Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 20, 1714-1717. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.
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DIE Sabbati, 14 Aprilis.
Domini tam Spirituales quam Temporales præsentes fuerunt:
Georgius Princeps Walliœ.
Examination about Popping's printing the Trial of the E. of Winton:
The House being informed, "That S. Popping is taken into Custody, by the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, pursuant to the Order of this House, for printing and publishing a Paper, intituled, "An Account of the Earl of Winton's Trial;" but is so ill, that she is not in a Condition to be brought to the Bar; and that a Person is attending at the Door, who can give an Account concerning the printing the said Paper:"
Whereupon Elizabeth Cape was called in; and examined, upon Oath, at the Bar, touching the said printed Paper.
And being withdrawn;
The following Order was made:
Pemberton and Curl to be attached about it.
Ordered, That the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod attending this House, his Deputy or Deputies, do forthwith attach the Bodies of John Pemberton and Edmund Curl, Booksellers in Fleet-Street, for being concerned in printing and publishing the said Paper, in Breach of a Standing Order of this House, and keep them in safe Custody until further Order; and this shall be a sufficient Warrant in that Behalf.
To Sir William Oldes, Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod attending this House, his Deputy or Deputies, and every of them."
Prince of Wales taking the Oaths as Chancellor of Dublin, Bill.
Hodie 2a vice lecta est Billa, intituled, "An Act to enable his Royal Highness George Prince of Wales to qualify himself in Great Britain for the legal Enjoyment of the Office of Chancellor of the University of Dublin, in the Kingdom of Ireland."
Ordered, That the said Bill be committed to the Consideration of the Lords following; (videlicet,)
Their Lordships, or any Five of them; to meet on Monday next, at Ten a Clock in the Forenoon, in the Prince's Lodgings near the House of Peers; and to adjourn as they please.
Cochineal Bill, Merchants to be heard.
Ordered, That such Merchants and Clothiers as shall think themselves concerned in the Bill, intituled, "An Act for the free Importation of Cochineal, during the Time therein limited," may be heard, before the Committee of the whole House to whom the said Bill stands committed.
L. Fitzwalter's Privilege:
Complaint being made to the House, and Oath made at the Bar, "That George Davis, menial Servant to the Lord Fitzwalter, was this Morning arrested, by Robert Nash a Bailiff, living at The Guy of Warwick, in Witch-Street, in Breach of the Privilege of this House:"
Nash to be attached, for arresting Davis, his Servant:
It is Ordered, That the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod attending this House, his Deputy or Deputies, do forthwith attach the Body of the said Robert Nash, and bring him in safe Custody to the Bar of this House, to answer for his Offence; and this shall be a sufficient Warrant on that Behalf.
To Sir William Oldes, Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod attending this House, his Deputy or Deputies, and every of them.
Plaintiff and Attorney to attend:
Ordered, That Gilbert Lacy Plaintiff in the said Arrest, and John Boughton the Attorney, do attend this House on Monday next, to answer the said Complaint.
Davis, the Servant, discharged.
Ordered, That the said George Davis be forthwith discharged from the Restraint he now lies under; and this shall be a sufficient Warrant on that Behalf.
Septennial Parliaments, Bill:
Hodie 2a vice lecta est Billa, intituled, "An Act for enlarging the Time of Continuance of Parliaments, appointed by an Act made in the Sixth Year of the Reign of King William and Queen Mary, intituled, An Act for the frequent meeting and calling of Parliaments."
Then it was proposed, "To commit the Bill."
And after long Debate thereupon; and the Question being called for:
Strangers in the House to be taken into Custody.
Notice was taken, "That several Persons were in the House, who had no Right to be there."
They were therefore directed immediately to withdraw.
Which some of them refusing or neglecting to do:
Ordered, That the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod attending this House do forthwith take into Custody all such Persons as are now in the House, who have no Right to be there.
Septennial Parliaments, Bill committed:
Then the Question was put, "Whether the said Bill shall be committed?"
It was Resolved in the Affirmative.
Protest against it.
"1. Because we conceive that frequent and new Parliaments are required by the fundamental Constitution of the Kingdom; and the Practice thereof for many Ages (which manifestly appears by our Records) is a sufficient Evidence and Proof of this Constitution.
2. Because it is agreed, that the House of Commons must be chosen by the People; and, when so chosen, they are truly the Representatives of the People: Which they cannot be so properly said to be, when continued for a longer Time than that for which they were chosen; for after that Time they are chosen by the Parliament, and not the People; who are thereby deprived of the only Remedy which they have against those who either do not understand, or through Corruption do wilfully betray, the Trust reposed in them; which Remedy is, to choose better Men in their Places.
"3. Because the Reasons given for this Bill, we conceive, were not sufficient to induce us to pass it, in Subversion of so essential a Part of our Constitution.
"1. For as to the Argument, "That this will encourage the Princes and States of Europe to enter into Alliances with us;" we have not heard any one Minister assert, "That any one Prince or State has asked, or so much as insinuated, that they wished such an Alteration."
"Nor is it reasonable to imagine it; for it cannot be expected that any Prince or State can rely upon a People to defend their Liberties and Interests, who shall be thought to have given up so great a Part of their own; nor can it be prudent for them to wish such an Experiment to be made, after the Experience that Europe has had of the great Things this Nation has done for them under the Constitution which is now to be altered by this Bill.
"But, on the other Hand, they may be deterred from entering into Measures with us, when they shall be informed, by the Preamble of this Bill, "That the Popish Faction is so dangerous, as that it may be destructive to the Peace and Security of the Government;" and may apprehend, from this Bill, that the Government is so weak, as to want so extraordinary a Provision for its Safety; which seems to imply that the Gentlemen of Britain are not to be trusted or relied upon, and that the good Affections of the People are restrained to so small a Number as that of which the present House of Commons consists.
"2. We conceive, this Bill is so far from preventing Expences and Corruptions, that it will rather increase them; for the longer a Parliament is to last, the more valuable to be purchased is a Station in it; and the greater also is the Danger of corrupting the Members of it: For if ever there should be a Ministry who shall want a Parliament to skreen them from the just Resentment of the People, or from a Discovery of their ill Practices to the King, who can't otherwise, or so truly, be informed of them as by a free Parliament, it is so much the Interest of such a Ministry to influence the Elections (which, by their Authority, and the Disposal of the Public Money, they of all others have the best Means of doing), that, 'tis to be feared, they will be tempted and not fail to make Use of them; and even when the Members are chosen, they have greater Opportunity of inducing very many to comply with them, than they could have, if not only the Sessions of Parliament, but the Parliament itself, were reduced to the ancient and primitive Constitution and Practice of frequent and new Parliaments; for, as a good Ministry will neither practise nor need Corruption, so it cannot be any Lord's Intention to provide for the Security of a bad one.
"4. We conceive that, whatever Reasons may induce the Lords to pass this Bill to continue this Parliament for Seven Years, will be at least as strong, and may by the Conduct of the Ministry be made much stronger before the End of Seven Years, for continuing it still longer; and even to perpetuate it, which would be an express and absolute Subversion of the Third Estate of the Realm.
"Fran. Cestriens. Mansel. Gower.
"Fr. Roffen. Weston.
"Willoughby De Broke."
Septennial Parliaments, Bill.
Ordered, That the Bill, intituled, "An Act for enlarging the Time of Continuance of Parliaments appointed by an Act made in the Sixth Year of the Reign of King William and Queen Mary, intituled, An Act for the frequent meeting and calling of Parliaments," be committed to a Committee of the whole House; and that the House be put into a Committee thereupon on Monday next; and all the Lords to be summoned to attend the Service of this House upon that Occasion.
Dominus Cancellarius declaravit præsens Parliamentum continuandum esse usque ad et in diem Lunæ, decimum sextum diem instantis Aprilis, hora undecima Auroræ, Dominis sic decernentibus.