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Sir Joseph Williamson.
Sir Thomas Frankland, Sir Godfrey Copley. Tiverton, Charles Spencer, Thomas Bere. Totness, Thomas Coulston, Sir Edw. Seymour. Tregony, Francis Roberts, James Montagu. Truro, Hugh Fortescu, Henry Vincent. Wallingford, Francis Roberts, Philip Meadows. Warwickshire, Sir J. Mordant, Sir C. Shuckborough. Warwick Town, Sir F. Wagstaff, Robert Greville.
Wendover, Richard Beak. John Blackwell.
William Forrester, George Weld. Weobly,
Sir Henry Ashurst,
Sir Thomas Littleton.
Sir John Packington,
Sir William Robinson, Toby Jenkins.
Speaker to this Parliament, SIR T. LITTLETON.
Friday next. The Commons made choice of sir Thomas Littleton, bart. who being presented on the 9th, was graciously approved by his majesty.
pounding and digesting such preparations as were necessary, at least, for the Choice of a Speaker, on which, at this crisis, both parties seemed to think the issue of the parliament in a good degree depended; as it appears by a Paper published about this time, under the title of Considerations upon the Choice of a 'Speaker,'&c. (See Appendix, No. XIV.) the author of which seems to be equally apprebensive of a known profligate in the service of the court, and of a known profligate pretending to be in the service of the people for, having premised, That whenever slavery should be entirely fixed in England, as it was amongst all our neighbours, it must be by the two-fold influence of a Corrupt Parliament, and a Standing Parliamentary Army, according to that famous maxim of lord Burleigh, That Eng'land can never be undone but by a parlia'ment;' as also, That a corrupt Speaker was the fittest person to corrupt and otherwise influence the proceedings of the house, he enters his first caveat against a person who had no other characteristics than confidence and dexterity, a person already debauched, and once rejected by the house on a like occasion; and who being already a Lord of the Treasury, was under the greatest temptation to do whatever was demanded of him, and consequently could neither with honesty or decency hold two such trusts as were inconsistent with each other. After which, he speaks of another gentleman, who at the Revolution was 16,000, in debt to the crown, and by a particular clause in the Act of Indemnity, procured a release: And again, towards the close of his Paper, characterises the same gentleman, as an old prostitute of the exploded, Pensioned Parliament in Charles 2's reign, who had, from that time, been tricking the house in so shameful a manner, that the several periods of his life might be marked out by the bargains he had made with the court, when the court came up to his price. By the last of these gentlemen he meant sir Edw. Seymor, and by the first sir Tho. Littleton; concerning whom, and what was to be expected from him, he farther writes as follows: Suppose there is a Debt growing every day upon the nation by Seamen not discharged, while the money given for so necessary a purpose, has been disposed of for keeping up an Army, that should have been disbanded pursuant to the determination of the last parliament, after the most mature and solemn debates, must not the house expect inter
Sir Tho. Littleton chosen Speaker.] Dec. 6. The new Parliament met at Westminster; and his majesty coming to the house of peers with the usual solemnity, sent for the Commons, to whom the Lord Chancellor signified his majes-ruptions in bringing on that matter, difficulties ty's pleasure, that they should proceed to the Choice of a Speaker, and present him on
"It was the 4th of Dec. in the evening before his majesty reached Kensington: after which there remained but one day for the pro
in wording, and delays in putting the question, from one who, in his station at court, may be, perhaps, charged with advising the keeping up of the army, and in the last Parliament was the best and most artificial advocate for not disbanding at all?' Now the person tacitly recom
The King's Speech on opening the Session.] His majesty then made the following Speech to both houses:
Bill to be brought in upon the said Resolutions, which was eagerly pushed on, and soon brought to perfection.
The King's Speech to both Houses on that occasion.] These proceedings, we are told, made the king very uneasy; and the more so, because his Dutch Regiment of Guards, who had so long served him, was by this Bill to be sent out of the kingdom. However, his majesty chose rather to compliment the commons, than to contend with them. So on the 1st of
"This gave the king great uneasiness; for, by these Resolutions, not only the army was to be reduced to an inconsiderable number, but that number was to consist of natural-born subjects, by which means the Dutch guards (of whom the king was intirely foud) were to be sent away, as well as the regiments of the French Refugees were to be cashiered. The king seemed not only to lay this much to heart, but even to sink under it. He tried all that was possible to struggle against it, when it was too late; it not being so easy to recover things in an after-game, as it was to have prevented this misunderstanding, which was like to arise between him and his parliament. It was surmised, that he was resolved not to pass the Bill, but that he would abandon the Government, rather than hold it with a force, that was too small to preserve and protect it. Yet this was considered only as a threatening, so that little re
My Lords and Gentlemen'; I have no doubt but you are met together with hearts fully disposed, to do what is necessary for the safety, honour and happiness of the kingdom; and that is all I have to ask of you.-in order to this, two things seem principally to require your consideration. The one is, what Strength ought to be maintained at Sea, and what Force kept up at Land for this year. shall observe to you upon this head is, that the flourishing of Trade, the supporting of Credit, and the quiet of people's minds at home, will depend upon the opinion they have of their security; and to preserve to England the weight and influence it has at present on the councils and affairs abroad, it will be requisite Europe should see you will not be wanting to yourselves.-The second thing I shall mention to you as of great consequence, is the making some further progress toward discharging the Debts, which the nation has contracted by reason of the long and expensive War. In this the public interest as well as justice is concerned; and, I think an English parliament can never inake such a mistake, as not to hold sacred all parliamentary engagements.-Gentlemen of the House of Commons; I do earnestly recommend these things to you, that you may provide such Supplies as you shall judge nccessary for these several occasions -My Lordsgard was had to it. However, it appears from and Gentlemen; I think it would be happy, if some effectual expedient could be found for employing the Poor, which might tend to the increase of our Manufactures, as well as remove a heavy burthen from the people. I hope also you will employ your thoughts about some good Bills for the Advancement of Trade, and for the further discouraging of Vice and Profaneness. The things I have mentioned to you being of common concern, I cannot but hope for unanimity and dispatch."
Vote to reduce the Army.] This Speech, being taken into consideration by the house, it was thought by the majority but a natural effect of Peace, to reduce the Army. Accordingly, after the affair had been thoroughly debated on both sides, they came to the following Resolutions, viz. That all the Land-Forces of England, in English pay, exceeding 7,000 men (and those consisting of his majesty's naturalborn subjects) be forthwith paid and disbandel. And that all the Forces in Ireland, excecding 12,000 men (and those his majesty's natural-born subjects, to be kept and maintained by the kingdom of Ireland) be likewise forthwith disbanded." And they ordered a
mended by the disqualifications thus fastened upon these two, was Mr. Harley: But when the question came to be put, it appeared, That the majority were for sir Thomas Littleton, which looked like a good omen on the side of the court, promising a smooth and happy tession." Ralph.
an original Letter of the lord chancellor Som-
Feb. the king came to the parliament, and gave | the royal assent to several Bills.-After which, his majesty made the following Speech:
"My Lords and Gentlemen; I came to pass the Bill for disbanding the Army, as soon as I understood it was ready for me: though in our present circumstances there appears great hazard in breaking such a number of the Troops and though I might think myself unkindly used, that those Guards who came over with me to your assistance, and have constantly attended me in all the actions wherein I have been engaged, should be removed from me; yet it is my fixed opinion, that nothing can be so fatal to us, as that any distrust or jealousy should arise between me and my people, which I must own would have been very unexpected, after what I have undertaken, ventured, and acted for the restoring and securing of their liberties.—I have thus plainly told you the only reason which has induced me to pass this Bill: and now I think myself obliged, in discharge of the trust reposed in me, and for my own justification, that no ill consequences may lie at my door, to tell you as plainly my judgment, that the nation is left too much exposed. It is therefore incumbent on you to take this matter into your serious consideration, and effectually to provide such a strength as is necessary for the safety of the kingdom, and the preservation of the peace which God hath given us."
Address of the Commons thereon.] The Commons were so well pleased with this gracious complaisance of the king, that they immediately resolved, "That an bumble Address be presented to the king, to give his majesty Thanks for his most gracious Speech, with the assurances of this house, That they will stand by, and assist his majesty in the support of him and his government, against all enemies whatsoever." And they accordingly put their Resolution into this form of Address:
"Most gracious Sovereign; We your majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Commons in parliament assembled, being highly sensible of the difficulties your majesty has undertaken, the labours you have sustained, and the hazards you have run, in rescuing us from Popery and Arbitrary Power, restoring our Liberties, and giving peace and quiet to all Christendom; beg leave to return our most hearty Thanks, for your most gracious Speech: in which you express so great a regard for the
good will and affections of your people, and have given so undeniable a proof of your readiness to comply with the desires of your parliament; and as your majesty has shewn a most tender and fatherly concern for the security and safety of your people; so give us leave to assure your majesty, That you shall never have reason to think the Commons are undutiful, or unkind to your majesty; but that we will upon all occasions stand by, and assist your majesty in the preservation of your sacred person, and support of your Government against all your enemies whatsoever."
The King's Answer.] This Address being presented by the whole house, was thus answered by the king:
"Gentlemen; I take this Address very kindly: I am fully satisfied of your duty and affection to me, and have no doubt but you will always act in the manner you have expressed on this occasion."
The King's Message concerning the Dutch Guards. March 17. The earl of Ranelagh delivered a Message from the king to the house; which was all writ by his majesty's own hand, as follows:
"William R. His majesty is pleased to let the house know, that the necessary Preparations are made for transporting the Guards who came with him into England; and that he intends to send them away immediately, unless, out of consideration to him, the house be disposed to find a way for continuing them longer in his service, which his majesty would take very kindly."
The Commons' Address, in Answer thereto.] Upon reading this Message, the question was put, "That a day be appointed to consider of his majesty's said Message;" but it was carried in the negative, and resolved, "That a Committee be appointed to draw up an humble Address, to be presented to his majesty, representing the Reasons why the house cannot comply with the purport of his majesty's Message this day communicated to the house." And this Address was accordingly prepared, as follows, and delivered on the 24th.
"The Commons, with a firmness never to be enough praised, or too often imitated, shut their ears against the voice of the charmer, and resolved to adhere to the Act, without giving way to the least qualification: in doing which, though they rendered themselves obnoxious to present forced to withdraw myself out of the the king's displeasure, they did him a far more kingdom, I shall always preserve the same essential piece of service, than if they had gra'inclination to its advantages and prosperity. tified him in his request: for the undue preferAnd when I can judge, that my presence ence given on many occasions to this body of will be necessary for your defence, I shall be Dutch Janizaries, (at the expence of the Scots 'ready to return, and hazard myself for your Guards in particular) had blunted the zeal of 'security, as I have formerly done; beseech- his national troops, and almost deprived him of ing the great God to bless your deliberations, the hearts of his people: besides, in remaining and to inspire you with all that is necessary thus inflexible, they preserved their own confor the good and welfare of the kingdom.'-sistency; they countenanced the proceedings By what means the king was diverted from executing this resolution, does not appear." Tindal.
of former parliaments, who could not be induced to give their consent, That their own native kings should have Guards of their own native
of this to my parliament as well as upon other occasions. I have all the reason to trust and to rely upon them that a prince can have; and I am satisfied, there is not one person among them capable of entertaining a thought, that what was proposed in my Message, proceeded from any distrust of them.-It shall be my study to the utmost of my power, to perform the part of a just and a good king and as I will ever be strictly and nicely careful of observing my promise to my subjects, so I will not doubt of their tender regards to me."
"Most gracious Sovereign, We your majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Commons in this present parliament assembled, do, with unfeigned zeal to your majesty's person and government, (which God long preserve) most humbly represent to your majesty, That the passing the late Act for disbanding the Army, gave great satisfaction to your subjects; and the readiness your majesty has expressed by your Message, to comply with the punctual execution thereof, will prevent all occasions of distrust or jealousy between your majesty and your people. It is, Sir, to your loyal Commons This Answer, though it could not but please, an unspeakable grief, that your majesty should yet it would not move the Commons from their he advised to propose any thing in your Mes-Resolutions; so that the Dutch Guards were sage, to which they cannot consent, with due soon after shipped off for Holland. regard to that Constitution your majesty came over to restore, and have so often exposed your royal person to preserve, and did in your gracious Declaration promise, that all those foreign forces which came over with you, should be sent back. In duty therefore to your majesty, and to discharge the trust reposed in us, we crave leave to lay before you; that nothing conduceth more to the happiness and welfare of this kingdom, than an entire confidence between your majesty and your people, which can no way be so firmly established, as by entrusting your sacred person with your own subjects, who have so eminently signalized themselves on all occasions, during the late long and expensive war."
The King's Answer.] His majesty's Answer was as follows:
"Gentlemen, I came hither to restore the ancient Constitution of this Government. I have had all possible. regard to it since my coming, and I am resolved through the course of my reign, to endeavour to preserve it entire in all the parts of it.-I have a full confidence in the affections of my people, and I am well assured, they have the same in me; and I will never give them just cause to alter this opinion. As to my subjects who served during the War, I am an eye-witness of their bravery, and of their zeal for my person and government; and I have not been wanting to express my sense
subjects and they shut the door, for ever, as they thought, against the like shameful innovation. The courtiers, however, did not fail, on this occasion, to muster their whole strength, and put in practice all the devices in their power, to gratify their master at the expence of their country: for first in order to gain time for job-work and expedient, they moved, That a day might be appointed for taking the Speech into consideration; which being carried in the negative, and a Committee appointed to draw up an Address, representing the Reasons, why the house could not comply with his majesty's Message, they moved, in the next place, on the report of the said Address, That it might be recommitted; but were again defeated on a division of the house, by a majority of 19 voices: the Yeas being 156, the Noes 175." Ralph.
The day before the transactions relating to the Dutch Guards, the question being put that the house do agree with the Committee of the whole house upon the Supply, That more Bills of Credit be issued out of his majesty's Treasury, which shall be current in all branches of the public Revenue; it passed in the negative, Yeas 148, Noes 182.
The Commons' Address on the State of the Navy.] March 29. The following Address was reported, agreed to, and ordered to be presented to his majesty by the whole house:
"Most gracious Sovereign; We your majesty's, &c. having taken into our serious consideration the State of the Navy, do most humbly represent to your majesty, That the Streights Squadron not sailing till September last, was prejudicial to England, and a great mismanage ment. That the Order made by the Commissioners of the Admiralty, Sept. 12, 1695, giving Henry Priestman, esq. an allowance of 10s. per diem, from the date of his Commission, as Commander in Chief before Sallee in 1684, till the ship Bonadventure was paid off, over and above his pay as captain of the said ship, was very unreasonable, and a misapplication of the public money. That the Victualling any of his majesty's ships by others than by the Victuallers appointed for that service, or their agents, is contrary to the course of the Navy, and may be of ill consequence.-That many new and unnecessary Charges have, in an extraordinary manner, been introduced into the Navy, contrary to the rules of the Navy, which is a great mismanagement.-That the deductions of Poundage taken by the Pay-Masters of the Navy, for Slop-Clothes, Dead Men's Clothes, Tobacco, Chest at Chatham, Chaplain and Surgeon, is without Warrant, and ought to be accounted for. That it is inconsistent with the Service of the Navy for the same person to be one of the Commissioners for executing the Office of Lord High-Admiral and Treasurer of the Navy at the same time. And that the passing any Account of Monies impressed for the contingent use of the Navy, without regular vouchers, or such other proof, as the nature of the service will admit, either with or without a sign manual, is contrary to the rules and me thods of the Navy, and of dangerous consequence. All which we beg leave to lay before
your majesty, desiring that you will be graciously pleased to take effectual care that the Mismanagements herein complained of may be prevented for the future." *
The King's Answer.] His majesty's Answer was as follows: "Gentlemen, I will consider your Address: it is my desire that all sorts of Mismanagements and Irregularities should be prevented or redressed; you may be assured I will take the best care I can, in relation to the Navy; the right management whereof is of so great concern to the kingdom."
March 30. The Accounts relating to the Transports were laid before the house; whereby it appeared, that there had been paid on that Service 100,1077. 8s. 51d. That there was still due 441,6371. 9s. 5d. And that the Cash in the Office amounted to 9,030l. 16s. 1d.
The Earl of Warwick and Lord Mohun tried for a Murder; and acquitted.] March 28. Edward earl of Warwick, and Charles lord Mohun, being severally indicted for the Murdert of Richard Coote, esq. were tried by the house of peers, in a court prepared for that purpose in Westminster-Hall, the lord chancellor of England being constituted lord high Steward upon this occasion. The court being opened, with the usual ceremonies, the Trial of the earl of Warwick came on first, and lasted till late in the evening, when the peers adjourned to their own house, and after some debate, the lords temporal only returned to the court in Westminster-Hall, where they delivered their Judgments seriatim upon their honours, and unanimously acquitted the earl of Warwick of the murder, but found him guilty of manslaughter; who craving the benefit of
"It was evident, that this Address was chiefly levelled against the earl of Orford, who was both Treasurer of the Navy, and one of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, and who had got too much by his late expedition in the Mediterranean, and done the government too signal services, not to lie open to the inquiry of some well-meaning, and to the envy of many disaffected persons. The earl therefore, foreseeing the storm gathering against him, thought it prudence to resign all his places and retire. However it ought to be remembered in justice to him, that what he got in the Streights, was only by the presents he received from the States, whom he protected; for it was confessed by his very enemies, that a fleet was never better taken care of, nor more timely provided than that, which he, with so much reputation, commanded. And besides it is most certain, that he charged the king in his books with much less a day for every man, than the usual allowance of the navy. He was so popular, that in the former parliament, when he was a Commoner, he was Knight of the Shire for Middlesex, Knight of the Shire for Cambridge County, and Burgess for Portsmouth." Tindal.
In a drunken fray in Lincoln's-Inn-Fields. Three against three.
his peerage, according to the statute in that case provided, was thereupon discharged. The next day came on, in like manner, the Trial of the lord Mohun, who with great composedness and ingenuity, having made his innocence appear, was acquitted of the said murder, by the unanimous suffrages of the peers there present.
April 1. Sir George Rook presented to the house, according to order, a State of the Debt of the Navy, the total of which appeared to be 2,245,9571. exclusive of what was due to Marines.
Certain Letters of Mr. Chivers, a Member, complained of] April 3. A complaint was made to the house of certain Letters written by Henry Chivers, esq. a Member, as not only reflecting on, but misrepresenting several Members of the House; which Letters are as follow:
"London Jan. 5, 1698. Dear Will. Yesterday we had a great contest in the house, concerning augmenting the Forces; in which my brother member signalized himself for the good of his country. He made a very violent speech for keeping up more Forces than the sense of the house was for; so that we poor country-gentlemen were forced to labour hard, and sit late to overcome them: I do really be lieve he will never give his country one vote, he is so linked in with the court-party. If you please, you may communicate this to your friends, and let them know that I shall always be ready to serve both them and you, here and elsewhere. So I remain, &c. H. CHIVERS." "For Mr. Wm. Wilks, in Calne, Wiltshire.” have sent you his majesty's Speech, and a List "London Feb. 5. 1698. Dear Brother; I of those gentlemen who voted for a Standing Army. The question was whether the Army should stand, or the Bill be thrown out: but God be praised we carried it. The number for di banding the Army was 221, and the List I remain, &C. HENRY CHIVERS." will satisfy you how many were against it. So
"To Mr. John Hoskins at Calne." These Letters being read, Mr. Chivers was ordered to attend in his place, but pleaded indisposition by way of excuse: upon which, a motion being made for him to attend the next day notwithstanding, it was carried in the affirmative, Yeas 119 Noes 83. But he not obeying the said summons, the question was put, that he be sent for in custody of the serjeant at arms, and passed in the negative, Yeas 99. Noes 134.
Vote thereon.] Upon the whole, the house came to the following Resolution: Resolved, "That the publishing the Names of the Members of this house, and reflecting upon them, and misrepresenting their proceedings in parliament, is a breach of the privilege of this. house, and destructive of the freedom of parliament."
April 21. The house proceeded to the choice of seven Commissioners for taking an Account of the Forfeited Estates in Ireland by