The Diary of Thomas Burton: 26 March 1658-9

Pages 274-276

Diary of Thomas Burton Esq: Volume 4, March - April 1659. Originally published by H Colburn, London, 1828.

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Saturday, March 26,1659.

I went with Cousin Blakiston to meet friends at Barnet, so could not attend.

Out of the Journals.

Resolved, that Mr. Knightley shall have leave to go into the country for three weeks.

At the humble desire of Edward Birkhead, Esq. Serjeantat-arms; and in regard of his frequent indisposition of health,

Resolved, that Henry Middleton, Esq. be assistant to the said Edward Birkhead, and that he do supply the place of the said Serjeant, and attend for him as occasion shall require.

The House being informed that one John Vaughan, one of the Sheriffs of the county-borough of Caermarthen, who for a great misdemeanour and offence committed by him, and one Griffith David, the other sheriff, in making, a false return of Rowland Dawkins, Esq. to serve as burgess for the said town, was sent for in safe custody, was apprehended, and was without at the door.

He was, by the command of the House, brought to the bar as a delinquent; and, after he had kneeled down, and by command of the House stood up again, Mr. Speaker told him that he, with his fellow-sheriff, had made an undue return of Rowland Dawkins, Esq. who had not above twenty voices, to serve burgess for the said borough in this Parliament; and had not returned David Morgan, Esq. who was chosen for the said borough by one hundred and eight voices; for which the House had ordered him and his fellow-sheriff to be brought to the bar in the Serjeant's custody, and that now they required of him the reasons of that false return.

The said John Vaughan, standing at the bar, made answer, that he and his fellow-sheriff brought up twenty witnesses to have made good their return; which they would not have done, unless they had hoped to have justified themselves therein; but that they were betrayed by their solicitor; and that the lawyer, who was retained by the solicitor, had indeed confessed the return to be undue; and that, if the House pleased, he would return the indenture, for the election of Mr. Morgan, according to the former order; that he had done it before, if he had not been prevented by his being taken into custody. And humbly prayed that he might be discharged of his offence and imprisonment; and, in case the House were otherwise minded, that then he might be further heard.

Resolved, that John Vaughan and Griffith David, Sheriffs of the town and county-borough of Caermarthen, be set at liberty and discharged of their contempt.

The House being informed that a debt of 9016l., adjusted and appointed to be paid to Major-general Browne, in the year 1647, together with interest for the same, remained still unsatisfied to him,

Resolved, that it be referred to a Committee to consider of the debt due to Major-general Browne, and the interest due for the forbearance thereof; and to report their opinion to the House how the same may be speedily satisfied.

Captain Stone, Mr. Knightley, Mr. Cary Raleigh, Mr. John Trevor, Colonel Birch, Mr. Annesley, Mr. Gerrard, are appointed a Committee, to consider of Major-general Browne's debt, and the interest due for it, according to the vote abovementioned. And they, or any three of them, are to meet concerning the same this afternoon at two of the clock, in the Speaker's chamber.

Resolved, that the vote of the late Parliament of the 4th of December, 1649, for discharging and disabling of Major-general Browne from being an alderman of the City of London, be vacated; and that he be restored unto, and capable of all offices, privileges, and precedencies there, as if the said vote had never been made.

Resolved, that the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen of the City of London be required to see the vote, above-mentioned, concerning Major-general Browne, put in effectual execution.

Resolved, that the House do resume the question of transacting with the persons sitting in the other House, and additions to that question upon Monday morning, and that nothing else do then intervene.

The House adjourned itself until Monday morning at eight of the clock.

Thus in the Journal, for I was absent, ut supra, but came to attend the Committee of Privileges.

Mr. Scot had the chair.

Counsel was heard on both sides ill the business of Taunton, Sir William Windham and Colonel Gorges, against Dr. John Palmer and Richard Bovett, Esq. The debate and examination of this business was adjourned till Tuesday.