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, 24 die Januarii ;
Lord Beilhaven's, &c. Impeachment.
Ordered, That Mr. Finch, Mr. Bromley, Sir Richard Temple, Mr. Foley, Mr. Harcourt, Mr. Gwyn, Mr. Hooper, Lord Digby, Sir Tho. Dyke, Mr. Boyle, be added to the Committee, to whom it is referred to prepare Articles of Impeachment against several Persons concerned in the Scotch East-India Company.
A Petition of the Inhabitants of Burton upon Trent, in the County of Stafford, and other adjacent Places, was presented to the House, and read; setting forth, That the making the River Darwent, in the County of Derby, navigable, from the River Trent to the Town of Derby, will not only be of great Use and Advantage to the said Town, but to all the Countries thereabouts: That, by this Navigation, the Product of those Countries will be carried off, and foreign Commodities brought to them; which will much encourage their Trade, and improve their Estates; and doubt not but their Posterity will reap the same Advantage by this Navigation, as other his Majesty's Subjects have done in other Parts; it yet never being doubted, that Navigation tended to the Improvement and Enrichment of those Places that were capable of it: And praying, That no private Interest may obstruct the Passing of an Act for making the River Darwent navigable; which will be much for the Advantage of the Publick.
A Petition of the High Sheriff, and Justices of Peace, of the County of Derby, at the General Quarter-Sessions of the Peace, held for the said County the 14th Day of January 1695 . . . . . . . setting forth, That the making of the River Darwent . . . . . will be of great Convenience to the said County, and other adjacent Places; whereby the Highways will be much preserved, that in Winter are unpassable by the Land-carriage of Lead, Iron, Mill-stones, and other Commodities, drawn down to the River Trent; the Charge of Carriage much lessened; Trade will be improved; the Rents of Lands advanced; and no Persons damnified, without Satisfaction: And praying, That a Bill may pass into a Law for making the said River of Darwent navigable.
A Petition of the Inhabitants of Kegworth, Sheepshead, and Loughborough, in the County of Leicester, was presented to the House, and read; setting forth, That the making the River of Darwent navigable, from the River Trent to the Town of Derby, will be of great Convenience to the neighbouring Countries thereto, by reducing the Charge of Land-carriage, and preserving the Roads: That it will improve Trade, and be for the general Good, and much to the Encouragement of Seamen; and no Person prejudiced thereby: And praying the Consideration of the House in the Premises.
A Petition of Fourteen of the Grand Jury at the Quarter-Sessions of the Peace, held for the County of Derby the 14th Day of January 1695, was presented to the House, and read; setting forth, That the Bill, now depending in the House, for making the River Darwent, in the said County, navigable, tends to the Damage of the greater Part of the said County, and will be almost intolerable to the South-east Parts of it: And therefore deprecate so great an Evil from coming upon themselves and Neighbours.
A Petition of the Mayor, Bailiffs, and Burgesses, of the Borough of Leicester, in the County of Leicester, was presented to the House, and read; setting forth, That the making of the River Darwent, in the County of Derby, navigable, will be very prejudicial to the Trade and Market of Leicester: And praying, That they may be heard to the same, the Particulars being many.
A Petition of the Gentlemen, and other Inhabitants, in and about the Town of Birmingham, in the County of Warwick, being adjacent and near the Town and County of Derby, was presented to the House, and read; setting forth, That the making the River Darwent, from the River Trent to the Town of Derby, navigable, will be of great Convenience and Advantage to the Petitioners, and the general Good of that Part of the Kingdom; for that the Petitioners Trades do chiefly consist in Steel and Iron, and other ponderous Commodities; and the Charge of Land carriage is so great, that it is a Discouragement to their Trades; which by this Navigation will be improved, and the said Charge lessened; without being prejudicial to any body, as they conceive: And praying the House to take the Premises into Consideration.
A Petition of the Inhabitants of Bawtry, in the County of York, was presented to the House, and read; setting forth, That the Bill, now depending in the House, for making the River Darwent, in the County of Derby, navigable, will be a great Damage to the Inhabitants about Bawtry, who chiefly subsist by the Navigation of the River Idle, which runs through the said Town, and carries into the River Trent Lead, Mill-stones, and other Commodities, which come out of Darbyshire: That the Petitioners are sensible, more will receive Prejudice by the said Bill than Advantage: And praying, That they may be heard, at the Bar of the House, against the said Bill.
Commissioners of Accounts.
Ordered, That the Names of the Commissioners for taking and stating the publick Accounts be brought in upon Monday Morning next: And that every Member of this House do prepare a List, in Paper, of the Names of Seven Persons, who he shall think sit to be Commissioners, to be put into Glasses.
Earl of Kent's Jointure.
Mr. Tredenham reported from the Committee, to whom the ingrossed Bill, from the Lords, intituled, An Act to enable Anthony Earl of Kent, and Henry Grey his Son and Heir apparent, to make a Jointure for Jemima, Wife of the said Henry Grey, was committed, That they had examined and considered the Bill; and directed him to report the same to the House, without any Amendment: And he delivered the same in at the Table.
Mr. Hooper, according to Order, presented to the House a Bill to enable certain Trustees, therein named, to make, renew, and fill up, Leases of the Estate of Sir Coppleston Warwick Bampfeild Baronet, during his Minority; and for laying out the Monies, raised thereby, in Purchases, to be settled to the same Uses the said Estate now is: And the same was received.
Holborne and Finsbury Court of Conseience.
Duties on Glass, &c
Mr. Bromley reported from the Committee appointed to consider of the Act, made the last Parliament, for granting to his Majesty certain Duties upon Glass Wares, Stone and Earthen Bottles, Coals, and Culm, for carrying on the War against France; and of the Doubts and Complaints relating thereunto; and to report the Matter to the House; That they had considered the same, and the Petitions referred to the said Committee, so far as the same related to the Coals water-borne upon the Rivers of Severn and Avon, in the Counties of Gloucester, Worcester, Salop, Stafford, and Warwick; and had directed him to report the Matter, as it appeared to the Committee, to the House: And he read the same in his Place; and afterwards delivered the same in at the Clerk's Table: Where the Report was read; and is as followeth; viz.
That the Committee, having met several times, and taken into their Consideration the several Petitions, and other Matters, to them referred, have agreed upon the ensuing Report to be made to the House; viz.
That the Substance of the Complaints and Hardships of the several Petitions, and others, of the Towns and Counties of Gloucester, Worcester, Salop, Stafford, and Warwick, relating to the Rivers of Severn and Avon, who heretofore depended upon the Coal and other Commerce of the said Rivers, and were thereby conveniently supplied and supported, appeared to be as followeth; viz.
That the present Tax upon the River-Coals is become so burdensome and grievous, that it will inevitably, upon the Continuance thereof, ruin many Families, increase the number of Poor, and destroy the Navigation of those Rivers; which have been a Nursery for Sailors; from whence, many were yearly taken to serve on board his Majesty's Fleet at Sea: For no Coals are, or can be, now carried up or down the same, by reason the Land-carriage is cheaper; and, consequently, all those Barges and Watermen that have for so long time been employed upon those Rivers, and Thousands of Colliers, must want Work, and Bread for their Families:
That the Coal Mines adjoining to or near any those Rivers will be intirely destroyed, by the Waters getting to such a Head in the Pits, that stand still and unemployed as can never afterwards be recovered or mastered; it being now to the Loss of the Owners to continue the working their Pits, by reason of this Duty:
That this Duty destroys the Supply and Commerce of all Parts upon, and Towns and Places adjacent to, the said Rivers; which will very much affect the Woollen Manufactures, both in the Cloathing, Capping, and Stockings: whereby the great Number of Poor they employ, must either be reduced to Want, or quit those Employments; which will endanger the Loss of those Manufactures; and may create a Disaffection in the Minds of those suffering People to the Government; they having already risen in many Bodies, in those Counties, destroying and pulling up divers Hedge-rows and Pales, and other Fences, lopping of Trees, and destroying the Woods themselves, in Presence of the Owners, or their Agents; being induced to such riotous Practices, only from the severe Hardships they suffer under the Scarcity of Fuel:
That this Duty is not only so grievous to the Subject, but falls so far short, in those Counties, of answering the End designed, that it proves rather a Charge than an Income to the Crown; the Revenue not having as yet, nor ever probably will answer the Expence of the Collection:
That this Duty is not only pernicious to the Subject, in the before-mentioned Discouragements, to the Navigation, the Coal-Trade, and the Woollen Manufactures, but lessens and abates the King's Duties upon the Glass Wares; for that the Owners of the Glass-houses at Gloucester have been obliged to extinguish their Fires; because, since this Duty commenced, they can have no Coals; which has forced them to lay aside their Employment: and brought many other Difficulties upon the Trades of that City:
That this Duty not only affects the said Counties in general, but is very severe in its Consequence to particular Persons; especially to the Petitioner the Countess of Plimouth, who had the Navigation of the River Avon settled upon her, for her Jointure; which was of the yearly Value of 400 l. clear of all Charges; which Revenue arose only by Coals that came down the Severne, and passed up the River Avon; but that since this Duty was laid on Coals, there has been but Two Barges of Coals came up the River, the Country adjacent being since supplied by Land-carriage; whereby the Petitioner is not only like to lose her 400 l. per Annum, during the Continuance of the Tax, but for ever after, by reason the Locks and Wharfs, and other Necessaries, which alone cost Five or 6,000 l. erecting, to preserve the said Navigation, will run to Ruin and Decay.
|Tellers for the Yeas,||
Sir Henry Goff,
|Tellers for the Noes,||
Sir Richard Onslow,
Mr. Solicitor-General reported, from the Committee of Privileges and Elections, the Matter touching the Election for the Borough of Portsmouth, in the County of Southampton, and the Resolutions of the said Committee thereupon; which he read in his Place; and afterwards delivered in at the Clerk's Table: Where the same were read; and are as follow; viz.
That the Committee inspected the Record of the Return; and it appeared, That John Gibson Esquire, and Mathew Aylmer Esquire, were returned by one and the same Indenture; so that the determining the Right of the Return depended entirely upon the determing the Merits of the Election:
Mr. Suffeild: Who said, That he had lived in Portsmouth 28 or 29 Years; and testified, That, since the late Revolution, the Inhabitants at large have been admitted to vote for Parliament-men, with the Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses: That, at this Election, the Inhabitants did vote with the Burgesses: and Colonel Gibson and Admiral Aylmer did agree to stand by that Poll; and that Admiral Aylmer carried it with (fn. 1) [all] Fairness and Unconcernedness: That he was acquainted with Four Elections before this Revolution; and though the Inhabitants were not admitted to poll by the Corporation, yet somebody used to take the Poll for them: And that Mr. Richard Stevens was chose by the Inhabitants; and, upon their Right, he did petition the Oxford Parliament.
That, to prove the Right in the Inhabitants, was produced a Charter of Confirmation to the said Borough, 4 Novem. 3° Car. by which it appeared, That they had been incorporated by several Names: And this Charter confirmed them by the Name of Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses.
(fn. 2) [26 Aug. 31 Car. 2. The same.]
That John Blakely said, He had lived in Portsmouth about 29 Years, and had known several Elections: That in an Election upon a Dissolution, in King Charles the Second's time, and King James the Second's time, only the Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses, had elected: That the Inhabitants had sometimes demanded a Poll; but it was not granted to them.
|For Colonel Gibson||219|
|For Admiral Aylmer||234|
Mr. Suffeild, Mr. Boucher, Mr. Bartin, testified, That Aldermen Blakely spake to the Inhabitants, and told them, That they had all a Right to vote; and that both the Candidates declared they would stand by the Poll: And, accordingly, the Town-Clerk was about to make a single Return for Admiral Aylmer; but the Mayor snatched it from the Town Clerk; and said, He would make another Return.
Thomas Triggs: Who said, That he voted for Admiral Aylmer; and Colonel Gibson came to his House, with the Master-Gunner, and Trumpets sounding before him; and bid them turn the Rogue upside down; and the Rabble broke his Windows.
Henry Coward said, About Two a Clock he was alarmed by the Noise of a Drum; so he went to the Market-place, where he saw a Huddle of People, crying out, A Gibson: And that the Master-Gunner, whose Name was Moody, because Coward had declared for Admiral Aylmer, threatened to take all his Business from him.
John Blakely, Thomas Bartin, Henry Seagar, and Ro. Shales: Who proved, That Letters having been sent to Admiral Russell, That the Corporation had used Admiral Aylmer ill, Admiral Russell did write to Mr. Bartin and Mr. Shales, each of them, a Letter, to this Effect, That if they slighted his Recommendation of Admiral Aylmer, he would take such Measures as might make them repent it; and that, if Admiral Aylmer was not returned, and there was just Ground for a Petition, he would spend 10,000 l. to do Admiral Aylmer Right.
Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That the Right of Election of Burgesses to serve in Parliament for the Borough of Portsmouth, is in the Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses of the said Borough, only.
Ordered, That the Report from the Committee, to whom the Consideration of the Petition of the Shipwrights, belonging to the Yards at Woolwich and Deptford . . . . . . be made upon Tuesday Morning next.