Journal of the House of Commons: Volume 1, 1547-1629. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1802.
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Sabbati, 17o Martii
L. 2a. An Act for Naturalizing of Sir Step. Lesure,Knight. - Committed to Master of the Rolls, Sir Edw. Cecill, Sir Tho. Low, Sir H. Poole, Chancellor Duchy, Mr. Gifford, Sir Jerome, Horsey, Sir Edw. Mountagew, Mr. Murray, Sir Jo. Walter, Mr. Sherfield, Sir Jo. Bennett, Mr. Ravenscrofte : - Monday Morning, Committee Chamber.
Committed to Master of the Rolls, Knights and Burgesses of Norfolke and Suffblke, Sir H. Poole, Mr. Berkeley, Serjeant Towse, Sir Edw. Peyton, Sir Ro. Bevyll, Sir Tho. Low, Sir Tho. Row, Sir A. Ingram, Sir Francis Popham, Sir Francis Barrington, Sir Francis Barnham, Mr. Solicitor, Mr. Alford, Sir John Dormer:
Lord Chancellor Bacon.
Mr. Angell reporteth Mr. Moore's Speech Yesterday. - That he had unjustly - That he not yet censured here, but is yet Lord Chancellor. - Moveth, he may be called to the Bar, and endure the Censure of this House.
Sir Ro. Phillippes, accordant.- - That Mr. Speaker should have stayed him; then had not fallen twice into that Error. - Not to suffer a Man of so eminent Parts and Place - Therefore that he may be sent for by the Serjeant.
Sir Edw. Coke: - That he found Fault with it; and that he, being admonished by the Speaker, yet reiterated it. - To send for him presently; and to have him examined, who incited him to speak thus. Mr. Crewe, accordant.
Court of Wards.
Master of the Wards: - That the Court of Wards was charged, by Mr. Hetley, to deal unjustly: - And that, if this House right him not, hopeth, they will excuse him, if he take a Course to right the Court.
Members to be sworn by Lords.
Members to be sworn by Lords.
That the House entering into Debate about it, the Gentlemen freely offered to do it. That the House, very willing to give them all Contentment, gave free Liberty to those Gentlemen to do it, at all convenient Times.
Message from Lords.
Mr. Attorney and Sir Wm. Bird bring a Message from the Lords; expressing their thankful Acceptance of the good Correspondency of this House with them, expressed by the last Message; and bring Two Bills : - The One, for Sutton's Hospital: The other, for enabling Edm. Cloughe Esquire, and others, to convey the Manor of Newsam Temple to the Earl of March.
Charge against Lord Chancellor Bacon, &c.
Sir Ro. Phillippes reporteth from the Committee for Courts of Justice, that it plainly appeared, in Awbrey his Case that he had a Suit depending, before, at, and long after, the presenting of the 100 l. to the Lord Chancellor.
That Sir Geor. Hastings had striven between Gratefulness to my Lord Chancellor, and publick Honesty. That he said, that, hoping it would have plained Awbrey his Way in his Suit, received from Awbrey 100 l. which he delivered my Lord, as from himself, to further Awbrey his Suit. - That Sir Geor. in Summer last, acquainted Sir Charles Mount, that he had given this 1001. for this Purpose, to my Lord Chancellor. That, a killing Order made in Awbrey his Prejudice, Sir Geor. acquainted my Lord with it, praying his Help of it; who promised it, but performed it not. That this Order drawn by Churchill, upon Notes delivered him by a Servant or Secretary of my Lord Chancellor.
That, in Egerton's Case, it now appeared, by View of Orders, that, at the Time of the Presenting my Lord with the 400 l. before, and after, a Suit in Chancery depending. An Order made 28o Maii, another 3o Junii, and another of July : - Mean between these, this 400 l. given. - The same Time some Suits in Chancery. -
Remembereth further, in Awbrey his Case, Sir Geor. said lately to my Lord, he must say, this Money was delivered to him by him: Whereto my Lord ; " Geor. if you do so, I must deny it, upon mine Honour." - That last Night, before this Committee sat, my Lord said to Sir Geor. and Sir Rich. Young, they must answer this another Day; for he would deny it, upon his Oath. -
That Ro. Egerton petitioned the King, who referred it to my Lord Chancellor. - Bonds of 10,000 Marks apiece, to stand to his Award. - An Award made: Refused by Edw. Egerton. A Suit, by Lord Chancellor's Direction, commenced in Chancery; and the Bonds of 10,000 Marks assigned over to Sir Row. Egerton. -
The Recognizance of 10,000 l. to Field and Damport, as in the Notes at the Committee, for the Motion, and Answer, of, and to, my Lord of Buck'. That Field was to have a great Share; and Damport, as he said, a Share also, so great, as, he thought, no Suit in any Court would have afforded. -
That here Charges and Presumption. - Wisheth, the Lord Chancellor, as now on the Stage in this great Senate, so may be cleared here. - Of great Consequence to all the Kingdom. - If the Springs muddy, how shall the Streams be? -
To present this Business singly to the Lords. - 1. Precedent for it, in the like Case, for a Chancellor, in a Cause of Corruption. 2ly, because the Party accused, a Peer of the Kingdom, sitting there ; whom we cannot meddle with. 3ly, Because we have no Power to give an Oath. - Adviseth, this be done in a fair Manner, without any prejudicate Opinion. -
Sir Edw Coke moveth, 1. Sir Ro. Phillippes may set down these Things in Articles in Writing. 2ly, That the Witnesses, that can testify this, not of the House, may testify this to the Lords, when Cause. -
That we must go to the Lords, according to Precedents; whereof there are many. - Necessary for some learned and young Men of the House, may search Precedents, and deliver, what the Nature and Quality of the Offence. - And to have nothing delivered, without Warrant of the House.
Sir Rich. Yong: - Grieved, to hear, or speak, of this. - That he summoned to answer here in a great Senate; therefore will neither deny, nor blanch, Truth. - That Edw. Egerton and he long acquainted : Cousins. - Beholding to the Lord Chancellor, who had been formerly of his Counsel. - That Sir Geor. and he dining with my Lord at Whytehall, Edw. Egerton brought them a Bag of Gold: That they presented it to my Lord, as a thankful Remembrance from a Client, to buy him a Suit of Hangings for his House, which then preparing.
The Means to proceed against these Lords, to go to the Lords. - Another Question peradventure, whether the Lord Chancellor shall be compelled to answer before the Lords, without the King. - That formerly stood upon by another; and resolved by the Lords, he must answer. - To let the Lords know, what Accusation there is : To desire their Lordships to examine it: Yet so, as we not to leave it; but to let the Lords know, we will, from time to time, be ready to inform their Lordships.
Mr. Crew: - Much bound to the Lord Chancellor, yet oweth more to the Commonwealth. - Gifts blind the Eyes of the Wise. - If he guilty. Reason to punish him. - Two Ways to proceed against him: Either here by Word, or Writing. - Not to be Relators; much less in Writing. - For the Accusers; 1. Sir Geor. a single Accuser, who accuseth himself. 2ly, Sir Rich. Yong confesseth, he had the Money; and now, to discharge himself, accuseth the other. - Moveth, whether not fitter to leave it to the Lords, and let the Accusers begin there.
Sir Jo. Strangwayes: - No sufficient Accusation in Awbrey his Case; because Sir Geor. had the Money, and my Lord denieth the having it from him. That in Egerton's Case, no former Communication between Egerton and him before. -
Sir Edw. Gyles: - Desireth to acquit my Lord Chancellor ; but, considering what we have heard, we cannot leave it, without Dishonour to him, or the House. If my Lord not Faulty, woe to the Accusers; if faulty (quod absit) these Grievances will undo the Kingdom, if not prevented. - Never had Suit in any Court. - To go forward, either to clear or condemn, him; and with the best Respects that may be. - Churchill to be talked with, about the killing Order. - He deviseth Orders: - Peradventure drew it without my Lord's Knowlege.
Mr. Nevill: - Justice the Fountain: The King the Head of it. The Fountain clear: The derivative Justice, by Channels, may be puddled, and as Waters of Marah. These flow in Chancery. - Will not touch so much upon the Principal: - A Depositor of the King's Equity. - Because Exception against the Testimony of Sir Geor. H. and Sir Rich. Y. therefore they to sit here still. One of them of as great Blood, as the Lord Chancellor, - To have the Lord Chancellor answer upon Oath, as he maketh the Nobility now do in Chancery. -
Sir Francis Seymor: - Now the Honour of a great Man, and of a noble Gentleman, in Question, - Corruption the Subject. - Doubtful, upon whom it will rest. - Singularis testis for Awbrey his Money. - Egerton's Money a great Sum: - Would not trust One, but Two; viz. Sir Geor. H. and Sir Rich. Yong: Where Two Witnesses; and these not voluntarily accusing my Lord Chancellor, but called up to it. These Two offer to be sworn in it.
Sir Geor. Moore: - The Commonwealth is to be preferred before the Lord Chancellor. - AEquitas equilibrium Justitiae. - The Hand must not take that, which shall blind the Eye. - Aurum est; quid times ignem ? - Hard to find out sufficient Testimony for Taking of Bribes. -
Mr. Finch: - Admitting the Testimonies of Sir Geo. and Sir Rich, yet the 100 l. presented by Sir Geor. was, as Sir Geor. first said, delivered my Lord, as from himself; sithence, as from Awbrey. For the Three Copies of the Letters to the Lords ; his Want of Success, my Lord's cross Answers to him, may clear this Accusation. -
Mr. Secretary: - Honoureth my Lord's Person and Place. - That we must either proceed further, to acquaint the Lords, or else we wrong my Lord's Honour, and must question these Gentlemen. - The Examination must be there; yet to desire, that when examined there, if it appear, it may be represented by both Houses to the King.
Sir Edw. Coke: - Singularis testis. - In Neworke's Case, 37o Eliz. resolved, that where divers severally prove Bribes severally taken, a good Proof of Bribery. - No Aspersion upon Sir Geor. or Sir Rich. Y. The first noble: At first blanched; after pressed, hath discovered. - Bribery impossible to be punished (being a Work of Darkness) if not to be proved by the Deliverers. An Accuser of himself, and of another, a greater Testimony, than of Three other.
Person to be attached by Serjeant.
Mr. Churchill to be attached by the Serjeant, and to bring him hither upon Monday Morning, Eight of the Clock : And Churchill to be kept so, as he speak with none in the mean time, out of the Serjeant's Hearing.