DEBATES IN THE House of Commons, From the Year 1667 to the Year 1694.
[Thursday, March 20, 1689-90.
THE new Parliament met (fn. 1) ; when his Majesty, in the House
of Lords (by Sir Robert Atkins, Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer, and Speaker of the House of Lords) commanded the
Commons to proceed to the choice of a Speaker; and the House
being returned, Sir John Lowther, Vice-Chamberlain to his Majesty, humbly proposed to the House, "That he conceived Sir
(fn. 1) , both for his great experience in Parliamentary
affairs, and knowlege in the Laws, was every way qualified for
that employment;" and accordingly he was, on the Question
put, allowed of, and chosen for the Speaker, and immediately conducted to the Chair by Sir John Lowther and Sir Henry
Goodrick; where he acknowleged the great honour the House
had done him; withall saying, "That he feared they had done
themselves a great prejudice in making choice of him; an
therefore he desired their leave to disable himself before th
Royal Throne, that they might thereby have an opportunity
of making a better choice." Journal of the Day.
Friday, March 21.
The House attended the King in the House of Lords, where
his Majesty, after confirming Sir John Trevor Speaker, and
allowing of and granting their usual Privileges, was pleased to
make the following Speech:
"My Lords and Gentlemen,
"I am resolved to leave nothing unattempted, on my part,
which may contribute to the Peace and Prosperity of this Nation; and finding my presence in Ireland will be absolutely
necessary for the more speedy reducing of that Kingdom, I continue my resolution of going thither as soon as may be; and
I have now called you together for your assistance, to enable
me to prosecute that War with speed and vigour; in which I
assure myself of your chearful concurrence, being a work so
necessary for your own safeties.
In order to this, I desire you will forthwith make a settlement of the Revenue; and I cannot doubt but you will therein
have as much regard for the honour and dignity of the Monarchy in my hands, as hath been lately showed to others:
And I have so great a confidence in you, that, if no quicker
or more convenient way can be found for the raising of ready
Money, (without which the service cannot be performed) I
shall be very well content, for the present, to have it made such
a Fund of Credit as may be useful to yourselves, as well as me,
in this conjuncture; not having the least apprehensions, but
that you will provide for the taking off all such Anticipations
as it shall happen to fall under.
It is sufficiently known how earnestly I have endeavoured
to extinguish, or at least compose, all differences amongst my
Subjects, and, to that end, how often have I recommended an
Act of Indemnity to the last Parliament ! But since that part of
it, which related to the preventing of private suits, is already enacted; and because Debates of that nature must take up more
of your time than can now be spared, from the dispatch of
those other things which are absolutely necessary for our common sasety; I intend to send you an Act of Grace, with exceptions of some few persons only, but such as may be sufficient to show my great dislike of their crimes; and, at the
same time, my readiness to extend protection to all my other
Subjects; who will thereby see, that they can recommend
themselves to me by no other methods, than what the Laws
prescribe; which shall always be the only rules of my Government.
"A farther Reason, which induces me to send you the Act at
this time, is, Because I am desirous to leave no colour to any of
my Subjects for the raising of disturbances in the Government; and especially in the time of my absence: And I say
this, both to inform you, and to let some ill-affected men see,
that I am not unacquainted how busy they are in their present
endeavours to alter it.
"Amongst other encouragements which I find they give
themselves, one of the ways by which they hope to compass
their designs, is, by creating differences and disagreements in
your Councils; which I hope you will be very careful to prevent; for be assured, that our greatest enemies can have no
better instruments for their purposes, than those who shall any
ways endeavour to disturb or delay your speedy and unanimous
proceeding upon these necessary matters.
"I must recommend also to your consideration an Union
with Scotland. I do not mean it should now be entered upon; but they having proposed this to me some time since, and
the Parliament there having nominated Commissioners for that
purpose, I should be glad that Commissioners might also be
nominated here, to treat with them, and to see if such terms
could be agreed on, as might be for the benefit of both Nations; so as to be ready to be presented you in some future
"My Lords and Gentlemen,
"I have thought it most convenient to leave the Administration of the Government in the hands of the Queen, during my absence; and, if it shall be judged necessary, to
have an Act of Parliament for the better confirmation of it to
her, I desire you would let such a one be prepared to be presented to me.
"I have this only to add, That the season of the year, and
my journey into Ireland, will admit but of a very short Session;
so that I must recommend to you the making such dispatch,
that we may not be engaged in Debates, when cur enemies
shall be in the field: For the success of the War, and the
more thristy management of it, will both principally depend
upon your speedy Resolutions; and I hope it will not be long
before we shall meet again, to perfect what the time will not
now allow to be done."
The Speaker, and the House, being returned, the rest of
the day was employed in taking the Oaths, &c.
Saturday, March 22.
The Speaker reported and read to the House his Majesty's
Speech, as above.]
SIR John Lowther.] I should be glad to be informed of the method by which you will proceed, in the consideration of the King's Speech: Nothing is more certain, that not only the good of
this Nation, but of all Europe, depends upon your
Resolutions. I move, that the House may go into a
Committee, which is most proper for Gentlemen to
have liberty to speak as often as they please. No one
man can comprehend what he has to say, at once. I
move to go into a Committee.
Sir Thomas Lee.] I should be glad to know the business of that Committee, when we go into it. The
Speech is of divers parts. One part is most necessary to be immediately thought of, and that is of Supply; the reason why you support the War, is to support the Kingdom; that being so, you will but mispend your time on Supply. I thought you would
have been moved to give the King Supply by a Vote
for it. I move you for it, but I name no proportion.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] I observe, that, in part of the
King's Speech, the King speaks of "the Revenue,"
and I think that is Supply. I would read the Speech
in Paragraphs, and then Gentlemen may move as
Mr Hampden.] I am in some difficulty what to say.
It is not the first time I have seen a Committee have
general directions. If a Supply be moved for, then you
are to go into a Committee, to consider the matter.
Sir Edward Seymour.] According to the ancient
Rules and Orders of the House, you may consider
all the other parts of the King's Speech, but of Supply, nothing. You are not to part with Money upon any consideration, without consideration. If you
will go upon all the parts, except what relates to
Supply, you may; but there is no consideration of
such moment, as to take off your padlocks from
Money, considering the poverty of the Nation.
Sir Henry Goodrick.] I agree with Seymour that, if
Supply be first moved, then you go into a Committee. The King desires "a settlement of the Revenue, as other Monarchs have had;" it is not immediately a Supply.
Sir Christopber Musgrave.] If you consider the
granting a Revenue, you go against the methods of
the House.—We are told, "this is not granting Money,"but I take it to concern Money as much as
may be. It is giving Money, and then you ought to
appoint a day for the consideration of that Motion: I hope you will not precipitate matters, so as
to break the Rules of the House. I am as ready
to support the Government as any man, and you are
secure not to suffer by going according to the Rules
of the House. I would appoint a day, &c.
Sir John Lowther.] I desire leave to be heard again.
I would not have any body think, that I intended, by
my Motion, to surprize the House. I did not understand "a Bill for the Revenue" to be a Motion
for Supply; but if that be the sense of the House,
I am for a farther day; and I doubt not but, the necessity of the Motion considered, you will appoint a
speedy day. If those who understand the method of
the House better than I, agree for a Bill. I move for
to-morrow morning; but because I would not displease
nor surprize any body, for my own part, though there
be prudence on one part for a longer day, there are
affections on the other side for a speedy day.
The Speaker.] The reason of a Grand Committee
is, that there should be no surprize. In the late King
James's time, the House immediately entered into a
Grand Committee, because the Motion of Supply
was not opposed. You may put the Question for tomorrow, or when you please.
Mr Hampden.] It is moved for "to-morrow to go
into a Grand Committee, to settle the King's Revenue." The Motion is said to be for raising Money.
The House does ever religiously observe Order every
way. I ever shall be for it; but, in that Question, I
would not involve another Question. Gentlemen say,
"settling the Revenue is granting Supply;" but let
us hear why, and why not. But keep to that first
Question, "That a Motion being made for settling
the King's Revenue, to appoint a day to consider
Sir Edward Seymour.] Your Books will direct you.
Put your Question in the words of your Order, and
that will direct you.
Mr Sacheverell.] I would a little consider and open what is to-morrow's work, I have always been
of opinion, that the French King is the most likely
to trouble England, and I doubt not but Gentlemen will
not give a Million in Trade to support him. I have
showed it formerly, as manifest as the Sun shines. I
can bring undeniable proofs of it out of the CustomHouse Books. But if you settle the Revenue before
that be considered (which will be done in a day or
two) till that be, I cannot give my consent to give
away so great a sum
Sir Henry Goodrick.] This must be, in consequence,
settling a new Book of Rates, but you cannot remedy
this: Unless you bring all others into the same prohibition, yours will signify little; but if the meaning be for a new Book of Rates, you have not time
now to do it. All Europe will have a vast advantage
by having that Trade, and you will lose it. I would
have Gentlemen tell us, whether it be practicable in
a month's time?
Mr Sacheverell.] I did not talk of a prohibition,
only the consideration of so great an evil, and when
the House has an account of it, I only lay it before you.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] If he moves not for a new
Book of Rates, he moves for nothing. How comes
this to you? Now you are to consider of the Revenue, he tells you "that the Trade with France is a
Million." I believe, by the Book of Rates, of 27 or
28 years standing, comparing it when in War, there
is a great over-balance. That Paper of the French
Trade has walked this House long. But, as Sacheverell
uses to say, "he would have things above-board,"
if you settle the Revenue on the King and Queen,
without the Book of Rates—I have heard say, that it
may be done in a week's time. We may have Peace
with France, Pax quœritur bello. I would so settle
Trade as it may be for the future.
Mr Papilion.] I believe all Gentlemen have the
same dislike to France; but it was that Book of
Rates he mentions, when the Court favoured France.
I have known the time; when the French Trade was
an advantage to England; but now we are in War
with France; but when we come to Peace, then it
will be proper to make a settlement of the Rates; but
if you make one now, you must make a new one
then, when time is proper. Now we are at enmity
with France, it will be of no advantage at all, but
loss of time.
Sir John Knight.] I was in hopes that Sacheverell,
when he gave you an account of French Trade, would
have told you how Trade is now carried on with France.
There is a Ship at Bristol with all Commodities for
France. I desire it may be considered.
[Resolved, Nem. con. That the humble and hearty Thanks of
this House be presented to his Majesty, for his gracious Speech.
Resolved, Nem. con. That the House will assert and support the Government under their present Majesties King
William and Queen Mary, both by their Counsels and with
their Assistance, to the utmost of their Power.
Resolved, That the whole House do attend his Majesty
with the said Resolutions; and that this House will, on Wednesday morning next, take into consideration his Majesty's
Monday, March 24.
The House attended his Majesty at Whitehall.
Tuesday, March 25, 1690.
The Speaker reports, That, in Answer to the Resolutions of
the House, presented yesterday to his Majesty, his Majesty was
pleased to express himself to this effect:
"I thank you for your Address, and for your Resolution
to assist and support me: And as I have ventured my Life
for the Nation, so I am resolved always to do.
"I hope you will take my Speech into your speedy consideration, and that this may be a happy Session."
[Sir Thomas Mompesson, in his Place, asked Pardon of the
House, and of Mr Okeden, for assaulting. Mr Okeden in the
Lobby, an Account thereof being given by Mr Piper and Col.
Trelawney, Members of the House, and the Serjeant at Arms,
and Door Keepers; and the Speaker acquainted Sir Thomas
Mompesson, "That the House had considered that he was an ancient Member; and therefore were very indulgent to him
by their Resolution, which he acquainted him with, and required him to ask Pardon accordingly," which he did do.]
March 26, Omitted.
Thursday, March 27.
In a Grand Committee, on the Supply.
Mr Hampden, Chancellor of, the Exchequer, in the Chair.
Sir John Lowther.] It was your Resolution yesterday
to go to-day into a Grand Committee, to consider of
Supply. The first Paragraph of the King's Speech
is about "settling the Revenue," and it is to that I
stand up to move you. For rescuing you from arbitrary Government, and restoring you to your Religion and Laws, the King has done his part; there
remains our part to be done. The reducing Ireland
is a great work to be done; the King is willing to go
thither in Person, to make your Charge easy; and I
hope the King's return will be victorious and speedy:
And when he does expose his Person, and we are at
our ease at home, for expressing our gratitude. I move
you "to settle the Revenue on King William and
Queen Mary for their Lives."
Serjeant Maynard.] If the King be necessitous, he
will have necessitous Counsellors about him. The
Revenue of the Crown-Land is all gone, it is aliened from him; he can have nothing from his Land,
but from Parliament. The Question is, What and
for how long you will give him? A King in want
can never be quiet. As for the Revenue, I would
not have it too much—Consider Quantum, quomedo, et
quamdiu. I move, "That it may be settled for three
years." As King of England, if all were quiet, I
would have it for Life; that the King may be a Freeholder as well:as we. As for the relief of Ireland,
that is a distinct consideration by itself.
Sir John Thompson.] You cannot put the Question,
"for settling the Revenue for Life," without leave
from the House. The Order is, "to consider about
Sir Thomas Lee.] I always thought, that they that
gave the Crown of England "a Revenue," gave
"Supply." I speak only to Order. I think "the
matter of the Revenue" is the only Debate before
Sir Christopher Musgrave.] I think you cannot put
that Question; before you come to that, you must go
to the particular parts of the Revenue; you must tell
us what you mean by "Revenue." As for the Excise, part of it is Hereditary; it was so, and I know
not what has made it otherwise. Before you put the
Question, I would know whether all the Customs and
Excise be complicated in the Question. Would you
have all the Revenue for Years turned into Lives?
First, consider whether any part be Hereditary, and
whether you will make it all so; when that is ordered,
then consider Supply. The first Question is, "Whether a Supply shall be granted;" and then the House
may be moved for a Bill.
Mr Paul Foley.] What you are now debating is
of vast consequence to us, and England, for ever. I
would know what the Revenue is, and what it is
likely to prove, and not to settle a Revenue for Life,
as is necessary in War, but in time of Peace. When
Charles II returned, it was generally agreed, that
1,200,000l. per annum, was a sufficient Revenue to support the Government; in the next Parliament, it was
not pretended that more was requisite, but that, the
Revenue came not up to so much. I know not what
the Revenue is now; but I have heard, that in
Charles II's time, it was two Millions, and more in
King James's time; therefore I would have you
consider, and it is worth your while to consider: If you
settle such a Revenue, as that the King should have
no need of a Parliament, I think we do not our
duty to them that sent us hither. Therefore I would
know what the Revenue is.
Sir Edmund Jennings.] I remember the method in
King James's Parliament, and why now we should
take other Precedents, I know not. If you desire to
preserve the Church and State, will you not settle such
a Revenue as will do it, and why is not this King to
be trusted as well as King James? Either we shall
run back to Popery and Slavery on the one hand, or
Anarchy on the other. What will neighbouring
Princes say, if we do not do by this Prince, as we
have done by the former? I doubt we shall find ill
effects afterwards. I have no Court-employments to
expect or lose, only I would save Religion and Property: Therefore settle the Revenue upon this King,
as upon King James.
Sir Robert Cotton.] We cannot answer the King's
ends, without doing as is moved. You must settle a
Fund, and you must distinguish the Hereditary Revenue, and a Fund. I would express my Gratitude
to the King, but there must be some certain number
of Years to have a Fund.
Mr Hutchinson.] You have been moved "to settle a
Revenue upon this King, as upon King James." I
would know whether that had so good effect, as to
settle it so now, and whether so extravagant a Grant
can be good either for a good or a bad Prince? If
you gave this Revenue to a bad Prince, you cannot
now decently take it away; if you give it to a good.
Prince, he may be thrifty, and may have a Bank, and
may presume upon it to destroy our Liberties. If a
Prince be prodigal, he is more safe than if thrifty;
but it is an odd sort of safety, and to be given to
Pensioners to betray their trust. I would have the
Revenue known. As for the present Supply, I would
know that now, and consider it.
Mr Pelham.] You are told "that the Revenue came
to two Millions in King Charles's and King James's
time;" but, as to what is said of the ill effects of it in
King James's time, none of that mischief came by
that Revenue, but upon what was given him:afterwards, which enabled him to raise his Army and
bring in Popery.
Sir Joseph Williamson.] By complication of several
parts, the Question becomes more difficult. The
scope of the King's Speech being Supply, that is
properly before you; but as to the other Language of
it, of settling a Revenue for a Supply, you must think
well upon it before you come to a Resolution. In
matter of Supply, the Question is not strictly held
to it by firsting, seconding, and thirding it, but it
is to be opened, so as freely to give a judgment,
whether we can make the one or the other. Till
it can be showed, that settling the Revenue is the
Supply, I cannot come up to the Question. A Supply is necessary; we cannot sit here else. A Revenue,
for the King to live with honour and comfort upon,
every body is for, so as to provide for the Monarchy,
in whose hands soever it is, that Parliaments may be
frequent. There are some alive, that know all,
and have felt, that, when Princes have not needed Money, they have not needed us. I have
seen Princes undone by those methods, that they
have been made believe would establish them. I
drive at this: Will Gentlemen show us what part of
the Revenue is a Fund to supply the present necessity
practicable and effectual? In this case, wherein all our
safeties are at stake, that that should be given for Money which is none !—I have heard say, "There is a
great Revenue, 1,200,000l. a year." I would ask,
what can be taken up upon that uncertain Revenue?
For that point so to give, that we may be still called to
give—This way will be to anticipate the Revenue—
For the pressing occasions, if there can be laid down
a Fund for the present necessity to be anticipated, it
will be a guard still for a Parliament. I would give
such a Supply as to prosecute the War with speed and
vigour; and I leave the consideration of it to other
Mr Harbord.] "To supply the King" will be without contradiction; therefore I would put that Question.
Sir Christopher Masgrave.] You tell us, "That a
Question for Supply will answer the first Article of the
King's Speech." But I would have it answer the second
Article, "upon the Revenue." I suppose it has been
considered, that the Revenue must be a Fund; therefore I would have it; for with the Revenue [there must
be] a security. I would have the way prescribed, before
you can do the thing. The King is of opinion, that
it may be a Fund; therefore I would have that Question.
Sir John Lowther.] 'Tis my private Opinion, that,
for the present, the Revenue may supply the present
occasion, by security; but God forbid you should confine yourselves, now you are in a War ! The King desires this testimony of your affections for all he has
done for us. As for the Revenue, he cannot live
without it; but for Supply for these Wars, I hope
you will not confine yourselves. After you have voted
a Supply, you may then take into consideration the
Fund of Credit, and you may make this addition for
both their Lives, and for so many years after as to be
a Fund of Credit. I am no Lawyer, but believe it
may be done.
Mr Foley.] I cannot say any thing, till we know
what the Revenue is, nor till we have an account of
what has been spent of what we have already given.
In three fourths of a year, the. Treasury has received
1,500,000l. besides what we gave; six Millions were
received last year and this. Now, what account have
we of all this? Therefore I would give no Supply till
an account be first brought to us. I do not think that
a good argument to give, because the King goes into
Ireland; nor convenient for the King to have an Exchequer full, if the King goes into Ireland. I would
give this King Money, but not by a Rule, because we
have given other Kings. I stand upon it, to have
more reason from the accounts before we give Supply.
Sir Henry Goodrick.] If Gentlemen come not prepared to support the Monarchy, and establish good
understanding—But when the King says, "He has
that confidence in this House," I see no difficulty but
that every man is prepared in his thoughts. You are
upon the Question of "settling the Revenue." 'Tis
that the King sets his heart upon. You may know
what the Revenue is, and then you may consider the
Fund: Your second Question settles not that, unless
by way of implication.
Sir Edward Seymour.] Your Motion for Supply is by
Order; your Debates are on several things; of Supply, and the Revenue; and that is part of the Supply.
When I consider we are come so lately from giving
Money in one Parliament, I wonder how we come to
leap into that now, unless you make one Parliament
to vye with another ad infinitum; but if this continue,
you will make the Ministers independent. We that
have placed the King on the Throne, are those that will
keep him in it. I have always seen it here, that hasty
Resolutions in Parliament never produced good consequences for England. We are told of former Kings
who had this Revenue, that from such easy concessions
came our miseries; and seeing we are so well redeemed
from them, let us prevent them for the future. The
safest results are from hence, rather than from abroad.
To settle the Revenue must be a work of time, and
not to be in that inequality, useless in War, and not
useful in time of Peace. Had you not time little enough last Parliament to consider it, and will you do
it in less now? You will make things precarious.
We shall make an ill bargain, to support the Church
to destroy the State, and the Constitution of that must
support us. Let us come to that point of the Revenue that is for Life, to enable the King to carry on the
War. If for Security, I would consider how much is
necessary to carry on the War, and then to have the
power in your own hands; you that have the game
in your hands, to put it into those hands that played
for King James, that now play for King William ! As
this the last Parliament, so another governs this. The
White Horse rides one Stage, the Black another. Can
the properties of England be safe, when you yourselves
are made properties? As for the Revenue, I would
leave it like wise men, not like a horse in the mire. Have
your Allies left you, because you did only settle it for
one year? Now you have done like wise men, I would
leave the State-Trap of the Revenue behind you.
Sir Henry Goodrick.] Let us come to an end of our
Stage. If you must have neither "Black Horse nor
White for our Stage," must we ride upon an Ass?
And if we do not supply the King, we shall ride an
Ass. You settle it only for the Lives of your Deliverers.
Sir John Lowther.] I am sensible of the Miscarriages;
and whilst there are Governments, there will be Miscarriages, whilst men are men. I would be glad to see
men help, and not embroil. I would not willingly
inflame this matter: I would with all content retire to
my cottage, from my part of employment, rather than
live always in such diffidence that I must be armed with
head-piece and buff-coat. The Chimney-Money Act,
and that of Navigation, were great concessions—With what pleasure can our Prince expose himself to an us
healthful country, to subject his Ministers to reflections ! What can man do in this case? Since I am morally assured, there can be no preservation of the Protestant Religion, not one spot of ground, not one spot
of land free from Popery, not only this Nation is the
security of it, but this Prince; and when once this
single person shall be removed, it is not all the World
can secure it. If they hear some few mouths that reflect upon him and his Government, how can he support us? I hope there is no weight in it. Similies,
without explaining, signify nothing without a meaning. I hope his Government will not be reflected on
in this House.
Sir Edward Seymour.] I appeal if I reflected on the
integrity of that Gentleman (Lowther), or the sufficiency of this (Goodrick)? I care neither for "the
neighing of the Horse," nor "the braying of the Ass."
The safety of England will be better supported here,
than by any other hands. This will appear by the
Change his Majesty has made of his Counsellors (fn. 3) . If
we may not here deliver our advice, certainly that is
a very evil one.
Mr Finch.] You have one Question framed, "to
bring in a Bill for the Revenue;" the other, "for a
Fund of Supply, and the Revenue to be security for
it." Before you put the Question, there is something
absolutely necessary for you to declare, viz. As you
go on to settle the Revenue, for the honour of the King,
not to pass by one thing in relation to the hereditary
Revenue. I remember the progress that Question had
in this House last Parliament: It was a Question, What
did subsist, and what not? They were silent in that;
they went only upon that for Life. The next thing
was a Bill to authorize the collection of it for a definite time. In that Bill there was a Clause, "That the
Revenue be collected for one year, and no longer:"
And it was taken notice of, that the word "no longer"
would determine the Revenue; and, that the Crown
had no subsistence, was a Question, whether it had any
or no (fn. 4) ? Still that point remains undetermined; and
will you leave that to be a Question still? You see
that Question left undecided; it is still one, whether
it was hereditary in King Charles's and King James's
time, and if that Revenue be vested in King and Queen,
in right of the Crown of the Realm, then it will be seen,
that, though new persons are on the Throne, the ancient Monarchy is still on the Throne.
Mr Ettrick.] As for what is said of "the uncertainty of a Fund for Life," you may have a Clause for
Credit, in case the King and Queen die before the
debt is paid. I am sorry to hear it talked, as if we
had not minded our condition since we changed our
King. If we had a Popish King, I should be more
careful than under the King I am. I cannot, in justice
and gratitude, do less for him than for his predecessors.
In King Charles I's time, the not settling the Revenue
upon him for Life drew on us all the mischiefs that
[Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That a
Supply be given to their Majesties, to enable his Majesty to
prosecute the War against France, and for reducing of Ireland
with speed and vigour. Which was agreed to by the House,
Col. Austen.] I thought you had taken your first
step, that you might walk forward. Does any Gentleman undertake the quantum, or that this should be a
Supply? Pray let some Gentleman move a quantum.
Sir Thomas Lee.] The first part of your Question is
not for leave to bring in a Bill for the Revenue: I
only offer on the word "Supply;" that business of the
Revenue comes in naturally, and you may offer what
words you will, when the Question is stated.
Sir John Guise.] I am persuaded, that those who advised the King to go into Ireland, knew how to give
him Money in fifty days time. If you will say more,
than "towards carrying on the War," say so; but let
us have to-morrow to consider of it, to answer it to
Col. Austen.] I shall never be afraid of a Post, to
bring news of what is done here. I am not for tricks
of any sort. Your Question is, at this time, not so.
I may give Money for a Revenue; but I may, or may
not, give my consent for two Lives in it. Therefore
put the Question "for a Revenue."
Sir William Williams.] When a Question is unanimously carried, it is thought enough for one day.
Some of the Revenue may be given for Lives, and
some for Years; but none for such a time that the Parliament may not come again; therefore leave the
Friday, March 28.
In a Grand Committee, on the Supply.
Sir Christopher Musgrave.] I move, that you would
take the Revenue by parts, and consider what is annexed to the Crown, and what for Lives. I speak
frankly, what hereditary Revenue is to be settled upon
the Crown, and then come to the other Parts of the
Revenue—For instance, half the Excise is hereditary;
declare that annexed to the Crown, and then come to
the other parts of the Revenue; likewise the PostOffice, the First-Fruits and Tenths, something of the
old Customs, with the Wine-Licences, &c.
Sir John Lowther.] No man is more of Musgrave's
opinion than myself: The Motion I will make shall
not preclude that. I renew the Motion, to take into
consideration again what you have done yesterday.
Yesterday's arguments are a fresh obligation to the
King; if any thing relates to our Properties or Religion, all are relative to this. I know no arguments of
distrust of the King; nothing can prevail against it—
There were jealousies of the last Reign; but no instance can be given of a Prince who has done so much
for his People, for so short a time as he has been here
I move, that the Revenue may be settled for Life.
Mr Ettrick.] 'Tis very plain, that what is to be
raised is for your service. The King's Revenue is
240,000l. less than his predecessors. As if only this
Question is, whether you will show that countenance
to the Government, as to support the King, or keep
him as it were at Board-wages; as if only by this
Question to fetter it with Forms to surprize Gentlemen.
He was taken down to Order by Sir William Strickland.
Mr Hampden.] "The House to be shackled with
Forms" is a strange expression. I know that Forms
must be kept.
Sir John Goodrick.] I know of no "Shackles," but
what keeps us to order and decency.
Mr Ettrick.] What I said was not reflecting upon
any thing to-day, but what happened formerly. The
Question is very plain, Whether you will give as formerly, for Life, or for three Years?
Sir John Thompson.] We have been told "of putting
the King to Board-wages." I do not aggravate the
thing; but certainly we should know what we do,
when we give away our Money; but, that we may
speak our minds freely, I think the Liberties of England are in that Question. You were told yesterday,
"What you shall give on the Revenue cannot answer
your end." Certainly nothing is more prejudicial to
the King, when it is demonstrable it cannot answer
the end for which you give it. When you give this
Supply, it must be wiped off by you. The standing
Revenue is so great, that it is your danger in time of
Peace. Either you must keep a standing Army, or
the frugality will ruin you. The Revenue will keep
30,000 Men. I should be loth to see so many foreigners in England in time of Peace.
Earl of Ranelagh.] The Order is, "To consider the
Revenue." The Motion is, "To consider the Revenue
granted to King Charles and King James, that it may
be granted to King William and Queen Mary for their
Lives." I find some Gentlemen would know what
this Revenue is, and what part to be granted to the
King and Queen. There is a Revenue for Lives and
Years—The temporary Revenue is the imposition upon
Wines and Brandy, &c. which determines in 1693.
Sugars, &c. French and East India commodities determine at Midsummer. I would have it declared,
"That the Revenue, vested in the two last Kings, is
the Revenue of Inheritance;" and have leave given to
bring in a Bill to settle it.
Sir John Lowther.] As near as I can, I will agree
with the sense of every Gentleman. If you will proceed in the method proposed, I am very well contented. I move, "That the Revenue may be for the King
and Queen's Lives, and the longest liver of them."
Mr Sacheverell.] I move, "That a Revenue may be
settled on the Crown for time to come;" and I move,
"That what is now vested in the Crown may not be
alienated from the Crown." Whenever 'tis granted
away, always the Subject must pay for it. Therefore,
I desire Gentlemen to consider, if it once comes, whenever you grant away Impositions, granted by the Subject to the Crown, there is an end of your Government. It will make it like the great men of Spain,
they get all, and the King nothing.
Sir Christopher Musgrave.] The Question is now,
what the Revenue of the Crown is to be in time of
War; 'tis otherwise in time of Peace. Now we must
make use of all the Branches of the Revenue, now we
are in War. I hope the King will not take it ill, if
we settle the Revenue for Years; otherwise, if it is not
for Years, as well as for Lives, it cannot be good security. If you settle it for Lives only, and not for
Years, it cannot be a Fund; if for both, pray declare
your sense. I know not if three Years, the number
moved for, will be security or not; and if three Millions will be found without a prospect of some time.
moneyed men may lend, who understand security. That
you may not be for a time uncertain, I move you "to
grant the Revenue for four Years."
Mr Ettrick.] 'Tis something of a harsh proposition,
the Revenue for Lives and Years too—I look upon
the hereditary Revenue to be so far a Fund as for a
present Supply of Money. If we know what Money
is wanting, we may the better form the Sum. I have
heard of "a Million "wanting. You may make, in a
Clause of Credit, that no contingency may be in their
Lives to the lender of the Money. I think we ought
to have as much respect for their present Majesties as
the last Parliament had. They proceeded so far as to
move the Revenue to be settled for their Lives.
Sir John Guise.] Upon a supposition of what was
done last Session, I would have your Books searched
before you go on. I find this King and Queen extremely beholden to some people that would settle the
Revenue for Lives—In the King's Speech there is such
a Proposition, that, if we can find no other way, the
Revenue then is to be a Fund. I should think the
Revenue a very ordinary present to the King, so incumbered, by advices from other persons, not from
hence. I would take time to present the King with a
free Gift, and worthy of him to receive—Then your
business is to support the War—Do you intend this
shall be out of the Revenue? If they intend no other
Supply than the Revenue, for the present, or any other,
let them speak. I have heard, that they who lend
Money, love to have it in their power once in six
months. I would not dispose of the Revenue farther
than becomes a prudent man, who may answer it to
his Country. 'Tis said, "Put no distrust on the
King;" but I would not have all ill management laid
on the King, which ought to be laid on the Ministers.
Here have been particular grumblings against persons
ill management; and since, now the Revenue is in
your hands, you cannot know these persons, how will
you know them that have done amiss, when the Revenue is out of your hands? I think it ought not to
reflect on any particular Prince, when others have the
keeping of his ears. I would have a Fund of Credit
for four Years. and no longer.
Col. Austen.] There has been so much said, that I
have the less to say. I am against the Question, for the
King and Queen's sake. I am against granting the
Revenue for Lives, for what the King (that now is) has
declared in his Declaration, when Prince. One of his
businesses was, to secure us, that no Successor be able
to bring us again into our misfortunes. The great
mischief being the Revenue for Lives, you will never
do good in an ill Prince's time—I am sure you will
never tell him, that he is an ill one. A Parliament will
secure you from other ill persons, as well as ill Kings;
I mean, the Ministers. Granting it for Life will prevent any ill Ministers from being called in question,
and you can never reach them. I hope the King will
be as rich at the end of this time four Years, as if he
had the Revenue for Life.
Sir Joseph Williamson.] It will certainly be for the
King's service, that people may see themselves out of
fear of not meeting the King frequently in Parliament.: In the close, I shall agree that the remaining
part of the Excise be settled for Life. The necessary
Expences of the Crown must be supported, or else we
fall—You will not at all be alarmed with the defect of
a Parliament—That is the thing; the King's necessity
will bring the King to the People, and the People to
the King—I will only add this, besides growing extraordinary unforeseen accidents, though I hope we
shall be soon out of this costly War. You were told
yesterday, "That the Revenue was clogged, and can
bear nothing;"—and what you must now give will still
necessitate Parliaments—As, on the one hand, I would
not give all for Life, so I am for a reasonable security.
—If half the Excise be for Life, there will remain
still a Fund for Credit, and yet be secured from the
common fear of wants of Parliament.
Mr Sacheverell.] Before this Question be put, of
Lives, I desire a little satisfaction, whether you intend
to have any Fund of Credit, if you take away all indubitable security? What Fund can you have in the
Customs in time of War? They that had no regard
to the last Parliament, will have as little regard to you,
when you are gone. You have settled the hereditary
Revenue; now, what Fund of Credit have you on
contingency of the Customs? Plainly, will you have a
Fund of Credit, or not? What can be borrowed on
the Customs, suppose them 400,000l. to this year and
the next; what sum can you propound upon this Credit? Can any man believe they will lend? 400,000l.
is all you can borrow in a year, and scarce that; few
will lend upon the utmost value. I know no way of
certainty but to leave the King 600,000l. an entire
Fund of Credit to borrow upon. But if you leave
the thing indefinite, you will have, I believe, little or
no use of a Parliament for the future.
[Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, that
the hereditary Revenues, which the late King James II was,
the 10th day of December 1688 entitled to, became and are
vested in their present Majesties, King William and Queen Mary,
in right of the Crown of England except the late Revenue
arising by Fire-Hearths and Stovcs.
Resolved, That the House be moved for leave to bring in a
Bill to declare, that the said Revenues are so vested; and that
therein provision be made, that they shall not be aliened
from the Crown, nor chargeable with any Gift or Grant to be
made for the future.
Resolved, That the House be moved for leave to bring in
a Bill for the settling that Moiety of the Excise, which was
granted to the late King Charles II, and King James II, or either
of them, for their Lives, upon their present Majesties King
William and Queen Mary, for their Lives, and the Life of the
longest liver of them; with a Clause to enable their Majesties
to make the said Revenue a security for raising Money towards
a Supply, not exceeding the Sum of ******.
Resolved, That the House be moved for leave to bring in a
Bill to grant to their present Majesties King William and
Queen Mary, for the term of four years, from Christmas next,
the Customs which were granted to the late King Charles II,
and King James II, for their Lives; with a Clause to enable
their Majesties to make the said Revenue a security for raising
Money towards a Supply, not exceeding the sum of **** :
Which were all agreed to by the House.]
[March 29, Omitted.]
Monday, March 31.
In a Grand Committee, on the Supply.
Sir John Lowther.] Part of your great Work is
over. You have voted the Revenue to King William
and Queen Mary, &c. I doubt not but to the satisfaction of all men, at least, good men. The next
thing is to provide for your own Security. This is a
great Task, a great Work. No Government can be
supported, but within these Walls. I am sorry to tell
you, that the King is at an extraordinary Charge, never felt before. I have known Civil Wars, and Wars
in Ireland, but never with so potent a Prince as the
French King. You have but part of Ireland in your
hands, (and then giving an Account of the Defects in
the Customs, &c. towards the great Charge, concludes)
There can be no Army, but upon free Quarter, nor
Ships, but in Harbour, if Money be not taken up.
After several had spoken to the Money given, and the mismanagement of it, and Motions had been made for enquiring
Sir Edward Seymour.] If I thought your Enquiry
would bring you to your end, I should be for it; but
I would rather close with the other Motion, of what
is most necessary to be provided for. The stress of
the Question lies, to give the Revenue for a Fund,
and when given, no Security. If you begin with
Enquiries after Mismanagements, and pass them over
slightly, you establish them, and will never have a
true one—Let us prevent them for the future. But
when the Fleet is employed in every man's business
but ours, no wonder that Ireland miscarry. Let us
know what Money remains of what was given the
last Parliament, and give what comes short of that
sum for present Supply.
Sir John Guise.] I must take it for granted, that,
upon the Dissolution of the last Parliament, things
were well weighed. What was wanting of the Sum before? When a way was found out to supply the
King, to cut all that off at a stroke by a Prorogation !
Who dares be the man, that will avow it?
Sir Christopher Musgrave.] I must believe, that
what is requisite for carrying on the War has been
weighed before we came hither. Was it not the intention, that granting the Revenue, and settling it,
was a Supply? If nobody will give us an Account,
either borrow what you can, or the House must order it, as in all your Bills you have borrowing Clauses—Will you leave it to the King at large to borrow,
or limit such a Sum, not to exceed such a Sum?
Suppose you give Credit "not to exceed 500,000l."
Sir John Lowther.] If the meaning be a power of
borrowing 500,000l. only, and no other Supply, I
would ask that Member, whether he will answer that
to his Country ?—And, as it is uncertain whether it
can be borrowed, how can he go into his Country,
and the Army not paid, and the Fleet in Harbour? I
dare not undertake it. I am in the King's service, but
have a fortune to support my condition. I can obey
commands, but am not in a Post to give Counsel,
Let the matter be how it will, if Religion and Laws
will be safe, under such a Motion; I am mistaken,
unless other Men have other Prospects than I have;
and do not say but you are warned of the consequence.
Col. Austen.] We are come into necessity and pressure of times for Money. Is it the fault of the
Commons of England? Were they the cause of that
necessity? It will be found, that you have done your
parts. The Advice was very bold, and things were
taken care for somewhere else, to send the Parliament
down. None tell us what will serve the King, and
those near him yet do not tell us what is required.
Sir Christopher Musgrave.] I dare not love the name
of "Undertaker," so as to ruin my Nation. I know
not what Lowther means by "a Prospect:" I have
none but the support of Monarchy, and the Nation.
We have settled the Revenue, and that was called
"Supply !" I said, "it ought to be at the peril of
any body, that undertakes what to borrow."—The
necessity is not from us—We have no Sums told us,
and when we name them, we are reproached for it.
Sir Thomas Lee.] The farther consideration of Credit is come to 500,000l. and no more. I did not
advise that the Revenue be charged, nor to run upon
borrowing, but that every Year might defray the
Charge. If it will not answer your end by security,
it is as good as nothing at all. Still the King tells
you, if no other way be to be found, then to charge
the Revenue. If you go on with the War, and the
whole be anticipated, you will make your Enemies far
from having inclination to Peace. If there be not towards 500,000l. to pay off Seamen at Michaelmas, when
they come up, you may possibly have 200,000l. more
to pay. I believe, at the end of September, when they
come in, 500,000l. will not pay Seamens wages.
What I say is only a short hint to consider how things
Sir Francis Blake.] They prorogued us, and then
dissolved us; surely they knew where Money was to be
had. It is so hot from the Mint, that it has dropped
through our hats.
Sir Henry Goodrick.] It is unhappy, that we have
looked so far into things, as to have lost ourselves in
the Debate in reflections—The pressure is so great,
that the Army and Ordnance, the Safety and Honour
of the King's Person, every thing that is dear to us,
I fear, must be laid aside. Things have been fairly
and candidly managed—I am an Accomptant for great
Sums, and those about the King are willing to inform you—No man doubts the preservation of the
Public, but the way we dispute of—It is extremely
pressed in the House, as if some slight of hand was
in the last Debate. There is nothing in the King's
Speech, but what he will make good, as to the Revenue; but the Question is, as to the Quantum; so
much as will bear the Charge, goes towards it, but
you are told "it will come short"—It is a great and
terrible Sum at first to name; "two Millions;" but
if this be exclusive of all other things, the very Ordnance comes to that Sum. I do not verily know, that
you cannot put the Ordnance into its ancient Course
without 300,000l.—Do not let this preclude all other
Sir John Guise.] After having heard some Reflections on Musgrave's Motion, I am concerned for the
Honour of the House; necessities you are brought
to, and these not your own fault, and then to be asked,
"Whether we can answer this to our Country?" But
the Question I would ask, is, "How came the French
to be landed in Ireland, and your Militia not settled
in England?" I cannot answer that—Whether you
will fill up the Blanks, or put the Sum moved, is the
Sir John Lowther.] I hope, that, in this, I am rather transported with zeal for my Country, than any
particular Reflections on any body. If I did not misunderstand the Gentleman, he said, "he hoped we
should not grant two Supplies in one Session"—I appeal, whether there is not a hazard of the security of
the Nation by it? I know not that the Militia of the
Kingdom is not settled, though I know not that it is
settled; for Orders were sent down to have them in
readiness. When I said, "Musgrave might have
some other Prospect," I meant, that it is impossible
but that this Nation should be ruined, if this be not
Sir Thomas Clarges.] These Accounts of the Revenue are a little puzzling. It is a hard matter to be
clear in it, in a Committee of the whole House (and
so reckons up what has been given, &c. and what is in
Arrear, &c.) Certainly there has been great Mismanagement, whether by unskilfulness of the Managers,
or otherwise, which has some resemblance to a private family: I must live, and have meat, drink, and
cloaths: I should follow that, and postpone all other
occasions. The Fleet, Army, and Ordnance are Appendixes—They should have minded those things in
which all our safety is concerned, and have applied to
that. (Perhaps it is so, but here are great outcries) I
think that 20,000 men, considering our Alliance with
Holland, are as many as we need. As to the greatest
reckonings we can make, we know it was said
36,000 men, and now they say, "Thank God, we have
16,000."—I have had the Honour to be in the Army,
and have seen the establishment for 80,000l. per mensem, for 40,000 Foot, and 10,000 Horse—God forbid
we should cut the pattern too narrow ! I would have
all provided against. Enemies we have without, and
Enemies within. I cannot tell what to advise, but I
would have it proposed, what Sum will defend us till
we meet again, and what they have towards it. Before we come to a Sum, let the Honourable Persons
explain what condition we are in, and what is necessary now. It is the common talk of the Town, that
the great occasion of these Diminutions is ill management—Men cannot know these things by inspiration—Land and Tide-Waiters brag what they can
smuggle and cheat—Farmers were Managers, but
after they had made up their own pack, they cared
not what become of the rest. Formerly, great care
was taken, that all the Offices of England were inspected—I am weary of finding fault—For the present, I move for what Sum shall be necessary, and
what we can have towards this out of the Revenue.
Sir Richard Temple.] The Customs, in time of Peace,
never rise to more than 600,000l. per annum. Michaelmas was greater than after; they heaped in great quantities of Goods by prospect of a War. I believe they
are not now 400,000l. per ann.
Mr Paul Foley.] It concerns us to give the King a
Supply, but it concerns us as much not to give more
than is necessary. We have strange Accounts of the
Revenue (and so reckons up the Account given in by Sir
John Lowther) I hope our case is not so bad as is represented, and that we are not at a loss for so much
Money as is spoken of. Let us have a fair Account. The
lowest Account amounts to more than what the Navy
and Army [want]; but if not laid out upon the Army
and Fleet, surely there is more reason to have things
before us. I move, "That the House may be moved,
that an Account be brought in of the Money, &c. and
[To proceed the next day.]