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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Thursday, December 16.
Mr Booth reports, from the Committee, the Bill for the better regulating the Tryal of the Peers of England.
Sir Thomas Lee.] Tryals of Peers are chargeable to the Crown, and the King's Officers will examine Witnesses before they will bring a Peer to Tryal, that they may be certain in the Evidence. No more is asked in this Bill, than that they may have fair and equal Tryals. If so, then they should have their choice to be tryed by their Peers, or a Common Jury. (One Peer formerly did desire it, and had it not.) Then they will have the same liberty with the Commons, of excepting thirty-five peremptory, and against more with cause, &c. Though Indictments be found against them, they will not fear Tryal, when eight or ten thousand pound has purchased a Pardon. Not one of the most popular Lords that goes from hence into the House of Peers, but when Privilege of their Jurisdiction is in Question, hold it the fastest. If you pass this Bill, you will make it more dangerous that the Commons shall not have their Bills they send up. This case will make it so difficult to try a Peer, that he may embroil thousands, and escape himself. As the Bill is penned, it must be of those Peers who sat in the last Parliament, and may be so of kindred and acquaintance, that a Jury cannot be had, and so they escape. I will not put them in so much better condition than the Commons, and the Commons in so much worse than the Lords.
Colonel Titus.] Nothing can deter the Lords more from joining with us in things for the advantage of the Nation, than their way of Tryal as it now is; and nothing can encourage them more than a just and reasonable Tryal. But as they are now tryed, it is rather by their Executioners, than their Judges. In Hen. VIII's time, how many were condemned without fault! As the Attainder of Cromwell Earl of Essex, and others. Were these men condemned because Tryals were chargeable to the Crown? All forfeitures come to the Crown. Two Lords now commit a Crime; the one is taken, the other left—Appeals are pardoned for Murder—All the Lords desire is a fair Tryal, and not by a picked and packed number of Peers. The objections against the Bill have been sufficiently answered. I am not for the clogging of it with other things. It will be no prejudice to you, but a great encouragement to your Friends, and I would pass it.
Mr Trenchard.] I am sorry this Bill meets with objections. I think it is as much for the benefit of the Commons, as the Lords, unless we had the same security that they will not act but for their Interest.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] As the Lords are tryed now, by a Jury of twelve Lords of the King's naming, if they have an aversion to a Lord, they may name a Jury that may do his work; and if the Lord that is to be tryed can make seven of twelve, he is sure to escape. Several Lords, in four or five years time, have been tryed and acquitted. There ought to be some dogs upon the Bill, as the saving of Appeals, and Tryals by battle, and other thing. And in the Bill there are no penalties if thirtyfive appear not to try the Peer, and that the Peer is not arraigned—There may be great difficulties and delays, and no Justice done. This way of Tryal has been ever since the Government, and I think we offer them a great thing, to have choice of Tryal by Commons. This is a great alteration after hundreds of years usage. I would recommit the Bill.
Sir William Pulteney.] The Lords formerly helped us to obtain Magna Charta, wherein is our way of Tryal, and I think this way of Tryal of the Peers is not ancient, and seldom any Lord is tryed, but if the Court-Faction would have it so, his head has been taken off. It is said, "That the King examines the matter before;" he grants a Commission to the Lord-Steward for trying a Peer;" but that is a weak Reason, for when the Court has a mind to take a head off, they will not stick at four or five hundred pounds—We know the King makes the High-Steward, and if seven Lords agree, the work is done, and they will have consideration for whatsoever sine is set for non-appearance. If this be a reasonable Law, let the Lords have it to Posterity.
Colonel Mildmay.] I think it as much for your service as the Lords, that this Bill should pass without recommitment. This sets the Lords at freedom of speech. I have heard of strange things of the Lords dependencies at Court. "Now," said a Lord, "I must give my voice against my conscience, for bread." And it may be said so in this case of Tryals of Peers, as well as passing Bills or other matters in the Lords House. The Lords were anciently the screen of the Commons; it would be a seasonable thing, to give the Lords that Justice in common Right. Twelve Peers are now more easily had to do a purpose, than formerly. What is the good of this age but present safety, that the Lords might but come justly to Tryal? I would pass it.
Mr Paul Foley.] This Bill comes from the Lords. The Commons may impeach in Parliament, notwithstanding this Bill. I see no objection against the Bill, but that you may pass it. The best way of a Tryal is in Parliament, and you have had a Tryal lately very solemn. The Crown has no inconvenience by this Bill; but I am against making it a temporary Law, which is but a putting it off for so many years.
Serjeant Maynard.] There are many things you are to look to in this Bill. As for the Justice of it, no man can speak against it. If one great Lord have a spleen against another, he can have no manner of exception against him. Those that are his enemies, may be put upon him to be his Judges. Why we should envy the Lords, and not let them be put upon Tryal, as we are, I know not. If they are tryed in Parliament, it is always just, and I hope, if we do this for them, they will do so for us.
Sir Francis Winnington.] The Argument was, "That there is no means to compell a Lord to appear when summoned." But in this Bill is now a remedy; if he appears not, he shall be amerced. I am afraid the frailty of men is such, that they go sometimes against their consciences, and are not troubled for it. About the Debate of the Long Parliament being dissolved, &c. by that long Prorogation, some Lords were sent to the Tower for it, and stayed there a year (fn. 1). I wonder whether that was according to their conscience. It is the interest of all Parliaments to keep the balance so right, that the Government may be kept steady. It was, from the Barons Wars till Hen. VII's time, the interest of the Commons to clip the Lords wings as much as they could. It is a justice due, from the Lord to the beggar, to have indifferent Tryals; and this is the Question of this Bill. It is said to be "a strange thing to have twenty-five summoned to try a Peer, &c." But is it not more safe both for the innocent and the guilty man to have more Judges? The Lords are men, and not Angels. Interest and prejudice will lean hard sometimes. Says a Lord, "By this Bill, I have more freedom to make Laws, and debate in the Lords House, than I had before, and it is a more certain way of Tryal." This Bill says, "That the Lords of the last Parliament shall try a Peer." It may be asked, "Why must those Lords made in the interval and intermission of Parliament be excused?" But we know for what purposes those Lords have been made. But the Law of the Land is for frequent Parliaments, and there is no danger of that. By Magna Charta, "The Lords are to be tryed by their Peers." It carries a kind of degradation to melt down that Judicature to be tryed by Commons. As for the Motion, "To make this Bill temporary," when a thing is plain, and no rational objection to the inconvenience of it, I would have it perpetual; especially if it keeps the Lords in that station the Law intends for a way of Tryal. Seeing these clouds about us, it is most reasonable to put the Lords in a safe station, when every man's life amongst them is at stake, for freedom of Speech. I hope you will let them have this Bill.
Mr Harbord.] By reason not only Peers, but the Prelates, may have their Actions de Scandalis Magnatum, nay, if a man speak scandalously of the Judges, a man may be fined upon that Statute now; and you know what sort of Judges we have now, and how they have fined People; therefore I move, that you would repeal that Statute.
Mr Trenchard delivered in a Proviso at the Table accordingly.
N. B. This Proviso was contrived to prevent the recommitment of the Bill, which might have been lost by it, not out of any expectation that the Lords would pass it, for it was designed to be faintly argued at a Conference, and so given up.
[The Bill, with the Amendments and Clauses, passed, and was sent up to the Lords.]
Friday, December 17.
Sir William Pulteney reports, from the Committee, the Pracedents of Commitments by the House, to apply them to Mr Seymour's Case, impeached of Misdemeanor.
"The 18th and 19th King James, Sir Giles Mompesson's Case, who was committed by the House to the Serjeant's Custody. He made his escape, and a Proclamation was issued out from the King to apprehend him, (he reads the Proclamation) he being committed by Order of the House, to be sent to the Tower.
"Sir John Bennett's Case, who was Judge of the Prerogative Court, in the 18th and 19th K. James: Resolved, That the Sheriff of London do secure his Person.
"Sir William Penn's and Mr Brunkard's Case, as in the Journal 1668: Penn's runs thus: "13 April, 1668, Ordered, That Penn do attend the 14th." And then there is a Narrative of Penn's embezzlement of Prize-Goods. "Ordered, That on Thursday next he make Answer to his Charge." The Committee was to acquaint Penn with this Order, and Penn was to deliver his Answer.
"A Letter from the Commissioners of Accounts was read, and the Evidence was read; and the Question was put, and an Impeachment was ordered to be drawn up against him, and to search for Precedents of Suspension from his attendance in Parliament."—"Ordered, That he be suspended whilst the Impeachment is depending (fn. 2)."
"Mr Brunkard not being to be found, for his Contempt in waving the Justice of the House, Ordered, That he be expelled the House (fn. 3)."
Then Sir William Temple acquainted the House, That Lord Stafsord had sent for him to come to him in the Tower. In the years 1665 and 66, he knew him at Brussels, but since has not been much acquainted with him, but by visits. It was no pleasant message to him from a man in that Lord's circumstances, and guilty of his Crimes. He humbly desired that some Members might go with him, if the House pleased." But out of respect to Sir William Temple, all cried out, "No, no," and he had leave to go.
Mr Harbord.] The Precedents reported were such as the House ordered to be searched, which were none but Commitments upon Impeachments. Mompesson was committed to the Serjeant, but he broke from that custody, and the Lords censured him; they degraded him from his Knighthood, and fined him a sum of Money. Bennet served for the University of Oxford, and was Judge of the Prerogative Court. He took great sums of Money and Bribes; he likewise was turned out of the House, but being sick and infirm, was permitted to stay at his own house. He was ordered to be conveyed to the Tower by the Sheriff of London, or to take security from him for his appearance. There are two other Precedents in the late Long Parliament. Penn was accused by the Commissioners of Accounts of taking Prize-Goods out of an East India ship: He stood up to justify himself from the Articles, and was suspended. Precedents of Commitment were searched. Mompesson ran away, &c. Bennett was not committed, &c. Brunkard was accused for causing the Duke's ship to strike sail, when the Fleet was in pursuit of the Dutch. He did not attend the House, and was expelled, and Articles were exhibited against him. As for the state of Commitment in general, I find Precedents anciently of Commitment for Crimes of much less nature, as, for speaking scandalously of Acts passed, 19 King James: Mr Shepherd said, "That the Bill for the better keeping the Lord's Day was rather like a gin against the Papists, than against the Puritans."Whether he had an inclination to favour Popery, I know not. He did not explain, in his Place, to give satisfaction to the House, and was expelled. Sir Edmund Sawyer was the King's Servant: He exacted double to the Book of Rates. Hervey and Dawes, Farmers of the Customs, were commanded to come to Whitehall to discourse the matter. By the Duke of Buckingham's favour, Sawyer came to the House, and there were arguments upon it—Sheldon was expelled the House, and was made not capable to serve in Parliament. Dr Parry, in Queen Elizabeth, &c. For a hundred years last past, Precedents are clear of Commitment of persons impeached. Upon the whole matter, I move, "That you will commit Mr Seymour to the Serjeant."
Sir Joseph Tredenham.] I did attend the Committee that you ordered to search for Precedents: The matter has been opened by Harbord; give me leave to express it more fully, and to have recourse to the Paper in my hand to help my memory. The 18th King James, Sir Edward Coke was Chairman to the Committee of Grievances. Mompesson was charged for the Monopoly of licensing Inns and Ale-houses, &c. He confessed his Crime at the Committee, and before the House; and the next day, upon the Report, the House resolved to go up to the Lords to impeach him: Then, and not till then, he was committed. He confessed the Crime he was charged with, and for fear of flight he was committed. Sir Edward Coke delivered it as the opinion of the Committee, "That unless some persons would undertake for his forth coming, he should be secured by the Serjeant." After this Vote for his Commitment, the Commons addressed the Lords, and both the King, to issue out a Proclamation to take him, being fled. Sir John Bennet's case was much the same, for exorbitances in a Court of Judicature. Sir Edward Sackville made the Report, "That he had taken many bribes, and had committed extortions in his Office." Bennet was not in the House; he was sick, and was heard by his Counsel at the Committee, and the House would not suffer them to be judged, till they were heard in their Places. Bennet continued his excuse of sickness, and his Counsel being asked, "Whether he would confess, or deny, the Charge," they said "Neither." Whereupon the House came to this Resolution, "That Bennet is faulty;" and so he was ordered into the safe custody of the Sheriffs, &c. to be committed to the Tower of London. The other Precedents reported are foreign to this case before you. They were committed upon the notoriety of the thing, and suspicion of flight. Penn's was only suspension of the House, and Brunkard, for his flight, was expelled, and an Impeachment voted against him; but nothing of Commitment. As for Shepherd's case, 27 Elizabeth, I know not where Harbord finds it; it is not in any Journal of that time. As for Hall's case, no doubt but this House has power of judging their own Members: It was for a Book reflecting upon the Proceedings of this House, and so judged, "upon the House itself." You are upon prosecuting Seymour in the Lords House, and so I suppose your Commitment of him is in order to his custody, not his punishment. In cases of Information, you have not expelled a Member without Witnesses being heard. It has been moved, "That Mr Seymour might be secured." I appeal to you, whether an Impeachment be not the severest charge? It has always been, that Members of the House are free from Arrests, unless in case of Felony, Treason, or Breach of the Peace—Have you a mind to think fit that Seymour be committed for an accusation that Westminster-Hall does bail? For liberty of a man's person is as essential here, as liberty of speech. In Hen. VI's time (it was an unfortunate age, I wish ours more fortunate) the Duke of York then aiming at the Crown, no one man stood so much in his way as Thorpe, Speaker of the Commons, who upon an execution arrested him. This Parliament did what they could for the House of Lancaster, and from thence came the Civil Wars, and so much blood; but the same Parliament could never extirpate the House of York till they garbled it. If once you pass a Resolution, "That an Information upon a bare Averment must be necessarily followed with Commitment," I would know, Whether you garble not the House? But consider the consequence; no man's innocence can save him, if his Testimony is not heard till his Tryal. I would know, whether the Gentlemen, who would commit Seymour, think he cannot find security for his appearance? There is no likelihood that Seymour should shun his Tryal. I move, "That he may not be committed."
Mr Harbord.] The Chairman was directed to report what he did, and no more, and the Committee, if there be occasion, will justify it. I did not cite Hall's case, but the Journals were brought to us, and none beyond 1640; some few notes the Committee were forced to use, and those were brought by Mr Petty, which we took to be authentic. If we had made no search but in the Journals, they were so imperfect, that we should have had no Precedents at all. Tredenham told you of the Speaker, Thorpe, arrested in Hen. VI's time, &c. I would preserve the Privilege of your Members, but I remember, about ten years ago, there was a design to turn out eight or ten Members who voted against the Court. I laid my hand to the work, and, to prevent it, I searched the OutlawryOffice, and found fifty-six Members outlawed, and Mr Seymour sat many years in the Chair outlawed. I pulled that out of my pocket, and saved those eight or ten by it that were designed to be turned out. I know not whether Seymour will run away. I have told you, that my opinion is, to secure him; do as you please.
Sir William Pulteney.] I observe that, upon Commitments, &c. the Person accused was either committed upon Confession of the Fact, or flight. But it is moved, "That Witnesses be produced against Seymour." But if he should know before-hand what they can say against him, they may be corrupted, or menaced out of their Evidence. But when you have given your Judgment that you will impeach a man, there is no Precedent to be found that, when a Judgment of Impeachment has been found and carried up to the Lords, that you should say, your Member is not in Custody. It does tantamount prove a vindication. When the Commons came to the Lords House with the Impeachment of Bennet and Mompesson, they had imprisoned them; and to produce Proofs before that time may be dangerous, and of very ill consequence.
Sir Christopher Musgrave.] There is a great deal of difference betwixt Mompesson's and Bennet's Case and that of your Member. To preserve your Privileges, it is the best way to go by ancient Precedents: Mompesson's Witnesses were heard at the Committee before he was charged. There is a great deal of difference betwixt a bare assertion against a man, and when you are assured of Evidence. One reason why Mompesson was secured, was, because nobody would answer for his forth-coming. If his Commitment was a punishment, yet if Seymour was charged in Westminster-Hall, as the first and second Articles are, they would take security for his appearance. Why will you then confine him? And it may be the Lords will set him at liberty. You will punish that Judge, I believe, that will not bail a person that is bailable by Law. Seymour may be forth-coming upon security for his appearance, and therefore I would not commit him.
Mr Garroway.] Methinks you are irregular, and a little aforehand with it. You must vote, "That the Articles must go to the Lords;" else Seymour will stand committed, and nothing will appear against him. Sir John Bennet was bailed by the Sheriff of London; and if so, Seymour may be bailed to be forth-coming, and there is no danger of his Escape, in this case of Misdemeanor; therefore put the Question first for ingrossing his Articles.
The Articles were accordingly ordered to be ingrossed, and the Serjenant of the House was impowered to receive security for the forth-coming of Mr Seymour to answer the Charge, &c.
Then Sir William Portman, Mr Ash, and others, proffered their security, &c.
Sir Thomas Lee.] It is not an ordinary case for a Member accused to have so many acquaintance to proffer security for him. You know therefore that you have made an offer to impower the Serjeant to take his security.
Saturday, December 18.
Sir Francis Winnington.] Last night, about eleven of the clock, just as I was going to bed, Dr Burnet came to me from Lord Stafford, where he had been at the desire of Lord Carlisle (fn. 4). He said, "He had no personal acquaintance with Lord Stafford. Upon his first discourse with my Lord, he desired him to come another day, and upon his second waiting upon him, was an hour and a half in private with him; when my Lord desired to be heard at the Bar of the House of Commons, for he had something to say for the service of the King and Kingdom." Dr Burnet desired him to make some confession of his Religion—"Before he came away, Lord Carlisle was with him, who had been there before, and who had made the Lords the same Motion. He desired there might be no delay, but that he might come on Monday."
Lord Russel.] Just now, coming through King-street, I met Dr Burnet, who told me, "He believed that Lord Stafford had something to say that might be worth hearing."
Sir William Temple.] I did not expect to have heard any thing this morning from Lord Stafford. I intended to have said something of him myself; but I thought it not natural till this matter gave me occasion to entertain the House with it. In short, this passed betwixt Lord Stafford and myself. I thought it not fit to go to him alone. I took a Gentleman with me, who is well known. I found with him Lady Stafford, and the Marchioness of Winchester, his Daughter. When I came in, he looked coldly upon me. (I had not seen him for two years.) He said, "He had sent a Message to me, and had something to say, but not before any body." I said, "If it were something material, that he would say before nobody but me, I desired his Lordship would put it in writing." He said, "He would not write it." Then said I, "My Lord, it shall be written for you, if you will sign it." But that he would not do. He said, "He sent to speak with me, as a Man of Honour, and his old acquaintance, to ask my advice." I promised him, "If he would put what he had to say in writing, I would make no other use of it, than what became a Man of Honour."Just at this time, came bolting in the two Ladies, and asked me, "If I had any interest with the Lieutenant of the Tower, Mr Cheeke?" Whereupon I turned to Lord Stafford, and said, "Have you no farther service to command me?" He replied, "All the service my friends can do me is to believe me innoncent." The Ladies spoke something of my interceding with the Lieutenant of the Tower, to abate something of his severity in my Lord's restraint; and this is all which passed then, which I thought it my Duty to give you an account of.
Colonel Titus.] By circumstances, out of generals that have been told me, I conjecture that Lord Stafford has something to say of importance. I would therefore have him sent for hither as soon as we can, for there are those who tamper with his conscience; therefore I would send for him to-day.
Mr Harbord.] He may be useful to you, therefore it is absolutely necessary to have him here as soon as you can, for his Daughter will be tampering with him else.
Sir William Jones.] It is beyond my Expectation that Lord Stafford should say any thing of moment to you; he has not only the access of his Wife and Daughter, but of all the Romish Party. His Picture is to be sent to Rome, for what use I know not; and they have sufficiently dealt with him. But has this House any Power to send for him? I believe not. He is not committed by ourselves, a condemned man, and a Prisoner. I had rather see what the matter is; for if this be done by the advice of the Jesuits that prevail upon him, they have taught him his Lesson. I move, therefore, "That a Committee be sent to him," and then you may take into consideration whether to send for him, or not.
Sir Francis Winnington.] I did conceive that it was not your intention to order him to be brought hither to our Bar, as I said to Dr Burnet, "the Lords were his Judges, and our Prosecution is at an end." But if the House will give him leave to come to be heard, the Lords have a Power to send for him, and if the Lords will give leave, you may send for him. I did ask Dr Burnet that very Question, "What he had to say?" Lord Stafford absolutely would not tell him any thing, but at the Bar of the House he would acquaint you with what he had to say. I have acquainted you with matter of fact, as it is my Duty, and I have done.
Mr Garroway.] Consider, this Message is from a condemned man; it may be, he will come to affront you at the Bar, and make protestation of his innocence, and throw dirt upon your Proceedings against him. Unless you can bind him up from that of Protestation, he may come to throw defiance upon you, and you can have no remedy from a condemned man.
Serjeant Maynard.] Whatever you do, do it without delay. If he confesses nothing, it is but labour lost, and you may possibly have great advantage by it. You have yet had no discovery of the Plot but from Papists: God knows what he may discover.
Colonel Birch.] I hope this Lord will not be sent for by the Lords. If you could send for him, I would; if you would give some such hint to two or three you will send—But when he says positively "he will say nothing but at your Bar," it is apparent he will put a sham upon you. He has taken the Oath of Secrecy that he will reveal nothing, and he will come to you to tell you so in defiance. If he will say nothing to them that you send to him, it is perfectly clear to me, that he will put a baffle upon you that you can never be able to repair, and it will look very odd in the face of the Nation.
Mr Hampden.] I am not for sending for him. How much time may be lost in it! His relations have more influence upon him than ten Jesuits. You see they came abruptly upon Sir William Temple, and he talked of his innocence, and a Tale of a Tub; it is the women that influence him. I would send two or three Members immediately to speak with him, and then you may send for him to your Bar. What a strange expectation there was at his Tryal that he would discover something, and yet he did but trifle with you! I would send to him immediately.
Sir Nicholas Carew.] I am against sending to him; for what he confesses to a Committee will not at all be valid, and he may be poisoned before you can send for him to the Bar. Therefore I move, "to send to the Lords to let them know you have had such a Message from him, and desire leave of them that he may come to your Bar."
Sir Eliab Harvey.] I am not for sending for him, and I hope you will send such men as you put confidence in, that there may be no danger of poisoning him, and they will inform you if he has any thing to say of consequence.
Sir Robert Clayton.] I am more jealous of mischief from this man, than any good. I am against both sending for him, and to him. He has relations in the Lords House, and I believe will declare there if he has any thing to say, and I would respite it till Monday.
Sir Robert Carr.] We can do nothing of our own authority. I desire therefore that you will send to the Lords for a Conference relating to Lord Stafford, and in that you may bring the opinion of both Houses together.
Mr Love.] One Argument sways with me. Sir William Temple told you, "That the Ladies came in and interrupted their discourse." If he has a design to put a trick upon you, you may consider that, from the return you will have from your Members you will send to him.
Sir William Jones.] It is said, "That Lord Stafford is the King's Prisoner;" but he is our Prisoner, and not called the King's Prisoner, for a farther reason which you may know in due time. The Lords cannot send for him but by a Habeas Corpus, and every day he was brought to Westminster-Hall during the Tryal, he was brought so. A Conference with the Lords may spend this day, and, it may be, Monday too, before we can hear him. Therefore I would send a Message to the Lords for a Habeas Corpus to bring him hither. If the Lords say, "He has nothing to say, we will not hear him," by this means he may be brought this morning; and he will then do no harm here, if he has nothing to say.
Sir Francis Winnington.] I do hear that the Lords are sending for him to their Bar. I would send that Message (moved for) however, though the Lords have sent for him, and if he says nothing there, you need trouble yourselves no farther with him.
Sir Thomas Lee.] I think now we are upon the worst way of all. I desire you will consider the consequence in future time. A Prisoner, that is in execution for debt, you cannot send for hither, and this is the same thing. If the House has authority to send for him by Habeas Corpus, why will you send to the Lords? I would well consider what steps you make in this, especially whilst you have to do with the Lords in their Jurisdiction. Lord Stafford knows methods of Parliament, that what is said to the Lords by him is said to you. Be pleased to order a Committee to go to him.
Mr Garroway.] I would not trouble you at this time, but that the whole state of the Debate is now altered. The Lords have sent for him, and your curiosity will be satisfied by that, and sure you cannot be so ill befriended as not to have information from them. Therefore I would give no advantage to Lord Stafford, for you may have that satisfaction from the Lords (fn. 5).
The King's Speech was read. (Which see p. 147.)
Mr Hampden.] The consideration of the King's Speech is a matter of great consequence; and whatever the issue of this day's Debate may be, it will have influence upon the Kingdom. Here are Proposals on both sides, and "what the King expects from you." I am not able to give Advice, but I hope many worthy Gentlemen will correct my Errors. This matter in the King's Speech being so clear, you will quickly come to a Resolution. But here is a reservation still; you are promised security for the Protestant Religion, and that we shall be upon the old basis of the Law, with the same reservation, the same promises you have had before. You have not thought of interrupting the Succession in the right Line, but as to one Person. What the Loyalty and Policy of those persons who advised this, is, I am to seek. That Loyalty was never understood so, that the next Heir to the Crown should be so immediately provided for, that the same care should be of the Successor of two or three years difference of age from his Majesty's, as if there was the distance of twenty years. It is strange that any man can have the countenance to be so very sollicitous for the Successor as these men are; it is not the policy of other Nations that so strange a care should be taken for the Successor. Certainly in this you have much to say, and have said much. It would be troublesome to enumerate all the instances that have been given—The Laws against Popish Government were to have been subverted, and confederacies with Priests and Jesuits—And all for the prospect of the Duke's succeeding to the Crown. The Duke has it not in his power, should he be King, to permit that Protestants should be in the Kingdom. There must come in another supreme over him: The Pope will be supreme, and there can be no power in the Duke to show favour to the Protestants, if he would. There is another branch in the King's Speech about Alliances, &c. Either they are for the Protestant interest, or not. If they are not such as you like, what neighbour will come into such Alliances, when such fears and jealousies remain amongst us? We may flatter ourselves with Alliances, but if this Plot be not totally extirpated, what performance can we make? There can be no fruit of such Alliances. This is a strong reason why you should adhere to your former Resolutions. I move, therefore, "That you will give the King reasons for his own service, and the Kingdom, and the Protestant Religion, that, should you depart from that resolution of excluding the Duke from the Succession, you can see no safety;" neither will that do, except you fortify it with an Association for the security of the King and his Protestant Subjects. These things will go a great way; but you must go yet farther. After you have assuarance of your Properties, the next thing, you may humbly propose, is, "That the Judges may be men of ability and integrity, and known to be zealous for the Protestant Religion; and to have their Places Quamdiu se bene gesserint." Next, "That Deputy-Lieutenants and Justices of Peace may be men of good integrity, and firm in the Protestant Religion, and of good esteem in their Countries." In several Countries there are not only corrupt but mean men, "and Lord-Lieutenants to be well qualified also." In the Navy, "That they be men of known experience and courage, and well-affected to the Protestant Religion, and not to be Captains of Ships, unless acquainted with Sea-affairs. "These things may be summed up, in answer to the King's Propositions in his Speech. But, Sir, I do not say that these are all you should look for. That we may mind the same end, I hope it will not be expected that we must purchase our Laws. One thing the King desires to be satisfied in, which is, the Preservation of Tangier. If these things be granted (and I know not how you can depart from them, for if you do, you are undone) you will be ready to supply it, and preserve the Sovereignty of the Seas for the preservation of Trade. If we have not these things, all our Alliances will signify nothing; but if they appear to be such as are for the interest of the Protestant Religion, you will be ready, upon occasion, to support those Alliances. I would hold to these so far. If you like these, you may order an Answer to be prepared to his Majesty's Speech, &c.
Lord Russel.] I am as desirous as any man to keep a good correspondence with the King and Parliament. Never was there a House of Commons more inclinable to reasonable things for a happy union; but I fear we shall not effect it, because persons about the King pursue the Duke's interest more than the King's and the Kingdom's. I believe we are not long-lived, but they wait for some specious pretence to send us home; but I hope we shall give no just cause for it. We can be never safe in our Religion from a person that makes himself, by his Religion, a public enemy to the Nation. Can he be a protector of our Lives and Liberties, and support us abroad or at home, who is a man of such principles? And nothing will remedy us but this Bill of Exclusion. Therefore I would address the King upon the several Heads that have been moved.
Sir William Jones.] The matter of this Day is the consideration of the King's Speech. Whether we shall be so happy as to come to an agreement, I know not. The King takes advice of his Council in what he says to us, and if I do not express myself with that Duty that becomes me, it is directed to his Majesty's Counsellors, and not to the King; and this Speech comes from them. They are for a Popish Successor; he is a Bulwark for their Defence. This is the same reservation as in his Majesty's Speech at the opening of the Parliament; now we have the same reservation again. These sort of men will make sure of their own point, but I hope our reasons will be so strong as to give the King satisfaction, and never so proper to be given as now. You could not tell the King parliamentarily what you were doing. By the first Address you expressed yourselves implicitly only, and in the second Address, after the Bill was thrown out, but not in express terms; you had not then so proper an occasion; but now you have; and therefore I hope now you will better express your reasons for it than before; but in vain will you urge reasons if they will bar the way to your security. I am glad we have expected Expedients four weeks and have had none, and certainly, no man was for this Bill then, but has more reason to be for it now. The necessity so plainly appearing, no man will so much as make a doubt but that you will insist upon it still. The King knows what we desire, but yet methinks this Speech is not of the same strain as the former. I do derive some hope from this, when the King tells us, "That all remedies we can tender to him, &c. shall be very acceptable to him, provided they be such as may consist with preserving the Succession of the Crown in its due and legal course of Descent." To this, in your Answer, you may express "How ready you are to comply with his Majesty in what may consist with your own safety, and that the Parliament will not make a Bargain with their Sovereign, but things being so now, you are to make as a good use of his Majesty's proffer as you can." Every Bargain has a quid pro quo, so that both these things will be considered. Begin with what you expect from the King; in respect of the great dignity of his Person, any grace or favour, otherwise than admitting the Duke to the Succession; for that is but to be fatted for the day of slaughter. Another thing was moved for, Association, but it is but a consequence of the execution of the Bill, which is so reasonable and so natural, that if the first be granted, the second will not be denied; one will follow the other; as the banishment of the Papists from the City of London, and the Country, &c. (See in Hampden's Speech.) So that if we have these, it will be as much as is absolutely necessary for the present; but no doubt you will desire to be Freemen. Though excluding a Popish Successor does that, in a great measure. It has been proposed, "That the Benches in Westminster-Hall be well filled, and the Judges Grants be Quamdiu, &c." If that was set right, sure you could never be deceived. But men that turn the knowlege and ability they have for advancing Popery and Arbitrary Government—therefore no question, but you will ask that thing to be done. That of Justices of the Peace deserves consideration. Some Gentlemen have been put out that hear me, and they know why; some think, because they were against the Duke the last Parliament, and have been active against Popery; and these are good reasons to be put out, and to put others in. Certainly, if the Papists be at ease, we are in danger, since we have had abhorring men; it is therefore necessary that good men be put in Commission. In several places, for want of better men, they put the Clergy into Commission, and men of men quality. You have been told of "Lord-Lieutenants and Deputy-Lieutenants, and "of one that has too many Provinces for one man." I hope that matter will not die with you. As for Commanders at Sea, we are an Island, and especial care ought to be had of that; our Ships are filled with such men as are an increase of our Danger. The Ships commanded by those of Popish Interest will bring over Popish Forces; no man that hears me, but will think that necessary. This is all at present that has been mentioned, but there are a great many other things to complain of, and to desire; but let us not put more in now, for that may turn to our prejudice. I would prevent the mischief of such men who would have us desire so much, that we may have nothing. Those about the King tell him, "These men will never be satisfied; so many things will be endless for you to grant; send them away." And this will not only work upon the King, but upon the people, who will say that we do not only desire necessary things, but all; therefore pick out the most material; for will there not still be a dependence upon the King? And he will require something of us, as we shall do of him. I have talked all this time of one side; I will come to the other. It is objected, "That if a man do but look towards a Supply, it is said, What! will you have the King live without Parliaments? They will be called frequently, and you will have time to redress your Grievances." But I will not put it out of our own power. I would have the King live with Parliaments. I would have the King see that we are not obstinate, nor the People. I am sure they will give us but little thanks; but we will supply the King for Tangier, and the Fleet. But the objection may be, "That it will cost the King a great deal." But we will give the King what is necessary, but not give such great sums that they may live without us; and I believe it will be so appropriated as not to serve those ends you intend it not for, but that it may do no harm. The King told you, at the opening of the Parliament, "That he had made Alliances, and that there was a necessity for us to be united, that we might give credit to those Alliances, and that if we lost this opportunity, we could not recover it again, &c." I do not think Money was required of us upon account of a good agreement; that very thing will support Alliances; however, that foreigners may see, if you are called upon to be at charge for those Alliances, you may tell the King, "If those Alliances are to secure the Protestant Religion, you will supply him." This may encourage Alliances; it will engage you to nothing, but may farther Alliances.
Mr Garroway.] We have been upon very high points; what we should do for the King, and what he shall do for us. You have been told, "it is not fit to ask too much at this time, to strengthen the arguments or the hands of Evil Counsellors." If you demand short of what you would have, and continue the same argument upon every Address, I am afraid of that; but we have had little effect of our Addresses we have made, therefore I would speak out now; that as long as we have standing Forces in the Kingdom, I fear they will cut all our throats; and so long as we have Inland Garrisons, and Arms carriedin to Portsmouth, can you be safe? The Office of a Justice of Peace is a Burden to Gentlemen, and no honour; it is below them, and not worth your mentioning. For that of "Lord Lieutenants and their Deputies," it is worth your mentioning, and so is "the Navy." For Tangier, it is moved that you grant what is necessary; but here you judge the case whether it is necessary. You were told, "it was worth nothing if it could be kept out of French hands." I cannot come up to give Money farther for the Defence of that, till I have heard it debated. As for Alliances, I see nothing with the Emperor, or the King of Spain, to support the Protestant Religion. We had an Army raised for an actual War with France, and you know what that came to. The Navy will cost a Million of Money before it be set right, and that is not yet debated. You were told, in the Long Parliament, "That four pounds per head would do it for all things, &c." And now the Customs given for that purpose may defray the Navy, when there is nothing to do but to keep the Ships at Chatham above water, and to go for Convoys, where they rather get Money than strengthen us. I would make no obligation for Money, till we are satisfied in the security of the Protestant Religion, and our Property; till then I would talk of no Supply whatsoever.
Sir William Temple.] I think the Question is, "To refer it to a Committee to draw an Answer to the King's Speech upon the Debate of the House." I rise not up to hinder that Question, but to inform you in one point, which possibly I am able to do. Several things have been said concerning Alliances; and Alliances talked of with the Emperor and the King of Spain; which cannot be for the Protestant Religion. But the Alliances mentioned in the King's Speech are not those. Two are with Spain and Holland, for the safety of Christendom, which cannot be without Holland and Spain. If, in the year 1668, that Alliance had been prosecuted, much blood might have been saved, and desolation. I dare boldly say, that no Alliance can preserve the Protestant Religion, if Holland and Flanders be lost; and we can have no safety without Alliance with some Princes not Protestant. There can be nothing meant in the King's Speech to engage the House to give Money, unless France do attack Holland or Flanders. It will be a great support to Alliances to have a Fleet at sea to strengthen them. I shall say nothing of jealousies; but it puts me in mind of a Jew at Amsterdam, who vowed never to give any thing, and would not give his hand to one to help him out of a ditch.
Mr Garroway.] I said nothing of "Alliances with Holland." If any such be, I would know it from Temple.
Sir Francis Winnington.] I know not whether I shall ever speak here again, therefore I shall speak my mind now. There is a passage in the King's Speech that comforts my heart, viz. "That all remedies we can tender to him conducing to those ends, &c. shall be acceptable to him, provided they consist with preservation of the Succession in the Right Line, &c." I look upon these words as coming from the King's own good-nature, what his Parliament and People would have, and not from his Counsellors. What has been said to-day, and this Parliament would have, is but to talk them over again. The Question is, how we shall carry ourselves to-day, and have no reflection upon us, either from the King or our Country? If the Bill for excluding the Duke from the Succession does not pass, all the rest of our discourse will signify nothing. He who said "He was not for the Bill, nor against it," (Garroway) I hoped, would shew us something as good as that Bill. But I will never give one penny till that Bill be passed. Men startle at Money, but in this Parliament, Money cannot be pressed without reflection upon us; never to be thought of to propose till we have that Bill, the foundation of our Properties and the Protestant Religion. If we do not see that pass, the Association-Bill is but an execution of that Judgment, as we Lawyers say: That Bill will support the Protestant Religion, and "Loyal" is what is according to Law; and so a man is said to do loyally. All things mentioned this day are for the support of that Bill. But there is a jealousy in some men, where this Parliament will stop. To-day we are to consider what is advantageous for us, if we give Money, and what not; as our Ancestors used to do. They farther say, "That little things are asked, as that of Justices of the Peace, &c." but I wish that they think them little things who grant them; and "That that Office is of charge, and a mean business." But it is for the security of the Kingdom that the Civil Peace be kept, and that Protestants may not be branded and run down, in the Administration of the Government. As for Tengier, some are of opinion, "That it is good for nothing, but that it is a loss for us to have it sold." If this Bill of Exclusion pass, then naturally we may think of that; that jealousy and distrust is then at an end; but till then I am against mentioning a sum of Money. But then, what is necessary will come under consideration, else Money is but to nurse our disease. Set us on a good Protestant bottom, and them we may talk of Money. I am not for asking all for ourselves, but when we are secure, it is not a scandal to give liberally. Now therefore, when that which is proposed is done, we will help the Navy, and secure Tangier. Force is the lawful force of the Kingdom; and a Gentleman undertook to prove strange things against the Marquess of Worcester—To settle good Justices and Deputy-Lieutenants; are these small things to desire? The general promise is, if these things are done—Those that advised the King to this Speech, have put something of menace into it, though the King broke loose from the Ministers in the last Clause. Let us be ingenuous and plain with the King and the Counsellors, and though we must have a hard bout of it, I would let the King see, that we are not such a sort of people as we are represented to him. I move, therefore, "That, upon the Debate of the House, it may be referred to a Committee, to draw an Answer to the King's Speech, what are the humble and necessary desires of the House." And if this be an unlucky day, we are in a deplorable condition. If our offers be rejected, the World will be on our parts, that we are willing to save him.
Colonel Birch.] I have sat still, and would have done so, if I thought you were directly in the way to your end. I impute it to my weakness rather than to any thing else. I have observed this day, that it is the Judgment of every Gentleman that has spoken, that the Protestant Religion is not in any measure safe under a Popish Successor, and, it may be, I am one of those myself, that am as high in that opinion as any man; and am confirmed in that opinion, when I consider that Queen Mary came in by Protestants, and they were stout, and able to make that good, and she was not able. The Papists told her what she was, and what she must do, and she did it, though with tears. I take the Duke to be in the condition of any man that has committed Treason; only with this aggravation, that one Treason is against God, and an her against his Prince. Now the King tells you what his heart desires, only he restrains you to this point of the Succession. This is that great point, that, without this, all is nothing. Why will you not try the issue upon this direct point? I am for plain dealing, and plain speaking; if this be the great thing, why will you put more to it? This, as has been said, will be a very good, or a very bad day; if you return not this Answer with wisdom and care, you will have the worst of it. I am so far from thinking that this Speech is the effect of ill Counsel, that I think it is from good. I have heard an Association spoken of, and rectifying the Commissions of Justices of the Peace and Deputy-Lieutenants, &c.—I must confess it is my weakness, but I am not satisfied in this way. These are generals, and other things are as necessary, and more may be added; as illegal raising of Money, &c. I would do that therefore to comprehend all these things; I would speak to that; which if we do, we can never miss the rest. I am zealous in this—When you have read this out, here is a restriction, which, if you put other things with it, will not attain your end. I would therefore humbly address the King with Reasons for his passing this Bill of Exclusion, &c. (and you never had better to give) for the security of the people, (if that unhappy stroke should come to the King by these villains) since yet you have not shut the door—Till this Bill pass, I am afraid, when the King goes to bed, to hear sad news of him by morning— Shut that door, do that, and it is against the interest of the Papists to offer the King violence. Give the King the reason, the safety and necessity of passing this Bill, and so long as this is undone, his life is not safe, and then that you will supply him with Money to help the Protestant occasion. It grieves my heart to see his family in this condition. They have brought him in, and pray do you bring him out. If you like this way, you may go into a Committee to supply the present necessity, till we can secure our Religion and Property.
Mr Boscawen.] You have heard to-day variety of opinions: I shall humbly offer you mine. It may please Gentlemen to keep their purses shut, but there is as much danger to withold Money when it is necessary, as to give it when there is no use at all for it. I do think we are now in as dangerous circumstances as ever were known since the Reformation of Religion. There has been an universal Conspiracy of the Papists, not only here, but over all the Western part of the World, to bring in their Religion, and the greatest encouragement given to a Popish Successor; therefore we ought to consider how to prevent it. If you give Money, I would rather do it to prevent that, than for all the rest. That is the great danger, as Birch has told you; all flows from that one thing. Who had a hand in turning out the Judges, and putting in those who wrested the Laws made against the Papists, upon the Protestant Dissenters? It was the same hand that turned out the Justices of Peace: Though it is a great ease to them to be out of Commission, yet their being in was an advantage really to the King and Kingdom. And as for the Fleet, is there not the same management? As the Fleet now is, it is rather to your prejudice than your safety, and yet you will not consider it. What were the Arguments against the Bill of Exclusion, the last Parliament? That it would create a Civil War, and bring in Foreigners to defend the Duke's Title. We all know, at this day, that the Jesuits make the greatest part of their application to the French King, as setting up for the Universal Monarchy. This Bill tends to all these things; but if it be granted, and that the Judges and Lieutenancies be in safe hands, there will be no danger that Money will be taken but by Act of Parliament. You must have all these things to make good that Bill. I move, therefore, "That an Address be made to the King upon these things which have been debated."
Lord Cavendish.] I am extremely satisfied at this day's Debate. If the King would please to find us out some Expedient for this Bill, it would be much for our security. I am of the opinion of those Gentlemen who will stand by the King for the interest of the Kingdom; though I cannot condemn the caution of it, when I consider that Parliament I was of, when Money was given for the Public, and they had part of it. I would not have Alliances discountenanced, because Popish Princes are in them. The Popish Interest relies upon rising and flourishing Monarchs, as France is. I would therefore, in the first place, offer the King those things necessary for our support; and, when we give Money, would do it with such caution, as to be sure to have something for it. I move, therefore, "That a Committee draw up an Address to the King upon these things debated, and for frequent Parliaments also." I would have men of all opinions of this Committee; but I wonder to hear some Gentlemen cry, "The Question, the Question." Three men, sure, represent not the Nation. I would have the Committee numerous, and commit this upon the Debate.
[Resolved, That a Committee be appointed to prepare an humble Address to his Majesty, upon the Debate of the House, in answer to his Majesty's Speech.]