Saturday, March 22.
Mr Secretary Coventry acquainted the House, That, according to their command, he had waited on his Majesty with their
Address about the paying Mr Bedlow 500l. as the first discoverer
of the murder of Sir Edmundbury Godfrey, who returned answer,
"That he would take order to have it paid accordingly."
Then the Black Rod summoned the House to attend the King
immediately in the House of Lords, where the King said:
"My Lords and Gentlemen,
"I should have been glad to see you had made any good progress in the matters I called you for. I perceive that your proceedings against my Lord Treasurer have hindered you therein: I am
therefore now come to put an end to that business, such as I hope
will be to your satisfaction. I have given him my Pardon under
my Broad Seal, before the calling this Parliament, for securing
both his life and fortunes, and if there should happen to be any
defect therein, in point of form or otherwise, I will give it him ten
times over, rather than it should not be full and sufficient for the
purpose I design it. I never denied it to any of my servants or
Ministers, when they quitted their places, as Lord Shaftsbury and
the Duke of Buckingham well know. Besides, I must inform you,
that there are great mistakes in those matters concerning him.
For the Letters were written by my order. And for the concealing the Plot it was impossible, for he had heard nothing of that
but what he had immediately from myself. I have dismissed him
my Court and Councils, and not to return. Public business
presses hard, and therefore I recommend them to you to go speedily upon them."
Mr Bennet.] As there has been too much heat used
here formerly, so I hope this House will not be too cool
now. If Pardons go on at this rate that the King has told
us, we are in a desperate condition. In Spain, when a
Don is sent to a Government, and is accused of ill administration, the Court squeezes some money out of him, and
he is pardoned, and the next Don that governs does the
same, and so thereby their Government is become most
despicable. France is grown great by a contrary method.
There is a Chamber of Accounts, and what the Officer
has got more than the usual perquisites and profits of the
place he must refund, and that goes on towards the
War. Our case is much worse. When a Minister falls, as
in Lord Clarendon's case, there was an Act of Banishment,
and now, in the Treasurer's case, a Pardon. The Lawyers
can best tell you whether this Pardon is good in Law.
Instead of squeezing a Minister that has been faulty, he
goes away with 247,000l.—An Army raised—And the
Fleet unpaid, with Popish Captains in it! When he put the
Papists in, then the Plot opened upon him. We shall be
still worse, if this Minister rides off thus unpunished, and it
will be always thus, whilst, after an Impeachment of High
Treason, any man shall go at large. It is for the safety
of the King and the Nation, that a Minister be afraid of
this House. If you let this Minister go thus, three years
hence you may have such another, and, in time, we shall
be all beggars.
Sir George Hungerford.] Suppose the Treasurer be commanded by the King to do an ill thing, as the writing
those Letters to Mr Montagu, &c. let him plead his
Pardon at his tryal. We are not to take notice of it
Mr Wogan.] As the matter stands upon Impeachment,
the Pardon may be pleaded. Such an Impeachment or information he must plead his Pardon for, at his arraignment,
and not before. We cannot take notice of it. Matter of
fact cannot be pleaded against matter of record. We ought
therefore to desire the Lords, that he may be secured to answer his charge.
Sir John Knight.] In the Treasurer's last Letter of 25th
March, Mons. Barillon, the French Ambassador, and he,
made up a Peace, when that Letter was written without
the King's direction. When a man comes to be tryed, then
is his proper time to plead his Pardon. This man must
come to tryal, to show the world, how ill a Minister he
has been to the King. All things have been done by him,
and not by the King and Council. Therefore, pray go
on with the Articles of Impeachment, and let him plead
his Pardon upon his tryal, and show himself a Traytor to
both King and Kingdom.
Sir Nicholas Carew.] If you should go by Address to
the King, &c. as Sir Robert Markham has moved, let it
go with a representation, in what condition the Nation is
in. We have neither ships, money, stores, nor alliances,
that I know of.
Mr Booth.] I think this is the first time, that either any
King, or this King, sent for a House of Commons to
attend him about such a business as this. I will not say that
this is crossing us in these great matters, but it looks like
it. The King has told us, "that it is usual for him to
pardon his servants when he discharges them, &c." If it
be a custom, it is an ill one, and the worst that can be.
But if such Pardons be justifiable, they are not so in this
man's case. No story can parallel the villanies and wickednesses of this man. The King tells us, "he would have
us mind the great business of the Nation:" You have no
greater business than this. If these Pardons are thus obtained, it will be such an encouragement to rogues! If
the King will give us up, let us do our duty notwithstanding.
Mr Leveson Gower.] If the Speaker had remembered all
the King's Speech, he would have reported all. The King
said, "he has given this Lord his Pardon before the Parliament met, and has done no more than he did to the
Duke of Buckingham and Lord Shaftsbury." And I think,
if he be so removed, as you are told, by the King, that
the Nation is not in danger, and the King says, "he will
pardon him again and again."
The Speaker.] I will not say, that the King did not say
the words of "pardoning him again and again," but, on
my credit, I do not remember them.
Mr Powle.] The King said "all those that had quitted
his service he gave Pardons to, as you'll find Buckingham and Shaftsbury had." But, "that he would pardon
him again and again," I did not hear.
Sir Charles Harbord.] It is ordinary for a Minister or
Secretary of State to say, "Sir, I am going off from your
service. Pray let me have your Pardon." Lord Bacon,
Michell, Mompesson, Lord Middlesex, Lord Suffolk, had
Pardons. But did the King ever pardon any one after an
Impeachment was against them? This way of pardoning
(an Impeachment depending) is of the most dangerous
consequence in the world, both to King and people.
I have said this fifty years ago. In the last King's time,
projects and monopolies flew about, and I was troubled
about them; those reduced the King, the best of Kings,
and perhaps of men, to own them at the Council-Table.
It is a destruction to the Laws of the Kingdom, and of
the people. Takeaway the hearts of the people, and you
ruin the King in countenancing these things. When
the Treasurer of the Kingdom disposes of the public
treasure, for the King's recreation, still it is pro bono publico. It is crimen læsi imperii to destroy the Treasury,
which is for safety of the people. How shall the Commons be able to support the King, that he may aid his
Allies abroad, when the Treasury is wasted? Whoever
does this, commits Treason against his allegiance. I
move, that you will make a remonstrance of the State of
Sir Henry Beaumont.] I am glad to find reasons and arguments the same to day as they were yesterday. I am
glad no crime is too big for this House to punish. If the
Treasurer be not suspended in this sense, I hope he may be
Sir Thomas Clarges.] I would have you represent to the
King all the evils that may issue from this Pardon. The
King in his Speech, at the opening of the Parliament,
says, "that we were best able to vindicate him from the
calumny put upon him by the worst of men." Nothing can make the King more happy, or shine in greatter lustre, than his Parliament. This is no factious Parliament; no Bands of Pensioners are here. Here the
King's sceptre is of gold, and not a rod of iron—And the
King shines in his greatest lustre. Though the King has
pardoned my Lord Treasurer, the like was never done
in any memory, when the whole body of the Kingdom hold up their hands for Justice against him. Those
about the King have his ear, and represent things to
him. If those about him (protectio trahit subjectionem,)
intercept his Grace from his Parliament, not two nor
ten can protect the King at Whitehall. Let us, in what
we do, beget a confidence in the King. But still these unhappy actions and advices are the King's own; when we
should deliver him from them, they are put upon him,
and what those about him advise, is ill advice. I hope
what Gower said may be forgotten, and I second the Motion for an Address, &c.
Mr William Harbord.] As for the Pardon, I know not
what that is, nor what means "pardoning for murder;"
which the King cannot pardon, because it is a crime against
a greater than himself, against God. Some things the
King will not pardon. Suppose any man had sold forty
or fifty ships of the King's to the French King, or burnt
them, does any man think that the King would pardon it?
Let us proceed with safety to the King and ourselves.
The Lords have refused you Justice, and have not committed the Treasurer to custody, and you ought to insist
upon it as your right. When the Earl of Middlesex was
charged in Parliament for embezzling the King's stores,
he was immediately sequestered from Parliament. This
Parliament has impeached the Treasurer, and the Lords
deny us Justice, which their ancestors ever did us. As
the King comes towards you, so I would have you go towards the King; and I believe the King will never allow
those Letters to have been by his own order, but that the
Treasuer has been well paid for it by somebody. I can
never believe that the King is so ill a man, that, when a
War was depending, &c. he should order those Letters, to
bargain for a Peace. I desire Justice against the Treasurer,
in the name of all the Commons of England, but yet with
all good manners to the King. I would have a Committee
to draw up a representation to the King of the miserable
estate of the Kingdom, and that this Gentleman is the
occasion of it. If you suffer this Pardon to pass over so,
you'll never discover the Plot. And if the advice of this
Gentleman had been followed, some heads of the last Parliament that were troublesome to this Gentleman had been
cut off. A Gentleman told me this morning of stifling
of evidence, by the artifice of somebody or other, (pray
God it be not a Member!) that a principal Witness is leftout—Because a Pardon stifles all evidence. Put both Questions, the one for the representation, &c. and the other for
the right of the Commons, in having the Treasurer sequestered from Parliament.
(fn. 1) .] We have spent much time in talking of
the Treasurer's Pardon. Every one knows the King's power of pardoning; cases of appeal only excepted; but
if you will have a Bill to restrain the powers in them,
that may prevent it for the future. All Laws that are
made, are to restrain that unlimited power in the King,
for, without those Laws, all power is in the King. (He
was out, and could proceed no farther, and Mr Seymour
pulled him down.)
Sir Robert Southwell.] One word has dropped from Mr
Harbord, "that there is an abominable Evidence concealed, in the murder of Sir Edmundbury Godfrey." I would
have him named.
Sir Thomas Lee.] Pray let no interlocutory discourse
divert us from the Question, of sending to the King, as
Sir Francis Winnington.] The Rights of the Crown are
not only in the case of this Pardon, but of us and our
Posterity when we have done. I never had any difference with this Lord, but as an enemy to the King and
the Nation. Now, what is your duty to do in this case
upon the King's signification of his intention of pardoning the Treasurer? which I suppose is, as it were, asking
your advice in it. If the King will pardon the Treasurer,
without all controversy he has acquainted you early with
it, to be advised by you. I apprehend, that is the reason
why we entertain the Debate. If the King proposes it
as a legislative case, then it is but to give the King advice what is fit and convenient to be done and advised.
But if you consider it as you are prosecutors, then you are
to consider the legal part; and I will consider both. He
that stands charged, and pretends to a Pardon, confesses the crimes he stands charged with; he takes sanctuary, and pleads his Pardon under the Great Seal of
England. The Law of England says, "that, by taking
a Pardon, he confesses the crimes he stands charged with."
This being considered, what is fit in this case for us to
do? A Pardon once granted is not the Law of Medes
and Persians, not to be revoked. They have been
damned in Westminster-Hall, much more may they be
here. And now what is fit for us to do? What is this
Lord guilty of? Either his Pardon is commensurate to
his crimes, or it will do him no good. A less crime
than of assuming Royal Power was in the Spencers case
in Edw. II's time. The Treasurer has exhausted the
Treasure of the Crown, by acquiring a great estate to
himself, &c. and endeavoured to stifle the discovery of the
Plot, when it was just coming to light. Now the King
communicates his Pardon to you, for these and several
other offences, &c. for your advice. In this matter I will
speak plain, and discharge my conscience. The Law of
England is of an admirable composition. When great
men are in the Presence of the King, I must believe, that
persons, in their several stations, are good or bad, according to the effects of their Ministry. Should a Minister of
State have endeavoured to subvert the Government,
Parliaments have power, by 25 Edw. III. to declare that
Treason, and it is the wisdom of the Government to leave
that declaratory power to Parliament, that no man, though
ever so great, may be able to struggle with a Parliament.
This Lord's crimes are so well known, that a man cannot pretend to be unprovided to speak to them—When
came this great Lord in? When Popery came, and the
Protestant Religion was discouraged, and no fitter man to
succed Lord Clifford, than Sir Thomas Osborne, a private
Gentleman in the Country! Have not French Councils
and Popery prevailed, and the Triple League been broken?
And had the Plot gone on, nothing could have saved our
Religion but a hand from Heaven. No man has been
preferred in Court, but a friend to the French Government. Money was given by the Parliament for a War
with France, and this man, at the same time, treats for a
base and dishonourable Peace. Though the Law was
made severe, that the money should be employed for so
many ships, yet they are not half built, though Mr Pepys
said "they would be built in a year." And there was
600,000l. gone, for they got the money and prorogued
the Parliament—Money was given to disband the Army,
and that money was spent to keep them up, and then we
were prorogued: But we have been so bit before, that no
appropriating Clause we thought would serve turn, if
the money was lodged in the Exchequer; and so the
Chamber of London was thought of, to place it there;
and this, you were told, was against the King's Prerogative, and that gave offence; though in the Palatinate
War, the same thing had been done before, and so the
Parliament was sent home; and this Lord is the person
that breaks all your Laws. A Message was sent from
the King, the last summer, "That things abroad had all
tendency to Peace, but because of several emergencies of
State, the King was advised to ask of his Parliament such
a revenue as might bear proportion with his neighbouring Princes, the better to carry on and support the Government, &c." This project was then brought into the
House, and then Gentlemen said, "That it was a subverting the Government, and the way to make Parliaments
useless." And though many Gentlemen in the last Parliament were willing to give money to the King, yet they
supposed the granting the King so great a revenue as he
then demanded, would make their use in Parliament cease,
and so become insignificant. And upon their giving no
money, their mettle broke off, and they had no money. This Lord must be the person that has done these
things. How could this revenue, that the King asked of us
the last Parliament, be brought to adjust that sum, but
by him that knew and adjusted the Treasury? Things
coming to this head, say they, "How shall we relieve
ourselves?" Out comes a Plot, too hard for the Statesmen
to suppress; and this demand was as a refuge to the
Statesmen. They fly then to a Pardon for refuge, when
the Letters this man is impeached for are all under his own
hand, to subvert the Crown as well as the people. He
that sets up Popery suppresses the Royal Family—The
Spiritual Pope, and the Temporal Power of France, suppress both soul and body. But in the close of the last
Parliament the inequality was so strong, that the strength
of the pensioners did signify nothing, and the King sent
them home and dissolved them. And I thank God here
are none of them that I see. Empson and Dudley were
mentioned; and was ever any man punished for not going
against Law? It was answered, "That they stretched the
Law farther than was intended." But shall he be pardoned that has gone against Law, and breaks the Law? No
man is so mean as to have malice in his heart against the
Treasurer, but the rights of the King are concerned in his
crimes, and a good mettled man sets up again, and does
the like exorbitances, and gets a Pardon from the King,
and this shall be a reward for his crimes, and so escape
unpunished. Since this Pardon of the Treasurer's was passed,
he has got 5000l. a year for a Pension, and 1200l. a year of
the Fee Farm Rents, which is part of the Queen's Jointure; and has taken it out of another branch of the revenue, because the Queen will not be so kind to him as to
die. It has been said, "that the King lets the unfortunate fall gently;" but never that he rewarded a man that
has been such an enemy to his King and Country. What
then shall I propose to you in this case? I would make
an Address to the King, to take consideration of this Pardon, &c.—One word I heard of the King's Speech, "that
we should not dispute this Pardon, though it had not
passed the usual formalities, &c." I believe it has not passed all the Offices; as the Secretary's, the Attorney General's, the Sollicitor General's, the Secretary's again for
the Privy Seal, so that a Caveat may be entered, and so
to the Great Seal, In all these gradations Pardons ought
to pass, that the subject may enter Caveats. But if this
Pardon has passed per saltum, I would move the King not
to pass it, and represent to him the inconvenience of it.
It is not without precedent that Pardons have been voided by scire sacias, when obtained upon false suggestions, &c.
The Treasurer could never have got this Pardon, but that
he used arguments to the King, "that he was for his
Prerogative, and his sufferings were for that; and so the
Pardon needed not to pass the usual form, that the Commons might not put in a Caveat." I would therefore some
way address the King, to represent to him, how unjust it is
this Pardon should pass, and pray that it may be stopped.
If the legality of it be now argued, it is a very improper
time. For the legislative part, we impeach him as demandants. The King speaks to us in his legislative capacity; this is nothing to the Impeachment that is in
the Lords House. It was sent up the last Parliament, and
the same Commons of England prosecute the Impeachment still—But it is to my admiration that he is not
committed to custody, being charged with Treason,
(when formerly the Lords committed persons when for
Misdemeanor only) especially now there are such tricks
of running away. We say it is not a good Pardon, and
may have a fatal slip in it, because done in the dark—
Let him plead his Pardon in bæc verba, and we will
plead to it. I infer from hence, whether it be lawful,
or not? And though the King be surprized in the grant
of it, you may not be surprized. A man may have as
much injustice in the manner, as the matter, of a grant.
If the crimes of the Treasurer come to be judged capital, the forfeiture of his 1200l. a year—But those that
come after us may say he is an example made of an offender, &c. You can but do these two things, either
think him innocent, or make good your prosecution. It
is a position in Law, "That the King's Mercy is boundless;" but upon an Appeal, if one kills my father, the
King cannot pardon it: I am his heir; I may have
vengeance. The King can pardon only what relates to
himself, no more than he can pardon an action of Debt.
I will come a little closer. There are mala prohibita,
wherein one part of the forfeiture goes to the informer,
the other to the King. Before the information is commenced, the King may pardon the whole, there being no
informer, &c. I would therefore address the King, to
know how this Pardon was obtained, and then demand
Justice of the King, &c.
Serjeant Maynard.] The great danger the King's Person, our Laws and Liberties, have been in, you all know.
What advice to give concerning this great Lord, I am
at a stand. A great deal has been said, and with good
affection, but some things mistaken. The King cannot
pardon murder, unless it is said, in the Pardon, that it is
murder. A man is found guilty of murder, and he
pleads his Pardon; that is usual; but you have not read
this Pardon, nor seen it. It cannot be allowed, till it be
seen. But that which stumbles me most, is, that, when
such acts are put upon you, the whole Nation is put upon ruin, if we do not take notice of this, when the
King's life is at stake—This Lord being charged not
only with concealing Treason committed, but a Plot
whilst upon execution; I take that for more. I will
never speak for favour, nor affection; but a Pardon does
discharge him in point of Law, yet you may enquire
into it, and it is in the power of Parliament to take off
that Pardon; but I do not think that your Impeachment
takes off the Pardon; but it is in your power, as a Parliament, to void these Pardons.
Lord Cavendish.] I am one of those for the King's
power of pardoning, &c. as many of his predecessors have
done. But applying this Pardon to the circumstances
this Lord is in, it is cruelty to the Public to let this Pardon pass. I would therefore apply to the Lords, to remind them of our last Message.
Mr Vaughan.] I will say nothing to the legality or illegality of the Pardon. But whether, on such an occasion,
this Pardon can be just. When a Pardon is destructive
to the people, it cannot be. That cannot be a mercy to
the people that is so. One thing cannot be pardoned;
he is called to account for high offences; and that he
should advise his own Pardon, (what use are you of?) an
Impeachment depending. When men grow too big for
the Laws, you can call them to account, else they will
triumph over the King's Justice and yours too. Before
ever the nature of his crimes is opened, here is a Pardon
chopped betwixt you and Justice. It is a great and glorious
Prerogative in the King to pardon offences, &c. but at
this rate of pardoning, you may have all persons break
loose, and all honest men in prison. If you prosecute not
your Impeachment you mislead the King, and give countenance to those ill Counsels given the King. If he
must have his Pardon, let it be loaden with all the notorious crimes. Naturally all is true out of the King's
mouth, but this Speech he is advised to. If this man
must have the benefit of such a Pardon, I hope you will
take care that no man else may.
Resolved, Nemine contradicente, That a Message be immediately sent, to remind their Lordships of the last Message sent
from this House, relating to the Earl of Danby; and to demand
that Thomas Earl of Danby may be forthwith sequestered from
Parliament, and committed to safe custody.
A present Conference was desired by the Lords, without declaring any subject-matter; which occasioned this Debate.
Mr Powle.] If the Lords may require Conferences,
without declaring the subject-matter, it may be about
Money, and then you will never reach them with a Conference about Judicature. They appoint place of Conference, and we do not. I am apt to think this an omission of memory in the Messengers; but if not, you must
send an Answer by Messengers of your own.
Sir Thomas Meres.] The last Parliament, there was a
present Conference desired by the Lords "on matters of
great importance," and we granted it. When great things,
as the Plot, &c. were on foot, that was some matter of
Conference, but this is nothing at all. This is too big
for me to advise upon. I will leave it to others.
Mr Vaughan.] Suppose that the Lords shall tell you
"that it is necessary to give Money to build ships." This
Message cannot have a particular Answer now, but I would
send an Answer by Messengers of our own.
Mr Sacheverell.] Take care how you accept this Message. This looks as if it were upon some matters not to be
conferred upon. 1 K. James, after the House had resolved a point of their own Privileges, they answered the
Lords, "that they could not confer upon that point,
having resolved it already." Therefore now I would send
the Lords Answer, "that you will send them an Answer
by Messengers of your own." And then send them
word "that this Message is unusual, and that we cannot grant them a Conference, before they declare the
Mr Seymour.] I am very desirous to keep a good correspondence with the Lords, and our endeavours are all
little enough to preserve the nation from the dangers we lie
are under. This is indeed an unusual Message. Formerly
we have excepted against a general Conference, and now,
in this here is no matter at all—This may disturb a good
correspondence. I would therefore send a Message to the
Lords, to let them know "that it is unusual to confer upon what we know not the subject-matter of before."
Resolved, That a Message be sent to the Lords, to acquaint
them that it is not agreeable to the usage and proceedings of
Parliament, for either House to send for a Conference, without
expressing the subject-matter of that Conference.
Mr Hills, the Printer, at the Bar.
The Speaker.] Complaint hath been made to the
House (fn. 2) of two scandalous Pamphlets that you have printed. The one is entitled, "A Letter from a Jesuit at Paris to his Correspondent in London, showing the most effectual way to ruin the Government and the Protestant
Religion." The other is entitled, "Two Letters from
Mr Montagu to the Lord Treasurer, &c. which were
read in the House of Commons; together with the Lord
Treasurer's Speech in the House of Peers, upon an Impeachment of High Treason brought against him, &c."
These two Pamphlets the House looks upon as seditious,
and to reflect upon the King and the Government. They
were printed for Jonathan Edwin; but as Edwin says,
"that you, Hills, printed them, and delivered them to
him," what authority had you to print these libels?
Hills.] I had direction to print them from my Lord Treasurer,
who told me, "he would secure me for doing it; by reason that
false copies might go abroad, he would have his Speech printed
from his own copy, that he might be vindicated. The other he
would have printed, to disappoint the Papists, who have ill
will to the Government, thereby to do service to the Nation."
There is no name to it. I received them from my Lord Treasurer both at the same time. The Treasurer gave them out to be
printed about a week before the Parliament sat. He withdrew.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] This is a Breach of Privilege, to
print Letters read in the House of Commons. I move,
"that the Printer and the Publisher may be committed
to the Serjeant."
Sir Nicholas Carew.] I differ from Clarges. The Printer
gives you a free account of the matter, and you ought to
encourage him. You see, by this, the great power and
authority the Treasurer had.
Sir William Pulteney.] Both the Printer and Publisher
have offended against Law, and they have not excused
themselves by putting it upon the Lord Treasurer. They
have not a legal authority for what they have done. No
man is to do unlawful things by the command of a great
man; for in unlawful things no man is to be obeyed.
Whether this be a Breach of Privilege of the House, I
know not; but I am sure it is a Breach of the Law.
And if the contrivers of this Book were known, they ought
to be punished.
Sir Robert Carr.] I would not put any discouragement
upon evidence here, but let the Law punish them. Do
not make it more difficult for evidence to come hither. I
desire they may have some reproof; but because they have
ingenuously confessed the matter, I would not deter them
with other punishment.
Hills was called in.
The Speaker.] You know well, that the printing that
Book is against Law. But, it seems, you take my Lord
Treasurer for collateral security. But because you have
made an ingenuous confession of the matter, the House
does discharge you.
It was moved, "that the Books should be burnt by the hands of
the Hangman;" but it was alleged, "that that power was in the
Lords, and not in the Commons."
Sir Thomas Clarges.] I would not let this go for doctrine, that you have no Judicial Power. You have formerly condemned persons to ride with their faces to the
horse's tail. In one of these Pamphlets, there are Members
named, and both of them intrench upon your Privileges;
and in that case you have power to punish. Another takes
notice of Proceedings in Parliament. Give your opinion
of these Papers, and then do what you will.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] The matter concerning the
person of a Peer, you must properly complain to the
Mr Powle.] In one Paper there is what was spoken
in the upper House, and you cannot well judge that; but
"the Jesuit's Letter" is perfectly under your cognizance.
A passage in it relates to four letters; whom he means by
them, I know not; one of them may be interpreted for
myself, my name beginning with a P. For my part, I
take it to be no scandal to be thought no friend to the
Colonel Titus.] If I am intended to be the man that begins with T, the Treasurer has expressed his opinion of me
in this Letter; and I'll be judged by the House, if I have
not done as much by him. The scandal of the Pamphlets
is to the King's Person and Government, and the Privileges of the House; and I say, I had rather be guilty of all
those crimes than of divulging these Letters. The scandal
is to the King and Government. He extolls the French
Government, and speaks with contempt of ours. If
there be any reason to hate the Government, and to have
the King's Person in contempt, it is because the Lord
Treasurer is Prime Minister.
It was referred to a Committee.
Sir Robert Howard.] In the time of the late War, I
could find out, in dungeons and prisons, those who were
for the King, and all that they suffered to be good subjects.
But I begin to find now, that to reach a Minister is going through the King's sides, and wounds him. Here is
the Nation represented, and that which supports the
King, is his three States—Now I can speak; formerly
I wanted courage and honesty to do it. This maxim has
raised some people to that height they are at; to do ill, and
put it upon the King. The worst action in the world
is selling a Parliament of England, to be laid to the charge
of the King. I hope never to hear that charge upon him
more. If this be suffered, where shall right ever be found,
but by the audacious method of selling the King? He is
in the wrong!—But whoever hereafter shall dare to produce the King for author of ill Government, I would have
it capital, and let it lie upon him to answer it. The condition of the King, at this time, is deplorably low, from
1674, 75, and 76, and I want not proofs to show it—If,
in 1674, I said, "that this will destroy the King," it was
well prophesied. If we well know the Revenue, it is in
the most deplorable condition that can be. The Government must be preserved by truth. Money, given for nothing, will effect nothing, and will be resolved to nothing.
As to the Treasury-part, Lord Clifford was a great man,
and he left it flourishing, and in good order, and I know the
King might have been supported in his necessities. I was
Secretary to the Treasury, and look upon that charge as
upon myself. The Revenue was then clear, and had no
charge, and it was the felicity of Sir Thomas Osborne to
come in so. And having said this, now is the time to come
close to the King; and I move that the Address which you
intend may say that to the King, which may restore us perfectly to the King. Now is your opportunity to let the
King see matter of fact, how his condition is reduced, to
shutting all things from his ears; and that no man that
touches a Minister, but touches him—Draw up your
own condition to him, and represent to him the Councils
that have inclosed him, and that you are ready to be received by him, as you will receive him, that the King
and you may be joined and knit, never to be dissolved.
Mr Sacheverell.] I agree with Howard in one point.
I have lived to see other Ministers and actions than this
Lord Treasurer—Else Gentlemen might take it for granted, that the only evils we groan under are from this
man. I am not of opinion that to remove Ministers from
the King will better our condition, unless those maxims
of State they govern by be removed. Whoever comes in
to be a Minister, follows the same maxims of State.
This matter will be too long for this day. I would debate it on Monday. I will only open it, in general, to
them that were not here before to see matter of fact. I
take it for granted that the maxims of State we have
been ruled by, have not been what the Kingdom has formerly been governed by. The love of the people is the
security of the King; and the Law of England is the security of the King; it does not injure him. All our
misfortune arises from the late times. When the King
came home, his Ministers knew nothing of the Laws of
England, but foreign Government, things managed by a
premier Minister of State. One maxim they brought
over, viz. "Make much of your enemies; your friends
cannot hurt you." Another was, "Make the people poor,
and you will make them obedient." Which makes the
people fear, that they looked upon greater security than
the hearts of the people. Another maxim was, "To
make the Parliament give money longer than the people
can bear it." Another was, "That when money was
given by the Parliament to particular uses, the Crown might
dispose of it as it pleased, and the people must give money
again." I will go back to 1667. Money was given for
a Navy, and there was none, and whilst the Navy was
exposed, I was an eye-witness of that miserable spectacle
at Chatham. Next there was an Act, &c. to call men to
account for great sums of money in arrear, &c. and the
Commissioners were not suffered to proceed any farther in
it, and persons concerned gave no farther account. Then
the Triple League was broken, and Lord-Keeper Bridgemen, though he was a man of great integrity, yet was forced
in a Speech to say what he did. We gave money to support it, and then it was laid aside. In 1670, as flourishing a condition as the Treasurer was in, the credit of the
Nation was stopped, and, I doubt, no man knows when the
Exchequer will get up its credit again. Then, a War was
made with Holland, and all the money the Parliament
gave to pay the King's debts was applied to that War, and
more money was given, and they might have paid the
debts of the Exchequer. Was not this an excellent administration of the Treasurer? And all this was done before
the Lord Treasurer came into the Office, so that, unless you
alter these maxims of State, by which we were governed,
it is no matter who is Lord Treasurer. I would consider
these things, in order to represent them to the King, &c.
A Message from the Lords: "The Lords desire a present Conference, &c. upon matters relating to the Earl of Danby."
Mr Powle reports, That the Duke of Monmouth opened the
Conference thus: "I am commanded by the Lords to acquaint
you, that their Lordships, having taken into consideration matters
relating to the Earl of Danby, together with what his Majesty
was pleased to say upon that subject, have ordered that a Bill
be brought in, by which Thomas Earl of Danby may be made for
ever incapable or coming into his Majesty's presence, and of all
Offices and Employments, and of receiving any Grants or Gifts
from the Crown, and of sitting in the House of Peers."
The Earl of Essex added, "That the Bill relates to the beginning of the Parliament."
(fn. 3) .] The Lords made haste to the Conference;
and to take away all difference between the two Houses, have sent
the special matter of the Conference.
Earl of Shaftsbury.] The Lords are well contented, if you have
a mind to it, to send the special matter of the Conference; but
it was the ancient way and usage of Parliament to send without it,
&c. but out of compliance to the Commons the Lords have now
sent special matter.
[Debate on the Conference.]
Mr Powle.] I think, this Conference is of the greatest
consequence imaginable, and will cause great Debate. I
desire that we may have time to think of it. Now it is too
late to proceed, and let it be adjourned to Monday.
Mr Vaughan.] Time is protracted by adjourning the
Debate, but not lost. Your steps will be the warier by
consideration, and I second Powle.
[It was ordered accordingly.]
Mr Powle.] I would know how this Pardon of the
Treasurer stands. If it has passed without the due formality, the Lord Chancellor deserves to be impeached for it,
next to the Treasurer himself. I think it is the next crime.
I would have enquiry made of the Lord Chancellor, how
this Pardon was obtained, and into all other Offices; it is
of so dangerous a consequence.
Sir Thomas Lee.] I second the Motion, that two or three
Members may attend the Chancellor, to know whether the
Pardon passed his Office, and so the rest of the Offices.
Sir Francis Winnington.] A great Lord in Office (Lord
Anglesea) said, "he knew nothing of this Pardon, till he
heard of it in the Lords House." This Pardon is of more
consequence than twenty Treasurers.
Mr Sollicitor Finch.] As to the method of passing this
Pardon by the Chancellor, Nature bids me speak. Since
I heard of the passing this Pardon, I have enquired into
it; and the more I have enquired, it is the more for the
service of the Lord that keeps the Seal. If the person be
innocent, it was ill for him to get his Pardon. I cannot
say who advised this Pardon, or who was for it, but who
was against it I do know. When the Lord Chancellor
dissuaded this Pardon to be given, and when he denied
the Seal, and wrote a Letter to have it pass in the usual
forms, a command was sent from the King, that he
should come to Whitehall, and he brought the Seal to the
King, and the King commanded the Officer, in his presence, to seal it. The Parchment had C. R. on the
top. This is the true state of the affair; and if you enquire into it, you will find it so. Pardon me, if my relation to this Lord constrains me so early to give you
an account of this.
Ordered, That a Committee be appointed to repair to the
Lord Chancellor, and the other Offices, and enquire into the
manner of suing forth the Pardon of Thomas Earl of Danby; and
make their Report, &c. [on Monday.]