Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 13, 1675-1681. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.
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DIE Martis, 29 die Octobris.
Report concerning Examination of some of the Prisoners in Newgate, concerning the Plot.
"According to your Lordships Directions, we went Yesterday in the Evening to examine some of the Prisoners that are in Newgate for High Treason, in plotting and contriving the Death of His Majesty; namely, Thomas Jennison, Edward Petre, and William Ireland, who were one after another brought before us; and they do all obstinately deny their Knowledge of any such Plot or Design, and would not make the least Confession of any Thing relating to it; although, according to the Authority we had, we promised not only a Pardon, but likewise a Reward to him that should confess in Truth.
"When Edward Petre was before us, we shewed him the Letter directed to William Tunstall, warning him to be at the Congregation in London the 24th of April last; which he owned to be his Hand-writing: But as to the Design of the said Meeting, he denies that he knows of any other, than that of chusing an Officer to send Abroad.
"To William Ireland likewise we shewed some Letters and Papers (found among those that were seized); which he owns to be his Hand: But denies that which was sent to Windsor to Mr. Bennyscild, which, he said, was forged.
"When we had done with these Three Prisoners, we sent for Mr. Edward Coleman; who being brought before us, we put him in Mind, that (fn. 1) the Day before, when he was charged by us for forged pretended Letters in the Name of his Royal Highness, he then told us, "That if any such Letters were, that they were not forged:" We therefore now shewed him a Draught of a Letter to be sent to Father Oliva; which he owned to be his Hand, and faith, "It was from her Royal Highness the Durchess, and that he prepared it by her Order."
"We then shewed him a Letter drawn as from his Royal Highness to Father Le Chese; which he likewise owned to be his Hand; and that he shewed it to his Royal Highness, but that his Royal Highness rejected it; and he confessed he had no Order from his Royal Highness to prepare it, but that he did it upon his own Head.
"Being asked, "Whether he delivered a Letter to his Royal Highness from Father Ferrier? " He said, "Sir William Throckmorton brought it; and he said, he is sure he delivered One Letter from Ferrier to his Royal Highness; and faith, his Royal Highness was acquainted with his Correspondence with Ferrier and St. Germain; not perhaps with every Letter, but in general."
"He denied that he ever had any Correspondence with Father Le Chese, but by St. German; but he was convinced to the contrary, when a Letter from Le Chese to him was produced, acknowledging the Receipt of his long Letter of the 29th of September, 1674.
"Being asked concerning his going over to Brussels; he confessed, "that he was sent thither by his Royal Highness, upon Father Patrick's coming over from the Inter-nuncio there with an imperfect Story; and that, from that Time, the Correspondence was carried on all along." He said, "The Lord Arundell of Warder knew of his going; and that his Royal Highness was acquainted with the Sum and Substance of the Correspondence with the Inter-nuncio."
"After this, we likewise offered him (as we were directed), that he should be pardoned and rewarded if he would discover it, by making a frank Confession of what he knew; and, to induce him to it, we told him, "That, without any further Confession, there was enough in his Papers for the Law to take away his Life." But we could not make him own the Knowledge of any Thing further; but that he had been guilty of a great many Follies.
"Whereupon it was asked him, "What made him desire to speak with His Majesty and his Royal Highness, when we sent for him the Day before?" To which he answered, "That it was to know how he should govern himself, as to naming the Duke."
"Mr. Coleman being likewise asked on Sunday, "Why he had taken such Liberty of speaking of the King's Ministers, and reproaching some of them with Breach of Faith and Promises with his Royal Highness, in order to any of those Ends which he expected should be promised by them; and whether he knew, or had heard of, any such Thing concerning them, or any of them, whom he had mentioned in his said Letter?" He answered, "He had not; but had been foolish in that as well as in other Things, in delivering his own Opinion; and that he had no other Ground for it."
"We further observe to your Lordships, that neither William Ireland nor Thomas Jennyson who were examined Yesterday, nor Smith whom we examined last Sunday, will own any Knowledge of the Congregation of the 24th of April last; only Edward Petre, upon whom the Knowledge of it was proved by his own Letter to William Tunstall."
These Papers not to be communicated to H. C. at a Conference.
Protest against that Resolution.
Disabling Papists from sitting in Parliament, &c. Bill.
King's Answer to Address about it.
The Duke of Monmouth gave the House this Account: That he and the rest of the Lords have presented the Address Yesterday to His Majesty; who takes it very kindly from their Lordships. And His Majesty said, He had done most of the Things already; the rest, He will do what shall be convenient."
Fielding, D. of Bucks' Servant, Privilege: Sir T. Player to attend.
ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That Sir Thomas Player be, and is hereby, required to attend this House To-morrow Morning, concerning the Arrest of Robert Feilding Esquire, Servant to the Duke of Bucks.
Snape and Moulton committed to the Black Rod.
ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That Francis Snape and Edward Moulton, who have appeared at the Bar about arresting Robert Feilding Esquire, Servant to the Duke of Buckingham, shall remain in the Custody of the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod attending this House, till the Pleasure of this House be further signified.
Sir C. Scarborough to visit L. Bellasis.
The House being informed, "That the Lord Bellasis, now a Prisoner in the Prison of The King's Bench, by Warrant of the Lord Chief Justice of England, for Treason, is so ill, that he cannot without Danger be removed:"
It is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That Sir Charles Scarborough be, and is hereby, appointed to go and visit the said Lord Bellasis, and give this House an Account To-morrow Morning in what Condition of Health he finds him.
ORDERED, That the Consideration of the present Dangers the King's Majesty and the Kingdom are in, and to prevent the same, be proceeded in To-morrow Morning, the First Business; and nothing to intervene.
King to be moved for a Guard on L. Bellasis in the K. B. Prison.
ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That His Majesty be humbly desired from this House, "That the Lord Bellasis, now a Prisoner in the Prison of The King's Bench, by Warrant of the Lord Chief Justice of England, for Treason, being (as is informed) so ill that he cannot be removed, may have a Guard set on him there; and that Notice be taken of the Names of all such Persons as shall come to visit his Lordship there."
Col. Roper & al. to be removed Prisoners to The Tower.
ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, that His Majesty be humbly moved from this House, "That Colonel Roper, and such other Officers as are sent to be Prisoners in the Prison of The King's Bench, by Warrant of the Lord Chief Justice of England, for Treason, be forthwith removed to be Prisoners in His Majesty's Tower of London."
House to be called.
It is this Day ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the Call of the House, and Reading of the said Orders, is hereby put off till Wednesday the Sixth Day of November next; and in the mean Time Sir William Dugdale Principal King of Arms be, and is hereby, required to prepare and bring in a new List of the Nobility of England, for the Service of the House of Peers.