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Votes of January 26, 1775. A motion was made, and the question being pro.

posed, " That the Chaplain to this House do s preach before this House, at St. Margaret's, “Weltminster, upon Monday next the thir« tieth day of this instant January, &c.”

1 HE Lord Mayor, Mr. IVilkes, faid, that he was for the observance of the day, not in the usual manner by fafting and prayer to deprecate the pretended wrath of heaven, but in a very different way from what some other gentlemen had proposed; that it should be cetebrated as a festival, as a day of triumph, not kept as a fait; that the death of the first Charles, a determined enemy of the liberties of his country, who made war on his people, and murdered many thousands of his innocent fub jects, an odious, hypocritical tyrant, who was,


(4) in the great * Milton's words, ipfo Nerone neronior, should be considered as a sacrifice to the public justice of the nation, as highly approved by heaven, and ought to he had in solemn remembrance as the most glorious deed ever done in this, or any country, without which we should at this hour have had no constitution, degenerated into the most abject Naves on the face of the earth, not governed by the known and equal laws of a limited monarchy, but subject to the imperious will of an arbitrary sovereign..

Votes of Feb. 1, 1775. A motion was made, and the question being put,

" That leave' be given to bring in a bill for “ shortening the duration of parliaments, &c.

The Lord Mayor, Mr. Wilkes, faid, that the question now before the house had been so

fre* In another place Milton" says, Eam animi magnitudinem vobis, ô cives, injecit Deus, ut devictum armis veftris et dedititium regem judició inclyto judicare, et condemnatum punire, primi mortalium non dubitaretis. Poft hoc facinus tam illustre nihil humile aut anguftum nihil non magnum atque excellum, et cogitare et facere debetis....amore libertatis, juftitire, honestatis, patriæ denique caritate accenfus, tyrannum puniise.

Joannis Miltoni, Angli, pro populo

Anglicano defensio.

frequently and so ably spoken to by the hou' nourable gentleman*, who made the motion, and that it was in general so perfectly well understood, that he should trouble the house with few words on that occafion, and that he role chiefly to return the worthy member thanks. for this truly patriotic endeavour, and noble perseverance in a business of such importance. He added, Frequent Parliaments, Mr. Speaker, are the ancient constitution of England, and the right of the people to them arises from the nature of all delegated power, and the necesfity of a controul. If a representative in the first fellion of a parliament acts contrary to the duty of the trust reposed in him, is it fit that his conflituents should be compelled to wait till the end of a tedious period of seven years before they can have an opportunity of depriving him of a power, which he so carly abused? I think the case now mentioned actually exists in the very dawn of this new parliament. Several gentlemen have talked of the last parliament in ihe terms of reproach and indignation, which that profligate assembly most justly merited. I fear, fır, the present parliament are treading in

- B2 * Mr. Alderman Sarmbridge, Member for London.


the same steps, which conducted their imme. diate predecessors to the utter hatred of the nation. They seem w advance with giant strides to a like detestation from this age, and from all pofterity, The people without doors, especially in the capital, make no fcruple to affirm that the majority of this house have even thus early, in one great instance, acted contrary to the plain duty, which they owe to their country, and to the sacred trust repofed in them. I allude, sir, to the contenipt thewn of the Petitiont of fu respectable a body as the Merchants of the city of London trading to North America. This the majority have done in defiance of all decency, and of the great principles of the constitution. I am sorry to observe, that the alarm is already become general, that from this


† The second petition of the Merchants, Traders, and others of the City of London, presented by Mr. Alderman Hayley, Meinber for London, to the House of Commons, Jan. 26, 1775, ftates, “ that by the re“ folution to which the house hath come, respecting “ the reference of their faid petition, [the firA Peti" tion of Jan. 23, 1775,1 they are absolutely pre“ cluded from the benefit of such a hearing, in support “ of their faid petition, as can alone procure them that " relief, which the importance and present deplorable state of their trade require.”

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