Friday, April 25.
The Abjuration-Bill was read a first, and ordered to be read
a second time.]
Saturday, April 26.
The Abjuration-Bill was read a second time.
Lord Digby.] 'Tis a tender point that I am going
to speak to; and, before I enter into the Debate, I desire I may speak freely, without prejudice. Whatsoever
concerns the Constitution of the present Government,
I would not be thought to speak against; nor for
King James, if I speak against the Bill. The Foundation of the Government is the Bill of Rights; wherein
the King promises his part, &c. and we swear Fealty.
This is our original Contract; if there be any, I am
of opinion that is it. This Oath I took with a good
Conscience, and will keep it. Till the King enlarges
his part of the Contract, I think we should not enlarge
ours. I have heard of Enemies against Kingly Government, and I fear this will create many more. This
will not distinguish the Enemies from the Friends of
the Government. If this be, now the King is going
into Ireland, it may be of dangerous consequence.
These Considerations weigh with me against the Bill.
Mr Cary.] I am so much a Friend to the Government, that, when this was first proposed, I was for it,
and ready to take any engagement; but the reason
then for it, makes me now against it. To distinguish
Friends and Enemies, supposes a need to support the
Government. Now you doubt your Weakness, and
prove it too. Do you not discover the Weakness of the
Government, when you find it ? The Oath of Allegiance has this Oath of Abjuration in it. Oaths lose
their Value, when they lose their Necessity. Excommunication lost its Force, when made too cheap, in the
Romish Church. I shall proceed to show, that this is
no Security to the Government. They that will evade
one Oath, will another. Those men that abjured King
Charles II, did not they bring him in ? May not men
that will evade these Oaths, come into Employment,
and easily break through, and have advantage of betraying the Government ? They have taken the Oath
of Allegiance; and if they have a mind to get off by
evasion, they may do this of Abjuration. I am against
a Committee, &c. because it is against the Government.
Col. Granville.] I stand up to move for Commitment, &c; and really I cannot understand the reason
of those that oppose it. This only obliges us to what
we all have done. In that Oath, I did heartily renounce all Allegiance and Kindness to King James.
The duty to Religion obliged us to displace a Popish
Prince: A Protestant Title is the best Title to the
Crown of England. If we discover our weakness upon
an ill bottom, it will only discover our Enemies. I
have heard Exceptions against Ecclesiastics, &c. I cannot believe it, unless they have some secret reserves.
If such men be in England, this Bill is absolutely necessary. From Treachery and False-heartedness is our
ruin; [from those] who will part with all rules of Morality to ruin us again. Those who scrupled the former
Oaths, will these; and your great tenderness, in the
last Parliament, makes them scorn to owe any obligation to your Mercy, because, they say, you durst not
do otherwise: They are not to be led by arguments
of clemency and good-nature. I am for the Bill.
Lord Falkland.] I am an Advocate for the present
Government; and, for the same reason, I was for the
Abdication of King James, and for the settling of King
William upon the Throne. The design of this Bill is
to distinguish your Enemies: At home, they are too
few to be feared, or too many to be provoked. When
your Enemies see you reduced to the last extremity,
how will they value you ? When Augustus Cæsar had a
List given him of those who conspired against him,
he burnt that List; which made those and their families his friends. If such think themselves bound in
conscience to bring in King James, they will take this
Oath to bring him in. Those who brought in King
Charles II, valued themselves upon their Abjuration of
him. Upon the whole, I am of opinion that this Bill
is destructive to the Government: I am against it. I
have taken the Oath of Allegiance to King William,
and will keep it; and I did in that abjure King James.
I have suffered too much in the last Government, ever
to desire it to come back.
Sir John Thompson.] One thing is missing in the Bill,
that all the Lawyers in England swear to it; and then
the Divines will not scruple it.
Mr Harcourt.] I will support the Dignity of the
Monarchy under the Government: Could I believe
this Bill would conduce to it, I should be as forward
for it as any man; for, that person that will equivocate
with the Oath of Allegiance there is no security in it,
and but little in this. I have often heard, that we
have a powerful Enemy abroad, and a necessity to unite
at home. This will endanger fomenting and increasing
Jealousies. What we have done already does encourage our Allies, and deter our Enemies, and testify
our firmness to the Government, by the great Sums
of Money we have given to support it. I will discharge my Conscience, however I am mistaken. Such
an unprecedented Oath will give occasion to think
there is some defect in the Government, when such an
Oath was never required in this Government to support it. Can we gain more Friends ? Those who quietly obey it, naturally, if they suffer by it, will find
means to redress themselves. You will make no Friends
by it; you will make Enemies. I hope there will be
no Reflection upon me, as against the Government,
because I am against the Bill.
Sir John Maynwaring.] I will give you my private
Reason, why I am for this Bill. Suppose you have a
Member within these Walls, that should say, "If you
will do as I would have you, send away King William,
and send back for King James." I have an attested
Copy of this Information of one of your Members.
Sir John Guise.] When I see a Gentleman give you
this account, who is not likely to run away, I would
have it heard on Monday; and I doubt not but you
will think it worthy your care to know who this Member was. If he does not make this out, he is under
your censure, and you may send him to the Tower.
Sir Charles Kemeys.] I know not whether the Member
that said the words, may be here to-morrow; though,
I believe, Maynwaring may be here.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] This is an aspersion upon the
whole House. For your own Honour, if there be such
a rotten limb, let him be named and cut off.
Col. Birch.] 'Tis not to say, "Name him, name
him:" But things of this consequence are determined
by a Question.
Sir John Maynwaring.] Now I am commanded by
the House to name the person that said the words, I
shall do it. The reason why I did not name him was,
because persons have sworn it. I cannot assert the
Truth of it; but the Gentleman is Sir Thomas Grosvenor.
Sir Thomas Grosvenor.] There was a Bricklayer in
Chester, who said, "He heard me say some words,
when I stood for Parliament-Man." Alderman Streete
took the Examination of the Man; he was privately
examined. On Sunday morning I heard of it, and came
to Chester in the afternoon; and several Citizens proffered to testify, upon Oath, what this fellow was. He
was bound apprentice to a person in Chester, whom he
robbed, and another at London, and then turned Fortune-teller. He came to Chester, and nobody would
employ him, he was such a lying fellow. I caned this
fellow for ill work he had done for me, and he swore
he would be revenged of me. Alderman Streete threatened to lay this man by the heels, if he would not
swear against me—He sent the Examination to Lord
Shrewsbury. Col. Cholmondeley carried the Letter to my
Lord, and the Examination, which attested the villainy
of this fellow. I entered into a Recognizance of 5000l.
to clear myself.
(fn. 1) .] I am sorry this thing has been
mentioned. Lord Shrewsbury told me, "That Sir
Thomas Grosvenor need not trouble himself; for this
was some Quarrel only about Elections."
Mr Shackerley.] I must justify this person—Because
he would not take the Test, he was turned out of the
Army—A Letter was sent from Captain Middleton, to
cast Bullets, for the Army, out of the Lead-Mines;
and this Streete made use of the Letter for casting of
Bullets for King James.
Sir Robert Cotton.] I know, this Streete did promote
the business, when the City of Chester declared for the
Prince of Orange.
Mr Wharton.] I am sorry when there are any personal Reflections in this House; but if you cannot get
off from it at present, appoint a day. The Gentleman is not accused by Maynwaring; but, for his justification, hearing this thing, he thought it his duty to
acquaint you with it (fn. 2) .
Sir Henry Goodrick.] My Opinion is, that this Bill
is dangerous. This began the Barons Wars; but in
those great Changes none of these Cures were ever attempted. The Possessor of the Crown ought to be
obeyed. When you abjure a Government, you abjure
your Lands. A man cannot say, he will abjure against
God's will. I am as free to serve this Government as
I was forward to bring it in. This is an Abjuration
that I cannot say I can maintain: Abjuration is a renunciation of all protection that can come to me.
Though some men will swallow Abjuration of the Royal
Family, under a Branch whereof we sit, those of the
Church of England will not do it. The utmost necessity made me break my Oath to King James: It
was utmost Necessity, and those are terrible things—
Upon the Revolution, Gentlemen could not dispossess
themselves of the obligation of former Oaths—I will
come closer—This Oath is to renounce and abjure all
Allegiance to King James. The Oath of Allegiance to
King William was generally taken all over England; and,
of Ten Thousand in Holy Orders, not above Eighty, have
refused it. Those who were for a Regency, I did not
join with——As Christians, we ought to bear with one
another; but two of your Members refused the Oath (fn. 3) ;
one whereof was a man of great integrity, and known
honour in his Country. That was a positive Oath; but
when it is a Negation [the case is altered]—In the Revolutions of Naples and Sicily, [there was no Oath given]
It never took place among Christians, to make an Oath
of Abjuration. This being so, what necessity is there of
this Oath for us, more than all the World besides ? Is not
your Oath of Allegiance sufficient ? I cannot answer
how a negative Oath may garble the Nation. I am a
Counsellor, and am bound by my Oath to die for the
honour and safety of the Government. In so near a
Post to the King, I must do for his honour and safety, and the Kingdom's. To give power to a Justice of
Peace (as by this Bill) to send a man to Jail, without Bail, is the highest point of Tyranny. Let it not
be in our power to tyrannize over one another. I
would take it into consideration to secure the Government; but, in the mean time, to reject this Bill.
Sir John Guise.] You are told, "That, in the Revolutions of Naples and Sicily, there was no Oath of Abjuration given." None but have heard what the Sicilian Vespers were—Augustus Cæsar had a List of those
who conspired against him—He would know, whether
Lentulus and Antony were against him—Or whether
a King James in Ireland. His business was, who had
no Right to the Crown, to oblige people to join with
him to enslave the rest. I have heard a Lord speak of
"an Original Contract." What have you done in this ?
—If no Contract be broken by King James, you know
the consequence—If King James's going into France
is in the nature of a Demise, you know who must be
King. If that come to be debated over again here,
you may lay such stumbling blocks, that you may see
Enemies rise, with Swords in their Hands, before you
know you have an Enemy. 'Tis said, they will submit; but it is because they see a greater power, when
the Oaths come to be published. When I come to
abjure, I will abjure; I have not forsworn myself. I
am absolved from my Oath, when it cannot be maintained—You will keep a reserve for King James, if
he get the better; but I will either live or die with
this Government. If you will not own yourselves,
will people own you ?
Sir Thomas Lee.] The Question is, for committing
the Bill. There are many things in the Bill fit to be
altered and mended, that I do not like indeed; and,
I think it too large in putting in "Ecclesiastical Persons." I think it fit, that those in Employment and
Offices give Security to the Government. I am sorry
there should be such an expectation of King James,
that men should not renounce him. We used to say
that Allegiance follows Protection. As to the Reverend Clergy that took the Oaths, it seems to me but a
repetition of the Oaths; and I wonder that Gentlemen,
by the same reason, are not against the Oaths and the
Test to be taken in every new Office. The Oath of Abjuration was tendered to General Monk; he would not
take it—It was imposed by a little Party here, and a
few crept in together, but was not imposed upon the
generality of the Kingdom. What was that Diana of
the Covenant-Renunciation but a kind of Abjuration ?
This is not so now in England, as Gentlemen would
seem to have it. I would have it so understood and
declared, that we may provide against them and him,
by renouncing such obligation. This Debate seems
to me to be more necessary, by what I have heard,
when I am told, that men in Employment drink King
James's health. As for new distinctions, what else were
the Tests for, after the Oaths of Allegiance, whilst
great men in Power drew men into Power ? But their
Power sunk by the discountenance they gave to their
old friends the Cavaliers, who might have been useful
to them afterwards—What security can persons have,
that obliging will not tie ? The King shows you, that
he is not ignorant of designs on foot of secret Enemies. The way to have fewest Enemies is, the speediest
discoveries; and that those in Employment and Trust
in the Government declare they have no expectation,
no desire, of Change in the Government.
Mr Roberts.] There is a third thing, called Interest,
makes men stick to a Government.—I am attainted in
Ireland. I came in with no Opinion of this Bill, and
I am now confirmed, that you reject the Bill.
Sir Tho. Clarges.] The 27th of December,  you
attended on the Prince of Orange, and thanked him for
his Expedition, &c. And then we asserted all our
Rights, and then made a Tender of the Crown, and
the Oath of Allegiance we have all taken, which is a
Renunciation of King James; and it bears a just interpretation. Do you think the Government is yet
insecure ? In your Act of Rights, you did declare him
King, and swore Allegiance, &c. and I think the Act
of Recognition did rather weaken—Where you put a
Buttress, there the Building is weak. What say the
Jesuits ? "Let them alone, and they will fall out among
themselves; and King James will come in:" And nothing will tend more to bring in King James than this
Bill. I am for the Government, and I did take the
Oaths conscientiously, and will. No ambiguous Oath
was ever taken; but when we come once to distinguish
a Title, then we have Bill after Bill, to explain we
know not what. The short Oath of Allegiance was a
good and a wise Oath. The Bills for Money are depending, and this comes to interrupt them ! I humbly
conclude, that this Bill may be rejected.
Sir Thomas Littleton.] It had been a great deal more
ingenuous to have brought these objections upon the
bringing in of the Bill. The Government being
crazy, I would have Buttresses to support it. The
Government was never asserted by the Churchmen, till
Magdalen-College was touched. They have a notion
in their heads of the Great Turk, that if they may
be Bashaws, they will swear Allegiance to the Great
Turk. If this Bill will bring in a Common-wealth, I
am against it, and I cannot believe such a man (as
Clarges) is in earnest, when he says so. We have had
one Revolution, and, that we may not have another,
I am for this Bill.
Sir John Lowther.] I speak now with great difficulty. My heart and judgment goes along with most part
of this Bill, and I am content to be a Martyr for it;
but I have a great deference to unity. Totally to
reject this Bill, after our Votes are gone abroad of the
first reading, may have no good effect. On the other
side, to go against the grain of so many worthy Gentlemen, who would live and die with the King, is inconvenient. We have the example of a man of great
authority (Lord Carmarthen.) I would have it fortified with such authority——There are Conspiracies
among Protestants as well as Papists. I fear the Oath
taken to abjure King James is not for Love of this
King, but to abjure all Kings. I would not put so
great discouragement as totally to reject this Bill, but
you may model it. It may lie upon the Table, or
be referred to a private Committee; but I would not
instantly commit it to the whole House. Change the
Abjuration into "Not assisting King James." He that
agrees not to keep him out is not fit to be in the Government; but I do not desire that to be imposed
upon every body, but to own the Government, and
promise not to bring in King James. Consider the
condition you will be left in; the King in Ireland; and, worse than all the rest, the Government
will be left precarious in the hands of People, whether they will lend Money for the Army or Fleet, and
all may be lost; and they descant, "That the Parliament would never reject this Bill, but for some uncertainty in the Government; and we will never lend
our Money;" and the consequence may be, the Army
will be upon free quarter, and the Navy not go out.
Take it thus far into consideration; try if you can
moderate the Bill to satisfy; and possibly, with a little
pains, it may satisfy all persons.
Sir Robert Howard.] I shall speak with all the deference to every body that differs from me, that is fit.
I know not what Lowther means by his "deference to a
great Man," whom he names not. You are told, "This
Renunciation is a new thing;" but Church and State
can never be safe without it. What is your Religion,
your Allegiance, but a Renunciation ? The old thing
you ever have done. What are your penal Laws, and
Test, but a Renunciation ? 'Tis the whole Government,
and protection of Church and State. I believe it in
the Peoples hearts already; and they may else renounce you, and go into a Commonwealth. I would
not try whether we have Enemies too many, and
Friends too few. I would rather know my fate, than
silently live under I know not what. Consider what
Renunciation is; you remove a King, and one may be
King again. This being so, you have more cause now
than ever to think of a Renunciation. The King goes
into Ireland; and if King James should come here,
and take possession, this will take that off from those
that think themselves yet free to join with him. The
people who generally lend Money in the Exchequer, are
not people who expect that King James will pay them
again. A Renunciation of all hopes of King James is
the subject of the Bill.
Mr Ettrick.] When this Bill is laid aside, you may
order another; but not for Justices of the Peace to imprison when they please. I can readily come up to
this. I hear the Church mentioned: I fear it may be
a Church-Trap. I should have been glad to see "the
King's Heirs and Successors" in the Bill, that Monarchy may be supported by it. When the RumpParliament came to be in the feeblest condition, then
came the Abjuration of Charles II.
Mr Powle, Master of the Rolls.] Nothing is more
natural among private persons, and the Government
is to take the most natural way to preserve itself; and
this is nothing but a zealous support with vigour; and
therefore not only by Punishments, but the way has
been taken by Oaths to preserve the Government. This
Oath is to no other end than to respect those who are
to be employed in the Government: 'Tis not universal, to peep into mens consciences that live peaceably, but that they who are to act ought to be zealous
in it. I will not go so far back as the Wars of York
and Lancaster. The Oath of Supremacy and Allegiance was perfectly an Abjuration of the Pope, and
all his power, in Henry VIII's Reformation, when
there was no prospect of opposition; but when there
are pretended Titles against the present Government,
'tis reasonable to make men renounce them. "A King
de facto, and a King de jure"—whoever mentions that de
facto implies another de jure. There are two Allegiances in that case, and therefore fit to stick to one.
To obey the King de facto, is no other than to obey
till I have power to rebell. To let them go abroad,
and scatter this fire, you will restrain ! I should be
very sparing to impose this Oath on any but in Offices,
but to have a discretionary power to give it. All Governments do it; and you must do this, if you will
Sir Joseph Williamson.] It has been long known to
many Gentlemen, that I have as much zeal for the
Protestant Religion as any body. 'Tis unfortunate,
when things are brought on suddenly, by surprize.
The Question for this Bill came in in an angry time
of day, when you were about the City Address. I
shall ever be for keeping off from Heats and Parties.
I cannot but observe, that it came in upon resentment.
I went out for the Address, and against this Bill; but
I see plainly, it resents matter of party and distinction;
and, however well intended, it seems to be designed
against one sort of persons. I take it, the Church of
England is as sure to this Government as any other
part of it. 'Tis their interest and preservation to despair of possibility of living under a Popish King. None
did their duties with more courage than that body of
Men, nor suffered more deeply. The Popish Party
supported the lowest sort of men (the Quakers) to take
them into their Party against the Church of England.
I say to this Bill, the scope in consequence of it may
weaken hands; 'tis not necessary, and therefore not
advisable. I would have a day set to secure the Government against all ill-affected persons. Now the
King is going for Ireland, we have no account of the
Militia. Seeing it is not done elsewhere, I move for
a day to consider it, "to secure the Government against all ill-affected persons."
Mr Comptroller Wbarton.] What fell from Williamson calls me up. It must touch upon me. This Bill
was moved for by one and another; and I thought fit
to follow it; and you might have rejected it upon the
first Motion. We are in an actual War against one
that was King, and some hope may be. This Bill is
not against the Church of England. If any be against
the Government, and this King, 'tis that Party, be it
where it will, against which the Bill is intended. If
it be left on your Books, that this Bill is rejected, I
hope those against it will not be ashamed to let their
Names go abroad.
[The Question for committing the Bill passed in the Negative, 192 to 178: And the Question for rejecting it passed
in the Affirmative, 192 to 165.]
Monday, April 28.
On securing the Government.
Sir Joseph Williamson.] That Power I move for now,
was formerly used and exercised in the Government;
and if there be not some extraordinary Provision made,
on extraordinary occasions, to lodge such a Trust, for
some few months, against such persons as shall be
justly suspected to conspire against the Government,
to support the Government that has redeemed us from
the danger of all our Rights, secular and divine, we
are to despair for tolerable terms to live and breathe
in, without such helps. No man will use that for his
constant diet, that is his physic when indisposed; and
I foresee that such a censure may be made upon this.
In all Parliaments, they have found it necessary to
lodge a Trust in the Crown: As when in Henry VIII's
time there was a power pro interim, by Proclamation,
&c. and a disposing of the whole Succession of the
Crown, in the Recognition of Queen Elizabeth, 'tis
taken notice of, "That that Law of Henry VIII shall
be a Law in the Government for ever." Let no Gentleman think hardly of this Motion: I do not doubt
but you will have a return suitable to the Trust. My
Motion is, (and perfectly for righting myself, and the
Gentlemen that voted with me on Saturday, that we
lie under no misconstruction without doors,) "That a
Power, for some few Months, be in the Crown, to
commit Persons for treasonable Correspondence against
King William with King James, without Bail."
Sir John Thompson.] If nothing but the Danger of
the People will be the Security of the Crown, I fear
we are in an ill condition. You did not give Power
in the Privy-Council for six to commit without Bail:
[Yet] they had the confidence, the Parliament sitting, to
imprison one of your Members (fn. 4) (Lord Danby.) Give
me time, and my family, to go out of England, and
pass this Act (moved for) with all my heart.
Sir Edward Hussey.] If there be such Counsellors
about the King, as to advise him to bring over Lord
Dumbarton's Regiment (fn. 5) ; and if [there be] such Lords
about the King, as say, "The Act of Recognition
is neither good-sense nor reason;" I desire not to trust
such with so great a Power as is moved for.
Sir William Whitlock.] I never thought of such a
Motion to be made as came from Williamson; and I
hope that no Englishman will give his consent to it. I
will not trust the Government with six Privy-Counsellors, nor six-score. 'Tis strange that the Government
of England should be brought to that pass, to be inconsistent with the safety of the People.
Sir Henry Goodrick.] There was a Bill brought in to
secure the Government, by an Oath of Abjuration, &c.
'Tis now proposed, that, after all the Informations of
caballing against the Government, both by Papists,
and worse, there seems something wanting in the Law
to secure them. Let Gentlemen, who were engaged
in the last Revolution, consider, if King James had pursued the advice, to have sent for the Heads of Parties
against him, and clapped them up, where had the
Revolution been ? We have Informations out of Lancashire, a chain of intelligence of persons plotting
against the Government; but they are all gone, the
birds are flown; and the King going now upon a hazardous Expedition, there will be a great check upon
proceedings, without this Bill, for the Queen to govern in his absence. If your Militia be in so ill a condition, that they have no Arms nor Ammunition, what
remedy is there but this Motion for suspension. of
the Habeas Corpus Act but for a few Months, not perpetual, nor final ? My request to the House is, as
you tender the safety of all that is dear to you, that
such a Power may be vested. I, as an Englishman, ask
it, and dare ask it.
Mr Harcourt.] As we are sent here to preserve the
Liberties of England, so there is no greater security
for them than this Act, and I think I have acquitted
my trust very ill, if I give it up; a "security," a
Member told you (Clarges) you had struggled many
years for, and it is that now we contend for. It has
been already suspended three times, and now you will
do it a fourth ! Suspending it thus upon every occasion will, at last, amount to a repeal. At this particular time, now we have an Army of Foreigners in
our Bowels, we should rather increase our Liberties
than diminish them.
Sir Christopher Musgrave.] There was a time when
the Subject was removed from one Prison to another,
and the Act evaded, though at the last he obtained this
Act, which makes a penalty upon the Government
that refused it. Are we entrusted with the People's
Liberties, and shall we thus part with them ? If there
be a suspicion upon any man of disturbing the Government, the Law justifies clapping him up. There
is no end of this; the Nation in fear of one man, and
another that is disaffected to the Government, is
clapped up in Prison to endanger his health, and ruin
his fortune, and destroy his reputation in the Government—Who will deal with them ? I will not, I
assure you. We have laid a load upon our Estates,
and now to lay a weight upon our Liberties !—No;
I am not for that. That Government is precarious
that must be supported by taking away the Liberty
of the Subject.
Sir Robert Rich.] I was one that vowed never to
give my consent to the suspending that Act; while I
live, I shall ever make it my Darling. It was thought
then necessary when we parted with it, but those that
were to be clapped up by it, walked in the Court of
Requests, and nothing was said to them. I am subject
to the Law, but would have no Law strained upon me.
Col. Granville.] I am surprized to hear a Gentleman
so forward, t'other day, to lodge a power in two Justices of the Peace to give the Oath of Abjuration, and
now not to give this power to the King's Privy-Council. If men will not renounce King James, there
ought to be a power to secure us from known Enemies, and because I would not put Arbitrary Power
into any man's hand, I shall propose an Oath now,
which no man will refuse; "To swear to King William and Queen Mary, their Heirs and Successors,
according to the Act of Settlement the last Parliament,
against King James, and his adherents." We have
found the name and effect of tyrannical King James,
and I hope we shall defend ourselves from the return of it.
Sir Robert Rich.] I am one of those who make no
difference to swear Allegiance to this King, and to
renounce King James; but as to imprisonment without Bail, I intended not to come up to that then, nor
Sir John Lowther.] I hope you will believe that I
will do nothing to destroy the Liberties of the Nation; but am for suspending any Law, when the safety
of the Nation depends upon it. I will not say where
the fault lies, that the Nation is under these exigencies, but one reason is, that Judgments are not
united, and, where there are divisions, it is impossible
the public service can go on. Where a man is willing to sacrifice all, he is never so secure but he may
have the censure of one or other, though I am satisfied in my conscience I do not deserve it. The Government is in necessity, and at a stop—There is Credit given, but, after all, when we do that which destroys it, that Credit will be ineffectual. What I told
you before was, that whether they judge right or wrong,
if there be designs, and if any thing here seems to
countenance the designs of K. James, they will not lend
Money, and it will be impossible to defend ourselves.
The Oath of Abjuration is too extensive, and might
have been mended, and since, nothing comes to supply
it, and the Vote is gone over all England, Every body abroad makes not the judgment of it that you do;
and, if you tell them you had no such meaning, but
to support the Government, and tell them all the arguments; that the House of Commons wanted Precedents to do this, &c. but by their Representatives in the
House of Commons, that goes abroad as the honest
meaning of the Gentlemen here—This being your
case, and as the Government must be carried on with
Credit, I shall offer to propose something for your
security; that something may be done to those we
represent abroad, as well as our own safety within
these walls. Every man ought to swear to be true to
the Government, and not to take up Arms against it.
Time, place, and circumstances, give the force to
actions. All this considered, I desire you will give leave
for such a Bill, to impower the King to imprison such
as he suspects, and an Oath to all in authority, not to
aid King James.
Sir Edmund Jennings.] I was of King James's Parliament, and the first that took Exceptions against his
Speech. I was against the Bill of Abjuration on Saturday, and for one reason, though not mentioned, and it
was for the sake of the Dissenters. How could it be supposed that they should take such an Oath, quite contrary to their Address to King James before ? And they
will be as ready to take an Oath against King William
upon occasion. It is the Monarchy that is aimed at.
I am for a Bill of this nature, and an Oath, as has
Sir Edward Seymour.] The Debate now is the effect
of that on Saturday. I did not like the proposition
then, and do as little affect this now. I shall be glad
to return their kindness, and speak some of their arguments to-day. One would repeal the Habeas Corpus
Act, and have another Oath—I take it only to be a
way to make way for dispensing with the Habeas Corpus
Act. You have been presented with several reasons
for it; though Gentlemen did so mistrust themselves,
that they did not name them. The Liberty of the
Subject is always under the care of the Law, not to
be imprisoned without a cause. A Lord anciently
could not imprison his Bondman without cause, and
our Ancestors were very improvident, if they left others the liberty of our persons: For the same necessity
opens a door for my goods and lands as for my person—Here is an expedient to prevent assisting King
James. Can it be imagined either of Papists, or those
of particular dependencies ? As for the Papists, the
Law against them already is so far from persecution,
that they are under the favour of the Laws; and as for
those of dependencies under that unfortunate Prince,
it is strange they should now, that are under no
reward but a halter. You must like the security where
it is—I am glad sending us to Jail is an Abdication of
that misfortune. What has risen from it, but a necessity of taking up Salt-petre at their own rates; to
pass through mens grounds with the guards, &c. against their consent, to London, and the next to go toPrison ? We are for Abjuration one day, and prepare
Heads for it, and give our Votes against it the next.
Can I have any mercy from King James for entering
into the Exeter Association ? Yet now I can scarce be
cleared from being a Jacobite.—Either a Sheerness Plot,
or a Cheshire accusation (fn. 6) (Maynwaring.) It may happen, that a Privy-Counsellor may owe me ill will, and
imprison me by this power. Is this the way to pay
Debts, or to get Security ? I think, by suspending the
Habeas Corpus Act, all our Liberties have been lain
with three times already; make her not a common
Col. Bircb.] I am an ancient man, and I believe
you will think me subject to jealousy. I had many a
thought in my head on Saturday, and you shall hear
some of them presently. This power (moved for) is
for the King, and some choice Counsellors. How
has this grown a hard game before you, by some of
great wisdom at the beginning of this game, else things
could never go as they did in Ireland and at Sea ! I
waited, and knew the conclusion would unriddle this
business to you, and myself—Some, when we parted
last, were of my opinion, that if things were managed
a second year, as we had done the first, we should not
have a third. If we had gone in time into Ireland, it
had been reduced without fighting; there was no way
to bring in King James; and presently then, in the
midst of this great business, to prorogue the Parliament ! Then, as to the Dissolution, this was done by
the choice Council; and what is to be done now ?
There is a great deal of tenderness and earnestness for
the King to go into Ireland, and we are as ready for
King James to come hither, as for King William to go
thither. It must be the fidelity of the Privy-Council
that you must trust, and pray how has it been showed ?—
The Army is to come out of Flanders, and those
white Boys are to be our security, and those that will,
let them take it— I do not doubt, but the Gentlemen
that make you this Motion, will propose something
more to your satisfaction. I shall never be brought to
an opinion to trust those Counsellors who have so ill
acquitted themselves. Pray throw out this Motion
by a Question.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] The truth is, the Nation is in
a sad condition, but I think not such a dissatisfaction
in it, as to have no money lent. They in London
have offered to lend as far as your Fund will bear.
I do think the unsuccessful measures in the Government will make despondency in lenders. I
made a proposition in the last Parliament (it was made
ridiculous, but it was approved afterwards) to be in
the field before King James, and then we had been
masters of Dublin. I do not believe we are in such
security, as not to make provision for some such thing
as this Suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act. If Treasons, or such faults, are committed, by 7 King James I,
Chap. 6, if any refuse the Oath of Allegiance, &c.
Our distraction is so great, and our condition so doubtful, I know not what to move. In Queen Elizabeth's time, the Pope's Bulls were set up, and the
Queen of Scot's party were conspiring—Secure the
Government, and by that example do something for the
preservation of the Government.
Sir Thomas Lee.] I am afaid we are going out of
the way of Parliament. Let a Gentleman move what
he will, when the Debate grows to a head, out of
that you must collect a Question; all are desirous that
you should state a Question, but you may have liberty
to alter it. I am sorry to hear the Funds will bear no
more than 220,000l. That the Funds are not full !—
I could wish there are no worse reasons why men
should not lend money.
Mr Hampden.] I am sorry for these heats. Once
an unhappy Nation, the Jews, were cutting one another's throats, when their enemies were at their gates.
Sometimes we are for swearing, at other times not,
and in confusion. I could not be against the effect of
the Motion, for some Security to the Government:
"No, we will not do that, but we will throw this Question out of doors, and have no Suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act." I think that Act the most sacred we
have; but I have seen great infringements of that Act,
and there have been ways to evade it; as, a man to
be bailed at 4,000l, and I ask 40,000l. These have
been ways found out to break it. I would have none
of these: I am for the thing; but what will be the
meaning of your Vote ? I know, Letters have been
tiken of treasonable Correspondence; but it is against
my Conscience, for men to be put to death, for what
they might, in another reign, some time ago. Had
you not better be at liberty to propose any thing,
than have a thing lie in the way upon every Debate ?
Before you adjourn, pray consider of securing the Government under the King and Queen.
Mr Ettrick.] In the last Parliament, I bore my
Testimony against this Suspension, and expressed myself against it. Your first Vote was, not to suspend
the Habeas Corpus; therefore put a Question that no
man can differ from, and I do not doubt but your Liberty may be preserved, and the Nation's.
Col. Granville.] That the refusal of the Renunciation, &c. may not be resented abroad—I hope nobody
will be so angry as to let the Government fall—If it
be preserved, I care not in whose Hands, if I shall
reap the benefit, though I had not the honour to contribute to it.
[In the Afternoon, the House attended his Majesty, and presented their humble Thanks for the great care he has expressed
of the Church of England, in the late Alterations he has made
in the Lieutenancy of the City of London. To which his
Majesty was pleased to answer (as reported next day by the
It shall be always my endeavour to employ such Persons as
shall be most serviceable to the Church and State."]
Tuesday, April 29.
In a Grand Committee, on securing the Government under
King William and Queen Mary against the late King James, and
all his Adherents.
Sir Edmund Jennings.] I would have the Militia considered, that there may be some way to call them together for some farther time; and as to the Papists,
that they stir not from their Houses.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] You have been moved very
well, "That the Deputy-Lieutenants, &c. may draw
out the Militia for more days than are allowed in the
Act." They are impowered, notwithstanding the
Month's Pay to those who advanced it.
Serjeant Maynard.] If you would defend yourselves
from Danger, consider what that Danger is, and the
cause of that Danger. The Militia is in very bad condition. You have a great Enemy, the French King,
and all the malice imaginable against you from a potent Adversary— The Oath is but Security to perform
our Duty; but, when conquered, 'tis no more our
Duty; it would make a mad World, if otherwise. I
would have an Oath, "not to hear or know any thing
prejudicial to the present King or Government, without discovering it to some Privy-Counsellor, and to
have no Correspondence or Pension from the French
Col. Granville.] When I heard the Order of the
Day read, I thought our Safety so much concerned,
that, instead of breaking a Jest, (Napier) every body
would rather contribute to the general Security. The
Order of the Day tells you of one of your Enemies,
your chiefest, King James. The Business of the Day is
to find out his Adherents. For ought I know, they
are here, and there, and amongst us; perhaps in the
very Militia. These two or three days Debates convince me, that there is no Test great enough, but
wherein King James is named; and those that will not
declare against him, I shall always think Enemies; and
I hope, now we are rid of him, to keep ourselves upon
a Protestant foundation— You swear, and subscribe a free
Declaration of your Intentions; they are concerning
theirs as well as ours. You must secure some of them,
and let this be tendered to People suspected, not with
that Latitude, that Justices of the Peace may tender it
to whom they please; but that the Queen, in the
King's absence, may cause it to be tendered where
there is just cause to suspect. When a man has once
given security to the Government, he cares not how
often he repeats it. The business of the Day is, to
fortify ourselves against our Enemies, that Papists give
security to the Government, and that Protestants go
not about the Streets to corrupt People against the Government. I therefore move "for a Test against King
Sir John Thompson.] My Motion was, "To take the
State of the Nation into consideration;" 90,000 men,
that are their own Masters, will make every body afraid of them.
Sir Joseph Williamson.] This day looks melancholy;
many worthy and judicious Members sit silent, and
are not helpful. 'Tis moved, "To consider the State
of the Nation," which is not only the greatest, but
most powerful—but the greatest of all misfortunes is,
to be divided at home—If we do not discover before
they begin insurrections, it will be too late to suppress
them. I hope for better effects abroad, if we do
something of this nature, a tye between Sovereign
and People suitable to the great Revolution. I wonder that the Oaths of Allegiance we take to the Crown,
did not tye People to defend the Crown, and that
might answer the intention of the Government.—I
would take in the Quakers; they were in with King
James, and are Factors for him still. I would have
them protest and declare, subscribe and renounce all
Correspondence with the King's Enemies, and particularly with King James, and the French King, and all
their Adherents; and I wonder how this was left out
in the last Oath. Do something of this in the first
place, and then in the Militia.
[Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That,
as one Head of a Bill for securing the Government, &c. by Order from their Majesties, the Lord-Lieutenants and DeputyLieutenants be impowered to draw together the Militia, with
a Month's Pay, notwithstanding the Month's Pay already advanced to the Militia be not yet rcimbursed; and for a longer
time than the Law already allows.
2. That, as another Head, all Papists, or reputed Papists,
be obliged forthwith to repair to and continue at their respective dwellings; and not to depart from thence above the distance of milcs, without Licence; and that, if they
be found at a greater distance, they be taken to be Papists
convict, to all intents and purposes whatsoever.
3. That, as another Head, a Test, or Declaration of Fidelity to the Government under their present Majesties King
William and Queen Mary, against the late King James, and all
his Adherents, and all other Enemies to the present Government, as it is now established in Church and State, be enjoined
to be made, repeated, and subscribed by all persons above sixteen years of age.
Which being reported, were agreed to by the House; and a
Bill was ordered to be brought in accordingly.]
Wednesday, April 30.
An ingrossed Bill from the Lords, for the exercise of the Government by her Majesty, in the King's absence [commonly
called "the Regency-Bill,"] was read the second time.
Mr Hampden.] This Bill is of great importance, and
of great neceffity. Something, and something of this
purpose, must be. This is to be done, and very hard
to be done. If the Bill go away as it is, I doubt it
will be a little troublesome. The King gives out the
Commissions to the Justices of the Peace. If the Administration of the Government be solely in the Queen,
will those old Commissions stand in force ? Will it not
be in the nature of a Demise, a kind of interregnum,
till all the Commissions of England be renewed ? They
are not signed by the King and Queen, but signed only
by the King. I know not which way to offer it to you,
but I doubt it will make a Chasm in your Affairs. If
this be worthy your consideration, I hope Gentlemen
will speak to it.
Serjeant Maynard.] 'Tis worthy your consideration,
what Council the King will leave with the Queen. If
the Bill pass as it is, all the Justices of the Peace in
England are none. I think, for my part, that they are
determined. There must be some provision, that those
Commissions do not determine. All the Regal Power
now is acted in the name of the King and Queen; as
this Act is now penned, how can any man distinguish
those in the whole Regal Government ? Another thing;—
in the King's absence, do you take all power from the
King, that he can do nothing but by Commission from
the Queen ? This is of vast consequence, in a hot
War with a mighty Power, and all that is done in the
name of King James. This makes the King no King,
and the Queen no Queen.
Serjeant Tremaine.] I have looked upon this Bill to
be of great consequence; and great care must be taken
that we have some Security in the King's absence.
There are some Objections against it. I find the Bill
says, "The Regal Government of England, and Dominions thereunto belonging, shall be in the Queen."
[By this] 'tis a great doubt, when the King comes into
Ireland, whether he has any Power at all in Ireland. Ireland is but an Appendage to England, and no other
person can have it but the Queen; so that if the King
comes into Ireland, that he may be in a capacity to do
something, it will be your wisdom to put it out of all
doubt. The Bill says, "The Administration shall be
in the Queen;" if she dies, what then shall become
of the Government ? Here will be a Failure, and a
Sir Robert Sawyer.] All that Objection may be easily
obviated, leaving out the word "Territories;" when
it comes to England and the Plantations, "Territories"
makes it very doubtful. Then there is another Objection, "What if the Queen die ?" But that runs to
whomsoever is made Custos Regni; and, no doubt,
there is a ceasure of the Administration. A Custos
Regni has been settled by Act of Parliament; and the
same Objection made then as now. Another Objection
is made, "That the Commissions in the King's name
are all determined;" of that there is no colour. All
Commissions are from the King and Queen; if once
under the Seal, 'tis a sufficient Authority for all persons to act. The Custos Regni never removed any Commissions; they all run in the King's name. The Administration is nothing but to make the Great Seal
speak. If you make that Alteration I mentioned, I
believe there will be no dispute.
Sir John Guise.] 'Tis absolutely necessary, that this
Bill be committed. I think Sawyer does not take it
right; and possibly I may think as well of some, as
of some others. I should be glad to hear, from the
learned Counsel, whether these Commissions cease, or
not ? I desire you will consider it a little longer.
Earl of Ranelagh.] When the King is in Ireland, he
gives Commissions as King of England, not as General
of the Army, surely.
Col. Birch.] To my mean capacity, this is a most
dangerous Bill, and I do not know who is safe under
it. The King's going into Ireland is another thing
than if he had gone the 10th of March. The difficulty
and danger is greater, and such an one, as we stand
in relation to our own differences, and the power against
us. We have a brave Army, a gallant Army; but so
disappointed, that I fear the consequence: And should
the King be in Ireland, and cannot come over to us,
upon occasion, what condition are we in !—Your
Commissions voided all in a lump; and who shall those
Commissioners be that must turn the whole in the
King's absence ? From what has been done, you may
guess what will be done. By what has passed already,
I am of Opinion, that the Bill is impracticable, and I
would lay it aside.
Serjeant Blencoe.] It is said, "The King leaving
the Kingdom, all Commissions cease." In answer to
voiding the Commissions, 'tis said, "That those Commissions continue:" But when the King is gone, it determines that Power. All those Authorities derived
from those Commissions cease, because the Authorities
Mr Finch.] I stand up for Commitment of the Bill.
I desire those Gentlemen to declare, whether the Queen
be declared a Subject by this Bill ?
Sir Robert Howard.] I think you may declare the
King as well no King, by the Bill.
Sir Thomas Lee.] 'Tis of some use, if things be
opened before the Commitment, in order to improving
your thoughts. All agree, that it will be a great difficulty. I consider this Law of transferring the Administration; 'tis a new word, but will carry all the
Rights along with it, as if the Crown had descended.
You are told of a Saving for Ireland; but there must
be another Saving; for if Ireland be not reduced this
Summer, we are all miserable. If the King can find it
expedient not to go, it would be very happy; but, to
reduce him to the necessity not to go, nor to stay !—
I think, if the King should have advice of things from
France and England, when in Ireland, I see no Power,
by the Bill, that he has of one Ship. I would see,
whether the Long Robe can bring this to the ancient
Custom of Regency. What if this Bill had been turned
to enable the King to make a Custos by Parliament ?
This is a hint to the Long Robe that I dare not venture upon. I would not interfere with the King's
measures, which, I believe, are taken with great deliberation; therefore go into a Committee to-morrow.
The Bill was ordered to be committed.
[Ordered That Mr Rowe (Member for St Michael's) have
notice to attend this House, in his Place, on Friday morning
next (fn. 7) .]