Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 12, 1666-1675. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.
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DIE Sabbati, 18 die Martii.
Domini tam Spirituales quam Temporales præsentes fuerunt:
Small Feefarm Rents Bill.
Hodie 1a vice lecta est Billa, "An Act for vesting certain small Rents in Trustees."
Intestates Estates Bill.
Hodie 1a vice lecta est Billa, "An Act for the better settling of Intestates Estates.'
Seamen, and Navy Stores Bill:
Hodie 3a vice lecta est Billa, "An Act to revive an Act to prevent the Disturbances of Seamen and others, and to preserve the Stores belonging to His Majesty's Navy Royal;" with some Amendments and Additions.
The Question being put, "Whether this Bill shall pass?"
It was Resolved in the Affirmative.
Message to H. C. with it.
A Message was sent to the House of Commons, by Sir Mundiford Bramston and Sir Nathaniell Hobart:
To deliver to them the Bill to prevent the Disturbances of Seamen, &c. and to desire their Concurrence thereunto.
Bill against stealing Children, &c.
The Earl of Sandwich reported, "That the Committee have considered the Bill to prevent stealing and transporting Children and others, and have made some Amendments therein."
Which being read Twice, and the Blanks being filled up with Penalties, were Agreed to.
Hodie 3a vice lecta est Billa, "An Act to prevent stealing and transporting Children and others."
The Question being put, "Whether this Bill, with the Amendments and Additions now read, shall pass?"
It was Resolved in the Affirmative.
Committees to meet.
The Committee for the Bill to ascertain the Measures of Corn and Salt are ordered to meet this Afternoon; and the Lord Viscount Hallyfax is added to that Committee.
The Committee for regulating the Proceedings at Law upon Bills of Midd. &c. are ordered to meet on Monday next, in the Afternoon.
Ly. Read's Case referred from the King and Council.
The Lord Keeper acquainted the House, "That His Majesty, having received a Petition from Alisimon Reade, Wife of Sir John Reade Baronet, doth recommend the Consideration thereof to this House, as follows:
"At the Court at Whitehall, the 8th of February, 1670.
"By the King's Most Excellent Majesty, and the Right Honourable the Lords of His Majesty's Privy Council.
"His Majesty having heard and considered the Petition of Dame Alissimon Reade, complaining of several Grievances and Hardships received from her Husband, and that she cannot obtain the Benefit of the Law against him, and finding so great Difficulties in the Matter, that His Majesty cannot resolve on any Way to relieve the Petitioner according to the Merits of her Case, was graciously pleased in Council to order, That the Right Honourable the Lord Arlington, His Majesty's Principal Secretary of State, do prepare a Letter for His Majesty's Royal Signature, directing the Right Honourable the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England, in His Majesty's Name, to recommend to the House of Lords the Petition of the said Lady Reade, that their Lordships may, upon Consideration thereof, take such Order therein, that the Sadness of her Condition may not increase by Defect of Justice, or for Want of a proper Remedy."
Upon this, the House was presented with the Petition following:
Ly. Read's Petition versus Sir J. Read her Husband:
"To the Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled.
"The humble Petition and Appeal of Alissimon Read, now the Wife of Sir John Reade, of Brockett Hall, in the County of Hartford, Baronet, and formerly the Widow and Relict of the Honourable Francis Pierpoint Esquire;
"That your Petitioner was married to the said Sir John Reade in the Year Sixty-two, and brought him an Estate to the Value of Eight Thousand Pounds: That, after the said Sir John Read had possessed himself thereof, he exercised such Cruelty towards your Petitioner, that she was sain to leave his House for Preservation of her Life; and did afterwards endeavour, by Mediation of Friends, to persuade the said Sir John Read to allow her some reasonable Maintenance; but he refusing to hearken to any Advice or Persuasion of that Kind, your Petitioner was forced to have Recourse to His Majesty's Ecclesiastical Courts, to obtain the same by Law; and did proceed so far in Course of Law, that your Petitioner obtained a Sentence for Alimony (pendente Lite), and hoped to have had a full Relief upon the final Determination of the said Cause: But the said Sir John Read, perceiving that your Petitioner had by Proofs made good her Allegations, and could not in Justice fail of having Sentence for her, declined his Cause, by refusing to obey the Orders of the Court, and stands excommunicated for his Obstinacy therein, and absconds himself, and removes into several Counties, so that your Petitioner hath no Means to recover the said Alimony decreed her by the Court of Delegates, or the Arrears thereof, to the Value of Eight Hundred Pounds. And your Petitioner further shews, That the King's Most Excellent Majesty hath been graciously pleased to call the said Sir John Read before His Majesty and most Honourable Privy Council, and to propound to him, on your Petitioner's Behalf, to do that which in Justice, Honour, and Christianity, he was obliged to; but the said Sir John Read refused to yield to any Thing, whereby your Petitioner is become oppressed by her Wants, and distressed above Measure.
"Now, forasmuch as your Petitioner hath gone through all the ordinary Course of Law in His Majesty's Ecclesiastical Courts, and cannot have Relief thereby, because the Jurisdiction of those Courts cannot reach the Estate or Lands of the said Sir John Read, and your Petitioner must of Necessity starve, if some speedy Remedy may not be obtained by your Lordships Order, who are the supreme Judicature of this Kingdom; your Petitioner therefore most humbly prays your Lordships would be pleased to consider her most sad Condition, and to order that your Petitioner may have reasonable Allowance out of the said Sir John Read's Estate for her Maintenance (and her Arrears, for the present enabling of her to pay such Debts which she has necessarily contracted for her Subsistence), either by virtue of His Majesty's Writ according to ancient Precedent, or by your Lordships Order to the Sheriff; or to give such other Relief as to your Lordships great Wisdoms shall seem meet and just."
Upon Consideration hereof, their Lordships made this Order following:
"Upon reading the humble Petition of Dame Allissimon Read, now the Wife of Sir John Read, of Brockett Hall, in the County of Hartford, Baronet, and formerly the Widow and Relict of the Honourable Francis Pierpoint Esquire, complaining of the cruel Usage she hath endured from the said Sir John Read; and praying, that she may have a Writ de Estoverio habendo for her Relief: It is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That Sir John Read be, and is hereby, required to appear at the Bar of this House, on Monday the Twenty-seventh Day of March Instant, to shew Cause why an Order of this House should not be directed to the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, directing and ordering him to issue the said Writ de Estoverio habendo, for the said Dame Alissimon Read's Relief, according to the Prayer of her Petition: And it is further ORDERED, That a Copy of the said Petition, together with this Order, left either at Brockett Hall aforesaid, or at the said Sir John Read's House at Dunstew in Oxfordshire, shall be a sufficient Notice, in order to the said Sir John Read's appearing at this Bar at the Time aforesaid."
Report concerning Sequestrations in Chancery.
The Earl of Berks reported, "That the Committee for Privileges, in Pursuance of the Order of this House, to consider of the Proceedings in the Court of Chancery upon Sequestrations of Estates, and what Law there is to warrant such Proceedings, have received some Precedents of that Practice in the Court of Chancery since the 32th Year of Queen Elizabeth, from the Registers of that Court.
"That their Lordships have heard the Judges upon the said Precedents, and have received their Opinion thereupon; which is as follows:
"The Opinion of the Judges aftermentioned, videlicet, the Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, Justice Tirrell, Baron Turner, Justice Archer, Justice Raynsford, Justice Moreton, Justice Wyld, Baron Littleton, Baron Wyndham, in Observance of the Order of their Lordships, delivered in Writing by the said Chief Justice, with Consent of the said other Judges.
"They know no positive Law, by Statute or otherwise, nor any Judgement by any Court of Law, which doth warrant the proceeding by Sequestration of Real or Personal Estates, for disobeying Decrees made in Chancery upon Process of Subpæna; and they find, by the Opinion of some Judges in several Times in the ancient Law Reports, That there was no other Remedy for disobeying such Decrees, but Imprisonment of the Persons disobeying for the Contempt: But they find no full Resolution by any Court of Law of that Point. They conceive the Court of Chancery, and Proceedings therein upon Equitable Matters, to be very ancient; and that it belongs not to the Judges in the King's Courts of Law, to determine whether any Decrees made in Chancery in Matters of Equity, or the proceeding in Equity in Execution of such Decrees, be unjust, unless such Decrees and Proceedings be contrary to the Statutes or Common Law. They know not, nor have Time to examine, what Precedents may be found concerning all the ancient Course and Custom of proceeding in the Chancery in Matters of Equity; but are of Opinion, That the Precedents since 32th of Elizabeth, delivered to them by their Lordships to consider of, be of so late Times, that, without other Authority, they alone are not sufficient to prove a Custom of sequestering Real or Personal Estates for disobeying the Decrees of that Court."
ORDERED, That this House will take this Business into Debate on Tuesday Morning next.
Dominus Custos Magni Sigilli declaravit præsens Parliamentum continuandum esse usque in diem Lunæ, 20um diem instantis Martii, hora decima Aurora, Dominis sic decernentibus.