Journal of the House of Commons: Volume 6, 1648-1651. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1802.
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Die Mercurii, 31 Octobris, 1649.
East India Company.
ORDERED, by the Parliament, That the Petition of the East India Company against William Cutler, William Twesell, and Anthony Tayler, touching the Information in the Exchequer for selling and buying Spices ungarbled, be read on This-day-sevennight.
Ordered, by the Parliament, That the Business touching the Nomination of Sheriffs, be taken into Consideration on This-day-sevennight: And that the Members of the House do take Notice hereof; and present Names to the House at that Time.
Goldsmiths Hall Revenue.
The House this Day resumed the Debate upon the former Report from Goldsmiths Hall; and proceed therein.
Resolved, upon the Question, by the Parliament, That Two Third Parts of the Estates of all other Papists, and Popish Recusants, as well in their Possession, as in the Possession of any other Person or Persons in Trust for them, or for the Use or Benefit of them, or any of them, be sequestred, notwithstanding any Pretence of Mortgage, Judgment, or Execution thereupon whatsoever had or done, to the Defrauding of the Commonwealth.
Resolved, upon the Question, by the Parliament, That Mr. Speaker, at the Rising of the House, do adjourn the House till Friday Morning: And that the House do then proceed in the Debate upon the Report from Goldsmiths Hall.
Transactions with Holland.
Sir Henry Vane junior reports from the Council of State, the Proceedings of Mr. Strickland, Agent there for the Parliament, in hæc verba; That Mr. Strickland having delivered his Credentials, which he had from the Parliament, to the States General and Provincial, and demanded Audience thereupon; and being long delayed the same by the States General, upon Pretence that they had no Order for the same from their Principals the Provincial States of each Province; the same being signified to this Council, he had Order to return; which he signified to the States Provincial of Holland: Who thereupon taking the same into Consideration, and judging it to be a Matter of Weight, it was resolved by them, That all Endeavours should be used by them with the General States, that he might be received, and have Audience of them, in such manner as is given to the Ministers of other Kings, Princes, and Commonwealths; and that, if they could not prevail, a Protest should be made against them that should hinder; and to give notice thereof to the several Provinces, and desire them to make Reparation, if any thing should fall out of what was expressed in their Protestation, by his not being received; and that if he should not be received, that they would take into Deliberation what Answer they would give to the said Resident. This Resolution was taken by them the Ninth of September, Stilo Hollandiæ; and the next Day was exhibited, and read, in the Assembly of the States General: Which producing no other Effect but Delay, the Twenty-fourth of September, the Protest, whereof follows a Translation, was read in the Assembly of the States General, and registred in the Register Book of the said States General, by the States of Holland, as followeth:
ALTHOUGH your great and mighty Lordships, at the Beginning of the Troubles in England, have, for weighty Reasons and Considerations, thought good, for all the Time passed, to observe, and cause to be kept, a Neutrality betwixt the King of Great Britain and the Parliament of England; and, for that same Purpose, several Resolutions, from time to time, were made, namely, 1 November 1642, and the Thirtieth and Sixth of November ..48; and the States of Holland have, from time to time, thought good effectually to keep the said Neutrality; and accordingly have given the Ministers of both Sides Audience, when they have desired it, and therefore your Lordships the States General must needs have been blameless, had you done the same: And whereas the Resident Strickland, having Credential Letters from the present Governors of that Kingdom, having desired Audience, to propound what the said Resident hath in Charge from his Principals, as you do, from time to time, to the Ministers of the aforesaid King; yet, nevertheless, that the States General of the United Provinces do not resolve to do it, although the Estates of Holland have Three several times, with a great Number of Ordinary and Extraordinary Deputies of their Assembly, desired them to do it, and given them good Reasons of State why they ought to do it: Yet all the States General, with Delays, and upon Pretences that they had no Order from their Principals to do it, decline and delay the doing of it; for which the States of Holland are to run into great Inconveniences, which do more particularly concern the Hollanders: Whereupon the States of Holland cannot for bear any longer to conceal their Dislike, by a formal Protest against this Refusal, and expresly to declare it; shewing they have Cause in the highest Degree, to complain, That in this they are not used, by the rest of the Provinces, as become good and faithful Consederates, as, in Things of like Nature, they are bound and obliged to do, in preventing each other's Loss, and procuring each other's Good; declaring again, That they, the States of Holland, will hold the States General guilty of all the Inconveniences and Losses, which, from time to time, may befal them, upon the Refusal of the said Audience: They will likewise represent to the rest of the Provinces what Wrong is done them by the States General of the other Provinces; and will acquaint the Lords their Principals with it; with an earnest and serious Intreating them to give them Reparation for the said Refusal, and unhandsome Delay.
Transactions with Holland.
And, in pursuance of the said Protest, the said States of Holland did write their Letter to the several Provinces, to the Principals of the States General, as followeth;
Noble and Great Lords,
WHAT we have done, by Way of Declaration and Protest, against the Deputies of your Lordships, in the College of the States General, and caused to be registred there, your Lordships may, together with this Letter, see in the Act itself; and the Reasons and Motives which induced us to do it, which are very evident and strong, the Resident Strickland being One gone from hence; and he hath often given us notice, that he means to do it; and that he shall make Report in England, that he hath so often sought for Audience of the States General, which yet hath always been put off, and denied him, notwithstanding the Ministers of the King have had Audience as often, and whenever they required it: What can follow, but that, in all Likelihood, the present Governors in England seeing that this State intends not to keep the Neutrality with them, they will likewise take a Resolution to give no Audience to my Lord Joachimy, our Ambassador? And so, by Way of Retortion, by this Means, all mutual Correspondence, by the Discontent of the present Governors in England, will be taken away, and forbidden, and cease; to the irreparable Loss of this State, and the Inhabitants of the same; which, upon all Changes which may fall out (which, except God make the Times better, may be many), we shall find no Man in England who will afford us a good Word to those who are now Governors; but, being come into Dislike with them, all things will be taken in the worst Sense; England, for its Situation, being very considerable to all its Neighbours, being every where furnished with good Harbours, Roads, and Rivers; so that all that go to Sea from hence, cannot be without them, in respect of their Neighbourhood: And, on the other Side, if we fall out with the present Governors, we shall be endamaged and hindered in Trade in general, as well in Merchandizing, as those who live by Fishing, and Taking of Herrings; and we may well think such may be found in England, and elsewhere, who would be glad of the Advantage and Opportunity to give England Occasion to be at Odds with this State; and by that means take Occasion to make a Prey of the Estates of such as traffick by Sea (which, in this Country, are very great and valuable); which may be a fair Booty in their Eyes; at which many have their Fingers itching, as appears by daily Experience; especially when we consider the present Constitution of Affairs at this time, that they who now govern are Masters of all the Kingdom: They have great Revenues coming in: They have a great Fleet at Sea, great Armies by Land; and are in all Places victorious; and will receive no Neglect from any, as is evident by what they have already done to the Kingdom of France: It is also considerable, that the Seas, at present are insested in all Places, with the Irish, Turks, and others, who pretend Commissions from Charles the Second; whereby, if it should fall out that we should differ with England, and those who govern at present, it must then follow, that the Sea, which is the Life of this State, by which it is maintained, should, by that means, become as deadly Poison, and an inevitable Undoing to all who traffick by Sea. As for the things which have fallen out in that Kingdom; by the Opinion of all Statesmen, new and old, they are things without us: Nor is it for us to meddle with them, according to the Examples of other great Princes and Potentates; as, among the rest, Charles surnamed the Valiant; and, above all, the Emperor Charles the Fifth, who was then the most puissant Prince in Europe, who had to do with Henry the Eighth; yet he thought good rather to pass by some Offences, than to break with him, and to keep Correspondence with him: So formidable is the aforesaid Kingdom, in regard of its Situation, in the Eyes of the mightiest Potentates.
Noble and Great Lords,
More Reasons and Motives might be alleged upon this Subject: But we shall leave them to your own great Wisdom, Experience, and Consideration in Affairs; and shall conclude with our very serious Request: That the Deputies, who are in the Assemblies of the States General, may be ordered, as speedily as is possible, to give the said Resident Strickland such Audience as he requires, according to his Quality, and such as is given to the Ministers of other Princes, Potentates, and Commonwealths, according to the Orders of the Government here. And so we leave you.
Hereupon a Resolution was taken up, by Mr. Strickland, to return into England, to give Account of his Negotiation, in regard his Stay there could obtain nothing but Delays still continued; and that, if it should be necessary, he might return time enough to come to the Meeting of the Provincial States of Holland: Which his Resolution being made known to the said Provincial States of Holland; they gave him the Answer, whereof the Copy followeth:
Answer of the Great Mighty Lords, the States of Holland and West Freezland, given unto the Worshipful Mr. Walter Strickland, Resident of the Parliament of England, 12 Octobris 1649.
THE Lords and States of Holland and West Freezland, having seen, and ordered to be read in their Assembly, the Letters of Credence, dated at Westminster, the Eleventh of May last; and given by the honourable Parliament unto the forenamed Mr. Walter Strickland Esquire, and a Member of the foresaid House of Parliament of England, as Committee and Resident of the same: by virtue of which, the aforesaid Mr. Strickland desired Audience in their Assembly, whensoever he should require the same; there to propound and declare what he had, and should have, in Charge, as Resident from the forementioned Parliament: Now they have not only agreed and consented to the desired Audience of the abovesaid Mr. Strickland, so often as it hath been required; but moreover charged their Deputies, in the Assembly of the Lords the States General of the United Provinces, to vouchsafe Audience unto the same Mr. Strickland (so far as concerns the Province of Holland and West Freezland), whensoever he should desire the same there; having also, to the same Intention, by Deputies Extraordinary from their Assembly, again and again, pressed the same: And when the Deputies of the other Provinces declared, that they had not as yet received any such Charge from their Lords and Chiefs; the Lords the States of Holland and West Freezland neglected not, by serious Letters to the same Purpose, earnestly to require and admonish the Lords the States of the other Provinces; and withal to shew their good and well intended Affection to hold all good Neighbourhood, Friendship, and Correspondence with the aforesaid Parliament: Yet seeing they have not obtained Answer of their aforesaid Letters, and that, in the mean time, the foresaid Mr. Strickland hath given notice unto them, that he is purposed, upon Order from the forenamed Parliament, with the First.... to make Turn from hence to England; and by that Occasion hath done his utmost Endeavour to get an Answer to his Proposition, made the One-and-Twentieth of July, to carry with him, for his better Discharge: Therefore the Lords the States of Holland and West Freezland have thought good earnestly to desire the foresaid Mr. Strickland to hold up his intended Journey for awhile; at least, till they have obtained Answer of their Letters from the other Provinces: But he excusing the same, by Reasons thereunto moving him, the forenamed Lords have, upon the same former Proposition, declared, and by this do declare, That the Contents of the same are such, that separately, and without the other Provinces, they cannot answer it: In the mean while they would willingly confess, that with an acceptable Contentation they have understood from the Missive of the Right Worshipful Speaker of the aforesaid Parliament, that the Ship of War of this State, called Bommell, is now freely discharged, and licensed to depart; declaring withall, That they, at all times, shall be ready, upon such and other presented Occasions, with the like Equability, to requite the same: We could also not neglect hereby to certify, That the abovesaid Mr. Strickland, during the time of his Residence, hath so behaved himself in the Maintaining of all good Friendship and Intelligence between both Nations, that the States of Holland and West Freezland have taken great and good Content therein, having found him always to be of a peaceable and loving Disposition, and so very fit for such a Function as he hath now for a long time adorned.
That Mr. Strickland being disappointed of his Passage, and the Time of the Assembly of the States General of Holland now drawn near, he hath resolved to continue still there, and expect what shall be the Issue of their Meeting, in order to the Propositions that hath been made by him.
Ordered, That it be referred to the Council of State, to take special Care for the effectual Prosecution of this Business, for the Advantage of this Commonwealth.
Ordered, That Mr. Strickland, have Thanks from this House, for his great Care, and faithful Service, in his publick Employment, from this State: And that the Council of State do prepare a Letter, to be subscribed by Mr. Speaker, to that Purpose: And that Mr. Speaker do sign the said Letter.
Ordered, That the Engagement; viz. "I do declare and promise, That I will be true and faithful to the Commonwealth of England, as the same is now established, without a King, or House of Lords;" be subscribed by all Governors, Assistants, and Members of Companies, trading into Foreign Parts, and by their Secretaries and Officers, and by all Merchants and Factors of this Nation, now trading into Foreign Parts, and their Agents, as well such as are at Home, as those that are Abroad: And that it be referred to the Council of State, to take care that the same be done accordingly; and to require an Account thereof; and of such as shall refuse or neglect to do the same, according to the Direction to them given in other Cases.
Ordered, That Sir Peter Killigrew have Leave to convey Two Nags, now at Gravesend, beyond Sea, Custom and Impost free: And that Mr. Speaker do grant a Pass accordingly.
The House adjourns itself until Friday Morning next, Eight of Clock, according to the former Order.