House of Commons Journal Volume 10: 5 February 1689

Pages 19-20

Journal of the House of Commons: Volume 10, 1688-1693. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1802.

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Martis, 5 die Februarii, 1688.


Bailing and Escape of Brent.

THE House being informed, That Sir James Smith attended, pursuant to the Order Yesterday; . . . was called in; and gave the House an Account touching the Commitment and Bailing Mr. Brent.

And being withdrawn;

Ordered, That Sir James Smith do attend this House again, To-morrow Morning, with a Copy of the Commitment of Mr. Brent; and of the Recognizance taken upon his Bailing: And also that Sir Wm. Waller be summoned to attend this House, at the same time, touching the same Matter.

Ordered, That the Keeper of the Compter of the City of London, who had lately in his Custody the Body of Robert Brent, Esquire, by Warrant of Commitment from Sir James Smith, do attend this House To-morrow Morning, at Ten of the Clock; and bring with him the original Warrant of Commitment of the said Mr. Brent.

Taunton Election.

The Order for the Hearing, at the Bar of this House, of the Matter touching the Election of Burgesses for the Borough of Taunton in the County of Somersett, was read;

And the Counsel for the Parties called in: And, after some proceeding in the said Hearing;

Ordered, That the further Hearing the said Cause be adjourned until Thursday Morning next.

A Message from the Lords, by Sir Miles Cooke and Mr. Methwyn;

Lords desire a Conference.

Mr. Speaker, The Lords have commanded us to acquaint the House, That their Lordships do desire a present Conference with this House, in the Painted Chamber, upon the Subject Matter of the last Conference.

The Messengers being withdrawn;

Resolved, That this House doth agree to a present Conference with the Lords in the Painted Chamber, as is desired.

The Messengers being called in; Mr. Speaker acquaints them therewith.

Ordered, That the same Persons who managed the last Conference, do manage this Conference.

Ordered, That Sir Thomas Clarges and Sir John Holt be added to the said Committee who are to manage the said Conference.

Back-door of Speaker's Chamber to be locked.

Ordered, That the Back-door leading into the Speaker's Chamber be from time to time kept locked up, during the Sitting of this House; and the Key to be kept lying on the Table; and not to be delivered out without Leave of the House: And that the Serjeant at Arms do take care to see this Order executed.

Conference with Lords-Amendments to Vote of Abdication.

Mr. Hamden reports, That the Persons appointed to manage the Conference with the Lords had attended the Lords at the same; and that the Earl of Nottingham spoke to this Effect; viz.

That the Lords had desired this Conference with the Commons, that they might be as happily united to the Commons in Opinion, as they are inseparable in Interest.

That they are, at this time, very uneasy, that they cannot concur with the Commons in every thing; because it is in so great a Concern of the Nation, and from so great and wise a Body.

That he then delivered what the Lords had done, in reference to the Subject Matter of the last Conference; and said, that the Lords did insist upon their first Amendment of the Vote of the House of Commons, of the 28th of January last, instead of the Word "abdicated," to have the Word "deserted;" for these Reasons:

1. Because the Lords do not find, that the Word "abdicate" is a Word known to the common Law of England; and the Lords hope, that the Commons will agree to make use of such Words only, whereof the Meaning may be understood, according to Law, and not of such as will be liable to doubtful Interpretations.

2. Because, in the most common Acceptation of the Civil Law, Abdication is a voluntary express Act of Renunciation, which is not in this Case; and does not follow from the Premises, That King James the Second, by having withdrawn himself, after having endeavoured to subvert the Constitution of the Government, by breaking the Original Contract between King and People, and having violated the fundamental Laws, may be more properly said to have deserted, than abdicated.

He said then, The Lords did insist upon the Second Amendment, to leave out the Words "and that the Throne is thereby vacant;" for this Reason:

For that although the Lords have agreed, that the King has deserted the Government; and therefore have made Application to the Prince of Orange, to take upon him the Administration of the Government, and thereby to provide for the Peace and Safety of the Kingdom; yet there can be no other Inference drawn from thence, but only the Exercise of the Government by King James the Second was ceased, so as that the Lords were and are willing to secure the Nation against the Return of the said King into this Kingdom; but not that there was either such an Abdication by him, or such a Vacancy in the Throne, or that the Crown was thereby become elective.

To which they cannot agree.

1. Because, by the Constitution of the Government, the Monarchy is hereditary, and not elective.

2. Because no Act of the King alone can bar or destroy the Right of his Heirs to the Crown: And therefore,

In Answer to the Third Reason, alledged by the House of Commons; If the Throne be vacant, of King James the Second, Allegiance is due to such Person as the Right of Succession does belong to.

And the Question being put, That this House do agree with the Lords in the said First Amendment;

It passed in the Negative.

The Question being put, That this House do agree with the Lords in the said Second Amendment;

The House divided.

The Yeas go forth.

Tellers for the Yeas, Sir Jos. Tredenham, 151.
Mr. Gwyn:
Tellers for the Noes, Mr. Colt, 282.
Mr. Harbord.

And so it was resolved in the Negative.

Resolved, That a free Conference be desired with the Lords, upon the Subject Matter of the last Conference.

Ordered, That it be referred to Sir Rob. Howard, Mr. Hamden, Mr. Polexfen, Sir Hen. Capell, Mr. Paul Foley, Sir Tho. Lee, Sir John Holt, Mr. Sacheverill, Lord Falkland, Major Wildman, Sir Geo. Treby, Col. Birch, Mr. Somers, Mr. Eyres, Mr. Garway, Sir Rich. Temple, Mr. Buscowen, Sir Hen. Goodrick, Sir Tho. Littleton, Mr. Waller, Mr. Palmes, Sir John Guise, to manage the said free Conference.

And then the House adjourned till To-morrow Morning, Nine of the Clock.