Grey's Debates of the House of Commons: Volume 10. Originally published by T. Becket and P. A. De Hondt, London, 1769.
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Thursday, April 17.
The House was informed, That the Sheriffs of the City of London attended at the Door, to present a Petition to the House (fn. 1).
Mr Sacheverell.] I am not of Opinion that there are any such practices in the City as Gentlemen talk of Though I like not very well the Change that has been lately made there in the Militia, nor the Bill to vacate the Judgment against their Charter. I will never be for them that would not stand with them for justifying their Liberties. You do the Corporation no good by reversal of their Judgments. Instead of relieving them, you put them into a worse state than before their Charters. I am for giving them their just Rights, and no more.
Sir John Lowther.] The Debate is wholly irregular. To talk of Bills not brought in—I never heard that a Petition was delivered to the House, but was first opened, to see whether it was fit for you to receive; for sometimes you have rejected Petitions. The last time you refused one from the City of London, because it was not opened. This is a matter that may create heats by dividing us, of the most dangerous consequence. In all Companies, they talk of our Divisions, that they will ruin us. If it be as People talk, it is a Petition for a Bill to establish their own Rights. No Act enjoins the Mayor and Aldermen to petition, and nobody else. Consider the consequence of such a Petition to the Nation. Who shall you gratify by this but your Enemies ? Pray go to the Order of the Day.
Sir Henry Capel.] A Bill has been prepared, and read, about their Privileges, and they may take notice of it. If the change of the Lieutenancy in the City has been a misfortune, this is the Place for it to be heard in, composed, and reconciled. I will not interfere in the Order of the Day, but beg all encouragement possible to the City. We know not where to have the Money, but in the compass of the City of London; therefore, pray, put no discouragement upon them, but call them in.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] It is proper, now the Petition is opened, to consider whether you will receive it, or no ? Pray let me put you in mind how you are used in this matter. The Motion is, to restore the City to its ancient Liberties, but you order a Bill to vacate the Judgment, and it is ordered to be read a second time. When you were at your Devotions (the Fast-Day) no Day would serve their turn for a Common Council, but that Day. You were told of a great Change in the City Militia; but I think, the King could not go with any security out of London, without that Change of the Lieutenancy. I remember, and sadly, what they did in Charles I's. time, and the consequences. I am loth to give the Petition the name it deserves, and I would not have it read.
Sir Thomas Lee.] I am one of those who were always of Opinion, that just so much is due to London, and no more, as to every little Corporation in England; "That they have Right to petition, either by themselves, or their Members, at this House;" and we cannot deny them, if they come in that due measure, and decency, as they ought. If the matter be what they ought not to petition, they are in your hands. I know nothing of the Alterations in London; but I take it for very fortunate, that the Judges have their Places now Quamdiu se bene gesserint; I should be afraid else the old ones would come in. I hope those who are the Advisers of the King's Change of the Officers will take care, if this Change be not good, that it shall be altered; if those Judges should come into their Places that have done ill. If the County of Buckingham should send a Petition, I hope you will receive it.
Sir Robert Howard.] I shall not enter upon complimenting the City, nor upon particular Respects, but your Duty in respect of yourselves. I know not how the Common Council is become a Cabal now; it was a good Cabal, when the King desired 100,000l, and they sent him 200,000l. I have a respect for those put in, and for those put out; but you must not be led on thus: Since some of Mr Cornish's and Lord Russel's Jury, Murderers, had the power of the Sword in their Hands; those put out, I believe, are remote from a Common-wealth—To refuse this Petition is one of the sharpest things that ever was. Was not Oxford Petition, between the first and second reading of a Bill, read ?—This would be a Favour to encourage the City to assist; and these very people are not so inconsiderable a Cabal, if it be one. If a Member be so affixed to a Town, or a Place, what does he here, if he be not for the Public ? Pray be pleased to admit the Petition; if it be not fit for you, throw it out. Nobody knows yet what it is; and it will be strange to receive Oxford Petition, and throw out this.
Col. Austen.] I tell you why I would not be too strict in observing Days. Deeds of Charity may be done on that Day as well as others. When you have occasion to use those Gentlemen of the City, do not anger them. (Some laughed.) I cast my eye upon those that carry their pleasure of ridiculousness upon me, which I despise. Pray consider, whether you will not have occasion for Money.
Mr Coningsby.] That Question puts me upon another; Whether those Gentlemen will lend ? I hope there are no Murderers in the Lieutenancy of London; and I hope those that will not qualify themselves, will be turned out.
Sir Robert Clayton.] (But he had not the Petition in his hand; which was against Order.) I am not versed in the Laws, but I know none "That my Lord Mayor and the Aldermen should bring the Petition themselves to the Parliament." They ought to be delivered by Members of the House. Every Member here serves for all England.
Sir Edmund Jennings.] I know none put in nor out of the Lieutenancy, but, I believe, on good consideration. The Gazettes were stuffed with Addresses to King James, to stand by him in the Dispensing Power with Lives and Fortunes: Quakers, Anabaptists, Presbyterians, and other Sects; they either stood by King James, or assisted him. If they did it, or did not assist the present King, what security can the Government have from them, that either opposed this King, or forsook King James ? They are fit to be put out not only of Civil but Military Employment. The King did not understand the Constitution of the Government, when he came in; but, since, he knows who are fit to be employed, and that these Men put in are fit.
April 21, Omitted.]
Tuesday, April 22.
Sir Robert Clayton.] I am of Opinion, with those that think this to be of great concern to be settled, in order to that, to lay our Hands and Heads to work. I would obviate all scandal laid on the City of London, by this Petition, that you have rejected, as not well obtained. The Common-Council ordered a Bill to be proposed to present to the House; they did this on Tuesday in the afternoon. They summoned a Council, by which a Committee was impowered to draw a Petition to present to the House. As to summoning the Council, the Lord Mayor assures the House they had due Summons. Sir John Parsons told you, "he had no Summons:" Another, Mr Perry, tells you of a nephew of his that had no Summons. Parsons orders all his Summonses to be left at a Goldsmith's, and his Summons was left accordingly; and the Officer made Oath that Persons never called for it. The Wards were summoned by printed Tickets, and there are Witnesses at the Door, to prove a regular Summons to every Man. I cannot discover the least in their intention of surprize. If the House will have farther satisfaction, the Witnesses are at the Door. The Committee would have gone farther, if they had had Power. I take leave to offer you my thoughts, where the Bill is defective: There is no Provision, that the Companies shall be restored; nor Provision to indemnify those that acted under the New Charter; nor any for the Magistracy of the City. I hope the prudence of the House will take care of that. If the Magistrates that were before, take the same place as formerly, you must have the same Sheriffs you had before. If all be restored that were before, you may see King James here again, if the King go into Ireland.
Mr Papillon.] I must beg pardon if I differ from Gentlemen. I must speak freely: The Bill is so far from the Title, that it is against the thing. There were great endeavours to take away all the Privileges of the City: Soldiers were drawn up in Guildhall. This was before the Judgment upon the Quo Warranto. As this Bill is penned, you confirm all that was done before, instead of restoring the Privileges. I move, that you will enquire into what ancient Privileges the City had before by the Judgment and Quo Warranto they were taken away.
Sir John Guise.] I would know, whether you do not confirm that Election of Sheriffs, by which they lost all their Liberties ? Will you confirm all these actions ? You are told, "This was a Cabal that framed the Petition;" but we do not find but that they had legal Summons. They desire one thing, and you do another: They desire to be heard by Counsel to the Bill; and that is made a ridiculous thing. You deny nobody Counsel to be heard in the like case. I am not against the Commitment of the Bill; but a great many things are to be thought of; and I hope you will take such consideration and steps, as wise men ought to think of, and not lay imputations upon People of a Commonwealth. Those who spread such Reports betwixt the King and his People, are criminal; and this is not a time to make such difference. I would enquire from whence this came. Affix some time for the City of London to be heard by Counsel.
Mr Dolben.] I would commit the Bill, upon Debate of the House. The Committee did not take upon them to insert a Clause for the Corporation of Companies; therefore I desire it may be Instructions to the Committee, &c.
Sir Thomas Vernon.] The Committee of CommonCouncil had not power to insert any thing in the Bill, in order to the Companies. There is one thing to be provided for, that all Freemen may be confirmed. Livery-men paid, some twenty, some twenty-five pounds for it. That that may be confirmed, I would have part of the Instructions to the Committee.
Mr Foley.] I find a Clause in the Bill that confirms Leases made upon valuable Consideration. I cannot tell what "valuable Consideration" may be. I would have it, "That what Leases are made may be redeemed as Mortgages." I suppose it is not the design of the House to restore those to their places, who have lost them because they would not swear to the Government: That is not for the King's interest, nor the City's. 'Tis intimated, that this Bill will restore Sir Dudley North and Sir Peter Rich to be Sheriffs (fn. 2). I know not how the House will come up to that. I think Rich has lost his Alderman's place; and, notwithstanding disability of Places, by this Bill they are restored. I would have them restored to the Rights they had before the Judgment against the Charter, and that their Counsel may be heard at the Committee, or at the Bar of the House.
Sir Christopher Musgrave.] If the Bill be strait, 'tis through default of the Order from the CommonCouncil to the Committee. The House thought not fit to go into the Sea of the ancient Rights of the City, but they were immediately before the Judgment against the Charter. There might be ill practices, but the Right was theirs. You are told of the restiveness of some to take the Oaths; those are not fit to come into Employment: But I have heard that Sir John Holt and Sir Henry Pollexsen drew this Bill, at the great Charge of the City: I wonder at it, if the City had a mind to have these men restored. You are not taking away any thing from the City; they would have you restore them to what was their ancient Rights.
Col. Birch.] As to persons qualified, or unqualified, I shall say nothing; but as to all other fears and misunderstandings amongst us, there wants but one, viz. a misunderstanding betwixt the City and us. To prevent this misunderstanding is the reason of my standing up. If the City and you are of a-piece, there is no Fear; but, for unqualified persons to be restored ! —And, on the whole matter, there may be something more they would have than they say. I would give leave for Counsel to be heard, &c.
Mr Finch.] You are moved to commit the Bill, and that they should be heard by Counsel: I agree to both; and, I hope, to a Committee of the whole House. I always observe that, when there is Counsel to some one point of the Bill, the Objection is of great weight: It is, Whether this Bill does restore the City to their ancient Privileges ?
April 23 (fn. 3) Omitted.]
Thursday, April 24.
Serjeant Thompson, one of the Counsel.] I appear on the behalf of several Citizens of London. I have not particular Directions from my Lord Mayor; and, without your Directions, I know not what Point to speak to. He withdrew.
Sir William Pulteney.] This Bill from London, &c. is not a General Bill, but a Private Bill; and to it any person may be heard by his Counsel. This is such a reverse from Thompson, to tell you, "He has no Particulars to speak to," that you know not what to do.
Sir Christopher Musgrave.] If the Counsel were not instructed from the City, without doubt they would not be here. It was formerly opened, "That the Citizens had some Points to be heard to;" therefore I would know to what Points they are. Instructed, without doubt, they are; and they must not quibble upon your Order; though I could wish it had been plainer.
Sir John Guise.] I am afraid this is a kind of censure on your Members, that they say nothing to what the Counsel should be heard to. Upon occasion, the last Parliament, a stop was put to a Petition from the City, because it was not signed (fn. 4). They signed it, and you received it (fn. 5). When I hear it is a business so considerable, I would willingly know the Points they are to speak to; and, I believe, if they are called in, they will tell you.
Sir Thomas Lee.] I had thoughts, after Jennings's long discourse, that he would have told you of a Petition now; but here is no Petition before you, as there was then; and so you are to call in Counsel.
Sir John Thompson.] Every body values their respects as they please, and the City may employ their Representatives as they please. (Reflecting.) This seems as though we were trying how to get off from our Order.
Sir Thomas Vernon.] I will give the House some account why the Common-Council had not made application to us [the Aldermen] with the Perision, If we were to make a Motion for a Bill, they would see it. Some days after, the Bill being brought to us, we would read it Paragraph by Paragraph; but they would not suffer it to be read, either in the whole, nor Paragraph by Paragraph. 'Tis true, the Common-Council are chosen by the Wards, but we are by the City, which is far the better part of the City.
Mr Harcourt.] If you call in the Counsel, I would ask them, to which Points they will speak ? If they think that what is lost of their Privileges is not sufficiently confirmed by this Bill; if the Judgment is not sufficiently reversed, you may hear them to that Point.
Mr Papillon.] However the Order is worded, I believe it was the intent, to know what the City has to move; and the House is to consider what to allow. You are told, by Vernon, "That he is chosen by the City of London;" but I think not so. There is his and my Opinion.
Sir Edward Seymour.] Which of the Opinions of these two Members you will support, I leave to you. The Business you intend is, to settle the Peace and Security of the City, that you may settle yours the better. Petitioning here is specious, but in Public Bills never heard of; but, for private Bills, if you are going about to take from them, they tell you what. I would have them speak out, whether they aim not at more Privileges than they had before. Perhaps, in the Lieutenancy, that did not satisfy that Gentleman's Opinion, nor that Gentleman. I would thank the King for the Change, and desire him to go on farther in it (fn. 6). Here the Interest of England is met together to be determined, and if rolling in uncertainties, you will never be safe. Every body sees through this; those that should have been assisting to inform the King, are as useless to the King in his Council, as those in the Lieutenancy. I would not only thank the King for the Change, but desire that he will please to go on to settle the Kingdom on that foundation.
Col. Birch.] I think you are gone a little out of the way. Pray look back, and see where the Debate begins, viz. "That the Bill is inconsistent with what would be maintained of the City-Liberties." Call the Counsel in, and we shall understand one another.
Sir Thomas Lee.] (Calls him to Order) He knows the Order comes from the Chair, when there is any Controversy. No doubt what concerns safety is always seasonable, though not regular. The Question is, calling in the Counsel.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] When in a Debate any thing has happened acceptable to the House, and what is necessary to be presented, I would address the King to settle the Militia of London in the hands of Persons affected to the Monarchy.
Mr Serjeant Thompson.] A Quorum of the Committee of the Common Council retained me. They acquainted me with the Order of the House to what matter I should direct myself. They would not alter the Bill but in one matter— The design of the Bill is to restore the City to all the Privileges they had, either by Act of Parliament, or Prescription. As necessary to that, some Companies cannot be restored so effectually, unless restored by Name; and several other things are not proper to mention, till I have your direction. I have the Heads of several Clauses to offer, if you please.
Sir Edward Seymour.] The Bill is before you, and you have heard Counsel, and now they make no exceptions against it, but they present you with additions something more than before the Quo Warranto. Upon London depends a great deal of the security of the Nation; therefore it is not fit to be independent on the rest of the Nation. A great many of those particulars, that Thompson desires may be added, are very fit to be done, but not for us to do. We must leave that where it is proper. I would proceed upon the Bill to make it useful to them, but leave other things to a more proper hand.
Sir Thomas Lee.] It is as just what they ask by addition, as the reversing of the Judgment. That of the Companies is just. It was London that brought resigning of Charters in fashion all over England, and it con sists with Justice to have those restitutions made, which the Bill does not reach. I know not why those small Corporations of the Companies should not be provided for, as well as the rest.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] That point offered by Thompson, of my Lord Mayor's adjourning or dissolving the Common Council, without their consent, puts me in mind of sad thoughts. They had their Precedent from the Long Parliament of 1641. I hope you will not consent that they shall be so much as heard upon that Article.
Sir Joseph Williamson.] Counsel is fit to be heard to points of Law. Several of these things desired by them are perfectly new, Rights of Grace, and Favour. I wonder that Body should offer you Heads so destructive to Trade, being men of so great experience in Trade. If we are about new Privileges for London, I submit it to you, whether they ought to begin here; they ought to be granted from the King, and have confirmation here; that would be most proper, and you need not call in Counsel again as to that point.
Sir Edward Seymour.] I will make you a short Proposition to terminate in something. If you please, before you go upon a particular Head, come to some general Resolutions; whether you will give new Privileges to London, or restore them to their old. Come to some easy and quick dispatch, and put a general Question.
Sir Christopher Musgrave.] If they have their ancient Privileges, by Act of Charter, let them have them, but these Charters are not before us, and we know not what we do. We are not taking them away, only putting them in the condition they were before, and pray let us have that Question. I think they are not their Privileges, because they desire them. As to the Preamble, I never heard that Counsel was to be heard, for an Act may be without a Preamble.
Sir John Lowther.] I cannot agree to the Motion. It is of dangerous consequence, that you should grant new Privileges, which is always understood to be the Right of the Crown; and I doubt not, but the King will be as bountiful as his Predecestors, if the City apply to him. I hope you will not take the power from the King, to gratify them by extraordinary ways. Let the Question be, "That you will not grant any new Privileges to the City of London."
Sir Thomas Lee.] When the Counsel were called in, they proposed new Heads to the Bill, which seems to be conditions to the Bill. Some Gentlemen say, "They would have them Head by Head;" others, "They would not grant new Privileges." I am not for it; it may be dangerous. I am for the Rights of the Crown as well as of the City, but rather I would have them from the Crown, than from a favourite. I would not have new Privileges neither. Some you must grant them, of no prejudice to you, but advantage to them. Let the Question be general, and the Committee may be left free as to Offices. Let the Question be, "Whether you will hear Counsel any farther ?"
Mr Papillon.] I must not jest with myself, though I am a Citizen, but I know not who these persons are that you thank him for. I know not the Names of a fourth, or a half of them; they may be obnoxious to the Church of England, and the Government. Such a Motion as this, after two o'clock, is not for your honour.
Mr Campion.] I am for the Church of England-men to be employed in this Lieutenancy. I know not whether it be true or no, but I have heard, that several of them would not take the Oaths to the Government. I would know what this Lieutenancy is, before I give my consent to thank the King.
Sir Robert Clayton.] I should be glad to understand the Question, and the Reason of it, (and so gives an account of the Change of the Lieutenancy in the last Commission) But it is worth your Examination, neither the ablest nor best men are added. I would examine, whether these persons are worth the favour of this Address to the King. You will find, that many have had a hand in the worst things. I am for cementing, not dividing. Divisions and Parties never did good, nor ever will, of any Church or Party whatsoever. If you will give liberty to enquire farther into the Lieutenancy, I believe you will not pass this Vote.
Sir John Lowther.] I am for this, because it will take away our Divisions. If the King remove me, I am so conscious to my own abilities, that I shall agree that I am justly removed; and if they have not given satisfaction to the Government, I hope they will comply for the future. We have had talk of ill management of Addresses for removal of persons, and catechising the King. I hope that is gone—I hope he will have success and encouragement in the farther methods he shall please to use, and take away all dangerous and factious People, to the full satisfaction of the Government. If there are such men, they are fit for removal, and I hope they will be turned out; and that it will extend to both sides, one as well as the other, and take away all Divisions for the future.
Mr Foley.] I am afraid we are under a mistake in this. Some said, they were Church of England-men, and some not. I have seen a List, and I must observe many in the Lieutenancy that have had their Hands in Blood several times over. 'Tis not for the Service of the Nation to condemn a man upon one Witness. and one that contradicted himself. Some are there, who went to congratulate King James after his return, and the landing of the Prince of Orange. I know not why you will take so much notice as to give the King Thanks for these Men. They have chosen one for Colonel, who would not qualify himself to be an Alderman, and has appeared, by Force, to controul Elections in the City. I believe, when you examine, many things will be proved upon these persons; and, I hope, when the House has a full Information of these things, they will not think it for the Interest of the King and Kingdom, that these men should be continued.
Sir Samuel Dashwood.] I find, great stress is laid upon one particular, of persons unqualified. The matter of fact is this: Sir James Smith happened to be in the Country; and I have heard him aver it, and solemnly declare, "That he never heard of that Act." Though the Court of Aldermen did not admit him, yet they admitted another under the same circumstances. Sir Thomas Allen omitted it solely upon ignorance of the Act. I know many, of great reputation and honour, of the City, (if I may call it so) and their Loyalty did manifestly appear, by the great Sums they sent the King—Be they Churchmen, or not, this particular person is as honest to the King's Interest as any man in the Lieutenancy.
Sir Robert Howard.] I am of his mind. I would not shut a man out of the Government, that is willing to come in, both Clergy and others: I am so far from taking advantage of Omissions, that I would restore all. To the Honour of the Privy-Council, it was said once, "That you were beholden to the lower end of the Table for taking away the Chimney-Money." I had no share in that Advice; it was from the King— But, for an Address to thank the King in general, there I must say a word. I speak under the shelter of an Act of Parliament—To ingross Thanks for such men, for Actions you have marked and judged criminal !——If you go on the method of Thanks for the Men of the Church of England, I am for that; but, for Men that have committed Murders (the King not knowing it;) and you thank Alderman Cornish's and Lord Russel's Jury—King James took down Cornish's rotten Quarters, set up there by as rotten a Power— Pray let this be examined. Let us not ask the King for that, but for the Church of England—For Acts, that we ourselves have condemned, that an Act of Parliament has condemned, and all Mankind !
Mr Finch.] Most Gentlemen mean the same thing, in this Debate: 'Tis not, that the House will thank the King for twenty or forty People, but for those who, by their principles and practice, are for the Church of England. I would have a Question that will thus take the sense of all men. I would have the King thanked, "For the great care he has taken of the Church of England, in the Alteration he has made in the Militia of London."
Col. Birch.] I did never think, after the experience I have had, ever to have heard this, and that we are all agreed to serve the King and Kingdom. In the Parliament of 1660, none abroad durst look the King in the Face, when the King said, "Let this be called the healing and blessed Parliament." Not long after this, one sort of people, who acted in a corner (I know who they were) made men criminated in most corners of the Kingdom; this brought us into a low condition. We were taught that Prayers and Tears would cure us; but they brought Declarations and the Government to Tyranny. Pray let this Address alone, till we have beaten our Enemies. I protest, if I would give Advice from t'other side of the water, it should be this; for Gentlemen to give Thanks for they know not what. Let us see these Gentlemen (we thank for) who they are first. I know what they are that stuck to the King, from Dan to Beersheba. To put the King into other hands, I am not for it. Examine who these are, and do not give Thanks hand over head for these men.
Sir Henry Capel.] If I am not for the Church of England, I have much forgot whom I am descended from, that suffered for that Church in the PalaceYard (fn. 7). Is it a reasonable thing that the whole Body of the Parliament should address the King, &c. without satisfaction ? Suppose you make this Address, and you find those put in are not of the Church of England, and have been of the bloody Juries ? When you address the King, do you not take every part of his Speech into consideration, before you draw up your Address ? I never saw the List of this Lieutenancy, but I have heard an ill character of some of them—I have seen the Church of England set forwards and backwards, by Lord Clifford, who did head the Declaration; and here we are set one against another, and all for the Interest of the Papists. We cannot justify ourselves to our Country, in this Declaration, if any of these things alleged happen. Another Parliament will find fault with this Address, as not consistent with Reason. Unless there be some other design in it, I move, that a Committee may make a fair Report of these Persons in the Lieutenancy, that we may be all unanimous.
Sir Christopher Musgrave.] All unanimously agree for Thanks to the King, for his encouragement of the Church of England. Plainly, that is the sole bottom of his security, to establish the Crown, to countenance it, and shall not this House take notice of it ? It has given great satisfaction, in the Country, that the King has made this Alteration; and shall not the King know of it ? I hope those of the Council will advise the King of the sense of so considerable a part of the Nation. What do the Dissenters terminate in, but a Commonwealth ?
Sir Thomas Littleton.] 'Tis strange to return Thanks to the King for this Alteration, before we know whether it be an Alteration or no. We are told, "That the Dissenters are left in the Lieutenancy." I am one of those that would not make the King a King of a Party. The Misunderstanding in the Nation, is not from Church of England-men and Dissenters, but betwixt Church-men and Church-men, that would ingross the name of Church-men, to bring in Tyranny, and persecute all Protestant Churches abroad. Those that are for having the King universal King of all his People, will support him in any Tryal; and I doubt that Tryal is nearer than we are aware of. The House is not yet so much satisfied as to know the Names of this Lieutenancy of London. I am not for the Question, till we know what we are doing.
Sir Edward Seymour.] I made you the Motion that occasioned this Debate. I hope now I shall propose something to all your satisfactions. I would address the King, with Thanks "for his care of the Church of England, expressed in the Alteration of the Lieutenancy of England."
Col. Birch.] In all these Debates, something starts of use to the King and Kingdom. I know not who is for King James, or who for King William——It grieved my heart to see a Thousand at Church last Sunday, and not Forty at the Sacrament. He that is unworthy of the one, I think, is unfit for the other: 'Tis a Fund of Confidence upon one another. Let us abjure him on the other side of the water; and, instead of this endless, sleeveless Address, draw up that Abjuration.
Sir Henry Goodrick.] I approve much what has been moved, that the Address be in general. I hope we shall avoid going from one extreme to another. (And reads a Question, for an humble Address to the King, with Thanks for his Favour to the Church of England; and that he will please to support it.)
Col. Austen.] I believe the Church of England all very good Men; and those Tools, or that made themselves so, who congratulated King James's return to Whitehall, and wept for joy, will you thank the King in general for these Men ? But, as to thanking the King for any general kindness done to the Church of England, I am for it.
Sir John Lowther.] I would neither take notice of these Mens Merits nor Crimes. But the Interest is changed; and their Morals are good, whatever their Principles are. If you stay till all are of a mind, you will never have Alterations; but if things are comparatively better, 'tis that which we give Thanks for.
Sir Henry Capel.] It seems to me, that every one is zealous for the Church of England well established for this particular place, for London only—The executive part is always in the Crown; to put out, and put in, as it pleases: Therefore it will be more safe, and more for the honour of the Church, and this House, that there be no Negative for the whole Kingdom. For the King's care of the Church of England, carry it as far as you will. Let the Question be general, and leave out "the Lieutenancy of London."
Mr Ettrick.] I think this House is more able to advise the King than any where else. What sell from Capel was, as if the King was about to alter this Lieutenancy—Instead of approving this, you look upon this as one thing not done for the Church of England. I fear an Alteration, and I doubt this House may be thought of that Opinion.
Mr Clarke.] I am as much for the innocent Church of England-men as any man; but not for the guilty of innocent blood lately shed. I would therefore leave out the words "of London," and make the Thanks general.
[Resolved, That the humble Thanks of this House be presented to his Majesty, for the great care he has expressed of the Church of England, in the late Alterations he has made in the Lieutenancy of the City of London.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] I hope we have liberty of speech to arraign in one Parliament what was done in another. I wonder that a Gentleman should be called to the Bar, for what he said about repealing the Habeas Corpus Act. I did not like the hasty Repeal of that Act, the last Parliament. We ask Liberty of Speech, of the King, every Parliament, in a Compliment; but it is a Right inherent in us.
Mr Harbord.] I am willing to pass by what any Gentleman says by inadvertency. But pray let us not lose our Question, "That they that will not make Renunciation of King James's Title, shall not have the benefit of the Habeas Corpus Act, nor be capable to bear any Office." We have been told of "Overloading the Cart;" (by Birch) but I had rather have nothing in the Cart, than leave the main Load behind. And I move, that the word "Ecclesiastical Offices" may be put into the Question.
Sir John Lowther.] 'Tis absolutely necessary, that this Motion of the Habeas Corpus be put into the Bill of Abjuration. I know that designs are carried on, to the destruction of the Government: Therefore I would have it part of the Instructions to the Committee.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] The Habeas Corpus Act went backward and forward; and we had sixteen years time to get it; and now to make a Law to be deprived of that Law !—Make what Penalties you will; but, in one Act to repeal another, I know not where the consequence may rest. I value Liberty more than Life, or Estate: That's my Passive Obedience; I cannot consent to it.
Sir Thomas Lee.] I am as fond of the Habeas Corpus Act as any body. The Bill against foreign Imprisonment was lost once, in the Lords House, by one Vote. It was, when the Liberty of the Subject was inconsistent with what was to be then done. But this is only Instruction to a Committee, for direction to draw a Bill. I do it now, upon this particular occasion, now the King goes away, for the Security of the Government. But for those that will give no Security, till Ireland be conquered, 'tis no hurt to your Act of Habeas Corpus.
Sir Christopher Musgrave.] I did not give my consent to repeal the Habeas Corpus Act then: But to give Instructions to a Committee to repeal a Law, I never knew; nor is it the usual way, nor method of Parliament. The Blank for the Oath of Allegiance was filled up by a Committee of the whole House.
[Resolved, That a Committee be appointed to prepare and draw up an Oath of Abjuration of the late King James, that all Persons, in any Employment or Trust, Ecclesiastical, Civil, or Military, shall be obliged to take: And that the Committee do prepare and bring in a Bill for that purpose.