Journal of the House of Commons: Volume 11, 1693-1697. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1803.
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Sabbati, 5 die Januarii;
SIR Thomas Clarges, from the Commissioners for taking and stating the publick Accounts, presented to the House, according to Order, a State and Adjustment of the Debt due to the Transport-Ships: And the same was read; and is as followeth; viz.
In pursuance of the Order of this Honourable House, of the 3d of this Instant January, and the Direction of the Act made in the last Session of Parliament, intituled, An Act for appointing and enabling Commissioners to examine, take, and state, the publick Accounts of the Kingdom, the Commissioners, thereby authorized, do humbly represent;
That having summoned the Commissioners appointed for the Transport-Ships for the War of Ireland, and other Contractors for the same, and as many of the several Owners and Proprietors of the said Ships, and their Executors or Assigns, as came to their Knowledge, to enable them thereby to state the Accounts, and adjust the Debt due for the said Ships;
That about Seventy-five, or more, of the said Owners and Proprietors have been so impoverished, by long Solicitations, and Attendance, for the Money due to them for the Service by them performed, that they have not yet appeared, either by themselves, or their Executors, or Assigns, to make out their respective Debts, though all due Care hath been taken, both by the Commissioners, and the said Commissioners for Transports, by publick Notice in Print, not knowing their Places of Abode, to summon them thereunto; many of them being dead, and others in Prison, either here or in Foreign Parts:
That, in stating the Accounts, and adjusting the Debts, of such of the Owners and Proprietors of the said Transport-Ships as have appeared, the only Difficulty which hath occurred therein, hath been occasioned by one Mr. John Bowles; who, suggesting, That the said Owners and Proprietors had claimed more Tonage of their respective Ships than they contained, had obtained their Majesties Letters Patents, under the Great Seal of England, to be to him granted, for the Re-admeasurement of the said Ships, on Pretence that, by so doing, the Demands of the said Owners for the said Service might be much reduced, to their Majesties Advantage:
That, of all those Ships taken up for that Service in the Port of London, by the Purveyor of the Ordnance, the Tonage was first agreed to by the Parties concerned; being the same as is expressed in the Charter-parties:
That the greatest Part of these Ships were hired, for their Majesties Service, at less Tonage than what the Owners before this Service submitted to pay to their Majesties Collectors of the Customs, both for Lights, and all other Duties incumbent on such Ships:
That, although it was agreed by some Owners in their Charter-parties to submit to a Re-admeasurement; and thereupon several had acquiesced in the said Mr. Bowles his Admeasurement; yet, at the same time, they declared the full Burden of their Ships to contain the Measure they were given in to be; and that they submitted to this Admeasurement, and took his Certificate, thereof by Constraint, to get their Accounts stated, which otherwise could not be done:
That many Ships were by him allowed by Computation, and not Admeasurement; and by that Computation contained more in Burden, by Twenty Tons in a Ship, than the Measure for which the Owners contracted for:
Wherefore, upon the whole Matter, it is our Opinion, which is humbly submitted to the House, That the several Owners and Proprietors of the Transport-Ships, and their Executors and Assigns, be allowed their full Tonage and Rates contracted for, according to the Accounts thereof adjusted, and to be adjusted, by the Commissioners of the Transports, and Officers of the Navy and Ordnance, without Deduction, upon any Certificates from the said Mr. Bowles; it not appearing to us, upon due Examination of the Premises, That their Majesties will be any ways wronged thereby.
A Transcript, out of a Dutch Memorial, for the Information of the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury of the King of Great Britain, wherein Secretary De Wildt demands Payment of the Sum of 20,000£. to satisfy a remaining Debt of his Majesty's, for Dutch Ships hired for transporting his Majesty's Forces from England to Ireland; which was given in . . the Commissioners of Transports by the Honourable Wm. Blaithwaite Esquire, in the Year 1692.
The Freight of all the aforesaid Transport Ships, commencing the 1st of April 1690, and most of them discharged in the End of September following; besides those that were continued in the Month of October, and others detained longer in the same Service in Ireland, and the Loss of a Ship taken by the French; amounts, in the Whole, to little less than 50,000 Guilders a Month; besides the Loss of the aforesaid Ship, with its Tackle and Apparel, and other Charges demanded by the Masters, which are fully adjusted, and amount to the Sum of
And a Credit is desired to be further given, by the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury, to the said Secretary De Wildt, by a Bill from Sir Joseph Herne to the said Mr. Poot, for the Sum of 20,000£ Sterling, that the whole Sum of this Debt may be received, and a Discharge given for the same.
An ACCOUNT of Monies borrowed from other Services, in the Office of Ordnance, and paid to the several Persons hereafter mentioned, for transporting Stores to Ireland, before the Commission of Transport was settled; for which the said Office was never reimbursed; whereby the Debt due to their Artificers is so much increased; viz.
Supply Bill; Land Tax.
Ordered, That the Committee of the whole House, to whom the Bill for granting to his Majesty an Aid of 4s. in the Pound, for One Year, for carrying on the War against France with Vigour, is committed, do prepare and bring in a Clause of Appropriation for the Use of the Navy.
Mr. Boyle, according to Order, reported, from the Committee of Privileges and Elections, the Case touching the Election for the Borough of Chippenhame in the County of Wilts, as it appeared to the Committee; which he read in his Place; and afterwards delivered in at the Clerk's Table: where the same was read; and is as followeth; viz.
Upon the Petition of several Burgesses of the Borough of Chippenham in the County of Wilts, complaining of an undue Return of Richard Long Esquire, to serve for the said Borough; and alleging, That Sir Bazil Firebrasse Knight was duly elected to serve for the same;
That the Counsel for the Petitioners alleged, That there was upon the Poll 22 for the Sitting Member, that were unqualified to vote in that Election: But it being, as they also alleged, to be proved by such as had signed the Petition, who, by the Opinion of the Committee, were not good Witnesses for that Purpose, that Matter was not further insisted on; but the Majority remained with the Sitting Member.
Mr. Thomas Stokes: Who testified, That several Gentlemen of the neighbouring Villages, above the Number of Twenty, came to Chippenham, to make an Interest for the Sitting Member Mr. Long; and threatened the Electors to withdraw their Work and Custom from several of the Electors, if they would not vote for Mr. Long.
Robert Taylor testified, That Mr. Long, the Sitting Member, gave him 1s. and promised to give him Two Guineas, to procure his Brother to vote for Mr. Long: That, upon this Promise, he did engage his Brother to vote for Mr. Long; though his Brother did not design to vote for Mr. Long before; but afterwards, when he asked Mr. Long for the Two Guineas, he told him, He knew nothing of that Matter.
William Taylor, Brother to the said Taylor, testified, That his Brother had told him of Mr. Long's Promise of Two Guineas, as was before testified by his Brother; which caused him to vote for Mr. Long, though he was before inclined for Sir Bazil: And further said, That Mr. Scot, an Agent for Mr. Long, offered to lend him 50 l. if he would vote for Mr. Long; which he refusing to accept of, the said Mr. Scot promised him Twenty Bushels of Wheat; but he has not received the Wheat: He said, he was bred a Shoemaker, but now works by the Day at Husbandry: He also said, He was refused to be made free, unless he would vote for Mr. Long.
William Morley testified, That Richard Goddin told him, That Mr. Long had a Bond upon him, that he should not fish in certain Waters; and that he delivered him up the Bond to vote for his Brother, and gave him Leave to fish: But the Bond was afterwards produced on behalf of the Sitting Member.
Mr. James Stokes testified, That in September he came to Chippenham, and asked Tho. Stickle which way he was inclined; and that the said Stickle answered, He was for Sir Bazil; but there was 20 l. in the way.
Walter Bond, a Porter, testified, That Mr. Long, when he came to Town, sent for him, and desired his Vote, and gave him Half-a-Crown, and promised to gratify him further: The said Bond also declared, That he had invited several of the Burgesses, as well on behalf of the Sitting Member as Sir Bazil; but had received no Money of Sir Bazil: That he voted for Mr. Long.
Robert Taylor testified, That Mr. Tho. Long went to one Goody Seryl's, and told her, He heard she would let her House; and that he would give her more than any body for it, That, she not being willing to dispose of her House, Mr. Long called for Ale and sent abroad for Brandy, which he put into it, and made her drink, and took the Key out of her Bosom, and Thrust her out of Doors, and hath kept her out ever since: That Mr. Long afterwards appointed her Lodgings at the White-hart.
Elizabeth Light: Who testified, That Mr. Scot, some time before the Election, met Taylor in her House, and asked him, If ever he promised the said Tayler Twenty Bushels of Wheat? That Taylor said, No; and, says Mr. Scot, Nor never will; nor shall you have any Wheat without Money.
Robert Elliott testified, That he was in Company with Walter Bond, before examined, the next Day after Sir Basil came to Chippenham; and that he said, Sir Bazil had given him 40s. and a Silver Tobacco-box to Mr. Chappell, to be serviceable to him: That he shewed him Four Half-crowns, and offered to lend him Two; he the said Bond further saying, That Sir Bazil did not expect it by Majority, but would make Bribery of it.
Henry Lawrence testified, That John Etwell, one of the Petitioners, upon Discourse that Mr. Long had more Votes, said, What then? it was but going to the Parliament-House and telling a few Lyes: And, That he should get 100 l. if Sir Bazil carried; but get nothing by Mr. Long.
James Ladd testified, That, discoursing with one Willis, that voted for Sir Bazil, Willis said, That, rather than Mr. Long should sit in the House of Commons, he would have somebody go up and say any thing.
William Zaly testified, That Tho. White, who acted for Sir Bazil Firebrace, came to his House, and pulled out 5 l. and said, He would give him that Money, if, after he had voted for Mr. Long, he would say, Mr. Long had bribed him: Zaly had been Servant to White.
Bently Head testified, That Mr. Ady, one of the Petitioners, came to Thom. Slade's, and said, If Joseph Russ would be a Witness against Mr. Long, it would be 40s. and upwards, in his way: And that Chappell, the Petitioner, offered John Gill 10 l. for an Hogshead of Beer, and after that Rate for Four or Five, if he would vote for Sir Bazil.
John Gate testified, That Mr. Chappel, the Petitioner, would have had him go to the Fair, and have bought some Leather on Sir Bazil's Account; but he refused it: And Mr. Ady told him, If he owed Money, he would see it paid.
Resolved, That the House doth agree with the Committee in the said Resolution, That Richard Long Esquire is duly elected a Burgess to serve in this present Parliament for the Borough of Chippenham in the County of Wilts.
Supply Bill; Land Tax.
The House, according to the Order of the Day, resolved itself into a Committee of the whole House, to consider further of the Bill for granting to his Majesty an Aid of Four Shillings in the Pound, for One Year, for carrying on the War against France with Vigour.