Journal of the House of Commons: Volume 2, 1640-1643. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1802.
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Die Martis, 1 Decembris, 1640.
MR. Owen being Yesterday to answer a Petition here exhibited against him by Mr. Jenkin, Merchant, complaining, that he protected one Poyer, who was none of his menial Servant, nor within his Privilege; Mr. Owen openly avowed, that he was his Servant, necessarily employed in his Service; yet notwithstanding, as touching this Matter, he would wave his Privilege.
Member taking Sacrament.
It was moved, that Mr. Alured, being occasioned to go out of Town on Saturday last, that he could not receive the Sacrament, might notwithstanding sit; He being willing to receive on Sunday next: But it was answered, there was no Order to the contrary; so that he might freely sit.
Ordered, Thanks to be given to Mr. Gawdy and Mr. Morley, for the Pains they took in the Sermons they preached on Sunday last, at the Request of this House; and to be moved, if they please, that their Sermons may be printed.
Mr. Selden, Mr. Hollys, Sir Tho. Widrington, Mr. Glyn, Mr. Maynard, Sir Edw. Hungerford, Sir Simonds D'Ewes, Mr. Palmer, Sir Edmund Montfort, Mr. Perd, Sir Tho. Bowyer, Mr. Lane, Mr. St. Johns, Mr. Cage;
This Committee is to take into Consideration the Question of Election between Mr. Borlacy and Mr. Hobby, with the Circumstances; and are to meet on Thursday at Two of Clock, in the Afternoon, in the Exchequer-chamber.
Priests and Jesuits.
Mr. Glyn reports from the Committee for Inquiry after Papists; "I am first to report upon the Examination of the Keepers of Two Prisons only, Newgate and the Clink; and of Two Messengers, usually employed for the Apprehending and Attaching of Popish Jesuits. They find Sixty-four Priests and Jesuits discharged in One Year; some indicted; some convicted of High Treason; but all of them Priests; some discharged by Privy Signet; others by Warrants from the Lords of the Council; but most of all, by Warrants from some One of the Secretaries of State, by Name, Secretary Windebanke. They found, upon Examination of the Clerk of the Peace for Middlesex, Clerk of the Crown in the King's-bench, and one Mr. Pulford, that there have been within the Compass of Seven or Eight Years, Seventy-four Letters of Grace:- True, we have not the Original of those Letters of Grace, but only certified unto us, out of the Records where they were entered; some of them Originals, I have now in my Custody.-The Nature of these Letters of Grace;- they are directed to Archbishops, Bishops, Judges, and all other the King's Officers; and, in Effect, is to stay all Proceedings against the Persons therein named for Recusants:-They are of Three Sorts. The Committee do find, upon Examination of Two Messengers, Francis Newton and * Gray, that a Warrant was granted under Mr. Secretary Windebank's Hand, to protect one Muskett, a condemned Priest Thirty Years since, and all such Houses as he should frequent: This is proved by Gray and Newton, who saw such Warrant in Muskett's Hand. This Observation is made of these many. Warrants and Discharges of Priests and Jesuits, that very few appear to be under the King's own Hand; but, of them, not any One but at the Request of foreign Ambassadors, and Queen Mother; and commanding strictly, that the Messengers shall see them go out of the Kingdom; Such is his Majesty's Care; and here I speak it to clear his Majesty: Only one Moss discharged under the King's Hand, by Misinformation; for the King was informed he was only indicted; whereas indeed he was convicted. Other Warrants there are, under the Hands of the Lords of the Council; and to each Warrant, except One, an Archbishop's Hand. And the Committee finds, that these Warrants to discharge Priests and Jesuits, Twenty-nine of them are under Mr. Secretary Windebank's Hand; and the very Originals of most of them we have here."
"I am commanded to descend to particular Circumstances: Among these Warrants, one Carrell, a Secular Priest, a Prisoner Thirty Years, commanded, by a verbal Warrant, to be set at Liberty, by Mr. Secretary Windebank: This was to the Keeper of the Clinke. There was one * *, a Dominican Fryer; and, by verbal Warrant to the Keeper of the Clinke, Mr. Secretary Windebank commanded him to set him at Liberty; and he would warrant him: And for Gray, he said, if he meddled with him, he will lay them by the Heels: And this Fryer, by a verbal Warrant, he was discharged; and did tell the Keeper, he was employed about Matters of State; and that Secretary Windebank did know of it."
"There was one Tho. Holme (discharged by the King's own Command) commanded to be shipped; and this Fellow returning again into the Kingdom, and taken the Second time, was discharged by Mr. Secretary Windebank."
Priests and Jesuits.
"15 Martii 1639, the Parishioners of St. Giles' did humbly petition the Lords..Council; (I have the Petition itself) setting forth, * * increased in their Parish;- most of the Inhabitants Papists, They did instance in particular of Three Priests (where of Southworth and Moss were Two) that go about to seduce the People of that Parish, Twenty-one by Name; and therefore did humbly pray the Lords of the Council to suppress these Priests: Their Lordships gave Order to prosecute them: Newton got both these Priests convicted of High Treason; and both of them discharged by Mr. Secretary Windebanke; besides Fourteen Priests and Jesuits, discharged out of Newton's and Graye's Custody, by Mr. Secretary W. who testify, one Smith, a Priest, called Gun-powder Smith, was bailed by Secretary W. and had a Note under his Hand, that no Man should attach or trouble him: And the Committee commanded me to inform the House, that these are thus discharged, without any Expression of the Direction in any of the Warrants."
"One Thresheld, a Messenger, having Warrant to apprehend a Priest, repaired to Mr. Secretary, to the end Gray might be employed: The Secretary answered, he would lay him by the Heels, if he kept Gray Company. These Men were discountenanced by the Secretary.
"One Goodman, a Priest, committed to Newgate, and being upon his Discharge, Threshald the Messenger demanded his Fees; and being some Difference about it, Mr. Read, his Secretary, writes to the Priest;"
"Birkett, a Messenger, had in Custody one Popham, a Priest, and was to bring him before the Lords; but Mr. Secretary W. commanded the Messenger to let him go, and he would see him forth-coming: But, to this Day, never heard more of the Priest, though he petitioned, &c."
"There is another Passage I am commanded to deliver unto you; that is, a Petition preferred to his Majesty by one Geo. Parrett, in his own Name, and in the Behalf of Four Priests and Jesuits more (a Man condemned of High Treason) styling themselves, to be of the Number of his Majesty's most loyal Subjects: Upon this bold Petition, by Signification under Mr. Secretary W Hand, Proceedings against them were stayed."
"There were Sixty-four Letters of Grace, to stay Prosecution against Papists, directed to several Counties, to several Judges: Short Entries of these Letters are made in the Signet Office, testified by one Mr. Pulford. Gray and Smith affirm, that the Secretary's House is the Place of Resort for Priests and Jesuits,"
"That, in Thirteen Years Time, from 3° Car. there hath been but Four Thousand and Eighty Pounds levied on Recusants, by virtue of any Process out of the Exchequer; as appears by Certificate under Mr. Long's Hand."
"For these Discharges of Priests and Jesuits, not One of them standeth with the Rule of Law. When they are indicted and convicted, the King, the Fountain of Justice and Mercy (and the Law doth allow it) hath Power to shew Mercy, upon any of his Subjects: But, in such Cases, the King's Prerogative speaketh by his Privy Seal Signet, or Great Seal; and ought to discharge by Record: But to send Signification of Pleasure, is against Law. For a Minister, either verbally, or by Warrant under his own Hand, not only to discharge Men condemned, but to command no further Prosecution, the Committee doth conceive he doth not discharge his Duty."
"Then, for the Letters of Grace, the Poor is wronged: By the Act they are to give Twelve-pence a Sunday to the Poor: By these Injunctions, the Recusants are kept from being convict, and the Poor lose their Due."
Committee on the Clerk's Book.
Ordered, That it be referred to the Committee, that is appointed for the Clerk's Book, to peruse and consider of Mr. Rushworth's Notes; and to present to the House what they think fit to be preserved: And, in the mean time, the Clerk, and his Assistant, to be enjoined, that they suffer no Copies to go forth of any Argument or Speech whatsoever: They are likewise to examine, what Copies have heretofore been delivered out, and to whom.
Mr. Mallory, Sir Tho. Barrington, Sir Simonds D'Ewes, Sir Guy Palmes, Sir Fr. Barnham, Sir P. Hayman, Mr. Hollys, Sir Jo. Culpepper, Mr. Ashton, Mr. Perd, Mr. St. John; these are added to the Committee for the Clerk's Book.-
A Letter of Grace, obtained from his Majesty by the Mediation of the Queen Mother, directed to the King's Attorney General, and his Successors, for exempting Sir H. Beddingfield, and his Family from the Danger of the Laws made against Recusants, read.
A Warrant under the King's own Hand, for the Commitment of Ed. Moore, Romish Priest, to the Prison of the Clink; and a Warrant to the Keeper of the said Prison, for his Discharge under Mr. Secretary Windebank's Hand, read.
The humble Petition of the Parishioners of St. Giles' in the Fields, concerning the great Increase of Recusants within their Parish; and of many that have been seduced to the Roman Religion, within these few Years, read.-
Conference with Lords.
Committee for Army.
There were Four Petitions delivered in, by a Member of this House, which were likewise preferred the last Parliament; and it was desired, they might now be referred to the same Committees they were then: And it was done accordingly.-
Proceedings concerning Sec. Windebank.
Robert Horwood was called in; and produced a Letter, sent unto him, under Secretary Windebank's Hand; which was read; enjoining him to surcease any further Prosecution of the Law against Recusants. He was demanded the same Questions he was formerly; and he gave the same Answers unto them.
Ordered, That Mr. Secretary Windebank shall, To- morrow Morning, give Answer to such Questions as shall be propounded unto him, upon several Informations delivered in here against him: And he is to have Notice of it, in the mean time.
The whole Business concerning Robert Horwood, and the Charge against Secretary Windebank, and the Preparing of an Act against Recusants, is referred to the Committee that was appointed for Inquiry after Recusants.
Remonstrance to the King.
Mr. Selden, Mr. Lane, Mr. Whitlock, Mr. Perd, Sir Tho. Widrington, Sir Robert Harley, Mr. Lind, Mr. Rigby, Mr. Palmer, Mr. Prideaux, Mr. White, Mr. Pelham, Mr. Bagshaw, Mr. St. Johns; these are added to the Committee for Recusants.
Impeachment of E.of Straford.
Mr. Pym reports from the Conference this Day, That the Lord's Committees, with whom we had a free Conference Yesterday, took the Matter into Consideration; and their Resolution is expressed in an Order, "That such Members of the House of Commons as they shall make choice of, shall be present, from Time to Time, at the preparatory Examinations concerning the Earl of Straford."
"The Lord Keeper expected we should say something: We told them, we had no Warrant; for a Conference was desired, concerning the Matter of free Conference, and that a free Conference was not desired. The Question [they] would [have] been satisfied in, was, whether we did intend to have the Examinations taken publick in the House, or by a private Committee? I answered, we had no Commission for free Conference."
The same Committee, that was appointed to draw up the Charge against the Earl of Straford, are to be present at the preparatory Examinations of Witnesses before the Lords; and to present such Questions unto the Lords, as they shall think fit thereupon; and, after a full Examination, to present the whole State of the Business to this House.
A Message to be sent to the Lords, to acquaint them that this House is ready, by some Members of this House, to present divers Witnesses to be examined, and such Questions, as they shall desire them to be examined upon; and to desire that those Witnesses, so propounded, may be all examined, one after another, with Speed and Secrecy.
Proceedings against Ratcliffe.
Thursday Morning is peremptorily appointed, for Sir Geo. Ratcliffe to appear here; and if he come not, then a Message to be sent to the Lords, to desire them to move his Majesty for a Proclamation to be awarded against him, to bring him in.
Mr. Maynard reports from the Conference Yesterday; "The Lords said, they had taken the Message into Consideration, sent by Mr. Pym-Some things were resolved, others not; and, for that Purpose, desired a free Conference."
1. "Whereas we did desire to examine some Members of this House; they were ready to examine them, when we should require. They answered, that the Peers of their House, that shall be desired, shall be examined; and all the Assistants of that House, when they shall be thereunto required, shall be examined upon Oath."