Martis, 13 die Augusti; 1° Willielmi et Mariæ.
Proceedings respecting Titus Oates.
MR. Solicitor General reports from the Committee,
to whom it was referred, to prepare Reasons for a
Conference with the Lords, for the settling the Method
of Proceedings, between the Two Houses, upon Conferences, and free Conferences; That the Committee
had prepared the same accordingly: The which he
read in his Place; and afterwards, delivered the same
in at the Clerk's Table: Where the same were read;
and are as followeth:
The Commons have desired This Conference, upon the
Subject Matter of the Message, sent by your Lordships
the One-and-thirtieth of July last; to acquaint them,
That your Lordships had adhered to your Amendments,
proposed to be made to the Bill, for reversing Two
Judgments given in the Court of King's Bench against
Titus Oates, Clerk.
The Commons have commanded us to represent,
briefly, to your Lordships, How the Case stands, between the Two Houses, in relation to this Bill.
Writs of Error were brought before your Lordships,
in order to reverse the Judgments given against Oates
upon Two Indictments, for Perjury: By which Judgments, He was to be divested of his Canonical Habits;
and to continue so divested during his Life: He was
yearly, during his Life, to be set in the Pillory several
times, at divers publick Places: He was to be imprisoned during Life: Was to be whipped, from Aldgate to
Newgate, one Day; and, from thence to Tyburn, another Day: And was fined One thousand Marks.
Proceedings respecting Titus Oates.
These Judgments your Lordships thought fit to
The Precedents being of such dangerous Consequence
to every English Subject, the Commons thought themselves under a Necessity of sending up a Bill to your
Lordships, in order to have these Judgments reversed by
Act of Parliament: In which Bill, the Judgments are
called erroneous, illegal, cruel, and of evil Example to
Your Lordships, by a Message, the Thirteenth Day of
July did acquaint the Commons, That you had agreed
to the Bill; with Amendments.
By the Amendments, the Words "illegal, cruel, and
of ill Example to future Ages," are omitted: And a
Clause is added, That such excessive Punishments shall
not be inflicted for the future.
The Words which concern the Annulling of the Judgments given by the House of Peers upon the Writs of
Error, are omitted: And a Clause is added, That, till
the Matters for which Oates was convicted be heard and
determined in Parliament, he should not be received for
a Witness, or to give Evidence, in any Court or Cause.
The Commons, at a Conference, the Twenty-second
of July, delivered their Reasons, Why they could not
agree to these Amendments.
Your Lordships delivered Your Reasons for insisting
upon the Amendments, at the Conference, the Twentysixth of July.
The Reasons given by your Lordships not being satisfactory to the Commons, a free Conference was desired,
and had the Twenty-ninth of July: At which it was
owned, by your Lordships, That the whole House of
Peers was satisfied, that the Judgments given in the King's
Bench were erroneous and extravagant; and the Punishment so exorbitant, as ought not to be inflicted on an
English Subject; and also, that you would not enter into
a Debate with them, whether an erroneous Judgment
must not necessarily be illegal: But yet your Lordships
did declare, That, upon the Writs of Error, you had
chosen to affirm the Judgments, rather than Oates should
be restored to his Testimony; which must have been the
Consequence of the Reversal.
After your Lordships had owned so much at the Conference, the Commons were extremely surprized to receive a Message, That you had Adhered to your Amendments;
First, Because, by this Vote of Adhering generally,
your Lordships do depart from what was yielded to upon
the free Conference; at which (as the Commons did
apprehend) some of the Amendments were waved by
Secondly, The Commons find Cause to be dissatisfied
with the Message;
Because your Lordships have proceeded to Adhere upon
the First free Conference: Which they look upon to be
irregular; at least, to be contrary to the ordinary Course
of Proceedings between the two Houses (especially, if
such Adhering should be looked upon as conclusive); it
being well known to your Lordships, That it is usual to
have Two free Conferences, or more, before either House
proceeds to Adhere. And, as it is the Course of Parliaments, so it is suitable to the Nature of the Things, that
there should be no Adhering till after Two free Conferences at the least; because, before That Time, each
House is not fully possessed of the Reasons, upon which
the other does proceed; nor have the Houses had the
full Opportunity of making Replies to one another's Arguments: And, to Adhere sooner, is to exclude all Possibility of offering Expedients.
This Method, of Adhering so suddenly and unexpectedly, draws very ill Consequences after it, as appears by
what has happened this Sessions; the additional Poll Bill
having been lost, to the great Prejudice of the Crown,
by your Lordships Adhering upon the First free Conference. The Bill of Rights (in which your Lordships, as
well as the Commons, are highly concerned), by this quick
way of Adhering, now put in Use by your Lordships, is
in Danger to be lost. And no Inconveniences can be
greater than what must follow the Loss of this Bill, if
your Lordships should take yourselves to be concluded,
by Adhering upon the First free Conference.
For the Commons think it is not to be denied, That,
in Proceedings in your Judicial Capacity upon Writs of
Error, your Lordships are as much bound to give Judgment upon the Record, according to the strict Rules of
Law, as any inferior Court whatsoever; and ought not
to enter into the Consideration of Persons, or collateral
That, for your Lordships to assume a discretionary
Power to affirm a Judgment, though at the same time
you agree it to be erroneous, is to assume a Power to
make Law, instead of judging according to the Rules of
That, when the Commons send up a Bill to your
Lordships, in order to prevent the Mischiefs of such destructive Precedents, for your Lordships to refuse to reverse these Judgments (though confessed to be erroneous),
unless upon such Terms as you are pleased to impose,
and to which the Commons cannot in Reason agree, is
to leave the Kingdom without Redress against acknowledged Wrongs.
It is recorded, to the Honour of your noble Ancestors,
That they declared they would not change the Laws:
And the Commons hope you will pursue their Steps;
and not, by affirming erroneous Judgments, go about
to make That Law, which was not so before; and, by
insisting upon collateral Terms before you will reverse
those Judgments in the Legislative way, take to yourselves, in Effect, the whole Power of the Legislature:
Which is, not only to change the Law, but to subvert
the Constitution of the Government, if your Lordships
should insist upon such a way of Proceeding, and the
Commons should acquiesce in it.
The Commons do therefore hope your Lordships
will not insist upon this unusual Method of Adhering;
which manifestly tends to the Interruption of a good
Correspondence between the Two Houses (the Lords
and Commons having frequently agreed upon the Second and Third free Conference, when they could not
upon the First); especially at so unseasonable a time,
when an intire Agreement between the Two Houses
is of such absolute Necessity for the Establishment of
the Government, and for the Peace and Safety of the
Resolved, That the House do agree to the said Reasons to be offered at the said Conference.
Resolved, That a Message be sent to the Lords, to desire a Conference with them, upon the Subject Matter of
their Lordships Message, the One-and-thirtieth of July
last, concerning their Lordships Adhering to their Amendments to the Bill for reversing Two Judgments given in
the Court of King's Bench, against Titus Oates.
Ordered, That the Lord Coote do go to the Lords
with that Message.
Ordered, That Mr. Speaker do grant his Warrant to
the Clerk of the Crown, to issue out a new Writ to the
Sheriff of the County of Devon, for the Election of a
Burgess to serve in this present Parliament, for the Borough of Clifton Dartmouth Hardnesse, in the room of
Charles Boone, Esquire, deceased.
A Petition of the Bailiffs, Wardens, Assistants, and
Commonalty of the Company of Weavers London; and
the Master and Wardens of the Company of Weavers at
Canterbury, in Behalf of themselves, and others in England, was read; setting forth, That, they thankfully acknowlege, that, upon their humble Petition praying to
be heard touching the Bill for enjoining the Wear of
Woollen Manufacture, they were referred to the Committee to whom the Bill was referred, who have not yet
been pleased to hear the Petitioners: And praying, That
they may be heard at the Bar of the House, before the
Bill shall pass.
And the Question being put, That a Time be appointed
to hear the Petitioners;
It passed in the Negative.
Resolved, That the Bill for encouraging of the Woolen
Manufacture, be read the Third time presently.
The Bill was read the Third time.
Resolved, That the Bill do pass: And that the Title be,
An Act for the enjoining the Wearing of the Woolen
Manufactures of this Kingdom, at certain Times of the
Ordered, That Colonel Sackvile do carry the Bill to
the Lords for their Concurrence.
Securing Government against Papists.
Ordered, That the Committee to whom the Bill for
securing the Government against Papists, and other disaffected Persons, is referred, be revived; and do sit this
Afternoon: And that Mr. Forester, Mr. Gwyn, Mr.
Arnold, Mr. Reynell, Sir Rob. Rich, Mr. White, Colonel
Austen, Mr. Buckly, Sir Tho. Barnadiston, Sir Wm.
Poultny, Sir Rob. Cotton, Mr. Sherrard, be added to the
Complaint against Lt. Col. Copley.
A Petition of George Mawson, Deputy Postmaster of
Kingston upon Hull, was presented.
Resolved, That he be called in to own the Petition.
And he was called in; and owned the Petition; and
said, That he would avow the Truth of the Contents
Then the Petition was read; setting forth, That, whereas
Captain Copley, Lieutenant Governor of Hull, had divers
times taken into his Possession the Post Mail coming to
the said Town, and caused the same to be brought to his
own House, or to a Tavern, where he opened, and imbezled, destroyed, or otherwise disposed of several Letters, at his Pleasure, to the great Prejudice and Detriment,
as well of the Traders and other Inhabitants of that
Town, as of divers Gentlemen, and some honourable
Members of this House, living thereabouts; of which
Complaint being made to the honourable John Wildman,
Esquire, Postmaster General, he wrote to the Petitioner,
directed him to order the Mail to be brought directly to
his own House, and not to be carried elsewhere; and also
writ to the said Captain Copley, desiring and enjoining
him for the future, to forbear his opening the Mail, as
aforesaid: Notwithstanding which, the said Captain Copley did, on the Thirteenth of June last, One thousand Six
hundred Eighty-and-nine, seize the Post Mail, as formerly, and caused it to be brought to him to a Tavern;
where opening and scattering the Letters about the
Room, there were so many lost as amounted to about
Nine Shillings for the Postage; from whence he sent a
Messenger for the Petitioner to come to him: But the
Petitioner, being indisposed, sent his Servant; and he
desired to be excused from coming: Whereupon the said
Captain Coply sent a Serjeant, and Four Musqueteers,
who took the Petitioner out of his own House, and carried him to the main Guard; where, having first bound
his Hands behind him, they tied him Neck and Heels,
with that extreme Violence, that the Blood gushed out of
his Nose and Mouth; and kept him in that intolerable
Posture for Two Hours and a Half, till the Petitioner
was utterly deprived of Sense, and put in extreme Hazard
of his Life; and remains to this Day miserably crippled,
disabled in his Limbs, and impaired in his Sight: And
that, forasmuch as the said Captain Copley being a Commission Officer, the Petitioner cannot have his Remedy
against him by a due Course at Law: And praying the
House to take his suffering Case into their Consideration,
and do him that Right upon the said Captain Copley, as
to them should seem meet.
Ordered, That the said Lieutenant Colonel Copley do
attend this House To-morrow Morning, to answer to the
Matters objected against him: And that the Petitioner
do then also attend.
And then the House adjourned till To-morrow
Morning, Nine a Clock.