The 3d Session of the 3d Parliament.
On Friday December 3, the Parliament met at Westminster, and the King in his Robes made this Speech to
the two Houses.
King's Speech to both Houses.
'My Lords and Gentlemen,
'The War which I entered into by the Advice of
my People, is by the Blessing of God, and their
zealous and affectionate Assistance, brought to the End we
all proposed, an honourable Peace; which I was willing
to conclude, not so much to ease my self from the Trouble
or Hazard, as to free the Kingdom from the continuing
Burthen of an expensive War.
'I am heartily sorry, my Subjects will not at first find
all that Relief from the Peace, which I could wish, and
they may expect; but the Funds intended for the last
Year's Service, have fallen short of answering the Sums
for which they are given; so that there remain considerable Deficiencies to be provided for.
'There's a Debt upon the Account of the Fleet and the
Army. The Revenues of the Crown have been anticipated by my Consent, for public Uses; so that I am
wholly destitute of means to support the Civil List; and I
can never distrust you'll suffer this to turn to my Disadvantage, but will provide for me, during my Life, in such
a manner, as may be for my Honour, and for the Honour
of the Government.
'Our Naval Force being increased to near double what
it was at my Accession to the Crown, the Charge of maintaining it will be proportionably augmented; and it is certainly necessary for the Interest and Reputation of England, to have always a great Strength at Sea.
'The Circumstances of Affairs abroad are such, that I
think my self obliged to tell you my Opinion, that, for
the present, England cannot be safe without a Land-Force;
and I hope we shall not give those who mean us ill, the
opportunity of effecting that, under the Notion of a
Peace, which they could not bring to pass by a War.
'I doubt not but you, Gentlemen of the House of Commons, will take these Particulars into your Consideration,
in such a manner as to provide the necessary Supplies,
which I do very earnestly recommend to you.
'My Lords and Gentlemen,
'That which I most delight to think off, and am best
pleased to own, is, that I have all the Proofs of my People's Affection, that a Prince can desire; and I take this
occasion to give them the most solemn Assurance, that as
I never had, so I never will, nor can, have any Interest
separate from theirs.
'I esteem it one of the greatest Advantages of the Peace,
that I shall now have leisure to rectify such Corruptions or
Abuses as may have crept into any part of the Administration during the War; and effectually to discourage Prophaneness and Immorality: And I shall employ my
Thoughts in promoting Trade, and advancing the Happiness and flourishing Estate of the Kingdom.
'I shall conclude with telling you, that as I have, with
the Hazard of every thing, rescued your Religion, Laws
and Liberties, when they were in the extremest danger;
so I shall place the Glory of my Reign in preserving them
entire, and leaving them so to Posterity.'
This Speech had various Effects in the House of Commons: Some thought some Expressions in it too magisterial;
others seemed to be offended at his Majesty's putting them
in mind of what he had done for the Nation; others again
distrusted the great Promises of what he would do for them;
and most began to be jealous of the Expression, That England could not be safe without a Land-Force: By which
they understood that odious thing a standing Army. However, on December 9th, the Commons presented this humble
Address to the King.
'We your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal Subjects, the
Commons in Parliament assembled, who have so frequently
waited on your Majesty with the Tender of our Assistance
for carrying on the War, come now to congratulate your
Majesty upon the happy Conclusion of it, in a Peace so honourable and advantageous to the Nation, as sufficiently
justifies the Wisdom of the Commons in advising, and your
Majesty's Conduct in the Prosecution of it.
'The Prospect of the Benefits your People will receive
from this Peace, is very pleasing. The Honour your Majesty has restored to England, of holding the Balance of
Europe, gives your Subjects great Content. But what your
Commons are most affected and delighted with, is, that your
Majesty's sacred Person will now be secure, from those many
and great Dangers, to which you have so often exposed it
for our Sakes: Nothing being so evident, as that your Majesty's Return in Safety, was a Blessing more welcome to
your People than Peace, and received with greater Demonstrations of Joy.
'We therefore with Hearts full of Affection, Duty, and
Gratitude, do assure your Majesty in the Name of all the
Commons of England, that this House will be very ready
to assist and support your Majesty, who, by putting a period
to the War, has confirmed us in the quiet Possession of our
Rights and Liberties, and so fully completed the glorious
Work of our Deliverance.'
The King answered thus:
'Gentlemen, Nothing that relates to the Peace pleases
me so much, as the Satisfaction you have in it: And as you
have assisted me in the War, beyond all Expression, I do
not doubt, but you will be as zealous in maintaining the
The Grievance of Standing Forces. ; Arguments used for them. ; And against them.
Standing Forces, however established and regulated by
Law, or however necessary to maintain the Peace, were
thought intolerable; and therefore upon entring into a Consideration of his Majesty's Speech, the first Resolution of the
Commons, was on December 11th. That all the (fn. 1) LandForces of this Kingdom, that have been raised since the
29th of September 1680, shall be paid and disbanded. The
Friends of the King and his Government had argued, that
the Nation was still unsettled, and not quite delivered from
the Fear of King James; that the Adherents to that abdicated Prince, were as bold and numerous as ever; and he
himself still protected by the French King: who, having as
yet dismist none of his Troops, was still as formidable as before. That if our Army was entirely disbanded, the Peace
which was obtained at the Expence of so much Blood and
Treasure, would be altogether precarious: And not only
England, but all Europe lie once more at the mercy of that
ambitious Monarch, an inveterate Enemy to King William,
the Protestant Religion, and the Liberties of Christendom.
On the other hand, the Country Party, who valued themselves upon opposing any Motions of the Court; the disaffected Party, who never heartily approved the Revolution;
the Commonwealth Party, who were secretly driving at a
Change of Government into their own Scheme and Interest;
and even many worthy Patriots, who had no worse view
than the Rights and Liberties of their Country: All, upon
different Thoughts, agreed in the same Aversion to a standing Army, and laboured to represent it as absolutely destructive to the Constitution of the English Government.
And it was no wonder that their Objections prevailed when
they were more popular, and had this weight in them, that
standing Forces would want a continual Tax; and disbanding would relieve the People from the Burthen of the War,
which they would never be willing to bear in a time of
Peace. The King hoped that he had prevented the warmth
of these Debates at his last coming over, when he had caused
several Regiments of Horse, Dragoons, and Fooot to be dis
banded; and even others to be reduced, and sent away
(most of them) either to Scotland or Ireland (fn. 2) And therefore he resented it as the greater Hardship upon him, that
he must have no Troops remaining, but be left so naked
and exposed, as if the Peace were only to encourage his
Enemies to surprize him with another War.
Commons for disbanding the Army.
The Commons however persisted in their Resolutions of
Disbanding; but to make it the more palatable, they passed
a Vote, December the 13th, That it be an Instruction to
the Committee who were to consider of the Supply, that they
should likewise consider of a Gratuity, to be given to such
Officers and Soldiers of the English Army who were or
should be disbanded: And, at the same time, ordered Mr.
Hammond and Mr Moyle to bring in a Bill, to enable Soldiers
who should be disbanded, to exercise their Trades in any
Town or Corporation throughout this Kingdom, And, to
provide for the Security of the Kingdom, when the Army
should be disbanded. On December the 17th, they appointed
several Members to prepare and bring in a Bill, to regulate
the Militia, and make them more useful. And on December the 18th, they Resolved, That ten thousand Men are
necessary for a Summer and Winter-Guard at Sea, for the
Year one thousand six hundred ninety eight.
Supply took into Consideration. ; A Civil-List of 700,000 l. settled on the King for Life.
On December the 20th, the Commons took the Supply
into Consideration, and Resolved, that in a just Sense and
Acknowledgment of what great Things his Majesty has done
for these Kingdoms, a Sum not exceeding seven hundred
thousand Pounds be granted to his Majesty during his Life,
for the Support of the Civil-List.
Royal Assent given to several Acts.
On Friday, Jan. 14, The King gave the Royal Assent to
an Act to prevent the Currency of hammer'd Money, and for Recoining it. 2. An Act against corresponding with King James and
his Adherents. 3. An Act for imprisoning Counter, and others, for
the Assassination-Plot, &c.
Sums granted, and for what Uses.
The same day, the House of Commons agreed to the Resolutions which had been taken in a grand Committee about
the Supply; First, That a Sum not exceeding three hundred
and fifty thousand Pounds, be granted to his Majesty, for
maintaining Guards and Garrisons for the Year 1698. Secondly, That a Supply be granted to his Majesty, which, together with the Funds already settled for that Purpose, should
be sufficient to answer and cancel all Exchequer-Bills, issued
or to be issued, not exceeding two Millions seven hundred
thousand Pounds. Thirdly, That a Supply be granted to
his Majesty, for the speedy paying and disbanding the Army.
And then they ordered, that a Bill be brought in for reducing the Discount upon Exchequer-Bills, and giving them
a better Currency.
Bounties granted to disbanded Soldiers.
On January the 18th, they came to other softning Resolutions. First, That upon Disbanding the Army, over and
above what is due to them, there be allowed by way of
Bounty, fourteen Days Subsistence to each Foot-Soldier and
Non-Commission Officer; and to each Foot-Soldier three
Shillings more, in lieu of his Sword, which he is to deliver
up. Secondly, That upon disbanding the Army, over and
above what is due to them, there be allowed by way of Bounty, six days full Pay to each private Trooper and Non-Commission Officer of the Horse and Dragoons. Thirdly, That,
out of the Supply to be granted to his Majesty, the Sum of
two hundred and fifty thousand Pound be allowed upon Account, towards defraying the Charge of disbanding the private Troopers, and Centinels, and Non-Commission Officers,
of the Horse, Dragoons, and Foot. Fourthly, That Provision be made for giving Half-pay to the CommissionOfficers, (his Majesty's natural-born Subjects of England)
till the said Officers shall be fully paid off and cleared, and
be otherwise provided for.
Deficiencies made good.
To proceed in these softer Ways, the Commons Resolved to
make good the Deficiencies of former Funds; and therefore,
on January the 22d, they voted the Sum of four hundred
and seven thousand Pounds, for making good the Deficiency
of the Aid of three Shillings in the Pound, granted to his
Majesty the last Session of Parliament; and nine hundred and
forty thousand Pounds, for making good the Deficiency of
the Subsidies, and other Duties granted at the same time;
and one hundred twenty nine thousand Pound, for making
good the Deficiency of the Aid of one Shilling in the Pound.
And they ordered a Committee to consider of Ways and
Means for making good the said Deficiencies. On Feb. the
1st, having taken the Arrears of the Army into consideration, they Resolved that the Sum of 1,254,000 l. was necessary
to clear the Arrears of Pay, due to the Land Forces, according to the Establishment from the first of April 1692,
to the last day of September 1697, besides 940,815 l. for
Subsistence, 28,295 l for Contingencies, 5000 l. for the
General-Officers, and 75,000 l. for the Guards and Garrisons; in all 2,348,102 l. And that there was but 855,502 l.
remaining in the hands of the Pay-Master of the Army,
the first day of January 1697-8.
Three Shillings in the Pound laid upon Land. ; Sums voted to foreign Princes.
To raise the Sums which the Parliament had voted necessary for disbanding the Army, paying of Seamen, and towards making good of Loans, and the Deficiencies of former Funds; they Resolved, February the 9th, to lay an Aid
of three Shillings in the Pound upon Land, by way of Assessment upon every County, in proportion to the Rates of
the first four Shillings Aid granted in 1691, by which means
they prevented any future Deficiency of this Fund. The
next day, they considered the Account of what was due to
some of his Majesty's Allies, both for Arrears of Subsidies,
and for Payment of Auxiliaries; and Resolved, that 180,000
Rix-dollars were due to the Elector of Brandenburgh;
250,000 Rix-dollars to the Landgrave of Hesse-Cassel;
121,223 Rix-dollars to the Duke of Wolfenbuttle; 149,997
Rix-dollars to the Bishop of Munster; 50,000 Rix-dollars
to the Duke of Hanover and Zell; 25,000 Rix-dollars to the
Duke of Holstein, and 200,000 Rix-dollars to the King of
Denmark, both upon the fore-mentioned Account, and in
consideration of an entire Prohibition of Commerce between
that Crown and France. They also Resolved, that there was
due the Sum of 177,000 Pounds to the Contractors for
Bread and Forage. Four days after, they farther examined
into the Debt of the Nation, and Resolved, that the Sum of
1,392,742 l. was due upon the several Heads of the Estimate
of the general Debt of the Navy; 204,157 l. to the Office
of Ordnance; 340,708 l. for Transports for Reducing of
Ireland; 125,785 l. for other Transport-service; and 49,929 l.
for quartering and cloathing the Army raised by Act of Parliament in 1677, and disbanded by another Act in 1679.
Order of Paying off all Arrears of Debt.
It being impossible for the Nation to acquit this vast Debt
at once, the Commons resolved to do it by degrees; and
therefore voted, First, That the Debt due for clearing the
Army, from the first of April 1692, to the last day of September 1697, amounting to 1,254,000 l. the Sum of 139,066 l.
be raised in the Year 1698, which would clear the Army
to the first day of April, 1693. Secondly, That the Sum of
203,450 l. be raised for the clearing the Arrears of Subsistence to the Troops in England, between the first day of
January 1696, and the first day of August, 1697. Thirdly,
That 450,816 l. be raised for clearing the Arrears of Subsistence to the Troops in Flanders, to the 4th day of October,
1697. Fourthly, That the Sum of 50,000 l. be raised for the
General-Officers. Fifthly, That 137,990 l. be raised for
clearing the Arrears of Subsistence, due to the Troops in
Flanders, from the 4th October, 1697, to the last of December. Sixthly, That the Sum of 1,100,117 l. be raised for
the Navy; viz. 100,000 l. for Wear and Tear; 600,000 l.
for Seamens-Wages, in Part of 1,862,849 l. due on that
score; 16,389 l. due to the Register'd-Seamen; 24,000 l. for
the Salaries of the Commissioners of the Admiralty, and
other Officers, and for Contingencies; 28,663 l. for Halfpay Sea-Officers; 90,073 l. for Pensions to superannuated
Sea-Officers and Widows; 15,927 l. for the Charge of the
Yards; 848 l. for the Muster-masters of the Out-Ports;
43,399 l. for Wages to Ships and Vessels in Ordinary;
19,608 l. for Victuals of the Ships in Ordinary; 32,558 l.
for Harbour-moorings; 35,848 l. for ordinary Repairs of the
Navy; 55,520 l. for the two marine Regiments; and 37,286 l.
for the Charge of the Office for Registering Seamen. Seventhly, That the Sum of 60,000 l. be allowed for the Ordnance. And Eighthly, That Provision be made towards Payment of the Principal and Interest of the Transport-Debt.
All which Sums they resolved to raise in the Year 1698.
Enquiry into the false Endorsements on Exchequer-Bills. ; Duncomb and Knight, two Members, expell'd and imprisoned for the same.
The false Endorsement of Exchequer-Bills was such a
scandalous Practice, that it took up much of the Commons
time to enquire into it, and reform it. These ExchequerBills were of mighty Use in the Nation, by supplying the
Scarcity of Money during the Re-coining of the Silver Species. Now, because there was an Interest of seven Pounds
twelve Shillings per Annum allowed upon the second issuing
the said Bills out of the Exchequer, after they had been
paid in, on any of the King's Taxes; whereas at their first
issuing out of the Exchequer, they bore no Interest; this encouraged several of the King's Officers, both in the Exchequer, the Customs, and the Excise, to contrive together to
get great Sums of Money by false Endorsements on these
Exchequer-Bills, before they had circulated about, and been
brought into any Branch of his Majesty's Revenue. The
most considerable Persons that had carried on this unwarrantable Practice, were Mr. Charles Duncomb, ReceiverGeneral of the Excise; Mr. John Knight, Treasurer of the
Customs; Mr. Bartholomew Burton, who had a Place in the
Excise-Office; and Mr. Reginald Marryot, one of the Deputy-Tellers of the Exchequer; which last, to get his Pardon, compounded to accuse the rest. Upon a full Proof of
the matter, Duncomb and Knight, who were Members of
the House of Commons, were first expelled the House, and committed Prisoners to the Tower; Burton was sent to Newgate,
and Bills were ordered to be brought in to punish them. The
Bill against Mr. Duncomb, whereby a Fine of near half his
Estate, (which at that time was judged to be worth 400,000 l.)
was set upon him, did quickly pass the House of Commons,
notwithstanding the Opposition that was made to it, particularly by the Attorney-General: But being sent up to the
House of Lords, and their Lordships being equally divided,
the Duke of Leeds gave his casting Vote for the rejecting
of the Bill. It was then the common Report, that Mr. Duncomb dispelled the impending Storm by a golden Sacrifice;
which however History cannot relate as a Truth, because
it never came to public notice: But we must not pass over
in silence, that Mr. Duncomb being set at liberty by the
Order of the House of Lords, without the Consent of the
Commons, the latter resented it to that degree, that they
caused him to be remanded to the Tower of London, where
he continued to the End of the Session. The Bills against
Knight and Burton had the same fate; and so all those
threatning Clouds that seemed ready to crush the false Endorsers, spent themselves in Vapour and Noise.
A Bill of Resumption ordered.
The Commons did this Year design to apply Part of all
the forfeited Estates to the Use of the Public; in order to
which, they enquired into the Grants made by King Charles II.
and King James II. and ordered a Bill to be brought in
to make them void. Afterwards they examined the Grants
made by his present Majesty in Ireland; and because a Grant
was found made to Mr. Railton, which Mr. Montague,
Chancellor of the Exchequer, owned to be for his Benefit, a
warm Debate arose thereupon; and the Enemies of the latter, who were not few, moved, that he should withdraw;
which passing in the Negative, it was Resolved by a great
Majority, That it was the Opinion of this House that the
honourable Charles Montague Esq; Chancellor of the Exchequer, for his good Services to this Government, did deserve his Majesty's Favour: A Vote that will render his
Name famous to all succeeding Ages.
State of Religion.
On Feb. 9th. A Committee was appointed to draw up an
humble Address to his Majesty, upon the Debate of the
House, to suppress Prophaneness and Immorality, and all
Books which endeavour to undermine the Fundamentals of
the Christian Religion, and to punish the Authors. So that
on Feb. 17th, this Address was presented to the King by
the whole House.
The Commons Address.
'May it please your Majesty, We your Majesty's most
dutiful and loyal Subjects, the Commons in Parliament assembled, do with great Joy and Comfort remember the
many Testimonies which your Majesty has given us of your
Sincerity and Zeal for the true Reformed Religion, as
established in this Kingdom: And in particular, we beg
leave to present to your Majesty our most humble and
thankful Acknowledgments, for the late gracious Declaration your Majesty has made to us from the Throne, that
you would effectually discourage Prophaneness and Immorality, which, chiefly by the Neglect and ill Example of
too many Magistrates, are, like a general Contagion, diffused and spread throughout the Kingdom, to the great
Scandal and Reproach of our Religion, and to the Dishonour and Prejudice of your Majesty's Government.
'Therefore, in Concurrence with your Majesty's pious
Intentions, we do most humbly desire, that your Majesty
would issue out your Royal Proclamation, commanding all
your Majesty's Judges, Justices of the Peace, and other Magistrates, to put in speedy Execution those good Laws that
are now in force against Prophaneness and Immorality, giving due Encouragement to all such as do their Duty therein:
And that your Majesty would be pleased to require from your
Judges and Justices of Assize, from time to time, an Account of such their Proceedings.
'And since the Examples of Men in high and public
Stations have a powerful Influence upon the Lives of others,
we do most humbly beseech your Majesty, that all Vice,
Prophaneness and Irreligion, may in a particular manner
be discouraged, in those who have the Honour to be employed near your Royal Person; and in all others who are
in your Majesty's Service, by Sea and Land; appointing
strict Orders to be given to all your Commanders that they do
not only shew a good Example themselves, but also inspect
the Manners of those under them; and that your Majesty
would upon all Occasions distinguish Men of Piety and
Virtue, by Marks of your Royal Favour.
'We do further in all Humility beseech your Majesty,
that your Majesty would give such effectual Orders, as to
your Royal Wisdom shall seem fit, for the suppressing all
pernicious Books and Pamphlets, which contain in them
impious Doctrines against the Holy Trinity, and other fundamental Articles of our Faith, tending to the Subversion
of the Christian Religion, and that the Authors and Publishers thereof may be discountenanced and punished.
'And we do also most humbly beseech your Majesty, that
your said Proclamation may be ordered to be read at least
four Times in the Year, in all Churches and Chappels,
immediately after divine Service; and at the Assizes and
Quarter-Sessions of the Peace, just before the Charge is
'We present to your Majesty this our most humble Address, proceeding from our Duty and Zeal for the Glory
of God, and to the end that all our Councils may be blessed by his divine Assistance, and may produce Honour,
Safety and Happiness, with all the Blessings of a lasting
Peace, to your Majesty and your People.'
His Majesty received this Address with a singular Satisfaction, and gave this agreeable Answer.
His Majesty's Answer.
'Gentlemen, I cannot but be very well pleased with an
Address of this nature; and I will give immediate Directions in the several Particulars you desire: But I could wish
some more effectual Provision were made, for the suppressing those pernicions Books and Pamphlets which your
Address takes notice of.'
An Act for suppressing Atheism, &c.
Upon this seasonable Intimation of his Majesty, leave was
given, Feb. 26th, to bring in a Bill or Bills, for the more
effectual suppressing Prophaneness, Immorality and Debauchery; and Sir John Philips, and Mr. Edward Harley
were ordered to prepare and bring in the said Bill or Bills.
In the mean time, an ingrossed Bill from the Lords came
down to the Commons, entitled, An Act for the more effectual
suppressing of Atheism, Blasphemy and Prophaneness: Which,
being committed at the second reading to a Committee of
the whole House, was, after some Amendments and Conferences, (on certain Points contain'd in it, which too nearly
affected the Jews) happily agreed to. And in the mean time,
his Majesty, in immediate compliance to the Request of
the Commons, published a Proclamation for preventing and
punishing Immorality and Prophaneness.
Royal Assent given to several Acts.
Several Bills being ready for the Royal Assent, his Majesty
came to the House, March the 7th, and pass'd An Act for explaining the Mum Act; An Act for discharging the Arrears on
several Annuities; An Act for all Retailers of Salt to sell by
Weight; An Act for preventing the Importation of foreign Bonelace,
&c. An Act to prevent the throwing and firing of Squibs; and
to some private Acts.
And April 2. other Bills being ready for the Royal Assent,
his Majesty came again to the House of Peers, and pass'd
An Act for disbanding the Army, paying Seamen, &c. for
which they gave 1,484,015 l. An Act explaining some part
of an Act made last Sessions for the better Relief of the Poor; An
Act for the enlarging, repairing and preserving the Bridge and
Key of the Borough of Bridgewater, in the County of Somerset; An
Act for dissolving the Marriage, between Charles Earl of Macclesfield, and Anne his Wife, and to illegitimate the Children of
the said Anne; and to several private Bills.'
Several Merchants impeach'd of high Crimes and Misdemeanours.
May the 16th, Articles of Impeachment were read, and
agreed to be ingrossed against J. Gaudett, D. Barran, P.
Longueville, S. Seignorett, R. Baudouin, P. Deheerce
Merchants, and J. Pierce Gent. for confederating with several other Persons, in carrying on a Trade to France during
the late War.
For carrying on a Correspondence with several Persons in
France, and giving intelligence to the Enemy of the State of
For importing great Quantities of French Goods.
For Exporting Wool.
For conveying Criminals out of the Kingdom.
And for selling French Lustrings, and Alamodes with
counterfeit Seals and Marks, in breach of several Laws.
Royal Assent given to several Acts.
The same day the King gave the Royal Assent to An Act
for granting to his Majesty several Duties upon Coals and Culm;
An Act for continuing the Duties upon Coffee, Teas, Chocolate and
Spices, far Discharge of the Transport-Debt; An Act for the better preventing the diminishing the Coin; An Act relating to on
Act for taking away the Courts held before the President of the
Marches of Wales; An Act for determining Differences by Arbitration; An Act for the better Payment of Bills of Exchange; An
Act to naturalize the Children of Officers and Soldiers, and others,
being the natural-born Subjects of this Realm, who were born abroad
during the War; An Act to repeal an Act to restrain the excessive making of Malt; and 19 private Acts
Grievance of the Victuallers of the Tower Hamlets.
The 20th, the Report, on a Petition from the Victuallers,
&c. of the Tower-Hamlets, complaining, that under pretence
of Subsistence-Money, &c. they had been obliged by the
Justices to disburse several Sums to the Officers and Soldiers
of Colonel Tidcombe's Regiment, &c. was read, together
with the Resolutions of the Committee, to whom the said
Petition was referred, on the same; which were agreed to
by the House, and are as follow.
Resolved, That the Petitioners had no Cause of Complaint
against the Justices of the Peace, who acted in relation to
the quartering Colonel Tidcombe's Regiment.
That by an Account stated between the Victuallers, and
Mr. Moyer Agent to the said Regiment, it appears that the
Sum of three thousand, six hundred and twenty three Pounds
fourteen Shillings and eight Pence, is due to the said Victuallers; and that there is due from his Majesty to the said Regiment, four thousand, nine hundred, and seventy five Pounds
nine Shillings and seven Pence.
The great Case of the East-India Company, (which had
been depending many Years, and because of its Intricacy,
had been first referred by the Parliament to the King, and
by them back to the Parliament again,) was taken into Consideration by the House, May 4. but we have postpon'd the
Proceedings on that Article till now, for the sake of giving
it to the Reader entire, as follows:
The Dispute between the two East-India Companies.
The old Company having offered to advance 700,000 l. at
four per cent. for the Service of the Government, in case the
Trade to India might be settled on them exclusive of all others,
the House seemed inclined to embrace their Proposal; when
another number of Merchants, of whom one Shepherd was
the Chief, and who were protected by Mr. Montague, Chancellor of the Exchequer, proposed, to the House to raise two
Millions at 8 per cent. on Condition the Trade to India
might be settled on the Subscribers, exclusive of all others:
They also proposed that these Subscribers should not be
obliged to trade in a Joint-Stock; but if any Members of
them should afterwards desire to be incorporated, a Charter
should be granted to them for that purpose. The House
judged this new Overture not only to be more advantagious to
the Government, but likewise very likely to settle this controverted Trade on a better Foundation than it was on before. A Bill was therefore, on May the 26th, ordered to
be brought into the House, for settling the Trade to the
East-Indies on those who should subscribe the two Millions,
according to the Limitations beforementioned, and the following Resolutions.
'First, That every Subscriber might have the liberty of
trading Yearly, to the amount of his respective Subscription;
or might assign over such his liberty of Trading to any other
Person. Secondly, That his Majesty be empowered to incorporate such of the said Subscribers, as should desire the
same. Thirdly, That the Powers and Privileges for carrying on the East-India Trade, should be settled by Parliament. Fourthly, That the said Subscribers should enjoy the
said eight Pounds per cent. and liberty of trading to the East-Indies, (fn. 3) exclusive of all others, for the terms of ten Years,
and until the same should be redeemed by Parliament.
Fifthly, That every Person subscribing five hundred Pounds,
have a Vote; and no Person to have more Votes than one.
Sixthly, That all Ships laden in the East-Indies, should be
obliged to deliver in England. Seventhly, That no Person
that should be a Member of any Corporation trading to the
East-Indies, should trade otherwise than in the Joint-Stock
of such Corporation of which he was a Member. Eighthly,
That five Pounds per Cent. ad valorem, upon all returns from
the East-Indies, be paid by the Importer; to be placed to
the Account of the Subscribers, towards the charge of sending Ambassadors, and other extraordinary Expences. And
Ninthly, That over and above the Duties now payable, a
further Duty of one Shilling and ten Pence per Pound
Weight, be laid upon all wrought Silks imported from India
and Persia; to be paid by the Importer.' This Bill being
accordingly brought into the House, the old East-India Company presented a Petition against it.
State of the Dividends, Debts, &c. of the old Company.
And June the 10th, a Motion being made, that the said
Bill be read a second Time, it pass'd in the Affirmative,
Yeas 135. Noes 99.
The 13th, the Committee, appointed to inspect the
Books of the East-India Company, made their Report; by
which it appeared:
That the original Stock of the said Company in the Year
1657, was 369,891 l. 5 s.
That 390 ½ per cent. was divided between Octob. 1. 1661.
and April 1. 1681.
That at a general Court, November 2. 1681. a Call was
made for the Residue of the Adventurers Subscriptions, at
100 per cent. at two equal Payments.
That Jan. 18. 1681. the said Call was revoked, and a
Dividend of 150 per cent. was order'd, viz. 100 per cent. to
double their Stock, and 50 per cent. in Money.
That it appear'd upon Enquiry, that this sudden Difference in the Company's Affairs, was owing to the Arrival of
6 Ships valued at 500,000 l.
That December 31. 1680. the Company was in debt
532,589 l. 7 s. 6 d.
That in the Year 1681. they took up at Interest 80,940 l.
That from the Time of doubling their Stocks as above,
their Dividends were made regularly after the Rate of 25
So that their Dividends from 1657 to 1681, amount to
440½ per cent. and from 1681 to 1691 doubling the same,
according to the nominal Duplication of the Stock, to 400 l.
per cent. in all from 1657 to 1691, 840½ per cent. of the
369,891l. 5 s. original Stock.
That these Dividends were always made on the Arrival of
Ships on general Computations, without the Help of their
Books or a minute State of their whole Account.
That March 31. 1698. their Books not being balanced
any farther, the Total of their Debt upon Bond, amounted
to 631,554 l. 19 s. 10 d.
That what is owing by Customs, amounts by Computation to l.
|And for Freight and Demurrage
|That in regard to their Debts in India, they could not compute them in less than ten Days.
|That their Cash amounted to l.
|That there was due to them upon Account.
|That they have Salt-Petre to the value of
|That the Cargoes of their Ships abroad are valued at
That wich regard to their dead Stock in India, they give
the same Answer that they did to their Debts there.
That the Company having received 744,000 l. new Subscriptions, and Enquiry being made how it was disposed of,
it was answer'd that it was impossible to give the Particulars,
but that all was comprized in their Cash-Books; which being examined, they found that, beside 325,565 l. 0 s. 4 d. repaid to the old Adventurers, the following Particulars were
plac'd to Account, viz.
|November 30. 1693. paid for the Company's special Service
|December 7. 1694. for Disbursements for the Company
To Sir Thomas Cook, on his Note dated January 10.1693.
Progress of the Bill.
A Motion was then made, that Satisfaction be given to
the late Subscribers to the East-India Company, for all
Damages done them, by making Dividends beyond the real
Value of the Company's Stock, at the Time of such Dividend;
And also by ordering to be paid out of the new Subscriptions
a Sum of about 325,000 l. lent by the Members of the old
Company by way of Increase of their Capital Stock; such
Damage to be answered out of the Estates of the said Members, respectively receiving such Dividend and Payment:
and a Debate arose, which was adjourn'd till the next day,
when the said Company remonstrated, that at the time of
calling in the 50 per Cent. they had a good Estate to that
Value: That the said 50 per Cent. was repay'd to the old
Adventurers, with the Concurrence of the new Subscribers.
The 20th, both Companies delivered in their Proposals.
The 22d, the Amendments to the Bill were read, one of
which being to restrain the Company for the future from
borrowing Money at above 6 per Cent. it pass'd in the Negative, Yeas 92, Noes 103.
Another, enacting, That the said Company shall pay and
discharge all just Debts which they now owe or are subject to,
and that all Manors and Lands, heretofore granted to them
under the Great Seal, or any private Grant, which they now
or hereafter shall be possessed of, shall be subject to the Payment of such just Debts, pass'd in the Affirmative, Yeas 113,
Another being offer'd, that the Company be established
in pursuance of this Act, and that their Successors shall never
suffer their Debts to exceed their capital Stock, undivided;
a Motion was made to adjourn, and over-rul'd; after which,
the said Amendment was added to the Bill.
The 23d, another Amendment was offered to the Bill,
That the Trade established by this Act, except the exclusive Right, shall be subject to such Regulations as the Parliament shall think most for the Advantage of the Kingdom, and pass'd in the Negative, Yeas 66, Noes 97.
A Motion being then made, that the Bill and Amendments be engross'd, it was resolv'd in the Affirmative, Yeas
120, Noes 80.
The Bill pass'd in favour of the new Company.
The 26th, the Bill was pass'd on a Division, Yeas 115,
We must now go back, in order to take notice of some
other Particulars, which were transacted this Session.
700,000 l. per Ann. granted to the King for Life.
May 28. Resolved, That the new Subsidies of Tunnage
and Poundage, to make up his Majesty's Revenue 700,000 l.
per Ann. be granted to his Majesty for Life.
That the Surplus of the said Subsidies shall be dispos'd of
at the Discretion of Parliament.
The 30th, the Answers of Gaudett and the other Persons
impeached, were read, and importing that they would abide
their Trial, Replies were order'd to be prepared thereto.
June 8. A Negative was put on the second Reading of
certain Resolutions of a Committee appointed to examine
the Petition of Col. Michelborne, joint Governour with Dr.
Walker of London-Derry; Tho' it appear'd, that all the
Allegations in the said Petition were made good; tho' 992 l.
was due to the said Colonel upon his Pay as Governour, and
14,949 l. 18 s. 6 d. to the said Colonel, his Officers and
Soldiers; and tho' the said Committee gave it as their Opinion, that, in consideration of the eminent Services of
the said Colonel, and his said Regiment, an Address ought
to be presented to his Majesty in their favour.
The 9th, on a Reading of the Civil-List Bill, a Clause
being offer'd to secure the Rights of the late Bankers to
their Debts, it pass'd in the Negative, Yeas 82, Noes 92.
The 10th, the House entring into Consideration for granting a further Aid to his Majesty, by a Quarterly Poll; a
Motion was made to adjourn, and pass'd in the Negative,
Yeas 19, Noes 89.
The 11th, Order'd that a Clause of Loan be admitted on
the said Bill, and on the Duties for Coal and Culm.
Controversy between the two Houses, occasioned by the Impeachment of Gandett, &c. ; Issue of the said Impeachment.
During this Interval, the two Houses had several Conferences on a Demand of the Commons, to have a convenient
Place assign'd them to manage the Prosecution of their Impeachment against Gaudett, &c. which the Lords refus'd,
as unprecedented, except in capital Cases, when Trials were
carried on in Westminster-Hall. The Controversy was
carry'd on with great Steddiness on both sides, but came to
no Issue; the said Persons acknowledging their Guilt, upon
which they were severally fin'd by the Lords; and the Session soon after breaking up.
Molyneux's Case of Ireland complain'd of.
May 21st, Complaint had been made of a printed Book,
entitled, The Case of Ireland being bound by Acts of Parliament in
England, (written by William Molyneux of Dublin Esq;)
which denied the Dependence of Ireland upon the Authority of the Parliament of England. A Committee was thereupon appointed, to examine further into the said Pamphlet,
to enquire into the Author of it; and also to search what
Proceedings had been in Ireland, that might occasion the said
Book; and an Address to the King voted, that his Majesty
would give Directions for the Discovery and Punishment of
June 22. Upon the Report of the Committee, it was
unanimously resolved, 'That the said Book was of dandangerous consequence to the Crown and People of England, by denying the Authority of the King and Parliament
of England, to bind the Kingdom and People of Ireland,
and the Subordination and Dependence that Ireland has,
and ought to have upon England, as being united and annexed to the Imperial Crown of this Realm; and that a Bill
entitled, An Act for the better Security of his Majesty's
Person and Government, transmitted under the Great Seal
of Ireland; whereby an Act of Parliament made in England, was pretended to be re-enacted, Alterations therein
made, and divers things enacted also, pretending to oblige
the Courts of Justice, and the Great Seal of England, by the
Authority of an Irish Parliament; had given occasion and
encouragement, to the forming and publishing the dangerous Positions contained in the said Book.'
The House in a Body then presented an Address to the
King: Wherein they laid before his Majesty, the dangerous Attempts that had been of late made by some of his
Subjects of Ireland, to shake off their Subjection to, and Dependence on this Kingdom; which had manifestly appeared to the Commons, not only by the bold and pernicious
Assertions in a Book published and dedicated to his Majesty,
entitled, The Case of Ireland being bound by Acts of Parliament in England stated: But more fully and authentically by the Votes and Proceedings of the House of Commons
in Ireland, in their late Sessions; and whereby the forementioned Bill sent hither under the great Seal of Ireland,
whereby they would have an Act passed in the Parliament
of England, expresly binding Ireland, to be re-enacted there,
and Alterations therein made; some of which amounted to
a Repeal of what is required by the said Act made in England: and in others, of the said Alterations, pretending to
give Authority to, and oblige the Courts of Justice and
Great Seal here in England. That this they could not but
look on as an occasion and encouragement, in the forming
and publishing the dangerous Positions contained in the said
Book. That the Consequence of such Positions and Proceedings, would be so fatal to this Kingdom, and even to
Ireland itself, that they needed not to be enlarged on, or
aggravated. Therefore they rested satisfied that his Majesty by his Royal Prudence, would prevent their being
drawn into Example; so they assured his Majesty of their
ready Concurrence and Assistance, in a parliamentary way,
to preserve and maintain the Dependence and Subordination of Ireland to the Imperial Crown of this Realm And
they humbly besought his Majesty, that he would give effectual Orders, to prevent any thing of the like nature for
the future, and the pernicious Consequences of what was
past, by punishing and discountenancing those that had
been guilty thereof: That he would take all necessary care
that the Laws which direct and restrain the Parliament of
Ireland, in their Actings, be not evaded, but strictly observed; and that he would discourage all things which might
in any degree lessen the Dependence of Ireland upon England. To this his Majesty's Answer was, That he would
take care that what was complained of, might be prevented
and redressed as the Commons desired.
Address in Behalf of the City of London-derry, the Governour and Garison.
The 23d, an Address was read and agreed to, recommending the Services and Sufferings of the City of London-Derry
to his Majesty's Consideration, for Relief in the Kingdom of
Ireland; that they might no longer remain a ruinous Spectacle to all, a Scorn to their Enemies, and a Discouragement to his Majesty's well-affected Subjects.
As likewise the Governour and Garison of the said City,
as those who thro' the utmost Sufferings and Extremities
have defended the same; and for so signal Service, did deserve to have some special Marks of his Majesty's Favour
for a lasting Monument to Posterity.
In answer to which, his Majesty was pleased to promise
to take them into Consideration.
Royal Assent given to several Acts.
July 5. The King came to the House of Peers, and gave
the Royal Assent to the Act for the new East-India Company;
to an Act for paying to his Majesty, his Heirs and Successors, farther Duties on Stampt Paper, &c. an Act for raising the 700,000 l.
a Year, for the Civil-List on Tunnage and Poundage, &c.
King's Speech to both Houses.
'My Lords and Gentlemen,
'I Cannot take leave of so good a Parliament, without publicly acknowledging the Sense I have of the
great things you have done for my Safety and Honour,
and for the Support and Welfare of my People.
'Every one of your Sessions hath made good this Character. That happy uniting of us in an Association for
our mutual Defence; the remedying the Corruption of
the Coin, which had been so long growing upon the Nation; the restoring of Credit; the giving Supplies in such
a manner for carrying on the War, as did by God's Blessing produce an honourable Peace; and after that, the
making such Provisions for our common Security, and towards satisfying the Debts contracted in so long a War,
with as little Burthen to the Kingdom as is possible, are
such things as will give a lasting Reputation to this Parliament, and will be a Subject of Emulation to those which
shall come after.
'Besides all this, I think myself personally obliged to return my Thanks to you, Gentlemen of the House of Commons, for the Regard you have had to my Honour, by the
establishing of my Revenue.
'My Lords and Gentlemen,
'There is nothing I value so much as the Esteem and
Love of my People; and as for their sakes I avoided no
Hazards during the War, so my whole Study and Care
shall be, to improve and continue to them the Advantages
and Blessings of Peace.
'And I earnestly desire you all, in your several Stations,
to be vigilant in preserving Peace and good Order, and in
a due and regular Execution of the Laws, especially those
against Prophaneness and Irreligion.'
And then the Lord-Chancellor, by his Majesty's Command, prorogued the Parliament until Tuesday the second
Day of August next, which was soon afterwards dissolved.