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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Anno 29 Caroli Secundi.
DIE Jovis, Decimo Quinto die Februarii, 1676, Anno Regni Serenissimi Domini nostri Caroli Secundi, Dei Gratiâ, Angliæ, Scotiæ, Franciæ, et Hib. Regis, Fidei Defensoris, &c. Vicesimo Nono, quo die præsens hæc Decima Quinta Parliamenti Sessio tenenda est apud Civitatem Westm. ibi tam Spirituales quam Temporales Domini, quorum Nomina subscribuntur, præsentes fuerunt:
|His Royal Highness the Duke of York.|
Epus. Cov. et Litch.
Epus. Bath & Wells.
Epus. (fn. 1)Oxon.
Heneage Finch, Ds. Finch, Ds. Cancellarius Angliæ.
Thomas Comes Danby, Thesaurarius Angliæ.
Arthurus Comes de Anglesey, Ds. Custos Privati Sigilli.
Marq. de Winton.
Comes de Lyndsey, Magnus Camerarius Angliæ.
Comes de Norwich,
Comes Marescallus Angl.
Comes de Brecknock, Senescallus Hospitii Domini Regis.
Ds. Arundell de Ward.
Ds. Howard de Esc.
Ds. Herbert de Cher.
Ds. Gerard de Brand.
Ds. Arundell de Trer.
Ds. Butler de M. Park.
Ds. Butler de West.
Ds. Grey de Roll.
His Majesty sitting in His Royal Throne, in His Regal Robes and Ornaments, the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod was commanded to signify to the House of Commons His Majesty's Pleasure," That they come presently, to attend His Majesty."
His Majesty's Speech.
"My Lords and Gentlemen, I have called you together again, after a long Prorogation, that you might have an Opportunity to repair the Misfortunes of the last Session, and to recover and restore the right Use and End of Parliaments.
"The Time I have given you to recollect yourselves in, and to consider (fn. 2) whither those Differences tend which have been so unhappily managed and improved between you, is enough to leave you without all Excuse, if ever you fall into the like again.
"For I declare Myself very plainly to you, that I come prepared to give you all the Satisfaction and Security in the great Concerns of the Protestant Religion, as it is established in the Church of England, that shall reasonably be asked, or can consist with Christian Prudence.
"And I declare Myself as freely, that I am ready to gratify you in a further securing of your Liberty and Property (if you can think you want it) by as many good Laws as you shall propose, and as can consist with the Safety of the Government; without which, there will neither be Liberty nor Property left to any Man.
"First, I do expect and require from you, that all Occasions of Difference between the Two Houses be carefully avoided; for else, they who have no Hopes to prevent your good Resolutions, will hope, by this Reserve, to hinder them from taking any Effect.
"And let all Men judge who is most for arbitrary Government, they that foment such Differences as tend to dissolve all Parliaments; or I, that would preserve this and all Parliaments from being made useless by such Dissentions.
"And since the additional Revenue of Excise will shortly expire, you that know Me to be under a great Burden of Debts, and how hard a Shift I am making to pay them off as fast as I can, I hope, will never deny Me the Continuance of this Revenue, and some reasonable Supply to make My Condition more easy.
"And that you may be satisfied how impossible it is (whatever some Men think) to support the Government with less than the present Revenue, you may at any Time see the Yearly established Charge; by which it will appear, that the constant and unavoidable Charge being paid, there will remain no Overplus towards the discharging those Contingencies which may happen in all Kingdoms, and which have been a considerable Charge to Me this last Year.
"To conclude: I do recommend to you the Peace of the Kingdom, in the careful Prevention of all Differences; the Safety of the Kingdom, in providing for some greater Strength at Sea; and the Prosperity of the Kingdom, in assisting the necessary Charge and Support of the Government.
Lord Chancellor's Speech.
"By the most gracious Pleasure of the King, you are here again assembled to hold another Session of this Parliament, wherein the King expects your Advice and your Assistance; your Advice in Matters of the highest Deliberation, your Assistance in Matters of extreme and pressing Difficulty.
"Your Deliberations will chiefly be exercised about those Things which do belong unto your Peace, the Peace of the Church and the Peace of the State; Two Considerations of so close a Connexion between themselves, that in the very original Writ of Summons, by virtue of which you still sit here, they are jointly recommended to your Counsel and your Care.
"And by this Means it comes to pass that the Peace of the Church is so often disturbed, not only by those poor mistaken Souls who deserve to be pitied, but by malicious and designing Men who deserve to be punished. And while Things continue in this Estate, it cannot be avoided, but that the Laws which are necessary to restrain the malicious must and will sometimes disquiet and wound those that are weak.
"What Remedies are sit for this Disease; whether the Fault be in the Laws or in the Men, in the Men that should obey, or in the Men that should execute; whether the Cure be a Work of Time and Patience, or of Zeal and Diligence; or whether any new Expedient can be found, to secure the Ship from that Storm which the swelling of Two contrary Tides seems to threaten; is wholly left to your Advice. The King hath called you for that End, and doubts not but your Counsels will be such as shall tend to Safety and to Establishment.
"As for that Abroad, we are at this Time, blessed be God for His Mercy to us, and blessed be the King for His Care of us, in perfect Peace with all the Nations upon Earth; such a Peace as makes us the Envy of the Christian World, and hath enabled us to do ourselves Right against the Infidels; such a Peace as brings with it all the Fruits of Peace, and deserves not only our Prayers for the Continuance of it, but our best and most watchful Care that nothing may be done on our Part to give it an Interruption.
"But then we must consider again, that our Peace Abroad will not subsist any longer than while we do maintain our Peace at Home; for, without this, no Kingdom can be able to act in its full Strength; and without that, the Friendship or Enmity of any Nation ceases to be considerable to its Neighbours.
"Now 'tis a great and a dangerous Mistake in those who think the Peace at Home is well enough preserved, so long as the Sword is not drawn; whereas, in Truth, nothing deserves the Name of Peace, but Unity; such an Unity as flows from an unshaken Trust and Confidence between the King and His People; from a due Reverence and Obedience to His Laws and to His Government; from a religious and an aweful Care, not to remove the ancient Landmarks, not to disturb those Constitutions which Time and Public Convenience hath settled; from a Zeal to preserve the whole Frame and Order of the Government upon the old Foundations; and from a perfect Detestation and Abhorrency of all such as are given to change: Whatever falls short of this, falls short of Peace too.
"If therefore there be any Endeavours to renew, nay, if there be not all the Endeavours that can be to extinguish, the Memory of all former Provocations and Offences, and the Occasions of the like for the future; if there be such Divisions as begets great Thoughts of Heart; shall we call this Peace, because it is not War, or because Men do not yet take the Field? As well we may call it Health, when there is a dangerous Fermentation in the Blood and Spirits, because the Patient hath not yet taken his Bed. And yet, as evident as it is that all we have or hope for depends upon the Preservation of our Peace and Unity at Home, as certain it is that no Care to preserve it will be wanting here.
"Nevertheless it remains still to be wished, that even this very Point were no Part of those Difficulties we are now to struggle with; for there are many more, which without your Aid and your Assistance can never be overcome.
"One is, the Weakness of our Fleet; for Strength and Weakness can no otherwise be judged of than by Comparison; and by this Measure we may truly judge our Fleet to be less considerable than it was, because ours stands at a Stay, while our Neighbours round about us are improved.
"Another Weight there is, which lies very heavy upon the Revenue; and that is, the Debts which incumber it. Justice and Honour oblige the King not to forsake those who have assisted with their Estates in the Defence of the Public. And although the necessary Issues of His Revenue, in the many new and chargeable Emergences of State, did for a while postpone their Satisfaction, yet His Majesty hath now gone very far in it, and hath provided for the Security and Payment of an immense Sum, with such Difficulties as none but a just and generous Prince would ever have undergone.
"One Difficulty more there is, without which all the rest were none; and that is, the strange Diffidence and Distrust, which, like a general Infection, begins to spread itself into almost all the Corners of the Land.
"Much of this rises from the Artifice of ill Men, who create and nourish all the Suspicions which they can devise; but the Cure of it lies perfectly in your Hands: For all this will presently vanish, as soon as Men shall see your Acquiescence, and the Fruits of it, in a chearful Concurrence with His Majesty to all those good and public Ends which He hath now so earnestly recommended to you.
"Surely it is enough for any Kingdom, and more than most Kingdoms in the World can boast of, to have their Affairs brought into such a Condition, that they may in all human Probability, and unless it be their own Default, continue for a long Time safe and happy.
"If a Kingdom be guarded by Nature against all Dangers from without, and then will rely too much upon what Nature hath done for them; if a Kingdom be warned and cautioned against all Dangers from within by former Experiences, and then will either forget or make no Use of those Experiences; if a Kingdom be powerful in Shipping and Navigation, and then see their Neighbours endeavouring to overpower them that Way, without being solicitous enough to augment and reinforce their own naval Strength; if a Kingdom be happy in the frequent Assemblies of their Great Councils, where all that is grievous may be redressed, and all that is wanting may be enacted, and then will render those Councils useless and impracticable, by continuing endless Distractions: Who can wonder if their Affairs should begin to be less prosperous; when otherwise, humanly speaking, and in all common Probability, their Condition would have been out of the Reach of Fortune, and their Security in a Manner impregnable?
"If the presaging Malice of our Enemies should pretend to foretel any such Fate as this to besal us, the Wisdom and the Magnanimity of this Great Council will quickly be too hard for all their Auguries. The Honour and the Loyalty of this August and Venerable Assembly will leave no Kind of Room for any such Divinations.
"You that have the Happiness to live under so excellent a Monarchy, so admirable a Constitution, and Temper of Government; you that remember what the Want of this Government cost us, and the miserable Desolations which attended it; have all the Motives, and are under all the Obligations, that can be, to secure and advance the Interest of it.
"The King on His Part meets you with so open and so full a Heart, and is so absolutely resolved and determined to do all that in Him lies to glad the Hearts of His People, that it must be the strangest Infelicity in the World, if either He or His Subjects should meet with any Disappointments here.
"For the King hath no Desires but what are public; no Ends or Aims which terminate in Himself. All His Endeavours are so entirely bent upon the Welfare of all His Dominions, that He doth not think any Man a good Subject, who doth not heartily love his Country; and therefore let no Man pass for a good Patriot, who doth not as heartily love and serve his Prince.
"Private Men indeed are subject to be missed by private Interests, and may entertain some vain and slender Hopes of surviving the Misfortunes of the Public: But a Prince is sure to fall with it; and therefore can never have any Interest divided from it.
"To live and die with the King, is the highest Profession a Subject can make; and sometimes it is a Profession only, and no more: But in a King it is an absolute Necessity, it is a Fate inevitable, that He must live and die with His People.
"Away then with all the vain Imaginations of those who labour to infuse a Misbelief of the Government! Away with those ill-meant Distinctions between the Court and the Country, between the Natural and the Politic Capacity! And let all who go about to persuade others that these are Two several Interests, have a Care of that Precipice to which such Principles may lead them: For the First Men that ever began to distinguish of their Duty never left off, till they had quite distinguished themselves out of all their Allegiance.
"The King hath so long had, and still retains, such honourable Thoughts of these Assemblies, that we ought to make it one great Part of our Business to deserve the Continuance of His Majesty's Grace and good Opinion.
"Let no Contention then come near this Place, but that of a noble Emulation, who shall serve his Country best, by well serving of the King: Let no Passion enter here, but that of a pious Zeal to lay Hold upon all Opportunities of promoting the Honour and Service of the Crown, till our Enemies despair of ever profiting by any Disorders amongst us.
"And let all who pray for the long Life and Prosperity of the King add their Endeavours to their Prayers; and study to prolong His Sacred Life, by giving Him all the Joys of Heart which can arise from the Demonstrations of the lively and the warm Affections of His People."
Motion to consider if the Parliament is dissolved.
It was moved, "That this House would consider, whether this Parliament be not dissolved, because the Prorogation of this Parliament for Fifteen Months is contrary to the Statutes of 4 E. III. and 36 E. III."
Bill to prevent unnecessary Delays.
Committee for Privileges.
Lords Committees appointed to consider of the Customs and Orders of the House of Peers and Privileges of the Parliament, and of the Peers of this Kingdom and Lords of Parliament; and to report to the House.
Committee for the Journal.
Committee For Petitions.
Their Lordships, or any Five of them; to meet on Tuesday next, and every Tuesday after, at Three of the Clock in the Afternoon, in the Painted Chamber; and to adjourn themselves from Time to Time, as they please.
D. of Newcastle takes his Seat.
This Day Henry Duke of Newcastle sat first in Parliament, by virtue of His Majesty's Writ of Summons, dated the Tenth Day of February, in the 29th Year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord King Charles the Second, upon the Decease of William Duke of Newcastle his Father.
E. of Derby D.
This Day William Richard George Comes de Derby sat first in Parliament, by virtue of. His Majesty's Writ of Summons, dated the Tenth Day of February, in the 29th Year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord King Charles the Second, upon the Death of his Father.
E. of Denbigh D.
This Day William Earl of Denbigh sat first in Parliament, by virtue of His Majesty's Writ of Summons, dated the Tenth Day of February, in the 29th Year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord King Charles the Second, upon the Death of Basil Earl of Denbigh his Uncle.
L. Chandos D.
This Day James Lord Chandos sat first in Parliament, by virtue of His Majesty's Writ of Summons, dated the Thirteenth Day of February, in the 29th Year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord King Charles the Second, upon the Death of William Lord Chandos.
L. Cornwallis D.
This Day Charles Lord Cornwallis sat first in Parliament, by virtue of His Majesty's Writ of Summons, dated the Tenth Day of February, in the 29th Year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord King Charles the Second, upon the Death of Charles Lord Cornwallis his Father.