Grey's Debates of the House of Commons: Volume 1. Originally published by T. Becket and P. A. De Hondt, London, 1769.
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Monday, January 9.
[The House being called over, according to former order, upon calling the name of Sir John Coventry, information being given of an assault made upon him, on the same night of that day the House did rise before Christmas, by a number of about fifteen persons armed, horse and foot, who did assassinate and wound the said Sir John Coventry; and that he continues still so ill of his wounds, that he is not in a condition to attend;
Resolved, That the matter of breach of Privilege committed, and assault made, upon Sir John Coventry, a Member of this House, be taken into consideration the first business to-morrow morning. Journal of the Day.]
Thursday, January 10.
On the Assault, &c. on Sir John Coventry.
Sir Thomas Clarges, one of the Justices of the Peace who took the examination of the business, gave a narrative to the House thereof.
Sir Edmund Wyndham, Knight-Marshal.] Desires to know whether you will proceed in it here, now it is prosecuted at Law; and how far your proceedings may hinder the legal prosecution.
Sir John Hotham.] Questions whether the King himself, and we, shall not be under proscriptions, as in Sylla and Marius's time—Moves that we may right ourselves in this business, which deserves our vengeance.
Earl of Ancram (fn. 1).] Knows not how we can have greater vengeance than the Law can inflict—If any of these be hanged by Law, you have justice sufficient.
Sir Robert Holt.] Agrees not with Lord Ancram— It is the greatest breach that ever was since the first constitution of Parliaments—In Charles the first's time remembers what noise the business of the five Members made—His Majesty has a place here when he commands or does justice—If these persons are of his guards, they that will not fear God, will never honour the King— Guards have been the betrayers of the empire; the Prætorians did it—Thinks the King should have his guards; and amongst them are many worthy persons—Would have his Majesty moved to inspect his guards—Lords noses are as ours are, unless they be of steel—It concerns the Lords as well as us, as in Lord Ormond's case—This wounds all the Commons of England—In a plot, you had a Committee of Lords and Commons, and they sat all Christmas—We may do so too—We know not what a Petty Jury may do in it—That will not right our Privilege—You cannot, Mr Speaker, at this rate, go home with your mace.
Sir John Monson.] Has been lately in the country, and never saw a greater concern for a business—They fear we shall come under the government of France, to be governed by an army—Moves for a Bill for these sixteen that assaulted one man, to render themselves by a day, or be banished for ever.
Mr Hale.] Notice has been taken of this horrid fact here, but was not at the relation of it, but hears it in every street—If a man must thus be assaulted by ruffianly fellows, we must go to bed by sun-set, like the birds— The danger of post facto is not in this business—Would have them hanged, if they could be caught—Seconds the motion of Monson.
Sir Robert Howard.] He that likes this fact would do it; he that extenuates it, would be persuaded to do it— If any condition be to be pitied, it is the (fn. 2) gentlemen that did capitulate the business—Is sorry any English gentleman should wear a sword to do such a business.—Is persuaded that no gentleman in England but desires their room more than their company—The guards were fairly delivered to justice—In all companies there may be ill men, as well as in the guards—You may extend your enquiry to those whom the Law cannot meet with.
Mr Garroway.] Would have something added—He would pity the gentlemen accessaries who were under command (fn. 3).—In this Bill of yours would have a gate opened for safety for these gentlemen now committed— If they should declare their knowledge of the whole matter, they should plead this Bill for their pardon—But will you pardon men who shall persist in a concealing? —Would have them pardoned, if they will give an account to the Lord Chief Justice of the thing, provided they were not actors in the assassination.
Sir Robert Atkins.] 'Till you can discover names, it will be too soon to bring in a Bill—Would have you know upon what colour these persons did this assassination upon your Member—Would have your Member heard himself; or, if he be not able, would have some persons sent to him; and you may do more or less, according to the aggravations—Would not have any matter proceeded in till this business be over.
Sir William Coventry.] Has asked Sir John Coventry if he could recollect what moved this misfortune upon him, but he remembers nothing they said that might point out the cause (fn. 4) —Knows nothing that may come of it, but delay, by farther speaking with him, it being felony, and all involved—It was a great good fortune to have any by-standers; and without some such expedient as Garroway proposed, you cannot possibly find out more.
Mr Henry Coventry.] He is bound in point of modesty not to say much; but his relation prompts him to say somewhat—Seconds the motion for a Bill.
Sir Rich. Temple.] In Chedder's case, a Bill was brought in for the person that beat him on the highway, and a day was set for his appearance—Cannot see how these persons can be witnesses, when attainted.
Lord Richardson (fn. 5).] Looks upon these persons as capable of being witnesses, being not yet attainted; the Bill being found only by the Grand Jury.
Sir Nicholas Carew.] Would have something added for the security of your Members for the future—And not to proceed in any other business 'till this Bill be finished—His reason is, that we may have freedom of speech 'till this Bill be done—Without a better guard than Coventry had, he cannot speak freely to any thing else—Perhaps this may be a new way of frightening people, that they may be alarmed and afraid—Hopes you will add more "to maim," and let some general Law be included in this particular occasion, for our safety for the future.
Sir Fr. Goodrick.]. To kill a Judge in the execution of his office is Treason—That of killing a Privy-Counsellor, is repealed—Stroude's case is a general Law—If the Judges shall not take notice in their Courts of any thing said here, you will not suffer twelve red coats to do it— There is as much due to you as to the judges—Would have it Treason and Felony for the time to come.
Mr Jones.] It is the way to make your money come in the better, to punish this horrid un-English act, when there is a sense in the minds of the people of this horrid abuse; that by Privilege of Parliament being broken, the people are wounded—His soul trembles at the sad consequences—It is a greater thing than he has ever seen here—It concerns the person, justice, and honour of the King, Council, and House of Commons—Great sums have been given, and great sums must be given; [there are] many malecontents—Every ill humour goes to the place hurt—The people say, that the House has met these several years for nothing but to give money; and raising money to that high degree as we have done, they may be displeased—Moves that by this Act they may right themselves. By this precedent, upon some of the guards, would have the world know you are in earnest —Would have been silent, but the weight of the matter charms him—And that the King's business may not wait, would be at this, day and night; and proceed no farther in any business, till this be over.
Sir Job Charlton.] What has been done for the people these nine years? When this is over, he will give his vote for money as soon as any man.
Sir Richard Temple.] If he was jealous that all the Money-Bills should pass before this Bill, would have this precede; but this may go with them.
Mr Garroway.] Those Bills are so many snares, and sacrifice us to the fury of the people—Suspects we shall have nothing, when this of money is passed, and therefore presses it.
Sir John Duncombe.] Whilst we are angry at this Bill, why should we hurt ourselves? Knows not what effect the hastening of the Bill may have, but the obstruction of the King's business—If the Bill was ready, would have it read now—Read it twice in a day; make what haste you will; consents to it.
Sir Winston Churchill.] Not to be for this Bill, would be to upbraid the House—Those persons who sit quiet in their Sovereign's blood, wonder this thing should be so pressed—It seems to him a cutting the King over the face. The Words gave offence. Explains himself, that he said it by way of Simile—Not only our own affairs, but of Christendom, are upon their crisis; and the King put into a capacity to defend the Kingdom—Moves that we may de die in diem proceed on this Bill, which will certainly have a preference to the other—Would have these two Bills go simul & semel.
Sir Thomas Meres.] The Bill doubtless has been in our thoughts ever since the fact was done—It will take up no time, and it is so far from prejudicing the King's affairs, that it will advance them—Wherever your Members are intimidated, your Laws may be questioned— The Lords are included in your Privileges—They have adjourned several weeks, we would have but three days for this Bill—If we lose this question, we lose all, and begs your leave we may be gone.
Sir Robert Howard.] With what boldness can any man speak here, that must be pulled by the ears at night for what he says? The people say in the country, that unless you right yourselves in this business, your money is not given, but taken away.
Mr Seymour.] Has found none that speak with the indignation the thing deserves.—But because injury has been done us abroad, therefore must we hurt ourselves? —Hire some persons to assault some Members of this House, and Supply may be hindered at any time—Suppose this Bill do not pass, must no other business be proceeded upon?—Desires other business may not stand still.
Sir John Ernly.] Nothing will make the people give more chearfully than doing ourselves right in this business; and would sit morning and afternoon till it be done.
Mr Cheney.] Wonders that a thing of common justice, as this is, should be so obstructed—There was some suspension of justice—The Lord Chief Justice was spoke with, and the Secretaries, before justice was done; and some by that means escaped—Necessity of the nation is at our doors, to take off that arbitrary power upon us.
Mr Secretary Trevor.] Concurs heartily with what has been done this day; but this deferring will be thought a jealousy, where he hopes there is none.
Mr Waller.] Has seen a stop in all business till Members have been vindicated, and released out of prison— Has seen the Petition of Right passed before Supply, but no vote passed in it—Should it be said that the Supply depends upon passing another Bill not in the power of us?—When the Greeks and Romans had slaves disfigured and marked, it was a dishonour to the master; but that a free man, an Ambassador of the people, should be thus marked, is much more horrible. These actions have sometimes wrought reformation; sometimes good effects, and sometimes ill, as the Government is affected—We got the Petition of Right by discreet handling the business— The business of the five Members was so ill handled, that great disorder happened—God brings light out of darkness—Must give his No to this question.
Mr Attorney Finch.] The security of your satisfaction is not the question; what then should be the reason of this addition? He thinks you are satisfying the nation in our resentment—This satisfaction is a higher satisfaction than ever was known—11 Henry IV. "Any man assaulting a Member going or coming to Parliament, if he render not himself to the King's Bench in such a time, they would proceed to fine; and if he do come, and be found guilty by inquest, by examination, or otherwise, he shall pay his double damages found by the inquest, or be taxed by the discretion of the Judges, and make fine and ransom at the King's will."—Chedder's servant beaten was in Henry IV's time—Lord Cromwell, 28 Hen. VI. was assaulted in the Palace-yard; the offender imprisoned in the Tower for a year—We go about to do more than ever was, or attempted to be, done before— We put, by this vote, a stand to the Government—No man can think this question can pass, and all other things stand still—Why you should, for an imaginary opinion of the people, set a stop to all things, knows not.
Mr Vaughan.] Persons argue for giving the King money, and yet would hinder it—You must, in nature, have a father, before you can have a son—If we act not with the same liberty and freedom as our ancestors, we trust as a person would an arbitrator that his adversary has a power upon—The people will tell us that we serve the King, not by Law, but contrary to Law—That spoken of by Mr Attorney, had its remedy in Westminster-hall.
Colonel Titus.] This has been a thing without precedent, and hopes you will prevent it for the future from being so—Would not have you revenged upon yourselves. Whatever urgent accidents shall happen, not to be relieved untill this Bill pass!—That no man in a ship must pull a rope, or stop a leak, 'till a Council be called, is the same case.
Mr Henry Coventry.] Should be an unnatural man to his relation, and undutiful to the House, if he did not resent this; and would rather have all his wounds than hinder the prosecution—It is objected, "that men may put clogs into a Bill that it shall not pass, and by consequence all business stand;" which he cannot well answer—Would have it that this Bill shall have a preference to all other Bills; and, when it is ready, be read before all Bills —Would not have the nation believe that any persons that have a share in the Government do in any wise countenance this business.
Colonel Birch.] Thinks you cannot do too much in this business—For the same reasons that many are against it, he is for it—Nothing can be a greater mischief than a division upon this question; and he looks upon these Bills of Supply to have their fate accordingly—Cannot believe that any in the Government had a share in this business, because they would have timed it better—Would have the people think you act freely, and speak freely—On my word, they think not so now—Will say nothing of the nature of the thing—Former precedents will not reach us—We must have the people have a good opinion of us (I would they had!)—If this Bill pass not, we know how to make it (with respect spoken)—The other Bills will pass this.
Sir Thomas Lee.] The Peers may be as slow in banishing Commoners, as we were [in banishing] Lord Clarendon —The Lords may remember the Bill of their Privileges for Tryal sent you down (See p. 189.)—Would have it pass before the thing be forgotten.
Sir Charles Harbord.] It was never before heard of, that no Bill shall pass before this has passed the Lords.
Mr Swynfin.] Generous things are regular, so must our votes be—Would not give the Lords advantage against us—It was never said nor meant, that there should be a cessation of business 'till a Bill had passed the Lords—It is an imposing upon the Lords—If the Lords send you Bills, you may stop them till the Bill be passed —Would go no higher than this House in the question.
Resolved, That a Bill be brought in for banishment of Sir Thomas Sandys, Charles Obrian, Esq; Simon Parry and Miles Reeves, actors in assaulting and wounding Sir John Coventry, if they do not render themselves to justice by a day; and that no other business be proceeded in, whilst the Bill is passing.
[Jan. 11. The Bill was read the first time.
Jan. 12. It was read the second time.
Ordered, That it be referred to the Committee formerly appointed to bring in the Bill for the banishing Sir Thomas Sandys, and others, &c. to prepare and bring in a Clause against to-morrow morning, for preventing mischiefs of the like nature for the future.]
Friday, January 13.
In a Grand Committee on the Bill to prevent malicious maiming and wounding (fn. 6). Mr Coleman in the Chair.
Mr Attorney Finch.] It is against the thing to make it felony—That former Law of Henry IV (fn. 7) gave such a terror that the thing was never done since—Laws that look like the products and effects of passion, may not meet with the same passion at the Lords—Why not forfeiture of goods, and imprisonment for life?—Sir Henry Spelman tells us of the penalty of cutting off hands and legs, leaving nothing but a living trunk; lex justior nulla, &c.—The first fate of that Law was upon him that made it.
Mr Vaughan.] The Statute of Queen Mary says, "She holds herself safer in the hearts of her subjects than in the severity of Law"—Would have distinction of offences; a hurt a Surgeon may cure, dismembering he cannot.— You ought to adapt it to this particular case, which gives the occasion of it.
Sir Tho. Lce.] Would not have it go less than to an abjuration of the realm—Would have the penalty changed, but the thing continued—Were you a perpetual Legislature, it were another case—Would have those preserved that sent us hither, that we represent—Agrees to abjuration.
Sir William Coventry.] If foreigners shall do it by being hired, what is the penalty for them to be abjured the realm?—We are now more acquainted with them, than when the former Statute was made.
Sir Robert Howard.] You will set up men to swear premeditation, and make felony, for every disturbance in the street—The reason of the thing is only applicable to your Member; and he would fix it there.
Sir Richard Temple.] If you apply a less penalty than felony to this case, it will not reach—It is felony now, but by Clergy, which is much more than abjuring—They are burnt in the hand, and forfeit their goods—Would have it thus put in, "by surprize, and at unawares;" by day these things are not so commonly done.
Mr Secretary Trevor.] What consideration this will have abroad, he always reflects—The Parliament upon this occasion makes a general Law upon particular occasions, but knows no reason why it should be for people in general—As Parliament-men are now liable to greater hardships than formerly, so would have distinction— When Prorogation comes, we are as other men, and lie under hardships for what we say here—Soldiers of fortune may live in another country as well as here—Would not have it banishment.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] Few were saved in Henry IV's time by Clergy, for few could read; so it was severer than now.
Mr Serjeant Maynard.] You have precedents of a special occasion for a general Law, as Chedder's case —Thinks that proper and prudent; and has no inconvenience against making it death—Would have it more than abjuration, because to aliens, and such as desire to be abroad—But he must approve; and if he return, felony—Would have it perpetual banishment, but not death.
Sir William Coventry.] For the case of a Parliamentman, thinks abjuration proper, but for all people would have it felony.
Mr Serjeant Maynard.] Clergy is now a matter of nothing; Clergy at Common Law was not an absolution from the offence; he then had a writ declared of restoration upon his purgation.
Sir Thomas Clifford.] Much more to be said in the Bill of Lord Clarendon than this, in point of pardon— The second precedent entails things upon you—Would not have the people out of power of pardon—It is the first time you have totally put a thing out of the King's pardon.
Sir Robert Holt.] Several crimes as this, of robbing and murder, the King cannot pardon, only respite execution—If they come by a day, would not have power of pardon taken away.
Sir Nicholas Carew.] If the action be without precedent, why should not the prosecution?—This was done by the guards; if they should be pardoned, knows not what they may do to the King, and moves it for his Majesty's ease and advantage.
Colonel Kirby.] A greater offence than this we petitioned the King to pardon, which was his father's murder.
Sir Thomas Meres.] This House twice petitioned for execution, and it rested with the Lords; therefore that is a mistake.
Mr Attorney Finch.] Objects against the Bill, that you convict them by the Bill—Would have it thus, "in "which assault a supposed robbery was done, which they are not yet convicted of"—The things may have been lost—As for pardoning, it is the same thing to pardon and not to execute, which is never done, unless the King's Attorney sends the warrant, and that he will not do without command—This clause is a jealousy, and without effect of our ends—It is an indecent thing to shut up mercy—He who advised the Emperor to shut up the Sanctuary, fled to the horns of the Altar, and could not lay hold of it.
Sir William Coventry.] Would not have the nature of the fact otherwise than it is—"Lost," instead of "robbed"—He will have no other thoughts than what the House has of it—What fell from Mr Attorney, is a reason for confirmation of the clause—He is never desirous of any man's blood; and if you continue this clause, it will reach the end of the Member injured, without blood —Let every man consult his heart, whether his blood would not be higher than any philosophy can conquer; for it may put your Member upon unchristianly revenge; and appeals to any gentleman what he would do, if he should see such a person walk the streets that had so injured him—Whatever we do here is Petition; and it is a greater thing to petition to pardon than not to pardon; for the safety of all Englishmen lies in doing of justice— It is no new thing to find pardons interceding for persons—51 Edward III. the Speaker had order to move the Lords for Peirce, &c. It is not new for you, in case of an honourable Member.—In Lord St. John's case, you went yourself with the House, in a body, to ask his pardon—For desire against pardon, 21 Edward III. No. 53. —Murders, &c. were frequent, by reason of pardon.
It was answered.] The King will advise with his Couneil what shall be granted for the honour and profit of his people, and would consider what were fit to stand good, ex post facto.—13 Edward III. that no pardons be granted, but in Parliament, demanded for the preservation of the peace—No pardon to any impeached—Juries may be malicious, and so it would be a hard case to tie up the King—Generally a particular fact, as this slight, tells you who is guilty—In Chedder's case, "Please your Majesty to grant remedy, that if any person kill any, or maim severe punishments, &c. "—They petition to make crimes greater than they were by Law, and petition they should have no pardon; here are precedents, some in general, some in particular, and precedents a great way beyond it; and in this you have extended a great deal of mercy—If they that do not reveal shall be as capable of pardon as they that do, what good will that clause do? You will have no fruit of it—He seeks only for security for the time to come, and on no particular account at all.
Mr Coleman.] It is said, "you convict them before tryal." Answers—The Preamble does say, that a robbery was done, and some body did take away goods, but not who, naming none.—There is, in plain English, nothing in the Bill without it; it is to shut the back door—They are indicted; they have but two things to do; to be outlawed if they come not, and by that they are ipso facto to be attainted; the other is, to come in and be tryed— You banish them, and if they return, you give them a Privilege the Law does not; for process of outlawry cannot go, and you disponse with it, therefore some would have banishment out of the Bill—Would rather have it, "if they come not, to be attainted." Lord Clarendon's Bill makes a crime he shall not be capable of pardon for; this does not—He has more manners than to say what the Prerogative cannot do, but this disables the person from receiving that pardon—It is not expressly to be taken away, but you may disable persons from receiving it, and take away the capacities of those unworthy men to receive it.
Sir Thomas Clifford.] His objection is not taken as he made it—Did say, "that the Bill for Ld Clarendon's banishment did not incapacitate him for pardon, if tryed"—Coventry's precedents were before Henry the fifth's time. He has read them, and been told, that before Henry the fifth's time, the King put the sceptre upon one clause of a Bill that he approved of, and left out another. Now the King passes all, or passes none—These ancient precedents have not the force that is urged by Coventry —Moderate it so, that you tie no shackles on his Majesty.
Mr Coleman.] This Prerogative was too big for him, and therefore he made the nice discinction—2 and 3 Edw. IV. "Where the interest of a person, by lease or copyhold, has not been found in inquisitions or offices for the King, the interest shall be saved, though they be not found by office"—Statute of offices, "that no non obstante should be of any validity from the Crown"—Putting the person out of capacity of receiving pardon, is the Bill only.
Mr Vaughan.] Coleman's proposition is very sound. It is not the same thing, "the person shall not be capable, &c."—If a man give lands to a man and his heirs, without power of alienation, it is void; but that he shall not alienate to such a particular person, is good —Our King, that has pardoned Treason, may pardon this, a smaller offence, by the usual way of sollicitation, &c.
Dr Arras made an extravagant motion for a Bill to be brought in, to punish any man that should speak any reflective thing on the King. By some he was called to the Bar; but his explanation and excuse were admitted of. He said, He was the only Physician of the House, and, humanum est errare;—he hoped he should be pardoned.
Sir Thomas Clifford.] Your chair has not been infallible. Do you know what Martin said, the impunity whereof was a great cause of what followed; and if the majority will not punish seditious expressions, thinks such a Bill for the honour of the House.
Sir Thomas Lee.] Would not have that pass for doctrine, that, because once the majority of the Commons have rebelled, hereafter they will do so; and if that be taken for granted, we pass a high reflection on ourselves.
Mr Henry Coventry.] There was a violence; and should only the person that takes the money, and not they that stand armed to assist the other, be guilty, it would be strange.
Mr Vaughan.] Sandys consented to the assassination, but not to the robbery; it is alterius generis. But here every one is principal, though of one kind, and they present when another thing is committed—Lord Dacre's case, when his men went a deer-stealing.
Sir Robert Howard.] Here is more in the case; for these persons were present, and might have prevented; if you will have all accessaries incapable of pardon, it will reach many. If he had struck only, and not taken away, &c.
Mr Attorney Finch.] The fear that there should be a general pardon from the King, which you cannot mend, nor add exceptions to, is objected. Answers, he hopes to see such a pardon, but is in no prospect of such a pardon; and this jealousy may hinder such an intention— This is grafting one jealousy upon another. This is primœ inventionis, ingeniously rolled in gentlemens thoughts; and if ever any such thing was done, will sit down.
Sir Robert Howard.] The King may pardon all but such as actually wounded, maimed, struck, or took away —He would have him named, if he does get his pardon, that mankind may know.
Sir Thomas Meres.] Is it imaginable that such persons, so infamous, should hinder an Act of Grace?—Would have added "unless such persons shall be particularly named in the Act."
Sir John Duncombe.] Is not for that Clause—Knows not but he himself may want an Act of Grace as much as any man; and knows not whether this Clause may not stop it—Does not remember, in an Act of this nature before, any such thing was mentioned.
Mr Cheney.] Is persuaded, that if such an Act be intended, these words will not hinder it; and therefore would have the persons named.
Sir Charles Harbord.] Stratford and Mompesson were named, and expressly exempted, in a general pardon.
Sir William Coventry.] Some by name, some by description, not capable of pardon—Some are ipso facto pardoned by the Act, and capacitated to be pardoned by the Great Seal.
Mr Milward.] Would not, to remedy a single person, insnare all the Commons of England—" Wound, maim, or bruise," it may be done by mistake—Upon a bare Proclamation, if the person appeared not, a Member should have judgment and double damages—This our ancestors thought a fair distinction of a Parliament-man, from another man—Chedder's case.
Sir Thomas Higgins.] It was never death to strike a Senator of Rome, nor now to strike a Senator of Venice, out of the Senate.—Would not have us take more upon us than our ancestors did.
Sir Richard Temple.] The two particular cases beget a general law of double damages. Would you have any man for double damages venture to beat a Member of Parliament?—Would have a general Law, to prevent making more for the future—The Law implies malice, when there is no act of provocation.
Mr Vaughan.] Is against making a bare trespass felony —Would have it farther considered.
Sir Robert Carr.] Would have the Law secure those we represent, as well as ourselves; therefore would have another Bill brought in.
Sir Thomas Lee.] Times and manners are altered, and men are—Time was, when none should go armed in Parliament-time. What penalty have you now more for a Member than another person? We come to provide for the Commons of England, as well as for a particular Member—We are, upon occasion of speaking, exposed to that [which] other men are not.
Colonel Stroude.] We shall, by this, give other provocation, and they not dare to provoke us.
Sir John Birkenhead.] Swinnerton quarrelled with Ipstock, and killed him; it was but as killing another man —Parliament-men will be afraid of one another—Riding armed, forbidden in three several Parliaments, "within the liberties of Westminster, unless his Majesty's officers," an integral part in that Proclamation.
Mr Henry Coventry.] Would not only have it felony upon the Member, but upon any man—If he may not have a Privilege against bastinadoes, cares not for having it against hurts—Would have it against cudgels as well as swords.
Mr Vaughan.] We have Privileges that other persons have not, from arrests—Why should we not have it in other things?
Colonel Birch.] If we have a greater guard than other men, we shall be less regarded—Desires we should be no more distinguished than other men—But to have our noses cut, should be deferred—Is against it—If we were a people that went not to plays nor taverns, another thing; but at this rate, no man will play with us.
Sir Job Charlton.] It is not felony if he "wounds" a man that is Chancellor, or Judge, executing his office; "killing" is Treason—This making it felony upon one of the House is unreasonable, that it should be more than upon those that represent his Majesty's person.
Sir Adam Brown.] Would have care taken to prevent combinations—Would not have the clause disjoined from the Bill, which occasioned the penning of the Bill.
Sir Thomas Clifford.] Is for the clause of a general assassinating; and it is not proper to make ourselves, who are not Judges born, as the Lords are—We are five hundred to-day, and five hundred new men a month hence —There can be no notoriety to the people—Would have some gentlemen accommodate this to the Bill.
[The Bill, with the Amendments, was ordered to be ingrossed.]
Saturday, January 14.
[Resolved, That the Bill do pass, and that the title be, "An Act to prevent malicious maiming and wounding."]
Monday, January 16.
In a Grand Committee on the Supply. [The Subsidy Bill was read the second time.]
Sir Thomas Meres.] Would propose a new way for raising money; to wit, money at interest.
Mr Henry Coventry.] Unless you would tax the Kingdom of Heaven, knows not what you would tax farther upon earth—Would you give the King a Platonic tax? Knows not else what Meres means by finding out another way, all [other] ways being spoken against.
Mr Coleman.] Moves to have minimum quod sit put first.
Mr Gould.] Whatever money is owing by the tradesman, or any man, is so much the less in his estate; so you will subject the business to uncertainty, and put persons to remove their money into other countries.
Colonel Birch.] Few but have money owing them, and not owing at interest, but lent friendly—Would have it "for which he doth or ought to pay interest."
Sir Robert Howard.] A man may find a way to have no interest for his money, nor ought to have, and so void the tax.
Mr Boscawen.] Would encourage, if any, those that let money go from hand to hand in trade.
Mr Vaughan.] Nothing can be worse than to make a Law to pick our pockets, or to declare our poverty, to make us contemned both by our friends and enemies.
Sir Richard Temple.] You will make a noise, and entangle your Commissioners, in charging money not at interest—My servant comes to bring me rent, and I must be charged for it.
Colonel Titus.] The punishment of the Law precedes the promulgation, in punishing the Bankers; and why you should discriminate these, when they have been useful for gentlemen to place their money, knows no reason for it.
Sir John Duncombe.] You once thought the Bankers useful, for you gave 300,000l. to pay them interest.
Mr Attorney Finch.] You are saving all the money in the Bankers hand, and I must pay for it that own it— Their credit now cannot raise 10,000l.
Mr Garroway.] Is glad to hear that the vote has had so good an effect—Let the Banker discharge the 15s. upon him that lends it—No gentleman can get money in the country, and this will make money come again into the country.
Mr Henry Coventry.] Thinks it not reasonable to make a Law after the fact is done—The nature of Bankers is not as other bonds; this to be paid at three or fourteen days; let him owe it, and not have it five days in his keeping, to be taxed for a year—Nothing more unreasonable. No definition for a Banker in Law—What is "acquiring the name of Bankers?" (as expressed in the Bill) The malice of neighbours, it may be, has given it them —This will violate that justice as much as any thing.
Mr Boscawen.] To call this "punishment"—It is as much upon our lands—Shall stock in trade pay, and not the profit the Banker has merely from the money going through his hand?—He has no design of breaking them; but would have them pay for what they have profit out of the money proportionably.
Sir Richard Temple.] The Banker pays 15s. and so must the owner of the money—Would have 10s. for the Banker, and 5s. for the gentleman that lends—They who receive not above 6l. per cent. let not them be charged.
Sir George Downing.] Would have no Banker but the Government—In Holland, not one Banker—If the Banker pays 15s. for all that he has, and not be deducted for what he owes! leaves it to you.
Mr Veughan.] Would have a Banker described, before you tax him.
Sir William Coventry.] No fraud like Banking; but whilst you think to destroy them, you are repairing them —The Bankers are failing—If the Bankers be now broken, you go about to set them up—Suppose a Banker wants 100,000l. The Act says "money shall pay 10 per cent."—A Banker, by giving 15, shall have 100,000l. and he that lends it shall be concealed; the Banker shall excuse the person, the business being private.
Mr Garroway.] Coventry is mistaken—It is ten times as much, and he would have it made 30, to prevent that inconvenience.
Mr Secretary Trevor.] You, by this clause, take away all consideration of what the Banker owes.
Mr Jolliffe.] Would charge these people, but in intelligible terms—Knows Scriveners and Goldsmiths that lend—It is said in the paragraph "great sums;" knows not what great sums are meant—Supposes you mean such as lend the King at 10 per cent.—In war, a million is no great sum.
Mr Attorney Finch.] If this clause be left out, it may have the effect you desire by it—The gentleman that lends shall have more than from the Banker—You do legitimate the art by Act of Parliament only—Can an action be good in Law "against John Blackwell, Banker?" —For the future, you are competently secure.
Sir John Ernly.] Mr Attorney said yesterday, "he could not leave out the clause;" and now he argues against the clause—However black before he made them, he makes them as white now—Would take them signally down; for they have taken away 20s. from every 100l. a year.
Sir Thomas Littleton.] Cannot commend these Bankers, more than those who learn young gentlemen to take up money, and so ruin their estates—Would have it made dangerous to lend these Bankers—There is money in their hands, and it is easily known whose it is—You see that private men are fonder of putting their moneys to the Bankers than to the Exchequer.
Sir Thomas Clifford.] These men have been useful; they have been necessary evils—The Lords of the Treasury found all the branches of the revenue anticipated— 15 per cent. was the cheapest he could get upon anticipations—Now, whether to take up at 10 gratuity per cent. or buy wares at 40 per cent.—The Bankers are entirely broke; he thinks they cannot borrow 10,000l.—You may have "money" at the Bankers at three days notice; in the Exchequer, "in its orders"—Is persuaded 10 per cent. has lessened the lands; but did he foresee any return of these Bankers, would yet make the charge higher.
Sir Thomas Meres.] The Bankers were the cause of the anticipations—Is of opinion that the Bankers are down in reputation; because that this Bill was till yesterday at four o'clock, and they will give 100,000l. to leave out this clause—If we pay 5s. they may justly pay a noble—Whoever receives 10 per cent. of the King is a reaching them, and a description of them.
Mr Garroway.] In your Wine-Act was a retrospect, as well as in Lord Strafford's case, as Higgins says; but hopes we shall have no more—Is not this an enacting them for ever?—Hopes that if hereafter the Parliament takes them banking, we shall ruin them—Would have it now done, or you never will hereafter—Would not have the world take notice that you approve of them, by throwing out this clause.
[The Subsidy Bill was ordered to be committed, 170 to 109.]
[Jan. 17, omitted.]