Debates in 1677: December 3rd

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Grey's Debates of the House of Commons: Volume 5. Originally published by T. Becket and P. A. De Hondt, London, 1769.

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DEBATES in the House of Commons, From the Year 1667 to the Year 1694.

[Monday, December 3, 1677.

The House met, when Mr Secretary Coventry delivered the following Message from his Majesty, which was read by the Speaker:

"Charles R.

"HIS Majesty, having given notice by his Proclamation, that he intended the Houses should be adjourned till the fourth of April (fn. 1), hath now, for weighty Considerations, thought fit to meet with both Houses sooner; and therefore his Pleasure is, that this House be adjourned to the fifteenth day of January next.

The House adjourned accordingly.


  • 1. Before the meeting appointed for the 3d of December, his Majesty's Proclamation was issued, signifying "that he expected not the Members attendance, but that those of them about town should adjourn themselves till the fourth of April, 1678." These words "that the House may adjourn themselves" were very well received by those of the Commons who imagined themselves thereby restored to their right, after Mr Seymour's invasion: When, in reversal of this, (he probably desiring to retain a jurisdiction that he had twice usurped, and to add this flower to the Crown, of his own planting) Mr Secretary Coventry delivered a written message from his Majesty, on the 3d of December, of a contrary effect, though not of the same validity with the Proclamation, viz. "That the Houses should be adjourned only to the 15th of January 1677;" which as soon as read, Mr Seymour would not give leave to a worthy Member, offering, to speak; but abruptly, now the third time, of his own authority, adjourned them without putting the Question; though Sir John Finch, for once doing so, (3 Charles) was accused of High Treason. This only can be said perhaps in his excuse, That, whereas that in 3 Charles was a Parliament legally constituted, Mr Seymour did here do as a Sheriff that disperses a riotous assembly. In this manner they were kicked from Adjournment to Adjournment, as from one stair down to another; and when they were at the bottom, kicked up again, having no mind yet to go out of doors. Marvell.