Die Sabbati, 22 Februarii, 1650.
MR. Millington reports from the Committee of
plundered Ministers, The Examination of John
Harris, Printer, and Mr. Strong, concerning the Book,
intituled, "The Accuser shamed."
Which were this Day read.
Examinations taken before the Committee for plundered
Ministers, concerning the Book, intituled, "The
Accuser shamed;" in pursuance of an Order of Parliament to the said Committee directed.
John Harris, Printer, being examined, who was the
Author of the said Book, intituled, "The Accuser
shamed," now shewn unto him; upon his Examination
faith, That he is scarce able to say, who was the Author
of it: And that about Two Years since, he, this Examinate, printed a Book like the said Book now shewen:
But whether the said Book were the Book the Examinate
printed, or no, he knows not; having been since Abroad
in the Service of the Parliament: But faith, that he, this
Examinate, printed a Copy much to the Purpose of the said
Book; which said Copy was sent unto him from Mr. Fry.
The said Mr. Harris being asked, Where the Copy of
the said Book is, faith, That after they have printed and
corrected Books of that Nature, the Copies are thrown
about for Waste Paper.
And the said Examinate further faith, That there was
some Alteration in that he printed, from the Copy sent
him; viz. in the Title Page: And that the Difference
between the Title Page as it came from the Author, and
the Title Page produced, is only in these Words; viz.
" The Accuser shamed;" which the Examinate put in
himself, to make the Book the more vendible: And that
the Examinate doth not, to his best Remembrance,
observe any other material Difference: And that unless the Copies they print be Matter of Controversy,
and licensed, they preserve not the Copies; but Business
of this Nature, as Pamphlets, they never keep.
He knows not how many of them he printed; their
ordinary Number of such Things, as they print, being
One thousand: And that he, the said Examinate, never
read any Thing of the Book, but the Title Page, to his
Being examined, who brought him the said Book, faith,
That he that brought it him, this Examinate, came to
him, under the Notion of Mr. Fry his Man; but the
Examinate knows him not, having never seen him before
or since: And that he, this Examinate printed the same
at his own Charge.
The Examinate further faith, That the said Mr. Fry
sent unto him, this Morning, for the said Copy; but he
returned him the Answer, as he hath now done to this
Being examined, Whether he sent none of the said
Books to Mr. Fry, after he had printed them; faith,
That he had sent him about Half a Dozen, or a Dozen,
the certain Number he remembers not: And, that for any
thing the Examinate knows, the Book may be printed
Twenty times over since, and with Twenty Alterations.
The Examinate, further examined, faith, That the
said Mr. Fry did question the said Title; viz. "The
Accuser shamed;" after the Examinate had so printed it;
but nothing else, as the Examinate remembers.
Being asked, Whether the said Mr. Fry did own the
Book, when he carried the said Books unto him, faith,
That his Name was fixed to it: And that it was no way
questioned, but that it was his Book.
Mr. Strong examined, faith, That, meeting with Mr.
Fry, about Two Years since, in Westminster Hall, they
had some Conference together; and something being
spoken, that was also contained in that Book, the said
Mr. Fry told this Examinate, That what he held in that
Point, he had set forth in his Book: This Examinate told
him. He thought, he the said Mr. Fry, would not have
said, That that Book was his: Whereto the said Mr. Fry,
replied, Yes, it is my Book from End to End.
And the said Examinate being asked, Whether it
were that individual Book now shewn him, faith, There
was the Name of no Book mentioned; but this Examinate understood the Book, the Copy whereof is now produced, to be the Book he meant, knowing no other Book
of his, at that time, extant.
Further faith, That the said Mr. Fry did not say any
thing to this Examinate, by way of Argument: But
this Examinate retorted upon him, his own Argument
in his Book; viz. "That you call them Persons or Substances: Yet they are Three:" Now, whether they be
Three Persons, or Accidents, matters not: for the same
Argument that is used in his, the said Mr. Fry his Book,
must prevail against him, that they must be Three: But,
whether the said Mr. Fry named the Father, Son, and
Holy Ghost, this Examinate remembers not: But faith,
He did acknowledge they were Three, as far as the
Examinate can remember: Neither doth this Examinate
remember what Answer the said Mr. Fry gave him to
the said Argument.
And this Examinate further faith, That the said Books
were generally reputed to be the said Mr. Fry his Books:
Yet this Examinate was not willing to believe it; but,
when himself had said, it was his, he did then believe it;
And concerning this Subject, this Examinate remembers
not any other Discourse.
The House resumed the Debate upon the Report of
the Exceptions taken to the said Books.
Mr. Fry being present gave his Answer to the several
Exceptions taken by the Committee to the Two Books;
the one, intituled, "The Accuser shamed," &c. and
the other, intituled, "The Clergy in their Colours."
Resolved, That Mr. Fry do withdraw.
And he did withdraw accordingly.
And the House took into Debate the Report, by Parts.
The First Exception to the Book intituled, "The Accuser shamed," was again read.
Resolved, That it doth appear to this House, That Mr.
John Fry is the Author and Publisher of this Book, except these Three Words "The Accuser shamed."
The First Exception to this Book was again read; together with the several Pages of the Book quoted.
Resolved, That this House doth agree with the Committee in the First Exception.
The Second Exception was read.
The Question being propounded, That the Matters
contained in this Second Exception are erroneous, profane, and highly scandalous;
And the Question being put, That the Word "erroneous" be Part of this Question;
It passed with the Affirmative.
The Question being put, that the Word "profane"
be Part of the Question;
It passed with the Affirmative.
The Question being put, That these Words "highly
scandalous," be Part of the Question;
It passed with the Affirmative.
And the Question being put;
It was Resolved, That the Matters contained in this
Second Exception are erroneous, profane and highly
Resolved, That the Matter charged upon the said Mr.
Fry, in the First Exception to this Book, is a Breach of
Privilege of Parliament.
The First Exception to the Book called, "The Clergy
in their Colours," was read.
Resolved, That these Expressions contained in this Exception are scandalous.
The Second Exception to the Book was read.
Resolved, That this Part of the said Book is erroneous.
Resolved, That both these Books, the one intituled,
"The Accuser shamed," &c. and the other intituled,
"The Clergy in their Colours," &c. be burnt.
Resolved, That the Sheriffs of London and Middlesex
be authorized and required to cause all the printed Copies
of both the said Books, and every of them, wheresoever
they shall be found, to be burnt; some in the New Palace
in Westminster, and some at the Old Exchange.
Resolved, That Candles be brought in.
And Candles were brought in, accordingly.
Resolved, That this House do proceed to Judgment
A Member disabled to sit.
The Question being propounded, That Mr. John Fry
be disabled to sit as a Member of this House, during
And the Question being put, That that Question be
It passed in the Affirmative.
And the main Question being put;
It was Resolved, That Mr. John Fry be disabled to sit
as a Member of this House, during this Parliament.
Resolved, That the Votes concerning the said Books
be printed and published.
The House adjourned itself to Tuesday Morning
next, Eight of Clock.