Debates in 1689: December 2nd-14th

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: December 2nd-14th', in Grey's Debates of the House of Commons: Volume 9, ed. Anchitell Grey( London, 1769), British History Online [accessed 16 July 2024].

'Debates in 1689: December 2nd-14th', in Grey's Debates of the House of Commons: Volume 9. Edited by Anchitell Grey( London, 1769), British History Online, accessed July 16, 2024,

"Debates in 1689: December 2nd-14th". Grey's Debates of the House of Commons: Volume 9. Ed. Anchitell Grey(London, 1769), , British History Online. Web. 16 July 2024.

In this section

Monday, December 2.

Debate on the King's Message.

Mr Sacheverell.] I desire you would consider the substance of the Message, and first know whether the House will order any Member to be put into the Commission. I speak not for myself; I have neither health nor reason to act in that honourable Employment, that the King was pleased to put upon me. The thing is of mighty Importance, and is it not too weighty to be put upon us? I speak truly, I thought it too weighty; impossible, very impossible, when we cannot know the state of things, and, by consequence, what is wanting to supply Ireland. If those employed are not supplied, you will disgrace your Members. Consider the Honour of every Member, and put him not upon difficulties that he cannot extricate himself out of. I move, "That no Member of the House be named for that Employment."

Sir Thomas Clarges.] By the King's Message it is not expected that Members should be named, but it is recommended to you to nominate some Persons to him. I am much less able to be in such an Employment, by my Age and Infirmities. It is not decent nor proper for us to recommend ourselves, and it is impossible for men not exercised in so great Affairs, in so short a time, the nature of Ireland considered. It was thought formerly that multiplicity of Offices, as well as Pensions, was inconvenient in this House. I think it not fit that we recommend any of the House.

Mr Garroway.] Since this has been moved, I think it for your service to pass such a Vote. It is said abroad, "We have too many Officers already here," and I would not take upon us to name any more; what Employment we have had is enough. I would return Thanks to his Majesty for his gracious Favour, but this is too great for us. I speak for your Honour; such a Vote will be satisfactory without doors; and so leave it to the King.

Sir Christopher Musgrave.] I will give you little trouble, but I think you will do great right to yourselves, to vote, "That none of this House shall be nominated to this Employment." People do think we are labouring for Places for ourselves. I think, if we can discharge what is before us, we are very happy. I would therefore vote, "That none of the House shall be nominated."

Sir Tho. Littleton.] I think the sense of the House is, not to meddle with this Employment. I think it improper to pass a Vote, "That none of this House shall be named." I think it better moved, if you throw the Compliment into the King's Hand again; "That it is too weighty for us to meddle with;" and if you will not meddle with it, it is an improper Question to put, "That no Persons of this House shall be nominated."

Sir William Williams.] You have not only declared Judgment on Shales, but you have addressed the King to know who advised him to employ him; but I doubt this will look abroad, as if we find fault with all Officers out of the House, and yet we will name none—Make a Vote not so much to satisfy yourselves as the World without doors.

Mr Howe.] I think you give the People occasion to say "You do little but go backward and forward, in your Address about Shales." I was against it. The King has very graciously gratified the House with a thing put into your hands for your advantage—and they get nothing by it; I am little concerned who are put into Places, if for the public good. Without asking the King Questions, he cannot answer us. If Persons be put in, &c. from hence, we know of whom to ask Questions.

Sir John Thompson.] If the Miscarriages in Ireland be taken upon ourselves, I fear it will come to this, that if we recommend Persons to take Shales's Place, if no Money be to act with, they cannot go on. We may thank the King for what we do not accept of, and I move for a Vote.

Sir John Lowther.] Some think this Business too great for them, and it is for me to speak to. I would have this Question with some Explanation: "That no Member of the House be employed for Commissary of the Provisions," may comprehend some employed already, and of the Irish Committee. I desire this Explanation, that it is your Advice no Members ought to be, so expressed that the King may do accordingly. It has been said, "Perhaps there is no Money, and there may be Miscarriages, and a man will not take the load upon him;" but every body knows from whence Money comes, and you may prevent those difficulties, that they have not a greater load than they can bear.

Mr Foley.] I am for putting the Question, "That no Member be employed, &c." and it needs no Explanation For the Irish Committee I would not have nominated in the House. Though not fit for us to nominate; yet, as a State of the Kingdom, you may advise the King with Qualifications.

Mr Howe.] We are for removing Persons, and yet put it into their hands to nominate more such, if we do not recommend.

Col. Birch.] I have a Place, and will keep it as long as I can, and shall give no man cause to complain, as I shall answer it at the great day; and in this matter, I take the Words to be recommendation, &c. I mistrust myself, and not them, &c. when I differ. The King does really intend what he has sent you in the Message. I believe really, as things are managed, both at Land and Sea, we cannot last long. Be pleased to lay this aside, as too heavy for us—But I see, Offices are pointed at. I never knew any thing got by such Offices, but Paper, Pen, and Ink, and a Room. If there had been Money stirring, I should have been smelling after it. Put the weight off from your shoulders in this House, on whom the main weight will hang—I speak not of the Stores, nor of mustering the Army; that may be cured without sending into Ireland; but, for the latter part of the Message, what is used to be done in this matter? Six or seven men sat close to examine things, and the Report was brought to the House. Perhaps the King, or some of his Ministers, may sit in this Committee: Possibly this way may give the King some assistance. As to the first part, do as you please; but, as to the second part of the Message, do something to make it practicable.

Sir Henry Capel.] I am for this House to have its liberty, and for the King to have his liberty too. Trusts are best put where there is most property, and there there are more riches, and the property of England is in the Commons: Whom do they entrust? They think themselves safest in the Hands of Men of great Estates, and great Judgments; this will be the Opinion of the Counties and Boroughs. It is said, "It is not fit for us to recommend Persons, &c." I am not read in Records, but I have heard that, in former times, the thing has been done; will you not let the King go by such rules, that the Counties have gone by? Will you put a Negative upon him? To vote, "That the Commons will not meddle with Capt. Shales," a bad man, what advantage will you have of a Negative? Suppose the King chuse a Man to-morrow, that is able, shall he not come into Parliament by reason of this Office? I hope this will awaken Persons, so as to adjourn the Debate.

Sir John Guise.] I hear it said, "These are Questions usually put;" but I believe that in all Reigns the Kings have not had such care of the Government. I think this very extraordinary. The Message has two parts; recommending Persons, and settling a Commission. I think, the Victualling the Navy has orders to be undertaken without involving the Commissioners in the Miscarriages of the former. The King says, "I have been mistaken formerly; pray assist me." If the House will do nothing in this, we must resolve to be ruined. You say you are betrayed; will you not remedy it? I hope that being a Member of this House does not make a man so prosligate that he may not accept of it. If you will not take it into your hands to support yourselves, it looks like giving up the Cause. Pray adjourn the Debate.

Sir Robert Howard.] The first part of the Message is to recommend, the next is to send Persons into Ireland; and upon this you raise a third, "That you will recommend none of your Members." You first thank the King, and then you unthank him again, and will not nominate, &c. This raises a suspicion that, as soon as you have any thing to do with the King, it raises a Prejudice on it—and that a man in office has not behaved himself as he ought, and as for his place he would willingly resign to a Person, to behave himself honester and abler than he. You give the King Thanks, but it includes neither. It is not proper to raise a Negative upon a Message that gives you no occasion, and unthank the King again, and make no use of it at all. The consequence is, the King and the People may be separated in their Opinion and Choice. Pray leave it to the King, free, without a Vote.

Mr Sacheverell.] The Gentleman's discourse totally differs from the Question propounded. 'Tis moved no farther than not to recommend any Persons to the King that are Members, not to bar the King at all, nor the House from examining the matter. The true single Question is, "Not to debar the King nor yourselves from examining the matter;" and pray put that Question.

Sir Christopher Musgrave.] The Question is not, Whether the King shall name any of your Members, but That you should not name your Members. I would not adjourn the Debate, and leave it still upon the Anvil.

Mr Hampden.] This is a previous Vote that will end all Debates upon yourselves to preclude any of your Members to be nominated by yourselves. Your Vote will go abroad, and the People are in expectation—Possibly Provisions may stand still, and betwixt the new and old Officers, nothing be done. This Vote is not intended for the King, but to make use of in future Debates.

Sir Robert Howard.] You have voted the King Thanks, which seems to accept what the King proposes; you must explain your Thanks.

Mr Papillon.] I hope too sudden a Vote will not hinder you from the benefit of the first part of the Message. I offer to your consideration, whether there are not matters of greater weight before you, than to name Persons for Provisions. This is a little thing in comparison of the great Affair. I would adjourn the Debate, and go to the bottom of the whole Message.

Sir Thomas Lee.] Though I have an Office, yet I think it my Duty to serve my Prince when I can. I know not but the King may trust me as well as my Country. I am not for adjourning the Debate, for the next Question will be for excusing yourselves.

Col. Austen.] I think we are going to make the King an ill return for his gracious Message. He desires your advice, &c. and you complain that the War was not carried on, &c. and, at the same time, you call yourselves the Great Council of the Nation; and now you will give him none. I would adjourn the Debate.

Mr Hawles.] You have complained that some Men have been put into Office, and the King did not know them, therefore the King desires you should recommend Persons to him, &c. therefore I think fit you should answer the King. I do not say all Persons should be named in, or out of the House. If you pass a Vote not to recommend Persons, you put a disgrace upon Persons, as it they wanted integrity, or understanding, whom the House should recommend. There has been but one Person recommended, viz. Mr Johnson, and no Notice taken of him in the midst of Preserments. Shall we imply, by such a Vote, that there is no Person in the House fit to be trusted? I am against it.

Col. Birch.] I speak now for fear I shall speak no more. I was never in my life under such thoughts. Now, in great haste, we pass this Question; and I think it not sense when it is passed. Those that are for the Question see some other way for their own safety than fighting it out to the last. For my part, I think of none. Can there be a lighter way than this? You will see the reason of all that has been done, and it will lead you, I hope, into something better; I am sure it cannot be worse. On a sudden you say, you will recommend nobody, and they will say abroad, "Things have been long ill, and now the King offers it you, you wash your hands of it, and shake hands with the whole." This cannot be taken well by the King, nor those abroad. This requires an adjourned Debate, and a consideration in this great Cause two or three Days; and I hope, God will direct us.

Sir Thomas Clarges.] I expected not this Debate to-day. I am for putting the Question, for the reasons given against it. When you have done this, I hope you will wash your hands of the other too. This looks like taking the Stone out of their Foot, and putting it into yours. If those who are our own Members be named, and there happen Miscarriages, we shall make a faint prosecution of one another; and we shall have another advantage, to revive the ancient usage of Parliament, that no man accept of an Office, as Sheriff, or any Employment, without the consent of the House. I have heard of Judges, and Attorney-Generals, making Apologies for accepting their Places till they have had your leave. In the late Troubles, the Parliament was involved in a great War with King Charles I; then was made the Self-denying Ordinance, when they were brought low and worsted; they prospered upon it, and, I hope, so shall we, and I am not for adjourning the Debate.

Mr Foley.] I wonder the House was so forward to give the King Thanks before in a Message—It is impossible the King and Kingdom should be safe as long as Persons are in Council that have sat in King James's Council.

Sir Christopher Musgrave.] Though I shall not recommend Persons, yet I would give what Advice we can for carrying on the War; but it was not the Advice of your Ancestors to recommend Persons for the executive Part. The King's Council and Generals are fittest, knowing the Abilities and Qualities of Persons. I move for Thanks to the King, &c. and we cannot be safer than in the Hands of Persons that his Majesty shall think fit.

[Resolved, That that this House doth not think to recommend any Member of this House to be employed in the Service of Ireland, for the purposes expressed in his Majesty's gracious Message of Saturday last.

Resolved, That this House doth humbly desire to be excused from recommending any Persons to his Majesty to be employed in the Service of Ireland; but humbly leave it to his Majesty's great Wisdom to nominate fit Persons for that Service.

Ordered, That Mr Speaker do acquaint his Majesty with the said Resolution, when he presents the Thanks of the House to his Majesty.]

[December 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7, Omitted.]

Monday, December 9.

On the Land-Tax Bill.

Mr Sacheverell brought in an appropriating Clause for Money to the Seamen, &c. 500,000 l.

Mr Godolphin.] The last Year, the Dutch would be contented to be on an equal foot with you. The Dutch can set out 90,000, and we 50,000 Seamen. If they bear no greater proportion, and we be still kept to five-eights, they will run away with all our Trade. A Million is the least that can be appropriated.

Col. Birch.] I cannot give my Opinion in this matter, till I know how the 300,000 l. taken up on the Credit of this Bill, is employed. Sure you intend not this 300,000 l. and 500,000 l. more. If that be opened, we shall better speak to the Quantum.

Mr Garroway.] I always thought a good part of this 300,000 l was for the Seamen. There is almost a Million gone into Ireland this Year; I know not how that could be spent. They designed 1,500,000 l. for the Fleet, and they have had but 400,000 l. I would willingly know what is become of the rest; though I never knew what good came of an Account here.

Sir Christopher Musgrave.] You are put in mind of 300,000 l. borrowed; I take it for granted, that part of it is employed for three Months wages due to the Seamen; that is on another consideration, that they may not lie longer at charges, to be ready, and transferring to Persons taken from one Ship to another. If this be but an encouragement for a present fund, to carry on the Work (for no man can compute it wholly to discharge) and the present service, the rest is to be trusted with the Government.

Mr Sacheverell.] I do conceive, and take for granted, that the two Months is not paid. The Money borrowed upon the Credit must be paid. I would know, whether it be borrowed, and how applied? If there be but a little borrowed, the more must go in this Clause of Appropriation.

Mr Hampden.] To what is desired about the borrowed Money, I think about 20 or 30,000 l. is paid, and come in. I cannot think great Sums are come in, or will come in; but if you appropriate to the Navy, I fear you will make a Distraction in the Affairs. But if this should be applied to the Navy, and no Money for the rest, what will come of it?

Sir Thomas Clarges.] What is deficient in the twelvepence on the Pound is to be supplied in the Credit by this Act. My intention is, that the Seamen may see our care, that we appropriate 300,000 l. for the growing service. I hope we shall have the Act clear for the growing service.

Mr Foley.] We are debating what we shall appropriate; some are for more, some for less, but I would have all appropriated, and not spent, as the last Money was to pay King James's Debts—And now we come to it, we know not what this Money must be applied to. What other Money you give, appropriate it to the Army, that you suffer not in your reputation, as you did last year.

Sir John Thompson.] I am glad to hear 20,000 l. is left: I feared all was gone. If thus we pay the Interest, and the Nation is mortgaged—It was said, "There was a Million in Stores when the King came in," and we find not 300,000 l. If you will appropriate all the Money you give to the Navy and Army, I am for it; but if you do not like that, let them tell us what is owing; but if you let this go to pay old Debats, we shall be in that condition never to pay our Debts.

Mr Sacheverell.] I told you, at first, 300,000 l. was the least you could appropriate to the Navy, and I think it too little; therefore I quit that Motion, and think that less than 400,000 l. will not do.

Mr Garroway.] There are three Heads relating to the Navy; that for the Seamen, that for Victuals, and for Stores. As for the Stores, you can have no more this year; the Baltic Sea will be frozen up. I am for 200,000 l. for the Seamen, of what can be borrowed upon the first three Months, and the next for Victuals. I know no farther occasion, but what belongs to the Navy and Army.

Mr Papillon.] All the Victuals must be bought with ready Money: For those things of the Season you must have ready Money. Butter and Cheese you may have upon Credit; they may be had at any time.

Mr Garroway.] There was but 300,000 l. for the Seamen, the last year. The Stores are all provided for out of the rest of the Money.

Sir Thomas Lee.] I would only ask, whether Gentlemen intend, that Seamen should go into Merchants Ships (their wages are so great there) by paying them off? It was the ancient course in the Navy not to pay off the Seamen till they discharged their Ships.

Mr Garroway.] I offer it to your consideration; if that Money comes up, we must look upon the Stores as full; but, I hear, the Yards are in as much Arrear as the Seamen. I would have the Yards paid.

Sir Thomas Lee.] There is betwixt 60 and 80,000 l. due to the Yards already, with great Clamour; you will now raise an Expectation upon the Yards, and the Merchants, for Stores. If you bring the Yards to two Quarters, they are well enough. Instead of the Word "Yards," pray put "Wages."

[Resolved, That 400,000 l. be appropriated.]

Tuesday, December 10.

On the Lords Amendments to the Bill of Rights.

Mr Godolphin.] I am a little surprized that this Bill should be read at this time of Day, but not so surprized but that I have a Clause in my Hand to present. Since the Lords are pleased to make Amendments, we may agree or disagree to them, but we may graft Amendments upon their Amendments. The Clause is to provide for the future. Since we are providing for the Religion of Kings, I hope we shall not provide negatively only; but what Religion the King shall be of. The Bill says, "Not a Papist," but I would have a Declaration, "That they are Christians." They are to renounce Transubstantiation; a Jew will do it, or a Mahometan, and make no scruple of it, with the Sacrifice of the Mass, &c. and the renouncing all foreign Jurisdiction they will come up to. I would have it farther, "That the Kings and Queens, at the time of their coming to the Crown, shall produce a Certificate from six Peers, three Temporal, and three Spiritual, that they have received the Sacrament according to the Church of England."

Mr Hawles.] I have something to offer relating to Impeachments, if the Rules of the House will admit it.

Mr Sacheverell.] I am glad to see the Lords Amendments come down as they have done. To put Difficulties now upon this Bill I would not advise, and I hope the House will agree to them. Why should we so much hazard this Bill by Amendments? I hope hereafter Impeachments may be considered, but I would agree with the Lords now, heartily wishing the Nation's Settlement and Prosperity.

Sir Christopher Musgrave.] I think, this Amendment offered will not hazard the Lords Agreement. They cannot be supposed to admit a Prince of another Religion.

Sir Thomas Littleton.] This Amendment is not offered on account of those already in the Succession; why should we think to qualify Persons we intend shall not come into the Succession?

Sir Joseph Tredenham.] Since the Bill of Rights is to be as long as we shall be a Nation, I think fit to receive the Amendment.

The Amendment, (which was rejected) was as follows: "In the ninth Line, after the Word "Parliament," and before the Word "but," add these Words; "and shall at the same time produce a Certificate, proved by six Peers of the Realm, (whereof three Spiritual, and three Temporal) of his or her having, within three Months before the meeting of the said Parliament, or Day of Coronation, which shall first happen, received the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, according to the usage of the Church of England—The same after the age of sixteen."

[Wednesday, December 11, the Land-Tax Bill passed. December 12, Omitted.]

Friday, December 13.

Debate on Princess Anne's Revenue, &c.

Mr Hawles.] Pensions in Henry VII's time were granted to the Judges out of the Customs. They were not well paid, and at Black-Fryars they all consulted upon it, and agreed, "That an Action at Law did lie against the Customers." In Queen Elizabeth's time, there was a Case of a Pension granted to a Physician, in Edward VI's time; they agreed "That it had a Continuance for the Doctor's Life." When Charles II was on his Death-bed, he made Grants of Settlements of the Revenue. I was against such disposal then, and am so now. Let the Princess have her 30,000 l. per ann. by her Patent, not by virtue of that Patent, but by gift by Act of Parliament.

Sir John Trevor.] As to Sacheverell's Opinion, "That the King cannot grant away Aids given in Parliament," I wish it were so, but it has not been so these 4 or 500 Years. The Judges of Westminster-Hall have still judged it, as in the Case of Prizes and Aulnage; nay, the King has granted Demesnes and Quinzes after the Parliament had granted them to him. By ancient Law, the King cannot part with the Patrimony of the Crown. Complaint was made in Edward III's time, that, by several Acts, Lands have been settled in the Crown, yet Opinions were strong in Westminster-Hall, that the King could grant 1,200,000 l. per ann. was granted away with a Non obstante. It has been complained of in Parliament formerly. I wish it had been considered in the Bill of Rights. Except the Judges will declare, "That the Act of Parliament does bind the King," 'tis but hedging the Cuckow. I wish with all my Heart you would make it so.

Sir Thomas Lee.] I wish the Clause singly for the Princess, and her only. The same Reason for this saving for her is the like for all Persons concerned. That which saves her Grant, with a great many others, makes her case only for a Colour. I know not the Law, and am much less versed in Aulnage (fn. 1) I take it to be a Service for the King, and a reward for it. In all ages it has been complained of, when Parties have been over-prosecuted, and undercompounded for.

Mr Garroway.] Our Case is now, settling a Revenue for the first Year. Let the Letters-Patent be what they will, we weaken them not. According to Order, the Princess is to be provided for; and if I live so long as to settle the Revenue, I would make hers as firm as may be; but this is only a Revenue for her, till the King's Revenue be settled. Let it be 40,000 l. for this Year.

Sir Thomas Clarges.] I see, great matter is made of the consequence of settling this upon the Princess, that it may be a Precedent in another place; but when the same Case is, I would never deny it. In Parliament, it is a constant Rule, to favour Grants from the Crown. In Henry VI, and Edward VI, &c. as before, there were several Acts of Parliament confirming Letters Patent, and they have always favoured and indulged such Grants; and now you will make the Princess the first Example of annulling these Grants! This Grant is but for a Year; but if you let this have no continuance, it will be hard. The Aulnage is an Imposition, so is the Butlerage (fn. 2). But what troubles me most is, that this should be made the first step.

Col. Birch.] I have waited all this Day to see what this Debate would tend to. For this noble Princess all agree to a comfortable and noble Subsistence. This is neither seasonable, nor puts Strength to that Patent, &c. If it be as to the second part, an Augmentation, you must time it—I hope the King may be in a better condition (I will not call it "good luck.") Upon the whole, I agree, that, as has been moved, we may make such a noble Allowance as the Times will bear; but the King's Allowance is cut, and cut foundly; and, though this is the worst-timed Business that ever was, yet I am for carrying it on. But if you name this Patent, as is moved, you will prejudice thousands. Lay aside naming it, and you must do it, and have the Patent before you. Name not the Patent at all, for you will do more hurt than good by it.

Mr Finch.] I perceive that Gentlemen apprehend that a saving of the Right of this Patent is saving the Right of all others; it is quite contrary, for saving this Patent by name leaves all others loose. I must say it is a new Question, because it is the first time that it was made a Question. If it was never questioned, I hope it is according to Law. I remember, you have been told of the dismal consequences, "That this would be a leading Precedent to provide for all the King's Children." The Judges resolved it in the Bankers Case, "That one Grant was good, and another naught." It is the first time I ever heard that Case reproached. I remember the whole Debate of the Hereditary Revenue, Whether that for Life ceased? But nobody made a Question, Whether the Hereditary Revenue ceased? Do you mean to determine a Question that no man ever made? In the mean time do no hurt to the Patents. Leave them as they were.

Sir Thomas Lee.] I remember, I heard a learned Gentleman, upon occasion of the Bill for Sale of the Fee-Farm Rents, of the King's Council, say, "That the King held them as his Crown, in Fee, and could sell them, but purchasers would not come up to the Price, without an Act of Parliament." When they come to say, how Judgments of Law have been, let them tell me how long Kings have lived upon their subjects Grants?

Mr Finch.] Lee does refresh my Memory. I do remember, there was some private Opinion that the Hereditary Revenue was gone, but it was not the Opinion of this House. As for the Fee-Farm Rents, the King could sell them without Act of Parliament, but if the Hereditary Revenue ceased, why did you think it a Necessity of an Act of Parliament? I think, the Argument is alike with that and the Fee-Farm Rents.

Saturday, December 14.

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

Mr Holt.] The Honour and Safety of the King and Kingdom depend on this day's Resolution. The Miscarriage of the last year is recommended to your Consideration. The present State of the Nation is a State of War; all conclude, that Money is the sinews of War; I fear there have been great embezzlements, and I hope you will enquire into it how it has been issued out. I have heard the Stores are empty, and I believe there is a great want of Money, but I observe, there is catching at it. We have appropriated Money for the Stores and Yards, &c. but it has been like boys scrambling for nuts, some get three or four, and others none at all. If we appropriate this Money, it seems by that we are jealous, and why should we not enquire? You have been told by an honourable Person how little there is, and how much wanting.

Mr Foley.] You have ordered the Committee, to-day, "to consider the State of the Nation." I would enquire why Ireland was not relieved in proper time; it was a great mischief. There was a Fleet, and yet Ammunition was slipped from France, and no care of conveying relief to Londonderry; and all came to nothing, till almost all the people perished. 'Twas neglected six Months, and those Officers that took care of their Soldiers in Ireland, did well, but no enquiry into those that took no care. Horses were ready for the Artillery, but they stayed six Weeks. As for the Fleet, no part of it but was under great Miscarriages, all in disorder—No care of Convoys for Merchants; they have done nothing to annoy our Enemies; where to lay the blame, I cannot tell. As for the Ministers, they have done the same things as in Charles II's time, which makes me think them Pensioners to France still. We are not now in an ordinary case—If this Government by any accident should miscarry, we are all like to fall with it, the Protestant Religion, and all. I move, "That you will make an humble Representation to the King, that things may be managed more to the satisfaction of his People."

Sir Robert Rich.] What is said, gives me occasion to tell you something of my own knowlege. A Captain who lived twenty or thirty Miles from Londonderry, and who loved the Place, had applied to the Council of Scotland for the relief of it: They loaded him with Meal; he sailed by our Fleet, and was brought aboard to give an account why he did go by the Fleet without calling, and he must give account to the General; he said, "he knew no General." They caused him to lie there five weeks; he asked them the reason: They told him, "There was a prodigious Boom cross the River, choaked up with sunk Vessels, and a Battery on the River, with small short, on each side." He asked, "Whether, in five weeks, any long-boat was sent to view the Boom?"—The boy he sent, who swam in, gave a dismal Account of the Condition of the Town. He was ordered to go up the River, and if he could not get up to the Town, to fire his Ship, to be useless— The Man of War, and two more, stopped short of the Fort; the Meal-ship, was before. When he was near, he dropped anchor. The anchor drew, and the tide carried the Ship's stern athwart the Boom; and this dismal Boom, only with the weight of this Ship broke in the middle, and no wind at all. I hear not of much punishing, nor much rewarding. This man has lain nine weeks to sollicit for his reward for his pains, and no notice is taken of him.

Mr Jephson.] I did pay this Captain 300 l. and more. I think this Captain was one Douglas: I think this is the man.

Sir Robert Rich.] This sum was paid him for the freight of his Ship, but for his recompence not one groat.

Sir John Guise.] I shall speak of one head most natural to this Debate, and that is of "Money said to be the nerves of War," the disposal whereof for your safety is to the best advantage. I know not whether it be regular, in a Committee, to mention it. Instead of Money given to pay the Army, to have none paid! You must, to do this, state the Accounts of Money and Stores, when the Prince of Orange came in, and then what is come in of that you granted, and how disposed of, and the Charge of the next Year, whether two Millions will do it.

Sir John Thompson.] I take it for granted, that the Money you gave the last Session has answered all the ends then proposed; and they have had more than could be employed. When Persons still are in Council, who have formerly managed, when there was a great Army to enflave us, I can never expect good from such men. I offer you, Whether 50,000 men is not enough?

Sir Thomas Clarges.] As for Accounts, they are referred to a Committee already. When that is reported, you will know how they stand, from those of the Treasury, who give you account; I hope that will be satisfactory. I remember, in the Civil War, when the Party of Charles I. were near overcoming the Parliament Party, they presently fell upon a new model of the Army and Affairs; the Precedent may be made use of now; there is scarce a day but we hear of misfortunes. You have been told, "That King James's false dice are still played with, and go about." This access of Foreigners in the Army is another great discouragement; their way of fighting is from hedge to hedge, and from hill to hill: The English have another way; and King James, enquiring of Gen. Morgan, why the Irish were so good soldiers abroad, and so ill at home? he replied, "His Majesty was mistaken, for when they have English to deal with, they charge close, and then fall in with butt-end of musket." What infelicity we are under I cannot tell; what advice the King has I cannot imagine; but we may do our own work by our own Countrymen. I moved, "That 400,000 l. might be applied to Ireland;" and that, I can rationally make appear, might have reduced the West of Ireland in three months: But that is passed now. The Fleet lay six weeks in the Bay of Kinsale, and we might have had Corke for asking for. One Townshend, Captain of a ship of twenty guns, was blown, by weather, into Castle-haven, and sent a boat ashore to enquire after his Protestant relations; they told him, "They were prisoners in the Castle:" Up they went, and after a shot or two, the Irish thinking more followed, they took the Castle, and redeemed their friends: If fifteen musketteers have done this, what might 500 men? But, I am told, the commanders had positive instructions not to set a man ashore. Here is 400,000 l. a month, and no method was taken as in other Councils. I know not whether it is by weakness of Council. Formerly there were 100 in a company, now but 50: The use of this was, that men might be drawn out disciplined immediately for service, and this would put life into your business. As to this of Foreigners, I know not what security we have in them; but I am sure this King came in by the Church of England, their pens, sermons, and sufferings. When all things are to be feared, men will fear nothing. Some Gentlemen, out of scruple of conscience, have not taken the Oaths; they acquiesce under it, without murmur against the Laws. There is another sort of men that live under a constant breach of the Law. By Law no man can be in Office, who takes not the Test and Oaths: It will be no answer to say, "The Chancellor and Lord Chief Justice did not come to my house to tender me the Oaths." I would have all former differences forgotten. The Dissenters are against Monarchy, but it is the Government that those men would have all in their hands. Having given my opinion of the general State of the Nation, I desire, "That we may make a Representation of it to the King."

Sir John Guise.] I suppose this Gentleman was not upon the spot when the change was, but, I assure you, the Church of England ran away from us, and the Dissenters stayed. I hear the word "Monarchy" named; I would know who is against Monarchy? I would not have these distinctions among us; but pray go on to the State of the Nation.

Sir William Leveson Gower.] If I do not mistake, I hear a project to reduce Ireland with 400,000 l. If that can be, I would give him 100,000l. for his share. I think, if the Nation be in ill condition, you would do well to make a Representation of it, to inform the King as well as ourselves. Your way is to look back to the Prince of Orange's coming to the Administration of the Government, to see what Money was then in the Exchequer, and what in the Stores: I would not skin the sore, but search it to the bottom. If you have a plain charge and discharge, that will satisfy you.

Mr Howe.] I think, the worst State of the Nation is, to throw the Fanatic and Papist at one another's heads. The Church of England have so well vindicated themselves from Popery, that I hope we shall show ourselves not the men we are represented, to ruin the Church, and ruin Monarchy. I know not what Religion does here; that is for the pulpit. Secure the Government from King James's coming in, with Popery at his heels, and the French King riding on his back: And as for those who have been employed, faults are easily made and easily found, but rarely remedied. I would conceal our faults from our Enemies, and mend them as soon as we can, and regulate where Money has been misapplied.

Sir Thomas Clarges.] I desire to explain myself. Morally speaking, with 400,000 l. Ireland might have been put into your hands in three months. I have no place of profit, and desire none, but I can make good what I say. I hope, when we have fears, we may have liberty to make discovery of them. When we have a sort of men against Monarchy—(He was called upon to name them:) I hope, all are free here, and all of the Church of England; there are a sort of people against the Penal Laws, and the Test, and, I am afraid, that now they will not take the Oaths, they have a loose foot to comply with some change.

Sir Henry Capel.] I speak to Clarges's distinguishing persons. I have a feeling about me;—(They laughed) I mean, my family. Distinction in the Civil War, how ended it? Fatally. Though they could not bring in Popery, in Charles I's time, they brought it to pass, in a good measure, in his son's. The Long Parliament had a good natural disposition to do good for the Country, and then we were told, "It was coming to be like 1641." Pray let us have no Distinctions.

Sir Thomas Clarges.] That Gentleman and I sat near eighteen years in that Parliament; and he, I hope, will bear me witness that I was then against Popery. I say, in King James's Parliament, who closed against the Test, and who closed for Liberty? I fear, there is some secret reason for it, and in it.

Sir Robert Howard.] There has been speaking, on all sides, of this, and that. I speak plainly, and will show plainly where this will end, and how unfortunate—When this began on either side—Not those that would take away the Penal Laws nor the Charters, let their opinion be what it will on either side, and some in this House may yet be called upon. It is spoken of "Dissenters who complied with King James," and Whig and Tory revived—And then can we say, That any man is for the Government who was for the Regency? (He was interrupted, but went on) I only said, that those things would prove fatal, and, in the end, destruction. After you have left this fairly to some use, you have had a Motion, and seconded. I am for understanding every thing; and what you did from the hour the Prince of Orange came, to see that all has been received to this day, and disbursed, so exactly, shortly, and visibly; and this shall be done so just, that he is not worthy of the place he is in that opposes it. 'Tis fit that you have it from the first day of Michaelmas, and so on.

Mr Smith.] I am not of Clarges's Opinion, "That we have none to fear but Sectaries, and Common-wealth'sMen." I think, there are Church of England-Men, and destroyers of the Church, who complied with King James, because they could have no Toleration under other Reigns. I hope, the King will have such information of this day's Debate, that we shall have no more Foreigners; and I hope the English shall be paid, that the Officers may not pick the Soldiers pockets to subsist themselves; and, I fear, that is the occasion of false Musters.

Sir John Lowther.] Parties have had their faults on all sides; I hope we shall have no more distinctions for the future. If we consider the state of France, it is not so formidable as represented. Powder is now 10 l. the barrel, which, before the War, was but 20 s. The French King has melted his finest plate, which cost three times its worth in the fashion: He is in distress for naval stores from the North; and all the Northern Ports of the World are shut upon him: If you are masters of the Channel, and supported by the Confederates, he will soon fall. King James has neither Money nor Men but from him—I hear it said, "We have made soldiers of the Irish;" but the little Fort [of Newry drove away 1800 Irish, and it never was attacked again. Consider now, whether any thing is requisite in such a Nation as this, but Unanimity. When the Account is brought into Order, you will know your state; what is past, and for the future. When you have found all out, I hope you will not leave a man criminal unpunished in the Government. If you find any man who lies lurking for a change, or is unfit to be employed in the Government, remove him.

Mr Hampden.] It seems, a State of the Account is desired, from the time the Prince of Orange took the Administration of the Government. I would have all the Accounts, and explained; they are not all in one hand, but you may deduce it to every man. Things may be obscure; though Gentlemen understand Accounts, as the way of the Treasury; a man may be puzzled in a Merchant's book. There is an Abstract ready of the Accounts; when you desire it.

Mr Garroway.] I am very glad of this Debate, "To consider the State of the Nation." I thought to have heard of foreign Affairs, of Ireland, our Allies, and Scotland, and now all ends in Accounts. If you will do no more, let us consider in the House how to raise Money to conquer Ireland; but pray consider how we came into this ill condition, and how to get out of it. Consider Scotland: I have seen some Papers why foreign Forces are there; and I have seen Papers why the Parliament of Scotland was put off: This confirms me what should defend us from France and Ireland. I am not against taking Accounts, as is moved; but, if you will, I will make you a Motion; I will tune myself to give no offence. As for the Account of Ireland, I am sure it is a wild one. I would know when a Muster was taken, and what Account was given to the King; and then consider what men have perished, and how the Muster-Rolls are filled up. 'Tis said, "There are but 7000 men in England;" I am so fond of the Church of England-Men, that I would not spend one of them in a War. When you have fixed on a Head, I will do you the best service I can.

Mr Hampden, jun.] The business of Parliament is not this of Accounts, where we can never come to the bottom. Two things a Parliament can do; give Money; the great support, and persons to be employed next about it: I never saw a Parliament do any thing else to purpose. I am afraid, if some of the Persons continue, we shall not find People to lend Money, nor know how to raise it. It is a man's own fault to suffer men to ruin him that have ruined him before. Look into your Books, and you will find those now employed, voted "Enemies to the King and Kingdom, and favourers of Popery." If those Parliaments were mistaken, 'tis strange! And hindering this King, who was come to deliver us, and bantering this King—That these three men who came to Hungerford from King James (fn. 3), should be the three greatest men in England, I leave the World to judge. When Portugal set up the Duke of Braganza, and freed themselves from the Spaniard, did they employ the King of Spain's Ministers? Did Henry the IVth of France make use of those of the League for his Ministers? The Hollanders, when they were redeemed from Popery and Slavery, did not employ the Duke of Alva's Ministers. If we must be ruined again, let it be by new men. I fear, the condition of the French King is not rightly represented to us; now he is providing Stores for his Ships, if we take wrong measures, and are mistaken, it may be of fatal consequence. The Rebellion in Ireland might have been easily stopped at first. I am for the Parliament doing what they can do to advise the King to take good men, and fresh men, about him. I am not for naming any, but for such as have not ruined us already, and not Commissioners, who would persuade the Prince of Orange to go out of England.

Sir Christopher Musgrave.] I find, all this Debate is contrary to your intent, and terminates in nothing but casting up Accounts, summa totalis, to give more Money. I am glad to hear from an honourable Person, (Lowther) "That the French King is not so great as represented, and cannot support the War a year." I am glad our condition is so much mended; but it is worthy your consideration not to let the safety of the Nation depend on Foreigners. We are in a state of War, and I would therefore see our Allies, what they are we must trust to; but not withstanding this representation of France, I believe him a potent Enemy, and therefore I would see our Allies that we are to depend upon: And next, the condition of the Army, what it is, and then naturally will come before you the numbers, whether they are sufficient to protect you. As for the Accounts, upon any Motion of the House, you may make a new Committee to inspect them. What our Armies are, and what our Allies, not what they are in paper, but what are dead, and how filled up:—Pray keep us strictly to that Debate.

Mr Hampden, jun.] When the stomach is well rectified, all the juices will be well rectified. I meddle not with the Government. I am not for a Common-wealth, in the posture now of Affairs we are in. I am for removing those who were of King James's Council, and who would have persuaded the Prince of Orange to return.

Sir Thomas Clarges.] The Motions are so general, that no Question can be put "For those that came to treat with the Prince of Orange, (without naming any Persons, or what they have done) to be removed," is a strange Motion.

Mr Foley.] I would as willingly pass by what has been done, as any man; but the Management has not been from Ignorance, but Treachery. I would let the King know what our fears are, leaving it to his wisdom and discretion, without naming Persons.

Sir Edward Seymour.] I shall preface my Discourse with something of Order, which I find not well observed. When Exception is taken at what falls from any Gentleman, possibly the latter part of his Discourse may explain the former. We are to consider "The State of the Nation," which I take to be very ill; whether by ignorance of those that manage Affairs, or favour to King James, I shall not determine. Whether we look into Scotland, the Navy, the Army, or abroad, you will find it in ill condition. If the same hands still manage the Government, either King James, or a worse thing, may come amongst us. We have no part of the executive Authority of the Government, but we may advise the King. To me it is all one whether we be undone by the Disciples of Hugh, or the Converts of Father Peters; by the Counsellors of King James, or the Favourites of King William: I say, 'tis too well known, too bare-faced, that some are setting up for "The Keepers of the Liberties of England," rather than the Monarchy of England. The general scheme of the State of the Nation is as much as we can represent to the King. I will urge that part no farther; those who seem to avoid it have laboured to increase it. Does any man believe, that, if the War be carried on by the same hands, you will not have the same success? It is not in our power to remedy the Miscarriages, but it is to represent them to the King to be remedied. I know not what means "a Representation of Persons to the King that went down to the Prince of Orange:" Possibly, it was the best thing they ever did, to mediate Peace. You have matters enough to represent, the matter of the Navy, the Army, &c. The King very well knows who have done it; who have lost his honour, and spent his treasure: And I move for a Representation of this kind.

Col. Tipping.] I wonder any man should vindicate any Persons that would mediate for King James; they cannot wish well to the present Government; and I move you to declare King James an irreconcileable Enemy to the Kingdom.

Sir John Trevor.] I would leave all to the King's wis dom. We come not here to give him rules whom to suspect, and whom not to suspect. He is not to give a reason for that suspicion.

Sir Thomas Lee.] For the little share I have in Management of Affairs, I speak with no envy or fear; I can justify myself as an honest man. I have sat 30 years in Parliament, and I ever thought "The Keepers of the Liberties of England," the best Preservation of England; that is, the King, Lords, and Commons. When London was fired, balls were suspected to be thrown about; and those that cried "Fire" out loudest, threw fire-balls about. We are now making a Representation of Miscarriages, a noise over the Nation: I am concerned for the King; as if the Kingdom was put into the last degree of despair, and we tell him not where it is, and will not tell him, and leave him to find it out. In Charles II's time, this was said to be "Talking the Government out of doors." Show him the fault, and the Persons, and not in generals, left you throw out the King and the Kingdom together.

Resolved, That an humble Address be presented to his Majesty, to lay before him the ill Conduct and Success of our Affairs, in reference to Ireland, the Armies, and Fleet; and humbly to desire his Majesty, That he will please to take it into his consideration, and, in his wisdom, to find out the Authors of Miscarriages, and to appoint Affairs to be managed by Persons unsuspected, and more to the [safety of his Majesty, and (fn. 4) ] satisfaction of his Subjects.

[Agreed to by the House.]

[December 16, Omitted.]


  • 1. A Duty on Draperies exported.
  • 2. An Imposition on Wines imported.
  • 3. The Marquess of Halifax, the Earl of Nottingham, and Lord Godolphin, were ordere to go to the Prince, and ask him, what it was that he demended.
  • 4. These words were added by the House.