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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Mr Grey, the Compiler of these Debates, not being a Member of King James's Parliament, it has been thought proper in some measure to supply the defect, by the following Abstract of the Proceedings of Parliament, in that short and unfortunate Reign, taken from the Journals of the House, and Histories of the Times.
The Duke of York, on his Brother's Death, succeeding to the Throne, was immediately proclaimed King by the Title of James II; and having summoned a Parliament, such arts were used, and the Elections so successfully managed, that the King said, "There were not above forty Members but such as he himself wished for (fn. 1)."
Both Houses met on
Tuesday, May 19, 1685.
When the Earl of Middleton, one of his Majesty's Secretaries of State, having acquainted the Commons, "That his Majesty had been pleased to direct them forthwith to proceed to the Choice of a Speaker," and proposing, "That Sir John Trevor, Knight, by reason of his great integrity, knowlege of the Laws of the Land, and of the Rules and Orders of the House, was therefore (in his Lordship's judgment) a Person highly deserving, and fitly qualified for such a Trust;" Sir John Trevor was unanimously chosen Speaker, and in the afternoon was approved of by his Majesty. That and the two following days were employed in taking the Oaths.
May 22. His Majesty, in the House of Lords, made the following Speech to both Houses:
"My Lords and Gentlemen,
"After it pleased Almighty God to take to his mercy the late King, my dearest Brother, and to bring me to the peaceable possession of the Throne of my Ancestors, I immediately resolved to call a Parliament, as the best means to settle every thing upon those foundations that may make my Reign both easy and happy to you: Towards which I am disposed to contribute all that is fit for me to do. What I said to my PrivyCouncil, at my first coming there, I am desirous to renew to you (fn. 2); wherein I fully declared my opinion concerning the Principles of the Church of England, whose Members have showed themselves so eminently loyal in the worst of Times, in defence of my Father, and support of my Brother, of blessed memory, that I will always take care to defend and support it: I will make it my endeavour to preserve this Government, both in Church and State, as it is now by Law established. And, as I will never depart from the just Rights and Prerogative of the Crown, so I will never invade any man's property. And you may be sure, that, having heretofore ventured my life in the defence of this Nation, I shall still go as far as any man in preserving it in all its just Rights and Liberties.
"And, having given you this assurance concerning the care I will have of your Religion and Property, which I have chosen to do in the same words I used at my first coming to the Crown, the better to evidence to you that I spoke them not by chance, and consequently that you may the more firmly rely on a Promise so solemnly made; I cannot doubt that I shall fail of suitable returns from you, with all imaginable duty and kindness on your part; and particularly in what relates to the settling of my Revenue, and continuing it during my life, as it was in the time of the King my Brother.
"I might use many arguments to enforce this Demand from the Benefit of Trade, the Support of the Navy, the Necessity of the Crown, and the Well-being of the Government itself, which I must not suffer to be precarious: But I am confident, your own consideration of what is just and reasonable will suggest to you whatever might be enlarged upon this occasion. There is one popular argument, which I foresee may be used against what I ask of you, from the inclination men may have for frequent Parliaments; which some may think would be the best secured, by feeding me from time to time by such proportions as they shall think convenient: And this argument (it being the first time I speak to you from the Throne) I will answer once for all; That this would be a very improper method to take with me; and that the best way to engage me to meet you often is always to use me well (fn. 3) : I expect therefore, that you will comply with me in what I have desired; and that you will do it speedily, that this may be a short Session; and that we may meet again to all our satisfactions.
"My Lords and Gentlemen,
"I must acquaint you, That I have had News this morning from Scotland, That Argyle is landed in the Western Islands, with the men he brought with him from Holland; (fn. 4) and that there are Two Declarations published, one in the name of those in arms there, the other in his own: It would be too long for me to repeat the substance of them: It is sufficient to tell you, that in both of them I am charged with Usurpation and Tyranny. The shorter of them I have directed to be forthwith communicated to you. I shall take the best care I can, that this Declaration of their own Treason and Rebellion may meet with the reward it deserves: And I will not doubt, but that you will be more zealous to support the Government, and give me my Revenue, as I have desired it, without Delay."
The House being returned.
Resolved, Nem. con. That the most humble and hearty Thanks of this House be given to his Majesty, for his most gracious Speech and Declaration: To which the Concurrence of the Lords having been desired and given, and it being presented in the afternoon, his Majesty was pleased to return for Answer, "That he was well pleased with the Thanks of this House: And that he could repeat no more than what he had done; but that he would be as good as his Word: And that he did not doubt, but, with the assistance of both Houses, to maintain the Government against all Rebels and Traytors." May 23. The Earl of Middleton acquainted the House, "That his Majesty had commanded him to communicate to them the traiterous Declaration of the pretended Earl of Argyle, mentioned in his Majesty's gracious Speech: " Which being delivered in, and at the Clerk's Table, (See it in the Journal,)
Resolved, Nem. con. That this House will stand by and assist his Majesty with their Lives and Fortunes against Archibald Campbell, the pretended Earl of Argyle, and his Adherents, and all Rebels and Traytors, and all others whatsoever that shall assist them, or any of them. Which Vote being presented by the House, in a Body, in the afternoon, his Majesty was pleased to return this Answer:
"I could not expect less from a House of Commons so composed as (God be thanked) you are.
"I rely on the assurances you have given me, which are the natural effects of your being monarchical and Church of England-men. I will stand by all such: And, so supported, have no reason to fear any Rebels or Enemies I have, or may have."
May 26. A Bill passed for settling the Revenue on his Majesty for his life, which was settled on his late Majesty for his life.
A Motion being made for preserving the Religion of the Church of England, as now by Law established;
Ordered, That the same be referred to the Grand Committee for Religion.
Wednesday, May 27.
Sir Thomas Meres reports from the Grand Committee for Religion, That the Committee, having taken the Matters, yesterday to them referred, into their Consideration, had agreed upon the two following Resolves; viz.
1. That it be reported to the House, as the Opinion of this Grand Committee, to assist and stand by his Majesty, according to our Duty and Allegiance, for the Support and Defence of the Reformed Religion of the Church of England, as now by Law established, with our Lives and Fortunes.
2. That the House be moved, from this Grand Committee, to make an humble Address to his Majesty to publish his Royal Proclamation for putting the Laws in execution against all Dissenters whatsoever from the Church of England. Both which, upon the previous Question, being disagreed to by the House,
Resolved, Nem. con. That this House doth acquiesce, entirely rely, and rest wholly satisfied in his Majesty's gracious Word, and repeated Declaration, to support and defend the Religion of the Church of England, as it is now by Law established; which is dearer to us than our Lives (fn. 6).
May 29. Dr Sherlock preached before the House.
May 30. His Majesty, in the House of Lords, after passing the Bill for settling the Revenue, &c. was pleased to make the following Speech:
"My Lords and Gentlemen,
"I thank you very heartily for the Bill you have presented me this day; and I assure you, the readiness and chearfulness that has attended the Dispatch of it is as acceptable to me as the Bill itself.
"After so happy a Beginning, you may believe I would not call upon you unnecessarily for an extraordinary Supply: But when I tell you, that the Stores of the Navy and Ordnance are extremely exhausted; that the Anticipations upon several Branches of the Revenue are great and burthensome; that the Debts of the King my Brother to his Servants and Family are such as deserve compassion; that the Rebellion in Scotland, without putting more weight upon it than it really deserves, must oblige me to a considerable Expence extraordinary; I am sure such considerations will move you to give me an Aid to provide for those things, wherein the security, the ease, and the happiness of my Government are so much concerned. But, above all, I must recommend to you the care of the Navy, the strength and glory of this Nation; that you will put it into such a condition, as may make us considered and respected abroad. I cannot express my Concern upon this occasion more suitable to my own Thoughts of it, than by assuring you I have a true English Heart, as jealous of the Honour of the Nation as you can be: And I please myself with the hopes, that, by God's Blessing, and your Assistance, I may carry the Reputation of it higher in the World than ever it has been in the time of any of my Ancestors. And, as I will not call upon you for Supplies, but when they are of public use and advantage, so I promise you, that what you shall give me upon such occasions, shall be managed with good husbandry; and I will take care it shall be employed to the uses for which I ask them." The House being returned,
A Motion being made for a Supply, upon his Majesty's Speech; the House, in a Grand Committee,
Resolved, Nem. con. 1. That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That a Supply be given to his Majesty towards the Repairs of the Navy and Ordnance, and the Stores for the same; and for those other occasiors in his Majesty's Speech.
2. That, towards the said Supply, an Imposition be laid on all Wines and Vinegar.
3. That the Imposition to be laid on Wines and Vinegar be the same that was laid thereon by an Act of Parliament, 22 Charles II, entitled, &c. Which being reported were agreed to by the House, and the Sollicitor-General was ordered to prepare a Bill accordingly.
June 1. In a Grand Committee. On the Supply.
An Imposition was agreed to be laid on Tobacco and Sugars, and a Bill was ordered to be prepared accordingly.
June 3. The Bill passed for granting to his Majesty an Imposition on all Wines and Vinegar imported between June 24, 1685, and June 24, 1693.
June 13. The Earl of Middleton acquainted the House from his Majesty, That his Majesty had this Morning received Advice, as well by Letter from the Mayor of Lyme in Dorsetshire, as by Two Messengers come from thence, who had been examined upon Oath at the Council Table, That the Duke of Monmouth, with the late Lord Grey, was landed in a hostile manner, with many Men and Arms; and had seized the Fort and Guns, setting up a Standard in the Town, and were listing others (fn. 7).
And the said Letter being produced, and read to the House;
And the said Messengers being called in, and testifying the truth of the matter at the Bar of the House;
Resolved, Nem. con. That the most humble and hearty Thanks of this House be returned to his Majesty, for his gracious Message to this House communicating the landing of the Duke of Monmouth; and that this House will stand by and assist his Majesty with their Lives and Fortunes against the said James Duke of Monmouth, his Adherents and Correspondents, and all Rebels and Traytors, and all others whatsoever that shall assist them, or any of them. And a Committee was appointed to prepare the said Address.
Resolved, That a Bill be brought in for Preservation of his Majesty's Royal Person and Government.
Resolved, That a Bill be brought in for the Attainder of James Duke of Monmouth of High Treason.
Ordered, That the Committee last named do prepare and bring in the said Bills.
Mr Sollicitor-General (Finch) reports from the Committee the following Address:
"We your Majesty's most loyal Subjects, the Commons of England, in Parliament assembled, do, with all duty, return our most humble and hearty Thanks for your Majesty's gracious Message, communicated to us by the Earl of Middleton, of the invading this your Kingdom by that ungrateful Rebel James Duke of Monmouth; and do, with all duty and loyalty, and utter detestation of such Rebels and Traytors, assure your Majesty, that we are, and always shall be, ready to stand by and assist your Majesty with our Lives and Fortunes against the said James Duke of Monmouth, his Adherents and Correspondents, and all Rebels and Traytors; and all others whatsoever that shall assist them, or any of them.
"And since the Preservation of your Majesty's Person is of the highest concern to the peace and happiness of this Kingdom, we your most dutiful and loyal Subjects, do most humbly beseech your Majesty to take more than ordinary care of your Royal Person, which we beseech God long to preserve." Which Address being agreed to by the House, and presented in the afternoon, his Majesty was pleased to answer, "That he did thank this House for their loyal Address, and particularly for their care of his Person; that he would venture his life in defence of his people, and for their peace; and he did not doubt, but, with God's blessing, and the assistance of his loyal Subjects, to repell all Traytors and Rebels."
June 15. A traiterous Paper, entitled, "The Declaration of James Duke of Monmouth, &c." (fn. 8) being sent from the Lords, with an Order which that House had made thereupon; and the said Paper and Order being read to the House,
Resolved, Nemine contradicente, That this House doth agree with the Lords; and that the said traiterous Paper be burnt by the hands of the common Hangman accordingly.
A Bill for the Attainder of James Duke of Monmouth of High Treason was read the first and second time, ingrossed, and read the third time, and sent up to the Lords for their concurrence (fn. 9).
The Bill for an Imposition on Sugars and Tobacco, &c. passed.
June 16. The two foregoing Bills were returned from the Lords, without Amendments.
June 17. A Motion being made for a Supply to be given to his Majesty towards his present extraordinary expence for sup pressing the Rebellion of the late Duke of Monmouth, and the pretended Earl of Argyle;
Resolved, That a Supply be given to his Majesty for his present extraordinary occasions, for suppressing the Rebellion, &c.
In a Grand Committee on the Supply,
Resolved, That a Tax be laid upon such new Buildings as have been erected upon new Foundations, since March 25, 1660, within the Bills of Mortality, except all such Houses as have been built within the compass of the late general Fires in the City of London, and Borough of Southwark. Which being agreed to by the House, a Bill was ordered to be brought in accordingly.
June 18. The following Message from his Majesty was delivered in writing, by the Earl of Middleton.
"His Majesty judges it necessary, for the good of his service, that the Gentlemen of this House (on whose Loyalty and Affection he depends, where-ever they are) should be present in their respective Countries; and therefore designs there should be a Recess in a very few days: But, because the Rebellion in the West will occasion an extraordinary Expence, his Majesty desires there may be a good Fund of Credit provided for a present sum of money, to answer the immediate charge his Majesty must be at: And, to the end none of the Bills now depending may be prejudiced, his Majesty is pleased that this separation shall be an Adjournment, and for some short time only.
Given at our Court at Whitehall,
June 18, 1685."
Resolved, That a Supply not exceeding the sum of 400,000l. be given to his Majesty for his present extraordinary occasions.
Resolved, That a Committee be appointed to bring in an Estimate of what the new Buildings intended to be taxed, pursuant to the Vote of this House, will raise at one year's full value.
June 20. In a Grand Committee on the Supply,
Resolved, That an Imposition be laid on French Linnen, all Brandies imported, all home-made Spirits and strong Waters, all Callicoes, and all other Linnen imported from the East-Indies, all wrought Silks imported from the East-Indies, or manufactured in France, and all other foreign wrought Silks imported. And a Bill was ordered to be brought in accordingly.
June 22. The Earl of Middleton acquainted the House from his Majesty, That the Grand Rebel, Argyle, is taken, and now in safe custody (fn. 10).
Resolved, That the most humble and hearty Acknowledgment and Thanks of this House be presented to his Majesty, for his gracious communication to them of the taking of that Arch-Traytor the late Earl of Argyle: Which this House received with all imaginable joy and satisfaction.
July 2. The House attended his Majesty in the House of Lords, where the Lord Keeper declared his Majesty's pleasure, to the effect following: "That both Houses should forthwith severally adjourn themselves till Tuesday the fourth day of August next.
"That his Majesty doth not at present intend there shall be then a Session; but that the Session be carried on by farther Adjournments, by such Members as shall be about the town, till winter, unless in case of some emergency that shall require it: In which case, or whensoever he shall intend a Session, he will give timely notice by Proclamation."
The House accordingly adjourned to August the 4th, and from thence, by his Majesty's pleasure, it was farther adjourned to November the 9th (fn. 11).
The Debates that follow are compiled by another band.
[Monday, November 9, 1685.
The Parliament met, when his Majesty, in the House of Lords, made the following Speech; which was afterwards read by the Speaker:
"My Lords and Gentlemen,
"After the storm that seemed to be coming upon us when we parted last, I am glad to meet you all again in so great peace and quietness; God Almighty be praised, by whose blessing that Rebellion was suppressed! But when we reflect, what an inconsiderable number of men began it, and how long they carried it on without any opposition, I hope every body will be convinced, that the Militia, which hath hitherto been so much depended on, is not sufficient for such occasions; and that there is nothing but a good Force of well-disciplined Troops in constant pay, that can defend us from such, as, either at home or abroad, are disposed to disturb us: And, in truth, my concern for the peace and quiet of my Subjects, as well as for the safety of the Government, made me think it necessary to increase the number to the proportion I have done: That I owed as well to the honour as the security of the Nation; whose reputation was so infinitely exposed to all our neighbours, by having so evidently lain open to this late wretched attempt, that it is not to be repaired without keeping such a body of men on foot, that none may ever have the thought of finding us again so miserably unprovided.
"It is for the support of this great charge, which is now more than double to what it was, that I ask your assistance in giving me a Supply answerable to the expences it brings along with it: And I cannot doubt, but what I have begun, so much for the honour and defence of the Government, will be continued by you with all the chearfulness and readiness that is requisite for a work of so great importance.
"Let no man take exception; that there are some Officers in the Army, not qualified, according to the late Tests, for their Employments: The Gentlemen, I must tell you, are most of them well-known to me: And, having formerly served with me on several occasions, and always approved the loyalty of their principles by their practice, I think them now fit to be employed under me: And I will deal plainly with you, that, after having had the benefit of their service in such a time of need and danger, I will neither expose them to disgrace, nor myself to the want of them, if there should be another Rebellion to make them necessary to me (fn. 12).
"I am afraid some men may be so wicked to hope and expect that a difference may happen between you and me upon this occasion: But when you consider what advantages have arisen to us in a few months, by the good understanding we have hitherto had; what wonderful effects it hath already produced in the change of the whole Scene of Affairs abroad, so much more to the honour of the Nation, and the figure it ought to make in the World; and that nothing can hinder a farther progress in this way, to all our satisfactions, but fears and jealousies amongst ourselves; I will not apprehend that such a misfortune can befall us, as a division, or but a coldness, between me and you; nor that any thing can shake you in your steadiness and loyalty to me; who, by God's blessing, will ever make you returns of all kindness and protection, with a resolution to venture even my own life in the defence of the true interest of this Kingdom."]
The Earl of Middleton of Ireland, a Member of the House of Commons, and one of his Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State, moved, That the House would immediately return their Thanks to his Majesty, for his most gracious Speech, and also proceed to the consideration of answering the ends therein mentioned.
After some Debate, it was Resolved, That the House resolve itself into a Committee of the whole House, on Thursday morning next, at ten of the clock, to take into consideration his Majesty's Speech.
Thursday, November 12.
The House resolved itself into a Committee of the whole House, to take into consideration his Majesty's Speech.
Mr Sollicitor Finch took the Chair.
The King's Speech was read.
The Earl of Middleton moved to have it considered by Paragraphs.
Sir Winston Churchill.] Some other than the Militia is necessary to be found: I move a Supply for the Army.
Lord Preston.] We have lately had an unfortunate proof, how little we are to depend upon the Militia, and therefore sure we must all approve of his Majesty's increasing the Forces to what they are. France is formidable, now Holland's Forces are greatly increased, and we must be strong in proportion, for preservation of ourselves and Flanders, and toward that, the good harmony betwixt the King and this House hath greatly contributed. It has had two other great Effects abroad. 1. The French King's Army last Spring was marching towards Germany; Crequi was far advanced; but when the King of France heard the kindness of this House to the King, and the defeat of Monmouth, he recalled them. 2. The French and Spaniards had also a difference about Haye and Fonterabia: The French advanced their Troops, and recalled them on this News. This is the noble Effect of the Harmony between the King and this House, who have (I hope) brought the same Heart and Loyalty they had the last time here. Hence we may conclude, these Levies made by the King are just, reasonable, and necessary. And so let us vote a Supply, to answer his Majesty's present occasions.
Earl of Ranelagh.] The Question is, Whether a Supply, or not? I do not intend to arraign the Militia, but seeing a Soldier is a Trade, and must (as all other Trades are) be learned, I will show you where the Militia has failed; viz. at Chatham; and in June last, when the late Duke of Monmouth landed, and had but eighty-three men, and 300l. in Money, who, in spite of the Militia, nay, in spite of such other force as the King could spare hence, brought it so far as he did. If the King of France had landed then, what would have become of us? I say, the Militia is not insignificant, but an additional force is necessary, and so a Supply that is answerable to it.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] If it shall appear to you, that the King's Revenue that he hath already, be sufficient to supply all the Occasions, what then need we give him more? It is moved, That we should proceed by Paragraphs. To come first to the Militia, who (let me tell you) did considerable service in the late Rebellion, and if a great Nobleman of this Kingdom had been supplied and assisted, it had soon been quelled. A confidence betwixt the King and his People is absolutely needful, let it come whence it will; our happiness consists in it. His Majesty, on his first entrance on the Crown, told us, "he had been misrepresented, and that he would preserve the Government in Church and State now established by Law, and would maintain us in all our just Rights and Privileges." Over-joyed at this, we ran hastily in to him; we gave four Millions (reckoning what we added to him for life was worth) at once. The present Revenue is 1,900,000l. or two Millions, yearly; the charge of the Government (admitting this Army kept up) is but 1,300,000l. yearly: And pray let us not forget that there was a Bill of Exclusion debated in this House; I was here, and showed myself against it; the Arguments for it were, "That we should, in case of a Popish Successor, have a Popish Army." You see the Act of the Test already broken, but pray remember what the late Lord Chancellor told you, when the late King (of blessed Memory) passed that Act: The words were to this effect; "By this Act you are provided against Popery, that no Papist can possibly creep into any Employment." I am afflicted greatly at this Breach of our Liberties, and seeing so great difference betwixt this Speech, and those heretofore made, cannot but believe this was by some other Advice. This, struck at here, is our all, and I wonder there have been any men so desperate, as to take any Employment not qualified for it; and I would therefore have the Question, "That a standing Army is destructive to the Country."
Sir John Ernly.] The number of the standing Forces is about 14 or 15,000 men, and they were about half so many before, and I conceive we are not safe without these Forces to aid and help the Militia. I am not for laying aside the Militia, but I say, there is a necessity for a standing Force. Half the charge of those Forces, viz. about 300,000l. yearly, the whole being 600,000l. yearly, I conceive, is all we need to give for it: Of that there remains 200,000l. unreceived of the 400,000l. given last, so the 200,000l. may go towards it, and the rest may be supplied by a Tax on Commodities; as, for balancing of Trade, may better be charged than not. I am for Supply.
Sir Hugh Cholmondeley.] I stand up for, and would not have the Militia reflected on; it was very useful in the late Rebellion of Monmouth; it kept him from Bristol and Exeter, and is as good as any Army we can raise against any at home.
Mr Coningsby.] I am for vindicating the Militia. There is just cause for a Supply, and I would give it, and reward the Officers not qualified, or take them off some other way.
Mr Ashburnham.] I dread a standing Army, but am for a Supply.
Mr Waller.] Kings, in old time, used to send, not only an account of their Revenues, but of the charge they were going to be at, to the Parliament, when they demanded Aids. Henry V. had but 56,000l. and Queen Elizabeth had 160,000 and odd pounds, yearly. I am for a Bill for making the Militia useful, and would know, if we give Money thus, whether it be not for setting up a standing Army? I am for good Guards.
Sir William Trumbull.] The Kingdom is guarded by Law; we are now in perfect Peace; the King is both feared and loved; an Army little needed; Men justly afraid: That which made the last Rebellion as it was, the man that headed it, was a favourite of the faction, and though he had got such a number, he was beaten by 1800 men only. I am against an Army.
Mr Seymour.] This last Rebellion has contributed to our future Peace, and those engaged in it have sung their penitential Psalm, and their punishment rejoiced at by all good persons. I do not commend the Militia, yet it is not to be rejected, but to be new modeled; and, for my part, I had rather pay double to these, (meaning for keeping up the Militia) from whom I fear nothing, than half so much to those, of whom I must ever be afraid; and, say what you will, it is a standing Army. The last force preserved the Peace, and was sufficient to do it, in the late King's time, and is now; all the profit and security of this Nation is in our Ships; and had there been the least ship in the Channel, it would have disappointed him. Supporting an Army is maintaining so many idle persons to lord it over the rest of the Subjects. The King declared, "That no soldiers should quarter in private houses;" but that they did: "That they should pay for all things they took;" but they paid nothing for almost all they took. And for Officers to be employed not taking the Tests, it is dispensing with all the Laws at once; and if these men be good and kind, we know not whether it proceeds from their generosity, or principles: For we must remember, it is Treason for any man to be reconciled to the Church of Rome; for the Pope, by Law, is declared an enemy to this Kingdom. A Supply given, as moved for, is a kind of an establishing an Army by Act of Parliament; and when they have got the power into their hands, we are then to derive it from their courtesie; and therefore I would have the Question be, "That the safety of the Kingdom doth not consist with a standing force:" And this, it may be, will disappoint these persons, that make it their business this way, to make themselves useful.
Sir Thomas Clarges then moved for an Address.
Sir Thomas Meres.] I am first for a Supply; that hinders not an Address: His Majesty, in his Speech, only says, "That the Militia is not sufficient." The late Long Parliament always owned some force necessary: We are not to name the number, the King is best judge of that; a great soldier, and a good Prince: I hear the number is 14 or 15,000; and I am for a Supply, and never saw, but Money was always one part of the business of every Parliament. There was a bitter spirit in the three last Parliaments, not yet well allayed; and so I conclude a considerable force needful, besides the Militia. I call those raised, Guards, and would have a Supply given to support his Majesty's extraordinary occasions. The Navy wants 6 or 800,000l. and I would give any Reason for it; so a Supply may, without a Negative, be given.
Serjeant Maynard.] There is already a Law, that no man shall, on any occasion whatsoever, rise against the King: Lord-Lieutenants, and Deputy-Lieutenants, have power to disarm the disaffected: If you give thus a Supply, it is for an Army; and then, may not this Army be made of those that will not take the Test? Which Act was not designed a punishment for the Papists, but a protection for ourselves; and giving this Money is for an Army: I am against it.
Sir Richard Temple.] I must concur with the King, that the Militia is not sufficient: I am for mending the Militia, and to make it such as the King and Kingdom may confide in it; to trust to mercenary force alone is to give up all our Liberties at once. If you provide a constant Supply to support them by setting up an Army, Sir Thomas Meres has turned it into a Supply for the Navy. There is no Country in the World, that has a Law to set up an Army. We have already made an ample Supply for the Government. It is for Kings to come to the House, from time to time, on extraordinary occasions; and if this Army be provided for by Law, they will never more come to this House. I am for giving for the extraordinary charge past. Armies are useful, when occasion is for them; but if you establish them, you can disband them no more. I am for a Supply, but not on this score of the Militia: There was not a company formed till 1588; and as soon as Queen Elizabeth had done with her Army, she disbanded it. Armies have been fatal often to Princes. The Army, in the late King's time, often turned out their leaders. I am for going to the House, for leave for a Bill to mend the Militia.
Sir Winston Churchill.] The Beef-Eaters, at this rate, may be called an Army.
Sir Thomas Hussey.] The Colonel may say what he will of the Beef-Eaters, as he nick-names them; but they are established by Act of Parliament.
Mr Seymour.] I can make out, that the King's Revenue is sufficient to maintain the force on foot.
The Question being put, That a Supply be given to his Majesty.
Sir Thomas Clarges moved, That the words, "towards the Support of the additional forces," may be added: which was carried in the Negative, 225 to 156; and then these Votes passed:
Which were agreed to by the House.
Friday, November 13.
A Motion being made, by the Earl of Middleton, That the House should proceed to the farther consideration of his Majesty's Speech;
The House thereupon resolved itself into a Committee of the whole House; and the previous Question being then put, for the House to go on with the Supply, or proceed to the next Paragraph; the House divided.
For proceeding to the Supply, 182. For proceeding to the next Paragraph, 183.
Resolved, That it be an Instruction to the Grand Committee, that the Committee proceed first in the consideration of that Paragraph in his Majesty's Speech, which next follows that of the Supply (fn. 15).
Saturday, November 14.
An Address was moved in the Committee, by Sir Edmund Jennings. Others moved the inconveniency of it, if not granted, and so to let it alone. Others, to have the Catholics, who had been so useful and well known to his Majesty, named and compensated. Some seemed to doubt his Majesty's compliance. Others, that it was not to be doubted, when addressed by such a House.
Mr Sollicitor Finch reports from the Grand Committee (instructed as above) that the Committee had agreed upon the two following Resolutions, viz.
Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That the House be moved, That a Committee be appointed to prepare an humble Address to be presented to his Majesty, humbly showing, that those Officers of the Army, who are not qualified for their Employments by the Acts for preventing Dangers which may happen from Popish Recusants, cannot by Law be capable of their Employments: And that it be part of the said Address, "That his Majesty would be pleased not to continue them in their Employments."
Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That the House be moved to appoint a Committee to bring in a Bill to indemnify those Persons unqualified, for the time past.
Which were agreed to by the House, with an Amendment in the first Resolve, by leaving out the words (marked in Italics) and by adding, instead thereof, these words: "That his Majesty would be graciously pleased to give such Directions, that no Apprehensions or Jealousies may remain in the hearts of his Majesty's good and faithful Subjects."
And an Address was ordered to be prepared accordingly, and also a Bill to indemnify those Persons unqualified.
Resolved, That it be an Instruction to the said Committee, That, in the Preamble of the said Address, the humble and hearty Thanks of this House be returned to his Majesty, for his great Care in the Suppression of the late Rebellion.
Monday, November 16.
Mr Sollicitor reports, That the Committee appointed had drawn up an Address to his Majesty; which was read, and agreed to, and is as follows, viz.
"Most Gracious Sovereign,
"We your Majesty's most loyal and faithful Subjects, the Commons, in Parliament assembled, do in the first place (as in duty bound) return your Majesty our most humble and hearty Thanks for your great Care and Conduct in suppressing the late Rebellion, which threatened the Overthrow of this Government both in Church and State, and the utter Extirpation of our Religion as by Law established, which is most dear unto us, and which your Majesty hath been pleased to give us repeated Assurances you will always defend and support; which with all grateful Hearts we shall ever acknowlege.
"We farther crave leave to acquaint your Majesty, that we have, with all Duty and Readiness, taken into our Consideration your Majesty's gracious Speech to us: And as to that Part of it, relating to the Officers in the Army, not qualified for their Employments, according to an Act of Parliament made in the 25th year of the Reign of your Majesty's Royal Brother, entitled, An Act for preventing Dangers which may happen from Popish Recusants, we do, out of our bounden Duty, humbly represent unto your Majesty, That those Officers cannot by Law be capable of their Employments; and that the Incapacities they bring upon themselves thereby, can no way be taken off but by an Act of Parliament.
"Therefore, out of that great Deference and Duty we owe unto your Majesty, who have been graciously pleased to take notice of their Services to you, we are preparing a Bill to pass both Houses for your Royal Assent, to indemnify them from the Penalties they have now incurred: And because the continuing of them in their Employments may be taken to be a Dispensing with that Law without Act of Parliament, (the Consequence of which is of the greatest Concern to the Rights of all your Majesty's Subjects, and to all the Laws made for Security of their Religion) we therefore, the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses, of your Majesty's House of Commons, do most humbly beseech your Majesty, that you would be graciously pleased to give such Directions therein, that no Apprehensions or Jealousies may remain in the Hearts of your Majesty's good and faithful Subjects."
A Motion being made for going to the Lords for their Concurrence;
Some debated, "That it would carry with it the greater weight, and be more likely to have good effect; and if the Concurrence of the Lords were asked, the Judges, in the Lords House, would have an opportunity of speaking their Opinion to it."
Others opposed it, "for the Lords having already given their Thanks to the King for his Speech, as being contented therewith, and that it would be more for the honour of the House of Commons to address alone."
Those that were against the thing itself when it passed first, were for going to the Lords for their Concurrence.
The House divided. For asking Concurrence, 204. Against it, 216.
So it passed in the Negative. Then the Members of the House that were of his Majesty's Privy-Council, were ordered to know when his Majesty would be pleased to be attended therewith.
The House being resolved into a Committee of the whole House, to consider of a Supply for his Majesty;
Mr Sollicitor took the Chair.
Lord Campden moved "for 200,000l. to be given to the King for a Supply, which, with 200,000l. confessed of what was given for suppressing the late Rebellion, makes 400,000l." and was seconded.
Sir John Ernly.] 1,200,000l. is needful, and such a sum has been given before in the same Session, when there was an Address of this kind made to the late King.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] We have this Session already given Customs and Excises for his Majesty's life:
|Additional Duty on Wines, eight years,||150,000l. yearly.|
|Tax on Sugar and Tobacco, eight years,||200,000l. yearly.|
|Tax on Linnen and East-India Commodities, five years,||120,000l. yearly.|
In all, six Millions. Let us give little now, to have opportunity to give more another time; for if we give too much now, we shall have nothing left to give; and if we proceed thus, what we have will be taken from us.
Sir Edmund Jennings.] To give 1,200,000l. now, because such a sum has been given, is no Argument; once 2,400,000l. was given here, and therefore should it be so now? 200,000l. with what is already confessed to be in cash, makes 400,000l. and that will maintain the charge one year, and better; and giving all at once is doubting the affection of the people.
Lord Preston.] You unanimously voted a Supply last night, and naming so little now is not so ingenuous a way of proceeding. We are told, six Millions have been this Session given; I would have you, Gentlemen, take notice, the giving his Majesty what the late King had, is but settling a Revenue that before was not sufficient for the support of the Government; what was given besides, was part for the late King's servants, part for the Fleet and Stores, and part for suppressing the late Rebellion. To give so little now, is not to enable the King to defend and preserve us, which he has promised to do. I am for 1,200,000l.
Earl of Ranelagh.] The Question is for 200,000l. or for 1,200,000l. What has been given in this matter already, ought not to be weighed at all; and what is called six Millions, had all uses (when given) tacked to it.
The Revenue his brother had, had uses enough, as—
The Wine and Vinegar Act, rated at yearly 15,000l. For the Fleet, Stores, Ordnance, and Servants.
The Sugar and Tobacco Act, rated at yearly 200,000l. For the said Stores, Ordinary, and Fleet—
And the additional Duty on French Linnen and EastIndia commodities, rated at yearly 120,000l. For suppressing the late Rebellion——
So there are uses for all that, and what is now given, must be taken for supporting the forces—And therefore I am for 1,200,000l.
Sir Winston Churchill.] 200,000l. is much too little: Soldiers move not without pay. No Penny, No Paternoster.
Mr Ettrick moved for 700,000l. and mentioned to have it raised upon the new Buildings, which might produce 400,000l. and a Poll-Bill for the other 300,000l.
Mr Waller.] If I knew the King's Revenue were short, I would give as far as any man; but now we are going for this particular use, and if this 200,000l. will not do, how can we be sure that 1,200,000l. will?—If we give too little now, hereafter, if we see occasion, we may give more; but if we now give too much, I do not see how we shall ever have it again, though I have heard of such a thing in Queen Elizabeth's time. The King (reckoning what he had of his own into it) has 600,000l. yearly more than the late King had, and when there is need, I am for more, but now only 400,000l. and to raise that easy you will be put to it: How will you do it? If you lay it upon Trade, that will make it Revenue, and when once in the Crown for some time, it will never get out again. I am for only 400,000l.
Lord Campden.] If the King wants 200,000l. I would give him 200,000l. but I am for giving no more than he really wants.
Mr Waller.] We give, because we are asked. I am for the least sum, because for an Army, and I would be rid of them as soon as I could; and am more now against it than I lately was, being satisfied that the Country is weary of the oppression of the soldiers, weary of free quarters, plunder, and some felons, for which they have no complaint, no redress: And since I heard Mr Blaithwayte tell us, how strict rules were prescribed them by the King, I find by their behaviour, the King cannot govern them himself; and then what will become of us?
Sir Willoughby Hickman.] The Rebellion is suppressed, and the Army is urged to be small, but it is so thick of Officers, that by filling up the Troops, which is easily at any time done, increases their number to a third part more. I am for providing for them but one whole year only, and only for 400,000l.
Mr Coningsby.] I agree to the 400,000l. We owe besides a duty to our Country, and are bound by that duty to leave our posterity as free in our Liberties and Properties as we can; and there being Officers now in the Army, that have not taken the Test, greatly flats my zeal for it, and makes me esteem the Militia; which if we well modeled, and placed in mens hands of interest in their Country, we are certain, and so is the King secure; for there is no such security of any man's loyalty, as a good estate. Reasons I have heard given against Armies, that they debauched the manners of all the people, their wives, daughters, and servants. Men do not go to Church where they quarter, for fear mischief should be done in their absence. Plough-men and servants quit all Countryemployments to turn soldiers; and then a Court-martial, in time of Peace, is most terrible. In Peace, Justices of it, and the Civil Magistrate, ought to punish, if applied to. And what occasion then can be for them? Is it to suppress a Rebellion in time of an Invasion? All then will go towards that. Or is it to assist his Allies? The House will give aid, when wanted, on that score. The Guards I am not against; those showed themselves useful in Venner's business, and the late Rebellion; I am not against them: I only speak of those that have been new raised.
Colonel Ashton.] I will tell you the use of these forces; they expected the rising of a great party, and were not these forces standing, to prevent a Rebellion, you would have one in a few days.
Mr Blaithwayte.] If any disorders have been committed, it is not yet too late to have them redressed; and Martial-Law (if by that cleared) does not hinder proceeding at Common-Law for the same thing. 400,000l. is not enough; no State near us, in proportion, but what exceeds this small number of men.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] Seven millions of men in England; the strength of men in England consists in our marine, in which (for want of men) France can never equal us; their Trade will not breed them; a ship of 50 tons will carry 100,000l. of their goods, linnen and silks. Ours are bulky goods, and employ twenty times more, unless you (by burdening of Trade) let them into the West-Indies. Armies are not manageable; Commanders have been very often known to rebell: The measure of our Supply is our security. His Majesty's Declaration says, "If on complaint, the Officers give no redress, then complain to the King;" and so Justice is baulked by this hardship put upon the complainant.
Sir Christopher Musgrave.] Let it be, to enable his Majesty to preserve us in Peace at home, and to make his Majesty formidable abroad, for 1,200,000l. as a Supply answerable to the loyalty of this House.
Sir Hugh Cholmondeley.] This House was so forward to give last time, that the King's Ministers gave their stop to it.
Sir John Werden.] The use is to direct the Quantum. I see a present necessity for continuing these Forces, till the Militia is made useful; I am for trying two years, and so for 400,000l. and so leave the door open for coming hither to give another time.
Sir Thomas Meres.] The principle of the Rebel Party is never to repent. I am for 1,200,000l. and if so much be given, I would have you, Gentlemen, to remember that the Fanatics are the cause of it.
Mr Pepys.] An island may be attacked, notwithstanding any Fleet. Ours is much mended, a thousand men daily at work, ever since we gave Money for it, and not one man in it an Officer, that has not taken the Test.
Colonel Oglethorpe.] New Troops are not so good as old, and more subject to commit disorders, but will be less so, when they are longer under discipline. The King of France never sends Troops to his Army, till they have been two or three years on foot in a garrison.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] The Trained-Bands at Newbury fight did brave things.
Then the Question was, That a sum, not exceeding 400,000l. should be given to the King.
The previous Question being put, it passed in the Negative, 179 to 167.
Then the Question was put for 700,000l. and no more; which passed in the Affirmative, 212 to 170.
Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That a Supply of 700,000l. be given to his Majesty, and no more.
Which was agreed to by the House with an Amendment, by leaving out the words "and no more," and, instead thereof, inserting these words, "not exceeding the sum."
Tuesday, November 17.
The House resolved into a Committee of the whole House, to consider the way of raising his Majesty's Supply.
Mr North took the Chair.
Sir John Ernly.] I move for an additional Duty upon Wines to yield 400,000l. yearly; and other goods, &c. about 600,000l. yearly, which, with the continuance for some years of the late Act of imposition on French Linnens, and East-India Silks, &c. might make up the sum; and I propose this way, to avoid a Land-Tax. The goods I propose to be rated, are Soap, Pot-ashes, to pay 7d. ½ to treble; unwrought Silks, Deals, Planks, and other Boards, to double. Raisins and Prunes 2s. per Cent. to double. Iron, which now pays 7s. per Cent. to double. Copperas 18s. per Cent. to double. Oyls to 8 or 10 per ton, pay now 30s. Drugs will bear two thirds more than rated. Drugs and Spices from Holland, Salt, and all prohibited goods, 20l. per Cent. And this, I hope, may do what is now intended to be raised at this time, supposing 4l. per ton on French Wines.
Sir Dudley North moved much to the same effect, and enlarged on it, and said,] The Book of Rates has been well considered, and these Goods are capable of bearing the Duties proposed; but if the King took the 40l. per ton on French Wines at 20,000l. yearly, he would be a loser by it.
Other Gentlemen insisted on having French Linnen higher charged.
The Pepper that is expended here, paying one penny a pound, might pay one penny more, and so yield 70 or 80,000l. yearly; and that Bullion, exported to the Indies, might bear 5l. per Cent. and encourage the sending of other goods (in some measure) instead of it thither.
Sir Richard Temple moved Subsidies, or Land-Tax; but the House inclining to what was first proposed, and it being consented to by the King's Ministers, seemed contented with it; so it was voted, That an Act for laying an Imposition on French Linnens, East-India. Goods, Brandy, &c. should be continued for five years, from Midsummer 1690, and be given to his Majesty as 400,000l. And that
An additional Imposition of 4l. per ton be laid upon all French Wines, on which to be raised 300,000l. which makes up the 700,000l.
The time how long this 4l. per ton shall be laid, is not yet determined, an account being first to be brought from the Custom-House Books, of what number of tons are yearly imported: It was said, 100,000 tons; others affirmed, there were near double so many.
The House seemed to incline to eight or ten years, and that the Duties already on it should still continue for the same time; which 4l. per ton, with the Duty it already pays, is near 20l. per ton.
Wednesday, November 18.
The Speaker acquainted the House, That his Majesty having been yesterday attended, in the Banquetting-House at Whitehall, with the Address of Thanks from this House for his great care and conduct in suppressing the late Rebellion, and likewise concerning the Officers of the Army not qualified for their Employments, he was graciously pleased to return an Answer, to the effect following:
"I did not expect such an Address from the House of Commons, having so lately recommended to your consideration the great advantages a good understanding between us had produced in a very short time, and given you warning of Fears and Jealousies amongst ourselves.
"I had reason to hope, that the reputation God hath blessed me with in the World, would have created and confirmed a greater confidence in you of me, and of all that I say to you: But however you proceed on your part, I will be steady in all my promises I have made to you, and be very just to my word in this, and all my other Speeches."
The said Answer was read with all due reverence and respect, and there being a profound silence in the House for some time after it,
Mr Wharton moved,] That a day might be appointed to consider of his Majesty's Answer to the late Address of this House; and named Friday next.
Mr Coke stood up, and seconded that Motion, and said,] I hope we are all Englishmen, and are not to be frighted out of our duty by a few high words
Lord Preston took present exceptions against the words, which, as is usual, were written down by the Clerk, and Mr Coke was called upon to explain.
Mr Coke said, "He intended no ill by it; and that he did not believe these the words. And that if he had said any thing that had given the House offence, he was sorry, and would ask them pardon for it."
Sir Christopher Musgrave.] It is not enough to say these were not the words, but you are to say what the words were.
Mr Coke.] I do not make set Speeches: I cannot repeat them; and if they did drop from me, I ask the King and you pardon.
So these being taken for granted to have been the words, Mr Coke, as the custom is in such cases, withdrew into the Speaker's Chamber.
Sir Joseph Tredenham.] Not our own honour, but the King is concerned in this. I move, that he be brought to the Bar, and there receive a Reprimand from Mr Speaker for it.
Sir Hugh Cholmondeley, a Gentleman of great Loyalty, never before of the House, desired he might have what favour he could.
Mr Ashburnham.] It is a great reflection upon this House, if this be let pass.
Several spoke of his Loyalty, but none to excuse him for this.
Lord Preston.] Send him to the Tower!
Lord Middleton.] The meaning of this seems like an Incendiary. The Tower! This needs no aggravation. A Reprimand for an offence to this House might do; but this does not end there; and it is a question whether it be in the power of the House to pass it by, the offence being given to the King as well as you: I am for calling him to the Bar in the first place.
Resolved, That Mr John Coke, a Member of this House, for his indecent and undutiful reflecting on the King and this House, be committed to the Tower. And the Speaker was ordered to issue his warrant accordingly.
Mr Seymour.] Now this is over, I cannot but consent to those that moved for a day, to consider of his Majesty's Answer, nor think myself as honest as I should be, if I now hold my tongue. And if we do take this matter into consideration, I doubt not but that we shall behave ourselves with that decency to his Majesty, that we may hope for a more satisfactory Answer than as yet this seems to be to me.
Sir John Ernly.] I hope that acquiescence that was this morning in this House, on reading his Majesty's Answer, has ended this matter. I do think the King will do all that he promised, and am for resting there.
Sir Thomas Meres moved to adjourn, and said, "He did not know what to say to it."
Sir Thomas Clarges.] For that very Reason I move for a day to consider of it; and I do not think we show that Respect we ought to do to the King, if we do not.
Thursday, November 19.
The Committee appointed to search the Custom-House Books, how many tons of French Wines were yearly imported, reported to the House, That 4l. per ton laid upon French Wines, would, all deductions allowed, bring in yearly 35,000l.
Mr Sollicitor took the Chair.
And it was thereupon Resolved, That 4l. per ton, to be laid on French Wines, for the raising of 300,000l. be continued from the first of December, 1685, yearly, for nine years and a half.
To which the House agreed, and Mr Sollicitor was ordered to bring in a Bill on the Debates of the House, with a Clause of Loan on the said Imposition of 4l. per ton for the said nine years and a half, from the first of December 1685. And then adjourned.
November 20. The King, by the Usher of the Black-Rod, commanded the House to attend him in the House of Peers, where his Majesty was pleased, by the Lord Chancellor Jeffreys, for many weighty Reasons to prorogue the Parliament to February 10 (fn. 18); when it met, and was farther prorogued to May 10, 1686, The violent attempts made in the remainder of this Reign to introduce Tyranny both in Church and State, which proved, in the hands of Providence, the happy means of bringing over the Prince of Orange, and settling the Succession in the House of Hanover, will never be forgotten while men retain a love for their Country, and are animated from thence to November 22, from thence to February 15, from thence to April 28, 1687, and from thence to November 22, but before that day came the Parliament was dissolved by Proclamation, dated July 2. August 24, 1688, his Majesty declared in Council, that another Parliament should be summoned for November 27, the Writs to bear date September 5. But the Writs were recalled, or not issued, on advice of the Prince of Orange's designs.
November 29, 1688, King James declared in Council, that a free Parliament should meet September 5; and November 30 a Proclamation was published, that all should have liberty to sit in Parliament notwithstanding their having been in Arms. But on December 30 he ordered the Writs not sent out to be burnt, and the same night, on his going away, threw the Great-Seal into the Thames.