Debates in 1689: November 23rd-30th

Grey's Debates of the House of Commons: Volume 9. Originally published by T. Becket and P. A. De Hondt, London, 1769.

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'Debates in 1689: November 23rd-30th', in Grey's Debates of the House of Commons: Volume 9, ed. Anchitell Grey( London, 1769), British History Online [accessed 15 July 2024].

'Debates in 1689: November 23rd-30th', in Grey's Debates of the House of Commons: Volume 9. Edited by Anchitell Grey( London, 1769), British History Online, accessed July 15, 2024,

"Debates in 1689: November 23rd-30th". Grey's Debates of the House of Commons: Volume 9. Ed. Anchitell Grey(London, 1769), , British History Online. Web. 15 July 2024.

In this section

Saturday, November 23.

In a Grand Committee. On the State of the Nation.

[Mr Grey in the Chair.]

Mr Papillon.] Two things we are to consider; how the Money you have given has been spent, and how the Army and Navy have had no more. But of most effect is to consider "The State of the Nation," to provide for the future. A great deal of Money has been given, but has not answered the charge—We have a War in Ireland, and the French upon our Coast. I would provide suitable provision for all.

Sir Robert Howard] I should be glad to be instructed by Gentlemen to come to particulars. Melancholy Complaints will do us no service, and, seconded with sighs, tend to no other effect, than that "the Regency" was good advice. I will let generals pass, and offer particular remedy, which calls upon you for redress; that is, in the Case of your Forces. As you have heard, on the Muster-Rolls, there has been seventy men [in a Company,] and it is well if there be forty—Now Money must be considered, that it may be to save you. If 10,000 men be pretended in Holland, and there are not 4,000—The business is to make an end of the War, and not to teach the Irish to fight by Land, as we have taught the French to fight by Sea. Therefore I move you to make a present inspection into this, and a strict one. I would have Members of the House employed, both in Ireland, and here, and every where, that by this deceit we be not brought to ruin. If Officers be underpaid, remedy that. What I move, is, to send presently into Ireland—The business of Popery is now out of doors. King William is "King of this People, and this People's King." This must be presently inspected.

Sir Thomas Clarges.] A great part of this Motion has been already answered, of sending Persons into Ireland; so far, I think, we are on the way. I doubt not but the King, for his own preservation, as well as ours, will not pay men in chimæra, but certain; as you give Money to support the Government, to save all unnecessary expence. Therefore I would address the King to take away that Charge in Holland of * * * * (fn. 1) a month. By the best Enquiry I can make, we are under no obligation by Alliances.

Mr Godolphin.] What is offered, is proper in due time; but if the men step ashore before the Ship be at anchor, she will be apt to run a-drift. Before I come to particulars, I shall offer something general abroad and at home. In re spect to the Government, and the People, there must be an Aid to carry on the War we are engaged in, not by a short Act to collect Money only, but something to rely on for your security. For home, I would consider Religion and Trade. The Courts of Justice are well filled, and that is one Remedy. For Trade, there is little but what supplies your Enemies to your disadvantage. For Religion, I think there is more than enough. But upon all accounts, that concern Religion, I think the Church of England too much discountenanced, who have supported you by their learned Writings. I would do something to enlarge on Protestant bottoms; but I will postpone this consideration till a more convenient Season. For Trade, whilst you are defending yourselves, the common Enemy runs away with your Trade. For Grievances, as the Charters, &c. I am of the same opinion I was of the last Session, for an Act of Indemnity from the King, to give him all the Grace of it, to unite against the common Enemy. Your Enemies are either of France, or from France. The French King's Revenue is 116,000,000 of livres, and he has 200,000 men in pay; his Kingdom well fortified; his Arsenals well stored, and a great Force by Sea; they have met the English and Dutch Fleets in conjunction. It behoves the House to think how we shall deal with such a formidable Enemy, to consider our Allies, and to know how far Holland, in particular, will go to suppress this Navy of France. I remember the Pyrenean Treaty; what will it signify to give up Burgundy, and Luxembourg, &c ? I think we are not secure unless we destroy the French Navy. I move, therefore, to know how far Holland will join in suppressing the power of France.

Sir John Guise.] One of the Dutch Ambassadors told me, "That the Dutch would pawn their Shirts to go on with the War" I am not for going back therefore. Certainly it is natural for you to consider from whence the ill Government came, and to prevent it for the future; and, I hope, we may raise the English Nation, and the Reputation of it, again. If there be ill management, it must be from those in Employment. Either they must manage no more, and you must apply to the King to take care of it, or take care of it yourselves, by yourselves, by the King's permission. My Motion is, to consider and report what is the occasion of these Miscarriages, and calculate what are the Charges of your Land-Forces, and that you will employ People of your own, if you see occasion, to depend upon.

Sir Robert Napier gave the House an Account of a Letter he bad received (fn. 2).

Mr Hampden, sen.] This Information is not impossible, in nature, to be true, but morally impossible. I cannot believe so much barbarism in men, so formally to undertake to destroy so many lives. Now, whether you will call in these men? Pray go on. Is this worth your Curiosity? Would you have People abroad make sport with you, with a story of garbage? I doubt this will be censured. Pray go on; chuse your point what you will, and let this Letter be for the Enquiry of a private Committee, and leave not the Consideration of the Nation.

Sir William Leveson Gower] I would examine these men that gave this Information; if they abuse the House, punish them for Example's sake, but hear them.

Sir Thomas Lee.] It is for your service, very much, to have these men called in. If they have told you matter of fact, and do not make it appear—Such false Reports as these may be studiously raised; if they prove true, those that were the Authors ought to have the last Punishment. But I take not the Committee of the whole House to have Power to send for Persons, Papers, and Records. I do not remember that a Grand Committee, without Power from the House, has sent for Persons, Papers, and Records, in all my Observation. I would have the Speaker take the Chair.

Mr Foley.] As yet this is but hearsay, but a Committee may enquire into it. The Victual that went with the Ships was good, but that sent afterwards, though some laughed at it, was given to dogs, and they died immediately. I believe there is something in this, and it ought to be examined; and I desire you will do it.

Col. Granville.] The Beer, on board the Ships, proved very ill, and, upon enquiry, it stunk confoundedly. Lord Torrington said; "If it was what used to be Beer, if it was boiled, it would come to itself again, and turn into Beer;" and it was so, but still stunk, and seemed to be garbage put in the Vessels.

Sir Peter Colleton.] I hope you will do something in this matter. One Ship came into Torbay, out of the Indies; as soon as they used this Victual out of these Ships, all their men fell sick. I am fully convinced that your men have been ill-used by the Victuallers, and, unless it be remedied, you will have no Fleet next year.

Mr Papillon.] The Purser of the Ship knows from what Brewer, and what Victualler, they send in the Victuals and so you may find it.

Col. Granville.] From whence good Victuals came I cannot tell, for the Fleet had it from every place, and pray let them all answer for it.

Mr Hampden.] The Question is for sending for all the Victuallers in Custody, who are, Sir John Parsons, Sir Richard Haddock, Alderman Sturt, and Mr Nicholas Fenn. It is not necessary for me to premise that I am no Advocate for these Victuallers. I believe the Fleet is as ill victualled as if our Enemies had done it; there are several Ships now ready to go out, some are fully victualled, and some not; they have received Money for that service, and it must be done immediately, and if not done by these hands that it is now in, your service must stand still. The new Victuallers cannot enter till they have account of the Stores that are left. There are Orders that their Accounts be given up, and the Keys and Stores delivered in; if you send for all these Victuallers in Custody, all this Service must now stand still.

Mr Coningsby.] You are told that Lord Berkeley's Squadron is ready to go for the East Indies; would you have them destroyed as the rest were? What better Evidence would you have than what you have heard? I would send for them in Custody.

Mr Papillon.] Not above a week ago I was sent for to the King to accept of this Employment of Victualler of the Navy. I told the King, "This Affair had been neglected three Months, and had been delayed so long that I durst not undertake it; therefore it was my humble request I might not be one of them." But the King said, "He would not excuse me." I can but say I can do no more than I can; but this will be taken for a great discouragement, to be brought into Custody, before particularly charged; for men may put tricks upon the Victuallers.

Col. Granville.] The Complaint is so general, and the Seamen so cast down, that, if you value not these Complaints, you may talk of raising Money, but not of raising Seamen. I would have them sent for in Custody, to give Account how they came by these ill Victuals.

Sir Robert Rich.] If I knew who put King James's Victuallers into Office, I would send for them in Custody also. Would any Gentleman take Arsenick of a Brewer that would poison his Family? Send for them in Custody, and then enough will come in to inform you farther.

Sir Thomas Lee.] I think it necessary to give you some Account of this, because it is said, "It is now too late to change the Victuallers, and that King James's Officers do now victual the Fleet." The matter is this; they have stayed so long, that it is known how late in the year the matter of the Victualling was thought of, and how late we came into the Employment; before new men could be put in, the summer-season would be lost, and there would be no Fleet; so that had you then changed hands, you had no time to spare, and the Service fell thicker and thicker every day; and, if the Victuallers had been changed, the necessity was such there was no time to do it. I would have Gentlemen think that such changes as these are not to be made at all times, but when the Fleet is pretty full of Victuals. Except buying Pipe-staves, nothing is to be done in August, and it was then the King knew that what was in Stores must be made use of, or else all must stand still. If you send for these in Custody, none will undertake it.

Col. Austen.] I have heard it said, "There is a necessity to take men into Employment that are versed in business." If these men are the only people that are to be employed, whither will you go next? Whatever you do with these men, who are so versed in business, I hope you will take honest men in their stead.

Mr Fox.] I shall not be an Advocate for these Victuallers. I am concerned only for one of them, Sir Richard Haddock. I will answer for his security; he will not run away. He gave Mr Fenn 1700 l. for that place.

Mr Papillon.] You have had sufficient security that these Victuallers will not run away. If any Gentleman will engage that they shall appear to answer this Charge, I think that will answer your end.

Sir Edw. Seymour.] On all Accusations I shall be very tender in sending for men in Custody. But as the nature of the Question is, it is absolutely necessary to send for them in Custody. The ill usage and abuse the Seamen have had in their Victuals, has been represented to you. For your resentment of their ill usage you can do no less than send for them. I was in hopes, when Lee stood up, that he would have told you "That there could not be such Miscarriage in the Navy, and he, of the Admiralty, be ignorant of it, that should have prevented it." But, I find, the Admirsty know as little of this as they know of the stations of the Convoys. Had they looked over the Journals of their Office, they could not have been ignorant of this; but I fear the Commissioners know no Journals, but of the House of Commons, and what they sit there for.

Sir John Guise.] I am against names in particular. I would rather send for them in gross. You cannot distinguish the Victuallers, whose Provisions were amiss. I would at them all till they can clear themselves.

Sir Henry Capel.] When I heard Parsons named one of the Victuallers, I was amazed; but, as for Haddock, he is an able Seaman and a good Protestant. He has an Office in the Navy, but he was neither Manager nor Contractor, therefore put not him among the Brewers and Victuallers. I would be tender how we discourage a man that has commanded a Squadron at Sea.

Sir Christopher Musgrave.] I shall say nothing to the Debate, but to preserve Orders. When it is a complicated Question, then, by Order, you may divide it. When there are so many names, then you are to put them one by one. It was the practice lately upon the Pains and Penalties. Will you lump such a Question as this?

Sir William Williams.] Will you put the Question entirely, or upon the several persons? When the persons are distinguished in the Debate, then the Question is upon every single person. This Charge I took to be a joint-Charge, a Breach of Public Trust; it arises not from an Information at the Bar, but the knowlege of your Members. This is not to punish nor convict them, but to bring them to farther Examination, whether this was wilfully done, or by accident.

Sir Henry Johnson.] I believe the Navy will stand still without Sir Richard Haddock, he is a man so conversant in the Affairs of the Navy. You have been offered Security for his appearance. He was against the Dispensing Power, and was turned out by King James.

Divers Gentlemen offered Security for him, and affirmed the same.

Sir Edward Seymour.] You are on the Question of sending for Haddock in Custody. If any one of these comes before you with a Title to recommend him to your favour, it is Haddock; yet I am for sending for him in Custody. You are not now enquiring into Mens Merit, but into Fact. He is Comptroller of the Navy, as well as Commissioner and Victualler, and can give you the best Account. But, I observe, it is unusual for these Offices to be in one Person—I would send for him in Custody.

Col. Austen.] I cannot but believe him to be a person as worthy as he is named to be; if you cannot distinguish him here, you must send for him in Custody.

Mr Hawles.] If you cannot distinguish him in guilt, I would distinguish him in punishment. I find no Evidence against him; but a very ill thing has been done; here are ill things done, who did it? We don't know. No person that did ill in the other Government can be fit to be in this. Ill things have been fully proved against Parsons, and it was ill done, after notice of this, to keep him still in Employment. I move to have Haddock sent for in Custody, for you cannot distinguish.

Sir William Leveson Gower.] Perhaps sending for him in Custody may be a favour, when you discharge him without his Fees, and perhaps with marks of honour too.

Mr Charles Montagu.] I have a fair opinion of Haddock, but I think it injustice not to send for him. You send for him as a Victualler of the Navy, but not as a Criminal. I offer what I wish may be done; that, though your Vote be to send for him in Custody, he may be sent for till farther Order.

Mr Boscawen.] I would do what in prudence may be done; instead of sending for him in Custody, to summon him to appear.

Sir Thomas Littleton.] I believe the great character of this man is deserved. I think, equality of Justice is more in your consideration than any thing else. If he appear innocent, and that his other Office took up his time, and yet he spent little in this—All the Victuallers are jointly accused, and he not in particular.

Mr Hampden, jun.] If you summon Haddock, it will be more for your service, and you will have him before you.

Resolved, That Sir John Parsons, Sir Richard Haddock, Alderman Sturt, and Mr Nicholas Fenn, Victuallers of the Navy, be sent for in Custody of the Serjeant.

November 25, Omitted.]

Tuesday, November 26.

Mr Waller, who came lately from Ireland, gave an Account, at the Bar, of the State of the Army in Ireland, and the condition of Affairs there; and then withdrew.


Sir Thomas Clarges.] This Gentleman favoured me with a visit, and then said something more particular. He said, "When he went first over, it was ten days before Londonderry was relieved. There were 10,000 Irish before it defeated, and the General taken prisoner; they were in so great fear, they all ran away with few men of ours pursuing. He was in hopes we might march to Dublin to possess it. At Chester they left all their baggage-horses; the General wondered they came not; from which a great part of the misfortune came. When he came back to Chester, he asked, "Why the horses stayed so late?" They told him, "It was for the best profit persons could make to put them to grass." As for the sickness, it was wholly amongst the English foot. One Regiment lay amongst the Dutch in their huts; their Officers looked upon their Soldiers as their children, and would see them make their huts, pave them, and lay fresh straw; in the whole Dutch Camp scarce two died." By what I apprehend from the discourse of this Gentleman, we lost so many men from the negligence of the Officers. There was great defect of cloaths; all that were well cloathed were in health.

Col. Birch.] I find, this person has taken exact notice of things, and, I believe, can give you a farther account. I would know, at what set time the Soldiers are paid, whether weekly or monthly; whether paid upon Muster, or how?

Mr Garroway.] I desire you would ask, when they were mustered? When they were paid? What Money, and at what Rates?

Sir Thomas Clarges.] This Gentleman was a Volunteer; he had no pay. He says, "A Piece of eight of 4 s. 4 d. was paid them at 4 s. 9 d. Guineas here at 1 l. 1 s. 6 d. there at 1 l. 3 s.

Mr Hampden.] It was thought the best way for the King to take up the Money current there, Dollars; and it was ordered to go at the current price of Ireland. Perhaps some of that Money did not go so high as it might do; what was over went to the King's profit.

Sir Christ. Musgrave.] This Gentleman gave you an account "That he was at Chester, when the Duke of Schomberg went over into Ireland." I would ask him this Question, Of what number every Regiment did consist, Horse, Foot, and Dragoons, when mustered at Chester; and when they arrived in Ireland, what number they were there? I would know what service the Ships at High-lake were designed for, whether artillery, or baggage-horses? And why they were not shipped with the Army, how they came, and how long after?

Mr Waller, being called in, said,] The Foot were paid every day; the Horse once a month, with deduction for cloaths. Since the sickness, they muster often, once a fortnight. They are paid in Pieces of eight at 4 s. 9 d. Guineas at 1 l. 3 s. They found no provision of straw and corn where they were, but, in their winter-quarters, straw and oats, but no hay; the last three weeks the horses were at grassand oats in the field; the horse wereat grass the 10th of November. For surgeons medicines, I have heard they were very ill provided. I saw none of them, and I have heard they had little, or none. It was reported they had one thousand seven hundred pounds worth of medicines, but I know not where they were. The Foreigners were warmer cloathed than our men; in great-coats over their close-coats; of which the English had none. The most healthy of the English Regiments was the Earl of Meath's, of which few died; the next was Sir Thomas Gower's, who took great care. There was little mortality among the Horse; I attribute it to their cloaks. The Camp was very moist, and extraordinary wet weather. I was in a house at Dundalk, and followed Duke Schomberg, who was two or three days before me. I was told they mustered 7 or 800 in a Regiment; they showed very full. Duke Schomberg went over with seventy Ships, and left at least one hundred to bring over the Artillery and the Horse. The Horse dropped in as they could. When they came together, there were two Regiments of Horse, and one of Foot, with between forty and fifty Sail. There were not many deserters; but few on either side. No action passed whilst we lay, but skirmishes with the out-guards. They were not well furnished with shoes. Some came late; they were not consigned to any body.

In a Grand Committee. On the State of the Nation.

Mr Grey in the Chair.

Col. Sackville.] We have raised a great deal of Money, and if we take no care to dispose of it, we encourage our Enemies, instead of defending ourselves. If the French King had paid for his Expedition as we have done, he had drained his Coffers of Money—Whilst we look after punishing others, our own will come upon ourselves. I will offer no Methods, but what are easy, and what every man uses that has his head upon his shoulders, in his own Family. Consider what force we have to maintain the State of the Government. Several things have been moved, and nothing yet concluded. Consider the State of the Army, till you have made an actual Settlement of the Land Army, the Sea and Ordnance. There is no going back. When William the Norman conquered the Nation, he set fire to his Ships. I move, That you will pass a Vote to take into consideration the State of the Army in Ireland, England, and Holland; and, when you have settled the Army, then the Navy to have a certain Settlement; and then send men to oversee.

Sir William Leveson Gower.] I would know, from these Gentlemen concerned, in the House, whence this ill management arises?

Sir Henry Goodrick.] The Office of Ordnance is obliged to the Duke of Schomberg, to put it into condition to show the proceeding—Never man thought of more in that Office than his Experience dictated to him. As for buying 500 fresh Horses for the Carriages and Train, the Money that was assigned for that purpose was duly paid, and I hope, well employed. There was no delay in the Horses; twenty-six Pieces of Cannon were drawn by those Horses to Chester, but so it happened that the Platforms were taken off,—[and applied] to things more necessary at that time—It happens so pat that Duke Schomberg desires this delay may be enquired into, that I shall, if you please, read his Letter to that purpose.

"November 15. I have dispatched Warrants—I am glad the Parliament is so unanimous to vote for the Navy. There were great abuses in the Embarkation of the Forces for Ireland. To answer that of the Baggage-Horses, they were ready at Chester."—

Sir Henry Capel.] To inform against a Person I shall be tender, and I am not capable of it; but I think it fit to enquire into the Bottom. The Horses were not only stayed at Chester, but let out to hire. The Treasury had nothing to do, but to obey Orders issued out to them.

Sir Thomas Clarges.] From whom are we to enquire into the Reasons of Miscarriages? There are four People were in all Offices, who went through the Navy, Admiralty, Ireland, and were Commissioners of the Army. Our Business to-day is to consider the State of the Nation, all full of Miscarriages. I have lived many years, and in several forms of Government; I hope I shall see no more changes; I never saw the like Miscarriages: We have lost a Million by France at Sea, and almost a Kingdom for want of Supplies, if Report be true. In great probability, Ireland might have been had in January last for asking for. Mr Waller sems to insinuate that the loss of the Soldiers was for want of care of the Officers. As for the Army, we are to see what it is, and how many, that our Money may be employed to the honour of the Government; and as for the Officers, they are worthy Gentlemen, but those may be thought fit in time of Peace, when in time of War it is necessary that some few men of experience should be added. Perhaps, if some experienced men were added to the Treasury, it would do no hurt. Every day we have experience of fresh news of the ill success of the Government, and People may doubt whether we can be protected, or not. If Trade be lost, Land will fall. I have been told, that the Duke of Schomberg doubted he should not be answered in what he needed; whether as a good Prophet, or from his Wisdom and Experience, he expected he should be neglected; and, when the Irish fled before us, it was a great misfortune we lost the fruits of those hopes. We shall hardly have success in Ireland unless the King employ some actual executive Power in that Affair, and in some emergency put the absolute executive Power in some Persons, that, if they want a Rope here or there, they need not go to seek it in several Offices, but may have Power to use the Treasury to issue out Money as occasion requires. We have heard of Armies, and Garrisons, and whole Fleets, but where two or three Commissioners are appointed to take care of Affairs, these things are not done so easily. Upon the whole, I would make an humble Representation to the King, of the State of the Nation, and leave it to the King's Wisdom.

Mr Foley.] It was a wonder to me at first that Shales (fn. 3) was employed; that no man should be employed, but one so much in King James's interest. They knew this man to be faulty in August, and no care was taken. In former times, Privy-Counsellors were the Eyes and Ears of the Kingdom, and now all this must be put upon the House of Commons, and we may sit here till Midsummer, at this rate. I would address the King, &c.

Mr Smith.] In plain English, Knaves and Villains are employed, and those who would not give their consent to take away the Penal Laws and Test could not get into their Places, and others that did are got in. I would desire the King (in our Address) to tell us, who were the occasion of putting these Men in. As long as you have the same Councils, you will have the same things done.

Sir Henry Capel.] I cannot tell how these Comptrollers were sent into Ireland; but, I believe, since Shales came away, both those in King James's and King Charles's time in employment are removed.

Sir John Thompson.] One thing gives me comfort, that you have it manifest before you, that there is Treachery. The generosity of King Charles II, who spent so much Money, was the Security of the Nation; but in time of War the Nation cannot bear it. I am against the Motion for an Address to the King, &c. You are told of Councils, but you forget the Primum mobile. You have been told it came from higher Powers. You made an Address for a Lady of Quality to be sent into France—(Dutchess of Mazarine) Is she gone yet? I know not the reason. The King must know the sense of the House, let Counsellors say what they please. I would address the King to know who advised him to employ this Person, Shales.

Sir Christopher Musgrave.] You are not ripe for a Question; you have not matter enough to ground such an Address. I think, before you proceed to that, you should know to whom Shales is accountable. If these Miscarriages are of so great a date as August last, you must know why this was never examined nor punished. It must rest upon these Persons whom the King has intrusted. If this House examine all Miscarriages, you must be a perpetual Parliament. I know, Shales's Employment is Commissary of the Stores; certainly some Persons are Superintendants. When you know that, I think the Committee will ask some Questions; till then, I would not address the King.

Mr Garroway.] I question whether our pressures will admit those Ceremonies in gradations. Certainly there are great Miscarriages. Perhaps he was recommended by such a man, as those who should call this to Account dare not. I never heard Shales named for good in my life. I have heard that he has sent over his proper goods in those Ships that should have transported the Horse. I know not how you will examine him, unless you will send for him over I think it no injustice to take such a Man out of Employment, so ill a Man.

Sir Robert Howard.] I have great hopes that we shall make use of this Debate, since no Man has forborne to give his thoughts, if hopes do you any service. Here have been great Miscarriages. I never heard a Man speak well of Shales, nor do I believe I ever shall. He was very gracious with King James, and I am sorry he is employed by King William. You may kill two Birds with one Stone; and, to do something very plain, I would have an Address to the King to have Persons sent into Ireland to take Account of the Numbers of the Army, and the Provisions. I am plainly for Members of this House to go, who know their Duty to the Nation; that Shales may be secured there; and the Duke of Schomberg will inform them of all things, and Shales's Books may be examined, that you may know the Number of the Army: You will then have a just Account of it, and I move for an Address of this Nature.

Col. Birch.] I am pretty well encouraged this day. If ever you have the War carried on with Honour and Success, you must hang this Man. As for displacing him, that is a minute thing with me. If he be a Commissary, it is a great Employment, and it is in his Power to do all this. The space betwixt the Regiments arrival in Ireland was six Months. But I would fain have the life of the Business looked into. Whoever put this Man into this Trust are Friends to King James, and not to King William. I would address the King to see his Commission, and by whom this Gentleman was commissioned for this service. 'Tis by the same Hands that you have had all this ill success. Find the Source, and I doubt not but the King will tell you.

Sir Henry Goodrick.] You have had Informations, of several forts, that the Duke of Schomberg is extremely unsatisfied with some about him. If the Duke thought the Army could be supplied by breaking this Man, before the Army came into Winter-Quarters, he would have done it. His Title is "Commissary-General of all the Provisions." If this be fit to be stirred in before the Army were in Winter-Quarters (I intend to look farther,) the Duke will do as a loyal and wise man; but since the matter was unsafe to be stirred in before now, I hope it will not reflect on the Duke. I agree to an Address, as moved; and, "That Shales having been employed, those who recommended him have been rather Friends to King James than to King William."

Sir Robert Howard.] You are moved to know of the King, who advised him to employ Shales; but take heed of doing one thing that may do a great deal of Mischief, if you delay here, and let him go over to King James. Talk not of who advised this, and send him to his old friend King James.

Mr Smith.] If we had not questioned Shales here, he may stay another Campaign in Ireland. I would know a Reason, why on suspicion he was not clapped up first. We must attribute all the Miscarriages and Misfortunes to the Committee for the Affairs of Ireland. I would have this Man taken into Custody, and have some other Committee for Ireland.

Mr Garroway.] You were told, "That he was suspected to go over to King James, when he went into Ireland first." Do you think he can be safe there? He has done a great deal already. He knows all the secrets of the Army; a hundred things that no Man can foresee; as where a Garrison is that wants Victuals, &c. I would not have a perplexed Question, but still I insist on knowing him that first advised he should be employed, and I would address the King that the Duke take him into Custody.

Col. Birch.] I am for hastening the Question, and making it effectual immediately. I would wait on the King, and that will do it.

Mr Garroway.] I would leave it to the Duke to put in another Person. If he be recommended from hence, I look for as bad a Man as he. The King knows nobody fit. We are the Great Council of the Kingdom, and I think it is no intrenchment on the King's Prerogative, why the King may not take the Advice of this House, as well as of the private Ministers.

Sir Henry Capel.] I agree that this is the Great Council, and are the best Counsellors. It is a great honour to Duke Schomberg, and for the good of that Kingdom, to address the King to order him to present a Person for this place. If you address that the Duke name a Person, I appeal, whether the Duke will do it without the King?

Sir William Williams.] If the Duke nominate a Person, it will take up more time than the King can spare. It must be done presently.

Sir Henry Goodrick.] The General is a check upon the Commissary; he must be responsible for his Commissary; that is, that you will not put upon him.

Earl of Ranelagh.] I spoke yesterday with Col. Lumley, who says, "that Shales is in Ireland, and two men were sent Comptrollers, able and honest men, Robinson and Fielding."

Mr Hampden.] Fielding is in Scotland, and Robinson in Ireland, but not suffered by Shales to act.

Mr Garroway.] I think your Vote will not have perfect effect, unless you address the King to remove the advisers of putting Shales into Employment.

[Resolved, (by the Committee,) That the House be moved, That an humble Address be made to his Majesty, That Mr John Shales, Commissary-General of the Provisions, be forthwith taken into Custody; and all his Accounts, Papers, and Stores secured: And that a fit Person, or Persons, be put into his Place: And that his Majesty will be pleased to impower Duke Schomberg to do the same.

Resolved, (by the Committee,) That an humble Address be presented to his Majesty, That his Majesty will be pleased to let this House know, who recommended Commissary Shales to his Majesty, and advised his being employed.

To the first of these Resolves the House agreed, Nem. con. but, on the second a Debate arising, the Question for adjourning was carried in the Affirmative, 89 to 80.]

Wednesday, November 27.

Debate on Commissary Shales resumed.

Sir Thomas Littleton.] I was, last night, for adjourning the Debate. Then you had two ways proposed, either to acquaint the King, but that was not thought proper, and, in hopes that the Debate might be resumed, that another Motion might not be so harsh as this Motion of an Address to the King; and first, to vote "That those Persons were Enemies to their King and Country who advised him to employ Shales, and that he would remove them from his Person and Councils for ever." I do not remember that the thing was ever done before. The King will be unwilling to deny you, but you put a great hardship upon him. I would rather mark such men out, and, I believe, the consequence will be, somebody will be removed from the King's Councils. Suppose the King forbear any Answer at all, it would look like distrust. What effect can you have? The King will remove him, but he may also be prosecuted. The King can be no Witness in Law. If the consequence of your Address be, that somebody will be removed, many will be glad of that consequence.

Sir William Leveson Gower.] I am for going none of these ways: I think we are out of the way. I think what we are about is as much as to say, the King shall be an Informer to this House. He that knew that Shales bought his Place, can tell you more (Lord Castleton.) I would have him asked.

Lord Castleton.] It was a vulgar Report that Shales bought his Place. I said, "I believed Shales was no friend to King James, nor King William, but to himself."

Mr Hawles.] I am for the Address. We must make use of extraordinary means. If, by a Precedent, we must find out unprecedented things, we shall never do it. If King James II was to come in again, he could not make a better choice of some Persons in Employment. The King is a stranger to us. Councils have recommended Persons who did it. It must be in the dark, and this is the best way to discover him and other Persons. The first Employment was in the West-Business, and no man fitter to be employed to betray us—That man who recommended him is not fit to be in Employment.

Col. Austen.] I am as unwilling to propose any indecency to the King, as any man. We have a Wolf by the ears in this; we know not how to let him go. You only desire to know of the King who brought Shales thither, and humbly beg the Question.

Sir Robert Cotton.] If the King nominates who recommended Shales to him, you have ground to proceed. Though the King be a stranger to the Nation, he is not to point of Honour. You cannot do it decently—But the King may remove him from his Council, and that will be sufficient.

Mr Sollicitor Somers.] "We do nothing if we find out the Men only, and not who put them into Employment:" This is said, but to arrive at your end it may be answered, If a Question be asked a private Gentleman, "Who gave you that Advice?" It is not proper for him to answer. But if he advises him to trust that man no more, he shows his Respect by it. If you make an unanimous Vote to desire the King not to trust that man, it will have great weight in it with the King. This is a kind of last Remedy; a thing never put upon the King before, and a hardship! Do not you give great advantages to those about the King to tell him, "that the Commons go beyond the bounds of his Dignity," and give occasion to protect those Persons? Admit the King should grant it, you must tell the King those are his Enemies, Your ends may be answered by an Address, "That the Persons who gave this Advice may be removed."

Sir Joseph Tredenham.] We are told by every body, that the King and we are upon one Bottom; if so, there is no necessity to go upon this extraordinary Course, but upon what we may, with confidence, assure ourselves of success in. I wish our condition were better, but is there no way to arrive at our end but by unbeaten paths, which our Ancestors never found their end in? What effect can you propose to yourselves in this, by the King's Answer? Nobody can think there is a ground of an Impeachment, or Bill of Attainder. If [he is] guilty of other Errors than this, you [may] reach him without this Address. I see no convenience, but many disadvantages, by it.

Sir John Lowther.] I am one of those that agree with the Committee; but to hang Shales, and to have all those punished that recommended him to the King, some men think a hardship put upon the King, and some not. I have delivered my Opinion, to avoid the appearance of such a Rock as hardship, by all possible means, to prevent the least appearance of a misunderstanding with the King. Possibly the King may be mistaken in men and recommendations. Surely, the second time, he will be cautious what he does against the Opinion of his Great Council, and better avoid this Rock.

Sir Robert Howard.] All agree to the same thing in the main, but differ in the method. I have rather been too warm upon Persons formerly; and, I say plainly, the way we are in, is, in effect, what you owe yourselves, and the Nation. A Question bluntly put, "Who did such a thing?" Consider, whether in desiring the thing, something of your own reasons of dissatisfaction [should not appear.] This seems a hasty step. If you desire, in the same Address, to know the Person, or Persons, who advised, and say "you live under dissatisfaction from Men that advise this, as the Interest of King James," supported, perhaps, with Reasons, it would come in a more proper way, and without a blunt Question. But, "that in the mean time, you have no great opinion of your condition whilst King James's Friends are employed;" then it will come with more respect to the Person you address to.

Mr Palmes.] I presume, adjourning the Debate was intended for Gentlemen to recollect some other way, and I hoped some Gentlemen would have it to lead you off from this called "hardship on the King." I would know whether Shales has a Commission under the Great or Privy Seal, or by a bare Letter from the King? This may lead us to the knowlege of it, and those about the King may put us into some way to screen this off from the King. We are upon this Point singly, either to put a hardship upon the King, or betray the trust of the whole Kingdom. If there be other Propositions, I must join for the Question.

Sir Thomas Littleton.] Put the previous Question first, if it be carried, the House will be unanimous in the main Question afterwards, for the Reputation of the House.

Sir Thomas Mompesson.] 'Tis not usual to put a previous Question for agreeing with the Committee, upon an adjourned Debate.

Mr Coningsby.] At the Committee of Religion in King James's Parliament, a Report was made of an Address, and, upon an adjourned Debate, the previous Question was put, "Whether the words "Protestant Religion" should stand, &c." and passed in the Negative. Judge the consequence.

Sir Thomas Lee.] It is a great Mistake, that the previous Question, if asked, must necessarily be put, neither at the time of the Report, for you may do it all at one time, and not at another. There may be reason not to put it now, and yet it may come to it hereafter. This matter is now under the King's examination; let him have the honour of it: He expects Letters out of Ireland.

Sir William Williams.] It is a monstrous thing to be upon your Books in King James's Parliament, "Whether the words "Protestant Religion" should stand in the Address." You are now upon a single Head, Whether this is proper for an Address now? Therefore, I think, you should put the previous Question.

[The previous Question for agreeing with the Committee was carried, 188 to 142; and the main Question then passed, 195 to 146.]

Sir Rowland Gwynne.] It is apparent we are on the brink of ruin. I am not against presenting the Address, in the words of the Vote, "by the Privy-Counsellors;" but those about the King may make ill reflections upon what we do. If you had taken more care in other Messages, we might have fared better in the Answers, (the care of Religion, the Laws, and the Government,) by those about him.

Mr Hampden.] Something to the last Business—As I understand, something was said against Privy-Counsellors presenting this Address to the King, "that they had represented things so hardly to the King"—I would have Gwynn explain. I appeal to the King how we have misrepresented things.

Sir Thomas Mompesson.] What he said was not with reflection upon Privy-Counsellors, but upon what was said here.

Mr Howe] As near as I can recollect the words, they were, "That the Privy-Counsellors had spoken hardly of the Address here, and he had reason to believe they would do so to the King."

Sir John Lowther.] I would not misrepresent Gwynn, but, on the other side, I hope those who have the honour to serve the King at the Board, will serve this House with their Lives and Fortunes. He said, "He desired that the Privy-Counsellors should not present this Address; they who had spoken so hardly of it here, would not favour it there." I am not so fond of my own Opinion, as not only to relinquish it, but obey you, contrary to my own sense. I would not only relinquish the service of the Council, but retire, if you think not well of me.

Sir Henry Capel.] I will put that Gentleman at ease presently. There shall be no misrepresentation from me. Witnesses do know the rule they go by. Whoever is of the Parliament, and near the person of the King, represent with all tenderness, and put the best face of things from hence to the King. I hope this will be the rule of every man, and shall be mine whilst I live.

Col. Austen.] Heat never does bnsiness well. Let a man's sense be what it will, he ought to deliver it as the sense of the House, and not his own. Go unanimously to the King, and let this Debate fall.

Sir Francis Blake.] A Privy-Counsellor told us, "That what the King said in his Closet, was sent to King James in brandy-bottles." You ought to examine those who manage Affairs, and are near business. I name Mr Blaithwayte.

This Debate went off. [And a Committee was appointed to prepare the Address.]

[Major Wildman acquainted the House, That his Majesty, having been attended with their Address for securing Commissary Shales, and his Accounts and Papers, was pleased to give this Answer: "That he had some time since taken Order therein, being informed of the said Capt. Shales's Misdemeanors in his Employment; and had written to Duke Schomberg for that purpose:" And that his Majesty was pleased farther to add, "That he verily believed, what was desired was already effectually done; though, the wind being contrary, he had not, as yet, received any account thereof from Ireland."]

[November 28 (fn. 4), Omitted.]

Friday, November 29.

On a Clause in the Bill of Indemnity.

Sir Thomas Clarges.] I ask your pardon if I speak against the Liberty of the Subject. I have contributed to this Revolution, and have suffered for it. I sent my son to the Prince of Orange, at Exeter, at great Expence. Those who sue for horses and arms taken from them, have done nothing but according to Law. I discommend much their malice; but, upon pretence of service to the Prince of Orange, some have plundered very honest men. To have their Names brought hither that have prosecuted, will increase animosities, and may do hurt. Fortify yourselves as well as you can, but name no persons. But Actions, in the former Act of Indemnity, were discharged. I desire you will do so now.

Sir Henry Capel.] I cannot blame any man for seeking for right, when wrong has been done him. I am for the Question. I take it to be a great imprudence, boldness, and insolence against the present Government, now the House of Commons is sitting, and making an Act of Indemnity, whilst this is depending, for men to bring Actions, &c. I fear there are some ill spirits that countenance one another to do mischief. Since such a Motion is made, I would not let it fall flat. I remember not such impatience nor complaint formerly, when Charles II was restored; why should they not have the same respect to this Parliament, as to others? We shall have them dispute the Militia, and dispute the Tax, and have the frame of Government torn in pieces. We have Enemies abroad and at home, and I hope you will put the Question.

Sir Thomas Lee.] I am sorry, and suspect myself, when I differ from a Friend. The Rights of the People, and the Guardianship of the Indemnity is in King, Lords, and Commons; not in this House alone. When men see Actions at Law fruitless, they will not spend their Money. Direct a Bill to be brought in, and that is better than a Vote. The Rights of Parliament are enough. Pray let us take no more Jurisdiction upon us than our Ancestors.

Mr Howe.] It seems strange to me, that those who have broken all your Laws, and subverted Religion in the Ecclesiastical Commission, should be on an equal foot. What has this King taken but from Enemies? If they be pardoned here for what they have done, I believe they will not be pardoned in another world. The Law and the Sword grew luxurious in the West, and I heard not of any body in King James's Government that stood up for an Act of Oblivion; and now to be placed amongst those men,—I know not what to trust to. Let us rather try it again.

Mr Hampden.] I am against the Question, Suppose you had one of these Men at the Bar, and you ask him, "Why he brought this Action?" It may be a robbery. These inconveniences will happen in Revolutions; therefore I am not for a Question.

Sir Edward Seymour.] I shall give you but short trouble. The merits of the Question have debated it out of doors. The Debate came on irregularly, and slipped itself in. Put the Question, "Whether the House shall proceed to the Order of the Day?"

Ordered, That a Bill be brought in to indemnify all such Persons from private Actions, that have acted in order to the bringing in their present Majesties; or for their service, or the safety of the Government: And that the Attorney and Sollicitor-General do prepare and bring it in.

Mr Dolben reports the Address against Commissary Shales (fn. 5).

Mr Howe.] I doubt you cannot make this a good Address, or ever have good effect of it. If it must go, there is a word in it I would have good English; viz. "by the Employment of Mr Shales." I would have it, "Employ of Mr Shales."

Mr Hampden, jun.] I think myself obliged to speak something, being of the Committee. I had rather not have been of the Committee, and not have had not a hand in drawing it. Nothing should have drawn consent from me to this Address, but the safety of the King. Some had scruples of conscience about going to the Prince of Orange, but they were answered, when the danger was over. Nations were not made for Kings, but Kings for Nations; and Nations not by Kings, but Kings by Nations. I take it to be for the King's Interest to put you in mind of these things, as well as the Nation's. In the late Reigns we had good Paper-Laws, if good men had been put in to execute them, against Popery, and for the preservation of Properry; yet the Judges declared, "that the Laws were the King's Laws, and the King Judge of the necessity of the Government." This will make the King as absolute as the Eastern Princes. In your Address you desire, "That Duke Schomberg should name a Person fit for Shales's Employment." He was thought to have skill in military Affairs, and yet complained, "That he could not put in a Cornet." If there be such men about the King, it is not safe, and to no end to give Money. I would remove them.

Sir John Guise.] It is Parliamentary to have the Address read, Paragraph by Paragraph. You have been told, "That Shales is not the only Man you are to remove, but in all Places and Offices." Possibly, instead of making this singular, there is not only Shales, but all other People to be removed as well as Shales. It is what you must do one time or other. If there is any man here that does not wish for this, I shall tell him he is an Enemy to the Kingdom.

Mr Comptroller Wharton.] I was not for this Address. I think, a good use may be made of what Guise has said. I wish this Address was laid aside; it is too narrow only for an inconsiderable Fellow, a creeping Worm. I could wish all were laid aside that can be found out—If the Address be laid aside, or recommitted, you may have fruit of it.

Mr Howe.] I am never moved by fears, or hopes, to do contrary to the Interest of my Country. I thought there would be no good Effect of this Address, therefore I was against it. These Persons are near enough to the King to know, that this Shales is contrary to the Interest of the Nation to be employed any more. Many near the King thought it not for his Interest to employ him. I wonder not that all honest Men are not employed; they must have their tongues oyled and knees greased. I would find out Great Men that have been the Occasion; name them, one by one, and I shall give my Vote as willingly as any body to remove them. (It was cried out, "Name them.") If I do, you will all vote for them, as you did last time. I would recommend some marks for the King to avoid and chuse by, and leave this Address.

Col. Birch.] I thought this Address was a plaister too narrow for the sore, but I submit always. Now, pray, make the best of what is before you. It is thought "this of Shales is too little a thing to lay so great a weight upon." The Address tells you, before you name the Man, of great inconvenience, and "that we have had mischief from Persons not fit to be put into Employment." I think it absolutely necessary, that all means be used to continue a good correspondence betwixt the King and his People. I confess, from the experience I have had, nothing is more mischievous than when things are represented hard and inconvenient to the King, and what we have offered not to be well received by him: Insomuch, that, formerly, a Person not liked by the Parliament was sure to be preferred by the King, and every one must follow the Ministry, or have an ill life. I have not the [same] advantage of speaking as other Gentlemen, but you know my meaning. This is no hard thing upon the King; things taken in time are easily understood, and all is well when once those about the King represent them well. They may scramble for Money for the King, and we for our Privileges, as has been done formerly; but as for your Address, I would not lay it aside, but that half a dozen Gentlemen wait on the King, and make not this little thing of Shales's too great a Solemnity; but I would lay before the King the Miscarriages by Land and Sea. If the King would do nothing, it looks as if those about him would asperse the Government, and do nothing to cure it. Unless Miscarriages be represented by Land and Sea, nothing, no, nothing, can cure it. Let then some Gentlemen (not to come to the Persons, but every one of them, not only the putting in these Officers) show what we have done at Sea, and spent 1,300,000 l. and what has been done in Ireland, how we have taught them to be Soldiers, who were Cowards before—I move for the Address.

Serjeant Maynard.] That there are more than a Shales in this I doubt not, both a great and a tall Man—But I am for going on upon this Shales, else we shall blow the Deer, and he will go into the Herd. They that besiege the King will oppose all Addresses. If you would break a Faggot, break the Sticks one by one; when a Kingdom, nay, a King, is like to be lost, and make us all Beggars. When this Address is presented, the King cannot but think it reasonable; a Person that has so notoriously and wickedly demeaned himself! You have only Shales now; much more may be added hereafter. In the mean time go on with Shales. Shall we give our Money to we know not whom? When Shales is gone, it may be another in his place as bad as he; therefore go to all you can find out.

Mr Foley.] It is said "Shales is a little Man," but we know not what Great Man recommended him. To say, "We should stay till we had all our Grievances, to make a Remonstrance of them together," that is much harder. I am dissatisfied to stay till all Grievances are enumerated; at that rate, we can never come to any body, and we shall be quite undone, till the King and we be all on a Bottom.

Sir William Leveson Gower.] I am for taking out all the Deer in this King's Park that were in King James's Park. Since it must be a general Address, let it be a Remonstrance to take in every thing by Land and Sea. Be pleased to recommit this Address, and let none but a Protestant breed of Deer be left, and recommit the Address upon the Debate.

Sir Duncombe Colchester.] If you turn out the Deer, it will do you no good, unless you turn out the Keeper too. (Said some,) "Does he mean the King?"

Sir Robert Rich.] You were told, "You have sat several Days upon the State of the Nation to little effect more, than that you have found out the Navy and Army were betrayed;" if that be little, I know not what is greater. It is said, "Shales is sent for out of Ireland;" but if you do not know who advised to take him into Employment, you do nothing. A general Address is none at all. You are moved to commit the Address; in my Opinion, that is to give it a decent interment. If the King know neither the Keeper, nor the Park, we must be plain with him.

Mr Hawles.] You find the Nation betrayed, and you know not by whom. I believe that, at Common Law, the Suggestion why a Person is employed is to be expressed in his Patent. E. III. Chap. 1. because the King granted many pardons, the Persons who suggested them were to be expressed. I think the Common Law was so—Now, instead of Ex certâ scientiâ, 'tis Ex mero motu—This could not be a ground unless with a Non obstante. But since this is not pursued, it is not an unusual thing to ask this Question in the Address. I think it not a crime to recommend an ill Man, but to know him an ill Man, is. It is said, "We should not do what one Gentleman would not do to another." It is not the end of Governments to punish, but by misfortune they must do it. At Court-Leets they swear to discover all injuries done to the Lord, &c. If my pocket be picked, it is not civil for me to enquire who did it! Is this a way of arguing? Here is no hardship on the King; it has been done so before; it has been put upon Ed. III. and Hen. IV. Those were great men in that time, and this may make this King great in this.

Sir Richard Temple.] In what Hawles says of Pardons he may be in the right, but not in the Grants. I would follow the Method of our Ancestors, respondeat superior, when under the Conduct of another Man. In an Army a General must find whom he employs, &c. I would recommit the Address, and represent all Miscarriages.

Sir Edward Seymour.] I was one of those against the Address, but when you have resolved, it is not to be laid aside by Art. A Man of Art is so near a Man of something else, that I desire not to be the Man. Gentlemen say they would have it recommitted, but I hear no reason given for it. That is against all Methods. By the same Argument, all other Addresses may be committed again and again, and that is "a decent Interment," as a Gentleman called it. When we debate a thing over and over, I know not but that, instead of reforming Grievances, we shall be Grievances to ourselves. This may be done, and Grievances not left undone. If that be so hard upon you, not to remedy it, you will send your Trade back to Amsterdam, and bring their Religion instead of it. Assign any particular, &c. but it is an inexcusable levity to do all this against Order. I would not (as has been moved) have the Body of the House go with this Address: We can do no more when we present all our Grievances. This is but a pimple, but a scab of your disease. That one Person should draw a whole House, never—Reserve yourselves for a greater Occasion. And as it is too little for you to present in a Body, so it is too big for a particular Person, as has been moved.

The Address was agreed to [and the Committee who prepared it, was ordered to present it.]

Saturday, November 30.

Mr Comptroller Wharton delivered the following Message from his Majesty:


"His Majesty, having already declared his Resolutions to prosecute the War in Ireland with the utmost Vigour, and being desirous to use the means that may be most satisfactory and effectual in order to it, is graciously pleased, that this House do recommend a number of Persons, not exceeding seven, to be commissioned by his Majesty to take care of the Provisions, and such other Preparations as shall be necessary for that service.

["His Majesty is farther pleased to let the House know, That, upon consideration of the Address of November II, he gives them leave to nominate some Persons to go over into Ireland, to take an Account of the Number of the Army there, and the State and Condition of it; who shall receive his Majesty's orders accordingly."]

Col. Austen.] If ever Thanks were due, it is now. The King grants before you ask, or if you had asked, you could not have mended it yourselves. A man in his state without asking!—This is of so great consequence, that I would give particular Thanks, and that very signally, by the whole House.

Sir Robert Howard.] The Motion for "the whole House to return the King Thanks," is very just and very seasonable; and I second it.

Ordered accordingly.

Sir Edward Seymour.] You have had a little Taste of your Neighbours way of taxing in the Remembrancer's Office, where the Duplicates are returned. If you give you know not what, the next will be, they will spend it they know not how. Let us never lay Burdens on ourselves that our forefathers never knew. I am surprized that those who are for the King's service, should put you out of the old Way. I think the Church of England a State, as Monarchy is a State; I would have something depend upon it—I am sure that is Parliamentary, to consider the Preservation of the Nation. I am sure that is the most righteous way.


  • 1. Sic Orig.
  • 2. This Letter was from Plymouth, to one Rice, from his son there, giving an account of great abuses discovered in the victuals and beer provided for the Fleet lying there, and ready to go forth. And the said Rice, being called in to the Bar, to own the said Letter, owned the receipt of it accordingly. Several Members likewise attested the same, &c. See the Journal.
  • 3. Shales had been Purveyor to King James's Army on Hounslow-Heath.
  • 4. Captain George Churchill, upon his Petition, was this day discharged from his imprisonment in the Tower.
  • 5. See it at large in the Journal.