Sabbati, 22 die Aprilis, 1671.
Remunerating Officers of the House.
THE House taking into Consideration the great Pains
and Attendance of the Officers and Servants attending the Service of this House, and of what had, in like
Cases, been formerly done for their Satisfaction therein;
Resolved, &c. That the Lords Commissioners of the
Treasury be desired to recommend it to his Majesty to give
Order for a Recompence and Satisfaction to the Chaplain,
who hath performed the Duty of Reading Prayers in the
House; and to the Clerk of the House, and his Assistant
and under Clerks; and to the other Officers and Servants
attending the Service of the House, for their great Pains
and Service, in attending this and former Sessions, for
which they have not hitherto received any Recompence
Answer to Address.
The House having attended his Majesty in the Banqueting House at Whitehall, upon the Address of both
Houses, for his Majesty's encouraging the Wearing the
Manufactures of his own Kingdom;
Mr. Speaker, with the House, returning;
Mr. Speaker reports, That his Majesty was pleased graciously to accept the Address of both Houses; and declared, That He did willingly comply with their Desires
therein; and did assure them, that, as he had already put
it in practice in His own Person, so he would, for the future, take care that it should be observed by Himself,
and those of His Family.
Thanks for Answer.
Resolved, &c. That the Humble Thanks of this House
be returned to his Majesty, by such Members of this
House as are of his Majesty's Privy Council, for his gracious Acceptance of, and Answer to, the Address of both
Houses, for the encouraging the constant Wearing the
Manufactures of his own Kingdoms and Dominions.
Conference; Foreign Commodities.
Sir Thomas Lee reports from the Committee, the reasons and Precedents agreed by the Committee, to be offered in Answer to the Reasons and Precedents delivered
by the Lords in Writing, at the Conference desired by the
Lords on Thursday Morning last: Which he read to the
House; with some Amendments and Additions made at
the Table, upon the Question, agreed to; and he also reports the Opinion of the Vote of the Committee, viz.
That a Conference be desired with the Lords, upon the
Matter proposed and delivered in Writing, at the Conference desired by the Lords on Thursday Morning last past.
Resolved, &c. That this House doth agree with the
Committee, that a Conference be desired with the Lords,
upon the Matter proposed and delivered in Writing, at
the Conference desired by the Lords on Thursday Morning
last past: And Sir Robert Carr is to desire the Conference.
Sir Robert Carr reports, that the Lords had agreed to
a present Conference.
Mr. Attorney General reports the Conference had with
Resolved, &c. That the Lords Reasons, and the Answer of this House be entered in the Journal of this
House: Which are as followeth; viz.
Thursday, April 20.
This Conference was desired by their Lordships, upon
the Subject Matter of the last Conference, concerning the
Bill for Impositions on Merchandize, &c. wherein the
Commons communicated to the Lords, as their Resolution, that there is a fundamental Right in that House
alone, in Bills of Rates and Impositions on Merchandize,
as to the Matter, the Measure, and the Time.
And, tho' their Lordships had neither Reason nor Precedent offered by the Commons, to back that Resolution;
but were told, That this was a Right so fundamentally settled in the Commons, that they could not give Reasons
for it; for that would be a Weakening of the Commons
Right and Privilege;
Yet the Lords, in Parliament, upon full Consideration
thereof, and of that whole Conference, are come to this
Resolution, Nemine contradicente:
That the Power exercised by the House of Peers, in
making the Amendments and Abatements in the Bill, intituled, An Act for an additional Imposition on several
foreign Commodities, and for Encouragement of several
Commodities and Manufactures of this Kingdom, both as
to the Matter, Measure, and Time, concerning the Rates
and Impositions on Merchandize, is a fundamental, inherent, and undoubted Right of the House of Peers; from
which they cannot depart.
THE great Happiness of the Government of this
Kingdom is, that nothing can be done in order to the
Legislature, but what is considered by both Houses, before the King's Sanction be given unto it; and the greatest
Security to all the Subjects of this Kingdom is, that the
Houses, by their Constitution, do not only give Assistance, but are mutual Checks, to each other.
Conference Foreign Commodities.
2ly, Consult the Writs of Summons to Parliament,
and you will find the Lords are excluded from none of the
great and arduous Affairs of the Kingdom, and Church
of England; but are called to treat, and give their Counsel upon them all, without Exception.
3ly, We find no Footsteps in Record or History for
this new Claim of the House of Commons: We would
see that Charter or Contract produced, by which the Lords
divested themselves of this Right, and appropriated it to
the Commons, with an Exclusion of themselves: Till then
we cannot consent to shake or remove Foundations, in the
laying whereof it will not be denied, that the Lords, and
Grandees of the Kingdom had the greatest Hand.
4ly, If this Right should be denied, the Lords have
not a Negative Voice allowed them in Bills of this nature,
for if the Lords, who have the Power of treating, advising, giving Counsel, and applying Remedies, cannot
amend, abate, or refuse a Bill in part, by what Consequence of Reason can they enjoy a Liberty to reject the
Whole: When the Commons shall think fit to question
it, they may pretend the same Grounds for it.
5ly, In any Case of Judicature, which is undoubtedly and indisputably the peculiar Right and Privilege of
the House of Lords, if their Lordships send down a Bill
to the Commons, for giving Judgment in a Legislative
Way, they allow and acknowledge the same Right in the
Commons, to amend, change, and alter such Bills, as
the Lords have exercised in this Bill of Impositions sent
up by the Commons.
6ly, By this new Maxim of the House of Commons,
a hard and ignoble Choice is left to the Lords, either to
refuse the Crown Supplies, when they are most necessary,
or to consent to Ways and Proportions of Aid, which
neither their own Judgment, or Interest, nor the Good
of the Government and People, can admit.
7ly, If positive Assertion can introduce a Right, what
Security have the Lords, that the House of Commons
shall not, in other Bills (pretended to be for the general
Good of the Commons, whereof they will conceive themselves the fittest Judges) claim the same peculiar Privilege,
in Exclusion of any Deliberation or Alteration of the
Lords, when they shall judge it necessary or expedient.
8ly, And, whereas you say, This is the only poor Thing
which you can value yourselves upon to the King, their
Lordships have commanded us to tell you, that they rather desire to increase, than any ways to diminish, the
Value and Esteem of the House of Commons, not only
with his Majesty, but with the whole Kingdom: But they
cannot give way, that it should be raised by the Undervaluing of the House of Peers, and an endeavour to
render that House unuseful to the King and Kingdom, by
the denying unto it those just Powers, which the Constitution of this Government, and the Law of the Land,
hath lodged in it for Service and Benefit of both.
9ly, You did, at the Conference, tell us, that we did
agree to a Book of Rates, without so much as seeing it;
and that never Book of Rates was read in the Lords
House; and that the said Book of Rates was signed by
Sir Harbotle Grimston, then Speaker of the House of
Commons, and not sent up, lest the Lords Speaker might
sign it too.
Conference- Foreign Commodities.
The Book of Rates, instanced in by the House of Commons, was made in a Way different from all former Books
of Rates; and by an Assembly, called without the King's
Writs; and which wanted so much the Authority of Parliament, that the Act they made was no Act, till confirmed by this Parliament; and though the Work, which
happily succeeded in their Hands, for Restauration of the
ancient Government of the Kingdom, will ever be mentioned to their Honour; yet no Measure for Parliamentary
Proceedings is to be taken from this one Instance, to the
Prejudice of the Right of the Crown, in making Books
of Rates, and of the Lords, in having their due Consideration thereof when they shall be enacted in Parliament:
Which was so far from being according to former Usage,
that the Lords, considering the Necessity and Condition
of that Time, and there being no Complaint, passed that
Bill, upon Three Readings, in One Day, without so much
as a Commitment; little imagining the Forwardness of
their Zeal to the King's Service in such a Time, would
have created an Argument in the future against their
Power: And if the Lords never did read Books of Rates
in their House, it is as true, that the House of Commons
do not pretend, nor did shew, that ever any was read
there but this.
Introduce the Precedents Thus.
Though where a Right is so clear, and Reasons so irrefragable, it is not to be required of those who are possessed
of the Right, to give Precedents to confirm it; but those
who dispute the Right, ought to shew Precedents or Judgments to the contrary, not passed sub silentio, but upon
the Point controverted; yet the Lords have commanded
us to offer, and leave with you the following Precedents.
By Records, both ancient and modern, it doth appear,
1. That the Lords and Commons have consulted together, and conferred one with another, upon the Subject
of Supply to the King; and of the Manner how the same
may be levied, as the 14 E. III. N. 5. "Apres Grand Tret
& Parleance entre lez Grantz et le ditz Chevaliers et
autres des Communes esteans en dit Parliament est accordes et assentus par tous les Grants et Communes, &c."
That they grant to the King the 9th of Corn and Wool.
Another 29th Ed. III. N. 2; and another more particularly in 51 E. III. N. 18; where certain Lords were
named, from time to time, to confer with the Commons,
for their better Help, in consulting for the raising Money.
And this was sometimes by the King's Command, as
the 22th E. III. N. 3;
Sometimes by Motion or Appointment of the Lords,
as the 5th E. III. N. 8; and in the Case of the Great Contract for Tenures and Purveyances, 7 Jac. 14 Feb. 1609;
And sometimes by desire of the Commons, 47 E. III.
N. 6. 4 R. II. N. 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. upon a great
Sum demanded for the King, the Commons come to the
Lords and desire a Moderation of the Sum, and their
Consideration how it shall be levied. And it is very
observable in this Record, Num. 13. which saith, "that
the Lords sent for the Commons often before them, and
shewed to them their Advice, how the same shall be levied;
and thereupon was granted, by Lords and Commons,
Twelvepence of every Man," 6 R. II. N. 14. And in
the case of the great Contract before-mentioned, 7 Jac.
18 June, 1610, the Commons, at a Conference, desire to
know what Project their Lordships will propound for
levying that which shall be given other than upon Land;
and afterwards, by the Commons Answer to the Lords Proposal, agreed, that the Manner of levying it may be in the
most easeful and contentful Sort that by both Houses can
be devised. See the whole Proceedings of this intended
Contract, which doth in several remarkable Instances
shew that the House of Commons themselves did allow the
House of Peers their Part, in treating and debating on the
Subject of Money to be levied for his Majesty.
2ly, That, in Aids and Subsidies, the Lords have anciently been expressly joined with the Commons in the
Gift, as in the first we can meet with in our Statutes:
That, in the Body of Mag. Charta, cap. 37. "The Archbishops, Bishops; Abbots, Priors, Earls, Barons, Knights,
Freeholders, and other our Subjects, have given unto us
the Fifteenth Part of all their Moveables;" which undoubtedly included Merchandize: And this Style the
ancient Grants of Subsidies, and the modern ones too,
do retain (the troublesome Time of the War between the
Houses of Yorke and Lancaster only excepted); and even
then it was, "The Commons, by Advice and Consent of
the Lords, do give and grant," till the Beginning of King
Charles the first by the Words "We your Majesty's
loyal Subjects in Parliament assembled," the Lords implicitly; or by the Words "We the Lords Spiritual and
Temporal, and Commons, in Parliament assembled;" the
Lords expressly, are joined in the Grant, as by Perusal
of the Statutes will appear.
3. That in Subsidies of this Nature, viz. Customs, the
Lords have joined with the Commons in the Grant of them;
and That in the very Beginning of those Impositions:
As, when Forty Shillings on every Sack of Wool (a native
Home Commodity) was granted to Ed. Ist, in the Third
Year of his Reign, to him and his Heirs: The Grant is,
Magnates, Prælati, et tota Communitas concesscrunt: See
Patent Roll, 3 E. I. M. 1. N. 1. As also, in other Patent
Rolls, where Subsidies are recited; as the 15 E. III. N. 1.
M. 12. the Close Roll and the Patent Roll of 3 E. I. M. 6.
And, more particularly in Impositions of this very
Species, Tonage and Poundage, the Lords were, even
at the first Beginning, joined with the Commons in the
Grant; as the Parliament Roll in the 47 E. III. N. 10. the
first Establishment of it by Act, doth declare, where it is
expressly, "The Lords and Commons do grant:" And this
Style did continue, in Acts of this nature, till the End of
R. II: After which, in those troublesome Times, the Style
was various, till King H. VIIIth's Time; and the Style of
Acts of Tonage and Poundage was, "We the Commons,
by Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, do give and grant:" This Form of Gift, in Tonage
and Poundage, lasted E. the VI, Q. Mary, Eliz. and
King James's Time, as the Statutes themselves do declare.
5. And, to prove most undeniably, that the Lords
have their Share in the Gift of Aids and Supplies to the
King, see the Act 9 H. IV. commonly called, The Indemnity of the Lords and Commons; which provides expressly, that the Lords shall commune apart by themselves,
and the Commons by themselves; and at the latter End
enacts, that the King shall thank both the Lords and
Commons for Subsidies given to him.
6. That the Lords may make Amendments and Alterations in Bills which grant Tonage and Poundage, (the
very Question now between us) appears in an ancient Book,
Case 33 H. VI. fol. 17; which was a Consultation of all the
Judges of England, and the Master of the Rolls, and the
Clerk of the Parliament called to inform them of the Manner of Proceedings in Bills of Parliament: Where tis said,
That if the Commons grant Tonage and Poundage to endure for Four Years, and the Lords grant it but for Two
Years, it shall not be carried back to the Commons, because it may stand with their Grant, but must be so inrolled: And, that the Lords have made Amendments and
Alterations in Bills granting Tonage and Poundage, appears by that of the 1 E. VI. and 1 of Q. Eliz. and even
in the very Point now in Dispute, such Amendments as do
lessen the Sum to the King, at the first of H. VIII.
Read the Proviso.
We have seriously consulted our Judgments and Reasons to find Objections, if it were possible, against this
Power of the Lords; and are so far from finding any,
that we are fixed in Opinion, that the Want of it would
be destructive to the Government, and Peace of the Kingdom, and the Right of the Crown, in balancing and regulating of Trade, and the making and preserving Leagues
and Treaties with foreign Princes and States; and the
Exercise of it cannot but be for the Security of All, and
for the Ease and Benefit of the Subject.
The Modesty of your Ancestors, in these arduous Affairs, gave great Deference to the Wisdom of the Lords.
Their Lordships are very far from desiring to obstruct
this Gift, no, not for a Moment of Time, much less for
ever, as was hinted to them at the last Conference: And
therefore they desire the House of Commons to lay it to
Heart, and consider, if it should happen, (which they
heartily wish it may not) that there should be an obstruction upon Occasion of this Difference, at whose Door it
must lie; Theirs, that assume to themselves more than belongs to them, to the Prejudice and Diminution of the
Others Right; or Theirs, that do only exercise that just,
lawful, and necessary Power, which, by the very Nature
and constant Practice of Parliament, is, and for many
Ages hath been, vested in Both Houses.
Their Lordships had under their Consideration and
Debate, the desiring a free Conference with your House,
upon the Reasons of the Amendments in Difference between the Houses: But when they found, that you had
interwoven your general Position with every Reason you
had offered upon Particulars; it seemed to them, that your
Judgments were prepossessed: And they hold it vain, and
below the Wisdom of Parliament, to reason or argue
against fixed Resolutions, and upon Terms of Impossibility to persuade; and have therefore applied themselves
only to That Point which yet remains an Impediment in
the way of free and parliamentary Debates, and Conferences; which must necessarily be first removed, that
so we may come to a free Conference upon the Bill itself,
and part with a fair Correspondence between the Two
Saturday, 22 April.
The Commons have desired this Conference, to preserve a good Correspondence with the House of Peers;
and to prevent the ill Consequence of these Misunderstandings which may possibly interrupt the happy Conclusion of this Session, and of all future Parliaments too,
if they be not very speedily removed:
Wherein the Commons are not without Hopes of
giving your Lordships full Satisfaction in the Point in
Question; and That without shaking any Foundations,
unless it be such as no Man should lay, much less build
upon, the Foundations of a perpetual Dissention between the Two Houses.
Three Things did surprise the Commons, at the former Conference, concerning the Bill for an additional
Imposition on several foreign Commodities.
First, That where they expected a Discourse upon
some Amendments to that Bill, they met with nothing
but a Debate of the Liberties of their House, in the
Matter, Measure and Time, of Rates upon Merchandize;
with a Kind of a Demand, that these Liberties might be
delivered up to your Lordships, by our public Acknowledgement, before there should be any further Discourse
upon that Bill.
Secondly, That your Lordships should declare so fixed
and settled a Resolution in this Point, before you had so
much as heard what could be replied in Defence of the
Thirdly and lastly, That your Lordships should be so
easily induced to take this Resolution, if there be no other
Motives for it, than those Precedents and Reasons which
your Lordships have been pleased to impart to us.
The Commons confess, that the best Rule for deciding
Questions of Right between the Two Houses, is the Law
and Usage of Parliament; and that the best Evidences
of that Usage and Custom of Parliament, are the most
frequent and authentic Precedents:
Therefore the Commons will first examine the Precedents your Lordships seem to rely upon: Then they
will produce those by which their Right is asserted: And,
in the last Place, they will consider the Reasons upon
which your Lordships ground yourselves.
By the Nature of the Precedents, which your Lordships produce, there is an evident Departure from the
Question. As the former Conference left it, There the
Doubt was narrowed to this single Point; Whether your
Lordships could retrench or abate any Part of the Rates
which the Commons had granted upon Merchandize:
Here the Precedents do go to a joint Power of Imposing
and Beginning of Taxes: Which is a Point we have not
yet heard your Lordships to pretend to, though this
present Difference prepares Way for it:
Therefore, either these Precedents prove too much, by
proving a Power of Imposing; or they prove nothing at
all, by not proving a Power of Lessening.
Conference; Foreign Commodities.
And yet they do not prove a Power of Imposing neither: For these Words, "the Lords and Commons grant,"
must either be understood, reddendo singula singulis; that
is, The Lords grant for Themselves; and the Commons
grant for the Counties, Cities, and Boroughs, whom they
represent: Or else the Word "grant" must be understood only of the Lords Assent to what the Commons
grant; because the Form of Law requires, that both join
in one Bill, to give it the Force of a Law.
This answers the Statute of Magna Charta, C. 37, and
those few instances; where it is said, "The Lords and
Commons grant," viz. 47 E. III. N. 10. 4 R. II. N. 10.
11, 12, 13, 14. 6 R. II. N. 14. But what Answers
can be given to those ancient and modern Precedents
and Acts, where the Grant moves, and is acknowledged
to come, from the Commons alone? of which a Multitude shall be herein after-mentioned.
The Case of 14 E. III. N. 5. "Apres grand tret &
parleance enter les Grantz & Chevaliers & Communs fuit
assentus, &c." is no Grant of the 9th Sheaf, as your
Lordships cited it to be; but an Agreement, that the
Nones, granted in a former Parliament, should now be
sold, because the Money came not in fast enough.
22 E. III. N. 3. which your Lordships cite to prove,
that the King did sometimes command the Lords to consult with the Commons, about raising Money, proves
little of That: But it proves expressly, that the
Commons granted Three Fifteens: And, as the Grant
runs wholly in their own Name, so the Record is full of
many Reasons, why they could grant no more; and, upon
what Conditions they granted so much.
And yet all these Records, wherein the Lords advised
with the Commons, about raising Money, though they
seem to make a Shew in your Lordships Paper, yet they
prove Two Things of great Importance to the Commons:
First, That all Aids must begin with the Commons; else
the Lords needed not to have conferred about the Aids,
but might have sent down a Bill. Secondly, That, when
they are begun, the Lords can neither add or diminish;
else it was in vain to adjust the Matter by private Conference before-hand, if the Lords could have reformed it
afterwards: Which shews, how little Service the Records
of 29 E. III. N. 11. 51 E. III. N. 18. can do your
Lordships in the present Question.
From the Time of R. II. your Lordships come to 7
Jac. to tell us of the Treaty between the Lords and Commons, touching the Contract for Tenures in Capite; wherein the Lords and Commons being to be Purchasers, it
was less subject to Objection to confer both of the Method
and Manner how the Price agreed might be paid, for
the Satisfaction of the King: But this Matter hath so
little Affinity with the present Question of lessening Rates
upon Merchandize, given by the Commons, that nothing
but a Scarcity of Precedents could ever have persuaded
your Lordships to make use of this Instance.
As for the Precedent of 3 E. I. cited by your Lordships,
the Commons have most Reason to rely upon that Case.
Your Lordships say, In the Beginning of Impositions,
when 40 s. upon a Sack of Wool was granted to E. 1st,
and his Heirs, the Lords joined in the Grant; for the
Words are, Magnates Prælati, & tota Communitas concesserunt: Wherein are these Mistakes;
First, That Record was not a Grant of 40 s. upon a
Sack, as your Lordships suppose; but a reducing of 40 s.
upon a Sack, which E. I. took, before Magna Charta
was confirmed, to half a Mark, viz. 6 s. 8 d. per Sack:
And it was at the Prayer of the Commons, as some Books
say, and cite for it 3 E. I. Rot. fin. Memb. 24.
Conference; Foreign Commodities.
Secondly, The Record which your Lordships cite, is
twice printed, once in the Second Part of the Institutes,
Page 531; and again in the Fourth Part of the Institutes,
Page 29: And by both those Places it is evident, that the
Concesserunt is to be applied only to the tota Communitas,
and not to the Magnates: For this was a Grant of the
Commons only, and not a Grant of the Lords. And,
to demonstrate this beyond all Possibility of Scruple, the
printed Books do refer us to the Statute of 25 E. I. C. 7.
called Confirmationes Chartarum, wherein it is expressly
so declared by Act of Parliament: For, by the last Statute,
it appears, that the Male tot' of 40 s. upon a Sack was
again demanded by E. I.; and was therefore now abrogated, saving to the King, and his Heirs, the Demi Mark
upon a Sack of Wool, granted by the Commonalty:
Which is the very same Grant of 3 E. I. cited by your
Lordships in the present Question.
But this is also a convincing Evidence, that these Words,
"The Lords and Commons grant," are Words of Form;
and made use of in such Cases where the Grant did certainly proceed from the Commons alone. And to clear
this Point yet more fully, by a modern Precedent, we
pray your Lordships to take notice of the Statute of 2 and
3 E. VI. Cap. 36. where a Relief is given to the King,
by Parliament: And in the Title of the Act, as also in
the Body of it, it is still called all along, The Grant of the
Lords and Commons: Yet in 3 and 4 E. VI. Cap. 23.
this former Act is recited; and there it is acknowledged
to be only a Grant of the Commons.
And as for the Case of 9 H. IV. called, The Indemnity of the Lords and Commons; these Things are evidently proved by it:
First, That it was a Grievance to the Commons, and a
Breach of their Liberties, for the Lords to demand a
Committee, to confer with about Aids.
Secondly, That the Lords ought to consider by themselves, and the Commons by themselves, apart.
Thirdly, That no Report should be made to the King
of what the Commons have granted, and the Lords
assented to, till the Matter be perfected: So that a plain
Declaration is made, That the Commons grant, and the
4ly, That the Gift ought to be presented by the
Speaker of the Commons.
The Book Case 33 H. VI. 17. is the weakest of all;
for the Words are "Si les Commons grant Tonnage
p' 4 Ans, & S'urs grant mes p' deux Ans ceo ne serra
reliver aux Communs mes via versa si Communs Grant
p' 2 Ans, & S'urs p. 4 ceo ne ser' reliver.'
Now 1st, This was no Opinion of any Judge, but only
of Kirkby, Cl' de Parl.'
Secondly, This was a Case put by-the-by, and not pertinent to the Matter in hand.
3ly, `Tis impossible to be Law, being against the constant Practice and Usage of Parliament: For then your
Lordships may not only lessen the Rates and Time; but
you may choose, whether you will send us the Bill or no
back again, with Amendment; which was never heard
of: And if that may be, why was it not done so now ?
4ly, That Clerk says, Your Lordships may increase
Impositions too; which Part of the Case you thought not
fit to cite, because you pretend not to it.
5. Brook. Parl'm 3. puts a Quære upon the Case, as
But if the Law Books are to be heard in this Matter,
30 H. VIII. Dyer 43. is a Judicial Authority, where
Subsidy is defined to be a Tax, "Assess p' Parliament
& Grant al Roy p' les Communs durant vie de chest' ou
Roy tantu p' Defence des Merchants sur le Mere."
The Provisoes in the Bill of 1 H. VIII. which your
Lordships seem mainly to rely upon, we conceive to be
of no Force at all, unless it be against your Lordships:
For, by your Lordships Journals, the Case was this; The
Bill itself did not pass till 3 H. VIII.; and upon the 43
Day of the Parliament the Lords assented to it: Afterwards upon the 45th Day Two Provisoes came in; one
touching the Merchants of the Hanse Towns; another
touching the Merchants of the Staple of Calais: Both
were signed by the King and the Chancellor: And the
Bishop of Winchester did declare, that the signing of
those Provisoes by the King's own Hand was enough,
without the Consent of either House. So that the
Addition of those Provisoes prove nothing, for which
your Lordships cited them: Because,
1st, They were signed by the King.
2ly, They were brought in against all Course of Parliament, after the Bill passed.
3ly, The Provisoes were nothing but a Saving of former
Rights, usually considered in former Acts of that Nature.
4ly, Your Lordships Journal declares, that the King,
without those Provisoes might have done the same thing
by his Prerogative: Only This may be fit to be observed
by the way; that as the Bill was a Grant of the Commons alone, so the Thanks for that Bill was given to the
Commons alone; and so appears upon the Endorsement of that very Record.
The Precedents for the Commons, which on the sudden we find (for we have had but few Hours to
search) are all these following.
11 E. I. Walsingh. 471. Populis dedit Regi tricesimam
25 E. I. Wals. 486. & pag' 74. Populus dedit Regi denarium nonum.
7 H. IV. Wals. 566. Postquam milites Parliamentares
diu distulissent concedere regi subsidium in fine tamen
6. H. IV. Wals. 564. Subsidium denegatum fuit Proceribus renitentibus.
So hitherto, when granted, the Commons gave it;
when denied, the whole Bill rejected; Never abated.
1 E. III. Stat. 2. C. 6. The Commons grieved, that
when they granted an Aid, and paid it, the Taxes were
18 E. III. Cap. 1. Statute at large, The Commons
grant Two Fifteenths: The great Men grant nothing;
but to go in Person with the King.
36 E. III. Cap. 11. The King, having Regard to the
Grant made by the Commons, for Three Years, of Wool
and Leather, grants, that no Aid be levied but by Consent of Parliament.
21 R. II. N. 75. Is the First Grant of Tonage and
Poundage, for Life; and it was given by the Commons
2 H. VI. N. 14. The Commons grant Tonage and
Poundage for Two Years.
31 H. VI. N. 7, 8, 9, 10. The Commons grant Tonage, &c. for Life.
8 Ed. IV. N. 30. The Commons grant Two Tenths,
and Two Fifteenths.
12 E. 4. C. 3. The Grant for Tonage and Poundage
for Life is recited to be by the Commons, and most of the
Rates mentioned in the Bill.
The Wars of Yorke and Lancaster are so far from
weakening these Precedents, it strengthens them rather;
For no Man can think the Lords were then in less Power,
or less careful of their Rights, than your Lordships are
now: Wherefore, if, in those Days, those Forms were approved by those mighty Men, it is a Sign the Right is clear.
1 H. VIII. Commons, by Assent of the Lords, grant
15 H. VII. In Ireland was the First Grant of Tonage
and Poundage: But it said, At the Prayer of the Commons, it is Enacted: Which, in a Kingdom where they
are not tied to Forms, shews the clear Right.
1 E. VI. Cap. 13. 1 Mar. Cap. 8. 1 El. Cap. 19.
We your poor Commons, by Advice, &c. grant: And also
avers the Right, Time out of Mind, to be in the Commons.
In like Manner this Statute of the 1st of El. Cap. 19.
gives us Occasion to put your Lordships in mind of another
Precedent, which appears in your own Journals, Wednesday, 15 Feb. 1 Eliz. For while the Bill was passing,
the Inhabitants of Cheshire and Wales petition the Lords
upon the Second Reading, That forasmuch as they were
subject to pay the Queen a certain Duty, called Mises;
that therefore they might be excused of the Subsidy, and
abated their Parts of it. The Lords, who then knew they
had no Power to diminish any Part of the Aid granted by
the Commons, did therefore address themselves to the
Queen, in their Behalfs. The Queen commands an Entry
to be made in the Journal of the House of Lords, that she
was pleased, that the Cheshire Men and the Welsh Men
should be respited the Mises, when they pay Subsidies;
and respited the Subsidies, when they pay Mises. Which
is a strong Proof, that as the Commons alone grant, so
nobody can diminish their Grant; else what need had
the Lords to apply themselves to the Queen for it ?
17 Car. I. Tonage and Poundage was granted once for
a Month; then again for Three Months: But still the
Grant was by the Commons: In those Days, (how tumultuous soever) the Commons did not rise against the
Lords; they agreed well enough.
12 C. II. Cap. 4. Tonage.
Cap. 24. For 70,000l
Cap. 23. Excise for Life.
12 C. Cap. 27. For 420,000l.
Cap. 19. 70,000l. more.
13 C. II. Cap. 3. 1,260,000l.
14 C. II. Cap. 10. Chimney Money.
15. C. II. Cap. 9. Four Subsidies.
16 & 17 C. II. Cap. 1. Royal Aid.
17 C. II. Cap. 1. Oxon, 1,250,000l.
18 C. II. Cap. 1. Poll Bill.
19 Car. II. Cap. 8. Eleven Months Tax.
20 Car. II. Cap. 1. 310,000l. Wine.
22 C. II. Cap. 3. Wine and Vinegar.
23 Car. Subsidies, 12d. per Pound.
Impost on the Law:
And the Preamble of this very Bill, now in
All Grants of the Commons: Yet none of those Bills
were ever varied by your Lordships, or your Predecessors:
Which if there had been such a Right, would some time
or other have been exercised, though in very small Values, purposely to preserve that Right.
Thus an uninterrupted Possession of this Privilege,
ever since 9 H. IV. confirmed by a Multitude of Precedents, both before and after, not shaken by one Precedent for these Three Hundred Years, is now required
to be delivered up, or an End put to all further Discourse:
Which Opinion, if it be adhered to, is, as much as in
your Lordships lies, to put an End to all further Transactions between the Houses, in Matter of Money.
Which we pray your Lordships to consider;
Because there appears not to the Commons any Colour
from the Precedents cited by your Lordships, why your
Opinions should be so fixed in this Point: We suppose the
main Defence is in the Reasons have been given for it.
That Paper begins with an Observation that your Lordships had neither Reason nor Precedent offered by the
Commons, to back their Resolution; and yet concludes
with an Answer to a Precedent then cited by the House
of Commons, viz. the Act of Tonage and Poundage now
in Force: And if your Lordships heard but one Precedent then, you have now a great Number, besides those
of 3 E. I. and 1 H. VIII. and 9 H. IV. and divers others
your Lordships furnished us with.
Before the Commons answer to your Lordships Reasons in particular, they desire to say first in general, that
it is a very unsafe Thing in any settled Government, to
argue the Reasons of the fundamental Constitutions; for
that can tend to nothing that is profitable to the Whole.
And this will more sensibly appear to your Lordships,
if the Grounds and Foundations of Judicature be examined.
For there are several Precedents in Parliament, and
some in Book Cases; which prove, that the Judicature is
not to be exercised by all the Lords, but only such as the
King is pleased to appoint. So is the Book Case of 22E. III.
3. A. 6. And so is the Parliament Roll, 25 E. III. N. 4;
and divers other Rolls of Parliament.
Several other Precedents there are, where the Commons, by the King's good Pleasure, have been led into
a Share of the very Judicature. So are the 42 E. III.
N. 20, 21. 31 H. VI. N. 10. 8 Ed. IV. Hugh Brice's
Case; in the Rolls of Parliament.
Some Precedents there are, where it was assigned for
Error in the House of Peers, that the Lords gave Judgment, without Petition or Assent of the Commons. So is
2 H. V. N. 13.
Would your Lordships think it safe, that a Dispute
should now be made, of the very Rights of Judicature,
because we have such Precedents ?
If Usage for so long a Time have silenced all Disputes
touching your Lordships Judicature, shall that Usage be
of no Force, to preserve the Privileges of the Commons,
from all further Question ?
Conference; Foreign Commodities.
Also there is a Precedent of an Act of Parliament,
passed by the King and Commons alone, without the
Lords; viz. 1 E. VI. C. 5. and That twice approved, viz.
1 Eliz. C. 7. and 5 Eliz. C. 19. which do both allow
and commend this Act:
Shall we therefore argue the Foundations of the Legislature, because we have such Precedents ?
But, to come to Particulars;
1. Your Lordships first Reason is from the Happiness
of the Constitution, that the Two Houses are mutual
Checks upon each other.
Answer. So they are still; for your Lordships have a
Negative to the Whole.
But, on the other Side, it would be a double Check
upon his Majesty's Affairs, if the King may not rely upon
the Quantum, when once his People have given it: And
therefore the Privilege now contended for by your Lordships, is not of Use to the Crown, but much the contrary.
2ly, Your Lordships Reasons, drawn from the Writ of
Summons, is as little concluding: For though the Writ
do not exclude you from any Affairs; yet it is only de quibusdam arduis negotiis; and must be understood of such as
by Course of Parliament are proper; else the Commons,
upon the like Ground, may intitle themselves to Judicature, for they are also called ad faciend' & consentiend' de
quibusdam arduis & super negotiis antedictis.
3. Your Lordships proceed to demand, Where is that
Record or Contract in Parliament to be found, where the
Lords appropriate this Right to the Commons, in Exclusion of themselves ?
Answer. To this Rhetorical Question, the Commons
pray they may answer by another Question: Where is
that Record or Contract by which the Commons submitted, that Judicature should be appropriated to the Lords
in Exclusion of themselves?
Where-ever your Lordships find the last Record, they
will shew the First endorsed upon the Back of the same
Truth is, Precedents there are, where both Sides do
exercise those several Rights; but none, how either Side
came by them.
4. If the Lords may deny the Whole, why not a Part ?
Else the Commons may at last pretend to bar a negative
Answer. The King must deny the Whole of every Bill,
or pass it; yet this takes not away his negative Voice. The
Lords and Commons must accept the whole general Pardon, or deny it; yet this takes not away their Negative.
The Clergy have a Right to tax themselves; and it is
a Part of the Privilege of their Estate. Doth the Upper
Convocation House alter what the Lower Grant ? Or do
the Lords or Commons ever abate any Part of their Gift ?
Yet they have a Power to reject the Whole. But, if
Abatement should be made, it would insensibly go to a
Rising, and deprive the Clergy of their ancient Right to
5. Your Lordships say, Judicature is undoubtedly
ours; yet, in Bills of Judicature, we allow the Commons
to amend and alter: Why should not the Commons
allow us the same Privilege in Bills of Money ?
Answer. If Contracts were now to be made for Privileges,
the Offer might seem fair: But yet the Commons should
profit little by it; for your Lordships do now industriously
avoid all Bills of that Nature; and chuse to do many
Things by your own Power, which ought to be done by
the Legislative: Of which we forbear the Instances, because
your Lordships, we hope, will reform them; and we desire not to create new Differences, but to compose the old.
6ly, Your Lordships say, you are put to an ignoble
Choice, either to refuse the King's Supplies when they are
most necessary; or to consent to such Ways and Proportions, which neither your own Judgment, nor the good of
the Government or People, can admit.
Answer. We pray your Lordships to observe, that this
Reason, First, makes your Lordships Judgment to be the
Measure of the Welfare of the Commons of England:
Conference; Foreign Commodities.
2ly, It gives you Power to raise and encrease Taxes,
as well as to abate: For it may sometimes, in your Lordships Judgments, be for Interest of Trade to raise and
increase a Rate, as well as to lessen it: And then, still
you are brought to the same ignoble Choice, unless you
may raise the Tax.
But it is a very ignoble Choice put upon the King and
his People, that either his Majesty must demand, and the
Commons give so small an Aid, as can never be diminished,
or else run the Hazard of your Lordships Re-examination
of the Rates; whose Proportions in all Taxes, in Comparison to what the Commonality pay, is very inconsiderable.
7. If positive Assertion can introduce Right, the Lords
have no Security; but the Commons may extend a Right
as they judge it necessary, or expedient.
Answer. We hope no Assertions or Denials, though
never so positive, shall give, or take away, a Right: But
we rely upon Usage on our Side, and Non-usage on your
Lordships Part, as the best Evidences by which your
Lordships, or we, can claim any Privilege.
8. Your Lordships profess a Desire to raise our Esteem
with his Majesty and the whole Kingdon; but not by the
Under-valuation of the House of Peers.
Answer. We have so great Confidence in his Majesty's
Goodness, that, we assure ourselves, nothing can lessen
his Majesty's Esteem of our dutiful Affections to him:
And we hope we have deserved so well of our Country,
by our Deportment towards his Majesty, that we shall not
need your Lordships Recommendations to any, who wish
well to his Majesty, or the present Government.
But we are so far from wishing to raise an Esteem by
any Diminution of your Lordships Honour or Privileges,
that there never was any House of Commons, who had
a more just and true Respect of that noble Constitution
of a House of Peers; of which your Lordships have had
frequent Instances, by our consenting to several Clauses
in former Bills, for the Securing and Improving your
9. We are sorry to see your Lordships undervalue the
Precedent of this last Act of Tonage and Poundage;
because, though it were an Act of the last Convention,
it was confirmed in this Parliament; and because the
Right of the Commons, there asserted, was pusuant to a
former Precedent in 1642, and possibly had not passed
so, if the younger Members of that Convention had not
learned, from some of those great and noble Lords, who
now manage the Conference for your Lordships, and
were then Commoners, that this was the undoubted Right
of the Commons.
To conclude, the Commons have examined Themselves, and their Proceedings; and find no Cause, why
your Lordships should put them in mind of that Modesty,
by which their Ancestors shewed a great Deference to the
Wisdom of the Lords: For they resolve ever to observe
the Modesty of their Ancestors; and doubt not, but your
Lordships will also follow the Wisdom of yours.
It was unanimously Resolved,
That the Thanks of the House be returned to Mr. Attorney General, for his great Pains and Care in preparing
and drawing up the Reasons, delivered to the Lords, in
Answer to their Reasons, which was by him performed
to the great Satisfaction of this House, in Vindication
of their Privilege, and just and undoubted Right of the
Commons of England.
And Mr. Speaker did accordingly deliver the Thanks
of the House to Mr. Attorney General.
Preventing Export of Wool.
Amendments, sent from the Lords, to the Bill to prevent the Exportation of Wool, were read: And the Two
last agreed; and the rest disagreed: And a Conference
to be desired by the Lord St. John.
The Lord St. John reports, their Lordships would send
Answer by Messengers of their own.
Additional Amendments to the Bill to prevent Disturbances of Seamen, was twice read; and agreed unto.
Hemp and Flax planting.
The Amendments to the Bill for encouraging the
Sowing of Hemp and Flax, were read.
And then the House adjourned till Three of the
Lords agree to Conference.
A Message from the Lords, by Sir John Coell and Sir
Mr. Speaker, The Lords sent us down to acquaint
you, That they did agree to a Conference, upon the
Amendments to the Bill for preventing the Exportation
of Wool, at Four of the Clock, in the Painted Chamber:
And likewise to acquaint you, that their Lordships have
agreed to the Amendments to the Bill concerning the
truly loyal indigent Officers.
Address relating to Governors of Plantations.
Resolved, &c. That his Majesty be humbly desired, by
such Members of this House as are of his Majesty's Most
honourable Privy Council, that such as are, or shall be,
appointed Governors of any of his Majesty's Plantations
(Tangier excepted) to take the Oaths appointed to be
taken by the Acts of Navigation and Trade.
Conference on Wool Bill.
Ordered, That Sir Geo. Downing, Mr. Powle, Mr. Bence,
Sir Rich. Temple, Sir Will. Bucknall, Sir John Earnely,
Colonel Birch, or any Three of them, do withdraw; and
prepare Reasons for the Conference, to be had with the
Lords, upon their Lordships Amendments to the Bill to
prevent the Exportation of Wool.
The Bill for preventing the Disturbances of Seamen,
and Preservation of his Majesty's Stores, read a Third
time; and passed; And Mr. Wren to carry it up to the
Conference on Wool Bill.
Mr. Powle reports Reasons for the Conference to be
had with the Lords to the Bill to prevent the Exportation
of Wool: Which were approved of.
A Message from the Lords, by Sir John Coell and Sir
Mr. Speaker, The Lords have sent us down to acquaint
you, That they have agreed with this House in their
Amendments and Proviso to the additional Bill for preventing the Disturbances of Seamen, and Preservation of
his Majesty's Stores.
Message to attend the King.
A Message from the Lords, by Sir Edw. Carteret
Usher of the Black Rod;
The King commands this honourable House to attend
him forthwith, in the House of Lords.
And accordingly Mr. Speaker, with the House, went
up to the House of Peers, to attend his Majesty: Where
his Majesty was pleased, by the Right honourable the
Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England, to prorogue
the Parliament till the Sixteenth of April next.