Journal of the House of Commons: Volume 11, 1693-1697. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1803.
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Lunæ, 2 die Martii;
8° Gulielmi Tertii.
AN ingrossed Bill, from the Lords, intituled, An Act to confirm and establish an Exchange, made between Thomas Ryder Esquire, and Christopher Clithero Esquire, of certain Messuages in London, for the Manors of Bilsington, and other Lands, in Kent, of the like Value, was read a Second time.
Resolved, That the Bill be committed to Mr. Brewer, Sir Richard Onslow, Mr. Bickerstaffe, Mr. Norris, Sir Row. Gwyn, Mr. Baldwyn, Mr. Vincent, Mr. Foley, Mr. Lowther, Mr. Gardiner, Mr. Worsley, Mr. Freke, Mr. Sloane, Mr. Paget, Mr. Culliford, Mr. Frewen, Mr. Hedger, Sir Roger Puleston, Mr. Lambton, Mr. Thompson, Sir John Kay, Mr. Palmes, Mr. Gery, Mr. Slater, Mr. Fleming, Mr. Waller, Sir Robert Cotton, Mr. Whitacre, Mr. Lassells, Mr. Bertie, Mr. Campion; and all the Members that serve for Kent: And they are to meet this Afternoon at Five a Clock, in the Speaker's Chamber.
Ordered, That all Committees be revived.
Lord Tonbridge's, &c. Nat.
A Bill to naturalize William Viscount Tonbridge, and other the Children of the Earl of Rochfort, was read a Second time.
Resolved, That the Bill be committed to Sir Rowland Gwyn, Mr. Sandford, Mr. Arnold, Sir Robert Cotton, Mr. Sloane, Mr. Lambton, Mr. Hedger, Sir Jac. Ashley, Mr. Brewer, Sir John Fleet, Mr. Palmes, Mr. Waller, Mr. Philipps, Sir Fr. Windham, Mr. Moore, Mr. Foley, Mr. Culliford, Mr. Watlington, Mr. Roberts, Sir Edw. Ernle, Mr. Vincent, Mr. Osborne, Sir Wm. Lowther, Mr. Lowther, Sir John Kay, Mr. Burdet, Mr. Whitacre, Mr. Bickerstaffe, Mr. Venables, Mr. Gery, Mr. Bertie, Mr. Pocklington, Mr. Yorke, Mr. Baldwyn, Mr. Thompson: And they are to meet this Afternoon at Five a Clock, in the Speaker's Chamber.
Ease of Jurors.
Mr. Whitacre reported from the Committee, to whom the Bill for the Ease of Jurors, and the better Regulating of Juries, was committed, That they had made several Amendments to the Bill; which they had directed him to report to the House; and which he read in his Place; and afterwards delivered in at the Clerk's Table: Where the same were once read throughout, and then a Second time, one by one; and, upon the Question severally put thereupon, agreed unto by the House.
A Clause was offered, to be added to the Bill, That no Bill of Indictment shall be brought to any Grand Jury, but in a plain legible Hand, and in English:
. . . . .
And the Question being put, That the Clause be read a Second time;
It passed in the Negative.
. . . . . .
Ordered, That the Committee touching the Hackney Coachmen do sit for Half an Hour, during the Sitting of the House.
Wallop's &c. Estate.
An ingrossed Bill from the Lords, intituled, An Act to enable Trustees to make, and fill up, Leases of the respective Estates of Bluet Wallop Esquire, and John Wallop Gentleman, during their Minorities; and to purchase other Lands, by the Fines thereby to be received, to the same Uses as the Estates so to be leased are already settled; was read the Third time.
Resolved, That the Bill do pass.
Ordered, That Mr. Clark do carry the Bill to the Lords, and acquaint them, That this House hath agreed to the same, without any Amendment.
Prohibiting India Silk, Callicoes, &c.
Ordered, That all the Members that serve for the Counties of Kent, Norfolk, Suffolk, and Somerset, be added to the Committee, to whom the Consideration of the Petition of the Canterbury Weavers is referred.
Baliol College Estate.
The House proceeded to take into Consideration the Amendments, made by the Lords, to the Bill, intituled, An Act to ascertain and settle the Payment of the impropriate Tythes of the Parish of St. Lawrence, Old Jewry, in London, to the Master and Scholars of Baliol College, in Oxford; and for confirming an Award made concerning the same:
And the said Amendments were twice read; and agreed unto by the House; and are as follow; viz.
Press 3. L. 26. for "Appointments," read "Apportionments."
L. 30. after "Parish," add "of which."
L. 31. leave out "whereof."
Ordered, That Mr. Robert Bertie do carry the Bill to the Lords, and acquaint them, That this House hath agreed to the said Amendments.
Stretton, &c. Parishes.
Mr. Bromley, according to Order, presented to the House a Bill for making the Towns of Stretton and Prince Thorpe, in the County of Warwick, a separate Parish from Woolston: And the same was received.
Ordered, That the said Bill be read upon Wednesday Morning next.
Mr. Conyers reported from the Committee, to whom the Bill to enable Trustees to raise Money for making a wet Dock, and improving the Estate of the Marquis and Marchioness of Tavistock, was committed, That they had made some Amendments to the Bill; which they had directed him to report to the House; and which he read in his Place; and afterwards delivered in at the Clerk's Table: Where the same were once read throughout; and then a Second time, one by one; and, upon the Question severally put thereupon, agreed unto by the House.
Ordered, That the Bill, with the Amendments be ingrossed.
St. James', Westminster, Parish Debt.
The House proceeded to take into Consideration the Amendment, made by the Lords, to the Bill, intituled, An Act to enable the Parish of St. James', within the Liberties of the City of Westminster, to raise upon themselves so much Money as will discharge their Debts, for building the Parish-Church, Rector's House, Vestry, and other publick Works, there:
And the said Amendment was twice read; and agreed unto by the House; and is as followeth; viz.
At the End of the Bill, add Proviso, marked A: That there shall not be above Two Bells at a Time in the Steeple of the said Church.
Ordered, That Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer do carry the Bill to the Lords, and acquaint them, That this House hath agreed to the said Amendment.
Elections—Irregularities of returning Officers.
An ingrossed Bill for the further regulating Elections; and for preventing irregular Proceedings of Sheriffs, and other Officers, in electing and returning Members to Parliament; was read a Third time.
An ingrossed Clause was offered, as a Rider, That the Sheriff of the County of Southampton shall, at the Request of a Candidate, adjourn the Poll from Winton, after the Freeholders there polled, to Newport, in the Isle of Wight:
And the same was twice read; and, upon the Question put thereupon, agreed unto by the House to be made Part of the Bill.
Resolved, That the Bill do pass: And that the Title be, An Act for the further regulating Elections of Members to serve in Parliament; and for the preventing irregular Proceedings of Sheriffs, and other Officers, in the electing and returning such Members.
Ordered, That Sir Richard Onslow do carry the Bill to the Lords, and desire their Concurrence thereunto.
A Petition of the Vicar and Churchwardens of the Parish of St. Martin's in the Fields was presented to the House, and read; setting forth, That the said Parish greatly increasing with Inhabitants, a select Vestry of 49 Persons, besides the Vicar and Churchwardens, was, by Instrument, under Hand and Seal, instituted by Gilbert Bishop of London, in 1662, and, in 1673, confirmed by Humphry then Bishop of London: That the said Vestry, by successive Elections, hath ever since continued; and managed the Affairs of the said Parish, to the Satisfaction of the Inhabitants; but the Petitioners are informed there is a Bill depending in the House, for Regulating of select Vestries, and preventing Abuses arising thereby; which may tend to alter their said Constitution: And praying, That they may be heard, by Counsel, before the said Bill do pass this House.
Ordered, That the Consideration of the said Petition be referred to the Committee, to whom the said Bill is committed.
Kingston upon Hull Election.
Colonel Granvill, according to the Order of the Day, reported from the Committee of Privileges and Elections, the Matter touching the Election for the Town and County of Kingston upon Hull, as it appeared to the said Committee, and the Resolutions of the 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.
Upon the Petition of Sir James Bradshaw Knight, complaining of an undue Election for the Town of Kingston upon Hull.
The Committee have examined the Matter of the said Petition.
That it was insisted, on behalf of the Petitioner, That Kingston upon Hull, with some Towns thereto adjacent, being a County of itself, that the Election ought to have been in the next County-Court after Receipt of the Writ.
And they produced an Indenture of a Return, 1° Mariæ; by which it appeared, That the Writ was directed to the Sheriff, and commanded him, quod, facta proclamatione in prox' com' villæ prædict' post receptionem brevis de die & loco, he should cause Two Burgesses to be elected.
And the Counsel for the Sitting Members agree, That that had been the Form of the Writs; and Returns had been made accordingly from that time to this:
That then the Writ for the present Election was read: Which was in the same Form.
That, for the Petitioner, were produced, as Witnesses,
John Craven: Who said, The County-Court was adjourned from the 7th of October to the 18th.
Mr. Baker said, That the 18th, being the Anniversary for swearing the Mayor and Sheriff, after the Sheriff was sworn, the County-Court was adjourned from the 18th to the 21th October.
John Raddehough said, That Anthony Caddy, on Monday the 21th of October, called a County-Court, and adjourned it to the Monday after: That the County-Court is kept within the Verge of the Gaol; by which means, though a Prisoner, he had an Opportunity to be present; and that a Boy, that was Servant to Joseph Hopman a Serjeant, was then Crier; and he heard the Court adjourned from the 21th to the 28th; and that one Henry Gerard was also present: That, on the 22th of October, the Sheriff and Two Freeholders called another CountyCourt, the Doors being shut; and, on the next Day, proceeded to this Election:
That the said Raddehough said, when he was before the Committee, That he was discharged, and did borrow 7 l. of one Frame, and 40 s. of Sir James Bradshaw; for which he hath given Bond to pay at Midsummer.
Mr. Baker said, That, at the County-Courts, the great Doors into the Market-place used to be open; but now they went up the back Stairs:
That, the Day before the Election, he saw Sir James Bradshaw in Alderman Ives' Shop; and that then Sir James declared, He would be a Candidate: That Sir James sent for the Sheriff, and asked him, If he had received the Writ? And the Sheriff told him, He had received it that Morning, and would proceed to an Election the next Morning: That Sir James told the Sheriff, it was not County-Court Day; and used several Arguments not to elect till the County-Day; but the Sheriff said, He had promised the Mayor and Aldermen, and would keep his Word:
That the Mayor, at the Election, came with his Mace in an extraordinary Manner; and 25 were made free that Morning: That, by Computation, the Burgesses are 700: and, at this Election, under 500 were polled:
And said, That some Soldiers were drawn up before the Town-hall; but could not say it was more than usual, or that they made any Disturbance, or hindered any Person from voting.
That, for the Sitting Members, were called,
Mr. Anth. Caddy, the Under-Sheriff: Who said, That the County-Court was adjourned from the 18th October to the 21th, and from the 21th to the 22th; which Day the Writ was delivered to the Sheriff; and that Day, being Tuesday, Proclamation was made, the Writ read, and Notice given, that the Election would be the next Day; and, accordingly, he adjourned the Court to the next Day; on which Day the Election was: That the Day of Election being Wednesday, the Court was adjourned to Monday, the 28th. And the said
Mr. Caddy and Mr. Duncalfe said, That it was the usual Way, when they went to the County-Court, to go up the back Way, as at this Time: And that Sir James Bradshaw, after the Election was over, said, It was a fair Election.
That the Committee came to these Resolutions;
Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That Sir William St. Quintin, and Charles Osborne Esquire, are duly elected Burgesses to serve in this present Parliament for the Borough of Kingston upon Hull.
Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That the Petition of Sir James Bradshaw, complaining of an undue Election for the said Borough of Kingston upon Hull, is vexatious, frivolous, and groundless.
The First of the said Resolutions, being read a Second time, was, upon the Question put thereupon, agreed unto by the House.
The Second Resolution being read a Second time;
And the Question being put, That the House do agree with the Committee in the said Resolution, That the Petition of Sir James Bradshaw Knight, complaining of an undue Election for the said Borough of Kingston upon Hull, is vexatious, frivolous, and groundless.
It passed in the Negative.
Eyme's, &c. Nat.
Ordered, That Mr. Hobby, Mr. Seaward, Sir Rowl. Gwyn, Mr. Croker, Sir Tho. Dyke, Mr. Travers, Mr. Bere, be added to the Committee, to whom the ingrossed Bill from the Lords, for naturalizing Solomon Eyme, and others, is committed.
Supply Bill; Duties on Wines, &c.
An ingrossed Bill for continuing several Duties, granted by former Acts, upon Wine and Vinegar, and upon Tobacco, East-India Goods, and other Merchandize, imported, for carrying on the War against France, was read the Third time.
And some Amendments being proposed to be made; viz.
Pr. 1. L. *, to leave out "said Four," and insert "Three;"
And some other literal Amendments;
The same were, upon the Question severally put thereupon, agreed unto by the House.
Resolved, That the Bill do pass: And that the Title be, An Act for continuing several Duties, granted by former Acts, upon Wine and Vinegar, and upon Tobacco, and East-India Goods, and other Merchandize, imported, /?/ carrying on the War against France.
Ordered, That Sir Thomas Littleton do carry the Bill to the Lords, and desire their Concurrence thereunto.
Leave of Absence.
Ordered, That Sir William Williams have Leave to go into the Country for a Fortnight, upon extraordinary Occasions.
Ordered, That the Lord Spencer have Leave to go into the Country, for Recovery of his Health.
Ordered, That Sir Francis Winnington have Leave to go into the Country for Three Weeks, upon extraordinary Occasions.
Ordered, That Mr. Harcourt have Leave to go into the Country for Three Weeks, upon extraordinary Occasions.
Ordered, That Mr. York have Leave to go into the Country for a Month, his Mother being very ill.
Ordered, That Mr. Praed have Leave to go into the Country for a Month, upon extraordinary Occasions.
Mr. Whitacre reported from the Committee, to whom the Consideration of the Petition of the West-India Merchants, and of several other Petitions, relating to the Garbling of Spices, was referred, the Matter, as it appeared to the said Committee, and the Resolution of the Committee thereupon; 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.
Mr. Stonehewer said, That the Garbling Ginger in England is so far from being an Advantage to it in foreign Markets, that it, in a great measure, prevents the Sale thereof in those Parts:
That he lately bought 350 Bags of Ginger, in order to have them shipped off, but was prevented therein, though within the Time allowed for Exportation, by the Act for erecting a Garbler's Office within the City of London, because the Garbler pretended the same was not garbled; and that the Owner was not the Importer thereof; which is a very great Discouragement to foreign Trade:
That the Garbler demands 1 s. per Hundred Weight for Garbling of Ginger; and the Damage he does it is, at least, 12 d. per Hundred; which is now worth 34 s. per Hundred; but before the War, was bought at 14 s. per Hundred:
And that the Garbler never pretended or demanded to garble any Ginger, defore July last, that was exported; and, should he be permitted to put so great Inconveniencies upon Ginger as the Garbling thereof, the Fees of garbling that Spice alone would amount to 7 or 800 l. er Ann.
That he hopes, it may be thought reasonable, for preventing the Mischiefs attending foreign Trade, That no Ginger, that shall be exported, shall be liable to Garbling; it being (fn. 1) [so late, and] a new Imposition upon the Merchant.
Mr. Robert Heyshom: That, in Times of Peace, Ginger may be bought for 7 s. per Hundred in Barbadoes; and that the Garbler's Demands here are 12 d. per Hundred: That he is an Importer thereof, and has imported large Quantities, and never had the same (fn. 2) [demanded to be] garbled, till last Summer:
That, about March last, he sold a Parcel of Ginger to Mr. Stonehewer, for Exportation; and, because he did not pay the Garbler, was soon after served with a Subpæna from the Exchequer; where he is still prosecuted by the Garbler; who generally marks out those Men he designs to be troublesome to, and excuses several others, who pay him some certain Composition for not garbling their Goods:
That the Rates are so high, that One of his Porters, or Servants, may earn him 3 l. a Day upon Garbling Ginger only; which, besides the Duty, is very grievous and burdensome to the Merchants, and altogether needless; for, when this Act was made, 'twas in the Infancy of Trade, and not any Ginger scarce exported.
Mr. Jos. Pickering: That he has bought larger Quantities of Ginger, though he be no Importer of it; and, having sold 40 Bags of it to one Mr. Nutt, and 40 to Mr. Cresner, he sent his Men to acquaint the Garbler therewith, and desired he would send his Servant to garble the same, because he wanted to send it home to his Customers; the which the Garbler neglecting, though the Warehouse was just by the Garbler's House, the said Pickering sent the Ginger to Mr. Cresner, as it is usual for the Garbler to go to the Shops, to garble there; but the Garbler, instead of garbling, seized the same; and Mr. Pickering was forced to compound with the Garbler for his 3d; and produced the Garbler's Receipt for the same.
Upon the Petition of the Spice-merchants;
Mr. John Delean: That all our Spices now come from Holland clean, and ready garbled; whereby there is no Occasion for garbling them here; it being a great Prejudice to the Spices, by disordering them in the Cask:
That what Cloves were imported by the East-India Company, they used to be brought in their Dust and Soil, as were other Spices; and then there was some Trouble in garbling them; but now that Trade is lost, and in the Hands of the Dutch, who clean it, as clean as is possible; so that now there is no manner of Occasion for it; but a Hurt therein; and the Garbler is, and will be, paid as much for looking upon these Spices, and doing nothing, as though he had all the Trouble of garbling the same:
That, about 15 Months since, he sealed a Parcel of damaged Cloves, and had his Fees, as if he had garbled the same; a Complaint being made by the Buyer, he has since been very exact, and troublesome, in his Searches, by pull ing the Goods out of the Bales and Casks they are kept in; which proves very prejudicial to them; and that, although he since refused to put his Seal upon damaged Goods, he will be paid for garbling the same, though he never so much as touches the Goods: That the Garbler demands, and takes, 3 s. 6 d. per Hundred Weight for Nutmegs, and 4 s. per Hundred Weight for Mace, and 2 d. per Pound for Cloves.
Upon the Grocers and Druggists Petition;
Mr. John Langham: That as to Cloves and Nutmegs, they always come clean, and want no Garbling; nor are they garbled; whereby the Garbler, as to those Commodities, takes his Fees for doing of nothing more than sealing them;
That the Computation of the Spices spent in England, for which the Garbler has his Fees, are, as to these Sorts that follow; viz.
About 60 Hogsheads spent per Ann. of Cloves; Garbler has 3 l. 10s. per Hogshead.
80 Hogsheads of Nutmegs per Ann.; Garbler has 1 l. 5 s. per Hogshead.
30 Hogsheads of Mace per Ann.; Garbler has 4s. per Hundred Weight.
200 Bales of Cinnamon per Ann.; Garbler has 2s. 8d. per Hundred Weight.
That the Garbler's Fees, upon Spices alone, bought in London, comes to 400 l. per Annum:
That the said Mr. Langham having shipped off a Parcel of Rice, the Garbler would needs have imposed his Fees for Garbling of the said Rice; but he, believing Rice was never intended by the Act to be garbled, refused to pay him; and stood Tryal with the Garbler, and cast him thereon, about a Year and Half since, after great Expence and Trouble to him, in the Disturbance of his Trade.
Mr. Thomas Tuckfeild: That he bought a large Quantity of Pepper of the East-India Company, and gave Notice thereof to the Garbler, That he intended to ship off some Part thereof, and that he would send his Servant to garble the rest; but the Garbler would not excuse the Pepper that was shipped off, but made him pay Fees for the whole Quantity, although his pretended Office was not executed on it; which was never paid before for any Pepper imported by the East-India Company.
Mr. Gerrard: That he had a considerable Quantity of Caraway and Coriander-seeds of the Growth of England, sent up from Colchester, which were very clean; of which the Garbler having Notice, demanded his Fees of Garbling; which he refusing to pay, he was served with an Exchequer Writ; but, he resolving to wait the Event of the Cause, the Garbler, when it was ready for Tryal, thought fit to let the same fall; the Defence whereof amounted to 12 or 14 l.
Mr. Daniel Perkins: That several Drugs are prejudiced and damaged by the very opening and garbling them; especially Alleppo and Tripoli Senna, which the Buyers never stir, or open, but just as they sell it; and it never was pretended to be garbled, till within these Two Years past; and that the Garbling it makes it lose both Scent and Colour; which renders it unfit for Sale and Use: As also, Wormseeds are liable to the same Inconveniencies: And those, and other Drugs, will not sell in foreign Markets, but in their original Package, which best preserves them; but, by being garbled, are rendered dearer to the Exporter, and less esteemed abroad:
That he demands 2d. per Pound for garbling Wormseed from the East-Indies; which have been bought for 2½ d. per lib.: And for Turkey Wormseed he hath 2d. per lib.; which, in Times of Peace, is 10 l. per Cent. on the Value; and, at which Rate, One of his Porters may get 3 l. a Day for his Labour:
That Mastick pays 8d. per Hundred Weight garbling; and he doth nothing to it but take a little of the Small from it, which is as good as the rest; and the Buyers afterwards do give poor People 4d. per lib. for picking, separating, and dividing, the same.
That Rhubarb is demanded to be garbled, by his publick Paper; which was never done, or pretended to be done, before his Time; and the Garbling thereof spoils the same; and yet the Garbler demands his Fees for that, among other Drugs, though he does not garble the same.
Mr. Byer: That he bought 15 Bags of Wormseed of the East-India Company, for Exportation; and shipped them off, accordingly, within the Time limited by the Act; but the Garbler, hearing thereof, brought a Suit against him for the Value of the Commodity, which amounted to 120 l. in the Court of Exchequer; which Suit is still depending; and, if he had suffered him to garble them, it would have prejudiced the Goods, and prevented their Sale abroad.
Mr. Eyres: That, about 16 Months since, he bought a Parcel of Turmerick of the East-India Company, which had been imported about 14 Years; but, upon bringing the same home, which he thought he might safely do, it was seized by the Garbler, and taken out of his Shop; and he was also prosecuted in the Exchequer, where he was put to as much Charge, within 5 or 6 l. as the Turmerick cost him: That, when the same was garbled, he took not above 16 Pounds of Dust out of 1,000 lib.; which Dust is as valuable as the Commodity itself, within 2d. per lib.; it being chiefly used for Dyeing:
That, in 1692, he bought 91 Chests of Aleppo Senna, and did agree to pay the Garbler 28 l. 3s. for not garbling the same; for that he would not have it garbled, knowing it would have been 500 l. Loss to him in the Sale of the Commodity.
Mr. Tho. Rossell: That he bought a Lot of long Pepper of the East-India Company, and went to the Garbler to give him Notice to garble it in the Company's Hands, and for their Account; according as he thought agreeable to the Intent of the Act; and the Garbler gave for Answer, That his Office had its Mystery in it, as well as his Trade; and, the Company's Time being near out for the Discount, the said Rossell was obliged to order him to do it on his own Account; and thereby lost about 26 l. Value, and was forced to pay him a Bill of 1 l. 6s. for his Fees; which so inhanced the Price, that it incapacitated him to sell it for Exportation, which, otherwise, he might have done:
That, about Two Years since, he asked the Garbler Leave to buy some Wormseeds, and to keep them in the Soil, which he granted him; but, when he had bought them, he often sent after him, and was very troublesome, to garble them; threatening the said (fn. 3) [Rossell], That he would make him shew Respect to his Servants, when they came about their Business.
Mr. Proctor delivered in a List of the Rates of the Garbler's Demands, for garbling the Drugs therein; wherein he observed, That there were 29 particular Drugs chargeable more than ever used to be charged by any of his Predecessors; and that, if he be not prevented, he may easily increase the Revenue thereof to 5 or 6,000 l. a Year:
That he bought a Quantity of Cassia Fistula, sealed by the Garbler before he bought it, to justify its Goodness; and was, upon selling the same again, forced to allow such Rebates and Loss as proved to his Damage 50 l. at least:
That, when Application was made to the Lord Mayor, and Court of Aldermen, for Redress; and they were shewn, That he had (fn. 4) [added] 29 new Commodities to be garbled; the Lord Mayor asked him, Who ordered him to put them down, and to fix those Rates? He owned, That he did it himself; and that the Rates were only a reasonable Reward for his Labour: At which Rate, One of his Servants may earn 3 l. a Day: And he has been heard to say, He doubted not but to bring People to garble Oats and Barley.
Upon the Petition of the Turky Company;
Mr. Wm. Fawkner: That the Garbler's Office is now made an Instrument of a private Revenue to the City, to the great Obstruction of Trade in general, and the Op pression and Disturbance of the Merchants and Tradesmen thereof:
That he had several Bags of Galls, of which he was the Importer (which he could not sell after having them some Years by him), selling them for Exportation, and sending them to the Custom-house, where they were duly entered to be shipped off, 15 Sacks, Part of 60 odd, were seized by the Garbler, and afterwards was Exchequered; and thereupon did petition the Lords of the Treasury; and was forced to compound, and paid 40 s. for the valuing them, and 30 s. for the seizing them, besides 14 l. more in other Charges relating thereunto:
That Galls are under no manner of Necessity of being garbled (being not used for inward Uses); nor ever were used so to be, till very lately; whereby it becomes an Oppression upon the Subject, and a Hindrance to the Freedom of Trade: For, as the Call or Demand for Exportation of Galls happens oftentimes to be sudden, on the Departure of Ships, the very Garbling them would take up so much time as prevents and hinders the Exportation, and often is the Occasion of losing the Market for them, besides the Loss, Charge, and Damage, which attends; which is a great Prejudice and Obstruction to Trade:
That they have made their Application to the Lord Mayor, and Court of Aldermen, of the City of London, in December last, complaining of the Hardships and Oppression Trade lies under, by the rigorous Prosecution of the Garbler's Office; but without any Redress: The Answer from the Lord Mayor, and Court of Aldermen, was, That the Grant of the Office was under such Terms, that it was not in their Power to redress; or Words to that Effect:
And therefore, whether these great Mischiefs and Grievances arise from under an old Law, when Trade was very much different in its Nature to what now it is; or whether it be extorted beyond that Law; the Petitioners do hope they are now in a proper Place to be relieved against the Hardships of that Law, or the Rigour in the Execution of it; and do hope to find Relief and Redress from the Honourable House.
Sir Thomas Vernon: That he had received by the Turkey Ships, lately arrived, 5 or 600 Sacks of Galls, which were demanded by Foreigners, and other Merchants, for Exportation; but could not procure them to be shipped before they were garbled; whereby he was very much obstructed in the Sale, and at very great Charges, and Loss of some Part: He lost the Advantage of selling them for the Market abroad: Which Goods, for Exportation, were never required to be garbled, but lately; and That since the late Turkey Ships arrived; to his Knowlege; he having known the Trade about 45 Years:
That he has a considerable Quantity of Senna by him; but cannot sell the same, unless he suffers it to be garbled; and should he suffer it so to be done, it will spoil the Commodity, and, consequently, he must lose the Sale thereof: So great are the Oppressions and Obstructions to the Concurrency of Trade, arising from the Office of Garbling; the Effects whereof, only the Inhabitants of the City of London, and the Liberties thereof, do feel, and lie under.
Mr. Death: That he has imported Alexandria Senna for 24 Years last past, and never paid any thing for, or had the same garbled: But the present Garbler does demand to garble that Commodity; and he is forced to pay him a Halfpeny per lib. for only putting his Seal upon the Bale; for, should he open the Commodity to garble it, it would be of very great Prejudice to the same; for that it comes clean, and ready garbled.
Colonel Willett: That the Garbler, till lately, never pretended to garbled any Commodities (fn. 5) [imported] from the Levant Seas, the East and West-Indies, designed for Exportation:
That, about Five Weeks since, he wanted only Five Sacks of Galls, for a speedy Exportation; and was forced to send to the Garbler's to garble them; but, before they could be so done, the Ship went down the River, and he lost the Shipping thereof, to his Prejudice: And that if the Quantity had still been greater, as he has sometimes had Occasion for 2 or 300 Sacks, then the Exportation must unavoidably be lost, by reason of sudden Commission, and Departure of Ships: Besides, the Commodity is rendered the worse in Foreign Parts, notwithstanding the Loss, and Charge thereof.
Mr. Degrave: That the Garbler has, for Two Years past, taken Fees, for pretending to garble Sal-armoniack, at the Rate of 8d. per Hundred; for which he only opens a Board of the Cask, and puts his Seal thereon; and has paid him, for so Garbling, for Five or Six Ton; after which manner he may garble 100 Ton in a Day:
That, Two Years ago, he sold the Cargo of a PrizeShip, wherein were several Spices and Drugs: At which Sale it was publickly agreed, That the Buyer should pay the Garbler; but the Garbler, having reserved One or Two Parcels of the said Goods, put him into the Exchequer; and was forced to compound with the Garbler, and pay him Ten Guineas thereupon.
Mr. Tredway: That he had a Parcel of Fennel-seeds, the which he sold to a Druggist, who would not have them if they were to be garbled; the which the Garbler compelled him to; but, upon a Promise and Agreement, That if the Buyer would not have them when they were garbled, he would have them at the same Price himself: That the Druggist refusing to have the Goods, because they were garbled, he sent to the Garbler, according to his Promise and Agreement, to accept the Goods; but he then totally refused his Bargain, telling him, He was a Garbler, and no Merchant: Whereupon, he filed a Bill in Chancery against him, to oblige him thereto; but there happening to be no Witness but his Partner, the Garbler, in his Answer to the Bill, swore, That he never made any such Bargain: Upon which, Mr. Tredway was forced to take the said Goods again; which he afterwards sold for 18 s. per Hundred, after garbled; which before he sold for 24 s.:
That he had some Coffee, but durst not sell it tell it was garbled, for fear the same should be seized; but, having another Parcel to sell, he joined it with Sir Humphry Edwyn's, One of the Aldermen of the City; whereby he was excused paying the Garbler's Fees, or from garbling the same: That Coffee ought not to be esteemed a Drug, they paying but One Third of the Duty; and Coffee pays the Whole.
Mr. Lennoy: That he has been forced to garble Coffee for Seven Years past, and paid 12 d. per. Hundred for the same:
That he had a Parcel of Senna by him, but could not prevail to have it weighed off without Garbling; whereupon he applied himself to a Broker, to obtain the same; who telling him, He had got such Liberty, Mr. Lennoy weighed them off; but, when he had so done, the Garbler put him into the Exchequer, and gave him Disturbance thereon:
That, at the last Return from Turkey, he had a Parcel of Galls, which he designed for Exportation; but could not ship them before they were garbled: As also some Pistaches; which heretofore was never pretended to be garbled.
Mr. Cresnor: That he has paid 30 and 40 l. per Ann. for the Garbling of Spices; viz. Cloves, Nutmegs, Mace, and Ginger; some whereof the Garbler never opened, but only seals the Outside of the Cask; but takes the same Fees as if he had garbled the same:
That, about 18 Months since, he was concerned in a Parcel of Almonds, and other Goods, aboard a Lighter, in the River of Thames, which happened to be sunk by Accident: The Goods were damaged to the Value of 500 l. Loss to the Owner; and yet the Garbler forced him to pay the Fees of garbling the same, although they were exported.
Mr. Falkenor: That Rogers, One of the Garbler's Servants, said, That his Master made a greater Advantage of putting People into the Exchequer, than he got by his Office:
And produced his Bill of Charges on Fifteen Sacks of Galls, which he sold for Exportation.
Mr. Danson, who had been One of the Garbler's Servants, owned, He had heard his Master say, That One Servant going about to make Discoveries, for Informations, was more worth to him than all his Men at Work.
Mr. Smith: That, about Four Years since, he used to import Spices from Holland; but has since been discouraged from so doing, by the Disturbances and perpetual Harassings he had from the Garbler: For having at One time a Parcel of Spices by him, he sent to the Garbler, by reason he had a Customer for them; and received an Answer, and Order, from the Garbler, to send them to his Customers, and he would garble them at their Shops; for doing whereof, he was put into the Exchequer: Upon which he was forced to compound, by paying the Garbler 20 Guineas; and besides, other Charges amounting to near 40 l.
Mr. Mahew: That, about Five or Six Years since, he happened to sell a Parcel of Cumin-seed, without paying the Garbler's Fees, which amounted to about 19s. 6d.; for which it cost him 7 or 8 l.
Mr. Nortwick: That, about Six Months ago, he bought Six Bales of Worm-seed for Exportation; but the same was seized by the Garbler, and he was put into the Exchequer; but got off for paying 19s. Charges, upon promising to acquaint him, who should buy the Commodity.
Mr. Heysham: That the Garbler makes him pay 12d. per Hundred for Ginger; and others but 6d.; whereby he gives them the Opportunity of underselling him, to his great Disadvantage.
Mr. Morewood owned he had a Parcel of Ginger for Exportation, and prevailed with the Garbler to take half Duties; though he was not the Importer thereof.
Mr. Morse: That in April last, he sold 69 Sacks of Galls to a Broker; of which 27 Sacks were seized by the Garbler on the Saturday; and, on Tuesday following, received an Order for the Appraising them; upon which, the Broker demanded his Money again: Which Matter is now put to Reference between them: But that it has cost 50 l. in the Exchequer for Charges; although the Galls were sold for Exportation; for which no Duty was ever accustomed to be paid, till lately demanded by this Garbler.
Mr. Vandacheller: That the said Galls were bought of Mr. Morse for Exportation; and great Part of them have been shipped off accordingly.
That afterwards, the City of London, and the Garbler, appearing by their Counsel, gave an Answer to the aforesaid Complaints, in Substance, as follows;
That it was insisted, on the behalf of the City of London, That they have, by Prescription, Time out of Mind, confirmed by many ancient Charters, and Acts of Parliament, an undoubted Right to the Office of Garbling of Drugs, Spices, and many other Commodities, within the said City, and Liberties thereof, with ancient Fees thereunto belonging; and that the said Office, in all times, hath been found very useful and necessary; and great Care hath always been taken, by the City of London, to supply the said Office with skilful and honest Garblers; and no Complaints of the Execution of the said Office hath ever been made till very lately, which was made to the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen; who, on a Hearing on both Sides, thought fit to dismiss the Petition.
Mr. Steward, the Garbler, said, That as to the garbling Ginger for Exportation, it was done long before his time; and where the Right of garbling that Commodity formerly was questioned, the former Garblers obliged the Complainants to a Composition; particularly one Jonath. Woodhouse, who compounded for 36 l. for not garbling 500 Bags of Ginger, in 1685: And proved the same by a Letter of Licence from the Court of Exchequer, to enable Mr. William Richardson, the then Garbler, to make such Composition: Besides, that the Garbling of Ginger is advantageous to the Commodity, and gives it an Advantage in foreign Markets: The Design of erecting the said Office was to prevent Frauds and Abuses from being imposed upon the Buyers of Drugs and Spices:
That the present Garbler pays a reserved Rent to the City of 300 l. per Annum, and all Taxes; and paid to the Chair, by way of Fine, Sir Robert Jeffryes being then Mayor, 976 l. for the Term of 69 Years, if he so long lives, for the said Office; and is at great Charge in employing Seven Servants constantly to attend the Service of the said Office:
That all the Rates which he demands for garbling any Commodity, have always been settled, and allowed, before his time, to all the preceding Garblers, by the Lord Mayor, and Court of Aldermen, and Common-Council, from time to time; and, consequently, he cannot be guilty of any Extortion in demanding them; he never taking more, but very often less, Fees than ever his Predecessors did; and much less than the Law allows him:
And delivered into the Committee several Tables of Fees belonging to the Garbler's Office, so settled and heretofore allowed, by the said Court.
Mr. Sheppard: That he is certain the Garbling of Ginger is a Reputation to it abroad; for that, in 1684, he bought a considerable Quantity of black Ginger, Part whereof was garbled, and Part not; and shipped off this Ginger for One Market, where that which was garbled sold for a Fifth or Sixth Part more than that which was not garbled; the which he hath likewise experienced since; and has had frequent Commissions from abroad to send over Ginger ready garbled:
That he has dealt in Galls for Exportation for Thirty Years past, and has had them of the Merchant, by Brokers, garbled; and also of the Salters, garbled; and picked the black Galls from the other, and then exported them; and sold such for 20 s. per Hundred more than other Galls; and has received frequent Directions to send Galls ready garbled; and has bought as many so as otherwise, the Merchants abroad desiring their Goods clean.
The Officer of the Exchequer produced the Records of 36 Informations, that were prosecuted before the present Garbler's time, for Ginger, Galls, and Spice, not garbled: Whereby it appeared to be no new Practice by him set up.
The Garbler: That the Trouble and Attendance of his Servants is as great to view and search Spices from Holland, as though they were soul, having often Dust among them, and being often damaged in coming; and, if they be not garbled here, and sealed, the Buyers are apt to mix good with bad, which they dare not do after they are garbled; though John Lancashire hath been caught in so doing of Anis-seeds; and his Goods seized for the same, of the Value of 18 l. because then the Law makes them forfeited:
That his Servants are sworn, as well as himself, to do their Duty in the Garbling; and he has Security from them for that Purpose: And that he loses, by many Goods they garble, which require much Labour, as Senna, &c.
That as to the additional Number of Drugs and Spices, not enumerated in the Act, and yet inserted in his Table of Fees, they are Commodities that are garbleable, and so within the Intention of the Act; and are most of them named in the Acts of Common-Council, and Tables of Rates, made in the Year 1604; but that he never demanded the Garbling of any Commodities that are not enumerated in the Act; or garbles the same, but only when he is sent for so to do; and never seized any such Commodities for not being garbled; and that though the same Spices may come over ready garbled, yet the Act vindicates his taking the usual Fees for his Care, and looking after the same; that they should not be imposed upon any Buyer, ungarbled, or mixed:
That Coffee is a garbleable Commodity, and was garbled by his Predecessors; for which they had the same Fees he now pretends to; but that he never claimed to garble the same.
Mr. Sheppard: That he bought a Parcel of Coffee for Exportation, and had One Part thereof garbled, whereout was taken Two Tons of Dust; and, when both Sorts came into the Markets abroad, he sold that which was garbled for Two Stivers per lib. more than that which was not garbled; the Cleanness thereof being more inviting to the Buyer abroad.
The Garbler: That he never demanded, or pretended, to garble Tea; though it is garbleable, and often mixt with Dust, and other decayed Tea; but that Cocoa-nuts, Turky Senna, come over foul, and want garbling as much as most Commodities:
That as Alexandria Senna is garbled abroad, so Turky Senna, which comes over foul, can take no more Hurt to be inquired and searched into, and garbled here, than in garbling there:
That though Mastick be garbled abroad, it doth want Garbling again when it comes home, it not being perfectly garbled there; though he did never garble but one Quantity, of Three hundred Weight; for which he has but 8 d. per Hundred, and the Garbler gives 2 s. per Hundred to his Workmen, for that Service:
That the East-India Company, Eight or Nine Years ago, imported a great Quantity of Turmerick; and, about Eight or Ten Months since, Mr. Eyres bought 100 Bags of them; of which, he seized 15 Bags, and no more, which was at the Value of 23 l. or other abouts; whereas he might as well have seized the whole 100; that he permitted the said Eyres to a Composition, and took only One Third to reimburse him his Charges, and excused the other 85, the same being garbled; and this was occasioned by the Buyer's Wilfulness, who, both himself and East-India Company, had Notice before the Sale, that the same ought to be garbled:
That the garbling Rhubarb makes it the better for Sale; but he never garbled any, or ever demanded any Fees upon that Account, though it is enumerated in the Act of Common-Council:
And owned, That he was concerned in the Coffee imported by Mr. Sheppard, aad other Merchants, that was since garbled.
That he does sometimes favour those People that are fair and courteous to his Office, and willing to have their Goods garbled according to Law: And, in all new Commodities garbleable, he agrees with the Concerned, according to the Labour that is required to clean the same; hoping it is no Crime in him to remit that Duty to any Person that the Law has invested in himself as a Right: And is very well satisfied it is more Ingratitude, than Reason of Complaint, that has induced the Petitioners to give him these late Disturbances in the Execution of his Employment; and doubts not, had he been admitted to have had a Particular of the Petitioners Complaints, to have answered the same; but, without that, must be contented with his before-mentioned general Defence of garbling Commodities, for the Safety and Security of his Majesty's Subjects at home; and for the Reputation and Advantage of England, in Markets abroad; and for the preventing of Frauds and Deceits, according to the true Meaning and Intention of the several Acts and Grants upon which the Office of garbling Drugs and Spices is erected, and granted by the City of London; and has had its Being, and the Execution thereof been found useful, for above 400 Years last past.
That, upon the whole Matter, the Committee came to the Resolution following;
Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That the Garbling of Goods to be exported is a great Discouragement to Trade, and prejudicial to the Merchant.
Ordered, That the further Consideration of the said Report be adjourned until Friday Morning next.
Ordered, That the Report from the Committee of Privileges and Elections, touching the Election for the Borough of Totnesse, in the County of Devon, be made upon Wednesday Morning next.
Sitting of Parliament on Demise of the Crown.
Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, according to Order, reported from the Committee of the whole House, to whom the Bill, That whenever it shall please God to afflict these Realms by the Death of his present Majesty, the Parliament then in being shall not be dissolved thereby; but shall continue until the next Heir to the Crown in Succession, according to the late Act of Settlement, shall dissolve the same; was committed; the Amendments made by the Committee to the said Bill; which they had directed him to report to the House; and which he read in his Place; and afterwards delivered in at the Clerk's Table: Where the same were once read throughout; and then a Second time, one by one; and, upon the Question severally put thereupon, agreed unto by the House: And some other Amendments were made to the Bill, at the Table.
Ordered, That the Bill, with the Amendments, be ingrossed.
Habeas Corpus Suspension.
An ingrossed Bill for impowering his Majesty to apprehend and detain, such Persons as he shall find Cause to suspect are conspiring against his Royal Person or Government, was read the Third time.
Resolved, That the Bill do pass: And that the Title be, An Act for impowering his Majesty to apprehend, and detain, such Persons as he shall find Cause to suspect are conspiring against his Royal Person, or Government.
Ordered, That Mr. Poulteny do carry the Bill to the Lords, and desire their Concurrence thereunto.
And then the House adjourned till To-morrow Morning, Nine a Clock.