House of Commons Journal Volume 11
25 March 1697

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History of Parliament Trust

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1803

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'House of Commons Journal Volume 11: 25 March 1697', Journal of the House of Commons: volume 11: 1693-1697 (1803), pp. 754-756. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=39431 Date accessed: 23 November 2014.


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Jovis, 25 die Martii;

9° Gulielmi Tertii.

Prayers.

Paving and cleansing Streets.

ORDERED, That Sir William St. Quintin, Mr. Roberts, Sir William Strickland, Mr. White, Mr. Waller, Mr. Gwyn; and all the Members that serve for London, Surrey, and Kent; be added to the Committee, to whom the Bill for explaining and enforcing the Act, made in the 2d Year of his Majesty's Reign, for paving and cleansing the Streets within the weekly Bills of Mortality, and the Streets adjoining thereunto, is committed.

Disannulling Knight's Marriage.

Mr. Boscawen, according to Order, presented to the House a Bill for disannulling the Marriage of Hannah Knight, an Infant; and for punishing the Persons concerned in conveying her. away: And the same was received.

The Bill was read the First time.

Resolved, That the Bill be read a Second time.

Duty on Tobacco-pipes.

A Petition of Robert Gadney, of Oxford, Tobacco-pipemaker, in behalf of himself, and divers others of the same Trade, was presented to the House, and read; setting forth, That, there being a Duty laid upon Tobacco-pipes, to be paid by the Maker, at the Opening of the Furnace, the Petitioners cannot burn Pipes so clearly, but that there will be some yellow Pipes, which ought to be burnt over again; but then the Maker must pay a Double Duty for such Pipes; which they conceive to be a great Hardship and Discouragement to the Maker; who, for that Reason, are necessitated to leave off their Trades, or else employ less Workmen: That the Petitioners conceive the said Duty would be much advanced, and more easily collected, if it were laid upon Tobacco-pipe Clay, at the Pits, by the Hundred Weight; which will also greatly ease the Maker of Tobacco-pipes: And praying the Relief and Consideration of the House in the Premises.

Ordered, That the Consideration of the said Petition be referred to a Committee: And that they do examine the Matter thereof; and report the same, with their Opinion therein, to the House:

And it is referred to Sir Edward Norreys, Mr. Lowther, Sir Rowland Gwyn, Mr. Gardner, Mr. Colt, Mr. Stonehouse, Mr. Daniel, Sir Fra. Masham, Sir Wm. Lowther, Mr. Cox, Sir John Bolles, Mr. Foley, Mr. Culliford, Mr. Bertie, Mr. Arnold, Sir Henry Colt, Sir Sam. Barnardiston, Sir Robert Clayton, Sir Marm. Wivell, Sir Tho. Roberts, Mr. Trenchard, Mr. White, Mr. Ash, Mr. Taylor, Mr. Ashby, Mr. Thornhagh, Sir Wm. Ashurst, Mr. Hedger, Mr. Frewen, Mr. Henly, Mr. Blofeild, Mr. Fuller, Mr. Machell: And they are to meet this Afternoon at Five a Clock, in the Speaker's Chamber.

Wine Duties.

A Petition of the Master, Wardens, and Freemen, of the Company of Vintners, and all other Retailers of Wine, in and about the City of London. in behalf of themselves, and others throughout England, was presented to the House, and read; setting forth, That, by the excessive Duty already laid upon Wines, and the great Taxes laid on Stocks, the Petitioners Trade will scarce support the Charge of their Families; and, if the Bill, now depending in the House, for granting to his Majesty certain Duties upon Wines, for carrying on the War against France, should pass, whereby a further Duty of 12l. 10s. per Tun is laid upon all Wines imported, it will not only ruin the Petitioners, and all the Retailers of Wine in the Kingdom, but it will greatly lessen the Consumption of our Woollen Manufactures in Spain, Portugall, and elsewhere, of which Wine is the Produce; whose Importation and Consumption will be also lessened, and thereby the King's Customs will be much more diminished than the said intended Duty will add to his Supplies: And praying, That they may be heard, by Counsel, or otherwise, as the House shall think fit, before the said Bill do pass this House.

Ordered, That the said Petition do lie upon the Table until the said Bill be read.

Duty on Woollen Manufactures.

A Petition of the Clothiers, Clothworkers, Sergemakers, and others concerned in the Woollen Manufactures, in and about the Borough of Watchett, in the County of Somersett, was presented to the House, and read; setting forth, That the Petitioners find, by the printed Votes of the House, that a Duty of 10l. per Cent. ad Valorem, is like to be laid upon the Woollen Manufactures of this Kingdom; which, the Petitioners conceive, will be very injurious to that Trade: And praying, That they may be heard, to shew their Reasons against laying the said Duty, before the House do proceed any further therein.

Ordered, That the said Petition do lie upon the Table until the Bill for the said Duties be brought in.

Ditto.

A Petition of the Mayor, Capital Burgesses, Merchants, Clothiers, and other Inhabitants, of the Borough of Barnstaple, in the County of Devon, was presented to the House, and read; setting forth, That the House having voted a Duty of 10l. per Cent. upon the Woollen Manufactures of this Kingdom, the Petitioners apprehend, that the same, should it be laid, will be very destructive to the Trade of this Nation, and a great Hindrance to the Employment of the Poor; for that the Manufacturers in Ireland, where Wool is much cheaper than here, will be able to under-sell us, by much, in foreign Markets, if the said Duty should be charged: And praying the utmost Support of the House, for the Preservation of the Woollen Trade; which hath ever been beneficial to this Nation.

Ordered, That the said Petition do lie upon the Table until the Bill for the said Duties be brought in.

Supply Bill; Wine Duties.

A Bill for granting to his Majesty certain Duties upon Wines, for the carrying on the War against France, was read the First time.

Resolved, That the Bill be read a Second time.

Wine Duties.

A Petition of the Merchants of London was presented to the House, and read; setting forth, That the Petitioners are informed, a Bill is brought into the House, for laying an additional Duty of 12l. 10s. per Tun upon all Sorts of Wines, to be paid by the Retailer; which high Duty, they conceive, will lessen the Importation to that degree, that the former Duties will be much diminished; and may occasion the Loss of our Woollen Manufactory Trade to those Dominions from whence . . . . . . are brought in Returns thereof; and it may also hinder the Importation of Bullion: And praying, That they may be heard, as the House shall think fit, before the said Bill do pass.

Ordered, That the said Petition do lie upon the Table until the Bill for granting to his Majesty certain Duties upon Wines, for the carrying on the War against France, be read a Second time.

Duty on Leather.

A Petition of the Cordwainers of the Town and County of Southampton was presented to the House, and read; setting forth, That if the intended Duty to be laid upon Leather of 15l. per Cent. be drawn back by the Exporters, it will much enrich the Tanners, who will be the greatest Exporters; and ruin many Thousand Artificers in Leather, who are yet able, and willing, to pay the Taxes for carrying on the War against France; so that the Impoverish ment of so many of his Majesty's good Subjects will be a greater Loss than 15l. per Cent. will be Gains to the Crown; especially, when more than One Half will be transported without paying any Duty: And praying the Consideration of the House in the Premises.

Ordered, That the Consideration of the said Petition be referred to the Committee of the whole House, to whom the Bill for laying a Duty upon Leather is committed.

Duty on Leather.

A Petition of the Master, Wardens, and Company of Leathermen, within the Borough of Devizes, in the County of Wilts, on behalf of themselves, and many others, Manufacturers of Leather, in and near the said Borough, was presented to the House, and read; setting forth, That, the House intending to lay a Duty upon Leather, the Petitioners are informed, That some Persons, for their own private Advantage, desire a Drawback of the Duty may be allowed to the Exporter; which, the Petitioners conceive, will be of such mischievous Consequence, that it will ruin all the English Manufacturers in Leather; for that Foreigners will buy up the greatest Part of our Leather, and export it, and manufacture it abroad, and then serve our Markets at a cheaper Rate than we can afford those Commodities: And praying, That no Drawback of the Duty upon Leather may be allowed on Exportation thereof.

Ordered, That the Consideration of the said Petition be referred to the Committee of the whole House, to whom the Bill for laying a Duty upon Leather is committed.

Stocker's Complaint respecting impressing Men.

One of the Commissioners of the Admiralty being come into the House;

The Petition of Mary Stocker Widow, Yesterday presented to the House, was read: setting forth, That John Stocker, her late Husband, being Commander of the Hawk Frigate, which lay in Ireland, and was bound to Newfoundland, in a fishing Voyage, went to Dartmouth, Biddiford, and other Places, to raise Seamen for that Voyage, to go over into Ireland; which having effected, and marching with his Men to Ilford-Comb, he was set upon by one Carleton, employed to impress Men for the King's Service, being assisted by one Lieutenant Hyat, a Land-Officer, and Captain Cunnick, and several Seamen and Soldiers, who, with Guns and Swords, barbarously murdered the Petitioner's Husband, and wounded his Brother, and Seven others, who were all naked Men: That the Petitioner is informed, his Majesty did, about the Middle of the last Month, direct the Commissioners of the Admiralty to send Orders to all the Western Ports of England, not to impress any Men belonging to Ships bound to Newfoundland; which, if the said Commissioners had done, this sad Accident had been prevented; but she rather believes, they directed that all Endeavours should be used to impress Stocker's Men; which emboldened the Sea and Land Officers to go about 17 Miles to intercept them, and to commit the said Fact; to the Ruin of the Petitioner, and her Children; and her Sister, and her Children, their Father's Wounds being mortal: And praying, That the House will inquire into the original Cause, and Accessories, of her said Husband's Murder; who has, upon several Occasions, remarkably distinguished himself since the present War; and cause such Justice and Satisfaction to be made the Petitioner as the House shall think fit.

Ordered, That the Consideration of the said Petition be referred to the Committee, to whom the Petition of several Merchants, relating to Letters of Marque, is referred: And that they do examine the Matter thereof; and report the same to the House: And that Sir John Trevillian, Mr. Moyle, Mr. Waller, Mr. Manley, be added to the said Committee.

Silk and Callico Bill.

Mr. Methwin reported the free Conferences, had with the Lords, upon the Amendments, made by their Lordships, to the Bill, intituled, An Act to restrain the Wearing of all wrought Silks and Bengals, imported into this Kingdom from Persia and East-India, and all Callicoes printed or stained there; as followeth; viz.

That the free Conference was opened by several of the Managers of this House, by acquainting the Lords, That this House, continuing to disagree to their Amendments, had desired this free Conference, to maintain the good Correspondence between the Two Houses, and inform the Lords of the Reasons for which this House could not agree with them:

That the Lords having made their Amendments, not by entire distinct Clauses, but by adding a few Words to the Clauses of the Bill, it was hard to distinguish them; but the Intent of all of them was, That other foreign wrought Silks might be prohibited to be sold, as well as East-India Silks; and that both of them might be prohibited to be worn here, under the same Penalties imposed on those that exposed them to Sale:

That as to the other foreign wrought Silks, the Reasons of the Lords had not answered those of the Commons; who insisted, That these Silks, being the Produce of our own Manufactures, and native Commodities, were, in that respect, to be distinguished from the East-India Silks; and the Loss of our Trade in those Places from whence these Silks are imported, as it would be more prejudicial to us, so it would be more likely to happen, than in India; where the Commodities we bring from thence are said to be bought with our Money: That the great Duty on French Silks would have the Effect of a Prohibition; and the Price of Labour in the Countries from whence the other wrought Silks are brought, is not so different from what it is in England as thereby to discourage the making those Silks here, considering the great Duty paid on the Importation of foreign wrought Silks: And that Prohibitions of this nature put other Nations on the Necessity of seeking elsewhere the Commodities they were supplied with from England; of which there was an Instance in the Trade of Germany; whither we used to send the greatest Part of our Woollen Cloth, while we brought from thence their Linens.

To this Point the Lords answered;

That the prohibiting other foreign wrought Silks was to make the Bill more effectual for all the Ends of it, and to encourage our own Manufactures; which would be equally prejudiced by Silks from France, as from India, and that, upon a Peace, that Trade would, probably, be made more open, and the Duty lessened: That other Nations could make Silks so like those of India, that even the Indian Silks would be imported here, as made in those Countries, if the Prohibition were not universal: And that the Indian Silks were, in great part, the Produce of our own Manufactures.

As to the Amendments that prohibited the Wearing of East-India or other Silks, the Members of this House insisted, That it was hoped the Prohibition of selling would have a great Effect to hinder the wearing those Silks, without subjecting Persons of all Qualities to the great Inconveniencies of Searches, and vexatious Disputes; which must be the Consequence of Penalties on the Wearer; who might be imposed on, by Mistake, and could never certainly know whether the Silk he bought were imported from India; whereas the Seller could not be presumed to be ignorant of that, and therefore was more fit to be subjected to the Penalty.

The Lords argued, That the Prohibition would be ineffectual, without the Wearing were prohibited; and instanced in the Prohibition of importing French Wine: That it was not to be hoped a Prohibition would lessen the Desire of those that wore these Silks; and therefore they would come in secretly; which would be to the great Advantage of another Nation, and be more prejudicial to us than the present Trade, in respect the Silks would be dearer, and the Gain not made by English Traders: That, at this present time, when the Trade was open, they were run from Holland; and the frequent Dutch Convoys made it impossible to be prevented: That the Selling was secret, but the Wearing open, and therefore easier prevented; neither would they be brought hither, if it were known that the Wearing was prohibited.

As to the Penalties, the Lords were acquainted, at the opening the free Conference, That, by their Reasons, they had plainly admitted, That their Amendments did impose pecuniary Penalties on the People; and had justified it by a Comparison with their Judicial Power: That the Right of the Commons, That all Charges of Money on the People should first begin in their House, was so plain and clear, and so essentially necessary to the Constitution; that it had been so fully settled between the Two Houses, and so perfectly acquiesced in by the Lords; that the Commons could not presume, that it was the Intention of the Lords to draw that Matter into Debate, or Dispute, on this Occasion; especially since, if the Lords were convinced, That the Prohibition of other Silks, or the Wearing East-India Silks, was not necessary, there would be no Occasion of the Penalties: And that this Right of the Commons was of so great Importance, That they ever should, as they now did, assert it; believing the Lords would never endeavour to dispute it, whilst they desired to maintain a good Correspondence with the Commons:

All the Lords who managed the free Conference did declare their Desire to continue a good Correspondence between the Two Houses; and therefore, that it was not their Intention to debate, or dispute, the Right claimed by the Commons:

That the Lords did not think the extending the Penalty in the Act, to make it more effectual, could have been understood as a Charge on the People; especially by that Amendment which subjected the Person wearing any East-India Silk to the Penalty; because the Want of the Words, added for that Purpose, by the Lords, seemed to be an Omission of the Clerk; the Title of the Bill, and the enacting Clause, being to prohibit the Wearing.

One of the Lords that managed at the free Conference, declaring, That the good Correspondence between the Two Houses was absolutely necessary to the Constitution, said, This Consideration had made the Lords comply very far, and submit to the Demands of the Commons, at Times, and on Occasions, not proper to dispute; and therefore it was not his Intention to debate, or dispute, the Right claimed by the Commons; although the Penalties could not be said to be directly a Charge on the People; and were anciently begun with the Lords; instancing Two Acts, in Queen Elizabeth's Reign, for Relief of the Poor, and Repair of Dover Haven; and that there were many Precedents in King Charles the IId's time; where, after Conferences, the Bills were lost; which he did not name particularly; declaring it not to be his Intention to dispute the Right of the Commons:

Several of the Members of this House took this Occasion to insist further on the Right claimed by the Commons, and to turn the whole Subject of the Debate on that Point; insisting, That no Amendment, how reasonable soever, could be debated, whereby any Penalty was extended further than in the Bill: That all the several Amendments of the Lords had relation to the Penalties, and therefore they could not be debated: And that, it being very dangerous to dispute so fundamental a Point, there remained nothing for their Lordships, but, by receding from their Amendments, to settle the Right of the Commons beyond all Disputes whatsoever.

To which the Lords replied, That, if the Conference had been so opened as it was now explained, they should have understood themselves excluded from the Liberty of debating any of the Reasons on which the free Conference was desired; and therefore should not have argued at all.

Resolved, That this House doth adhere to their disagreeing with the Lords in the said Amendments.

Supply Bill; Duty on Leather.

The House, according to the Order of the Day, resolved itself into a Committee of the whole House, to consider further of the Bill for laying a Duty upon Leather, for the Term of Three Years, for answering the Deficiencies, as well of the late Duties upon Coals and Culm, as for paying the Annuities on the Lotteries, and for Lives, charged on the Tonage of Ships, and the Duties upon Salt; and to consider of Ways and Means for raising an effectual Security for paying the 840,000l. charged upon Coals, Tonage of Ships, and Salt; and other the Matters to them referred.

Mr. Speaker left the Chair.
Sir Thomas Littleton took the Chair of the Committee.
Mr. Speaker resumed the Chair.

Sir Thomas Littleton reported from the said Committee, That they had made a further Progress in the Matter to them referred; and had come to several Resolutions; which they had directed him to report, when the House will please to receive the same.

Ordered, That the said Report be made To-morrow Morning.

Sir Thomas Littleton reported also, That he was directed to move, That the Committee may have Leave to sit again.

Resolved, That this House will, upon Saturday Morning next, resolve itself into a Committee of the whole House, to consider further of the Bill for laying a Duty upon Leather; and of the other Matters to them referred.

Lords desire Leave for Members to attend them.

A Message from the Lords, by Sir Miles Cook and Mr. Pitt:

Mr. Speaker,

The Lords having sent a Message to this House, the 20th Instant, to desire, That such Members of this House as are Commissioners of the Admiralty might have Liberty to attend the Lords Committees, appointed to make Inquiry concerning the Thoulon Squadron's getting into Brest, without any Opposition, in April 1696; to which Message this House returned Answer, That they would send their Lordships an Answer by Messengers of their own; and that their Lordships having received no Answer; they do put this House in mind thereof.

And then the Messengers withdrew.

Supply Bill; Malt Duties.

Resolved, That this House will, To-morrow Morning, resolve itself into a Committee of the whole House, to consider of the Bill for granting to his Majesty certain Duties upon Malt and Mum, Sweets, Cyder, and Perry, as well towards carrying on the War against France, as for the necessary Expence of his Majesty's Houshold, and other Occasions.

African Company.

Resolved, That this House will upon Monday Morning next, resolve itself into a Committee of the whole House, to consider further of the Bill to regulate and settle the Trade to Africa.

And then the House adjourned till To-morrow Morning, Nine a Clock.