House of Commons Journal Volume 9: 28 December 1678

Pages 564-566

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, 28 die Decembris, 1678.


Popish Plot.

ORDERED, That the Committee appointed to examine Mr. Coleman's Papers, be revived; and do inspect the Writings that are in the Custody of Sir Charles Harbord, and do sit this Afternoon in the Place formerly appointed.


Ordered, That the Committee appointed to search Mr. Langhorne's Study, be revived: And that Sir John Knight be added to the said Committee.


Ordered, That if any Papers be found in the Jesuits Bags of Papers, that may be useful to the Committee of Secrecy for preparing the Impeachments against the Five Lords, they be transmitted to the said Committee.

Trial of Murderers of Sir E. Godfrey.

Resolved, &c. That an humble Address be made to his Majesty, by such Members as are of his Majesty's Privy Council, to desire his Majesty, That a Special Commission of Oyer and Terminer may forthwith be issued out for trying the Persons now in Prison for the Murder of Sir Edmundbury Godfrey.

Answer to Address.

Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer acquaints the House, That he had attended his Majesty with the Address for a Special Commission of Oyer and Terminer, for trying the Persons committed for the Murder of Sir Edmundbury Godfrey: And that his Majesty was pleased to return Answer, That it should be immediately done.

Conference on Lords Amendments to Supply Bill.

A Message from the Lords, by Sir Miles Cooke and Sir John Francklin;

Mr. Speaker, The Lords desire a present Conference with this House in the Painted Chamber, upon the Subject Matter of the last Conference, concerning the Bill for Disbanding the Army.

The Messengers being withdrawn;

Resolved, &c. That this House doth agree to meet the Lords at a present Conference.

The Messengers being called in; Mr. Speaker acquaints them, That the House had agreed to meet the Lords at a present Conference.

Resolved, That the Members who did manage the last Conference, do attend, and manage this Conference.

Which they accordingly did.

Mr. Powle reports, That they had attended the Conference, which was managed by the Lord Privy Seal; and that what he delivered is as followeth; viz.

"This Conference, which is desired with the House of Commons, is founded principally upon Three Points; That of the Receivers General; That of the Place for lodging the Money; and That for the Indemnifying, for the Breach of the former Act, and the Penalties of offending against this."

"I. That the Appointment of the Receiver General being made an Amendment by their Lordships, in reference to the Payment of the Money granted by this Bill into the Exchequer, their Lordships insist upon their Amendment; because the Money is to be paid into the Exchequer."

"II. That we conceive, that the most expeditious and surest Way for Nomination of the Receivers, is to leave it to his Majesty; who, as He is indisputably of the highest Trust, so He is most concerned for Himself and People, that the Army should be speedily and effectually disbanded."

"III. That, we conceive, it tends more to Certainty and Expedition, to leave his Majesty to make use of such Officers as are now in being, than to be to seek new Officers when the Act should be executed."

"The Reasons of our insisting to have the Money paid into the Exchequer is;"

"1. Because the Court of Exchequer is an ancient Court, established both by Common Law and Statute, for all Receipts of his Majesty's Money, and managing Matters relating to his Revenue."

"2. That, finding it inconvenient and grievous to the Subject, that his Majesty's Revenue of all Sorts should not come into the Exchequer, divers Laws have been made to enforce the Payment of all Money there."

"3. That no Way of Justice for an injured Subject in this Tax is provided by the Act, if it should be paid into the Chamber of London; whereas, by Law, every Subject injured, concerning his Payment, is to have Remedy before the Barons."

"4. That it is a Jealousy their Lordships cannot entertain of any Persons to be employed in the Work of Disbanding, that the Money should be misemployed; it being enacted under so great Penalty for Transgressors, and to be disposed by Commissioners appointed by the House of Commons."

"5. That we find by the Act, as it came from the Commons, no sufficient Security for the Money that shall be paid to the Chamber of London, nor any Remedy left for the Subject, but an Action of Debt against the Chamberlain, in case of his Breach of Trust."

"6. That, whereas the Army was continued in Pay after the Payments made for Disbanding, we do not find, that the Fault was in the Exchequer, which did regularly give their Orders according to the Act; but the Necessity of Affairs required it, as his Majesty signified to both Houses at the Opening of this Sessions.

"1. The Army was continued; which induced the House of Commons to propose an Indemnity to all such as have since continued in Arms: And this is not only a Reason for our Amendment, but an Answer to the First Reason of the House of Commons upon this Point."

"2. The First Part of the Second Reason is answered in our former Reasons. As for the latter Part, "That the Lords have not altered any such Disposition made in a Supply granted by the Commons" (wherein the Lords cannot charge their Memories); yet their Lordships do herein but claim the Exercise of that Right they have to make Alterations according to their Judgments."

"3. That, the Matters being agreed on by them, it rests on Them to satisfy us where that General Clause is, to which they refer (the Want of the Knowledge whereof is the Reason we do not agree with them); that we may consider whether it doth the intended Work effectually."

"To the Reason concerning Colonel Byrch, the Lords agree."

"The Lords insist upon their Amendments against the following Reasons offered by the Commons; because they conceive the effectual Disbanding of the Army is secured, as they have amended the Bill; and because, to have passed the Bill in this Particular, as the Commons sent it up, would have invaded the King's declared Power and Authority to have raised or employed this Army upon any other Emergency; and disabled him from filling up the standing Troops and Companies of his Guards, or furnished his Islands out of any of those Men after they are disbanded: Which is likewise a main Reason, Why the Lords could not consent to make the Penalty of Felony so extensive, as to reach any so employed."

"And we do insist for leaving out the Preamble to the Clause of Indemnity; because of the Necessity there was for the Army's Continuance, which we have mentioned in a former Reason: And, for the same Reason, we insist upon the Word "such" depending upon That Amendment of their Lordships; and so upon the following Amendments depending upon this Clause."

"That, concerning the Indemnity, being limited by the Commons to Officers and Soldiers, the Lords thought fit to enlarge it to all other Persons; it being a Work of Mercy; and no Officer impeached or questioned for Breach of the former Act: And, for the same Reason, they insist upon their Two last Amendments."

The Amendments being read;

And the Question being severally put, For agreeing to them;

It passed in the Negative.

Resolved, &c. That the Members that managed the Conference, do withdraw, and consider of Reasons to be offered at a Free Conference to be had with the Lords, upon the Subject Matter of the last Conference, Why this House have disagreed with the Lords in several of their Amendments to the Bill for disbanding the Army.

House to sit P. M.

Resolved, &c. That this House will sit this Afternoon.

Resolved, &c. That a Message be sent to the Lords, to acquaint them, That this House has resolved to sit this Afternoon; and to desire their Lordships will do the like: And that Mr. Bennet do go up with the Message:

Impeachments of the five Lords.

Resolved, &c. That the Committee, appointed to prepare and draw up the Articles of Impeachment against the Lords, do inspect the Journals, and consider of the Precedents touching Proceedings upon Impeachments; and report the same, with their Opinions therein, to the House.

And then the House adjourned till Three of the Clock in the Afternoon.

Post Meridiem.

Conference desired with Lords.

RESOLVED, &c. That Mr. Wharton do go up to the Lords; and desire a free Conference, upon the Subject Matter of the last Conference.

Mr. Wharton acquaints the House, That the Lords have agreed to a present Free Conference in the Painted Chamber, upon the Subject Matter of the last Conference.

Ordered, That the Members who managed the last Conference, do attend and manage the Free Conference.

Which they accordingly did.

And then the House adjourned till Monday Morning, Eight of the Clock.