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, 31 die Januarii;
Duty on Leather.
A Petition of the Tanners, Leather-dressers, and Glovers, of the Town of Bernard-Castle, in the County of Durham, was presented to the House, and read; setting forth, That the Petitioners living at a great Distance from London, and other trading Towns, their Returns are so small, that they can scarce maintain their Families; and, since the Duty upon Leather, their Trades are very much decayed, and their Families reduced to the utmost Extremity: And praying the House to consider of other Ways to raise Money, than by a Tax upon Leather.
A Petition of the Inhabitants of the several Parishes of Taunton St. Mary Magdalen, and Taunton St. James, in the County of Somerset, was presented to the House, and read; setting forth, That the Petitioners believe, the Design of making the River Tone navigable, from the Town of Bridgewater up to Taunton, is a real Charity to the Poor of both the said Parishes; and a general Benefit to the Petitioners, and Parts adjacent, by promoting of Trade, and improving of Lands: And praying the House to give all due Encouragement to the Undertakers of so common a Good.
Claims for Prizes.
A Petition of John Liftrott, Gilbert Sweetland, and others, on behalf of themselves, and the rest of the Ship's Company, belonging to his Majesty's Ship Medway, was presented to the House, and read; setting forth, That, within the Space of One Year, they took Ten French Privateers, amounting to 200 Guns; and that their Captain, William Cleveland, made great Embezzlements of Stores, the Petitioners not having had their Shares of their said Prizes: And praying the Consideration of the House therein.
Ordered, That the Consideration of the said Petition be referred to the Committee, to whom the Petition of Captain Crow is referred: And that they do examine the Matter of the said Petition; and report the same, with their Opinion therein, to the House.
Ordered, That the Bill to enable Edward Bullwer Esquire to sell certain Lands in the County of Norfolk, he settling other Lands, in the same County, of equal Value, to the same Uses, be read a Second Time upon Friday Morning.
Mr. Blackhall thanked.
Ordered, That the Thanks of the House be given to Mr. Blackhall, for the Sermon by him preached before them Yesterday, at St. Margaret's, Westminster: And that he be desired to print the same: And that Mr. Hare, Mr. Hammond, and Mr. Perry, do acquaint him therewith.
Suppressing Vice and Immorality.
Regulating Printers, and Printing-Presses.
Claims for Prizes.
A Petition of Robert Fairfax, late Captain of his Majesty's Ship Cornwall, in Behalf of himself, and Ship's Company, was presented to the House, and read; setting forth, That, on the 27th of June 1697, he took, as Prize, a Sweeds Ship, called the Great Gustavus; and the greatest Part of her Cargo was condemned, and sold, by the Commissioners of Prizes, as they pretend, by their Accounts, for 1,290 l. 12s. 3¼d.; but there appearing to be wanting about Sixty Tons of the Ship's Cargo, by a former Account, given by the Accomptant of the PrizeOffice, the Petitioner obtained another Account, as imperfect as the former; so that, by their Reckoning, the Petitioner and Company's Share came to but 178 l. 15s. though the Value of the Capture, at the least Computation, was worth 9,000 l. Customs included: And praying, That the said Commissioners may give a more particular Account of the said Capture, in order to the Petitioner's Relief.
A Petition of the Justices of the Peace, and Grand Jury, for the County of Stafford, at the General QuarterSessions of the Peace, held at Stafford, for the said County, the 10th Day of January 1698, was presented to the House, and read; setting forth, That the Design of making the River Darwent. . . . . . will be of great Use to the said County, in promoting Trade with the County of Derby; and will also be a great Means to employ the Poor in the Inland Countries, by such a Navigation: And praying the Assistance of the House in favour of the said Navigation.
Elections— Qualifying Votes.
Ordered, That Leave be given to bring in a Bill for regulating the Method of Qualifying of Voters in Cities, Boroughs, and Cinque-Ports, for electing Members to serve in Parliament: And that Mr. How, Mr. Edward Harley, and Mr. Hooper, do prepare, and bring in, the Bill.
Abuses in King's Bench and Fleet Prisons.
A Petition of John Praed was presented to the House, and read; setting forth, That the Petitioner obtained a Decree in Chancery, and Sequestration, against William War, for above 6,400 l. and obtained several Orders of Chancery for his Consinement in the Fleet Prison; but the Warden of the Fleet has taken Security for his Forthcoming, and compounded for his Non-consinement; so he enjoys his perfect Liberty; and the Petitioner can have no Benefit of his Proceedings at Law, War having made fraudulent Conveyances of his real Estate; and trading in other Mens Names; though he is reputed to be worth Three Times more than the Petitioner's said Debt: And praying Relief in the Premises.
Ordered, That the Consideration of the said Petition be referred to the Committee, to whom the Petition of John Goodall is referred; and who are to inquire into the ill Practices and Abuses of the Prisons of the King'sBench and Fleet: And that they do examine the Matter thereof; and report the same, with their Opinion therein, to the House.
Lords desire a Conference.
Conference agreed to.
Mr. Heveningham reported the Conference: And that the Earl of Rochester managed the same, on the Part of the Lords; and acquainted them, That the Lords do not insist upon some of their Amendments; but that they do insist upon others of them; viz.
The Lords insist on their Amendments in the 5th, 10th, 14th, and 23d, Lines of the 4th Skin; and ground their Reasons for so doing, chiesfly on a Matter of Fact; which, if they are misinformed, they shall be ready to agree with the Commons; and the Matter of Fact; is this; That there hath no Provision of Corn, Malt, or Meal, of late Years, been carried out of England, for any of the Plantations in America; some small Quantity of the finest Flour, for the principal Persons residing there, hath been sometimes transported from thence, but not for the Use of the Inhabitants in general: And that all those Plantations have, for some time time past, and now do, and will, furnish themselves, hereafter, with all these Commodities from New-England, or Pensilvania; because they are always to be had cheaper from those Parts than from hence: So that, if this Fact be true, the allowing Leave for Corn to be carried from hence will not obviate the Inconveniencies mentioned in the Reasons given by the Commons; viz. That it would be of dangerous Consequence to accustom the Southern Islands in America to draw such Provisions from New-England, Pensilvania, or other Parts on the Continent; for those in the Plantations, unless they are strictly prohibited to fetch them from New-England, which this Act does not intend, will, in all Probability, have them from those Places where they can be supplied the cheapest: So then, if this Matter of Fact be true, which their Lordships have taken the best Means they can be informed of, they cannot but think, it may be of great Use, in such a Year, as it is apprehended this may prove, for great Scarcity of Corn, to leave as few Doors open as is possible for the Transportation of any; and, especially not to allow of a Licence to carry any to the Plantations; which seems to them, if the Matter of Fact, here alleged, be true, to be a Means for the carrying it to other Places, on the Pretence that it is designed for the Plantations.
As to the other Amendment, in Question, in the 30th L. of the 5th Skin; the Lords agree, That the Proviso, sent up in the Bill from the House of Commons, is more proper to prevent Disputes betwixt the People and the Custom-house Officers, than the Clause prepared by their Lordships, if that were the only Thing to be taken Care of: But the Lords do not observe, that the Proviso in the Bill takes any Care to hinder the People, under Pretence of carrying Corn to the Market in Boats, to carry it directly on Ship-board, for Exportation; and they conceive their own Clause is much more proper to prevent any ill Practice of that Sort: Upon the whole Matter, the House of Lords being of Opinion, that the Bill, to which these Amendments relate, is very reasonable and necessary, their Lordships are desirous to make it as strong and effectual, for the Ends designed by it, as is possible: And, for these Reasons, the Lords think fit to insist on these Amendments.
Conference desired with Lords.
The House, according to the Order of the Day, resolved itself into a Committee of the whole House, to consider further of the Bill 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.
Resolved, That this House will, To-morrow, after the Committee of the whole House upon the Bill for the more effectual Suppressing of Vice and Immorality, resolve itself into a Committee of the whole House, to consider further of the said Bill.