Saturday 9 May 1668

Up, and to the office, where all the morning we sat. Here I first hear that the Queene hath miscarryed of a perfect child, being gone about ten weeks, which do shew that she can conceive, though it be unfortunate that she cannot bring forth. Here we are told also that last night the Duchesse of Monmouth, dancing at her lodgings, hath sprained her thigh. Here we are told also that the House of Commons sat till five o’clock this morning, upon the business of the difference between the Lords and them, resolving to do something therein before they rise, to assert their privileges. So I at noon by water to Westminster, and there find the King hath waited in the Prince’s chamber these two hours, and the Houses are not ready for him. The Commons having sent this morning, after their long debate therein the last night, to the Lords, that they do think the only expedient left to preserve unity between the two Houses is, that they do put a stop to any proceedings upon their late judgement against the East India Company, till their next meeting; to which the Lords returned answer that they would return answer to them by a messenger of their own, which they not presently doing, they were all inflamed, and thought it was only a trick, to keep them in suspense till the King come to adjourne them; and, so, rather than lose the opportunity of doing themselves right, they presently with great fury come to this vote: “That whoever should assist in the execution of the judgement of the Lords against the Company, should be held betrayers of the liberties of the people of England, and of the privileges of that House.” This the Lords had notice of, and were mad at it; and so continued debating without any design to yield to the Commons, till the King come in, and sent for the Commons, where the Speaker made a short but silly speech, about their giving Him 300,000l.; and then the several Bills, their titles were read, and the King’s assent signified in the proper terms, according to the nature of the Bills, of which about three or four were public Bills, and seven or eight private ones, the additional Bills for the building of the City and the Bill against Conventicles being none of them. The King did make a short, silly speech, which he read, giving them thanks for the money, which now, he said, he did believe would be sufficient, because there was peace between his neighbours, which was a kind of a slur, methought, to the Commons; and that he was sorry for what he heard of difference between the two Houses, but that he hoped their recesse would put them into a way of accommodation; and so adjourned them to the 9th of August, and then recollected himself, and told them the 11th; so imperfect a speaker he is. So the Commons went to their House, and forthwith adjourned; and the Lords resumed their House, the King being gone, and sat an hour or two after, but what they did, I cannot tell; but every body expected they would commit Sir Andrew Rickard, Sir Samuel Barnardiston, Mr. Boone, and Mr. Wynne, who were all there, and called in, upon their knees, to the bar of the House; and Sir John Robinson I left there, endeavouring to prevent their being committed to the Tower, lest he should thereby be forced to deny their order, because of this vote of the Commons, whereof he is one, which is an odde case.1 Thence I to the Rose Taverne in Covent Garden, and there sent for a pullet and dined all alone, being to meet Sir W. Pen, who by and by come, and he and I into the King’s house, and there “The Mayd’s Tragedy,” a good play, but Knepp not there; and my head and eyes out of order, the first from my drinking wine at dinner, and the other from my much work in the morning. Thence parted, and I towards the New Exchange and there bought a pair of black silk stockings at the hosier’s that hath the very pretty woman to his wife, about ten doors on this side of the ‘Change, and she is indeed very pretty, but I think a notable talking woman by what I heard to others there. Thence to Westminster Hall, where I hear the Lords are up, but what they have done I know not, and so walked toward White Hall and thence by water to the Tower, and so home and there to my letters, and so to Sir W. Pen’s; and there did talk with Mrs. Lowther, who is very kind to me, more than usual, and I will make use of it. She begins to draw very well, and I think do as well, if not better, than my wife, if it be true that she do it herself, what she shews me, and so to bed, and my head akeing all night with the wine I drank to-day, and my eyes ill. So lay long, my head pretty well in the morning.

  1. This “odd case” was that of Thomas Skinner and the East India Company. According to Ralph, the Commons had ordered Skinner, the plaintiff, into the custody of the Serjeant-at-Arms, and the Lords did the same by Sir Samuel Barnadiston, deputy-governor of the company, as likewise Sir Andrew Rickard, Mr. Rowland Gwynn, and Mr. Christopher Boone. — B.

8 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"...the several Bills, their titles were read, and the King's assent signified in the proper terms, according to the nature of the Bills..."

Lords Journal - 9 May 1668
Bills passed. http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?co...

"1. An Act for raising Three Hundred and Ten Thousand Pounds, by an Imposition on Wines and other Liquors."
http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?co...

To which the Royal Assent was pronounced, in these Words,

"Le Roy, remerciant Ses bons Subjects, accepte leur Benevolence, et ainsi le veult."

"2. An additional Act against the Importation of Foreign Cattle."
http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?co...

"3. An Act for the better Payment of Monies received for the Use of the Crown."
http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?co...

"4. An Act for proceeding to Judgement on Writs of Error brought in the Exchequer."
http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?co...

"5. An Act for giving Liberty to buy and export Leather and Skins tanned or dressed."
http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?co...

"6. An Act for the Increase and Preservation of Timber, within the Forest of Deane."
http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?co...

"7. An Act to regulate the Trade of Silk Throwing."
http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?co...

To which Bills the Royal Assent was pronounced to each several Bill, in these Words,

"Le Roy le veult."

"8. An Act to indemnify the late Sheriffs of the City of London, and the Warden of The Fleete, touching the Escapes of Prisoners, and other Matters occasioned by the late Fire."

"9. An Act for the taxing and assessing of the Lands of the Adventurers within the Great Level of the Fens."
http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?co...

"10. An Act for settling of certain Manors, Lands, and Tenements, of Sir Thomas Leventhorpe Baronet, in the Counties of Essex and Hertford."

"11. An Act to enable Sir Thomas Hebblethwayte to sell or dispose of Lands, to pay Debts, and make Provision for Younger Children."

"12. An Act for Confirmation of the Settlement of the Estate of Sir Kingsmill Lucy Baronet, in the said Act mentioned; and for transferring over some Parts of the Real Estate of Sir Richard Lucy Knight and Baronet, deceased, from Francis Lucy Esquire."

"13. An Act to confirm an Agreement between William Paston Esquire, Lord of the Manor of Horton, and the Tenants of the said Manor, for an Enclosure of Part of the Wastes of the said Manor, for the Preservation and Growth of Wood and Timber."

"14. An Act for enabling of Sir William Juxon Knight and Baronet, Executor of the last Will and Testament of William Juxon late Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, to recover Part of his Estate."

"15. An Act for the better securing a Portion of Five Thousand Pounds to and for the Lady Francis Savile, and Infant, Daughter of Thomas late Earl of Sussex, deceased, out of Part of the Estate of James Earl of Sussex, also an Infant, in Pursuance of the Will of the said Thomas Earl of Sussex."

"16. An Act for enabling Trustees to make Leases, for Payment of the Debts, and providing for the Children, of Sir Charles Stanley."

"17. An Act for enabling the Execution of a Trust, for Payment of the Debts, and providing for the Younger Children, of Richard Taylor Esquire, deceased."

"18. An Act on the Behalf of Dawes Wymondsall Esquire, for settling certain Customary Lands, held of the Manor of Wimbleton, in the County of Surrey."

To which Private Bills the Royal Assent was pronounced to each several Bill, in these Words,

"Soit fait come il est desiré."

Glyn   Link to this

Constitutionally, is the House of Lords more important at this time than the House of Commons, or the other way around as it is today? Presumably the House of Lords is where all the members of the government can be found, so what does the House of Commons do?

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Glyn, L&M, in a note to 2 May's entry, say this case was "the last occasion on which the Lords exercised an original civil jurisdiction" -- the declaration that the Commons' arrest of Skinner (plaintiff) was illegal and the arrests of East India Company officers (defendants). As Pepys remarked on 4 May, this was "a mighty point of the privileges of the subjects of England, in regard to the authority of the House of Lords, and their being condemned by them as the Supreme Court, which, we say, ought not to be, but by appeal from other Courts." http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1668/05/05/

L&M add that the adjournment and prorogation prevented a settlement, and in 1670 both houses agreed to expunge all records of the affair from ther journals; whereafter the Lords did not assert their legal authority in such cases.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Interesting in that it seems the fight was a geniune one between the two Houses with Charles taking at least here a fairly neutral position.

And of course interesting to speculate on the Queen's miscarriage...If Jamie had remained a reasonably diligent if somewhat stiff-necked Lord High Admiral and never reached the throne, perhaps becoming one of those lovably crusty devoted royal uncles who dot history.

Don McCahill   Link to this

> Constitutionally, is the House of Lords more important at this time than the House of Commons, or the other way around as it is today?

Well, it was the Commons that decided to shorten Charles by about a foot only 20 years back. I would say that they had achieved the balance of power by that point.

The Commons, even now, control the purse strings. That is a major source of their power.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"London, May 9.This day Thomas Limerick, Edward Cotton, Peter Messenger and Richard Beasly, four of the persons formerly apprehended in the Tumult during the Easter-holidays [ http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1668/03/24/#c32... ], having upon their Trial at Hicks-Hall been found guilty, and since sentenced as Traytors, were accordingly Drawn, Hang'd and Quartered ad Tyburn, where they shewed many signs of their Penitence, their Quarters permitted Burial, only Two of their Heads ordered to be fixt upon London-Bridge."
-- London Gazette, No. 259, p.2. http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/259/pages/2

***
I knew it was an ancient practice, but I was shocked when Daniel Pearl was beheaded in Pakistan in 2002. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Pearl#Behea...

It was no comfort that the Tyburn way of dealing with commoners was deliberately even more barbaric. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Behead#Honour

Terry Foreman   Link to this

“7. An Act to regulate the Trade of Silk Throwing.”
http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?co...

Wha..?? "Silk throwing is the industrial process where silk that has been reeled into skeins, is cleaned, receives a twist and is wound onto bobbins. The yarn is now twisted together with threads, in a process known as doubling. Colloquially silk throwing can be used to refer to the whole process: reeling, throwing and doubling. Silk had to be thrown to make it strong enough to be used as organizine for the warp in a loom, or tram´ for weft." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silk_throwing

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

"and she is indeed very pretty, but I think a notable talking woman by what I heard to others there."

Meaning she can't be relied to be discrete, and so better not to try to steal a kiss (or more)...?

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