Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 12, 1666-1675. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.
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DIE Sabbati, primo die Martii.
E. of Salisbury's Bill.
The Lord Berkeley reported, "That the Committee have considered the Bill concerning the settling of Sir Robert Berkeley's Estate; and having heard all Parties concerned, and received their Consents, it appears that it is for the Good of the whole Family, their Lordships think it fit to pass, with some Amendments."
Rivers Parrot and Thone navigable Bill.
Message to H. C. with E. Sarum's Bill.
Mercer versus Mercer.
Whereas there is a Petition and Appeal of Robert Mercer Merchant depending in this House, to which Alice and Ellen Mercer, Infants, therein complained of, were, by Order of this House, dated the 10th Day of February last, required to put in their Answer in Writing, by their Guardian, within a Fortnight next after Notice given them of the said Petition:
Upon reading the Petition of the said Alice and Ellen Mercer, by their Guardian Richard Blackmoore, this Day, shewing, "That he is very ancient, and in Lancashire, at a great Distance from London; and therefore praying a longer Day to put in their said Answer:"
It is thereupon ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, that the said Alice and Ellen Mercer, by the said Richard Blackmoore, shall put in their Answer in Writing to the said Petition of Robert Mercer, on this Day Fortnight peremptorily, at the Bar of this House; and hereof they may not fail.
His Majesty's Speech, complaining of Addresses received from the Commons.
"I received an Address from them which I looked not for; and I made them an Answer that ought to have contented them: But, on the contrary, they have made Me a Reply, of such a Nature, that I cannot think fit to proceed any further in this Matter without your Advice.
"I have commanded the Chancellor to acquaint you with all the Transaction, wherein you will find both Me and yourselves highly concerned. I am sensible for what relates to Me; and I assure you, my Lords, I am not less so for your Privileges and the Honour of this House."
Address of H. C. to the King, in Answer to His Speech.
"We Your Majesty's most loyal and faithful Subjects, Your Commons assembled in Parliament, do, in the First Place, as in all Duty bound, return Your Majesty our most humble and hearty Thanks, for the many gracious Promises and Assurances which Your Majesty hath several Times during this present Parliament given unto us, That Your Majesty would secure and maintain unto us the true Reformed Protestant Religion, our Liberties and Properties; which most gracious Assurances Your Majesty hath out of Your great Goodness renewed unto us more particularly at the Opening of this present Session of Parliament: And further we crave Leave humbly to represent, That we have, with all Duty and Expedition, taken into our Consideration several Parts of Your Majesty's last Speech to us, and withal the Declaration therein mentioned, for Indulgence to Dissenters, dated the 15th of March last; and we find ourselves bound in Duty to inform Your Majesty, That Penal Statutes, in Matters Ecclesiastical, cannot be suspended but by Act of Parliament. We, therefore, the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses, of Your Majesty's House of Commons, do most humbly beseech Your Majesty, That the said Laws may have their full Course, until it shall be otherwise provided for by Act of Parliament; and that Your Majesty would graciously be pleased to give such Directions herein, that no Apprehensions or Jealousies may remain in the Hearts of Your Majesty's good and faithful Subjects."
"His Majesty has received an Address from you; and He hath seriously considered of it, and returns you this Answer: That He is very much troubled that that Declaration, which He put out for Ends so necessary to the Quiet of His Kingdom, and especially in that Conjuncture, should have proved the Cause of Disquiet in His House of Commons, and give an Occasion to the Questioning of His Power in Ecclesiastics, which He finds not done in the Reigns of any of His Ancestors. He is sure, He never had Thought of using it otherwise than as it has been intrusted in Him, to the Peace and Establishment of the Church of England, and the Ease of all His Subjects in general; neither does He pretend to the Right of suspending any Laws, wherein the Properties, Rights, or Liberties, of any of His Subjects are concerned, nor to alter any Thing in the established Doctrine or Discipline of the Church of England: But His only Design in this was, to take off the Penalties the Statutes inflict upon Dissenters, and which, He believes, when well considered of, you yourselves would not with should be executed according to the Letter and Rigour of the Law. Neither has He done this with any Thought of avoiding or precluding the Advice of His Parliament; and if any Bill shall be offered Him which shall appear more proper to attain the foresaid Ends, and secure the Peace of the Church and Kingdom, when tendered in due Manner to Him, He will shew how readily He will concur in all Ways that shall appear for the Good of the Kingdom.
"We Your Majesty's most humble and loyal Subjects, Your Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses, in this present Parliament assembled, do render to Your Sacred Majesty our most dutiful Thanks, for that, to our unspeakable Comfort, Your Majesty has been pleased so often to reiterate unto us those gracious Promises and Assurances of maintaining the Religion now established, and the Liberties and Properties of the People; and we not in the least Measure doubt but that Your Majesty had the same gracious Intentions, in giving Satisfaction to Your Subjects, by Your Answer to our last Petition and Address: Yet, upon a serious Consideration thereof, we find, that the said Answer is not sufficient to clear the Apprehensions that may justly remain in the Minds of the People, by Your Majesty's having claimed a Power to suspend Penal Statutes in Matters Ecclesiastical, and which Your Majesty doth still seem to assert, in the said Answer, to be intrusted in the Crown, and never questioned in the Reigns of any of Your Ancestors; wherein, we humbly conceive, Your Majesty hath been very much misinformed, since no such Power was ever claimed or exercised by any of Your Predecessors; and, if it should be admitted, might tend to the Interruption of the free Course of Laws, and altering the Legislative Power, which hath always been acknowledged to lodge in Your Majesty and the Two Houses of Parliament. We do, therefore, with an unanimous Consent, become again humble Suitors to Your Sacred Majesty, That You would be pleased to give us a full and satisfactory Answer to our said Petion and Address; and that Your Majesty would take such effectual Order, that the Proceedings in this Matter may not for the future be drawn into Consequence or Example."
Address of Thanks to the King, for communicating these Addresses, &c. to this House.
Upon this, it is ORDERED, That the Lord Treasurer, Duke of Bucks, Earl of Bridgwater, Earl of North'ton, Earl of Bristoll, Earl of Berks, Earl of Bollingbrooke, and Earl of Anglesey, do forthwith withdraw, and consider what humble Thanks is fit to be given to His Majesty, for His great Favour in communicating this Business to this House; and report the same.
"We, the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, do unanimously present to Your Sacred Majesty our most humble Thanks, for having been pleased to communicate to us what hath passed between Your Majesty and the House of Commons; whereby You have graciously offered us the Means of shewing our Duty to Your Majesty, and of asserting the ancient just Rights and Privileges of the House of Peers."
Papers to be entered in the Journal.
King to be attended.
The Lord Treasurer, the Duke of Bucks, and the Lord Chamberlain, are appointed to attend His Majesty presently, to know His Pleasure, what Time and Place this whole House shall wait upon Him, to present the humble Thanks of this House, for His great Favour shewed this Day.