Tuesday, April 1.
Complaint being made, that Sir Francis Winnington's Speech
was dispersed in Coffee-houses, it was referred to a Committees.
On the disbanding Bill.
Mr Garroway.] I would have you declare them disbanded, and they are disbanded, and then see who dares
head them. Till then, and till you have better security
for their disbanding than you had before, I would have
no thoughts of Money.
Sir Nicholas Carow.] See the success of the Bill of Attainder that you now are sending up against Danby, before
you take Money into your consideration.
Mr Kingdon [Pay-master] gave an account of what was due to
the Army, &c.
Sir Thomas Meres.] Whatever the intention was, the
continuance of the Army was a great disadvantage to the
Nation, and why they would not accept of the Money,
the last Parliament, for disbanding them, I know not. I
move that we may be rid of them now, whatever the
former intentions were.
Mr Garroway.] I would declare that this Army is disbanded, but kept up to the oppression of the people.
They have exhausted the Country, contrary to Law,
and I hope you will enquire how the poor people have
been abused by this Army, and show your detestation
of an Army. Pass a Vote, therefore, to have this Army
discharged, which has been kept up contrary to the Laws
of the Nation.
Mr Powle.] The last Parliament, I opposed the raising
and continuing the Army as far as my ability went, but
as to enquiring into the miscarriage of the Army, I would
not do it yet. I would not put them upon extremity. I
think, if we had had no Army, we should have had no
Plot, and the last Parliament thought it the prudentest
course to dismiss them, and let them go home quietly;
and then we were for punishing the authors of the counsel
that raised them. There is great mercy to the Earl of Danby in that Bill now sent up to the Lords—And more
persons may be come at easily. If that Bill pass not, I
shall not in my heart go along with any thing else. For
accounts of the Treasury, the Committee will give you
a true report. Mighty sums have been struck tally for,
since the Lord Treasurer went out of his place. Two
or three days time will illuminate our eyes how things
have gone, and it may be reported on Friday morning.
Sir Robert Howard.] I am for no Votes in this matter,
and for saying nothing. One sort of people should
have no reflection upon them, and that is, the common
soldiers, who went willingly against France. Those ill
counsels, that the Nation was never the better for
1,200,000l. expence; that thing, and nothing of a War,
I would refer to a Committee, to bring it fairly before you.
Colonel Birch.] I am of the same mind I was the last
Parliament. I would give no encouragement to keep up
an Army contrary to an Act of Parliament. This will so
far fright the people, that they who raise an Army, when
there is no need, will scarce raise any when there is need.
With all the fair words imaginable, I would part with
these men. If the Plot had taken effect, the Army must
have fallen to the next person upon the Throne, and he
would have made use of them with a witness. It is moved, "that this should be referred to a Committee," but
I know not what to refer. You are told, here are so many regiments undisbanded; this is no more than to take
his word that brought the account in. When I was employed in these things, they were more particular. (The
King's business is generally so done.) Money is given in a
lump to the Officers to pay the soldiers. No man can say
what is due to them, when the Country is paid, and that
is well, and the Officer to have the rest. I was, am, and
shall be, for using all the kindness to persons concerned.
This Army was disbanded by Act, &c. in July last; now
the Question is, whether you intend those that were added since then. Were they taken in when the King said
they should disband? I would know the use of these men,
whether all these men have been taken in since the Act
for disbanding? Let them be recruited as much as they
will, and they will bring it to you to pay. I would know
to what day you will pay them? And then, whether you
will pay their arrears to those taken into service since the
Mr Vaughan.] The last Parliament was sufficiently
sensible of the danger of the French, &c. and made Addresses to the King for War, &c. and all were rejected, and
the Parliament prorogued; and with the same scandal next
Session the French had got almost all Flanders, and then we
raised an Army too easily, which now stands a terror to
all our properties. Then we gave Money to disband them,
and now the Army stands still. Let that objection be answered of the Act for disbanding, and what security we
shall have, if we give our Money for the future, &c. It is
said, "that now those counsels are rejected;" but you have
a Precedent upon you, that a Law has done no good to
disband them. But it is said, "we must not provoke those
Gentlemen, &c." but you must declare, that there was a
Law made for disbanding the Army to justify yourselves.
Mr Paul Foley
(fn. 1) .] If you refer it to a Committee, it is
not fit for us to vote who are paid, or who not paid, but
let the Committee enquire into it.
Sir Thomas Lee.] I would not rise so barely, without
putting some mark upon this Army. If you do, you
will never want an Army, for occasion to give Money.
In the case of the Petition of Right, when the Nation
was under great oppression, one complaint was, of quartering soldiers upon inhabitants of this Kingdom, and
compelling them to sojourn, though they paid for their
own provision. I really believe, that scarce an Officer
or soldier, that were not Members of Parliament, but
were possessed with an opinion, that they had absolute right to be at Inns and Ale-houses, and to pay
what they pleased for their quarters, and that the inhabitants were bound to find them fire and lodging, &c. This
arose from the misfortune of those times in which Cromwell governed by an Army; then they did it, and this
Army thinks so too; here they are, and there is an Act to
disband them, and they are not disbanded. I think the
Petition of Right is invaded, and I think the least you
can say, is to put some censure upon it, as you did formerly, &c. that the keeping up a standing force is a
Grievance to the Nation, and to pray the King, that
hereafter it may not be. Where an Army is a number
of men, by what name or title scever you distinguish
them, and the Law cannot govern them, it is necessary
you take some general resolution, that the continuance of
these Land forces is a Grievance to the Nation.
Sir Francis Winnington.] Take care of this now, and
nobody will dare to advise such counsels for the future.
But out of commiseration to the soldiers, I hope you will
find some way to pay them; they are not so much offenders, as they who advised the King to continue them after
an Act was made to disband them. Ignorance begets
commiseration, from the severity of the Law. After an
Act passed for disbanding, &c. it was a dangerous thing to
keep them up, without new Commissions. As for billeting of them, since the Petition of Right, 1642, the late
King declared that none of his subjects should have soldiers imposed upon them by quartering of soldiers, but upon
reasonable prices, and the Inn-keeper is bound to receive
them, but not to sojourn with them, half a year together.
They are to be in hospitio only, not to dwell with them,
whether they will or no. Now whether, will you refer it
generally to the Committee, or give instructions? I think
it better to give instructions. And, though not with reflections upon the Army, yet to consider, that after an Act
of Parliament they filled up their companies, and did it
voluntarily. You should be a little stiff in that point. I
am for an indemnity, for many of that Army were troubled in their minds about it. Therefore I move you to
give your Committee instructions, to divide such newraised from the first raised. The Army being to be twice
paid, let us be as good husbands for the people as we
can. I would have a distinct account of the first, and the
new-raised, and put a mark of distinction upon them that
durst presume to list themselves after the Act, &c.
Mr Papillon.] In the last Parliament we found but
four dead, of all that were sent into Flanders, in the
Muster-master's rolls, and to the common soldiers there
was no more due, than to their landlords.
Sir John Talbot.] As to the men taken in since the
Act, &c. I thought that to be a great fault. To put in
new recruits, I thought that not reasonable. The Act
said, "they were to be disbanded by the first of July," and
instead of that, ordered August—And till the latter end
of September my men lay by the water-side to be transported for Flanders, and should I not keep my troops
full, I could not have answered for part of a troop; not
with design to cheat—Would you have the man lose it,
or the Officer pay it?—It is impossible to have an Army
without some complaint, especially when there is no martial Law. (At which many laughed.)
Sir William Coventry.] I think you are about a good
work in disbanding this Army, a thing long wished for,
and has been long obtaining. When the Nation had no
use of this Army, nor saw any, every man was for disbanding and paying them off. I think the Law has been broken
by keeping them up, but I would not give an alarm to
those who have arms in their hands. Be rid of them first.
Here is a Law broken indeed, but not by the soldiers,
nor the Officers; they act according to directions given
them by the King, and there are Laws for hanging those
who desert their Colours. I know not how they could get
away, and seeing they had no directions, I think neither
the soldiers nor the Officers to blame. Many have been
utterly undone by them, and both Officers and soldiers
bewail it. Now before you consider of the uttermost of
what the pay will come to, the sense of the last Parliament was, that they should be paid in their quarters; but
that they be discharged in the first place—And that was
a prudent way. The soldiers could not help their being
together; the blame must be in some other place; therefore I move as before.
Mr Sacheverell.] I see the sense of the House is, that
the Army should be paid off, and therefore I shall not
speak against it. You were told, the last Session, "that
so long as the House would pay for the continuance of a
grievance, they will never want one." But I cannot but
observe, that a House of Commons is now got in fear of
an Army, whenever that comes to pass—And now you
are afraid of telling them it is illegal that they were kept
together. The last Parliament were not afraid to say so;
and shall this brave and noble Parliament? When the
Blackheath Army was raised, the use of that was showed
you here, and shall not this come under the same circumstances with that? That Army was not raised by Act of
Parliament, but raised for the astistance of the French.
Even at that very time, that Parliament saw the Articles
of War, how that Army should be governed, and sworn
even to what else should be. It was then said in defence,
"that those Articles were applicable to the forces only
which were to go beyond sea;" but they were for the
guards here. One Article was, "they should burn no
stacks of corn or hay without command from their Officers." Another, "Whosoever should violate safe conduct, the Officer should be subject to a Court-Martial to
answer it." That tender House of Commons voted the
continuance of that Army illegal, &c. and if you dare
not say now, "that it is illegal, and a Grievance, to
keep up any forces, but such as are established by Law,"
farewell all your rights!
Mr Garroway.] Pass such a Declaration, and with the
Money do what you will.
Resolved, That the continuing of any standing forces in this
Nation, other than the Militia, is illegal, and a great grievance
and vexation to the people.
[April 2. omitted.]
Thursday, April 3.
[Mr Sackvillc, upon his Petition, was discharged from his imprisonment in the Tower.]
Sir Henry Capel informed the House, That the Committee of
Secrecy have been informed of a person, who keeps correspondence with the Lords in the Tower; the Committee thought it
their duty not to name the person, till he be secured. I suppose
it is in the power of the House, if the name of the person be given
privately, to secure him by their Order, and then we shall name
Mr Hampden.] If any such person be in the Speaker's
Chamber, you may seize him, without a written Order,
by the Serjeant.
Mr Sacheverell.] I am one of the Committee, and perhaps you may have another occasion for such an Order,
and as for that Gentleman you are moved about, you
may have him. The Serjeant is gone up to secure the
passage; you may make the Warrant, and secure him immediately.
The Order was written, and signed by the Speaker.
It was moved by several, "That some of the Committee of
Secrecy might go up and examine him, it not being for the service of the House to have him examined at the Bar."
(fn. 2) reports, [from the Committee of Secrecy,] the Articles against the five Lords in the Tower. That the Committee
of Secrecy had sat daily, and had made some progress in your com
mands. There has been no more deliberation used, than what is
for your service—And so reads the Articles of Impeachment—For
which see the Report.
A Gentleman interrupted the Report, by taking exceptions
that Notes were taken of the Report.
Mr Mildmay.] I would not have it that Protestants
should be discouraged, nor Papists encouraged. Gentlemen will make a modest use of what they write.
Sir Francis Russel.] It is the right of every Commoner
of England to have your Votes communicated to him, and
it were better if your Proceedings were printed.
Mr Garroway.] The Motion is, "That there may be
no writing, &c." It may be, a man has not strength of
memory to recollect the Report; but for shortening the
matter, till the resolution of the House be known in it,
I know not what to say. If what is read of the Report
be entered into your Books, and you deny a Member to
write, it will be strange. If so, then it must not be read at
Mr Treby went on with the Report.
Sir Nicholas Carew moved, That Sir George Wakeman
(fn. 3) might
be added to the Impeachment.
Mr Garroway.] I would not prescribe the Committee
whom they should accuse, nor put names into a list,
before they know of matter against persons, and have it
before them to accuse. Here is matter before you now,
and will you not consult those Gentlemen, whether they
are ready with their Evidence, or will require farther
time? If you send it up to the Lords now ingrossed, it
may be the Lords in the Tower will call for tryal, and
you not be ready.
Serjeant Ellis.] The Committee did not think of Wakeman. He may be added to the Impeachment, if you please,
but he comes in, in the words, "Divers others, &c."
We have some Witnesses to send for, but we know not
how they will come secure—But we shall from day to day
go on; and you may cause the Impeachment to be in
grossed, and the Committee will take all care to prepare
the Evidence, and that it be ready; of which a great deal
is ready; but if others are to come a hundred miles off,
take your own way. I have no Order from the Committee
to say this; but I thought fit to tell you what they have
Mr Hampden.] After the Articles are carried up to the
Lord, the persons impeached must have time given them
to answer. You may cause them to be ingrossed against
Monday; and, I must say, it is as strongly framed as ever
I saw. In the mean time, let the world have the satisfaction to see what we have done.
Mr Boscawen.] Those persons you impeach, do bring
in other persons they have combined with (simul cum.) I
would not have you order the Articles to be ingrossed,
till you hear from your Committee, who are withdrawn
above, and are examining Mr Redding.
Sir Robert Howard.] One word in the Impeachment
seems to call for Wakeman's name, and that is the word
Mr Treby.] If the House does command me to inform
them of any transactions of the Committee, then I am
discharged of secrecy. Persons named in the Impeachment are not there, for names sake; but for that, several
kinds of men, of all professions, Cardinals not excepted,
had a hand in the Plot. There is but one competent
number of men named for general appearance, what they
are. As for Wakeman, you may put him in if you please.
Sir Thomas Player.] You were told that but one Cardinal (fn. 4) was engaged in the Plot, but this is another; Ireland; [treated at Rome, by way of his Eminence, and
treated upon the knee; and may all Cardinals engaged in
this Plot come to that end he did! This I say for your diversion only.
Serjeant Ellis.] I believe he was forgotten at the Committee, for a hundred were rejected.
Mr Treby.] There is Evidence sufficient to make him
specially impeached like the rest, but he happens to be rejected amongst many others, though there is sufficient
Evidence against him.
Sir George Wakeman was added to the Impeachment.
Friday, April 4.
The Bill of Popery from the Lords, [was read the second time.]
Sir Thomas Meres.] I am afraid that this good spirit
of the Lords against Popery should recur, if you reject
this Bill. It is objected, "That this Bill will hinder former Laws against Popery," but it does not; it is only,
"For more speedy conviction of Recusants." We have
new heavens now and new earth. We are not upon the
same principles as in the last Parliament, when our hands
were slippery. Here are better hands now. Popery for
ten years together was a trade; it cost us at once 600,000l.
It was said by a witty Gentleman, (Waller) the last Parliament, "That Popery was the King's meadow. We must
not plough it up, but we may cut the grass from time to
time." This Plot has changed that principle. This Parliament will have good Bills.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] I hope the Lords and we may
lay our hands together for this great work. But this
Bill of the Lords, &c. is only for subscribing a Test, &c.
which any libertine Papist will take, and a conscientious
Papist will scruple to take an Oath upon the Holy
Evangelists. In my time, I remember that the former
King sent not an Ambassador abroad, without a Chaplain. Nay, in most places, the very Consuls of Trade
had Chaplains. And now Ambassadors have none to
give the Sacrament, to the great dishonour of our Religion. Dissenters of late have been convicted as Papists,
by that Statute only for Papists, and so very few Papists
have been convicted.
[The Bill was ordered to be committed.]
Sir Thomas Lee.] I must inform the House, that the
Committee of Secrecy desire that Mr Brent may be sent
for, who belonged formerly to the Treasurer's Office.
[It was ordered accordingly.]
The Speaker.] I must inform the House, that the
other day, when you caused the doors of the House to
be shut, &c. a servant of mine saw a letter thrown out
of the window, into the Lobby, by a Member of the
House, and the letter was taken up and carried away.
Mr Powney.] My wife being with child, and in expectation of my coming home to dinner, I wrote her a note
by my footman, that I could not come.
Complaint was made, "That Mr Oates's examinations were
Mr Secretary Coventry.] This matter, which you caused
to be kept secret, may as well have escaped from the
Lords, as from hence. But I would have the Committee to examine how the Printer came by it.
Mr Hampden.] The Printer has printed several examinations taken before the High Court of Parliament, and
the Lords may take it from you, to apply the offence to
yourselves. The Printer is in the hands of Justice, and
that changes the case.
The thing went off.
The former Debate resumed. Mr Secretary Coventry contradicted the allegation "about Chaplains, &c." and named several
Embassies that had Chaplains.
Mr Sacheverell.] I must acquaint you that the secret
Committee are defective in some things. They have
had papers from the Lords, but they are informed of a
very considerable and material Letter of Lord Stafford's.
One they have, but not that which the Committee has
proof of. One of these Mr Justice Lane sent out of the
Sir Robert Southwell.] I was in waiting, when Justice
Lane and Congreve sent up Letters, which were found at
Lord Aston's, and I aver, that I never saw any of Lord
Stafford's in those packets, but a short one of the 8th of
October, and I know of no more.
Mr Sacheverell.] I did hear of such a Letter, and I
acquainted Southwell with it, and he helped us to a copy
of it. Since that time, I have written down to Justice
Lane, and I have an account of another Letter of Lord
Stafford's, which Lane has a receipt for, and will prove it.
Mr Garroway.] The Gentlemen will aver that this is
not the Letter they received. It is of great concernment,
and it will be made good, &c.
Mr Sacheverell.] If any of the Committee will say,
there were two Letters of Lord Stafford's, then one is
wanting. I would have it enquired into.
Sir William Coventry.] I offer it, that you will lay
your commands on the Gentlemen of the secret Committee, that they may attend the Council, and go from place
to place, to trace this Letter out.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] I remember but one Letter
of Lord Stafford's. I could not forget it, if there were
any extraordinary passages in it.
Sir Eliab Harvey.] I believe some Letter was slipped in,
and another slipped out. You may easily trace it from
hand to hand.
Mr Sacheverell.] Now I think it time to speak plain.
I would know whether some Gentlemen have not heard the
same from Justice Lane?
Mr Chetwynd.] I heard Mr Lane say, there was a Letter from Lord Stafford, that had this expression in it;
"We are all undone; the Plot is discovered."
Mr Swynfin.] Being in some discourse of this Letter in
the country, an understanding Gentleman told me,
"That in a Letter to Lord Aston from Lord Stafford
was this expression: "The Plot is discovered, all is
done, and I am going to give notice that persons may have
a care of themselves." I believe that Justice Lane and
Congreve will concur in this importance of the Letter. I
have heard in some of the news-letters, that those very
words were in it.
Ordered, That Sir Robert Southwell do enquire and search
whether such a Letter was delivered to the Lords, or can be
found, and report it, &c.
Debate on the Lords Bill of Popery resumed.
Sir William Coventry.] One end of this Bill is detection of Papists. The next is their conviction. The Bill
has a very good title, a good name, and a good aim. I
would give no grounds to the Lords to say we slight
what comes from them, conducible to the same end we
aim at. It is objected, "that this Bill is in favour of the
Papists." It is true, it is to some particular men, (as Mr
Huddleston, and those who were instrumental in preserving
the King after Worcester fight,) the same as in another Act,
&c. Their number and quality not being a prejudice to
the Peace, I would not have it thought, that those men,
who had the good fortune to preserve the King's person,
should have less estimation in this, than in the last
House of Commons. I would not have it thought, that
we are so set, and so keen upon Papists, as not to think it
possible that some should do such service—Possibly they
abhor none of their designs so far as to discover them;
but if the discovery be ever so advantageous, and we shall
not dispense with these persons, for ought I know, it is as
much as to stop their mouths from any farther discoveries
of the Plot—New severities—though they discover,
they are ruined here, and ruined beyond sea—I would not
have that discouragement put upon them.
Mr Powle.] Whilst we are driving all the Papists into
a net, let us take heed they do not all get out. As the Bill
is penned, a single Justice may convict a Papist, and a
single Justice may discharge him; this is one thing of
great moment. The way to suppress Popery is to let it
stand as single as you can, and not bring in others. Protestant Dissenters are not liable to the Law of Recusancy,
to catch them only. The connivance of Papists has come
from mingling; and Papists have been spared, and they
punished. I move, therefore, that they may have a separate Conviction, as the best way to suppress Popery.
Sir George Downing.] It has lain long upon my spirits:
Since the King's marriage, one part of Whitehall has gone
one way in religion, and another, another. I remember,
when it was proposed in the last Parliament for the King
to marry a Protestant, it was rhetorically answered, "Can
it be believed that the Defender of the Faith will marry
one that is an Enemy to the Faith?" In the late Act of
Parliament for the Test, &c. there was an exemption for
nine of the Queen's servants, &c. and now it is justified by
Act of Parliament. It will never be well, till you settle
the minds of the People by a Clause, "that no Treaty of
Marriage shall be for the future with a Papist," and so
you will give no countenance to Priests to be at
Mr Garroway.] (jeeringly) Since this has lain so long
upon that Gentleman's spirits, as he says, I desire he
may be ordered to bring in what he has moved, by a
Mr Bennet.] The last Bill for giving the Test, &c. to
the Lords and Commons, &c. was spoiled by the Clause to
exempt the Duke of York from it, &c. But it is very well
that the Duke is gone; and I hope he will keep himself
out of England.
Mr Vaughan.] I would have such a Clause to the Bill
as Downing moves for. When Popery is in the King's
bed, that makes us have such strugglings against Popery.
Sir Thomas Lee.] Since Religion had like to have been
given away in Articles of Marriage, I would prevent it
for the future.
The Lords, at a Conference, delivered back to the House the
Bill of Attainder of the Earl of Danby, &c. with some Amendments, for which see the Journal, together with the Commons reasons, why they could not agree to some of the said Amendments.
Colonel Titus.] This Earl of Danby is like a malevolent
Comet, that does its mischief after it disappears. Therefore I would humbly address, for a Proclamation to
seize him, for I hear he is about Whitehall.
Resolved, That an humble Address be made to his Majesty,
to desire his Majesty to issue out his Royal Proclamation for the
apprehending of Thomas Earl of Danby, &c.
Saturday, April 5.
Occasionally on Windsor Election.
Sir William Coventry.] When once judgments are passed,
they must be obeyed; but we must make a difference between a judgment of Westminster-Hall, and a judgment
of the House of Commons. If our judgments must be
always Precedents, they must be the Laws of Medes and
Persians, not to be altered.
Mr Powle.] A Recovery of Land, obtained by Writ
of Right, is final, and can never be brought to a review
and rehearing. Trespass and Ejectment may be brought
about by another Trespass and Ejectment. This Court
judges ex æquo et bono, and is not tied to forms, but
substance of the thing.
Mr Sacheverell reports, from the Committee of Secrecy, Mr Reading's (fn. 5) examination, together with Bedlow's and Dugdale's Evidence.
Sir Henry Capel.] You have had an exact account of
the matter from the Reporter, &c. It is now before you,
what resolution you will take. There was great care and
gentleness used to Reading, and the Committee gave
him fair opportunities to declare the whole matter, and
all reasonable arguments were used to prevail upon him.
They confronted him with the Witnesses. It is under your
consideration not to let the matter rest: A Conspiracy
against the King, and another grafted upon that, to destroy the King's Evidence. The Committee offer you no
opinion what to do, but believe that you, in your wisdom,
will take some speedy consideration of it. I humbly move,
that, there being so good Witnesses against Reading, he
ought to be brought to Tryal speedily, and that all justice
may be done to him, that the Nation may not be under
this terror any longer; and that you will address the
King for a Commission to try him forthwith; and I hope
he will have judgment before the Lords Tryal.
Sir Francis Winnington.] I stand up to second that Motion. Since the House rose, I sent for a person, one
Dr Salmon, who says, "That Reading, lying at his house
for a month after Christmas, came late home at night
from the Lords in the Tower, and would frequently say,
he thought them innocent persons;" but there happening
a difference betwixt the Doctor and him, he heard no
more of it. This being a matter of so general a Conspiracy, and Reading endeavouring to subvert the King's
Evidence, I desire he may be brought to justice, especially since he has written a Letter to the Speaker, "That
he has matters of importance to acquaint the House
with," and will say nothing of it to the Committee of
Secrecy. I desire that his Majesty may be moved for a
Commission of Oyer and Terminer to try him.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] I expected from the Long Robe,
that they would tell us, what this fact of Reading's is in
Law. I believe it is Treason in Lord Danby's case, trinketing with Bedlow. In assisting and abetting Treason, all
are principals—By this means all your Proceedings are
blasted, and they will go off. There is Treason against
the Kingdom, as well as against the King, as I have heard
some Lawyers say.
Sir Thomas Lee.] Clarges is mistaken. The Committee
have made no proposition. What is moved, is only a
private Motion from Capel. If it be thought fit, that a
Commission of Oyer and Terminer issue out to try Reading,
then it must be by prosecution of the Attorney General,
according to the nature of the Evidence. He said, "he
could come out of the Tower at eight, ten, or twelve
o'clock at night, and none of the guards dare stop
him." And he said, "Sir John Robinson knows me, as
well as I know myself." I doubt not but Robinson
knows why he had this liberty, or will call his Officers
to account for it. Reading's discourses are all towards
truth, and he said, "he would not have been the Counsel
for the Lords, but that their innocence might come out."
And I hope that, upon Tryal, Reading's will come out too.
Mr Powle.] I offer to your consideration, whether this
Address, &c. is not too early. Reading is at present in
no other legal commitment than to your Serjeant, for
your Privileges only. And for you to desire a Commission, &c. to try one not legally committed—I offer to you,
therefore, whether some of the Justices of Peace of the
House may not commit him to a legal prison. And then
make your Address to the King.
Mr Garroway.] Looking into the nicety of the matter,
I think you may yet detain this Prisoner. I am afraid that
all this trinketing of Reading is to get out of your custody.
He has (it seems) friends in the Tower, and out of the
Tower; but, till you can think a little farther of it, I would
not have you part with him out of your hands. His great
design is to advise the Lords, &c. and convey it to them
when he is out of your hands. He cannot do it in your
Sir Thomas Lee.] It occurs to me, that the Evidence Mr
Dugdale gave against Lord Stafford, Reading showed to him.
Sir William Pulteney.] It matters not, whether Reading
be committed, or not, by a Justice of the Peace. The
Commission of Oyer and Terminer may be issued out, and
direction may be given to the Attorney General to prosecute him, whether presently, or till the Lords be tryed;
as he has broken Privilege of Parliament. He is in your
custody, and the Serjeant may take care there be no tampering with him.
Mr Vaughan.] Commitment is no punishment, but
security in order to future Tryal. If he was at large,
the Commission, &c. may go out—The legal custody he
is in may secure him, till the Commission be issued out.
Sir Francis Winnington.] As to the having him remain in your custody, if you will proceed by way of Impeachment, then it is proper to be in your hands. Let
him be where he will, if he be safe kept, we have undeniable Witness to prove the fact upon him. It does
not depend upon his examination, but we have Witnesses.
Let it be Treason, or Misdemeanor, the Attorney General is so worthy, as not to bate him one tittle. Whether
it be one way of Tryal, or another, it is for the service
both of King and Kingdom to have it expeditious. Therefore I move, to have you address the King for a Commission of Oyer and Terminer, &c.
Resolved, That an humble Address be made to his Majesty, to
desire his Majesty to give Order, that a special Commission of
Oyer and Terminer may be forth with issued out, for the trying
of Mr Nathaniel Reading.