Debates in 1674: February (3rd-7th)

Pages 375-399

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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In this section

Tuesday, February 3.

A Message from the Lords, "That, upon the whole Matter, they think the Articles a ground for Peace with the Dutch."


Sir Robert Howard.] If we say "upon the whole Matter," we seem to justify the passages in the Dutch letter relating to the Fishing and the Money; for by it they purchase all the King's pretences. The words are extraordinary, dangerous, and large, and not so prudent for you to do; and that you may give no countenance to "the whole Matter," desires we may have a Conference with the Lords.

Mr Secretary Coventry.] Neither you nor the Lords intend to retain all the words, and all the Matter, in the Dutch Proposals; but that is, "That the subject-matter offered may be safely assented to by the King"—They proffer Peace, and neither you, nor the Lords, hurt yourselves.

Colonel Strangways.] The inclination of the House is to "Peace," though not to "the whole Matter"—Desires we may go upon our own Vote; we judging upon what is before us, and the Lords upon what is before them.

Sir William Coventry.] It appears to him, that the Lords and we judge upon what is before us. The Lords have had more Matter than we; but that does not make why we should adhere to our own Vote, and not agree with the Lords—One word would reconcile it, viz. "respectively," and that comprehends both our senses.

Sir Thomas Lee.] The word "Matter" was avoided before in our Debate; the great end of all is a Peace, but thinks the Lords would not give any umbrage to part with the Regalities of the Crown—The case between the Houses is thus; you sent your Vote to the Lords; the Lords sent you an Answer by Messengers of their own; then we are both equal—Moves to remind the Lords of our Vote, and they may agree if they please.

The Speaker.] We could not divine what the Message of the Lords was, but Lord Cornbury went forward with his Message from the House.

Mr Garroway.] When we debated the thing, we avoided all indecency and hardship upon the King. If we hear of any thing in the Lords House that may do us mischief, we ought to take notice of it here—If "upon the whole Matter" you agree, it is to make a new War for the sake of France—The Lords have perused Monsieur Ruvigny's paper, importing our obligation to continue the League with France; how do you know but the Lords have agreed with you? Moves to remind the Lords of an Answer.

Sir Thomas Clarges.] Since Garroway spoke, is altered in his opinion by reason of Ruvigny's papers—Would have nothing to delay Peace, and would not agree with the Lords.

Sir Thomas Littleton.] Is tender of engaging too far in the business of the War. Let us keep ourselves as free as may be—Likes our own words better than the Lords. Upon a Conference we may not agree upon "the whole Matter," because it does not appear we have had the same Matter as the Lords have had, without particularly taking notice of it; but he likes neither ours nor the Lords—Would take our rise singly from the King's Speech, relating to somewhat of the Dutch proposals, singly granted from the King's Speech, which clears objections from agreeing with the French proposals; that rock may be so avoided, the King's Speech mentioning nothing of the French paper.

Sir William Coventry.] You cannot alter your own words, but you may mend the Lords Message, with adding, "the King's Speech."

The Lords, at a Conference, agreed to leave out "the whole Matter."

Debate on the Commitment of Sir Thomas Byde and his servants by the Board of Green-Cloth.

Sir Winston Churchill.] If any Gentleman is dissatisfied about the proceedings of the officers of the Green-Cloth, the King's Counsel will give them satisfaction how they proceeded, and why; (reads what was sworn before them.) Sworn by the King's Purveyor of fish—He stayed at Sir Thomas Byde's manor of Ware; from Cambridge he trunks the fish there customarily at the great bridge; the river is a common, navigable, free river; the trunk is a swimming, not a standing trunk, fastened by a rope to the land of Mr Chaddock's lordship, and there it is landed, and is no detriment to Sir Thomas Byde. This has been time out of mind accustomed. Byde extorted unreasonable sums, and extorted twenty shillings for this turn, pro hâc vice. Byde reckoned two shillings and six-pence a turn, and this was in arrear; he beat and wounded the Purveyor's servants, with armed men, that did it not legally, but they were Byde's houshold servants in obedience to his command. The trunk was dragged from Mr Chaddock's land and put into the river; the Purveyor complained, and Byde justified his servants; they would have come to a tryal with him. Byde said, "they were a company of impertinent fellows, and he would do himself right." He (Byde) was of the Privy Chamber, and sworn, and so was one of the King's servants; therefore it was proper for the Purveyor to apply to the Green-Cloth—He cannot forget a case of a Lady that longed for fish, but her husband had no mind to pay for them at Gravesend; you know what you did with that Governor (fn. 1) —Is informed that there are great impositions upon barges and boats that pass that river—If he does it upon the King, he will do it upon the subjects; and this manor is held of the King. Lord Fanshaw, the former proprietor, never urged this. The Green-Cloth thus took notice of it; they have done no more than formerly, and according to their oath, "for the profit and honour of the King, and service of the houshold." There is a record, that formerly, when the Members of this House used to eat in inns in great companies, the King's Purveyors stopped their dinners. They sent their Serjeant to seize these Purveyors—Counting-house Law is this: The servants must come to account for what they have done in trust below stairs, relating to proof above stairs in point of misdemeanor—Byde refusing to go to law, they sent a warrant for him to answer matter of fact; it was rather as a letter than a warrant. He came to London at his ease, and then went to my Lord Chamberlain, who told him there was no protection in this case. Then he came before the Green-Cloth with Counsel, who offered his title, and said, "That the Purveyors, under pretence that it was for the King, served Fishmongers in London; but as to the King he intended honour and duty." Byde was dismissed, and, he believes, gave five pounds fees, as usual—How he agreed with the Messenger he knows not.

Sir Thomas Byde.] There was always a duty paid, a duty to the Lord of the manor, from Queen Elizabeth, for fish for her own table, as he can prove—Knows not that the person was the King's Fishmonger; there was no fish in the trunk, nor a blow struck, nor wounds gi ven. Can show out of the Exchequer, that in Queen Elizabeth's time that duty was owned—They would not go to law with him; they used him civilly, indeed, for all his servants were brought away; he desired the affidavit of the information, but could not have it; he never saw the Lord Chamberlain, as pretended; he got to be of the Privy Chamber to exempt him from juries in Middlesex; he has witnesses, and will prove every thing he has said; did petition for liberty of tryal by Law to Sir William Boreman, &c. They found fault with the title of the petition, which was only not enumerating the Duke of Ormond's and the rest of the Lords names.

Sir Winston Churchill.] He has told you what has been sworn, and Sir Thomas Byde only tells you what will be sworn.

Sir Thomas Lee.] Takes the case of Sir Thomas Byde as the King's servant, and he must be subject to the Laws of the Houshold; but whether all his servants, that were sent for, are under the Law of the Green-Cloth, would know.

Mr Secretary Coventry.] Byde has acknowledged himself "servant to the King," and he is not for his "avoiding the service of his country by being upon juries,"—to be servant to the King and do him no service —The Green-Cloth is a Court for tryal of life, and if the Green-Cloth judges a thing not within their jurisdiction, an appeal may be to Westminster Hall.

Sir Nicholas Carew.] If he sued, he might be served as the Woodmonger was at the Porter's Lodge—If the Green-Cloth has power to send for all the King's servants, would know it.

Sir Winston Churchill.] Carew honoured us so far as to come to us on the behalf of his tenant; the complaint was from two Justices in person, for destroying Game and keeping an Alehouse; but, for Carew's sake, they did not so much as they might—The Green-Cloth cannot be exempted from Law in the common condition of other men.

Sir Nicholas Carew.] But one Justice came, and not two, and he might have punished him without troubling the Green-Cloth; the person complained against is no Alehouse-keeper, he lives in his Manor House, and he may keep greyhounds, and the Justice that complained is the greatest Poacher in the world.

Mr Attorney North.] Knows not, in any of the King's reigns, less Grievance from the Purveyors than in this. If the King should search Records, he might disturb many things. This case is of seventy years possession of right in the King—If Byde will go to Law, he may, if he pleases.

Sir John Monson.] The Green-Cloth extends not above twelve miles from London, and this is twenty. The Messenger had a penny a mile, (Richard II,) and Byde ought to pay but twelve pence, at that rate—Will say something for the honour of the Green-Cloth: Sir Stephen Fox turned out some servants upon his complaint.

[The matter was referred to a Committee.]

Thursday, February 5.

A Bill was read for the better conviction of Popish Recusants, "importing a Test, the Constables to present persons suspected, and they to appear the first day of the next Term, Sessions, or Assizes; if they appear not and subscribe the Test and Renunciation, to be convicted to all intents and purposes. At Easter and Whitsuntide, warrants to Constables and Churchwardens to present Papists, or reputed Papists, which they are to return to the next Quarter Sessions, and if they appear not, the penalty precedent. If the Justice sends no warrant, to forfeit, and likewise the Constable forfeits, &c. and the Clerk of the Peace; the moiety to the King, and the other part to the Prosecutor. Justices shall estreat the Record of Conviction into the Exchequer. Upon taking the Test, conviction shall be taken off, and no Certiorari till conviction be taken."

Sir Thomas Littleton.] Would have a Committee to prepare one or more Bills—Would have this take place first, and have a second reading to-morrow.

Mr Powle.] This Bill is of great weight, and deserves very good consideration; therefore so much speed in the reading it again is not the way to do it—Would not have it read till Monday.

[The Bill was ordered to be read a second time to-morrow.

[The House then resumed the adjourned Debate of the vote relating to the Duke of Buckingham, whether the Lords concurrence be desired therein.]

Sir William Coventry.] Finds that the Duke of Buckingham has not mended his manners since he was here; he justifies the French League, and continues his vicious practices—We Country Gentlemen cannot have information, but by common fame, and he hears it, and would proceed to his removal.

Sir Nicholas Carew.] Hopes you will not defer it to lose more time—Would have us go to the King, without the delay of the Lords, for we must have Peace, or War, suddenly, and this Duke is still a favourer of the French.

Lord St John.] Reckons this to be a "Grievance," and you usually, in such cases, go without the Lords.

Sir Eliab Harvey.] Will you leave this business here? If you go up to the Lords, it is the same thing; you must go up with reasons, or an impeachment.

Sir Joseph Tredenham.] The Question is, whether you will address the King alone, or desire the Lords concurrence. Is as much for easy ways as any man; is fully satisfied, that the old parliamentary way is the most easy, confirmed by this declared opinion, "that it is not for the honour of the House to address the King, without some matter of fact to which he should be heard, before you sentence irrevocably." Should you pass by the Lords, would it not give cause of apprehension? We desire a thorough reformation, and it is impossible to do it without them. Let every man make it his own case; alter the scene; the Lords may assume the same liberty against us—We aim at taking away those fears we are under—It is from our Resolutions here, that inferior Courts are guided at Westminster—The Lords have already enquired into the immoralities of the Duke, and his counsels, and we have no reason to doubt their concurrence, which the King will think more valid—He does declare for a thorough reformation, which we shall never be able to do this way. Records are full of precedents of judgments reversed, when parties are not heard. It may serve a present turn, but never reformation. By taking the Lords concurrence we may make our Address as valid as we desire; and therefore moves it.

Lord Obrien.] As to the objection, "that we disoblige the Lords," we leave the thing with the King, in his power whether he will, or will not, remove him; and they may do the same by any Commoner.

Sir Charles Harbord.] Moves to read the Vote of Removal from Employments.

Mr Boscawen.] It might be a reason at that time to go without the Lords, he having greater power then, than now; he being more known to them than to us, and no danger of a defect there.

Sir John Monson.] Whether we prevail with the Lords, or not prevail, is not our business—If we may believe without-doors discourse, whilst both Houses desire Peace, he labours the contrary—Would go without the Lords.

Sir George Reeves.] You have before you a Peer of the Realm—There is no reason, in the Preamble of the Address, for his removal, which the King will look for. Would either have the Preamble mended, or go by way of the Lords, and not, like the Long Parliament, desame a great man, without reason.

Mr Bertie.] Would have Dr Williams heard, who accuses him.

Sir John Coventry.] Some Gentlemen are for Impeachments; we have not had good success in them hitherto.

Mr Swynfin.] Thinks it not only a conveniency, but necessity, to go to the Lords; because part of the Address takes away that Privilege from him as a Member of that House. If so, the Lords have reason to complain of a breach of their Privilege; a person, so incapacitated, can he come into the King's presence in full Parliament? It touches every Member, in both Lords and Commons House (which, if there is an incapacity upon them of coming into the King's presence they cannot be called to) it is every man's Privilege. Precedents there are, but not fully. The King agreed to remove some, "except they were Lords necessary about his person." Can it be imagined that in reference to the King's person, and their employment, they are not considered there as well as here? Therefore would have the Lords concurrence.

Sir John Duncombe.] Thinks it severe, without being heard—Thinks the Precedents are of dangerous consequence. His reason is, the Duke is not sufficiently heard of what same accuses him of; if in order to hearing, to go to the Lords, or to remove him from the Lords House, that being his inheritance, the King cannot remove him.

Sir Robert Holt.] Is for removing evil Counsellors, and the Duke in particular. This is the way to save him, for the Lords will resent it as a breach of Privilege—The Lords have interceded for a Peer's Writ, and his imprisonment, in the Earl of Arundel's case.

Sir Charles Harbord.] It is said, we are a Grand Jury, but we are more than an hundred Grand Juries; they may present any man upon their particular knowledge, and find an inducement to bring a man to judgment; yours now is by way of judgment, and for a thing that the King cannot do—He can do no otherwise than impart it to the Peers; you will else have a quarrel; therefore pray consider it.

Mr Sacheverell.] "Removal" seems to touch upon the Peers; if you go alone, it is not to remove from freehold, and can the King remove him from it? You cannot; both Lords and Commons together do—The urging of proof calls your judgment already against Lauderdale in question.

Mr Waller.] It is better for the Duke to go without the Lords than with them, but speaks what is good for us to do. Old men love old ways; we love them, and cannot help it—Lauderdale being a Commoner, it was proper to address the King for his Removal; and supposed then it would be a stop, as to this Duke; you judge, in this Duke's Removal, de voce et sede in Parliamento. Every part is some of the whole; you go not to the King to examine the matter, but for an execution of our judgment—The Commons, in the case of Stubbs's book, in Queen Elizabeth's time, sent a message to the Lords that he deserved to lose his hand for writing it. The Lords took our Impeachment of him well, but not of judgment of Stubbs, that being properly theirs—There are two ways to make a thing firm, by Act, or by Ordinance, which in the Long Parliament was a mock thing. Archbishop Laud's head was taken off by one. An Ordinance is properly when the King and Parliament agree of a thing pro tempore, consensione gentium. That Law was as ancient as the creation. God needed not have given judgment again Adam, for he knew hearts, but for our examples of justice—He cannot be for these new ways, and beseeches you to excuse him.

Colonel Birch.] Waller tells you, "He has heard this of Stubbs from old men"—Would have you go up with the Impeachment, and that the Duke deserves to lose his places—Had this been "removing him from his place in the House of Peers," would have been against it; but what you say against your Vote, as this is, is an arraigning of your Vote—This removing has been done, and never knew the House lose any of these Privileges.

Sir Robert Howard.] Wheeler, in Lord Arlington's case, was for a summary way of proceeding; in this not—When you do it in Lauderdale's case, and not in this, will any man say you will never do it again? Could never understand "common fame," either from Solden or Rushworth, by their distinctions—If the Lords will be angry, you destroy the judgment you give here; but he has not found this from the Lords; it pinches not in such extremity, as is said—Strange words you have heard of, that the Duke of Buckingham should say, and the Lords House is the place to make oath of them for proof. You had express proof in Lauderdale's case—These accusations relate to persons that will prove, and the Lords House is the proper place for it.

Sir Thomas Lee.] The consideration of your honour weighs most with him—It sticks with him—You lay a foundation by this distinction in the case, that the King shall hereafter, in all his weighty affairs, employ none but Peers; for the great argument of your judgment, Lauderdale is as capable of being chosen for a borough, and to serve here, as Buckingham, to be debarred of the King's presence, in the Lords House, in full Parliament; and therefore would not go by the Lords.

Col. Strangways.] Would have no jealousy nor umbrage betwixt the Lords and us—Would not have the Commons only of that opinion.

The Question being put, that the concurrence of the Lords be desired, it passed in the negative, 142 to 124, and the Vote was ordered to be presented accordingly.

Friday, February 6.

Mr Speaker reported the King's Answer to the Address from both Houses, concerning the Proposals from the Dutch, to this effect: "That he cannot better thank you for your Advice than by following it; not doubting but you will enable him to do it." To the Vote from the Commons relating to the Duke of Lauderdale, "That he will consider of it, and return a speedy Answer."

Sir John Morton.] You have two good Bills before you, Religion and Property; let them both go together, and take which you will first.

A Bill to prevent illegal exacting of Money from the subject, was read the first time.

Sir Nicholas Carew.] Moves to take into consideration the business of detaining the Duke of Norfolk (fn. 2) beyond sea.

Sir Thomas Lee.] To Lunatics the King appoints Guardians, but they are now appointed to this Duke by another; it is a way he may be kept always a Lunatic, and never inspected, and so be kept beyond sea.

Sir Edward Massey.] He was a good proficient in the Protestant religion, and they have made him mad, and kept him mad, for being so. They kept him at Brussels in ragged breiks and drawers.

Mr Powle.] The King may grant the guardianship of a Lunatic, without power of revocation; but having lucida intervalla, it is revocable.

Sir Thomas Higgins.] Though he has lucida intervalla, yet sometimes he is so transported with fury, that none can come near him. He never had inclination to Protestantism, nor [ever was] bred in that religion. Sir Arthur Haslerigg would have had him over to marry his daughter; there was no attempt of removing him but that. He is kept in a town famous for physicians (Padua) under good discipline, and is carefully looked to.

Sir Robert Howard.] As for this unhappy Peer he can bring Members, and credible persons, to prove him as much out of order as any man. He is as well attended as any of his quality in England; no man of his quality needs a decenter or handsomer equipage. He is a sad spectacle, and in some measure ignominious to his family were he here, and the place where he is, is a more probable place possibly of his cure.

Sir Edward Massey.] He was a Protestant when his grandmother sent him to Brussels. He told La Neere "he was not his grandmother's beloved son, and was ill used, and then sent into Italy."

Mr Sawyer.] Affirmed, that, in the case of Lunacy, the King might grant the guardianship irrevocably; in Ideocy, the King may grant away lands for life; in Lunacy, the King appoints guardians, for the benefit of those that shall succeed the Lunatic—If he be detained, the cause appears not before you, and you are about an Act of Habeas Corpus, and therefore it is seasonable to enquire after it—But one way to restore him, is the Lord Keeper's view, and if he finds him of sane memory, and capable, his estate is restored: Therefore there is cause for "an humble Address to the King, that he may be brought back."

Colonel Strangways.] It is a great sum of money, to maintain his quality, that goes out of England—Could have wished he had had Protestants about him, before he was mad—There is all the reason in the world not to keep a man out of England against his will; it is dangerous—A man of a noble fortune, and twenty-four or twenty-five years out of England for the recovery of this man; it may be by change of air at home God may restore him—Would have the Question put, "that an Address may be made to the King to send for him."

Sir Charles Harbord.] He has known this Lord from his youth; he believes he was instructed in the Protestant Religion. He did accompany his grandfather and him into Flanders, and left them at Antwerp. Two years after, he went to Brussels to La Neere's house, his Tutor, where he found him sitting in a chimney-corner, and a nasty cloth laid before him; he saw him then somewhat amiss; he found him docible for literature, but advised care to be taken of him; from thence he was carried into Italy, and was then much distracted—In some years, one hundred thousand pounds per annum are spent abroad upon young Gentlemen in their Education, and some receive great harm by it in their Religion and Levity; but this money spent abroad upon this Duke is the worst objection.

Lord St John.] He saw him in Italy, and he desired to return into England, being detained prisoner, and excused his incapacity of entertaining him, and the Gentlemen with him, according to his quality, by reason of the shortness of his maintenance.

Sir John Monson.] That Lord was a Petitioner to both Houses, in the Convention, for his restoration to his honour, and there is no mention of his lunacy. Women, they say, are good for that cure; it may be, a wife may be so, and moves for his return.

Mr Waller.] People tell you what they know, in order to inform your judgments; he will tell you what he knows—When he was at Padua, the Earl of Arundel desired him to give his judgment of his son; he liked not his company in his lucida intervalla. The woman in the house, that bred him up from a child, told him, they were constrained to use force to him—Lord Arundel, having Mr Henry Howard (fn. 3) at Padua, told him, "This young man I have great hopes of"—The Earl Marshal (that now is) had great enemies in the Rump, and would have had him home, as now you would have, he then attended the Committee (though not of it) who were to consider his coming over—(the design was to marry him to Haslerigg's daughter) but when they understood that his estate was settled on Mr Henry Howard, they proceeded no farther in it—He tells you what he knows, do as you please.

Sir Robert Southwell.] In 1661 he passed through Padua, and being acquainted with Mr Bernard Howard, he lodged in his house: He saw nothing in the Duke, the several times he saw him, but the effects of perfect madness.

Colonel Birch.] He appeals to you, if any man before this, born in a cold climate, was ever sent into a hot climate to be cured of madness.

Resolved, That an Address be presented to his Majesty, to desire him to appoint some persons to bring the Duke of Norfolk safe into England.

Saturday, February 7.

A Bill for the relief of poor Debtors [was read the second time.]

Mr Garroway.] It is a nice subject to speak against a business of charity, but vexatious suits in formâ pauperis made a Gentleman spend seven hundred pounds. In Oliver's time, when a Gentleman was imprisoned, he called one hundred and fifty pieces, which he had in his pocket, "his working tools for play;" and so swore himself out of prison by it—Would have persons in prison for debt, and purchasing land in other mens names, considered, and would have a Committee to draw a Bill for prevention of these things, and to be read in a full House.

Colonel Birch.] The disease is this: Labourers are come to two shillings and six-pence a day, extravagant wages, and some drink all, and bring not home to their wives and children twelve-pence on Saturday, and they tell us, "our wives and children you must maintain."—Is not against charity, but there must be a remedy for men of estates that lie in the King's Bench, (now almost become a town.) If that power be in persons, let them be held to hard labour, and switched soundly, and they will not stay there long; and have such chastisement as they ought, but not be sent beyond sea, but scoured there, and you will remedy the thing.

Sir John Monson.] Would have this Bill withdrawn, and a new one upon Debate of the House, that there be no surprize.

Sir Thomas Lee.] Charity goes a great way upon another man's charge, and if the Question of committing it were put, would throw it out.

The Speaker.] If you reject a Bill by a Question, nothing of the same nature can be brought in again this Session; but you may withdraw the Bill in order to bring in another upon Debate.

[A Bill was ordered to be brought in accordingly.]

The Habeas Corpus Bill was read the third time.

"Imprisonment beyond the seas, out of the reach of Habeas Corpus, declared illegal; persons offending incapable of bearing offices, and receiving legacies; penalty upon the King's Bench for offence in refusing, &c."

Serjeant Maynard.] A Clause this that will occasion great trouble, being very general, the person aiding "incapable of having any gift, or legacy, &c." You put a proof upon, it may be, two Mariners, forty years after. You must put it to a very short time.

Sir Thomas Lee.] Maynard is mistaken; it is "from and after conviction," and then, caveat emptor—The House is satisfied, and moves an Amendment, the Bill having no Preamble, which he proposes—"Forasmuch as no subject can be transported without his own consent, &c."

Mr Powle.] Is not much acquainted with the Bill, and, if he mistakes, begs pardon. Something, that, instead of preventing transporting men, does establish it, by the last Proviso, viz. "That the Judges may have power to transport for felony, to be tried in Scotland, &c. where the offence was committed." As the Law now is, no man can be tried but in the proper county.

Mr Boscawen.] It is a great mistake. The Law, by this Bill, is left as it was.

Mr Garroway.] Powle, speaking against this, speaks for throwing out the Bill. Do you mean this should be a place of refuge for all villainy done beyond sea? The Law is left as you found it.

Mr Hampden.] To "the Proviso for felony committed in Scotland, and transporting to the Plantations." The Justices of the King's Bench have no such power now; and if an allegation lie against a man, shall that be an offence? If this refer to a future tryal, it is said, he has committed an offence, and that is judged.

The Speaker.] This is not an enacting Proviso, "only it shall be lawful for the Judges, &c." The Law remaining as it was before, any thing notwithstanding, &c.

Sir Richard Temple.] The King's Bench cannot judge whether an offence has been done in the Plantations, or no, and therefore it is not safe.

Sir Thomas Lee.] Thinks that inconveniency less than the "transporting people"—Would leave out the Proviso.

Mr Secretary Coventry.] If you leave out the Proviso, here is a failure in Law, against a maxim; they will have tryal no where.

The Proviso was left out.

Sir Charles Harbord.] Here is more in the Preamble than in the whole Bill besides, proffered by Lee, that brought it in, and would not admit it.

The Bill passed, and was entitled, "An Act to prevent the illegal Imprisonment of the Subject."

In a Grand Committee on the Grievances of the Nation.

Sir John Hotham.] Thinks it his duty to open the most considerable root of all our Grievances—This is a monster that will devour all your liberties and properties. Tigers and lions, in time, become insupportable to peaceable neighbours—Must be concerned; there is a time for all men to speak, and now, when our liberties are at stake, thinks he should not do his duty to God, his Prince, or country, if silent—Will begin with the standing sorces of this nation. The subject is worn threadbare; if quartering in public houses against their wills, it may come to private; perhaps this is the last time of asking—He speaks, though not with oratory—The best way of speaking here is with integrity—He sees how the eyes of the House are upon such as do otherwise—Desires you will vote, "that the standing forces now in this kingdom are a Grievance."

Sir Eliab Harvey.] Seconds the Motion.

Mr Secretary Coventry.] The putting a Question general, "all standing forces a Grievance," he is against. You cannot keep your castles without them at sea, and sure that would be a Grievance. The horse-guards, in the rising of Venner, defended you; in your late Act you gave one million two hundred thousand pounds towards the maintenance of those guards. He has order for stating the accounts of the new-raised regiments, and paying the debts, and orders, when Peace, for reducing them—Are you assured that the Dutch shall never land, and sure that you shall always beat the Dutch? Who can give you such a demonstration? No complaints were harder upon any of the King's Council than upon the King himself—If a disorder, let the thing lie where it will, by such a vote, in general terms, you expose your fortresses and castles to any enemy.

Sir Thomas Lee.] "If the rising of Venner had not been, those guards had been disbanded," says Coventry—Believes no Prince better in the hearts of his subjects than the King, therefore no need of these. In the militia of England lies your strength and safety; wishes that these standing forces are not an occasion that the militia is so slighted, these forces making them so little necessary—This terror is against the Law of England, and no terror can be but by them—The army, by rules of War, are bound to obey their superior officers; if commanded to break your Law they must do it—Pass therefore the vote.

Mr Secretary Coventry.] One million two hundred thousand pounds were given by the Parliament for maintaining the guards and Dunkirk.

Mr Boscawen.] By the same reason that the King parts with Dunkirk, he may part with his guards.

Sir John Hotham.] The King, at the head of his Laws, is a brave Prince, and long may he live!

Colonel Sandys.] Is well pleased at the affection of the people to the King, but consider how to prevent the same risings again against the King—Would have so much force as to keep the King from tumults, and disband the rest.

Sir John Mallet.] Would have the militia to be the King's guards by turns.

Sir Robert Carr.] Before you put a vote, would read your former Address.

Mr Garroway.] Hopes of being rid of all these, and at the same time hears of established guards. In all his reading has found that these established guards have been the ruin of most Princes; you have been told of all their violences, bloodshed, and money raised by them—We are to establish none, especially when told so from the bar, when intended for present necessity; is not the nation exhausted and in danger of dearth? He hears good news of Peace, and halcyon days to enjoy our rest; therefore is for such an Address, "that the present supernumerary forces may be disbanded." If there be any prejudice, fears it from such persons as are headed by men of those dangerous principles—Hopes the King may live long—Fears, not much happy days after him—Desires to die before him—Moves for the Question.

Mr Secretary Coventry.] Did not say, "the guards were established by that Act, nor Dunkirk." Garroway says very well, "leave it to the King." He can remember crowns and heads of Princes lost for want of guards. Remembers the rising of the apprentices in London, and his losses; but rather than give any jealousy, will go as far as any man to disband them.

Mr Garroway.] His losses have been as much, for his concern, by these apprentices rising, as any here—Giving money is to establish these guards. Would have Coventry reminded, that such Counsellors as are now were the unlucky men that gave occasion of the apprentices rising.

Mr Secretary Coventry.] Would have Garroway name "such Counsellors," if he knows any.

Mr Garroway.] Hopes, if Coventry be innocent, he will not excuse all. We have named divers, Lauderdale, Buckingham, and Arlington.

Sir Thomas Meres.] What this standing force is, is well known, and it is dangerous to make a definition. He did not find, in 1662 and 1663, any exception made against these moderate guards about the King. This does but repeat what was the vote the last Session, a "Grievance, and the mother of our Grievances!" Would be rid of them, whilst they are Grievances, for under the notion of ten or twelve thousand, as many more may be—Since we find them ill for the people, and more so for the King, every man ought in conscience to represent it to the King.

Sir John Cotton.] Is not for removing "necessary guards."

Mr Russell.] Is glad of this Debate. Without betraying our trust, we must vote these "standing forces a Grievance." There are still designs about the King, to ruin Religion and Property. Public business is the least of their concern. A few upstart people making hay, with the Proverb, whilst the Sun shines, set up an army to establish their interest; and he would have care taken, for the future, that no army be raised for a Cabal-Interest—It was said, the last Session, by a Gentleman, "that the war was made rather for the army, than the army for the war." This Government, with a standing army, can never be safe; we cannot be secure in this House, and some of us may have our heads taken off.

Sir Robert Howard.] If the thing be rightly understood, we are all of a mind. It is an easy commonplace to rant against a standing army. There is no argument for it; but a difference is spoken of betwixt "armies" and "guards." Though the King has the entire love of his subjects, yet, of late days, we have seen disturbances; but to take all away by a vote, knows no reason for it. We see how ready the King is to comply with this House; he has wholly trusted this House, and the King to have a design, by the army, to contradict it, cannot be imagined, should this House wholly lose their effect—Therefore moves, that there be a distinction, in point of time, that all raised since ******* may be disbanded," from which to separate all the rest, reducing it to the guards only.

Sir Henry Capel.] Thinks himself happy to harangue against "a standing army," which he is satisfied is of no great use in War or Peace. If France was divided into Provinces, as formerly, and that King reduced to some few about France, but being now Master of all that kingdom, and increased in territory, we have no probability to conquer that now; nor Holland, so united into Provinces, that every town is able to hold out against an army—What use have we of these forces at home? None, but in case of invasion; and in that case we should trust our safety to such as we know—No town will be proper for trade, and no considerable Merchant will be, where there is a garrison—A King of France said, "He was hors de Pairs, free from his estates"—Our strength is in our shipping, and hopes the King will intend that—Moves upon the whole, "that the new raised forces, from such a time, are a Grievance," and seconds Howard.

Sir Thomas Lee.] Never heard better premises, but expected not such a conclusion as Capel made—You are now taking away umbrages, and representing to the King safety to him, and his people, in quieting their minds—Every limitation of these forces may have as much influence, as the Preamble of the Act of 1,200,000l. for the payment of the guards, &c. The use of limitation is respite, that those disbanded may still have pay, though as common soldiers; first breed them in the guards, and then a company for them; these are the people you must expect your ruin from—From Henry VIIth's time till now, no guards, and yet there were tumults—It was the falling out of the soldiers, and the subjects hearts, that brought in the King; one knows not how they may turn again, therefore would be rid of them.

Colonel Birch.] Told you these forces were not able to serve abroad or at home (and repeats Capel's discourse of the King of France). The King of France is like a great glass bottle; as long as the Sun shines upon it, it makes a glorious show, but when a man can come to it with a crabtree-cudgel, he quickly breaks it—Agrees that these forces are not serviceable to conquer there; but whether for the interest of the King and kingdom to be kept up? People never desired more the King's life than now—He was ashamed of the disturbance of Venner—When the fire was, and the people cried, "arm, arm," and there were reports of ten thousand men rising, it came to nothing, but "God bless the King!"—The greatest unkindness to the King is to keep these forces up; they are too many to make the people love him, and too few to protect him. As forces beget jealousy, so jealousy begets forces; fire heat, and heat fire—It was said at the bar, "there was a necessity of some for Sheerness and Plymouth:" Citadels, it seems, are pulled down in Scotland, and built up in England; strange advice! Would he, for his life, destroy the King and kingdom, he would have such places fortified as Chatham and Plymouth—Will it not be as much for the enemy's end to land at Battel in Sussex, as there have been found from time to time these things in prospect?—We get no good, nor the Protestant religion either, to see the Queen go to Somerset house with guards—This army, though of but fifteen hundred, is able to make the kingdom jealous; hopes, by this time, the King sees no use of these citadels—Moves, "that the standing forces may be disbanded."

Sir John Bennet.] Pregnant steps to Rebellion in this House, as he has never heard the like before. In Huntingdon Election, a letter was avowed, signed, "John Barnard, "Come and bring all our friends to deliver us from bondage"—Thousands came with these intentions, and they cried, "Mutiny; we with our Hobnails will beat the Gentlemen out of the country."

Sir Nicholas Carew.] Huntingdon Elections were never without tumult, and this last Election was without any; no man killed—Evil Counsellors depend upon that army to have made a whole revolution—They say Plymouth is well fortified by land, and not by sea.

Colonel Birch.] The Letter of Sir John Barnard's shall be reported in time, in a few days, and hopes no danger in the interim—It cannot be understood that he would have the island at Plymouth quitted; an enemy might get in, and chargeable to get him out; but these forts are in the wrong place, as the man said by his armour, when he was hurt. If any body mean you ill, these forces are like bad servants, made thieves, whether you will or no—If that bottle happen to be near the King, and a Papist get into it, we should set that bottle as far from the King as we could—Doubts not but the King will use these forces in Ireland, and the Pensions may be employed in payment of these soldiers; this may be a motive to it; these forces of so little use in one place, and so much in another—Hopes the King will be advised to disband them.

Lord St John.] One said in France, "though Richlieu was dead, he had left freemen and apprentices in his shop, that would keep up the trade of arbitrary government there"—The Counsellors now look to set themselves up by this army and guards; the money spent upon them might have made us masters of the sea.

Sir John Monson.] Occasionally mentions the "Articles of War."

Mr Secretary Coventry.] Having so often passed his word about those "Articles," wonders they should be now urged.

Sir John Hotham.] Dr Arris, a Member of the House, told him, they were read at the head of a company in Hertfordshire, the last day we sat, the last Session, and he told him then he would have done the House great service to have told the House so much.

Dr Arris.] Avows it.

Mr Secretary Coventry.] There is no such thing under the Great Seal, nor order for doing it, he assures you.

Sir John Hanmer.] Some were read, but not all; they made use of them to keep them in order, and they were only such Articles as were agreeable to Law; the rest to be made use of beyond sea.

Sir William Bucknall.] Makes a relation of Ireland (of which hereafter) and gives an account, how, upon occasion, going to wait upon Lord Clifford (Treasurer) he was brought into an outward room by a page, and being there heard loud talking in the next room, Lord Clifford often saying, his Majesty would never be brought to it; and some time after Lord Arundel of Wardour (fn. 4) came out. Lord Clifford seeing Bucknall, was much surprized, and, after many reviling words, as calling him "dog," and the like, asked, "who brought him thither, and how he durst come there?" He answered, "his page brought him." Some time after, he met Lord Clifford at Tunbridge wells by accident, and there my Lord proffered reconciliation and oblivion of what was passed —He does believe that the discourse betwixt the two Lords might tend to setting up Popery.

Sir Thomas Littleton.] We made this vote in time of War; we may much more do it now.

Mr Secretary Coventry.] If you put it "all standing forces a Grievance," either the King must be abandoned, or maintain what you think "a Grievance;" but pray disbanding the "forces raised for the war." The Guards may preserve his person, and not endanger the nation.

Mr Bennet.] If you leave "the Guards" out it will imply a countenancing of them, and they are thought a Grievance about town—He will first disband "his army," and by degrees may part with "his Guards."

Sir Robert Holt.] The Prætorian Cohort and the Turkish Janizaries have both taken down several Emperors.

Sir William Coventry.] Is against the word "Grievance" in the Question; it is ambiguous; that generally and parliamentarily means "against Law," but as "burthensome and inconvenient," agrees. The King may raise forces; no man will say, it is against Law—Is against it specially. If you say, "the forces are a Grievance in general," when once people see that a man in a red coat is "a Grievance," bloodshed may follow—Thinks it universally concluded, "that the new-raised forces, with some effects of them, are Grievances." Thinks it the general sense of the House to take great caution not to let words pass here to countenance them. If the Act mentioned establishes them, they are established. Thinks it best when our vote carries something of our reason with it, and it may be most acceptable. With great submission, delivers a Proviso neither to countenance the old forces, nor countenance the new.

Colonel Birch.] Would avoid the inconvenience of red coats coming into towns, by the word "Grievance;" let none come there—Is against a "Standing Army" in the Question; a regiment or two cannot be said to be an army; therefore would not leave it so—Moves the Question "standing forces" (not extended to Guards) "a Grievance," not a general Question.

Lord Obrien.] Would have the thing cleared what is meant by "Guards"—The King of France's Houshold Guards consist of sixteen thousand. It may be we have taken the thing from thence—Would explain it.

Sir Thomas Littleton.] Possibly if we pinch the King so close in our Address on Standing Forces, he may do the same with us, it may be, "except (in his Answer) only such as are necessary for the sea ports and forts;" and so we become necessary to the continuance of those.

Mr Sacheverell.] Is one of those that would present the King with this vote, and leave it to the King, who, he believes, will retain no more than are absolutely necessary.

Mr Secretary Coventry.] When your vote comes abroad, it is the sense of the words, not of the House; "Garrisons and Pensions," all will be comprehended.

Sir Thomas Lee.] If he clearly understands what is "an army," are these "Guards" infinite, or not? Protests he knows not. Are they infinite? Let us know.

Mr Swynfin.] It is said the word "Standing Forces" extends to the "Yeomen of the Guard, Gentlemen Pensioners, and Guards"—But it goes to a greater thing, the word added by Sir William Coventry is "grievous;" for he takes the sense not so much in themselves, as for reconciling us here. When you have put that, then your Address satisfies every one, "that those forces, raised since such a time, be disbanded;" but it is no contradiction, as is said.

Sir Thomas Littleton.] You have been doing what you cannot answer to the House; you are to consider of "Grievances," and you call it "grievous;" you have not obeyed the Order of the House.

Resolved, That the continuing of any standing forces [in this nation] other than the Militia, is a great Grievance and vexation to the people; and that this House do humbly petition his Majesty to cause immediately to be disbanded that part of them that were raised since January 1, 1663.

[Mr Speaker reports, That he had attended his Majesty with the vote relating to the Duke of Buckingham, and that his Majesty had returned this Answer, "That he would take it into his consideration."]


  • 1. See p. 373.
  • 2. This Duke of Norfolk (the Earl of Arundel's son) who was restored to the Dukedom on the Petition of the Peers in 1662, had fallen into a state of lunacy while he was with his grandfather in Italy, during the time of the Usurpation. And, notwith standing this Debate and the Address that followed, he was probably still detained abroad, as he died at Padua in 1677.
  • 3. Afterwards Duke of Norfolk, on his brother's (this Duke's) death, in 1677. He was bred a Protestant, and, Sir Edward Walker says, "had no superior in all respects, of birth, person, wit, learning, and height of courage." He died in 1683, and was grandfather to the present Duke.
  • 4. A Roman Catholic Peer, afterwards impeached by the House of Commons in 1677.