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.
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.
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.
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 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;
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,
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.
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.
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.
Reversing Judgment against Sir W. Williams.
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.
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:
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.
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.