Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 15, 1691-1696. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.
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DIE Mercurii, 24 Aprilis.
Domini tam Spirituales quam Temporales præsentes fuerunt:
Sir J. Butler and Leighton to be attached, for proceeding against Emmot, Deputy to the Serjeant at Arms, who attached Browne for arresting Castinet, the E. of Portland's Servant.
The House being informed, upon Oath, "That Sir James Butler did issue a Warrant, at the Complaint of Anne Browne, against Lancelot Emmot, Deputy to the Serjeant at Arms attending this House, who attached John Browne, for a Breach of Privilege, in arresting Ezekiel Castinet, menial Servant to the Earl of Portland (although he was shewed the Order of this House for the same); and also that Mr. William Leighton indicted the said Launcelot Emmot in the Crown-office, for an Assault on the said John Browne, and outlawed him thereupon, only for executing the Order of this House:"
It is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the Serjeant at Arms attending this House, his Deputy or Deputies, do forthwith attach the Body of the said Sir James Butler and Mr. William Leighton, and bring them in safe Custody to the Bar of this House, to answer for their Offence; and this shall be a sufficient Warrant on that Behalf.
To Roger Charnock Esquire, Serjeant at Arms attending this House, his Deputy and Deputies, and every of them.
Message from H. C. with a Bill.
A Message was brought from the House of Commons, by Mr. Harcourt and others:
Who brought up a Bill, intituled, "An Act for the better encouragement of Privateers;" to which they desire the Concurrence of this House.
Report of Sir T. Cooke's Examination, from the Committee of both Houses.
The Lord Privy Seal reported from the Committee of both Houses, as followeth; (videlicet,)
"Die Martis, 23° Aprilis, 1695.
"In the Exchequer Chamber.
"At the Committee of both Houses appointed to hear and examine Sir Thomas Cooke; in Pursuance of the Act, intituled, An Act to indemnify Sir Thomas Cooke from Actions which he might be liable to, by reason of his discovering to whom he paid and distributed several Sums of Money, therein mentioned to be received out of the Treasure of the East India Company, or for any Prosecution for such Distribution.
"Sir Thomas Cooke being called in, and the Act read; he thereupon observed to the said Committee, something relating to the Clause touching his Imprisonment; and did desire, "That, in case he should make a full and perfect Discovery to the Satisfaction of the Committee, it might by them be represented to each House, so as he might obtain their Votes for his Discharge; he apprehending, by the Act, that no Person is empowered to release him in case of such Discovery:" Whereupon the Committee acquainted him, "That they were of Opinion, if he made a full Discovery, he would not be liable to the Penalty of that Act; but, however, his Scruple should be fairly represented to both Houses."
"Sir Thomas Cooke, being sworn, acquainted the Committee, "That, for their Ease, he had put his Confession down in Writing;" a Copy whereof is hereafter inserted.
"The Original being read by him; and the Committee conceiving it to be imperfect, and not such as the Act requires; the Committee let him know, "That they expected a more particular Account of those Matters from him."
"To the First Sum of Ten Thousand Pounds mentioned in she said Writing: He saith, The same was paid to Mr. Tyssen, in November, 1692.
"That he gave him no Directions how it should be disposed; but it was in Expectation to have the Charter of the East India Company confirmed, and new Regulations thereto made; and they concluded it for the Service of the Company: It was intended for the King; but he could not say the King had it.
"He believes the East India Company never had any Accompt how this £.10000 was disposed of. He told the Court, as he remembers, that he had disposed of the Money, and they required no Accompt thereof.
"He believes Mr. Tyssen told him, "that he delivered it to Sir Josias Child, who delivered it to the King."
"He faith, It is a customary Present; and that, in King Charles's and other former Reigns, the like had been done for several Years; which by the Books of the Company may appear.
"That the Company, when this Present was made, were in an ill Condition; that he himself advanced this Sum, and had it not re-paid in Four or Five Months Time; the same, with the Interest thereupon due, was presented to the King in Tallies.
"As to the £. 10000, and £. 2000, next mentioned in the Accompt: He saith, Those Sums were paid to Mr. Richard Acton, about the same Time; who declared, "He had several Friends capable of doing great Service to the Company's Affairs, and several of them would speak with Parliament-men;" but that he could not particularize who they were; but the End aimed at was, to get an Act of Parliament.
"He (Sir Th. Cooke) offered to give the Company an Account how the Money was disposed of; but they did not think fit to receive it. And farther saith, That he knows no Man besides Mr. Acton who can give an Account who had that Money: That he intrusted this Money wholly with Mr. Acton, taking him for an honest and able Man; the Court having given him Power (as he conceived) to dispose of the Money by another Hand, as well as by his own.
"That the Inducements for giving this Money were, Fears of the Interlopers going out, and Subscriptions for a new Company going on; by which they apprehended the Company would be ruined.
"That, to the best of his Remembrance, there was a Bill at that Time, for another East India Company; and that the King had sent a Message to the House of Commons, to settle the East India Trade.
"That this £. 10000 was advanced by Acton himself, and not re-paid him in some Months after; which Money he believes Acton paid away the same Session.
"The other £. 2000 was for Interest, and his Pains and Expences, which were great.
"Acton did say, "He could tell some Persons employed in that Affair: He did understand that this Money was to be laid out for promoting their Affairs in Parliament: Could not say to whom it was given; but understood it went no farther than the House of Commons; and that he found no good Fruit by such Distribution."
"That Mr. Acton at that Time had an Interest in the East India Company, to the Value of 10 or £. 20000, as he believes; and had so for some Time.
"That he gave this £. 10000 with the Privity of Sir Josias Child; who recommended Acton as a Person capable of doing the Company Service, having great Acquaintance with Parliament-men, and others who had Interest with them.
"That he knows not who Acton employed in the Distribution of this Money.
"As to the £. 338. 7s. 6d. mentioned to be paid to Mr. Molineaux: He saith, The same was paid him about the same Time the Money was paid to Mr. Acton: That Mr. Molineaux told him, "This Money was to be disposed of to the Lord Rivers," who was then Lord Colchester, and in the House of Commons. But further saith, That, since his Confinement, Molineaux had been with him, to tell him, "That it was a wrong Thing, and my Lord never had it; that he had made Use of it himself."
"As to the farther Sum of £. 250 mentioned in the said Paper to be paid Mr. Tyssen, for the Service of the Company: He saith, It was paid him about the same Time, and was in relation to Salt-petre; but he cannot give any further Account thereof.
"As to the £.220 mentioned to be paid to Sir John Chardin: He believes it was for his own Use, having expended great Sums in the Company's Service.
"As to the £. 350 paid to Mr. Dockminick: He saith, He believes the same was expended by him; but he knows not to whom he gave it.
"As to the £. 382. I s. 8d. paid to Captain Jermain: He saith: That Mr. Jermain told him, "He had lost about £. 700 in the Interest of the Interlopers;" who, finding that Interest to decline, applied himself to him the said Sir Thomas Cooke; proposing, "that, if he might have Half the Money which he had lost repaid him, he would come in to the East India Company's Interest:" Upon which Consideration, the said £. 382. I s. 8 d. was paid him.
"As to the £. 1091. 13 s. 4 d. paid to Mr. Fitz Patrick, deceased: He saith, That Fitz Patrick told him, "He had a great Interest with the Lord Nottingham; that he would try what he could do; and he did not doubt but he might accomplish great Services, provided he might have such a Sum of Money." But he believes the said Fitz Patrick kept the Money himself.
"That there was a Promise of a further Sum, if the intended Act of Parliament did not pass.
"As to the £. 545. 16s. 8d. it was to be paid Mr. Cha. Bates, when the Charter was settled; and was paid accordingly, in October, 1693: He himself had no Acquaintance with him; but Sir Basil Firebrace told him, "He had Acquaintance with several Lords;" and named the Marquis of Carmarthen, now Duke of Leeds.
"As to the first £. 10000 paid to Sir Basil Firebrace, it was paid about November, 1693; and it was always his Apprehension, that Sir Basil kept it for himself, to recompense his Losses in the interloping Trade.
"As to the several other Sums which compleat the further Sum of £. 30000 paid to Sir Basil: He saith, They were paid at one Time, though depending upon several Contracts.
"That it was agreed, in case the Charter passed, that the Company should take £.60000 Stock of Sir Basil Firebrace at £. 150 per Cent. when the Charter was passed. He put this Stock upon the Company at £. 150 per Cent.; their Stock was then at £. 100 per Cent. by which the Company lost £. 30000. He saith, He never could tell to whom this Money was distributed; nor would Sir Basil give him an Account of that Matter, though often asked by him to do it; and Sir Basil said, "If he were further pressed, he would have no more to do in it."
"That, the Charter being passed, the Company paid the £. 30000 about January 1693, in Recompense for the Fall of the Stock: The Company was also to transfer £. 40000 more Stock at £. 100 per Cent. if an Act passed in 18 Months, for confirming and enlarging their Charter; but, the Act of Parliament not being passed, the Contract for that £.40,000 Stock became void.
"Sir Thomas Cooke produced a Contract, dated 10° September. 1693, which was mentioned to be made in Consideration of 300 Guineas paid to him; which Consideration he declared he had not received. He likewise produced another Contract, dat. 25° Octobr. 1692.
"He saith, There were several Contracts; some to the Value of £. 60000, on account of procuring a new Charter; and others to the Value of £.40000, on account of procuring an Act of Parliament. They were all in Sir Basil Firebrace's Name; One of each Sort was by him produced, to shew the Nature of these Contracts.
"He saith, the £.30000 was paid to Sir Basil Firebrace, or his Order, upon Ten several Contracts: It was paid in Six several Sums; (videlicet,) 15 or £.20000 (and he thinks £.10000 apiece, because no more than that Sum can be subscribed by One Person), to Fowles and Wootton. To Mr. Ed. Allen Scrivener, £.5000. To Mr. Horneby, £.5,000. That the £.30000 and £.10000 were subscribed into the Stock of the East India Company; and he believes the Subscribers can give farther Information to these Sams.
"He did not know but the Reason why the £.30000 was in Ten several Contracts might be, because Sir Basil might have Occasion to distribute it to several Persons.
"As to the £.90000: He saith, That it was £.99197 Stock, bought for £.90000, of several Persons for the Use of the Company, to make good the Contracts with Sir Basil, if he should choose to accept Stock.
"That the Stock was transferred to several Persons, to the Company's Use; that he was accountable for it; that they had his own Obligation for the same; Part of which Stock was transferred to the Company; other Part was sold for their Use, and they have the Money."
"A true and full Discovery, upon Oath, made by Sir Thomas Cooke, to the best of his Knowledge, how, and in what Manner, and to what Person or Persons, and to what particular Uses, Intents, and Purposes, and on what Account, the Sum of £.67000, and the Sum of £.90000, have been distributed, paid, applied, disposed, or made Use of; which Discovery is in Pursuance of an Act of this present Session of Parliament.
An Accompt of the Disposition of the Ninety Thousand Pounds mentioned in the said Bill; which was for East India Stock bought of several Persons for Account of the East India Company, as by the Particulars below appears; (videlicet,)
Message to H. C. for a Conference about Sir T. Cooke's Examination.
A Message was sent to the House of Commons, by Sir Robert Legard and Mr. Holford:
To desire a present Conference, in the Painted Chamber, upon the Subject-matter of the Examination of Sir Thomas Cooke.
The Messengers sent to the House of Commons return Answer:
That the Commons will give a Conference, as desired.
The Commons being come to the Conference; the Lords of this House who are of the Committee of both Houses were named Managers.
Then the House was adjourned during Pleasure, and the Lords went to the Conference.
Which being ended, the House was resumed.
Report of the Conference.
And the Lord Privy Seal reported, "That they had attended the Conference; and delivered what they were commanded."
Committee to meet with a Committee of H. C. for examining Sir B. Firebrace, Acton, Fowles, & al. about Money belonging to the E. I. Comp.
Lords Committees appointed to join with a Committee, of the House of Commons for taking the Examinations of Sir Bazil Firebrace, Mr. Acton, Mr. Fowles, Mr. Wootton, Mr. Hornby, Mr. Allen, and others, in order to a farther Discovery of the several Sums mentioned in the Act, intituled, "An Act to indemnify Sir Thomas Cooke from Actions which he might be liable to, by reason of his discovering to whom he paid and distributed several Sums of Money, therein mentioned to be received out of the Treasure of The East India Company, and from any Prosecution for such Distribution;" whose Lordships are afterwards to report to the House:
Ds. Privati Sigilli.
ORDERED, That the said Committee have Power to send for Persons, Books, and Papers; and to adjourn from Time to Time, and Place to Place, as they find convenient.
Message from H. C. for a Conference about it.
A Message was brought from the House of Commons, by Mr. Comptroller and others:
To desire a Conference, upon the Subject-matter of the last Conference.
The Commons, being called in again, were told, "That the Lords agree to a Conference, as desired, and appoint the same to be presently, in the Painted Chamber."
Report of the Conference.
The Commons being come to the Conference; the House was adjourned during Pleasure, and the Lords went to the Conference.
Which being ended, the House was resumed.
And the Lord Privy Seal reported, "That the Commons agree, that the Examinations of the Persons mentioned in the Report of Sir Thomas Cook's Accompt be by a Committee of both Houses; and that their Members who were of the Committee for examining Sir Thomas Cooke shall be of the Committee of the House of Commons: And it is their Opinion, That the said Committee have Power to send for Persons, Books, and Papers; and that they have Power to adjourn from Time to Time, and Place to Place, as they find convenient."
To which the House agreed.
Message to H. C. for the Committees to meet.
A Message was sent to the House of Commons, by Sir Robert Legard and Mr. Holford:
To acquaint them, that this House doth agree with them, that the said Committee have Power to send for Persons, Books, and Papers; and to adjourn from Time to Time, and Place to Place, as they shall find convenient; and that the Lords of the Committee will be in the Exchequer Chamber at Seven of the Clock this Evening.
Order for attaching Sir Basil Firebrace suspended:
It is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the Order of this House, for attaching Sir Basil Firebrace, shall be suspended, unless Intimation to the contrary be given to the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod from the Committee of both Houses appointed to examine him and others.
Sir Josias Child & al. to attend:
ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That Sir Josias Child, Mr. Nathaniel Mol'neaux, Mr. Richard Acton, Mr. Fowles, Mr. Wootton, Mr. Horneby, Mr. Allen, and Mr. Tyssen, do forthwith attend this House.
Sir Basil Firebrace & al. sworn.
Sir Bazil Firebrace, Mr. Horneby, and Mr. Fowles, were sworn, in order to be examined at the Committee of both Houses.
Dominus Custos Magnl Sigilli declaravit præsens Parliamentum continuandum esse usque ad et in diem Jovis, (videlicet,) vicesimum quintum diem instantis Aprilis, hora duodecima Aurora, Dominis sic decernentibus.