Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 20, 1714-1717. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.
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DIE Martis, 20 Septembris.
Domini tam Spirituales quam Temporales præsentes fuerunt:
Message from H. C. with a Reply to E. of Oxford's Answer:
A Message was brought from the House of Commons, by the Lord Coningsby and others, as follows; (videlicet,)
"The Commons of Great Britain, in Parliament assembled, have prepared a Reply to the Answer of Robert Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer, to the Articles of Impeachment of High Treason and other high Crimes and Misdemeanors exhibited by the said Commons against the said Earl; and which they have ordered me to deliver to your Lordships."
And he delivered the same accordingly.
Message from thence, to return the Bill for shortening the Yule Vacance in Scotland.
A Message was brought from the House of Commons, by Mr. Smith and others:
To return the Bill, intituled, "An Act for shortening the Time of the Yule Vacance, in that Part of Great Britain called Scotland;" and to acquaint this House, that they have agreed to their Lordships Amendments made to the said Bill.
Then the Reply abovementioned, brought up from the Commons, was read, as follows:
"The Commons Replication to the Answer of Robert Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer.
Commons Replication to the E. of Oxford's Answer to the Articles of Impeachment against him:
"The Commons have considered the Answer of Robert Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer, to the Articles of Impeachment exhibited against him, by the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses, in Parliament assembled; and do with Astonishment observe, that the said Earl, instead of giving a reasonable and pertinent Answer to the just and heavy Charge brought against him by the Commons of Great Britain, has presumed not only to deny his advising and being concerned in any Matters of State in the Articles charged against him, though confessed to be done under an Administration wherein he was notoriously the First Minister and Chief Director; but has also joined therewith a false and malicious Libel, laying upon his Royal Mistress the Blame of every Thing, which, by imposing upon Her, he had effected against Her Honour and the Good of his Country, thereby attemping to reflect upon the Honour and Justice of the House of Commons, and to cast an Odium upon their Proceedings against him, as tending to asperse the Memory of the late Queen. But the Commons are of Opinion, that, if it were possible to add to the heavy Load of Guilt in which the Treasons and other most flagitious Crimes committed by the said Earl have already involved him, this base and ungrateful Attempt to impute them to his Royal Mistress must bring such a new Weight of Infamy upon him, and so justly provoke the Indignation of the Commons, that they might think themselves obliged to demand your Lordships immediate Justice, for this unwarranted Attempt upon the Honour of the late Queen and the Proceedings of Parliament.
"But the Commons, being sensible that the Treasons and other Crimes whereof the Earl stands impeached, and the Necessity of bringing him to speedy and exemplary Justice, require that all Occasions of Delay should be avoided; and not doubting that your Lordships will, in due Time, vindicate the Honour of the late Queen and of the Commons of Great Britain, and the Justice of their Proceedings: The Commons do aver their Charge against the said Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer, for High Treason, and other high Crimes and Misdemeanors, to be true; and that the said Earl is guilty of all and singular the Articles and Charges therein respectively contained, in such Manner as he stands impeached; and that the Commons will be ready to prove their Charge against him, at such convenient Time as shall be appointed for that Purpose."
Address for a Scaffold in Westminster Hall, for his Trial.
Ordered, That an humble Address be presented to His Majesty, humbly to desire, "That His Majesty will be pleased to cause Directions to be given to the proper Officers, for preparing a Scaffold in Westminster Hall for the Trial of Robert Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer, who now stands impeached before this House."
Ordered, That the said Address be presented to His Majesty by the Lords with White Staves.
E. of Strafford further Time to Answer.
The Earl of Strafford acquainted the House, "That, since their Lordships were pleased, upon the Articles of Impeachment exhibited against him by the House of Commons, to allow him to take Copies of Papers in the Secretaries Office, and a Month's Time to answer the said Articles, he has employed several Clerks to take the said Copies; but, the same being so voluminous, they had yet been able to make but a small Progress therein;" and his Lordship therefore desiring further Time to answer:
It is Ordered, That the said Earl of Strafford have further Time allowed, to put in his Answer to the said Articles of Impeachment exhibited against him, till Tuesday the First Day of November next.
Dominus Cancellarius declaravit præsens Parliamentum continuandum esse usque ad et in diem Mercurii, vicesimum primum diem instantis Septembris, hora undecima Auroræ, Dominis sic decernentibus.