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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DIE Jovis, 3 die Januarii.
Domini tam Spirituales quam Temporales præsentes fuerunt:
Hodie 1a vice lecta est Billa, "An Act for selling Part of the Lands of Henry Mildmay deceased, for Payment of his Debts, and making Provision for his Children."
Houses burnt in London, Judicature Bill.
Hodie 2a vice lecta est Billa, "An Act for erecting a Judicature for Determination of Differences touching Houses burned or demolished by reason of the late Fire which happened in London."
ORDERED, That the Consideration of this Bill is committed to these Lords following:
Their Lordships, or any Five; to meet on Monday next, in the Afternoon, at Three of the Clock, in the Prince's Lodgings.
Swaffham Churches Bill.
Hodie 1a vice lecta est Billa, "An Act for the ascertaining the Bounds of the several Rectories of Swaffham St. Cyriac and of Swaffham St. Marie's, within the Town of Swaffham Prior, in the County of Cambridge, and for the uniting of the Two Churches there."
Report of the Conference on the Poll Bill; and the Irish Cattle Bill.
The Earl of Anglesey reported, "That the Lords that were appointed to manage the Conference Yesterday concerning the Poll Bill, and the Bill concerning taking Accompts of Public Monies, and also the Free Conference concerning the Bill for inhibiting the Importation of Irish Cattle, have performed the Commands and Directions of the House therein; and have nothing further to report."
Report of the Conference on the Coinage Bill.
Next, the Lord Ashley reported that Part of the last Conference with the House of Commons concerning the Bill for Encouragement of Coinage; in which Bill the Lords made several Alterations and Provisos, to some of which Alterations the Commons do agree to, but to others they do not.
Upon this, it is ORDERED, That the Consideration of this Business shall be resumed To-morrow Morning.
Northern Borders Bill.
Hodie 1a vice lecta est Billa, "An Act to continue a former Act for preventing of Theft and Rapine upon the Northern Borders of England."
L. Gerard, Leave to be absent.
ORDERED, That the Lord Gerard of Brandon hath Leave to be absent from his Attendance on this House, he being employed in His Majesty's Affairs.
Report of the Conference about an Impeachment against L. Mordant.
Next, the Earl of Anglesey reported the Matter of the Conference with the House of Commons on the 29th Day of December last, concerning the Impeachment of John Viscount Mordant:
"That Mr. Seymour said, He would not trouble their Lordships with a large Induction, or Preface; but deliver the Articles against John Viscount Mordant, Constable of the Castle of Windsor; which Articles would speak for themselves.
Then the particular Articles of the Impeachment being read by Mr. Seymour, he said, The Crimes are so fully expressed, that he had little to add; he expressed, That here is an illegal Dispossession and arbitrary Imprisonment of William Tayleur Esquire, by the Lord accused, because Mr. Tayleur's Daughter would not prostitute herself to his Lust. He said, That all the Commons of England are wounded through the said Mr. Tayleur; for what the Lord Viscount Mordant hath done arbitrarily against One, he may by his Power do against as many others as he please; and then concluded, that the House of Commons would be ready to make good the Charge, and attend the Prosecution in such Ways and Time as their Lordships shall according to the Course of Parliament appoint."
Then this House commanded the said Impeachment to be read, as followeth:
"Articles of Impeachment, by the Commons assembled, in the Name of themselves and of all the Commons of England, against John Lord Viscount Mordant, Constable of the Castle of Windsor, for several High Crimes and Misdemeanors committed by him.
Articles of Impeachment against L. Mordant.
"1. That the said Lord Viscount Mordant, being a Peer of this Realm, and Constable of Windsor, in the County of Berks, and Commander of the Garrison Soldiers there; understanding that one William Taylour Esquire (who had faithfully served His late Majesty King Charles the First in His Wars, and being a great Sufferer for his Loyalty to Him during the Time of the late Usurpation, and by His Majesty King Charles the Second, since His most happy Restoration by Letters Patents under His Great Seal of England, promoted to several Offices of Trust within the said Castle and Honour of Windsor, and in actual Possession of certain Lodgings within the said Castle, claimed by him as appertaining to his said Offices or one of them), did intend to stand for the Election of One of the Burgesses of the Borough of Windsor, to serve in this present Parliament (for which Writs of Summons were issued); in the Month of March, in the Year of our LORD One Thousand Six Hundred and Sixty (some Weeks before the Time of the Election), to disparage and prevent the free Election of the said William Tayleur, and strike a Terror into those of the said Borough which should give their Voices for him, and deprive them of the Freedom of their Voices at the Election, by colour of a Warrant from His Majesty, on or about the Seventeenth Day of the said Month of March, did, by Soldiers, forcibly eject the said William Tayleur, together with His Wife (then great with Child), Family, and Goods, out of the said Lodgings and Castle, the rude Carriage of which Soldiers then frighted a young Child of the said Mr. Tayleur out of its Wits, whereof it soon after died; and moreover, on the Twenty-third Day of the same Month, the said Lord Viscount Mordant, contrary to the Great Charter and other Laws and Statutes of this Realm, and to the Liberty of all English Freemen, did command and cause the said William Tayleur to be forcibly, illegally, and arbitrarily seized upon, by Soldiers, in the Prison of the said Borough, out of the Precincts of the said Castle, which Soldiers broke open the said Prison Doors where the said William Tayleur was then Prisoner under an Arrest for Debt, and carried him out of the said Prison into the said Castle, without any Warrant but their Swords, or any lawful Cause, and there detained him Prisoner, by the said Lord Viscount Mordant's Command, from Two of the Clock in the Afternoon, till near One of the Clock the next Morning, in a cold low Room, some Steps under Ground, refusing to accept of Two Thousand Pounds Bail, then proffered for his Enlargement.
"2ly, That the said Lord Viscount Mordant, at the Time of the said Mr. Tayleur's Imprisonment, when Two Thousand Pounds Bail was proffered for his Release, being told that the said Mr. Tayleur was the King's Servant, and had the King's Great Seal for his Place as well as he the said Lord Mordant had for his, in high Contempt of His Majesty's Royal Authority and Great Seal, replied, "He would dispose of the said Mr. Tayleur's Places, and break the Great Seal, and justify it when he had done."
"3dly, That the said Lord Viscount Mordant, in or about the Month of March, Anno Domini 1664, by Letters and otherwise, made sundry uncivil Addresses to Mrs. Anne Tayleur (now Mrs. Vachell), Daughter to the said William Tayleur; which she rejecting, and threatening to make the said Lord Viscount's Lady acquainted with them, the said Lord Viscount swore, by a most dreadful Oath and Imprecation, he would persecute her and her Family to all Eternity.
"4thly, That, not long after, on or about the Three and Twentieth Day of November, Anno Domini 1665, by Order of the said Viscount Mordant, the said William Tayleur was forcibly and illegally dispossessed, by Soldiers, of certain Rooms in the Timber-yard belonging to the said Castle, without the Walls thereof, claimed by the said William Taylcur as belonging to his Offices of Pay-master and Surveyor of the said Castle, and peaceably held and enjoyed by him, from the Time of his aforesaid Ejection out of the Lodgings he possessed in the Castle, in March, 1660.
"5thly, That a Warrant, obtained from His Majesty by untrue Suggestions and Misinformations, dated the 30th of November, 1665, but not produced till some Months after, upon a Pluries Habeas Corpus, for the restraining of the said William Tayleur from going out of the said Castle, was directed to the said Lord Viscount Mordant, who, by virtue of his own Warrant, not mentioning the said Warrant of His Majesty; about the Ninth of December following, caused the said Mr. Tayleur to be again forcibly and illegally apprehended and taken into Custody, in the said Borough of Windsor, without the Precincts of the said Castle, by one Richard Voyle, then Marshal of the said Castle, assisted with a File of Musketeers, who, by Command from the said Lord Mordant, carried him Prisoner into the said Castle, and there continued and illegally detained him Prisoner, during the Space of Twenty Weeks, and Five Weeks thereof a close Prisoner, not admitting him to go to Church though he desired it; and, locking him up every Night, refused to take Bail for him, when offered, soon after his Imprisonment, whereas His Majesty's Warrant was only to restrain him within the Castle; at which Time Henry Marten, a Traitor, One of the late Regicides, then a Prisoner there, had Liberty to go abroad out of the said Castle without a Keeper.
"6ly, That the said Lord Viscount Mordant, during the said William Tayleur's Imprisonment, illegally refused to return and obey an Habeas Corpus brought by the said Mr. Tayleur's for his Enlargement; and being afterwards served with an Habeas Corpus by Leonard Simondson, Servant to the said Mr. Tayleur, for his Enlargement, the said Lord Viscount Mordant, in high Contempt of His Majesty's Authority and Laws of this Realm, gave the said Servant reproachful Language, calling him "Rogue" for delivering the said Writ; and saying, "That was all the Answer he would give to it," directly refusing to obey the same; and continued the said Mr. Tayleur divers Weeks after a Prisoner, till set at Liberty upon a Pluriés Habeas Corpus, by His Majesty's Court of King's Bench.
"7thly, That the said Mr. Taylcur, soon after his Enlargement upon the said Pluries Habcas Corpus, hearing and fearing that he should be again illegally imprisoned by the said Lord Viscount Mordant, did hereupon make Application to his Lordship, by his Friends, for a Reconciliation; who answered them, "He would never be reconciled to him;" and threatened "to imprison him again; and then, if he brought another Habeas Corpus, he would imprison him again and again, and keep him Prisoner as long as he lived, and likewise turn him out of all his Employments and Offices, and dispose of them to others as he pleased;" by reason of which Threats and Menaces, the said Mr. Tayleur was enforced to desert his Wife, Family, and Employments, at the said Borough of Windsor, and to obscure himself elsewhere, till this present Session of Parliament, to prevent future illegal Imprisonments by the said Lord Viscount Mordant.
"All and every of which Proceedings are contrary to the Great Charter, and other Laws and Statutes of this Realm, and the Rights and Liberties of all the Commons and Freemen of England; and of dangerous Consequence and Example, if unredressed.
"And the said Commons, by Protostation, saving to themselves the Liberty of exhibiting at any Time hereafter any other Accusation or Impeachment against the said Lord Viscount Mordant, and also of replying to the Answer to the said Articles, or any of them, or of offering Proof of the Premises, or any other Impeachment or Accusations that shall be exhibited by them, as the Case shall (according to the Course of Parliaments) require, do pray, That the said Lord Viscount Mordant may be called to answer the said several Crimes and Misdemeanors, and receive such condign Punishment as the same shall deserve; and that such further Proceedings may be upon every of them had and used against him as is agreeable to Law and Justice."
Ld. Mordant's Speech.
The Lord Viscount Mordant, being present, and standing in his Place, made a short Speech, declaring his Innocency concerning this Business; and desired to have a Copy of his Charge, and that a Day might be appointed for Hearing, that so he may clear himself from this Scandal.
Precedents of Impeachments to be searched.
Hereupon it is ORDERED, That the Lords Committees for Privileges shall meet To-morrow in the Afternoon, to search the Journals of this House, and any other Records; and examine what former Precedents of Impeachments have been of the like Nature, and what Proceedings have been thereupon, and to make Report thereof to this House on Wednesday next; and the Lord Viscount Mordant in the mean while may have a Copy of the said Articles, and shall be heard on Thursday next, what his Lordship shall offer unto this House concerning the said Impeachment.
Report of the Conference concerning the Canary Company Patent.
After this, the Lord Privy Seal reported the Effect of the Conference with the House of Commons, concerning the Patent granted by the King to the Canary Company:
"Mr. Edward Seymour began this Conference; who said, That he could not proceed without some Emotion, in respect of
"1. The Greatness of the Presence before whom he speaks.
"2. The Importance of the Matter.
"3. And of his own little Knowledge of the Law, and little Experience.
"But he must perform the Commands of the House of Commons, to shew unto your Lordships the Patent of the Canary Company to be illegal and a Monopoly; of which, he said, the House of Commons conceived no other Proof needful than the View of the Patent itself; and therefore that House did not at first think fit to back their Vote sent up to their Lordships with any other Reasons; and the rather, because their Lordships had concurred with that House in their Vote to prohibit French Commodities, and in their Votes concerning Papists, without any other Reasons than what the Votes carried in themselves. But the Commons are willing to go your own Way, to preserve a good Correspondence between the Houses.
"This Patent, he said, established a Canary Company. He said, They did not question the King's Power to incorporate Merchants for the Good of Trade, and they did not doubt the King's Intention was such when He granted this Patent: But what the King intended for Good in general, was diverted to a Public Inconvenience, by making a few Persons to lord it over and oppress their Fellow Subjects; for the whole Scope of the Patent was, not to regulate the Trade, but engross the Commodities of the Canaries into the Hands of few. Subservient to this, are all the Clauses in the Patent; and thought searce a Line in it which is not illegal.
"1. He did observe, that it was a Monopoly, because it granted the sole Trade of those Islands to a few; no Person being to expect any Trade there, who was not included in this Company, there being none allowed to export and import but themselves.
"2dly, He observed it was a Monopoly, as before in respect of Persons, so of Professions; none being to be admitted of this Company but meer Merchants, and those confined too unto London; Bristol, Exeter, and all other Cities and Ports, being excluded: And those Merchants also must be actual Traders to these Islands, and have been so for Seven Years last past, and that to the Value of One Thousand Pounds Stock; all that traded for lesser Sums being outed by this Patent; so as all future Industries are shut out.
"3dly, He said, There was no Person to be admitted without a Fine, and that to be paid in a very short Time.
"4thly, In respect of that Trade itself, it was a Monopoly within a Monopoly, the Regulation thereof being restrained to Seven Persons; and have by the Way not only engrossed all the Trade to The Canaries, but to the English Plantation also, who had better trust the Mercy of the Sea than land in any Part of The Canary Islands. The Case is something like the Reasoning of the Lepers at Samaria, If we do not go, we perish; and if we do go, we may perish also.
"5ly, The Commodities of those Islands are not to be brought hither from Spain or Flanders, or any other Places but The Canaries themselves; and even those which do trade shall trade no more than is allowed them to trade by this Company. Two Hundred and Fifty Pounds is an entire Share, to every of which is allowed One Vote. There is a Stock of Seventy Thousand Pounds subscribed by Three-score Persons; the Company to be governed by Seven, in whom the Majority of Votes are comprehended; and now Seven Governors have One Hundred and Twenty-seven Votes, and the Whole is but One Hundred and Fifty Votes; so by this Means they perpetuate their Design, none being to be admitted but by themselves.
"Then he proceeded to speak of the illegal Clauses of this Patent:
"1. In respect of Officers to take such Oath only as the Company shall devise; thereby making themselves not only Masters of their Estates, but Consciences also.
"2. None shall assign his Share to any without Leave of the Company, and that to a Freeman of London; and so, by this Course, when any of the Company dieth, he leaveth a good Legacy against his Will to that Society, for he cannot bequeath it to any other.
"3dly, This Company hath the whole Forfeitures for Breach of Bye-laws which shall be made by any of the Company. They have Power to make Byelaws by this Patent, which are to be so valid as if they were inserted in the Charter. This, he said, is to lead the Trade by a dark Lanthern, and the Forfeiture is no less than of all their Goods who shall transgress the Rules of this Charter; and by this the Company are both Parties and Judges.
"Besides, there is added a Power to inflict Pains, Penalties, and Punishments, which must needs be understood of Corporal Inflictions; Pains must be understood to be Corporal. This might have been thought sufficient; but there is added no less Punishment to be inflicted on Transgressors, than upon those who contemn Royal Authority.
"4thly, No Goods are to be entered at the Customhouse, but for the Company; so as, if a true-hearted Englishman would continue his Trade to those Islands, he is by this Patent shut out, for no Entries can be made for him at the Custom-house, they having an Officer there for that End. These, he thought, were Pains enough to be contained in One Charter: but yet the Charter cannot walk alone: Warrants of Assistance are added in this Charter, which is expressed by the Statute of 21° Jacobi to be against the King's Prerogative.
"He said, To seeth a Kid in its Mother's Milk was prohibited in the Levitical Law: Yet in this Charter the Power of the Lord Treasurer and Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Great Officers (appointed for other Ends), are to be made Use of to the oppressing of their Fellow Members in Defence of this Mono poly.
"This Monopoly is declared to enjoy all the Privileges of the City of London: If any should sue the Company, every Clause of the Charter is declared under the Great Seal of England to be valid at Law.
"As to this Charter's being a Grievance; he said, This Charter was dated the 24th of March; the Time limited the Merchants to bring Home their Effects from those Islands was the 24th of June following; so hereby many have lost their Estates, being forced to leave those there.
"And now it will not be hard to prove the Charter illegal; being against the Common Law, which gives no Countenance to the enclosing of Trade.
"2dly, against the Statute Law.
"As to the Common Law, the 50 Ed. III, John Peache, for procuring a Patent under the Great Seal for the sole selling of sweet Wines in London, was sentenced in that Parliament, and fined, and imprisoned; and the Case is all one, whether a single Person or a Corporation.
"So in 2° Eliz. a Charter granted to South'ton for Malmseys was judged illegal; and though it was not held void as to Strangers, yet as to Natives it was. The Restraint of Trade was an Offence at Common Law before the Statute of 21° Jacobi.
"As to Statute Law, the famous Statute of 21° Jacobi, Cap. III. was very obvious.
"He said, To prove it illegal, as to Statutes, he offered a Jury of them: 9 H. III. Cap. 30. 9 E. III. Cap. I. 14 E. III. 25 E. III. Cap. 2. 2 R. II. Cap. I. 11 R. II. Cap. 1. 1 H. IV. Cap. 17. 12 H. VII. Cap. 6. In these Statutes, he said, the Wisdom of our Predecessors provided for the Freedom of Markets, which Freedom and Access is now shut up; and by a late Act of this Parliament, the Act of Navigation, it is further confirmed.
"Then he quoted another Statute, of 3° Jacobi, Cap. 6; a Law so pat in the Case, that the Virtue of the Statutes seem contained in that. The Preamble of the Statute saith enough against this Patent.
"This Statute did condemn a Patent granted to some Merchants for their sole Trade into Spaine and Portugall. That Patent was condemned by that Statute, and that Patent had not a Non Obstante; but in this we find one: And so they wanted the Virtue which this had.
"He said, He would not dispute how far the King could dispense with the Penalty of an Act; but said, They did conceive that in such Acts where the Subjects had an apparent Benefit, there a Non Obstante did not work. This confirms a Right to the Subject, and so beyond the Reach of a Non Obstante.
"He cited the Statute of 5 E. VI. which prohibits the buying of Offices belonging to the Household; and he remembered their Lordships of a Case upon that Statute, which was Sir Arthur Ingram's, who had purchased the Cofferer's Place of the King's Household, and in his Patent had a Non Obstante to this Statute. Upon solemn Argument by the Judges, it was agreed, that both the Patent and the Non Obstante in it were void. Sir Arthur Ingram was the sole Person that suffered by that Law.
"The Second Case was of one Hare, who had bought a judicial Place in the Court of Wards, and in his Patent had a Non Obstante to the Statute aforesaid. This Patent was judged void; for, where the Subjects have a Right, there the King could not dispense with such a Patent. This Case is reported by Judge Hobart, in his 73 Report.
"The next Gentleman that spake was Sir Robert Howard; who said, He had met with a Confidence in this Patent, that he had not met with in others; for the Patent saith, "Every Clause of it is good according to Law." This Notion knows no Modesty of Gain.
"This Patent usurpeth an Infallibility, that all Clauses in it are according to Law; which is a very immodest Expression. As this is a successive Nation, so he would touch upon successive Consequences of this Monopoly.
"He said, This Company engrosses even itself; for none of the Members can assign to any but to a Freeman of London; and this Restraint may be much to their Injury, for if they have Sisters or Kinswomen, they can make no Assignation unto them of their Shares, seeing no Woman can be made a Freeman of London.
"If other Companies had the like Clauses, it would restrain all the Advantage and Grace of the King to London, and make the King only a King of London; for the King is a King where He puts His Trust, and exercises His Graces; but we expect (said he) He will communicate His Trust and Grace, and extend His Favours to all the Kingdom; whereas this doth engross the whole Benefit to this Company, and seems to engross the King also. And what greater Monopoly than to engross the King from the Nation? Other Cities will contend for the same Favour. But, 'tis said, these Gentlemen will buy the Commodities of the Island more beneficial for us; and so we are to trust to the Mercy of these Men: But it would be inconvenient to trust those Men with the Remedy.
"He said, There was an arbitrary Disposition in this, which was most grievous; that none that navigated that Way must touch at any of the Islands; he thought they would have a Clause to make it Sacrilege to infringe their Patent; and Oaths they must have given them, after their Stocks were engaged, to quiet their Consciences, or their Estates.
"He thought it not for the King's Honour and Dig nity to confer the sole Trade upon any One Town, and exclude the Nation.
"The next Person that spake at the Conference was Sir Richard Temple; who said, That their Lordships had received the Judgement of the House of Commons, that this Patent is illegal, and to be wholly against the Common Law, by which all Subjects have an equal Power to trade. He said, The King could never dispense with the Common Law; and that this Patent was made in the Face of a Statute Law, which did prohibit such Grants, and such a Statute as the King could not dispense with by a Non Obstante; for this Statute is not, as some others, under a Penalty; but a Right is declared to be in the Subject; and where it is so, a Non Obstante is not valid. He said, Where any Thing is prohibited under a Penalty, there the King may dispense with the Penalty, for the Law is obeyed by performing the Penalty.
"But the Rule of the Law is otherwise; where the Subject hath an Interest, there the King shall not dispense with the Statute by a Non Obstante.
"This Patent (he said) is so audacious as to appear in the Face of a Law made against all Monopolies. Now a Monopoly is a confining to One or more that which is the Right of many.
"The King hath a Prerogative to do good to His Subjects, but not to hurt; to regulate Trade, but not to confine it. He said, This was the greatest Monopoly that ever appeared; because,
"1. It confines this Trade to Merchants.
"2. All Merchants have not Liberty neither, but such as traded there within Seven Years.
"3. Not to all such neither, unless their Stock of Trade there amounted to the Value of One Thousand Pounds; so as here was a Monopoly within a Monopoly.
"What then becomes of all the Western Merchants? They are excluded here. A Sort of Men have procured a Patent for that Purpose, none to be allowed but London. There was not a Word in the Patent for the lessening the Prices of the Commodities of those Islands.
"He further said, That this Patent doth not only confine this Trade to Merchants, but confines their Number too; no more shall be admitted by the Company to trade, but such who have a considerable Stock; so as the Rich may continue to trade, but other Merchants less able shall not.
"He said, The Company distributed the Votes according to the Proportion of their Stock, which was very unequal; for he that is not so rich as another, may yet be as wise and honest as another; but here Wit must go by Riches. But here it is so ordered, that the One Hundred Twenty-four Votes of the Company are confined, and cast into Seven.
"For the illegal Clauses of the Patent, he said there were divers:
"1. Liberty to impose such Oaths on the Members of the Company as they pleased. This he thought came near to a Premunire. He knew very well that an Oath of Fealty was usual in Companies; but never such a Power in any Company to make what Oaths they pleased.
"2dly, All Penalties were given to the Company; and so the King's Prerogative was wronged and dishonoured.
"3. Penalties arbitrary, and added Pains and Punishments, which infer Corporal Suffering; and all these to be levied and exercised as the Company pleased; which no other Company had but themselves, they taking none to be so large.
"He added, There were as many Clauses illegal as Lines; of which he thought it was not easy to find One that was not so.
"The next that spake was Sir Georg Downing; who said, He should be necessitated to speak the longer, to make out Part of the Vote of the House of Commons, which affirmed this Patent to be a Grievance. This appears in the very Preamble of the Patent, by granting the Trade of these Islands to some, and denying it to others; and this was a very great Grievance.
"The Patent says, The Company are to consist of meer Merchants, so as Vintners, and any other Trader, who used to send somewhat by Way of Adventure, are wholly excluded; and this must needs tend to the impoverishing of all such; so as, if a Man had been many Years in The Canaries, and used Trade there, he must now go a-begging; so as, if a Man had been out of Trade a Month, he could not continue his Trade. Many Men begin Trade with less than Five Hundred Pounds; yet he that hath not such a Sum, and all such who trade for less, are cut off at One Blow.
"He said, He knew no One Company but the Turky Company that was confined to a Town.
"The Western (fn. 1) Parts of England lie very convenient for this Trade; yet are they all excluded, and so their Trade of Newfoundland Fish made useless to them.
"He desired to know why a Patent should exclude all Places, and London be only admitted to the sole Trade. In former Patents, all were not necessitated to be of London; but some were enjoined to have some elsewhere.
"He looked on the Patent granted by King James as more tolerable than this Patent; for that had Sixtyone Assistants, and Thirty in other Places of the Kingdom. The City of London hath all the Trade almost confined to it. It hath the Turkie Trade, East India Trade, and Affrican Trade, and in a great Measure the Cloth Trade also; so that all the Out Ports must become desolate, if all Trade be confined to London. When any Merchant of London dies, his Estate is seizable there; but here the Company have all Fines and Amerciaments; and he thought all the Amerciaments the King had elsewhere, would not be so great as those that would accrue to this Company.
"This is not all. There must be no Meeting of this Company but in London, and this inserted in the very Patent; so as no Occasion could change the Place of Meeting, neither Plague, nor any other Occasion. Unto this is added, that it must be managed by a joint Stock; which although it was in the Turky Company and East India Company, yet was it not fit for such Companies as this, as appears by the Eastland Company, who did not manage their Trade by a joint Stock. This is to cut off all Ingenuity; for no joint Stock ought to be, but where the Trade is carried on by a joint Charge. This Trade is tied up to Merchants, and so need not a joint Stock; for where there is a joint Stock, any Man may be of such a Company. This Patent confines all to meer Merchants; the Affrican Company do not so. Neither in Holland do the East or West India Company confine Adventurers to Merchants; but any one may put in though ever so little, and trade there, though they be Servants, Apprentices, or any. And so all Apprentices are gone at One Blow by this Incorporation.
"Suppose a Man had One Hundred Pounds to adventure, and would employ it this Way, he may not; for none can trade but whom they think fit.
"None of the Company must sell their Share without Leave of the Company. Two or Three Hands may come to compass the whole Trade.
"In relation to the Trade thither and back again, no Man can lade any Goods for those Islands but upon Account of the Company, nor bring in any of the Products of those Islands but by them; and so Eight Parts in Nine who trade to these Parts are cut off. He that should sell Woollen Cloth when there is but One to buy, would have but a bad Market.
"This Company hath but Seven Assistants, carried on by a joint Stock; so is but as One Man.
"He said, The Petition of those grieved came to the House of Commons; and this Company doth strike at many of the Commons.
"They may sell what Quantity they will; and of our Native Commodities (fn. 2) the very little they do carry out, they will sell dear there, much to the Prejudice of our native Commodities, which other Nations having gotten, will undersell us.
"As to their Trade Homewards, although they will make the Inhabitants of The Canaryes sell to them cheaper, yet will not the Company sell cheaper to us here; for, when a Trade shall be engrossed into One Hand, to suppose this Company to have a Virtue not incident to other Companies, that they will sell cheap when they may sell dear, is not easily believed.
"Then, as the Trade is less, being confined, so consequently it must lessen Navigation, as from Port to Port; so suppose they wanted Corn, and there was an English Merchant at Sicily who could lade his Ship with that Commodity for The Canarys, he must not, he is not of the Company; so many Advantages will be lost for the Good of Trade; and this cannot be supplied, unless the Company have Ships in all Places, and upon all Occasions.
"Also Masters of Ships were usually capable of being Masters and Part Owners and Adventurers, which did conduce much to the Advantage of Trade; but here they are all excluded. It is not likely, when Ships come Home, they would fight so heartily for their Ships upon Occasion, as formerly when they had Interest therein; so this Company hath a Non Obstante to the Act of Navigation, which Act is the Second Magna Charta of England.
"3dly, He said, This Company is very prejudicial to the King's Customs. Sixty Sail of Ships or more heretofore were employed in it, and Forty Thousand Pounds a Year coming to the King for Custom thereby; whereas, since the erecting of this Company, in Two Years, they have not brought to the Customhouse Ten Thousand Pounds.
"Lastly, he did observe the mischievous Consequences of this Company; for, by such a Mould, all Trade will be reduced into Companies, as was begun by that Company mentioned Tertio Jacobi, and taken away by a Statute of that Year.
"And so he concluded that the Reasons against the Patent were very obvious:
"1. It brought a Mischief to Trade.
"2. It was a Cause of Grievance to such as used to trade there, and are now prohibited.
"3. It was restrained to a Sort of Men.
"4. It was managed by a joint Stock, which made it appear as One Man.
"Mr. Seymour concluded; and said, He need not add to what had been spoken, for it would be but as gilding of Gold, superfluous; and they rest assured of your Lordships Concurrence, in moving the King to vacate this Patent.
"In Queen Eliz. Time, when a Patent was but questioned, before it came to any Resolution in the House of Commons, the Queen's Solicitor appeared with a Proclamation in his Hand for the recalling that Patent.
"King James, in the Eighteenth Year of His Reign, somewhat upon the like Occasion, expressed to the Parliament, That he was glad they had found out those who had abused Him: And the Parliament proceeded to the Punishment of Sir Giles Mompesson.
"He remembered your Lordships of a Precedent of this Parliament; and that was a Patent for the granting Wine Licenses, which were made void by Act of this Parliament. There was strong Circumstances to believe that Money had made up Part of the Merit of this Patent.
"He further said, That if Man's Invention had been put on the Rack, he could not introduce Matter of Fact plainer than what had appeared; and it looked like that of Gratian, Ignoto se seriptas esse Literas.
"He also said, It was no Wonder if Patents of this Nature were sometimes procured, because Importunity of Ministers might prevail for Grants that are uneasy.
"He concluded, That the voiding of this Patent would be of universal Acceptation.
"Sir George Downing then added, That he had forgotten to tell your Lordships, that it might be pretended that this Patent would be a Help to the bringing down the Price of Canary Wines; but there would be no Need of it for that Use, since the setting of the Prices of Wines was already settled by Law."
Canary Company to be heard about their Patent.
The House ORDERED, upon Consideration of this Report, That the Patent granted by the King to the Company of The Canaries shall be read in this House on Monday next; at which Time all such Persons as are concerned therein shall be heard, by their Counsel, at the Bar; and the King's Attorney General, or other His Learned Counsel, shall then also be heard on His Majesty's Behalf, if He desire it.
Dominus Cancellarius declaravit præsens Parliamentum continuandum esse usque in diem Veneris, videlicet, 4tum diem instantis Januarii, hora decima Aurora, Dominis sic decernentibus.