House of Commons Journal Volume 9: 25 May 1677

Pages 424-426

Journal of the House of Commons: Volume 9, 1667-1687. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1802.

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Veneris, 25 die Maii , 1677.

Address on King's Speech.

SIR John Trevor reports from the Committee appointed by Order of the House on Wednesday last, to draw up an Address, with Reasons, to be presented to his Majesty pursuant to the Vote then passed, for entering into a League with the States General of the United Provinces, and such other of the Confederates as his Majesty should think fit; an Address, with Reasons, to be presented to his Majesty: Which he read; and then delivered the same in at the Clerk's Table: Where the same being again read;

The Question being put, That the Words "offensive and defensive, with the States of the United Provinces" be left out of the said Address;

The House divide.

The Yeas go forth.

Tellers, Sir Henry Puckering , For the Yeas, 142.
Mr. Howard,
Tellers, Sir Wm. Hickman, For the Noes, 182.
Sir Eliab Harvey,

And so it passed in the Negative.

The Question being put, To agree with the Committee in the said Address;

It was resolved in the Affirmative.

Which said Address, so agreed to, is as followeth:

May it please Your Most Excellent Majesty,

YOUR Majesty's most Loyal and Dutiful Subjects, the Commons, in Parliament, assembled, having taken into their serious Consideration Your Majesty's Gracious Speech, do beseech Your Majesty to believe it is a great Affliction to them, to find themselves obliged, at present, to decline the granting Your Majesty the Supply Your Majesty is pleased to demand; conceiving it is not agreeable to the Usage of Parliament, to grant Supplies for Maintenance of Wars and Alliances, before they are signified in Parliament: Which the Two Wars against the States of the United Provinces, since Your Majesty's happy Restoration, and the League made with them in January 1668, for Preservation of the Spanish Netherlands sufficiently prove, without troubling Your Majesty with Instances of greater Antiquity. From which Usage if we should depart, the Precedent might be of dangerous Consequence in future Times; though Your Majesty's Goodness gives us great Security during Your Majesty's Reign; which we beseech God long to continue. This Consideration prompted us, in our last Address to Your Majesty before our late Recess, humbly to mention to Your Majesty our Hopes, That, before our meeting again, Your Majesty's Alliances might be so fixed, as that Your Majesty might be graciously pleased to impart them to us in Parliament; that so our earnest Desires of supplying Your Majesty for prosecuting those great Ends we had humbly laid before Your Majesty, might meet with no Impediment or Obstruction; being highly sensible of the Necessity of supporting as well as making the Alliances humbly desired in our former Addresses: And which we still conceive so important to the Safety of Your Majesty and Your Kingdoms, that we cannot, without Unfaithfulness to Your Majesty, and those we represent, omit upon all Occasions humbly to beseech Your Majesty, as we now do, to enter into a League, offensive and defensive, with the States General of the United Provinces, against the Growth and Power of the French King; and for the Preservation of the Spanish Netherlands; and to make such other Alliances with such other of the Confederates as Your Majesty shall think fit and useful to that End. In doing which, that no Time may be lost, we humbly offer to Your Majesty these Reasons for the expediting it:

I. That, if the entering into such Alliances should draw on a War with the French King, it would be least detrimental to Your Majesty's Subjects at this time of the Year; they having, Now, fewest Effects within the Dominions of that King.

II. That though we have great Reason to believe the Power of the French King to be dangerous to Your Majesty and Your Kingdoms, when he shall be at more Leisure to molest us; yet we conceive the many Enemies he hath to deal with at present, together with the Situation of Your Majesty's Kingdoms, the Unanimity of Your People in this Cause, the Care Your Majesty hath been pleased to take of Your ordinary Guard for the Sea; together with the Credit provided by the late Act, intituled, An Act for an additional Excise for Three Years make the entering into and declaring Alliances very safe; until we may, in a regular Way, give Your Majesty such further Supplies, as may enable Your Majesty to support Your Alliances, and defend Your Kingdoms.

III. Because of the great Danger and Charge which must necessarily fall upon Your Majesty's Kingdoms, if through want of that timely Encouragement and Assistance, which Your Majesty's joining with the States of the United Provinces, and other the Confederates, would give them, the said States, or any other considerable Part of the Confederates, should this next Winter, or sooner, make a Peace or Truce with the French King (the Preventation whereof hitherto must be acknowledged to be a singular Effect of God's Goodness to us; which if it should happen, Your Majesty would afterwards be necessitated with fewer, perhaps with no Alliances or Assistances, to withstand the Power of the French King, which hath so long and so successfully contended with so many and potent Adversaries: And, whilst he continues his overbalancing Greatness, must always be dangerous to his Neighbours, since he would be able to oppress any one Confederate before the rest could get together and be in so good a Posture of offending him as they now are, being jointly engaged in a War: And if he should be so successful as to make a Peace, or disunite the present Confederation against him; it is much to be feared, whether it would be possible ever to reunite it; at least, it would be a Work of so much Time and Difficulty, as would leave Your Majesty's Kingdoms exposed to much Misery and Danger.

Having thus discharged our Duty, in laying before Your Majesty the Dangers threatening Your Majesty and Your Kingdoms; and the only Remedy we can think of for preventing it, and securing and quieting the Minds of Your Majesty's People; with some few of those Reasons which have moved us to This and our former Addresses on this Subject; we most humbly beseech Your Majesty to take this Matter into Your most serious Consideration; and to take such Resolutions, as may not leave it in the Power of any neighbouring Prince to rob Your People of that Happiness which they enjoy under Your Majesty's Gracious Government: Beseeching Your Majesty to rest confident and assured, that, when Your Majesty shall be pleased to declare such Alliances in Parliament, we shall hold ourselves obliged, not only by our Promises and Assurances given, and now with great Unanimity renewed in a full House, but by the Zeal and Desires of those whom we represent, and by the Interest of all our Safeties, most chearfully to give Your Majesty such speedy Supplies and Assistances, as may fully and plentifully answer the Occasions; and, by God's Blessing, preserve Your Majesty's Honour, and the Safety of Your People.

All which is most humbly submitted to Your Majesty's great Wisdom.

Ordered, That such Members of this House, as are of his Majesty's Privy Council, be desired to know his Majesty's Pleasure, when the House shall wait upon his Majesty with the said Address, this Day agreed to.


A Complaint being made of a Breach of Privilege, committed against Sir Thomas Clergis, a Member of this House, by William Lawley, an Attorney at Law, late Under-Sheriff of the County of Bucks; by causing the Cattle of the said Sir Thomas Clergis to be distrained and driven away; and for Speaking contemptuous Words, against the Privilege of this House;

Ordered, That the said William Lawley be sent for, in Custody of the Serjeant at Arms attending this House, to answer this Breach of Privilege committed against Sir Thomas Clergis, a Member of this House.


A Complaint being made of a Breach of Privilege, committed against Peregrine Bartie Esquire, a Member of this House, by one Richard Campion; by pulling down the Scaffolds about the House of the said Mr. Bartie; and in saying, that the Members of this House were a Company of Rascals, to maintain their Privileges against the People; or to that Effect;

Ordered, That the said Richard Campion be sent for in Custody of the Serjeant at Arms attending this House, for his Breach of Privilege, committed against Mr. Peregrine Bartie, Member of this House.


A Complaint being made, that Mrs. Elizabeth Lloyd had, the last Vacation, moved for, and procured an Order for vacating a Judgment long before obtained against her by Mr. Williams, a Member of this House, during the time he was attending the Service of this House;

Ordered, That the Case of Mr. Williams and Mrs. Elizabeth Lloyd be referred to the Consideration of the Committee of Privileges; to examine the Matter thereof; and report it, with their Opinions therein, to the House.

Recalling Subjects from French Service.

Mr. Powle reports from the Committee to whom the Bill for recalling his Majesty's Subjects from the Service of the French King, was committed, several Amendments, agreed by the said Committee to be made to the Bill: Which he read in his Place; and afterwards delivered the same in at the Clerk's Table: Where they were again twice read; and, upon the Question, severally agreed to.

Resolved, &c. That the Bill, with the Amendments agreed to, be ingrossed.

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