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, 25 die Martii.
Examinations of the Popish Lords in The Tower, concerning the Pamphlets.
The Earl of Bridgwater reported, "That himself and those Lords appointed Yesterday have been with those Lords who are Prisoners in The Tower, and have shewed them the French printed Pamphlet, and asked them what they know concerning it: To which each Lord gave Answer as followeth:
The Earl of Powis confesseth, "That a Person was employed into Flanders, by himself and others, Prisoners in The Tower; whose Business was, to enquire of Particulars relating to the Evidence against them: But he knew not the Person's Name who was to be employed, nor could he tell which of the Prisoners it was that agreed in the Thing; only some Discourse they had one with another, it being said among them, "That one was going over, who would use his Endeavours to search into these Matters;" but he did not remember who it was that first moved this Discourse: And the Time was about Christmas last. His Lordship owned that he had seen the Book, it having been brought to Sir John Robinson; and Mr. Dawes told his Lordship of it, and helped him to a Sight of it: That this Man named in the Pamphlet to be their Agent cannot be the Person; for that he who was employed had an English Name."
"Lord Viscount Stafford confesseth, "That himself and some of the Prisoners had talked of a Person who went into Flanders, but his Name he knoweth not, who was to enquire concerning Oates's Testimony. He knows nothing of Grebert, nor hath heard of his Name: That he had seen a Pamphlet in English, but not this in French till now: That he did not concern himself for Oates's Testimony, he having said little against him."
"Lord Petre confesseth, "That he had heard say, that Witnesses might be found out, who would invalidate some of the Testimonies against them who were in Prison. He had also heard, that one did go into Flanders, about Six or Eight Weeks ago, about this Business; but he knows not his Name, nor had any Thing to do in sending him. He had seen, but not read, this French Pamphlet, as also the English one; these having been sent to Sir John Robinson. As to Grebert, he said, he knew nothing of him."
"Lord Arundel confesseth, "That he had heard of one who went over about Two Months since into Flanders, to make Enquiry of Particulars relating to the Accusations against the Lords, &c.; but he knew not his Name, only he is sure 'tis not Grebert: That he had seen the Pamphlet."
and L. Bellasis.
"Lord Bellasis saith, "That he never employed, nor heard of any employed into Flanders, to enquire concerning the Evidence of this Plot: That he hath heard of this Pamphlet; but hath not seen it before."
Message from H. C. with a Vote.
Vote to assert the Reality of the Plot.
"That they do declare, That they are fully satisfied, by the Proofs they have heard, that there now is, and for divers Years last past hath been, a horrid and treasonable Plot and Conspiracy, contrived and carried on by those of the Popish Religion, for the Murdering of His Majesty's Sacred Person, and for subverting the Protestant Religion, and the ancient and established Government of this Kingdom."
To be printed.
ORDERED, That the Vote agreed to this Day by both Houses of Parliament, concerning the horrid and treasonable Plot and Conspiracy, shall be printed, and inserted in the First Leaf of the Office to be publicly used on the Day appointed by His Majesty for solemn Fasting and Humiliation.
Message to H. C. that the Lords agree to it.
Black Rod reports, he can't find the E. of Danby:
The Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod gave the House an Account, "That, as soon as he had received the Order of this House, for taking into his Custody Thomas Earl of Danby, and to bring him to the Bar of this House this Morning; he went immediately to his Lordship's House here in Town, and Two several Times hath searched for him; but cannot find him: And his Lordship's Servants say, they know not where he is. And this Morning he went to Wimbleton, and made Search there; but cannot find him."
Message to H. C. to acquaint them with it.
"That the Lords have received an Account from the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, who was ordered Yesterday to take Thomas Earl of Danby into Custody, and to bring him to the Bar of this House this Morning; but, after diligent Search made for him, he is not to be found."
Bill to disable the E. of Danby.
Protests against committing it.
Report of a Paper concerning Sir Robert Southwell.
The Earl of Clarendon reported from the Lords Committees for examining Persons concerning the Discovery of the late horrid Conspiracy, a Paper for the clearing of Sir Rob't Southwell from false Aspersions which have been cast upon him; which the Lords Committees desire may be entered into the Journal Book of this House, for his Vindication.
Sir Robert Southwell's Vindication.
"Whereas Stephen Dugdale did, on Friday the 21th Instant, in his Deposition made before the Lords Committees for receiving Information tending to the Discovery of the late horrid Conspiracy, set forth as follows:
"That, for these Two Years last past, all or most Letters that were sent to Mr. Evers were directed to the Deponent; and that, about the 13th or 14th of October last (but of the Time he is not very certain), there came Two Letters from Harcoat and Bennyfeild, to the said Mr. Evers; in one or both of which Letters was expressed, "That this Night Sir Edmond Bury Godfrie is dispatched;" which when the said Evers read to the Deponent, the Deponent told the said Evers, "He would be hanged if that did not overthrow the whole Business." Which made Evers answer, "No; it will not be taken to be us, for he used to punish lewd Persons, and such as used to go to debauched Houses; and it will be supposed to be some of those that have killed him."
"Upon which Deposition, the said Lords took Notice that, in the Book of Proceedings of the Committee of the Privy Council touching the Plot, there was mentioned on the 11th of January last no more relating to this Matter than in the Words following:
"That, upon Notice of the Murder of Sir Edmond Bury Godfrey, he much blamed to Mr. Evers the Indiscretion of that Business, as a Thing that might help to discover their Design; but Mr. Evers told him, "it could not do much Hurt; for, he being a Man much given to punish Debauchery, it would easily be thought that some of them had done it."
"Whereupon the Lords did interrogate the said Stephen Dugdale, "Whether he had not formerly told the Committee of the Council, as well concerning the Time and the Person or Persons who writ the Letters in his Deposition mentioned, as of the Discourse which passed between him and Evers thereupon; or whether any Member of the said Committee, or the Clerk of the Council, who then attended them, did tell him, "that it was not material to make Mention of the said Time or Persons?" The said Deponent saith, "That he did never mention any Thing, either of the said Time, or of the said Persons, unto that Committee, or to the Clerk of the Council attending them; nor was he told by any of them, that to mention the said Time and Persons was not material: And he doth upon his Oath declare, That, although he did mention that Circumstance to one Mr. Charles Chetwin, when they discoursed about the Murder, yet, when he came before the said Committee, it being at a Time when he brought much other Evidence with him in Writing; it did not occur to him to mention more than what is set down in the Entry Book of the said Committee; he being then asked, as it were by Chance, what was said amongst them upon that Murder. And further he thinks himself bound to testify, That it was not possible to have more Care taken than was used to set down all Things he said with Exactness, and without adding and diminishing; for so it was ordered by the said Committee, and so put in Practice by Sir Robert Southwell that attended them."
"All which Particulars having passed before their Lordships on the said 21 Instant, and Sir Robert Southwell appearing before their Lordships this Day, and complaining, "That, by the Contrivance of some Persons, there were spread abroad against him very injurious Reflections, as if he had wilfully suppress that material Part of this Evidence, which now appears he never had Knowledge of, and that even this Entry was unduly inserted by him in the Place where it now is, which appears impossible; and praying their Lordships, that, after the strict Inquiry which hath been made by their Lordships into the Bottom of the Proceeding, their Lordships would either blame or acquit him, as to their Lordships should seem most just:"
"Their Lordships, taking into Consideration, that they had not only the Testimony of Mr. Dugdale, but the Concurrence of Nine or Ten of the Lords of that Committee then present, who retained a perfect Memory of this Particular, have thought fit to declare, That they are entirely satisfied with the Care and Integrity of the said Sir Robert Southwell; and that whatever Reflections have been raised against him to the contrary are groundless and injurious. And their Lordships order, That a full Entry thereof be made in their Book, in order to his Vindication."
Report of the State of the Laws concerning Papists residing in London and Westm.
"In Obedience to your Lordships Order of the 18th Instant, we have considered of the State of the Laws now in Being, how they stand, as to the clearing the Cities of London and Westminster from Popish Families, and wherein the said Laws are defective, and do humbly offer to your Lordships, that besides the general Laws against Recusants, unto which all Popish Recusants in and about the Cities of London and Westm. are liable; we find none in particular relating to the said Cities, but the Statute of 3 Jacobi Cap. 5, Paragraph 4.
"The Meaning of which Law seems to be for the freeing of the City of London, and within Ten Miles Compass of it, from Papists: But the said Law is not clearly penned; and there is no Provision to compel any Parish to receive such Persons as shall be willing to remove in Pursuance of it.
Darcy versus Darcy.
Whereas, by Order of this House, dated the 5th of July, 1678, James Darcy the Son and Heir, and Christopher Darcy the Executor, of James Darcy, were required to put in their Answer or respective Answers, in Writing, to the Petition of Sir William Darcy; being an Appeal from a Dismission of his Bill out of the Court of Chancery, which was for Relief upon a Trust and Agreement for Redemption of the Manor and Castle of Witton, and other Lands in the Bishopric of Durham, conveyed to James Darcy his Brother; which Answers, by reason of the Prorogation then soon after ensuing, are not since put in; this House being moved, "That a Day may be set for that Purpose:"
It is thereupon ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the said James Darcy and Christopher Darcy be, and are hereby, required to put in their Answer, or respective Answers, to the said Appeal, within One Week next after Notice given to them respectively of this Order for that Purpose.
Clerks appointed to attend Committee for Examination of the Plot.
The Earl of Clarendon acquainting the House, "That the Clerk of the Parliaments hath, according to the Order of the 19th of this Instant March, provided Two Clerks, videlicet, John Sheldrake and Culverwell Needler (of whose Diligence and Honesty he hath good Assurance), to attend the Service of the Lords Committees for examining Matters relating to the Discovery of the late horrid Conspiracy:"
Turner, a Jesuit, committed.
Upon Report made by the Earl of Clarendon, from the Lords Committees for examining Matters relating to the Discovery of the late horrid Conspiracy, "That their Lordships are of Opinion, That Edward Turner, a Priest and Jesuit, who hath been examined before them, and is now in the Custody of Francis Strutt, a Messenger, should be committed to Prison:"
It is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the said Francis Strutt shall forthwith deliver the said Edward Turner into the Prison of The Gatehouse at Westm. there to remain as a Prisoner till he shall be delivered by due Course of Law: And this shall be a sufficient Warrant on that Behalf.
State of Ireland to be considered.
Col. Finch, Leave to go beyond Sea.
Upon Consideration had thereof, it is ORDERED, That the said Charles Finch be, and is hereby, authorized and permitted to repair to any of His Majesty's Sea Ports of this Kingdom, and thence to have Liberty to pass into the Parts beyond the Seas; and this shall be a sufficient Warrant on that Behalf.
Ly. Pierpoint, Leave to stay in Town.
This House being moved, "That the Lady Elizabeth Pierpoint, being sick in the Country, where such necessary Helps as are requisite for the Recovery of her Health are not to be had, may have Leave to come to stay some Time in Town for that Purpose:"
It is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the said Lady Elizabeth Pierpoint, with such Women Servants as shall be necessary for her, be, and are hereby, authorized to come to, and stay in, the Cities of London or Westm. or the Suburbs of either of them, for the Space of Two Months from the Date of this Order, for the Recovery of her Health, but no longer.
Popish Recusants, for better Discovery of, Bill.
The Earl of Bridgwater reported, "That the Committee of the House hath considered the Bill for the better Discovery, and the more speedy Conviction, of Popish Recusants; wherein they have made some Amendments, and added Two Provisos, which are offered to their Lordships Consideration."
Prisoners for the Plot to be secured.
ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the Judges of Assize in their respective Circuits be, and are hereby, required to give Direction to the respective Sheriffs of Counties, and all other Persons concerned therein, for the effectual securing of all such Persons as now are, or hereafter shall be, Prisoners within their respective Jurisdictions and Charges, for any Matters relating to the late horrid Conspiracy.
Blank Warrant to be issued, to search for Persons concerned in the Plot.
The House being moved, by the Lords Committees for examining Matters relating to the Discovery of the late horrid Conspiracy, "That a blank Warrant may be issued, and signed by the Clerk of the Parliaments, to search for and seize some Papers and Persons which may make a further Discovery thereof, and that their Lordships may be intrusted to insert the Place or House to be searched; as also the Names of the Persons who shall execute the said Warrant, to prevent a Discovery of the intended Seizure:"
Upon Consideration had thereof, it is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That such a blank Warrant shall be issued as is desired, so as the Search to be made be not in the House of any Member of either House of Parliament: Which their Lordships assured the House they would take Care of.