Saturday, November 7.
On the Miscarriages in the Fleet (fn. 1) .
Admiral Russel.] I told you the other day, "that the
shorter day was the better," and I am now ready to
give you all the satisfaction I can.
Mr Howe.] Russel has offered to answer any Miscarriage of the Fleet, and nobody offers any Objection; therefore I move, that you will vote there has been none at all.
Mr Montagu.] If there has been no Miscarriage of
the Fleet, we are off from that concern. We cannot
take too much care for the future. If there be no
notorious Miscarriages, it is not for your honour, nor
the interest of the Nation, to force Miscarriages. If
nobody has any thing ready to offer, I would not put
discouragement on Gentlemen, but pray leave the Chair.
Sir Robert Cotton.] There have been Miscarriages,
without doubt, but if you do not think fit to lay any
charge upon Russel, if nothing appear, leave the Chair.
In a Grand Committee.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] I take this day to be appointed
to consider the State of the Nation; which I do not
think determined in Misdemeanors of the Fleet, but
of others. Russel said, "He would give you an Account of the Fleet."—I would not be made a popular
mark to be an Accuser; I come not to accuse Persons; I would avoid that: All that I drive at is, I
would be sensible of the Miscarriages we are in, and
obviate future, for the safety of the Fleet. Whether
we have Confederates or not, we are an Island, and I
thank God, we have enough to defend the Kingdom,
and the Government, if rightly managed. Something,
as a Commissioner of Accounts, I have to say. The
Fleet cost 200,000l. to be ready by the middle of
April; I think the 12th. If that be so, at that time
there was no Admiral aboard; and it was put to a
greater compliment than the thing would bear—The
Fleet came not into the Downs till the 16th of May,
and was at charge all that time. I said, the other day,
"They had three days good Wind:" I ask your pardon; I say now, they had six; and I have the Journal,
which is the notification of the Wind, when, and where,
and the Fleet stayed all that time at the Buoy of the
Nore; they were tiding from the 20th to the 22d, till
they came to Torbay, and the 23d they made sail, and
weighed anchor at E. N. E. At nine in the morning, the Admiral had notice that the French Fleet was
a few Leagues from Ushant. The Admiral had an Express from Plymouth, that the French Fleet was got a
few Leagues from Ushant. The Admiral of the Blue
Squadron had notice, when the French were off Ushant,
to prepare for fight—Tho' the Wind was fair, time was
spent in drawing out into Lines of Battle, when the
Enemy were 80 Leagues off. At eight in the evening, the Fleet bore away for Ireland by Scilly, instead
of making to the Ocean to save the Smyrna Fleet (fn. 2) .
This I take to be a Misdemeanor. One Barnes of
Dartmouth, coming from Portugal, gave an Account
that most of the French great Ships were laid up at
Brest. Then might the Ships have been convoyed out
of Ireland, who lay at great Charges. You may send
for one or two or more Officers, to enquire farther.
Admiral Russel.] I believe, what Clarges says, he
believes to be true. First, as for my omission of being aboard, there were never more pains taken by any
body, else the Fleet had not been near so ready. I
think, from Christmas not a week passed, but I was at
Chatham, or Portsmouth. I believe there were faults
in fact, and some of those mentioned did happen. I
gave Reasons for what I did by Letters, and shall give
the House, or the Committee, Account of them.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] I would not do any thing, for
all I am worth, to injure Russel: But I hope that, without offence, I may ask Russel, whether all the Fleet
was not ready, and he not on board?
Admiral Russel.] I say positively not. I had Supernumeraries; and, out of those 700, I manned four Ships.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] I say there were six days fair
Wind, and the Fleet did not sail. Discourses are transient, and I desire I may bring in writing all these Miscarriages; and, if you please, at a Committee, these
may be answered; and likewise that the Vice-Admiral
of the Blue Squadron may be sent for, to hear the
whole matter. My zeal for your service induced me
to this. Put it into what method you please. Russel
said, the other day, "He would give you a Scheme of
all the Passages of the Fleet." If he will deliver that
Scheme, pray let us have it.
Admiral Russel.] I am ready to answer any Questions that shall be asked.
Sir Samuel Barnardiston.] I desire that Scheme may
be brought you in. We have the Journals, and they
are not yet prepared; therefore, I desire you will put
it to a farther day.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] It is the wisdom of the Parliament to see though things; we are not for a Compliment to cover things. Was it no Miscarriage,
when the Harwich Frigate being at an anchor, one
ran over that Ship? Has he that ran over her been
tried? The loss of that Ship is near six times that loss.
I am not here to ask Questions, but sixteen Ships
had like to have been lost at Plymouth
(fn. 3) . Though Russel may be faultless, there is unskilful and deceitful
ill managing; but they were both ill. I require from
Russel a Scheme of that Summer's Action.
Admiral Russel proffered to read two Letters, on that subject,
of not sailing.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] I would know whether the Wind
was not fair those six days?
Admiral Russel.] The Wind was fair three days.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] If the Sea-Journals contradict
what I say, let me be ridiculous to you. On the 17th,
the Wind was at N. N. W.
Sir Christopher Musgrave.] The method of Question
and Answer is a hardship on both parts. Let Questions be put in Writing, and the Answers, but it is against the use of the House to return again into a
Committee, by way of Question and Answer; a method you never knew in this House.
Mr Hampden.] I am a little impatient to see the
Debate go on in this manner. I never saw the like,
nor ever were the like Questions to be asked. It was
never known in this manner in a House of Commons,
and it must be the Opinion of the House, whether the
Questions should be asked. All this is but interlocutory discourse betwixt Members, and you stand still
and hear it. It is improper to go into a Committee
again, but let it be put to a private Committee, and
whoever is concerned, let them put in their Papers.
Sir John Thompson.] This day has given you a manifest experience of part of the misfortunes of the Nation, when we Country Gentlemen must be Examiners and Accusers; whereas those near Affairs can
give you a better Account, if they please, and, for fear
of loss of Offices, will not inform you. If there be any
Miscarriage, I will not attribute it to the Admiral,
but to the Orders he was cramped by; and, at this
rate, in a few days you must be to seek for an Admiral. One is already laid aside (fn. 4) , and this damped. If
you change your hands a thousand times, and have still
the same Councils, are you mended? The fault is
nearer, and Gentlemen will not see it. If it is really
your intent, and you will go to the Bottom, you will
see something very extraordinary. Here is a Miscarriage of the Navy, and a Warrant is produced, "and
this Warrant is my Authority to do an illegal thing,
because stamped with Majesty." I believe Admiral
Russel would not take a false Guinea, because it has the
King's Picture upon it. But persons do not discharge
their places, and illegal Warrants are not to be obeyed,
and it ought to have been laid before the King, and the
Privy-Council. Verbal Orders, either to the Admiral
or Admiralty, are not to be obeyed. Convoys were sent
where never Merchants came; and it is your business
to come at such persons as gave these Orders. I believe Russel has done all by a superior Order. We still
quarrel with the Agent, but look not after the Instrument. I move for a day for consideration of this.
On Monday you give away your Money, and on Tuesday you will see what is become of it.
Mr Waller.] I second the Motion, only I will
make one Observation: I apprehend the Admiralty is
in Commission, and Russel has his Commission from
them. I wonder I hear nothing from them. I hope
they will be here on Friday.
Mr Comptroller Wharton.] I differ a little in the
method. I have a tenderness for the Commissioners.
It is hard upon Clarges, and them, to bring in any
particular Accusation; to do it effectually, which I
would have done—Every body takes notice of this
day's Debate, and will prepare themselves, and that
will be without putting any one on particular hardships.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] Look upon the whole disposition of the Navy, and you will find, in all, Miscarriages from top to bottom. Russel said, "He would
give you the State and Disposition of the Fleet." I
would put no day for this particular occasion, but go
into the Committee of the State of the Nation, that
other things, besides the Navy, may be considered of.
[Tuesday was appointed for considering the State of the
[Monday, November 9.
The Earl of Ranelagh, by his Majesty's Order, delivered in
a List of what Forces the King thought necessary for the next
Year's service, amounting in the whole, Horse, Dragoons, and
Foot, to 64,924 men, and 2,255,671l. 15s. 2d. annual pay;
and acquainted the House, "That how these Forces should be
distributed, his Majesty had not yet resolved; but that, howsoever,
the King had commanded him to tell this House, That he will
keep no more of them in his own Dominions than what he
shall judge absolutely necessary for their security, and the rest
he will transport beyond seas, in order to annoy the common
Enemy, where it may be most sensible to them."
And Sir Richard Onslow presented to the House an Estimate
of the Charge of the Navy, for the Year 1692, amounting in
the whole to 30,000 men, and 1,855,054l. charge (See the
Journal) both which Estimates were referred to the Committee
In a Grand Committee. On the Supply.
Mr Foley.] The Government, for three years past,
eleven Millions! Never so much was paid to the Navy
and Army; and I know not why a third part of eleven
Millions may not carry on the War for one Year. A
great deal has been anticipated of what we have given
Col. Austen.] I believe all are unanimous, that a
Fleet is necessary. 'Tis a great Charge, and necessary
it should be so. You found the effects of the Fleet
short last Year. These 30,000 men laid at a medium,
I should be willing to hear any thing to lessen the
Sir Thomas Clarges.] None in this House but think
a good Fleet necessary. You had a good Fleet last
Year, and if they had had courage, you might have
had a better account from them, having more Men,
Tonnage, and Guns, than heretofore; and they had
not gone before the Enemy last Year. We are trusted
by the People, and are not to make Profusion of their
Treasure. When we had War with France and Holland, we had not 30, nor 25,000 men: Must all the
Fleet be Seamen? You will not put your Landmen,
I hope, only to mount the Guards. 'Tis fit they should
go upon the Fleet. I move, That the Committee may
examine these Particulars. We have been used to
these things, and must not lump these things, but examine them. We have Flag-Ships more than the
Establishment—When we know more of these things,
we may do all that is needful, but nothing that is unnecessary.
Sir Christopher Musgrave.] You have a great matter
before you, and it deserves great consideration; and
yet it is endeavoured to have little time for so great a
work. You are desired to read over the Particulars,
Head by Head, and grant it. Has the Estimate the several Rates (fn. 5) of Ships? Without that, we can make
no Computation of men. Every body is for having a
Fleet, but is it sufficient that the Admiralty do give
you in 30,000 men, for you to give Money upon it?
—I find intelligence better at the latter end of the
Year than the middle: I would know how the French
Ships came out of Dunkirk
(fn. 6) ? In the Estimate of 4l. 5s.
a head [per Month] that will require great time how to
be made out. When that is given in, I suppose the Ships
will be in the condition they were in, except in Powder
and Shot; and of that, I suppose, not much spent;
and that must make that out still of the 4l. 5s. per
head. It was told us, "The Vote of 30 Ships would
give great Credit;" but is the Naval Force to be kept
all the Year round? We were told they were to be
laid up, and now we must pay them as if abroad—
And it ought not to be said, "That, if we do not give
speedily, we obstruct the King's Business."
Sir John Lowther.] I do not remember that I said
those things I am charged with, of "obstructing the
King's Business, &c." I am far from imposing. I desire to have your Justice in this.
Sir Christopher Musgrave.] Lowther said, "If we
delay, and if the Supply be not immediately considered, the Barriers of Flanders may be lost." But if Consideration will produce such fatal effects, then you may
vote it immediately.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] I think it is for the King's
Service, and not delay, to examine things. All the
Equipage for Ireland, Men, and what belongs to the
Army, may be done for 450,000l. At first sight, it
seems to me 3l. a man will do. We were not out last
Year till the 20th of June, and if not sooner out next
Year, we are miserable.—In April, we were told they
were all ready—I hope we may advise, whether they
are too many, or too few. I know not any thing of
"Barriers;" but pray let us be strong at Sea; but not
hand over head to do things.
Col. Austen.] As for the French Ships going out of
Dunkirk, a man that has not heard of it, lives very
privately. Upon enquiry, you will find they came out
on the Dutch
(fn. 7) side, and not on ours.
Sir Charles Sedley.] If one Member sits in the House
in his Buff-Coat, and another in his Shirt, one will
be sweltered, whilst the other's teeth chatter in his
[A Committee was appointed to inspect the Estimate of the
Navy for the Year 1692, and to report their Opinion.]
Tuesday, November 10.
[Admiral Russel presented to the House his Instructions, a
List of his Fleet, several Letters and Orders, and an Account
of the said Fleet's Proceedings: All which were read.]
Sir John Thompson.] Hamilton, who betrayed you in
(fn. 8) , I hear, is at liberty; and Shales
(fn. 9) , whom you
charged, is now gagged with an Office, and cannot
speak. What need you go farther for instances, you
have so many before you? We see all our Miscarriages; we know where they are; but the greatest of
all is multiplying of Offices, sliced out into fifteen or
sixteen, when usually the Admiralty, and Treasury,
were in three or four Noblemen: 'Tis fit the wisest
and bravest should be employed; but I see great art
to manage a Miscarriage, when one man has so
many Offices hanging at his girdle, to dispose of himself. The Impeachment of the Duke of Buckingham,
by Sir John Elliot, was, "That, by Art and Practice,
he had got into his whole Government a Party in
the Army, and another in the Council; and so controuled every thing." Once, first or last, England will
set itself loose. I have seen something lately, and you
have more reason now to examine the State of the Nation, and [order] the Admiralty to bring in their Papers.
[The Commissioners of the Admiralty were ordered to lay
before the House Admiral Russel's Orders, and a List of the Ships
lost or damaged since the year 1688: Which were delivered in
on the 14th.
November 11, 12, 13, 14, (fn. 10) Omitted.
Monday, November 16.
The House being acquainted, That Mr Bridges, a Member of
the House, could give an account of an Information given him
by a Captain of their Majesties Fleet, "That Sir Ralph Delaval
(Vice-Admiral of the Red) had lately taken a French Boat going for Ireland, with Papers of dangerous consequence to the
Government, Mr Bridges was ordered to name the Person who
gave him such Information; whereupon he named the Earl of
(fn. 11) , a Member of the House of Peers. And the House being acquainted, That Lord Danby could give Information of the
said Papers, the Question for appointing a Committee to repair to him, &c. passed in the Negative, 186 to 66; and a
Conference was desired with the Lords, on an Information made
to this House of matters relating to the Safety of the Kingdom.
Sir Ralph Delaval was ordered to attend the next day, and
to bring all the Papers with him; but the Serjeant, who had
enquired after him, acquainted the House, "That he was not
not yet come to Town." (Journal of the Day.)
November 17, Omitted.]
Wednesday, November 18.
An ingrossed Bill for regulating of Tryals, in Cases of
Treason, was read the third time.
Sir Charles Sedley.] Good Kings, good Lawyers, and
good Judges, are perishable commodities. If the
Duke of Somerset, at his Tryal, had had Counsel, he
had not omitted demanding the Benefit of Clergy. An
impotent, lame, or aged Man, by Law, had his Cham
pion. Goodenough was one that Cornish hated; and
it was not probable he would commit a secret to him.
Cornish had Evidence for him, but not to be believed,
because not upon Oath; but I find Sheriffs and Juries
are not provided for in the Bill.
Mr Finch.] If any thing in this Bill be for weakening the Government, I am against it; but if not, I
am for it. What is there in this, that makes it easier
to commit Treason, or less tryable, than before? All
that is desired, is a just and lawful Defence at a Man's
Tryal. But will you say, the Government is weakened, because a Man has an easier way of Defence?—
What are the Parts of the Bill that are new? A Copy
of the Indictment, and Witnesses for the Prisoner upon
Oath, and Counsel, that's new, and no overt Act to
be given in Evidence, but what is laid in the Indictment—Now, in all this, where is the mischief to the
Government? Shall it be said, that a Man may commit Treason safely, with a Copy of his Indictment, and
Witnesses sworn to tell Truth? There must be Proofs
of the overt Act, and one is sufficient, and he prepares accordingly—As, a Consultation to destroy the
King in such a Place, and a Man proves himself in
another Place, and must recollect himself where he
was, and have Witnesses to prove it: This has been
so practised—This provides (that the Prisoner may be
enabled to make his just Defence) that he shall know
all the Facts charged against him. Suppose but one
overt Act, that must be laid; and it does not discover the King's Evidence; where is then the Objection, that two overt Acts be laid? This is far from
giving Protection for Treason; but gives opportunity
to the Prisoner to make a fair Defence. If a Man be
Witness to the Treason, he is so still, though Witness
to the Confession. I would have no man start that
Objection, "That less than two Witnesses is sufficient."—But there was a time when one Witness was
allowed, by no less a man than Judge Popham, in Sir
Walter Raleigh's case. You take not away his Confession: The words of the Bill are, "Unless he confesses in open Court, &c." All you do provide, is,
that there shall be two Witnesses; but if he confess in
open Court, and the Court record the same, that alters the Question—Standing mute is a Confession of
the Fact, though the Prisoner forfeits not his Lands,
nor attaints his Blood. But to throw this Bill out,
Gentlemen must say, there is not one good thing in
it. There is nothing made new in the Bill, that makes
an impunity for Treason. That the Copy of the Indictment is to be delivered to the Prisoner, in ten days,
if he requires it; it is good in Middlesex, if he requires
it, but not in Country Assizes, which cannot stay
so long. If a man be to be tried for Treason, and the
Safety of the Government be concerned, there may
be a special Commission of Oyer and Terminer; but it
is said, "That is to bring a farther Charge upon the
Government;" but is there any comparison, that a
Man must lose his Life for a few days stay? But a Commission of Oyer and Terminer solves all Objections of
the Safety of the Government. The limitation of the
time, for three years, cannot enervate the Government; 'tis hardly possible to imagine, but that, in three
years, the Crime may be detected and prosecuted, or
the person repent and be pardoned. Where then is
the Safety of the Government concerned? 'Tis impossible he should not be detected in that time, or the
thing repented of, and no ill effect of it. This may
take away the venom that some persons may fall under
after twenty years, and rake up a Charge against a
Mr Attorney Treby.] Whatsoever is useful to the
Subject, and does not bring Insecurity to the Government, I am for. The Lives of Men are precious, but
the Lives of the King and Queen are as precious, in
which all our Lives are bound up; and it deserves the
highest consideration. This Bill was ushered in by
reason of the hardship in the late times, in Tryals for
Treason; but I see little in the Bill to obviate those
Miscarriages. The fault was not in the Law, but in
the Men. When Judges determine the Law, in one
case, one way, and in another case, another way, the
Judges convict themselves. In Fitzharris's Case, they
were of Opinion, "That he ought to be tried by Freeholders." In Col. Sidney's Case, all the Judges of England resolved, "That the Law was not so." If so,
the greatest preservation of the People is to preserve
us out of the hands of such Judges, which I hope the
Bill of Rights does sufficiently provide for. The best
way is to preserve their present Majesties, who, I hope,
will never permit such Men to come into Places of Judicature. In the Preamble of the Bill, it is, "That
the Prosecution of Treason may be justly tried;" it
seems to me improper. In Treason, the Blood of the
Heir is not corrupted; but he cannot derive from that
Ancestor--This Bill extends to Clipping and Coining,
and all the lesser parts of Treason. The Copy of the
Indictment can be of no other use than to inform the
Prisoner of the matter. 'Tis to enable him himself,
but not to help the person by the slip of a Word, or
a Letter, to evade Tryal. As for being allowed Counsel, in every Treason, it would make Tryals long; and
all Mens Cases are alike, when dressed up by Art of
Counsel. To the Objection of Evidence, two Witnesses, or Confession of the Party, &c. perhaps he may
have confessed the Treason before a hundred people.
If this be the Evidence, you take from the Crown; he
may brag of the Treason before a thousand People,
and go unpunished. Here in London, when the Term
comes at Essoign Day, the Sessions cease, and the Prisoner cannot be tried, unless by a new Commission;
and Counsel must attend the Tryal of the meanest
Clipper or Coiner. All criminal Justice is best done
flagrante crimine. If a Man clip or coin, what will his
Repentance signify, in three years, when all the Money
is spoiled? This Bill does so much weaken the hands
of the Government, that it ought not to pass. If you
resolve that the Bill shall be rejected, no part of it can
be brought in again this Session. I would preserve
any part of the Bill that is useful, but not pass it as
[The Bill passed.
1,575,890l. was granted for the Charge of the Navy, (including the Ordnance) for the Year 1692.]
Thursday, November 19.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer reported the result of the
Conference with the Lords, upon the Letters taken at Sea by
Sir Ralph Delaval, viz. "That Lord Danby, having been examined by the Lords, said, "That there was a Letter," but that
Sir Ralph Delaval says, "He sent all the Letters:" That is
the difference betwixt them. Lord Danby says, in his Examination, "There was no such thing as Copies of Instructions, but two Letters only, viz. one from General Ginckell,
and the other from the Earl of Nottingham to Sir Ralph Delaval."
Sir Ralph Delaval says, "He did not apprehend the Letters
to be of any moment, nor any thing in them for a ground to
make a Report of them."
Sir Robert Rich.] Lord Danby, upon Oath, says,
"Here is a Letter;" and Delaval says, "Not." He tells
Danby, "They are Papers of Consequence;" and he
tells Lord Nottingham, "They are not of Moment,
and therefore he sent them not to Lord Nottingham."
Mr Montagu.] The Letter from Ginckell is an attested
Copy, which was sent. Delaval says, in his Letter to
Lord Nottingham, "He understands not French, and
therefore is no judge whether it be of Consequence;"
therefore I hope you will examine this matter farther.
The Papers, &c. were referred to a Committee.
[The Earl of Ranelagh, by his Majesty's Order, laid before
the House a distribution of the Land-Forces, mentioned in
the Estimate, viz. 10,916 men in England, 12,960 in Ireland,
2,038 in Scotland, and 960 in the West Indies. Total 26,874.
Remain to be transported beyond seas 38,050.]
In a Grand Committee. On the Supply.
Mr Foley.] Consider what our State is, besides LandTax, and Excise, &c. If you find yourself at a loss
for Money, and must anticipate, you must double your
Land-Tax, and at last pay half your Revenue. I see
not why we should raise so many Men, and maintain
them. You are told, "That it is to make an end of
the War at once."—But suppose the French beat us;
and what hopes have we, if the Fleet be in no better
hands?—I am of Opinion, that a lesser number of
Men may serve for a Diversion. I fear things are not
rightly represented to the King. Suppose we land,
and take a French Port, and then you engage for ever
after to keep footing in France. In the Rolls we find,
that, when Money was asked by Edward III, to maintain what he had conquered in France, the Parliament
answered, "They were concerned only to keep England, and not what was conquered in France."
Sir John Guise:] Foley said, "He could not consent
to the number of Men proposed;" but he tells you
not why. I suppose we are to defend ourselves by
Sea. You have two thirds of the Fleet, and the Dutch
one third. If the Mouths of their Rivers be taken
away, their strength is taken away; and how can they
supply you? If you did so distress the French last
year, much more now, as you can draw your Men out
of Ireland. Have you brought France to this pitch,
and will you leave it? When I voted a War against
France, I was in earnest, and I have not abated since
this War. I see not that any body wears less, spends
less, or does less, than before. 'Tis not only honourable, but safe, for you to continue your number of
Sir John Thompson.] I know not for others, what
they have done; but I have found decay in my little
Income; and we have every where Complaints. If
we consider what Merchants have lost, and Money carried abroad, and that foreign Merchants carry out your
freight, I think 'tis a sign we are poor. I would have
this so carried on, as to have something to give when
we come again. I may make a Conclusion, though
not able to make Premises, in the War. If we cannot
force France to a Battle, you will do as little next year,
as you have done in this. In the several Heads given
you in, there are 12,000 men for Ireland, and yet you
have been told, "That it would support itself," and
10,000 men for England, and we had not near so many
when the French invaded us. Really I am afraid of a
standing Army. We have the Skeleton, though not the
Body, of the Forces. I look upon this War with France
to be merely a Colour. Pray put the thing Head by
Sir Christopher Musgrave.] You have several Heads
before you, and proper, as has been moved. It is an irregular Motion, "To put it Head by Head." If you
vote, "That 65,000 men are to be the number," then you
bring Scotland and Ireland on your head. Pray therefore put the first general Question "for England."
Sir Thomas Clarges.] You have been told of the Confederacy, "That you might lay hold of this opportunity to keep them:" I was, and am, of opinion, that
our coming into the Alliance is a greater strength to
the Confederates, than any force by Land, and far more
able to distress France, and that the most natural way
is to continue the War, where he grows so great, by
Sea; if we would make ourselves masters of America, and
recover what we have lost there—As we are an Island, we
are to consider, that, if the French have all the seventeen
Provinces, and we are superior at Sea, we may still be safe,
and for what belongs to us. But in the aid required
of us, though Ireland is reduced, yet there is but an
abatement of 4000 men. To prosecute the War totis
viribus must be understood. When in Parliament, former
Taxes were the sparable part of our Estates, if we are
unsuccessful in this War, what will become of us? I desire that we may manage this War with as much frugality as we can. I am sure that 16,000 men did recover Ireland formerly.
Sir Robert Howard.] First we are told, "We are not
able." If so, then there is an end; but as to that, I
hope we are able. Next we are told of "an Army to
enslave us;" but no danger of that under a King that
has courage. In the former reign, there were great
preparations against France, and nothing done. I hope
to see an English Army act by itself, and the King at the
head of it—If your Navy be strong, and in conjunction
with the Dutch, you will provoke the French to come
out with their Fleet, and you may land where you please.
The King is clear in all points with you; there is no
mistrust in him; and therefore I would leave it to the
King's Judgment, for the number for beyond sea; and
you may, I hope, from hence send all the Provisions.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] That the King is a valiant and
wise Prince, all agree; but he acts by Advice; and so
it is sent to us; but if we do not come up to the desires
of such men, then we are told, "We are against the
King, and hinder his business." I hope we shall hear
no more of that; we are all here to advise what is to
be done; but this great sum demanded for those men
is half the current Cash of the Nation, and if we maintain an Army of 40,000 men abroad, I fear we shall
have none left for common defence another year. It
is given us by the King's Ministers under several Heads,
and pray go so upon them.
Mr Hampden.] I have heard reflections formerly, but
if a Gentleman speaks in commendation of his Prince,
'tis no reproach upon a man, who, in his Speech, says
nothing of it; but I do think a standing Army is dangerous—But when 'tis said, "The Matter of the War
with France is but a Colour (fn. 12) "—Do you think France
will use you well that you may put yourselves into his
hands? I know, that in my Country the middle fort are
willing to carry on the War; but if I hear or see nothing against this number of men, if you have hopes
that the Lion is not so fierce as he is painted, I hope
you will agree to the number.
Sir John Thompson.] As for the Descent upon France,
I have heard of orders for 16,000 Horse and Foot to
march through the heart of England—" A Colour" is the
appearance of an Argument, with really no force in it;
a figure: No man is to be offended at the commendation of the King, but when an Argument has not force
in itself to force its way, that calls me up.
Mr Attorney Treby.] This Discourse is of so great a
nature that all Gentlemen engage in it. It propounds
to dissect the Articles, and take them Head by Head. I
am against it. When you had the List of the Fleet,
you did it by the Lump, and I think there is the same
reason now. I take all to be one Army—38,000 beyond sea, and so the less need here—No part of
your freedom ought to be taken away. Freedom of
Debate here is as tender as the Apple of the Eye, and
as general all over England. You come here with
"local Wisdom," as Lord Bacon calls it. I speak a
positive truth, when I say, the King is a great Captain.
But to clear some Objections to the King's Speech—If
the Confederacy break, the Germans disband, and the
Dutch make Peace, and truckle under France, then you
cannot possibly be desended with a standing Army,
and standing Fleet too. The naval force, all the world
over, is in the French hands, and yours, and how far
may the Dutch, in conjunction with the French, (and
we alone,) undermine us? The War was your Advice for
Trade, and you resolve to go through with the War,
to secure your Trade, that it may be no longer in his
power to disturb England; and that is the end you
would be at. The Question is then, Whether you can
do this without such a force as this? I would answer
one Objection, viz. "Not to give such a Supply as to
conquer France." I know not how we shall conquer
Paris, but I would not have France conquer us. If we
cannot carry this on, we have nothing left but Prayers
and Tears; but I hope we shall not come to that. Can
we think that France will use us better than his Protestant
Subjects? Consider what we have promised the King:
I hope we shall make it good. We have not, for a long
time, had such a warlike Prince as this. All this points
to us what the King has said, "If this opportunity be
lost, we shall never have the same again." I would not
go through it by halves, but have such a force as the
King may conside in. By doing it at one stroke, I
hope we shall be secured from all this. 'Twas said by a
Gentleman, "That the French King knows what we do."
I believe it; I wish he did not know what we say. I
do not doubt of what force the King has proposed.
Sir Christ. Musgrave.] The proper Question is, Whether to proceed Head by Head? Then consider, when you
bave voted 65,000 men, you engage to make that
number good. If so, we must have the charge of all
Ireland, and all Scotland. If so, to what purpose will you
vote them, if you are not interested to maintain them?
You are told, "That if you vote them not, the Allies
will go off;" but last year they went in with their Quota.
'Twas never advised to keep our Quota, and go into
France, with a separate Army. Possibly we may agree
one Head, and not come up to the other. A general Question takes away all liberty of Debate. The Fleet to make
a Descent into France, is quite a different Head from the
Sir Thomas Clarges.] By the Motion of a general
Question, our liberty to advise is taken away. You are
told (by Capel) "That Queen Elizabeth was not limited;" there was not a number of men named, but
the Parliament gave two subsidies, and four fifteenths,
and left it to her Judgment, and when no extraordinary
use was made of it, it returned to the subject again—
They that give a Negative, are not against an Army, but
what numbers they shall be limited to: Proposing men
differs little from money—'Twill look like a Parliament of Paris; the King to propose, and they to verify
it—Nothing of Scotland and Ireland is proposed—Let us
not have sums and money, but Heads, proposed to us.
[Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That an
Army of 64,924 men is necessary for the service of the year
1692, in order to the securing the Peace of the Kingdom, and
the carrying on a vigorous War against France: Which, being
reported, was agreed to by the House.
[Nov. 20 and 21, Omitted.]
Monday, November 23.
Sir Ralph Delaval attended according to Order, and was called in.
The Speaker.] The House has been informed, that
some Papers of Consequence were taken at Sea; they
would know what those Papers were, and how they
were disposed of?
Sir Ralph Delaval.] The Papers that were found, which I
sent to Lord Nottingham, were sent to me in a Parchment-Case.
They seemed to import little more than the Treaty at Limerick
between the English and French Generals. The Parchment was
not sealed. I received them from Captain Gillam, when the weather was bad; he told me they were taken in the French PacketBoat. I was at Prayers with the Ship's Company, when I received those Papers. A day after I called all the Captains, and
acquainted Lord Danby with them, who came on board, and
showed him the Letters, he understanding French, which I did
not. Lord Nottingham's name was never in those Letters. When
I came to Spithead, I gave the Lords of the Admiralty some
hints of the Papers; had I thought them of Importance, I would
have sent them. I sent Captain Ward for the Papers in Parchment, and put his Seal on them. The Papers were loose in
the Parchment, without cover: I kept them loose in the Parchment as they came to me. I never sealed them till I sent them
to Lord Nottingham. I sent all the Papers I received from the
Captain to Lord Nottingham, all together in that Parchment sealed. There were two Seals upon upon the Parchment-Cover, my
own Seal with my Crest, and the Captain's.
The Compiler did not perfectly hear him.
Mr Charles Montagu.] Now you have heard Delaval's
story, there seem to me two contradictions to what
Danby has said. He says, "The Captain understood
French, and did interpret them." Delaval says, "He
desired Danby to interpret them." He says, "Danby read
three Letters from General Ginckell." This, I think, is
contradictory to Danby.
Sir Christopher Musgrave.] I would know whether
Delaval examined the Captain of the Packet-Boat, and
where he received those Letters taken upon him?
Sir John Lowther.] Delaval says, "He understood
not French:" I would know, whether Delaval marked
the Letters one by one, so as to know none were missing?
The Speaker.] Did you, Sir Ralph, examine the French
Captain about the Papers?
Sir Ralph Delaval.] I do not understand French, and so could
not examine the Captain When the Captain came on board,
there was Danby with me, and two Papers were laid upon the
Table, and Danby read them; and he asked the Captain, or
Master, of the Boat, "Whether he had any other Packet." He
said, "He had no others?" He said, "He came from Brest,
and was going to find out Monsieur De Chateau-renaut, whose station was W.S.W. and he apprehended us to be him." Captain
Martin looked over the Letters, and told me, "That the meaning was a Treaty betwixt the Governor of Limerick, and General
Ginckell, and that Transport-Ships should carry away the French,
without Interruption from the English." I know not whether
Captain Gillam opened them; they were loose; I did not ask him,
whether he received the Papers loose, though a proper Question.
I believe Danby read the greatest part of them. There was no
such Paper as a Copy of Instructions from Lord Nottingham. I
did not number the Papers, nor did observe that they were
numbered, when they went from my hands. I took the Papers
into my Closet, and nobody came into it, but my Servant, or
myself. Danby did read the Papers to the other Officers, but
not directly to me; he read the French, and then told us the
import in English; which was, the Treaty between the French General, and General Ginckell, of transportation of the men. I
neither heard, nor saw, any Letter of Lord Nottingham's; he told
me no such thing. The Captain said, "The French were at
Sea, twenty odd Sail of War, fifteen Leagues W. S. W. from
Ścilly, with Store-Ships." The Instructions I received, were to
sail S.W. sixteen Leagues, and to send to Kinsale, the first Wind,
for those Ships to join me in my station, and then to proceed to
England. I had no Instructions to follow the French Fleet,
and sight them. I received no Letter, nor Instructions, from
Lord Nottingham, since I went last to Sea. The Master of the
Vessel said, "He came from Ireland, and was not suffered to
stay there forty eight hours, but was commanded away again."
There was not one Paper in English. I had no Intelligence, the
Weather was so bad, but by this Packet-Boat. I had positive
Orders to lie S. W. at Sea, to expect the Merchants I had
Orders to send one Ship to Ireland, and no Orders to send any
more. The French Master told me, "He did believe our Squadron was Chateau-renaut's Squadron?" He withdrew.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] I observe, we are unfortunate in
Sea-Managers. If we meet the French Ships, we must not
sight them, and one Ship must serve to convoy the
Merchants, while the French are out at Sea with twenty
Ships. How can one Ship be proper to convoy a hundred Merchant-men? By this means, it is impossible to do
good in a Naval War. I should be glad, if the Commissioners of the Admiralty would explain this to us,
now we are going to give great sums of money, to
have it well managed. I am so weak as to imagine,
that all sailing Orders of this King are to pursue the
Enemy, as there is occasion.
(fn. 13) .] Such Orders seldom are thought
necessary, because general Instructions are given. Delaval
thought those Papers of so indifferent a nature, that
he sent the Originals to Lord Nottingham, and not the Copies.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] There is some contradiction in
those Orders. The first to Admiral Russel was a discreet and well-directed Order, to bring home the
Merchants; and the other from the Admiralty is to
come home again.
Col. Granville.] There is a positive contradiction from
the Admiralty and Russel's Orders. A Squadron ordered
for the Merchants, and they order one Ship! I know
not whether the Lords of the Admiralty take that for a
Squadron, or no.
Mr Howe.] For ought I can see, all is well, therefore I move that we may adjourn (fn. 14) .
[The Letter from Lord Nottingham, for sending up the Papers,
was referred to the Committee.]
November 24, Omitted.
Wednesday, November 25.
[In a Grand Committee. On the Supply.] Estimate of the Charge
of the Army.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] I find all Establishments, since
the Change, are a third part more than formerly. This
Estimate of 65,000 men is sufficient for 200,000 men.
This War, I am afraid, will not be done in a year;
therefore I would do it so as our Estates may bear.
Mr Hampden.] This is most proper, when you come
to particular parts of the Army. You may address the
King to apply as much as may be of the Civil List to
maintain the Army.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] I know not the consequence of
such an Address to the King in matter of money. I
propose that the Question may be, "That Officers
and Soldiers may be included in this List."
Sir John Lowther.] The General-Officers advised a
greater number than the King has proposed, which are
so many men, besides Officers.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] If 16,000 men in Ireland be
commanded by Protestants, they will make 35,000.
They are now warlike, and at the Battle of Aghrim
they were not above 18,000 men. A Gentleman that
knows well, a Commissioner of the Revenue in Ireland,
said, "That 6,000 men were sufficient to be sent into
Ireland." I would not have 36,000 men named, and
not above 20,000 paid. I hope we shall have effective
men, and no collusion nor deceit. Till the Militia
were armed, there was no considerable service done in
Sir John Lowther.] I hope the number of men
will not always be necessary, only for the present, since
the expence, I hope, will be but for one year. I hope
this exception, by a side-wind, will not cut off your
Sir John Thompson.] I wonder what Lowther means
by "A side-wind;" if there be any, it is the supernumerary Forces. We voted but 65,000 men; if the
Officers came to more, 'twas not in the Vote; and I
appeal to the House, if they did not mean Officers? It
could never be thought that you meant by your Vote
an Army of men without Officers.
Sir John Lowther.] If that Vote did include Officers,
you are in the right. For ought I know, this cuts off
several thousands of men;—and Officers not being included, your Vote stands.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] You have resolved upon 64,500
men. We went not Head by Head on the Estimate,
but lumped it, and I thought not fit to ravel into that.
Whatever was intended by any private person, who
brought the Paper of the Numbers, &c. 'twas the Resolution of the House such an Army; and I am a little
scandalized at this: I know not by what figure in Rhetoric, "Men" is without "Officers." You may raise
the Mob for an Army, at that rate. The reason why
I put in Officers now, is, because the House was deceived, for we find in the Accounts only for private
men. By your Vote you may determine this matter.
Sir Henry Goodrick.] When King Charles II declared
War against France, in 1677, there were 1000 men
in each Regiment, not including Officers. You have
Precedents for this Demand; if there be any Precedents
of Officers included, I am the most mistaken in the World.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] He says, "That in the year 1677,
Charles II's Officers were not included in the number;"
but then we had plain dealing, and the House went Head
by Head; there were a hundred in a Company, besides
Officers; but now you come to lump—Then we had
our Debate free: Now you come to vote what your
Army consisted of, and what meant by the word "Army."
You had 38 or 39,000 men paid in Ireland, and had not
20,000 at Aghrim Battle. My Question is a plain Question, "That the Numbers shall not be inclusive to Officers." If we shall have more men than Officers for them,
I hope they will be reduced too.
Earl of Ranelagh.] I stand up to inform you, that in
every Company of Foot there will be eleven Officers,
not included in the number of men set down. They
will come to 11,000, in all, not included.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] This Lord tells you of what
Numbers are given in; perhaps you will say, the same
Officers that now command fifty, may command a hundred.
When you include Officers, then you will provide Numbers and Men, and till you determine Numbers of
Money, you cannot determine Numbers of Officers.
Must it be taken for granted, that the House has no
Judgment in this matter? You did formerly resolve
Numbers in Regiments, and till then you cannot tell
Numbers of Officers. When you are come off from
this of Ireland, the rest will follow.
Sir John Lowther.] If you cut off 11,000 from your
Vote, for ought I know, the King may come with such
an unequal force, that he may be either beaten, or come
off with a dishonourable Peace.
Col. Titus.] I was much startled when I heard of an
abatement of 11,000 men. I never knew but three Officers in a Company. Drummers and Pipers may be Officers as well as others. If Officers be no part of an
Army, then some Gentlemen are in the right.
Sir John Lowther.] If 11,000 men will be deducted,
I am not for that Question. If Officers, Drummers, and
Serjeants, be deducted, I agree that three Officers may
Sir Robert Rich.] I shall always stick to the true Interest of the Nation. To have a division for 2,000,
I think not for the Interest of the King nor the Nation.
Sir Christopher Musgrave.] I believe it not the intention of any man to lessen your Vote of 64,000 men;
and I hope no intention to increase it. But to talk of
an Army and not Officers, I believe the notion never
entered into any man's head as tied to that Vote of
64,000 men; for 'tis not to lessen them.
[Resolved, That [it is the Opinion of this Committee, that the]
12,960 men for Ireland do consist of Officers and Soldiers [making
up that Number: Which was agreed to by the House.]
[November 26, Dr Jane, Dean of Gloucester, preached before
Friday, November 27.
On a Message from his Majesty, &c. (fn. 15)
Sir Edward Seymour.] I look upon it, that a Message
brought us thus by the King's Authority, destroys the
Freedom of Debate. I always thought you have already
given too much or too little, but since the number is included by the House, I would have them effectual. If
there be no Descent into France, a lesser number may
serve turn; if they do make a Descent, then it is too
little; therefore I would not make a reducement Officers.
Sir Christopher Musgrave.] You are well minded of
the consequence of being told, "That this is the
King's mind." I hope we shall hear no more of that.
I cannot imagine how, not comprizing Officers for England, and Ireland, can have any effect on the Descent into
France. I know not how we can reconcile the Vote. You
meant it for England, Scotland, and Ireland; and I
would know the reason why not for Scotland, as well as
Ireland. Now you will say you voted it for one, and
not for the rest. I hope it will not have that conseqnence.
Mr Hampden.] In my conscience I believe, that, when
that Vote passed first, Gentlemen did believe Officers not
included. If I hear People talk, I lay no weight upon
that, but if I hear a Soldier, I must. I have known leave
given to speak against a Vote. I think any Gentleman
may alter his Opinion.
Sir John Thompson.] I declare I am against the Question, and for the reason made use of for it, viz. "The
King's advice, and if not taken, you will frustrate the
whole design." I believe never was Parliament more disposed to comply with a King—But, I fear, the poverty of the
Nation cannot come up to the greatness and firmness of
our King's Spirit; we are not able to come up to it.
'Tis said, "This will come to a small Sum;" but a
hair will break a Horse's back when he has his full load—
These excluded by your Question are 7,000 men, and 'tis
an easy matter to take that out of the whole number.
What have we to do with Scotland ? Let it defend itself.
What need is there of so many for Ireland? It can de
fend itself. Pray put the Question whilst it is day-light,
that we may see one anothers faces.
[November 28, Omitted (fn. 16) .]
Monday, November 30.
On the Lords Amendments to the Bill for abrogating the Oath
of Supremacy in Ireland, and appointing other Oaths (fn. 17) .
Mr Hampden.] This Act does not extend to Persons
who have submitted to the King's Government, of any
profession or calling. Any man that is a Barrister, if he
takes the Oath of Fidelity, without the other Oaths—
such as are actually Barristers (fn. 18) —I cannot see how this can
be any security to the Government, who are made Statesmen as well as Barristers. Many would rather take
the Oath of Supremacy, than Allegiance. What will
you do then? The Oath of Allegiance they will not take,
because of their Conscience and Religion. If we say,
"No power can absolve us from the Oath," they will say,
"We are not resolved till our spiritual Fathers say so,
which I keep to myself." How will all the practising
Lawyers come upon you in heaps! And think you not,
upon forfeitures of Estates, 'tis no little matter to have
all the practising Lawyers for them? Why should not
the Lawyers of your own Religion be encouraged? 'Tis
said, "We ought to have great obligations to public
stipulations." If the public faith be regularly given, unless there may be something morally evil, you ought to
press it. But we talk of what we know not; pray
let me see these stipulations, and let the Lords tell you
what grounds they go upon. I think it had been regular for the Lords to have delivered this at a Confe
rence, and I hope you will deliver your Reasons not to
agree with the Lords at a Conference.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] There is a great chain of mistakes
in Hampden's discourse. This Bill is to procure a Parliament in Ireland, and he tells you of "the Oath of
Allegiance," which was never in force in Ireland. The
Barristers are not obliged to take the Oath of Allegiance in Ireland.
The Speaker interposed] No man in Ireland is exempted from taking the Oath of Allegiance in Ireland, but
by a Letter from the King.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] I know not what Letters may do,
but those who are Barristers in Ireland, cannot be so in
England.—This Act is for a Protestant Parliament in
Ireland; and, I am afraid, if you allow not these Barristers,
we shall lose the Bill. Those Lawyers penned those
Articles of Limerick
(fn. 19) ; there was not a Protestant that
could do it. But here it is (I care not for looking into
these Articles) but these persons being only to practise—
I have a chance to find these persons out in the Court
of Claims, and I believe no Protestant in Ireland will
give them a Fee. I would agree, not to destroy the
Bill, which is so much for the Protestant Interest.
Mr Boscawen.] We that have Estates in Ireland are apprehensive, that that Clause will spoil all the Bill. Juries will be most Irish, and you cannot believe, but that
Irish Lawyers will be retained. Would you have these People live again to give a third Rebellion in Ireland?
The Speaker.] The Lawyers in Ireland have been,
and will be, admitted to practise, by the King's Letter.
Sir William Leman, Sollicitor-General of Ireland.] This
Bill is designed for a Protestant Parliament in Ireland;
all the Popish Lords are outlawed, as their Fathers were.
In the late King James's time they were not able to find
Juries, which was the reason so many Lives were saved.
By corrupt ways the Barristers got Letters to practice
formerly, but I hope that will not be the practice for
the future, and that you will not admit Barristers
without taking the Oaths: And now that the Articles
are mentioned, I say that the Clause from the Lords
does exceed that Article, for they are expressly excluded by the Articles. I think the Clerks of the
Crown, and Six Clerks, are Officers; not only Barristers, but four hundred Attorneys will be, by that
Mr Howe.] This Clause is to enable all those who
will take the Oaths of Allegiance, to practise in Ireland,
and to be capable of Offices. I know not what the Articles of Limerick are, but I would not break public
Faith, nor confirm those Articles by Parliament.
Would you bring in Persecution for Religion there,
after you have given Liberty here to your own Subjects? If they will be faithful to the Government, I
care not what Religion they are of; but I am not for
taking from these Gentlemen the opportunity of getting
their Bread. If you will punish with Fire, and Faggot,
and Sword, because they are not of your Opinion, I
am against it.
Mr Sollicitor Somers.] I am much for the Bill, and
much against violating any Articles whatsoever. If
there be an Article hard, it is by their contrivance
and draught. If they thought not fit to carry the
Article so far, I would not do it. 'Tis fit for your
Judgment to see how far this Amendment extends,
and I believe the Lords would not be so unreasonable,
but they will quit the Amendment, if it outgoes the
Articles. To say "This extends only to the present
men!" This is the critical time, and not futurity. It
is true, practising Lawyers were admitted without taking the Oath, but they brought Certificates that they
were public Practisers here; and a Certificate that
they had taken all their Degrees here requisite. I am
consident, that, when this comes to be re-considered by
the Lords, they will come up to your Reasons.
[A Committee was ordered to prepare Reasons to be offered
at a Conference for disagreeing; which were reported and agreed
to the next day. See them in the Journal.]
[December 1 and 2, Omitted.]