Grey's Debates of the House of Commons: Volume 7. Originally published by T. Becket and P. A. De Hondt, London, 1769.
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Friday, May 20.
Mr Harbord reports, from the Committee of Enquiry into the Miscarriages of the Navy, some Miscarriages of Sir Anthony Deane, and Mr Pepys, relating to Piracy, &c. (fn. 1)
Colonel Scott informed the Committee, "That having opportunity of acquaintance with several great men belonging to the Navy, by their death he is discharged from obligation of privacy, things being now settling in England. He said, "That Monsieur Pelisary, Treasurer General of the French King's Navy, showed him several Draughts of Models of Ships sent him from England; the Government of the Admiralty; the Number of Ships; the Strength and Condition of the Navy; Methods of Sea-fights, collected from the best Sea-commanders; the Satisfaction of the Sea-men, those bold fools, who for Money will do any thing; Maps of the Sands and Soundings of Medway and the Kent Shore, the Isle of Wight; Remarks upon the present Condition of Plymouth, and Plans of Sheerness and Tilbury. He who brought the Yatchs for the Canal of Versailles, was Captain Deane, who could give a farther account. All these Papers were signed by Pepys. Monsieur Pelisary had orders to use Capt. Deane with great kindness. He is the same per son, who is now called Sir Anthony Deane. He said, Pepys would not part with these things but for so good an end as 40,000l. (But there is a mystery in this, more than I dare speak of.) But said Scott, "I hope these rogues that have betrayed their country are not of our Religion, the Reformed." Pelisary answered, "They are of the Devil's Religion; let us drink off our wine." Because there are endeavours to take off Scott's Testimony, he desired two that are at the door might be examined.
The Evidence, at the Bar, said, That in 1674, he had a promise to command the Jersey frigate, bnt Esquire Pepys hindered him of it. The only reason was, "That the place was too good for him," and he told him, the Duke of York said it was; it was a command for the best Knight in England. The command was never settled upon any one. In May 1679, he saw Colonel Scott in London, and often heard him say, "That Pepys was a great betrayer of his country, and in time he would make it appear; and that Pepys was one of the Arch-Traytors of the Kingdom." And he heard Pepys commend the Catholics for their constancy in Religion.
Mr Harbord.] There have been reflections upon Pepys formerly as to his Religion (fn. 2); and by collateral proof, I shall much convince the House, that he is not of our Religion. I am sorry I must say it of a man I have lived well withal.
John James, of Glentworth, in the County of Lincoln, said, "That, when he served Mr Pepys as a Butler, there was one Morello, who used to say Mass at the Queen's Chapel, St James's, Somerset-House, and Whitehall, and usually went into the room with the Queen. He was frequently shut up with Pepys in his closet, singing of Psalms. He used to carry a pistol and a dagger, and went often into St James's Park, and went to Pepys's house at Chelsea. He was a learned man, and would dispute with Pepys in Philosophy. He would be often up till three of the clock, singing Psalms, and Pepys and Morello were shut up together. Pepys would commend the Catholics for their constancy in Religion—He hath heard Morello say, he had studied at Rome. He had Beads and Pictures, and a private door to his room; and when a Proclamation was out for Papists to go out of Town, Pepys helped him away with his Papers and Books. He has heard Pepys say, "That there was not an Employment in the Navy for any man, unless in the Duke's Books, and directions from the Duke."
Sir John Hotham.] I spoke with Mr Oates in the Lobby, who says, "He knows this Morello, and that he was a Jesuit, and with great importunity procured himself to have the care of the English business."
Serjeant Maynard.] I would know whether ever Copies of Informations can be given to a man accused or indicted in any Court. You must first head them, and he may have Copies of the Articles in due time, when you think fit. Entries must be made first in the Journal, and then you may see what Defence can be made for giving the French King such information as you have heard.
Mr Pepys makes his Defence.] It is a mighty misfortune that I am charged with so many accumulative ills at once, and all by surprize. I will not speak by way of complaint of the Proceeding, but bemoaning myself in this Charge upon me of breach of my Duty to my King, my Country, and the Government; in all which respects if I am guilty, and what is charged be true, I deserve to be thought the greatest Criminal in the world. But pray allow me to say this, that I have not failed in any attendance upon the Committee, &c. and I never heard of any accusation from Colonel Scott there, nor from James. All this accusation is as fresh to my hearing, as it is totally foreign to all the actions of my life. It is not reasonable that I should be acquitted of this Charge by any professions of my own, but I submit to any method of purging myself. As a Member, I know not whose misfortune it may be to fall under reproaches, and I expect no more than as any Member would by himself, as an Englishman, and a Member. But I will not let you go away without making some Defence for myself. If I fail in repeating the Charge, it will be for want of memory, and not design. I am accused, "That I was a man concerned in the Ship Hunter, &c." (See the printed Journal.) I appeal to the Committee, whether any thing passed there, &c. There was one Query, "Whereas the House was informed that there were several hearings about the Ship Hunter at the Admiralty, &c." I was demanded what passed there of all that matter. As to what related to the Hunter before the Lords of the Admiralty, and related to myself, I answer, it never was at the Admiralty, nor was I directly nor indirectly interested in any thing of it. I knew neither Ship, nor share in her, nor the cause there depending. If I did, never trust me more. I beg I may be referred to my Books. Possibly, in the Dutch War, applications might be made to the Admiralty for Letters of Reprisal, and such a Commission might be granted. If upon search there appears to be such a Commission, I will take upon myself the blame of it, so cautious I was of it. As for the other part of the Information, the Informer will not say he ever knew me; for the Captain is a stranger, &c. and till he seized the Ship, I knew nothing of it. It is not improbable, that when this Cause was at the Council Board, the Case was stated in writing, and the foulest practice that was ever done by Englishmen. Supposing this Case of the Ship Catherine as it is stated, it is worthy your enquiry, as the greatest piece of cheat that ever was, and so filthy in all circumstances of those that complain, that I wish you saw all the Proceedings. If any man will say, I know a word of the Ship Hunter, &c. to be true, I will give it under my hand, that I am the greatest villain in Nature. As for the charge of Colonel Scott, (Lord! Sir,) it is a crime upon me of that weight, a man of my place, and in a time so dangerous, that I am willing to contribute to my own prosecution to clear myself. This Gentleman I know not, nor ever saw; I know neither his name nor quality. Where is his abode or dependencies? he is to me utterly a stranger. This House made not the Committee a Secret Committee. I hoped that before this had been reported to the House, I might have been thought worthy to have heard something of it; but I was not privy to any part of this; but let that hardship go. I overheard a Gentleman say, "Is not this that Colonel Scott that gave Information the last Parliament?" I know it not. The story is this. There was an Information about the breaking out of the Plot, from an Officer at Gravesend, that a stranger came thither on Saturday night, and walked about all Sunday, and would have hired a boat to carry him away any where. He set up his horse without the town (I will do nothing with malignity.) This man made his escape before he could be seized; he was pursued to Deal and to Dover. This man could not get passage directly, but goes to Sandwich, and so to Rye, under the name of Godfrey. The House commanded me to seek after him. The Lord Mayor found out his lodgings, and found Papers of ill importance, which were delivered to the Speaker, and are now in the Secret Committee's hand. I would not have troubled you with this story without some reflection upon it. If the same be true of this Gentleman (Scott) you will find, that these Papers, found at his lodgings, were just such Papers as he accuses me of. What construction you will make of it, I will leave to you. Now whether Scott does this to quit scores with me, I know not; but this I am sure of, for writing into France, to the Ambassador, or any French Minister, or for communicating any of these weighty secrets, it is out of my province, for the fashions of ships, &c. are entirely out of my watch. In these Papers you will find all Representations, as reported from the Navy Officers to the House, word for word, and the Ordnance, transcribed. He tells you, "That the Papers in France, &c. were signed by me." 'Tis Scott's "Yea, by report;" 'tis my "No, before God Almighty." I have ever industriously avoided being within the smell of the French Ambassador. As for this James, this is an Information of a servant against his master, and a Member of the House, and that Member never called to the Committee to hear it. For the thing itself; this man was my Butler, recommended to me by Sir R. Mason; he had been servant to Sir William Coventry, and in his way was a very ingenious servant; but it was his ill luck to fall into an amour with my house-keeper, and, as fortune was, Morello overheard their intrigues, and catched them together at an unseasonable time of the night. It was Sunday, three o'clock in the morning (the better day the better deed.) I turned him away, and he was never in my House since; but I had cause of suspicion that James came within my House at a window, and robbed me. As for Morello; my leisure will not permit me to go abroad for diversion, and I sent abroad for a man of learning, and a good Musician; a Merchant, one Hill, sent me over Morello. His qualifications are these: He is a thorough-bred Scholar, and may be the greatest Master of Music of any we have. He came to Lishon a page to a great man; and my friend, Thomas Hill, found him out there for me. There are Members of the House, if they will, can tell you, that Hill is not a man of that strain. I have entertained myself harmlesly with him, singing with his Lute, till twelve o'clock, when it was time to rest. At Lishon he was thought so moderate a Catholic, that he was under some suspicion. There is a Member, who knows him so well to be a harmless person, that I need say no more. Another thing was said, "That he uses to go on Saturdays to Chelsea with me," I never went with him one night to Chelsca. If ever he lodged there one night, let all be taken for true that is alleged. As for staying him after the Proclamation, &c. I never stayed him; he went publickly out of town to a friend in the country. He shall attend you, when you please; and if he lives not with all the harmlessness and virtue, that a stranger can live in a strange country, never credit me more. This is as much as a Member can say in such a matter.
Sir Anthony Deane makes his Defence.] In the Dutch War, 1673, seven or eight persons were minded to set out a Privateer. I had an eighth part, which was about 400l. The Bills of Sale, and all things thereunto relating, you shall see when you please. Next, it is said, "That the furniture of the ship was taken out of the King's Stores." I never knew any thing of fitting the ship out but paying the Money, and the person is living that received the Money—And if they that commanded the ship have not done what they ought to do, you may punish them. I had for my eighth part 35l. The vessel went to sea, and took Prizes, and at Calais, a Prize was condemned, and the Captain (Moone) spent the Prize there, and returned with the ship to Dover, and I never saw a penny, nor had a penny of that Prize. By chance, the very individual account of the vouchers I have. The matter has been before the King and Council, and discharged there. The Captain was committed at his return, and removed himself by Habeas Corpus, and never showed cause why he made the Prize away. He gave it out, "That he was set on by some English Merchants to say that the ship was set out by the King's Stores." This is all I know, as to Captain Moone. It was never in my thoughts to procure a French Commission—The ship called the Catherine was manned by Dutch, which was the cause of the Turkish War—This is no free ship—This was taken by Captain Swaine—Dutch ships, not naturalized, you have confiscated. As to Colonel Scott's Information; I was a builder of ships at Portsmouth, and the King sent for me to go to the King of France, with two boats, for the Canal at Versailles, the depth of my stick, about three foot and a half. The Question was, whether they should be at the King's charge, or the French Ambassador's. Says the French Ambassador, "we will pay for it." I built them in obedience to the King's command, little thinking I should be questioned here for it. The boats were carried nine miles by land to Versailles. At the King of France's desire, I went over to see them carried to the Canal. The King went into the Vessel, and failed with me. When I had done all, &c. the King of France presented me with 600 Pistoles, for my charges, and his Picture set with Diamonds, worth 200l. and he gave my Son a Medal of 100l. the Captain of the Convoy, a Chain of 100l. and the men that took the pains were rewarded accordingly. I was used well, and kindly, but could not speak one word of French. I was not presented to the King of France, but by my Son, who spoke French. Such was my caution. I endeavoured to improve my time whilst I stayed, by information of their whole methods of Government of their Navy, which I presented to Secretary Williamson, the Duke, Lord Anglesea, Secretary Coventry, and my Lord Treasurer, to show them, they had no need of learning from England, they had got into so excellent a method. I did present a man, &c. to give an account of all their Ports, but that man came short home, and I feared to send another. In the presence of God, I speak it, I never sent any Plan of Forts, or Soundings, &c. All things in France are in such order, that, for my part, I was afraid to see it. I, that have done this! And never gave any one mark or line to the French. I have twelve children to take care of, and I to think of a better way than that happy station I was in !—I have bewailed and lamented our station—I hope you will take it from a Gentleman. If it should be the last word I should ever speak, I never carried script nor scroll from Mr Pepys to Monsieur Pelisary. This is the truth of all I know, and nothing in the world more than I do know. A Member of this House, who was lately at Paris, named this Col. Scott, to have given all intelligence to the French Court; this man that did it, said it to me on Sunday, by accident. For these nineteen years I have faithfully served the Navy, and more regulations have been under my hand, than were ever before. This, I hope, will give satisfaction to the House.
Sir Joseph Williamson.] It is but due to this Gentleman to give you an account of his care, and great care. I must do him right, that he carried all his queries along with him into France. It is not happy, when such things as this arise in great Assemblies. Deane sent a man of his own trade to be farther informed of the French naval affairs, and he came short home, which deterred another from going. I have borrowed great lights from Deane. I remember one thing that Deane forgets. There was a time when the French sent the Marquis de Signelays (fn. 3), who took his way, affectedly out of his way, by Portsmouth. I remember, Deane laid a counterplot against the Marquis, to prevent any information he could get of the Navy.
Mr Sacheverell.] I have heard the Report from the Committee, and the Gentlemens Defence, but I would not have the thing lightly passed over. If what is charged against them be true, they are as great crimes as the Lords in the Tower are charged with. If you will not go forward with this matter to-day, the Witnesses may be heard at the Bar to-morrow, and then you may hear what they can say for their justification.
Mr Harbord.] These Gentlemen have made long speeches in defence of themselves, and made themselves innocent. But I will call Witnesses to prove those ships, &c. fitted out of the King's Stores. It was said to Pepys, by one, at the Council-Table, "That he would forfeit 500l. if he did not prove this to be true. He will undertake to prove this of the Hunter;" and as for the Information given by Pepys's Butler, &c. the Butler had 500l. security for his honesty. When you had an account, the last year, of the two Navies, the French, and the Dutch —In this, Deane now contradicts himself. The Duke of York is put out of Commission of Admiral by Act of Parliament, and yet these men must be directed by the Duke, to put the Navy into Papists hands. Pepys is an ill man, and I will prove him so.
Sir Francis Rolle.] Pepys has been very unfortunate in his Servants; one accused to be in the Plot (Atkins his Secretary!) another, his best maid, found in bed with his Butler! another accused to be a Jesuit! very unfortunate !
Sir William Coventry.] This James was formerly my Butler. I do not love to do ill offices to one that has served me, but when he was with me, his service was not so direct, as to recommend him to a friend.
Mr Pepys.] All know I am unfortunate in my Servants, but I hope that is no crime to be so. I have not taken servants at hap-hazard. I have had bond for James, and a recommendation of Morello. That I am unfortunate is my misfortune. The account I gave you formerly of the French Fleet, I had not from foreign hands, or French Secretaries, but from Lord Arlington and Deane.
Mr Garroway.] I never desire to have crimes so charged, but to be proved. You have called in Witnesses, &c. Now the matter is, how you will proceed. I like not to have Felony and Treason put up. There were crimes charged against the Duke of Lauderdale, &c. and the Witnesses were sent away, you may remember. Either these Witnesses speak true, or false. I think that those mens Evidence is a ground of charge, and whether you will impeach them, or let the Attorney General prosecute them, you cannot leave it.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] It was said by a Gentleman, (Pilkington,) "That the Information against Colonel Scott was, that he might be clapped up, and starved." But it was Conyers, the Jesuit, who was searched for in the City, and Scott's absconding himself gave the suspicion against him. When Scott was seized, at the Quarter Sessions, at Dover, he said his name was Johnson. His Father's name was John, and he was John's son. He is at this time under a recognizance. You are told, "That these very Papers are in Scott's hand that he accuses Deane of." Scott pleaded, "That he was in France to survey the Prince of Conde's land in Burgundy and Picardy, and had a thousand pounds for his pains."
Mr Harbord.] Secretary Williamson said, "That he thought Scott the ablest man in England for a West India voyage, and it was pity to lose him." Scott has a testimonial from De Wit, that he commanded eight Regiments of Foot for the relief of Flanders. A great man in England told me, "That Scott was attempted to be corrupted to bear false witness against him, and Scott detested it." Though the matter is not Treason against Pepys, yet it is Felony, &c.
Mr Sacheverell.] I move that the Serjeant may take Pepys and Deane into safe custody, and they may be heard tomorrow, that they may have time to make their Defence, and you will be just to them, and yourselves too.
Mr Harbord.] I must remind you, that the night you committed Mr Bertie, Mr Brent was with him at the Devil Tavern, one that was as deep in the Treasurer's box as any man. Bertie is charged with 100,000l. &c. and I will tell you of 200,000l. not put to account. The King's debts will pay themselves, if you look into these things. This will be made out against Bertie. If you are in earnest, take care that these persons be kept. These are not proceedings like great men, nor Englishmen, and I would have Pepys and Deane committed to the Tower. Let them withdraw, and you may debate it.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] This looks proper for an Accusation, but not for Conviction. I would have you do equally. You have taken one part of the Evidence at the Bar, and left another part to your Committee. I would have all the Evidence at the Bar, and then it is equal.
Mr Seymour.] I speak to Method of Proceeding only; what I propose is to your Justice; you will do it to every man; especially to those who have the honour to be Members of this Body. The Parties should have had the Matter before them for some time to make Answer. But now you have another Rule to walk by. You have had a narrative of the Charge, and their Answer to it, which you thought not satisfactory, and the Gentlemen are withdrawn. It is not suitable to your Justice, not to be under Commitment, and now they ought to have their particular Charge formed and put into their hands, and their Answers must be as particular as their Charge.
Sir Thomas Littleton.] This is not to be understood such a custody, as that their servants may not bring them their Papers. Withers's Commitment formerly was by way of punishment; this is of another nature.
Sir William Coventry.] The Commitment of Withers was in the height of your zeal, soon after the King's Restoration; and if you commit into close custody, much more the King may do it; and that stopped your mouths into enquiry into close custodies the last Parliament.
Ordered, That Mr Pepys and Sir Anthony Deane be committed to the custody of the Serjeant at Arms attending this House, [and that the Matter of the Report, this Day made, be farther examined, at the Bar of the House, on Thursday next.] See the printed Journal.
Wednesday, May 21.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] I desire that there may be no farther proceeding in this Bill. If I did think that the Person of the King, Laws, or Religion were in danger without this Bill, I would give my consent to it with as great alacrity as any body; but this Bill seems to me to hazard the King's life. Religion is of great moment to provide for hereafter, and to secure it by all means lawful and just; but I am taught to do no Evil, that Good may come of it, and through the consequences of the Bill, I would not disgrace the Protestant Religion. Justly the Papist's is called a bloody Religion; let us not so far take their arguments, that, because they are Idolaters, we may depose lawful Successors. I have (thank God!) no place at Court, nor care for any. I desire only to live with comfort in what I have; and for Religion, to follow nothing but what the Primitive Christians practised. When ever did Christians under Arian Emperors spoil them of Succession, &c.? Julian the Apostate was most violent against Christians; though they suffered their persecutions with patience, yet I well know, that, in his conquest of Persia, they would not go against him. They would not do ill, that good might come of it. A certain unjust thing is not to be done for any just. No human policy can give you an absolute security of Religion. Are we sure that the Lords will pass this Bill? The King never will. If he does, when this Law is passed, we must have a standing Army to maintain it. Here is a Prince exasperated to the highest degree, and against his Brother too, and you must have an Army to maintain this Act, and then what security can you have for your Laws, that you shall be governed by them? The greatness of power by an Army was lately a complaint in Parliament, and if there be confusions and dislike of the Government, the King goes after the Duke, and all is in confusion. By this Bill, if the Prince of Orange should but have any communication with the Duke, this Bill excludes all the Posterity. It is no light thing to consider the Lords in passing this Bill. If they pass it not, there will be Petitions from the City, and Remonstrances; and when all is in confusion, you must have resort to an humble Petition and Advice, as in Cromwell's time, to have somebody to govern the Nation. This is a new Parliament, and many brave Gentlemen in it of estates, loyalty, and integrity, fathers and sons who have suffered for their loyalty. Consider what condition you are in; you have passed a Law to-day against Popery, and another, that all Papists shall be convicted by name, and if twenty be together, they may be knocked on the head; that no Papist shall sit in either House of Parliament; the Habeas Corpus Bill; Bill against illegal exactions; and will you, by this Bill of incapacitating the Duke, &c. lose all these good Bills, that could never yet be arrived at? What fruit can the Nation have of this, by an exasperation of the King? Will not this Bill be as timely three or four months hence, if it was useful? Suppose the Duke have a son that is a Protestant, and the Duke lives to see his son of some age, who can oppose the Duke his father to come and live with him? We have some divisions amongst us, and discontented people will take any thing by the hand—Has not the King come very far towards us? Such condescensions as any would have been glad of six months ago. I will undertake by them to show you greater security than in this Bill. The father of the Succession has been lately taken away (God knows!) and this King's danger will be greater by this Bill. This Bill will cause animosities so stupendous and inconvenient —I cannot recollect much more I had to say, but I move only, not to commit the Bill.
[The Bill was ordered to be committed to a Committee of the whole House, on a Division, 207 to 128 (fn. 4).]
Thursday, May 22.
Then he produced the Inventory for Stores for the Hunter, &c. signed by the Clerk of the Stores. Captain Moone, at the Bar, acknowleged a Letter which he received from Deane at Dover, which was read to the House.
[Ordered, That Sir Anthony Deane, and Mr Samuel Pepys, be sent to the Prison of the Tower, and that Mr Attorney General be directed forthwith to prosecute them for the Crimes objected against them (fn. 5).]
Friday, May 23.
Sir Francis Drake.] It is generally reported, "That the last Parliament had sold the Nation;" as if they came up to give Money to betray their public trust. I am of opinion that such were amongst us then. I would have the Committee report what they are informed of it, though Bertie's Book is not yet known.
Mr Sacheverell.] I would give Gentlemen some little light, before I make the Report, &c. how the matter stands. The Committee will be able to produce several persons, who can prove Moneys paid, &c. But you have a Member within your walls, (if you will go to it in good earnest) that can discover to whom Money and Pensions were paid; and if he will not, he is not fit to be here. It is Sir Stephen Fox, who, though he has delivered up the private Books, yet has several Books that can discover it; his Ledger, and other Books of Pensions, &c. before Bertie came in. I move you, that, if he will not give you an account, you will deal with him accordingly.
Ordered, That Sir Stephen Fox be immediately sent for to attend the House, and do bring with him all the Books, and Papers of Accounts, of any Money that he has paid to such Members, and others, for keeping public tables.
I know not whether I can do what you command me in any time. I have paid much Money for "Secret Service," but for these four years I have paid none. I have paid it as "the King's Bounty," and under such other titles, but not as "Members of Parliament." It is absolutely necessary that I have some time to peruse my Books.
Mr Williams.] Your design is to have his Books, and you to judge whether the Pensions, &c. given, be "the King's Bounty," or to what other purpose. This matter has been depending a month; it has been examined already, and no doubt but Fox has the thing ready for you.
Mr Garroway.] I would know, whether Fox kept the Book of Secret Service apart, or mixed with other Accounts. Formerly, when the Committee of Accounts was, Sir Philip Warwick brought in 60,000l. Pensions, and in a little Book "for Secret Service," in one folio, there were fifty Items of Money "for Secret Service," for Members of the House.
Mr Whorwood.] I think it not fit that any person should ask leave to do his King and Country service. I hope he will better consider of it. I hope this Gentleman will be so ordered, that he must bring his Books hither—He has no dependence more upon that unfortunate person now under the obloquy of the Nation.
Mr Boscawen.] Fox has acknowleged that he has such Books. You have been told by a learned Gentleman (Maynard)" of corrupting the Fountain of Justice and Law." If this place has been corrupted, it is God's great mercy that such a House had not delivered up the Nation to arbitrary Government. I will not stick to move you, if Fox will not do it, for a Law to confiscate his Estate, and to take off his head.
Sir Stephen Fox.] This is an entire surprize to me. I have made a Book "of Secret Service," but I have delivered up my Books; but I have other Books. I was a great Accountant, and this "of Secret Service" is mixed with other Accounts. What is meant is, time to ask leave to have those Books I have delivered. It will give no satisfaction to the House to bring my Ledgers. They are great vast Books. I desire that I may have time to ask leave to recover that Book "of Secret Service" I extracted out of the Books.
Sir Stephen Fox.] All that ever I paid in my life are in that Book; but they are so intermixed, that you will have no satisfaction. What I desire, is leave, &c. This, "of Secret Service," is of divers natures, and the Ledger is of several millions. That for Secret Service is mingled. When I delivered up my Books, that particularly "of Secret Service" I delivered up likewise. I kept no transcript of the Account "for Secret Service," but it is within that Ledger.
Sir Francis Winnington.] Fox tells you, that he has his Ledgers ready, but as for the Book "of Secret Service," he desires to ask leave for it. If the Ledger Book be brought with the Book "of Secret Service," you may compare them. I understand that Fox is a well-bred Gentleman; and what he does must be modestly and softly. I know that 3 Char. I. the Parliament sent to the Office of the Privy Seal for their Dockets. This we have authority to do, and I would order him to bring his Ledgers.
Mr Garroway.] I love not hardships, to put streights upon any Gentleman. I know the fair demeanor of Fox, and what hardships he has been under. He has confessed the Book, and I see not how he can ask leave; he is so great a Master of Accounts, that he keeps transcripts. If he denies you the Books, you must command his Papers to be seized, and brought hither.
Sir Stephen Fox.] I would be understood, that I would not have refused you the Ledgers; but the thing coming hastily upon me, I desired leave, &c. The Ledgers will not satisfy you, but if I can obtain leave, I will bring the Book, or extract of what is "for Secret Service" out of the Ledger. It was my own care to keep an exact Account, to satisfy the Master I serve. This was not an employment I desired. I never spoke, nor was adviser, but I was directly to issue out Money, as I was ordered. I hope to obtain leave to bring that Book; but I would be understood that I have not that Book.
Sir Robert Clayton.] Without doubt, Fox is regular in his Accounts, and you may find them under proper heads, and you may see the same things in his Ledger with as much ease as if you had his Book "of Secret Service."
Mr Seymour.] Fox tells you, "that he had a disposition of Money "for Secret Service," and all is in his Ledger, and that he has made out a particular Book for Account of the Money "for Secret Service." I would know, whether out of his Ledger he can extract it?
Mr Love.] That Book, called the Ledger, will do your work abundantly. It is but a Cash-Book, "paid to John and Thomas," and so we post it into the Ledger Book; so that by looking into the alphabet you may know in half an hour.
Mr Williams.] Entries of Moneys may be under disguised names, and so you are never the nearer. As for Fox, he fences with you; he is no Exchequer Officer, here are no footsteps of his payments. This is a cunning insinuation. Let him answer plainly, if the Book he showed the King, be exactly what is entered into the Ledger Book?
Mr Williams.] If Gentlemen will suppose this Book to be with the rest, you may find it; but if in a dark and close hand, you will not find it. Ask him whether this Book is in his hand, and let him declare it sincerely.
Sir Stephen Fox.] This Book lies not among my other Books, but I delivered it up to Lord Danby, but I will endeavour to bring this Book. It lies in the King's Closet, and I will obtain it, if I can; if not, I will bring you the best copy I can.
Sir Stephen Fox.] I was not so careful as to enter the Receipts into Books, but in loose Papers. This business went on by degrees, 2 or 3000l. per annum, and I am not an Accountant by law. But could I have foreseen so long an employment, I would have been more exact; but I have them in loose Papers.
Sir John Hotham.] Remember the place you are to go to (Whitehall) and make no Order to seize, nor search for Books, nor Papers, but take such as he will deliver to you. He knows your mind, and what is for your purpose; and if he will not deliver them, you may take an Order with him.
Sir Stephen Fox.] My Cash-keeper and Book-keeper are gone to the Exchange; and if I am not so ready in it, you will excuse me, and have no ill thought of me, for I protest I never knew of this before.
Ordered, That Sir John Hotham, Sir Robert Peyton, and Sir John Holman do accompany Sir Stephen Fox to Whitehall, and that he do bring his Ledger Book, Cash Book, and Journal, and his Receipts for Money by him paid, "for Secret Service;" [and he is enjoined not to go out of the company of the said Members, before they return to the House; and that no Member do depart the service of this House, untill Sir Stephen Fox and the other Members do return.]
Sir John Hotham, and the rest, return from Whitehall, and report, That, according to Order, they attended Fox to Whitehall. They were not half a quarter of an hour there, but Fox called his servants to bring such Books as they had in their custody, and sent for other servants that had the rest. Some great Books were brought into the room; but whilst he sent for the Acquittances, the Lord Chamberlain (fn. 6) came in, and spoke to Fox. Fox said, "These Gentlemen are some Members of the House, and I shall not speak without their hearing." My Lord Chamberlain said, "I take notice that you are employed to search for Books and Papers, but you shall not take any away out of Whitehall." I replied, "Some, it seems, do make friends of the unrighteous Mammon. Your Lordship has quick information of what we came about, for our House-doors were shut." My Lord Chamberlain saw the mistake, and would have debated some things, but I said, "I was not sent to argue this, or that, but to obey my Order." (He had been so taught.) My Lord Chamberlain was very desirous to tell us why those Books were not to be taken out of Whitehall; but I said, "Let me have what your Lordship would say in writing, and I will inform the House of it." But what he said was, "That he dared not consent that any Books should go out of Whitehall, without the King's Orders, nor that we should inspect any Books, without the King's command." I had forgot one thing that my Lord Chamberlain said, viz. "I would not do any thing that should look like the displeasure of the House of Commons; but I believe if the House address the King, they may have their desire (fn. 7).
Several moved, "That Fox should tell the House, upon his memory, when, and what Monies he had paid to Members of the former Parliament, and if the House find that he omits any thing wilfully, that they will take an Order with him.
Sir Stephen Fox.] I hope the House will not lay this upon me, that no man could have imposed upon me. It is so easy a way to ask the King's leave for the Books, &c. that I hope you will take that way. What you desire to know is four years ago, and I cannot charge my memory with it.
Sir John Trevor.] For my part, I am one of those that never had any Money. What Question you put to Fox is a general Question. If he has said any thing to your Committee, they may report it; and then ask him, &c. and he is obliged to answer; but to make him a reprover is very indecent.
Sir Stephen Fox.] These are hard circumstances I am under, either to disobey the House, or to divulge a secret by the King's command. I can name so few persons, that it will give no satisfaction to the House. I named none but what the Committee named to me, and my memory is not good enough to repeat it. It may be, the persons may have an Action against me. Upon my memory I cannot tell who I paid Money to "for Secret Service," and who upon other Accounts. I humbly pray, that I may not be put to answer.
Sir Robert Howard.] The list of all the Members, &c. is a way proposed to do your business. Will you not assist your own Order, by letting him have a list to help his memory? If it be so great a thing as you apprehend, let not Fox pick and chuse whom he will to accuse.
Mr Boscawen.] For Fox to be the first accuser seems hard. But let the Clerk read the list of the names of the last Parliament, and Fox will be careful to tell you no untruth in those he shall name to have received Money, and not forfeit his reputation.
Mr Seymour somewhat affrontively answered,] I would have Fox answer you, whether I received any Money before I was Speaker? In the presence of God I speak it, I never, directly nor indirectly, disposed of any Money "for Secret Service." I told the King, "That my fortune was not sufficient for that service" (of Speaker,) and I was paid the Money out of the Exchequer; but that was so troublesome, I desired it might be paid another way; and it was the only favour Lord Danby ever did me, to let me receive it out of the Money appointed "for Secret Service."
27. Colonel Roger Whitley 300l. per Annum, on account of a Farm in the Excise (fn. 8).