December 1680

Commons Journal

Lords Journal

History and Proceedings

Grey's Debates

CSPD Charles II

CSP, Colonial

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House of Commons Journal Volume 9
23 December 1680

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History of Parliament Trust

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1802

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'House of Commons Journal Volume 9: 23 December 1680', Journal of the House of Commons: volume 9: 1667-1687 (1802), pp. 687-692. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=27849 Date accessed: 29 July 2014.


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Jovis, 23 die Decembris, 1680.

Prayers.

Leave of Absence.

ORDERED, That Leave be given to Mr. Henry Goring, a Member of the House, to go into the Country.

Popish Plot.

Ordered, That Mr. Bernard Dennis have Leave, from this House, to print his Narrative of the horrid Popish Plot.

Privilege- petition from a person in custody.

A Petition of Mr. John Wilson, in Custody of the Serjeant at Arms attending this House, being tendered to the House:

Ordered, That the said Petition do lie upon the Table.

Chichester Writ.

Ordered, That Mr. Speaker do issue out his Warrant to the Clerk of the Crown, to make out a new Writ, for the Electing of a Citizen to serve in this present Parliament for the City of Chichester, in the room of John Farrington Esquire, deceased.

Jenner's Estate.

A Bill to enable John Jenner Gentleman to make Leases of some Part of his Estate, for the Payment of his Debts, and for the making Provision for his younger Children, was read a Second time.

Resolved, That the Bill be committed to Mr. Paul Foley, Mr. Serjeant Walcot, Sir James Long, Sir Wm. Estcourt, Sir Wm. Bastard, Sir Robert Marcum, Sir Gilbert Gerard, Sir Trevor Williams, Mr. Hopkins, Mr. Serjeant Seyes, Mr. Coryton, Mr. John Trenchard, Sir John Otway, Sir John Moreton, Sir John Brooks, Colonel Webb, Mr. Stonehouse, Mr. Tho. Foley, Sir Wm. Frankland, Mr. Tanner, Sir Tho. Thinne, Sir Godfrey Copley, Sir Fra. Russell, and all the Members of the Long Robe, and all the Members that serve for the County of Wilts, and the several Boroughs therein: And they are to meet at Three of the Clock this Afternoon, in the Speaker's Chamber.

Hearth money.

A Bill for the more easy Collecting of the Duty of Hearth-money, was read the First time.

Resolved, That the Bill be read a Second time.

Hoghton's Marriage Settlement.

An ingrossed Bill for rectifying several Errors and Mistakes in certain Deeds and Settlements, made upon the Marriage of Sir Charles Hoghton Baronet with Mary the Daughter of John Lord Viscount Massareen, was read the Third time.

Resolved, That the said Bill do pass: And that the Title be, An Act for rectifying several Errors and Mistakes in the Marriage Settlement of Sir Charles Hoghton Baronet.

Ordered, That Sir John Otway do carry up the said Bill to the Lords.

Dr. Burnett thanked.

Ordered, That the Thanks of this House be given to Doctor Burnett for his Sermon Yesterday preached before this House; and likewise for his Book, intituled, "The History of the Reformation of the Church of England:" And that he be desired to print his Sermon: And that Colonel Titus do acquaint him therewith.

Punishing Atheism.

Ordered, That Leave be given to bring in a Bill or Bills to correct and punish Atheism, Blaspheming, Swearing and Debauchery; and for the better Observation of the Lord's Day.

Burying in Woollen.

A Message from the Lords, by Sir Miles Cook and Sir John Franklin;

Mr. Speaker, The Lords have commanded us to acquaint this House, That they have agreed to a Bill, sent from this House, intituled, An additional Act for burying in Woollen, without any Amendment.

Privilege- Petition from a person in custody.

A Petition of Mr. Thomas Sherydan, in Custody of the Serjeant at Arms attending this House, being presented to the House;

Ordered, That the said Petition do lie upon the Table.

A Message from the Lords, by Mr. Baron Weston and Mr. Justice Charlton;

Lords intend to adjourn.

Mr. Speaker, The Lords have commanded us to acquaint this House, That, at their Rising this Day, they do intend to adjourn till next Monday Sevennight.

Banishing Papists.

A Bill for banishing Papists out of the King's Dominions, was read the First time.

Resolved, That the said Bill be read a Second time To-morrow Morning.

Judges Proceedings.

Sir Richard Corbett reports from the Committee appointed to examine the Proceedings of the Judges in Westminster Hall, That the Committee, having taken into their Consideration the Matters to them referred, had agreed upon a special Report, and several Resolves: Which he read in his Place; and afterwards delivered them in at the Clerk's Table: Where the same being read, are as follows; viz.

This Committee, being informed, That, in Trinity Term last, the Court of King's Bench discharged the Grand Jury that served for the Hundred of Oswaldston in the County of Middlesex, in a very unusual manner, proceeded to inquire into the same; and found, by the Information of Charles Umfrevill Esquire, Foreman of the said Jury, Henry Proby, Henry Gerrard, and John Smith, Gentlemen, also of the said Jury, That, on the One-and-twentieth of June last, the Constables attending the said Jury were found defective in not presenting the Papists, as they ought: And thereupon were ordered, by the said Jury, to make fuller Presentments of them on the Twenty-sixth following: On which Day the Jury met for that Purpose: When several Peers of this Realm, and other Persons of Honour and Quality, brought them a Bill against James Duke of York, for not coming to Church: But some Exceptions being taken to that Bill, in that it did not set forth the said Duke to be a Papist; some of the Jury attended the said Persons of Quality, to receive Satisfaction therein in the mean time: And about an Hour after they had received the said Bill, some of the Jury attended the Court of King's Bench with a Petition, which they desired the Court to present, in their Name, unto his Majesty, for the Sitting of the Parliament: Upon which, the Lord Chief Justice Scroggs raised many Scruples; and, on Pretence that they were not all in Court, though Twenty of the Jury had subscribed the Petition, sent for them, saying, He would dispatch them presently. The Jury being come, and their Names called over, they renewed their Desire, That the Court would present their Petition. But the Chief Justice asked, If they had any Bills. They answered, They had; but the Clerks were drawing them into Form. Upon which the Chief Justice said, They would not make Two Works of One Business. And the Petition being read; he said, This was no Article of their Charge, nor was there any Act of Parliament that required the Court to deliver the Grand Jury's Petitions; that there was a Proclamation about them; and that it was not reasonable the Court should be obliged to run on their Errands; and he thought it much, that they should come with a Petition to alter the King's Mind declared in the News-book. The Jury said, They did it not to impose on the Court; but, as other Juries had done, with all Submission, they desired it. But the Court refused, bidding the Cryer return them their Petition. And Mr. Justice Jones told them, They had meddled with Matters of State not given them in Charge; but presented no Bills of the Matters given in Charge. They answered, as before, They had many before them, that would be ready in due time: Notwithstanding which, the said Justice Jones told them, They were discharged from further Service: But Philip Ward, the Clerk that attended the said Jury, cried out, No, no; they have many Bills before them: For which, the Court understanding (as it seems to this Committee) a secret Reason, which the Clerk did not, reproved him, asking, If he, or they, were to give the Rule there. The Cryer then told the Court, They would not receive their Petition: The Chief Justice bid him let it alone. So it was left there: And the Jury returned to the Court-house; and there found several Constables with Presentments of Papists, and other Offenders, as the Jury had directed them the One-andtwentieth before; but could not now receive the said Presentments, being discharged, whereby much Business was obstructed, though none of the said Informants ever knew the said Jury discharged before the last Day of the Term; which was not till Four Days after.

And it further appeareth to the Committee, by the Evidence of Samuel Astrey, Jasper Waterhouse, and Philip Ward, Clerks, that have long served in the said Court, That they were much surprized at the said Discharging of the Jury, in that it was never done in their Memory before; and the rather, because the said Waterhouse, as Secondary, constantly enters on that Grand Jury's Paper, That the last Day of the Term is given them to return their Verdict on; as the last Day but one is given to the other Two Grand Juries of that County:

Which Entry is as followeth;

Trinitat, 32 Car. II.

Middlesex, Ossulston Hundred. Juratores habent diem ad Veredictum suum reddendum usque diem Mercurii proxime post tres Septimanas Sanctæ Trinitatis, being the last Day of the Term: And so in all other the Terms, the last Day given.

Which make it appear to this Committee, That they were not, in Truth, discharged for not having their Presentments ready, since the Court had given them a longer Day, but only to obstruct their further Proceedings.

And it appeareth by the Evidence aforesaid to this Committee, That the Four Judges of that Court were present at the Discharging of the said Jury; and it did not appear, that any of them did dissent therein.

Upon Consideration whereof, the Committee came to this Resolution;

Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That the Discharging the Grand Jury of the Hundred of Ossulston in the County of Middlesex, by the Court of King's Bench, in Trinity Term last, before the last Day of the Term, and before they had finished their Presentments, was illegal, arbitrary, and an high Misdemeanor.

This Committee proceeded also to inquire into a Rule of the Court of King's Bench, lately made against the Publishing a Book, called, "The Weekly Pacquet of Advice from Rome, or the History of Popery."

And Samuel Astrey Gentleman, examined thereupon, informed this Committee, That the Author of the said Book, Henry Carr, had been informed against for the same; and had pleaded to the Information: But, before it was tried, a Rule was made, on a Motion, as he supposeth, against the said Book; all the Judges of that Court, as he remembers, being present; and none dissenting: The Copy of which Rule he gave in to this Committee; and is as followeth;

Dies Mercurii . . proxime post tres Septimanas Sanctæ Trinitatis Anno 32° Car. IIdi Regis. Odinatum est, quod Liber, intitulat', "The Weekly Pacquet of Advice from Rome, or the History of Popery," non ulterius imprimatur vel publicetur per aliquam Personam quamcunque.

Per Cur.'

And this Committee, admiring that Protestant Judges should take Offence against a Book, whose chief Design was to expose the Cheats and Foppery of Popery, inquired further into it; and found by the Evidence of Jane Curtis, That the said Book had been licensed for several Months; that her Husband paid for the Copy, and entered it in the Hall Book of the Company: But, for all this, she could not prevail by these Reasons with the Lord Chief Justice Scroggs, to permit it any longer: Who said, It was a scandalous Libel, and against the King's Proclamation; and he would ruin her, if ever she printed it any more: And, soon after, she was served with the said Rule, as the Author, and other Printers, were.

And by the Author's Evidence it appears, That he was taken, and brought before the said Chief Justice, by his Warrant, above a Year since: And, upon his owning he writ Part of that Book, the Chief Justice called him Rogue, and other ill Names; saying, He would fill all the Gaols in England with such Rogues, and pile them up as Men do Faggots: And so committed him to Prison, refusing sufficient Bail; and saying, he would gaol him to put him to Charges: And his Lordship observed his Word punctually therein, forcing him to his Habeas Corpus; and then taking the same Bail he refused before.

Upon which this Committee came to this Resoultion;

Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That the Rule made by the Court of King's Bench in Trinity Term last, against priniting a Book, called, "The Weekly Pacquet of Advice from Rome," is illegal and arbitrary.

And the Committee proceeded further: And, upon Information, That a very great Latitude had been taken of late by the Judges, in imposing Fines on the Persons found guilty before them; caused a Transcript of all the Fines imposed by the King's Bench since Easter Term, in the Twenty-eighth of his Majesty's Reign, to be brought before them from the said Court by Samuel Astery Gentleman.

By Perusal of which, it appeared to this Committee, That the Quality of the Offence, and the Ability of the Person found guilty, have not been the Measures that have determined the Quantity of many of these Fines: Which being so very numerous, the Committee refer themselves to those Records, as to the General; instancing in some Particulars, as followeth;

Trinit', 29° Car. IIdi.

Upon Joseph Browne, of London, Gentleman, on an Information, for publishing a printed Book, called, "The Long Parliament dissolved;" in which is set forth these Words, "Nor let any Man think it strange, that we account it Treason for you to sit and act contrary to our Laws: For if, in the First Parliament of Richard the Second, Grimes and Weston, for lack of Courage only, were adjudged guilty of High Treason, for surrendering the Places committed to their Trust; how much more you, if you turn Renegadoe to the People that intrusted you; and, as much as in you lie, surrender, not a little pitiful Castle or Two, but all the legal Defence the People of England have for their Lives, Liberties and Properties at once? Neither let the vain Persuasion delude you, That no Precedent can be found, That One English Parliament hath hanged up another; though, peradventure, even that may be proved a Mistake: for an unprecedented Crime calls for an unprecedented Punishment: And if you shall be so wicked to do the One, or rather endeavour to do, for now you are no longer a Parliament, what Ground of Confidence you can have, that none will be found so worthy to do the other, we cannot understand: And do faithfully promise, if your Unworthiness provoke us to it, That we will use our honest and utmost Endeavours, whenever a new Parliament shall be called, to choose such as may convince you of your Mistakes. The old and infallible Observation, That Parliaments are the Pulse of the People, shall lose its Esteem; or you will find, that this your Presumption was over-fond: However, it argues but a bad Mind to sin, because it is believed it shall not be punished;" The Judgment was, That he be fined Thousand Marks; be bound to the good Behaviour for Seven Years; and his Name struck out of the Roll of the Attornies, without any Offence alledged in his said Vocation. And the Publishing this Libel consisted only in superscribing a Pacquet, with this inclosed, to the East Indies. Which Fine he being not able to pay, living only upon his Practice, he lay in Prison for Three Years, till his Majesty graciously pardoned him; and recommended him to be restored to his Place again of Attorney, by his Warrant dated the Fifteenth of December One thousand Six hundred and Seventy-nine; notwithstanding which he has not yet obtained the said Restoration from the Court of King's Bench.

Hil', 29 & 30 Car. IIdi Regis.

Upon John Harrington, of London, Gentleman, for speaking these Words; laid in Latin thus, Quod nostra Gubernatio de tribus Statibus consistibat; et si Rebellio eveniret in Regno, & non accideret contra omnes tres Status, non est Rebellio; a Fine of a Thousand Pounds; Sureties for the good Behaviour for Seven Years; and to recant the Words in open Court. Which Fine he was in no Capacity of ever paying,

Hilar', 31° & 32° Car. IIdi.

Upon Benjamin Harris, of London, Stationer, on an Information, for printing a Book, called, "An Appeal from the Country to the City;" setting forth these Words, "We in the Country have done our Parts, in choosing for the Generality good Members to serve in Parliament; but, if, as our Two last Parliaments were, they must be dissolved or prorogued, whenever they come to redress the Grievances of the Subject: We may be pitied, not blamed, if the Plot takes Effect; and, in all Probability, it will: Our Parliaments are not then to be condemned; for that their not being suffered to sit, occasioned it:" Judgment, to pay Five hundred Pounds Fine; stand on the Pillory an Hour; and give good Security for his Behaviour for Three Years.

And the said Ben. Harris informed this Committee, That the Lord Chief Justice Scroggs pressed the Court then to add to this Judgment, his being publickly whipped: But Mr. Justice Pemberton holding up his Hands in Admiration at their Severity therein; Mr. Justice Jones pronounced the Judgment aforesaid. And he remains yet in Prison, unable to pay the said Fine.

Notwithstanding which Severity in the Cases fore-mentioned, this Committee has observed, the said Court has not wanted, in other Cases, an extraordinary Compassion and Mercy, though there appeared no publick Reason judicially in the Tryal; as, in particular,

Hilar', 31° & 32° Car. IIdi.

Upon Thomas Knox Principal, on an Indictment of Subornation and Conspiracy, against the Testimony and Life of Doctor Oates, for Sodomy; and also against the Testimoney of William Bedloe; a Fine of Two hundred Marks; a Year's Imprisonment; and to find Sureties for the good Behaviour for Three Years.

Eod. Term.

Upon John Lane, for the same Offence, a Fine of One hundred Marks; to stand in the Pillory for an Hour; and to be imprisoned for One Year.

Pasc. 32 Car. IIdi.

Upon John Tasborough Gentleman; on an Indictment for Subornation of Stephen Dugdale, tending to overthrow the whole Discovery of the Plot: the said Tasborough being affirmed to be a Person of good Quality, a Fine of One hundred Pounds.

Eod. Term.

Upon Anne Price, for the same Offence, Two hundred Pounds.

Trinit', 32 Car. IIdi.

Upon Nath. Thompson and Will. Badcock, on an Information, for printing and publishing, weekly, a Libel, called, "The true Domestick Intelligence, or News both from City and Country;" and known to be popishly affected; a Fine of Three Pounds Six Shillings and Eightpence, on each of them.

Eod. Term.

Upon Matthew Turner, Stationer, on an Information, for vending and publishing a Book, called, "The Compendium," wherein the Justice of the Nation, in the late Tryals of the Popish Conspirators, even by some of these Judges themselves, is highly arraigned; and all the Witnesses for the King horribly aspersed: and this being the common notorious Popish Bookseller of the Town: Judgment, to pay a Fine of One hundred Marks; and is said to be out of Prison already.

Upon * Loveland, on an Indictment for a notorious Conspiracy and Subornation against the Life and Honour of the Duke of Bucks, for Sodomy; a Fine of Five Pounds; and to stand an Hour in the Pillory.

Mich', 32° Car. IIdi.

Upon Edward Christian Esquire, for the same Offence, a Fine of One hundred Marks; and to stand an Hour in the Pillory. And

Upon Arthur Obryan, for the same Offence, a Fine of Twenty Marks; and to stand an Hour in the Pillory.

Upon Consideration whereof, this Committee came to this Resolution;

Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That the Court of King's Bench, in the Imposition of Fines on Offenders of late Years, hath acted arbitrarily, illegally, and partially; favouring Papists and Persons popishly affected; and excessively oppressing his Majesty's Protestant Subjects.

And this Committee being informed, That several of his Majesty's Subjects had been committed for Crimes bailable by Law, although they then tendered sufficient Sureties; which were refused; only to put them to Vexation and Charge; proceeded to inquire into the same; and found, That not only the fore-mentioned Henry Carr had been so refused the common Right of a Subject, as is above said, but that George Broome, being a Constable last Year in London, and committing some of the Lord Chief Justice Scroggs' Servants for great Disorders, according to his Duty, he was in a few Days arrested by a Tipstaff, without any London Constable, and carried before the said Chief Justice, by his Warrant, to answer for the Committing of those Persons abovesaid: But, being there, was accused of having spoken irreverently of the said Chief Justice; and an Affidavit read to him to that Purpose, which was falsly (as the said Geo. Broome affirms) sworn against him by Two Persons, that use to be common Bail in that Court, and of very ill Reputation. Upon which he was committed to the King's Bench, though he then tendered Two able Citizens and Common Councilmen of London, to be his Bail: And he was forced to bring his Habeas Corpus, to his great Charge, before he came out; when the Marshal Mr. Cooleing exacted Five Pound of him; of which he complained to the Chief Justice; but had no other Answer, but, He might take his Remedy at Law: But the said Marshal, fearing he should be questioned, restored him Two Guineas of it.

And further, this Committee was informed, by Fra. Smith, Bookseller, That, about Michaelmas was Twelvemonth, he was brought before the said Chief Justice, by his Warrant; and charged by the Messenger Robert Stevens, That he had seen some Parcels of a Pamphlet, called, "Observations on Sir Geo. Wakeman's Tryal," in his Shop: Upon which the Chief Justice told him, He would make him an Example; use him like a Boor in France; and pile him, and all the Booksellers and Printers, up in Prison like Faggots; and so committed him to the King's Bench, swearing and cursing at him in great Fury: And when he tendered Three sufficient Citizens of London for his Bail, alleging, Imprisonment, in his Circumstances, would be his utter Ruin; the Chief Justice replied, The Citizens looked like sufficient Persons; but he would take no Bail: And so he was forced to come out by Habeas Corpus; and was afterwards informed against for the same Matter, to his great Charge and Vexation.

And a while after, Francis the Son of the said Fra. Smith, was committed by the said Chief Justice, and Bail refused, for selling a Pamphlet, called, "A New Year's Gift for the said Chief Justice," to a Coffee House: And he declared to them, He would take no Bail, for he would ruin them all.

And further it appeared to this Committee, That the said Chief Justice, about October was Twelve-month, committed, in like manner, Jane Curtis, she having a Husband and Children, for selling a Book, called, "A Satire against Injustice;" which his Lordship called a Libel against him: And her Friends tendering sufficient Bail, and desiring him to have Mercy on her Poverty and Condition, he swore, by the Name of God, she should go to Prison; and he would shew no more Mercy than they could expect from a Wolf that came to devour them; and she might bring her Habeas Corpus, and come out so: Which she was forced to do; and after, informed against, and prosecuted, to her utter Ruin, Four or Five Terms after.

In like Manner, it appeared to this Committee, That, about that Time also, Edward Berry Stationer, of Grey's Inn, was committed by the said Chief Justice, being accused of selling the Observations on Sir Geo. Wakeman's Tryal; and though he tendered a Thousand Pounds Bail, yet the Chief Justice said, He would take no Bail; he should go to Prison, and come out according to Law: And after he, with much Trouble and Charge, got out by Habeas Corpus, he was forced, by himself, or his Attorney, to attend Five Terms, before he could be discharged, though no Information was exhibited against him in all that Time.

In Consideration whereof, and of others of the like Nature, too tedious here to relate, this Committee came to this Resolution;

Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That the refusing sufficient Bail in these Cases, wherein the Persons committed were bailable by Law, was illegal, and a high Breach of the Liberty of the Subject.

And this Committee being informed of an extraordinary kind of a Charge, given at the last Assizes at Kingston in the County of Surrey, by Mr. Baron Weston; and proceeding to examine several Persons then and there present;

It was made appear to this Committee, by the Testimony of John Cole, Richard Mayo, and John Pierce, Gentlemen, and others (some of whom put down the said Baron's Words in Writing immediately); That Part of the said Charge was to this Effect: He inveighed much against Farrell, Luther, Calvin, and Zuinglius, condemning them as Authors of the Reformation, which was against their Princes Minds; and then adding, to this Purpose, "Zuingelius set up his Fanaticism, and Calvin built on that blessed Foundation; and, to speak Truth, all his Disciples are seasoned with such a Sharpness of Spirit that it much concerns Magistrates to keep a streight Hand over them: And now they are restless, amusing us with Fears; and nothing will serve them but a Parliament. For my part, I know no Representative of the Nation but the King: All Power centres in him: It is true, he does intrust it with his Ministers; but he is the sole Representative: And, I'faith, he has Wisdom enough to intrust it no more in these Men, who have given us such late Examples of their Wisdom and Faithfulness."

And this Committee, taking the said Matter into their Consideration, came to this Resolution;

Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That the said Expressions, in the Charge given by the said Baron Weston, were a Scandal to the Reformation, in Derogation of the Rights and Privileges of Parliaments, and tending to raise Discord between his Majesty and his Subjects.

And this Committee being informed, by several Printers and Booksellers, of great Trouble and Vexation given them unjustly by one Robert Stephens, called, a Messenger of the Press;

The said Stephens, being examined by this Committee, By what Authority he had proceeded in that Manner, produced Two Warrants, under the Hand and Seal of the Chief Justice Scroggs: Which were in hæc verba:

"Angl. ss. Whereas there are divers ill-disposed Persons, who do daily print and publish many seditious and treasonable Books and Pamphlets, endeavouring thereby to dispose the Minds of his Majesty's Subjects to Sedition and Rebellion; and also infamous Libels reflecting upon particular Persons, to the great Scandal of his Majesty's Government; for Suppressing whereof, his Majesty hath lately issued out his Royal Proclamation: And for the more speedy Suppressing the said seditious Books, Libels and Pamphlets; and to the end that the Authors and Publishers thereof may be brought to their Punishment; These are to will and require you, and, in his Majesty's Name, to charge and command you, and every of you, upon Sight hereof, to be aiding and assisting unto Robert Stephens, Messenger of the Press, in the Seizing on all such Books and Pamphlets as aforesaid, as he shall be informed of in any Booksellers or Printers Shops or Warehouses, or elsewhere whatsoever; to the end they may be disposed as to Law shall appertain: Also, if you shall be informed of the Author, Printers, or Publishers of such Books or Pamphlets as are above mentioned, you are to apprehend them, and have them before One of his Majesty's Justices of the Peace, to be proceeded against according to Law. Dated this Twenty-ninth Day of November 1679.

William Scroggs."

"To Robert Stephens, Messenger of the Press; and to all Mayors, Sheriffs, Bailiffs, Constables, and all other Officers and Ministers whom these may concern."

"Angl. ss. Whereas the King's Majesty hath lately issued out his Proclamation, for suppressing the printing and publishing unlicensed News Books and Pamphlets of News; notwithstanding which, there are divers Persons who do daily print and publish such unlicensed Books and Pamphlets: These are therefore, to will and require you, and, in his Majesty's Name, to charge and command you, and every of you, from time to time, and at all times, so often as you shall be thereunto required, to be aiding and assisting to Robert Stephens, Messenger of the Press, in the Seizing all such Books and Pamphlets, as aforesaid, as he shall be informed of in any Booksellers Shop, or Printers Shop or Warehouses, or elsewhere whatsoever, to the end they may be disposed of as to Law shall appertain. Likewise, if you shall be informed of the Authors, Printers, or Publishers of such Books and Pamphlets, you are to apprehend them, and have them before me, or One of his Majesty's Justices of the Peace, to be proceeded against, as to Law shall appertain. Dated this Twenty-eighth Day of May, Anno Domini 1680.

William Scroggs."

"To all Mayors, Sheriffs, Bailiffs, Constables, and all other Officers and Ministers, whom these may concern."

"To Robert Stephens, Messenger of the Press."

Upon View thereof, this Committee came to this Resolution;

Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That the said Warrants are arbitrary and illegal.

And this Committee, being informed of certain scandalous Discourses, said to be uttered in publick Places, by the Lord Chief Justice Scroggs, proceeded to examine Sir Robert Atkins, late One of the Justices of the Common Pleas, concerning the same.

By whom it appears, That, at a Sessions Dinner at the Old Baily, in the Mayoralty of Sir Robert Clayton, who was then present, the said Chief Justice took Occasion to speak very much against Petitioning, condemning it as resembling Forty-one, as factious, and tending to Rebellion, or to that Effect; to which the said Sir Robert Atkins made no Reply, suspecting he waited for some Advantage over him: But the Chief Justice continuing and pressing him with the said Discourse, he began to justify Petitioning as the Right of the People, especially for the Sitting of a Parliament, which the Law requires, if it be done with Modesty and Respect: Upon which the Chief Justice fell into a great Passion: And there is some Reason to believe, that soon after he made an ill Representation of what the said Sir Robert had then spoke, unto his Majesty.

And this Committee was further informed, That the said Sir Robert Atkins being in Circuit with the said Chief Justice at Summer Assizes was Twelve-month, at Monmouth, Mr. Arnold, Mr. Price, and Mr. Bedloe, being then in Company; the Chief Justice fell severely, in publick, upon Mr. Bedloe, taking off the Credit of his Evidence, and alleging, he had overshot himself in it, or to that Effect, very much to the Disparagement of his Testimony: And the said Sir Robert defending Mr. Bedloe's Evidence and Credit, he grew extreme angry and loud, saying to this Effect, "That he verily believed Langhorne died innocently;" To which the said Sir Robert replied, "He wondered how he could think so, who had condemned him himself, and had not moved the King for a Reprieve for him."

All which Matters of Discourse this Committee humbly submit to the Wisdom and Consideration of this House, without taking upon them to give any Opinion therein.

And this Committee proceeded further to inquire into some Passages that happened at Lent Assizes last, for the

County of Somersett, at the Tryal of Thomas Dare Gentleman, there, upon an Indictment, for saying falsly and seditiously, That the Subjects had but Two Means to redress their Grievances, One by Petitioning, the other by Rebellion: And found, That though by his other Discourse, when he said so, That it appeared plainly he had no rebellious Intent, in that he said then, "God forbid there should be a Rebellion; he would be the first Man to draw his Sword against a Rebel;" yet he was prosecuted with great Violence; and, having pleaded, Not guilty, he moved Mr. Justice Jones, who then sat Judge there, that he might try it at the next Assizes; for that Mr. Searle, who was by at the Speaking of the Words, and a material Witness for his Defence, was not then to be had; and an Affidavit to that Purpose was made and received: But the said Justice Jones told him, That was a Favour of the Court only; and he had not deserved any Favour; and so forced him to try it presently: But the Jury appearing to be an extraordinary one, provided on purpose, being all of Persons that had highly opposed Petitioning for the Sitting of this Parliament, he was advised to withdraw his Plea: And the said Justice Jones encouraging him so to do, he confessed the Words, denying any evil Intention; and gave the said Justice an Account, in Writing, of the Truth of the whole Matter; and made a Submission in Court, as he was directed by the said Justice; who promised to recommend him to his Majesty; but imposed a Fine of Five hundred Pounds upon him, and to be bound to good Behaviour for Three Years; declaring also, That he was turned out from being a Common Counsellor of the Corporation of Taunton in the said County, on Pretence of a Clause in their Charter, giving such a Power to a Judge of Assize: And the said Thomas Dare remains yet in Prison for the said Fine.

In which Matter of the Tryal aforesaid, this Committee desireth to refer itself to the Judgment of this House.

Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That the Discharging of the Grand Jury, of the Hundred of Oswaldston in the County of Middlesex, by the Court of King's Bench, in Trinity Term last, before the last Day of the Term, and before they had finished their Presentments, was illegal, arbitrary, and a high Misdemeanor.

Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That the Rule made by the Court of King's Bench in Trinity Term last, against printing a Book, called, "The Weekly Pacquet of Advice from Rome," is illegal and arbitrary.

Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That the Court of King's Bench, in the Imposition of Fines on Offenders, of late Years, hath acted arbitrarily, illegally, and partially; favouring Papists and Persons popishly affected; and excessively oppressing his Majesty's Protestant Subjects.

Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That Refusing of sufficient Bail in those Cases wherein the Persons committed were bailable by Law, was illegal, and a high Breach of the Liberty of the Subject.

Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That the said Expressions, in the Charge given by the said Baron Weston, were a Scandal to the Reformation, in Derogation of the Rights and Privileges of Parliaments, and tending to raise Discord between his Majesty and his Subjects.

Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That the said Warrants are arbitrary and illegal.

The First of the said Resolves being read a Second time;

And an Amendment being proposed and agreed to by the House, and made at the Clerk's Table;

Resolved, Nemine contradicente, That this House doth agree with the Committee, That the Discharging of the Grand Jury of the Hundred of Oswaldston in the County of Middlesex by the Court of King's Bench, in Trinity Term last, before the last Day of the Term, and before they had finished their Presentments, was arbitrary and illegal, destructive to publick Justice, a manifest Violation

of the Oaths of the Judges of that Court, and a Means to subvert the fundamental Laws of this Kingdom, and to introduce Popery.

The Second of the said Resolves being read a Second time;

And an Amendment being proposed and agreed to by the House; and made at the Clerk's Table;

Resolved, Nemine contradicente, That this House doth agree with the Committee, That the Rule made by the Court of King's Bench in Trinity Term last, against the Printing of a Book, called, "The Weekly Pacquet of Advice from Rome," is illegal and arbitrary; thereby usurping to themselves Legislative Power, to the great Discouragement of the Protestants, and for the Countenancing of Popery.

The Third of the said Resolves being read a Second time;

Resolved, Nemine contradicente, That this House doth agree with the Committee, That the Court of King's Bench, in the Imposition of Fines on Offenders of late Years, hath acted arbitrarily, illegally, and partially; favouring Papists, and Persons popishly affected; and excessively oppressing his Majesty's Protestant Subjects.

The Fourth of the said Resolves being read a Second time.

Resolved, Nemine contradicente, That this House doth agree with the Committee, That the refusing sufficient Bail in those Cases, wherein the Persons committed were bailable by Law, was illegal, and a high Breach of the Liberty of the Subject.

The Fifth of the said Resolves being read a Second time;

And an Amendment being proposed and agreed to by the House, and made at the Clerk's Table;

Resolved, Nemine contradicente, That this House doth agree with the Committee, That the Expressions, in the Charge given by the said Baron Weston, were a Scandal to the Reformation, and tending to raise Discord between his Majesty and his Subjects, and to the Subversion of the ancient Constitution of Parliaments, and of the Government of this Kingdom.

The Sixth and last of the said Resolves being read a Second time;

Resolved, Nemine contradicente, That this House doth agree with the Committee, That the said Warrants are arbitrary and illegal.

Judges impeached.

Resolved, Nemine contradicente, That Sir Wm. Scroggs Knight, Chief Justice of the Court of King's Bench, be impeached upon the said Report, and the Resolutions of the House thereupon.

Resolved, Nemine contradicente, That Sir Thomas Jones, One of the Justices of the said Court of King's Bench, be impeached upon the said Report, and Resolutions of the House thereupon.

Resolved, Nemine contradicente, That Sir Richard Weston, One of the Barons of the Court of Exchequer, be impeached upon the said Report, and Resolutions of the House thereupon.

Ordered, That the Committee appointed to prepare an Impeachment against Sir Francis North, Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas, do prepare Impeachments against the said Sir Wm. Scroggs, Sir Tho. Jones, and Sir Rich. Weston, upon the said Report and Resolutions.

Ordered, That the said Report, and several Resolutions of this House thereupon, be printed: And that Mr. Speaker take care in the Printing thereof apart from this Day's other Votes.

Execution of Lord Stafford.

Resolved, &c. That this House is content that the Sheriffs of London and Middlesex do execute Wm. late Viscount Stafford, by severing his Head from his Body, only.

A Message from the Lords, by Sir Miles Cooke and Sir John Franckland;

Impeachment of Mr. Seymour.

Mr. Speaker, The Lords have commanded us to present this House with a Copy of Mr. Seymour's Answer to the Articles of Impeachment exhibited against him.

Restoring Browne.

Resolved, &c. That it is the Opinion of this House, That Mr. Jos. Browne ought to be restored to all the Offices and Places which were taken from him by Occasion of a Judgment given against him in the Court of King's Bench, in Trinity Term, 29° Car. IIdi; upon an Information for publishing an unlicensed Book, called, "The Long Parliament dissolved."

Protestant Dissenters.

Ordered, That the Bill for exempting his Majesty's Protestant Subjects, dissenting from the Church of England, from the Penalties of certain Laws, be read a Second time To-morrow Morning, the first Business.

Complaint against Thompson.

Colonel Birch reports from the Committee to whom the Examination of the Complaint against Rich. Thompson, Clerk, was referred, That the Committee, having taken the same into their Consideration, had directed him to make a Special Report thereof to the House: Which he read in his Place; and afterwards delivered the same in at the Clerk's Table.

Ordered, That the said Report be read at the Table To-morrow Morning.

Committees.

Ordered, That all Committees that are discontinued, be revived; and do sit this Afternoon in the Places formerly appointed.

St. Edmundbury, &c. Elections.

Ordered, That the Reports from the Committee of Elections and Privileges, touching the Election for St. Edmundsbury in the County of Suffolke, and Marlborough in the County of Wilts, be made To-morrow Morning.

Sydney's Petition.

Ordered, That Mr. Sydney's Petition be read Tomorrow Morning.

And then the House adjourned to Eight of the Clock To-morrow Morning.