House of Commons Journal Volume 9: 19 December 1678

Pages 559-560

Journal of the House of Commons: Volume 9, 1667-1687. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1802.

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Jovis, 19 die Decembris, 1678.



COMPLAINT being made of a Breach of Privilege, committed upon Sir Edm. Windham, a Member of this House, by one George Heath; by attaching his Goods in the Possession and Keeping of Thomas Bruinell his Coachman;

Resolved, That it be referred to the Consideration of the Committee of Privileges, to examine the Matter of the said Complaint; and to report the same, with their Opinions therein, to the House.

Leave of Absence.

Ordered, That the Lord Longford, and Sir Francis Drake, have Leave to go into the Country.

Children of Popish Recusants.

An ingrossed Bill, sent from the Lords, intituled, An Act for the more effectual preventing the Sending or Going of the Children of Popish Recusants, into Parts beyond the Seas out of the King's Obedience, was read the First time.

Resolved, That the Bill be read a Second time.

House informed of a Riot.

The House being informed of a Riot committed by certain Soldiers; and that there was one Mr. Plucknet without, that could give the House an Account thereof;

And Mr. Plucknet being called in; and having given the House an Account thereof;

Resolved, That a Committee be appointed to examine the Matter of the said Riot, and report the same, with their Opinions therein to the House.

And it is referred to Sir John Moreton, Colonel Titus, Mr. Sachaverell, Sir Eliab Harvy, Sir Robert Markham, Sir Tho. Clerges, Mr. Crouch, Mr. Westfaling, Sir John Barnaby, Sir Gilbert Gerrard, Mr. Progers, Sir Wm. Hickman, Sir Rich. Temple, Sir Tho. Lee, Sir John Knight, Sir Anth. Irby, Sir Trevor Williams, Mr. Powle, Sir Edw. Deering, Sir John Trevor, Sir George Hungerford, Sir Thomas Meeres, Sir Edm. Windham, Mr. Vaughan, Colonel Birch, Serjeant Gregory, Mr. Hamden, Sir Tho. Littleton, Sir Hen. Capell, Sir Fr. Drake: And they are to meet at Three of the Clock in the Afternoon, in the Speaker's Chamber: And are impowered to send for Persons, Papers, and Records.

Ordered, That Mr. Plucknett be called in: And that Mr. Speaker do acquaint him, That he has done well in doing his Duty, and giving this Account to the House.

Which was accordingly done.

Seizure of Mr. Montagu's Papers.

Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer acquaints the House, That he was commanded by his Majesty to inform the House, That his Majesty having received Information, That his late Ambassador in France, Mr. Montagu, a Member of this House, had held several private Conferences with the Pope's Nuncio there, without any Directions or Instructions from his Majesty, his Majesty, to the end that he might know the Truth of that Matter, had given Order for the Seizing of Mr. Montagu's Papers.

Resolved, That the House having this Day received a Message from his Majesty, acquainting this House, That upon an Information against Mr. Montagu, a Member of this House, his Majesty had given Order for the Seizing the Papers of Mr. Montagu, in order to a further Discovery; this House cannot make any Judgment, either in relation to their Member, or the Privilege of the House, which may be in a great measure invaded, unless his Majesty will be graciously pleased to let this House know, whether the Information against Mr. Montagu was given upon Oath; and of what Nature the Offence is, that is thus complained of.

Ordered, That the Lord Cavendish, Sir John Ernle, Sir Hen. Capell, Sir Tho. Lee, Sir Tho. Meres, Mr. Powle, Sir John Pelham, Colonel Titus, and Mr. Harbord, or any Three of them, do immediately attend his Majesty with this Vote.

The Lord Cavendish reports, That they had been to attend his Majesty with the Vote of this House, relating to the Information against Mr. Montagu: And that his Majesty sent them Word out of the House of Lords, That he was at that time very busy; and that his Majesty had rather they would attend him at Whitehall, when the House was up.

Papers communicated by Mr. Montagu.

Mr. Montagu acquainting the House, That he had in his Custody several Papers, which he conceived might tend very much to the Safety of his Majesty's Person, and the Preservation of the Kingdom;

Ordered, That the Lord Russell, Mr. Harbord, Sir Scroop How, and Sir Hen. Capell, do take Mr. Montagu's Directions; and repair immediately to the Place where the said Writings are lodged; and bring the same to the House.

Mr. Harbord acquaints the House, That, in pursuance of the Order of this House, and according to Mr. Montagu's Directions, they had brought a Box of Writings.

Ordered, That the Box be opened: And that Mr. Montagu be present: And that he do select such Writings as he thinks may be for the Service of the House; and dispose of all other Writings which properly concerns himself, as he shall think fit.

Mr. Montagu presented a Letter to the House, subscribed "Danby," dated the 17th of January 167/78: Which was, by Mr. Speaker, read to the House, and is as followeth; viz.

My Lord, London, 17 Jan. 1677/8.

I DID, by my Lord Dumbarton, write to you, at large, all the Intelligence I could then give you; and there has been nothing since worth the returning either of your Expresses withal. My Son Dunblan arrived here on Monday last: Who delivered me your Letters; and acknowledges your very great Kindness to him, as I am to do, both for him and myself, who you have obliged by so many ways. Your Intelligence concerning Mons. Ruvigny has not been the least of your favours; and hitherto his Son's Steps have been very suitable to your Information: For Yesterday he came to me, with Mons. Barillon (having given me his Father's Letter the Day before); and discoursed much upon the Confidence his King hath of the Firmness of Ours to him; of the good Opinion his Master has of me; of his King's Resolution to condescend to any thing that is not infamous to him, for the Satisfaction of Our King; how certainly Our King may depend upon all sorts of Assistance and Supplies from his Master, in case the Friendship be preserved; and, in short, went so far, as to seem desirous to have me understand (altho he would not directly say it), That his Master might be brought to part with Valenciences and Conde; but never with Tournay. And the Main of their Drift was, to engage me to prevail with the King to prevail with the Prince of Orange as to that Town; and pressed the Matter upon me as a Thing, wherein they thought I had an Interest of my own with the Prince of Orange, sufficient to persuade him to put an End to the War by that Means. I answered them (as is most true), that there is nothing I am so desirous of as the Peace; but I thought things were gone so far, as it was only in their Master's Power to prevent the War; and that I would contribute to any possible Expedient to that End: But that they must apply themselves to the King himself; and, when it came to my Part, I should be found to contradict nothing which might be equal for Preservation of the Friendship betwixt the Two Kings. From me they went immediately to the King: Who tells me, their Discourse was the same they had held with me: And at last he desired, that whatever Expedient they had to propose to him, might be put in Writing for him to consider. And thus it stands at this time.

Mr. Montagu's Papers.

As to the Officer you mention (who the King assures himself to be . . . .) he has taken further Time to resolve of his Answer: And as to our main Points of Peace and War, it will certainly depend upon the King of France his consenting to the First Propositions; Our King being engaged to oppose any Party that shall refuse them: Nor will the Time for that Consideration be much longer, since it will be impossible but the King must come to some Declaration of his Mind to the Parliament, when it meets. That which makes the Hopes of Peace yet less probable is, That the Duke grows every Day less inclined to it, and has created a greater Indifferency in the King, than I could have imagined: Which, being added to the French King's Resolutions not to part with Tournay, does, I confess, make me despair of any Accommodation. Nevertheless, I am assured, that One principal Cause of this Adjournment for Thirteen Days, has been, to see if any Expedient for the Peace could have been found in that Time: And the Effect of the Adjournment hath hitherto been, that nobody will now believe other, than that the Peace is already concluded betwixt us and France.

I am, my Lord,

Your Excellency's most humble and most Obedient Servant, Danby.

Mr. Montagu delivered in another Letter, subscribed "Danby," and dated, from London, 25th of March 1678: Which was, by Mr. Speaker, likewise read to the House; and is as followeth:

My Lord,

SINCE my writing to you by Mr. Brisbon, the Resolutions have been altered as to the sending you Instructions as yet for the proposing any thing to the French King. The Particulars which will be consented to on the Part of the Confederates, and of which This is a Copy, will be communicated to you by Mr. Secretary Coventry: But you will have no other Direction from him about them, but only thereby to be enabled to find the Pulse of that King, or his Ministers at least, against the Time that you shall receive Orders to make the Proposals to him. That you may know from whence the Nicety of this Affair proceeds, it is necessary to inform you, that, for fear of its being ill resented by the Parliament here, the King will not make any Proposal at all of Peace, unless he shall be pressed to it by the Confederates: And, although, by Mr. Godolphin, he is sufficiently informed, that they desire the Peace upon the Terms sent you by the Secretary; yet, not having received that Desire formally, the Council will not advise his Majesty to let his Ambassador propose That which he is not formally impowered to make good: And so, by staying for that formal Power, which, by Letter, his Majesty is sufficiently authorized to propose, the Time will be lost of effecting the Peace, if at all it can be had. To supply this Defect therefore, and to prevent the King's sending again into Holland before he knows the Mind of France, I am commanded by his Majesty to let you know, That you are to make the Propositions inclosed to the King of France; and to tell him, that the King will undertake for the seeing them made good on the Part of Spain and Holland, in case they shall be accepted by him. And, in your Answer, you must write the same thing to the Secretary, by way only of having felt the King's Pulse, which you must do to the King, as a full Answer from the King of France, and such a one as his Majesty may depend upon, whatever That shall be. For the more dexterous Management of this Matter, the King is advised to shew these Propositions to Mons. Barillon; but not to give him a Copy: So that, by the Strength of Memory, it is expected he shall write to his Master: And by that Means only are we to hope for an Answer to a Matter of this vast Importance: And consequently, you may imagine, what a Satisfaction we are like to reap from it when it comes. I doubt not, but by your Conduct it will be brought to a speedy Issue, which is of as great Importance as the Thing itself; there being no Condition worse for his Majesty than his standing unresolved betwixt Peace and War.

I find by Mons. Barillon, that, 'tis like, some Places, which are Dependencies upon greater Towns, may be demanded by the King of France: But, if he intend the Peace (which you will do very well to know his Mind fully in), you may justly say, you hope he will neither stand upon One single Place (though a fortified one), nor upon any Place unfortified, which is a Dependant upon those which are to be restored to Spain. And if any thing should be moved, about Sicily to remain in the French Hands until the Peace of Sweden be concluded, you are only to say, That you are not impowered to say any thing upon it; and you are confident, the King has done all he could to get the utmost Conditions they would consent to: Only you are to say, That the King has again sent about Conde, not being well satisfied that they have not left it in his Power to give or refuse as he should have found convenient; and hopes still for some good Answer. In case the Conditions of the Peace shall be accepted, the King expects to have Six Millions of Livres yearly for three Years, from the Time that this Agreement shall be signed betwixt his Majesty and the King of France: because it will be Two or Three Years before he can hope to find his Parliament in Humour to give him Supplies, after the having made any Peace with France: And the Ambassador here has agreed to that Sum, but not for so long a Time. If you find the Peace will not be accepted, you are not to mention the Money at all: And all possible Care must be taken to have this whole Negociation as private as is possible, for fear of giving Offence at Home; where, for the most part, we hear, in Ten Days after, of any thing that is communicated to the French Ministers. I must again repeat it to you, That, whatever you write upon this Subject to the Secretary (to whom you must not mention a Syllable of the Money), you must say only as a Thing you believe they will consent to, if you had Power formally to make those Demands. Pray inform yourself to the Bottom of what is to be expected from France; and assure them, that you believe, This will be the last Time that you shall receive any Proposition of a Peace, if This be rejected (as, indeed, I believe, it will); so that you may take your own Measures, as well as the King, upon it. I am

Your Excellency's most Faithful and Obedient Servant, Danby.

Earl of Danby's Impeachment.

The Question being propounded, That there is sufficient Matter of Impeachment against the Lord Treasurer;

The Question being put, That this Question shall be now put;

The House divide.

The Noes go forth.

Tellers, Sir Eliab Harvy, for the Yeas, 179.
Sir Geo. Hungerford,
Tellers, Sir Edm. Jenings, for the Noes, 116.
Sir Rob. Markham.

And so it was resolved in the Affirmative.

Resolved, That there is sufficient Matter of Impeachment against the Lord Treasurer.

Ordered, That a Committee be appointed to prepare and draw up Articles of Impeachment against the Lord Treasurer.

And it is referred to Lord Cavendish, Mr. Sachaverell, Mr. Williams, Sir Tho. Clerges, Mr. Vaughan, Sir John Trevor, Mr. Hamden, Sir Edw. Deering, Mr. Montagu, Sir Tho. Meres, Mr. Bennet, Mr. Powle, Mr. Solicitor General, Colonel Titus, Sir Eliab Harvy, Mr. Harbord, Sir Robert Sawyer, Sir Tho. Lee, Sir Wm. Coventry, Sir Nich. Carew, Serjeant Mainard, Sir Tho. Littleton, or any Five of them: And they are impowered to send for Persons, Papers, and Records; and to receive any further Information or Evidence. And it is particularly recommended to the Care of the Lord Cavendish and Mr. Williams: And that the Letters now read be delivered to their Hands; and that they do produce the same To-morrow Morning, to be entered in the Journal.


Resolved, That Mr. Speaker shall not, at any time, adjourn the House, without a Question first put, if it be insisted upon.

Resolved, That this Resolution be entered in the Jour nal, as a Standing Order of this House.

And then the House adjourned till To-morrow Morning, Eight of the Clock.