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, 8 die Aprilis.
Proceedings against Lords impeached.
The Earl of Shaftesbury reported, from the Lords Committees for Privileges, to whom was referred 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,
"That their Lordships are of Opinion, That the Lords now Prisoners in The Tower ought to be brought to the Bar together, and kneel there; and then stand up, and hear the Articles of the Charge against them read.
"That the said Lords shall have free Liberty of any Person coming to them, so as the Lieutenant do give this House an Account next Morning of such Persons as have been with them the Day before, if the House do then sit; otherwise to give the said Account to One of the Secretaries of State, and after to the House at their next Sitting.
"That in regard that, in Cases of Impeachments in Parliament, the Lord High Steward, or Lord Steward of the Household, being of Right to supply the Place of Speaker in the House of Peers, an humble Address may be made to His Majesty, That He will be pleased to appoint a Lord High Steward, to supply the Place of Speaker of the House of Peers, during the Time of the said Trial."
Lords impeached, to be brought to the Bar.
Whereas William Earl of Powis, William Lord Viscount Stafford, William Lord Petre, Henry Lord Arundell of Warder, and John Lord Bellasis, now Prisoners in The Tower of London, are impeached of High Treason, &c. by the Commons in Parliament assembled, who have brought into this House particular Articles against them:
It is this Day ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the Lieutenant of the said Tower be, and is hereby, required to bring the said Earl of Powis, Lord Viscount Stafford, Lord Petre, Lord Arundell of Warder, and Lord Bellasis, in safe Custody, to the Bar of this House To-morrow, at Ten of the Clock in the Forenoon, to hear the said Articles wherewith they stand charged read unto them; and for so doing, this shall be his sufficient Warrant.
Address for a Lord High Steward to be appointed, for their Trial.
ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the Earl of Bedford, Earl of Bridgewater, and Earl of Aylesbury, do attend His Majesty, humbly to desire Him, from this House, "That in regard that, in Cases of Impeachments in Parliament, the Lord High Steward, or Lord Steward of the Household, being of Right to supply the Place of Speaker in the House of Peers, His Majesty will be pleased to appoint a Lord High Steward to supply the Place of Speaker of the House of Peers, during the Time of the Trials of the Lords now Prisoners in The Tower, upon their Impeachments."
To have Counsel, and Access of Persons in The Tower.
Whereas William Earl of Powis, William Viscount Stafford, William Lord Petre, Henry Lord Arundell of Warder, and John Lord Bellasis, now Prisoners in The Tower of London, being impeached by the House of Commons of High Treason, are to make their respective Defences upon their Trials:
It is this Day ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the said Lords may have Counsel to plead for them, in Matter of Law, but not in Matter of Fact; and that such Counsel as the said Lords shall name to this House shall have free Liberty of Access to their Lordships, in order to their Trials; as also any other Persons to come to them, so as the Lieutenant of The Tower do give this House an Account next Morning of such Persons as have been with them respectively the Day before, if the House do then sit; otherwise he is to give the said Account to One of the Secretaries of State, and after to the House at their next Sitting.
Whereas Robert Hix was this Day brought to the Bar, by the Serjeant at Arms attending this House, for uttering contemptuous Words, reflecting upon the Parliament; and there acknowledged his Offence, and begged Pardon, and received the Reprehension of this House for the same:
It is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the said Robert Hix shall attend the Lord Lovelace, to make his Submission, for refusing to appear before his Lordship when summoned by him; and that he be, and is hereby, discharged from any further Restraint concerning this Matter, paying his Fees; and this shall be a sufficient Warrant on that Behalf.
Ward versus Booth.
Upon reading the Petition of William Ward Esquire, an Infant, by Edward Lord Ward his Guardian and next Friend, and John Levet Gentleman, and Mary his Wife, being an Appeal from a Decree made in the Court of Chancery on the 18th of February last, concerning a Settlement of certain Manors and Lands, in the County of Chester, late the Lands of Sir Thomas Brereton Baronet, deceased, and other Matters in the said Petition suggested:
It is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That Mr. Nathaniell Booth be, and is hereby, required to put in an Answer in Writing to the said Petition and Appeal, on Tuesday, the 15th Day of this Instant April, by Ten of the Clock in the Forenoon; whereof the Petitioners are to cause timely Notice to be given to the said Nathaniell Booth for that Purpose.
To hinder Officers from making undue Advantages of their Places, Bill.
Message from H. C. for a Conference, about the E. of Danby.
Report of the Conference.
"The Addition to the Title does shew, that the Amendments made by your Lordships to this Bill do wholly alter the Nature of it; and from a Bill of Attainder, have converted it into a Bill of Banishment; which the Commons cannot consent to, for these Reasons:
"1. That Banishment is not the legal Judgement in Cases of High Treason; and the Earl of Danby, being impeached by the Commons of High Treason, and fled from Justice, hath already confessed the Charge, and therefore ought to have the Judgement of High Treason for his Punishment.
"2. That, Banishment being not the Punishment the Law inflicts upon these Crimes, the Earl of Danby might make Use of this Remission of his Sentence as an Argument, that either the Commons were distrustful of their Proofs against him, or else that the Crimes were not in themselves of so high a Nature as Treason.
"3. That the Example of this would be an Encouragement to all Persons that shall be hereafter impeached by the Commons, to withdraw themselves from Justice (which they would always be ready to do, if not prevented by a Commitment upon their Impeachment); and thereby hope to obtain a more favourable Sentence in a Legislative Way, than your Lordships would be obliged to pass upon them in your Judicial Capacity.
Heads for another Conference to be prepared.
In the mean Time, the Lord Chancellor, Earl of Essex, and the Earl of Shaftesbury, are appointed to consider and draw up, according to the Sense of the House, what will be fit to be offered to the House of Commons at the Conference; and to present the same to the House in the Afternoon.
Message to H. C. to sit P. M.
King's Answer concerning a Lord High Steward.
The Earl of Bedford reported, "That himself and the other Lords, who were appointed to attend His Majesty with the humble Address of this House, to desire His Majesty, He would be pleased to appoint a Lord High Steward, to supply the Place of Speaker of the House of Peers, during the Time of the Trials of the Lords now Prisoners in The Tower, upon their Impeachments, had attended His Majesty: And His Majesty gives this Answer, That He will speedily give Order for a Commission for a Lord High Steward, as is desired."
Lord Mohun's Bill.
Hodie 2a vice lecta est Billa, "An Act to enable the Trustees of the Manors and Lands, late of Charles Lord Mohun, to sell Timber, and to make Leases for Payment of his and his Father's Debts, and to raise a Portion for his Daughter."
Heads for a Conference on the E. of Danby's Bill.
The Question was put, "Whether to agree to these Words in the Paper ["do declare that nothing which hath been done in the Earl of Danbye's Case shall ever be drawn into Example for the Time to come"]?
Protest against some Words.
Heads for a Conference concerning the E. of Danby's Bill.
"They have already observed, that the Debates of this Bill have given too long and too great an Obstruction to Public Business; and therefore they desire you to believe, that that is the Reason which hath chiefly prevailed with their Lordships to interpose in a Matter of this Nature.
"And upon this Ground it is, that, if a Way may be found to satisfy and secure the Public Fears, by going less than the Bill you have proposed; the Lords do not think it adviseable to insist upon the utmost and the most rigorous Satisfaction to Public Justice, which might be demanded.
"To induce you to this Compliance, the Lords do acknowledge that Banishment is so far from being the legal Judgement in Case of High Treason, that it is not the legal Judgement in any Case whatsoever; since it can never be inflicted, but by the Legislative Authority: But they see no Reason why the Legislative Authority should always be bound to act to the utmost Extent of their Power; for there may be a prudential Necessity sometimes of making Abatements, and might be a fatal ill Consequence if it should not be so.
"And the Lords, to remove all Jealousies of any Precedent of this Kind, do declare that nothing which hath been done in the Earl of Danby's Case shall ever be drawn into Example for the Time to come; and will so enter it upon their Journals.
"And therefore the Lords do insist upon their Amendments, so far as to exclude all Attainders; and do promise themselves, the Commons will in this Point comply with their Lordships, who do again assure them, that their Resolutions are grounded only upon their Tenderness and Consideration of the Public."
Message from H. C. with a Bill.
A Message was brought from the House of Commons, by Sir Thomas Clargis and others; who brought up a Bill, intituled, "An Act for the better securing the Liberty of the Subject, and for Prevention of Imprisonments beyond the Seas;" to which their Lordships Concurrence is desired.
Message to them, for a Conference on the E. of Danby's Bill.
Bill to clear London and Westm. of Papists.
ORDERED, That the Committee for the Bill for freeing the City of London and Parts adjacent from Popish Inhabitants are hereby appointed to sit Tomorrow Morning, at Nine of the Clock; and have Power given them to add such Clauses to the said Bill as they shall think sit, upon some Heads for Prevention of Popery; and report unto the House.