Debates in 1675: October 13th-19th

Pages 290-311

Grey's Debates of the House of Commons: Volume 3. Originally published by T. Becket and P. A. De Hondt, London, 1769.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.


In this section

Debates in the House of Commons, From the Year 1667, to the Year 1694.

Wednesday, October 13, 1675.

THE House met (fn. 1) [When the King in his Speech gave them to understand, "That he met them with a more than usual concern for the event of the Session: That he hoped they would avoid the like Debates, which occasioned the last Prorogation: That if any thing of that kind should arise, he desired them to defer the discussion of it, till they had dispatched such public Bills as might conduce to the good and safety of the Kingdom; and that he particularly recommended to them whatever might tend to the security of the Protestant Religion, as established in the Church of England."

The Sequel was as follows:

"I must likewise desire your assistance in some supplies; as well to take off the anticipations which are upon my revenue (fn. 2), as for the building of ships. And though the war has been the great cause of these anticipations; yet I find, by a late account I have taken of my expences, that I have not been altogether so good an husband as I might have been, and as I resolve to be for the future; although, at the same time, I have had the satisfaction to find, that I have been far from such an extravagancy in my own expence, as some would have the world believe. I am not ignorant that many would prevent the kindness of my Parliament to me, at this time; but I as well know that your affections have never failed me; and you may remember it is now above three years since I have asked you any thing for my own use."

These points were enlarged upon, as usual, by the Lord Keeper.]

The King's and Lord Keeper's Speeches being ended, the House of Commons came down, and sat some time, looking on one another in a profound silence, 'till at length Sir Thomas Meres broke silence and said, "He was sorry to see the House, as it were, in an amazement, and was afraid it might prove ominous, and therefore prayed the Speaker to acquaint the House with the substance of the King's Speech."

The Speaker excused himself for that, not daring to rely so much upon his memory. It was then moved, that some Bill might be read, and Sir Thomas Littleton desired it might be that of the last Session, "for appropriating the Customs to the use of the fleet." But the Speaker objected against that, because it was indorsed on the backside, and not fair written, and he had no brief of it. Upon which Sir Nicholas Carew told him, he had a Bill which was not indorsed, but fair written, of which he had a brief. It was a Bill, "to incapacitate any Papist to sit in either House of Parliament, without taking the Test in the late Act against Popery, &c." It was read accordingly, and ordered a second reading sine die. After this, Mr Secretary Williamson brought in the King's Speech, which was read, and thereupon a motion was made, "That thanks might be given to his Majesty for his gracious care of the Protestant religion." To which Mr Secretary Coventry answered, "That it would not be decent to separate one part of the King's Speech from the other." Upon which some disputes did arise for a time, till it was moved, that the consideration of the Speech might be adjourned till Monday, which was agreed to, provided the House might be adjourned till that time, which was accorded; each party hoping for strong recruits.

Before the House adjourned, there happened a passage, which requires something to be said antecedently to make it the better understood.—In one of the actions between the Germans and the French, after Turenne's death, Colonel John Howard, brother to the Earl of Carlisle, amongst many Englishmen, was killed, which being told for news in St James's Park, it was reported, that Lord Cavendish, and Sir Thomas Meres, being together, when they heard it, should say, "That they were well enough served, and that they wished that never any Englishman might fare better, who was to serve abroad against a Vote of Parliament." Upon which, a paper, that called Lord Cavendish, and Sir Thomas Meres, "incendiaries," with other such language, was given about, subscribed "Thomas Howard of Richmond and Carlisle." This paper was brought into the House by Sir Trevor Williams, who informed the House, "that it was found the night before in St James's Park, by his Servant, and given unto him, who finding two honourable Members shamefully traduced in it, could not but acquaint them with it," and having no opportunity before this morning, showed it to the Members concerned in the House. Upon which Lord Cavendish, seeming much surprized at it, went out of the House in heat, which was the beginning of the thing. Mr Russel then acquainted the House, "that he saw some disorder in that Lord, and, being afraid of the consequence, desired he might be commanded not to go out." Sir Trevor then told the aforesaid story, and the paper was read, viz.


"The last severity upon Roman Catholics having forbid me the ambition to any place or pretension at Court, and the severe usage of the gout making me unfit to appear in any company, but where I am well acquainted; besides a most sensible loss of my poor brother John, killed at Strasbourg, I resolved not only to retire in person, but thought, from all temptations this world could give me, and to spend the rest of my days with such domestic and private content, as a man of those principles, and some sense, might hope for, in an honourable retreat. But it happens by a certain, though unjust and malicious accident, that I am awakened from the quiet and repose I hoped for, and find myself engaged by the nearest ties of friendship and honour, (obligations I have always esteemed dearer than my life) to let some unworthy and base people see that I am yet alive. Not long since, in St James's Park, Lord Cavendish and Sir Thomas Meres, two bold and busy Members, upon the news of the French retreat over the Rhine, where many English were reported to be killed, (which, amongst all honest men, was much regretted) these barbarous incendiaries, with a most plausible temper of such worthy patriots, openly declared, "that it was but a just end for such as went against any Vote of Parliament." With all respect to that honourable House, that cankered and malicious saying will neither deserve the thanks of that House, (it being false as to my brother, who went by his Majesty's command, at the head of his Company, before that Vote was in force) nor the approbation of any man out of it. I will not trouble myself, nor others, to let you see, by any exact character, how these two worthy and unbyassed Senators ought to be credited. Next October will produce such effects of their care and capacities of securing property and religion in a Christian and humane way, that I believe I shall be called to the Bar, to answer their standers, as I presume they will call them; yet I doubt they will not, for though an ill orator, I shall most certainly prove what I write. As for any other way of revenge, I do not any way apprehend it; for men that are given to spit blood, seldom draw it. Sir, I have troubled you too long with my just resentments, but knowing the share you have always taken in my concerns, I must beg of you, that you will in St James's Park, at the Mall, disperse these copies, it being all the way that is left to do right to the dead; and, to assure you, that I will not do you the ill office of dispersing a libel, I will sign the copies with all my titles. (fn. 3)

From Ashtead in Surry, [Aug. 30, 1675.] T. Howard, of Richmond and Carlisle."

Lord Cavendish and Sir Thomas Meres were enjoined not to prosecute any quarrel against Mr Howard, [or to send or accept any challenge in order thereto, without acquainting the House.]

Then the House adjourned to

Monday, October 18.

Resolved, That Sir Trevor Williams, Sir Anthony Irby, Sir Thomas Littleton, Sir Charles Harbord, and Mr Crouch, be appointed to go to Mr Howard, (who, by reason of his indisposition of the gout, could not attend the House,) to know of him whether he will own the aforesaid paper.

Sir Philip Musgrave.] Moves to proceed in the matter of Supply, and Religion, mentioned in the King's Speech, and to appoint a day for each of them.

Sir Edward Dering.] Seconds the motion, and hopes for as full a concurrence from every gentleman, as from him. Religion is the honour of the nation, and has always been the care of this House. Little progress was made the last Session, by reason of the difference with the Lords; but would begin now early, that we may ripen things to perfection before we rise. Another thing, as properly under our cognizance as Popery, is, regulating mens manners, very worthy of our consideration. Under that notion of religion, it may be done. We want censores morum, as well as Inquisitors of Faith—Thinks, that else we cannot see Religion prosper. Our dominion of the sea is magni nominis umbra, without strength there—'Tis not prudent to trust the nation long to the French army's going into winter quarters. These are the heads of the King's Speech, and would not have them jostle for place; therefore moves to-morrow for Religion, and Wednesday for the King's Supply. 'Twill be much for your honour abroad to be so employed; therefore would have these certain and speedy days for the consideration of them.

Sir John Holland.] The King is pleased to desire a supply; we are all here to speak our minds freely, and hopes we shall with that modesty which becomes us, and desires to be heard out with patience and favour. He is no honest man, that loves not the King, the Government, and the Nation. If we consider, that, after such supplies, never given before, (Edward III. who reigned above fifty years, never had near this King's Supply,) now to have every branch of the revenue anticipated; and not only that, but debts so great, to the ruin of the people; and, besides, the King's wants so great, as to be forced to break the credit of the Exchequer, to the ruin of widows, orphans, and numerous other people, as it puts so great a damage upon our English manufactures. —He will go no farther, for instance, than his own county, the city of Norwich—These are necessary to the King's sovereignty, and preservation of trade—The fleet neglected, and his nearest and most powerful neighbours so armed—The French, by over-balance of our trade— When you were told, the last meeting, that the French commodities imported, over-balance to the value of 900,000l. and though London is not very sensible of this, yet the country, from whence supply must come, is impoverished by it. The Chimney-money and Excise, brought hither, and the Nobility's expences, increase the consumption here, and hither the money will come. By this means, the country, in some places, is drained of money, and, by reason of the cheapness of all commodities, farms are cast into gentlemens hands, and no hopes of remedy on their parts; and the farmers come here, and set up taverns, and alehouses, and keep lodgings, and there are no hopes of their return back into the country. The humour of the yeomanry is changed; the youth are not bred up as they used to be. This, in short, is our condition; and yet, for the King's necessity, as well as our safety, the King must have supply; else the people cannot be protected; but, if the charge of the Government be greater than the people can bear, the Government cannot stand, though supported by arms. But, should it be so endeavoured, it cannot be long endured by the temper of the English nation. Would to God he could say, this was not our condition! There is a necessity that it must be said. He cannot but think himself bound in conscience to take this opportunity to say, that the charge of the Government is greater than the nation can bear—Cannot but say, the expences of the Court may be reduced—especially the matters of the Treasury may be better managed. The truth is, the prodigal and excessive way of living now, was unknown to our forefathers, who kept hospitality. 'Tis a leprousy that has almost overspread the nation—Hears an unusual discontent, and want will put men upon desperate resolutions, and from that arose those unhappy times we had— This may bring us again into the unhappy hands we were in; and [we shall] be an easy prey and conquest to whoever will over-run us—Was, am, and ever will be, for the due rights of this House, and against the Peers encroachments; would not give, and, he hopes, the House will not be ready to take, new occasion of difference. Upon the whole, moves to enter into a present consideration of an humble Petition to the King, with the Lords concurrence, in which, in all dutiful, modest, and loyal manner, we may represent to him "the present poverty of the nation, together with the mischiefs of unseasonable Prorogations; and that we be continued without Prorogation, 'till we have dispatched Bills for the security of Religion and Property; and then declare, that we will give Supply to provide shipping and stores, to be equal, if not stronger, than our neighbours"—If he, in any thing, has mis-expressed himself (as he is the worst judge) hopes a favourable construction of the House.

Mr Streete.] Seconds Musgrave.

Sir Thomas Lee.] When he considers the old course of Parliament, what has been moved is not the usual way—Upon your books, a motion being made for a Supply, the House went into a Grand Committee; therefore moves for it to-morrow.

Sir Robert Carr.] Seconds the motion for to-morrow, to consider Anticipations and Supply.

Sir Thomas Meres.] Would have that ancient Order, which Lee mentioned, read. When that Order is lost, the House of Commons is lost. If there be occasion for Supply, let's see it at a Grand Committee.

Mr Neale.] Has heard, that the Lord Treasurer has brought the state of the revenue into the Council. Would see that here, to be your guide the better, in what you are to do; and moves, that all the money may be employed to the use we give it, on penalty of treason.

The Order mentioned was read, viz. "That a motion being made for a Supply, is not presently to be entered upon, in the House, but the consideration referred to a Committee of the whole House." The date of this Order does not appear.

Mr Sacheverell.] Is willing to take Anticipations upon the Customs, and the King's debts, into consideration, as soon as may be—To be plain, he believes there is no need of a Supply, when things shall be well considered.

Sir Thomas Meres.] Sees there is no occasion of a Supply as plain as the Sun that shines, and belives he can make it out—No man has yet made a direct motion but Holland, which is a conditional one, and a very good one; so that a Committee cannot go upon it, without being first moved by some-body.

Mr Secretary Coventry moved it.

Sir John Ernly.] Must inform the House, that we want a squadron of ships, and thirty at least, of first, second, and third rates; therefore seconds Coventry, for Supply for building of ships.

Resolved, That this House [will] to-morrow, at ten of the clock, resolve into a Grand Committee, to take into consideration that part of his Majesty's Speech, which relates to a Supply for taking off [Anticipations, upon his Majesty's Revenue] and building more ships.

Wednesday, [was appointed to consider the settlement of] Religion.

Mr Garroway.] Upon a motion for a Committee to consider what Bills, presented the last Session, are fit now to brought in, said—He hopes we shall not make a Committee, Lords of Articles, as in Scotland.

Col. Birch.] Would have a day appointed to consider the present state of the nation. He likes not shuffling the cards again, now the game is pretty well—But meeting people at church, and at market, he finds them full of censures and contempts, that we examine things no better. If this House does not represent the state of the nation to the King, who can, who dares do it? This main thing sticks with him, that the charge of the Government is greater than the nation can bear. Finds that some go up, and some go down; but whoever goes up, or whoever goes down, the King pays the reckoning. Some gentlemen know this very well. Therefore would have Monday to consider the state of the kingdom.

[It was appointed accordingly]

Tuesday, October 19.

Sir Thomas Littleton, and the rest of the gentlemen mentioned, who were sent to Mr Howard, reported, "That, in obedience to the Order of the House, they went to Mr Howard, to demand of him, whether he signed, or owned, the paper then produced to him?" Who replied,

"Gentlemen, Being informed of some displeasure of the House of Commons (for whom I always had, and ever shall have, a most dutiful regard) I doubt, that, if I should give any Answer to your Message, being a person unexperienced in such affairs, I might give occasion of their displeasure; and therefore I must beg your pardon; and I must answer only to what can be proved against me; and, in the mean time, I do now again, as I did, before Mr Collingwood, to the Speaker, promise, upon my word and honour, not to question any person for any thing relating thereunto."

Mr Sacheverell.] Moves to have him committed to the Tower.

Mr Powle.] For a private gentleman to vilify your Members with the terms of "unworthy, byassed Senators, barbarous incendiaries, busy Members!"—If men without doors may do this, it takes away liberty of speech. Former times have had nothing like it; only in Queen Elizabeth's time, Arthur Hall, who was a Member, (this gentleman none) for publishing a libellous book, called Oper a Tenebrarum, was called to the Bar, and giving no satisfactory answer, was committed to the Tower, and fined five hundred pounds, and not to return thence untill he had given satisfaction; and hopes this gentleman will be so punished.

Mr Mallet.] Would put the thing in a way of proof, since Howard puts it upon you—There is another precedent, of Withers the poet, which, if true, does us justice —He requires it, and would vindicate the Members reflected on.

The Speaker.] Knows not when you have sent for a man in Custody, upon no other ground than what's before you.

Mr Secretary Williamson.] If the gentleman refused to appear, and you had the proofs before you, then it would be proper to send for him in Custody. He would have a better answer than is yet given; but sending for in Custody is a kind of punishment before proof. Doubts that the Question proposed is not so seasonable in the condition the gentleman is in.

Sir Charles Harbord.] The offence is yet neither proved nor confessed—Would have a day's time; and if he cannot come, he may be brought hither, before you commit him.

Sir Thomas Littleton.] Knows the gentleman, and has a value for him; but no-body will deny this to be a Breach of Privilege. To the purpose—A man, you suppose, has broken your Privilege, and he keeps his bed, and you send to him, and he will not tell you whether he has broken your Privilege or no. You send for men, upon presumption of breach of Privilege—If the gentleman cannot come to attend you, he may remain in Custody of the Serjeant. It has been a hundred times done in breach of Privilege only.

Sir John Ernly.] Looks upon committing Howard as a pre-judging him, it not appearing to be his act—Sending for him in Custody is a punishing him—Would you have a man confess a thing against himself? Go in the common way; send for him, but not in Custody.

Sir Robert Howard.] Is as much for the honour of the House as any man, although related to this gentleman, &c.—He is one so little versed in business, that he may err in his answer; he may think he has answered very well. If it shall be made appear to be his act, he shall disapprove it as much as any man else—When you send for him, and he appears, and you censure him, he will abide by that censure.

Sir John Birkenhead.] You send for people in Custody, when afraid of an escape. He is a prisoner before you send for him, by his lameness of the gout—When a felon is upon his tryal, he must speak with his shackles off, at as much ease as may be. The loss of his brother, whom he loved more than his own life, might make him utter, it may be, something he should not.

Lord Cavendish.] The words, the paper says, he should say of Colonel John Howard (whom he knew not) are, "That 'twas a just judgment he was killed;" which was a foolish thing; and he will not own saying of a foolish thing. But possibly he might say, "He was sorry this gentleman should die fighting against the interest of his country."—If he said it not then, he does now say it.

Sir Thomas Meres.] As to saying, "he was sorry that an Englishman should die in that cause," he is sorry for it; and 'twas always the thought of his heart, and is still so.

Sir Thomas Lee.] Had always a respect for this gentleman; but 'tis not what respect you show the gentleman, but how this matter will stand upon your Journal to posterity. Every paper, read by Order in the House, must be entered; and for sending an answer not direct to a paper of so great reflection, what will appear upon your books but sending a Committee of yours? (which, by the way, was a mistake to a man that has offended you). For your honour, you must send for him; and nothing else moves him to speak in it.

Sir Charles Wheeler.] Whenever a mistake arises amongst persons of honour, all quarrels cease. This here arises upon such a thing; and no question but Howard will retract what is grounded upon a mistake—If this be so, an end may be put to this matter. He is persuaded that Howard had not the least intent to reflect on the House; because, when gentlemen fall out, they invent and take up names and words provoking, though not true; therefore would have Howard asked, whether he had the least thought of reflection on the House.

Mr Stockdale.] Would not have Howard fore-judged, but let him have a day for notice to appear.

Sir Nicholas Carew.] Is sensible of the gentleman's infirmity, the gout; 'tis his own. Has known him long to be an honourable person; and hopes, as to this matter, he will be innocent—Would have a day appointed for his appearance.

Ordered, That Mr Howard be sent to, to attend this House on this day seven-night.

Sir Nicholas Carew.] Be the Paper whose it will, it is a scandalous Paper; and moves to have it burnt.

Sir Thomas Littleton.] If the Paper be burnt, we shall not have it here to prove it. Would not have it burnt till the whole thing be over.

Mr Garroway.] 'Till you declare it a Breach of Privilege, what will you send for Howard for? Therefore moves to have it voted a scandalous Paper, and a breach of Privilege.

Col. Birch.] The Paper might be read, before you put the Question; but not upon an adjourned Debate.

The Speaker.] The Paper was once read, and needs not be read again.

The Letter was read, [as above, p. 292.]

Sir Thomas Meres.] If he speaks not, he may be thought to yield to the report of the letter. He has had Papers, long before this, thrown into his House, and has been so far from giving you the trouble, that he has not so much as spoken of them; but, sa to this Paper, it was handed to him in the House, and he showed it to Lord Cavendish.

Resolved, That the Paper, produced and read, is a scandalous Paper, and a breach of the Privilege of this House.

The Speaker, leaving the Chair, and then taking it again, upon the confused calling of Sir Thomas Jones, and Sir Charles Harbord, into the Chair of the Grand Committee; Jones being very forward to take the Chair, Meres gave him a check, and said "he would rather have Harbord, for his modesty."

Sir Nicholas Carew.] Moves for the Question (upon Jones's saying, he has been named) and would not have him laid aside without a Question.

Sir Thomas Jones.] Is sorry that his name has brought a Debate; but, being mentioned by most about him, he rose up, but without any indecency. Desires he may be no farther named, but that Sir Charles Harbord may take the Chair.

Mr Mallet.] Hearing those about Jones say, "Why do not you go up? Why do not you go up?" That makes him dislike it.

In a Grand Committee. On the King's Speech.

Sir Charles Harbord in the Chair.

Sir Thomas Meres.] Your first business is, taking the Anticipations upon the Customs into consideration. Pray let us see what they are.

Mr Sacheverell] If there be such Anticipations, they are either occasioned by the war, or voluntarily. If voluntarily, he believes no-body will take them off. Birch said once, "four pounds per head, per month, might defray the navy charge;" and Pepys said, "it cost not so much." Suppose the fleet consisted of one hundred sail, and forty-nine ships of attendance, and, according to Pepys's list, 30,000 men, it will not come, for four months, to 800,000l. We all know the tax-prices, &c, and we in peace, 1,700,000 or 1,800,000l. And if this cannot defray the charge of 1,200,000l. leaves you to judge. Now, let the managers of the Navy show how they have expended 1,700,000l. and they say something.

Mr Waller.] Hears something said, that makes him stand up, for the honour of King and People. There is no other trust in the Government than where the Law makes it—The King has it; and if we supply, or not supply, we have our trust. Sees there is much stress said upon that part of the King's Speech relating to "Anticipations." The King says— "There has been ill husbandry, besides what fell out in the war." And the King must take it upon him. But Bracton says, "The King cannot err"—"III management!"—Between the wisdom of the King, and direction of the Law, you may know where the fault is. We believed, when the King was called back, that the Law was come again. Pray let not the Standing Army be brought under that consideration of Anticipations. The King speaks of the Government; he owns his care of it; and no Government can be more advantageous to him than this. 'Tis a monarchy. The King governs by Law. Let us look back to the evils we had, in order to prevent more. There was loan, and ship-money, and extremes begat extremes. The House would then give no money. Let the King rely upon the Parliament; we have settled the Crown and the Government. 'Tis strange that we have sat so many years, and given so much money, and are still called upon for Supply. The Lords may give Supply with their own money, but we give the peoples; we are their proxies. The King takes his measures by the Parliament, and he doubts not but that all the Commons will supply for the Government; but giving at this rate that we have done, we shall be "a branch of the revenue." They will "anticipate" us too. But, let the officers say what they will, we will not make these mismanagements the King's error. 'Tis better it should fall upon us than the King. We give public money, and must see that it goes to public use. Tell your money, fix it to public ends, and take order against occasions of this nature for the future. We cannot live at the expence of Spain, that has the Indies; or France, who has so many millions of revenue. Let us look to our Government, Fleet, and Trade. 'Tis the advice that the oldest Parliament-man among you can give you; and so, God bless you!

Sir Thomas Lee.] Expected to have known what occasion there is for asking money for these Anticipations, or what they would ask. If gentlemen knew, they would have told us before now. He expects it.

Sir Robert Howard.] If it be expected that he should give you an account of what belongs to his office, he is ready to do it. As to former Anticipations, he shall wave them, but shall tell you how late Anticipations have been struck upon money growing out of the revenue. If you please to know this, you shall. He believes, in tallies, not satisfied, there is not much exceeding 800,000l. value; some of this charge, about 80,000l. is growing out. Tallies, not satisfied, 800,000l. value; some other charges to the bankers, as a year's interest; with that prospect, the whole may be a million; by which charge the Excise is wholly taken up; not above five or six thousand pounds will remain, at the most. He has nothing to tell you, but the King's condition, and will make all this appear indisputably, if you please, in writing; and if he does not now explain himself, he will do it fully. In his office, a Bill for a tally is thrown down as ready money. This sum that he has mentioned he will abide by.

Sir Thomas Meres.] Five years ago we were at this work. What good came of it? We strove then for a fund of 300,000l. a year; some for 7, 8, and 9 years; so that, with interest, then the debt might be 1,600,000l. and had more help to pay it, by a subsidy of one shilling per pound upon land by subsidy. When we paid this debt, and for ships, neither was done; and if we are so easy, and so kind, and never punish any body, by laying our hands upon our purses, let that be their punishment that have done ill. Expences, we see, are more and more, and things worse and worse; and no occasion of Supply. There's no end in giving, to take off these Anticipations, and we cannot in conscience do it. Our ancestors gave not their money so away, because they would be bountiful. The people give us no such authority. The defray of all public charges, and the King's living, may be made out sufficiently by the revenue. But the charge of the Government is not supportable, at this rate.

Lord Cavendish.] If this be admitted a supposition, then we must satisfy all debts. The people have trusted us with their money, and Magna Charta is not to be given up, with their money, and liberty, into a bottomless pit. Moves for the Question, "Whether an aid shall be granted for taking off these Anticipations from the King's revenue."

Sir John Duncombe.] 'Tis hard to calculate the charge of an expensive war, till the end of it. Howard has told you all the particulars of Anticipations, clearly and faithfully, and with the most, he believes the sum to be between 7 and 800,000l. You know the constitution of the Government; when it has war, it comes to you for aid—The King tells you he was engaged in a war, and over run his measures in it—He is so much in debt, that he knows not whither to go but to you; he knows it is hard to come by, and you have been often asked; but if the King be at ease, you are all at case. If the Crown be in debt, 'tis a misfortune to the creditors, and many people besides. It has not cost so much money, in any three Kings reign, as this war has been—This is the King's condition, as it appears to him—Would not put extremities to work, as it is a dangerous thing.

Mr Sacheverell.] Would have Duncombe explain what he means by "putting extremities to work."

Sir John Duncombe.] Means, by "putting extremities on work," making the Crown, and them that depend upon it, uneasy.

Mr Powle.] Is sorry to hear any thing laid upon the King in this business; he thinks him to have the least part in it. Had he those counsellors and officers constantly to represent to him the state of his revenue, it would not be thus. But some officers may find private advantages out of public necessities. The war was carried on before without any Anticipations; and, since that, many great sums have been received; as the prizemoney, French and Dutch money, and advances on the Excise, and Hearth-money, and now two years of peace, and then three fourths of this Tax to come in. No fleet, and hardly necessary repairs upon the ships in harbour, and the debt yet more, not less. Is not this a sum to astonish every body, in time of peace? What will become of us in a foreign war, if this expence be in peace?—Fears that the Church-revenue may go in time of war. He believes the Revenue so great already, that, in a short time, these Anticipations may wear off. Supply is, in this case, but to increase "ill husbandry." As to the navy, believes that due consideration, in time, may be had of it; and, when we are free of these Anticipations, we may go on more chearfully with the other.

Mr Secretary Coventry.] A considerable charge of the Revenue is left out; the foot army, the ten regiments. He, as in a double capacity, as servant to the King, and Member of the House, has informed himself, as well as he can, in these things. Redressing of Grievances, and giving Supply, is the business both of Court and Country. The point before us is, whether we shall first go upon Supply, or enquire into Mismanagements. 'Tis easier for the King to redress a Grievance, than for the people to give a Tax. 'Tis necessary now to lay open the state of the kingdom; 'twill be too late to think on it on Monday, if you pass your Vote against taking off the Anticipations to-day. By the last intelligence, the French had fifty-five sail of ships at sea, and we seven, and so far out of repair, as not in two or three months to be reparable. The trade and peace of Europe is ours now; and a short time may show that we are upon the precipice of the most inevitable ruin that ever was. 'Tis an unsafe condition we are in, when no longer safe than whilst our neighbour pleases. Suppose Articles concluded at Nimeguen,—that hour peace is made with France there, Marshal Montmorency, an old, and considerably experienced officer, may land thirty thousand men in England. He may draw them out of Maestricht, and the rest of the garrisons of Flanders, being all full, and may march with what army he pleases, 40,000 men hither, if he pleases. If you cannot oppose him at sea, our condition is desperate. If men be faulty, let them answer it that manage it, and consider, whether time else will not be lost, for consideration of the Navy. When you have done this, for the present, agree with the King for a certain revenue for the Navy, for the future. Let us not make our faith so much upon what may be showed us, as upon what is already showed us. If it be not meant to maintain ships, when you have them, and whenever God shall bless you and the King with a right understanding, and leave all you would have, without a navy—Your Vote can furnish the King with credit; but, without it, neither your hearts nor your prayers can build ships. Suppose a town on fire, and a man steal the buckets, he deserves to be hanged, but believes the magistrates will not resolve, therefore, never to buy more buckets.

Lord Cavendish.] You are told, "you are upon a precipice of ruin;" hopes, therefore, that the King will never contribute towards making of peace, to be over-run ourselves.

Mr Secretary Coventry.] If the King should say, he would not make a peace, it was the way to have it.

Sir Thomas Lee.] We are told of these Anticipations, from a maintaining a land-army. Believes you will not approve of them. He was of the Convention, and remembers that, when the revenue was there debated, and 'twas said by Mr Attorney Finch, that 1,200,000l. a year was dangerous, 'twas all you had to give, before the Chimney-money was given in a good kind humour to make that revenue out. Then we were told of great debts, and that we must give great sums, and we granted great sums, as the additional duty upon wines, to pay the debts. Remembers 'twas then said, (he has a loose remembrance, that 'twas Sir Thomas Clifford) "Now give land-tax, and he would pawn his reputation you should never have occasion to do it again." Now, after that time, miscarriages, and the war undertaken without Parliament. You were told "there wanted no money; and therefore there was no Parliament," in Lord Arlington's Speech here—That revenue had an addition for debts anticipated. This being the case, and being now told, "Take off these Anticipations, and they have the additional duty yet some years remaining, sufficient to take off the debt," pray put the Question.

Sir Thomas Meres.] Be the Anticipations what they will, he shall give his Vote to pay none. Has observed, that if once we begin to tumble papers over, we are wearied out, and give money, and leave the Question. Would do more for the elder brother, the Bankers, than for the Anticipations. 'Tis said, "do not make Councils desperate; therefore give money;" but, he says, therefore give no money. At Christmas 1671, such desperate Councils followed giving money, that he has no mind to mention them, repeal of no less than thirty laws by the Declaration, a standing Army, the Exchequer stopped up, and a War without advice of Parliament, and the Triple League broken, and a league with France made; and, if you give no more money, you will have no more desperate Councils; for these were upon your giving money; therefore now would give none.

Mr Sawyer.] When we gave formerly, our judgments governed our wills. As for the desperate Counsellors, they were those who were protected by your pardons. Some were laid aside, and some are laid in the dust. Shall we say, desperate Counsellors contracted these debts? And shall we leave things desperate? Now, whether the King, by his good husbandry, can pay off these debts? If the Government be not maintained, it must drop, one time or another. Would farther enquire, whether possibly there is a way to take these Anticipations off. Would have these matters first inspected, before the Question.

Sir William Coventry.] Will apply himself singly to matters of Anticipation. This is the first time any thing has been asked for this matter. The last time we met, it was not big enough for an aid. It must be nursed up to be big enough to be paid; but 'tis free for us all to speak here. He can never concur, that this debt, contracted by a war, against the opinion of this House, should be preferred before that which Widows and Orphans call for. We passed once Assignments, especially to pay debts; and were there nothing but this in it, can never prefer this of Anticipations, 'till the House think themselves rich enough. These men that lent upon the Customs, &c. had warning enough, by the Bankers precaution, and let them take it, in God's name. This has had the provision of the House already, but 'tis diverted and gone. Remembers what Clifford said; "You shall have a fleet; you shall have no more of debts." Nothing was said then, that the Revenue was not able to bear the charge of the Government—But 'twas improper to call for the account; and had it been proper for you, it would have been brought, and they would have been armed for it, over and over. There is something mentioned, as to the peace abroad (God preserve our own!) which would be the greatest misfortune that could befall us. 'Tis happy for us, that they abroad spend their strength upon one another, if it be so great as is said. But this should not make him give up the game—Believes that our neighbours | are not so stupid as to give France leave to over-run us. But when we compare kingdom with kingdom, and nation with nation, they have no bowels, and are to have no bowels. Friendship has failed, and always will fail—and it is not the interest of Holland to let France be master of England. France, who has long made love to Flanders, comes only to see Dunkirk, and to fortify it. That King sees that the Dutch have a great fleet, and, believes, not to defend the Hague—But then 'tis the interest of Holland to support Flanders—Says France, "England is engaged, I will break the Triple League;" and for this they have hazarded their all. This digression is only to show you, that, if peace was made, we need not give up the game; and the rest of the Princes would think it their interest to hinder such an accession as England to the Crown of France. But this business of Anticipations seems to have influence on that very thing—If apprehensions that the Confederates are weak, it may induce a peace. What we do here can be no secret; they know our Votes, and see we incline more to them than the French; but the Confederates apprehend the King's Ministers more inclined to the French. Does England judge amiss of this? The Confederates will so; they hear the King is clearing his revenue, and we fear he will declare against us, having more men, in the armies against us, than for us. Therefore he is against taking off the Anticipations by a Supply.

Sir John Duncombe.] Proffers a state of the expences, and the incomes of the revenue.—But they would not be received.

Col. Birch.] Whenever the House has been upon matters of money, he has been thought to be too forward. It may be, he thinks so too. Could never have. believed to have heard that these Anticipations have risen from a war, which this House had no opinion of. Not only without the consent of the House begun at first, but even against the opinion of our ancestors. We are now not only out of the Triple League, but out of all league. In one Session, Thanks were given to the King for this League; and, in another, we were to give Money to pay for the breaking it. If ninety of a hundred, nay, ninety-nine, should hear him say, that, to pay these Anticipations, is for the interest of the country (and he is acquainted in three or four counties) they would call him he knows not what. Therefore is against Supply, &c. (Reflecting upon what Sir Richard Temple had said about the willingness of his country, and the people in general, to give upon this occasion.)

Mr Vaughan.] When you have passed your Vote, the Counsel will prove good Counsel, and the War a good War. When so many millions have been given, he lies in amazement how money can be called for—And now that we are forced to pay Subsidies, at our doors, to poor families ruined by the Exchequer, stands in amazement at the motion.

Sir Thomas Meres.] Will not say, at the rate of vain expences, how to make the Revenue good, notwithstanding the payment of these Anticipations, but believes it may be done.

Sir Edward Dering.] Takes the Anticipations, at least, to be 700,000l. and yet finds we are going into a Vote against taking them off. Is of opinion there were dangerous Counsels; he never stood up to defend any of them, nor ever will. Those Counsels and Counsellors are laid aside. As for danger of Popery, the Protestant Religion was never more protected. Let us shut our hands 'till we open our eyes. A voluntary engagement of the Revenue may be justifiable; the officers will subject the Revenue to enquiry. Would have the paper that Duncombe offered, received; and adjourn the farther Debate to Thursday.

Sir Tho. Littleton.] We are not told how much of these Anticipations is for service to come, or what is already paid; so believes it not such a bug-bear as 'tis represented. As for the great stop of the Exchequer, though done in time of war, no reason why in time of peace. Now the continuation is without Privy Seal, or Order of the Privy Council; though formerly 'twas otherwise. As for Popery, there was a Proclamation, but fees not that matter at all mended. At this time, few men doube the intention to make peace, to fetch off the French with flying colours, and to dissolve the present Confederacy. These are the present Counsels, and if they be desperate, would not make the last Counsels worse than the first.

The Question, Whether the Anticipations should be taken off, passed in the Negative, 172 to 165; [which was agreed to by the House (fn. 4).]


  • 1. The Compiler was absent 'till Monday the 18th.
  • 2. It was then generally thought, that the King was in such straits, that if money could not be obtained, he must turn to other Counsels, and to other Ministers. Burnet.
  • 3. This Paper is not inserted in the Journal.
  • 4. In comparison with the lavishness and extravagances of later times, these things have all the air of patriotism and public spirit; but if Mr North*, and all the other writers on the side of the Preroga tive, deserve any credit, we are to conclude, that this excess of œconomy did not arise from any tenderness to the public, but a settled resolution to distress the King. Ralph.
  • 5. See his Examen, p. 458.9.