Tuesday, May 28.
Mr Secretary Coventry delivered to the House the King's Answer to yesterday's Vote, as follows:
"His Majesty having perused the Vote of this House of the
27th of May, hath thought fit to return this Answer; That the
Most Christian King hath made such offers for a Cessation, till the
27th of July, as his Majesty does not only believe will be accepted, but does also [verily] believe will end in a general Peace:
Yet since that is not certain, his Majesty does by no means think
it prudent to dismiss either Fleet or Army before that time;
nor does he think [it] can add much to the charge; because the
raising the money, and paying them off, would take as long a time
as that, although the speediest disbanding that is possible were
"That, in the mean time, his Majesty desires that some Supply
may be provided for their subsistance; that as hitherto they have
been the most orderly Army that ever were together, they may be
encouraged to continue so.
"That there is another thing which presses his Majesty with
very great inconvenience in his domestic affairs; which is the
want of [the] 200,000l. you promised to repay him at your
next meeting after; and which does affect that whole branch of
his revenue, by having a fifth part taken out of every payment,
which should be applied to the necessary uses of his Houshold:
He does therefore desire you will immediately apply [yourselves]
to the repayment of that money to him."
"Given at our Court at Whitehall,
May 28, 1678."
Serjeant Streete.] The King tells you of a "Cessation,
&c. and believes it will end in a Peace; and that it is
not safe to dismiss the Army or Navy till that be done."
I move, therefore, to have it considered how to prevent
the French King doing what he pleases with the Confederates.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] It is impossible for the King
to make any good determination yet. No body can advise disbanding the Army till this Cessation be over, that
it may certainly be known whether it will be Peace, or
Mr Secretary Williamson.] One part of the King's
Message relates to the Forces; the other to that which
seemed not certain. Now the King has told you as much
as he knows. The matter is so very pressing, that it
cannot admit of delay. But there is an offer that Spain
will go with Holland, and it looks like a general Peace.
I speak to this point, that the thing is as prepared for
you, as it can be, in a day or two's adjournment. Therefore lose as little time as you can, and come to some resolution; though with no thoughts of continuing the
Army, but only to provide for their subsistance.
Mr Cheney.] It appears to you that there is a Cessation,
&c. and probably a Peace will follow. You may, therefore, I think, proceed to the consideration of disbanding
Sir Robert Carr.] I see not but you may go upon the
King's Message now in a Grand Committee, or appoint
Sir Edward Dering.] How acceptable a thing it will
be to the nation to disband the Army you have no use of,
I need not tell you. As for raising money for their disbanding orderly, you are to go into a Grand Committee,
and I would do it that day moved for, together with the
consideration how that 200,000l. has been laid out.
Mr Sacheverell.] I think that the Speaker stated an irregular Question; for what was moved for was "Thursday to consider the King's Speech." And you state it
"to consider the subsistance of the Army."
Sir Thomas Lee.] I think, Mr Speaker, your stating
the Question to be rather a prevention of the House to
speak, than your belief of it to be the Question.
The consideration of the King's Message was ordered for
Sir George Hungerford.] I move that the common highway of going into a Grand Committee, to consider of the
King's Speech, may be thought of. I assure you, as a
common high-way, 'tis so worn out by heavy carriages,
that, 'tis not possible any thing should pass; and till it be
mended, I would go some other way.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] If you disband these men
without money, you may quickly have them spoil your
Obj.] The same day a Motion is made for a Supply,
the House, by Order, cannot go into a Grand Committee
for consideration of it.
Sir William Coventry.] The beginning of this Message
being extraordinary, every body sat in the dumps; and
this Motion for Supply is as extraordinary, for subsistance of the Army. And that must be determined first,
whether disbanding, or subsisting. If we can show a way
how money may be raised sooner for disbanding, &c. that
will satisfy, sure. Another reason, &c. is, 'tis moved for
laying up the great ships, equally with the land forces.
The King's Speech is equal to both. It is reasonable
that we should have time to consider of it; and I would
adjourn it to Thursday.
Which was done accordingly.
Thursday, May 30.
The King's Message was read; (which see p. 26.)
Mr Secretary Williamson.] This is asking money to
save money. The Question is, when you will dismiss
the Army, and pay off the supernumerary part of the
Fleet? 'Tis not regular to go into a Grand Committee
now, the same day the thing is moved for. Therefore I
move "that you will supply the King." With limitation
how much, or what uses, is another point, and I move
to consider that now.
Mr Garroway.] I see that all our expectation is like
to be terminated in Peace, and for the probability of it, 'tis
moved that the Army may be dismissed, &c. to save
charges. I am willing to go upon it, seeing there are no
hopes of War, which I would willingly have gone on
with. Therefore I move that we may agree in the point,
whether to disband the Army, or no. And I would know
what they are that are to be disbanded. I would put in
"all the Forces raised since Michaelmas last."
Mr Secretary Coventry.] Do you mean all raised for
Carlisle, Tangier, and the Plantations, &c.? Under that
word "all," these will be comprehended.
Sir William Coventry.] I would have it, "all the Forces raised since the first of December, except those raised
for Tangier and Jamaica."
Mr Mallet.] I am sorry we are come to this Question,
almost by necessity. 'Tis sad news that all ends in Peace.
I fear 'tis the Peace of Herod and Pontius Pilate. This
late Army was raised, not by the authority, but connivance of this House. What others design, I know
not, but it scared the Allies, &c. I would give no countenance to a standing Army, and I would have all the
Forces disbanded, except the Militia; all the Forces
raised since the Vote of this House, some time since, that
voted them a Grievance and Terror to the nation.
Mr Powle.] I hope that this "still stand" of Arms
abroad, will not be a "still stand" of an Army here.
First resolve the thing, that the Army be disbanded, and
then consider of the money to disband them. The intelligence is, that Maestricht is delivered up, and that there is
a Peace. And I know of no end of keeping up the Army
any longer, than to habituate us to its standing for ever.
Therefore I move for the Question.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] It is not "that there is a
Peace," but " 'tis said there is Peace." The States acknowlege no such thing to any body, and will you,
by disbanding the Army, totally put yourselves into
the mercy of the King of France? As he has done nothing, and will do nothing, till the first of July, so in
the mean time should you draw all your Forces out of
Ostend and Bruges, without any warning to the Spaniards,
and the King of France take that opportunity, how can
you help it? Now whether you have assurance enough
of the French King, or there be a reason to disband the
Army before there be a Peace made, pray consider.
Therefore I would have you proceed as the King intimates in the Message.
Sir Thomas Lee.] It looks equally strange to me, as
all things else have done since the fifteenth of January,
that arguments should be for keeping up the Forces, as
if we were in a War. We are told of "keeping up the
Forces at Bruges and Ostend, &c." 'Tis still forgot the
concert of ninety sail of ships with the Dutch, though
afterwards we were told, it was a proposition only of
ours. Though our Forces are there, yet we are not told
of any Alliance with the Spaniards. And why should
you be at any charge for the Spaniards, and have no manner of Alliance with them, and no prospect of War?
And yet now we are told of the insecurity of England.
Where is the safety then, by not disbanding these men?
You may send them to harvest, and retrieve them from
the consequences of ill courses, which disbanding towards
winter will bring them into. And why should they be
any longer upon your charge, being neither raised nor
employed for your service? I see no reason for it.
Mr Williams.] The inconvenience of keeping up these
men is obvious to every one, if it be no more than the
countenancing them within these walls. He that is really
for removing these jealousies and fears of the Army, is
for disbanding them. I take the Army merely to be a
handle to raise money, and therefore I would disband
Mr Booth.] I cannot tell who it is that takes this industrious care to create jealousy between the King and his
people. The people cannot but believe it is from those
who have been interested in France. I doubt not but we
may yet grapple with France, if we are clearly dealt
withall. I admire that our Forces should be called out
of all services, but the French King's. I cannot imagine
any hopes of War with France, as long as we have still
that tye with France. I would therefore proceed to disbanding this Army. I cannot give my vote for money
to pay this Army, for by it you vote it a standing Army
for that time. And it may be called for again, to continue longer.
Mr Vaughan.] (To answer Colonel Stroude, who made a
doubt whether the Army would disband, or no.) Put the
Question forthwith to give money, and then Stroude will
understand it presently.
Sir William Hickman.] If that be a Question, whether
they will disband, or not, I would then the rather have
the word "forthwith" put in.
Sir George Hungerford.] This Army has forced the
Dutch to a Peace; and that Army that has done so much
ill, I would have disbanded.
Sir Thomas Meres.] Stroude's words were, "what if
they will not disband?" I suppose he means "not without money." Neither can they. But as for the word
"forthwith," it cannot be otherwise meant, than "so soon
as the money can be provided for them." Perhaps,
money may be had sooner than some think. But for an
Army to be raised, to go into Flanders against the French
King, and yet to stay in England, I would not countenance such an Army for one day. Formerly we were told,
"the Army will pay themselves if they are not paid,"
but that has been answered fully. As for the great Officers, they may shift for themselves; but the poor infantry, who came in willingly to serve against the French,
must be encouraged, that you may have them again
upon any other occasion.
Colonel Birch.] I would as unwillingly part with this
Army, as any body. I had great hopes of some effects
of our long desires of lessening the French King. But
because we cannot employ them where we would, I would
not employ them against ourselves. It was said by Sawyer, "That we may disband them, and have a War."
I would therefore disband them to-morrow. What can
therefore be put into one Question, I would not make
two. I would disband and pay them off. Next I move
that you would consider the day certainly for raising the
money. I see nothing but that 'tis a reasonable and satisfactory Question "forthwith to disband the Army."
Mr Garroway.] I would not have it niggardly done,
but let every man of them go back home with a mark
of your favour. But the retarding your good intention
by those who shall manage it, I would have taken care
of, in this Question, which will lead you into paying them.
Mr Sacheverell.] I move to reconcile the House in the
Question. We agree on all hands to disband the Army,
and 'tis agreed they shall be paid. Put the Question therefore, "That the Army be forthwith disbanded," and
then go into a Grand Committee to consider paying them.
Mr Secretary Williamson.] I observe one thing only
from your method, &c. The King has laid it to your
judgment. He has told you he expects your opinion.
I would have this then, as an humble desire and Address
to the King for disbanding and paying off the Army. And
for the form, some such thing as "That 'tis by way of
Mr Williams.] I would have the words transposed, to
avoid jealousy of having them paid, and not disbanded.
If paying be in the Question before disbanding, it may be
dangerous. The House is in honour obliged, and there
is no fear of paying them.
Sir Thomas Lee.] Your opinion is, that it ought to be
done, and then some body will move for money to do it,
and so you go orderly into a Grand Committee.
Sir William Coventry.] Confine the Question to "those
Forces raised since the first of December." 'Tis not your
meaning to disband all the Forces of England.
Sir John Talbot.] When you disband them, I hope
you will consider their cloathing, and some charges which
the officers stand engaged for. The officers had but levy-money only, which in my command did not any considerable part. I hope you will direct all the Colonels
to bring you the accounts of what they have laid out.
Mr Garroway.] 'Tis not intended that any man should
be stripped of his cloaths; but dismissed with marks of
Mr Pepys.] You are disbanding the Army for the
Army's sake, but consider the Ships and the men for
your own sakes. I would have it only laid before you
as a caution to remember.
Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this House, that all the
Forces that have been raised since the 29th of September last,
except those which have been sent to the Plantations, be forthwith paid off and disbanded.
Colonel Birch.] I would breathe a little from unnecessary charges, for I fear the dregs of this War may
come upon you. I hear of pressing of men every day, and
this must be a charge. I desire that charge may be eased.
I would know whether any stores are bought; and whether with Custom-house-money or Poll-money? I would
know why there's any need of more ships than a summer's guard? for I hear great ships are falling down to
the Buoy of the Nore. I take the case to be—if you shall
be grappled withal, as I know not how soon we may be,
I would have an hundred and fifty. Every one of them
to have a warehouse to a yard of polling, and an inventory to lie upon it, viz. "There's for first, second, and
third rates." And your Navy will be ready without staying four minutes. 'Tis all one whether you have an hundred or ninety, unless you take such a course. And
"That the King be desired to put the nation to no more
charge than for a summer-guard of ships."
Mr Pepys.] I am so far from excepting against my
worthy friend Birch's motion, that I thank him for it.
What he moved was, "not to put the King to more
charges than for a summer's guard, &c." I have many
honourable persons my witnesses, viz. the Lords of the
Admiralty, that the King has ordered it already. But
I could not tell it you without their leave. This was
done before any Debate here of disbanding, &c. But
there's a growing charge upon your hands, which is the
wages of a great many thousands of men. On almost
all the sea-coast, eastward, northward, and westward, are
near eighteen thousand seamen, and no man ever could
think of so many for a summer guard. As for the storehouses, if Birch would go but to the yards, he will find
them as strictly kept as any account of his money in his
pocket. This is so stale a thing, that it was done before he
was born, or his father.
Sir Thomas Lee.] I would not clog the disbanding of
the Army with any thing else; but it would be well if the
embargo was taken off the merchant ships.
Sir John Ernly.] The Fleet and the Army come to
forty thousand pounds a day. The charge of the land and
naval Forces have eaten out all your Poll-bill, of which
you may have a particular account when you please.
The Speaker.] The payments of the Army will give you
an account of what's already paid, and what remains due.
Mr Papillon.] In reference to the Navy, if there be an
order for taking off the embargo, I am satisfied. But
trade has been at a stand by it, because men are stopped.
There's a difference betwixt landmen and seamen. The
landmen know not whither to go for employment. But
seamen will increase wages upon you. Seamen will
be glad to have tickets, that they may serve in the merchants service.
Mr Pepys.] I will only make a repetition of what I
thought I said plainly. The taking off the embargo will
be confirmed at the Council-table, for there it must be,
and I would remind you only how much work this matter of tickets cost you formerly. I would, for saving
your reputation, have them paid off without tickets.
Sir Thomas Littleton.] If the embargo be taken off, the
seamen will come out of their lurking-holes, and merchants ships will not want them.
Sir Thomas Lee.] I do not remember to have known two
motions for money in one day. I would adjourn the House.
The Speaker.] "Forces" comprehend both sea and
land, and 'tis within your vote.
Sir William Coventry.] Plainly by the Debate only "land
forces" are meant. I desire not to be left without any
Navy at all. If you pay off all that are separate from the
Streights fleet, you'll have so slender a summer-guard,
that the French King may easily make an attempt upon
you. But I confess, I know not the meaning of a "summer-guard." If a great one, you may have it put in precedent upon you for the future. If a small one, 'twill be
of no use. But our fears are the Army. And though
the charge of the Navy is greater than the Army, yet
as the fears of the Army will vanish when the Army is
disbanded, I would go about that, and have another
day for consideration of the Navy.
Mr Pepys.] With a little explanation, Barnardiston's
motion may be a good motion—They are taken up for six
months—Is he willing to have them suddenly disbanded?
Barnardiston said, he was willing. Pepys replied, He
was beholden to him for the motion, and it would be
Colonel Birch.] I cannot think but that those merchant
ships, fallen down, are fully fitted out. And I would
have every yard of bowling laid up as if they were to go
away that day seven-night, all laid up so; and an inventory upon it. This will keep them safe, if any thing will,
and you may set out an hundred sail at a short warning.
Therefore I move "That a Committee be appointed, to
consider of the best ways and means to lessen the charge of
the Navy, and to take an account of the present charge."
For which Monday was appointed.
Sir Thomas Littleton.] Now this is over, I have a Petition concerning Aldborough
(fn. 1) , [in the county of York.]
There is annexed to it an Affidavit, which is rather a
work of supererogation, but what will not vitiate the
Sir Richard Temple.] We are not to receive Affidavits
here. I would have it struck out.
The Speaker.] If the Affidavit be fixed to the Petition,
if you receive the Affidavit you receive the Petition.
Sir John Talbot.] If a member can aver, that he knows the
hands that have subscribed the Petition, or if any without
doors will aver it, you may receive the Petition. But you
cannot receive an Affidavit of the subscription of the
Sir Thomas Littleton.] I know the hands very well.
Sir Thomas Meres.] Sir William Wentworth undertakes that Mr Wentworth will prosecute the Petition, and
I would have the Petition read, but not the Affidavit.
Sir William Coventry.] The matter of the Petition becomes already very burthensome to the Corporation.
T'other day a Petition was delivered, and 'twas a question
whether 'twas not signed all by one man's hand; now here
is an Affidavit of the subscriptions sent with the Petition,
by the mistaken zeal of the Gentleman. If we are not
impowered to receive Affidavits here, 'tis no Affidavit,
and you may receive it. If they lapse any more time in
their Petition, they may be nonsuited again, as they
have been twice already, and so their business is done for
this Parliament. I would therefore have the Clerk read
the Petition, and connive at the Affidavit.
The Speaker.] If you'll put the sitting Member (Sir
John Reresby) to these unnecessary disturbances, and admit every irregularity, &c.
Sir Thomas Lee.] I would publish rules, that all persons must come from all parts of England to avow Petitions, and so weary men out, that the Mayors and Bai
liffs will chuse you all the Parliament-men. The case of
Sir James Langham, for Northampton. He was first
chosen by the Commonalty, and secondly by the Mayor
and Aldermen, and thirdly by both, and yet he missed
it at last. There was something of a Communion-table
in the case.
Mr Powle.] Whilst we are gratifying a particular Gentleman, let us not lose an essential Privilege; that whenever a Member avers the Petition, you never refuse it.
Sir William Wentworth tells you, he knows the hands,
and undertakes they will prosecute the Petition. If any
Member presents a Petition to abuse you, and the Petitioners will not avow the Petition, it is in your power to
punish that Member, and send him to the Tower. A
Member has sat here four years, and the Petitioners say
he has sat wrongfully. Let us not begin new customs to
hinder complaints of people coming to us. Let the Petition be read, but not the Affidavit.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] By this Petition, the town complains of one that sits, that is not a Representative of
them, as a Grievance. It must be owned by somebody,
and I would have it now.
Sir Edmund Jennings.] Since the Petition is insisted upon, I must say something, that I otherwise would not: I
believe it to be fictitious. That letter could not come to
Mr Wentworth till Sunday morning, and he lives twenty
or thirty miles from Aldborough, and sending to and again that Affidavit, which was made at Wakefield on
Monday, and this is twenty-six miles farther, how it is possible this Affidavit could be made in such a time, I leave
you to consider.
Sir William Coventry.] 'Tis no compliment to your
Member to be the hander of a fictitious Petition to you.
I presume the Member has had caution. If it be fictitious,
I wonder Gentlemen should call for adjourning, and not
enquire into it: Every Scrivener may else put these slurs
upon you, and by calling it fictitious, and not proving it,
the Corporation may be slurred out of their right too. I
would therefore refer the enquiry into it to the Committee
[The Question being put, That the Petition be read, it passed
in the affirmative, 139 to 115, and the Clerk was ordered to blot
out the Affidavit. The Petition was referred to the Committee
Friday, May 31.
Mr Powle reports the musters of the Army; the numbers of
regiments of horse, foot, and dragoons, &c. to what time paid,
and what arrears.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] You can make no estimate till
you have the Paymaster's accounts, in order to paying
off and disbanding. Till you have more certain information, you cannot enter into that consideration.
Sir William Coventry.] As for cloaths, the soldiers are
not come into the King's service by contract for cloaths,
like apprentices. I believe, a worse Arithmetician than
that Gentleman (Spry) can easily cast up the matter. If
you think to go into a Grand Committee, it will not, as he
says, take up much time.
Mr Garroway.] I speak for your information. Here
is a discourse of several men, in several places, in Scotland,
Ireland, and France, that are to be paid off. Remote places
of another nature, and that of Guards, are things you have
not concerned yourselves in. I would have you apply
yourselves barely to the new-raised horse and foot, and go
into a Grand Committee. Let us put our work before
us, and we shall know the better how to go upon it. I
would have the late-raised horse and foot only considered.
Mr Vaughan.] There's nothing under your consideration
but the forces raised upon the account of a War against
France. That is honorary only upon us. Else we may
be put upon paying off those who have been in the French
service, and filling up those regiments.
Mr Hampden.] If you put in any new matter against
your vote, a man must not speak against it without leave
of the House. The Guards and additions to them were
upon this occasion. Let the Committee pursue your
The Speaker told Colonel Birch, "That it was indecent for
him to brush his Beard without a Looking-glass." To which
Birch replied, "You would not think it so if you had a Beard
Sir William Coventry.] Lee has set you right. Put
the least discouragement you can upon what you have
voted. I would go into a Grand Committee to-day; but
though the Committee is not ready for a sum, yet you
may make a general Vote, "That you will give a supply
for disbanding the Army."
In a Grand Committee. Sir John Trevor in the Chair.
Sir William Coventry.] The Committee is to provide for
paying off and disbanding the new-raised forces, from
such a time. What are the motives to desire this disbanding? One is to prevent excessive charge; the other
is, that forces may not remain in a body in the nation, to
the terror of the people. Suppose it has been fit to make
the former regiments four thousand men, shall we any
ways lessen the charge, in having them in a few regiments? I would therefore go to "all those forces raised
since the twenty-ninth of September last."
Mr Secretary Coventry.] Your design, I suppose, is, that
the King shall not suffer by raising these men by your
advice. I would have all those men considered, &c. that
have been raised upon this occasion.
Sir Thomas Meres.] Be it as it will, here are Armies,
and according to Law they are vexatious, because it is an
Army in England; therefore I would be rid of it. I
would have all the new-raised men since Michaelmas, disbanded and paid off. And if the Guards were paid off
and disbanded, I would give my vote for it, that the
King may live, as his father did, without Guards. How
shall we be sure that, when those new-raised in the Guards
are paid off and disbanded, they shall not swarm in again,
and come back? Pray think of that.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] Those raised that went over
into Flanders, are more under your consideration than the
rest. As for the Guards, Meres must give me leave to
differ from him; for the House formerly thanked the
King for raising them.
Sir Thomas Meres.] As for thanking the King for raising the Guards, &c. I am sure none of my vote was to
it; and I said nothing against the thing then; but
now I would willingly be rid of them.
Sir Thomas Lee.] I speak not of the Guards, but of
those raised for Scotland and Ireland. If we entered into
a War with France, that they should go some charge of it,
is reasonable. As for the Guards, those were raised without any Vote of yours. Drums were beating about the
streets, to make you believe we should have War, to induce you to give money. I would distinguish those of
Scotland and Ireland, &c.
Sir Henry Capel.] Those of Ireland and Scotland are
part of your Vote. I would have them comprehended.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] We have had seamen from
Scotland and Ireland, for the Dutch War, and the King
has no way of paying those men there, being not raised for
those places, but for this kingdom.
Sir Thomas Lee.] Because they were intended for that
War, and they were sent into the service of the French
King, must we pay them? By that consequence, they
are paid for serving France. I believe no man thought
of paying them out of the kingdom. It is hard that England must pay for other countries, who call no Parliaments to do it. And the King has no power there no
more than he has in England.
Sir Henry Capel.] I do not understand that those should
be paid off that have served the French King, but
only those that have come over from him.
Colonel Birch.] I would not have it ever forgotten,
that notwithstanding all the Alliances showed us, and no
War, yet we go about to pay off these new-raised men for
the French War. That, I hope, will prevent any hard things
that may be said to us, for the future. The Muster-master
told you, "he believed, a thousand men were raised in
Scotland, and a thousand in Ireland." He finds their cloathing more than their pay—I would have us hold to this
Question. The Vote tells you they shall be paid, but
not by whom. Now whether are you to defend Ireland
and Scotland, as well as England, by quota? But if there
be no such quota, 'tis most unreasonable that those forces,
raised for defence of Ireland and Scotland, should be paid
by England. 'Tis most unreasonable that we should be
at the whole charge of defending Ireland and Scotland.
Therefore I would have it resolved, "That the defence
of Ireland and Scotland, in the raising these men, shall be
at the charge of Ireland and Scotland."
Mr Secretary Coventry.] I cannot tell whether Lord
Douglas's regiment be brought over out of France,
but I am sure there are orders for the transporting of it.
But can Birch show me, that the seamen raised in Ireland
and Scotland were not upon the charge of England when
raised for the Dutch War?
Mr Powle.] It much concerns England not to have foreign forces raised to be brought into England, to be a terror to us; especially when in the most Popish part of
Ireland, and they have Popish Officers. This may justly
occasion fears and jealousies. It would have been a
strange thing to have raised these forces in Germany; and,
by the same reason, they may be raised in Germany, as well
as there. I will not look back into the late King's time,
when there was an intention of raising German horse to
be brought into England. If Leagues had been showed
us, much of this charge might have been prevented; but
seeing it is so, I would have you concerned in no more
than those raised in our own country, and give no countenance at all to foreign soldiers.
Sir William Coventry.] The charge of those two regiments is not worth your while to consider. But as to
Ireland, Talbot has taken good care that they were Protestants. But I would not have Ireland drained of Protestants, and would have you discountenance this raising
of men in Ireland and Scotland, where your law of Popery
reaches not. I would not have it said, the next time you
have need of an Army, (and that may be you know
not how soon) that an English Parliament pays for a Popish Army. And whether these men are proper guardians for your laws, and religion, is a question. I would
therefore have it, that employing Popish Officers, out of
Scotland and Ireland, may have no countenance here.
Mr Vaughan.] I would not think there's any obligation upon us to disband any of the Forces, but what were
raised pursuant to the Votes of this House. By the
Law of England, no men can be raised, but for foreign
service—If those Forces continue in the French service,
though they were raised but for a compliment to the
French King, of that service we have no obligation upon
us. 'Twas a great insolence to raise men in Ireland
against the sense of this House, by a Vote. I would
have their Commissions inspected.
Sir John Talbot.] I except against what is said, "That
no man shall dare to raise men in Scotland and Ireland
against a Vote of this House." I would have Vaughan
explain what he means by "without consent of this
Mr Vaughan.] I did say "That when there was a Debate in the House, and Talbot knew the temper of the
House, it was some oversight in Talbot to raise men in
Sir Thomas Lee.] It seems, mistakes are apt to be to day—Interrupted by
Mr Secretary Coventry.] A law cannot be made without the House of Commons, but not by the House of
Commons. But that the King may not raise forces in
Scotland and Ireland, there's no law against it.
Mr Vaughan.] There can be no colour of raising these
men, but in pursuance of the French War, and these men
can in no way be onerary upon us.
Mr Williams.] That an Army should be brought out
of Ireland to awe the subjects of England, was one of
Lord Strafford's Articles. I take it, that this House can
make no Vote to bind Ireland or Scotland, nor can this
House raise any men there. They have Parliaments of
their own, and our Vote goes no farther then the Forces
raised here. I value not the men, nor the money to pay
them off, but for the sake of the precedent. The last
Session, 'twas argued against the Address for removing the
Duke of Lauderdale, that you could not meddle with
what was done in Scotland. If you cannot bind them
by your Law, do not let them have your money. Be they
actually in arms in England, then pay them off, but
let Ireland alone.
Sir Thomas Lee.] I know nothing against it, but that
as for foreign forces, the King may raise forces where he
pleases; but then how far is this House obliged to pay
them? Only for our own kingdom. Why should you be
called upon to raise men in Scotland, &c. and give a support to disband them, when you are told the King governs those countries by Parliaments of their own? And
we cannot complain that the King raises these forces in
Scotland, for then, perhaps, we shall be told we invade
the King's Prerogative in those countries in doing it.
Mr Sollicitor Winnington.] The King may raise, and
the King may disband men, by his Prerogative. And I
admit, the King may raise men in any foreign part.
Serjeant Gregory.] Your Vote is only generally "from
such a time," and cannot be applied to any place but
England. If they come out of France, or out of Ireland
to this service, they are within your Vote. You have no
power to disband in Scotland and Ireland, and possibly
those raised by the Duke of Lauderdale may come within
your Vote by the same reason.
Mr Garroway.] All you are to do is by Act of Parliament, and you cannot impose upon Scotland by Act of
Parliament. The point that has perplexed us in our Debate, is, the mixture of those forces of Ireland and Scotland. I would therefore have the Question, "Whether
those forces raised in Ireland and Scotland be within your
vote?" But will you pay those forces in France, or give
them any countenance, who would have fought against
you, if the War with France had gone on? Therefore for
them I would not give a penny.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] I am very loth to entail an
Army upon the King of France, by not keeping these
men off, &c. and disbanding them there. If they must
not come over from thence (and possibly I am not without my fears of occasion for another Army) I would not
have the fatality of having them entailed upon France.
When they are disbanded, and taken notice of by Act of
Parliament, they are no longer as a regiment, or a body,
and for that reason I would take them into the rest of
Mr Sacheverell.] I am sorry that the Gentlemen in
France should come to any loss, but it seems strange to
me that the King's Proclamation should not bring them
over; and that a letter from his Majesty should bring
them over. Perhaps, had they come over, we might
not have been as we are. I would therefore divide the
Mr Secretary Coventry.] The King's Proclamation for
recalling them was a bare one, without assurance of employment when they came back. The King's Letter assured them of employment, and that brought them over.
When the King's Proclamation was put out, it did not
signify to what end they were recalled, which was the
cause why they did not come over; but when the Secretary wrote a Letter to signify that they were to be employed here, that immediately brought them over.
Mr Williams.] The King can no more raise men in
England, than he can raise money. 1 E. III. 7 E. III. 4 E.
IV. They must be raised according to Law; according
to the Militia-Act—But unless in actual invasion or rebellion, he cannot raise any.
Sir William Coventry.] I would have this argument
laid aside, because perhaps we are not so able to argue
it, and perhaps not so able to judge, as the Gentlemen of
the Long Robe.
Sir Robert Sawyer.] It is said, with great assurance,
"That the King can no more raise men than money;"
but 'tis the first time I ever heard so. Then the consequence
must be, that the King has raised all these men against
Law. You have said, over and over, that the men were
not raised in pursuance of your Vote. And I would fain
know if the King be in League with a foreign Prince,
and the Law makes it felony for those soldiers to go away
from their colours, can any man that ever read the
least tittle of Law say, that in case of rebellion, and invasion, the King may force men to take up arms, yet not
grant a commission to pay these men?—It was never asserted before. In H. VI. and H. VII.—Felony, and hanged
for it. To undertake to assert the Law, in such a great
place as this, "That the King cannot raise men, &c."
when it has been constant according to the tenor of the
Law—I wonder at it.
Mr Vaughan.] He did not assert it so generally as Sawyer alleges he did.
Sir John Talbot.] We have ears, as well as that Gentleman, and I would not have one Gentleman explain for
Lord Cavendish.] To Order. Talbot mistakes; for what
Vaughan said was a reply to what Sawyer said.
Sir Jonathan Trelawney.] In a former Debate, Williams
has given occasion of exception. He avers now, "That
the King has no more power to raise men than he has to
The Speaker.] If Williams will say that 'tis a lapse, it
will be let go as usual. But if he asserts it for Law, I
would have the words written down.
Mr Williams.] I gave my words several restrictions.
The King may raise men in case of rebellion or invasion
in the Kingdom, as in 3 E. III. 4 H. IV. 3 H. VII. The
Law of the Militia declares "making of Peace and War
in the King."That is a Declaration, in matters relating
to the Militia of England, and 'tis but a Declaration of
the Common Law. I submit myself to correction, and
make submission to the Committee.
Mr Secretary Williamson.] I am unwilling to speak of
the power of the Prerogative, in this place to be handled
with great reverence, and we are supported under it, and
are a happy people. The words were said again and again, "That the King had no more power to raise men
than money." I will not press any hardship upon the
Gentleman that said them, but I would enter no farther
upon it to define the whole thing. I would do as I
would be done by. I may slip as well as other men.
Should any thing of the Prerogative be entrenched upon
now, it would be as fatal to you as entrenchments upon
Mr Secretary Coventry.] There was never any question
of drums beating for the assistance of friends and Allies,
in Kings and Queens times, for Sweden and other Princes.
This Prerogative does not betray or offend the subject.
If the King has not power to raise money, he has not the
power to levy men, and that is the consequence of the
words. I would have the words written down.
Sir Thomas Lee.] We have heard much of former
times, which did arise from the jealousy of Prerogative
and Liberty. The words must be written, and then you
must argue them. I am afraid there may be inconvenience in stirring any of these Questions. 'Tis so unsafe
to define Prerogative and Liberty, that I would leave
them where they are.
The Speaker, out of the Chair.] I would give room to
any Gentleman to explain himself. But Williams, by
his explanation, has made the thing worse. Jealousies
and fears have risen formerly from such damnable doctrines as these. I would have the words written down
and read, and then judge of them as they deserve.
Mr Williams.] I would not willingly forfeit my modesty in this House. I am willing to satisfy the Committee. I am in your judgment, and I submit it to the
Sir George Hungerford.] Williamson said once, "If the
King paid the Forces, he might raise as many as he
Mr Secretary Williamson.] He has named me for what
I said in another Session of Parliament; but the House at
that time did acquiesce in what I said, on my explanation.
Mr Williams.] I have had the misfortune to run into
a mistake, and your time is of more value than any concern of mine. I acknowlege my error, and humbly ask
your pardon for it.
And so the thing passed over.
Mr Garroway.] We have a very nice thing before us.
The whole thing has run upon words, and not matter.
It may be, I shall not be so lucky as to offer you words,
but the thing I mean is to comprehend these men within
a number, though without naming them.
Sir Thomas Meres.] Whether such words may include,
or not include them, in the Vote, lies upon the sense of
the House, and then you may debate it. Therefore make
a general Vote, "That towards a Supply for disbanding
this Army you have a Poll-bill, and that you will supply
what shall be wanting in the Poll-bill for that purpose."
And, if possible, let us be unanimous, and not break
Sir John Ernly.] I am glad that, after so many hours
Debate, we shall come to a Question. Therefore I would
have it resolved, "That there shall be a Supply for disbanding the Army, &c."
Sir Thomas Lee.] I would know what this Question
means. If it be general, the House has already voted
it, viz. "That the Army should be paid off and disbanded." If you are ordered to consider that Motion, is
it barely Aye, or No? It is to take as much, or as little,
as you please. Now I would fain know, whether it is
not a regular Question, to take it from such a proportion
of men, and to reject it for the rest.
Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That a
Supply be granted to the King towards the paying and disbanding [of all] the Forces raised since the 29th of September last.
[Agreed to by the House.]