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 Jovis, 15 Martii.
Answer from H.C. about General Carpenter:
Commission for a Lord High Steward:
Then the Commission appointing a Lord High Steward, for the Trial of George Earl of Wintoun, upon the Impeachment of High Treason exhibited against him by the House of Commons, was read (all the Lords standing up, uncovered) as follows:
"Georgius, Dei Gratia, Mag. Brit. Franc. et Hib'nia Rex, Fidei Defensor, &c. Prædilecto et Fideli Consiliario Nostro Will'o Domino Cowper, Cancellario Nostro Mag. Britann. Salutem. Cum Georgius Comes de Winton, cum aliis, coram Nobis, in præsenti Parliamento, per Milites, Cives, & Burgenses, in Parliamento Nostro assemblat. de alta Proditione, per ipsum Georgium Comitem de Winton & al. commiss. & perpetrat. in Nomine ipsorum Militum, Civium, & Burgensium, & Nomine omnium Communium Regni Nostri Magnæ Britanniæ, impetit. & accusat. existit; Nos, considerantes quod Justitia est Virtus excellens & Altissimo complacens, volentesque quod prædictus Georgius Comes de Winton de et pro Proditione, unde ipse ut præsertur impetit. & accusat. existit, coram Nobis, in præsenti Parliamento Nostro, secundum Legem & Consuetudinem hujus Regni Nostri Magnæ Britanniæ, & secundum Consuetudinem Parliamenti, audiatur, sententietur, & adjudicetur, cæteraque omnia quæ in hac Parte pertinent debito Modo exerceantur & exequantur; ac pro eo quod Proceres & Magnates in præsenti Parliamento Nostro assemblat. Nobis humillime supplicaverunt ut Senescallum Mag. Britan. pro hac Vice constituere dignaremur; Nos, de Fidelitate, Prudentia, provida Circumspectione, & Industria vestris plurimum confidentes ordinavimus et constituimus vos ex hac Causa Senescallum Mag. Britan. ad Officium illud, cum omnibus eidem Officio in hac Parte debit. & pertinen. (hac Vice) gerend. occupand. & exercend. Et ideo vobis mandamus, quod circa Præmissa diligenter intendatis, & omnia quæ in hac Parte ad Officium Senescalli Mag. Britan. pertinent & requiruntur, hac Vice, faciatis, exerceatis, & exequamini cum Effectu. In cujus Rei Testimonium, has Literas Nostras fieri fecimus Patentes.
House called over:
Then Sir John Vanbrug, One of the Three Kings at Arms, being permitted to come to the Table; the House was called over, by the Clerk; the said King at Arms marking such Lords as were present in a List.
Message to H.C. that the Lords are ready to go into Westminster Hall:
The Messengers, being returned, acquainted the House, That the Commons had stayed till the Places prepared for their Members in Westm'r Hall were cleared; and, being informed that the said Places are now clear, they are preparing to go into Westminster Hall immediately.
House adjourned to Westminster Hall:
The House was then adjourned into Westm'r Hall; whither the Officers, Attendants, Peers Sons, and Lords, went in the Order directed; the beforementioned King at Arms calling them, in their due Places, by his List.
Then the Commission for appointing a Lord High Steward was presented to his Lordship, sitting upon the Woolsack, by the Clerk of the Crown, in Chancery, on his Knee; and the same, being delivered to the Clerk, was read, at the Table; all the Lords standing up, uncovered.
E. of Wintoun at the Bar:
Lord High Steward's Speech to him:
"George Earl of Wintoun; You are brought to the Bar of this August Judicature, in order to a fair and impartial Trial, on the Impeachment of High Treason exhibited against you by the Commons of Great Britain in Parliament assembled; to which you have answered, and pleaded, " Not guilty." Thereupon the Commons have replied; and undertaken to prove you guilty of the High Treason whereof you stand impeached.
"Under this heavy Charge (of which your Lordship has long since had a Copy, and which you will now hear read again); nothing can be a greater Support to your Mind (especially if not conscious of Guilt) than to consider that you are about to be tried by your Peers; not any select Number of them, but by their whole Body assembled in Parliament, and indifferently summoned to attend this Trial.
"Hence your Lordship may be assured, that Justice will be administered to you; attended, not only with that common Degree of Compassion which Humanity itself derives to Persons in your Condition; but also with that extraordinary Concern for you, which naturally flows from a Parity of Circumstances, common to yourself and to them who judge you; those Bonds, the weighty Accusation laid upon you, with its Consequences, almost only excepted.
"On the other Hand, you must not hope that, if you shall be clearly proved guilty, their Lordships, being under the strongest Obligation to do Right that can be laid on noble Minds, I mean that of their Honour, will not break through all the Difficulties unmerited Pity may put in their Way, to do perfect Justice upon you, however miserable that must render your Condition.
"Your Lordship will not be interrupted, while you are making your Defence in a proper Manner; and therefore you will also attend with Patience to what shall be said by the Managers of the House of Commons, or given in Evidence against you.
"When any of the Witnesses produced against you by the Gentlemen of the House of Commons are thoroughly examined by them; your Lordship will have Liberty to cross-examine every Witness, before another is called.
"But the Counsel assigned you are not to cross-examine any Witnesses, nor to give you any Assistance, public or private, while Matter of Fact only is in Question. But, if any Matter of Law arise during the Course of your Trial, they may speak to it in your Lordship's Behalf; and, to that End, they are permitted to be within Hearing, that they may be the more ready and able to serve your Lordship on such Occasion.
"Your Lordship is the First that, on an Impeachment for High Treason, will have had the Benefit of a good Law, made in the First Year of the late Queen (since the Revolution); whereby, in all Trials for High Treason, as well as other Capital Offences mentioned in the Act, the Witnesses produced on the Part of the Prisoner are to be examined on their Oaths; so that your Witnesses will become entitled, in respect of the Obligation under which they give their Testimony, to the same Degree of Credit as the Witnesses produced against you will be.
"I take it for granted that, if your Lordship desires it, you will be allowed the Use of Pen, Ink, and Paper, to take Notes, in order to your Defence; and I doubt not but if, during the Trial, you are observed to omit any just Advantage which the Law allows you, I shall not only be excused, but approved, if I put you in Mind of it.
"I am also commanded to acquaint your Lordship, that, when you have Occasion to speak, you are to address yourself to the Lords in general, and not to any Lord in particular; as all others, who shall have Occasion to speak in this Trial, will likewise take Notice they are to do."
Articles against the Earl read:
Managers of H.C. heard, and Witnesses against him examined.
And the Lord Forester, a Peer of Great Britain, being produced as a Witness on the same Account, his Lordship came to the Table, near which was placed a Chair, pursuant to the Order of this House Yesterday: And the said Lord, being (according to the said Order) sworn by the Lord High Steward, was examined there, in Maintenance of the said Charge.
The Lord High Steward told the Earl of Wintoun, That this was the proper Time to make his Defence, either by calling of Witnesses, or making Observations on the Evidence which has been offered, as he shall think proper."
E. of Wintoun desires further Time to make his Defence; which is refused:
"That the Lords have considered of his Request; and are of Opinion, it is not consistent with the Rules of Justice, to give him any further Time for bringing up his Witnesses; and that he therefore proceed now in his Defence; and that, in respect of the Lowness of his Voice, a fit Person be appointed to stand near him, at the Bar (such Person being first sworn), to report to the House what his Lordship shall say in his Defence, or otherwise, during his Trial."
The Lord High Steward acquainted the Earl of Wintoun with what the House had agreed to, as above; and further told the said Earl, "He should not make Use of that Indulgence, to speak so low as that the Managers could not hear him."
Lords will proceed in the Trial:
E. of Wintoun to be brought to the Bar again:
Ordered, That the Lieutenant of The Tower of London do take back the said Earl of Wintoun, and bring him again to the Bar of this House, in Westm'r Hall, To-morrow, at Eleven a Clock in the Forenoon; at which Time their Lordships intend to proceed further in the Trial of the said Earl.
Message to H.C. to acquaint them with it.
Dominus Senescallus Mag. Britanniæ pro hac Vice declaravit præsens Parliamentum continuandum esse usque ad et in diem Veneris, decimum sextum diem instantis Martii, hora decima Auroræ, Dominis sic decernentibus.