Wednesday, February 6.
The Farmers of the Hearth-money attending without, according to an Order of the House, and being called in, the Speaker
told them of a Complaint against them, of abuses in the collecting
that duty; and they were ordered to leave their Patent with the
Serjeant, and attend the House again on Friday next.
The Speaker desired the House to appoint a day to consider
of the Adjournment of the House, complained of as before, and
if he be not otherwise ordered by the House, he shall do the
same thing again upon the next occasion, &c.
Mr Mallet.] You are very valiant, Mr Speaker, to
invite the House to a consideration of your irregular Adjournment; which puts me in mind of a story of Cardinal
Mazarine. In a disgrace he had at Court, a price was
set upon his Head, to any man that would bring him
in. He comes in of himself, and challenges the Sum.
He was a prudent person, and we have had the effects
of it to our cost.
Sir Edward Dering, being called to the Chair of the
Grand Committee, excused it thus.] I desire to be excused
from this Service, by reason of my unskilfulness in so
great a matter, which requires a person of greater authority than I am of. Besides, I have an indisposition at
present upon me, which renders me incapable of that
service, and I humbly desire to be excused.
In a Grand Committee. Sir Edward Dering in the Chair.
Mr Sacheverell.] I am far now from desiring to see
the Leagues we are entered into. I take it for granted,
from the honourable persons, that they were made before
the Alliances were settled. But since we have not seen
the Alliances, and it is not thought fit that we should see
them, we cannot take adequate measures to the proportions of Aid required from us. But to show that I have
no design, and am clear in that point, which I have always professed, which is my service to his Majesty, I
would have such a Supply granted as may put the
King in a condition, in case, he go into a War, and
then I believe there is no danger of showing us these
things we have desired, which were not to be seen when
there were uncertainties of Supply. Therefore I move
that you would name a sum, in the Committee, to put
the King into such a state.
Mr Garroway.] I never fear that the King will not
let us know measures adequate for so great a work, as
we are upon; and I embrace Sacheverell's Motion, to
go by that way to agree a sum in the Committee.
Mr Secretary Williamson.] 'Tis necessary, before a
man can knowingly name a sum, as is moved, to make
the scale you will measure by of the force you will employ. Till that be known, no man can think of, much
more name, a sum. Gentlemen say, "they would give
to encourage the King to go into a War," and then
they are in expectation of a discovery of those Alliances,
and would know what the War is. Whatever is not
known, this is; that they are Alliances according to your
desires, as much as if you saw every word of the Treaty.
Plainly the obligation of it is an offensive and defensive
Treaty, and you must go into it with your whole strength.
The Treaty, as to this point, shows no more, if you
saw every word of it. As to the naval force, the King
is to send to the West Indies, if they be attacked, Holland
not having the same proportion of concern there
as we. There is nothing asserted in the Treaty as to
that; perhaps we may bear a fourth part with Holland.
But in these Seas, and the Mediterranean, they come in
equally with us, and for freeing the Northern Navigation we come equally in with them. In the Soundings,
and in the mouth of the Western Ocean, forty sail are
to be ready, and are to wait for Commissions to move
as they shall be appointed. The Governor of Britany,
the Duke of Chaulnes has a hundred Privateers ready,
and these are the stations where the naval force is to
be employed. The concert with Holland stands thus.
And as for proportioning the Supply for this matter, you
may do it just now for six months hence farther. If you
had every Letter or Paper I have, I can inform you no
Mr Secretary Coventry.] There is a country called
Ireland. If that be seized upon by the French, and
they send a detachment thither, it will furnish them men.
Therefore consider what your force must be to guard
Ireland. So that you must consider this charge for ships,
as well as the Mediterranean and West Indies.
Sir Thomas Lee.] England has once paid 1,800,000 l.
for a fleet, when no fleet was set out. Therefore I
move for a proportion for the fleet requisite; but not
for it, till they are actually at sea; left, by the temptation of so much money, we have again no fleet at all.
But if you will consider such a sum for the whole, that
the King may actually enter into War, I am for it.
But if we are to give now, as if it were a War already,
and yet no War, I am not for giving money towards it.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] The honourable persons at the
Bar adhered to 40,000 men, and ninety sail of ships,
for this War, as if the War was already declared. This
charge was maintained at nothing near so great a rate,
when both France and Holland were against us. We
had not then ninety capital ships, besides the ordinary
charge. We are therefore to consider that now we have
one powerful Ally, which we had not not then. If we
have but eighty sail joined in the whole, we shall not
hear a word from St Maloes, or Brest. The Dutch had
not forty sail, fire ships and all, when they alarmed all
France; and it took away that year from the King of
France all the tax of the marine towns; which were
three taxes, Salt, Land-tax, and the Imposts; and yet
Holland possessed themselves of no places. But had
Holland been able to have maintained that fleet upon
the French coast for two or three years, France had been
ruined by it. Twenty eight thousand five hundred pounds
a month was the charge, when we had War with Holland
and France, and we know what that comes to in a
year. If there be a War, here are only two regiments
raised, the Marine, and one out of Holland, and some
regiments we have filled up. If it were a War, we
have 8000 men coming out of France. It was well
moved to consider what to provide for the present, and
when we have actual War. We may meet again in
winter, and pay off the ships.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] What will you allot for the
Mediterranean Sea, Ireland, and the Indies? If these be
not guarded, they will be lost. The Gentleman considers not what that cost Holland, which he did upon
France; and will not the loss of the Straits trade and
Ireland be more loss than 'twill be a charge to defend,
as has been proposed? Do not spare the people in
a tax to damage the people greater in a loss. I would
have it answered, where shipping has been offered to be
placed where there needs no shipping for guards?
Mr Mallet.] If the Ministers will be clear with us, and
their Master give them Commission to be so; and if the
War be to suppress the power of France, Popery, and
Idolatry, I would give such a sum as was never named
in this House before. But that being not named, I
advise moderate things for the present. I hope great
good may come by the marriage of the Prince of Orange,
and the King has been at a charge for it; but, for the
present, I would have a moderate sum. I look upon
the King of France as a Tyrant, and the Protector of Rome;
and I would know what banners we are to fight under;
and till then I would give but a very moderate sum.
Sir Tho. Meres.] Since 'tis not thought fit that we
should see the Alliances entered into, as I showed a readiness last night to wave the Question for seeing them,
I now wave the Question for seeing them, though I could
offer new reasons why we should see them—The words
added to the Question last were not in the least intended to be inductive to see the Alliances; but the honourable persons must pardon me, if I walk not so fast
in the dark as in the light, when I believe it will be
either no War or a short War, and then the less money
will serve, if for the preservation of what remains of
the Spanish Netherlands only. But if I saw Alliances to
repell France from what he has already got of the Netherlands, then I would go a greater way to support the
Alliances. These sums mentioned are very fair sums, to
carry the thing on. They who are to pay the money,
and not to receive it, are for giving lesser sums. I expect never to see a penny of what we shall give again;
and I would not hazard the naming of sums. But a
Gentleman has hinted them. But I must go to this now;
the War is declared for the preservation of the Spanish
Netherlands, and to lessen the power of France. And I
would give money "for that War;" and there is your
definition. The words are "towards a War," not "for
a War." There is your War for the Spanish Netherlands. But if I could add two or three words for a sum
of money, I fear I shall displease both sides; and I have
so much wit as not to do that; and therefore I will sit
down a while longer.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] When I speak of forty ships for
us, and forty for Holland, my meaning is, besides our
ordinary Guards at Sea; and will not the Customs supply
eighty ships? Holland and we, thus joined, will shut
up the ports of France, so that they can do hurt with
their privateers no where else. 'Tis not the number of
ships France has in her ports that can hurt us; they
must be manned; and what trade have the French, but
to the West Indies? Our bulky Coal-trade makes th
Seamen. A hundred thousand pounds in Silks is in the
bulk of one hundred ton of Salt; and that is fetched
from them; they carry it not. I value not their ships;
without men to manage them, they are insignificant.
We have our own guards, which are fifty ships; forty
ships a piece; still supposing a War. But I am afraid
that no War will be, nor is likely to be. But I will take
what the honourable persons have said, "that there will
be a War," and give something, but not fully till War
Mr Secretary Coventry.] If the King of France has
sixty sail of ships in the Mediterranean, and as much
more by his conduct, surely we shall not be guilty of so
ill conduct, as to let ours lie idle. He had twenty
eight Galleys in Marseilles thirty years ago, and now I
believe they are doubled. In Brest they are now providing
a hundred Coopers—And so he gave an account of the
constant charge we must necessarily be at in the Mediterranean, as before.
Mr Garroway.] 'Tis a great hardship put upon us,
that still we know not one Article of the Treaty. (I mean
not the secret Articles) And yet we must be put upon
supporting them, at so great a rate, as has been mentioned. And so he read the last Vote p. 95. How long
will it be before we shall be doing that Vote? Before your
ships will be at Sea, and your army ready? While the
French go on still conquering, and there is an end of
your Vote. But before the Spanish Netherlands be quite
over-run by France, I hope we may have Peace. It
may be nearer Peace than we think of; and it would
be wisdom for us to make as good a bargain for our selves,
as we can. But if we miss this opportunity, it will be too
late for us to make preparation. The King is but reprieved. If we must set out ninety sail of capital ships,
what will you do for seamen, for trade? The last Dutch
War cost the nation 200,000 l. for want of seamen, in
hiring freight from foreigners. Lubeck and Hamburgh
drove all the carrying trade. Consider what great miscarriages the Dutch have had by sea; and yet with twenty sail
of their own, and a few Spaniards, they are now able
to look the French in the face in the Mediterranean. The
French are not so formidable as they make themselves
in their insolent way of privateering. Do but secure
the Soundings, and you keep the French within their
Ports; and I believe that twenty five Dutch ships joined
with ours may do the whole business. Therefore I move
"That a sum of money may be given his Majesty for
supporting the War for the preservation of the Spanish
Netherlands, and lessening the growth, &c. of France."
Mr Secretary Williamson.] For any man to name a
sum to support the Alliances, before we know the whole
scheme of the measures we are to take, will be to little
purpose. Make a scale of the force, what that must
be, and then you may come to particulars. In case
we are not at sea, the French will certainly be at sea.
(The rest the Compiler could not hear for noise.)
Mr Sacheverell.] I proposed this way first, and therefore I will give reasons for it. I did not imagine that any
thing would have been offered more than what would
maintain the fleet betwixt this and Michaelmas next,
that we may see whether the War be in good earnest,
or not. When money is once got, we may not have a
Parliament ever after; as in that precedent of Henry VII.
which I mentioned. Peace was then made betwixt the
French and him; though in great haste for War, as we
are now. One Article of that Peace was, "That it should
be confirmed by our three estates." (I speak out of record
still) Then they made their private Articles, "That a
Parliament should not be called for three years;" and
four years after the Peace was made, a Parliament was
called, and the money they had formerly given was called
"the money for the French War." If it be only for
that purpose, let the Ministers speak. I say it to have
mutual assurance of one another, that they are in good
earnest as I am now. No man can say ninety sail of ships
is requisite for this War, betwixt this and Michaelmas, neither can they be ready. They tell you of a winter and
summer guard. They must mean next year. This
year is almost gone for preparation. All I desire is
hope for security, that these gentlemen are in good
earnest, that we shall have a War.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] No man can tell what force
of arms can do, but I assure you, I know nothing towards a Peace. The Duke of Monmouth's regiments
are sent for out of France, and the King of France will
not send them, till you declare War. If you make War
for Flanders, &c. the King of France will for Ireland,
and the ill condition and fears they are in there will
appear in a Letter I have received from the Duke of
Ormond, and your Island may be taken from you
without this fleet of ships which the King has mentioned.
As soon as the War is done; your money is done, and 'twill
be appropriated, &c. and I can say no more.
Mr Sacheverell.] The Gentleman has told you, "as
soon as the War is done, the money is done, and what
you give will be appropriated to the use of the War."
In Edward IVth's and Henry VIIth's time, one sum of
money was appropriated, and another was not; and they
came both to the same end. The money raised was to be
put in the next Castle, Town, or Monastery, to be kept
safe. "And the Commissioners shall see that the overplus be applied as the King, Lords, and Commons shall
appoint." I show you this, not to make any remord
in this business, but when Ministers of State have a
mind to break through an Act of Parliament, they will
do it, as they have done in these precedents, in seven
Mr Secretary Coventry.] If in Edward IVth's and
Henry VIIth's time the money was left to be appropriated to the War, the Parliament, in those times, understood not appropriation so well as we did the last
year, when we gave money for building ships, and appropriated it. It is in your power to make the appropriation as sure as you please.
Mr Secretary Williamson.] I will speak to that point,
of what sum is reasonable for this War. Be satisfied, first,
of the greatness and necessity of the force, and then
the time you intend to employ that force. This will
take away all the jealousy of putting off Parliaments.
Wherever that flies in my face, all must stop till that
be removed. 'Tis unreasonable to think that the intervals
of Parliament can continue longer than a reasonable
time of holding Parliaments. The Confederates take
their measures but for a year, and their Confederacy
ceases at some time of the year; and 'tis not probable they should enlarge their time no longer than a year
New Counsels are to be taken at the beginning of
winter, and, in this case, 'tis very reasonable not to go
beyond that season of the year in our measures of preparations; and some time will be taken up in consideration of that Supply. Then I say, that 'tis reasonable
that some farther provision be made to maintain your
forces for the time you are considering, besides what you
grant for the summer's action, and we cannot go lower
for that Calculation than Christmas. Therefore, in order
to this, if you think that force by sea and land, which
has been proposed, necessary, you must make this Calculation for them. Mr Pepys will give you an account
in what condition the Navy stands, and how to make
Col. Birch.] It was said of King James, "That he
sent into the Palatinate too many for Ambassadors, and
too few for an Army." If this War be intended in good
earnest, we must have another manner of force than now
we talk of; 150,000 l. over and above the naval standing charge per mensem. If it be a War, I would have no
time lost. A rational provision, if it be required, as
Williamson states it, is a Debate of another nature. I
have heard to day of "the danger of Ireland," if we enter
into this War. But I hope 'tis not in so great danger as
represented. If we need physic I would not stay till
to-morrow; I would think of it to day. If the best
men of France must make War at so great a charge, and
be compelled to do it, I hope we shall shortly bring
them to a better understanding of themselves. As for
our charge already, 'tis not greater than the ordinary
charge. I am one of those that have been too bold formerly, and I shall be so bold still as to tell you that for
our naval force, "ninety sail of ships in summer, and
thirty six in winter" was supposed—Such a force (duly
paid) and in good places, would do our work, when
we stood upon our own legs. Suppose the charge at
4 l. a head, and 10,000 men was the estimate. The
Customs were then rated at 400,000 l. towards it, and
the Excise 150,000 l. and this surplussage to maintain this charge. The Customs, in their ordinary receipt,
maintain fifty capital ships. What do you want then?
Forty more. Suppose they be all capital ships, for
the whole season, they will cost so much, and I can
tell the whole charge if I would. But whether they
will man out ninety sail this summer, let them tell you,
and "40,000 foot"—I would not fully the business in
the Debate, but I must say it looks not like a War—But how if France should do by us as we did by the
Smyrna fleet? Though we came up to Parliament now
but a trot, we should come a gallop then. Till I
hear great reason, I see not why we should be at any
farther charge. To say nothing of the army, I would
have the trained bands (good bodies of men they are)
encamped, and with exercise made serviceable. The
doubt whether War, or no War, may be at an end
before this sum be spent. It may be a Peace, and then
there is an end of the War, and the defence of the
Kingdom; and then 'tis time for a Debate of this nature, and money may be provided for paying them off
in September after. I know what paying the Navy and
the Army is, and I cannot think we want stores of powder, because so much is sent away out of the Tower, and
gone into France; and for victuals you are told there
is sufficient. But I am utterly against banking in all
this; for when the Navy comes in, in September, I
would have them paid off to a ship; and if these
Gentlemen can make it out that we shall have a War,
'twill lead you into another manner of Debate and
Measure, than you have been at now; and let it be
made out that this preparation is not fit to defend us.
If I were to advise for the King of France, I would
give as great a sum as is demanded, to weary out the
people, so that they can do no more, when we shall really be in earnest.
Mr Powle.] I know little of the affairs of the Navy,
but, upon a prospect, most men may be judges of it. I
desire to give towards it, and plentifully, but not so
as to sink and fail under the burden of it. I would
not give such a sum of money as to give temptation to
great men to take away Parliaments. I would give
such a sum, as when expended, they may have farther
recourse to Parliaments for Supply. We are in the
dark, and, for ought I can find, we must be so. No,
man can tell what necessity there is for a War, if the
end of the War be not told you, and I hear of Peace,
that we are near it. We are yet groping in the dark;
and I would not yet get farther into the dark, for fear of
running our heads against a post—To meet as we do
now, and no time to think of it! If we should give
money, and have a Peace, you will not need a Parliament in haste. I remember 1,200,000 l. was given for
the Dutch War, and a Peace was made thereupon, and
in four years time, by reason of Prorogations, not one
public Act passed; and this was but the result of that
money which the War had left; and there will be
an end of all Parliaments by giving at the rate some
Gentlemen propose. 'Tis said, "that you may appropriate this money to the use you intend it, with penalties upon the officers, &c. that shall issue it out
to any other use." But 'tis to no purpose to make
laws to hang thieves, if the Judges go no Circuits. No
private man can judge the misdemeanors of Ministers
of State; [they are] only to be arraigned in Parliament. And as to this Treaty we hear of, though the
King of Spain is weak, yet can he do nothing towards
the War? He has in the Mediterranean twenty ships, and
this will take off some of your charge. You are told
of "Letters out of Ireland of the danger of that place,
and the great want of money there." Whether it be
not diverted to other uses, I will not say. But the revenue comes to much more than the established charge
of the Government there, and yet they say the
Army is in arrear, and so are the civil Offices. And
must England bear all the burden of Ireland? I would
have the sum for the present entering into this War
reduced to a moderate sum, and the Parliament may
come every month to supply farther, as occasion shall
require, and, if the money be so given, I will give it
as chearfully as any man here.
Sir Thomas Meres.] I desire your excuse, if I make
use of a French word, Campagne, to be better understood
in an English Parliament. We are forced to send our
children into France to learn that language, to be better
understood here. Therefore I would know the charge
of this Campagne.
Mr Garroway.] Let it be sooner or later, and with
all the assiduity the Gentlemen of the Admiralty can,
before our ships can be in any condition to be at sea,
Flanders will be gone. I am for giving this money to
be employed, as his Majesty shall think fit, for the
present occasion of the War; but such a sum as the Parliament may come again, and supply, as occasion requires. I cannot but observe that Articles are not safe
to be showed us; but the knowledge of the charge for
these ships, it seems, is. I will show you how to save
Flanders, and I would save English flesh too, which
must be by encouraging the Allies to come quickly into
the field. If Peace would purchase that, Ships cannot
preserve Flanders. You can never do it, but by encouraging the Confederates. Dare you venture to present the King with a sum for this purpose, to encourage
the Germans to come briskly into the field? If they are
afraid of War, let them say so; but I would be very
unwilling to undergo that great vast charge for the
Navy, that I hear spoken of. I would never see accounts, but give such a sum as they cannot cheat us
of, and that they must spend, and no more; and the
King wholly to dispose of it.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] All that is asked of you is
in relation to a War. Secure it, that whilst you bring
the German down, the French do not attempt your
Islands, and Plantations, and Jamaica. That whilst
you secure Flanders, France fall not upon you there,
pray secure that.
Mr Pepys.] Ships of the following rates will all be
ready by the latter end of May, viz. Four of the first
rate. Five of the second rate. Sixteen of the third.
Forty seven of the fourth. Twelve of the fifth. Six
of the sixth. [In all ninety.] And the total of the charge
for so many ships per mensem will be 103,251 l.
Sir Thomas Lee.] I will put you in mind of what was
before—When we paid the King's debts, and increased
this revenue, War was undertaken by it alone, without
Allies, and there was no need of money, we were told,
and so no need of calling the Parliament to advise
about it. But this affair is not done, as if we were in
actual War, as we have been told—And perhaps a
Peace may be entered into. I conceive there is no more
danger in telling us the Treaty, than in the number of
ships we are to support it with. When they are employed, then 'tis time to take care for paying them; till
then 'tis time only to talk of money to raise them and
fit them out to sea.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] This way of giving the King
money, to maintain the War, is like a man that bids
his servant go a journey, and gives him five pounds to
bear his charges, and bids him spend what he will, but
gives him no more money, &c.
Sir Thomas Littleton.] As to the danger of our Islands
and Plantations, the same may be said for Holland,
their Islands and Plantations. In this War the French
matters upon them (fn. 1) . But when the French are in Peace,
we may fear them. Then is his time when he is at
leisure with his ships and men. Therefore in this un
dertaking, I would apply to the saving of Flanders,
the most immediate thing in our Vote, and insist on that.
Mr Secretary Williamson.] I hear it said, "a sum of
money to be given to induce the Germans to come
down, &c. and so proportioned." I am not for money
farther than there is an inevitable necessity for it. Though
we are not in the Act of War, yet, whether you will or
no, it is War in effect. Upon your promise to stand
by it, there is the honour and reputation of the House to
stand by the King as much as if actual Hostility. There is
jealousy in some that it will not be a War, and there is no
way to cure that jealousy. But if the money be as the King
requires it, 'tis impossible but that there should be War
(suspected only as a man that wishes a thing as you do)
It must be speedily and plentiful, that you supply your
obligation to the King, and peremptorily War cannot
be without that; and then 'twill be entered into immediately. I will carry it so far as an engagement upon
the King to come into the War. What is proposed will
not enable the King to do it. There must be provisions at least for a year; as has been proposed. No
other way than going into the War upon credit—The
King must have trust, and I hope we shall remove all
doubts of distrust; and if there be no better issue,
they that are in the Alliances will go out of them,
if they have not the whole scheme of what you will do,
and if only provision be made for the War betwixt
this and May. The King would scorn to show his Parliament, that he has employed the money you give him,
otherwise than as you intended it.
Col. Birch.] As to the naval charge, I will say
nothing to that, but only to the safety of the nation
in general. Says Pepys, "do you think all the ships
will come home at once?" That is an argument to me
then, that the less money, for the present, will pay them
off at a time, and they may be sent for home when you
will. If we could guard the sea with fifty ships in
summer, and thirty five in winter, when the Customs
yielded not above 400,000 l. much more may the
Customs bear it now, being almost double. For ninety
sail of ships then so far is done at 4 l. per head.
I hear there is a book now publickly sold abroad,
that calls the French King "not a very good Christian."
He is a brisk man, but not so brisk as he is said to be,
if he suffers what is said in that book. A book that
of the Baron Isola's writing, was forbidden to be sold,
at the latter end of a Gazette. If any man can say,
that this I have said of the ships is not to the matter, let
him tell me what is.
Mr Pepys.] If ships were so well paid off in the time
Birch speaks of, how came ships to be four months in
arrear, when the King came in? If Birch talks of four
pounds a head, so will I too. We set not ships out now
to ordinary errands. We set them out to War, I believe, and hope. To them must be appendages, of
ships of advice, tenders for wounded men, and other
things attendant, as necessary as guns themselves. What
I say is not for money. I handle none of it. But what
I say is, that I will not betray you by my silence. I
would not come here, to have Brook-house Commissioners
of Accounts to make enquiry, and to make attendance
here, to answer their objections, &c. and, by all their
enquiry, there was no fraud found in the accounts of the
Navy to pay for their Wine and Biscuits, for the Commissioners will justify what I say to you.
Col. Birch.] You may and have had occasion to
blame my understanding, but never my truth. If it be
so, as Pepys says, of the ships, &c. I know he was not then
in employment, nor in a considerable time after. What
was, was four years before his time, of the four pounds
a head; but he cannot give an instance of one ship that
stayed for pay, when come in, one fortnight. (My desire was not to throw up dust, but I can learn it here.)
I intend not to store ships with 700 men, when the
Dutch have but 400 in a ship, as if we were cowards.
When a shot comes through and through, it must hit
some men, when so crowded, and discourage the rest:
And I will prove, that, in those times, there was an
establishment of no more men, and it was then convenient. The provision I make for the ships is intended
till Michaelmas, and when they come in, to discharge
them. I paid off the Army, and the Navy, when they
were disbanded at the King's coming in, and no man
can say, but that he was paid off to a day. I could
wish little sums had been so since; and when I shall
come to the land forces, as I have done at sea, I will
make this as plain as that.
Sir Robert Howard.] Cæsar never judged his own
condition, but by the opinion his enemies had of him.
Of the King of France we may judge accordingly. Will
you, by small preparations, make the King of France the
judge whether there shall be a War, or no? Examine
the King's revenue, and see his weakness. Preparations of War must be equivalent to that War. I am
for the Parliament's meeting in September, to supply as
occasion shall require. But the Question is now, what
sum the King shall have for the present, that, when 'tis
given, it may not be a Peace. If what has been said
be not performed, 'tis a visible cheat.
Mr Swynfin.] Upon the uncertainty we are under, of
Peace or War, we cannot give the Country an account
of what we do. Giving the money "for his Majesty's
occasions" is a hypothetical Vote. I would have such a
moderate sum as shall be thought fit to support his Alliances. But if we give money with an "If," those Counsels are more fatal than no ships at all.
Resolved, That ninety ships are necessary for the support of
his Majesty's present Alliances, &c. Which was agreed to by the
House, and the Committee was ordered to sit for consideration
of Supply for these ships.
Thursday, February 7.
In a Grand Committee. On the Supply.
Mr Pepys.] Gives an account (as before) that the total
monthly charge of the before mentioned ships will be
Sir Thomas Lee.] I desire that the House may be
moved to refer the charge given in of the ships, by
Pepys, to a Committee to examine, that we may not
take them upon the bare word of one man, and be
still in the dark. If it be Peace, there will need the less
money; and, if it be War, more; and that particular
Committee may give you an account of what is necessary.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] I would have it considered
what part of the charge the Nation is to bear, with the
Dutch; and then, if the King please to call us in May,
or June, when it is Bellum flagrans, then we may give more.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] If the thing is necessary to
be, you must as necessarily consider the way it should
be, But if Peace should be concluded, that is the
jealousy—I have it from the King, who certainly should
know, and he says nothing is more false, nor is there
any consultation towards it.
Sir Thomas Meres.] A great deal of this report I
have heard, but possibly it may be like Falstaff's [men
in] Canvass, and Buckram.
Mr Pepys.] I never expected that you should take
my single word, for any thing I have said, and I will
subject it to any Committee.
Mr Garroway.] In such a War as this, if we enter
into it to suppress the greatness of France, 'tis reasonable that we should consider to reduce it to the least expence we can, it being (as we have been told) like to
last long, and that we must ask the great man, the French
King, how long that shall be. I would therefore have
a Committee apart to consider of it.
The Master of the Ordnance, Sir Thomas Chichley, gave in
his estimate of the Ordnance.
The Committee was ordered to consider of the charge of the
several rates of the ships by the month.
Friday, February 8.
Particulars were given in of the Charge of foot raising, &c.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] I would willingly see the quota
of Horse and Foot, that we are to find, in this League.
In an unhappy time, Cromwell minded more his own than
the nation's advantage. Six thousand foot were then
sent over, and they took eleven towns, fought a battle at Dunkirk, and the French struck not a stroke in
it—Once auxiliaries were thought better—Why may not
we send money into Germany? Upon the Bishop of
Munster's preparing 8000 men, France quitted several
towns in Holland. We need not be at so vast an expence—In Ireland they have a Parliament of their own;
they may raise money to secure their own Coasts and
Continent, and Scotland may defend itself; and I move
that we may do so too.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] You are told of so many
towns taken in Flanders, &c. I do affirm that the King
of England had more men in the Spanish Army in
Flanders, than Don John had. They had not above
6000 men, and the King of France had 40,000 foot
and 6000 horse. The Confederates have now 55,000
men in Flanders, and that will not do their business.
Do not then throw away 6000 men to no purpose, as
is proposed. We are told that 'tis an offensive War,
and we must come to it totis viribus; and will 6000
men defend England, Scotland, and Ireland? Suppose
the French land in Ireland, will 6000 men do your work,
when you have them in Flanders?
Mr Sacheverell.] The first proposition was for an Army
to subsist of ourselves, and to be provided by us, and
not to depend on foreign Countries, and some place for
them, as Ostend, &c.—'Tis evident that there is no
great haste to raise these men, but to be in England;
we are not told that the Spaniards have agreed to any
place for our men—The next is, whether he be not
brought low enough to give us all his trade in Flanders.
Till these Gentlemen show us other ways than they have
done yet, I cannot believe that a War is intended.
Mr Secretary Williamson.] The Gentleman has a jealousy "that this looks rather like an Army to stay in
England, than to go into Flanders, and it seems to him
to be employed here, as if in despair of relieving Flanders."
I only opened the thing, as a necessity of convenience of
having a town in the King's hand, but I dare not put
the Army's going thither on the condition of a town,
[Ostend] of which there was no choice. I never told
you that it was proposed in the King's Councils, as solely
necessary, but as a Key of trade, and how long the Key
will be in the Spanish hands to keep, I know not. 'Tis
the last thing I hope to see in the French hands. There
are but 400 of the King of Spain's men in it, a thin guard
for that place; but I hope it will be put into such hands as
will keep it. I hope the Committee will be so satisfied as
to go on chearfully in this matter. But if the French
have a mind to take Ostend, no man can show but they
may if they please. I say this still, that as to the force
the King is to raise, 'tis not necessary to put the relieving
Flanders on our having Ostend in our hands, though I
despair not of it; and in this matter I would loose as
little time as may be. Appoint therefore any Committee
to look on the mechanical part of the Paper delivered
you, to calculate it clearly some way before you.
Sir William Coventry.] I would do this great matter
of preparation, as we are like to hold it. The King of
France is not likely to be conquered in a year; therefore I would not take the note too high at first, left we
make ill harmony. I desire only to recount the great
honour the nation got at the Isle of Rhee, when we had
no Auxiliaries, but ourselves. In answer to Wheeler.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] I move that the number of
men may be referred to the Committee to be proportioned to that of the ships; to agree the number, and
to consider of the charge. [Which passed]
[In a Grand Committee.]
Sir Tho. Lee.] I would never go about to lessen the
number, when we come to the work—But 'tis not to a
vain end, when the prospect is nothing but money.
Says Coventry, "if you have towns, 15000 men, &c."
He said the other day "that the Duke of Villa Hermosa
rather refused the men, than would give any towns."
So that yet I know not whether the Horse and the
Dragoons are to go into Flanders, or stay at home
Or whether the Drums beat to fill the Guards inclusive
into this number. The Army already, before the new
raised men, is 12,000 men. I would know whether
all these men must presently go on ship-board, or as
occasion requires—Then there will remain about 5000
men. We are told of Jersey and Guernsey, Ireland, and
the Indies, &c. but I stand not upon how many go
abroad, nor how few stay at home. New men are more
troublesome than old, and quartering is a great burden
upon the people—And not too near the coast at home.
I hope that an advice frigate may give us timely notice, and the Militia may defend themselves, as the
Act has provided; and if we have ninety sail of ships,
we may prevent any thing of invasion. I would know
whether the men already raised are included in the number of 30,000. Else those may make the Army 40,000,
instead of 30,000.
Col. Stroude.] I will not question, whether there be
most good in Auxiliaries or not, but as for him that will
stay till his Enemies attack him, they must be expected
where you have no forces, as well as where you have.
Col. Birch.] Now the Debate is of land forces. That
of ships, you are told, is manned fully. Now for the number of land forces, unless that be cleared up, I can give
no Vote in it. 'Tis granted, that 10 or 15,000 shall
be for Flanders, and Ostend, for our Commerce, and 'tis
a very good thing to defend Ostend, for that purpose.
But I ask whether we shall defend Flanders without the
consent of the King of Spain? It does not yet appear to
us, whether any Treaty is yet made with Spain, and
whether, if we send any forces over, Spain will join with
us. Do but convince my understanding in this, and you
shall have my money and bones too. 'Tis a blind thing,
without knowing this. Shall we keep Flanders without
the Spaniards consent? I would then see what Spain does
towards this. I would know whether we must have our
forces as Auxiliaries, and what honour we may have with
that, and what by going by ourselves in a distinct body.
When the Committee shall see the end, and the way to
it, I am ready to take these rubs out of the way, and
I will go along with you.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] As to Birch's query of "saving Flanders without the King of Spain's consent," if
it be so, I am one of those who will not give my consent to save Flanders. Spain had 14,000 men out of
Holland, to assist Flanders, and no Towns or Garrisons
were put into the Hollanders hands. The King therefore has not a necessary dependence upon that, and that
was told you. For Spain is not able to pay those Dutch
forces he has already. Auxiliaries love to be epaules,
shouldered up with horse of their own. Reckon how
many men we have had formerly in Holland to assist
them against the Spaniards—Reckon the necessary defence
of Jersey, Guernsey, Holy Island, and Ireland, with the
Leeward Islands, and the Plantations, and we cannot
have less than the proportion required from you.
Mr Powle.] The number now demanded, upon the
account of an auxiliary Army, is a proportion that
may subsist of itself. I find it generally said that 10,
or 12,000 men are sufficient for that purpose, with some
addition of horse. But for the other body too, I am
not convinced of the necessity. It is said by some Gentlemen, "that a body must be ready, if a descent be
made upon France." The Dutch, in 1674, had seven
or eight thousand on board their fleet, and a descent
was made upon Belleisle, and what they got by it did
not pay the tenth part of their charges. The last War
we had with Holland, there was a descent intended into
Holland, with our forces at Yarmouth
(fn. 3) . They made a
descent indeed to Yarmouth, and there they disbanded.
Jersey and Guernsey are near France, and I yet remember they were not in danger the last War we had with
France, and no such preparations were made from hence,
to defend them, as are now spoken of. Most of the
Inhabitants are martial men, and are able to defend
their own Coasts—And if we send out so many ships,
as is spoken of, D'Estrees will be called suddenly out
of the Indies; and I think Jersey and Guernsey ought to
contribute towards the charge of their own defence.
Clearly, I must tell you, that the bigger sum we give,
the less I believe the War will go on.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] If all the French talliage
was spoiled on the maritime part of France, when
the Dutch fleet appeared upon their coast, why did not
the Dutch return thither again, when they did it with
so few ships, as Clarges told you? But all the hurt the
Dutch did France in truth, was only the taking of some
few fishermen, and cattle. Powle told you, "that the
men raised for an incursion into Holland never went
farther than Yarmouth." But the troops that went aboard
Prince Rupert never came to Yarmouth. When you have
provided a fleet to annoy France, and forces for the defence of Flanders, I hope you will not forget yourselves
for your own defence. What condition were Norfolk
and Suffolk in, when the Dutch were upon their coasts?
They would have been in a sad condition, if the Dutch
had landed. Their Militia would have signified little
for their defence.
Mr Secretary Williamson.] Exceptions are taken at the
computation of the forces. One says, "If he were satisfied in some points as in the Treaty, &c." To that it has
been said, "There is a negotiation about it." But says
another, "Must that depend upon the Spaniards consent?" Is it to be believed that a people will not be
saved when they may? But, plainly, they must be saved
whether they will or not. St Ghilian was lost, because
the Spaniards would not save it. The Prince of Orange
would have put in men; and the Prince put men into
Mons, whether they would or not; the Spaniards go so
awkwardly about their business. But to ask what is Holland's quota, is another thing, and I have told you what
it is, as to their ships, that is concerted with Holland.
Their quota is their totum. A Committee of the Council is
on foot with their Treaty for the concert of the whole.
Another Gentleman objected, "Sure the men must be on
board the fleet, and not on the land, and that such descents
have not been successful." I answer, those on ship board
are ready for any occasion that offers itself. And if what
is proposed be so big as to master the King of France,
I am persuaded he will not come out to you. 'Tis said
"That Jersey and Guernsey were in no danger the last
War, &c." I answer, there is a vast difference between
that War and this. There is a different way of engagement, you entering into the War of your own accord, and he falling on you with his utmost strength.
All this offered you is to prevent surprize upon your
Islands and Plantations. I see not, upon the utmost Debate,
any room for suspicion—Here is nothing before you but
what is necessary on land and sea, to prevent incursions.
Sir William Coventry.] "To support Spain against their
will," as, the Gentleman tells you, they must be, is a hard
task. But we find, Spain is little able to do any thing
himself. All I have to say to that is, God forgive them
that let the balance go down, on that side! The very
porters in the street see it so plain. I think 12,000
men for a descent into Flanders, well disposed, may go
a great way in preservation of it. A little may serve
for putting Garrisons into Towns, till we meet again.
But how often have we sent Auxiliaries abroad, and have
had no Towns given us? There were many and many
Supplies and Succours sent into Holland, seven years before we had any cautionary Towns — When Queen
Elizabeth bore the charges, the cautionary Towns were
for the Hollanders to pay it back in four years. What
Towns had Queen Elizabeth when she succoured
Henry IV in France? But when she sent to succour
the Hugonots, her having Havre de Grace taken from
her was her greatest disgrace. For both Catholics and
Hugonots joined to get it from her. Cromwell, when he
assisted the French against Flanders, had no Towns for his
Auxiliaries. He only had Dunkirk, when he took it. When
Portugal had Auxiliaries both French and English, they had
no Towns for them. I do readily concur for ten or
twelve thousand men, to be sent speedily into Flanders,
with all my soul. Horse has not been the general way
of Auxiliaries, unless some few sent into Portugal; but
if they have been, now they are less necessary, Flanders
being extraordinarily wasted, and scarce a spot of ground
that pays not contribution to the French King. I would
indeed covenant for a place for them to land, but as for
the Horse, will you keep them on the sea-coast in
England, or send provision to them when they are
landed? I see not how that can be. The men that were
sent against Holland, in that War, were borne as part
of the compliment of the ships. Some more were sent
with the fleet, but they were not of the fleet, and they
did little good. To put so many together is but to
throw the plague and pestilence amongst them. It has
been said, "That the Dutch did waste the King of
France's taxes so as he lost a year's revenue by it, on
the maritime part of France." I know not what France
lost, or what honour the Dutch got by it, but had they
so wasted the French, they would sure have returned
to get honour again. Courage is born with the English,
but conduct must be got by experience. 'Tis well
known that we have had God's blessing of Peace, and
those experienced officers of the former age are either
dead, or disabled by age to do the nation service. And
I doubt that by experience you will find, that any province in France you shall make a descent into, hath
more good officers than all we can send over; and when
all is done, by mistrust of conduct they will be ready
to cut one anothers throats; and we shall be troubled
with accusations of miscarriages here. So that till we
have officers of experience, I would not think of any
descents to be made into France. 'Tis taken for granted,
that we are to set out ninety sail of ships, and the French
now dare not show their faces out of their ports. Shall we
fear their landing then, and have such a fleet? Our
Militia may be of some service to us, sure. Let us
think upon that when he does come indeed. Else alarms,
and unnecessary charges, will bring us so low, that when
there is a real need, we shall not be able to help ourselves. I would willingly understand whether those
regiments in the King's pay already must not be
reckoned towards this number: I would understand that
first, and then I should give my hearty concurrence.
Resolved, (by the Committee) That 26 Regiments of Foot'
each of one thousand men, 4 Regiments of Horse, each of four
hundred and ninety men, and 2 of Dragoons, each of nine
hundred and sixty, [in all 29,880] are necessary for the support
of his Majesty's present Alliances, &c.
Before the House passed the Question,
Sir Tho. Lee.] Moved that the House may be told
how long this Alliance is to last; whether it is a perpetual Alliance; for if so, this looks more like a standing Army.
Mr Secretary Williamson.] The stipulation is defensive, and perpetual, according to occasion for the future,
but for the present, it is an immediate offence.
Mr Mallet.] To take away fears and jealousies, I
would have this Army "during an actual War with
The Speaker.] You vote not the numbers of men
barely, but only to compose your measures by.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] This Vote is passed upon the
same account your ships were. If there is no apprehension that those ships shall be always kept up, there is
no more fear for this Army.
Sir Thomas Meres.] Those 30,000 we have voted are
over and above the little Army we have already. I
would have it remembered that the Commons of England
have privilege to know what is necessary for Peace and
War. I wonder how these words should stick with
us, "during an actual War with France." When the
Bill comes to be penned, all those circumstances must be
Col. Birch.] I would know, whether, after one or
more additions are put, I may speak against the main
Question. I would be resolved of it, that I may not
be prevented speaking when the main Question is to be
Sir Thomas Meres.] As to the numbers of men we
are to send into Flanders, 'tis not likely to have Spaniards
at all, so that this money is lost. To 13,000 men I will
give my Vote to go into Flanders. I am sorry that the
terms with Spain, when they would have given us good
ones, were not accepted. But now let their terms be
what they will, we must take them, and better than let
them give their towns up to France. "Lessening the
power of the French King" is in your Question, yet
these men and ships are "to support Alliances"—And
that must be, else you have voted nothing; so that your
whole matter is very loose, as to this Vote—And you
are not sure that any thing shall be done against France—You will be told that Spain will do nothing, and so you
cannot come at a War with France; without the complyance
of Spain, you cannot come at France. My fear is, that
an Army is setting up for another purpose than against
the French King, and that it is for a standing Army.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] I have often been interrogated
about these Treaties, and I would have Meres interrogated,
where he had intelligence that the Spaniards would do
nothing towards this War?
Col. Birch.] I hear nothing said but Queries. If I ask
to be informed, I can hear nothing but out of the
Harlem Gazette, and Coffee-houses; and till I can see
better light, let us have more Queries. I suppose Meres
has no better intelligence than I, and where I had mine
I have told you. There was never the like Question
put in Parliament—You have had a paper of the forces
brought you in, of Horse and Foot, and it has been
asked how they are to be disposed of, and you are told
14,000 shall go into Flanders, and the rest are for the
fleet, and the outside garrisons. I will not be guilty of
putting any man's life in hazard, but to save my own—What should these forces do in Flanders, unless to be
starved and die in ditches? You have been told, "that
if Foot be sent thither they may live, but Horse cannot
live, unless they make their way farther into the country."
If these men were in Holland, they might be put into
garrisons, and they cannot be long there neither. I am
for securing Holland, and I believe it must come to that.
I have seen Dragoons in my time, and I would have
Gentlemen tell you the charge they put the country to,
and the mischief they do; they turn rogues and plunder
the next village they come at; they will make the Boors
in Flanders cut their throats. I had a regiment, in our
late unhappy War, of 1000 Dragoons, and when they
were to fight, one half of them was not to be found;
they were gone a roguing abroad. 'Tis parliamentary
to put the Question single, as to the number of men.
I have told you, formerly, what it is to put so many men,
on board the fleet, into one ship; they would be stifled
with sickness. I agree to it, that if we raise but 1000
men for the fleet, they may scour the Channel, from
one place to another—Eight score trained bands may be
in a body; some on the sea-side, but not near any great
market town, nor ale-houses, but encamped—The same
course the King of France has taken—If the King of
France does, as I have said for us, I would have the
trained bands be drawn together, and be made useful.
We were told, "they were not useful when the Dutch
landed about Landguard Fort." That was because they
had not been drawn together before. If they had had
more discipline and less ale, they might have done better.
You have now a month or two, to bring them into
order, and not any need of raising new men to
defend the Coast. I really intend the thing, and I am
against Dragoons in this army—And the foot we send over
as Auxiliaries. Something I would have, and something
I would not have, therefore pray divide the Question.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] I will aver as much as I
know of this matter in doubt. I have all the papers that
passed betwixt the Spanish Ambassador and the King, and
the Spaniards never demanded so much as within these
three weeks. If Birch intends, by what he has said, to
keep the trained bands always in discipline during the
War, it will be a great charge to the nation, if for a
month—The King of France has been five years in
doing it—If I had not heard it from Birch himself,
"That his Dragoons (under his command) were disorderly," I should not have believed it. Neither the
Emperor, nor Hollanders, nor any of the Confederates,
but have Dragoons in their army. Now whether you
will take Birch's judgment about the usefulness of Dragoons, who never was in a War abroad, only in England,
I leave it to you. Now having your ports, your fleet,
and the Leeward Islands to guard, and Flanders to preserve, I do not see how you can have less force than
The words "during an actual War against France" were
added to the Vote, and it was then agreed to by the House.
Sir Thomas Meres.] I will give a reason for what I
have said, voluntarily, and as free as Blackberries, though
not upon compulsion. I do aver I never spoke with
any Ambassadors, and I scarce know the face of any