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, 24 die Januarii;
Distillation from Corn.
A PETITION of several Farmers and Maltsters, in the Hundred of Harlow, Onger, Dunmow, and Clavering, within the County of Essex, was presented to the House, and read; setting forth, That, since an Act of Parliament for encouraging the distilling Brandy, and Spirits, from Corn, the Petitioners have rented and sown divers Acres of Land and Barley, with good Success; but, since a later Act for laying a Duty of 6d. per Bushel upon all malted Corn, they have met with great Discouragements; and, by the Wetness of the last Year, great Part of their Crop of Barley is rendered unfit for Brewing; yet, if Care be taken to prevent Exportation, there is enough, and to spare, to serve the Expence of the Nation, until another Crop come; but, if the Bill, depending in the House to prohibit the Distilling of Spirits, and low Wines, from Corn, should pass into an Act, it will hinder the Petitioners from disposing of their said damnified Corn, and so disable them to pay their Rents: And praying, That they may be heard, by Counsel, against the said Bill.
Privilege— Petition relating to a Member.
Ayre and Calder Navigation.
Claims for Prizes.
7 October 1697, The Ship, and 9½ Tuns of Wine, were restored by Decree of the High Court of Admiralty, as belonging and appertaining to Claes Whitemark, Oloffe Hanson Jorne, and the Master, all Subjects of the most Serene King of Sweden: Whereupon, so soon as the said Decree was brought to the Prize-Office, an Order was immediately issued out for their Restitution accordingly.
9th November 1697, Another Order was (fn. 1) [signed, and] sent, that Post, by the said Commissioners, to the Sub-Commissioners at Plymouth, to cause all the Remainder of her Cargo to be unloaded, inventoried, and appraised, except the 9½ Tuns restored:
Whereupon, a Certificate was returned, That the Quantity of Casks landed out of her were but 663 Hogsheads and 9 Half Hogsheads; which make but 167 Tuns: Which Certificate was signed by the Sub-Commissioners, and agreed to by the Custom-house Officers; for which there was Freight paid, and no more.
28th January 1697/8. There was an Appraisement returned, upon Oath of Five Men (of which the Collector of the Customs was One), That the said 167 Tuns made out, when filled up, but 499 Hogsheads, and 4 Half Hogsheads; which is but 125¼ Tuns; and then valued them but at 8l. per Tun.
25 February 1697/8. The said Wines were put up for Sale, by Inch of Candle (as the Act of Parliament for Encouragement of Privateers directs), after due Notice given, as well in London, as in Plymouth where the Wine then lay, first at the Appraisement, as usual; to which no Person offering any thing, the Commissioners lowered them by Degrees, to 5£. per Tun; which not taking Effect, they set them at 4£. per Tun, to advance 5s. per Tun; and still the Merchants continued their Resolution of not bidding: Whereupon, they adjourned the Sale; and, some time afterwards, having tried all manner of Ways to advance the Price, for the Interest of his Majesty, as well as all others concerned therein, they again gave publick Notice at the Exchange, for the Selling of them; and then set the Price at 6£. per Tun, and offered them publickly, to all the Merchants, at that Price; which they, unanimously, refused to give: But, before the Board rose, an Offer was made them, to take the whole Quantity, and include all eager and decayed, at the said Price of 6£. per Tun; which they accepted of, and sold them accordingly.
29 June 1698. A Return was made of the Delivery of the same, to the Buyer; which then made out but 485 Hogsheads, and Three Half Hogsheads, which is 121 Tuns 2½ Hogsheads; to which Return, both the Custom-house Officers and Prize Officers agreed: And the same Quantity is made good, in the Account given in, at the Prices they were sold for, as aforesaid.
Note, The Loss in Quantity proceeds from their so long lying on board; whereby the Hoops were rotted, and, some of them flying, occasioned great Leakage; so that great Part of them came out but a Quarter, others One Third, full; and, in general, every one of them wanting considerably of being full; so that it took up 42 Tuns, or thereabouts, to fill up the rest; for which, the Commissioners were obliged to pay Freight, it being always the Custom of Merchants so to do.
The Loss between Filling-up and Delivery, is but 3½ Tuns; which is but small Leakage, considering they had lain near Six Months in the Cellars, after their First Filling, and the Waste in Tasting, in order to Sale, &c.
Note, further, From her first coming in, till she was delivered, there was always Waiters on board, as well for the Custom-house, as the Prize-Office, and Locks kept on the Cellar-doors, by both Sets of Officers, until the Delivery to the Buyer, which was in Presence of them all; whereof they have returned Certificates accordingly.
There was Direction always given, That the Captains, or their Agents, might put a Waiter or Waiters on board; join One or Two Appraisers in the Appraisement; and put Locks on the Cellar-doors, until Delivery; if they were so pleased.
It may be further observed, That the 6£. per Tun, with the Customs, makes near 34£. per Tun; and that, for the Wines lying at Plymouth, which is, at least, 10£. per Tun Difference from the Markets in London; which, if considered, is a great Price for such Wines, that had lain so long in a perishing Condition; which rendered some of them eager, and the rest palled and decayed, for want of being filled up.
Earl of Darwentwater's Estate.
An ingrossed Bill, from the Lords, intituled, An Act for the more easy and certain Payment of the Debts of Edward Earl of Darwentwater, by Sale of Woods and Timber; and for enabling him to raise Money, for Discharge of Incumbrances, upon Part of his Estate; was read the Third time.
Privilege— Resusal of Sheriff to arrest a Member.
The House being informed, on the behalf of Mr. Smith, Under-Sheriff of Middlesex, That the Persons who amerced and prosecuted the Sheriff, for not detaining the Lord William Pawlet, on the Arrest, within the time of Privilege of Parliament, had discharged the Amerciament, and given the Sheriff a Release; and that therefore the said Mr. Smith desires Leave to withdraw his Petition;
Hearing Election Petitions.
Sir Rowland Gwyn acquainted the House, from the Committee of Privileges and Elections, That, by hearing the Complaint of a Matter of Privilege, and by reason the Hearing the Merits of the Election for the Borough of Ailesbury hath lasted several Days, and the Adjournment of Committees, Causes depending before the said Committee had been postponed many Days from the Time they were first appointed; and that the Committee had directed him to pray the Direction of the House, what was fit to be done in that Case, for the Ease of the Persons concerned.
A Petition of the Governors of the Dutch Bay-hall in Colchester; and also of the Bay-makers, Perpetuanamakers, and Say-makers, of the said Town; was presented to the House, and read; setting forth, That the Woollen Manufacture is so considerable Trade in the said Town, that the Poor thereof, and for 12 Miles about it, have their Dependence thereon; but the said Trades are so discouraged, by the Scarcity of Wool, that great Numbers of the Tradesmen of the said Town have set up the said Manufactures in Ireland; and those Trades here are likely to come to decay, to the utter Ruin of the Petitioners, and the Poor: And praying, That the Bill, now depending in the House, to encourage the Woollen Manufacture in England; and to restrain the Exportation of Woollen Manufactures from Ireland into any foreign Parts; and for the better preventing the Exportation of Wool from England and Ireland; may pass into an Act; they conceiving it to be very effectual to relieve them in the Premises.
State of the Navy.
Victualing Fleet in the Straits.
Ordered, That Brook Bridges Esquire, Auditor of the Imprest, do lay before this House his Exceptions, Notes, and Observations, upon the Account brought him for the victualing the Fleet in the Straits.