Monday, December 11.
In a Grand Committee. On the Supply.
Several Treaties were read.
Colonel Cornwall.] When the King went first into
Flanders, he had not above 8000 English, and was very
powerful then. Since that time, 27 or 28,000 Men have
been sent over. I should be glad to know, what is become of those Men? We have not want of numbers of
Men, nor Officers, but General-Officers—The French
took Huy, and then attacked the Camp. If the French
had carried the Camp, they had taken all Flanders; at
the first Charge, they had cut the Army in pieces—Now
we are at the Charge of a Million—We are at the
Charge of the whole War, and they (the Allies) go away with the Money.
Sir John Lowther.] Read the Papers, the first thing
you do, of the Alliances before you; and then it will
be proper for your judgment.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] I observe, Holland raises the
Forces, and they are maintained by the Commons of
England. I observe that, formerly, when a Treaty was
made, the Commons were acquainted with it—Now
you have much greater numbers than formerly. In
1672, the Treaties were brought to the Commons.
This is a great undertaking—Now you have a much
[greater?] Number sent over than formerly.
Earl of Ranelagh.] There were two Treaties with
Hanover; in 1692, and December following; they both
name the same number of Men. Towards the payment
of the Men, the King of England, and the States of
Holland, were to give 30,000 Dollars a Month; which
they thought were enough for 7000 Men—The King
and the States were to furnish two-thirds of the Rations of Bread and Forage—The King 20,000, and the
States 10,000 in a Year, 58,000 Men, and the Dutch
the rest. This was the substance of the Treaty in
1692. Hanover was in danger of Denmark, and to keep
his Forces together, there was an Augmentation of
the King and the States, and, upon this Augmentation,
they are continued.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] It is not easy, for such a memory
as mine, to recollect things upon once reading. I observe, the Dutch pay but one third; we fifty Ships,
and they but thirty. I know not the reason for that.
I have heard, that their Ambassadors should say,
"That England was an inexhaustible Treasure," and,
at that rate, our Meadows must be mowed. I have
heard, that the current Cash of Holland is twelve
Millions, and ours but eight Millions—The Continent
of the Land of Holland is not bigger than Yorkshire.
The East India [produce] there this Year, has been
three or four Millions—If they out-reason or out-wit
us, we are a little unfortunate. They to furnish Honover with 10,000 Crowns, and we 20,000 Crowns—
And all this while, we are "An inexhaustible Treasure," and they may say so—This Sum is small, but
the Consequence is great.
Sir Christopher Musgrave.] I would not be confined
barely to Paper—If this be settled, it must be by some
Instrument. I hope we are at liberty to speak to the
Papers, because they are referred to this Committee by
the House, and are part of the business of the day.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] The additional Forces of the
States are 15,000, and those of England between 30
and 40,000, and this, because England is "inexhaustible in Treasure." If this Estimate be admitted,
England will maintain 115,100 men there, in Scotland and Ireland; and I take not in the Indies: But, by
the way, those in Spain and Catalonia are comprised in
the number of their Forces—Those German Forces are
in their own Country, and for their Country. But
what does the Emperor contribute to our Fleet?
France maintains 100,000 Men cheaper than we 40,000
Men—All their General-Officers are paid but half the
Year, and their other Officers are reduced. His Fleet's
Expence is equal to ours. Sicily revolted to France, but
it was so great an Expence they were forced to give it
up, though they won a Battle at Sea, when De Ruyter
Mr Harley.] The total of the List of our Men is
93,000. I doubt not but every Gentleman will come
up to what is necessary, and the Nation able to bear.
I am sorry that Hanover Treaty is brought before you—
Being once laid before the House of Commons, I fear it
will be drawn in consequence upon us—I hope you will
make some Resolution, that this is a greater Proportion
than you can bear, and that it be not authenticated by
Parliament—You are not told of any Treaty—But I
see not yet that those Forces are raised—They have so
large a Barrier to maintain by Land, and you by Sea—
I hope you will see some more reason for the raising
these Men, than from the Gazette.
Sir John Lowther.] I hope, that,at this time of day, you
will not discourage the Confederates, by discontinuing
what you have allowed formerly. You have that before
you, in my poor Opinion, that concerns the Honour of
the Nation. You have a powerful Enemy, that carries all before him; and his Government is absolutely
opposite to yours, and the Protestant Religion. All
his successes have not discouraged the Confederates by
discontinuing what they have allowed formerly, either
at Sea or Land. No successes of the Enemy have
made the Duke of Hanover hearken to Propositions of
Peace; nor in Germany, not the Barbarity of destroying one of their greatest Cities, as he would do
this City. He must over-run that Country, or bring
them to a Peace, Why should they have consideration
for us, if we have none for them? No doubt, he
would be glad if such a part of the World were subjected to him, either by Conquest, or Peace, out of
which we shall certainly be excluded, and then we are
a most miserable People. It is said, "We can defend
ourselves, if all the World were against us." But it is
plain, this concerns England; for the King of France
has England in his eye, no other way but to be great at
Sea; not Holland, nor Germany, but England is in his
eye—If the Dutch be for him, and against us, we cannot cope with him. If he be but one day before you,
you cannot get out—If an hour later, and the Wind
Easterly, you are lost. If he make a Descent upon
you, and come fresh out of his Harbours, he may
land where he pleases. No naval Force can defend you,
as an alteration of Wind may defend you—When the
Alliance of all the Forces is with us, we may be secure
—We have to do with a Neighbour that builds upon
the Ruins of other Countries. He is now upon his
wreck, and all the strait he can be. It is known, he
did not pay his Men the last Year, as formerly. Shall
we draw back, when at the last push? Let us consider
this as Protestants, and I move this short Question,
"That the Land-Forces may be increased to the
number of 94,000."
Sir Christopher Musgrave.] I will speak only to that
part of Hanover Treaty, which, Lowther says, was formerly before you, and what a great discouragement it
would be to the Confederacy, &c. But admit this
number now, and you can never get it off—It is a
strange Argument for us to bear two-thirds, and the
Dutch but one. I know not how the King, or his Ministers, will be able to stem it, without the assistance of
this House. They are a Continent, and we are an
Island; and, if that be the Reason, we are to blame to
admit that Reason. At this rate, your Proportion of
two-thirds will be multiplied infinitely upon you; and
you ought to address the King, that our Proportions
may be more reasonably treated. You are told, by
Ranelagh, "That 30,000 Dollars are to pay that Army;" but when you pay for Forage and Bread too, in
part, I think that the Duke of Hanover's part might
be more, now he is a ninth Elector.
Mr Foley.] The Order to the Committee is, "To
consider of the 94,000 Men given in, &c." Is England to carry on the War with an unusual Proportion, and other Allies come not up to it? We ought
to have a fair bargain. There are no Proposals of a
Treaty already made, but what is good for England.
Therefore, I move, "That an Address be made to
the King, &c."
Mr Hungerford.] The Treaty of Hanover, in reading
the Paper, has let you into the whole.
Mr Smith.] Can Gentlemen tell you, if you come
up to this Proportion, that Flanders is reasonably to be
preserved? If not, you had better have your Money
in your pocket, to preserve yourselves. If that can
be done, I can come up to it. If Treaties are
ever so unequally made, it is certain, this Year you
must come up to them. Show us that Flanders may be
saved, if you come up to these Gentlemen.
Mr Palmes.] You debate upon two Questions, but
whatever Question you put, Gentlemen may think it
hard enough. The Reason of bringing in Hanover
Treaty was only to instruct you, what advance to give
your Forces the next Year. Our Circumstances are such,
that, if you break into these Treaties now, you will
discourage your Friends, and encourage your Enemies.
I would be thoroughly informed of the reason of your
losses last Year, and the reason of increasing your
Forces. Till you are well informed, there is no haste
for this Question any more than for the other.
Col. Granville.] I believe that the Committee thinks,
that, when General Talmash rose, he would have given
you an Account of Flanders.
Mr Palmes.] What fruit will Gentlemen expect from
this Address? If to prevent these Treaties for the future was the only intent of my Motion.
Mr Montagu.] This Question must grow to a decision,and I wonder,all this while, that we have been upon
a collateral Question. If the Hanover Troops, speak to
it, if that be the proper Question. As a ninth Elector, he gives his Quota for Germany. If those Troops
are not paid by you, they must by France.
Mr Harley.] I think the Question about Hanover
ought to be first put. For what Reason is it referred
to you, unless first put to your consideration? You
told us, we were not precluded—But a tacit Reservation for the future, [provides] that, for the time to
come, better care be taken; and I spoke to this first,
before any spoke to the Augmentation. As to his Proportion for Germany, it was said, "he was not an empty
Elector," but the Debate now is as to Flanders. This
Question is first, in Order, to be put.
(fn. 1) .] At the beginning, of last Year,
the French came with 80,000 Foot, and 35,000
Horse, and did not think the King could defend
Flanders against this Force. But his Majesty took his
Camp at Park, [near Louvain,] which broke the French
Measures. The French afterwards attacked Huy; upon
which, the King sent for the Detachment at Liege and
Maestricht; but the Governor did not defend the Town
so long as he might have done. Afterwards happened
the Battle [of Landen,] and if the Enemies had pushed
their advantage, Louvain and Mecblin might have been
taken. The consequence of losing these great Towns
is, the French will afterwards take Nieuport and Ostend.
I have been told, Nieuport may be made a good Port.
which will annoy our Trade very much; and besides,
the Hollanders will be uneasy with such Neighbours:
And though they are very willing to do what they can
to carry on the War; yet, if the War comes near them,
the common People will force them to make an ill
Peace, or join with France. If the Committee will increase their Forces, I hope it is the way to make a
good Peace. A Peace may now be had, but upon such
Terms, as that, before the present Debts are paid, you
may be engaged in another War. It may be thought
that I, having no Estate, am ready to put the Nation
to a great Charge; but, I do declare, I am as weary of
the War as any Person, and as desirous to have an end
of it: And, though I cannot answer for the success of
the War, yet if the House will enable the King to
come into the Field with a good Army, they may be
able to preserve Flanders: And therefore, I conclude,
to move the Committee to augment the Forces for 1694.
[December 12, 13, 14, and 15, Omitted.]
Saturday, December 16.
The Earl of Bellamont
(fn. 2) presented to the House Articles of
Impeachment of High Treason, and other Crimes and Misdemeanors, against Thomas Lord Coningsby, one of the late Lords
Justices of Ireland; which were delivered in, and read at the
Clerk's Table (fn. 3) .
Lord Coningsby.] This is a great Charge. "Traiterously and violently" are the best Words that can
be found in it. This matter was before the House
last Session, and the House seemed satisfied.—When I
found that my service was turned into faults, myself, with
Sir Charles Porter, desired a Pardon; as those in my
station have done before. The King granted it. I
was in the Country when this Lord put in a Caveat,
because the matter was depending in Parliament. But
I desired no Pardon, and would have had it stopped.
Lord Bellamont gave no reason for the Caveat, why
the Pardon should be stopped—The King has sent into
Ireland to have an Account of this Charge, which was
the same in effect at the Council, as this here; and it is
now come to a farther Accusation. Most of these
things called "Traiterous," most Protestants will tell
you, preserved Ireland.—(And so he proceeded to several
things for his Defence, &c.) If any thing requires farther explanation from me, I desire a Copy of the
Earl of Bellamont.] This is a business of consequence, and I cannot trace this Lord in what he has
said. But I have good Evidence to prove the Articles.
I am a stranger to methods, and I know not whether
I am right in forms. I have a Charge against Sir
(fn. 4) , all the same but to the Charge of
Stores, when I have your Order for certain Gentlemen
to come out of Ireland—And so went on in aggravating the Charge in several particulars, [and exhibited the same Articles mutatis mutandis against Sir
Sir Charles Porter.] This is a great attempt, to defame Men, and bring their Lives and Reputations in
question—I have done all for the honour of the King,
and the good of Ireland. (And so went on to justify himself as to the Articles.
Lord Bellamont replied upon him in several particulars, and desired time for his Evidence to come over.
Mr Palmes.] I stand up to method. This is a heavy
Charge against these Persons. The Question is, "Whether you will refer the matter to a Committee, or call
in the Evidence?"
Sir Edward Seymour.] I remember proceedings in
things of this nature. You have heard the Charge.
The Persons accused ought to have a Copy of the
Charge, and time to bring in their Answer; as formerly
has been done. I speak experimentally. I have had
a Charge against me, and it was not proceeded in.
When they give in their Answer, the next step is for
for your proceeding.
Sir John Lowther.] This being an Impeachment against
your Members, you will do justice on all sides. They
think themselves innocent, and, no doubt, will deny
it—They may have a Copy, and give their Answer.
Sir Edward Seymour.] I have told you what related
to myself. The Prosecutors against me never pretended to prove the Accusation. I hope that will not
be drawn into Precedent. This proceeding is different
from other Courts—(Replying upon Sir Francis Winnington) He has a happy remembrance in some things,
and forgets others. He said, "Let the Witnesses
come, and then we may well judge what it amounts
to."—A noble Lord (Orrery) was once impeached
here; he put in his Answer; the House thought it
frivolous, and put it off to be proceeded at Law (fn. 5) —
Then the Evidence was concealed, but now it is at the
Door, and you have the Answer of the Party accused.
Mr Finch.] That this matter may come to issue,
you are in a right method. You have had the Information, and the Answer; and if you are not satisfied, then you have another method, to proceed.
Sir Christopher Musgrave.] I doubt you cannot deny
Copies of the Articles to the Persons accused, and reasonable time to make their Defence. Lord Orrery did
only answer in his place. I would gladly know, if
such a misfortune should befall a man, whether you
would debar him making use of his Paper? But, as
for calling Witnesses, I would not admit that; for perhaps the Answers of the Persons may occasion no farther proceedings against them. I would order them a
Copy, and not straiten them in time.
Sir Thomas Littleton.] I hope this high Charge against
these persons is not true; but it is for their honour to
be publickly justified—'Tis impossible to be proved,
without Evidence, by general Answer.
Colonel Fitzgerald was called in, and gave some reflective
Evidence upon Sir Richard Reynolds, [an Irish Judge;] to which
he gave Answer.
Sir Edward Seymour.] You hear this Charge against
Sir Richard Reynolds as flatly denied as affirmed. If a
man should come and affirm, that I would kill the
King, I know no way but to deny it; but when you
come to judge it, you will examine whether that man's
life and conversation has had any tendency to any such
thing. I would do it, in this case. A man in such Employments and Trusts!—This looks not like Common
Sense, that he should be guilty of such discourse. A
man must be an idiot. I have known him in conversation and judicature, and it cannot enter my thoughts
but that he is an honest and prudent man.
Other Evidences were examined, as to the Articles against
the Lords Justices, and Sir Richard Reynolds, of no great moment.
[Resolved, That this House will, on Friday next, hear Witnesses, at the Bar of the House, to the said several Articles.]
Monday, December 18.
In a Grand Committee. On an ingrossed Bill, from the
Lords, for the frequent calling and meeting of Parliaments.
On the Lords Clause.
Sir John Lowther.] I should be glad to know, whether, if a Lord is in possession of a Commoner's Estate,
how, in the frequency of Privilege, the Commoner
shall get possession again? And this frequency of Parliaments may put the King upon asking Money—
Lord Coningsby.] To bring Gentlemen up here, to
bring upon them frequent troubles!—The Lords
will infallibly proceed upon their Judicature, and draw
all the Causes of England before them.
Mr Hutchinson.] To the word "holden"—It has been
used three hundred years, without those inconveniences
mentioned—I doubt not but the Commons will be
willing to come up.—
Sir Eliab Harvey.] In the Long Parliament of
Charles II, there was a great Session, and no business
to be done but what was before them; and most Gentlemen went out of Town: And then the Bill for Sale
of the Fee-farm Rents was brought in, and passed this
House—Pray postpone this Clause.
Mr Foley.] One of the greatest Crimes the Minister
can be guilty of, is to persuade the King not to pass
Bills. I hope that, by no Clause in this Bill, we discharge that obligation on the King to pass Bills. 'Tis
the best time you can take to repair the ancient Laws,
and I hope you will pass the Bill.
Mr Palmes.] If Gentlemen desire a qualification of
this Clause, viz. a Parliament to be holden, I would
so do it, as not to lose the essence of the Bill. If you
postpone this Clause, you have nothing to debate upon
but what you have already thrown out of the House.
If Gentlemen would have no Parliament holden, let
them say so, or no Bill. If it intrenches upon the
Prerogative, or the Liberties of the People, or the great
Privilege of the Lords spoken of, debate them; but do
not postpone this Clause.
Sir Christopher Musgrave.] All the arguments for
postponing the Clause tend to throwing out the Bill.
In Charles II's time, a Parliament was held, and no
Act passed, nor any Judgment was made in the Lords
House. You are told, "This will enlarge the
Lords Privilege;" but the Commons will have it as
well as the Lords. But you are told, "That this not
agreeing with the Lords will make a difference with
the Lords, and so you will have no intercourse, and
our Allies be lost." I hope Kings will think themselves always bound by their Coronation-Oath; and
the King is no more absolved from his CoronationOath, than the Subjects from their Allegiance. I think
we have a just Right to Annual Parliaments. If the
word "summoning" do offend, you may qualify a
Clause for it—But I see that all this Exception is to
throw out the Bill.
Mr Wharton.] I would not postpone the Clause,
which will give discountenance to it, if not reject it;
'tis so much the Right of the People of England. If
annual be too quick, I shall come up to qualifying the
Clause, but am not for postponing it.
Mr Montagu.] You are now putting the last Clause,
which explains the first, before you debate the first.
If Gentlemen will fairly debate the Clause, and qualify it
to two or three, [let them]—But I would not tie the
House's sense by such a Question—Now you debate upon
the Clause, (which was read) I find ambiguity in the word
"holden." Some think it "a Session," and others only
"to be assembled," but offer qualification. The Government is now as when the annual Statute was made.
At that time it was a Judicature, and you were part of
it. The King refused this Act once, and it is not for
the Crown to give Reasons for it. To have a Parliament annual, it will be too great a burden to the People, and too great a retrenchment to the Crown: I
move, That those words "once every Year at least,"
may not stand in the Bill.
Sir John Lowther.] If this Clause be not explained,
as it is penned, you may have wrangling, and the Crown
no power to dissolve them. In Judicature, the Lords
will not depart from their Power, as you will not do
in Money; and if the two Houses will not agree,
must the Government stand still? I am therefore for
Mr Wharton.] I think this reason now a slender
one. 'Tis time, when those inconveniences happen,
(which have been mentioned) to look for remedies.
'Twill be in the King's power to dissolve that Parliament, and that is a remedy. Our Ancestors had a
Right to annual Parliaments, and I hope you will not
take any thing away, though but a supposition of the
Right. We have found inconveniences for want of
Parliaments, and I hope we shall have such inconveniences no more.
Mr Montagu.] The matter is not "frequent Parliaments," but "not every Year." 'Tis said, "Dissolution makes an end of controversy;" but there may
happen such a juncture, before we may have another
Parliament, the Year expired; that we know not the
inconvenience of tying the Crown down in this case.
But passing a Clause so ambiguous, a Law without
telling the meaning of it—That of annual Parliaments
is as much an antiquated Law as any—Annual Parliaments were never insisted upon—When perhaps it
will not be in the King's power to dissolve. You are
setting up a Senate of Venice.
Sir Francis Winnington.] "Holden" was a word in
all ages, and I wonder it should be thought an ambiguous word. The People are possessed of that word by
all your Laws; and by this Proviso of the Lords, you
will throw it out.
[The Bill was reported without any Amendments.]
[December 19, 20, and 21, Omitted.]
Friday, December 22.
The ingrossed Bill, from the Lords, for the frequent calling
and meeting of Parliaments, was read the third time.
Sir Edward Seymour.] The dislike I have to this Bill
is, because I think it not for the public service. I
know not where the thanks of it are due; but I expected the Speaker would have told you of the great
disorder of sending down this Bill. If after a Bill be
once rejected, and you receive it, you have acknowleged, in some sort, their authority greater than your
understandings: Where the remedy is worse than the
disease. You have showed your like of frequent Parliaments; you have wiped off the rest of your Laws in
this Bill—But now you charge the Electors trouble to
come here, and all we do is to be sent home again.
This is all the good of the Bill. Though it is faced with
other things, yet the intention is dissolving this Parliament. The Question is much altered from the last
age, when they thought to perpetuate themselves: The
reason was, they were fitted for their business, but this
Parliament is not fit, the Lords tell you. We give
them powers by it, when every day we are complaining of their Judicature; and this Bill subjects you to
their dependence. This is very extraordinary. The
King calls you, by his Writ, to advise him, and are
you weary of advising him, and would be sent away?
This was never so before. It does, in the first part,
do nothing but make the thing worse; for, by virtue
of this Bill, you may never have Parliaments more.
You give the Lords power to dissolve Parliaments; and,
as Bathurst said, "This is for the Lords to pay their
Debts without Money."
Mr Godolphin.] I hope, that, by the Lords Amendments, you may come to Conference. As for the matter
of the Bill, 'tis for frequent calling and electing Parliaments, and for dissolving this—I am against the timing
of it—Elections in Boroughs will create heats in Boroughs, and here; and, till you set the manner of Elections right, you repair the top of the house, and
neglect the foundation. Besides, in respect of
your affairs, you are in War, and must have Men and
Money—What are you doing? Now, before you give
any of these Supplies, you declare yourselves dissolved,
and are ashamed of what you have done—I think this
Bill is not for the safety of the Government, and I
humbly beg leave to have it rejected.
Sir Christopher Musgrave.] I hear many objections against the Bill that came from the Lords. I think 'tis
the Right of either House to send Bills—'Tis not regular to take notice of what is done in either House—
There is nothing so much for our Constitution as frequent
Parliaments, and, yet, with all this, I am not satisfied
with the Bill—As for the Dissolution of this Parliament, I like that well, and I think it absolutely necessary; but when Parliaments meet, I would have
them do something. There is no use for explaining
the word "holden"—But the last Clause is giving the
King power to chuse whether the Parliament shall do
Business. If the King calls a Parliament, and twenty,
thirty, or forty of the People complain of a Grievance,
the King has justified himself, he has a Law to warrant him. If you find that King James the Ist made a
long Prorogation, and Charles the Ist was long without
Parliaments, this Bill warrants that Clause. The King
may call them, and send them home without doing any
Col. Titus.] It is no objection that this Bill came
from the Lords. I fear not a good thing from them.
We have had none a great while. The Lords prescribe us times when to meet, and when to be dissolved. St Paul desired to be dissolved; but if any
of his friends had set him a day, he would not have
taken it well of them. Though I desire to be dissolved, shall those, that are not so good Christians as
myself, not like advice from friends, though they like
it ever so well themselves? As for the disobligation
to the People; good Parliaments they desire, and I
never saw long Parliaments good ones. A Picture new
drawn may be like the person it represents; but in
time the colours will fade, and it so alters from itself,
that no man can know what it represents. If we
would have a Picture like, it must be new drawn—
And this Bill is to celebrate their funerals more than
their nativities. There are in all things great inconveniences, but where there are greater conveniences
[they should prevail]—I am for the Bill.
Sir John Thompson.] I second the Motion for rejection of the last Clause of the Bill. The greatest argument I have heard against the Bill is, that it intrenches
upon the King's Prerogative. Every body is tender of
the Prerogative, and I hope we are, too, of our Liberties.
A word was said, "That the reason of the Invasion of
our Liberties was the necessity of present circumstances."—At Oxford, in the Impeachment of Fitzharris, the case was, the Lords would not judge Commons, their Right was to judge none but Peers; and
that Parliament was dissolved (fn. 6) . But had the Crown
then as much necessity for Money as now, they had
sat on. Money is the reason of your sitting; and when
that is gone, there is no more need of you.
Mr Boscawen.] To the matter of the Proviso. I see
no use at all of it, in three or four hundred years.
Prorogations have been useful, so may Dissolutions be
the only cure, when any difference happens between
the two Houses, and is a remedy without this Proviso. I am against it.
[The Clause was rejected.]
[A Motion was made, and the Question being put, That the
last Clause in the Bill, viz. "That a Parliament shall be un
derstood to be holden, although no Act or Judgment shall pass
within the time of their assembly," be lest out of the Bill; it
passed in the Negative, 222 to 131. And the Bill was rejected,
197 to 172.
The House then proceeded, according to Order, to hear
Witnesses to the Articles against Lord Coningsby and Sir Charles
Porter. And the first, second, and fifth Articles were severally
read, and several Witnesses severally called in, and examined
at the Bar to each of those Articles severally. And several
Letters, and Copies of Letters, and other Papers, delivered in
by the Earl of Bellamont and the Witnesses, were also read,
touching the matter of those Articles.]
[December 23, 26, 28, 29, and 30 (fn. 7) , Omitted.]