Tuesday, February 19.
In a Grand Committee on the Supply. [On the manner of
raising the Million, &c.]
A Motion was made to lay part of the tax upon new
Sir Thomas Clarges.] You may as well lay more tax
upon Dorsetshire, because of their clothing trade, and
not upon Bedfordshire. I would know what new foundations have been since 1672—Lately, upon tryal at law,
Lord Chief Justice Hale did declare it legal to build,
where foundations were laid. And why may not a man
make the best of his own land?
Sir Tho. Littleton] You eased London, and laid the
Tax upon Middlesex, by reason of these new buildings;
and so they are taxed already. There is no reason for a
man to be judged afterwards.
Sir Charles Wheeler.] In Coal Mines under ground,
as well as Houses above ground, one is improvement
above, and the other below. If you lay the tax upon
ground improved, you pay as well for all Meadows
as those improved at Salisbury, and there is no consideration for the Charges. Can we go through the War,
without a Land Tax? I would have sure footing to
maintain at the beginning the setting out of the War, the
better to supply the King when we meet again, and
the War is entered into.
Sir Nicholas Pedley.] The general pardon operates
only upon what is past. New buildings were declared
general Nusances in King James's time. They would in
time make London too big for the whole body. You may
well give a year's value upon them towards this charge.
Mr Garroway.] Young Gentlemen, come lately into
the House, flatter themselves that this may save their
Land in this Tax. 'Tis now sixteen years experience that
when we come to a result, the thing, I believe, will be
upon Land; and that is ready calculated for you.
Sir Thomas Lee.] If this be the last Tax we are to
pay upon this occasion, then I would charge Land; but
I would keep that for a reserve, till we come again; lest,
when that shall be, we find no way to raise more money;
our Land having its full load.
Sir Richard Temple.] In Henry VIII's, Edward VI's,
and Queen Elizabeth's time, Subsidies were upon oath,
and power to examine parish taxes, and by that means they
raised the Subsidies from 30,000l. to 100,000l. and 'tis
the equallest way that can be. Now, in Land Tax, all men
that paid in Subsidy, were excused. Dignified Clergy now
go free, and personal estates; which may bear a great
proportion in the money; money at interest, adding
nothing to the capital stock of the Nation. You are a
trading Nation, and money ought to stir. Judgments
and Mortgages make men waste their woods, and pull
down their Houses, and plough their Lands, and destroy
Mr Secretary Williamson.] Since you are going into
so great an action, &c. and engagement, you have the
annual charge of the War, in a great measure, before
you; and this is but half your annual expence, but
six months expence, you order it so. There is no more
on your Land now remaining of the last Tax than six
months; your Land is charged 35,000l. per mensem till
August next. So that your Land being charged for seven
months, viz. from February, as I suppose you will begin
the Tax, it will be eight months before you can be charged
with this. I would not therefore lay more on Land, for
this will be a distant credit, [like] that [which occasioned] all the intricacy and garboil in accounts the last
War. And since Land is to be your standing fund, you
must not charge it with what it will not bear for six months.
You will charge the Land eleven months to have wherewithal to carry on the War for six months. If that
be your case, Land is no way at liberty to help you
for five months, and I would have it helped with
something else. If any thing can, it ought, and all
that can be named is little enough. New buildings are
pardoned by the Act of Grace, and not pardoned.
This is a contributing towards your charge; though
not by law, yet convenience to help you. These buildings are one of the banes of the Country; they draw
away all your tenants, and must not these Lands supply your present occasion by way of penalty? Buildings may give something, &c. Those that hire them
pay dear, and those that buy them. The owners having made profit of them, to the Nation's injury, ought
to bear some part of the burden. To lay not more
upon Land than what will come in upon Land, is a
necessary caution for this great work.
Serjeant Maynard.] The Question is, where you will lay
this Tax. A certain sum is most certain to be raised,
and most equal. Ever since I have known the Law,
and practised at the King's Bench, I never knew any
general, but this of new building declared a Nusance.
Building itself is no Nusance, but it being an inconvenience to the Civil Government, is the greatest Nusance that ever was. Though the Court of Star-Chamber in some things was a grievance to the Nation, and
the King could not make a thing unlawful to be lawful by Prerogative, yet the Star-Chamber construed
the increase of new buildings to be a contempt, to do
an unlawful thing, when there was a Proclamation to
the contrary. Irish cattle are enacted a Nusance, malum,
unlawful, or because prohibited; and some things are
Nusances, by the very inconvenience of themselves, as
the multitude of buildings are. Continuance of them,
though pardoned, is now a Nusance. I speak not this to
bring a tax upon new buildings, but to clear the matter of Nusance. An Act of Parliament may declare
a Nusance that is none, and a continuance is a new
Col. Birch.] I am still of the same mind I was last
night. I would be glad of the 200,000l. that we lost
yesterday. If I were sure we should have no War, I
would charge Land without any more ado. But if
Gentlemen have a clear sight in this great matter, there is
nothing to make you low and contemptible to your Enemies, but charging your Land. If once you make a
concurrent Tax upon Land, the French King will not
be afraid of what you can do. I am for charging Land,
when we come shoulder to shoulder with the Enemy.
Till then it will be but vain to charge Land. I hear it
talked of, "laying part of this Tax upon money at
interest;" but I would never do that till you can secure your money by a Register-Bill. In the body
[politic] 'tis as in the body natural. If the money does
not circulate, all will fly to the head, like the blood,
and kill presently. If those at the helm do not consider to bring the blood round again, the many consequences will be fatal. If you lay this Tax upon Land,
the first six months perhaps may come in, but the
second six months will sink a third part of the value
of the Land; and Cattle and Corn will give nothing.
I would have this seriously thought of; there can never
be War, if this money be raised by Land-tax. I take
this as before you; let new buildings go as the least of
evils; keep the Tax from Lands. I was here in a
Convention in 1654, about paying some debts contracted
for the Navy. (I never saw so many wise men together.) And then it was said, and said again, "that new
buildings were Nusances," when all was fair green fields
at St James's. They then put in something by way
of a Jury, to enquire into the values, and raised a good
deal of money upon them; I can tell you how much.
I would have "new foundations since 1654" pay one
half year's value of the present rent. If they be Nusances, and Crimes, I would have them pay, but only
as we pay for our Land—Hold us to this point, till
either it be laid aside by a Question, or resolved, "that
since 1655 and 1656, they may pay one half year's
Serjeant Maynard.] I would lay the Tax upon
the Landlord. There are eighty and twelve thousand—
which by law ought not to be. In St. Giles's parish
scarce the fifth part can come to Church, and they must
be of no religion at last. I am most for it, that there
may be no farther increase of them.
Mr Waller.] If these buildings be a Nusance continued, they are to be pulled down by Law.
Sir Thomas Clarges saying some words, "as if this
Tax would make the Government odious,"
Sir John Talbot took him down for reflective language—
Sir Thomas Meres excused him, and
Sir Thomas Lee took Meres to the Orders.] It
is the Order of the House neither to excuse nor take
a Gentleman down to accuse him, till he be heard
Sir Thomas Clarges.] 'Tis not reasonable that those
Houses which have been Nusances two or three years,
should be taxed like those that have been forty years.
In the Borough a man may build by Law, and 'tis no
offence, for the verdict upon these new buildings was
passed upon that Statute. When the Lords find their
Inheritances equally taxed with the nation, they may
pass the Bill; but when this Tax is upon a number of
Lords, will they not be heard at their Bar? Which will
occasion Conferences, and hinder the Progress of affairs.
Lord Chief Justice Vaughan, when here, said, "That
the Law of Parliament was the Law of the Land; and no
man ought to be taxed but for the spareable part of his
Revenue." And is one half year's rent the spareable
part? I desire these Gentlemen of the Long Robe would
tell us whether it be illegal to erect new Houses.
Mr Sollicitor Winnington.] It seems, there is some disference of opinion in this matter amongst those of the
Long Robe. I stand up, in the main, to ease Land. But
I think there is a mistake in this of new buildings, &c.
'Tis the interest of the House to establish the durable
interest of the Nation, the Freeholder. This Debate
is charging new buildings, and the reason in the Debate is, "That they are a common Nusance." Though
I am not of the Coif, yet I will presume to offer my
reasons. A common Nusance is not dispensible but by
Act of Parliament, and is "a detriment to all the King's
subjects." 27 Eliz. "No buildings were to be within
such a distance of London whatsoever." But that was but
for a number of years. I never knew a Nusance enacted
perpetual, but that of exportation of Leather, and importation of Irish Cattle. When the Act was expired,
notice was taken of the contempt of it, against a Proclamation. When Essex-House was to be pulled down,
the Society of the Middle Temple thought it an inconvenience. They had the best Counsel they could get,
but were forced to sit down with as good a Composition
as they could get. The first cause I ever was of was
that between Lord Clare, and Clement's Inn. Now they
are not a Nusance. Yet there is reason why they should
be charged. I think, a very young man may remember
the increase of buildings about London. Nothing decays rents in the Country like new buildings about
London. Labourers in the Country, at six pence and
eight pence a day, come here, and turn coachmen and
footmen, and get a little House, and live lazily; and
in the Country the farmer is constrained to pay sixteen
or eighteen pence a day, through the fewness of workmen, and therefore can pay less rent. They will leave
the Country for better Wages. Sumptuous Houses are
a great invitation to Gentlemen of Quality, and their
Wives, to come to London, where they live better, and
more at their ease and content, than with a greater
number of servants and expence in the Country. I
know not how Clarges finds it that the builders get
but 4l. per cent. but I know that if their Houses are
not in bad places, they get 15 l. per cent. I would
have this charge on the Landlord, to stop the increase
here, for the Land-holder must support the Nation.
The Law takes notice of the Free-holder, for tryals upon
juries. The rest are but servants to them, and they,
having greater advantage, ought to bear the burden.
'Tis an easy matter then to propose a charge upon them.
I suppose you intend to charge some on Land for certainty, and that may be a certainty on the buildings
also—They live better, and in more plenty and profit
than the Freeholder, and they are but supernumeraries to
serve them, and they ought to bear a part of this charge.
Mr Williams.] If this of new building be a project, I
am against it; if not, I am for it. Therefore, in the
first place, ascertain a proportion upon them towards this
Million you have voted. As to the Nusance, 'tis said
only as an argument to induce you to tax them, not
that we declare it so—Some things in themselves, and
some things by accident, are Nusances, and you may
consider your own condition of Nusance. Some will
say, "A long Parliament is a Nusance," and for us
to declare that a Nusance, may draw the people to
think us so; and I would have these new buildings
Nusances by accident. To run into all the circumstanstance of these buildings, whether the Landlord or Tenant, shall pay this Tax—There is also a mean proprietor—This will create a hundred Questions. I would lay
it therefore on the value; but if you lay sums upon
them, you must have a calculation of their number
"since 1656," for the oldest must pay, they having
had greater profit, and 'tis fit a general estimate of their
number should be made. There are said to be about
20,000 houses, then you may lay an estimate, whether
400,000 l. &c. Then I will go along with you, or
else 'tis an improbable thing to raise any money on
Mr Swynfin.] The only strong reason I hear for this
charge is, "That 'twill ease your Land," and that reason is grounded, "because they draw common people,
and labourers hither." Suppose you lay half a year's rent
upon them, will that hinder Gentlemen, and poor people
and loose tenants from coming hither? So that these
reasons work not with me. But is this that which turns
the Country up to London? Then you should make an
Act to erect no more, and that will stop them. I am
against this charge, till I know how much this will
keep off the Tax from Land. To give my negative,
or affirmative, I would value them before you put the
Question. It may come to this, that the receivers
may not receive half what you rate them at, and the
King not have half, and therefore some think this may
raise 400,000 l. and others not 40,000 l. so that we
shall lay an unusual Tax, supposing to keep the burden
off from Land, and at last return to Land again. I
would agree how much shall be accepted to keep
off Tax from Land. When the Chimney Act was
computed ['twas] uncertainly, and we charge the subject we know not how. Let some Gentlemen bring a
clear estimate what these buildings will bear; else I
cannot give my consent at all.
Sir Thomas Meres.] If you will go back to the year
1630, it will raise you something. In 1654, it did not
raise above 40,000 l. and consider they must pay Tax
also. It will be four or five shillings in the pound
upon them, and this is concurrent upon them besides
the half year's rent, which is ten shillings in the pound.
As Williams told you, if you lay it upon the original
Landlord that built it, he, perhaps has not two
shillings in the pound, and then there is a tenant, and
a tenant under him. (And now you are in earnest, as I
did not believe you were before) If you circle in the Bills
of Mortality upon new foundations, from 1630, if that
Question pass, it will come to something. But for
those just out of the Bills of Mortality, and they are
not [to be] taxed, [to] pay nothing, that will be unjust.
I would have the Question "from 1630, all the buildings
within the weekly Bills of Mortality, upon new foundations;" and the other Question, by degrees, step by
step, till we know how much they will bear.
Mr Sec. Coventry.] There is scarce a year but three
or four houses either fall down or are new built in Covent
Garden, and they [to be] rated as you do old ones,—that
will be very hard and unequal.
Sir John Talbot.] Moneyed men may be met with here.
They are the builders, and send money abroad for foreign
timber, where our crown-pieces go for 5s. and 6d. and 6s.
I would tax them.
Mr Garroway] I look upon this Tax as unjust, and
therefore I am against it. I am taxed to the utmost
in the country. If you will say, "Tax them at the
rate of the city of London by reason of their trade, but
if for their moneys because they have built houses," I
know not, but by the same reason, you will tax all men
that have raised estates since the King came in and had
nothing before, as if they were Rosicrucian Knights
that had got the Powder of Projection.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] If you put building as a
crime, 'tis a greater crime to build near the time of
making the Statute than to have built farther off.
Sir John Talbot.] From 1630 to 1640, the builders
paid a fine to the King, by censure in the Star-Chamber, and from 1640 to 1656 they paid likewise. Consider how great a proportion those paid that were then
built; but I find my old House is not a jot eased by
the new buildings in St Margaret's Fields.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] The Statute of Q. Elizabeth, spoken
of, does not extend to such a distance from navigable
rivers—But people may build on new foundations.
Cottages are to have four Acres—Boroughs and Corporations are excepted out of that Act.
The first Question was put, Whether one half of the full yearly
value should be charged upon all the Buildings erected upon new
foundations, [without the City of London, and] within the
weekly Bills of Mortality, since 1630, (except such as were
demolished by the late fire;) which passed in the Negative.
The second Question, Whether upon Buildings, &c. since 1640,
passed also in the Negative.
The third Question, Whether upon Buildings, &c. since 1656,
passed in the Affirmative, [and was agreed to by the House.]
Mr Sacheverell.] I would have an addition to the
Question. I look upon this Tax, to be laid upon the new
Buildings towards the Million you have voted, to be as a
fine little sugar plumb to quiet us for yesterday's Vote
of a Million, &c. which will never be made much of.
I believe this War intended with the French is such a
War as that of Henry VII. with France. We shall find
that an Act of Re-assumption of Lands granted from the
Crown, will give more ease to the subject, and I move
for an Act of Re-assumption, &c. since 1656.
Mr Williams.] I believe the thing very good, but not
seasonable now, and very well worth your Consideration
in its time.
Sir Thomas Meres.] These things relating to Houses
may be doubtful; but as for the Crown-Lands, and those
that have them, they were valued at 300,000 l. &c.
and they may raise something. If you vote a Re-assumption, I am for it.
Wednesday, February 20.
[In a Grand Committee on the Supply.] On the Re-assumption
Sir Charles Wheeler] The Duke of Buckingham had
30,000 l. a year of the Crown-Lands granted to his
Serjeant Maynard.] King Charles I. granted many
Lands to the City of London. Those that bought these
Lands were so wise as not to keep them. Consider
from what time you will make this Re-assumption. That
is one consideration. As to Tenants that have bought
those Lands, will you make a distinction of service?
Some have done great services for the Crown, and have
had those Lands for a reward—And have not those
that purchased been invited by you? 80,000 l. a year
was sold, by Act of this Parliament, of the King's Fee
Farm Rents. If you shall undo the owners of these
Lands, without any way of Consideration, 'twill be
very hard. I submit this to your Consideration.
Sir Thomas Mompesson.] To put this in a method, will
take more time than you have to spare. There is a
stronger Consideration for this of Re-assumption, &c.
than the other of new Buildings, and I would have some
Consideration of that.
Col. Birch.] They were chiefly rents bought in the
late King's time—But I can show forty times the value
now upon improved value. What has been disposed of
by Act of Parliament cannot be touched, and I lay that
aside, and 'tis not considerable in comparison of the
others. Kings rarely come to Parliament to enter into
War: Formerly they entered first into War, and then
came to the Parliament for aid to maintain it. I have
heard from Serjeant Maynard, "That Acts of Parliament confirm sales, &c. from such a time:" But none
from the 1st of King James. Now to make an Act of
Re-assumption, from so long a time, would make an
Earthquake. We have found that Dean and Chapters
Lands were sacred; they were restored, &c. I had
bought some, but now I have none—The Crown-Lands
are in so many hands now, that 'tis not practicable to
reassume them, from 1 King James—and not one part
in ten is alienated for the tenth part of the value. If
you please to put those Lands, at a two years value, towards this Tax, with a Non obstance, where there is an
Act of Parliament for Confirmation of them, &c. I
think it reasonable.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] Either these men that have
these Crown-Lands came lawfully by them, or unlawfully.
'Tis not fair dealing to take from the King, &c. and
confirm it to parties—If they are lawfully seized of these
Lands, I know not why they should be taxed for
Sir Thomas Meres.] Those that have got on a sudden
into great wealth and rents, I would have taxed.
Sir Thomas Lee.] I think it as great a Crime to
take away the Support of the Crown, as to do a thing
against the Government, like that of new Buildings. The
state of the case is quite altered. The King, at his
coming in, was possessed of a great quantity of Land:
I think, of 150,000 l. per annum. This, together
with Excises, and 1,200,000 l.—And then the Sollicitor,
General Finch said, " 'twas all you had to give, and all
the King could ask of you;" and since that, the King
has had the Chimney Act. An estimate was then brought
into the House, it seems for no other purpose than for
people to beg them, and the other Revenues. And now
the King "cannot speak nor act, &c" because all the
Revenue is gone away. These are arguments why you
always must give, and it always must be begged. These
Lands cannot be given without Act of Parliament, but
re-assuming entirely is a great consideration; but this
is only to take from them that have got it, out of what
you have paid. Put the Question then, "Whether these
Lands shall bear any part of the Tax;" and how much,
is an after Consideration.
Mr Sacheverell.] I think these Revenues are not to
be alienated on any terms, and if Gentlemen look
upon the Grants as good, I am not for charging them
to confirm them by it. If you intend to re-assume all
the Crown Revenue, not granted by Act of Parliament,
I am for it. But I would have an Act also, to make it
penal for the future to obtain such Grants, and to make
the Crown-Lands unalienable for the future—I am for
Sir John Knight.] Some would willingly give three
years purchase to have these Lands confirmed to them,
and I would have them re-assumed that they may case
us in the burden of our Taxes. In Cornwall there is
30,000 l. a year of old rents. 100,000 l. per annum.
That is gone out of the Crown, which was for the safety
of it. You will find thirty several Acts of Parliament,
in former Kings times, for Re-assumption of the CrownLands, and I would have it so now.
Sir Thomas Meres.] I would not, by taxing those who
have these Grants in the Crown-Lands, [make] a worse
or a better title, but leave them in statu quo. I desire to
take some profit of them now, and some another time.
They may well contribute, for all their Lands ought to
go to the Crown; but by this Act I would have them
neither make a better nor worse step than before.
Mr Williams.] This charge you lay upon them is
in respect of the profits they have already received.
They have intruded into the King's possessions, therefore you do well to right the Crown.
Mr Finch.] I am against the Question, as it is stated—
But neither myself nor any relation I have, has the least
interest, direct nor indirect; not one foot of these Lands
I have, or am likely to have, and so I have no interest in the Question, and may speak with the more
freedom to it, because I am impartial. The King has
an absolute right to these Lands; he may sell, or give
them—'Tis said, "They have been given to deceivers,
and obtruders. And this will confirm them—and the only
intent "to strengthen some Letters Patents." If those
Letters Patents are good already, they need no Act to
confirm them. Purchasers since 1660 have alienated
those Lands, by indefeasible title, and paid a consideration—Shall these pay for Reversions that never have
received the profits?
Mr Neale.] Those Lands are not worth so much as
other Lands by four years value. I would have them
rated at two years value.
Sir Edmund Wyndham.] Since this of Re-assumption, &c.
has been started, I would have something done; people
else will sell them, and then you cannot touch them
again, when you meet. Therefore I would charge them
Sir Gilbert Gerrard.] I would go farther than England:
I would have the Lands given away in Ireland re-assumed,
and am ready to give my Vote to the Question.
Mr Powle.] This Debate seems to me, as if you had
given so much the other day, that now you go a hunting
where to find it. What may pass for good Grants in
Westminster-Hall, may yet be judged otherwise here. To
take away the patrimonium sanctum, was always esteemed
a crime, and punished no where but here; legislatively,
by Acts of Re-assumption. But then they have come
with fresh pursuit after them. Parliaments may have
intervened. Formerly it has been upon a hot scent.
Something of crime there is in it; but not such as to
make the intruder punishable in Westminster-Hall.
When multitudes offend, general punishment is not
thought convenient in Government. When the King
came in, how many hundred thousand pounds were
pardoned, which the Crown had a right to! But when 'tis
so populously concerned, viz. the whole Government,
it would do well that they paid a year's value, and
that we confirm their titles. If you will go to a total
Re-assumption of these Lands, you will destroy thousands of families; and, I hope, by putting a year's value
upon them, to have some account of them. In the
late Convention, there was a Question, that satisfaction
should be made by the purchasers of the King's Lands.
'Twas then undertaken, that the King might have
100,000 l. a year, and the purchasers be satisfied for
what they had paid for the Lands. There are not
many hundred pounds a year of that left now in the
Crown. Now, if you will go back to King James's
time, Antiquity of possession does make a kind of
right. There is always a distinction between the ancient
Patrimony of the Crown, and Lands which have fallen to
the Crown by Escheats. That is a casual Revenue, which
the King has to give for reward of services done him.
A year's value of Lands given from the Crown, from
1660, and a half year's value of Lands given, &c. from
King James's time, I shall agree to.
Mr Waller.] I have heard that all Lands were first in
the Crown, as in Doomsday book. Land-tax is a
Re-assumption; we give back to the Crown what came
out of it. I cannot imagine how, if the Common Law
cannot secure a man, an Act of Parliament should. Many
men talk of Non obstante's, &c. The Common Law of
England is of a second nature, a custom. I think, an Act
of Parliament is no better than the Common Law, and
I wonder at it, that, in King Stephen's great Wars, there
was not one Tax laid upon the People. The reason was,
because Land was so in the Crown; but at last Land
coming so out of the Crown into the Commons hands,
they grew considerable. There may be extremities in
all things. What a world of Land would have come
to the Crown, if the Act of Oblivion, that sacred Act,
had not been made! I would have a Committee to consider of such restrictions in this matter as may be equitable and just, and I shall approve of it.
Mr Garroway.] In this matter, I would stir nothing
that may be any occasion of discontent from the
people to the Crown, as this may do. It may be
of dangerous consequence, and I would be tender in it.
Sir Charles Harbord.] I have, both before and since
I was the King's servant, endeavoured to prevent Grants
of the Crown Lands, &c. But when they are passed,
I would not have the King less just nor honest than
another man. You would not pass them by Act of
Parliament, by charging them as has been moved.
There are two sorts of Alienations of the Crown-Land,
either by Gifts and Grants, or Sales. In case of Gifts
and Grants, you have confirmed some by Acts, &c.
And they are good Grants in Law. If you can in justice
improve the Crown-Land, you may. But make justice
equal, not to undo a million of persons. There were
mighty Grants formerly to the Duke of Buckingham and
the Earl of Somerset. They were mighty things. Lord
Dunbar had mighty things. All these were alienated to
purchasers, freeholders, and the Law cannot dispossess
them. I would go no farther than those Grants, &c.
from 1660. But still that will not do your business in
what these may bear. I would futurely ease Land, but
for the present this will raise you little or nothing.
Sir Robert Sawyer.] Excepting two Grants to the
Duke of Albemarle and the Earl of Sandwich, I think
there are no Grants sold or given of the Crown-Lands
that will in any measure do any thing. Grants that have
reserved the old rents, I suppose, you intend not to meddle with. I believe they come not to above 10 or
15,000 l. per annum, and to brand them criminal!—As
the King has rewarded those who have suffered for him,
will you let them who have bought and sold Bishops
Lands, &c. go free? Will you let them alone? Whether
are you going to raise 10 or 12,000 l.? So small a
thing! There are two sorts of Patrimony of the Crown.
The ancient Patrimony of the Crown, and casual Attainders and Escheats. Escheats may be granted away.
The ancient Patrimony, &c. is of above 400 years, and
'tis a great difficulty to bring that back to memory.
When the Conquest was, all Lands were in the Crown.
And in the Wars of York and Lancaster, the next
succeeding King called all in question. When a weak
Prince had granted away the Crown-Lands, those sales
have been called in question. And an Act of such
oppression as this will be cannot pass without some reflection upon us, who for some few instances of rewards,
that the Crown has given to persons of desert, &c.
What is Law, is Law every where. When I consider
how little this will raise, and what reflection it will
be upon the Government, I am against it. That casual
Revenue of Escheats is kept separate in the Exchequer from the rest of the Revenue. I think it fit not
to stir this matter, at this time of day.
Sir William Hickman.] Remainders in the Crown,
but lately purchased out of the Crown, without a jointure, cannot be made, nor Lands sometimes sold. Abbey
Lands may have Remainders in the Crown, and those
are the great bulwarks against Popery.
Sir Richard Temple] To say "That no Revenue of the
Crown is alienable," is strange; and if all the forfeitures
in England were to be still in the Crown, it would
have all England in time. Ancient Demesne in the
Crown was never alienable. The late King Charles, out
of a worthy resolution to pay his father's debts, sold
some of the Crown-Lands, and, perhaps, he was deceived in the value. But since this King's time, you
will find little alienated. You are now to consider, if
it be reason to charge Crown-Land, sold since 1660, to
be taxed distinctly from other Lands. The King's Revenue in 1660, then stated, was a great work. All that
was done then was, not that the Crown-Lands should not
be alienated, but that leases should be let upon improved
value, and your Address to the King was accordingly.
So that Revenue made up, with the rest, 1,200,000 l.
a year. But I fear you will not find the moiety of the
improved value reserved, upon leasing those Lands. If
you intend to see and examine that Revenue, 'twill be a
great trouble, and not to be done. Till I hear why these
Lands should be taxed more than others, I cannot give
my consent. I would have you go on funds that you can
raise Money upon.
Sir Charles Harbord.] The King has granted me four
Manors of 400 l. per annum each, not a farthing profit to me, as long as the Queen lives. (This Sir Charles
said, upon Mr Goring's alleging he had Crown-Lands
given him.) As I have saved the Crown 80,000 l. at a
time, I desired only a mark of my service, and that is all.
Mr Sacheverell.] It would be a long roll to know
the remainder of an Estate in the Crown of a Gentleman's Lands, and so he cannot alien nor sell; 'twill be
a perpetual Entail, which is against Law. I would limit
this Tax, to such Lands as have not been sold on a
valuable consideration, of the ancient Crown-Lands, and
I am for that Question.
Sir Humphry Winch.] I was formerly of that Committee of enquiry into the value of the Crown-Lands.
The books were brought to the Committee, and in a
recess of Parliament they took some pains, and made
an extract of four volumes. The Revenue was then
18,000 l. per annum present rent, sold at the rate of
50,000 l. per annum. So if you add that to 70,000 l.
'tis 120,000 l. in the whole—But the present Revenue
is but 18,000 l. per annum. I acquaint you with it,
to this purpose. Suppose this raises you 50,000 l. The
Question, "in reality worth," for the officers of the
Army paid for it, in Tickets, and Arrears, at ten shillings value in the pound. Lord Sandwich and the Duke
of Albemarle had 10,000 l. a year of those Lands—This
cannot have a prospect of above 30,000 l. Now whether
that will be worth your while, you may judge that
Sir John Ernly.] The method you are in will hold
you a month. You are to have a certainty to maintain
your Vote, and whatever you can raise above, do it, but
fix 120,000 l. a month for the War, &c.
Sir Thomas Meres.] Where the King's Revenue is alienated, I would have all that out, wheresoever it is.
The Speaker.] This Debate must end in a Question,
I am one of those that welcome all propositions that
have a tendency to ease Lands. That of the New
Buildings, which you voted yesterday, if of as great a value
as apprehended at first, may do something towards
easing Land, but this to-day will do less than nothing
from a retrospect to 1660 only. I desire Gentlemen to
consider the bottom this stands upon, and the charge
upon that Alienation. The whole is not above 100,000 l.
a year, and some is disposed of by Act of Parliament.
Some to the Duke of Albemarle, and to the Earl of Sandwich for his early repentance. Several Lands, by Act
of Parliament, have been commuted. Cast your thoughts
a little, and remember that never any King came into
his Kingdom with such a debt of bounty as the King
had to reward. Though their interest was given up
for the public peace, yet some compensation they
might expect of their lost fortunes, for preservation of
the Government; and you now lay upon them a charge
for that loyalty. If you lay the charge on these Gentlemen, 'tis unjust; if on the purchasers, 'tis so too. It
will raise nothing, or worse than nothing. I would lay
this Debate aside.
Upon a Division, &c. the Reassumption was laid aside (fn. 1) .
Col. Birch.] "Upon Williamson's saying, Why should
we lose this day so shamefully?" I believe we are not in
earnest for a War, when we shall lay the Money that is to
maintain it upon Land. When we began this, &c. I was
for ready Money to be raised in two or three months
time; and that is the outside I will offer you in any
thing. The Tax on Land must occasion the King's
paying interest, and you will have the same dishonour
and loss by it, that you had before. The Navy cannot be
hindered going on, or else so much Money out of the
Customs given for the Navy makes nothing. Perhaps
want of Money for these 15,000 men may be pretended.
I hope they will be 30,000 men. But I would not have
them stay here. We are weary of one thing and another
to raise this Money upon, and at last we shall jump into
such a Tax that we shall all miscarry in. If you lay this
upon Land, you will fall into all the extremes of interest
upon interest; and thereby you will have 200,000 l. of the
600,000 l. for Ships in the Exchequer; for that Money
cannot be spent yet upon shipping. I would give an answer why we sit still: and as to what is farther offered, I
have a Poll-Bill under my doublet. I have read it, and
considered it; and what was in the last, was in the execution of it. Yesterday you took but an ounce of blood,
and if you take not more, the body will be sick still.
This Bill is for charging all people, that pay no LandTax. In Land-Tax twenty eight of thirty are not
taxed. In the Poll, all may be, and Money may be
Sir Thomas Meres.] Though pensions were not reached
in the last Bill (it was lost but by six voice) I hope they
may come into this Poll-Bill. But though Land bears
not the charge, yet landed men do. This is to make
children of us—But yet I know not a better way. I
hope the House will retrieve this again of pensions, and
I would try it.
Lord Cavendish.] "Offices that have large profits,
and do little service," if you please, I will give you a
list of, for your service.