Journal of the House of Commons: Volume 9, 1667-1687. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1802.
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Sabbati, 16 die Novembris, 1678.
Papers relating to the Plot.
ORDERED, That the Committee appointed to examine Mr. Coleman's and the Jesuits several Bags of Papers relating to the Plot, have Power to distribute those Bags of Papers amongst themselves; and Three of the Committee to receive and examine One Bag of the said Papers; and the Chairman of the Committee to deliver every Bag by itself to Three of the Committee, to be examined; and no Bag to be opened or perused, but in the Presence of the said Three, to whom it is delivered; that they may make their Report thereof to the House.
Address for Trial of Popish Priests.
Mr. Williams reports from the Committee appointed to draw up an Address to be presented to his Majesty, to desire his Majesty to issue forth Special Commissions of Oyer and Terminer for trying certain Persons as Popish Priests, An Address agreed upon by the Committee: Which he read in his Place; and afterwards delivered the same in at the Clerk's Table: Where the same was twice read; and, with some Additions made thereto, upon the Question, agreed; and is as followeth:
May it please your Majesty,
WE Your Majesty's most Loyal and Dutiful Subjects the Commons in Parliament assembled, having Information, that Charles Mehaine hath continued in Custody, in the Borough of Denbigh in the County of Denbigh, since June last, upon violent Suspicion of being a Popish Priest; and that William Lloyd now remains in Gaol at Brecon in the County of Brecon, upon a Commitment for being a Popish Priest: And forasmuch as Your Majesty's Justice for the Great Sessions for the County of Denbigh, at the Great Sessions held for the said County in September last, did not try the said Charles Mehaine for the said Offence: Your Majesty's Protestant Subjects being much disquieted, and Popish Recusants animated, by reason that Delinquents of That kind are not brought to speedy Justice, especially at this time of manifest Danger to Your Majesty's sacred Person, Government, and Religion established by Law, proceeding from the notorious Conspiracies of Popish Priests, Jesuits, and Popish Recusants: We humbly apprehending it to be highly necessary, as some Ease to the Hearts of Your Majesty's good Protestant Subjects, filled with present Fears of Popery, to have the Laws speedily and effectually executed upon Popish Priests; do, with all Humility, beseech Your Majesty, to grant One or more Commissions of Oyer and Terminer, for the Trial of the said Charles Mehaine and William Lloyd, according to the known and well established Laws of the Kingdom.
And we do further and humbly beseech Your Majesty, That Your Majesty may be pleased to command Your Attorney General, with all Care and Diligence to prepare the whole Evidence against James Colker, a Benedictine Monk, and who assumes to himself the Title of Bishop of London, for his Trial, at the next Gaol Delivery for the County of Middlesex and City of London.
And we do further humbly beseech Your Majesty, That Your Majesty will graciously be pleased to issue forth Your Proclamation, with a Promise of a Reward to any Person that shall apprehend a Popish Priest or Jesuit.
Resolved, &c. That such Members of this House as are of his Majesty's Privy Council, be desired to know his Majesty's Pleasure, when this House may attend Him with this Address.
Lords reminded of a Bill.
Resolved, &c. That a Message be sent to the Lords, as followeth; viz.
"The Commons in Parliament assembled, reflecting on the imminent Dangers, wherein the Kingdom is involved, by the restless Conspiracies of Popish Recusants, against his Majesty's Person, and the Religion and Government established, do find themselves necessitated to remind your Lordships for a speedy Proceeding on the Bill before you, intituled, An Act for the more effectual Preserving the King's Person and Government, by disabling Papists from sitting in either House of Parliament; without which they think themselves unable to prepare any effectual Remedies to prevent the Evils that hang over us:"
And that Mr. Secretary Coventry do go up with the Message.
Address for Reward for Discoveries of the Plot.
Resolved, &c. That an humble Address be presented to his Majesty, to desire his Majesty, that some fitting Encouragement may be given to such Persons as shall make a further Discovery of any of the Designs and Attempts against his Majesty's Person and Government.
And it is referred to Sir Wm. Coventry, Sir Tho. Meeres, Sir Rich. Temple, Mr. Sachaverell, Sir Hen. Capell, Mr. Williams, Sir Tho. Clerges, Sir Tho. Lee, Mr. Powle, Sir Rob. Sawyer, Mr. Vaughan, Sir Fr. Drake, Sir Eliab Harvy, Sir Fr. Rolles; or any Three of them: And they are to meet this Afternoon, at Four of the Clock, in the Speaker's Chamber, to prepare and draw up the said Address.
And then the House adjourned till Monday Morning, Eight of the Clock.