Journal of the House of Commons: Volume 10, 1688-1693. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1802.
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Lunæ, 20 die Maii ; 1° Willielmi et Mariæ.
A PETITION of Philip Ludwell, in the Name, and on the Behalf, of himself, and the Commons of their Majesties Colony and Dominion of Virginia, represented by the House of Burgesses, was read; setting forth, That the Plantation of Virginia is beneficial to the Nation by some Hundred thousands of Pounds yearly in its Customs: That, by arbitrary Impositions of Governors, it is greatly impoverished, and the People there much dissatisfied, to the Hazard of the Peace of the Country: And that the late Governor, by Proclamation, revived a Law formerly repealed by the General Assembly, without consulting the Inhabitants therein; and, likewise, imposed exorbitant Payments upon the People, and imprisoned several upon pretended Crimes, without bringing them to Trial, or admitting them to Bail; and denying them the Benefit of a Habeas Corpus; and suspending and turning out of all Employments, without permitting them to justify themselves: And praying the said Grievances may be taken into Consideration, for Remedy thereof.
Resolved, That the Petitioner be called in, to own the Petition; and that he hath Authority from the Colony to prosecute the same.
He was called in; and owned the same, accordingly.
Resolved, That a Committee be appointed to examine the Matter of the said Petition; and report the same to the House.
And it is referred to Colonel Austen, Sir John Austen, Sir Hen. Johnson, Sir Fra. Russell, Mr. Reynell, Mr. Gwyn, Sir John Barker, Mr. Papilion, Sir H. Ashurst, Colonel Birch, Sir Tho. Tayler, Mr. Montague, Mr. Jepson, Mr. Vaughan, Mr. Boyle, Sir Edw. Harley, Mr. England, Mr. Pollexfen, Mr. Reynolds, and all the Members that serve for the City of London and Bristoll: And they are to meet To-morrow in the Afternoon, at Four of the Clock, in the Exchequer Chamber.
Leave of Absence.
Ordered, That Sir Rich. Temple have Leave to go into the Country, for a Week.
Newcastle upon Tyne Court of Conscience.
A Bill for establishing a Court of Conscience in the Town and County of Newcastle upon Tyne, was read the Second time.
Resolved, That the Bill be committed to Sir Wm. Blackett, Mr. Carter, Sir John Wyn, Mr. Burdet, Sir Tho. Littleton, Sir Rob. Nappier, Sir Tho. Clarges, Mr. England, Sir John Cutler, Mr. Williams, Sir Gilbert Clerke, Mr. Rebow, Sir Hen. Ashurst, Mr. Reignolds, Mr. Baldwyn, Mr. Fawkes, Sir Phil. Skippon, Mr. Bickerstaffe, Sir Edw. Blackett, Mr. Brewer, Mr. Fra. Russell, Mr. Hunt, Sir Wm. Williams, Mr. Gwyn, Sir John Barker, Sir Ralph Carre, Mr. Miller, Sir Rob. Cotton, Mr. Parker, and all the Members that serve for the County of Northumberland: And they are to meet this Afternoon, at Four of the Clock, in the Exchequer Chamber.
Westminster &c. Courts of Conscience.
Ordered, That the Report from the Committee, to whom the Bill for establishing Courts of Conscience in Westminster, Borough of Southwarke, the Tower Hamlets, and Out Parishes, was referred, be made on Thursday Morning next, at Ten of the Clock.
Sir Robert Cotton reports from the Committee, to whom the Petition of George Speke, Esquire, was referred, That they had considered the same; and that, the Petition setting forth, That an Information being preferred against the Petitioner, in Hillary Term 1685, for several treasonable Practices, Mr. Justice Holloway, at the Persuasion of Mr. Burton and Mr. Graham, after Issue was thereupon joined, and entered upon Record did, in his Chamber, in the Vacation Time, without Rule of Court, or Consent, order the Clerk of the Crown, to alter the Record in several Places, contrary to Law, and Practice of the Court; whereupon the Petitioner was tried, convicted, and fined Two thousand Marks; upon Examination of the Matter, they do not find any such Record of Hillary Term: And, therefore, it is the Opinion of this Committee, That they being tied up, by the Order of the House, to the Particular Matter contained in the said Petition, they are not impowered to examine the Record of any other Term.
East India Company.
The House being informed, that Martha Bolton, and Dorothy Bowyer, Petitioners against the East India Company; and also, the Governor and Deputy Governor of the Company; attended, pursuant to the Order of the * Instant;
They were called in; and the Petitioners desiring to have their Counsel heard, as to their Case;
The Parties withdrew.
Resolved, That the Counsel on both Sides be called in.
And they came in accordingly.
And the Petitioners Counsel opened their Case, and produced their Witnesses, relating to the Matter of their Petition.
Which being done, the Counsel for the East India Company prayed further Time to make their Defence.
And Copies of the Company's Charters, and also of a Commission given to Sir John Weyborne, and others, in April 1685, to execute Martial Law, being delivered in: the Instructions sent to the said Weyborne, and others, the Commissioners from the Company, and Committee thereof, were called for to be produced by the Company: But the same were not produced.
And then the Parties and Counsel withdrew.
The Copy of the said Commission, which was dated the Fourteenth Day of April 1685, was read.
And a Debate arising thereupon;
Ordered, That the East India Company do attend at the Bar of this House, on Friday next, at Ten of the Clock in the Forenoon, to make their Defence to the Maters objected against them: And that they do then produce, to this House, the Instructions given by them to Sir John Weyborne, and others, relating to the Commission granted by King James the Second, in April 1685.
Resolved, That a Committee be appointed to examine, by what Warrant the Charters of the 35th of King Charles the Second; and the Charters of King James the Second, to the East India Company; and the Commission to Sir John Weyborne, and others, in April 1685; were obtained.
And it is referred to Mr. Harbord, Mr. Boscawen, Mr. Sacheverell, Sir Wm. Williams, Mr. Coningsby, Mr. Hawles, Mr. Onslow, Mr. Pollexfen, or any Three of them.
Graham and Burton's Accounts.
Ordered, That the Report from the Committee, appointed to examine into the Accounts of Mr. Graham and Mr. Burton, and the Cases of the Prisoners in the Tower, Newgate, and the Gatehouse, be made on Wednesday Morning next.
Ordered, That all Committees be revived.
Committee of Privileges.
Ordered, That the Chairman of the Committee of Privileges and Elections do make his Reports To-morrow Morning, at Ten of the Clock; and nothing to intervene.
And then the House adjourned till To-morrow Morning, Nine of the Clock.