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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Saturday, February 14.
Mr Powle presents a Petition complaining that Mr George's chamber in the Middle Temple was seized on by one Mr. Barrell, a Bencher of the Middle Temple, in the time of Privilege.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] If a Member of Parliament come to be Chamberlain of London, must he dispose of all the money as he pleases, and nothing call him to account, because of Privilege of a Member? Or if a Fellow of a College, who, by the Statutes, must not marry, be a Member of Parliament, and marries, will you keep him in by Privilege?
Mr Attorney Montagu.] Mr George was called up to the Bench several years, in order to his reading, and he had appointment of a chamber in order to it, but he refusing to read, his chamber was disposed of by the Benchers, according to the custom of the House, to Mr Barrell, who now has seized it. It happens, that seizing it by that Order, he finds Mr Glanville there, where he leaves a servant to keep possession; upon which Mr Glanville went out, and all things remain in the chamber locked up, as it was, Mr George having left the chamber.
Mr Powle.] Montagu mistakes the thing; for, in any man's case, it would be a forcible entry; for Mr Glanville must either forsake his chamber, or be a prisoner. It is said, they have bye-laws there, but they are not excused by them where there is breach of Privilege of Parliament —The intent of Privilege is for the Member's personal attendance here; and it is reasonable that he should be no more vexed by the bye-laws of Corporations, than by the contentions of his neighbours.
Sir William Coventry.] Privilege is grounded upon our attendance here, eundo, &c. Wishes they were restrained to that only, and we should have better attendance; for by morando it was not intended that we should stay in the country—By calling Mr Glanville in, will you be satisfied of matter of fact on one side? Will you have witnesses on Mr George's part, and not on Mr Barrell's? It is considerable whether a person can assign a chamber without leave of the Society. Offers it, because it seems too hasty to examine matter of fact, but would commit it.
Sir Thomas Littleton.] This is not finally to determine the matter, but only for resolving, whether to send for Mr Barrell, "by a summons," or by the Serjeant, "in custody;" therefore would call in Mr Glanville.
Mr Attorney North.] Undertakes for Mr Barrell's appearance, and would not have him sent for "in custody"—The Order upon Mr George and Mr Glanville is different—Was interrupted, and Mr Glanville called in.
Mr Glanville, at the Bar, said, "That he had been at the Temple three years in Mr George's chamber, and with promise to deliver the keys to Mr George, and he had the keys from Mr George's servant."
Sir Edward Dering.] If Mr Barrell has broken your Privilege, it is an error of his understanding, not a contempt of your Privilege. Would have it referred to a Committee.
Colonel Birch.] Was he not a Lawyer, who may be presumed to know your Privilege, but some inconsiderable fellow in the country, he would not send for him: But though he does not usually advise sending for "in custody," yet does it now.
The Speaker.] They had four years time to execute this Order of the Bench, and yet take this time of Privilege to do it in.
Colonel Birch.] Mr George is alleged to be put out of his chamber, because he cannot read at the Temple—Supposes, that if all Parsons and Vicars should be put out of Livings, for not performing such considerations as belong to the place, you would have but few.
Sir Richard Ford.] Sir Henry Peckham told Mr Glanville "that he had an Order, but would not serve it, till Mr George and he had accommodated the business together."
Sir Thomas Lee.] A Petty Constable would have been sent for at this rate; (as in Sir Charles Sedley's case) We turned out of our lodgings, when we attend here! The Question is not, what right the Bench have, but whether Mr George was turned out of possession. You may be as well turned out of your lands.
Mr Sawyer.] The Order of these Societies does displace and dispossess without any action. If the under tenant will take in a tenant, Glanville is now tenant, in right, to the House, and not Mr George—Whether, at this time, your Member is the tenant, is the Question, or Serjeant Peckham's tenant.
Sir William Coventry.] Would not send for Barrell "in custody;" when you have sent for a little Constable, it is well done; but it is to prevent his hiding himself, and not probable in a man of Barrell's eminence, where there is no doubt of his coming to answer, no fear of his flying—We have [some] of this Society, that may be Judges hereafter, and would not let them have Precedents from us, of judging men before they are heard —Would not set up your own authority above the King's Bench, and would have the Bill of Habeas Corpus read before you send for him "in custody."
The Speaker.] If he has taken possession from your Member, there is another reason for sending for him "in custody," that you may keep him till he restore possession.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] Can a man have a title in the Temple longer than the Bench will have him? State it, that that tenure of the Bench is as good title in law as others are.
Sir Nicholas Carew.] Coventry tells you, "if the Benchers have a right, tis no breach of Privilege." To a Bencher they may dispose of a Chamber, but not to a Serjeant, as Peckham is.
Mr Barrell was ordered to be sent for in custody.
In a Grand Committee. On commitment by the King's warrant.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] Unless you say by what rule, if he does it not "by the King's warrant," he cannot do it "by his own"—Would have you define what commitment the Secretaries may make, in case a man would kill the King.
Sir Thomas Lee.] If the Secretaries may do it upon necessity, they will not want a necessity, and a pardon for it—Would have the "detainer" illegal, instead of the "commitment," and that is very modest upon the King.
Mr Attorney North.] Nisi per mandatum domini regis—Star Chamber—A Habeas Corpus by personal command, or council; if the King commands imprisonment, and assigns cause, a legal commitment; if the King assigns no cause, not warrantable to detain. 17 Char. I. declared a good commitment.
Sir Thomas Lee.] 17 Char. I. The Star-Chamber taken away, and special provision made for Habeas Corpus.
Mr Attorney North.] The King's command to a court is always matter of record—The King must signify his commands.
Mr Sacheverell.] The King, as a body politic, cannot commit, but by matter of Record.
Mr Attorney North.] If Cause be not assigned, tis a false Commitment; if wrongfully, there is a remedy, by the Statute of Suggestions, against the accuser.
Sir Richard Temple.] The Petition of Right does not take away the King's power of Commitment, but assigns special Cause—Would not take that away, which the King and his Progenitors have enjoyed. If no malice nor design appears, a man cannot have remedy of false suggestion, but Commitment by the Secretary is, till farther information may be had, in dark cases of treason —Leave out the word "illegal," and declare it "a Grievance."
Sir Thomas Clarges.] There are more Warrants under the King's hand, than from all the Princes before to Queen Elizabeth's time. People now will take the odium from themselves, and put the hardships upon the King, contrary to the true maxim. In this case, the Jailor can have no remedy, though the party aggrieved may have it against the Jailor. The King has referred execution of Laws to ministerial officers; he is Paramount to all Laws—Likes the expedient of "detainer."
Sir Richard Temple.] So many have taken notice of this Commitment, that it now passes for Law—Would leave out the word "illegal;" tis a Grievance only, and fit to be made illegal.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] We can dispose no more of the King's Prerogative by our vote, than he of our Privilege; therefore go not those ways of proceedings; if you find it troublesome, do it by a Bill, but vote it not "illegal"—The King's Ministers will never know how to act, subject to be impeached by you.
Mr Sacheverell.] Would have a Committee, to see how the Common Law stands already, in that case of Commitment from the Council-table.
[A Committee was appointed accordingly.]
Monday, February 16.
[The Bill to regulate Elections was read a second time.]
Sir William Coventry.] Putting too much upon one peg, as Birch used to say, endangers breaking it; but he thinks this Bill short. Would have something added for preventing double returns, and will prepare something to present to the Committee to that purpose, with your leave.
Sir John Banks at the Bar. He had known Mr. Pepys several years; has visited him at his house, and at the Navy-Office, and never saw either altar or crucifix, and has no ground to think him a Catholic— and withdrew.
Mr Pepys, in his place.] At least hopes there is room for this Question, whether any doubts or dissatisfactions remain of his profession of Religion? Would only know, whether you will proceed to that point, or go on to the matter of Debate of the Election?
Sir Thomas Lee.] If the Gentleman desires to say any thing, let him say what he pleases.
Mr Pepys.] Has permitted himself to be discoursed of in Religion many days abroad, but for this, and many other matters, desires to give this short account of himself—He will reflect only twenty years backwards. For what his deportment was at Cambridge, refers himself to Mr Sawyer, his chamber-fellow. From thence he made but two steps in his life. Was invited to serve as Secretary to Lord Sandwich, and was there a good Protestant and a good Churchman, and the best sort of Protestant; he either went to Dr Twiscrosse's, Dr Warmstry's or Dr Gunning's Church. By Lord Sandwich's favour he was preferred to the Navy, where he has continued to this day, well known there. What can he say more? He appeals to all that know him there, and to the parish he lives in—Challenges any to prove him absent in fourteen years from Church—He is there twice a day—Does affirm, without ostentation, he has received the Communion seven or eight times, and not less than six times a year, in twenty years—At the King's coming in, there were some doubts, by little and little, and some insinuations of Catholics amongst us —He got power to give the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy; not one master of a ship in thirteen years came into employment, without [his] giving him those Oaths; his voluntary and studious act! Did observe that duty of getting Chaplains to the ships, not looked after. He got an Order for it, and that, where Captains for their own interests had no Chaplains, and got a groat a week for it out of the seamen's pay for themselves; and now there are four where there was but one before—He has duly taken what you obliged by your Test, and has a certificate from the Petty-bag-office—He here challenges the whole world that he has not been once in his life at Mass; and dares any man to prove, in his whole life, a Priest in his house, once at Mass, or a Popish book in his house—He can show you, without vanity, several Churches he has been a benefactor to, though but small things, as a window, pulpit-cloth, and reparations—Having said this, prays leave only to offer the names of some persons of hundreds, conversant with him in his house; as the Minister of the parish, twelve Members that have known him, Sir Robert Southwell, Sir John Ernly, Sir Richard Ford, Mr Wright, Sir William Coventry, Mr Montagu, Sir Henry Capel, Sir John Robinson, all at his house; submits to the reproach of any of these, if, from top to bottom, they ever saw any thing Popish—You shall have light enough; as Sir John Banks, Lord Ashley your Member, all of my Lord's own familiarity and acquaintance; will depend upon the ingenuity of any of these if they ever saw any thing in his house Popish—Can he believe that Lord Shaftesbury imagines him a Papist, when he countenanced his Election at Castlerising? When he came to have the King's and Lord Shaftesbury's last commands, they wished him good success in his Election, and believes he would not wish success to one he in his heart thought a Papist; but Shaftesbury wrote a letter under his hand, to promote Offley's Election to Lord Townshend, —Would not be bolder to say more of a man of his quality—When he saw these proceedings here, he went to Lord Shaftesbury and told him of his letter to Sir Thomas Meres, positive to "the altar," and silent in the rest. Would not be thought a phlegmatic Protestant, therefore he stirred in this business and went to the Lords House, and sent to speak to Lord Shaftesbury, by Lord Anglesea, and then took the next, Lord Carberry. Soon after that comes out Lord Anglesea, who told him, that Lord Shaftesbury seemed surprized, and said, "I guess at Pepys's business, and will not speak with him;" he expected not such a slight answer—Will never owe his staying in this House to dissembling. You might be doubtful that Lord Shaftesbury might do all this in favour to him, but he will show you what he wrote yesterday to Shaftesbury, viz. "I supply what yesterday I was not permitted to do by word of mouth, now by letter—My business is about the "altar," a thing too signal, if seen, to be forgotten! as to your doubtful suggestion about "the crucifix," tis a thing better to be remembered, and more signal than the altar, which is like a table"—For aught he knows, somebody may have an answer from Lord Shaftesbury; if so, pray let it be produced—He has exposed himself to conversation as much as any man—Because he could not go much abroad, has made his home as pleasant to himself as he could, embellishing it with painting—His house has been seen from top to bottom, not one door locked, and glass doors; and it is his humble request, if you think fit, to call the testimony of the Members he named, or some few of hundreds, as good as the walls of London compass; the Minister of the parish where he lives, Mr Mills, as learned a man, of fame and function, as any man in London—He has a small table in his closet, with a Bible and Common-Prayer-book upon it, and the whole Duty of Man, a bason and an ewer, and his wife's picture over it, done by Lombard—This is the whole thing talked of for an "altar"—If there be any one thing more than these, except a cushion, he will lie under all the rest of the aspersions. He withdrew.
Sir Thomas Lee.] It is now requisite that you ask Lord Shaftesbury, whether he told your Members, so or not.
Sir Nickolas Carew.] Before you go to condemn your Member, or justify him, examine your other Member, Littleton.
Sir Robert Thomas.] He is ready to avow the words that Lord Shaftesbury told him, and would be enabled to justify them, and would go to the Lords Bar to justify them upon oath. 3 Charles, upon the averment of one single Member; it is in Sir John Strangways's case, in Mr Rushworth's Collections.
Lord St John.] Had the thing said six or seven times to him by Lord Shaftesbury, who said, "something like an altar, and stood altar-wise, and a crucifix" —Justifies it, and will make it good that he said so.
Mr James Herbert.] He is satisfied that his reputation is safe in your hands, it being yours—Lord Shaftesbury speaking of affairs here, said, "he doubts you admit Papists amongst you, for, dining at Mr Pepys's, he saw an altar, or a table altar-wise, and a crucifix upon it."
Sir Robert Thomas.] Would have you order Littleton to declare his knowledge.
Colonel Birch.] It is a thing never refused, and desires he may be ordered to tell his knowledge in this matter.
Sir Thomas Meres.] "A crucifix" is so called, though it be in painting.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] As Mr Selden said of Lord Suffolk's accusing him for razing a Record, "it will cause a ceasing of all intercourse betwixt the Lords and you in the matter, till cleared."
Sir Robert Howard.] Cannot imagine why Littleton should be ordered to speak his knowledge, for two reasons; from the disposition of the person being not inclined to discover, and its being contrary to his honour; unless for so great reason as the credit of your Members at stake —Members that have spoke, think themselves free, but another Member is not; you put him upon violation, and so an end to commerce betwixt persons—What Lord St. John has said, he has been justified by two Members in, and so have the rest. If you force this, it will be implied, that you want a fourth Member to make good what your other Members have done. If one Member had said it, he would have believed it. It is neither humanity to Littleton, nor credit to your other Members, and would not have him farther pressed.
Mr Sacheverell.] Would have the Member named that moved Lord Shaftesbury to write for Offley's Election.
Sir Thomas Meres.] You have foreign hangings in the house, and fryars praying in them, and crosses; it is no new thing for Gentlemen to have such. He loves pictures himself, and a man may have such without offence; but Lord Shaftesbury in no way denies what your Members say.
Mr Sawyer.] The other day was a bare voluntary information from your Members, but now you have ordered Banks to appear, and now your own Members desire other persons may be called for their justification, which you cannot deny them—It is said, "'tis a dubious thing, whether an altar, or crucifix; whether scandal or not scandal;" but having gone so far, you must do something for your Member's justification—Does take it that no Lord can take away your Privilege.
The Speaker.] It was never denied for a Member to speak his knowledge, not knowing what use you will make of it.
Mr Waller.] 'Tis now a Question, whether he shall absolutely answer. We ought to have as much care, or more, of good intelligence amongst ourselves, as with the Lords—For revealing, every man is judge of his own conscience—Should what is said at table be revealed, it would bar all human society—Persons have been sent to the Tower for not obeying your Order to declare their knowledge in a matter you require. To show you that this need not be, Strangways's precedent is spoken of; but two things were never so unlike as these. He was one of the managers. Selden was one that searched the Records much, and Lord Suffolk mistook the matter of "razing the Record," for razing the paper-copy of the Conference"—A conference is not "like dining at a table" —Here was a Member charged with felony, for "razing a Record;" it was satisfaction then to your Member, that the Lord denied it. Lord Shaftesbury has not denied the thing, and the case is different.
Mr Bennet.] Lord Shaftesbury did not deny saying any of the words, in all the discourse with the Committee.
Sir Thomas Lee.] What was said was in order to your examination of it. One part Lord Shaftesbury flatly denied, and another pretty nearly. Now you have other witnesses, and their testimony is but in order to the clearing your Members. You have the same power over Littleton, as over Banks, and would have him ordered to speak.
Colonel Strangways.] If your Members, sent to Lord Shaftesbury, had brought you a categorical answer, there would be no need of asking Littleton any farther Questions. It was no private discourse.
Mr Swynfin] At the request of these Gentlemen, Sir Thomas Littleton, it is desired, may be ordered to declare his knowledge of this matter. To be ordered to communicate discourse at table, in common conversation, is hard. A man has but this refuge for the future, either prudence whom he converses with, or common fidelity; for very many words, ever so well intended, may be wrested to an ill sense—Would not have us spies upon, or treacherous to, one another.
The Speaker.] Asked Littleton, whether he would answer, and save the labour of putting a Question? He answered, No; he would not.
Ordered, By a Question, That Sir Thomas Littleton, or any other Member there present, do speak their knowledge of the matter concerning Mr Pepys.
Sir Thomas Littleton.] The last time, he was very backward to say any thing in this matter; since which several days have passed, and hopes not to be thought so negligent as to be to seek what to say now. What induces him now, rather than then, to say it, he will tell you. He thinks that Lord St John was there present, and believes that Sir Robert Thomas and Mr Herbert were not there—Protests he knows not that Mr Herbert knew any thing, or that he might name the Pope, or somebody else, for his author, as well as him—Lord Shaftesbury told what he saw, "an altar and crucisix in Mr Pepys's house," which inclined him to think Pepys wavering—Never heard but that the surmize was by way of timeserving—Shaftesbury cannot say "an altar popish-like," but "an oratory," and believes that part of his answer may be thus explained—As Lord Shaftesbury came away, said he, "Mr Pepys, the next time we meet we will remember the Pope;" and this is all he can inform you.
Sir Robert Thomas.] Quotes Mr Child for farther evidence.
Mr Child.] Would know what Question he must answer to—Can say nothing of Lord Shaftesbury's report of "the altar and crucifix."
Sir William Coventry.] Mr Pepys ought to be present now new matter is spoken of, and should be called in—He was called in.
Mr Child.] Something occurs that he remembered not. A Member told him, "that another could inform you that Mr Pepys had an Ave-Maria book, and a velvet cushion upon an altar."—Mr Escott.
Sir John Monson.] Would have the thing adjourned to Thursday sevennight.
Sir Thomas Lee.] This collateral matter, when your Member is well chosen, is fit to be debated of; this Debate, whether Papist, or not Papist, is not the matter now—Would go on with the Election.
The Speaker.] At this rate, a man shall never be clear; one may come to town one week, another, another week.
Mr Gerroway.] He unwillingly meddles in this business. If you come to the cause now, the last result of the Committee is, whether void Election, and, if not cleared now, he will be out of all capacity of having right done him in this House; therefore would assign a day to hear other evidence, but no time after that day.
Mr Pepys.] Whatever is done, whether he stay or go from you, submits, satisfied, to your judgment.
Sir John Duncombe.] Tis worse for Pepys to go with aspersion without doors, where he can have no way of clearing himself, as here.
The farther Debate was adjourned to Saturday sevennight.
Tuesday, February 17.
On several Amendments, &c. added to the Bill of Habeas Corpus.
Mr Powle.] All Judges are not of equal capacities. When Richard III. came to the government, to gratify the people he made a Law that any one Justice of the Peace might bail; but in 3 Hen. VII. by colour of it, notorious offenders were set at liberty; [it was] therefore repealed: And in the 1st of Philip and Mary farther Amendments were made in that Act; and yet he has known some great crimes bailed by virtue of that Act, by the overcompliance of some Justices. Here is a penalty, in this Bill, for persons not bailed, but none for the Judges that bail where they cannot: It has always been left to be public, in Court, but now 'tis done in private chambers; in the Court there is consideration and debate, and Counsel heard on all sides, and, more than that, in public Court, before all persons; and Lord Coke calls it "dangerous to alter the maxims of the Common Law." It has never been altered, but inconveniences did arise, greater than the mischiefs to be remedied. 17 Charles I. did not think fit to take it out of the Courts, but placed it in Court, never in private chambers—Another fault in the Bill is, any single Judge may send for a prisoner from the North, nay, two Judges may send for the same prisoner; and which writ must then be obeyed? 'Tis not his intent to destroy the Bill, but would have these objections answered, and considered how they may be mended.
Sir Thomas Lee.] If he takes the Bill right, "in special cases, as of felony and treason, no Habeas Corpus can be had." Matters capital are of the greatest dangers, and as for chamber-justice, he is not fond of it; but in such little things as the Bill mentions, the Judges are best to be entrusted rather than Justices of the Peace—If arbitrarily fined, they may come off from the Justices of the Peace, as well as from the Judges. In vacation-time the Judges have sent Habeas Corpus's out of their chambers; these commitments, here about town, are to Messengers chambers, for punishment of the party for no great offence, and the Judges out of town.
Mr Sawyer.] This is a good Bill, notwithstanding the objections against it; it extends to no person attaint or convicted, nor felony, nor treason—As for Commitment—If committed by a Justice, or other legal process, for matters not bailable; these are all taken out of the case; nothing remains, but commitment for crimes that have no name in law. When the Justice might bail, it was a liberty at large; you put this as safe as all your lives and liberties are; the Judges judge not the cause in a chamber, but may, by this Bill, grant a Habeas Corpus to bring the matter to speedy justice in the proper Court—Every Judge and Justice, in his proper sphere, does bail—Objection, "That Judges are not so liable to punishment." They are equal to other Justices of the Peace; if indicted or informed against, they are equally liable to punishment: The Judge is not to do it, but at the prisoner's petition, and at his charge—There is no danger of escape; all matters capital are bounded by the Bill.
Sir Robert Howard.] Has heard the Court condemn these chamber-practices of the Judges; people give any recognizances, and are any way discharged; he has heard this condemned by Lord Chief Justice Hales, when in the Exchequer—The nation may be more put in hazard by one single Judge. Whatever is done, would have the bail in Court.
Mr Boscawen.] Howard's argument is beside the mark; there is not one word in the Bill for "Judges to discharge the recognizance;" this is but for taking recognizances—If you lay aside the limitation, you lay aside the Bill.
Colonel Birch.] When a thing is past help, so as to put the House to a stagger, then the Bill must be thrown out, past mending; the old trick at the latter end of a Session.
Mr Attorney North.] Would recommit the Bill; a man is a prisoner at York, and is to be brought through several counties, and the prisoner artificially changes his name, and sues for false imprisonment.
[The Bill, with the Amendments, was ordered to be ingrossed.]
Wednesday, February 18.
A Bill for better attendance in Parliament was read the first time.
Colonel Birch.] The main reason against this Bill, is, that some have offices, and some have none, (the Bill importing, "no offices to be granted, during Parliament, to Members.") The greater number have none; he has one, but not granted this Parliament; the reason is, it looks forward, to give satisfaction to those that sent us hither; as all men believe Elections not bought at this rate, (considering what they cost in the country, and at this Bar,) but that something is sure to be got by them—Can say nothing to such as say one thing, before they have got an office, and another after—That all things may be eased in the Bill, would have it read a second time; and then every Gentleman may have thought well of it, and it may be mended, for vindication of your honour.
[It was ordered to be read a second time.]
Mr Barrell's Petition was delivered by Mr Sacheverell, setting forth, "That he will deliver up the keys of Mr George's chamber, as this House shall appoint." Mr Barrell came in, and avowed the Petition, on his knees. The Speaker, in the name of the House, told him, "That he, being a Lawyer, was presumed to know the Privileges of Parliament;" he then told him "his offence, and that, upon humbling himself, the House did discharge him, paying his fees." He kneeled first upon one knee, and the Speaker caused him to kneel on both.
In a Grand Committee. On the present State of Ireland.
Sir Henry Ford.] Touching upon Irish Grievances, was bid to name them, and asked, Whether the prohibition of Irish Cattle was one? He said, It was, to which
Mr Swynfin said,] He knows not what authority any Member has to speak against a Law in being, but he may ask your leave to bring in any Bill of repeal—Wonders it should be asked, when known never given.
Lord Obrien.] Wonders not, that people without doors would prevent this day's Debate. As far as he can, will inform you of persons that would destroy this Monarchy, to introduce another; for his part, he knows not where the legislative power of Ireland is; he knows it not. The last Session our Address was to the King for remove of Regulars, likewise for putting Roman Catholics out of Corporations, out of the Commission of Peace, and out of Offices civil and military; the King put out his Proclamation accordingly, but neither that, nor your Address, had any effect at all; but before he informs you farther particulars, would know what remedy you will prescribe.
Several moved to know, What the disease is, before you give the remedy?
Lord Obrien.] Finds, that, of all the Romish Regulars, and Dignitaries, but forty-seven, of four thousand, are gone out of Ireland; they ask you, what Law can send them out? those Laws against Catholics here, not reaching them there—The Address for disarming, after seven or eight months warning, (which was in March last) was sent September following into Ireland, and they sent away all their arms—Till he may know a remedy, desires to be excused from proceeding farther.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] Will tell you what he has heard. Is told from Gentlemen, that the chief Governor there takes all the care possible for removing these Regulars, but in vain; you are told the reason, because they have no force in Ireland to justify their power. In the time of Usurpation there were but a few of these left, but they were sent to the Isle of Arran; they found but sixty—The Law of Ireland is præmunire in case of Romish Priests; The guesses the reason—The Governor, by putting them out, was not to hazard a rebellion.
Sir Charles Wheeler.] Obrien says, "he would not speak of great men and great things, without having some hopes of remedy—not to expose himself."
Lord Obrien.] There is no Law against them without conviction; they have said Mass, and kept guards at the doors, and know who are Papists of the parish, and so no conviction can be.
Mr Crooke.] Birkenhead spoke, as if no Laws from hence were to bind Ireland. Till Henry VIII's time our Kings were but Lords of Ireland. If Ireland be not named in any of our Laws, by Poyning's Law, they bind not Ireland; but if they do mention Ireland, they are obligatory—Treasons there—is within the kingdom of Ireland; a Writ of Error may reverse judgment there. Lord Coke affirms it; therefore would not have that pass for doctrine.
Mr Waller.] Berwick, not named, is not bound by our Acts; no more is Ireland, nor any places else, that come to the Crown by accession; all dependents of the Crown, if named, are concerned—Ireland, that costs us so much, God forbid we should have nothing to do with it!
Lord Obrien.] If all given away, since the rebellion, was now in the King's hand, it would be a fine revenue; the soldiery would know whether by those Acts of 17 Charles I. they stand upon good grounds; the first or last Acts must stand good.
Mr William Harbord.] 'Tis not the fault of the chief Governor that your Address was not executed; 'tis hard for them there to keep peace without force—Doubts not, if you will send some forces to encourage them, but that your expectation will be fully answered—Before the Address, Colonel Richard Talbot had command; but when the Address came, he was removed with the other Officers and Justices—Before this Lord Lieutenant came over, many Catholics were in commission, but upon your Address they were all put out of employment; and those that were in took the Oath of Allegiance—His conduct has gone farther than your Address; the very Under-Sheriffs were turned out, Bishops, Archbishops, and Regulars, and no Priests whatsoever appeared—Whether the March Address came not till September, hopes the fault is not to be laid at the Lord Lieutenant's door—Forces were called away, ten or twelve companies, in the time of Usurpation, and now not above one—Twelve hundred Catholics, in arms, in a garrison. Before the Proclamation came out, there was a contribution of the Catholics in Ireland to manage their business in the other parts of the world; now since that has ceased, their interest has ceased with it, and now you may venture to banish such a company of insignificant fellows as now they are; there is but one ship in Ireland to conduct small Merchants from Capers—Would address the King "for increase of shipping there." If the chief Governor had more power he would have done better.
Sir William Bucknall.] The army is retrenched in Ireland to save money; he hopes enquiry will be made, what became of that money. Lord Obrien, now in this House, was disbanded, because he would not fight; he believes him a brave man, and would turn his back on no man—The President of Munster (fn. 1), how he came out he knows not; he was a great stop to Rebellion; that Lord was turned out too to save money, but has the money paid him—Has heard, that it was ordered "to turn Fanatics, and Non-conformists, out of cities," and he turned out Papists also; if that was a crime, he knows not—A castle was to be taken out of the possession, out of a Lord's hand, and a person put in it, who was to have blown up the magazine; he has the grant of it in possession and reversion; an unusual Order! To discharge himself of that trust, in present possession, and the reversion to somebody—Hopes you will enquire into it—Great jealousies and fears, and great stirs there; some person drew Grievances, and would present them to the King, one time or another, but knows not whether he delivered, but was threatened to be turned into the jail, if he did—Upon the whole, the Papists are so great, that the Government is in danger; though the chief Governor did as much as he could, yet he was obstructed; six thousand Roman Catholics attended their Judge, when he proceeded upon his authority from the Pope; the Irish Papists live well there, and say "this is the reason; because the French King is their Guarantee to see this performed, and encouragement from him made them attempt it"—He has told you what he has heard, and knows not whom it may light upon—Moves for a Committee to consider of it.
Lord Obrien.] It was publickly declared at Mass, by those who had estates before the rebellion, "not to pay rents to soldiers or adventurers, for before May-day they were to have their estates again." They found a way, that such of their Clergy as would not obey their Superiors in the Romish Orders, had many accusations against them of treason and felony, and were put into prison, and proffered their liberty, if they would submit to their Archbishop, Talbot. Four thousand [Popish] Priests, and but five hundred [Protestant] Ministers in Ireland.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] That the Committee may not take too sudden an impression, one way or another, shall inform you, that he, by the King's command, wrote to the Lord Lieutenant; he had an answer to the receipt of the letter, but not to the matter, the thing being before he came to the government—As to "legal tryals," he hourly expects an account from the Lord Lieutenant.
Lord Fitzharding.] To clear Lord Berkeley, first, "as to the putting in Papists Justices of the Peace;" he had a letter from London, for putting Papists into the Commission of Peace. Lord Berkeley made representation of it into England, of the ill consequences; to which he had no answer; but a letter came to the Archbishop of Dublin. They were put in, in Lord Berkeley's time, but not by his order—As for "the powder," it was an unfit place, liable to fire, and he removed it, as Lord Roberts had done before him.
Sir William Bucknall.] Lord Berkeley was a great stay to the Protestant Religion in Ireland; what he has said, is no way in reflection on him.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] Is told of a considerable pass, and that the Governor has got the inheritance out of the King's hands; would know who advised and procured this; that the whole revenue of Ireland should be transferred and put into private hands, lays the foundation of destroying that government. It is the pass on the river Shannon. It would be worth your enquiry, how this of the Treasury comes thus to be altered. The Lord Treasurer is but a nominal officer, all goes through the Vice Treasurer; like the Groom Porter at Court, of more profit than the Gentleman Porter; more money goes through his hands—In Queen Elizabeth's time all payments, to save charges both military and civil, [were made] into the Vice Treasurer's hands; he that can dispose of money is of greatest power—Above four thousand men at arms in Ireland, and now . . . . . must come out of foreign hands—Would enquire into whose hands this pass is put, and through whose the Treasury goes.
[To proceed on Friday.]