Monday, January 4.
William Fuller attended at the Door, and being called in to
the Bar, spoke as follows:
There are two persons, who will not only discover what has
been done formerly to betray the Government, but what is doing at present. I desired six or seven Members advice and direction to bring them over in safety; but not having provision,
I desired, of those Gentlemen mentioned, that I might have Passes
for them; and I am assured, those two persons are ready, when
care is taken to bring them over speedily and safely. The matter I am sure of, and I doubt not, but all Gentlemen here are
as willing as I desire it. I received assurance from them by
word of mouth. The Messenger that I sent, is not to come
over again—I had a blank Passport for one Gentleman, and that
Gentleman got off without the Passport, and I have it by me.
Those now in the Plot against the King are very considerable;
and few of them but what are nettled, and they watch these
Persons, and a single Passport is not security for their Lives.
The Protection I would have for these Gentlemen, should not
be sent in the Packet-Boat; and if they deserve not their Pardon, they will not desire it—The Passport I have had, is for
a Person to go over to England. (He reads the Passport) I did
not send to Lord Sidney
(fn. 1) for a Pass, because I was assured the
Persons would not come over till this Honourable House would
protect them. I have exposed my life as much as any man for
the King's service, and I have flattered the French King in his
Closet. [He withdrew.]
Sir Francis Drake.] Here is a plain mistake. The last
Friday we were informed he had such a Pass (fn. 2) . I move,
that he may have the Protection of the House. One
Person [Crone] was hanged upon this man's evidence,
and the Ministers of State have let the rest alone. Fuller
has done service, and I hope he may have the countenance of this House in an Address to the King for his
Protection, and those to come over.
Sir Charles Sedley.] I would send for this fellow again,
to know what he would have to bring these men; whether a Yatcht or by Messengers.
Sir John Dorrel.] Fuller says "He had a Passport but
for one Person to go over to Flanders;" and 'tis said,
"He had a Protection as great as could be granted, and
a Passport for these two Persons."
Sir Francis Blake.] These two contradictions seem to
me very odd. I would understand it.
Mr Arnold.] On Friday the House was led into a
mistake by that Passport. Other Members affirmed,
"That he had a Passport;" as you, Mr Speaker; and I
would have them explain themselves.
Sir Christopher Musgrave.] I know not what Protection this House can give. The Protection these Gentlemen stand in need of, is no less than a Pardon. People will laugh at us without doors—We have no
Protection but for ourselves. If he will not be satisfied with the King's Protection, he will be satisfied with
[Resolved, That an humble Application be made to his Majesty,
That he will please to grant to Mr Fuller a blank Pass for two
Persons, for their safe coming from beyond sea, or any other
place, hither, to give their Evidence; and for their safe Protection, while they are here; and their safe return, if desired.
And he was called in again, and acquainted there with (fn. 3) .
[January 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9, Omitted.]
Monday, January 11.
On a Motion for farther Supply.
Sir Robert Cotton.] I move for a Subscription of the
Members, for a Fund to raise Money.
Sir Charles Sedley.] They that have good Estates may
spare out of their Pensions for their Offices 500l. per ann.
and those that have not, 500l. per ann. is enough for
Sir Edward Seymour.] I observed once, "That this
was a well-officered Parliament." If the methods of
their bounty be brought into Example, the next year
will be upon Land in general. I did hope that Gentleman, that brought us into this expence, would help
us out. Nothing can be of worse consequence than to
multiply Taxes. When the Usurer has the advantage of
the Taxes, and not the Public, Gentlemen may live
long enough to be mistaken. 'Tis your interest to make
this Tax as equal as you can. I shall make you a
proposition to raise this Money by a Poll-Bill. I see
nothing proposed, but what touches some particulars. If you had proceeded in a Parliamentary method, you should have considered your Abilities before you had engaged the King in a War. There
needs no argument better to consider the poverty of
the Nation, than so many private Bills, and the lowering of Interest. I propose a Poll-Bill, because of the
great inequality of the Tax, when it falls wholly
upon the landed man; a general quarterly Bill of
twelve pence a quarter, and all Gentlemen twelve shillings a quarter. I do say, twenty to one in England
paid not a farthing Tax. This will come in quarterly,
and there will be no need of borrowing Money. Since
we are come into a War, we must get out of it as
well as we can. By this you avoid Interest, and all
The House being wearied with Propositions, this took.
[January 12, Omitted.]
Wednesday, January 13.
Mr Charles Montagu reported the two free Conferences with the
Lords, concerning the Clause (fn. 4) added by the Lords to the Bill
for regulating Tryals, in cases of Treason, as follows.
"That the Members of this House, who were commanded
to manage the free Conference with the Lords, on the 5th of this
Instant, did attend their Lordships:
"That the Conference was begun by the Managers of this
House; who did acquaint the Lords, "That the Commons
had desired this free Conference, in order to a good correspondence with their Lordships.
"That the inclination which the Commons have to continue that good correspondence, which as yet has been happily maintained between the two Houses, was sufficiently expressed by their proceedings in the whole progress of the Bill.
"That this Bill was begun by the Commons for the equal
advantage of such Lords, or Commoners, who had the misfortune to be accused of Treason, or Misprision of Treason.
"That, when it was first returned from their Lordships, it
came down with very many Amendments; and the Commons
were so very willing to comply with the desires of their Lordships, and to give the Bill a speedy passage, that they agreed
to all those Amendments, except the two last; though some
of them were of a very nice nature, and related to things of
which the Commons have [ever] been most tender.
"That, at the first Conference, the Commons gave their
Lordships the Reasons that induced them to make those two
Amendments; which did so far satisfy their Lordships, that
they did agree to the first Amendment proposed by this House,
though they did insist on this other, for which they delivered
their Reasons at a second Conference.
"That the Reasons had been solemnly and deliberately considered by the Commons; but they had not found them sufficient to convince them; and they did still disagree with the
Lords in the Clause marked A; and did insist upon that disagreement.
"And your Managers told them, "It was very unfortunate,
that no Bill for the relief of the Subject, in these cases, had
been tendered for many years last past; but either this Clause,
or something of the like nature, had unhappily clogged it, and
been the occasion of losing it; and that, as this was never
thought reasonable to be admitted formerly, upon any account,
so neither can the Commons now consent to so great an alteration of our Constitution as this would introduce.
"That such an alteration is far beyond the intent and design which the Commons had in preparing this Bill. They
were desirous that all men should have a fair and equal way of
making their defence; they wished that the guiltless should, by
all necessary provisons, be protected, and be allowed all just
means of making their innocence manifest; but they did not
design to subvert the essence and constitution of the Courts;
they did not intend to disable the Crown, in one of its most
necessary Prerogatives, or to place a Judicature in other hands
than those to whom the Laws of England, and the Customs of
the Realm, have committed it.
"But the Clause, now in dispute, strikes at no less than this,
and, in consequence, at the alteration of the Government of
"That the Government of England is monarchical; and
the Monarch has the power of constituting Courts, and Officers,
for Administration of Justice. Though they are to proceed according to the known Rules and Limitations of Law, the
Judges are constituted by his Commission; the Sheriffs are of his
nomination and appointment, who are to return the Pannel of
Jurors; who are to pass on the Lives of the Commoners: And,
in like manner, it is the Prerogative of the Crown to constitute
a Lord High Steward, who, by his Serjeant at Arms, does summon a competent number of Peers to be Tryers of their Lordships.
"But this Clause would erect a Judicature independent of
"That the experience of past times has not contradicted
that Opinion of the Honour and Integrity of the Lords, which
the Commons have received.
"That their design, in passing this Bill, was, to prevent
those abuses in Tryals for Treason, in inferior Courts, for the
future; by means of which, during the violence of late
Reigns, they had observed divers had lost their Lives.
"That the things to which the Bill extends, are of such a
nature, that, except only in one instance, that is the time of the
delivery of the Copy of the Pannel, (for it was agreed, even in
Lord Russel's Case, that the subject had a right to the Copy of
the Pannel) the Lords have an equal benefit with the Commons.
"That the Commons did not observe, that the Clause sent
down by the Lords does relate to the like grounds of complaint.
No instance can be given of any Peer who suffered during the late
Reigns, from whence a just cause of objection might arise to the
present method of trying Peers.
"The only two Persons prosecuted came off, though pursued
with great violence; the one, because the Grand Jury could
not be prevailed on to find the Bill; the other was acquitted
[upon his Tryal] by the Justice of the Peers.
"By all the circumstances of that Tryal of Lord Delamere it
is manifest, that if there were any unfairness in that method of
Tryal, it then would have appeared. The violence of those
times was such, that the Commons were not protected by that
innocence which has since been declared in Parliament; yet
then Lord Delamere was acquitted, by the Justice and Honour of
his Peers; and it may seem strange to future ages, that the Commons should be contented that the method of Tryals should be
continued, which was not sufficient to protect their Innocence,
and their Lordships alter that which has proved a bulwark to
"That the Commons also think the Clause to be of a different
nature from the Bill; because the Bill does not make any alteration in the constituting of the Court, or in the nature of the
Tryal; but the Commons apprehend, that this is done by
"The Court is no longer constituted by the Precept of the
Lord High Steward, who receives his Commission from the
Crown; but the whole Order of Peers have a right to make up
the Court; and all the friends, the relations, and the accomplices of the Person are to be his Tryers.
"That there is another great alteration in the Constitution
of the Court, as the Clause is penned. This method, prescribed
by the Clause, is for the Tryal of every Peer; and every Peer,
who has a right to sit and vote in Parliament, is to be summoned,
and may appear and vote.
"Now, it is agreed, by the most learned Authors, that the
Lords Spiritual are Peers:
"This is certain; whoever would go about to defend the
contrary opinion, would find it difficult to answer the several
Records of Parliament, and other Authorities, where this point
"The well-known claim in Parliament of Archbishop Stafford, in the reign of Edward III:
"The famous Protestation II Richard II, when the Bishops
thought sit to absent themselves from Parliament, because of
matters of blood to be argued there; wherein their right of
Peerage is directly asserted: And this Protestation, being enrolled
at the desire of the King, and with the consent of the Lords
and Commons, seems to be of the nature of an Act of Parliament:
"And if the Law-Books may come in for authority in such
points, there are Cases where the pleas of Bishops, as Peers, have
been judicially allowed.
"So that this Clause does directly let in the Lords Spiritual
to try, and be tried, as other Peers, who are noble by descent.
Not that the Commons are dissatisfied with this, if this were the
only matter. The Lords Spiritual, in all probability, by their
learning and integrity, would greatly assist at the Tryal of Peers;
and the Commons are well enough disposed to let in those noble
Prelates to any Privileges, in point of Tryals, which shall be proposed by the House of Peers. But this is urged to make good
the Position laid down before; that, by this Clause, the Constitution of the Court is quite altered; it having been taken for
Law, that the Lords Spiritual are not to be tried as other Peers,
or to be present, or vote, at the Tryal of any other Peers, at
least out of Parliament: For, as to their right in Parliament,
how far they are restrained by their Canons agitare Judicium,
how far those Canons have been received in England, and what
the usage of Parliament has been, is not the present business.
"That, had this Bill come first down from the Lords, and
the Commons had added a Clause, That no Commoner should be
tried for Treason, but before all the twelve Judges, and by a Jury of twenty-four Persons, and to have taken away all challenges for consanguinity (which, if it be considered, is somewhat of the nature of the Lords Clause, though it does not go
so far;) if the Lords had thought fit to have used the same
reason for disagreeing to such a Clause as the Commons have
done in the present case, "That it was far different from the
design of the Bill;" the same Reasons which the Commons received from the Lords, at the last Conference, if they had been
delivered by the Commons, would not have been convincing to
"That the Commons observed, that the Lords, in this Clause,
or in their Reasons, have not stated any cause of objection to the
present method of their Tryals; and therefore the Commons
wonder that the Lords (as they express themselves in their Reasons) should conceive "that they were distinguished so as to be
more exposed in their Tryals than the meanest subject;" since
the Commons do not find but that they enjoy this great and high
Privilege (upon which so great a value has been justly put) as
fully as ever any of their noble Ancestors did.
"That it is by this Privilege that the body of the Peers has
been preserved so long. If any Lord, at any time, should be
disposed to expose himself in defence of the common liberties of
the people, the Commons are a security to him against being
oppressed by false accusations: Twelve of them must agree to
find a Bill, before he can be indicted; and that Bill cannot be
found, but upon the Oaths of two credible Witnesses.
"That the Commons look upon the method of Tryals,
which the Lords would alter, to have been as ancient as the
Constitution of the Government.
"That it appears, in the Year-Books, to have been practised
in the first year of Henry IV, and to have been well known at
"Indeed, it cannot be supposed to have been an innovation
then; the Lords, who had just before deposed Richard II, were
too great to suffer such an innovation, and Henry IV's title was
not sufficiently established to attempt it.
"The reason why no older instances of proceedings before a
Lord High Steward are to be found, is this; that this very
Henry IV, when Duke of Lancaster, was the last High Steward
who ever had any fixed interest in the Office; so that the Office being so long since ceased, all the Records are lost, and
the very nature and power of the Office, except in this instance
of trying of Peers, and determining Claims at Coronations, is
lost: But, since that time, the High Steward being only pro unica
vice, the proceedings are commonly transmitted into other
Courts, and so come to be found.
"The Commons observed, "That, if there be any objection to
that method of trying of Peers, it must be founded on a supposition of partiality, and unfairness, in constituting a High Steward, or in the High Steward himself, and the Peers summoned by
him; and the Commons are unwilling to enter into such kind
"That, as to the partial constituting of a High Steward, if
that may be supposed, it is an objection to the Constitution,
which entrusts the Crown with the Administration of Justice.
"That supposal may as well extend to the constituting of
the Judges, and the Sheriffs, and every other part of the Administration:
"And if, upon such a supposal or distrust, the remedy must
be, to take that part of the Administration out of the Crown,
(as is done in this case) the same reason must carry the thing
so far, that the nature of the Government will be altered.
"As to the partiality of the Lord High Steward, and the
Peers, the Commons are unwilling to suppose that it is possible
that twelve Peers should be ever found (for that number must
agree, or the Person accused is safe) who can so far forget
their honour, and the noble order they are of, as, for revenge
or interest, to sacrifice an innocent Person.
"But if the Lords will suppose, that such a number of Peers
may be capable of being engaged in so ill and so dishonourable
a thing, then the Commons think themselves excused, if they
suppose, that other passions and motives may also prevail upon
the Peers; such as pity in friends, partiality in relations, and
the consideration of their own safety in the case of accomplices:
Most men, especially Englishmen, enter unwillingly into matters
"That the most indifferent Peers will be most likely to
absent themselves, either from a consideration of dissatisfying
the Crown, on the one hand, or drawing on themselves the
mischief of a breach with the family of the person accused, on
the other; (for it is to be observed, that a restitution of the family follows generally in a short time) or at least the love of
security, and care of not engaging too far: For these Tryals,
(which for the most part happen in unquiet and troublesome
times) will keep indifferent men away:
"But the care for a friend will not fail to bring friends to
the Tryal; the concern to preserve their family from that
stain will bring relations; and if there be any accomplices,
they must be ready, for their own sakes, to acquit the accused.
"And probably their number must be considerable, in these
cases; for it is not to be imagined that a Lord can enter into
those base and detestable actions which may be performed by
single persons; such as poisoning or assassinating the Prince.
"That the Treasons, which it can be imagined that Lords
may be engaged in, may be such as arise from Factions in the
State; in which many must be engaged; and, if some accident
discover sufficient matter for a Charge against one of the Party,
the rest, who are concealed still, will have as good right to try
their Consederate as any indifferent Lord; and no doubt but
it is their interest to acquit him: And how far, at some times,
this alone may go towards turning the scale of Justice, may
deserve to be considered; especially in times (which may happen
hereafter, because they have happened heretofore) when there
may be several Titles set up to the Crown, and great Parties
"That this is a Law which is to have a perpetual contienuance; and that the same Loyalty, Wisdom, and Zeal,
which appears now in their Lordships, should be derived down
to all their posterity, is a thing rather to be wished than depended upon.
"That if, therefore, the Clause has a tendency towards letting
in an Impunity for Treason, the Commons look upon themselves as justified in disagreeing to it.
"For they think it obvious to every one, of what consequence it will be to the Constitution, if such a body as the
Peers, who have already such high Privileges of all sorts,
should have impunity for Treason added; and what that must
naturally end in.
"That the Commons agreed with the Lords, that a good
correspondence between the two Houses is of necessity for the
Safety, Honour, and Greatness of the Nation; and can never
think, that it is to be interrupted by their refusing any thing
which may endanger the Constitution; assuring them, the
Commons will never fail in improving the true interest of the
Lords; but they persuade themselves, that the Lords will be of
opinion, that, to introduce any thing which tends to an Impunity for Treason, is neither the true interest of the Crown,
the Lords, or the Commons.
"That the Managers for the Lords, who spoke at this Conference, were, the Duke of Bolton, the Marquess of Halifax,
the Earls of Pembroke, Mulgrave, Stamford, Nottingham, Rochester, and Monmouth.
"The substance of what was said by the Managers for the
"That the Lords were sorry to be of any opinion different
from the Commons, especially in a Clause of so great importance, which did concern not only their well-being, but their
very being: That they had not differed from us in any thing
propounded for our Security, and hoped we would have the
same consideration for theirs; that nothing was so proper for
a Parliament as to provide defences for innocence, in ill times.
Necessity, in good Prudence, puts us upon it. And though
there were good times, in respect of the present Government,
they may say, they are unquiet, and unsafe; and what but a
good Prince will ever pass such Laws as these are? This is
the most proper time to provide for the Subject; for a good
King would be not only willing to protect them while he lives,
but to provide for their security after his death.
"That this concerned not only themselves, and therefore
they would speak the more freely: It is too narrow a consideration for a Parliament to seek only our present ends: Our
Ancestors had farther thoughts: And they did not doubt but we
should have so too. This Clause is not for the Lords fake
alone; there can no good be done in times of trouble, and Invasion of Rights, but by agreement of both Houses: There
must be a concurrence of the greatest part of the Lords, and
the greatest part of the Commons, to maintain the Government
of England. There may come a Prince, when we are dead and
gone, that may endeavour to invade the Liberties of the People; and then the Commons would be glad to have the concurrence of the Lords; and desired we would consider, in such
a case, whether it would not be a great discouragement for the
Lords to act, unless they could be as secure, at least, as the
Commons: And if there may be such Princes, is it sitting that
any part of the Government, which is so necessary in their concurrence, should be under such terms for their lives, that they
dare not oppose them with vigour, nor act, because they lie
"That the Lords would do what was just, though this Clause
should not pass; but they would be loth that those Lords, that
are eminent for their public service, should be eminent for their
sufferings for it.
"That, in the cafe of Impeachments, which are the groans
of the People, and for the highest Crimes, and carry with them
a greater supposition of Guilt than any other Accusation, there
all the Lords must judge; but when there comes a private Prosecution, which may proceed from the influence of particular
men, then a Lord lies under the hardship of being tried by a
few Peers, chosen to try him, whilst all the People may sigh
and wish for him; but such a Clause would do him more
"That, suppose an ill Minister should apprehend an Impeachment in Parliament, what manner of way could that man
hope better to come off by, than by being tried before a Parliament sits, where his Judges may be chosen so partially, as he
shall come off; and it shall be said, No man can legally undergo
two Tryals for the same Offence?
"That this way of Tryal was not ancienter than Hen. VIII.
That it was brought in then to take off those that he did not
like; that, in his time, the Duke of Buckingham was taken off
in this manner by Cardinal Wolsey; that Anna Boleyn was condemned by her own father; and afterwards, a Party was chosen to condemn the Duke of Somerset, and the Duke of Northumberland: That the Case of the F. of Huntingdon, 1 Henry IV,
is no good Cafe, nor truly reported; for the Parliament-Rolls,
2 Henry IV, mention his being beheaded by the Rabble in
"That this does not alter the Constitution any more than
as, in some sense, every new Law may be said to alter the
Constitution; and the Commons say it is altered, because formerly it was by a set number, and now all must appear: And
that does not seem to alter the Constitution; for the High
Steward now may summon them all: The Lord High Steward
formerly summoned the Court; he summons it still; the nature
of the Court is not altered by the majus or minus, any more
than the King's-Bencb ceases to be the same Court, when there
are three or four Judges in it.
"Though this Clause did not (as was said) pursue the
ends of the Bill, yet either House has a Power of adding what
they think may make it better; and, though this is not of a
different nature, there have been instances of additions of
different natures; but this is so far from it, that it agrees
entirely with it, and is as suitable and necessary as any part
"That the Commons were not well satisfied, when the
Commissions of the Judges ran Durante bene placito; and could
it be thought reasonable that the Lords, who are the supreme Judicature, should hold their Lives Quamdiu so bengesserint?
"And though the King does now appoint the Sheriffs, it
was not always so; and, since the Crown has made them, the
Commons have this for their security, that they may challenge thirty-five of the Pannel, peremptorily, and all the rest
"But the Judges and Sheriffs are made before the Crime
committed; so that it is impossible for the Judges or Sheriffs to
have a prejudice against any man; but the Lord High Steward
is appointed after they know the Prisoner, and he shall be
tried according to the humour of the times they are in. There
may be Lords inclined one way and the other; but in this
case, there is a strong thing joined with this passion, which
is, their making their own fortunes by serving the present
"That, since the Tryal of Peers, in the time of Parliament,
must be by the whole House, where is the inconvenience,
that at all times they should be tried as in Parliament? It is a
little favour that the Lords ask in this Clause, considering the
Privilege of Parliament, for three years last past, has been
always subsisting, and is like to continue so during the War :
So that the Objection is taken away, as to the present Government; for they will have the advantage of a Parliamentary
Tryal; and possibly, in times to come, there may be an Inquisition for what is done now; and it will be well to have the
fairest way of proceeding in that matter.
"That, in the case of Lord Delamere, there were several
Lords then in Town, and there were a great many of those
Lords not chosen; and it is a great question, whether that noble Lord had come off as he did, if he had not received such
notice from the Grand Jury, and every thing had not been made
out so plain.
"That the Argument used by your Managers, "That
they could not allow any thing that tends to an Impunity," is
a very large assertion, and may be an Argument against the
Bill; because it may happen, that, by giving a copy of the
Indictment, and Witnesses being upon their Oaths, a guilty
man may escape, and then he has an Impunity. This is not
intended. All that can be done in these cases is, to put in
such reasonable caution, and so far, as a Bill can provide.
"That this Clause could not extend to the Bishops; for it
relates only to Tryals out of Parliament; and they are only Peers
in Parliament, where they take their Privilege to hear, and
then go out again, and do not vote in Blood: And by the word
"Peers," it must be understood of such Peers only as are Peers
in respect of their Blood.
"That the Lords were of opinion, that fewer Peers were
sufficient to condemn a Peer; but this makes no alteration in
the Argument; for there is not much more difficulty in getting
twelve than seven. Indeed there might be greater difference
where a Crown, or Government, was not concerned.
"That the excellency of a Jury is, that they are taken ex
vicineto; what is the reason of this? Why, in case of false
Witnesses, it is his neighbour that is to save the man. But
what security have the Lords, when Lords are picked out to
try them, who are not of their acquaintance, and the Lords
that know the whole course of their lives to be contrary to
what is sworn against them, shall not be chosen ?
"That it is implied in the Commission of the Lord High
Steward, that all the Peers should be summoned; for, by his
Commission, all the Peers of the Realm are commanded to attend upon him, and be obedient to him; so that the King
does not only give liberty, but seems to command it." (fn. 5)
Debate on the Report.
Mr Waller.] I know not, whether it be proper to
speak now, or no; but, I conceive, you may amend
or restrain any part of the Lords Clause. I am as
watchful as any man, that the Lords should have no
increase of Power—I think, if the word "Temporal"
were put, it would put an end to any thing of the
Bishops appearing at Tryals—If the House think fit,
I will offer something—Put it to "twenty-three," and
the majority will be twelve.
Mr Clarke.] I think you are not ready to conclude.
You have had a very faithful Report—This latter Conference I shall speak to—It was made part of that Conference: If the Commons agree to the Amendments,
pass the Bill; but it seems not Parliamentary for the
Lords to tell you what to do.
Sir William Whitlock.] I think, at the last Conference, the Lords did, with all the decency imaginable,
offer Amendments. The Lords think a Peer may be
convicted by the majority of twelve, and therefore they
desire it may not be in the power of a Lord Steward
to pick out twelve, to take away the Life of a Peer;
therefore he should not summon less than a competent
number. If twenty-three be summoned, twelve, the
majority, must convict him.
Sir John Guise.] I cannot speak of Lord Rochester's
argument, at the Conference, without indignation, supposing a change of Government. I am for no compliments in the case, but downright for our Liberties.
It is proposed, "That the Lords should have forty-five
Peers returned." Is it that the Lords are twice as
many as the Commons?—You must have half the
Country, if they take the whole body of the Peers. If
the Law must be mended for the Lords, why not as
much for the Commons? Pray let both go together.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] I attended at the Conference.
I desire no part of the People of England to be under
hardship, for Life, Liberty, and Property. I would
willingly have all the People of England subject to just
and equal Tryals; and to have no manner of exposition to be extra-judicial. One of the Robe said, "He
would not take from the King the hank he had upon
the Lords."—In the eighteen years Parliament, there
was a proposition of 300,000l. per ann. more to be
added to the Revenue. When it was told the King,
that the Question was lost, he wondered, "since he had
above two hundred Pensioners, and Officers, there, whom
he had a hank of." It seems to me a great hardship—
Now is the time to put the Lords in a condition with
the rest of the People of England—Shall we put the House
of Peers in a condition to give us no assistance?—
I remember the Declaration for Liberty of Conscience;
but it was for Liberty of Popery; and the King said,
"He would never depart from it." (fn. 6) The then Attorney-General said, "He must aver, that none of the
Judges ever saw it but in print."—The King sent an
Answer to our Address, "That he must advise with
his Peers about it." The Lords then made a brave
stand; and it was remarkable, the interest of the Lords
took into it—Then we had good Lords, and I hope
that place will ever be a nursery of such. I am very
sure we had never had the Habeas Corpus Act, but by
the assistance of the Lords. Nothing is so precious to
mankind as Life. You are told, "This Tryal of the
Peers is ancient."—I have spoken with men that are
versed in Records, and they can go no higher than
Edward IV.—But whether it be so, or no, 'tis a great
inequality of Justice, and ought to be mended by Act
of Parliament. The Records of the Tryals of Peers
are so embezzled, and made away, that we can have
no light; but, since we are come to a compromise,
since 'tis offered, that such a number be only sent for,
viz. twenty-three, and twelve to pass upon the Tryal,
I think this will do justice to them, and justice to ourselves—It ought to be an universal settlement to the
Nation. In cafe of Appeals, the Commons are Pares
regni—The whole Lords, as well as we, are part of
the People; and let us not secure ourselves, only a part
of the People.
Sir John Lowther.] I would willingly preserve Constitutions, not only of the Lords, but of the Commons.
I know not why those under the same circumstances,
should not expect the same advantages. If one part
be exorbitant over the rest, then the Constitution is in
danger. This Bill was never, in the best or worst of
Reigns, offered till now. "That an Inquisition may
come in upon us,"—(as a Lord touched at the Conference) I know none but the Popish Inquisition, which
lost the Low Countries—If the Lords have this Clause,
for fear of an Inquisition, they, if they have this Clause,
may have power to bring it in. The proper and natural Question is, adhering.
Sir Christopher Musgrave.] I hear it insisted on,
"That, by this Clause, the Bishops are brought in to
be Tryers of Peers;" because, "That every one that
has a right to sit in Parliament, is to be summoned."
To this the Lords answered, "That they looked upon
the Bishops to be Lords in Parliament, but not Peers
of Parliament." It is naturally moved, to put the
word "Temporal" before "Peers," which will solve
all that doubt. You may alter the Lords Proviso;
they cannot, because it was their own.
Mr Howe.] I wonder at that, above all expressions,
from Treby, "The King, Lords, and Commons, are
one body, and 'tis unreasonable there should be a hank
but upon one another."The next Successor will take
it very ill, that you should think him a worse Prince
than his Predecessor; as ill a compliment to him, as a
good one to this! Impunity of Crimes is no less justifiable in another Reign than this. If you turned out
a King, and secured yourselves, was it only to change
Persons? I fear, persons about this King are not much
better than those about the last. He makes his Court
worse to the King, to advise him to do a thing prejudicial to the People. I wonder we should so soon forget packed Juries—Lord Russel died for want of such
a Bill. For fear of losing little Places of 500l. or
1000l. per ann. to betray their Country!—After we
have ventured our Lives, and others have good Places
and Pensions, I am sorry we should leave Posterity exposed.
The Amendment of "Lords Temporal," and "not less
than thirty-six," passed; [and the Clause, so amended, was
agreed to by the House; of which the Lords were informed
the next day at a free Conference.]
The Compiler was absent the remainder of the Session
(fn. 7) .
[The House continued sitting till February 24, when his Majesty, after passing several Bills, made the following Speech to
"My Lords and Gentlemen,
"I return my hearty Thanks to you all for the great demonstrations you have given me of your affection in this Session,
and of your zeal for the support of the Government.
"And I must thank you, Gentlemen of the House of Commons,
in particular, for the great Supplies you have given for the
prosecution of the War: I assure you, I shall take care so to dispose of the Money you have given me for the public occasions,
as that the whole Nation may be entirely satisfied with the application of it.
"My Lords and Gentlemen,
"I think it proper to acquaint you with my intention of going beyond sea very speedily; which, I am afraid, has been already retarded more than is convenient for the present posture
of affairs: And, upon that account, I think it necessary to put
an end to this present meeting; the season of the year being so
far advanced, that it may prove of the last ill consequence to
continue it any longer."
The Lord Chief Baron afterwards declared, That it was
his Majesty's pleasure, that both Houses should adjourn themselves till April 12 (fn. 8) .
April 12, 1692, the Parliament met, and was prorogued, by
Commission, to May 24; from thence to June 14; from thence
to July 11; from thence to August 22; from thence to September 26; and from thence to