Saturday, May 24.
On the Earl of Danby's Plea of Pardon.
Mr Sacheverell.] If you allow this Plea of Pardon,
your Lives, Liberties, and all, is given up. I move that
you will stand upon the vindication of your Right, and
send a Message to the Lords, "That, till the matter of
Danby's Pardon be settled, and that of the Bishops, &c.
you cannot proceed."
Sir Thomas Clarges.] I move that the whole House
may go up to the Lords in a body to represent this matter, and to demand Justice against Danby. This will be so
public a thing, that it will tend more for your advantage.
Mr Powle.] I attended the Committee of Lords and
Commons yesterday, and "the Papers the Lords delivered
us," we said, "we received only as Proposals; though the
Lords were not so kind as to answer our Proposals, yet
that we should theirs." And if you please, give directions,
to have whereby to answer the Lords in what may arise.
Mr Garroway.] Consider the consequences; now to
change Councils would be but a vain thing. Therefore
I would have no other Question put, but to insist upon
what you formerly resolved as to the Lords Spiritual,
and to give Instruction to your Committee to make no
Answer to the Lords Propositions yesterday, till we receive
an Answer from the Lords concerning the Lords Spiritual. I am for drawing Reasons and Representations of
your Proceedings to the Lords. If the Lords will deny
us this, and go to a new way of Judicature; if it must be
a breach, let it be a breach. I had rather the five Lords
should escape, than that Danby's Pardon should stand
good. If it does, you come here for nothing, but to give
up the whole legislative Authority. (Yesterday, we had
a sad example of Pensioners, &c. If their names rest upon
your Books public, nay, though you take care to secrete
them, the people will pull them to pieces.) I would insist
upon your Right with Reasons, and have them printed.
Mr Hampden.] I should be sorry if the House was
afraid to do its duty, for fear of a Prorogation. When
I heard of "a stamped Pardon by Creation, &c." who
knows but the five Lords in the Tower have such a Pardon? A hundred Papists at Rome may pretend to such a
Pardon. I hope you will settle these points, and insist
upon this of the Pardon.
Sir William Hickman.] That matter of the Pardon has
been so long and fully debated, that I would lose no more
time about it, but let the Committee draw Reasons, &c.
Mr Sacheverell.] I propose that you would resolve that
an Answer be returned to the Peers, about the Tryal of
the Lords, with Reasons why you cannot proceed, &c.
and appoint a Committee.
[Resolved, That an Answer be returned to the last Message of
the House of Peers, touching the appointment of the Tryal of
the five Lords in the Tower to be on Tuesday next, with Reasons
why this House cannot proceed to the Tryal of those five Lords,
before Judgment be given of the Earl of Danby's Plea of his Pardon; and the point of the Bishops not voting in any Proceedings
upon Impeachments in capital offences be settled; and the Methods of Proceedings adjusted; and that a Committee be appointed to prepare and draw up the same.]
Sir John Trevor reports from the Committee of Lords and
Commons, &c (fn. 1) .
Sir Francis Winnington reports, from the Committee of Secrecy, Money given to Members of the last Parliament, for Secret
Service.] I have brought every particular information, and you
shall see whether your Members have any wrong. There was
20,000l. per Annum paid quarterly by the Commissioners of Excise, "for Secret Service," to Members, &c. mostly by Mr Charles
Bertie, whereof no account was given to the Exchequer, but
"for Secret Service." Bertie was examined at the Committee,
whether he paid any of the 20,000l. to Members of Parliament.
He answered, "That he had a Privy Seal to pay it without account,
and he was not at liberty to tell how he disposed of the Money,
till he had the King's command." Next, though Sir Stephen Fox
has taken a great deal of matter out of my hands, yet, there are
some more than he has acquainted you with, who have received
Money, viz. to Sir Richard Wiseman, and one Knight, which Wiseman paid, by a false name, each of them 400l. per Annum. Mr
Roberts, at one or two payments, 500l. and Mr Price 400l. Sir
John Fowell at twice had 500l. of Fox. Poole, Talbot, and
Wheeler, as before. Now that I have summed up the substance of
other Evidence from payments in Danby's time, there came in
Tallies of 20,000l. per Annum, "for Secret Service," out of the
Excise. Major Huntington and Sir John James paid the Money.
Sometimes the Money was paid before the Quarter-day, and when
Tallies were struck, Papers were delivered back. A Book of
Names there was, to whom Money was paid; and Bertie had an
Agent, who says, "That after the Treasurer was impeached,
about the 24th of December, Bertie came in great haste to him for
that Book with all Letters and Acquittances, and that Book has
many false names in it. And if he saw the Book, he could tell what
Members were concerned, and under what head he stands."
The Book of 20,000l. was increased by Danby in his time, for
formerly it was not above 12,000l. per Annum for Pensions. Farther, there was paid out of the Exchequer for Mr Chiffins, who
delivered about a hundred Acquittances to Bertie. Before the
Parliament did sit, there were greater sums paid, than at other
times. The Paper the Committee took, &c. mentions other persons. Sir Joseph Tredenham had 500l. per Annum, and Mr Piercy
Goring 300l. per Ann. Sir Robert Holt had several sums to maintain him in prison. Sir William Glascott, and Sir John Bramstone
had several sums, but we could not discover the particulars.
Wiseman, King, and Trelawney offered to sell their Pensions to the
Commissioners of Excise, and did pretend, that they might have
Money before-hand, and the Commissioners had a discount of
12 per Cent. (fn. 2)
[Ordered, That Sir Richard Wiseman and Mr Knight be immediately sent for to attend this House.]
Sir Thomas Clarges.] I move, that persons who have
received any Money the last Parliament, may be incapable of any trust in the Government, and refund what they
Sir Francis Winnington.] When such a Report is
brought in; it must be read at the Table, and I am to be
discharged of the Papers, and then I shall make a Motion for your service.
Mr Sacheverell.] I see several Gentlemens names, who received Pensions; in other persons names besides their own,
by names not known. And one of the Witnesses said, "To
persons unknown, but by directions from Mr Bertie."
Sir Francis Winnington.] Another business has intervened. I found several Witnesses very willing to make
discoveries, but in reality they were threatened. (But discourses of the Committee were divulged.) A little fellow
(a Turnkey) led us to the greater. I move, therefore,
that there may be some way, or method, to know the
bottom of this; whether you will call Witnesses to the
Bar, or to the Committee. Apply your remedy, when you
know the disease. I do say, that if any man takes Money to sell his Country, I would use the utmost power of
punishment, that Parliaments may not be lost.
Mr Bennet.] Here is good Evidence against Mr Bertie. If you have no farther account of this matter,
proceed upon him. If you get the Book out of him, you
have all. If not, make an example of him, and you
will have the rest.
Sir John Trevor] If these Papers be left in the Clerk's
hand, a superior power may command them from him;
therefore let them be in the hands of the Chairman.
Sir Francis Winnington.] I would not be used as Sir
Edmundbury Godfrey was, whilst I have such Papers about
me, as I have reported. Really, I believe the Papers
are of that nature, that they ought to be in the custody
of the House, and let the Speaker keep them.
Sir John Trevor.] I kept Papers relating to the Plot
two months in my hands, after I had reported them. I
know no reason why Winnington should not keep them.
Mr Garroway.] Enter them upon your Books, and
they will be as safe as all the rest of your transactions.
Sir Joseph Tredenham.] I move that they may not be
entered upon your Books, till Gentlemen that are named have justified themselves.—If you will enter upon their
justification, I will now proceed to my own.
Mr Boscawen.] According to my observation, the
Order of the House is, that immediately they be heard;
and, in justice, do not enter it into the Journal till they be
Sir Thomas Meres.] Your Question is, Whether the
Papers shall be entered; but if these Gentlemen named
think the entry will be detrimental to them, it is but
reasonable that they should be heard.
Sir Francis Winnington.] There are very Honourable
Persons named. Some say "Enter the Papers." But it
is one of the hardest things in the world for a man to
have Papers entered upon him; it is a kind of passing
Judgment. The Votes will be sent all England over.
Suppose those Gentlemen of Honour and Quality vindicate themselves, you will tear your Book sure, and not
suffer them to be upon Record.
Lord Cavendish.] It will be no hardship upon them to
have the Papers entered, for if they justify themselves,
their innocence will be entered too.
Colonel Titus.] It is no crime at all to have Money,
nor Pension, but to have it for an ill use. Therefore
let every Member concerned be heard in his Place. He
may justify himself.
Mr Garroway.] I am not against entering the Report.
But before you give your Judgment, hear your Members
in their Place. This is parliamentary; and then they are to
withdraw, and you judge whether you will acquit, or condemn them.
Sir John Talbot.] I confess to you, I am afraid what I
shall say always, but more now I am in confusion, and
shall speak my thoughts very indigestedly. I beg I may
speak more than once if I have occasion. This is a great
crime of betraying a Trust— Though this day I am
more unfortunate to be in suspicion—But I desire I may
be distinguished when I know the integrity of my own
heart. Yesterday this was mentioned, &c. and is got
about the town, and my reputation is exposed to censure.
Let every man lay his hand upon his heart. I say, with
great assurance, that directly or indirectly I never took
one shilling as a gift, or begging, from the time the
King came in. I do disown any thing by way of "Secret
Service" to influence my Vote here. I will submit myself to the censure of the Law, to be tryed by that Law.
I will submit it to any judicial way of proceeding. Give
me leave to open this matter to you. I desire to justify
myself, and to live no longer than I can do it. Some
Gentlemen, besides those, have been mentioned, their number not great. When the Act passed for the Excise to be
made a Revenue, when the King came in, it was thought
an advantage to the Revenue, and ease to the Country,
for Gentlemen to manage the Excise. For that Clause
was put into the Act, to impower the King to let it for
three years, that such Contracts might be good in Law,
and another shall not proceed, but such as is recommended at the Quarter Sessions, and he shall have the refusal,
and not to be let under the rate he refused it at. When
the rate was put, we had the refusal, and this was my
case: I paid the rent. At last Lord Clifford, when the
Farm was just going out, made a private contract, without our knowlege, and disposed of all those Farms to
four or five other persons, without our knowlege. I
will not censure Lord Clifford, but I will say this, that
the King's Revenue never was kept up, till it was in that
method again. One of the Farmers told me, "That the
Treasurer made a Contract to other persons, and let us
go, and offered 10,000l. a year more than they were to
give, and advanced it at 6l. per cent. and no more, and so
made the proposition better." But he told us, the King
was resolved, and wanted Money. (I think about this
time the Triple League was broke.) I said to Lord Clifford, "That no man will turn out a tenant that pays his
rent well: I hope the King will be no worse than other
men." Lord Clifford replied, "The King intends not
to use you ill, that have served him and his Father well."
Upon this the King said, "He would not put us upon
hardships, but we should have some consideration for our
Farm." I appeal to Sir Stephen Fox, whether I am not in
the list of names of those to whom the King intended to
give compensation for their Farms taken out of their hands;
and I appeal to him, whether I had not the Pension under that consideration. But had it been a Gift, or Grant,
and not under any consideration whatsoever, the King
has employed me in several Trusts; if I have changed my
principles, or been guilty of the practices of any immorality, I beg that consideration, not to be exposed to that
cruelty, not to be exposed to public censure.
Colonel Whitley.] I am one under that unfortunate list
of Pensions. I was one of those in the recommendation of
the Country, for the farming the Excise, &c. I had a
Covenant of 10,000l. from Dashwood not to supplant
me, &c. We fell into Suit, and at last into an Award, and
till such time I never touched a penny of the Money. I
had in all 900l. which I received at several times. This
is the true state of the case. If I did betray my Country,
&c. I am not only fit to be turned out of the House, but
out of the World. I have had Money a long time due to
me, and can get none of it. Be pleased to examine what
relates to me as publickly as you please.
Sir Stephen Fox.] I did distinguish carefully, of the lists
of persons lately concerned in farming, &c. and in it, several Members had Pensions; and some had that were
not Members. Talbot was careful in expressing the reason in the Receipt of the Money. He would not receive
it till he had it entire, and then received it, as a person
lately concerned in the Excise. You were told yesterday,
"That Talbot and Trelawney were concerned as Farmers."
Howard was in a Farm, and came in upon another man's
interest. Egerton, from first to last, was Farmer for
Colonel Whitley.] Yesterday I attended disbanding the
Army, and I had so great a trouble upon me, that I came
to justify myself, and I crave leave to go back again. He
Mr Bennet.] Pray let us speak with a Bounty-man.
Sir Philip Howard.] If my Case be distinct from others,
I hope I shall be so judged. I am one of those to be
considered under the head of "Farmers of the Excise;"
and I desire I may come under the head of those who
came in upon a valuable consideration.
Mr Harbord.] This may well admit of a distinction,
but not till you have farther heard the matter. If you
find that the King's Bounty went to one sort of Parliament-men, and not to another, you may guess by that,
for I could, in the last Parliament, have told you how the
Question would go. If a Pensioner went not well, slash
he was put out of his Pension. I believe these Gentlemen would not do an unworthy thing, but let the Committee examine it, that they that have had their share of
that, may have share of this.
Mr Hale.] Here is a great hardship upon these Gentlemen, I hope they will clear themselves. I would distinguish those who were recommended to farm the Excise,
and those who were not, and by their Votes here. I would
appoint the Committee to state the case of those recommended by the Country, and those not; but I would not
have their names entered into the Journal.
Sir Joseph Tredenham.] The Question before you is,
"Whether you will enter the Report from the Secret
Committee into the Journal?" A Pension to betray
one's Country is a detestable thing to receive by any body,
and I do utterly deny to have received any. I had the
honour of the favour of my Prince, and I had his favour when I made application for it. Avarice was never
my humour. A Gentleman having a small Government
called Cheade Castle, which lay nearer me, upon a Reversionary Patent, I was put upon it to get him to resign
his Government. He had 250l. and 250l. for quitting
that Castle. I have had the honour here to be a zealous
assertor of the Protestant Religion, and in the Country so
too. As for my Vote here, I gave it for Money, that
the King should not supply his necessity by extraordinary
means. And something he reflected upon the Committee,
which the Compiler could not hear.
Sir Francis Winnington.] As for what Tredenham says of
the nature of the Secret Committee, he need not reflect
on the Secret Committee, but that it borders upon "Secret Service." He has not observed the old Parliament
Committees. I have heard that Tredenham has reported,
"That because he defended the Duke of Lauderdale, I
would be revenged of him." As for this Castle, &c.
when I was Sollicitor General I passed a Warrant, &c.
but I appeal to him whether he told me of the 500l.?—
Because he has given some sparring blows toward me, I
desire he may name the person.
Sir Joseph Tredenham.] I desire that grace for my passion which I must allow for others. This putting me in
the van (of the Report) of these Gentlemen, does look
like something of pointing at me. I have had considerable places offered me, but I would not have Gentlemen
turned out for me—As for this of Lauderdale, it is but a hearsay.
Sir Francis Winnington.] He dwindles this of Lauderdale
to a flying report. There are thirty before him in the list,
but had he been last you would have found him out.
Mr Harbord.] This is a hardship, that a private person
should use one so, that has done you service. If Tredenham got a Castle one way, Winnington lost one of the
best places in England, (Sollicitor General,) for doing his
duty here, and I hope God will reward him.
Sir Henry Capel.] It is no wonder, if the Committee of
Secrecy go new ways to work, (as Tredenham alleged,) you
must consider that never such new things were done before.
—Never such conspitacies. The Chairman (Winnington)
has most dexterously and prudently made enquiry into this
matter of the Pensioners, and it becomes you to be very
severe to any man that makes such reflections. Many
called Tredenham to the Bar.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] What need you call for proof?
Tredenham has confessed "That he had 500l. to enable
him to buy a Castle." What should you go about to proceed farther? He called to Winnington, "Prove it, prove
it," very preremptorily, and you ought to censure him.
Sir Joseph Tredenham.] I beg Pardon for being too
ready to give credit to a report, &c. but when I consider
the smallness of this matter of the Castle, which I did buy
only for convenience of the situation near my estate, I
submit to your censure, and beg your Pardon. Pray
consider how difficult it is for me to speak. I have had no
time to prepare myself.
Sir Eliab Harvey.] At this rate, all your Committees
may be arraigned. It was so last Parliament in the Committee for Danby's Articles, &c. Mr Bertie arraigned the
Committee then. I beg I may not be of any Committee for the future.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] If you will send to Colonel Birch,
who is Auditor of the Excise, &c. you may have all the
Farmers of the Excise from 1672.
Sir Richard Wiseman at the Bar.
The Speaker.] The House is informed that you have
disposed of several Pensions, of four times 400l. per
Annum. From whom did you receive the Money, and
to whom did you pay it, and for what use?
Sir Richard Wiseman.] Those I received and paid I will give an
account of in writing. I never employed it for a Mr Knight, nor
received it for Mr Knight. I know one Knight, Sir John Knight's
son; when I saw him last, he was of the Temple; he had no transactions in the Money. I named him, because you, Mr Speaker,
The Speaker.] Not long since, in the last Session of
Parliament, you kept a good Table; of whom had you
the Money to maintain it?
Wiseman.] My Tenants gave me my Money to keep my Table. I had no Money from Sir Stephen Fox, nor Mr Bertie, nor
by his Order; nor from Mr Chiffinch, nor by his Order. (This he
spoke rudely and surlily.)
The Speaker asking him, "Whether he had no Money for
keeping a Table but from his Tenants?" in a very preremptory
manner he answered, "No." He withdrew.
Sir Thomas Lee.] This answer of Wiseman, and the manner of it, is not usual. If you allow this to any man at
the Bar, to give what he is asked in writing, you will lose
your Authority, and make an ill example for the future.
If once you be put off with writing Answers to your
Questions at the Bar, he will have Counsel. You must
tell him, "He contemns the Commons of England, if he
makes no Answers to the Questions you ask him."
Wiseman again at the Bar.
The Speaker.] The House is not satisfied that you shall
give your Answer in writing. They require a direct Answer from you to what Questions they shall ask you. I
ask you, what Annuity or Pension you have received
upon your account from the Excise, or any other person,
for your particular use?
Wiseman.] If I might have ever so much, I cannot tell you.
I ask but a reasonable thing, to give my Answer in writing, and
I will justify it by Witnesses, and authentic Testimony. But
to a thing I am not prepared to answer, my reputation will be lost
without reparation. I say not, I will not answer, but I will
make a reasonable Answer, like a reasonable man.
To the Speaker's Question,
Answer.] I remember no sum whatsoever.
To the Speaker's Question,
Answer.] I have received Money from the Excise, by a Letter from Mr Bertie.
To the Speaker's Question,
Answer.] The last sum I received was five or six years ago. I
cannot remember how much any of the sums were.
The Speaker.] Did not you receive Money in the
name of a Knight, or for one Mr Knight?
Answer.] I received none of the King's Money, for any other
person, I aver it. I appointed nobody to do it.
To the Speaker's Question,
Answer.] I never gave any Money to pay bills for housekeeping, I stand upon it. He withdrew.
Sir Stephen Fox.] I did say Wiseman received 400l. per
Annum from me, till Michaelmas 1675, and I did so at
the Committee. I said I could give no answer to Knight,
but Wiseman could, and for him 400l. per Annum was
paid, and three other persons more. I charge not Wiseman with receiving this always, but some of it to him I
never failed to pay.
Wiseman again at the Bar.
The Speaker.] You have had time given you to consider the Questions proposed. The House does expect a
more direct Answer. This does so nearly concern you,
that they expect you provided to give an Answer, and
therefore have sent for you down again, before they give
The Speaker asked him the same Question.
Wiseman.] I received no Money from Sir Stephen Fox, and
I know nothing of "Secret Service" received by the King's
Order. Give me time, and I will tell you the exact sums I
The Speaker.] In this, you are disproved by Fox, and
if you will run the hazard of the displeasure of the House,
you must expect what will follow.
Wiseman.] I have told you, I remember not to have received
400l. per Annum from Fox. I cannot remember other sums. I persist in it, none by the King's Order. So far as I am able, on the
sudden, I will give you an account. When the Excise was let by
Lord Clifford, it was for 500,000l. per Ann. Some friends put me
upon it to farm the Excise. We gave 20,000l. per Annum more,
and 70,000l. advance Money, for which service the King directed I should receive some Money, but I remember not the particulars; there was but one Contract. I acted by another Party—I
cannot tell whom—I do now remember the man, it was Alderman Ford. I know not whether I received seven, eight, or
nine hundred pounds.
The Speaker.] Did you receive any Money from
Wiseman stood mute some time, and then answered,] I have
not received any Money from Mr Bertie this year and a
half. I had no Order for continuance of my Pension out of
the Excise. That which the King gave me was annual, but
I received it in a gross sum. I sold the annual Pension the
King gave me for seven, eight, or nine hundred pounds. The
Pension was not granted me for life, but till the King declared otherwise. The assignment of the Pension was made to
the Commissioners, or Farmers; I believe it was assigned to
Major Huntington, Mr Dawson, and Sir John James. This he
spoke drawlingly, and withdrew.
Monday, May 26.
Mr Sacheverell reports the Narrative of the Proceedings relating
to the Tryals, &c. and Reasons. Which see in the Journal.
A Motion being made for a softer term, &c. than "Injustice,"
Mr Garroway.] You cannot say less than you have
done, for the Lords have denied you Justice. If the
Lords come not up to the proposals of your Committee,
print your narrative. If you are tender of words, when
all is at stake, it is an ill time to temporize. I should be
glad if the Lords would confer with you in a parliamentary way; if not, you cannot do less than vindicate what
is in your power. And what will you signify, if a Minister
of State go away unpunished, by a Pardon? If they will
break the late King's Constitution (fn. 3) , &c. let not us. I
would keep the door open to reconciliation, but if the
Lords will not come up to this, so reasonable, I would
then publish the thing.
Mr Sacheverell.] I would clear this point, which, I believe, is warrantable from the Lords themselves. If the
Lords are more tender of our Rights than we ourselves,
I know not what will become of the reputation of this
House. The Lords have owned the Non-commitment
of Lord Danby, when impeached of High Treason, &c.
to be erroneous; and shall not we then say so? It was
done in another Parliament, they have arraigned it, and
you do so too, and I think the Lords proceeding is
Sir Nicholas Carew.] I would not deliver up our
Rights, but I would not give the Lords just ground of
exception. The word "Injustice" is hard—It founds
brave for the Commons to quarrel with the Lords—It is
a fine feather, but the Commons will pull it out. We
have a great many good things depending, and if we
can get them without quarrelling with the Lords, let us.
Sir Joseph Williamson.] The Question is, Who has
brought us to this brink of extremity? I have wondered
at these Proceedings. You have mighty reason for what
you have done. You have dissembled these Proceedings
of the Lords so much, that it justifies them in good correspondence. It was "Injustice" done you, the Noncommitment of Lord Danby, and the Lords have owned
it "erroneous," but that comes not up to the point.
If the prisoner escapes, for not committing him, that is
"Injustice" with a vengeance. The Lords tell you,
"The Bishops have asked leave to withdraw, &c." and
they cannot depart without the Lords leave, &c. Is not
this an Answer to your Question, and is not this an evasive Answer? There is a sense in the House not to use the
Paper reported till the utmost extremity, and to come
to expostulation. If you come to such an extremity, the
words cannot be too sharp; and you may let it lie till
you have use of the thing.
Sir Robert Howard.] In all the track of the whole
business; there is a perfect track of evasiveness. The Bishops will sit on one point, and not on another. But I
cannot imagine why we should call it "Injustice," what
use there is of such a word. Now all things possible to
be imagined require your help, is it not possible to say
another word? This is a sentence pronounced upon the
Lords Judicature. The Paper is well drawn, and there
is no need of a hard passionate word to help the Reasons;
they themselves will convince the World.
Mr Swynfin.] If you are resolved to lay by this Report
unpassed till you go to the Committee of the Lords, then
spend no more time on it now, till you have an Answer
from the Committee of Lords and Commons.
Sir John Trevor reports from the Committee of Lords and
Commons, that the Lords gave this Answer, "That they had
no power from their House to give any farther Answer to those
matters, or to debate the same with the Committee of this
Sir John Hotham.] To my observation, the Lords
have not done what they ought, but have evaded your
whole Proceedings; therefore I wonder we should be so
nice in this matter that you have little time to spend in.
If the Proceedings do not satisfy the World, it is not your
fault. How will you answer it, when you consider that
the Lords have done what a private man would not do
to a private man? They have broken their word, and is
not that "unjust" in the greatest measure? I desire you to
agree with the Committee.
Mr Swynfin.] I would have the single Paragraph read,
where the word "Injustice" is. You say, "The Lords
are sensible of the Injustice, &c." You must have it out
of the Lords Book to ground this upon. They say,
"They have expressed no such thing." I would therefore
have their own words, viz. "Error of their Proceeding."
Mr Vaughan.] He that argues upon the words, argues
upon the whole thing. Unless you send to the Lords to
sit, they will rise, and so it will be too late to deliver your
Reasons, &c. the five Lords being appointed to come to
Sir Thomas Lee.] I would willingly hear Gentlemen
argue, but you will lose the thing, unless you send to the
Lords to desire a Conference, that so they may sit.
Colonel Titus.] I know not whether that may hinder
you. It may be, the Lords will deny you Conference,
and then there is an end of it.
Mr Sacheverell.] I should be loath to agree to go to
the Lords for a Conference, and be denied it; but this is
a matter of great importance to the Kingdom, and you
may agree to that Conference "of matters of great consequence to the Kingdom, and for preservation of a good
correspondence between both Houses."
Sir Francis Winnington.] I second that Motion. It has
been supposed that the Lords will not grant a Conference
on what relates to their Judicial Authority; but if the
Lords will not confer with you upon what belongs to
the Nation; whether we shall destroy our Laws, or preserve them—They give you excellent Rules of Discipline
at the Committee, for your hats to be off (fn. 4) , but not a
word of Answer to our Questions about the Bishops, &c.
We must at last name the Lords that obstruct this Proceeding, and if they deny us Conference, you may
imagine the consequence.
Sir Eliab Harvey.] For satisfaction of the House, put
in those two words to the Question, "Unjust and evasive," whether they shall stand in the Paper.
Colonel Titus.] Those who go about to deprive and
hinder Gentlemen of Debate, destroy all liberty of Parliament Speech—One word seems so harsh that it is easily
remedied, if you find a soft and smooth way of doing it.
I would not use the rough, when a better and fairer way
will do the thing. The King never gives a preremptory
denial of a Bill, but "Le Roi s' avisera." I would not
bring a railing accusation against the Devil himself. I
would have the word "Error" instead of "Injustice."
Mr Williams.] It is either "unjust" or "not unjust."
The Law of Impeachment I take to be, when a man is
impeached, &c. he ought to be committed; and if not
observed by the Lords, they are "unjust." The Lords
will strain the "Injustice" at your door; and to defend
yourselves, you ought to express it; otherwise you are
"unjust" to yourselves. If you speak, speak plain, and
at a Conference you may maintain it. This Act of
"Injustice" has led you to all this—If you study for nice
words, you may beget another "Injustice."
Sir Thomas Littleton.] I am of this mind, that the
Lords have done "Injustice"—But the Lords have not
acknowleged "Injustice," but "erroneously" only.
You have no choice of words, but must say their own
Sir Thomas Meres.] I observe great earnestness in this
matter, but Order must preserve the very being of this
House. It will save time, and is the shortest way you
can go. There are but few words excepted against in the
Paper, and you ought, by Order, to read it Paragraph by
The Paragraph was read.
Mr Seymour.] Though we express great zeal to serve
a turn now, yet this may be of great inconvenience to
your Proceedings hereafter. I would have the words to
be "Irregular and unparliamentary Proceeding." Till
Gentlemen have more patience, and order, to hear me, I
will trouble you no more.
Mr Garroway.] If nobody speaks against a Bill at a
second reading, it is ordered to be ingrossed of course.
You have had the Clause read, and exception has been
made, &c. Before you can have any Question for the
Clause, you must put the Question, "To put out the
Sir Thomas Clarges.] We are much out of the way,
not to read the Paragraph. It is impossible for a man to
carry it all in his head. I will only keep up my claim to
Order. Leave out the word, and you have all your desire besides.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] I cannot see how you can
prosper in this word "unjust." By "unjust" he must be
an ill man; a depravity of the will, voluntary, and willingly. "Error" is otherwise. You cannot make a term
more biting nor afflicting.
Sir Thomas Lee.] I am one of those that think, whether "wilfully" or "ignorantly," that not to have Right
in Westminster-Hall, is "unjust." The Bill of Banishment
was "unjust," and Right was not done to the Commons, in not committing, &c. You were told by Titus,
of Le Roi s'avisera, &c. That very Answer brought the
Negative Voice in Question in the Long Parliament. Pray
God you bring not your Right in Question too!
Colonel Titus.] If the Lords misinform you, by being misinformed themselves, you will not tell them
Sir Henry Capel.] The Lords and Commons co-operate,
and such expressions are not to be used. This matter is
different from the Courts of Westminster-Hall; the Lords
are a higher Judicature. Methods of Proceedings should
be in the most gentle way between both Houses.
Sir Francis Winnington.] Had it been, that we of the
Committee took upon us what the Lords had said, and
not reported it right, we had been strange persons; but
we say, "That common Justice, and Right of imprisoning a person impeached, &c. was denied you." You affirm "That is denied you," and that is as high as the
word "Injustice." If you had sent generally to the
Lords, "That they had done you Injustice," that had
been a reflection; but as you have penned it, it is otherwise. The Lords suffered Lord Danby to be present, and
vote in his own Cause—It is a Judgment we make upon
the Fact, and have stated it before. I will not contend
for a word; but this I move, not to omit the word "Injustice" in the Paper, but put it in a greater manner if
Mr Powle.] If you would save the Lords in the Tower,
you may go in the harshest manner, &c. We are in an ill
state, I fear, and too near a Breach. The thing presses,
and we must avoid all delay. Many times we pass severe
censures upon things; but this will engage us to justify
what we say, and the Lords to defend, and you to maintain, &c. and spend much of your time. I make great
difference betwixt "Not to do me Justice," and "to do
me Injustice." The one is through Error, the other is
wilfully. Any man may make it an "Error," but
"unjust" no man can prove, for it is lodged in the cogitations of men. This may make the thing irreconcileable, to fly in the Lords faces, with what one Gentleman will not take from another. And I fear, if you
come to debate it with the Lords, you will have the
worst of it, and spin out many days, to maintain what
Mr Sacheverell.] I would have Gentlemen know, that
if the word "Injustice" be left out here, they may do it
in another place. I would have you consider, whether
the Lords that have done this, are ignorant of the whole
methods of Parliament—And so you will call it "erroneous," and they lay aspersions as much—This justifies
this House of Peers. The censure is the last Parliament's
Sir Thomas Clarges.] Though this is not the same Parliament, yet the Lords are the same Persons and Judicature. If we have the very thing and sense, why may
we not leave out the harsh word?
Sir Robert Carr.] Clarges says, "It is the same Judicature of the Lords that was the last Parliament." But I
think not, for Lord Danby was then present there; it is
that you complain of; and now he is out. Leaving out
the word "Injustice" makes the thing not at all the milder, for this varies not the sense at all.
Sir Edward Dering.] Those that are for leaving out
the word, do it, not as a compliment to the Lords, but
for decency to ourselves. I would therefore leave out
Sir Robert Howard.] If it will give just offence, I
would rather leave out the word than keep it in. Had I
the greatest enemy in the world, I would not provoke
him with ill words: He has then the advantage of me. I
would avoid difference with the Lords now. I think it
is the sense of those we represent, and I would leave out
the word "unjust."
The word "unjust" was left out.
Resolved, That a Message be sent to the Lords, to desire their
Lordships to sit some time. And then
Resolved, That a Conference be desired with the Lords upon
Matters of great Importance to the Kingdom, and for preserving
a good Correspondence between the two Houses (fn. 5) .
Tuesday, May 27.
Colonel Titus.] I move you, that the Serjeant may go to
the Lords Court in Westminster-Hall
(fn. 6) , with his Mace,
and invert it when he comes to the Court, and command
your Members that are there, to attend the House.
Mr Sacheverell.] I will not take it for granted, that
the Lords will try the five Lords to-day, but make your
Order conditional, viz. "If the Lords shall proceed to the
Tryal of the five Lords in the Tower, &c. that then,
none of your Members shall presume to be present, without leave of the House."
Serjeant Maynard.] "That in case the Lords shall proceed to the Tryal of the five Lords, none of your Members shall be present, without leave of the House," is
moved. But I would send for your Members without saying any thing farther.
Sir Joseph Williamson.] I would not post up an Order
with supposing that thing of trying the Lords. I would
rather let the Order be barely, "That the Members do
attend the service of the House."
Sir Francis Winnington.] The Order you are about to
make, might have been as well, when the scaffolds were
first erected. I would have the Order only, "That the
Members do give their attendance upon the House."
[Ordered, That all the Members that are in the Hall be immediately sent for, to attend the service of the House.]
The Serjeant of the House reported, That he did obey the
commands of the House, in giving notice to the Members, &c.
A Message from the Lords, That the Lords desire that this
House will sit for some time; for they have received information,
that his Majesty is coming in his Royal Robes, to say something
to both Houses.
[Resolved, That this House will sit for some time.]
Sir John Trevor.] For introducing Popery one design
was "arbitrary Government." And another you have
had the examination of, viz. "Pensions." I know not
whether the Clerks have taken that matter right; whether the Gentlemen that are to examine the Journal do
agree; for we are all in the dark. Never Parliament
proceeded in that hurly-burly that we have done. I
would have Mr Kent answer to what Questions you shall
require of him, and bring in a list of the Members of
the last Parliament, that he paid Money to, and upon
what account. If you have no Record of this, you will
have more corruption the next Session of Parliament, than
in the last Parliament, if you go off now, without
making examples of those persons of the last Parliament,
that have taken Money to betray us to slavery. Men live
upon examples, and without them, all will go off, and
men will do their knavery without fear. I would therefore have the Clerks prepare the Information of Sir
Stephen Fox, and let him refresh his memory, to inform
you, how many Members have had Pensions, how often
Money has been given them and whether the payments
are still continued; for I lay more upon that, than upon
those who have Money pro hâc vice. If they have been
paid, three, four, or five years, I will judge that those
are in a continuing service. A man that has voted well
one Session, and then they discontinue his Pension; something may be said for that to mitigate the crime; and I
will have as much tenderness and respect, in such a case,
as any man. Proceed in this way, and the people of
England will thank you.
Sir Robert Clayton was just giving an account of persons who
had Pensions out of the Excise, "upon consideration of their
Farms," viz. Howard, Smith, Walden, Egerton, Gerrard, and
Whitley; when the Black Rod knocked at the Door, and commanded the House to attend the King in the House of Lords,
where his Majesty, in the following short Speech, prorogued the
"My Lords and Gentlemen,
"I was in great hopes that this Session would have produced
great good to the Kingdom, and that it would have gone on
unanimously for the good thereof. But to my great grief, I see
there are such differences between the two Houses, that I am
afraid very ill effects will come of them. I know but one way of
remedy for the present, assuring you, that, in the mean time, I
shall show my sincerity with the same zeal I met you here.
Therefore, my Lord Chancellor, I command you to do as I ordered you."
His Lordship accordingly prorogued the Parliament to the
fourteenth of August. (fn. 7) But before that day, it was dissolved by
Proclamation (fn. 8) .