Journal of the House of Commons: Volume 10, 1688-1693. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1802.
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Martis, 19 die Novembris 1° Gulielmi et Mariæ.
Ordered, That it be committed to Major Manley, Sir Wm. Honeywood, Mr. Bickerstaffe, Sir Tho. Darcye, Mr. Baldwyn, Mr. Mansell, Mr. Lamton, Mr. Lawton, Sir Rob. Rich, Mr. England, Sir Wm. Cooper, Sir Phil. Skippon, Sir Tho. Barnadiston, Mr. Reynell, Captain Wroth, Mr. Christy, Sir Matth. Andrews, Mr. Rashley, Mr. Eldred, Sir Ralph Dutton, Sir Fran. Guibon, Sir Tho. Middleton, Sir John Barker, Mr. Moore, Mr. Kendall, Sir John Wynne: And they are to meet To-morrow in the Afternoon at Four of the Clock, in the Speaker's Chamber.
Sir Thomas Armstrong.
Mr. Christy reports from the Committee to whom the Petition of Lady Armstrong, and the Daughters of Sir Thomas Armstrong, was referred, the State of the Proceedings against him, as it appeared to the Committee: The which he produced in Writing; and delivered the same in at the Clerk's Table: Where it was read; and is as followeth; viz.
That it appeared, that as well by Records as Proofs, That on Thursday the Twelfth Day of July 35° Car. 2di, at the Old Baily in London, Sir Tho. Armstrong, being indicted for High Treason, was, upon Monday next before the Feast of St. Andrew the Apostle following, outlawed in London upon the said Indictment.
That he was brought to the Bar of the King's Bench on Saturday next after Fifteen Days of the Holy Trinity, 36° Car. IIdi, which was but Six Months after the said Outlawry: And, being there demanded what he had to say, Why Execution should not be adjudged against him upon the said Attainder by Outlawry; he the said Sir Thomas Armstrong did desire, that Counsel might be assigned him: Which was denied him: He also desired, that the Statute 5° Edwardi VI. might be read: Which, after long Debate at last was read: And, after the Reading thereof, Sir Tho. Armstrong granted; and he did there surrender himself to the Lord Chief Justice; and prayed, That his Traverse might be received; and that he might have a fair Tryal; and that Justice might be done him. The said Lord Chief Justice Jeffryes, scoffingly, answered, That he should have Justice: And, immedietely asking the Keeper of Newgate, What were the usual Execution Days: Who told him Wednesdays and Fridays: Whereupon the Lord Chief Justice said, That he should have Justice; for he should be-executed on the Friday following: And thereupon a Rule of Court was made for the Executing of him on the ensuing Friday: And the said Sir Tho. Armstrong demanded to have that Justice which Holloway had in the like Case (He being come in within the Year, was admitted to his Plea, notwithstanding the Outlawry); the Lord Chief Justice also refused; saying, He had a sufficient Evidence against Holloway, and therefore admitted him to a Tryal: To which Sir Thomas Armstrong answering, That he had admitted Holloway, because he had Proof against him; but refused him, because nothing could be proved against him; and that his Blood would lie at his Door; the Lord Chief Justice answered, Let it, Let it; I am Clamour-proof.
That Sir Francis Wythen, Sir Tho. Walcott, and Sir Richard Holloway, were the other Judges that sat in Court at that time: And that Mr. Burton and Mr. Graham were the Prosecutors for the King against him.
And that thereupon the Committee came to Three Resolves: Which the said Mr. Cristy read in his Place; and afterwards, delivered the same in at the Clerk's Table: Where the same were read; and are as follow;
Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That Sir Thomas Armstrong's Plea ought to have been admitted according to the said Statute. And that the Execution of him upon the Attainder by Outlawry was illegal, and a Murder by Pretence of Justice.
Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That the Executors and Heirs of Sir Thomas Armstrong ought to have a Reparation of their Losses out of the Estates of the said Four Judges, and Two Prosecutors.
Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That a Writ of Error for the Reversal of a Judgment in Felony, or Treason, is the Right of the Subject, and ought to be granted at his Desire; and is not an Act of Grace or Favour, which may be denied or granted at Pleasure.
Resolved, That this House doth agree with the Committee, That Sir Tho. Armstrong's Plea ought to have been admitted according to the said Statute: And that the Executing of him upon the Attainder by Outlawry was illegal, and a Murder by Pretence of Law.
Resolved, That the House do agree with the Committee, That the Executors and Heirs of Sir Tho. Armstrong ought to have a Reparation of their Losses out of the Estates of the said Four Judges, and Two Prosecutors.
Resolved, That the House doth agree with the Committee, That a Writ of Error for the Reversal of a Judgment in Felony, or Treason, is the Right of the Subject; and ought to be granted at his Desire; and is not an Act of Grace or Favour, which may be denied or granted at Pleasure.
Mr. Christy also acquainted the House, That it appeared to the Committee, That the Estate of Sir Tho. Armstrong, at the time of his Execution, was Three hundred Pounds per Annum, in Ireland, at Waterford, Dublin, and Straffan there; and that there were Two Years Rent in Arrear, when it was granted to Sir Edward Scott, who had the Possession thereof.
Ordered, That Leave be given to bring in a Bill to reverse the Attainder of Sir Tho. Armstrong; and to make Reparation to his Widow and Children out of the Estates of the Judges and Prosecutors: And that the Bill do pass without Fees.
Reversing Judgment against Sir W. Williams.
Serjeant at Arms to deliver Member committed to the Tower.
Ordered, That the Serjeant at Arms attending this House do take into his Custody Captain George Churchill, a Member of this House, who was Yesterday ordered to be committed to the Tower, by order of this House, for requiring and receiving Monies for Convoys; and convey him to the Tower; and to deliver him to the Lieutenant or Governor thereof, according to the said Order.
Dr. Walker thanked for his Services at Londonderry.
Dr. Walker, The House received a Petition from you Yesterday, on Behalf of several Widows and Orphans of those that were slain and died in the Siege of Londonderry, and also of the Clergy that were there, and sustained great Hardships in the Siege: And this House has thought fit to recommend your Petition, with an Address, to the King, That there might be Ten thousand Pounds paid for the Ease of their present Sufferings.
They likewise take notice of the extraordinary Service you have done to their Majesties, and to England and Ireland, in Defence of Londonderry; and especially in that you undertook it, when those, to whose Care it was committed, did shamefully, if not perfidiously, desert that Place; and have thought fit to shew a particular Esteem of your Merit; and give you the Thanks of this House: And they would have you give the Thanks of the House to all those that were in that Service.
Sir, As for the Service I have done, it is very little, and does not deserve this Favour you have done me: I shall give the Thanks of this House to those concerned with me, as you desire; and dare assure you, That both I and They will continue faithful to the Service of King William and Queen Mary, to the End of their Lives.
Mr. Speaker, The Lords have passed a Bill, intituled, An Act, disabling Minors to marry without the Consent of their Fathers or Guardians; and against their untimely marrying after the Decease of their Fathers; and for the preventing of clandestine Marriages for the future: To which the Lords desire the Concurrence of this House.
Lords desire Leave for a Member to attend them.
Also the Lords do desire, That Sir Peter Rich may have Leave to come to the Committee, who are appointed to consider, Who were Advisers and Prosecutors of the Murders of the Lord Russell, Colonel Sidney, and others; to declare his Knowlege concerning those Matters.
Creditors on Land Tax.
The House being acquainted, that some Doubt was made upon the Vote Yesterday for transferring of the Credit of Three hundred thousand Pounds, whether it extended to such Sums of Money as should be lent hereafter as well as to those already lent;
Resolved, That all Persons who have lent, or shall lend, any Sums of Money upon the Security of the Act for a Grant to their Majesties of Twelve-pence in the Pound, from and after the Eleventh Day of this Instant November, not exceeding Three hundred thousand Pounds in the Whole, shall have Liberty to transfer the same, with the Interest thereof, upon the Act for granting Two Shillings in the Pound to their Majesties, when it shall be passed.
Supply Bill; Land Tax.
Ordered, That Mr. Speaker do issue out his Warrant to the Clerk of the Crown, to make out a new Writ for the Electing of a Knight of the Shire for the County of Westmorland, in the room of Henry Wharton, Esquire, deceased.