House of Commons Journal Volume 9: 4 February 1678

Pages 431-432

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

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Page 431
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Lunæ, 4 die Februarii, 1677.

Thompson's, &c. Estates.

A BILL for the better Discovery of the Estates of Richard Thompson and others, Bankrupts, was read.

Resolved, &c. That this Bill be read a Second time, after Ten of the Clock.

West Derby and Wavertree Manors.

An ingrossed Bill to confirm an Agreement made between the Lords and Tenants of the Manors of West Derby and Wavertree, was read the First time.

Resolved, &c. That this Bill be read a Second time.

Incestuous Marriages.

An ingrossed Bill to prevent incestuous Marriages, was read the Second time.

The Question being put, That this Bill be committed;

It passed in the Negative.

Resolved, &c. That the said Bill be rejected.

Answer to Address.

Mr. Secretary Coventry acquaints the House, That his Majesty had, by him, returned an Answer in Writing to their late Address: Which he delivered in to Mr. Speaker: Who read the same to the House: And is as followeth;

Charles R

HIS Majesty hath received and perused the late Address of this House; and thereunto returned this Answer:

He is not a little surprised to find so Much inserted there, of what there should not be, and so Little of what should.

In the First place, His Majesty's Speech was to both Houses jointly: And the Matter being of so publick a Concern, it is certainly very convenient the Return to that Speech should be made jointly: For to receive several Addresses, and possibly very different, cannot but administer Matter of Distraction to his Counsels, and consequently to the Affairs of the Nation: Nor is the House of Peers reasonably to be left out, in transacting those Things which at last must needs pass by them.

In the next place, He observes in the Address of this House, of the Twentieth of May last, you invite His Majesty to a League, offensive and defensive, with Holland, against the Growth and Power of the French King, and for Preservation of the Spanish Netherlands; and, upon His Declaration of such Alliances, you assure his Majesty of such speedy Assistances and Supplies, as may fully and plentifully answer the Occasions: His Majesty hath made, accordingly, the Alliances, offensive and defensive, with Holland; and declared it to you in Parliament: So His Part is performed: But, as to That of this House for Supplies, though He asked it in his Speech, you give no Answer, nor the least Hint of affording Him any thing to support the Treaties he hath made: Only the old Promises are put to new Conditions: And so he may be used to Eternity, should He seem satisfied with such Proceedings.

You are not to think, that either His Majesty, or the States General, being to imbark in so great a Design, would deprive themselves of the other so considerable Alliances. Some Ministers of the most concerned Princes have known and approved His Treaty with the States General: And, that he hath not formerly concluded one with them, the Reason is, That the Distance of the Places the Princes concerned reside in, would not give Time to perfect so many Treaties, to be ratified in Places so remote: And, laying well the Foundation in Holland, there could not be much Doubt of their Consent, for whose Interest That Treaty is made: But nothing can delay, or indeed disappoint, those Treaties, more than the failing of this House to support These His Majesty hath made: He must acquit His Credit there, and see His Word shall be maintained, before He can engage it elsewhere afresh.

In His Majesty's Answer to the Address of this House, of the Twentieth of May, He told you how highly He was offended at that great Invasion of His Prerogative: But you take no Notice of it; but, on the contrary, add to your former ill Conduct new Invasions, equally offensive to His Majesty's Authority, as contrary to His, and, He thinks, most other Men's, Judgments.

This House desires His Majesty to oblige his Confederates never to consent to a Peace, but upon condition the Most Christian King be reduced to the Pyrenean Treaty at least: A Determination fitting only for God Almighty; for none can tell what can be fitting Conditions for a Peace, but He that can certainly foretel the Events of the War.

You advise His Majesty to injoin not only His Allies, but all the World, not to let a Ship of theirs to go to, or come from France, upon Pain of Loss of Goods, Capture of Ships and Men, not excepting either Ally, Prince, or Ambassador (if amongst them): He doth not believe, that ever any Assembly of Men gave so great and publick a Provocation to the whole World, without either having provided, or so much as considered how to provide, One Ship, One Regiment, or One Penny, towards justifying it (at least as far as you have acquainted Him). However, to shew you how willing His Majesty is to give all reasonable Satisfaction to this House, how unreasonable soever the Propositions made him are, He doth again repeat to you what He said on the Twenty-eighth past, That if by your Assistance, He may be put into Arms sufficient for such a Work, His Majesty will not be weary of them till Christendom be restored to such a Peace, as it shall not be in the Power of any Prince alone to disturb.

This is, in the Consequence of it, as much as a Prince, that valueth his Word, can say to you: And He is such a one. But, to say He will make no other Peace, than such a particular Peace, whether able or not able, whether abandoned by his Allies or not, is not to be said upon solemn Engagement; because not certainly to be performed.

In Sum, Gentlemen, the Right of making and managing War and Peace is in his Majesty: And, if you think He will depart from any part of That Right, you are mistaken. The Reins of Government are in His Hands; and He hath the same Resolution and Concern to preserve them there, as He hath to preserve His own Person; and He keeps both for His People's Protection and Safety; and will employ them so far as He can. If this House encourage His Majesty to go farther in Alliances, by supplying Him in maintaining those he hath made, His Care and utmost Endeavour will be employed for you. If this House doth intend This, it must be speedy: The Time and Conjuncture afford not Leisure to consult long: And therefore His Majesty desireth, That, without further loss of Time, you apply yourselves to the Consideration of That Supply; for from thence He must take His Measures.


A Motion being made for a Supply to his Majesty, for Support of his present Alliances;

The Question being put, That the House will now resolve itself into a Committee of the whole House, to consider of his Majesty's Supply;

The House divide.

The Yeas went forth.

Tellers, Lord Obrian, for the Yeas, 193.
Mr. Finch,
Tellers, Lord Cavendish, for the Noes, 151.
Lord Clifford,

And so it was resolved in the Affirmative.

Resolved, &c. That the House will now resolve itself into a Committee of the whole House, to consider of his Majesty's Supply.

Mr. Speaker left the Chair.

Sir Edward Deering took the Chair of the Committee.

Mr. Speaker resumed the Chair.

Sir Edward Deering reports from the Committee, That the Committee had sat; and had ordered him to move the House, that the Words "for Support of his present Alliances" may be added to the Order; and that the Committee may have Leave to sit again To-morrow Morning at Ten of the Clock.

The Question being put, To agree with the Committee;

It was resolved in the Affirmative.

Resolved, &c. That this House will, To-morrow Morning at Ten of the Clock, resolve into a Committee of the whole House, to consider of a Supply to his Majesty, for Support of his present Alliances.

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