DIE Martis, 3 die Decembris.
Domini tam Spirituales quam Temporales præsentes
Epus. St. David's.
Epus.Litch. et Cov.
Sir Orlando Bridgman, Miles et Bar. Ds. Custos Magni Sigilli.
Robertus Comes Lyndsey, Magnus Camerarius Angliæ.
Edwardus Comes Manchester, Camerarius Hospitti.
Vicecomes Say et Seale.
|Ds. Arlington, One of the Principal Secretaries of State.|
Ds. Berkley de Berkley.
Ds. Arundell de Warder.
Ds. Howard de Charlt.
Ds. Howard de Esc.
Ds. Gerard de Brand.
Ds. Berkley de Strat.
Ds. Arundell de Trerice.
Message to H. C. with Sir C. Stanley's Bill.
A Message was sent to the House of Commons, by
Sir Moundiford Brampston and Sir John Coel:
To deliver unto them the Bill passed by this House,
intituled, "An Act for enabling Trustees to make Leases,
for Payment of the Debts, and providing for the
Children, of Sir Charles Stanley."
Report concerning Trade between England and Scotland.
The Earl of Dorsett reported a Result from the Committee appointed to consider of the balancing of Trade
between the Kingdom of England and Scotland.
Which being read and debated, it is ORDERED, That
the said Result is re-committed to the further Consideration of the said Committee.
Message from H. C. with a Bill.
A Message was brought from the House of Commons,
by Sir John Brampston Knight and others; who brought
up an Act, intituled, "An Act for settling the Lands
therein mentioned upon Sir Richard Wiseman and
John Plott and their Heirs, to enable them the better to perform a Trust;" to which their Lordships
Concurrence is desired.
E. of Clarendon's Address and Petitions.
The Earl of Denbigh acquainted this House, "That
the Lord Viscount Cornbury delivered him a Paper at
the Door, and desired him to present the same to their
Which being done, the House directed the same to
be read; the Contents whereof follow:
"To the Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual
and Temporal in Parliament assembled.
"The humble Petition and Address of Edward
Earl of Clarendon.
"May it please your Lordships,
"I cannot express the insupportable Trouble and
Grief of Mind I sustain, under the Apprehension of
being misrepresented to your Lordships, and when I
hear how much of your Lordships Time hath been
spent upon the Mention of me, as it is attended with
more public Consequences, and of the Differences in
Opinion which have already, or may probably arise,
between your Lordships and the Honourable House
of Commons, whereby the great and weighty Affairs
of the Kingdom may be obstructed in a Time of so
general a Dissatisfaction. I am very unfortunate to find
myself to suffer so much under Two very disadvantageous Reflections, which are in no Degree applicable to me:
"The First, from the Greatness of my Estate and
Fortune, collected and made in so few Years;
which, if it be proportionable to what is reported, may very reasonably cause my Integrity to be suspected.
"The Second, That I have been the sole Manager,
and chief Minister, in all the Transactions of
State, since the King's Return into England, to
August last; and therefore that all Miscarriages and Misfortunes ought to be imputed
to me, and to my Counsels.
"Concerning my Estate, your Lordships will not believe that, after Malice and Envy hath been so inquisitive and so sharp-sighted, I will offer any Thing to
your Lordships but what is exactly true. And I do
assure your Lordships, in the First Place, that, excepting from the King's Bounty, I have never received or taken One Penny, but what was generally
understood to be the just and lawful Perquisites of
my Office, by the constant Practice of the best Times,
which I did in my own Judgement conceive to be that
of my Lord Coventry, and my Lord Elsmere; the
Practice of which I constantly observed, although the
Office in both their Times was lawfully worth Double
to what it was to me, and I believe now is: That all
the Courtesies and Favours which I have been able
to obtain from the King for other Persons, in Church
or State, or in Westminster Hall, have never been
worth me Five Pounds; so that, your Lordships
may be confident, I am as innocent from Corruption as
from any disloyal Thought, which, after near Thirty
Years Service of the Crown in some Difficulties and
Distresses, I did never suspect would have been objected to me in my Age. And I do assure your Lordships, and shall make it very manifest, that the several
Sums of Money, and some Parcels of Land, which
His Majesty hath bountifully bestowed upon me since
His Return into England, are worth more than all I
have amounts to, so far I am from advancing my
Estate by any indirect Means. And though this
Bounty of His Majesty hath very far exceeded my
Merit, or my Expectation; yet some others have
been as fortunate at least in the same Bounty, who
had as small Pretences to it, and have no great Reason to envy my Condition.
"Concerning the other Imputation, of the Credit
and Power of being Chief Minister, and so causing
all to be done that I had a Mind to; I have no more to
say, than that I had the good Fortune to serve a
Master of a very great Judgement and Understanding,
and to be always joined with Persons of great Ability and Experience, without whose Advice and Concurrence never any Thing hath been done.
"Before His Majesty's coming into England, He was
constantly attended by the then Marquis of Ormond,
the late Lord Culpepper, and Mr. Secretary Nicholas,
who were equally trusted with myself; and without
whose joint Advice and Concurrence, when they were
all present (as some of them always were), I never
gave any Counsel.
"As soon as it pleased God to bring His Majesty
into England, He established His Privy Council; and
shortly, out of them, a Number of Honourable Persons of great Reputation, who for the most Part are
still alive, as a Committee for Foreign Affairs, and
Consideration of such Things as in the Nature of
them required much Secrecy; and with these Persons
He vouchsased to join me: And I am confident this
Committee never transacted any Thing of Moment,
His Majesty being always present, without presenting
the same first to the Council Board; and I must appeal
to them concerning my Carriage, and whether we
were not all of One Mind in all Matters of Importance.
"For more than Two Years, I never knew any Difference in the Councils, or that there were any Complaints in the Kingdom, which I wholly impute to
His Majesty's great Wisdom, and the entire Concurrence of His Counsellors, without the Vanity of assuming any Thing to myself; and therefore I hope
I shall not be singly charged with any Thing that hath
since fallen out amiss. But, from the Time that Mr.
Secretary Nicholas was removed from his Place, there
were great Alterations; and whosoever knows any
Thing of the Court, or Councils, know well how much
my Credit hath since that Time been diminished,
though His Majesty graciously vouchsased still to hear
my Advice in most of His Affairs: Nor hath there
been, from that Time to this, above One or Two Persons brought to the Council, or preferred to any considerable Office in the Court, who have been of my
intimate Acquaintance, or suspected to have any Kindness for me, and most of them notoriously known to
have been very long my Enemies, and of different
Judgements and Principles from me both in Church
and State, and who have taken all Opportunities to
lessen my Credit with the King, and with all other
Persons, by misrepresenting and misreporting all that
I said or did, and persuading Men that I had done
them some Prejudice with His Majesty, or crossed
them in some of their Pretensions, though His Majesty's Goodness and Justice was such, that it made
little Impression upon Him.
"In my humble Opinion, the great Misfortunes of
the Kingdom have proceeded from the War, to which
it is notoriously known that I was always most averse;
and may without Vanity say, I did not only foresee,
but did declare, the Mischiefs we should run into by
entering into a War, before any Alliances made with
the Neighbour Princes. And, that it may not be imputed to His Majesty's Want of Care, or the Negligence of His Counsellors, that no such Alliances were
entered into, I must take the Boldness to say, that His
Majesty left nothing unattempted in order thereunto;
and knowing very well that France resolved to begin
a War upon Spaine as soon as His Catholic Majesty
should depart this World, which being much sooner
expected by them, they had in the Two Winters before been at great Charge in providing plentiful Magazines of all Provisions upon the Frontiers, that they
might be ready for the War; His Majesty used all
possible Means to prepare and dispose the Spanyard
to that Apprehension, offering His Friendship to that
Degree as might be for the Security and Benefit of
both Crowns: But Spayne, flattering itself with an
Opinion that France would not break with them, at
least that they would not give them any Cause by administering Matter of Jealousy to them, never made
any real Approach towards a Friendship with His Majesty; but, both by their Ambassadors here, and to
His Majesty's Ambassador at Madrid, always insisted
as Preliminaries upon the giving up of Dunkirque,
Tangier, and Jamaica.
"Though France had an Ambassador here, to whom
a Project for a Treaty was offered, and the Lord
Holles, His Majesty's Ambassador at Paris, used all
Endeavours to pursue and prosecute the said Treaty;
yet it was quickly discerned, that the principal Design
of France was, to draw His Majesty into such a nearer
Alliance as might advance their Designs, without
which they had no Mind to enter into the Treaty proposed. And this was the State of Affairs when the
War was entered into with the Dutch; from which
Time, neither Crown much considered the making
of an Alliance with England.
"As I did from my Soul abhor the entering into this
War, so I never presumed to give any Advice or
Counsel for the Way of managing it, but by opposing many Propositions which seemed to the late
Lord Treasurer and myself to be unreasonable; as the
Payment of the Seamen by Tickets, and many other
Particulars which added to the Expence.
"My Enemies took all Occasions to inveigh against
me, and making Friendship with others, out of the
Council, of more licentious Principles, and who knew
well enough how much I disliked and complained of
the Liberty they took to themselves, of reviling all
Councils and Counsellors, and turning all Things serious and sacred into Ridicule. They took all Ways
imaginable to render me ingrateful to all Sorts of
Men (whom I shall be compelled to name in my Defence); persuading those who miscarried in any of
their Designs, that it was the Chancellor's Doing,
whereof I never knew any Thing: However, they could
not withdraw the King's Favour from me, who was
still pleased to use my Service with others; nor was
there ever any Thing done, but upon the joint Advice
of at least the major Part of those who were consulted
with. And as His Majesty commanded my Service in
the late Treaties, so I never gave the least Advice in
private; nor wrote One Letter to any Person, in either
of those Negotiations, but upon the Advice of the
Council, and after it was read in Council, or at least
by the King Himself, and some other. And if I prepared any Instructions or Memorials, it was by the
King's Command, and the Request of the Secretaries,
who desired my Assistance; nor was it any Wish of my
own, that any Ambassador should give me an Account
of the Transactions, but to the Secretaries, with whom
I was always ready to advise: Nor am I conscious to
myself of having ever given Advice that hath proved
mischievous or inconvenient to His Majesty; and I
have been so far from being the sole Manager of Affairs, that I have not in the whole last Year been
above Twice with His Majesty in any Room alone,
and very seldom in the Two or Three Years preceding; and since the Parliament at Oxford, it hath
been very visible that my Credit hath been very little, and that very few Things have been hearkened
to which have been proposed by me, but contradicted
eo Nomine because proposed by me.
"I most humbly beseech your Lordships to remember the Office and Trust I had for Seven Years; in
which, in Discharge of my Duty, I was obliged to
stop and obstruct many Mens Pretences, and to refuse
to set the Seal to many Pardons, and other Grants,
which would have been profitable to those who procured them; and many whereof, upon my Representation to His Majesty, were for ever stopped, which
naturally have raised many Enemies to me: And my
frequent concurring, upon the Desires of the late
Lord Treasurer, with whom I had the Honour to have
a long and fast Friendship to his Death, in representing several Excesses and Exorbitancies, the Yearly
Issues so far exceeding the Revenue, provoked many
Persons concerned, of great Power and Credit, to do
me all the ill Offices they could: And yet I may faithfully say, That I never meddled with any Part of the
Revenue, or the Administration of it, but when I
was desired by the late Lord Treasurer to give him
my Assistance and Advice (having had the Honour formerly to serve the Crown as Chancellor of the Exchequer), which was for the most Part in His Majesty's
Presence; nor have I ever been in the least Degree
concerned in Point of Profit in the letting any Part of
His Majesty's Revenue, nor have ever treated or debated it but in His Majesty's Presence, in which my
Opinion concurred always with the major Part of the
Counsellors who were present.
"All which, upon Examination, will be made manifest to your Lordships; how much soever my Integrity is blasted by the Malice of those who, I am confident,
do not believe themselves. Nor have I in my Life,
upon all the Treaties, or otherwise, received the Value
of One Shilling from all the Kings and Princes in the
World (except the Books of the Louvre Print sent me
by the Chancellor of France by that King's Direction)
but from my own Master, to whose entire Service, and
to the Good and Welfare of my Country, no Man's
Heart was ever more devoted.
"This being my present Condition, I do most humbly beseech your Lordships to retain a favourable Opinion of me; and to believe me to be
innocent from those soul Aspersions, until the
contrary shall be proved; which, I am sure,
can never be by any Men worthy to be believed. And, since the Distempers of the
Time, and the Differences between the Two
Houses in the present Debate, with the Power
and Malice of my Enemies (who give out that
they shall prevail with His Majesty to prorogue or dissolve His Parliament in Displeasure, and threaten to expose me to the Rage
and Fury of the People), may make me be
looked upon as the Cause which obstructs the
King's Service, and the Unity and Peace of
the Kingdom, I most humbly beseech your
Lordships, That I may not forfeit your Lordships Favour and Protection, by withdrawing
myself from so powerful a Persecution, in
Hope that I may be able, by such Withdrawing, hereafter to appear and make my Defence, when His Majesty's Justice (to which
I shall always submit) may not be obstructed
or controlled by the Power and Malice of
those who have sworn my Destruction.
To be entered in the Journal.
ORDERED, That this Petition of the Earl of Clarendon be entered into the Journal Book, but no Copy
thereof to be given out until after it be debated; which
is appointed to be To-morrow Morning.
Message to H. C. that the E. of Clarendon is withdrawn:
A Message was sent to the House of Commons, by
Judge Twisden and Judge Browne:
To acquaint them, that the Lords have received a
large Petition from the Earl of Clarendon, which intimates that he is withdrawn.
King to be acquainted with it.
The Lord Chamberlain is appointed to acquaint His
Majesty, "That this House hath received a Petition
from the Earl of Clarendon, which expresses that he
Answer from H. C.
The Messengers sent to the House of Commons return
with this Answer:
That they delivered their Message, as they were commanded.
Dominus Custos Magni Sigilli declaravit præsens Parliamentum continuandum esse usque in diem Mercurii,
4tum diem instantis Decembris, hora decima Aurora, Dominis sic decernentibus.