Journal of the House of Commons: Volume 10, 1688-1693. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1802.
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Mercurii, 15 die Maii; 1° Willielmi et Mariæ. Anno Domini 1689.
East India Company.
ORDERED, That the Committee, to whom the Matter of the Petitions against the East India Company is referred, be revived; and do sit this Afternoon.
Westminster &c. Courts of Conscience.
A Petition of Robert Hastings, was read; setting forth, That he is now Prothonotor in a Court of Record, within the Manors of Stepney and Hackny, and has so been for Eight Years; which Court holds Plea, only in Personal Actions, under Five Pounds Value: That his Estate therein is a Freehold, for his and his Son's Life, worth about Two Hundred Pounds per Annum communibus Annis: That the rest of his Estate lies most in Ground Rents, and new Foundations, proposed to be taxed: That he has, and was always ready to serve the Publick, being dismissed from several Commissions therein, only for refusing to take off the penal Laws and Test: And that, in case the Bill pass, for erecting a Court of Conscience within the Tower Hamlets, the said Prothonotor's Place will be but of little Value: And praying, that if such Bill passed, for erecting a Court of Conscience, that his Name may be inserted as Register and Clerk thereof.
Ordered, That the Petition do lie upon the Table, till the Bill for establishing Court of Conscience, in Westminster, Southwarke, the Tower Hamlets, and Out Parishes, is reported.
Resolved, That a Committee be appointed to examine the Case of Mrs. Fitzharris, and report the same to the House.
And it is referred to Mr. Hamden, Mr. Baldwyn, Sir Rob. Nappier, Sir Tho. Clarges, Lord Fitzharding, Mr. Waller, Colonel Birch, Major Manley, Sir Tho. Dyke, Colonel Mildmay, Colonel Sackvile: And they are to meet this Afternoon, at Four of the Clock, in the Speaker's Chamber.
Leave of Absence.
Ordered, That Sir John Pelham have Leave to go into the Country, for a Fortnight.
Ordered, That Mr. Gee have Leave to go into the Country, for Three Weeks.
A Petition of Doctor Barbon was read; setting forth, That Part of the Revenue arising by Hackney Coaches was applied towards widening the lower End of St. Martin's Lanc; which the Petitioner contracted with the Commissioners to do for Five thousand Pounds; and also, for Seven hundred and Fifty Pounds for a Piece of Ground to enlarge St. Martin's Church Yard: That he performed the Contract, and received, at several times, several Sums, amounting to Four thousand Nine hundred Pounds: But the Act suddenly expiring, the Revenue ceased; and all the Monies, arising from the said Act, was expended upon other publick Uses; so that Eight hundred and Fifty Pounds of the Debt remains unpaid: And praying he may have the same paid out of the Revenue.
Leave of Absence.
Ordered, That Mr. George Moreland have Leave to go into the Country for a Month.
Ordered, That Sir Richard Verney have Leave to go into the Country, for Ten Days.
An ingrossed Bill, sent down from the Lords, intituled, An Act for exempting their Majesties Protestant Subjects, dissenting from the Church of England, from the Penalties of certain Laws, was read the Second time.
Also a Bill for Liberty and Indulgence to Protestant Dissenters, was read the Second time.
Resolved, That the Bill be committed to Sir Thomas Clarges, Mr. Bull, Mr. Sacheverell, Mr. Hamden jun. Mr. Skinner, Sir Fran. Russell, Mr. Parkhurst, Sir Wm. Cooper, Mr. Boscowen, Sir John Wyn, Sir Robert Rich, Mr. Bickerstaffe, Sir Jos. Tredenham, Mr. Arnold, Sir Walter Young, Mr. Palmes, Mr. Cooke, Sir Rob. Cotton, Mr. Hamden, sen. Sir Gilbert Clerke, Sir Christopher Musgrave, Marquis Winchester, Sir Wm. Williams, Major Wildman, Mr. Done, Sir Wm. Yorke, Mr. Tho. Foley, Mr. Reynell, Colonel Birch, Mr. P. Foley, Sir Wm. Ellis, Mr. Ashburnham, Mr. England, Mr. Niccolls, Lord Digby, Mr. Hanmore, Mr. Montague, Mr. Fuller, Sir Roger Cave, Sir Tho. Barnadiston, Sir Philip Skippon, Sir Hen. Goodrick, Mr. Newton, Mr. Ellwell, Lord Coote, Colonel Austin, Mr. Finch, Sir Jos. Tredenham: And all that come to have Voices: And they are to meet To-morrow in the Afternoon, at Four of the Clock, in the Speaker's Chamber.
Commissioners for Poll Tax.
Sir Henry Capell acquaints the House, That, by reason of the Shortness of the time to the Twentieth Instant, the Commissions for all the Counties and Places, for the putting in Execution the Act for raising of Money by a Poll, and otherwise, for the Reducing of Ireland, cannot be got ready for the Commissioners to meet by that Day, his Majesty would issue out a Proclamation, That all Commissioners in the Act for granting a present Aid to their Majesties, should be Commissioners to put the said Act in Execution.
A Message from the Lords, by Sir Miles Cooke and Sir Lacon Wm. Child;
Lords desire a Conference.
Mr. Speaker, The Lords desire a present free Conference with this House in the Painted Chamber, upon the Subject Matter of the Amendments to the Bill for enabling Lords Commissioners for the Great Seal to execute the Office of Lord Chancellor, or Lord Keeper.
Also the Lords have passed the Bill for Sale or Leasing the Capital Messuage late Mr. Secretary Coventrye's, in Piccadilly, without any Amendments.
And then the Messengers withdrew.
Resolved, That this House doth agree to a present Conference with the Lords, as is desired.
The Messengers being called in again, Mr. Speaker acquainted them therewith.
Resolved, That the Committee to whom the Bill was referred, do manage the said Conference.
The Managers went up to the Conference accordingly.
And afterwards returned.
Lords Amendments to Poll Bill.
Sir William Williams reports from the Committee, to whom it was referred to prepare Reasons to be offered at a Conference, why this House doth not agree with the Lords in their Second Amendment to the additional Poll Bill, That they had prepared the same accordingly; and directed him to report the same to the House: Which he read in his Place; and afterwards delivered the same in at the Clerk's Table: Where the same were read; and are as followeth; viz.
Reasons for disagreeing with the Lords in the Amendment to the Bill, intituled, An additional Act to an Act, intituled, An Act for the raising Money by a Poll, and otherwise, towards the Reducing of Ireland;
WHEREIN the Lords, P. 1. I. 27, after the Word "Act," insert a Clause, for the Lords appointing Commissioners to rate themselves in respect of their Offices, and personal Estates, and freeing their Persons from Imprisonments, and for appointing a Collector to receive their Assessments.
The Lords, by this Clause in this Bill, assume to themselves the Naming and Appointing of Persons to rate the Peers for their Offices and personal Estates, upon another Act of this present Parliament for raising Money by a Poll, and otherwise, towards the Reducing of Ireland; and insert in this Clause, That the Peers are not to be otherwise rated; and Enact in this Clause, That the Peers shall not be subjected to the Imprisonment of his or their Persons; and do therein further Declare, That the Rates and Taxes, to which the Lords and Peers of this Realm are or shall be liable by the said Act for raising Money by a Poll, shall be received by a Collector, to be nominated by the Peers; which Collector shall cause the same to be paid into his Majesty's Receipt of Exchequer.
The said Act for raising Money by a Poll, being an Act for the Raising and Levying of Money upon the Subjects of this Realm, for an Aid to the King and Queen, towards the Reducing of Ireland; and the Money, and Aid to be so raised and levied; and all Money, Aids, and Taxes, to be raised or charged upon the Subjects in Parliament, are the Gift and Grant of the Commons in Parliament, and presented by the Commons in Parliament; and are, and always have been, and ought to be, by the Constitution and ancient Course and Laws of Parliament, and by the ancient and undoubted Rights of the Commons of England, the sole and entire Gift, Grant and Present of the Commons in Parliament, and to be laid, rated, raised, collected, paid, levied, and returned, for the publick Service, and Use of the Government, as the Commons shall direct, limit, appoint, and modify the same: And the Lords are not to alter such Gift, Grant, Limitation, Appointment, or Modification of the Commons in any Part or Circumstance, or otherwise to interpose in such Bills, than to pass or reject the same for the Whole, without any Alteration or Amendment, though in Ease of the Subjects. As the Kings and Queens, by the Constitution and Laws of Parliament, are to take All or leave All in such Gifts, Grants, and Presents from the Commons; and cannot take Part and leave Part; so are the Lords to pass All, or reject All, without Diminution or Alteration.
The Lords, in this Cause, contrary to the Constitution, ancient Course, and Laws of Parliament, would enact many material Alterations in this Bill, by appointing certain Peers to be Commissioners in this Clause, to rate all Peers, without Distinction, for their Offices and personal Estates: Whereas no Commissioners are named by the Commons in this Bill, to rate any Person or Persons whatsoever; but leave it to the King to name and appoint Commissioners, as the Bill expresses. And this Clause Enacts, That Peers shall not be otherwise rated; which is exclusive of the Manner and Method of Rating by the Commons in this Bill.
And that, in a Clause inserted in a Bill, wherein the Offices and personal Estates of the Peers are no ways rateable, taxable, or concerned, yet with relation and reference, and to govern and alter not only the Method of taxing and proceeding upon another Act, already passed in this present Parliament; but to alter that very Law which passed by Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, without the proposed Alterations or Amendments in this Clause.
This Clause doth further Enact an Exemption to the Persons of Peers from Imprisonments: Which may be introductive of a Privilege to the Peers against the Prerogative of the Crown; and is certainly altogether foreign to the Subject Matter and Provisions of this Bill.
This Clause doth also alter the said Act already passed, in the Naming of a Collector for the Peers, and in the Payment of their Rates into the Exchequer: This new Method of proceeding, if admitted, must much weaken the ancient and undoubted Rights of the Commons, in granting Aids and Supplies to the Crown, and the Course of Parliaments in such Grants; and may turn to Precedent hereafter against the Right of Commons in Parliament.
Resolved, That the said Reasons be re-committed to the same Committee; and that they do meet this Afternoon.
Ordered, That Sir Christopher Musgrave, Colonel Birch, Mr. Sacheverell, be added to the said Committee.
Ordered, That the Committee, to whom the Bill for restoring Corporations is referred, be adjourned till Friday next, at Four of the Clock in the Afternoon.
Estimate of Taxes.
Mr. Papillion reports from the Committee, to whom it was referred to consider and make an Estimate of what the Tax of the additional Excise upon Ground Rents, and for Forfeitures, may amount unto, That the Committeé had considered thereof accordingly, and agreed upon a Report, and several Resolutions; which they had directed him to report to the House: And he read the same in his Place; and afterwards delivered the same in at the Clerk's Table: Where the same was read; and is as followeth; viz.
As to the Forfeitures;
The Committee had perused the Lists delivered in by the Members of the several Counties; and, on Examination, do find great Difficulties and Uncertainties in the Matter; viz. Whether some, that are named, have acted in their Offices; Whether others be not insolvent, and unable to pay; Whether others have not qualified themselves; and, Whether there be not several omitted: But that, on the Consideration of the whole Matter, they came to this Resolution; viz.
Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That the Forfeitures in the several Counties be estimated, and may produce Three hundred and Forty-eight thousand Pounds; wherein the Counties of Bedford, Devon, Lincoln, and Cardigan, are not included, there being no List brought in of those Counties.
As to the additional Excise,
The Committee came to this Resolution; viz.
Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That the additional Excise of Nine pence per Barrel may produce One hundred and Twenty thousand Pounds per Annum.
That the Committee took their Measures in making the said Resolve, from the Consideration of what Accounts they received from the Auditor and Comptroller of the Excise of the Produce in former Times.
That there was no Account kept of the additional Duty in former Time;
But in regard this additional Duty may be received without any Charge but what is already the whole Charge being about Eighty-five thousand Pounds, the Committee valued it as above.
As also, that by an Account of the Excise in London, which is esteemed near One Third Part of all England, the Medium of the Nine Years additional Duty came to Forty-one thousand Five hundred Seventy Pounds Five Shillings and Nine-pence, without Charge; which, if it were One Third, would come to One hundred Twenty-four thousand Seven hundred Ten Pounds Seventeen Shillings and Three-pence.
Which when reduced, may fall again; and so the additional Excise will hardly bring it to what it was.
As to the Ground Rents;
That the Committee, as yet, cannot find out Means to come on any probable Grounds to make an Estimate; but they are endeavouring it, and in a Way towards it.
Lists of Forfeitures.
Ordered, That Notice be given to the Knights of the Shire for the Counties of Bedford, Devon, Lincoln, and Cardigan, to bring in their Lists of their Forfeitures To-morrow Morning.
Supply Bill; Forfeitures.
A Bill for appropriating to the publick Use the Forfeitures of Five hundred Pounds, was read the First time.
Resolved, That the Bill be read a Second time on Friday Morning next, at Ten of the Clock; and nothing to intervene.
Ordered, That all Committees be revived,
Ordered, That the Report ...., to whom the Matter relating to the Irish Protestants was referred, be made To-morrow Morning, at Ten of the Clock.
And then the House adjourned till To-morrow Morning, Nine of the Clock.