Grey's Debates of the House of Commons: Volume 9. Originally published by T. Becket and P. A. De Hondt, London, 1769.
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Tuesday, December 17.
Sir William Pulteney.] The Matter before you is of great importance. I cannot agree, &c. to the Amendment of the Bill, not to be determined by the ordinary Rules of Westminster-Hall, but by the Government. There is a known Hereditary Revenue, and settled by Act of Parliament. When King James abdicated the Government, there was a Cessure of the Revenue, and it abated; but when you filled the Throne, such as had legal Grants, they were not determined; I know not, whether they can receive the Revenue, but it is all the reason in the world that the Crown should have a certain subsistence by Revenue. I think, such a thing as the Revenue is not to be taken from the Crown by implication. If the Chimney-Money must be gone by the Abdication, you needed not to have made an Act to take it away. If you continue the words "and no longer," I fear, they will not only affect the Crown, but the Subjects too, that have had Grants.
Sir William Williams.] To stop the mouths of People, we are providing Laws against ill men, and for ill times, and therefore it was thought convenient to put in the words "and no longer." As to the new Revenue, the Customs and Excise, some part of the Revenue follows the Crown, as the shadow the body; but to say, therefore, all the Revenue does so, is no consequence. Qualify that supposed Hereditary Revenue from the other, and I agree to it. Says Pulteney, "This may shake Grants;" but if they be good Grants by Common- Law, or Statute-Law, it shakes no more but what you would have shaken.
Mr Finch.] I rise up to acquaint you how I apprehended the Revenue to be in 1688. When you come to say, "That the Revenue shall be collected for one year, and no longer," you determine the Hereditary Revenue. I think we have Declaration upon Declaration, and that Matter is pretty well at peace in you. If you put in the words "For one year, and no longer," you determine it. In the Chimney-Bill, if the Revenue had determined, you needed not that Act. If the Court of Wards was an Hereditary Revenue, then that granted in lieu of the Court of Wards, must be an Hereditary Revenue. Thompson says, "No man will say, the Court of Wards was part of the King's Revenue;" but it is the King's Tenure, and he has the profit of the Lands and Wards. For taking away the Grants upon the Revenue, he is taking away the Revenue wholly to cure them.
Sir Thomas Lee.] That which is granted for the preservation and good of the People, that ceases. I would willingly have the Long Robe inform us, whether those Grants for King Charles II's, and King James's life, continue for the King's life? I would have the Long-Robe distinguish. If each of them subsist, this Act is wholly unnecessary. As to what Finch says of the Chimney-Money, why did the Parliament, 3 Charles I, mention "Quartering of foldiers," in the Petition of Right? I would make use of this Debate. If any of them be out, all are out. The Court of Wards, which was exchanged, was ancient in the Crown, but I question whether the Crown had a right to dispose of Wardships before they fall.
Sir George Treby.] To these words "No longer." The operation of these two words is to take away all the Inheritance of the Crown. To answer Lee's Question, the King might release the Tenures of Inheritance of profit, that he had by the Tenure, as he did Wardships to the Town of Yarmouth. If the King can grant this, he may grant what is in lieu of it. In the former Bill, which is the pattern of this, there was some scruple made, whether they could safely collect it, (as if it was a new thing that Kings have abdicated, and given up their Crown before death.) All the nicety was upon collecting the Customs and Excise "during King James's life." Some were for the political life, others for the natural; this had some doubt for the sake of the Officers, and therefore the Act was entitled, "For the better collecting the Public Revenue." It was said, and with great approbation, "We have Judges for life, and salaries, &c. how could that be, if it was not supposed the Revenue was not hereditary?" You go on, and say, "The King had not only delivered you from Popery and Slavery, but you yielded to give the King Thanks, for re leasing the Chimney-Money." The appropriating some of the Revenue to pay King Charles II's servants, and the Money to the States-General, by it you suppose the subsisting of the Revenue, and you applied it to these uses. All Prerogatives and Advantages whatsoever follow the Crown, and if they have the Crown, they have all that belong to the Crown. I think it strange, when a Bill is brought in to satisfy a doubt, when, indeed, there was none; but to grant a Revenue, and charge it when you have done—will you determine the whole Revenue without hearing Counsel for the King?
Sir William Williams.] Certainly some part of the Revenue is not alienable, and, no doubt, on the other side, the King may extinguish his Wardships, by a Release; but, whether the King may alien his Inheritance of Wardships, is another subject: I doubt it much.
Sir John Trevor.] The Exception is a good Exception, and I must apply something to the one and to the other. I do agree, that "No longer" extends to all the Revenue; that part hereditary and temporary too: I hope you will not apply the same words to both. Under favour, this is a new Government: I will not deny my opinion: It was so in all broken times. In Edward II's time, &c. Edward III took all the Revenue, being in possession of the Crown. Henry IV and Edward IV took it; and the Revenue continues when the Crown is upon any man's head. The opinion has been in Westminster-Hall, "That the Revenue continues," and the Customs were paid after the death of Charles II. Unless you put the words "No longer," in negative words, and let it go so.
Mr Sollicitor Somers.] If Trevor's doctrine be true, we do grant this away for ever, by the words of the Act. In the Customs, the Grant lasts for life, and no longer, and no doubt of it. Now, for the Revenue granted for King James's life, whether it lasts longer than his Reign? The Revenue of the Crown of England is granted as in the King's Politic Capacity as to an Incorporation. This will be of so terrible a consequence, that, I hope, you will leave out the words "No longer."
Sir John Trevor.] I did not broach that doctrine. I use not to broach doctrines. I said, "That it was the opinion in Westminster-Hall, in King James's time;" and, "that unless you put negative words in the Grant—it was subsisting." If the words were necessary then, they are as necessary now—The Revenue was collected in King James's time, and after Charles II's time.
Mr Garroway.] I think Trevor in the right. There was a Grant of the Customs of the Currants in King Charles I's time; several were imprisoned for not paying the duties, though granted for years only. The Expedient may be in the end of the Bill, viz. "That this shall last for one year, and no longer," and so leave it as you found it, and you'll do no hurt.
Mr Boscawen.] I have as high an esteem for the Prince and Princess of Denmark, as any man; and I would be understood not to speak with reflection. For the first part of the Clause, the Committee had no power to confirm the Patent. To confirm this, implies a diffidence in the King and Queen. If the Hereditary Revenue be not fallen, it is still in being.
Sir Henry Capel.] I hear there is a Patent for this Pension, but to take notice of it here, is an extraordinary thing, and the improperest thing to be joined with this Bill; it is joining brass to clay, and not justisiable in the nature of it. There is an expression in the Paper, which is an interdictive to the second Clause of the Bill: What authority that honourable Lord (Cornbury) has to bring it in, I know not; but I am sure he ought to have good Warrants. If your hands are tied up to such a Clause, where is the Money to be received? In the Excise-Office? I do not know more Exchequers than one. Have a care; by the course of the Government of the Exchequer, any man may know what the receipts are, and see how Money goes out; at the Excise-Office they will not show their books. This may be a countenance to other Grants of King James, which, I hope, you will not allow. Upon the whole, I think it much better to say this aside wholly. I would do that which should express respect and bounty, but this is not a proper time. In this great Revolution, this Prince and Princess were great instruments in delivering us from Popery and Slavery. 'Tis true, we are delivered from Popery and Slavery here, but there is another Kingdom that lies under it: Now every body, the very farmer, retrenches in his family, and trade is grown low, but when it is a proper time, no man shall be more ready to increase the Princess's Revenue, than myself; but I do say, there may be a time when the hearts of People will go more with such a thing, and, I believe, it will be more acceptable to this Prince and Princess. This is very surprizing: As to our Constitution of the Exchequer, I would have it be more consonant to the Government, that there may be no gift of Money here but to the Crown. Let the Preamble mention all respect imaginable, that the Arrears may be paid, and address the King for a Revenue for the Prince and Princess, for this year, such as the King shall judge necessary, this exigency of Affairs of the Kingdom considered; and hereafter it may be thought of; and, in the mean time, address to the King to this purpose.
Mr Foley.] I think here are two Exceptions not to be answered. The first is, I think this Clause was not brought in according to Order. This Clause confirms the Letters Patent to the Princess, and the Heirs of her body, and that is against the Order, the Bill being but temporary. Next, I hope, though the merits of this Princess be great, yet that you will not break Orders of Parliament, when the Letters Patent were never read, which, by this Clause, you confirm, whether good, or no, and you know nothing that is contained in them.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] There is little difference betwixt this Grand Committee and the House, only that in this the Speaker is not in the Chair. Your Order is, "To provide for the Prince and Princess for one whole year," and the Patents are confirmed but for a year, and no more. I take it, this Patent was possessed and legally invested in her. But "that, without reading the Patents, you cannot confirm them," that is a mistake. In the Parliament of Henry VIII and Edward VI, where Letters Patent were granted from such and such a Prince to such a time, it is impossible they should be all read. By the Statute for Confirmation of all Cathedrals, and Colleges, from Henry III's time to Henry VIII, they were all confirmed. It is said, "That now it is not a seasonable time;" but is it not seasonable that the Prince, and Princess, and the Duke of Gloucester, should have meat, drink, and cloaths? This Revenue is not very extraordinary, considering their quality. We are not to say here, "That the King was not consulted in this." I hope it will never be admitted, that we should take Instructions from the King to pass Bills here. There was 24,000 l. a year charged on the Post-Office for the Duke of York, in lieu of the Charge upon the Excise, and the Exchequer never took see of it. I think this is so just and so honourable to their merits, who forsook all their pomp, father, and mother, for our Laws and Liberties, with their lives too, in this Revolution, that I would agree to the Clause.
Mr Hampden.] I think this very hard, to pay this 70,000 l. this year: In the state you are in, it is a very great hardship to the King and Kingdom. I shall deal as generously in the Offices I am in, as any man that would be in Office. I meddle not with this Patent; I think it a good Patent, but not regular to confirm it here. You charge this Branch of the Revenue with this; will you say the King shall receive for his Civil List the other Part? The Queen then has not received this 70,000 l. If it be looked into, you shall see what is done. You have granted two shillings per pound, &c. and the King has liberty, by that Act, to take up 300,000 l. He has but betwixt this and Saturday next to take it up, and I guess very largely if there be 100,000 l. and that is to pay Ireland, and Holland, and the Army here. How much will be left of your two shillings per pound? The Excise that goes out, suppose 14,000 l. per week, that must go towards paying this. The Customs are 200,000 l. per ann. less this year than formerly, and here is all to maintain what I have told you. This is a melancholy prospect. I move, to have the Letters Patent recited, and this Clause recommitted, and so much as they have by the Patent to be received, and no more.
Mr Ettrick.] I know not that the Methods of the Exchequer are more broken by this, than by Privy-Seals; but the most weighty Objection is, want of Money. As for Capel's joining "brass with clay," I am sorry Capel's opinion is, that no part of it is hereditary; we should have gone a little farther, had it not been for the necessity, viz. the whole Revenue that was formerly the Duke of York's.
Col. Birch.] My affections at that time did, in a great measure, captivate my reason. Since that, we have had time to sleep, and my affections stand as high as ever they did. As to this Patent, the Question is, Whether this Debate, as the Case stands, is seasonable? I cannot but admire at my own weakness when they all agree (and something gives them cause that I do not see.) I would do no no prejudice to this Patent, but I would augment the Princess's Revenue; but can any body say, this is seasonable? Now our condition is low, will this turn to sense, to be so lavish to throw away 40,000 l. per ann. when the King wants for his and our protection? Is this like to create a good understanding with the King? Give me leave to go a little farther: I would lay aside the whole Clause, and represent to the King the condition of the Princess. The Dutchess of Cleveland had a Pension on the Excise; I told her, "It could not be, for it was contrary to Law, and she must go to the Exchequer." I never made up any Account from the Excise but to the Exchequer, neither can I. Our necessities are beyond expression. I cannot answer it, but to lay aside this Clause, and go to the King, &c.
Sir Robert Cotton.] This Debate is, as if 20 or 30,000 l. would save, or lose, the Kingdom. The Duke of Schomberg was taken notice of in particular, and had 20,000 l. paid him, for his great generosity in coming over. King James withdrew the Princess's Exhibition for some time, and now it would be hard to lessen it.
Mr Hampden, jun.] For want of union in Royal Families, ill men have made use of it, and have either ruined, or given a great shake to them. There was a good understanding betwixt Lewis XIII, and his brother, the Duke of Orleans, who had a great Appanage: One Abbot Rivier was about the Duke of Orleans; what use made they of this? It proved the effusion of a great deal of blood in France. This King of France (a great Politician) never gave his brother such a Revenue, but a dependent Revenue, and he has lived well and easily with him, but dependent upon him. I know no other way, but to compare the past with the present. We know how in England the Contest was kept up between the Houses of York and Lancaster—The Princess has contributed very much to this Revolution; therefore I would put no difference in the Royal Family. There was a Motion, "That the Queen might have 100,000l. per ann. distinct from the King;" but the Queen was willing to be without it. This Queen's Revenue is anticipated, and yet she sits still without this. The Duke of Schomberg had a considerable sum given him, and do you think that the King and the Queen will not have more affection for their sister, than for Duke Schomberg? I would lay aside the Clause.
Mr Sollicitor Somers.] The Proviso is of two parts; one to confirm Letters Patent, and the other for an additional Revenue for the Princess. It is said, "It was never the intention of the House that the Letters Patent should be declared good, and, therefore, not to be considered." If they were not referred to the Committee, no notice can be taken of them. I have heard of an attaint, and men never answered to it, condemned unheard, and so of Patents: I have heard the Patents read, and, I believe, if they had been settled in the name of another man, they would have been much more for their advantage and satisfaction. Therefore that is one reason why I would not read them. It has been said, "We are not to ask the King's mind what to do here;" but if any man take upon him to say, "It is the King's mind," we ought to enquire whether it be true. We have Messages from the King on other occasions, and why not on this? In the Case of the Duke of York's Grant, &c. there was a Contract brought into the House betwixt the King and the Duke. No man can more honour the Prince and Princess, or is more highly sensible of her quitting her King, and Father, than I, when I consider she had heard so much of Divine Right from the Clergy. Granting a Revenue, by Act of Parliament, to a Subject, is always dangerous in this House. Though that of the King and the Duke was a Contract expressly recited, "Such Letters Patent as the King should hereafter grant;" yet it gave power in the Act, to the King, to make that Settlement; and, I hope, it will be always done with the same security to the King, and satisfaction to the People. Here is a necessity of providing for the Royal Family. The Crown has always taken care of the several branches of it, by Offices, &c. and nothing can make all the Royal Branches depend upon the Royal Family more. The King must retrench, and so large a proportion to one of the Royal Family! I hope the Princess may have many Dukes, a large and a numerous issue, and that a Revenue may be provided for them; but for so large a Revenue to be granted now, by the Precedent of the Duke of York, is of dangerous consequence, and was the beginning of our miseries that we afterwards felt.
Sir Edward Seymour.] I wonder now, and it is matter of surprize to me, not to agree with the Committee. The objection is, the irregularity of the Proviso; I say, it is regular, and, if it was otherwise, it is irregular. How can we provide for the Princess, and leave the Patent doubtful? It is objected, "It was never known that a Patent was confirmed, and never read;" it was offered to be read, and now made use of as if he had an Act of Parliament for it, and it tumbled down the stairs. If you will lay the Act of Parliament, in the Excise, a good payment, without the Exchequer, it is good, and they dare not deny the payment. Having gone thus far, I have one Argument, that if those who have done and suffered so much for the Protestant Religion, shall not have marks of your Favour, I hope they shall of your Justice.
Mr Finch.] If the Duke of York, the Heir presumptive of the Crown, engaged in an interest against the Kingdom, should have such a Grant; sure that has greater force when Persons support your Laws and Liberties. Which way should this Proviso have been brought in? Will you include or exclude these Patents? If you exclude the Patent, you must mention the Patent. It was said, "If they are not good, you ought to make them good by Law;" and I desire this Law may do it. It is said to be "of dangerous consequence to provide for the King's children;" if the Parliament will not, and the King cannot, how shall they be provided for?
Mr Godolphin.] I am for agreeing to the Proviso. It is said, "This is not agreeable to your Order." By Rule, when you grant Money you are to go into a Committee of the whole House; and that is an Objection against the whole Bill. The Method proposed the last Session was part of the Revenue for life, and part for years: I am sorry that was not then complied with, which will be looked on oddly abroad by your Allies; will they be with you for your Revenue for a year, and no longer? The greatest part of disturbance is usually for persons not at their ease: Let the Princess be at ease. I believe, the King will not give so great a sum as this, but at the recommendation of this House.
Mr Attorney Treby.] I would leave this to farther consideration, and recommit it. I find Gentlemen, in the fashion, making consession of their Faith. When the Rights of Monarchy are invaded, and the Rights of the People, I think not fit for this company—If I call the Princess's virtues Apostolical, I am not amiss. She left her Father, her beloved Mother, and dear half-Brother, for the Protestant Religion. This may tend to lay a foundation of distrust between the King and the Princess, and then that shakes what we must all be safe in. Under colour of a year's Revenue, by this you bring in a Clause of Perpetuity. I think the Patent not invalidated by leaving out this Clause.
Lord Falkland.] I did not say, "Any body was ordered by the Court," but "If as agreeable to the Orders of the House, as to the Orders of the Court, you had not had this Debate." I meant the Order of "the Exchequer-Court:" I never followed the Orders of the Court in King James's time) nor gave my consent to bring a Person into that Parliament, though I was promised I should be a Peer of England.
Mr Attorney Treby.] I was so far from having him in my thoughts, that I heard him not. As to Lord Russel, if my Lord was here, he would declare I had Lord Russel's Case; and I had Lord Russel's Case, and his Counsel's consent for what I did.
Mr Garroway.] If it were possible, I would have no Question. The King will hear what we do. I fear, a Question may make divisions. Hereafter, the King will take care of the Princess, and pray adjourn the Debate.
Wednesday, December 18.
Col. Birch.] I conceive you have Order to debate, or lay aside, the whole Clause relating to the Princess. I think it is far better to debate the whole Clause; it will prevent loss of time and misunderstanding—There may be honour to the Princess, and no benefit. Let Gentlemen consider the scope of the Debate yesterday, viz. "That it may be with honour to the King, and a noble subsistence for the Princess." I would rather lay it aside, or make an humble Address to the King, that her Arrears may be paid, and a continuation of her Pension.
Sir Christopher Musgrave.] I think, Birch has misled you; to debate it Paragraph by Paragraph, is the usual method: Two have relation to one another, the others are distinct, and have none. Debates move regular if they are kept to the strict Proposition: For that which relates to other Patents, it does not strengthen them, but rather weakens them, this Patent being directly named, and no more confirmed. In private Bills, you admit of saving Rights, and much more should in this.
Sir William Leveson Gower.] I move, that you will confirm the Patent, in consideration of the Treaty between the two Crowns of England and Denmark, for provision of younger children. Here is but 30,000l. per ann. on this consideration. The Duke of Schomberg is General, and General of the Ordnance, the best places in England: I grudge them not the Duke; but shall we not confirm, now-we have 10,000 Danes sent over to fight for us? I would know whether it was agreed, that this Patent should be confirmed by Act of Parliament? I suppose, when the Articles of Marriage were made, they intended to rely upon the King and the Patent; and, I think, it is as much reason now to do it, and they may have as good effect of it. It cannot be supposed but that the Princess may have better effect of this Patent, now she is of the same Religion with her Sister, than when she was of a different Religion from her Father. When you settle the King's Revenue, it will be the proper consideration, that she have subsistence for a Year—I desire that it may run plain, free, and clear, that it may last no longer than that term; it is in proportion, what you intend for either King or Queen. I move, "That you will order the Committee to draw up a Clause, or by Address to the King, that this Allowance to the Princess may be free and clear, in such proportion, as large as it can go, for this Year, the condition of the Kingdom considered."
Mr Garroway.] I am one of those that would have the Patent no better, and no worse. I desire only a saving the Patent, and I shall offer some words to it, viz. "That the Patent remain in as full force as it was before, notwithstanding this Act."
Sir Thomas Clarges.] Since the Treasury may be streightened by this Proviso, as it is apprehended, I do not believe this Revenue was in the Crown in 1688; and, since it is said not to be in the Treaty, I hope they may provide for themselves by Proviso, as in private Acts. These are Letters Patent upon valuable considerations. I know, a Clause in an Act of Parliament may take away the benefit of any Great Seal—These Patents are said to be "a Perpetuity," and, I think, this Clause offered is a reasonable Clause. Though the King has taken great care of the Princess, yet others have not; she has not yet had Michaelmas quarter; and now it is within ten days of Christmas.
Mr Sacheverell.] I am surprized at what I heard this morning. Here are words offered neither to confirm nor Invalidate the Patent. It is said by another, "He would confirm the Patent," but that is more than you intend; therefore it is necessary to know the next Clause, what this is, that Gentlemen talk of a saving. If there be a good Title to these Patents, I cannot agree to confirming them, and there is no need of that nor the other. Let us know whether we shall confirm, or not confirm them.
Sir Henry Goodricke.] I am against the salvo of Marriageconsideration, but if to be left in the state you found it in, what is the meaning of the saving? There is something in the grass. There are certain Persons put in Trustees for this Patent, that are under illegal capacities, not qualified by the Test. There is one that is abroad (Lord Sunderland) especially; will you put them in a capacity of this Trust? I am not willing they should be taken notice of. I discover more; if this Contract of Marriage be allowed by you, every Prince that treats Marriage with you, will have it, as at Paris, registered in the Court of Parliament. By this, you will put the Crown upon hardships.
Mr Finch.] I perceive, it is every body's opinion to do no advantage nor disadvantage to the Patents. All men are of opinion that this Clause will do no hurt. If any of these Trustees are in an incapacity, the others being not, you confirm such only as are capable by Law. If Trustees are attainted, it voids their Trust, but it invalidates not the rest.
Sir William Williams.] I am clearly for saving the Right of the Patents, and let them stand or fall upon their own bottom. There may be a jealousy, but, I suppose, the design is, that the collection of the Revenue shall not hinder the Patent from its vigour and strength. I would postpone this Clause.
Sir Thomas Lee.] According to the true Rules of Order, you are out of the way. I take it, when it is recommitted, it is as when first brought to the Committee. After all of it is gone over, Gentlemen may present a Clause.
Sir Thomas Lee.] I think an Address to the King as strong as any thing you have had proposed, but to enact this Clause, is not leaving it to the King; he must do it, or part with the Bill. In the case of the Duke of York, that was mentioned, the Commons did not grant it to him, but desired the King to confirm such Letters Patent. Pray look over that Grant, and make it so, as that the King makes the Grant.
Mr Garroway.] I would have the Clause run in this Bill, "That the King would order so much Money as we shall name in this House;" such a Clause, I think, as obligatory as an enacting Clause. Again, I would name a sum that the Prince and Princess may have so much for this Year, that the King be enabled to appoint that sum you shall name, by quarterly payments.
Mr Comptroller Wharton.] I am sorry for the Debates and heats yesterday; I feared an ill consequence, but, I hope, there will be none to-day. As for the Motion I made, I had not been at the Court of Exchequer, nor the Court at Kensington, for it, but I heard the King say, "He would be content that the Prince and Princess should have an allowance for their subsistence:" And I move for an Address accordingly. I have no Orders to propose it, but, as from myself, I move, "That they may have the addition of 20,000l. per ann."
Resolved, That an humble Address be made to his Majesty, that he will be pleased to make a Provision for the Prince and Princess Anne of Denmark, of 50,000l. [in the whole, for the year,] beginning at Christmas next. [Agreed to by the House.]
Saturday, December 21.
"We your Majesty's most dutiful Subjects, the Commons, in Parliament assembled, having seriously taken into our consideration the State of the Nation, and being deeply sensible of the ill conduct of public Affairs, and the unhappy success of them, as well in reference to Ireland, as to your Majesty's Armies and Fleet, do think ourselves obliged, in duty to your Majesty, and in discharge of the Trust reposed in us by those we represent, most humbly to lay before your Majesty the (inexpressible) wrong that hath been done to your Majesty, and your People, and the present imminent danger of this Kingdom, and of all your Majesty's Protestant Subjects, from the want of ability or integrity in those who have had the direction of the said Affairs, and by whose Advice not only the reducing of Ireland has been obstructed, but the Treasure of this Kingdom wasted, and the lives of many brave Soldiers, and able Seamen, lost, without any such such suitable Effect as might reasonably have been expected.
"We cannot but reflect, with the utmost grief, upon the neglect of relieving Ireland, during the first months of your Majesty's Administration, when your Majesty's Ministers did not use such effectual means as were apparently necessary to have prevented a War in the said Kingdom: And, when the Earl of Tyrconnd had levied Forces to oppress and destroy your Majesty's Protestant Subjects, neither Men, Money, nor Arms, were, for a long time, sent to enable them to defend themselves and their Country; insomuch, that, without mentioning other Particulars, several thousands of them perished miserably in the Town of Londonderry, for want of timely succour (fn. 1): And when, after many neglects and delays, an Army was appointed for Ireland, necessary Provisions were wanting, and Matters so ordered, that the Endeavours of your Parliament, and the Supplies granted for that Service, proved ineffectual; at the same time that many such experienced Officers, as were known to be Enemies to your Majesty and your Government, were suffered to go beyond the Seas, where they entered into the late King James's Service, and have, since that time, been his chief Instruments for carrying on the War in Ireland.
"The Miscarriages in reference to the Fleet, have been as destructive to your Majesty's and your People's Interest, as those in the Army; many of your Majesty's Subjects having been ruined, and others greatly damaged in their Estates, by the want of Station-Ships and Convoys; and some Sea-Officers, whose duty it was to have convoyed the Ships of English Subjects, exacted Money from Merchants, and unnecessarily pressed their Men (fn. 2); by which means, Trade was discouraged, your Majesty's Customs diminished, and many of your loyal Subjects impoverished: Your Majesty's Fleet was also served with unwholesome and corrupted Provisions (fn. 3), which caused the death of many of your best Seamen, and has deterred many others from the Service.
"It will be too tedious to multiply instances of Miscarriages and ill conduct in your Majesty's Affairs, through the ill Advice of those who have undertaken the Management of them, to which the Success, in all Points, has been answerable.
"Our remedy, under God, consists in your Majesty's Wisdom, and Affection to your People; which, we doubt not, will incline your Majesty to hearken to the Advice of us, your dutiful Commons, who do most humbly beseech your Majesty to take the abovesaid Matters into your Consideration; and, in your great Wisdom, to examine into, and find out, the Authors of Miscarriages, and to appoint Affairs to be managed by Persons unsuspected, and more to the Safety of your Majesty, and the Satisfaction of your Subjects."]
Mr Howe.] I find we are in many streights, and this Address is to remove suspected Persons. I have not seen much success from Addresses this Session, especially when we addressed to know who recommended Shales (fn. 4), and the King "cannot possibly give you an Answer." This must be answered with another Question; Who they are you suspect? Partly on one side, and partly on another, and a moderate party suspects them both. If you would remove all the fat and the lean, all fair and brown, then I shall know who you mean. All that were for King James, and all that are for himself, that those should be forced out and removed—Pray let the Address lie upon the table till it falls under the table; it is the best use you can make of it.
Serjeant Maynard.] The Prince of Orange's coming in was a miracle, and that those that helped him in were not destroyed. The Address about Shales came to nothing, and, as for the Money you have given, I know not what is become of it. When Henry IV came in, upon Richard II's Abdication, a Parliament was in being, but the Writ fell upon it; but that Parliament sat, and Laws were executed that they made, and are Laws to this day. The Commons addressed, "That his Confessor might be removed quite from him;" the Lords joined with them. The King answered, "He knew no fault by him, but since the Commons did suspect him, no man should abide in his House to the displeasure of his Commons." There were two Popes at one time, and Europe was divided upon it; the Commons made a Request to the King to acknowlege the Anti-Pope. Now I have told you this, make what use of it you please.
Sir Thomas Lee.] About a week since, you ordered this Address (fn. 5), and the House was extraordinarily unanimous in so great a thing; but it seems to me now that there are more doubts in it than did arise at first. All this will require some consideration who you shall fasten upon; else, you will alarm the Nation at the same time. If you change your minds in this Address, it will look like coldness; if the business of the day be retarded, you will hinder that great Affair. I move, "That you will adjourn this till after Christmas."
Mr Hawles.] Some Charters were granted by the late King—Some were very ill Trustees in the management of the Revenue; if you continue them still, you ought to see first who the Persons are. We have had no effects, this Parliament, of our Addresses but one, and that was against Ludlow (fn. 6). Many Preferments have been to Bishopricks; Mr Johnson has not been preferred. If you go on, on a general Address, I doubt you will have the same success. It was said by an old Gentleman, "It was one of the best Acts one of the present Ministers ever did, to endeavour a reconciliation between King James and the Prince of Orange;" I think, those that did it ought to have no Preferment; and you have some in Westminster-Hall, where honest men ought to be. I would not have ill men either in Westminster-Hall, or Whitehall. Do you think fit that Mr Blaithwaite should be in office to govern all the Army? If there had been a reconciliation betwixt King James and the Prince of Orange, what would have become of the People? They had been in worse condition than before, and the end of that would have been a Common-wealth. The very Papers in Col. Sidney's closet, tending to that, judged him guilty of Treason. The People will find a Head, or make a Head. I am sure it is very natural, that those Gentlemen so employed did what they could to obstruct the Bill of Exclusion; not a man of them can draw ten men after them. When the Prince of Orange came in, by the good will of the People, they were for a Regency, and that is a Common-wealth. I am for removing those, for, I am sure, they are for a Common-wealth.
Mr Foley.] The Address, by your Vote, is to be considered to-day, and last night the Votes went all over the Nation, and shall we now put this off? I see no reason for it; the sooner it is done, the People will be better satisfied. Pray go on with it.
Sir Richard Temple.] I fear, that, by this Address, you will make reflections on the Government; you cannot cure it, now you have read it. Go to the Order of the Day, and read it when the House is full.
Sir William Leveson Gower.] If this be pursuant to your Order, we reflect on ourselves not to proceed: Read the Address, Paragraph by Paragraph: But let not such a reflection lie upon us, to let such a thing lie still; and now to go upon another thing.
Sir John Guise.] Now we are going to press hard upon all the Counties of England, they should be satisfied that you put their Money into hands unsuspected. If the Address be not full enough to your opinion, recommit it.
Sir Robert Rich.] I think, the Gentleman calls it "a Libel." The Commons now sit "On the State of the Nation," and a Member calls it "a Libel!" I move, That the standing Orders of the House, in such cases, may be read.
Sir William Williams.] I am sure, freedom of Debate is the life of this House. I must agree, that, if an Act, or Vote, of the House be called "a Libel," it is a great offence; but when things are in fieri, (a doing,) Gentlemen may use sharp arguments in that case.
Sir John Guise.] If Wogan cannot find wherein the Order of the House is transgressed by the Committee that drew the Address, it is a reflection upon the whole House. When within doors this is called "a Libel," what will it be called without doors? I think there is so much weight in the Address, that it is, whether you will continue King William, or call in King James. I would not have it slight or light, but it cannot be valued without doors— I would have Wogan ask the Pardon of the House in his place.
Sir William Williams.] The Exception to it is, "That it is not home enough:" I take it, it agrees with every particular of the Debate. I took it for the sense of the House, that the Committee should name no Persons. If your Committee had prepared you such an Address, it had been justly exceptionable.
Mr Howe.] I told you before, "That the King would make no Answer to your former Address." I suspect a sort of men about the King and Queen that are not sit to be employed, who were for taking away the Test, and the Penal Laws, and for the Dispensing Power, and taking away Charters. They cannot be suspected to be for King William, for they have acted as if for King James. If these men are fit to be entrusted, say so; but if the King please to enquire, and turn them out, that is fit to be Instructions to the Committee.
Mr Hawles.] I reflect upon nobody in the House; but, if it be your opinion not to continue those about the King, that had a hand in Murders, say so. If they have given Money for their Places, let them be rejected.
Sir Richard Temple.] To what purpose should you put the King to examine it, when you have determined it already? To lay such a Charge is not a necessary direction to the Committee. Possibly, great Miscarriages have been, but such as could not be avoided. Here you assert "Want of integrity and ability;" you settle the matter of fact, without making any enquiry.
Mr Foley.] When the Prince of Orange came to the Administration of the Government, there was great store of ammunition and provision that came from Holland; and ships at Plymouth were ready, but nothing must be done; so they suffered the poor people there to be lost, and, notwithstanding, all the Addresses, you had a Report that the provisions were bad, and, therefore, fit to be sold. I think the King has those about him that betray both King and People, and shall nobody be to blame? Lay the Miscarriages before the King, and he can tell who were forward, and who were backward, in his service: And I think the Committee has done well.
[Monday, December 30.
December 31, January 2, 3 (fn. 7), 4, 7, 8, and 9, Omitted.]