Journal of the House of Commons: Volume 10, 1688-1693. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1802.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
Martis, 21 die Maii ; 1° Willielmi et Mariæ.
Leave of Absence.
Annulling Lisle's Attainder.
Colonel Birch reports from the Committee of Privileges and Elections, to whom the Matter, touching the Election of Burgesses, to Serve in this present Parliament for the Borough of Thetford in the Counties of Norfolke and Suffolke was referred, the State of the Case as it appeared to the Committee: Which he produced in Writing; and, being read at the Clerk's Table, is as followeth; viz.
Upon the Petition of the Mayor, Burgesses, and Commoners of the Borough of Thetford in the Counties of Norfolke and Suffolke, against the Right honourable Wm. Harbord, Esquire; setting forth, That Sir Joseph Williamson was elected a Burgess for the said Borough: And,
But, upon the Petition of the Corporation, on the Behalf of the said Sir Joseph Williamson, the Question arose upon the irregular Surrender of the Charter of the said Borough; the Petitioner claiming a Right under the new Charter; Mr. Harbord's Title being under the old Charter, which was insisted still to remain in Force.
For Mr. Harbord: That the Counsel agreed the Charter was surrendered, but illegally; for that one Mendham being Mayor in 1681, and his Year expired, one Mr. Hethersett was chosen Mayor, and ought to have been sworn by Mendham; but, being refused, applied himself to the Court of King's Bench for a Mandamus, and had an Alias and Pluries; and Mendham was taken into Custody for his Contempt, in not obeying of them: And that Mendham, at last, to get his Discharge, procured the Surrender of the Charter; and, to that End, that he might have the Pretence of the Majority of the Corporation for the said Surrender, caused his Son, being under Sixteen Years of Age, and one Mobb, being an excommunicate Person, to receive the Sacrament, to qualify them to be of the Corporation; and that, before the Surrender was inrolled, the other Members, to the Number of about Seventeen, did all they could to prevent it.
And they called Mr. Thurston: Who said, He was at the Election Anno 1681, when Mr. Hethersett, was, by Consent of the whole Town, chose Mayor; but Mr. Mendham refused to swear him: That he knows no Objection was made against Mr. Hethersett's being unqualified then; but, when the Times ran high, they trumped it up, That he was not qualified.
Mr. Wm. Crostley said, He was present when Mr. Hethersett was chose Mayor, but Mr. Mendham did not come till after the Election, and that Mr. Hetherset, with Two or Three more of the Corporation, went to Mr. Mendham to be sworn; and he refused it, but gave no Reason: That there was Seventeen of the Corporation against the Surrender, and Fourteen for it: And, that 30 Jan. * about Eight * the Sacrament was appointed, to qualify Two Persons, in order to the Surrender, viz. Mr. Mendham's Boy, being about Sixteen Years of Age, and one Mobb, that was reckoned to be a Person excommunicated; That, as to the other Seventeen of the Corporation, they were never called or summoned at the Time the surrender was agreed on.
John Cawle, Clerk of the Parish, said, He saw Mr. Mendham come riding hastily, as he was ringing the Bell; and he ceased the Bell; and then the Doctor ordered him to get a Pint of Wine, and a Loaf, for the Communion: That, when the Communion was to be, every body went out of the Church, but Mr. Mendham and Mr. Mobb; and he was going, but the Doctor called to him, and said, He must stay, and make Three: That making Excuse of being unfit, the Doctor told him, That, as Clerk, he ought always to be prepared, and must receive it; so he staid, and received: But said, Mobb was never excommunicated, to his Knowledge.
* Bidwell, Serjeant of the Town said, Mendham, came down 30 January, and Mobb's Partner asked him to take the Sacrament; and that he telling Mobb he was not fit, Mobb told him he must; and that, afterwards, Mobb received, but did not swallow the Bread, but put it out of his Mouth: And says further, That Mobb is an Atheist.
* Cropley delivered in a Paper, in the Nature of a Protestation against the Surrender of the Charter, dated 11 February 1681, and signed by Seventeen of the Corporation: He believes no body can give an Account of the Surrender, but those that were for it; the rest having no Notice of it.
For the Petitioner: That the Counsel then insisted, that Mr. Hetherset had not taken the Oaths prescribed by Statute 13 Car. II.; and so could not be a legal Mayor: And called Walter Sadler, who delivered in a Paper signed by Mr. Hethersett, dated 24 January, 33 Car. II.; in which it was asserted, That it did not appear, by searching the Records, that Mr. Hethersett, at the Time of his being elected a Burgess, had subscribed the Declaration, and taken the Oaths, according to the Statute 13° Car. II.: As also, an ancient Book, wherein is an Order of 16 Sept. 33 Car. II. whereby John Wright was dismissed being a Commoner of the Borough.
That, upon the whole Matter, the Committee came to several Resolutions: Which he read in his Place; and afterwards delivered the same in at the Clerk's Table: Where the same were read; and are as followeth;
Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That Wm. Harbord, Esquire, is duly elected a Burgess to serve in this present Parliament for the Borough of Thetford in the Counties of Norfolke and Suffolke.
Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That Sir Francis Gibbon is duly elected a Burgess to serve in this present Parliament for the Borough of Thetford in the Counties of Norfolke and Suffolke.
Resolved, That this House doth agree with the Committee, That Wm. Harbord, Esquire, is duly elected a Burgess to serve in this present Parliament for the Borough of Thetford, in the Counties of Norfolke and Suffolke.
Resolved, That this House doth agree with the Committee, That Sir Francis Gibbon is duly elected a Burgess to serve in this present Parliament, for the Borough of Thetford in the Counties of Norfolke and Suffolke.
Lyme Regis Election.
Colonel Birch reports from the Committee of Privileges and Elections, to whom the Matter, touching the Election of Burgesses to serve in this present Parliament in the Borough of Lyme Regis in the County of Dorset was referred, the State of the Case, as it appeared to the Committee: Which he produced in Writing; and, being read at the Clerk's Table, is as followeth;
That the Counsel insisted, That the Right of Election was in the Mayor, Burgesses, and Freemen at large; and that Lyme Regis was made a Borough 12 Edw. I.; and, at the same time, a Corporation; so the Corporation was co-evous with the Borough: And delivered in a Copy of a Grant,
It appeared, upon the Poll delivered in, That Sir Wm. Drake had Twenty-nine Votes, with himself; and that Mr. Burridge had Thirty Votes, with himself: But it was allowed, That, of the Twenty-nine, that voted for Sir Wm. Drake, there were Five foreign Freemen; viz. Fra. Alford, William Bragg, John Fry, Antony Floyer, and Rich. Henvill.
Mr. Gregory Arnold: Who said, He had been Mayor of the Town, Anno 1663, and then came the Act of Regulations; and then he called in Sir John Strode, Colonel Bishop, and others, to his Assistance, and they gave their Voices, and they have come in ever afterwards into the Common Council House, and voted for Mayors and other Officers: That Sir John Strode and Colonel Bishop were Out Burgesses, as these Five excepted against are: That he remembered Sir John Strode and Colonel Bishop have been at the Election of Parliament Men; and, to the best of his Remembrance, have voted in the Elections of Parliament Men; and, particularly, at the Election of the Lord Clarendon: That several Freeholders have come and claimed their Vote, but never were admitted nor returned: That he believed, particularly when the Sitting Member Mr. Burridge was Mayor, the Freeholders were rejected; and that Mr. Burridge made a Return by the Mayor, Burgesses, and Freemen: That whoever are free of Lyme, are free from many Tolls at Bristoll, and enjoy several Privileges there; but says, The foreign Freemen take not the same Oath with the other: That it appeared, that the Charter of Lyme Regis had been surrendered to the King.
One Bragg, a Witness; Who said, That Thomas Pitts, Thomas Fitz Jerrard, and Robert Fowler, who polled for Mr. Burridge, were made free under the new Charter; viz. Tho. Pitts 2 March (84), Thomas Fitz Jerrard 5 Oct. (85), Robert Fowler 4 Feb. 1687: That James Pitts, another Person that voted for Mr. Burridge, was a Freeman by the Old Charter, but disfranchised for some Misdemeanor, and restored by the New Charter; he was disfranchised in a full Corporation, for bringing in several Things contrary to his Oath: That John Case and Matthew Sprag are Freemen of the Town of Lyme, but both live out of the Town; one Six Miles, the other Two.
John Davis: Who said, He had known Lyme from a Child; and that Freeholders had given their Vote; particularly Thomas Bragg, Wm. Trickey, * Short, and * Mincent, gave their Vote, as he thinks, at the Election of Esquire Henley and Sir John Shaw; but says, He never knew any Freeholders, or Freemen, out of the Town, admitted to vote.
Mr. Short being called, Exception was taken to him, as being a Freeholder; but, afterwards, allowed to be a Witness as to the Right of foreign Freemen; and said, He never knew any honorary Freemen demanded to vote till the last Election.
George Brayholt said, He had known several Elections of Mr. Henley, and others, and that Freemen and Freeholders have their Votes: That Esquire Henley made several Freeholders to that purpose: That no outlying Freemen had a Vote, to his Knowledge.
James Pitts said, He known Spragg very well; and that Spragg had a House, in the Town, that paid to the Poors Rate: That John Case traded, as a Merchant, in the Town; but his Mother-in-law dying, he was gone to take Possession of the Estate: That Thomas Pitts was made a Freeman by the new Charter: And it being said, He was not a Freeman, he came to the Corporation, and desired to have his Fine, or be re-admitted; and the Corporation told him, There was no need; he was a good Freeman
Upon the whole Matter, the Committee came to several Resolutions: Which he read in his place; and afterwards, delivered the same in at the Clerk's Table: Where the same were read; and are as followeth;
Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That John Burridge, Esquire, is not duly elected a Burgess to serve in this present Parliament for the Borough of Lyme Regis in the County of Dorsett.
Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That Sir Wm. Drake, Knight and Baronet, is duly elected a Burgess to serve in this present Parliament for the Borough of Lyme Regis in the County of Dorsett.
|Tellers for the Yeas:||Sir Rob. Cotton,||82.|
|Tellers for the Noes:||Sir John Guise,||121.|
Colonel Birch reports from the Committee, to whom the Matter, touching the Election of Burgesses to serve in this present Parliament for the Borough of Truroe in the County of Cornewall, was referred, the State of the Case, as it appeared to the Committee: Which he produced in Writing: and, being read at the Clerk's Table, is as followeth; viz.
Upon the Petition of John Tredenham, and John Manley, Esquire, against Sir Henry Ashenhurst, and Henry Vincent, Esquire, the Sitting Members for the Borough of Truroe in the County of Cornewall, was heard.
That the Question was, Whether the Right of Election was in the Populace, or the select Number; the Petitioners claiming to be elected by the Populace, and Sir Henry Ashenhurst, and Henry Vincent, Esquire, by the select Number.
For the Petitioner: That the Counsel insisted, That Truro was a Borough by Prescription, but made a Corporation in Queen Elizabeth's Time: And produced Returns of Burgesses to Parliament, for the said Borough, of 26 Edw. I.; 6 Edw. II.; 10 Hen. VI.: As also, an Indenture of Return of . . . 7 Edw. VI. Mayor, with the Consent of the whole Commonalty, elected under the Seal of the Mayor.
As also, a Copy of the Charter of the said Borough, of 31 Elizabethæ: Which Charter recited, That there had been long before a Mayor of the said Borough; and, at the same time, gave them a Common Seal, and declared and constituted Twenty-four Capital Burgesses.
For the Sitting Members: That the Counsel insisted, That Truro was a Corporation by Prescription, as well as a Borough; and that the Recital of the Charter imported as much: And, withal produced an Indenture of Return, of
It was also insisted on, by the Sitting Members Counsel, and agreed to by the Petitioners Counsel, That ever since the 31 Eliz. the Elections have ever been by the select Number of Mayor and Twenty-four Burgesses.
Resolved, Nemine contradicente, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That the Right of Election of Burgesses to serve in Parliament for the Borough of Truroe in the County of Cornewall, is in the Mayor and select Number of Burgesses only.
Resolved, Nemine contradicente, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That Sir Henry Ashenhurst, and Henry Vincent, Esquire, are duly elected Burgesses to serve in this present Parliament for the Borough of Truro in the County of Cornewall.
Resolved, Nemine contradicente, That the House doth agree with the Committee, That the Right of Election of Burgesses to serve in Parliament for the Borough of Truro in the County of Cornewall, is in the Mayor and select Number of Burgesses only.
Better ordering the Forces.
|Tellers for the Yeas,||Sir Rob. Cotton,||132.|
|Sir Walter Young,|
|Tellers for the Noes,||Sir John Barker,||78.|
|Sir John Wynne,|
Admiral Herbert thanked.
THIS House hath taken Notice of the great Service you have performed, in the Engaging the French Fleet: They do look upon it, as one of the bravest Actions done in this last Age; and expect it will raise Reputation of the English Valour to its ancient Glory. I do therefore, by the Command of this House, return you their hearty Thanks for this Service; and desire you, that you will communicate the like Thanks, in their Name, to the Officers and Seamen that served under your Command; and to let them know, That this House will have a particular Regard of their Merits, and take care, as much as in them lies, to give them all due Encouragement.
I AM in some Confusion at this great and unexpected Honour; and the more, because I want Words to express my Sense of it. The best Return, that I think myself capable of making, is, to assure this honourable House, That, with my utmost Hazard, I will endeavour, by my future Actions, to deserve it; and will not fail to obey their Commands, in acquainting the Officers and Seamen, who were with me, of the favourable Acceptation, by this House, of their Service. And, since the House have so favourable an Opinion of their Actions, I would beg their Leave to make an humble Motion; and I think it's a Thing becoming the greatness of this Nation, and, indeed, has been the Care of almost all Nations, that have any Commerce at Sea: It is to assign some Place and Revenue, for the Support of such as are maimed in the Service and Defence of their Country: There is no sufficient Provision made, at present, in this Kingdom; and, indeed, it is too great a Charge for the Crown. I therefore humbly move, It may be ordered, by this House, That an Act may pass, That they may have a Support and Subsistence, after they have, by Wounds, been made uncapable of further Service.
Provision or wounded Seamen.
Resolved, That the House will take care to make a Provision for such Seamen, as are, or shall be, wounded in their Majesties Service; and for the Wives and Children of such as are, or shall be, slain therein: And that a Committee be appointed, to consider how the same may be done.
And it is referred to Admiral Herbert, Mr. Hales, Mr. Boscawen, Mr. Ashburnham, Sir Wm. Williams, Mr. Garway, Mr. Elwell, Lord Coote, Mr. Holles, Mr. Papillion, Mr. Gwyn, Lord Falkland, Lord Sherrard, Mr. Bickerstaffe, Mr. Hen. Herbert, Mr. Edw. Russell, Mr. Bromley, Mr. Tho. Foley, Sir Dunc. Colchester, Mr. Leveson Gowre, Mr. P. Foley, Sir Hen. Capell, Sir Christoph. Musgrave, Mr. Sacheverell, Mr. Cooke, Sir Tho. Littleton: And they are to meet To-morrow in the Afternoon, at Four of the Clock, in the Speaker's Chamber: And are impowered to send for Persons, Papers, and Records.
East India Company.
Ordered, That the Committee, to whom it was referred to examine how, and 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, have Power to send for Persons, Papers, and Records: And they are to meet this Afternoon, at Four of the Clock, in the Speaker's Chamber.
Papists Children sent abroad.
Ordered, That Mr. Forster, Mr. Mitchell, Mr. Montague, Mr. Eversfeild, be added to the Committee, to whom it is referred, to inquire, what Children are sent abroad to be educated in the Popish Religion; and who have been the Occasion of sending them abroad.
Ordered, That Mr. Speaker do grant his Warrant to the Clerk of the Crown, to issue out a new Writ, for the Electing a Burgess to serve in this present Parliament for the Borough of Thetford in the Counties of Norfolke and Suffolke, in the room of the Right honourable Wm. Harbord, Esquire, who waved his Election for the said Borough, being also chosen a Burgess for the Borough of Lanceston in the County of Cornwall.