Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 13, 1675-1681. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
DIE Mercurii, 9 die Aprilis.
Lords brought to the Bar, to hear their Impeachments read.
This Day being appointed for William Earl of Powis, William Viscount Stafford, William Lord Petre, Henry Lord Arundell of Wardour, and John Lord Bellasis, Prisoners in The Tower, to be brought to the Bar, to hear the Articles of Impeachment of High Treason, wherewith they are charged by the House of Commons, read unto them; the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod was commanded to call for them in.
Upon which, the said Earl of Powis, Viscount Stafford, Lord Petre, and Lord Arundell of Wardour, were brought to the Bar, by the Lieutenant of The Tower; where they kneeled, till the Lord Chancellor bid them stand up.
After which, the Lord Chancellor asking them, what they had to say for themselves (letting them know that His Majesty would appoint a Lord High Steward for their Trials); the said Lords made several Requests unto the House, in order to their answering the said Charge, and making their Defences upon their Trials.
To have Copies of their Impeachments, Counsel, &c. and Extracts from the Journals.
And, after some Time spent therein, the said Lords were called to the Bar again; and the Lord Chancellor did let their Lordships know, "That the House had considered of their Requests; and had ordered that the several Indictments found against them, the said Earl of Powis, Viscount Stafford, Lord Petre, Lord Arundell of Wardour, and Lord Bellasis, by the Grand Jury, shall be brought into this Court by Writ of Certiorari; and that their Lordships may have Copies of the said Articles of Impeachment; and shall have Time given them, till Tuesday the Fifteenth Day of this Instant April, to send in their respective Answers thereunto, with further Time to answer to any new Articles that shall be brought up against them; and shall have Liberty to search and take out Copies of Records and Journals, in order to their Defence; and that their Lordships shall have Summons issued for such Witnesses as they shall respectively send in the Names of, to be by them made Use of at their Trials; which Witnesses shall have the Protection of this House, for their safe coming and going, during the Time of the said Trials; and that their Lordships shall have those Persons assigned to them for Counsel, in order to their Defences upon their Trials, whom they have respectively named to this House; and lastly, that all the Peers shall be summoned, to the End there may be a full House at the said Trials."
Then, Notice being taken by the House, that the Lord Bellasis had not appeared at the Bar; Thomas Plessington and Robert Dent, being sworn at the Bar, attested, "That the Lord Bellasis is at this present so ill and lame with the Gout, that he is not able to stir out of his Bed, nor to turn himself in his Bed without Help."
Which reasonable Excuse the House allowing of; the said Thomas Plessington, on Behalf of the Lord Bellasis, desired, "That his Lordship might have a Copy of the Articles; and that Counsel (whom he named) might be assigned to him."
"Whereas William Earl of Powis, William Viscount Stafford, William Lord Petre, and Henry Lord Arundell of Wardour, have appeared this Day at the Bar, to hear the Articles read; whereby they, together with John Lord Bellasis, are charged upon Impeachment of High Treason: It is ORDERED, That the said William Earl of Powis, William Viscount Stafford, William Lord Petre, Henry Lord Arundell, and John Lord Bellasis, shall stand committed to The Tower of London, there to be kept in safe Custody, in order to their Trials; having the same Liberty of Access of Persons to them as they had before this Day; and this shall be a sufficient Warrant on that Behalf.
Certiorari to bring in the Indictments of the Five Lords.
"ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That His Majesty's Writ of Certiorari be issued, returnable into the House of Peers in Parliament assembled, for bringing into this Court the several Indictments, with all Things thereunto belonging, whereby William Earl of Powis, William Viscount Stafford, William Lord Petre, Henry Lord Arundell of Wardour, and John Lord Bellasis, are found guilty of High Treason."
Counsel assigned them.
"It is this Day ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That Mr. Saunders and Mr. Holt, Counsellors at Law, be, and are hereby, assigned to be of Counsel, with William Earl of Powis, now Prisoner in The Tower, in order to his Defence upon his Trial, upon the Impeachment of the House of Commons, whereby he is charged with High Treason; and that they, the said Saunders and Mr. Holt, may have free Access to the said Earl of Powis, from Time to Time, for that Purpose."
Ld. Chancellor to write to absent Lords, to attend at their Trial.
Forasmuch as several Peers are upon their Trials for their Lives, and that it is the Duty of the whole Body of the Peers to attend that Service: It is therefore this Day ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the Lord Chancellor do write Letters to every Peer now absent, and able to travel without Danger of Life, forthwith to come to Town, and remain here, attending the Service of this House, until the said Trials be over; intimating to them therein, "That, if they shall not attend the Service of this House according to Summons, this House will send a Serjeant at Arms, to bring them up in Custody."
Ld. Petre, Leave to see his Lady.
It is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the said Lord Petre, attended by the Lieutenant of The Tower, and such Guards as he thinks fit, be, and is hereby, authorized and permitted to call and see his Lady, now lying-in, in his Return to The Tower.
Liberty of the Subject, Habeas Corpus Bill.
Harding versus Edge.
Whereas Mr. Ralph Edge was, by Order of this House, dated the 20th Day of March last, required to put in an Answer, in Writing, to the Petition and Appeal of Sir Robert Harding, depending in this House against him, on Thursday the Third Day of this Instant April; which is not yet done, though timely Notice was given for that Purpose:
It is this Day ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the said Ralph Edge be, and is hereby, required peremptorily to put in his Answer to the said Petition, on the First Day of the Sitting of the Parliament next, after Easter Week; which if he shall not then do, this House will proceed to hear the said Cause ex parte; and hereof the said Sir Robert Harding is to cause timely Notice to be given to the said Ralph Edge for that Purpose.
Oates to print his own Narrative.
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 Mr. Tytus Oates complains, that Mr. Basset hath not given Satisfaction for the printing and publishing his Narrative of the said Conspiracy imperfectly; and desires that he may re-print his own Narrative thereof; which the said Lords Committees judge to be reasonable."
It is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the said Tytus Oates be, and is hereby, authorized to print a perfect Copy of his own Narrative of the said Conspiracy.
Clerks Woolsack to be mad less.
It is this Day Resolved, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the Lord Great Chamberlain of England be, and is hereby, desired forthwith to take Care, and give Direction, that the Woolsack on which the Clerks attending this House sit may be cut so much lesser, and ordered in such a Manner, as that the Clerks only may sit thereon, while they attend the Service of this House.
(fn. 1) The Committee for the Bill concerning the Lord Mohun's Estate do meet To-morrow Morning.
Message from H. C. for a Free Conference about the E. of Danby's Bill.
Message from the King, for Prynn's Books to be suppressed.
The Lord Privy Seal reported, "That he was commanded, by His Majesty, to make a Complaint of some dangerous Books re-printed, formerly made by William Prynn, and a new Title made to them; therefore desired that a Committee may be appointed, to examine who re-printed them, and by whom published and dispersed; and to consider how to suppress them."