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 Lunæ, 16 Junii.
Commons Answer to Message concerning Ld. Somers's Witnesses.
Message from H. C. with a Bill.
Who brought up a Bill, intituled, "An Act to enable His Majesty to make Leases and Copies of Offices, Lands, and Hereditaments, Parcel of His Dutchy of Cornwall, or annexed to the same, and for Confirmation of Leases already made;" to which they desire the Concurrence of this House.
Address to the King, for Ld. Haversham to inspect Treasury Books.
It is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the Lords with White Staves do humbly attend His Majesty, from this House, to desire, "That the Lord Haversham may have Liberty to inspect the Treasury Books, in relation to several Commissions from Time to Time renewed, and Grants of the forfeited Estates in Ireland, which are necessary for him towards his Defence."
Message from H. C. with a Bill.
Who brought up a Bill, intituled, "An Act for granting to His Majesty several Duties upon Low Wines or Spirits of the First Extraction; and continuing several additional Duties upon Coffee, Tea, Chocolate, Spices, and Pictures, and certain Impositions upon Hawkers, Pedlars, and Petty Chapmen, and the Duty of Fifteen perCent. upon Muslins; and for improving the Duties upon japanned and lacquered Goods; and for continuing the Coinage Duty, for the several Terms and Purposes therein mentioned;" to which they desire the Concurrence of this House.
Report from Committee, concerning Methods of Trials upon Impeachments.
"That, from this House, the Lords shall go in this Manner: First the Clerks, then the Masters of the Chancery, then the Judges, the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod; then the Lords Two and Two, the youngest Barons to go first, and so in Order, according to their Precedency, Garter King at Arms calling them in their due Places by a List; and when they come into Westminster Hall, the Lords are to place themselves according to their Precedency in the House there, till all the Peers are placed.
"That, in Westminster Hall (the House sitting there), the other Ceremonies, to be observed by Officers necessary to manage the said Trial, be left to be performed according to the usual Methods of such Trials.
"That, at the Trial of the impeached Lord, the lower Barons Bench shall be removed, and a Stool set near the Bar, where the said Lords is to sit uncoversed as a Peer, but not in the Capacity of a judge; and that he shall be admitted Counsel for his Defence.
"That the Lord Great Chamberlain be ordered to take Care that the Places behind the Lords be kept for Peeresses and their Daughters; and that His Majesty's Surveyor be required to view the Court and Scaffold in Westminster Hall, and see that they be strong and firm."
Message to H. C. with Rules to be observed at the Trial of Lord Somers.
To acquaint them, "That the Lords, taking into their Care the ordering of the Trial of John Lord Sommers, on Tuesday the Seventeenth of June Instant, at Ten of the Clock in the Forenoon, in Westm'r Hall; have prepared some Notes and Rules, to be observed at the said Trial, which the Lords have thought fit to communicate to them, as follow; (videlicet,)
"That such Peers, at the Trial of the impeached Lord, who, at the Instance of the said Lord, or of the Commons, shall be admitted Witnesses, are to be sworn at the Clerk's Table; and the Lord Keeper to administer the Oath; and to deliver their Evidence in their own Places.
Oath to be administered to Witnesses:
Sir C. Wren to attend:
Places to be kept clear:
Every Peer to have Tickets:
It is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the Lord Great Chamberlain be desired to take care, that the Places in Westminster Hall, behind the Peers, be kept clear; and that every Peer now attending this House shall have Eight Tickets given him for Places so kept in Westm'r Hall, at the Trial of the Lord Sommers.
Address for Guards.
It is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the Lords with White Staves do humbly move His Majesty, from this House, "That He will be pleased to give Order, that such Guards do attend at the Trial of the Lord Sommers To-morrow in Westminster Hall as hath been usual in such Cases."
E. Bradford excused.
Sir C. Wren heard.
E. Marshal's Precedency:
Judges to attend about it.
After Consideration thereof, it is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That all the Judges do attend this House To-morrow, at Nine of the Clock; and that the Earl Marshal, and other Lords who shall think themselves therein concerned, may have Counsel, if they think fit; and that they have a Copy of the Earl Marshal's Patent delivered them.
ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That all the Lords be summoned to attend this House, in their Robes, Tomorrow, at Nine of the Clock; otherwise to incur the utmost Displeasure of this House.
Commons Places to be kept clear:
It is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the Lord Great Chamberlain be desired to take Care, and give Order, that the Place for the House of Commons in Westminster Hall be kept clear for the Commons only; and also that a Place be made for the Managers of the Commons.
Serjeant Pratt, Counsel for L. Somers:
It is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That Mr. Serjeant Pratt shall be, and he is hereby, assigned Counsel for the Lord Sommers, at his Trial upon the Articles of Impeachment against him.
L. Somers's Witnesses to attend.
It is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That Sir John Talbot, Sir Edmund Harrison, Robert Yard, John Ellis, John Tucker, Leonard Hancock Esquire, John Tench, and William Popple Junior, Gentlemen, do and they are hereby required to attend this House, To-morrow, at Ten of the Clock in the Forenoon, as Witnesses on the Behalf of John Lord Sommers.
Message to H. C. that L. Haversham has a Copy of his Charge, and is to put in his Answer.
To acquaint them, "That the Lords, in order to keep a good Correspondence between the Two Houses, and to put the Charge against John Lord Haversham in a Course of Justice, have ordered (at his Lordship's Motion) his Lordship a Copy of the Charge against him; and that he do put in his Answer thereunto, in order to bring that Matter to a speedy Judgement."
L. Halifax's Answer to the Articles of Impeachment against him.
"The Answer of Charles Lord Halifax to the Articles exhibited against him, by the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses in Parliament assembled, in Maintenance of their Impeachment against the said Lord Halifax, for high Crimes and Misdemeanors supposed to be committed by him.
"The said Lord Halifax, saving to himself all Advantages of Exceptions to the said Articles, and of not being prejudiced by any Words or Want of Form; and saving to himself all Privileges and Rights belonging to him as One of the Peers of this Realm; for Answer to the said Articles, humbly faith,
"To the First Article; he faith, True it is, that several Persons did levy and maintain a desperate and bloody War and Rebellion in Ireland against Their Majesties, and were, by His Majesty's Courage and Conduct, at the great Expence of His English Subjects, suppressed and reduced to their Obedience, as in this Article is alledged: And he further answereth and faith, he believes it to be true, that, on the Fourth of April One Thousand Six Hundred Ninety, such Vote or Resolve was made by the then House of Commons for that Purpose, and such Assurance was given by His Majesty, and such Addresses were made by the House of Commons in the Year One Thousand Six Hundred Ninety and One Thousand Six Hundred Ninety-two, that no Grants should be made 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 such Answers were given thereunto as in this Article is and are set forth, as by the said several Votes, Resolves, Speeches, Addresses, and Answers, to which the said Lord craves Leave, for more Certainty, to refer himself, may appear.
"That, in the Years One Thousand Six Hundred Ninety-three, One Thousand Six Hundred Ninetyfour, and One Thousand Six Hundred Ninety-five, the Parliament of England did meet; and no Act was passed touching the forefeited Estates, though by other Ways great Sums were raised for the carrying on and defraying the Charges of the War in those Years; and His Majesty did after, as Rewards to several Persons who had served Him in Ireland and elsewhere, grant to them some of the forfeited Estates in Ireland; and the Grantees did enjoy the same.
"And the said Lord Halifax further faith, That His Majesty did never grant to him, or any in Trust for him, or to his Use, any of the said forfeited Lands, but of His Grace and Favour; and, as a Reward for his faithful Services (which His Majesty was pleased to accept) did, by Letters Patents under the Great Seal of Ireland, bearing Date on or about the Eleventh Day of May One Thousand Six Hundred Ninetyseven, grant to Thomas Railton Esquire, in Trust for the said Lord Halifax (who was then One of the Commissioners of the Treasury, Chancellor of the Exchequer, and One of the Members of the House of Commons, as in this Article is set forth), several Debts, Interests, Sum or Sums of Money, amounting in the Whole to the Sum of Eleven Thousand Five Hundred and Forty-six Pounds, Seventeen Shillings, and Eight Pence, or thereabouts:
"Which Grant, he conceives and is advised, His Majesty might then lawfully make; and was lawful for him to accept, without Breach of his Duty or the Trust reposed in him; and denies that he did ask for or procure the said Grant; but confesseth he accepted the same as a Mark of His Majesty's Grace and Favour: And faith, The said Grant hath since been taken away by Act of Parliament; and faith, That the said Grant made to Thomas Railton is the same which is mentioned or intended by the said Article of Impeachment: And although the said Debts therein mentioned to be granted did amount to Eleven Thousand Five Hundred and Forty-six Pounds, Seventeen Shillings, and Eight Pence, and no more; yet the said Grant itself, at the Time of making thereof, or at any Time afterwards, could not be valued at near the said Sums, because a great Part of the said Debts were not recoverable; and he hath not made clear thereof, as yet, above Four Hundred Pounds: and humbly hopes, the said Grant hath very little, if at all contributed to the contracting any Debts upon the Nation, or laying heavy Taxes upon the People, or any Ways reflected upon His Majesty's Honour, or that he hath failed in the Performance of his Trust or Duty, as in the Article is suggested.
"2. The Second Article; the said Lord Halifax faith, That he believes it to be true, that such Act was made, and such Clause therein, as in this Article is mentioned; and also in the said Act there is a further Clause, That the Grantees from the King of any of the forseited Estates thereby resumed, should not be accountable for the Rents, Issues, and Profits of the same, by them received before the Second Day of November One Thousand Six Hundred Ninety-nine; but might retain the same to their own Uses.
"And the said Lord Halifax doth acknowledge, that, after the making the said Grant before mentioned to the said Thomas Railton, the Agents of the said Lord Halifax did receive some Monies, not exceeding One Thousand Pounds (as he is informed), out of the Rents and Profits of the forfeited Estate of the Earl of Clancarty, of which no more than the abovesaid Sum did come clear to him the said Lord Halifax; and no more, to his Knowledge or Belief, hath been received or recovered upon the aforesaid Grant: That the said Lord Halifax gave Direction, after the said Act passed, to his Agents in Ireland, to do, in relation to the Money received, as should be advised by Counsel there; by whom his Agents were advised (as they informed the said Lord, and which he believes to be true) that the said Monies, being received out of the mean Profits which were remitted by that Act, were not within the first mentioned Clause in the said Act; and therefore the said Lord does belive and admit the same were not paid into the Receipt of His Majesty's Exchequer in Ireland, nor ought to have been paid into the Exchequer, as he humbly insists and is advised; and he doth deny that the Non-payment of the said Money into the said Receipt is any Wrong to His Majesty or the Public, or any Misapplication; and in case the said Money ought to have been paid into the said Receipt, there are proper Methods and Remedies in the said Act prescribed, to compel the Payment of the same.
"3. To the Third Article; he saith, he was a Member of the House of Commons, One of the Commissioners of His Majesty's Treasury, Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Privy Counsellor, as in the Article is set forth; and served His Majesty faithfully, as he hopes and believes, in those Stations; and was contented with the Employments and Places of Honour bestowed upon him, and with the Incomes and Gains by him made by the just and lawful Fees and Profits of the same; and His Majesty graciously accepted of such his Services, and, as a Mark of His Royal Favour to him, did make for his Benefit the Grant in the Answer to the precedent Article, and the Grant in the Answer to the subsequent Article mentioned; which were all the profitable Grants he, or any in Trust for him, ever had from His Majesty: And the said Lord Halifax says, he conceives, and is advised, that his accepting such Grants were not any Abuse of His Majesty's Goodness, nor Breach of the Trust reposed in him, nor were any of His Majesty's Subjects thereby oppressed; and denies that he ever did, in Opposition to what he knew to be the true Interest of England, or contrary to his Oath or Duty, at any Time advise, procure, or assent to, the passing of any Grant or Grants to himself, or to any Person in Trust for him, or to any other Person or Persons whatsoever; but saith, he, as One of the Commissioners of the Treasury, in Conjunction with the other Commissioners, did sign several Warrants and Dockets for such Grants as His Majesty was pleased to direct to be passed by them, and which, he humbly conceives, and is advised, he was, by the Duty of his Place, obliged to do.
"4. To the Fourth Article; he saith, he believes it to be true, that our Ancestors did take great Care to preserve the King's Forests, and the Timber therein growing, for the building and repairing the Navy Royal; which, the said Lord doth own, had ever been accounted (and as he believes very rightly) the great Security of the Realm; and saith, true it is, he was, in the Year 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 did from Time to Time advise and promote such Matters and Things as were most likely to redound to His Majesty's Honour and the Nation's Safety; and denies that he at any Time preferred his private Interest to that of the Public; but doth confess and admit, that His Majesty, by His Letters of Privy Seal, dated the Sixth of May One Thousand Six Hundred Ninety-seven, did, out of His Grace and Favour designed to the said Lord Halifax, grant unto Henry Seager, in the Article mentioned (and which was in Trust for the said Lord) the Sum of Two Thousand Pounds per Annum, to be raised by the Fall of Scrubbed Beech, Birch, Holly, Hazle, Thorns, and Orle, in the Forest of Deane, in the County of Gloucester, for the Space of Seven Years, from the Five and Twentieth of December One Thousand Six Hundred Ninety-seven, as by the said Letters of Privy Seal, to which the said Lord, for more Certainty, referreth himself, may appear; which Grant was not, nor could be, prejudicial to any Timber growing in the said Forest; and believes no Sapling Oaks or Timber, or Trees likely to be Timber, were cut down by colour of the said Grant; and if any Abuse were in cutting the Wood, he conceives he is not answerable for the same, such Cutting not having been by his Directions, nor he any Ways concerning himself therein; the setting out and cutting whereof did belong to His Majesty's Surveyor General, and other His Majesty's Officers; who (as the said Lord hath been informed and believes) faithfully discharged their Trust in the Execution thereof, and took particular Care to preserve the Timber there.
"5. To the Fifth Article; the said Lord Halifax answereth and saith, he believes it to be true, that the due Ordering and Management of the King's Treasure and public Revenues conduceth very much to the Honour and Safety of His Majesty and the Nation; and that there are several distinct Officers, with Salaries, for the better receiving and issuing forth of the same, and that are Cheques upon each other, to prevent any Loss to His Majesty or the Public. And the said Lord saith, true it is, he was One of the Commissioners of the Treasury, when, by the Death of Sir Robert Howard, his Office of Writer of the Tallies and Counter Tallies, commonly called Auditor of the Receipt of Exchequer, became vacant; and thereupon the then Commissioners of the Treasury did grant the said Office to Christopher Montagu, then One of the Commissioners of Excise, and Brother to the said Lord, which, the said Lord does own and admit, was done at his Desire and Request; but humbly insisteth, the same was not granted contrary to the ancient Constitution or approved Methods in ordering His Majesty's Treasury or public Revenue; and saith, he the said Lord did procure the said Office to be granted to his Brother, intending, in a short Time after, by His Majesty's Permission, when His Majesty's Affairs would permit thereof, to leave his the said Lord's Employments and Places in the Treasury, and to obtain a Surrender from his said Brother of the said Office, and procure a Grant thereof to himself; which, he hopes and humbly insists, was lawful for him to do; and saith, his said Brother duly executed the said Office till after the said Lord had left, or laid down, by His Majesty's Leave, his Places in the Treasury; and then, and not before, his said Brother surrendered the said Office, and the said Lord obtained a Grant of the same, as he conceives was lawful for him to do. In all which Proceedings, nothing was done by him the said Lord, as he is advised, in Violation of the established Course and Constitution of the Exchequer, or to the Loss or Prejudice of His Majesty or the Public; and saith, he does not know or believe, that the said several Offices, as they were executed, were, in their Nature, inconsistent with one another; and is very sure His Majesty or the Public were no Ways prejudiced by the Execution of the same.
"6. To the Sixth Article; the said Lord Halifax saith, That he believes that, in the Year One Thousand Six Hundred Eighty-nine, such Treaty and Alliance and separate Article were made, between the Emperor of Germany and The States General of the United Provinces (into which His Majesty and the late Queen entered), and such Ratifications thereof were made, as in this Article is mentioned; and also saith, he hath heard, and believes, that, in the Year of our LORD One Thousand Six Hundred Ninety-eight, a Treaty was made, to such Effect as in this Article is mentioned; and saith, he never saw the said Treaty, or heard the same read, or does as yet know the Articles or Agreement it contains; and denies that he ever advised His Majesty to enter into or make the said Treaty, or was ever consulted upon any Clause or Article thereof, or ever encouraged or promoted the same: And the said Lord saith, That, as he remembers, Mr. Secretary Vernon did at one Time send for him, and discourse with him and others, upon an Intimation that was given by a Letter from the Earl of Portland, as he remembers, "That the French King was disposed to commence a Negotiation, upon some general Terms that were then mentioned, to prevent a War, in case of the King (fn. 1) of Spain's Death, who was then reported to be very ill;" and afterwards the said Matter was discoursed between the Secretary, the then Lord Chancellor, and the said Lord Halifax, at Tunbridge-Wells, when and where the said Lord Halifax made several Objections to the same; and denies that he gave any Opinion to encourage or promote the said Treaty, or ever afterwards was informed of any one Particular relating to it, or was ever consulted or advised upon any Clause or Article of it, or was ever after told or informed that the said Negotiation or Treaty did go on or proceed; and saith, that, not being advised with, or any Ways knowing of the said Treaty or Negotiation (except as aforesaid), he could not dissuade or obstruct its taking Effect; and saith, as he cannot tell what the Effects of the Treaty might have been, if the said Treaty had been observed, so he conceives, and insisteth, that he is not, nor ought to be, answerable for the same.
"And having thus laid his Case before your Lordships; he humbly saith, and insisteth upon it, that he is Not Guilty of all or any the Matters by the said Articles charged, or in them specified, in Manner and Form as the same are therein and thereby charged against him.
Message to H. C. with it; and to remind them of the E. of Portland's Impeachment.
To carry down a Copy of the said Answer; and to acquaint them, "That they having, on the First Day of April last sent up to their Lordships an Impeachment against William Earl of Portland, for high Crimes and Misdemeanors, and there being as yet no particular Articles exhibited against him; their Lordships think themselves obliged to put them in Mind thereof."
Allen versus Attorney of Dutchy.
After hearing Counsel, upon the Petition and Appeal of Thomas Allen Junior, an Infant, by Stephen Barnes Gentleman, Guardian, Elizabeth Allen Widow, William Sherrard Junior, and Will'm Wells, against an Order or Decree made in the Dutchy Court of Lancaster, on the Eighteenth Day of February then last past, for reviving, ratifying, and confirming a Decree, made the Fifteenth Day of June, in the Two and Twentieth Year of King James the First, on the Behalf of His Majesty; and praying, "That the revived Decree and Proceedings thereupon may be reversed;" as also upon the Answer of His Majesty's Attorney General of the Dutchy put in thereunto; and due Consideration of what was offered thereupon:
It is this Day ORDERED, and Adjudged by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the said Petition and Appeal of Thomas Allen, Elizabeth Allen, William Sherrard, and William Wells, shall be, and is hereby, dismissed this House; and that the Order or Decree and Proceedings therein complained of shall be, and they are hereby, affirmed.
Low Wines, Coffee, &c. Bill for Duties on.
Hodie 1a vice lecta est Billa, intituled, "An Act for granting to His Majesty several Duties upon low Wines, or Spirits of the First Extraction; and continuing several additional Duties upon Coffee, Tea, Chocolate, Spices, and Pictures, and certain Impositions upon Hawkers, Pedlars, and Petty Chapmen, and the Duty of Fifteen per Cent. upon Muslins; and for improving the Duties upon japanned and lacquered Goods; and for continuing the Coinage Duty, for the several Terms and Purposes therein mentioned."
L. Somers's Witnesses to attend.
It is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That Henry Baldwyn, Samuel Baldwyn, Thomas Engeham, George Liddell, Charles Saunderson, Edward Hayman, John Mum, Benjamin Baldwin, Reginald Marriot, and John Digby, do and they are hereby required to attend this House To-morrow at Ten of the Clock, as Witnesses on the Behalf of John Lord Sommers.
Dominus Custos Magni Sigilli declaravit præsens Parliamentum Continuandum esse usque ad et in diem Martis, (videlicet,) decimum septimum diem instantis Junii, hora nona Auroræ, Dominis sic decernentibus.