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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Friday, February 1.
Sir William Smith complained of Sir Solomon Swale's being convicted for Popish recusancy, upon Record, [in the County of Middlesex.]
Mr Sacheverell.] I would have you see the Record of Conviction. The most innocent of mankind may be convicted of recusancy by surprize, but the law gives men time to set themselves free from their Conviction by conformity. It is my opinion to have the Record of his Conviction sent for, and time allowed him to attend you here. I would not hastily turn this gentleman out of the House for recusancy, unless it be certainly known whether he be convicted or not.
The Speaker reads the Record. By this Conviction, any dissenter in opinion may be convicted, as Sir Solomon Swale is, it being "for not coming to his Parish Church."
Mr Powle.] I like not Gentlemens bringing Records hither, but I would have you command the officer to bring the Record; and then you proceed as you think fit.
Sir Charles Harbord.] 'Tis not for the honour of the House, whilst we make laws against Popery, to suffer a Member convicted of recusancy to sit amongst us, and suffer it here. But when such a thing is represented to you, you can do no less than examine it, and send for Swale to appear, and there will be no surprize at all, as you formerly did in the case of Sir Thomas Strickland.
The officer was ordered to attend with the Record on Monday.
[Debate on the frequent and irregular granting of Paper Protections.]
The Speaker.] Pursuant to the Order of the House, I have sent out an Order to supersede all Paper Protections. I find about a hundred in London and Middlesex.
Mr Powle.] This, of Protections, is another abuse that these long Sessions of Parliament produce. We are adjourned from day to day without doing business, and Privilege continues long. Formerly, when [there was] an end of the Session, there was an end of the Privilege and Protections. I hope we shall now do our business, and be prorogued, and so have an end of these Protections.
Sir Courtney Poole.] Moves for a search, all England over, that Gentlemen may answer, in their places, whether they have granted out any Protections under their hand.
Sir Tho. Lee.] It has always been the custom of Parliament, that we can protect no more than our menial servants. But that which frights people from complaining is your not declaring how far Privilege extends. If you make publication, "That men may arrest persons, notwithstanding Paper Protections," that will remedy the thing, and men may be safe, and the law may go forward.
Mr Garroway.] I hear the Lords are before hand with us in this of Protections; they have registered, and numbered their menial servants. If you find Gentlemen have extraordinary numbers, you may find out the abuse, and vindicate your honours in it.
Mr Thomas Wyndham presented a Petition from Mrs Cottington, complaining "that Col. Wanklyn, a Member of the House, protected Mr Cottington, her Husband, as his menial servant, against her hearing a cause depending between her and her Husband, about the validity of their marriage at Turin in Italy, (she being of that Country) and humbly desiring the favour of the House, that the said Protection may be withdrawn."
The Speaker.] Col. Wanklyn was with me about it, and he promised me that he would withdraw the Protection.
Col. Wanklyn.] I did withdraw the Protection, according to my promise; but the Bishop of Lincoln said, "That Mr Cottington had received a sentence in the Court of Arches against the law of God, and that the Gentleman was under a hard censure;" and so I granted him my Protection, but revoked it on Thursday last.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] This Gentleman, Cottington, it seems, is protected by your Member, because he thinks he has a righteous cause, and the Judges in the Ecclesiastical Court think he has a wrong cause. If you give your Members leave to protect persons against Judgments and Sentences, when they think the Judges are in the wrong, the House of Commons will be a great place.
Col. Wanklyn.] I do aver that Mr Cottington was my servant, and had done me very acceptable service.
Sir John Birkenhead] Whenever a day of hearing came, then Mr Cottington had his Protection from Col. Wanklyn ready. The Judge of the Spiritual Court sent to Col. Wanklyn, and I spoke to him six times about it, and he promised me to revoke the Protection. Then he certified his Protection, and a public Notary entered it, "recalled," and soon after Col. Wanklyn revoked his revocation. Let him prove Mr Cottington to be his menial servant. A man of Mr Cottington's estate to be his servant! Let him give it under his hand, that now he is his menial servant.
The Speaker reads an old Order Sir Edward Turner made when he was Speaker: viz.
"Resolved, That all Protections and written Certificates, under the hand of any Member of this House, be void, and called in according to law; and that menial servants be protected only, according to law; and that this Order be printed and published."
Sir Thomas Lee.] This case, complained of, is only a particular instance of a Member; therefore you are to proceed upon it, when the Member that offends has made his defence in his place, and judge it. Then you may make a general Order as to Protections.
Sir Robert Sawyer.] Col. Wanklyn signed a Protection, which is filed in the Exchequer, directed "To all Mayors, Bailiffs, Sheriffs, &c." in as high a style as a Proclamation, neither to stir hand nor foot, and threatening wha penalty would ensue for breaking his Privilege.
Mr Waller.] One example against an offender of thi nature has done more than all your talk and Orders. It King James's time, it was proved, that one made these Protections and sold them, and he was turned out of the House for it. This was done when Parliaments were short; much more ought it to be severely punished now Parliaments are long. The Romans had a Justitium that stood still for a time, but now for Justice to stand still seventeen or eighteen years, is not a thing to be suffered; and I would have Col. Wanklyn answer this giving Protections.
Col. Wanklyn.] As to this Protection that Sawyer speaks of, 'tis concerning Dry Hill in Kent. We had a verdict for it, and judgment; and by a writ of possession, we were legally put into it, and we ought not to be disseized. In the Exchequer there was a Bill of discovery; the Bill was answered, and, upon a tryal, we had legal possession, and I will satisfy the Committee of Privileges farther in it, if you please to refer it to them.
Sir Robert Sawyer.] Wanklyn was never in the cause, nor heard of in it, before the writ of possession.
Col. Wanklyn.] Jones has a good title to Dry Hill; he has had a verdict. In time of war, Jones was my quarter-master, and went often to make his claim, but, because he was of the King's party, in these times, could not have his legal course, for his right. I have a concern in it of 300 l. which I lent Jones, and he has given these lands in security for it; and I am concerned for supporting the title, and have been so all along.
Mr Williams.] The writ of possession was awarded to Jones, for Dry Hill in Kent. Jones was the Lessor, and the seigned Lessee delivered the possession to the Sheriff, and possession was taken accordingly. He alleged, that the Writ with the possession, was unduly obtained; thereupon the Lord Chief Justice awarded the party to be put out of possession, and restitution to be made. Complaint was made of the Under-Sheriff for not doing it, and it appeared that he durst not do it, because there was a Protection from your Member, Wanklyn, to Jones. Wanklyn himself was in Court, and, upon a motion that there being Privilege in the case, proceedings might stop, the feigned person, Jones, assigns his Title over to Wanklyn three or four days within Term. The Court was so far satisfied of the abuse, that the Court did order the Under-Sheriff, at his peril, to satisfy the Court of the Execution of the Writ by Saturday; but the Writ was not executed. The Protection Wanklyn gave Jones was read in Court, and it was directed, "To all Officers, &c." in very positive words, "not to dare to disturb the possession, because of Privilege." The Court was abundantly satisfied, but out of respect to Privilege of Parliament, they gave farther time for the execution of the Writ; and this day, under colour of this Protection, a motion was made in Court; and I advised Wanklyn to withdraw his Protection. I would have right done in this matter for your honour.
Mr Sacheverell.] Whether the Title was transferred to Wanklyn before the Controversy, and before the Writ of Restitution was granted, is the Question; and I would have Wanklyn asked, whether he was present in Court, when the rule of Court was given? I would have him asked that Question by the Speaker.
Sir Charles Harbord.] Ask him, when the Conveyance was made, and upon what consideration?
Col. Wanklyn.] Jones was legally in possession of the estate before I granted him my Protection. [Hewithdrew.]
Mr Hale.] This suit of Jones has been always reputed a vexatious suit, and no man that knows Jones will trust him for any thing; he is not worth a groat, nor has been for these twenty years. Such a man as Wanklyn, that is guilty of what has been made appear to you, is not fit to keep us company; and I humbly move that he may be turned out of the House.
Sir Charles Wheeler.] That which concerns us to consider is, whether a Member be legally in possession of an estate, and [whether] his debt upon it be a legal and true debt, and the estate fairly transferred to him; and whether he would defend himself in his possession by Privilege. We have Privilege because we cannot attend two services, the law, and here. Let Wanklyn fairly prove the debt, from Jones, and that the estate was transferred to him, in consideration of that debt, and then you may judge the matter.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] The case is for granting a Protection to support a litigious title; thereby laying the honour of the House at stake, for his private advantage. As for the Protection of Cottington, a man of 1000 l. a year, to keep him as a menial servant! And that Protection to Jones, so high-penned a Protection! You must remove the scandal from the House, and not susfer him to sit here.
Mr Secretary Williamson.] The Question is about turning out this Member. I hope the thing will be well weighed, before you turn him out. There is the honour of the House in the case, and the compassion of those that suffer. But I would go by such steps, as may consist with justice. It has been said, it matters not what the title is—If he had given maintenance to a litigious title, or had assumed an interest where he has none, then I abominate it. But all order, rule, and practice of granting Protections has been overlooked in the House; and this man is an unfortunate man, that he must fall for two errors. There may be many looked into, and in case that be the meaning of your Order for turning men out of the House, I know not where it will stop. There is a great difference in punishment between a mulct on the purse, and hanging; and seeing you will not go through with the business, where you find it, pray consider well of this man's case.
Sir Courtney Poole.] This Gentleman has been a gallant man, but now he is in poverty. I would make him an example, but no farther than asking the pardon of the House upon his knees. But as for turning him out of the House, I know not where that will end.
Mr Sacheverell.] To buy a title, pendente lite, is highly criminal in law. The getting this very Writ of Possession was a bad practice, and I hope this House will never protect such a man in what he has done, and I would have him turned out of the House.
Mr Finch.] 'Tis not the Protection of menial servants, which we call Paper Protections; that is the particular Privilege of every Member. This is a great offence of Wanklyn's, if he made use of his Privilege, as is said, pendente lite. But Wanklyn had not the title, till he saw Jones in possession. I would not condemn Wanklyn before we know the case thoroughly. I would refer it to the Committee. I fear it will be as foul as 'tis represented. The ancient custom was, that a Member came into the Court of Chancery, and, upon oath, declared the person to be his menial servant, and it was there recorded, but no Paper Protections were anciently. The thing itself is cruel, and the length of this Parliament aggravates it. It is not proper to expell your Member, unless you do the same justice to all in the same case with him. It may be the case of ten, twenty, or thirty Members, and some of your worthiest Members. I would have a Vote posted up, to show your dislike of these Protections; and then, if any Member transgress it, let him be expelled the House; and I shall readily give my consent to it.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] The Gentleman that spoke last desires you would not proceed to expell Col. Wanklyn till you have made a public Declaration, how far you will punish Members that give Protections, as this Gentleman has done. In the case of one of your Members, Mr John Ashburnham (fn. 1), you made no Declaration that you would punish him, &c. Your Journal said only, "That he had dishonoured the House." There was no law against his taking that bribe of 500 l. from the Merchants, about solliciting the King concerning the French wines. He was a worthy Gentleman, and yet you expelled him the House. He was no Judge, and you judged that taking a bribe. For the Honour of the House, either do justice upon Col. Wanklyn, or expunge that sentence against Mr Ashburnham out of the Journal, if you pardon this.
Mr Sollicitor Winnington.] I am unwilling to stand up, because I know something of this matter. Finch says, "he hopes you will not proceed against Wanklyn, till you know what the offence is." I hope no man here will do what Col. Wanklyn has confessed. You asked Wanklyn, "whether Mr Cottington was his menial servant?" He answered you, "That Cottington had an ill sentence in the Court of Delegates, and he did protect him from it; but that he did afterwards revoke it." What he has done is a great scandal upon the House; and Wanklyn's confession of it makes me take it for truth. Finch tells you, "it may fall out to be the case of many worthy Members." But I cannot call them so. If any are guilty of such crimes, I am sorry they should represent here, to bind me and my posterity in the weighty affairs of the Kingdom. If the matter charged upon Wanklyn were questionable, or doubtful, it were another thing; but the matter is so plain, that it admits no dispute. The measure lies only in the mercy of this House to the Gentleman, and, in that, I would go as high as any man.
Mr Waller.] Mr Ashburnham's case was hard, and very dangerous. I have seen twenty Members, in a morning, put out of the House. Some have disputed that power in the House. Some say, "This Gentleman, Col. Wanklyn, has been a soldier, and a commander, and therefore perhaps the lawyers are against him." I would, for the future, go by some Order about Protections, as has been mentioned. The Gentleman has been in employment for the King, and for this offence I would reprove him at the Bar only.
Mr May.] I discoursed with Col. Wanklyn about these Protections, and told him, I wondered he would protect a servant that he never had. I told him, I feared his doom would be to be turned out of the House, and 'tis my opinion he should be turned out of the House.
The Question proposed was, That Col Wanklyn has dishonoured the House, in granting Protections [to Mr Cottington, and Mr Jones, not his menial servants.]
Mr Garroway.] I would not have you make more points upon what you do. Judge it in particulars, but do not assign it in the Question.
Mr Powle.] I would not have expulsions out of the House too large. I would have the Question "contrary to justice, and the honour of the House."
Sir Richard Temple.] I will be no advocate for the person, nor his case. But I would have the thing done, as your predecessors have done; never without particular cause assigned upon your books. If you make the case general, 'twill never be a justification to you to posterity. To protect a Gentleman of 2000 l. a year, for a man's menial servant, is an extraordinary thing. That servant rather kept his master than the master him. I would go as high in this censure as any man, but would be uniform in it. If any Member has protected any person that is not his servant, he deserves your censure, but not so highly as in this case. I would have the case such as you may measure your justice by to posterity.
Sir Charles Harbord.] This offence is not only contrary to an Order of the House, but to the ancient Order, Constitution, and Justice of the House. That sentence you passed upon Mr Ashburnham, was for taking 500 l. of the Merchants, for service he had done them to the King, in a matter depending in this House. For this Gentleman's punishment, I would give it him only in a reproof at the Bar; and hereafter the House may take the matter of such Protections, as he has granted, into consideration. But for the first offender of this nature, I am utterly against having him expelled the House.
Sir Thomas Dolman.] I would have this Gentleman that has offended sent prisoner to the Tower, and that you make a standing Order, for the future, against offences of this nature.
Resolved, That granting Paper Protections to persons not menial servants of Members of this House, is against the justice and honour of the House.
Resolved, That Col. Wanklyn is guilty of granting Paper Protections, against the justice and honour of this House.
Mr Secretary Williamson.] This is but altogether to make a judicial sentence against the man, and this is a judicial cutting off a man from us; and therefore let us do all that may be, for clearing the justice of the House in particular; and that the nature of the crime may appear, I would have Jones and Cottington, and some of the persons he has protected, named in the Vote. It is the first time that ever a capital Judgment was applied to that fact, that had not a precedent in law for it. Therefore in order to make it a just and honourable sentence, you must say that every dishonour of the House should be punished with expulsion, which is a cutting off your Member from us. Therefore I would not do it, in this case, without naming the persons, and "that Col. Wanklyn, for granting Protections to Cottington and Jones, not being his menial servants, hath violated the justice and honour of the House." Thus I would have your Vote.
Resolved, That Col. Wanklyn, for granting such Protections, shall be expelled the House.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] You have said, in your former Order, about Protections, "That they are against law." This is a greater offence done by this Gentleman than that of Mr Ashburnham's taking 500 l.
Mr Secretary Williamson.] It was said, "If you begin not with this Gentleman, you will never begin." Therefore I would go on with punishing other offenders of this nature; but, as this case is put, I cannot give my consent to expell him.
Col. Birch.] I hear the case of this Gentleman distinguished from other cases, and I have heard that of protecting menial servants disputed. As the Question is penned in your paper, nothing appears on your paper, "that he has protected persons not his menial servants according to law;" but only expressed "menial servants." But I would not have this House, in their zeal to punish this Gentleman, make such a slip as never to be recalled. I would have it referred to a Committee.
The three Votes passed. [On the last the House divided, 140 to 109.]
The Speaker informed the House, that Col. Wanklyn ought to receive his Sentence on his Knees.
Col. Titus.] When pardons are read in Courts of Justice, the pardoned persons hear them read on their Knees. But no man, condemned to be hanged, receives his Sentence on his Knees. The sentence ought to be received standing. I have given my Vote against the Gentleman, because I could not give it for him.
Sir Thomas Littleton.] Wanklyn is none of you now; he is cut off from you, and therefore 'tis not proper to bring him on his Knees to receive his Sentence.
Col. Wanklyn was brought to the Bar, the Mace by him, to receive his Sentence of expulsion, standing.
The Speaker.] Col. Wanklyn, I am commanded by the House to pass Sentence upon you, for the dishonour you have done the House in granting Protections. Your Sentence is hard, and my task harder, who am to pronounce it. If you had taken my advice in private, you had not come to this disgrace in public. The House thinks it a great blemish to them, that Protections should be granted to persons who are not their menial servants, and you are in a great measure guilty of that crime. Mr Cottington has brought the greatest misfortune upon you imaginable, to be the occasion of your being cut off from this glorious body. I am commanded to tell you, that you are expelled the House for what you have done, and the House has done you a favour that you receive not your Sentence on your Knees.
Col. Wanklyn, after the Sentence was passed upon him, was conveyed to the door by the Serjeant with his Mace. He received his Sentence and went away weeping.
Mr Papillon.] Acquainted the House, that there is now in the River Thames a ship loaden with Powder going for France. On enquiry, I find for certain that her name is the Lucy, George Martin, Master. I move the thing now, because, if enquired into in time, she may be stopped at Margate. She has eleven hundred weight of Powder, and some lead, which is entered at the Customhouse, as for Guernsey, but is bound for St Maloes. Mr Alderman Aley can acquaint you fully of it (fn. 2).
Sir William Coventry.] This ship's loading being Merchandize, and going away as Merchandize, I know not how she can be stopped. This Motion is made now at three o'Clock, and we are to go to the King with the Address presently; and I will not be responsible that the thing will make no Debate, therefore I desire you would not enter into the Debate now. But I desire leave that we may do it to-morrow morning. No man can answer, when so many men are capable of judging, whether this Motion will come to a Debate, or not. And I would not have this apprehended so great a matter as that the Address should stop, and not go forward, by the interruption it may give us in waiting upon the King. Therefore that we may be doing something, I move that against Monday, we may see what a charge of a regiment of foot will come to in the King's pay, and what ships of several rates will come to with their men, and I desire we may send to the Exchequer to be informed.
Which was ordered accordingly.
[Adjourned to Monday.]
Monday, Feb. 4.
A Bill from the Lords to prevent clandestine and incestuous Marriages, [was read the second time.]
Mr Sacheverell.] By the Statute of Bigamy, the Tryal was at Common Law. A suit about clandestine Marriage may depend in the Ecclesiastica! Courts three or four years, and scarce be decided in that time; and people give in sin so long. I would have the Tryal of clandestine Marriages be at Common Law, and I believe that will do the business.
Serjeant Seys.] The Pope dispenses with Marriages, lawful and unlawful. The 32 H. VIII. regulates Marriages of the Levitical Degrees; and if any man be questioned about a Marriage in the Ecclesiastical Courts, he shall have his Prohibition. If he brings a Prohibition, the person shall have a day given him, and perhaps may be tried at the next Assizes. I would not have Prohition taken away, as this Bill imports.
Sir Eliab Harvey.] If you think fit to commit the Bill, I would have a Clause in it, for the more speedy determining Causes depending in the Ecclesiastical Courts, as directions to the Committee.
Mr Powle.] Whatsoever Bill comes hither to shake any fundamental matter in the Law is usually thrown out by this House. In time of Popery, there was always a contest between the Temporal and Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction; and if you take off Prohibitions, God knows how Ecclesiastical Courts will enlarge themselves. I wish the degrees may be preserved in Marriages, but such a Bill as takes away Prohibitions I would throw out.
Sir George Downing.] I would retain this Bill to prevent incestuous Marriages; for the Marriage of Uncles and Nieces is not provided for by the 32 H. VIII. but the rest of the degrees are; and there has been a difference of opinion in Westminster Hall about it. I would have the Bill committed.
Sir Thomas Lee.] What will the Lords say, when the main scope of the Bill is to take away Prohibitions, and you will leave that out? How can you justify yourselves in returning the Lords their Bill, the main scope of the Bill left out, and you agree to every thing else in the Bill, which is provided for already in other laws? 'Tis below your honour and dignity to pass the Bill, and leave out the Prohibitions; else you do it, and not do it. I am not fond of Prohibitions, but I would throw out the Bill.
The Bill was rejected.
[Mr Secretary Coventry delivered] the King's Answer to the last Address, which was read by the Speaker, [and is as follows.]
"His Majesty hath received and perused the late Address of this House, and thereunto returneth this Answer:"
"He is not a little surprized to find so much inserted there of what should not be, and so little of what should."
"In the first place, his Majesty's Speech was to both Houses jointly; and, the matter being of so public a concern, it is certainly very convenient the return to that Speech should be made jointly. For to receive several Addresses, and possibly very different, cannot but administer matter of distraction to his Counsels, and consequently to the affairs of the Nation. Nor is the House of Peers reasonably to be left out in transacting those things which at last must needs pass by them."
"In the next place, he observes in the Address of this House of the 20th of May last, you invite his Majesty to "a league offensive and defensive with Holland, against the growth and power of the French King, and for the preservation of the Spanish Netherlands;" and, upon his declaration of such Alliances, you assure his Majesty of "such speedy Assistances and Supplies, as may fully and plentifully answer the occasions." His Majesty hath made accordingly the Alliances offensive and defensive with Holland, and declared it to you in Parliament; so his part is performed. But, as to that of this House for Supplies, though he asked it in his Speech, you give no answer, nor the least hint of affording him any thing to support the Treaties he hath made. Only the old promises are put to new conditions; and so he may be used to eternity, should he seem satisfied with such proceedings."
"You are not to think that either his Majesty, or the States General, being to embark in so great a design, would deprive themselves of the other so considerable Alliances. Some Ministers of the most concerned Princes have known and approved his Treaty with the States General; and, that he hath not formally (fn. 3) concluded one with them, the reason is, that the distance of the places the Princes concerned reside in would not give time to perfect so many Treaties, to be ratified in places so remote; and, laying well the foundation in Holland, there could not be much doubt of their consent, for whose interest that Treaty is made. But nothing can delay, or indeed disappoint these Treaties, more than the failing of this House to support these his Majesty hath made. He must acquit his credit there, and see his word shall be maintained, before he can engage it elsewhere a fresh"
"In his Majesty's Answer to the Address of this House of the 20th of May, he told you how highly he was offended at that great invasion of his Prerogative: But you take no notice of it, but, on the contrary, add to your former ill conduct; new invasions, equally offensive to his Majesty's Authority, as contrary to his, and, he thinks, most other mens judgments."
"This House desires his Majesty to oblige his Confederates never to consent to a Peace, but upon condition the Most Christian King be reduced to the Pyrenean Treaty at least. A determination fitting only for God Almighty! For none can tell what will be fitting conditions for a Peace, but he that can certainly foretell the events of the War."
"You advise his Majesty to enjoin not only his Allies, but all the World, not to let a ship of theirs go to, or come from France, upon pain of loss of goods, capture of ships and men, not excepting either Ally, Prince, or Ambassador, (if amongst them:) He doth not believe that ever any assembly of men gave so great and public a provocation to the whole world, without either having provided, or so much as considered how to provide, one ship, one regiment, or one penny towards justifying it, (at least as far as you have acquainted him.) However, to show how willing his Majesty is to give all reasonable satisfaction to this House, how unreasonable soever the Propositions made him are, he doth again repeat to you what he said on the 28th past, "That if, by your Assistance, he may be put into arms sufficient for such a work, his Majesty will not be weary of them till Christendom be restored to such a Peace, as it shall not be in the power of any Prince alone to disturb."
"This is, in the consequence of it, as much as a Prince that values his word can say to you: And he is such a one. But to say he will make no other Peace, than such a particular Peace, whether able or not able, whether abandoned by his Allies or not, is not to be said upon solemn engagement, because not certainly to be performed."
"In sum, Gentlemen, the right of making and managing War and Peace is in his Majesty; and if you think he will depart from any part of that right, you are mistaken. The reins of Government are in his hands; and he hath the same resolution and concern to preserve them there, as he hath to preserve his own person; and he keeps both for his people's prorection, and safety; and will employ them so as far as he can. If this House encourage his Majesty to go farther in Alliances, by supplying him in maintaining those he hath made, his care and utmost endeavour will be employed for you. If this House doth intend this, it must be speedy. The time and conjuncture afford not leisure to consult long; and therefore his Majesty desireth that, without farther loss of time, you apply yourselves to the consideration of that Supply; for from thence he must take his measures."
Sir Henry Capel.] I hope no body can think it is my intention to delay the consideration of that great affair before us. I owe so much respect to a Paper of that consequence, which you have read, as to lose no time to consider it; and therefore I would well deliberate on a replication to the Paper. The great affair will wholly depend upon your Answer, and I would adjourn it till to-morrow morning nine o'Clock.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] The King has showed you, in his Answer to your Address, his dissatisfaction in pressing upon what belongs to him. He omits no care at all for the Public, for all that, and endeavours to give you satisfaction; he tells you, "he hath made Alliances, offensive and defensive, with Holland." But the less had been said here the better; it might have been five or six days ago—The King immediately commanded the Lord Treasurer to send to the Ambassadors—But 'tis in vain to make new Treaties, when we are put back to old ones. "If the King has arms sufficient," he tells you in his Answer, "he will not be weary of them till he has restored Christendom to such a Peace, &c." No body but God Almighty can tell the event of the War. Would not the affront you received at Chatham, in firing your ships, have augmented, if, after that, you had voted never to lay down your arms, till you had revenged yourselves? And yet now you would make Peace, and have the Pyrenean Treaty calculated purely between the French and the Spaniards, and no part of Europe else concerned in it; no, not Holland. When the King of Spain, or any of that league comes into a War, the King is a party in the Treaty of Aix la Chapelle, and by that you are not obliged to the Pyrenean Treaty—Now the King finds France go on to conquer Flanders. The case stands thus; here is great advantage to the Confederates by your sitting; we hear of nothing done, though great preparations have been made by the French in Alsace and in Flanders, and the Confederates are in a low and sad condition; but by the addition of the King's strength, they may hold up their heads, unless this Treaty with Holland be ruined by you; and then you will quickly hear very fatal news in the consequence. Allow that the project sent to France should be accepted, and that those conditions are not so great as you would have had, yet you will have the guarantee of the Confederates—That Peace the King of France has by the King of England; not that England makes that Peace, but that he consents to it. If the King agrees not to it, of consequence the King of England is left alone. If the King be not helped, can he make it alone? If the King be left out, what kind of Peace the King of France will give you alone, I leave you to think. I desire you to have assurance, that what the King can do, he will do. If his arms are weak, he can do nothing. If it were lawful for me to show you letters that I can produce, all the House would be of my mind. One chearful Vote will end all this.
Lord Obrien.] In that Address to his Majesty (in May) we pointed at "Alliances with the States General, and other Alliances, and for support of them his Majesty might rest assured, we would assist him." These Alliances, he tells you, he has made, the consequence whereof is War; and have you not brought him into a War? When Monarchies insult and conquer, the subjects may have conditions, but the Monarchs never. Therefore, without delay, I would go into a Committee of the whole House, to consider of a Supply for the King to support these Alliances
Sir Thomas Lee.] The last Motion does not consist with the Order of the House, for that must be upon a Motion for Supply precedent in the House. Else you never consider it at a Grand Committee first. To break Order does not consist with the business you are upon. I am not so well instructed in the King's Paper, as those honourable persons who brought it to you. It is a long one, and of great weight; and to take a right step in it is of great weight. Therefore I would have to-morrow to consider of it. No man but desires to reduce himself to any condition of living to suppress the growing greatness of the French. If I conceived that 'tis really a War we are about, yet I would see and consider it. One day will be of no great moment, when fourteen days have already slipped us in Adjournment.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] The King's Message is large, and consists of many parts. There are many expressions in it that grieve me. If we have given just offence to his Majesty, in our Address, and former precedents, instruct us, and we ought to be sorry. Whatever we do, it becomes us, in duty, to give the King satisfaction, and be ashamed, and ask his pardon and forgiveness. Preparatory to that, I would have the King's Paper considered to-morrow. I am of the same mind I was of in the former Addresses; but I am not satisfied that the Alliances mentioned are made according to our former Addresses. Formerly, upon our Addresses, we have had satisfaction, and have given Supply thereupon. In all former Alliances there was a quota expressed for Lorrain, Spain, Holland, &c. This forty thousand men and ninety ships, in the King's Speech, is a doubt to me, what quota Holland must come up to. Formerly we saw all before us—And when we know what our parts are to bear, in this Confederacy, or whether we are to bear the whole burden of the War, then 'tis time to talk of aids to support the War. We addressed the King in May last, for the preservation of the Netherlands to enter into Alliances, and since that time the greatest part has been taken; St Omers, and Cambray, the key of all the rest, for ought I know. I would adjourn the Debate till to-morrow.
Lord Gorges.] The House is not a proper judge of those quotas, Clarges speaks of, and therefore that discourse is out of the way.
Mr Mallet.] I speak to Orders. Several Gentlemen have spoken for the time of adjourning the consideration of the King's Paper. But I would be loth we should break off now with ill language. One false step made by this Parliament in this great affair, and England is lost for ever. What is done in it, I would have done with true light and good understanding, and I am for the Consideration of it to-morrow.
The Speaker.] Mallet calls to Orders, and concludes with a Motion which is very irregular.
Col. Birch.] I have such a difficulty upon my spirits, as I never had since I was born. As the Union of the House, in our last Address, gave me great rejoicing, so dividing of opinion, in this matter, makes me tremble. A right understanding amongst ourselves will prevent the greatness of the King of France, above all things. I agree that Order may be broken upon great emergencies—We never broke it but once, for money. But we are not now in a Committee for money; but that we may be informed all alike—Some Gentlemen may know how things are; I do not; and I believe 'tis known to them that are so earnest to go on now, and not take to-morrow to consider. We were all of a mind, the other day, in the Address, and I wonder it is not so now. Surely 'tis for some great reason, and I would know what reason. Whatsoever we resolve of, I would not have a negative.
Sir Hen. Capel.] I beg leave to retract my Motion of deferring this matter wholly till to-morrow. I would have the House now go nto a Grand Committee. Chuse a Chairman, and procced to-morrow.
Sir George Downing.] I have seen sadder days here than Birch speaks of, which he knows as well as I; but let that pass. I hope there will be no cause of division amongst us, and that, in what we do, we shall have no negative. I saw the other day the meaning was good to engage the Kingdom in the Pyrenean Treaty—But that Treaty was never brought to the Table. I saw the meaning was good, and therefore I said nothing. The thing is wholly mistaken; the King's Speech is entire. After you have voted Supply, the rest is gradual, and you may go by steps. Consider, is France to be dallied with? Threaten him, and not dare to strike him? We may be stricken before we are ready to strike. The King has told you, "he has made a League offensive and defensive with Holland for defence of Flanders" Has the King told it you, and now you demur whether to go into a Grand Committee, or no, to consider his Message? When I consider what has been called, "the grievances of French Counsels amongst us," they are departed, since the time the Prince of Orange, a Protestant Prince, was married to the heir of the Crown; and now we demur in going into a Grand Committee I move we may.
Mr Powle.] If I could be satisfied that we are wholly departed from French Counsels, I would not be backward to go into a Grand Committee, to consider his Majesty's Message. But these four years, Addresses have been made to prevent the growing greatness of the French, and the Ministers declare against him, and yet France grows great under these Counsels. I fear some inclination is still amongst the Ministers to France, and they have brought us to the brink of ruin. And we may lay all considerations aside, if we suffer this;—ever by urgent necessity to be driven from Religion and Property. The Apple of Contention in the King's Message is as if the House had no interest to concern themselves in War and Peace. If we look not to the interest of this House, 'tis in vain to think of any thing abroad. The King may make War and Peace, and the House may advise War and Peace; and this might have been done sooner, if you, Mr Speaker, had not leaped out of the Chair, and would not suffer Gentlemen to speak, but adjourned the House. I can show precedents out of my small store, that the constant practice of the House has been otherwise. Now we are told, "that here is a League offensive and defensive made with Holland, for preservation of Flanders." And Money is called for to maintain that Treaty, and we know not one word of it. Must we be kept thus in the dark! When an Aid was desired in Parliament for supporting the Triple Alliance, Mr Secretary Morris opened every particular of it to the House. In the last War with the Dutch, the King offered to show us all the League with France. We are told in the King's Paper, "He has communicated this Treaty to several of his Allies, and they approved it;" and why must we only be kept in the dark, who are called upon for money to support it? We have not brought Christendom into this danger; therefore we should not be alone to bring it out. I would see this Treaty, and then will support it as far as any man. I would adjourn the House now, that in the mean time the honourable persons who may know our desires, may come better instructed to inform us farther.
Mr Secretary Williamson.] It is moved, "That the Debate be adjourned to see how things stand, as to the Alliances his Majesty hath entered into." And not to enter into the matter, unless the House go into a Grand Committee. But because something has been spoken, as to the Kings Ministers, I will answer. I will say, I know not the Alliances, Allies, nor the quota. For the Terms we are upon, as much has been said as is fit to tell you. The King has spoken it out. 'Tis a League with Holland, offensive and defensive, and that is spoken out; and after this is known, I take War to be declared, and that our neighbour, the French King, is at liberty, by the law of God and man, to take advantage upon us, when the King has so said to his people. Those Alliances are made, that you asked for, and which the Nation longed for, and groaned for, and 'tis a cause for the French King to enter into War with us, and to seize our Merchants. Let God and the world judge now, should this thing rest here, where the fault lies. This is, in sum, to answer all intermediate doubts of what Alliances are produced by the King; and there is a great difference between what you ask of the King to do, and what the King does of himself. The Thanks of this House did not go to the Alliances the King told you he had entered into, and that is a great arrear of Thanks. I move that the House will go now into a Grand Committee.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] I find it insisted upon, that we should see the Treaty. I ask this only, why is not this Treaty published in Holland, as well as here? Showing it, or not showing it, depends upon the nature of the Treaty. Showing the Treaty is when the King pleases, but 'tis not always to be showed upon demand. If forty precedents of showing Treaties in this House, be better than five hundred precedents to the contrary, I leave it to you. If the condition be of part of a Treaty to be published at the Parliament of Paris, or here, it must be by both parties so agreed. There may be things in the Treaty not fit to be communicated to five hundred men.
Mr Jones.] I am sorry we are compared to the Parliament of Paris, or the States of Holland. I am but raw in the matter of the King's Message, and would fully consider of it. If there be reason for it, I should supply the King to support the Alliances, but I doubt surprize in it, it is so hastily moved for. I am for to-morrow to consider of it.
Sir William Coventry.] I will not enter into the merit of the matter. I will only speak to the adjourning it till to-morrow; and then, when it comes before me, I'll make the best of a bad matter. I would then deliberately consider the King's Speech, in the matter of the Supply, &c. and I fear that unity will not be to-morrow, which we may have to day in putting it off. But I despair not of it to-morrow.
Lord Cavendish.] The honourable person at the Bar put it to you, "That this Treaty was not fit to be communicated to five hundred." But I think it very fit to be communicated to five hundred that must give Supply to maintain it. By the great delays of Counsels, wherein we are kept in a dark mist, I cannot but suspect that, if we blindly give Supply, without knowing for what, it will be too late to consider any thing. All agree we owe so much respect to the King as to consider of his Message, besides the importance of the thing. Therefore I would have to-morrow for it.
Mr Sollicitor Winnington.] I rejoice at the unanimity of the House, in preventing the growing greatness of the French King, that he may not destroy us. I observe that the present Question is about the time of consideration, not of the Supply itself: To delay it till tomorrow will seem some dissatisfaction to the King—I find still we are unanimous for Supply, to suppress the greatness of the French King. Delay will look as if there were not full satisfaction in every man, in the King's Speech. The nature of the Alliances is not (indeed) set out by the King. Peace and War, 'twas never doubted, was the authority of the Crown to determine. But all instruments of Treaties of that nature, in the Crown Office, show that the King makes Peace and War for the people's good, add Parliaments are to give assistance to the King's good intention. Though Kings resolved it, yet Parliaments voided it. The Question is now, whether you have light enough into Alliances to do what you have promised the King in your Addresses; now the King has told you, plainly, "he he has made an Alliance offensive and defensive with Holland, &c." For farther particulars, I would not stop for a day or an hour. I have seen public Articles about Trade and Commerce; but to show particulars about a Treaty gives great advantage to the King of France. It is particular enough to me, if it be to save something. Let us not have the imputation of going one step backwards.
Sir Tho. Littleton.] I hope that by to-morrow leave may be given to the honourable persons of the Council of this House, to reveal the Treaty in more particulars, and I hope the House may concur in the King's desire. The main thing that sticks with me without more ado, is the end of this Treaty. That which I desire to know is not such particulars, as where the French are to be attacked, but the end whereunto this Treaty drives. For four or five Towns to be given up in Flanders, and by it to dissolve the whole Confederacy, I would be satisfied in that. 'Tis possible that may be to confirm the greatness of the King, of France, instead of weakening him. To this end, I would see whether these things may be communicated to us to-morrow.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] The King has made a League offensive and defensive, &c. according to your desires. All other Countries concerned are contented with seeing it, by their Plenipotentiaries without their Parliament, and why should we be alone? And they desire it should be put in execution.
Sir Tho. Meres.] If this Treaty, that the honourable persons, the King's Ministers, tell us of, be so good and desired by the Confederates, and we may not see it, it may be good for them, and not for us. However, if we must be urged, upon our words, to stand by his Majesty in these Alliances, pray let it be upon our own terms, for we never promised the supporting them, but upon our own terms; and let us see whether the Treaty be good for us. I have read the King's answer to our last Address, I see nothing new in it. I thought we should have seen Alliances—And should we turn now of another mind, we shall show the great vanities of our Counsels. The project of this Treaty, I hear, is for giving up six or seven Towns of the Spaniards. It may be good for Holland, it may not be good for England. It may be good for Spain; it may be to get three or four Towns in Catalonia. If we had more light, I would argue better; but as it is, we can say but the same thing over again. We said, in our Address to the King, "No, unless Alliances were imparted to us." Else we must stick upon hearsay, of what the Alliances are, till they be imparted to us, and we better informed. I would willingly hear a new thing said. It is past over in silence that we have a right to the defence of England. Though I would not move an angry point, yet I must say, that 'tis the call of our Writ; by it, you are "to consult of such arduous and difficult affairs as shall fall before you." You have a right then to discourse it, and you have a right to pay for it. We have always spoke for it. There is not a step we have made but is all wrong, if we have not a right to the defence of the Nation. Our Ancestors have protested to their right of this. Your Privileges are, never the less, for burning the Journals of this House; your right is good. Consider your right of defence, and the end of it, &c.—The Pyrenean Treaty, that is so put home upon us, is but an equivalent; we desire this Treaty should be as safe for Christendom, as that Treaty was. What shall we be the better for Tournay, to be given up to the Spaniards, to have more exchange of lands next year in Catalonia, till all Flanders, perhaps, is exchanged away at last? Supply is demanded, and by the Order of the House, we are not to go the same day into a Grand Committee to consider of it. I would have the Order read in that matter.
Mr Secretary Coventry reads the Address of May 25, &c.— "That your Majesty may rest confident and assured, that when your Majesty shall be pleased to declare such Alliances in Parliament, &c. we will most chearfully give your Majesty from time to time such speedy Supplies and Assistances as may fully and plentifully answer the occasions."
Sir Thomas Lee.] Let us see the Address in its whole coherence; that part of it which Coventry reads, has reference to some other part of the Address. Therefore I would have the whole read.
Mr Finch.] When we are told that the King has given us a bone of dissension, in his Message, 'tis no wonder if we have one here in the House, and are told of "French Councils." The King has married his Niece to the Prince of Orange—I would know what those steps are so spoken of, "still towards French Councils," that occasion these dissensions amongst us. I would let the world know the reason why we apprehend French Councils. If we have suffered damage by the Ministers delay in concluding these Alliances, we ought not to increase jealousies, by letting it be longer in their hands, but dispatch it. A sharp Sword must do now what a Cudgel might have done formerly; and, by the same reason, it will cost more hereafter, if we delay it now. We have been told by some Gentlemen that they would see the particulars of these Treaties. To that it has been answered, how inconsistent would that be in so great an assembly! There was a time, (and I hope there will never be such another) when the King and Lords were put out of the Government, and the Commons only retained. Yet they thought not themselves fit to manage affairs of State; but made a Council of State for that purpose. I would not abase the Prerogative in this great affair, now so useful to our safety as well as the King's honour. But 'tis said, "That other Princes know these Treaties, and we must not." To that I answer, they are a supreme power, and we are not. We are told likewise, "That there are many precedents that the King has anciently advised with his Parliament, in Treaties." But we need not ancient precedents for that; the King has communicated his to you now; and now that our neighbour's house is on fire, and 'tis coming to our own, a Punctilio of Order of our House may stop the affairs of all Christendom. There is no force in Christendom able to withstand the French. The hazard of the War is great, and the expence is as certain. We are unfit to partake the Prerogative with the King, though he may please in his grace and favour sometimes to descend to us. Do you expect the thanks of the Country for delay? Their rage, rather, and the discontent of Christendom; and I hope, the Order of the House will never obstruct this great affair.
Mr Sacheverell.] I know not what answer to give, &c. but I know what mind the Country are of. They will not be pleased if we thrust a sum of money blindly into those hands that have so ill managed affairs. 'Tis but to strengthen the hands of those who have ill managed things for the interest of the Nation. They, by virtue of their places, mey reconcile themselves to the King, which I cannot, being a private person; but I must, in public, ask those Gentlemen, when the House has branded them for doing wrong, when ever the House has sat down tamely under it? The same influence from these men has branded the Parliament, to make it odious. As to the King's Prerogative, we have done it wrong in nothing, and such as persuade the King that we have done so, deserve not to have the management of this great affair. How should those Counsellors see this now, that have gone seven years another way? Four years together the Parliament addressed Henry VII. about the loss of Britany. They gave a Supply for it, and they trusted the Ministers, and as long as they gave nothing was done, and when Britany was lost, much about the 3d of December, just at that time, the King, Council, and Chancellor, all moved the Parliament for a Supply, or all was lost. In Edward IVth's time, he desired to make his Will, for he would go over to succour Burgundy (fn. 4). And he went over when all was lost. The great men about the King had pensions then from the King of France, on record in the Parliament of Paris, for life, all but the Lord Hastings, Lord Chamberlain, who would give no acquittance for it. (This of Edward IV. was an untoward case.) When Henry VII. was first moved by the Duke of Britany for assistance, the King of France sent to him to sit still. His Council advised him to mediate a Peace, and they mediated so long till all the Dukedom of Britany was gone—12 Edward IV. The Ministers pursued this practice. A War, and an Alliance was made with the Duke of Burgundy, in all haste, and, when that was done, the Ministers found it a fine game to receive pensions from the French, and raise money at home, and always were in haste, and they must have money from the Parliament for this War to save Burgundy from the French; but all Burgundy was lost by it. What end can our Ministers now have in not showing us these articles, but their being conscious to themselves who made the French Alliance, that they are faulty? The very same steps are taken now as were then, in all things, but taking pensions. The King's Prerogative of making Peace and War, is always allowed, as I will vouch, when there is an entire compliance between the King and Parliament, and no division, as in 6 Edward III. The King called a Parliament for a particular end, to consider of the French affairs; they met on Monday, and adjourned to Thursday, without taking any intimation from the King. They advised him to consider of the affairs of Scotland and Ireland, though they were not at all recommended to them. The Commons advised by themselves, and the Bishops and Lords by themselves, and it was called "a new advice." The Commons desired Prorogation, because all their Members were not come up—They met, and the Commons gave by themselves, and the Lords by themselves (fn. 5). I can never pass by that—Nor ever will give a penny of money till the Treaties are produced.
Sir John Ernly.] Misfortunes of a later date did arise, more lately, by a difference between the Lords and Commons. I have heard to day such language of "French Councils, and French money," as I never heard before. Where any such are to be found, let them be he hanged, and the money melted, and put down their throats. The King has done in the Alliance more than you ask, and has given the best security in nature. He has chosen the best Alliances, and 'tis at your door to have them supported. Can it be thought you can have help, if this Alliance be not embraced? Shall Spain, or the Confederates help you? Are you told of this War, and will you not enter into it? This War will not keep cold. The French may seize your money now in their Kingdom, and your Leeward Islands. Is your House on fire, and will you not quench it, but run to enquire who made it, by thus exclaiming against Privy Counsellors? Go into a Grand Committee to consider of supporting these Alliances, the best course you can take.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] If you will allow these discourses, there is the same freedom for me, as for Sacheverell. 'Tis "evil Counsel," I am sure, to defer aiding the King to supply these Alliances, and 'tis as desperate Counsel as France can give. If there be any Traytor in the King's Councils, let him be found out. Let not a thing be eternally (fn. 6) * * * * * as this will be the consequence. Therefore I protest against it.
Mr Sacheverell.] I desire to explain myself. The distance of the place from me to those Gentlemen, that have taken exception at what I said, might make me misapprehended. They apprehended, "that I seemed to charge the present Council with taking French money." I said, "there are all the steps now taken as in the precedent I mentioned, except taking Pensions."
Sir Edward Baynton.] Did I think that putting off the consideration of the King's Message till to-morrow would retard the main business, I should not be for it. To be unanimous, is more than in the Time of to day, or to-morrow. Presently to go into the great business ! I doubt much that we are in the dark, as much as when we came out of the Country. I am so still. Formerly, upon great occasions, when Aids were demanded, we went down to consult our country, and had nothing but a day's time to consider the matter; that we must leap into money, from managing our Country affairs. Whip a Vote for two Millions in the Dutch War, for ships, and we never have been strong at sea since; such temptation that money gave to be profuse. Pray let the consideration be to-morrow, &c.
[The Question for resolving into a Grand Committee, to consider of his Majesty's Supply, was carried, 193 to 151.]
In a Grand Committee.
Mr Sacheverell.] I desire to know thus much; whether the King makes this Alliance, because the French will not accept the Mediation. If so, I scorn both the Alliance and the money. The other thing I would know is, if this Alliance be for suppressing the growing power of the French King?
Mr Secretary Coventry.] Such an Alliance is made, as the States General do agree to; and the Spaniard is very well pleased with it.
Mr Garroway.] They may be both so, and yet the Alliance may not be good for England. I would know therefore something farther.
Sir Edward Dering reported from the Committee, that they desire leave to sit again to-morrow, at ten of the Clock, to consider of a Supply "to support the Alliances his Majesty bath entered into (fn. 7)."
Agreed to by the House.