Monday, March 24.
The Bill of General Naturalization [was read a second
Sir Richard Ford.] This Bill exposes the great immunities of Corporations to be prostituted.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] Supposes you do not intend,
by this Bill, that every Gentleman shall set up what
trade he pleases when he comes over—It is said, that Papists may come in by this Bill; you may, to prevent
that, put in "Transubstantiation" for a Test—The King
has been at great charge this war—It was looked upon,
at the beginning of the war, to invite the Dutch; and
should this Bill be thrown out, you will discourage them
here and send them to the French—He shall not by this
Bill be entertained in a town as a poor man—A Hollander
told him, "If we were certain of a Peace, he could bring
over four thousand men, much to the advantage of your
cloth and other manufactures trade."
Sir George Downing.] Most of our manufactures came
from Holland—He is against their being Freemen in
Corporations—If a native must come through the difficulties of a seven years apprenticeship, would not have a
town filled with foreigners—But to trades you want
would give them encouragements by Freedoms; as
Packers of Fish, Gold and Silver-workers, Dyers and
Copper-makers, and would have such reserved from the
Penalties of 1 Elizabeth, of being indicted for not serving seven years to a trade—Many Hollanders get themselves naturalized, or denisoned, and trade here all summer, and then in winter go to Amsterdam, with what
they get here—Would have great care taken of that in
Mr Boscawen.] They that come in will be Merchants
and moneyed men, who will be willing to get an Act for
Naturalization—You have more Merchants already than
you have trade; you want them not for more shopkeepers: You have so many natives, they eat out one
another—For Artisans, they may be useful to you; the
greatest want of all is of them, and would have the Bill
for the encouragement of them.
Sir John Duncombe.] Thinks it a good Bill, but to be
committed, with care to be taken, if, after Naturalization and the Oaths, they go not away back from you,
and stay neither here, nor in the Plantations—Would
have them taken care for to stay; if they go away, to
lose their Naturalization.
Sir Lancelot Lake.] Anciently, in matters of great
weight, we went home to our country to advise with
them—He would have that now done.
Mr Attorney Finch.] Before commitment of the Bill,
would well consider, whether possibly a good Bill may
come out of this—Naturalization makes any man equal
in privilege to original birth, in the kingdom of England
—It is not here as in the Roman State, when admitted
a long time to the first degree, and some good distance
of time before they were capable of offices—You at one
blow beget so many foreigners to be Englishmen—This
Bill admits any Protestant born under any Prince or Potentate; in this you make all the world Merchants
of England; you grow an opulent nation; that supplies
your industry and luxury—Lead, wool, and tin, you
give them an opportunity to export—By this Bill, all
your Turkey trade is destroyed in a moment—He that
brings salt, is immediately entitled, by that little commodity, to trade and export your commodity; he may
live cheaper than you, and truckle with the French Consul in Turkey, and you shall be but Factors, and stay at
home—Wonders that now we are naturalizing all the
world, no part of the world naturalizes us—You, Aliens
every where, and they naturalized here—If once they are
at home here, where will be the distinction between the
English and Dutch manufacture? Your lead, wool, and
tin, are your Indies; no imposition upon them to stay here
with a family; not one line to fix them, neither Oaths
nor Tests—It makes them natural subjects, and, unless
you otherwise provide, free of Corporations—Your ancestors, in Queen Elizabeth's time, knew two-thirds of
England destroyed by the plague, and yet they had no
thoughts of Naturalization—You will find them suck
your blood—They destroy Common and Statute Law—You make them Gentry and Nobility—You bring people not to make you rich, but to starve the poor—How
comes it to pass, that you think fit now to change your
Government, and all your municipal Laws, and all at
the charge of your estates and understandings?—Would
have many years to consider of this Bill.
Colonel Birch.] It is not fully expressed, but intended,
in the Bill, that they should reside here—That which he
admires, is, that many Turkey Merchants are in the
House, and they say nothing in this business; they cannot speak so well as the Attorney; but he would take it
ill, if they should speak in his trade as he does in theirs—We had all our arms first from Germany; fustians and
silks all came from abroad, ninety parts out of an hundred—But if we must stick to our forefathers opinion,
he is outdone—If the Scriptures be true, that a multitude
of subjects is the glory of a King, this is a good Bill.
Mr Waller, to their coming in poor upon our Poor.]
King James desired an Union with Scotland; the Parliament denied him nothing, but granted him not that;
but the Lawyers found out a way of the post nati—They
are an allerius nos—There was no danger then; now
they must either come in with stocks, or go to the house
of correction—We have had plague and war, and civil
war, and have peopled Ireland with an hundred thousand
souls—Forty shillings a year, when he was a boy, was a
good servant's wages; now in Buckinghamshire, eight
pounds a year, and are forced to send thirty miles for
reapers, and fellers of wood—We labour under a paucity of people certainly—No man was ever denied Naturalization here, paying his fees—That which was said by
the Ancients, of the "vivacity of youth and wisdom of
age," (complimenting the Speaker) is in you; you want
not the Fees of Naturalization-Bills in your fortunes,
and would have a mark of honour upon you, whilst you
are Speaker, for doing it. (fn. 1) .
Mr Vaughan.] He remembers not the reason of the
post nati, but thinks it because under our Allegiance—Is against reading the Bill again; the most destructive
thing in the world to your Interest and Government.
[The Bill was committed, in the afternoon, 108 to 61.]
Tuesday, March 25, 1673.
Mr Attorney Finch reports from the Conference with the Lords,
on the alterations of the Lords Amendments, that they are content
to lay aside the Proviso of "exemption of persons named;" they
agree to all parts of the Bill, and the variations. The Earl of
Anglesea only managed the Conference, who told us how ready
the Lords were to comply with us in so important, good, and
seasonable a Bill, sent them by this House. They agree to the
"servants of the Duke of York." They would not have "the
Queen" pressed in reference to "her servants," because both
Houses would vary in their late Address to the King about
Popery, "such as are obliged to attend the Queen;" and it would
infringe the articles of treaty between the Crown of Portugal and
this Crown, the Queen retrenching those articles in taking two
thirds of the King's subjects to attend her, whereas she might have
taken all Papists and foreigners; this great moderation of the
Queen deserves respect from both Houses. As to our reason, "that
their attendance upon the Queen would occasion great resort of
Papists to Court," because the "Duke's servants" are left
out of the Bill, half the reason is accommodated. The noli
prosequi, the Lords would have, &c. the Lords thought the leaving
out this Clause would make it more easy to offenders; because
the Attorney General is not obliged to prosecute, or so faintly,
that it might come to nothing; it might be an advantage to the
King; suppose prosecution, and, it may be witnesses not ready,
and so you prosecute the delinquent to absolution. Should the
Attorney be bound to prosocute always, it may be the restraining
the discontinuance of the offender, and he might plead it in Bar,
and it would suppress the knowledge, whether the party be the
offender, or no, and so frustrate much of the end of this Bill.
[To the Amendment of "including the Queen's servants."]
Mr Waller.] Puts you in mind of the great honour
his Majesty did this House, and the kingdom, in
communicating his design of marrying the Infanta of
Portugal, and would have our acknowledgment to him,
for communicating it, read; we had the greatest honour
upon this occasion that the King ever did us—We knew her
Religion then, she forgets her father's house; it is a great
advantage to us to have a friend; let us make one in his
Royal Bed, as we would do in the Lords House, or of
those that are near him.
Mr Garroway.] Has as much tenderness for the Queen
as any man, though he cannot so well express himself;
but in this would know what he did—Would add the
words, "her now sworn servants."
Mr Secretary Coventry.] In former marriages, the articles were none, but such as of her Religion; there are
very few [servants] of her Religion, and they are mortal—Would you have none Catholics after them? Would have
liberty, that their places may be filled up.
Lord Cornbury.] She has not above eight Papists,
servants, and admits Protestants into her service, without
asking any questions.
Mr Powle.] Would willingly agree with the Lords, if
the thing brought no inconvenience with it—Wishes
some temperament, that the Lords might have added,
"it is not only for this present Queen, but for all future
Queens"—Would not have any articles of marriage to
abrogate the Laws of England—Thinks it an omission
(with deference) in the Lords of the Council, and managers of the business.
Sir Thomas Lee.] You are told "the Queen's servants
are few," but would know what security you may have
for the future, that they shall be no more—Knows not
what number this may increase by your countenancing it.
Lord Cornbury.] Has reason to believe, that there will
be no increase of the number; there has been none these
eleven years; they have their places during the King's
pleasure, and no danger in it.
Colonel Birch.] Reasons of our disagreeing are parliamentary at a Conference—The succession part will make
an occasion of taking in Papists; because for eleven or
twelve years she has been very quiet, many will be removed now upon the Act, and they will press to be put
into the Queen's service.
Mr Vaughan.] All his good wishes to the Queen cannot make a digression from his duty—She must have
persons to attend her; she comes not hither to change her
Religion; but why must she have her trust reposed in
Papists? The King and she will draw two ways in interest—Shall we repeal so many Laws in a compliment?
It is against the King's interest, and your duty, and
would not agree with the Lords.
Mr Sacheverell.] Remembers that the Address to the
King has reference to the Priests, and that is a reason
why we should not agree—Supposes the articles of Marriage do not give a liberty to English Priests.
Mr Attorney Montagu.] If any English Priests stay,
their lives are not safe, and they will not stay—Thinks
we may agree.
Mr Vaughan, with leave, spoke again.] Mr Harwood
said, "we strain at this, when we did not at a greater
thing;" would know the meaning of it.
[Agreed to, severally, with the Lords.]
[In the Afternoon.]
Mr Powle reports from the Committee the Address to the
King concerning the Irish Grievances, which was agreed to,
and is as follows:
"WE your Majesty's most loyal Subjects, the Commons
in this present Parliament assembled, taking into consideration
the great calamities which have formerly befallen your Majesty's
kingdom of Ireland, from the Popish Recusants there, who, for
the most part, are professed enemies to the Protestant religion
and the English Interest; and how they, making ill use of your
Majesty's gracious Disposition and Clemency, are, at this time,
grown more insolent and presumptuous than formerly, to the apparent danger of that kingdom and your Majesty's Protestant subjects there; the consequence whereof may likewise prove very fatal to this your kingdom of England, if not timely prevented;
and having seriously weighed what remedies may be most properly applied to these growing distempers, do, in all humility, present your Majesty with these our Petitions:
"That, for establishing and quieting the possessions of your
Majesty's subjects in that kingdom, your Majesty would be pleased to maintain the Act of Settlement, and the explanatory Act
thereupon; and to recall the Commission of Enquiry into Irish
affairs, bearing date the 17th of January last, as containing
many new and extraordinary Powers, not only to the prejudice
of particular persons, whose estates and titles are thereby made
liable to be questioned, but in a manner to the overthrow of the
said Acts of Settlement; and, if pursued, may be the occasion of
great charge and attendance to many of your subjects in Ireland,
and shake the peace and security of the whole kingdom:
"That your Majesty would give order, that no Papist be either continued or admitted to be a Commander or Soldier in
that kingdom; and, because the Irish Papists have furnished
themselves with great quantities of arms, that your Majesty
would please to give directions so to disarm them, that they may
not be dangerous to the Government there, and that their arms
be brought into the public magazines:
"That the like order may be given, that no Papist be either
continued, or hereafter admitted to be Judges, Justices of the
Peace, Sheriffs, Coroners, Mayors, Sovereigns, or Portreves in
"That the titular Popish Archbishops, Bishops, Vicars-General, Abbots, and all others exercising Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction,
by the Pope's Authority, and, in particular, Peter Talbot, pretended Archbishop of Dublin, for his notorious disloyalty to your
Majesty, and disobedience and contempt of your Laws, may be
commanded, by Proclamation, forthwith to depart out of Ireland,
and all other your Majesty's dominions, or otherwise to be prosecuted according to Law; and that all Convents, Seminaries,
and public Popish Schools, may be dissolved and suppressed, and
the regular Priests commanded to depart, under the like penalty:
"That no Irish Papists be admitted to inhabit in any Corporation of that kingdom, unless duly licensed, according to the
aforesaid Acts of Settlement; and that your Majesty would be
pleased to recall your Letters of the 26th of February 1671, and
your Proclamation thereupon, whereby general licence is given
to such Papists to inhabit in Corporations there.
"[That your Majesty's Letter of the 28th of September 1672,
and the Order of Council thereupon, whereby your Majesty's
subjects are required not to prosecute any actions against the
Irish, for any wrongs or injuries committed during the late Rebellion, may likewise be recalled.]
"That Colonel Richard Talbot, who hath notoriously assumed
to himself the title of Agent of the Roman Catholics in Ireland,
be immediately dismissed out of all command, either civil or military, and forbid an access to your Majesty's Court.
"That your Majesty would be pleased, from time to time,
out of your princely wisdom, to give such farther orders and directions to your Lord Lieutenant, or other chief Governor of
Ireland for the time being, as may best conduce to the encouragement of the English Planters, and Protestant interest there,
and the suppression of the insolences and disorders of the Irish
"These our humble desires we present to your Majesty, as
the best means to preserve the peace and safety of that your kingdom, which hath been so much of late endangered by the practices of the said Irish Papists, and, particularly, of the said Richard
and Peter Talbot; and we doubt not but your Majesty will
find the happy effects thereof, to the great satisfaction and security
of your Majesty's Person and Government, which, of all earthly
things, is most dear to us, your Majesty's most loyal and obedient Subjects."
Mr Powle also reports the following Address to the King,
about Grievances in England.
"WE your Majesty's most loyal Subjects, the Commons in
this present Parliament assembled, conceiving ourselves bound in
necessary duty to your Majesty, and in discharge of the trust reposed in us, truly to inform your Majesty of the estate of this
your kingdom; and, though we are abundantly satisfied, that it
hath always been your Royal will and pleasure, that your Subjects should be governed according to the Laws and Customs of
this realm; yet finding, that, contrary to your Majesty's gracious intentions, some Grievances and Abuses are crept in; we
crave leave humbly to represent to your Majesty's knowledge,
and to desire,
"That the imposition of twelve-pence a chaldron upon coals,
for the providing of convoys, by virtue of an Order of Council,
dated the 15th of May, 1672, may be recalled, and all bonds,
taken by virtue thereof, cancelled.
"That your Majesty's Proclamation of the 4th of December,
1672, for prevention of disorders which may be committed by
soldiers; and whereby the soldiers, now in your Majesty's service,
are, in a manner, exempted from the ordinary course of justice,
may likewise be recalled. And whereas great complaints have
been made, out of several parts of this kingdom, of divers
abuses committed in quartering of soldiers, That your Majesty
would be pleased to give order to redress those abuses, and, in
particular, that no soldiers be hereafter quartered upon any private
houses; and that due satisfaction may be given to the Innkeepers
and Victuallers where they lie, before they remove. And, since
the continuance of soldiers in this realm will necessarily produce
many inconveniences to your Majesty's subjects, we do humbly
present it, as our Petition and Advice, that, when this present
war is ended, all the soldiers which have been raised since the
last Session of Parliament may be disbanded.
["That your Majesty would likewise be pleased to consider of
the irregularities and abuses of pressing soldiers, and to give order
for the prevention thereof for the future. And although it hath
been the course of former Parliaments to desire redress in their
Grievances, before they proceeded to give a Supply, yet we
have so full assurance of your Majesty's tenderness and compassion towards your people, that we humbly prostrate ourselves at
your Majesty's feet with these our Petitions; desiring your Majesty to take them into your princely consideration, and to give
such order for relief of the subjects, and the removing these
pressures, as shall seem best to your Royal wisdom (fn. 2) ."]
[This was also agreed to by the House.]
Mr Vaughan, to the Lords Concurrence to the Address.]
It will look like having no complaint of Grievances, for
the future, without the Lords—Hereafter, if any great
man be impeached, we may be put to it, and it may
sometimes make them Judges of our Laws and Liberties.
Resolved, That the Addresses be presented to his Majesty;
and that those Members of the Council that are of the House, be
desired to know his Majesty's pleasure, when this House shall
attend him with the Addresses concerning Grievances.
Wednesday, March 26.
His Majesty's Answer to the Addresses of Grievances, as reported by the Speaker:
"THAT he observed the Address did consist of many different parts; and therefore it could not be expected there should
be a present Answer; but for the several particular things contained in it, he would, before the next meeting, take such care,
that no man should have reason to complain."
Ordered, That the Thanks of this House be returned to his
Majesty, for the often accesses they have been admitted to his
Majesty's person, and for his most gracious Answer to the several
Addresses of this House; and, particularly, for his last gracious
Message, and for the care he hath declared he will take of the
[March 27, omitted.]
Friday, March 28. Good Friday.
Debate on the Lords Amendments to the Bill for Ease of Dissenters, with a Clause in the Bill of the King's power of issuing
out Proclamation, if he saw cause, either of Liberty or Restraint.
Sir Thomas Meres.] Issuing out the King's Proclamation is a Law fairly of Impunity, and so we make it,
and no otherwise; the Proclamation is the same in effect
as the Declaration.
Mr Powle.] If Liberty to Dissenters be granted, and it
may be recalled by Proclamation in the King's power, they
are not sure they shall have Liberty; and who will lay out
his money for stock, or trade, that must be in perpetual
doubt and danger? And you will have no effect of the
Mr Garroway.] If they must live here, this is a pernicious way, you can never hope for any fruit of Naturalization—This Proclamation sets all backward, and
may make it a thing mercenary, or by friendship—If
abused, the King may be free to take it away—Would
agree as soon to lose the Bill, as have it.
Sir Thomas Littleton.] He likes the Lords Amendment as well as any thing in the Bill—It is necessary,
in this manner; you do, by this, trust the King with the
peace of the kingdom; it has had good effect already in
the King's power, when the Declaration was issued out—Are they not at uncertainty in Holland? The supreme
power there, in a quicker way than we, can take their liberty from them—This is a thing settled in the King,
and will startle nobody; the power, in the King, of doing or not doing, settles the minds of men, and is the best
thing in the Bill.
Mr Vaughan.] We ever condemned the form of the
Declaration, though the matter we accepted—This Proviso establishes the form of the Declaration; the security
of Property is the greatest security for Religion, and all
you have—Your Bill is but temporary, and the best
purse, or the greatest favour, may purchase Dispensations
from Court, or from Rome.
Sir Edmund Wyndham.] This is but publishing a
new Law by Proclamation, and no more.
Sir Richard Temple.] You say you would be contented
the King should recall it, and you put it out of the
King's power, if you reject the Proviso—It says, "the
King may declare Impunity by Proclamation, not to any
particular person"—It is not as the Declaration; there is
much difference between a thing done by Proclamation
when you have a Law for it, to empower the King to do
it—It is the only expedient that can be thought of.
Lord St. John.] It is the intention of the Bill to bring
people and manufactures into the nation, and to keep
those here we have—Who will stay when indulgence is
uncertain, and not by a Law?—He is against all Laws that
shall make Proclamation as good as a Law—Moves not
Colonel Birch.] This Bill has had one or two fair escapes, though this has the least need of it—A point left
out in this Bill he would not willingly lose, the King's
power of suspension; what is due to the King he would
have him to have—Knows nothing in the Clause but
what you may accept of—Looks upon it, that if you
agree not to the Lords Proviso, you may as well lay aside
the Bill; every Gentleman can reflect upon what he
would have, and what he has already—Would agree.
The Speaker, reproving Gentlemen for noise.] It is
against the rules of the House to speak on one side the
House, and talk on the other.
Colonel Strangways.] Would endeavour to remove one
argument of the King's having all the Thanks; it is the
King makes the Law; it is before but an embryo; our
making Laws is now out of doors, (reflecting on Birch.)
The inducement to promote this Bill is, that, otherwise,
they are subjected to all the Laws in force—It is not only
to Protestant Dissenters, but this Proviso of the Lords
extends to Turks, Jews, Socinians, &c. it is so general:
You by this set up a shop of indulgences and offices, and
the people must pay dear for them; and the next Session
we may spend half our time in disputing the King's power
again; and he would not agree.
Sir Robert Carr, to the setting up shops.] When the indulgences were granted, nothing was given for Licences
but to the Under Clerks—It is for Presbyterian subjects
only, and would not agree with the Lords.
Sir Robert Howard.] The King did do it by his Declaration, and now he will not, because the Parliament
dislikes it; he will not retract from a thing; he
would have done it if the Parliament had liked it—Would
make the King the product of what is proper to him in
this business. Statute of Elizabeth and Edward VI. The
King has ecclesiastical matters put into him as the conduit
of conveyance; if the King has any power, it is in ecclesiastical matters—The Parliament thinks fit that something
of Pase be given; but by whom? Can you avoid the conduitpipe? Must we avoid the King in this? Consider then,
whether the Lords Proviso is not more parliamentary than
what we sent them up—If this House was put to it to
define Prerogative by Law, it has always been the care
not to define it; too much or too little—Some body must
be in trust still for the peace of the nation; he has been
seven years of the opinion for Ease to Dissenters—A narrow Act will not attain your end; but some [will be]
pleased, and many displeased; by this Proclamation you
may do what you most wish, for all persons—Lord Coke
was no friend to Prerogative, and yet granted the King a
provident relaxation of ecclesiastical matters.
Sir Thomas Lee.] Cannot agree with the Lords—It
looks to him, as if it gave an opportunity to give the
King a power he never had before, like the power in
Ireland to the Lord Lieutenant about Corporations—We do we know not what, that you should make so
many subjects have a dependence that others have not—The Church of England will be lessened by making more
have dependence on this Proclamation—Would have
persons dependent on the Crown, that we may all have
the same common interest—You are told "it is so in Holland, because the opinion of the Government is for it;"
but our Government is otherwise; their opinion is according to their Government, and something more goes
to law-making here than there—If you put it to the Proclamation-power, we see several parts of the kingdom,
and can represent their opinions; the King must have information, pro hie et nunc, and no where better than here—Men are never undone all on a sudden; this may draw
strange consequences—The King is supreme Judge, but
still according to rules and methods of law—Knows not
to whom this may reach; the Proclamation may have
the force of your enacting clause, which you can never
Colonel Titus.] When you were angry at the Declaration, it was at the manner, not the matter of it—If
this Law of Ease be lost, it will occasion great inconveniences; the Preamble of it is such a concession as you would
not be willing to lose—How can you remedy the inconveniences of this Bill, if you give no power to recress it?
It is convenient that the King ought to have the Thanks of
it—Some men behave themselves very ill, others very
well; the Law being equal, it cannot be distinguished;
"the King may," some say, "who knows that the King will
grant it?" The Dissenters have had it already, and need
not mistrust him—It is said that all people are not upon
the same foot; he would not have Dissenters to be so,
but would have the Church in its full establishment.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] We are yet ignorant of their
numbers and their disposition, but when they have their
liberty established by Law you may know both, but can
help neither—A Criminal depends more upon the
King than he that is not, and so the Church—It goes
through all your Corporations; and to be established
without correction, he knows not the consequence—The Churches of Holland have no more foundation, if
not Calvin, than a Mountebank; by the Union of Utrecht, no established Religion but the rites of Calvin;
their toleration is rather a countenance. Mr Biddle, a
Minister of the Church of England, Presbyterians, Anabaptists, English, countenanced, but not tolerated there—Our Church was shut up there; you can never suppose
the King can keep up the Church without Bishops.
Mr Waller.] That power you give the King is by
yourselves, and only temporary, and never intended as
an indulgence—As soon as they have the Law, they have
the Law, as well as to go to Church—Possibly when
Laws are made, they are for neither of the three States
sake, but for the peace of the kingdom—If argued
à majore ad minus, the King calls a Parliament, and
dismisses them; makes Peace and War: You give no
greater power than this—If a Coachman can neither restrain his reins, nor slacken them, and be tied to the box,
he would drive scurvily—Suppose any inconvenience in
the kingdom, the King can neither streighten nor slacken
the reins, and can never be able to govern.
Mr Harwood.] Wonders that any man will put the King
to the trouble of sollicitations of all sorts of people; a trouble, he hopes, you will never give him—Mr Waller is free
with the King, in his comparison of a Coachman—Thinks the King would be at a loss to drive without the
help of the Law.
Mr Milward.] Wise Physicians give physic that they
may correct—This seems an experiment; if of good effect,
it may be continued; if not, the King may restrain it.
21 James, chap. 10.
Sir Charles Harbord.] To give that liberty, by Proclamation, for no more than the Law gives, he sees no
inconvenience in it; the persons are so inconsiderable,
that, without some indulgence, you will make the King
and kingdom weak, and he would agree with the Lords.
Mr Swynfin.] 'Tis a thing of great weight, and we are in
great streights about it. If this had been at the beginning
of the Session, we had time enough; therefore is for that
now, that, if he had time, he would not be for—Those
that would not have the Law put into the King to give
life and effect to it, yet find it necessary; the King
may take it away, which is a larger power, than to give
him power, by Proclamation, as large as making a Law—If this indulgence be ill used, here is Law against them,
and they are visible persons—All conclude something
would be necessary, but all this while nothing has been
done, but that the severe Laws against these Dissenters
may be let loose—This lies before him now, whether they
shall have all Laws let loose, or have nothing, there being
but to-day and to-morrow to sit; thinks it fit to agree
with the King's gracious and merciful intentions to these
Serjeant Seys.] Will any dislike a Liberty, because it
comes by Act of Parliament? Does any Act pass without
the King's liking it? Can any man define what restrictions and latitude the Proclamation will have? And doubts
will arise whether according to the Act, and raise such
Questions that the people will not know what to do—We
have seen the effect of the Declaration; it had good effect upon some, and bad upon others—Would not agree
with the Lords; but if the people make an ill use of
this Act, the King may restrain them.
Mr Powle.] This parting with the Legislative Power
out of our hands, there is scarce a precedent for—Knows
but one—The giving the Legislative Power into a few
hands will alter the Government—In Henry VIII's time
Parliaments were in great submission to the Crown; and
yet, in those times, when the Power of the King was
greatest, they trusted him not with such a Proclamation—Wales, at that time, was separated from England, and
then the King had such a Power; but no man can show
him, it ever was in England—The argument of Holland,
so often exploded, here weighs no more with him than
street and coffee-house talk—If this number of Dissenters be so great, does it not give, in effect, a Tax
upon them, which, by Proclamation-Power, they may
buy of the King, and so a greater Tax upon the nation
than is already granted; but he sees no danger of the
King's suppressing them, if disorderly—We know how to
lay things equally upon the people, and we put it out of
our hands, by this Proviso, into the Privy Counsellors,
who, with submission, are not so competent judges as
A Bill for the King's general and free Pardon was sent
from the Lords (fn. 3) .
Mr Powle, before it was read.] Knows that general
Pardons have been inspected by some persons of the
House, to see how far they extend, and whether greater
or less than former Pardons; and would have it lie till
to-morrow morning upon the table.
Colonel Strangways.] The Fast of Good Friday is
usque ad vesperem, and he would not sit any longer.
Mr Powle, to the Question of reading it now.] Would
have something considered before this passes—No Officer
shall issue out Writs of Election after the last day of Session
of Parliament, for now we have an adjournment for six
months, and all those Writs may be issued out, and yet
not offend against this Act, and no punishment of the
Officer, his punishment being for issuing them out after the
last day of Session—The pardoning pence and halfpence
is good, because most Corporations are concerned in it,
but thinks the exception of coin current cuts that off
without benefit—First Fruits, Tenths, Subsides, &c.
things that refer to account—Thinks that some accounts
are fit to be pardoned, that persons may be at an end,
imprisonments excepted—There have been divers committed by the Privy Council of late, and great sending
for persons by Serjeants at Arms. If the Privy Counsellors
have exceeded their power, persons committed are excluded from all grace and favour of this pardon—In
Queen Elizabeth's time, in the business of Mary Queen
of Scots, they couched these words, "she being committed by the Queen and Council's special command, upon
special occasion." These things occur to him; knows he
has no need of this pardon, and great offenders and offences are pardoned in it—Would have it considered.
Mr Attorney Finch.] He likes the Clause "if molested by the officer, treble damages." Process before the last
day of Session, and so may be tormented in the mean
time—The King, who will be the Conservator, will
take severe course with any officer, and would see him
that dares be so that he himself will not call to question—If there be any arrears of First Fruits and Tenths, God
forbid that the King should not have them—Farthings
pardoned; he thinks farthings are no part of the current
money of England, nor any coin, and so no danger—As
to prisoners in the Tower, by command of the King and
Council, the Queen of Scots was no subject of England,
and so never in the words of the Pardon. 21 James was
the last general Pardon—Excepting condemns no man,
but excepts him from Pardon—Would you have active
persons prisoners of State, who in no age were ever
thought fit to be exempted? He is not enough privy to
the Councils of the King his Master, but it is necessary
for some persons whom you would be sorry to see loose—Above forty things are pardoned in this Act that never
were pardoned; forest-trespasses, and many other things,
never pardoned but by the Act of Indemnity—Never
was any Pardon so ample as this.
Sir Thomas Lee.] Would have nothing remain but
joy—Would know what is meant by "Prisoners of
State;" a dear-bought Pardon to be against the Petition
of Right—Does not say the Pardon is, but it is a strange
kind of implication—What was the occasion of the Petition of Right? That of Prisoners of State was part—Would put those things out of memory, never to be
brought into question again,
Mr Attorney Finch.] Believes that zeal for public Liberty inspires Lee; he believes those prisoners may demand Habeas Corpus to-morrow if they please, and it is
no infringement of right.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] Be the crime ever so inordinate, he is immediately pardoned, were there not these
Mr Vaughan.] Whoever is a prisoner ought to be so
by Law—Those committed by the King and Council are
not prisoners of State, and they may have Habeas Corpus.
Would have no other distinction pass than "Prisoners of
Sir John Mallet.] Jersey and Guernsey are the King's
dominions, and a Writ cannot pass thither; here was an
Act depending in this House about it.
Sir Thomas Meres.] Is sorry that the point of halfpence
and farthings is left a moot point; if it be, he will come to
the Attorney-General for his hand.
The Bill passed.
Debate on the Lords Amendments to the Bill for Ease of
Mr Swynfin.] We all know that many keep in the
Communion of the Church of England, and come to the
Liturgy and Sacraments, but are shut out of the Ministry
by the Subscription; and that these men should be shut
out of the benefit of this Bill is hard—The Proviso says
["fall from the Church"] but would know in what they
fall from it; some of the Papists have fallen from our
Church, and you have marked them in the other Bill,
but these do not fall from it—Suppose one should conform, and do as they do in the Churches of France or
Holland; but should he go to Rome and do as they do
there, we should judge him a faller off—Only speaks it,
because to learned men that are Protestants it will prove
a scandalous Law.
Colonel Strangways.] No learned man of the Church
of England will conform to the German or French way—It becomes every man to conform to the custom of the
Church he was born in—We do not censure the Churches
beyond sea, nor blame them for imposing upon their
children—But to a Presbyterian that will not allow the
Church of England to have the power of other Churches
abroad, he will not consent—If you allow not the Parliament to command and judge things indifferent, you take
away all—It is not Religion but Government—To shut a
door, or take up a pin, is a great thing when commanded,
though but little in itself.
Colonel Titus.] It gives these people indulgence in
great things, but restrains them in small; like the custom
at Rouen in France, where a Malefactor must be pardoned
and carried about in triumph on their great Saint's day, be
he a murderer, or has lain with his sister; but a small
rogue is not pardoned—King James gave particular
instructions to all his Ambassadors at Paris, that they
should go to Church at Charenton, and [it has been] so since
his time—To procure this liberty, it seems, persons must
differ from your Church as much as they can.
Sir Adam Browne.] The Proviso says ["seduced"]
Hopes you will suppose Growth of Popery as well as
Colonel Birch.] Would fain know what it is to be of
the Church, and what not; that will require a Divinity
Lecture—Let the same word be in the Proviso as against
the Papists, and pen it as in that, and he is not against it.
Mr Garroway.] Would have this "deserting" described,
you will else be subject to every little Proctor or Informer.
Sir Thomas Lee.] You will make it, by this Proviso,
so unintelligible, that you will make it rather an Act of
Combustion than of Ease.
Sir Charles Harbord.] Shall this extend to all? Who
then shall be safe? This is a perfect setting of snares.
Mr Powle.] It is so obscure few can understand it;
["Common Prayer, or seduced"] a disjunctive; what
shall be understood a withdrawing from the Church of
England? If once a man comes in, you exclude him the
benefit of his other congregation; if you will hinder him
from coming, though for his curiosity, you may fright
him away from conversion to our Church.
Mr Sollicitor North.] The Question is intended to
discourage apostacy, ["those that have for a twelvemonth last past"] Would have it thus mended; instead of
"seduced and deserted the Church the space of a twelvemonth;" "not received the Communion and do go to
Mr Waller.] Suppose this; "no man shall desert our
Church"—When beyond the sea he went to their Protestant
Church, but when an Ambassador came, he went to his
Church. This will make men dissemble, and come to our
Church when they care not for it.
Colonel Titus.] Would gladly know, if any man
that has within a twelvemonth received the Sacrament,
may keep Conventicles? You will give liberty to Dissenters, and not to such as are not.
On the Lords Proviso of Indemnity.
Mr Powle.] Would have it an Indemnity to such as
have omitted, as well as acted, by virtue of the late Act
[It was so amended.]
Sir Thomas Lee.] Moves that it may not indemnify such
as have received money by virtue of penalties in that Act.
[A Conference was desired on the Amendment.]
Saturday, March 29.
Debate on Members taking the Test in the Act of Popery.
Sir Thomas Meres.] The words of the amendment are,
"Every person that has any public trust or employment
from his Majesty, or derived from him," which comprehends Members of Parliament.
Colonel Birch.] This will sound very ill abroad, that
all persons in employment and trust must take this
Test, and that we should not include our Members.
The Speaker.] It is the same thing as if you should enjoin all Members to observe the Law.
Sir John Duncombe.] The thing is objected to in the
House, and we ought to be satisfied in the thing before
we rise—Would have your sense declared here, and explained by yourselves, that we be not brought into
Westminster Hall about it.
Mr Waller.] Believes it always that the Officers of the
kingdom are to take this; as by the statute of Elizabeth—The Commons cannot all come hither, and therefore
we represent them; a majore cautelâ, we may have an
Order made in it—That statute enjoins Oaths before we
The Speaker.] The thing is no Law yet, and you are
going to make a Declaration of a thing before it be—Pray consider of it.
Sir Richard Temple.] You can make none of these Orders; if such a Law pass to do so, it is not fit to be upon
your books—Would have it according to rules prescribed
in that Act.
Mr Attorney Montagu.] If you order it according to
the Bill, such a thing has passed, and you may be mentioned
Sir Thomas Meres.] He that sits here owns an authority; he sits here in a place of trust; it may be, a complaint may come from his Borough, and he be put out—Would have no man surprized.
Mr Waller.] We are sent here only by our country;
not by the King, but by name.
[No Vote passed in it.]
Mr Thomas.] Moves to have our Addresses concerning
Grievances, and the King's Answer to our Grievances,
Sir John Mallet.] Divers Grievances have been by
soldiers since the Address, and 'tis fit the people should
have notice of it.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] You will show your complaints to the King of Grievances, but not his Answer,
for the King has not yet published any thing relating to
it—You have no power to print it.
Sir Thomas Meres.] He will not say you have power to
print the King's Speech, but we have power to print our
own Address; there are many instances this Parliament,
and it may be of great use.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] By the Act of Printing, you
Sir Thomas Meres.] Since that Act, Sir Edward Turner,
late Speaker, has appointed things to be printed several
Sir Thomas Clarges.] Shall not dispute whether we have
power or no; it is a kind of Appeal to the people; but
printing this will much heighten and increase the love of
the people to the King—Would have the Privy Counsellors of the House desire his Majesty to cause them to
Mr Harwood] Stands up to second Clarges's Motion—Some inconveniences have lately been by soldiers—You
have had a Member lately robbed [Mr Wharton] by persons like soldiers, armed and horsed; his Motion is no
more than to keep the people quiet—Thinks it a reasonable Motion, and would have the King moved in it.
Sir Richard Temple.] You would not let your transactions be printed in news-books; you have decried this
printing, begun in the Long Parliament, as of ill consequence; let these things, like Appeals to the people, be
Sir Thomas Lee.] The Motion is far from "an Appeal
to the people;" this is only, that the King having given
as a gracious Answer, you publish it. To what intent?
It will be a means to prevent farther mischief; the people may address the King for remedy for the future.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] To print this, as if it were a
Statute or a Law, will look like remonstrating; the
Long Parliament was condemned for it.
Colonel Birch.] The Question is not your directing it
to be printed, but desiring the King to cause it to be
printed. If this were printed, it would end many disputes
in the country about quartering of soldiers.
Sir Robert Carr.] What can this printing be but a
mistrust of the King, that he will not do what he has
promised? No doubt but the King will do it as effectually as he has promised.
Mr Vaughan.] These are good objections, if the House
was to order it to be printed; but we do no more appeal
to the people by this than by publishing a Law—It is to
publish his Majesty's gracious favour to his people.
Mr Cheney.] For the ill consequence that hath been
made of it, and may be of this, would not have it
Sir Robert Howard.] The first Motion is out of doors
by the Act of Printing—As for the next Motion, printed
things are always the best speakers to the people—To
what end should the people think you do this?
Mr Swynfin.] It has been debated long, and you cannot rise without a Question—As he cannot think the Address improper, or the King's Answer such as you cannot
rest upon as satisfactory, therefore he is clear for moving
the King to have it printed—It is said "this is but an
Address of this House to the King"—Your usual course
is, when your Grievances are not redressed, to have recourse to the Lords for a Law—In regard you have
waved all other ways, and taken this, it is most reasonable to have it printed, that a countryman may have something to show.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] Swynfin said, the other day, "it
was a reproach to a man, to have the Test of renouncing
the Covenant put upon him"—To those that have not as
well as to those that have taken it, it is a reproach—Supposes this printing will be so to the King, by the same
reason as his other objection.
Sir Thomas Meres.] How much the people are beholden to the House of Lords, and how little to us! The
King's Answer about the Declaration we did not print.
We are beholden to the Lords for it, and so are the people.
Sir Thomas Lee.] If you will adjourn now, adjourn
the Debate likewise to the next Session, and let it be
upon your Books.
[The House divided even upon the Question, 105 to 105: The
Speaker had the casting voice, and gave it for adjourning, and jestingly said, "He would have his reason for his judgment recorded, viz. because he was very hungry."]
In the afternoon, Sir Thomas Meres reports the Conference
from the Lords; upon the Amendments in the Bill of Ease to
To our Amendments to the Lords Proviso,
Lord Chancellor, the Earl of Shaftesbury.] The Lords did desire
all agreement with this House, and never Session was more happy
in agreements—The Lords insist upon the King's Proclamation,
and say it keeps the whole scheme of the Bill—To our reasons of
"the Proclamation with limitations," they answer, that the
Proclamation may give less power, but not more than the Bill;
as the Proclamation is without precedent, so, they say, is our Bill
without precedent, and alters the establishment by Law for a time:
A Lease is as good a Lease for one year, as for seven; it always
ought to be at the will of the Crown and dependent; the King
may give them less, but not more than the Act—The Lords like
not the Clause of "misdemeanor;" since, upon that, the King
may take away their liberty; it supposes a right in the Dissenters,
which they cannot allow—As to the other Amendment, here they
are only making an Act of "Indulgence," not of "Comprehension;" some will not be comprehended; the Anabaptists are
men of good lives, and are good traders—It is severe as to the
Papists, because they must repair to the Quarter Sessions, and
then they will be known—As for the Covenanters, all we can do
may be to let in some few; those that have taken it may repent;
those that have not may be more dangerous.
Earl of Anglesea.] It is better to leave the trust in the King, who
has barred himself from suspending the Laws, by the preface of
this Act—Such Proclamation gives notice where Licences may
be had, the authority being from the Act, not the Proclamation,
and so must Licences be granted; the countenance is more from
the Law than the King; offenders of the Law can have no
privilege but from the Law; where the King gives at pleasure, he
may take away at pleasure—34 Elizabeth—That Act is only for
Churchmen, and this not.
Debate upon the Amendments.
Mr Powle.] Is fully convinced, that our arguments,
at the Conference, were good; for the King may alter
the Law, by this Proclamation, as often as he pleases—This extends not to a single Law, but to many, and
excludes this House and the Lords—We, by giving this
power, if abused, may be the greatest Grievance to the
nation that is possible—Licences must be bought, and
you put these Dissenters, who are numerous, to have money raised upon them—You, by giving this authority, dispense with all Papists, Jews, and Mahometans, and
knows not but with Idolaters also—He questions not but
the King may use it well, but knows not how long it
may continue, if Parliaments be laid aside, and possibly
it may be an occasion that we may not meet again.
Mr Boscawen.] If the Proclamation be by virtue of
an Act of Parliament, it is no argument against it; that
it may bring in all sects, is not so obvious an objection,
but under the word "Protestant," all are excluded that
are not so; if he be a Jew, Turk, or Mahometan, it is
secured as much as may be—They will be known what
they are, and there is no danger by agreeing with the
Mr Vaughan.] If any man believes he will purchase
this Bill at the price of renouncing his Religion, and his
God, he is mistaken; your Bill gives only indulgence to
"such as subscribe the Articles, &c." But as they have
added this Proviso [there is] no manner of Test, all are
let in, and persons admitted that will say any thing, and
that your Church has no Lawfulness in it, and the reason of dispensing with those Laws dissolves the whole
government of the Church—If a man has no other
sanction, but the Law, for his Faith, we let in Atheism
and Socinianism, and he would rather be of no Religion,
than believe that Christ is not God—This makes way for
the same counsel the King had in the Declaration; and
some of Lord Anglesea's arguments are, "that when
the King will break his Laws, you will give him a Law
to do it"—For the Crown to pardon, it is good for
every man, and fit it should have it, but the power of
"indulging" is a thing you cannot give, and hopes it
will never receive.
Mr Swynfin.] The Question before you now, is, Whether it shall be left at liberty for the King to issue out his
Proclamation, &c.—Agrees with Mr Vaughan thus far,
if he can make it good, that it is against Law and against God, if an impunity was given to any man to do
it; but there is no such thing, in fact; it is directed
only to "Protestant" subjects, and if they preach any
thing against the Doctrine, Government, or Discipline of
the Church of England, they have not the benefit of this
Act—Hopes that his stating the thing so amiss, will not
weigh with you; "you give the King this power again
of dispensing," he says; he that releases does destroy
his right, and taking a new Grant of it destroys it more
in Law—If your Law had gone without this, it might be
abused, as may any other Law you can make—The King
is limited within the bounds of this Law, and how can
you be abused? After a general sense of the House that
something should be done, there is but one of these two
things, either to agree with the Lords, and have something, or not agree, and have nothing. He is for
Mr Waller.] Bring what Tests you will, and you cannot keep out the Socinians; but that is of another nature
—There is in all things an extraordinary trust in the
King; as in the Licences of Alienation, and several
other things: This Proclamation is said to be like the
Declaration; but by the Declaration of Breda you have
disbanded a veteran army—Our Church is best when,
like the head of it, meek and peaceable; we have had kindness and peace by the Breda Declaration; like the Sciences,
Emollit mores, nec sinit esse feros.
Colonel Strangways.] Now the whole scheme of the
business is altered—Doubts that some that made these
arguments in the Lords House had a hand in the Declaration—He can suffer for his religion as chearfully as
ever—Such persons as have said, "that God had blasted
the family of the Stuarts," have been licensed by the Declaration—Let us not do this at the end of a Session, when
we cannot foresee what a tract of time must discover—Had you questioned those men that gave the King that
advice, it had never come to this—It is a Law to justify
them in what they have done—Have regard to the Protestant Religion and the Church of England—Though
we have charity for these people, yet they hold, that
there is no Salvation in our Church, as the Church of
Rome does. Have they not told you that the Government
by Archbishops and Bishops is antichristian? Would not
Sir Thomas Meres.] Would open the truth of this matter a little; he has ventured to hurt the Church of England more for their sakes than he will tell you—By the
Lords Amendments, all sects go together with the "Protestant doctrine;" they may have all the exercises of Popery, only they must not preach against the doctrine of
the Church of England.
The Lords insisting on their first Amendment, the Question
being put for candles, upon division of the House 75 were for
candles, and 136 against candles; those that were for candles,
were for prolonging the Debate, that the Black Rod might call
us before we voted, "adhere;" and though divers Motions
were made for adjourning the Debate till next Session, yet no
Question could be put, the Black Rod knocking at the door.
The House was then adjourned by his Majesty's desire to October 20 (fn. 4) . And so ended this Session, on Easter Eve, at nine of
the clock at night.