Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 18, 1705-1709. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.
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Die Jovis, 14 Martii.
Address against Papists.
The Lord Viscount Townshend reported from the Lords Committees, the Address drawn by them, upon the Petition of the Inhabitants of the South Parts of Lancashire, and the Resolution of the House, and Debate thereupon:
"We, Your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal Subjects, the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, do humbly beg Leave to acquaint Your Majesty, That the Lord Bishop of Chester has presented to the House a Petition, for himself and the Gentry and Clergy of the South Parts of Lancashire; complaining of the intolerable Boldness and Presumption of the Romish Priests and Papists, in employing all their inveigling Arts and Devices, in perverting and seducing the Gentry and Commonalty, and that not only secretly, but openly and publicly, in Defiance of the Laws; that their Priests are numerous, their Masses frequent; their People go affectedly in Troops; they marry without License, or Publication; they visit Protestants, when sick or dying, in order to pervert them; they throw out ill Language against the Church and Government, and spread false Reports and scandalous Reflections upon the Orthodox Clergy; and have built a stately Edifice, which, as the Petitioners had good Reason to believe, is intended for a Seminary; and several Lands have been settled, for the Endowment of that and other Places; that the Popish Gentry are assistant to their Priests in their Perversions; and, to insinuate themselves into Protestant Families, catch at all Opportunities to marry amongst them, whereby they have proselyted many of the Gentry.
"Such open Insolence, shewn by People so obnoxious to the Laws, in the Midst of a War, in which Your Majesty is engaged against the French King, the declared Protector of One of the Popish Religion, who openly pretends a Title to Your Majesty's Crown, does not only raise in us a just Indignation; but makes us think it absolutely necessary, for the Safety of Your Majesty's Royal Person and Government, that a more watchful Eye should be had over them for the future; and, for that Purpose, that a distinct and particular Account should be taken of all Papists, and reputed Papists, in the Kingdom, with their respective Qualities, Estates, and Places of Abode.
"We do therefore most humbly beseech Your Majesty, that You would be graciously pleased to send Directions to the several Lords Lieutenants and Custodes Rotulorum of the several Counties and Places, to cause all the Deputy Lieutenants and Justices of the Peace of the respective Counties and Places to assemble together, and, being so assembled, there to agree of the most proper Manner to subdivide themselves into several Divisions, for the more effectual performing the said Service within such Sub-divisions; and that, at such General Meeting, an Account be taken distinctly of the Names of the several Justices and Deputy Lieutenants designed for the said several Sub-divisions; and that the several Justices of Peace and Deputy Lieutenants should, under their several Hands, return a particular Account, in Writing, of what they shall perform in the said several Sub-divisions, which the said Lords Lieutenants and Custodes Rotulorum shall return to Your Majesty in Council, together with the Names of every One of the Deputy Lieutenants and Justices of Peace who did neglect or refuse to perform their Duties in relation to that Service.
"And, to the End the said Account may be the more exact and useful, we most humbly beseech Your Majesty to send Your Royal Commands to the Archbishops, requiring them to issue Orders to all the Bishops in their respective Provinces, directing them to require the Clergy in their several Dioceses to take an exact and particular Account of the Numbers of the Papists, and reputed Papists, in every Parish, with their Qualities, Estates, and Places of Abode, and to return the same to their respective Diocesans, who shall return the same to their several Archbishops, in order to be laid before Your Majesty.
"And we do also desire Your Majesty will be pleased to direct, that the Archbishops do require the Bishops, in their several Dioceses, to proceed against such of the Clergy as shall refuse or neglect to do their Duty in respect to the said Service, according to the utmost Severity of Law; and also to return the Names of the Clergy, who shall be defective in performing the said Service, in order that the same may be laid before Your Majesty.
"And we farther beseech Your Majesty, to command the Archbishops to require the Bishops, by all proper Ways and Means, to inform themselves what Advowsons, or Rights of Presentation, or Donation of Churches, Benefices, or Schools, are in the Disposition of any Papists, or reputed Papists, or of any in Trust for them; and to return what they shall find, particularly and distinctly, to the Archbishops, to the Intent the same may be represented to Your Majesty.
"And lastly, we most humbly desire Your Majesty, that You will be graciously pleased to cause the several Accounts of all these Inquiries to be laid before this House, at the next Session of Parliament."
The Lord Herbert reported from the Lords Committees, the Bill, intituled, "An Act to enable Trustees to sell several Houses and Lands, in and near Portsmouth, late the Estate of Elizabeth Hicks, for Payment of a Debt, and Interest charged thereupon; and for laying out the Residue of the Money in other Lands, to be settled to the same Uses," as fit to pass, without any Amendment.
Hodie 3a vice lecta est Billa, intituled, "An Act to enable Trustees to sell several Houses and Lands, in and near Portsmouth, late the Estate of Elizabeth Hicks, for Payment of a Debt, and Interest charged thereupon; and for laying out the Residue of the Money in other Lands, to be settled to the same Uses."