[Thursday, October 2.
The House met, when his Majesty, in the House of Lords,
spoke as follows:
"My Lords and Gentlemen,
"Since I last met you, I have used my best endeavours to reduce
Ireland into such a condition this year, as that it might be no
longer a Charge to England; and it has pleased God to bless
my endeavours with such success, that I doubt not but I should
have been fully possessed of that Kingdom by this time, had I
been enabled to have gone into the field as soon as I should
have done; and, as is more especially necessary in Ireland, where
the rains are so great, and begin so early.
"I think myself obliged to take notice, how well the Army
there have behaved themselves on all occasions, and borne great
hardships with little Pay, and with so much patience and willingness, as could not proceed but from an affectionate duty to my
service, and a zeal for the Protestant Religion.
"I have already made it evident, how much I have preferred
the satisfaction of my Subjects before the most solid advantages
of the Crown, by parting with so considerable a branch of its
Inheritance; and it is no less apparent, that I have asked no
Revenue for myself, but what I have readily subjected to be
charged to the uses of the War.
"I did, at my departure, give Order for all the public Accounts to be made ready for me against my return; and I have commanded them to be laid before the House of Commons: By
which they will see, that the real want of what was necessary
beyond the Funds given, and the not getting, in due time, that
for which Funds were assigned, have been the principal causes
why the Army is in so much Arrear of their Pay, and the
Stores, both for the Navy and the Ordnance, not supplied as
they ought to be.
"Now, as I have neither spared my Person, nor my pains,
to do you all the good I could, so I doubt not, but if you will
as chearfully do your parts, it is in your power to make both
me and yourselves happy, and the Nation great: And, on the
other hand, it is too plain, by what the French have let you see
so lately, that, if the present War be not prosecuted with vigour,
no Nation in the World is exposed to greater danger.
"I hope, therefore, there will need no more upon that subject,
than to lay before you, Gentlemen of the House of Commons,
the State of what will be necessary for the support of the Fleet
and Armies, (which cannot possibly admit of being lessened in
the year ensuing) and to recommend to your care the clearing
of my Revenue, so as to enable me to subsist, and to maintain
the Charge of the Civil List; the Revenue being so engaged,
that it must be wholly applied, after the 1st of November next,
to pay off the Debts already charged upon it; and therefore a
present consideration must be had of the Arrears of the Army,
which shall likewise be laid before you, and for all which I must
desire a sufficient and timely Supply.
"It is farther necessary to inform you, that the whole support
of the Consederacy abroad will absolutely depend upon the
speed and vigour of your Proceedings in this Session.
"And here I must take notice, with great satisfaction, of
the readiness which my Subjects, of all degrees, have shown,
both in this City, and in their several Counties, by giving
their assistance so chearfully as they did in my absence, while
the French Fleet was upon our Coasts; and, besides this so convincing mark of the good inclinations of my People, I have
found, through all the Countries where I have passed, both at
my going into Ireland, and in my return from thence, such demonstrations of their affections, that I have not the least doubt
but I shall find the same from their Representatives in Parliament.
"I cannot conclude, without taking notice also, how much
the Honour of the Nation has been exposed by the ill conduct
of my Fleet, in the last Summer's Engagement against the
French; and I think myself so much concerned to see it vindicated, that I cannot rest satisfied till an example has been made
of such as shall be sound faulty upon their Examination and
Tryal; which was not practicable while the whole Fleet was
abroad; but is now put into the proper way of being done as
soon as may be.
"My Lords and Gentlemen,
"I look upon the future well-being of this Kingdom to depend upon the result of your Counsels and Determinations at
this time; and the benefit will be double, by the speed of your
Resolutions; insomuch that I hope you will agree with me in
this conclusion, That whoever goes about to obstruct or divert
your application to these matters, preserably to all others, can
neither be my Friend, nor the Kingdom's."
The House then adjourned to October 6, when it was Resolved,
Nem. con. That an humble Address of Thanks be presented
to his Majesty, for his going into Ireland, and hazarding his
Royal Person for the reducing thereof; and congratulating his
Success, and happy Return: And a Committee was appointed
to prepare it.
Resolved, Nem. con. That it be an Instruction to the said
Committee, to assure his Majesty, in the said Address, that this
House will assist and support his Majesty and his Government
to the utmost of their Power.
Resolved, Nem. con. That an humble Address be presented
to her Majesty, acknowleging her gracious Government during
the absence of his Majesty, and returning the humble Thanks
of this House for the same: And the same Committee was ordered to prepare it.
Ordered, That the Votes of the House be printed, being first
perused by the Speaker. Adjourned to
Wednesday, October 8.
When the several Address were reported, and agreed to:
Which see in the Journal.
The Privy Counsellors of the House were ordered to move his
Majesty, That a State of the War for the year ensuing might
be laid before the House.
Accordingly, on October 9, the Earl of Ranelagh, Pay-master
of the Army, acquainted the House, That he had, by his
Majesty's order, prepared a List, or State of the Land Forces,
for the next year ready; and that his Majesty had declared,
"That no more thereof should be used within his own Dominions than were absolutely necessary;" and that, besides
what the said State amounted unto, the Army was in arrear
800,000l. And he delivered in the said State, or List, amounting in the whole, Horse, Dragoons, and Foot, to 69,636 men,
and 1,910,560l. 7s. charge.
Then Sir Thomas Lee, one of the Commissioners of the Admiralty, presented the House (in like manner) an Estimate of
the Navy for the year ensuing, including the Ordnance, amounting in the whole to 29,026 men, 1,791,695l. 1s. 6d.
charge; both which Estimates were referred to the Committee
The Officers of the Ordnance demanded for the ensuing
year, one eighth part of the whole charge of the Navy, and
one fifth part of the charge of the Army.
A Supply was voted for the entire Reduction of Ireland, and
securing the peace of this Kingdom, and carrying on a vigorous
War against France.
In the afternoon the House attended their Majesties with
their Addresses, to which the King replied, "All Addresses
from the House of Commons are agreeable to me, especially
such as express such a respect and affection to my Person as
this does: I shall always pursue the good and interest of the
The Queen answered, "I thank you, Gentlemen, for your
Address, and I am very glad that I have done any thing to your
October 10. The Estimate of the charge of the Navy was
voted reasonable, and the Sum was ordered to be raised accordingly.
October 13. A Supply was voted to their Majesties for maintaining of an Army of 69,636 men; and, October 14, the Sum of
2,294,560l. was voted for that purpose.
October 16. Towards raising the Supply, an Assessment of
137,641l. 18s. 2d. per month, for twelve months, was ordered to be charged on Land, and a Bill was ordered in accordingly.
The Earl of Torrington
(fn. 1) , having desired to be heard before
the House, touching the matter for which he was in custody,
he was brought thither by the Marshal of the Admiralty, and
heard, November 12, and his Lordship's relation of the Engagement was delivered in by Mr Henry Herbert, November 17.
November 21, A Bill for doubling the Excise on Beer, Ale,
and other liquors passed.
November 25, His Majesty came to the House of Lords,
and after passing several Bills, made the following Speech.
My Lords and Gentlemen,
"I take this occasion, with great willingness, to assure you,
that I am extremely sensible of the zeal and chearfulness of
all your proceedings in this Session of Parliament, and of the
readiness which you, Gentlemen of the House of Commons, have
shown in granting such large Supplies towards the pressing
occasions of the Navy and Army."
"And I do farther assure you, that I shall not be wanting,
on my part, to see them exactly applied to those uses for which
you intend them.
"At the same time, I must observe to you, that the posture
of affairs abroad does necessarily require my presence at the
Hague before the end of this Year; and, by consequence, I
must desire you to lose no time in the dispatching and perfecting such farther Supplies as are still necessary for the Navy
and Army and not for them only, but it is high time also; to
put you in mind of making some provision for the expence of
the Civil Government; which has no Funds for its support,
since the Excise, which was designed for that service, and also
the other branches of the Revenue, have been applied to other
public uses; and, therefore, I earnestly recommend it to your
The substance of this Speech the King repeated (after passing
several Bills) on December 20, urging them "to use all possible dispatch, as the posture of affairs abroad would not admit
of deserring his journey much beyond that time."
A Bill for attainting persons in Rebellion in England and
Ireland, and for applying their Estates towards the Charge of
the War, passed December 23.
December 24. A Sum not exceeding 570,000l. was voted to
their Majesties, for the building of seventeen third Rate Ships
of 80 Guns each, and ten fourth Rates of 60 Guns each (as
desired by his Majesty in his last Speech.)
And, on January 5, the King, being impatient to be at the
Congress in Holland, came to the House of Lords, and, after
passing all the Bills that were ready, made the following Speech:
"My Lords and Gentlemen,
"Having lately told you, that it would be necessary for me
to go into Holland much about this time, I am very glad to find
that the success of your endeavours to bring this Session to a
happy conclusion, has been such, that I am now at liberty to
do it. And I return you my hearty thanks for the great dispatch
you have made in finishing the Supplies you have designed for
carrying on the War; which it shall be my care to see duly
and punctually applied to that service for which you have given
them. And I do likewise think it proper to assure you, that
I shall not make any Grant of the forfeited Lands in England
or Ireland, till there be another opportunity of settling that
matter in Parliament, in such manner as shall be thought most
"As I have reason to be very well satisfied with the proofs
you have given me of your good affection in this Session of Parliament, so I promise myself the continuance of the same at your
return into your several Countries. And as every day produces
still fresh instances of the restlessness of our Enemies, both at
home and abroad, in designing against the prosperity of this
Nation, and the Government established, so I do not doubt
but that the Union and good Correspondence between me and my
Parliament, and my earnest and constant endeavours for your
preservation on the one hand, joined with the continuance of
your zeal and affection to support me on the other, will, by
the blessing of God, be at all times too strong for the utmost
malice and contrivance of our common Enemies."
The Lord Chief Baron then declared his Majesty's pleasure,
That both Houses should adjourn to March 31 next ensuing,
which they did accordingly (fn. 2) .
March 31, 1691. The House met, and by her Majesty's pleasure adjourned to April 28, from thence to May 26, when it
was prorogued by Commission to June 30; from thence it
was prorogued to August 3, from thence to October 5, and
from thence to October 22.
Thursday, October 22 (fn. 3) , 1691. The House met, when his
Majesty, in the House of Lords, made the following Speech to
both Houses, (reported by the Speaker:)
"My Lords and Gentlemen,
"I have appointed this meeting of Parliament as soon as
ever the affairs abroad would admit of my return into England;
that you might have the more time to consider of the best and
most effectual ways and means for the carrying on of the
War against France this next Year.
"I am willing to hope, that the good Success with which it hath
pleased God to bless my Arms in Ireland this Summer, will not
only be a great encouragement to you to proceed the more
chearfully in this Work, but will be looked upon by you as an
earnest of future Successes, which your timely assistance to
me may, by God's blessing, procure us all. And, as I do not
doubt but you will take care to pay the Arrears of that Army,
which hath been so deserving, and so prosperous in the Reducement of Ireland to a peaceable condition, so, I do assure you,
that there shall be no care wanting, on my part, to keep that
Kingdom as far as it is possible from being burdensome to England for the future.
"I do not doubt but you are all sensible, that it will be necessary we should have as strong a Fleet next Year, and as
early at Sea, as we had this Summer; and I must tell you, that the
great power of France will as necessarily require, that we should
maintain a very considerable Army, ready, upon all occasions,
not only to defend ourselves from any insult, but also to annoy
the common Enemy where it may be most sensible to them;
and I do not see how it is possible to do this with less than
"I shall only add, that by the vigour and dispatch of your
Counsels, and assistance to me in this Session of Parliament,
you have now an opportunity in your hands (which, if neglected,
you can never reasonably hope to see again) not only to establish the future Quiet and Prosperity of these Kingdoms, but
the Peace and Security of all Europe."
The House afterwards adjourned to the 27th, when it was
Resolved, Nem. con. That a congratulatory Address be presented to his Majesty, for his safe and happy return, after the
many hazards to which his Majesty has exposed his sacred Person; and for the success of his Majesty's Arms in the re
ducing of Ireland; and to assure his Majesty, That this House
will stand by, and assist him to the utmost of their power, in
carrying on a vigorous War against France: And that an humble
Address be presented to her Majesty, acknowleging her prudent
Administration in the absence of the King. And a Committee
being appointed to prepare them, they were reported, and agreed to the next day. (See them at large in the Journal.)
October 29. The House attended their Majesties with the
Addresses, to which the King was pleased to answer, "Every
thing that comes from the House of Commons is very agreeable
to me, especially when attended with such affection as this Address is; which deserves my acknowlegement: I shall endeavour to bring France to an honourable Peace for us, and our
Allies: I expect to be assisted with the means from you; and
there shall be nothing wanting, on my part, to effect it."
The Queen replied, "Gentlemen, I am glad I have done
any thing to your satisfaction."]