Debates in the House of Commons, From the Year 1667, to the Year 1694.
Wednesday, October 13, 1675.
THE House met (fn. 1) [When the King in his Speech gave them
to understand, "That he met them with a more than usual
concern for the event of the Session: That he hoped they would
avoid the like Debates, which occasioned the last Prorogation:
That if any thing of that kind should arise, he desired them to
defer the discussion of it, till they had dispatched such public
Bills as might conduce to the good and safety of the Kingdom;
and that he particularly recommended to them whatever might
tend to the security of the Protestant Religion, as established
in the Church of England."
The Sequel was as follows:
"I must likewise desire your assistance in some supplies; as well
to take off the anticipations which are upon my revenue (fn. 2) , as
for the building of ships. And though the war has been the
great cause of these anticipations; yet I find, by a late account I
have taken of my expences, that I have not been altogether so good
an husband as I might have been, and as I resolve to be for the future; although, at the same time, I have had the satisfaction to
find, that I have been far from such an extravagancy in my own
expence, as some would have the world believe. I am not
ignorant that many would prevent the kindness of my Parliament to me, at this time; but I as well know that your affections have never failed me; and you may remember it is now
above three years since I have asked you any thing for my
These points were enlarged upon, as usual, by the Lord
The King's and Lord Keeper's Speeches being ended, the House
of Commons came down, and sat some time, looking on one another in a profound silence, 'till at length Sir Thomas Meres
broke silence and said, "He was sorry to see the House, as it
were, in an amazement, and was afraid it might prove ominous, and therefore prayed the Speaker to acquaint the House
with the substance of the King's Speech."
The Speaker excused himself for that, not daring to rely so
much upon his memory. It was then moved, that some Bill
might be read, and Sir Thomas Littleton desired it might be that
of the last Session, "for appropriating the Customs to the use
of the fleet." But the Speaker objected against that, because it
was indorsed on the backside, and not fair written, and he had
no brief of it. Upon which Sir Nicholas Carew told him, he
had a Bill which was not indorsed, but fair written, of which
he had a brief. It was a Bill, "to incapacitate any Papist to sit
in either House of Parliament, without taking the Test in the
late Act against Popery, &c." It was read accordingly, and ordered a second reading sine die. After this, Mr Secretary Williamson brought in the King's Speech, which was read, and
thereupon a motion was made, "That thanks might be given to
his Majesty for his gracious care of the Protestant religion." To
which Mr Secretary Coventry answered, "That it would not
be decent to separate one part of the King's Speech from the
other." Upon which some disputes did arise for a time, till it was
moved, that the consideration of the Speech might be adjourned
till Monday, which was agreed to, provided the House might be
adjourned till that time, which was accorded; each party hoping
for strong recruits.
Before the House adjourned, there happened a passage, which
requires something to be said antecedently to make it the
better understood.—In one of the actions between the Germans and the French, after Turenne's death, Colonel John Howard, brother to the Earl of Carlisle, amongst many Englishmen,
was killed, which being told for news in St James's Park, it
was reported, that Lord Cavendish, and Sir Thomas Meres, being
together, when they heard it, should say, "That they were
well enough served, and that they wished that never any Englishman might fare better, who was to serve abroad against a Vote
of Parliament." Upon which, a paper, that called Lord Cavendish, and Sir Thomas Meres, "incendiaries," with other such language, was given about, subscribed "Thomas Howard of Richmond and Carlisle." This paper was brought into the House
by Sir Trevor Williams, who informed the House, "that it was
found the night before in St James's Park, by his Servant, and
given unto him, who finding two honourable Members shamefully traduced in it, could not but acquaint them with it," and
having no opportunity before this morning, showed it to the
Members concerned in the House. Upon which Lord Cavendish,
seeming much surprized at it, went out of the House in heat,
which was the beginning of the thing. Mr Russel then acquainted the House, "that he saw some disorder in that Lord, and,
being afraid of the consequence, desired he might be commanded
not to go out." Sir Trevor then told the aforesaid story, and the
paper was read, viz.
"The last severity upon Roman Catholics having forbid
me the ambition to any place or pretension at Court, and the severe usage of the gout making me unfit to appear in any company, but where I am well acquainted; besides a most sensible
loss of my poor brother John, killed at Strasbourg, I resolved
not only to retire in person, but thought, from all temptations
this world could give me, and to spend the rest of my days with
such domestic and private content, as a man of those principles,
and some sense, might hope for, in an honourable retreat. But
it happens by a certain, though unjust and malicious accident,
that I am awakened from the quiet and repose I hoped for, and
find myself engaged by the nearest ties of friendship and honour, (obligations I have always esteemed dearer than my life)
to let some unworthy and base people see that I am yet alive.
Not long since, in St James's Park, Lord Cavendish and
Sir Thomas Meres, two bold and busy Members, upon the news
of the French retreat over the Rhine, where many English were
reported to be killed, (which, amongst all honest men, was
much regretted) these barbarous incendiaries, with a most plausible temper of such worthy patriots, openly declared, "that it
was but a just end for such as went against any Vote of Parliament." With all respect to that honourable House, that cankered
and malicious saying will neither deserve the thanks of that
House, (it being false as to my brother, who went by his Majesty's command, at the head of his Company, before that Vote
was in force) nor the approbation of any man out of it. I will
not trouble myself, nor others, to let you see, by any exact character, how these two worthy and unbyassed Senators ought to
be credited. Next October will produce such effects of their care
and capacities of securing property and religion in a Christian
and humane way, that I believe I shall be called to the Bar, to
answer their standers, as I presume they will call them; yet I
doubt they will not, for though an ill orator, I shall most certainly prove what I write. As for any other way of revenge, I
do not any way apprehend it; for men that are given to spit blood,
seldom draw it. Sir, I have troubled you too long with my
just resentments, but knowing the share you have always taken
in my concerns, I must beg of you, that you will in St James's
Park, at the Mall, disperse these copies, it being all the way
that is left to do right to the dead; and, to assure you, that I will
not do you the ill office of dispersing a libel, I will sign the
copies with all my titles. (fn. 3)
|From Ashtead in Surry, [Aug. 30, 1675.]
||T. Howard, of Richmond and Carlisle."
Lord Cavendish and Sir Thomas Meres were enjoined not to
prosecute any quarrel against Mr Howard, [or to send or accept
any challenge in order thereto, without acquainting the House.]
Then the House adjourned to
Monday, October 18.
Resolved, That Sir Trevor Williams, Sir Anthony Irby, Sir Thomas Littleton, Sir Charles Harbord, and Mr Crouch, be appointed
to go to Mr Howard, (who, by reason of his indisposition of
the gout, could not attend the House,) to know of him whether
he will own the aforesaid paper.
Sir Philip Musgrave.] Moves to proceed in the matter
of Supply, and Religion, mentioned in the King's
Speech, and to appoint a day for each of them.
Sir Edward Dering.] Seconds the motion, and hopes for
as full a concurrence from every gentleman, as from him.
Religion is the honour of the nation, and has always
been the care of this House. Little progress was made
the last Session, by reason of the difference with the Lords;
but would begin now early, that we may ripen things to
perfection before we rise. Another thing, as properly
under our cognizance as Popery, is, regulating mens
manners, very worthy of our consideration. Under that
notion of religion, it may be done. We want censores
morum, as well as Inquisitors of Faith—Thinks, that else
we cannot see Religion prosper. Our dominion of the sea
is magni nominis umbra, without strength there—'Tis not
prudent to trust the nation long to the French army's
going into winter quarters. These are the heads of the
King's Speech, and would not have them jostle for place;
therefore moves to-morrow for Religion, and Wednesday
for the King's Supply. 'Twill be much for your honour
abroad to be so employed; therefore would have these
certain and speedy days for the consideration of them.
Sir John Holland.] The King is pleased to desire a
supply; we are all here to speak our minds freely, and
hopes we shall with that modesty which becomes us, and
desires to be heard out with patience and favour. He is
no honest man, that loves not the King, the Government, and the Nation. If we consider, that, after such
supplies, never given before, (Edward III. who reigned
above fifty years, never had near this King's Supply,)
now to have every branch of the revenue anticipated;
and not only that, but debts so great, to the ruin of the
people; and, besides, the King's wants so great, as to be
forced to break the credit of the Exchequer, to the ruin
of widows, orphans, and numerous other people, as it
puts so great a damage upon our English manufactures.
—He will go no farther, for instance, than his own county, the city of Norwich—These are necessary to the
King's sovereignty, and preservation of trade—The fleet
neglected, and his nearest and most powerful neighbours
so armed—The French, by over-balance of our trade—
When you were told, the last meeting, that the French
commodities imported, over-balance to the value of
900,000l. and though London is not very sensible of this,
yet the country, from whence supply must come, is impoverished by it. The Chimney-money and Excise,
brought hither, and the Nobility's expences, increase the consumption here, and hither the money will
come. By this means, the country, in some places, is
drained of money, and, by reason of the cheapness of
all commodities, farms are cast into gentlemens hands,
and no hopes of remedy on their parts; and the farmers
come here, and set up taverns, and alehouses, and keep
lodgings, and there are no hopes of their return back into
the country. The humour of the yeomanry is changed;
the youth are not bred up as they used to be. This,
in short, is our condition; and yet, for the King's necessity, as well as our safety, the King must have supply;
else the people cannot be protected; but, if the charge
of the Government be greater than the people can bear,
the Government cannot stand, though supported by
arms. But, should it be so endeavoured, it cannot be
long endured by the temper of the English nation. Would
to God he could say, this was not our condition! There
is a necessity that it must be said. He cannot but think
himself bound in conscience to take this opportunity to
say, that the charge of the Government is greater than
the nation can bear—Cannot but say, the expences of
the Court may be reduced—especially the matters of the
Treasury may be better managed. The truth is, the prodigal and excessive way of living now, was unknown to our
forefathers, who kept hospitality. 'Tis a leprousy that
has almost overspread the nation—Hears an unusual discontent, and want will put men upon desperate resolutions, and from that arose those unhappy times we had—
This may bring us again into the unhappy hands we
were in; and [we shall] be an easy prey and conquest to
whoever will over-run us—Was, am, and ever will be, for
the due rights of this House, and against the Peers encroachments; would not give, and, he hopes, the House will
not be ready to take, new occasion of difference. Upon
the whole, moves to enter into a present consideration of
an humble Petition to the King, with the Lords concurrence, in which, in all dutiful, modest, and loyal manner, we may represent to him "the present poverty of the
nation, together with the mischiefs of unseasonable Prorogations; and that we be continued without Prorogation,
'till we have dispatched Bills for the security of Religion
and Property; and then declare, that we will give Supply to provide shipping and stores, to be equal, if not
stronger, than our neighbours"—If he, in any thing, has
mis-expressed himself (as he is the worst judge) hopes a
favourable construction of the House.
Mr Streete.] Seconds Musgrave.
Sir Thomas Lee.] When he considers the old course of
Parliament, what has been moved is not the usual
way—Upon your books, a motion being made for a
Supply, the House went into a Grand Committee; therefore moves for it to-morrow.
Sir Robert Carr.] Seconds the motion for to-morrow,
to consider Anticipations and Supply.
Sir Thomas Meres.] Would have that ancient Order,
which Lee mentioned, read. When that Order is lost, the
House of Commons is lost. If there be occasion for
Supply, let's see it at a Grand Committee.
Mr Neale.] Has heard, that the Lord Treasurer has
brought the state of the revenue into the Council. Would
see that here, to be your guide the better, in what you
are to do; and moves, that all the money may be employed to the use we give it, on penalty of treason.
The Order mentioned was read, viz. "That a motion being
made for a Supply, is not presently to be entered upon, in the
House, but the consideration referred to a Committee of the
whole House." The date of this Order does not appear.
Mr Sacheverell.] Is willing to take Anticipations upon
the Customs, and the King's debts, into consideration,
as soon as may be—To be plain, he believes there is no
need of a Supply, when things shall be well considered.
Sir Thomas Meres.] Sees there is no occasion of a Supply as plain as the Sun that shines, and belives he can
make it out—No man has yet made a direct motion but Holland, which is a conditional one, and a very
good one; so that a Committee cannot go upon it, without being first moved by some-body.
Mr Secretary Coventry moved it.
Sir John Ernly.] Must inform the House, that we
want a squadron of ships, and thirty at least, of first,
second, and third rates; therefore seconds Coventry, for
Supply for building of ships.
Resolved, That this House [will] to-morrow, at ten of the
clock, resolve into a Grand Committee, to take into consideration that part of his Majesty's Speech, which relates to a Supply
for taking off [Anticipations, upon his Majesty's Revenue] and
building more ships.
Wednesday, [was appointed to consider the settlement of]
Mr Garroway.] Upon a motion for a Committee to consider what Bills, presented the last Session, are fit now to
brought in, said—He hopes we shall not make a Committee, Lords of Articles, as in Scotland.
Col. Birch.] Would have a day appointed to consider
the present state of the nation. He likes not shuffling
the cards again, now the game is pretty well—But meeting people at church, and at market, he finds them full of
censures and contempts, that we examine things no better. If this House does not represent the state of the nation to the King, who can, who dares do it? This main
thing sticks with him, that the charge of the Government is greater than the nation can bear. Finds that
some go up, and some go down; but whoever goes up,
or whoever goes down, the King pays the reckoning.
Some gentlemen know this very well. Therefore would
have Monday to consider the state of the kingdom.
[It was appointed accordingly]
Tuesday, October 19.
Sir Thomas Littleton, and the rest of the gentlemen mentioned,
who were sent to Mr Howard, reported, "That, in obedience
to the Order of the House, they went to Mr Howard, to demand of him, whether he signed, or owned, the paper then
produced to him?" Who replied,
"Gentlemen, Being informed of some displeasure of the House
of Commons (for whom I always had, and ever shall have, a
most dutiful regard) I doubt, that, if I should give any Answer
to your Message, being a person unexperienced in such affairs,
I might give occasion of their displeasure; and therefore I
must beg your pardon; and I must answer only to what can be
proved against me; and, in the mean time, I do now again, as
I did, before Mr Collingwood, to the Speaker, promise, upon my
word and honour, not to question any person for any thing relating thereunto."
Mr Sacheverell.] Moves to have him committed to
Mr Powle.] For a private gentleman to vilify your
Members with the terms of "unworthy, byassed Senators, barbarous incendiaries, busy Members!"—If men
without doors may do this, it takes away liberty of
speech. Former times have had nothing like it; only
in Queen Elizabeth's time, Arthur Hall, who was a
Member, (this gentleman none) for publishing a libellous
book, called Oper a Tenebrarum, was called to the Bar,
and giving no satisfactory answer, was committed to the
Tower, and fined five hundred pounds, and not to return thence untill he had given satisfaction; and hopes
this gentleman will be so punished.
Mr Mallet.] Would put the thing in a way of proof,
since Howard puts it upon you—There is another precedent, of Withers the poet, which, if true, does us justice
—He requires it, and would vindicate the Members
The Speaker.] Knows not when you have sent for a
man in Custody, upon no other ground than what's before you.
Mr Secretary Williamson.] If the gentleman refused to
appear, and you had the proofs before you, then it would be
proper to send for him in Custody. He would have a better
answer than is yet given; but sending for in Custody is a
kind of punishment before proof. Doubts that the Question proposed is not so seasonable in the condition the
gentleman is in.
Sir Charles Harbord.] The offence is yet neither proved
nor confessed—Would have a day's time; and if he cannot come, he may be brought hither, before you commit him.
Sir Thomas Littleton.] Knows the gentleman, and has
a value for him; but no-body will deny this to be a
Breach of Privilege. To the purpose—A man, you suppose, has broken your Privilege, and he keeps his bed,
and you send to him, and he will not tell you whether
he has broken your Privilege or no. You send for men,
upon presumption of breach of Privilege—If the gentleman cannot come to attend you, he may remain in
Custody of the Serjeant. It has been a hundred times
done in breach of Privilege only.
Sir John Ernly.] Looks upon committing Howard as
a pre-judging him, it not appearing to be his act—Sending for him in Custody is a punishing him—Would you
have a man confess a thing against himself? Go in the
common way; send for him, but not in Custody.
Sir Robert Howard.] Is as much for the honour of the
House as any man, although related to this gentleman,
&c.—He is one so little versed in business, that he may
err in his answer; he may think he has answered very
well. If it shall be made appear to be his act, he
shall disapprove it as much as any man else—When you
send for him, and he appears, and you censure him, he
will abide by that censure.
Sir John Birkenhead.] You send for people in Custody, when afraid of an escape. He is a prisoner before
you send for him, by his lameness of the gout—When a
felon is upon his tryal, he must speak with his shackles
off, at as much ease as may be. The loss of his brother,
whom he loved more than his own life, might make him
utter, it may be, something he should not.
Lord Cavendish.] The words, the paper says, he should
say of Colonel John Howard (whom he knew not) are,
"That 'twas a just judgment he was killed;" which
was a foolish thing; and he will not own saying of a foolish
thing. But possibly he might say, "He was sorry this
gentleman should die fighting against the interest of his
country."—If he said it not then, he does now say it.
Sir Thomas Meres.] As to saying, "he was sorry that
an Englishman should die in that cause," he is sorry for it;
and 'twas always the thought of his heart, and is still so.
Sir Thomas Lee.] Had always a respect for this gentleman; but 'tis not what respect you show the gentleman, but how this matter will stand upon your Journal
to posterity. Every paper, read by Order in the House,
must be entered; and for sending an answer not direct
to a paper of so great reflection, what will appear upon
your books but sending a Committee of yours? (which,
by the way, was a mistake to a man that has offended
you). For your honour, you must send for him; and
nothing else moves him to speak in it.
Sir Charles Wheeler.] Whenever a mistake arises amongst persons of honour, all quarrels cease. This here
arises upon such a thing; and no question but Howard
will retract what is grounded upon a mistake—If this be
so, an end may be put to this matter. He is persuaded
that Howard had not the least intent to reflect on the
House; because, when gentlemen fall out, they invent
and take up names and words provoking, though not
true; therefore would have Howard asked, whether he
had the least thought of reflection on the House.
Mr Stockdale.] Would not have Howard fore-judged,
but let him have a day for notice to appear.
Sir Nicholas Carew.] Is sensible of the gentleman's infirmity, the gout; 'tis his own. Has known him long
to be an honourable person; and hopes, as to this matter, he will be innocent—Would have a day appointed
for his appearance.
Ordered, That Mr Howard be sent to, to attend this House
on this day seven-night.
Sir Nicholas Carew.] Be the Paper whose it will, it is
a scandalous Paper; and moves to have it burnt.
Sir Thomas Littleton.] If the Paper be burnt, we shall
not have it here to prove it. Would not have it burnt
till the whole thing be over.
Mr Garroway.] 'Till you declare it a Breach of Privilege, what will you send for Howard for? Therefore
moves to have it voted a scandalous Paper, and a breach
Col. Birch.] The Paper might be read, before you put
the Question; but not upon an adjourned Debate.
The Speaker.] The Paper was once read, and needs
not be read again.
The Letter was read, [as above, p. 292.]
Sir Thomas Meres.] If he speaks not, he may be
thought to yield to the report of the letter. He has had
Papers, long before this, thrown into his House, and
has been so far from giving you the trouble, that he has
not so much as spoken of them; but, sa to this Paper, it
was handed to him in the House, and he showed it to
Resolved, That the Paper, produced and read, is a scandalous
Paper, and a breach of the Privilege of this House.
The Speaker, leaving the Chair, and then taking it again, upon
the confused calling of Sir Thomas Jones, and Sir Charles Harbord,
into the Chair of the Grand Committee; Jones being very forward to take the Chair, Meres gave him a check, and said "he
would rather have Harbord, for his modesty."
Sir Nicholas Carew.] Moves for the Question (upon
Jones's saying, he has been named) and would not have
him laid aside without a Question.
Sir Thomas Jones.] Is sorry that his name has brought a
Debate; but, being mentioned by most about him, he
rose up, but without any indecency. Desires he may be
no farther named, but that Sir Charles Harbord may take
Mr Mallet.] Hearing those about Jones say, "Why
do not you go up? Why do not you go up?" That
makes him dislike it.
In a Grand Committee. On the King's Speech.
Sir Charles Harbord in the Chair.
Sir Thomas Meres.] Your first business is, taking the
Anticipations upon the Customs into consideration. Pray
let us see what they are.
Mr Sacheverell] If there be such Anticipations, they
are either occasioned by the war, or voluntarily. If voluntarily, he believes no-body will take them off. Birch
said once, "four pounds per head, per month, might
defray the navy charge;" and Pepys said, "it cost not
so much." Suppose the fleet consisted of one hundred
sail, and forty-nine ships of attendance, and, according
to Pepys's list, 30,000 men, it will not come, for four
months, to 800,000l. We all know the tax-prices, &c,
and we in peace, 1,700,000 or 1,800,000l. And if
this cannot defray the charge of 1,200,000l. leaves you
to judge. Now, let the managers of the Navy show
how they have expended 1,700,000l. and they say
Mr Waller.] Hears something said, that makes him
stand up, for the honour of King and People. There is
no other trust in the Government than where the Law
makes it—The King has it; and if we supply, or not supply, we have our trust. Sees there is much stress said upon
that part of the King's Speech relating to "Anticipations." The King says— "There has been ill husbandry,
besides what fell out in the war." And the King must
take it upon him. But Bracton says, "The King cannot err"—"III management!"—Between the wisdom of
the King, and direction of the Law, you may know
where the fault is. We believed, when the King was
called back, that the Law was come again. Pray let
not the Standing Army be brought under that consideration of Anticipations. The King speaks of the Government; he owns his care of it; and no Government can
be more advantageous to him than this. 'Tis a monarchy. The King governs by Law. Let us look back
to the evils we had, in order to prevent more. There
was loan, and ship-money, and extremes begat extremes.
The House would then give no money. Let the King
rely upon the Parliament; we have settled the Crown
and the Government. 'Tis strange that we have sat so
many years, and given so much money, and are still
called upon for Supply. The Lords may give Supply
with their own money, but we give the peoples; we are
their proxies. The King takes his measures by the
Parliament, and he doubts not but that all the Commons
will supply for the Government; but giving at this rate
that we have done, we shall be "a branch of the revenue."
They will "anticipate" us too. But, let the officers
say what they will, we will not make these mismanagements the King's error. 'Tis better it should fall upon
us than the King. We give public money, and must
see that it goes to public use. Tell your money, fix it to
public ends, and take order against occasions of this nature for the future. We cannot live at the expence of
Spain, that has the Indies; or France, who has so many
millions of revenue. Let us look to our Government,
Fleet, and Trade. 'Tis the advice that the oldest Parliament-man among you can give you; and so, God
Sir Thomas Lee.] Expected to have known what occasion there is for asking money for these Anticipations,
or what they would ask. If gentlemen knew, they would
have told us before now. He expects it.
Sir Robert Howard.] If it be expected that he should
give you an account of what belongs to his office, he is ready to do it. As to former Anticipations, he shall wave
them, but shall tell you how late Anticipations have
been struck upon money growing out of the revenue. If
you please to know this, you shall. He believes, in tallies, not satisfied, there is not much exceeding 800,000l.
value; some of this charge, about 80,000l. is growing
out. Tallies, not satisfied, 800,000l. value; some other
charges to the bankers, as a year's interest; with that
prospect, the whole may be a million; by which
charge the Excise is wholly taken up; not above five or
six thousand pounds will remain, at the most. He has
nothing to tell you, but the King's condition, and will
make all this appear indisputably, if you please, in
writing; and if he does not now explain himself, he will
do it fully. In his office, a Bill for a tally is thrown
down as ready money. This sum that he has mentioned
he will abide by.
Sir Thomas Meres.] Five years ago we were at this
work. What good came of it? We strove then for a
fund of 300,000l. a year; some for 7, 8, and 9 years;
so that, with interest, then the debt might be 1,600,000l.
and had more help to pay it, by a subsidy of one shilling
per pound upon land by subsidy. When we paid this
debt, and for ships, neither was done; and if we are so
easy, and so kind, and never punish any body, by laying our hands upon our purses, let that be their punishment that have done ill. Expences, we see, are more
and more, and things worse and worse; and no occasion
of Supply. There's no end in giving, to take off these
Anticipations, and we cannot in conscience do it. Our
ancestors gave not their money so away, because they
would be bountiful. The people give us no such authority. The defray of all public charges, and the King's
living, may be made out sufficiently by the revenue. But
the charge of the Government is not supportable, at this
Lord Cavendish.] If this be admitted a supposition,
then we must satisfy all debts. The people have trusted
us with their money, and Magna Charta is not to be
given up, with their money, and liberty, into a bottomless pit. Moves for the Question, "Whether an aid
shall be granted for taking off these Anticipations from
the King's revenue."
Sir John Duncombe.] 'Tis hard to calculate the charge
of an expensive war, till the end of it. Howard has
told you all the particulars of Anticipations, clearly and
faithfully, and with the most, he believes the sum to be
between 7 and 800,000l. You know the constitution
of the Government; when it has war, it comes to you for
aid—The King tells you he was engaged in a war, and
over run his measures in it—He is so much in debt, that
he knows not whither to go but to you; he knows it is
hard to come by, and you have been often asked; but
if the King be at ease, you are all at case. If the Crown
be in debt, 'tis a misfortune to the creditors, and many
people besides. It has not cost so much money, in any
three Kings reign, as this war has been—This is the
King's condition, as it appears to him—Would not put
extremities to work, as it is a dangerous thing.
Mr Sacheverell.] Would have Duncombe explain what
he means by "putting extremities to work."
Sir John Duncombe.] Means, by "putting extremities
on work," making the Crown, and them that depend
upon it, uneasy.
Mr Powle.] Is sorry to hear any thing laid upon the
King in this business; he thinks him to have the least
part in it. Had he those counsellors and officers constantly to represent to him the state of his revenue, it
would not be thus. But some officers may find private
advantages out of public necessities. The war was carried on before without any Anticipations; and, since that,
many great sums have been received; as the prizemoney, French and Dutch money, and advances on the
Excise, and Hearth-money, and now two years of
peace, and then three fourths of this Tax to come in.
No fleet, and hardly necessary repairs upon the ships
in harbour, and the debt yet more, not less. Is not
this a sum to astonish every body, in time of peace?
What will become of us in a foreign war, if this expence be in peace?—Fears that the Church-revenue may
go in time of war. He believes the Revenue so great
already, that, in a short time, these Anticipations may
wear off. Supply is, in this case, but to increase "ill husbandry." As to the navy, believes that due consideration,
in time, may be had of it; and, when we are free of these
Anticipations, we may go on more chearfully with the
Mr Secretary Coventry.] A considerable charge of the
Revenue is left out; the foot army, the ten regiments.
He, as in a double capacity, as servant to the King, and
Member of the House, has informed himself, as well as
he can, in these things. Redressing of Grievances, and
giving Supply, is the business both of Court and Country. The point before us is, whether we shall first go
upon Supply, or enquire into Mismanagements. 'Tis
easier for the King to redress a Grievance, than for the
people to give a Tax. 'Tis necessary now to lay open
the state of the kingdom; 'twill be too late to think on
it on Monday, if you pass your Vote against taking off the
Anticipations to-day. By the last intelligence, the French
had fifty-five sail of ships at sea, and we seven, and so far
out of repair, as not in two or three months to be reparable. The trade and peace of Europe is ours now;
and a short time may show that we are upon the precipice
of the most inevitable ruin that ever was. 'Tis an unsafe
condition we are in, when no longer safe than whilst our
neighbour pleases. Suppose Articles concluded at Nimeguen,—that hour peace is made with France there,
Marshal Montmorency, an old, and considerably experienced officer, may land thirty thousand men in England. He may draw them out of Maestricht, and the
rest of the garrisons of Flanders, being all full, and may
march with what army he pleases, 40,000 men hither,
if he pleases. If you cannot oppose him at sea, our
condition is desperate. If men be faulty, let them answer it that manage it, and consider, whether time else
will not be lost, for consideration of the Navy. When
you have done this, for the present, agree with the King
for a certain revenue for the Navy, for the future. Let
us not make our faith so much upon what may be showed
us, as upon what is already showed us. If it be not
meant to maintain ships, when you have them, and
whenever God shall bless you and the King with a right
understanding, and leave all you would have, without
a navy—Your Vote can furnish the King with credit;
but, without it, neither your hearts nor your prayers
can build ships. Suppose a town on fire, and a man
steal the buckets, he deserves to be hanged, but believes
the magistrates will not resolve, therefore, never to buy
Lord Cavendish.] You are told, "you are upon a precipice of ruin;" hopes, therefore, that the King will never
contribute towards making of peace, to be over-run
Mr Secretary Coventry.] If the King should say, he
would not make a peace, it was the way to have it.
Sir Thomas Lee.] We are told of these Anticipations,
from a maintaining a land-army. Believes you will not
approve of them. He was of the Convention, and remembers that, when the revenue was there debated, and
'twas said by Mr Attorney Finch, that 1,200,000l. a
year was dangerous, 'twas all you had to give, before
the Chimney-money was given in a good kind humour
to make that revenue out. Then we were told of great
debts, and that we must give great sums, and we granted
great sums, as the additional duty upon wines, to pay the
debts. Remembers 'twas then said, (he has a loose remembrance, that 'twas Sir Thomas Clifford) "Now give
land-tax, and he would pawn his reputation you should
never have occasion to do it again." Now, after that
time, miscarriages, and the war undertaken without
Parliament. You were told "there wanted no money;
and therefore there was no Parliament," in Lord Arlington's Speech here—That revenue had an addition for
debts anticipated. This being the case, and being now
told, "Take off these Anticipations, and they have the
additional duty yet some years remaining, sufficient to
take off the debt," pray put the Question.
Sir Thomas Meres.] Be the Anticipations what they
will, he shall give his Vote to pay none. Has observed,
that if once we begin to tumble papers over, we are wearied
out, and give money, and leave the Question. Would
do more for the elder brother, the Bankers, than for the
Anticipations. 'Tis said, "do not make Councils desperate; therefore give money;" but, he says, therefore
give no money. At Christmas 1671, such desperate Councils followed giving money, that he has no mind to mention them, repeal of no less than thirty laws by the
Declaration, a standing Army, the Exchequer stopped up,
and a War without advice of Parliament, and the Triple
League broken, and a league with France made; and, if
you give no more money, you will have no more desperate Councils; for these were upon your giving money;
therefore now would give none.
Mr Sawyer.] When we gave formerly, our judgments
governed our wills. As for the desperate Counsellors, they
were those who were protected by your pardons. Some
were laid aside, and some are laid in the dust. Shall we
say, desperate Counsellors contracted these debts? And
shall we leave things desperate? Now, whether the
King, by his good husbandry, can pay off these debts?
If the Government be not maintained, it must drop, one
time or another. Would farther enquire, whether possibly there is a way to take these Anticipations off. Would
have these matters first inspected, before the Question.
Sir William Coventry.] Will apply himself singly to
matters of Anticipation. This is the first time any thing
has been asked for this matter. The last time we met,
it was not big enough for an aid. It must be nursed up
to be big enough to be paid; but 'tis free for us all to
speak here. He can never concur, that this debt, contracted by a war, against the opinion of this House, should
be preferred before that which Widows and Orphans
call for. We passed once Assignments, especially to pay
debts; and were there nothing but this in it, can never
prefer this of Anticipations, 'till the House think themselves rich enough. These men that lent upon the Customs, &c. had warning enough, by the Bankers precaution, and let them take it, in God's name. This
has had the provision of the House already, but 'tis diverted and gone. Remembers what Clifford said; "You
shall have a fleet; you shall have no more of debts." Nothing was said then, that the Revenue was not able to bear
the charge of the Government—But 'twas improper to
call for the account; and had it been proper for you,
it would have been brought, and they would have been
armed for it, over and over. There is something mentioned, as to the peace abroad (God preserve our own!)
which would be the greatest misfortune that could befall
us. 'Tis happy for us, that they abroad spend their
strength upon one another, if it be so great as is said.
But this should not make him give up the game—Believes
that our neighbours | are not so stupid as to give France
leave to over-run us. But when we compare kingdom
with kingdom, and nation with nation, they have no
bowels, and are to have no bowels. Friendship has
failed, and always will fail—and it is not the interest of
Holland to let France be master of England. France,
who has long made love to Flanders, comes only to see
Dunkirk, and to fortify it. That King sees that the Dutch
have a great fleet, and, believes, not to defend the
Hague—But then 'tis the interest of Holland to support
Flanders—Says France, "England is engaged, I will
break the Triple League;" and for this they have hazarded their all. This digression is only to show you,
that, if peace was made, we need not give up the game;
and the rest of the Princes would think it their interest
to hinder such an accession as England to the Crown of
France. But this business of Anticipations seems to
have influence on that very thing—If apprehensions that
the Confederates are weak, it may induce a peace.
What we do here can be no secret; they know our
Votes, and see we incline more to them than the French;
but the Confederates apprehend the King's Ministers
more inclined to the French. Does England judge amiss
of this? The Confederates will so; they hear the King
is clearing his revenue, and we fear he will declare against us, having more men, in the armies against us,
than for us. Therefore he is against taking off the Anticipations by a Supply.
Sir John Duncombe.] Proffers a state of the expences,
and the incomes of the revenue.—But they would not be
Col. Birch.] Whenever the House has been upon
matters of money, he has been thought to be too forward. It may be, he thinks so too. Could never have.
believed to have heard that these Anticipations have risen
from a war, which this House had no opinion of. Not only
without the consent of the House begun at first, but
even against the opinion of our ancestors. We are now
not only out of the Triple League, but out of all league.
In one Session, Thanks were given to the King for this
League; and, in another, we were to give Money to
pay for the breaking it. If ninety of a hundred, nay,
ninety-nine, should hear him say, that, to pay these Anticipations, is for the interest of the country (and he is
acquainted in three or four counties) they would call
him he knows not what. Therefore is against Supply, &c.
(Reflecting upon what Sir Richard Temple had said
about the willingness of his country, and the people in
general, to give upon this occasion.)
Mr Vaughan.] When you have passed your Vote, the
Counsel will prove good Counsel, and the War a good
War. When so many millions have been given, he lies
in amazement how money can be called for—And now
that we are forced to pay Subsidies, at our doors, to poor
families ruined by the Exchequer, stands in amazement
at the motion.
Sir Thomas Meres.] Will not say, at the rate of vain
expences, how to make the Revenue good, notwithstanding the payment of these Anticipations, but believes
it may be done.
Sir Edward Dering.] Takes the Anticipations, at least,
to be 700,000l. and yet finds we are going into a Vote against taking them off. Is of opinion there were dangerous
Counsels; he never stood up to defend any of them, nor
ever will. Those Counsels and Counsellors are laid aside.
As for danger of Popery, the Protestant Religion was
never more protected. Let us shut our hands 'till we
open our eyes. A voluntary engagement of the Revenue may be justifiable; the officers will subject the Revenue to enquiry. Would have the paper that Duncombe offered, received; and adjourn the farther Debate
Sir Tho. Littleton.] We are not told how much of these
Anticipations is for service to come, or what is already
paid; so believes it not such a bug-bear as 'tis represented. As for the great stop of the Exchequer, though
done in time of war, no reason why in time of peace.
Now the continuation is without Privy Seal, or Order of
the Privy Council; though formerly 'twas otherwise. As
for Popery, there was a Proclamation, but fees not that
matter at all mended. At this time, few men doube
the intention to make peace, to fetch off the French with
flying colours, and to dissolve the present Confederacy.
These are the present Counsels, and if they be desperate,
would not make the last Counsels worse than the first.
The Question, Whether the Anticipations should be taken off,
passed in the Negative, 172 to 165; [which was agreed to by
the House (fn. 4) .]