Debates in 1677: March 27th-29th

Pages 315-334

Grey's Debates of the House of Commons: Volume 4. Originally published by T. Becket and P. A. De Hondt, London, 1769.

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In this section

Tuesday, March 27.

On Mr Hatcher's Petition, setting forth that he is duly elected for the Borough of Stamford in the County of Lincoln, Mr Hatcher being High-Sheriff of the said County.

Serjeant Crook.] A Writ of summons to chuse Members of Parliament is an original thing, and not an Iôta in it can be altered, without Act of Parliament. He hears it said, "That the Corporation makes the Return of the Writ." No; they elect, but the Sheriff makes the Return. And 'tis against the Law of Nature for the same man to be both Agent and Patient. In Lord Coke's case, who was made Sheriff of Buckingham, and returned for the County of Norfolk, to serve in Parliament as Knight of the Shire, it was carried that he might be chosen for Norfolk, and the whole Debate then ran that he could not be returned, being Sheriff, in his own County. If they might return themselves, most of the Sheriffs of England would sit here. There is reason in it, and 'tis against a rule of Law, and a dangerous precedent, for a Sheriff to return himself against all ancient usage.

Mr Powle.] "Nec tu, nec aliquis, &c." the words of the Writ. Now whether it be of the County, or an inferior Borough—The case of Sir Walter Long, who was chosen Burgess for Bath, and was Sheriff of that County; he was presented in the Star-chamber for being out of the County during his Office, but he was not discharged here. Were eligible in another County—Serjeant Crook's Brother served here, in the Long Parliament, for a Borough in Oxfordshire, when Sheriff of that County. Though the Sheriff be incapable of serving, it shall not make the minor part of the Corporation capable to elect, though the Sheriff be incapable. He would stay for a report of this from the Committee of Elections. The other is the sitting Member, and the House has no prejudice by it.

Sir Thomas Lee.] Sawyer has told you the irregularity of this Petition. In his own case he kept the matter depending to keep men in awe—He cannot but take notice that 'tis some great matter sure, that men desire to be chosen Parliament-men for. He takes not this to be the case of Mr Hatcher only, but the Pettion is lodged, and 'tis asserted that he had the majority of votes for him, and you refuse the Petition without hearing him, and refuse him to make out his capacity of being elected—This is of weight—There is a great difference betwixt a Sheriff's Return of himself for a Borough, where he is no judge of the Poll, as he is in a County. He thinks he is not barred by his own Act; nor the town barred by his Act neither. So it was not a matter eligible whether the Sheriff should sign the Indenture, or no. Mr Oakley was chosen a Member, when Sheriff of the County wherein the Borough was, [Bishops-castle] and sits upon that Return.

Sir John Charlton.] The cases of Lord Coke, and Sir Walter Long, spoken of, were held good Elections. But it was Casus primæ impressionis. Long was chosen when great stirs were in the Nation. In the Starchamber, it was set forth in the Bill against him, "His going out of the County without the King's Licence:" He answered, "He was not forsworn, because he never took that Oath." So the thing was changed, and he was fined for exercising that Office without taking the Oath. The words of the Writs are "Ita quod tu, nec aliquis alius Vice-comes regni nostri, sit electus, &c." Suppose this Borough of Stamford had not petitioned—If you judge him incapable, and yet he have the major Voice, he that had the minor Voices must sit. It appeared against one chosen for a Borough in Yorkshire, that he was in Orders, and so was rendered incapable of sitting here. Mr Wandesford, who had much the fewer Voices, stood against him, and you judged it for Mr Wandesford; the other being incapable, though he had the majority of Voices. The thing is new, and never was before. Mr Oakley was not Sheriff, &c. but if it were so, the thing was never litigated, never called in question.

Mr Oakley.] He was Sheriff of Shropshire in the Convention, and his Return was then. They put out Major Waring, and made him Sheriff, who was no delinquent. But he would stand, and did sit here accordingly, without any dispute.

Sir John Trevor.] Sawyer said, "That the Petition of Mr Hatcher's was shuffled into the House by him." Lord Burleigh delivered it to him to present, before twenty Gentlemen, and here were forty Members in the House when he delivered it. He said, these Petitions are brought in to keep men in awe for their Votes here. Every man knows how Sawyer was in his Vote, during the dependency of that Petition against him. But as soon as the clock struck twelve, and his Election was determined, you know what he did; he changed his opinion.

Mr Sollicitor Winnington.] He knows neither of the parties concerned in this Petition. He thinks it agreed on all sides, that the Gentleman now pretending, by his Petition, is Sheriff of the County of Lincoln, and chosen for a Borough in that County. Now, whether being Sheriff, he can return himself, is the Question. To say a Sheriff of one County cannot serve for another—"ita quod tu, nec aliquis alius Vice-comes, &c." If "Tu" be "no Sheriff,"— If but a recital of the Law, then you are at liberty to argue whether the Sheriff of one County may be returned for another. The Writ for Election is directed to the Sheriff of the County. Every Officer must obey the Mandate; if qualified, he must obey the Qualification—If the subsequent Clause were not in the Writ, then it might be probable. Sir Nicholas Bacon suffered a common Recovery whilst he was Sheriff: The Writ could not be directed to himself, and the Recovery was void; because the Writ gave him no authority to do it being Demandant—Does that Clause "Ita quod tu, &c." in the Writ, signify nothing? Long's and Coke's Case was in another County. "Tu" must be "The man," "Sheriff." It is in Law the Sheriff's Return. 'Tis his Officers that act for him—That he offers to consideration.

Mr Hatcher's Petition was, upon the Question, rejected.

The Bill from the Lords for educating the Children of the Royal Family in the Protestant Religion, &c. (See p. 284.) was read the second time.

The House sat some time very silent, whereupon.

Mr Secretary Williamson said] This Bill is of great weight, by the silence in the House. He remembers, at the first reading, a remark upon one part of it: For the Education of the Children, 'twas thought the time was too narrow, "from seven to fourteen years of age." He thinks it reasonable to enlarge it. Exceptions may be taken at the second reading of a Bill properly, and this goes not so far as it might for the time, and moves that it may go to a Committee for Amendment, at least for that.

Mr Powle.] Would have it committed with the Bill of Popery, and between them hopes you may make a good Bill.

Sir Thomas Meres.] He must say now, commit this Bill, or no. He would commit this, and read our other Bill of Popery, and then refer them both to the same Committee. Since then the matter is really before us, and the Question is, if we should have a King of a different Religion from the Nation, what is fit for England to be done? And upon the Debate all insisted for a Committee of the whole House, to consider what should be done, should such a thing happen, as a King or Queen of England to be of a different Religion.

Sir Eliab Harvey.] Would have instruction to the Committee, "that from the time the Bill shall take place, all dignified Clergy should be married, or else be made incapable of their places."

Sir Nicholas Carew.] Seconds the Motion, "that Clergymen should be capable of no dignity unless they were married;" and he is sure none of the Church of Rome can come into a dignity if they be married.

Mr Garroway.] He believes there is no better step to keep Popery in than without it—"No Bishop, Chancellor, nor any to be capable of those preferments, but married men" will be so great a tie upon them, that, in truth, nothing can be greater, and they will not easily alter.

Col. Birch.] He is not very desirous of that Clause, but he will take any by the hand that will proffer to save us from what we fear, Popery.

Sir Winston Churchill.] The title of the Bill is for securing the Hierarchy, as well as the Protestant Religion. One condition in the Bill makes Bishops forfeit their Bishopricks, if they certify not the Oath into Chancery—Void ipso facto—All the Bishopricks may be void, and then he would know who shall make the Bishops in that case?

Mr Mallet.] In this Bill there are interlineations, and figures, which is unparliamentary. He is against the commitment of the Bill—It will blow up the Government, it states an interregnum and an Oligarchy. 'Tis now a Thesis amongst some Churchmen, that the King is not King but by their magical Unction—He knows not what the Bill is—No interregnum can be by Law—It sets up nine Mitres above the Crown— Monstrum horrendum!

Sir Thomas Littleton.] There was a large Debate at the first reading of the Bill. He will observe, now, but one thing in it. In the primitive times, there was another way of electing Bishops—viz. By the Diocese; the Clergy and Laity were joined. But that being found tumultuous, it was laid aside. This Bill looks not that way, nor would he have it. The objection of a Commonwealth comes in at every turn. But there was no objection from the Empire of Rome against it, then at the height. The Lord Chancellor, Lord Admiral, and Privy Council were formerly, on emergent occasions, named in Parliament—The Bill observes no way suitable to former practice. The Bishops were formerly named by the Pope. This Bill is utterly dissonant from what has formerly been, in civil, or ecclesiastical practice. As for this short Test in the Bill, he does not approve of it. But would have another, in another Bill, larger, instead of this. Would commit this Bill, but, withall, would read our other Bill of Popery.

Mr Vaughan.] Some good end, he believes, transported the Lords beyond all ends, in this Bill, that they intended to arrive at. Observe the injustice of it: All Gentlemen that have right of patronage, are not obliged to take any Test; the King shall not present without a Test; in this case, the subject doing it without Test, is in better case than the King. Bishopricks anciently were given per traditionem annuli et baculi. 1 King John, VI. repealed. If the Test be unjust, as to the Subject, much more unjust to the King. It intrenches upon the King's Supremacy—The King is the founder of all English Justice, and therefore the Law entrusts him with promotions. This Bill divides betwixt the Bishops Jurisdiction and the Crown. The King is summum caput Ecclesiæ; not by 26 Henry VIII, nor 1 Eliz. Those are but declaratory laws; the King's right is as ancient as Edward the Confessor. The Law calls the Bishops "immediate dispensers of the King's ecclesiastical authority;" and the King cannot part with it, because 'tis the best flower of the Prerogative, and the subjects ought not to stand debtors to any for their justice, but to their lawful Prince. The King by this Bill is made capable of error; and if once an offence be sheltered under error of the King, you may seek impeachments elsewhere than in the House of Commons. He finds not the great rights amongst the Bishops, which the Romanists say—If Popery come in, they and-their books must burn together—'Tis said, "The King's Children are to be taught the Lord's Prayer, &c. and the rudiments of Religion;" but as Parrots, &c. Liberavi animam meam. The Bill is fatal to the Crown, and so little in it to be retained, and so much to be rejected, that he would throw it out.

Sir Edward Dering.] The King has parted with many things of his Prerogative, this Parliament, as high as this is in the Bill; as in the case of purging the Universities.

Mr Williams.] The things in the Bill are only in prospect, upon demise of the King. That Prince that is popishly inclined will exercise his Prerogative for all this Bill. The inherent right of making Bishops is in the Crown. We know who makes Judges, and, no doubt, but upon any dispute hereafter upon this Bill, the Judges will give it for the King, and consequently there will be no judging against the King.

Mr Marvell.] He wonders to see this Bill so ready to be committed, that the consequence may be no likelihood of the King's consent—But 'tis an ill thing, and let us be rid of it as soon as we can. He could have wished it had perished at the first reading rather than have been revived by a second. He is sorry the matter has occasioned so much mirth. He thinks there was never so solemn and sad an occasion, as this Bill before you; but he is glad the House is returned into that temper, which the gravity of the matter requires. The Bill seems very unseasonable; the beginning is of two things not of mature consideration. First, it supposes "the death" of the King—It might have had a more modest word to have disguised it from the imagination ("Demise.") Secondly, it supposes "that possibly the Crown may devolve on a Popish Government;" which ought not to be supposed easily and readily. God be thanked for the King's age and constitution of body! The King is not in a declining age; and if we intermeddle in things of this consequence, we are not to look into it so early, as if it was the King's last Will and Testament. The Law makes it Treason, "to imagine the death of the King that is—" A word more in it—The true and proper sense is not to imagine the King's death—His age may confirm you in no danger suddenly of the consequences of the Bill, but as for that of " a Popish Successor," he hopes 'tis a matter remote in the event, and would not precipitate that evil, no, not in a supposition. For some reason, without doubt, this matter has been thought of in the House of Lords, and next to the King living, he would cast as little umbrage on the Successor, as might be. There is none yet in sight, but whose minds are in the hands of God, who turns them like the rivers of water. Whilst there is time there is life, and whilst life, time for information, and the nearer the prospect is to the Crown, information of Judgment will be much easier. When God takes him on high, and shows him the glory of the World, and tells him, "All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me," he thinks these will be no temptation—Those who change for conscience-sake will have so much self-denial, that the Crown will not make them alter the thing—'Tis unseasonable; it may be proper some other time, but not now. This Bill is a great invasion on Prerogative—To whom ever God shall dispose the Kingdom, 'tis entire to the King. He does not love to reflect on the persons of those who represent the Protestant Religion—(the Bishops.) But 'tis said, "This Invasion is not made by the Prelates; they were but passive in it." But he will not speak of such reverend persons, with any thing of severe reflection, but will only suppose this power of the Bishops given to any other order of men; to nine Physicians, and they administer the Test to the King—Having altered the property of the persons, to speak with a little more freedom, he knows no body of men, if the Parliament please, but may do it as well as they. The College of Physicians have a Charter from the King, and are his sworn servants; let these come to the King to administer the Oath, 'Tis a pretty experiment, Just a tryal, whether the Loadstone will attract the Iron, or the Iron the Loadstone. Who can think that any body of men, that must depend upon the King, &c? Which way, think you, it draws? We have seen (and he hopes we shall never see it again) in Henry VIII's, Edward VI's, Queen Mary's, and Queen Elizabeth's time, all sorts ready to turn, one, one way, another, another. 'Tis appointed by the Bill, "that the Bishops should wait upon the King at Whitehall, &c." He thinks not but Physicians, may be thought by a Popish King, as proper a cure for his Soul, as Bishops. The Chevalier de Menevicette, Physician to the Great Turk, was by him made Patriarch of Antioch. He thinks this power not fit to be lodged in any sort of persons whatsoever. Whatever Prince God gives us, we must trust him. Let us not, in prevention of future things so remote, take that immoderate care in this Bill. Sufficient to the day is the evil thereof. Here is pricking of Bishops, as if pricking Sheriffs. If the King does not, they must. 'Twas complained of the Stamford Election, "that the same persons were Agents and Patients"—Here Bishops make Bishops; (as inherent-a right to the Crown as any thing possible.) He desires, that, during this King's reign, we may apply ourselves to preserve the people in the Protestant Religion, not only in the profession of it, but that men may live up to it, in morality and virtue of Religion, and then you establish men against the temptation of Popery, and a Prince that may be popishly affected. If we do not practise upon ourselves, all these Oaths and Tests are of no use; they are but Phantoms. The Bill has a very good title, and a good intention, but nothing but the title is urged to be of the least validity. This puts him in mind of a priyate Bill—You would not countenance the pretence of "no people to make compact for themselves," 'Tis said, "the Bishops promoted not the Bill, but they were under fear, in the Lords House (fn. 1)." Promotions make some men much better, and 'tis power that makes Popery—So great a power assembled upon such a body of men! The Bill he spoke of, pretended, that the Dean and Chapter of Durhan would have benefit by a ballast shore to be erected at Yarrow-Sleake, on Newcastle side. Says one, "it will narrow the river." Says another, "it will widen it." 'Twas then said, "that Gentlemen love not to play tricks with Navigation," much less should the Nation play tricks with Religion. But whether this Bill will prevent Popery, or not, this will secure the Promotions of the Bishops; 'twill make them certain. He is not used to speak here, and therefore speaks with abruptness. Closes all with his Motion that the Bill may have the same fate others have moved for, "not to be committed."

Serjeant Maynard.] Nothing is more desirable than the end of this Bill, but to the means to attain that end, he knows not how far he can consent, or whether at all. But he is not for desperate remedies—He would not have any thing propounded prejudicial to the Crown. This Bill cannot pass without the King's consent, and all is a nihil, and signifies nothing without it. That propounded in the Bill, is not for this King's life, but temporary; and he hopes that no Romish Patron shall put any into a living—He is glad, though 'tis not in the Bill, that it has been proposed. You have done it already in a Law, in recusants convict, and there is no injustice in it. But if any thing in the Bill can attain your end, he would offer at it. To use that argument in general, "that the Bill is against the King's Prerogative," you may shut up your doors and make no more Laws. Henry III. Edward I. That of "Estates in tail not forfeitable to the Crown, &c." Does any thing more touch the Prerogative than calling a Parliament, and how often has that been done by Law in Parliament? Wardship was the greatest power of the Prerogative; Heirs to be in the custody of the King, and the King had the marriage of the Heir, and the Widow took an Oath not to marry without the King's consent, or to fine for it. All this was done, and yet you propounded it to the King, and he did it. The King is willing to part with his Prerogative. 36 Henry VIII. The case of Escheats (Forfeitures) concerning the Government, and those were altered. Wherein the King's Prerogative is concerned, 'tis his place (as the King's Serjeant) to defend it, but where Religion is concerned, to prevent alteration. 'Tis not within the King's Prerogative, and when the Bill is committed, he shall declare himself more freely. He has some difficulties upon him, but would commit the Bill.

Sir Robert Howard.] The King's Prerogative is an argument too weak against the Bill. He thinks the consequences of the Bill dangerous. The Precedents of Suffragan Bishops, and a Parliament to be held every three years—If the precedents be good, we may apply them—If the King will not do it, the High Constable shall. Is this a legal Precedent? If you pass this Bill, in the administration and intention they both agree, not else. If Precedents be applied, 'tis fair that this Act be brought to it. If this be Law, and the Crown must be obliged by it, 'tis as fit to look to civil as ecclesiastical men—Judges and Bishops shall do so and so, and the King—You may put it otherwise on the subject, and better, that the King do no subject's action. What case are the Bishop's like to be in? He will not suppose the King a Papist, against that Law already made. Surely they must suppose it.

The Bill was committed (fn. 2), [127 to 88.]

Wednesday, March 28.

In a Grand Committee, on the explanatory Bill to prevent stauds and abuses in importing Irish Cattle.

The Speaker.] If once we make it the interest of particular persons, if once we make a Law, 'tis in the nature of public faith—Men are come just now to the benefit of breeding Cattle, in England; will you gratify and reward a people that would enervate your Laws? 'Twas not the practice of the Romans (See the printed paper of fraudulent seizing Irish Cattle when landed in England.) It has not long since been delivered for doctrine in this House, (by Birch) maliciously enough, "that misery and poverty came in with the orthodox Clergy." This Irish Act was passed for national, at the same time that the Act of Conventi cles passed. And no man believes, but that if the Gentleman (Marvell) spoke irreverently of "the Physicians (fn. 3)," he would have done the same of "the Bishops"— He said, "That Persons that bear their proportion of the charge of the Nation, should have likewise the benefit by bringing in Irish Cattle, as London, &c." All persons come and spend their Money here at London; and the next step of requital is to riject all improvements that must come from those, that support them. Great plenty is suggested. "No," says one, "Corn produced not the mojety at importation 2s. If not but 18d. &c. destroy that Trade, and suppress Navigation." The Western Ports have but two famous; Ilfracomb and Minion—They have converted all to fishery—Make them great in Navigation and Trade, and then where is the difference between England and Ireland? Cattle out of Ireland are sold cheaper than those bred here. Bought in at 40 s. and sold at 3 l. Lean Cattle here 3l. The cheapest price governs the market, and by this sraudulent seizure the Act is totally eluded. Thus much only in short; no man but would feed, if he can buy in cheaper than he can breed, and the consequence will be, we shall depend upon Ireland for Cattle. Ireland affords it you so, because you neglect your own breed, and then they impose what price they please; and if Ireland be in danger of France, we are at that King's courtesy to eat beef.

Col. Birch.] Seymour has honoured him much in answering his Arguments, as if no other Gentleman's Arguments were worth answering, but his; as the primitive Christians were lapped, by their persecutors, in Bears and Wolves Skins, to worry them. He knows what public faith-bills are as well as Seymour, and these Bills answer public faith-bills, and will be so paid. (reflecting upon Navy tickets.)

Mr Swynfin.] The Act has not prohibited Wool, but Beasts, out of Ireland. They send away their Wool abroad, and there the Trade turns from you. For after a great rot in England, yet Wool fell in its price.

Sir Henry Ford.] Reason has but a few Proselytes both within doors, and without, and so you might have sooner come to a Question. The interest of England is governed by Parliament. 'Tis the populace that makes the value of Land. There is no reason for Irish Land being of low value, but the poverty of the people, and not the fifth part of Ireland peopled. Little Money went back into Ireland from France and Holland; and there they will go. The Peasants eat no beef in France, nor wear any shoe-leather—Beef is at 2 s. the quarter in Ireland, and will you take away so beneficial a thing from your fellow-subjects? This Bill has decreased the Trade of black Cattle in Ireland, and increased Sheep, and Wool comes in upon you. The thing is indifferent to his County, and he will make no Motion in it.

The Speaker.] Devonshire, Ford's County, is 30,000l. a year worse by Irish Cattle than it was, and Ford is much mistaken in that County.

Col. Birch.] The greatness of the importation of Irish Cattle is that which sinks Land—Though Turkey be more, yet not half the cloth is exported, that was twenty years ago.

Resolved, That the Laws prohibiting the importation of Irish Cattle shall be made perpetual. [Which was agreed too by the House] 145, 128, [and the Bill was ordered to be ingrossed.]

Tuesday, March 29.

Mr Marvell, coming up the House to his place, stumbling at Sir Philip Harcourt's foot, in recovering himself, seemed to give Sir Philip a box on the ear. The Speaker acquainting the House, "that he saw a box on the ear given, and 'twas his duty to inform the House of it," this Debate ensued (fn. 4).

Mr Marvell.] What passed was through great acquaintance and familiarity betwixt us. He neither gave him an affront, nor intended him any. But the Speaker cast a severe reflection upon him yesterday, when he was out of the House (fn. 5), and he hopes, that, as the Speaker keeps us in Order, he will keep himself in Order for the future.

Sir John Ernly.] What the Speaker said yesterday, was in Marvell's vindication. If these two Gentlemen are friends already, he would not make them friends, and would let the matter go no farther.

*****.] The Gentleman that had the blow given him, had once one given him by Lord Clifford, and had satisfaction given him by the House. Would have this go for a mistake, but would have it examined; for he never knew before a blow given in the House of Commons.

Sir Joh Charlton.] Is sorry a thing of this nature has happened, and no more sense of it. You in the Chair, and a stroke struck! Marvell deserves for his reflection on you, Mr Speaker, to be called in question. You cannot do right to the House, unless you question it; and moves to have Marvell sent to the Tower.

The Speaker.] He saw a blow on one side, and a stroke on the other.

Sir Philip Harcourt.] Marvell had some kind of a stumble, and mine was only a thrust; and the thing was accidental.

Sir Henry Goodrick.] The persons have declared the thing to be accidental, but if done in jest, not fit to be done here. He believes it an accident, and hopes the House thinks so too.

Mr Secretary Williamson.] This does appear, that the action for that time was in some heat. He cannot excuse Marvell who made a very severe reflection on the Speaker, and since 'tis so enquired, whether you have done your duty, he would have Marvell withdraw, that you may consider of it.

Col. Sandys.] Marvell has given you trouble, and, instead of excusing himself, reflects upon the Speaker: A strange confidence, if not an impudence!

The Speaker.] He is sorry to think Marvell took it for a reflection from him. He explained himself to him, and told him what he said.

Mr Marvell.] Has so great a respect to the Privilege, Order, and decency of the House, that he is content to be a sacrifice for it. As to the casualty that happened, he saw a seat empty, and going to sit in it, his friend put him by, in a jocular manner, and what he did was of the same nature. So much familiarity had ever been between them, that there was no heat in the thing. He is sorry he gave an offence to the House. He seldom speaks to the House, and if he commit an error, in the manner of his Speech, being not so well tuned, he hopes it is not an Offence. Whether out, or in, the House, he has a respect to the Speaker. But he has been informed, that the Speaker resumed something he had said, with reflection—He did not think fit to complain of Mr Seymour to Mr Speaker—He believes, that is not reflective. He desires to comport himself with all respect to the House. This passage with Harcourt was a perfect casualty, and if you think fit, he will withdraw, and sacrifice himself to the censure of the House.

Sir Henry Capel.] The blow given Harcourt was with his hat; the Speaker cast his eye upon both of them, and both respected him. He would not aggravate the thing. Marvell submits, and he would have you leave the thing as it is.

Sir Robert Holmes.] He saw the whole action. Marvell flung about three or four times with his hat, and then gave Harcourt a box on the ear.

Sir Henry Capel.] Desires, now that his honour is concerned, that Holmes may explain, whether he saw not Marvell with his hat only give Harcourt the stroke "at that time." Possibly, "at another time" it might be.

The Speaker.] Both Holmes and Capel are in the right. But Marvell struck Harcourt so home, that his fist, as well as his hat, hit him.

Sir Robert Howard.] Hopes the House will not have Hartourt say, he received a blow, when he has not. He thinks what has been said by them both sufficient.

Mr Garroway.] Hopes, that, by the Debate, we shall not make the thing greater than it is. Would have them both reprimanded for it.

Mr Secretary Williamson.] He submits the honour of the House to the House—Would have them made friends, and give that necessary assurance to the House, and he, for his part, remains satisfied.

Sir Thomas Meres.] By our long sitting together, we lose, by our familiarity and acquaintance, the decencies of the House. He has seen five hundred in the House, and people very orderly; not so much as to read a letter, or set up a foot. One could scarce know any body in the House, but him that spoke. He would have the Speaker declare that Order ought to be kept; but as to that Gentleman (Marvell) to rest satisfied.

And so the thing passed over.

Sir John Trevor reports the Address to his Majesty, which is as follows:

"We your Majesty's most loyal Subjects, [the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses, in Parliament assembled,] do, with unspeakable joy and comfort, present our humble thanks to your Majesty, for your Majesty's gracious acceptance of our late Address, and that your Majesty was pleased, in your princely wisdom, to express your concurrence in opinion with your two Houses, in reference to the preservation of the Spanish Netherlands: And we do, with most earnest and repeated desires, implore your Majesty, that you would be pleased to take timely care to prevent those dangers that may arise to these Kingdoms, by the great power of the French King, and the progress he daily makes in those Netherlands, and other places: And therefore, that your Majesty would not defer the entering into such Alliances as may attain those ends. And in case it shall happen that, in pursuance of such Alliances, your Majesty shall be engaged in a War with the French King, we hold ourselves obliged, and do, with all humility and chearfulness, assure your Majesty, that your most loyal subjects shall always be ready, upon the signification [thereof] in Parliament, fully, [and] from time to time, to assist your Majesty with such Aids and Supplies, as, by the divine assistance, may enable your Majesty to prosecute the same with success.

"All which we do most humbly offer to your Majesty, as the unanimous sense and desire of the whole Nation."


Sir John Ernly.] You are already in Alliances defensive, and farther Alliances must be War, and so you will expose yourselves to depredations of the French at sea, upon your merchant-ships, and give the French a million by putting the King upon this Address. He declares, that the King's entering into farther Alliances is a War.

Mr Secretary Williamson.] The Question is, whether this addition of "farther Alliances" in this Address be a repetition, or to make the former Address more effectual? The middle period of your Paper is quite other matter, which was laid by, and set aside by the House. "To preserve the Netherlands from the growing power of France, and to enter into stricter Alliances for that purpose." He begs leave only to observe that exception for a Question, and to leave it out.

Sir Thomas Meres.] This Address is not good sense if it has not reference to the former, and the King cannot but think of the former. We are told, "That stricter Alliances import War;" but if any thing saves Flanders, it will be "stricter Alliances;" and he doubts not but that the Parliament having resolved it, it will be of weight. He will not say what Alliances the King should enter into, but doubts not but they will be good when made.

Mr Vaughan.] Is not our men going into France as much a Declaration of War, as the Motion of sending Money into Germany? He would agree to the Address.

Mr Powle.] He expects no farther Answer from the King. The design of the House is to give the King thanks for what he thinks so. This goes no farther than the other Address, and extends not the thing at all. "Not defer to enter into farther Alliances;" that is, Not delay till opportunity be lost. 'Tis said, "That this will incense the French King into a present War with us;" but this only enables the King for a present War, if there shall be occasion. When the World knows that the King and his people are together, he is as formidable as any King; and he would agree to the Address.

Mr Secretary Williamson.] He excepted only against the middle part of the Address, viz. "Not to defer entering into farther Alliances," making it to prejudice the King in the thing. Youinsist that this is the time. 'Tis to be hoped that you will leave the thing to the King. He cannot agree with that part—That when, upon the whole Debate, Peace or War is before you—He would re-commit the Address, and would have it made suitable to your Vote.

Sir Robert Howard.] If you cut off that from the King, you cut off what he has to protect you with. The Address ought not to be so large as it is now before you. He would have all things left out of it that are of present pressure upon the King. You may else put him upon a denial of your Address, or making some ill bargain in his Alliances; and how the Confederates have dealt with one another, you know. Why should you do more than give the King thanks for his Answer, and tell him that you will assist him? Whether with discretion, or no, you put the King upon doing it; and he would have it considered.

Col. Birch.] He was not at the drawing up of this Address, and therefore 'tis not a brat of his own, to be fond of it. He takes the Address to be good. The King said, "He agreed with the opinion of the House of Commons," and you thank the King for agreeing with your opinion, and you desire him "not to defer entering into Alliances, &c." It has been said, "This puts a force upon the King, presently to do it." But this shows the opinion of the House, and their zeal in it. "From time to time" we will stand by the King—He never saw, but when things came on unitedly, it was the likeliest way to be quiet. What has this great man on the other side of the water done? The jealousies he has sown between the King and his people have given him that confidence. 'Tis said, That ships are not ready; and therefore such a Declaration of the King, as we desire in the Address, is improper." But he believes that the danger was as much for want of ships eighteen months since, as now, when we would have given money for ships, and it was not accepted—Now, or never, is the time to let the King of France see, that breaches are made up between the King and his People.

The Address was agreed to by the House, [the Question for its being recommitted being carried in the Negative, 131 to 122.]

March 30, and 31, and April 2, and 3, omitted.


  • 1. This Gentleman, in his Growth of Popery, expresses himself thus: "That the Bishops were either the Contrivers or Promoters of this Bill, is a scandalous falshood, and devised by the Authors to throw the odium off from themselves upon the Clergy, and (the Bills that aimed at the Ruin of the Church of England having miscarried) to compass the same end by this Defamation. A sufficient warning to the Clergy how to be intrigued with the Statesmen for the future !"
  • 2. "This notorious Bill," as Marvell calls it, after being committed, died of neglect, the Committee either disdaining, or not daring publikly to enter upon it. Ralph.
  • 3. (See p. 323.)
  • 4. There is no mention of this in the Journal.
  • 5. See p. 327.