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it was resolved, that the farming of this CHAP. revenue would not conduce to his ma
1666. jesty's service. This is the more remarkable as the whole of the Irish revenue was afterwards farmed, first to lord Ranelagh, and then to fir James Shaen, contrary to the resolution of parliament. , But as this was a most important measure, the instrument scarce, and much depended upon it; an as the revenue was turned out of its usual course, the great Treasury offices being thereby rendered sinecures, (from which state some of them, as the lord high treasurer and vice treasurers *, never returned to their original destination, contrary to an act of the tenth of Henry the seventh, chapter the first,) I shall give a copy of this lease or grant in the Appendix.
On the 19th of March a committee was appointed to wait upon the lord lieutenant, relative to a meeting which had been proposed with a committee of the privy council, relative to the management of the hearth-money tax, and the framing • Vol. i. p. 387.
CHAP. of a bill for that purpose. This species of conference seems to have been a novel
ceeding, from the difficulty of adjusting the ceremonial of their meeting; and several difficulties seemed to have been purposely thrown in the way, it having been principally intended for the purpose of proposing some clauses in an act of parliament. The council at this time framed bills altogether, and a negative alone on them, and their several provisos, was left to parliament ; only a general proposition for a bill, by way of address to the lord lieutenant and council, came from parliament; nor was it till after the Revolution, it is said, that heads of bills were presented: these last, in fact, resembled acts of parliament, or bills, with only the small difference of “ We
that it may be enacted," instead of “ Be it « enacted.” The present form of bills in Ireland since one thousand seven hundred and eighty is, under the chief baron Yelverton's law, the same as in England.
On the 6th of April the house considered of the most effectual method of preserving
trees, and the great waste and decay of CHAP. timber in the country.
On the 12th of April a proposition was made for a conference, to propose a joint application from the two houses to the lord lieutenant, that he would have a bill framed and transmitted to England according to Poyning's law, for taking away all privileges, except freedom from arrests, from members of either house for their fervants or attendants; and to propose that their persons should be always free : the bill to last for two years, if parliament should continue so long. A law to this effect took place in England so late as the year one thousand seven hundred and seventy-one, and was adopted the next session in Ireland. In a most admirable speech of lord Mansfield's
this bill, he asserted, that this was restoring privilege to its oria ginal design. Freedom from arrests was always allowed during the sitting of parliament, and forty days before and forty days after ; but freedom from law-suits was an
CHAP. extension or excrescence of this privilege, w and originated from the speaker, in the reign 1666.
of Charles the first, writing to the judges of aslize at York, to stay process against certain members of parliament.
The place of meeting at this conference was the old Custom-house. This odd circumstance proves how very ill they were accommodated at Chichester House ; and from a passage in the journals in one thousand fix hundred and fixty-two, there is some reason to think that that mansion was applied to other purposes beside their accommodation, and that parliament were not the sole occupiers. This bill about privileges was sent to the lords on the rith of July, though it does not appear upon the statute book; perhaps it was only a temporary act, or possibly it was rejected in the house of lords.
On the 30th of July an address was voted in favour of the speaker, fir Audley Mervyn, stating his great merit, his labo
rious attendance, and the consequent loss of CHAP. his legal practice, as prime ferjeant; and praying, that fix thousand pounds might be issued to him from the Treasury, which they pledged themselves to make good. This desire was not complied with; and it was the cause of the first tack, or private grant in a money bill, in one thousand sis hundred and ninety-seven, as before mentioned, the parliament justly considering themselves as bound in honour, to make it good to his representatives.
On the 31st of July a long account was entered in the journals, of the disposition of twenty-three thousand three hundred pounds, which was for the whole expences of the acts of settlement and explanation, the parliamentary commissioners, &c. &c. and had been raised by a poll on the several counties in the kingdom.
On the same day a committee was ap-