Journal of the House of Commons: Volume 9, 1667-1687. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1802.
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Veneris, 24 die Decembris, 1680.
Resolved, &c. That the Bill be committed to Sir John Holman, Sir Tho. Player, Mr. Colt, Sir Wm. Waller, Sir Tho. Lee, Colonel Mildmay, Sir John Hotham, Sir Anth. Irby, Mr. Powle, Sir Rich. Cust, Mr. Tho. Foley, Sir Wm. Francklin, Mr. Wright, Mr. John Coryton, Sir Trevor Williams, Mr. Pilkington, Sir Rob. Carr, Mr. Reynell, Sir John Knight, Sir Eliab Harvey, Sir John Hobart, Mr. Mansell, Sir Peter Glean, Sir Henry Ford; and all the Members that serve for the Cities of London and Westminster, and Counties of Middlesex and Essex: And they are to summon before them, as well the Widow of the said Jos. Cowden, deceased, as also, Jos. Cowden, the Son, and his Guardian and Trustees; and the several Creditors and younger Children of the said Jos. Cowden, deceased; and likewise, to examine fully into the intended Will of Jos. Cowden, deceased, alleged in the Bill; and to report the same to the House: And they are to meet at Three of the Clock this Afternoon, in the Speaker's Chamber: And are impowered to send for Persons, Papers, and Records.
Ordered, That Leave be given to bring in a Bill to repeal the Law made for Regulating of Corporations: And it is recommended to Sir Wm. Jones, Mr. Colt, Sir Trevor Williams, Sir Rich. Cust, Sir Tho. Lee, Sir Rob. Carr, to prepare and draw up the same.
St. Edmondsbury Election.
Sir Rich. Corbett reports from the Committee of Elections and Privileges to whom the Matter touching the Election for the Borough of St. Edmondsbury in the County of Suffolke was referred, That the Committee having taken the same into their Consideration, had agreed upon Two Resolves: Which he read in his Place; and afterwards delivered them in at the Clerk's Table: Where the same being read, are as follows; viz.
Resolved, &c. That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That Sir Thomas Harvey Knight is duly elected a Burgess to serve in this present Parliament for the Borough of St. Edmondsbury in the County of Suffolke.
Resolved, &c. That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That Thomas Germin Esquire is duly elected a Burgess to serve in this present Parliament for the Borough of St. Edmundsbury in the County of Suffolke.
Resolved, &c. That this House doth agree with the Committee, That Sir Thomas Harvey Knight is duly elected a Burgess to serve in this present Parliament for the Borough of St. Edmundsbury in the County of Suffolke.
Resolved, &c. That this House doth agree with the Committee, That Thomas Germin Esquire is duly elected a Burgess to serve in this present Parliament for the Borough of St. Edmundsbury in the County of Suffolke.
Mr. Treby reports to the House from the Committee of Elections and Privileges to whom the Matter of the Election for the Borough of Barnstaple in the County of Devon was referred, That the Committee having taken the same into their Consideration, had agreed upon Two Resolves: Which he read in his Place; and afterwards delivered them in at the Clerk's Table: Where the same being read, are as follows; viz.
Resolved, That this House doth agree with the Committee, That Arthur Ackland Esquire is not duly elected a Burgess to serve in this present Parliament for the Borough of Barnstaple in the County of Devon.
Ordered, That the said John Fairchild be sent for in Custody of the Serjeant at Arms attending this House, to answer, at the Bar of this House, for the Misdemeanors by him committed at the said Election.
Mr. Treby reports from the Committee of Elections and Privileges to whom the Matter of the Election for the Borough of Marlborough in the County of Wilts, was referred, That the Committee having taken the same into their Consideration, had agreed upon Two Resolves: Which he read in his Place; and afterwards delivered them in at the Clerk's Table: Where the same being read, are as follows; viz.
Complaint against Thompson.
The first Witness examined saith, That, there being a great Noise and Rumour, that Mr. Thompson had prepared a Sermon to be preached on the Thirtieth of January 1679, the said Witness went to the said Sermon; and did hear Mr. Thompson publickly declare, That the Presbyterians were such Persons as the very Devil blushed at them: And that the Villain Hampden grudged, and made it more Scruple of Conscience, to give Twenty Shillings to the King, for supplying his Necessities, by Ship-money and Loan, which was his Right by Law, than to raise Rebellion against him: And that the Presbyterians are worse, and for more intolerable, than either Priests or Jesuits.
The Second saith, That, hearing a great Talk and Noise spread, of Sermon to be preached by Mr. Thompson on the Thirtieth of January 1679, . . was minded to hear the same; and accordingly did: At which he writ some Notes: Amongst which he saith, That Mr. Thompson openly preached, That the Devil blushed at the Presbyterians: And that the Villain Hampden grudged more to give the King Twenty Shillings, which was his just Due by Law (Ship-money and Loan), than to raise Rebellion against . . . .: And that a Presbyterian Brother, qua talis, was as great a Traitor by the Statute, as any Priest or Jesuit whatsoever: That he heard, that Mr. Thompson said, That he hoped the Presbyterians would be pulled out of their Houses, and the Gaols filled with them; and wished their Houses burnt.
The Third saith, That he was cited to the Bishop's Court to receive the Sacrament last Easter: But, being out of Town at that Time, did receive it at a Place called Purl in Wiltshire: And that a Month after he came Home, was again cited to the said Court; and he did accordingly appear, and told the Court, That he hoped his Absence and Business might be accepted for a lawful Excuse: Upon which, Mr. Thompson immediately said, That they would proceed to excommunicate him: Upon which this Informant produced his Certificate; of Which the Chancellor approved, and said, It was lawful: Hereupon Mr. Thompson said, That his receiving the Sacrament from any other Minister, than the Minister of the Parish wherein he dwelt, was Damnation to his Soul: And, That he would maintain this Doctrine.
The Fourth saith, That, being at Bristoll Fair, he heard a great Talk and Noise of a Satire Sermon, prepared and designed to be preached by Mr. Thompson against the Presbyterians on the Thirtieth of January 1679: And that very many resorted to hear him: In which Sermon the said Mr. Thompson declared and said, That there was a great Talk of a Plot; but (says he) a Presbyterian is the Man: And further added, That the Villain Hampden scrupled to give the King Twenty Shillings upon Shipmoney and Loan, which was his Due by Law; but did not scruple to raise Rebellion against him.
Complaint against Thompson.
The Fifth saith, That Mr. Thompson, in a Sermon preached the Thirtieth of January 1679, did say, That the Presbyterians did seem to outvie Mariana: And that Calvin was the first that preached the King-killing Doctrine: And that, after he had quoted Calvin often, said, If this be true, then a Presbyterian Brother, qua talis, is as great a Traitor as any Priest or Jesuit: And that then he condemned all the Proceedings of Parliaments.
The Sixth saith, That the said Mr. Thompson had uttered many scandalous Words concerning the Act for Burying in Woollen; affirming, That the Makers of that Law were a Company of old Fools and Fanaticks: And that he would bring a School Boy should make a better Act than that; and construe it when he had done.
The Seventh saith, That Mr. Thompson, in a Sermon by him preached, while Petitions for the Sitting of this Parliament were on Foot, speaking of a Second Rebellion by the Scotch, who had framed a formidable Army, and came as far as Durham to deliver a Petition, forsooth; and that they seemed rather to command than petition their Sovereign to grant: And, comparing that Petition with the then Petition on foot, greatly inveighed against it; and scoffed much at it.
The Eighth saith, That Mr. Thompson, when the Petition was on foot for the Sitting of this Parliament, used, at the Funeral Sermon of one Mr. Wharton, these Words (pointing at the Dead, said), That he was no schismatical petitioning Rebel: And that, by his Instigation, the Grand Jury of Bristoll made a Presentment of their Detestation against Petitioning for the Sitting of the Parliament. That the said Mr. Thompson had told him, That he was Governor to Mr. Narbor, when he was beyond Sea; and said, That he had been very often, and above One hundred times, at Mass, in the great Church at Paris; and usually gave Half-a-crown to get a Place to hear a certain Doctor of that Church; and that he was like to be brought over to that Religion: And that when he went beyond Sea, . . did not know but that he might be of that Religion before his Return. That he is very censorious; and frequently casts evil Aspersions against several Divines at Bristoll, of great Note; viz. Mr. Chetwynd, Mr. Standfast, Mr. Crosman, Mr. Palmer, and others; saying, That such as went to their Lectures were the Brats of the Devil.
The Ninth saith, That Mr. Thompson, in his Preaching inveighed bitterly against subscribing Petitions for the Sitting of this Parliament; saying, That it was the Seed of Rebellion, and like to Forty-one; and that the Devil set them on Work, and the Devil would pay them their Wages: Saying, That, before he would set his Hand to such Petitions he would cut it off; yea, and cut them off.
The Tenth saith, That, about Two Years since, being in the Chancel of St. Thomas' Church in Bristoll, where . . . . Elizabeth's Effigies is, Mr. Thompson, pointing his Finger to it, said, That she was the worst of Women; and a most lewd and infamous Woman: Upon which this Informant replied, he never heard any speak ill of her: Thereupon Mr. Thompson said, She was no better than a Church Robber: And that Henry the Eighth began it; and that she finished it.
The Eleventh (Mr. Rowe) saith, That, in the Year One thousand Six hundred and Seventy-eight, he waited on the Mayor to Church; and Mr. Thompson, who was there, railed at Henry the Eighth; saying, He did more Hurt in robbing the Abbey Lands, than he did Good by the Reformation: That, after Dinner, Mr. Thompson comes to this Informant, and claps his hands on his Shoulders; saying, "Hah, Boy! had Queen Elizabeth been living, you need not to have been Swordbearer of Bristoll:" The said Rowe asking him, Why; he replied, "She loved such a lusty Rogue so well, as he was; and he would have been very fit for her Drudgery at Whitehall."
The Twelfth said, That he heard a great Noise of a Sermon to be preached by Mr. Thompson, on the Thirtieth of January One thousand Six hundred and Seventy-nine, to the Second Part of the same Tune: And that he was present at the same Sermon, in which Mr. Thompson said There was a great Noise of a Popish Plot; but, says he, Here is nothing in it but a Presbyterian Plot; for here they are going about to petition for the Sitting of the Parliament; but the End of it will be to bring the King's Head to the Block, as they have done his Father.
The Thirteenth saith, That, in January last, or thereabouts, there was a Petition going about for the Sitting of this Parliament; when Mr. Thompson, in Redcliff Church, in his Sermon, said, It was a Seditious and rebellious Petition; and rather than he would sign it, his Hand should be cut off.
The Fourteenth saith, That, the Eighth Day of April, he going to pay Mr. Thompson his Dues, speaking concerning the Meeters in private, Mr. Thompson said, He would hale them out, and fill the Gaols with them; and hoped to see their Houses a-fire about their Ears in a short time: And This he the said Thompson doubled again and again.
The Fifteenth saith, That, about December One thousand Six hundred and Seventy-nine, Mr. Thompson came to visit his Mother, being sick; and, discoursing of Religion, she said, Thompson said, If he were as well satisfied of other Things, as he was of Justification, Auricular Confession, Penance, Extreme Unction, and Chrism in Baptism, he would not so long have been separated from the Catholick Church: And further affirmed, That the Church of Rome was the true Catholick Church: He further endeavoured to prove Extreme Unction, and Auricular Confession, as well as he could, out of the Epistles. Further, he hath heard him say, The King was a Person of mean and soft Temper, and could be led easily to any thing; but yet a Solomon in Vices: But that the Duke of York was a Prince of a brave Spirit, would be faithful to his Friends; and that it was our own Faults that he was a Roman Catholick, in that we forced him to fly into France, where he embraced that Religion. About the same time, he the said Thompson said, The Church would be Militant; but greatly commended the Decency of solemnizing the Mass in France; and that it was performed with much more Reverence and Devotion, than any other Religion doth use. He further heard him say in a Sermon, about the time of Petitioning, he would rather cut off his Hand, than sign it: And had many bad Expressions of it; That it was the Seed of Rebellion, and like Forty and Forty-one.
And further, the said Mr. Thompson, at one Sandford's Shop Door in Bristoll, speaking of Bedloe, said, That he was not to be belived, because Bedloe had said, He (meaning Mr. Thompson) was at St. Omer's, where Mr. Thompson said, he was not: And that Bedloe was of a bad Life, and in many Plots, and not to be credited in any thing he said: And that, in another Discourse, he commended the Romish Clergy for their single Life; and is himself so; and did at the same time vilify and rail at the English Clergy for Marrying; saying, It was better for a Clergyman to be gelt than to marry: And that the Calvinists in France were lecherous Fellows, and could scarce be Two Years a Priest without a Wife. About the Time and after the Election of Sir John Knight to this Parliament, Mr. Thompson said, He was not fit to be believed; and as bad as any Fanatick. He further said in the Pulpit at St. Thomas's, That, after Excommunication by the Bishop, without Absolution from the Spiritual Court, such a One was surely damned; and he would pawn his Soul for the Truth of it.
Evidence ended;-Mr. Thompson, after the Evidence given by every particular Person Face to Face, was asked to every One, if he had any Questions to ask, before they called another? Who answered, He should not say any thing at present. When the Witnesses before mentioned were all examined, Mr. Thompson being desired to make his Defence, and declare, Whether he were guilty of the Matters laid to his Charge, did, for the greatest part, confess Words spoken to that Effect; and, in other things, endeavoured to turn the Words with more Favour towards himself: But the Witnesses being of great Credit, and many more being ready to have made good the same Things, the Committee looked upon the Business to be of a high Nature; and therefore ordered the Matter to be reported specially, leaving it to the Wisdom of the House.
Resolved, Nemine contradicente, That Richard Thompson, Clerk, hath publickly defamed his Sacred Majesty; preached Sedition; vilified the Reformation; promoted Popery, by asserting Popish Principles, decrying the Popish Plot, and turning the same upon the Protestants; and endeavoured to subvert the Liberty and Property of the Subject, and the Rights and Privileges of Parliament: And that he is a Scandal and a Reproach to his Function.
Thompson to be impeached.
And it is referred to Sir Wm. Jones, Colonel Titus, Sir John Knight, Sir Tho. Lee, Serjeant Maynard, Mr. Vernon, Sir John Trevor, Colonel Birch, Sir Rich. Cust, Mr. Sterne, Sir Fr. Winnington, Mr. Hamden, Lord Russell, Mr. Powle, Sir Tho. Meers, Sir Tho. Player, Mr. Paul Foley, Colonel Mildmay, Mr. Vaughan, or any of them, to draw up the same: And the said Committee is impowered to receive further Informations against the said Rich. Thompson: And to send for Persons, Papers, and Records.
Resolved, That the said Bill be committed to the Committee to whom the Bill for uniting his Majesty's Protestant Subjects, upon the Debate of the House, is committed: And they are to sit at Three of the Clock this Afternoon, in the Speaker's Chamber.
Popish Plot in Ireland.
Ordered, That the further Examination of this Matter be referred to the Committee appointed to receive Informations touching the horrid Popish Plot: Who are to report the same, with their Opinions therein, to the House: And the said Committee is to sit de die in diem; notwithstanding the Adjournment of the House.
Ordered, That Sir Jos. Tredenham, Mr. Colt, Mr. White, Sir John Hobart, Mr. Thinne, Mr. Reynell, Mr. Jefferies, Sir Trevor Williams, Sir Walter Baggot, Mr. * Coningsby, Sir Wm. Ellis, Lord Brandon, Sir Tho. Meeres, Mr. Slater, Sir Rowland Gwinn, Sir Tho. Clarges, Sir John Trevor, Mr. Duboys, Mr. Bulkeley, Sir Wm. Waller, Mr. Leveson Gower, Mr. Wentworth, Sir Rich. Temple, Sir John Hotham, Alderman Love, Mr. Buscawen, be added to the Committee appointed to receive the Accompts of the Commissioners for disbanding the Army.
Resolved, That the Bill be committed, upon the Debate of the House, to Sir Wm. Jones, Sir Fr. Winnington, Sir Wm. Waller, Sir Tho. Lee, Sir Gilb. Gerrard, Mr. Paul Foley, Sir Rich. Temple, Colonel Deering, Mr. Harbord, Sir Tho. Meeres, Sir Jos. Tredenham, Sir John Trevor, Lord Russell, Mr. Hamden: And they are to meet at Four of the Clock this Afternoon, in the Speaker's Chamber.