Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 22, 1722-1726. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.
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May 1725, 21-31
DIE Veneris, 21o Maii.
E. Macclesfield's Trial further proceeded in.
Whereupon Sir Thomas Pengelly spoke largely, by Way of Reply to the Defence made by the Earl of Macclesfield to Seven of the Articles upon which the Managers proceeded; videlicet, the Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Eleventh, and Twelfth Articles.
And then the Managers produced Robert Lucas; who, being sworn, was examined, "Whether any, and what, Application was made by him, or at his Instance, to the Earl of Macclesfield, in relation to the procuring a Master's Place, upon the Death of Mr. Fellows, or on any other Vacancy?"
Also Richard Lucas was sworn, and examined touching what Request was made to him by the said Robert Lucas his Brother, or Directions given him to apply to the said Earl, in relation to the procuring a Master's Place.
After which, Mr. John Bennet was examined, in relation to a Second Letter mentioned by Mr. Cottingham to have been written by him, in November 1721, requiring the Masters to bring in Accounts of Matters in their respective Offices; and declared, "He never heard of such Letter till mentioned at the Bar."
They produced Mr. Nicholas Paxton; who delivered in, at the Bar, a Copy of an Act of Parliament of the 11th of Hen. IVth, out of the Parliament Roll at The Tower, against taking Money for Offices, the same not being contained in the printed Book; and attested, "The said Copy was true, he having examined it with the Orignal."
And Edward Holmes, Deputy to Mr. Topham Keeper of the Records at The Tower, attending with the original Roll, was sworn, and examined as to what Difference there was between the Parliament Roll and the Statute Roll.
Proceedings on the Trial adjourned.
Petrus King Miles, Capitalis Justiciar. Commun. Placitor. declaravit præsens Parliamentum continuandum esse usque ad et in diem Sabbati, vicesimum secundum diem instantis Maii, hora undecima Auroræ, Dominis sic decernentibus.
DIE Sabbati, 22o Maii.
Frauds in the Revenues, to prevent, Bill:
Hodie 3a vice lecta est Billa, intituled, "An Act for more effectual preventing Frauds and Abuses in the Public Revenues; for preventing Frauds in the Salt Duties; and for giving Relief for Salt used in the curing of Salmon and Codfish, in the Year One Thousand Seven Hundred and Nineteen, exported from that Part of Great Britain called Scotland; for enabling the Insurance Companies to plead the General Issue in Actions brought against them; and for securing the Stamp Duties upon Policies of Insurance."
Message to H. C. that the Lordshave agreed to it.
Report of the Committee concerning Records in disorder:
The Lord Delawarr reported from the Lords Committees appointed to view The Parliament Office, and the King's House adjoining; and who were instructed to inspect certain Records now lying in a Room or Rooms adjoining to this House in great Disorder, and report what they shall find proper on this Occasion: "That the Committee have accordingly inspected the said Records, now lying in certain Rooms near adjoining to this House; and think proper to inform your Lordships, that the same seem to be valuable; but are in great Disorder, and in Danger of being destroyed if not speedily removed and preserved: Wherefore the Committee offer it to your Lordships, as their Opinion, That the said Records may be ordered to be delivered to Mr. Lawton, a Person lately employed to sort and digest the Records in The Chapter House adjoining to Westminster Abby and elsewhere, in order that the same may be there placed, and kept in a proper Manner: And in regard the said Chapter House appears to be a very proper and convenient Place wherein the said Records may be deposited, and is capable of being put into a sitting Condition at a small Expence; the Committee are also of Opinion, That an Application may be made to His Majesty, to cause the Officers of His Works to prepare such Conveniencies in the said Chapter House, for the Reception of the said Records, as His Majesty in His great Wisdom shall think fit."
Order to deliver them to Mr. Lawton:
"Ordered, That the said Records be by the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod (in whose Custody the same at present are) delivered to Mr. Lawton, mentioned in the said Report, for the Purposes therein expressed."
Address for Alterations to be made in The Chapterhouse, for Conveniency of receiving them.
"Ordered, That an humble Address be presented to His Majesty, That He will be graciously pleased to give Direction to the Officers of His Majesty's Works, to prepare such Conveniencies in the said Chapter House, for the Reception of the said Records, as His Majesty in His great Wisdom shall think fit."
Henry St. John late Visc. Bolingbroke's Bill:
The House (according to Order) was adjourned during Pleasure, and put into a Committee upon the Bill, intituled, "An Act for enabling Henry St. John late Viscount Bolingbroke, and the Heirs Male of his Body, notwithstanding his Attainder, to take and enjoy several Manors, Lands, and Hereditaments, in the Counties of Wilts, Surrey, and Middlesex, according to such Estates and Interests as to him or them are limited thereof by the Quinquepartite Indenture and other Assurances therein mentioned; and for limiting the same; in Default of Issue Male of the Body of the said late Viscount Bolingbroke, to the other Sons of Henry Viscount St. John successively in Tail Male; and for other Purposes therein expressed."
Protest against going again into a Committee upon it at the Time fixed for proceeding in the E. of Macclesfield's Trial:
"1st, Because we apprehend it to be inconsistent with the Honour and Dignity which in all Cases should be observed, in the Proceedings of this House, to make a Resolution, especially upon Debate, to put the House into a Committee on this Bill at the same Instant or Moment of Time, which, by an Order of the Twenty-first Instant, it was resolved, That the House would further proceed on the Impeachment of the Earl of Macclesfield; and it does not appear to us, that any Precedent is to be found on the Journals of this House, to warrant this Resolution in that respect.
"2dly, We conceive, that this Resolution may draw on a Debate or Doubt in the House, touching the Preference to be given by the House to the further Progress on this Bill, or to the further proceeding on the said Impeachment; which Debate, if any such should happen, we think may be attended with ill Consequences; the Matter of the said Impeachment, so pressing and necessary in our Opinions to the Public Justice of the Nation, being compared with this Bill, which contains, as we think, extraordinary and undeserved Bounty and Reward to a Person impeached by the Commons, and as yet attainted for Treasons, which tended to the Overthrow of the Protestant Succession to the Crown of these Realms, and to the placing the Pretender on the Throne.
Copy of the Pardon to be sent to the Judges.
Petrus King Miles, Capitalis Justiciar. Commun. Placitor. declaravit præsens Parliamentum continuandum esse usque ad et in diem Lunæ, vicesimum quartum diem instantis Maii, hora decima Auroræ, Dominis sic decernentibus.
DIE Lunæ, 24o Maii.
Orders of the Day.
Henry St. John Lord Viscount Bolingbroke's Bill.
Then, the House (according to Order) was adjourned during Pleasure, and put into a Committee again on the Bill, intituled, "An Act for enabling Henry St. John late Viscount Bolingbroke, and the Heirs Male of his Body, notwithstanding his Attainder, to take and enjoy several Manors, Lands, and Hereditaments, in the Counties of Wilts, Surrey, and Middlesex, according to such Estates and Interests as to him or them are limited thereof by the Quinquepartite Indenture and other Assurances therein mentioned; and for limiting the same, in Default of Issue Male of the Body of the said late Viscount Bolingbroke, to the other Sons of Henry Viscount St. John successively in Tail Male; and for other Purposes therein expressed."
Protest against it:
"1. Because, the Purport and Intention of this Bill is, to repeal several Acts of Parliament passed since His Majesty's Accession, whereby all the Estate and Interest of the late Lord Bolingbroke, in the Lands mentioned in this Bill, being forfeited to the Crown for High Treason, were vested in Trustees, and still remain appropriated to the Use and Benefit of the Public; the Value of which Lands amount, as we believe, to several Thousand Pounds per Annum. We therefore think it unjust to all the Subjects of this Kingdom, who have borne many heavy Taxes, occasioned, as we believe, in great Measure, by the Treasons committed, and the Rebellion which was encouraged by this Person, to take from the Public the Benefit of his Forfeiture.
"2dly, It appears from the Articles of Impeachment exhibited by the Commons against the late Lord Bolingbroke, whereon he now stands attainted by Act of Parliament, that he stood charged with the Commission of several Treasons of the most flagrant and dangerous Nature, committed by him whilst he was Secretary of State to Her late Majesty Queen Anne, for traiterously betraying Her most Secret Counsels to the French King, then at War and in Enmity with Her Majesty; and with other Treasons, tending to destroy the Balance of Europe, and to raise the then exorbitant Power of the French King, who, not long before, had publicly acknowledged the Pretender to be the lawful and rightful King of these Realms.
"3dly, The Treasons wherewith he was charged, we conceive, were fully confessed by his Flight from the Justice of Parliament: But his Guilt was afterward, as we think, indisputably demonstrated, by the new Treasons he openly and avowedly committed against His present Majesty; it being notorious, and it having been declared to the House on the Debate of this Bill, that he did, soon after his Flight, enter publicly into the Counsels and Service of the Pretender, who was then fomenting and carrying on a Rebellion within these Kingdoms, for the dethroning His Majesty; into which Rebellion many of His Majesty's Subjects, as well Peers as Commoners, were drawn, as we believe, by the Example or Influence of the late Lord Bolingbroke; and for which Treasons many Peers and Commoners have been since attainted, and some of them executed, and their Estates, both Real and Personal, became forfeited by their Attainders, and as yet continue under those Forfeitures.
"4thly, We have not been informed of any particular public Services which this Person hath performed to His Majesty or this Nation, since his Commission of the many high and dangerous Treasons beforementioned; and in case he has done any, they must be of such a Nature as ought, in our Opinions, to be rewarded in another Manner than is provided by this Bill; and for which, we think, the Crown is otherwise sufficiently enabled: And the Sincerity of his having quitted the Interest of the Pretender may, in our Opinions, be justly suspected; he never having, as appears to us, throughout the Progress of this Bill in both Houses, once signified his Sorrow for the Treasons he had committed; and if he had really abandoned that Interest, his private Intelligences, or Services, with regard to the Interest or Counsels of the Pretender, cannot reasonably be supposed, in our Opinions, to be of great Value.
"5thly, We think that no Assurances which this Person hath given, nor any Services he can have performed, since his Commission of the Treasons aforesaid, or any further Obligations he can enter into, can be a sufficient Security to His Majesty, or the Kingdom, against his future Insincerity which may happen, he having already so often violated the most solemn Assurances and Obligations; and, in Defiance of them, having openly attempted the dethroning His Majesty, and the Destruction of the Liberties of his Country.
"6thly, We think the Services he may have performed, if any, ought not to be rewarded either in the Degree or in the Manner provided by this Bill; it having been found by Experience, in Cases of like Nature, that the strongest Assurances have afterwards proved deceitful; for which Reason, we conceive it to be unwise and dangerous, to give such Rewards as cannot be recalled though the Assurances should be broke; and we believe it to be the known Policy and universal Practice of wise Governments, to keep the Persons (claiming Merit from such Services as the late Lord Bolingbroke can possibly have performed since the Commission of his Treasons) dependent on the Government for the Continuance of those Rewards.
"7thly, The Pardon of the late Lord Bolingbroke, under the Great Seal, having been communicated to the House, and under Consideration on the Debate of this Bill; we think that this Bill ought not to pass, because it may hereafter be construed in some Degree to confirm or countenance that Pardon; and we are of Opinion, that that Pardon, though it may be legal as to the Treasons committed by him since his Attainder, yet, so far as it may be construed (if that should be) to pardon or affect the Act of Attainder of the late Lord Bolingbroke, or the Impeachment of the Commons, on which that Act is founded, it is a most dangerous Violation of the ancient Rights and Freedom of the Kingdom, and will defeat the whole Use and Effect of Impeachments by the Commons, which is, as we think, the chief Institution arising even from the Constitution itself, for the Preservation of the Government, and for the attaining Parliamentary Justice; and tends, as we conceive, to render the Rights and Judicature of this House, on Impeachments and Bills of Attainder, vain and useless; all which ancient Rights of both Houses, and of the Subjects of this Nation, were saved to them by the Revolution, and were intended, as we conceive, to have been for ever preserved to them in their full Extent, by the Act passed in the Reign of the late King William of Ever-glorious Memory, by which the Crown of these Realms is limited and settled on His present Majesty and His Issue; and in which Act it stands declared, "That no Pardon under the Great Seal shall be pleadable to an Impeachment of the Commons."
"8thly, We are of Opinion, that the Power of dispensing Mercy is an ancient, inherent Right of the Crown of these Realms; and the Exercise of it of great Benefit to the People, when tis wisely and properly applied: But it being incumbent on us, in the Vote we give for or against passing this Bill, to judge between the late Lord Bolingbroke, and to consider the Right and Title he appears to us to have to the Benefits of this Bill; and the Concern, which, on the other Side, the Honour, Interest, and Safety of the King and His Royal Family, and the whole Kingdom, have, in our Opinion, from the Consequences of it; we think we cannot be justified in our own Thoughts with regard to the latter, or to our Posterity, if we should consent that this Bill should pass.
Message to H. C. that the Lords have agreed to the Bill.
Impeachment against Earl Macclesfield:
Resolution that the Commons have made good their Charge against him.
Message to H. C. that the Lords will proceed further on the Judgement.
House to be called.
Petrus King Miles, Capitalis Justiciar. Commun. Placitor. declaravit præsens Parliamentum continuandum esse usque ad et in diem Martis, vecesimum quintum diem instantis Maii, hora duodecima, Dominis sic decernentibus.
DIE Martis, 25o Maii.
King's Answer about Chapter House.
The Lord Chamberlain acquainted the House, "That the Lords with White Staves (according to Order) had attended His Majesty, with the Address of this House of Saturday last, That His Majesty will be graciously pleased to give Directions to the Officers of His Majesty's Works, to prepare Conveniencies for the Reception of Records in The Chapter House adjoining to Westm'r Abbey;" and that His Majesty was pleased to say, "He would give Directions accordingly."
Call of the House.
E. Macclesfield's Impeachment further considered:
The Earl unanimously found Guilty.
The Duke of Devonshire, Lord President, signified to the House, "That last Night he received a Letter from the Earl of Macclesfield, mentioning that he was ill of the Stone:" And his Grace also acquainted their Lordships, "He was this Day informed, by One of the said Earl's Solicitors, that his Lordship still continued ill."
Message to H. C. that the Lords will proceed further on the Impeachment:
The Earl to attend, at the Bar.
Ordered, That the said Earl do attend, at the Bar of this House, To-morrow, at Ten a Clock in the Forenoon; and that the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, and the Serjeant at Arms attending this House, do serve him with the said Order; and that the said Serjeant do take his Mace with him, to shew it his Lordship at the said Summons.
Petrus King Miles, Capitalis Justiciar. Commun. Placitor. declaravit præsens Parliamentum continuandum esse usque ad et in diem Mercurii, vicesimum sextum diem instantis Maii, hora decima Auroræ, Dominis sic decernentibus.
DIE Mercurii, 26o Maii.
Black Rod's Account of summoning E. Macclesfield:
The Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod gave the House an Account, "That he and the Serjeant at Arms had served their Lordships Order on the Earl of Macclesfield, for his Attendance this Day; and that his Lordship was attending, pursuant thereunto."
E. Macclesfield's Impeachment proceeded in:
The Earl at the Bar:
The Speaker acquainted him, "That the Lords had fully considered of his Case; and had unanimously found him Guilty of High Crimes and Misdemeanors charged upon him by the Impeachment of the House of Commons."
Whereupon the said Earl mentioned some Circumstances in Mitigation of the Crimes of which he had been accused: But was interrupted by the Managers for the Commons, as being irregular; his Lordship, in what he said, not offering any Thing in Arrest of Judgement.
Then the said Earl acquainted the House with the Uneasiness he was at present under, in regard of his Illness; and, submitting himself to their Lordships Justice and Mercy, begged to be dismissed any further Attendance at this Time.
Ordered, That the Conveniencies prepared for the Managers for the Commons, for their better Accommodation in prosecuting their Impeachment, be forthwith taken away; and that the Lord Great Chamberlain be desired to cause the same to be done accordingly.
Committed to the Black Rod:
Debate about the Judgement against him.
Protests against not incapacitating him from holding any Office.
"1. Because it is certain, that the Honour and Dignity of the Crown, the Security of our Religious and Civil Rights, and the Preservation of our most excellent Constitution in Church and State, entirely depend upon the Probity, Integrity, and Ability, of those Persons whom His Majesty shall call to His Counsels, and who shall be employed in any Office, Place, or Employment, in the State or Commonwealth.
"2dly, Because, we conceive, a Person impeached by the House of Commons of Corruption of the deepest Dye, and who, after a full and legal Trial, was by this House unanimously sound Guilty of high Crimes and Misdemeanors, charged on him by the House of Commons, which high Crimes and Misdemeanors were committed by him in the Execution of his high Station as Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, ought not to be exempted from this Part of the Sentence, which has always been thought proper to be inflicted by our Ancestors, both in regard to the Safety of the Government, and the Justice of this House, on Persons convicted of Crimes of the like Nature; and we do not find One Instance on the Journals of Parliament, where this Penalty has been omitted.
"3dly, We apprehend, that His Majesty having removed the Earl of Macclesfield from the Trust reposed in him by the Custody of the Great Seal, and having earnestly recommended to the Lords Commissioners appointed to succeed him the taking effectual Care that entire Satisfaction be made to the Suitors of the Court, and that such Suitors be not exposed to any Dangers for the future, and fully expressed His gracious Disposition that the said Lords Commissioners should look narrowly into the Behaviour of all the Officers under their Jurisdiction, and should see that such Officers act with the strictest Regard to Justice, and to the Ease of His Subjects (which is a plain Indication of His Majesty's just Resentment of the Earl's ill Conduct during his presiding in the Court of Chancery): And having, in great Tenderness to the injured Nation, recommended the Protection of the unhappy Sufferers to the Justice of Parliament; we thought it incumbent upon us, on this great Occasion, when the Commons have so clearly made out their Charge against the impeached Earl, not to depart from the Methods of our Ancestors, in the framing of our Sentence with an unusual Tenderness against whom the whole Nation cries for Justice; but to pursue their glorious Steps upon the like Occasions, and to incapacitate the said Earl from having any Office, Place, or Employment, in the State or Commonwealth, as the most effectual Means to deter others from being guilty of the like Crimes for the future.
"1st, This House having resolved, "That the House of Commons have made good their Charge of high Crimes and Misdemeanors against the Earl impeached;" and, by a subsequent Resolution, having unan mously declared him guilty; we are of Opinion, that it is a necessary Consequence, in Law, Justice, Honour, and Conscience, that the Disabilities contained in the Question proposed should be a Part of his Punishment; they being such as, we think, the wholesome Laws and Statutes against which the Earl has offended do expressly ordain, for the Punishment of his Crimes; and such as the Nature, Circumstances, and Consequences, of his Guilt, do, in our Opinions, most justly deserve.
"2dly, The Articles of the House of Commons, whereof the Earl is, in our Opinion, declared Guilty, are, an Accusation of him for many repeated Acts of Bribery, Extortion, Perjury, and Oppression, committed by Colour of his Office of Lord High Chancellor, and of many Endeavours to have concealed and suppressed the Discovery of them, even from the Knowledge of His Majesty: Those Crimes, therefore, being by the Laws of this Land, and, as we believe, by the Laws of all civilized Nations in the World, adjudged to be Crimes of an infamous Nature, we think the Incapacity, proposed by this Question, to be One natural and unavoidable Step to have been made by this House in the Judgement on those Crimes.
"3dly, The Earl, in his Answer to the Articles of the Commons, hath asserted, that the taking the many Sums by him from the Masters in Chancery (which Sums he there calls Presents) was never before looked upon to be criminal; and hopes, that the giving or receiving such a Present is not criminal in itself, or by the Common Law of this Realm; and that there is not any Act of Parliament whatsoever by which the same is made criminal, or subject to any Punishment or Judgement which can be prayed in this Prosecution. The Earl himself, and his Counsel on his Behalf, upon his Trial, attempted to justify his Extortions (then called Compliments); and endeavoured to maintain that they are conformable to the Laws of the Land: But we cannot reflect on this Behaviour of the Earl, otherwise than as the highest Dishonour thrown by him upon the Laws and Government of this Kingdom, and a most daring and groundless Endeavour to disparage the Common Law of the Land, Magna Charta itself, the clear and express Injunctions of many Statutes, particularly those passed in the Reigns of Richard the Second, Henry the Fourth, and Edward the Sixth, in this Behalf, and of an Act passed this Session of Parliament for the Indemnification of the Masters in Chancery; against the plain Sense of all which Laws the Earl has, in our Opinions, knowingly and wilfully offended. And as this unparalleled Justificacation, attempted by the Earl, will be transmitted to all Posterity, we think it absolutely necessary that the Punishment proposed by this Question should have been inflicted, in Vindication of the Laws, and Government itself, against the Aspersion the Earl has thrown upon both, and to prevent any Imputation which may hereafter be cast on the Honour and Justice of this House, as having, on this Occasion, in any Degree seemed to favour or countenance such a Defence.
"4. The Earl has, in his Answer, asserted some of his Practices to have been long used by his Predecessors, and by others, being Chief Justices, Masters of the Rolls, and other Judges; and, on his Trial, offered Evidence to prove his Assertion in Four Instances only, Three of them in the Time of One, and the other in the Time of his immediate Predecessor: But though those Instances, as we think, were unattended with the many Aggravations of the Earl's Guilt in those respects; yet lest those Examples, together with that of the Earl, should hereafter be construed a Mitigation of his, or an Encouragement to the like Offence; we think the Punishment now proposed ought to have been inflicted, by which it would become the more exemplary; and the rather, because it appears to us highly probable, that the Imputation, as it is thrown by the Earl upon his Predecessors, is unjust; the Memory of many of those wife and excellent Persons never having been, as we believe, stained with any such Imputation till the Earl cast it on them; and some of his Predecessors having, in several Ages, fallen under the severe and strict Inquisition of Parliament, for Bribery and Corruption, without any Charge upon them for that criminal Practice.
"5tly, We are of Opinion, that this House, now exercising its Judicature as the Supreme Court in this Kingdom, upon an Accusation of the Commons, for Offences against the known Laws of the Land, has no legal Power or Authority to dispense with or omit those Punishments which are expressly ordained by positive Acts of Parliament; and it appears to us to be indisputable, that the Disabilities proposed by this Question are expressly ordained by the Statute made 11 H. IV, and in some Degree by the Statute 5 and 6 Edw'd the VI, against buying and selling Offices, for the very same Offences of which this House hath, as we conceive, declared (and of which we are fully satisfied in our Consciences) the Earl is Guilty: And the Punishment proposed in this Question hath been inflicted by this House, in the Cases of the Lord Bacon and Earl of Middlesex, for Corruptions, in our Opinions, much less heinous than the Crimes of the Earl impeached; and the Judgements given by this House on those Two Persons were founded, as we think, not only upon the Nature of the Crimes, but were directed and prescribed by the Acts of Parliament abovementioned, and still remain on the Records of this House unim peached, and their Authority never judicially questioned, to our Knowledge; but are often referred to, and approved, by the most learned Authors and Judges of the Laws of this Land: We were therefore of Opinion that it was not only wise, but even that the Law requires, that the Judgement upon the Earl impeached should be consonant, in this respect, to the Judgement of this House in those Two Instances, whereby the Law of the Land, in this Particular, stands declared, as we think, by the Authority of the Supreme Judicature of the Kingdom, and which no Power less than the Authority of an Act of Parliament, in our Opinions, can abrogate.
"6thly, It having appeared, on the Trial of the impeached Lord, that the most dangerous and destructive Corruptions have been committed by him, whilst in the highest Station, in the Administration of Public Justice, to the great Dishonour of the Crown, and the Detriment of great Numbers of the King's Subjects, and, in One Instance, whilst he (with others) was in the Exercise of the Regal Authority; we think it of the highest Consequence to the Honour and Support of His Majesty's Government, and the Satisfaction of the whole Kingdom, that the Earl should, by the Judgement of this House, have been incapacitated from ever having the Power or Opportunity of re-acting the like Corruptions, against which, as we conceive, there could be no Security, but by inflicting upon him the Disabilities proposed in this Question.
Protests against not incapacitating him from sitting in Parliament, or coming within the Verge of the Court.
"1. We can't agree to this Resolution, for the Reasons given in the last Protest: And further, we conceive that there was the greater Necessity for the Punishment proposed in this, from the Determination of the House on the former Question; from whence (and also from this Question having passed in the Negative) there remains, as we apprehend, no Punishment, but a Pecuniary one, to be inflicted on the impeached Earl, for his heinous and unexampled Misdemeanors; which Punishment we think (and we fear the whole Nation will judge) to be utterly unadequate to his Transgressions, and not consistent with the Resolutions already passed by this House upon the Earl, whereby he is rendered, in Judgement of Law, as we think, an infamous Person, and not capable of bearing Testimony as a Witness, much less fit to fit in this Supreme Court as a Judge, perhaps on Points of the highest Moment to the Kingdom, and over the Lives, Liberties, and Properties, of the Subjects, many of which he has, in our Opinions, already so notoriously injured.
"2dly, Because we find that the Punishment now proposed has been inflicted in the Two Instances of Lord Bacon and Earl of Middlesex; and the like in earlier Instances, particularly in the Case of Hubert De Burgo, created Earl of Kent, who was afterwards charged in Parliament for counseling the King to cancel Magna Charta, and for other Offences, and was degraded from his Dignity by the Judgement of his Peers: And we conceive, that the Condemnation which this House has already passed on this Earl is founded upon the most aggravated Guilt which has ever appeared in any Criminal, whose Offences were not capital; amongst which, his repeated Wholesales (as we conceive them to be) of the Justice of the Court of Chancery, in the corrupt Dispositions of the Offices of the Masters, were, as far as in him lay, so many Barters and Sales of Magna Charta itself, by which the Sale of Justice is prohibited.
"3dly, We conceive it to be utterly inconsistent with the Honour and Dignity of this House, to permit a Lord condemned, as we think, for the most dangerous Corruptions committed by him whilst he was a Judge, to continue afterwards in the Enjoyment of his Seat in this House, under no other Censure than of a Fine, and Imprisonment till that is paid; because, we fear, it may hereafter give too much Encouragement to the worst Corruptions, in the greatest Officers of the State; if, from the Example of this Earl, it should be hoped their Crimes may be ransomed by a small Part, perhaps, of their corrupt and extorsive Gains; by which Means the greatest Offenders of this Sort may think their Impunity the more secure, by so much the higher that they carry, and the more they succeed in, their corrupt Practices: We think also, that the Sum of Thirty Thousand Pounds, if that should be the Fine, does very little, if at all, exceed the gross Sums the Earl received (as we believe, in Bounties from His Majesty, over and above the due Profits of his Offices) and the other great Sums he has extorted, and still retains: We are therefore of Opinion, that the Infamy, which, we think, is due to the Crimes of which the Earl is condemned, should have been fixed upon him by the Disability proposed in this Question.
"1. For the First Reasons given on the foregoing Question; which, we apprehend, hold the stronger against his being permitted to sit in the highest Court of Judicature, since it may expose the Judgement of that House to Censure, when a Person guilty of such corrupt Practices shall be One of the Judges.
"2. We apprehend that a Person, whom His Majesty has in such a Manner removed from being a Judge of His Subjects Properties, cannot be thought fit to sit in this House, in such Case as may affect the Lives of every Peer of this House, and the Property of all the Subjects of Great Britain.
The Earl to be fined.
Petrus King Miles, Capitalis Justiciar. Commun. Placitor. declaravit præsens Parliamentum continuandum esse usque ad et in diem Jovis, vicesimum septimum diem instantis Maii, hora decima Auroræ, Dominis sic decernentibus.
DIE Jovis, 27o Maii.
Message to H. C. that the Lords are ready to give Judgement on E. Macclesfield:
Message from them, to clear the Passages.
To acquaint this House, "That the Commons, with their Speaker, do intend immediately to come to demand Judgement against Thomas Earl of Macclesfield; and do desire that the Painted Chamber and other Passages to this House may be cleared."
When the Lord Chief Justice, Speaker of this House, directed the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod to bring thither the Earl of Macclesfield; who, after low Obeisances made, kneeled until the said Lord Chief Justice acquainted him, "He might rise."
"The Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses, in Parliament assembled, in the Name of themselves and of all the Commons of Great Britain, did, at this Bar, impeach Thomas Earl of Macclesfield of high Crimes and Misdemeanors; and did exhibit Articles of Impeachment against him, and have made good their Charge:
"I do, therefore, in the Name of the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses, in Parliament assembled, and of all the Commons of Great Britain, demand Judgement of your Lordships, against Thomas Earl of Macclesfield, for the said high Crimes and Misdemeanors."
"The Lords having unanimously found you Guilty of high Crimes and Misdemeanors, charged on you by the Impeachment of the House of Commons; so that their Lordships find themselves obliged to proceed to Judgement against you; which I am ordered to pronounce:
"That you, Thomas Earl of Macclesfield, be fined in the Sum of Thirty Thousand Pounds unto our Sovereign Lord the King; and that you shall be imprisoned in The Tower of London, and there kept in safe Custody until you shall pay the said Fine."
Trial to be printed:
Ordered, That the Speaker of this House do give Order for the printing and publishing the Trial of Thomas Earl of Macclesfield; and that no other Person but such as he shall appoint do presume to print the same.
E. Macclesfield to be conveyed to The Tower.
Ordered, That the said Earl of Macclesfield be committed to The Tower of London, there to be kept in safe Custody until he shall pay the abovementioned Fine of Thirty Thousand Pounds to the King; and that the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, in whose Custody the said Earl at present is, do him safely convey to the said Tower, and deliver him to the Constable thereof; or, in his Absence, to the Lieutenant or Deputy Lieutenant of the same; and that the said Constable, Lieutenant, or Deputy Lieutenant, do receive the Body of the said Earl, and him keep in safe Custody there, until he shall have paid the said Fine.
Petrus King Miles, Capitalis Justiciarius Commun. Placitor. declaravit præsens Parliamentum continuandum esse usque ad & in diem Lunæ, tricesimum primum diem instantis Maii, hora duodecima, Dominis sic decernentibus.
DIE Lunæ, 31o Maii.
Lord King, Speaker of this House, introduced:
Whereupon his Lordship retired to the lower End of the House; and, having there put on his Robes, was introduced, between the Lord Delawarr and the Lord Onslow, also in their Robes; the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod and Garter King of Arms in his Coat of Arms carrying his Lordship's Patent (which he delivered to him at the Steps of the Throne), the Lord Great Chamberlain, and the Earl of Sussex Deputy Earl Marshal of England, preceding.
His Lordship laid down his Letters Patents upon the Chair of State, kneeling; and from thence took and delivered them to the Clerk, who read the same at the Table; which bear Date Vicesimo Nono Die Maii, Undecimo Georgii Regis.
His Writ of Summons.
"Georgius, Dei Gratia, Magn. Britann. Franc. & Hib'niæ Rex, Fidei Defensor, &c. Prædilecto & Fideli Consiliario Nostro Petro King, de Ockham, Chevalier, Salutem. Cum Parliamentum Nostrum, pro arduis & urgentibus Negotiis, Nos, Statum & Defensionem Regni Nostri Magn. Britann. & Ecclesiæ concernentibus, apud Civitatem Nostram Westm. nunc congregat. existit; vobis, sub Fide & Ligeantia quibus Nobis tenemini, firmiter injungendo mandamus, quod, consideratis dictorum Negotiorum Arduitate & Periculis imminentibus, cessante Excusatione quacunque, ad dictum Parliamentum Nostrum personaliter intersitis, Nobiscum, ac cum Prælatis, Magnatibus, & Proceribus dicti Regni Nostri, super dictis Negotiis tractatur. vestrumque Consilium impensur.; & hoc sicut Nos & Honorem Nostrum, ac Salvationem & Defensionem Regni & Ecclesiæ præd. Expeditionemque dictorum Negotiorum diligitis, nullatenus omittatis.
Then his Lordship, at the Table, took the Oaths, and made and subscribed the Declaration, and also took and subscribed the Oath of Abjuration, pursuant to the Statutes; and was afterwards placed on the lower End of the Barons Bench.
Boyning's Petition, to receive Appeal.
A Petition of Joseph Boyning Gentleman, was presented to the House, and read; praying, "That this House will so far dispense with the Order lately made, for receiving no more Appeals this Session, as that an Appeal of the Petitioner, against some Orders of the Court of Chancery in Ireland, may be now received, in regard to certain particular Circumstances in this Case:"
Boyning versus Boyning.
Then the said Appeal of the said Joseph Boyning was read; complaining of Two Orders made by the late Lord Chancellor of Ireland, the Twenty-third of November 1724 and Twenty-ninth of April last, in a Cause wherein Thomas Boyning was Plaintiff, and the Petitioner and Robert Boyning were Defendants; and praying, That the same may be reversed, and the Plaintiff's Bill dismissed with Costs; and that other Relief in the Premises may be given:"
It is Ordered, That the said Thomas Boyning may have a Copy of the said Appeal; and shall and he is hereby required to put in his Answer thereunto, in Writing, on or before the First Day of the next Session of Parliament; and that Service of this Order on the Respondent's Clerk or Clerks in the said Court of Chancery be deemed good Service.
His Majesty, being seated on His Royal Throne, adorned with His Crown and Regal Ornaments, and attended with His Officers of State; the Prince of Wales; in his Robes, sitting in his Place on His Majesty's Right Hand; and the Lords being also in their Robes; the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod received His Majesty's Commands, to signify to the Commons, "That it is His Majesty's Pleasure, they attend Him immediately, in this House."
"1. An Act for more effectual preventing Frauds and Abuses in the Public Revenues; for preventing Frauds in the Salt Duties; and for giving Relief for Salt used in the curing of Salmon and Cod-fish, in the Year One Thousand Seven Hundred and Nineteen, exported from that Part of Great Britain called Scotland; for enabling the Insurance Companies to plead the General Issue in Actions brought against them; and for securing the Stamp Duties upon Policies of Insurance."
"3. An Act to continue several Acts therein mentioned, for preventing Frauds committed by Bankrupts; for encouraging the Silk Manufactures of this Kingdom; for preventing the clandestine Running of Goods; for making Copper Ore of the British Plantations an enumerated Commodity; and for explaining and amending a late Act, for more effectual Punishment of such as shall wilfully burn or destroy Ships."
"5. An Act to prevent Violences and Outrages being committed by any Persons, under Pretence of sheltering themselves from Debt, or any Process of Law, within the Hamlet of Wapping, Stepney, or elsewhere within the Weekly Bills of Mortality."
"7. An Act for making more effectual an Act passed in the Fifth Year of His Majesty's Reign, intituled, An Act for preventing the Mischiess which may happen by keeping too great Quantities of Gunpowder in or near the Cities of London and Westminster, or the Suburbs thereof."
"9. An Act for enlarging the Term granted by an Act passed in the Fifth Year of the Reign of Her late Majesty Queen Anne, intituled, An Act for repairing the Highways between Sheppards Shord and The Devizes, and between the Top of Ashlington Hill and Rowdford, in the County of Wilts; and for explaining the said Act, and making the same more effectual and extensive."
"10. An Act for enlarging the Term granted by an Act passed in the Sixth Year of the Reign of Her late Majesty Queen Anne, intituled, An Act for repairing the Highways from Old Stratford, in the County of Northampton, to Dunchurch, in the County of Warwick; and for making the same more effectual."
"11. An Act for enabling Henry St. John late Viscount Bolingbroke, and the Heirs Male of his Body, notwithstanding his Attainder, to take and enjoy several Manors, Lands, and Hereditaments, in the Counties of Wilts, Surrey, and Middlesex, according to such Estates and Interests as to him or them are limited thereof by the Quinquepartite Indenture and other Assurances therein mentioned; and for limiting the same, in Default of Issue Male of the Body of the said late Viscount Bolingbroke, to the other Sons of Henry Viscount St. John successively in Tail Male; and for other Purposes therein expressed."
"13. An Act to vest the Real Estate of Dame Elizabeth Holford Widow, deceased, in the Parish of St. Olave's Hart-Street, London, in Christopher Appleby Gentleman and his Heirs, for the better enabling him to sell the same, towards the Discharge of the charitable and other Legacies given by her Will."
Then the Lord King, Speaker of this House, on his Knee, received Directions from His Majesty; who, at the same Time, delivered a Paper into his Lordship's Hand; and, being returned to his former Place at His Majesty's Right Hand, His Majesty spake as follows:
His Majesty's Speech.
"I am come to put an End to this Session of Parliament; which, though it has been extended to an unexpected Length, has been so well employed for the Service and Interest of the Public, that, I assure Myself, it will be to the general Satisfaction of the Nation.
"The prudent Use you have made of the present flourishing State of Credit, by a certain Reduction of more than Three Million Seven Hundred Thousand Pounds to an Interest of Four per Cent. and by a wise Provision for the Redemption thereof by Parliament, without further Notice, on Payment of such Sums as the Circumstances of the Government will from Time to Time admit, has secured a considerable Addition to the Sinking Fund, not subject to the Hazard of future Events.
"You have not only raised the Supply, for the Service of the current Year, at the lowest Rate of Interest that has been ever known; but, without laying any new Burthen on My People, you have enabled Me to discharge the Debts of My Civil Government; Debts contracted by necessary and unavoidable Expences, and in Support of such Measures of Government as have greatly increased the Happiness of My People: You have thereby shewn your just Regard to My Honour, and the Dignity of the Crown.
"As all our public Blessings are the happy Effects of the general Tranquillity we now enjoy; I cannot but express My Satisfaction in the Provisions you have made, for suppressing and preventing Disturbances and Commotions in those Parts where the Peace of the Kingdom might have been most endangered.
"Nothing more remains necessary, than to tell you, that I entirely depend on the faithful Discharge of your Duties in your several Stations; and on your constant Care, in your respective Countries, to preserve the Peace and Quiet of the Public. But I know not how to part with you, without first returning you My very hearty Thanks, for the many repeated Instances you have in this Session given Me of your Duty and Affection. All such Returns may be expected from Me, as can be made, by the most indulgent Prince, to an affectionate and loyal People."
"It is His Majesty's Royal Will and Pleasure, that this Parliament be prorogued to Thursday the First Day of July next, to be then here held: And this Parliament is accordingly prorogued to Thursday the First Day of July next."