Wednesday, February 6.
Sir William Waller attended the House, and gave this account of Mr Brent, viz. "That, by common same, Mr Brent
was a very obnoxious person. He went to Sir James Smith,
and informed him, that he was a great criminal, and desired his
Warrant to apprehend him. Accordingly he was apprehended,
and he desired Monsieur Bentinck to acquaint the Prince of Orange
with it. Mr Harbord brought him word, that the Prince would
have him proceed against him as the Law would bear. He took
Major Wildman's advice: He could not charge him but upon
common fame, and, in general, that he was an obnoxious person, and corresponded with Priests and Jesuits, and was busy
in regulating Corporations; the truth of which was notorious,
and doubted not but to produce evidence of it. He said, he
could not commit him to Newgate, but would to the Marshalsea. He told him, Mr Bradon might probably make something out against him. He asked Smith what was become of
the Prisoner? He told him he had great friends of some Lords,
who would appear for him, and he could not refuse him Bail.
Those Lords he had done some kindness to, and they had sent to
Sir James Smith brought a copy of the Bail, and the Mittimus, viz. "To receive Brent into custody for High Treason, in
corresponding with Priests and Jesuits, and subverting the Government, in advising Quo Warrantos against Corporations."
There was no proof made of any particular thing against him,
more than what was brought in by Waller.
The Speaker.] High Treason is particular matter,
and you cannot bail a person so charged, by the Statute
of Westminster. Treason is not bailable but by two
Justices of the Peace.
Sir James Smith.] Waller undertook, that persons should accuse him; and I committed him in the mean time.
The Speaker.] You say, "Great persons appeared
and wrote for him:" What did they write, and by
whom was it written?
Sir James Smith.] Lord Devonshire and Lord Danby were
friends to Brent, and they desired me to bail him.
The Speaker.] You took small Bail for a person so
Sir James Smith.] I took 1500l. Bail in all, which I did by
the advice of the Recorder, who said, 1000l. Bail for Brent,
and 500l. for the Sureties, was sufficient. At present, I do not
remember the person who came to me from the Lords, but had
seen him several times. I did not ask his name.
Sir Robert Cotton.] It concerns me, for the satisfaction of the House, to remind you of raising Bail to
an excessive height in Lord Delamere's case, and abating it in this.
Sir William Williams.] I would have an account
from Smith, or some description, of the person who
came from these Lords.
Sir Robert Cotton.] Lord Delamere was accused of
Treason in the King's-Bench. I was one of his Sureties
in 10,000l. Bond. He was afterwards committed to
the Tower, and brought his Habeas Corpus, and then
was bailed in 20,000l. Bond, with Sureties; and Smith
has bailed Brent in this small sum. This rising and
falling of Bail is remarkable.
Sir William Portman.] Brent is a notorious offender,
and I look on him as the author of much of our mischief, and I hope you will make him an example.
Sir George Treby. (fn. 1) ] I was in hopes you would have
called me to rise, because my name has been used by
Smith. I will give you a true account of this matter.
Coming out of the Court of Aldermen, Smith asked
me "what he should do with Brent, whether he should
bail him? There was a great complaint against him,
but no Evidence: Whether he should bail him, or no,
and what Bail he should take?" I told him, I wondered there should be no Evidence. I advised him to
keep him in prison for a reasonable time, and give notice to the Prosecutor to bring Evidence. "You may
apprehend him, and keep him in custody till the Prosecutor produce his Evidence, and Examination had;
but longer than that you must not detain him. And
this not being pursued, he must be bailed, and, in
strictness, he ought to be discharged. In all Bail, the
Condition of the person is to be proportioned. If
there be no Charge upon Oath, the Bail may be the
less. If he be kept a reasonable time, and no Prosecutor appears, it is reasonable to bail him." The case
appears thus to be: A man charged or chargeable
with Treason, the Prosecutor brings no Evidence, nor
can have any. If I had said more, I had not exceeded
The Speaker.] You find absolutely, that the Commitment was for Treason. If a Felony be committed;
and common same be upon a person, it is justifiable
to commit him. Whether Smith hath done what he
should do in this matter, I leave it to the House to
determine. I question whether, if he bail where it is
not justifiable, he is not fineable in the King's-Bench.
Mr Carter.] The Treasons were committed in Westminster; and Smith needed no farther Information in
general, where there was such a notoriety.
* * * * * * *] Smith aggravates his crime by his
Warrant, which specifies Treason expressly. And he
did Brent wrong, unless he had ground sufficient for
it, I desire a course may be taken with him by this
Sir Thomas Clarges.] We cannot commit any man,
but in case of our Privileges. As in the case of the
Popish Plot, let some Justices of the Peace examine
this Gentleman, and commit him.
The Speaker.] I observe the date of the Recognizance to be the 24th of January, two days after your
sitting, &c. 'Tis strange he should do it at that time.
Sir George Treby.] I see myself reflected on. I shall
answer for myself: I had no Fee in this case; and if
I had, I should be satisfied, when I die, that it was well
taken. It has been my custom, if I could not serve
a Cause, to return that Fee. I have had the honour
to be a Member in this place these twelve years. I
have had offers of preferment to the best Office of the
Law, coloured over with telling me I was a man of
Parts and Law, and steered to the Protestant Religion;
but I would then take no Place, and no Bribe. They
pressed me farther, "Will you truly preserve the King
in his Prerogative?" I not only lost all advantages
for my non-compliance, but was in danger of my life
too—'Twas the Question, "What said the Recorder
in the Popish Plot?"—I defended the Charter of London, and the case of the Sheriffs of London. They told
me, "If you will be easy, no Place shall be too good
for you. You shall be Chief Justice of Chester, Master
of the Rolls, &c." This shows at what rate they would
have purchased Betrayers of the Liberties of their Country.
I was not only exposed to the frowns of the Court,
but purchased their indignation, that I was an enemy
to the King and Government. I was always against a
Popish King, to get a Popish Parliament; and thought
all would be destroyed, unless a Popish King was destroyed. This I have done, and thus I have suffered;
and would not have Perjury in my pocket for the Empire of the World. After all I have done and suffered,
now to say, "I have advised to take Fee-Bail for a
Malefactor," what a little perfidious thing would this
have been? I am concerned not to be reproached nor
exposed for my faithfulness to the Government.
Sir Robert Clayton.] If there has been any corruption in this matter, it lies in another place. The Recorder is not so weak as to do it. I would have Smith
committed, not by us, but by a Justice of the Peace.
Lord Falkland.] It was easy to have had Evidence
against Brent. The Letters sent to Corporations were
sufficient. I would apply to the Prince, that Smith
may be committed to the Tower.
Sir William Williams.] I hear it said, "We cannot
commit a Delinquent." If we do not lay hands on
Smith, it may be of pernicious consequence. I would
commit him to the Tower, and the Commons may
Mr Dolben.] Though I am unwilling to differ from
one of my Profession, I cannot agree to Commitment
from this House but for Breach of Privilege—I would
apply to the Prince, &c.
Sir John Guise.] I would not do too much, nor too
little, in this case. Smith was to blame not to commit
Brent for so great crimes; and he might have called
another Justice of the Peace to his assistance. I would
have him left in the Serjeant's hands, and I hope you
will not let him slip, without putting him into the
Sir Thomas Lee.] You are making a question, what
Power the House has, and what to do with this man—
I shall inform you of the practice in former times—
In order to Impeachments, you have committed men,
and when they have broken your Privilege, and in order to bring a man to the House of Lords to be
Sir Thomas Clarges.] Several persons were accused
of High Treason in the Popish Plot, and you sent to
the Chief Justice to examine and commit them.
Sir Thomas Lee.] I would remind Clarges, that, at
the Tryal of Lord Stafford, Members withdrew to take
Informations upon Oath. The consequence fell out to
be, Sir William Pulteney took the Examinations, the
Lords pretended Jurisdiction in it, and the House lost
Mr Wild.] I was with Lord Danby and Lord Devonshire, and they say, "they never sent such a Message
to Smith in their life."
The Speaker.] In the 18th of King James, there
were Impeachments of Monopolies, and the House
sent for men in Custody, and they were committed till
Ordered, That Sir James Smith be committed to the Custody
of the Serjeant at Arms.
Thursday, February 7.
The Lords agreed to the Vote of "Abdication," and "the
Earl of Wiltshire
(fn. 2) .] Now that the Lords have agreed
"the Throne vacant," I hope you will proceed to fill
the Throne. The persons formerly named are the most
proper that can be thought of, the Prince and Princess of Orange. I have not parts able to set out their
merits, and what we owe this great Prince for delivering us from Popery and Slavery; and there is no
way to secure us from the return of it, but by placing
them on the Throne, and to preserve the ancient Government. You have been told here of going about
to make this an elective Government; but I believe
nobody here is of any other opinion, but that the
Government is in King, Lords, and Commons.
Major Wildman.] To prevent Anarchy, nothing can
be better than to proceed to nominate the Prince and
Princess of Orange King and Queen of England.
Mr Palmes.] I rise not to oppose the Motion, but
to hear what the Committee will report of the Preliminary Heads. I know not whether you will preclude
the Committee, by going so soon to this Vote. They
are preparing the Heads, and will be ready with them
Mr Wogan.] Before you proceed to the Article of
Investure, let the present nomination of the Prince
and Princess of Orange be for life, &c. and the Heirs
of her body, not as it was in Philip and Mary.
Mr Boscawen.] We are upon as great an affair as
ever was before a House of Commons; and I hope
we shall be unanimous. It concerns us for the dignity of the House. It is worthy your consideration,
whether you will call the Committee down, or stay till
they have done.
Mr Hampden.] Do not any thing in haste. I would
let the Committee consider well what must be for the
benefit of all posterity, when you are dead and gone;
and I hope your Resolutions and Rules will be orderly. I believe all the Gentlemen are agreed what to
do; but things of this nature cannot be done as with
Counsel in a Chamber, and a Clerk only to write. In
so great a business, pray let us do orderly things. You
may call to the Committee, to see what they have
done; or you may order them to go on, if they have
Mr Wharton.] I am sorry for so long a Debate of
this. I would not go on without calling the Committee down; but would not lose all these Heads the Gentlemen are doing, but act as a wise Assembly.
The Lords sent down the following Vote, and Oaths to be
taken, instead of the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy, &c;
to which they desired the Concurrence of this House:
["Die Mercurii, 6 Feb. 1688.
"Resolved, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and
assembled at Westminster, That the Prince and Princess of Orange shall be declared King and Queen of England, and all the
dominions thereunto belonging."
"I A. B. do sincerely promise and swear, that I will be
faithful, and bear true Allegiance, to their Majesties King William and Queen Mary. So help me God.
"I A. B. do swear, that I do from my heart abhor, detest,
and abjure, as impious and heretical, this damnable Doctrine
and Position, that Princes excommunicated or deprived by the
Pope, or any authority of the See of Rome, may be deposed or
murdered by their subjects, or any other whatsoever: And I
do declare, that no foreign Prince, Prelate, State, or Potentate,
hath, or ought to have, any Jurisdiction, Power, Superiority,
Preheminence, or Authority, Ecclesiastical or Spiritual, within
this Realm. So help me God.
"That these Oaths be taken by all persons, when tendered
to them, of whom the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy
—— (fn. 3) be abrogated."]
In the Afternoon.
Sir George Treby reports Heads from the Committee (fn. 4) , &c.
The Committee were divided in opinion, whether you should
declare "That no Pardons should be pleadable to an Impeachment in Parliament," nor would countenance Pardons to persons who may not have deserved them, nor for recording the
Heads in Chancery, till you resolve what use to make of them.
Sir Robert Sawyer.] Now you are providing new
Laws for your future safety, 'tis proper to mention a
new one, viz. "That no Popish Successor shall be capable to inherit the Crown of England, and no Papist
capable of succeeding to the Crown."
Col. Tipping.] If the Prince and Princess of Orange
and Princess Anne die without issue, the Crown will
descend to the Queen of Spain, and the Pope may
dispense with Religion, and the Dutchess of Savoy.
Therefore I move, "That none that have been Papists
shall be capable to inherit the Crown."
Col. Mildmay.] I would have it, "Have been, or
shall be, a Papist."
Sir John Guise.] You have agreed the Throne to be
vacant, but have had no consideration when you will
fill it; and then will be the most proper time to consider this.
Lord Dumblaine.] King James has had the misfortune to go out of the Throne. I have been always
against electing a Monarch, and against coming into a
Commonwealth; therefore I would first fill the Throne.
It cannot be filled unless vacant. I ask pardon for
my mistake the other day, in my Vote, "that the
Throne was not vacant." I have great obligation to
[the Prince] and have showed my duty to him—You
cannot do too much for him.
Sir Robert Howard.] I would leave out the word
"shall, &c." There is a great deal of difference between one that turns when the ground is falling under him, and one that longer since has given good
testimony of his Religion. I would not have you so
penned up as to exclude all possibility of conversion.
Sir John Guise.] There is a great deal of difference
between a Peer (in his conversion) that has a single
Vote in the Lords House, and the King, that has his
Negative Voice in passing Laws.
[Resolved, That Provision be made for the Settlement of the
Crown, that no Papist may succeed or be admitted thereto;
nor any person that hath made or shall make profession of being
Mr Sacheverell.] I would go farther than to declare
the Prince and Princess of Orange King and Queen:
I would declare who shall have the Administration of
the Government, if they divide; and then, whither the
Government shall go after. I would never leave it
Mr Paul Foley.] I second the last Motion. If the
Prince and Princess of Orange be declared King and
Queen, in the nature of joint tenants and survivorship, and not in intention to put by the Lady Anne, I
agree to it. I would have them declared for their
lives, and the longer liver of them; and declare the
Sir Robert Sawyer.] I would declare him King in
Sir Richard Temple.] I am ready to agree to fill up
the Throne, as the Lords have proposed. If you declare any body King, the question is, whether you will
not come too late. I thought it your intention, when
you filled the Throne to do these things, which will
be too late afterwards. You are told, when once the
King is in the Throne, without Limitation, it is to
him and his Heirs. If you declare them King and
Queen, either the Prince is in right of the Queen—
How will this be understood? If he be King de facto,
it is more than you intend. Such Limitation as to
preserve the Right to the Princess and her Heirs—I
would stay there, but let the Committee add, "We
know none so fit as the Prince and Princess, and
therefore we take the Crown to be fitter to be trusted
with nobody than him who has delivered us." If they
be declared King and Queen jointly, no Dispatch nor
Letter can be sent but must be jointly by the Prince
Col. Birch.] I move you to draw up a short Instrument of the Heads of your Intention, to be comprehended within that Instrument.
Mr Sacheverell.] I do not suppose this Instrument
of Government to be a new Limitation of the Crown,
but what of right is ours by Law. Settle us in such
a state that we may desire the Prince of Orange. We
should make no Conclusion before the Premises are
Sir Thomas Lee.] The matter singly before you is,
the Report from the Committee. It proposes a method of Declaration of the Rights of the Subject to
go along with the Declaration of filling up the Throne,
and there it will fall naturally. I would adjourn
till to-morrow, and postpone the Clause of the Crown.
As to what fell from Sawyer, if you adjourn the Debate, then the next thing will be to fill the Vacancy;
and then how far this nomination of two persons who
shall have the Administration of the Government, that
there be no stand in the Government, shall extend,
whether in his own right, or in right of his wife.
'Tis absolutely necessary, when you agree with the
Lords, to explain yourselves in the Limitations.
Mr Hampden.] I agree with Lee to come to a resolution, before you send to the Lords, after filling the
Throne, and the Oaths being considered. 'Tis not
only honourable but safe, and no dreadful consideration in it; it may be soon done: But do not pass it
first, and explain it after.
Friday, February 8.
The House took into consideration the Vote of the Lords,
[of the 6th of February instant, sent down to this House for
their Concurrence.] See p. 71-2.
Serjeant Holt.] As far as I understand the Question, I would concur with the Lords; but the Vote
stands in need of an Addition, or Explanation, as to
the Administration of the Government. Suppose only
the Prince of Orange as Husband to the Queen; he
would have the Administration, as the power of the
Husband over the Queen, as Queen Mary, notwithstanding these Articles. Then if the case be so of the
King only as Consort, it will be much more when the
King is joint tenant. But to prevent all doubts, I
would have the sole Administration of the Government in the Prince of Orange, otherwise there will be
confusion in the Government; one may command one
thing, the other another; and who shall be obeyed?
And the Government may be lost. I move, therefore, that the Prince of Orange may have the sole Administration of the Government during the Coverture.
'Tis necessary that you come to express the Limitation;
unless you do so, some may make construction that
she is Heir to her Ancestor, and the Crown descends
to her; therefore it is necessary to declare that the
King and Queen, and the Survivor of them, have the
Administration of the Government. What Estate then
has the Prince in the Crown? He will have an Estate
of Inheritance without Limitation. If one sits in the
Lords House by Writ of Parliament, if it be without
Limitation, his Heirs shall sit after him. I presume
it is not your intention, that the Limitation shall be to
the Prince's Heirs by another wife. 'Tis your design
to secure the Nation against Popery, and the ill consequences of it. Therefore I would express the Limitation mentioned, and so shall you show your regard
and kindness to the Royal Family, and you will be
vindicated from all aspersions abroad of destroying the
Royal Family. The Prince has hazarded all for us;
and if you make him Consort only to the Queen, you
will reduce him, upon her death, to a private condition. And this will be no gratitude to him that has
redeemed us from our misfortunes. Therefore I would
limit the Crown to him for life, (as above;) and
thereby you will lay a foundation of security to the
Sir Thomas Littleton.] If the Administration of the
Government should only be in the Prince, the great
design of the Kingdom will be frustrated. The
power of the Parliament of England being once asserted, it will establish our foreign affairs. If it be not a
time now to strengthen our Interest against France, we
shall never be preserved, but fall into the same misfortune we were in, in the late King's time: And I
would have Ireland inserted into the Lords Vote.
Mr Boscawen.] I am not against inserting Ireland;
but observe that the Debate be whole. But why will
you leave out France, Jersey, Guernsey, and Sark? I
would put it into the former style, France to precede
Ireland; let it be drawn into form by the Long Robe,
as to Entail of the Crown, and all the rest that follows.
Mr Hampden.] If you go on thus from word to
word, you will lose all your time, and change often.
I would debate it first, and then, upon the inclination of
the House, draw it up according to your Amendment.
I would not leave out France, valeat quantum valere
potest, and the Limitation of the Crown, as has been
proposed. Gentlemen may debate upon it as long as
they please, and then you may draw up one entire
Sir Richard Temple.] If after Debate you shall have
such Amendments as cannot be made at the Table,
then some Gentlemen may withdraw to form it. None
of the Motions are opposed, to continue the Regal
Style and Title still to all the Dominions mentioned.
If all are agreed in the main, some Gentlemen may
withdraw to put it into form.
Mr Garroway.] This must be commited at last, but
let the Debate go on, to give the Committee a handle
to proceed upon your direction, and it will go current.
The Lords have voted' "That the Prince and Princess
shall be declared King and Queen of England."
Sir Thomas Clarges.] The Question is agreed; but
I would debate the Qualifications. 'Tis moved, "that
the Administration of the Government shall be for the
Prince's life." Suppose, upon any military occasion,
the Prince should be out of the Kingdom, shall not
the Administration, &c. then be in the Princess, during that time? The Act of Parliament of the 1st of
Philip and Mary is worth your consideration. I would
look over that Statute; and I think what I offer is fit
to be received.
Sir Henry Capel.] I am glad the House is so unanimous in this great affair. Says Clarges, "In the absence of the Prince, the Administration of the Government should be in the Princess, &c." We have seen
that case, and it is no extraordinary thing at all. 'Tis
necessary that the Administration be in one man, and
no person in Europe more fit than the Prince. I offer
only, because several Entails are mentioned, "that after
the Prince and Princess, to the Heirs of the Princess;
and for default of her Heirs, to Princess Anne, &c;
then, after her Heirs, to the Heirs of the Prince of
Orange; and after them to be left indefinite."
Sir George Treby.] As to Clarges's Motion of "the
Prince going out of the Kingdom," there is no great
need to provide for that, for the Law has done it already. The King may constitute a Locum tenens, and
'tis most probable he will constitute his Consort. In the
Limitation of the Entail of King Philip and Queen
Mary, it was to the Heirs of her body, the Remainder
to the Heirs at Law; and now with this special Proviso, excluding all Popish Successors.
Sir Christopher Musgrave.] To the Motions, after
the Entail mentioned, I do entirely concur, and then
to be left indefinite. As for the other Motions, you
may pass them over in silence. I am for the Gentlemen of the Long Robe to withdraw, and pen the thing
most to your sense: But it will much expedite the
work, if, before they withdraw, you set down the particular Amendments you make to the Lords Vote in
your Paper, that they may concur with the sense of
Serjeant Maynard.] Sometimes the persons constituted to manage the Government in the King's absence are called "the King's Lieutenants;" sometimes
"Guardians of the Kingdom." Though the King go
abroad, yet the Government may go on. I have often
seen, when there has been an unanimous consent of
the Members in a thing, that Gentlemen need not
withdraw, but it may be mended at the Table.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] I know, by the Law of the
Land, the King in his absence may constitute a Custos
Regni, and in 1 Philip and Mary it was limited by
that Act. Consider then, whether it may not be enacted, that the Queen be Custos, &c. in her own right,
and not at the pleasure of the King.
Mr Pollexfen.] I know that the Law of the Land
has sufficiently provided for the Government, in case
of the King's going beyond sea. Here you go about
to make an Alteration of the Law, in appointing a
Custos, &c. Suppose the King and Queen have a mind
to go beyond sea, which may probably happen; or if
the Queen cannot, by sickness, undertake the Regency; if the King cannot provide against this, you break
into the Laws; the King being actually King, and the
Queen actually Queen: Will you alter your Law already made? We are all of one mind; therefore spend
no time, but appoint the Committee to draw up Amendments to the Lords Vote — (Which was done accordingly.)
Mr Somers reports from the said Committee several Amendments to the Lords Vote. (See the Journal.)
Sir Robert Howard.] I am not for entangling the
matter. Though we are in haste to settle the Rights of
the people, yet the next best thing is to support them.
I would make a declarative part of your known Rights,
and cause the Committee to make a Connexion of
Serjeant Maynard.] 'Tis clear they are your own
Rights; you declare, and the Lords must have time to
consider of them.
Sir Richard Temple.] I am for saving time, and explaining what is designed to do, viz. your declaratory
Rights you have passed, and those are connected with
your Vote; and the Prince has set them out in his Declaration; but where you desire new Laws to be made,
it must be done by itself. You will not go up with
your Vote to the Lords, to declare the Prince and
Princess King and Queen, and nothing with it. If
you will give the Committee leave, they will connect
it all at once.
Major Wildman.] No man is more zealous to assert
our Rights than I am; but consider, if there be such
a necessity to send them to the Lords, and they must
examine them paragraph by paragraph, and perhaps
they may say they have Rights of their own Peerage
that are not provided for, in what manner can we
concur with the Lords in declaring the Succession?
Whether is it not expedient, that this House carry to
the Prince our fundamental Rights—And the Lords
no way consent—and we never part with one punctum
of them—Whether necessary at this time to wave the
Lords, and send them to the Prince?
Mr Hampden.] I differ in this of asserting your
Rights; I would do it in the best manner. But to
object "that time will be lost in sending them to the
Lords:"—Can a House of Commons do things as a
Warrant from a Justice of Peace is done? Consider
the progress of the Prince of Orange's second Declaration—No Remedy but a full Declaration of our Grievances in Parliament: But to go to the Prince alone,
without the Lords! I remember, upon all occasions, when
your Rights have been asserted, that you have gone to
the Lords. King James has done this and this, in violation of them; and you, therefore, present the Prince
of Orange with the Crown. Is it not natural to present the Prince with what you are aggrieved with, and
suffer, under all these Infringements of your Rights?
Yet you delay sending them, because the Commons
fear the Lords will not agree to them. When do you
think the Lords will agree? Are not the Lords concerned as well as you? And with this prejudice to
the Lords, you will send them no Acts of Parliament:
You would do it, and have no time to do it. Can it
be better done, than when you present the Crown connected with this, because the Prince has protected
you, and you have an entire confidence in him? It
may be said, you have no great mind to your Rights,
for they can stay for them, you see: As you desire
the reputation of a grave and wise Council, that represent the Kingdom, let the Committee connect the
Heads of the Articles, and represent them all together.
Mr Eyre. (fn. 5) ] I would not prevent going to the Lords
with the Heads of your Articles. If you divide these
Papers, the Lords may agree to us in one, and not in
another; and may you not be told, that these things
are ancient Flowers of the Crown, and cannot be
parted with? I would not have our purchase, like the
Indians, to give Gold for Rattles. I would have the
King and Queen rule in the hearts of their subjects,
and the Harmony betwixt the Crown and the People
tune together. Had you given the Committee that
power to connect both together, all this Debate had
The Committee reported the Instrument of Government, with
the declaratory Grievances, to which, with some Amendments,
the Lords agreed.
[February 9, Omitted.]
Monday, February 11.
Mr Somers reports the Lords Amendments of the Articles, at Conferences.
Sir Thomas Lee.] This does arise from a mistake.
Informations in the King's-Bench in our Paper were laid
in King James's time; whereas they began in King
Mr Pollexfen.] The word "Information" should
have been "Prosecution."
Sir George Treby.] I would consent to explain it,
but not to leave it out. This Article was put in for the
sake of one, once in your place, Sir William Williams,
who was punished out of Parliament for what he had
done in Parliament; and by divers other arbitrary and
illegal Courses. I hope you will not leave out "closeting the Members of Parliament."
Serjeant Holt.] "Informations" cannot stand in the
plural, prosecuted in King Charles the IId's time. As
for that Prosecution of Lord Peterborough of the Scandalum Magnatum quam tam, &c. 'twas a private Action,
and not an Information, whereby the King had no Damage.
Sir William Williams.] All that matter did arise in
Parliament, and the Prosecution in King James's time,
and I was fined 10,000l. and damage to the Party.
There is the case of Lord Lovelace, and the case of
Lord Devonshire. The case of Lord Lovelace was
upon a recognizance, and he pleaded privilege of
a Peer, &c.
Mr Eyre.] I am for asserting our Liberties, but
unnecessary delay will wound the Nation we come
hither to heal. All we provide for is against Informations for what is done in Parliament. I would agree
with the Lords.
Sir George Treby.] This will be declaring that Magna
Charta is Magna Charta, redressing what was never
Mr Howe.] The door was opened in King Charles II's
time, and the goods were stolen in James II's time.
As great a door, nay greater, was opened to Popery in
Charles II's time than in James II's. And if we may
judge greater things by small, under the Popish Kings
there was less partiality than those that came in, in
their stead. Not to be tedious as well as impertinent, I would leave that clause out.
Sir William Pulteney.] I believe this doctrine of
questioning Parliament-men was begun in James I's and
Charles I's time.
Serjeant Maynard.] The great Act for security of
Religion, and of the whole Nation, which makes a
disability upon any Papist to take an Office or Employment, was taken away by the Dispensing Power.
Serjeant Holt.] I conceive you cannot agree to
omit the word "Dispense," which was the great and
crying Grievance of the Nation. Especially in the
case of Sir Edward Hales, to let in Papists to Employments against an Act of Parliament. From a Dispensation to a particular Person, it would come to a
general Suspension. The Lords take no notice of
Hales's Dispensation. Dispensation in any case has no
solid foundation in Law; it may vacate all Grants. I
agree to have the word qualified, but not totally left out.
Sir Thomas Lee.] Prohibition of Importation of Wool
and Logwood were dispensed with to one in favour.
All these things have begun upon low beginnings. I
give only general Instances.
Mr Finch.] I cannot agree with the Lords in leaving out "Dispensation (fn. 6) ." Dispensation was to the
Act of Uniformity before Suspension, which was
actually done in the Declaration. Suspension had an
ill beginning in Error, and therefore had no foundation. 'Tis dangerous to say that all power of Dispensing
is illegal; you may undo many persons. 'Tis not a
proper way of remedy to say that all power of Dispensing is illegal.
Serjeant Maynard.] Considering the shortness of the
time, and the danger we are in, I would agree with
the Lords; but I would make a Declaration, that it
be considered in another Parliament.
Major Wildman.] Dispensations are rather permissa
then licita, and the foundation not good from the