Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 13, 1675-1681. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
DIE Martis, 18 die Junii.
Domini tam Spirituales quam Temporales præsentes fuerunt:
His Majesty, sitting in His Royal Throne, adorned with His Regal Crown and Ornaments (the Peers being likewise in their Robes), commanded the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, to signify His Pleasure to the House of Commons, "That they attend Him presently, with their Speaker."
Who being come, His Majesty made the Speech following:
His Majesty's Speech.
"My Lords and Gentlemen,
"I know very well that the Season of the Year requires this Session should be short; and that, both for My Health and your Occasions, we may all have Liberty to go into the Country by the Middle of the next Month at farthest. I think it a Matter of yet more Importance, that we part not only fairly but kindly too, and in perfect Confidence one of another; since nothing else can render us either safe and easy at Home, or considered so far Abroad as this Crown has ever been, and is now more necessary than ever, both for the Safety of Christendom and our own: Therefore I shall at this Time open My Heart freely to you, in some Points that nearest concern both you and Me; and hope you will consider them so, because I am sure our Interest ought not to be divided; and for Me they never shall. I told you, at the Opening of this Session, how violently Things Abroad were driving on towards a Peace, and that I could not tell where they would end; but that I was resolved to save Flanders, either by a War or a Peace; in which I am still fixed, as in the greatest Foreign Interest of this Nation. I must now tell you, that Things seem already to have determined in a Peace, at least as to Spaine and Holland; who have so far accepted the Terms offered by France, that My Ambassador at Nimmeguen writes Me Word, he expected to be called upon to sign by the last of this Month. My Part in it will be not only of a Mediator, but to give My Guaranty to it, which the Confederates will call upon Me for, and I am resolved to give in the strongest Manner they themselves will desire, and I am able. How far this will go, I cannot tell; but they send Me Word already, that unless England and Holland will both join in the Charge of maintaining Flanders, even after the Peace, the Spaniards will not be in Condition of supporting it alone, and must fall into other Measures. On the other Side, they think France will be left so great, that nothing Abroad can treat with them hereafter upon an equal Foot, without the Hopes of being supported by this Crown; and, to this End, I am sure, it will be necessary not only to keep our Navies constantly strong at Sea, but to leave the World in some Assurance of our being well united at Home, and thereby in as great an Opinion of our Conduct hereafter as they are already of our Force. Upon this Occasion, I cannot but say, that though, after our joint Resolutions of a War, and the Supplies you have given towards it, you may think the Peace an ill Bargain, because it will cost you Money, yet perhaps you will not believe it so, if you consider that by it so great a Part of Flanders is like to be saved; whereas, without the Paces we made towards War, there is nothing so certain as that the Whole of it would have been absolutely lost this Campaign, if not by this very Time; and I believe you would give much greater Sums than this will cost you, rather than the single Town of Ostend should be in the French Hands, and Forty of their Men of War in so good an Haven over against the River's Mouth. Besides, both you and I (as we are true Englishmen) cannot but be pleased, and understand the Importance of that Reputation we have gained Abroad, by having in Forty Days raised an Army of near Thirty Thousand Men, and prepared a Navy of Ninety Ships, which would have been now ready at Sea, if we had gone into a War. Now (my Lords and Gentlemen) I know that in so great Conjunctures you desire that I should keep the Honour of My Crowns, and look to your Safety, by some Balance in the Affairs Abroad; and I should be very glad I were able to do it: But I do not see how it will be possible for Me, even in a Time of Peace, with a Revenue so impaired as Mine is by My Debts long since contracted, and the present Anticipations, and at the best so disproportioned, not only to that of the Kings My Neighbours, but even to that of The United Provinces themselves (though of no larger Extent than Two or Three of our Counties): Therefore, as I said I would open My Heart freely to you, so I must tell you, That if you would see Me able in any Kind to influence the great Conjunctures Abroad, wherein the Honour and Safety of the Nation are so much concerned, and wherein the Turns are some Times so short as not to give Me Leave to call in Time either for your Advice or Assistances; if you would have Me able but to pursue such a War as this of Algiers with Honour, and at the same Time keep such Fleets about our own Coasts as may give our Neighbours the Respect for us that have been always paid this Crown; if you would have Me pass any Part of My Life in Ease or Quiet, and all the rest of it in perfect Confidence and Kindness with you and all succeeding Parliaments; you must find a Way of settling for My Life, not only My Revenue, and the additional Duties as they were at Christmas last, but of adding to them, upon some new Funds, Three Hundred Thousand Pounds a Year: Upon which, I shall consent that an Act may pass, for appropriating Five Hundred Thousand Pounds a Year to the constant Maintenance of the Navy and Ordnance, which I take to be the greatest Safety and Interest of these Kingdoms; and I will at the same Time (as I do now) assure you, that I shall not only, this or any other Session of Parliament, consent to such reasonable and Public Bills as you shall offer Me, but shall employ My whole Life to advance the true and public Good and Safety of My People, and endeavour, while I live, that none else shall ever be able to do them Harm. I did not in My last Speech mention the Forty Thousand Pounds I am engaged to pay to the Prince of Orange for My Niece's Portion, because I had recommended it to you so lately before; but, the First Payment being already due, and demanded by him; I must again put you in Mind of it, and desire you will enable Me to keep My Word with him."
Villiers' Claim to the Title of Visc. Purbeck.
After this, the House took into Consideration the whole Matter concerning the Petitioner's Claim to the Title of Viscount Purbeck.
And it was moved, "That the Fine levied for surrendering the Honour to the King might be sent for."
But the Question being put, "Whether the Record of this Fine levied in this Case shall be sent for?"
It was Resolved in the Negative.
Then the House proceeded in the Debate, and made the ensuing Order; which was unanimously agreed to:
No Fine to bar Title of Honour.
Forasmuch as, upon the Debate of the Petitioner's Case who claims the Title of Viscount Purbeck, a Question in Law did arise, Whether a Fine levied to the King by a Peer of the Realm, of his Title of Honour, can bar and extinguish that Title; the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, upon very long Debate, and having heard His Majesty's Attorney General, are unanimously of Opinion, and do resolve and adjudge, That no Fine now levied, or at any Time hereafter to be levied, to the King, can bar such Title of Honour, or the Right of any Person claiming such Title under him that levied, or shall levy, such Fine."
The House resumed the Debate. And,
The Question being put, "Whether to go on now in this Debate?"
It was Resolved in the Negative.
ORDERED, That the Debate of this Business be resumed on Thursday Morning next, and to be the First Business; at which Time the Judges are to be present, and also His Majesty's Attorney General to be present.
Supply Bill, for disbanding Forces.
ORDERED, That To-morrow Morning this House be put into a Committee, to consider of the Bill for granting a Supply to His Majesty, for enabling Him to pay and disband the Forces which have been raised since the 29th of September last.
Lawrence versus Berney.
Whereas this House had appointed to hear Counsel, at the Bar, on both Parts, in the Cause depending in this House, between Thomas Laurance and others Plaintiffs by Petition, and John Berney Defendant, Tomorrow, being the 19th Day of this Instant June:
It is this Day ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the said Hearing is hereby put off to Wednesday the 26th Day of June, at Ten of the Clock in the Forenoon; whereof both the said Parties are hereby to take Notice, and attend with their Counsel accordingly.
Dominus Cancellarius declaravit præsens Parliamentum continuandum esse usque in diem Mercurii, 19um diem instantis Junii, hora decima Aurora, Dominis sic decernentibus.
Hitherto examined, this 25 of June, 1678, by