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Ballot, when the numbers stood thus. Francis Annesley, esq. 222, Henry earl of Drogheda 220, John Trenchard, esq. 203, James Hamil ton, esq. 158, Henry Langford, esq. 136, Sir Rd. Leving 127, Sir Francis Brewster 122.
The King's Speech at the close of the Session.] May 4. The king came to the house of peers, and passed several bills. After which, his majesty made the following Speech:
will not think I have called you out of your countries too soon, if you consider, that our common security requires a farther Provision should be made, for the safety of the kingdom by sea and land, before we are at the end of what was granted for that purpose last session : and when you enter upon this business, I believe you will think it necessary to take care of the Repairs of the Ships and of the FortifiMy Lords and Gentlemen; At the open-cations; without which our Fleet cannot be ing of this Parliament, I told you my opinion safe when it is in Harbour.-I cannot omit to was, that you were come together with hearts put you in mind of another matter, in which so fully disposed to do what was necessary for great a number of my subjects is concerned, and the safety, honour, and happiness of the king-wherein the honour of the kingdom, and the dom; and having nothing else to recommend to you, I had reason to hope for unanimity and dispatch.-You have now sat so many months, that the season of the year, as well as your particular affairs, make it reasonable you should have a recess. I take it for granted, you have finished all the Bills, which for the present you think requisite to be passed into laws: and I have given my assent to all you have presented to me. If any thing should be found wanting for our safety, the support of Public Credit, by making good the faith of the kingdom, as it stands engaged by parliamentary securities, and for discharge of the Debts occasioned by the War, or towards the advancing of Trade, the suppressing of Vice, or the employing of the Poor; which were all the things I proposed to your consideration when we met first, I cannot doubt but effectual care will be taken of them next winter and I wish no inconveniencies may happen in the mean time."
Then the Lord Chancellor prorogued the Parliament to the 1st of June.*
THE SECOND SESSION OF THE FOURTH PAR
faith of parliaments is so far engaged, that our future se urity seems to depend upon it; I mean, the making good Deficiencies of the Funds, and the discharging the Debts contracted by reason of the War.-And till we may be so happy as to see the public Dets paid, I shall hope that no session will end, without something done towards lessening them. While I am speaking to you on this Head, I think myself obliged to mention, with a particular concern, a Debt which is owing to the prince of Denmark, the state whereof I have ordered to be laid before you. Gentlemen of the house of commons; These things are of such importance, that I most earnestly recommend them to your consideration, and desire you to provide the necessary Supplies.-My Lords and Gentlemen; There is nothing I could more rejoice in, than that i were not under the necessity of so often asking Aids of my people; but as the reason of it is evident, because the Funds formerly applied to defray the Public Expence, are now anticipated for payment of the Debts of the kingdom; so it is my satisfaction, that you all see that nothing of what is demanded, is for any personal use of mine: and I do faithfully assure you, that no part of what is given, shall be diverted from any purpose for which it is designed.-I believe the nation is already sensible of the good effects of Peace, by the manifest increase of Trade, which I shall make it my business to encourage by all * "The many evidences of the declining in- means in my power; probably it might receive fluence of the Whigs, which had lately oc- an advantage, if some good Bill were prepared, curred, induced the king to transfer a consi- for the more effectual preventing and punishing derable share of executive offices into the unlawful and clandestine trading, which does bands of the Tories. The earl of Jersey was not only tend to defraud the public, but premade secretary of state, in the room of the judice the fair merchant, and discourage our duke of Shrewsbury; the earl of Pembroke own manufactures.-The increase of the Poor succeeded the duke of Leeds as president of is become a burthen to the kingdom, and their the council, and lord Lonsdale the earl of Pem-loose and idle life, does in some measure conbroke as privy seal; Mr. Montague, against whom the Tories discovered great personal animosity, quitted the treasury, and was succeeded as chancellor of the exchequer by Mr. Smith, and as one of the lords of the treasury by Mr. Hill. This change of administration did not answer the king's expectation, by smoothing the current of public business. The zeal of the Whigs for his service abated upon every concession to their antagonists, who grew more bold in opposition from the prospect of their approaching ascendancy."merville.
The King's Speech on opening the Session.] Nov. 16. The parliament met at Westminster, and his majesty made this Speech to both
"My Lords and Gentlemen; I hope you
tribute to that depravation of manners, which is complained of, (I fear with too much reason). Whether the ground of this evil be from defects in the laws already made, or in the execution of them, deserves your consideration. As it is an indispensable duty, that the Poor, who are not able to help themselves, should be maintained; so I cannot but think it extremely desirable, that such as are able and willing, should not want employment; and such as are obstinate and unwilling, should be compelled to labour.-My Lords and Gentlemen; I have a
full assurance of the good affections of my people, which I shall endeavour to preserve by a constant care of their just Rights and Liberties; by maintaining the established Religion, by seeing the course of justice kept steady and equal, by countenancing Virtue, and discouraging Vice, and by declining no dificulties or dangers, where their welfare and prosperity may be concerned. These are my resolutions; and I am persuaded that you are come together with purposes on your part suitable to those on mine. Since then our aims are only for the general good, let us act with confidence in one another; which will not fail, by God's blessing, to make me a happy king, and you a great and flourishing people."
ments, but to every one of my subjects, to judge
The Commons' Remonstrance thereon.] The house baving taken this Speech into consideration, agreed upon the following Address:
Report of the Commissioners for taking an Account of the Irish Forfeited Estates.] The most material business that occurred next in the house of commons was the Report of the Commissioners for taking an Account of the Fofreited Estates in Ireland; an Abstract of which is as follows:
"Most gracious Sovereign, We your ma- Motion with regard to Lord Bellamont.] jesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects the Com- Dec. 6. It appearing to the house, that a mons in parliament assembled, being highly sen- Grant had been made by Letters Patent to sible, that nothing is more necessary for the the earl of Bellamont and others, of Pirates peace and welfare of this kingdom, the quieting Goods: the question was put, That the said the minds of your people, and disappointing Letters Patent were dishonourable to the king, the designs of your enemies, than a mutual and against the law of nations, contrary to the laws entire confidence between your majesty and and statutes of the realm, an invasion of proyour parliament, do esteem it our greatest mis-perty, and destructive of trade and commerce; fortune, that after having so amply provided and passed in the negative. for the security of your majesty and your government, both by sea and land, any jealousy or distrust hath been raised of our duty and affections to your sacred majesty, and your people; and beg leave humbly to represent to your majesty, that it will greatly conduce to the continuing, and establishing an entire confidence between your majesty and your parlia ment, that you would be pleased to shew marks of your high displeasure towards all such persons who have, or shall presume to misrepresent their proceedings to your majesty.--And your Commons (having likewise a due sense of the great care and concern your majesty has always expressed, for preserving and maintaining the religion, rights, and liberties of your people, in defence of which your majesty hath so often exposed your royal person) will use their utmost care and endeavours, to prevent and discourage all false rumours and reports, reflecting upon your majesty and your government, whereby to create any misunderstandings between you and your subjects."
The King's Answer.] To this his majesty was pleased to give the following Answer.
"The commissioners met with great difficulties in their Enquiry, which were occasioned chiefly by the backwardness of the people of Ireland to give any information, out of fear of the Grantees, whose displeasure in that kingdom was not easily borne; and by reports industriously spread and believed that their Enquiry would come to nothing. Nevertheless, it appeared to them, that the persons outlawed in England, since the 13th of Feb. 1688, on account of the late Rebellion, amounted in number to 57, and in Ireland to 3,921. That all the lands in the several counties in Ireland belonging to the forfeited persons, as far as they could reckon, mode 1,060,792 acres, worth per annum 211,6231, which by computation of six years purchase for a life, and 13 years for the inheritance, came to the full value of 2,685,138/. That some of those lands had been restored to
“Gentlemen, My parliament have done so great things for me, and I have upon all proper the old proprietors, by virtue of the Articles of occasions expressed so great a sense of their Limeric and Galloway, and by his majesty's kindness, and my opinion has been so often favour, and by reversal of out-lawries, and royal declared, that the happiness of an English king pardons, obtained chiefly by gratifications to depends upon an entire good correspondence such persons as had abused his majesty's royal between him and his parliament, that it cannot bounty and compassion. Beside these Restiseem strange for me to assure you that no per- tutions, which they thought to be corruptly sons have ever yet dared to go about to misre-procured, they gave an account of 76 Grants present to me the proceedings of either house. Had I found any such, they would have immediately felt the highest marks of my displeasure. It is a justice I owe not only to my parlaVOL. V.
and Custodiums, under the great seal of Ireland; as to the lord Romney three grants now in being, containing 49,517 acres; to the earl of Albemarle in two Grants 103,533 acres in 4 H
possession and reversion; to William Bentinck, esq. lord Woodstock, 135,820 acres of land; to the earl of Athlone two Grants containing 26,180 acres; to the earl of Galloway one Grant of 36,148 acres, &c. wherein they observed, that the Estates so mentioned did not yield so much to the Grantees as they were valued at; because as most of them had abused his majesty in the real value of their estates, so their agents had imposed on them, and had either sold or lett the greatest part of those lands at an under-value. But after all deductions and allowances, there yet remained 1,699,343l. 14s. which they lay before the Commons as the gross value of the Estates since the 13th of Feb. and not restored; besides a Grant under the Great Seal of Ireland, dated the 13th of May, 1695, passed to Mrs. Eliz. Villiers, now countess of Orkney, of all the private estates of the late king James, (except some small part in Grant to the lord Athlone) containing 95,649 acres, worth per annum 25,9957. 18s. value total 331,943l. 9s. concluding, that there was payable out of this estate, 2,000l. per annum to the lady Susanna Bellasis, and also 1,000l. per annum to Mrs. Godfrey, for their lives; and that almost all the old Leases determined in May 1701, and then this estate would answer the value above mentioned. (Signed) Francis Annesley, John Trenchard, James Hamilton, and Henry Langford."
Dec. 15. The commons having examined this Report, came to an unanimous Resolution, that a Bill be brought in To apply all the Forfeited Estates aud interests in Ireland, and all Grants thereof, and of the Rents and Revenues belonging to the crown within that kingdom, since the 13th of Feb. 1688, to the use of the public; and ordered a Clause to be inserted in that Bill, For erecting a Judicature for determining Claims touching the said forfeited estates.' They likewise resolved, That they would not receive any Petition from any person whatsoever, touching the said Grants or Forfeited Estates; and that they would take into consideration the great Services performed by the Commissioners appointed to enquire into the Forfeited Estates of Ireland.
Debate on the Conduct of the said Commissioners.] January 15, 1699-1700. A motion being made that the four Commissioners, who had signed the Report, presented to this house, bad proceeded in the execution of that Commission with understanding and integrity; a Debate arose thercon, which was adjourned until the next day, when it was resumed; when six of the said Commissioners were examined as follows: sir Richard Leving being first called in by himself.
Mr. Speaker. Sir Richard Leving, the house having been informed of something that you have said to a worthy member of this house (which I am confined to examine you to) I may name the person, because you have said it, as
* State Tracts in the reign of William 3. vol. ii. p. 726.
the house is informed, to more than one: the member's name is Vernon, and it is in relation to some discourse that passed between you and one or more of the Commissioners for the Irish Forfeitures concerning the private Estate being put into the Report. The house requires you to give an account of what you informed that worthy member.
Sir Rd. Leving. Mr. Speaker, I shall very readily obey the commands of the house; but, before that, I would inform you (if it be the pleasure of the house) of all that then passed. Mr. Speaker. Pray take your own method, give an account of what you know.
Sir Rd. Leving. There was a debate arose between the Commissioners concerning the reporting the private Estate: upon that debate I was of opinion, That that Estate ought not to have been reported, because not within our power by the Act: upon this a Debate happened, and several reasons were offered why this might be understood to be a Forfeiture; one reason that was given was, that the estate was the late king James's estate, and so it was forfeited. To which answer was made, That if king James had forfeited it, yet it was not within the act, because the words of the act confined our enquiry to Forfeitures since the 13th of Feb. 1688. When that was said, there was another of the Commissioners, that did say, I was always of opinion that this was a Forfeiture within the act, because though king James had not forfeited before, yet he coming into Ireland on March 15, 1688, he committed treason against king William and queen Mary, and forfeited that estate.' It was then objected That this private estate of the late king was parcel of the possessions of the crown of England, and was vested in him as parcel of the crown of England; and the crown being vested in king Wm. and queen Mary by an act of parliament made in this kingdom, which settled the crown in king Wm, and queen Mary, the crown and all the possessions were vested in them Feb. 13, 1688. So that that estate being actually in his majesty then, and though otherwise it might have been conceived that king James had forfeited afterwards, though not then attainted, it could not be conceived how he could forfeit that estate because it was before in the king and queen. And the same gentleman that urged, that upon the 15th of March king James landed in Ireland and committed Treason, was pleased to say, ‘I do not dislike the 30th of January, nor the deed that was done that day; I like both the day and the deed.' I confess I was surprised at it, and said, If those be your reasons, and this is your agree ment, I declare I will never join in it.—One of the Commissioners at this time was absent, but the next day that gentleman was brought into the room with the other commissioners, and then this was debated again, and upon that debate much of that matter was spoke over again (not that relating to the 30th of Jan.) but then it was again urged, that that Estate might be said to be forfeited; and the same
objections were repeated, and it secined to be assented to by the other commissioners, that it was not strictly a Forfeiture, and some of them said it might not be within the commission: then it was asked, Why then will you report it? And one of the gentlemen did answer, that it was a villainous Grant, and therefore fit to be exposed: I did not write down the words at that time, because I had then no intention of making any complaint, or publishing these matters. But since they have cut off our hands and seals from the Report, it made us think it necessary to do what we have done. And it being said by a Commissioner not here, but in Ireland, If we take it not to be within our Commission, why will you report it? for it will fly in the king's face to which another answered, Why the commission flies in the king's face: if you won't fly in his face, you cannot execute this commission, or you must not execute it, one of them two.-Upon this it was further urged, That this matter should be reported; one of the Commissioners said, Though it was not clearly within the Act, yet he had received several letters from several members of this house to report this matter, and he said it was as good (or contained in the letter, that it was as good) do nothing as not to report it. There was upon this an expression by one of the Commissioners, that a great person was concerned [that was my lady Ork-y] and the application of that was, that if he was so tender of that person, we should not join with them in any thing else: for, sir, the debate was grown to this pass, whether if we did not join in this thing, we should not join in any thing else. This I think is the substance of what I told that worthy member: if I am asked as to any other person, I shall give you a true account.
Mr. Speaker. I am commanded to ask you, who were by upon this discourse between you and the rest of the Commissioners concerning the differences in opinion, and how many; and particularly at that time that one of the Commissioners did say, that he thought that since it was not in your commission to report that grant, it would be a flying in the king's face, &c.
Sir Rd. Leving. It was the day that the Commissioner that was sick first came to us, I believe about the 24th Oct. last: there was present at that time the lord Drogheda, sir Francis Brewster, Mr. Annesley, Mr. Trenchard, Mr. Hamilton, Mr. Langford, the Secretary, and myself, all were in the room when this was said.
Mr. Speaker. Who was it said it was a flying in the king's face? and who made answer that the Commission did fly in the king's face? Sir Rd. Leving. It was my lord Drogheda said the first part, and Mr. Hamilton the other. Mr. Speaker. Who said that concerning the 30th of Jan. That it was a good day and a good deed?
Sir R. Leving. That was the day before the other discourse was; there were all but Mr. Trenchard, who was sick and came next day.
Mr. Speaker. Who said it, and upon what occasion?
Sir R. Leving. It was not a particular direction to any person as I remember; but it was spoke by way of answer: It was told Mr. Langford when he came in, the Objection that was made against this being returned as a Forfeiture, &c. And then he said, I was always of opinion that this was a Forfeiture, and that kings might forfeit as well as others; and he thereupon said he did not dislike the 30th Jan.
Mr. Speaker. You mentioned that some of the Commissioners said they received Letters from members of Parliament to insert this Grant into the Report: please to repeat who had them, and from whom?
Sir R. Leving. The first time I heard mention of any such letter was the first night: After we rose we went to Mr. Trenchard's chamber, who was sick, to consult; for this debate occasioned some concern in our minds, and we did apprehend some breach amongst us, and went to his chamber to see if we could come to an accommodation; and offered Mr. Trenchard, and the rest of the gentlemen present, That if they would take the whole Report without the private estate, and sign it, we could join with them; and if they would put in an article of the private estate, they might sign it by themselves: for we thought if we could not agree to it, we would be no hindrance to them if they thought fit to do it; and then Mr. Trenchard said, he had Letters from several members to report this private estate, and that it would signify nothing if we did not report it.
Mr. Speaker. Did he say that from himself, or that it was in any Letter?
Sir R. Leving. I do not say that positively, he shewed me no Letter.
Mr. Speaker. Did he name any member? Sir R. Leving. I do not remember that he named any member.
Mr. Speaker. Who were present at that time in Mr. Trenchard's chamber?
Sir R. Leving. Most of those gentlemen I have named were there the next day.
Mr. Speaker. Who were by?
Sir R. Leving. My lord Drogheda and sir F. Brewster were not there, but the rest were there, and the Secretary I believe was there. The next day, when we met again, there were present, as I informed you, all the Commissioners; and then Mr. Trenchard, amongst other discourse, did express himself in the said manner; and Mr. Annesly said, that he had received Letters from members of the house.
Mr. Speaker. But Mr. Annesly nor Mr. Trenchard did not tell you the contents of those Letters, nor from whom they received them.
Sir R. Leving. They said they had Letters to report this Estate, but they did not as I remember name any body, though I did hear from my lord Drogheda and sir F. Brewster, that they had named persons, but I did not myself take particular notice of any body.
Mr. Speaker. Did they produce any Letter, or shew you any?
Sir R. Leving. Not then.
Mr. Speaker. When did you see any?
Sir R. Leving. I did see a Letter the next morning, and that Letter was shewed to me by Mr. Annesly, but I did not think that Letter came up to the point they spake over-night. Mr. Speaker. Can you remember the contents of it?
Sir R. Leving. I had rather refer myself to the Letter; I believe Mr. Annesly has it. Who wrote it? Must I name him? Yes, the house expects it of
Mr. Speaker. Sir R. Leving. Mr. Speaker.
Sir R. Leving. His name is Mr. Arthur Moore and I did then take notice of it to Mr. Annesly, that this Letter did not amount to what they told us the night before.
Mr. Speaker. You say you said to Mr. Annesly, you told us of a Letter you received from some members to report this private estate, but this letter does not come up to what you told Upon which Mr. Annesly answered as for himself, If we do not report that private Estate, we had as good do nothing.
Sir R. Leving. I don't say so: upon recollection, I do now believe that those gentlemen, Mr. Trenchard and Mr. Annesly, did say that there was contained in the Letter that expression, that if they did not put that Estate into the Report, they had as good do nothing; but when I once saw that Letter, I thought they had imposed upon us.
Then sir R. Leving withdrew, and all the rest of the Commissioners that were then in town, with their Secretary, were ordered to be brought in. And accordingly sir Francis Brewster, Mr. Annesly, Mr. Trenchard, Mr. Langford, and Mr. Hooper their Secretary were brought in.
Mr. Speaker. Gentlemen, I am commanded to enquire of you, and if you please you may speak severally to it: The house has been informed of some Discourses among you gentlemen of this Commission, when you differed in opinion about returning of king James's private Estate; the first time Mr. Trenchard was not there, and the next day that Mr. Trenchard was brought there: but I think the discourse the house would enquire after was the second day when Mr. Trenchard was there, which was to this effect, That some argument Leing given why this Estate was a Forfeiture, and other arguments being given that it was not, one of the Commissioners, as this house bath been informed, should say, If it be not within our Commission, it is a flying in the king's face.' Upon which another Commissioner made answer, Why the Commission itself flies in the king's face; and for what are we sent hither but to fly in the king's face,' or to that effect.
Members. No, no.
Mr. Speaker. I beg pardon if I mistake, the words were to this effect: The Commis-ion flies in the king's face; and if you will not fly in his face, you must not, or you cannot execute this Commission. You are all said to be present when these words were spoken; so you will
please to give account severally to the house what passed upon this occasion, and what you remember of it. Sir F. Brewster, if you please.
Sir Francis Brewster. I beg leave to say, I am sorry for any differences between us, and that we were as hearty as any in the execution of this Commission. But for the matter of the words now spoke of, there was some discourse concerning the reporting that private Estate: sir R. Leving said, it was not within our enquiry. To which some reply was made, Why if it was not within our Commission, yet it might be fit to be reported. My lord Drogheda made answer, If it be not within our Commission, then it will be to fly in the king's face to report it. Another then said, The Commission flies in the king's face, and we can't act in this Commission unless we fly in his face; I think that was said by Mr. Hamilton. Upon which some other arguments went on to enforce the passing of it. At last some of the Commissioners said they had a Letter from several member of the house of commons, that gave them reason to believe they should report this Estate: I think it was said by Mr. Annesly. Upon which sir R. Leving made answer, I do not think these gentlemen have changed their minds, that was, that Forfeitures might be made by kings: Upon which it was answered, You are mistaken, a great many of your friends are now come over to us; and they urged it still more, and at last they said they had had several letters about it. I must confess I made answer, I know not whether you have had any Letter, I never had any: But I must needs say, If I had no other reason, I should not sign this Report, for I think I ought not to be directed by any private member of the house, and that no Letter should prevail with me to do it; I am loth to name any one. Mr. Speaker. The house expects it.
Sir F. Brewster. I think they named Mr. Harcourt.
Mr. Speaker. Who named him?
Sir F. Brewster. Mr. Annely. He did not say in his Letter particularly, but did say something to that purpose, that if we did not report the private Estate, we had as good do nothing; and he said it was so in the Letter.
Mr. Speaker. Was you at Mr. Trenchard's chamber the first night that he was not at the Commission, the night before he was brought thither?
Sir F. Brewster. No, sir, I was not.
Mr. Speaker. Mr. Annesly, if you please give an account of what you know of this matter: you hear to what the house hath a mind to be informed; it is as to the discourse that happened amongst you the Commissioners the two days you difiered in opinion concerning the inserting of this Grant into your Report, and partical urly as to the words spoken by Mr. Hamilton, or what else you heard then.
Mr. Annesly. Truly, Mr. Speaker, I never exp. cten to have been called to an account for any thing that was said among the Commissioners in Ireland upon their debates, or that any gentleman in Commission with us would