Thursday, November 21.
[The Lords sent down the Bill for disabling Papists to sit in either House of Parliament, &c. with some Amendments, and a
Proviso] exempting the Duke of York from taking the Oaths of
Allegiance and Supremacy, and the Declaration, &c.
Sir Robert Markham.] I am glad that the Lords have
sent us the Bill again, and am not sorry for the Proviso in
it, exempting the Duke, &c. If the Duke's relation to the
Crown be considered, there is a difference between him
and other Subjects, and I move you to pass the Proviso.
Sir John Ernly.] This with a salvâ conscientiâ to myself.
I make a difference betwixt this Peer (the Duke) and all
the rest. The Lords have made a great step in this Bill,
that they have exempted no other persons; and I cannot
but say there is great reason why this person should not be
comprehended in the common calamity with the rest. If
the Duke should be banished, or removed (he is out of
the King's Councils already) from the King's Person, in
the circumstances he is in, whether would it be better, to
be removed, or continue in the King's eye, to be observed?
Foreign aid, we see, has been treating for with the French
King by Coleman—If the Jesuitical party should despair, and fall upon any person, I know not the consequence—I fear not what can come to us, if the Duke be
amongst us. But I think in conscience, that if we banish
the Papists, and have the Duke under the King's eye, there
will be no danger—There is but this one person exempted
by the Lords, &c. and no great danger of him but what
is in your power to remedy.
Sir Winston Churchill.] Upon this disadvantage, when I
hear so loud a cry, "To the Question," I should not
speak, but to discharge my conscience. Though I think
not to prevail, when I heard so loud a cry, &c. against
what I am moving. The Lords are so near the Government, that they see more than we. They have not so
slight stakes as to oversee their game. I think that the
Monarchy of England is concerned in this. Consider the
consequence, if you reject this Proviso. How far will you
force so great a Prince to declare? You will give your
adversaries great advantage. Suppose the Duke takes
not the Oaths, &c. All that do not take them, &c. will
you make them Papists? There were some at your Bar
that were Quakers, who would not take them; will
you drive all that herd of swine into the sea of Rome at
once? If those that sit in Parliament must take them,
those out of Parliament must too—(And so be sat down
Sir Charles Wheeler.] I agree to the Proviso. If the
Duke be in a capacity to sit in the Lords House, then the
Debate you have adjourned, about removing the Duke
from the King's Presence and Councils, you cannot proceed in. If the Duke remains in the Lords House, he cannot singly and solely, on his own Vote, stop any Bill there,
and this very Bill has passed that you favoured so much.
This Bill will prevent the danger your Vote expressed of
the Plot, and the Duke is not included in your Vote, &c.—I would therefore pass the Proviso.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] You have the greatest matter
before you that ever was in this House. The danger of
disturbance of Religion, is one of the most pernicious
apprehensions imaginable. If this Prince should go into
another place, it must cost you a standing Army to
bring him home again. These things to be done upon the
Heir of the Crown were never before. It was in the power of Queen Mary to see Queen Elizabeth, and of Edward
VIth to see Queen Mary. Suppose the King on his deathbed; must he not see the Duke, to give any order about the
affairs of the Kingdom? It is a hardship not to be offered
to a condemned person. You are losing this Bill, by casting out the Lords Proviso. And these Popish Peers sit in
the Lord's House. You lose that thing too, and it cannot be
remedied, and the Lords will carry any other provision
you shall make against Popery—Deny it to be in the
King's power to see his brother, and he him, and the consequence will be fatal.
Sir Edmund Jennings.] You have not yet made any
steps towards the safety of the Kingdom. The head-ach
coming from an ill stomach, to cut off the hair and apply
oyls to the head will do no good, when the way is to
cleanse the stomach. It is not removing Popish Lords
cut of the House, nor banishing Priests and Jesuits, nor
removing the Duke from the King; but it must be removing Papists from the Nation. As long as such a body of men are here, you must never expect that the Pope,
with his Congregation de propagandâ fide, will let you be
at rest. Till you do that, you do nothing; when that is
done, you need not trouble yourselves with the succession.
I have no particular prejudice against any of them. I
have friendship with several. But I am more for the security of the Nation—You may endanger the Nation by this
difficult point of removing the Duke out of the Lords
House, and I shall leave it to you.
Sir Allen Apsley.] When the House is all of a mind, as to
the Duke's valour and exposing himself for the honour
of the Nation, we cannot, without ingratitude, throw
out this Proviso.
Sir John Hanmer.] If you throw out this Proviso,
you endanger the Nation. You know what you have
done in rejecting the Duke's servants. You had better
impeach the Duke than throw out this Proviso, and
take him from his Brother. Keep him here, and you
may breathe the wholsome Doctrines of the Church of
England into him. And because I see the whole Bill in
danger, if you throw out the Proviso, and Religion too,
therefore I am against throwing it out.
Sir Jonathan Trelawney.] The consequences may be so
fatal, if you throw out this Proviso, that I am for agreeing with the Lords in it. The scope of the Bill is not
only to suppress persons that may propagate the growth
of Popery, but to break their future hopes. This before you is of the greatest moment and concernment,
that ever came before a House of Parliament. I speak
sincerely; by throwing out this Proviso, give you not
the greatest advantage to the Papists to drive the Duke
into Popish hands? Should that day come, of the King's
death, what disobligation do you put upon the Duke!
For God's sake accept the Proviso.
Those against the Proviso sat silent.
Earl of Ancram.] This Debate looks as if it was not
upon good ground and reason, but a resolved business.
Nobody opens his mouth to answer any thing that is said,
but only to call for the Question. If so, put it to the
common fate of Aye and No. I think this is a subject
for another man's brains and tongue better than mine.
But pray consider; the Duke is the King's only Brother,
the Son of that Martyr who died for his Religion. The
Duke is said to be "but a subject;" but he is another
kind of subject than Lord Carrington (lately secured about
the Plot.) It is said, "the Duke is not Heir apparent;"
but I am sure he is apparent Heir. Generations to come
will curse this day's work; therefore pray consider of it.
Sir William Killigrew.] I dread taking the Duke from
the King—(and weeps.)
Sir John Birkenhead.] In Henry VIth's time, when all
the Peers were sworn to the Great Charter, and not to
take up the Difference between the Duke of Norfolk and
the Earl of Warwick, the Make-King (fn. 1) , propter celsitudinem et excellentiam Domini Principis, he was not obliged to take the Oath—To make a Law that the King
shall not go to his Brother, I understand not; it is the
same thing as that his Brother shall not come to him. Do
you think the King will give his consent to this Bill, to
restrain himself thus? Cannot the King go to see Mr
Coleman, if he will? And not go see his Brother! You
here will make a Law, that the Duke shall be removed
from the King's Presence. Whither shall he go? Into
the country? Or will you force him beyond sea? If he
was a pusillanimous Prince, of weak capacity; but he
is one of the most magnanimous Princes in the world.
He renounced the French interest, that used his Brother
ill in his exile—Drive him into French hands! I speak in
the presence of God, I think, if you pass this Proviso,
it will be the greatest means to get him to our Religion.
For God's sake pass this Proviso.
Mr Sacheverell.] Lord Ancram said, "he wonders no
man answers what is said for the Proviso;" but I wonder they should offer such arguments. The Heir apparent was never excepted from taking Oaths for Preservation of the King's Person. Show me that ever he was.
I wonder, why, when the Preservation of the King's
Person is the case, the Duke should be excepted. I
would gladly know how these Gentlemen know that the
Duke is a Recusant, and will not take the Oaths nor the
Test. Whoever supposes the Duke to be a Recusant,
does forbid him the King's Presence; therefore I think
all that argument is out of doors.
Sir Robert Carr.] You once excepted a Popish Priest
from taking the Oaths, &c. (fn. 2) I fear, if you reject this
Proviso, it will hurt what you would preserve. If hereafter there should be occasion for this, let it be in a
Bill by itself. Till I have better reason than I have yet
heard, I must give my Vote for the Proviso.
Sir George Downing.] I am one of those that will
agree to this Proviso, and I will give you my reason for it,
for my own justification. I had rather have half a loaf
than no bread. I say not that the Duke is a Papist; I
know nothing of that; but if he be a Papist, I had rather
he sat alone in the Lords House, than with all the Popish
Lords. Next consider, whether it is not better in prudence,
for the good of the kingdom, that the Duke sit in the
House of York (He meant "the House of Lords.") I had
rather have him amongst Protestants than Papists,—in the
heap of Papists. It is better in prudence to endeavour
to keep him amongst us, than to thrust him amongst
others—The Duke is a person to be led and not driven,
to be won and not to be frighted, to be persuaded and
not compelled. It is our unhappiness that this is come
into his mind. Suppose the Duke leaves the Kingdom,
are there not Popish Princes that will receive him? You
drive the Duke, by this, &c. from the King, and the
Duke goes farther than you would have him. Will not
Catholic Princes receive and entertain him? How will
you get him again? I would agree to the Proviso.
Sir Thomas Higgins.] Those Gentlemen against the
Proviso think it dangerous that the Duke should be in
the House of Lords; but it is most demonstrable that
the danger is on the other side. It is that which concerns Posterity, and, for aught I know, will entangle a
War on Posterity. Let Gentlemen, who are so earnest
against this Proviso consider, should the Duke think himself disobliged, and go beyond the sea, and the French
King support him with an hundred thousand men; could
a greater blow be given to the Protestant Religion? The
Heir of the Crown to be in Popish hands, the Duke
there, and all Catholic Princes contribute to his Restoration to the Crown! What danger is there in his sing'e
Person in the Lords House? For you see this Bill has
passed. As we tender Union with the Lords, Satisfaction to the King, and the Quiet of those that come after
us, let us agree to the Proviso.
Sir Charles Harbord.] I will tell you a story, and a
true one, of Queen Elizabeth. When she was Lady
Elizabeth, and in Queen Mary's hands, two Articles
were against her, to take her off; one was, that she was
of the Conspiracy with Sir Thomas Wyat. They were
brought in by the Pope, and ratified by the Emperor.
My Lord William of Pembroke, (that great Lord who
could neither write nor read) said to King Philip's great
Minister of State, "If the Lady Elizabeth be taken off, and Queen Mary die, there is an end of your
Master in England, for Mary Queen of Scots comes in as
next Heir to the Crown. But your Master may have a
Dispensation to marry the Lady Elizabeth; she is the
Heir apparent, and then no man can come betwixt the
Kingdom and him;" by which means Queen Elizabeth
was preserved—The King may have children, and, till he
have, the Lawyers call the next "the Heir presumptive."—The consequence of rejecting this Proviso must
be to expose the Duke, and then where are you? It will
be the consequence of Mary Queen of Scots, &c.
Should the King die (which God forbid, so long as I,
or any man here lives) the Duke may come back with
terror and confusion. I am therefore for the Proviso.
Sir Richard Temple.] This is the same Debate (about
removal of the Duke) that was adjourned to this day,
with this Proviso. I am a friend to the intent of this Bill,
and therefore to the Proviso. I would distinguish the
Duke from others of the Lords—Would you break all the
wheels of this design, is it not better to keep the Duke
here alone with us? That is the way to make him ours.
Wherever the Duke goes, his title to the Crown goes along with him—The matter of Popery will go on, the
Duke absent, better than when the King sees all things.
If you will take off all the wheels of this pernicious design, make the Duke yours, and keep him with you.
Sir Edward Dering.] The dignity of the persons makes
the greatness of the thing. If we disagree with the Lords
in this Proviso, and leave it out, and the King give not
his consent to the Bill, your Bill must fall, or runs a
great hazard. I would agree, &c. and when that is done,
move the King to give an immediate consent to the Bill.
You have then but one Popish Peer in the Lords House,
(if the Duke be one.) You may have great advantage in
other Bills of Popery, by getting this. I would not lose
the rest, for the hopes of having this without the Proviso—Upon these considerations, I move you to pass the
Mr Waller.] I am much perplexed in this business.
The Debate of removing the Duke, &c. has been adjourned several days, and always put off, but now blown
in by a side-wind. Still the Debate has been put off;
that was some sign you would lay it aside, I am sorry
for the Proviso, I wish we had had the Bill without it.
But you expound that which I never understood, that the
Duke, by it, should be removed from the Presence of his
Brother. From my experience abroad, and what I have
read at home, I have ever observed, that Princes of the
Duke's magnitude are like fire out of the chimney, and put
in the middle of a room; it makes a great blaze, but sets
all on fire. Edw. IV. did not agree with his cousin the
Duke of Hereford. The Princes of the Blood in
France are generally of a different opinion with the Ministers of State—They went away, but the King did all he
could to get them to Court again. When the Civil Wars
were in France, Hen. III. sent for the King of Navarre to
marry his sister to be a help to him. David himself was a
holy and a good man, but Absalom would not stay at Court.
David was afraid of his life, for his servants ran away
from him to Absalom, as Jonathan told him. Foreign
Princes will make use of the discontents—multis utile bellum. This removal of the Duke is of vast consequence.
Gentlemen are in earnest against Popery. If I thought
this Proviso was not, I would be against it. There are
Laws against Papists. This will make them shuffle again, and the Papists can have no hope but by disorder
or despair. By union in one Vote, when we were at
Peace amongst ourselves, we gave Spain a kingdom, viz.
Sicily. What can we not do if we have Glory at home,
and Peace abroad? I would lay aside this Proviso, as the
most dangerous thing in the world.
Sir Thomas Meres.] I value every man's reasons, and
this is the same thing spoken to before; but now the thing
comes from the Lords. I remember only, that, upon
the former Debate, this side of the House was speaking,
and that side of the House sat silent. I will not in length
run into argument. On one side, the reason against the
Proviso is, prudence and safety. On the other, civility,
gratitude, and compliment. I would be on the civil
side, were not the safety of the nation concerned. No
doubt but Sir Edmundbury Godfrey was civil to go to Somerset House, &c. and he was civil to Mr Coleman to compare
notes with him: But he lost his life by it. I think that
the Bill, as we sent it up to the Lords, names not the
Duke; and I would avoid naming him in the Proviso.
The Lords name him. I am afraid to name him so, as if
possibly he may be a rebel, as if possibly a Papist—This
Bill names him not. I had rather this Bill had never been
brought into the House, than that this Proviso should
name the Duke. I name him not so, but if the Proviso
will name him so, it is a beginning of Toleration—I am
against the Proviso for the Duke's sake.
Sir Philip Warwick.] At the beginning of the Long
Parliament, no moderation could be had between the
King's Prerogative and the subjects Liberty. Nothing
was more unjust, nothing more unfortunate. I would
rather consider that a Popish Successor may not be, but
a Protestant of our Religion.
Sir Henry Capel.] It is said by Warwick, "no moderation could be had in the Long Parliament, &c." but it
was neither imprisonment of the Members, though that
broke into Laws and Liberties, it was not the violation of
property by illegal taxes, but it was the unhappy hand of
Popery which brought that disorder in, and possibly shed
the blood I came of—(his father, Lord Capel.)—Since
the King's Restoration, Popery has played in Court, in our
negotiations of War and Peace, of setting up Ministers
and taking them down; and God knows where it will
end—I have a representation as other men have; wife and
children, and all is at stake. Will not this startle a great
man? I hope it will. Were it not for hope, the heart
would break. I hope yet that this great Prince will come
into our Church—But will you, by admitting this Proviso,
have all our tongues tied, and by Law declare the Duke
a Papist? Shall this be done by a Law? If it must come
from us, this is not the time. If once I can separate the
Duke's interest from his person, I would serve him. Press
down that Popish interest more and more by Law, and
when the Duke is naked, and clear from Popish interest,
then it is time to offer our services to him. It is in his
hands to lave this whole Nation, but I will never allow
an argument, as this Proviso implies, that a Peer shall
do any thing against his Country—When he is naked
and alone, I will serve him, and he may serve himself.
Sir William Coventry.] A Gentleman on the other side
of the House has said one word that has awakened me.
In point of gratitude, I need not tell you my obligations to the Duke (fn. 3) . I will not deny a great deal of
what has to-day been started. The danger of the Proviso is only reasons from the presumption of the goodness of this Prince's disposition. I shall say but one
word, though, I apprehend, not any thing I can say can
prevail in this matter. Consider whether this Prince has
not been useful to you. Whether he has not made a
greater step to the Protestant Religion, by marrying his
daughter to the Prince of Orange, which had his concurrence—From that instance, he is so far from danger,
that he has been a help to us—This is the reason why I
am for the Proviso.
Several cried cut, "Coleman's Letters, Coleman's Letters."
Sir Robert Howard.] Capel's father would have fought
for the Crown, whatever Devil had raised the storm against
it. This Proviso is a single disposing of a person for the
security of the Nation. Excluding him (the Duke) from
the Presence of the King, is it meant eternally? (It is
granted he may stay thirty days, &c. by Warrant from
the Privy Council.) What will hold of all you have
done, if the Crown come to him? What will become
of you, if an exasperated Prince come to govern, though
not of so great a spirit as the Duke? I, in my extremity, would scorn to do an act so low, that I would
not have disdained to do in my prosperity. The proposition of doing good by this, &c. is to do nothing, for
it is but the shape of a thing, and not the thing itself.
He is not a man in ordinary condition of other Peers.
He is separate from other subjects, and by a Title. The
Duke sees no Catholic Lords come to the House of
Peers more. He sees he is separated from them by this
Proviso; and will a man in his condition, preserved by a
Parliament, put himself upon mischief? Will that be his
gratitude, think you? We all respect his person, and may
hope, that, when he sees his own temper so different from
us, he will embrace that here which he will never find in
the Popish Religion. He is safe, when others are rejected, he is preserved, and may return more useful to the
King and us.
Sir Thomas Lee.] This is an unfortunate matter before
us. As this great Person here is remarkable for the
match of his Daughter with the Prince of Orange, and
no less remarkable that both his Daughters are bred up
Protestants, it makes me think, that this Proviso is an
unfortunate reflection on the Duke, brought on by them
that shelter Popery under his Name. It is not so much
from the Papists, as the Protestants, that act the part of
Popery, to do their own work. Those that support the
interest of the Papists, however they call themselves Protestants, do more to support Papists than Papists themselves. It does not appear plain, that the Duke is a Papist, and that he will not take the Test and Oaths, &c.
If it falls out that he should not, the inconveniences may
be easily obviated by a Bill, and the greatest happiness to
the Duke—I see no change in affairs, or the least step in
Councils altered since the discovery of the Plot, which
puts me in mind that the Duke has not influenced all
these Councils, and it is not in his power to do it. (I
know not the prospect others have of it.) But when I
consider, what will become of Gentlemen that have Abbey-Lands, when they are told by the Priests on their
death-beds, that they cannot die in peace without restoring them? If we restrain not the Priests, there will be
no need of an Act to restore Abbey-Lands, they will return to the Romish Church of themselves; as if to prevent Popery, you will pile up faggots to fire Protestants,
and will need nothing but setting them on fire, and lay
all this upon the Duke. For the regard I have for the
Duke, I agree not to use the Duke hardly, but if the
Duke cannot comply with the Oaths, &c. it is for his
safety, that it is others, and not he, that are the cause of
it; other men sheltering themselves under the Duke.
No man knows, but that a settled opinion in the nation,
when disturbed, may draw on a rebellion. No man can
say but this Act, &c. is necessary, and is not this Proviso
enough to raise all the people in rebellion? It is for the
Duke's sake therefore that I would reject this Proviso.
Sir Robert Sawyer.] That Statute of Hen. VII. which
made it not criminal to assist the King de facto, &c. was
made for the safety of the nation, when the Crown had
been tottering to and fro, between the two Houses of York
and Lancaster; but it alters no man's right to the Crown.
But I prefer a right title before all other considerations
whatever—I am sorry for this Proviso. I look on it as the
greatest reflection on the Duke that can be. The Proviso
is exactly contrary to the title of the Bill. Here is a
Proviso for a person to be excepted from the necessary
means to that end. Either the body of the Bill is not
an effectual remedy, or there are persons that should not
contribute to the Bill—I would have any man give me
an instance, that ever any persons were excused from the
Oath for the safety of any King's Person. In lesser concernments they have. We ought not to presume the
Duke to be a Papist, and this exemption of the Duke
from the Oaths presumes a principle in him opposite to
the King's preservation. It has been said, "that this Proviso will shut the Duke from the King's Presence;" but I
think it does not. The Duke is not of that principle to
divest the present King of a great part of his Government,
which Popery does. This Proviso is to exempt a person,
in dangerous times, from the Oaths of Allegiance, &c. I
hope the Duke will take the Oaths. I have no reason to
imagine the contrary, when the wisdom of the whole Land
thinks it fit; and the King is safe with it, and without it he
cannot be safe. For respect to the Duke, I will go as far
as any man; but I cannot think any person ought to be
exempted from the Oaths, when the safety of the King,
the Government, and the Protestant Religion is concerned.
Mr Sollicitor Winnington.] The posture of things being so as we apprehend, it is every man's interest to save
the Nation from Popery. The Question is now, "whether we shall receive this Proviso to exempt the Duke
from the Oaths, &c. I think, the safety of the Nation, the
preservation of the King's Person, and the Protestant Religion must be the ground, let the person or quality concerned be ever so great. Now whether your rejecting or
retaining the Proviso is for the safety of all three, is the
Question—It is said, "that the Proviso promulgates to all
the world, that the Duke is a Papist." It is an argument
that has a great deal in it. But as this Proviso stands, it
brings no new advice to the Kingdom that the Duke is
under those apprehensions, but, è contra, there are those
apprehensions without the Proviso. I will say nothing of
my own personal gratitude to the Duke, but speak my
mind plainly—Notwithstanding what is reported of the
Duke's Religion, for aught that appears, the Duke is but
in a deliberative state, and God may so dispose his heart,
that he may come over to us. This Proviso is not of that
dire effect as is thought—Suppose the Duke be a Papist,
is it not for the safety of the Kingdom, that the Duke be
kept with the King in his presence, rather than be sent
amongst all Papists? If the Bill pass, it is an exclusion of
the Popish Lords from that House, and Papists from the
Court, "not to be there above thirty days in a year, and
with Licence from the Privy Council," so that, methinks,
the strength of the argument lies that way. The
Duke being in a deliberating state, I hope that he will
follow the example of his grandfather, Henry the fourth
of France: When he saw the universal genius of the Nation for a Religion, he complied with it. I hope the Duke
will consider of it. Consider, the effect of the Proviso
can have no operation on the Duke, if he be King; then
it ceases. You need not fear, when the Duke is alone,
but he is in a safer posture, than amongst the Popish
Lords, &c. It is said by Sawyer, "that this Proviso is against the title of the Bill:" But it has no incongruity in
that, for all Provisoes seem to degenerate from the Bill,
else they could have no such appellation. I am for the
Sir Thomas Meres.] This Proviso, passing as now it is,
spoils all future expectation from this Bill.
Sir Charles Harbord.] This Proviso being cast out,
there is more danger to the Kingdom than in any thing
in the world. I may be heard twice too, as well as
Lord Cavendish.] I cannot agree to the Duke's being
declared a Papist by Act of Parliament, till I hear the
Lords reasons for the Proviso. If we agree to the Proviso,
we cannot hear the Lords reasons. Possibly I may be
convinced by the Lords, but I am not by any thing I
have heard yet.
The Proviso was agreed to, 158 to 156 (fn. 4) .
Mr Southwell.] I move that you would adjourn, for
now the Proviso is agreed to, the Bill is worth nothing. If
the Duke come to the Crown, he may call whom he
pleases into the Lords House.
Mr Hyde.] If the majority be of Sacheverell's mind,
you may adjourn.
Sir Thomas Meres.] I hope that those Gentlemen that
were for the Proviso will help us on with some Bills for
suppression of Popery, to amend this, for the Proviso
makes it little worth.
Resolved, That Reasons be drawn up to be offered at a Conference for not agreeing with the Lords in their second and third
Amendments, &c. [relating to the servants of the Queen and
Dutchess of York.]
Mr Bennet.] I would have you appoint a time to consider of the Address for the Duke's removal from the
King's Presence and Councils. If Popery must come in,
I would have it come easily, without force.
Sir Winston Churchill.] I would have Bennet reproved for
what he has said.
Mr Finch.] I hope you will have good fruit of this Bill.
If this Proviso had not passed, you would have had no
fruit of the Bill, nor the Session neither, nor security for
the Protestant Religion. It is the means to preserve the
Nation from Popery.
A Breach of the Peace happening in the House, between
Sir Jonathan Trelawney and Mr Ash:
The Speaker said,] I know not who was the author, or
occasion, of this disturbance, but be my relation ever so
near to them (fn. 5) , I must tell you who they are that have
given blows in the House: They are Sir Jonathan Trelawney and Mr William Ash.
Mr Williams.] I saw something that passed betwixt
these two Gentlemen. I am sorry I saw what I did see.
There was such a case once in Westminster-Hall, and it puzzled the Judges. I am sorry for this case, now we are
securing the Nation by the Militia, that the Peace should
be broken amongst ourselves. What has passed looks
like an unhappy omen.
Sir Jonathan Trelawney.] I rise up the earlier to speak,
because I wish this had been in another place; but perhaps
in a more sacred place than this, if any man should call
me "rascal," I should call him "rebel," and give him a
box on the ear. The cause of the quarrel that happened
was this. Colonel Birch was saying, "Lose this question
(about the Proviso) and he would move for a general
Toleration." "No," said I, "I never was for that."
And Ash said, "I am not for Popery." Said I, "Nor
I for Presbytery." I came to Ash, and told him "he must
explain his words." Said Ash, "I am no more a Presbyterian than you are a Papist." Upon which I said,
"Ash was a rascal," and I struck him, and should have
done it any where; but I am sensible it was in heat, and
I humbly ask the pardon of the House for it.
Sir William Harbord.] He has behaved himself like a
man of honour. I must say this, I saw Trelawney strike
Sir William Portman.] Here has been a just account
given of the thing. I pray God there be no ill consequence
Mr Sacheverell.] I have a great respect for the two
Gentlemen, but more for the preservation of the Peace of
your Councils. If you put up this, and make not an example, you do not justice to yourselves.
Lord Cavendish.] I allow both the Gentlemen to be in
fault extremely. There can be no excuse made for ill
language, nor blows, here, but you must make distinction. You ought, in your censure, to go first on the aggressor, who has done so great a fault contrary to the
Peace at this time—You can do no less than send him to
the Tower, and expell him the House.
Mr Williams.] By the Orders of the House, if you debate the censure they ought to withdraw.
The Speaker.] If you go on in the Debate, they
Mr Ash.] You have a relation from the Gentleman,
which is, in a great measure, true. I hope you will allow
that the provocation was great. I do acknowlege I
have done a great fault, and I humbly ask the pardon of
Mr Secretary Coventry.] There can be no Debate who
shall be punished, or who not, till they are both withdrawn.
Sir Thomas Meres.] Who provoked, or who followed
the provocation, must be an after Debate. But neither of
them ought to sit; it will be voting in one another's case.
Sir Thomas Lee, upon the Speaker's Motion, "That
both of them should be in custody of the Serjeant," said,]
You must commit them before judgment be passed upon
them, and then they ought to come upon their knees to
the Bar, before they be discharged.
Sir Thomas Littleton.] It is not an equal way of proceeding. The Speaker says, only, "in safe custody." It
may be others think they do not deserve commitment at
all, or one to be committed to the Serjeant, the other to
The Speaker.] There is nothing more equal than to
put them both into the same condition, and to order it
upon your Books, "that it is for security, till the House
consider how to proceed.
Ordered, That Sir Jonathan Trelawney and Mr Ash be secured by the Serjeant at Arms, for having committed a breach of
the Peace in the House, untill the matter be [examined and]
determined by the House.
Lord Cavendish.] I move, "that Trelawney, as being
the aggressor in this breach of the Peace, may be expelled
Mr Booth.] Trelawney came to Ash, and reflected upon
his family for being "Presbyterians and rebels." You
can do no less than send him to the Tower, and expell
him the House.
Mr Bennet.] When I consider the noise without doors,
and how your Members are reflected on for what they do
here; and that when I had the ill luck to displease the
Court, they said, "there goes such a rogue, he is for a
Commonwealth;" and when families are reflected upon,
notwithstanding an Act of Indemnity and Pardon, what will
be the end of all this! Though I can justify myself from
all this. My father and grandfather were for the King,
yet I have heard myself called "fanatic," where I durst
not answer again. Whoever calls a man "rebel" here,
deserves to be expelled the House, and I would have but
that one punishment for Trelawney.
Sir John Talbot.] Your first Question must be "whether Trelawney was the first aggressor," and put that
Sir Charles Wheeler.] He that strikes again, makes
himself his own judge. Both have broken your Order.
(He was mistaken, and out, and so sat down.)
Sir Robert Dillington.] It was my chance to be by,
when the difference happened between these two Gentlemen. Colonel Birch said, "he was an old soldier, and
was for making a safe retreat, and the best way now was
for a Bill of Toleration." Trelawney said, "I am not for
tolerating Presbytery." "Nor I," says Ash, "for Popery." And this was all the provocation that Ash gave
Sir Thomas Meres.] Trelawney names "Presbytery"
first, and strikes first: Pray determine that, and then
come to the rest.
Earl of Ancram.] Where the honour of the House is
concerned, I will speak my mind freely. I will not come
to the provocation, but the action. It is one way to do an
act out of the House, and another in. The Speaker's
prudence saved the House once, in a disorder in the Grand
Committee, from some great misfortune (fn. 6) . A blow
struck in the House of Commons is a blow struck at all
the Commons of England; all are struck, and it may go
farther. Private persons must not wound all the Commons
of England. I leave it to you.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] All offensive language is to be
punished. But if Trelawney was accused by Ash of "Popery," it was as great a provocation as for Trelawney to
accuse Ash of "Presbytery." I will put you in mind of
a long Debate once here of a difference betwixt Mr Marvell and Sir Thomas Clifford; they both asked the forgiveness of the House. It went so far, that, because the
words were in priority to the blow, Mr Marvell, who
gave the words, asked pardon of the House first.
Sir Nicholas Carew.] If the provocation was in Clifford's
case for words, &c. this is another case. To be called
"son of a rebel, and descended from rebels," is the greatest
breach of good manners that ever was. It is not a time
now to break the Act of Indemnity. Let us unite as fast
as we can—Those that were rebels were active in bringing in the King. Though, as for myself, I have suffered
by the times, both in my person and estate, I am not
for breaking the Act of Indemnity.
Mr Williams.] I hope you will not make your own
Court less than Westminster-Hall. I would punish Trelawney by expelling him the House.
Sir John Ernly.] I move "that Trelawney may be sent
to the Tower, and then that you will consider what to do
with Ash." I would not consider the provocation on one
side or the other. We saw the blows, but heard not the
words. Both struck, and pray send them both to the
Sir John Birkenhead.] See the case of Weston and Drury
who fought. It is in your Journal, 4 Edw. VI.
Mr Williams.] If the first Question be for sending them
to the Tower, I will give my negative, and then for expelling, he may go scot-free.
Sir Thomas Littleton.] For settling the Question, and
declaring the matter of fact, persons may speak more than
once—Sending a man to the Tower, and in three or
four days to let him out again; is this any thing of punishment in comparison of the offence? I would rather give
the thing all up—Just as you punished the Sheriff of
Northamptonshire (fn. 7) .
Mr Secretary Coventry.] If you expell Trelawney, you
take away the freehold of them that sent him hither. The
Law considers mediums, when things are done with intention and in cold blood. I would know, what a Gentleman should do, in such a case as this. But the fact
is done; put therefore such a Question, as you have
examples and precedents of. Send them both to the
The Speaker.] I must do right to the House. The first
Question moved for was, "whether Trelawney should be
expelled the House."
The previous Question for expelling Trelawney passed in the
Negative, 130 to 110.
Sir Eliab Harvey.] Now this Question is over, I am
against sending them to the Tower. One shall be called
"rebel and traytor," and both have equal punishment.
Ash shall pay 50l. fees, and Trelawney nothing.
The Speaker.] I will make you a Motion, "that Sir
Jonathan Trelawney may be sent to the Tower, there to remain during this Session of Parliament." The person of
Mr Ash is nearest in relation to me, and I would be nearest in my service to him. But pray regard your own honour, regard yourselves.
Sir Thomas Meres.] What you have moved is most
worthy, and I am for it.
Resolved, That Sir Jonathan Trelawney be sent to the Tower,
there to remain during this Session of Parliament.
On Mr Ash's punishment.
Mr Williams.] Where the Law acquits him, I suppose
you will not condemn him, here—It being true that Trelawney said the words, you have punished Mr Ash by
commitment to the Serjeant. It is true, a man may
strike in his own defence; it is lawful. It is plain, the
first provocation was from Trelawney. What happened
from Ash is justifiable in Law.
Serjeant Gregory.] I hope you will not punish a man
that has committed no fault. If the second blow appears
to be in Ash's own defence, the Law, upon an action
brought, makes him not guilty. He had worse words
than "rascal" given him, before he gave any. Ash being guilty of no crime, I hope you will inflict no punishment.
Sir John Birkenhead.] I wonder that a man should
take the sword out of the Magistrate's hand, and that
should be no crime, and the Long Robe should say "it
is no offence." The blow was given in the King's House,
and, by the Saxon Law, it was death, and, by a continuando, 28 Henry VIII. drawing of blood—Let Ash be
punished by you, lest he have greater punishment.
Serjeant Gregory.] The affront was not given to the
walls of the House, but to the Speaker, sitting in the
Chair of the House.
Sir John Birkenhead.] By the 28th Henry VIII. if a
man strikes in an integral part of the King's Palace, he
might as well strike in the King's bed-chamber.
Earl of Ancram.] I have known that misfortune of
words, amongst brave men. Words may make reparation for words; but blows are for a dog, and not a
quarrel to be taken up. Here has been a blow given in
the House of Commons. A man that sits here should
have his understanding so far about him, that a word
should not bring him so in passion, as it would do in
another place. Truly I think Mr Ash pardonable in this
case; and I would have him reprimanded only in his
Which being ordered, Mr Ash was called in.
The Speaker.] Mr Ash, the House has considered the
disorder you committed, and the provocation that was
given you. They have a tenderness for every Gentleman
that is a Member; therefore they have thought fit to
proceed tenderly with you, only. When you make the
House judge, &c. you make yourself no way justifiable, but by extraordinary provocation and passion.
And you are to proceed no farther in this quarrel with
Sir Jonathan Trelawney, and the House requires you to
Mr Ash.] I acknowlege that I have committed a great
fault, but there was a great provocation to it. And I
shall humbly acquiesce in the determination of the
House. I shall proceed no farther in the matter, and I
acknowledge the great favour of the House.
Sir Thomas Littleton.] I move for the same engagement from Trelawney, "That he do not proceed any
farther in this quarrel, either by himself or his friends."
For else, when the Session is ended, there may be disorders, and he not in your power to punish. And I
move, that the Speaker require Trelawney, in obedience
to your commands, not to pursue the quarrel. And I
believe he will give obedience to it.
It was ordered accordingly.