Grey's Debates of the House of Commons: Volume 2. Originally published by T. Becket and P. A. De Hondt, London, 1769.
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Debates in the House of Commons, From the Year 1667, to the Year 1694.
Monday, October 20, 1673.
The House met.
That an Address be made to his Majesty, by such Members of the House as are of his Majesty's Privy Council, to acquaint his Majesty, that it is the humble desire of this House, that the intended marriage of his Royal Highness with the Princess (fn. 1) of Modena be not consummated; and [that] he may not be married to any person but of the Protestant religion (fn. 2).
[The House was then prorogued by his Majesty to
Monday, October 27.
When the King, in his Speech, which was delivered in writing to the Speaker, told them, "That he thought that day to have welcomed them with an honourable Peace; but that the Dutch had disappointed him, and had treated his Ambassadors at Cologne with the contempt of Conquerors, and not as might be expected from men in their condition:
"That this obliged him to move them again for a Supply proportionable to the occasion, the safety and honour of the nation requiring it; and that if he had it not speedily, the mischief would be irreparable in his preparations for the next spring:
"That the great experience he had had of the House of Commons would not suffer him to believe that the artifices of their enemies could possibly divert them from giving him this Supply:
"That he hoped they were persuaded that he was steady in maintaining his professions and promises concerning Religion and Property; and that he should be very ready to give them fresh instances of his zeal for preserving the established Religion and Laws.
"Lastly, He recommended to their consideration and care the debt he owed the Goldsmiths, in which many more of his subjects were involved; and desired their assistance for their relief (fn. 3)."
"For the rest he referred them to the Chancellor," who, in his speech, now studied to correct his Delenda est Carthago, applying it to the Lovestein (fn. 4) party, whom he called "the Carthaginians (fn. 5)."]
Sir Thomas Clarges.] The King's Speech consists of many parts and refers to the Chancellor's Speech, which you have not reported—Moves for an adjournment till Friday, that we may, by some means, have it to consider.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] Moves for thanks to the King, for his care of our great concerns, Religion and Property.
Sir Robert Carr.] You usually let no minutes pass before you give his Majesty thanks—Would have thanks ordered now, and would have that day moved for, to consider of the other parts of the Speech.
Sir John Hotham.] It is unusual to give thanks, before men have time to look over the paper; would in this, and in all other matters, do things like wise, honest, and reasonable men.
Sir John Duncombe.] The motion is "to return thanks to the King for his care of our Religion and Properties." This is so reasonable that your hearts can desire no more —It is not to take the parts of the Speech into consideration—He cannot say, it has been customary to return thanks, but it has been frequently done since he had the honour to sit here, and would have it so now.
Sir Thomas Lee.] The last Session, "Religion and Property" were in the King's Speech, and no thanks were returned then; but why should we thank, before we know for what to thank? Knows not how the Privy Counsellors have been made acquainted with the parts of this Speech; he is not, and would consider of it before we give thanks.
Mr Attorney Finch.] If any thing was moved, that any consequences in the King's Speech might hinder, he should not wonder. To make haste to give thanks for that which has no doubt, it is matter of wonder to him that it should be opposed—It is no new thing—In Queen Elizabeth's time, our Journal has several instances of such thanks—He will not oppose Friday for consideration of the parts of the King's Speech—The King is safe in the affections of this House, but this will fall to the ground with a very ill grace, if put off.
Mr Sacheverell.] Thanks, deliberately given, are sure as acceptable as hastily—When you come to consider, you will find neither "Religion nor Property" mentioned—In the country he lives in [there is] quartering of soldiers, and horses taken away—In a paper in his hand, finds Law Martial and Oaths, and knows many things more, and by Friday shall acquaint you further.
Mr Mallet.] One who was presented to the King in our Address, as an Agent for the Catholics of Ireland, he has seen in Whitehall Gates; Talbot—This thing, he confesses, retards his thanks.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] The Martial Law was never intended to be put in execution, till the army should be beyond sea; and as for Talbot, he was very lately at Paris, and knows not of his being in England.
Sir John Hotham.] If the Martial Articles were only for France, why not then in French? Answered, "Because the soldiers were English, and could not understand them."
Mr Garroway.] Never was unready to send the King thanks, but if we return them so suddenly, we shall be thought, without doors, teized and corrupted; but we are under censures, and it is no irreverence to the King, when it comes from a House that does consider—They say, a Member of yours has translated the French articles of war into English, hopes we shall find him; he deserves not to sit here; let them be for France and not us—Nolumus mutare, &c. If some change Law to our prejudice, some may do it to the King's prejudice, and he would adjourn this Debate of thanks.
Sir James Smith.] These articles were only to prevent enormities amongst the soldiers, but no ways to intrench upon either Common or Statute Law.
Mr Stockdale.] In our country there was a Martial (not a Court Martial) for then the man might have been hanged; an Overseer of the Poor was committed to him, and not released till he had paid five pounds.
Mr Powle.] Smith tells you, "the articles were only for the soldiers in England," and now we have all the reason to take notice of them—Doubts not but we shall have reason to give the King great thanks, and when they come deliberately, 'tis more acceptable than when they come upon surprize.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] The King is a gracious Prince, but we have had strange clouds, and since the last Session, all our Addresses have been broken—(Interrupted by Garroway to Order, "That when Grievances are considered be may then present what he has to say.")
[Resolved, That the consideration of his Majesty's Speech be adjourned till Friday next.]
Debate concerning the Speaker.
Sir Thomas Littleton.] Many exceptions were taken against your service, when you was last called to the Chair—Excepts that you are a Privy Counsellor; hardly a precedent, at least not since the Reformation—Speakers, in Queen Mary's time, were chosen for the re-establishment of the Roman religion—You might be made a Privy Counsellor afterwards, as a reward of your service, but not whilst you are Speaker—Other offices you hold inconsistent with that Chair, and have admittance to the most secret councils, and how improper is that, we having no man to present our Grievances but you! You are too big for that Chair, and for us; and you, that are one of the Governors of the world, to be our servant, is incongruous—And as Carteret, Treasurer of the Navy, in that place [which you hold] took up the main business of a Session; by way of supposition, if that should happen again, were it proper for you to be in the Chair? For who [then] will be so much concerned?—Moves for a Speaker, pro tempore, and 'tis very incongruous you should sit when so immediately concerned.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] Thinks what has been said so rational, that he cannot think that any man can be against it—We entrust you with all our secrets; and in your Predecessors times, no Speaker had liberty to go to Court, without leave—It is the Order, "that when any reflection is upon a Member, he stands up and speaks his defence, and retires," and would have it so now.
Sir William Portman.] What we say here can be no secret among four hundred men; persons in the Hall know what we do: Craves leave, that some Precedents, out of Hackwell's book, of Speakers being Privy Counsellors, may be read.
Sir Joseph Tredenham.] Former ages have known none more fit for Speakers than Privy Counsellors—Sir John Bushell, who was Favourite to Richard II. was Speaker of all the Parliaments in his time—Sir Thomas More, in 14 Henry VIII.—In 4 Queen Mary, Cordell, a Privy Counsellor—Has it ever been objected that a Privy Counsellor cannot be a Parliament-man? We have often made use of Privy Counsellors to send Messages by to the King—The eyes of all the kingdom are upon our actions—It is a mark of the King's favour, that you are in the Chair —Would have it referred to a Committee, but not you to quit the Chair, that being a yielding of the Question.
Sir John Birkenhead.] Never was it an exception against any man before in your Chair, that he was a Privy Counsellor; if any precedent can be of it, then turn me out of the House—The making him Speaker, is the King's and your joint act—If any complaint be against you, answer it, but for causa inaudita, it was never heard of: It is clear that the first Speaker, Hungerford, was of the Privy Council, and he was ex concilio Domini Regis—Froisard, the Historian, was another, no Gown-man—Sir Thomas Gargrave, of the Queen's honourable Council [many may say of the Council of the North] a Speaker, in Henry VIIIth's time, and a great instrument of the Reformation—This will reflect upon the King's making you a Privy Counsellor—Never any Speaker quitted the Chair upon that account.
Mr Powle.] Is not envious at your promotion, but thinks it an improper thing for you to be in the Chair, and both inconvenient to the King and this House; the King's welfare consists in the freedom of this House. When you a Privy Counsellor, and so near the King, your frowns may be a terror to any man that shall speak how the Council have misled the King, and given him counsel to overtop us; you are a public Accomptant of the King's revenue, and vast sums must go through your hands, and can we make complaint to you of your own misdemeanors?—Or take measures from any person but from the intention of this House?—Believes that the Precedents will fail; at this time, most especially, would not have it; for, if allowed once, it may be always so by Precedent—The Precedent of the Speaker, in Richard IId's time, an ill one; that Speaker was a Minion of the King, but no Counsellor, as the Record says; he was greatly the occasion of the misfortunes of those times—1st and 2d of Philip and Mary, unprosperous times; in two Parliaments they could do nothing; but when Higbems was Speaker, the Obedience to the Pope was confirmed—He was not sworn Counsellor till ten months after, and Cordell was not Counsellor till some time after.
Mr William Harbord.] Tells the Speaker, that you expose the Honour of the House in resorting to Gaminghouses, with Foreigners as well as Englishmen, and ill places; takes this to be a great misdemeanor—As for your being a Privy Counsellor, thinks that no exception, but is sorry to see the Honour of the House exposed—Thinks you to be an unfit person to be Speaker, by your way of living.
Colonel Strangways.] What he has heard to day weighs not with him; exceptions against the Speaker, as a Privy Counsellor, will be a garbling the House—You are charged here for being a Gamester; wishes men were guilty of no greater crime—The Judges may as well be excepted against.
The Speaker rose up and complimented the House to this effect, "That he held no employment a greater Honour to him than that which he had in their service," &c.
[The Question being propounded, That Mr Speaker do leave the Chair, and a Speaker, pre tempore, be appointed: The Question being put, That that Question be now put; it passed in the negative.]
[Adjourned to Thursday.]
Thursday, October 30.
Mr Sacbeverell.] Sees a person (Sir Paul Neale) sit in the House, whom he knows not to be a Member; desires to know by what right he sits there.
Sir Paul Neale proffered to speak, but was not suffered; "because if admitted to speak in his place, you allow him to be a Member"—By divers he was called to the Bar, and explained, "not as criminal, but only as not being allowed a Member, as Lord Bristol, Lord Chief Justice Keeling, and others have been, not Members."
Earl of Ogle.] Desired to inform the House by what right Sir Paul Neale sat there; viz. as being returned a Burgess for Newark with Mr Savile, by virtue of the King's Charter granted to that borough.
Mr Sacheverell.] He is informed that that Charter has taken in many towns which were not in the former Charter, to their great prejudice, and would have it considered.
Sir Paul Neale did at last withdraw, and the thing, at that time, was proceeded no farther in.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] Desires to know the opinion of the House, whether he shall deliver a Message from the King, which he had in command during the Prorogation.
Mr Garroway.] There are several precedents, in King James's time, of returns of Messages to the King in time of Prorogation.
Sir Robert Carr.] Would have the thing decided by a Question, that it may be a guide for the future.
Sir Thomas Lee.] Would have no Question about receiving an Answer from the King, which is always gracious.
The Message was read by the Speaker, viz.
His Majesty having received an Address from the House of Commons, presenting their humble desire, that the intended marriage between his Royal Highness and the Princess (fn. 6) of Modena be not consummated, commandeth this Answer to be returned: That he perceiveth the House of Commons have wanted a full information of this matter, the marriage being not barely intended, but completed, according to the forms used amongst Princes, and by his Royal Consent and Authority—Nor could he in the least suppose it disagreeable to his House of Commons, his Highness having been, in the view of the world, for several months, engaged in a treaty of marriage with another Catholic Princess, and yet a Parliament held during that time, and not the least exception taken at it."
Mr Secretary Coventry.] Though he knew generally there was a Message from the King when the House sat, yet knew no particulars of it, and could not inform you then—The Earl of Peterborough had his several instructions and commission from the King, and his orders. When the Sponsalia verba de præsenti were over, he then presented the jewels from the Duke of York, & in iis indissolubile matrimonium; then the remaining jewels were presented—As for what has been reported, "that the King of France should give the dower," assures you, he gives not one penny of it; she had four hundred thousand crowns left her by her father, and to be married by consent of her mother—We are as able to be without, as the King of France to give, the portion.
After a long silence:
Mr Stockdale.] This is a matter of great weight, and undertaken with great concern—He gave reasons for the great danger of this match at the Debate; the King's Answer has much Grace in it, but it does not remove the fears and jealousies of the kingdom—Knows not how the Civil Law may be, as to Sovereigns, but as to subjects believes it not binding—Would rather pay the money she is to have in portion than that the match should go on, and would have the King addressed unto to prevent it.
Colonel Birch.] Is full of sorrow for this Answer, and thinks us all so—Nothing can make Gentlemen speak in this business but true love, which has occasioned our silence, love to the King and his Highness—Will not undertake to decide the business as a Civil Lawyer, but thinks it may be undone—Popery, our Divines say, is idolatry, and we condemn many things practised in that Church—When confidence betwixt the King and people is broken, all is amiss—We have not had merry days in England since marriages have been—It is laid upon us, in the Message, "that we formerly sat still when another marriage of the Duke's was in treaty;" there was, indeed, a rumour, but no certainty of it—He thinks Religion so much concerned in this, that if it goes on, he will leave speaking for Religion here—Moves to refer it to two or three Gentlemen to pen an Address to the King to prevent this marriage, and thinks he will never deny us a request so reasonable as this.
Mr Cheney.] Persons cannot withdraw to pen the Address, before you rightly understand the thing. Verba de præsenti are binding words—Would have it enquired in the Instrumentum stipulatum—In the Spanish match there were disponsories that a marriage should be contracted, and in this a marriage is contracted—Would have it enquired, whether in the manner of doing it, the commission was not exceeded—Would have an Address to the King, if possible, to prevent it.
Sir Allen Apsley.] The marriage is gone so far on, that to stop it now, would be the greatest dishonour imaginable, and the Duke cannot recede from it.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] Gentlemen speak with grief of heart, when they consider how near the Duke is to the Crown, and these marriages may be of great consequence in future times; he finds the Privy Counsellors strangers to it—Secretary Coventry has averred himself a stranger to it—Sees so much inconvenience in it, that he could wish us well rid of it—The King of France, in the marriage of Monsieur with the Prince Elector's daughter, sent to Mentz to forbid her entrance into his dominions, unless she declared herself a Catholic, "for, he said, all considerations ought to vail to the weal of his people, being against the opinion of his Council and Clergy."
Mr Secretary Coventry.] Confesses a Protestant match more chusable, but both Religions are legal matches, and were never excepted against but in this Princess—We have none but daughters by the Duke, and if the Duke should not marry this, and marry another wife, and that marriage be disputable, what a case are we in? In annulling this, you will annull former marriages—Could wish this Lady a Protestant, but this having been so far proceeded in, fears it out of our power to hinder it.
Sir Thomas Lee.] The Question is before you as the great Council of the King, for the inconvenience of it—The Clergy and Convocation may inform him, whether it is a marriage or not a marriage, but for places for Priests and Jesuits to be publickly in, would have no more than are already—If it be so far gone as is said, we can only lament it, but let us show our dislike of it.
Sir Charles Harbord.] In his old master King James's case, he was nearer to Queen Elizabeth in point of succession, than the Duke is to the King, for it ceased to be with her after the manner of women, and then there was no Question of his marriage by proxy.
Earl of Ancram.] Could wish this a Protestant match, and hopes you may secure the thing for the future, that we may be defended against Rome; but thinks it out of your power to hinder this, or any other; let the danger be what it will, thinks it out of your power—To affront a man that has fought your battles, and amongst so many men of honour,—hopes you will not put him upon such a hardship.
Sir Charles Wheeler.] When we consider the great growth of Popery, it concerns him—In the 19th of King James, exception was taken that the Commons meddled in matters of Religion, and the Spanish match; the Commons "remonstrated, that matters of marriage were in the King's power, but the nation was concerned in it, and they must discharge their duty, and would rest satisfied in what the King did;" and he would have it so now.
Sir Thomas Higgins.] Marriage in verbis de præsenti is indissoluble; the Princess is on the way—What the King does, in his royal function, is the act of the people, and the kingdom is bound, this house, and every man, by it—All Kings are concerned in it, to preserve their supreme power—The law of nature is concerned in it, and nothing so against it—Præterita magis reprehendenda sunt quam corrigenda; we may lament it, and would have good Laws against Popery, but would not have the honour of the nation concerned.
Lord St. John.] A Lady so nearly related to the Court of Rome; must be a very inconvenient match—As to the matter of Contract, refers that to other persons; but would have Gentlemen withdraw and prepare some reasons to present the King against it.
Mr Waller.] As long as he has sat here, never saw any thing of the same nature; he is much astonished at it—How far this concerns our peace and quiet! No greater disadvantage possible, than for a Prince to marry one of a different Religion—When the King did communicate his Marriage, he was the sole man that spoke against it, and was cried down—Thinks you have done well to go as far as you can in preventing it, but now you hear of Desponsories—It is, first, for the honour of the House, not to interpose; the King communicated his Marriage, and you approved it; and now a thing is past all remedy, and you interpose—Next, consider how it stands as to alliance with Idolaters; by that reason we can make no consideration of Peace with them—Why should we find fault with this, when we do things ourselves daily by Proxies? We are the people's Proxies—The Sponsalia and the Portion agreed—Breach of Faith and Religion, the breaking it shaking all human society; it is past our help; the French married one of a different religion; if we break this, it may have an ill influence on our posterity—First we pray for posterity of the King—A friend of his married a wife, contracted before; the suit lasted seven years—Charles VIII. went to Britany in person to that Dutchess's bed (fn. 7), but it put all Christendom in an uproar—It is strange that we should thus seek a doubt for this; it is neither for the House's honour, religion, nor the good of the nation; and, above all these, consider how the Duke has exposed his person—Consider the thing and the person, and hopes you will decline this manner of proceeding.
Sir John Duncombe.] The Duke has proceeded in this match with all respect to the King; he has had his leave and authority—It will be a hard thing to stop here; where will you be secure if you have this marriage stopped? Suppose it should be, where were you then? It is a nation this Lady comes from that you have yet had no experience of, a sober and wise nation—Can you say to any man, you shall not marry this or that woman? Can you be sure that any woman shall not be a Catholic? He had rather have a foreign Catholic than one at home—Thinks, in this case, the King having proceeded so far, and you having done your part, you may proceed to what remedy you shall think fit against Popery, and other things fit to be redressed, and leave this.
Sir Thomas Meres.] Will not answer, though he could, many of the objections—The King seems to believe as if your thoughts were, that the Duke had intended this match only, and had not gone so far as is said—The King's answer is gentle, and nothing of a denial—Some may tell you that the Duke being not a crowned head, the proceedings already are not obligatory, especially being not consummated—As Princes move in orbs above us, so they have difficulties attend them greater than other men; those hardships they meet with may be prevented, and hopes that what we shall do may be with his Majesty's honour, and safety to his Royal Highness—Who thinks the Duke a Protestant? To marry a Papist gives great occasion of jealousies of Popery—Consider that there are two hundred persons to one in the people against Popery, and yet the people are afraid of Popery; he cannot imagine the reason of their fears but from these marriages with Popish foreign Allies, terrible to us in this case—As he loves the King, his Country, and his Royal Highness, would have you proceed with all steadiness—The King wants your advice, and calls for your advice; pray give your advice.
Mr Attorney Finch.] It will be in vain to consider of the form of this Address, when the matter will not bear one—Methinks we should never attempt to desire that which is not safe if granted, and if granted, not possible to be effected—Is not causa præcontractûs subjecting the thing to debate in after-ages? Are we not informed that the Duke has proceeded to the Sponsalia, and all other formalities that can be? We know not what kind of tumults these seeds may produce—He allows that these Marriages have been a handle to Popery, and the best flag in all their banners; but we know that he who first did so, died a Martyr for the Protestant religion—When Queen Elizabeth treated with the Duke of Alençon, that Queen would scarce let him have a Chaplain of his own—He knows of no Articles in this Marriage for public exercise of religion. Can this Marriage expose you to more danger than you can prevent? He considers the safety of the King; it is infinitely inconvenient that it should go abroad that the King has denied you this; but when the thing denies itself, expose not the Government nor the Duke to the possibility of illegitimate issue—You have done all that with prudence and moderation you can do, and trust God and the King with your religion.
Mr Harwood.] We see not here whether the thing can be undone or no, but the best counsel we can give, we ought to give—Hopes it may prove so that it may be undone—At your last Addresses the people were wonderfully rejoiced; and will you leave here, when Religion lies at the root, and so much combustion is to be feared? This still sends us to the King. Should you not pursue, it would be thought we have no reasons for the thing: If all is done, yet we do our duty.
Mr Powle.] Cannot speak to this business without sorrow, when so many learned and honourable Gentlemen have told you, that the disease is past cure. The education of the children of this Marriage may ruin the Government in after-ages—When money is to be given, or any good thing done, still Popery spoils all. He observes, you have the Secretary here, that cannot tell you how this match was done; this is an evidence that the Council knew nothing of it: Parliaments have been consulted, and now not so much as the Privy Counsellors—Surely here is some great precipitation in this privacy of carrying it—It is said, that it is so far proceeded in, that it cannot be recalled. In the instance of Maximilian, both the Succession of France and Spain depended upon it, yet no question was ever made of either of those Successions—It is said, "the King's word is engaged;" the King is under an oath at his Coronation, and has reiterated all his promises, and these will weigh more with them, than any consideration with foreign Princes—Dreads the question of Succession to be disputable, but does as much Queen Mary's days; a Papist Princess. Since the Duke is so near the Crown, let us take care his Children may be Protestant—The Parliament, upon their knees, desired Henry VII. to marry the Princess Elizabeth, daughter to Edward IV. and they interposed with the very person the King was to marry—If this Marriage goes on, we may return home, bewail, and pray, having nothing else left us for our portion.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] Before he came into the Council, Lord Peterborough was employed about the other match, and Lord Peterberough has had the very same instructions for this.
Upon the Question, Whether an Address should be prepared to be presented to his Majesty, concerning the Match between his Royal Highness and the Princess of Modena, it passed in the Affirmative, 184 to 88, which number was criticised upon [and a Committee was appointed to prepare an Address accordingly.]
Mr Cheney.] Moved for declaring the opinion of the House about the Test, in the Act of Popery, how far it does reach to your own Members.
Mr Garroway.] Is against the form of Mr Cheney's motion, though not against the matter—Would have a Bill, that every Member may take the Test here; and would have it go higher, into the Lords House, that those that have a share in the Law-making, should be of the same Religion.
Sir Robert Howard.] Without a thorough care, we shall be in a worse condition for Religion than before—The destiny of a Heretic determines what they will do with us—Would have such a Test fitted for nothing but what the Papists may reject—It is necessary, that where any fountain is, it may be pure; and he would have the Protestant Religion pull up the very roots of Popery, wherever they grow—Would have it reach all under the notion of Protestants, and be calculated for Popery only.
Mr Cheney.] Thinks that his motion is well improved—He would have former laws for Popery inspected.
Sir Nicholas Carew.] Thinks it will be too great a clogging the Bill, but would have it so as to clear the House of Lords, and the Court, of Papists.
[Resolved, That a Bill be prepared for a General Test, to distinguish between Protestants and Papists; and those that shall refuse to take it, be incapable to enjoy any office, military or civil; or to sit in either House of Parliament; or to come within five miles of the Court.]
Friday, October 31.
Debate on his Majesty's Speech, which was read, by Order.
Sir Thomas Lee.] The Consideration of this is proper for a Committee of the whole House, to debate the matter more freely.
Sir John Birkenhead.] Some parts of the King's Speech are not so proper for a Committee; we agree, in the House, about Money, quod sit, before we go into a Grand Committee.
Mr Boscawen.] In the King's Speech there is "Money" in the first place, and "Money" in the last; all "Money:" Therefore would have it debated in a Grand Committee.
Mr Cheney.] Has heard that the Dutch have some thoughts that we might come into the Peace immediately; then there can be no necessity for Money—Moves, that if the Dutch do not, in some time, agree to an honourable Peace, that we may supply the King—It is in vain to give Money, if not applied to the purpose we intend it—Before any thing of Money be, moves that we may come to this Vote, "that if, in two months time, the Dutch come not to an honourable Peace, we may assist his Majesty as becomes us."
Mr Sacheverell.] Has ever understood, that giving of Money ought to be debated at a Committee of the whole House, where we may lay open our Grievances, which are very many, with the more freedom.
Sir John Duncombe.] It has not been usual to go into a Committee, without directions from the whole House—For Religion you have proceeded very prudently in—Cannot but advise you to make peace at home; people will quiet their passions best with calming all at home, if men could be satisfied, and not afraid of their own good—Would now go into this business of Religion: That burns in every man's heart, and he sees every man's face full of it, and that is the beginning of the King's Speech.
Sir Thomas Meres.] There are Orders remaining upon your books, and practice—Says, upon search of ancient Orders, that the King's Speech was ever debated in a Grand Committee—Agrees with Duncombe, if we may not be surprized with rash Votes, that the House may rectify what surprize we may have upon us.
The House resolved into a Grand Committee.
Sir Charles Harbord in the Chair.
Mr Russel.] The business of this day is "Money"—Would rather be thought to mean well, and speak ill, than to betray the trust of his Country—Would not vote things hand over head; let us consider what we give this Money for, and consider that what we give is destructive to the nation (by maintaining this war) and the Protestant religion—The French King calls this war "a Catholic war;" and seeing we are upon so wrong a bottom, and if betrayed by those about the King, let us tell him plainly of it; former Parliaments have done it, and moves to pass a negative Vote upon "Money."
Sir John Monson.] In the French Gazette the Pope approves of the progress of the French arms; the last fight was, as if the English and Dutch had been the Gladiators for the French spectators (fn. 8) —If the Prince had been well seconded, there had been an end of the war, and the Dutch must have begged a peace of us—We gave two millions to set out but part of a Navy for a Summer—What greater encouragement can be given to the Dutch? Our native commodities give no price; want of coals makes us want fire, and floods have destroyed grass and hay: fire and water against us! We have want of people; many are sent away, and he will say nothing of the end for which they are sent; therefore moves "against a Supply."
Mr Secretary Coventry.] Knows not that ever the House of Austria had the name of Hugonot amongst them, though Holland joined with them—We can have war with Holland without Religion in the case; they once had the French, as we have now—Concurs for the establishing the Protestant Religion at home; if not sound in the vitals, we shall never be sound in the limbs—If the King had wasted his treasure for magnificent buildings, or palaces, would be against giving money; but if, for not paying some few taxes the nation may be lost, would have Gentlemen consider of it—Avers that the Dutch have not made any proposition, only a piece of one, "for the flag;" and "if we will quit the King of France, they will then tell us more, and they are allied with the King of Spain, and Lorrain, and cannot agree without them"—You yourself, Sir Charles Harbord, have been obliged by the Hollanders; he has served there under them in their army, and honours the Orange family before any, next to that of his own Prince, and loves the country; but consider they have provided a great fleet against the Summer, and you will give no money, and so have no fleet; which way will you secure the Plantations and Tangier? If you think they will give peace, it will be such a one then as to a people they contemn—If you come upon a vote of "no Money," it will be as fatal as that of the Long Parliament, of "no farther Addresses to the King"—Were a man jealous of his wife, would he make her poor and naked, and force her to put herself into the arms of another man?—Concludes this vote to be the most fatal blow you can give the nation.
Lord Cavendish.] Here is Money asked of us to carry on a war we were never advised about, and what we have given is turned to raising of families, and not paying the King's debts—There is so little fruit of the Addresses of the last Session, that we now find greater Grievances, as Articles of War and martial Law—The nation's interest is laid aside for private interest—Supposes that what we gave the last Session may be a sufficient Supply for the war, and moves for a negative "against Money."
Colonel Strangways.] It is a sad condition we are reduced to, and who have reduced us to it is a secret not yet come to his knowledge, and in due time may be considered—If you shall pass negative Votes, what advantage do you give your enemies in such a Vote? Are you sure you shall have Peace? Would never have the King hold his Crown of the King of France—Desires we may not depend for our security either upon France or Holland—The Hollanders are a trading and a subtle people, and would have a fleet set out—He aims at this; begin with Grievances and your Liberty—France has entangled us; the public articles are ill enough; what are then the private articles? We are to provide sixty ships, and the French thirty—If the House does not assist the King, then the French come upon us for Breach of Articles—In a parliamentary way consider first "Grievances," and then "Money." The House of Commons keeps the purse; and never put the Question for "Money," before you know what you shall have for it—But is against a negative Question.
Sir Thomas Lee.] When you gave away so much Money, then began the Alliance with France, and no debts paid, though Money given for it—The Dutch were not the aggressors in the last war, when we were weary of fighting alone; now the French are weary of us, and will fight alone; when we gave Money for a fleet and had Peace without it! Now we are the support of the Crown of France, England may be as necessary to France as other countries, and so they may conquer us—The kingdom is ever safe when Money is in our purses; we may have occasion to use it perhaps, to defend us against France—Must we give five millions more to have what we might have had without it? Must Money be given both in War and Peace? Concurrent aids were never before heard of, Money having been the foundation of our Grievances to raise a standing army; the marine regiments paid to this day; now, instead of five-pence, they take six-pence for their quarters—France once would invade us, and now is our friend. Still more men are raised; so many in a company are, indeed, disbanded, but the officers remain. This is your standing army, and it is Money still that maintains this army—Fifty per cent. upon our goods in France, and yet the war with Holland upon account of Trade—Money for League, and no League, War and Peace—Moves to have the kingdom once free from taxes.
Sir Robert Howard.] Is sorry to hear this Question moved for in the negative; this will utterly shiver all our hopes in this Vote—Consider the arguments; "to maintain an ill Alliance"—We have brought about the French Alliance to us, whilst united to Holland, and both navies were against us—Religion is not the case, but interest—If Money be ill managed, any body may see it; he (as Secretary to the Treasury) will give an account of it, and ask no time to do it, Registers being all in order; the Money all gone out to public uses—You must have the nation poor if we have Peace, if we give no Money—What will the Dutch say to this negative? Will you shake the King in it? You say the Papists have power; by this you give more way yet to have it; they have their Counsels to give the King by such a Vote: We are going now to make a purchase, and before we get our Religion and Properties by this purchase, we throw away all by this Vote—He must be a God that can say, "there shall be no enemies, and we shall have Peace;" and yet we do so by this negative—Let not the word of King and People be lost now—Seek ye first the kingdom of Heaven, settle Religion, and all things will be added—Go in a parliamentary way for "Grievances" and "Religion," and think of this Vote last.
Mr Sacheverell.] Is one of those that think "giving of Money" one of the greatest Grievances—It seems to him, that those villainous Counsellors, that persuaded the King to make this war, have deceived him in this Speech; do not they know of the unpaid Taxes granted the last Session, with the Prizes and the Customs? It seems to him like the first design—These Gentlemen would have only a Bank, that they may carry on their design, and use you no more—He abhors it—It was said before, "Give money, and Grievances shall be redressed"—This army is so insolent, that they may turn you out of doors—If "redress of Grievances" be an argument for "Money," you will never want "Grievances"—Will you not heighten France, by giving more Money, and make him more friends, that he may at last have dominion at sea, which we now contend for? And, by this negative, we may deliver ourselves both from France and Rome.
Sir Eliab Harvey.] Giving of Money now is certainly to ruin King and kingdom—Give Money, and you destroy the revenue of the nation, Wool—You are letting the King of France be the Merchant of the whole world—By falling out with Spain, we spoil the best Trade we have—He has kept one hundred men at work upon the Woollen Manufacture, and now cannot keep one: Will you set the Woollen Manufacture up in France?—Lose the Straits trade, and you must land all your commodities at Marseilles, and bring them over land, and so France and Holland will out-trade you, by the great expence we must be at by inland carriage.
Mr Bennet.] Both at home and abroad people would be glad of this negative—He has much to do in the world, and knows the poverty of the nation; but would not have it thought that we are unable to raise the King Money.
Sir William Coventry.] Is as unwilling to give Money for the maintenance of this Alliance as any man, [it] being destructive both to trade and religion—Generally the rigours in religion, in states, arise from interest rather than religion; formerly Spain was more rigorous in religion, and now France—Spain now assists Holland; and France, by supporting the Pope, makes herself considerable amongst the Catholics—The Instructions to the Pope's Nuntios, as the French Gazette informs him, (he is privy to foreign affairs no farther) are, not to hinder the progress of the French army: France would not let the conquered towns in Holland have Articles, unless they accepted Priests, and gave maintenance for them—He thinks not That religion the interest of the House, nor the War; we may be at war with Protestants, but hopes never against Protestantism—The Dutch are formidable against your growing rich, but, since the Act of Navigation, we have grown upon them, not they upon us; they have only gained upon the nutmeg trade since Amboyna business, but, in all other parts of trade we grow upon them; their East-India trade, notwithstanding those prizes, comes not to above five per cent.—It is vain to think that the European trade can be maintained by us by a war; only in Guinea, or other barbarous countries, we may gain a port, but not for European trade—What probability is there, if we beat the Hollander, that we shall get all trade? But it is industry and parsimony, and by underfelling us—Suppose we beat them, what think you they will be beaten hither? The last summer but one we beat them low enough, but with all the invitation that could be given them, few of them came hither; you may beat them into France, Sweden, or Denmark; any where but here—Who will come to us, thus divided, as we are, in jealousies, and fears of Popery? He that knows least, has most fears—A stranger knows not what you have in your heart—We all know that we shall not stay if Popery prevail—Pray God they will let us go away alive, considering the Inquisition!—He has said enough to give reason for his negative for "Money"—The Hollanders, in all reason, had better have no quarrels. But upon the King of France's account, if we leave him, his difficulties will increase—It is strange that we and Holland should be divided by one, whose interest is destructive to us both—When we go by ourselves, we may have a fair peace in all probability, going upon a pure national account—Would not have it out of the House's power to assist the King—He is not so confident of the Hollanders good-nature in a peace, but doubts not, but upon Money granted upon good grounds, we may be sure of a peace; yet for all this he is not for Money—But as for Sacheverell's Question, of "not giving for so many months," he is not for it; for in that interim we may be beaten; but if thus, "we find no cause to give Money, untill the Grievances of the nation be redressed."
Sir Henry Capel (fn. 9).] If this war was for the maintenance of the Crown and Nation, would venture all he has, life and fortune, for it: He is descended from one that lost his life for maintaining of both—Would know how we came into this war, before we give Money to it—Is not for giving Money for the war, but not for a negative, "no Money;" and doubts not but the King will redress our Grievances.
Sir Robert Carr.] Moves to proceed in a parliamentary way—Proceed to your "Grievances," (if you have any) and the King will give you redress. (Laughed at.)
Lord Cornbury.] Here is now a Question proposed, and he agrees with Coventry's Question—It will be wondered that he should be against "Money"—Some men have been under prejudice for giving votes, and that may possibly be a Grievance—All he has is from the King, and he would willingly give it again, if he calls for it; he has begged for the King, and wanted for him, and would willingly do so again—Carr says, "If there are any Grievances;" he wonders at it, when so many have been opened to you—The last tax could not be anticipated; besides the customs, excise, and the prizes—Some cannot get their money due to them, glad to be content with half; those that have interest get all—Would vote, "that Money be not considered till Grievances are redressed."
Mr Garroway.] Ruin of Trade, loss of Religion, no Grievance! Papists threaten us in the very Lobby, to our faces; soldiers raising money; a war; the French King broke the Pyrenean league, conquered Lorrain, the King of Spain's country, en passant, and this a good Alliance! And now the Question, whether Money or no Money to maintain this league, and no enquiry made into what remains of what we have already given—Lands turned into our hands, (as it is his good fortune) and no Grievances neither! As to our sea war, the French give us money, and they come to see how we fight for it—One clapped up in the Bastile for fighting (fn. 10) —Where will there be an end of the French conquests? If any fleet be to be set out, we may do it time enough—Moves, "That till this tax be expired," (which will be August first) "we may give no Money;" and then, if occasion be, would give, but till then, would not.
Sir John Hotham.] Comes from a place so impoverished, [Beverley,] that it is impossible to raise money there, and that place is much impoverished by soldiers already; they quarter there in private houses, and one person [was] fined, because he would not render his house and bed to the soldiers—You have now an army, and it is grown a principle amongst them, (an ill nursery for young men) that Parliaments are roots of Rebellion, and Magna Charta sprung out of them—Money is the way to continue these persons, and no Money, to disband them; therefore is "against Money."
Sir John Shaw.] A person [being] dangerously wounded by a soldier at Colchester, the Mayor sent for a commission officer; when he examined the matter, and heard the information, he desired the soldier's sword to be taken from him, which was done. An order came (from Lord Ogle) to remove some out of each company for France. The officer desired a discharge of the soldier, his company growing mutinous to have him released; the Captain confessed he feared mischief; he replied, "if the Captain raised the soldiers he should see they did no mischief"—There was soon after an uproar in the streets, and the soldiers came up to the Sessions-hall, with their muskets charged with powder and ball, which they presented against the Gentlemen upon the bench; he would have spoke, but the soldiers hallooed and made a noise, and he was constrained to adjourn the Sessions, and the soldier committed escaped, though the jail [was] not broke.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] Gave account of several cashiered for misdeameanor, and punished.
Sir Robert Thomas.] Complains of several Popish Officers in Lord Ogle's regiment; ill Counsellors of law about his Majesty, who have justified the robbing us of our properties, till we are made so poor, that we cannot defend ourselves, and then is the time to bring in Popery.
Mr Attorney Finch.] Is of opinion that there are Grievances, and never expects such a healthful Constitution in the Body Politic, that shall be so equally poised, as to be without them—"Not to give Money" is at this time a Grievance not to be redressed in many ages—This is an English war, and no other—They are not afraid, in Flanders, of the Protestant Religion, because joined with a Protestant army—Would treat this matter with more temperament; surely, for the honour of our Prince, we must not treat crowned Heads, here, in alliance with us, as if they were our enemies—If we have but good trade, the Dutch presently make war with that Prince, in alliance [with us,] that we may have no trade with their enemy; commends much the piety of this, but sees not the policy—You are now in war, and you carry the purse—Supposing it such, and the alliance, as is said, yet in the condition we are in, it is absolutely necessary to support the war to the utmost of our power, the King being engaged with a Prince who has punctually observed articles—Suppose us weary of the war, yet the King of France is actually engaged with us, and has remitted many articles that would have obliged the King to much expence—The war we cannot get out of with a Prince loving his honour above his life; you may make it an unprosperous and a ruinous war, but you cannot make it cease to be a war; you may dishearten all the soldiers that are to go over, but if you make the chariot wheels drive heavily, yet they must drive on, if the King please to command it—If that war was now to be made, the discourse would be most seasonable; but now will be ruinous, and wiser men than he think so—The King may engage in a War, but when his people shall storm him out of it, the hour will come that his enemies wish for; for the Dutch will now be upon greater terms, having ever desired such a storm as the King could not allay—It is all one to the King whether his designs be checked at home or abroad—Is this agreeable to this House, wherein there is scarce a man that has not bled for the Crown? Moves, that whatever is grievous, either in Church or State, we may go upon, with all calmness and temper, and to do the King that honour (if with submission he may say it) that one day may be for "Grievances," and the other for "Supply," hand in hand, that the world may see you neither neglect the King nor yourselves.
Mr Powle.] We see Priests daily admitted into the King's presence, and our Address (as he is informed) is but lately sent into Ireland—A Papist Major-General acting in disguise—Has not one told you (Sir James Smith) that he sat in a Council of War when the military Articles were agreed to? Pressing, against so many Statutes, may reach your Members, and the Peers themselves; and this army has done nothing but the famous Expedition from Blackheath to Yarmouth (fn. 11) —Shall never think that Privilege of Parliament is not violated as long as a Privy Counsellor sits in the Chair (fn. 12) —Members represented to the King in an ill sense for what they have said here—He that was the contriver of the Declaration (fn. 13), made Lord Privy Seal, the third office in the kingdom, and another (fn. 14), as much concerned, made Chief Governor of Scotland—This is to bring in Popery in triumph—Would be glad to see promises made in Parliament, once kept in intermissions of Parliament—He cannot go so far in the Question proposed, as not to give any farther Supply till ten months; but at this time cannot give his consent to Supply.
Sir Thomas Meres.] With the length and expatiating [on] an argument oftentimes the edge of a thing is lost—You will be sure to have Grievances, if that be doctrine, that Money must be given when Grievances are redressed—If that Money, twice given in a Session, be not unparliamentary, yet there are twelve hundred thousand pounds granted in a year—Has seen so often Grievances pressed, and so seldom redressed, that he now has little hopes of having it; but it may be answered, we will be redressed first; but have we not seen people's spirits are a little wearied with long sitting, and that a few redressed pleases us? In short we are the best-natured House of Commons that ever sat—Consider what we do about Popery, in the Lords House, by putting out Popish Lords, a matter of inheritance, which will have Conference upon Conference, and we under great disadvantages—It was said, that Popery was but the handle for the ambitious and covetous, in 1641, to raise sedition—When we speak of a standing army, we are answered, "Cannot the King raise what men he pleases?" and to the French league, "Cannot the King make leagues?" Yet the Gentleman said, "the King cannot have Money without the House of Commons—What war can the King make, when the House of Commons shall storm him out of it?" To which thus he answers: In such great wars as this, and in most wars, the Kings of England have advised with their Parliaments; believes that it might be the King's intention to do so, however advised to the contrary; we owned not the war in the last tax—The King may make war, but the House of Commons may or may not give Money—Other Grievances there are, as evil Counsellors; to which it will be said, "Cannot the King chuse his own servants?" And that is plausible. Should these things be amended, he would give "Money."
Mr Stockdale.] If we were able, as we are not, it is not now a time to give at all—The Question is a single Question, "Whether Money or no Money, till this tax be out?"
Sir Thomas Lee.] This Question is for the King's service now, more than ever—Has great reason to believe, that the King needs it not; because one has told you [Mr Attorney] "that the King of France has released several chargeable articles in the treaty"—As for the carrying on the war, we look upon it as a Grievance. "The Parliament may talk, say the people, but still you give Money"—Fears not proroguing for not giving; but if you show yourselves [willing] to give "no Money," the King will be restored to the affections of his people, when they shall see that "Grievances" are redressed without "giving of Money."
Mr Secretary Coventry.] Nothing is so wise nor so obligatory to the King, as to redress "Grievances" without "giving Money;" but as far as he is Master of his own life, he had rather lose it, than you should pass this Negative Vote.
Mr Garroway.] Coventry tells you how the French have conquered; but now the case is altered, it might have been wished the Tripartite League (fn. 15) had stood—Is sorry for the Attorney's expression, of being "stormed out of a League"—The Prince of Orange will be a good Advocate to keep the Hollanders in war with the French, that he may be continued General; but would never have such a peace as the French shall assign us—We are more put to the blush about redress of Grievances, than for any other thing; those that have been the promisers have been the opposers—The proroguing will do us as much good as it did us a prejudice, and, if need be, we may be suddenly sent for again—Is for the Question.
Mr Howe (fn. 16).] Is dissatisfied with the person that is to have the Money in his hands, the Speaker.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] Cannot apprehend such an imminent necessity of giving, as Sollicitor North says there is—The remaining Taxes, the Customs, the Revenue, and Prizes, and for one reason above all, viz. four hundred thousand pounds given away in donatives—Does not repine at the King's Bounty, but apprehends no necessity of giving by it—Thinks that the Counsels, now prevalent, design the ruin of the King, the Duke, and the kingdom; the Irish Grievances not sent away above ten days ago; Priests and the Lord Almoner at Court; fifteen hundred and two thousand guineas given to officers disbanded; thirteen, fourteen, twenty Popish officers taken in, and the French regiments filled with them, and some ordered not to muster, to prevent discovery—Acts of Parliament can do nothing; as these men have, notwithstanding, taken up arms—It looks like treason in levying War without commission—When he was at Paris, the Holland Ambassador told him, "You have broken your faith with the Bankers; France an absolute Monarchy, and you a limited one; no help nor advantage by your Alliance"—The Chancellor is Keeper of the King's Conscience, and the Treasurer, of his Word—The Bankers broken, and Exchequer shut up, in January, and we to meet in March—They have persuaded the King to ask to pay the Bankers, and they are already paid, by the sale of the fee-farm rents, six hundred thousand pounds—Subsidy, Excise, Law-Bill by this—Where shall we find treasure to supply these exorbitances—These evil Counsellors intercept all the King's goodness; no good is to be hoped for till they be removed—It was insinuated that the last Supply would give us Peace in a few months; we then considered not the War, nor the Alliance—Our duty to the King overcame all those enquiries; and since there appears no want of Money, put the Question at the largest extent, as first moved.
Sir Thomas Littleton.] Cannot imagine that such consequences as are alleged will attend the putting the Question, as penned, with the words retained in—Is persuaded that, if an effectual course be taken, as things change, men's minds will change, and is not so terribly afraid of it; nor so dismal a Vote but as happy.
Sir Edward Dering.] By whose hands are we tied but by our own? Should we be tied by any other, we cannot go back with honour, nor forward with safety—Would leave the words of the "eighteen months tax" out of the Question, without which we can neither make an honourable Peace, nor safe War.
Mr Boscawen.] Would make no other use of the Vote but in order to Peace—The great Grievances have been by pretence of the War, the rest but trivial: The War, at the first, was against the advice of the whole body of the Merchants, only some particular men that had losses—Thinks the Peace a good Peace, and the Triple League much for the satisfaction of the nation—Some trifling injuries were done to the Merchants at Surinam; as if a man, with a flea on his forehead, would strike it off with a beetle—Would make use of that Vote, that we might have a Peace—It is better to deny an aid to the War than to meddle with a Peace—We never deny Money when there is a just occasion for it; it were to deny self-preservation.
Sir William Coventry.] Hears it said, "that the King cannot go off with honour from his alliance with France;" and what then shall we say of the Triple Alliance, that the peace of Christendom was so much concerned in, so solemn, as to be sworn to by the King of France, and registered in the Parliament of Paris by that King's command, but yet renounced by him, because not consistent with the good of his people—Munster made a war with our Money; it was not for the good of his subjects, it seems, and he made peace with Holland—The same did Brandenbourg—The King of France, by the Pyrenean treaty, was not to assist the King of Portugal; it was not for the good of his people, and he broke that treaty—Princes have ever done it for the good of their people, and if we live by another rule than they do, we shall have the worst of it—Now has the King of France kept treaty with us, as is said? Knows not what the private articles were, but surely they were made unfortunately, that we should have no share in this conquest—Has he kept his word with us? He was to send thirty ships for our sixty; had that conjunction been as it should be, they would have fought—Has heard but of two Captains killed in the French fleet, and one died of an unfortunate disease (the Pox)—Thinks we had no advantage by their company. One unfortunate Gentleman did fight, (Martel) and because that Gentleman said, (as he has heard) "That the French did not their duty (fn. 17)," he is clapped up into the Bastile. "His own squadron," he said, "deserted him;" his Captains said, "upon secret orders, which they had." D'Estrees sent positive orders not to fight, unless by word of mouth, or by writing; and if that man that brought them, had been knocked on the head, no orders could have been had; "no regard to be had to Prince Rupert's signals," (which is the custom at sea) "D'Estrees must, by a Council of war, know whether the Prince's orders were good orders or no"—Could a fleet coming with such orders, ever be serviceable to us? Thinks it better we had no fleet—Thinks not so highly of the Dutch, nor meanly of ourselves, but that we may do well without the King of France—An indifferent Casuist will say, having been so used, that we are absolved from an alliance so ill maintained—The interest of the King of England is to keep France from being too great on the Continent, and the French interest is to keep us from being masters of the Sea—The French have pursued that interest well—Martel has fought too much, or said too much, which is his misfortune—Moves to insert in the Question, "unless it shall appear that the obstinacy of the Dutch shall make a Supply necessary."
Mr Garroway.] Spain says, "Have peace with England, and war with all the world"—We lost sixteen hundred ships in the last Spanish war, great and small—As for Duncombe's argument of building ships futurely, Money may be had; the East-India Company had it at four per cent. for the prizes—You may have a short Bill for the remainder of the last Supply, which is not at all engaged to any other use.
Sir Thomas Littleton.] Doubts not but "Redress of Grievances" will alarm the Dutch more than any Supply we can give.
Resolved, "That this House, considering the present condition of the Nation will not take into any farther Debate, or Consideration, any Aid, or Supply, or Charge upon the Subject, before the times of payment of the eighteen months Assessment, &c. [granted last Session] be expired; unless [it shall appear, that] the obstinacy of the Dutch [shall] render it necessary; nor before this Kingdom be effectually secured from the dangers of Popery, and Popish Counsels and Counsellors, and the [other] present Grievances be redressed."
Mr Powle reports from the Committee the Address to be presented to his Majesty, concerning the Match between his Royal Highness the Duke of York, and the Princess of Modena; [which was agreed to by the House, and is as follows:]
"WE your Majesty's most humble and loyal Subjects, the Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, being full of an assurance of your Majesty's [gracious] intentions to provide for the establishment of Religion, and the preservation of your People in peace and security; and foreseeing the dangerous consequences which may follow the Marriage of his [Royal] Highness the Duke of York with the Princess of Modena, or any other [person] of the Popish religion, do hold ourselves bound in conscience and duty to represent the same to your [sacred] Majesty; (not doubting but those constant testimonies [that] we have given [your Majesty of our true and loyal Affections] to your sacred Person, will easily gain a belief, that these our humble Desires proceed from hearts [still] full of the same Affections towards your sacred Majesty, [and] with intentions to establish your [Royal] Government upon those true supports of the Protestant religion, and the Hearts of your People) with all humility, desiring your Majesty to take the same into your Princely Consideration, and to relieve your Subjects from [those] fears and apprehensions [which at present they lie under] from the progress [that] has been made in that Treaty.
"We do therefore humbly beseech your Majesty to consider, That if this Marriage do proceed, it will be a means to disquiet the minds of your Protestant Subjects at home, and to fill them with endless jealousies and discontents, and will bring your Majesty [into] such Alliances abroad, as may prove highly prejudicial, if not destructive, to the interest of the very Protestant Religion itself.
"That we find, by sad experience, [that] such Marriages have increased and encouraged Popery in this kingdom, and given opportunity to Priests and Jesuits to propagate their opinions, and seduce great number of your [Protestant] subjects.
"And we do already observe, how much that party are animated with the hopes of this Match, which were lately discouraged by your Majesty's gracious concessions in the last Meeting of this Parliament.
"That we greatly fear, this may be an occasion to lessen the affections of the people to his Royal Highness, who is so nearly related to the Crown, and whose honour and esteem we desire may be always entirely preserved.
"That, for another age, at least, this kingdom will be under continual apprehensions of the growth of Popery, and the danger of the Protestant religion.
"Lastly, we consider, That this Princess, having so near a relation and kindred to many eminent persons of the Court of Rome, may give them great opportunities to promote their designs, and carry on their practices amongst us; and, by the same means, penetrate into your Majesty's most secret councils, and more easily discover the state of the whole kingdom.
"And finding that, by the opinions of very [many] learned men, it is generally admitted, that such treaties and contracts by proxy are dissolvable, of which there are several instances to be produced, we do, in all humbleness, beseech your Majesty to put a stop to the Consummation of this intended Marriage.
"And this we do the more importunately desire, because we have not, as yet, the happiness to see any issue of your Majesty's that may succeed in the government of these Kingdoms; which blessing we most heartily pray Almighty God, in his due time, to bestow upon your Majesty and these Kingdoms, to the unspeakable joy and comfort of all your loyal Subjects, who desire nothing more than to continue under the reigns of your Majesty, and your [Royal] Posterity for ever."
[Resolved, That this Address be presented to his Majesty, and that the Lords of the Privy Council, Members of this House, be desired to attend his Majesty, to know his pleasure when he will be attended therewith.]
[November 1. omitted.]