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 Veneris, 8 die Novembris.
Prisoners in The Tower, Report of Examination.
"And the First they had before them was Sir John Gage, who owns the Examination which was taken of him, by Sir Thomas Stringer, to be upon Oath; and that the Paper which they shewed him (which was put into their Hands from Sir Thomas Stringer) was a Copy of his said Examination. But he denies that he was examined by the Lord Chief Justice; or that he ever received any Letter or Commission whatsoever from Mr. Otes; or that he knows any Thing of any Plot against His Majesty's Service, or against the Government.
"They then sent for the Lord Arundell of Warder; whom they first examined as to his being privy to Mr. Coleman's going to Brussells, to the Pope's Nuncio; and urged to him, "That the Letters to Coleman, from the Nuncio, did give a Caution, that none should be trusted with the Business, but his Royal Highness and the Lord Arundell." Yet his Lordship did absolutely deny that he knew any Thing of the Transaction between Coleman and the said Nuncio, or of Coleman's Errand into Flanders; but said, "It was likely he took his Leave of him before he went."
"His Lordship did own, Coleman was Twice with him that Day Coleman's Papers were seized; that the First Time they discoursed of indifferent Matters, the last Time (which was about Six in the Evening) Coleman spoke of his Papers being seized; and that thereupon his Lordship advised him to follow his Papers, and render himself.
"Being asked, his Lordship further declared, "He never saw Mr. Otes in his Life; and that he never was at Mr. Langhorne's Chamber but Once, and never saw him but that Time, and that he never did any Business for him; and that he was so far from having any Acquaintance with Mr. Langhorn's Sons, that he did not know that Mr. Langhorne was married, until he lately asked the Question." And as for his Lordship's receiving any Patent, Commission, or any Power from Foreigners, he saith, "He never did; but hath a Patent for Count of the Empire, and for the Place of Master of the Horse to Her late Majesty the Queen Mother; and never had any other."
"The Lord Petre was the last that their Lordships examined; and they acquainted his Lordship with Mr. Otes's Deposition against him, "That he had received a Commission for Lieutenant General, from Mr. Otes, in Mr. Langhorn's Chamber, in the Presence of Mr. Langworth; and that Mr. Langworth gave his Lordship Joy thereupon." All which his Lordship did utterly deny; or that he knew Mr. Otes, or had ever seen him; or that he ever saw Mr. Langhorne, or was at his Chamber, or knew where his Chamber was." His Lordship indeed did acknowledge, "That he knew Langworth; and that he had lately heard that Mr. Otes had been at his House; but that he had never heard of his Name until Michaelmas Eve last, when his Lordship's House was searched for Mr. Langworth.
"And as for his offering any Thing to Persons that should change to the Romish Religion; his Lordship doth absolutely disown it: As also that ever he had any Commerce with Mr. Coleman about any Matter of Business.
"This is the Sum of what their Lordships had to acquaint the House with; besides an humble Supplication of the said Lords, which they desired their Lordships would acquaint the House with, in regard they cannot petition the House, being debarred from the Use of Pen, Ink, and Paper; which is, That this House would be pleased to remit their close Imprisonment; and that they might be permitted to walk in The Tower, for their Health, which is in Danger by their present close Restraint."
Address for Security of The Tower.
"ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the Lords with White Staves do attend His Majesty, from this House, humbly to acquaint Him, That the House of Peers, having received Information of the Insecurity of His Majesty's Tower of London, and of keeping Prisoners there, by reason of the Carelessness of the Officers, in not attending the Duty of their Places in The Tower as they ought, do therefore humbly beseech His Majesty, That He would please to give such Order for the better securing his said Tower, and the Prisoners there, as His Majesty shall think fit."
Bedllowe's Narrative, concerning Sir Edmond Bury Godfrey's Murder.
The Lord Treasurer reported, by His Majesty's Directions, "That Yesterday one William Bedlowe was examined, at Whitehall, concerning the Discovery of the Murder of Sir Edmond Bury Godfrey; and that His Majesty had given Order he should be brought to give this House an Account thereof."
"That he was born in Monmouthshire; and was of the Church of England till within these Two Years, that, by Persuasion and Promises from the Jesuits, he was drawn over to them; that he is not in Orders. He knows that Sir Edmond Bury Godfrey was murdered in Somerset-House, on the Saturday, by Charles Walsh and Le Fevre Jesuits, and Two Laymen, one a Gentleman that waits on the Lord Bellasis, the other an Under-waiter in the Queen's Chapel: That he saw the Body of Sir Edmond Bury Godfrey, after he was murdered, before he was carried out; and Le Fevre told him, "He was stifled between Two Pillows;" and he was offered Two Thousand Guineas to be One of the Three to carry out the Body, which was kept either in the Room or the next where the Duke of Albemarle lay in State: That the Chairmen, who carried out the Body on Monday Night, at Nine of the Clock, are Retainers to Somerset-House; but he knows them not."
He said further, "That Walsh and Le Fevre informed him, "That the Lord Bellasis had a Commission to command Forces in the North; the Earl of Powis in South Wales; and the Lord Arundell of Warder had a Commission from the Pope, to grant Commissions to whom he pleased: That Coleman had been a great Agitator in the Design against the King: And that he asking the Jesuits, "Why they had not formerly told him what they had designed concerning the King's Death?" They answered him, "That none but whom the Lord Bellasis gave Directions for, were to know of it."
Somerset House to be searched; and Choquee to be apprehended.
Hereupon, it is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the Lord Gerard of Brandon and the Lord Butler of Moore Parke go immediately to Somerset-House, and make strict Search there, in all the Rooms, for Arms and Papers, and for Charles Walsh and Le Fevre, and other suspicious Persons; but in the Queen's Closet, Cabinet, and Council Chamber, they are not to remove Papers nor Writings, only to seal up those that are in the Council Chamber; and that a Guard be set on the House of Mr. Choquiee and The Savoy, both at the Water Gate and Upper Gates thereof, till his House be searched; and that he be presently apprehended; and that the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod attend their Lordships in this Service.
The Queen to be acquainted with the Order for a Search.
Pritchard to be searched for.
ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the Lord Gerard of Brandon and Lord Butler of Moore Park shall, in the Search they are now in at Somerset-House, search for and seize Pritchard, a Jesuit, of whom the Lords have Information that he is there.
Sir R. Walsh discharged.
The Lord Bishop of Rochester reported, "That the Committee for examining of Papers have had Sir Robert Walsh before them this Morning; and, having perused his Papers, and examined him, the Committee cannot find he is any Way guilty of the Design against His Majesty; therefore the Committee are of Opinion, That his Papers be returned to him, excepting a very few that are fit to be retained, concerning other Persons, which may be made Use of as Occasion shall require; and that they find no Cause to keep Sir Rob't Walsh in longer Restraint."
His Lordship further reported, "That the Committee have had Account of Papers of Whitebread and Micho, and have delivered them to Sir Phillip Lloyd, causing a List of them to be entered into the Clerk's Book of the Committee."
Upon Report made by the Lord Bishop of Rochester, from the Lords Committees appointed to examine Papers concerning the horrid Design against His Majesty's Person, "That, upon Perusal of the Papers of Sir Robert Walsh, seized and brought before them by Order of this House, they find not any Cause of detaining Sir Rob't Walsh any longer in Custody; although they think fit to keep some of his Papers, for the Service of the House:"
Thompson the Printer to be examined, about Popish Books.
Upon reading the Petition of Nathaniell Thompson Printer, now Prisoner in The Gatehouse; praying, "That he may have his Liberty, and be brought before this House; where he will give the true Reason why so many Popish Books are printed, and shew the Means how to prevent it:"
It is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the said Nathaniell Thompson be brought, with his Keeper, before the Lords Committees appointed to examine Papers concerning the horrid Design against His Majesty's Person, at such Times as their Lordships shall appoint to hear him (and receive in Writing) what he proposeth in his Petition; and make Report thereof to the House.
Lord Petre, Liberty in The Tower.
ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the Lord Petre, now close Prisoner in The Tower for Treason, by Order of this House, shall henceforth have such Liberty within the said Tower, for his Health, as other Prisoners in the Tower have, till further Order; and this shall be a sufficient Warrant on that Behalf.
Address, that Lambert may be examined.
ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the Lords with White Staves do attend His Majesty, from this House, humbly to desire Him, "That His Majesty will be pleased to give Order, That John Lambert, now a Prisoner, may be examined, upon such Matters relating to the Discovery of the Plot, as His Majesty shall think fit; and particularly as to any Commission by him received from the Pope, or His Authority."
Lord Bellasis' Servants to be attached.
ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the Serjeant at Arms attending this House, or his Deputy or Deputies, do forthwith attach the Bodies of all such Persons as are Men Servants to the Lord Bellasise, wherever they can find them, and bring them in safe Custody to the Bar of this House, to answer such Matters as shall be there objected against them: And this shall be a sufficient Warrant on that Behalf.
To Sir George Charnock Knight, Serjeant at Arms attending this House, his Deputy and Deputies, and to all His Majesty's Officers Civil and Military, to be aiding and assisting in the Execution hereof.
Address, for some Letters of Coleman and Father Le Chaise.
ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the Lords with White Staves do attend His Majesty, humbly to desire Him, from this House, "That the Letters of Mr. Coleman, of the 29th of September, 1675, to Father Le Chese, and another of his to Father Le Chese, wherein he owns the sending of the said Letter, and Monsr. Le Chese's Letter, whereby he owns the Receipt thereof, which have not been read in this House, may by His Majesty's Order be brought hither; and His Majesty will be pleased to give Order that the Trial of the Lords and others Prisoners for Treason may be expedited; and that in the mean Time the Lord Bellasise may be a close Prisoner."
Marchioness of Winchester, Privilege, to stay in Town.
The Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled do declare, That Isabella Marchioness Dowager of Winchester, as she is a Peeress of this Realm, and thereby ought to enjoy Privilege of Parliament, is not to be comprehended within the Penalties enjoined by the Proclamation for banishing Papists from London and Westm.
DIE Veneris, 8 die Novembris, post meridiem.
Queen's Lodgings at Somerset House searched.
The Earl of Clarendon reported, "That he hath waited on Her Majesty, to acquaint Her with what this House ordered in the Morning concerning the searching of Somerset-House: Which Her Majesty takes as a Respect; and delivered to his Lordship the Keys of Her Closet at Somerset-House; which his Lordship delivered to the Lord Butler, who, having viewed Her Majesty's Lodgings, returned them to Her Majesty again."
Disabling Papists from sitting in Parliament, &c.
ORDERED, That the House be put into a Committee To-morrow Morning, to consider the Bill for the more effectual Preservation of His Majesty's Person; to be the First Business, and nothing to intervene.