Minutes, &c. of the Fifth Session;
by way of Introduction to, and Illustration
of, the Debates, &c. which follow, to
the End of the said Session.
February 1. 1731.
His Majesty came to the House of Peers, and opened the
Session with a most gracious Speech from the Throne,
which See page 339. as likewise the Address and the Debate
it occasioned, page 341. &c.
The 5th. The House resolved that a Supply be granted his
Majesty, Nemine Contradicente.
The 6th. Ordered divers Estimates of Accounts to be laid
Address for Memoria's, Petitions, &c. since the Treaty of Seville.
Resolved, that His Majesty be addressed for several Memorials, Petitions, &c. since the Treaty of Seville, relating to
any Losses sustained by his Majesty's Subjects by Depredations committed by the Spaniards, &c. to be laid before them,
which have not already been laid before this House.
A Motion for Admiral Haddock's Instructions over-ruled.
A Motion was made, and the Question put, that his Majesty
be addressed to lay Admiral Haddock's Instructions before
them, it passed in the Negative, on a Division, Ayes 113,
Noes 183, See the Debate page 359. &c. After which it was
moved that several Papers relating to Spanish Captures be laid
before them, which passed in the Negative: Ayes 120,
Noes 200. See the Debate, page 369. &c.
The 12th. The House agreed to the Report of Yesterday's
Resolution on the Supply, viz Resolved, that 12,000 Seamen be employed for the Service of the Year 1739.
Resolved, that a Sum not exceeding 4 l. per Man per
Month be allowed for defraying the Expences of the same.
The 14th. In a Committee on the Supply came to the
Resolved, That 17704 Men be granted for Land Forces
for the Service of the Year 1739 On a Division: Ayes
253, Noes 183 (fn. 1) . See the Debate, page 403. &c.
That 647,549 l. 11 s. 3 d, be granted for maintaining
That 228,062 l, be granted for the Garrisons of Minorca,
Gibraltar, Georgia, &c.
That 27,172 l. be granted for Out-Pensioners of ChelseaHospital.
That 5041 l. be granted, for defraying several extraordinary Expences incurred in 1738, and not provided for by
The 20th. Read a third time, and passed the Malt Bill.
The 23d. Read a second time, the Bill for punishing
Rogues, Vagabonds, &c. and for the Relief of Lunatics,
and Foundling Children.
Received a Petition from the West-India Merchants,
trading to America, and another Petition from the Merchants of Bristol: See Page 417.
After Debate, Ordered that the Petitioners be heard by
themselves, (not by Counsel) on two Divisions; Ayes 237,
242, Noes 208, 297.
The 26th., Received Petitions relating to WestminsterAbbey, St. Margaret's Church, the African Company, and
the Colony of Georgia.
Glassmakers &c. Petition.
The 28th. Received a Petition from several Glassmakers,
Brewers, Sugarboilers, Smiths, Dyers, &c. Consumers of
Coals, complaining of the Abuses and Frauds in enhancing
the Price, and praying Relief.
Referred to the Consideration of a Committee of the
March 5. Received a Petition from the Merchants of
Edinburgh, expressing their Dissatisfaction to the Convention.
Referred to the Committee on the Convention.
Read a third time, and passed the Mutiny-Bill.
The whole House was called over, according to Order.
The 6th. In a grand Committee, took the Convention
into Consideration, and several Merchants were called in,
and examined, relating to their Losses sustained by the Spaniards; Captain Vaughan, and Captain (fn. 2) Copithorne were
also examined relating to their Losses and cruel Usage.
The 7th. Received two Petitions from the Merchants of
Scotland, against the Convention.
Referred to the Consideration of the Committee, &c.
Ordered an Address to his Majesty to give Orders for
erecting a more spacious Edifice, for the better Reception of
Took the Convention into further Consideration, and
examined Mr. Stert, one of the Commissioners, relating to
the Merchants Accounts, and the Demands of the King of
Spain, and other Witnesses were examined, as to the Limits
of Carolina, &c.
The 8th. In a grand Committee took the Convention into
further Consideration, when it was moved, that an Address
of Thanks be presented his Majesty for obtaining the Convention; and a great Debate arose thereupon: See the Debate at large, Volume VI. Page 1. &c.
Received the Report of Yesterday's Resolution, which gave
Rise to the Debate, to be found page 43. &c.
The 12th, the House went with their Address to his Majesty (fn. 3) .
The 13th. Received a Petition of the Merchants, Clothiers, and Dealers in Wooll, complaining of the Decay of
the Woollen Manufactory, and praying Relief, &c.
Refer'd to a Committee of the whole House.
The 14th. See page 76,
The 15th. Agreed to the Report of Yesterday's Resolution on Ways and Means, viz.
Resolved, that Two Shillings in the Pound be granted for
Land-Tax for 1739.
Resolved, That no Drawbacks shall be paid on the Exportation of wrought Plate or Manufactures of Silver, that
shall have been wrought about 10 Years before the Entry of
the same for Exportation.
Ordered an Address to his Majesty, to congratulate him on
the Birth of another Prince.
Ordered a congratulatory Message to the Prince of Wales
on the same joyful Occasion.
Mr. Speaker reported that the House had attended his
Majesty in the House of Peers, when he gave the Royal Assent to the Bill for punishing Mutiny and Desertion, and to
two private Bills.
The 16th. In a Grand Committee took into Consideration
the several Petitions, complaining of the Clandestine Exportation of Wooll to foreign Parts, and also of the Decay of
the Woollen Manufacture, and came to several Resolutions;
which See page 71.
The 20th. Resolved, That his Majesty be addressed, to
order an Account of the State and Condition of the British
Sugar Colonies, to be laid before the House.
Read the Land-Tax-Bill a second time.
Petition of the Merchants trading to Sicily.
Received a Petition from the Merchants trading to Sicily,
setting forth that upon the Defeat of the Spanish Fleet in
1718, the Merchants residing at Messina were imprisoned,
their Ships, Goods and Effects seized, confiscated and sold,
by order of the General of the Spanish Forces in Sicily, whereby the Petitioners suffered great Losses, which were claimed
and proved before a Committee of the whole House in 1728-9.
and the Estimates of the said Losses then delivered in, Duplicates whereof are ready to be produced by the Petitioners,
who have had no Restitution made them; nor, as they apprehend, did the Commissaries go thro' the Discussion of the
Losses in Sicily, or make any Report of them: And therefore submitting the Case of the Petitioners to the Consideration of the House, and praying such Relief, as to the House
shall seem meet.
Ordered to lie on the Table.
And of James Buchanan.
The 22d. Received a Petition of James Buchanan, and
others, interested in the Ship Scipio; setting forth, that the
said Ship having taken in her Cargo on the Coast of Africa,
consisting of Negroes, Gold-Dust, and Elephant's Teeth, to
the Value of upwards 6000l. and sailing from thence to Jamaica, having touched on the Island of Barbadoes, was on
the 27th of October 1736, taken on the High-Sea by a
French Ship or Vessel, and carried into St. Peter's in the
Island of Martinique; that soon after a Prosecution was
commenced against the Captain before the Court of Admiralty there, founded on a Pretence that she was acting
in Contravention to a certain Edict for settling Limits
relating to unlawful Trade; but that, upon Trial, the
Judges were of Opinion, that the Charge was groundless:
Nevertheless the Intention of the Edict not having been
qualified, the Judges were obliged to declare the said Ship
and Cargo duly confiscated; and that thereupon the Captain appeared to the Supreme Court of Martinique, who
upon Examination annulled the Judgment given by the
Court of Admiralty, and decreed him Costs, and that he
should be again put into Possession of the said Ship and Cargo. And that as the said Captain was preparing to take Possession of his Ship and Cargo, he received an Ordinance
from the Intendant of the Island, which impowered the Directors of the Customs to appeal from the Judgment of the
Supreme Court, to the French King in Council; but nevertheless ordered the said Ship and Cargo to be restored, on his
producing good and sufficient Security, Inhabitants of the
Island, for the appraised Value of the same: And that the
said Captain not being able to procure the Security insisted
on, was obliged to consent to the Sale of his Ship and Cargo,
and to deposit the Money in the Hands of his Securities,
till the Affair should be decided by the King and Council of
France. That the said Captain did sollicite oftentimes at
Paris, but to no Purpose, he being at length told, that this
Ship in Contest should pay for a French Ship, called the
Fleuren, taken some time ago. That upon Petition to his
Majesty, Application had been made by his Minister at
Paris, but that the same had not its defired Effect, and therefore praying the House to take the Premisses into Consideration, &c.
The 23d. See Page 77.
Petition of Mrs. Stephens
The 26th. Received a Petition of Joanna Stephens, setting forth that the Petitioner has, for some Years last past
been possessed of a Method of preparing Medicines, which
are found by Experience to be a safe and effectual Cure for
the Stone, and by which she has her present Subsistence;
that several Persons of Distinction have endeavoured to raise
the Sum of 5000l. by voluntary Contribution, in order to
purchase of her the Method of preparing and giving the
said Medicines, and have accordingly raised the Sum of
1387 l. 13s. for that Purpose, but see no Probability of compleating the whole Sum of 5000l. and therefore praying,
Referred to the Committee on the Supply; on a Division, Ayes 106, Noes 65.
Agreed to the Report of Friday's Resolutions on the Supply, viz.
Votes on the Supply.
Resolved, That, for defraying the Charges of his Majesty's
Mint, and the Coinage of. Gold and Silver Moneys, and
thereby to encourage the bringing in of Gold and Silver to
be coined, a Revenue of 15,000l. per Annum be settled and
secured for seven Years, from the 1st Day of March 1738.
That 39,124l. be granted for reduced Officers of his Majesty's Land Forces and Marines, for 1739.
That 3960l. be granted for paying of Pensions to the
Widows of reduced Officers for 1739.
That 20,000l. be granted for the further settling and improving the Colony of Georgia in America.
That 10,000l. be granted for the Maintenance of the British Forts and Settlements in Africa.
That 10,000l. be granted towards the Support of Greenwich Hospital.
That 3552 l. be granted to replace to the Sinking Fund
the like Sum paid out of the same to make good the Deficiencies of the Additional Stamp Duties at Christmas 1737.
That 20,000l. be granted to replace to the said Fund the
like Sum paid out of the same to the Governors and Company of the Bank of England, for one Year's Interest on
500,000l. by them lent on the Credit of the Salt Duties towards the Supply of the Year 1735.
The 28th. Ordered in a Bill for Licensing Tragedies,
Commedies, that are to be acted at Edinburgh.
The 30th. A Motion was made, and the Question being
put, that Leave be given to bring in a Bill to repeal so much
of an Act passed in the 25th Year of the Reign of King
Charles II. intitled, An Act for preventing Dangers which
may happen from Popish Recusants, as obligeth all Persons,
who are admitted into any Office, Civil or Military, to receive the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, within a Time limited by the said Act, and for explaining and amending so
much of the said Act as relates to the Declaration against
It passed in the Negative; on a Division, Ayes 89, Noes
Resolutions on Ways and Means.
April 3d. Resolved, That towards raising 15000 l. per
Annum for defraying the Charge of his Majesty's Mint, and
the Coinage of Gold and Silver Monies; the Duties of 10 s.
per Ton be laid upon all Wines, Vinegar, Cyder and Beer,
imported into Great Britain, which were continued for seven
Years, be farther continued for seven Years longer, from the
first Day of March, 1738.
That all the Powers, Privileges and Advantages which
were granted by an Act of the 18th King Charles II. for encouraging the Coinage of Gold and Silver, be further continued for seven Years. See Vol. VI. page 72.
The 9th. Received the Report of the Coinage-Bill, and
ordered it to be engrossed.
Edinburgh Petition against, Play-Houses.
The 10th. Received Petitions from the City, University
and Merchants of Edinburgh, setting forth that the Trade of
that City is not able to maintain a Play-House; that such
tends only to the Debauching the Morals of their Youth;
that the Parliament has already prohibited under very severe
Penalties the performing any Play, &c. within five Miles
of the City of Oxford, and Town of Cambridge, and that
Edinburgh, as a University, should be indulged in like manner, &c. Therefore praying that the said Bill may not pass
into a Law.
Ordered to lie on the Table till the Bill be read a second
Read a first time a Bill for prohibiting the Importation of
English Books reprinted abroad; and for limiting the Prices
Agreed to the Report of Yesterday's Resolution on the
5000l. granted to Joanna Stephens.
Resolved, That 5000l. be granted as a Reward to Joanna
Stephens, upon a proper Discovery to be made by her, for
the Use of the Public, of her Method of preparing her Medicines for the Stone.
Petition of the Captains of Men of War.
The 17th. Received a Petition of several Captains, Commanders and Officers of the Royal Navy, praying to be
heard by Counsel, against the Bill for preventing Officers of
his Majesty's Ships of War, from carrying Goods and Merchandizes on Freights, or Trading therewith.
Resolved, That the Bill be read a second time upon this
Day Month; on a Division, Ayes 134, Noes 80.
Vote on the Coal-Bill
In a grand Committee took the Coal Affair into Confideration; after Debate, it was moved that the Chairman do
leave the Chair; which passed in the Affirmative, Nemine
The 18th. See Vol. VI. Page 72.
The 19th Read a first time a Bill for explaining an Act,
Richard II. intitled, No Man of Law shall be Justice of
Assize in his own Country.
Royal Assent given to several Bills.
Mr. Speaker reported that this House had attended his
Majesty in the House of Peers, when his Majesty gave the
Royal Assent to the Land-Tax-Bill, the Coinage-Bill, the
Oath-Bill, and to 22 private-Bills.
Read a first time a Bill for taking off the Duties upon
Woollen and Bay-Yarn, imported from Ireland to England;
and for preventing the Exportation of Wool to foreign Parts.
See Vol. VI. Page 73, and 79.
May 2d. Read a second time and committed the Bill for
providing a Reward to Joanna Stephens, upon a Discovery
of her Medicines for the Stone, upon a Division, Ayes 91,
Noes 60. (fn. 4)
The 3d. See Vol. VI. Page 80.
The 10th. Received a Message from his Majesty, signed
A Message from the King relating to a Treaty with Denmark.
His Majesty being truly solicitous for the Peace and Welfare of these Kingdoms, and desirous to contribute, as far
as in him lies, towards preserving the Public Tranquility,
and the Balance of Power in Europe, hath concluded with
the King of Denmark a Treaty agreeable to that which expired in 1737, and has ordered the same to be laid before
this House; that he may be enabled to make good the Engagements, which he hath thereby entered into.
And as Events may happen during such time, as it may be
impossible for his Majesty to have the immediate Advice and
Assistance of his great Council, upon any Emergency arising
from the present Posture of Affairs in Europe, which may
nearly concern the Honour, Interest, and Safety of these
Kingdoms; his Majesty hopes he shall be enabled and supported by his Parliament in making such further Augmentation of his Forces, either by Sea or Land, as may become
absolutely necessary, and in concerting such Measures as the
Exigency of Affairs may require; and whatever Expence
shall be thereby occasioned, shall be made in as frugal a
Manner as is possible; and an Account thereof shall be laid
before this House the next Session of Parliament.
Ordered, Nemine Contradicente, That his Majesty's said
most gracious Message be referred to the Consideration of
the Committee of the whole House, to whom it is referred
to consider further of the Supply granted to his Majesty.
Went into a Committee upon the Supply, and came to
several Resolutions to be reported on Monday.
The 16th. Passed the Bill to explain an Act, that no Man
of Law shall be Justice of Assize in his own Country.
Received the Report of Friday's Resolutions in a Committee upon the Supply, which were agreed to, viz.
Votes on the Supply.
Resolved, That 70,583 l. 6s. 8d. be granted to His Majesty on account of the Levy-Money and Subsidy payable to
the King of Denmark, pursuant to the Treaty bearing Date
the 14th Day of March 1738-9. for the Service of the
That 500,000 l. be granted towards enabling his Majesty to make such further Augmentation of his Forces either
by Sea or Land, as may become absolutely necessary, and as
the Exigency of Affairs may require.
That 60,000 l be granted, being the Sum acknowledged
to be due from Great Britain to Spain (fn. 5) , and agreed to in
the Convention signed at the Pardo, January 14, 1739,
N. S. to be applied, together with the further Sum of
95,000 l. to be advanced by the Crown of Spain, towards
making Satisfaction to his Majesty's injured Subjects, for the
Damages they have sustained by the Depredations of the
That 4000 l be granted towards the repairing and finishing Westminster-Abbey.
That 2000 l. be granted for the further Repair and
finishing the Tower and Roof of the Parish Church of St.
The 15th. Agreed to the Report of Yesterday's Resolutions, in a Committee of Ways and Means; viz.
500,000 l. granted out of the Produce of the Sinking Fund.
Resolved, That towards raising the Supply granted to his
Majesty, there be issued and applied the Sum of 500,000 l.
out of such Monies as have arisen, or shall or may arise, of
the Surplusses; Excesses, or Overplus Monies, commonly
called the Sinking Fund.
That his Majesty be enabled to issue and apply the further
Sum of 500,000 l. out of the growing Produce of the same
Sinking Fund, or to borrow the same by Loans or Exche
quer Bills, at 3 l. per Gent. Interest, to be charged upon,
and secured by the said Fund.
Ordered in a Bill accordingly.
Agreed to the Report of Yesterday's Resolution in a Committee upon the Supply, viz.
The 22d. Resolved, That 5000 l. be granted to his Majesty for making Satisfaction to Solomon Merret of London
Merchant, for himself and others, late Owners of the Ship
Sancta Isabella, a Spanish Man of War, taken by his late
Majesty's Fleet near Scily in 1718, and fold to them;
which Ship was afterwards delivered up to the Spaniards,
pursuant to a Treaty between the two Crowns.
Votes relating to the American Currency
June the 13th. Resolved, That an humble Address be
presented to his Majesty that he would be graciously pleased
to lay before them (the next Sessions of Parliament) at what
Rates all Gold and Silver Coins were accounted in any of the
British Colonies in America, in the Years 1700, 1710, 1720,
and 1730. And what Rates they are now accounted at, or
sold for per Ounce.
Resolved, That an Humble Address be presented to his
Majesty that he would be pleased to lay before them, the
next Session of Parliament, what was the Amount of the
Paper-Bills, or Bills of Credit, which subsisted or passed in
Payment in the British Colonies, in the Year 1700. And
also an Account of the Amount of what Paper-Bills, &c.
have been created or issued in any of the said Colonies since
1700; with the Amount of the Value, in Money of Great
Britain, of such Bills, at the respective Times of their creating
and issuing; and what Provision was made thereby, for the
sinking or discharging of any such Paper-Bills, &c. together
with an Account of the Amount of the Bills that have been
sunk or discharged in pursuance thereof, and also of the
Bills subsisting or passing in Payment at this Time in any of
the said Colonies or Plantations, with the Amount of their
Value in English Money &c.
Royal Assent given to several Bills.
The 14th. His Majesty came to the House of Peers, and
gave the Royal Assent to the following Public Acts, viz.
An Act for granting to his Majesty five Hundred Thousand Pounds out of the Sinking Fund, and for enabling his
Majesty to raise the further Sum of five Hundred Thousand
Pounds out of the growing Produce of the said Fund, &c.
To enable his Majesty to settle an Annuity of 15000l.
per Annum, on his Royal Highness the Duke of Cumberland, and his Heirs, and also, one other Annuity of 24000l.
per Annum upon the Princesses Amelia, Caroline, Mary
For taking off the Duties upon Woollen and Bay-Yarn imported from Ireland to England, and preventing the Exporsation thereof.
For granting a Liberty to carry Sugars, of the Growth and
Produce of his Majesty's Sugar Colonies in America, from
thence directly to Foreign Parts.
For the more effectual preventing of excessive and deceitful Gaming.
For the better preventing Frauds and Abuses in Gold and
For prohibiting the Importation of Books reprinted abroad,
and first composed or written and printed in Great Britain.
To rectify a Mistake in an Act made in the 6 King George
I. for preventing Frauds and Abuses in the public Revenues,
&c. And to obviate a Doubt in an Act for preventing his
Majesty's Subjects from trading to the East-Indies, under Foreign Commissions.
For explaining and amending an Act 8 King Richard II.
That no Man of Law shall be Justice of Assize in his own
For continuing an Act 8 Queen Anne, to regulate the
Price and Assize of Bread. And for continuing and amending an Act 2 King George II. for the better Regulation of
Attornies and Solicitors.
For allowing further time for Inrollment of Deeds, and
Wills made by Papists, &c.
For the more easy assessing and levying County Rates.
To impower the High Court of Chancery to lay out, upon
proper Securities, Monies belonging to the Suitors of that
Court for their Ease, &c.
To obviate some Doubts in an Act I King William and
Queen Mary, concerning Tanned Leather, &c.
For providing a Reward to Joanna Stephens, upon a proper Discovery to be made by her, for the Use of the Public,
of the Medicines prepared by her for the Cure of the Stone.
To enlarge the Powers of the Commissioners for building
Westminster-Bridge, and to enable them by a Lottery to
raise Money, &c.
For establishing an Hospital at Bath.
For improving and preserving the Navigation of the River
Lee in Hertfordshire, &c.
And to several other public and private Bills. For the
King's Speech, See Vol. VI. Page 86.