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, 11 die Februarii;
10° Gulielmi Tertii.
ORDERED, That Leave be given to bring in a Bill for the encouraging the Apprehending of Housebreakers, Horse-stealers, and other Felons: And that Mr. Dyot, Mr. Lowndes, and Colonel Byerly, do prepare, and bring in, the Bill.
A Petition of the Inhabitants of Walton cum Fazakerly, West-Derby, Kirby, Formby, Bootle cum Linacre, Everton, and Kirkdale, within the Parish of Walton, in the County of Lancaster, was presented to the House, and read; setting forth, That the Bill, depending in this House, for making the Town and Liberties of Liverpoole a distinct Parish from Walton, will be a great Prejudice to the Petitioners; for that the Church of Walton is in great Decay, and must be repaired, so often as Occasion requires, at the Charge of the remaining Part of the Parish, which they are not so well able to do: And praying, That, if the said Bill do pass, such Provision may be made therein as to subject the new Parish of Liverpoole to the Repairs of Walton Church, as they now are.
And a Motion being made, and the Question being put, That the Consideration of the said Petition be referred to the Committee, to whom the said Bill is committed;
It passed in the Negative.
Billingsgate Fish Market.
Ordered, That Mr. Papillon, Sir Thomas Cook, Mr. Shallet, Sir Francis Blake, Sir Barth. Shower, Mr. Harcourt, Sir John Fleet, Sir James Houblon, Mr. Clayton, be added to the Committee, to whom the Bill for making Billingsgate a free Market, for the Sale of Fish, is committed.
Duty on Leather.
A Petition of the Tanners, Skinners, Shoemakers, Glovers, Curriers, Sadlers, Collar-makers, Leatherdressers, and other Artificers in Leather, within the ancient Borough and Corporation of East Retford, in the County of Nottingham, and other adjacent Places, was presented to the House, and read; setting forth, That the Duty upon Leather is insupportable to the Petitioners, who daily find their Trades to decrease thereby; and will be their utter Ruin, if not speedily relieved; for that they are forced to fell their Goods cheaper now than before the Duty; and to give Credit, though they must pay down the Duty upon Salt: And praying the Relief of the House in the Premises.
Ordered, That the said Petition do lie upon the Table.
A Petition of the Tanners, Leather-dressers, Skinners, Glovers, and Cordwainers, in the Borough of Marlborough, Town of Ramsbury, and Parts adjacent, in the County of Wilts, on behalf of themselves, and others, was presented to the House, and read; setting forth, That, by reason of the Duty upon Leather, the Petitioners are very much burdened, their Trades decayed, and them, and their Families, like to be utterly ruined: And praying the House to consider their deplorable Condition, and grant them some Relief.
Ordered, That the said Petition do lie upon the Table.
Duty on Leather.
A Petition of the Fellmongers, Glovers, and White Leather-dressers, within the ancient Town and County of the Town of Nottingham, was presented to the House, and read; setting forth, That the Duty now payable upon Leather is so great, and their Trades so decayed thereby, that they are reduced to very great Poverty; insomuch that some have been forced to leave off their Trades, and live on the Charity of their Neighbours: And praying, That the said Duty may be taken off, or some other Relief provided, such as the House shall think fit.
Ordered, That the said Petition do lie upon the Table.
Ordered, That Leave be given to bring in a Bill to suppress the Royal-Oak Lottery, and all other Lotteries: And that Mr. Perry, Sir Abstrupus Danby, Sir Robert Clayton, and Mr. Offley, do prepare, and bring in, the Bill.
A Petition of Thomas Methwold Esquire, and Jane his Wife, was presented to the House, and read; setting forth, That, upon the Petitioners Intermarriage, a Settlement was made upon Mrs. Methwold, of barely 200 l. per Annum, which the Petitioner Thomas has improved to 283 l. per Annum, settled Rent; but has contracted about 1,200 l. Debts, in doing thereof; which he cannot raise on the said Premises, without an Act of Parliament: And praying Leave to bring in a Bill to raise the said 1,200 l. upon Security of the 83 l. per Annum, over and above the said 200 l. per Annum, settled as aforesaid.
Ordered, That Leave be given to bring in a Bill, according to the Prayer of the said Petition: And that Mr. Harvey do prepare, and bring in, the Bill.
A Petition of the Gentlemen, Merchants, Clothiers, and other Traders, in the Woollen Manufactures of the City of Exon, and Parts adjacent, was presented to the House, and read; setting forth, That since the Freedom of Trade in the Exportation of our English Woollen Manufactures, That Trade has much increased, and great Numbers of our Poor have been employed therein; and, since the late War, they have found a sensible Happiness in such Freedom, by lading their Goods on board in the Western Ports, and sending them directly to Germany; thereby saving the Charge and Delay of sending them to London for Exportation; by which means also a speedy Consumption, and a good Price, is had by the Multiplicity of Buyers: And praying, That the Woollen Manufactures may not be confined to the private Interest of any particular Society of Men; but that the Petitioners may enjoy the free Liberty of their usual Exportation of those Manufactures.
Ordered, That the said Petition do lie upon the Table until the Report be made from the Committee, to whom the Petition of the Clothiers of Leeds, relating to the Hamborough Company, is referred: And that the said Report be made in a full House.
Leave of Absence.
Ordered, That Sir Edward Stradling have Leave to go into the Country for Six Weeks, his Lady being ill, and upon extraordinary Occasions.
Ordered, That Admiral Hobson have Leave to go into the Country for a Fortnight, for Recovery of his Health.
Billingsgate Fish Market.
A Petition of the Fishermen of the Borough of Harwich, in the County of Essex, was presented to the House and read; setting forth, That the Petitioners are extremely discouraged, and impoverished, by the Abuses at Billingsgate Market, committed by the London Fishmongers; who, being in a Combination, send but Two or Three Fishmongers to the Market, and set what Price they please upon the Fish, because no other Person must buy them; so that the Fishmongers must have them, or else they must perish in the Petitioners Hands, who receive many other Abuses: And praying, That the Bill depending in the House, for making Billingsgate a free Market, for the Sale of Fish may pass into an Act.
Ordered, That the Consideration of the said Petition be referred to the Committee, to whom the said Bill is committed.
Sir Rowland Gwynn, according to Order, reported, from the Committee of Privileges and Elections, the Matter touching the Election for the Borough of Ludgershall, in the County of Wilts, as it appeared to the 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 John Webb Esquire, complaining of an undue Election, and Return, of Tho. Neale Esquire, to serve for Ludgershall,
That the Candidates at this Election were Mr. Kent, Mr. Neal, and the Petitioner.
Upon the Poll there were,
But the Petitioner's Counsel insisted, That they could strike off many of Mr. Neal's Voters; and that several corrupt Ways had been made use of to gain Votes for Mr. Neale: And for that they called,
John Hilton: Who said, Mr. Neal sent 50 l. to Ludgershall, by his Servant Fransham, a little before the last Parliament was dissolved: And that he said, Fransham, and one Bullock, who was Mr. Neal's Agent, disposed of it by 10 s. apiece, to any Man that would vote for Mr. Neal: That, Two or Three Days before the Writ came out, the said Hilton himself, and Richard Hilton, Thomas Muster, Edward Crouch, and Thomas Dewy, received 10 s. apiece; and that he saw 10 or 12 l. paid, at 10 s. a Man; and that he himself put down his Mark to a Paper, the Contents whereof was a Promise to vote for Mr. Neal: And said, He would not have voted for Mr. Neal, but for the 10 s. he received; though he acknowledged he had voted for Mr. Neal at a former Election: And that Isaac Filmore and George Marsh were refused the 10 s. because they would not set their Hands.
Richard Hilton said, That he gave his Brother Order to sign for him a Paper, that he would vote for Mr. Neale: And that he received 10 s. from his Brother, otherwise would not have voted for Mr. Neale; though he acknowledged he had voted several times formerly for Mr. Neale.
Richard Crouch said, That Mr. Bullock sent him 10 s. by Robert Dewy, to vote for Mr. Neal; but he saw no Paper, nor gave any Order about setting his Name: That Mr. Bullock, before he received it, told him, He would send him some Money: And that, if it had not been for the 10 s. he would not have voted for Mr. Neal.
Isaac Filmore said, That Bullock, about Three Days before the Parliament was dissolved, offered him 10 s. if he would sign; but he refused the 10 s. because he would not promise his Vote; and Mr. Bullock said, They gave it to none but Friends.
Geo. Noyce said, That Charles Bullock promised him 10 s. if he would sign to be for Mr. Neal; but he refused; and then Bullock told him, He should not have it: That he did not see any body sign; That Richard Edwards took 10 s. and voted for Mr. Neal and Mr. Kent.
Geo. Noyce further said, That, about Three Days before the Election, he had 20 s. offered him by Mr. Beal, Mr. Neal's Friend, to be for Mr. Neal; but he, the said Noyce, voted for Mr. Kent and Mr. Webb.
George Bagnold said, That the Night before the Election, Mr. Bullock gave Tho. Cox 10 s. of Mr. Neal's Money to throw away his Vote from Colonel Webb; and accordingly he voted for Sir Thomas Kimbury.
Colonel Webb senior said, That his Son, finding himself disappointed, taxed Mr. Neal publickly with giving Money; and Mr. Neal said, If you mean by it, giving the 10 s. apiece, I own it.
That the Petitioner's Counsel then proceeded to the Right of Election: And, as to that, they called,
Mr. Edward Flory, the Bailiff: Who produced the original Poll; at the Top of which was writ, 'That, before any Proceeding was made to Election, it was declared, and agreed, by the Freeholders, Leaseholders, and other Inhabitants, of the said Borough, and the Candidates at the said Election, That no Party, not inhabiting within the said Borough, hath, or ought to have, any Vote or Votes in choosing the said Burgesses:' Which Declaration and Agreement was subscribed by all the Three Candidates:
That the said Flory said, There were a great many Queries upon the Poll: That some Persons affirmed the Right to be in the Freeholders; but since his time the Inhabitants have been admitted; and accordingly he made the Return: Yet he acknowledged, Mr. Neale had a greater Number of the Freeholders than the Petitioner; however, the Petitioner said, He would petition: That Four Persons, who have Freeholds within the Borough, but live out; viz. Richard Erle, Chr. Newman, John Hook, and Robert Noyce, would have polled for Colonel Webb and Mr. Kent, but were refused: And that he has known Out-Burgesses sent for to vote; and has known the Inhabitants at large sometimes refused, and sometimes admitted.
Edward Erle, John Batt, John Hilton, Richard Hilton; who had known Ludgershall for a great many Years (especially Batt, who said, He had known Lurgershall for about Threescore Years): And they said, That the Right was in those that had Freeholds, or Freehold Leases:
And Erle said, When he was Bailiff, he acted accordingly; only, at Oxford Parliament, he made a double Return, to satisfy Mr. Neal, thinking it fittest for the Parliament to determine it: And when Mr. Chute stood with Mr. Neal, in King Charles the IId's Reign, Mr. Neal carried it by the Freeholders and Freehold Leases: That he has known Out-Freeholders to vote upon Contests; and never denied till upon an Election or Two last past:—
Hilton said, He had heard his Father (who had been dead 20 Years) say 100 times, That he never gave a Vote, having only a Chattel-Lease:—
Erle and Hilton said, That the Out-Freeholders had likewise a Right, though the Freeholders of the Town pretended to keep them out:
And Hilton said, That Mr. Neal had formerly sent for John Law, and John Batt, and his Son, who were Out Freeholders, to come to Lurgershall, to vote for him.
That, to disqualify several Persons that voted for Mr. Neal, the Counsel called,
John Hilton: Who said, That Samuel Marsh, Robert Hutchins, John Penton junior, Matth. Monday, Roger Barrett, John Penton senior, Richard Blackmore, Cuthbert Kenton, Robert Dewy, Edward Joyles, Edward Biggs, John Lanskett, Cha. Bullock, Evan Daniel, Edward Batt, John Betridge, Tho. Pascall, Tho. Jevy junior, were no Freeholders.
That the Counsel for the Sitting-Member Mr. Neale differed with the Petitioners in point of Right of Election; and urged, That the Petitioner was bound by his own Agreement, before the Election: And also produced a Resolution of the House, 23 May 1660, by which the House agree with the Committee of Privileges and Elections, That the Freeholders and Inhabitants have Right to elect:
That as to the sending down 50 l. and disposing of it by 10 s. apiece, Mr. Neale's Counsel did not deny, but that 10 s. was given to several Persons; but said, It was before the Dissolution of the last Parliament, and without any Condition: And called,
Richard Fransom: Who owned, That he carried down 50 l. to Ludgershall, from Mr. Neal, with Orders to take up Bills, and forbid further Expences; and to distribute it amongst the Inhabitants, at 10 s. a Man: And that he invited the Inhabitants to a publick House; where Mr. Derby and Mr. Bullock were present: And
Rich. Fransom, John Derby, and Cha. Bullock, said, That they gave, on the Sixth of July, to about seventy Persons 10 s. apiece; but the Money was given to any Housekeeper indifferently, as a Token of Mr. Neal's Love, and to drink his Health; and none were refused; and that no Agreement was made with any for Votes, or Paper offered to be signed; only Richard Fransom put down the Names of those he gave 10 s. to, that he might give an Account how he had disposed of the Money:
Fransom said, That Wince refused to take 10 s. and yet voted for Mr. Neale; and one Musprat had it, who voted for Mr. Webb and Mr. Kent:
Bullock said, That Noyce might have had 10 s. but he refused it, saying, He did not know whether he should be for Mr. Neal: That several had it that voted against Mr. Neale; some had it that voted for him; and others had it that gave no Vote: That Fransom left 5 l. in his Hands when he left the Town; and Richard Edwards and John Daw received 10 s. apiece of him, after Fransom left Lurgershall; but he distributed to none after that Night: And that Colonel Webb made no Objection at the time of the Poll.
Richard Edwards, John Daw, said, They were present when Bullock offered the 10 s. to Noyce; and that Noyce was not asked for his Vote; but Noyce refused, saying, He did not know whether he should be for Mr. Neal's Friend; whereupon Bullock told him, He might have it however.
John Bettridge, John Daw, said, That after the Poll was ended, and when the Bailiff declared Mr. Neal fairly elected, the Petitioner said, Then he had fairly lost it.
That as to Corruption, by the Petitioner; the Counsel called,
John Newman: Who said, Richard Erle, of Chute, proffered to make his Day's Work (he being a Bricklayer) worth Two Guineas, if he would vote for Mr. Webb.
Mary Belston said, Her Father had a Vote; and that, Two or Three Days before the Election, the Petitioner, in the Street, offered her a Guinea, to engage her Father to give the Petitioner his Vote; but the Petitioner did not shew her the Guinea.
John Daw said, That Colonel Webb asked him for his Vote; and then went to his, the said Daw's, Wife, being in the same Room, and told her, If her Husband would vote for him, he would keep his Child that was the Petitioner's Godson.
John Bettridge said, That Two Days before the Election, he was offered by Batt (who used to keep the Petitioner Company) a Load of Straw, to be for the Petitioner; but he said, He voted for Mr. Neal and Mr. Kent.
John Newman said, That Colonel Webb senior, the Night after the Election was ended, bound over Four that voted for Mr. Neal, without any Reason, that he knew; viz. himself, Richard Edwards, Edward Crouch, and Pascall.
Richard Musprat said, He had Mr. Neal's 10 s. given him freely, when the rest received: That he voted for Colonel Webb and Mr. Kent; and saw nobody sign any Paper.
That Mr. Neal's Letter was produced by his own Counsel, writ to Mr. Bullock, dated the 5th of July 1698, and read: Which was wrote in these Words;
This comes to put an immediate End to all Expence in the Town, left any should be made after the Writs come out, which absolutely would spoil all; and it is not yet known when they will: Pray assist the Bearer in taking the Bills from each House, for what's past; which I will pay, but no growing Expence: But, the better to enable such as will to drink my Health, I have sent each Voter, that will accept it, Half a Piece, for that Purpose: I thank you for your Kindness, and am,
July the 5th, 1698. Your very loving Friend,
Pray dispatch Fransom so early, that he may come Part of the Way back on Wednesday; for he must be here Thursday, before Night.
And that, upon the whole Matter, the Committee came to these Resolutions; viz.
Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That the Right of electing Members to serve in Parliament for the Borough of Ludgershall, in the County of Wilts, is in the Freeholders and Inhabitants, not receiving Alms.
2d. Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That Tho. Neal Esquire is not duly elected a Burgess to serve in this present Parliament for the Borough of Lurgershall.
3. Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That John Webb Esquire is duly elected a Burgess to serve in this present Parliament for the Borough of Lurgershall.
The First Resolution being read a Second time;
An Amendment was proposed to be made therein, by leaving out "the Freeholders and Inhabitants, not receiving Alms," and inserting, instead thereof, "such Persons who have any Estate of Inheritance, or Freehold, or Leasehold, determinable upon Life or Lives, within the Borough:"
And the same was upon the Question put thereupon, agreed unto by the House.
Resolved, That this House doth agree with the Committee in the said Resolution, so amended, That the Right of electing Members to serve in Parliament for the Borough of Lurgershall, in the County of Wilts, is in such Persons who have any Estate of Inheritance, or Freehold, or Leasehold determinable upon Life or Lives, within the Borough.
The 2d and 3d Resolutions, being severally read a Second time, were, upon the Question severally put thereupon, agreed unto by the House.
Ordered, That the Clerk of the Crown do attend this House upon Monday Morning, to amend the Return for the Borough of Lurgershall.
Commissioners of Stamp Office.
Sir John Leveson Gower reported from the Committee, who were appointed to go to the Stamp-Office, and bring with them the last Commission for managing the First Duties, and the Commission for managing the additional Duties, upon Vellom, Parchment, and Paper; and to inspect the Books, what Persons have acted since the additional Duties were granted; That they had brought the said Commission, and inspected the Books, and taken an Account of what Persons had acted since the 1st of August last, when the said additional Duties commenced; which Account he read in his Place; and afterwards delivered the same, and the Commissions, in at the Clerk's Table: Where the Teste of the Commissions, and Commissioners Names, and the said Account, were read.
The Teste of the First Commission was the 21 May 6° Willielmi & Mariæ, to Chr. Mountague Esquire, John Stanley Esquire, Edward Lloyd Esquire, Henry Cornish Esquire, Henry Harris, Jacob Vanderesk, and James Isaackson, Gentlemen.
The Teste of the 2d Commission was 30 Sept. 10 Willielmi, and made to John Stanley Esquire, Edward Lloyd Esquire, Hen. Cornish Esquire, Henry Harris, Jac. Vanderesk, Jam. Isaackson, Gentlemen, and Thomas Farrington Esquire.
The Report, being read, is as followeth; viz.
Monday the 1st of August 1698. The new additional Duty on stamped Vellom, Parchment, and Paper, commenced.
Tuesday the 2d of August, We find present these Commissioners; Mr. Lloyd, Mr. Vanderesch, Mr. Isaackson, Mr. Stanley.
August the 4th, Present, only, Mr. Harris, Mr. Isaackson.
August the 6th, Present, Mr. Vanderesk, Mr. Stanley, Mr. Lloyd, Mr. Isaackson, Mr. Harris, Mr. Mountague.
August the 9th, Present, all the Seven Commissioners; viz. Mr. Harris, Mr. Isaackson, Mr. Lloyd, Mr. Cornish, Mr. Vanderesk, Mr. Stanley, and Mr. Mountague.
August the 16th, All the Seven Commissioners again present; and, from that time to the 4th of October 1698, all these Seven frequently acted; and were all present, and acted that Day; and from thence to the 9th of February last, all the afore-mentioned Commissioners, except Mr. Mountague, who was then succeeded by Colonel Farrington, frequently acted.
Tuesday 31 January last, Were present, Mr. Harris, Mr. Lloyd, Mr. Farrington, Mr. Vanderesch, Mr. Isaackson.
Tuesday the 7th February last, Were present, Mr. Lloyd, Mr. Harris, Mr. Vanderesch, Mr. Farrington.
Thursday the 9th of February, Were present, Mr. Cornish, Mr. Vanderesch, Mr. Farrington, Mr. Harris, Mr. Stanley, and Mr. Lloyd: Which is the last Day the Commissioners sat and acted.
Ordered, That Henry Cornish Esquire do attend this House, in his Place, upon Monday Morning next.
Ordered, That Christopher Mountague Esquire do attend this House, in his Place, upon Monday Morning next.
Persons collecting Taxes, &c.
Ordered, That a Lift be laid before this House of the Names of all Persons concerned in the farming, collecting, or managing, any Sums of Money, Duties, or other Aids, granted by the Act, made in the 5th and 6th Year of his Majesty's Reign, for granting to his Majesty certain Rates upon Salt, and upon Beer, Ale, and other Liquors, or any other Act made in the same Session of Parliament, or since.
Ordered, That the said List be laid before this House, by the Clerk of the Signet attending, upon Monday Morning next.
Receivers of Taxes, &c.
Ordered, That Mr. Lowndes do lay before this House, upon Monday Morning next, a Lift of the Receivers of any Sums of Money, Duties, or other Aids, granted by the said Act made in the 5th and 6th Year of his Majesty's Reign, or any other Act made that Session of Parliament, or since.
Commissioners of Treasury, &c.
Ordered, That Mr. Lowndes do also lay before this House, upon Monday Morning next, a List of the Names of the Commissioners of the Treasury, Commissioners of the Customs, and Commissioners of Excise, at the Time of the making the said Act in the 5th and 6th Years of his Majesty's Reign, and of the present Commissioners.
And then the House adjourned till Monday Morning, Eight a Clock.