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for Cheshire, Mr. Sacheverell and Lord Cavendish for Derbyshire, Sir Samuel Barnadiston for Suffolk, and Lord Russell for Bedfordshire and Hampshire. He finally made his election for the former. * Perhaps there is hardly another instance in the history of elections, of one man being chosen for two counties. March 4. Two days before the meeting of 1679. Parliament, the Duke of York left England and retired to Brussels. He had been advised to this step by many of his friends, backed by the entreaty of the Lords in the Tower. t But before he would consent to go, he obtained from the King the three following conditions: first, that he should solemnly declare he was never married to the Duke of Monmouth's mother; secondly, that he should never give his assent to any bill to vacate his (the Duke's) right to the crown; and, thirdly, that he should give him an order, under his h hand, to remove. t The session of Parliament began with an unfortunate difference concerning the choice of a speaker, little interesting to a reader of the present day. Mr. Seymour having been chosen for the zeal
* See the Requisition in the Appendix. f Life, p. 536.
$ Ralph. Orleans's Revolutions. Temple.
which he -had shown against Popery, was rejected by the court for his enmity to Danby, and Sir Thomas Meres proposed in his stead. But the House generally resented what they thought an encroachment on their privileges, and sent Lord Russell and Sir Robert Carr to desire time to consider of the King's message. On a subsequent day they presented an address, asserting the undoubted right of the Commons to elect freely one of their* members as speaker, and that the person so elected had always continued speaker, unless excused for some bodily infirmity. But the King gave them a sharp answer, and upon their insisting on their right, -prorogued them. Upon their meeting again two days after, Lord Russell said he hoped the late unhappy difference would not be renewed, and proposed Serjeant Gregory as speaker. This
'M 115 mo^on wa8 seconded by Lord Cavendish, and was generally acquiesced in. The more prudent part of the Opposition, led by the opinion of Serjeant Maynard, seem to Jhtave thought that the dangers at home and abroad were evident, and a remedy necessary, while the question of privilege was not clear, nor a decision essential. They felt they could not answer it to the country, if they broke with the King on a, point comparatively trifling. The King's refusal to confirm the sj>eaker, however, was not entered in the journal of either House, and cannot, therefore, be considered a precedent. Speaker Onslow said, the House of Commons gained nothing by the contest, but that.a speaker might be proposed by a member, not being a privy counsellor. *
That which was really important in this affair, was the animosity it provoked against Lord Danby, who had been led into the part he had taken against Mr. Seymour by a quarrel of his 'wife. t The storm now raised against him could not be allayed.
The Commons began the business
'of the new Parliament by reminding the Lords of the impeachment of the treasurer, and desiring that he might be committed. The Lords, on the other hand appointed a committee to draw up a bill for disabling him to hold any office. This they afterwards changed into a bill of banishment, but it was immediately rejected when it came down to the Lower House. The Commons next voted the plot real, and addressed the Crown that 5001. might be paid to Bedloe as the discoverer of the murderers of Sir E. Godfrey. But they immediately
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* Hatsell's Precedents, vol. ii.
afterwards resumed the impeachment of Lord Danby. Upon the rumour of a pardon having been granted him, they appointed a committee to ascertain the fact from the Lord Chancellor. By their report it appeared that a pardon had passed the great seal with the utmost privacy, and had not been entered in any office. This excited the rage of the country party, and produced a message to the Lords to demand justice against Thomas Earl of Danby, and that he be immediately sequestered from Parliament, and committed to safe custody. An address was also sent to the throne, representing the irregularity, illegality, and dangerous consequence h of the pardon. And as Lord Danby 'had withdrawn, a bill was brought in to attaint him. The Lords converted this bill also into a bill of banishment; but the more moderate of the country party in vain endeavoured to promote the milder expedient in the Commons. Winnington, who had lately lost his place of solicitor, spoke violently against it as an attempt to favour the escape of a bad minister, and an encouragement to future misrule. Littleton tried, in private, to moderate his warmth, by representing, that if Lord Danby's life was spared, the court might be inclined to come to terms. * But his arguments
had no effect; and on the bill of attainder coming to a third reading, the Earl surrendered himself. The Commons immediately voted his pardon illegal and void, and demanded justice against him. The Lords, to elude this request, sent down a message, that the Lords spiritual and temporal had appointed a day for hearing the cause of the Earl of Danby. This answer was a bone of contention to the Commons, who resolved, that the Lords spiritual had no right to give their vote during any part of the proceedings, in cases of blood. On this ground they voted, that any Commoner who should appear to maintain before the House of Peers the validity of Danby's pardon, without their consent, should be accounted a betrayer of the liberties of the English Commons.
Upon this question the prosecution rested; and we find the Earl of Danby moving for a writ of Habeas Corpus in 1682; when the Parliament being dissolved, there was no longer a prospect of his receiving judgment. But the court remanded him, and he remained in the Tower till 1685. Lord Danby tells us, in the preface to his letters, that Lord Russell afterwards owned himself mistaken in the part he took against him. The confession, if really made by Lord Russell, does credit to his candour; but, in fact, there is more to blame in