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, 7 die Aprilis.
Domini tam Spirituales quam Temporales præsentes fuerunt:
Message from H. C. with an Impeachment against the E. of Powis, Visc. Stafford, L. Arundel of Ward. L. Petre, and L. Bellasis.
A Message was brought from the House of Commons by the Lord Russell and others; who was commanded, by the House of Commons, to bring up Articles of Impeachment of High Treason, and other high Crimes and Offences, against William Earl of Powys, William Viscount Stafford, Henry Lord Arundell of Wardour, William Lord Petre, and John Lord Bellasis, now Prisoners in The Tower of London.
The said Articles were read, as followeth:
"Articles of Impeachment, of High Treason, and other high Crimes and Offences, against William Earl of Powys, William Viscount Stafford, Henry Lord Arundell of Wardour, William Lord Petre, and John Lord Bellasis, now Prisoners in The Tower of London.
"That, for many Years now last past, there hath been contrived and carried on, by Papists, a traiterous and execrable Conspiracy and Plot, within this Kingdom of England and other Places, to alter, change, and subvert, the ancient Government and Laws of this Kingdom and Nation, and to suppress the true Religion therein established, and to extirpate and destroy the Professors thereof; which said Plot and Conspiracy was contrived and carried on in divers Places, and by several Ways and Means, and by a great Number of Persons of several Qualities and Degrees, who acted therein, and intended thereby to execute and accomplish the aforesaid wicked and traiterous Designs and Purposes.
"That the said William Earl of Powys, William Viscount Stafford, Henry Lord Arundell of Wardour, William Lord Petre, and John Lord Bellasis, together with Philip Howard, commonly called Cardinal of Norfolke, Thomas White, alias Whitebread, commonly called Provincial of the Jesuits in England, Rich'd Strange, lately called Provincial of the Jesuits in England, Vincent, commonly called Provincial of the Dominicans in England, James Corker, commonly called President of the Benedictines, Sir John Warner, alias Clare, Baronet, William Harcourt, John Keins, Nicholas Blundell, Pole, Edward Mico, Thomas Bedingfeild, alias Benefeild, Basill Langworth, Charles Peters, Richard Peters, John Connyers, Sir George Wakeman, Thomas Fenwick, Dominick Kelly, Fitzgerrald, Evers, Sir Thomas Preston, William Lovell, Jesuits, Lord Baltemore, John Carrell, John Townely, Richard Langhorne, William Fogarty, Thomas Penny, Mathew Medbourne, Edward Coleman, William Ireland, John Grove, Thomas Pickering, John Smith, and divers other Jesuits, Priests, Friars, and other Persons, as false Traitors to His Majesty and this Kingdom, within the Time aforesaid, have traiterously consulted, contrived, and acted, to and for the accomplishing of the said wicked, pernicious, and traiterous Designs; and, for that End, did most wickedly and traiterously agree, conspire, and resolve, to imprison, depose, and murder, His Sacred Majesty, and to deprive Him of His Royal State, Crown, and Dignity; and, by malicious and advised speaking, writing, and otherwise, declared such their Purposes and Intentions; and also to subject this Kingdom and Nation to the Pope and His tyrannical Government; and to seize and share amongst themselves the Estates and Inheritances of His Majesty's Protestant Subjects; and to erect and restore Abbies, Monasteries, and other Convents and Societies, which have been long since by the Laws of this Kingdom suppressed, for their Superstition and Idolatry; and to deliver up and restore to them the Lands and Possessions now vested in His Majesty and His Subjects by the Laws and Statutes of this Realm; and also to found and erect new Monasteries and Convents, and to remove and deprive all Protestant Bishops, and other Ecclesiastical Persons, from their Offices, Benefices, and Preferments, and by this Means to destroy His Majesty's Person, extirpate the Protestant Religion, overthrow the Rights, Liberties, and Properties of all His Majesty's good Subjects, subvert the lawful Government of this Kingdom, and subject the same to the Tyranny of the See of Rome.
"That the said Conspirators, and their Complices and Confederates, traiterously had and held several Meetings, Assemblies, and Consultations, wherein it was contrived and designed among them what Means should be used, and what Persons and Instruments should be employed, to murder His Majesty; and did then and there resolve to effect it by poisoning, shooting, stabbing, or some such like Ways and Means, and offered Rewards and Promises of Advantage to several Persons to execute the same; and hired and employed several wicked Persons, to go to Windsor and other Places, where His Majesty did reside, to murder and destroy His Majesty; which said Persons, or some of them, accepted such Rewards, and undertook the perpetrating thereof, and did actually go to the said Places for that End and Purpose.
"That the said Conspirators, the better to compass their traiterous Designs, have consulted to raise, and have procured and raised, Men, Money, Horses, Arms, and Ammunition, and also have made Application to, and treated and corresponded with, the Pope, His Cardinals, Nuncios, and Agents, and with other Foreign Ministers and Persons, to raise and obtain Supplies of Men, Money, Arms, and Ammunition, therewith to make, levy, and raise War, Rebellion, and Tumults, within this Kingdom, and to invade the same with Foreign Forces, and to surprize, seize, and destroy, His Majesty's Navy, Forts, Magazines, and Places of Strength, within this Kingdom; whereupon the Calamities of War, Murders of innocent Subjects, Men, Women, and Children, Burnings, Rapines, Devastations, and other dreadful Miseries and Mischiefs, must inevitably have ensued, to the Ruin and Destruction of this Nation.
"And the said Conspirators have procured and accepted, and delivered out, several Instruments, Commissions, and Powers, made or granted by or under the Pope, or other unlawful and usurped Authority, to raise and dispose of Men, Monies, Arms, and other Things necessary for their wicked and traiterous Designs; and namely, a Commission for the said Henry Lord Arundell of Wardour, to be Lord Chancellor of England; another Commission to the said William Earl of Powys, to be Lord Treasurer of England; another Commission to the said John Lord Bellasis, to be General of the Army to be raised; another Commission to the said William Lord Petre, to be Lieuteuant General of the said Army; and a Power for the said William Viscount Stafford, to be Paymaster of the Army.
"That, in order to encourage themselves in prosecuting their said wicked Plots, Conspiracies, and Treasons, and to hide and hinder the Discovery of the same, and to secure themselves from Justice and Punishment, the Conspirators aforesaid, their Complices and Consederates, have used many wicked and diabolical Practices; videlicet, they did cause their Priests to administer to the said Conspirators an Oath of Secrecy, together with their Sacrament; and also did cause their said Priests, upon Confessions, to give their Absolutions upon Condition that they should conceal the said Conspiracy; and when, about the Month of September last, Sir Edmondbury Godfrey, a Justice of Peace, had, according to the Duty of his Oath and Office, taken several Examinations and Informations concerning the said Conspiracy and Plot, the said Conspirators, or some of them, by Advice, Assent, Counsel, and Instigation of the rest, did incite and procure divers Persons to lie in Wait and pursue the said Sir Edmondbury Godfrey divers Days, with Intent to murder him, which at last was perpetrated and effected by them; for which said horrid Crimes and Offences, Robert Greene, Henry Berry, and Lawrence Hill, have since been attainted, and Dominick Kelly and Girald, and others, are fled for the same; after which Murder, and before the Body was found, or the Murder known to any but the Complices therein, the said Persons falsely gave out that he was alive, and privately married; and, after the Body found, dispersed a false and malicious Report that he had murdered himself; which said Murder was committed with Design to stifle and suppress the Evidence he had taken and had Knowledge of, and discourage and deter Magistrates and others from acting in further Discovery of the said Conspiracy and Plot; for which End also the said Sir Edmondbury Godfrey, while he was alive, was, by them, their Complices and Favourers, threatened and discouraged in his Proceedings about the same; and, of their further Malice, they have wickedly contrived, by many false Suggestions, to lay the Imputation and Guilt of the aforesaid horrid and detestable Crimes upon the Protestants, that so thereby they might escape the Punishments they have justly deserved, and expose the Protestants to great Scandal, and subject them to Persecution and Oppression in all Kingdoms and Countries where the Romish Religion is received and professed.
"All which Treasons, Crimes, and Offences, abovementioned, were contrived, committed, perpetrated, acted, and done, by the said William Earl of Powys, William Viscount Stafford, William Lord Petre, Henry Lord Arundell of Wardour, and John Lord Bellasis, and other the Conspirators aforesaid, against our Sovereign Lord the King, His Crown and Dignity, and against the Laws and Statutes of this Kingdom.
"Of all which Treasons, Crimes, and Offences, the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses, in Parliament assembled, do, in the Name of themselves and of all the Commons of England, impeach the said William Earl of Powys, William Viscount Stafford, William Lord Petre, Henry Lord Arundell of Wardour, and John Lord Bellasis, and every of them.
"And the said Commons, by Protestation, saving to themselves the Liberty of exhibiting at any Time hereafter any other Accusations or Impeachments against the said William Earl of Powys, William Viscount Stafford, William Lord Petre, Henry Lord Arundell of Wardour, and John Lord Bellasis, and every of them, and also of replying to the Answers which they and every of them shall make to the Premises or any of them, or to any other Accusation or Impeachment which shall be by them exhibited (as the Cause according to Course and Proceedings of Parliament shall require), do pray, that the said William Earl of Powys, William Viscount Stafford, William Lord Petre, Henry Lord Arundell of Wardour, and John Lord Bellasis, and every of them, be put to answer all and every of the Premises; and that such Proceedings, Examinations, Trials, and Judgements, may be upon them and every of them had and used, as shall be agreeable to Law and Justice, and Course of Parliament."
Committees to consider or a Method for Trial of these Lords.
ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the Lords Committees for Privileges do meet this Afternoon, to consider of the Method and Progress of the Proceedings to be had upon the Trials of the Lords now Prisoners in The Tower, upon the Impeachments brought up against them from the House of Commons; and that the Lord Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas, Mr. Baron Thurland, and His Majesty's Attorney General, do attend their Lordships this Afternoon, in the House of Peers.
Sidway's information against the Bishop of Ely and other Bishops.
This Day John Sidway brought in an Information upon Oath against the Lords Bishop of Ely and other Bishops.
And, upon Debate thereof,
The Question being put, "Whether John Sidway shall stand committed?"
It was Resolved in the Affirmative.
Protest against (fn. 1) Sidway's Commitment.
Hereupon the House made the ensuing Order; videlicet,
Sidway committed to The Gatehouse.
"Whereas John Sidway hath brought into this House an Information against the Lord Bishop of Ely and other Bishops, which, upon the Examination of the said John Sidway at the Bar, appeared to be frivolous and untrue: It is thereupon Resolved, That the said John Sidway shall stand committed to the Prison of The Gatehouse, at Westminster; and that the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod attending this House, or his Deputy or Deputies, shall take Care to convey him thither; and for his or their so doing, this shall be a sufficient Warrant; as also to the Keeper of the said Prison, his Deputy and Deputies, and every of them, for detaining the said John Sidway in safe Custody, till the Pleasure of this House be further signified."
ORDERED, That the Business concerning John Sidway be further considered on Wednesday next.
The Lord Grey de Wark is added to the Committee for Privileges.
Weld's Trunks, &c. restored.
Upon Report made from the Lords Committees for examining Matters relating to the Discovery of the late horrid Conspiracy, of an Account given their Lordships, by Sir Tymothy Baldwin, Sir Robert Southwell, Edmond Warcup Esquire, and William Blathwaite Esquire, of their searching the Trunks and Chests at Mr. Weld's House, "That there is nothing among the Papers in them, relating to the said Conspiracy:"
It is thereupon ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the said Edmond Warcup be, and is hereby, authorized and appointed forthwith to discharge the Guard of a Constable and Watchmen, by him placed upon the said Chests and Trunks; and for so doing, this shall be his sufficient Warrant.
Oates versus Basset, for printing his Narrative incorrectly.
Upon Report made from the Lords Committees, for examining Matters relating to the Discovery of the late horrid Conspiracy, "That their Lordships have examined Mr. Basset, who printed the Narrative complained of by Tytus Oates to be published imperfectly and to his Injury; and find that Mr. Basset was not the Cause of, but is sorry for, the Mistake; and hath delivered the Original, by which the said Books were printed, to the Committee; and that he is willing to give the said Tytus Oates all reasonable Satisfaction:"
It is thereupon ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the said Mr. Basset be discharged from any further Trouble concerning this Matter; and that Edmund Warcup Esquire, into whose Custody such of the said Books as, being unsold and seized, were put, do deliver, or cause the said Books to be forthwith delivered unto the said Tytus Oates.
Hicks to be attached, for contemptuous Words against the Parliament.
Upon Information given to this House, upon Oath, "That Robert Hix, of Woodstock, hath uttered contemptuous Words, reflecting upon the Parliament:"
It is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the Serjeant at Arms attending this House, or his Deputy or Deputies, shall forthwith attach the Body of the said Robert Hix, and bring him in safe Custody to the Bar of this House, to answer for the said Words; and this shall be a sufficient Warrant on that Behalf.
To Sir Geo. Charnock, 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.
Ducket versus Mildmay et al.
Upon reading the Petition of William Mildmay Esquire, and others; praying, "That, in regard the Cause wherein they are Defendants is of great Length, and the Points many, and the Pleadings very long, they may have a Fortnight's Time longer, to put in their Answer to the Petition and Appeal of Thomas Ducket, depending in this House against them:"
It is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the said William Mildmay, and other Persons concerned, have hereby Time given them, for putting in their Answer to the said Petition and Appeal of Thomas Ducket, till Monday, the Twenty-eight Day of this Instant April, at Ten of the Clock in the Forenoon.
Dominus Cancellarius declaravit præsens Parliamentum continuandum esse usque in diem Martis, 8um diem instantis Aprilis, hora decima Aurora, Dominis sic decernentibus.
Hitherto examined, this 12th of April, 1679, by us,
P. Bath & Wells.