Journal of the House of Commons: Volume 11, 1693-1697. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1803.
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Veneris, 25 die Januarii; Sexto Gulielmi Tertii.
Exempting Apothecaries from Parish Offices.
AN ingrossed Bill for exempting Apothecaries from serving the Offices of Constable, Scavenger, and other Parish and Ward Offices, was read the Third time.
A Clause was offered, That it should not exempt * *:
And the Question being put, That the Clause be brought up to the Table;
It passed in the Negative.
Resolved, That the Bill do pass: And that the Title be, An Act for exempting Apothecaries from serving the Offices of Constable, Scavenger, and other Parish and Ward Offices: and from serving upon Juries.
Ordered, That Mr. Price do carry the Bill to the Lords, and desire their Concurrence thereunto.
Leave of Absence.
Ordered, That Mr. Chivers have Leave to go into the Country, for Recovery of his Health.
Ordered, That Mr. Hopton Windham Have Leave to go into the Country, for Recovery of his Health.
Supply Bill; issuing £.300,000 out of Tonage Duties.
Mr. Solicitor-General, according to Order, presented to the House a Bill for the yearly applying the yearly Sum of Three hundred thousand Pounds, out of the Duties arising by an Act of this present Session of Parliament, intituled, An Act for granting to their Majesties a Subsidy of Tonage and Poundage, and other Sums of Money, payable upon Merchandizes exported and imported, for carrying on the War against France with Vigour: And the same was received, and read the First time.
Resolved, That the Bill be read a Second time.
State of Revenue.
Mr. Foley, from the Commissioners for taking and stating the publick Accounts, presented to the House, according to Order, a State of the Incomes and Issues of the Revenue, from Michaelmas 1693, to Michaelmas 1694:
And the Title thereof was read.
Ordered, That the said State do lie upon the Table, that the Members of the House may peruse the same.
Ways and Means.
The House, according to the Order of the Day, resolved itself into a Committee of the whole House, to consider further of Ways and Means for raising the Supply to be granted to his Majesty, for carrying on the War against France with Vigour.
Mr. Speaker left the Chair.
Sir Thomas Littleton took the Chair of the Committee.
Mr. Speaker resumed the Chair.
Sir Thomas Littleton reported from the said Committee, That they had made a further Progress in the Matter to them referred; and had directed him to move, That they may have Leave to sit again.
Resolved, That this House will, upon Thursday Morning next, at Eleven a Clock, resolve itself into a Committee of the whole House, to consider further of Ways and Means for raising the Supply to be granted to his Majesty, for carrying on the War against France with Vigour.
Abuses by Army Agents.
Mr. Harley, from the Commissioners for taking and stating the publick Accounts, presented to the House, according to Order, their Observations of the Abuses, and ill Practices, committed by the several Agents of the Regiments of the Army; and also the Names of such Agents of Regiments, as have neglected to attend them upon their Summons:
And the same was read; and is as followeth; viz.
That, shortly after the first Constitution of the said Commission, in the Year 1691, they found great Sums of Money to be issued, for the Use of the Army, to Persons called Agents to Regiments, whereof many of them have Two, Three, or more Regiments, to the Number of Seven, under their Charge; and thereupon directed Precepts to all those Persons to attend them, with their several Accounts; who were generally very backward, and unwilling, pretending themselves only accountable to the respective Colonels that employ them, to whom they had given Security.
Your Commissioners did then discover so many Abuses in their Practices, that they thought it their Duty to exhibit in Writing to this House, in the said Year;
'That the Agency to Regiments is a Thing lately brought into Practice; and many of the Agents, paying great Sums of Money for their Places, make their Profits by Deductions from the Soldiers:'
That the Commissioners have since issued out Precepts to all the Agents for the several Regiments; and find it very difficult to have any Accounts, or direct Answers to the Matters required of them: And, by reason of the Delays of most of them to exhibit perfect Accounts and Vouchers, the Commissioners have not been able thoroughly to examine all the Complaints now before them; but they humbly offer to the House some general Observations, and particular Instances, thereunto relating:
And first, That the Subsistence of the English Army, being last Year above 1,200,000 l. the greatest Part thereof, besides Money for Cloathing and Off-reckonings, is under the Management and Disposition of Agents to the Army; who have declared themselves accountable to none, but their respective Colonels, for the Disposition of the said Money:
That several Complaints have been made to the Commissioners, that the Agents have kept Money in their Hands, when the same hath been due to both the Soldiers for their Pay, and for Debts in their Quarters; which hath occasioned several Injuries and Abuses to the Subjects of these Nations:
That several Agents keep back great Sums of Money from the private Soldiers for Agency, and have also great Gratuities from inferior Officers, under Pretence of advancing Money to them, when, many times, it hath been the publick Money in their Hands payable to them, and their Regiments:
That they stop Poundage out of Money paid to Tradesmen, sometimes one Shilling, 2s. Half a Crown, and more, in the Pound; though the Soldiers also allow Discount, or Loss on Tallies:
That several of the Agents are Undertakers for Cloathing; whereby excessive Gain is made; and the Regiments brought much in Debt, the Charge being thereby augmented beyond what the Off-reckonings will satisfy.
Besides the general Backwardness of the Agents to account, Mr. Richard Roberts, Agent to Three Regiments, has had many Precepts to make up his Accounts, ever since the Year 1691; and had also, not long since, Summons to attend the Commissioners, and shew Cause why he did not bring in his Accounts; all which he hath refused to do.
Mr. William Wallis was Agent to Seven Regiments, and is now to Six; and it did appear to the Commissioners, That, in the Accounts which he had delivered upon Oath, he had charged Colonel Lutterell's Regiment, for Cloathing, with much more than he paid the Tradesmen for the same:
And several Tradesmen, who received Money from him, being examined upon Oath, did testify That Mr. Wallis did deduct from them, from One Shilling to 2s. 6d. in the Pound; and that he had set down to the Regiment about double the Sum by him paid, in Sixteen several Bills; the Originals whereof are ready to be produced; and also a Voucher, altered, by his own Hand, from 81 l. 18s. 0d. to 181 l. 18s. 0d.:
That there are also other Charges against the said Wallis, for Over-reckoning above 1,000 l. to that Regiment and another, for Recruits; but he hath refused positively to answer to that and other Complaints.
Ordered, That the said Observations be taken into further Consideration upon Monday Morning next.
Ordered, That all Committees be adjourned.
And then the House adjourned till To-morrow Morning, Nine a Clock.