The fourth parliament of King William
First session - begins 24/8/1698

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History of Parliament Trust

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Year published

1742

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91-106

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'The fourth parliament of King William: First session - begins 24/8/1698', The History and Proceedings of the House of Commons : volume 3: 1695-1706 (1742), pp. 91-106. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=37657 Date accessed: 18 September 2014.


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Fourth Parliament.

On Tuesday December 6th, a new Parliament met at Westminster; and his Majesty coming to the House of Peers with the usual Solemnity, sent for the Commons, to whom the Lord-Chancellor signified his Majesty's Pleasure, that they should proceed to the Choice of a Speaker, and present him on Friday next. The Commons made choice of Sir Thomas Littleton Bart. who being presented on December 9th, was graciously approved by his Majesty, who then made this Speech to both Houses.

King's Speech.

'My Lords and Gentlemen,

'I Have no doubt but you are met together with Hearts fully disposed, to do what is necessary for the Safety, Honour and Happiness of the Kingdom; and that is all I have to ask of you.

'In order to this, two Things seem principally to require your Consideration.

'The one is, what Strength ought to be maintained at Sea, and what Force kept up at Land for this Year. All I shall observe to you upon this head is, that the flourishing of Trade, the supporting of Credit, and the quiet of People's Minds at home, will depend upon the opinion they have of their Security; and to preserve to England the Weight and Influence it has at present on the Councils and Affairs abroad, it will be requisite Europe should see you will not be wanting to yourselves.

'The second thing I shall mention to you as of great consequence, is the making some further Progress toward discharging the Debts, which the Nation has contracted by reason of the long and expensive War. In this the public Interest as well as Justice is concerned; and, I think an English Parliament can never make such a Mistake, as not to hold sacred all Parliamentary Engagements.

'Gentlemen of the House of Commons,

'I do earnestly recommend these things to you, that you may provide such Supplies as you shall judge necessary for these several Occasions.

'My Lords and Gentlemen,

'I think it would be happy, if some effectual Expedient could be found for employing the Poor, which might tend to the Increase of our Manufactures, as well as remove a heavy Burthen from the People. I hope also you will employ your Thoughts about some good Bills for the Advancement of Trade, and for the further discouraging of Vice and Prophaneness. The Things I have mentioned to you being of common Concern, I cannot but hope for Unanimity and Dispatch.'

This Speech, as usual, being taken into Consideration by the House, it was thought by the Majority but a natural Effect of Peace, to reduce the Army. Accordingly, after the Affair had been thoroughly debated on both sides, they came to the following Resolutions, viz.

Vote to reduce the Army.

'That all the Land-Forces of England, in English Pay, exceeding seven thousand Men (and those consisting of his Majesty's natural-born Subjects) be forthwith paid and disbanded. And that all the Forces in Ireland, exceeding twelve thousand Men (and those his Majesty's natural-born Subjects, to be kept and maintained by the Kingdom of Ireland) be likewise forthwith disbanded. And they ordered a Bill to be brought in upon the said Resolutions, which was eagerly pushed on, and soon brought to perfection.

These Proceedings, we are told, made the King very uneasy; and the more so, because his Dutch Regiment of Guards, who had so long served him, was by this Bill to be torn away from him, and to be sent out of the Kingdom. However, his Majesty like a wise and good Prince, never opposing his own Will, to what seemed to be the Voice and Judgment of his People, chose rather to compliment the Commons, than to contend with them. So on Wednesday Feb. the 1st, the King came to the Parliament, and gave the Royal Assent to several Bills.

After which his Majesty made the following Speech, to shew his Reasons for passing the disbanding Bill, and yet to expostulate a little upon the Hardship of it.

King's Speech to both Houses on that occasion.

'My Lords and Gentlemen,

I Came to pass the Bill for disbanding the Army, as soon as I understood it was ready for me: Though in our present Circumstances there appears great hazard in breaking such a Number of the Troops: And though I might think my self unkindly used, that those Guards who came over with me to your Assistance, and have constantly attended me in all the Actions wherein I have been engaged, should be removed from me; yet it is my fixed opinion, that nothing can be so fatal to us, as that any Distrust or Jealousy should arise between me and my People, which I must own would have been very unexpected, after what I have undertaken, ventured, and acted for the restoring and securing of their Liberties.

'I have thus plainly told you the only Reason which has induced me to pass this Bill: And now I think my self obliged, in Discharge of the Trust reposed in me, and for my own Justification, that no ill Consequences may lie at my door, to tell you as plainly my Judgment, that the Nation is left too much exposed.

'It is therefore incumbent on you to take this Matter into your serious Consideration, and effectually to provide such a Strength as is necessary for the Safety of the Kingdom, and the Preservation of the Peace which God hath given us.'

The Commons were so well pleased with this gracious Complaisance of the King, that they immediately resolved, That an humble Address be presented to the King, to give his Majesty Thanks for his most gracious Speech to both Houses of Parliament with the Assurances of this House, That they will stand by, and assist his Majesty in the Support of him and his Government, against all Enemies whatsoever. And they accordingly put their Resolution into this Form of Address.

Commons Address of Thanks.

'Most gracious Sovereign,

'We your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal Subjects, the Commons in Parliament assembled, being highly sensible of the Difficulties your Majesty has undertaken, the Labours you have sustained, and the Hazards you have run, in rescuing us from Popery and Arbitrary Power, restoring our Liberties, and giving Peace and Quiet to all Christendom; beg leave to return our most hearty Thanks, for your most gracious Speech: In which you express so great a Regard for the good Will and Affections of your People, and have given so undeniable a Proof of your Readiness to comply with the Desires of your Parliament; and as your Majesty has shewn a most tender and fatherly Concern for the Security and Safety of your People; so give us leave to assure your Majesty, That you shall never have reason to think the Commons are undutiful, or unkind to your Majesty; but that we will upon all occasions stand by, and assist your Majesty in the Preservation of your sacred Person, and Support of your Government against all your Enemies whatsoever.'

This Address being presented by the whole House, had the Honour to be thus answered by the King.

King's Answer.

'Gentlemen,

'I take this Address very kindly: I am fully satisfied of your Duty and Affection to me, and have no doubt but you will always act in the manner you have expressed on this occasion.'

Admiral Russel's Account.

March 10. An Account of Admiral Russel's Receipts and Disbursements for the Service of the Navy was laid before the House. Whereby it appear'd that the Admiral had received 10,000 l. and had disbursed 18,666 l. But, of the Items contained in his Account, but two Vouchers being sent to the Auditors, one of which was for 2000 l. and the other for 400 l. the said Auditors refused to pass the said Account, till they received his Majesty's Command, signify'd from the Admiralty-Board.

The 11th, The House divided, on a Motion that the Bill for granting a Supply of 1,484,015 l. for Disbanding the Army, &c. should then be read a second Time, it pass'd in the Negative, Yeas 72, Noes 139.

The same Day, the several Half-pay Establishments were laid before the House, by which it appear'd that the annual Expence of the said Establishments would be 57,334 l. 13s. 10d. per Annum.

A Bill to restrain the Number of Officers in the House of Commons pass'd.

The 16th, a Bill to restrain the Number of Officers sitting in the House of Commons, was read the third Time, pass'd, and sent up to the Lords for their Concurrence.

An Account of Cash, &c. in the hands of the Treasurer of the Navy.

The 17th, the Commissioners of the Navy presented to the House, according to Order, an Account of what Money, Tallies, and Malt-Tickets, remained in their Hands, which was as follows:

For Seamen's-Wages. Wear and Tear. Half-Year's Wages to Workmen. Regiment. Office Marines. Of Prizes. Total.
Thirds. Tenths.
l. s. d. l. s. d.
In Money 26,538 6 0 500 24 4 6 6593 12 4 33,656 2 10
Malt Lottery-Tickets 40,374 17 7 2300 1802 0 0 44,467 17 7
On the 3 s. Aid 74,903 7 3 74,903 7 3
On Coal transfer'd to Leather 58,620 7 2 4926 13 8 63,547 0 10
First 3 s. Aid- 113,829 1 11 113,829 1 11
Duties on Coals 61,215 2 1 161,215 2 1
Poll-Act 200 200
Additional Excise 5863 8 11 5863 8 11
Births, Marriages and Burials 807 10 807 10
Fourth 4 s. Aid 455 13 2 455 13 2
New E. Ind. Comp. 988 2 60,031 217 4 0 61,236 6 0
382,532 12 11 6189 16 10 60,031 0 0 2000 0 0 2019 4 0 24 4 6 6592 12 4 460,190 10 7

At the Foot of this Account, was a Note signifying, That the Money due for Wages was then paying off, and that the 60,031 l. Tallies for the Yards, was just received, and would likewise be paid to the Workmen, as soon as they could be turn'd into Money.

An Account of Grants.

The same day, an Account of the Grants made since Jan. 1, 1697, was presented to the House, an Abstract of which is as follows:

A Grant to Francis Vaughan, of several Goods and Chattles, Value 129 l. seiz'd by the Sheriff of Somerset, upon a special Capias.

A Grant to Sir Francis Leigh, in consideration of 600 l. paid into the Exchequer, and 1000 l. to Sir Henry Sheers, of certain Lands forfeited by John Strafford Esq; out law'd; under the yearly Rent of 6s. 8d.

A Grant to Ralph Grey Esq; Governor of Barbadoes of 1200 l. per Ann. during Pleasure, out of the 4½ per Cent. arising within the said Island.

A Grant to Samuel Day Esq; Governor of Bermudas, of 240 l. per Ann. out of the Exchequer, during his Continuance in that Government.

A Release or Discharge to Anthony Stoner and others, as Sureties for Daniel Ballard of a Bond of 2000 l. entered into by John Dutton Colt Esq; Collector of Bristol.

A Privy-Seal, for paying 85,000 l. with 6 per Cent. Interest, to Prince George of Denmark, in lieu of 340,000 Rixdollars due to the said Prince upon two Mortgages on the Isle of Janneren, and the Baillieries of Transbuttle and Steinhurst, Part of the Duke of Holstein's Territories, surrender'd to the said Duke on his Majesty's Promise to pay the same.

A Warrant from his Majesty, to the Trustees for Sale of Fee-farm Rents, to convey a Fee-farm Rent of 66 l 13 s. 4d. per Ann. arising out of Brigstock-Park, to Frances, Countess Dowager of Salisbury, her Heirs and Assigns for ever, in Corroboration of her Title to the said Rent and Arrears thereof, purchased of his Majesty.

A Grant of 200 l. per Ann. to lsaac Manley Esq; for the Life of his (fn. 1) Father John Manley Esq; payable out of the Post-Office.

A Privy-Seal. for 120 l. per Ann. to George Fielding Esq; during Pleasure

A Grant of the Office of Trover and Poiser, to the Mayor and Burgesses of Newcastle, for three Lives.

A Discharge to the Marquis of Winchester of 1050 Ounces of White-Plate, for the Service of his Table, when Chamberlain to the late Queen.

A Warrant for paying to the Treasurer of GreenwichHospital 19500 l. being the Amount of the Fines imposed on Gaudett and others, vid. P. 88.

A Grant to Nathaniel Crow, of the forfeited Estates, Real and Personal, belonging to Arthur Mangey, Robert Child, and J. Hurst, convict of High-Treason, subject to the Payment of 256 l. 6 s. and Interest to Richard Ashton Esq; and 300 l. to such Persons as his Majesty shall be pleased to appoint.

A Grant to the Poor of St. Margaret's, of the Old ClockHouse and Bell therein, in Palace-yard.

A Grant to Otto Baron of Schwerin, his Heirs and Assigns for ever, of the Estate of Erngert Maria, his Wife; which, by reason of his being an Alien born, is vested in his Majesty.

A Grant to Doctor Titus Oates, of 300 l. per Ann. for 99 Years; out of the Post-Office, if he or his Wife should live so long.

A Grant of the Isle of Scilly, to Sidney Lord Godolphin, for the Term of 89 Years, after the Expiration of the present Lease, at the yearly Rent of 40 l.

A Grant of 200 l. per Ann. to the Relict of Dr. Tillotson, in addition to her former Annuity of 400 l. payable out of the Duty of 4 per Cent. during Life.

A Warrant from his Majesty, to the Trustees for Sale of Fee-farm Rents, to contract with the Earl of Dorser, for 500 l. per Ann. in the said Rents, and to convey the same to him.

A Privy-Seal, for 15,000 l. per Ann. to the Duke of Gloucester, during Pleasure.

A Grant to the Earl of Jersey of 3000 l. as his Majesty's Bounty.

The like to Doctor Oates, of 500 l.

A Warrant for 15,000 l. to the French Protestants.

A Grant of a Piece of Wood-land in Richmond NewPark, valued at 61. per Ann. to Laurence Earl of Rochester, his Heirs and Assigns, for ever, at the annual Rent of 6 s. 8d.

A Grant, in Trust for the Earl of Ranelagh, of the Reversion of certain Parcels of Ground in Chelsea; whereon his Lordship hath built a House, under the yearly Fee-farm Rent of 5 l.

A Grant to Japhet Crooke, of certain Shares in the Phoenix Brew-House, forfeited by the Attainder of Sir John Friend, in Consideration of 5500 l. to be paid into the Exchequer:

Not yet past.

A Discharge to John Dee, Senior, of Part of a Fine of 300 l.

A Grant to Patience-Bond of a Lease, seiz'd into his Majesty's Hand, upon the Outlawry of Epaphroditus March.

A Warrant to the Commissioners for Sale of Fee-Farm Rents, to contract with R. Topham Esq; for the Purchase of 14 l. 5 s. 4 d. ½. per Ann. payable out of the Mannor of Windsor.

A Discharge to Pierce Row of a Fine of 500 Marks.

A Grant to —of a Pension for Life of 500 l. per ann. payable out of the Post-Office.

A Warrant for the Payment of 600 l. being the Remainder of 1800 l. set in super upon the Proprietors of the new River Water in the Receivers Account of the Poll-Tax.

A Grant to John Gore, his Heirs and Assigns for ever, of the Reversions expectant upon several Estates for Lives in several Manors, &c. belonging to Sir William Williams Bart. and which were devis'd to his Majesty after the Deaths of two Sons of Sir Bourchier Wray and others, subject to the Payment of a Rent-Charge of 540 l. per Annum, and other Incumbrances.

A Grant to William Petre of several Goods and Chattels forfeited by Sir Augustine Palsgrave, upon an Outlawry.

Grants, &c. in Ireland, from January 1. 1697.

A Warrant to the Lords Justices to levy 8000 l. pursuant to a Clause in the Act of Settlement, or Explanation, on the Estates of several Roman Catholicks; and to pay the same to Lionel, Earl of Orrery, pursuant to a Grant of Charles II. to Roger Earl of Orrery.

A Grant to John Yeard, of the Profits of the Deanery of Aechory and Chantership of Killala, from the Time of their being vacant.

A Grant of several Parcels of Land, valued at 35 l. per Ann. to Dorothy Baroness Dowager of Upper Offory for Life.

A Grant to G. Fitzgerald of 200 l. per Annum in Consideration of his surrendering the Office of Comptroller of the Musters.

A Grant of several forfeited Lands specified in a Schedule, of the clear Yearly Value of 679 l. 7 s. 1 d. to the Earl of Rochford and his Heirs.

A Grant to Sir Edward Biron of certain forfeited Lands valued at 104 l. 3 s. 8 d. per Annum. for the Term of 99 Years.

A Grant to John Butcher of certain Quit and Crown Rents, valued at 883 l. 9 s. per Annum for 99 Years.

A Grant to Thomas Pendergrass, his Heirs and Assigns for ever, of several forfeited Lands of the clear Yearly value of 334 l. 0 s. 2 d. ½ to make good the Deficiency of a former Grant for 500 l. a Year.

A Grant to James Puissar, and his Heirs for ever, of several forfeited Lands of the clear Yearly value of 341 l. 14 s. 6d. ½, likewise to make good the Deficiency of a former Grant.

A Grant to Colonel Hamilton of certain forfeited Lands of the clear Yearly value of 500 l. 8 s. 6 d. ½.

A Grant of the Custody of certain forfeited Lands belonging to Sir Drury Wray, to his Son Christopher Wray Esq; during the Life of his Father.

A Grant to Dr. John Leslie, of the Inheritance of several forfeited Lands to the value of 400 l. per Annum, which were before granted him for 99 Years.

A Grant to Thomas Lord Coningesby, for the Offices of Vice-Treasurer, General-Receiver, Pay-Master General, and Treasurer at War, with the Yearly Fee of 60 l. 13 s. 4 s. Sixpence in the Pound in all Payments made by him or his Deputies, during Pleasure.

A Discharge to Sir Richard Bellingham of the Remainder of a Debt of 2000 l. and Interest.

A Warrant for allowing and discharging to William Griffith, the Collector of Sligo, the Sum of 894 l. 13 s. 7 d. ¼, which he was robbed of.

A Grant of the forfeited Estate of Sir Neill Oneile, to Dame Frances Oneile for 41 Years.

A Grant to Richard Fitzpatrick Esq; of all the forfeited Estate of Barnaby Lord of Upper Ossory, valued at 60 l. per Annum, and subject to the Payment of 35 l. per Annum to Dorothy Lady Dowager of Upper Ossory, for Life.

A Grant or Demise to Major-General Stewart, in Consideration of a Release of 3537 l. 12 s. 8 d. due to him on account of his Regiment, the Loss of his Right Arm, and other Losses; certain forfeited Estates of the clear Yearly value of 751 l. 18 s. 5 d. ¾ for 99 Years.

A Grant to John Ellis Esq; his Heirs and Assigns for ever, of the forfeited Estate of his Brother Sir William Ellis, from whom there was due to the said John Ellis 1200 l. and Interest; the said Estate was otherwise much encumbered

A Discharge to the Viscount Lanesborough of 162 l. 7 s. 10 d. ½ due for Quit Rents.

A Warrant to lease out the Estates of Sir Valentine and Sir Nicholas Browne, at the best improved Value for 2 Years, and out of the Produce to pay to the Earl of Bellamont 1000 l. a Year, (which by virtue of a former Grant, was charg'd to be paid out of the said Estate, to the said Earl for 999 Years,) and 400 l. more to Helen Viscountess, Kenmure, for the Support of herself and Children.

The same Day the Earl of Ranelagh delivered a Message from the King to the House, which was all writ by his Majesty's own Hand, as follows:

The King's Message to the Commons.

'William R.

'His Majesty is pleased to let the House know, that the necessary Preparations are made for transporting the Guards who came with him into England; and that he intends to send them away immediately, unless, out of Consideration to him, the House be disposed to find a way for continuing them longer in his Service, which his Majesty would take very kindly.'

Upon reading this Message, the question was put, 'That a Day be appointed to consider of his Majesty's said Message; but it was carried in the Negative, and resolved, 'That a Committee be appointed to draw up an humble Address, to be presented to his Majesty, representing the Reasons why the House cannot comply with the purport of his Majesty's Message this Day communicated to the House.' And this (fn. 2) Address was accordingly prepared, as follows, and delivered on the 24th.

The Commons Address.

'Most gracious Sovereign, We your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal Subjects, the Commons in this present Parliament assembled, do, with unfeigned Zeal to your Majesty's Person and Government, (which God long preserve) most humbly represent to your Majesty,

'That the passing the late Act for disbanding the Army, gave great Satisfaction to your Subjects; and the readiness your Majesty has expressed by your Message, to comply with the punctual execution thereof, will prevent all Occasions of distrust or jealousy between your Majesty and your People.

'It is, Sir, to your loyal Commons an unspeakable Grief, that your Majesty should be advised to propose any thing in your Message, to which they cannot consent, with due Regard to that Constitution your Majesty came over to restore, and have so often exposed your Royal Person to preserve, and did in your gracious Declaration promise, that all those foreign Forces which came over with you, should be sent back.

'In duty therefore to your Majesty, and to discharge the Trust reposed in us, we crave leave to lay before you; that nothing conduceth more to the Happiness and Welfare of this Kingdom, than an entire Confidence between your Majesty and your People; which can no way be so firmly established, as by entrusting your sacred Person with your own Subjects, who have so eminently signalized themselves on all Occasions, during the late long and expensive War.'

His Majesty's Answer was as follows:

'Gentlemen, I came hither to restore the ancient Constitution of this Government. I have had all possible Re gard to it-since my coming, and I am resolved through the Course of my Reign, to endeavour to preserve it entire in all the Parts of it.

'I have a full Confidence in the Affections of my People, and I am well assured, they have the same in me; and I will never give them just Cause to alter this Opinion.

'As to my Subjects who served during the War, I am an Eye-Witness of their Bravery, and of their Zeal for my Person and Government; and I have not been wanting to express my Sense of this to my Parliament as well as upon other Occasions.

'I have all the reason to trust and to rely upon them that a Prince can have; and I am satisfied, there is not one Person among them capable of entertaining a Thought, that what was proposed in my Message, proceeded from any distrust of them.

'It shall be my study to the utmost of my power, to perform the part of a just and a good King: And as I will ever be strictly and nicely careful of observing my Promise to my Subjects, so I will not doubt of their tender Regards to me.'

This Answer, though it could not but please, yet it would not move the Commons from their Resolutions; so that the Dutch Guards were soon after shipped off for Holland: Which, though it seemed to weaken his Majesty in his Military Defence and Safety, yet it strengthened his Interest in the Hearts of all good Subjects, who saw now in an extraordinary Instance, that the King could deny himself any thing to oblige his People.

Royal Assent, given to several Acts.

The same Day likewise, his Majesty gave the Royal Assent to An Act to prevent the excessive distilling of Spirits from Corn, &c. An Act to enlarge the Trade to Russia. An Act to prevent irregulor Returns of Members to serve in Parliament; and to several private Acts.

The Editor of Torbuck's Edition tells us, nothing beside, material, was transacted during this Session; yet we think ourselves oblig'd to mention what follows:

A Negative put on issuing more Bills of Credit from the Treasury.

The Day before the Transactions relating to the Dutch Guards, the Question being put that the House do agree with the Committee of the whole House upon the Supply, That more Bills of Credit be issued out of his Majesty's Treasury, which shall be current in all Branches of the public Revenue; it pass'd in the Negative, Yeas 148, Noes 182.

The 29th, pursuant to the Resolutions of the House, the following Address was reported, agreed to, and order'd to be presented to his Majesty by the whole House.

'Most gracious Sovereign,

'We your Majesty's, &c. having taken into our serious Consideration the State of the Navy, do most humbly represent to your Majesty,

'That the Streights Squadron not failing till September last, was prejudicial to England, and a great Mismanagement.

'That the Order made by the Commissioners of the Admiralty, September 12, 1695, giving Henry Priestman Esq; an Allowance of ten Shillings per Diem, from the Date of his Commission, as Commander in Chief before Sallee in 1684, till the Ship Bonadventure was paid off, over and above his Pay as Captain of the said Ship, was very unreasonable and a Misapplication of the public Money.

'That the (fn. 3) Victualling any of his Majesty's Ships by others than by the Victuallers appointed for that Service, or their Agents, is contrary to the Course of the Navy, and may be of ill consequence.

'That many new and unnecessary Charges have, in an extraordinary manner, been introduced into the Navy, contrary to the Rules of the Navy, which is a great Mismanagement.

'That the Deductions of Poundage taken by the PayMasters of the Navy, for Slop-Clothes, Dead Men's Clothes, Tobacco, Chest at Chatham, Chaplain and Surgeon, is without Warrant, and ought to be (fn. 4) accounted for.

'That it is inconsistent with the Service of the Navy, for the same Person to be one of the Commissioners for executing the Office of Lord High-Admiral and Treasurer of the Navy at the same time.

'And that the passing any Account of Moneys impress'd for the contingent Use of the Navy, without regular Vouchers, or such other Proof, as the Nature of the Service will admit, either with, or without a Sign Manual, is contrary to the Rules and Methods of the Navy, and of dangerous Consequence.

'All which we beg leave to lay before your Majesty, desiring that you will be graciously pleas'd to (fn. 5) take effectual Care that the Mismanagements herein complain'd of may be prevented for the future.

His Majesty's Answer.

His Majesty's Answer was as follows:

'Gentlemen, I will consider your Address: It is my desire that all sorts of Mismanagements and Irregularities should be prevented or redress'd; you may be assured I will take the best Care I can, in relation to the Navy; the right Management whereof, is of so great concern to the Kingdom.'

Transport-Accounts.

The 30th, the Accounts relating to the Transports were laid before the House; whereby it appear'd, that there had been paid on that Service — l. 100,107 8
That there was still due — 441,637 9 5
And that the Cash in the Office amounted to9030161

Navy Debt.

April 1. Sir George Rook presented to the House, according to Order, a State of the Debt of the Navy, the Total of which appear'd to be 2,245,957 l. exclusive of what was due to Marines.

Certain Letters of Mr. Chivers a Member complain'd of.

The 5th, a Complaint was made to the House of certain Letters written by Henry Chivers Esq; a Member, as not only reflecting on, but misrepresenting several Members of the House; which Letters are as follow:

'Dear Will. London January 5. 1698.

Yesterday we had a great Contest in the House, concerning augmenting the Forces; in which my Brother Member signaliz'd himself for the Good of his Country. He made a very violent Speech for keeping up more Forces than the Sense of the House was for; so that we poor Country-Gentlemen were forc'd to labour hard, and sit late to overcome them: I do really believe he will never give his Country one Vote, he is so link'd in with the Court-Party. If you please, you may communicate this to your Friends, and let them know that I shall always be ready to serve both them and you, here and elsewhere. So I remain

Your Humble Servant
to command,
Henry Chivers.

For Mr. William Wilks in Calne, Wiltshire.

'Dear Brother, London February 5. 1698.

I Have sent you his Majesty's Speech, and a List of those Gentlemen who voted for a standing Army. The Question was whether the Army should stand, or the Bill be thrown out: But God be prais'd we carried it. The Number for disbanding the Army was 221, and the List will satisfy you how many were against it. So I remain

Your Servant
to command,
Henry Chivers,

To Mr. John Hoskins. at Calne.

These Letters being read, Mr. Chivers was ordered to attend in his Place, but pleaded Indisposition by way of Excuse: Upon which, a Motion being made for him to attend the next Day notwithstanding, it was carried in the Affirmative, Yeas 119. Noes 83. But he not obeying the said Summons, the Question was put, that he be sent for in Custody of the Serjeant at Arms, and pass'd in the Negative, Yeas 99. Noes 134.

Upon the whole, the House came to the following Resolution:

Vote thereon.

Resolved, That the publishing the Names of the Members of this House, and reflecting upon them, and misrepresenting their Proceedings in Parliament, is a Breach of the Privilege of this House, and destructive of the Freedom of Parliament.

List of General Officers.

The 4th, a List of General Officers was presented to the House, consisting of three Generals of Horse, at 6 l. a Day; seven Lieutenant-Generals, at 4 l. a Day; eight MajorGenerals, at 2 l a Day; and eleven Brigadier-Generals, at 1 l. 10 s. a Day; at which Rates the Total per Ann. amounted to 29,382 l. 10s.

Pensions on the Royal-Oak Lottery.

The 17th, by an Account presented to the House, of Pensions paid out of the Royal-Oak Lottery, it appeared that no less than 3950 l. per Annum was charg'd on that iniquitous Game.

Commissioners for the taking an Account of the forfeited Estates in Ireland.

The 21st, the House proceeded to the Choice of seven Commissioners for taking an Account of the forfeited Estates in Ireland by Ballot, when the Numbers stood thus.

Francis Annesly Esq; 222
Henry Earl of Drogheda 220
John Trenchard Esq; 208
James Hamilton Esq; 158
Henry Langford Esq; 136
Sir Richard Leving 127
Sir Francis Brewster 122

Bill of Supply pass'd.

The 23d, the Bill for granting his Majesty the Sum of 1,484,015 l. was read the third Time, pass'd, and order'd up to the Lords for their Concurrence.

Resolutions on the Petition of Russel against Gwynn.

May 2. the House agreed with the Committee appointed to examine the Petition of John Russel Gent. against Daniel Gwynn, in the following Resolutions, viz.

That the said Daniel Gwynn, Agent for the Spanish Expedition and Alliance Packet-Boats, hath been guilty of false Musters.

That the said Gwynn, being likewise Collector of the Customs and Excise, hath frequently imported great Quantities of Salt, on board the said Packets, without paying either Custom, or Excise, and charg'd the same to the King, as if he had paid both.

That he hath been guilty of several notorious Frauds in victualling the said Packet.

That he hath been guilty of divers Extortions from the Sailors and others.

That for the said Offences, he is not fit to be continued or employ'd in any Place under the Government.

Ordered, That Mr. Attorney-General do prosecute the said Daniel Gwynn for the said Offences.

Royal Assent given to several Acts.

The 4th, the King came to the House of Peers, and pass'd several Bills, as, An Act for raising 1,484,015 l. for disbanding the Army, &c. An Act to lay Duties upon Sweets; An Act for encouraging the Newfoundland-Trade; An Act for preventing the Exportation of Wool; An Act against Burglaries. For a free Market at Billinsgate; for suppressing of Lotteries; for the more effectual charging the Duties upon Rock-Salt: An Act for limiting certain Times within which Writs of Error shall be brought for the reversing of Fines, &c. another Tithe-Act; An Act for taking off the remaining Duty upon Glass-Ware; An Act to enable Posthumous Children to take Estates as if born in their Fathers' LifeTime; An Act for the Imprisonment of Counter, and others, for the Assassination Plot; and a great many private Acts.

After which his Majesty was pleased to make the following Speech.

King's Speech.

'My Lords and Gentlemen,

'At the Opening of this Parliament, I told you my Opinion was, that you were come together with Hearts fully dispos'd to do what was necessary for the Safety, Honour, and Happiness of the Kingdom; and having nothing else to recommend to you, I had reason to hope for Unanimity and Dispatch.

'You have now sat so many Months, that the Season of the Year, as well as your particular Affairs, make it reasonable you should have a Recess. I take it for granted, you have finish'd all the Bills, which for the present you think requisite to be pass'd into Laws: And I have given my Assent to all you have presented to me.

'If any thing should be found wanting for our Safety, the Support of Public Credit, by making good the Faith of the Kingdom, as it stands engag'd by Parliamentary Securities, and for discharge of the Debts occasion'd by the War, or towards the advancing of Trade, the suppressing of Vice, or the employing of the Poor; which were all the things I propos'd to your Consideration when we met first, I cannot doubt but effectual Care will be taken of them next Winter: and I wish no Inconveniencies may happen in the mean time.'

Then the Lord Chancellor prorogu'd the Parliament till the first of June.

Footnotes

1 Perhaps the Gentleman of that Name, committed to the Tower for his free Speaking in Sir John Fenwick's Case. Vid. p. 52.
2 When the Address was first read, a Motion was made, to recommit it; which pass'd in the Negative, Yeas 156. Noes 175. After which, another Motion being made, to leave out the Words (and did in your gracious Declaration promise, that all those foreign Forces which came over with you, should be sent back) the Question was put, That the said Words do stand as Part of the Address, and pass'd in the Affirmative, Yeas 163. Noes 157.
3 While this Article was under Debate, the following Words were offered to be added to it by way of Amendment (except only in Cases of Necessity happening abroad) and pass'd in the Negative, Year 154, Noes 167.
4 Another Amendment was propos'd by leaving out these Words (to be accounted for) and inserting in their stead, not to be taken for the future; but over-ras'd.
5 An Objection being made to the Words take Care, the Question was put, that the said Words stand as Part of the Resolution, and pass'd in the Affirmative, Yeas 164. Noes 160. And when the Address was reported, it was agreed that the said Words should be altered to take effectual Care.