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, 24 die Martii, 1678.
MR. Harbord, being chosen to serve in this present Parliament both for the Borough of Thetford in the County of Norfolke, and for the Borough of Camelford in the County of Cornwall, made his Election to serve for Thetford.
Ordered, That Mr. Speaker do issue out his Warrant to the Clerk of the Crown, to make out a new Writ for the Electing of a Burgess to serve in this present Parliament for the said Borough of Camelford.
Resolution that there is a Popish Plot.
Resolved, Nemine contradicente, That this House doth declare, That they are fully satisfied, by the Proofs they have heard, that there now is, and for divers Years last past hath been, a horrid and treasonable Plot and Conspiracy, contrived and carried on by those of the Popish Religion, for the Murdering of his Majesty's Sacred Person; and for subverting the Protestant Religion, and the ancient and well-established Government of this Kingdom.
Lords' Proceedings on Impeachment.
Sir Henry Capell reports from the Committee appointed to inspect the Journal of the Lords, and see what Resolutions had been there taken touching Impeachments, That they had inspected the Lords Journal; and had agreed upon a Report: Which he read in his Place; and afterwards delivered the same in at the Clerk's Table.
Pardon of Earl Danby.
Sir Francis Winnington reports from the Committee appointed to inquire into the Manner of suing forth the Pardon for Thomas Earl of Danby, That the Committee had attended the Lord Chancellor, and made Search in all Offices concerned in passing the King's Letters Patents; and had agreed upon a Report: Which he read in his Place; and afterwards delivered the same in at the Clerk's Table: Where the same was read; and is as followeth;
"First, We went to Mr. Secretary Coventry's Office; and could find no Entry of any such Pardon there: And some of the Committee spoke with Mr. Secretary himself; who declared, that he knew nothing of the Passing the Pardon."
"We likewise went to my Lord Sunderland's Office; and Mr. Bridgman his Secretary assured us, that there was no Entry in that Office of any such Pardon: But the Committee not being satisfied with this, they resolved to attend my Lord Sunderland himself this Monday Morning: But my Lord was pleased to send to the Chairman the last Night, to inform the Committee, That he knew nothing of the Pardon."
"From thence the Committee went to my Lord Privy Seal: And his Lordship told us, That he never heard any Word of the Pardon until the Day the King was pleased to mention it in the House of Lords; and further said, That if any such Pardon had come to him, he would have very well considered, before he would have passed it."
"After this the Committee attended my Lord Chancellor: And he was pleased to acquaint the Committee, That, as to the Pardon, he neither advised, drew, or altered One Word of it: And that the Truth of the Fact was thus: That my Lord Treasurer delivered it to him: And, being asked by the Committee, Whether the Pardon extended to Impeachments; his Lordship answered, That it did; and had these general Words, "of all Treasons and Crimes whatsoever;" together with the Words "omnia & omnimoda indictamenta, impetitiones;" and those other Words, "Licet indictatus vel non indictatus, impetitus vel non impetitus, &c." And this was to extend to the Twenty-seventh of February last; and did bear Date the first of March instant."
"My Lord Chancellor further declared, That my Lord Treasurer desired to have the Pardon pass with all the Privacy in the World; and the Reason he gave was, because he did not intend to make use of it, but stand upon his Innocency, except false Witnesses should be produced against him; and then he would make use of it at the last Extremity."
"After this my Lord Chancellor said, That he writ a Letter to my Lord Treasurer; wherein he took Notice to his Lordship, That, in the first Place, the Service of the King was to be considered; and, if his Lordship would take his Advice, he thought it was best to let the Pardon pass in the regular Course, that it might be publickly known, that so it might answer the End his Lordship intended; which was, to prevent the Resuming the Impeachment against his Lordship."
"The next Day after this Letter was sent, my Lord Chancellor declared to the Committee, That he met my Lord Treasurer at the Committee of foreign Affairs; where he gave my Lord Treasurer the same Advice as he gave in the Letter; which was, to dissuade his Lordship: Thereupon my Lord Treasurer said, That he had acquainted the King with the Contents of his Letter; and that his Majesty did declare, that he was resolved to have it done; which was, to pass the Pardon with all Privacy."
"Suddenly after this, the King commanded the Lord Chancellor to bring the Seal to Whitehall; which he did to his own Lodgings; and, being there, he laid it upon the Table: Thereupon his Majesty commanded the Seal to be taken out of the Bag; which his Lordship was obliged to submit to, it not being in his Power to hinder it: And the King writ his Name upon the Top of the Parchment; and then directed to have it sealed: Whereupon the Person that usually carried the Purse affixed the Seal to it."
"My Lord Chancellor concluded with This to the Committee; That he took upon himself to know, that there was no Memorial in any Office whatsoever of this Pardon, from the Secretaries Office, until it came to his Lordship; but that it was a stamped Pardon by Creation."
Justice to be demanded against Earl Danby.
Resolved, Nemine contradicente, That a Message be sent to the Lords, to demand Justice, in the Name of the Commons of England, against Thomas Earl of Danby; and that he may be immediately sequestered from Parliament, and committed to safe Custody.
Address respecting the Pardon.
Resolved, &c. That an humble Address be made to his Majesty, representing to his Majesty the Irregularity and Illegality of the Pardon mentioned by his Majesty to be granted to the Earl of Danby; and the dangerous Consequence of granting Pardons to any Persons that lie under an Impeachment of the Commons of England.
And it is referred to Sir William Coventry, Sir Fran. Winington, Sir Thomas Lee, Mr. Vaughan, Sir Tho. Clerges, Sir Henry Capell, Sir Thomas Meers, Mr. Garraway, Mr. Thyn, Mr. Sachaverell, Colonel Birch, Mr. Powle, Mr. Reynell, Serjeant Ellis, Mr. Hamden, Mr. Harbord, Sir William Poultney, or any Three of them; to prepare and draw up the same.
Address for Papers respecting the Plot.
Resolved, &c. That an humble Address be made to his Majesty, by such Members of this House as are of his Majesty's Privy Council, to desire his Majesty, That all the Papers and Writings relating to the Discovery of the Plot, and particularly such Papers and Examinations as have been taken since the Prorogation of the last Parliament, may be delivered to the Committee of Secrecy appointed to draw up Articles of Impeachment against the Lords in the Tower.
Message from Lords concerning Earl Danby.
Mr. Speaker, We are commanded by the Lords to let the House of Commons know, That the Lords, taking into Consideration the Message received from the House of Commons on Saturday, That the Earl of Danby might be sequestered from Parliament, and put into safe Custody, did this Morning, upon Debate, order, That the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod do forthwith take the said Earl into Custody, and him safely keep, till he bring him to the Bar of their House To-morrow Morning: And their Lordships thought fit to acquaint the House of Commons, That this was done, before they received the last Message to that Purpose.
Information against Members.
Ordered, That all Committees, except the Committee of Secrecy, and the Committee appointed to draw up the Address representing to his Majesty the Irregularity and Illegality of the Pardon lately granted to the Earl of Danby, and the dangerous Consequence of granting such Pardons, be adjourned.