Friday, February 1.
Mr Hampden, jun.] I hear Orders are contested.
If you, Mr Speaker, mistake Orders, you are not the
first in that Chair that has done so, nor will be the
last. The Gentleman has began not upon mistake of
argument, but is mistaken in fact, and you may rectify him; as in any fact as to Order, a man may be
mistaken, and you may rectify him. Pray let us not
dispute lesser things, but think of greater matters, and
put this off our hands.
Sir Joseph Tredenham.] I would not have new Orders put upon us. I appeal, whether the Chair did ever
judge matter of fact? If it be so, because we are told
so, there's an end of all. A Member may be mistaken, but before you judge him, give him leave to
The Speaker.] I think Tredenham totally mistaken.
If a Gentleman runs into discourse unnecessarily, and not
to the purpose, I am to rectify him.
Sir Richard Temple.] 'Tis not judging matter of fact;
but when a man goes on with a mistake of the fact,
you may rectify him. And so why should you spend
time to rectify a discourse?
The Speaker.] I cannot judge a mistake, but I may
Sir Jonathan Jennings.] I sat near the pulpit: The
Reader prayed the whole prayers through, upon which
I took particular notice of the pulpit. I hope I am
rather mistaken than to say you are. Under favour,
without giving you contradiction, the Doctor prayed
"for the King's Majesty, and all the Royal Family."
Thanks were voted to Dr Sharp, and Dr Burnet, and they
were desired to print their Sermons.
Mr Leveson Gower.] I move, that you will give the
Thanks of this House to the Clergy; that great body
that opposed Popery by their preaching and writing,
and have been instrumental in bringing us hither. I
move, that you will thank them "for what they have
done for defence of the Protestant Religion in King
James II's reign."
Mr Finch.] I move, to thank them for refusing to
read the Declaration, in opposition to the pretended
Mr Dolben.] Likewise, I would have them thanked
that opposed the jurisdiction of the Ecclesiastical Commission.
Col. Birch.] I would have the addition of one word,
to make the thing true; make it, "Such of the Church
of England as refused to read the Declaration."
Resolved, Nem. con. That the Thanks of this House be given
to the Clergy of the Church of England, who have preached
and written against Popery, and refused to read, in their
Churches, the late King's Declaration for Toleration, in opposition to the pretended Dispensing Power, claimed in the reign
of the late King James the Second (fn. 1) , and have opposed the late
illegal Ecclesiastical Commission.
Mr Finch.] If the word "late King" be necessary in the Vote, I am not against it; but, whether is it
material to the end of your Vote? If it be immaterial,
there is no reason why you should use it.
Sir John Thompson.] You have said, that the Throne
is vacant; and will not now the thing moved, to
leave out the word "late King," overthrow the consequence of your Vote, being infinitely material?
Sir Robert Sawyer.] I move, that your Vote may be
sent to the two Archbishops, to be communicated to
[Which was ordered.]
Mr Wharton.] I am extremely pleased with your
Vote of Thanks to the Clergy, &c. who have behaved
themselves gallantly in opposition to Popery: This
leads me to a Motion for the Thanks of this House
to such of the Army who have behaved themselves so
bravely in opposition to Popery and Slavery. Comparisons are odious; but I think it more extraordinary
in men of their education. Churchmen are paid for
it, but the Army was for another purpose. This was
from God's hand; and I desire they may have the
Thanks of the House.
Mr Palmes.] I desire likewise, that the Officers of
the Fleet may have the Thanks of the House.
Mr Wharton.] I would not have the Thanks of the
House, as is moved, be given to the Army by the
Prince of Orange. Is he your servant? Let it be by
the General Officers of the Army.
Resolved, Nem. con. That the Thanks of this House be given
to the Officers, Soldiers, and Mariners, in the Army and
Fleet, for having testified their steady adherence to the Protestant Religion, and being instrumental in delivering this Kingdom from Popery and Slavery; and also to all such who have
appeared in arms for that purpose.
The Speaker.] (Upon a Motion sor gratifying the
Army, &c.) I think this Motion is unseasonable, and
more proper for another time; it implying Money.
Mr Garroway.] I would go no farther in this Motion; for by retaliating upon the Papists here what they
do upon the Protestants in Ireland, you will make a
Massacre in England; several of the Romish Religion
have joined with the Protestants in Ireland for suppressing France, &c. I would have Jennings, who made
the Motion, carry it to the Prince of Orange to consider of it; but I would leave nothing upon your books
of it. (The Gentleman moved only upon bearsay.)
The Lords sent down the Vote, &c. and agreed to it all, except "the Vacancy of the Throne."
Saturday, February 2.
Sir George Treby reports the Heads of the Articles of Government; (which see in the Journal.)
Serjeant Maynard.] Informations in the King'sBench are of several sorts; I would not have, the Question upon them general (fn. 2) , but say what Informations
are a Grievance, and what not; else I know not whither they may go. Suggestions are Informations, for
the benefit of the Court; therefore consider what.
Sir George Treby.] I may make a long discourse of
Informations in the King's-Bench, not long practised,
nor much to be commended. This is grown to a
mighty vexation (unless in popular actions in Middlesex.) If a man does not appear, he is outlawed. Sometimes, for a foul fact, the Court orders an Information.
But, though some Informations be thought mischievous,
yet the Committee rather chose to leave it to the penning of a Law to provide an Act, than to make a Report in particular.
Mr Pollexfen.] These are but Heads, and no Law.
The taking away Informations in the King's-Bench
may be very mischievous. If you take them away in general, there may be a thousand cases wherein there can
be no remedy. The matter is only for a defence from
oppressions of Informations in the King's-Bench.
Mr Hampden.] All Informations in the King's-Bench
are taken away for the present, for want of a Great
Seal. But taking away the abuses of them is the intent. I hope you intend not to take all away, but intend this memorandum as a claim, and the abuses to
Sir George Treby.] If Informations be indifferently
taken away, though the title be general, you may make
restrictions. This is not confined to the Court of
King's-Bench, but in the Exchequer there are vexatious
Informations that may be taken away.
Mr Finch.] I would have it run thus: "Abuses in
Law by Informations to be remedied."
Mr Garroway.] Several words have been offered, as
"Abuses, Vexations, &c." but who shall judge it?
Put it, to have a mark of infamy upon it in general,
and then you may qualify it in a Bill.
Col. Birch.] If this takes so much time here, what
will it do in the House of Lords? Therefore pen it
Mr Sacheverell.] Informations are not useful at all,
where the matter may be tried by Indictment, by a Jury,
and the party may know the matter he is accused of.
This is in the nature of a declaratory Petition of Right,
and must go to the Lords; but these Proposals do not.
'Tis a strange tenderness of some Gentlemen, when
things are laid down as Heads only, and I wonder this
should have such countenance here.
Mr Hampden.] Retarding of Justice, exacting exorbitant Fees upon Informations, &c. and a word called
"Dispatch," comes to more than the Fees themselves.
Serjeant Biggland.] I would have notice taken of
buying and selling judicial Offices, to keep honest men
out, and put others in; and the Sheriff's Office to be
considered, which influences the whole Government.
Bailiffs and Sheriffs must gain, when they buy their
places; and if no care be taken of buying Offices, you
will never have good Administration of Justice.
Mr Sacheverell.] I would have the Law against buying and selling Offices made more effectual, by another
Law; and I desire it may be general to all Offices.
Sir George Treby.] Some Provisos, in the Statute of
Edward VI. against it, are ineffectual. I move, that
buying and selling Offices may be effectually provided
The Speaker.] Some Offices are as lawful to sell as a
man's private inheritance. When you come to draw the
Bill, you may provide as you please.
Serjeant Maynard.] I would have the Act of Habeas
Corpus considered. If a Jailor be false, the prisoner
may lie for ever by commitment of the Council-board.
Sir William Williams.] I have known Returns as false
as possible. When a man is innocent, there must he
lie, be the accusation ever so false. I move, that the
person may take issue upon it, that the Return is not
true, and that the person may traverse the legality of
Mr Paul Foley.] Not only upon Habeas Corpuses, but
upon Mandamuses, and the same liberty to traverse as
upon a Habeas Corpus.
Mr Hampden.] Nothing has been more practised,
nor more have suffered under, than when upon an Indictment the Fine is begged. He that begs it turns
Prosecutor presently; this makes way for a great deal of
mischief. A great man of the Law would never sign any
such Grant, as a most mischievous thing. Ordinarily,
on a bare accusation, the Fine would be begged. I
would have it declared, that, before conviction, there
shall be no begging of the Fines.
Mr Boscawen.] This is grown a general practice;
when the Fine is begged, it encourages perjury, and
instructing of witnesses. I would not only have it declared against Law, but some new penalty, that whoever begs such a Grant be fined.
Sir William Williams.] I would go farther; that all
Grants of Fines for Misdemeanor shall be void.
The Speaker.] Many of these things are against Law,
but in these Heads you only renew your Claim.
Resolved, That begging of Fines, &c. is illegal and void, &c.
and such as beg them shall be punished; and that the abuse of
collecting the Hearth-Money be redressed.
The Speaker communicated to the House, "That he had received a Letter from Lord Preston, and desired to know what
he should do with it. It was directed "To the Speaker of the
Honourable House of Commons, assembled in Parliament at
Sir Henry Capel.] I would have the Letter laid aside.
Sir Thomas Lee.] This Letter, coming thus to you,
gives you a good occasion to go on with your other
proceedings. You know the person from whom you
received it, and you may lay it aside.
[The Letter was from King James, inclosed in Lord Preston's Letter.]
Mr Rowe.] I have a Petition from great numbers
of persons, for crowning the Prince and Princess of
Orange King and Queen. I desire that it may be read.
Serjeant Maynard.] Here's a Petition proffered you
from you know not whom, nor for what; if you read
it, the Parliament is without doors, and not here.
Sir Edward Seymour. (fn. 3) ] This Petition is of an extraordinary nature: You are now on as great a Debate as
ever Parliament was. (It was upon the word "Abdicate, &c. and the Throne thereby become vacant;" which
the Lords left out of the Vote from the Commons.) The
Lords were threatened yesterday by the Mob, and
they are not yet dispersed. They are for a King—but
make use of miserable people. If your Debates are
not free, there is an end of all your proceedings. You
are to sit sure here, else there is no other way than to
go home into the country. What comes from you is
the result of reason, and no other cause. As your
Debates must be free, so must your Resolutions upon
them; which cannot be, unless some care be taken to
preserve you from the Mob.
Lord Fanshaw.] You have had a Letter from Lord
Preston: I would send to him to know the contents
The thing passed off without farther Debate.
On the Lords Amendment to the Commons Vote, viz. instead of "abdicated," "deserted;" and leaving out "the
Throne thereby become vacant."
Sir Richard Temple.] You have considered the word
"abdicated" as the only proper word. As for "deserted," I appeal whether 'tis a proper conclusion to the
premises. The Lords have left out the whole conclusion in the matter. They have agreed "that King James
has subverted the Constitution of the Government, has
violated the original contract, and has withdrawn himself, &c." Consider whether this be a proper conclusion. By doing these acts, he has most plainly "abdicated the Government;" by the premises plainly, by subverting the Constitution, he will govern by an Arbitrary Power, though sworn to rule according to original contract. The hour he does it, 'tis a renunciation
of the Government. Hottoman, and all approved authors, call this "Abdicating the Government." Henry
VI. upon fear of the Earl of Warwick, went out of
the Kingdom, and left it; and that, by all the
Judges, was judged "a Demise." I desire you will not
agree with the Lords.
Mr Hampden.] The dispute with the Lords is about
a word changed. 'Tis your word now, the word of the
House, and I was ever of opinion the most proper
word. "Forsaken, forfeited," and other words, were
mentioned here; but, I think, "abdicating" was in
request among the Romans. When a parent "abdicated" his child, he gave him no maintenance: Though
the child never forsook the father, yet if he deserved it, he was "abdicated." If you say such things
have been done as violating the original Contract, &c.
is not "Self-Abdication" more than Desertion? If it
comes to be disputed, you will then see the value of
the word. Should you say, King James has deserted,
is gone from Rochester, and may come again, for doing
a thing, justly to be abdicated, the Question is, whether you will retain or change your word; agree or not
agree with the Lords.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] This is a great business before
you; all tends to the settlement of the Nation. Union
is so necessary at this time, that I hope we shall agree
with the Lords in the Amendments. "Desertion"
seems more proper than "Abdication," which is not
so needful nor proper. As for precedents, it must be voluntary. That of Charles V. and the Queen of Sweden,
tant amount to that of Alphonso King of Portugal; his
Government was destructive to his people. Edward II.
committed all manner of irregularities and oppressions,
by the advice of wicked counsellors, to subvert all the
Laws of the Nation. In Riley's Collections of Records,
the Parliament at Bristol, upon report that the King
had forsaken the Kingdom, (decessit regno, as the words
of the Record are, had left the Kingdom,) by unanimous consent, elected the Duke of Aquitain Custos
regni. Therefore I move to agree with the Lords in the
Mr Finch.] I would agree with the Lords, &c. for
those very reasons offered against it. The departure
of Edward IV. out of the Kingdom was judged "a Demise;" (and so repeats the Vote.) If you say King James
deserted the Kingdom, the Question is still entire; whether he did. "abdicate" or "desert," is not material.
There is good reason why you should agree with the
Lords; and I take "desert" to be the more proper
word: I am sure 'tis most proper to agree with the
Lords. But whether "deserted" or "abdicated," I
would not differ with the Lords; for the consequence
is entire to you, and you may agree.
Sir Richard Temple.] I am mis-recited, and therefore
desire to be rectified. I did not say "that King James
deserted the Kingdom," but "the Government." His
renunciation is by something done by fact, not by solemn instrument.
Lord Falkland.] If this Vote be grounded merely
upon the King's leaving the Kingdom, he may come
again, and resume the Government. But "Abdication" relates to breaking your Laws; and though the
Lords stand by the Premises, yet they desert the Conclusion, in leaving out "the Throne vacant." I would
therefore not agree with the Lords.
Mr Dolben.] The Precedent I cited the other day,
and inferred my opinion upon was, that Ed. IV's withdrawing himself from the Kingdom and the Government, was a Demise, and it was so judged by the opinion
of all the Judges; and from all considerations together,
you pronounced it an "Abdication" in King James.
But barely "a Demise," and "a withdrawing," without the consideration of all the breaches he had made
in the Government, the House did not call it, but the
word "Abdication." I would agree with the Lords
if I could agree with ourselves, and our own senses,
first. The Lords have so far concurred with your
Vote, "That King James has broken the original Contract betwixt the King and People." The Premises
must agree with the Conclusion; ours is the more proper inference, and we must stand by it.
Sir Robert Sawyer.] Authors that write of "Abdication" say, "to desert" is "to abdicate." All that
the Lords mean by "Abdication," you mean by
Sir Robert Howard.] "Desertion" is a Latin word,
and "Abdication" is another. If there be no more
intended by the Lords than the word, then the King
has only deserted the Government, and the Throne is
not vacant; and the King may have the help of a Regency. They are both Latin words alike, and both
English: "Abdication" arises from "vacated." If it
be not so, the Lords have made room for their last Amendment, "That the Throne is not vacated."
Mr Tipping.] The Lords are of opinion that the Throne
is full, but they tell you not who is in the Throne. I
am sorry to hear of a great number that would bring
the King back again; how pernicious that would be to
all good Protestants, you may easily judge. I am sure
'twill be of ill consequence to join the Prince of Orange
with him in the Throne, But I believe the true reason
of this disagreeing with your Vote is the delay that
the House has made, that they proceeded not to fill
the Vacancy of the Throne. If you had proceeded
speedily to fill the Throne, possibly you would have
had another Answer. Put the Question of disagreeing
with the Lords, and then declare, "that you will supply
the Vacancy of the Throne."
Sir Thomas Littleton.] The Lords cannot expect that
we, who have said the Throne is vacant, should not intend to fill it up: The best way is, to go on and fill
it up, and put all out of doubt.
The Question being put, That the House do agree with the
Lords in these two Amendments, it passed severally in the Negative, Nem. con.
Sir Richard Temple.] No doubt but you can maintain your Reasons for your Vote, at a Conference. If the
Throne be full, what do we here? I move you to prepare Reasons, &c. for the Lords at a Conference.
A Committee was appointed accordingly.
Monday, February 4.
Mr Hampden reported the following Reasons, from the Committee, why the Commons cannot agree with the Lords Amendments of their Vote of the 28th of January.
"1st, Because the word "deserted" does not express their
meaning so fully, it importing no more than a "removing,"
which is expressed by the word "withdrawing" in the sentence
before; therefore they conceive the word "abdicated" a more
proper word, importing "a renouncing of the Crown, &c."
" 2dly, They think they need not alter the word "vacant,"
because their Lordships addressed the Prince of Orange to take
upon him the administration of affairs, and to send Circular
Letters for this Convention to meet; and their Lordships appointing a day of Thanksgiving, and concurring that a Popish Prince
is incapable to govern, &c. justifies the Commons herein."
"3dly, Because there is no person on the Throne, from
whom the subject can have regal protection, therefore they
owe no Allegiance to any; and consequently the Throne is
vacant (fn. 4) ."
Sir Joseph Tredenham.] I agree "that the Throne
is vacant," but I cannot agree it to be "entirely vacant;" we have no such thing in our Government as
an interregnum, and so no entire Vacancy.
Sir Thomas Lee.] I appeal to the Chair. Consider
the Orders of the House; now that the House has resolved that the Throne is vacant, no man can speak
against the foundation of your Vote.
Sir Joseph Tredenham.] Since the Speaker says, 'tis
Order, I must acquiesce.
Sir Robert Howard.] I hear that the Viceroy of the
Corporations, Mr Brent, is bailed; and, upon his bailing, is fled. Upon this, the Sollicitor General (Burton
(fn. 5) )
is fled, after he had brought in a bill of 1700l. for
murdering of Cornish at his Tryal (fn. 6) . I move you to
send for Sir James Smith, who bailed Brent, to give
you an account of it.
Sir William Cowper.] I have heard of 3000l. bail
given in the King's-Bench: 'Twas my own case, for
no offence but only for being for the Bill of Exclusion
in this House.
Sir George Treby.] Sir James Smith is an Alderman
of London, and, I believe, will give you some account
of himself. If you please to signify your pleasure, I
shall give him notice.
Ordered, That Sir James Smith be sent for.
Col. Birch.] If any Gentleman had spoken my sense,
I would not have troubled him. On Saturday you agreed on Articles to be sent to the King, &c. things
of vast consequence; and, if made public, they are
like to have another manner of effect. We have been
scrambling a long time for our Religion and Properties; and shall these things lie there, and no more? Put
some Title to them, and send them to the Lords immediately.
Major Wildman.] Consider not to make a separation
of your Votes, before you send them to the Lords.
Distinguish these as new Laws, and those as ancient.
Things of Right and of Grace will have no effect,
without distinction. In the Petition of Right, the
Commons refused to have new Laws, but claimed
what they demanded ab origine. Therefore I move
that they may be separated.
Mr Hampden.] The Lords used to take Notes at a
Conference; of late years they have desired your Paper; but our Paper was privately delivered to the
Clerk, not to the Lords; and the House approved it.
I desire your direction, whether I shall deliver the Paper to the Lords, but not to be entered upon your
Book as Order.
Sir Thomas Lee.] I move you to put some Title to
the Heads you agreed the other day, to be of some use
to you. You are moved to draw them into the form
of the Petition of Right. Some of the Heads are not
to be remedied, but by new Laws; and you cannot
send them to the Lords till put into a new method;
but as for those things wherein the ancient Rights are
infringed, those require no new Laws. New claims of
Laws already made, they'll not have the credit till
taken up by both Houses. Things laid asleep, or ill
exercised by the late Government, we lay claim to.
Sir Henry Capel.] I desire to revive that Motion.
We have been branded often with Alteration of the
Government. 'Tis our right to assert our Freedom.
'Tis likely, whoever you shall inthrone will thank you
for giving light into the miscarriages of the last Government. And we only assert our Rights and Liberties, pursuant to the Prince's Declaration.
Sir Richard Temple.] Those things will go with your
Instrument of Government. The Throne must be
actually filled before you deliver that Petition; and you
are well moved to make a separation in the Heads.
It was ordered accordingly.
Tuesday, February 5.
Sir James Smith at the Bar.
The Speaker.] The House is informed, that you have
bailed Mr Brent, a Papist, and a busy one. They
would know on what terms you bailed him.
Sir James Smith.] I bailed him, because there was not any
Information against him, but that he was a Papist. He pressed
hard upon me to bail him, which I could not refuse. He was
taken in a private lodging, near Old Fish-street, concealed. I
committed him as a Roman Catholic: I kept him in my house
till Sir William Waller had acquainted the Prince of Orange that
he was taken. He brought me word, that the Prince would
not meddle in it: Then I committed him to the Compter, till
Sir William Waller had brought a Charge against him, which
he brought not; and then I thought I might bail him. I consulted the Recorder, and acquainted him with what I had done,
and he advised me to bail him. There was no body joined
with me in bailing him, having nothing farther against him,
till Sir William Waller charged him with endeavouring to alter
the Government. It was a general Charge, and Sir William
undertook Witnesses to prove it. I bailed him in 1000l. and
500l. the sureties 250l. a-piece, to appear at the next
Sessions of the Peace. I have sent to his bail for his appearance, and they doubt not but he will appear.
Sir John Hanmer.] I am informed that there is such
matter expressed in the Commitment, that he could not
Sir John Guise.] There is one Rogers, who is called
the Post-Boy (fn. 7) of Magdalen College, was brought before Sir George Treby, and he let him go without bail.
Ordered, That Sir James Smith do attend this House again
to-morrow, with a copy of the Warrant of Commitment of Mr
Brent, and a copy of the bail, &c. and that the Keeper of the
Compter do also attend with the original Warrant of Commitment.
Mr Hampden reports the Conference.
Earl of Nottingham, who managed.] The Lords have desired this
Conference with the House of Commons, to declare they desire to be united to the Commons in affection, and to be as
inseparable in opinion as they are in interest. The House of
Commons are a wise body, &c. and I hope they will agree with
the Lords in this great conjuncture of affairs.
Mr Hampden.] I hope I shall be excused, if I report
it not to Lord Nottingham's advantage. "The Lords
agree not to the word "abdicated;" they do not find
it to be a word in our known Law of England; therefore they would use such words as are understood according to the Law, to avoid doubtful interpretation;
the word "abdicate" being a Civil Law word, instead
of "violated," "deserted," &c. which does express the consequence of withdrawing. To the second
Amendment, "and that the Throne is thereby vacant;" though the Lords have declared that the King
has deserted the Government, yet with no other inference, than that the exercise of Government ceased;
and the Lords would secure the Nation against King
James's return, and no such Abdication; though King
James II. ceased to be King, yet there could be no Vacancy in the Throne, the Monarchy being hereditary,
and not elective. No act of the King can destroy the
succession of his Heirs, and such persons to whom of
right the succession of the Crown belongs (fn. 8) ."
Sir Thomas Clarges.] These Reasons of the Lords
seem to me to be so cogent, that they deserve to be
seriously weighed. I take the Crown to be hereditary, and that King James has "abdicated" the Crown,
and the pretended Prince of Wales being in the power
of the French King, and the Throne vacant, the Crown
ought to proceed to the next Protestant successor.
Serjeant Maynard.] Enter the Paper, and then you
may dispute the matter farther. In the mean time,
'tis a sad thing, that the whole welfare of the Nation
must depend upon a word of a grammatical construction.
Mr Harbord.] The Dutch have sent their best troops
to our assistance; and the King of France is to rendezvouz his Army the 10th of March, and we are under
unfortunate delays here of settling the Government.
I can expect no other, when a sort of men are amongst
us, that have been guilty of blood and our misfortunes, &c.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] I concur with Harbord, to give
things fair expedition. I hope we are not in so great
danger, the Government being settled in the Prince of
Orange, and he being trusted with the Treasure of the
Nation. I hope to-day we shall make some Settlement,
and nothing can be of greater use than unity, else all
will crumble to nothing. The eyes of the whole Kingdom are upon us; and since the Clerk is possessed of
the Lords Reasons for not concurring in your Vote, I
would read them, &c. I hope we shall come to a happy
On the first Amendment, "deserted" for "abdicated," &c.
Mr Ettrick.] Though King James has "deserted"
the Government, and the Prince of Orange has taken
the Administration of the Government for the present,
yet it can have no other inference, than that the exercise of the Government is ceased; and no act of
King James can destroy the succession of his Heirs. If
the Throne be vacant, the Allegiance is due of right
where the succession belongs.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] I agree with the Lords Amendment. I take the Crown to be hereditary, and not
elective, as appears in all our Law-books. By this
Vacancy, I understand only that the King has abdicated from himself, and divested himself of the right of
Government, and that the Government comes to the
next Protestant Heir in succession; (I explain myself)
to the Princess of Orange—I will speak freely. If the
Throne be vacant, strictly taken, the Kingdom is elective, and we depart from the succession. The King
has not only divested himself of the Government, by
breaking the original Contract, and by his excesses in
the Government, but has taken away the child, if it
be his, into another Kingdom: And if the Crown be
descended to him, there may be great advantages to
the French King, who may act for him in Scotland. We
are not debating for ourselves, but for all the King's
dominions. I am glad the Lords have explained our
Vote, and I would proceed with all speed to a settlement of the Kingdom. We are not now making successors, though a Parliament has power to do it; which
we have not, being but a Convention.
Sir Joseph Tredenham.] "That the Throne is vacated," is no longer the Question, but "whether a
succession of the Crown, or that the Crown is elective," was the Question offered yesterday; and any
body then might have offered objections to your Reasons: But the natural Question now is, whether agree,
or not agree with the Lords? The Crown was always successive, never elective. There have been several Demises of the Crown, as in Edw. II. and Rich. II.
yet always the next Heir to the Crown has succeeded.
—I will not say any thing of the miscarriages of the
King, but we have a proper cure for them. I thank
God, we have a Protestant Heir to the Crown. Of the
Prince of Wales I shall say the less, because much has
been said by Clarges; and 'tis the opinion of the House,
that there is a legal incapacity, as well as a natural.
In the Princess of Orange there is no incapacity; she
is a Protestant; and as for her being a woman, Queen
Elizabeth was so, and reigned gloriously. I would be
grateful to the Prince of Orange, for the great things
he has done for the Nation; but is this the way, to
erect a Throne to the ruin of his Princess? To abdicate his Title, and make a perpetual difference betwixt them, will be no compliment to him. His matrimonial right was the argument that brought him
over; and therefore, whilst we compliment him, I
would not put a disreputation upon what he has so
generously done, to put the Crown singly upon this
noble Prince's head! No man can be grateful that is
not just. This Prince is too generous not to be just.
Scotland must have a share of this Election; and as
long as we stand firm to the Succession, there is no
reason to doubt but Scotland will close with us. But
we have much reason to doubt their concurrence, when
our own Constitutions do not justify what we do. If
the head be dead, what is the body? If not dead, a
monster. "Making a breach upon the fundamental
Laws, by being seduced by the Jesuits, &c." If the
Government be subverted, the whole mob may have
some more right than we—When there is such a fermentation in the Nation, our proceedings should not
countenance such a disorderly proceeding. Alphonso,
King of Portugal, was deposed for Lunacy, &c. and his
brother succeeded him in the Throne. But when you
eradicate the Succession, all the Crowns in Christendom
will concern themselves. It will make such an earthquake, that all the Protestants in the World will fare
the worse for it. The Prince will lose all the glory his
generous conduct has obtained. There is no other
way to have peace and quiet, but by recognizing the
Princess, who has no legal nor natural impediment.
Serjeant Maynard.] This Gentleman has spoken very
well, but not to the point in question. This may be
well prepared, against that comes to be the Question
of filling the Throne, being vacant. Here is a great
mistake on all sides—Who can think the Crown is
elective, when eight or nine hundred years ago, the
Crown was seized to the King, his Heirs, and Successors?—"That the King has abdicated the Crown"
is passed, (the Lords have agreed it.) The Question
is now, "Whether the Throne be vacant?" And the
Question, Whether vacant to King James cannot be,
Whether vacant to perpetuity. "Vacant" is as if he
now was dead, but not perpetually vacant. Will you
have the former King come again? Then he must do
as he did—Therefore there was a necessity to supply
the Government for the time. When you come to
speak to the point, how can the Crown descend when
the father is living? The Lords are clearly mistaken
in our Vote: We mean not that the Monarchy is elective—But thus far we must fill up the Throne, or have
no Government. If the Throne be not fallen vacant,
in the present tense, utterly now, how will you fill it
up? But how must be the next Question. 'Tis not
filled, therefore vacant.
Sir Robert Sawyer.] Though the Throne be vacant,
yet that the succession is not void, the Lords have
given such forcible Reasons, that we must fight against
Law and Conscience, if they be laid aside. The Lords
think the word "abdicate" to be otherwise understood.
Consider the legal effect of the Throne vacant. Upon
the surrender of the Crown by Richard II, Henry IV
was declared King—(and reads the words of the Record)
The Throne was vacant by his surrender, and Henry IV
claimed the Crown as his inheritance, and the Lords
and Commons asserted his Title, and consented that
he should reign. Suppose the King had entered into
a Monastery, this is a civil death; when he renounces the civil administration of the Government,
there is a civil death, as well as a natural; though
living, yet in effect dead: The vacant possession filled
with a successor, who claimed not by conquest but descent. You must explain yourselves in your Vote,
whether the Throne be vacant as to a person, or the
whole succession gone; and that lets you into an Election. This the Lords think. We fight but with words.
If we mean no more by "the Throne being vacant,"
than that the last King has renounced the Government; if we mean that the Succession is good, the
Lords Reasons cannot be opposed. No man can question, that the Kingdom of England is successive. Soon
after the Conquest, the Kingdom was unsteady: There
was a potent faction in the Church at that time; but,
in all times in History, you found the Succession did
prevail. In Henry VII's time, and Henry VIII's, the
Right of the Crown was declared hereditary. Can the
King alter that Right? Can either, or both the Houses,
without the King, alter the fundamental Constitution
of the Kingdom? It will be a great injury to the successor to give away the Crown from her; you'll sully
all the Prince of Orange's glory. He came not hither
to break through all your Constitutions; he deserves
all you can possibly do for him, but to give him what
we cannot do—! A Title he must defend as well as he
can: And for all he has done to give him nothing!
If by "the Throne being vacant" you mean that the
Succession is out of doors, I desire you would express
your meaning plainly.
Serjeant Maynard.] In Queen Elizabeth's time, an Act
passed, "That it was a crime to maintain, that the
Parliament could not dispose of the Crown," in the
Queen of Scots case. In Edward II's last Parliament,
(when the Spencers governed) the Lords sent to him
to know "whether he would renounce the Crown?
If he would not, he shall take it to whom the lot shall
be." (The rest the Compiler could not hear.)
Col. Birch.] Some are not of education answerable
to speak amongst these learned Gentlemen. I must confess I am one of those; yet I shall speak according to
the reason I have. I am glad Gentlemen have spoken
so plainly of the succession of this noble Lady, and to
have it there settled, though the consequence is endless; it first puts us by all our hopes, what God has
put into our hands will be taken away all at once. Say
Gentlemen, "This is a sacred Succession, and must
not be altered." I heard a Question the other day,
whether the Government was not jure divino, and that
was over-ruled; and if you have not more room than
you had, nothing can over-rule you. But I hold, that,
jure divino, the Lords and Commons cannot do an unjust thing. We have taken from one brother to give
to another, and it has not been questioned to this hour.
The Lords have not agreed the Throne to be vacant;
and, if so, where is the Government? Had you spoken
plain English t'other day, that the disposal of the Crown
was in the Lords and Commons, there had been no
room for this Debate; and you, by that authority, had
instances in all times (and 'tis Præmunire to hold the
contrary) and then you might have talked of the Succession. I will never move you to an unjust or irrational thing: You are bringing upon you that which is
fled; and there's a Prince of Wales talked of; and if
he be not so, you will never want a Prince of Wales.
God has brought us from Popery and Tyranny; and,
at this rate, nothing will content us but to go into it
again. You have Heirs in Spain, in Savoy, and all up
and down, and where more I know not; and poor
England, for want of speaking one plain word, will be
ruined, you and your posterity. Say but where your
power is, and the Debate is at an end. There may be
claims to the Crown, but their claims will signify nothing; for the Lords and Commons have other
thoughts. "O! but you take away Heirs and Successors!" I never knew that a man yet living had
Heirs. I have none, and am living. If this be thus,
what can you say? You stop all claims to the Crown;
for 'tis vacant, and fallen to the Lords and Commons,
and no Title can fall to any body. By the Statute of
Queen Elizabeth, and Acts of Parliament in all times,
it lies here. And take it into your hands, where God,
in his Providence, has given it you. I will conclude,
that the power of disposing of the Crown is in the
Lords and Commons; and by virtue of that power
fill the Vacancy, And I would not agree with the
Lords in leaving out "The Throne is vacant."
Mr Finch.] The words of your Vote must be, "agree
or not agree with the Lords, that the Throne is vacant." The precedent words, "That King James has
abdicated, &c." whether you will agree to the Lords
Conclusion, adhere or not. Whatever is said, whether
the Kingdom be elective or not, if you adhere to this
Conclusion, you conclude that the Government is an
elective Monarchy. One of our Reasons to induce
the Lords to concur to our Vote is, that they have already affirmed as much; and whether the Throne be
"abdicated" or "deserted," in both these cases the
Throne is vacant. By "abdicated," we intend no other construction but that the Throne is vacant. By
breaking the original Contract with the People, he has
made the Throne void as to himself. Either you mean
the same thing, or something more; and I would have
it spoken in plain English. And though no one reason
has been offered against the Monarchy being hereditary, yet it infers more power devolved on the Lords
and Commons. What is this but to make the Monarchy elective? It has been said, "who ought to
have this Allegiance paid, will in due time be considered;" but 'tis most proper to consider it, when the
consequences do appear. 'Tis a doubt that your Vote
may mean that the Throne is vacant for ever; therefore clear that Question, whether the Monarchy be
hereditary or elective: I fear our Reasons have gone
somewhat that way. Whoever is against agreeing with
the Lords, concludes that the Throne is vacant, not
only to King James the Second, but to every body else.
I will not trouble you with arguments, whether the
Crown is elective or hereditary; for 'tis beyond all
question, our books are so full of it, acknowleging
the succession of the right heirs. The Statute of Ed. III.
declares, "the King's children ought to inherit the
Crown, though born ultra mare," and so is a Law for
ever. I hear it said "Nemo est hæres viventis." There
are civil deaths as well as natural. If the Throne be
vacant as to King James II, then he is civilly dead, or
else 'tis in the power of any King of England, by his
Abdication, to destroy the Succession. For the King,
Lords, and Commons to limit the Succession! 'I is an
act of Supreme Power unbounded, and I cannot say
what they cannot do. But for us to limit the Succession, is plainly to say we may chuse a King: And is
this called that prudence we ought to act with, to destroy that Constitution of the Government, which we
came here to maintain?
Sir Richard Temple.] I have great disadvantage to
speak after so learned a Gentleman; but I observe he
has used more learning to draw you from the Question
than to bring you to it. But we are determining the
consequences of the Lords Amendments, before we
agree that the Throne is vacant. You are told, "you
cannot declare the Throne vacant, without hazard to
the Monarchy, which has been transferred from one
branch to another." No man goes about to change the
Monarchy; but there have not been seven Kings but
where the right line has been removed; so that there
is no dispute nor ground whether the Monarchy be
hereditary. Though the Crown should be vacant to
the King and all his heirs, yet 'tis no more than transferring the Crown from one family to another. The
Kingdom of France had three races, which succeeded
in the Monarchy. These Gentlemen would anticipate
the day to you of naming a Successor. The learned
Gentleman that spoke last would have no farther Vacancy in the Throne but to King James II. If by
your Reasons to the Lords for retaining the word
"vacant" in your Vote, the Throne be full to the immediate Heirs, there is an end of your Debate, and
your being here. Is it full? Then the Lords would
have seen it, and not put the Government into other
hands. If Gentlemen aim at what they say, for a Protestant line, how will you come at it? And you have
a pretended Brat beyond sea, whom you cannot set
aside; and the King may have more children legitimate, and how will you set them aside? But some say,
"Set all but Protestants aside"—But if the Parliament
have no authority to make it otherwise, you have no
way to prevent falling under a Popish successor. If
the Throne be full, we have no authority to sit here;
all we have done is to arraign the Lords and ourselves.
Therefore I would not agree with the Lords, but declare the Vacancy.
Sir Robert Howard.] If we neglect this opportunity,
now put into our hands, of settling the Nation, 'tis
probable we may be no more a people; and 'tis pretty
nigh, whether these learned Gentlemen, that speak
against Elections of our Monarchs, have not been the
most violent Electors of all: They throw upon us a
difficulty how we come by that Constitution. Is it not
elective, to take one, and leave another? Election limited with such narrow notions is a poor support. As
for those arguments, I hope we shall preserve the Monarchy by filling the Vacancy, and not say, who must
succeed—Are we not thrown upon this?—Can a child
make Abdication, or a child in the belly of the mother?—They would chuse like the Day of Judgment,
one shall be taken, and the other left—The Lords are
bold with the succession of a Papist, that none shall
sncceed to the Crown. Under the nice notion of the
Princess, if there should be occasion for defence of the
Nation, upon a silent steerage you are drawn upon
rocks—If you use the hand that delivered you thus,
you invite him to be gone; and by his compliment to
us, he may lose all here, and hazard the Protestant interest abroad. These arguments are good in quiet
times; but where a divided inheritance is the case—Instance in one thing from Kings descents—All things
are not so clear as we could wish; but let us preserve
ourselves, which must be our supreme Law. If we
part with "the Crown not being vacant," you part
with all; and then you may hope hereafter, that your
Constitutions will not be violated.
Mr Boscawen.] No man says, 'tis my right to the
Succession. The Commons only say, "the Throne is
vacant." We do not impose any sense upon the Lords.
We say not 'tis vacant to the Prince of Wales, or others, but vacant. The arguments that are used, 'tis
said, are dangerous as to Scotland; but this objection
was made in the Exclusion-Bill. Upon the whole, you
are masters of your Vote, and no man does say the
Crown is elective; but, in an intricate case, the Parliament must say, where is the most Right; and the Parliament that is to nominate the right Heir is tantamount to Election. Consider what is least exceptionable; we impose not upon the Lords; you say, 'tis
vacant, without distinguishing, and nothing less than
to say the Kingdom is elective. Public security ought
to be considered, and in that we all agree.
Mr Pollexfen.] If this discourse had been made
sooner, perhaps we had been much forwarder. If the
Question had been, whether you will stick to your former Vote, the time had been better spent than in
Speeches. When you were then upon the Debate, if
any man had said the Crown was full, you would have
had both Law, and Administration of Justice; but 'tis
now reserved till the Throne be full. And then we
are all subverted, and return to King James, and so
to Popery, if we fill not the Throne. To talk of Regencies, is to say, then sure there is no Vacancy. Letters, Papers, and the Pulpit, beats a pace confusion of
your principal end, which the three Kingdoms, the
Protestant part of the World, are interested in. But lest
what has been said should make impression, I shall
answer, first, 'tis pretended that this Vote does make
ours an elective Kingdom. All men love their Monarchy, and if you make men believe that it is elective,
you will catch a great many. No man ever dreamed of
this; but if the case happen by extraordinary disorder
in the Government, that the King is driven out of the
Nation, say what you will that the King is driven out,
yet to suppose a descent, by what Law is there any
that this does?—This makes Kings fasten themselves,
and will soon make way for James to come in. If
there be any such Law, what an unreasonable thing it
is! If the King, by mis-government, is driven out of
his Kingdom, some body shall succeed; put me such a
case—'Twill be a discouragement to any to defend his
country from Slavery and Tyranny, if this be the consequence. If he takes arms to deliver his country,
and he prevail, he is hanged—All our Lives, Fortunes,
and Religion, are at the King's pleasure, as his Council have told him; and his subjects drive him out. I
have as much inclination to the Princess of Orange as
any body, but you do not really mind the good of
your Country, and the Protestant Religion. If she be
now proclaimed Queen, can any thing be more desirable than that her husband be joined with her in
the Government?—Now, if you settle the Crown on
her, and we are to secure a Title we cannot make, if
any transient issue should arise, she is gone, and he
will be in War with her Father to defend her Title—
And does any think the Prince of Orange will come in
to be a subject to his own wife in England? This is
not possible, nor ought to be in nature. If you stay
till the Princess please to give the Government to the
Prince, you gratify the Prince, by taking away his wife
from him, and giving her the Kingdom. If we are
for unity and the Protestant Interest, I hope this marriage was made in heaven, and I hope good effects of
it. That marriage, thus made, shall never be separated
by my consent.
Mr Wharton.] I speak for myself; let every one do
so too: I own driving King James out, and I would do
it again. Let every one make his best of it.
Mr Williams.] I take this Question to be for the
unity of the Lords and Commons in this great conjuncture. Let the power be where it will, I speak for
all England. All agree, that the late King James II.
has departed from the Throne, and that his reign over
us ceases. If the Lords are of opinion that the reign
of King James is ceased, we are all agreed. The
Lords say, he shall never return again; they are not
for his returning again to his Government: I am not
for the Monarchy of a Child; I am not for one to
subvert the Laws of the Government. If this may be
done by the Lords and the Commons, I would agree.
The Question being put, That this House do agree with the
Lords in the second Amendment, it passed in the Negative,
282 to 151.
[A free Conference was desired.]