Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 16, 1696-1701. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.
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DIE Veneris, 13 Junii.
E. Huntingdon takes his Seat.
This Day John Earl of Huntingdon sat first in Parliament, upon the Death of his Father Theophilus Earl of Huntingdon; and took the Oaths, and made and subscribed the Declaration, pursuant to the Statute.
De Launay et al. Nat. Bill.
The Earl of Rochester reported from the Lords Committees, the Bill, intituled, "An Act for Sale of the Estate of James Deane; and for securing the Monies raised thereby, for the Benefit of himself and Family, according to the Settlement thereof," as fit to pass, without any Amendment.
Hodie 3a vice lecta est Billa, intituled, "An Act for Sale of the Estate of James Deane; and for securing the Monies raised thereby, for the Benefit of himself and Family, according to the Settlement thereof."
Sir Thomas Stanley's Bill.
Hodie 2a vice lecta est Billa, intituled, "An Act to enable Sir Thomas Stanley Baronet, to charge certain Manors and Lands, in the County of Lancaster, with Three Thousand Pounds, for Payment of his Sisters Portions and his Debts."
Message from the H. C. that they cannot appear at the Trials of the impeached Lords, till the Preliminaries are settled; and insisting on a Committee of both Houses for that Purpose, &c.
To acquaint this House, "That the House of Commons find great Reason to insist upon their Proposal of a Committee of both Houses, from the Two Messages received Yesterday from your Lordships; for their Ambiguity and Uncertainty do shew the Method of former Parliaments to be the most proper Way for Dispatch of Business.
"The Commons have been obliged to employ that Time in considering and answering your Lordships Messages, which otherwise would have been spent in preparing for the Lord Sommers's Trial, so that the Delay must be charged where the Occasion ariseth; and the Commons, having desired a Committee of both Houses to adjust the Preliminaries of the Trials, cannot but think it strange, your Lordships should come to Resolutions upon Two of those Points, while the Proposal of the House of Commons is under Debate at Conferences between the Two Houses; the Commons having other Difficulties to propose, which concern them as Prosecutors, and all future Impeachments.
"And though the Commons leave the Subject of your Lordships Resolutions, with other Things, to be debated at a Committee of both Houses; yet they cannot but observe, that your Lordships Second Resolution is no direct Answer to the Commons Proposal, which was, Whether Peers, impeached of the same Crimes, shall vote for each other upon their Trial for the same Crimes; and the Commons cannot believe that any such Rule can be laid down in plain Words, where there is a due Regard to Justice.
"And as to what your Lordships observe, That there is a Mistake in Point of Fact alledged by the Commons; this House may take Notice of the Caution used by your Lordships in wording that Part of your Message; for they know your Lordships are too well acquainted with the Truth of the Fact, to affirm that the impeached Lords did not vote in their own Cases: And though the appearing or not appearing upon your Lordships Journal does not make it more or less agreeable to the Rules of Justice; yet the Commons cannot but add this further Observation from your Lordships Journal, that the impeached Lords Presence is not only recorded when those Votes passed, but they also find some of them appointed of Committees, for preparing and drawing up the Messages and Answers to the House of Commons; which they do not think has been the best Expedient for preserving a good Correspondence between the Two Houses, or adjusting what will be necessary upon these Trials; and therefore the Commons cannot think it agreeable to the Rules of Parliament, for them to appear at a Trial, till all necessary Preliminaries are first settled with your Lordships."
Free Conference, concerning a Committee of both Houses:
Conference broke up, on Account of Words spoke by Ld. Haversham.
And the Lord Steward reported, "That the Lords had attended the Free Conference, as commanded; and that Mr. Harcourt opened the Free Conference; and argued against the Reasons given by this House, why they could not agree to a Committee of both Houses; and that the Lord Haversham, in Answer to some Part of the Arguments of Mr. Harcourt and Sir Bartholomew Shower, used some Expressions, at which the Commons, taking Exceptions, abruptly broke up the Conference."
Message to the Commons, to come again to Free Conference.
To acquaint them, "That the Lords, having been informed, by their Managers, that some Interruption happened at the Free Conference; which their Lordships are concerned at, because they wish that nothing should interrupt the Public Affairs; do desire the Commons would come again presently to the said Free Conference; which they do not doubt will prove the best Expedient to prevent the Inconvenience of a Misunderstanding upon what has past."
Glover versus Seignoret.
It is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That this House will hear the Cause, wherein Gabriel Glover is Appellant, and Stephen Seignoret Respondent, on Friday the Twentieth Day of this Instant June, at Eleven a Clock.
Answer from H. C.
Message from thence, relative to what passed at the Free Conference, by Ld. Haversham.
To acquaint this House, "That the Commons, desiring to keep up a good Correspondence with your Lordships, do think it necessary to acquaint your Lordships with what has happened at the Free Conference:
"One Thing there is, though I can't speak to it, because I am bound up by the Orders of the House; yet it must have some Answer; that is, as to the Lords voting in their own Case; it requires an Answer, though I cannot go into the Debate of it: The Commons themselves have made this Precedent; for in these Impeachments they have allowed Men, guilty of the same Crimes, to vote in their own House; and therefore we have not made any Distinction in our House, that some should vote, and some not.
"The Lords have so high an Opinion of the Justice of the House of Commons, that they hope Justice shall never be made Use of as a Mask for any Design; and therefore give me Leave to say, (though I am not to argue to it) 'tis a plain Demonstration, that the Commons think these Lords innocent. And I think the Proposition is undeniable; for there are several Lords in the same Crimes, in the same Facts, there is no Distinction; and the Commons leave some of these Men at the Head of Affairs, near the King's Person, to do any Mischief, if their Persons were inclined to it, and impeach others, when they are both alike guilty, and concerned in the same Facts. This was a Thing I was in Hopes I should never have heard asserted, when the Beginning of it was from the House of Commons.
"Resolved, That John Lord Haversham be charged before the Lords, for the Words spoken by the said Lord, this Day, at the Free Conference; and that the Lords be desired to proceed in Justice, against the said Lord Haversham, and to inflict such Punishment upon the said Lord, as so high an Offence against the House of Commons doth deserve."
Lords present at the Conference, to draw up what passed at it.
ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the Lords who were at the Free Conference, do meet presently as a Committee, and draw up what was offered at the Free Conference; and report to the House To-morrow, at Eleven a Clock.
Dominus Custos Magni Sigilli declaravit præsens Parliamentum continuandum esse usque ad et in diem Sabbati, (videlicet,) decimum quartum diem instantis Junii, hora undecima Auroræ, Dominis sic decernentibus.