Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 19, 1709-1714. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.
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DIE Jovis, 18 Februarii.
Domini tam Spirituales quam Temporales præsentes fuerunt:
The House was adjourned during Pleasure.
The House was resumed.
Lords take the Oaths.
The Lords following took the Oaths, and made and subscribed the Declaration, and also took and subscribed the Oath of Abjuration, pursuant to the Statutes:
William Earl of Dartmouth, Lord Privy Seal.
Robert Earl Ferrers.
Nathaniel Lord Bishop of Durham.
John Lord Bishop of Litchfield & Coventry.
John Lord Bishop of Landaff.
Thomas Lord Bishop of Chichester.
Charles Lord Bruce.
Henry Lord Herbert.
Charles Lord Halifax.
George Lord Lansdowne.
Then Five of the Lords Commissioners (in their Robes) being seated on a Form placed between the Throne and the Woolsack; the Lord Chancellor in the Middle; with the Lord Treasurer and Lord Steward on his Right Hand; and the Lord Privy Seal and Earl of Mar on his Left; commanded the Deputy Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod to go to the House of Commons, and desire their Attendance in the House of Peers.
Who being come;
Sir Thomas Hanmer said:
Sir T. Hanmer, Speaker of H. C. presented, and approved of.
"The Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses, of Great Britain, assembled in Parliament by virtue of Her Majesty's Writ, and directed by Her Royal Command to proceed to the Choice of a Speaker, have cast their First hasty Nomination upon One of the most unworthy of their Number; commanding me to present myself to Her Majesty, as the Person they have hitherto thought of calling to that Service.
"It is an Honour and a Duty which no good Subject ought to decline, who could hope so to acquit himself in that Station as to be instrumental to the public Service, and to the great Ends of Her Majesty's Government: But the Trust is so important, and the Task so difficult, that none should presume to undertake it without Abilities sufficient for the due Discharge of it.
"The many Imperfections I am conscious of in Myself, make me justly apprehend the great Prejudice which the Business of Parliament would receive from my weak Performances, in a Station upon which the good Dispatch of it does very much depend. And therefore, from this unadvised Step of the House of Commons (which I hope is the only One they will be guilty of), I must make my humble Appeal to the Throne, the last Resort of Justice, where the Errors of all inferior Judgements are reversed; and I desire, with all Duty, to offer my Petition to Her Majesty, that, for Her own Service and Satisfaction, for the better Success of those arduous and urgent Affairs which have induced Her to call this Parliament, and for the Honour of the House of Commons, She will be pleased to order them to re-consider this their Resolution; and to come again, prepared to present some other Person to Her Majesty, more worthy of their Choice, and of Her Royal Acceptance and Approbation."
Then the Lord Chancellor said:
"Sir Thomas Hanmer,
"The Queen could expect no less, from an House of Commons composed of so many dutiful and affectionate Subjects, whose Interest in their Country is an unquestionable Pledge of their true Concern for it, than the Choice of a Person for their Speaker equally qualified for that important Trust, by a just Regard for Her Prerogative, and an hearty Zeal for the Welfare of Her People: She commands us, Sir, to tell you, that, on both these Accounts, their Choice of you to be their Speaker is acceptable to Her; and therefore that She approves and confirms it."
Then Mr. Speaker said,
"Whatever other Failings belong to me, there shall be no Defect in my Obedience to Her Majesty: And since She is graciously pleased to think me worthy of these Commands, it is my Duty to endeavour to make myself as little unworthy of them as I can.
"The Sincerity of my Intention, and my Zeal for Her Majesty's and the Public Service, will be sure to guard me from all wilful Errors; and as I rely upon Her Majesty's great Goodness for the pardoning my involuntary Mistakes, so I will comfort myself yet farther with this Hope, that the Wants and Impersections of One of the meanest of Her Subjects can never be of Moment enough to interrupt the signal Prosperity of Her Reign, or do any considerable Prejudice to the Public Affairs, whilst Her great Wisdom presides and watches over them.
"Under these Encouragements, I will, with all Diligence, and according to the best of my Abilities, apply myself to the Discharge of this great Trust; and I shall account myself happy, if, in so public a Post, I may be able to give any more open and apparent Proofs of that Loyalty and Fidelity to Her Majesty's Person and Government, and that Love and Value for the Constitution and Liberties of this Kingdom, which, in my private Station, as a Subject and an Englishman, I have always proposed to myself as the Rule of my Actions.
"In Pursuance therefore of my Duty, and as the First Act of that Trust which I am commanded to undertake, I beg Leave, by Way of humble Petition to Her Majesty, in the Name of the Commons of Great Britain, to lay Claim to all their ancient and accustomed Rights, Privileges, and Immunities; particularly,
"That, for the better Attendance upon the public Service, they and their necessary Servants may be free, in their Persons and Estates, from all Arrests, Suits, and Molestations.
"That they may be allowed Freedom of Speech in their Debates.
"That, upon all Occurrences of Moment, and at Times convenient to Her Majesty, She will be pleased to vouchsafe them Access to Her Royal Person.
"And that all their Proceedings may be free from Misconstruction, and receive the most favourable Interpretation."
Then the Lord Chancellor said,
"We are commanded by Her Majesty, to assure you of Her Support in the Discharge of your Duty; and to let you know, that Her Majesty is graciously pleased to grant to the House of Commons all the Privileges you ask in their Name, as fully as they have been at any Time granted by Her Majesty, or any of Her Royal Predecessors."
Then the Commons withdrew.
And the House adjourned during Pleasure, to unrobe.
The House was resumed.
Dominus Cancellarius declaravit præsens Parliamentum continuandum esse usque ad et in diem Martis, vicesimum tertium diem instantis Februarii, hora undecima Auroræ, Dominis sic decernentibus.