Historical Collections of Private Passages of State: Volume 2, 1629-38. Originally published by D Browne, London, 1721.
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Sir John Banks Knight, His Majesties Attorney-General, Plaintiff, the Right Reverend Father in God John Lord Bishop of Lincoln, Walter Walker, Tho. Lund, Cadwalader Powel, Richard Williams, William Catlin Clerk, Ed. Lake, Jo. Mosteyn, and George Walker, Defendants.
Prigeon's Credit coming in question, being a material Witness for the Bishop, the King's Attorney-General let fall the first Bill, fearing a defect of Testimony, and preferred a second Bill against the Bishop for Tampering with the Kings Witnesses, and upon that account the Cause came on the 11th of July, which held nine days debate in Hearing; and great was the Concourse of People every day to the Court of Star-Chamber to hear this great Cause, the Bishop being at that time much pityed by the People, who then cast out Speeches that that Bishop was prosecuted because the State wanted Money to go to war against the Scots, and that it was fit he should bleed in his Purse by the Censure of the Court of Star-Chamber to pay a round Fine to the King of 10 or 12000l.
This being a remarkable Cause, we will trespass upon the Readers Patience to cast his Eye upon Mr. Attorney-Generals Reply, and several of the Speeches made that day in Court at the passing of the Censure, for the brief of that Bill and Answer is mislaid, which we had once more at large.
The Information doth charge the said Bishop with a Practice unduly to gain the sight and perusal of certain Examinations taken by the Lords of His Majesties Privy-Council, and commanded by them to be kept secret from the view of all Men, to the end unlawfully and corruptly to procure Witnesses, directions and instructions for Witnesses to make Proofs to contradict and weaken the said Examinations: And for practising and corruptly tampering with Witnesses to retract their former Testimonies, and to vary from the same upon their second Examination: And for tampering with and solliciting other Witnesses, produced, and to be examined for His Majesty, not to depose against the said Lord Bishop, but to conceal their knowledge, and say they did not remember; and for Perjury in an Affidavit made by the Defendant Catlin in this Court, and subornation thereof. And for other offences, as by the said Complainants Information more at large it doth and may appear.
Upon full and deliberate Hearing whereof it plainly and evidently appeared to this Honourable Court, that there being another Cause formerly depending in this Court, between His Majesties Attorney-General Plaintiff, and the said Lord Bishop of Lincoln Defendant, for publishing false News and Tales, to the scandal of His Majesties Government, and for revealing of Counsels of State contrary to His Oath of a Privy-Councellor; one John Prigeon Gent. was in that Cause examined as a Witness for the Defendant, and by an Order made in Hillary-Term 10 Car. Regis, liberty was given to the Plaintiff to examine the Credit of the said Prigeon upon certain exceptions, which were delivered into this Court: And liberty given to the Defendant also to examine Witnesses to uphold and maintain his Credit; in one of which Exceptions was (amongst other things) contained, That the said Prigeon being by one Elizabeth Hodgson, upon her Oath, accused to have begotten a Bastard-Child on her Body: And being by the two next Justices of the Peace adjudged the reputed Father; and appealing from them to the next Quarter-Sessions held in the ninth Year of His Majesties Reign; to mislead the Court of Quarter-Sessions, and to free himself from that accusation, did at several times, and by several Persons and means, after he was so accused, labour to corrupt the said Elizabeth Hodgson, and for Money to procure her to lay the said Bastard-Child on some other Father, and to swear that some other, and not the said Prigeon, had begotten the said Bastard; and that he did labour, some Witnesses that could have testified against him, touching the said Bastard at the said Quarter-Sessions, to suppress their Testimonies, and drew or endeavoured to draw others to equivocate upon their Oaths, when they did appear.
Mr. Gardiner, Recorder of London, made a long and witty defence for the Bishop for several days together, much of which is repeated by some of the Lords in their Speeches, which (for brevity sake) we omit; referring the Reader to the Decretal Order of the Court, which the Register hath exactly drawn up, and which is mentioned at large in the Appendix; and also to those Repetitions which some of the Lords do make of the Defence.
As to the first Bill depending against the Bishop of Loncoln in the Court of Star-Chamber, it was occasioned by the Examinations taken by some of the Privy-Council, of Sir John Lamb, and Dr. Sibthorp, who (amongst divers other things) testified against the Bishop of Lincoln, that the said Bishop did give them great discouragement in their Proceedings in the Ecclesiastical Courts against the Puritans; and that the Bishop asked Sir John Lamb, what kind of People those Puritans were of whom he complained, and whether they did pay the Loan-Money? to which Sir John replyed, They did conform upon that account, and paid their Money; but nevertheless they were Puritans, not conformable to the Church: to which the Bishop replyed, If they pay their Monies so readily to the King, the Puritans are the Kings best Subjects, and I am sure, (said the Bishop) the Puritans will carry all at last. These Examinations were Sealed up, and Mr. Trumbel, Clerk of the Council, was required to keep them secret, and permit none to see them; but a discovery thereof was made to the Bishop, which, amongst other Matters of State, was the occasion of the first Bill in this Court against the Bishop, as the Information did set forth.
May it please your Lordships,
Your Lordships have heard a Defence made by the Defendants Councel, that consists more of observation than of Proof, and in examination of his Defence, I shall make it appear plainly, that they very much fail in their own Observations. In their Observations they have been curious in distinction of Times, Place, and other Circumstances, to descant upon the Particulars of Witnesses, and Men that were no Parties to the Suit; but for the main substantial Parts of the Defence they have omitted. I shall desire to observe to your Lordsh ps. that with a great scandal on His Majesties Proceedings in this Court) they have told you Stories and Tales that should be ground of this Suit, viz. That it was through malice and hatred between Sir John Mounson, Mr. Amcocks, and Prigeon; whereas it shall appear unto your Lordships, that the Suit was upon most just Grounds, for the vindicating of publick Justice, and that Sir John Mounson hath done nothing in this Cause, but according to the Duty of his Place, and clearing his own Reputation. It will be necessary, since these things have been stirred, not for your Lordships Information (who know it well) but for the satisfaction of the World, to clear and justifie His Majesties Proceedings, that I give you some Information of the true Ground of this Suit, and of the necessity of it.
Michaelmas 4 Car. an Information was exhibited against my Lord Bishop by my Predecessor, and that was for the contriving and publishing divers false Tales and News, to the scandal of His Majesties Government, and for revealing some things contrary to the Duty of his Place, and Oath, as a Privy-Councellor. This Cause came to Issue, and in the examination of Witnesses, another Issue happened, a collateral matter by it self touching the Credit of Prigeon : Upon examination of this it fell out, (which we could not discover before Publication in the first Cause) that there had been such tampering, seducing, and labouring of the Kings Witnesses, as never was in any Cause: There hath been such Preparations, such Instructions, such Limitations to his own Witnesses, to direct them how far they should swear, to what to give answer, and to what not. My Lords, these Proceedings (if they might be suffered) tend totally to the subversion of all Justice: For the Proceedings in this Court, as in all other Courts, is by examination of Witnesses returned in Parchment, not viva voce; therefore if any be instructed what to swear to, and it so returned in Writing, whether through threats, or for fear, or favour, or affection, it is impossible you should give a just Sentence, though you intend it never so clear. My Lords, this appearing after Publication in the first Cause, it was time (for Example sake) to bring this Cause and these Misdemeanours to a publick Sentence, to be a terror to all others for the like. So as (my Lords) this Cause is not grounded upon the fabulous Story between Sir Jo. Mounson, Mr. Amcocks, and Prigeon, but upon these just Grounds and Proceedings; and herein we have great cause to bless God, and magnifie His Majesties Justice, that we live not under a Cobweb-Law, that taketh small Flies, and lets great ones pass. This Presence doth tell us, that Honourable Persons who do deserve well have His Majesties Favour, and their own Merits do receive a double Honour; and this person (how great soever) if he deserve ill, he must receive a Sentence according to his just demerit.
My Lords, I shall come now to the particular Charges, and therein I shall begin with the first Charge, which is concerning the tampering with the four Witnesses, who deposed about this Bastard-Child; wherein the state of the Question standeth thus.
In February 10 Car. there was an Order for the examination of Prigeon's Credit: Among other things there fell out a Question concerning a Bastard-Child, whether John Prigeon was the reputed Father yea or no? There was for the Proof of the Fact produced before the Justices Dr. Topham and Dr. Farmery; and before the Justices at publick Sessions several Witnesses, four of them, Lunn, Wetherel, Anne Smith, and Tub, deposed directly, that this Prigeon was the Father of this Child; some by confession from him, some by confession from her self being the Mother of the Child, who were present at the time of her delivery.
These Examinations thus taken, for the truth of it that he was the Father of the Bastard-Child, the Justices did certifie it in publick Sessions accordingly. But now my Lord of Lincoln conceiveth with himself, that he cannot support the Credit of Prigeon (which concerned him so much) unless he could get these four Witnesses to vary from their former Testimony, and by his Agents hath laboured as you have heard. To this they have seemed to make some Answer: 1. The Order made 2 Maij 9 Car. and that was before Sir John Bowles, Serjeant Callis, and others; and that Order was to acquit Prigeon of the Bastard-Child, and to lay it upon one Booth. To that I shall give a clear Answer: First of all, Dr. Topham and Farmery that were the Men that took the Examinations concerning this Bastard-Child, were not present at the making of this Order. Secondly, The Witnesses, those four of them that should give the Testimony for the Proof, no one of them were present; and it is proved that Wetherel was hired to be absent: And in the last place, this Order 2 Maij was contraried by the Order 3 Octob. when all the other Justices save Sir John Bowles were present at the Sessions. And for the Order that was confirmed by the Court of Kings-Bench, it was upon the Regality of the Order, but not in respect of the Fact. And (my Lords) there is another Ground of it; for at that time Prigeon had submitted to keep the Bastard-Child, and given Bond to discharge the Parish, and maintain the Child. This was proved by two Witnesses: But the offence is not concerning this Bastard-Child; for suppose a Man had a Bastard-Child, will that make his Testimony wholly void? The Charge is, that after such time, as this was fully deposed by four Witnesses, there must be a labouring with them, and giving of Money to make a Retractation. 1. For Wetherel's Retractation, your Lordships have heard he was examined at the Sessions 1 Octob. that he did confess there John Prigeon intreated him not to appear at the Sessions, and that he should answer to no more Questions than the Court asked him; this was his deposition at the Sessions. Being examined in the second Cause, there he doth mince his Deposition, 160. Int. he saith 'Prigeon did not draw him by Bribes or Rewards to equivocate, &c. And that it was for Bribes and Rewards it appeareth by George Walker's Examination; for he sweareth, that this Money was to be paid to a Butcher by 6d. in a Joynt; so it was not given as a Bribe, but by 6d. in a Joynt of Meat. George Walker sweareth, that Owen and Powel shewed Wetherel a Dictionary, and shewed him the meaning of the words Equivocation and Subornation, and this Discourse was related to Elizabeth Smith. To which the Recorder replyed, Mr. Attorney mistakes himself; I will not (faith the Attorney) touch upon any thing in my Reply that will not plainly appear in the Books.
To take off this Charge concerning Wetherel, they have read Wetherel's Deposition, (against whom all this Proof is) to the 2, 3, 4, and 5 Int. to which Interrogatories his Deposition is a plain Negative pregnant, made upon a leading Int. thus: Whether did 'Powel at the time and place aforesaid request you to write your Name to any Note at all? (to shew that it is leading) Witherel answereth Int. 5. That the said Powel did not in January aforesaid, at the place aforesaid, request him to write his Answer to any Note, or to any Note to such effect; so he sweareth he did not at that time and place shew such a Note. The Deposition of Walker, is, That by the direction of Owen and Powel he tendered the Note, as by the direction of the Lord Bishop. Another thing upon the examination of Wetherel, he was not examined till the 16th of May 13. and at that time he had Copies of Walker's Examinations, and so prepared himself.
They had next George Walker, a Defendant, who hath confessed against himself sufficient matter, for which I hope your Lordships will Sentence him. It is proved he was employed to tamper with Alice Smith, and he must be the Man to give an account to my Lord Bishop of the Proceedings. They say it was a lawful and justifiable thing to ask a Witness a Question, and that Wetherel was but ask'd the Question, and nothing more: My Lords, here is more than asking the Question, it appeareth in the Proof that there was a Note delivered by 'Powel to Walker to subscribe, there was shewing to Wetherel a Dictionary to expound the words Equivocation and Subornation; so it was not an asking for bare information, but a tendring of Notes to avoid equivocation in the Cause.
In the next place they have insisted upon the Deposition of Lunu and Alice Smith; wherein they say, that what they have said was but an Explanation of what they had formerly sworn, and no retraction, and that it was lawful for a Witness to explain himself; but it will appeat to be a plain Retractation. 1. Alice Smith did depose formerly, that Prigeon sent for her, desiring her to see if she could get the Woman lay the Child upon any other. That was her Deposition at the Sessions. But in the second Cause she sweareth it was to get her to lay the Child upon any other that she reputed to be the Father of it, and not upon himself. And so for Anne Tub her Deposition at the Sessions, that Prigeon had offered her 205. to get her lay the Child upon any other but upon him; but her Deposition in the second Cause to lay the Child upon some that were the true Father: so here is a Deposition that a Bribe should be given to lay the Child upon any other but upon Prigeon, and now to depose to lay the Child upon the true Father, is a crossing of the former Deposition, and far from an Explanation.
They have taken some Exceptions to George Walker, to shew how improbable a thing it was, that he should be a fit person to negotiate in this business, and they told your Lordships some Reasons, George Walker and Prigeon were not kind, and therefore unlikely George Walker should be imployed for supporting the Credit of Prigeon. 1. In this Particular they have not read that there was any difference between them two. 2. George Walker might be very well made choice of to be employed, for he was a Proctor in my Lord Bishops Court. 3. Suppose there were differences between them two, this was an Imployment for the Bishop of Lincoln; for this was a Service for my Lord Bishop, who was much engaged to maintain the Credit of Prigeon, for it appears out of his own mouth by 3 Witnesses, that it had cost him 1200l. and 1000l. to maintain his Credit; for Prigeon at this time had taken the Child upon him, but the Service that was to be done was for the Bishop, and therefore George Walker a fit man for it. But they say here was only a Question asked of Alice Smith whether she had said so? here was no tampering with her to alter her Deposition: Look upon the Deposition of Alice Smith to Int. 29, 31. and there it will appear unto your Lordships, it was not a bare asking of a Question; did not he say it was to lay the Child upon any other that was the true Father? but the very question asked, they endeavoured to have proved in the second Cause. The question was, whether that Alice Smith could depose that Prigeon said unto her, get the Woman to lay the Child upon the true Father? George Walker brought word to the Bishop they could get nothing from her as yet.
E. Smith Int. 29. saith, Alice Smith did then and there seriously affirm, that Prigeon offered her 5l. to lay the Bastard-Child upon any other, and not upon him: and then this Deponent asked her, if she were not mistaken, for he meant it was to lay the Child upon any other that was the right Father; she answered again, no, she was not mistaken, the 5l. was to procure her to lay it upon any other, and not upon him; and said further, that the Woman had acknowledged Prigeon had twice the use of her Body against the Church-wall; that George Walker, in the presence of Powel and Owen, and others, related unto them the substance and effect of the whole Discourse with Alice Smith at Morton; and one of them desired to write his Letter to the Bishop to give him satisfaction, and told this Deponent it was desired by Owen and Powel to give his Lordship an account of their Journey; in which Letter was expressed, that they could gain nothing out of Alice Smith.
I shall proceed to the second Charge, my Lord Bishop of Lincolns scandal of the publick Justices of the Sessions, in saying the Order 3. Octob. was a Pocket-Order, made in an Inne or an Alehouse, and before any Witnesses were examined. Your Lordships may remember, that upon this Charge we made Proof, 1. That the matter of the Order was resolved by the whole Court. 2. That what Sir Jo. Mounson did was at the open Sessions, and at the desire of the other Justices. 3. That my Lord Bishop of Lincoln had notice of the due making of this Order, and was satisfied it was justly and duly made; yet when Sir John Mounson was gone into the Country, he questioned it, that it was not made legally, but was a Pocket-Order made in an Inne or an Ale-house; proved by three Witnesses.
That which hath been said against this Charge, That the Bishop had reason to question this Order 3. Octob. for J. S. told him Sir Jo. Mounson pulled it out of his Pocket upon the Bench; it appeareth by Dr. Farmery, William Parkinson, and Mr. Dallison, that my Lord Bishop was informed the Order was duly made, yet he doth publish it to be made in an Inne or an Ale-house.
Next place they say Parkinson was a single Witness; he was no single Witness, neither for the tampering, nor for the scandal: for it appears by William Amcocks, the Bishop would have had the Order 3. Octob. impeached; and that if he were examined, he should say nothing: Richardson said, that the Bishop would have had him accuse Sir Jo. Mounson for the undue making of the Order; so as I say for the scandal, and for the tampering in this kind, Parkinson was not a single Witness; nor in the affirming that the Bishop said it had cost him 1000l. to maintain the Credit of Prigeon, for Sir Thomas Mounson and Smith both swear the Bishop said it had cost him 1200l. and Parkinson speaketh of 1000l. and saith further, that the Bishop threatned to bring him into the Star-Chamber, because he would not comply with the Bishop; but they say against Parkinson he was prepared by an Affidavit. For that, I must remember unto your Lordships that this Affidavit was made by Parkinson upon occasion of the abuse offered by my Lord Bishop at the execution of the Commission; at which time the second Suit was not thought of, for it was doubted whether we should proceed upon the Affidavit according to many Presidents, or by way of Information, which was the Cause of this Information. They say this Report might be raised by Prigeon : besides, no time appears when this scandal was raised; they are mistaken in this, for it appeareth by Parkinson 43. Int. that the Bishop said 20. Martij 10 Car. it was a Pocket-Order, and made before Witnesses were examined: and then Richardson Int. 78. to the same purpose; and E. Smith Int. 78. that this scandalous Report was published in March 10. They say here was only a breach of a Promise; the Bishop only made a Promise to Sir Jo. Mounson, that his Order should not be examined after he was gone into the Country; and will your Lordships punish a Man for the breach of a Promise: The breach of the Promise was not the thing, as the betraying of the Truth in the Kings Cause, and it was the policy of the Bishop to send away Sir Jo. Mounson, and afterward draw it into question in his absence.
I do not remember any more they have said concerning this Charge. But now it appeareth upon this Charge, 1. That the Bishop hath published that this Order was made in an Inne or an Alehouse, before any Witnesses were examined, to the scandal of publick Justice. That is the first offence in this second Charge. 2. It is scandalous against his own knowledge, proved by three Witnesses. 3. His endeavour to suborn Parkinson, 1. To send for him before he was examined, and would have had him say the Order 3 Octob. was made in an Inne or an Ale-house. 2. To affirm to Parkinson, that some of the Justices had confessed as much, and did threaten him, that if he did not agree with the Justices, he should be questioned in the Star Chamber; and when he could not prevail with him, then he did direct him, if he were examined he should answer only to the bare Interr '; so in these Particulars my Lord Bishop is concerned in this Charge. Lunn, he is concerned in this also, for he was imployed to speak with Parkinson, and kept him from the Church, left he should meet with Kilvert who was an Informer: And Int. 5, he wished Parkinson to answer to no more than to the bare Int. and he should be well paid for his pains. So as I shall leave this second Charge, which doth reflect upon my Lord Bishop and Lunn. And whereas they have pretended, that Sir Jo. Mounson should be an Enemy to Prigeon, there was no Proof at all of that in the Books; for in truth he was the best means to release Prigeon, to get the Order in the King's Bench.
The third Charge is concerning the Affidavit of Catlin 11 Maij 11 Car. made a scandalous Affidavit, which was, that Parkinson told him, he came to swear against the Bishop, and that Sir Jo. Mounson had promised him 100l. for it, and he would swear home, and feather his Nest by swearing against my Lord Bishop. 1. Your Lordships have observed what manner of Person he was that made the Affidavit, he appeareth by the Sentence in the High Commission to be a common Swearer, a common Bail, &c. so infamous, as I shall not need to repeat the thing in the Sentence; and for any thing said to support his Credit, nothing will sway with your Lordship's Judgments.
In this the Defendant's Councel first make Objection against the Sentence, that this Sentence was after such time as he was examined; and though he be convicted of a scandal subsequent, that doth no way blemish his Testimony: 1. I say, by the Sentence it doth appear it was for offences done three or four years before his Deposition taken; so the Sentence was for matter of offence done before his Deposition, and the Sentence is but 'Declaratory of what he was then: But they have read five Ministers, that Catlin is a Man of good Credit, and one that preacheth well, and maketh a Conscience of an Oath. 1. These Witnesses are but such Witnesses as we produce upon our Law-wager, or for Compurgators; they swear only as in common Charity: every Man is bound to think another Man honest, unless they did know the contrary, and some of these Witnesses live a great way off, some 40 Miles. The main part of their defence hath been to discredit Parkinson, and that they have done two ways: 1. They say he was a disguised Person, and came in a Minister's Habit, and called himself by the name of Parson Watson, to entrap Catlin, and therefore a Witness not to be believed. 2. They do pretend that Parkinson's Deposition was taken to fortifie his Affidavit.
When Parkinson did see what an Affidavit Catlin made against him, he did say, that this Catlin did not know him; to that end and purpose, going with Mr. Culverwell a Gentleman of 400l. per Annum, went purposely into Catlin's company to see if he did know him. We shall prove unto your Lordships, that Parkinson did not come in any disguised Habit; true, he was in a black Suit, but in no Ministers habit, nor Coat upon it, but in a black Suit proper for a Justice of Peace's Clark: Your Lordships will rather believe that which is judicially sworn, than extrajudicially spoken. I shall desire to read two or three Witnesses to prove, that Parkinson did not come in any such disguised Habit; which being read, Mr. Attorney proceeded, saying, 1. I shall observe, that the two Witnesses, Booth and his Wife, swear he did not come in any Minister's Habit. 2. It appeareth for half an hour together Catlin did not know Parkinson, till Mr. Culverwell's laughing at Parson Watson's proffer to Preach at Catlin's Church next day.
In this third Charge I shall observe, how it trencheth upon these Defendants, (1.) You find Catlin guilty of Perjury in making of a false Affidavit against Parkinson; and that he hath been formerly indited of Perjury, your Lordships have heard by the Sentence in the High Commission. Walker and Mostein were present at the contriving of the Affidavit. It was all one to Catlin whether to swear against Sir Jo. Mounson, or Doctor Farmery.
My Lord Bishop of Lincoln (it should seem) did take this as a courtesie done unto him, for he did intend to give Catlin a Living of fourscore pounds per Annum, but that he was advised by Walker to stay this Living till this Cause was heard. My Lord Bishop writ his Letter unto Richardson on Catlin's behalf, that if any Indictment were at Sessions against Catlin for a Common Barrator, he should stay the same, and Powel his own Servant carried the Letter. Besides Witnesses swear Catlin did boast of his Favour from the Bishop: he brought Gold home with him, besides three pound given him to bear his Charges.
I shall now proceed unto the fourth Charge, which standeth thus. 20 Martij 10 Caroli, a Commission was executed at Lincoln, and this was to examine him touching the credit of Prigeon; divers Witnesses were there produced on the King's part. My Lord Bishop, and other the Defendants did draw from the King's Witnesses what they had deposed, and threatned some of them after they were examined on the King's part; this is the Charge.
Lancelot Harpham to the 94th Inter. saith, upon this Deponent's Relation my Lord Bishop willed Lunn to Call for Pen, Ink and Paper, and wished this Deponent to write down the substance of what he had sworn, which this Deponent by his Lordship's persuasions did; but when his Lordship had read the same he liked it not, but wished the said Lunn to write down the Substance of this Deponent's Relation, which he did accordingly, and then this Deponent subscribed his Name thereunto; then the Attorney-General said, here was the offence of the Bishop to draw from Harpham the substance of what he had sworn, the Charge being for tampering with Harpham, and other the King's witnesses. Bates saith he was sent with a message from the Bishop to Edward Smith. These things are laid as crimes upon my Lord Bishop in this fourth Charge. (1.) In sending for Edward Smith before he was examined, and conveying him out at the back-door that my Lord Bishop should instruct him what to depose, sending for him after examination, questioning him what he had deposed, and told him he had sworn maliciously. Next place was this Message intended for Edward Smith. (3.) The threatning of Edward Smith the King's Witness, that he would sit upon his Skirts. (4.) My Lord Bishop's sending for Harpham after he was examined, making him set down the substance of his Deposition. (5.) William Amcock sweareth that Powel shewed him an Interrogatory ready drawn to swear unto, and wished him to be careful what he swore, when he was examined for the King; For Lunn, he said, he never plaid the Knave but in this business.
As to the executing of the Commission at Lincoln in March, 10 Caroli, wherein Kilvert was employed to attend for the King: my Lord Bishop of Lincoln called him base Fellow, sawcy Fellow, base Rascal, proved by three Witnesses. The Charge is likewise against Lunn, who called him base Fellow, and told him if the business were over, he should know he was a Man. These imperious Speeches from the Bishop must needs dishearten the Witnesses that did come for the King.
Lastly, As to the Charge for undue getting of Copies, to the intent to make a Counter-proof of the King's Witnesses. Your Lordships may remember how Allen gave Information to the King against the Bishop, for the contriving of false News and Tales scandalous to the King's Government. The Referrees that took the examination of Dr. Jo. Lamb, Dr. Sibthorpe and others, they did trust Sir William Beecher in this examination; they gave him a Charge that the Examinations should be kept secret, accordingly he sealed them up, and when his walting month was done, he delivered them over to Mr. Trumbell; yet by undue means my Lord Bishop got Copies thereof. (1.) It appeareth by Sir William Beecher, Inter. 5. that he was moved by several Persons at Court, to let the Lord Bishop understand the effect of these Examinations; and that my Lord Bishop made use of those Examinations, it appeareth by the proof that hath been read; and that the Seal was broken off, and Copies delivered to his Steward. Now whether these be not strong presumptions, that my Lord Bishop had the sight of them, I must leave to your Lordships.
My Lords, I have done with the particular Charges, and your Lordships have heard in the prosecution of this Cause, and in the proof of it a heap of Offences, all tending to the subversion of publick Justice; a labouring, tampering, suborning, seducing and sending away of the King's Witnesses to suppress the truth, to swear against the truth, and to cause Witnesses to make a Retractation; a scandal raised against the proceedings of the Justices at the Sessions, and in particular an aspersion cast on the person of Sir John Mounson, as though he had made the Order in an Inn or an Alehouse, before any Witnesses were examined. I hope your Lordships will clear him in his Reputation, that he hath done nothing in this Cause but what becometh a Person in his place, and what at other times hath been done by him and other Justices in a publick manner. My Lords, these Offences, if they were committed by an ordinary Person are great Crimes in themselves, but being done by my Lord Bishop of Lincoln, who is Praelatus, to be a Guide, a Light, a Judge among the King's People, and to have a superintendent Cure of Souls within his Diocess, these things considered in his Person must needs aggravate his Offences, for him that should be a Light, to become Darkness, and a Guide to lead men into Error, a Judge to overturn the Course of Justice, in suborning of Witnesses, &c. These things if they be not remedied will draw upon this Nation, that Infamy that was upon the people of Greece, that they would buy and sell testimony, Dare mutuum lestimonium : But what followed upon that, but the subversion and ruine of the Common-wealth? For him that hath this superintendent Cure of souls, to do any thing for the destroying of mens souls, it is an high Offence. Fleta lib. 5. cap. who writ in the time of E. 2. Si Perjurus, &c. That the Man-slayer killeth the Body, but the suborner killeth his own soul, and the soul of him that sweareth.
(1.) Against my Lord Bishop I pray Judgment, that he may be deeply fined, and receive a declaratory sentence of this Court, as unworthy of any Ecclesiastical Dignity or Sacred Orders, and to be recommended to the High-Commission for that purpose; Pas. 34. eliz.. in a Suit in the Star-Chamber against the Bishop of St. Davids for contriving and publishing of a forged Will, he was here fined, and referred to the High-Commission for further proceedings.
Third place, I desire not only a Reparation of the Credit of Sir John Mounson, but damages for the scandal; and though he be neither Party nor Relator, yet damages have been given by this Court to a third Person.
The Lord Cottington's Speech.
'The business we are now met about, to put a Period unto which hath taken up so much time already in this Court, that I intend to be very short in what I have to say. If we go to the Well-head, and look at the Original, (from whence these foul Streams have issued) it is very small, and the inconveniences my Lord hath faln into, are rather of his own seeking, than any ways properly offered unto him out of the former Passages, which touched his reputation in this Court: However that Maxime stands true, Quisq; est fabricator suae fortunae. I am sure in this, that through the whole Passage and Current of it, he hath sought and wrought his own overthrow; and I am sorry that so great a Person, so wise, and so well-experienced a Man, and one who hath sate here himself, should now come to be Censured for so foul Crimes, so far unbeseeming his Function, and those Dignities he hath been graced withal in this Common-wealth. I find (all the way) several undue practises, many hainous attempts, and foul faults in his Agents, countenanced (nay maintained and set on) by his instigation, for which I hold both him and them worthy the Censure of this Court.
'I promise brevity, therefore I omit the relating of any thing concerning the truth of the matter, which concerned Alice Smith and Elizabeth Hodgson. If that Prigeon had been free from the getting of the Bastard, and that he had suffered that way innocently; it had been better for my Lord of Lincoln to have advised him to a patient undergoing that affliction, and have stopt the publick defamations, which might grow thereupon, with as little noise as he might, Quam queat minimo : But these stirs which follow after, and the great Expences which my Lord Bishop of Lincoln was at to preserve Prigeon's Reputation, plainly shewed there was somewhat more in it than ordinary, when, rather than that should be tainted, my Lord would absolutely overthrow his own.
'Prigeon was to be a Witness for my Lord Bishop, and a main person he was, on whom he depended for the clearing himself of those Charges, which your Lordships know he was taxed withal, by the first Bill. In the mean time a Bastard is laid unto him by Elizabeth Hodgson, which in my Lords Estimation was much disabling to Prigeon's Testimony; and therefore my Lord Bishop what doth he? He not only labours to suppress a Truth, and to conceal a fault in his Witness, but he will have him discharged of it, Quo jure quave injuria, it matters not.
'Hereupon the Proceedings of the Justices of the Peace must be either made none, or put out of order, so that they stand instead of none. A new Father must be found, and because there was a Commission to be sate upon, and Witnesses to be examined, some must be absented till the Commission was over: others are deterred and threatned, and Sir John Mounson and Dr. Farmery must be held for to act nothing that must stand in this Cause, (though in the publick Sessions) but their Orders in that Cause are Pocket-Orders.
Owen and Powel, two Servants to my Lord Bishop of Lincoln, they set their Wits to work to convey Alice Smith out of the way, and that with Rewards of no small value. Letters are written, and much ado there is; the several Misdemeanours of Lunn and Walker are apparent enough; and Catlin he comes not behind the rest, nor must I let him pass, although he hath better luck in the carriage of his knavery than any of the rest; and for the procuring, gaining, and keeping of Depositions from the custody of the Council-Table, and the Clarks there, it's plain enough, I will make my word good, and go to Censure.
'Lunn, (who is an Agent in all the Business) I hold him unfit for to be an Officer any more, (he now being a Proctor-Register) I fine him at 300l. And for my Lord Bishop of Lincoln, I fine him at 10000l. to the King, and to be Imprisoned in the Tower during His Majesties Pleasure, and to be suspended from all his Ecclesiastical Functions, both ab Officio & Beneficio; and I refer him over to the High Commission-Court to Censure him as they think fit concerning his Degrees, and to repair Sir John Mounson's Reputation, to pay him for the injury done to him, in particular 1000 Marks.
- '1. The first and main is for tampering with Witnesses, to retract their Testimonies, or to vary from the same.
- '2. For seducing them not to depose at all.
- '3. For undue practising to gain a sight of some Examinations kept in the Council-Chamber by the Clarks of the Council.
- '4. For preparing and instructing Witnesses by the said Examinations.
- '5. Perjury in Catlin in an Affidavit, and subornation thereof.
- '6. Other undue Proceedings, whereby to cause Witnesses to say, that they did not remember, or the like.
'I question not whether the Child gotten upon the Body of Elizabeth Hodgson be Prigeon's, yea or no; However the Justices of the Peace at the Sessions, Doctor Topham and Doctor Farmery give up, that it is laid to him: Yet legally Prigeon is free, for by a Statute 18 eliz.. though the Order be, yet an Appeal may be made. Now in the second place, what is this to my Lord Bishop of Lincoln, utrum pater sit necne ?
'The Bishop is taxed for scandalous words in matter of State, contrary to his Duty as a Subject to his Sovereign, contrary to his Oath as a Privy-Councellor. Now Prigeon being a Witness, must justifie that no such fault slipt from my Lord Bishop, his Testimony, which seems to be suspected, and why? not for the having a Child fathered upon him, but for that he goes about in publico to suborn Witnesses, and to wrest the Truth by unlawful courses, and it is to be thought that he, who was of such an evil Conscience, as that he would cause others, by any way of bribes, gifts, threats, or the like, to forswear themselves, and hazard their Souls, might himself easily be tampered withal to do unjust Acts, and to take that false Oath also by himself, being led to it by Hopes and Rewards, which he by all means sought to procure in others, for his own safety.
'Now if my Lord Bishop of Lincoln had used other means, and gone the right way to maintain the Credit of his Witnesses in a fair manner, it had been commendable; but whether he did so or no it is to be inquired after.
'By the way, my Lord, give me leave to say what I think, it is not always necessary in this Court to have a Truth proved by two or three Witnesses: Men will be wary in Bribery, and Extortion, and the like, to do it in publick, or to have many acquainted with those works of darkness. And singularis Testis many times shall move and induce me verily to believe an Act done, when more Proofs are shunned.
'But to come to some of the Particulars, I find here, that Wetherel hath been often tampered withal, by two of the Bishop's Servants, Owen and Powel, and there was a Note shewed to George Walker to enquire of Wetherel, whether Prigeon had done any thing with him or no?
'But to take off this, (Mr. Recorder saith) George Walker is singularis Testis. Now it's plain Wetherel swears punctually, that he met with Prigeon, and was advised to speak sparingly, and no more than he needs must.
'For Alice Smith, she deposeth that Prigeon wish'd her to win Elizabeth Hogdson to lay it to some body else, and he would give her 20s. and so doth Anne Dove; now Alice must afterwards equivocate, and say, she was proffered Money to get her to lay it on the right Father, which to induce her to is no hurt.
'And I find, that Alice Smith is carried away on Horse-back by Powel, and absented till the Commission was set, and was past, at Lincoln, and then brought back again by Powel. And I find she went out poor and needy, she returns well clad, Gentlewomanlike, and able to lend 8l. at a time, who was (before Owen and Powel tampered with her) so poor, that her Goods were distrained upon for Rent.
'George Walker, he saith he could do no good with them, and so writes to the Bishop. Now for Richardson, the Bishop told him, that he knew the Orders that were made at the Sessions, and Richardson is tampered withal to suppress that Order, and told, that if he would, he might do the Bishop good Service.
'Now for Lunn, I find him run through with the Bishop in all the Case, he teacheth to smother and to equivocate; so that I find Powel, Owen and Walker, guilty of the first Charge; Lunn I shall Sentence, but not for that Charge.
'My Lord Bishop excepts against some Witnesses, as Bates I hold him faulty, and for Mr. Kilvert's misdemeanours, (though he did provoke my Lord) yet he should have forborn. It was not so much to affront my Lord Bishop, as to animate his Witnesses for the King, which the presence of so great a Person might have daunted.
'And your Lordships know, that in the Circuit, if a great Man have a Cause at the Bar, he is not to sit on the Bench, his nod or frown, nay his bare Presence, (by way of observation) may do much with inferior Persons. I discommend my Lord for his passion, and commend Kilvert for the zealous prosecution of his Cause. I must clear Sir John Mounson, and for Parkinson disguising of himself in the Habit of a Minister, (true it is, a shift they had to find out what might be;) But the matter was apparent to all, they know he was a counterfeit.
'And for Catlin's Testimony, I weigh it not; but I find my Lord tampering with Smith, with Edward Smith. He must be brought in by Mr. Mostein, and at the back door too, and after that he had taken his Oath, was told he had sworn maliciously, and was advised before-hand what to say, and the Bishop chid him, and ask'd why he would be sworn and not acquaint him, and let him know before; and there is many Proofs of my Lord Bishop's dehorting and terrifying others.
'I agree with my Lord Cottington, and fine him 1000 Marks. I clear Mostein. Catlin I leave with a non liquet; and do censure Lunn to be disabled, (by way of his profession) either to be Register or Proctor any more.
'And for my Lord Bishop, I censure him 10000l. Fine to the King's Majesty, to be suspended ab omni officio & beneficio, during His Majesty's Pleasure, and likewise to be Imprisoned in the Tower during the King's Pleasure, (as my Lord Cottington said before;) also for to repair the Credit of Sir John Mounson, I fine him 1000 Marks to him; and sure, My Lords, his Person doth not diminish, but rather aggravate his faults: for to be faulty in scandalizing, his Master, and then suborningly to boulster up his fault, by such gross and unbeseeming manner, is worse in him than it had been in another Man.
'For as Mr. Attorney well noted, for him that is set to have a care of Souls, to be corrupter of them; for him that is set as a Light on a Hill, to hide the Truth; I call to mind his Greatness, his Place and his Dignity: but had he lived a private ignorant Man, I should have gone very deep with him; but he that hath knowledge to rectifie himself, and hath sat in the place to direct Consciences, to wrest and wrong Consciences, I must go as deep full in every thing as my Lord Cottington, and I shall here crave your excuse, and end.
'I find him procuring some to absent, to deter others, and all to support Prigeon's Credit. Alice Smith first deposeth, that Prigeon offered her 5l. to prevail with Elizabeth Hodgson to lay the Child to any other Man.
'Now my Lord Bishop he must intermeddle to support his Credit, I disallow of his tampering with Wetherel; to wish a Witness to keep away, or to wish him to say less than he knows, is not justifiable; it not so much concerned him, but it seems he thought it did, and therefore he must spend 1000l. or 1200l. to make that good: So Sir John Mounson and Alice Smith deposeth, Alice Smith is fetched, and carried, and maintained, enriched by the Bishop's Servants. I find many shifts in my Lord Bishop to effect his desire; it's plain she went away poor, returns rich. Wetherel must be tampered withal, is also plain by several Confessions.
'Now to the second Charge, the slander is laid on the Justices: Sir John Mounson sat openly in Court, the Order apparently made, yet the Bishop strives to suppress it. He useth all the ways he can, either by fair inticements, or by foul menaces and threats, to have them in the Star-Chamber, &c.
'Now, my Lords, however he prevailed not, yet he attempted, he endeavoured subornation of Perjury: And wisely did Mr. Attorney to lay the Charge in that manner he did, for undue and unjust undertaking to suborn Witnesses, it's a Crime equal, (though he effect it not) yet it's maleficium condemnationis, and is censurable.
'I find my Lord Bishop of Lincoln much to blame in tampering, perswading, threatning, and directing, of Witnesses. A foul fault in any, but in him most gross, who hath Curam Animarum, thoughout all his Diocess. To destroy Souls is most odious, and to be severely punished.
'To proceed therefore to Censure, I meddle not with Bates his Testimony, but I shall fine Powel 300l. I clear Mostein : And for Lunn I shall fine him 1000 Marks, and to be disabled also from his Function. And for my Lord of Lincoln, I hold him not fit to have the cure of Souls, and therefore I do Censure him to be suspended tam ab Officio, quam a Beneficio, and agree for the Fine of 10000l. and Imprisonment during the King's Pleasure. And for Sir John Mounson, I find he hath done nothing but as he ought, and therefore I hold it fit his Credit should be repaired, and to that end I shall agree with my Lord Cottington to give him 1000 Marks.
'It's needless for me to relate the Business, or to declare the name of the Crime for which this great Person is Censured here in this Court. To free your Lordships from any further trouble, (having seriously considered the matter) I do find not only my Lord Bishop himself, but also his Agents faulty; and therefore for the Fines, Punishments, and Imprisonments both to him and them, I agree in all with my Lord Cottington; and for Sir John Mounson also.
'The Cause is great, the Persons eminent, the Prosecutors (as in relation to the King) to be respected. The Person that now is on the Stage to be Censured, one of the grave Bishops of the Realm, one who himself hath born sway, and hath sat in a high Office under two Famous Kings, and now comes to be Censured for undue Proceedings in matter of Justice. He who had the protection of Equity, now hath turned to be a subverter of Right, and an oppressor of the Truth, by concealing her from that she delights in, the Light: unduly menacing, deterring, and debarring Witnesses in a Cause of such a nature, as concerned so great a Person as the greatest we have to do withal (under God) on Earth. I protest I speak it with grief, I am sorry for his Person, much more for his Profession, no Child being more reverent to a Mother, than I am tender of the Church, and of that Coat: But upon such blemishes to forbear Censure, were to allow of them: I do therefore agree with my Lord Cottington in the Fine, Imprisonment, and in all the rest.
'I Cannot but admire to see, that a Man of that eminency for Parts and fortune to overshoot himself so far, and to be transported in so ignoble a way, as my Lord Bishop of Lincoln hath been, that he would undo his own to maintain the Credit of another Man.
'About the fourth Year of His now Majesties Reign, a Bill was exhibited into this Court against my Lord Bishop of Lincoln, the Complaint was about matter of State: Now Prigeon was a main Witness for the clearing my Lord from being held guilty of what was thus alledged.
'The Bill was slow-paced, and slept from 4 till almost 8 Car. Regis, and now a Provocation begets an Information November the 8th; and in February following the Bastard is born, here is a touch upon Prigeon's Credit, this matters not to the Bishop for ought we see; but in May following it must be laid on another Father, and one Boone is found out for the same purpose, and it must be fathered on him. The Justices of Assize publickly ordered, and set it down, that it is laid upon Prigeon, and hereupon he is thought to be disabled of his Testimony for the Bishop of Lincoln, if he have occasion to use him, for his clearing in case of those accusations and informations laid against him.
'Whereupon this Prigeon must be set upright, and made an honest Man, and be rectified, (though it be by indirect and unlawful means;) nay most unconscionable Courses, by wresting the Consciences, and falsifying Oaths for the same.
'Now, my Lords, your Lordships well know, that every Mans State, every Mans Credit, his Possessions and Livelihood much depends upon Oaths; for if not upon the Jurors, yet the Witnesses in any Case of Evidence, (be it for matter of Title, or matter of Fact) if they be by sinister Courses, and by Bribes and Threats, (be it for fear or for love) if they be caused to swear against their Consciences, and that tye be taken away whereby they stand obliged before God and Men to give Right to the Truth, no Man is sure of any thing he enjoys, nor can expect to get any thing that is unjustly detained and with-held from him in the Proceeding of any Court whatsoever.
'For his tampering with Witnesses it's plain enough, and I am sorry it breaks out so in all the way as the Cause goes. 1. In withdrawing Witnesses, and absenting them out of the way 2. In preparing, fitting, and disposing Witnesses to his own ends. 3. In deterring them before they are to take Oath, and threatning them after. 4. In fitting out unlawfully (by indirect and sinister Courses) what Evidence and Proof was given, so to be better enabled to have cross Oaths and Proofs against the Evidence that was before. 5. To cause Witnesses to speak less than they know, and to conceal the Truth, or at least to vary from that which they had formerly sworn. 6. Getting the Copies out from the Clarks of the Star-Chamber, and keeping them a long time from that place, where they ought to be and reside.
'Now for a Man of Art, of a prompt and ingenious Wit, a well-experienc'd Man, who hath been a Judge, and well knew the Inconveniences of these defaults, and the grosness of them, to run into them so violently, and so foul, I cannot but admire, and much pity him.
'Nay, he doth take upon him to defend, and to patronize Catlin too, although it be absolutely to overthrow and undo himself. But as it is said, Nemo Læditur nisi a seipso, if his Lordship had not been over-busie for to do those Men good, he had never done himself this harm.
'Now for Kilvert's affront to him, I must needs say it may seem over-much in the place where it was done, being in the chief place of the Diocess, and to his own Person: But being it was in such a Cause, where Witnesses were to be heard and examined for the King, and my Lord being a great Man in that place, I pass it by, as his zeal and earnestness in prosecution of the Cause, which might else have suffered, had he not used the better courage, and put the better face upon it.
'For the getting the Writings from the Council-Chamber it's plain enough, and they were absent long enough, and whether he had used or perused them it matters not; surely he would not have them gotten from their due station, and place of abode, only to lie by him, but that he would make use of them. And I must needs commend Sir William Beecher's discretion and ingenuity for his courage in that Particular.
'Your Lordships have heard already by the two Lord-Chief-Justices, what the nature of these Crimes are, (though it be not subornation of Perjury) yet it is manifest injury to the witnesling of a Truth; and I suppose both they that do prevail, and they that are over-ruled and won to such dishonest Courses, are much faulty; and therefore I shall agree with my Lord Cottington for the Fine upon the two Servants of my Lord Bishop, Owen and Powel.
The Lord Treasurer his Speech.
'This Cause hath held a great time, your Lordships have had much patience and great attention, and applied your selves to give ear to the defences that have been made therein, which have been very well performed by the Counsel on my Lord Bishop's behalf.
'The Cause is great, a great Man that is this day sentenced, and in a matter of very high nature, for me (my Lords) to run over the several Charges, and to explain how and wherein I find my Lord Bishop and his Agents culpable, and very well deserving the Censure of this Court for their Crimes, it were bootless, nay altogether needless to insist upon the tampering with Alice Smith and Wetherel, with the undue Practices of Lunn, Owen and Powel, these things have been copiously set out before, and for me to repeat, or to make any relation of my observations in the occurrences and passages of the Cause, it were but Actum agere.
'The business falls out very unhappily, and all the way carries with it a relish. My Lord Bishop's encouraging and setting on the several Agents, that were used for the clearing and justifying Prigeon's reputation; so that in the prosecution of the matter, probable Surmises come to be violent and forcible Instigations; and whereas my Lord Bishop strives to suppress a fault which is like to redound to Prigeon's disesteem; my Lord utterly overthrows his own Credit, and labouring to take a stain out of another's Face, opens several Scars and Ulcers in his own.
'My Lord Bishop might better have let the Truth have been bolted out, than so smother it, as to injure his own reputation, and cause himself to undergo far heavier and fouler aspersions, than the Crimes in his Witnesses could ever have brought upon them or him.
'And truly I conceive it is now apparent to him, and he himself is sorry for his own intemperate prosecutions; and I hold no Censure can be so heavy to him, as that your Lordships should hold him Censurable, and that he should now incur the dislike and condemnation of this Court, wherein he hath sate as eminent in Place and Dignity, as the rest that now are to pass Sentence upon him.
'What Censure therefore my Lord Cottington before me hath given, both for Lunn, Owen, and Powel, both in number, rate and weight I agree unto; and so I do also for the Fine upon my Lord Bishop of Lincoln, his Imprisonment during the King's Pleasure, and the rest.
The Lord Arch-Bishop of Canterbury his Speech.
'Sorry I am (my Lords) that such a Man as my Lord Bishop of Lincoln for profession; and sorry that he, being so wise, so discreet and understanding a Man every way, should come to stand culpable of such faults as should deserve the Censure of this Court, and in this nature, that it should fall out that by being over-active and over-doing Businesses of other Mens, to do his own, nay even thereby also to undo himself.
'We have Adversaries too too many amongst our selves, but this days work opens a way for the Romanists to take advantage by it, to see so eminent a Person as a Bishop, and so eminent a Bishop as he, to become thus censurable in a thing of so high a nature in this high Court, it opens way I say to them of rejoycing, which I would to God had not been at all, or at least not by him.
'When I look upon and consider his excellent Parts, both of Nature, and atchieved unto by Study and Art; when I think upon his Wisdom, Learning, agility of Memory, and the experience that accompanies him with all those endowments, it puts me to stand; that after he had been overtaken in one error in the first Cause, he should not have recalled himself, and made a stand, but that he hath now run into a far worse, and more desperate a one in this Cause, by obnoxious and criminal ways, even to a very precipitation and downfal of himself and his Credit. What though there was some question made, and some Proofs on foot, whereby his Loyalty to the King his Master seemed to be in dispute, and his discretion might have some ways come to tryal in matter of words, discovering his affection in some matter of State? must he seek unlawful means to procure his Actions and Words to be lawful, and leave the course of a good Conscience to bolster up a fancy of innocency in another Man, and make himself plainly faulty, for to make another Man seem free from shame? I could wish heartily from my heart (however this Cause be, let it be as it is) that his deportment in passion had been like to that of St. Sicelia. I read it in a very good Author, and it is not impertinent, nor unworthy whatsoever patience; when a great stir there was, and all the Stream and Current run quite against her to bear her down in a most furious and violent manner, she mildly in the heat of these Storms, and when those Billows seem'd to overwhelm her, and hide her from all hopes of being admitted hearing her to plead her innocency much less to gain success to her desires, it being told her there were many Witnesses against her, but none that did, or would be, or seen to appear for her, or in her behalf, She used the saying of holy Job, Testis meus est in Coelis, my Witness is above: and so it fell out, for (as the Story saith) when the matter came to be scanned, the Witnesses that were against her, (by what means, or from whence, or how, I know not) but they were so daunted and struck with such an amazement, that it was their general Vote, Nos nihil habemus contra Ciceliam. I have it in St. Augustine, a Father of the Church, whose Authority there is no doubt of, (he being held learned amongst the best of that time) lib. 1. contra haereticum donatum. It had been better with my Lord Bishop if he had had such a Cause: I am sure if the circumstances of his behaviour had been more temperate and mixt with more patience, the event could not have been so unlucky, and his Censure so sharp, as it is now like to be.
'I may be bold to say it, my Lords, for it's no untruth; I have been five several times upon my knees to the King my Master in his behalf, I delivered for him several Petitions my self into the King's own Hand, and I then did that (which had I known what now I do) I should not have done. I sent him under my own Hand the King's Answer upon every Petition. And after all those five several Services, I must tell you, my Lords, I was but coursly dealt withal, nay very ill requited; yet was I overcome to move again at Christmas last, and I have it under his own Hand, or (if his Secretary writ the Letter) his own Hand and Name is underscribed, that he had better and more hopes by my once moving the King, than he had formerly had, by the solicitation and means of all the friends he had at Court.
'And no longer ago than at Christmas last I moved the King my Master again in his behalf; and then (had he sollicited that which was intended for his good, and prosecuted the same with submission) it had in all likelyhood gone better with him than he could have expected, nay I think, as the case stood, better than he then desired.
'But a cross Business came just in the way at the very time, (of which your Lordships, or the most part of you, I am sure, are privy to) and had not I then interposed my self, (the King being then so exasperated against him) he had faln. But to let pass my desires, and the earnestness I used, and the tenderness I had, left my publick aspersion should have been opened, and such as could not have been wiped away, but needs must have left a stain to my Coat.
'I must needs say thus much for His Majesty, he was very inclinable to have had a fair reconcilement, as may appear by His often asking what Lincoln did, doth he seek to repair my Credit? Hath he any shew of Sorrowfulness for his fault ? And, my Lords, I may safely say (because I truly speak it) who ever penned his Petitions (howsoever they seemed to be his Friends, or whoever advised him to let them pass in that form) they did him (though questionless he is able to Pen them himself) an injury, yet if he did it by advice they were not therein his Friends, for in them all there is not one word tending to submission and confession, or so much as an acknowledgement of a fault, whereby any shew of Recantation in that nature might be made to his Majesty, as both in duty he ought, and in wisdom might have made proffer of, and with more safety and assurance have performed, insomuch as that by his stiff and stubborn behaviour, there was no way but to have the business fully ript up, heard, and decided.
'Yet there were not wanting divers ill disposed persons, who bruited it forth, and very boldly gave out, that my Lord Bishop of Lincoln had not made any fault, or done or spoken ought, but that which he could stand unto, and needed not to be ashamed of, only that he was rich and must be let blood, he might well spare it, and the King wanted 10000 or 12000l. and so he should have little said to him, if it was once condescended unto, and either given by him, or gotten from him. But howsoever these Reports go, the King is just as he is honourable; and though he was inclined to mercy (for so the Bishop of Lincoln had found it, if he had sought it seasonably) yet now you see, there is cause, and just cause of censure, and in a very high nature of desert in him to be sentenced by this Court.
'Now for the nature of the cause, the several charges of the proofs, and the defences also that have been by the Lord Bishop's Council, hath fully and amply been opened by the two Lords Chief Justices, and if I should attempt any thing this way, it were but needless labour to my self, and would breed a tedious troublesomness to your Lordships, dictum dicere would be all, when I had said all.
'I leave to meddle with the manner of the proceedings, and must give Mr Attorney a great and large Commendation, and Mr. Sollicitor also, for their wise stating of the Cause, and for their wisdom, wit, temper, and patience in the prosecuting of the same.
'The matter is ill, and howsoever it perhaps be not subornation of Perjury, yet to tamper with Witnesses, to threaten, deter, afright, corrupt or to silence, or absent those that are to witness a truth, and to give evidence in a Court of Justice are ejusdem naturae, a very soul Crime and a most odious and detestable Fault, in any man of what condition soever he be: and if these things be suffered and may go unpunishable, no state can stand, and it destroys the interest of meum & tuum, and no man is sure of what he holds, or can say whether he hath an estate or no.
'It's a point that ruins all right, and is the utter Enemy and Subverter of all Justice, and must needs overthrow any State, where it is not weeded out and prevented by severe Animadversion and corrections when it happens to be found out.
'First, I destroys Maximum Mandatum the great Commandment given by the great Lawgiver, God himself, Thou shalt not bear false witness; In the fifth of Leviticus, if a man know a truth he is not to conceal it; nay, he is to witness it.
'In the 23d of Exodus, a man is not in any case to bear unjust witness, and so in the ninth of Deuteronomy, it is in Criminalibus, and he that did bear false witness was to suffer per legem Talionis that same punishment and loss, which by his false Testimony the other Party had undergone.
'In all the time that passes from the Creation of the World until the Law, I do not find that the Holy Ghost once made mention of any, that attempted in this way. I find no shadow nor overture of any such Crime; the corruption of nature had not then grown to the height, and so over-flowed the Banks, as to break out so outragiously, and produce any such ill disposed persons.
'Insomuch as I find not any tract, no vestigium of the like president for above 3000 years; and the Fathers of the Church upon that place, where it is said, out of the mouth of two or three Witnesses shall every thing be justified; they descant upon it, why two or three Witnesses in matters of consequence? Because, say they, so many should not be subject to be tampered withal, being they might be of several tempers, several conditions, and so the truth might be had by some of them, if not by all.
'And for a long time I read of none, but of the devillish practice and leading piece of impiety set on foot by Jesabel, for what cause, and how prosecuted, you all well know, and what she was, how she sped, and what end she made is recorded to posterity. Yet (my Lords) I pray you observe and note with me, how warily the Holy Ghost goeth about in the setting out of this Fact, and the passages therein in the 21st verse, as if the Spirit of God was unwilling to display and discover the heinousness of this Monster hatched by this vile Woman; as if he would not have it seen, he shadows it forth in a low stream, that there came in two Sons of Belial and said, &c. As if the Original of this odious practice was not rooted in humane Nature, but took his birth from Hell, it came in with two Sons of Belial in the Devils name.
'Well, afterwards such a Tutor could not want apt Scholars, and, as Saint Paul saith in another case, when I come to speak of it after the manner of men, I find it then practised, and that (with a witness) it out faced the God of truth, though truth it self must not be trodden under Foot; but this engine fetched from Hell, must be planted to defeat the Counsels of God Almighty. They found out and hired false-witnesses against Christ himself, who they were you know, Mark 14. 55. The Chief Priests and the Elders, and all the whole Councel sought false witness against Jesus to put him to death; and after Christ Stephen had the same measure, Acts 6. 11. Then they suborned men, who said we have heard him speak blasphemous words against God and against Moses.
'Thus amongst those stiff-necked and hard-hearted Jews, the fault was in use when sin and iniquity grew ripe, and, as the Prophet saith, Faith and truth could scarce be found amongst mortal men; but the subversion and destruction of their City follows, and there comes in the Government of a Warlike Nation and People, the Romans; amongst whom I find some Laws made against false witnesses, and those very severe ones.
'Besides other Laws, in the Law of the twelve Tables there is a strict Law confirmed against it; and these twelve Tables were not made by any mean advice or persons, but by the persons of a powerful Council and the Decemviri : That he that was found faulty in this notorious Crime, he was to be thrown down a steep high Rock, to have his Bones shivered all to pieces, e Monte Tarpeio, or e Saxo Tarpeio; afterwards the Law-givers pursued this fault with banishment and confiscation of Goods, Confiscatio bonorum fiat & puniatur uti pro Crimine falsi.
'And in later times Bartolus often meets with it, and goes very precisely and exactly in the case, that if so be it be found in any man, so much as an overture of tampering with Witnesses, it is Censurable; reus est, he is guilty, though he effect not his purpose, if he menace, threaten, or deter a Witness. And so, my Lords, shall I do, though he but barely attempt to smother, deter, or hinder any Witness, when he is to give his Testimony; be it by words, looks or actions, promises or threats, it comes much to one in my opinion upon the matter.
'In the Canon Law the second part of the Decretals, if any man shall be a suborner of Witnesses, Etiamsi instigatus aut compulsus a Domino, if he bring a false testimony (though he be even enforced to it by his Superiour Lord, Governor or his Master) deliver him over to Excommunication, & sic maneat usque ad exitum vitae, and so he must stand and remain in that state and case during term of life. A grievous thing, and a most heavy burthen, the sentence of Excommunication is to an Offender, though now in these looser times it be slighted and little set by; yet in cases of this nature when the offence is so high and transcendent, and of condition tending to the ruine and condemnation of the Soul, the party at that time, and for that present, even Dallying, Mocking and abusing of God to his very face, to be left void of the Communion of Saints, to be bereaved of the benefit of being a member of Christs Flock, and cut off from that holy body the Church, I think that no man is in a worse and a more miserable estate, and more to be pitied, if he be insensible of it himself.
'To come to the first Council of Macedon, the seventeenth Canon, Si sit ille inter falsos juratores, reus esto. And what is he guilty of? Of no small matter. Ranked and ranged in the degree and place of a Murtherer & cum homicidis.
'Nay, he is worse than a manslayer, for he that kills a man destroys but one, and that but the body neither, for he cannot any ways infringe the union of his soul that it had with his Maker. But he that goes about to suborn and procure false witnesses; he at one time destroys two Souls, both his own, and the soul of him that he so in that kind intermeddles withal; and unless he be rejoyned again by the renewing of Faith and serious and hearty repentance, he sets both their souls and God at odds.
'Afterwards you find it in the Western parts of England, and in France, in the seventeenth Council of Agatha you have a tamperer with Witnesses adjudged to death (even in the time of Alexicus, who was no better than a Barbarous Goth ) this Crime was disallowed, made horrid, and held severely to be punished.
'You may find it in St. Augustin, who lived about some 400 years after Christ; and indeed he most excellently sets it out in his 28th Sermon, de Nativitate Domini, either he had it out of that Council, or the Council out of him, being much what both at one time and in one age.
'Some parts of Greece I find did affect and patronize Lying, but Tully wittily guirds them for it, saying, they were not wise to coutenance folly; yet I find that Aristotle in his Rhetoricks concerning the Interrogatories to Witnesses, gives admirable rules, and such as (though short) comprehends the most-what of the most fetled and the wittiest, and the safest ways used now a-days in that kind, lib. 2. Rhet. you may read the ways of prevention herein by him set down.
'And to come into our own Country about the year 1224, in the Reign of King H. 3 and your Lordships know, that it was a troublesome time; yet I read that Stephen Langley, my Predecessor, (then Arch-Bishop of Canterbury ) called a Council to be held at Oxford : the main business was for the reformation of two points; the one was concerning Marriage, the other concerning Exheriditation, &c. where I find a foul penance inflicted and set out for him, that shall either bear false witness by himself, or procure it in another.
'For he that is a tamperer this way, he is guilty of no small Crime doing, doing (at the same time) wrong to three of the greatest Persons in the World, viz. 1. To God. 2. To the King. 3. to the Innocents.
'He robs God of that which is his very essence, for God is truth, (and who dare thus out-face God's truth!) and wittingly deviseth and practiseth to lay it aside and keep it from the Light; I find him in very nature to be abhorred and held unfit for humane society. Aristotle himself in that glimmering he had of Divine Learning, deciphers such a one, and sets him out by these very Characters: he must be one qui pietatem non curat, a man that matters not at all for Piety; he must either deny the Deity, or else think he can escape the reach of the Celestial Powers, such a one qui putat se latere Deo, he is able to skulk on the one side, and absent himself from the hand of God at his pleasure.
'Secondly, In the next place, another great Person (unto whom he doth injury) is the King, whom he plainly cheateth to his Face, and wrongs in the very Seat of Justice, even forcing his Officers, the grave and learned Judges, will they nill they, to do Injustice: for if the Witnesses be suborned and give in false evidence the Jurors cannot come near the truth, and the Judges must needs Enact, Order, and Sentence what otherwise they neither would, nor ought to have done.
'Last of all, the third Person that is wronged in conspectu Dei, is a person of no small esteem, the Innocent (one many times little enough esteemed, God knows, in the eye of the world, but gracious and great in the sight of God,) and he is also most shame-fully wronged and abused; nay, perhaps undone by the indirect practises of those false Witnesses. Sometimes his Person is traduced, his Fame and Credit either stained or else quite taken away, or so shaken that it's a shy matter to deal with him: another while his Estate, his Birth-right is wrested from him, or else withdrawn, and for a time with-held from him: one while his Goods, another while his Lands, a third time himself is at stake; so Life, Lands, Goods, and All are in danger: well though such Witnesses be against him, his plea is never a whit the worse in Foro Coeli, his Inheritance is laid up amongst the Saints, Testimonium ejus est in Coelis, doubtless there is a reward for the Righteous, verily there is a God that judgeth the Earth, for there is nothing hid which shall not be revealed.
'And thus, my Lords, have I said what I thought fit, though not so much as the Crimes deserve, for my time being scanted, I have laid it out (though roughly) yet so as it may easily be seen of what a vile nature this cankered and pestilent Weed is, and from whence it had its original, and how odious and detestable it hath been to all ages, how dangerous the effects be that proceed from it, and therefore how carefully it ought to be lookt unto, and supprest in all Common-wealths.
'I shall make my word good in my brevity concerning the last thing I am to perform, and shall pass over the Sentence very speedily; to make any repetitions were but Actum agere (as my Lord of London said) therefore I will be short.
'I cannot commend Mostein (though otherwise a very civil and deserving man, and I think very true and trusty to His Master) yet to be present when a Blank is put up, and an Affidavit to be made to a Blank by his privity and in his presence, this is not honest; he might have done well to have disallowed the proceedings, or at least not been present, and have countenanced the same. And Walter Walker, though he be a Solliciter, and must and ought to follow the Causes he undertakes, with as much skill, industry, and advice as he may, yet he might have been ashamed of this blank Affidavit, and he ought indeed to have supprest it.
'If Walker had been a good Servant it had gone better with the Bishop, than now it is like to do: and if Walker do escape sentencing it's more by hap than skill, more by luck than honesty. I find him to be a very arrant honest man in all the business, and my Lord Bishop is a very miserable man, thus to defend Prigeon's good name, with the loss of his own.
'Catlin, he must have a Living given him, and well he deserved it, but as yet he had not plaid his part to the full, and therefore stay your hand (my Lord, saith Walker ) till the business be done. A manifest plain proof that there was some use to be made of this cunning and crafty Fellow, to countenance the business in hand. And I can say no less, than that I find Catlin to be a very lewd man, a very Incendiary, and truly to be parallel'd with that Catlin of Rome, against whom so many learned and eloquent Orations were writ, by Cicero that famous Orator.
'For Lunn, let him go on in God's Name, to be put off from the place and offices that he hath; and for Powel I could go deeper than any before me hath yet done, who prosecutes an unjust act so long, so oft, and never repents of it.
'For Kilvert's affronting of my Lord Bishop in that manner he did, I must set that, and the Bishop's offering to be present at the examination of the Witnesses, both in one distance, and they may very well the one of them quit the other; and I must commend Kilvert, or any man else that shall go on in the King's business, and concerning so great a matter; for if he had gone on piningly, faintly, and cowardly have put his head in a hole; if he had by my Lords prefence, and by the terms he used, gone sheepishly on in his business, the matter might have failed. Some of your Lordships have condemned him for his bold carriage toward a Bishop in his own Diocess, but I cannot, for my Lord and his passions were more to be condemned. A temper would better have befitted him, and indeed he ought not to have given any such occasion, and therefore it may be said, Etiamsi ego dignus sum hac contumelia, indignus tamen qui fecerit, I pass that by as to be excused, by reason of the weightiness of the matter.
'For the gaining of Papers from the Council Table, I find my Lord Bishop had them long enough in his custody, and they were returned unsealed; and I do find that he proceeds to counterproofs directly, according as he was informed by these Papers, which in my mind shews apparently that he both had them and perused them.
'For Sir John Mounson, the King is wounded through his sides, I have known him a long time, and I never knew nor heard any thing of him but good, and therefore do hold one thousand Marks little enough for reparation of his Credit, who did nothing but that which was his duty, and belonged to his place.
'Now for my Lord Bishop of Lincoln, truly I am heartily sorry to do that which I must do, both by reason he is of my own Coat, and also by reason of the place he hath in former time sustained in this Court amongst your Lordships, and in this Common-wealth, but I must not forbear to do that which my Conscience leads me unto, and less I must not do than for to discharge that as I ought to do.
'Wherefore I shall agree with my Lord Cottington and the rest that have gone before me in the fine of 10000l. to His Majesty; and likewise for his imprisonment in the Tower during the King's pleasure, as also to be suspended from the exercising of his Ecclesiastical Function, tam a Beneficiis, quam Officiis, and to be referred over to be proceeded against in the High Commission Court, as the merit of his offence shall deserve.
This Cause, my Lords, is a Cause of great consequence, and it is a very foul matter, though I must needs say the defences that hath been made in it, hath been very fair by Mr. Recorder, and the Councel on my Lord of Lincoln's behalf.
'Mostein I must acquit, for Catlin I came resolved to Censure him for Perjury; but seeing the Court lets him pass, I shall not sentence him, though he is a very notorious Actor, and had a hand in that Blank Affidavit, and help'd Smith, and countenanced and directed him what to swear, and what to let alone.
'All my Lord's actions, (for which he is much to be blamed) are subsequent to that Affidavit; I must do my duty, and discharge my Conscience, and shew my love to the common good, (what ever my private wishes are) that things had not fallen out thus with my Lord as they do.
'I shall divide all into two parts, some things I hold faulty, and some I shall not Censure; I shall not Censure Mr. Kilvert for his unmannerliness, though the affront was great to a Man of his Place in the Country, where he was Bishop of the Diocess, and in the chief Seat of his Jurisdiction. Mr. Kilvert might have forborn him somewhat in that respect; but the cause being of that high nature, and concerning them it did, he had somewhat the more reason to be the more confident and bolder in the prosecution thereof than ordinary, and for that concerning Sir William Beecher I find no proof of it.
'I find that Lunn, Tubb, and Wetherel, were tampered withal, but I cannot find my Lord Bishop faulty with them; For George Walker, I find him Censurable; and so is my Lord also himself in other matters, as will appear when I shall come at them.
'I find by the Proof of two Witnesses, that my Lord confessed himself, that it cost him 1000l. or 1200l. to bolster up Prigeon's Reputation, and to do this he falls into error concerning the Order made by Sir John Mounson; that must be supprest, and I know not how so much Money should be expended, but upon such courses as were used with Smith and Catlin.
'Catlin told Smith he should be made by it; so that the Order must be to undermine the Witnesses, and get them to vary from what they had formerly sworn before the Justices at the publick Sessions. I know that Men in Cases of this nature do not bluntly promise this or that; but I find Walker goes about by Questions at first a-far off, and then comes close to instruct Smith what to swear, and Rewards are not behind; neither do I conceive in such Cases, that there are ever two Witnesses to be expected, but as my Lord Chief-Justice of the Common-Pleas explained it, singularis Testis shall induce me to believe a Truth in some Cases, and it must of necessity, when Circumstances concur with the same.
'So that whatsoever Mr. Recorder said, the return of that Order made by the Justices was coram non Judice, it matters not with me. The Witnesses knew nothing of the questionableness of the Proceedings, but went on the way their Consciences at that time led them: Now for my Lord Bishop of Lincoln to seek to dishearten them, to terrifie them by Threats, and seek otherwise after by Rewards and Promises to subvert, or (at least) to divert the Current of Justice, I know not how to excuse them, but that he is much to blame to give such ill Names and disgraceful Titles to an Order made in Court, as to call it a Pocket Order, thereby bringing an Odium and defamation upon the Justices, who proceeded as they ought, and in open Court, as appears by Doctor Farmery, and by Ascot, who had both of them a hand in it, (as I take it) as well as Sir John Mounson, and therefore their Credits must be repaired also.
'For Alice Smith, she was tampered withal by Owen and Powel to salve up Prigeon's Credit; and after that she had taken one Oath before the Justices, then (for the present the Commission to be sat at Lincoln ) she is taken and withdrawn out of the way, and hath Rewards given her, (as is apparent) either to deny, or alter, and vary from what she had sworn before. She had 5l. offered her to perswade Elizabeth Hodgson to lay the Child to another Father; and then afterwards it was given her to perswade her to lay it to the right Father; and yet here is no false Oath, but may be true, as I can instance that a Deposition may be made by a Party that may swear two things that are contrary, and yet the Depositions of both of them may be true.
'And yet an Attainder hath been upon the like; now upon an Attainder the punishment is great, he loseth his Freehold, and Goods, all are forfeited to the King, his Houses are to be razed down, Meadows plowed up, and Woods to be felled, and he himself to be imprisoned or banished, his Wife and Children to be turned out of all.
'So in another Case, one hath a hold from an Abbot, and a Rent is due, as Foster in Fee he holds jure Rectorioe, and it's sworn he had Common, time out of mind: And if the words jure Rectorioe be not exprest, all may be true.
'In this Case of Alice Smith it may be questioned what Money was promised, 5l. to what end? to swear that she was moved to get the Child laid to another: Well, afterwards she must swear that it was to lay the Child to the right Father, Mr. Valentine and Mr. Powel shewed her the Interrogatories, she must swear against the first Order, and Mr. Valentine said his Heart trembled at the Questions.
'Now it may be, said he, may not a Man meddle, nor question with a Witness? yes, but with certain limitations, for else, if the Witnesses be made and corrupted, the Jurors and Judges both of them may be abused; and if that Witnesses may be led and instructed by Questions, or the like, it comes all to one as Subornation.
'A Solliciter may warn Witnesses to come in, he may incite them, and enforce them, and one as well as the other: but for a stranger to labour a Juror or a Witness, is not so allowable. But a Solliciter must not instruct a Witness, nor threaten him, nor carry Letters to him, to induce him this way, or that; yet he may discourse with him, and ask him what he can say to this or that Point, and so he may know whether he be fit to be used in the Cause or no: by which means this Court is freed from the labour of asking many idle questions of the Witnesses to no end, if they can say nothing to them, and so spend good time to no end nor purpose; yet he may not perswade him, or threaten him to say more or less, than he of himself was inclined unto, and was by his Conscience before-hand bound to deliver as truth.
'The term in Law is called Embracery of a Jury, Amplexus to curry favour, when one hugs them, and houses them in their Arms to procure respect unduly to their own ends; you have it mentioned 13 H. 4.& 16. when there is a leading of a Jury 22 H. 6. whereupon it hath been ordered, that in Cases which have any relation to great Persons, who usually are on the Bench, they are upon Tryals to absent themselves, and not to be in presence of the Bar.
'And as my Lord Chief-Justice of the Common-Pleas well insisted upon in this Case, the countenance of a great Man, and one that is powerful in the Country to do a poor Witness harm in another way upon any other occasion, when it shall come to his turn, and occasion be offered for him to do it; the very looks I say of such a Man is able to put the Witness off from what he was resolved to speak, and dash him out of countenance, that he will either, for fear that such a Man shall take dislike at him, or for hopes of much favour with him, and to gain his good will, speak sparingly of the matter in hand, as least, if he do not altogether decline another way in his words to that which he in his Conscience knows to be the very truth.
'So that in the Point it is plain, that when a Man shall alter the Testimony of a Witness, and cause him to decline from the truth, whether it be by threats, promises, or rewards, it hath ever been much disallowed, and he that attempts the same is censurable, though perhaps he effects it not.
'Now, my Lord, to come to the Censure, for I have been somewhat the more bold upon your patience, than I would otherwise, because I would have it appear how far one may, and wherein one may not tamper, or meddle with Witnesses, which thing is the main matter in this Case we have had so long in hand; for had not my Lord Bishop moved this way, I should not have found matter in this Bill to have sentenced him at all.
'But for to justifie Prigeon's Credit, and to make him stand upright, and to clear the reputation of him, and others, so much Money is spent, and these unjust and undue undertakings have been made by my Lord of Lincoln's Servants, and his Agents, to tamper, seduce, and withdraw the Witnesses aside against the Laws of God and Man, and to the very overthrow of my Lord himself.
'For Cadwallader Powel it's plain all the way what he did, and in what undue courses he sought to suppress the truth; I shall agree with your Lordships for him in his Fine, and do Censure him at 300l. Fine; and for Owen, I shall also agree with you in his Fine of 300l. also for Lunn, I could go deeper, and set him a greater punishment than your Lordships have, but do agree with you in his Fine of 1000 Marks, and to be disabled from being in any Office or Practice hereafter in his Profession, or in any other Court.
'Now for my Lord Bishop of Lincoln, truly I am heartily sorry for him; but ex se cadit, he is the cause of his own overthrow, Et ruit Roma virbus suis, no Man hurts him but himself. I think of him as a great Person, and more to be pitied for that he is a Church-man, and in so eminent a Rank as a Bishop, and none of the meanest of that Dignity: and as my Lord of Canterbury spoke, that it was the more grief to him to pass Sentence in so deep a manner upon him, by reason he was of the same Coat; so, my Lords, I cannot but be sensible of his precedency to me in that place now undergo by the favour, and at the Pleasure of the King's Majesty, my honoured Master.
'For a Man of his Wisdom, of that Experience, and having seen the various Changes of Times, and of several Mens Fortunes, lived in that eminency, and so well-literated, to seek his own overthrow, to support and maintain the reputation of another, is a thing not to be so much as dreamed on, or could be once thought upon, that such weakness should ever fasten and take place in a Person so well-guarded and accompanied with Vertues and commendable Qualities, as my Lord Bishop was ever esteemed to have.
'And for a Church-man, whose Profession is to support Mens Consciences in the right way, and for to reduce them into it when they shall chance to err, for him to be a seducer of the Conscience, is a fouler and worse stain in him than in another.
'But when to that Sacred Calling (the Professors whereof are ever to be had in respect) shall be added another Charge and Care, by the favour of the King, to become a Judge, and a Judge of that great Court of Chancery, where Equity and Conscience give the very denomination of the Court; to be advanced to this eminency is a thing of great consequence, and to be admitted to this Place is a sign of great Trust reposed and placed in that Servant by his Master. Now I cannot, my Lords, but be heartily sorry, and very much pity, that a Church-man, and Bishop, and one that hath been a Prelate, and eminently Dignified for the space of this 16 or 17 years at least together, should so grosly be overseen in the countenancing and cherishing such foul Crimes: Nay, a Man that had born the great Seal of England before two such great Kings, and been highly graced with so many large Testimonies, and remarkable Favours from them both, to uncase himself of all those, and that at once, and for so small a matter, so little really in it self concerning him, I cannot but wonder how he should fall into such an error, and more pity his misfortunes to see him so much his own Enemy.
'And withal to be suspended from all his Ecclesiastical Dignities, Offices, and Functions, and in all with my Lord Cottington, ab Officiis & Beneficiis, and to be referred to the High Commission for the rest.
This Bishop of Lincoln, (once a great Minister of State) wrestled through these difficulties and close Imprisonments; was at last set at liberty out of the Tower, and called by the King's Writ to sit in the House of Peers, and after that was advanced by the King, and restored to all his Ecclesiastical Dignities and Functions
The Licensing of all new Books was at this time in the power of the Arch-bishop of Canterbury and his Substitutes and Dependents, who used that strictness, that nothing could pass the Press, without his or their Approbation, but the Authors, Printers, and Stationers must run a hazard of ruine. But lest the Printers (being thus restrained) should fall to the re-printing of old Books of Divinity formerly Licensed, this Decree was made in the Star-Chamber, That no person shall presume to print any Book or Pamphlet whatsoever, unless the same be first licensed, with all the Titles, Epistles, and Prefaces therewith imprinted, by the Lord Arch-bishop of Canterbury, or the Bishop of London for the time being, or by their appointment; and within the limits of either University by the Chancellor or Vice-Chancellor thereof; upon pain that every Printer so offending shall for ever thereafter be disabled to exercise the Art of Printing, and shall suffer such farther punishment, as by this Court, or the High Commission, shall be thought fitting; that before any Books imported from Forreign Parts shall be exposed to sale, a true Catalogue thereof shall be presented to the Arch-bishop of Canterbury, or the Bishop of London. And that no Officers of the Custom shall deliver any Forreign Books out of their Hands and Custody before those Bishops shall have appointed one of their Chaplains, or some other Learned Man, with the Master and Wardens of the Company of Stationers, or one of them, to be present at the opening of the Packs and Fardels, and to view the same. And those that disobey this Injunction, are to be Censured in this, or the High Commission-Court, as the several Causes shall require. And if in this Search there happen to be found any Schismatical or offensive Books, they shall be brought to the aforesaid Bishops, or the High Commission-Office, that the Offenders may be punished. That no Person whatsoever shall imprint in the Parts beyond the Seas, or import from thence, any English Books, or whereof the greater part is English, whether formerly Printed or not. And that no Books whatsoever shall be re-printed, though formerly Licensed, without a new License first obtained, upon pain of like Censure and Punishment. And that if any Person whatsoever, that is not an allowed Printer, shall presume to set up a Press for Printing, or work at any such Press, or Set and Compose Letters for the same, he shall be set in the Pillory, and Whipt through the City of London.
After the making of this Decree Mr. Fox his Acts and Monuments, (called the Book of Martyrs) Bishop Jewel's Works, and some parts of Dr. Willet's, with others, formerly published by Authority, were denyed new Licenses; as also the Practice of Piety, which had been re-printed 36 times.
August 18. Complaint that the Bishops in England kept Courts in their own Names, without a Patent from the King; The King, by Proclamation, vindicates the Right of the Bishops in so doing; The Judges Opinions therein.
At this time the Ecclesiastical Courts, exercising their Power severely against the Puritans, sell under the weight of a general envy and dislike, and were spoken against by many, as an incroachment upon the King's Prerogative contrary to Law, because they were held in the Bishops Names, and without a Patent under the Great Seal of England. And in regard of divers late Pamphlets published to that purpose, the King was pleased by Proclamation to declare the Right, and vindicate the Proceedings of the Ecclesiastical Courts and Officers. That the Judges being required to give their Opinions, had certified, that Process may issue out of Ecclesiastical Courts in the Name of the Bishops. That a Patent under the Great Seal is not necessary for the keeping of Ecclesiastical Courts, the enabling of Citations, Examinations, Suspensions, and other Censures of the Church. That it is not necessary that Processes Ecclesiastical, Institutions, or Inductions to Benefices, or correction of Ecclesiastical Offences in those Courts, be in the Kings Name, or under his Seal, or that the Seals of their Office have the Kings Arms. And that the Statute of the first of Edward the Sixth, that enacted the contrary, is not now in force. That Bishops, Arch-deacons, and other Ecclesiastical Officers, may keep their Visitations without Commission under the Great Seal of England.
In the Year 1632, the Lord Weston, being then High Treasurer of England, sent for the Master and Wardens of the Company of Vintners, and demanded of them, in the vent and consumption of Wines, one Peny a Quart, which is 4l. per Tunn, which they utterly refused, alledging it would be the utter undoing of the retailing Vintners.
Whereupon a Decree was made in the Star-Chamber, That the Retailers of Wines ought not to sell or dress Victuals in their Houses, which (time out of mind) they were accustomed to do; and this was done without any Information or Bill, or any called to defend or justifie their trade or usage of it.
In Anno 1634 His Majesty questioned the Vintners, and Retailers of Wine, for the breach of the said Decree; but to evade their Censure they yielded to lend His Majesty 6000 Pounds; whereupon His Majesty did, by His Order, give way to the Retailers of Wines to dress and sell Victuals till December next following; at which time his Majesty promised to settle it so as he thought fit for him to Sign, that was to have the Vintners relying upon that Temporary License, that so His Majesty, by His Declaration, might continue or discontinue their power of dressing Meat as he should find convenient.
But in Anno 1635 the Retailers of Wines were again questioned for breach of the former Decree, and the Lord Cottington then propounded to them to yield to pay somewhat on their vent of Wines to his Majesty, which the Retailing Vintners utterly refused to do.
Again, in Anno 1636 many Retailers of Wines were by information in Master Attorney's Name questioned in Star-Chamber for breach of the said Decree, and so far proceeded against, as that they were served with Process of that Court to hear Judgment.
But while things were thus depending Richard Kilvert repaired to Alderman Abel, (the Master of the Company, and a meer stranger to Mr. Kilvert ) and told him, that His Majesty commanded him to prosecute the Vintners in the Star-Chamber for selling above the price, and breach of the Decree for the dressing of Meat.
In October Anno 1637, at Vintners-Hall London, William Abel Alderman being then Master of that Company, imparted to the Company, That Mr. Richard Kilvert had been lately with him, and acquainted him with the former Passages.
At this Court the Company of Vintners taking their Business into their serious Considerations, and weighing how they might hazard the utter undoing of such as had transgressed the Decree, if they should be brought to a Sentence in Star-Chamber; they submitted to the payment of 40s. per Tunn, 4l. being demanded; and so they, (the Company of Vintners ) together with the French and Spanish Merchants, contracted by Indenture Quadrupartite with His Majesty, to pay him 40s per Tunn on all such Wines as they bought and vented, foreseeing what great hindrance it would be to them, if strangers should come in and search their Cellars, and know the Particulars of what they had bought and sold; the Company therefore, to prevent many Inconveniences, desired rather to Farm the Duty from His Majesty; and His Majesty declaring, that he would not contract with the generality of the Company for the same, but with some particular Members, the Company did desire Alderman Abel, and Edward Kinnaston, Robert Shaw, Ralph Moor, George Hubbart, and Michael Gardiner, &c. Free-men of their Company, to perform the Contract with His Majesty for the same Duty, who took it to Farm at 3000l. per Ann' for eight years.
Whereas upon the earnest and frequent Complaints of the Inhabitants of the Places, as well within the City of London, exempt from the Freedom thereof, as without the said City, and within three Miles of the same, for the great grievance by them sustained, through the Intrusion of Aliens and Forreigners into these Places; the King, by His Letters Patents under the Great Seal, Dated the second of June, in the twelfth Year of His Majesties Reign, did Incorporate such Tradesmen and Artificers Inhabiting the same Places, as had served Apprenticeships for the space of seven Years into a Body Corporate and Politick; and did erect a setled Government for the more orderly disposing of Tradesmen there for time to come, prohibiting all Persons, after the Feast of All-Saints then next ensuing, to use, or exercise any Trade, Mystery, &c. unless he or they be admitted into the Freedom of the said Corporation: according to which the King did resolve, in all respects, to have proceeded against those Offenders, intending to have excluded them from the Benefit of the said Freedom, and from the Exercise of Trade within the Places aforesaid.
But forasmuch as the King is given to understand, that partly by reason of the Infection, and out of a mis-understanding of the Kings Intention, People did, for a time, put off their Admission into the said Freedom; nevertheless, when the time limited was expired, Multitudes of People resorted to be Admitted; but coming so thick, the Governor, Wardens, and Assistants of the said Corporation, for fear of Admitting such as were incapable thereof, were enforced to desist; therefore the King doth now declare His Pleasure, That the Governor, Wardens, and Assistants shall, and may proceed without Delay to admit into the said Freedom all fans of Tradesmen and Artificers, as well Brewers, Weavers, Brickmakers, as others, &c.
The Kings Majesty finding of late, that some of His Natural-born Subjects have abused His Majesties Princely Goodness, through the ease which they enjoy under His Gracious and Mild Government, by withdrawing sundry of His Subjects to the Roman Superstition, and to forsake the Church of England; and likewise by resorting to Masses and Service, Celebrated according to the Rites of the Church of Rome, expresly contrary to the Law of this Realm; for prevention whereof, for the time to come, and for prevation of Religion, as it is established in the Church of England, Rich His Majesty is resolved constantly to maintain; the King therefore hath thought fit to set forth this Declaration of His Royal Will and Pleasure; and doth expresly command all Persons, Clerks and Laicks, that they from henceforth forbear to attempt to withdraw any the Kings Subjects from the Religion that is now professed. And the King doth Declare, That if any of the Roman Party shall, from henceforth, give scandal, by Celebrating or Hearing of any Mass or Masses, that then His Majesty will cause to be put in execution against such Contumacious Persons, those Penalties, which by the Laws are inflicted.
The Charge of Sir William Russel Knight and Baronet, Treasurer of His Majesties Navy, touching the Monies by him received of the several Sheriffs here under-named, and by them Levied by vertue of His Majesties Writs Issued out of the High-Court of Chancery in the 13th Year of His Majesties Reign; for and towards the setting forth, and furnishing of divers Ships for the defence of this Realm, and paid over by them the said Sheriffs unto the said Sir William Russel, by vertue of a special Commission under the Great Seal, Dated the 28th of December in the said thirteenth Year of His Majesties Reign, Annoq; Dom. 1637. and by Order from the Board to be expended and disbursed in and about the said Service.
Whereas the Kings most Excellent Majesty, for the better prevention and reformation of such Falsities and Deceits, as might be attempted and practised in the making of Soap within the Kingdom, and for the Regulation of that Trade in a just and orderly way, did, by Letters Patents under the Great Seal, Dated the 22d of May last, with the Advice of his Privy-Council, Incorporate Edward Bromfeild, then Lord Major of the City of London, and divers other Persons Soap-makers in that City, by the name of the Governor, Assistants, and Commonalty of the Society of Soapmakers of London; and hath thereby granted to them and their Successors Power and Priviledge to make Seizure of all such Soap, as shall be corruptly, or unduly made, with Inhibition to all other Persons whatsoever to use, or exercise that Art, or Mystery of Soap-making, unless they shall be made Free of, and allowed by the said Society.
And His Majesty, by an Indenture of the same Date, made between His Majesty and the said Company, hath provided, that Good and Merchantable Soap, of several sorts, shall be mad sufficient for the use and expence of the Kingdom, and by them sold at moderate Prices; some at three-pence half-peny the pound; and the Soap made of coyl-Olive, &c. at four-pence half-peny the pound. And therefore the King commands all Persons whatsoever, other than such as are or shall be Free of the said Society, that they do not from henceforth presume to use or exercise the Art or Mystery of Soap-making, to make any manner of Soap whatsoever without the allowance of the said Society. And His Majesty doth also prohibit the Importation, from Foreign Parts, of any hard or soft Soap, upon pain of Forfeiture, or if any Pot-Ashes be Imported, that the same be brought only to the Port of London and there to be sold by the Importers to the said Society of Soap-makers of London, and to no other Persons. And to the end also that the Soap made by that Company may not be sold by Retail, or in Gross, at any excessive Prices; His Majesty doth Charge and Command, That the Major, Bailiff, or other Chief Officer, with the Assistance of Two Justices of the Peace, in every City, Burrough, or Town, do limit such Rates as they in their Judgments shall think reasonable, Consideration being had, as well of the setled Prices paid to the said Society, as of the Charge of Carriage, and other Casualties. And His Majesty doth Authorize the Governor, Assistants, and Commonalty of the said Society, and their Deputies and Officers, with the Assistance of the Constable, to enter into any Houses, Cellars, Shops, or other Places, and also into any Ships, Barques, or other Uessels, to search for, seize, take and carry away all such Soap, as shall be found to be unduly made, not under the Rule, Government, or Allowance of the said Society.
And whereas His Majesty did heretofore Incorporate divers Persons into one Body-Politick, by the Name of Governor, Assistants, and Fellows of the Society of Soapers of Westminster; which Grant being afterwards strengthned, as well with sundry of His Majesties Proclamations, as the Decrees and Orders of His High Court of Star-Chamber, and otherwise; the said Society of Soapers hath since resigned and surrendred into His Majesties Hands, who hath Cancelled and Uacated the same, and all Proclamations, Orders, and Decrees, touching the said Society of the Soapers of Westminster that are no longer to be in force, or put in execution. Nevertheless His Majesties Will and Pleasure is, That neither Sir Richard Weston Knight, nor the several Soap-makers of Bristol, Bridgewater, Exeter, Somerset, Dorset, Devon, and Cornwal, nor any of them respectively, shall he restrained or impeached hereby, in the making and venting such sorts and proportions of Soap yearly, as they respectively are allowed to make and sell in the particular Counties and Places, to them respectively Assigned.
Adam Lord Viscount Loftus, Lord Chancellor of Ireland, being in the Month of February required by the Lord Deputy to visld up unto him the Great Seal of the Realm of Ireland, he refused to do the same without particular Warrant from the King first obtained, whereupon he was committed to Prison in Dublin-Castle for not obeying the Lord Deputies Commands.
The Arch-Bishop of Canterbury having, in his Metropolitical Visitation, given Instructions to proceed against such Ministers as did not read His Majesties Declaration publickly in the Church concerning Lawful Sports on the Lords-day, was imitated by other Bishops in their respective Visitations, who likewise required the Church-wardens upon Oath to represent, whether the Kings Declaration for Sports hath been read and published in the Church by the Minister? whereupon many were questioned if they could not produce a Certificate that they had read the same in the Church; the form of which Certificate was as followeth.
These are to Certifie, That T. G. Master of Arts, and Curate of Hitchin in Hartfordshire, within the Archdeaconry of Huntington, according to the Injunction at the Visitation there holden, did distinctly and treatably read, upon the 29th of April, being Sunday, at Morning-Prayer, after the reading of the first Lesson appointed for the day, most of the Parishioners being present, the Book Entituled, The Kings Majesties Declaration to His Subjects concerning Lawful Sports to be used.
Mr. Laurence Snelling, Minister of the Church of Pauls Cray in the County of Kent, was Articled against in the High Commission, for not reading the said Book; and being called before them in Court, he Pleaded in his own defence the Law of God, and the Law of the Realm, the Authorities of Councils, Fathers, and late Writers of all sorts.
That the Declaration it self appeared not to be His Majesties, though Published in His Name, it being not Enrolled in any Court, nor Published under His Great Seal, as all Proclamations and Briefs to be read in Churches are; that there was no Command at all of the Kings, it should be read by any in Churches, much less by Ministers; no punishment threatned, nor prescribed for not reading it, no Authority given to Arch-bishops, Bishops, High-Commissioners, or any other Persons to question, suspend, or punish any Minister for not reading it; and being a meer Civil, not Ecclesiastical Declaration, not enjoyned by any Ecclesiastical Canon or Authority, but Temporal only, he pleaded that no Ecclesiastical Judges could take cognizance of it, much less inflict any Ecclesiastical Censure for it, especially in the High Commission, it being no offence within the Statute of 1 Eliz. Ch. 1. or the Kings Commission Ecclesiastical, whereby the High-Commissioners sit, and so not questionable by them.
All which Particulars being put in his Answer, the High Commission-Court (the Lord Arch-bishop of Canterbury being then present) ordered the Answer not to be accepted, till matters unfit therein were expunged; which being done, they afterwards proceeded to Censure, as followeth.
Die Lunae, viz. nono die Mensis Februarii Anno Domini 1637. coram Commissionariis Regis ad causas Ecclesiasticas, apud Hospitium Advocatorum, &c. Judicial' seden' praesentibus Stephano Knight Deputato, & Johanne Greenhil Notario publico.
The Cause is to be informed in, and finally Sentenced out of the said Mr. Snelling's Answer, and he is to appear this day to hear and receive the final Order and Judgment of the Court; at which day and place the said Laurence Snelling being publickly called for, appeared personally, in whose presence the Articles in this Cause exhibited against him, with his Answers made thereunto, were publickly read; and then Mr. Dr. Ryves, His Majesties Advocate, pressed and enforced the Proofs against the said Mr. Snelling, according as they appeared out of his Answers; and after that the said Mr. Snelling was heard what he could say in his own defence; and after a mature and deliberate hearing of this Cause, it appeared to the Court,
That the said Mr. Snelling was here charged, for that he being a Minister in Holy Orders of Priesthood, constituted by the Authority of the Church for these twenty years last past and upwards, Rector of Pauls Cray aforesaid, for all that time and upwards, was within these four or five years last past made acquainted, that a certain Book Entituled, The Kings Majesties Declaration for Lawful Recreations after Evening-Prayer on Sundays and Holidays, was come forth, and commanded by His Majesty to be read by all Ministers in their respective Parish-Churches, and presented to Mr. Dr. Wood, Chancellor of Rochester, his Ordinary, on the 20th of November 1633. for refusing to read and publish the same in his Parish-Church of Pauls Cray.
That upon the said Presentment he was by his said Ordinary personally monished to read the same within three weeks following; that on the 11th of December 1634 aforesaid, he the said Laurence Snelling being again Convented before his said Ordinary, was primo, secundo, & tertio, personally and judicially monished in Court to read and publish the said Book in manner aforesaid, which he refusing, was suspended ab Officio & Beneficio, and hath so continued until this present, and doth so still continue unreleased; that on the third of April 1635, the said Laurence Snelling being present in Court before his Ordinary, was 1°, 2°, and 3° Judicially admonished to read and publish the said Book for Lawful Recreations as aforesaid, but did again utterly refuse to publish or read the same, and was thereupon then excommunicated by his said Ordinary, and hath so continued ever since, and doth so continue still excommunicated; that within the time articulate the said Mr. Snelling hath divers times omitted to read the Letany, and some other parts of Divine Service, and to wear the Surplice: and further, that he hath not bowed his Body, nor made any corporal obeysance at the reading, or hearing read the Blessed Name of our Saviour Jesus.
All which the Premisses appearing to be true in substance and in effect, out of the said Mr. Snelling's Answers, the Court proceeded to the giving of their Sentence in this Cause, and for the present did order, That unless the said Mr. Snelling shall conform himself to the aforesaid requisitions of his Ordinary, and read and publish the said Book for Lawful Recreations, &c. and do all due obeysance and reverence, at the Blessed Name of our Saviour Jesus, betwixt this and the second Court-day of the next Term, he should be ex nunc, prout ex tunc, deprived of his Rectory of Pauls-Cray aforesaid, but pay no Costs of Suit in case he be deprived; and to this end and purpose he the said Mr. Snelling being present in Court, was Judicially admonished to read and publish the said Book, and to make Corporal Reverence at the Name of our Saviour Jesus, sub pœna juris, & deprivationis; and to the end that he may safely repair to his Church to practise, and certifie of his Conformity in the Premisses, (in case he shall be willing to conform accordingly) it was by the Court referred to the aforesaid Ordinary Mr. Dr. Wood to absolve the said Mr. Snelling from the Sentence of Excommunication, under which he now stands, in case he shall come and desire it of his said Ordinary, and take his Oath de parendo in juri & stando mandatis Ecclesiæ, &c. according to the form in this case provided. But Mr. Snelling refusing to red the Book of Sports, &c. was deprived of his Living, and continued an Excommunicate Person, &c.