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 Lunæ, 23 die Decembris.
L. Herbert takes his Seat.
Lords take the Oaths.
This Day these Lords following took the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy, and made and subscribed the Declaration, in Pursuance of the Act for the more effectual preserving of His Majesty's Person and Government, by disabling Papists from sitting in either House of Parliament:
Absent Lords excused.
Thomas Longe and William Cowper deposed, at the Bar, upon their Oaths, "That the Lord Bishop of Norwich is so afflicted with the Strangury, that, upon riding in a Coach, he makes bloody Water; and so not able to come to London without Danger."
Prance, in Newgate, to be pardoned, upon his Discovery of the Plot, and Murder of Sir Edm. Gofre.
Forasmuch as the House was this Day informed, That Miles Prance hath made some Discovery of the Plot, and hath offered to make further Discovery of the Plot, and also touching the Death of Sir Edmond Bury Godfrey, and the whole Manner of it, if he might first be fully assured of His Majesty's gracious and general Pardon:"
The Lords appointed the Duke of Bucks, the Marquis of Winchester, the Earl of Shaftesbury, and the Lord Grey of Warke, to attend His Majesty, to acquaint Him with this Matter; and, in the Name of this House, humbly to desire Him to grant to the said Miles Prance His gracious Pardon, upon his full Discovery, and receive His gracious Pleasure thereupon.
Who immediately attended His Majesty; and, returning, did report to the House; "That His Majesty was graciously pleased to promise, that Miles Prance shall have a full and general Pardon upon his Discovery of the whole Matter."
Whereupon it is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the Duke of Bucks, Marquis of Winchester, Earl of Shaftesbury, and the Lord Grey de Warke, or any Three of them, do acquaint the said Miles Prance, in Newgate, this Afternoon, with His Majesty's gracious Assurance; and that they do then and there proceed to examine him thoroughly, in order to a full and perfect Discovery; and that Care be taken, that no other Person, Lord or Commoner, be present at the said Examination, but the said Lords and the Prisoner.
Message from H. C. that they will sit P. M.
Lords agree to sit also.
Sir E Sheldon and Family, Leave to stay in Town.
Whereas Edward Sheldon and his Wife, being Popish Recusants, should have departed out of the Cities of London and Westminster, in Pursuance of His Majesty's late Proclamation of the 30th of October last; but, by reason of their extreme Age and Sickness, are permitted by His Majesty in Council to stay in Town:
This House being moved, "That Elizabeth and Katherine Sheldon, Daughters of the said Edward Sheldon, who have no other Place of Abode but with their Parents, and may be of great Help to them in their Sickness, may be permitted to stay in Town for that Purpose:"
It is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the said Elizabeth and Katherine Sheldon be, and are hereby, authorized and permitted to stay in Town with their said Parents, to attend them, during such Time as His Majesty shall think fit that the said Sir Edward Sheldon and his Wife shall stay in Town, and no longer.
Barnesly committed to The King's Bench.
Upon reading the Petition of Henry Barnesly, now in the Custody of the Serjeant at Arms attending this House; shewing, "That, being by Order of this House brought from Worcester, and by like Order to be returned thither again, and that, being very old and sickly, he is not able to bear the Journey in this hard Season of the Year, and therefore praying that he may remain here upon Bail:"
It is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the said Henry Barnsley (being charged to be a Popish Priest) shall, by the said Serjeant at Arms, be delivered into the Prison of The King's Bench, there to remain in safe Custody till he be better able to be returned to Worcester, in order to his Trial there; and this shall be a sufficient Warrant on that Behalf.
Message from H. C. to impeach the E. of Danby.
"That the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses in Parliament assembled, having received Information of divers traiterous Practices and Designs of a great Peer of this House, Thomas Earl of Danby, Lord High Treasurer of England, One of His Majesty's Privy Council, have commanded him to impeach the said Thomas Earl of Danby of High Treason, and other High Crimes, Misdemeanors, and Offences; and he did here, in their Names, and in the Names of all the Commons of England, impeach the said Thomas Earl of Danby, Lord High Treasurer of England, of High Treason, and other high Crimes, Misdemeanors, and Offences."
Articles against him.
"1. That he hath traiterously encroached to himself Regal Power, by treating in Matters of Peace and War with Foreign Princes and Ambassadors, and giving Instructions to His Majesty's Ambassadors Abroad, without communicating the same to the Secretaries of State and the rest of His Majesty's Council, and against the express Declaration of His Majesty and His Parliament; thereby intending to defeat and overthrow the Provisions which had been deliberately made, by His Majesty and His Parliament, for the Safety and Preservation of His Majesty's Kingdoms and Dominions.
"2. That he hath traiterously endeavoured to subvert the ancient and well-established Form of Government in this Kingdom, and, instead thereof, to introduce an arbitrary and tyrannical Way of Government; and, the better to effect this his Purpose, he did design the raising of an Army, upon Pretence of a War against the French King, and then to continue the same as a Standing Army within this Kingdom: And an Army being so raised, and no War ensuing, an Act of Parliament having passed to pay off and disband the same, and a great Sum of Money being granted for that End, he did continue this Army contrary to the said Act, and misemployed the said Money, given for Disbanding, to the Continuance thereof; and issued out of His Majesty's Revenue divers great Sums of Money for the said Purpose, and wilfully neglected to take Security from the Paymaster of the Army, as the said Act required; whereby the said Law is eluded, and the Army is yet continued, to the great Danger and unnecessary Charge of His Majesty and the whole Kingdom.
"3. That he, traiterously intending and designing to alienate the Hearts and Affections of His Majesty's good Subjects from His Royal Person and Government, and to hinder the Meeting of Parliaments, and to deprive His Sacred Majesty of their safe and wholesome Counsels, and thereby to alter the Constitution of the Government of this Kingdom, did propose and negociate a Peace for the French King, upon Terms disadvantageous to the Interest of His Majesty and His Kingdoms; for the doing whereof, he did endeavour to procure a great Sum of Money from the French King, for the enabling of him to carry on and maintain his said traiterous Designs and Purposes, to the Hazard of His Majesty's Person and Government.
"4. That he is popishly affected; and hath traiterously concealed (after he had Notice) the late horrid and bloody Plot and Conspiracy contrived by the Papists against His Majesty's Person and Government; and hath suppressed the Evidence, and reproachfully discountenanced the King's Witnesses, in the Discovery of it, in Favour of Popery, immediately tending to the Destruction of the King's Sacred Person, and the Subversion of the Protestant Religion.
"5. That he hath wasted the King's Treasure, by issuing out of His Majesty's Exchequer and several Branches of His Revenue, for unnecessary Pensions and secret Services, to the Value of Two Hundred Thirty-one Thousand Six Hundred and Two Pounds, within Two Years; and that he hath wholly diverted, out of the known Method and Government of the Exchequer, One whole Branch of His Majesty's Revenue to private Uses, without any Accompt to be made of it to His Majesty in the Exchequer, contrary to the express Act of Parliament which granted the same; and he hath removed Two of His Majesty's Commissioners of that Part of the Revenue, for refusing to consent to such his unwarrantable Actings therein, and to advance Money upon that Branch of the Revenue for private Uses.
"6. That he hath, by indirect Means, procured from His Majesty, for himself, divers considerable Gifts and Grants of Inheritance, of the ancient Revenue of the Crown, even contrary to Acts of Parliament.
"For which Matters and Things, the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses of the House of Commons, in Parliament, do, in the Name of themselves and of all the Commons of England, impeach the said Thomas Earl of Danby, Lord High Treasurer of England, of High Treason, and other the high Crimes, Misdemeanors, and Offences, in the said Articles contained. And the said Commons, by Protestation, saving to themselves the Liberty of exhibiting at any Time hereafter, any other Accusation or Impeachment against the said Earl, and also of replying to the Answers which the said Thomas Earl of Danby shall make to the Premises, or any of them, or any Impeachment or Accusation that shall be by them exhibited, as the Cause, according to Course and Proceedings of Parliament, shall require, do pray, That the said Thomas Earl of Danby may be put to answer all and every the Premises, that such Proceedings, Examinations, Trials, and Judgements, may be upon them, and every one of them, had and used, as shall be agreeable to Law and Justice; and that he may be sequestered from Parliament, and forthwith committed to safe Custody."
L. Treasurer's Speech thereupon.
His Lordship, after this, in his Place, gave the House an Account of himself, in relation to his Charge; and said, "He did not doubt but his Innocency would appear; and he accounted it his great Happiness, to be tried by their Lordships Justice, to whom he did wholly submit himself, and resolved to be at their Disposal."
Debate about his withdrawing.
Message from H. C. for a Conference on the Supply Bill.
"He was commanded, by the Commons of England, in Parliament assembled, to desire a Conference, upon the Amendments sent down to them from their Lordships, to the Bill, intituled, "An Act for granting a Supply to His Majesty, of Two Hundred and Six Thousand Four Hundred Sixtytwo Pounds, Seventeen Shillings, and Threee Pence, for the effectual paying off and disbanding all the Forces raised, or brought over from Foreign Parts into this Kingdom, since the 29th of September, 1677."