Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 18, 1705-1709. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
Die Lunæ, 18 Martii.
The Earl of Stamford reported from the Lords Committees, the Bill, intituled, "An Act for Sale of the Manor of Eastevening, and other Lands and Hereditaments, in Swineshead, in the County of Lincolne, late the Estate of Christopher Fairfax Gentleman, deceased, for Payment of Debts, and Benefit of his Children," as fit to pass, without any Amendment.
Hodie 3a vice lecta est Billa, intituled, "An Act for Sale of the Manor of Eastevening, and other Lands and Hereditaments, in Swineshead, in the County of Lincolne, late the Estate of Christopher Fairfax Gentleman, deceased, for Payment of Debts, and Benefit of his Children."
Queen's Answer to Address about Papists.
Address and Answer to be printed.
It is Ordered, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England do give Order, that the Address of this House of the Fourteenth Instant, presented to her Majesty, and Her Majesty's most Gracious Answer thereunto, shall be forthwith printed and published.
Address for the Purchase of Cotton house, to keep the Library in.
"We, the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, having appointed a Committee, to consider of the Methods of keeping Records and Public Papers in Offices, and how they are kept, and to consider of Ways to remedy what shall be found amiss: They reported to us, That they had taken into Consideration the State and Condition of the Cotton Library, which, by an Act passed in the Twelfth Year of the late King, is settled and vested in Trustees, for the Use of the Public; that they sent for some of the Trustees; and, upon Inquiry, they found that nothing had yet been done in Pursuance of the Act, to make the said Library useful to the Public; that there is no Way or Passage to it set out, as the Act did direct, so that no Persons can resort to it; that there is no Library-keeper appointed, to inspect and take Care of the Manuscripts; nor any Orders or Rules appointed, for the reading or using the same; and that the Public is wholly deprived of the Benefit and Advantage that was designed by the Act.
"The Committee, thinking it did deserve their utmost Care, that this Library should not continue in this useless State, went themselves to view the Room where it is kept, and to see what convenient Way might be set out for a Passage to it. The Place wherein the Library is contained is a narrow little Room, damp, and improper for preserving the Books and Papers; there is only One Window at each End, and the Arch over One of them in a ruinous Condition, and ready to fall, as is also the Arch upon which the Room is built; that there can be no Passage to it but through the best Rooms of the House, which would be very inconvenient, and make the House wholly useless to the Family. This being the Situation of Things in respect to this Library, the Committee found, that either it would be impossible for the Public to have any convenient Use of it, or it must become so manifestly prejudicial to the Family of the Benefactor; and therefore they proposed to some of the Relations, to set a moderate Price upon the House and Garden (which are adjoining to the Two Houses of Parliament, and might be of great Use to the Public upon many accounts, as well as for a Repository of the said Library), in order that the same might be again vested in the Crown.
"Accordingly, a Proposal was made, in Writing, by Sir John Cotton, which we take Leave to annex to this Address; which Proposal the Committee delivered to Your Majesty's Surveyor General of the Lands, and to the Surveyor General of the Buildings; who, having viewed the Premises, made their Report, in Writing, to the Committee, which is also annexed to this Address.
'The Committee afterwards spoke with Sir John Cotton and others of the Family, in hopes to bring this Matter to some good Conclusion, for the Public Service; and, upon discoursing with them, Sir John offered a Second Proposal to the Committee, which is likewise annexed to this Address.
"The House having approved of the Proceedings of the Committee; we, the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, do humbly lay this whole Matter before Your Majesty; being very desirous that so great a Treasure of Books and Manuscripts, so generously given for the Public Service, might not remain any longer useless, and in Danger of perishing for Want of due Care. And we can have no other Resort but to Your Majesty's Goodness upon this Occasion.
"We are not without Hopes, that Your Majesty may be induced to order this Purchase to be made, when we consider that it will be to the Honour of Your Majesty's Reign, to have given thereby to Your own Subjects, and to all Learned Strangers, the real Use of this most valuable Collection; and that the Ground may also be hereafter greatly improved, for the Use and Convenience of both Houses of Parliament, who sit so very near this Place.
"We are sensible, that the last Proposal of Sir John Cotton is higher than Your Majesty's Surveyors judge reasonable: But we humbly hope that this will not divert Your Majesty from any Gracious Purpose You may have to hearken to this our humble Address; not only upon the Account of what we have before mentioned, but because the whole Advantage of the Price will come to the Family, who have given this great Treasure of Books to the Use of the Public."
It is Ordered, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the Lord High Treasurer of England do attend Her Majesty, with the Address of this House, agreed to this Day, relating to the Cottonian Library.
Address concerning The Bahama Islands.
"We, Your Majesty's most loyal and dutiful Subjects, the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, having received a Petition and Memorial from John Graves, the Collector of Your Majesty's Customs in The Bahama Islands, in Behalf of himself and other Your Majesty's distressed Subjects in the said Islands; and having appointed a Committee, to hear him, and others, who have lately been Inhabitants in the Isle of Providence, and have traded thither; they have reported to us, That they do find, that the French and Spaniards have Twice in this War over-run and plundered the same; and that the Governor hath deserted the Place; and that there is no Form of Government remaining amongst them. They find likewise, that the Situation of those Islands is very convenient for protecting and securing our own Ships, and annoying those of the Enemy; and that the Harbour in the Island of New Providence may easily be put in a Posture of Defence; and that it would be of dangerous Consequence, if it should fall into the Hands of the Enemy; and that the same has been wholly neglected by the Proprietors for some Time.
"We humbly beseech Your Majesty, That, as well in Compassion to Your Majesty's distressed Subjects in those Parts, as for the Security of the Trade in general, You will be pleased to use such Methods as Your Majesty shall think fit, for taking the said Islands into Your Hands, in order to secure the same to the Crown of England, and to the Safety and Advantage of the Trade of Your Subjects."
It is Ordered, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the Lords with White Staves do humbly attend Her Majesty, with the Address of this House, agreed to this Day, relating to The Bahama Islands.
Militia Bill, Lords do not insist upon their Amendment to it:
The House proceeded to take into Consideration the Amendment made by their Lordships to the Bill, intituled, "An Act for raising the Militia for the Year One Thousand Seven Hundred and Six, notwithstanding the Month's Pay formerly advanced be not re-paid; and for an Accompt to be made of Trophymonies."
Message to H. C. to acquaint them with it.
Message from thence, with a Bill.
Who brought up a Bill, intituled, "An Act for the Encouragement and Increase of Seamen; and for the better and speedier manning Her Majesty's Fleet;" to which they desire the Concurrence of this House.
Seamen, for Encouragement and Increase of, Bill:
Admirals and Commissioners Navy to attend.
Ordered, That the said Bill be read a Second Time, To-morrow; and that some of the Admirals of the Fleet and some of the Commissioners of the Navy do attend this House To-morrow, at Eleven a Clock; and that all the Lords be summoned.