House of Lords Journal Volume 4: 7 April 1642

Pages 704-705

Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 4, 1629-42. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.

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DIE Jovis, videlicet, 7 die Aprilis, post meridiem.


Message from the H. C. to impeach Sir W. Willmore, Sheriff of Northampton;

A Message was brought from the House of Commons, by Sir John Evelyn, Knight; who said, "He was commanded by the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses of the House of Commons, to impeach, and did in their Name impeach, Sir William Willmore, Knight, now High Sheriff of the County of North'ton, of high Crimes and Misdemeanors, for breaking the Privileges of Parliament, and for endeavouring to disturb the Peace of the Kingdom, by seditious Words and Actions: That the said Sir William Willmore being now in the Custody of the Serjeant of the House of Commons, they do transmit both him and the Cause, together with the Examinations, unto this House, desiring that such Punishment may be inflicted upon him as their Lordships in Justice shall think fit.

and for putting in Execution the Ordinance for the Militia.

2. The House of Commons desires, "That their Lordships would put the Ordinance for the Militia into Execution."

Next were read, the Informations and Examinations concerning Sir William Willmore: videlicet,

"The Information given by Peter Lord, upon Oath:

Informations and Examinations, concerning Sir W. Willmore.

"That, upon Saturday the 12th of March last, being Constable of the Town of Wilbie, in Northamptonshire, the High Sheriff of the County, Sir William Willmore, sent unto this Informant's House a printed Book, intituled, The several Petitions and Messages of Parliament, concerning the Militia of the Kingdom, with His Majesty's Answers thereunto; which, together with a Copy of the King's Warrant, and withall a Warrant of his own, requiring and commanding this Informant to publish the Book to the Inhabitants in the Town.

"Whereupon, the Monday after, being the 14th, he repaired unto the High Sheriff, desiring his Direction what he would have done with the Book; to whom the Sheriff answered, That it was to be published; and, understanding that the Informant had not done it, he said unto him, That he would send him to the Gaol; and the Informant desiring still to be directed by him what was to be done in it, replied still, You will to the Gaol; and said further, Have you not the Printed Book? Have you not a Copy of the King's Warrant (Wm. Willmore, High Sheriff), my own Hand to it? You might have given it to Mr. Pentlow, in the Church. And this Informant desiring to know for what End it should be read, the Sheriff answered, It is to hinder the Militia, that is the End; and added, The King is to be obeyed for all the Parliament. And said besides to this Informant, pressing him still for further Direction, You Wilbymen go a contrary Way to all the World; are you wiser than all Men?

"Peter Lord."

"The Information of John James, Constable of the Town of Earls Barton, in the same County.

"Saith, That he went, in Company with Peter Lord, to the High Sheriff, and heard the Sheriff threaten Lord, to send him to the Gaol, because he had not published that Book; and that he told Lord, That the End of publishing that Book was, to hinder the Militia; and that the King must be obeyed for all the Parliament; and that Wilbymen would go contrary to all Men; and further referred himself to the Examination of Peter Lord.

"John James."

March 18, 1641.

"The Examination of Sir William Willmore, Knight, High Sheriff of the County of North'ton.

Examination of Sir W. Willmore.

"This Examinant faith, That the Copy shewed him was the Copy of the King's Warrant, and the Direction under it was his own Hand-writing.

"That he had no other Directions nor Instructions than that Warrant from the King, whereof this was a true Copy.

"That one who called himself the Constable of Wilby did, after the Receipt of his Warrant, repair to him, but did not, as he remembers, desire any Directions from him what to do; but this Examinant told him, he was to do according to the King's Warrant.

"That, understanding he had not done it, he asked him, if he longed to lie by the Heels.

"That he told him, they had but the Copy of the King's Warrant, subscribed by his own Hand.

"That he only asked where Mr. Pentlowe was; but did not say they might have given it him in the Church.

"That they never asked him to what Intent it should be read or published; nor did he say it was to hinder the Militia, nor any Thing to that Purpose.

"That he said, the King must be obeyed; but not said, that it must be obeyed for all the Parliament.

"That he never said, the Wilbymen went contrary to all the World, nor any Thing to that Purpose.

"Wm. Willmore."

Order to attach Sir W. Willmore.

The House taking this Message into Consideration; Ordered, That the Gentleman Usher attending this House, or his Deputy, shall forthwith receive into safe Custody, from the Serjeant at Arms attending the House of Commons, the Body of Sir William Wilmer, Knight, High Sheriff of the County of North'ton, being transmitted by the said House of Commons unto the Lords in Parliament; and him safely to keep until the Pleasure of this House be further known.

The Answer returned to the aforesaid Message was:

Answer to the H. C.

That their Lordships had Ordered the Gentleman Usher to receive Sir William Willmer, Knight, High Sheriff of the County of North'ton, into safe Custody; and they would take the Impeachment into Consideration in convenient Time.

As for putting the Ordinance for the Militia into Execution, divers Ordinances have already been delivered to several Lords Lieutenants, and their Lordships will speedily deliver the rest.

Vanhaesdonck the Benefit of the General Order for quieting Possessions.

Upon the Petition of John Vanhaesdoncke, Gentleman, this Day read in the House; it is Ordered, by the Lords in Parliament, That the said Mr. John Vanhaesdonck shall have a Copy of the General Order for quieting of the Possession of improved Grounds delivered unto him, under the Clerk of the Parliament's Hand, dated the 13th of July last; and to take the same Benefit of the said Order as though it had been made in his own particular Case.

Benyon's Impeachment taken into Consideration.

After this, the House (fn. 1) took into serious Consideration the Impeachment of the House of Commons against George Benyon; and like his Answer and Defence made Yesterday at this Bar.

The House † Ordered the First Part of the Charge to be read, touching "his framing, contriving, publishing, and procuring of Hands to a false, scandalous, malicious, and dangerous Petition, and preferring the same to the Parliament."

Then the Second Part of the Charge was read, touching "the scandalous Words and Speeches which the said George Benyon had spoken, at several Times, against the Members of both Houses, and against the Privileges of Parliament."

And this House, upon mature Debate, and weighing all the Evidence, Proofs, and Circumstances, made these Votes as follows: videlicet,

Benyon to be censured.

"Whether, upon this Impeachment, or any Part of it, George Benyon shall be censured?"

And it was Resolved affirmatively.

To be disfranchised.

"Whether George Benyon, for these Offences, shall be disfranchised the City of London?"

Resolved affirmatively.

Uncapable of bearing Place or Office.

"Whether George Benyon, for these Offences, shall be sentenced to be incapable for ever hereafter of bearing any Place or Office in the Commonwealth?"

Resolved affirmatively.

Fined 3000 l.

"Whether George Benyon, for these Offences, shall be fined Three Thousand Pounds?"

Resolved affirmatively.

Committed to the Castle of Colchester for Two Years.

"Whether George Benyon, for these Offences, shall be committed to The Castle of Colchester, for Two Years?"

Resolved affirmatively.

Surety for good Behaviour.

"Whether, after the Two Years Imprisonment, George Benyon shall put in such Sureties for the good Behaviour as this House shall think fit; and, if this House sits not, then such Sureties as the Lord Keeper shall approve of?"

Resolved affirmatively.

Conference to be had, for moving the King that a Bill may be brought in to employ his Fine for Ireland.

It was Agreed, To have a Conference with the House of Commons, "That the King might be moved, that a Bill may pass, that this Three Thousand Pounds Fine of George Benyon may be employed for the Affairs of Ireland."

Lords Leave to be absent.

Ordered, That the Lord Bruce hath Leave to be absent from this House for a few Days.

Ordered, That the Lord Seymour hath Leave to be go to his House in Wiltshire for Ten Days, to settle his Estate there.

Judgement to be given against Benyon To-morrow.

Ordered, That this House will give Judgement in George Benyon's Cause To-morrow in the Afternoon, at Two of the Clock, in the Presence of the House of Commons.

Ordered, That the Lieutenant of The Tower shall bring George Benyon To-morrow in the Afternoon, before the Lords in Parliament, to hear Judgement given against him.

Hawes versus Kilvert.

Ordered, That the Cause between Joseph Hawes and Kilvert shall be heard in this House, upon this Day Fortnight.

Ld. Lostus's Cause.

Ordered, That the Cause of the Lord Viscount Loftus shall be heard in this House, on Thursday next, in the Afternoon.


Dominus Capitalis Justiciarius de Communi Banco declaravit præsens Parliamentum continuandum esse usque in diem Veneris, videlicet, 8m diem instantis Aprilis, 1642, hora 2a post meridiem, Dominis sic decernentibus.


  • 1. Deest in Originali.