Journal of the House of Commons: Volume 12, 1697-1699. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1803.
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Sabbati, 21 die Maii;
A BILL for securing the Portions intended by Sir William Walter Baronet, deceased, for his Children by the Lady Mary Walter his second Wife; and for preventing all Doubts which might arise upon the Construction of the Articles and Will therein mentioned; was, according to Order, read a Second time.
Resolved, That the Bill be committed to Mr. Harcourt, Colonel Granville, Mr. Brotherton, Mr. Farrer, Sir John Bolls, Mr. Hoar, Mr. Mounstevens, Mr. Rob. Bertie, Sir Marm. Wyvell, Mr. Yates, Mr. Hammond, Mr. Battiscombe, Mr. Manly, Mr. Bere, Mr. Poultney, Sir Robert Cotton, Mr. Methwyn, Lord Conningsby, Mr. Moyle, Mr. Osborne, Sir Wm. Lowther, Mr. Sandford, Mr. Jennings, Sir Robert Burdet, Sir John Kaye, Mr. Jenkyns, Lord Norris, Mr. Price, Mr. Cox, Mr. Bertie, Sir Col. Shovell, Mr. Baldwyn, Mr. Freeman, Mr. Foley, Mr. Cloberry, Mr. Whittaker, Mr. Palmer, Mr. Brereton, Sir John Woodhouse, Mr. Shackerly, Sir Robert Davers, Mr. Tredenham, Mr. James Herbert: And they are to meet at Five a Clock this Afternoon, in the Speaker's Chamber.
Ledgingham's Ship Pumps.
Mr. Manley, according to Order, presented to the House a Bill for the Encouraging of Robert Ledgingham's new-invented Pumps for Ships: And the same was received.
Suppressing Profaneness, &c.
Sir John Philips reported from the Committee, to whom it was referred to draw up Reasons, to be offered to the Lords, at a Conference, for disagreeing with their Lordships in an Amendment to the Bill, intituled, An Act for the more effectual Suppressing of Blasphemy and Profaneness, That they had drawn Reasons, accordingly; which they had directed him to report to the House; which he read in his Place; and afterwards delivered in at the Clerk's Table: Where the same were twice read; and, upon the Question put thereupon, agreed unto by the House; and are as follow, viz.
The Commons do conceive, That the First Amendment in the First Skin, Line 14, 15, made by your Lordships, will subject the Jews who live amongst us, to all the Pains and Penalties contained in the Bill; which must therefore of necessity ruin them, and drive them out of the Kingdom; and cannot be thought was the Intention of your Lordships, since here they have the Means and Opportunities to be informed of, and rightly instructed in, the Principles of the true Christian Religion: For which Reasons, the Commons disagree with your Lordships in the said Amendment.
Conference desired with Lords.
Resolved, That a Conference be desired with the Lords, upon the Subject-matter of the said Amendment.
Ordered, That Sir John Philips do go to the Lords, and desire the said Conference.
Preventing false Election Returns.
Sir Henry Colt, according to Order, presented to the House a Bill for making more effectual an Act, made in the Twenty-third Year of the Reign of King Henry the Sixth, for remedying false and undue Returns of Members of Parliament; and also to prevent Double Returns: And the same was received; and read the First time.
Resolved, That the Bill be read a Second time.
Hawkers and Pedlars.
A Petition of several Hawkers and Pedlars, in and about the City of London, in behalf of themselves, and many others trading or travelling in most Counties of England, was presented to the House, and read; setting forth, That the House intending to continue the Act for the Licensing of Hawkers and Pedlars, hope the Duty may be lessened, and a longer Time given for the raising thereof; the same being a greater Advantage to the Persons concerned in the Transport Debt, and an Ease to the Petitioners; which they are ready to make appear: And praying to be heard, and to have Relief in the Premises.
Resolved, That the Petition be rejected.
Short's, &c. Petition.
A Petition of Richard Short and Elizabeth his Wife, and Thomas Holmden and Mary his Wife, Daughters and Administratrixes of Antony Smith, late of Rotherhith, in the County of Surry, Mariner, deceased, was presented to the House; setting forth, * * * *
That the Consideration of the said Petition be referred to the Committee, to whom the said Bill is recommitted.
Escapes of Debtors.
A Petition of Thomas Bromhall, an Infant, by William Bromhall, his Father and Guardian, was presented to the House, and read; setting forth, That the Petitioner being interested in the Office of Warden of the Fleet; and understanding that Mrs. Johnson, and other Creditors of the said Office, have Liberty to add a Saving Clause, for their respective Interests in the said Office, in the Act for further Relief of Creditors in Cases of Escapes, &c.: And praying Liberty of offering Saving Clauses, as to the Petitioner's Interest.
Ordered, That the Consideration of the said Petition be referred to the Committee, to whom the said Bill is re-committed.
Sufferers at Londonderry.
Ordered, That the Report from the Committee, to whom it was referred to prepare an humble Address, to be presented to his Majesty, concerning Londonderry in Ireland, be taken into further Consideration upon Tuesday Morning next.
Leave of Absence.
Ordered, That Mr. Jenkyns have Leave to go into the Country, upon extraordinary Occasions.
Ordered, That the Serjeant do go with the Mace into Westminster-hall, and Courts there, and Court of Requests, and summons the Members there, to attend the Service of the House immediately.
And he went accordingly.
And, being returned;
Restraining Expence of Law Suits.
An ingrossed Bill, from the Lords, intituled, An Act to restrain the great Expence and Length of Suits in the Courts of Law and Equity, was, according to Order, read a Second time.
And the Question being put, That the Bill be committed;
It passed in the Negative.
Resolved, That the Bill be rejected.
Privilege— Unconstitutional Publication.
A Complaint being made to the House of a printed Pamphlet, intituled, "The Case of Ireland's being bound "by Acts of Parliament in England stated;"
And some Parts thereof being opened, by which the Authority of the Parliament of England is denied to be binding of Ireland;
And the said Pamphlet being brought up to the Table; and the Title thereof read;
Resolved, That a Committee be appointed to examine into the said Pamplet, and to inquire into the Author thereof; and report such Passages as they find denying the Authority of the Parliament of England; and also, what Proceedings have been in Ireland, that might occasion the said Pamphlet:
And it is referred to * * * *
Resolved, That an humble Address be presented to his Majesty, by such Members of this House, as are of his Majesty's most Honourable Privy-Council, humbly desiring his Majesty, That he will be pleased to direct an Inquiry to be made, who is the Author of the said Pamphlet; and that he may be punished.
Ways and Means.
Sir Thomas Littleton, according to Order, reported, from the Committee of the whole House, to whom it was referred to consider further of Ways and Means for raising the Supply granted to his Majesty, the Resolutions of the said Committee; which they had directed him to report to the House; 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.
Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That, towards raising a Fund for Two Millions, the further Duty, of One Shilling and Eight-pence per Bushel, upon Salt, be granted to his Majesty, his Heirs and Successors, redeemable by Parliament.
Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That, towards raising the said Fund for Two Millions, the Duty, of Two-pence per Gallon, upon Salt imported; and the Duty, of One Peny per Gallon, upon English Salt; granted to his Majesty, by an Act made in the Eighth Year of his Majesty's Reign, until the Twenty-fifth Day of December One thousand Six hundred and Ninetynine; be granted to his Majesty, his Heirs and Successors, redeemable by Parliament.
Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That, towards raising the said Fund for Two Millions, the additional Duty upon stamped Vellum, Parchment, and Paper, voted this Session of Parliament, be granted to his Majesty, his Heirs and Successors, redeemable by Parliament.
The said Resolutions, being severally read a Second time, were, upon the Question severally put thereupon, agreed unto by the House.
Ordered, That a Bill be brought in upon the said Resolutions: And that Mr. Attorney-General, Mr. SolicitorGeneral, and Mr. Lowndes, do prepare and bring in the Bill.
Duties on Glass, &c.
Mr. Manley, according to Order, reported, from the Committee, to whom the Considerations of the several Petitions, complaining of the Duties upon Glass and Earthern Wares, and Tobacco-pipes, were referred, the Matter, 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.
That the Petitioners being numerous, the Committee thought sit only to hear Two or Three Witnesses to each Petition; and took their Examinations, as followeth; viz.
Upon the Petition of the Glass-makers and Workmen, in and about Stourbridge, in the County of Worcester.
John Jesson said, That the Duty laid upon the Glass Manufacture is ruinous to the Trade, and but of little Advantage to the Crown:
That he has not made One Bottle since the Commencement of the Duty; having had 100 Dozen ever since by him, which he cannot sell, unless to Loss.
Edward Houghton, a Workman, said, That there are Three more Work-houses for the Bottle-Trade at Stourbridge, which have not worked since the Duty; and that he has not had One Day's Work since:
That One Bottle-house employs 100 People when in Work; and about 50 to a White-house: That there are 6 or 7 of the White Glass-houses at Stourbridge, and five Broad Glass-houses, which employ about the like Number to an House:
That the said White and Broad Glass-houses, since the said Duty, have worked but very little; viz, 7 or 8 Weeks in the time they before used to work Forty; whereby many of the Petitioners are reduced to that Poverty, as to become a Charge to the Parish where they live; and that many more must, if the Duty be continued.
Upon the Petition of the Glass-makers in and about Bristoll:
Henry Dixon, a Workman, said, That, before the said Duty, there were Six Bottle-houses at Bristoll, always working; and now but Three that are employed, and they but little; and what they do make, are for Exportation; whereby no Advantage arises to the Crown, because of the Drawback thereupon:
That there used to be Four White-houses at work there, whereof but Two work, and they very little.
James Jones, Workman, said, That this Tax hath ruined both him and his Family; for, before the Duty, he could earn constant Wages of 30 s. a Week; and now if he can get a Day's Work, he can earn but 6 d.; and, for want of that Employment, he begged his Way up to Town, leaving his Wife and Four small Children behind him, to seek Redress; and that there are 6 or 700 People in the Country, that belonged to the said Workhouses, without Employment.
Upon the Petition of the Glass-makers of the City of Gloucester, and Town of Newnham:
Mr. Balawyn, Owner of a Glass-house, said, That he is concerned in Three Glass-houses at or near Gloucester; and that he has not worked Ten Days since the Duty upon Bottles; whereas before, there were (fn. 1) [above] 100 Families that depended upon, and had their Support and Employment from, the said Houses, who now, for the most Part of them, want Bread: That the Duty raises the Price of the Bottles so high, that his Customers, among whom he chiefly dealt for Cyder, do now put the same into Cask, instead of Bottles; otherwise his Houses would have had full Employment to this Day.
Upon the Petition of the Glass-makers of Newcastle upon Tine:
Joshua Middleton, Owner of a Glass-house, said, That he has endeavoured to strive with the Burden of the said Duty; and, to that End, kept his Fire in, and worked, for Twenty Weeks, and employed his poor Servants; but was forced to lay down, not being able to sell the Bottles he made, by reason of the Addition the Duty puts upon the Price thereof; which puts so great a Restraint upon their Consumption; besides the Loss they sustain in Flying and Breakage, after the Duty is paid to the King.
John Colt, Workman, said, He has left his Wife and Children behind him, at Newcastle, whilst he came to seek for Work at London; and has not had One Day's Work these 19 Months, the Fires being all out in the Country; but used to get 40 s. a Week, when he was fully employed.
Upon the Petition of the Glass-makers in and about the City of London:
Mr. Hall, an Owner, said, That the Duty upon Glass has loaded that Manufacture to that Degree, that in what little Work they do employ their Servants in, they are forced to consine them, before they work, to accept their Wages in Glass Ware; and so, when they leave off Work, they are forced to hawk about the Country, to turn their Glass Wages into Money.
Daniel Griffin, Workman, said, That he has been out of Work these 18 Months past, till, about Three Weeks ago, he got into a Work-house in London, where there is about Two Months Stock to work up; and then never expects a Day's Work more, if the Duty continues.
Thomas Gyles, Workman, said, That he has had Work but 8 Weeks, for 18 Months past, when his constant Wages was 40 s. a Week; and now wants Bread, for want of Employment to earn it.
Upon the Petitions of the Pipe-makers:
Robert Wood said, That the Consumption of the Tobacco-pipes is so much lessened, since the Duty laid thereupon, that there are not about this Town, where lies the greatest Life of the said Trade, by reason of some small Help in Exportation, Two-thirds of the Persons employed therein as formerly, the rest being reduced to the extremest Exigencies of Poverty and Necessity; and those few Servants they have left, daily threaten to desert their Masters, and to betake themselves to some other Work for a Livelihood.
Upon the Petitions of Mr. Dwight, and other Master Pot-makers, and Workers in that Manufacture:
Mr. Philip Dwight, appeared for his Father, be being ill, and produced many Curiosities in the Earthen-ware, made here, in imitation of the finest Commodities of that Nature, coming from Abroad, and performed by great Labour, Charge, and Study; which has been much discouraged and interrupted by the Duty thereupon; and therefore he has forbore making any further Improvement thereof; and, if the Duty be not taken off, must let that Manufacture fall.
Nathaniell Parker said, That he has been in the Stone-Bottle-Trade 25 Years; and is sensible the Duty amounts to 50l. per Cent. upon that Commodity; and when a Failure happens in Burning, which is often, and no Man can prevent, the Duty amounts to Cent. per Cent:
That they have not sold so much of their Ware, since the Duty commenced, as they used to do in a Year; whereby half the Workmen are turned off, and want Subsistence; they having now as much Goods beforehand, as will serve a Twelve-month's Sale, without any more Work; and that, before the Duty, they had Demand for their Wares, faster than the same could be made.
Upon the Petition of the Potmakers:
Mr. Crew said, That, since the Duty, their Workmen are become chargeable to the Parish; but before, were maintained by themselves: That, before the Duty, they had a good Trade, which is now much lessened: That he formerly employed 100 Men, and now but Fifty; and his Duty amounts to about 100l. per Annum:
That there are 7 White Earthen-ware-houses about London: Two at Bristoll; and One at Norwich, which is since broke.
James Marriner, Workman for Stone Bottles about London, said, That his Master, during the War, till this Duty, employed so many Servants, as their Wages amounted to Thirty Pound a Week, and now but to 8 Pound; and must in a short time lay them aside too, or else it will prove his Ruin; the said Duty preventing the Consumption of the said Manufactures: That there is not above One third of Stone Bottles sold, as used to be; and the Country will now buy but very little of any but the low-priced Ware, as those made red and yellow for poor and ordinary Services.
Mr. Pearson said, That there is now 12,000 Dozen of Bottles in Stock, at the Glass-house in Ratcliff.
Mr. Jackson said, That at Lyn there were Two Workhouses before the Duty; but that they, neither of them, worked since the Duty commenced; but that he has sent down 5 or 6,000 Dozen of Bottles thither, for a Market, and had as many in Stock there, when he left off working.
Upon the Petition of the Tobacco pipe-makers in London:
Richard Hensham said, That before the Duty, he usually made an hundred Gross of Pipes in a Week, and now but 20: then kept Four Men, and now but One: That the Duty has undone him, by lessening the Vent of the said Commodities.
John Michell said, Since the Duty, several Journeymen, that cannot be employed by their Masters, are set up for themselves, some about Westminster; and, rather than do nothing, and having nothing to lose upon a Forfeiture, if taken, makes some shist of living, by running their Goods, and cheating the King of the Duty:
That, before the Duty, he usually employed 4 or 5 Men, and now but One, and scarce has Work for him.
John Bigly said, That he wants Bread, for want of Employment, not being able to earn Five Shillings a Week, when, before the Duty, he used to have constant Work, and could earn 13 s. a Week; Wages being paid Six-pence per Gross.
Mr. Dallow, a Bottle-maker in London, said, That he has sold at as good Rates, since the Duty, as before; and that the Consumption is lessened by the War, and not by the Duty: That, within 20 Years, several Contracts had been between the Bottle-makers about London, who did agree not to sell, sometimes under 3 s. a Dozen, never under 2s. 6d.; but the Country Manufacturers were not concerned therein.
That upon the said several Complaints of the many Petitioners, the Committee was willing to inform themselves, what the Duties upon the said several Commodities of Glass, Earthen, Stone-ware, and Tobacco-pipes, amounted to, from the 17th Day of May 1696, to the 17th Day of February last past; and, accordingly, made such an Order to the Commissioners for those Duties, who laid such Account before the Committee; whereby it appeared, That the net Duties, upon the said Commodities, for the Time aforesaid, excepting the Duty upon Pipes and Earthen-ware, from the 17th of November, to the said 17th of February, not being charged to that Account, paid into the Exchequer, and in Debt standing out upon Bond, amounted to 34,055l. 11 s. 7¾d.
But the Petitioners alleging, There were many Debentures for Drawbacks, that were not come to the Commissioners Hands, or that they had not brought to Account; and that many of the Debts, charged in that Item, were lost to the Crown, the Persons owing the same being broke, and undone, by the Continuance of the said Duty; and that many of the Wares, included in that Account, were still on the Makers Hands;
And therefore, to come at a clear State of the Income of the said Duty, from the Commencement of the same, to the said 17th Day of February last, the Committee sent their Order, for that Purpose, to the Auditor of the Exchequer; who, the 16th of March last, certified to the Committee as followeth; viz.
That there has been paid into the Exchequer, of the Duties arising by Glass, Stone, and Earthen-wares, from the Commencement of the Act, to the 17th Day of February 1697, inclusive, the Sum of 19,258l. 15s. —½d.
And, as to the Residue of the before-mentioned Sum of 34,055l. 11s. 7¾d. the Commissioners insisted, and offered to prove, That the same did remain in the Manufacturers Hands, upon good Security, and was in no Danger of being lost to his Majesty; but had been forborn, only in Favour to the Manufacturers.
And the Petitioners, in general, complaining of what greater Hardships they were yet likely to undergo, by the Duties then voted, by this House, to be laid upon Coals; alleging, That the Duties upon the Coals they burn in the making of 100l. worth of Manufacture, amount to 5l.: that every Bottle-house about the Town, before the Duty upon Glass Wares, used to burn Twenty Chaldron of Coals a Week, and in the Country about Thirty Ton a Week; and that a Bushel of Coals goes to the burning every Four Gross of Tobacco-pipes:
The Commissioners for the Duties, by Order, laid before the Committee the following Proposals, in Writing, for regulating the said Duties with greater Equality, and Ease to the Manufacturers; viz.
1st, That 10l. per Cent. on the Duty of Flint and Green Glass, and 15l. per Cent. on Plate Glass, and 5l. per Cent, on the Pipes and Earthen-ware, be allowed to the Maker for Breakage.
2. That the Duty on Glass, now laid ad valorem, be altered, and laid on the several Species of Glass to be enumerated.
3. That a higher Duty be laid on the Importation of all foreign Glass, and Earthen-wares, and a Prohibition on all foreign Tobacco-pipes.
4. That Care be taken, in the Enumeration, to take off Part of the Duty upon each particular Sorts of Glass, where it lies unequally; and to lay it on other Sorts, where it may be easier to the Manufacturers.
5. That no Glass, or Earthen-wares, be exported from Ireland to any of his Majesty's Colonies and Plantations.
The Commissioners did also lay before the Committee some Heads, which they conceived proper for Improvement of the Duty; and for which, if needful Clauses were provided for its due Collection, they said, they are ready to procure sufficient Persons to farm the same at 40,000l. per Annum, clear of all Charges.
A Copy of the said Proposals being, by Order, delivered to the Petitioners, and a Day given them to be heard thereupon, the Petitioners dissented from the Proposals; and offered several Objections, in Writing, against the same; insisting, That the said Proposals, if complied with, would be very little or no Ease to the Petitioners; in their Manufacture of the said Wares.
That, upon the whole Matter, the Committee came to the Resolutions following; viz.
Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That the Petitioners have made good the Allegations of their several Petitions.
Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That the Produce of the several Duties laid upon Glass, Stone, Earthen-wares, and Tobacco-pipes, are of little Advantage to the Crown, grievous in the Collection, and, if continued, will prove destructive to the said several Manufactures.
Ordered, That the Consideration of the said Report be referred to the Committee of the whole House, who are to consider of Ways and Means for raising the Supply granted to his Majesty.
Estates given to superstitious Uses.
Ordered, That the Bill for the better Discovery of Estates given to superstitious Uses be read the Third time upon this Day Sevennight.
Ordered, That all Committees be revived.
And then the House adjourned till Monday Morning, Nine a Clock.