Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 13, 1675-1681. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.
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DIE Jovis, 20 die Junii.
Domini tam Spirituales quam Temporales præsentes fuerunt:
Answer from H. C.
The Messengers sent Yesterday with a Message to the House of Commons return with this Answer:
That the Commons will give a Conference, as is desired.
Conference about the French refusing to evacuate The Sp. Netherlands.
The House was adjourned during Pleasure; and the Lords went to the Conference, in the Painted Chamber.
The House was resumed.
And the Lord Privy Seal gave the House an Account, "That the Managers have attended the Conference; and delivered the Paper containing His Majesty's Message sent to this House by the Lord Treasurer, according to the Directions of this House."
Villiers' Claim to the Title of Viscount Purbeck.
Next, the House resumed the Debate of Tuesday last, concerning the Petitioner who claims Title to be Viscount Purbeck.
The House being informed that there was a Message from the House of Commons attending at the Door, the Lords were pleased to respite the Debate, and to call in the Messengers.
Message from H. C. to remind the Lords of the Supply Bill.
A Message was brought from the House of Commons, by Mr. Vaughan and others:
To put their Lodships in Mind of a Bill lately brought up to their Lordships, for granting a Supply to His Majesty, to enable Him to pay and disband the Forces which have been raised since the 29th of Sep tember last.
Villiers' Claim to the Title of Viscount Purbeck.
After this, the House proceeded in the Debate of the Case of the Petitioner who claims the Title of Viscount Purbeck.
And, after a long Time spent therein,
This main Question was proposed, "Whether the Petitioner hath Right, by Law, to be admitted according to his Claim?"
Then this previous Question was put, "Whether this Question shall be now put?"
It was Resolved in the Negative.
King to be moved for Leave to bring in a Bill to disable the Petitioner from claiming it.
The Question being put, "Whether the King shall be petitioned to give Leave that a Bill may be brought in to disable the Petitioner to claim the Title of Viscount Purbeck?"
It was Resolved in the Affirmative.
Then the House appointed the Earl of Bridgwater, the Earl of Shaftesbury, and the Lord Wharton, to prepare a Petition for that Purpose, and report to the House.
Protest against it.
The Lords proceeding this Day, which was appointed to give Judgement in the Case concerning the Claim and Right of Robert Viscount Purbeck to that Title of Honour to them referred by His Majesty; and Three Questions being after Debate propounded, as followeth:
1. That the Petitioner hath Right by Law to be admitted according to his Claim.
2. That this Question shall be now put.
3. That the King shall be petitioned to give Leave that a Bill may be brought in, to disable the Petitioner to claim the Title of Viscount Purbeck.
And Leave being asked, and given, before the putting of the said Questions, to any Lords to enter their Dissents and Protestation to them, if they, or any of them, were resolved in the Affirmative, as the Second and last were: We, whose Names are underwritten, do accordingly protest against the said Resolutions, for the Reasons following:
1. The Lords being in Judgement as the highest Court of England, in a Cause referred to them by His Majesty (and whereof they are the only proper Judges), concerning the Right of Nobility claimed by a Subject that is under no Forfeiture, and wherein their Lordships had in Part given Judgement before, that he was not (nor could be) barred thereof by a Fine and Surrender of his Ancestor, it was, as we humbly conceive, against common Right and Justice, and the Orders of this House, not to put the Question that was propounded for determining the Right.
"2. The said Claimant's Right (the Bar of the Fine of his Ancestor being removed) did, both at the Hearing at the Bar and Debate in the House, appear to us clear in Fact and Law, and above all Objections.
3. His said Right was acknowledged even by those Lords who therefore opposed the putting of the main Question for adjudging thereof, and carried the previous Question (that it should not be put), because in Justice it must inevitably (if it had been put) have been carried in the Affirmative, and his Right thereby allowed.
4. By the putting and carrying the Third Question, concerning Leave to bring in a Bill to bar him, his Right to the said Title is confessed; for he cannot be barred of any Thing which he hath not Right to; and this renders the Proceedings in this Cause contradictory and inconsistent.
5. The petitioning the King to give Leave for such a Bill to be brought in, is to assist One Subject, videlicet, the Duke of Buckingham, against another, in Point of Right, wherein Judges ought to be indifferent and impartial.
6. This Way of proceeding is unprecedented, against the Law and common Right, as we humbly conceive, after fair Verdicts and Judgements in inferior Courts upon Title of Lands, which have long been in Peace, and vested in the Claimer by Descent, without Writ of Error brought, or Appeal, to suffer the same to be shaken or drawn in Question by a Bill.
7. This Way by Bill, in a Case of Nobility, is to admit the Commons with us into Judicature of Peers.
8. It is to make His Majesty Party in a private Case against a clear legal Right, to anticipate and pre-engage His Judgement in a Cause carried upon great Division and Difference of Opinion in the House; and forestals His Majesty's Royal Power and Prerogative, which ought to be free to assent or dissent to Bills when they shall be tendered to Him by both Houses.
9. After so many Years Delay, to give no Answer to His Majesty's Reference nor Judgement in the Claimer's Cause, is a Way in which the Kings of this Realm have not been heretofore treated, nor the Subjects dealt with.
10. We conceive this Course, in the Arbitrariness of it, against Rules and Judgements of Law, to be derogatory from the Justice of Parliament, of evil Example, and of dangerous Consequence both to Peers and Commoners.
Dominus Cancellarius declaravit præsens Parliamen tum continuandum esse usque in diem Veneris, 21um diem instantis Junii, hora decima Aurora, Dominis sic decernentibus.