committed to Mr. Hamden, Sir Tho. Dyke, Mr. Boscawen, Sir Matth. Andrews, Colonel Birch, Mr. Somers, Mr. Ettrick, Sir Rob. Cotton, Mr. Tho. Foley, Mr. Papillion, Sir John Knight, Sir Rob. Davers, Sir John Knatchbull, Sir Jos. Tredenham, Mr. Pelham, Sir Wm. Honeywood, Sir Fran. Russel, Sir Geo. Treby, Mr. Gwyn, Mr. Fox, Mr. Carter, Sir Trevor Williams, Mr. Buckley, Mr. P. Foley, Mr. Wogan, Sir H. Goodrick, Mr. Palmes, Mr. Godolphin, Mr. Herbord, Sir John Guise, Sir H. Capell, Mr. Jepson, Sir Rich. Temple, Mr. Arnold: And they are to meet this Afternoon, at Four of the Clock, in the Speaker's Chamber: And it is to be an Instruction to the Committee, that the Time for the Collection of the Revenue be enlarged, as far as may be convenient.
Oaths of Supremacy and Allegiance.
The House then proceeded in the Consideration of the Amendments, sent down from the Lords, to the Bill, intituled, An Act for the abrogating the Oaths of Supremacy and Allegiance, and appointing other Oaths: And the same, being read, are as follows;
2 P. 7 L. after "taken," leave out to "every" in the Tenth Line; and insert "when he, or they, shall be required thereunto, by Order from his Majesty in Council, before such Persons, as, by the said Order, shall be appointed to receive the same."
37 L. after "taken," leave out "from" to "every," in the 3d Line of the 3d Press; and add "when required thereunto, by an Order from his Majesty's Council, before such Persons, as, by the said Order, shall be appointed to take and receive the same."
Resolved, That a Committee be appointed to prepare Reasons to be offered at a Conference with the Lords, why this House doth not agree with the Lords in the Amendments, by them proposed to be made to the Clause [A], sent up to the Lords by this House, as an Amendment proposed to be made to the Bill sent down from the Lords, intituled, An Act for the abrogating the Oaths of Supremacy and Allegiance, and appointing other Oaths.
And it is referred to Mr. Boscawen, Sir Geo. Treby, Mr. Sacheverell, Sir Tho. Lee, Sir Wm. Williams, Mr. Hawles, Sir H. Goodrick, Sir Tho. Pope Blunt, Mr. Garway, Major Wildman, Mr. Finch, Sir Tho. Littleton, Mr. P. Foley, Mr. Whithead, Mr. Sommers, Sir Rob. Sawyer, Mr. Carter, Sir H. Capell, Mr. Arnold, Mr. Hamden, jun. Mr. Hamden sen. Mr. Tho. Foley, Sir Christopher Musgrave: And they are to meet this Afternoon, at Four of the Clock, in the Speaker's Chamber; and to report the same to the House with all convenient Speed.
Address respecting War with France.
Mr. Hamden jun. reports from the Committee appointed to prepare an Address, upon the Debate, to represent to his Majesty, That, if he shall think fit to enter into a War against France, the House will give him all such Assistance, in a Parliamentary Way, as shall enable him to support and go through the same, That the Committee had agreed upon 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 being read, is as followeth:
WE, Your Majesty's most loyal Subjects, the Commons of England, in Parliament assembled, having taken into our most serious Consideration, the Condition and State of this Nation, in respect of France, and Foreign Alliances, in order to which we have examined the Mischiefs brought upon Christendom, in late Years, by the French King; who without any Respect to Justice, has, by Fraud and Force, endeavoured to subject it to an arbitrary and universal Monarchy.
In Prosecution of this Design, so pernicious to the Repose and Safety of Europe, he has neglected none of those Means, how indirect soever, which his Ambition or Avarice could suggest to him: The Faith of Treaties among all Princes, especially Christian Princes, ever held most inviolable, has never been able to restrain him, nor the solemnest Oaths to bind him, when any Occasion presented itself for extending the Limits of his Kingdom; or oppressing those whom his Interest inclined him to qualify by the Name of his Enemies: Witness, his haughty and groundless Declaration of War against the States General of the United Provinces, in the Year 1672; in which he assigned no other Reason for disturbing that profound Peace, which, through God's Mercy, all Europe enjoyed at that Time, but his own Glory, and his Resolution to punish the Dutch, for some imaginary Slights and Disrespects, which he would have had the World believe they had put upon him: Whereas the true Occasion of that War was nothing else but a formed Design laid down and agreed upon by that King, and his Accomplices, for the Subversion of the Liberties of Europe, and for abolishing the Commonwealth of Holland, as being too dangerous an Example of Liberty to the Subjects of the neighbouring Monarchs. The Zeal for Catholick Religion, which was pretended by him in this, and the following Wars, did afterwards sufficiently appear to the World, to be no other than a Cloak for his unmeasurable Ambition; for, at the same time, when the Persecution grew hottest against the Protestants of France, Letters were intercepted and published from him to Count Teckley, to give him the greatest Encouragement, and promise him the utmost Assistance in the War, which, in Conjunction with the Turke, he then managed against the First and Greatest of all the Roman Catholick Princes.
Witness also, the many open Infractions of the Treaties both of Aix la Chapelle and Nimeghen (whereof Your Majesty is the strongest Guarantee), upon the most frivolous Pretences imaginable, of which the most usual was, that of Dependencies; an Invention set on Foot, on purpose to serve for a Pretext of Rupture with all his Neighbours, unless they chose rather to satisfy his endless Demands, by abandoning one Place after another to his insatiable Appetite of Empire; and for maintaining whereof, the Two Chambers of Metts and Brissach were erected, to find out and forge Titles, and to invent equivocable Constructions for eluding the plain Meaning of Treaties concluded, and sworn with the greatest Solemnity; than which nothing can be more sacred among Mankind.
From hence it was also, that Strasburgh was so infamously surprised by the French King, in a Time of full Peace: And though great Conditions were agreed and promised to the Inhabitants of that City, yet no sooner was he in Possession of it, but all Stipulations were forgotten, and that ancient free City doth now groan under the same Yoke with the rest of that King's Subjects.
The building the Fort of Hunninghen, contrary to so many solemn Assurances given to the Swisses, and the Affair of Luxemburgh, are too well known to need a particular Deduction: In a Word, the whole Series of the French King's Actions, for many Years last past, has been so ordered, as if it were his Intention not only to render his own People extremely miserable, by intolerable Impositions of Taxes to be imployed in maintaining an incredible Number of Dragoons, and other Soldiers, to be the Instruments of his Cruelty upon such of them as refuse, in all Things, to comply with his unjust Commands; but likewise to hold all the neighbouring Powers in perpetual Alarum and Expense for the Maintaining of Armies and Fleets, that they may be in a Posture to defend themselves against the Invader of their common Safety and Liberties.
Examples of this Sort might be innumerable: But his Invasion of Flanders and Holland, since the last Truce of 1684, and the Outrages committed upon the Empire, by attacking the Fort of Phillipsburgh, without any Declaration of War, at the same time that his Imperial Majesty was employing all his Forces against the common Enemy of the Christian Faith; and his wasting the Palatinate with Fire and Sword, and murdering an infinite Number of innocent Persons; for no other Reason, as himself has publickly declared, but because he thought the Elector Palatine faithful to the Interest of the Empire, and an Obstacle to the Compassing of his ambitious Designs; are sufficient Instances of this.
To these we cannot but, with a particular Resentment, add the Injuries done to Your Majesty, in the most unjust and violent Seizing of Your Principality of Orange, and the utmost Insolencies committed upon the Persons of Your Majesty's Subjects there; and how, to facilitate his Conquest upon his Neighbour Princes, he engaged the Turks in a War against Christendom at the same time.
And, as if the Violating of Treaties, and Ravaging the Countries of his Neighbour States, were not sufficient Means of advancing his exorbitant Power and Greatness; he has constantly had recourse to the vilest and meanest Acts, for the Ruin of those whom he had taken upon him to subdue to his Will and Power; insinuating himself, by his Emissaries, under the sacred Name and Character of Publick Ministers, into those who were intrusted in the Government of Kingdoms and States, suborning them, by Gifts and Pensions, to the selling their Masters, and betraying their Trusts: and descending even to intrigues by Women, who were sent or married into the Countries of divers potent Princes, to lie as Snakes in their Bosoms to eat out their Bowels, or to instil that Poison into them, that might prove the Destruction of them and their Countries; of which Poland, Savoy, and Spaine, to mention no more at present, can give but too ample Testimonies.
The insolent Use he has made of his ill-gotten Greatness, has been as extravagant as the Means of procuring it: For this the single Instance of Genoa may suffice; which, without the least Notice, or any Ground of a Quarrel whatsoever, was bombarded by the French Fleet; and the Doge, and Four principal Senators, of that free State, constrained, in Persons, to humble themselves at that Monarch's Feet, which in the Style of France, is called, Chastising Sovereigns for casting Umbrage upon his Greatness.
His Practises against England have been of the same Nature; and by corrupt Means he has constantly, and with too much Success, endeavoured to get such Power in the Court of England, in the Time of King Charles the Second, and the late King James, as might, by degrees, undermine the Government, and true Interest of this flourishing Kingdom.
Another Art, which he has used to weaken England, and subject it to his aspiring Designs, was, never to admit an equal Balance of Trade, nor consent to any just Treaty or Settlement of Commerce; by which he promoted our Ruin at our own Charge.
When, from a just Apprehension of this formidable growing Power of France, the Nation became zealous to right themselves; and the House of Commons, in the Year 1677, being assured they should have an actual War against France, cheerfully raised a great Sum of Money: and an Army as readily appeared to carry on the War; that Interest of France had still Power enough to render all this ineffectual, and to frustrate the Nation of all their Hopes and Expectations.
Nor did France only render this desired War ineffectual, but had Power enough to make us practise their Injustice and Barbarity, by turning our Force against our next Neighbours, by assaulting their Smyrna Fleet.
Nor were they more industrious, by corrupt Means, to obtain this Power, than careful, by the same Ways, to support it: And, knowing, that from Parliaments only could probably proceed an Obstruction to their secret Practices, they attempted to make a Bargain, that they should not meet in such a Time, in which they might hope to perfect their Designs of enslaving the Nation.
In the same Confidence of this Power, they violently seized upon Part of Hudson's Bay; and when the Matter was complained of by the Company, and the Injury offered to be proved, the best Expedient France could find to cover their Injustice, and prevent Satisfaction, was, to make use of their great Interest in the Court of England, to keep it from ever coming to be heard.
The French King, in pursuance of his usual Methods of laying hold of any Opportunity that might increase his Power, and give Disturbance to others, has now carried on an actual War in Ireland, sending thither a great Number of Officers with Money, Arms, and Ammunition; and, under the Pretence of assisting the late King James, he has taken the Government of Affairs into his Hands, by putting all Officers into Commands, and managing the whole Business by his Ministers; and has already begun to use the same Cruelties and Violences upon Your Majesty's Subjects there, as he has lately practised in his own Dominions, and in all other Places, where he has got Power enough to destroy.
Lastly, the French King's Declaration of War against the Crown of Spaine is wholly grounded upon its Friendship to Your Majesty's Royal Person; and no other Cause of denouncing War against it is therein alleged, than the Resolutions taken in that Court to favour Your Majesty, whom he most injuriously terms, The Usurper of England; an Insolence never enough to be resented and detested by Your Majesty's Subjects.
After our humble Representation of all these Particulars to Your Majesty, if Your Majesty shall think fit to enter into a War against France, We humbly assure Your Majesty, that we will give You such Assistance, in a Parliamentary Way, as shall enable Your Majesty to support and go through the same: And we shall not doubt, but, by the Blessing of God upon Your Majesty's prudent Conduct, a Stop may be put to that growing Greatness of the French King, which threatens all Christendom with no less than absolute Slavery; the incredible Quantity of innocent Blood shed may be revenged; his oppressed Neighbours restored to their just Rights and Possessions; Your Majesty's Alliances, and the Treaty of Nimeghen, supported to that Degree, that all Europe in General, and this Nation in Particular, may for ever have Occasion to celebrate Your Majesty, as the great Maintainer of Justice and Liberty, and the Opposer and Overthrower of all Violence, Cruelty, and arbitrary Power.
Advance on Credit of Act for an Aid.
Ordered, That the Committee appointed to inquire why no more Money hath been advanced upon the Bill for the granting a present Aid to their Majesties, have Power to send for Persons, Papers, and Records.
Ordered, That Mr. Speaker do grant his Warrant to the Clerk of the Crown, to issue out a Writ, for the Electing of a Burgess to serve in this present Parliament for the Borough of Borealston in the County of Devon, in the room of Sir John Holt, now Lord Chief Justice of the Court of King's Bench.