Grey's Debates of the House of Commons: Volume 1. Originally published by T. Becket and P. A. De Hondt, London, 1769.
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Wednesday, November 16.
Mr Steward.] Would have the persons laid aside, and consider wholly the thing. It is the Privilege of both Houses, or neither House; if by trucking with a tenant possession is got, it is no breach of Privilege, the tenant is only in possession; if it appears a trucking, he hopes you will not go against the Lords Privilege.
Sir Thomas Higgins.] It seems the Lords are mistaken in matter of fact; that the Duke is dispossessed of what he never had, and then they suppose a thing that never was. The tenant comes to Lord Newburgh, uninvited, unsollicited, as his best security; how can this be a breach of Privilege? If no force, no violence, no disseizure of what he had, wherein is the Duke's Privilege violated? No part of the Duke's Petition was proved before the Lords, therefore would have a conference. The order puts the Duke into possession, who was not.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] There was no trucking, but the attournment was serious, upon the invalidity of the Duke's title, by a verdict in the Exchequer; you never grant any warrant to restore possession in case of your breach of Privilege; therefore would protect Lord Newburgh in his Privilege.
Sir Robert Carr.] The order is point blank to turn the men out that have stocks on the ground. He knows that some tenants have not paid any rents, and for some time, to Lord Newburgh; and this order will do many poor people wrong, besides Lord Newburgh.
Mr Hampden.] The actual possession was in the tenant, and not in my Lord Duke; where is there any more breach of Privilege in this, than in a tenant stopping any of our rents, which is no breach? Can you do less than send for the Sheriff, if he dispossesses Lord Newburgh? A conference is the nearer way.
Mr Waller.] It appeared to the Lords, that the Duke was in possession, at the beginning of the Session of Parliament. In Privilege, a man considers not how he was put out, but that he was put out. The Lords say, that it was confessed by Lord Newburgh's Counsel, that the Duke was in possession.
Sir Thomas Meres.] It is moved by Sir Francis Goodrick, that both parties may wave Privilege, and go to tryal by consent. It appears that, unsought for, the tenant tells Lord Newburgh he will pay him his rent, and not the Duke. He thinks that Delamor, the tenant, is in possession, and you ought to protect him as a Commoner of England. The same Lawyer that was of Counsel for the Duke, is now for Delamor. The order is not to put the Duke into the possession he was before, but that Delamor shall be put out of possession. You know how far the Lords misapplied several cases in the last conference, and so will gain upon us.
Sir Thomas. Lee.] Likes it well, if we may have a compromise of the business, but would not willingly lose ground neither, by letting the thing be a precedent upon us, that in the Lords books may be against us; but what we do in our own books is nothing. If by way of memorandum, to remain. Would have a conference voted.
The Speaker.] Should you vote a conference, you must go upon the order; you must then first vote a breach of Privilege, and on conference you must show the matter of fact. The case is very difficult, and we must assist the person on whom the breach is made, whether the tenant, or Lord Newburgh.
Mr Vaughan.] Is for adjourning the Debate, but not for conference. Issuing out the order is no breach of Privilege, but executing the order is. We were too hasty, in Skinner's case, to call the order a breach before it was executed, and had disadvantage by it.
Sir Robert Howard.] When you do adjourn the Debate, would have an order for some Members to prepare a conference. The thing on one side or other must be of weight, and this may hasten the persons to some compromise, and the Committee be appointed to see if there be matter for a conference.
Sir Thomas Lee.] In Mr Hale's case, there is no state of the case in the Journal, but only your order for a Message; and so it is left dark to posterity. If you adjourn it, with the hopes only of a compromise, and leave no vote on your books, it will be dark. In Mr Hale's case, you sent a Message, and had good effects of it.
Friday, November 18.
It was said,] We carry fish to Venice, and from thence, with the Pieces of Eight we receive there, we go to Zant, and so currants come in for ready money; so there is a necessity to load with currants, or come home empty. We are only guilty of this excess in currants, and were it but in detestation of our folly, let us lay the charge high upon them. It is not to be feared that butts of currants can be brought home in mens pockets.
Mr Boscawen.] If we be forbidden currants, we shall take in more raisins, as great an extravagance as the other. Those who bring pilchards, and other fish to Venice, have liberty to load currants at Zant. We must never think to bring home only Pieces of Eight. He thinks that so much as we put upon currants, we put upon navigation.
Mr Henry Coventry.] Thinks the Imposition will help navigation; if we leave the trade, the rest of the world will not take it; and the Venetians have no reason to make them dearer by their Customs, but to favour us.
Mr Jolliffe.] Our woollen trade begins to thrive, and they have taken all our Custom off from paper, sugar, and cloths, during the Candy war, and since, some of fishing; shall we now lay too great a load upon that trade? The Law now stands, that we shall not bring home currants, but in English bottoms, which keeps up navigation.
Colonel Birch.] Stop but the gap of bringing home, and you must bring home Pieces of Eight. Ships go to the Canaries, dead freight, and so with France. We are hasty for new wine; if we would have patience till December, we should avoid leakage, and have our wines at much cheaper rates, and they may avoid dead freight.
Sir William Coventry.] The gentleman might have rectified his motion with a threepenny Almanack. The Canary voyage is impossible to be so performed. The Venetions will take this imposition ill from us, having lately abated us.
Mr Garroway.] Though the Duke of Tuscany lays gabels upon his own subjects, yet he spares the Merchant; we pay it not, and so it is with Venice. Caviare (fn. 1) is the greatest Lent fish-diet they have, which the Dutch bring them, but they have little fish from us.
Colonel Birch.] If you will not take his currants, none else will; we spend three-fourths more than any other nation, and in this you have an advantage that in other things you have not; in this it will hold at 5s. per pound.
Sir Gilbert Talbot (fn. 2).] There is no such thing at Venice as laying any thing upon the first buyer.
Sir Robert Howard.] The French grow great in trade by the fatal war with the Dutch. Lay what you will upon trade, if the French increase their ships as they do, they will get trade, and something else, from you. The charge proposed to you will not decay the King's revenue, as is objected.
[Nov. 19, omitted.]
Monday, November 21.
[On the business of Jekell and Hayes (fn. 3).]
Sir Charles Wheeler.] Is informed that Hayes has endeavoured to corrupt the late Lord Mayor Sterling, and by public money collected amongst themselves, which they use to collect. Moves to have Sir Samuel Sterling heard, as to the matter, at the Bar.
Mr Garroway.] Is against calling them in; we can give no oath, and we shall have nothing from them, but "you lye" and "you lye;" the business is depending at Westminster, and would have it left to the Law.
Mr Henry Coventry.] Would have them heard here. Upon the King's coming in, there was an indemnity to the Lieutenancy, and we had need of it, for many reasons of state, and may have in this case. In the case of fire (about blowing up houses) the Statute speaks strictly that we cannot destroy property; but in emergencies it cannot be executed.
Sir Samuel Sterling, called in, says,] That about a fortnight before the Act against Conventicles should commence, Mr Hayes visited him, and told him, that it was the opinion of Counsel that it was but 100l. forfeiture on the Magistrate, and that he should be paid that 100l. and 200l. more, if he would forbear putting the Act in execution; he and his friends would secure him from farther penalties. Sterling said, "He wondered that he should come to bribe a Magistrate." Hayes replied, "You have an estate, and you had best take heed what you do, for you must answer it." Farther, that Hayes offered Mr Carrel to debate the case, who discoursed with Sterling to this effect, "That this Law denies Church-worship, and therefore he was not to put it in execution for conscience-sake." He withdrew.
Mr Hampden.] Properly Sterling should answer, and not accuse Hayes. Hayes is properly the complainer. The business is depending at Westminster, and hopes that this House will never hinder justice there.
Sir Thomas Meres.] It was not an ordinary breach of the Peace that the Lieutenancy of London bound them for, but there were thousands in the streets, like a rebellion, and the occasion was extraordinary, and in point of prudence they did it. That in dispute at Westminster is the liberty of the subject, in point of legal commitment.
Sterling again.] Had intelligence that thousands of all sects and sorts were flocking to London, to oppose the Act, therefore he commanded double watch, and the Constables set strong guards at the avenues of the Conventicles; but the brown bills (fn. 4) were too weak the first Sunday. The next Sunday Colonel King was taken, and thirty more, whereof a few were Londoners, the rest of several other counties. The next Sunday he had stronger guards. That week he had intelligence that Watson should preach, "that they should resist to blood manfully." The next Sunday Watson was called down, where he was preaching, by the Constable, who could not come to him for the crowd, the people standing arm in arm; but Watson promised to come to the Lord Mayor. Jekell told the Lord Mayor, that Watson's words were understood wrong, and that he was an honest man. He had intelligence that Major-General Butler, Cornet Joyce (fn. 5), and others were there. There were then eight great Meeting-houses, and no less than 12000 people at them, besides boys. The soldiers attempted to get to the pulpits, but could not break them, for the crowd of people hindered them. They were much vilified, and could not execute the command; therefore he took his ultimum refugium to the Militia. The 28th of May the King sent instructions from Dover, the same as when Venner rose. The soldiers were abused in the streets, and brick-bats thrown at them. Told him these people had a design to assault him in his house (which occasioned him to get forty musketeers) and to make some insurrections. Whereupon the Lieutenancy sent for Hayes and Jekell. As for Jekell, he has little to say against him; but as relating to Watson. Hayes was the most to blame. They would not be bound to the good behaviour; "it was an obligation upon them to go to those meetings." Afterwards, this proceeding caused a small appearance the next Sunday. This is the cause of their commitment. The King's seizure of their Meeting-places, as forfeited to the King, terrisied them much.
Mr Hayes, called in.] Says he has a disadvantage, but must say, that the Substance of Sterling's accusation is wholly false and untrue. He was with him once about securing the houses from fire, and another time about the same thing, and then Sterling would advise with him about the Act. He replied, "Shall we advise of a thing in embrio?" Says Sterling, "it will either be toleration, or a severe Bill." Was never with him else, but with a Minister. But to speak of money, or to diffuade him from executing the Act—Does abhor it.
Sterling says,] He sent to Jekell and Hayes, to know how the Bill went on, they attending both the Houses at that time, and d d their best endeavour to stifle it. He will pawn all his estate to make good what he says.
Mr Garroway.] You have some light now that it must be committed, for the recrimination is as much on one side as on the other. If Hayes has been a peccant person now, he is sure the other (fn. 6) has been so formerly.
Sir Richard Temple.] Is glad to have your Laws executed, but would not have ill things done by colour of Law. You indemnified, by a short clause, those who pulled down the walls of several towns by command, there being some colour of Law against it. Would have the time asserted, when Hayes told what is alleged by Sterling.
Mr Milward.] If these persons were known Conventielers, and stirrers up of sedition, he thinks Sterling is in some measure justifiable. What is the good behavi our? It is but giving security, which they were able to do—Would do nothing to discourage the Lord Mayor.
Colonel Birch.] If Sterling, Lord Mayor, can make good that Hayes was alone with him, it is more than Hayes can do. The third Sunday, when the brick-bats flew, upon this his Majesty was informed, and they had the same instructions as in Venner's business. We may presume that of brick-bats was informed the King; if that be not so, some have wrongly informed the King, to set the city and him in discontent—Would have that point examined.
Sir Thomas Bludworth, called up by Birch.] Is a Deputy Lieutenant in the city. Hayes was accused to him for one of the great men amongst them, and Sterling might have told you, that his soldiers arms were taken from them. He was upon the examination of persons, officers, that they were in danger of their lives, by throwing stones; several were indicted at sessions.
Mr Henry Coventry.] Is not one of these Gentlemen that would put it off from farther examination. We may be in the interim examined; and Joyce, that took away one King, may take away another. This may call in question all the Justices of Peace of England—Would have the Lord Mayor Sterling, and the rest, to have our thanks.
Colonel Birch.] Sterling says, that Hayes was with him alone; Hayes says, not. How could Hayes come alone, without the knowledge of the Lord Mayor's officers, in the condition he lives? And those officers may give some testimony in it.
Resolved, That the House does approve of the proceedings of the Lord Mayor and the Lieutenancy, in committing Mr Hayes, and that it was done in order to the preservation of the King and [peace of the] nation.
Sterling, against Jekell.] Says that Watson, the Minister, advised "resisting to blood," and the Constable served him with a warrant, to appear before the Lord Mayor. Jekell came to him, and told him that Watson was an honest man, and intended no hurt. Sterling replied, that this was a seditious expression, and the common people do not distinguish (vulgus non distinguit) the intention and application of the words.
King did deliver this information to the Court of Aldermen. Knows not whether the taking of the house was charged, but that he was charged for being a promoter of Conventicles; but Sir Joseph Sheldon said, "He cannot say it was charged against him"—at the Bar.
Jekell.] The Lord Mayor, when he sent for him, told him, "that he had received a letter from the King, but they had a respect for him;" they had a bond for him to sign of 5000l. but he would not show such an example to ensnare his fellow citizens. He asked the Lord Mayor what was his crime? He replied, "He had not much against him, but he was the Diana of the city; and divers taken at Conventicles said, that Mr Jekell knew them to be loyal subjects," which he hoped was no crime, and so justifies himself by his former actions for the King. He said he had heard so much falseness of the Lord Mayor Sterling, that he had no mind to go to him; like to have charged him.
Sir Nicholas Carew.] Thinks that if Jekell had entered into the bond, he had betrayed the liberties of Englishmen, and that you ought to vote, that the proceedings of the Lord Mayor, &c. against him, were illegal and arbitrary.
[A Committee was appointed to inspect the Act against Conventicles, and the Act of the Militia, and to see if either of them be defective: And the Attorney-General was ordered to prosecute Mr Hayes in the King's Bench.]
Tuesday, November 22.
Noy [Attorney-General] proposed the lay-impropriations; then Lane argued, that men came into them by Act of Parliament; though he abhorred them, yet thought them lawful. The public good must not be done to injure any man. Walton in Lancashire, (the impropriation held by the Dean and Chapter of Worcester) was but 30l. a year; he applies to the Dean, &c. being to supply two Chapels; they made it 35l. a year. He knows not what charity will do in that. As to poor Vicars, some can scarce pay the subsidies.
Sir John Birkenhead.] Would have no Vicarage chargeable under 80l. per ann. for first fruits, &c. The King sent his letter that all should be made up 80l. per ann.— Would have every appropriator or impropriator to make it up at least 40l. per ann. and to have the presentation. He that is so charitable may be trusted with the presentation.
Mr Henry Coventry.] It is unreasonable that those who receive them of the King's gift, should be equally chargeable with those who come to them by purchase. Says it would be a good expedient for the Colleges to send some of their young students to supply the impropriations for a month or so, and if they prove eminent, they may be preferred to the living so augmented. The Monasteries send out such as did supply by turns.
Mr Crouch.] All the revenues of Trinity College in Cambridge are impropriations. Henry VIII. took away all their revenue in lands, leaving them but three manors. Henry VIII. called them "the Trinity in Unity." Would have Laymen used as you will use Churchmen, and begin when you please.
Sir Thomas Meres.] Ranns, in Edward the sixth's time, Bishop of Lincoln, passed away seventeen manors for forty-three impropriations; he had not a house left then, and the Protector Somerset then got him Bugden. The Bishop's impropriations are but small things; he has but little, and the Minister has but little, so that such an Act will destroy this Bishopric, and he has in a great measure performed the King's letter.
Sir Thomas Clifford.] The bigger your city is, the better will your land in Carlisle (fn. 7) let. Do we not find a want of vending our commodities since the plague? The greatness of the city invites strangers. Is not more beef sold in Smithfield for it? Would not have a charge put upon new foundations, being a controverted point in Law.
Sir Robert Howard.] It was ever held by the wisest men he could meet with, that the greatness of London, when half was not built that now is, would be the ruin of the country. If this city had not been so great, we had not lost so many people. You will not have that numerous equipage at London as in the country, and so you abate your people by being here. We are asked abroad, whether England stands in London, or London in England?
Mr Boscawen.] Distinguish whether the city grows in trade as well as in buildings; these new erections are not trading places, and those here entice gentlemen from the country, and they buy all here. No argument against sense. The country towns are grown poor, unless they be maritime towns; the inlands grow generally poor. The trading people abroad deal only with London, which occasions what Howard said, which weighs not with him; for what is passed would not have any thing said, but for what is to come.
Mr Waller.] We fall upon buildings as if they were foreign commodities, brought from abroad with the rest. of the Debate. All the Judges of England were of opinion, that the King's Proclamation had not the force of a Law; the Statute extending not to market towns.
Sir Thomas Lee.] If these buildings were a public nusance, they would have had a prosecution, and not have been permitted by authority. Seeing it is to charge one part of the Kingdom, and not another, is against it.
Mr Henry Coventry.] Does not think this is the way to make London less; if you will have less business here, you will have less building. The Court and Westminster will draw people, and here houses will be inconvenient and dear; you may have three rooms for one; therefore if you would lessen the city, you must have the Courts and Law elsewhere. 200,000 are buried in England, and not 200 in woollen, and yet you have a penal Law for it.
Wednesday, November 23.
Mr Offley, Counsel for Sir John Prettyman (fn. 8).] His case is suspension quousque. It is alleged that Prettyman protected Humes, being accused of several crimes. The Speaker denied Prettyman his warrant; the Lord Chief Justice did also; the Court finding it a frivolous complaint, granted no warrant. Prettyman has said all the ports, and used all diligence, and by no ways Humes can be found. Hopes, if this be proved, you will not account it a misdemeanor of Prettyman, but restore him to his Privilege and place in the House.
Mr Reading, against Prettyman.] Pilkington, evidence, went to the Lord Chief Justice for a warrant for Humes, but was sent word by the Clerk, that the Lord Chief Justice could not do it. The Speaker avowed he could not do it, since it was for felony to go all over England. Pilkington said, to the best of his memory, the Justice's Clerk said that his Lord would not do it. He said he never saw Humes in Prettyman's company since he went for a warrant; but knows that Prettyman offered money to several to take him. Birdinband, Prettyman's evidence, deposed to the same effect. Another said, that he went aboard several ships, and took care with several Bailiffs, but could not find him. Lewis said, that hearing several such people as this Humes were going for Virginia, did enquire for him, and Prettyman offered 40l. to take him.
Colonel Sandys.] Has met with an order of Court, that throws dirt upon that vote and proceedings the other day in Hayes and Jekell's case. "An order for return of a Jury for their tryal against Sir Andrew King, and the Lieutenancy of London."
Sir Thomas Clifford.] It is always the custom for persons to submit to the votes of the House of Commons. That of Jekell looks like a thing consulted with his party, to do you dishonour. This was begun all by them at this Sessions. It was told you of 12,000 in uproar when the King was at Dover. This proceeding tells you that 12,000 men must judge the proceedings of the House of Commons, and out of 46 he will chuse 12 that will do him justice. It is the practice of all Courts to submit to your orders; but two days now between, and he dare to proceed thus!—Moves to have him sent for in custody.
Sir John Birkenhead.] When Calamy was imprisoned, and he complained, we justified the proceedings by an Act, and had the opinion of our Lawyers. If this be suffered, he thinks he shall not sit safe here six months.
Sir John Duncombe.] The Lieutenancy of London have, by this action of theirs, preserved the peace of the kingdom, and you take notice of it, and examine the action, and agree it so. Shall one of these men dare to controul that opinion? What will they say when twelve men shall judge you? Surely you are not to endure this. An extraordinary power you must take in this case, and send for him in custody.
Sir Robert Howard.] Whatever opinion he was of before Jekell, &c. came to the Bar, he knows what his opinion ought to be now. As he would not controul Juries, so he would not have them differ from the opinion of the House of Commons. No suit can be, but the prosecution must imply those to have done ill that are prosecuted. Let our vote be showed him, and if he persists, send for him in custody, for no man can take notice of a vote; and let him lie till he confesses the judgment of the House of Commons a better than his own. Let him stand at the Bar, and hear them read, and say no more to him.
Colonel Sandys.] See how far these fellows have gone, you sitting, and they will see how you justify them.— Moves that all that were concerned may be sent for, and would know whether the Judge did take notice of this.
Sir Richard Temple.] These gentlemen have been too quick with you after a favourable hearing. Would have him sent for in custody, and hear him. You did not forbid his proceedings at Law, nor could you; his Majesty cannot do it. Would have a Bill of Indemnity for the Lieutenancy; it is no disparagement, but honour, to these gentlemen. Indemnity has been in two Acts of the Militia, and for the pulling down the walls of several towns. Many precedents [there are] of persons, who after great services done for the Kingdom, and some irregularities have happened, have thought it no disparagement to get an indemnity.
Col. Kirby.] Relates how his company were pelted with stones, and they followed him a long mile pelting him, and told him they came to put the Devil's laws, and not God's, in execution. Said, neither honest nor wise men had a hand in that Law. Last Sunday the Elders would see, who dares open their doors; and told him he came there to do mischief. They threaten Justices and officers, and you will not only have suits, but all about your ears.
Sir Job Charlton.] Your two Members are concerned in the same action against them as against the others, and this will be evidence against them, and infringe their Privilege; for this you may justifiably send for him in custody.
Mr Hampden.] Will you make Privilege by consequence? Because by deduction will you make breach of Privilege? What you passed is no order, but a vote, and though you may believe they know it, yet they cannot regularly have any judicial notice of it. Would not have Privilege by deduction pass for doctrine.
Sir Thomas Lee.] Does not wonder at the foolish zeal of this man, that showed it sufficiently at the Bar, must run out into farther indiscretions. If you had told him you expected release of actions when he was here, you might have saved this Debate.
Sir Charles Harbord.] The order of Exchequer is, that the Secondary of London return a Jury of able men, and he hopes they will be men of the Church of England. There is great fault to be found with Jekell, for recriminating upon the Mayor of London, who some time was the supreme officer of the kingdom. Upon the whole matter, would have hearing him before punishing him.
Colonel Titus.] The fault since, he thinks greater than the first offence; when once we come to be slighted, every man may make your votes of no consideration. This House slighted, will make the Lords House so, and the King at last. How will the people ever pay the money you raise, when your authority is thus contemned?
Sir Thomas Meres.] Would have the Lieutenancy indemnified. He takes this to be a pure Act of State, and make what order you will, he will prosecute the Lieutenancy when you are up. Takes it not to be a case of Privilege. He cannot, and dare not fly for it; you may send for him, but not in custody; he would not have you stretch your authority too far, lest you break it.
[Resolved, That Mr Jekell be sent for in custody of the Serjeant at Arms, to answer his contempt, in prosecuting his suit at law against Sir Andrew King, one of the Lieutenancy of the city of London, in the Exchequer, after the vote passed the one and twentieth of this month; whereby it was declared, that the commitment of the said Mr Jekell was in order to the preservation of the King, and peace of the Kingdom.]
Sir Thomas Clissord.] Observes that when one of the Long Robe, or Well-willer, is concerned, they are usually defended by such in the House. For the most part, persons go to Counsel they are induced to by inclination; therefore would have them sent for.
Mr Attorney Montagu (fn. 9).] This argues a turbusent spirit in Jekell. Mr Burton, a Counsel for Jekell, is in a fair way of practice. But last night came in a plea from the Defendant of Not Guilty; so he moved the Court for an indifferent Jury, and he makes it a ground that the Defendant's plea was put in last night.
Thursday, November 24.
Mr Garroway.] If we take upon us to stop proceedings at Law, and we can do it, the Lords may do it much more, and then we are in an ill condition—Would have Jekell sent for in, and the vote read to him, and you will hear no more of him, he believes.
The Speaker.] There was a mistake in drawing the order by the Clerk, which retarded the execution of it by the Serjeant; and this morning the order was sent by the Serjeant's three Messengers, who found them not at home, but found them here this morning, and took them into custody.
The Speaker was ordered to tell them,] Jekell and you were heard at large, and the House was of the opinion of the vote, which was read to him. The House did not expect that you should, by the motion of Mr Burton, and promotion of the Attorney, obtain an order in the Exchequer, &c. This the House takes as an affront. The House expects you shall do like discreet men hereafter.
Sir Job Charlton.] They may say, if you dismiss them thus only, "that the House of Commons have eaten "their votes; " and if you do no more, it is an encouragement to rebellion, they being committed when a rebellion was very near. Would have them called in to know, Whether Lack-lands and Empsons were the voters against them.
Sir William Coventry.] Is for the countenancing the Lieutenancy, but would not go hazardous motions to do it. Not by any other extraordinary way, by interpositions in the course of Justice. A gentleman said, "that some of the Lords have taken notice of it."— He was so unfortunate, as others were, to prevent the business of Skinner, and, from what we have already felt, to be cautious for the future. Here has been a suit commenced, and now you are coming strictly to apply the vote to an interposition in the suit. But if we come to measure our power with the Lords, those who you shall employ will come more hardly by arguments than in the case of Skinner; and why not now may the Lords fit you another way, as in appeals, delays, &c.? If they have a pre-eminence in other things, and say, if the Commons have right to interpose, why not we much more? and the King a fortiori, though the danger lies not so much there—Moves, now you have signified your sense, to have Jekell dismissed, and an order for a Bill to indemnify the Lieutenancy.
Sir Thomas Strickland.] The Lieutenancy needs no pardon; they were committed by the King's authority, as prisoners of state, where the supreme Magistrate in all Governments has power, and thinks it the duty of the Lieutenants to do it.
Sir Thomas Lee.] The nearer we keep to constant rules and methods of Parliament, we are in the safer way. As the Law preserves every man from an arbltrary power, and as no man is distinguished by his face, from the notoriety of the case of commitment, the thing is approved. A Clause of Approbation, by Act of Indemnity, will silence all proceedings of this nature.
Sir Thomas Meres.] Would have the Act of Indemnity general, to comprehend corporations, and many things which the Commons of England were never denied; and after so much money given, would be very thankful for an Act of Grace.
The Speaker.] Acts of Grace are from the King, and when he sends them, you read them but once. The King asked the Speaker, two months ago, what he might do that might be acceptable to the House. He answered, "One general Act of Grace." The King replied, "That he would do it with all his heart."
Sir Robert Howard.] The greatest foundations of your mercy that can be, are ignorance and obedience, which Jekell has testified, and protested he knew not of your orders. He asked some of your Members concerning your vote, and they prudently told him they could not tell it him. Jekell telling some of the Lieutenancy that he would proceed no farther.
Saturday, November 26.
Sir George Downing.] If you lay nothing upon home salt, you give the King nothing in effect. The States of Holland lay so much upon foreign salt, that it amounts to a prohibition. The art is so improved, as to white salt, that the fishing business may be carried on with a small proportion of foreign salt.
Monday, November 28.
Sir William Coventry.] We have not the dexterity that the French in Normandy have, to make quantities of this commodity; but we make it as good, and when you can supply the ships as cheap as they can have it from France, they will supply themselves here.
Sir William Coventry.] Lay the foreign canvasses higher, and the poor will make them here; we cannot do all the good we would at a time, therefore charge the fails higher, and wearing canvas at 6s. per piece.
Sir William Hickman.] People will not make this canvas, unless they have an inducement to it; and therefore would have all French linnen charged, as is now paid, with the additional duty at the Custom-house.
Sir George Downing.] One of our best trades is from Hamburgh, which fully balances its own and that of Sweden, and your money comes home to be employed in the pernicious trade of France. Lay more burdens upon Hamburgh, and you must have it out of France. Affirms that you carry more goods to Holland than you bring from thence, and would not have such goods charged.
Sir George Downing.] Two sorts of thrown silk, in the gum, and out of it; one sort they cannot make in England, which is the Bologna silk. He went to all the Throwsters about town, but could not get one ounce made; if this sort comes not in, part of your manufacture will either stand, or be stolen in, if you lay it higher.
Mr Love.] Says there is no silk but they can throw. They have not above twelve bales of this superfine silk in a year brought over. They sold here some years silk thrown in England. By an officious lie put it upon a Weaver, and wrought it without distinction, 'till he knew it was not foreign, and then left it.
Sir Thomas Clifford.] Four and a half per cent. is a duty given the King by the Parliament of Barbadoes; a moiety whereof is laid apart for Sir Tobias Bridges's regiment, which is upon the island; the other part is in the Governor's hand, to pay the ships they pressed. The Plantations brought this to the Council of trade, to have ease, saying, "that at the utmost it was not above 4000l. per ann. and they would give it the King another way;" but the Council contracted for 7000l. per ann. for seven years, and so they offered the gentlemen complainers, and thus the King is possessed of it.
Sir Richard Temple.] Considering the trade in general, we ought to encourage it, and it may bring in much money, and keep out all foreign sugars; the Barbadoes sugars, with that burden, will beat out Portugal sugars. If you lay upon consumption of Brasil sugars here, they will upon your cloths there; your export being greater there than your import, besides bullion brought in— Would have Barbadoes therefore as high as Portugal.
Colonel Stroude.] Portugal lays great duty upon our commodities. In lieu of 40l. per head for the planter, who had no title but from the King, this four and a half per cent. was laid; and when the Dutch war was, the King protected them.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] Four and a half per cent. has lost St Christopher's and Surinam, and thus you will lose Barbadoes: 400 sail were employed, and from 12,000 families, there are but 7000 left—Would have but a halfpenny.
Mr Attorney Finch.] The grant of four and a half per cent. is a tribute paid, in consideration of a free grant of their titles from the King by their Parliament. You cannot alter this four and a half, unless you restore the King to his title again, and that will create disorder sufficient.
Tuesday, November 29.
Sir George Downing.] Moves that 50 per cent. may be upon coaches, ad valorem. They are not in the book of Rates particularly; garments are, and would have their value put generally, for they are jupes (fn. 10) to-day, and tamars (fn. 10) to-morrow, and fools coats next day. Moves again, that coaches, being to be met with, may be 50 per cent. and so cloths ad valorem; the forfeiture may be compounded for at the Exchequer, the Custom not, therefore would have both.