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 Sabbati, 14 Junii.
Message from H. C. with a Bill.
Justices of Peace, for qualifying, Bill.
De Launay et al. Nat. Bill.
Their Lordships, or any Five of them; to meet on Monday the Sixteenth Day of this Instant June, at Ten of the Clock in the Forenoon, in the Prince's Lodgings near the House of Peers; and to adjourn as they please.
Message from H. C. with Articles of Impeachment against Lord Halifax.
With the Articles of Impeachment against Charles Lord Halifax; and to acquaint this House, "That the Matter of the Charge was contained in the Articles; and also that he was commanded to pray and demand, that Charles Lord Halifax do give sufficient Security to abide the Judgement of the House of Lords."
"Whereas several Persons, contrary to their Duty and Allegiance to His Majesty and His late Royal Consort of Ever-blessed Memory, traiterously adhering to Their Majesties Enemies, did levy and maintain, within their Majesties Realm of Ireland, a desperate and bloody War and Rebellion against Their Majesties; and were, by His Majesty's Conduct and Courage, at the great Expence of His English Subjects, reduced to their due Obedience to the Crown of England:
"And whereas, upon the Fourth Day of April in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Six Hundred and Ninety, it was Resolved, by the Commons of England in Parliament assembled, That a Bill should be brought in, to attaint all Persons guilty of Rebellion in Ireland, or elsewhere, against Their Majesties King William and Queen Mary, and to enact and declare their Estates to be forfeited, and to be sold for the reducing of that Kingdom: And whereas His Majesty, in His Gracious Speech to both Houses of Parliament, did, upon the Fifth Day of January One Thousand Six Hundred and Ninety, assure them, That He would not make any Grant of the forfeited Lands in Ireland, till there should be another Opportunity of settling that Matter in Parliament, in such Manner as should be thought most expedient: And whereas the Commons of England in Parliament assembled, by their humble Address to His Majesty, upon the Fourth Day of March One Thousand Six Hundred Ninety-two, did humbly beseech His Majesty, that (according to the Assurance His Majesty had been pleased to give them) no Grant might be made of the forfeited Estates in Ireland, till there should be an Opportunity of settling that Matter in Parliament, in such Manner as should be thought most expedient; to which His Majesty was pleased to give a most gracious Answer; whereby, and by many other Endeavours of the Commons in the following Sessions of Parliaments, it appears that what has since been declared by Act of Parliament, was the continued Sense of the Commons of England, that it was highly reasonable, that the forfeited Estates of Rebels and Traitors in Ireland should be applied in Ease of His Majesty's faithful Subjects of the Kingdom of England:
"And whereas it was the apparent Duty of every Officer or Minister of State, to have had so much Regard to the Resolutions and Address of the House of Commons, to the public Good, and His Majesty's Honour, as to have dissuaded and prevented (as much as in them lay) the procuring or passing any Grant or Grants of the said forfeited Estates in Ireland; yet Charles (now) Lord Halifax, then the Honourable Charles Montagu Esquire, being a Member of the Honourable House of Commons, One of the Lords of the Treasury, Chancellor of the Exchequer, and One of His Majesty's most Honourable Privy Council, hath, since the aforesaid Fourth Day of March One Thousand Six Hundred Ninety-two, presumed to advise, pass, or direct the passing, a Grant to Thomas Railton Esquire, in Trust for himself, of several Debts, Interest, Sum and Sums of Money, amounting in the Whole to the Sum of Thirteen Thousand Pounds or thereabouts, due, owing, and which ought to have accrued to His Majesty, by reason of the Attainders, Outlawries, or other Forfeitures, of the respective Persons for whom the same were entered on Record, whereby he hath much contributed to the contracting great Debts upon the Nation, the laying heavy Taxes upon the People, hath highly reflected on His Majesty's Honour, and failed in the Performance of his Trust and Duty.
"2. Whereas, by an Act of Parliament, made in the Eleventh and Twelfth Years of His Majesty's Reign, intituled, "An Act for granting an Aid to His Majesty, by Sale of the forfeited and other Estates and Interests in Ireland, and by a Land Tax in England, for the several Purposes therein mentioned;" it is, amongst other Things, enacted, That all and every Person or Persons whatsoever, who had, by virtue of any Grant or Disposition from His Majesty, or from His Majesty and the late Queen, received, for his or their own Use or Benefit, any Debt or Debts, or Sum or Sums whatsoever, due from any Debt or Debts of any forfeiting Person, mentioned or described in the said Act, or from any Person or Persons subject or liable to the Payment of any Sum or Sums of Money whatsoever to any of the said forseiting Persons, should be, and they are hereby declared to be, respectively liable, and are required to repay every such Debt or Debts, Sum or Sums of Money whatsoever, so by him, her, or them, respectively received, into the Receipt of His Majesty's Exchequer in Ireland, on or before the Four and Twentieth Day of August One Thousand Seven Hundred; and whereas the said Charles Lord Halifax had, before the making of the aforesaid Act, procured for Thomas Railton Esquire, in Trust for himself, a Grant of several Debts, by Judgements and otherwise, to several of the said forfeiting Persons, amounting to the Sum of Thirteen Thousand Pounds or thereabouts, forfeited to His Majesty, by the Attainder, Outlawries, or other Forfeitures, of the respective Persons to whom such Debts were originally due; and, by Virtue of the said Grant, the said Lord Halifax actually received to his own Use the Sum of One Thousand Pounds, Part of the before mentioned Sum of Thirteen Thousand Pounds, which said Sum of One Thousand Pounds he the said Charles Lord Halifax ought to have re-paid, before the said Four and Twentieth Day of August One Thousand Seven Hundred, into the Receipt of His Majesty's Exchequer in Ireland, as by the said Act he was required to have done; yet the said Charles Lord Halifax did not re-pay the said Sum of One Thousand Pounds, as by the said Act he was required to do; but has hitherto, in Contempt of the Act, refused or neglected to re-pay the same; which Neglect or Refusal of him the said Charles Lord Halifax, to re-pay the said Sum of One Thousand Pounds, is a manifest Wrong to His Majesty and the Public, and a Misapplication of that Sum to other Uses and Purposes than by the Act it is appropriated and ought to have been applied.
"3. That the said Charles Lord Halifax, being a Member of the Honourable House of Commons, One of the Commissioners for executing the Office of Lord Treasurer of England, Chancellor of the Exchequer, and One of His Majesty's most Honourable Privy Council, not contented with the many Employments and Places of Honour bestowed upon him by His Majesty, nor with the large and excessive Gains by him made by the Incomes and Profits arising from such Offices and Preferments; did, (in Opposition to what he well knew to be the true Interest of England, and contrary to his Oath as a Privy Counsellor and his Duty as a public Minister, at a Time when the Nation was engaged in a tedious and expensive War against France for preserving the Balance and Liberties of Europe, and under such heavy Debts as, without laying unsupportable Taxes on the People, were impossible to be satisfied) advise, procure, and assent, not only to the passing of divers Grants to others in England and Ireland, but did obtain and accept of several beneficial ones to or in Trust for himself; which said Practices of him the said Lord Halifax were a most notorious Abuse of His Majesty's Goodness, a great Breach of his Trust, and a very high Vexation and Oppression of His Majesty's other Subjects.
"4. Whereas, by the Common Law and by many Statutes and Ordinances of this Realm, it appears to have been the great Care of our Ancestors, that the King's Forests should be preserved, and in particular the Timber therein growing, for the building and repairing the Navy Royal, which has ever been accounted (as it undoubtedly is) the great Security of this Realm; and whereas Charles Lord Halifax was, in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Six Hundred Ninety-seven, One of the Commissioners of the Treasury, Chancellor of the Exchequer, and One of His Majesty's Privy Council; and obliged, as well by repeated Oaths, as by the Duty he owed to His Majesty and his Country, to have advised, consulted, and promoted, such Matters and Things, as should or at least were most likely to redound to His Majesty's Honour, and the Nation's Safety; yet the said Charles Lord Halifax, not regarding the Laws and Ordinances of this Realm, nor his said Duty to His Majesty and the Public, but pursuing his private Interest, did, by Letters of Privy Seal, bearing Date on or about the Sixth Day of May which was in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Six Hundred Ninety-seven, (the Kingdom being then engaged in an expensive War, and the Debts of the Nation requiring the best and most frugal Management) procure from His Majesty a Grant to Henry Segar Gentleman, in Trust for himself, of the Sum of Fourteen Thousand Pounds, of so much (fn. 1) scrubbed Beech, Birch, Holly, Hazle, Thorns, and Orle, as should by Sale raise the said Sum of Fourteen Thousand Pounds, to be fallen in His Majesty's Forest of Dean, in the County of Gloucester, within the Space of Seven Years Time, from the Five and Twentieth Day of December One Thousand Six Hundred Ninety-seven; under Colour of which Grant, Beech of a much greater Value, great Number of Sapling Oaks, which might and would have been serviceable to the Realm, and also many Tons of wellgrown Timber, fit for the present Use of the Navy, have been cut and fallen, and sold and disposed of for the Benefit of the said Lord Halifax.
"5. Whereas there is not any Thing, that so much conduceth to His Majesty's and the Nation's Honour and Safety, as the due Ordering and Management of the King's Treasure and the Public Revenues; for the receiving and issuing forth of which, the Wisdom and Policy of this Nation has provided and appointed several and distinct Officers, with beneficial Salaries, in order that they may be a Check to each other, and that no Loss may accrue to His Majesty or the Public, by the Corruption, Unskilfulness, or Negligence of any particular Officer; yet he the said Charles Lord Halifax, being One of the Lords of the Treasury, when, by the Death of the Honourable Sir Robert Howard, the Office of the Auditor of the Receipts and Writer of the Tallies became vacant, not regarding the ancient Constitution and approved Methods in ordering His Majesty's Treasury and the public Revenues, did grant, or procure to be granted, to Christopher Montagu Esquire, the Brother of him the said Charles Lord Halifax, and then One of the Commissioners of the Excise, the said Place and Office of Auditor of the Receipts and Writer of the Tallies; which said Grant was so made and procured by the said Lord Halifax in Trust, as to the Profits thereof, for himself, so that, from and after the passing of the said Grant, he the said Lord Halifax was in Effect at the same Time One of the Commissioners of the Treasury, Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Auditor of the Receipts and Writer of the Tallies, and enjoyed the Profits of the said several Offices, which, by the Constitution of the Treasury, are manifestly inconsistent, and never were or ought to be trusted in the same Person; the making and procuring of which said Grant, by him the said Charles Lord Halifax, as aforesaid, was a manifest Violation of the established Course and Constitution of the Exchequer, a Breach of his Trust, of evil Example, and tended very much to the great Loss and Prejudice of His Majesty and the Public, by opening a Way to all Manner of corrupt Practices in the future Management of the Revenues.
"6. Whereas a Treaty and Alliance, between Leopold the Emperor of Germany and The States General of the United Provinces, was made and concluded, in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Six Hundred Eightynine, upon the Consideration of the Greatness of the common Danger which then threatened all Christendom, from the excessive Power of France, and the unconstant Faith of the French in the Observance of Treaties; whereby it was agreed, that there should be and remain for ever a constant, perpetual, and inviolable Friendship and good Correspondence between His Imperial Majesty and The States General; that each of them should be obliged to promote the other's Interest, and, as much as in them lay, prevent all Damages and Inconveniencies to each other.
"And whereas certain separate Articles were also at or about that Time made, and annext to the aforesaid Treaty, whereby The States General, maturely considering that France had openly declared in several Courts that, (notwithstanding the most solemn Renunciation) they continued their Pretension, by Force of Arms, to assert for the Dauphin the Succession of the Spanish Monarchy, in case the King of Spain should die without Issue; and also considering what a Blow their State would receive, and what Prejudice might happen thereby to the public Affairs and Quiet; did promise, that, in case His said Catholic Majesty should die without Issue, they would, with all their Force, assist His said Imperial Majesty, or His Heirs, in taking the Succession of the Spanish Monarchy, lawfully belonging to that House, together with its Kingdoms, Dominions, and Rights, and in their obtaining and securing the quiet Possession thereof, against the French and their Adherents, who should directly or indirectly oppose that Succession, and with Force repel the Force which should be brought against them.
"That, at the Instance of The States General, in Pursuance of the said Treaty and separate Articles, our most Gracious Lord and Sovereign His most Excellent Majesty King William the Third was invited to enter into the Alliance of the aforesaid Treaty, and into the Agreement of the said separate Articles; and thereupon, for restoring and preserving the public Peace and Quiet, did afterwards, in the said Year of our Lord One Thousand Six Hundred Eighty-nine, enter into, and, under the Great Seal of England, accept, approve, and ratify, and in the most solemn Manner engage and promise religiously and inviolably to observe the same, without violating the said Treaty or separate Articles in any Article, or suffering the same, to the utmost of his Power, to be violated.
"That, in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Six Hundred Ninety-eight, a Treaty was projected, and contrived in France to be set on Foot, between His Majesty, the French King, and The States General, for a Partition of the Spanish Monarchy; whereby many large Territories thereunto belonging, in case of the Decease of the King of Spain without Issue, were to be allotted and delivered up to France.
"The Tenor and Design of which last mentioned Treaty, whilst the same was in Negotiation, was communicated to the said Charles Lord Halifax, then One of the Commissioners for executing the Office of Lord Treasurer, Chancellor of the Exchequer, and One of His Majesty's most Honourable Privy Council: That the said Charles Lord Halifax, well knowing the most apparent evil Consequences, as well as the Injustice of the said Partition, did not, according to the Trust and Duty of his said several Offices, dissuade or endeavour to obstruct its taking Effect; but, on the contrary, having neither Regard to His Majesty's Honour, engaged by the abovementioned Treaty with the Emperor and The States General, to the Trade and known Interest of these Kingdoms, or the Peace of Europe, did advise His Majesty to enter into the said Treaty; and did so far encourage and promote the same, that the said Treaty was concluded and ratified under the Great Seal of England; which said Treaty was evidently destructive of the Trade of this Realm, a Breach of the former Treaty made with the Emperor in One Thousand Six Hundred Eighty-nine, dishonourable to His Majesty, highly injurious to the Interest of the Protestant Religion, and manifestly tended to disturb the general Peace of Europe, by altering the Balance of Power therein, and strengthening France against the good Friends and ancient Allies of our Sovereign Lord the King.
"And the said Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses, by Protestation, saving to themselves the Liberty of exhibiting, at any Time hereafter, any further Articles, or other Accusation or Impeachment, against the said Lord Halifax, and also of replying to his Answers which he shall make unto the said Articles, or any of them, and of offering Proofs to all and every the aforesaid Articles, and to all and every other Articles, Impeachment, or Accusation, which shall be exhibited by them, as the Case shall, according to the Course of Parliament, require; do pray, that the said Charles Lord Halifax may be put to answer the said Crimes and Misdemeanors; and that such Proceedings, Examinations, Trials, and Judgements, may be thereupon had and given, as is agreeable to Law and Justice."
Ld. Halifax to have a Copy of the Articles.
After reading, this Day, the Articles of Impeachment brought up from the House of Commons, against Charles Lord Halifax; and hearing his Lordship thereupon; who desired a Copy of the said Articles; and said, He would put in his Answer so soon as possibly he could:"
Committee to consider what shall be done, concerning what passed at the Free Conference:
ORDERED, That the Lords Committees (appointed to draw what was offered at the Free Conference) do inspect the Journals, as to what hath happened upon any Occasion, in relation to what passed at the Free Conference Yesterday, and what hath been done thereupon; and report to the House.
Lords added Managers:
Message to H. C for a Free Conference on this Subject:
To acquaint them, "That, upon the Occasion of their last Message Yesterday, in order to continue a good Correspondence between the Two Houses, their Lordships did immediately appoint a Committee, to state the Matter of the Free Conference, and also to inspect Precedents of what has happened of the like Nature; and, that the public Business may receive no Interruption, the Time desired by their Lordships for renewing the Free Conference being elapsed, their Lordships desire a present Free Conference, in the Painted Chamber, upon the Subject-matter of the last Free Conference."
Protest against sending for a Second Free Conference, till the First is determined.
"We conceive it to be improper, and not agreeable to the Methods of Parliament, to send for a Second Free Conference, before the First is determined, or that there is a Vote of the House passed for insisting.
Report of what passed at the Free Conference.
"That Mr. Harcourt opened the Conference; and argued, First, against the Reasons given by this House, why they could not agree to a Committee of both Houses; but afterwards entered into a Debate against the Two Resolutions of this House, relating to the Impeachments depending; (videlicet,)
"Resolved by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, nemine contradicente, That no Lord of Parliament, impeached of high Crimes and Misdemeanors, and coming to his Trial, shall, upon his Trial, be without the Bar.
"Resolved, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That no Lord of Parliament, impeached of high Crimes and Misdemeanors, can be precluded from voting on any Occasion, except in his own Trial.
"Sir Bartholomew Shower spoke next, in Pursuance of the Argument begun by Mr. Harcourt, against the abovesaid Resolutions; and, in giving Reasons against the latter of the said Resolutions, amongst other Things, did affirm, "That such a Proceeding would be abhorrent from Justice."
"In Answer to those Gentlemen, the Lord Haversham used some Arguments and Expressions, which the Managers for the House of Commons took Exceptions at; but (fn. 2) what those were, the Committee cannot so charge their Memories, as to give the House a particular Account of them: And the Lord Haversham, being desired by the Committee to recollect what he had said, did inform their Lordships, "That, observing in the Free Conference several Things said by Mr. Harcourt and Sir Bartholomew Shower, that reflected on the Honour and Justice of this House, as he apprehended, and that he took to be foreign to the Subject-matter of the Free Conference, he thought it his Duty to take Notice thereof; but in what Expressions, he hoped their Lordships would excuse him from giving a particular Account; but denies that he said several Things contained in the Paper sent up by the House of Commons; but says, that he desired to be heard out, and that the Words he had spoke might be writ down; but the Managers for the Commons broke up the Conference abruptly."
Ld. Haversham to have a Copy of the Commons Charge.
It is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the Lord Haversham shall have a Copy of the Charge against him, and do answer thereunto; and that he shall have Counsel allowed him, in order to answer the Charge against him.
Message from H. C. desiring Justice may be done upon Ld. Haversham, before they renew the Free Conference.
"That the Commons are extremely desirous to preserve a good Correspondence between the Two Houses, and to expedite the Trials of the impeached Lords; but conceive it is not consistent with the Honour of the House of Commons, to renew the Free Conference, until they have received Reparation, by your Lordships doing Justice upon John Lord Haversham, for the Indignity he Yesterday offered to the House of Commons."
Lords insist upon not having a Committee of both Houses:
Protest against that Resolution.
"We conceive it to be improper, and not agreeable to the Methods of Parliament, to pass a Vote for insisting, before the First Free Conference is determined; or, if it be determined (as we conceive it is not), the Vote for insisting should have preceded the Message for a Second Free Conference.
Message to H. C. for Members of their House to attend, as Witnesses, at Ld. Somers's Trial; and for a Letter from the King to him.
To acquaint them, "That the Lord Sommers having informed this House, That Sir Stephen Fox, John Smith Esquire, William Lowndes Esquire, Stephen Hervey Esquire, and William Gulston Esquire, Members of their House, may be material Witnesses for him, at his Trial, on Tuesday next, in Westminster Hall; this House desires that they may have Leave to attend, and give their Testimonies at the said Trial; and that a Letter, which His Majesty was pleased to write to him in One Thousand Six Hundred Ninety-eight, being now in their House, will be necessary for his Defence at his Trial; this House desires that the said Letter may be produced at the said Trial."
Address to the King, for the original Partition Treaty, and the E. of Portland's and Secretary Vernon's Letters.
It is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That an humble Address be made to His Majesty, from this House, "That He will be pleased to give Order, That the Original Treaties of Partition, of One Thousand Six Hundred NinetyEight and One Thousand Six Hundred Ninety-nine, and the Earl of Portland's and Mr. Secretary Vernon's Letters relating thereunto, or authentic Copies of them, may be laid before this House on Monday next, at Eleven a Clock;" and that the Lords with White Staves attend His Majesty with this Address.
Duroure at al. Nat.
Yate versus Fettiplace.
It is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That this House will hear the Cause wherein William Yate Esquire is Appellant, and Sir Edmund Fettyplace and others are Respondents, on Wednesday next, at Eleven a Clock.
Union between England and Scotland.
It is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the Consideration of a Committee, to be appointed, to consider what is proper to be done towards an Union between England and Scotland; shall be resumed on Monday next, at Eleven a Clock.
Dominus Custos Magni Sigilli declaravit præsens Parliamentum continuandum esse usque ad et in diem Lunæ, (videlicet,) decimum sextum diem instantis Junii, hora undecima Auroræ, Dominis sic decernentibus: