Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 11, 1660-1666. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.
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Anno 16 Caroli Secundi.
DIE Jovis, Vicesrmo Quarto die Novembris, 1664, Anno Regni Serenissimi Domini nostri Caroli Secundi, Dei Gratiâ, Angliæ, Scotiæ, Franc. et Hib. Regis, Fidei Defensoris, Sexto Decimo, in quem diem præsens hæc Quarta Sessio Parliamenti prorogata fuit, et Loco prædict. Domini tam Spirituales quam Temporales quorum Nomina subsequuntur præsentes fuerunt:
L. C. Justice of the C. P. Speaker.
This Day Sir Orlando Bridgman Knight and Baronet, Lord Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas, sat Speaker, in the Absence of the Lord Chancellor of England (he being sick), by virtue of a Commission under the Great Seal of England for that Purpose; which Commission was delivered to the Clerk of the Parliaments, but not read.
The House was adjourned during Pleasure; and the Peers went forth, to put on their Robes.
The King present.
His Majesty being present, fitting in His Royal Throne, arrayed in His Regal Robes (the Peers being likewise in their Robes), the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod was commanded to give the House of Commons Notice, that they should presently come up to attend His Majesty, with their Speaker.
And accordingly, the House of Commons being present, His Majesty made this Speech following; (videlicet,)
The King's Speech.
"My Lords and Gentlemen,
"When we parted last in this Place, I told you that I did not think we should meet here again till November, though I prorogued you but to a Day in August. But I must now tell you, that if I could have suspected, or reasonably have imagined, that our Neighbours would have dealt so unneighbourly with Me, and have forced Me to make such Preparations as they have done for My Defence, at so vast an Expence; I say, if I could have foreseen in August, that they would have treated Me thus, I should not have prevented your coming together then. Yet truly I have Reason even to be glad that it hath been deferred thus long. You have had Leisure to attend your own Conveniencies in the Country, and the Public Service there; and I have been able to let our Neighbours see, that I can defend Myself and My Subjects, against their Insolence, upon the Stock of My own Credit and Reputation; and that, when I find it necessary for the Good of My People, I can set out a Fleet to Sea, which will not decline meeting with all their Naval Power, even before the Parliament comes together; which, I am persuaded, if they had believed possible, they would not so importunately have prest Me to it. I will not deny to you, I have done more than I thought I could have done; which I impute to the Credit your Vote gave Me, and to the Opinion all Men have, that I did what you wished I should do. By borrowing very liberally from Myself out of My own Stores, and by the kind and chearful Assistance the City of London hath given Me, I have a Fleet now at Sea worthy of the English Nation, and (to say no more) not inferior to any that hath been set out in any Age, and which (that I may use all Freedom with you) to discharge To-morrow, and replenish all My Stores, I am persuaded, would cost Me little less than Eight Hundred Thousand Pounds."
"What hath passed between Me and the Dutch, and by what Degrees, Accidents, and Provocations, I have been necessitated to the Preparation and Expence I have made, you shall be told when I have done. I shall only tell you, that if I had proceeded more slowly, I should have exposed My own Honour and the Honour of the Nation, and should have seemed not confident of your Affections, and the Assurance you gave Me to stand by Me in this Occasion."
That which I am now very earnestly to desire, and indeed expect from you, is, that you will use all possible Expedition in your Resolutions; left that, by unnecessary Formalities, the World should think that I have not your full Concurrence in what is done, and that you are not forward enough in the Support of it; which I am sure you will be, and that, in raising the Supplies, you take such sure Order, that when the Expence is obvious and certain, the Supplies be as real and substantial, not imaginary as the last Subsidies were, which you all well enough understand.
"Master Speaker, and you Gentlemen of the House of Commons,
"I know not whether it be worth My Pains to endeavour to remove a vile Jealousy, which some ill Men scatter abroad, and which I am sure will never sink into the Breast of any Man who is worthy to sit upon your Benches, that, when you have given Me a noble and proportionable Supply for the Support of a War, I may be induced by some evil Counsellors (for they will be thought to think very (fn. 1) respectfully of My own Person) to make a sudden Peace, and get all that Money for My own private Occasions. I am sure, you all think it an unworthy Jealousy, and not to deserve an Answer. I would not be thought to have so brutish an Inclination, as to love War for War-sake. GOD knows, I desire no Blessing in this World so much, as that I may live to see a firm Peace between all Christian Princes and States: But let Me tell you, and you may be most confident of it, that when I am compelled to enter into a War, for the Protection, Honour, and Benefit of My Subjects, I will (GOD willing) not make a Peace but upon the obtaining and securing those Ends for which the War is entered into; and when that can be done, no good Man will be sorry for the Determination of it."
"To conclude: My Lords and Gentlemen, I conjure you all, in your several Stations, to use all possible Expedition, that our Friends and our Enemies may see that I am possessed of your Hearts, and that we move with One Soul; and I am sure you will not deceive my Expectation."
After this, His Majesty delivered a Narrative; which was read, as followeth:
The King's Narrative concerning the Dutch Affairs.
"A brief Narrative of the late Passages between His Majesty and the Dutch, and His Majesty's Preparations thereupon."
"His Majesty doth not doubt but that His Two Houses of Parliament do well remember the Address they made to His Majesty about the End of April last, upon the general Representations which had been made to them of the great Injuries and Oppressions the Subjects of this Nation sustained in the East and West Indyes, and in other Places, from the Dutch, and the universal Obstruction they brought upon the Trade of this Kingdom; and the warm and vigorous Vote they then presented His Majesty with, if He could not otherwise remove that Mischief. The Answer they received from His Majesty was so full of Candour, as if He thought His good Allies The States Generall would never put Him to use extreme Remedies, but would meet the Complaints of His Subjects with just and proportionable Satisfaction; and that He did really believe, as well as wish, that they would do so, is manifest, by His having provided for that Season a much less Guard of Ships than He had set out ever since His happy Restoration, intending, by the saving that unnecessary Expence (as He then thought) to have plentifully supplied His Magazines and Stores, which is a Treasure He hath always laboured to have still in Readiness by Him."
"His Majesty took this Occasion to require His Minister at The Hague to press The Sates Generall very earnestly for Expedition in doing that Justice which for above a Year He had in vain pressed them to do, and in which, He told them, the Oppressions His Subjects underwent could not bear longer Delay. Instead of returning any Answer to His Majesty, which for some Months they deferred to do, they with great Passion and Noise sent Orders to their several Admiralties, to prepare and equip a great Number of Ships of War, the Number whereof they increased every Ten or Twelve Days; with unusual Orders, that no Time should be lost in making the Preparations, but that they should work Night and Day, as well the Sundays as the other Part of the Week; and great Numbers of Landmen were likewise appointed to be raised for their Expedition."
"This strange Kind of Treatment, together with many rude Pamphlets and insolent Expressions, which can hardly be prevented in Popular Governments, prevailed with His Majesty (although He yet believed Himself secure in the Wisdom of The States Generall against any rash Attempt in the Violation of the Peace) to take speedy Course for the putting Ten or Twelve Ships into a Readiness (which yet He meant should be no further than Rigging), if they should pursue their present Distempers."
"In August, they received News that Captain Holmes, who, with One of His Majesty's Ships, had (fn. 2) convoyed some Merchants of the Royal Company to the Coast of Guiney, had by Assault taken and possessed himself of a Fort near Cape de Verte, belonging to their West Indian Company; whereupon The States Generall sent a wonderful brisk Message to the King, at once complaining of the Injury, and requiring, in very peremptory Terms, that His Majesty would forthwith give Order for the Re-delivery of the said Fort to them. The King assured the Ambassador, upon His Princely Word, "That He had given no Commission or Order to Captain Holmes for that Purpose, nor did know upon what Grounds he had proceeded to that Act of Hostility; that He expected him shortly at Home; and that He would then proceed in a very strict Examination of his Proceedings, and would cause exemplary Justice to be done, as well in the re-delivering the Fort, as in punishing the Person if his Carriage and Demeanor deserved it." This Answer had no better Luck than the former Message: New Orders for more Ships, for raising of Money, for raising of Men, publishing in their Prints, that what was done by Captain Holmes was by His Majesty's Warrant and Authority; and within a very short Time after they had the Confidence to demand of His Majesty, in express Terms, that He would give it under His Royal Hand to them, that He would cause the Fort to be delivered within such a Time."
"His Majesty did not yet, after all these Provocations, lay aside all Hope of awakening The States Generall to a more temperate Consideration of what had passed. He desired them, in an Answer which He made to some of their Propositions, and which He transmitted to them under His own Hand by their Ambassador, to reflect a little upon the Method of their Proceeding with Him, and the Course He had observed towards them: Not to mention those loud Affronts, Indignities, and Injuries, He had put into Oblivion in His late Treaty with them, He put them in Mind that, since that Treaty, He had given them Redress upon their Complaints, in many particular Cases, with that Expedition, that He had not put them to the Formalities even of Courts of Justice; that, instead of any Return in this Kind from them, His Minister at The Hague had importuned these Eighteen Months for about Twenty Ships taken from His Subjects upon the Coast of Guiney, and very great Affronts and Damages sustained by others in The East Indies, without any other Shadow of Right, but being the stronger, and able to oppress. And yet, since the Treaty required such Formalities in the Demand of Reparations, how slow soever their Justice was, He had thus long forborne to be His own Carver. He wished them to consider, whether their Order of Proceeding towards them had been pursuant to the Treaty, or agreeable to the Respect that was due to Him: That, upon the First Information of an Act of Violence committed by the Captain of One of His Ships upon their Subjects, disowned and disavowed by His Majesty Himself, and Justice and Reparation being promised, they have upon the Point declared War against His Majesty, in resolving to recover by Force of Arms what they could not expect by the Course of Justice. He conjured The States Gencrall to remember the Obligations of their own Sovereignty, by which they entered into Alliances with their Neighbour Princes: That, if they suffered their particular Societies of Merchants to involve them in a War with their Neighbour Nations for their particular Interest and Benefit, and to support their furious and extravagant assuming a Dominion against the Law of Nations, (putting them in Mind, of what He had often demanded Justice for, of the Declarations published by their Commanders both in the East and West Indies, interdicting all Trade and Commerce to all other Nations, to the Natives of those Countries, because they call them their Subjects,) they would make themselves insupportable to their Neighbours, and their Friendship inconsistent with the Liberty of all the World but themselves."
"And, upon this Occasion, His Majesty thinks fit that His Two Houses of Parliament should know the very compendious Way these States have found out to make themselves Monarchs of the sole Trade of the whole East and West Indies. They have, it is very true, by their very commendable Industry, and by other Acts of horrible Injustice and Cruelty, planted themselves in stronger Factories than any Prince in Europe hath done, especially in The East Indyes, where their Naval Power is very great. When they find the Natives inclined to traffic with other Nations, as they do generally desire to do, being in Truth universally weary of the Yoke the Dutch lay upon them, some Dutch Ships are sent to lie before those Ports, and then declare that they are in War with this or that Prince or that City, and thereupon inhibit all other Nations to have any Traffic or Commerce with them; and, by this new Reason of State, they inhibited and restrained the English Ships, under the Command of the Earl of Marleborough, Two Years since, to go to Porcatt, and to take in a great Cargason of Goods provided there by the East Indyan Company here, and forced His Majesty's Ships to return empty Home: And being exalted with this Success in the East, they have published the same Declaration in the West Indyes, and not only hindered the English Boats and other Vessels from going on Shore to traffic with the Natives, but have very frankly sent to some of the Factories, requiring them to remove from the Places they are in, because they are resolved they shall not live so near them: And, after all this, to shew how good Neighbours they would be at any Distance, they hired the King of Fantine, at the Price of a great Sum of Money, Arms and Ammunition, to surprize His Majesty's Fort at Cormantine, which He endeavoured to do, by Two strong Assaults; but, being driven off with Loss, He confessed, with Sorrow and Shame for His own Insidelity, being in Terms of Friendship with the English, that He had been corrupted by the Dutch to that Undertaking: His Majesty's Garrison having had the good Fortune to surprize a good Part of the Arms, Ammunition, and Grenadoes, which the Dutch sent to the Natives. When the King complained to them of this infamous and treacherous Proceeding of their chief Officers in those Parts, of which He hath as full Evidence as He can have that there are English and Dutch Ships on that Coast, or that He hath a Fort called Cormantine, they do assure Him, "That His Majesty is misinformed, and desire Him not to give any Credit to it; for that they have received Letters from their Commanders there, which mention no such Thing, and which informs them that the King of Fantine had taken a particular Exception to the English Governor;" taking no Notice that the King had likewise charged them, that their Ships came at the same Time, and lay before the Fort, kept several of the English Vessels and Boats from landing, and took the Boats, and kept the Men Prisoners, till they found the Enterprize had miscarried."
"To conclude: His Majesty used all the Arguments He could, to decline these hostile Preparations, and to berake themselves to those Ways for the Preservation of the Public Peace as were prescribed by the Treaty; assuring them, that as He expected Reparation for the Damages His Subjects had sustained, and Security for the future against the like Excesses, so He was as ready to give them all the Satisfaction for any Injuries done to them, which Justice could require."
"The Answer they gave His Majesty to His Expostulation for their so sudden giving Direction for the Provision of so many Ships of War, only upon His demanding Justice for Injuries done, and Damages sustained, ought to be made known to you. They answered, "It was easy to judge how much they were troubled and surprized by the Tricks and Devices of those that forestalled the Parliament of England, and had obliged them by evil Informations to carry such sharp Complaints against them and their Country to His Majesty; and therefore it was not strange that, in the Unquietness and Disturbance which the Animosity of the Parliament did give them, they had prepared an extraordinary Equipage, to be upon their Guard."
"When the King found that His moderate Way of Proceeding was so far from abating any of their Preparations, that it did but render them the more confident and exalted; and the Ambassador himself had told His Majesty, "That they had given Instructions to the Admiral of their Flect, that was then going for Guiney, to take their Fort near Cape de I'erte by Force, and to take any English which had had a Hand in doing them Injury;" His Majesty gave speedy Directions for the setting out those Ships to Sea, towards which He had before only made some light Preparations; and declared that He would send His Cousin Prince Rupert Admiral of that Fleet, to protect His Subjects upon the Coast of Guiney. This was no sooner known and published amongst them, than in Truth their Choler somewhat seemed abated, though their Preparations were not diminished: And they then sent, "That they had a wonderful Desire to preserve the Peace between the Two Nations, and to prevent the Effusion of Christian Blood, which would probably happen, if, in a Conjuncture of so much Jealousy, Two such Fleets as were now prepared for Guiney should meet in those Seas;" and thereupon proposed, that the Fleets on either Side might be detained within the Harbours, and not sus- fered to put to Sea; and that some Expedients might be found out by Treaty for each other's Satisfaction, they having, at the same Time when they made this plausible Overture, sent Orders to their Fleet in The Streights, under the Command of De Ruyter, to make all possible Haste to Guiney, to execute all those Instructions which they had given to their Fleet here, which they seemed to be contented, upon those Motives of Charity, should remain in their Ports; and it is now about Two Months since De Ruyter left The Streights upon that Expedition, since which Time they have done all within their Power to make their other Fleets ready to convoy each other through The Channell, and which, by the Blessing of GOD, in the cross Winds, they have been hitherto restrained from doing; and now His Majesty is very willing they should attempt it."
"It is a very unpleasant Circumstance to His Majesty, in these Proceedings, to find that it hath been in the Power of the Dutch West Indian Company to involve their own and this Country in a War, without the Consent or Privity of The States Generall, whose alone Security His Majesty hath for the Preservation of the Peace between the Two Nations. And His Majesty is well assured, that The States Generall have given no Order for this Expedition of De Ruyter, though their Subjects in general are like to be Sufferers in the War thus made by them; for it cannot be imagined but that His Majesty will take all the Ways He can, that He may have wherewithal in His Hands to satisfy His good Subjects for the Damages He expects to hear, after this Denunciation of a War, they have sustained by De Ruyter on the Coast of Guiney and other Places; and another Damage and Indignity which, there is too much Cause to fear, we shall shortly hear of concerning Polaroone; for, though His Majesty cannot expressly say that the Delivery of it up is denied to that Ship which is gone to receive it, yet, by the Carriage of the Governor of Batavia to that Ship and the Officers thereof in its Passage to Polaroone, and upon the Discourse of that Subject, there is too great a Presumption that it is not yet delivered up, and in Truth that the East Indya Company in Holland never intended it should be."
"The States Generall having likewise begun, without Colour of Right, by an Embargo of Ships bound for this Kingdom, and driven into their Ports by the Foulness of the Weather, as particularly a Swedish Ship laden with Masts and Cordage bound for London, upon the Account of several English Merchants here."
"This being the true State of what hath passed in this Affair; and His Majesty having been, by these furious Proceedings, and, in Truth, Denunciation of a War against Him, forced to put Himself into the Posture He is now in, for the Defence of His Subjects, at so vast an Expence, doth not in the least Degree doubt but that His Two Houses of Parliament will chearfully enable Him to prosecute the War with the same Vigour He hath prepared for it, by giving Him Supplies proportionable to the Charge thereof."
Thanks to the King, for making Preparations against the Dutch.
Upon this, it is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal assembled in Parliament, That the humble Thanks of this House shall be presented to His Majesty, by the Lord Chamberlain, Earl of Bridgwater, Bishop of London, Lord Berkley of Berkley, Lord Mohun, and Lord Ashley, for His Majesty's Gracious Speech and Narrative to His Two Houses of Parliament, and for His great Care in the Preservation of the Honour, Safety, and Trade of this Nation, by His Preparation for their Defence against the Dutch; and that His Majesty be desired to give Leave that His Speech may be printed.
The Concurrence of the House of Commons to be desired herein.
Thanks to the City of London, for their Aid to the King.
ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal assembled in Parliament, That the Thanks of this House shall be given unto the City of London, by Six Lords, for their Forwardness in assisting His Majesty, and in particular by furnishing Him with several great Sums of Money, towards His Preparation for the Honour, Safety, and Trade of this Nation.
The Lord Chamberlain, the Earl of Bridgwater, Bishop of London, Lord Berkley of Berkley, the Lord Mohun, and the Lord Ashley, are appointed Committees for this House for this Purpose also.
And the Concurrence of the House of Commons is to be desired herein.
Message to H. C. to concur in these Thanks.
A Message was sent to the House of Commons, by Sir William Childe and Sir Justinian Lewyn:
To let them know, that this House hath made Two Orders; One, to give Thanks to the King, another, to give Thanks to the City; for which Purpose, the Lords have nominated a Committee of Six Lords for those Ends, and desire the Concurrence of the House of Commons; and that they would nominate a proportionable Number of their Members to join with those Lords.
Message from them, for Thanks to be returned to the King.
A Message came from the House of Commons, by Secretary Morrice and others:
To acquaint their Lordships with a Vote, "That humble and hearty Thanks be returned to His Majesty, for His Gracious Speech and Narrative concerning the Dutch Affairs, which He hath been pleased to communicate to both His Houses of Parliament; and for His Majesty's great Care of the Honour and Interest of this Kingdom;" and that their Lordships Concurrence is desired therein.
The Answer returned was:
That this House will return an Answer by Messengers of their own.
Dominus Capitalis Justiciarius de Com. Placitis declaravit præsens Parliamentum continuandum esse usque in diem Veneris, vidclicet, 25tum diem instantis Novembris, hora decima Aurora, Dominis sic decernentibus.