Journal of the House of Commons: Volume 12, 1697-1699. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1803.
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Martis, 10 die Januarii;
10° Gulielmi Tertii.
Elections— Fees, &c. to Clerk of the Crown on Returns.
A PETITION of Thomas Chute Esquire, Clerk of the Crown, was presented to the House, and read; setting forth, That the Writs for electing Members to serve in Parliament, with the Indentures annexed, ought to be delivered into the Petitioner's Office by the High Sheriff himself, or some other credible Person: But the Returns for this Parliament have been very unusual; not Half of the Members being returned at the Day they were to meet, and some not till Three Months after; and the Indentures from some Counties sent up by the Post, and brought the Petitioner by Boys and Porters; which may prove of ill Consequence: That heretofore, the Petitioner, and his Predecessors, did receive a small Fee upon filing the Indentures, and entering the Names of all the Members in Two Books; one of them remaining of Record in the Petitioner's Office, and the other delivered for the Service of this House; which now is seldom paid him: And praying the Consideration of the House in the Premises.
Ordered, That the Consideration of the said Petition be referred to a Committee: And that they do examine the Matter thereof, and report their Opinion therein what is fit to be done, in relation thereunto:
And it is referred to Mr. Clark, Mr. Heveningham, Sir Richard Onslow, Mr. Lowther, Sir John Bolles, Mr. Campion, Mr. Eyres, Mr. Cox, Mr. Blake, Mr. Offley, Mr. Bulkly, Sir Tho. Wagstaffe, Mr. Denton, Mr. Vaughan, Sir Richard Farrington, Mr. Montagu, Mr. Osborne, Mr. Hughes, Mr. Lowndes, Mr. Clayton, Mr. Harvey, Mr. Boyle, Sir Wm. Ellis, Mr. Lee, Sir Robert Cotton, Mr. Roberts, Mr. Hayes, Mr. Machell, Mr. Shackerly, Mr. Carter, Sir Wm. Villers, Sir John Philips, Mr. England, Mr. Freeman, Sir Thomas Davall, Mr. Hervey: And they are to meet this Afternoon at Five a Clock, in the Speaker's Chambers: And have Power to send for Persons, Papers, and Records.
Ordered, That it be an Instruction to the said Committee, That they do consider of the enlarging the Time, allowed by the late Act, for delivering the Precepts in the Cinque-Ports, for Elections of Members to serve in Parliament.
Distillation from Corn.
A Petition of several Farmers, in the County of Hertford, was presented to the House, and read; setting forth, That since an Act passed, in the 2d Year of the Reign of King William and Queen Mary, for encouraging the distilling Brandy and Spirits from Corn, the Petitioners have rented and sown several Acres of Land with Barley, with good Success: But by another Act, passed lately, for laying a Duty of 6d. per Bushel upon all malted Corn, the Petitioners have been greatly discouraged; and, by reason of a wet and cold Season this Year, their Corn, in great part, is unfit for Brewing; so that if a Bill now depending in the House, for prohibiting the Distilling of low Wines, and Spirits, from Corn; and to prevent the Frauds in Distillers; should pass, it will hinder the Petitioners from selling their damaged Corn, and incapacitate them to pay their Rents: And praying, That they may be heard, by Counsel, against the said Bill before it pass this House.
Ordered, That the said Petition do lie upon the Table until the said Bill be read a Second time.
A Petition of the Mayor, Aldermen, Sheriffs, and Common-Council, of the City of Bristoll, on behalf of the Citizens and Inhabitants there, was presented to the House, and read; setting forth, That the Grand Jury for the said City did, at their last General Quarter-Sessions, signify to the Mayor, and Justices, the great Distress the poor labouring People lay under, by reason of the Dearness of Corn, occasioned, in great measure, by the great Quantities of Malt distilled into Spirits; which more especially affects the Poor, because their Bread, as well as Drink, is, for the most part, made from Barley; so that if that Grain only be reduced to a moderate Price, it would very much ease the Poor: And praying the Consideration of the House therein.
Ordered, That the said Petition do lie upon the Table until the Bill to prohibit the Distilling of low Wines, and Spirits, from Corn; and to prevent the Frauds in Distillers; be read a Second time.
A Petition of several Land-owners, Farmers, and Maltsters, of the County of Norfolk, and City of Norwich, on behalf of themselves and others, was presented to the House, and read; setting forth, That the Rents of that County are, in a great measure, raised by the Produce of Barley, the greatest Part of the Ground being most proper for that Grain, which generally was exported before the Act for encouraging the distilling Spirits from Corn, the Price thereof being very low: That if the Bill, depending in the House, to prohibit the Distilling of Spirits, and low Wines, from Corn; and to prevent the Frauds in Distillers; should pass into a Law, it will not only prejudice the Petitioners in their Estates and Employments, but will also much lessen his Majesty's Revenues: And praying, That the Distilling of Spirits from Malt may be continued.
Ordered, That the said Petition do lie upon the Table until the said Bill be read a Second time.
A Bill for making the River Tone navigable from Bridgwater to Taunton, in the County of Somerset, was read a Second time.
And a Motion being made, and the Question being put, That the Bill be committed to a Committee of the whole House;
It passed in the Negative.
Resolved, That the Bill be committed to Sir Walter Young, Sir Thomas Day, Mr. Clark, Mr. Hales, Mr. Hoar, Mr. Pitfeild, Sir Richard Cox, Sir Philip Boteler, Sir Richard Onslow, Mr. Clayton, Captain Dyot, Mr. Culliford, Mr. Harvey, Sir Francis Drake, Sir John Philips, Mr. Philipps, Mr. Mountague, Mr. Blake, Mr. York, Mr. Blofeild, Sir Richard Farrington, Mr. Miller, Mr. Thornhagh, Mr. Stonehouse, Mr. Yates, Mr. Hare, Sir Godfry Copley, Mr. Henly, Mr. Cowper, Mr. Conyers, Mr. Bere, Mr. England, Mr. Hooper, Mr. Lowther; and all for Devonshire, Somersetshire, and Dorsetshire: And they are to meet this Afternoon at Five a Clock, in the Speaker's Chambers.
A Motion being made, and the Question being put, That all that come to the said Committee have Voices;
It passed in the Negative.
Mr. Cowper reported, from the Committee of the whole House, to whom it was referred to consider of the Motion, made on Saturday last, for a Supply to be granted to his Majesty, the Resolution 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 was read; and is as followeth.; viz.
Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That a Supply be granted to his Majesty.
The said Resolution being read a Second time.
Resolved, That the House doth agree with the Committee in the said Resolution, That a Supply be granted to his Majesty.
Resolved, That this House will, To-morrow Morning, resolve itself into a Committee of the whole House, to consider further of the Supply to be granted to his Majesty.
Ordered, That the Abstract of what is due to the Forces now in England, to the First of January 1698, which had been presented to the House, be referred to the Consideration of the said Committee of the whole House.
Ordered, That the Lord Coningsby do lay before this House an Account of what is due to any Regiments under his Care, which are to be paid by England.
Ordered, That the Earl of Ranelagh do lay before this House an Account of what Arrears are due to the Forces already disbanded.
Money for disbanding the Army.
Ordered, That the Earl of Ranelagh do lay before this House an Account how the Money, which was appropriated the last Session for disbanding the Forces, has been applied.
East and West India, &c. Squadron, &c,
Sir Robert Rich, according to Order, presented to the House an Account of the Times when the East and West India and Straits, Squadron, were ordered to be fitted out:
And also a Copy of a Privy-Seal:
And acquainted the House, That, as the Account of superior Orders given for the passing Accounts for the Navy and Victualling, the same is preparing with all the Speed that can be.
Which Account, and Copy, are as follow; viz.
The said Account.
6 January 1698 / 9. Admiralty-Office.
The said Copy of a Privy-Seal; viz.
WILLIAM the Third, by the Grace of God, King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c. To the Commissioners of our Treasury, Chancellor, Under-Treasurer, Chamberlains, Barons, Auditors of the Imprest and Foreign Accounts, and all other Officers and Ministers of our Exchequer now being; and to the Treasurer, or Commissioners of our Treasury, Chancellor, Under-Treasurer, Chamberlains, Barons, Auditors of the Imprest and Foreign Accounts, and all other Officers and Ministers of Us, our Heirs and Successors, of or belonging to the Exchequer, for the Time being; and to the principal Officers and Commissioners of our Navy, and our Commissioners for victualling our said Navy; and to all others to whom these Presents do or may appertain; Greeting: Whereas Brook Bridges, Esquire, Auditor of our Imprest and Foreign Accounts, hath, by Direction of you, the Commissioners of our Treasury, prepared, and made up, the State of an Account, which was presented by our Right Trusty and Well-beloved Counsellor Edward Russell Esquire, of Provisions by him, or his Order, supplied to our Fleet in the Straits, or Mediterranean Sea, in the Years 1694 and 1695, wherein the said Accountant is charged to have received of John Stevenson, one of the Agents for victualling our Fleet at Sea, 3,500l. and for 46,297 Dollars Two Rials, received at Allycant and Barcellona, at 4s. 10d. each Dollar, 11,188l. 10s. 0d. ½; and for 289,898 Dollars Three Rials and Half a Rial, received at Cadiz of William Hodges, and his Partners, at 4s. 7d. each Dollar, 66,435l. 1s. 1d.; and for 16,237 Dollars Six Rials, received of the said William Hodges, and Partners, at 4s. 8d. each Dollar, 3,788l. 16s. 2d.; and for 1,183 Dollars taken out of the Chest at Palamos, at 4s. 8d. each Dollar, 276l. 0s. 8d.; and for Primage of 19,181 Dollars, carried up the Straits, at the Rate of one Pound per Cent. 44l. 15s.; in all, for Monies received by the said Accountant, the Sum of Eighty-five thousand Two hundred Thirty-three Pounds Two Shillings Eleven-pence Halfpenny; of which he craves Allowance for Monies paid Thomas Reynolds, Agent in the Straits, for Short-Allowance and Necessary-money, to be paid the Fleet, the Sum of 20,552l. 1s.; for 11,402 Pound Weight of Rice, 140l. for 395,363 Pound Weight of Rusk, 3,436l. 8s. 3d.; for 176,576 Pound Weight of Raisins, 1,377l. 8d. 7d.; for 396 Bushels Four Gallons of Figiolas, 89l. 4s. 3d.; for 712,214 Gallons Three Quarts of Wine, 35,610l. 14s. 9d.: for 100,399 Gallons and Three Pints of Oil, 13,386l. 11s. 8d.; for 1,376 Tuns Two Hogsheads of Cask for the Wine and Oil, and for 2,361 Iron Hoops, 3,629l. 10s. 10d.; for 19,586 Pound Weight of Flour, 179l. 2s. 8d.; for 20,867 Gallons of Wine leaked before it was delivered to the Fleet, 10,43l. 7s.; for 79 Sacks for the Figiolas, 4l. 15s.; for Provisions delivered the Ship Princess Ann, by the Consul at Carthagena, 6l. 17s. 6d; for refitting of Cask at Malaga, Sherries, and other Places, and for Warehouse-Room, 289l. 4s.; paid Thomas Reynolds, for his Salary as Agent-Victualler in the Straits, 261l. 18s. 4d. In all paid by the Accountant, the Sum of Eighty thousand and Seven Pounds Three Shillings Ten-pence: And so the said Accountant is indebted to Us in the Sum of 5,225l. 19s. 1½d.: And whereas we are well satisfied of the Truth of the said Account; and that it is just and reasonable, the said Edward Russell should have full and plenary Allowance and Discharge of the several Sums of Money beforementioned to be by him, or his Agents, paid, expended, or craved to be allowed, as aforesaid, although such formal Warrants, Receipts, or other Vouchers, as, by the strict Rules and Course of our Exchequer, are or might be requisite, were not had or obtained, or cannot be produced, for the said respective Sums, or some of them: Our Will and Pleasure, therefore, is, and We do hereby direct, authorize and command, That you, or such of you to whom it appertains, do cause the aforementioned Account of the said Edward Russell to be made up, declared, and passed, in the due Form and Course of our Exchequer; and him, the said Edward Russell, to be charged with the said Sum of 85,233l. 2s. 9½d. by him, or his Agents, received, as aforesaid, and to be fully allowed and discharged, in the said Account of the several Sums by him, or his Agents, paid, issued, expended, or otherwise, as is therein mentioned, craved to be allowed; amounting, in the Whole, to 80,007l. 3s. 10d.: And these our Letters of Privy-Seal, or the Entry or Inrollment thereof, shall be to you, and every of you, and all others herein concerned, a sufficient Warrant and Discharge for all, or whatsoever shall be done or performed, and executed, in pursuance hereof. Given under our Privy-Seal, at our Palace of Westminster, the 19th Day of October, in the Eighth Year of our Reign.
Vera Copia, Exr, per
Fran. Bythell Cler.
Bro. Bridges, Ar. Aud.
Papers respecting the Navy.
Ordered, That the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty do lay before this House a Copy of the Instructions given by the Lord High Admiral, or Lords Commissioners for executing the Office of Lord High Admiral, to the Commissioners of the Navy, or Commissioners for Victualling.
Ordered, That a Copy of the Order of Council, of the 10th of December 1673, relating to Pursers, be laid before this House.
Ordered, That Copies of all Letters sent by the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to the Commissioners of the Navy, in July last, relating to Poundage, and the Answers to them, be laid before this House.
Preventing Export of Corn, &c.
Ordered, That the Report from the Committee of the whole House, to whom the Bill to prohibit the Exportation of Corn, Meal, and Bread, for One Year, was committed, be made upon Thursday Morning next, at Ten a Clock.
Distillation from Corn.
Ordered, That the Bill to prohibit the Distilling of Spirits, and Low Wines, from Corn, and to prevent Frauds in Distillers; be read a Second time upon Saturday Morning next.
Accounts &c. respecting the Navy.
Ordered, That the several Accounts, Lists, and Papers, which have been presented to the House, relating to the Navy, and Victualling, be referred to the Consideration of the Committee of the whole House, who are to consider of the State of the Navy.
State of the Navy.
Then the House, according to the Order of the Day, resolved itself into a Committee of the whole House, to consider of the State of the Navy.
Mr. Speaker left the Chair.
Mr. Boyle took the Chair of the Committee.
Mr. Speaker resumed the Chair.
Mr. Boyle reported from the said Committee, That they had made some Progress in the Matters to them referred; and had directed him to move, That an Account may be laid before the House, of what Money was in the Hands of the Treasurer of the Navy, upon the Head of Wages, from the Month of January 1697, to the Month of September last.
Money for Seamens Wages.
Ordered, That an Account be laid before the House, of what Money was in the Hands of the Treasurer of the Navy, upon the Head of Wages, from the Month of January 1697, to the Month of September last; and that in the said Account be expressed the particular Times when the several Sums were paid to him.
Mr. Boyle also acquainted the House, That he was directed by the said Committee to move, That they may have Leave to sit again.
Resolved, That this House will, upon-Monday Morning next, resolve itself into a Committee of the whole House, to consider further of the State of the Navy.
And then the House adjourned till To-morrow Morning, Eight a Clock.