The eighteenth Session of the Second Parliament.
October 21. The Parliament met, and his Majesty open'd
the Session with a Speech to both Houses, as follows:
The King's Speech to both Houses.
'My Lords and Gentlemen,
I Have thought the Time very long since we parted last,
and would not have deferred your Meeting by so many
Prorogations, if I could well have met you sooner. The
Part which I have had this Summer in the Preservation of
our Neighbours, and the well-securing what was left of
Flanders, is sufficiently known, and acknowledged by all
that are abroad. And, tho' for this Cause I have been
obliged to keep up my Troops, without which our Neighbours had absolutely despaired; yet both the Honour and
Interest of the Nation have been so far improved by it,
that I am confident no Man here would repine at it, or
think the Money raised for their disbanding to have been
ill-employed in their Continuance; and I do assure you,
I am so much more out of Purse for that Service, that I
expect you should supply it. How far it may be necessary,
considering the present State of Christendom, to reduce
the Land and Sea-Forces, or to what Degree, is worthy
of all our serious Considerations.
'I now intend to acquaint you (as I shall always do with
any Thing that concerns me) that I have been informed
of a Design against my Person by the Jesuits, of which I
shall forbear my Opinion, lest I may seem to say too much
or too little: But, I will leave the Matter to the Law,
and in the mean time will take as much Care as I can,
to prevent all manner of Practices by that Sort of Men,
and of others too, who have been tampering in a high
degree by Foreigners, and contriving how to introduce
Popery amongst us. I shall conclude with recommending
to you my other Concerns. I have been under great Disappointments by the Defect of the Poll-Bill. My Revenue
is under great Anticipations, and at best was never equal
to the constant and necessary Expence of the Government,
whereof I intend to have the whole State laid before you,
and require you to look into it, and consider of it with
that Duty and Affection which I am sure I shall ever find
from you. The rest I leave to the Lord-Chancellor."
The Lord Chancellor Finch's Speech.
Who, after a short Preamble, proceeded thus. 'The
Close and Period of the last Session is very memorable; for
it may seem, perhaps, to some to have ended with very different, if not contrary Councils and Supplies, tending both
to War and Peace: But, yet, they who look more nearly
into the Matter, shall find that this Uncertainty proceeded
not from any Unsteadiness at Home, but from the Mutabilty
of Affairs abroad; every Week, almost, producing several
and contrary Appearances. The same Uncertainties of Councils and Events abroad continued for the most part of
Summer; one while the Parties, exhausted by the War,
seemed to be willing to accept any Peace their Enemies
would give; and there wanted not those among them, who
made use of the Impatience of their People to necessitate
them to it. Another while, the Performance of the Conditions offered became so doubtful, and was at last explained in
a manner so vastly different from the first Proposals, that
Despair begot new Resolutions of continuing the War In
the midst of these miserable Perplexities and Confusions, his
Majesty was daily solicited with the highest Importunities,
and the most earnest Supplications that were possible, not to
disband the Troops he had raised; and not only so, but that
he would still continue to send over more and more of his
Troops, and to augment the Forces which he had already
abroad. They did as good as tell him plainly, That it was
from the Reputation of his Alliance, that any Overtures of
Peace had been made at all; and that it was from the Continuance of his Arms, that any farther Performance could
be expected. They prayed his Majesty to consider, That
if he thought it expedient to obtain some kind of respite
or breathing-time for the Spanish Netherlands, or to secure any kind of Frontier or Barrier between them and their
too powerful Neighbours; all this and more, very much
more, perhaps no less than the Safety of Christendom, would
entirely depend upon his Majesty's preserving himself in that
considerable Posture both by Sea and Land, wherein he then
was There was no resisting such repeated Intercessions;
and tho' his Majesty saw well enough, that his complying
with these Desires would engage him in an expence far beyond what he was then provided for, yet he could not possibly decline the Charge, nor refuse to undergo the Difficulties. And now whatever the Cost of all this may amount
to, yet neither his People will have any cause to repent it,
when they shall consider that it hath already produced such
great and good Effects to his Majesty's Allies, and so much
Honour to the whole Nation, that whatever is saved of Flanders, is now acknowledged by all the World, to be wholly
due to his Majesty's Interposition. And tho' the Peace,
which since hath followed, be very far from such a Peace
as his Majesty could have wished, yet it is such a Peace as
his Neighbours were resolved to have. No Obligations
they lay under to insist upon a better Peace, no Conjunction
with his Majesty, no nor the Offers to declare War on their
behalfs, if they desired it, could prevail with them, or keep
them from being wrought upon by the Arts of those, who
first raised unreasonable Jealousies amongst them, and then
caused them to precipitate themselves into a Peace. Thus
you see at once, not only the Necessity which his Majesty
had to continue his Troops in Pay, but likewise the Benefits
and Advantages which have come of it.'
Then insisting upon the Necessity of a Supply, in the
same manner that the King had in his Speech, he proceeded
in these Words. 'Thus you have in short an account of
what had been doing abroad, and the Charge of it, 'tis now
high time to look a little nearer home: And surely in that
state of things to which they are now reduced, 'tis visible
and plain enough what must be our business for the time
to come. First, we must look to ourselves, and provide for
our own Safety: For that which the Confederates acknowledge with Thanks, we may be sure hath a quite different
Resentment in other Places. And in order to this, care must
be taken so to strengthen ourselves both at home and abroad,
that they who see us in a firm and well-settled Estate, may
have no hopes to surprize, nor any temptation to make
any attempt upon us. And herein it will be necessary to
take notice of what his Majesty hath recommended to you,
and to weigh very well the Importance of reducing the Sea
and Land Forces, and the Consequences which may attend
such a Reducement: For this be assured, that nothing in
the world would more gratify our Enemies, than to see us
afraid of maintaining ourselves in a posture of defence,
which is the only posture they are afraid to find us in. And
that the Fears of Popery may not too much disquiet you, be
pleased to consider that you have one Security more, since
that which was always the Interest of his Majesty's Honour
and Conscience, is now become the Interest of his Person
too, to protect the Protestant Religion, and to prevent the
swarming of seminary Priests. For his Majesty hath told
you, That he hath lately received Information of Designs
against his own Life by the Jesuits. And tho' he doth in no
sort prejudge the Persons accused, yet the strict Enquiry into
this matter hath been a means to discover so many other
unwarrantable Practices of theirs, that his Majesty hath reason to look to them. Nor are these Men the only Factors
for Rome; but there are found amongst the Laity also, some
who have made themselves Agitators to promote the Interest
of a foreign Religion, who meddle with Matters of State and
Parliament, [meaning Coleman] and carry on their pernicious
Designs by a most dangerous Correspondence with foreign
Nations. What kind of Process the Proof will bear, and to
how high a degree the Extent and Nature of these Crimes
will rise, is under consideration, and will be fully left to the
course of Law.
In the next place, let us carefully avoid all Differences
amongst ourselves, all manner of clashing about Jurisdictions,
and all Disputes of such nature, as can never end in any
Accommodation. For this is still what our Enemies would
wish, who would be glad to see us ruined, without their
being at the charge of it. And therefore we must now, above all other times, labour to shew the World the most
effectual Significations of our Loyalty and Duty that we
are able to express; for nothing in the World can more
discourage our Enemies: As on the contrary, nothing does
or can so-ripen a Nation for Destruction, as to be observed
to distrust their own Government. Be pleased then now to
take occasion to manifest such a Zeal for the Government,
as to look into the State of that Revenue which should support the constant and necessary Charge of it, and to see
that it be made equal to it. There are many Motives to
oblige us to this Inspection: First, you see the King expects
it; and then again you cannot but see, that nothing is or
can be of a more public Consideration, than to support
the Dignity of the Crown, which is in truth the Dignity of
the Nation. Besides, 'tis unsafe as well as dishonourable,
that the King's Revenue should fall short of his most necessary, and most unavoidable Expences. And if upon a
due Examination it shall be made appear to you, that though
there had been no diminution of the Customs, yet no Thrist
or Conduct in the World could ever make the Revenue
able to answer the certain Charge of the Government, much
less to discharge those Anticipations which lie heavy upon
it; how can it be possible for it to supply those Contingencies which happen even in times of Peace; and which can
never be brought under any Regulation or Establish ment ?
You may be sure a great and generous Prince would be
glad, by good Managery, to have wherewithal to exercise
his Royal Bounty, but our Neighbours have found a way to
prevent that: For their vast Preparations put his Majesty
upon a vast expence, to preserve himself and us.
My Lords and Gentlemen,
You now find the King involved in Difficulties as great,
and, without your Assistance, as insuperable, as ever any Government did labour under; and yet his Majesty doth not
think that there need many Words to bespeak your Zeal and
Industry in his Service: For the things themselves now
speak, and speak aloud.
The public and private Interest do both persuade the
same things, and are, and ought to be, mighty in Persuasion. If the Honour and Safety of your Country, and, which
is next to that, the Concerns of your own Families and Posterities, cannot awaken your utmost care to preserve that
Government which only can support you and yours, all other Discourses will be to no purpose. There can be no
Difficulties at all to them who take delight in serving of
the King and their Country, and love the occasions of shewing it. Such as are here! But though the King hath had
for many Years a large and full Experience of your Duty,
yet there never was a time like this to try your Affections.
There is so strange a Concurrence of ill Accidents at this
time, that 'tis not to be wondered at, if some very honest
and good Men begin to have troubled and thoughtful Hearts.
Yet that which is infinitely to be lamented, is, that malicious Men too begin to work upon this occasion, and are
in no small hopes to raise a Storm that nothing shall be able
to allay. If you can rescue the King's Affairs from such a
Tempest as this; if you can weather this Storm, and steer the
Vessel into the Harbour; if you can find a way to quiet the Apprehensions of those who mean well, without being carried
away by the Passions of others who mean ill; if you can
prevent the Designs of those without doors, who study nothing else but how to distract your Councils, and to disturb
all your Proceedings; then you will have performed as great
and as seasonable a piece of Service to the King, as ever
yet he stood in need of. And when the World shall see,
that nothing hath been able to disappoint the King of the
Assistance he had reason to hope from this Session; but that
there is a right Understanding between the King and his
Parliament, and that again strengthened and encreased by
the Evidences of your Duty and Affection, and raised above
all possibility of being interrupted; then shall the King
be possessed of that true Glory, which others vainly pursue,
the Glory of reigning in the Hearts of his People. Then
shall the People be possessed of as much Felicity as this
World is capable of: And you shall have the perpetual
Honour and Satisfaction of having been the means to procure so much solid and lasting Good to your Country, as
the Establishment of the Peace and Tranquility of this Kingdom, and consequently of all his Majesty's Dominions.
The first Resolves of the House were, that a Committee
be appointed to consider of Ways and Means for the Preservation of his Majesty's Person: That an humble Address be
presented to his Majesty, for removing Popish Recusants
from London; and that a Committee be appointed to enquire into Sir Edmundbury Godfrey's Murder; as likewise
into the Plot. The same day the House agreed with the
Lords in an Address to his Majesty, to appoint a solemn Fast;
which was to the following effect:
Address of both Houses for a solemn Fast.
That Information had been given of a horrible Design
against his sacred Life, and being very sensible of the fatal
Consequences of such an Attempt, and of the Dangers of
the Subversion of the Protestant Religion and Government
of this Realm, they humbly beseech his Majesty, that a
solemn Day of Fasting and Humiliation may be appointed,
to implore the Mercy and Protection of Almighty God to
his Majesty's Royal Person, and in him to all his loyal Subjects; and to pray that God will bring to light, more and
more, all secret Machinations against his Majesty and the
whole Kingdom. All which was accordingly done by
Proclamation, dated the 25th of October, requiring that
Wednesday the 13th of November should be kept for a
general Fast. On the 24th both House again agreed on
another Address, viz.
A second Address concerning Popish Recusants.
'We, your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal Subjects, the
Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons in Parliament
assembled, having taken into our serious consideration the
bloody and traitorous Designs of Popish Recusants, against
your Majesty's sacred Person and Government, and the Protestant Religion, wherewith your Majesty hath been graciously pleased to acquaint us: For the preventing whereof,
we do most humbly beseech your Majesty, that your Majesty
would be graciously pleased, by your Royal Proclamation, to
command all and every Person and Persons being Popish Recusants, or so reputed, forthwith, under Pain of your Majesty's
highest Displeasure, and severe Execution of the Law against
them, to depart and retire themselves and their Families
from your Royal Palaces of Whitehall, Somerset-House,
St. James's, the Cities of London and Westminster, and
from all other Places within ten Miles of the same. And
that no such Person or Persons, do, at any time hereafter,
repair or return to your Majesty's said Palaces, or the said
Cities, or either of them; or within ten Miles of the same,
other than Housholders, being Tradesmen exercising some
Trade or manual Occupation, and settled for twelve Months
last past in Houses of their own, and not having an Habitation elsewhere, giving in their own Names, and the Names
of all other Persons in their Families to the two next Justices of the Peace: And that it may be inserted in the said
Proclamation, that, immediately after the Day limited for
their Departure, the Constables, Church-wardens, and other
the Parish Officers, go from House to House in their
several Parishes, Hamlets, Constableries and Divisions, respectively; and there to take an Account of the Names and
Surnames of all such Persons as are Popish Recusants or
suspected so to be, as well Housholders, as Lodgers and
Servants; and to carry a List of their Names to the two
next Justices of the Peace, who are to be thereby required
and enjoin'd to send for them, and every of them; and to
tender to them and every of them the Oaths of Allegiance
and Supremacy; and to commit to Prison, till the next succeeding Session of the Peace, all such Persons as shall refuse the
said Oaths; and, at the said Session, to proceed against them
according to Law: And that your Majesty will be pleased to
direct Commissions forthwith to be issued under the great
Seal of England, to all Justices within the Cities of London
and Westminster, and within ten Miles of the same, to authorize and require them, or any two of them, to administer
the said Oaths accordingly. And that your Majesty would
farther please to command that no Warrant or Licence
granted by the Lords of your Majesty's most honourable
Privy-Council, or otherwise than at the Council-Board, to
be sign'd by six Lords of the Privy-Council, whereof the
Lord Chancellor, the Lord Treasurer or principal Secretary
of State to be one, for the Stay, Return, or Repair of any
such Person or Persons, in, or to any of the said Places, till
some more effectual Law be pass'd for preventing the said
Popish Conspiracies, and for the Preservation of your Majesty's sacred Person, and the Religion and Government by
Law establish'd; for which, we your Majesty's most dutiful
and loyal Subjects, will always employ our utmost Endeavours and daily Prayers. [The same Day and the next, Mr.
Oats, Mr. Michael Godfrey, and Mr. Mulys, having given in certain Informations to the House, (who on this Occasion sent for
Lord Chief Justice Scroggs from off the Beach to sign certain
Warrants) concerning the Plot, and the Death of Sir Edmundbury
Godfrey, the following Clause was added to the Address.]
And whereas the Safety and Preservation of your Majesty's
most sacred Person, is of so great a Consequence and Concernment to the Protestant Religion, and to all your Subjects; we do farther most humbly beseech your Majesty to
command the Lord Chamberlain and all other Officers of
your Majesty's Houshold, to take a strict Care that no unknown or suspicious Persons may have Access near your Majesty's Person: And that your Majesty will likewise please to
command the Lord-Mayor, and the Lieutenancy of London, during the Session of Parliament, and likewise, the
Lord-Lieutenants of Middlesex and Surrey, to appoint such
Guards of the Train'd-Bands in Middlesex, Westminster
and Southwark, and other Places adjacent, as shall be thought
His Majesty's Answer.
To which his Majesty was pleas'd to reply to this purpose: 'That you shall have the Effect of your Desires,
and that he would give speedy Orders for putting the same
The Speaker order'd to communicate the Proceedings of the House to the King.
The House then proceeded to scrutinize farther into the
Murder of Sir Edmundbury Godfrey, as likewise into the
Particulars of the Popish Plot, and ordered their Speaker to
wait upon his Majesty, and communicate to him the Informations the House had receiv'd of the Dangers that his Majesty and the Nation lay under. To which his Majesty was
pleas'd to return: 'That he acknowledged the great Care
of the House for the Preservation of his Person and Government, &c.'
A Bill pass'd to disable Papists from sitting in Parliament.
The following Days, the House was almost wholly employed in examining Witnesses, and Papers relating to the
Plot, in the unravelling of which, they testified a very extraordinary Zeal; and October 28, to prevent Mischiefs in
the Interval, pass'd the Bill to disable Papists from sitting in
either House of Parliament.
Mr. Sacheverel's Report of Coleman's Examination.
The likewise appointed a Committee to examine Mr. Coleman in Newgate, of which Mr. Sacheverel was Chairman;
who reported on the 29th, that the Prisoner Coleman deny'd any Design against either the King's Life or Authority, or that he ever knew or heard of any Commissions to
raise an Army. That he likewise deny'd, that he ever design'd or endeavour'd to change the establish'd Religion,
or introduce Popery; but confesses, he did attempt to get
this Parliament dissolv'd, in order to procure Liberty of
Conscience, which he thought they would never grant. In
order to which, he sollicited 300,000l. from France; adding, that there were not three Men in England acquainted
with his Designs, or Correspondence; of which the Duke of
York was one, who, he believes, communicated them to
Lord Arundel of Wardour.
That he farther confess'd, that his first Correspondence in
France, was by certain Letters he had address'd to (fn. *) Sir
William Throckmorton; by which means he commenc'd
a second with (fn. ||) La Ferrier, on whose Death, he sent three
or four Letters to La Chaise. That he had also confess'd
a Correspondence with the Pope's Nuncio at Bruslels, which
was occasion'd by a Proposal from the Pope, to furnish the
King with a great Sum of Money, provided the Catholics
here might receive proportionable Favour.
That upon this, he was dispatch'd by the Duke of York
to Brussels to the said Nuncio, for a farther Explanation
of that Proposal: Who then disown'd that he had any Authority from the Court of Rome to make it; but that he
had made it as a private Man? Offering however, his Services at his Return to bring it about: that notwithstanding,
he had not corresponded with him for three or four Years.
That the Cypher, with the Provincial's Mark, was that
used between him and (fn. ‡) Father St. Germain: that he used no
Cypher to the Provincial: That he used another Cypher to
(fn. †) Rouvigny's Secretary, but not in public Concerns.
And being then ask'd, whether he knew of any other Sum
propos'd or treated on, he answer'd: That he believed there
was, to keep the King from joining the Confederates, but
could not affirm that any had been paid.
October 31. A Committee was appointed to enquire into
the Delays of issuing forth the Writs, and sending them
down for the electing of new Members: it having appear'd by the Clerk of the Crown, that, instead of returning the Writs after they were sealed, according to the
Order of the House, the Lord Chancellor had undertook
for their Delivery himself.
Mr. Robert Wright a Member examined and acquitted.
The same Day, Mr. Robert Wright, a Member, was
accused by the Speaker, of having corresponded with Cole
man: on which, he was examined by the House, and his
Papers search'd; but acquitted with Honour.
Mr. Coleman's Letters were then read; of which (fn. *) three
were enter'd in the Journals by Order of the House, viz. one from
Mr. Coleman to Father le Chaise, a second to the same, and
a third from le Chaise, acknowledging the Receipt of the
Sir Robert Sawyer's Report from the Committee appointed to draw up Reasons for a Conference with the Lords.
Upon the Evidence already arisen with regard to the Plot,
the House came to a Resolution, and appointed a Committee
to prepare Matters for a Conference with the Lords upon
it; who the next Day, Nov. 1. by Sir Robert Sawyer,
their Chairman, delivered in their Report as follows:
'That the House of Commons, after Examination of several Persons Papers, many of which his Majesty did acquaint the House had been communicated to your Lordships,
and deliberate Consideration had thereupon, came to this unanimous Resolution:
Resolution of the House with regard to the Plot.
Resolved, nem. con. 'That, upon the Evidence, that has
already appear'd to the House, that this House is of Opinion,
that there hath been and still is a damnable and hellish Plot
contriv'd, and carry'd on by Popish Recusants, for the assassinating and murdering the King, and for subverting the
Government, and rooting out and destroying the Protestant
The House of Commons, being very sensible of the imminent Danger both the King and Kingdom are in, do think
it their Duty to acquaint your Lordships therewith, and do
pray your Lordships will be pleased to take it into your serious Consideration, what Remedies are fit and suitable to
be apply'd for the preserving the King's Person and Government; to which the Commons shall readily concur, as
they doubt not of your Lordships Concurrence to such Remedies as have, or shall be by them proposed to your Lordships for effecting this great End.'
Sir Thomas Meers's Report of the Conference.
These Reasons being agreed to by the House, a Conference was immediately desired and obtained; an Account of
which was, in the Afternoon of the same Day, delivered to
the House from the Committee, by Sir Thomas Meers, viz.
That my Lord Chancellor manag'd the Conference, and
that what was deliver'd, was as follows:
'The Lords have consider'd the Votes of the House of
Commons, communicated to them at the Conference, and
have most readily and unanimously concurr'd with them
in it, nem. con. And their Lordships are very glad to see
that Zeal which the Commons have shew'd upon this Occasion, and do fully concur with them; that the most speedy
and serious Consideration of both Houses, is necessary for
preventing these imminent Dangers. In order whereunto,
their Lordships have resolved to sit de Die in Diem, Forenoon
and Afternoon, and desire the House of Commons would do
so too. And when their Lordships shall have well consider'd
of it, and proper Remedies for these Dangers, they will
be ready to communicate them to the House of Commons,
and will also take in good Part, whatever shall be communicated to them by the House of Commons; and will suffor nothing to be wanting on their Parts, which may preserve a good Correspondence between both Houses, which is
absolutely necessary to the Safety of the King and Kingdom.
Nov. 2. It was ordered by the House, that Mr. Speaker
do address his Majesty from the House, that Mr. Coleman
may be pardoned on a full Discovery, and that otherwise,
neither Pardon nor Reprieve might be granted him; to
both which Requests; his Majesty was pleased the same Day
to accord. It was likewise ordered, that Mr. Speaker should
signify what had pass'd to Mr. Coleman in Newgate,
who reply'd: 'That he was very sensible of the miserablenes of his Condition; for that he knew there was enough
already known to take away his Life, and that he did not
know enough to save it.' The same Day, the first Debate
arose on an Address for the removing his Royal Highness
from his Majesty's Person and Councils.
Sir Menry Capel's Report of Mr. Coleman's farther Examination in Newgate.
On the 7th, Sir Henry Capel reported from the Committee, appointed to examine Mr. Coleman in Newgate, That
the said Coleman received of Mr. Rouvigny 300l. and of
(fn. *) Mr. Courtin, 360l. for Intelligence of every Day's Debates
in Parliament, and for keeping a good Table.
That he received last Session of Mr. (fn. *) Barrillon 2500l. to
be distributed among Members of Parliament, which he
had converted to his own Use: That Mr. Barrillon had, on
the Occasion, pointed at several Members; and that he had
told Mr. Barrillon, he had comply'd with his Instructions.
That, at the End of the last Session, he received of Mr.
Barrillon 260l. more for Parliament Intelligence.
That Mr. Rouvigny, believing the Parliament was inflam'd by the Confederates against France, did therefore encourage him to pursue a Correspondence with Members: To
render which more effectual, he did treat with St. Germain,
about a Sum of Crowns to be dispos'd of among them.
That none of that Money was receiv'd.: That he enter'd
no foreign Letters in his Books, after his Correspondence
with Le Chaise ceas'd: That he was to receive 30,000l.
on procuring a Security for the Banker's Debt, which was
afterwards reduc'd to 7000l. in Silver, and 5000 Guineas:
of which he receiv'd but the Moiety of the Silver only.
And that this Contract made between himself and Sir
Robert Viner, Alderman Bakewell, and Mr. Whitehall,
was Verbal only.
Sign'd Edward Coleman.
An Address propos'd, to beseech his Majesty, to order Coleman's Letters to be printed.
The same Day the House agreed to an Address, and order'd it to be carry'd up to the Lords for their Concurrence:
That, whereas a most wicked Design had been carry'd on
for several Years past, for the utter Extirpation of the Protestant Religion and the Establish'd Government; and that
it was necessary to proceed against the Persons concern'd in
it, with unusual Severity: The House did humbly conceive
that the best way to satisfy the Minds of the People, and
stop the Mouths of the Papists, would be to publish some
undeniable Evidences of their Transactions here, and Correspondencies abroad; and therefore, humbly desir'd that his
Majesty would order Coleman's Letters to Father Le Chaise
to be printed, till a further Narrative of the Particulars
relating to the horrid Conspiracy may be publicly set forth.
A second Address for a Proclamation concerning certain Persons fled from Justice, and for disarming popish Recusants, &c.
Upon the 8th, Another Address was likewise read, and
ordered to the Lords for their Concurrence; humbly beseeching, That his Majesty would issue out his Royal Proclamation, prefixing a Day for certain (fn. *) Persons, charg'd
with being in the Conspiracy, who had since fled from
Justice, to render themselves in order to take their Trials;
commanding all Lieutenants, Deputy-Lieutenants, Justices
of the Peace, Sheriffs, Constables, &c. to endeavour to apprehend them.
And that it be inserted in the said Proclamation, That all
Constables, Church-wardens, Headboroughs, &c. do make out
a present List of all Popish Recusants, or reputed to be so, as
well House-keepers, as Lodgers, in their respective Parishes,
and lay the same before one of his Majesty's Justices of
the Peace near adjoining: Who shall send for the said Persons, and offer them the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy, and in case of a Refusal, to enter into Recognizance,
to appear at the next Session; or in Default of entring into
such Recognizance, to commit them to the Common-Goals
till the next Quarter-Session; when all such Persons so refusing, shall be proceeded against according to Law. That
special Commissions be forthwith issued under his Majesty's
Great-Seal of England, authorizing the respective Justices
of the Peace to administer the said Oaths. That all Lieutenants, Deputy-Lieutenants, and Justices of the Peace, do
proceed without Delay, to the disarming all such as refuse
to take the Oaths. That a Reward be given to such as shall
discover where their Arms are conceal'd, or shall apprehend
and bring before any Justice of Peace, any of the said Offenders. That all his Majesty's Officers of the Sea-Ports
may be enjoin'd to take special Care for the apprehending
all Popish Priests, &c. coming in or going out of the
Kingdom, to whom the Oaths shall be tender'd; the which,
if they shall refuse, the said Popish Priests shall be committed; and Notice thereof shall be sent to his Majesty's
Privy-Council, that such farther Course may be taken for
the Safety of his Majesty and his Government; as, in his
Majesty's great Wisdom, shall be thought fit.
A Third voted for a Form of Prayers relating to the Plot.
The same Day, the House farther resolv'd, That an
humble Address be presented to his Majesty, That there
may be a particular Prayer, or Prayers compos'd for the
Cities of London and Westminster relating to the Plot.
Mr. Secretary Coventry.
The 9th, Mr. Secretary Coventry inform'd the House,
That his Majesty had been made acquainted that there is an
Address depending before the House of Lords to be presented to his Majesty, for the Printing of Mr. Coleman's Letters.
That these Letters have not as yet been read in the House
of Lords, and that it was his Majesty's Pleasure (if this House
has done with the Letters) that the same should be return'd,
to the end they may be communicated to the Lords. With
which the House having comply'd, his Majesty order'd their
Attendance in the House of Peers; where he express'd
himself as follows:
The King's Speech to both Houses.
'My Lords and Gentlemen,
'I Am so very sensible of the great and extraordinary Care
you have already taken, and still continue to shew for
the Safety and Preservation of my Person in these Times
of Danger, that I could not satisfy myself without coming
hither on purpose to give you all my most hearty Thanks
for it. Nor do I think it enough to give you my Thanks
only, but I hold myself obliged to let you see withal, That
I do as much study your Preservation too as I can possibly;
and that I am as ready to join with you in all the Ways
and Means that may establish a firm Security of the Protestant Religion, as your own Hearts can wish: And this
not only during my Time, of which I am sure you have
no fear, but in future Ages, even to the End of the World.
And therefore I am come to assure you, that whatsoever
Bills you shall present, to be passed into Laws, to make
you safe in the Reign of my Successor, (so they tend not
to impeach the Right of Succession, nor the Descent of
the Crown in the true Line; and so as they restrain not
my Power, nor the just Rights of any Protestant Successor,)
shall find from me a ready Concurrence. And I desire
you withal, to think of some more effectual Means for the
Conviction of popish Recusants, and to expedite your
Councils as fast as you can, that the World may see our
Unanimity; and that I may have an Opportunity of shewing you how ready I am to do any thing, that may give
Comfort and Satisfaction to such dutiful and loyal Subjects.'
In the Afternoon, the House of Commons went to the
Banqueting-House at Whitehall, and, by their Speaker, returned his Majesty their humble and hearty Thanks, for his
most gracious Speech this Day made to both Houses of Parliament. To which his Majesty was pleased to give this
'Gentlemen, It shall always be my study to preserve the
Protestant Religion, and to advance and support the Interest of my People.'
The same Day Mr. Secretary Williamson acquainted the
House, That his Majesty had comply'd with their Request
for a particular Prayer for the Cities of London and Westminster, relating to the Plot.
The 10th, being Sunday, The House Resolv'd, that another Address be presented to his Majesty, relating to the
said Prayer, there being no mention made in it, of the Papists who are the Contrivers of this damnable and hellish
Plot, and humbly to desire his Majesty to give effectual
Orders that his Commons be obey'd.
The 11th, A Complaint having been made the 9th before, That the Commissions for taking the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy are not issued forth, pursuant, to his
Majesty's Proclamation: And a Committee having been appointed to draw up Reasons to be offer'd at a Conference
with the Lords thereon, Mr. Powle deliver'd in the Report
of the said Committee, as follows.
Mr. Powle's Report touching the Neglect in issuing out Commissions for Administering the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy.
Upon the Examination of the Clerk of the Crown, touching the Neglect in issuing out Commissions to the Justices of
the Peace, pursuant to his Majesty's Royal Proclamation,
and the Address of both Houses for Administering the Oaths
of Allegiance and Supremacy to Popish Recusants, and Persons suspected so to be; and the Clerk of the Crown having
inform'd the House of Commons, that a Draught of such
Commissions was prepar'd by the Attorney-General, and engross'd by the said Clerk of the Crown, and by him tender'd
last Thursday Morning to be seal'd by the Lord-Chancellor:
And that, nevertheless, the said Commissions, neither then,
nor at any Time since, to the Time of his Examination on
Saturday the 9th, at 5 o'Clock in the Afternoon, were, or
have been seal'd. And the House of Commons being very
sensible of the great Danger that may ensue to his Majesty
and these Kingdoms by such Delay, and his Lordship being
a Member of your House, thought fit to represent it to your
Lordships; desiring that your Lordships will speedily enquire into the Reason of this great Neglect and Contempt
of his Majesty's said Proclamation, and do therein, as to
Justice shall appertain.
His Report of a Conference with the Lords thereupon.
A Conference being then demanded by the Commons, and
granted by the Lords, Mr. Powle, at his Return deliver'd
the Substance of it in the following Words:
We have attended the Lords at the Conference, which
was manag'd by the Lord-Chancellor. He deliver'd all
by word of Mouth, without the help of any Paper; and
therefore I must crave pardon, if what I report be not exactly according to his Words, tho' I hope I shall not omit
any material Passage.
He began with telling us that the Lords were very well
pleased with the Representation made to them by the Commons, about the Neglect in issuing out the Commissions for
taking the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy. That it
was a Zeal well-becoming the House of Commons, not to
suffer it to be defeated by any Person whatever.
That there was no time yet lost in this Business; for, had
the Commissions been seal'd, it would have been hard to
find out the Persons to whom the Oaths were to be applied;
and that the Constables were still employ'd about that Work,
and had not yet made their Returns.
That, nevertheless, the Lords thought it not enough to
shew the Commons that there was no Negligence; but,
that, on the contrary, all Diligence had been used in the
expediting these Commissions: And that, therefore, their
Lordships had commanded him to acquaint us with the
whole Progress of those Commissions.
That it was true the Commissions had been drawn and
perus'd by the Attorney-General, and brought to the Seals
and not sealed, as the Clerk of the Crown had informed us;
but that it was great pity that the Clerk of the Crown was
not then in Court, that he might have acquainted us with the
whole truth of what pass'd at that time, as well as with that
part of the truth he had acquainted us withal.
That it had been debated in the House of Peers the day
before, what Regulations and Limits should be inserted in
the Commissions; for that their Lordships conceiv'd it hard,
that Persons aged, infirm, and not able to go out of town
with safety of their Lives, should not be excepted from
taking the Oaths; and this they thought was a Severity beyond the Intention of the Commons.
Their Lordships likewise observ'd, that there was a prudential Power reserv'd in fix Privy Counsellors, whereof the
Lord-Chancellor, Lord Treasurer or Principal Secretary of
State to be one, to grant Licences. And they thought it
reasonable, that the Persons so licens'd should be excepted;
else; the Hardship would be greater on those that staid than
those that went.
Their Lordships likewise thought that the Peers of this
Realm, who are excepted by Law from taking the Oaths of
Supremacy, were fit to be excepted out of this Commission:
As also, that foreign Merchants and Aliens, being no Subjects, were not within the Law, and could not be thought
dangerous; because they were such as did frequent the Exchange, and of whom my Lord-Mayor might have an account, and deliver a List of them to the Council-Table.
That the Lords thought it fit that these Exceptions should
be inserted into the said Commissions, that the Justices of the
Peace might see whom not to trouble; and thereupon their
Lordships gave him directions to make such Exceptions;
that the Attorney-General, sitting in Court when the Commissions were brought the next day to be seal'd, advis'd the
Officer who had the Seal to hold his hand: Whereupon
the Officer stepping to him, asked him, what he should do?
And he told him they must be alter'd.
That this Morning he had acquainted the Lords what
just causes he had to complain of the great Difficulty that
lay upon him, either by not obeying their Lordships, or
disobeying the whole Kingdom.
That he had brought before them Commissions for six
Counties, which comprehended all within ten Miles of London, to which the Proclamation did extend: And he produc'd before them two Forms of Commissions, one a general
Form extending to all, the other a particular Form with all
the aforesaid Exceptions; desiring their Resolutions in which
of the said Forms their Lordships would have the said Commissions passed.
That the Lords, tho' they thought the Exceptions most
reasonable, yet their Lordships consider'd that because those
Commissions had issued upon an Address of both Houses,
and that, therefore, to make Explanations by themselves,
which had not been communicated to the Commons, might
not agree with the good Correspondence which their Lordships should always endeavour to maintain between both
Houses; their Lordships gave him Directions to pass the
Commissions in the general Form, let the Hardship light
where it would, and gave him leave to withdraw presently
to seal the Commissions; which accordingly were all
He concluded with saying, 'And now, Gentlemen, you
have your full satisfaction.'
The Business of this Day ended with a Resolution,
that a Message should be sent to the Lords to remind them
of the Bill for the disabling Papists from sitting in either
House of Parliament.
An Address for tendering the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy to his Majesty's Servants.
The 12th, the House resolved, 'That, there being an Accusation of High-Treason against Sir William Godolphin,
his Majesty's Ambassador in Spain, an humble Address be
presented to his Majesty, to desire him to call home Sir
William Godolphin, to answer the Accusation.' To which
his Majesty was pleased to answer, 'That he had already
ordered his Letters of Revocation; and that he had a
Person in his eye, who he designed should succeed him in
that Service.' And on the same day the Commons presented another Address to his Majesty, praying, That a speçial Commission may be issued forth, for tendring the Oaths
of Allegiance and Supremacy to all the Servants of his Majesty and Royal Highness; and to all other Persons (except
his Majesty's Portugal Servants) residing within the Palaces
of Whitehall, St. James's and Somerset-house, and all other
his Majesty's Houses; and that there may be likewise special
Commissions issued forth, for tendering the said Oaths to all
Persons residing within the two Serjeants Inns, all the Inns
of Court, and Inns of Chancery.' To which his Majesty
return'd an Answer in Writing two days after.
The King's Answer.
'That as to all his Majesty's own Servants, all the Servants of his Royal Highness, all other Persons residing in
Whitehall, St. James's, Somerset-house, or any other of
his Majesty's Houses, except the menial Servants of the
Queen and Dutchess; as also all Persons within either of
the Serjeants Inns, or any of the Inns of Court, or Chancery, his Majesty grants it. But as to the Queen's menial
Servants, who are so very inconsiderable in their number,
and within the Articles of Marriage, his Majesty does not
think it fit. And his Majesty cannot but take notice, that
in a late Address from the House of Peers, the menial Servants of the Queen and Dutchess are excepted; and his
Majesty hopes that this House will proceed with the same
Moderation as to that particular.'
This Answer not being thought satisfactory, on the 15th
the House proceeded to another Address, in which they
humbly advise his Majesty, and renew their Desires, that
the Persons excepted in his Majesty's Message may be comprehended in the same Commission; for which they do, in
all Duty, lay before his Majesty the Reasons following.
Another Address to the same effect.
1. For the quieting of the Minds of your Majesty's good
Protestant Subjects, who have more than ordinary care and
solicitude for the Safety of your Majesty's Person, by reason of the notorious Conspiracy of the Popish Party at this
time, even against the Life of your sacred Majesty.
2. By your Majesty's Proclamation, set forth upon the
Address of both Houses, for banishing Popish Recusants ten
Miles from London, there is no such restriction.
3. The Discouragement it would be to this Kingdom, to
see so great a neglect; and the occasions that Papists would
take to say from thence, that all our Fears were groundless.
4. It is too great a countenance to the dangerous Factions
which are already come to that height, that it renders all
manner of Discouragement on that side necessary.
5. It is against the Laws and Statutes of the Realm;
which, as they are preserved and maintained by your Majesty's Authority, so we assure ourselves, you will not suffer
them to be thus violated by your Family and Royal Presence,
upon the account of Popish Recusants.
Secretary Williamson sent to the Tower. ; The King releases him.
On the 18th, the Commons being informed, that there
were several Commissions to Popish Recusants, and Warrants
also that they should be mustered, notwithstanding they had
not taken the Oaths, and subscribed the Declaration, according to the Act of Parliament, and that they were countersigned by Sir Joseph Williamson, Secretary of State: The
Notice of this raised such a Heat in the House, that they
immediately sent Sir Joseph, as a Member of their House,
to the Tower. This much offended the King, who the next
Day sent for the House of Commons to attend him in the
Banquetting-House in Whitehall, where, in a Speech to them
he told them plainly, 'That tho' they had committed his
'Servant without acquainting him; yet he intended to deal
more freely with them, and acquaint them with his In
tentions, to release his Secretary:' which accordingly he
did that very day.
Upon which immediately, the same day, the Commons
drew up an Address to his Majesty, to present to him these
Reasons of their Proceedings, in the Commitment of Sir
Joseph Williamson, as a Member of their House, viz.
An Address to the King that he might not be discharged.
'1. That divers Commissions were granted to Popish Officers, and counter-signed by the said Sir Joseph Williamson,
and delivered out in October last, since the Meeting of this
House, and the Discovery of the present Popish Conspiracy.
2. Divers Warrants have also been produced before us, of
Dispensations, contrary to Law, for Popish Officers to continue in their Commands, and to be passed in Muster, notwithstanding they have not taken the Oaths of Allegiance
and Supremacy, and received the blessed Sacrament of the
Lord's Supper, according to the Act of Parliament in that
behalf: All which said Warrants were likewise countersigned by the said Sir Joseph Williamson; which being
complained of to us, and confessed by the said Sir Joseph
Williamson, we your Majesty's most dutiful Subjects, having
the immediate Consideration before us, of the imminent
Danger of your Majesty's Person, the Safety whereof is
above all things most dear, and likewise the Dangers from
Popish Plots, so nearly threatning the Peace and Safety of
your Majesty's Government, and the Protestant Religion,
were humbly of opinion, we could not discharge our Duty
to your Majesty and the whole Kingdom, without the committing the said Sir Joseph Williamson; and therefore most
humbly desire, That he may not be discharged by your
Majesty. And we do farther most humbly desire your Majesty, to recal all Commissions granted to all Papists within
the Kingdom of England and Ireland, or any other of your
Majesty's Dominions and Territories.'
The Bill for disabling Papists, &c. sent back from the Lords with Amendments.
The 21st, the Lords sent back the Bill for disabling Papists from sitting in either House, with three Amendments,
and a Proviso; which being read, the first Amendment was
agreed to, but the second and third, relating to the Servants of the Queen and Dutchess of York, were rejected.
On the Proviso the House divided, and it was carried in the
Affirmative, Noes 150, Yeas 156. After which the House
appointed a Committee to draw up Reasons to be offer'd at
a Conference with the Lords, on the 2d and 3d Amendments. The same day a Fray happening in the House between Sir Jonathan Trelawney and Mr. Ash; the Question
was put, whether Sir Jonathan should be expell'd? On
which the House again divided, and it pass'd in the Negative,
Yeas 110, Noes 130, It was then resolv'd, that he should
be sent to the Tower, there to remain during the Session of
Parliament; and Mr. Ash was reprimanded in his Place by
the Speaker; and both were enjoin'd to prosecute their Quarrel no farther.
Mr. Powle. An Address propos'd for raising the Militia.
The 22d Mr. Powle deliver'd in the Address prepared by
the Committee appointed for that purpose, most humbly to
desire his Majesty that he would command all the Train'd
Bands to be in readiness, and that one third Part might do
Duty for fourteen Days; and after they are dismiss'd, the
two others: And to require them to be very vigilant in the
seizing all suspicious Persons, especially such as travel with
Arms, or at unseasonable times, or in unusual Numbers.
And likewise to command the Sheriffs to be ready with their
Posse, in case of Insurrections, &c.
Sent to the Lords for their Concurrence.
It was then resolv'd, that it should be sent to the Lords
for their Concurrence.
Mr. Powle's Report of the said Conference.
The 23d, Mr. Powle, reported from the Conference with
the Lords, on the said Address, That the Lord Privy Seal
manag'd the Conference, and that he acquainted them, that
the Lords, upon the Perusal of the Address, appointed a
Committee to consider of the Laws relating to the Militia,
who reported, that upon the Inspection of the Statutes they
found, that, without farther Authority, the Militia cannot be
kept up above 12 Days in one Year; and thereof four Days
to be for general Musters, and two, and two, and two, and
two, viz. eight Days, for particular Musters. And that of these
12 Days in many Counties, the Lieutenants have already
muster'd their Men some of these Days this present Year.
Not but that by his Majesty's Direction, (as appears by the
Statute) they may be kept up longer. But their Lordships
do not find that there is any power to raise Money to pay
Mr. Secretary Coventry.
Mr. Secretary Coventry then deliver'd his Majesty's Answer to the Address relating to the Commitment of Mr. Secretary Williamson, which was as follows:
'That he released Mr. Secretary Williamson before your,
Address came, as he told you in the Banquetting-House he
would do. As to the Returns of granting those Commissions, his Majesty acquainted you at large with them, in
his Speech, when you last attended him. But in answer
to your present Address, his Majesty promises to recal all
his Commissions whatsoever, given to Papists or reputed
Papists, either in England or Ireland, immediately; and
for his remoter Dominions, they shall likewise be recalled
with all the Expedition the Safety of those Places will
Sir Edward Deering.
Sir Edward Deering then deliver'd in the Reasons to be
offer'd to the Lords in a Conference, for rejecting their Amendments to the Bill for disabling Papists from sitting in
either House, which were to this effect:
Reasons to be offer'd to the Lords at a Conference on their Amendments above mentioned.
That both Houses having voted that the King's Person
was in danger from the Popish Conspiracy, it would not
only be most dangerous to his Majesty's Person, but inconsistent with such Votes, to admit Popish Recusants either to
reside in the Palace or approach his Person.
That all Popish Recusants being by Proclamation at the
instance of both Houses required to remove 10 Miles from
London, we cannot think it advisable that any should be
harboured in his Majesty's House, where the danger was
more imminent than any where else.
That the Design of this Act being for a farther Security
of all Popish Recusants, the Commons cannot think it reasonable to allow any of them liberty, contrary to the Law
already in being; and if such a Number of the Queen's Servants, and her Royal Highness's are in general Terms excepted out of the Act, it will follow, that if any Peer, or
Member of this House be so nominated by them, he will
thereby be capable of sitting in Parliament without taking
It was then resolved, that a Conference with the Lords
should be required; which being agreed to, and the Managers return'd, Sir Edward Deering gave in his Report as
Sir Edward Deering's Report thereupon.
'That the Conference was manag'd by the Lord Chancellor, who acquainted them, that the Lords had consider'd of
the Reasons offer'd at the last Conference; and that they carry'd great Weight with them: And that the Lords did propose an Expedient, which was for striking the Queen wholly
out of the Bill; and so have her Servants liable to the Law,
in general; in which they hoped this House would concur.
But if this House should not think fit to concur with this
Expedient, that then their Lordships would take the Amendments and Reasons into farther Consideration. That my
Lord Privy-Seal told them, that there were Precedents in the
Case, but did not name any.'
The House then resolv'd not to agree to the said Expedients, and that the Persons employ'd in the former Conference,
should prepare Reasons to be offered at another.
On the 25th, having repair'd to the House of Peers, the
King commanded the House to attend him there, on which
Occasion he deliver'd the following Speech from the Throne.
The King's third Speech to both Houses.
'My Lords and Gentlemen,
'I Told you in the Beginning of this Session, how much I
had been obliged to keep up my Forces in Flanders:
That without it our Neighbours had absolutely despaired,
and by this Means, whatever has been saved of Flanders,
is acknowledged to be wholly due to my Interposition: And
I shewed you withal, that I had been forced to employ that
Money which had been raised for the disbanding those
Troops, in the continuance of them together; and not only so, but that I had been much more out of Purse for that
Service; a Service by which the Honour and Interest of
the Nation have been so much improved, that as I am
confident no Man would repine at it, so I did not doubt
but you would all be willing to supply it. I have now
undergone this Expence so long, that I find it absolutely
impossible to support the Charge any longer; and did
therefore think of putting an end to that Charge, by recalling my Troops with all possible speed, who are already
exposed to the utmost Want and Misery, being without
any Prospect of farther Pay or Subsistence. But whilst I
was about to do this, I have been importuned by the Spanish Ministers to continue them a little longer, until the
Ratifications of the Peace be exchanged; without which,
all that hath been hitherto saved in Flanders, will inevitably fall into the Hands of their Enemies. And now, between this Importunity to keep up those Troops, and my
own Inability to pay them any longer, I find myself in
great Difficulties what to resolve. If you do not think
that the public Safety may require the Continuance, I
do wish us heartily as any Man, that for the public Ease,
they may be speedily disbanded, and paid off. I have
thought fit thus to lay the Matter before you; and having
acquitted myself to all the World, by asking your Advice and Assistance, I desire it may be speedy, and without
any manner of Delay.'
Sir Edward Deering's Report concerning the Lord's Expedient.
The same Day, Sir Edward Deering reported the Reasons to be offer'd against the Lords Expedient, which, with
some Amendments made at the Table, were to the following
'That it is contrary to the Custom of Parliament, to
strike out any thing in a Bill, which has been fully agreed,
and pass'd in both Houses.
'That in the Amendment propos'd to the Bill by your
Lordships, to which the Commons have disagreed, the Number of the Queen's Servants to be excepted out of the Act,
was limited: But by leaving the Queen's Name out of the
Bill, she may have them without Number: which aggravates the Mischief, and consequently hath not the Nature
of an Expedient.
'That one Bill for preventing Dangers from Popish Recusants, has already been found ineffectual, by reason there
was no express Mention of the Queen's Servants.
'That the Scope of the Bill not only relates to the moving Papists out of both Houses of Parliament, but also from
the Court, as appears both from the Preamble and Body of
the Bill; and the Dangers his Majesty is expos'd to, may
be reasonably suppos'd to be chiefly in his Court: And
that the Safety of his Person, the Commons think ought to
be more consider'd, than any Respect to any Person whatever.'
A Conference resolved thereon.
And upon these Premises, it was resolved, that another
Conference should be desired.
Sir Edward Deering's Report of the same.
The next Day being the 25th, the said Conference was
held, and of which Sir Edward Deering made the following
'That the Lord Chancellor manag'd the Conference;
and, that the Lords, having consider'd the Reasons offer'd at
the last, propos'd a farther Expedient, with which they
hoped this House would concur.
'That the Lords did insist upon the Amendments by
them made, which related to the Queen's Portugal Servants: That they wav'd what related to the excepting a
limited Number of Men-Servants to the Queen and Dutchess;
and did now only except a small Number of Women-Servants, from whom no Assassination could be reasonably apprehended.'
A Motion being then made, that the Words (not exceed
nine in Number at any one Time,) should be added to the
Lords Amendment, relating to the Portugal Servants; the
Question was put, Whether the House should then adjourn,
but pass'd in the Negative: Yeas, 71; Noes, 81.
An Amendment of the Lords rejected.
After which, the Question being put to agree with the
Lords in what related to the Dutchess of York's WomenServants, it pass'd in the Negative: Yeas, 65; Noes, 87.
And the former Managers were directed to prepare Reasons
to be offered at another Conference with the Lords, why
the House did not agree with that Part of their Amendment.
Sir Edward Deering's Report from the Committee on the said Amendment, to be offer'd to the Lords.
The 27th, Sir Edward Deering delivered in his Report
from the said Managers as follows:
'That, as their Lordships had propos'd their Addition,
the Number of her Majesty's Portugal-Servants, being unlimited, might be increas'd to a Degree that might be very
'And that as to the Amendments relating to her Royal
Highness, the Commons conceive it to be an Innovation in
the Law, to allow any Person except the Queen, any Family of her own separate and distinct.'
The same Day, the said Reasons, together with the Bill,
were left with the Lords, who presently after signify'd by
Message, their Assent to the Militia-Bill; and that for disabling Papists to sit in Parliament.
The Commons resolve to disband the Army. ; An Address to remove the Queen from Court.
The House then proceeded to the Consideration of the
State of the Nation, in relation to the Army; and resolved,
nemine contradicente, 'That it is necessary for the Safety of
his Majesty's Person, and Preservation of the Peace of the Government, that all the Forces that have been raised since the
29th of September 1677, and all others that since that time
have been brought over from beyond Seas from foreign Service, be forthwith disbanded: And farther in these Words
resolved, It is the humble Opinion and Desire of the House,
That the Forces which are now in Flanders, may be immediately called over, in order to their disbanding.
The 28th, Mr. Secretary Coventry acquainted the House,
that the Vote with relation to the disbanding the Army, had
been presented to his Majesty; which being a Matter of
great Moment, he would consult and advise with his House
of Lords, before he would give an Answer. After which,
Mr. Oates having deliver'd certain Informations to the House
against the Queen, the following Address was immediately
prepar'd, and order'd to the Lords for their Concurrence.
'We your Majesty's loyal and dutiful Subjects, the and
Commons in Parliament assembled, having receiv'd Information, by several Witnesses, of a most desperate and traitorous
Design and Conspiracy against the Life of your most Sacred
Majesty, wherein, to their great Astonishment, the Queen is
particularly charged, and accus'd; in discharge of our Allegiance, and out of our Affection and Care for the Preservation of your Majesty's sacred Person, and, consequently, of
the whole Kingdom, do most humbly beseech your Majesty
that the Queen, and all her Family, and all Papists, or reputed or suspected Papists, be forthwith remov'd from your
Majesty's Court at White-hall.
The King passes the Bill against the Papists, but rejects that for raising the Militia.
Upon the 30th, the King went to the House of Peers,
and having sent for the Commons, passed the Bill For disabling Papists from sitting in either House of Parliament. But
the Militia Bill; presented at the same Time, he totally rejected, alledging, 'That it was to put the Militia out of his
Power, which thing he would not do, no not for one
Hour; but, if the Commons would assist him with Money
for that Purpose, he would take care to raise such a Part
of the Militia, as should secure the Peace of the Government, and his own Person.'
An Address resolv'd on the State and Danger of the Nation.
December 2. The House order'd, That an humble Address be presented to his Majesty, containing a Representation of the present State, and Dangers of this Nation, to be
grounded on the following Heads, viz. 1. On the Misrepresentation of the Proceedings of this House.
2. On the Dangers that have and may arise from private
Advices, contrary to the Advice of Parliament.
[The House divided on this Article, and it was carry'd in
the Affirmative, Yeas 138. Noes 114.]
3. On the great Danger the Nation lies under from the
Growth of Popery.
4. On the Danger that may arise to his Majesty and the
Kingdom, by the Non-observation of the Laws, that have
been made for the Preservation of the Peace and Safety of
the King and Kingdom.
Mr. Secretary Coventry delivers a Message to the House, from the King.
The 4th, Mr. Secretary Coventry deliver'd a Message to
the House in Writing, from the King, which was as
'His Majesty, to prevent all Misunderstandings that may
arise from his not passing the late Bill of the Militia, is
pleas'd to declare, That he will readily assent to any Bill
of that kind, which shall be tender'd to him, for the public
Security of the Kingdom, by the Militia, so as the whole
Power of calling, continuing, or not continuing of them
together, during the Time limited, be left to his Majesty,
to do therein as he shall find most expedient for the public
Five Popish Lords Impeach'd.
The 5th, the House impeach'd Lord Arundel of Wardour, the Earl of Powis, Lord Viscount Stafford, Lord Petre,
and Lord Bellasis of Treason, and other high Crimes and
The King disowns a verbal Message delivered to the House by the said Secretary.
The 7th, Mr. Speaker signify'd to the House; that he
had acquainted his Majesty, altho it was not by Order of the
House, of the Entry that was made of his Majesty's Answer
to the Address concerning the calling over the Forces out
of Flanders; and that his Majesty was pleas'd to declare,
That he never gave Orders for such Answer. But that his Majesty's Intention was only in relation to the Forces that were
in Flanders; and, that Circumstances, as to those Forces,
were alter'd since that Time; and that his Majesty had already given Order for their disbanding.
A Supply granted for disbanding the Army.
The 16th, The House Resolv'd, That the Bill for granting a Supply to his Majesty, for Paying off, and Disbanding
the Forces, &c. should pass; and that it should be entitled,
An Act for granting a Supply to his Majesty, of 206,462 l. 17s. 3d.
for the effectual Paying off, and Disbanding the Forces rais'd, or
brought over from foreign Parts, into this Kingdom since September 29, 1677.
A Message from the King, to inform the House, that he had ordéred Mr. Montagu's Papers to be seiz'd.
The 19th, Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer (Sir John
Ernley) acquainted the House, that he was commanded by his
Majesty to inform the House that his Majesty having receiv'd
Information that his late Embassador in France, Mr. Montagu,
a Member of this House, had held several private Conferences
with the Pope's Nuncio there, without any Direction or Instruction from his Majesty, to the end he might know the Truth
of that Matter, he had given Order for the seizing Mr. Montagu's Papers.
Their Resolution thereon.
Upon which the House resolv'd, That no Judgment could
be made, either in relation to their Member, or Privilege
of the House, which may be in a great measure invaded,
unless his Majesty will be graciously pleas'd to let this House
know, whether the Information against Mr. Montagu was
given upon Oath, or of what Nature the Offence was, that
was thus complain'd of.
Transmitted to the King.
A Committee was then appointed, instantly to wait upon
the King with this Vote, who, upon their Return, inform'd
the House, That they had been to wait upon his Majesty,
according to Order, who had sent them Word out of the
House of Lords, that he was at that Time very busy, and
that his Majesty had rather they would attend him at Whitehall, when the House was up.
Mr. Montagu offers the House certain Papers of Consequence. Which are sent for.
Mr. Montagu, then, took this Opportunity to acquaint the
House, that he had in his Custody several Papers, which
he conceiv'd might tend very much to the Safety of his Majesty's Person, and the Preservation of the Kingdom. This
produc'd an Order of the House, That certain Members
should be dispatch'd to bring them before the House; which
was presently done, and Mr. Montagu himself was order'd
to open the Box, and select such, as he thought might be
for the Service of the House; and dispose of all those, which
properly concern'd himself, as he thought fit. Mr. Montagu,
then, presented two Letters to the House, subscrib'd Danby,
the first, dated January 17, 1677; and the second,
March 25. 1678. both which, were read by Mr. Speaker to
the House, who took great Exceptions to the following
From the First, 'Yesterday young Rouvigny came to me
with Monsieur Barillon, (having given me his Father's
Letters the Day before) and discoursed much upon the
Considence the French King hath of the Firmness of our's
to him; of the good Opinion his Master hath of me; of his
King's Resolution to condescend to any thing that is not infamous to him, for the Satisfaction of our King; how certainly our King may depend upon all Assistances and Supplies
from his Master, in case the Friendship be preserved.—The
main of their Drist was, to engage me to prevail with the
Prince of Orange, as to the Town of Tournay—The King
must come to some Declaration of his Mind to the Parliament when it meets. That which makes the Hopes of Peace
less probable, is, that the Duke grows every day less inclined to it, and has created a greater Indifferency in the
King than I could have imagined; which added to the
French King's Resolutions, not to part with Tournay, does,
I confess, make me despair of any Accommodation: Nevertheless. I am assured, that one principal Cause of this Adjournment for thirteen Days, has been to see if any Expedient for the Peace could have been found in that Time;
and the Effect of the Adjournment hath hitherto been, that
no body will now believe other than that the Peace is already
concluded between us and France.'
From the Second: 'In case the Conditions of the Peace
shall be accepted, the King expects to have six Millions of
Livres a Year, for three Years, from the Time that this
Agreement shall be signed betwixt his Majesty and the King
of France; because it will probably be two or three Years
before the Parliament will be in the Humour to give him
any Supplies, after the making any Peace with France; and
the Ambassador here has always agreed to that Sum, but not
for so long a Time. If you find the Peace will not be accepted, you are not to mention the Money at all; and all
possible Care must be taken to have this whole Negotiation
as private as is possible, for fear of giving Offence at home;
where, for the most part, we hear, in ten Days after, of any
thing that is communicated to the French Minister.
At the bottom of this Letter are these Words: This
Letter is writ by my Order. C. R.
An Impeachment voted against Lord Danby.
Upon reading of these Letters, the House was all in a
Flame, which was no ways allayed by the King's own
Hand that appeared at the bottom; and it being propounded,
That there was sufficient Matter of Impeachment, the House
divided on the previous Question, which was carry'd in the
Affirmative, Yeas 179, Noes 116. A Committee was immediately appointed to draw up Articles, of which Mr.
Montagu was one; and a Resolution pass'd, That the
Speaker should not at any time adjourn the House, without
first putting the Question, if insisted on.
The 20th, Mr. Speaker inform'd the House, That he had
receiv'd a Letter from the Lord-Treasurer (Danby) inclosing
two others written by Mr. Montagu, while Embassador at
Paris, which he conceived to be for the Service of the
House. The said three Letters were (fn. *) read, and then the
Certain Amendments, added by the Lords to the Bill of Supply, rejected.
The 21st, The Lords sent down the Bill for raising
l. 206, 462. 17. 3. for the Payment, and Disbanding of the
Forces, &c. with several Amendments, which were read, and
the greatest Part rejected: And a Committee was appointed
to prepare Reasons to be offer'd at a Conference.
The same day the Articles of Impeachment against the
Earl of Danby were read, and are as follow:
Articles of Impeachment against the Earl of Danby.
I. That he hath traitorously engross'd to himself regal
Power, by treating in Matters of Peace and War with
foreign Princes and Ambassadors, and giving Instructions to
his Majesty's Ambassadors abroad, without communicating
the same to the Secretaries of State, and the rest of his Majesty's Council, &c.
II. That he hath traitorously endeavoured, to subvert the
ancient and well-established Form of Government; and, instead thereof, to introduce an arbitrary and tyrannical Way
of Government; and, the better to effect this his Purpose, he
did design the raising of an Army, under pretence of a War
against the French King, and then to continue the same, as
a Standing-Army within this Kingdom: And an Army being so raised, and no War ensuing, an Act being passed to
pay and disband the same, he did continue the Army contrary to the said Act, and misapplied the Money to the Continuance thereof, and wilfully neglected to take Security of
the Pay Masters of the Army, as the said Act required,
whereby the said Law is eluded, and the Army is, yet, continued, to the great Danger, and unnecessary Charge of his
Majesty, and the whole Kingdom, &c.
III. That he, traitorously intending and designing to alienate the Hearts and Affections of his Majesty's good Subjects, from his Royal Person and Government, and to hinder
the Meetings of Parliaments, and to deprive his Majesty of
their safe and wholesome Counsel, did propose and negotiate
a Peace for the French King, upon Terms disadvantageous
to the Interest of his Majesty, and his Kingdoms; for the doing whereof, he endeavoured to procure a great Sum of Money from the French King, for enabling him to maintain
and carry on his said traitorous Designs and Purposes.
IV. That he is popishly affected, and hath traitorously
concealed (after he had notice) the late horrid and bloody
Plot and Conspiracy, contrived by the Papists against his
Majesty's Person and Government; and hath suppressed the
Evidence, and reproachfully discountenanced the King's
Witnesses in the Discovery of it, in favour of Popery,
V. That he hath wasted the King's Treasure, by issuing
out of his Majesty's Exchequer several Branches of his Revenue for unnecessary Pensions and secret Services, to the
Value of 231,602 Pounds, within two Years, &c. And he
hath removed two of his Majesty's Commissioners of that
part of the Revenue, for refusing to consent to such his
unwarrantable Actings therein, and to advance Money upon
that Branch of the Revenue for private Uses.
VI. That he hath, by indirect means, procured from his
Majesty to himself, divers considerable Gifts and Grants of
Inheritance, of the ancient Revenue of the Crown, even
contrary to Acts of Parliament.
On reading the first Article a second time, the Question
was put, that the Articles be committed, which pass'd in the
Negative, Yeas 137, Noes 179.
The House divided next on a Motion for Candles, which
passed in the Affirmative, Yeas 165, Noes 115.
The House again divided on a Motion to leave out the
Word traitorously in the first Article, which passed in the
Negative, Noes 179, Yeas 141.
On a Resolution that Lord Danby should be impeach'd
on the above-recited Articles, a Motion was made to adjourn, but over-ruled, Yeas 142, Noes 170.
The last Division during this grand Debate, was on a Motion whether the said Lord should be impeach'd on the 4th
Article, and it was carried in the Affirmative, Yeas 143,
Several Letters laid before the House by the King's Order, relating to Mr. Montagu.
The 23d, Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer presented
several Letters (afterwards Read) to the House, by Order
of his Majesty, in answer to their Address, to know whether
the Information against Mr Montagu was taken upon Oath,
and of what nature the Offence was, that was complained of.
Mr. Powle's Report of Reasons for rejecting the Lords Amendments to the Bill of Supply.
The same day Mr. Powle deliver'd in his Report from
the Committee appointed to prepare Reasons to be offer'd
to the Lords at a Conference why the House did not agree
to the Amendments made by them to the Bill, for granting
a Supply, &c. which, in Substance, was as follows:
That the Appointment of Receiver-General by his Majesty, being made by their Lordships in reference to the
Payment of the Money into the Exchequer; the Commons
disagreeing with their Lordships in that Amendment, the
Reasons of that Appointment cease.
That if the nominating a Receiver-General should be delay'd, the whole Business of disbanding would be delay'd or
That the Commons granted a Sum of Money for disbanding the Army last Year, and intrusted it to the Exchequer;
but that the said Sum was employ'd for the Continuance of
the Army, without disbanding one Man; and that they
cannot think it safe to trust the Exchequer again, while manag'd by the same Persons.
That the Commons have directed the Payment of the
Money into the Chamber of London, for its Security; and
that their Lordships never before chang'd any such Disposition made on a Supply granted by the Commons.
That the Commons do not conceive certain Words added
by the Lords to be necessary.
That in naming Colonel Birch, their Lordships have omitted his Title of Colonel.
That the Commons, thinking it necessary for the Peace and
Safety of the Kingdom, that the Army should be immediately disbanded, to prevent all Evasions, have enumerated
all ways hitherto used for that purpose, that they might be
declar'd to be within the Penalties of the present Act.
That it being essential that the Soldiers should disperse
as soon as they are disbanded, the Commons do not think
the Penalty of Felony too great in case of Disobedience.
That the Commons think fit to continue the Preamble to
the Clause of Indemnity, because it contains the Reasons for
inserting that Clause in the Bill.
[Here follow'd two other Reasons relating to the Addition of
the Word such, which being unintelligible, without the Amendments themselves, are left out.]
That this being an Act for the more effectual disbanding
of the Army, the Commons did limit the Indemnity to the
Officers and Soldiers, being the Persons that were to be disbanded; that, thereby, they might be encourag'd to disperse,
when they were satisfy'd they might return home with safety:
And the Commons not thinking it necessary or convenient
to extend it any farther.
That the Commons do not think fit to extend the Indemnity to any Person enlisted, or mustered, since November 1;
because they see no occasion why any such Person should be
taken into the Army, unless it were to increase the Charge,
or for some ill purpose.
Sir Henry Capel.
The same day Sir Henry Capel attended the Lords, with
the Articles of Impeachment against the Lord-Treasurer.
The 28th, what passed between the Lords and Commons
at a Conference on the Amendments added by the First on
the Bill for a Supply, was reported to this purpose by Mr.
Mr. Powle's Report of the Conference, on rejecting the Amendments, &c.
That the Conference was manag'd by the Lord PrivySeal, who declar'd it was principally desir'd with regard to
three Points, viz. That of the Receiver-General; That of
the Place for lodging the Money; and, That for indemnifying for the Breach of the former Act, and the Penalty for
offending against this.
1. That their Lordships insist on their Amendment with
regard-to the Appointment of a Receiver-General; because
the Money is to be paid into the Exchequer.
2. That the most expeditions way to nominate a ReceiverGeneral, is to leave it to his Majesty; who, having the highest Trust, is most concern'd, that the Army should be speedily
and effectually disbanded.
3. That we conceive it tends more to Certainty and Expedition, to leave his Majesty to make use of such Officers
as are now in being, than to seek new.
The Reasons of our insisting to have the Money paid into
the Exchequer, are,
1. Because the Exchequer is an ancient Court, established
both by common Law and Statute for all Receipts of his
Majesty's Money, and managing Matters relating to the Revenue.
2. That finding it inconvenient and grievous to the Subject, that his Majesty's Revenues of all forts should not be
paid into the Exchequer, divers Laws have been made to
enforce the Payment of all Money there.
3. That in case of Injuries to the Subject, this Act provides no Redress, in case the Money should be paid into the
Chamber of London: Whereas, by Law, every Subject
injur'd in his Payment, is to have Remedy before the Barons.
4. That their Lordships cannot suspect that any Person
employ'd in disbanding the Army would mis-employ the
Money which is appropriated for that purpose, under such
severe Penalties, and to be dispos'd of by Commissioners
appointed by the House of Commons.
5. That the Act provides no Security for the Money, if
lodg'd in the Chamber of London; nor any Remedy against
the Chamberlain, in case of Breach of Trust.
6. That the not disbanding the Army last Year, according
to the Bill for that end, was not owing to any Fault in the
Exchequer, but the Necessity of Affairs; as his Majesty signified to both Houses at the Opening of the Session.
7. The Army was continued, which occasioned the Clause
of Indemnity to all those that have since continued in Arms;
and this is not only a reason for our Amendments, but an
Answer to the first Reason of the House of Commons upon
8. That their Lordships cannot charge their Memories
with not having alter'd any such Disposition made in a Supply. But that, nevertheless, their Lordships do herein but
claim the Exercise of their Right, to make Alterations according to their Judgments.
The 9th Article being unintelligible, is omitted.
To the Reasons concerning Colonel Birch, the Lords
The Lords insist upon their Amendments, against the following Reasons offer'd by the Commons: Because they conceive the effectual disbanding the Army is secur'd, as they
have amended the Bill. As the Commons sent it up, it would
have invaded the King's declar'd Power, to have rais'd or
employ'd the Army on any other Emergency; it would have
disabled him from filling up the Guards and standing Troops,
and furnishing the Islands out of the Forces so disbanded;
which is likewise a main reason why the Lords could not
consent to make the Penalty of Felony so extensive, as to
reach any so employ'd.
And we do insist on leaving out the Preamble to the
Clause of Indemnity, because of the Necessity there was for
the Army's Continuance; and for the same reason we insist
on the Word such, &c.
That, concerning the Indemnity being limited by the
Commons to Officers and Soldiers, the Lords thought fit to
enlarge it to all other Persons; and being a Work of Mercy, and no Officer impeach'd or question'd for Breach of the
former Act; and for the same reason they insisted on their
two last Amendments.
Dissatisfactory to the Commons.
The Question was then put, to agree to these Amendments,
and passed in the Negative without a Division: After which
other Reasons were appointed to be drawn up, and another
Conference was desired. But, on the 30th, the King commanded their Attendance in the House of Peers; where, he
put an end to the Session, with a Speech to the following
The King's Speech at proroguing the Parliament.
'That it was with great unwillingness that he came
to tell them, that he intended to prorogue them;
that all of them were Witnesses he had not been well
used, the Particulars of which he would acquaint them
with at a more seasonable time. In the mean time he
would immediately enter upon the disbanding the Army,
and do what good he could for the Kingdom, and Safety
of Religion; and that he would prosecute the Discovery
of the Popish Plot, to find out the Instruments of it, and
to take all the Care that was in his power to secure the
Protestant Religion, as it was now by Law established.'
And accordingly his Majesty was pleased to prorogue the
Parliament till the 4th Day of February next. And thus
ended the Eighteenth and last Session of the Second and
long Parliament, after it had continued the Space of two
Months and nine Days.
On the 24th of January, his Majesty issu'd out a Proclamation, in which he declared,
A Proclamation, to dissolve the Parliament.
'That he had taken into his serious Consideration, the
many Inconveniencies arising by the over-long Continuance
of one and the same Parliament; wherefore he publishes
and declares his Royal Will and Pleasure to dissolve this
present Parliament. But to the Intent his Majesty's loyal
Subjects may perceive the Confidence his Majesty hath in
their good Affections, and how willing and desirous his Majesty is to meet his People, and have their Advice by
their Representatives in Parliament, he will cause Writs
in due Form of Law, to be forthwith issued for the calling of a new Parliament, which shall begin and be
holden at Westminster, on Thursday the sixth Day of
March next; when his Majesty doth expect such Laws
will be enacted, and such Order taken, by the Consent
and Advice of his Parliament, as will tend to the securing
the true Protestant Religion, and the peaceable and happy
Government of this his Kingdom.'