Grey's Debates of the House of Commons: Volume 8. Originally published by T. Becket and P. A. De Hondt, London, 1769.
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DEBATES IN THE House of Commons, From the Year 1667 to the Year 1694.
Monday, November 15, 1680.
On the Libel reflecting upon Sir Edward Dering (fn. 1).
JANEWAY, the Printer, at the Bar.] I received it from Symonds and Lee, Booksellers. Symonds says, "He had a hand in putting it out to print, and received it from Captain Yarrington's own hand, and will stand by it."
Captain Yarrington.] I own that I delivered a Copy of it to Symonds, but was not the author of it; but came to it by means of Dr Tongue. I saw him write some part of it; he delivered it to me with his own hands, and I know not any profit Tongue had by it. After the Sham-Plot came on so fast, I was speaking of Coleman's Letters, "and that at such a Place there were Copies, and they were given out for money." He desired me to use my interest for a Copy. I saw Symonds write the Copy, and gave him content for it. (He produces the very Original in his hand.) When I had it from him, I showed the Original to several Members, and they were zealous to have it made known to the Nation. Dr Tongue was joyful at the receipt of the Copy, and desired me to leave it with him. At length he finished these Animadversions. He bid me drop them in any Bookseller's Shop, that he might print them. I did not think to give any offence, and Dr Tongue did it with all Candour and Sincerity. It was a great trouble to me when I heard Mr Treby's Reputation injured. He withdrew.
Mr Treby.] Yarrington has pretended his care of the Protestant Religion, and of my self, but I believe he has taken little care of either; for he has printed the Letters false, and the Letters are as untrue as the Reflections he has made upon them. I never did communicate any Pa per I was entrusted with from the House. I have resisted all importunities. When I went the Circuit, I thought it best to put the Papers into a friend's hand; he was my good friend, but usque ad aras. I would enquire from whence that next fellow, betwixt Somers and the Writer, had it. I believe you have the same impatience as I have to clear the matter.
Captain Yarrington was called in again, when the Speaker asked from what Person the Scrivener, or Stationer, in the Temple had the Original? He said, "That Dr Tongue was the author of the whole, every word, and (poor Gentleman!) when he had it, he thought he had a second life—The Bookseller did in gratitude give me something. It was Symonds." He withdrew.
Sir Edward Dering.] No man can sit down under such a Reproach as this Libel casts upon me. You may judge the whole of the Libel by the parts. (And then he read that part which reflects upon himself.) In the last Long Parliament, there were two Members (fn. 2) expelled the House for being Papists, and they were not in the Plot, and it was for their honour. Such Members, so reproached, ought to be expelled, or vindicated. If there be the least suspicion upon me, I am ready to lie at the Door of the House, and to be trod on, as in the primitive times. I know not in my whole life, from my Baptism, that I have deviated from the Protestant Religion. My father has written for the Protestant Religion, and bred me up strictly in it. Since I came to serve the King, my conversation has been such. I think, without breach of my own modesty, I may say, if I had been but lukewarm in the Protestant Religion, I might not have been in such a condition as now I am in. In the Sham-Plot, which the Lords in the Tower did beget, and Mrs Cellier brought into the World, there were not above thirty persons in that Catalogue named, and it was my misfortune to have two of my sons in that Sham-Plot. I have deserved very ill from the Papists to shame my two sons. As to my own Reputation, I shall leave it with you. I never owned Popery so much as to be a Religion. As for the Printing-trade, it is like robbing, not altogether done for malice, but for reward. And as for Captain Yarrington, I never saw him before. Will you suffer him, for the good of the Nation, to asperse your Members? This is a sad case, that a man's reputation should be thus blasted, and the person to say, he had the Libel from another man. If you think me rotten at the heart, and to leave God and the World for Preserment, dispose of me as you please. It is as justly incumbent upon you to punish criminals, as to acquit the innocent. I humbly crave reparation of the injuries done me, as large as the aspersion; and for the method of it, I humbly submit it to the pleasure of the House.
Sir Christopher Musgrave.] You are passing a Vote for clearing the Honour of your Member, but it would be a greater Honour to him to have the matter clearly stated first. I am satisfied that I think Yarrington abuses you, and I would have him kept in custody, and he will clear the matter. We cannot do justice without doors, unless we do it within. I would send for Dr Tongue to attend you, to give an account of this Libel.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] I would do something for vindication of your Member, and make some Vote. And, to prevent the like abuse for the future, I would appoint a Committee to examine all the matter, and likewise particularly Dr Tongue.
Sir Robert Clayton.] If Dr Tongue comes to the Bar, how will the thing be extenuated? As to your Member, if you should be prorogued, and you pass no Vote in vindication of your Member, the aspersion remains, and your Member is not vindicated.
[November 16, omitted (fn. 3).]
Wednesday, November 17.
Debate on his Majesty's Message relating to Tangier (fn. 4).
Sir John Hotham.] When I consider this House, congregated of such persons that the choice has pleased every one but our direct enemies; when I consider such a House, brought together from all parts by Petition for their sitting; not only the eyes of the Kingdom, but all the World, are upon them. If the wisdom of this House has turned the affairs of Christendom, they have showed it particularly in the Bill of excluding the Duke. Our only wisdom now is to preserve our Wives and Children, Estates, and Religion, and all that is dear to us. If these are not Arguments to persuade Gentlemen, I cannot hear better to be spoken to, nor do I know what to propose. But if it fare with other men as with me, I am not able to utter any thing to secure us after this defeat of the Bill. But yet I would not lose courage, but rally up our thoughts, and the way to consider well what to do, is to adjourn till to-morrow, and let every man lay his hand upon his heart, and consider what to propose by that time.
Mr Trenchard.] Never did the necessity of the Nation more call for your Counsel than now, there is such difficulty and consternation upon all Protestants. Let us therefore recollect our thoughts for some time, and I second the Motion.
Sir William Jones.] Tangier is a Place of great moment, but I take the preservation of Religion to be far greater. For us to consider the preservation of Tangier now, is as if an enemy were landed in England, we should consult the preservation of Guildhall, which would be an odd thing, and no way proportionable to the present occasion. We have a great danger near us, and if we are prevented in the prevention, let it fall where it ought. Tangier is no part of England, and for us to provide for it, as things stand now, is to weaken our own security. Tangier has a Popish Church. I have seen the Articles, when the Place was delivered to us, "That those Portuguese Priests belonging to that Church should be continued there during their lives." But as they died, others have been continued in their places. Whether Devotion, or the healthfulness of the Place, has increased them, I know not, but it is eighteen years since these old Priests were left there, and I am informed that their number is not decreased; but that this should have been a seminary for Priests, might have been stopped, and not by Breach of Articles with Portugal. It is not long since there was a Popish Governor (fn. 5) there, and they have had supplies from Ireland; I do not know of what complexion, but for ought I know, they are of the same complexion with those of the Cathedral Church. I cannot calculate the charge required to support this Place, but I believe it must be a good sum of Money for this summer. So that we are not now disputing for a little sum of Money, but to raise an Army, and support it to endanger us. I have no aversion to provide for Tangier, but if we run to a greater preservation of it, than for our own danger, we shall strangely forget ourselves. Let us first look home; therefore I second the Motion, that we may recollect ourselves, and not in a sullen way to say, "We will give no Money for preservation of Tangier." I would not be understood to lay it aside, but, with some humble Answer, to give his Majesty Reasons why we cannot comply with his desires, and I hope he will hear us.
Mr Hyde.] I will not trouble you on the Motion that has been made, but shall lay something before you, and I hope I shall be heard favourably. Jones has told you of the danger of giving Supply for Tangier. I know not what the Articles of Marriage were betwixt the King and Portugal, whether they have been kept or no; but as to the danger of its being supplied by Irish soldiers, for fear of Religion, whoever knows Ireland, knows that Army to be far from Popery (at which they laughed.) I submit it to you, whether to be laughed at, or answered, is most for the decency of the House. If taking the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy be a security, I believe neither Officer nor Soldier but have taken them. Jones said, "That the dangers here at home are greater, and this is as if we should provide for the Coast of Kent, when London is invested." I wish you were free from your fear. And he tells you, "That this is demanded at an unseasonable time." But the King is at so great a charge for this Place, that he cannot maintain it, and if you think it no matter whether it is best, after all the King's charge, if you think it not fit to keep it, in God's name let it go.
Mr Hampden.] I must begin as Jones did, "That Tangier is a Place of great importance, and in a single consideration not to be neglected." But you are taking it comparatively. I know not the condition of Tangier, but it is discoursed of abroad, that Douglas's Regiment is there. I know not what they are now, but they were taken for Papists when they came out of France. If it were an Argument in the House of Lords for throwing out the Bill for excluding the Duke, "That the Duke had the command of an Army in Scotland, and that there were fifteen Papists to one Protestant in Ireland, and that the Duke had the disposing of Officers in the Fleet and Army," and if he be Admiral of Tangier, if this be an Argument to take Tangier into your consideration, and if it be for your service to give Money for it, I hope you will consider where to place the Money. You are not now making Petitions of Grace, but of Right, whether as Protestants you will part with your Money before you have any prospect of security. But it will be said, "We must have a Trust somewhere;" but what fruits have you had of all the Money you have given? Have not things been worse, and not better? Changes of Ministers have done nothing. I long to see the time when Money will make the King great and glorious; but pray let us be safe first, and give the King Reasons to convince him and all the World. If it must be Money, I would come to a plain bargain, and not be always fencing. I desire nothing but securing the Protestant Religion, and establishing the King upon the Throne of his Ancestors. Let this be once well done, and I am for giving Money. But what will become of all, unless you make it in a plain way of bargain? There must be a Trust somewhere, but not where the foundation of the diffidence has been laid. My Motion, on the whole, is, "That an Address be made to the King, humbly to represent to him the condition of the Kingdom, and that it is unseasonable to take the Supply of Tangier into consideration."
Mr Harbord.] I shall take the liberty to answer two points, which fell from Hydc. He said, "That the Army in Ireland did consist of Protestants that had taken the Oaths, &c." Indeed they do so, but not the Test against Popery. You are told, from Jones, "That the consideration of Tangier is a thing of great importance;" and there is no manner of doubt but it is of great use to England, and if lost, or abandoned, it may fall into fatal hands, if either into the French or the Moors. But no doubt Tangier is not only a seminary for Popish Priests, but for soldiers too. The Governor, Lord Bellasis, is a Papist; besides, at the same time, he was Governor of Hull, Lord Lieutenant of the West Riding of Yorkshire, and Captain of the Guard: And if such men be in command, by what Laws can you secure yourselves? Colonel Duncan, whose Regiment is now there, is a Papist; and no wonder that Hyde would have the House declare whether they will keep Tangier, or not. This may be of great importance, and I hope the House will be too wise to give such a Resolution; and it is not improbable that those soldiers may be brought hither, where we have too many already. But now this matter comes to be unseasonable, as Jones has told you. But pray why was the Parliament put off so long, as if men would create a difference betwixt the King and his People? And then not only Tangier will be unsafe, but every individual man of us. I will part with my Blood and my Money, but not with my Birthright. Shall we be afraid to speak plain English now? I am for an Address to the King, as bold as Truth will give it leave with Good Manners, and to let the King see that his safety is here, and not in a Junto. You have been told (by Common Fame) of Arguments used against your Bill of Exclusion in the House of Lords, which I cannot but from my soul lament, that the Duke should be preferred before the King! The King's Dignity left to secure the Duke! The King has done no hurt; he has broken no Law, but by his Ministers. The Duke has broken them; and as long as there is such a difference in numbers in the Lords House for the Duke's interest, the safety of the Nation is here.
Sir Edward Dering.] I did think this day's Debate was reserved for a more public danger than Tangier. It is great, and greater than in the last week. The Question is, Whether you will answer the King, with all Duty, in what he demands of us? What Answer presently to give, being not at all informed of the condition of Tangier, I do not know. If it really is at the Duke's disposal, and is a seminary for Popery, there is no reason you should give Money to support it. What charge it is to the King at present, and what it will be for the future, or any thing else you please, you may be informed of from the Treasurer, or Secretary. It is Answer enough for the present, to the King's Demand, to consider of it, and then, Whether to give Money, or no? In two or three days time you may be able to take such measures as in justice and prudence you shall think fit. As for the Money, you are free where to place it. If you will not trust them, trust any else you shall appoint. Pray move it so far as to bring the state of it before you, and consider accordingly.
Colonel Birch.] I am always willing to hear any one rather than myself. I wish we were come to that, so far forth as to consider where we should place the Money, or to take a prospect of the condition of Tangier; but we are not ready for either of those. When we are ready, I will give you my share: But I am one of those that think our very lives are in danger. The Arguments I have heard of against the Bill of Exclusion, &c. in the Lords House; of the Duke at the head of an Army in Scotland (and the Government has been so altered there) the number of Papists in Ireland, and as Places have been, and generally are at the Duke's disposal, if ever it was a time to speak, it is now; and we must answer for our Trust. Therefore I humbly press it, as a duty, to let the King know what is amiss. There be many things which we cannot handsomely act, but may be done with honour and safety when the King pleases. Ever since the breach of the Triple League, the design has been to ruin Religion and Property. Every day this has been ripening upon us; and though the Parliament did what they could to prevent it, yet every little Officer of the Navy has been appointed by the Duke, and from one end of the Kingdom to the other the Duke is in such power, that if there be not a change, I will not consent to give one penny. It is not of this, or that, or t'other Minister, but the most zealous Protestants that can be picked out, must be put in their Places; and when you have represented it to the King, he knows only how to secure you. I move, therefore, "That you will address the King, to represent the danger we are in, and to inform him, how the World stands at gaze for our fall."— They durst never do what they do, were we set right at home. Show the King the beginning of the malady, and intreat the King for an effectual cure.
Sir Thomas Player.] The last Parliament, I was the same man I am this, and so are the other Gentlemen that serve for the City of London. We are for the Bill of excluding the Duke of York from the Succession, and for all other good things that have been before you. The City have chosen us again, in confirmation of their liking what we did. What I say, is in the name of the greatest part of the Commonalty of the City of London; they will give Money, half they have, nay, all, upon securing their Religion and Liberties, and will trust God, and set up again for another Estate: But they will not give a penny for Tangier, nor any thing else, till all be secured. I will give you an instance why London cannot do any thing; they have felt the effects of the Papists by the Fire, promoted by them, and by the great Guards kept up for the security of the King and Kingdom, to the expence of an hundred thousand pounds. The City of London is the bulwark of the Protestant Religion. The first assault of the Papists will be London; and this is the reason why the City will not give Money, till they are delivered from the present circumstances of fear of Popery and a Popish Successor. The Duke is likely to be General of Scotland, and of the Irish Papists, and the English Papists are at his command; the Forts and Shipping are at his command too, or at his beck. What are all your Lieutenancies of London and the Country, not made by the King's inclination? The Justices of the Peace and Lieutenants are sitted to serve his turn, as an addition to his Power. And what can be inferred from this Power in the Duke, but that the Kingdom is in his hands, to make what King he pleases? What security, then, can we have? It is an ugly thing for me to say, but, if this be so, all the Gentlemen of this House must make their peace with him as well as they can. For my part, I will never do it; and I would address the King, "That for the sake of one man, he would not destroy three Kingdoms."
Mr Bennet.] I hear Money moved for to-day, to save Tangier; and Motions have been, to make a Representation to the King, of the present State of the Nation. If we do so, the case we are in may be put in short thus: You would prevent a Popish Successor by your Bill, and have tryed the Lords, and they have thrown it out, and you have had no success: The next thing is, to represent to the King the present State of the Nation. As you have been told of the Duke of York's Power, who has undermined the King in placing of Officers in all the Courts, and at the head of an Army, it was well moved, that you address the King, "Not to destroy three Kingdoms for the sake of one man."
Colonel Titus.] Whosoever speaks now of Tangier ought to do it with some apology. To talk of the condition of Tangier now, is like Nero, when Rome was on fire, to fiddle. Tangier is a place of consideration for Trade, and a Guard from Pirates, where our ships may retreat, and in due time there may be consideration had of it; but to consider of it now, is as if the Tower were like to be surprized, and we should consult of building a Castle at Greenwich. You have been moved to see the state of Tangier, what will relieve, and what maintain it. If it be in a good condition, you need not help it; if in a bad, we are not in a posture to defend ourselves. Pray let us consider our own condition; first, the Head, and then it will be natural to consider the Members of the Body. When we have considered the building of Ships, then it is fit to dispose of Cabbins. We are afraid of a Popish Successor; all the rest is but a Comment upon that Text. It was never known, but when the King was of an opinion in Religion, the Kingdom was of that opinion. Hen. VIII. declared his Supremacy of the Church; the Kingdom did so too, and threw the Pope out of the Kingdom. Queen Mary burnt the Protestants, and the Kingdom did so too. In Edw. VI's time, Regis ad Exemplum they followed their leaders, and did as he did. Be it either in Popery or in Persecution. A man has a quincy or a pleuresy, and his Physician tells him he will give him any remedy but letting blood: This is our case in a Popish Successor. In Edw. VI's time the Bishops were zealous for the Reformation, and gave good Testimony of it; and I am of opinion they would not in those days have thrown out such a Bill as we sent to the Lords. We know that the King is a good Protestant, but I hope he will not let the Protestant Religion die with him. If Edw. VI. had said, "I will do any thing for the Parliament, but my Sister Mary must be my Successor," the Pope could not have advised better. And now you are about to raise Money for Tangier, the people are much beholden to you. If my stomach be foul, meat will not nourish me, but my disease; the stomach must be cleansed before we think of feeding. When we have enquired after the throwing out the Bill of Succession in the Lords House, and those that make a difference betwixt the two Houses, and have set a brand upon those that give ill advice to the King, those evil Counsellors, then it will be time to think of Tangier— Were you deceived but once—but you have been so often— 1,200,000l. [was given] for setting out a Navy, and there was not a nail nor a hammer struck; the very holes remaining that the ships had got in the Dutch War, unrepaired. Money was given for a War with the French, and a shameful Peace made. Money was given to disband the Army, and it was employed to keep it up. If all this be not considered before you give more Money, it is strange. But I observe that we had never so many Admirals (fn. 6), nor ever fewer ships to guard us. (Gentlemen laughing, he said, I am afraid to repeat it again for fear of making you laugh.) Never so many Treasurers (fn. 6), and so little Money, nor ever so many Counsellors, and so little Safety. When these things are redressed, I am for the consideration of Tangier, and for giving Money; but till then, I move "That an Address may be made to his Majesty, to represent our present condition."
Lord Russel.] Nobody has been backwarder within these walls, I say, none has been backwarder to give Money, than myself; yet really where it appears that it ought to be given for support of the Government and the Protestant Religion, none shall be more forward; but I will never give Money for promoting of Popery. Though Tangier be in danger of being lost, giving of Money for support of Tangier is giving of Money for Popery, as the chief Person that manages affairs is a Papist and a slave to the Pope, and as there are sixty-three against thirty-one for throwing out the Bill in the Lords House. If my Father had been one of the sixty-three, I should have thought him an enemy to the King and Kingdom. And now to talk of Tangier, when the Kingdom is sinking! Nothing now but the House of Commons is true to the King, and Religion. I have a conscience, and I hope if I may not live a Protestant, I shall die a Protestant. I think you are put in a good way, plainly to tell the King why you cannot consider of Tangier.
Sir Henry Capel.] What calls me up is what fell from Dering, viz. "That the King does not ask Money of you, but that you would consider Tangier at a Committee;" and that is Money. In the Long Parliament, usually the first Motion was for Money; but Dering should have considered that this is another Parliament that will have Grievances first considered, of which we have not yet so much as redressed one. I had thought that some Grievances would have been redressed in Council before Money had been spoken of. Justices of the Peace and Deputy Lieutenants are the same as the Duke put in, and I hear not in good hands. One time, a sword is running through a man; another, a knife is cutting his throat; let every man consider, when he goes to bed, at this rate what may become of him before morning. I wish the Bill of Exclusion had passed the Lords House as well as here; but it is not Parliamentary to take notice of what is done there; but I am startled that men near the King, who know the imperfection of the Kingdom, that we have no Alliances that will deal with us in the disorders we labour under, yet all to throw out the Bill at a blow! Would any man think that they should be of opinion to throw out the Bill, and give it no consideration? I would therefore show the King, that we will support him when we are safe, but till then, no Money. Let us know the bargain how to be safe, and in an Address we have a fair oportunity to shew the State of the Nation, and I would have the Address drawn upon the Debate.
Sir Edward Dering.] I would rectify a mistake in Capel. If he had not looked upon me when he spoke, I should have thought he had not meant me. I take it that I never moved for a Committee to consider of Tangier, nor for Money. All I moved for was, to examine the State of Tangier.
Mr Love.] I am a Merchant, and all my Trade has moved in the Mediterranean Sea. I was bred there, and so are my children. I was sent hither to mind the Public, and now the Ship is sinking, I shall not take care of my Cabbin. I have passed by Tangier—All men have admired at the expence laid out upon it, for it never was, nor ever will be, a place of Trade; it is so mountainous a Territory, that little provision can be had by land. It is near Tetuan and Sallee, and their Trade is great there to all Nations, and Tangier can never be made a place of Trade; and I know not what reason we have to be so fond of it, but from the product of Popish Counsels, to make this place impregnable, to have a continual War with Algiers, to occasion giving Money. Formerly I had Letters that gave me an account of this; but the Long Parliament would hear of no such things; but, all over, our Counsels are from Rome. Yesterday I saw a Letter from Rome, on the Exchange, that gave an account of the heads of the King's Speech this Parliament; it was dated the twenty first of October our style; one or two of the heads I observed. This is to show you that your affairs are managed at Rome. In the Letter it is said, "That the King had commanded the Parliament not to touch upon the Succession, nor to touch upon Lord Danby's Pardon, and that the King would not ask a penny of money." This confirms me, that if they first know at Rome what we are to do here, we may see how our Counsels are managed. There is now at Tangier that notorious rogue Captain Tom, and though there is an accusation against him in the Council, yet he is sent to Tangier to command. Those Counsels that magnified Tangier at that rate, I could give myself no account of, but this, that they would make a mole for securing of ships, now that England has had it eighteen years; and for ships of war it is not proper; it is fit for nothing but small vessels; and as they go forward with the mole, the sea will grow deeper and deeper, and will wash the mole away. Popish and French Counsels put the King upon these vast expences to impoverish the King, as they have done in the war with Algiers, on purpose to impoverish the Nation. Algiers lives by rapine and spoil. We were at Peace with them, and I had trade there for some time—A Peace was made with them, and one Article was, "That they should not search English ships;" and they keep Articles well for Mahometans, but Italians had Commissions to ride with English Flags, and put some few English upon the ship; yet notwithstanding this, when they had expostulated with Sir John Narborough, they restored the ship. After this, "No ship must go to sea without Passes." But they imposed Passes upon us, which brought in ten thousand pounds a year to some Persons. But you will say, "How does this affect Tangier?" The King has been abused. Indeed, it may be said, "This is a Place for Convoys; would you have Tangier lost?" I fear nothing more than that it should fall into the French hands. If it could be made a trading place, I should be glad of it; but when we have Confederates to destroy the Power of France, we shall have no need of this of Tangier. The French had formerly but sixteen sail of men of war, fifty-five pieces of ordnance the greatest; and now they have above an hundred—And the dishonourable Peace we made for them! Had we fallen upon them when the Money was given for an actual War, we might have kept the Confederates together, and reduced their Power. If you send for experienced and disinterested men, to give you their opinion of Tangier, they will tell you, that it will be more profit to the King to blow up the mole, than to spend two hundred thousand pounds a year upon it. This Place is, as Mr Waller, in the Long Parliament, said of the Navy, "but a sore arm to beg with." The Navy was a popular Argument to ask Money upon, and yet we see how it has been neglected: So may Tangier hereafter be lost, and there is an end of your Trade into the Streights. It is more for the interest of England to demolish it, than to keep it, nor dare the French land an Army to refortify it: They will be beaten out by the Moors, and will never go to the cost of it. I move, therefore, for an Address to his Majesty—as before.
Sir Thomas Lee.] I differ from Love, &c. I thought it was the sense of the House to preserve Tangier. Pray now consider what advantage those about the King will have. They will say, "Sir, save your Money for Tangier, and employ it at home." I would therefore represent to the King, "To desire him to do what is in his power to save Tangier: And then you will do what is in your power." It is no wonder that the news you are told of came from Italy, when the first Prorogation of this Parliament was known to Lord Stafford in the Tower before it was known to the Privy Council.
Sir Francis Winnington.] I dare not hold my peace in this matter. As to Tangier, in its due and proper time you may take care of it, and in the mean time I hope the Counsellors about the King will take care that it be not sold. We know, the last Parliament, what was said about that; but methinks the word "Tangier" sounds too narrow, when the welfare of the Kingdom concerns us all. But I hope the Bill thrown out in the Lords House will not lessen the union of good Protestants, nor their courage. In three Parliaments I have observed that I hardly ever saw a Bill of Trade, or other little matter, but the Lords would know your Reasons for it, at a Conference, before they threw it out; but this Bill was brought in to the Lords and read in one hour, and before they went to bed they threw it out. I remember, at the Council at Lambeth about preventing the mischief of a Popish Successor, where the Bishops met to do what they were bid, the product of that consultation was a Bill that, instead of preventing a Popish Successor, did establish one; and the Bill against Popery, was for Popery, and if there was such a concurrence of the Bishops then, no wonder they were so forward to throw out this Bill now. The Bishop of St Asaph's Epitaph, at the top of his Will, was plain Popery, with all the trumpery of Popery upon his Monument. Poor man! he could not die till he had given assurance to the Papists that the Bishop died Popish. At University-College at Oxford, a Gentleman, inclinable to Popery, preached a notorious Popish Sermon, and the University reproved him for it. I hear, he is Tutor to a Member's Son of this House [Mr Hales;] so I do not wonder that that knot of men were against the Bill; and we shall know by the Protesters, who were for it in the Lords House. There was not one Expedient offered instead of the Bill, but "leaving a General without an Army, &c." Livy's History is a wise Book, where he discourses which is better, a Lion to be General of Hares, or a Hare General of Lions, and he thinks a Lion General of Hares. When we came hither first, it was with great apprehensions of Popery, which occasioned this Bill. Whenever the Popish Party see they are like to have a Popish Successor, that will make that Party restless. I would to God, the King heard the sincerity of the Debates of this House!—But there is a sort of people that inclose the King, that study nothing but to aggrandize themselves, and debase the Protestant Religion. I should have moved you before against such Counsellors, but I hope to do it before I go out. When thirty ships were voted, it was said, "That an Englishman cannot speak against ships." But pray God send the giving Money for Tangier is not the ruin of the Nation! Let us assure his Majesty, that, when affairs are upon a Protestant bottom, we will stand by him; but if we fall upon any thing against Popery, then we are sent away presently. The Plot depending, and the Parliament so wisely and deliberately prosecuting it, they were sent home for a year and a half. But let the World see you will preserve the King, and the Protestant Religion. When that is done, and represented to the King, and that in the House of Lords there are Lord-Lieutenants that give Commissions of Deputies to a sort of men that top-up, who have neither fortunes, nor virtue;—and I will prove it, that a Lord-Lieutenant would not let a Post be stopped that carried Letters betwixt the Papists. If the Protestant Religion must preserve the King, I would have the World see, that, though we have lost our Bill in the Lords House, yet we have not lost our integrity and courage.
Dr Perrot (fn. 7).] I heard the Sermon spoken of preached by that Gentleman of University-College, at St Mary's. It gave offence to the University, and he was censured for it. If a man preach Sedition there, or false Doctrine, he is censured by Expulsion, or [ordered] to make public Recantation; he was no resident [Member] of the University, and to have expelled him would have been no punishment; but he was put upon his Recantation, and I hope there will remain no reflection upon the University.
Mr Hales.] I am called up by what fell from Winnington. I do acknowledge this Gentleman to have been my Chaplain. I heard that he gave occasion of offence to the University by a foolish Sermon he preached; and as the University have punished him, I thought fit to punish him too. Before he came to my House, I discharged him my family, and I hope there will remain no reflections upon me.
Sir Leoline Jenkins (fn. 7).] I have only one word to add. The Proceedings of the University against this Person, being a Non-resident, were by causing him to make Recantation of his Sermon, which was all they could do.
Sir William Temple (fn. 8).] I rise only to return the Debate into it's proper Channel, diverted by accident about this Sermon at the University. I desire now we may come to some Resolution, which I take to be an Answer to the Message from the King. I know it had been more fit for a man so new within these Walls as I am, to sit still, and I should not have troubled you, but upon some foreign considerations that I am versed in, which may concern more this business of Tangier. Tangier has been alleged to be a matter of small consideration; and by others, "though of great consequence, yet it must give place to matters of greater moment." This Debate comes the more seasonable, being the matter of the Order of the Day, and you must come to some Result, unless something had happened to change that Order. I will say one thing, and, in my opinion, the only thing, of Tangier; I take the place to be of no moment to England, though I believe it to be a good mole and safe retreat from the Pirates of Algiers; but as to this conjuncture of Christendom, and the use we have of the Spanish Havens, they are of much more moment and consideration than Tangier. I should be glad, either that we never had it, or if it was by an Earthquake blown up, and the Spanish Ports would be much more useful. But one thing we are to consider; into whose hands it may fall. If the Moors had it, and we were sure they would keep it, I should not care two straws; but if it be not blown up, and the Fortifications demolished, I fear it's falling into the hands of France, and it would be of infinite consideration to them. I am afraid that, by our own conduct, we have not made ourselves fit for what God has appointed us. If the French get Tangier, and make it the Block-house of the Mediterranean, Algiers will be so many hounds in their hands, and they will let them loose, or restrain them, as they please, either upon Holland or us. Then, I take it, the brazen Head is opened, and will not speak more for England. They will take the Trade from England, and invite the Dutch, and though the Prince of Orange may interpose his interest for us, yet the States, being tempted to so great a thing as the Trade of the Mediterranean, will comply with the French. Now the Question is, What Answer you will give the King? I hear it said, "This consideration of Tangier is as if Money was asked of us." I have always thought that there had been another use of Parliaments than the three mentioned, viz. "For the King to ask Advice of his People." "The Advice and Assistance of the House" are the words of the King's Message; and though we answer not that point of "Assistance," I am loth we should say nothing to "Advice," unless that it is not now time, and we are not ready to give it. You have time enough to enter into the Debates of the State of the Kingdom, and to lay open the dangers we are in; but that such a thing should be grafted upon the consideration of Tangier, is like putting a strong Plant into a weak Stock. We are to make an Answer proper to the Message. I shall only say to the Bill you have lost in the Lords House, that you are very sensible of it, as I heard to-day; but I hope you will not be angry, and resent from the King the ill treatment you have received from the Lords; a thought of more moment than Tangier can be! The weight of all Christendom, as well as of England, hangs upon the success of this Session of Parliament. I speak this with more ground, having spent some time abroad. We cannot be lost in a day, but forty or fifty days may do things abroad never to be recovered. I conceive it a good pace made of great necessity to give the King Advice; but I should be loth you should give the King any sort of unkind Answer; for in the Message the King is kind in asking your Advice; therefore I would have nothing pass unkind from you. I take not upon me to know the Constitution of England, having spent most of my time abroad; but I think the King cannot always save the Kingdom, but he may do much to ruin it; and though the Commons alone cannot save the Kingdom, they may do much to ruin it. We are obliged to answer the King's Message; but whenever you go about an Address like a Remonstrance, whenever you do that, I hope it will not be upon the occasion of Tangier, but upon solemn Debate; and I move, "That you would now give the King an Answer as to his Message of Advice for Tangier only."
Resolved, Nemine contradicente, That an humble Address be presented to his Majesty, to represent to his Majesty the dangerous State and Condition of the Kingdom, by reason of the fears and apprehensions of Popery, and a Popish Successor (fn. 9).
Sir John Hotham.] Now that our Bill is lost in the Lords House, you have nothing to justify yourselves but the printing Mr Coleman's Letters, in Mr Treby's hands, and what else relates to that matter; which I humbly move.
Mr Treby.] When you order these Letters to be printed, I presume you intend not to have abstracts, but ipsissima verba, for there are allegories in them, which must be interpreted. I will do it as fast as I can, but at the present I have the care of two Committees, that of Privileges, and the Tryals; but if you will have it done, I will work night and day.
Mr Montagu.] It was not for want of zeal that I did not trouble you the last Debate. I am sensible of the miseries we lie under through the loss of our Bill in the Lords House—It has been always the Privilege of the House of Commons to use Common Fame as an Information of things. The best of Parliaments have done it, and the best of Kings have granted it. Common Fame says, "That Lord Halifax (fn. 10) advised," and since he has owned the Dissolution of the last Parliament. I think therefore, that in justice you can do no less than vote him an Enemy to the King and Kingdom, and address his Majesty, that he would be pleased to remove George Earl of Halifax from his Councils.
Mr Colt.] I have heard as much as this in Common Fame, and that he hopes to be Governor of Ireland, and that he was an Advocate against that Bill we sent up to the Lords, upon which the safety of the King and Kingdom so much depends. I second the Motion, "That he may be declared an Enemy to the King and Kingdom," and with him another, Lord Chief Justice Scroggs. He disparaged the Evidence against Mrs Cellier, which you have declared good Evidence. I desire that his name may be for one.
Mr Vernon.] I have heard that this Lord obstructed our Bill in the Lords House, and has showed how dangerous it was to remove the Duke from the Succession, considering he has an Army under his command in Scotland, and that three parts in four are Papists in Ireland. I heard he should say, "That if the Lords would reject the Bill, he would engage, on his Honour, to bring in such a Proposition as would please the Parliament." I would rather have his head, than any Popish Lord's in the Tower.
Sir William Hickman.] You are now come to some particulars against this Lord of what he should say in the Lords House. But is that Parliamentary, to take notice of what is said there? What he said was in the last Parliament, which is dissolved, and did he not withdraw from the Council since the Prorogations of this Parliament? Pray run not into such hasty Resolutions against this Lord, till things are proved against him.
Mr Montagu.] What has been said of this Lord is upon Common Fame. I think he went away from Court in March, and came again in September. I think that is time long enough for this Lord to have had a share of the Prorogations.
Colonel Titus.] In this case, I cannot hold my peace. No man, I thought, was of firmer principles than this Lord was once of, nor could express them more upon several occasions. But I fear that he is mistaken that tells you he withdrew. That he withdrew, is true; but I would it were true that he had done no mischief since he came. He that provokes me to draw my sword is to blame, but I am not. I am afraid that this great Lord did send for the Duke out of Scotland, and I am afraid that no man has done more to render your Counsels ineffectual than this Lord. You are told, "It is not fit to accuse a man barely upon Common Fame." There is a great difference betwixt Common Fame and Rumour. Rumour is Vox Plebis, (the Vulgar,) but Common Fame is Vox Populi. Every body is convinced of it, and in his own mind he bears the conviction of it to be true. He is suspected not only by common Characters but Actions. In the best and most sedate times, Parliaments have always proceeded upon this of Common Fame. Hen. IV. was no weak Prince, and not much in awe of his Subjects, but the Lords and Commons represented to the King their desires that he would remove an Abbot from him, and another of his Bed-chamber: The King said, "he knew no fault in them, but because they were odious to his people he would remove them." In Hen. VI's time, De la Pole, Duke of Suffolk, upon Common Fame that he was not a true man, came in to justify himself, and though some were of opinion he should not be committed, yet no man but that he should be removed. In the late King's time, all the knowing men of that time, Lord Strafford, Mr Mason, &c. were of opinion that Common Fame was a sufficient ground to address the King for the removal of a person. I am afraid that, in the case of this Lord, Common Fame is in the right, and therefore my opinion is, to address the King that he may be removed.
Sir William Temple.] There is an absolute necessity, for the good of the Nation and Kingdom, that there be an Union betwixt the King and his Parliament, else I should not have troubled you at this time. If this be the way, I cannot be informed at the first hearing. I know not what passes abroad, but from what I find here. You accuse, I find, upon Common Fame, and, it seems, this Lord, upon what has passed from him in the Lords House— (He excused his mistake in that.) I speak then only to the thing. For seven or eight years that I have been abroad, I know nothing. For four or five months I have not spoken a word here, upon public occasions, to this Lord; so that for the present I know not any thing of him; but formerly he was a man so different in principles from what I now hear said, that I wonder at it. Common Fame I take to be a great aggravation of crimes, but it must come from Evidence of actions. I have no more to say, but that I am tender of any thing that may happen of ill consequence to break the happy Union betwixt the King and you. And as I say in this House, to induce the House to Union with the King, so I shall say to the King, when I have the honour of an occasion. But whether you will mention any Counsellors that have advised his Majesty ill, or whether you will defer it till the Address be drawn up, and then apply persons to particular matters in it, I submit it to you.
Mr Harbord.] I cannot but pity the condition of the Nation, when every man confesses that the sad condition of the Nation proceeds from evil Counsellors. I wonder to see every man cool, now a man is named; this is unbecoming an Englishman. I know not how Lord Halifax came to be an Earl (the King knows that) and therefore more capable to do harm. I am satisfied in my conscience that I know he dissolved the last Parliament, and I can prove it. I blame not free Counsel to the King, but when Counsel was so boldly given by this Lord, and the Nation so near misfortune, he should be seldom trusted for future Counsel. Had not that Parliament been dissolved, Sir George Wakeman had not been saved, nor the King's Evidence reproached. By that Dissolution the King has been eighteen or twenty months in danger. I am ashamed to see this man have Advocates. Whoever is so, deserves to appear at the Bar. He gave the King Counsel to dissolve the Parliament, and then he withdrew into the Country to do more mischief. I am ashamed of Advocates for him here. His Quality, Greatness, and Parts support and buoy up the Duke's interest at Court. I would have no such thing touched upon here of what passed from him in the Lords House, only what passed out of the House. This man takes the weight of three Kingdoms in his hand, and will frame notions of Expedients to cure the danger of the Nation. If this must pass, I fear the Nation will be lost; he and his Party have induced your ruin. I would therefore remove them, and then the King may see that his safety is not in artifice and tricks, but in good Counsel.
Sir Christopher Musgrave.] If men must be styled "Advocates" for a person, when they speak their mind freely in Parliament, and are denied liberty of Debate, you destroy the Constitution of the Government. Whilst I sit here, I hope I shall have my liberty. I have heard things said this day that were never done in Parliament, for a Gentleman to take notice of what is said in the Lords House. You have been told the Arguments that this Lord used against the Bill of Exclusion, viz. "That the Duke is at the head of an Army in Scotland; that the Duke had a great interest in the Navy, and the Ports; and that in Ireland, two parts in three were Papists." And was it not said, "That sixty-three were against thirty-one in the Lords House in throwing out that Bill?" Was this ever debated before in Parliament? Each House has liberty to retain or reject Bills as they please. You are now pleased to accuse this Lord, and a Gentleman tells you, "That it is the Common Fame, that he dissolved the last Parliament." I think that was ill Advice, and have always said so. What! is Common Fame, talked of in Coffee-houses, a sufficient Charge against a man? I would have greater Evidence than Common Fame to remove a man from the King's Council. And we have found by experience that such Addresses have not had good success with the King. Against the Duke of Lauderdale you examined four Witnesses at the Bar, and several Members gave their Evidence. Where any body gives opinion in Council, circumstances must be considered. Let proofs demonstrative be brought to the Bar, before I can give my consent to such a Motion.
Mr Harbord.] I should be to blame to call any man "an Advocate" for this Lord, that is not, but I did not call Musgrave so, for he spoke not in his defence. But to make an harangue or encomium on his person, that is to be an Advocate. It is his Counsel, not his Person, that gave occasion to this Debate. I did not speak of what he said in the Lords House, but his Counsels have been pernicious, and I would have him removed.
Mr Hampden.] Some of my Arguments have been spoken of; give me leave to repeat them. If the Duke's great power has been an Argument against your Bill, an Argument from Tangier is of as good force as the other. A man is not restrained in Arguments from Common Fame. He may have them from the Court of Requests, or any where. I did not draw my Arguments from the Lords House.—(Imperfect.)
Sir Christopher Musgrave.] If Gentlemen in the House would have heard, I said nothing of Hampden's arguing from what was said in the Lords House. But some Gentlemen have repeated what was said in the Lords House. I am no "Advocate," and we ought fairly to come to our Debate.
Colonel Birch.] That of being an Advocate for this Lord, I suppose, we shall hear no more of; every man may speak his reason here. Now the Question is, Whether this latter matter does agree with the former. You resolve to address to let the King know the diseases of the Kingdom, and many things the King may grant which may not be thought fit for you to ask. This Address is in its proper way, but before the Address be answered, you seem to put off the hopes of an Answer. There is nothing so mischievous as not to be united. The King knows the fore place, and he may redress it. I would adjourn three or four days, to see the issue of your Address, before you come to this Vote.
Sir Francis Winnington.] The honour of the House is concerned in this Debate, and it is a good maxim, that Common Fame is not to be lost in this House. You are not condemning this Lord in a judicial way, but like a Jury—As in the case of the Spencers in Edw. II.'s time. I can take notice in the Lords Journal, upon the Protestations, who were for, and who against, a thing; that may be viewed by any man. You are going about to enquire into the Actions of Counsellors, and the Question is, Whether this Minister of State did advise the King to dissolve the Parliament? And he does acknowledge it, and that is his Crime. Though you have not Evidence to convict him, yet Common Fame is sufficient to accuse. This Lord gave the King advice to break the Parliament; that I have heard in Town and Country; and we must not hear what is said! This is like "Abhorring." If I hear of the Duke's Power in Scotland, Ireland, and here, (and from thence that Lord makes conclusions against the Bill of Exclusion,) I hear enough for Common Fame. At this rate, we shall not hear any thing. But will any man say, for the honour of this Lord, that he did not say so? But by this reason, we must, and we must not, hear. I have heard abroad what this Lord said in the Lords House, and that he dissolved the Parliament. I have heard it once said here, upon another occasion, "That if a man have an unlucky hand at cards, one would not bet on his head (fn. 11)." But now this man will save his friend the Duke, and lose his Religion. Rumour is res sine teste, but Common Fame is Vox Populi, as in the case of the Duke of Buckingham. But at this time of day, it is strange to distinguish the matter in this Lord's case. It may be, the King will tell us we are misinformed; then all is well. Great men had great purses, and got off in the last Long Parliament; the Duke of Buckingham had none and was sent away when they addressed against him. I would propose this for your Question, "That it is the opinion of this House that this Lord is an evil Counsellor, and an Enemy to the King and Kingdom, and that we desire him to be removed from his Majesty and his Councils for ever."
Sir Thomas Meres.] Here is mention made of the Power of the Duke, and that that was an Argument from Lord Halifax to throw out the Bill in the Lords House. I thought I had reason to tell that Lord, "If the Duke had such Power, it was time to take it out of his hands." The Vote proposed to pass is of great weight, and will be a blast to any man; therefore pass it gravely and weightily, as a foundation of your Address, for the honour of the House.
Colonel Titus.] Sir Richard Temple remembers Records for his turn, but none for ours. He forgets that, 5 Hen. IV, to the Address of the Parliament for the removal of some persons near the King, the Answer is plain: "The King sees no fault in them, but because they are odious to his people he will remove them." The Duke of Suffolk was charged upon Common Fame, and he had nothing to do in the Councils, &c.
Mr Finch.] The justice I owe to this person makes me speak. Till this occasion, this Lord's same has been sufficiently known as an assertor of the Liberties of the Subject, and of the Protestant Religion; that there has been no occasion to say any thing of him here. I will not say how necessary it was for Hen. IV, who was an Usurper, to gratify his people's desires in removing persons from him. If the King will remove a person from his Presence and Councils upon Common Fame, it behoves the Commons to be very certain what they do. Besides, Common Fame can have no other ground but by witnesses. You have voted Sir Edward Dering reparation, who was scandalized in a Pamphlet, and mens tongues you go about to correct. I know not how far what I have heard say to-day may intrench upon the Lords Privileges. To remove a Lord from the King's Presence, is to remove him from Parliament, and that is so heavy a condemnation, that it ought to be upon good proof. The Lords Journal for Protestation is no Record, and we are not to take notice of it. You are not to pass Judgment upon this Lord, before any one man affirm the charge upon his own knowlege.
Sir Thomas Thynne. (fn. 12)] The Vote proposed is a condemnation. Without any proof, you judge this Lord. It is said, "That he advised the Prorogation of the last Parliament;" but Common Fame says the contrary. He was in the Country. Let Common Fame be for him as well as against him.
Mr Powle.] I have always been of opinion, and am so now, that Common Fame is a ground to accuse, but whether is this now seasonable?—The Question is singly there. You have voted an Address to the King, and, it may be, the King will do something to reform this, which I would not have you reform before-hand. Perhaps both what you find in Court and in Westminster-Hall may be obnoxious. When you have received the King's Answer to your Address, I will go as high as any man. The Vote at the beginning of the day was Nemine contradicente, and I hope there will be no Division upon this occasion, which may produce great factions. Therefore I move you to adjourn this Debate.
Mr Godolphin (fn. 13).] The good or ill success of this Parliament is of great consequence, therefore I move to lay this Debate aside.
Mr Hyde.] I am against this summary way of Justice, because I do not know whose turn it may be next. If it should be my turn, I would take leave and kiss your hands. Common Fame to me seems not strong enough. I have had it from this Lord, that he did not advise the Prorogation of the last Parliament; and I may believe that, as well as others, that he advised the Dissolution of the last Parliament—Other people concurred as well as he, and some that were then in credit, and more likely to do it. To revenge one Counsel upon one Counsellor, and let the rest escape, is unjust.
Sir John Hotham.] Being concerned for the Bill that the Lords have thrown out, I put myself into company I do not usually keep. I did find that this Lord was the great occasion of throwing out this Bill. If we start such a man as this, and are afraid of him—He is a great Minister, and strikes with the great hammers. If we are afraid to do this, (I am convinced of the mischief he has done already) he may do yet more if he be near the King. The end is to lay this Debate aside, and then he will look as if he was innocent; but you have sufficient cause to address the King to remove this man from the Council; but not for the rest of the Question.