Journal of the House of Commons: Volume 11, 1693-1697. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1803.
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Jovis, 14 die Martii;
7° Gulielmi Tertii.
Letter from Sir John Trevor, Speaker.
MR. Serjeant came, and brought the Mace; and laid it under the Table:— Then delivered to the Clerk a Letter from Sir John Trevor, Speaker, directed, To Mr. Jodrell, Clerk of the Honourable House of Commons which was opened: And inclosed, in the Cover, was another Letter; which was read; as followeth; viz.
My Illness still continues; which makes me unable to come abroad; wherewith I desire you to acquaint the House; and that I humbly pray they will please to excuse me, for not attending them. I am
Your Friend and Servant,
J. Trevor, Speaker.
March 14. 1694.
After the reading whereof, Mr. Comptroller of his Majesty's Houshold stood up, and spake as followeth:
Paul Foley, esq. chosen Speaker.
I am commanded by the King to inform this House, That the late Speaker, Sir John Trevor, hath sent him Word, That his Indisposition does so continue upon him, that he cannot further attend the Service of the House, as Speaker: And further commanded me to say, That there may be no Delay in the publick Proceedings, he does give Leave to this House to proceed to the Choice of a new Speaker.
Sir, The Filling of That Chair is the highest Station any Commoner of England can be called to; but, however honourable it is, the Toil and Difficulties of it are so great, that I believe there is no reasonable Man that hears me, but would be rather glad to have it supplied by any Man than himself: And therefore, I shall, without fear of displeasing any Person, out of so many who are qualified to serve you, to nominate—
Upon this he was interrupted by a great Noise in the House, crying No, No, No:
And several Gentlemen stood up, to speak to Order.
Exceptions were taken by several Members, That it was contrary to the undoubted Right of the House, of choosing their own Speaker, to have any Person, who brought a Message from the King, to nominate one to them.
Notwithstanding, the Comptroller stood up again, and named Sir Thomas Littleton; which was seconded by Sir Henry Goodrick.
Whereupon arose a Debate:
And another Person, viz. Paul Foley Esquire, was proposed by Sir Christopher Musgrave, and seconded by the Lord Digby.
And, after a long Debate, in relation to both the Persons, the Question was put by the Clerk, That Sir Thomas Littleton take the Chair of this House as Speaker.
The Clerk declared the Yeas had it.
The House was divided.
The Yeas on the Right hand:
And the Noes on the Left.
The Tellers were appointed by the Clerk; viz.
So it passed in the Negative.
Then the Second Question being about to be put, Mr. Foley stood up to speak; but the House would not hear him; but ordered the Clerk to put the Question, That Paul Foley Esquire take the Chair of this House as Speaker.
It was Resolved, Nemine contradicente.
Upon which, Mr. Foley made his Excuse in his Place; which was not admitted by the House.
He was conducted to the Chair by the Honourable Colonel Granvill, and the Honourable Henry Boyle Esquire.
And upon the first Step of the Chair, after some Pause, he made a Speech to the House again, to excuse himself.
Which not being allowed, he sat down.
And then the Mace was laid upon the Table.
Afterward, Mr. Comptroller spake as followeth:
His Majesty hath commanded me to inform this House, Thatafter they had chosen a Speaker, they should present him to his Majesty To-morrow Morning at Eleven a Clock, in the House of Lords.
Then the Speaker desired the Direction of the House, Whether he ought to make the usual Petitions for Freedom of Speech, &c.
The House cried, No, No.
And some Members said, That those Petitions were Demands of Right, and ought not to be made but once, at the beginning of a Parliament: And former Precedents were cited in the Case.
Then the Speaker put the Question for adjourning the House until To-morrow Morning, Nine a Clock; and so went away without the Mace before him.