The Second Session of the 4th Parliament.
The Parliament met at Westminster on Thursday the
16th of November, and his Majesty with the usual Solemnity
made this Speech to both Houses.
'My Lords and Gentlemen,
'I Hope you will not think I have called you out of your
Countries too soon, if you consider, that our common
Security requires a farther Provision should be made, for
the Safety of the Kingdom by Sea and Land, before we are
at the end of what was granted for that purpose last Session.
and when you enter upon this Business, I believe you will
think it necessary to take care of the Repairs of the Ships
and of the Fortifications; without which our Fleet cannot
be safe when it is in Harbour.
'I cannot omit to put you in mind of another matter, in
which so great a Number of my Subjects is concerned, and
wherein the Honour of the Kingdom, and the Faith of
Parliaments is so far engaged, that our future Security
seems to depend upon it; I mean, the making good Deficiencies of the Funds, and the discharging the Debts contracted by reason of the War.
'And till we may be so happy as to see the public Debts
paid, I shall hope that no Session will end, without something done towards lessening them. While I am speaking
to you on this Head, I think myself obliged to mention,
with a particular concern, a Debt which is owing to the
Prince of Denmark, the state whereof I have ordered to be
laid before you.
'Gentlemen of the House of Commons,
'These things are of such Importance, that I must earnestly recommend them to your Consideration, and desire
you to provide the necessary Supplies.
'My Lords and Gentlemen,
'There is nothing I could more rejoice in, than that I
were not under the necessity of so often asking Aids of my
People; but as the Reason of it is evident, because the
Funds formerly applied to defray the Public Expence, are
now anticipated for Payment of the Debts of the Kingdom;
so it is my Satisfaction, that you all see that nothing of
what is demanded, is for any personal use of mine: And I
do faithfully assure you, that no part of what is given, shall
be diverted from any Purpose for which it is designed.
'I believe the Nation is already sensible of the good Effects of Peace, by the manifest Increase of Trade, which I
shall make it my Business to encourage by all means in my
power; probably it might receive an Advantage, if some
good Bill were prepared, for the more effectual preventing
and punishing unlawful and clandestine trading, which
does not only tend to defraud the Public, but prejudice the
fair Merchant, and discourage our own Manufactures.
'The Increase of the Poor is become a Burthen to the
Kingdom, and their loose and idle Life, does in some
measure contribute to that depravation of Manners, which
is complained of, (I fear with too much Reason.) Whether
the ground of this Evil be from defects in the Laws already
made, or in the Execution of them, deserves your Consideration. As it is an indispensable Duty, that the Poor,
who are not able to help themselves, should be maintained;
so I cannot but think it extremely desireable, that such as
are able and willing, should not want Employment; and
such as are obstinate and unwilling, should be compelled
'My Lords and Gentlemen,
'I have a full Assurance of the good Affections of my
People, which I shall endeavour to preserve by a constant care
of their just Rights and Liberties; by maintaining the established Religion, by seeing the Course of Justice kept
steady and equal, by countenancing Virtue, and discouraging Vice, and by declining no Difficulties or Dangers,
where their Welfare and Prosperity may be concerned.
These are my Resolutions; and I am persuaded that you
are come together with Purposes on your part suitable to
those on mine. Since then our Aims are only for the general Good, let us act with Confidence in one another;
which will not fail, by God's blessing, to make me a happy King, and you a great and flourishing People.'
The House, having taken this Speech into Consideration,
agreed upon the following Address.
The Commons Address.
'Most gracious Sovereign, We your Majesty's most dutiful
and loyal Subjects, the Commons in Parliament assembled being
highly sensible, that nothing is more necessary for the Peace
and Welfare of this Kingdom, the quieting the Minds of your
People, and disappointing the Designs of your Enemies, than a
mutual and entire Confidence between your Majesty and your
Parliament, do esteem it our greatest misfortune, that after
having so amply provided for the Security of your Majesty
and your Government, both by Sea and Land, any Jealousy
or Distrust hath been raised, of our Duty and Affections
to your sacred Majesty and your People; and beg leave
humbly to represent to your Majesty, that it will greatly conduce to the continuing, and establishing an entire Confidence
between your Majesty and your Parliament, that you would
be pleased to shew marks of your high displeasure towards
all such Persons who have, or shall presume to misrepresent
their Proceedings to your Majesty.
'And your Commons (having likewise a due Sense of the
great Care and Concern, your Majesty has always expressed,
for preserving and maintaining the Religion, Rights, and
Liberties of your People, in defence of which your Majesty
hath so often exposed your Royal Person) will use their utmost care and endeavours, to prevent and discourage all false
Rumours and Reports, reflecting upon your Majesty and your
Government, whereby to create any Misunderstandings between you and your Subjects.'
To this his Majesty was pleased to give the following
'Gentlemen, My Parliament have done so great things
for me, and I have upon all proper Occasions expressed so
great a Sense of their Kindness, and my Opinion has been
so often declared, that the happiness of an English King
depends upon an entire good Correspondence between him
and his Parliament, that it cannot seem strange for me to
assure you, that no Persons have ever yet dared to go
about to misrepresent to me the Proceedings of either
House. Had I found any such, they would have immediately felt the highest Marks of my Displeasure. It is a
Justice I owe not only to my Parliaments, but to every
one of my Subjects, to judge of them by their Actions:
And this Rule I will steadily pursue. If any shall hereafter attempt to put me on other Methods, by Calumnies or
Misrepresentations, they will not only fail of Success, but
shall be looked upon, and treated by me as my worst
'I am pleased to see by your Address, that you have the
same Thoughts of the great Advantages which will ensue
to the Kingdom, from our mutual Confidence, as I expressed to both Houses at the opening of the Session. I
take very kindly the assurance you give me, of using your
utmost care and endeavour to prevent and discourage all
false Rumours and Reports reflecting upon me and my
Government: And I faithfully promise you, that no Actions
of mine shall give a just ground for any misunderstanding
between me and my People.
Motion with regard to Lord Bellamont.
December 6th, it appearing to the House that a Grant
had been made by Letters Patent to the Earl of Bellamont
and others, of Pirates Goods; the Question was put, that
the said Letters Patent were dishonourable to the King,
against the Law of Nations, contrary to the Laws and Statutes of the Realm, an Invasion of Property, and destructive
of Trade and Commerce, and pass'd in the Negative.
The most material Business that occurr'd next in the House,
was the Report of the Commissioners for taking an Account of
the Forfeited Estates in Ireland; an Abstract of which is
Report of the Commissioners for taking an Account of the Irish Forfeited Estates.
The Commissioners met with great Difficulties in their
Enquiry, which were occasioned chiefly by the Backwardness
of the People of Ireland to give any Information, out of fear
of the Grantees, whose Displeasure in that Kingdom was not
easily borne; and by Reports industriously spread and believed,
that their Enquiry would come to nothing. Nevertheless,
it appeared to them, that the Persons [outlawed in England,
since the 13th of February, 1688. on account of the late Rebellion, amounted in number to fifty seven, and in Ireland
to three thousand nine hundred and twenty one. That all
the Lands in the several Counties in Ireland belonging to the
forfeited Persons, as far as they could reckon, made 1060792
acres, worth per annum 211623 l. which by computation of fix
years purchase for a Life, and thirteen years for the Inheritance, came to the full value of 2685138 l. That some of
those Lands had been restored to the old Proprietors, by
virtue of the Articles of Limerick and Galloway, and by
his Majesty's Favour, and by Reversal of Out-lawries, and
royal Pardons, obtained chiefly by Gratifications to such
Persons as had abused his Majesty's royal Bounty and Compassion. Beside these Restitutions, which they thought to
be corruptly procured, they gave an Account of seventy-six
Grants and Custodiums, under the Great Seal of Ireland; as
to the Lord Romney three Grants now in being, containing
49517 Acres; to the Earl of Albemarle in two Grants
108633 Acres in Possession and Reversion; to William
Bentinck Esq; Lord Woodstock, 135820 Acres of Land; to
the Earl of Athlone two Grants containing 26480 Acres;
to the Earl of Galloway one Grant of 36148 Acres, &c.
wherein they observed, that the Estates so mentioned did
not yield so much to the Grantees as they were valued at,
because as most of them had abused his Majesty in the real
Value of their Estates, so their Agents had imposed on them,
and had either sold or lett the greatest Part of those Lands
at an Under-Value. But after all Deductions and Allowances, there yet remained 1699343 l. 14 s. which they lay
before the Commons as the gross Value of the Estates since
the 13th Day of February, and not restored; besides a
Grant under the Great Seal of Ireland, dated the 13th Day
of May, 1695. passed to Mrs. Elizabeth Villiers, now Countess
of Orkney, of all the private Estates of the late King James,
(except some small Part in Grant to the Lord Athlone) containing 95649 Acres, worth per Annum 25995 l. 18. s. Value,
total 331943 l. 9. s. Concluding, that there was payable out
of this Estate, two thousand Pounds per annum to the Lady
Susanna Bellasis, and also one thousand Pounds per annum
to Mrs. Godfrey, for their Lives; and that almost all the old
Leases determined in May 1701. and then this Estate would
answer the Value above-mentioned.—Signed Francis
Annesley, John Trenchard, James Hamilton, and Henry
A Bill for applying the Forfeited Estates in Ireland to the Use of the Public.
The Commons having examined this Report, came to an
unanimous Resolution, 15th of December, that a Bill be
brought in to apply all the forfeited Estates and Interests in Ireland,
and all Grants thereof, and of the Rents and Revenues belonging
to the Crown within that Kingdom, since the 13th of February
1688, to the Use of the Public; and ordered a Clause to be inserted in that Bill, for erecting a Judicature for determining
Claims touching the said forfeited Estates. They likewise resolved, That they would not receive any Petition from any
Person whatsoever, touching the said Grants or forfeited
Estates; and that they would take into Consideration the
great Services performed by the Commissioners appointed to
enquire into the forfeited Estates of Ireland.
Jan. 15. A Motion being made that the four Commissioners,
who had signed the Reports, presented to this House, had
proceeded in the Execution of that Commission with Understanding and Integrity; a Debate arose thereon, which was
adjourned 'till the next Day, when it was resum'd; when six
of the said Commissioners were examined as follows.
Examination of the said Commissioners.
Sir Richard Leving first by himself.
Mr. Speaker. Sir Richard Leving, The House having
been inform'd of something that you have said to a worthy
Member of this House (which I am confin'd to examine you
to) I may name the Person, because you have said it, as the
House is inform'd, to more than one: The Member's Name is
Vernon, and it is in relation to some Discourse that passed between you and one or more of the Commissioners for the Irish
Forfeitures concerning the private Estate being put into the
Report. The House requires you to give an Account of
what you informed that worthy Member.
Sir Richard Leving. Mr. Speaker, I shall very readily
obey the Commands of the House; but, before that, I would
inform you (if it be the Pleasure of the House) of all that
Mr. Speaker. Pray take your own Method, give an Account of what you know.
Sir Richard Leving. There was a Debate arose between
the Commissioners concerning the reporting the private
Estate: Upon that Debate I was of opinion, That that Estate
ought not to have been reported, because not within our
Power by the Act: Upon this a Debate happen'd, and several
Reasons were offer'd why this might be understood to be a
Forfeiture; one Reason that was given was, that the Estate
was the late King James's Estate, and so it was forfeited.
To which answer was made, That if King James had forfeited it, yet it was not within the Act, because the Words
of the Act confin'd our Enquiry to Forfeitures since the 13th
of February 1688. When that was said, there was another
of the Commissioners, that did say, I was always of Opinion
that this was a Forfeiture within the Act, because tho' King
James had not forfeited before, yet he coming into Ireland
on March 15, 1688, he committed Treason against King
William and Queen Mary, and forfeited that Estate. It was
then objected, That this private Estate of the late King was
Parcel of the Possessions of the Crown of England, and was
vested in him as Parcel of the Crown of England; and the
Crown being vested in King William and Queen Mary by
an Act of Parliament made in this Kingdom, which settled
the Crown in King William and Queen Mary, the Crown
and all the Possessions were vested in them Feb. 13. 1688.
So that that Estate being actually in his Majesty then, and
tho' otherwise it might have been conceiv'd that King James
had forfeited afterwards, tho' not then attainted, it could not
be conceived how he could forfeit that Estate because it was
before in the King and Queen. And the same Gentleman
that urged, that upon the 15th of March King James landed
in Ireland and committed Treason, was pleased to say, I don't
dislike the 30th of January, nor the Deed that was done that
Day; I like both the Day and the Deed. I confess I was
surpriz'd at it, and said, If those be your Reasons, and this
is your Agreement, I declare I will never join in it.
One of the Commissioners at this time was absent, but the
next day that Gentleman was brought into the Room with
the other Commissioners, and then this was debated again, and
upon that Debate much of that Matter was spoke over again
(not that relating to the 30th of January) but then it was
again urg'd, that that Estate might be said to be forfeited;
and the same Objections were repeated, and it seem'd to be
assented to by the other Commissioners, that it was not strictly
a Forfeiture, and some of them said it might not be within
the Commission; then it was ask'd, Why then will you report it? And one of the Gentlemen did answer, that it was
a villanous Grant, and therefore fit to be expos'd: I did not
write down the Words at that time, because I had then no
Intention of making any Complaint, or publishing these Matters. But since they have cut off our Hands and Seals from
the Report, it made us think it necessary to do what we have
done. And it being said by a Commissioner not here, but in
Ireland, If we take it not to be within our Commission, why
will you report it? for it will fly in the King's Face: To
which another answered, Why the Commission flies in the
King's Face; if you won't fly in his Face, you can't execute
this Commission, or you must not execute it, one of them
Upon this it was further urg'd, That this Matter should
be reported; and one of the Commissioners said, Tho' it was
not clearly within the Act, yet he had receiv'd several Letters from several Members of this House to report this
Matter, and he said it was as good (or contain'd in the Letter,
that it was as good) do nothing as not to report it. There
was upon this an Expression by one of the Commissioners,
that a great Person was concern'd [that was my Lady
Ork-y] and the Application of that was, that if he was so
tender of that Person, we should not join with them in any
thing else: For, Sir, the Debate was grown to this pass,
whether if we did not join in this thing, we should not join in
any thing else. This I think is the Substance of what I told
that worthy Member: if I am ask'd as to any other Person,
I shall give you a true Account.
Mr. Speaker. I am commanded to ask you, who were by
upon this Discourse between you and the rest of the Commissioners concerning the Differences in Opinion, and how
many; and particularly at that time that one of the Commissioners did say, that he thought that since it was not in your
Commission to report that Grant, it would be a flying in
the King's Face, &c.
Sir Richard Leving. It was the day that the Commissioner
that was sick first came to us, I believe about the 24th of
October last: There were present at that time the Lord
Drogheda, Sir Francis Brewster, Mr. Annesly, Mr. Trenchard, Mr. Hamilton, Mr. Langford, the Secretary, and
myself, all were in the Room when this was said.
Mr. Speaker. Who was it said it was a flying in the King's
Face? and who made answer that the Commission did fly in
the King's Face?
Sir R. Leving. It was my Lord Drogheda said the first
part, and Mr. Hamilton was the Person that said the other.
Mr. Speaker. Who said that concerning the 30th of January, that it was a good Day and a good Deed?
Sir R. Leving. That was the day before the other Discourse was; there were all but Mr. Trenchard, who was
sick and came next day.
Mr. Speaker. Who said it, and upon what Occasion?
Sir R. Leving. It was not a particular Direction to any
Person as I remember; but it was spoke by way of Answer:
It was told Mr. Langford when he came in, the Objection
that was made against this being return'd as a Forfeiture, &c.
And then he said, I was always of Opinion that this was a
Forfeiture, and that Kings might forfeit as well as others;
and he thereupon said he did not dislike the 30th of
Mr. Speaker. You mention'd that some of the Commissioners said they receiv'd Letters from Members of Parliament
to insert this Grant into the Report: Please to repeat who
had them, and from whom?
Sir R. Leving. The first time I heard mention of any
such Letter was the first Night: After we rose we went to
Mr. Trenchard's Chamber, who was sick, to consult; for
this Debate occasion'd some concern in our Minds, and we
did apprehend some Breach amongst us, and went to his
Chamber to see if we could come to an Accommodation;
and offer'd Mr. Trenchard, and the rest of the Gentlemen
present, That if they would take the whole Report without
the private Estate, and sign it, we could join with them;
and if they would put in an Article of the private Estate,
they might sign it by themselves: for we thought if we could
not agree to it, we would be no hindrance to them if they
thought fit to do it; and then Mr. Trenchard said, he had
Letters from several Members to report this private Estate,
and that it would signify nothing if we did not report it.
Mr. Speaker. Did he say that from himself, or that it was
in any Letter?
Sir R. Leving. I do not say that positively, he shew'd me
Mr. Speaker. Did he name any Member?
Sir R. Leving. I do not remember that he named any
Mr. Speaker. Who were present at that time in Mr.
Sir R. Leving. Most of those Gentlemen I have named
were there the next day.
Mr. Speaker. Who were by?
Sir R. Leving. My Lord Drogheda and Sir F. Brewster
were not there, but the rest were there, and the Secretary I
believe was there. The next day, when we met again, there
were present, as I inform'd you, all the Commissioners; and
then Mr. Trenchard, amongst other Discourse, did express
himself in the said manner; and Mr. Annesly said, that he
had received Letters from Members of the House.
Mr. Speaker. But Mr. Annesly nor Mr. Trenchard did
not tell you the Contents of those Letters, nor from whom
they receiv'd them.
Sir R. Leving. They said they had Letters to report this
Estate, but they did not as I remember name any body, tho'
I did hear from my Lord Drogheda and Sir Francis Brewster,
that they had named Persons, but I did not myself take particular Notice of any body.
Mr. Speaker. Did they produce any Letter, or shew you
Sir R. Leving. Not then.
Mr. Speaker. When did you see any?
Sir R. Leving. I did see a Letter the next Morning, and
that Letter was shew'd to me by Mr. Annesly, but I did not
think that Letter came up to the Point they spake overnight.
Mr. Speaker. Can you remember the Contents of it?
Sir R. Leving. I had rather refer myself to the Letter; I
believe Mr. Annesly has it.
Mr. Speaker. Who wrote it?
Sir R. Leving. Must I name him?
Mr. Speaker. Yes, the House expects it of you.
Sir R. Leving. His Name is Mr. Arthur Moore: And I
did then take notice of it to Mr. Annesly, that this Letter
did not amount to what they told us the Night before.
Mr. Speaker. You say you said to Mr. Annesly, you told
us of a Letter you receiv'd from some Members to report
this private Estate, but this Letter does not come up to what
you told us. Upon which Mr. Annesly answered as for
himself, If we do not report that private Estate, we had as
good do nothing.
Sir R. Leving. I don't say so: Upon recollection, I do
now believe that those Gentlemen, Mr. Trenchard and Mr.
Annesley, did say that there was contain'd in the Letter that
Expression, that if they did not put that Estate into the Report, they had as good do nothing; but when I once saw
that Letter, I thought they had imposed upon us.
Then Sir R. Leving withdrew, and all the rest of the
Commissioners that were then in Town, with their Secretary, were order'd to be brought in.
And accordingly Sir Francis Brewster, Mr. Annesly, Mr.
Trenchard, Mr. Langford, and Mr. Hooper their Secretary
were brought in.
Mr. Speaker. Gentlemen, I am commanded to enquire of
you, and if you please you may speak severally to it: The
House has been inform'd of some Discourses among you Gentlemen of this Commission, when you differed in Opinion about returning of King James's private Estate; the first
time Mr. Trenchard was not there, and the next day that
Mr. Trenchard was brought there: but I think the Discourse
the House would enquire after was the second day when
Mr. Trenchard was there, which was to this Effect, That
some Argument being given why this Estate was a Forfeiture,
and other Arguments being given that it was not, one of the
Commissioners, as this House hath been inform'd, should say,
If it be not within our Commission, 'tis a flying in the King's
Face. Upon which another Commissioner made answer,
Why the Commission itself flies in the King's Face; And
for what are we sent hither but to fly in the King's Face,
or to that effect?
Members. No, no.
Mr. Speaker. I beg pardon if I mistake, the Words were
to this Effect: The Commission flies in the King's Face;
and if you will not fly in his Face, you must not, or you
cannot execute this Commission. You are all said to be present when these Words were spoken; so you will please to
give account severally to the House what passed upon this
Occasion, and what you remember of it. Sir Francis Brewster, if you please.
Sir Francis Brewster. I beg leave to say, I am sorry for
any Differences between us, and that we were as hearty as
any in the Execution of this Commission. But for the Matter of the Words now spoke of, there was some Discourse
concerning the reporting that private Estate: Sir R. Leving
said, it was not within our Enquiry. To which some Reply
was made, Why if it was not within our Commission, yet it
might be fit to be reported. My Lord Drogheda made answer, If it be not within our Commission, then it will be to
fly in the King's Face to report it. Another then said, The
Commission flies in the King's Face, and we can't act in this
Commission unless we fly in his Face; I think that was said
by Mr. Hamilton. Upon which some other Arguments went
on to enforce the passing of it. At last some of the Commissioners said they had a Letter from several Members of the
House of Commons, that gave them reason to believe they
should report this Estate: I think it was said by Mr. Annesly.
Upon which Sir R. Leving made answer, I do not think
these Gentlemen have changed their Minds, that was, that
Forfeitures might be made by Kings: Upon which it was
answer'd, You are mistaken, a great many of your Friends
are now come over to us; and they urged it still more, and
at last they said they had had several Letters about it. I must
confess I made answer, I know not whether you have had
any Letter, I never had any: But I must needs say, If I had
no other reason, I should not sign this Report, for I think I
ought not to be directed by any private Member of the
House of Commons, and that no Letter should prevail with
me to do it; I am loth to name any one.
Mr. Speaker. The House expects it.
Sir F. Brewster. I think they nam'd Mr. Harcourt.
Mr. Speaker. Who named him?
Sir F. Brewster. Mr. Annesly. He did not say in his Letter particularly, but did say something to that purpose, that
if we did not report the private Estate we had as good do
nothing; and he said it was so in the Letter.
Mr. Speaker. Was you at Mr. Trenchard's Chamber the
first Night that he was not at the Commission, the Night
before he was brought thither?
Sir F. Brewster. No, Sir, I was not.
Mr. Speaker. Mr. Annesly, if you please, give an Account of what you know of this Matter: you hear to what
the House hath a mind to be inform'd; 'tis as to the Discourse that happen'd amongst you the Commissioners the two
days you differ'd in Opinion concerning the inserting of this
Grant into your Report, and particularly as to the Words
spoken by Mr. Hamilton, or what else you heard then.
Mr. Annesly. Truly, Mr. Speaker, I never expected to
have been call'd to an Account for any thing that was said
among the Commissioners in Ireland upon their Debates, or
that any Gentleman in Commission with us would have
acted such a Part here; otherwise I should have been more
observant thereof. But the particular Expressions which
some of us are charged with by the Evidence now given, are
of so extraordinary a Nature, that I could not easily have
forgotten them; Flying in the Face of the King, is so great
a Reflection, and so foolish an Expression, that I think I
could not have pass'd it by without the Censure it deserv'd.
Sir, I do affirm to you upon my Reputation, my Credit and
all that is dear to me, that I never heard the least Reflection
upon the King by any of the Commissioners, either in their
Debates or otherwise, in execution of their Authority.
When I had the Honour to be appointed by you one of
your Commission, I naturally reflected upon the Part I was
to act in it, the many Enemies I must in likelihood create
upon a faithful discharge of my Duty, as well amongst
Men in Power, the Grantees, as the Purchasers, and others
claiming under them; of which I had some Knowledge,
having been formerly in Ireland. However, I was resolv'd,
upon a very short notice, not only to subject my own private
Concerns to Disappointments, but to dispose of other Mens
Business, with which in the way of my Profession I was entrusted, to their best Advantage in my Absence.
In discharge whereof I did act (and I hope it will appear
I did so) with all imaginable Integrity. And it will be my
hard Fortune, if after such my Endeavours I should fall under your Displeasure.
And as to what is alledg'd with respect to Mr. Harcourt,
I do not remember that I ever mention'd his Name upon
any Debate at our Board, whereby to influence any Man in
his Judgment; nor indeed upon any other Account except
in private Conversation, by drinking his Health, and by expressing myself with that Gratitude which became me towards one whom I had receiv'd particular Obligations from,
and deserv'd well from me.
I never had any Letter from Mr. Harcourt, that took the
least notice of the private Estate, nor indeed that related to
the Execution of our Commission, except in one Letter he
said I might easily imagine with what Pleasure he heard of
the Success of our Labours, and that he was glad to find by
the Account I gave him, that the Forfeitures were likely to
answer the End for which we were sent over, and that was
the only Letter I receiv'd from him during my stay in Ireland. Hearing abroad of such a Letter being mention'd in
the House, I look'd all the Letters I receiv'd from any of
the Gentlemen of this House during my stay in Ireland; but
I own I am very unwilling to produce the Letters of any
Person who favour'd me with his Correspondence, and do
hope I shall not be oblig'd to it.
Mr. Speaker. For that you will have the further Pleasure
of the House; but do you say you never heard of those
words of Flying in the King's Face, or that your Commission did Fly in the King's Face?
Mr. Annesly. From the time we first began to execute
our Commission, till our Power was determin'd, I never was
absent one Hour, I think I may say one Moment from Business; and I assure you I never heard those Words, nor
any thing like them, fall from any one of the Commissioners. As to the Debate among the Commissioners about
returning the private Estate, some hot Words did pass, and
I will take Notice to you (if you please) of some of them.
The Gentleman on my Left-hand did give very abusive
Language to one of the other Commissioners.
Mr. Speaker. To whom?
Mr. Annesly. To Mr. Trenchard.
Another of the Commissioners said, he would battle it with
us at the Bar of the House of Commons.
Mr. Speaker. Who was that?
Mr. Annesly That was my Lord Drogheda. Says Sir
Francis Brewster, I have as good Friends as you, meaning
Mr. Trenchard, and we shall be as well heard there as you.
Mr. Trenchard answer'd, I don't fear what you can do, if
you won't be an Evidence against me: The ill Language
Sir Francis gave, forced that Expression from him; the Resentments were high, and the rest of the Commissioners
then present endeavour'd to pacify and make them Friends.
I own I then little suspected that Sir Francis, who took the
Expression so ill, would have made good Mr. Trenchard's
Words at this Bar; if I had, I should have taken more
notice of what passed. There might be some other Particulars that Sir Francis Brewster has charg'd us with, which
I may have omitted answering; if you please, Sir, to remind
me of them, I will give them the best Answer I can.
Mr. Speaker. Mr. Trenchard, if you please to give the
House an Account of what you know of this Matter?
Mr. Trenchard. I was present at the Debate about the
private Estate, which was managed with great Warmth, and
much said on both sides; but I do not remember one Word
which this Gentleman speaks of, that was directly so said; I
do own there were some Words that might give Umbrage
to this Accusation with those that were resolv'd to misunderstand them. The Occasion was this: My Lord Drogheda,
as I remember, or Sir Richard Leving said, it would be
Flying in the King's Face to report this Grant. Upon
which one of the Commissioners reply'd; My Lord, We
have heard too much of this Argument already, and 'tis
time to have done with it; we were not sent here to flatter,
and if the enquiring into the Mismanagement of the Forfeitures be a flying in the King's Face, then our whole
Commission is a flying in his Face. 'Tis not dishonouring,
but vindicating his Majesty, to shew he has been abus'd
by ill Men; and I doubt not but he will desert them
when he has discover'd it, as the best and wisest Princes in
all Ages have done. More than this I do affirm, upon the
Reputation of a Gentleman, and the Word of an honest
Man, was not said whilst I was at the Board.
Mr. Speaker. Who said the Words you have repeated?
Mr. Trenchard. 'T was I, Sir.
Mr. Speaker. You don't remember that Mr. Hamilton
said any thing as to the flying in the King's Face?
Mr. Trenchard. I do affirm that Mr. Hamilton, to the best
of my Memory (and I think I could not mistake it) did not
say any Words relating to that Matter, more than that since
we had enquired into the private Estate, and it was known
in both England and Ireland, we should be thought bribed
and corrupt if we did not report it: But I am very sure he
said no Words dishonourable of his Majesty; and if he
had, I would have resented it at that time, as I suppose
these Gentlemen would have done, and call'd upon others
to have taken notice of it
Mr. Speaker. What Words did you hear said in your
Mr. Trenchard. A great Part of the Time I was in that
Kingdom, I was confin'd to my Chamber being sick, which
I impute in a great measure to the Fatigue of our Commission, during which time I had the Favour to be visited sometimes with ten or a dozen in an Evening, sometimes twice
the number of the People of the best Fashion in that Country, and amongst the rest my own Brethren often oblig'd me
with their Company; without doubt in this time many Subjects were discours'd of, but the Particulars of any one Discourse I do not remember. I never treasure up what is said
in private Conversation; and if I did, I scorn to tell it.
Mr. Speaker. Mr. Langford, you hear what the Gentlemen have given an Account of, tis of what passed between
you about putting the private Estate into the Report, and
whether upon my Lord Drogheda's saying it would be a
Flying in the King's Face, Mr. Hamilton answer'd, Our
Commission flies in the King's Face?
Mr. Longford. I was present when this Debate happen'd
about the private Estate, and it was with a great deal of
Heat. It was objected by my Lord Drogheda, that it would
be a Flying in the King's Face to report the private Estate,
and was not in our Commission. It was answer'd by Mr.
Trenchard, we had that too often mention'd, to put us by
the Execution of this Commission; that we did not think the
discovering Abuses, a flying in the King's Face; but that,
on the contrary, we should do Service to his Majesty to lay
the Matter before him, that he might see how the Grants
were dispos'd of, and how he was deceiv'd in them; and he
thought it was also necessary that both this House and the
Kingdom should know it.
Mr. Speaker. What did Mr. Hamilton say?
Mr. Langford. I did not hear Mr. Hamilton speak one
Word relating to the King, on this Point.
Mr. Speaker. Do you know of any Letters from Members
of this House?
Mr. Langford. No, Sir, I had not the Honour to be acquainted with many Members; I had no Letter myself, nor
did I see any.
Mr. Speaker. You are accus'd about Words of your
Members. Do not ask him to that.
Mr. Speaker. Mr. Hooper, you hear to what Purpose you
are call'd in.
Mr. Hooper. Yes, I do, the whole Matter seems strange
to me; I have not been absent from the Board, except when
I was sick at Limerick, one Hour during the whole Execution of this Commission: Nor did I hear one Word spoken
reflecting upon his Majesty, unless the Insinuation, that doing our Duty would be Flying in the King's Face, which
I think was a great Reflection upon him; and I think Mr.
Trenchard has very well repeated his own Words. I am
sure in Substance they are the same. I am confident there
was no Letter produc'd whilst I was at the Board, from any
Member: And I believe by what Conversation I had with
the four Commissioners, they never had any but what was fit
to be produc'd; and for the Substance of what Mr. Annesly
and Mr. Trenchar I have said, I know it to be true. I never
heard Mr Hamilton speak but with great Honour of the
King; and I do positively assert, to the best of my Memory,
he never said any such Thing, as is alledg'd against him,
at the Board. I am confident I was present at all the Debates about the private Estate, and do remember the three
dissenting Commissioners did immediately declare themselves
against the inserting it in the Report; three others that are
present did as readily declare for it. So that Mr. Hamilton
being in a manner solely left to determine this Matter, complain'd that it was a great Hardship upon him; for says he,
my Lord Ork-y is my Relation and my Friend, and besides
I am a Tenant to the private Estate, and 'tis very severe that
the Decision of this Matter should lie upon me. He added,
he should be very well pleas'd if the Objection had been
made sooner, and perhaps it might have had more Weight
with him; and truly, Mr. Speaker; it did not appear that
there was one of the Commissioners for above five Months,
but seem'd to be peremptory for the reporting it, and accordingly Sir Richard Leving, and Sir Francis Brewster,
join'd in the Examination of many Witnesses to the Value
of it at Limerick, and other Places, till about five days
before the Power of the Commission ceas'd, when I mov'd
the Board that I might have some Direction about that
Estate; and they made an Order that I should immediately
prepare the Report, and put this in it. And Mr. Hamilton
gave this Reason when he join'd with the Commissioners, We
have made so great a Noise about this Estate, by examining
so many People to the Value, and sending for the RentRolls of it, that it is now the public Discourse that it will
be reported; and I know the World must needs say that we
are bribed and corrupted if we do it not: If it was possible,
I should be glad to be excus'd; but I will rather lose my
Friend, I will rather lose my little Estate, than be thought
guilty of Bribery and Corruption, and so gave his Consent
to the reporting of it. And for the Words relating to Flying in the King's Face, I affirm they are false.
Sir Francis Brewster. I desire to speak a few Words: You
were pleas'd to ask me to give an Account of what pass'd
about the Words, Flying in the King's Face, and I find
the House expects I should give an Account of the whole
that pass'd then: And I beg leave to say farther, that when
the Debate was about the private Estate, and those Words
were said about Flying in the King's Face, which my Lord
Drogheda, and others will take their Oaths of, and I believe Mr. Hamilton will not deny; at the same time this was
said by Mr. Trenchard, I heard you talk of flying in the
King's Face, I hope 'tis not flying in his Face; but this I
must tell you, 'tis a villainous Grant, and ought to be expos'd. Upon his speaking so, Words arose, and that Gentleman gave me ill Language; but my Language was not so
bad, but he was forced to beg my Pardon at the Board, and
I did not his; there he stands, let him deny it if he can.
Mr. Trenchard. Sir, it is true, I did ask his Pardon, and
the Occasion was this, as Mr. Annesly has acquainted you:
I was provoked by his opprobrious Language to reply, I
feared him in no Capacity but as an Evidence, which he
took very heinously: He repeated the word Evidence; he
said 'twas below a Gentleman, below a Man of Honour,
that such a one ought to be shun'd by all civil Conversation,
that I had better have stuck a Dagger in his Heart, than
have called him an Evidence; which now I think, Mr.
Speaker, he won't resent so highly. This put the Board in
great Disorder, and one of the Commissioners whisper'd to me
(I think it was the absent Member, but I am sure all agreed
in it) you know he is a very simple, old Fellow; and tho'
he gave the Affront, you are in the wrong that you are
capable of being angry with him. Truly, Sir, I was conscious to myself that I was much to blame, to suffer myself
to be provoked by him; and therefore, that the Debate
might be interrupted no longer, I ask'd his Pardon. As to
the other Part I am charg'd with, that I called the Grant
of the private Estate a villainous Grant, I directly deny it.
'Twas possible I might say 'twas an extravagant Grant, an
unreasonable Grant, an unconscionable Grant, that the King
was imposed upon and deceiv'd in this Grant, to give that
for 5000 l. per Ann. which is worth between five and six
and twenty thousand. These are Words that amount to it,
and might fall from me, but that I used the Word villainous
I positively deny; 'tis a Word I don't use in my ordinary
Conversation, a Word that never comes out of the Mouth
of a Gentleman, and is false.
Mr. Speaker. Mr. Annesly, 'tis understood that you receiv'd a Letter from a worthy Member of this House, Mr.
Moore; and I think you told us that you had that Letter,
and all other Letters that you had received from any Members; I know not whether the House will order the rest,
but that worthy Member desires that his Letter may be
produc'd if you have it.
Mr. Annesly. Mr. Moore has desir'd it, has he?
Mr. Harcourt. I desire mine too.
Mr. Speaker. Mr. Harcourt would have his too.
Mr Annesly It is with great Regret that I bring the
Letters of Gentlemen here, especially those I receiv'd from
any of the Members of this House, who did me the Honour
to correspond with me at that time; tho' I think there is
nothing written in them that any Man need decline owning.
And therefore, I think it will be more for their Service to
shew them, lest they may be suspected for what they don't
deserve: If this House obliges me to lay them all before
them, I must submit.
Members. No, no.
Mr. Speaker. But that Gentleman desires you to produce
And Mr. Harcourt also desires his.
Mr. Annesly. I have but four in my Hand, one from Mr.
Moore, one from Mr. Harcourt, the rest are from Mr.
Mr. Sloane. I desire he will produce mine too.
Mr. Speaker. I think you named but three, Mr. Sloane
desires his too.
Mr. Annesly There are two from Mr. Sloane, one from
Mr. Harcourt, and the other from Mr. Moore.
Which Letters Mr. Annesly delivered in to the Clerk.
Mr. Annesly. I think it my Duty to say something for Mr.
Hamilton who is absent, and that is to assure you that I
never heard any Words fall from him that were unbecoming a Gentleman fit to be intrusted by you in this Commission; and as for that which is said of Mr. Trenchard, 'tis
false as to my hearing of it: I was present at all the Debates, and I do not remember the least thing that ever came
from him, reflecting upon the King or his Grants, in the
whole course of our Conversation, otherwise than as he has
told you himself.
There having been divers groundless and scandalous Aspersions cast upon Francis Annesly, John Trenchard, James
Hamilton and Henry Langford Esqrs;
Resolved, That the said four Commissioners have acquitted
themselves, in the Execution of that Commission, with Understanding, Courage and Integrity.
That Sir Richard Leving, another of the said Commissioners, has been the Author of the said groundless and
scandalous Reports upon the four Commissioners beforementioned.
That the said Sir Richard Leving be committed to the
Tower for the said Offence.
And he was committed accordingly.
Two Days after, the Bill for applying the Irish Forfeitures
to the Use of the Public, was read a second Time, and committed to a Committee of the whole House. Upon this Occasion, the Courtiers made a Motion, and caused the Question
to be put, That the said Committee be empowered to receive
a Clause for reserving a Proportion of the Forfeited Estates
in Ireland, to the Disposal of his Majesty; which passing
in the Negative, it was resolved on the 18th, That the advising, procuring and passing the said Grants of the Forfeited
and other Estates in Ireland, had been the Occasion of contracting great Debts upon the Nation, and levying heavy
Taxes on the People; that the advising and passing the said
Grants was highly reflecting on the King's Honour; and
that the Officers and Instruments concerned in the procuring
and passing these Grants had highly failed in the Performance
of their Trust and Duty.
Resolutions on the Supply. ; The Resumption Bill ordered.
All this while the Business of the Supply went on, and
they resolv'd, That the Sum of 76383 l. now remaining in
the Exchequer, on account of Tonnage and Poundage,
with what the Subsidy should bring in more to the 25th of
December, should be applied towards the Payment of Seamens Wages, and that 220000l. be borrowed at 5 per Cent.
for the same Use: That 7000 Seamen be the Complement
for the next Year's Service; that 1800l. be allowed for
Bounty-Money to the Officers of the Fleet; 90,000 l. for the
Extraordinary of the Navy; 300,000 l. for Guards and Garrisons; and 25,000 l. for the Office of Ordnance for the
Year 1700. They likewise made a Provision for Half-Pay
to the disbanded Officers; and laid two Shillings in the
Pound Land-Tax. On the 6th of February they resolv'd
to raise Money to discharge the Debt due to Army; and being in a hot Scent after Grants, a Motion was made and the
Question put, That the procuring or obtaining of Grants of
Estates belonging to the Crown, by any public Minister
concern'd in the directing or passing such Grants, to or for
their own Use or Benefit, while the Nation lay under the
heavy Taxes of the late War, was highly injurious to his
Majesty, and prejudicial to the State, and a Violation of the
Trust repos'd in them. Whereon the Court-Party carried it
in the Negative; but at the same time, they gave their consent
to an Order for bringing in a Bill, To resume the Grants of
all Lands and Revenues of the Crown, and all Pensions granted by
the Crown since the 6th of February, 1684, and for applying the
same to the Use of the Public.
On February the 15th, the Commons proceeded to consider
further of the State of the Nation; and upon a very hot and
long Debate, it was resolved, That an Address be presented
to his Majesty, representing to him the Resolutions of this
House of the 18th of January last, relating to the Grants of
the Forfeited Estates in Ireland.
On the 21st, the Commons in a Body having waited on the
King, with their Address of the 15th of that Month, in relation to the Irish Forfeitures, his Majesty told them:
Votes of the House relating to the said Grants presented to his Majesty, with the Address. ; The King's Answer.
I WAS not led by Inclination, but thought myself
obliged in justice to reward those who had served well,
and particularly in the Reduction of Ireland, out of the
Estates forfeited to me, by the Rebellion there. The long
War in which we were ingaged did occasion great Taxes,
and has left the Nation much in debt; and the taking just
and effectual Ways for lessening that Debt and supporting
Public Credit, is what, in my Opinion, will best contribute
to the Honour, Interest and Safety of this Kingdom.'
Warm Votes thereon.
The Speaker having, five Days after, reported this Answer, the Commons were so provoked by it, that they resolved, That whosoever advised it, had used his utmost Endeavours to create a Misunderstanding and Jealousy between
the King and his People.
Ways and Means
Coll. Granville, afterwards Lord Granville, was, during
this Interval, Chairman of the Committee of the whole House,
who took into Consideration the State of his Majesty's Revenue, and Resolv'd, That there had been a great Loss in his
Majesty's Revenue of Excise; and, That it be an Instruction to the Committee of the whole House, to whom
the Land-Tax and Irish Forfeiture Bills were committed,
that they receive a Clause to enable his Majesty, for the
Improvement of the Revenue, to let to farm the Duties
of Excise; but no Member of the House to be a Farmer or
Manager of Excise.
On the 7th of March they voted 1000 l. to be paid the
Earl of Drogheda, Francis Annesly, John Trenchard, James
Hamilton, Henry Langford, Esqrs; and to James Hooper,
Secretary to the Commissioners; but to Sir Richard Leving
and Sir Francis Brewster, who had been at as much Trouble
as the rest, only 500 l. each, in Consideration of their Expences. They laid a Duty on Irish Hops, on East-India
Goods, and continued the Duties on French Goods and Wines,
towards raising the Supply; and ordered a Clause in one of
the Money-Bills for the importing, Custom-free, a certain
Quantity of Paper for printing Dr. Alix's Ecclesiastical History. They Resolved, That a Supply be granted to his
Majesty towards the Payment of his Proportion of the Debt
owing to the Prince of Denmark, and the Moneys to be rais'd
to be laid out in this Kingdom, and settled upon the Prince
and Princess, and their Issue, according to their MarriageAgreement. That an Address be presented to his Majesty
that he would use his Endeavour to procure other Princes and
States to pay their Proportions of the said Debt. They agreed upon a Supply for the Coinage, for circulating Exchequer-Bills one Year longer, for making good the Deficiencies
of the three Shillings in the Pound, in the eighth Year of his
Majesty's Reign, and of the Duty on stamp'd Paper and
Parchment, granted in the same Session of Parliament; of
the Malt-Tickets and Quarterly Poll granted in the next
Year, for paying off the Transport-Debt, and for Payment
of the Debt due to the Navy, and sick and wounded Seamen.
Address relating to Capt. Kidd.
The 16th, an Address was presented to the King, That
Capt. Kidd might not be tried, discharg'd, or pardon'd,
until the next Session of Parliament; and that the Earl of
Bellamont, Governour of New-England, might transmit
over all Instructions and Papers taken with, or relating to the
said Kidd; which his Majesty complied with.
Commissioners nominated for the Sale of the Irish Forfeitures.
March 26. The House having considered of the Number,
Qualifications, and Manner of chusing the Trustees for the
Bill of Irish Forfeitures, they Resolved, That the Number
of the said Trustees be thirteen. That no Person be a Trustee
who had any Office or Profit, or was accountable to his Majesty; or was a Member of this House. And that the said
Trustees be chosen by ballotting. Two Days after, the several Members of the House having given in Lists of thirteen
Persons Names; which were put into Glasses, the Majority
fell upon Francis Annesly, James Hamilton, John Biggs,
John Trenchard, James Isham, Henry Langford, James
Hooper, Esqrs; Sir Cyril Wyche, John Cary, Gent. Sir Henry
Sheers, Thomas Harrison, Esq; Sir John Worden, William
Fellows, and Thomas Rawlins, Esqs; The two last Persons
having equal Voices, either of them must have been left out;
but the House being informed, that Sir John Worden was a
Baron of the Exchequer, in the County-Palatine of Chester,
during his Life, at ayearly Salary from the Crown, it was Resolved, That the said Sir John Worden was not capable of
being Trustee in the said Bill, and so the other two stood.
Bill of Resumption pass'd.
On the 2d of April, the Commons passed the Bill for granting an Aid to his Majesty, by Sale of the Forfeited and other Estates
and Interests in Ireland; and by a Land-Tax in England for the
several Purposes therein mentioned: and sent it to the Lords
for their Concurrence.
Proceedings of the House ordered to be printed.
The 8th, the House ordered the Report of the Commissioners for Irish Forfeitures to be published; and that the Resolutions of the 18th of January last, the Resolution of the
4th of April 1690, relating to the forfeited Estates; his Masty's Speech to both Houses, the 5th of January, 1690-1.
the Address of the House to the King the 5th of February
last; his Majesty's Answer thereunto the 26th of the same
February, and the Resolution of the House thereupon; and
lastly, the Address of the House of Commons, of the 4th of
March, 1692-3, and his Majesty's Answer thereunto, be also
reprinted with the said Report. And Resolv'd, That the procuring or passing exorbitant Grants, by any Member now of
the Privy-Council, or by any other that had been a PrivyCounsellor in this or any former Reign, to his Use or Benefit, was a High Crime and Misdemeanour.
Amendments made, by the Lords, to the Bill of Supply.
On the other hand, the Court finding their Party extreemly
weak in the House of Commons, endeavoured to oppose
the passing of this complicated Bill in the House of Lords; to
which the Majority of that illustrious Assembly was inclined;
some out of Complaisance to the King, and most of them because they looked upon the tacking of one Bill to another,
as an Innovation in parliamentary Proceedings, and such as
evidently tended to retrench, if not wholly to take away the
Share the Peers of England ought to have in the legislative
Authority. But because they could not reject the Bill without leaving the urgent Necessities of the State unprovided,
their Lordships contented themselves to make great Amendments to that Part of it that related to Forfeitures. The
Commons having considered and unanimously disapproved
the said Amendments, sent to desire a Conference with the
Lords thereupon; appointed a Committee to draw up Reasons to be offered to their Lordships; resolved, That two
Days after, they would proceed in the further Consideration
of the Report given in by the Commissioners for Irish Forfeitures; and ordered a List of his Majesty's Privy-Council to
be laid before the House.
Conferences between the two Houses thereon.
On the 9th of April, a Conference was managed between
both Houses, in which the Lords did warmly insist on their
Amendments; and the Commons as vehemently maintain'd
their Disagreement with their Lordships. The next Day
two Conferences were had on the same Subject, and with as
little Success; at which the Commons were so exasperated,
that they ordered the Lobby of their House to be cleared of
all Strangers; the Back-Doors of the Speaker's Chamber to
be lock'd up; and that the Serjeant should stand at the Door
of the House, and suffer no Members to go forth; and then
proceeded to take into Consideration the Report of the Irish
Forfeitures, and the List of the Lords of the Privy-Council.
The King desires the Lords to comply, which they do.
The King being informed of the high Ferment the Commons were in, and apprehending the Consequences, sent a
private Message (by the Earl of Albemarle) to the Lords, to
pass the Bill without Amendments; which their Lordships
did accordingly, and acquainted the Commons with it.
This Condescension did not wholly appease the Commons,
who, pursuing their Resentment against the present Ministry,
put the Question, That an Address be made to his Majesty,
to remove John Lord Somers, Lord Chancellor of England
from his Presence and Councils for ever; which though it
was carried in the Negative, by reason of the acknowledged
Merit and great Services of that Peer, yet it was Resolved,
That an Address be made to his Majesty, that no Person,
who was not a Native of his Dominions, except his Royal
Highness Prince George of Denmark, be admitted to his
Majesty's Councils in England or Ireland.
The King did not think it proper to receive any such
Address, and therefore to prevent the offer of it, his Majesty
came the day following, viz. Thursday, April 11. to the
House of Peers, and after passing a great Number of Bills,
commanded the Earl of Bridgwater to prorogue the Parliament to the 23d of May. It was afterwards dissolved on the
19th of December; and a new Parliament called, to begin at
Westminster, Feb. 6th.