Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 13, 1675-1681. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.
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DIE Veneris, 22 die Martii.
Protest against Hearing the Attorney General about Villiers' Claim to the Title of Viscount Purbeck.
The House of Commons being ready in the Painted Chamber to give their Lordships a Conference, these Lords were appointed to be Reporters of the Conference; the Lord Privy Seal, Duke of Monmouth, Marq. Winton, E. Bridgwater, E. Berks, E. Aylesbury, Vicecomes Hallyfax, Bp. London, and Lord Berkeley.
Report of the Conference on the Address for a War with France.
"That the Lords had obeyed the Commands of this House, in attending this Conference; which was managed by Mr. Powell, who said, in the Name of the Commons, That they did not agree in the Amendments made by their Lordships to the Address to be presented to His Majesty, for these Reasons:
"1. That His Majesty having declared to us, since this Meeting, That He had made a League Offensive and Defensive with Holland, against the Growth and Power of the French King, and for the Preservation of The Spanish Netherlands; we cannot but suppose that His Majesty hath disposed of His Affairs already in order thereunto, and is therefore now so far engaged, that an immediate Declaration of War against the French King cannot be either prejudicial or dangerous to His Majesty's Affairs.
"2. That, by declaring a War immediately, His Majesty may begin the War against France at this Time upon equal Terms; whereas, if Things continue in this doubtful State, the French King may begin upon us when He sees His best Advantage, and surprize His Majesty's Subjects, while they go on securely in their Trades, in Confidence of a seeming Peace. And if we should agree to the Amendments your Lordships propose, the Provocation to the French King will be equal to an immediate Declaration of War, and will equally justify Him in such a Manner of Proceeding; and yet at the same Time leave ourselves and the Confederates in great Uncertainty.
"3. That the Arms of the French King have been of late so prosperous and successful, that it may be doubted, that if His Majesty does not immediately declare a War, the Confederates, or some of the principal of them, may be constrained to make a Peace upon such Terms as the French King will grant; whereby we may be left to defend ourselves alone, or upon much greater Disadvantages than we may do at present.
"4. That, by the Words your Lordships have put in, the Time will be left indefinite, and so must be subject to the Exposition of those who have prevailed with His Majesty to defer the entering into this War too long already.
"5. That, by declaring a War immediately, the Forces His Majesty hath raised must presently be sent Abroad, and employed beyond Sea; whereas otherwise they may be kept up in this Kingdom, than which nothing can be more dangerous to His Majesty, and more destructive to the Laws, Liberties, and Properties of the Subjects of this Kingdom; the Fear of which hath already possessed their Minds.
"6. That, by such a Declaration, His Majesty's Subjects now in the French Service will be recalled and brought thence; and by that Means the Arms of France will be deprived of the Assistance, and His Majesty and the Confederates strengthened by the Addition of so many Forces, who may otherwise suddenly be employed in fighting against those whom we desire to support.
"7. That the Charge of maintaining the Land Forces will be very great, and we can no way satisfy those we represent, chearfully to bear such Taxes as are necessary, unless the immediate Employment of them Abroad be plain and visible.
"2. That the Continuance of the English Ambassadors at Nimegen, as Mediators, may raise a Doubt in the Confederates, that His Majesty had not quite laid aside all Endeavours of Peace by Way of Mediation, and would therefore prosecute the War with less Vigour; and may also cause Apprehensions that the Forces sent to Flanders are rather intended to enforce a Peace, than for the Defence of those Countries against the French.
"4. That the Continuance of a French Ambassador here, after declaring a War, may be very prejudicial, in respect of Intelligence and private Correspondencies; and as to the English Ambassador in France, we conceive it better for His Majesty to recall His own Ambassador from thence, than to have him sent away.
E. Pembroke's Trial methodized.
"That, being so met, they shall go to Prayers as a House; and after Prayers, they shall adjourn into Westminster Hall, where (in the mean Time) His Majesty is to be humbly desired to give Order to prepare a Place for the Lords Spiritual and Temporal to sit in as a House, as they do here.
"That, from this House, the Lords shall go in this Manner: First, the Clerks, then the Masters of the Chancery, then the Judges, the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, and then the Lords Two and Two, the Youngest Barons to go first, and so in Order according to their Precedency; and when they come into Westminster Hall, the Lords are to place themselves according to their Precedency in the House there, till all the Peers are placed.
"That the One Half of the Serjeants at Arms attending at the Time of this Trial shall go before the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod and Barons, and the other Half immediately before the Lord High Steward.
"That the Staff belonging to the Lord High Steward be carried before him between Westminster Hall and this House; and at the Entrance either into this House or Westminster Hall afterward, the Lord High Steward is to carry the Staff himself.
"That in Westminster Hall (the House sitting there) the other Ceremonies to be observed, by Officers necessary to manage the said Trial, be left to be performed according to the usual Methods of such Trials.
"That the King's Counsel have a Place enclosed without the Bar in Westm. Hall; and a Stool or Seat within the Bar for the King's Attorney (being called by Writ of Assistance to sit in this House), without Prejudice to the Precedency of the King's Eldest Serjeant.
"That if, at the Trial, any Lord have a Doubt arise, his Lordship is there only to desire Adjournment of the House hither; and to reserve the proposing thereof till the Lords be come into this House, where the Doubt is to be resolved."
Protest against Seats for the Bishops.
Nevile versus Nevile.
King to be moved, for Westm. Hall to be prepared for the Trial of the E. of Pembroke.
ORDERED, That the Lords with the White Staves be appointed to attend His Majesty, humbly to desire from this House, that a Place may be prepared in Westminster Hall, wherein this House may sit as a House, for the Trial of the Earl of Pembrooke.