Journal of the House of Commons: Volume 9, 1667-1687. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1802.
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Lunæ, 29 Aprilis, 1678.
Danger from Popery.
SIR John Trevor reports from the Committee appointed to prepare and draw up Reasons to be offered at a Conference with the Lords, concerning the Danger the Nation is in by the Growth of Popery; and for providing Remedies to prevent the same; and to summon Mr. Arnold and Mr. Scudamore, and to take their Answer to the Paper delivered to Mr. Speaker; That the Committee met several times: And that they had perused several Papers and Records; and had taken the Answers of Mr. Arnold and Mr. Scudamore, and the Informations of several others; and had several Informations exhibited to them, taken upon Oath before Justices of the Peace: And that the Committee ordered him to make a Report, consisting of several Particulars, disposed under Three Heads: Which Report he read in his Place; and afterwards delivered the same in at the Clerk's Table.
Message to attend the King.
And the House being returned, Mr. Speaker reports, That he had attended his Majesty: And that his Majesty was pleased to signify his Pleasure by the Lord Chancellor: Being long, and of great Consequence, to avoid Mistakes, he had obtained a Copy of it: Which was read to the House by the Clerk; and is as followeth; viz.
Lord Chancellor's Speech.
HIS Majesty, having made a League offensive and defensive with Holland, and endeavoured to improve that League, by entering into further and more general Alliances, for the Prosecution of the War, hath nevertheless thought fit, before he make His last Step, to take the further Advice of both His Houses of Parliament; and resolves to govern himself by it.
And to the end His Parliament may be able to give a clear and certain Judgment in this Matter, His Majesty hath commanded, that the present State and Condition of Affairs should be fully and plainly opened to you. And this I shall do in few Words.
The Address to His Majesty from both Houses, was upon the Sixteenth of March One thousand Six hundred and Seventy-six; wherein the dangerous Growth of the French Monarchy being observed, and the Conquests made in Flanders, together with the ill Consequences arising from thence, His Majesty is desired to strengthen Himself by such stricter Alliances as may secure His own Kingdoms, and preserve the Spanish Netherlands.
But this Address did neither desire nor seem to intend, that His Majesty should so suddenly and so abruptly depart from his Figure of Mediator, as immediately to become a Party in the War, before any such Alliances were made: For this Address was followed with several other Addresses from the Commons, in the Months of March, April, and May following, all of them pressing His Majesty to hasten His Entry into such Alliances; and one of them particularly pointing at a League offensive and defensive with the States General. And in Truth, as no Alliances could well be made, till we had concluded with Holland; so no Entry could be made upon any Alliance with Holland, until the Mind of the Prince of Orange were perfectly known; for upon him would depend much of that Certainty and Secrecy, which was absolutely necessary to bring such a Treaty to Perfection: But the Prince was in so great a Hurry of Business, and such a Heat of Action, that no Time could possibly be found all that Summer, to enter upon this Treaty. And yet that no Time might be lost, His Majesty did all he could at Home, to fit and prepare Himself for such an Alliance, when the Time should come: He repairs His old Fleet; buys in necessary Stores for the Navy and Ordnance: And in this and other Provisions, for better securing His foreign Plantations, and Islands nearer Home, expended a great deal more than the Two hundred thousand Pounds, which He was enabled to borrow upon the Excise: And if He could have then prevailed to have had the Six hundred thousand Pounds completed, as he desired, the Expence of That in other Stores and Provisions, both for Land and Sea, would by this time have given an universal Content and Satisfaction.
Nor did His Majesty rest here, but He continued all the rest of that Summer to make all the Steps He could towards an Alliance with Holland. To this End He did in the Month of June send for His Ambassador Sir Wm. Temple, to come to Him from Nimeguen, in order to his being employed to negotiate with the Prince of Orange, touching those Measures which were necessary to be taken for the common Safety: But the Prince's continual Action caused it to be deferred; and yet in August following the King appoints His Ambassador Mr. Hyde to wait upon the Prince, and to know of him what Course he thought best to be taken, as Things then stood; and to desire him, that he would either write his own Mind, or send some Person hither, instructed with it, or come himself. The Prince was pleased to choose the latter.
By That Conversation with his Highness, His Majesty quickly understood to what a low Estate the Affairs of Holland were reduced; and in what great Disorders the rest of the Confederates were; they in Flanders totally desponding, and the People in Holland being violent for a Peace. So that there seemed to be no other Remedy or Expedient left, but for His Majesty to try whether a Peace could be obtained upon reasonable Conditions; this being the main and principal Point, to which the King had been all that Year earnestly solicited by the States; that is to say, In the Months of January, May, and September last, just before the Prince came over: And His Majesty had Reason to believe, that such Endeavours would be greatful to the States; and took thereby an Opportunity to engage the States, that, in case of Refusal, they should enter into such an Alliance with His Majesty, Lord Chancellor's Speech as might enable Him to obtain His Desires by Force of Arms: For His Majesty did well perceive, that the States of Holland, whom he had so long found weary of the War, would never enter into any Alliance with His Majesty for the Prosecution of this War, without a Prospect of a Peace.
And, to convince the World, that His Majesty was resolved to espouse the Interest of the States General to the uttermost, His Majesty (who could not but see that the Happiness and Prosperity of the Prince did very much depend upon the Quiet and Repose of those Countries) did, in the Time of their most pressing Dangers, give His own Niece in Marriage to the Prince: Which Act alone was enough to extinguish all the Fears at Home, and raise the Hopes of all that were Abroad. And with this Assurance, and this Evidence of the King's good Intentions to the States, the Prince returned.
And now, to the end it might be known, whether his most Christian Majesty would consent to such Conditions of Peace, as might be grateful to the States; and that such Measures might be taken as were fit in case of Refusal; Conditions were prepared and sent to Paris, by the Earl of Feversham, in November last; and in December following, the Earl of Eeversham returns with an Answer, very dissatisfactory.
This ill Answer being returned, His Majesty hastened the Meeting of the Parliament; and proceeded to close up the Treaty with the States General, for obtaining of those Conditions by Force of Arms, which could not be obtained by fair Means.
And this is the League offensive and defensive made with Holland, and concluded in the Beginning of January last: Which his Majesty is graciously pleased may be communicated to the Parliament, if they shall desire to see it.
And His Majesty, at the same time, and for the fuller Satisfaction of His Parliament, and the better Securing of his Kingdoms, in all Events, did further take care to conclude another perpetual defensive Treaty with the States General.
In Execution of the offensive and defensive League, His Majesty sent to the States, to have the Number of Forces by Sea and Land adjusted; and did agree what His own Quota by Sea should be; and sent over some Forces into Flanders; and had sent more, but that some Difficulties were made on That Side; which His Majesty, for the Friendship sake which He hath with them, does not think fit to remember.
The next Thing absolutely necessary to be done, was, to have one common Alliance, for all Parties to enter into for the Carrying on of the War, by disposing the several Stations of the joint Forces, by the general Prohibition of Commerce, and by providing against all Possibilities of any separate Peace: For which Causes His Majesty appoints His own Commissioners, to meet and treat with the foreign Ministers: But to the King's great Disappointment it appeared, that the Dutch Ambassador had no Power to treat: Which made the other Ministers refuse to enter upon any Discourse; and therefore, to obtain these Powers to be sent, His Majesty, besides the repeated and pressing Instances of His own Ambassadors in Holland, was pleased to write Himself to the States very earnestly in this Matter. At last Powers come: But then the Ambassador wants Instructions; so that nothing at all could be concluded touching those Points which were most essential and necessary to be settled between us; and which the King hath never ceased to press for, to this very Day. But hitherto the King finds what he always feared, that the Dutch are making haste to get out of the War; and are so far from disposing themselves to enter into any new Alliance for the more vigorous Prosecution of it, that whether they will persevere in the League offensive and defensive which they have made with the King, or to what Degree they will act, if they should persevere, depends upon very many and very great Uncertainties: For they are at this very Time entered upon Considerations of accepting such a Peace as the most Christian King hath thought fit to offer lately at Nimeguen, though it be without His Majesty's Consent or Privity, and contrary to that League by which they stand obliged to him to prosecute the War, till a much better Peace can be obtained.
To prevent this, the King hath sent an Express, on purpose to know what they intend by this manner of Proceeding; and to dissuade them from it, by letting them see, that this will be as ill a Peace for themselves and the rest of Christendom, as their Enemies could wish.
But the King, as yet, can receive no other Account from them, but Complaints of their great Poverty, and utter Inability to be at any further Charge in carrying on the War: And the King is informed by His Ambassador, that they intend to send over an Envoy Extraordinary to His Majesty, to beg His Majesty to accept of these Propositions; and to excuse themselves for this, upon the general Impatience of their People.
This is the State of the Case; and thus it stands at this Day between us and Holland; from whom we have little Hopes now, that they should ever so far enter into this new and common Alliance, as to make it Quadrupartite.
And now, upon the whole Matter, the King demands your Advice, what may be fit for Him to do in this difficult Conjuncture; and resolves to pursue it: And therefore desires you to take this Matter into your most speedy and most serious Considerations.
Leagues and Treaties.
Ordered, That the Members of this House that are of his Majesty's Privy Council do attend His Majesty; and humbly desire him, that he will be pleased to communicate to this House, all such Leagues and Treaties as are mentioned in the Lord Chancellor's Speech, or relating thereunto.
Danger from Popery.
1. John Arnold, of Llanvihangell in the County of Monmouth, Esquire, late a Justice of the Peace there, by his Examination saith, that he hath known Mr. David Lewis for Seven or Eight Years; who hath been for all that Time, and before, reputed a Jesuit, and Provincial of the Jesuits, in the County of Monmouth: That for several Years past, he lived . . Llantarnam House, then in Jointure to the Lady Morgan; which by her Death, about Two Years since, came to Sir Edward Morgan: Where the said David Lewis publickly said Mass, as he hath been credibly informed by Persons that were present thereat. He likewise says That he hath seen the Chapel, Altar, and Ornaments in the said House, for the Celebration of Mass: That the said David Lewis lives now near Llantarnam aforesaid; and doth also, as he hath been informed, say Mass at a Popish Chapel, near Mr. Gunter's House in Abergaveny Town.
3. William James, by his Examination upon Oath, saith, That he hath known David Lewis to be a Popish Priest, this Sixteen Years; and believes him to be the Superior of all the Jesuits in North and South Wales: He and his Wife have received the Sacrament of him; hath seen him administer it to above a Hundred Persons; hath seen him christen several Children, and marry several Persons at a Chapel in Lantarnam House, and at the Houses of Andrew and Edward William: That a great Number resort to Llantarnam to hear Mass. Deposeth further, That he hath given several Angels to the said David Lewis to pray for the Soul of his Father-in-Law, after he was dead: And that his Father-in-Law told him and his Wife, that he was fain to give Fifty Pounds to the said David Lewis, to be disposed to pious Uses; and that if he did not give it, he should neither have the Sacrament, nor Absolution. And he further saith, That he knoweth William Cornelius who hath officiated as Clerk at Mass to the said David Lewis, this Fifteen or Sixteen Years; And that the said William Cornelius was both a Constable and Churchwarden for the Parish of Langatuck.
4. Dorothy, the Wife of William James, deposeth, That she hath known David Lewis to be a Popish Priest, these Twenty Years; hath seen him say Mass at Llantarnan, and elsewhere; she and her Husband having received the Sacrament from him; and hath seen him administer it to several Persons; and marry and christen several times: She knoweth, that one William Cornelius hath officiated as Clerk to the said David Lewis, for Sixteen Years past, and above.
5. Mr. Aronld says, That he hath known Captain Syliard Four or Five Years: That he hath been informed, by the Minister of Lanarth, and others, That he is a Romish Priest, and doth openly say Mass in that Parish; to which great Numbers do resort: That most of the Parish are Papists.
9. Thomas Watkins of Lanarth, upon his Oath, deposeth, That Walter Harry, alias Price, is a reputed Popish Priest; resideth in Clitha a Hamlet in Lanarth, in the House of Mrs. Christian Milburne: That there are above Eighty reputed Popish Recusants, besides Children and Servants, in that Parish: That he hath been informed, that the said Price says Mass, marries and christens in the said Parish; and has endeavoured to pervert several of the Parish to the Popish Religion.
10. Mr. Samuell Watkins, Vicar of Lantilio Gresseny and Penrose in the County of Monmouth, upon his Oath, says, That Mr. Walter Harries, alias Price, and another Mr. Harries, say Mass at William Pullen's House; and likewise do often christen.
11. Mr. Aron Lewis, of Landigua in the County of Monmouth, upon his Oath, says, That several Persons have informed him, that Walter Harries, alias Price, is a Popish Priest, and had christened several of their Children; and that the said Price said Mass publickly: and that he lives in the House of Mrs. Catherine and Christian Milbourne.
12. Alice the Wife of the said Mr. Aron Lewis, upon her Oath, saith, That she knoweth the said Mr. Walter Price to be a Popish Priest: Hath seen and heard him say Mass Forty times; hath received the Sacrament from him; hath seen him administer it to a Hundred more; hath seen him often marry and christen; hath perverted several Protestants from the Church of England to the Church of Rome; as James Prichard and Catherine his Wife, Charles Watkins and Margarett his Wife, and the Wife of William Arthur, and several others.
She further saith, that she hath seen above a Hundred at Mass at one time, at Mrs. Christian Milborne's House: And that the Crowd was so great, that the Loft was forced to be propped, lest it should fall down under the Weight: That she hath confessed her Sins to the said Price; and that he gave her Absolution.
13. William Lewis, of Ragland in the County of Monmouth, upon his Oath, saith, That he hath seen Mr. Price, who doth, or lately did live at the House of Mrs. Milborne, say Mass, and preach in Welch: That the said Price did earnestly endeavour to turn him from the Church of England to the Church of Rome; telling him, That he should never see the Face of God, unless he would be of their Way.
14. Mr. Roger Seys, upon his Oath, saith, That the said Walter Harry, alias Price, is a Popish Priest: And that he was present when it was proved before a Justice of the Peace, That the said Price had said Mass.
15. William James, upon his Oath, saith, That he knoweth Walter Harries, alias Price, a Popish Priest; and hath seen him at Mass; hath heard him say Mass: And that he is entertained at Mrs. Milborne's House in Clitha.
16: Mr. Arnold says, That he hath been very credibly informed, that one Dr. Pugh says Mass publickly in the House of Mr. Thomas Rodnam of Blackebrooke, both when Mr. Rodnam is at home, and when he is absent: That he hath been informed, that Walter James Esquire suffers one John Lloyd, a reputed Priest, to say Mass in his House at Treivor: That he hath seen a Chapel at Llanvaire in the House of Turbervill Morgan Esquire; and an Altar and Ornaments in it. And he hath been informed, that Thomas Lloyd, a Popish Priest, saith publick Mass, marries, christens, and buries in the said Chapel.
17. Mr. Samuell Watkins, Vicar of Llantillio Gresseny, and Penrose, upon his Oath, saith, That Mr. Lloyd, a reputed Popish Priest, says Mass at the House of Turbervill Morgan Esquire, in his Parish: That there are Three other Houses in his Parish, where reputed Popish Priests are entertained, and say public Mass: And that there are in the Parishes of Llantillio Gressing, and Penrose, Sixscore Popish Recusants.
18. Mr. Arnold says, That he hath been informed by the Minister and several Witnesses, that Mrs. Scudamore of Penrose, Widow, suffers publick Mass to be said in her House; and that great Numbers resort thither.
19. Mr. Samuell Watkins, Vicar of Penrose, upon his Oath, saith, That one Mr. Lloyd, a reputed Popish Priest, is entertained at the House of one Mrs. Winifred Scudamore: And that he hath seen him there, and a great Number of Popish Recusants resorting thither upon Sundays and Holidays, to hear Mass, as he conceiveth; and he verily believes, all her Children were christened by Popish Priests.
20. Mr. Arnold says, That he hath seen a publick Chapel near the House of Mr. Thomas Gunter, a Papist convict in Abergaveny, adorned with the Marks of the Jesuits on the Outside; and is informed, that Mass is said there by Captain Evans, a reputed Jesuit, and by the aforesaid David Lewis; that very great Numbers resort to the said Chapel, and very often at Church-time: And he hath credibly heard, that a Hundred have gone out of the said Chapel, when not Forty have gone out of the Great Church: That the said Chapel is situate in a publick Street of the said Town; and doth front the said Street.
21. Mr. Greenhaugh, Vicar of Abergaveny, and Lantilio Bartholey in the County of Monmouth, upon his Oath, saith, That on Sundays and Holidays he hath seen great Number of Roman Catholicks resort to the House of Mr. Thomas Gunter at Abergaveney: And that the said Gunter entertains one Captain Evans, whom he supposeth to be a Popish Priest: That there is the publick Marks of the Jesuits on the Outside of the Building; which is directly towards the Parish Church; and he is informed is their Chapel: And that they have in that House all the Formalities and Ornaments unto a Chapel belonging; with Mass on Sundays, and other Holidays. He deposeth, That there have been many Marriages and Christenings in both the said Parishes, by Popish Priests: And further, That the said Thomas Gunter told him, that in Oliver's Time of Severity he kept a Priest, and would keep one now: That many times Corps came to be interred, with the Formalities of white Crosses upon them; and, endeavouring to hinder the said Superstition, he hath been often abused: That he hath informed John Arnold Esquire, and other Justices of the Peace, of publick Mass said there; and other Enormities of the Papists.
23. Mr. Arnold says, That the Persons who commonly go under the Names hereafter mentioned, do often change their Names, and are called by other Names; and are reputed to be itinerant Priests in the Counties of Hereford and Monmouth; and do usually officiate in Ten Miles Compass; viz. Mr. Dracott, Mr. Elliott, Captain Pugh, Dr. Pugh, Mr. Rider, Mr. Morgan, Mr. Lloyd, Mr. Williams, Mr. Parry, Mr. Jones, Mr. Harries, who is said to be Super-intendant of the Combe, Mr. John Hall, Mr. Thomas Powell, Mr. Harries, alias Price, Mr. Thomas Andrewes.
25. Mr. Samuell Watkins, Vicar of Llantilio Gresseny, upon his Oath, deposeth, That Mr. Thomas Andrews, a reputed Popish Priest, is entertained at Mr. Anthony Powell's at Killough; where he hath seen him: And that he says publick Mass there: And that Mr. Hall, a reputed Popish Priest, is entertained at Mr. James Prichard's House of Blaen Llyman, where Mass is publickly said: And he hath been informed, that another reputed Popish Priest, called Mr. Lawrence Watkins, frequents the House of Mr. Walter Powell.
26. Mr. Roger Seys, upon his Oath, deposeth, That he heard it proved before several Justices of the Peace of the County of Monmouth, that Mr. Lawrence Watkins was a Popish Priest, and did officiate at the House of Mr. Charles Scudamore, deceased: And further deposeth, That Thomas Powell, a reputed Popish Priest, liveth at the House of the Lady Jones of Treowen, which is distant about a Quarter of a Mile from the Parish Church of Dingeston; to which Church, as he is informed, there do not resort above Sixteen or Twenty Persons, or thereabouts; when there doth resort to the House of the said Lady Jones threescore or thereabouts; all which do pass and repass through the said Church-yard of Dingestow, at the Time of Divine Service.
28. Mr. Arnold says, That he hath seen Hundreds of Papists meet on the Top of a high Hill, called, St. Michaell's Mount, where is frequent Meetings, Eight or Ten times in the Year, as he is informed, Mass said, and sometimes Sermons preached there.
29. John Scudamore, of Kentchurch in the County of Hereford Esquire, saith, That he hath seen very great Numbers of People at their Devotion, on the Top of a high Hill in Monmothshire, called St. Michaell's Mount, where there is a ruinous Chapel, and a Stone with Crosses upon it, which he took to be an Altar: And he hath seen People with Beads in their Hands, kneeling, toward the said Stone, both within and without the said Chapel: And he hath been informed they do constantly assemble there at several times of the Year: And he hath seen them there several times himself: And he hath been informed, that Mass is often said there: And some Papists have affirmed in his Presence, that they have heard as good Sermons preached there, as ever they heard in their Lives.
30. Mr. Arnold saith, That he knoweth, that Combe House in Herefordshire, and several Lands belonging to it, of a considerable Value, is commonly reputed to be a Convent of Jesuits: And he hath heard some of the Papists themselves call it the College of the Combe: And he hath been informed, that there are commonly Five or Six Jesuits residing there: And there is a publick Chapel; and Mass constantly said therein.
31. Mr. Scudamore says, That at a House called the Combe, in the County of Hereford, several Priests are maintained and kept there: And that it is commonly reported, that it is a House or College for that Purpose.
32. William James of Langatuck, in the County of Monmoth, upon his Oath, deposeth, That he hath heard several of the Popish Priests say, That, if they could not live in those Parts, they would repair to the Combe in Herefordshire: And believes the said Combe to be a Convent; and that the Lands thereunto belonging belong to the Priests; and that they do keep, or lately did keep, Husbandry there.
33. Mr. Charles Morgan, upon his Oath, deposeth, That Combe House in the County of Hereford, near the Dwelling House of Harry Milburne Esquire, a Justice of the Peace, is reputed to be a Popish Convent, where several Popish reputed Priests did lately inhabit; viz. Mr. James, Mr. Humfreys, Mr. Draycott, and Mr. Harries.
Three worthy Members of this House, living in and near Herefordshire, informed the Committee, That Combe House aforesaid, and the Lands thereunto be Danger from Popery. longing, is commonly reputed to belong to the Popish Priests.
1. Mr. Arnold saith, That he knoweth Sir Edward Morgan, of Llantarnan in the County of Monmouth, Baronet; That he hath seen in his House of Llantarnan a Popish Chapel, with Altar and Ornaments therein for the Celebration of Mass; wherein Mass is said, as he hath been informed by such as have been present thereat: That he hath heard the said Sir Edward Morgan affirm himself to be a Roman Catholick: That he is yet continued in the Commission of Peace, and is reputed to be a Deputy Lieutenant.
2. Mr. Arnold says, That, about Ten Years since, he knew William Jones of Llanarth, Esquire; that he was a Justice of the Peace, and Deputy Lieutenant of Monmouthshire; hath been informed by a worthy Member of this House, that before and at the time of his Death he was a Papist: He hath heard some Papists brag, that he died a Papist; and that his Son is now bred in a College of Jesuits in France, or elsewhere in Foreign Parts: He says, That he hath been informed, by the Minister and others, that most of that Parish are Papists: He says, That though several Warrants have issued from the Justices, to have Accounts of Defaults for not coming to Church; no Returns could be had for these Two Years last past, the Churchwardens and Constables being Papists.
3. Mr. Thomas Watkins, Vicar of the Parish of Llanarth, upon his Oath, says, That there are above Fourscore reputed Popish Recusants within his Parish, besides Children and Servants; Three reputed Popish Priests residing and officiating there, to wit, one Syliard, who was lately Tutor to Mr. Jones' Two Sons, who are now beyond Seas, as he verily believes; one Walter Harries, residing at Mr. Milborne's House at Clitha, a Hamlet of Lanarth; and one Andrews, at Bettus.
5. Mr. John Greenhaugh, Vicar of Abergaveny and Llantilio Bartholy in the County of Monmouth, upon his Oath, deposeth, That there is, or hath of late been, one Mr. Evans, a reputed Popish Priest, entertained at the House of Charles Proger Esquire, in the said Parish of Llandilio, who is a Justice of Peace; That he hath seen great Numbers of Men and Women resort thither to Mass, as he conceives.
6. Mr. Arnold says, That he hath been informed, that Mass was very lately and publickly said at Llantrothy, a House belonging to Rowland Prichard Esquire, now a Justice of Peace of Monmouthshire; where one Thomas Elliott a Popish Priest, formerly committed to Hereford Gaol as such, doth officiate: That he informed the said Mr. Prichard of it; and that it was dangerous to him, and scandalous to Religion, for him to suffer it: The said Mr. Prichard answered, That he had Ten Pounds Rent extraordinary for it; and That would do him more Good than the Scandal could hurt him: That Mr. Prichard is Nephew to Mr. Harry Milborne.
7. Mr. Charles Morgan, upon his Oath, deposeth, That he hath credibly heard, that Rowland Prichards Esquire hath Ten Pounds per Annum more, for his House at Llantrothy, for suffering one Mr. Williams, a reputed Popish Priest, to be there sometimes.
8. Mr. Arnold says, That he knows Harry Milborne Esquire to be a Justice of Peace in Four Counties, whereof Monmouthshire is one: And that he, the said Milborne, ever since he came into the Commission of the Peace for Monmouthshire, hath kept Papists for his Clerks, who received and kept all Presentments: One of them, called Bowyer, was indicted for treasonable Words at Hereford Assizes, of which the Herefordshire Members can give a more perfect Account; the other, named Peter Roberts, a Papist Convict: The said Mr. Arnold says, and Henry Probert Esquire, upon his Oath, deposeth, That they both, as Justices of the Peace of the County of Monmouth, on the Seventeenth Day of April 1677, did often tender the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy to the said Peter Roberts; which the said Roberts, with Contempt, did refuse to take: That they both required the said Mr. Milborne, being then present, to join with them in the Tender of the said Oath, and in committing the said Roberts: Which he refused: Whereupon the said Mr. Arnold and Mr. Probert did, by Warrant and Mittimus, commit the said Roberts to one Hugh Powell, one of the chief Constables for the Hundred of Skenfrith; to convey him to his Majesty's Gaol: Whereupon the said Harry Milbourne did lay violent Hands on the chief Constable; and pushed him away, whilst the said Roberts made his Escape; and bid the said Roberts be gone: Which he did accordingly; and though he was pursued, yet did escape.
The said Mr. Arnold further says, That he hath often heard the said Mr. Milborne, at Privy Sessions, both discourage Constables from presenting of Popish Recusants, and also declare, That it was contrary to Law to present them at a Privy Sessions: And that the Law of 1° Elizabeth was not intended against Papists. He also knoweth, That the said Mr. Milborne, at the End of last Easter or Midsummer Sessions, did procure an Order, that neither the said Henry Probert, nor himself, should act as Justices in the Hundred of Skenfrith, though no Justice lived in the said Hundred, and they live both near to it: And that the said Mr. Milborne obtained another Order of the Quarter Sessions, to vacate That they had done at a Privy Sessions, where they had convicted above Two hundred Papists; the Copies of which Orders were denied him by the Clerk of the Peace and his Clerks: And he verily believes, that the Reason of making both their Orders was, because the said Mr. Probert, and himself, did their Duty faithfully, and did put the Laws in Execution against the Papists.
10. And Mr. Arnold says, That he was present when one Mr. Roger Seys did demand of Mr. Milborne a Warrant, to apprehend one Walter Price, whom the said Mr. Seys offered to prove to be a Popish Priest, kept in the House of Mrs. Catherine and Mrs. Christian Milburne, Sisters to the said Mr. Milburne: Which the said Mr. Milburne not only refused to grant, but threatened the said Mr. Seys for demanding the same. And lastly he saith, That he hath been credibly informed, that Mr. Milburne is a Trustee of many of the Papists in Hereford and Monmouthshires.
11. Henry Probert Esquire, upon his Oath, saith, That Mr. Arnold, with himself and others, kept a Privy Sessions in Llantillio Gresseny, in the County of Monmouth, where the Constables presented a great Number of Popish Recusants; but at the next Quarter Sessions there was an Order made, vacating all that was done at the said Privy Sessions; though very little or nothing was done there, but about the Presentment of Papists: And further, That he doth in his Conscience believe, that the said Mr. Milburne was the main Agent and Instrument of making and obtaining the said Order.
12. John Scudamore Esquire, Justice of the Peace of Herefordshire, says, That, having desired one Mr. Harry Milburne, a Justice of Peace of that County, to join with him in issuing out Warrants to levy Twelve-pence a Sunday on Popish Recusants, he always refused so to do; affirming that the Statute of 1° Elizabeth was never intended against Papists.
That he hath been credibly informed, That the greatest Part of the Family and Houshold of the said Mr. Milburne, and great Part of the Parish within which he lives, are Papists: That he hath known Two of Mr. Milburne's Clerks, who received and kept all Returns and Presentments, and were both declared Papists, the Name of one being John Bowyer, who was tried at Hereford for treasonable Words; the Name of the other Peter Roberts, who is or was lately his Clerk.
13. Mr. Roger Seys and Mr. Lewis Price, upon their Oaths, severally depose, That they were present when John Arnold and Henry Probert Esquires, did commit Peter Roberts, Clerk to Mr. Milburne; for refusing to take the Oaths of Supremacy and Allegiance: And that the said Mr. Milburne rescued the said Roberts out of the Hands of the chief Constable; who thereupon made his Escape.
The said Mr. Seys farther deposeth, That he, being Churchwarden, did on the Seventeenth Day of April, 1677, demand a Warrant from Mr. Milburne, against Walter Harryes, alias Price, a Popish Priest, who liveth with Mrs. Christian and Catherine Milburne, Sisters to the said Milburne: Which Warrant Mr. Milburne refused to grant; but threatened him with opprobrious Words, telling him, that he was a busy troublesome Man, and that he would be upon his Skirts.
14. Lambert Miles, upon his Oath, saith, That about the Year 1675 or 1676, being Petty Constable of Llantillio Gresseney, he went to Mr. Milburne a Justice of Peace, with his Presentment, to be approved of and subscribed by the said Mr. Milburne; wherein several Popish Recusants were presented for not coming to Church: That the said Mr. Milburne struck out, or caused to be struck out, several of their Names; and the Oath, that it was a true Presentment, was omitted; he the said Miles refusing to take it, unless the Names of the said Popish Recusants, struck out, as aforesaid, by Mr. Milburne, or his Order, were inserted therein: That thereupon the said Lambert Miles never presented those struck out any more, nor swore to any Presentment after, though he continued Petty Constable Two Years.
15. Mr. Arnold saith, That he hath had it proved by Oath before him, that Mr. Isaack Williams, who is Coroner for Part of the County of Monmouth, hath his Children christened by a Popish Priest: And that his Wife is a violent Papist: And hath heard credibly, that Mass is very often said in his House; and that very frequent Meetings of Romish Priests, and others of that Religion, are held there.
16. Mr. Roger Seys, upon his Oath, deposeth, That, he being Churchwarden, Isaack Williams, one of the Coroners of the County of Monmouth, did check him for putting the Statute in Execution against Popish Recusants for not coming to Church; and told him, that it was pity to prosecute them, for they were honest People: And, by way of Discourse, did hold many Arguments with him, in Vindication of the Romish Religion.
17. Mr. John Greenhaugh, Vicar of Abergaveny, upon his Oath saith, That Mary the Wife of Mr. Lewis Jones, was the only Person in that Town severely prosecuted for a Roman Catholick, though there were many convict Papists of greater Ability in the said Town: And that it was done after her Conformity and Reconciliation to the Church of England: And that her Husband told him, that he had paid to the Under Sheriff Nine Pounds Ten Shillings, notwithstanding his Certificate, under his Hand and Seal, of her Conformity.
18. Mr. Scudamore says, That about Five Years since, he apprehended one Mr. Elliott, a Popish Priest, habited in his Cope and other Vests, in the Act of the Celebration of Mass in a Chapel in Herefordshire; wherein he observed an Altar, lighted Tapers, and several Images: He asked the said Elliott, how he durst say Mass so publickly, there being at Mass above Thirty Persons, being there was a Proclamation to the contrary: Mr. Elliott answered, That he knew of no Proclamation; but demanded by what Authority he took him, telling him that he should have no Thanks for apprehending him. Mr. Scudamore saith, That he thereupon committed Elliot to the County Gaol; and the next Assizes caused a Bill to be presented against him, which was found: But before his Trial he was taken out of the Gaol, and, as the Under Sheriff informed him, he was moved to the Tower of London.
19. It appeareth to the Committee by the Original Records and Papers produced before them, That the said John Scudamore did by his Mittimus, dated the Seventeenth of September 1671, commit the said Elliott, as a Popish Priest, to the County Goal of Hereford, until he should be thence delivered by due Course of Law: That by Warrant, countersigned by Mr. Secretary Trevor, dated the Twenty-fourth of January following, directed to Marshal Briggs Esquire, High Sheriff of the County of Hereford, the said Elliott was brought up to London; in order to his Delivery over to the Lieutenant of the Tower: That, by Warrant, countersigned by Mr. Secretary Trevor, dated the Fifteenth of February following, directed to the Lieutenant of the Tower, the said Elliott was committed to the Tower until further Order: And accordingly he the said Mr. Elliott was delivered by the High Sheriff of Hereford into the Lieutenant of the Tower's Custody. That, by Warrant, countersigned by Mr. Secretary Trevor, dated the Fourth of March following, the Lieutenant of the Tower was commanded to enlarge and set at Liberty the said William Elliott, first taking Security from him to transport himself out of the Realm into some Parts beyond the Seas, within Ten Days next after such Enlargement; and not to return into any of his Majesty's Dominions, without Leave first obtained: That accordingly the said Lieutenant took a Bond, in his Majesty's Name, from the said Elliott, with Two Sureties in the Sum of Five hundred Pounds; and thereupon set the said Elliott at Liberty: That at the next Assizes and General Gaol Delivery for the County of Hereford, the Twenty-fourth of March following, the said William Elliott was indicted for being a Seminary Priest; which Indictment was found by the Grand Jury; and to which Indictment John Marriott, John Cole, and Arthur Lister, were Witnesses: Who, by their Informations, taken upon Oath, and produced to the Committee by the Clerk of Assize, do severally depose the Apprehending of the said Elliott in the Act of Celebration of Mass, as Mr. Scudamore hath set forth in his Examination aforesaid.
The said Mr. Elliott, by his Examination and Confession, produced to the Committee by the Clerk of Assize, and taken before Sir Edward Harley, John Scudamore, and William Gregory Esquires, Justices of the Peace for the County of Hereford, says, That he was apprehended when he was a this private Devotion; but confessed, that there were then in the same Room with him at Devotion about Six-and-Twenty Persons: That he was habited in a Surplice, with a Vestment over it. And, being examined, whether he was a Priest, or in Orders from the Church of Rome, he refused to answer thereunto; but said, "Let it be proved against me; I will not accuse myself."
20. It appeareth to the Committee, by the Information of Mr. Joseph Newton, Clerk of the Peace of Northumberland, That William Fenwick Esquire is lately put into the Commission of the Peace for that County: That he, being one of the Commissioners in the Dedimus, did offer to swear the said Mr. Fenwick: But the said Mr. Fenwick refused, and told the said Clerk of the Peace several times, That he would not take his Oath as Justice of Peace.
The said Clerk of the Peace further informed the Committee, That he was employed by Mr. Neale, and others of that County, to procure them to be put into the Commission of the Peace: That, to effect it, he applied to the Lord Chancellor's Servants: Who answered, That if those he solicited for were Papists, or suspected to be such, that it could not be done: Whereupon he desisted in his Solicitation.
21. The Knights for the County of Northumberland informed the Committee, That, hearing that Mr. Fenwick was designed to be put into the Commission of the Peace, they both attended the Duke of Newcastle, who is Custos of that County; and afterwards attended the Lord Chancellor; and informed both their Lordships, severally, That Mr. Fenwick was unfit to be put into the Commission, for that he was a suspected Papist, and would not act as a Justice of the Peace, if he were put in; That his Wife died a professed Papist; That his Children were brought up in the Romish Religion: And therefore they did desire both their Lordships, severally, That Mr. Fenwick should not be put into the Commission of the Peace: That they likewise did desire their Lordships, severally, that William Carnaby Esquire might be put into the Commission of the Peace; representing him to be a Gentleman of Estate, Quality, and Loyalty in the County, professing the Protestant Religion, and every way qualified for that Employment: But notwithstanding their Applications and Recommendation, Mr. Carnaby was refused to be put into the Commission; and Mr. Fenwick was put into the Commission, though they both informed their Lordships, severally, that Mr. Fenwick was formerly left out of the Commission of the Peace because he was a Papist, or a suspected Papist.
Fines imposed on Recusants.
IT appeareth to the Committee, that the Lord Treasurer, the Twenty-fifth of February 1674, issued his Warrant to the Treasurer's Remembrancer to issue Commissions against Recusants, into all Counties from whence any had been estreated; which were delivered to the Judges to be recommended by them to the several Commissioners in the several Counties of their Circuits:
That the like Warrant was issued the Two-andtwentieth of July 1675, with Commissioners Names, and Instructions to them, to take and seize Two Third Parts of all the Lands of Recusants; declaring his Majesty's Pleasure to refuse the Twenty Pounds a Month, imposed on Recusants for not coming to Church. and to accept of Two Third Parts of the Lands of Recusants; directing the Returns to be made with all speed; and Writs of Attendance and Assistance to the several Sheriffs, Mayors, and Officers, to attend the Commissioners in the Execution of the Commissions: That, as Estreats out of other Countries came in, the like Warrants issued: And those Commissions were, by Messengers of the Exchequer, delivered to the Clerks of the Peace of the several Counties; with a Letter from the Lord Treasurer, recommending the Execution of the said Commissions.
That the Lord Treasurer afterwards, by Advice of his Majesty's Counsel at Law, the Approbation of the Chancellor, Chief Baron, Barons of the Exchequer, and of Sir Charles Harbord, his Majesty's Surveyor General, altered the former Course; and issued his Warrant the 14th of March 1676; thereby directing Writs to be issued to the several Sheriffs, to seize Two Third Parts, as before, of the Estates of Recusants.
It appeared to the Committee, That no Convictions are estreated out of some Counties, as Chester, Northampton, Oxford, Rutland, nor any out of Wales: That in other Counties there are no Executions done, either upon the Commissions or Writs, as Derby, the City of Yorke, Hertford, Leicester, Nottingham, Norfolk, and Northumberland.
The Sheriff of Hereford stands charged with the Sum 412l. 7s. 10d. Halfpeny Half-farthing, for the Lands of several Recusants, for One Year and a Half, ended at Michaelmas 1677. But the Sheriff hath not finished his Accounts: So that it did not appear to the Committee, that any Sum has been levied out of the Recusants Estates in that County.
It appeared to the Committee, That Rowland Prichard Esquire, Sheriff of the County of Monmouth, stood charged for the Year ending at Michaelmas 1677, with Nine Seizures of the Estates of Recusants; which amounted to 40l. That five of the Nine were levied, which amounted to 4l. 13s. 4d.
That, upon his Petition, because illeviable, he was discharged of the other Four, amounting to 35l. 6s. 8d. So that the Sum that was answered into the Exchequer for that Year, out of Recusants Estates in that County, was 4l. 13s. 4d.
It appeared then to the Committee, That the Persons upon whom the Five Seizures were executed, were Protestant Dissenters, and not Popish Recusants; and that the Four others, whereof the Sheriff was discharged, were Popish Recusants.
The Sum wherewith the Sheriff of Monmouthshire stands charged for the Year ending at Michaelmas 1677, being for Two-and-twenty Seizures, amounts to 61l. 17s. 9d. Farthing Half-farthing: But the Sheriff not having finished his Accounts, it could not appear to the Committee what would be answered into the Exchequer.
It appeared to the Committee, That the Sheriffs of London and Middlesex, for the Year ending at Michaelmas 1675, stands charged for the Lands of Recusants with the Sum of 100l. 3s. 4d. of which there is answered into the Exchequer 3s. 4d. for the Lands of John Coffin Recusant: The rest are all discharged by Plea and Judgment of Court.
The same Sheriff stands charged, for the Year 1676, for the Lands of Recusants, with the Sum of 566l. 3s. 4d. of which there is only answered into the Exchequer the Sum of 3s. 4d. for the Lands of John Coffin, Recusant; the rest being all discharged by Plea and Judgment.
The same Sheriffs stand charged, for the Year 1677, with the Sum of 488l. 3s. 4d. But their Accounts are not finished: So that it could not appear to the Committee how much would be answered into the Exchequer.
It appeared to the Committee, That the yearly Revenue out of Recusants Estates in England and Wales, paid into the Exchequer for the Year 1675, amounted to 78l. 5s. 6d. For the Year 1676, it amounted to 535l. 5s. 10½d.
That the present yearly Revenue out of Recusants Estates, now in Charge before the Clerk of the Pipe, is Three thousand Four hundred and Eight Pounds, One-and-Twenty Pence Half-Farthing: But how much thereof will be answered into the Exchequer, could not appear to the Committee; the Sheriffs for this Year being not yet opposed upon their Accounts.
Turning Magistrates out of the Commission.
Ordered, That Sir John Trevor Chairman of the Committee, Sir Trevor Williams Knight of the Shire for the County of Monmouth, Sir John Fenwicke, and Sir Ralph Delavall Knights of the Shire for the County of Northumberland, Sir Tho. Meres, Sir Thomas Clargis, and Colonel Birch, or any Three or more of them, do attend the Lord Chancellor; and desire to know of his Lordship, by what Means, or upon whose Motion, Mr. Henry Probart and Mr. John Arnold are turned out of the Commission of the Peace for the County of Monmouth: And do likewise acquaint his Lordship with the Information the House has received concerning Mr. Henry Milburne and Mr. Fenwick.
Committee on Danger from Popery.
Ordered, That the Committee appointed to draw up Reasons to be offered at a Conference, to be had with the Lords concerning the Danger the Nation is in by the Growth of Popery; and for providing Remedies to prevent the same, be revived; and do sit To-morrow, at Two of the Clock in the Afternoon, in the Place formerly appointed: And that the said Committee have Power to consider what Prosecution is fit to be made against the Persons mentioned in the Report this Day; and to examine all Matters concerning the Growth of Popery; and report the same, with their Opinions therein, to the House, &c. And that Sir Rich. Corbet, Sir Rich. Franklin, Mr. Clerke, Mr. Thynne, Mr. Gray, Lord Castleton, Sir Jonathan Trelawny, Sir William Lowther, Sir Wm. Wentworth, Serj. Seis, Mr. Garraway, Sir Wm. Blacket, Mr. Herbert, Sir Ed. Harley, Mr. Man, Sir Wm. Frankland, Mr. Wright, Sir John Hotham, Mr. St. John, Sir Nich. Carey, Sir Cha. Wheeler, Sir Hen. Ford, Mr. Collingwood, Sir Wm. Hickman, and all that serve for the Counties of Hereford and Monmouth, be added to the said Committee: And all that come are to have Voices.
Reasons to be offered at Conference on Danger from Popery.
Sir John Trevor further reports from the Committee appointed to draw up Reasons, to be offered at a Conference to be had with the Lords, concerning the Danger the Nation is in by the Growth of Popery; and for providing of Remedies to prevent the same; several Reasons agreed by the Committee: Which he read in his Place; and afterwards delivered the same in at the Clerk's Table: Where the same were read by the Clerk: And all the Reasons, except the last, being read a Second time, were, upon the Question, severally agreed.
|Tellers,||Colonel Birch,||for the Yeas,||129.|
|Sir Hen. Ford,|
|Tellers,||Sir Rich. Temple,||for the Noes,||89.|
|Sir John Hanmer,|
THE House of Commons, taking into serious Consideration the Dangers arising to this Kingdom, from the restless Endeavours of Priests and Jesuits, and other Popish Recusants, to subvert the true Religion planted amongst us, and to reduce us again under the Bondage of the Romish Superstition and Idolatry: And finding how great Boldness they have assumed to themselves from the great Remissness and Connivency of his Majesty's Officers and Ministers of Justice, both Civil and Ecclesiastical; whereby so many good and necessary Laws heretofore made against them, have not of late Times been put in any effectual Execution: They do therefore think it requisite to apply some Remedy to this growing Evil, especially at this Time, wherein the Unity of Affections, and the mutual Confidence, between his Majesty and his People does so much conduce to the Preservation of the whole Kingdom: And because they have found by Experience, that all those Applications they have formerly made upon this Subject have not produced any Effects answerable to their Expectations; they have endeavoured to discover the Causes and Grounds thereof; which they conceive are principally these.
The Difficulty to convict Popish Priests, by proving their Ordination by Authority derived from the See of Rome, makes them more confident to appear in Publick, and perform their Offices and Functions without Fear of Punishment.
That Justices of Peace are discouraged, because several of those that have been forward in executing the Laws against Papists, in such Counties where they do most abound, have been turned out of Commission, without any apparent Cause; whilst others, suspected to be Popishly inclined, have been continued in Commission, or put in de novo.
That, in several Counties, many Protestant Dissenters have been indicted, under the Notion of Popish Recusants; and the Penalties of the Law levied upon such Protestant Dissenters; when the Papists there have been either totally, or for the most part, discharged.
Whereas in former Times considerable Sums of Money were raised by the Forfeitures of Popish Recusants, That now, by the Remissness of some, and Discouragement of others of his Majesty's Officers and Ministers of Justice, little or nothing is levied upon them, or likely to be levied hereafter, unless the Care thereof be committed to particular Commissioners in the several Counties; and the Money arising thence applied to some publick Use, for the Advancement of the Protestant Religion; which may encourage Persons to see it executed.
That Persons are not discouraged to breed up their Children, or to suffer them to be bred up in the Popish Religion; because they are as capable of inheriting the Estates of their Parents and Relations, as any other of his Majesty's Protestant Subjects.
The Commons do therefore most earnestly desire your Lordships to consider of the Dangers and sad Consequences that may befal this Kingdom, by the Spreading of that Religion amongst us; and seriously and cordially to join with them, in removing these and all other Impediments which obstruct the Course of Justice, and the due Execution of the Laws, either by expediting those Remedies which have been offered by them to your Lordships, or by proposing such other as may be more effectual: And that this may be done with all Expedition; because the Commons cannot think it suitable to their Trust, to consent to lay any further Charge upon the People, how urgent soever the Occasions be that require it, till their Minds be satisfied that all Care and Diligence is used to secure the Kingdom, and prevent the Dangers that may arise from the Prevalency and Countenance that is given to That Party, by some more effectual Course than hath been already provided.
Resolved, &c. That Sir John Trevor do go up to the Lords, to desire a Conference with their Lordships, concerning the Danger the Nation is in by the Growth of Popery; and for providing Remedies to prevent the same.
Leagues and Treaties.
Mr. Secretary Williamson acquaints the House, That the Persons appointed to attend his Majesty had accordingly waited upon him: And that his Majesty was pleased to give Leave, that the Particulars hereafter should be communicated to the House; viz.
Proposals of Peace.
Ordered, That the Members of this House that are of his Majesty's Privy Council do attend his Majesty, and humbly desire of his Majesty, that the original Proposals of Peace, Dispatch, and Instructions sent over into France by the Lord Feversham, and the Answer of the French King, may be communicated to the House.