Thursday, February 20.
[A Bill sent from the Lords, for the better execution of the
laws concerning prices of wines, was read the second time; and
an order was made for taking into consideration a petition of
the Spanish merchants after the debate of the bill.]
Sir George Downing.] Setting of prices of wines is prejudicial to the King in point of his revenue; the customs
will have an abatement of their rent—The same pretence in this as in the Canary company—That there is
no law upon the vintner; but for setting of prices
there is a law; for the Lord Chancellor may enter his
cellar, and sell at statute rate, and remedy abuses—To
heighten the prices will occasion great defalcation in the
customs—It will be an inconvenience to the country;
none of their commodities will be taken off, and so petitions will be from the country for dispensations, and so
the inconveniency runs round.
Sir C. Harbord.] The King of Spain will find it inconsistent with the trade of Spanish wines, for few will
Sir William Coventry.] The intention of the Canary
company was good, the trade being driven by the corporation, that might keep the trade moderate in prices:
But the inference from the patent was not liked here
—It is not probable, that this Bill should do a new
thing in the prices of wines; for the law sets it already
by the Lord Keeper.
[The Debate was adjourned till Saturday, and then the House
resumed the business of Miscarriages, when the paper was read
relating to the Miscarriage in not prosecuting the victory in the
first summer's engagement, according to the orders of his Royal
Sir Robert Brooke.] Sir John Harman being sick told a
friend of his, that the not prosecuting the victory was
against his judgment—He approved not of it, but was
compelled to it.
[Resolved, That this was one of the greatest Miscarriages in
the late war.]
Capt. Elliott (being examined at the Bar) gave evidence] That Sir John Harman did nothing, in commanding the sails to be slacked, but what he had orders for;
that the orders were not from the Duke of York; and
that if that had not been done, our fleet might have
been between the Dutch and the shore—This, he said,
Sir John Harman told him when he was sick, and in a
Sir William Penn.] Giving an account of the superior
officers, said, The command of the sails is not always in
one person, in the Admiral's ship, but in several by turns.
Sir Tho. Clifford.] In May the fleet was put to shorter
allowance of wet and dry provisions, four to six mens
provisions, the want of which was the cause of the coming home of the fleet.
Sir Fretchville Holles.] Thinks that defect of provisions
of victualling is as great a miscarriage as any.
Mr Vaughan.] If the fleet was drawn off without order, then it was a miscarriage of the General, Lord Sandwich; but if for other causes, as the want of provisions,
then not to make any vote to lay a particular charge
upon Lord Sandwich before he be heard.
Sir Richard Temple.] The Admiral must be brought
to declare the miscarriage—He knows all the reasons of
withdrawing the fleet.
Col. Walden.] Said, he has heard Lord Sandwich say,
that want of victuals was the cause of his coming home
Col. Rhemes.] Affirms, he heard Lord Sandwich say
[The House then proceeded to the reading and debate of the
fourth paper, relating to the Miscarriage in drawing in the fleet
about October 1665, which was recommitted to the Committee
Friday, February 21.
Mr Richard Ford.] Speaking about Impositions, said, in ptivate discourse, That in Holland they permit plays and all other
shows; but the hospital officers gather the money, and have
half for the use of the hospital—only the rest to the players,
&c. The Domine, as they call their minister, inveighing in
the pulpit against the permitting them, the burghers called him
before them, and checked him for reflecting upon what they
permitted and allowed; and he must forbear, at his peril; they
got 40 l. a day by the plays and shows, and if he could find them
a project for charitable uses worth 42 l. they would accept of it,
but no reflections on their actions in the pulpit.]
[Mr Coleman made report of a breach of privilege committed
by one John Lewen, in insulting Stephen Carr, who was ordered to attend as a witness by the Committee, to which a petition of Mr Fitton was committed.]
Sir John Birkenhead.] Said, he gave Lewen the oath
Sir Thomas Lee.] This Lewen is a servant to a Peer,
and care should be taken not to clash with the Lords in
securing him for threatening the witness, and calling
him Rogue—Moves that the Lords be sent to, to secure
Sir Ant. Jerby.] It is no breach of privilege of the
Lords, the offence being immediately against us.
Mr Vaughan.] Suppose any gentleman of us should
call a witness Rogue, &c. that is to give evidence at the
Lords Bar, and this witness complains, and the member
is imprisoned, you would certainly release him—If the
Lords should take a servant from our side into custody,
we should release him—We may have right against a
Peer—If he be a servant we may send to the Lords
about him, and if not released, we may release him.
Mr Saymour] Would have him taken into custody—
Possibly Lord Gerrard may disown him.
Sir Gil. Gerrard.] None of the Committee can say,
they heard Lewen utter these words, and Lewen stood
close to the Committee, and might have been easily
heard by them.
Sir William Lewis] Would have him sent for, but not
in custody—If Lord Gerrard does disclaim him, we may
Sir Gil. Gerrard.] Says, he is no servant of Lord
Serjeant Maynard.] Sending for him in custody is condemning him before heard—Would have him sent for
[He was ordered to be sent for in custody of the Serjeant at
Arms, to answer the breach of privilege.
A Petition of William Carr was presented to the House, by
Sir Nicholas Carew. It alleged, "That Lord Gerrard caused the
petitioner to be summoned to the House of Lords, and he was,
for his printed petition to the Commons, committed to the
Fleet, and suffered the pillory, and could not be heard by his
council—And that Lord Gerrard had preferred several Indictments against him, to his utter ruin.]
Mr Coventry.] The law will not approve of printing
a scandalous petition against a great man; and for that,
Carr was sentenced in the House of Lords—As to Grievances, he or any man may regularly complain of them.
Col. Birch.] All papers are here delivered in print;
and this no more faulty than the rest.—Would have the
Right of both Houses asserted.
The Speaker.] The Petition is matter of Privilege, and
matter of Grievance, and therefore referable to the Committee.
Sir William Lewis.] Ubi non est lex non est peccatum—
No order against the printing of papers.
[The petition was referred to the Committee of Grievances.]
[In a Grand Committee for the Supply. Mr Seymour in
Sir William Lewis.] Moves for an account of the
eleven months tax granted for setting out the fleet, when
none indeed was set out.
Sir Hum. Winch.] Moves to know what is expended
of the 1,600,000 l. since Mich. 1666 untill this time—
Possibly so much may remain, as will make the proportion now to be raised; likewise of the poll-money, something may remain.
[A Committee was accordingly appointed, to take an account
of the proceed of the poll-money, as also to take an account of
the moneys registered upon the eleven months assessment, and
what part of the money was expended towards the war, betwixt
Michaelmas 1666 and Michaelmas 1667, and what money, arising by the poll-bill, hath been applied to the use of the war
within the said time.]
Saturday, February 22.
[Mr Coleman reported from the Committee, to which Mr Fitton's business was committed, that they had come to a resolution
that the matter of the petitioner's complaint, concerning the
jurisdiction of the House of Lords, is fit to be argued at the
Bar of this House.
Sir Robert Atkins.] The business of Fitton not coming
duly before the Lords, by way of writ of error from the
courts of Westminster, and they having judged it, if that
must be, all our liberties are struck off at a blow, and
then no way to be redressed but by King, Lords, and
Commons, by way of Bill—If the matter be wrong judgment of other courts, or if the Lords have usurped a jurisdiction, he would have it well enquired into, the Lords
daily enlarging their jurisdiction; therefore it being of so
great consequence, would have the matter asserted.
Mr Vaughan.] The case, in short, is this; Granger
for libelling was sentenced, the party not being indicted,
before the Lords proceed to judgment.
Col. Birch] Has heard that the Lords have great
power in point of libelling.
Mr Seymour] Would not have the honour of a noble
Lord blasted, before the thing be judged—
The Lords take cognizance of things before them, either by accusation, or impeachment—29 H. VI. Duke
of Somerset, and Dutchess of Suffolk, Alice de la Pole,
were removed from the King, only because they had an
ill same; the people spoke ill of them—But now they
take original causes before them without tryal per Pares.
—This case concerns only one person, but involves all
the Commons of England.
Sir George Carteret
(fn. 1) .] Gives an account of Granger's
counterfeiting orders for debenture moneys into Ireland
—His counterfeiting a Patent for a Barony; and a grant
of the house-keeper's place at Hampton Court, and
brought the keys and a person to take possession of the
house, whom he had sold the place to—There was a
great scuffle about it, with a northern gentleman (Samuel
Bordman) who was the house-keeper, and in possession—
When his keys were tryed, never a one would fit—Upon
his examination he confessed he had never seen Lord Gerrard, and had done him much wrong, and craved his
pardon. This he (Sir George) heard him say.
Col. Birch.] If speaking ill of men must be a cause of
turning out (reflecting upon what Mr Seymour last said)
who can go free?—He would rather have a lye told of
him in a hundred words than in a few; he can sooner
disprove the person.
Mr Vaughan.] Supposing all be proved false, then 'tis
as great a libel as can be—Then this was brought before
the Lords, who say all is proved to be false before them
—If it be examined whether this was proved before the
Lords, or what conclusions they made upon it; how can
we do it?—The witnesses may be dead, or not to be found
—This can never be remedied by Bill, nor any way—
The very syllables must be proved; it cannot else be
asserted to be the same the Lords passed sentence upon.
Sir William Lewis.] Would have a Committee of the
Long Robe to enquire into the right of the Commons;
how the Lords are used to proceed in matters of Judicature of this nature; that our reasons may be guided by
the best helps we can.
Mr Steward.] The Lords have no jurisdiction at the
first instance, but it ought to come from the inferior
courts. 25 Edward III. in the business of York and Lancaster, the declaratory statute—By way of Bill.
[The Resolution of the Committee being agreed to by the
House, the hearing was resolved to be on Tuesday the 3d of
March, and a Committee was appointed to search precedents,
and to enquire into the privileges of the House.]
Monday, February 24.
[This Debate, or rather Discourse, must have been in the
Committee of Supply, for that was the only public business the
House did this day: and there is no mention of it in the Journal.]
Sir Robert Brooke.] Gives an account of a paper sent
to him by a person that would give information of the
sale of offices, and if he might receive the countenance
of the House, would declare his name.
Mr Sollicitor Finch.] Who would have his name up,
though afterwards cleared, in the House of Commons?
They are dark and doubtful things, when ashamed to
be owned—Let not papers come in at your windows to
occasion a proclamation upon a man, if any man will accuse him. Si quis, &c.
Sir Robert Atkins.] For buying and selling of offices,
common same says as much as this paper.—It is the great
mischief we labour under.
Sir Robert Howard.] By this way, every man may be
attacked by a side-wind of accusation.
Should you throw it aside, people would wonder—
Should you revive a Committee upon it, you value it
too much.—Would have the Committee revived generally, but not upon this occasion—He himself may be libelied for an Undertaker, and thinks a man wants honour
and courage that will not subscribe a paper he gives in,
or make it appear he is one.
Sir Rich. Temple.] When ballads only have been fung
of great ministers of state, that common fame has been
a ground of enquiry in Parliament—De la Pole's case.
Mr Waller.] Without probabilem causam accusandi et
litigandi, an accusation of felony is actionable—Liberty
of accusing, and no liberty of calumniating, the security
of all rights—Rewards were in the Romens time given
to accusers. If the dogs that guarded the Capitol should
have set upon and bit all the worshippers that came,
none would have come to worship—Would have the
Committee revived, but not upon this occasion.
[Adjourned to Wednesday.]
Wednesday, February 26.
[In a Grand Committee on the Supply.]
The poll-money of the Lords comes to but 6000 l.
and of that, 1300 l. paid in—The money granted for
the last year's fleet, and none set out, upon computation,
would have maintained a fleet of 35,000 men, wear and
tear, &c.—Upon computation of those that inspected,
400,000 l. remains unemployed.
Sir John Northcote.] Wonders not that the Lords can
give so much money for their honours, they being so
easily charged in the poll, and their payment so defective.
Mr Waller.] 'Tis a strange thing that we should put
a question, whether we should redeem ourselves from a
danger, or no. But the question is, Whether there be
an occasion or not?—He thinks more of the money
would have remained if the fleet had been set out—The
managers of that business not dreaming of accounts,
many faults may be found, yet he fears no money will—
The council of war (he remembers) and the treasurers
of the Palatinate war, gave their account of that money
here in the House.—He ever resisted both extremes of
giving and not giving; he had no thanks before, and expects to have as little now.
Sir Richard Temple.] Would not be engaged to give
by a previous vote, unless we know where to give—
The manner, the reason of the thing, and the supply,
always debated at the Committee—Before voted, would
have the necessity of the thing enquired into, and the
money to be found out, and to be put into hands to
manage it—Would have it represented to the King, not
to put his moneys and affairs into hands that have so
miscarried in the management of them—The Dutch
cannot reasonably expect an aid from us this year, who
the last year were not able to help ourselves—They desire our friendship only—If we save our neighbour's
house from fire, it is reasonable we should be paid for
it—They want no ships, they outvye the French already
—No necessity appears to him that the Dutch must
break with us for want of our assistance at sea—Would
have the accounts of moneys in bank, and the necessity
by the treaty of raising any, stated, and then that it may
be done without grinding the face of the people—Would
have this determined before any question put.
Sir William Coventry.] If that peace, as bad as Temple
makes it, had not been, he had not been speaking here
now—He blames the peace; then he must conclude we
are able to make war.
Sir Ch. Harbord.] If this House had not been, the necessity of money had not been—If you give him not now,
you are never like to aid him more—Weakening of ourselves and our allies, is strengthening of our enemies—
Flanders must never be in a strong Prince's hand, nor
the Sound of Denmark—The Dutch understand well this
necessity of state, and do pursue it.
[270,000 l. was proposed for an aid.]
Mr Swynfin.] Would not have the sum exceeded for
this summer's fleet, which will set forth, one ship of the
first rate, six of the second rate, fourteen of the third
rate, twenty-nine of the fourth rate, with 11,000 men
for six months, besides the ordnance.
Sir Thomas Osborne.] Would not have the money managed by Commissioners of the House, but deposited in
the hands of some of the House—He is for raising the
money, that the French may not now embrace the opportunity the Dutch offer us—Would have the manner
of raising it, named, before the sum.
[300,000 l. was voted, but not to be raised either upon Land
Tax or Home-Excise.
Resolved, That the House will resolve into a Committee tomorrow morning on the Supply.]
Thursday, February 27.
Sir John Morton, and Sir John Fitz-James, brought in a libel, subscribed by a person whom he (Morton) knew, and his
hand, subscribed William Constantine, to the mayor of Pool, to
this effect, "It grieves him, that those that may, do not help
off Taxes; if he be chosen, for the future, he would help it."
This was thought a reflection on the Parliament, and a poisoning of the [minds of the] people. Mr Constantine was ordered to be sent for, but not by the Serjeant, only summoned.
[In a Grand Committee on the Supply.]
Sir Thomas Meres.] Would bring in a Bill, by the advice of the merchants, upon a general Addition upon
Mr Prynne.] Would have impositions and forfeitures
upon French commodities, vice versa, as they do upon
Sir John Knight.] Proposed a Poll Bill.
Col. Sandys.] For Imposition upon wines; but would
have the vintner pay the Tax, viz. four-pence the
quart upon French wines, and six-pence upon Spanish
Sir Walter Yonge.] Instead of paying 300,000 l. the
subject will by this tax pay six; for this must erect an
office of excise in every town—If upon wines, we give
the King with one hand, and take it from him with
the other—Before the additional custom, much more
was brought in than now—The excise is now in the
Sir Thomas Littleton.] Would have imposition upon
such commodities as, in the way of reason, we have no
need of—The King of France, by this means, makes [a]
double war upon us.
Sir Ch. Harbord.] A miserable revenue this of wines,
to depend upon our enemies for it!
Col. Birch.] We cannot lay this tax of wines in the
cellar, because of constant waiting it; but you may enact
that wine shall pay so much per pint; if four pence
French, it may in one year amount to 100,000 l.; but
then it will hinder the consumption for the future—In
trade we are already over-ballanced—We want nothing
but manufactures; we are most conveniently placed for
it—Linnens we have imported to the value of 800,000 l.
the year; he drives at settling that manufacture—The
farmer starves now things are cheap, the poor when things
are dear—This manufacture will remedy both—This
would make trade even, and flourish—Would have an
impost upon all foreign linnen upon the retailer.
Mr Vaughan.] Would not have any tax discoursed of,
that should retrench the revenue to the King or Duke
Sir Walt. Yonge.] That of linnen will be exposed to the
same inconvenience in shops, as wines in the cellars.
Mr Jones.] By the same reason we impose upon Spanish wines, the King of Spain may impose upon us—
The Norwich and Essex trade will be lost—The Dutch
case all commodities inwards in the customs, which invites all trade to them.
Col. Birch.] You may lay at the custom-house upon
coarse linnen in bales; the poor make most use of that,
and none but the poor will bear it—The gross commodities will be only hit, and the extravagancies in fine
linnen, not; our enemies cannot advise us better —
Would have it raised upon the retailer, without one
officer of the army of excise-officers spoken of—Suppose
three officers in London, and they to depute five or more
Justices in every county, who may compound with every
country retailer at two meetings in the year; by this all
the army of excise-men [will be] gone.
Mr Swynfin.] The last retailer cannot be found, being
retailed from hand to hand; and the duty, where it
should be, not to be found—This trade cannot be carried on; in this all shop-books must be exposed, and an
officer, to the great hindrance of trade, will know every
man's estate; then the chief tradesman, that has the
greatest stock, shall get licence, and so trade [be] destroyed—If a man will not compound the duty, he must be
forced, and you must have multiplicity of officers—The
gentleman buys all at London, and little trade of this nature is driven in the country.
Col. Birch again.] The certainty of the persons retailing, and the value, is as well known as any man's estate
upon the poll, and better—Eight parts in ten in other
matters are not hit, in this all are—No officer in the
case, only the Justices of the neighbourhood to be Commissioners.
Sir Tho. Meres.] The Justices have trouble sufficient
already, and now would you make them Excise-men,
and odious in their country?
Sir William Coventry.] All taxes must have some coercion—In the subsidy and monthly tax the Commissioners do tax traders, and in the subsidy, if over-rated,
a man may discharge himself by his oath—All the proceedings will be as by subsidy, only, by this, consined
to foreign commodities.—He is for foreign; for nothing
will more help the keeping our money than retaliating,
if it be true that the French King has banished almost
all foreign commodities, by laying great charges upon
them—Is retaliation then upon him dangerous?—It is
not what we pay in England for, as a nation; that does
not impoverish us; it may be, that some particular men
may—But money moves within the nation, it goes not
out if it prevents the excesses of particular men—Ale,
cyder, and cloth, do not hurt us in the excess, like that of
linnen and wine—We have more land by improvements
of all sorts, as fens drained, woods stocked, wastes inclosed
—Our people are not sufficient to consume it, together
with the plantations—Therefore to all national effects let
this imposition be laid upon foreign commodities.
[Resolved, That the House resolve itself into a Committee, on
the Supply, on Saturday morning.]
Friday, February 28.
[Several Informations were given of insolent Carriage and Abuses, committed by persons in many places, in interrupting and
disturbing Ministers in their Churches, and holding Meetings of
their own, contrary to law.]
Mr Cooke.] Complaining of the few that attended divine service in Suffolk, said, that many parsons there had
altered the Liturgy, from "as many as are here present," to "as few as are here present."
Sir Jam. Smith.] Upon the same occasion would have
said, "the sons of the church," but mistook and called
them "the churches of the sun."
[It was ordered to be taken into consideration on Monday.]
[Debate on Miscarriages resumed. The Paper of Report, relating to Miscarriages, in discharging ships by Tickets, was
Mr Hungerford.] The orders from the Commissioners
of the navy, concerning the method of payment, were
not pursued, although his Highness gave them in most
Sir Robert Brooke.] His Highness's orders for the tickets were but one week observed, and those of late date
were paid before them of much ancienter.
Serjeant Maynard.] We have not been beaten by power
and force, but by cheating and cozening the nation traiterously—Would have them punished to the quick.
Sir Hum. Winch.] Thinks the miscarriage of tickets
deserves an Act of Parliament to punish the offenders,
by having them made to refund; and would have the
poor seamen secured for the future by a method by law.
The hazard by these miscarriages so great, that it hazarded our being a nation.
[To proceed on Thursday.]
Saturday, February 29.
[A Bill to prevent abuses arising by the Duty of Hearth-money, in collecting thereof, was read the second time.]
Mr Vaughan.] The grievance arises from the officers,
mean fellows—Justice finds the offence, but seldom the
offender, and Justices of the Peace will not meddle, being
exposed to the trouble of messengers from the Lord
Treasurer and the Chancellor of the Exchequer—He
would have some of the offenders sent for and punished
whilst we are sitting; for multiplying of Laws for it is
but multiplying of riddles.
[The Bill was committed to the Committee that brought it in.]
[In a Grand Committee on the Supply.]
Sir Tho. Allen.] Would not have it voted upon what
we should not lay it by way of negative Vote—King
James said of the negative confession in Scotland, proposed in his time, that it would be as long as the Bible.
Sir Robert Howard.] The last year all the wines were
in effect excised by consent in paying 12 d. per quart
more, as now 8 d. by compulsion.
Sir Tho. Lee.] Would have such a rate made upon
wines as to extinguish that trade totally—But the way
of excise will do us more injury than the money will do
the Crown good, by vexatious proceedings of officers.
Sir Robert Howard.] The same officers that do one
excise may do the other, and so no multiplying of officers—Presumes we really intend to give money, which
the laying it upon the customs will take away from the
King as we give—The same officers that search for beer
may search for wine, without multiplying any.
Col. Sandys.] No man will pay this imposition upon
wines, but the extravagant person—The objections
against, it are but to put us upon a land tax.
Sir Robert Atkins.] Is for an affirmative question; we
else move in a circle, and presumes all negative questions
Sir Richard Temple.] Excise is a more chargeable way
of collection—It creates an army of officers—The King
will be certain of the collection of the duty at the customhouse—There were but three excises in Holland for three
years, and they have kept it for ever—France, by one
for five years, has for ever since been a slave—Hollana
consumes little of their own growth, which makes it not
so grievous to them.
Mr Sollicitor Finch.] The Act of 12 Car. did lower
the rate of the customs, and increased the duty by more
coming-in; for before that the estranging of customs was
frequent in fine commodities—He looks not upon this
tax as only pro bac vice.
Mr Love.] Looks upon the impösition upon the retailer as a Spanish inquisition.—If the shop-keeper denies, the Commissioner will assess him—But 'tis said, an
oath will remedy the man; but this is putting trade
upon its last legs, that now people cannot get by trading
they will do it by swearing—This course will tend to a
contrary end, people will drive a night-trade, and be low
assessed—A man is not assessed for his gains, but what
he visibly trades for.
Most of the merchants are Spanish traders and young
men, and they must certainly lay aside one fifth part of
their stock for the duty of the trade; so that, unless their
friends supply them again, their trade must fall—For
these few years most merchants of that trade have not
kept up their stocks—The spoiling of this Spanish trade
will come home to the country-gentlemen at last.
Sir George Downing.] All new ways prove short of
what they are proposed—The Duke's licences come not
to 14,000 l. per annum, and affirms that one per cent.
would be a better revenue at the custom-house than all
that.—He dares say, that for linnens now we shall never get 10,000 l. being assessed by the neighbourhood,
who will not assess according to proportion—In this of
wines no discouragement to foreign trade, the commodities being already brought in, and what is to come till
such a day.
Sir Thomas Gower.] Wonders that any man will follow the Spanish trade, if so ill an one as Mr Love makes
Sir Ch. Harbord.] What he can propose is only from
observation and experience, being not a man of invention; but what has been done, may be done.
Sir John Knight.] There are 150 thousand ton of
shipping in England employed in merchants affairs.
—Proposes the owner of the ship to pay 10 or 20 s. per
ton, this to be rated upon the owners; the master of the
ship, when his voyage is finished, to pay it.
Mr Vaughan.] Would have all the proposals singly
put to the question, not complicated.
Mr Swynfin.] Till the estimate of what any of these
impositions will come to, he can give no Vote.
Sir William Coventry.] Against the tonnage, as prejudicial to trade—The Hollanders grow rich by being the
universal carriers of the world, and very little consumers.
—This will be a great discouragement to navigation,
searing the landed gentlemen, which this part consists most of, finding this way of laying it, will for the
future do it, and so discourage trade.
[A Committee was appointed to consider, what foreign commodities were fit to receive an additional duty, and to estimate
what the same would raise in a year's time, and to inspect the
Custom-house books for that purpose.]
[March 2, omitted.]