DIE Mercurii, 5 die Februarii.
Domini tam Spirituales quam Temporales præsentes
|His Royal Highness the Duke of Yorke.
Epus. St. Asaph.
Comes Shaftsbury, Cancellarius Angliæ.
Robertus Comes Lyndsey, Magnus Camerarius Angliæ.
Henricus Comes Norwichiæ, et Comes Marescallus Angliæ.
Jacobus Comes Brecknock, Senescallus Hospitii Domini Regis.
Vicecomes de Stafford.
|Ds. Berkeley de Berkley.
Ds. Arundell de Warder.
Ds. Berkeley de Strat.
L. Stourton takes his Seat.
This Day William Lord Stourton of Stourton sat
first in Parliament as a Peer, by Descent; his Writ
of Summons bears Date Quarto Die Februarii, A° Regni
Domini nostri Regis Caroli Secundi Vicesimo Quinto.
Speaker of H. C. presented.
His Majesty being placed in His Royal Throne, and
the Lords in their Robes, the Commons were sent for;
who presented Sir Job Charlton, Serjeant at Law, for
their Speaker; who spake as follows:
"Most Gracious Sovereign,
"The Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses of Your
House of Commons, in Obedience to Your Royal
Command, have proceeded to the Choice of a Speaker. They have among them many worthy Persons
eminently qualified for so great a Trust; yet, with
too favourable an Eye, have cast it upon me, who
am really conscious to myself of many Infirmities,
rendering me much unfit for so great an Employment. And although my Endeavours of excusing
myself before them have not been successful, yet
they have been so indulgent as to permit me to continue my Endeavours therein before Your Majesty's
most piercing and discerning Judgement.
"The Veneration due to Majesty, which lodgeth
in every loyal Breast, makes it not an easy Matter
to speak before Your Majesty at any Time, or
in any Capacity. But to speak before Your Majesty
in Your Exaltation, thus gloriously supported and
attended, and that as Speaker of Your House of
Commons, requires greater Abilities than I can pretend to own.
"I am not also without Fear that the Public Affairs, wherein Your Majesty and Your Kingdom in
this Juncture of Time are so highly concerned, may
receive Detriment through my Weakness.
"I therefore, with a plain humble Heart, prostrate
at Your Royal Feet, beseech that You will command
them to review what they have done, and to proceed to another Election."
Then the Lord Chancellor, by Directions from His
Majesty, returned this Answer:
Speaker approved of.
"Mr. Serjeant Charleton,
"The King hath very attentively heard your discreet
and handsome Discourse, whereby you endeavour to
excuse and disable yourself for the Place of Speaker: In Answer whereof, His Majesty hath
commanded me to say to You, That he doth in
no sort admit of the same; for His Majesty hath
had long Experience of Your Abilities, good Affection, Integrity, and Resolution, in several Employments of great Trust and Weight. He knows
you have been long a Parliament Man, and therefore every Way fitted and qualified for the Employment. Besides, He cannot disapprove the Election
of this House of Commons, especially when they
have expressed so much Duty in choosing one worthy
and acceptable to Him. And therefore the King
doth allow of the Election, and admits you for
Whereupon Mr. Speaker made this Reply:
"Since it is Your Gracious Pleasure, not to accept
of my humble Excuse, but by Your Royal Approbation to fix me under this great though honourable
Weight, and to think me fit to be invested with a
Trust of so high a Nature as this is; I take it, in
the First Place, to be incumbent upon me, that I
render Your Majesty all possible Thanks; which I
now humbly do, with a Heart full of all Duty, and
affected with a deeper Sense of Gratitude than I
can find Words to express.
"Next, from Your Royal Determination in this
Affair, whereby You have imprinted a new Character
upon me, I take Courage against my own Diffidence,
and chearfully bend myself, with such Strength and
Abilities as GOD shall give, to the Service so graciously assigned me; no Way doubting that Your Majesty will please to pardon my Frailties, to accept
of my faithful Endeavours, and always to look favourably upon the Work of Your own Hands.
"And now, Sir, my First Entrance upon this Service obliges me to make a few necessary, but humble
Petitions, on the Behalf of Your most loyal and
dutiful House of Commons:
"1st, That, for our better Attendance on the Public
Service, we and our Servants may be free,
in our Persons and Estates, from Arrests and
"2ly, That, in our Debates, Liberty and Freedom of Speech be allowed us.
"3ly, That, as Occasions shall require, Your Majesty, upon our humble Suit, and at such
Times as Your Majesty shall judge seasonable,
will vouchsafe us Access to Your Royal Person.
"4ly, That all our Proceedings may receive a favourable Construction.
"That GOD who hath brought You back to the
Throne of Your Fathers, and with You all our
Comforts, grant You a long and prosperous Reign,
and send You Victory over all Your Enemies; and
every good Man's Heart will say, Amen."
Upon which, by His Majesty's further Direction,
the Lord Chancellor said as followeth:
L. Chancellor's Answer.
"The King's Majesty hath heard, and well weighed,
your short and eloquent Oration; and, in the First
Place, much approves that you have with so much
Advantage introduced a shorter Way of speaking
upon this Occasion. His Majesty doth well accept
of all those dutiful and affectionate Expressions, in
which you have delivered your Submission to His
Royal Pleasure; and looks upon it as a good Omen
to His Affairs, and as an Evidence that the House of
Commons have still the same Heart, that have chosen
such a Mouth. The Conjuncture of Time, and the
King and Kingdom's Affairs, require such a House of
Commons, such a Speaker; for, with Reverence to
the Holy Scripture, upon this Occasion the King
may say, He that is not with Me, is against Me; for
he that doth not now put his Hand and Heart to
support the King in the common Cause of this Kingdom, can hardly ever hope for such another Opportunity, or find a Time to make Satisfaction for the
Omission of this.
"Next, I am commanded by His Majesty to answer
your Four Petitions; whereof the First being, the
Freedom of you and your Servants, your Persons
and Estates, without Arrests or other Disturbance,
the King is graciously pleased to grant it, as full as
to any of your Predecessors: The Second, for Liberty and Freedom of Speech; the Third, for Access to His Royal Person; and the Fourth, that your
Proceedings may receive a favourable Construction;
are all freely and fully granted by His Majesty."
Then His Majesty spake as followeth:
"My Lords and Gentlemen,
"I am glad to see you here this Day. I would have
called you sooner together, but that I was willing
to ease you and the Country till there were an absolute Necessity.
"Since you were last here, I have been forced to
a most important, necessary, and expensive War; and
I make no Doubt but you will give Me suitable and
effectual Assistance to go through with it. I refer
you to My Declaration for the Causes, and indeed
the Necessity of this War; and shall now only tell
you, that I might have digested the Indignities to
My own Person, rather than have brought it to
this Extremity, if the Interest as well (fn. *) as the Honour of the whole Kingdom had not been at Stake:
And if I had omitted this Conjuncture, perhaps I
had not again ever met with the like Advantage.
"You will find, that the last Supply you gave Me
did not answer Expectation for the Ends you gave
it, the Payment of My Debts: Therefore I must,
in the next Place, recommend them again to your
"Some few Days before I declared the War, I put
forth My Declaration for Indulgence to Dissenters,
and have hitherto found a good Effect of it, by securing Peace at Home when I had War Abroad.
There is One Part in it that hath been subject to
Misconstructions, which is that concerning the Papists; as if more Liberty were granted them than to
the other Recusants, when it is plain there is less;
for the others have public Places allowed them, and
I never intended that they should have any, but only
have the Freedom of their Religion in their own
Houses, without any Concourse of others. And I
could not grant them less than this, when I had
extended so much more Grace to others, most of
them having been loyal, and in the Service of Me
and of the King My Father; and in the whole
Course of this Indulgence, I do not intend that it
shall any Way prejudice the Church, but I will support its Rights, and it in its full Power. Having said
this, I shall take it very ill to receive Contradiction
in what I have done. And, I will deal plainly with
you, I am resolved to stick to my Declaration.
"There is One Jealousy more, that is maliciously
spread abroad, and yet so weak and frivolous that
I once thought it not of Moment enough to mention, but it may have gotten some Ground with some
well-minded People; and that is, that the Forces I
have raised in this War were designed to controul
Law and Property. I wish I had had more Forces
the last Summer; the Want of them then, convinces
Me I must raise more against this next Spring; and
I do not doubt but you will consider the Charge of
them in your Supplies.
"I will conclude with this Assurance to you, That I
will preserve the true Reformed Protestant Religion
and the Church as it is now established in this Kingdom, and that no Man's Property or Liberty shall
ever be invaded.
"I leave the rest to the Chancellor."
Then the Lord Chancellor spake as follows:
L. Chancellor's Speech.
"My Lords; and you the Knights, Citizens, and
Burgesses of the House of Commons;
"The King hath spoken so fully, so excellently
well, and so like Himself, that you are not to expect
much from me. There is not a Word in His Speech
that hath not its full Weight, and, I dare with Assurance say, will have its Effect with you. His Majesty had called you sooner, and His Affairs required it, but that He was resolved to give you all the
Ease and Vacancy to your own private Concerns, and
the People as much Respite from Payments and
Taxes, as the Necessity of His Business, or their
Preservation, would permit. And yet (which I cannot but here mention to you), by the crafty Insinuations of some ill-affected Persons, there have been
spread strange and desperate Rumours, which your
Meeting together this Day hath sufficiently proved
both malicious and false.
"His Majesty hath told you, that He is now engaged in an important, very expensive, and indeed
a War absolutely necessary and unavoidable. He
hath referred you to His Declaration, where you will
find the Personal Indignities by Pictures and Medals,
and other public Affronts, His Majesty hath received
from The States; their Breach of Treaties both in
the Surinam and East India Business; and at last they
came to that Height of Insolence, as to deny the Honour and Right of the Flag, though an undoubted
Jewel of this Crown, never to be parted with, and
by them particularly owned in the late Treaty of
Breda, and never contested in any Age. And
whilst the King first long expected, and then solemnly demanded Satisfaction, they disputed His
Title to it in all the Courts of Christendom; and
made great Offers to the French King, if He would
stand by them against us. But the Most Christian
King too well remembered what they did at Munster, contrary to so many Treaties and solemn Engagements, and how dangerous a Neighbour they
were to all Crowned Heads.
"The King and His Ministers had here a hard Time,
and lay every Day under new Obloquies: Sometimes they were represented as selling all to France,
for Money to make this War; Portsmouth, Plymouth,
and Hull, were to be given into the French Hands
for Caution. The next Day News came, that France
and Holland were agreed. Then the Obloquy was
turned from Treachery to Folly. The Ministers
were now Fools, that some Days before were Villains. And indeed the Coffee-houses were not to
be blamed for their last Apprehensions, since, if
that Conjunction had taken Effect, then England had
been in a far worse Case than now it is, and the
War had been turned upon us. But both Kings,
knowing their Interest, resolved to join against them,
who were the common Enemies to all Monarchies,
and I may say, especially to ours, their only Competitor for Trade and Power at Sea, and who only
stand in their Way to an Universal Empire as great
as Rome. This The States understood so well, and
had swallowed so deep, that, under all their present
Distress and Danger, they are so intoxicated with
that vast Ambition, that they slight a Treaty, and
refuse a Cessation.
"All this you and the whole Nation saw before the
last War; but it could not then be so well timed,
or our Alliances so well made. But you judged
aright, that at any Rate delenda est Carthago, that
Government was to be brought down; and therefore the King may well say to you, 'Tis your War.
He took His Measures from you, and they were just
and right ones; and he expects a suitable Assistance
to so necessary and expensive an Action, which He
hath hitherto maintained at His own Charge, and
was unwilling either to trouble you, or burthen
the Country, until it came to an inevitable Necessity.
And His Majesty commands Me to tell you, that unless it be a certain Sum, and speedily raised, it can
never answer the Occasion.
"My Lords and Gentlemen,
"Reputation is the great Support of War or Peace.
This War had never begun, nor had The States ever
slighted the King, or ever refused Him Satisfaction,
neither had this War continued to this Day, or subsisted now, but that The States were deceived in their
Measures, and apprehended His Majesty in that great
Want of Money, that He must sit down under any
Affronts, and was not able to begin or carry on a
War. Nay, at this Day, The States support themselves amongst their People by this only Falsehood,
"That they are assured of the Temper of England,
and of the Parliament, and that you will not supply
the King in this War; and that if they can hold
out till your Meeting, they will have new Life, and
may take new Measures." There are lately taken
Two of their principal Agents, with their Credentials
and Instructions to this Purpose, who are now in The
Tower, and shall be proceeded against according to
the Law of Nations. But the King is sufficiently
assured of His People; knows you better; and can
never doubt His Parliament. This had not been mentioned, but to shew you of what Importance the Frankness and Seasonableness of this Supply is, as well as the
Fulness of it. Let me say, the King hath brought The
States to that Condition, that your hearty Conjunction
at this Time, in supplying His Majesty, will make
them never more formidable to Kings, or dangerous to
England. And if, after this, you suffer them to get up,
let this be remembered; The States of Holland are England's eternal Enemy, both by Interest and Inclination.
"In the next Place to the Supply for the carrying
on of the War, His Majesty recommends to you the
taking Care of His Debts. What you gave the last
Session, did not near answer your own Expectation.
Besides, another considerable Aid you designed His
Majesty was unfortunately lost in the Birth; so
that the King was forced, for the carrying on of His
Affairs, much against His Will, to put a Stop to the
Payments out of the Exchequer. He saw the Pressures
upon Himself, and growing Inconveniencies to His
People, by great Interest; and the Difference, through
all His Business, between ready Money and Orders.
This gave the King the Necessity of that Proceeding,
to make Use of His own Revenue, which hath been
of so great Effect in this War. But, though he hath
put a Stop to the Trade and Gain of the Bankers,
yet He would be unwilling to ruin them, and oppress
so many Families as are concerned in those Debts.
Besides, it were too disproportionable a Burthen upon
many of His good Subjects. But neither the Bankers
nor they have Reason to complain, if you now take
them into your Care, and they have paid them what
was due to them when the Stop was made, with Six
Per Cent. Interest from that Time. The King is very
much concerned both in Honour and Interest to see this
done: And yet He desires you not to mis-time it, but
that it may have only the Second Place; and that you
will first settle what you intend about the Supply.
"His Majesty hath so fully vindicated His Declaration from that Calumny concerning the Papists, that
no reasonable Scruple can be made by any good Man.
He hath sufficiently justified it, by the Time it was published in, and the Effects He hath had from it; and
might have done it more, from the Agreeableness of
it to His own natural Disposition, which no good
Englishman can wish other than it is. He loves not
Blood, nor rigorous Severities; but, where mild or
gentle Ways may be used by a wise Prince, He is
certain to choose them. The Church of England
and all good Protestants have Reason to rejoice in
such a Head, and such a Defender. His Majesty doth
declare His Care and Concerns for the Church, and
will maintain them in all their Rights and Privileges,
equal if not beyond any of His Predecessors. He
was born and bred up in it; it was that His Father
died for: We all know how great Temptations and
Offers He resisted Abroad, when He was in His lowest
Condition; and He thinks it the Honour of His Reign,
that He hath been the Restorer of the Church: It is
that He will ever maintain, and hopes to leave to
Posterity in greater Lustre, and upon surer Grounds,
than our Ancestors ever saw it. But His Majesty is
not convinced that violent Ways are the Interest of
Religion, or of the Church.
"There is One Thing more that I am commanded to
speak to you of, which is, the Jealousy that hath been
foolishly spread Abroad, of the Forces the King hath
raised in this War; wherein the King hath opened
Himself freely to you, and confessed the Fault on the
other Hand: For, if this last Summer had not proved
a Miracle of Storms and Tempests, such as secured
their East India Fleet, and protected their Sea Coasts
from a Descent, nothing but the true Reason (Want
of Money) could have justified the Defect in the
Number of our Forces. 'Tis that His Majesty is
providing for against the next Spring, having given
out Orders for the raising of Seven or Eight Regiments more of Foot, under the Command of Persons
of the greatest Fortunes and Quality. And I am
earnestly to recommend to you, that in your Supplies
you will take into your Consideration this necessary
Addition of Charge.
"And after His Majesty's Conclusion of His Speech,
let me conclude, nay let us all conclude, with blessing
GOD and the King: Let us bless GOD, that He hath
given us such a King, to be the Repairer of our
Breaches both in Church and State, and the Restorer
of our Paths to dwell in; that, in the Midst of War
and Misery, which rages in our Neighbour Countries,
our Garners are full, and there is no Complaining in
our Streets; and a Man can hardly know there is a
War: Let us bless GOD, that hath given this King
signally the Hearts of His People, and most particularly of this Parliament, who, in their Affection and
Loyalty to their Prince, have exceeded all their Predecessors; a Parliament with whom the King hath
many Years lived with all the Caresses of a happy
Marriage. Has the King had a Concern? You have
wedded it. Has His Majesty wanted Supplies? You
have readily, chearfully, and fully provided for them.
You have relied upon the Wisdom and Conduct of
His Majesty in all His Affairs, so that you have never
attempted to exceed your Bounds, or to impose upon
Him: Whilst the King, on the other Hand, hath made
your Counsels the Foundations of all His Proceedings;
and hath been so tender of you, that He hath upon
His own Revenue and Credit endeavoured to support
even Foreign Wars, that He might be least uneasy to
you, or burthensome to His People. And let me say,
That though this Marriage be according to Moses'
Law, where the Husband can give a Bill of Divorce,
put her away, and take another, yet, I can assure
you, it is as impossible for the King to part with this
Parliament, as it is for you to depart from that
Loyalty, Affection, and dutiful Behaviour, you have
hitherto shewed towards Him.
"Let us bless the King, for taking away all our
Fears, and leaving no Room for Jealousies; for those
Assurances and Promises He hath made us. Let us
bless GOD and the King, that our Religion is safe;
that the Church of England is the Care of our
Prince; that Parliaments are safe; that our Properties
and Liberties are safe. What more hath a good
Englishman to ask, but that this King may long reign;
and that this Triple Alliance, of King, Parliament,
and People, may never be dissolved?"
After this, His Majesty spake to this Effect:
"One Thing I forgot to mention to you, which happened during this Prorogation: I did give Order that
some Writs might issue out, for the Election of Members instead of those that are dead, to the End the
House might be full at their Meeting; and I am
mistaken if this be not done according to former Precedents: But I desire you that you fall not to any
other Business till you have examined that Particular;
and I doubt not but Precedents will justify what is
done. I am as careful of all your Privileges as of My
After this, His Majesty was pleased to retire Himself.
Thanks to the King, for His Speeches.
ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in
Parliament assembled, That the Lord Great Chamberlain,
Earl Marshal, Earl of Anglesey, Bishop of London, Bishop
of Rochester, the Lord Maynard, and Lord Newport, do
attend His Majesty, from this House, to present their
humble Thanks for His Gracious Speeches made this
Day; and to desire that His Majesty would please to give
Order for the printing and publishing of them.
ORDERED, That it is the Desire of this House, that
the Lord Chancellor's Speeches made this Day may be
printed and published.
Dominus Cancellarius declaravit præsens Parliamentum continuandum esse usque in diem Veneris, septimum
diem instantis Februarii, hora decima Aurora, Dominis