Page images
[ocr errors]


justices. This circumstance is particularly CHAP. mentioned, as doubts were entertained in one thousand seven hundred and eighty- 1640. one-two, when the earl of Carlisle was succeeded by the duke of Portland, whether there should not be a new feflion in consequence of the change of a lord lieutenant in the middle of a feflion: but though it was said, at that time, that some able crown lawyers inclined to that opinion, yet the parliament was continued as usual, and much inconvenience in public business was thereby prevented; as it is a rule of parliament, that though all judicial business remains stata quo in the house of lords from one session to another, yet all bills and legislative matters die upon a prorogation. The rule of judicial business being transferred, extends to appeals and writs of error, in case of a dissolution also: but though the lords of England, the 19th of March one thousand fix hundred and sex venty-eight, decided in the case of lord Danby, that writs of error and appeals, as well as impeachments, were transferable,


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


CHAP. and remained statu quo from one fefsion

to another; yet they repealed the latter 1640.

part of it about impeachments on the 22d of May one thousand six hundred and eighty-five, and the 30th of October one thousand fix hundred and ninety; and confirmed it ftill farther on the 24th of May one thousand seven hundred and feventeen : which precedents have been warmly debated in the English parliament, upon a consideration of Mr. Hastipgs's im. peachment.


The parliament was convened on the 16th of March one thousand six hundred and forty, when the speaker, having been presented and approved by lord Strafford, made a long, fulsome, pedantic speech, ftuffed with feriptural and classical quotations : but there is one thing that deserves notice in this composition ; namely, the citing of three celebrated records from the


rolls in the Tower of the eighth of Ed- CHAP.

III. ward the second, and the fifth of Edward the third, proving the attendance of Irish 1640. members in the English parliament; and also a charter of the tenth of Edward the third, for holding parliaments every year in Ireland.

On the same day members elected for two places were ordered to make their election. After the house had returned, and the speaker had taken the chair, writs were ordered to be iflued for those vacancies, for such as were abroad in England or elsewhere, and also for those that were misnamed in the returns.

On the next day a bill for the relief of patentees within the survey of the court of Wards and Liveries was read, in order, as it was said, to invest the speaker, and give him seisin of his place. This prior step was taken upon debate, before that of purging the house, as it was termed, which meant the decision of contested elections.



[ocr errors]

CHAP. The sheriff of Louth was ordered to shew III.

cause why members were not returned for 1640. the borough of Atherdee * ; petitioners

against him were ordered to attend in ten days to make good their complaints; and a select committee of privileges was then named to sit every Wednesday and Friday at two o'clock.

On the 230 of March a petition of Mr. Lyndon, against the election of Mr. Davis for Carrickfergus, was referred to the committee of privileges.

The same day it was resolved, nem. 204. That four subsidies should be granted by the laity and temporalty of the kingdom as ą present supply for his majesty's pressing neçeslities, with a declaration, which had a particular reference to the Scotch invasion.

The lords at the fame time fent a message by two judges, desiring them to appoint a

* This town of Atherdee had sent members to para fiament in one thousand fix hundred and thirteen, in the reign of James the first.



committee of twelve lords to agree with a CHAP. fimilar committee in penning the said des claration; which was agreed to, and twenty

1640 four members were named to meet the lords' committees in the middle room without the house for that purpose.


The bill for the four subsidies was the same day read a'first time.

On the 25th of March one thousand fix hundred and forty the lords desired that a smaller committee might be appointed for a joint declaration. This was agreed to; but it appears that the commons would not agree with the lords in framing it, and

prefented it to the lord lieutenant separately. This and the preamble to the bill were framed, it appears, by lord Strafford's particular desire. This appeared in the next fefsion, when this act was rescinded, or rather counteracted, by a general protestation of the house of commons, foon after the impeachment of that unfortunate noble

[ocr errors]



« PreviousContinue »