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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Tuesday, January 29.
Sir John Knight.] 'Tis in vain for us to undertake to preserve that which cannot be preserved; the Spaniards seeming to decline our proposal of delivering up towns for the security of the forces that we shall send over to their assistance. Therefore, before we proceed any farther, I would have information from the King's Ministers, how the Treaty stands betwixt us and the Spaniards, and what alliances have been made since our last meeting.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] The King tells you, in his Speech, "That the alliances he has made cannot fail of their end in the preservation of Flanders, unless prevented by the want of due assistances to support those alliances, or by the small regard the Spaniards have to their own preservation." 'Tis certain, that so much the greater France is, we are so much the less able to support our allies. The Spaniards tell you more of their forces than they are, and that they will bring them into the field in May; which they cannot do till August. They tell you that their army is 30,000 men, when they are not 20,000. You may refuse to assist the Spaniards, if you will; but the King hopes you will not.
Mr Secretary Williamson.] I will add only this to what Coventry has said; that the King has found, beyond the general remissness of Spain, their unreadiness to comply with what he has offered towards securing their towns, and they have not answered expectation. Securing their towns may go a great way towards their safety, and ours. The greater the danger is, it ought to be so far from being a remora, as to put spurs to our speedy resolutions in this great affair.
Sir William Coventry.] I go not about to defend Spain in their dealing with us. They may be faulty enough; but I am heartily sorry we have so long neglected Spain, that they are so low, and France so high, that they can do nothing for their own preservation. With the same truth of heart that I spoke to you and God Almighty, in May last, I will speak now. The King, in his Speech, is pleased to tell us, "If we cannot obtain an honourable Peace, by fair means he will endeavour to do it by War." But pray God this be not such a Peace as we would not have! What opinion the House was of, in May last, as to this Peace, will appear in the last Addresses to his Majesty. The reasons in it were pretty fully expressed; and I am confirmed in my belief since, that, considering the height the King of France is now in, 'tis impossible for me to believe there can be such a Peace made with him as will give us any security. Should it so happen (as the foreign Gazettes tell us of) that there should be a Peace, such a one as the King of France should think good; because it is done by the Confederates, and Holland, it is not our Peace. This swelling monarchy of France is founded on maxims of greatness and action; and the better bounds we make him, to prevent attacking Holland, he may the sooner fall upon us, if he come once to have rest, and be fitted for another flight. I know the difference between a Continent and an Island. 'Tis not every Peace will do our business. Some piece of ground, it may be, will be left to Spain in Flanders, and the King of France got quite out of Holland, by this Peace; but our business here is England; not Spain, nor Holland, is our business only. As for Spain, considering the poverty he is in, he may be thought very unwise, if he does not accept of a truck with France, for something he can hold, for what he cannot hold. 'Tis only the consideration of the House of Austria that makes him hold what he has left in Flanders. Is England, therefore, well? Does France want ports, or men? The poor port of Ostend is of no use to invade England, or Ireland. France has plenty of ports besides; but I apprehend still the safety of England. Heretofore, as in 1670, Flanders was so near approaching the French territories, that, if any disorders happened in France, Spain might have marched with an army, even into the very bowels of France; as the Duke of Parma did in the time of the League. That kept the French in awe, for that army was ever watching to disturb France at the very heart. Nothing, in this great affair, will do us any good, but keeping such an army in Flanders; that, by its vicinity to the provinces of France, we may have opportunities to disturb them; and, in consequence, by France disgorging Cambray and St Omers, we may see Flanders put into such a condition that Spain may be able to march into the bowels of France, if they continue to disturb their neighbours. Less than reducing the French King to the Pyrenean Treaty, will not do our business. The King, in his Speech, seems to endeavour a Peace, but cannot without force. I fear to obtain that Peace, now a treating, by War, which cannot be done by mediation. For the Pyrenean Treaty I would do any thing; but for such a Peace as we hear of, I will not give twelve-pence. Our danger is nearer by it than ever. The French, by that Treaty, may disgorge a town or two in Flanders, and gain a kingdom by it. The King, in his Speech, is not fully pleased to explain his intentions in that matter. He tells us of "ninety capital ships, and 40,000 land-men, as requisite for undertaking this war for the preservation of Flanders." I confess I am not able to speak to this matter; for I know not what "capital ships" means. Formerly, when I was conversant in the Navy, we went by rates and guns; but if his Majesty means third-rate ships, (The Speaker informed him,"that none under fourthrates were called capital ships.") I think there is no danger of the French attacking us by sea. Sicily employs their navy sufficiently, and I do not believe the King of France will bring his fleet from thence to attack us and the Dutch in our seas. There is a necessity of our strength at sea, to secure our plantations, the French having already a squadron of ships in the plantations. As long as the French fleet shall be detained at Messina, the Dutch are hired for Sicily. The main stress of our matter is to hinder the French from universal trade, all the world over; they being an enemy to us, and all Christendom. By this means, we shall cut off all that, and that makes me startle and wonder (I crave pardon for saying so) at that expression in the King's Speech, where he proposes "a War with France," and yet "a continuation of the imposts upon wines, &c. to be settled." It looks to me strangely I'll not trouble you often, and therefore pardon me if I am long now) And for "the 40,000 men for the land army," it looks as if we intended such an army as to undertake this great task ourselves, and support it by ourselves. Those Generals of all the Confederates, who have been so long coping with the French Generals, in point of conduct, have had their countries wasted, and their towns taken before their faces. I hope the officers the King chuses will not be men to learn, before they set up their trade; else I fear they will lose stock and block, and all. The King is pleased to tell us farther, "that, although the Dutch shall do their parts, yet we shall need at least 30 or 40,000 men on ours, and their dependences." I fancy their train of artillery and dependences (the Northern gentlemen, I hope, will pardon the phrase) is, as when a traveller in the North asks how far 'tis to his inn; they tell him, a mile and a way-bit; and the Southern men find this way-bit as long as the mile The contingences to 30,000 men is a kind of a way-bit. All this great work may be as well done, if a good body of forces be sent into Flanders, and well paid and disciplined, so as not to dare to take an apple, or a nut, without paying for it. But let us consider how seldom, of our own strength, we have done any thing, and what honour we have gained by being auxiliaries to others in former times. It may be, when we have landed upon our enemies, we have got something we could not hold, and the men did not what they went for. Queen Elizabeth sent four regiments, as auxiliaries to "the distressed States," as then they called themselves, under Sir John Norris; and so, more and more, as history tells us. This gave no jealousy among those they were sent to; but when we got footing on the Continent, they grew jealous that we came to disunite, instead of helping them; and they gave us maritime towns instead. When Cromwell helped the King of France in Flanders, (he did a good thing in a bad time) he sent no general army, but auxiliaries. When I was a boy, I remember to have heard that Hobson, the famous carrier of Cambridge, being overtaken on the road by some gentlemen galloping hard on, and he going his own pace, says he, "Gentlemen, if you'll not ride softly, I shall be at my journey's end before you; for you'll either tire your horses, or break your necks." This great business against France must be of continuance. By our turning the French commodities on their hands, that we have used to consume so prosusely, their people will not endure what he imposes upon them. When their trade is gone, they will rebell. I speak now in a dialect not used by me here. All this manner of proceeding looks as if France had still some friends amongst us here; but whoever has been partial to France, the King sees that the advice of this House is true and faithful, and that nothing is safe for the nation but alliances against him. Those that have been partial to France, see that he must be cut short, if we go on; and therefore they put the King upon making such great demands, in his Speech, as will not probably be closed with by this House, and so we must go into the French Alliance again: Thus tiring the Horse before the journey's end. And I pray God, they put not these great demands into the King's Speech for that very purpose. The King's eyes are now opened, and I hope he may see more and more, to reduce the French to those bounds that may be safe for us. But any Peace driven at, short of the Pyrenean Treaty, will not do our business, and I would have a Confederation so made, and that we think of a method that the nation may bear it, and that we may show the King what we are able to bear. That, and no other.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] I hear arguments against the Treaty the King has made, and all this while the Treaty is not known, what it is. I am not at liberty to tell you what the Treaty is, and I believe the Gentleman that spoke last cannot tell you. If it be that Treaty the Gentleman speaks of, then this Peace the King has made is not that Treaty. But thus much I can tell you, that if the King do procure a Peace it will be such a one as will secure all Europe, and this Nation. As to the number of ships, and land men, if you have a number superior to the King of France, he will not fight with you, but keep close upon the advantage of encampments, as his custom is; and you must have more men to besiege than to defend. If England and Holland undertake to block up his Ports, you must have yet more ships, since France has 120 or 130 capital ships, and if he ruins all your Trade in the Medeterranean, you cannot be there and in the Plantations too. If your number of ships be more than the French; you may do something. What De Ruyter lost (fn. 1), set up the courage and reputation of the French. As for the landmen, I understand not that conclusion that we should send a single Army. But you will have a fleet without landmen! You will put all our Coasts in appre hensions. Chatham's misfortune put the nation to 100,000 l. charge, by the alarm the Dutch gave upon our Coasts. The Navy must have 20,000 men, besides the Ports and Islands, and all this not intended for a land Army. Do you intend to govern all the King of Spain's fleet for him, and his Army? But I thought the observation was, that the King should get money by it. But the Question is, whether the King shall conduct it? There is no profit that he is able to get by it. Either you must think that he understands it not, or that he will make benefit by it. Accounts shall be given of the money, and as often called for as you please. There is nothing to be gained, only the King is to be trusted. The King tells you of "the imposts upon wines, as an easy tax." If there be wine in the world besides French wine, it will be drank here, and so there will certainly be importation. In conclusion, if it be not found necessary, the King will not employ the money.
Sir William Coventry.] Something seems to be inferred from what I said, which I desire to purge myself of. Either we must give money, hand over head, or we must go by some steps and calculations to make up a sum, to bring the King's ministers upon the occasion of giving us some measures to go by. In general discourse, 'tis said to be a Treaty for some little spot of ground the French are to give back to the Spaniards in Flanders. But I say again, that less than reducing things to the state of the Pyrenean Treaty will not do our business. Our whole hopes lie at stake in this, and if a bad use be made of this money we are to give, we are ruined. I move for no Peace, but what will do our business. If less than the Pyrenean Treaty will do it, I desire to see it, for as yet it is unknown to me.
Mr. Powle.] I hope it will never be understood that, when we desired a War with the French King, it was a rash and inconsiderate one. What that War is intended, I hope will be declared, that satisfaction may be given to the House. When we enter into a War, I hope we shall consider the end. We are told "'tis to procure a safe and honourable Peace;" but I would know what that is. If it be for such a Peace as shall oblige the King of France to restore all his acquisitions, and be reduced to what he holds in France, on the terms of the Pyrenean Treaty; under the condition the French are now in, we cannot expect such a Peace. But I fear this Peace is to leave the French King what he has conquered, or in a condition to get again what he shall give up, when he pleases. Or, in consequence, so to divide the Confederates, as to divide them totally. Such a Peace as this we ought to detest. The French King knows what that Peace is, proposed to the Spaniards and Confederates, and why it should be a secret to this House, I know not. In the next place, what assistances we shall have in this War, is darkly expressed in the King's Speech, where he tells us not what those Alliances are that he has made. We know not one Article relating to it, and why this House should be kept thus in the dark, and foreign Ministers know it, I understand not. We are told that the Spaniards are not forward enough in the Alliances. Unless they be comprized in the league, I know not why we should give any money to support it. The War may be left upon us and Holland. 'Tis fit we consider what way we should support the Alliances, whether by land or naval forces. We have thought it advantageous to do it by sea, and help them at land by our money—Like a man skilled at his rapier, who yet will fight with cudgels, and has his head broke. The number of ships must be according to what we can fit out. The French fleet cannot be in the Mediterranean, and the Ocean all at a time; and I suppose a less number of ships may serve than is proposed. I know not the use of landmen abroad; but I am sure they will cause suspicion at home. By an account, at a moderate estimate, these ships and men will cost a million to fit but. I would not begin the War at such a rate as soon to be weary of it. But when I see no use of these landmen, I am sure they will be discouragements to us. We have had the ill fortune to appropriate small sums of money to the uses we gave them, but vast sums never. Whilst we give small sums, there will be still recourse to Parliaments for more, but giving of great sums will make Parliaments useless. A great sum we are like to give, and I would see some grounds and reasons of entering into this War. In H. IV. and H. Vth's time, they subjected Treaties and War to Parliament, and now we would only know what is done by way of satisfaction to our Addresses. I desire to see things well at home to our satisfaction, and I shall then be as forward as any man here to support the Treaties and Alliances.
Sir Thomas Littleton.] I am for giving a Supply to support these Alliances. If they are within any tolerable compass of reason, I would rather give money in the dark, than not farther them. As for the "ninety ships" demanded in the King's Speech, and "40,000 men, with their dependences;" this will amount to 200,000 l. a month, for thirteen months. The thing is not to be supported, and it will take a good time to say when such a fleet shall swim at sea. Let us not over-measure the King of France. This great Tyrant has a great navy, but is not proportionable in men. He is extremely put to it, to fit out fifty capital ships. When he joined with us against Holland, we saw the bottom of what he had. He had few elsewhere then, and Holland had double, and more, at sea than he. As to the fear of invading us in the Channel, he has not one port that can receive a fourth rate ship, and from Brest he must have two winds to bring him hither. That is our security, that the French have no port for a body of a fleet; their ports are only for a privateering way. So that in our conjunction with Holland, a few light frigates will serve to secure the Bay of Biscay only, and for the Charante and Bourdeaux, a Squadron will serve. Forty capital ships of ours, and forty Dutch, may so top him, that he may set up a privateering trade, but can never hurt you. My design is, that we may have such a number of ships, and keep within such a compass, as to maintain about 15 or 20,000 men, which, added to the Dutch, with English pay, would stop the French progress, and endanger to beat them out of Flanders. I would have it this way rather than upon our own account. In the last Dutch War the Committee of Miscarriages was troubled with enquiries, and no fruit of it. If they be thus joined, and disposed of into several stations, there will be little occasion of Miscarriages, and the War may be carried on with pleasure to the King, and satisfaction to our interest. I will say a word of the league with Holland, for the preservation of Flanders, and the complaint of the remissness of Spain. I know not Holland, nor Spain, in this great affair; I am an Englishman. We hear of a project sent to the King of France, for restitution of seven or eight towns in Flanders, and his retaining Burgundy, and that the delivering up Tournay is only the difference in the Treaty; and is all this stir of 40,000 men and ninety capital ships for reducing Tournay only? Probably this league, or project, was sent into France without the consent of Holland. If this league be only to this purpose, and farther, if it be short of the Pyrenean Treaty, 'tis no wonder the Spaniard is uneasy in it. The league is printed, and yet must be kept secret to us. If any Treaty come short of the Pyrenean Treaty, or that the Spaniard know not of it, can you blame him for being shy of accepting it? This too of the Pyrenean Treaty is what Holland would have had before. One comes to treat with us from Spain, and we are private and secret; would not that put us to a stop, were it our own case? This Pyrenean Treaty will reconcile all parties.
Sir Thomas Lee.] No wonder, if a Prince will not take men into his towns, that Treaties are not finished. No wonder Spain should be shy of it. This sticks with me; take the King's Speech in the whole coherence of it, it is War. But to provide for War to make an undoing Peace—I would know, and be well understood, what we would have? I would not willingly have the Kingdom undone by the same steps it had like once to be, when we gave two millions and a half for a Dutch War. This, by the greatness of the sum, drew all the miseries of credit and a leisurely carrying on the War. This looks like money given of no use for that end you intend it, which is for Peace, and what will signify your appropriating it then? I remember, in the Dutch War, what we lost for want of intelligence. If this must be a War, I hope the King will do something towards it, out of his own revenue. I remember when the Triple League was made, we paid both for making and breaking it. Though this League is such a secret to us, 'tis public in other places. It looks as if we must purchase leave to help the Spaniards at more than England can pay. If these be mutual Leagues, they must be to answer every body as well as some body. Methinks to make this great preparation to join with Holland, and we and the Prince of Orange by ourselves, I have great reason to suspect this to be a gin to leave France yet in a better condition. I cannot take for granted what Secretary Coventry said, "That the King's income is upon other wines as well as French." The Customers can tell you what comes in now upon the new imposts of wines, that the King mentioned in his Speech. Upon the whole, if by computation the War will come to so much as the nation cannot bear, France at the last will run us up.
Sir John Ernly.] I hear it said, "That this demand of men and ships is so extravagant, as if it were to bring you into a Peace with France, rather than a War." But I hope we shall not submit to our enemies, for Peace of ourselves. We talk as if we were making a Smithfield bargain, as if there would be any profit, or benefit, to the King by it. If there be an over calculation of men and ships, they will not be employed, and so the charge will be less. The King desires you should know the bottom of his heart. Compute the guard of the Channel, and your Leeward Islands, and hindering the French trade (without which you do nothing) besides Convoys for protection of your trade, and I see not how all that can be done with less than is demanded.
Col. Birch.] You cannot forget that I once told you a tale "of a crab-tree cudgel, and a glass bottle." I put you in mind now that you must have a sharp sword instead of a crab-tree cudgel. I know the King stood in the place of mediator at Nimeguon, but I think that is allowed, and the state of that case is gone. That is sure not our turn now. This Debate was begun with much weight by Sir William Coventry. He spoke plain English, but I have not heard any thing spoken plain since. 'Tis for want of understanding, or that I am not worthy that those Gentlemen should descend to my capacity, who may inform us clearly if they please. At the beginning of the War, I did what I could in this place to have the Pyrenean Treaty kept on foot six or seven years ago. The two main things are to begin and end, and I see not yet to the contrary, but that less than the Pyrenean Treaty is not sense. The honourable person (Secretary Coventry) "had not yet in command" he tells us, "to inform us of the particulars of these Treaties." 'Tis strange, that, in a thing that concerns every individual man of us, we should be left in the dark. A strange thing has been hinted, "That so many Confederates will not be saved, nor suffer themselves to be saved." But in this we must have satisfaction, before we can go any farther, viz. What the Dutch will enter into towards this matter. We lose our time in debating till that thing be clear before us. He that is at bowls, and winks before he delivers his bowl, will never make a good cast. But when you have delivered your bowl, you may wink, and the bowl will run to the mark. If things be according to the town talk, there is a project of a Peace sent into France—And that hour that towns are given up according to that Treaty, and the League of Confederacy broken, we are delivered up to the great man, the French King. His tyrannical Government must have a hundred thousand men to walk his Kingdom to keep all quiet, and to supply his Flanders conquests—And that will keep Christendom in a Confederacy—I would know whether we intend this great work seriously—If a man's neighbour, that has a mind to buy, ask him three times more than the farm is worth, we may easily believe that his neighbour never intended to sell it. The King will trust us better when he sees we have been longer in the right, before he saw it. There was reason to adjourn these days we did to complete these things, and I agree, therefore, that, unless these things are now cleared, we adjourn the Debate some days, and, when that is done, that we may see all things in this great affair thoroughly, and that is my Motion.
Mr Secretary Williamson.] Birch would know of us what is farther intended. There are several Treaties on foot with great Princes, in their several natures and concerns, but not to be reckoned upon in the main Scheme. There is a great difference between the Pyrenean Treaty, and that which must be entered into now. That was defensive, and all Trade prohibited—
Sir William Coventry.] I differ from Birch, in this Motion, though I agree to all the rest he has said. I would not delay this business at all by adjourning the Debate; it will look cold. That may do well on the King's part to be as Mediator, but the King is absolved from that now. The King is under a difficulty, if France should accept of that Treaty which was then offered him. I would be glad to preclude that Treaty. There is nothing more towards oiling the wheels to that step than for the King to answer the French King with saying, "My people dislike that Treaty, and, now you have not taken me at my word, I must comply with my people." Then was then, and now is now. I therefore move that we may address the King not to accept any thing in this Treaty, less than the Pyrenean Treaty.
Mr Sacheverell.] I have been one of those that have been long afraid of this Treaty. If France saw us in good earnest, he would accept of Articles. Pray God there be none betwixt the French and us, not to be shown! We are called upon for a great number of ships. They caunot be set out till Michaelmas next, and what can that do? Where have you a Port in the Mediterranean, if the Spaniards be not comprehended? This advice is not laid upon a good foundation with the King. Let us show the King that as long as the French King stands as he is, with a great Army, Treasure, and Navy, we cannot be safe. We must put him so far as not to have a power to hurt us, which he will ever have by this Treaty now on foot, which the Pyrenean Treaty will prevent, with which you may be safe, and without which you cannot.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] I hope this Alliance, discoursed of, is not so perfectly made, but that we may have it part of our Treaty, that no Peace shall be made with France till they be reduced to the terms of the Pyremean Treaty 1660, which, at the Treaty of Aix la Chapelle, was communicated to us. Sending some ships to join Holland, and 40,000 l. per month, may occasion the saving Flanders. We have reason to insist now on the Pyrenean Treaty, because all the Treaties betwixt Spain, France, the Empire, and Lorrain, end in the Pyrenean Treaty 1660, or some other Treaty equivalent.
Sir Thomas Meres.] No man thinks but we look farther than this Treaty now on foot. The end we drive at, and all our former Addresses, were upon this of the Pyrenean Treaty, though not upon our books till now. Let not that come then as a new Motion, for, in former Addresses, 'tis as high as can be. But I will not oppose it if we come to particulars now.
Lord Cavendish.] I never apprehended greater danger than by the project of this Treaty sent into France. If any persons about the King have been formerly cold in this Address, it will show them now, and if any persons in the House agree to this Address now, it will show them too; and that there may be no dispute of this Address, I move that we may stand by the King in prosecuting this Address which we now desire.
Mr Secretary Williamson.] If you advise the King so far as the Pyrenean Treaty, consider there is something already done of a Treaty, and it may be executed to day. The necessity of the thing suffers not many days, and it may be this hour; but this moved for does not support the King in the engagement he is entered into. The King has offered to go farther with the Spaniards than they are willing to go with him. This does not the other business; an engagement is actually entered into, and becomes an obligation that you have formerly entered into, and this Treaty may be part of what you desire, and I move that you will lay aside this Question.
Mr. Garroway.] If Secretary Williamson will tell us what those conditions are that we are to support, he tells us something, but perhaps we are to support we know not what, that is Peace; but I would have it known to the World, that you will never forsake the Spaniards.
Mr Secretary Williamson.] The King has actually entered into an engagement for the preservation of Flanders, and these wishes from you of reducing things to the terms of the Pyrenean Treaty do not at all forward what is already upon your hands.
Sir William Coventry.] Least whilst we are debating this matter, the King of France should accept of the project sent to him of a Treaty, I would put a buckler into the King's hands before that. I move not to preclude and debate of that hereafter, but I would not have two hares on foot at once, and I move, as has been mentioned, that the Prince of Orange may be a party in the Address.
Resolved, That an Address be presented to his Majesty containing the thanks of the House, for expressing his great care of the Protestant Religion, in imarrying of his Niece with a Protestant Prince; and humbly to beseech his Majesty, that his Majesty will be pleased to admit of no Treaty of Peace, but such a one as leaves the French King in no better state and condition to offend his neighbours, than he is left in by the Pyrenean Treaty; (for the obtaining of which, his Majesty shall never want the ready assistance and support of this House;) and that neither ourselves, nor any other of the Allies, shall hold any Commerce or Trade with the French King, or his subjects, during the War.
Lord Obrien moved that the House should take into consideration the solemn burial of the late King, who had interment without Christian Burial; and was seconded by several, and 'twas ordered that it should be considered next day, in the afternoon, after the solemnity of the day was over.
Wednesday, Jan. 30.
Sir John Ernly.] Moves that the manner of the late King's burial may be desirable to the King; and I believe 70,000 l. may do the business, and raise a monument, to remain to posterity, which may be of the value of half that sum at least; and I hope that sum may do.
Mr Secretary Williamson.] I find a general agreement of the thing. I would have something more expressed from the House in it, as to the money. The monument to be equal, or superior to the late King's ancestors, I would leave that to the King's pleasure, and for so much as the show of one day would bear; the rest of the money to be for the monument. The King, in his intentions, had computed the prospect of the charge at 80,000 l. If there be a monument, the charge will not presently begin; it will be four years in building.
Sir Charles Harbord.] It was the King's judgment to place him at Windsor where Edward IV was buried; but Henry VII. was buried at Westminster, and they both were his Ancestors. The monument and covering cannot come to less than 70,000 l. Two months assessment added to the ship-money will do it; and let it be so done as to have it the King's Act.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] The great charge, and the Wars we have been in almost ever since the King's Restoration, have hindered the King from doing it. This is an act of great piety in this House, and I humbly propose a procession, and a monument; and if we take the King along with us, we do very well; since it is our present to the King, and the son of him that you would make the monument for. Therefore I would have it left to the King's pleasure, both the monument and solemnity.
Sir Thomas Meres.] If the King shall please to appoint the monument and solemnity to be at Windsor, a much less sum than is propounded will serve. If there must be a monument, I am rather for laying out the money in that than in a procession, which will be over in a day; and for him that died for the Protestant religion I would have a monument left to posterity.
Mr Henry Seymour.] The late King told me, not long before his death, "That if he would sacrifice religion, and his friends, he might have his life saved." He did not only desire, but command his son, the Prince, to forgive them that took away his life, and to make his Majesty to obtain his right through as little blood as might be.
Col. Titus.] I cannot think that the King can take it ill, if we present him our opinion as to the place and solemnity of the burial. I think St Paul's the most convenient place for it. A great many of his Ancestors have been buried there, and it was a Christian King that built St Paul's; King Ethelbert, who was the first Christian King—(I mean not the Most Christian King.) I think St Paul's to be the most proper place.
The Speaker then resumed the Chair, and Sir Philip Warwick reported from the Committee, That 'tis their opinion that two months tax be raised, at the rate of 34,000 l. a month, for the interment of his late sacred Majesty, and for erecting him a monument; the first month's payment to commence from the expiration of the present monthly tax, and the second the twelvemonth after; and that both the place and the manner of burial of his late martyred Majesty be left to the King's pleasure (fn. 2).
Sir Thomas Lee.] Considering the Debate the other day, I would charge land as little as may be, not knowing what occasion we shall have for it. The Imposition upon the law is expiring within a year or two, and I would have that continued a little longer time, which will do this business.
Thursday, January 31.
Complaint was made by Sir William Frankland, and others, of the irregular proceeding of the Collectors of the Chimney-money, and the sending for Gentlemen up to the Council-table to answer accusations from them; especially in Mr Robert Pierpoint's Case. (fn. 3)
Mr Secretary Coventry.] Suppose a Member of Parliament is Governor of a Garrison, and there be an accusation against him, (be it true or false) that he corresponds with the King's enemies; shall not the King send for him up to the Council to answer it? If any injustice be done to the Gentleman, on hearing matter of fact, there may be cause of complaint. He is a Member of Parliament, and may not the King, if he sees cause, turn him out of his Government, in Privilege time? Bring the state of the case of these Gentlemen before you, and then you are ripe to debate it.
Sir Thomas Lee.] The case is this; the farmer of the Chimney-duty complains of these Gentlemen to the Council-table, and makes it a private cause, in his own right. Before the duty was farmed, when the King had it in his own hands, I have heard that more money was made of it, and there were fewer complaints of the misdemeanor of the officers. When our poor neighbours in the country cannot be eased, when the Collectors have done them wrong, without fear of the Justices being summoned up to the Council-board to answer it, either no Gentleman must be a Justice, or you must make an Act that Justices may not be Judges in this case. I would have these persons that have broke your Privilege sent up for in custody.
Col. Titus.] You have been told that the Lord Treasurer recalled the Summons to the Members that were complained of by the farmers, being of opinion that the summoning them was a breach of Privilege, and the Members of the Council were of opinion that 'twas a breach of Privilege, and the House being so too, I would have them sent for in custody.
Sir Charles Harbord.] There is a distinction between sending "for a man," and "to a man" If "for a man," then 'tis a breach of Privilege; if "to a man," 'tis none. If it be to answer something I think fit to answer, if I be not punished for what I have done, I shall not be justified in it. If that be the case, 'tis no breach of Privilege. But if an Order be sent to a Member, as in the case of subpæna, or citation, to the Prerogative Court, to impede the Member in person or estate, 'tis a breach of Privilege.
Sir Thomas Meres.] If he that summons the Member shows a penalty annexed to the summons, then the argument is lost. There is no greater penalty than the disgrace of being turned out of commission of the peace in the face of his country (as Mr Pierpoint was.) It will be either looked upon that the Gentleman is ignorant in his office, or that he is guilty of some wilful neglect. The Chimney duty is regulated by a law, and the judgment, upon difference arising between the Collectors and the parties grieved, is final in the Justices of Peace. The Council-board, whose judgment is not final in these cases, sends up for a Judge to censure him, whose judgment is final. Suppose the King's Bench should send for a Member; in such a case, no man doubts but 'tis a breach of Privilege. In matters of state we do allow an authority in the Council-table. But this case is in matter of meum and tuum; there is twelve pence in the case. This House formerly voted the Leicester case, between the excisemen, a grievance, which you determined in the last Act of the Excise; and I could wish this was so too.
Mr Secretary Williamson.] I hope the Council-board will never do any thing against law. The person who had the Order of Council may offend in the manner of executing his Commission. If the Judges are complained of to the Council-table, on any notorious complaint, they are sent for, and the course of law is ordered against them. If you think fit, in a day or two, let the case be prepared to see the tenderness of the Council, in the proceedings against your Member, and likewise what your Member has done.
Ordered, That the person who committed the breach of Privilege upon Sir William Frankland, &c. be sent for in custody; and that the patent of the farmers of the Chimney Act be brought to the House, &c (fn. 4).
Mr Secretary Coventry.] "The King of France not to be left in any greater power than he retained by the Pyrenean Treaty, &c." Do you mean by this, that, if the King's Allies shall not go so far, you will quit their Alliance? I would have that explained.
Mr Garroway.] We are so unfortunate as, in these matters of Alliances, to be in the dark. We know nothing, and are told nothing that must be done, and so we make drafts of Addresses accordingly. If the Members of the Privy Council will tell us what has been done, we may know what measure to go by; but if nothing be offered, to us, less than what is contained in this Address cannot be done by us. When Alliances are imparted to us, we may do accordingly. Till then, I would have this Address go on.
Mr Secretary Williamson.] You seem not satisfied that the Alliances entered into go not far enough, and that you have not light enough into them, and therefore you make this Address; but that will not clear you at all. Suppose the Allies will not come up to this Address, shall the King then, for his own safety, make none at all? Shall he stand by himself? Another thing is, there may be an actual engagement in the Treaties already made, and that, for ought I know, ought to be executed now whilst we are addressing. Do you mean to disallow the Treaties if they be made, or that the King shall stop and go no farther in what Alliances he has begun? We are not bound to do according to what is talked of abroad. Be pleased to debate the Address, paragraph by paragraph.
Mr Powle.] The Gentlemen now against this part of the Address, "of reducing the French King to the terms of the Pyrenean Treaty" seemed to make no question of it, when the Address was ordered, that the Confederates were willing to come up to it, being engaged much to that matter already. If they will come up to it, we have our ends; if not, we have time to think farther what to do. Where is the delay, I would know, of the execution of that Treaty, (we are told of) in hand? I would not give money till I know for what, and, when I do know those Treaties, I shall then give my consent chearfully.
Sir John Ernly.] If the Address be to reduce the King of France to that strength of ships and men he was in at the Pyrenean Treaty, I hope that is not your meaning. I am as afraid of the Confederates making Peace as any man. There is no Treaty but what Spain has agreed to, taken in, and consented to. I would look a little back to our last Address, and the King's Answer to it.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] I do not say that the Pyrenean is too little, but I say, the King intends more in the Treaty now on foot than that Treaty. Your Address says, "To secure your Majesty, &c. from the growth and power of the French King, that he alone may not be able to disturb the peace thereof, &c." Suppose the King of Spain should treat with France about change of territories, and he has been offered it—Would you not have the King go as far as he can get Confederates to go? If they are not of the mind to hold out the War, and you enter into this Declaration, he may be left alone to stop that exorbitant power of France. The advice is good, of stopping that power; but, as the Address is penned, it is very inconvenient advice. Put not the King upon engaging, upon your words, in what may be of great inconvenience to him.
Sir Tho. Meres.] I find, that reducing the French to the terms of the Pyrenean Treaty is not exorbitant. There are, since that Treaty, twenty-six places in the French hands of the Spanish Netherlands. You come in to the Confederates by this Address, as they are engaged to one another already. But I find now, by some gentlemen, that Address is much liked, which we were checked for by the King. Now, this Address is done in prosecution of our former, and none less than the Pyrenean Treaty can do our work. We have declared our opinions already. To reasonable men we make reasonable proposals; and I would agree to the Address.
Sir Robert Howard.] I allow, it had been much better to have entered into this Treaty sooner; but consider what has been done since. There has been waste of fleets and armies, and the Confederates are in no condition to support this Treaty. This Address seems as if, upon good or ill success, we would be masters of equal fortune. Some, I hear, say the Confederates have already entered into as great a Treaty as this we have advised, (that is but hear-say) Now the Question is, if they be wasted and destroyed, and they come not up to this of the Pyrenean Treaty, whether shall all sink, and you will let France alone? But I am still one of those that think less than that Treaty cannot be done, to do us any good. No question but the King will go as near as he can to it; but I would not have him brought into a condition not to answer your expectation.
Col. Titus.] I am for passing this Clause of the Pyrenean Treaty as it is. Why do you enter into War? Is it that you love War, or for emulation of the power of the French King? 'Tis not for War's sake, for that you foresee is chargeable and dangerous. The reason is, the preservatior of the kingdom from the exorbitant power of the French King, dangerous to our safety. If you will say, you are not sure whether the alliances will do it, then it is to no purpose to enter into it with them, Will you make a War, and yet leave the French King as powerful as before? To abridge him of that power is the end of this Address; and I would pass this Clause of the Pyrenean Treaty.
Col. Birch.] 'Tis very necessary that we do, in this great affair, as those under the reputation of wise men in Parliament. If you mean to have the hands, hearts, and purses of all England, to prosecute this War, they must see to have their account by it. Keep up the Confederacy, and rather let it be longer than fall short. I would have you over-do them. Though the Confederates have reason to value the King's promises, yet get confidence in others—Whether is not this promise stronger, if the people of England will stand by him in it with their purses? No way can secure us but that. If the Confederates come not up to us, we will not confederate with them. If we leave the King of France as he is, he will fall upon us; let us prevent him, if we can. 'Tis absolutely necessary (my meaning is good, though my expression is bad that, in this thing, we must have plain dealing. "If the body of England cannot bear it, they must be satisfied," is as old as Henry IV. But, as soon as I know what is done, I would close with that as far as reasonably we can. But how shall we make a shot, and have no mark? There is great talk in town of a project of peace, sent into France, and the French only make the difference in resigning one town, Tournay. I would give a quarter of what we shall now give, rather than that Treaty should be agreed to. Upon the whole matter, I would pass the paragraph, as agreeing to our former Addresses.
Mr Harbord.] I remember, when I was at Grand Cairo, the Bashaw had no ships in port to go out to carry goods to Constantinople, and he laid an embargo on three French ships, and one English ship, Capt. Ell commander, for that purpose. They conspired together, and ran away with their loading. Though they came to Leghorn, to sell the goods they were laden with, a free port, yet the English Consul commanded all Ell's goods to be put into his hands, and they were all sent to Constantinople; but the French ships sold all their goods, notwithstanding their Consul's order to the contrary. Admiral Blake happened to be in Leghorn road at that time, and they refused him watering for the ships. He sent them word, "that he would ruin their port with one ship only, for he would go on board every Dutch and French ship in the port." And so, as many as came in were obliged to perform quarentine. (Blake coming from a place infected with the plague, which was the reason they would not admit him to water.) And he ruined their trade by it with all that came in, except English, which he did not board; and so they were free to trade. As I was coming to England, I overtook forty or fifty French seamen, cast away in the Bourbon, a French man of war. They told me that the English had used them barbarously, and they were to go to Marseilles and Bourdeaux for employment. So that if the French send so far for their seamen, what can they do upon us, to invest us by sea? If we may have plain dealing, and trust and confidence restored, we may prosper; which has occasioned me to give you these instances.
Sir Thomas Littleton.] Upon this occasion I would give the King assurance of our performances in assisting him, in affirmative words. I would have no negative Words put into the Address, to say, "that we will not give, but if we see the Treaty, we will give." I would first see where the fault lies. I cannot imagine, that the Dutch or Spanish Ambassador would abuse the King by these Treaties, and have no power from their masters to conclude them. That their Ambassadors should not have power to come into what they have done, and not take a Confederate in, able to assist—I cannot believe such a defect of power; and that the Spanish Ambassador must send to Madrid for farther powers (as we have been told.) I hope, by this way we are about to take, in a few days, we shall see where the fault is. But this Address does not exclude us from assisting the King. There is no negative thing in it.
Mr Secretary Williamson.] To what Littleton speaks of "foreseeing the powers of the Ambassadors to conclude the Treaty," I think that will not cost many days to resolve you; but I answer him, that part of power of finally concluding a Treaty is the last given to an Ambassador—To stand so long and so fully into such a Treaty. The obligation of Spain, in this Treaty, is as principal; Holland, and the other Allies, is accessary only. 'Tis true, that, in one Article, Holland is obliged never to make Peace without the consent of Spain, and to restore the Pyrenean Treaty; unless, for the sake of Peace, it shall be otherwise agreed by the parties. 'Tis plain, that notwithstanding this engagement, Holland answers the Emperor and Spain, that they have suffered so long by this War, and their poverty is so great, that they are not able to go on any farther in carrying on the war; that they are impotent, and the utmost you can hope and think of them, will be attended with this pullback. Therefore we cannot think, nor hope, in so short a time, to have a resolution of your Address; but you should provide for necessities in the interim.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] 'Tis a great mistake. The Spanish Ambassador may have power and instructions to sign the Treaty; but not to ratify it, which must come from Madrid and Vienna; and 'tis no unusual thing for Ambassadors to be without powers of ratification I wish the Pyrenean Treaty from the bottom of my heart: But suppose it might be part of the Alliance, and the War should be with France to reduce him to it, and we be driven to emergences, and we have no Peace to save the nation less than the Pyrenean Treaty—If we should have a defection of our Allies, must not the King save his Nation upon any emergency? If we give this of the Pyrenean Treaty as a binding condition, to have that and no other, I aver, we put the King and the Nation in danger.
Mr Harbord.] You are told "That the States of Holland are reduced to necessity, and are forced to tell all Europe and Spain, they can no longer support the War, but must procure the best peace they can." If we have a league offensive and defensive with the States, it is probable they cannot bring in Spain and the Emperor, because it looks like a league to get peace. The objection from Secretary Coventry is, "If an accident should happen (the fleet burnt or the Consederates beaten) must we stick still to the Pyrenean Treaty?" I answer, that this House has always been dutiful to the King, and, upon any emergency, may be called, and they have never failed to supply the King with their purses and advice.
Sir Tho. Littleton.] What is desired has been an usual thing done, and may be done again; which is to see this Treaty. If the Ambassadors sign, and the States agree to it, I would never stay for a ratification from Madrid, but give money presently upon it.
Sir Tho. Littleton.] Who are out of this War with France? Hamburgh, the Hans Towns, Portugal, and the Genoese, and the rest of the Italian Princes. What need we be afraid of those Merchants? We may displease them, but Monarchs we cannot displease: Only Portugal may have more vent for their wines by it here and in other places, and may be a gainer likewise by his salt. The two naval powers of Holland and England were never united, and if they say the word, though all the world be against us, 'tis no matter. It may be, Holland may have some river blocked up, in the Indies, by the French, but they have a territory there of 600 miles in length. But this naval power joined will block up France by sea, and in the effect so trouble them, that they must relinqush their conquests by land, to save their country. This, I believe, will be the effect of joining our fleets, and prohibiting Trade with the French.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] Judge what kind of affront this forbidding of Trade will be to your neighbours, to make that an Article of Confederacy with them. All the Italian Princes will be upon you, if you shut up their ports to French Trade, so that neither the Duke of Savoy nor the Pope (spoken merrily) may trade with the King of France. To make a general Order against any of our friends to trade with him—it cannot be.
Sir Tho. Meres.] How can we help the constitution of our Nation in this point of French Trade? If it goes on at the rate 'tis now at, 'twill ruin us. We cannot support our Interest without this prohibition, and let the Italian Princes and the Hans Towns look after their own interest. If Flanders be lost, when the House has been two or three years persuading the preservation of it by Alliances, we have offered our Aids, Advices, and Counsels, and they have not been liked, and we are told there is not time to do what we advise. We have been put off two or three years from suppressing the growth of Popery, and now we are come to a precipice and a push in this matter, it shall never be said to be our fault, that we suppress not this exorbitant Trade of France, that will ruin us.
Col. Birch.] I humbly conceive, that 'tis for the interest of the Confederates to do this thing we are about; that, whilst we are fighting, the French may not take all the profit of their wines and other commodities; and it seems to some that that is not a considerable thing. 'Tis our money, and the Dutch money, that must support the Confederacy, and may not these Princes and Towns out of the Confederacy, fetch the French Commodities, and so disperse them all Europe over, and for salt, silk, &c. and the French King have your money still? I would never have a Peace with them, but such a one as we may sit down and say, there is safety in that Peace. If you will suffer others to fetch the French Commodities, and so feed them with money, that, I am sure, will not answer the end.
"We your Majesty's most humble and loyal Subjects, the Commons in this present Parliament assembled, do in all duty and gratitude render our most humble thanks to your most sacred Majesty for the great care your Majesty hath expressed for the preservation and encouragement of the Protestant Religion, by concluding a marriage between the Lady Mary, your Majesty's Niece, and the Prince of Orange, being a Prince professing the same Religion with us, and engaged in arms for the defence of the common cause of Christendom: For the promoting of which we do, in all humility, and with the highest zeal to your Majesty's honour, and the safety of your people, beseech your Majesty not to admit of any Treaty of Peace, whereby the French King shall be left in the possession of any larger dominions and territories, or of any greater power than what he retained by the Pyrenean Treaty; less than which, we conceive, cannot secure your Majesty's Kingdoms, and the rest of Europe, from the growth and power of the said King, but that he alone may be able to disturb the Peace thereof, whensoever he is minded to attempt it; the places reserved by that Treaty to the King of Spain in the Netherlands being advantageous, as well by the vicinity of some important towns and garrisons to the Kingdom of France, as by the extent of the Territory. And we do most humbly desire that, in all Treaties, Articles, and Confederations, in order to the obtaining that end, your Majesty would be pleased to provide that none of the parties that shall join with your Majesty in making War for that purpose, may lay down their arms, or depart from their Alliances, till the said King be reduced at least to the said Treaty: And we do farther desire, as one of the most effectual means to attain those ends, that it may be agreed between your Majesty and the Confederates, that neither ourselves nor any of them shall hold any Commerce or Trade with the French King, or his subjects, during such War; and that no Commodity of the growth, product, or manufacture of France, or of any of the Territories [or Dominions] of the French King, be admitted to be brought into your Majesty's, or any of their Countries and Dominions, either by land or sea, or to be sold within the same; but that they be seized and destroyed wheresoever they be found, and days to be limited for the same, in as short time as the nature of such affairs will permit: And that in all Treaties, Articles, and Consederations, made in order to or for the prosecution of such War, it may be agreed and declared, that no vessel of any Nation whatsoever shall be permitted to enter into or come out of the ports of France, but that the ship and men shall be seized, and the goods destroyed."
"We do therefore most humbly desire your Majesty to proceed in making such Alliances and Confederations [as shall be necessary] for the attaining those ends; and though we believe your Majesty can never doubt of the affections of your people, yet, upon this occasion, we do, with all alacrity, and with one unanimous consent, renew our former promises and engagements; beseeching your Majesty to rest confidently assured of our perseverance in the prosecution of the said War; and that when your Majesty shall please to impart such Alliances and Consederations to us in Parliament, we shall, upon all occasions, give your Majesty such ready assistances and supports as may, by the blessing of God, bring the said War to a happy conclusion."