Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 14, 1685-1691. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.
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DIE Veneris, 22 die Maii.
Lords take the Oaths.
These Lords following took the Oaths of Supremacy and Allegiance, and subscribed the Declaration, in Pursuance of the Act for the more effectual preserving the King's Person and Government, by disabling Papists from sitting in either House of Parliament:
George Duke of Buckingham.
Henry Earl of Peterborough.
Arthur Earl of Anglesey.
William Viscount Say & Seale.
Charles Viscount Mordant. Lord Coniers.
William Lord Bishop of St. Asaph. John Lord Lovelace.
His Majesty, being on His Royal Throne, adorned with His Regal Robes and Crown, commanded the Gentleman Usher to give Notice to the House of Commons, "That they attend His Majesty presently, with their Speaker."
"After it pleased ALMIGHTY GOD to take to His Mercy the late King My dearest Brother, and to bring Me to the peaceable Possession of the Throne of My Ancestors, I immediately resolved to call a Parliament, as the best Means to settle every Thing upon those Foundations that may make My Reign both easy and happy to you; towards which, I am disposed to contribute all that is fit for Me to do. What I said to My Privy Council at My First Coming there, I am desirous to renew to you; wherein I fully declared My Opinion concerning the Principles of the Church of England, whose Members have shewed themselves so eminently loyal, in the worst of Times, in Defence of My Father, and Support of My Brother, of Blessed Memory, that I will always take Care to defend and support it: I will make it My Endeavour to preserve this Government both in Church and State, as it is now by Law established. And, as I will never depart from the just Rights and Prerogative of the Crown, so I will never invade any Man's Property; and you may be sure, that, having heretofore ventured My Life in the Defence of this Nation, I shall still go as far as any Man, in preserving it in all its just Rights and Liberties. And having given you this Assurance concerning the Care I will have of your Religion and Property, which I have chosen to do in the same Words I used at My First Coming to the Crown, the better to evidence to you that I spoke them not by Chance, and consequently that you may the more firmly rely upon a Promise so solemnly made; I cannot doubt that I shall fail of suitable Returns from you, with all imaginable Duty and Kindness on your Part; and particularly in what relates to the settling of My Revenue, and continuing it during My Life, as it was in the Time of the King My Brother. I might use many Arguments to enforce this Demand, from the Benefit of Trade, the Support of the Navy, the Necessity of the Crown, and the Well-being of the Government itself; which I must not suffer to be precarious: But, I am confident, your own Consideration of what is just and reasonable, will suggest to you whatsoever might be enlarged upon this Occasion. There is One popular Argument, which I foresee may be used against what I ask of you, from the Inclination men may have for frequent Parliaments; which some may think would be the best secured by feeding Me from Time to Time by such Proportions as they shall think convenient. And this Argument, it being the First Time I speak to you from the Throne, I will answer once for all: That this would be a very improper Method to take with Me; and that the best Way to engage Me to meet you often, is always to use Me well. I expect, therefore, that you will comply with Me in what I have desired; and that you will do it speedily, that this may be a short Session, and that we may meet again to all our Satisfactions.
"I must acquaint you, that I have had News this Morning from Scotland, that Argile is landed in The West Highlands, with the Men he brought with him from Holland; and that there are Two Declarations published; one, in the Name of all those in Arms there; the other, in his own: It would be too long for Me to repeat the Substance of them; it is sufficient to tell you, I am charged with Usurpation and Tyranny. The shorter of them I have directed to be forthwith communicated to you. I will take the best Care I can, that this Declaration of their own Treason and Rebellion may meet with the Reward it deserves. And I will not doubt, but that you all will be the more zealous to support the Government, and give Me My Revenue as I have desired it, without Delay."
Committee of Privileges.
Lords Committees appointed to consider of the Customs and Orders of the House of Peers, and Privileges of Parliament; and of the Peers of this Kingdom and Lords of Parliament, &c. and to report to the House.
No Lord a Minor to sit in the House.
ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That no Lord under the Age of One and Twenty Years shall be permitted to sit in the House: And it is further ORDERED, That this Order be added to the Standing Orders of this House.
Message from H. C. to return Thanks to the King for His Speech.
To acquaint their Lordships, that the House of Commons have resolved, nemine contradicente, to give His Majesty most humble and hearty Thanks, for His Gracious Speech this Day; and the Commons desire their Lordships Concurrence therein.
Lords to attend the King.
ORDERED, That the Lords with the White Staves do wait upon His Majesty presently, to know what Time He will please to appoint for both Houses to attend Him, to present Him with the humble and hearty Thanks of both Houses for His Gracious Speech this Day.
King's Answer reported.
Answer to H. C.
That this House agrees with the House of Commons, to return humble and hearty Thanks for His Majesty's Gracious Speech this Day; and their Lordships having sent to His Majesty, to know what Time He will appoint for both Houses to wait upon Him, His Majesty hath appointed this Afternoon, at Four of the Clock, in the Banqueting House at Whitehall, to receive both Houses for that Purpose.
Committee for the Journal.
Lords Sub-committees appointed to consider of the Orders of the House of Peers, and Privileges of the Peers of this Kingdom and Lords of Parliament; and to peruse and perfect the Journal Book of the late Parliament, which began at Oxford, the 21th Day of March, 1680.
Their Lordships, or any Three of them; to meet on Saturday next, at Three of the Clock in the Afternoon, in the Lord Keeper's Lodgings, near the House of Peers; and after, when, and where, and as often as, they please.
Committee for Petitions.
Bill to prevent Minors clandestine Marriages.
Order for Continuation of Impeachments from Parliament to Parliament, reversed.
Protest against it.
"According to the Right of Peers to enter their Dissent and Protestation against any Vote propounded and resolved upon any Question in Parliament, we do enter our Dissent and Protestation to the aforesaid Vote or Resolution; for these Reasons, among many others:
"1. Because it doth, as we conceive, extrajudicially, and without a particular Cause before us, endeavour an Alteration in a Judicial Rule and Order of the House, in the highest Point of their Power and Judicature.
"2. Because it shakes and lays aside an Order made and renewed upon long Consideration, Debate, Report of Committees, Precedents, and former Resolutions, without permitting the same to be read, though called for by many of the Peers, and against weighty Reasons, as we conceive, appearing for the same, and contrary to the Practice of former Times.
"3. Because it is inherent in every Court of Judicature, to assert and preserve the former Rules of Proceedings before them, which therefore must be steady and certain; especially in this High Court; that the Subject and all Persons concerned may know how to apply themselves for Justice: The very Chancery, King's Bench, &c. have their settled Rules and standing Orders, from which there is no Variation.
Earl of Argyle's Declaration.
"The Declaration of Archibald Earl of Argyle, Lord Kintyre, Cowell, Campbell, and Lorne, &c. Heritable Sheriff and Lieutenant of the Shires of Argyle and Tarbett, and Heritable Justice General of the said Shires, and of the West Isles, and others; with his Order to his Vassals and others, in the said Shires, and under his Jurisdiction, to concur for Defence of their Religion, their Lives, and Liberties.
I shall not mention my Case, published and printed in Latin and Dutch, and more largely in English; nor need I repeat the printed Declaration emitted by several Noblemen, Gentlemen, and others, of both Nations, now in Arms: But, because the Suffering of me and my Family are therein mentioned, I have thought it fit for me to declare for myself, That as I go to Arms, with those who appointed me to conduct them, for no private nor personal End, and only for those contained in the said Declaration, which I have concerted with them and approve of; so I do claim no Interest but what I had before the pretended Forfaulter of my Family, and have sufficient Right to; and that I do freely, and as a Christian, fully forgive all personal Injuries against my Person or Family, to all that shall not oppose, but join and concur with us in our present Undertaking, for the Ends mentioned in the said Declaration; and hereby I oblige me, never to pursue them, in Judgement nor out of Judgement. And I further declare, That, obtaining the peaceable and quiet Possession of what belonged to my Father and myself before our pretended Forfaulters, I shall satisfy all Debts due by my Father and myself, as far as any Heir or Debtor can be obliged.
"And as my Faithfulness to His late Majesty and His Government hath sufficiently appeared to all unbiassed Persons void of Malice; so I do with Grief acknowledge my former too much complying with, and conniving at, the Methods have been taken to bring us to the (fn. 1) Condition we are now in, though, GOD knows, never concurring in the Design.
"I have now, with GOD's Strength, suffered patiently my unjust Sentence and Banishment Three Years and a Half, and never offered to make any Uproar or Defence, by Arms, to disturb the Peace upon my private Concern. But the King being now dead, and the Duke of Yorke having taken off his Mask, and having abandoned and invaded our Religion and Liberties, resolving to enter into the Government, and exercise it contrary to Law; I think it not only just, but my Duty to GOD and my Country, to use my utmost Endeavours to oppose and repress His Usurpation and Tyranny.
"And therefore, being assisted and furnished very nobly by several good Protestants, and invited and accompanied by several of both Nations to lead them; I resolve, as GOD shall enable me, to use their Assistance of all Kind, towards the Ends expressed in the said Declaration.
"And I do (fn. 1) thereby earnestly invite and obtest all honest Protestants, and particularly all my Friends and Blood Relations, to concur with us in the said Undertaking.
"And as I have written several Letters, so, having no other Way fully to intimate my Mind to others, I do hereby require all my Vassals every where, and all within my Jurisdictions, with the sencible Men within their Command, to go to arm, and to join and concur with us according to the said Declaration, as they will be answerable at their Peril; and to obey the particular Orders they shall receive from me from Time to Time."