Monday, November 8, 1669.
[Consideration of the Report of the Commissioners of Accounts resumed. (fn. 1) ]
Sir Robert Howard.] Judgment of the Commissioners
of Accounts ought to be universally taken—Money
charged in 1663, and not put to account till 1665—
Money paid to ships twice; flat condemnations as can
be—15 Edward III. Buying of the King's debts then
was a crime—Some now bought for ten or twelve shillings in the pound—If we let these things go, we shall
add another miscarriage to all the rest, that is, of this
House—If the person accused [Sir George Carteret] can
object any thing against the Commissioners, we ought to
hear him, otherwise to proceed to judgment—It is our
misfortune that we are still lost in the bud.
Sir George Carteret.] That when Tickets were sold,
he had 400,000l. in cash, it is said; but that was all
upon tallies, and not cash—The Commissioners have had
all his books ever since he came before, them—Desires
that book [the cash-book] may be sent for.
Sir Fretchville Holles.] Moves, That the Commissioners
may be put to their charge and proofs, and so to go to
Sir George Carteret.] Moves, That by reason he is an
ill expresser of himself, he may have a paper read.
Sir Robert Carr.] Accuses Carteret of reflecting on the
Commissioners of Accounts, as if they had given a false
account of things.
Sir Thomas Meres.] To go into every particular of it
is as much as to say, you will not meddle with it at all—
Would have the charge proved, head by head, and begin with the first.
(fn. 2) .] Pardons may stop judgment; therefore moves to proceed to judgment.
Sir Robert Atkins.] Presumes, that if the Commissioners were called in, they would tell you, these observations they have given are not judgments. If they intended them judgments, they would not have called
them observations—Moves to have the paper read—
Supposes he will have a rebuke, if his paper be by way
of traverse or reflection on the Commissioners.
Sir Richard Temple.] We have as much from the Commissioners as ever we can have—They have obeyed your
commands by giving it in writing, which is all you can
expect—Thinks it unparliamentary to deliver what a
man would say, in writing.
Mr Milward.] Seconds the motion of charging those
heads that are clearly accusations.
Sir John Birkenhead.] So common a courtesy, that he
wonders how any man should be against receiving the
Sir Robert Howard.] Moves to have nothing heard or
read, but in presence of the Commissioners, because he
knows not by what methods they have proceeded in it.
Mr Waller.] The Commissioners have showed great
integrity, and another virtue also, great moderation—
Their observations seem to him in the nature of a special verdict; they know not whether to condemn or clear
him—The Judge then ends it not, but consults the rest
of his brethren in the Exchequer Chamber—For us to
resolve in an hour that which they would not do in a
year, is strange—The proper thing now is to consider the
observations, whether they be rules of judgment, or not
—Doing unjustly is worse than losing time; and let rumour rule and reign in the streets, not here, though there
may be reason sufficient for it—Would have the Commissioners called in.
Mr Steward.] Thinks us not ripe for judgment—For
directions only how we should proceed in judgment.
Sir Solomon Swale.] If they be judgments, they are to
be returned into the Exchequer as debts to the King.
Mr Garroway.] They have returned six judgments
into the Exchequer—They had not come to us, but that
we sent for them—They are not ready for the rest till
they have the Earl of Anglesea's accounts—Moves to
judge them misdemeanors.
Sir Thomas Littleton.] The Earl of Anglesea's accounts
came in so late, that they cannot be ready; the Commissioners allowing but one day in a week for his accounts.
[To proceed on Wednesday. Nov. 9, omitted.]
Wednesday, November 10.
[Resolved, That no Member of the House, of the Long Robe,
do, during this Session, plead in any cause, as Counsel, at the
House of Lords, without leave of the House asked, and granted
after ten of the clock.]
[A Bill to suppress seditious Conventicles was read the second
Sir Thomas Clifford.] Nothing can be more provoking
than for one to say, "I am holier than he that has never
broke his Royal word." It is a tender thing to him. Breda
Mr Waller.] When the Apostles met, the Emperors
had a Law against Conventicles—Would have oyl rather
than vinegar poured into the wound—An argument from
the genius of the nation is not always ill—Says, He has
asked the people in London why they did not build their
Churches? They say, they are afraid to be whipped into
them—Would rather have the Conventicles regular than
Mr Secretary Trevor.] Thinks the business well already in the King's hands, there being Laws against it
already—Moves to have it recommended to the King,
who is engaged in his promise at Breda.
Mr Vaughan.] These people have a legislative conscience, pretending a Law from Heaven to controul the
Law upon Earth.
Sir Thomas Littleton.] We have had them in King
James's and King Charles's time, but not considerable;
they increased then by the change in the Churchmen—
If the Churchmen then changed, and Doctrine too, why
might not they? The persecution then, instead of working out, increased many more—Would have any man
tell him, when ever any rebellious meeting came out of a
Conventicle that was tolerated by Law—Would have
the Bill committed, but the numbers the Bill is consined
Sir Philip Warwick.] Many (of Littleton's) arguments
tend rather to a toleration than a destroying the Bill—
When King Charles I. came to speak with the Pope's
Legate (then in England) and when an address was desired by him to Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury; he
said, "he did not think Popery more easy to be established
in England than he found it;" and we, having reason
on our sides, take the Papists up to throw them down—
For the season of this Bill, it is best when the House
thinks it seasonable, and not what any private man thinks
—Would have the Clause of transportation left out, and
the number to be twelve at the least.
Sir Thomas Littleton.] It is impossible to say any thing
on this subject but what must reflect on one of the King's
Mr Henry Coventry.] If King James's and Queen Elizabeth's times were Popish, the tables in the Chapels stood
Altar-wise—Was told by one at Rome, that "if ever
Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury, outlives the Puritan
faction, he will be worse to the Church of Rome than
Luther or Calvin, for he will unite Parties to Conformity."—When he was young, being abroad, a gentleman told him this.
Sir John Birkenhead.] Three gentlemen, yet alive, that
can testify that bonfires were made at Rome for Laud's death
—For the Star-chamber order about setting tables Altarwise, people might do it, or not do it; it was only recommended—Those in the emperors time fought for the
Emperor, but show me such as have fought for the King
—What Laud did in his time was by the Attorney General's and Sollicitor General's approbation, and who
those were you know.
Colonel Samuel Sandys.] Thinks the Nonconformists
have had encouragement from some within these walls.
Sir Edmund Wyndham, Knt. Marshal.] Knows the King
is not inclinable to Conventicles, but he fears the King
is intimidated by some about him by their numbers.
Mr Edward Seymour.] Would not have us Antipodes
to all nations, to make people labour under oppressions.
The inquisition of Spain is a cause of the decay of that
Monarchy—The King's Proclamation, and this Bill,
very different—This Law will punish none but such as
are truly conscientious, which we would avoid in discourse—Would have no farther proceeding in the business.
Sir Winston Churchill. (fn. 3) ] St Paul, reputed the Great
Fanatic of his time, had done nothing against the Law
nor against Cæsar—If these men were such, he should be for
them; but such as we have asked our lives and fortunes
of being the ringleaders, he has reason to fear his life
and fortune—These are people that use double arts of
making false representations to the King, that they are
good and rich people, and great—They disperse rumours
in saying, the King has been at Conventicles, and that
such as are the King's Privy-Council are theirs—Thinks
us bound by our allegiance to give the King faithful
counsel in this business—Let us tell the King this day,
what is the sense of this nation.
Sir Thomas Lee.] Moves, "How these things come"
to be represented to the King.
Sir Richard Temple.] Would have the Committee allow the number so many as may not be inconsistent with
the peace of the nation—Would have the King do as
the King of France has done, to regulate his Clergy, as
well as expell the Protestants.
Mr Love.] Being at Rome amongst the Jesuits, they
told him, he might be free in discourse of Religion; and
amongst other things they said, "Laud, Archbishop of
Canterbury, is our great enemy; for what we bring
about in an age, he would do in a year or two." Replied upon Birkenhead and Coventry.
Mr Sollicitor Finch.] No man more tender of consciences than he is—He finds that our Religion, called by
our enemies the States Religion, because established by
Law, is the persecution, and finds occasion is taken to
rip up former miscarriages in the Church, and a scandal laid upon Bishop Laud, whose legacy can never be
forgotten; "You that kill me, Ne veniant Romani"—
Popery can never come into England, but upon the shoulders of a Puritan—He cannot bear a reproof from himself, if silent in this matter—We have a greater security
for the Church than any nation has—If we suffer this
question, what Church are you of?—If it be here and
there, it is no where—Generally mankind will be for the
Religion established by Law; when that coertion ceases,
where will you find your Church?—There was never
any time that a peaceable man was persecuted for his
religion. He that thinks it necessary to worship God in
Conventicles, will call it a persecution to be denied it;
and therefore will use all means to rid himself of it—
The men in rebellion were wise men in their generations,
and have taught us what to do in suppression of these
[The Bill was ordered to be committed.]
Thursday, November 11.
[Consideration of the Report of the Commissioners of Accounts resumed.]
First Observation against Sir George Carteret.] All moneys received by him out of his Majesty's Exchequer, are
by the Privy-seals assigned for the particular services;
but no such thing is observed or specified in his payments,
whereby he has assumed to himself a liberty to make use
of the King's treasure for other uses than is directed.
Commissioners of Accounts, Lord Brereton.] All Carteret's Ledgers will prove it; he has in effect confessed it,
because not practicable—Each sum, what, and why, by
the instructions of the Navy, are to be specified once
every year, to assert, under his hand, to the Lord Admiral, the state of the Treasury, which they conceive the
whole office of the Navy ought to observe.
Colonel Thompson, a Commissioner.] 2,027,000l. was
assigned for victuals, wages 900,000l. and but 613,000l.
paid; which, if all had been applied, would have prevented
much discontent amongst the seamen—160,600l. lying
in his hands of the King's money—No warrant from any
person in authority to issue out moneys for the use not
designed for—Accounts in time of war and peace kept
equal, but not so in the office of Ordnance—32,800l.
paid in tickets—Five and six months the Navy unpaid,
when money in sufficient. N. B. By observation, the
Commissioners mean partly judgments, and partly inquisitions into frauds, neglects, and miscarriages; and Lord
Brereton thinks the observations belong to all, or some of
Sir George Carteret says,] He cannot answer for misdemeanors of his servants—Desires to be heard by his Counsel.
[Debate whether Sir George Carteret should be heard by his
Mr Garroway.] Moves that he may be heard by his
Counsel to matter of crime, but not to matter of fact;
the fact being in effect confessed by Carteret in the books
signed by him.
Mr Henry Coventry.] There is matter of fact, and circumstances of fact; there may be exigencies in the case.
Mr Sollicitor Finch.] Embezzlements of public treasure cannot be prosecuted with too much concern—In an
offence in the House to the House, the person has withdrawn—Some gentlemen, in effect, say, if he will have
Counsel, after he has confessed, he may; if they will
proceed to Judicature, then all that it amounts to is no
more than transmitting the debt into the Exchequer—Out
of the Exchequer, upon accusation that forfeits offices,
they are heard by Counsel—Some say, if to proceed by
way of Bill, then hear him—Answers, Possibly Counsel
may convince you, if there was no ground of accusation, and so you retract the impeachment.
When the ablest man shall be speechless in the House
of Commons, will you put this gentleman to answer
for himself, with all his troubles about him? They may
say that for him, which he cannot but brokenly and interruptedly say for himself.
Sir Robert Atkins.] The Commissioners say that this
is not a judgment, but an inquisition—His agents have
been very negligent in their duty, and possibly they may
shift it off to their superior—Concludes it is but reasonable he should be heard by his Counsel.
Sir Richard Temple.] In point of Bastardy the Bishop certisies the Court, and they proceed upon it without any farther hearing of Counsel—This Commission of Accounts
is of the same nature—Counsel, in Michael de la Pole's
case, was for matter of fact denied in Judicature.
[On a division, the Counsel were allowed to speak to matter
of law, but not of sact, 127 to 126.]
Friday, November 12.
[Consideration of the Report of the Commissioners of Accounts resumed.]
Mr Ayliffe, a Counsel for Sir George Carteret.] Acknowledges divers moneys not applied to the uses intended, his Letters Patents authorising him to pay according
to order, from three Commissioners of the Navy; if he
has order from three, he is justified, and the Duke of
of York has a plenipotentiary power—Hopes it a full
justification—Hopes the Lord Treasurer's order is a justification; and lastly the King himself, by his command
—All which orders he has to show; if in these he has
done disservice, it would have been a far greater to have
Mr Sawyer, another Counsel.] Transposition of the
money, whether by Sir George Carteret's order, or not,
Sir Robert Atkins.] The Counsel has offered no matter
of fact, but only matter of record, as the Patent and
the book of Articles of the Navy, in the nature of a
record, and therefore consistent with the order of the
Sir Thomas Lee.] These ways of proceeding are so tedious, that unless we have an Act to sit, as the Long
Parliament had, we shall not have time to dispatch this
Mr Coleman.] Say the Counsel, "It is no inference the
Commissioners draw from the premises, "they confess all"
—But the premises do not warrant the conclusion"—If
the Commissioners were present, they would have cleared
Sir Robert Howard.] If the Counsel say they have not
showed matter of law to the Commissioners, and will
not show it you, desires you will hear of any thing, but
what the Commissioners have heard of already.
Sir George Carteret.] Produces a warrant, out of the
Exchequer, which this morning came to his hands, and is
not yet delivered to the Commissioners of Accounts.
Mr Milward.] Does not apprehend the Commissioners
of Accounts to be Judges, and we only Executioners—
They have proceeded in this business not as final determination, and that the person is criminal; but it is left
for you to judge, therefore would have proceedings as
in other cases.
Sir Thomas Meres.] He may possibly say, "that proofs
are come in lately, which he had not ready at his hearing before the Commissioners"—Then the work is endless
—The Commissioners offering it for a truth, he must
not call it an inference.
Sir Humphry Winch.] The Counsel say, he had a superior order to the Privy-seals, and therefore no crime—
He suspects, that under the notion of matter of fact, he
shall not be heard at all, which made him yesterday for
his hearing by Counsel—He must be heard to matter
of fact, or not at all; his Patent is matter of fact, &c.
—The Commissioners apprehended not themselves as
Judges, and proceeded not as such; if you take theirs
for a judgment, put it then to the Question.
Mr Henry Coventry.] It was said that the Commissioners should not be here with the Council on an equal
foot—Carteret told you he had no custody of his books;
you give him leave to have a sword to defend himself,
will you now make him keep it in his scabbard? Believes
no Court in Westminster will admit those observations for
judgments—The Lords have as much before them as
you have, and if you have no more, no impeachment
can be grounded upon it.
Mr Montagu, Attorney to the Queen.] "Final," in the
Act, is a return of the judgment into the Exchequer,
under hand and seal of the Commissioners—No man but
shall have execution suspended, if he can make his cause
Sir Robert Howard.] Challenges any learned man to
show him a precedent that ever any man was impeached
upon greater matter than this against Carteret, by the
Commissioners—Desires that Mr H. Coventry might speak
again—Believes that Birkenhead would scarce overtake
Mr H. Coventry.] What a man hears is ever a more
sure ground to go upon than what comes from others,
and the ground of this accusation from the Commissioners we have not heard.
Sir Charles Wheeler, taking an expression from Sir Nicholas Carew as a reflection, which was, "That he believed the Commissioners had as much Logic as that
gentleman (Wheeler) for they quoted Aristotle," said,] I
desire you will keep that man to order; if you will not,
I will; directing his speech to the Speaker.
Wheeler being, by a great voice, called to the Bar,
he explained himself in his place, and afterwards was
ordered to withdraw, which he did.
Sir Robert Howard.] This gentleman would be more
useful to us than you, Mr Speaker, in fighting for the
orders of the House [after mentioning his former services
to the King]—Would have him ask pardon of the House
at the Bar.
Sir Thomas Clifford, excused the words thus,] "Because
you do not take him to the orders of the House, I
will."—Would have him reproved in his place.
Sir Nicholas Carew.] Acknowledges himself satisfied
that it was in heat, and hopes you will pardon him, as
Sir Charles Wheeler called in. The Speaker said this to
him in his place,] The House is much displeased at the
reflection given, and orders you to make your submission.
Wheeler said he was very sorry he had given any disturbance to the House [and so was excused.]
Sir Robert Carr.] Starts Mr Brunkard's case with Sir
John Morton, and would enquire into the reason of stopping the information in the King's Bench, by Sir John
Morton against Mr Brunkard, about the sending the said
Sir John a Challenge.
Sir Robert Howard.] Sorry to see one great confusion
thrown out with another—Moves to have the Commissioners of Accounts again called in [which being agreed
to] the Commissioners of Accounts explain the word "Observation."
Lord Brereton.] In some cases we look upon ourselves
as final Judges, but in some only so far as to state matter of fact; in other cases, where judgment of misdemeanor is, to be in the nature of inquisitors, and to
leave judgment to you—They have heard him by his
Counsel, and in the Paper, No. 8, and No. 9, Sir George
Carteret protested he has nothing farther to say—They
have always allowed of any warrant that directed the
payment either from the King or Lord Treasurer.
Saturday, November 13.
[A Report in writing was delivered in from the AttorneyGeneral, concerning the information in the King's Bench against
Sir John Morton.] Coming to the Crown-Office, the
Attorney-General told him, he need not put himself to
farther trouble—He was informed there was a letter sent
to him by Mr Secretary Trevor [to stop proceedings.]
Sir Robert Carr.] Mr Attorney told him "The business
is brought in the King's name, and if he commands me
to desist I must; if he has no command in it he shall
Mr Secretary Trevor.] He remembers no such letter
of command to desist, from the King.
Sir Thomas Lee.] It is very unhappy, that after such
a displeasure upon Mr Brunkard from this House, he
should be so near the King as to obtain such a letter—
Moves it may be resented by the House.
Sir John Birkenhead] Supposes the letter may be
forged, and would have the business enquired into.
Mr Waller.] If it was Hannibal ad portas, then indeed
this question, whether Mr Secretary should be ordered to
bring in the letter, or not, might be proper.
[The Question being proposed, That the Attorney-General
should be asked whether he received any letter from Mr Secretary
Trevor, to stop proceedings: It passed in the Negative 146 to 93.]
[The House then resumed the consideration of the Report from
the Commissioners of Accounts.]
[Debate on Sir George Carteret's Charge.]
Mr Vaughan.] All Courts proceed to judgment, if the
party will not cross examine—Some Courts examine by
Commissioners, as the Star-chamber, &c. If we take
proofs the Commissioners have not had, we make void
the Law, and by quitting the person, clap perjury upon
all the evidences the Commissioners have received, which
makes them conclude Guilty.
Sir Thomas Osborne.] As to new evidence, doubts
whether we have power to receive it; if the gentleman has any new evidence, he would not have the House
hear it, but return it to the Commissioners that they may
give us their judgment upon it, and adds he would have
it done in a limited time.
Sir Robert Carr.] Fears that as a new warrant is produced from the Exchequer to-day, another may be tomorrow, and so never at an end—Would know the reason why this warrant was no sooner produced.
Sir Richard Temple.] Would have a time limited for
bringing in of all warrants.
Sir Robert Atkins.] And all other things, in a time
limited, for his defence.
Sir Thomas Lee.] Would have the House adjourned to
that day you adjourn this business.
Sir Robert Howard.] He either knew it, or not knew
it; if he knew it, he has neglected you; if not, himself;
the thing does not deserve such a long day—No security for future times, unless the carriage of the present
time be redressed—Under the specious pretence of private humanity, we lose all humanity to the nation.
Mr Garroway.] Sees nothing pressing upon us but the
business of Money, which, till this be clear, will go
slowly on; therefore moves to adjourn the House till
Sir Humphry Winch.] Would have the King's business
adjourned till the day after this business.
Sir Thomas Clifford.] The adjourning for some days,
will administer discourse without doors, amongst people
that have not so good affections as those within doors.
[The House adjourned to Wednesday the 17th.]
Wednesday, November 17.
[Consideration of the Report from the Commissioners of Accounts resumed.]
Commissioners of Accounts.] On Monday last Sir George
Carteret brought from the Officers of the Exchequer the
original order from his Majesty; the Commissioners took
Mr Burgess's oath upon it. Observation, The warrant
was the 20th of November, 1665. Order for the sum to
the Lord Treasurer, and the Privy-seal subsequent to that
warrant—Many Privy-seals, but not one penny to the
Victualler, though to many other uses.
Mr Henry Coventry.] Upon the division of the House,
he was allowed Counsel, though not to matter of fact,
and moves he may have his Counsel now to speak for
Sir George Carteret.] When the King came in, he was
placed Treasurer of the Navy, which was formerly given
him by his Majesty. He has attended the Commissioners, to give them all satisfaction, which, it seems, he has
not, and they have made observations on his proceedings.
He protests he has not paid one penny, without sufficient
vouchers, for the use of the war—It seems, they say, he
has done nothing well, after all his pains and hazard of
his person and fortune in the Plague: He came then,
and with his credit kept the fleet abroad, and borrowed
upon his own credit, without security, 280,000l. and
has done all that possibly he could; but he will not talk
of what he has done farther, though he knows many can
justify it. They cannot say he ever took bribe, but has
kept his Majesty's fleet abroad, when it must else have
come home. He humbly submits himself to this House,
He never had a discontented word from a scaman. He
got above 2000 seamen, and presently raised a fort at
Woolwich, with little reward but bread and cheese; one
seaman only said, "he hoped for his pay when the work
was done," but the rest reproved him for it.
Colonel Birch.] Considerable sums of money in cash
and yet when the seamen came home, not paid.
Sir Courtney Poole.] Would have him withdraw, but to
such a place as you may be sure to speak with him again.
Sir Edm. Bowyer.] In 1665 many went a begging for
want of pay.
Sir George Carteret.] Knows nothing of his servant
Deering going ashore with the Victualler; had he known
it, he would have taken a severe course with him.
Sir Thomas Lee.] Money borrowed, and interest paid
for it, and yet tickets given the seamen instead of money.
Sir George Carteret.] He has always been an enemy to
tickets, and has encouraged many to make their complaints to the House.
Mr H. Coventry.] It does not appear that the 50,000l.
Mr Deering lent was the King's money.
Sir George Carteret. ] No Goldsmith ever brought him
tickets instead of money. [He withdrew.]
Mr Vaughan.] Moves he may not condemn himself,
before condemned; he would have him have Counsel—
He says, he has proceeded according to Law; the Commissioners say, he has not—Moves he may have Counsel.
Mr Edward Seymour.] He finds the self-same persons
who used arguments to hinder the Bill of Accounts, use
the same now; but it is not a Question now whether it
be a hard Law, or not, but whether it be a Law, or not
—The Exchequer, upon judgment given, proceed to execution—When the person has been heard two years by
the Commissioners, will you do the same thing over
again? Would have you proceed to judgment upon this
observation, whether it be a misdemeanor or not.
Sir George Carteret.] Waves Counsel, and desires the
House to proceed.
Sir Richard Temple.] As to his charge, "That divers
sums of money have been diverted from their proper uses
by the Privy-seals." He admits the thing, but tells you,
by divers arguments, why he did so. The High Treasurer,
when a Privy-seal is directed, to refuse it, though a far
greater officer, cannot answer it. Were it but an error,
it might be borne with; but the result of all our mischiefs
came from our own mismanagements, and the course he
took to pay where he would, occasioned that no man
would trust—The thing has scarce the face of an account—By this means it lay in his power to gratify whom
he listed—He that would be tied to no rule, looks as if
he would be tied to no account—He directed divers sums
of money, without any warrant at all. Nothing can divest a Privy-seal but a Privy-seal, or the Great Seal—
Officers are not answerable for their servants, but for
what is done in their office, especially he being no sworn
officer—This 50,000l. lent by Deering, were moneys of
the King's, to carry on a private trade. Fenn, before
he was Sir George Carteret's Cashier, was not able to drive
a trade of 500l. It is worth your enquiry how this single
person's credit must support the nation, after we have
given so much money; former merit does not annull a
crime; in due time it may mitigate the punishment.
Sir John Duncombe.] Payment of Privy-seals, in their
order as they come, would have hindered any man from
dealing, but it was more equality to pay several people
three shares, as far as it would go. He that does not
this, will never keep an office in credit.
Sir Robert Howard.] Are Privy-seals delivered upon
no prudent ground?—He did not ask for this latitude,
but did make use of it without; the latitude he took,
gave his servants occasion to do what they did.
Sir Philip Warwick.] Has taken pains in the Treasury,
but has neither sown nor mown in it. It was ever left
to the discretion of the Treasurer to distribute where
there was most necessity—The nature of the war quite
altered from what it was; formerly fighting at distance,
but now broad side to broad side.
Sir Nicholas Carew.] Affirms that his regiment did
most at Woolwich; that what was done was by some
few seamen who came voluntarily from Greenwich.
Mr Sollicitor Finch.] Legally he may be guilty of a
misdemeanor, and equitably not—To equity he will speak
—To the instructions, whether he has paid it to the
King's prejudice? If it appears he has paid it to things
less necessary, the charge is good, and not to the best of
the King's service; he singly being the judge, the Commissioners of the Navy could not judge—That he paid
it to Fenn is clear—'Till he find these things clear, he
must not find him guilty of misdemeanor.
Mr Henry Coventry.] Would have the accusation of
matter of fact determined in a particular fact specified,
and so from the substance of that matter of fact determined. If it does not appear that the servant was faulty,
you have not heard him yet; so if you will proceed to
the equity, without hearing all persons, it is a hard way
Sir Robert Atkins.] The Act saying, "the Commissioners must give it under their hands and seals," if it be a
judgment by observation, it is then a general and an uncertain judgment—It is plain that but 250,000l. has been
otherwise employed than upon seamens wages; but this
observation does not import any misemployment; but
no observation of any particular instance, they being but
in the nature of objections against his accounts. The
observations were drawn up before Sir George Carteret's
answer to them. The only direction in his Patent is,
that he is not to issue out moneys but by the warrant of
at least three Commissioners of the Navy; his Patent is
a greater authority than the Privy-seal, being under the
Great Seal—Without reflection upon the Commissioners,
it is possible they may not be versed in matters of Law
so as to give judgment; affidavit is never admitted for
evidence in any Court; this, you know, they presented
you with—Mr Deering denies any sharing with Mr Fenn.
Sir Thomas Lee.] He employed moneys to things less
necessary, where more necessary.
Mr Vaughan.] No man was ever indicted that pleaded
[On a division, Sir George Carteret was voted guilty of a misdemeanor, within the first Observation of the Commissioners of
Accounts, 138 to 129.]
Thursday, November 18.
[Sir John Birkenhead reports from the Committee, to whom
the Bill for suppressing seditious Conventicles was reserred, that
they were informed of divers Conventicles, and other seditious
Meetings in Westminster, near the Parliament, which they conceived to be not only an affront to the Government, but also
of imminent danger to both Houses of Parliament, and the peace
of the Kingdom (fn. 4) .]
Mr Henry Coventry.] You have made a Law to inspect
accounts, and to examine upon oath; he would have
Commissioners with power to enquire into the designs of
persons, who would alter the Government, and persuade
dissolving of Parliaments; for he takes treason to be as
great a crime as cozening the King of his money.
Mr Edward Seymour.] Hopes the zeal for the quiet
of the nation will not be so darkened, as to reproach the
Government—Knows not the reason of Coventry's motion, unless the persons should, with folded arms, sigh
out their grievances, if common same must bring people
Sir Winston Churchill.] Observes seditious people whispering with many of the House, to give themselves reputation, and to the great scandal of our Members.
Meaning Henry Nevile, Major Salloway, and such.
Sir Richard Temple.] It is not the method of Parliament to give ear to discourses abroad, so as to ground
such debates upon them.
It was moved, and afterwards resolved, That the House
should, with their lives and fortunes
(fn. 5) , stand by his Majesty, in
maintenance of the Government, both in Church and State.
Sir Robert Howard said,] He wonders any man should
press such a question; for his part, he thinks, that if
any man should ask it him without doors, that either he
wanted loyalty, or the person that asked it wanted judgment—We have taken the oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy, and other oaths, and think that the evidence
of the action is greater testimony than we can give by
any vote here.
Sir Thomas Meres.] Wonders that that should be put
to the question, which is out of question.
Sir Fretchv. Holles.] Complains of Mr Offley, a Lawyer, for saying "That he did basely and unworthily in
speaking against Lady (fn. 6)
It was said that his own averment is sufficient evidence, unless the words were said by him to another person.
Mr Soames, the gentleman who told it Sir Fretchv.Holles,
being called in, said,] That Mr Offley had said, "That
Holles had done an unhandsome and unworthy action,
in opposing Lady Lee's Bill."
Mr Waller.] The first thing we ask of the King is
freedom of speech, which is a Petition of Right, not
Grace—The King of France has worn out duels that
would have worn him out. This gentleman has taken
that course, and, though a man of gallantry, takes the
true remedy, which is, complaint to you.
Sir Fretchville Holles.] An Earl's son, for putting his
finger in his mouth by way of derision, was brought
upon his knees to ask the pardon of the House.
[It was referred to the Committee of Privileges.]
Friday, November 19.
[The House resumed the consideration of the motion for the
Mr Garroway.] Moves for an adjournment of the Debate of the King's Supply, having not yet heard from
the Lords, nor any grievances redressed.
Sir Thomas Clifford.] The fleet lies at 1500l. charge
a day, and it is better for the King to take up money
at interest, than to buy commodities for the Navy at
double rates upon credit—The Swedes are a "mercenary"
people, and the Tripartite League (fn. 7) cannot go forward
without them, which is our great concern, and untill that
be done, we shall remain uneasy in our affairs.
Sir Robert Howard.] We had given the King two things,
Money, and the good management of it, if we had taken
care for the bestowing it before we give it. When the
world shall see under what fatalities we govern affairs,
will they give us reputation abroad? especially when the
Commissioners tell us that mismanagement has been the
ruin of our affairs—If we give money, what assurance
have we that the same mismanagement shall not be now
as was before? That by our Vote the King and Kingdom
may stand together, we must be careful of the distribution of the money. The League will not believe we
can give them better assistance than formerly, when we
go slowly on for redress of grievances—Hopes that by
the adjournment of the Debate we may have our liberties, that they may not be shut up when we have done
Mr Henry Coventry.] If the Swedes should know you
approve here for current the word "mercenary," it would
take their alliance from you—When it lies not with the
convenience of a Prince to furnish men or ships, must
they that take money be called "mercenary?" Hopes that
word will not pass for current here, for it may divert their
good intentions to us in this League.
Sir Thomas Clifford.] Intends not the word "mercenary"
in an ill sense, Merces being but "a reward for a thing
done," though sometimes taken in an ill sense.
Mr Henry Coventry.] It is one thing to give, and another to consider of giving. Wishes heartily a redress of
Grievances. Wishes three or four days for Grievances,
and one for Supply.
Sir Fretchville Holles.] Moves for adjournment of the
Debate for a week, which can do no considerable prejudice to the King's affairs.
Mr Secretary Trevor.] It is said, in a week we may
hear from the Lords; but what we do to-day will not
have any influence either upon the Lords, or Accounts,
being but preparatory. What we do here is well known
abroad, and they make their fruit of it; by the steps of
England, all the world will follow. Hopes there is no
precipitation in the thing by considering of it.
Sir Charles Wheeler.] Moves for a general vote "that
we will supply the King."
Sir Robert Carr.] The last Session little was effected
but the Supply; instead of an adjournment we had a prorogation, and expects no less this Session, and mentions
the Message out of the Journal, sent by the King last
Sir Thomas Clifford.] Moves to have the Proclamation
read, which expresses the reasons of the prorogation.
Mr Milward.] If the Lords will not do us right, are
not the King and Commons able to do it? Therefore let
not the Lords be a hindrance to us in our proceeding in
the King's business. The King has never denied us right;
what offender has he ever kept from justice?
The Debate of the King's Supply, by consent, without a
Question, was adjourned to that day sevennight.