Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 14, 1685-1691. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
DIE Mercurii, 11 die Decembris.
Message to H. C. with L. Hereford's Bill.
Message from thence, to return the Succession of the Crown, &c. Bill.
Report concerning suborning Witnesses against L. Steward &c.
The Lord Viscount Newport reports from the Lords Committees appointed to examine Persons to prove the endeavouring to suborn Witnesses against the Lord Steward, Earl of Stamford, Earl of Maclesfeild, and Lord Delamere:
9 Decembr. 1689. Crag's Examination.
"Robert Crag, being sworn at the Bar of the House, deposeth before this Committee, That he was examined before King James; and the Lord Chancellor Jeffryes told him, "The King would not only give him his Life, but a good Reward also, if he would swear against my Lord of Devonshire, Lord Delamere, Lord of Maclesfeild, and Major Wildman, how far he knew they were concerned with the Duke of Monmouth in his Rebellion:" This was in Whitehall, in a low Room by the Water-side.
"Being asked, "Why he came out of Holland, and how he came to be put in Custody;" said, "The King was informed, That he knew much of the Duke of Monmouth's Rebellion; and Mr. Bridgman sent to his Brother Stokes in the City, to persuade him to come over, and to witness what he knew, of what Persons here were concerned in that Rebellion."
"Being asked, "How he came down to Whitehall;" he said, he met Mr. Bridgman by Agreement in Paul's Church Yard; who told him, "he must go with him down thither; but if he would confess, he should not be confined;" but, upon his Denial to know any Thing against those Lords, he was sent, by one Atturbury a Messenger, by my Lord Sunderland's Warrant, to Newgate.
"That Mr. Bridgman, Burton, and Graham, came to him in Newgate, after he had denied that he could swear any Thing against those Lords before mentioned; and Bridgman and Graham pressed him to swear against them, and Major Wildman, Mr. Charlton, Mr. Arnold, Mr. Colt, and others; and promised him a Reward, if he would.
"Being asked "What Burton said at any Time to him in this Matter;" said, "Burton asked him, "Whether he did not some Time meet my Lord Delamere and Lord Maclesfeild, at Major Wildman's House in Queen Street;" but he told him, "he had never seen them, there or any where else, upon any Business relating to the Duke of Monmouth:" That Graham, Bridgman, and Burton, were with him Three Times in Newgate; and Graham and Bridgman promised him, "that he should have a Supply out of the Exchequer, if he would swear, till the King could otherwise provide for him."
"Said, The Third Time Graham came to him to Newgate, he told him, "it should be the last Time he would come to offer him his Life, if he would confess what he knew against my Lord Delamere: That, if he would not, he must prepare for his own Trial." He replied, "If he must come to Trial himself, he desired he might have Pen, Ink, and Paper, to make his Defence;" which, Graham told him, he could not grant him.
"Having said he was promised his Life if he would swear against those Lords before named, &c. he was asked, "What he had done to put his Life into the King's Power, that the Promise of his Life was to be a valuable Consideration to him for swearing his Knowledge?"
"And the Witness saying "this Question seemed to be against himself," and scrupling to answer it; and the Committee being of different Opinions whether he should answer it or not; it was Resolved, That it should be reported to the House, to have their Determination in it.
"He said, he thought he had answered that Question already; said, he was not pressed to swear Right or Wrong, whether he knew it or not (in those very Words); but said, he was pressed in general to swear against them.
"Being asked, "How he was used in Prison?" He said, he was close Prisoner Thirty-six Weeks in Newgate, none of his Friends suffered to come to him; that he had got a Lameness on one Side, and was sick about Seven Weeks, yet had not so much as a Nurse suffered to come to him; he had neither Fire nor Candle, from the 18th of December, to the 12th or 14th of February.
"That, after the Thirty-six Weeks, some Friends procured an Order of Council, to grant him the Liberty of the Prison; but Captain Richardson kept him close Prisoner a Month after that Order, and till his Brother Stokes gave Richardson Ten Pounds; and in that Month's Time, Richardson being asked, "Why he kept him close Prisoner after the Order of Council;" Richardson said, "It was for his Pleasure."
"Richardson having said, Two or Three Days before, at the Lords Committees for Inspections, "that he had given Craig Money while he was his Prisoner;" Crag was asked by the Lords as to the Truth of that; who denied that ever he gave him a Penny of Money, or so much as a Draught of Beer.
Cragg not to be asked what he had done to put his Life in the late King's Power.
Upon Report from the Committee appointed to examine Witnesses to prove the endeavouring to suborn Witnesses against the Lord Steward and others, who desired the Opinion of the House, "Whether Robert Cragg should be asked this Question, What he had done to put his Life into the King's Power, that the Promise of his Life was to be a valuable Consideration to him for swearing his Knowledge?"
Bridgman to attend the Committee about suborning Witnesses.
ORDERED, That William Bridgeman Esquire attend the Committee appointed to examine Persons to prove the endeavouring to suborn Witnesses against the Lord Steward and others, on Friday Morning next, at Nine of the Clock; and to bring with him Robert Cragg's Information, if he hath it in his Custody.
Cragg to attend them again.
ORDERED, That Robert Cragg do attend the Lords Committees appointed to examine Persons to prove the endeavouring to suborn Witnesses against the Lord Steward and others, on Friday next, at Ten of the Clock in the Forenoon.
Wainwright admitted in Forma Pauperis.
It is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That John Darnell Esquire be, and is hereby, assigned to be his Counsel; and that he be admitted to proceed in his Business in Forma Pauperis; and that this House will hear the said Cause, by Counsel on both Sides, at the Bar, on Friday the 20th Instant, at Ten of the Clock in the Forenoon; whereof the said James Wainwright is to cause Notice to be given to the Defendants.
Vernatti discharged, and his Papers restored.
Mr. Vernatti, according to the Order Yesterday, was brought to the Bar; and it not being made appear that he was the Person that was complained of in the House, the Speaker, by Direction of the House, said to him, "It seems you are not the Person intended; and therefore the House hath thought fit to discharge you; and your Papers are to be restored to you again."
Robertus Atkins, Miles de Balneo, Capitalis Baro de Scaccario, Orator Procerum, declaravit præsens Parliamentum continuandum esse usque in diem Jovis, videlicet, 12um diem instantis Decembris, hora decima Aurora, Dominis sic decernentibus.