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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Thursday, November 4.
Mr Harbord reports, from [the Committee appointed to examine Lionel Anderson, a Priest convict, in] Newgate, That Captain Richardson [the Keeper,] brought Father [Anderson, alias] Monson, to the Committee, who owned his Petition to the House, delivered the day before. We told him, if he would not clearly and fully relate what he knew of the Plot, the House would not intercede to the King for a reprieve for him from execution. He said, "there had been so many Catholic Informers already, that what he could say might be nothing farther than had been already confessed." He made solemn protestations, "That he knew nothing of the Plot;" so we were coming away. Then, being sensible of his danger, he pressed us to hear what he could say, if the House would think him worthy, upon the Report, to intercede for him. We, considering that there was life in the case, were ready to take his consession rather than deny it him. Some light he gave us in matters which lie heavy upon you. He said, "That about November, five years since, Mr James Porter, in the Duke's name, told him, "He was a schismatical Catholic, and had given distrubance to the Church." He applied himself to Lord Mulgrave (fn. 1), who had orders from the Duke of York to promise him to be one of the Priests to the Dutchess, when she came over. That he was told by Lord Mulgrave from the Duke at Whitehall, "That the Duke was angry with him, in that he spoke against Miracles;" for which he was excommunicated. A year after, Lord Mulgrave told him, "he kept company with Father Welsh, and was schismatical, and was devising new Oaths (of Allegiance)." I was commanded not to name one man plain, A. B. "There is such a man," Anderson said, "about the King's Bench, who, since he came to the King's Bench, wondered to see him there, for by the Duke's interest he was to be sent away to the Inquisition, for writing a Latin Letter about giving Degrees to Father Vincent. One reason why he was to be sent to Rome was for defending the Oath of Allegiance. Two years since, the Bishop of Salmas desired the Duke he might come to him; the Duke said, he would not speak to him then. But afterwards the Duke told him, "He must be obedient to his superiors, else he would do nothing." He said, that a Franciscan Friar, upon the same account, was slipped away into the Inquisition. The Cardinal of Norfolk told him, he had sent two or three away into the Inquisition in the same manner. He and Father Welsh applied themselves to the Duke of Ormond, who said, "If he and Welsh were sent away, they should all be served in the same manner." He remembered that a Letter was written by one Edward Peters, which was made use of at the Tryals by direction of Whitebread. Though Peters was a person proscribed, and twenty weeks in Newgate, yet by Habeas Corpus he got bailed, and was at liberty.
Mr Hampden.] This Report perhaps may seem foreign to the intent of Examination of the Plot. The man professed he did not know of the Plot, but he gave some circumstances of the Plot from the Jesuits. Perhaps he was not taken into the inward part of the Plot, yet he might make conjectures from Sir Edmundbury Godfrey's death, whom all concluded to have been murdered, some thought not by the Papists, but all concluded it done by the Jesuits. "They forbad Mrs Cellier, he said, coming to me, for I deserved to be hanged: She took Dangerfield out of Prison, to go about to Coffee-houses to persuade people this was a Presbyterian Plot: The Narrative I wrote was to distinguish myself from the Plotters." Monson signed this his Confession voluntarily. He said "He had not officiated, nor been at any Ambassador's, these five or six years. If he should go into France or Spain, he is sure to be put into the Inquisition for what he has done here, and if the Plot had gone on, no doubt but the Inquision would have been set up here, and he had rather end his days in a hole in Newgate, than be put into the Inquisition. If the King would give him leave, he would go into Holland, and end his days there, and give security never to return more into England again." I will not propound any thing, but if you will address the King to grant him a reprieve, I leave it to your consideration.
Sir John Trevor.] That Letter mentioned of Mr Peters was for the consult of the Jesuits at the White Horse. If there can be direct proof made of that Letter, it will be a mighty Evidence of the Plot. It was about the consultation of the King's death. I would have that part opened.
Sir Robert Clayton.] I will give you some light into in Enquiry was made after Peters's being bailed. The Keeper of Newgate owned that Letter. Anderson, alias Monson, thought it a hard case that he should be tryed and condemned, after he had owned himself to be a Priest, and that he gave then an account to the King, how that the King, upon all occasions, had always excepted Peter Welsh, and himself, out of the Proclamation.
Sir Nicholas Carew.] I think this man's case hard, having written for the Oath of Allegiance. If he goes over beyond sea, he will be put into the Inquisition; if he stays here, he will be hanged. I would intercede to the King for a reprieve for him.
Mr Garroway.] I confess, in some case, this man may be useful. I do not know but in this man's examination something may be of use. I would intercede to the King for a reprieve for him, but I would not be too hasty for a pardon.
Mr Harbord.] If you do not something for this man, it will look like drawing him to confession to make him lose his life. This man stands in the Romish Church as a Schismatic, and a Priest will not converse with him. Doubtless, if the Parliament should be up, and the Protestant Religion not be settled, nor the King's Person secured, this man, if that should happen, will be hanged, and the rest of the Priests and Jesuits reprieved. You see that Witnesses have been discountenanced, and a sham Plot invented. (I value no man's head, that stands betwixt us and safety.) I would have the World see, that the Protestants of England are not persecutors of Christians, but that this man may have some encouragement.
Sir Gilbert Gerrard.] This man has made you a great, confession, and it is plain that this man's case comes within your favour, and I believe he has informed you truly of things, as far as he knows. He expressed so much of the Duke's zeal to the Romish Religion, that he may come to be hanged with the rest.
Mr Powle.] I will say nothing to hinder your inclination to mercy, wherever you find cause to distinguish persons cases for your intercession. If persons must be taken out of England, and put into the Inquisition, every man may be in danger of it. If you please, while this matter is warm, send to Monson. This A. B. he mentions else may be sent away. Send to examine this unknown person.
Mr Hampden.] The Reporter knows his name very well, and he may be sent for.
Sir Robert Clayton.] If you intend to have any fruit of this matter of sending to the Inquisition, you may send to examine A. B. and upon that Report I shall move you to address for a reprieve.
Colonel Birch.] I would have this a complete Report, which will not be till A. B. be examined. Your Report was not complete in Coleman's examination, till you reexamined him.
The Committee was ordered to examine A. B. and concerning Peters's Letter. Upon Debate, the Committee was impowered to send for Persons, Papers, and Records.
Mr Hampden.] This Information about the Letter is from Captain Richardson, "That Peters told him he had written by Whitebread."
Lord Russel reads the Order "for bringing in the Bill to disable James Duke of York from inheriting the Imperial Crown of England, &c."] According to this Order, the Committee have drawn a Bill, and have commanded me to present it.
[The Bill was read the first time.]
Sir Leoline Jenkins (fn. 2).] I crave leave to speak against a second reading of this Bill, till I am satisfied that it is for the service of the Crown, and the safety of the Nation; till I am satisfied of the Justice of it, whether it be na tural to exclude the Duke, &c. before you hear him. I would do in this, as one man would do by another. In Reason we ought to do, as we would be done by. Popery is a crime, and punished by a Law already made; but here is now a Law for this Prince alone to be excluded, &c. Consider whether it be just to make a new Law for one person. Consider from what principle this Bill does flow; whether it be not rank Popery. It hath been disputable among some of the Schools, whether Dominion be founded in Grace, or no. None but Papists and Anabaptists preach that notion. As to the principle of the Duke's being a Papist, and therefore not fit to succeed to the Crown, it is maintained by the Schools, Councils, and Common Law, that a King may be deposed for Religion's sake. Consider the practice of the Papists by this principle. Germany had six Emperors deposed for Religion—But to come nearer to our own times, Hen. IV. of France was first King of Navarre, and then was declared by the Bull of Sixtus V. not only incapable of the Kingdom of Navarre, but of succeeding to the Crown of France. The Pope proceeded against Queen Elizabeth upon the account of Religion only. That I desire to be considered, whether this Bill is not founded upon the same principle and practice of the Papists. Farther, this Bill, as it is drawn, does change the very essence and being of the Monarchy. Consider whether you do not reduce it to an Elective Monarchy. In the essence of the Monarchy, the Duke is Heir to the Crown, and this Bill is opposite to Primogeniture. We know the inconvenience of an Elective Monarchy by the disorders of Poland. Consider whether this Bill is consistent with the Oath of Allegiance we have all taken—By the blessing of God, the King has not his Crown by designation; he is not an Elective Monarch. Not that I have sworn Allegiance to the Duke during the King's life: I have taken that Oath in the sense of him that imposed it. I took it ten, twenty years ago, and if I am asked what is meant in that Oath by "Heirs and Successors?" I answer, the next Heir to the Crown is the Duke, in case the King have no children. If I am sworn to this Allegiance, whether can any intervenient Act annull it, and whether, under this obligation, any power on earth can absolve me from it? I will not take upon me to dispute this Law when it is made; but before it be made, I may dispute its convenience. I believe it is not in the power of man to absolve me from that Oath. When God gives us a King in his wrath, it is not in our power to change him; we cannot require any qualifications; we must take him as he is. An infant, that knows not his right hand from his left, by our Law is not to be set aside from the Throne, but is as much King, as if a man at full years. This Allegiance binds my faith nothing at all so long as the King is alive, but my Oath binds me to his Successor. Lately, in France, when Hen. IV. came to the Crown, a Protestant, the far greater and most powerful part of both the Court and Army did make it a question whether they should submit to a heretic Prince: Some would not at all oppose him; others would set up his old uncle, the Cardinal of Bourbon, for King; another Party, a squadron volante, would not acknowlege him till he turn ed Papist; but the greater Party thought it their indispensible duty to obey him, and did so, because they should be in less danger with a heretic Prince, than by a Civil War if the thing was contended. It is a fundamental maxim not to enter into an uncertain for a certain mischief, and upon these considerations, pray lay this Bill aside.
Mr Montagu.] The other day, this worthy Member told you of the Laws abroad in relation to Succession, and now he says, "This is a Popish Bill." I observe, that his knowlege of the Laws and Divinity abroad is more than at home. If any man thinks that the Duke, &c. is not in the Plot, nor a Papist, let him give his Vote against the Bill: I am satisfied in both, and therefore do desire the Bill may have a second reading. Till this Bill be passed, the King is exposed to the malice of the Papists, and importunities of sollicitations from the Duke's friends; and I hope this Parliament will give as good testimony of their duty for preservation of the King's Person, and the Protestant Religion, as the last did. Saving the King from the malice of Rome is as great service as bringing him from Brussels. This Bill saves the King's Prerogative and Religion, and two good things it saves besides, the King's Life and his Authority; and I am for a second reading.
Mr Hampden.] I apprehend, Jenkins's Reasons have not that weight as he lays upon them. He tells us, "We should do as we would be done by." But this Rule is to be rightly understood; it must be by a regulated will. No man but would be saved from death. A Malefactor would. Surely in that case it cannot hold, "To do as we would be done by." I am not of opinion that the Bill should singly exclude the Duke, because he is a Papist, but that with the consequences: Not so much as a Papist, but because of the inseparable principles of that Religion, in which it is impossible the Nation should be safe. It has always been said by the Papists, "That this is a bloody Law, to put men to death for Religion as we do." But that is Popish, to say "It is for Religion." You have always disowned it; it is for their consequential principles. I do not think (as Jenkins said) that this Bill makes the Kingdom Elective. I know not but in an Hereditary Monarchy, if a Successor will destroy the Kingdom, he may not be put by the Succession, but the Pope is your King if you have a Popish Successor, and it is not far remote when a King is a Papist. What will become of you when you have broken prison? Shall you fare any better when the Inquisition is set up, that nothing but the blood of so many Martyrs and Confessors at Newgate can else be expiated? Do you think that will be forgotten then? When Popery comes into England, it will come with advantage enough without all these provocations. Their Religion is none but the pride of avaritious Churchmen. Upon these considerations, I move for a second reading of the Bill.
The Bill was ordered to be read a second time [on Saturday next.]
[November 5, Powder Plot.]
Saturday, November 6.
On putting the Laws against the Papists in execution against the Protestant Dessenters.
Sir Francis Winnington.] As soon as Lord Clifford came into the Ministry, all forts of Protestants came within the Statutes of Recusancy, and were convicted and punished by those Statutes. In the County of Cambridge three hundred and odd dissenting Protestants were convicted upon those Statutes, and one poor man was fined a Mark as a Recusant. I have heard that an ancient Parliament-man, in the late Long Parliament, when the Act of Conventicles passed, should say, "Why will you not put the Papists into this new Law?" It was answered, "There are old Laws in being for them already." So that the poor. Protestant had both sorts of Laws against him, and but one against the Papist. This is the great concern, for no greater design can be for bringing in Popery than to divide Protestants. I have heard, that there was a literal exposition lately by the Judges, in their Circuits, of the Laws against Reccusancy, so that the Grand Juries have not presented the Protestant Dissenters upon those Laws. When Lord Clifford set up those Laws against Dissenters, which were asleep before as to the Papists, it was the great work of the King's-Bench to prosecute these Protestants, and they were put to great charge for Supersedcas's. That these Laws were never intended to extend to the Protestants, is clear; and we find in our Law-Books, that when there hath been Error in the Judges Judgment, they have come to Parliament for exposition of doubtful Laws. The Judges are not bound by your Vote, not does that suspend the Laws: But it may cause them to be a little more easy. Therefore I would adjourn the Debate of that Vote now. But what we do, must either be by a Declaration of the Law, if doubtful, or by a Vote, for a present guide to the Judges in their Proceedings.
Mr Finch.] The Statute 3 James was not intended against Protestants, but some have involved all that may be. The intention of the Declaration was for Toleration. As you have begun to separate Protestant from Papist, so I move that you would do something for the ease of Protestant Dissenters. No Vote of yours is a Declaration of the Law of England, but you give your opinion, which is not a total suspension of the Law, but only to take off the vigorous prosecution of it. Your old Vote, in the Long Parliament, did recommend in particular to the care of the Committee to make a distinction betwixt Papist and Protestant, and a List was brought in from each County of the most considerable Papists, and I do believe those Lists are still extant, and the Attorney General to enter a Noli prosequi upon all persons in that List.
Sir Henry Capel.] I think this Motion is better timed than for a Bill. The present Question is only for a Vote; we are now to enlarge the Church as far as we can, and make the Pale of the Church as wide as we can; we want help against the Papists. It is but lately that Lord Clifford brought this prosecution upon them. Though now he is dead, yet he will ever be remembered in the House of Commons. We have felt it. I would only now declare, "That the Law was not intended against Protestants, but Papists." The great Minister of State, Lord Burleigh, wrote to Qu. Elizabeth, "To let the Dissenters be tenderly used upon all occasions, that in any extremity they might he ready to join with her against the common enemy, the Papists." A Vote will show your sense for the present, and will give the Judges light for the present, and I move for such a Vote.
Mr Hampden.] Say, if you please, by your Vote, "That as to those Laws made against Popish Recusants, it is your opinion that they are only made against Popish Recusants, and ought not to be put in execution against Protestant Dissenters, and that they were intended only against Popish Recusants, and not Protestant Dissenters."
Mr Sacheverell.] There is a dangerous Law against Protestants, the 35th of Elizabeth; Popish Recusants are excepted out of it. The consequence of that Law is, that the Papists need no other Law against Protestants. I am a little afraid of it, I must confess. It has been said, "That what you declare cannot expound the Law," and if this Law be extensive to Protestants, your Vote will do no good. I have seen, indeed, that your Vote about the Chimney-Money, which was your Declaration of that Law, did no good, for the Officers proceeded in it as they did before. Therefore you must go farther than a Vote.
Colonel Titus.] I suppose you intend not to declare the Law by a Vote, but the House may declare an Opinion.
Resolved, Nemine contradicente, That it is the Opinion of this House, that the Acts of Parliament, made in the Reigns of Queen Elizabeth and King James, against Popish Recusants, ought not to be extended against Protestant Dissenters.
Mr Sacheverell.] This Question being over, we ought to consider the Statute of the 35th of Elizabeth. There is Abjuration and Felony in that Statute; every thing but life against a Protestant Dissenter, nay, life too, in some cases; and I am the rather for repealing it, because it does not extend to Popish Recusants. I move, "that that Statute may be repealed, that it may not be made use of against Protestant Dissenters."
Mr Garroway.] The Motion is made, I believe, that that Statute may not be made use of against Protestant Dissenters, when you are sent home, and I desire it may be read. Which was done accordingly.
Mr Sacheverell.] It is true, that the latter part of that Act is but temporary, but by an Act of this King, it is declared perpetually in force. I move therefore for a Clause, in that which you intend for ease to Dissenting Protestants, to repeal that Statute.
Sir Thomas Lee.] The grounds of our apprehension, if we fail under a Popish Prince, are, that by this Statute Protestants may be banished; but unless you take care that the Writ de Excommunicato capiendo be not taken away, you had as good banish a man, as let him lie perpetually in jail.
Mr Sacheverell.] Should you join this Writ with your Bill you may have the Writ, it may be, and be put upon some other way of punishment. Let it go alone in Instructions to your Committee. It may be, the Judges will not put the other Laws in execution, but if they be forbidden those Laws, they may put this of the 35th of Elizabeth in execution to its height, and send Protestants out of the Kingdom.
[Ordered, That a Committee be appointed to prepare and bring in a Bill, for the repeal of all or any part of the Act of Parliament, made in the 35th year of the reign of Queen Elizabeth, Chap. 1. printed in the Statute-Book of Pulton.]
Mr Jennison gave an account at the Bar of his knowlege of the Plot, and Father Ireland, &c. See the printed Narrative.
The Bill to disable the Duke of York, &c. was read a second. time.
Sir Richard Temple.] It may be, you say farther than you intend in this Bill. The Duke being disabled to inherit the Crown, by Act of Parliament, the Question is, Whether any body can claim any inheritance by, from, and under him? In the case of Lord Delawar, there was such a Question in Parliament, That he should be disabled to claim or enjoy any Office, &c. during his Life (fn. 3). A Question then did arise, Whether it did not extend farther than to personal disability? I offer this to you, that nothing in the Bill should alter your intent to a Protestant Successor.
Sir Leoline Jenkins.] I desire to be heard one word. I will not enter upon the consequences of this Bill, nor what I have spoken the last day. This Bill reflects upon the Nation, as if, when the Duke came to the Crown, there would be a change of Religion. I hope that five hundred Members of Parliament will resolve not to change Religion, though the Duke come to the Crown. I hope that the Protestant Religion I was baptized in, and have made profession of abroad, and in all places, I shall die in. It has been observed, that no Nation is more tenacious of their Religion than England. To suppose that Popery will come into England, is a dishonour to England. By this Bill, the Blood Royal of England will be disinherited. How will that stand with the Recognition, where the Lords and Commons swore to King James, a vow of obedience to his progeny for ever? And this Bill removes the next Prince of the Blood from the Succession. Is there any security that the present Prince may not be in danger of removal, if this Bill should pass? The Indictment against Charles I. supposed a crime, that he raised War against the people—The greatest dread of all is, the Heir to the Crown being taken off by Law, and no Successor appointed; a cloud I cannot look through! If a Pretender be set up for the Crown, who shall decide it? This is of great dread to me. I would not commit the Bill.
Mr Booth.] I would not have spoken, but upon occasion given by Jenkins. Since you have thus far engaged, you had better never have meddled with it, than now lay it aside, to discourage all the Protestants in England. I wish he would show us, that, in case the Duke come to the Crown, we must not either fight or burn; and, as the Law stands now, should the Duke come o be King, whether it is not against us, and that we must submit or resist, if we have not a Law for us? He puts a strange case, that, if we exclude the Duke, we shall in time come to question the Sovereign. Pray commit the Bill.
Sir Henry Ford.] The King told us, in his Speech, "That the eyes of all Europe were upon us." This Bill is a thing of the greatest consequence. If you make a Law, who shall not succeed to the Crown, the regular way is next to declare who shall. I shall never think that Dominion is founded in Grace, or Nature, but from a power ordained you know by whom: By me Kings reign. They say, no man is born with a Crown on his head, or a saddle on his back. The end of this Bill is great, and I hope you will come to it by lawful means. In the case of Hen. VII, he was not only disabled to reign, by Act of Parliament, as his Royal Highness is by this Bill, but he was attainted of High Treason. It was then the opinion of the Judges, that, without a Bill of Repeal of the Attainder, the descent of the Crown upon him purged away all. I am as fond, as any man, of the Protestant Religion; but I offer to your consideration, how far the legality of this Bill will be.
Sir William Hickman.] Here is nothing in the Bill that the Crown may devolve to the next Successor. Suppose that two Protestants lay claim to the Crown; if they divide, they may let in Popery at the end of it. Princes often leave those things doubtful, but Parliaments should leave them plain. I would have it left to the next right Heir in Succession.
Sir Nicholas Carew.] I would add a Clause to the Bill, to exclude all other Popish Successors.
Sir Thomas Lee.] Perhaps there may rise a difficulty, who is a Popish Successor? Who must judge that?
Mr Harbord.] I have a great mind that this Bill should pass, and I approve of Gentlemens zeal for future security. I would have it provided in the Bill, "That no King shall marry a Popish Queen," if we be so happy that this Bill should pass. It is from thence all our miseries come. I have been told, that we owe our misfortunes, of the Duke's being perverted, to his mother; from her we derive that wound. If this Bill should exclude the Duke's children from the Crown, that are Protestant, I am against it; it is unjust. I would not have them suffer for their father's fault; though I hope the King may have children, which will then put all out of dispute. Let not the Bill be clogged, but commit it, to the end that the King may be safe, and we. I would not clog this Bill. I am sure we can never be safe in prospect of a Popish Successor.
Sir Christopher Musgrave.] Nothing is more natural, than in this Bill to declare a Successor. When you take off this Prince from the Succession, the danger is great, and much more without this Clause of declaring a Successor. I dread the thoughts of the late times, in taking arms for the King against his authority. Therefore if we name the Successor, we have the Law on our sides, and then by no authority the Successor can take our lives, if the King should die, and leave no children. Let that be part of Instructions to the Committee, to name a Successor.
Colonel Birch.] I cannot agree to the Motion of naming a Successor to the Crown. Consider what we are doing; not only securing the Protestant Religion, but the King's life, and, I hope, long life; and till this Bill pass, it is the interest of every Papist to do, what I hope God will never permit. I remember the Answer Queen Elizabeth gave the Parliament, when they pressed her to declare her Successor (fn. 4); a thing I would by no means have done at this time. I would have the Bill stand upon its own bottom, and I am not for giving this in Instructions to the Committee.
Sir John Knight.] Will you deprive the King, by naming a Successor, as if you would suppose the King should not have an Heir of his own?
Colonel Titus.] You have been regularly told, "That you cannot name a Successor." And if you can, it is very dangerous. Suppose the person you nominate may be a Papist, or commit a crime whereby he may lose his head (for he is still a Subject.) If you nominate a Successor now, you will not make an Act for the Queen to live, or the King not to marry again. There are so many inconveniences in it, that I would lay it aside.
Mr Garroway.] As the Bill goes now, there may be danger that it will hinder your Bill, if there be not some general expression that no Protestant Heir be excluded the Succession. If we will not do something of that nature, it looks like setting up a Commonwealth. That you may arrive at your end, I would give the Committee such Instructions.
Mr Finch.] I was surprized at the bringing in the Bill, but much more that we should leave all things at uncertainty who shall succeed, &c. Nothing is more natural than to expect some fruits from this Bill. As for what is said, "That the Successor may turn Papist," that argument may hold the other way; the Duke may turn Protestant. "Possibly (says Titus) the person named may lose his head for some crime, and that an Attainder is vacated by coming to the Crown." But we are not in that case. Possibly the King may die before the Duke, and if no Successor be named, there will be an undeniable interregnum. If I limit a portion to my daughter, with condition that she shall marry with the consent of such a person, yet, if it be not limited to another person over, who shall have the portion in case of her failure? It is void in Law. I think this is the same case. I hope the King may have a son, and so possibly may the Duke. If you do any thing, order it thus, "That in case the King die before the Duke, such of the Duke's children shall succeed, as if the Duke were naturally dead.
Sir Robert Howard.] This is as dangerous a point as can be moved, but the sense of the House in it will conclude every man's opinion. What is moved is of a strange nature. To talk of the King's death is not usual in Acts of Parliament. If you shall say, such an one shall succeed the King, by name, it will be a fine invitation to him to endeavour to succeed. This is not language to be put into a Bill. It is the King's life we all depend upon, and I hope this House will show the World how little they are for a Commonwealth, and shame them that have said to the contrary. But it is said, "In case the King should die, the Nation must be upon some certainty who shall succeed."—How little does the Law esteem remote contingencies that a common Recovery cuts off! Many may object, that this will be a reflection on the Duke's children, if they are not mentioned in the Succession—But is it not as natural with a saving to all Protestant Successors as well to be hereafter, without ifs and ands, as in common savings of a private Bill? I think that a saving to all Protestant Successors will be sufficient.
[The Bill was ordered to be committed.
Resolved, Nemine contradicente, That it be an Instruction to the Committee, that the Exclusion in the said Bill do extend to the Person of the Duke of York only.]
Monday, November 8.
Sir Robert Clayton gave the House Information, That there were some at the door, who could give an account of the scandalous deportment of one Mr Joseph Pagett, a Minister, in matters relating to the Votes of this House.
Mr Loe, an Evidence.] On Tuesday night last I was at a Coffee-house in St Michael's Alley, when I had some acquaintance with me, where calling for the Votes of the House, they found them thus abused, viz. The Vote of the Duke's being a Papist, and the hopes of his coming such to the Crown, &c. were underwritten "A damnable lie." The Vote of Defence of the King's Person, &c. "viz. 1648." A Bill brought in to disable the Duke to succeed, &c. "Voted like rogues."
Another Evidence.] I went to Edwin's Coffee-house in St Michael's Alley. I saw the Votes, at another table in the room, abused (as has been related.) I asked the woman, "Who had abused the Votes?" Her husband answered, "Somebody has played the rogue with them." Three at the other table were gone, but sine said, "That a Minister called for Pen and Ink, and wrote it."
Mr Loe again.] I saw the Minister write upon the Votes, and cross them. I know not the Parson's name, but his brother has a living in Loicestershire, and his name is Joseph Pagett.
Sir Robert Clayton.] There are three or four other Witnesses to testify this, but I would trouble the House with no more.
Sir Nicholas Carew.] I hear that this man is Chaplain to a Nobleman. Pray consider what you do.
Mr Vernon.] This person is Chaplain to Lord Ferrers. The man has been bred up in his life and conversation in good principles. He has been twice with me for Institution and Induction. He has spoken well of the Right of the Subject, &c. and I do believe this will prove a mistake.
Mr Harbord.] I would not have any misunderstanding betwixt the Lords and us, in relation to this man. The Witnesses give no account that he is a Chaplain to this Nobleman, only you have it from some Members. If you send for him in custody, I should be glad to see any Lord justify the man. My Principles are not to advise any thing to create a breach, but I would gladly see such a Nobleman. If you summon the man, it is a Breach of Privilege, though not in custody. It is my opinion that you stand to what you have done. It may be, he will not own himself to be my Lord's Chaplain; and I move to have him sent for in custody.
Colonel Birch.] I am far from thinking that any Lord will protect such a criminal person as this, and will not be as willing to prosecute him as you. In some signal way, both to the King and Kingdom, I would take notice of this; and I would have the Serjeant bring him in such a manner as is for your honour; therefore I move, that he may be sent for in custody.
Which was ordered.
In a Grand Committee on the Bill to disable the Duke of York, &c. [Sir William Pulteney in the Chair.]
The Preamble was postponed. To the next Paragraph,
Colonel Titus.] This matter before you is of great concern, and will have need of all the assistance you can give it. I move that the Gentlemen of the Long Robe may be sent for, and that the Speaker take the Chair to order it.
Which was done accordingly.
In a Grand Committee.
Lord Russel.] I find, in the Instructions from the House to the Committee, "That this Bill is only to relate to the Person of the Duke of York; " and I have a Proviso; if you please, I shall offer it, viz. "It is declared, that nothing in this Act shall tend to disable any Person to succeed, &c. other than the Duke of York, in case he shall survive the King, but that the Crown shall descend to such Person, during the life of the Duke of York, as should inherit the same, in case the Duke were dead."
Mr Finch.] I would add one more Proviso. It is said, "Nothing in this Act contained, &c." Something may disable the Heirs of the Duke. I would have nothing of Attainder pleaded by any act of the Duke's.
The Proviso passed the Committee.
Mr Onslow.] I move for a second addition, "That this Bill may be read twice a year, at the Quarter Sessions, and in the Churches, &c."
Colonel Titus.] It is regular to take Instructions in this from the House: This Clause would be proper by way of rider, and may be moved in the House.
Serjeant Stringer.] I move that you would add to the Preamble, "That whereas it is notoriously known, that the Duke being the Presumptive Heir to the Crown, &c."
Sir Thomas Clarges.] This Motion is of great weight. If the Duke of York be not the Presumptive Heir of the Crown, there is no need of this Bill, for that aggravates the offence, for the Presumptive Heir to conspire against the King's life. If he be Presumptive Heir to the Crown, it is fit so to express it.
The words "Presumptive Heir" were rejected by Vote.
Serjeant Rigby.] True Protestants will not go from their Religion because of a Popish Prince, and therefore I am against the Preamble of the Bill.
Lord Russel's Proviso was made part of the Bill.
Mr Bcoth.] I hope you will fill up the Blanks of the Bill. I desire, "That the Bill may commence from the fifth of November last."
Sir John Bowyer.] I desire it may commence from the seventeenth of November, which was Queen Elizabeth's birth-day.
Mr Harbord.] All our Laws bear date from the first day of the Session of Parliament, and that is a mistake to allege the fifth of November, as a time passed. I love not a sime to come in this Bill, for the Yatchs are not yet come back from Scotland which attended the Duke thither.
Mr Onslow's Proviso passed, viz. "That this be given in charge every Quarter Sessions of the Peace, and to be read at least twice a year, in all Churches and Chapels in the Kingdom of England and Dominion of Wales."
One desired, "That the Town of Berwick upon Tweed might be added, because he hath heard say, that the Duke is to be crowned King at Berwick."
Colonel Birch, on moving for a penalty for the not doing it, said,] It is not to be supposed that any body dares not do it, when the King and Parliament are both of opinion that it ought to be done.
It passed thus: "To be read in all Churches, Chapels, Cathedrals, and Collegiate Churches, the 25th of December, being Christmas-day, and upon Easter-day, yearly."
[The Bill, with the Clauses and Amendments, was ordered to be ingrossed.
Sir Robert Cann, on his Petition, was discharged from the Tower.]