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From the RevOLUTION to the Death of
T HE old Whig principle was not yet wholly A.C. 1692.
expelled from the lower house. The un- An account due influence of the court was exerted in of the place
" bill, and such an open scandalous manner, as gave offence to that for trithe majority of the commons. In the midst of all canial par
liaments. their condescension, Sir Edward Hussey, member for Lincoln, brought in a bill touching free and impartial proceedings in parliament. It was intended to disable all members of parliament from enjoying places of trust and profit, and particularly leveiled against the officers of the army and navy, who had infinuated themselves into the house in such numbers, that this was commonly called the officers parliament. The bill passed the house of commons, and was sent up to the lords, by whom
A. C. 1692. it was read a second time, and committed, but the.
ministry employing their whole strength against it, on the report it was thrown out by a majority of two voices. The earl of Mulgrave again distin guished himself by his elocution, in a speech that was held in great veneration by the people; and among those who entered a protest in the journals of the house, when the majority rejected the bill, was prince George of Denmark, duke of Cumberland. The court had not recollected themselves from the consternation produced from such a vigorous opposition, when the earl of Shrewsbury produced another bill for triennial parliaments, pro. vided that there should be an annual session; that if, at the expiration of the three years, the crown should not order the writs to be ifsued, the lord chancellor, or keeper, or commissioner of the great feal, should iffue them ex officio, and by authority of this act, under severe penalties. The immediate object of this bill was the dissolution of the present parliament, which had already fat three selfions, and began to be formidable to the people, from its concessions to the ministry. The benefits that would accrue to the conftitution from the establishment of triennial parliaments were very well understood, as these points had been frequently discussed in former reigns. The courtiers now objected, that frequent elections would render the freeholders proud and infolent, encourage faction among the electors, and intail a continual expence upon the member, as he would find himself obliged, during the whole time of his fitting, to behave like a candidate, conscious how soon the time of election would revolve. In spite of the ministerial interest in the upper house, the bill passed, and contained a proviso, that the present parliament should not continue any longer than the month of Jan, wary next ensuing. The court renewed its efforts
liberty e Charlės 11. Geding reign... but met
& the woul
year of the funds and had been its origin
against it in the house of commons, where, never. A.C. 1692. theless, it was carried with some little alterations, which the lords approved. But all these endeavours were frustrated by the prerogative of the king, who, by refusing his assent, prevented its being enacted into a law.
It was at the instigation of the ministry, that the The comcommons brought in a bill for continuing and ex- mengeti
cion his ma. plaining certain temporary laws then expiring or jesty that he expired. Among these was an act for restraining the would liberty of the press, which owed its origin to the Eaft-India reign of Charles II. and had been revived in the company. first year of the succeeding reign. The bill passed the lower house without difficulty, but met with warm opposition in the house of lords, a good number of whom protested against it, as a law that subjected all learning and true information to the arbitrary will of a mercenary, and perhaps ignorant licenser, destroyed the properties of authors, and extended the evil of monopolies. The bill for regulating trials was dropped, and, in lieu of it, another produced for the preservation of their majefties sacred persons and government; but this too was rejected by the majority, in consequence of the miniftry's secret management. The East-India company narrowly escaped diffolution. Petitions and counter-petitions were delivered into the house of commons: the pretensions on both sides were carefully examined : a committee of the whole house resolved, that there should be a new subscription of a joint-stock, not exceeding two millions five hundred thousand pounds, to continue for one and twenty years. The report was made and received, and the public expected to see the affair brought to a speedy issue: but the company had recourse to the same expedients, which had lately proved so fuccessful in the hands of the ministry. Those who had been the most warm in detecting
A. C. 1692. their abuses, suddenly cooled ; and the prosecution.
of the affair began to languish. Not but that the house presented an address to his majesty, praying that he would dissolve the company upon three years warning, according to the condition of their charter. He told them he would consider their address; and they did not further urge their remonstrance. The bill for ascertaining the commissions and salaries of the judges, to which the king had refused the royal assent in the last session, was revived, twice read, and rejected; and another for preventing the exportation and melting of the coin, they suffered to lie neglected on the table. On the fourteenth day of March, the king put an end to the session, after having thanked the parliament for fo great testimonies of their affection, and promised the supplies should not be misapplied. He observed, that the posture of affairs called him abroad; but that he would leave a sufficient number of troops for the security of the kingdom: he assured them he would expose his person upon all occasions for the advantage of these kingdoms; and use his utmost endeavours to make them a fourishing na
tion t. Trial of lord During the course of this session, lord Mohun
was indicted and tried by his peers, in Westminstermurder.
# The other laws made in this fef- trade. An act to prevent malicious fion were there that follow. An act informations in the court of King'sfor preventing suits against such as bench, and for the more easy reverfàl had acted for their majefties service in of outlawries in that court. An a& for defence of this kingdom. An act for the better discovery of judgments in raising the militia in the year 1693. the courts of law. An act for deli.. An act, authorifing the judges to im- vering declarations to prisoners for power such persons, other than com- debt. An act for regulating proceedmon attornies and solicitors, as they ings in the crown office. An act for thculd think fit, to take special bail, the more easy discovery and convic. except in London, Westminster, and tion of such as should destroy the game ten mil-s round. An act to encourage of this kingdom. And an act for conthe apprehending of highwaymen. tinuing the acts for probibiting all An act to prevent clandestine mare trade and commerce with Francs, and riages. An act for the regaining, en. for the encouragement of privateers. couraging, and settling the Greenland