Debates in 1680: November 26th-29th

Pages 87-109

Grey's Debates of the House of Commons: Volume 8. Originally published by T. Becket and P. A. De Hondt, London, 1769.

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In this section

Friday, November 26.

[Mr Secretary Jenkins delivered the following Answer, in writing, from his Majesty, to the Address relating to the Earl of Halifax:

"Charles R.

"His Majesty, having received the Address of this House relating to the Earl of Halifax, hath thought fit to return this Answer:

"That he conceives the said Address to be liable to several exceptions: But, having a great desire to preserve all possible good understanding with this House, he chuses to decline to enter into particulars, to avoid all occasions of dispute: He therefore thinks fit to tell them, That he doth not find the Grounds in the Address of this House to be sufficient to induce him to remove the Earl of Halifax: But he answers them, at the same time, That, whenever this House shall, in a due and regular course, prove any Crime either against the said Earl of Halifax, or any other Person, who either now is, or shall hereafter be, in his Council, he will leave him or them to their own legal defence, without interposing to protect them."]

[Debate on Mr Seymour's Impeachment resumed.]

Sir John Knight.] I conceive that the House intended to proceed to such Articles as may be suitable to your Honour, and that the Honour of the Kingdom may not be laid level, and your Member acquitted. As for the first Article, "that Mr Seymour had directed the Money you gave, for another use, &c." it is very fit that he be called to an account for it. If I stand up and say, "I will make good an Article," consider how it will be made good. Says Seymour, "Not one penny has been diverted, but employed according to the Act of Parliament," and prossers to produce his accounts. In the one way, or the other, consider well what you do, left, if he be impeached, the Lords find him Not guilty. Therefore it is not enough that a Gentleman rise and say, he will make it good, but be sure of proof, for your Honour.

Mr Harbord.] If you proceed by Precedents, I am sure you have many; but the Question of Commitment of the Articles was not first put. If you put the Question, "Whether there be ground of Impeachment upon these Articles," those Gentlemen left off—

Sir Nicholas Carew.] The Question of Commitment of the Articles arises from Arguments of the Honour of the House. But no man had been impeached in the Long Parliament, if that had been an Argument. If you put so great a discouragement upon Members that bring in Impeachments against Great Men, what use are you of, unless to give Money? We know the condition of the Nation; if we go this way to work, we give up all. You must mistrust the Honour and Wisdom of your Members, that they brought in this Charge maliciously, if you refer it to a Committee, and rest not upon their undertaking to make it good. Were this Charge only a Breach of the Letter of the Law, I would not open my mouth, for every one offends: But what became of your Money, when the ships should have been built within the time, and an Army raised for an actual war with France, and you were told from the Bar, (fn. 1) "That a Gentleman would rather be guilty of forty Murders, than that it should not be a War?" And, you know, a Letter was produced, "That, about that Time, Lord Danby was treating to make the King tributary to the King of France, and, on that pretence, to keep off the Parliament;" and an Army was raised; for aught I know, to carry on the Plot. There is Evidence enough; but if you do not impeach Seymour, give up all.

Mr Leveson Gower.] I differ in the means, but not in the end; when a Member did stand up and say, "He will undertake to prove the Charge," and yesterday another stood up (Kingdon) and told you, "He believed the contrary," and another replied, "Kingdon was as criminal as Seymour." Keeping up the Army was a great fault, after the Act for disbanding it; but in the Act for disbanding it and paying it off, there is a Clause of Indemnity. Next, it is said, "If the Articles be referred to a Committee, to examine the proofs, Witnesses may be menaced and taken off." But if so, it might have been in the Committee for the Plot: Bedlow, Oates, Dugdale, &c. might have been taken off. One of the Evidence is said to be a man worth 10,000l. I wonder, such a man should be bribed or menaced. Be sure of the proof, else the Honour of the House is exposed. Is not all the Evidence at the Bar against the Lords in the Tower known, and printed? Shall we be afraid to show our Evidence against a Protestant, a Man of Family, and not afraid of Evidence against Papists? I am for committing it.

Lord Cavendish.] You are moved, "That this Charge may be referred to a Committee." I think, for no other reason but that the matter of the Prizes may be examined. Persons at a Committee may say things, and retract them again; but those against the five Lords in the Tower were past retracting; they were all upon Oath. If that be so, committing the Articles is the way to have them fall to nothing. Without doubt, the Articles are criminal, and a breach of two Acts of Parliament. A Member has said, "He knows, that part of that Money was not employed for building Ships, and that Money kept up the Army." On the other side, a Member spoke positively to one Article. If the Honour of the House be concerned, it may be vindicated; but I cannot imagine that the Honour of two Members that asserted the Articles will be exposed. I cannot suppose that. The Articles are criminal, and undertaken to be proved: And there is ground to me sufficient, that in the Articles there is matter to impeach Seymour.

Mr Dubois.] There must go a great many blows to fell a great oak. Here are high Crimes charged upon Mr Seymour, and offered to be proved. The issue is, Whether upon this Enquiry you will find it Billa vera? If the last Parliament had sat a week longer, I would not have been in his case for two-pence half-penny. The Money for building the ships, fenced with so many Clauses in the Act, &c. should not have been diverted. There is Indemnity in the first Act, but not in the last. The credit of Kingdon's negative Evidence, I hope, will not be put in competition with two affirmatives. If Seymour be inclinable to Popery, he is ready to bring in Arbitrary Government. I am for impeaching him upon these Articles.

Sir Leoline Jenkins.] In this case, you are involved as prosecutors, and therefore I hope you will well consider of it. If you prosecute wrongfully, it will be very ill, and therefore a man should not mingle any of his own passion in the prosecution; it should be to no ill end, and [there should be] a moral assurance of the truth of the Charge. I do not see that industry used yet, whether the Charge be well grounded. One worthy Member (Kingdon) speaks actu—proprio facto; two Members speak their thoughts by hearsay. If this business come before the Lords, it will be absolved in this condition, being positive proof from one, and only hearsay from two.

Mr Evelyn.] Falsity and truth are vastly different; but when falsity is in a fine dress, it makes a show. I was at first full of fear, left the House should suffer in not making good the Articles, and so might have a blot, and the Gentleman a greater that brought in the Articles. Considering the vast trouble the Plot has given the House, the Quality of the Conspirators, and their number, and that the House should receive a blemish! Those without doors will think this a bold act, who are for Impeachments. I conceive, your proper Question is, "Whether this Matter in the Articles be a proper ground to impeach Mr Seymour, &c.?"

Sir Francis Russel.] This is but in the nature of a Presentment to a Grand Jury. To what intent should persons give the Committee knowlege of the Evidence? Let it be known upon the Impeachment before the Lords. It is not only a distrust of your Members, to refer the Articles to a Committee to be proved, but it is needless, and against the method of Parliament. You must carry it to another place, where you are to discover the Evidence, and till then, the Prisoner is not to know the Evidence. But to refer it to a Committee to hear the proof, is against all Law and Method.

Mr Finch.] If I was of opinion that the Honour of the House was concerned in it, I should possibly be as eager as those Gentlemen that move it, that this Charge should go to the Lords, before it pass a Committee here. It would be a great misfortune to the House, if, through this apprehension of partiality, the Lords should disappoint you: Therefore I shall say something, before you put it to so great a hazard. It is injustice to the House, and your Member, who has been a zealous assertor of the Rights of the Commons in the matter of the Lords taking upon them to judge original Causes. Your Right in carrying up the Money-Bill he vigorously asserted: It is a justice you owe him, not to expose him to that Tribunal, without Evidence first heard. The Evidence will all be exposed to your censure; therefore examine the Grounds of the Charge. I shall not speak to Precedents of Impeachments; but there is a considerable difference betwixt Impeachments of Treason, and Misdemeanor. It does not follow, because no Treason is found by the Lords, that therefore no Misdemeanor. Precedents are express in the case, as that of Sir William Penn's Impeachment; and you will hardly find one Precedent of Misdemeanor, that has gone in a contrary way, but has been examined at a Committee. Where the Matter charged and the Proof was presented to the House at the same time, as in the case of Lord Danby's Letter to Mr Montagu (fn. 2), there was no need of Witnesses. And another reason is, where a Gentleman undertakes to make the Charge good upon his own knowlege; that is much different from the credit of others; that is not giving credit to your Member, but to persons not known. I will not reflect on the credit of the proof undertaken by your Members; but I must say, you heard, on the other side, the testimony of a Member (Kingdon,) if not all the considerable circumstances, of his own knowlege. I am sorry to hear it objected against his testimony, "that he is particeps criminis;" if so, I fear you will want most, if not all, your testimony against the five Lords in the Tower; which is so far from invalidating their testimony, that it confirms it—Not to accuse himself to excuse another. In the Impeachment of Lord Strafford, when Sir William Pennyman was brought by my Lord to show that his words had been otherwise than they were taken to be in the Impeachment, viz. "That the King's little finger should be heavier than the loins of the Law, &c." one of the Managers of the Impeachment told Sir William, "He did ill discharge his duty to the Commons (being a Member) to suffer the House to run upon such a mistake." Has not Seymour done your service worthily, and I hope you will as worthily consider it, in your manner of proceeding with him. That matter alleged against Seymour, "his dexterity when he cast his eye about in the Long Parliament to tell the House," is not in any one Article. You may see, by his Accounts, the Money received and the Money paid; and the NavyBoard must be his vouchers, and those he will produce. If Seymour must answer for the faults of all men, there is Ground for Impeachment. Therefore, upon the whole examination of this case, before it go to the Lords, no objection can be against Commitment. I do conceive that the Act of Parliament for building the Ships, &c. does impower those Accounts to be taken by the House of Commons, in an express Clause. I remember, in a dispute betwixt the Lords and Commons about the accounting, &c. the Lords are excluded, and you ought regularly to receive that Account in the House, and to let a Committee examine it. If this be so, receive the first Motion of committing the Articles, and so you may receive the Accounts in the House.

Mr Harbord.] There is a reflection upon me, of "dexterity, &c." It is a terrible expression, to fright a Gentleman from his public duty. I will never decline my Country's service, nor do I covet Seymour's Place, nor envy him; therefore I hope you will not suffer a man to be reflected on, that a thing is done with "dexterity," when it is done with sincerity. You are told by Seymour, "That what he has done was not without the approbation of the Commissioners of the Navy." There was a great struggle betwixt him and the Commissioners, &c. The Merchants, finding Seymour's credit and power too big, fell upon the Commissioners of the Navy. Seymour had Instructions not to pay any Money without Warrant from the Commissioners of the Navy. The Merchants said, "That the Commissioners had told them they had ordered their Money, but Seymour was not ready to pay it." But the reason why Seymour would not obey the Commissioners Order, was, that he despised them, and came not to them in some months. I have the Papers to prove Seymour's Answer, and the Commissioners Reply to it. (Then he spoke of his refusing to sign a Conveyance to Lord Danby of Lands from the King.) As to what Finch said of "dexterity, &c." I never voted, in any Council, "That the Duke of York should stay in England," when [he was deemed] an enemy to the Nation.

Mr Finch.] When Harbord replied, I did not know the matter betwixt Seymour and the Navy-Board. I do say, the Navy-Board orders vouchers to Seymour's Accounts, and the Exchequer, if they find one, will not deny the other. As for Harbord's being even with me in the aspersion, "That I was one of those that retained the Duke in England," I can justify myself to every Member, and the most partial. I was not for giving them this handle to sanctify themselves to the people. I did think it was necessary the Duke should be absent, and had security for it, in the opinion of the Parliament, and I was satisfied. I never knew that "dexterity" was a crime, and am willing to excuse Harbord from that matter.

Colonel Titus.] Whoever has the keeping of the unrightcous Mammon, can make friends. I know not well which way to give my opinion in this matter, when I consider how successful Addresses and Impeachments have been. I never saw by Addresses that we have removed Ministers. Instead of blowing up our Enemies, we blow up our own work backward. But how fruitless soever Impeachments are, yet we must proceed, to satisfy the World. Two things induce men to believe the Impeachment; one, the probability of the thing, and next, the credibility of the testimony. If the thing be probable in itself, that such sums could be raised on the credit of a particular person—This matter you had had before you the last Parliament, if it had sat, (as some took care it should not, by dissolving it) by the person's evidence who was employed in the things themselves. They tell their story with coherence, and give reasons why they may be trusted. Some of this Money was employed for the Army, to keep it up. But others say, by circumstances, who believe—You are told by Jenkins of "facto proprio, &c." I think, Kingdon is under suspicion of the same thing, and it is a natural suspicion of this Gentleman to be accused for Money, &c. And should not I think that if my neighbour's house were on fire, that my own was in danger? And that is Kingdon's case. It is natural for men to be advocates for faults, that they may be questioned for. I think, there is Ground for Impeachment, the fact being criminal, and will be proved. The thing itself makes the fact criminal, and you have no suspicion of the Evidence undertaken, because Kingdon speaks in his own case. It has been well objected, "That a great Person that has great power can never be punished, if Evidence be brought to a Committee;" therefore I desire the Evidence may not be known, that Art, Force, or Money can corrupt or terrify from giving their testimony. The Committee of Secrecy, the last Parliament, was only called so; all they did was known publicly. I speak it of my own knowlege, and amongst knowing men; constantly, every night, Lord Danby had intelligence of what was done. Finch tells you, "That by dexterity many things were brought under the shelter of this Article of the Money, &c." and he took occasion to magnify Seymour, &c. If the Witness against the Lords, being particeps criminis, had gone about to excuse what the Lords had done, he would be no competent Evidence; but if Kingdon will accuse Seymour, he is a competent Evidence. To commit this Charge, is to deaden the zeal of the House; therefore put the Question, "That there is matter of Impeachment in these Articles."

Mr Hyde.] I was present at the Impeachment of Lord Clarendon. Yesterday I heard a Member say, "That, in that Impeachment, to every Article a Member did rise and say, "I will make that Article good;" and for that reason, I am now against that way of proceeding; for afterwards one declared, "he was unsatisfied in the Article he undertook to prove;" he owned "he was abused by the Evidence." It was a hard case, the proceeding then, and I think it will be so now, if he were the greatest enemy I had in the world; and therefore I am for Commitment.

Mr Love.] I shall speak only to the Question. If I were convinced in the Reason and Equity of it, I should not be against Commitment. I have refreshed my memory, since last night, out of my Notes that I took in Lord Clarendon's Impeachment. It was then said, "Now you have heard the Articles read, for the Honour of the House you are to know where and when the crimes were committed, and by whom they will be proved." Says Seymour himself, "That is the way to invalidate all your Testimony, by publishing the Witnesses, who by Corruption or Menace may be taken off."

Mr Trenchard.] I desire you will keep strictly to the Question. In the case of Lord Clarendon, the House had not so great inducement to impeach as now, because Members did not undertake the proof of the Charge then; they had only inducements to believe it. Money was lent by Seymour, and, consistent with truth, not lent to Kingdon. In an Impeachment of Treason we ought to be more tender, than in a Charge barely of Misdemeanors. When Gentlemen do undertake the proofs of the Charge, it is a disparagement to the Members to refer it to a Committee to examine Evidence. You must not put discouragement upon your Members, left you lay out measures for the future.—When the Duke of Lauderdale was charged, soon after the Parliament was prorogued, you found one of the Witnesses bought off, and the other sent to the Tower. If the Lords find not the Charge, the diminution is of their Honour, not yours; and it is no more than a Petty Jury not finding the person guilty, when the Grand Jury has found the Bill. Pray put the Question, "That there is Matter in the Articles to impeach Seymour."

Sir Thomas Lee.] I know not what the Lords will say concerning the Ship and the Money in the Charge; but when matters are reduced to particulars, you are obliged to consider the Act of Indemnity, whether the Crime be pardoned by that Act. You are bound to take notice of that Act, where it is plainly expressed, "That no man shall be impleaded for what he has done, relating to the Army, &c. by that Act."

Sir William Jones.] In point of Law, every hour detaining the goods purloined and embezzled is an offence, and the Act, &c. does not pardon the goods, the indigo, &c. of which no account was made. Take it one way or another, the Question is at an end.

Sir Thomas Lee.] I desire only to know, whether a particular Exception does not explain the matter?

Sir Francis Winnington.] Look into that Act of Pardon which passed some time before the Disbanding-Act, and you will find abundance of Exceptions in it for the benefit of Great Men. I should be very loth to put an Article upon Seymour, that is already pardoned. Seymour did say, "Though haply he might be pardoned by the Act, he would not shelter himself under it." But as to that particular relating to purloining the Stores, or any Corruption in his Office, if you but think that an Argument probable to impeach, I love the Gentleman so well, that I would hardly advise him to plead it.

Colonel Birch.] I will not take notice of Pardons in Gentlemens pockets, but that Act of Pardon spoken of. I said formerly, upon that Act, "That it was only for the sake of some Great Persons." If Lawyers say that Seymour is not pardoned as to the Prizes, &c. by that Act, put it to the Question.

[The Question being put, That the consideration of the Articles, &c. be referred to a Committee, it passed in the Negative.]

Resolved, That Mr Seymour be impeached upon these Articles, and that a Committee be appointed to prepare the said Impeachment.

Mr Harbord.] I have seen no other Precedent of Commitment upon a Charge of Misdemeanors, but that of Sir Giles Mompesson. The House did order his Commitment to the Serjeant. I desire the Long Robe may consider of it.

Sir Christopher Musgrave.] Pray call for the Journal, and see the Precedent of Sir William Penn.

Mr Garroway.] We have not been frequently troubled with Impeachments; but in the last Parliament, the case of the Impeachment of Lord Mordaunt and Sir William Penn was for Misdemeanors. That of Lord Clarendon was another case. In this you cannot extend the Impeachment farther than the Articles.

Sir Thomas Lee.] Unless you will do, in this case, more than has been done in any, refer it to a Committee. Consider the Precedents of Sir Giles Mompesson, &c. Because nobody would be security for his forth-coming, and he confessed the fact, he was imprisoned. Is there no difference betwixt Misdemeanor and Treason? But I will not enter into the Debate, but desire to know the course of all Parliaments relating to Precedents. Let the fact be plainly before you, and do what you will.

Sir Francis Winnington.] Be careful not to go from the Rules of Right. I appeal to you, if an Information of Misdemeanor be against a man in an inferior Court, whether they do not imprison the party till they shall think fit to bail him? I believe there are several Precedents of Members complained of here, that have been committed. Sir John Bennet was taken into custody, in order to have an Impeachment drawn against him. Seymour being committed to the Serjeant, if he say, "I desire to be bailed," he ought to be in a Court of Record. But I take it, there is more value from an Impeachment of the House of Commons that founds of Grievance, &c. It is not the Judgment of the House that he should remain in custody, but for so small a time till the Impeachment may be drawn up. Higher Precedents than those of the Long Parliament must guide you; that so, if he stand committed till the Impeachment be drawn up, he has no wrong done him.

Sir Christopher Musgrave.] I cannot agree to refer this to a Committee to examine Precedents, and in the mean time to commit him; which is, first to commit him, and then to examine Precedents of Commitment. I would know by what Rule you commit him to Custody, if the Crime be bailable. If he offer Bail, the House of Commons cannot bail him. Let us that complain of arbitrary Courts take care that we be not offenders ourselves. Being a Member of this House, you cannot divest him of the Privilege he has out of the House. Pray walk in wary steps in this matter. This manner of proceeding is not for your Honour.

Sir William Jones.] In all our Proceedings we are as well to satisfy our own consciences as other mens. I am yet but young in Parliament, but what moves me is Reason of Law. If a man be accused of Crimes, there is not a necessity he should be in custody; it may be, in case there is danger of flight. If he be accused of capital Crimes, the man may run away, and hazard his estate, to save his life. In some capital cases a man cannot be bailed; but in most cases Bail may be taken. It is said, "he may go away if not imprisoned;" so far, it may be, we desire it; but the Reason and Practice of all other Courts is against it. I desire only that your Precedents may not outgo all other Courts of Justice.

Colonel Titus.] If you do any thing, and have no Precedent for it, Seymour will have all the reason to accuse you of Injustice, and your own Honour be exposed. To obviate both inconveniences, pray let Precedents be searched.

The Searching for Precedents [concerning the committing a Member to custody, when impeached in Parliament,] was referred to the same Committee that was ordered to draw up the Impeachment.

Saturday, November 27.

Mr Hampden reports, from the Committee, an Address to the King, in answer to his Message relating to Tangier.

Debate thereon.

Mr Garroway.] As this Address is made, I cannot give my consent to it entire. I observe, that the Address is grounded upon the King's Message, which was "for Advice and Assistance." There is not one word of "Advice" in it, and as for "Assistance," you will give it when such and such things are done. You have not considered the mole, fortifications, and garrison. The last Parliament, you ordered a Bill for uniting Tangier to England, and if you part with the Address so, there will be an eternal issue and obligation upon us. That of my Lord Chief Justice North, about "the Proclamation against Petitions, &c." is not worth mentioning in this Address. Do you mean to come again with Addresses which are not acceptable, to have them laid by, and not answer your expectation? I cannot give my consent to this Address.

Mr Sacheverell.] Though I agree to thus much as is done, yet not upon the single foot of Popery, &c. I cannot think you do right to the Nation, if you do not declare how we came into our misfortunes. It is not only Popery, but the Ministers have a mind to have all in their own power, and set up arbitrary Government. I cannot be settled in my mind without enquiry into the Pensioners; and after the Ministers who had drawn us into a War, and got Money, and how the Army was continued after an Act for disbanding it. It shall never go from me—let Parties be who they will. One step to our ruin was the breach of the Triple League. Do we not know what vast sums were given to pay the King's debts? Two millions, &c. and how that Money was spent to carry on a War with Holland? And how men were encouraged to go into the French service, notwithstanding a Proclamation to the contrary? And how they forced men out of Scotland, and were commanded to return? And your Vote, "That if they went into the French service, they were betrayers of your Liberties?" He that gave you notice, was clapped up for his pains. I cannot think that of Popery is your only care. Scotland, we see, is ruined, and yet Popery is not plainly come in there. If you represent not these things to the King, you give not the Nation a true account of your actions.

Sir Nicholas Carew.] Cure Popery, and you cure all. I do not agree with him, &c. I hope you will keep out a Popish Successor, and then all the Designs of the Miniscers will vanish.

Mr Hampden.] Popery will bring in Arbitrary Power, and Arbitrary Power Popery. No doubt, all those things Sacheverell has enumerated, are great evils; and some are in the Address, and a great many net in, but may be matter of time; but shall we do nothing in themay be matter of time; but shall we do nothing in the has moved. He spoke of the Bill of banishing the Papists and the Duke; but such a Bill will cease when the King dies, and they will return with greater increase, mean time? If we fear nothing but Popery, we fear every thing. There is nothing when Popery comes in, but to destroy your Souls, or lose all you have in the World. To represent all that Sacheverell has moved, would make a Volume. You may lay aside the Address, if you please.

Sir Thomas Lee.] Though it be very desirable, that a great many things Sacheverell has told us of might be represented to the King that are ill, yet I would not lose this Address for want of them. If there be "Pensioners," the biggest thing is omitted. Corruption of Parliament strikes at the root of all, to destroy you by Law; you can never recover that; but if not by Law, you may recover in time.

Colonel Titus.] Was this matter of "Pensions" any part of your Debate about Tangier? And if all the rest mentioned were put into the Debate, it must be a History. Sacheverell has told you a great deal of truth, but if you will represent the State of the Nation, then it will be necessary to make a Remonstrance. Whatever Amendments you will make, you may, but agree with the Committee.

Sir Charles Sedley.] I cannot give my consent to this Address, because the King's Message was "for your Advice," and I see no "Advice" in it. Pray recommit this Address, either to make a better Answer to the King's Message, or a better Remonstrance of the State of the Nation.

Sir William Temple.] This Debate is upon an Answer to the King's Message relating to Tangier. I have observed in the Debate, that the Address is too large for the occasion: The building is too heavy for the foundation. That Debate came to a Question, viz. "The Committee to draw up an Answer to the King's Message about Tangier, &c. upon the Debate of the House." The Committee have acquitted themselves very well. As to that now spoken of, I would not make the Address larger, especially in bringing the weight of Arbitrary Power to the foundation of Popery. I would not particularly speak of so many Ministers, &c. for that will reflect upon the King. I will never defend the conduct of the Ministers. God hath made him a great and a good King of England, and he might be great, if he had fallen into good hands, and therefore I would not have things run to so great a height upon all the Ministers, because it is impossible, without reflecting upon the King himself. As for the Papists, and ill Counsels, it is not for mortal man to defend such unparalleled ills, as they have done, both at home and abroad, and stories cannot produce the like. I do not defend them, but the King, from any imputation, because in the King's natural disposition he defends none of them. If this Address be strained higher than the Debate, Motions may be made, because it does touch matters that you may be informed of from abroad and at home. As for what was mentioned by my Lord Keeper, in his Speech, of the Triple Alliance, I believe he was true to the Nation in his Ministry, and I am sorry there should be any reflection upon him. Many foreign things may be laid before you, which will be the work of a Grand Committee, and not proper in this Address to be presented to his Majesty.

Mr Sacheverell.] I agree with Temple in what he has said about the Ministers, "That the King might have been great, had he fallen into good hands." If my Lord Keeper, so worthy a man, was compelled to what he opened in his Speech, those Principles were not altered, but are the same still. It is not shifting Ministers that will do us good, but if we once come to shift Principles, we may be on our old foundation. Temple tells us, "For the King's sake, we must not reflect upon so many of his Ministers." But if there be a Cabal, and we cannot come at them, the King is as unsafe as we, and may lose the affections of his People, and those men aggrandize themselves, to his ruin, and ours. I cannot but recollect the Articles of War, made for the Army at Blackheath, which bound the Officers to obey every Order they should receive in the King's name, and if they get Commissions, I know what will become of our condition; it will never be mended.

Sir William Temple.] Sacheverell seems to imply, as if I would hinder the unravelling the Ministers. I said only, "If the House will unravel that Debate, it must be more solemn, fitter for a Grand Committee." I would neither defend the Memory of those that are dead, nor preserve those that are alive. I have no reason to hinder that Debate.

Mr Booth.] The King asked "Advice" of you in his Message, and this Address has not one word of "Advice" in it. I wish you would give the King "Advice," and that you had done it sooner, or fuller; but if you incline not to do it fuller, pray mend the Address, that it may be more like an Answer. We know not the State of Tangier, and can never think maintaining it necessary till it be annexed to the Crown. Ill men can easily turn this into ill Counsels, to make Tangier more tenable, to fit it for sale to the French. What became of Dunkirk after it was made fit for sale, you know. I would not, by a side-wind, give Money; therefore I cannot agree.

Mr Hampden.] I wonder to hear it said, "That in this Address we give the King no Advice." The King's Message is only "for Assistance," not "for Advice," only for support; and will you give "Advice" without consideration of the condition of Tangier, and full enquiry into all the Matter? The Resolution of the House was, not to consider of it. Every Gentleman knows, that all our calamities are in Popery, and not to repair Tangier, unless you will augment your fears. I find here is a stress laid, "That there is nothing said in the Address of Arbitrary Power." In the time of the Long Parliament there was an Address about Popery increasing in England and Ireland; it was about eight years since; upon an imperfect and obscure memory, the Vote, I think, was, "The House would give no Money till they were secured in Religion, &c." The same Gentleman (Sacheverell) that moved for that Vote then (and he had done the House great service in it) looked upon Popery as the way to introduce all the rest of our fears. I only take this liberty, for your service, of speaking again, to take the matter of fact right.

Lord Cavendish.] This is a long Address. I desire it may be put Paragraph by Paragraph. It is defective as to the historical part of Popery: The Toleration given by the Declaration: The Pensioners in the Long Parliament, I would not have that forgot neither, nor the violation of Liberties and Properties.

Colonel Birch.] I am not against reading it Paragraph by Paragraph; but it is said, "Our Civil Liberties, as well as Properties, should be taken notice of." It is most true that part of the Address does not touch any thing of it. There is hardly the like in any story of the Nation, of that which was put upon us in the Triple League; what that League cost us to make it, and what it cost to break it. We are beholden to a Gentleman that sat above, that Gentleman that reminded us of these things. Coleman's very words were returned us in one of our Addresses about this League. I think he had a hand in drawing it. If this Address will serve your turn, cast your Garment over it; it may be, else, it may press where you never intended it. The Bill for Exclusion of the Duke of York, &c. was for our safety, and if the Lords will not send us something else, then you may remonstrate; but I would not yet; but if not, you must lay open the State of the Kingdom, and then it will be time to say something of what is now offered, and not in this Address, which has already a grast full big enough for the stock; and put the Question, &c.

Mr Leveson Gower.] The Promises made to the Nation at Breda are not kept—But change the old for a new pack, and you have the same Knave still. For preservation of Order, put not the Question for the Address general, but Paragraph by Paragraph.

Sir William Temple.] To the Orders, &c. I have heard a reflection from that Member upon the King, and as it is my duty, when I hear any reflection upon the King, I would have him explain himself what he means by that "of the King's Promise at Breda nothing was performed."

The Speaker.] All he said was directly upon the Ministers.

Mr Leveson Gower.] I made no reflection upon the King —but those that come after those. Ministers should not fall easily. I am the worse by 40,000l. for my Loyalty, and what Temple said was a great reflection upon me, though I believe he intended it not.

Sir Thomas Meres.] What was said was in relation to the Breda Declaration. I know the great Loyalty of that Gentleman (Leveson) and I believe we did rather mistake him, than that he said it.

Mr Leveson Gower.] The King's Promises at Breda were not effectual, because the Ministers have broken them. I know that Gentleman's (Temple's) Loyalty, and my own too.

Sir Henry Capel.] What are we afraid of? Now it is spread abroad that this Great Man is to go into Ireland— Are we now afraid of our Property? If so, let us go home. We have the best Reason to judge whether Popery be coming upon us, or not! The Long Parliament, as faulty as it was, in all their Votes were against Popery. When they thrust Lord Clifford out of the Council, was it not for Popery? And what followed? We could get no Bill against Arbitrary Power. Then comes another Parliament; and what did they? They began upon Popery, the first thing, and have proceeded most against Arbitrary Power by Popery; and I hope we shall have no more of any distinctions betwixt them in our Debates. I am not for a Representation of the State of the Nation now. You see, Tangier is in ill hands, in the hands of Popery. All our miseries are founded upon Popery, and men's minds were provoked with the loss of our Bill in the Lords House. This Address is an Answer to the King's Message; but a Representation of the State of the Nation must have another style. A few hands are not to be trusted with so weighty a matter, and go as far back as you will in it. In this Address your Committee have pursued their Instructions, and put the Question for it.

Mr Trenchard.] After the great pains the Committee has taken in drawing this Address, I hope it will not be laid aside; and, that it may have no farther interruption, pray put the Question.

The Address passed (fn. 3).

Monday, November 29.

Sir William Jones reports from the Committee of Lords and Commons, appointed to adjust matters relating to Lord Stafford's Tryal, viz. the Lord High-Steward, the absence of the Bishops, &c.

Mr Sacheverell.] All of the Long Robe know that we have no perfect Book of the Crown-Law. My late Lord Chief Justice Hale was very forward in collecting them, in his time, to have them printed; but it goes not on since his death. I hope that by them we may know the King's Right, and the People's, for the security of the Nation. I move, therefore, "That his Executors may be desired to proceed to the printing of them."

Sir William Jones.] This great man's Works will do the Nation no hurt, but a great deal of good. But should this Book come into other hands, I know not how it may be altered. Lord Coke's third Institutes had never come out as they are printed, if he had been alive; a little thing inserted may be to our own prejudice. If any thing be inserted, it is not his own, and may be of great prejudice. I move, "That his Executors may proceed to print them."

Colonel Mildmay.] This is an excellent Book, if it be rightly printed; but consider whether it be not necessary to inspect the printing of this Book, that it may be done in a safe way. I desire, "That a Committee may be appointed to inspect it."

[Ordered, That the Executors of Sir Matthew Hale, late Lord Chief Justice of the Court of King's-Bench, be desired to print his Manuscripts relating to the Crown-Law; and that a Committee be appointed to take care in the printing there of; viz. Mr Sacheverell, Sir William Jones, Sir Francis Winnington, &c.]

Sir Francis Winnington.] The House sat bare, at Lord Strafford's Tryal, and, without doubt, as a Committee. I would proceed so fairly with the Lords, as not to stand upon any thing that may seem to hinder what you desire. Why should you, at this time, go a different way than in Lord Strafford's Tryal? Pray let your Committee have your directions.

Mr Sacheverell.] I would give the Lords notice so far, that you will send a Committee to prosecute the Impeachment; but if you do not preserve yourselves as a House, upon occasion you may have prejudice by it. I would send to the Lords, to let them know, "That you will only send a Committee to prosecute the Impeachment."

And accordingly the Lords had notice.

A Petition of Mr Dangerfield was read, showing, "That his allowance, of eight shillings a week, is withdrawn from him, &c."

Mr Harbord.] You send Addresses to the King, and there are those about him, who tell him what they please. Our Grievance lies here; the King of himself is graciously inclined to his people; but some represent to the King, that this Plot is so terrible to us, that we cannot forgive what transactions are past. But till God bless us to show the King that we desire nothing but the happiness of the Nation, we are not safe. Therefore we see where our misery lies; our actions and designs are misrepresented. I hope, when the Tryals are over, we shall take time to represent to the King, "That, if his Majesty will stick to his people, they will stick to him." I would refer this Petition to a Committee, to enquire how Dangerfield's eight shillings a week for prosecution of the Plot comes to be withheld from him, and nothing more.

Mr Hyde.] I am surprized to hear of this eight shillings a week to be given Dangerfield out of the Treasury. I remember, forty shillings a week was taken from him by Order of Council. This eight shillings a week, lately given him, is by way of advance.

Sir William Jones reports, That the Committee of Lords did answer our proposals of Saturday. We asked, "Whether this Commission for the Lord Steward was the same as the last Parliament?" The Lords answered, "That the Commission was the same as the last Parliament, only as that was for the Tryal of the five Lords, this was only for the Tryal of Lord Viscount Stafford." To the second, "Whether the Lords Spiritual would be present at the Tryal," their Lordships have returned assurance, " That they would not be present." They thought fit to acquaint you, "That they had ordered the Prisoner to be there to-morrow morning at ten of the clock." They took notice of one thing, "That when we were to ask a Question, we should apply to the Lord High-Steward." To this we said, That the Lord High-Steward was not necessary to apply unto: We think not to apply unto him, as "his Grace," but to "myLords." The Lords seemed to receive it well, and believed there was no difference betwixt the Houses, and in case other matters should arise, they would adjourn to nine of the clock to-morrow morning.

Sir Thomas Lee.] I would have a care to enter it into the Journal, "That the Lords Spiritual will not come at all," and have the Journal carefully read to-morrow morning.

The rest of the Formalities are, by Order, in the Journal.

The Speaker reproving Colonel Mildmay for looking backwards from the Chair, when he spoke, said,] I must reprove an old Parliament-man, when he looks backwards and not forwards.

Sir John Morton.] You ought to take care that the place we sit in, in Westminster-Hall, be safe, for, before God, it is very dangerous.

[Ordered, That a Committee be appointed forthwith to view the reassold erected in Westminster-Hall, and they are impowered to send for such persons as they shall see occasion to make use of in the service.]

November the 30th, and December the 1st, 2d, 3d, 4th, and 6th, were spent in Lord Stafford's Tryal (fn. 4).


  • 1. By Mr Secretary Coventry. See Vol. V. p. 9.
  • 2. See Vol. VI. p. 348.
  • 3. See it large in the Journal.
  • 4. Many Writers, and in particular Mr Worth and Sir John Reresby, are of opinion, that this Nobleman was selected by the Commons to bear the sins of the whole five, on the presumption that he was least capable of defending himself, and that his very suirits, as well as his parts, would fail him, under the weight of such a Prosecution. He was old and inform, had been under consinement for above ten years; was timorous by nature; had the popular tide against him; had the ablest and most zealous Members of the House of Commons for his Prosecutors; a large and considerable body of his Judges, the Peers, were on the same side; and his Majesty, though he pitied the Victim, had not Resolution enough to prevent the Sacrifice. Ralph.