House of Commons Journal Volume 11: 3 May 1695

Pages 332-333

Journal of the House of Commons: Volume 11, 1693-1697. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1803.

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Page 332
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Veneris, 3 die Maii;

7° Gulielmi Tertii.


A Witness against the Duke of Leeds abscouds.

MR. Speaker acquainted the House, That the Serjeant at Arms attending this House had informed him, That his Messenger had been at the Duke of Leeds, and spoke to his Porter, and inquired for Monsieur Robart, to summon him to attend this House, according to Order; and that the porter said, He was not within, nor could tell when he would be; and that he had not seen him for Three Days past; and that he believed he was in the Country but could not tell where: And that the Messenger had left a Copy of the Order with the said Porter, and told him, He must be sure to give it to Monsieur Robart as soon as he could.


Mr. Comptroller reported from the Committee, who were appointed to draw the Articles of Impeachment against the Duke of Leeds, That they having received Information, by a Letter directed to Mr. Speaker, That Monsieur Robart had obtained a pass, in a false Name, from the Secretary's Office, they have examined the Clerks of the Secretary's Office; and that, from them, they could not have any Information of any Pass given out, or made use of, under a false Name: And that Mr. Sorsoliel, one of the Clerks of that Office, who, by the Similitude of Hands, was thought to have written the Letter to the Speaker, denied it; but said, He is very well acquainted with Mr. Robart, and did use to meet him almost every Day; but had not seen him since the late Examinations, except on Monday last, where he saw him by the Corner of the Garden-wall, near St. James's, where he endeavoured to speak to him about Business, but could not, Mr. Robart hastening away from him; nor could he since meet him at those Places where he used to frequent, though he has endeavoured so to do, having particular Business with him.

Conference with Lords.

Resolved, That a Conference be desired with the Lords, upon the Subject-matter of their Lordships Message, the First Instant, relating to the Impeachment against the Duke of Leeds.

Ordered, That Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer do go and desire the said Conference.

Resolved, That the Lords be acquainted, at the said Conference, That the Commons will make good the Charge against the Duke of Leeds, in Manner and Form as in the Articles mentioned; and that the Committee, who were appointed to draw the said Articles, have been daily employed in looking into the Evidence against the said Duke; and that, in the Preparation of that Evidence, they meet with an Obstruction; that Monsieur Robart, who appeared, by the Depositions before the Committee of both Houses, to be a material Witness, is withdrawn, since the Impeachment carried up; which hath been the Reason the Commons have not yet acquainted their Lordships, when they can be ready to make good the said Impeachment; the Commons being desirous, that Justice may be done, without any manner of Delay.

Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer reported, That he having, according to Order, been at the Lords, to desire a Conference, They do agree to a Conference immediately, in the Painted Chamber.

Resolved, That the Persons who were appointed to draw the said Articles, do manage the said Conference.

And the Managers went to the Conference.

And, being returned;

Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer reported, That they had acquainted the Lords with what the House directed.

Ordered, That the said Committee do withdraw into the Speaker's Chamber.

Letter concerning a Witness absconding.

Mr. Comptroller reported, That one Mr. * * had attended the Committee; and had owned, That he wrote the Superscription of the said Letter; and that Mr. Sorsoleil wrote the Inside thereof; and that Mr. Vernon and he, of the Duke of Shrewsbury's Office, were summoned to attend the Committee anon; and therefore moved, That the Committee may have Leave to meet again.

Ordered, That the Committee do meet to examine the Persons summoned.


A Motion being made, and the Question being put, That the House do adjourn for Two Hours;

The House divided.

The Yeas go forth.

Tellers for the Yeas, Sir Thomas Dyke,
Mr. Gwynn:
Tellers for the Noes, Sir Walter Young,
Sir Robert Cotton:

So it passed in the Negative.

Resolved, That the Report from the Committee of both Houses be read.

And, the said Report being reading;

Supply Bill; Duties on Glass, &c.

A Message from the Lords, by Mr. Holford and Sir Lacon William Child:

Mr. Speaker,

The Lords have agreed to the Bill, intituled, An Act for granting to his Majesty certain Duties upon Glass Wares, Stone and Earthen Bottles, Coals, and Culm, for carrying on the War against France, without any Amendments.

And then the Messengers withdrew.

Message to attend the King.

A Message from his Majesty, by Sir Fleetwood Shepherd, Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod:

Mr. Speaker,

The King commands this Honourable House to attend his Majesty in the House of Peers, immediately.

Accordingly, Mr. Speaker, with the House, went up.

Royal Assent to Bills.

Parliament prorogued.

And his Majesty was pleased to give the Royal Assent to several Bills; and to make a gracious Speech to both Houses; and to prorogue the Parliament until Tuesday the 18th Day of June next.