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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Monday, November 1.
Sir Richard Graham.] This Case of Sir Thomas Maleverer (fn. 1) is different from other Gentlemen in Yorkshire. There is nothing of "abhorring" in it. Only "that they did not agree to the Petition for sitting of the Parliament at the Sessions."
Mr Hampden.] To refer a Member accused criminally to a Committee, I believe is not orderly. But pray let the Committee see what formerly has been done in the like case, and you will be better informed how to proceed in this.
Sir Francis Winnington.] I have heard that you will not endure any private information, but you subject the matter to be brought into the House. After you had heard Sir Robert Peyton here, you sent it to a Committee; which makes a distinction. I look upon this to be as hard a matter as can come before you. Let your Member be charged here, and haply then your Member may give you satisfaction in his Place.
Colonel Birch.] My opinion is, that this is somewhat of a ticklish business. Things cannot originally arise against a Member at a Committee; they cannot send for him; the thing must be reported to you. The thing of Sir John Robinson's accusation arose here, and when he denied it, and it was confirmed, you referred it to a Committee to examine. The Committee has done no more than reported to you something they have been informed of, and so your Member is to be heard here. Order your Committee to read the Vote of Abhorring.
Mr Powle.] It is the regular way, to desire the Reporter to tell you what Information he has against your Member, and then to appoint Evidence to be heard at the Bar, and then your Member to be heard.
Mr Garroway.] You may easily proceed to this business. If there be a Charge, do your Member that Right as to hear him, which you never deny. Here is no Charge from your Committee, and you cannot proceed here.
Mr Seymour.] I do not apprehend that you are possessed of any thing, in the nature of a Charge against your Member. The matter was referred to a Committee, and if they find any thing which may concern your Member, then it is time for you to call the person to answer, and in his Place, when in the nature of a Charge; and then it is time for you to censure, or for him to require a copy of his Charge.
Colonel Titus.] You are put regularly by Seymour. What, should the Gentleman stand up to answer an Accusation not yet made? Therefore it is regular for you to order your Committee to-morrow to tell you the Member's Charge, and the Information against him.
Tuesday, November 2.
Mr Sacheverell.] I attended the Secret Committee the last Parliament, and I find that a very great deal of the Evidence reported was omitted formerly, and never brought to the Committee of Secrecy. I would instruct the Committee that all the Evidence may punctually be brought before you, that there may be no disputes betwixt the Lords and us. I remember, the last Parliament, for a fortnight together every day we pressed the Lords at a Committee to one point, and could have no Resolution from them. Therefore I press it, lest it should be too late, and out of your power.
Lord Russel.] There was a Motion made the last Parliament, and turned into a Vote, (it is sit to know who are enemies to the King and the Protestant Religion now, as well as then,) and you did then resolve, "That the Duke of York being a Papist, and the hopes of his coming such to the Crown, hath given the greatest countenance and encouragement to the present Designs and Conspiracies of the Papists against the King and the Protestant Religion." I move therefore that you will vote the same thing now.
Mr Booth moves to have the Vote read of the last Parliament, for preservation of the King's Person, and that, should his Majesty come to a violent death, they would revenge it to the utmost upon the Papists.
Mr Dubois.] Seeing the House is thus unanimous, pray let us consider what this Plot was to do. It was to destroy the King, and the Protestant Religion, and I hope I shall have such a veneration for the Protestant Religion, as not to let it be lost to me nor my posterity. I have a great many children. Some are old enough to understand Religion, and others that understand not their right hand from their left in Religion. I would have their souls saved, that hereafter they may not be in Popery, which we shall be with a Popish Successor. If the Catholics have such an influence upon the Government under a Protestant Prince, what will they have under a Popish? Therefore I move, that you will take some course to prevent a Popish Successor.
Mr Harbord.] I observe, that much more time is spent at a Grand Committee, than in the House. You may resolve what you intend in a few words. I would have the Vote read for suppression of Popery, and the danger of a Popish Successor, &c. I would be guided likewise by the King's Speech. Till you have gone through the Plot, I am sure neither the King nor Kingdom can be safe. By the Report you have heard of Coleman's Letters, you see who has managed the matter. I am satisfied, that as long as the Duke has any prospect left of coming to the Crown, the King cannot be safe. So long as Mary Queen of Scots was alive, Queen Elizabeth was neither safe in her Person nor Government. But if the Duke of York be not a Papist, yet, for tampering in cutting off the Person of the King, he deserves to be put by the Succession of the Crown; and I believe what Dangerfield has said, though a Gentleman told you he believes him not, as the thing is bound up with so many circumstances; and by Dugdale's (fn. 2) Information it plainly appears there was a proposition to destroy the King, as probably the King might out-live the Duke, and so the Protestant Religion might remain—And the King, in his Speech, bids us look to the prosecution of the Plot, that he and the Kingdom might be safe. This being considered, you have reason for your Vote. I appeal to you, whether, since the King came in, our misery, directly or collaterally, has not arisen from the Duke? My trust is here for the People and the State, and I have no gratitude to pay the Duke. The King is his Sovereign Lord as well as mine, and I appeal whether it was not for the Duke's sake that this wife was procured for the King? A great part of the World thought her incapable of children; but such was the authority of some people then, that they laid this as a foundation for the Duke to succeed. In short, from thence we may derive our woes. Let us see what the Nation has done for him contrary to all Precedents. At Oxford a hundred and twenty thousand pound was given to the Duke for his good service at sea. And after you had stigmatized persons in Parliament, they were taken into his service. Two persons were raised by him. Lord Clifford was introduced, supported, upheld, and maintained by the Duke. Popery and Arbitrary Power have attended things for these several years last past. I shall never forget how the English were sacrificed at the fight with the Dutch at Solebay. To preserve the French King's Subjects, the English were exposed, and Foreigners saved. Lord Sandwich was forced to command the Blue Squadron, and to give precedency to the White Flag of France. When they thought they had made a mistake, and the English were exposed, three or four of the French ships fought, and they were turned out of their places for it when they came home. And when that villain Sir Joseph Jordan betrayed the Fleet, the Duke got him a Pension. And who commanded this Fleet we all know. I must say, that it is my opinion, that till the Papists see that the Duke cannot be King, the King's life will be in danger. Therefore I move for a Bill to exclude the Duke from the Succession.
Mr Garroway.] I agreed in the Vote you have passed, but I do not agree in all things which Harbord has said. We are not upon such a fatal step, as without consideration to pass such a Vote as he moves for. I move, not to wave any thing that shall be offered for preservation of the Protestant Religion for posterity, but I would not have this great matter moved run up suddenly, without thinking well upon it. Therefore I am for going into a Grand Committee, to consider of ways for the preservation of the King's Person and the Protestant Religion, before we come to this last remedy; and whenever we come to it, that it may be obligatory. Possibly we may be of opinion that some remedy may be without this Exclusion; like the leaving a General without an Army, you may make the Duke a Noun-substantive. The Papists, or we, (I plainly see) must go, either they or we hereafter. If you will, think of a Bill of Conviction of all Recusants, and then give them liberty to sell their Estates and be gone; for they or we, I say, must go, first or last; and then, that they may have you at hand, let something be provided that a Parliament may be called frequently. In a free Debate at a Grand Committee, these and other things may be offered.
Sir Henry Capel.] I agree with Garroway, that the matter is of great consequence, and ought to be well debated before resolved. Every man knows what obligations I have to that great Person the Duke; but when I come here, I leave behind me all private considerations of relation or obligation. You have had two Motions; one "for bringing in a Bill for excluding the Duke, &c. from the Succession of the Crown:" The other, "for going into a Grand Committee to consider of Expedients to preserve the King's Person and the Protestant Religion." It often happens, that if a thing be ripe, referring it to a Committee proves dangerous. It was said, the other day, "That it is great wisdom to go in former steps." That, I confess, corroborates me in the opinion of not going now into a Grand Committee. For I remember, some few days after this Report was made, the last Parliament, of Mr Coleman's Letters, you ordered a Bill to be brought in for excluding the Duke, and that Bill was read presently without going into a Grand Committee. I move therefore "That a Bill may be brought in to exclude the Duke."
Mr Boscawen.] How often I have been for Expedients and Moderation it is well known. But we are now come to that pass, that we must be either Papists or Protestants, one or other, and I see no Expendient in the case. We know, when the Bill of Exclusion, &c. was brought in, the last Parliament, it was of no long extent, and has the first, second, and third reading, and Gentlemen may offer Provisoes if they please. But why should we go back to a Committee after a Report made of the Letters, &c. and the Votes you have passed? Why we should go shorter than in the last Parliament, I know not any reason. Therefore I move for the Bill, &c.
Sir Francis Winnington.] Our difference, I find, is by notions only; to the manner, and not the thing. I would not vote one thing one day, and throw it down another. In our Vote the other day, about a Popish Successor, &c. I did understand that the House was unanimous, and did think, that a person of the Duke's principles was not fit to come to the Crown, to destroy us (and it was the sense of that Vote.) When I speak of this great Prince, whom I have a great respect for, and had once a relation to, I do it with great reluctance. I supposed it the true intent of the House, by that Vote, that you would not have a Popish Successor to the Crown; and if that was the meaning of it, then your Debate will be short, viz. Whether you will order a Bill to be brought in for that purpose, or whether you will go into a Grand Committee to consider of the means of preserving the King's Person and the Protestant Religion. You have made steady Motions and Gradations for this Bill already, and if your meaning is to debate over again your Thursday's Vote, that is irregular. If any man will stand up and say, "That the Duke is not a Papist," it will be a great comfort to us all here, and to all England. But the Duke's being a Papist, and the hopes of his coming such to the Crown, is the occasion of all our misfortunes, &c. Then it is no longer a doubt whether the Duke be a Papist, though not convicted in Westminster-Hall. It is painful to me when I speak of this great Prince, but there are degrees in things, and as my bowels yearn towards him, so they do likewise towards my wife and children. Seeing then that this Vote is already passed, and that the Nation is in expectation from us for their security, and that I converse with men of consideration, you have put another kind of consideration into them. Pray do not throw out what you have already voted.
Col. Titus.] No man rises with more unwillingness to speak at this time than myself; but all is now at stake, and I am come hither to do my duty, and to speak plain. Was there any place left for Moderation or Expedient, I would run into it. To act moderately, that is, to act with reason immoderately, is with passion. No man advises you to love your wife and children moderately, or to serve God moderately. One on the highway advises me to "ride moderately, or I shall tire my horse, or break my neck;" and it is good advice. But when thieves pursue me, to advise me to ride moderately, is to have me knocked on the head, and lose my purse. A ship captain, who had sprung a leak in his ship, advised his men to pump moderately for fear of calentures; but the men pumped on, and saved the ship. But for whom do we urge this Moderation? Is it for one to expect Moderation again? For our Souls, we are Heretics, they will burn us, and damn us. For our Estates, they will take our lands, and put Monks and Fryars upon them. Our Wives and Children must beg, and this is the Moderation we are like to expect from them. But this is not the worst of it yet. Though Protestants differ ever so much in principles and disobligations, yet upon common principles of humanity they agree. But here is no probability of that from the Papists. Nobody did promise more not to alter Religion to the Norfolk and Suffolk men, when they stuck to her title, than Queen Mary did; but when she came to the Crown, she burnt them, and was even with them; and for the Crown of England she gave them a Crown of Martyrdom. We have a great many Dissenting Protestants, and when time comes, I hope you will consider them, and be moderate; and this I have learned from the most moderate and mild man: But seeing an Egyptian and an Israelite fighting, he immediately slew the Egyptian, for he knew it was to no purpose to be moderate with him; and afterwards, seeing two Israelites fighting, endeavoured to part them, telling them they were brethren. This Bill proposed is the most ready way to secure ourselves, and the most moderate, and therefore I am for it.
Mr Hyde.] I desire to be heard a few words. I beg pardon of Titus, if I think he has treated this subject with more mirth than it deserves. (Being called to, to speak up, he said, I will speak up, I promise you.) A Gentleman took notice of the Action at Solebay, and "that Lord Sandwich was betrayed by Sir Joseph Jordan," with reflection upon the Duke's rewarding him with a Pension; though he said, "He would make no reflections." Neither he nor I were by, at that day's Action, but some here were present. And so the Gentleman goes backward to the King's Marriage, and the contrivance of it; and that goes near me, reflecting upon my father, Lord Clarendon's management of the Ministry. I know not any Minister the King has had since, that has done so well to keep out Popery and preserve the Protestant Religion. I wish those that come after may. But to the business of this day. I am of opinion, that the Duke, for deserting his Religion, deserves a great many mortifications from the Nation; and I believe the Duke is convinced, that it cannot be reasonable for him to expect to come to the Crown upon such terms as if he had not given those apprehensions and jealousies. The Question is urged for bringing in a Bill of Exclusion; but there is one Question before that, "Whether the House will go into a Grand Committee to consider of ways and means for the preservation of the Protestant Religion?" Does any man think, that this Bill will pass the Lords, and the King too? I pray God the King may out-live the Duke! But if it comes to the Duke's turn, whether will the Duke acquiesce in this Law? What security of importance is this Law, if the Duke out-live the King? The King, by passing this Bill, will involve the Nation in a Civil War; and then the short Question will be, "Whether a Civil War is more dangerous than a Popish Successor?" Are these looked upon as trifling things? There are more Protestants than Papists in England, and they may give a Popish Successor trouble, should he attempt a change in Religion. In all times there have been a great many worthy men, who in all difficulties will stick to the Crown, and in process of time there will be discontents amongst them who oppose the Crown, and those that are not pleased will join with them that are loyal, and there will be trouble in changing the Succession. It has been hinted, over the way, as a remedy to preserve Religion, "To leave the Duke as a General without an Army." Now you have an opportunity, you may make several Laws to suppress Popery, and of leaving the Duke alone, which being so, he cannot subvert the Protestant Religion. You have now opportunity, and you know a Popish Successor, and may bind James Duke of York by name, and there is one Power yet above betwixt him and the Succession. The Duke may die before the King, and the King may marry again, and have a Successor. Besides, the Crown has but a narrow Revenue, and the Parliament must supply it from time to time, for the ordinary exigences of the Crown, and the Parliament will then provide for their own safety better than by taking this way proposed. I would have these things weighed in a Grand Committee.
Colonel Titus.] I speak to the Orders of the House. I know it is against Order to speak twice to the same thing; but when any man is reflected upon, he has liberty to answer. The Gentleman who spoke last, said, "I made the House sport." I assure you, I should be loth to be so jested with; but every man has not the same way of expression. Jests are not jests without being sharp; nor are things serious because they are dull. I protest, I was as serious as I was able to be; and I was as honest in this as ever I was in my life. And so I am for the Bill, &c.
Mr Harbord.] I crave the same liberty of explanation of myself. I did not say, "That the Duke betrayed the Fleet at Solebay," but "that Jordan did, for not following the Fleet." I said nothing ill of the Duke, but "that Jordan afterwards had a Pension."
Sir Leoline Jenkins.] I desire the difference may be considered betwixt "Extremity," and "Expedient." The Bill to exclude the Duke, &c. is the Extremity, a thing rare and singular! Though Expedients have been offered and not accepted, yet it is hard to refuse hearing them; the rather, in regard that the King in the last Parliament did offer an Expedient. Pray consider, whenever this Bill does pass, whether it must not be supported by a standing Army.
Colonel Birch.] This is a great Debate, and much fitter for the House than a Grand Committee. Both in great things, and in things of lesser moment, we ought to think first, whether they be lawful, and next whether they are expedient. As for the lawfulness, no man doubts but that the King, Lords, and Commons may declare the Succession, &c. and have always done so upon occasion. Next, whether this Bill be expedient, at this time. For my own part, if any Gentleman can satisfy me, how this Nation can be safe in Religion or Property without this Bill, I will hearken to it. It has been judged by Vote in the former Parliament, "That the Duke's being a Papist, and the hopes of his coming such to the Crown, have occasioned the insolence of the Papists, &c." and it has so passed Nemine contradicente. And I shall remind you, Gentlemen, whether the Duke can be trusted with a Crown, when every Evidence you have heard comes home to him in having a hand in this Plot. This is not Queen Mary's Case, who pretended and intended to be favourable to the Protestants. But here are promises and engagements from the Duke to root out Heresy. Queen Mary did once intend this, but she was so influenced by the Pope, that, as you have been told, she gave the Prorestants, for the Crown of England they helped her to, the Crown of Martyrdom. What availed the love or obligations which the last King did show the Catholics in the year 1634, when it was represented to him that the latitude he gave them here in England would obtain the Protestants some favour in France? Till that dismal time in October 1641, they lived in Ireland with all neighbourly kindness to the Protestants in intermarriages, but when it was their interest, accompanied with their Fathers inducements, they committed that bloody Massacre in October 1641, and that after the greatest kindness from the late King. We are now speaking for all we have; father, and mother, and children, and many better than me. The Question is, Whether with the Duke's coming to the Crown we shall not have Idolatry set up with your consent. In short, I shall only observe, whether this Bill of Exclusion is now to be done? It may be said, "That it may be, it may not happen that the Duke may come to the Crown, and that he may be shorter-lived than the King, and that it may be, God may deliver us some other way." But you are not to stay for that. It may be it was not seasonable, when the last Parliament made those Resolutions, when they were in a high ferment about the Plot; and the last Parliament left the Nation as warm as warm could be. But has not the Protestant Religion been discountenanced since and? in all probability there are no means for your safety but this Bill. The Duke will be so far from being "a General without an Army," that hereafter he will have an Army; and as we had so far discouraged the Papists, that those of that persuasion were more contemned and scorned than ever they were before, so when the Parliament was sent home, they took heart again. No Expedient has been yet offered to help us, and when it comes, let it be shown how the Nation can be safe with a Popish Successor. One said to-day, "It may be, a Civil War will ensue upon this Bill of Exclusion." We have no great reason to doubt that. We know that foreign Princes have helped on that; but will any Gentleman, the meanest, that must deny his Religion and his God, or burn, fear bleeding for it? As old as I am, I should live a year or two the longer for it. I fear not that. And as to other things, they have been but only touched. I would have all before you. I lay this, Religion and Property, in the scale. As I now stand informed, and till I have farther satisfaction, I am for the Bill to exclude the Duke.
Mr Bennet.] Could any Expedient be found out to preserve the Protestant Religion, I should be glad not to exclude the Duke of York from the Succession. In the last Parliament, no Expedient could be found out; and one reason for this Bill was the Preservation of the King's Life. The Duke being looked upon as Heir Apparent to the Crown, the King's Life is still in danger; the Papists, I believe, would still knock him on the head. This Bill will put it into our power to defend ourselves; and when the Duke is once out, by Law, from the Succession, no doubt but the Parliament hereafter will keep him out. The taking away the General will leave the Army alone. When a Catholic King has Places to bestow, and Power, he will have temptation enough for ransacking the City of London to maintain an Army. And we sit patiently here for an Expedient! Therefore I move for the Bill, as before.
Sir Thomas Player.] I am to let you know, that the City of London will not be left out in this matter. I know not where in the world to find an Expedient to save our Religion and Properties, but this Bill of Exclusion, &c. I remember that Expedients were offered in the last Parliament, and would then have been accepted, if they had been a substantial security to us and our Posterity. As for that one argument, of a Civil War that may come upon this Exclusion, I would let the World know, that we are not afraid of War upon that occasion. Let it be so, if there be no other way to prevent Popery. Let us, when the King is out of the World, be in a condition to fight for our Laws and Religion: I desire no more. I have no patience to think of having my throat cut, as I have been afraid, before I rise in the morning. In Coleman's Letters that were read, we see that all the Catholics in England depend upon the Duke, and those abroad too. Take away the General, and the Army will be weak and useless. Let the Duke be removed. I will not aggravate what the Duke has done; but there is one particular sort of people, not only Papists but Protestants, who make an interest to cry up the Duke, and who drink his health upon their knees, and it must be with a huzza too; and at the same time and company the King is scarce taken notice of. I have been afraid these twelve months, that they would serve the King a Pórtugal trick. God and the Kingdom call for some speedy course to be taken, for preservation of the King and Kingdom, and when that is done, I hope you will do more than that.
Sir Christopber Musgrave.] The bringing in a Bill to exclude the Duke, is not the Vote of the House; but the Question is, "Whether the House will go into a Grand Committee," as the way to make your former Vote effectual. Those Gentlemen were of opinion, that we should go moderate ways. This is a business of great weight, and I desire the House may go into a Grand Committee, to make that Vote effectual. I am of opinion, that now we must free ourselves from Poperty, or submit to it. I wonder that Expedients are now called for, when a man cannot do that in the House (where he can speak but once to a thing) which he may do at a Grand Committee. To extirpate the Duke, and at the same time not to declare his Successor, will be strange, and you will make the thing perplexed. It is not orderly to proceed in the House. A Grand Committee will put you in a way to prepare Heads to draw up a Bill upon, which will be better digested there than can be in the House, without those restrictions and limitations. I am not for delay in the case, but that we may be in a proper natural course for speedy progress. This you are upon, is no less than taking away a Right, and you are told, "It may endanger a Civil War, by putting the Duke from his Succession to the Crown of England;" which nevertheless cannot exclude him Scotland. And I should be glad to have the Borders secured, for my own concern, for I live near them. In decency to the King's Speech, consider all ways that you have not considered, and go into a Grand Committee.
Mr Seymour.] I have often reminded myself, since this Debate, that this Question is of the last concernment to the Kingdom; and whatever Resolutions are of the last importance, we ought to be unanimous in; since Gentlemen come not here with Resolutions, but to take them upon clear Debate of things. I am one of those that suffer under those wind-guns, in corners, of being "popishly affected." But when I come to be perfectly understood, it will appear that I have been as much against Popery and arbitrary Proceedings, as any man. It is proposed to go into a Committee, as the Grand Constitution of the House. The Proceedings in this great Matter will have all the constructions abroad, and therefore I would not depart from ancient Forms, but debate Heads at a Grand Committee; for persons will traduce your Proceedings abroad Upon the Evidence you have heard, you have taken your Resolution. The Law excuses things done in haste, when affections are warm and apprehensions great. Therefore I would cool them for Resolutions. I am unhappy when I take notice, that the only thing the King excepts in his Speech, should be the first thing you resolve on. A Gentleman who speaks well, to the advantage of himself and the Question, has told you, "That as to an Expedient, if the Duke come to the Crown the misfortune will be, that nothing can follow but Popery." The Duke's Children are as near to him as his Subjects, and they are Protestants; and if the Duke come to the Crown with those Principles, it is impossible for him to establish the Romish Religion in England. But we are unfortunate, if, under a Protestant King, who has done and suffered so much for the Protestant Religion, and against Popery, Religion should not be so established, that Religion, under a Popish King, should not be able to secure itself— This Law proposed binds not Scotland; and it is a question whether it can bind Ireland; and some have no apprehension of Civil War upon it. But the Duke will think you have done him wrong, and will endeavour to right himself; and till you have determined it, I shall think so too. When you seclude the Duke for Religion, you make a War for Religion; and that great King, who makes War for his Glory, will be glad to take this as a handle for your disturbance. And when once you are put to raise an Army to support your Law, adieu to all the Liberties of England! I believe, something upon the Debate may arise, which will not carry you to both extremes; and to that end I move, That you will go into a Grand Committee (fn. 3).
Sir Richard Graham.] This affair is certainly of as great moment as ever was in an English Parliament, and therefore to be proceeded in with the greatest caution. If the Duke be criminal, he is subject to Law as well as I am. The greatest and the meanest Criminal is the same. Before this Bill pass, I would consider one thing very weighty, Whether it is fit to condemn the Duke before he be heard, or cited to appear; to take away his Right, before he be heard to speak for himself? Next, What will you do with his Children, who are Protestants, and innocent? You will not, sure, act the part of God so far as to visit the iniquities of the Father upon the Children, to the third and fourth generation. Through this matter a most dreadful Civil War may arise, as in the quarrel betwixt York and Lancaster, wherein fell ninety thousand common soldiers, and ninety Barons, besides the loss of Princes of both Houses. I would not kill myself for fear of death. That of Scotland is an ancient and independent Kingdom; and consider whether you will not open that gate to foreigners, as was Cardinal Richlieu's design. In this I speak a little for my own interest: I believe I myself should be one of the first sufferers. I would have Gentlemen consider, that we destroy ourselves by dividing States. It has ever been fatal to them to be divided; as in the division of the Roman Empire, when Theodosius and Arcadius divided it into the Eastern and the Western, this dividing it brought in the Goths and Vandals. If this Bill must pass, it will be fit we know who our Successors are to be. Of all wise Nations, the Romans parted with the power to their Emperors to name their Successors, for the people to know them. In many Kings Reigns they have let the People know their Successors; and I hope we shall not reverse nor undo what they have done with great caution. I would not, in this great affair, make a hasty step, but agree to go into a Grand Committee, and I shall go as far as any man to seclude a Popish Successor.
Sir William Pulteney.] I am afraid that a Popish King will have a Popish Council and Popish Bishops; and that Priests and Jesuits, now skulking in corners, will appear in public, and that the Government will be Popish. If there be such a bent to the Duke, now he is but a Subject, what will there be when he comes to be King? Either now you must preserve the Protestant Religion, or never; and leave the rest to Providence, when you have done your part. When once we have a Law on our sides, and Protestants bound to one another, I hope Protestants will be able to keep out Popery, without an Army. If the consequence must be a Civil War, we must trust in God. No man can instance a Popish Prince and Protestant Subjects. I could wish we had Expedients, instead of this Bill of Exclusion. Those that have them, will have time enough to bring them in; and pray put the Question now for the Bill.
Mr Daniel Finch.] This is the greatest Debate that can come before a Parliament; and I should be glad we may make such steps in it, as not to precipitate an affair of the highest importance, when we would not transact a lesser without deliberation. The matter will have prejudice both abroad and here, if you consider not the honesty as well as legality of it. Though it is the natural Question, "Whether you will go into a Grand Committee to consider Expedients," the Question I will make is, "Whether justly and honestly you can make such a step as this?" It is agreed by all, that the Duke of York has a Right to the Succession of the Crown; and whether any Apostacy of Religion can forfeit that Title; only for deserting the Protestant Religion, and turning to Popery, which is Christian Religion still? No man in the primitive times but asserted his Allegiance to Julian the apostate Emperor, though an Apostate from Christianity. To the legality of it, be it far from me to circumscribe the Authority and Limits of your Power! But without an Act of Parliament against it, nothing is more clear than that of the Duke's Right to the Succession, Cambden tells us, "That Queen Elizabeth would not declare her Successor, and be left the Step-mother of her Country."—I desire leave to tell you a story, and not to be thought to reflect upon the Times of 1640 and 41. When Henry the Fourth of France was stabbed in the mouth by Clement, one of his followers said to him, "Have a care! You have denied God with your mouth in changing the Protestant Religion outwardly." And afterwards, when he made open profession of the Romish Religion, he was stabbed in the heart [by Ravilliac.] We have had one Prince cut off (Charles I.) on pretence that he was given to Popery. I would not disinherit another on suspicion of Popery. If you will admit no possibility for the Duke to return to our Church, you go about to rivet him in Popery. Nothing settled Qu. Elizabeth in an impossibility of return to the Romish Church, like the Pope's bastardizing her. Possibly the Duke may return to our Religion; and we have an instance of it in a worse Religion, in Henry the Fourth of France. But I will speak something to Method, and your regular way of Proceeding. To what is said, "of having not yet heard of any Expedient to save our Religion, &c." the proper place of that is a Grand Committee, and Gentlemen know what offer was made by the King, the last Parliament, for your security. Should I make a Motion, "That all the Papists in England might be murdered, to save our Religion," would not Gentlemen say, "Pray let us have Expedients, before we come to that?" Possibly there may be some that Gentlemen are not aware of. The King has offered any Expedient but this of Exclusion; and how can you answer it to the King? Can you examine any Expedient but where there is liberty of debating it? When a Motion is made for Money, for more freedom of debating it you go into a Grand Committee: Why not in this, which is of the greatest importance, when you do it in a lesser, as to Money?
Mr Boscawen.] I thought there was no need of troubling you at this time, this matter being so well debated, but from something which fell from Finch. I desire he would consider, that though the Church of Rome be said to be "a Christian Church," and the Papists "Christians," yet all good Protestants think them to be Antichristians. Can any man think them the disciples of Christ, that have murdered so many good Christians, and committed that Massacre in Ireland, where the Government was Protestant? After all kind usage and intermarriages amongst them, the Papists in Ireland murdered some hundred thousands: A thing not heard of amongst Heathens! These I cannot call "Christians." If this be so, we cannot expect better usage from them than our Ancestors have had. Remember the Massacre of France, where, under a pretence of inviting all the Great Protestants to the King of Navarre's Marriage, they had their throats cut. In Piedmont, the poor Protestants were hanged up like mice and rats; and we cannot expect grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles. We can expect no better from them. Consider the Duke's interest, how it is engaged with France and the Pope against England, in opposition to the King and Parliament, and the true interest of England. God is my witness, had I the least probability of security, I would not open my mouth against the Duke's Succession. The King living, and though the Parliament has made so many Declarations against these restless spirits, yet nothing will content them; and all from the great encouragement they have from the hopes of the Duke's coming to the Crown, and the countenance they have from him. As for the legality of putting the Duke from the Succession, &c. the Statute of the 13th of Eliz. puts that out of question, and self-preservation is no breach of Christianity. I now speak for the whole body of England, to our preservation, which cannot be without something of this nature. If it should be made lawful to rise against a King that is a Papist, why should we not prevent it, and having our throats cut, and going to Smithfield? It is natural in every Government to preserve itself. Here is no majus et minus in that Case, that makes no difference. If you make a King that shall have Tutors, you by that dethrone him; either you must make him no King, or your Laws will not bind him when he is King. The Nation was easily drawn to Popery after Queen Mary's time; and the Privy Counsellors in Hen. VIII's, Edw. VI's, Queen Mary's, and Queen Elizabeth's time, all changed, when the Prince changed. They were of the Bishop of Paris's mind, who would not change his part in Paris for his part in Paradise. The nature of our Government is quite contrary to any Expedient. The King names all the Counsellors, Judges, and Bishops. And what manner of King would you make him, by limiting him? It was the saying of King James, "Let me make what Bishops and Judges I please, and I will have what Laws and Religion I please." As for the fear of a Civil War, if once the putting the Duke from the Succession, &c. be a Law, whoever rise against it are Traytors. Nothing will unite Protestants but this Bill; nothing will prevent a Civil War but this, and prevent us from being hauled to Smithfield; nothing else will prevent this but the Bill, and therefore I am for it.
Mr Trenchard.] I think he is no good Subject that will say the Duke has any Right to Allegiance till the Crown shall descend to him. The King has it jure Coronæ. It is a strange way of arguing, not to prevent him coming to the Crown who would ruin the Nation. Here has been little of Expedient offered to us. To be secured by Laws with a Popish Successor, is not practicable. When a Popish King comes to the Crown, either we must submit, and change our Religion, or resist. In Sweden, the Queen was deposed because a Papist; and in Bohemia the established Religion is Popery, though the Protestants were connived at after the Emperor had reduced it. That loyal Party will be no Party, which, it was said, would stick to the Duke, when there is such a Law as makes them Rebels who would set up the Duke's Title. If the Militia were in the hands of good Protestants, and not in those of the Duke's Party—It is that makes us tremble. If this Bill pass, and we are fortified with good Alliances, nobody will molest us. All Christendom, and even France itself, with their wise Council, will not act against their own interest. We have a Navy which secures Trade, that may secure Religion, and may secure us from Invasion.
Wednesday, November 3.
Sir Edward Dering.] I desire leave to bring in a Bill "for uniting his Majesty's Protestant Subjects;" I think justly so called. The method of it will be judged best by you; and it may be so penned, without offence to the Reverend Fathers of the Church, the Bishops.
Mr Dubois.] Within these two weeks I was at Canterbury, where I had the honour of a visit from Dr Du Moulin, when he communicated some papers in French to me, in which he has been these eighteen years challenging the Jesuits with a witness, "That they did not only contrive the troubles in 1641, but, by means of the Rebellion in Scotland, when they saw they could not make the late King forsake his Heresy, they would take away his life." Sir Kenelm Digby was the man sent to the College of the Sorbonne at Paris, from the Catholics of England, with this question, "Whether, for the good of the Catholic cause, the King might not be taken away?" And they concluded he might. With eighteen of their Body they sent their Opinion with Digby to Rome, where it was likewise resolved, and all care was taken to effect it. Pursuant to this, the King's head was cut off; which being done, there were great Jubilees for it at Rome. But this was suppressed by the Queen-Mother, who imposed silence upon him. Dr Du Moulin has offered, several times, to make this appear. The Pope called for all the Papers of this affair, out of the Jesuits College at Rome, and had them burnt. It is they that divided Protestants from Protestants, and that was the intention of laying this Plot upon the Presbyterians.