Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 16, 1696-1701. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.
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DIE Sabbati, 29 Januarii.
Domini tam Spirituales quam Temporales præsentes fuerunt:
Hodie 1a vice lecta est Billa, intituled, "An Act to enable the Trustees of William Knot Gentleman and his Wife to sell a Lease of Houses in Breadstreet, London, for Payment of Debts; and to settle another Estate, of better Value, in Lieu thereof."
The Lord Ferrers reported from the Committee, the Bill, intituled, "An Act to enable Thomas Kynnersley Esquire, an Infant, to make a Jointure and Settlement of his Estate," as fit to pass, without any Amendment.
To which the House agreed; and ORDERED, That the said Bill be engrossed.
The Order being read, for considering the Petition of the Person who claims the Title of Earl of Banbury:
The Petition to His Majesty, and His Majesty's Reference thereupon to this House, was read, as follows; (videlicet,)
Knowles's Petition to the King, claiming the Title of Earl of Banbury.
"To the King's most Sacred Majesty.
"The humble Petition of Charles Knowles, Son and Heir of Nicholas, Brother and Heir of Edw'd, Son and Heir of William late Viscount Wallingford and Earl of Banbury;
"That His late most Excellent Majesty King Charles the First, by His Letters Patents under His Great Seal of England, bearing Date at Cambury, the 18th Day of August, in the Second Year of His Reign, of His special Grace, certain Knowledge, and meer Motion, did prefer and create William then Viscount Wallingford to the State, Degree, and Honour, of Earl of Banbury; and did give to him the Name, Style, and Dignity thereof; and with the said Name, Degree, and Dignity of Earl, did really invest and nobilitate him; to hold the same to him the said William, and the Heirs Males of his Body issuing, for ever: That, by Force of these Letters Patents, the said William became seised, to him and the Heirs Male of his Body, of the said Earldom; and accordingly had enjoyed Place and Precedency in the House of Peers as an Earl of this Kingdom: That the said William died so seised, leaving Edward and Nicholas his Issue: That Edward died under Age, and without Issue; whereupon the same Title descended to Your Petitioner's said Father Nicholas, and he became thereby rightfully entitled to the said Name, Title, and Dignity, and was accordingly reputed, deemed, and taken, as Earl of Banbury, and as such sat in the House of Lords in the Convention Parliament upon the Restoration of King Charles the Second: That afterwards, some Dispute arising concerning the Precedency of the said Nicholas, and the Influence of the late King James, then Duke of Yorke, prevailing against him Your Petitioner's said Father, he was forced to withdraw, and forbear the Use of his Right of sitting in the House, as a Peer of this Realm, during his Life, although he had proved his Legitimacy and Heirship by Four Witnesses, sworn at the Bar of the House of Peers, and examined at a Committee; who made a Report accordingly in Favour of his Right, as by the Proceedings in the House more fully appears: That, by his Decease, the said Title and Dignity descended to and upon Your Petitioner as his Son and Heir: That, Your Petitioner having had the Misfortune of being accused and imprisoned for the killing of Phillip Lawson, Your Petitioner did, for his Trial, and in order to have it, according to the Laws of this Realm, by his Peers, petition the House of Lords thereupon; whereas Your Petitioner ought in Duty, and according to the legal Methods in Cases of this Nature used and approved, to have made his Application to Your most Sacred Majesty, as the Fountain of all the Honour within this Realm; and accordingly the said misadvised Petition was dismissed: And Your Petitioner further humbly shews, that then Your Petitioner was indicted, for the Offence abovementioned, by the Name of Charles Knowles; and upon his Arraignment in the King's Bench, Your Petitioner did plead his said Title, and the Descent thereof to him in Manner aforesaid; and that therefore his Name was Charles Earl of Banbury: To which Your Majesty's Attorney replied the Dismission of the said Petition by the House of Peers; that thereupon Your Petitioner demurred; and, after many long Arguments, Judgement was given, by the Right Honourable the Lord Chief Justice Holt and the rest of the Judges there, in Favour of Your Petitioner's Name and Title: That Your Petitioner stands likewise indicted, by the Name of Charles Earl of Banbury, for the same Offence; and that the same remains undetermined, for the Reasons aforesaid: That, by reason of the Premises, Your Petitioner did suffer long Imprisonment and great Expences, and is still under the same Accusation by the Name of a Peer, and as such hath been taxed upon the Poll Act; and during Your Petitioner's Troubles, Writs have issued out of Your Majesty's Court of Exchequer for the same Charge as a Peer, which he hath since satisfied.
"Now, forasmuch as Your Petitioner humbly conceives himself well entitled to the said Title and Dignity, and that Your Petitioner may be the better enabled to shew and manifest his Zeal for Your Majesty's Service, as by the Duty of his Allegiance he is obliged: Your Petitioner humbly prays Your Majesty's tender Consideration of the Premises; and that You would be pleased to declare Your Royal Pleasure in Favour of Your Petitioner's said Right, by granting him a Writ of Summons to Parliament; or to recommend Your Petitioner's Case to an Examination by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, in order to Your Majesty's more certain Information of the Truth of the Premises; or otherwise to do herein as to Your Majesty's great Wisdom shall seem most meet.
"And Your Petitioner shall, as in Duty bound, daily pray for Your Majesty, &c.
King's Refrence of it.
"We are graciously pleased to refer this Petition to the House of Peers; to examine the Petitioner's Claim and Title therein mentioned; and to certify Us, how the same shall appear to them, with their Opinion thereupon.
"Given at Our Court, at Kensington, the 18th Day of January, 1697, in the Ninth Year of Our Reign.
"By His Majesty's Command.
After Debate thereupon;
Committee to prepare a Representation concerning former Proceedings on this Claim.
These Lords following were appointed, to draw a Representation, to be presented to His Majesty, of what Proceedings have been formerly in this House, in relation to this Matter; and report to this House.
Their Lordships, or any Five of them; to meet on Tuesday next, at Eleven of the Clock in the Forenoon, in the Prince's Lodgings near the House of Peers.
And it is ORDERED, That this Committee do meet again on Thursday the Third Day of February next, at Eleven of the Clock, in the same Place, to consider of the Proceedings in the Court of King's Bench, since the Judgement of this House 17° Januarii, 1692, in relation to this Matter; and have Power to send for Persons, Papers, and Records; and report to this House their Opinion thereupon.
Dominus Cancellarius declaravit præsens Parliamentum continuandum esse usque ad et in diem Lunæ prox. futur. (videlicet,) tricesimum primum diem instantis Januarii, hora decima Auroræ, Dominis sic decernentibus.