Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 12, 1666-1675. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.
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Anno 19 Caroli Regis.
DIE Jovis, Decimo die Octobris, 1667, Anno Regni Serenissimi Domini nostri Caroli Secundi, Dei Gratiâ Angliæ, Scotiæ, Franciæ, et Hib. Regis, Fidei Defensoris, &c. Decimo Nono, quo die præsens hæc Septima Parliamenti Sessio tenenda est apud Civitatem Westm. ibi tam Spirituales quam Temporales Domini, quorum Nomina subscribuntur, præsentes fuerunt:
His Majesty being present this Day, and sitting in His Royal Throne, adorned with His Regal Crown and Robes (the Peers being likewise in their Robes); the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod was commanded by His Majesty to let the House of Commons know, "That it was His Majesty's Pleasure that they come presently, with their Speaker, to attend."
Who being come, His Majesty made this short Speech following:
"My Lords and Gentlemen,
"When we last met here, about Eleven Weeks ago, I thought fit to prorogue the Parliament till this Day, resolving that there should be a Session now, and to give Myself Time to do some Things I have since done, which I hope will not be unwelcome to you, but a Foundation for a greater Confidence between us for the future. The other Reasons of that Prorogation, and some other Matters with which I would acquaint you, I have commanded my Lord Keeper to declare unto you."
Then the Lord Keeper spake as followeth:
Ld. Keeper's Speech.
"My Lords; and you Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses of the House of Commons;
"This Parliament (after many good and wholesome Laws made with your Advice in several Sessions, many great Supplies and Aids given to His Majesty, and for the Maintenance of the Wars, and many other signal Testimonies of your Affection and Duty to Him, for which He again and again renews unto you His most hearty Thanks) was, as you very well know, prorogued from February last, till this Tenth Day of October; His Majesty having then Reason to believe that there would be no Cause of your re-assembling in the mean Time.
"But in this Interval, the Dutch (who, since the War begun, were strengthened by the Union of France and Denmark, having a great Fleet) actually invaded the Land; and the French at the same Time had a Royal Army in the Field, not far from the Sea Coast, the Conjunction of which with the others, in some Design against England, or some other of His Majesty's Dominions, we had then Cause to suspect.
"In this Strait, His Majesty (who in lesser Difficulties had frequent Recourse unto His Parliament, as His great and faithful Council, and therefore hath every Year Once, often Twice, re-assembled you) thought it necessary to anticipate the Time, and issued out Proclamations for your Meeting on the Five and Twentieth Day of July last past.
"This (though unusual) was done by the Advice of His Privy Council; public Necessity and Exigencies allowing; or at least dispensing with, many Things, which (except in such Cases) were not to be allowed, or dispensed withal.
"Before that Five and Twentieth Day of July, there was a Prospect and daily Expectation, and (within Three Days following) an Assurance of a Peace, concluded with, and ratified by, our Three potent Adversaries.
"The Storm which threatened us being thus blown over, and succeeded by so great a Serenity, it was raised as a Doubt by grave and wise Men, whether or no, the Necessities and Difficulties which caused so early a Summons being removed, you could sit or act as a Parliament before the Tenth of October, being the fixed Time to which you were formerly prorogued.
"For this Cause, together with those others mentioned by His Majesty, He, in His Princely Wisdom, held it necessary, in a Matter of so great Consequence, again to fix upon this Day for your Meeting in Parliament, about which there can be no Dispute; which being thus Twice prefixed, and you meeting here upon a double Call, His Majesty hopes it is a happy Omen, that this Session of Parliament (which in Law is but One Day, all Acts of this Session referring to it unless otherwise specially provided) will be happy and prosperous, to His Majesty, to you, and to the whole Kingdom.
"My Lords and Gentlemen,
"His Majesty supposes that no Man would expect, that during your Recess He should have refused Overtures of Peace; the Vicinity, as well as Potency, of His united Enemies, the great Expences of the War, carried on with much Disadvantage, by reason of the Plague and dismal Fire in London, the Consideration of the Posture of Affairs Abroad (besides many other Motives obvious unto you), induced Him to embrace the Opportunity of concluding a Peace.
"But you well know, that though the War be at an End, all the Effects thereof are not yet ended: It will require Time, and your good Advice, to remove those Obstructions which hinders the Current of Trade, both at Home and Abroad; and in this Particular, His Majesty thinks fit to recommend it to your Wisdom, to settle such a Balance of Trade between His Subjects of this Kingdom and those of Scotland, as that we may not be prejudiced, by the Import of their Commodities hither, nor yet they so discouraged as to leave off trading here, and find out another Vent Abroad, more dangerous to us. This He finds too hard for Him without your Assistance, though (upon your recommending it to Him) He hath used some Endeavours therein.
"His Majesty formerly promised that you should have an Accompt of the Monies given towards the War, which His Majesty hath commanded His Officers to make ready; and since that Way of Commission (wherein He had put the Examination of them) hath been ineffectual, He is willing you should follow your own Method, examine them in what Way and as strictly as you please. He doth assure you, He will leave every one concerned to stand or fall, according to his own Innocence or Guilt.
"His Majesty hath Reason to believe, that some disaffected Persons (taking Advantage of the public Necessities) have spread abroad Discourses and Rumours reflecting upon the Government, intending thereby to beget a Dissatisfaction in His good Subjects. And it is an easy Thing to take Exceptions, cum neque Culpam humana Infirmitas, neque Calumniam Regnandi Difficultas, evitet. But His Majesty promises Himself, from your good Affections, that every one of you, in your several Places, will endeavour to preserve a good Understanding between Him and His People; and if any just Grievances shall have happened, His Majesty will be as willing and ready to redress them for the future, as you to have them represented unto Him.
"And His Majesty doubts not but you will give healing and moderate Counsels, and imprint that known Truth into the Hearts of His Subjects, That there is no distinct Interest between the King and His People; but the Good of the One is the Good of Both.
"This is all I have in Command to say at this Time."
Dominus Custos Magni Sigilli declaravit præsens Parliamentum continuandum esse usque in diem Veneris, 11um diem instantis Octobris, hora decima Aurora, Dominis sic decernentibus.