Friday, May 9.
Sir Gilbert Gerrard makes his Apology for his Pension
out of the Excise.] What share I had out of the Excise
was in compensation of part of the Farm which I took,
&c. and I appeal to Sir Stephen Fox, whether I had any
thing out of the Revenue, but in compensation of the
Farm, &c. My reputation is as dear to me as my life, and
if I took Money to give any one individual Vote against
my conscience, I had rather be buried as deep as the centre of the earth. I will venture my life for your service,
and have been against all things of Popery, and I was,
the last Parliament, for removing the Duke of York from
the King's Presence and Councils, &c. and against the
Proviso for him in the Act for the Test of both Houses,
&c. I have no more to say, but will withdraw, if you
please, and leave myself to your Judgment. He proffered to withdraw, but was forbidden.
Sir Henry Capel.] No man has the least suspicion of
this Gentleman. But I would have you send for Mr
(fn. 1) , who was mentioned as a person who can
inform you of several Pensions.
Which was ordered accordingly.
Mr Sacheverell.] The Law has gone upon several
Priests, &c. and yet the town is full of them; and no
wonder, when one of the Houses of Parliament countenances their being here. The Lords have sent for several condemned Priests. I would know, why the Lords
send for them? They can give no Evidence, and the execution of them is delayed. I would send to the Lords to
know the reason of it.
Sir Robert Carr.] If the Lords can dispense with that
Statute of the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy, they
may dispense with any other Law.
Mr Powle.] The Question is now, whether this be a
seasonable time to set this Debate on foot, and quarrel
with the Lords? Yesterday the Lords did not do a seasonable thing to deny us a Committee about settling methods of Tryal, &c. (fn. 2) I would not enter upon this matter
of the Priests, &c. till the Tryal of the Lords be over. I
think it not a prudential Motion to the Lords now, and
pray let it alone now.
Sir William Coventry.] As to this of the Priests, your
Message may be turned such a way as may give no offence
to the Lords, viz. "That the Lords having sent for the
Priests, &c. we, supposing it may tend to the Tryal
of the Lords, desire that the Lords would communicate to us what discovery they have made that may
be useful at the Tryals, &c." This will put the Lords
upon giving you such Reasons for it, as may be useful to
you, and by it the Lords have no just ground to deny you.
Sir Thomas Littleton.] I find that good nature works
not at all with the Lords. It does just nothing by
tenderness, and if you are more nice and tender than
usual, they will make the bolder with you about the Pardon, &c.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] The whole manner of the Lords
Proceedings, since the Plot, seems extraordinary, and I
despair of Justice from them. (Whether it be my weakness to think so, I know not.) They have made a Secret
Committee to take the Evidence, &c. and it is all about
the town as if the Lords were the Prosecutors, and not
we. May they not, in this, intercept the King's Justice? And then they may do it in all other things. By
those licences no man can be safe. Another thing makes
me despair: We have sent to the Lords for a Committee
to adjust all disputes about the Tryals, and we are warranted by a late Precedent, in Lord Strafford's case; and
I am informed, that they do not only deny it us, but in
a contemptuous manner will take no notice of it. In this
emergency, I think it is fit to take notice of it to them.
Mr Swynfin.] I think you are well moved by Coventry,
&c. If the two Houses do not agree, you can have no
fruit of all your labours about the Plot. It is strange if
the Lords should not take Evidence about the Plot; it is
for your service; they have communicated it to you.
Had not the Lords declared by Vote, "That Impeachments, &c. depending in Parliament, cannot be tryed
out of Parliament," the Popish Lords had been tryed
before you met again. I would go the most reasonable
way. The Lords have sent for these Persons, &c. and
you have sent for Persons condemned (Coleman, &c) and
the Lords may do so too. I would therefore send to the
Lords, to know what discoveries these Priests have made
to their Lordships for your use.
Sir Robert Carr.] I remember not that Coleman was
examined by Order of the House, &c. after he was condemned; your Journal will show it. I see not that the Lords
comply with you in the least, but are still taking away
more Privilege from you, as lately in the Money-Bill,
&c. You get nothing by gentleness, and the Lords may
think to give away all your Privileges.
Sir John Trevor.] I have always admired what the
Lords will do in these Impeachments. Shall the Lords
go on, and examine all your Evidence by way of anticipation?—There is not one syllable, that the Justices of
Peace have taken, of several examinations, by the Lords
Order, but what is public. The World knows all, but
what your Secret Committee have kept private. It is
said, "We must be gentle with the Lords." But if the
Lords encroach thus upon us, what shall we be reduced
to at last? They would have encroached upon you in
the Money-Bill, &c. and if Money may be had without
your consent, good-night to your Privilege, and you
may shut up shop. I would therefore send to the Lords
to know, why, in such an extraordinary way, they have
proceeded in sending for these Priests, who are attainted?
If the King had done half so much, you would have
complained by way of Address.
The King, by the Usher of the Black Rod, commanded the
attendance of the House in the House of Peers.
Exceptions were taken at the Speaker's carrying up the Money-Bill for disbanding the Army, which occasioned this Debate
following, at the Speaker's return.
Mr Trenchard.] The King may have other business
with us besides passing Bills. The Money-Bill ought to
have the Commons consent for the carrying it up. But
as you, Mr Speaker, carried it up, it is your gift of the
Money, and not ours.
The Speaker.] When a Bill has passed both Houses, it
is to be carried up to the King, that it may be perfected
into an Act by him in his Royal Robes. Was there
any one word said against it, before I went up? Did any
man stand up to move you to make any previous Vote?
Had it been so, there had been something to doubt.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] You, Mr Speaker, did not know
but that there might have been Debates before you had
gone with the Bill. I stood up myself, if you had had patience to stay, and I would have given you my Reasons why
you should not have carried this Bill up. I never knew,
but that a Secretary of State did previously tell us, "That
the King would pass Bills, if they were ready." And having no such intimation, I intended to have told you, that
you ought not to have carried up the Bill.
Sir Nicholas Carew.] It is usual to keep the MoneyBill till the last thing, when other Laws are ready, and
till then to lie upon the Table. The carrying up the Bill,
in this manner, may be a Precedent, in time to come,
that the Speaker may carry up the Money-Bill without
any Order from the House, and may be of ill consequence.
I desire that it may never be done any more.
Sir Thomas Lee.] If you claim that as a Right, the
Lords may do the same with any other Bill. After a
Bill is finally and fully agreed by both Houses, both
have a Right to it, and you have only the Right of
presenting it—The Lords may let your Bills lie upon their Table. I know not what you, Mr Speaker,
could do in this case, having no directions in it.
Mr Boscawen.] All other Bills (when passed both
Houses) are left with the Lords, but the Money-Bills are
not. The House having no notice from the Lords that
the King would pass Bills, you, Mr Speaker, could not
divine that is was the King's intention to call for the Bill.
I would enter it into the Journal, as a stanaing Order for
the future, "That the Speaker shall not carry up any
Bill, till the House have intimation from the King, or
Lords, that his Majesty comes to pass Bills."
Mr Secretary Coventry.] After the Black Rod had knocked, &c. you could not ask a Question, nor we answer;
you are to attend the King immediately. You may make
an Order for the future.
Mr Bennet.] That word "immediately" made Mr
Seymour (the former Speaker) go away "immediately;"
and when the King had commanded it, &c. he adjourned the House "immediately;" and you set an Order upon
your Books, &c. (fn. 3)
Mr Powle.] I take it to be the ancient constitution of
Parliament, that no Bills pass till the last day of the
Session, and then neither this House, nor the Lords,
can stop any Bills that are ready, and they ought to be
tendered to the King to pass them, or Le Roi s'avisera. I
know that the usual way and custom is, that when Bills are
ready, and both Houses are in great haste to pass them,
they send to the King to give him intimation that they
are ready, if he please to pass them. If this was not
done now, it was through inadvertence somewhere. If
you please to pass some Vote in it, to be a rule for the
future, I am contented.
Colonel Titus.] I take it for granted, that there is no one
Act that the Speaker can do, but by Order of the House.
Next, how could you know that the King came to pass
this Bill, or any Bills, seeing that the King comes
to the Lords House on other occasions, and makes
Speeches? I would gladly know, how you could know,
that the King would pass the Money-Bill? You might
have carried it up, to have brought it down again. I
would be secured in this matter, for the future, by an Order, and I am satisfied.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] Our Money-Bills have usually
had compensations; we have now a Habeas Corpus Bill
that is near ready, and I would have moved you, not to
have presented the Money-Bill, till that was ready for
passing. You are told "That the Lords may make obstructions to your Bills, though passed both Houses,
&c." But the Lords can make none, after notice is given
that they have consented. We may stop our MoneyBill; they cannot—But with humble application we may
show the King Reasons why we cannot bring it up. I
would have an Order made, "That no Money-Bill be
carried up without the consent of the House," because
this Bill has.
Lord Cavendish.] Your going out of the Chair, &c.
was regular; but carrying up the Bill, &c. without consent of the House, was irregular. But for the future, I
would have an Order, "That not any Bill shall go up,
till Bills of Grievances may be ready too."
Mr Boseawen.] I would have a Committee to examine
Precedents, and inspect the Journal about this matter,
and make you a Report.
Ordered, That a Committee be appointed to inspect the
Journals, and search Precedents, touching the carrying up of
Bills; and what previous intimation ought to be given to this
House of his Majesty's intention to pass Bills; and from and by
whom such notice hath usually been given; and whether the
House may debate, after the Message delivered by the Black Rod
for attendance of this House upon his Majesty.
The Lords desired a Conference, &c. which was agreed to, and
reported as follows: "The Lords do not agree to a Committee
of both Houses, because they do not think it conformable to the
Rules and Orders of Proceedings of this Court, which is, 2nd
ever must be, tender in matters relating to their Judicature (fn. 4) ."
Sir Robert Howard.] The Lords have absolutely denied you Conference and conversation, about Methods of
Proceedings in the Tryals, and you may for ever be denied it. It will be a strange spectacle to see the Earl of
Danby at the Bar to-morrow, there to arraign your Vote,
&c. and all the Counsel for him; and the people admitted to hear it, by pretence of not agreeing with the Lords
in this Conference. They that carried this Question of
not conferring with you, are resolved to carry the other
Question of saving him. They who are against any
Method of Proceeding, are against the thing itself;
they will resolve this to be a good Pardon, and there is
an end of all. Here is the case; Can any man say that
ever a Pardon was obtained against the King's Coronation
Oath? Edw. II. Edw. III. against all consideration of
Appeal, &c. Common Nusance, &c.—Against all those
visible things; all pardoned. You desire to argue with
the Lords, and they will not agree with you. And now,
which way shall we proceed in Parliament, in the declaratory power of Treason? A Pardon will, at the root, destroy any Act of Parliament.
Sir Thomas Meres.] Suppose the Commons say,
"Their scaffolds and seats in Westminster-Hall are inconvenient," must they not be heard? But in a thing
never heard of, Danby to go triumphantly into Westminster-Hall, and come back triumphantly, and be acquitted
in the Lords House, must we not be heard by the Lords
as to methods, &c? By this Proceeding of the Lords,
all Laws are cut off. This hinders all Questions whether the Pardon be good, or no. This erects such a
Judicature as was never before. In the mean time, before you proceed any farther, I would search what the
Lords have done.
Mr Sacheverell.] I am really against desiring the
Lords to sit this afternoon. The Lords have determined the point; they will have nothing to do with you;
and I would make a Vote to have no more to do with
them. This is not only Lord Danly's case, but the rest
of the Lords in the Tower. If this be so, let us have no
farther correspondence with them; and vote it.
Sir Thomas Lee.] I move you, to search the Lords
Journals. If you find it so, then I am for all the things
Colonel Titus.] As to all the Proceedings in Lord
Danby's case, and the five Lords, &c. I hear the Bishops
are likely to sit. This is a novel thing, and contrary to
all Precedents and practice. The Bishops are not men of
blood, and will be very merciful to the Lords; it concerns us, that Law and Custom may not be changed.
Resolved, That a Committee be appointed to inspect the
Lords Journal, &c.
Mr Sacheverell.] The Lords have given you no Answer at all to the point of a Lord High Steward, and
let the Lords Judicature be ever so great, they ought not
to go in an unusual way. To that point they have said
nothing. You will find a Protestation entered into the
Lords Books, and by that you will see what Lords are
for it, and what against it.
In the Afternoon.
Mr Hampden reports the search of the Lords Journal.
Mr Sacheverell.] This will not abide any great delay.
During all this time of the Lords settling the Order of
Tryals, &c. the Bishops become concerned—Another
Lord may be assigned Counsel in fortification of his Pardon, &c. Your Committee cannot give you an account
of what is done to-day in the Lords Journal; but if you
please, I desire, before I give you my opinion in the
case, that the matters you sent to the Lords yesterday
about, and their Answer, may be read, and then you are
ready for Judgment.
They were read accordingly.
Now I see plainly what pass we are at. You have desired
a Conference, &c. only to suppose that the Lords will
not take any unusual methods; and to that you have no
Answer. You next would know, upon what account the
Lords desire of the 'King a Lord High Steward; and to
that you have no Answer at all. Next, you have proposed a Committee of the two Houses, to prevent differences and delays in the Proceedings, &c. Notwithstanding all this foresight of yours, this is as if, "Let the
Commons do what they will, they will give you no Answer." You must show your resentment, that the Commons will not suffer the House of Lords to trample upon
them. If they will do at this rate, they will strain their
power, as they did in the last Parliament—They ordered
their Officers to make use of a considerable sum of money
which was for disbanding the Army. Perhaps their Judicature is one of the greatest Grievances of the Nation.
All they shelter themselves with, is their Judicature; so
sacred, that we must not speak of it. There are but two
ways to let the Lords know how we resent it, viz. To
punish those that appear for Danby as Counsel, who are
of the same degree with us, Commoners; and to take such
methods as have been taken, that no person of the Long
Robe presume to plead against your Vote; and if they do,
that they shall be esteemed enemies to the Privileges of the
Commons of England.
Which Motion was seconded by many.
Mr Boscawen.] The four Gentlemen retained Counsel
for Lord Danby were at the door this morning, to have
had the Opinion of the House in this matter. By what
discourse I had with them, they were not forward to appear in the business. If you do it with the least noise, it
is best. Gentlemen here cannot but be sensible of the
consequence of the affairs depending betwixt us. I am
far from giving up our Right, and yet I would not make
a false step in it. Therefore I move, that if any Counsel
shall presume to plead, &c. as before.
Sir Henry Ford.] The Lawyers are in little better condition, than betwixt the upper and nether mill-stone. If
the Lords commit the Lawyers to the Tower for not
pleading, your Vote cannot fetch them out. I would
not have them plead without leave of the House.
Sir Robert Carr.] The Courts of Westminster never assign Counsel against themselves. This will be Counsel
of Commons against yourselves. It is not necessary that
the Lords should assign Counsel, for two reasons: It is
not Counsel that will convince the Lords of the legality
of the Pardon. They plead for their fees, and they have
better Law near at hand, the Judges. And the Lords
will not go, I presume, to Westminster-Hall, and expect
that we shall go and wrangle with the Lawyers.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] Your Vote is general, and Counsel are assigned in defence of Lord Danby, by the Lords.
For Counsel to appear in this case, is for a Commoner to be
of Counsel against himself; for all the Commons of England
are parties to this Impeachment. "All the Commons here"
is by a fiction in Law, and it is a just Vote, "That no
Counsel be admitted to plead in behalf of this Pardon."
Mr Vaughan.] If either House say they will, or will not
do a thing, without giving any reason for it, I would
not have that failure here. That large Jurisdiction of
the Lords was the cause of so much blood from R.
II's time to Hen. VII. I fear, the time you have spent
so long will be lost by this arbitrariness of the Lords.
Now for the appearing of the Counsel, &c. If the Commons are represented here, the Laws made here are as
much as if all the Commons of England were here present. You cannot call all the Commons to give their
voices here. When once it is said, "You represent the
Commons here, by a fiction in Law" (as Clarges) your
Bills will be but "fictions." Without injustice to the
people of England, you cannot (for your honour) be present when the Counsel are at the Bar, to plead Danby's
Pardon; and I insist positively upon the Vote moved for.
Lord Cavendish.] When Lord Strafford was arraigned
for Treason, he was so far from pleading a Pardon, that
he wrote a Letter to the King to pass the Bill of Attainder. This is widely different from Danby's case. In Dr
Shirley's case, a Vote passed of this nature, and the
Serjeant took the Counsel into custody (fn. 5) , &c. and what
was the consequence? We ended in a Breach; and that,
I fear, will be the consequence now, and is the thing that
Danby's Party in the Lords House aim at; which will be the
most fatal thing in the world. Before this Vote pass, I would
see a little, &c. lest things come to the last extremity;
and vote only, that no Counsel presume to plead, without leave of the House.
Mr Rushworth.] In the case of Sir Ralph Ferrers, 4 R. II.
Resolved, "That he ought not to have Counsel of any
earthly creature, but of God himself, in case of Treason." 5 R. II. Sir Ralph Coggan impeached, &c. was
denied Counsel—28 Hen. VIII. the Duke of * * * * * *
had Copies of his Charge, but no Counsel, &c. In the
case of Lord Middlesex, he was denied Counsel; but that
was to Misdemeanors only. Lord Bristol was accused
2 Char. I. To the Earl's Answer, Counsel was allowed
him; but the King sent a Message to the Lords, "That
Counsel was not to be assigned in Felony and Treason."
And the Lords offered the Order of 21 James, and
said, "They had assigned Counsel, before the King's
Message came." The Judges were not advised with;
but these were plain matters of Misdemeanor, but not
Felony and Treason, wherein they could not have Counsel, by the ancient and fundamental Law of the Land.
Sir John Trevor.] Several Precedents have been cited
to you; give me leave to make some observations upon
them. The Lords cannot assign Counsel in any Impeachment, without the leave of the Commons. The case of
Ferrers was this: He was impeached for Treason; which
Treason was contained in several Letters, found by a
beggar, of his Correspondences in France, &c. which
were afterwards found to be forged (See Cotton's Records,
4 R. II.) He was denied Counsel, &c. Coggan's case was
a Riot upon the Knights of St John of ferusalem; it
tended only to Treason, and he had no Counsel allowed
him. The Cambridge Riot, where the Townsmen seized
the University Treasure, Treason; they were not allowed
Counsel. In the Earl of Bristol's case, which was not an
Impeachment, the King laid it down as a fundamental Law, "That in Felony and Treason no Counsel was
to be allowed, &c. but that Parliament was dissolved.
By Habart's Reports (printed) the Earl of Bristol, by Law,
could have no Counsel. The prisoner is always supposed
as learned as the Jury. But I would ask, where matter
of Law has been alleged by the prisoner, and Counsel
has not been assigned him? The Earl of Danby ought
not to have Counsel, and he ought to have pleaded
his Pardon before you, face to face; and if it be
otherwise, it is Error, and may be reversed. The
Lords cannot take the jurisdiction to themselves, without the Commons, and therefore your Vote is grouned on Reason, and it binds without doors as well as
within, and is no "Fiction in Law," as it is called
by some. If you make a Vote that no Counsel shall
appear, you conclude yourselves generally. I would
have it, "That none shall appear without leave of the
Mr Williams.] I take the case plainly, as the Common
Law stands, that whoever is at the Bar for his life, ought
to have Counsel for matter of Law. And it is the
Rule of Law generally, that he cannot have Counsel;
but any Person indicted of Treason or Felony, in matter
of Law cannot be denied Counsel. The Law is the
same in Parliament, and out of Parliament; and whilst
we are hunting down one man, let us have a care that we
do ourselves no hurt. Danby is to stand and fall by his
Pardon; and he is to live and die by it. I am not Lawyer enough to decide the matter, that here is Law in it
as to this particular point. Now, whether the Lords can
assign Danby Counsel, without the leave of the Commons? Take it in an ordinary case, for you must make
an analogy: Have the accusers any hand in assigning
Counsel? It is the Court that is judge of Law, and they
assign Counsel. But it is said, "The Court is Counsel
for the Prisoner;" but they may assign Counsel. We all
know, the Commons have no hand in giving Judgment;
it is the Lords that do it. Therefore I take that to be
the reason why they may assign Counsel, and no others.
I admit, that it is a more solemn thing than an Indictment
of a Grand Jury. This difference is only in degree, not
essentially. "But will you trust the Lords to assign Counsel?" say some. I answer: As the Lords are trusted
with the Judgment, so they are trusted with every thing
that leads, and induces to it. You may as well say,
how can a Commoner be a Witness for a Lord? as
deny him Counsel. You do not eat and drink for all the
Commons of England. I take it, that the Lords are proper Judges, and of all things that induce to it. If there
be Right to Danby in having Counsel, let Right be done
Mr Vaugban.] Consider what Williams says, "It is the
Right of the Lords to assign Counsel, &c." Let him give
an instance, when ever the Lords assigned Counsel out of
them who are the accusers.
Mr Williams.] I spoke to the necessity of the thing.
Danby must have Counsel out of the Commons, or none.
The Court may assign him, for Counsel, any man whom
they think fit.
Sir John Trevor.] I have had the honour to serve the
King, as Counsel. I, by my Oath, am not to plead an
uatruth, and if I declare an opinion for the Prerogative
that I think is not so, I am perjured.
Sir Thomas Lee.] The Lords are now setting up their
jurisdiction. In all causes, and in all time, courses of
Parliament and Westminster-Hall have been very different.
It is a strange thing, that a point of Law should be found
out, by two or three Gentlemen, that neither the Lords,
nor Commons, can find out. The nature of your accusation of this Lord is from the notoriety of the thing;
every man is his Accuser and Prosecutor. There is a great
difference, in a suit, between the King and the subject.
There can be no benefit here to the Prosecutors, in the
Impeachment. I make no doubt, but that the Lords
may assign Counsel for their information. Lord Mordaunt escaped, &c. because the Commons would not proceed, &c. As it is now, I fear this way will destroy
all Impeachments, and therefore I am against it.
Sir Robert Howard.] I have but one word to say to
what we are to do. We are driven to a necessity to desend ourselves from as great a blow as we can apprehend.
I will say something new to you, not yet observed. If a
man be impeached at the Bar, and if matter of Law arise, the Prisoner may have Counsel. But if there be so
extraordinary a thing as this Pardon, so got, and snatched from the King, and all turned into a Point of Law, it
Mr Garroway.] Do you remember what you have voted? Are you afraid of what you have done? If these Lords
have Counsel assigned, be not afraid of what you have
done. Let us leave our cause fair to the world, and trust
God. If the Lords will retreat, they may; they will not
hear you as to method of Proceedings, &c. and now you
will not defend yourselves. I would say, "That if any
Counsel plead in justification of this Pardon, they shall be
esteemed Betrayers of the Privileges and Liberties of the
Commons of England."
Mr Powle.] It is the greatest mistake in the world, to
tye us up to Arguments of inferior Courts, and the greatest mistake, to presume, that this House will do any injustice, to deprive any man of his just defence. When
there is just cause to have Counsel, this House will allow
it to the greatest offender in nature. No Commoner ought
to plead against what we have done, without our licence.
But now you have made a step in this matter, never admit this to be done by the Lords, solely, and singly,
upon their own power only, without admitting you to
Conference, to settle methods of Proceeding in the Tryals
of the Lords, &c. I see not why we should go to any extreme Votes to occasion a Breach betwixt the Lords and
us. But if there be such a strange fate over us, let us
not be the occasion of it, for the greater satisfaction of
Country, that we have done nothing precipitately. Lord
Danby is not so low, but that he has friends; therefore I
desire, that, in our Proceedings, we may not do that which
carries defiance in the forehead of it to the Lords. If you
vote, therefore, "That no Commoner presume to plead in
defence of Lord Danby's Pardon, without the consent of
this House," you do that in substance which has been proposed you in words.
Resolved, That no Commoner whatsoever shall presume to
maintain the validity of the Pardon pleaded by the Earl of Danby,
without the consent of this House first had; and that the Persons
so doing shall be accounted Betrayers of the Liberties of the Commons of England.
[Resolved, That the Answer delivered by the Lords this day, at
the last Conference, tends to the interruption of the good correspondence between the two Houses.]
Saturday, May 10.
Mr Sacheverell.] Mr Bertie did acknowlege a great
sum of Money (at the Committee of Secrecy) which he
received and accounted for in an extraordinary manner,
which never came to the Exchequer; but he says, "He
has the King's hand, for his discharge." He refuses
to tell the Committee what service the 200,000l. he received was for; he says only "for secret service." I
would therefore command him to produce those Books
of Account of secret service, and how he disposed of the
Money. I know he has acknowleged such a Book to
have been in his hands.
The Speaker interrogated Mr Bertie, at the Bar, thus.]
Mr Bertie, the House has been informed of great sums of
the King's Money, which have come to your hands, and
that no account has been given of it, in the place where
the King's Revenue is accounted for, in the Exchequer.
The House would know, how you have disposed of those
great sums to Members of the last Parliament, and if
you have receipts for them? The House would have
you produce your Books, that they may see how you
have disposed of that Money. The House is particularly
informed, that you have struck Tallies in the Exchequer
for 200,000l. The House would know, how you disposed
of it. The general name of "secret service" will not serve
turn; you must produce your Books, and the acquittances,
else you will fall under the displeasure of the House.
Mr Eertie.] Mr Speaker, I am sorry that the House has
commanded me to give them an account of what I have made
no account of. I hope you will not command me to disclose
secrets of the King's, without his leave.
The Speaker.] It is not fair for you to entitle the King
to the mismanagement of Money and misemployment of
it—It is not a service to the Nation.
Mr Bertie.] I have accounted with the King, and I hope I am
fully discharged of the Money.
The Speaker.] The House well knows, that the King
has not time to take particular accounts of his Money.
If the King has signed the Book, let us see that Book.
Mr Bertie then withdrew into the Speaker's Chamber.
Mr Hampden reports, from the Committee, the Reasons to
be offered at a Conference, [as follows:
"The Commons hope that your Lordships will not proceed
to the Tryal of the Lords, &c. till things are adjusted betwixt the
two Houses, as they desire at all times to keep a good correspondence with the Lords, so most especially in this conjuncture,
when the most heinous delinquents are to be brought to Justice: And therefore, for Answer to the last Conference, the
Commons have commanded us to say this to your Lordships:
That your Lordships do not offer any Answer or satisfaction to
the Commons in their necessary proposals amicably offered, by
way of supposition, that they might have been confirmed therein,
by Answer from your Lordships, that your Lordships do intend, in all the Proceedings upon the Impeachments now depending before your Lordships, to follow the usual course and
methods of Parliament.
"And farther, that your Lordships have not given the least Answer or satisfaction to the Commons, concerning your Lordships
Address to the King for a Lord High Steward, though the Commons proposed their desire of satisfaction in that matter in as
cautious terms as could be, to avoid all disputes about Judicature.
"The Commons, to avoid all interruptions and delays in the
Proceedings against the Lords impeached, and the inconveniences
that may arise thereby, having proposed to your Lordships, that a
Committee of both Houses might be nominated, to consider of the
most proper ways and methods of proceeding upon Impeachments, your Lordships, without any Reason assigned, (save only that you say, you do not think it conformable to the Rules and
Orders of the Proceedings of this Court) have refused to agree
with the House of Commons in appointing such a Committee,
though not heretofore denied, when asked upon the like occasion,
and at this time desired purposely to avoid disputes and delays.
"And therefore the House of Commons have commanded
us to acquaint your Lordships, That, things standing thus upon
your Answer, they cannot proceed in the Tryals of the Lords,
before the methods of Proceedings be adjusted between the two
Sir Robert Peyton reports an Address to his Majesty, for the
Militia to be in Arms, &c. during the Tryals of the Lords, &c.
"We your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal Subjects * * * * * *
and Commons, in Parliament assembled, taking notice of the
great resort of the multitude of Jesuits, Popish Priests, and other Popish Recusants, to the Cities of London and Westminster,
and parts adjacent, and their obstinate continuance there, in contempt of your Majesty's Laws, and Royal Proclamations in pursuance thereof, and considering the great dangers that may ensue
thereby, especially at this time of the approaching Tryals of the
Popish Lords now Prisoners in the Tower, in whose behalfs
some desperate attempts may be made; for prevention thereof,
and for the better securing your Majesty's sacred Person, we most
humbly beseech your Majesty, That you would be graciously
pleased to give order, that the Militia of London, Westminster,
Southwark, the Tower Hamlets, and the Counties of Middlesex
and Surry, may immediately be raised and put in a posture of
defence, in such proportions, and for such time, as your Mashall think fit."
The Lords concurrence was desired.]
Sir John Trevor reports, from the Conference with the Lords,
a Petition from the Earl of Danby concerning his Counsel;" That
they durst not appear to argue the validity of his Pardon, by reason of a Vote of the House of Commons:" And that their Lordships desired to know, whether there was any such Vote as was alleged in the Petition.
Mr Garroway.] Whether this Paper be an original,
that the Lords gave you at the Conference, or not, it is
no matter; but you may take a Copy, and deliver the
Paper back again.
Mr Sacheverell.] I conceive that now you are to consider,
whether we should give an Answer to the Lords, or whether this House can tell, whether Danby's Counsel has
given him such an Answer in matter of fact? When the
Lords can give you satisfaction to the desires of this
House for a Committee to adjust matters of the Tryals, &c. by way of good correspondence, then it is time to
Mr Vaughan.] Look over the Journals from Edw. III's
time, and you will never find that we ought to be asked
Questions at a Conference. In plain terms, this is an accusation against the House of Commons, and you are asked,
whether you are guilty, or not guilty? In Sir John Fagg's
case, which Gentlemen may very well remember, you
were asked at a Conference, whether it was by the Speaker's Warrant, that the Counsel who appeared, &c. were
attached (fn. 6) .
Mr Powle.] I remember that Question was asked at a
Conference, and then it was said, "That the proper way
of asking a Question was by way of Message, and not by
Conference." But I would not have you take that
for granted that it is not parliamentary to ask Questions; for it is so; but then by a Message, and not at a
Sir Thomas Meres.] A Question that we like not we
let pass, and make no Answer to, and this Question will
Sir Thomas Littleton.] I would not let this thing altogether sleep, but would order some Members to search the
Journals, to see whether there have been such Proceedings in the like cases.
Colonel Titus.] I doubt not, but a Question may be
asked from either House. The Lords desire to know
whether such a Vote has passed this House, or no?
As much as to say, "If you have, then we'll take a course
with you." This business being over, I will acquaint
you what Money has been issued out of the Exchequer for
secret service, in Lord Southampton's time. By comparing
estreats of other years, all the expence was 34,000l. and in
this Treasurer's time, in six Terms has been expended
231,600l. This I have not upon hearsay, but good information. Of this sum, there has been paid to Mr Charles
Bertie 197,000l. This he cannot deny. We have traced
it so far as to find that Bertie has a Book, wherein all this
is set down. He answered the Secret Committee, "That
without leave of the King, he would not produce the
Book." If the power of the House cannot command him
to bring this Book by to-morrow morning, &c.
Mr Sacheverell.] There were more Books than this that
we are informed of. Mr Bertie said, "That this Money
was paid, without account, to the Exchequer: He accounted for it to the King, and has only [his hand?] for it."
Therefore press him to tell the House, how many Books
there are, and in what manner he is discharged for the
Sir Thomas Clarges.] There is one Book we can prove,
by one that gave it him.
Mr Bennet.] Tell him what you will do with him, in
case he refuses to inform you, &c. It is his embezzlement
of the Money, and he has cozened the King and the
Nation, if he refuses to inform you; and a good Bill
will make him tell you how the Money was disposed of,
and refund too.
Mr Bertie. again at the Bar.
The Speaker.] Mr Bertie, I hope you will give speedy
and sober Answers to the House, who are satisfied that
great sums of Money have gone through your hands for
secret service, and particularly that you have struck Tallies for 200,000l. in a year.
Mr Bertie.] I disposed of none, and had no Tally. I remember
not who I assigned it to. I have adjusted it with the King, and I
made no account of it, and am discharged by the Privy Seal, that
enabled me to receive it without account.
The Speaker.] Was any of it disposed of to any Members of the last Parliament?
Mr Bertie.] I remember not lending, paying, or assigning of
the Money. It may be, it was for lands the King bought of some
Persons. Usually, I presume, I took acquittances, and I delivered
them up. I keep no Book, nor accounts of them. I delivered
them up about March last, and am fully discharged. To what
and to whom I paid the Money, I have no account about me. I
needed no discharge at all, being sufficiently discharged by the Privy Seal. About March was the last time I had the Book, and
then I delivered it to the King's own hand, and I know not who
the King gave it to, to keep. It was in his Closet, and nobody was present.
And being interrogated farther about the Books, &c. he said,]
I have no Books, but some short accounts of Papers which I
stiched into Books. My discharge is in the Exchequer, and the
King looked upon the particulars of the account, and said "he
was satisfied." He withdrew.
Colonel Titus.] Mr Bertie has made you a discourse
with many subterfuges. We are able to prove, that there
is such a Book, and it was delivered to Bertie's own hand.
The Honourable Person, Sir Robert Howard, can satisfy
you in it.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] It does appear, that the Warrants
for the Money were signed by the King, they were procured by Lord Danby alone, and drawn by this Gentleman,
and not by the Secretaries of State, whose Office it was
to draw Warrants for Privy Seals. Lord Danby drew
all these sums by his procurement. He was Secretary
Sir Robert Howard.] This very time the Warrants for
secret service were procured by Lord Danby, and countersigned by himself. (He took up the Secretaries places;
they had little to do.) The Privy Seal was granted, and
the sum is right. As for the manner of the thing, such
a thing has been done for secret service without account,
to the end that spies may not be known in the Exchequer.
If it be a free gift, it is so declared in the Exchequer.
The Money granted for secret service, is true to the proportion told you here. If the King should send an account into the Exchequer, he would tell tales of all, and
therefore it passes without account. The thing is at the
bottom. Bertie tells you, "he has a Privy Seal, and will
give no account." It is certain, that no man is so unwise,
but he will keep notes of what he does, and there were
original directions to whom this Money was to be
paid. He gave his own acquittance for the Money.
This is a thing of an extraordinary nature, and will
hardly pass without account, when you come to that part
Sir Thomas Player.] It is a pity this Gentleman's name
is not Osborne. Danby committed Treason, and says, "the
King bid him do so." And this Gentleman is charged
with disposing of Money to Members of the last Parliament, and such vast sums for secret service, and he tells
you, "That he did it by Order from the King." To help
to destroy the Nation by Order from the King! I move
you therefore, that you would let this Gentleman be secured, because he charges the King, &c. and that you
would address the King, "That he may bring you an account of this public Money; that this House may take
some course to prosecute this Gentleman for embezzling
the public Money."
Mr Powle.] Mr Bertie has told you, "He disposed of
the Money, &c. and had no particular directions from the
King." There is a case in all times, when Money is to be
issued out for secret service, and is not for in accounted
the Exchequer, and by slight account passed over.
Mr Bertie was called in again.
The Speaker.] The House is dissatisfied with your present Answers, and have certain knowlege of great sums,
and you could not pay such great sums without a receipt.
The House will not take advantage of your present Answers, but have sent for you again, and expect a directer
account from you. By what warrant could the Treasurer
countersign the Privy Seals, and know not the sums?
Mr Bertie.] I have no Book, and I cannot inform you, else I
would really produce the Book. I had directions from the King
himself, sometimes by the King's warrant, and sometimes by
my Lord Treasurer himself. The King himself sometimes directed me the payment of several sums.
The Speaker.] But here have been great sums paid.
Mr Bertie.] I hope the House will not require me to tell you,
without the King's leave. By the King's Order, I paid the Money; it is impossible for me to give you an account for three or
four years, of sums I have paid, If I had the King's leave and
command, I would answer, &c. but I never discovered the
King's secrets without his command; and the Treasurer's orders
were in pursuance of the King's commands. If the King pleases
to give me his commands, I am ready to inform you. In that
Book, of all the particulars of secret service, I trusted nobody to
write it. I wrote it fair, and, I confess, I took a copy of it. The
acquittances were my vouchers, and who signed them I humbly desire not to declare, without the King's leave. No servant of mine did ever do any perfect thing, but only took Memorandums, when I was in a hurry of business. I had the payments,
&c. always in notes, and I needed no cashiers, and had little
trouble in telling Money. Scarce a man that deals in Lombardstreet but has had notes of me, and most part of the Money I
paid in notes. I do not remember the Goldsmiths names—I
think I have had of Mr Duncombe—and sometimes notes upon
Goldsmiths whom I never saw in my life, nor spoke with. He
Sir Samuel Barnardiston.] I would advise you to examine
the Goldsmiths Books, Duncombe's and the rest. You
may know much.
Sir Robert Howard.] Since these two years (fn. 7) , there has
been issued out of the Exchequer, for secret service, &c.
252,467l. 1s. 9d.
Mr Garroway.] Mr Bertie does not scruple to acknowlege the receipt of the Money, but he will not
tell you to whom it was paid, without the King's leave.
Mr Williams.] These things reflect upon the King's
honour, and I move, "That Mr Bertie may be committed to the Serjeant, till you can consider what farther to
do with him." All is laid upon the King. Men are come
to that degree of confidence, that it will never be well till
you make them great examples. The last Parliament,
the Nation was mightily induced to the French War, by
the encouragement of some of your Members, and you
had a Poll-Bill for the use of the Navy, and the Officers
of the Navy treated with the Merchants for several things,
and you were told, that "that Money was in the NavyOffice, in a room by itself." As soon as they had got the
Merchants goods, this Mr Bertie, by his tricks, paid
them nothing, and converted the Money to another use;
and in the condition you are now in, you have occasion
for credit, and you lie exposed to all your enemies, and
he has mispent your Money. Look into the Records,
and you will find one Article against the Duke of Somerset,
"That he had corrupted Parliament-men." It was one of
the chief Articles, &c. and shall we be afraid to do less?
Nothing contributes more to the destruction of the Nation than this. Where a man has done so ill, I would
make no scruple, by the legislative Authority, to cut him
off. Lay your hands on your hearts. I think this man is
guilty, &c. who can inform you, and will not. I would
therefore imprison him, and when such men as he can
inform you, and will not, I would squeeze the orange,
and make them refund.
Ordered, That Mr Charles Bertie be committed to the Custody
of the Serjeant at Arms attending this House, for his contempt
of this House.
[Ordered, That the Officers of the Ordnance do attend
on Monday Morning next, to give this House an account
touching the Train of Artillery and Ammunition that are ordered
to be shipped for Portsmouth.]