Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 11, 1660-1666. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.
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DIE Martis, 14 die Aprilis.
Shercliffe, for counterteiting Ld. Hunsdon's Protection.
And, after he had kneeled until he was bid to stand up, the Lord Chancellor told him, "He was accused for forging a counterfeit Protection, under the Hand and Seal of the Lord Hunsdon, a Peer of this Kingdom; and asked him what he could say for himself, why Judgement should not be given upon him for his said high Offence."
His Answer was, "He denied that he forged the said Protection; for he had it of one Francis Bird, by the Means of an Acquaintance of his, one Lea, who told him the Price of it was Forty Shillings; and being forced to have one to secure him from his Landlord's arresting of him, he contracted with Bird for to give him Forty Shillings for the said Protection, and accordingly paid Twenty Shillings to Bird; but the other Twenty Shillings he retained, because Lea owed Money to him, out of which he was to pay Bird the other Twenty Shillings, and set it off from his Debt."
He further confessed, "He came to the Lord Hunsdon, to thank him for his Lordship's Protection; taking it for granted that it was a true Protection, until his Lordship denied that he had granted any such."
To be released on Bail, and endeavour to apprehend Bird.
And the House took this Business into Consideration; and were of Opinion, "That this Cause is not yet ripe for their Lordships Judgement, in regard the said Birde (being a principal Party concerned) is not to be found."
Therefore it is ORDERED, That for the present the said Thomas Shercliffe shall be released of his present Restraint, paying his Fees, and giving Bail to the Serjeant at Arms, to appear before the Lords in Parliament when he shall be summoned so to do; and in the Interim the said Shercliffe is hereby required to do his uttermost Endeavour in assisting the said Serjeant at Arms for the finding out the said Birde, that so he may be apprehended and brought before this House on the 29th Day of this Instant April, to answer his high Offence which he stands accused of.