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, 24 die Januarii.
This Day His Majesty sitting in His Royal Throne, adorned with His Regal Ornaments, the Lords being also in their Robes; the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod had Directions to signify to the House of Commons His Majesty's Pleasure, "That they come up presently to attend Him."
"At the Beginning of this Session, I told you, as I thought I had Reason to do, that The States Generall had not yet made Me any Proposals which could be imagined with Intent to conclude, but only to amuse.
"To avoid this Imputation, they have now sent Me a Letter by the Spanish Ambassador, offering Me some Terms of Peace, upon Conditions formally drawn up, and in a more decent Stile than before. It is upon this that I desire your speedy Advice; for, if you shall find the Terms such as may be embraced, your Advice will have great Weight with Me; and if you find them defective, I hope you will give Me your Advice and Assistance how to get better Terms. Upon the whole Matter, I doubt not but you will have a Care of My Honour, and the Honour and Safety of the Nation, which are now so deeply concerned."
The Earl of Arlington signified, "That he was commanded by His Majesty to deliver to their Lordships the Translation of a Letter, and other Papers, which His Majesty received from The States Generall, by the Hand of the Spanish Ambassador."
Proposals by The States General, for a Peace, by Letter to the King.
"Having observed that Your Majesty, in Your Speech You made lately to the Parliament (which was printed by Your Majesty's Order), seems still to doubt the Sincerity of our Intentions, and accuses us to have made Your Majesty Overtures of a Peace only to gain Time, and without desiring to come to any Confusion thereupon; we find ourselves obliged to repeat to Your Majesty the Offers which our Plenipotentiaries at Cologne have, we suppose, made in our Name to those of Your Majesty; and to send You a Project of a Treaty, which we are ready to sign, without any further Conferences, or longer deferring the Conclusion of a Peace, which we have always so earnestly desired.
"And that Your Majesty may the better comprehend how far You have Reason to be satisfied with our Proposals which we make, and with how much Reason we promise ourselves a happy Issue upon them, we beseech Your Majesty to consider in the First Place, that the Renewal of the Treaty of Breda, which we offer, is the most solid Foundation of a firm and durable Friendship, as we have already shewn in our Letter of the 9/19; of December; and that, upon the same Consideration, we add to it the Marine Treaty concluded at The Hague in the Year 1668.
"But, seeing the 19th Article of the said Treaty of Breda has been indifferently interpreted, and that Your Majesty (against what we have always judged) has pretended, that, by virtue of this Article, our whole Fleets, as well as single Ships, were obliged to strike their Flags and their Topsails, upon meeting of the least Man of War of Your Majesty's; we have thought, that we cannot give Your Majesty any greater Testimony of the Respect we have for Your Royal Person, and of our earnest Desires to obtain anew the Honour of Your Good-will, than by yielding to Your Majesty in The Brittish Seas what You have demanded from us in that Particular, and by regulating the Ceremony of the Flag according to the Project Your Majesty's Plenipotentiaries sent us themselves from the French Camp at a Time when our Commonwealth was reduced to the greatest Streights.
"The Second Article, by which we agree to the Nomination of Commissioners within Three Months after the Conclusion of the Peace, for a Regulation of the Trade in the Indies and other Places, is also according to the abovementioned Project which was sent us from the French Camp, and to the Proposal made to us by the Mediators at Cologne the 19th of July last, with the Knowledge of Your Majesty's Plenipotentiaries.
"For what concerns Surinam, we have made an Article of it only for Your Majesty's Satisfaction in particular; being (without any new Obligation), as we have hitherto been, and shall always be, most ready to give the English Inhabitants at Surinam Leave to transport themselves elsewhere, whenever they desire it.
"The Fourth Article, though in reciprocal Terms, manifests sufficiently to what Degree we desire to meet Your Majesty's Affection; seeing we offer Your Majesty the Restitution of so considerable an Acquisition as The New Netherlands, without hoping for any Thing in Exchange.
"And the last Article, by which we confirm what the most Serene King of Spaine's Ambassador hath offered to Your Majesty in Pursuance of the Treaty between Spain and us in August last, is a clear Proof that our Desires of advancing the Peace are above all other Considerations; seeing we have agreed to give so considerable a Sum, when we cannot be accused with Justice of the least Contravention against the Treaties between Your Majesty and us.
"And, to let Your Majesty see how far we are persuaded of our Innocence in this respect, we declare hereby again to Your Majesty, as we have already done in our abovementioned Letter, That we are ready to enter into an Examination before Your Majesty about all the Infractions we are accused of; with a solemn Promise to make Reparation for all the Wrongs and Injuries Your Majesty or Your Subjects may have received, unknown to us, from us or our Officers, from the Treaty of Breda till the Beginning of this War; offering further the Guarantee of our Allies for the Performance of this Promise, and consenting that it may be inserted into the Treaty, to make it more authentic.
"The abovementioned Five Articles contain in the most clear and best Manner all what Your Majesty has demanded in Your Answer to the Marquis Del Fresnos Memorial, excepting what concerns the Fishery; upon which we are obliged to tell Your Majesty, that we cannot believe, that after all the Advances which we have made to give Your Majesty all possible Satisfaction, and after the Offer we make of so honourable a Peace, and so advantageous to Your Majesty and Your Kingdoms, You would stop the Conclusion thereof upon a Motive or Consideration of this Kind, and oblige us to grant what Your Majesty's Predecessors have never stipulated in any Treaty which has been concluded between Them and our Commonwealth, and of which Your Majesty Yourself has not made the least Mention, neither in the Treaty of 1662, nor that of 1667; and seeing also that Article was never any Part of Your Majesty's Complaints, that it has nothing relating to the War Your Majesty has declared against us, and that lastly we only desire in this Particular what our Inhabitants have without Interruption enjoyed for some Ages, and without the arising of any Difference upon this Account, which did alter the Friendship and good Correspondence between the Two Nations.
"The Matter being thus, nothing remains but the perfecting a Work already so advanced; and whether Your Majesty desires the Thing may be done at London or Cologne, the whole Negotiation, if Your Majesty pleases, will only consist in putting the Project we send Your Majesty into the Form of a Treaty; hoping that Your Majesty will not suffer the Quiet of Your People, and the Good of Your Kingdoms, to depend upon particular Interests of the Crown of France, which continues entirely to stop the Conferences at Cologne, by refusing to give Passports to the Duke of Lorraine's Ministers, and to receive him into the Negotiation of the Peace (in which he must necessarily be admitted, in virtue of the Treaties concluded between His Imperial Majesty, the Most Serene King of Spain, and us), without other Aim but of engaging Your Majesty further and further in this sad War, so destructive to all Europe, the continuing whereof may have so ill Consequences. And as the Offers we here make Your Majesty are real and sincere, we are ready to execute them bona Fide, if Your Majesty be pleased to conclude a Treaty of Peace with us, without Dependence upon Foreign Interests, which can only make this Negotiation ineffectual.
"We have many Things to add, in Answer to the Complaints without Ground made by the Lord Keeper of us in his Speech, and to the unjust Interpretations he makes of our Conduct: But, as we are willing to believe and flatter ourselves with the Hopes that what we offer here to Your Majesty will give You an entire Satisfaction, and put an End to our unhappy Differences; we believe it better to forget and pass over whatever there might be of Animosities and Sharpness, than longer to keep open Wounds we desire to heal.
Articles for it.
"Article 1st. It is also agreed, That the Ships and Vessels belonging to The United Provinces, as well Men of War and Ships of Defence as others, whether they be single or in Fleets, which shall happen to meet the King of Great Brittain's Men of War in The British Seas, whether they also be single or more in Number, provided they carry the King's Flag, shall strike their Flag, and lower their Topsail; and the said States of The United Provinces shall order all the Commanders of their Ships and Fleets fully and bona Fide to comply with this Article.
"Article 2d. And to the End that the Security of the mutual Friendship between the said King and the said States Generall, their Subjects and Inhabitants, may be the more sincerely observed, and that all Occasions of future Difference and Contentions may be taken away, it is also agreed, That certain convenient Laws concerning Trade and Commerce be established, which may reduce the Navigation and Commerce of both Parties, in The Indies and other Places out of Europe, to an exact and reciprocal Rule, and limit the same within certain Laws to be perpetually observed: And because this Matter seems of too great Difficulty to be out of Hand perfected, both Parties consent it shall be deferred to a more opportune Occasion; and that Commissioners be nominated within the Space of Three Months after the Conclusion of this Peace, without further Delay, who shall meet at London, and agree upon some Certainty, as well concerning the Designing and Circumscribing within a certain Bound the Kinds of Merchandizes, as concerning Laws of Navigation and Commerce, and define the same with new and mutual Articles of Convention; but upon Condition, that this whole Matter shall be transacted in an amicable Way and Manner.
"Article 3d. And that this Peace, Friendship, and Consederation, may be established upon a firm and unshaken Foundation, and that from this Day all Occasions of new Differences and Disputes may be taken away, it is further agreed, That whereas the Colony of Surinam has been acquired by the said States Generall, by Right of War, upon certain Articles agreed upon between Captain Abraham Quirini and William Biam, March 6th, in the Year 1667; and that, by the 5th Article of the same, it is agreed, "That in case any of the Inhabitants of the said Colony should desire, then or afterwards, to remove from the said Colony elsewhere, they should have Liberty freely to sell their Estates and Goods; and that the Governor in such case should take Care to provide a Conveniency of Transportation for them and their Goods, at a moderate Rate;" and also, by the Nineteenth Article of the said Agreement, "That the Governor Quirini should give Letters of safe Conduct and Passports to such who should have a Mind to go away, and that they might carry their Slaves with them; provided still that they should be obliged to depart and sail together with our People:" And whereas the said King of England judges and believes that the said Articles have not been well observed, and that divers English Inhabitants remain there, who still desire to leave the Place with their Goods in Pursuance of the said Articles; the said States Generall do, by these Presents promise, That they will most sincerely and bona Fide take Care that the said Articles, and what was agreed upon at the Congress held afterwards at London concerning the Execution of them, and the Orders from the said States Generall in Pursuance thereof, be speedily executed, and complied with; and that also the Space of Three Months shall be allowed to the said Inhabitants, for the selling of their Estates, according to a moderate Rate, (fn. 1) whither they will; and that they shall be permitted to carry away their Slaves with them.
"Article 4th. It is also agreed and concluded, That if either Party shall, during this War, have taken, or possessed themselves of, any Countries, Islands, Towns, Forts, Colonies, or other Places, belonging to the other Party, all and every of the same, without any Distinction of Place or Time, shall be immediately and bona Fide restored, in the same Condition they shall happen to be in when Notice shall come of the Conclusion of this Peace to those Places.
"Article 5th. And to the End that all Occasions and Causes of new Questions, Pretensions, and Actions, may be quite rooted out, of what Sort soever they be, or by what Name or Pretext soever claimed, and that the Foundations they seem to stand upon may be wholly destroyed and removed, the said States Generall promise to pay to His Majesty Eight Hundred Thousand Patacoons; which Sum the said States Generall of The United Netherlands have for certain Reasons promised to pay, by a Treaty made in the Year 1673 between the King of Spain and them the said States, and which the Ambassador of the said King hath offered, in their Name, to the King of Great Brittain; the said Sum to be paid at certain Days, as followeth; videlicet, a Fourth Part thereof as soon as the Ratifications shall be exhibited; and the rest, the Three ensuing Years, by equal Portions."
Thanks to the King.
ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That this House do wait on His Majesty, to give Him most humble Thanks, for His most Gracious Speech made this Day, and communicating to them the Letter of The States Generall of The United Provinces, and their Proposals to His Majesty for a Peace.
Letter and Proposals of Peace to be considered.
ORDERED, That the Consideration of the Letter and Proposals sent by The States Generall of The United Provinces to His Majesty, for a Peace, shall be taken up, by a Committee of the whole House, on Monday Morning next, at Ten of the Clock; and no other Business to intervene.
King's Pleasure when He will be attended.
ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the Lord High Treasurer of England, the Lord Great Chamberlain, the Lord Steward, and the Lord Chamberlain of His Majesty's Household, the Lord Maynard, and Lord Newport, do wait on His Majesty this Afternoon, to know what Time His Majesty will please to appoint for this House to present their humble Thanks to His Majesty, for His most Gracious Speech made in this House this Day, and communicating the Letter and Articles of The States Generall for a Peace.
House upon Consideration of the King's Speech, at the Opening of the Session.
And upon Consideration of that Particular of securing the Protestant Religion, ORDERED, That it be referred to the Consideration of a Committee of the whole House, to prepare and digest into a Bill, or Bills, these Heads following:
(fn. 2) This 4th Head was revised and altered by the House, the 5th of Feb. and accordingly entered that Day.
Bill to regulate the Trial of Peers.
Ly. O Brian's Claim.
Lords take the Oath of Allegiance.
AFTER the Adjournment of this House this Day, the Lords Temporal whose Names are underwritten did, in the Presence of the Lord Keeper and a competent Number of the Lords of His Majesty's Privy Council, kneeling at the Woolsack whereupon the Lord Keeper sits, take the Oath of Allegiance provided and mentioned in the Parliament A° 3 Regis Jacobi.