The History and Proceedings of the House of Commons: Volume 4, 1706-1713. Originally published by Chandler, London, 1742.
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First Parliament of Great Britain.
Nov. the 6th, the Parliament for the United Kingdom sat the first time at Westminster, to whom her Majesty made the following most gracious Speech.
The Queen's Speech.
'My Lords and Gentlemen,
It is with all humble Thankfulness to Almighty God, and entire Satisfaction to myself, that I meet you here in this first Parliament of Great Britain, not doubting but you come with Hearts prepared, as mine is, to make this Union so prosperous, as may answer the well-grounded Hopes of all my good Subjects, and the reasonable Apprehensions of our Enemies.
'To this end, nothing is so immediately material, as to convince, as soon as possible, both our Friends and our Enemies, that the Uniting of our Interests has not only improved our Abilities, but our Resolutions also, to prosecute this just and necessary War, till we obtain a safe and honourable Peace for ourselves, and for our Allies.
'In so great and extensive a War as this is, many things may be usefully undertaken which are not fit to be communicated before-hand: The Attempt upon Thoulon was of this Nature, and, though it had not wholly its desired Effect, has nevertheless been attended with many great and obvious Advantages to the Common Cause in this Year, and has made our Way more easy, I hope, to greater in the next.
'As the French have gain'd Ground upon us in Spain, so they have been wholly driven out of Italy, by which it is become more easy for all the Allies to join their Assistance next Year for enabling the King of Spain to recover his 'Affairs in that Kindom, and to reduce the whole Spanish Monarchy to his Obedience.
'The Weakness and ill Posture of Affairs upon the Rhine, in the beginning of the Year, has given an Opportunity to the French to make themselves stronger in all other Parts, but this Defect seems in a very promising way of being fully remedied against next Campaign, by the Conduct and Authority of the Elector of Hanover, whose seasonable Acceptance of that Command has strengthen'd and oblig'd the whole Consederacy.
'Gentlemen of the House of Commons,
'The just Application of the Sums given me by former Parliaments, the plain Necessity of continuing this War, the reasonable Prospect of putting a good End to it, if we be not wanting to ourselves, and the Honour of the first Parliament of Great Britain, are, I make no doubt, sufficient Arguments to incite you to provide the necessary Supplies which I am obliged to desire of you for the ensuing Campaign in all Parts, and particularly for the timely Support of the King of Spain, and the making good our Treaty with Portugal; as also for strengthening the Consederate Army under the Command of the Duke of Savoy; all which Services I don't doubt but you will think so necessary, that they ought not to be neglected, even though they should require an Augmentation.
'The Sums already expended in this War have been very great, and they are sufficient Proofs how well satisfied my Subjects have always been with the Ends of my Government, of which I am so sensible, as never to ask any Supplies from them, but what are absolutely necessary for the Preservation of Religion and Liberty: I look upon it as my great Happiness that; I have not the least Interest separate from that of all my good Subjects.
'My Lords and Gentlemen,
'In a Work so great and new in its kind as that of the the Union, it is impossible but that some Doubts and Difficulties must have arisen, which however, I hope, are so far overcome, as to have defeated the Designs of those who would have made use of that Handle to soment Disturbances.
'There are several Matters expresly made liable by the Articles of the Union, to the Consideration of the Parliament of Great Britain, which, together with such others, as may reasonably produce those Advantages, that, with due Care, must certainly arise from that Treaty, I earnestly recommend to your serious Consideration.
'On my Part nothing shall be wanting to procure to my People all the Blessings which can follow from this happy Circumstance of my Reign, and to extinguish by all proper Means the least Occasions of Jealousy, that either the civil or religious Rights of any Part of this my United Kingdom can suffer by the Consequences of this Union.
'Such a Suggestion shall never in my Time have any Foundation, how restless soever our Enemies may be in their Endeavours and Artifices to disturb our Peace and Happiness, those great and valuable Blessings cannot but be always secure to us, if we heartily endeavour to confirm and improve our present Union: I hope therefore you will suffer nothing to prevail with you to disunite among your selves, or abate your Zeal in opposing the common Enemy.'
The Lords pausing upon her Majesty's Speech, the Commons forthwith resolved upon an Address of Thanks to her Majesty, which was this that follows.
'Most gracious Sovereign,
'We, your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal Subjects, the Commons of Great Britain in Parliament assembled, do, with all Thankfulness and Humility, acknowledge the Divine Goodness, in making your Majesty the glorious Instrument of uniting your two Kingdoms.
'And we shall never be so far wanting in our Duty to your Majesty, and the Trust reposed in us by those we represent, as not to embrace all Occasions of confirming and improving the Advantages of this happy Union.
'As this cannot fail to strengthen your Majesty's Government at Home, and answer the well-grounded Hopes of good Subjects; so your faithful Commons are resolved to exert the united Strength of this Island in such a manner as shall make it a Terror to your Enemies.
'The Elector of Hanover being at the Head of the Army on the Rhine, gives us the greatest Hopes of Success on that Side, from his Conduct and Authority.
'And tho' your Majesty's great and wise Designs for the Advantage of this Nation, and the Good of the Common Cause, have not had all the desired Effects in the last Campaign, yet we beg leave to assure your Majesty, that no Disappointments shall discourage us from making our utmost Efforts to enable your Majesty, in Conjunction with your Allies, to reduce the whole Spanish Monarchy to the Obedience of the King of Spain, to make good the Treaty with Portugal, and to strengthen the Confederate Army, under the Command of the Duke of Savoy.
'Your Majesty has shewn, throughout the whole Course of your Reign, that you have no Interest separate from that of your People; who have been so sensible of the many Blessings they have enjoy'd under your Administration, as never to be wanting, on all Occasions, to express their Gratitude to the best of Queens.
'And we, your united Commons of this Parliament, do faithfully promise your Majesty, that we will proceed upon public Business with Unanimity and Dispatch, and give such effectual Supplies as may carry on the War with Vigor, and, by the Blessing of God upon your Majesty's Arms, obtain an honourable and lasting Peace.'
To this Address her Majesty answered to this Effect;
'I thank you very kindly for this Address: The Desires you express of taking all Occasions to improve the Advantages of our happy Union, are extremely agreeable to me. As you cannot give me a more sensible Proof of your Loyalty and Affection to me and my Government, than by your Assurances of supporting me effectually in a vigorous Prosecution of the War: So I make no doubt but these Assurances will have their due Weight abroad, and be of the greatest Advantage imaginable to the common Cause.'
Mr. Asgill expelled.
If from so public an Address and Answer we may descend to the Case of a private Person: There was one Mr. John Asgil, a Member of the House of Commons, who, at the opening of this Session of Parliament, was unhappily laid under Execution in the Fleet Prison; and his Adversary, Mr. Holland, a Staffordshire Gentleman, being apprehensive left he might plead his Privilege, petition'd the House, that he might not be allow'd it, till he had made just Satisfaction for the Debt he owed him. Now the House having appointed a Committee to examine this Affair, and Mr. Asgil having some Years before published a Pamphlet, entitled, 'An Argument proving, that, according to the Covenant of eternal Life revealed in the Scriptures, Men may be translated from hence to eternal Life, without passing through Death:' This, instead of the Matter of Privilege, was wisely made a Handle to expel him the House; which when Mr. Asgil, who was then in the House, saw would unavoidably befal him, he went out, and, by a Stratagem, made his Escape from those that lay in wait for him at the Door.
Resolutions about Members incapable to fit
In the mean time, and indeed at the beginning of the Session, the House came to this grand Resolution, ' That every Person, who, by an Act of the first Session of the last Parliament, entitled, An Act for the better Security of her Majesty's Person and Government, and of the Succession of the Crown of England in the Protestant-Line (relating to disabling of several Officers to sit in Parliament) was disabled, from and after the Dissolution or Determination of the said Parliament, to sit or vote as a Member of the House of Commons in any Parliament to be thereafter holden, was by virtue of the said Act incapable of sitting or voting as a Member of that House in this present Parliament.
Noli prosequi granted about Scots Goods imported.
The Commons, at the same time, went roundly to work with the Supplies, so far and as soon as the States of the Accounts of several Offices, and other Matters could be laid before them and examined; they rejected a Motion to bring in a Bill to repeal the Game-Act made last Year; vindicated the Privileges of their own Members, and having addrest the Queen to order her Attorney-General to enter a Noli prosequi, to discharge the several Informations exhibited in the Court of Exchequer, relating to Goods imported into Scotland before the first of May last; her Majesty answered, ' She was very well pleased with what the House of Commons had done in that Matter, and she would give Directions accordingly, as was designed by their Address.
Naval Miscarriages examined into.
The House next thought fit to go upon the Business of Admiral Whetstone's convoying the Russia-Fleet last Summer, and his Cruize before Dunkirk: this, with other Matters, took up a pretty deal of their Time, and brought the whole Concerns of the Navy under Consideration. Some Miscarriages, no doubt, there were, as well as Misfortunes; the Merchants were respectively examined touching their Complaints and Grievances, and the Prince's Council made their Replies and Vindication. Mr. Heathcote, Son of Sir Gilbert Heathcote, and Mr. Dawson, Russia-Merchants, spoke very boldly, and stuck not to charge the Managers of the Navy with Fraud, Malice and Ignorance, which all bore hard on Admiral Churchill. Several Members interrupting them, Sir Richard Onslow, Chairman of the Committee, desir'd them to go on. Whetstone, who commanded the Russia-Convoy, and rose to a Flag, from being Master of a small Bristol-Ship, had a Character which seem'd to be referr'd to by Mr. Heathcote and Mr. Dawson, in their Complaint of Fraud, Malice, and Ignorance. These Debates and Complaints ended in a Resolution, That, for the better securing the Trade of this Kingdom, over and above the Ships of War for the Line of Battle, and the Convoys to remote Parts, a sufficient Number of Ships, afterwards settled at Four, be appointed to cruize in proper Stations.
And the Affairs of Spain.
The State of Things in Spain last Campaign came in like manner under Consideration, and more particularly Inquiry was made both by the Lords and Commons, what Forces from time to time had been sent thither, and whether the full Compliment, for which Money was appropriated: It is certain that War was very chargeable and liable to many Disappointments; and the State the Government afterwards gave of it, and the Care that had been taken to recover that Monarchy was just.
Commons Resolves about North Britain.
About the same time the Commons resolved that there should be but one Privy Council in the Kingdom of Great Britain; that the Militia of North Britain should be regulated in the same manner, as the Militia of that part of Great Britain called England; that the Powers of Justices of the Peace, for preserving the public Peace, be the same throughout the whole United Kingdom: that for the better Administration of Justice, and Preservation of the public Peace, the Lords of Justiciary be appointed to go Circuits twice in the Year: That the Writs in electing Members to serve in the House of Commons for Scotland, be directed to the Sheriffs of their respective Counties, and that the Return should be made of such Writs in like manner as Returns were made in England.
Queen passes Acts.
On the 18th the following Bills being ready for the Royal Assent, viz. An Act for granting an Aid to her Majesty to be raised by a Land-Tax in Great-Britain, for the Service of the Year 1708. An Act for repealing and declaring the Determination of two Acts passed in the Parliament of Scotland; the one intitled, An Act for the Security of the Kingdom; the other, Act anent Peace and War; and Act for better securing the Duties on East India Goods: The Queen went to the House of Lords, and having sent for the Commons up, she was pleased to pass them, and then made this most gracious Speech to both Houses of Parliament.
Queen's Speech in Parliament.
'My Lords and Gentlemen,
'I Am very well pleased with the Occasion of my coming hither at this Time, and desirous to take this Opportunity of expressing to you the Satisfaction I have in seeing so good a Progress made in the public Business.
'Gentlemen of the House of Commons,
'I am extremely sensible of the Readiness and Affection with which you have provided so considerable a Part of the Supplies: As I am fully persuaded it must needs give the greatest Satisfaction to all our Allies, so I look upon it as a sure Pledge of your being disposed to make good those hearty Assurances which you gave me in the Beginning of the Session.
'I told you at the opening of this Parliament, that I did hope you would look upon the Services relating to Spain, Portugal, and the Army under the Command of the Duke of Savoy, to be of so much Importance in the Prosecution of this War, that they might deserve an Augmentation, which I cannot but think will be of the greatest Use to the common Cause, both with regard to those particular Services, and to the putting our selves in a Condition to improve such favourable Opportunities as may arise in the ensuing Year.
'My Lords and Gentlemen,
'I shall only add, that as nothing is more essential to my own Quiet, and the Happiness of all my good Subjects, than the bringing this War to a safe and honourable Conclusion, so I must think myself obliged to look upon all those who are willing and desirous to support me in it for attaining that End, as the most proper Objects of my Favour and Encouragement.
'I cannot conclude without once more recommending to you to confirm and improve the Advantages of our happy Union, not doubting but at the same Time you will have a due Regard to what shall be found necessary for preserving the public Peace throughout the whole Island of Great-Britain.'
The Lords and Commons both being extremely well pleased with her Majesty's Speech and Resolutions therein, concurred in the following loyal Address, which was presented on the 19th to this Effect.
Lords and Commons Address to the Queen
'We your Majesty's dutiful and loyal Subjects, the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, in Parliament assembled, do return our most humble and hearty Thanks to your Majesty for your most gracious Speech to your Parliament.
'The great Spirit and Resolution your Majesty is pleased to express for the vigorous carrying on the War in Spain and Portugal, and strengthening the Army of the Duke of Savoy, who has deserved so well of the whole Confederacy, cannot fail to contribute in the most effectual Manner, to bring this War to a speedy and happy Conclusion.
'Such an Example ought to excite all your Allies to a noble Imitation, and we are sure your Majesty will do your utmost to oblige such of them as hitherto have fail'd in their Parts, for the future to act as those who have a real Concern for restoring and securing Peace and Liberty to Europe. Your Majesty's Favour will always be the highest Encouragement to your Subjects, but the Zeal we have for the Preservation of your Majesty's Person and Government, and the Duty we owe to our Country, always has, and ever will oblige us to do all that lies in our Power for supporting your Majesty in this just War, till it be brought to a safe and happy Conclusion.
'And as we have shewn the greatest Zeal for bringing the Union to pass, and for preventing every Thing that might disturb it, so we unanimously promise your Majesty to do all that is possible for us to make it compleat and entire.'
To this Address her Majesty made this most gracious Answer,
'I return you many Thanks for your Address, and the Assurances of your Zeal to support me in the present War. Nothing shall be wanting on my Part, either Abroad or at Home, to make my People safe and happy.'
The Parliament having received this satisfactory Answer from her Majesty, bethought themselves of another no less seasonable Address, about the Necessity of reducing the whole Spanish Monarchy to the Obedience of the House of Austria before a safe and honourable Peace could be made; which perhaps the French, from some Circumstances, might flatter themselves should be obtain'd upon Terms more favourable and advantageous to them: The Address runs thus,
Lords and Commons Address to the Q. against making Peace till the Reduction of Spain.
'We, your Majesty's most dutiful and obedient Subjects, the Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons in Parliament assembled, having been always fully persuaded, that nothing could restore a just Ballance of Power in Europe, but the reducing the whole Spanish Monarchy to the Obedience of the House of Austria; and having seen several great Parts of that Monarchy, by the Blessing of God upon the victorious Arms of your Majesty and your Allies, already in the Possession of that House, do think it not only seasonable, but necessary, at this Juncture, humbly to offer this our unanimous Opinion to your Majesty, That no Peace can be honourable or safe for your Majesty, or your Allies, if Spain, the West-Indies, or any part of the Spanish Monarchy be suffered to remain under the Power of the House of Bourbon.
'When we consider what Efforts this Kingdom has continued to make from the Beginning of the War, we cannot but think a much greater Impression might have been made upon the Enemy, before this Time, if some of your Allies, who seem principally concerned, and have reap'd the most immediate Advantage, had seconded your Majesty with like Vigour, whereby France might have been equally press'd on all sides.
'We are obliged to return our humble Thanks to your Majesty, for the Care you have taken, and the Instances you have made with his Imperial Majesty, for sending a considerable Force for the Relief of Spain, under the Command of Prince Eugene; as being certainly the most likely Method to restore the Affairs of the Confederacy in that Country.
'But the frequent Disappointments we have observed on the Part of the Emperor and Empire, to the great Prejudice of the common Cause, makes us think it our Duty, in order that the War may be brought to a happy Conclusion, to beseech your Majesty to make the most pressing Instances with the Emperor, That he would with all Expedition send powerful Succours to his Brother the King of Spain, under the Conduct of that great and sucessful General: That he would timely and effectually make good what has been concerted, for his putting 20000 Men under the Duke of Savoy: And would also make use of his utmost Power and Interest for strengthening the Army upon the Rhine, which is now happily put under the Command of that wise and valiant Prince the Elector of Hanover.
'We believe no Part of this can be refused upon your Majesty's earnest Interposition, who has done such great Things for the House of Austria; and this being comply'd with, we may reasonably hope, by God's Assistance, the next will prove a happy and glorious Campaign.
Her Majesty's most gracious Answer:
'My Lords and Gentlemen,
'I am fully of your Opinion, that no Peace can be honourable or safe for us, or for our Allies, till the entire Monarchy of Spain be restor'd to the House of Austria; and very well pleased to find, that the Measures I have concerted for the Succour of the King of Spain, are so well approved by both Houses of Parliament. I shall continue my most pressing Instances with the Emperor for the hastening further Succours, and that they may be commanded by Prince Eugene; as also upon all the other Particulars mentioned in your Address.'
Commons Address to the Queen about the Trade to Austria.
Thus the Month of December concluded with the Commons addressing the Queen, ' That she would be graciously pleased to use her Endeavours with his Imperial Majesty, to restore her Subjects the Liberty of Trade they formerly enjoyed in Austria and Stiria, and to prevent for the future, any Prohibitions from being made in any other Parts of his hereditary Dominions. We heartily wish her Majesty's Interest with the Imperial House of Austria, from whom she has merited so much, may bring this Request to bear, for the Benefit of her Subjects; and that all other weighty Affairs, whether relating to Peace, War, or Traffick, may have as much Success and Prosperity as her Pious and Royal Heart can desire.
'Tis remarkable, that by the 22d of this Month, the House had made the following Grants,
Amounting in all to near six Millions.
The Commons resolve on several Addresses to the Queen.
Jan. the 12th, the House of Commons resolved to present three several Addresses to the Queen: First, 'That she would be pleased to give Directions for laying before the House an Account of the Effective Men of the Portuguese Troops yearly, since the Treaty with Portugal; and also an Account of what Number of them were present at the Battle of Almanza, or at that Time, in any other Parts of Spain or Portugal.' Secondly, 'An Account of the Money remitted upon Account of Spain, for the Year 1707, and when the same arrived there.' And Thirdly, ' An Account of all Sea-Officers and Seamen which had been taken Prisoners by France.' With which three Addresses her Majesty readily complied; as she did with a fourth, that was presented to her the 15th, for an Account of what Number of Men were wanting for recruiting the Land-Forces and the Marines.
The next Day the Commons resolved to present two other Addresses, to desire her Majesty to cause to be laid before them, First, 'Copies of all Councils of War, Letters, and Papers (which were in the Admiralty) relating to the War with Spain:' And Secondly, ' The Account given by the Earl of Peterborough, of his Proceedings in Spain, and also the Memorial given by Count Gallas, and the Letters between the King of Spain and the Earl of Peterborough, in the Months of June and July, 1705.' All which were accordingly laid before the House.
Proposals to recruit the Land-Forces rejected. ; Resolution about recruiting the Land-Forces, &c.
On the 19th, the Commons in a Committee of the whole House, took several Resolutions for raising part of the Supply by Sale of Annuities; which were the next Day agreed to by the House. The same Day, they, in a Grand Committee, took into further Consideration the more effectual Recruiting her Majesty's Land-Forces and Marines. There being near 16,000 Men wanting for that Purpose, some proposed, That the several Parishes and Counties should be obliged to furnish a certain Number; but the opposite Party very warmly opposed that Motion, as tending to abridge the Liberty of the Subject; and the greatest Part of the CourtParty being shy of pressing a Council, that might endanger their Elections for the next Parliament, that Overture was dropped, and the Committee came to a Resolution, which, with some Amendments, was agreed to by the House on the 21st, and was as follows: 'That a sufficient Number of Men, necessary for the effectual recruiting her Majesty's Land-Forces and Marines, and for restoring the Regiments that were broken at the Battle of Almanza, for which the Money had already been granted by the House, be raised for the Service of the Year 1708, out of such Persons as have no lawful Calling or Imployment, or do not follow the same, or have not any Estate real or personal, for their Maintenance and Livelihood, or any lawful Means of Livelihood by their own Labour, or Allowance from their Parents:' And a Bill was ordered to be brought in pursuant to that Resolution. Upon this Occasion Sir William Courtney made a notable Speech, in relation to the unfair Methods by which several young Officers, both by Sea and Land, were advanced to the Prejudice of others of longer standing, and more Experience.
An Address of the Commons about recruiting the Army.
Two Days after, the Commons came to an unanimous Resolution, 'That an humble Address be presented to her Majesty, that she would be pleased to issue her Royal Proclamation, for the better putting in Execution an Act made in the fifth Year of her Majesty's Reign, for the better recruiting her Majesty's Land-Forces and the Marines; and for the greater Encouragement of the Parish-Officers to perform their Duty enjoined by that Act, That for every Person they shall bring before the Magistrate, who shall be impressed, they do receive the Sum of twenty Shillings; and that every Volunteer, for his Encouragement to come into the Service, do receive four Pounds; and also that her Majesty will be pleased to signify her Royal Pleasure, that the said Volunteer shall have his Discharge after three Years Service, if he defires it: As likewise, that her Majesty will be graciously pleased to grant the same Allowances and Encouragements to such Persons as shall voluntarily come into the Service out of that Part of the united Kingdom called Scotland.
The said Address being accordingly presented to the Queen, her Majesty was pleased to give an Answer, 'That she should lose no time in giving Orders for such a Proclamation, pursuant to their Address; nothing being more essential for the public Service, than the immediate providing the necessary Recruits for the Army; and that she could not but hope they would take care it should be done, in such a manner as might be effectual.'
Resolutions in favour of the United India Company. ; State of the War in Spain considered. ; Address thereon ; Queen's Answer
On the 13th, the House agreed to the Resolutions taken by the Committee of the whole House, which were to this Effect: 'That, in Case the English Company trading to the EastIndies, upon the Account of the united Stock, would advance a further Sum of One Million two hundred thousand Pounds, for the Service of the Year 1708, that a further Term of Fourteen Years and a half, (including three Years Notice,) to take Effect after the Expiration of their present Term, should be granted to the said Company, of, and in the whole Fund of One hundred and sixty thousand Pounds per Annum, and the Benefit of Trade, and other Privileges and Advantages granted by, or in Pursuance of the Act made in the 9th Year of the Reign of his late Majesty King William III. of glorious Memory.' Now some Managers of the united Trade to the East-Indies, having on the second of (fn. 1) February, delivered in a Paper at the Bar of the House of Commons, of the English Company's Submission to the said Resolution, a Bill was ordered to be brought in accordingly. But before this, viz. on the 29th of the last Month, the House taking into Consideration the State of the War with Spain; and the Residue of the Papers which had been laid before the House having been read, and the Question being proposed, ' That of the Twenty nine thousand three hundred ninety-five English Forces provided by Parliament, for the Service of Spain and Portugal, in the Year 1707, there was but Eight-thousand six hundred and sixty in Spain and Portugal, at the Time of the Battle of Almanza: A Debate arose thereupon, which was adjourned to the 3d of February, when the House resumed it, and Mr. St. John offering to the House an Account of the Number of Forces provided for Spain and Portugal in 1707, the same was brought up to the Table, and read; and the Question formerly proposed and debated, was (with an Amendment) agreed unto by the House, as followeth, viz. Resolved, 'That it ap pears to this House, that of the twenty-nine thousand three hundred and ninety-five English Forces provided by Parliament, for the Service of Spain and Portugal, in the Year 1707, there were but Eight thousand six hundred and sixty Men, besides Commission and Non-commission Officers, and Servants, in Spain and Portugal, at the Time of the Battel of Almanza. Then a Motion being made, and the Question proposed, That an humble Address be presented to her Majesty (laying the said Resolution before her Majesty) and humbly desiring, That she would be graciously pleased to order an Account to be laid before that House, how it came to pass that there were no more English Forces in Spain and Portugal at the Time of the Battle of Almanza; and also that her Majesty would be pleased to use her utmost Endeavours, that the War in Spain might be vigorously and effectually prosecuted: It was carried in the affirmative; and resolved that the said Address be presented to her Majesty by the whole House.' Accordingly on the 5th, the Speaker, with the House attended the Queen with the said Address, to which her Majesty answered: 'Gentlemen, What you desire shall be carefully examined, and I will send you an Answer in a short time.'
Address of the Commons for an Exchange of Prisoners taken at Sea.
On the 7th, the House proceeded to take into Consideration, the Petition of divers of the poor and distressed Wives and Mothers of the Officers and Seamen, her Majesty's Subjects, Prisoners of War in France, and the Representation of the Commissioners for the Sick and Wounded, and Exchange of Prisoners. Also the Letter from Monsieur l'Empereur to the said Commissioners; and the general Account of the Exchange of Sea-Prisoners at War, from the Commencement of this present War, being likewise read, it was resolved, 'That an Address should be presented to her Majesty, that she would be pleased to give Directions, that effectual Care be taken for the subsisting and speedy Exchange of such Officers and Seamen (of her Majesty's Navy) as were Prisoners in France.' To which the Queen returned an Answer, 'That she had given full Orders, some time since, in that Matter.'
Some Days after, the Queen, who lay indisposed of the Gout, having granted a Commission under the Great Seal, for passing the Royal Assent to those Bills, which had been agreed to by both Houses of Parliament, the Lords commissioned went to the House of Peers, and the Commons being sent for up and attending, their Lordships passed the Royal Assent to the following public Bills.
Acts passed by Commission.
1. An Act for raising a further Supply to her Majesty, for the Service of the Year 1708, and other Uses, by Sale of Annuities, charged on a Fund not exceeding Forty thousand Pounds per Annum, to arise by appropriating several Surplus's, and by granting farther Terms in the Duties on Low-Wines, and on Hawkers, Pedlars, and Petty-Chapmen, the Stamp-Duties, and One Third Subsidy, the Duty on Sweets, and one of the Branches of the Excise; and by making other Provision in this Act mentioned.
2. An Act for the Security of her Majesty's Person and Government, and of the Succession to the Crown of Great-Britain in the Protestant Line.
3. An Act for rendering the Union of the two Kingdoms more entire and compleat.
4. An Act for repairing, amending, and enlarging the Highways between the Top of Kingsdown Hill and the City of Bath, and also several other Highways leading to and through the said City; and for cleansing, paving, and lighting the Streets, and regulating the Chairmen there. And to four private Bills.
Resolutions of the Commons against Captain Kerr.
The Commons on the 16th, upon the Report made by Sir Richard Onslow, from the Committee of the whole House, in relation to the State of the Navy, and Trade of the Nation, came to the following Resolutions:
1. 'That the Complaint of Mr. Wood and other Merchants against Captain Kerr, in relation to the Neptune Sloop and Martha Galley, and also in relation to Three other Sloops, which were under the Convoy of the Experiment Man of War, hath been fully proved and made out.
2. ' That the Trade to the West-Indies, being of great Advantage and Benefit to Great-Britain, hath, by Captain William Kerr's exacting exorbitant Sums of Money from the Merchants for Convoys, whilst he commanded a Squadron of her Majesty's Ships of War in the West-Indies, been greatly obstructed and prejudiced.
3. 'That the requiring or demanding of Money for Convoys, is illegal, oppressive to Merchants, and destructive to Trade.
4. ' That an humble Address be presented to her Majesty, laying before her the said Resolutions, and humbly desiring that her Majesty will be pleased, not to employ the said Captain Kerr in her Majesty's Service for the future.' This Address having been presented to the Queen, Ten Days after, her Majesty declared, ' That she would comply ' with it.
On the 17th, the House of Commons agreed with the grand Committee about the Supply, upon several Resolutions for raising part of the Supply by Sale of more Annuities, and ordered a Bill to be brought in pursuant to those Resolutions.
On the 18th, the Lord Coningesby acquainted the house, 'That her Majesty had been pleased to send by him her Answer to their Address of the 3d of that Month, That her Majesty would be pleased to order an Account to be laid before the House how it came to pass that there were no more English Forces in Spain and Portugal, at the Time of the Battle of Almanza, and that her Majesty would be pleased to use her utmost Endeavours, that the War in Spain might be vigorously and effectually prosecuted; and he delivered the same to Mr. Speaker, who read it to the House, as followeth.
Her Majesty, having considered the Address of the House of Commons, presented to her the 5th Instant, hath directed the following Answer to be returned.
The Queen's Answer to the Commons Address, about the Affairs of Spain and Portugal.
'In relation to that Part which concerns the Prosecution of the War in Spain, her Majesty is pleased to acquaint the House, That the restoring the Spanish Monarchy to the House of Austria, and thereby the Ballance of Power in Europe, was the principal Inducement of the present War, so her Majesty is sensible, That on the Success thereof, not only the Trade and Tranquillity, but even the Security of Great Britain, (subject to the Divine Providence) do in a great measure depend: And therefore her Majesty can never be wanting to continue her utmost Endeavours (as her Commons have desired) to prosecute with Vigour and Effect a War of such a Nature and Consequence, or to excite her Allies, upon all Occasions, to concur with her Majesty's Endeavours in that Behalf.
'And as to the Account, how it came to pass, That there were no more English Forces in Spain and Portugal, at the Time of the Battle of Almanza, her Majesty cannot but be very much concerned, to find that Matter has not been fully stated to the House; and to the end the same may be set in the clearest Light, for the Satisfaction of herself, and her Subjects, she hath caused an Enquiry to be made of the Regiments, that were intended to compose the Number of Twenty-nine thousand three hundred and ninety-five Men, mentioned in the Address, (in which Number are included Officers and their Servants, making a full fourth Part of the Whole, according to the Establishment and Allowance always made on the Musters) and how many of them were in Spain and Portugal in January 1706-7, (when the Resolutions were taken to make Provision for their Pay) and what Regiments have been sent thither since that Time: whereby it may appear, what numbers of Men could reasonably be expected to be in Spain or Portugal on the Fourteenth Day of April 1707, (when the said Battel happened) and what Diligence hath been used towards making up the said whole Number, for which Provision was made by Parliament. Upon which Enquiry it appears,
'That the said Body of Twenty-nine thousand three hundred and ninety-five English Forces, were intended to consist of One Regiment of Horse, five Regiments of Dragoons, and one and thirty of Foot; in all, thirty-seven Regiments.
'That the said thirty-seven Regiments were to be made up of one Regiment of Horse, four Regiments of Dragoons, and nineteen Regiments of Foot, which had served in Portugal and Spain, under the respective Commands of the Earls of Peterborough and Galway, and would (if compleat) have amounted to eighteen thousand eight hundred and fifty two Men; and of one Regiment of Dragoons, and ten Regiments of Foot, which had been sent the Year before to Portugal, under the Command of the Earl Rivers; and if they had arrived compleat in Spain, would have amounted to eight thousand eight hundred and thirty-three Men; and of two Regiments, making together one thousand seven hundred and ten Men, which were designed to be new raised in England: so that in case all these thirty-seven Regiments could have been compleated, they would have made up the said whole Number of twenty-nine thousand three hundred and ninety-five English Forces, including Officers and their Servants.
'Her Majesty is farther inform'd by Lord Tyrawly, who was Lieutenant-General, and Colonel Wade, who was Adjutant-General, that as to the said Regiments which had serv'd in Spain under the Earl of Peterborough, and those which had serv'd in Portugal and Spain under the Earl of Galway, the Officers and their Servants, with the private Soldiers which remained in those Regiments at the Time of the said Provision made by Parliament, did amount in the whole to twelve thousand and seventeen, besides one thousand seven hundred and ninety Prisoners, who belonged to those Regiments, in all thirteen thousand eight hundred and seven Men, or thereabouts, and no more; although in the Year 1704, 1705, and 1706, several Recruits, amounting to three thousand four hundred and ninety Men had been sent into Spain and Portugal by Draughts made out of the standing Regiments of England and Ireland, as a particular Favour to the Service of Spain, and never practised in any other Case, but once to the West-Indies.
'That as to the said Regiment of Dragoons, and ten Regiments of Foot, which were sent in the Year 1706, under Earl Rivers into Portugal, and consequently, were near at hand to be transported to Spain for immediate Service, the said Earl Rivers received her Majesty's Commands so timely, that he arrived with them in the Kingdom of Valencia about the latter end of January, 1706-7. And although those Regiments, when they sail'd from Torbay for Portugal, were by Draughts compleated to the Number of eight thousand two hundred and ninety-seven Men, including Officers and Servants; and if that Number had arrived in Spain, would have made up about twenty-two thousand one hundred and four English Troops; yet soon after the Arrival of the said Forces with Earl Rivers in Valencia, they were found to be reduced, by Death or otherwise, to about four thousand five hundred Men, including Officers and their Servants; and therefore it was thought convenient, at the Beginning of the Year 1707, to take the common Soldiers which remain'd in six Regiments of Foot, then in Valencia and Catalonia, and distribute them towards filling up several of the rest of the Regiments then there, and to send the Officers of the said six Regiments, with the Officers of the late Earl of Barrymore's late Regiment of Foot, (which had the Year before been converted into one of Dragoons by the Earl of Peterborough) into England, to raise their Regiments entirely of new Men; which Officers arrived in England about May and June 1707, and soon after had their recruiting Orders, and have ever since been employed in that Service, except those of the Regiment of Barrymore, which some time since embark'd for Portugal; so that it was impossible that the new-rais'd Soldiers of those seven Regiments could be in Spain or Portugal, at the Time of the said Battel.
'That, upon duly weighing the Premisses, it doth not appear to her Majesty how there could reasonably be expected of English Forces in Spain or Portugal, at the Time of the Battle of Almanza (which happened so soon after the Provision made by Parliament) any more effective Men than could be supply'd by the said thirteen thousand eight hundred and seven Men, including Officers, Servants and Prisoners, before commanded by the Earls of Peterborough and Galway respectively, and by the said Numbers of about four thousand five hundred Men (including Officers and Servants) which remained of the Forces that went under Earl Rivers, as aforesaid.
'That as to the two new Regiments which were intended to be rais'd, and to make one thousand seven hundred and ten Men, part of the said twenty nine thousand three hundred and ninety five English Forces, it was found to be the Advantage of the Public, in respect of the apparent Difficulties of raising them (in Concurrence with the Men of the said seven Regiments) to apply the Money given for the said two Regiments, to other Uses of the War, according to the Liberty given by Authority of Parliament in that Behalf.
'That when the making of Recruits grew extreamly difficult, if not impracticable, and the making Draughts from standing Regiments, had been found ruinous to the Service, her Majesty caused four Regiments which were on the Irish Establishment to be compleated, and the Levy Money for compleating the same, and the growing Charge of their Pay, to be placed on the Savings of the NonEffectives of the Spanish Establishment; which four Regiment, embarked in April 1707, and arrived in Portugal in June following, and ought to be reckoned as so many Recruits towards making up the said Number of twenty nine thousand three hundred and ninety five English Forces.
'That, since the Arrival of the said Four Regiments in Portugal, three other Regiments have been prepared, to wit, that of Barrymore on the Spanish Establishment, that of Paston taken from the Establishment of the Guards in England, and that of Wynn taken from the Establishment of the Forces in Ireland; which have been embarked for some time for Portugal, as another Reinforcement for the Service of the said War.
'That as soon as her Majesty had the News of the Battle of Almanza; she applied herself immediately to obtain such Foreign Troops as were nearest at hand to supply that Loss, and hath agreed for 7000 Palatines, 3000 Germans, and 1200 Italians, the greatest part of which have been embarked ever since November last for Catalonia, and the rest are ready for Embarkation as soon as there is an Opportunity. Besides which, her Majesty hath made Application to the Emperor for 6000 Germans more, with an Offer to pay all or such Part of them as his Imperial Majesty can spare for that Service.
'And upon the whole Matter, reflecting impartially upon the Situation of this necessary War in Spain and Portugal, and upon the Difficulties wherewith, for the time past, the Men have been supplied from England and Ireland; and considering the Losses and Accidents which have attended the Service in Parts so remote, and the Provision made for foreign Forces for the future, her Majesty assures herself, it will be very evident that no Care has been wanting to support the War in Spain and Portugal in the most effectual manner.'
On the 19th the Commons ordered, that the Addresses of the House to her Majesty of the 18th of December, and 12th of January last, about the Forces maintain'd by the Kings of Spain and Portugal, be renewed to her Majesty. Two Days after the House agreed with the Grand Committee, upon several Resolutions relating to the Raising of the Supply, and ordered a Bill to be brought in accordingly. On the 23d, the Lord Coningesby acquainted the House, that their Addresses to her Majesty of the 18th of December, and 12th of January, having been renewed, according to their Order, her Majesty had been pleased to give the Answer following, viz.
The Queen's Answer, in relation to the Troops of the Kings of Spain and Portugal.
'That in relation to that part of the Address which concerns the Forces of the King of Spain, her Majesty has ordered to be laid before the House a List of the Troops provided by the King of Spain, for the Service of the Year 1707. And in relation to the Troops of Portugal, her Majesty has, ever since the Treaty with that Crown, given Directions to her Ministers there to use all possible Means that his said Majesty should furnish the whole number of Men agreed for by the said Treaty, and her Majesty hopes that those Instances have, in a great measure, had their desired Effect.
'At the same time her Majesty observes, That the Methods of Discipline there make it impossible to know the Number of those Troops with the same Exactness as is practised in other Parts; and, considering with what Chearfulness and Success they marched thro' Spain to Madrid, and the Losses they sustained, and being very well assured, that the King of Portugal has lately raised, and is still raising a considerable Number of Forces, her Majesty has not thought it advisable to make too nice an Enquiry into the state of those Troops; especially since she is very sensible how diligent the Enemy is in making conctinual Application, to break an Alliance of so great Importance to the Common Cause.'
This done, the Lord Coningesby presented to the House the List of the Troops (in her Majesty's Answer mentioned) provided by the King of Spain, for the Service of the Year 1707.
And the same Day the Queen went to the House of Lords with the usual State, and the Commons being sent for up, and attending, her Majesty gave the Royal Assent to the following public Bills, viz.
Queen passes Acts.
1. An Act for the better recruiting her Majesty's Land Forces and the Marines, for the Service of the Year 1708.
2. An Act for erecting a Workhouse in the Town and Borough of Plimouth in the County of Devon, and for setting the Poor on work, and maintaining them there.
3. An Act for encouraging the Dressing and Dying of Woollen Cloths within this Kingdom, by laying a Duty upon Broad Cloth exported White.
4. An Act for the Exportation of White Woollen-Cloth.
5. An Act for enlarging the Term in an Act made in the seventh Year of his late Majesty's Reign, for repairing the Highways between the City of London and the Town of Harwich in the County of Essex.
The next Day, the House took into Consideration her Majesty's Answer to their Address of the 5th, and the State of the War with Spain.
Address of Thanks voted to the Queen for her Care of the Affairs of Spain.
And a Motion being made, and the Question put, That the Deficiency of the English Troops in Spain and Portugal, at the time of the Battle of Almanza; had been chiefly occasion'd by the want of timely and effectual Recruits being sent thither: It passed in the Negative. And, on the contrary, it was resolved, That an Address should be presented to her Majesty, returning the Thanks of the House to her Majesty, for her taking Measures to restore the Affairs of Spain, and for providing foreign Troops for that Service; and that the said Address should be presented to her Majesty by the whole House. Which they did accordingly.
The Queen's Answer.
Her Majesty was pleased to give Answer, 'That she had always look'd upon the War of Spain to be of so great Importance to us, that she would never fail of continuing her utmost Application to support it in the most effectual Manner: That the Satisfaction they had expressed in their Address, for her Endeavours in that Matter, was extremely acceptable to her.'
Mr. Secretary Boyle acquaints the Commons of an intended Invasion from France.
March 4th, Mr. Secretary Boyle acquainted the Commons, 'That her Majesty had commanded him to lay before the House, several Advices received the Night before, and that Morning, of great Preparations at Dunkirk for an immediate Invasion upon England by the French, and of the Pretended Prince of Wales's being come to Dunkirk for that purpose.' The Letters and Extracts relating thereunto, being read, it was unanimously resolved to present an Address to her Majesty, to which they desired the House of Lords to give their Concurrence, and both Houses waited the next Day on the Queen with it', as follows.
Address of both Houses about it.
'We your Majesty's most faithful and obedient Subjects, the Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons of Great Britain in Parliament assembled, do beg Leave to return our most hearty Thanks to your Majesty, for being graciously pleased to communicate to your Parliament, the Intelligence you have received of an intended. Invasion of this Kingdom, by the Pretended Prince of Wales, supported by a French Power.
'We are so sensible of the Happiness we enjoy under your Majesty, and are so affected with the dangerous Consequences of such an Attempt, both to your Person and Government, that, with Hearts full of Concern for your Majesty's Safety, we beseech your Majesty, That you will be pleased to take particular Care of your Royal Person; and we, on our Parts, are fully and unanimously resolved, to stand by, and assist your Majesty with our Lives and Fortunes, in Maintenance of your undoubted Right and Title to the Crown of these Realms, against the Pretended Prince of Wales, and all other your Enemies both at home and abroad.
'The Care your Majesty has taken for the Defence of your Dominions, and particularly in fitting out so great a Fleet in so short a Time, gives Satisfaction and Encouragement to all your good Subjects, who are likewise very sensible of the Zeal the States-General have shewn upon this Occasion.
'As a farther Instance of our Duty, we humbly desire, That you will be pleased to order that the Laws against Papists and Non-jurors be put in execution; and, that Directions be given to seize and secure such Persons, with their Horses and Arms, as your Majesty shall have Cause to suspect are disaffected to your Person and Government.
'And as we doubt not but, by the Blessing of God upon the Continuance of your Majesty's Care, your Enemies will be put to Confusion, so we readily embrace this Opportunity, to shew to your Majesty and the whole World, that no Attempts of this kind shall deter us from supporting your Majesty in a vigorous Prosecution of the present War against France, till the Monarchy of Spain be restored to the House of Austria, and your Majesty have the Glory to compleat the Recovery of the Liberties of Europe.'
To this Address her Majesty was pleased to Answer in the following Terms:
The Queen's Answer.
'My Lords and Gentlemen,
'I have such entire Dependence on the Providence of God, and so much Trust in the faithful Services of my good Subjects, that I hope this Attempt will prove dangerous only to those who undertake it.
'I am extremely sensible of your Concern and Affection for me and my Government, and shall have a very particular Regard to the Advice you give me upon this Occasion.
'I am also very well pleased with the Justice which you have done the States-General, in taking notice of their timely Care for our Safety, and their Readiness to give us all possible Assistance.
'The firm Resolution which you express upon all Occasions of supporting me in bringing this War to a safe and happy Conclusion; as it is most essentially obliging to me, so I assure myself, it will mightily dishearten our common Enemies, and give the greatest Advantage to all our Allies.'
Bill to suspend the Habeas Corpus Act.
The Day before, the Commons ordered a Bill to be brought in, to empower her Majesty to secure and detain such Persons as her Majesty should suspect were conspiring against her Person and Government.
Bill to dissolve the Clans in Scotland; but dropt.
On the 11th, the Commons read three times, and passed a Bill sent to them by the Lords, For the better Security of her Majesty's Person and Government; and then ordered a Bill to be brought in, 'For the Encouragment of such of her Majesty's Subjects in that Part of Great Britain called Scotland, who should shew their Zeal to her Majesty's Government, by opposing such Chiestains and Leaders of Clans, as should take up Arms against her Majesty, by discharging them from any further Superiorities, Casualties or Privileges, which was due to the Superiors so forfeiting.' But the Enemy not landing there, the Bill was dropt. The same Day, the Queen came to the House of Peers with the usual Solemnity, and the Commons being sent for up, and attending, her Majesty gave the Royal Assent to the following Bills, viz.
1. An Act for continuing one half Part of the Subsidies of Tonnage and Poundage, and other Duties upon Wines, Goods and Merchandizes imported, which were granted to the Crown in the twelfth Year of the Reign of King Charles the Second, and for settling a Fund thereby, and by other Ways and Means, for Payment of Annuities not exceeding eighty thousand Pound per Annum, to be sold for raising a further Supply to her Majesty, for the Service of the Year 1708, and other Uses therein expressed.
2. An Act to explain the Act of the last Sessions of Parliament, for the Relief of her Majesty's Subjects in relation to Allowances out of the Duties upon Salt carried Coast-wise; and also an Act of the first Year of her Majesty's Reign in relation to certain Salt-works near the Sea-side and Bay of Holyhead, in the County of Anglesea.
3. An Act for the better securing the Trade of this Kingdom by Cruizers and Convoys.
4. An Act for the more effectual making and keeping the River Tone navigable, from Bridgwater to Taunton, in the County of Somerset.
5. An Act for repairing the Harbour and Key of Watchet, in the County of Somerset.
6. An Act for the further Security of her Majesty's Person and Government.
7. An Act to empower her Majesty to secure and detain such Persons, as her Majesty shall suspect are conspiring against her Person or Government
8. An Act for repealing the Act of the first Year of the Reign of King James the First, entitled, An Act for the well garbling of Spices; and for granting an Equivalent to the City of London, by admitting Brokers.
And to three private Bills,
After which, her Majesty made the following Speech to both Houses.
The Queen's Speech to both Houses.
'My Lords and Gentlemen,
'I Think it necessary to acquaint you, that I have received Advices this Morning from Ostend, that the French Fleet sailed from Dunkirk, Tuesday at three in the Morning, Northward, with the Pretender on board; as also, that Sir George Byng had notice of it the same Day at ten: And he being very much superior to the Enemy both in Number and Strength, I make no question, but, by God's Blessing, he will soon be able to give a good Account of them.
'I have also Advice, that ten Battalions of my Troops were embarked at Ostend, ready to sail with their Convoy, as there should be Occasion; and I shall continue to take all proper Measures for disappointing the Enemy's Designs.'
The Queen's Answer to the Address about the Docks.
The House on the 10th, having resolved on an Address to the Queen, about giving Directions that a proper Sum, out of the Money given that Year, might be applied for the better securing the Docks at Portsmouth and Chatham; Mr. Secretary Boyle on the 12th, reported to the House of Commons the Queen's Answer, which was to this effect: 'That it was a great Satisfaction to her Majesty, that the House of Commons had it in their Thoughts effectually to secure the Docks at Portsmouth and Chatham; and it being uncertain what the Expence of that necessary Work would be, her Majesty would give Directions for Draughts and Estimates to be made of it, and laid before the House as soon as might be.'
The 11th, the House resolved on the following Address to the Queen, and presented it on the 12th.
The Commons Address to the Queen.
'Most gracious Sovereign,
'We your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal Subjects, the Commons of Great Britain in Parliament assembled, humbly wait on your Majesty, to express the great Sense we have of your Grace and Favour, in communicating to us from the Throne, the Account of the French King's persisting to invade your Dominions, and to impose a Pretender upon these Realms, over which your Majesty is rightful and lawful Sovereign.
'The small Number of Ships and Troops with which this Project is prosecuted, notwithstanding the great Naval Force your Majesty has sitted out with so much Expedition, as it ought to be regarded with Contempt on the one side, so on the other it gives us just Cause to believe, that their chief Dependence is upon some of your Subjects, whose restless Passions and arbitrary Principles have, for some Years, engaged them in forming Designs to undermine and destroy the most happy Establishment that the Government of this Island was ever founded upon.
'The Defence of your Majesty's Person and Government, and the Support of the Protestant Succession, are Things so facred to us and your People, that, as a Demonstration of our unfeigned Zeal to assist and support your Majesty to the utmost of our Power, we do, in the Name of the Commons of Great Britain, give this Assurance, that whatsoever Charge you shall be at by augmenting your Troops at home, and replacing those you have recalled from abroad, or for such other Services as your Majesty shall judge necessary upon this extraordinary Occasion, shall be effectually made good. And as we humbly recommend it to your Majesty, that the severest Punishments may be inflicted upon such as shall assist in so unnatural a Design, as that of betraying your Majesty and their Country, so we do not doubt but you will give suitable Encouragement to all those who shall shew their Fidelity by opposing the Invader and his Accomplices in Scotland, or wherever the Descent shall be.
'Your Majesty wants no Incitement to a steady Prosecution of the War in which you are engaged for the Common Cause; yet permit us to take this Opportunity to entreat your Majesty, that this Enterprize may no ways divert your constant Vigour, that all the World may see that both your Majesty and your People are determined to support your Allies in all Parts, whatever Attempts are made at home.
'May it please your Majesty.
'There can be nothing so dangerous or fatal to the Safety of your Royal Person, and the Security of the present happy Establishment, as those Persons who endeavour to create Divisions and Animosities among your faithful Subjects, or by any artful Methods lessen the just Esteem your Majesty has for those who have so eminently and in so distinguishing a manner commanded your Armies and managed your Treasure, to the Honour and Glory of your Majesty abroad, and the entire Satisfaction of Your People at home: We therefore humbly beg Leave to beseech your Majesty to discountenance all such Persons and Designs, in the most remarkable manner.
The Queen's Answer to this Address was:
Her Majesty's Answer.
'I give you my hearty Thanks for this repeated Assurance and certain Proof of your Zeal for me, and for the Protestant Succession.
'I am glad your Thoughts of the War abroad, so perfectly agree with my firm Resolution upon that Subject.
'You may depend that no Apprehensions (farther than are reasonable) shall have any Influence on my Measures, while the Cause of Religion and Liberty, with the good Affections of my People, are on my side.
'I think all who endeavour to make Divisions among my faithful Subjects, must be mine and the Kingdom's Enemies; and I shall never countenance any Persons who would go about to lessen the just Esteem which I have for those who have done, and continue to do me the most eminent Services.'
Commons resolve about the public Credit.
The House on the 19th having address'd the Queen for the Payment of the Arrears due to the French Regiments that served in the late War, next Day unanimously resolved, 'That whoever designedly endeavoured to destroy or lessen the public Credit, especially at a time when the Kingdom was threatned with an Invasion, was guilty of a high Crime and Misdemeanour, and an Enemy to her Majesty and her Kingdom.'
The 20th the Queen came to the House of Peers, and the Commons attending; her Majesty gave the Royal Assent to the following public Bills, viz.
1. An Act for assuring to the English Company trading to the East-Indies, on account of the united Stock, a longer time in the Fund and Trade therein mentioned; and for raising thereby the Sum of twelve hundred thousand Pounds for carrying on the War, and other her Majesty's Occasions.
2. An Act for continuing the half Subsidies therein mentioned, with several Impositions and other Duties, to raise Money by way of Loan, for the Service of the War, and other her Majesty's, necessary and important Occasions; and for charging of Prize Goods and Seizures, and for taking off the Drawbacks of Foreign Cordage, and to obviate the clandestine Importation of wrought Silks.
3. An Act for the avoiding of Doubts and Questions touching the Statutes of divers cathedral and collegiate Churches.
4. An Act for the better Ammendment of that Way which leads from Cherril through Calne to Studley Bridge in the County of Wilts.
5. An Act for erecting a Harbour or Key at East-Tarbett in the Shire of Argyle.
6. An Act for continuing an Act made in the third Year of her Majesty's Reign, entitled, an Act for punishing Mutiny and Desertion and false Musters, and for the better Payment of the Army and Quarters.
7. An Act for the more effectual Discovery of the Deaths of Persons, pretended to be alive, to the Prejudice of those who claim Estates after their Deaths.
8. An Act for repairing the High-ways from old Stratford in the County of Northampton to Dunchurch in the County of Warwick. And to six private Acts.
Addresses about fortifying Portsmouth, &c. ; And the Address relating to the Fishery of Newfoundland.
The 29th the House resolved to present an Address to the Queen, 'returning her Majesty the Thanks of that House, for her being graciously pleased to communicate to that House, the Estimate of the Charge of putting the Docks at Portsmouth and Chatham into a Posture of Defence; and humbly to desire her Majesty, that she would be pleased to give Directions, that they might be forthwith proceeded upon. As also, that she would be pleased to give Directions, that the Castles of Edinburgh, Sterling, and Inverlocky, might be put into a Posture of Defence.' And on the last Day of this Month they resolved on another Address to be presented to her Majesty, 'humbly to beseech her Majesty to give Directions, that the Laws relating to the Fishery and Trade of Newfoundland, might be effectually put in execution against such Commanders of her Majesty's Ships of War, or Forts and Fortifications there, as have or shall presume to exact, demand or receive, any Sum or Sums of Money, or other Reward from any of her Majesty's Subjects in their Voyages, Trade and Fishery, to, from, or at Newfoundland; and that the said Commanders and Officers be strictly forbidden to keep, use or employ any Fishing-Boats for their own private Use or Advantage in that Fishery; as likewise that the said Laws relating to the said Fishery be put in execution against all other Persons therein.'
Address about Recruits.
The same Day, Mr. Lowndes, pursuant to the Commons Address to the Queen, laid before the House an Account of the Money issued by the Treasury for Levy-Money; and it appearing by such Returns that were already made, that there was a great Deficiency in the Numbers of Recruits raised to compleat the Forces in her Majesty's Pay; the House resolved, that an Address should be presented to her Majesty, 'That she would be pleased to issue out her Royal Proclamation, requiring all the Justices of the Peace, Magistrates and other Officers, to use their utmost Power, and by frequent Meetings for that Purpose, strictly to put the Act for recruiting the Army in execution; and that she would be pleased particularly to shew her Displeasure to such Officers as should dismiss any Person so listed, for Money, or any other Pretence, or refuse to list such Persons as were fit for the Service, or should otherwise neglect or be wanting in their Duty upon this Occasion.'
April 1st, her Majesty came to the House of Peers, and gave the Royal Assent to several Acts, as follow, viz.
1. An Act for continuing several Duties therein mentioned, on Coffee, Chocolate, Spices, Pictures, and Muslings, and additional Duties upon several of the said Commodities; and certain Duties upon Callicoes, China-Ware and Drugs; and for continuing the Duties called Two Third Subsidies of Tonnage and Poundage, for preserving the public Credit; and for ascertaining the Duties on Coals exported for foreign Parts; and for securing the Credit of the Bank of England; and for passing several Accounts of Taxes raised in the County of Monmouth; and for promoting the Consumption of such Tobacco, as shall have paid her Majesty's Duties.
2. An Act for the farther directing the Payment of the Equivalent Money.
3. An Act for enabling her Majesty to make Leases and Copies of Offices, Lands and Hereditaments, Parcel of her Dutchy of Cornwall, or annexed to the same.
4. An Act for ascertaining the Rates of foreign Coins in her Majesty's Plantations in America.
5. An Act for raising the Militia of this Kingdom for the Year 1708, although the Month's Pay formerly advanced be not repaid.
6. An Act to make further Provision for electing and summoning Sixteen Peers of Scotland to fit in the House of Peers in the Parliament of Great-Britain, and for the further regulating of Voters in Elections of Members to serve in Parliament.
7. An Act for settling and establishing a Court of Exchequer in the North Part of Great Britain called Scotland.
8. An Act to enlarge the Time for returning the Certificates of all Ecclesiastical Livings not exceeding the yearly Value of Fifty Pound; as also for discharging all Livings of that Value from the Payment of First-Fruits, and for allowing Time to Archbishops, Bishops, and other Dignitaries, for Payment of their First-Fruits.
9. An Act for the Encouragement of the Trade to America.
10. An Act for the better preventing Mischiefs that may happen by Fire.
11. An Act for continuing the Act for ascertaining the Tythes of Hemp and Flax.
12. An Act for limiting a Time to Persons to come in and make their Claims to any of the forfeited Estates and other Interests in Ireland, sold by the Trustees for Sale of those Estates to the Governor and Company for making hollow Sword-blades in England, and divers other Purchasers.
13. An Act for regulating the Qualifications of the Elections of the Governor, Deputy-Governor, Directors and Voters of the Governor and Company of the Bank of England.
14. An Act for the Importation of Cochineal from any Ports in Spain, during the present War, and six Months longer.
15. An Act for the public registering of all Deeds, Conveyances, Wills and other Incumbrances that shall be made of, or that may affect any Honours, Manors, Lands, Tenements, Hereditaments within the East-Riding of the County of York, or the Town and County of the Town of Kingston upon Hull, after the 29th Day of September 1708; and for the rendering the Register in the West-Riding more compleat.
16. An Act to repeal a Clause in the Act of the Seventh Year of the Reign of his late Majesty, for amending and repairing the Highways, which enjoins Waggoners to draw with a Pole between the Wheel-Horses, or with double Shafts, and to oblige them to draw only with Six Horses, or other Beasts, except up Hills.
And to 17 private Acts; after which her Majesty made the following Speech to both Houses.
The Queen's Speech to both Houses.
'My Lords and Gentlemen,
'I Cannot conclude this Session, without acknowledging the wise land speedy Provisions which you have made for the public Security.
'Gentlemen of the House of Commons,
'I am also to thank you in particular for the large and timely Supplies, which you have provided for the effectual Prosecution of the War: I assure you they shall be carefully and punctually applied to the Uses for which they were appointed.
'My Lords and Gentlemen,
'I take these (especially at this Juncture) to be such undeniable Proofs of your Zeal and Affection to my Service, as must convince every body of your doing me the Justice to believe, that all which is dear to you, is perfectly safe under my Government; and must be irrecoverably lost, if ever the Designs of a Popish Pretender, bred up in the Principles of the most arbitrary Government, should take place.
'I am satisfy'd that very false Representations of the true Inclinations and Interests of my People must have been made by some of my Subjects, who have given Encouragement to this desperate Attempt; since, without something of that Nature; it seems very little consisting with the usual Precaution of our Enemies, to hazard the Expence of so vain and ill-grounded an Undertaking.
'However, it is certain, we must be all inexcusable, if we do not take Warning from this Attempt, to complete what may be necessary for our Security at home, and the discouraging the like for the future; to which, by God's Blessing, nothing shall be wanting on my Part.
'And to the same End, I must recommend to you at your Return into your Countries, to use your utmost Care and Diligence in parting the Laws in execution against Papists, and others disaffected to my Government, and in making them pay towards the public Taxes, to the full of what the Law requires from them: Nothing being more reasonable, than that they, who, by their Principles and Practices, encourage (if not actually soment) such Disturbances, should doubly contribute to the Charge of quieting them, and securing the Kingdom's Peace; and should know themselves, on all such Occasions, to be responsible, for the many Inconveniencies that may ensue.'
Then the Lord Chancellor, by her Majesty's Command, said,
Parliament prorogued. ; Dissolved. ; A new one called.
'My Lords and Gentlemen,
'Her Majesty's Royal Will and Pleasure is, That this Parliament should be prorogued to Tuesday the thirteenth Day of this instant April; and this Parliament is prorogued accordingly to Tuesday the thirteenth Day of this instant April.' But this Parliament having from the first sitting of it, in England, completed three Sessions; her Majesty by her Proclamation of the 15th, was pleased to dissolve it; and to issue out another on the 22d, to call a new one, the Writs were to bear Teste on the 26th, and returnable on the 28th of July.