Journal of the House of Commons: Volume 11, 1693-1697. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1803.
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Martis, 17 die Aprilis;
Ordered, That Sir Thomas, Littleton do carry the Bill to the Lords, and acquaint them, That this House hath agreed to the said Bill, with some Amendments: To which they desire their Lordships Concurrence.
Halfpence and Farthings.
Mr. Arnold reported from the Committee, to whom was referred the Consideration of the several Petitions of several Traders, and poor Inhabitants, in and about the City of London, and Borough of Southwarke; and of the retail Shopkeepers, and other poor Inhabitants, without Cripplegate, London; complaining of the Halfpence and Farthings now current; That the Committee had examined and considered the said several Petitions; and had come to several Resolutions; which they had directed him to report to the House; and which he read in his Place; and afterwards delivered in at the Clerk's Table: Where the same were read; and are as follow; viz.
Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That the present Tin Farthings and Halfpence, not being of the intrinsick Value, and being easy to be counterfeited are an Obstruction to Trade, and a great Grievance to the Subject.
2. Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That the Farthings and Halfpence to be made for the future, ought to be made of English Metal, and of the intrinsick Value, and to be coined by their Majesties.
4. Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That an humble Address be made to their Majesties, that the present Tin Farthings and Halfpence, not counterfeited, be exchanged by their Majesties.
Resolved, That the House doth agree with the Committee in the said Resolution, so amended, That the Farthings and Halfpence to be made for the future, ought to be made of English Metal, and of the intrinsick Value; and to be coined by their Majesties at the Mint.
Resolved, That the said Committee do prepare an humble Address, to be presented to his Majesty, upon the said Resolutions: And that Sir John Lowther, Mr. Mountague, and Mr. Clarke, be added to the said Committee.
Mr. Bowyer reported, from the Committee of Elections and Privileges, the Matter touching the Election and Return for the Borough of Clitheroe in the County of Lancaster, as it appeared to the said Committee; the which he delivered in, in Writing, at the Clerk's Table: Where the same was read; and is as followeth; viz.
Upon the several Petitions of Fitton Gerard Esquire, and Christopher Lister Esquire; by which, either of the Petitioners set forth, That he is duly elected to serve for Clitheroe in the County of Lancaster; and complain of a Double Return for the same Place:
The Counsel could not agree who should first begin; which depended upon this Question, Whether the Election, or Return, should be first proceeded on? And thereupon the Counsel, and Parties, withdrawing, the Committee ordered, That the Right of Election should be first examined, and then the Return.
As to the Right of Election; it was agreed on both Sides, That That was in the Bailiffs, Burgesses, and Freemen: The Burgesses were such as had Estates of Freehold or Inheritance, in Houses or Lands, within the Borough: The Freemen were the Tenants of these Houses, who were to vote, if their Landlords did not; but if the Landlords voted for the Houses, the Tenants were not to vote for them.
Joseph Wilkinson; who produced a Poll taken by himself at the Election; being employed to do so by Mr. Morris, an Agent for Mr. Gerrard; and this was examined by the Poll taken by the Under-Sheriff, and found to agree: At the taking of which Poll, all Three of the Bailiffs were by; and by both these Polls, for the UnderSheriff's original Poll was produced by the other Side, Mr. Gerard had 46 Votes, and Mr. Lister 43.
Edward Robinson; testified, That the Under-Sheriff took the Poll by Consent of all Parties; the Town-Clerk being excluded from doing of it, as not having done it well the Election before: The Under-Sheriff came to Town the same Day that the Election was.
William Oddy. the Town-Clerk; who testified he had been Town-Clerk Six Years, and had known the Town Twenty Years; and said, It was the Custom, That no Burgesses or Freemen should vote at Elections, but those that were found by the Inquiry-Jury, and sworn: That he has been at several Elections, and never heard it disputed: That this Jury was dismissed by one Bailiff, before the former Election, wherein Mr. Gerard and Mr. Weddall were Candidates; and no Jury made till after the present Election, wherein the Petitioners were Candidates; but since the Election there is a new Jury: That it did not use to be dismissed, but by both the Bailiffs.
He testified, That Henry Mallam, Henry Banister, Christopher Hartley, and Henry Boocock, that voted for Mr. Gerard, as Burgesses, and Richard Perkinson as a Freeman, were not found by the Jury, nor sworn:
That Leonard Nowell, that voted as a Burgess for Mr. Gerard; was at Infant an School: That he never knew a Minor sound, or sworn, but Mr. Manwaring the present Bailiff, about Two Years since; who is the same Person that is the present Bailiff, and voted for Mr. Gerard: That he was sworn at an Alehouse, by the Bailiff; and he was by, and another sworn at the same time:
Edward Farrer, and Richard Wilson, testified, They had known the Town, one 30, and the other 20 Years; and that it was the Custom for none to vote in Elections but such as were found by the Jury, and sworn; and that he never knew this Custom disputed, or a Right claimed by Persons not found, and sworn, till this last Election: And Farrar instanced in Two Persons that had Burgage- Tenements, and yet did not vote, because not found and sworn; viz. Mr. Hamond and Richard Grosden.
Farrer likewise confirmed all that Oddy had said before, as to the particular Persons objected against; and further testified against Three; viz. James Slater, George Dale, and John Colthurst, that voted for Mr. Gerard; that though they were Burgesses, yet they paid no BurgageRent to the Lord of the Manor; and therefore, by the Custom, were excluded for voting at Elections.
That this Custom, That none but such Burgesses and Freemen should vote at Elections, as were found by the Inquiry-Jury, and sworn by the Bailiffs, was an unreasonable and illegal Custom, and therefore void; as putting it too much in the Power of the Jury or Bailiffs, to hinder whom they pleased to vote, though they had never so much Right.
It was likewise testified by Henry Baily, That one of the Inquiry-Jury consessed to him, That they purposely avoided meeting, that Mallam, and the rest objected against for not being found, might not have an Opportunity of being found, and sworn; and that there being Eleven of the Jury together, he absented himself for fear of making a Twelfth Man:
He testified likewise, That these Men offered themselves to the Jury, and were denied to be found, and sworn; and yet voted at the former Election, where Mr. Weddall and Mr. Gerard were Candidates; and some of them had given Votes at some late Elections of Bailiffs, but does not know they did it before: Believes they had their Borough-holds since Mr. Parker's Death: That they were received by one Bailiff, but rejected by the other.
Robinson likewise testified, That he was Foreman of the Inquiry-Jury; and that Mallam, and the other Three Burgesses objected against, have Lands in the Borough, and tendered their Writings to the Jury:
Dugdall testified, That John Wilson was in another House at the time of the Election, than what he now lives in; viz. in an House of Sir Edward Alston's, who did not vote; and that he was in Possession of the House from the 14th of February to the 23d, and then turned out by Force, by Oddy; who broke open his Door, and flung out his Goods:
Robinson likewise testified, That William Riddiall, that voted for Mr. Lister as a Freeman, his Landlord Warren chose to vote for the same House; and that the Landlord might chuse which House he would vote for, though he had other Tenants:
Mr. Kenyon, a Member of the House, testified, as to the Custom of being found by the Inquiry-Jury, and sworn; and that Mr. Manwaring was yet a Minor; and that Mallam, and the other Mandamus-men, bought their Borough-holds, to serve a Turn; and Robinson the Foreman of the Jury sold them to them.
Afterwards the Counsel being called in, upon the Matter of the Return, the Counsel for Mr. Lister declared to the Committee, That the Witnesses, that should prove their Case, were gone away; and therefore they would not trouble the Committee with opening a Case they could not then prove.
Dugdall; who testified, That Mr. Manwaring was fairly chosen Bailiff, had 38 Voices, and Mr.Wilkinson but 36: That it was brought to an Equality, by setting a Vote down wrong; And that Mr. Manwaring was sworn Bailiff before this last Election.
The Returns were in this manner: In the Indenture, whereby Mr.Gerard is returned, Mr.Manwaring and Mr. Lyster are named as Bailiffs; but Mr.Manwaring only signed the Indenture with our Burgesses; but not Bailiff Lyster.
In the Indenture, whereby Mr. Lyster the Petitioner is returned, Mr.Ambrose Pudsey, and Mr.Lyster, are named Bailiffs; and have both signed the Indenture; and both these Indentures are returned by the Sheriff.
And the Question being put, That the House do agree with the Committee in the said Resolution, That Fitton Gerard Esquire is duly elected a Burgess to serve in this present Parliament for the Borough of Clitheroe in the Country of Lancaster;
|Tellers for the Yeas,||
Sir S. Barnadiston,
|Tellers for the Noes,||