Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 4, 1629-42. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
DIE Martis, videlicet, 22 die Februarii.
The Lords appointed the Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas to be Speaker this Day.
L. Keeper excused.
Ordered, That the Lord Keeper is excused for his Absence this Day from this House, in regard of his ill Health.
Impeachment of L. Digby by the Commons.
A Message was brought up from the House of Commons, by Sir John Evelyn, Knight; who was commanded by the House of Commons to accuse, and did accuse, George Lord Digby, in the Name of the House of Commons, and of all the Commons of England, of High Treason; and the House of Commons desire that their Lordships would prefix some short Time for him to come and appear; before which Time the House of Commons will be ready to come up, to maintain their Charge against (fn. 1) him.
Hereupon this House Ordered, That a Proclamation be sent forth speedily, into all the Counties of England and Dominion of Wales, to summon George Lord Digby to appear Personally before the Lords in Parliament, to answer an Accusation of High Treason exhibited against him by the House of Commons; which Appearance of his is to be within Fifteen Days next after the Date [ (fn. 1) of the] Proclamation Writs, sub Pæna Convictionis.
To be summoned to appear.
Ordered, That the Clerk of the Crown shall prepare a Draught of a Proclamation, to be sent out to summon the Lord George Digby, and present the same to this House, who will consider thereof.
Answer to the H. C.
The Messengers of the House of Commons were called in; and were told what Order this House had made to summon the Lord George Digby, as aforesaid.
Order for suppressing Riots in Windsor Forest.
Upon Information given to this House, "That divers People have, in a riotous and unlawful Manner, been assembled together, and have killed and spoiled the King's Deer in the Forest of Windsor; and divers being served with the Warrant of the Earl of Holland, Lord Chief Justice in Eyre, have refused to give Obedience thereunto;" all which appearing to this House to be true by the Affidavit of John Horsey, this House Ordered, That the Sheriff of the County of Berks shall forthwith attach, or cause to be attached, and delivered over unto the Gentleman Usher of this House, his Deputy or Deputies, to be presented before the Lords in Parliament on Tuesday the First of March (at which Time the said Sheriff is to appear before their Lordships), the Bodies of Henry Bannester of Ockingham, Aminadab Harrison and George Godfrey of East-Hampsteed, Richard Hayworth and Richard Gason of Warvile, to answer such Matters as they stand charged with in this House; and herein special Care is to be taken, and this Order obeyed accordingly.
The Lords Committees that treat with the Scotts Commissioners acquainted this House, "That the Scotts delivered to them a Paper, and desired it might be presented to both Houses of Parliament; which Paper was read, as followeth: videlicet,
Paper sent from the Scots Commissioners concerning the Marquis of Argyle.
"We desire your Lordships, and these noble Gentlemen of the House of Commons, to represent to both Houses, that it was appointed by the Parliament of Scotland, that my Lord Chancellor and Mar quis of Argyle should be upon the Commission of the Treaty, if they were any Time here at Court; and that we are now advertised by the Council, that they, taking Notice of the Differences and Difficulties of the Officers of this Kingdom, and wishing an happy Close thereof, intend to send up the Marquis of Argyle, to contribute his best Endeavours with us for His Majesty's Service, and Good and Peace of the Kingdoms, if it may be steadible and acceptable to His Majesty and the Parliament here; whereof we are directed speedily to advertise them.
Westm. 22d Feb. 1641.
Marquis of Argyle desired to stay in Scotland.
Committee to consider of the Paper.
This House, taking this Paper into Consideration, thought it fit the Marquis of Argyle should be desired to stay there in Scotland, because his being there will be of great Safety to that Kingdom, and Furtherance to His Majesty's Service there; and these Lords Committees were appointed to consider of this Paper, and what Answer is fit to return for the same:
L. Viscount Say & Seale.
Ds. Howard de Estcrigg.
These Lords did (fn. 2) withdraw themselves presently; and, being returned into the House, reported a Draught, which was read, in hæc verba: videlicet,
Answer to it.
"The Lords assembled in Parliament are very sensible of the Care and Affection of the Council of Scotland, in offering the Endeavours of so eminent a Person as the Marquis of Argyle, for the Good and Peace of both Kingdoms; but, finding the present State of Ireland to be such as that, for Want of his Residence in the Kingdom of Scotland, the Rebels of Ireland may take great Advantages, whereby the Peace of both Kingdoms may be disturbed; and considering the Power to be given by Commission from His Majesty to the Marquis of Argyle, or his Deputy, to raise Forces for the Service of the Kingdom of Ireland; the Lords conceive that the Presence of a Person of his Worth and Power will be much more necessary at this Time in the Kingdom of Scotland than his Repair hither."
Ordered, That this House approves of this Answer, and that it be communicated to the House of Commons.
Report concerning the Marquis of Argyle's Commission.
Next, the Lord Robartes reported, "That the Committee hath met, and considered of the Marquis of Argyle's Commission; and they have thought (fn. 3) fit to make a small Addition; which being read, was approved of, and was agreed to be sent to the House of Commons."
A Message was sent to the House of Commons, by Sir Robert Rich and Mr. Page:
Message to the H. C. for a Conference about him.
To desire a Conference, by a Committee of both Houses, so soon as may stand with their Conveniency,
1. Touching the Commission brought up from them, concerning the Marquis of Argyle.
2. Touching an Answer to a certain Proposition sent from the Scotts Commissioners, concerning the Marquis of Argyle.
The Lord Robartes was appointed, at this Conference, to read the Addition to the Commission; and to read the Paper, being the Answer to the Proposition concerning the Marquis of Argyle.
The Messengers return with this Answer:
That the House of Commons will give a present Meeting, as is desired, in the Painted Chamber.
The House was adjourned during Pleasure, and the Lords went to the Conference; which being ended, the House was resumed.
A Message was sent to the House of Commons, by Sir Robert Rich and Mr. Page:
Message to the H. C. that the Attorney General is ready to put in his Answer.
To let them know, that Mr. Attorney General is ready to put in his Answer to the Impeachment of the House of Commons; and, if they please, they may send up some Members of their House, to see him deliver in his Answer.
The Messengers return with this Answer:
That the House of Commons will send a Committee of their House presently, to hear Mr. Attorney General's Answer.
Mr. Attorney brought to the Bar, to put in his Answer.
The Committee of the House of Commons being come; Mr. Attorney General was brought to the Bar, by the Gentleman of the Black Rod; and, having kneeled at the Bar until the Speaker bid him stand, he presented his Answer in Writing, which he desired might be received and read; and accordingly it was done, as followeth:
"The Answer of Sir Edward Herbert, Knight, His Majesty's Attorney General, to the Impeachment exhibited against him by the Honourable House of Commons, in this present Parliament assembled.
"The said Defendant, saving to himself now, and at all Times hereafter, all just Exceptions to the said Impeachment as the same is charged, for an Answer saith and acknowledgeth, That he is, and the Third Day of January last past was, His Majesty's Attorney General sworn; but whereas he is charged with the malicious, false, and scandalous Advising and Contriving the Articles in the said Impeachment mentioned, he saith that he was, and is, so far from any Malice, Falsehood, or Scandal, in the Advising and Contriving of the same, or any of them, that he did not (fn. 4) at all advise or contrive the said Articles, or any of them, or ever knew or heard of them, or any of them, until he received them from His Majesty's Hands the said Third Day of January last past, ready ingrossed in Paper; and, as to that Part of the said Impeachment which chargeth this Defendant with the exhibiting the said Articles to this Honourable House, he saith, That, upon the said Third Day of January, he repaired to His Majesty, by His Command, who then delivered unto this Defendant a Paper, containing the Articles in the said Impeachment mentioned, and did command him, in His Majesty's Name, to acquaint this Honourable House, that divers great and treasonable Designs and Practices against His Majesty and the State had come to His Majesty's Knowledge, for which His Majesty commanded this Defendant, in His Majesty's Name, to accuse Six Persons, in the said Paper mentioned, of High Treason, and other high Misdemeanors, by delivering that Paper to your Lordships, and to desire to have it read; and further to desire, in His Majesty's Name, that a select Committee of Lords might be appointed, to take the Examinations of such Witnesses as His Majesty would produce, as formerly had been done in Cases of the like Nature, according to the Justice of this House; and that Committee to be under a Command of Secrecy, as formerly; and further, in His Majesty's Name, to ask Liberty to add and alter, if there should be Cause, according to Justice; and likewise, (fn. 5) that your Lordships would take Care of the securing of the said Persons, as in Justice there should be Cause: And, according to His Majesty's said Commands, this Defendant did come to this Honourable House the Third Day of January; and then, after the Right Honourable Edward Lord Littleton, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England, had declared to this Honourable House, That he was commanded by His Majesty to let your Lordships know, that His Majesty had given this Defendant Command to acquaint your Lordships with some Things from His Majesty: This Defendant thereupon, the said Third Day of January, in this Honourable House, before your Lordships then and there sitting in Parliament, in Obedience to His Majesty's said Command, as a Message from Him, did declare the aforesaid Commands of His Majesty, by acquainting your Lordships that the King had commanded him to tell your Lordships, That divers great and treasonable Designs and Practices against Him and the State had come to His Majesty's Knowledge, for which the King had given him Command to accuse Six Persons of High Treason, and other high Misdemeanors, by Delivery of the said Articles; and that he was commanded to desire, on His Majesty's Behalf, that a select Committee might be appointed, to take the Examination of such Witnesses as the King would produce, as formerly had been in Cases of like Nature, according to the Justice of this House; and this Committee to be under a Command of Secrecy, as formerly; and that he was commanded to ask Liberty to add and alter, as there should be Cause, according to Justice; and that he was commanded to desire that your Lordships would take Care for securing of their Persons, as in Justice there should be Cause; and saith, he did not conceive there could be any Offence in what was so done by him in the Honourable House, in Obedience to those His Majesty's Commands, being wholly thereby left to your Lordships Wisdoms and Judgements, being His Majesty's Great Council and greatest Court for Advice and Justice: And as touching the false, scandalous, and malicious Advising, Contriving, or Publishing the said Articles, or any other Articles, against the said Persons in the said Paper mentioned, or any of them, or any Breach of this Defendant's Oath of Attorney General, and to the false, unlawful, and malicious Exhibiting the said Articles into this Honourable House, or causing any Entry thereof to be made, and the Intent and Endeavour, falsely, unlawfully, and maliciously, to deprive this Honourable House, or the Honourable House of Commons, of any of the Members of either of the said Houses, or to take away any of their Lives, Estates, or good Names, and every Offence and Misdemeanor charged by the said Impeachment upon this Defendant, he saith he is not guilty of them, or any of them, in such Manner and Form as by the said Impeachment is charged. All which Matters and Things this Defendant is, and will be, ready to aver and prove, in such Sort as to this Honourable House of Parliament shall seem meet.
"Tho. Gardiner, Jo. Fountaine,
This being read, Mr. Attorney asked Leave to speak a few Words; which was granted him.
Then he said, "He remained confident of their Lordships Honour and Justice; and whatsoever their Lordships should Order upon his Answer, he is assured their Lordships will in Justice give him a convenient Time to make his Answer."
Then the Committee of the House of Commons and Mr. Attorney did both withdraw; and this House took into Consideration what is fit to be done for the present; and they resolved to take good Bail of Mr. Attorney for his Forth-coming, which Mr. Attorney submitted to, and accordingly gave Bail.
The Attorney General bailed.
Edwardus Dominus de Newburgh recognovit se debere Domino Regi Quinque Mille Libras, levari ex Terris, Tenementis, Bonis, et Catallis suis, ad usum Domini Regis.
The Condition of the abovesaid Recognizance is, That, if Sir Edward Herbert, Knight, His Majesty's Attorney General, shall appear and be present before the Lords in Parliament, at the Judgement of Parliament, if any shall be against him in this Cause, then this Recognizance to be void; or else to remain in full Force and Virtue.
Ordered, That the Recognizance of the Earl of Monmouth, for the appearing of Mr. Attorney this Day in Parliament, is hereby Ordered to be vacated.
Bill for clearing L. Kymbolton to be brought in.
It was moved, "That some Course might be considered of, to clear the Lord Kymbolton from the Accusation of High Treason charged by Mr. Attorney General;" and it was Resolved, That a Bill should be passed for his clearing, which any Lord might bring in as would.
A Message was brought from the House of Commons, by Sir William Lewis, Knight:
Message from the H. C. about the Addition to the Marquis of Argyle's Commission.
To let their Lordships know, that the House of Commons have perused the Addition to the Marquis of Argyle's Commission; and they approve of the same, and desire that it may be expedited. Also the House of Commons desires a Conference, by a Committee of both Houses, touching the Proposition from the Scotts Commissioners.
Here followeth the Commission, in hæc verba: videlicet,
"Charles, by the Grace of God, &c. To all to whom these Presents shall come, Greeting.
"Whereas the Lords of Our Privy Council of Scotland, enabled by an Act of Parliament to that Purpose, out of the special Trust and Confidence of the approved Wisdom, Valour, and Abilities, of Archibald Marquis of Argyle, have chosen and appointed the said Marquis to be Chief Commander of One Regiment of Our Scottish Subjects, consisting of the Number of Fifteen (fn. 6) Hundred Men, more or fewer, to be forthwith raised in Our Kingdom of Scotland, to the Intent the said Regiment should be conducted and led into Our Realm of Ireland, as One Part of the Number of Ten Thousand Men of Our said Scottish Subjects, which are, by the said Lords of Our Council of Scotland, according to the said Act of Parliament, to be sent over to Our said Realm of Ireland, upon the Conditions and Agreements which are and shall be made and concluded on by Us and Our Parliament of England, and the Commissioners from Our Parliament of Scotland: Know ye, that We have given and granted, and by these Presents do give and grant, full Power, Licence, and Commission, unto the said Archbald Marquis of Argyle, to conduct and lead the said Regiment into Our said Realm of Ireland, against the Rebels, Enemies, and Traitors, and their Adherents, in Our said Realm; and therein to rule, govern, command, dispose, and employ, the said Regiment, and all Officers and others thereunto belonging, against the said Rebels, Enemies, Traitors, and their Adherents; and with them to oppose and withstand the said Rebels; and them to assault, fight with, subdue, kill, slay, and burn, and use all other Acts of Hostility, in such Sort as he in his Judgement shall think most advantageous for suppressing and destroying the said Rebels: And, having further Confidence in his approved Fidelity, We do by these Presents nominate, constitute, make, and ordain, him the said Marquis of Argile, and such other Person and Persons as he in his Judgement and Discretion shall think fit to assign and appoint in this Behalf to be his Deputy or Deputies, to be Governor or Governors of Our Isle of Rachraye, in Our said Realm of Ireland; giving and granting hereby also unto him, and his said Deputy, absolute Power and Authority, with the said Regiment and Forces, or any Part of them, to enter into and take Possession of the said Island, and to plant a Garrison there, for Our Service, in Defence of the said Island, and Preservation thereof against the Invasion of the said Rebels, until he or they shall be required to surrender and yield up the same by Order of Us and Our Parliament of England; further also authorizing the said Marquis, and his said Deputy or Deputies, to receive and admit, from Time to Time, into the said Island, such Persons as he, or his said Deputy or Deputies, shall think convenient for Our better Service, and also to punish, by Law Martial, or otherwise as Cause shall require, such Officers and Soldiers serving under him, or his said [ (fn. 7) Deputy or] Deputies there, as shall be any ways Offenders, either by Death or other Corporal or Arbitrary Punishment, according to the Quality of their Offence: And, in Case the said Rebels shall take, surprize, and be possessed of the said Isle, before the Arrival of the said Marquis, or his said Deputy or Deputies, with the Regiment and Forces aforesaid, at the said Isle, and shall oppose and withstand his or their Entrance thereinto; then Our Will and Pleasure is, and We do hereby authorize, require, and command him the said Marquis, and his said Deputy and Deputies, with the said Regiment and Forces, or any Part thereof, to enter into the said Island; and the said Rebels, Enemies, and Traitors, and their Adherents, to fight with, and them to invade, pursue, kill, and slay; and them, and every of them, out of the said Island to expel, and to bring and reduce them, and every of them, to the Obedience of Us and Our Crown of England: And Our further Will and Pleasure is, and We do hereby authorize the said Marquis, and his said Deputy and Deputies, from Time to Time, and as of as he or his said Deputy or Deputies shall think fit, and therewith to assault the said Rebels; and them to fight with, subdue, kill, slay, and burn, and against them to use and exercise all other Acts of Hostility, as he or his said Deputy or Deputies shall think fit, for the Suppression of the said Rebels, and Advantage of Our Service and Crown of England; and also to assail, and endeavour the Recovery and Taking of, all such Castles and Forts as now are and remain, or hereafter shall be and remain, in the Possession, Government, and Command, of the said Rebels; and them, and every of them, so taken and recovered, to defend and keep for Us, and on Our Behalf, until We shall otherwise Order or appoint, by the Advice of Our Parliament of England. And these Presents, or the Inrollment or Duplicate thereof, shall be, as well unto the said Marquis as to his said Deputy and Deputies, and all others whom they shall any Way concern, a sufficient Warrant and Discharge, for executing and performing Our Will and Pleasure herein before expressed: Nevertheless Our Will and Meaning is, and we do hereby expressly provide, that the said Marquis, and such Deputy or Deputies as shall be by him nominated in Scotland, before he, or they, or any of them, do undertake the Charge, Command, and Government aforesaid, shall take their Corporal Oath and Oaths, before the said Lords of Our Privy Council of Our said Kingdom of Scotland, for the faithful Ordering and Governing of the said Regiment, and true keeping, preserving, and defending of the said Island, and all such Forts, Castles, and other Places, as shall be recovered by the said Marquis, or his said Deputy or Deputies, in Our said Realm of Ireland, out of the Hands and Possession of the said Rebels, for Us and the Benefit of Our Crown of England, until he, or his said Deputy or Deputies, shall be thereof discharged, by Order from Us and Our Parliament of England; and, upon such Order, forthwith to deliver up the same, according to the Tenor of such Order; and that such Deputy or Deputies as the said Marquis shall nominate in Ireland shall take the like Oath and Oaths, before the said Marquis (who is authorized hereby to take the said Oath and Oaths), before such Deputy or Deputies do undertake the Charge, Command, or Government aforesaid.
"And further We declare Our Intent and Meaning to be, that the said Regiment shall be accounted as Part of the said Ten Thousand of Our Scottish Subjects, which are to be sent over into Our Realm of Ireland aforesaid; and that the said Regiment shall be under the Command of the General of Our Scottish Army, after his Arrival into Our said Realm of Ireland, and to receive Orders from him as any other Part of Our said Scottish Army, any Thing in this present Commission to the contrary notwithstanding.
"And also Our Intent and Meaning is, that the said Marquis of Argyle, and (fn. 8) his Deputies, shall be subject, in the said Isle, and all other Parts of the Kingdom of Ireland, to the Command of Our Lieutenant of Ireland, or other chief Governor there, in the same Manner as the rest of the Ten Thousand Men are to be by the Articles of the Treaty.
"And lastly, We will and command all and singular Our Lieutenants, Deputy Lieutenants, Mayors, Sheriffs, Bailiffs, Constables, and all other Our Officers, Ministers, and Subjects whatsoever, that they, and every of them, be, from Time to Time, attendant, aiding, assisting, and helping the said Marquis, his Deputy or Deputies, and every of them, in the due Execution of Our Will and Pleasure herein declared, as they and every of them will answer the contrary at their Perils.
"In Witness whereof."
Ordered, That this Commission be ingrossed, and expedited.
Answer to the H. C.
The Messengers were called in; and told, That their Lordships have Ordered the Commission for the Marquis of Argyle to be ingrossed; and that their Lordships will give a present Conference, in the Painted Chamber, as is desired.
Conference about the Addition reported.
The House was adjourned; and the Lords went to the Conference; which being ended, the House was resumed; and the Lord Roberts reported the Effect of this Conference; which was, "That the House of Commons do consent to the Answer which is to (fn. 9) be sent to the Council of Scotland, concerning the Marquis; and the House of Commons desire that this Addition following may be added to it; videlicet,
Addition to the Marquis of Argyle's Commission.
"For howsoever the Proceedings of Parliament have met with such Obstructions as have put the Affairs of this Kingdom into some Difficulties, yet they are now in Hope that, by the Providence of God, and the Goodness and Justice of His Majesty, there will be so happy and speedy an Issue thereof, as shall produce the Peace and Prosperity of the Kingdoms; to which they find the Commissioners of Scotland here residing so ready upon all Occasions to contribute their best Endeavours, with great Wisdom and Affection, that they desire neither the Lord Chancellor nor Marquis of Argyle may be put to the Incommodity and Trouble of so long a Journey."
Ordered, That this House agrees with the House of Commons in this Addition.
Letter from Lancashire, about Papists Designs.
The Lord Newburgh, Chancellor of the Dutchy of Lancaster, being an Assistant to this House, acquainted their Lordships with a Letter which he received from some Justices of the Peace in Lanchashire, which do concern the Safety of the Kingdom; which Letter and Examination were commanded to be read, as followeth:
"Some Part of the threatening Dangers, so much feared and spoke of in this Kingdom, seemeth to discover itself unto us in this Country: We have herewithall sent you the Information we have, with no little Difficulty, drawn from a Gentleman of our Country. He is but of poor and small Having; his principal Dependance being upon the Exhibitions allowed him by his Popish Friends, both for himself, Wife, and Children. It is not, we believe, given out of Envy to any Party, or their Cause of Religion, nor out of any Hope of Reward; being liker, by the Envy of this Act, to want Livelihood than gain Maintenance, and ever bred a confident Recusant; but having, in some Passion, uttered something that bred Suspicion in some private Friends, and by them questioned, so as something more was uttered, and Intimation being given unto us thereof, we took him into Examination; and he, not without great Shew of Unwillingness, made this Answer. For the Gunpowder, we have sought, but found none; but we doubt not in their Houses, made anciently of Purpose for private Conveyances, many Things may be unfound of us. The Men named are of good Ability, of seeming civil Behaviour, and quiet Neighbours; but earnest, forward, and hearty Recusants. We thought it our Duties in a Case of this Moment, wherein not only the Safety of our Country but the Kingdom may be concerned, to apply ourselves unto your Lordship, in whom, in all Times of all our Dangers and Fears, we have Cause much to confide; humbly entreating your Lordship, that, with all convenient Speed, we may receive your Lordship's Instructions how to Behave ourselves herein, in all our future Proceedings; and, as in all Duty bound, we shall ever rest,
"Your Lordship's humble Servants,
Leigh. the 18th Day of February, 1641.
Examinations about the same.
"The Information of Richard Lathame, of Bedford, in the County of Lancaster, Gentleman, taken before Sir Thomas Stanley, Baronet, John Atherton, Esquire, and John Holecroft, Esquire, Three of His Majesty's Justices of the Peace and Quorum within the County of Lancaster, the 14th Day of February, 1641.
"Upon his Oath, informeth and saith, That, about Easter last, when Mr. Barlowe the Priest was apprehended (he being at The Morlesse House, in a little back Room, where they used to lay their Turf and Coals), he saw Nine or Ten Barrels of Gunpowder, which was hidden, and put under the Turf and Coals.
"And saith, That in the same Room he saw One Fowling Piece and Birding Piece, likewise hidden there.
"And further saith, That, a little before Christmas last, he the said Informant met with one calling himself Mr. Edward Reeding, a Romish Secular Priest, whom he this Informant knew so to be, for that he hath many Times heard him say Mass, and professeth himself so to be: And being demanded where he heard him say Mass, saith, That heretofore, in the Life-time of Mr. Brolowe, Priest and Monk, lately executed at Lancaster, he hath seen and heard the said Reeding say Mass at his the said Mr. Barlowes Place of Habitation, at the Hall of Morlesse; and, sithence that Time, hath several Times seen and heard him say Mass, and exercise the said Priestly Function, at the House of Richard Urmeston, Esquire, in Bedford, and divers other Times at the House of Richard Bradshawe, of Sravocke, in Bedford aforesaid; and hath heard that he hath done the like divers Times at the House of Mr. Richard Sale, of Hoppkarr, and Mr. Richard Shuttleworth, in Beddford aforesaid.
"And saith, That he hath seen the said Richard Bradshawe present by, when the said Reeding hath said Mass in his the said Bradshawe's House (which Bradshawe hath given the said Reeding free Welcome and Entertainment).
"And saith, That he this Informant was with the said Reeding at the House of the said Richard Urmeston, not long before Christmas last, and hath heard from himself, and generally reported and agreed by other Romish Catholics of that Neighbourhood, that he was the said Mr. Urmeston's Priest; and hath seen divers others at the Place aforesaid at Mass with the said Priest; as namely Richard Warde, Richard Shuttleworth the Father, and Richard Shuttleworth the Son, and Frances Wife of the said Richard Shuttleworth the Younger, and divers others; and hath himself divers Times had the Ornaments and Church Stuff sent from the said Mr. Urmeston's House to his own House, to keep.
"Which Priest, so meeting him the said Informant, told him, That he had a great Desire to reveal some Secrets unto him, concerning the general Good of the Catholic Cause, so as he this Informant would take a Corporal Oath of Secrecy, and not to discover what he should so impart; which his Request this Informant did willingly assent unto: Whereupon the said Priest caused this Informant to lay his Hand upon a Crucifix, and swear by Almighty God, by Faith and Troth, and all the Holy Things that stood there before him upon that Table, which Holy Things were the Host, the Altar, the said Crucifix, and divers Images of the Saviour Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and other Saints, That he this Informant should be and continue true to the Catholic Cause, and should not reveal but at all Times keep secret such Things as the said Priest should then reveal unto him for Advancement thereof, or in Words to this or the like Effect.
"After which Oath taken by this Informant, the said Priest did earnestly importune him, this Informant, to be employed by him the said Priest, and others of the Catholic Party, for the making of Balls of Wildfire; telling him, this Informant, that he could give him full Instructions how to make the same, saying that he must to that End take Frogs Grease, Verdigrise, Norvoil, Quicksilver, and Brimstone, and boil them; and then to pound Gunpowder, and mingle all together until it was thick as Dough, that it would roll together, and so make Balls thereof; which this Informant then assenting to do, he the said Reeding gave unto him Two Shillings to buy Materials, to try Experience how to make the said Balls, and to see him well paid for his Pains.
"Whereupon this Informant demanded of the said Priest to what End he would have the said Balls made, and how he intended to employ the same; to which the said Priest replied, That many of the Romish Catholics through the Kingdom of England, as likewise and especially here in this County of (fn. 10) Leicester, were provided of Gunpowder and other Ammunition, as likewise of the like Balls of Wild-fire; and said, for Example, his, this Informant's, Neighbours, Mr. Richard Sale and Mr. Richard Shuttleworth, were already among others provided of good Store of Gunpowder, for Mr. Sale had Ten Barrels, and Mr. Shuttleworth had Seven; and that the said Priest would have these Balls made, for that it was generally resolved amongst the Catholics, that, when the Irish Designs were a little over, a respectable Part of the said Irish should be landed in Lancashire, and the Recusants of that County would be ready to rise in Arms, and join with them; and all or the most Part of the Catholics in England were to join at the same Time in that Enterprize, with such like Balls; they would have their Agents, at one Instant of Time, to fire all the principal Towns in the Country, before the Inhabitants were aware of any Design against them; and that so, in the Time of such Fire giving over, and rising in Arms, they might with less Difficulty effect their Desires.
"And being demanded by this Informant, whether it was not against all Religion and Conscience by such violent and sudden Means to destroy so many good Towns and Neighbours, or to be an Instrument or have a Hand therein; the Priest thereunto answered, That it was no Sin, nor any way the Breach of Religion or good Conscience, by any Means to destroy Heretics.
"Whereupon he this Informant, parting from the said Priest, was never sithence at Quiet in his Conscience, upon Apprehension of so horrible and bloody Designs; and though, for the most Part, from his Infancy, he hath been bred a Romish Catholic, yet the Horror of such Relation would never let him rest until he had revealed the abovesaid Practice; nor ever durst he adventure to essay the making of any of the said Balls.
"And further informeth not.
Mr. Stanley, &c. concerning Latham, &c. about the same Business.
Ordered, That Mr. Stanley, Mr. Atherton, and Mr. Holcroft (Three of His Majesty's Justices of the Peace of the County of Lancaster), shall further examine Richard Latham, where Reeding the Priest is, who is to be taken into safe Custody, if he can be found; and such further Examinations as shall be taken in this Business shall be forthwith returned unto the Lords in Parliament; and Latham to attend their Lordships then. And it is further Ordered, That strict Examination and Search be made where the Gun-powder is that this House hath been informed of; and, being found, shall be sent unto the Magazine of the County, for His Majesty's Use.
Dominus Capitalis Justiciarius de Communi Banco declaravit præsens Parliamentum continuandum esse usque in diem Jovis, videlicet, 24m diem instantis Februarii, hora nona Aurora, Dominis sic decernentibus.