Page images

CHAP . The rest of the session was occupied in III.

conferences about the instructions and pro1661 visions for the commissioners; the money,

amounting to twelve thousand pounds, was raised by bill upon the lords' proposition: and on the 30th of July fir William Temple carried up the instructions to the lords, and desired a free conference; informing them at the same time, that the commisfioners from the lords should have double to what was given to their own commissioners. These instructions received the lords' concurrence, and the parliament was prorogued on the 30th of July one thousand six hundred and fixty-one; during which day the house had two long fittings. The house of commons, in this important session, sat seventy-one days, from the 8th of May to the 30th of July one thousand fix hundred and fixty-one.





The parliament assembled according to prorogation on the 6th of September one thousand fix hundred and sixty-one ; and the speaker, sir Audley Mervyn, being a commissioner in England, the house chose fir John Temple, the solicitor general, as deputy speaker, till his return.

A message was sent to notify this to the lords justices; and on the same day he was presented at the bar of the house of lords, made a short speech, and was approved by the lords justices,

This is the solitary instance of a deputy speaker in the Irish Journals ; and when I went through the Journals of the commons of England, I remember to have seen only one instance of a similar proceeding in one thousand six hundred and fifty-eight, during the protectorate of Richard Cromwell *: that it should not be constantly provided for, and that the house might not, according to the

* The case of Long, speaker pro tempore, vice Mr. Chute. English Commons Journals, vol. vii. p. 612.



CHAP. convenience of parliament, supply his place

upon any occasional illnefs, has often surprized me;

and the more so, as there is generally a commisfion to the chief justice, or fome other peer, to supply the chancellor's place in the lords; or if that should be wanting, the house of lords can appoint any one of their members to be speaker till he fhall be superseded by a royal commission of which I remember an instance, upon the death of the chancellor Bowes, when the chief justice, lord Annally, was chosen speaker by the house, and sat on the woolfack till he was superseded by the appointment of lord Lifford the late chancellor.

[ocr errors]

"The fesfion only lasted four days, to tho Isth of September ; during which time a letter was sent, requesting information from the commissioners in England; and two bills were paffed, viz. a bill for the continuance of parliament, notwithstanding the royal affent to an, bill, and also for the speedily raising of money for his majesty's fervice. This circumstance proves, that these last bills



were agreed to before-hand in the English CHAP. and Irish councils, and that propofitions for

1661. laws from parliament, (or heads of bills, as they were called till one thousand seven hundred and eighty,) were not in general pra&ice at this period.

[blocks in formation]

The parliament was prorogued to the I oth of October, and afterwards to the 6th of November one thousand six hundred and sixty-one; during which fhort sessions the commons sat six days, to the 11th of December.

[ocr errors]

On the first day a committee was ap* pointed to draw up a letter to congratulate the duke of Ormond on his appointment to the lieutenancy. I have elsewhere taken notice of a similar proceeding in the house of lords.

The letter was figned by the speaker. Similar compliments were paid in one thousand seven hundred and three, and in one thousand

CHA P. feven hundred and eleven, to the last duke

of Ormond, upon his appointment. This 1661. method of congratulation by letter seems to

have been a particular compliment to the
duke's character, and to his descendants.
Never sure was a compliment better be-
ftowed : among those ordinary, fulsome,
and indiscriminate sacrifices at the altar of
power, posterity will look with delight upon
this genuine compliment, arrayed in the
bright garb of truth, addressed to a real

triot, and dedicated to one of the most vir-
tuous and accomplished men which that, or,
perhaps, any other country, has produced.

On the 7th of November a message was sent from the lords by their clerk; for which sode of conveyance their lordships apologized from the pressure of time and necesfity, and the designs of the Irish Papists; and some letters were sent from the lords justices by fir Paul Davis, principal secretary of state, relative thereto. The plot seems to have existed at this time only in imagination, or in the idle words of some fa



« PreviousContinue »