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CHAP. twenty days they sat in the morning and
afternoon. It was a custom in early times to meet at eight o'clock in the morning; and if there was much business before them, to adjourn for an hour or two at twelve o'clock, or thereabouts, for dinner, to the afternoon; at which time committee business was usually transacted. This was also the early practice in the English parliament, as is evident not only from the journals of the two houses, but also from the parliamentary debates and parliamentary history; and possibly this was a more convenient practice than the custom which necessity has introduced of members adjourning individually, if I may use the expression, and retiring for refreshment, when the business had become tedious and uninteresting, or when dinner invited a temporary secession.
The arrangement of that voluminous law, the act of settlement, which takes up one hundred pages and more of the statute book, may be considered as the proceedings upon private bills; as every clause in it ad
justs the property of different individuals. CHAP. The transactions of this session have a great sameness and monotony, and even to those who take the trouble and pains of an accurate and attentive survey, very few particulars are worthy of preserving which can serve as useful examples to pofterity; among them some may be selected, and the following passages will not, it is hoped, be confidered by those who may favour this abridgement with their perusal as unworthy of their attention:
The parliament met on the 15th of April one thousand fix hundred and fixty-two; but it was not opened with a speech and in the usual form by the lords justices.
On the first of May the speaker, fir Audley Mervyn, reassumed the chair, after an absence of nine months, as a parliamentary commissioner. He was congratulated upon his arrival; a very handsome testimony of his merit was entered in the journals; and the deputy speaker, fir John Temple, was thanked for his services also, and compen
CHAP: sated with a grant of five hundred pounds.
A letter of thanks was read from the duke 1662.
of Ormond for the grant of thirty thousand pounds; and the secretary of state, sir Paul Davis, informed them of his majesty's gracious acceptance of this grant for the duke.
On the 12th of May a committee was appointed to inspect the laws in England for the relief of the poor, and for binding children apprentices; which order was particularly recommended to Mr. Whalley, the chairman of the board of trade; but notwithstanding this, there is no regular provision for the poor in Ireland at this day ; they still subsist by voluntary contributions ; and upon them, and their own work, even the house of industry in Dublin, which was erected in one thousand seven hundred and seventy-four-five, depends. The building of houses of industry in every county would be an admirable institution for the poor in that country, and counteract the national indolence of the people. The extreme poverty and numerous diseases ob
servable among the lower classes in Ireland CHAP. are principally to be ascribed to the excessive use of spirituous liquors, and the
1662. notorious shameful neglect, in this instance, of the general welfare.
On the 19th of May sir William Domville, the attorney general, desired the permission of the house to bring quo warranto's against certain boroughs that sent members without being duly qualified, on the part of the king, which was granted.
On the 27th of May three orders were made, which, however laudable, are, it is to be feared, seldom observed; the first, that a member coming into the house upon a division, who had not heard the debate, should not vote ; secondly, that no person should solicit any member to remain, or go out of the house upon a division; and lastly, to adopt some rule to prevent writs for elections being given to private persons. This last custom is often complained of in England; and one party or the other often gain an advantage by obtaining the writ, and
CHAP. delivering it to the returning officer, as it
suits their own convenience. 1662.
On the 4th of June fir William Temple reported the desire of the lords at a conference, for the speedy raising the thirty thousand pounds for the duke of Ormond. As this money was to be raised by a poll bill, wherein the lords assessed themselves, the act was productive of long and frequent conferences.
On the roth of June a motion was made for settling five hundred pounds per annum out of the forfeited lands, on the primate Bramhall, for his loyalty and sufferings, which was agreed to.
This motion gave rise to a proposition from fir Paul Davies, the secretary of state, which reflects the highest honour upon his memory, and upon the assembly which patronized the solitary remnant of exalted merit; and this was a proposal to settle five hundred pounds per annum upon lady Tyrrell, the only daughter of the late primate archbishop Usher. 6