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natic enthusiasts. The principal secretary CHAP. of state appears to have acted, during all this reign, as the minister in the house of 1661. commons, as no question he ought always to do, according to the original design of his office; but this office was rendered a sinecure in a very extraordinary and unaccountable manner. Sir Robert Southwell had been invested with it after the revolution, and had obtained a grant for life. This grant was extended to his son William, and afterwards to his grandson Edward Southwell esq. who died in one thoufand seven hundred and fifty-five ; upon which Mr. Tisdall held it, with the office of attorney general; and a reversion of it was granted in his life to Mr. Hutchinson, provost of the university, the present pofseffor. Sir Robert Southwell, who was president of the Royal Society *, lived constantly in England; and the office becoming a finecure, I find, on the 15th of
.* The first president of the Royal Society was viscount Brouncker of the kingdom of Ireland. Sir R. Southwell was succeeded in 1702 by Sir Isaac Newton.
CHAR. October one thousand fix hundred and
ninety-two, that Mr. Pulteney, one of the 1661.
private secretaries to lord Sydney, presented the revenue papers, &c. to the house; since which time the principal private secretary of the lord lieutenant has acted as minister; it would be most desirable, that this, with other great offices, should no longer be pensions or sinecures, but revert to their original design and destination.
On the gth fir John Temple was sent to the lords to desire a conference, relative to an application for the usurper's coin to be current for a year, and also for a mint to be erected'in Ireland.
On the 11th of November fir John Temple delivered a message from the lords juftices, that early that morning, having considered the sickness of the earl of Mountrath, (one of their body, who died the 18th day of this month,) they thought it convenient and necessary to prorogue the parliament, which was accordingly done the fame day,
When the duke of Portland succeeded CHAP.
III. the earl of Carlisle in the middle of the can session in one thousand- feven hundred and 1662. eighty-one, it was then said, that the parliament should necessarily be prorogued from this event; that the crown lawyers had debated the question in council, and had grounded fome opinions upon this precedent of lord Mountrath. This report I cannot authenticate ; but the parliament was continued, and the public convenience not interrupted; nor could I ever lee any grounds for opinions which were then adopted by some in conversation : for in one thousand six hundred and thirty-nine the earl of Strafford continued the parliament, which began under the government of lord deputy Wandesford ; and when lord Capel died in the government in one thousand fix hundred and ninety-five, it appears from the lords' journals, that the session continued under the chancellor, fir Charles Porter, who was elected lord justice by the council, under an act of Henry VIII. in Ireland. VOL. II.
CHAP.' The parliament met for the fixth time in
one thousand six hundred and fix-one for 1662.
only two days, on the 21st and 22d of January. An answer was received from the duke of Ormond to this letter in the last session, and his majesty's answers to the instructions of the parliamentary commis- . fioners were entered in the journals.
On the 22d the parliament was farther prorogued; a committee was appointed to wait upon the lords justices to request that a bill might be sent to England to take away the wards and liveries, and for settling on his majesty, in lieu thereof, the customs and excise, as they were granted by the English parliament. These were unhappily granted afterwards in perpetuity; and they form the principal part of the hereditary revenue in Ireland; nearly half the aggregate revenue of which, it is but too well known, is granted for ever. The parliament was farther prorogued. to the 4th of March, to the 21st of March, and from thence to the 17th of April one thousand fix hundred and fixty-two, when
they met under the chancellor Eustace and CHAP. lord Orrery, before the arrival of the duke of Ormond.
Proceedings in the House of Commons in
1662 and 1663.
When we consider that the parliament was occupied with the settlement and arrangement of the whole property of the, kingdom, when we reflect upon the variety of claims of jarring and discordant interests, we shall not be surprized that parliament sat, without interruption, from the 15th of April one thousand fix hundred and sixty-two, to the 17th of April one thousand six hundred and fixty-three. The labour they must have undergone will appear astonishing, from the following accurate statement :
The house of commons fat two hundred · and eight days in that period, which is nearly five days in the week for a year; and