House of Commons Journal Volume 10: 22 July 1689

Pages 230-231

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, 22 die Julii; 1° Gulielmi et Mariæ, Anno Domini 1689.


Debtors Relief.

AN ingrossed Bill for Relief of poor Prisoners, read the Third time.

Some Amendments were proposed to be made in Press 15, L. *, to fill up a Blank with "Seven."

Press 3. L. *, insert "authorized:"

And, upon the Question, severally put thereupon, were agreed unto by the House: And the Bill amended at the Table accordingly.

Afterwards a Debate arose upon the Bill.

Resolved, That the Debate be adjourned till this Day Sevennight.

Reversing Judgments against Oates.

Sir Thomas Littleton reports from the Committee to whom it was referred to prepare Reasons for a Conference with the Lords, Why this House doth not agree with the Lords in their Amendments to the Bill for reversing Two Judgments, given in the Court of King's Bench, against Titus Oates, Clerk, That the Committee had prepared the same accordingly: Which he read in his Place; and afterwards delivered the same in at the Clerk's Table: Where the same were read; and agreed unto by the House: And are as followeth; viz.

To Clause B, the Commons cannot agree;

1. Because, by the Law of the Land, where Error appears in the Record, the Reversal ought to be general, and annul the whole Record.

2. Nothing in this Bill does hinder, but that Titus Oates may again be indicted, and tried in a legal way for the same Matter; and to disable him, before he is legally convicted, is not agreeable to Justice.

3. The Substance of his Evidence was never questioned, but agreed to by both Houses in several Parliaments: And the Commons think it unreasonable to give the World such an Argument, by which they may infer their disbelief of the Popish Plot, as the extraordinary Course, proposed in this Clause, will amount to.

Ult Press, 27 L. *, To the First Amendment, to leave out "the said Verdicts, brought in against the said Titus Oates, were corrupt and," the Commons do not agree;

Because the Points, in which the Perjuries are assigned in the Information, were solemnly examined, and tried at former Tryals, wherein the Proceedings were regular, and when Things were fresh in Memory: And, at those Tryals, the Testimony of the said Titus Oats, in the Points aforesaid, was supported and verified, by concurrent Evidence, to the full Satisfaction of the Courts and Juries.

Because it appears, by unquestionable Evidence, That several Thousand Pounds were bestowed and expended upon the Jurors and Witnesses, and otherwise, about the Tryals, for the supposed Perjuries: Which Sums are much greater than could be expended in a fair and uncorrupt Prosecution.

Because the Juries, who passed upon those Tryals, were returned by Officers unduly chosen, after the unjust Seizure of the Liberties of the City of London, and in the Reign of a Popish King; and at such a time, when neither Counsel nor Witnesses durst appear for the said Titus Oates; when Perjury was countenanced, by tampering with, and suborning Witnesses, to swear falsly; by Judges not daring to take Notice how Witnesses, in latter Tryals, had contradicted what they had swore in former Tryals; but suffered Mr. Cornish, in particular, to be attained upon such contrary Evidence, though the said contrary Evidence had been twice printed before by Authority; and, by prevailing on divers Members of the Corporations, contrary to their Oaths, to betray and surrender up their Liberties and Privileges.

To the Second Amendment, after "Bench," insert "against the said Titus Oates were," the Commons do not agree;

Because those Words are proposed by your Lordships, on the Supposition of the Commons agreeing to the First Amendment: But, they disagreeing thereunto, there is no Use of this Amendment.

To the Third Amendment in the same Line, and after "erroneous," read "unprecedented, and so;" and for "illegal, and are of evil Example to future Ages," read "that the Practice thereof ought to be prevented for the time to come," the Commons do not agree;

Because the Judgments must be illegal, if erroneous; which your Lordships agree they are; and there can be no Question but they were cruel; and to say only, "the Judgments were erroneous, unprecedented; so that the Practice thereof ought to be prevented for the time to come," the Commons cannot agree;

Because such Precedents have been, specially in the Star Chamber, though erroneous, cruel and illegal.

Press Ult', 34 L. To the Fourth Amendment, leave out "said Verdicts be held null and void; and that the" and, after "Bench," leave out "and the Judgments given on the said Writ of Error," the Commons disagree,

1. As to what relates to the Verdicts; For the Reasons given for their Disagreement to the First Amendment.

2. As to the latter Part of the Amendment;

Because your Lordships having agreed to that Part of the Bill, which declares the Judgments given in the King's Bench to be erroneous, it must follow, the Judgments, given in Affirmance of those Judgments, are equally erroneous, and ought, in like manner, to be declared so.

L. 37, To the Fifth Amendment, the Commons do not agree; For the Reasons before given.

To Clause A, they agree not;

Because there is no need thereof: The Bill itself sufficiently declares all like excessive Punishments illegal, by reversing those Judgments as such; whereas this Clause seems to weaken the Declaration of the Law made in this Bill.

Ordered, That Mr. Montague do go to the Lords to desire a Conference upon the Subject Matter of the Amendments to the Bill for reversing two Judgments given in the Court of King's Bench against Titus Oates, Clerk.

Irish Affairs.

Ordered, That the Committee appointed to inquire into the Miscarriages relating to Ireland and Londonderry, be revived; and do sit, To-morrow in the Afternoon, at Four of the Clock, in the Speaker's Chamber: And that Sir John Guise be added to the Committee: And that all that come have Voices.

Conference with Lords.

Mr. Montague acquaints the House, That he had, according to their Order, been up at the Lords, to desire a Conference: And that they do agree to a present Conference in the Painted Chamber.

Resolved, That the Committee, who prepared the Reasons for the Conference, be the Managers of the said Conference.

And the Managers went to the Conference, accordingly.

Sir Thomas Littleton reports from the Conference, That the Managers appointed had attended the same; and delivered their Reasons to the Lords.

Reversing Judgment against Sir W. Williams.

A Bill for reversing the Judgment against Sir Wm Williams, and asserting the Rights and Freedoms of Parliament, was read the Second time.

And Sir Robert Sawyer, according to the Order of the House, attended in his Place; and gave the House an Account of the Prosecution of the Information against Sir Wm. Williams, upon which the said Judgment was obtained: And prayed, That he may be heard at the Bar of the House, as to the Information exhibited by him, and the Matter in the Bill which concerns him.

Resolved, That the Matter upon the said Bill, touching Sir Robert Sawyer, be heard at the Bar of the House, This-day-sevennight, by Counsel for both the said Parties.

Privilege- Persons discharged from Custody.

Sir Rowland Gwyn, informed the House, That Paul Williams, in Custody of the Serjeant at Arms attending this House had made his Submission to him, touching the Breach of Privilege, for which the said Sir Rowland had complained against him; and therefore prayed he might be discharged:

Ordered, That the said Paul Williams be discharged out of Custody, paying his Fees.

Sir Rowland Gwyn informed the House that * Latham, in Custody of the Serjeant at Arms attending this House, had made his Submission to him, touching the Breach of Privilege for which the said Sir Rowland had complained against him; and therefore prayed he might be discharged.

Ordered, That the said * Latham be discharged out of Custody, paying his Fees.

Mr. Williams was brought to the Bar; and, upon his Knees received the Reprimand of the House from Mr. Speaker: and thereupon was discharged out of Custoday.

Claims on Revenue.

A Petition of Sir Rich. Onslow, Baronet, and Denzill Onslow, Esquire, on Behalf of the Poor of St. Bennet Grace-church in London, and of several other Parishes, was read; setting forth, That Sir Robert Vyner being indebted to Sir Thomas Foot in Seven hundred Pounds, did assign to the said Sir Thomas Foot the yearly Sum of Forty-two Pounds, to be paid for ever, Part of a greater yearly Sum granted by the late King Charles the Second to Sir Robert Vyner, and charged upon the Hereditary Excise: That Sir Thomas Foot after, by his Will, devised the said annual Payment to the Petitioners, and others who are since dead, for the Use of the Poor of the several Parishes: And praying the Consideration of the House therein.

Resolved, That the Consideration of the said Petition be referred to the Committee of the whole House, to whom the Bill for settling the Revenue is committed.

Leave for Member to attend Lords.

Ordered, That Leave be given to Mr. Finch to attend the House of Lords, as Counsel in a Cause between Ashfeild and Ashfeild.

Crown Revenue.

Resolved, That the House do, To-morrow Morning at Eleven of the Clock, resolve itself into a Committee of the whole House, to consider of the Bill for settling the Revenue.

And then the House adjourned till To-morrow Morning, Nine of the Clock.