Journal of the House of Commons: Volume 7, 1651-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1802.
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Friday, the 27th of February, 1651.
Thieves and Highwaymen.
Embassy from Hanse Towns.
Ordered, That Mr. Nevill, Mr. Strickland, Mr. Thomas Challoner, Mr. Ralegh, Sir John Hippisley, Colonel Ingoldsby, Sir John Trevor, Lord Commissioner Lisle, Colonel Morley, Earl of Pembroke, Lord Chief Baron, be appointed a Committee to give Audience to the Agent from the Burgemasters and Senators of Lubeck, Bremen, and Hamborow, and the rest of the Hanse Towns.
Mr. Garland reports from the Committee to whom the Business touching Alderman Fowke was referred, an Act for relieving of John Fowke, of London, Alderman, against the Governor and certain Adventurers of the East India Company.
He also reports from the same Committee, concerning the said Alderman Fowke's Reparation for his Sufferings in 3° Caroli, the Report touching Alderman Fowke, made at the Committee of the Navy Two-and-twentieth of August 1649; with the Opinion of the Committee, That what Sum the Parliament shall think fit to allow the said Alderman for his Reparations, he shall have the same out of the Estates of Papists, and other Delinquents, according to an Order of the 30th of June 1645; and out of Omissions, Undervalues, and Compositions of Delinquents.
BY Virtue of an Order of Parliament of the 18th of January 1646, whereby it is referred to this Committee to receive Alderman Fowke's Petition, and examine his Sufferings, Damages, and Losses, sustained for the Service of the Commonwealth; and to report their Opinions thereupon to the House; This Committee do find, upon Examination, That, 3° Caroli, the Parliament declared, by a Vote, "That whosoever should pay Tonage and Poundage, not being granted by Parliament, were Betrayers of the Liberty of England:" In Obedience to which Vote and Declaration, Mr. Alderman Fowke, though a Man of great Trading at that Time, refused to pay Tonage and Poundage: Whereupon he had Currans, Muscadels, Grogram, Mohairs, Raw-Silk, and other Goods seized, to his Prejudice of 5,827l.
That, in August and January 1628, he took a legal Course, and brought several Writs of Replevin: Both which, though served, were made ineffectual, by several Warrants from the Lord Treasurer and Council-Table, brought by the Serjeant at Arms, and other Messengers, who dispossessed the said Alderman of his Goods, and imprisoned his Person.
That, in February following, an Information was exhibited against the Alderman, in Star-Chamber, for a pretended Riot, and seditious Words used by him, in executing the said Replevin: To which the Alderman put in his Demurrer, Plea, and Answer; and so that Suit depended.
In October 1629, the Alderman refusing to pay Tonage and Poundage for Muscadels, Currans, and other Goods, then by him imported, Information was given in against him at Council-Table; and great Endeavours used to take away his Life and Estate, upon false Pretences of Clipping of Money, and Piracies: About which divers Witnesses were examined, and he committed to the Fleet, without any Cause expressed, and his Ship and Goods, with a Prize of Sugar, all seized: And albeit the Alderman used all Means to get his Liberty, by procuring Habeas Corpus, and otherwise, and by making several Motions in the Exchequer, upon which Orders were made, with the Assent of the late King's Attorney, and Officers, for Possession of his Goods; yet, after a vast Expence of Money and Time, they were all rendered ineffectual; and he forced to give 40,000l. Bail in the Admiralty about the said Prize.
April 14, Information was exhibited against the Alderman in the Exchequer, to force him to pay 5s. 6d. per Cent. for Currans imported: To which the Alderman put in his Plea and Answer; which is yet depending.
In December 1630, a Second Information was exhibited against him in Star-chamber, charging him with a Purpose to dishonour the late King's Government, and discouraging Merchants both at Home and Abroad; for that the Alderman, presently after the Dissolution of the Parliament, had written and published, in a Letter to his Factor at Leghorne, these false and seditious Words, viz. "The Parliament is broken up with Discontent; which fills us with Sorrow and Fear. The Lord in Mercy look upon us! for we decline in Honour, Wealth, and Safety, strangely." Unto which Information the Alderman answered; Witnesses were examined; Publication passed; and so depended.
In June 1641, the Alderman, having suffered as before, and in many other great and chargeable Suits and Imprisonments, petitioned the House for Relief, as formerly he had done in the former Parliament, in May and February 1628; thereby setting forth, that he was then damnified 20,000l. at least; the House having, on the First Day of the same Month, voted the Patentees, and Undersharers of the Customs, Delinquents; and that their Estates, living or dead, ought to be made liable to Restitution.
1. For the Prejudice by him suffered by the Seizure and Detainer of his Goods at the Custom-house, the Sum of 5,827l. Which, together with the single Interest thereof, from the Year 1628 to this Time, being Oneand-twenty Years, as was allowed by the Parliament, 7 Maii 1644, to Mr. Roll, for the like Cause, amounts to 15,615l.
2. For Damage sustained by the Alderman by Loss of his Trade, after the Rate of 6l. per Centum, for his Stock, being computed the Sum for which his Goods were sold, from the Year 1628, until the Beginning of this Parliament, being 12 Years; as was likewise allowed to Mr. Rolle, 7 Maii 1644, for the like Cause, 12,000l.
And this Committee further certify, That the House having, by an Order of the 30th of June 1645, directed a Course to be considered of, how the said Alderman, amongst others, might have Reparation out of Delinquents Estates, they have summoned Sir Paul Pindar, Sir Wm. Acton, Sir John Jacob, Sir Thomas Dawes, Sir John Harrison, Sir John Wostenholme, and Mr. Richard Bishop, being some of the said Patentees and Undersharers of the Customs, to shew Cause, why they ought not to make the said Alderman Fowkes Satisfaction for his said Sufferings: Some of whom attending by their Counsel, it then appeared, that they, amongst others, are the Persons by whom the said Mr. Alderman suffered, as aforesaid; yet, in Bar thereunto, they plead an Order of Parliament, of the 26th of May 1641, whereby it appears, that 150,000l. was accepted of them, in Satisfaction of their Delinquency to the Commonwealth; and therefore they conceive themselves no ways liable to make the said Alderman Satisfaction: Which this Committee, nevertheless, submit to the Judgment of this honourable House; and to direct a Way for the said Mr. Alderman's Reparations.
East India Company.
|Colonel Purefoy,||Tellers for the Yeas:||41.|
|Lieut. Gen. Fleetwood,||With the Yeas,|
|Mr. Bond,||Tellers for the Noes:||25.|
|Colonel Marten,||With the Noes,|
Resolved, That this Bill be now read the Second time: Which was read accordingly; and, upon the Question, committed unto Alderman Allein, Lord General, Major General Harrison, Colonel Rich, Mr Bond, Mr. Carew, Mr. Ralegh, Sir Henry Mildmay, Colonel Morley, Mr. Herbert, Mr. Robert Goodwin, Sir Wm. Constable, Sir Arthure Hesilrig, Colonel Wouton, Colonel Fielder, Mr. Hallowes, Mr. Edwards, Mr. Wilde, Mr. Solicitor, Sir James Harrington, Mr. Holland, Mr. * Ashe, Mr. Attorney General, Sir John Danvers, Colonel Marten, Colonel Birch, Mr. John Goodwin, Mr. James Ash, Alderman Atkins, Mr. Leman, Lieutenant General Fleetwood, Mr. West, Mr. Harby, Sir John Bourchier, Colonel Thompson, Mr. Garland; or any Five of them.
Resolved, That the said Petition of the present Members, the Governor and Company of Merchants of London, trading to the East Indies, be committed to the same Committee: With Power to hear all Parties, and to examine upon Oath; and to send for Persons, Papers, and Witnesses: And this Committee are to meet at Two of Clock, in the Duchy-Chamber, this Afternoon: And Mr. Garland is to take Care of it.