Journal of the House of Commons: Volume 10, 1688-1693. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1802.
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Martis, 11 die Junii ; 1° Willielmi et Mariæ.
THE Report from the Committee, to whom it was referred to consider of the Petitions against the Aulnagers, and to consider of the Abuses of the Aulnage in general, according to the Order of Tuesday last, were read at the Table; and are as followeth; viz.
Upon the Petition of the Clothiers in the County of Gloucester;
It appeared to the Committee, That the original Foundation of this Duty is upon the 27th Edward III. Cap.4. the Cause of making which Statute, as by the Preamble appears, was the Abuses of the then Aulnagers imposing upon Strangers: And that every one might know what he bought, without opening the Cloth, the Aulnager was appointed to measure; in which he gave the just Content of the Cloth; and for that was to receive, for an whole Cloth, an Halfpeny; and for an half Cloth, One Farthing; and for what was less, nothing; neither was that to tend to Cloths that were not to be sold. Then it grants a Subsidy upon these Cloths of Assize, wherein there was no Grain, of Four-pence: Scarlet, Six-pence; half Grain, Five-pence: But conditions expressly, That no Cloths shall be forfeited (that being a Part of the Grievance), but shall pay prorata, such Cloth exceeding Three Yards above Measure: Neither are Cloths made for one's own Use, to pay Subsidy: So that the Cloths being allowed to be between Twenty-six and Twenty-eight Yards long, and not to pay more than Four-pence Halfpeny, unless they are more than Three Yards above the Length, and Six Quarters and an half broad; so have the First Sight to compare how the Gloucestershire Cloths pay now, in respect to what they did formerly.
That the next Statute produced was 17° Richa. II°Cap 2° which gives a Liberty to sell Cloths of any Dimensions, paying Aulnage and Subsidy pro rata: But conditions, that Cloths shall be measured by the King's Aulnager, and sealed with his Seal; and by that seems to imply, That there was a Benefit to the Trade, and a Duty performed for this Fee of Aulnage.
There is also another Statute made, in the same Year of Richard the Second, Cap. 5. which forbids Aulnagers to be made for Life; and annuls such Patents; implying as if a Man might make an unreasonable Use of that Imployment, if he had it for a Term.
That, to these Statutes, the Counsel for the Aulnagers produced several Judgments and Decrees; First, One in the Exchequer, wherein they had a Verdict, which does find, that, if they are to pay by the Weight, the full Duty is paid; if by Measure, the Duty is not paid; and thereupon, the Verdict goes against the Clothiers.
That there was a Petition from the Clothiers to the King and Council, which went against them: But indeed, the Clothiers do complain of foul Play in this; however, they were dismissed.
There was then produced a Statute, 4Jac. Imi (which some People accuse of having been foully obtained): This enacts, That a broad Woollen Cloth shall be Twenty-four Yards long, without mentioning any Breadth; and that all Payments shall be made according to this Rate.
That there were afterwards these Witnesses produced on behalf of the Aulnagers;
William Wratten: Who said, That John Turner's Cloths, now under Seizure, were Forty-four Yards long, and Six Quarters broad, dry and strained.
Thomas Hunt said, he had sometimes bought Gloucestershire Cloths Forty-four and Forty-eight Yards long: That these, whilst in the Water, are either Thirty-six, Thirty-eight, or Forty; and that these last, when strained, will come to Forty-eight long: That the Clothiers give Allowance, if they are not so; and that the Breadth of these Cloths is Six Quarters and half.
Now, there having been Weight mentioned, as well as Measure, and the Cloth being really made longer than appointed by the Statutes, I would beg Leave to make some Digression; and to give you an Account what Relation there is between the Measure and the Weight; and how they pay pro rata, in relation to the Dimensions allowed by the Statutes, and those the Clothes are made at now; and this before I come to the Customs and Usage upon these Statutes, which are the Proofs by the Clothiers. In all Commodities made of Wool by Statutes or Judgments, Sixty-four Pounds Weight is to pay Four-pence Subsidy, and One halfpeny Aulnage: Now, if the Gloucestershire Cloths pay according to this Weight, it is probable, though the Cloths be stretched (the Markets requiring it) the King's Tax is satisfied as to the Measure also: But a Cloth weighs commonly Seventy-two Pounds, for which they pay Six-pence: This is Three-halfpence for the Eight Pound exceeding the Sixty-four Pound, and what is more than pro rata: Then take the Measure to be allowed, full-milled, thick, and unstrained, Twenty-four Yards (at which time the Aulnage ought to measure) and Six Quarters and half wide; they are now made Five Quarters and half, unstrained, wide, which amounts to Nine Inches bated in Breadth: Then, allowing (which is always) for One Inch in Breadth, One Yard in Length; this will make the Twenty-four to be Thirty-three: And to these add Four Yards for stretching in Length, and Four Inches and half in Breadth: Then Cloth will come to Thirty-seven long, and Six Quarters broad, and Sixty-four Pound Weight; which has an universal Agreement with the Rates: And then, if the other Seven Yards remaining, to allow it of the highest, agrees with the Eight Pound Weight, there is an universal Agreement between the Weight and Measure: And this we shall see, by dividing the Six-pence, paid by the Gloucestershire Clothiers, into Four Three-halfpences (whereof Three Quarters is already paid); and see, if Three Quarters, which is four Halfpenies, be paid for Thirty-seven Yards of Gloucestershire Cloth, how many Yards must remain for the last Quarter pro rata; and we shall find Twelve and a Quarter: Which out-runs the Seven allowed at the Top of all is pretended from them: And, according to this, has been the Usage, say the Gloucestershire Clothiers: And, to prove which, they produce these Witnesses following.
Joell Andrewes said, That formerly Gloucestershire Clothes used to be broad Lists, and contain in Lenght between Thirty-six and Thirty-eight Yards; their Breadth Six Quarters: That the Trade required changing to narrow Lists, which contained, in the Water, from Thirty-two to Thirty-four Yards in Length; and were less than Six Quarters wide: From this, in some time, they added to the Length of their Cloths Two Yards; and abated of the Breadth: So that then the Measures come to be wet Thirty-four and Thirty-six in Length, and in Breadth Five and an half: That for a Cloth of these Dimensions, there was never more paid than Six-pence, till within about these Two Years: That these narrow Lists have always been made with a Forrill in the Middle; which the Aulnagers very well knew from the Beginning, yet never pretended to any Duty for such Forrill, more than the Six-pence per Cloth, till within these Two or Three Years: Since which Time, they have demanded Threepence more; and, if the Clothiers made any Delay in the Payment, they would seize the Cloths, and make them pay Two-pence per Cloth for such Seizure, over and above the Demand of Nine-pence. This Witness had Cloths seized from him by the Aulnagers, for the Nine-pence Duty, of Daniel Webb, Benjamin Talboyes; and which he was forced to pay the whole Duty of Nine-pence, and Ten Shillings over, for, before he could have them again. He further says, That a Cloth of Thomas Ridlers being seized by the Aulnagers, he demanded the Return, paying the Duty of Nine-pence; but was refused.
Sir Thomas Vernon; That he was in Turkey in the Year 1652, at which time, he first saw narrow listed Cloths of Gloucester; and agrees, in Evidence, with the former Witness touching the Measure.
Sir William Falkner saith, He never remembers other but narrow listed Cloths, and that the Measures were as before, and the Cloths made with a Forrill; and that, though such a Cloth were cut in Two at the Middle, it was then esteemed no more than a whole Cloth: He remembers from 1662.
Mr. Walter Coventry, traded Thirty-five Years, saith, That the Measures have always been as aforesaid: That the narrow Lists came in Request about the Year 1657: That they were always made with a Forrill, without which they could not be merchantable.
Thomas Nappier said, That he received this Duty of Aulnage, for about Nine Years after his Father's Death, who received for many Years before; during which time, they used all narrow Lists with Forrills in the Middle, and had Three Peny Seals, at each End One; for which he was never paid more than Six-pence: And says, That the Lengths have always been used as above described.
Thus far touching the Usage and Measures, Sealing and Duty paid till Two Years since.
Mr. James Bodington agreed, in the Measure with those that have given Evidence; and that narrow Lists have always had a Forrill, which was used for that they might colour the same Cloth of Two different Colours, or sell half a Cloth, upon Occasion, without opening the other half; which, it seems, is as damageable to Cloth as it was to Says and Bays, for which the Duty has been taken off formerly by Act of Parliament from Says and Bays; notwithstanding which, the Aulnagers have cut open several Cloths to search for the Seals; by which means, the Cloths have been returned upon the Clothiers Hands, as rejected Goods: This Forrill has been, from the Year 1667, for about Twenty Years, and always known to the Aulnagers, without their pretending to any further Duty for it: But, within about these Two Years, they have pretended to demand Three-pence more, saying, the Cloths made with a Forrill in the Middle were double Cloths, though, in Reality, they contain no more in Measure, or Weight, than the former Gloucestershire broad listed Cloths without a Forrill: And for this new Duty, they have seized several Cloths; whereof they have now in their Hands Thirty Cloths of One Man's; and refuse to deliver them, unless the Clothiers will pay very extravagant Fees over and above the Three-pence.
That the Clothiers, being mightily distressed by this, and wanting their Cloths for a present Market, have proffered to pay the Demands; but have been refused, and lost their Markets.
This Witness said, particularly, That he had Four Cloths seized out of his Hands, for which he offered the Three-pence pretended extraordinary Duty; but could not obtain them, till he paid Twenty Shillings more for pretended Fees: Saith, several Cloths have been seized for Three-pence alone, and never returned.
He further saith, That sometimes Cloths come up out of the Country cut in Two at the Forrill; and that the Aulnagers denying to sell Three-pence Seal (which they were used to do formerly by the Bushel), the Clothier has been obliged to take a Four-pence Halfpeny Seal, and a Peny Halfpeny Seal, and put One upon his Cloth at one End, and the other at the other; and the Cloths being cut, as aforesaid, they have seized the Piece with the Peny Halfpeny Seal upon it, pretending want of Duty.
Mr. Wm. Webb, Clothier, said, That these present Aulnagers have taken Three-pence upon each Cloth, over and above the accustomed Duty, for about Three Years: That one Stephen Peck, about Lady Day was Twelvemonths, did seize Two of his Cloths in Blackwell Hall, and carried them to his Office; and, upon his Demand, they denied to deliver his Cloths: Upon which, he paid the Three-pence, and about Twelve Shillings Charges: And that the Aulnagers used, ordinarily, to make such Clothiers, from whom they exacted this Duty, give them a Discharge, or general Release.
Daniel Chance said, That the Aulnagers seized upon Cloths of his, in the Year 1686, in Blackwell Hall, in February, for not having Two Four-peny Halfpeny Seals affixed, One at an End; though, in Truth, some of them had such Seals, which they seized nevertheless, and carried away to the Aulnagers Office: Where Bodington comes to demand the Reason of the Seizure; the Officers tell him, for Non-payment of the Duty of Ninepence: Bodington replies, He never knew more than Six-pence due: Whereupon the Officers retained the Cloths a considerable Time, and opened them; by which they were damaged Twenty Shillings a Cloth: But, at last, upon paying their Demand, which came to a Peny a Cloth, over and above the Nine-pence, they were delivered.
John Haynes, Factor, said, That Gloucestershire Cloths (till of late) never used to pay the Aulnagers more than Six-pence a Cloth, although they were made with a Forrill, and the same Dimensions with these now made: That he hath had several Cloths seized in his Standing; and particularly, several Seizures made upon the Cloths of John Turner; at one time Eighteen Cloths: And the said Turner, knowing the Damage the Opening those Cloths would be to him, offered Three-pence apiece extraordinary Duty; but was refused all, save Four or Five Cloths; and, indeed, the rest yet remain in the Aulnagers Hands. He had once Fifteen returned from the Aulnagers, which were refused by the Merchant, for having been opened, after he had paid Two-pence a Cloth Porterage, Three-pence extraordinary Duty, and Six-pence the Cloth Acquittance.
Mr. Small said, There is no Advantage to the Clothiery Trade by these Seals; for that the Clothiers put them on themselves, without any other Interspection.
That, upon hearing and debating the whole Matter, at several Sittings, the Committee came to these Resolutions following; viz.
Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That there is no more than Six-pence Duty of Aulnage, or Subsidy, due for any One such Gloucestershire Cloth, with a Forrill in the Middle.
Resolved, That the Collecting or Distraining for more that Six-pence Duty of Aulnage, or Subsidy, for any One Gloucestershire Cloth, is illegal, and an Abuse to the Subject.
Upon the Petition of the Norwich Weavers;
It appeared to the Committee, That there was this Definition given of Worsteds; That they were only Stuffs made at the Town of Worsted in the County of Norfolke. There was also this Account given by John Motrum, of the Difference between Worsted and Woollen; That one passes through the Combs, and the other is carded: That worsted Yarn will not make Cloth: And that, in making up into Stuff, Threads of several other Materials, as Yarn, Silk, &c. are mixt with it, to different Quantities. There is also another Stuff made here of Worsted and Woollen, called Druggets; which was not known till the Begining of Charles the Second. These are the several Stuffs which are in Question, by this Petition: and the Question was, Whether they were to be comprehended as Woollen Cloth within the Statute of 27 Edw. III. Cap. 4.
That the Reasons, urged by the Aulnagers, why they should be comprized, was, for that the Duty of Subsidy and Aulange was granted to the King, in Consideration of another Duty of Six Shillings and Eight-pence due to his Majesty, for every Sack of Wool exported: Which Duty ceasing, Exportation being forbid by the Statute of 24 E. III. this was granted in lieu of it.
That, to prove this, the Aulnagers produce a Patent for marking and measuring of these Norwich Stuffs, granted to one Pooley, in the 22d of E. III.; But this Patent was damned the next Parliament, There was also another Patent of the like Sort, granted in the 36th of Queen Eliz. to one Delves and Fitz Williams; but suffered the like Fate with the former: And thus it went to the Time of King James the First, when the Duke of Richmond (as it is said), having great Power at Court, forces the Workers of Worsted to pay for some time.
That it was also there proved, That Paul Canham seizes some of the Worsted Stuffs: Whereupon the Workmen were obliged to force an Information in the Exchequer, before the Lord Chief Baron Montague; where the Jury found it against them: Whereupon, the Aulnagers got this Verdict settled in the Nature of a Decree in Chancery, or Latin Information.
That it is agreed on all Hands, that the Duty of Aulnage is repealed by the Statute of 7 Edw. IV. But then it is said, by the Aulnagers, the Subsidy remains due: And to prove this, it was urged by the Aulnagers Counsel, That, when the Question was before the Lord Chief Baron Hales, Whether a Duty was due for Says; it was resolved, That a Subsidy was due. The Counsel urged further, That Wool and Worsted ought to be comprehended under the same Name; for, that in the 11th of Hen. IV. they are called Drabs de Worsted.
That the Counsel for the Aulnagers, to prove this Duty was in the King, produced a Grant in 4 Hen. IV. to the City of Norwich, of this Duty, for Seven Years, to help them to repair a Watercourse and Walls; which by that Grant, appeared then to be out of Order: And thus far goes the Proof of the Aulnagers.
That the Counsel, on the other side, denied, That this Subsidy becomes due, in Consideration of the Transportation of Wool being forbid; but that it becomes due, in Compensation of the Forfeitures due to the King, upon the Statute of Northampton, and the 25 Edw. III d which he had remitted: And say, That, in reality, from the Time of the granting this Duty upon Woollen Manufacture, they never paid one Farthing, till the Time of James the First, when the Duke of Richmond was so very powerful, and they a Company of very poor Men, that they could not oppose his great Authority; but were forced to submit to their own Damage for something, and rather pay a Farthing upon a Stuff, than be put to One hundred Pounds Charge in a Law Suit: And this, they say, appears sufficiently, by the Parliament's Damnings of Pooley's Patent; as also, That if that Duty had been in the King, Pooley need not have desired a Confirmation in Parliament, as he did.
That they said also, That the Statute of 27 Edw. III. names only Wool, and that there is very great Difference between Woollen and Worsted Manufactures; and that when an Act of Parliament intends to grant a Tax, it never spares naming Particulars: That, in other Acts of Parliament, they are named distinctly and apart; which in this they are not: And therefore, suppose Worsteds not designed to be comprehended within it; and do aver, that whatever of the Woollen Manufactures be comprehended within the Statute of 27 Edw. III. ought to answer the Size of Northampton; which could not mean these Worsted, by reason they had another Assize, as appears by Record of 1 Edw. III. As to the Grant of the City of Norwich, for Seven Years, nothing appears what became of that Duty before or after; and therefore, they suppose, might be some Agreement between the King and the Citizens for the Good of the City.
That it is true, that this Pretence of Aulnage began to be very troublesome towards the Beginning of James the First; and was then referred to all the Judges; by whom there was no Duty found due for Worsteds, as appears in Lord Cooke, 2d Part, 62, and Fo. 545.
They say, there is a very considerable Difference made between Worsted and Woollen Manufactures in 24° Edw. III. where Worsted pays but One Peny, and Woollen One Shilling and Two-pence.
That they said, in Answer to the Decree given by my Lord Chief Baron Hales concerning Bays, that it relates nothing to them; Bays being a new Drapery, and theirs, old.
That, as the Judgment and Verdict given by my Lord Chief Baron Montague, they say, that it was gotten, because they were not suffered to read several Depositions, taken in the 44th of Queen Eliz; the Court forbidding the reading them, because they could not, at that time, find an Answer, which had been made in that Court some time before in the same Case: Which seeming to this Committee a Hardship in the Law, and that those Depositions might be a great Weight against the Judgment, the Committee was inclined to hear them: And the Question was put, Whether they should be read or no; and carried in the Affirmative.
These Depositions did all affirm, that none never paid but of late.
That they also affirmed, which Paul Canham acknowledged, That the Lease, granted to him for Twenty-one Years, from the Duke of Richmond, for this Duty, was but barely a Lease of Prosecution: for that the Conditions were to pay Twenty Pounds per Annum the First Seven Years, Fifty Pounds the Second Seven Years, and One hundred Pounds the Third.
That, seeing that this was wholly a Case in Law, it was put to the Question, Whether this Committee would decide the Point in Law; and it was carried in the Affirmative.
Whereupon the Committee proceeded to examine Witnesses.
Thomas Nutter: Who said, He was Apprentice to Alderman Church of Norwich; and that he was the First that ever made Druggets, and had it some time a Secret to himself. He says further, That the Threads of different Materials were mixed in Weaving, not in the Spinning: Then there was produced a Piece of Stuff, which was more than half Silk; for which the Aulnager demands a Duty. He says further, That, about Three Years since, Paul Canham seized Five Pieces of his Stuff for Fifteen Farthings Duty, which he detains still.
John Wiggett said, That he had Forty Yards of Stuff seized by the Aulnager, and put in his Warehouse; where they were thrown up and down, till they were so greasy, that, when he would have sold them, they were returned by the Merchants. He says, That he has sometimes lost the Seals off the Stuffs, which have afterwards been seized by Cannon: And that, when he has told him, that he could prove the Duties were paid, and effectually proved it, Cannon, to avoid giving them again, pretends they were returned into the Exchequer: And then comes one Bryarton to get Money upon Computation, and advises him to give a Sum of Money for them: But he resolves to try it out by Law; and says, That the Rabble, going to Cannon's in the late Revolution, found the Stuffs there, who acquainted the said Mr. Wiggett with it, He seizes them by Replevin.
Thomas Westwood, Servant to the Weavers, received his Wages in Goods; whereof he sent a Parcel to London. Conham, by the Way, seizes those which were unsealed, without returning a Farthing, though the Duty was not worth Four-pence.
Thomas Pitcher works in Rugs which he . . . . was never called to the Crown Seal till Canham's Time: However, a Market offering, he desires Seals of Canham, which he denied: So he sends his Twenty Rugs away without them, and Canham seizes them at Lynn: He says, That any of Canham's Family used to give out Seals formerly, though the same was denied him now. Canham, upon this, demands Ten Pounds for the Rugs, but takes Four Pounds Twelve Shillings and Six-pence, which he would not give a Receipt for, but makes him take a Receipt for Twenty Shillings; whereas, in truth, the Duty due for those (if any) was but Twenty-pence.
John Mottrum said, That they being obliged to wait for Seals, is a very great Grievance, and Loss of their Time, his House being of a very great Distance, although at some Hours of the Day he seals at Weavers Hall. He says further, That Mr. Canham, liking Two Pieces of his Stuff, seized them also, although he was duly paid before; and obliges the Weaver to pay Five Shillings for One Piece again; whereof the Weaver made Affidavit; and that the Crown Seal was then upon the Piece.
Thomas Mason said, That Canham demanded Search at his House, although his Son had been there but Two Days before; at which he . . . . surprised; and asking, why he did so, Canham forces open his Press, and takes away Three Pieces of his Stuff; whereof One was sealed; and used them all ill, to spoil them; He takes these Stuffs for Work, which is a Custom there; and sometimes delivered them sealed by the Weavers, and sometimes not: Which the Workmen received so; and the Aulnager commonly comes and seals them at their own Houses, Now, to have these returned, he is obliged to give Twelve Bottles of Sack to the Aulnager's Wife, and Twelve Pounds or more to himself; which he effectually paid.
William Austin said, That Paul Canham seized upon Three Pieces of Silk Crape of his at Attleborough in the Way of London, the like of which he had refused to give Seals for, half a Year before, saying, those that proffered him came to betray him; such Mixtures of Silk belonging not to his Office: Yet he never returned them again; the Pieces were worth Three Pounds and Six-pence a piece, and the Duty demanded Three Farthings.
Thomas Crotch said, when Canham came first to Norwich, he sold Seals; and that, asking him, whether he might put Seals to Silk Stuffs, Canham replied, He might; for he expected an Order. This Witness had a Piece of rich Stuffs, which he desired Canham to seal at his own House, for fear of spoiling them some way in carrying out: Accordingly, Canham's Son comes to his House, and seals them, for which he received what Duty he demanded; nevertheless, Canham meets them at Attleborough, and seizes them.
Whereupon the Committee came to these Two Resolutions; viz.
Resolved, That this Committee is of the Opinion, That the Stuffs, commonly called Worsteds, or Norwich Stuffs, are not liable to pay the Duty or Subsidy of Aulnage, either by the Statute of the 27th of Edward IIId or any other Statute of this Realm.
Resolved, That this Committee is of Opinion, That the Collections of the Duty and Subsidies of Aulnage, which have been made upon such Worsteds, or Norwich Stuffs, were a great Oppression, and illegal.
Upon the Petition of the Stocking Makers of Somerset and Dorsett;
That the Committee examined further into the Abuses committed by the Aulnagers, and, upon the 27April, had before them the Petition of the Stocking Makers in the Counties of Somersett and Dorsett; by which, they said, Eight thousand Families were maintained.
That this appeared to be a Duty never demanded till the Year 1685, when it was first set on Foot, and esteemed, in those Counties, worth about One hundred Pounds per Annum, though, by the Ingenuity of the Aulnagers, it is now amounted to about Eight thousand Pounds per Annum. It seems, the general Design of this Aulnager was (by his laying his Pretensions upon the Six Shillings and Fourpence for every Sack of Wool exported) to bring all the Wool off to Land which was made up into any Manufacture under his Pay; and accordingly, set up a Standard (because they could get nothing by Measure in this Case) for Sixty-four Pound Weight in this Manufacture, to pay Four-pence Subsidy, and an Halfpeny Aulnage: And to justify themselves, produce an Information in the Exchequer 3 Jac. Fo. 87. That the Workers of Worsted Stocking, or Woollen, pay for Sixty-four Pound Four-pence Halfpeny, for Dornix a certain Weight, One Peny; but, because this could not presently be decided, the Judges order, That the Monies, which might become due upon the * * * *, should be lodged in one Leonard Napper the Town Clerk's Hands, till the Cause was determined.
Then, in pursuance of this, they produce an Order in Scaccario Anno 4° Jac. which sets forth, That the Duty had been in the Crown for Twenty-five Years last past; and, thereupon, or to the Duke of Richmond; who gives Security to repay this again, in case a Judgment should go against them: This sets forth the Manner, how this Duty for Stockings should be received.
That then the Aulnagers produce a Decree, in 6° Car. in the Exchequer, That new Drapery shall pay Fourpence Subsidy, and Halfpeny Aulnage; and Stockings Twenty-pence per Perk.
That Counsel for the Petitioners said: That this Subsidy was never paid till 1685: That their Clients do pay Seven-pence Halfpeny Duty for Stockings exported; but that their Case is so clear, they will only call their Witnesses.
Wm. Merrivell said, That he had known the Stocking Trade above Forty Years, but never heard of this Duty till the Year 1685, when the Aulnager began to demand for Sixty-four Weight of Stockings Four-pence Halfpeny, and Three Years Arrears (it seems, this was let to farm in the Year 1681); and accordingly, made the Stocking Men pay it, who bring in an Action against them at Wells, and recover their Money: Then the Aulnager brings his Action in the Exchequer, which is yet depending: But that this would not serve the Aulnager's Turn; and he changed his Four-pence Halfpeny of Sixty-four Pound Weight, to demand One Peny per Score for all Sorts of Stockings, as well great as little: Which this Witness refusing to pay, the Aulnager seized Forty Pounds Worth of his Goods, to the Loss of his Markets, and his great Damage: And, in the Whitsun Week, they seized upon Forty Shillings Worth more; and some time after, upon Forty-two Pounds Worth more: Which, though they delivered them back again for Ten-pence Charges, over the One Peny per Score, ceased not to be a very great Vexation.
That it is observable, That, whenever the Aulnager had a mind to demand any such Tax of the Workmen, and were refused, they would pick out Two or Three of them, who, not being able to bear the Charges of the Suit, would commonly submit.
Archibald Harper produced a printed Paper, which was sent down into the Country, and contains what the Stocking Maker should pay; together, with a Letter owned to be writ by Mr. Moor's Directions, ordering such and such Persons to pay Twenty Pounds, as he directs, in Consideration of a Suit brought against Six Persons there, and a Verdict; which good Terms he grants them, upon Condition they would aid him in levying the Duty.
This Witness paid towards the Three Years One Pound Five Shillings. He paid also to Hen. Monck of Blackwell Hall Three Shillings and Sixpence, over the One Peny per Score.
That, January the 20th, 1688, Monk came into their Chamber, and rifles all their Goods, demanding where the Seals were: The Workmen shewed them one Parcel, lying in the Window, which he denies to be fixed with a Tillet; but the Workmen, averring they were, bid him seize; which he denied to do.
Timothy Michaell said, That he never knew this Subsidy paid till the Year 1685, when Mr. Moore grounded his Pretensions upon the printed Decree, demanded Four-pence Halfpeny for Sixty-four Pounds Weight of Stockings; but, instead of holding to this, seizes this Witness's Goods at London for One Peny per Score, contrary to his former Order; and sometimes hath seized his Goods, although the Four-pence Halfpeny Seal was upon them. He further says, There was a great Difference between Stockings in Weight, when they pay by the Score. He further saith, That he hath lost his Market, by Seizures, to the Damage of Five Pounds; as also, that Mens Stockings, exported, pay a Duty to the King of Seven-pence Halfpeny, over and above the pretended Duty of One Peny per Score.
Wm. Ware said, That he paid Twelve Pounds, as he proved by Recant, for Arrears pretended to be the Aulnagers in 1685; as also, Twice Fifty Shillings for Seizures.
Wm. Evans, That the 7th April 1687, he was forced to pay One Pound Two Shillings, over and above the One Peny per Score to the Aulnagers; and that, having one Parcel of Nine, and another of Eleven, of these Goods, coming to London (which made up the Score), the Aulnagers seized upon the Eleven, for being over Number, and took no notice of the Nine.
That, upon hearing the whole Matter, the Committee came to these Resolutions; viz.
Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That Stockings made of Woollen or Worsted is not, by any Statute or Law of this Realm, comprehended within Drapery, and therefore not liable to the Subsidy of Aulnage.
Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That the Collecting Four-pence Halfpeny for every Sixty-four Pounds Weight of Stockings, made of Woollen or Worsted, is a Grievance.
Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That the Collecting of One Peny per Score for Stockings, made of Woollen or Worsted, is illegal, and an Oppression to the Subject.
Upon the Petition of the Yorkshire Clothiers,
It appeared, that the Committee had examined into the Matter of the Petition of the Clothiers in the West Riding of the County of Yorke: Who set forth, That the Petitioners, Time out of Mind, never paid to the Aulnagers for the Seals, for Sealing of the Kerseys by them made and sold, called Northerne Kerseys, more than a Peny for a Seal for One Kersey, of what Length or Weight soever the same Kersey were; and had the same searched at their own Houses, without any further Trouble: But that, of late, the Aulnagers, or their Deputies, have not only exacted of your Petitioners Two-pence and Two-pence Halfpeny, and more, for some Seals for some of the said Kerseys; but also, after the Clothiers have bought Seals of them, at their own Rates, and have affixed them to their Kerseys, yet the Aulnagers have distrained several of their Kerseys, sometimes at their own Houses, sometimes as they were bringing them to the Markets to be sold, and sometimes in the Markets; pretending they were under sealed, and because they were not stampt with the Word "Yorke," being by them newly invented, and never heard of till of late; and have detained their Kerseys, and forced them to pay such high and unreasonable Sums, as they have, at their own Pleasures, demanded, to their great Damage.
That the Witnesses produced for the Clothiers were these;
John Denham, Clothier, said, That he hath been a Dealer in Kerseys for above Thirty Years; and that then, and for several Years after, no more was paid nor demanded than One Peny a Kersey: That formerly the Kerseys were better, larger, and heavier than they are usually made now: That, in November 1684, he was carrying a Parcel of his Goods to Market; but one Brookes, belonging to the Aulnagers, seized them, and carried them away, though they were sealed, and the Seals paid for, to his great Damage, and Loss of his Market.
James Longbotham said, That he hath used the Trade of a Clothier Forty Years, and he hath fetched many Seals from the Aulnagers; and he never paid more than a Peny for a Seal; nor ever more then a Peny was demanded till of late.
Thomas Hanson, Factor, said, That he hath been a Dealer in Kerseys these Thirty-six Years; and that then, and for several Years after, he never paid, nor the Aulnager never demanded, more than one Peny per Piece, though formerly the Kerseys were longer and broader than they are now made: Said, That the Aulnagers of late have taken upon them to seize their Kerseys, and rifle and tumble their Cloths; and have forced them to pay, sometimes Two-pence, sometimes Two-pence Halfpeny, and sometimes Three-pence, for a Kersey; and have abused and threatened the Clothiers; and have many times forced them to pay other Fees, besides the pretended Duty.
John Hurst said, That he hath been a Kersey Maker Fourteen Years: That, for Ten Years together, he never paid, nor the Aulnagers never demanded, more than a Peny for a Kersey. Saith, That about Two Years since, he was carrying Two Pieces of Kerseys to sell; but one Granage, belonging to the Aulnagers, met him on the Road, abused him, and seized the Cloths, and forced him to pay Ten Shillings, or else he would ruin him; which he accordingly paid out of Fear that he should be ruined: Saith, That he paid for the Seals before to the Aulnager, for these two Pieces of Kerseys, which Granage seized.
That the Clothiers produced a Decree obtained in the Exchequer by the Clothiers, against the Aulnagers, in 12° Jacobi, which limits the Duty to One Peny for every Piece of Kersey.
That the Aulnagers produced the Act of 17°Richard. IIdi, Cap. 2. That Kersey, as well as others, should pay Subsidy and Aulnage pro rata; and an Act of the 4th Edward IVth. Cap. 1. which declares the Length of Kerseys to be Eighteen Yards; and 3° Jacobi I. Cap. 16. which gives Leave to make Kerseys of Twenty-four Yards long: But delares, That a Kersey of Twenty-four Yards shall pay as much, and a Third Part as much, as a Kersey of Eighteen Yards ought to pay.
That they also produced a Decree by the Lord Chief Baron Montague (mentioning the Decree of 12 Jac. I.), which adjudges and decrees, That all Kerseys from Sixteen Pounds Weight to Twenty-four Pounds Weight shall pay One Peny Halfpeny Subsidy, and an Halfpeny Aulnage; and from Twenty-four Pounds Weight to Thirty Pounds Weight Two-pence Subsidy, and One Peny Halfpeny Aulnage, and so proportionably.
That the Aulnagers produced Mr. John Holroide to prove, That Kerseys have been made of these Lengths and Weights, and have paid no more than is decreed.
That they proved, that Brookes (whom they say seized some of Denham's Cloths in 1684) was no Officer of theirs, neither had they the Farm of Yorke in the Year 1684.
That the Committee, upon hearing the whole Matter, came to these Resolutions following;
Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That there is no . . . Money due for Aulnage, or Subsidy of Aulnage, upon Kerseys, than One Peny per Piece.
Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That the Collecting of more Aulnage, or Subsidy of Aulnage, than One Peny for One Piece of Kersey Cloths, is a Grievance.
Upon the Petition of the Bay and Say Makers of Essex and Suffolke;
It appeared to the Committee, That the Aulnagers lay it down for a Foundation, that all Things made of Wool were under their Right; and say, That this Right is sufficiently warranted by the Statutes of the 24 and 27 Edw. IIId. and 17° Ricar. IIi. and say, That conformable to this have been many Judgments in that Case; and particularly quote the Case between Vere and Sampson in the Exchequer: Where upon a Demurrer, Issue was joined, and a Verdict given for them; which, nevertheless, they produced not. They urged also, the Lord Chief Baron Hales's Opinion and Judgment, that Bays and Says were in the Equity of the Statute, and ought to pay as new Drapery, although it was a Manufacture brought in long since the making of the Statute, which the Aulnagers ground this Presumption to this Duty upon; and conclude, with saying, these Acts of Parliament, and Judgments given upon them, they think sufficient Authority for their levying this Duty as they have done.
That the Petitioners said, That the Making of Bays and Says, and Perpetuana's, was a Manufacture brought from beyond Sea hither, in 39°Reginæ: That she was so pleased with it, and thought it so great an Advantage to England, that, for an Encouragement, she incorporates them by the Name of the Dutch Bay Hall, as so they continued till 12° Car. IIi.: which Statute takes notice of the great Advantage they bring to the Nation, and adds to their Privilege the Liberty of Sealing and Marking: That, for a Specimen of this Advantage, the Trade has employed Thirty thousand Families; but that, by this Pretence of Aulnage, &c. so many Families are ruined, that scarce the half are now employed: That, to bring this to pass, the Aulnage have taken all Advantage upon the poor Workmen.
That first, whereas their Stuffs are to pass through several Hands, where they are thrown up and down, as the Presser, Dyer, &c. if the Seal, loosely set on, happens to drop off, there is an Aulnager at hand to take away the Piece of Stuff; but, thinking this not enough, they have of late, since the Judgments alledged, demanded more Duty; and, for Non-payment, seized and carried away without any Pretence of Law: Which (said the Counsel) did they not bear a great Respect to the Memory of the Lord Cooke, and the Lord Chief Baron Hales, they should take it but for a Pretence, by any Ground for it they courted in the Statutes; for that, first, the Stuffs could not be intended by the Statutes, not being then made in England, neither can they be without the Equity of those Acts, the Ground of the Pretence upon all Wool being false; and that, for the Decree and Verdict in my Lord Cooke's Time, it is particularly said therein, That they were directed so to do by a Decree in Queen Elizabeth's Time; which Decree not appearing, the Committee did not receive so much Satisfaction thereby; especially, it being urged by the Petitioner's Counsel, That, in a Decree upon a Demurrer, Judgment may be given without trying the Merits of the Cause; and therefore, the Record not being produced, this Verdict ought to weigh little with the Committee.
That the Petitioners offered for Evidence,
Daniel Nandiwall: Who said, That in Colchester they make Eight hundred Bays per Week; which are all brought to the Dutch Bay Hall, and there measured and sealed, by Men set apart for that Purpose, and not the Aulnagers as is appointed in the Statute in 12°Car. IIdi.
Simon Messey: Who said, That there are Three or Four hundred Bays made by the Week, in Places round about, for which Seals are sold by the Aulnager, who, sometimes being unfurnished clear of the Bays must wait, let the Markets or Merchant want them never so much, till they have some, which is a very great Hinderance and Discouragement to their Trade. He says further, That the Duty formerly paid for a short Bays was Three-pence, and for a long Bays Five-pence Halfpeny; which Duty, within this Eight or Nine Years, the Aulnagers have Arbitraryships to Three-pence Halfpeny.
John Rugells: Who said the same with the former; and that this Duty has been risen accordingly, since he was a Tradesman.
Richard Waite: Who said, That, whereas there was an Intermission of paying this Duty for several Years: When it began to be paid again, for some Years there was no more than One Peny paid for One says, or One Perpetuana; for which now the Officers enact a Duty for One Peny Halfpeny, though these are really lighter in Weight than the former; and is a Third Part less than the Sixty-four Pounds ordinary in other Cases.
He further says, with the other Witnesses, That the Aulnagers very often want Seals, till which are had, all their Trade must be stopped, under paying or forfeiting their Commodities.
Edmund Coe: Who said, That, upon the Third of September last past, packing up his Goods at Long Mellfard, he went for Seals to the Aulnager's: Who told him, He had none; but that he had sent his Son to another Aulnager for some, who returned not till the next Morning: However, he continues to pack his Goods, the Merchant waiting them, a Ship going off in Four Days time; the Aulnager having got Seals, he buys Eighteen, according to the Number of his Cloths for This; binds them up, and rides away with them to Colchester with all Haste, after his Cloths; where he goes to deliver them to the Aulnager there; but finds all his Cloths seized: Upon which, he gives an Account how he came to want them; but the Aulnager of Colchester pretending not to believe it, he rides back to Mellford, and brings him a Note of it, under the Melford Aulnager's Hand, of the Truth of it, and that he had bought of him the Seals required for those Bays: Nevertheless, the Colchester Aulnager tells him, He would not excuse him under Ten Pounds; and, accordingly, forces him to pay the said Sum: Which done, he also receives from him the said Eighteen Seals bought at Melford, and puts them up in his Pocket, without sealing the Bays: This Aulnager's Name was Holyday. He further addeth, That the Aulnagers oblige the Workmen to take a Stamp from them, and pay Three-pence for it.
That, thereupon the Committee came to these Resolutions, upon the Matter of Fact:
Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That if any Aulnage, or Subsidy of Aulnage, be due for Bays, Says, Perpetuana's, there is no more than Five-pence Halfpeny due for a long Bays, Three-pence for a short Bays, and One Peny for Says and Perpetuana's.
Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That the Collecting more Aulnage, or Subsidy of Aulnage, than the Sum abovesaid, for Bays, Says, or Perpetuana's, is illegal, and an Abuse to the Subject.
Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That this Duty, and the Manner of Collecting it, is a great Grievance and Hinderance to Trade.
Upon the Petition of the Drapers of London;
It appeared to the Committee, That the Counsel for the Petitioners insisted, That this is a quite different Case from the rest; and that, though there should be a Duty due of Aulnage, yet they ought not to be troubled with it; and that this Duty, by the express Words of the Statute, is to be levied before the Cloths are put to Sale: That they pass through so many Hands, before they come to them, that sometimes they are the Fifth Buyers, besides all other Artificers that have to do with it in the Tumbling and Tossing up and down; among all whom it is impossible that a Thing, so slightly put on as a Seal, should not sometimes drop off; besides, if it does not, a Customer will sometimes have the End with the Seal to it, and then the Aulnager pretends to the Remnant for Want of the Seal, which must hinder all their Trade: That the Aulnagers may as well follow a Remnant into a Gentleman's House, and seize there: Then, when the Aulnager has got such a Prize, the Draper must compound for Five or Ten Pounds, or stand a Suit in law, which will cost him Thirty Pounds, and after all recover no Damage; and all this is unwarrantable, and must, in the End, ruin them and their Trade.
That the Counsel for the Aulnagers said, That, if they may not every where search, the Clothiers will play many Tricks to avoid Payment; and that Cloth, once forfeited, shall be so, where-ever it is carried; and that the Law gives a Liberty to search, and take it where-ever it is.
That then they called their Witnesses to Matter of Fact.
William Shephard Salesman, said, He buys sometimes at Second or Third Hand; and said, That the Aulnager attempted to bring his Neighbours to a Composition of so much in the Year, to be excused searching their Shops, and tamper with him, and offer him Money to desert them; which he refused: That, thereupon, Alridge, Patridge, and Webb, Aulnagers, threatened to make him an Example, and accordingly, immediately search his Shop, and seize some Norwich Stuffs: Whereupon, he had an Hearing in the Exchequer, and there proved the Duty for these Stuffs to have been paid: Whereupon, he had a Decree, and his Stuffs again, without a Farthing Costs.
Thomas Powell, said, He was an Apprentice to one Hall in Basing-lane, of whose Goods (which he had bought in Blackwell Hall) the Aulnager seized to about the Value of Thirty Pounds; and, when they had done, took Hall along with them to an Ale-house, and compounded with him for Eleven Pounds; which they were themselves so satisfied of the Foulness, that, since the Fire, they obliged Hall to give them a Release. He further said, That about Fourteen Years since, they offered to tumble his Shop, but he refused them, thinking it sufficient, that he had bought his Cloths in Blackwell Hall, where are always Aulnagers enough attending; and making an Interest at Court, for a Matter of Fourteen Pounds, gets free of them: About Seven Years since, one Somes demanded Nine Shillings per Annum of him, upon which Terms he should have his Shop exempt for searching; which many taking notice of will raise to a vast Revenue; all Shops in England being taxed so: But he refusing, they immediately fell to force, and seize a Cloth of his, which had no Seal: He claims, and carries them before Sir Wm. Turner: Who calls the Aulnagers; and, in truth, they proposed to him to have his Cloth again, if he would hold his Tongue, and not hinder them making their Advantage of his Neighbours: and, accordingly, he, desirous of his own Goods, sits still, and his Neighbours compound: But this did not last him long: For in comes another Aulnager, and will bring him in again; to whom he offers to try the Title fairly, and throws him out a Cloth to try upon, which he bought in Blackwell Hall with * and *; and enters a Claim at the Exchequer; which is brought to a Tryal, and the Petitioner had a Verdict: And says further, That it is impossible to keep the Seals on, they being so slightly put on, and tumbled so much in the Dyers, Sellers, Callendars, Pressers Hands: But the Verdict going for the Petitioner, the Chief Baron proffers him his Goods; which he was willing to receive, if he may no more be troubled so again: Which not being agreed to, he brings an Action of Trespass: The Aulnager urged, his Jury was packt; he moves to *, but was never suffered by the Court.
Jeremiah Broadgate said, That, about Nine Years since, John Baker came into his Shop, with several others; and, finding his Shalloons all sealed, endeavours to bring him to a Composition of Fifteen Shillings yearly Rent, to be quit of this Trouble of searching, which they give them this Vexation to bring them to. He says further, That the Goods pass through so many Hands, that it is impossible but that some of the Seals must fall off.
Thomas Smith said, That one Carter sends to him a Proposition, to pay a yearly Rent of One or Two Shillings to have his Shop exempt from being searched: Which he refusing, about Three Years since, Officers came to his Shop, with a Constable, and seized Two Pieces of his Stuff, one large, the other Hair-shag, scarlet, upon Demand of the double Seal: But that upon Submission, and taking the Seals, as was desired, they return the Goods.
John Deale said, That the Aulnagers constantly search in Blackwell Hall; and that all Cloths come up sealed thither: That he is so very exact in the Matter of Seals, that he makes his Men enter all the Cloths he buys sealed, He further says in 1687, the Aulnagers came to his Shop the Eighteenth of April, and produced a Parchment, which be never saw what was in the Inside of it; and, with that Pretence, took down all his Cloths, and made all his Shop wait upon them: However, for all his Diligence of Entry, some Seals will fall off; which are the Aulnagers Prey, and seized; upon One Cloth, which they seized; he proposed Oaths, that the Seal was on, but was not so far *, but that he was obliged to buy a new Seal. He says further, That upon spun Cloth there is but One Seal; if which be cut off, as Chapmen desire it, some times, it is presently carried to the Office: And that, for such Seizures, he has paid Seventeen Shillings and Eight-pence: That he never heard of Drapers Shops searched, till Sir Jo. Isles's Time.
Sir Thomas Lane said, That, after Sir John Isles came into the Office, he had Two Pieces of Stuff seized by the Aulnagers in the Calender's Hands; that they were retained a Week, and not delivered upon the First Demand; but that, upon his Demanding them himself, upon some small Matter of Money, they were delivered.
Samuel Wickens said, That the Aulnagers came into his Shop, and found some few Goods unsealed; which they made him take Seals for to 7¾: Further said, That he had been a Draper this Forty Years, and never had his Shop search'd before Sir John Isles's Time, nor heard, of searching in Drapers Shops.
Anthony Darban said, That he had been a Draper these Forty odd Years, yet never knew a Draper's Shop searched till Sir John Isle's Time: Said, That he often, sells half Cloths to Country Chapmen; who complain, that the Aulnagers seize these Remnants, which it is impossible to have a Seal upon; and, by this Means, force these poor Men to give them a yearly Rent, as a Composition to avoid that Trouble.
John Barker, to these the Vexations of those Men, said, That in the Height of Sturbridge Fair, they proferred to search his Shop, unless he would give them Money.
Benjamin Brokedan, lives in the County of Norfolke, said, That, by the Vexations of these Aulnagers he was brought to compound with them for Ten Shillings per Annum; whereupon, he received a Note from them, to exempt him from Disturbance of Searchers. He verily believes, the Aulnagers make Two hundred Pounds per Annum of this Composition in Norfolke.
Daniel Gwyn of Falmouth, is forced to such a Com position of Two Shillings per Annum as well as several on his Neighbours.
Wm. Clarke said, That, in Sir John Isles' Time, the Aulnagers came to search his Shop; and, finding some Things unsealed (Note, this is a Countryman), made him pay for Seals to the Value of Five or Six Shillings: That they seized Cloth of his at the Clothworkers, which had a Seal at the other End, and made him pay about Five Shillings for it, before it was returned.
Mr. Lilington, said, That, about Six Years ago, the Aulnagers searched his House, and took their Time just as he was going out of Town: But, because they would not defer it, he stopt his Journey; and finding a great many sealed, they were resolved not to give it off without doing something; so they cunningly picked a Seal off from one Piece: But he charging them with it, and proferring to make Oath that the Seal was on, they slunk out of the Shop.
That these were the Witnesses who were produced by the Drapers: And the Committee thinking this Claim of a yearly Rent * to the Aulnage, and so obvious that it could not but be taken notice of, came to these Resolutions.
Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That the Searching and Seizing of Cloths, or Pieces of Cloths, in the Shopkeepers Hands, is not warrantable by any Law of this Land.
Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That the having searched or seized Cloths, or Pieces of Cloths in the Shopkeepers Hands, by the Aulnagers, is unlawful, and an Abuse to the Subject.
Resolved, That the said Report do lie upon the Table.
Ordered, That Leave be given to bring in a Bill to regulate the Abuses in the Collection of the Aulnage: And it is recommended to Sir John Guise to take care of it.
Sir Thomas Littleton reports from the Committee, to whom the Proviso to be added to the Bill for granting a Subsidy to their Majesties was referred, That they had agreed upon a Clause: Which he read in his Place; and afterwards delivered the same in at the Clerk's Table: Where the same was Twice read; and was for reducing the Fees from Three Halfpence to Three Farthings in the Pounds, for all Monies given, or to be given this Session: And, after some Amendment made at the Table, the same was, upon the Question put thereupon, agreed to be made Part of the Bill.
Another Proviso was offered to be made Part of the Bill, and was Twice read; for an Account to be given to the Parliament of all Monies given, or to be given, this Session of Parliament: And the same was, upon the Question put thereupon, agreed to be made Part of the Bill.
Another Proviso was offered, to be made Part of the Bill: Which was Twice read; and is as followeth:
"Provided always, and be it enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, That, in case any Person or Persons shall obstinately refuse to pay the Rates assessed upon him, by the Commissioners appointed to rate or assess them, by this Act, by reason of not owning the Authority of the said Commissioners of the present Parliament, the same being proved by Two Witnesses upon Oath; That then every such Person and Persons shall incur the Danger and Penalty of a Premunire, mentioned in a Statute made in the Sixteenth Year of King Rich. IId."
Resolved, That the Proviso be committed:
And it is referred to Sir Christopher Musgrave, Mr. Montague, Mr. Coningsby, Mr. Dolben, Sir Robert Howard, Major Wildman, Sir Rich. Temple, Sir Tho. Littleton, Sir Tho. Mompesson, Colonel Birch, Mr. Smith, Mr. Hawles, Sir John Wynne, Mr. Attorney General, Sir John Guise, Mr. Foley, Mr. Darcye, Mr. Hamden, Sir Henry Capell, Mr. Garway: And they are to meet this Afternoon, at Four of the Clock, in the Speaker's Chamber.
Another Proviso was offered, to be made Part of the Bill; and was read the First time; and was for lessening the Fees of the Treasurer and Vice Treasurer of Ireland.
And the Question being put, That it be read a Second time;
It passed in the Negative.
Leave for Members to attend Lords.
Ordered, That Mr. Solicitor General and Mr. Hawles have Leave to attend the Lords, in a Cause of the Lord Chief Justice Pollexfen's
Bill of Indemnity.
Then the Order of Saturday last, for proceeding in the further Consideration of the Heads of the Bill of Indemnity was read.
Sir Robert Howard reports, That he, with other Members, had according to the Order of the House, inspected the Journals of the House of Lords, relating to the Judgments against Mr. Otes: And that the Entry therein is as followeth:
"Die Veneris, 31 Die Maii, 1689.
"WHEREAS, by Virtue of their Majesties Writ of Error, returnable into the House of Peers in Parliament assembled, a Record of the Court of King's Bench was brought into this Court on the Fourth Day of April, 1689, with the Transcript thereof, wherein Judgment is entered, for and on the behalf of the late King James the Second, against Titus Oates, Clerk, upon a Judgment for Perjury: Upon which Writ, Errors being assigned by the said Titus Oates, and issue joined by Sir Henry Pollexfen, their Majesties Attorney General; and, after hearing Counsel for the said Titus Otes, no Counsel appearing for their Majesties, on the Twenty-sixth of April last past, after due Consideration of what was offered by Counsel thereupon; It is this Day ordered, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, in Parliament, assembled, That the said Judgment given, on his late Majesty's Behalf, against the said Titus Oates, be and is hereby affirmed; and that the Transcript of the said Record, wherein Judgment is entered as aforesaid, be remitted."
"The Tenor of which Judgment to be affixed to the Record to be sent back, followeth,"
"Postea, scilicet 4° Die Aprilis, Anno Regni Domini Gulielmi & Dominæ Mariæ nunc Regis & Reginæ Angliæ, &c. Primo Transcript Record' & Process' predict cum omnibus ea tangen', prætextu cujusdam brevis de Error' corrigend' pro præfat' Titu' Oates in premiss' prosecut' predicti Domini Regis & Reginæ in præsen' Parliament' à predicta Curiaâ dicti Domini Regis & Reginæ hic transmiss' fuit, prædict' Titus in eadem Curia Parliament' comparens diversas Causas & Materias pro Erroribus in Record' & Process' predict' & Recocatione & Adnullatione Judicii prædict' assignavit; & postea, scilicet 31 Die Maii, Anno dicti Domini Regis & Reginæ supradict. in present Curia Parliament' predict', Visis & per Curiam ibidem diligent', examinat' & plenius intellect' tam Record' & Process prædict' ad Judicio super eisdem reddit' qua predict' Error superius assignat, pro eo quod videtur Cur' Parliament' predict', quod Record' ill' in nullo vitiosum aut defectivum existit, & quod in Record' illo in nullo fuit errat', ideo ad tunc & ibidem Cons' est per eandem Curiam Parliament' prædict, quod Judic' predict' in omnibus affirmetur, & in omni suo robore stet & effectu."
And the said Sir Robert Howard also reported, That the Affirmations of Judgments are entered upon the respective Rolls, upon the Writs of Error returned before the Lords in Parliament.
And that there is entered, in the Journal of the Lords, the Protestation following:
"The Lords having heard the Opinion of all the Judges, concerning the Illegality of the Two Judgments against Titus Oates, upon the Point of Perjury, for which he hath his Writs of Error into this House, to have them reversed."
"The House upon Consideration, and after long Debate, had this main Question proposed, whether to reverse the Two Judgments given below against Titus Oates, in relation to the Two Perjuries."
"The previous Question was put, Whether this Question shall be now put;"
"It was resolved in the Affirmative."
"Then the main Question was put, Whether to reverse the Two Judgments given below against Titus Oates, in relation to the Two Perjuries;"
"It was resolved in the Negative."
"Leave is given to such Lords as will, to enter their Dissents: And, accordingly, these Lords following do enter their Dissents in these Reasons ensuing."
"1st, For that the King's Bench, being a Temporal Court, made it Part of the Judgment, That Titus Oates, being a Clerk, should for his said Perjuries, be divested of his Canonical and Priestly Habit, and to continue divested all his Life: Which is a Matter wholly out of their Power, belonging to the Ecclesiastical Courts only."
2d. For that the said Judgments are barbarous, inhumane, and unchristian. And there is no Precedents to warrant the Punishments of Whipping, and committing to Prison for Life, for the Crime of Perjury; which yet were but Part of the Punishments inflicted upon him.
3. For that the particular Matters, upon which the Indictments were found, were the Points objected against Mr. Titus Oates his Testimony of several of the Tryals; which he was allowed to be good and credible Witness, though testified against him by most of the same Persons, who witnessed against him upon those Indictments.
4. For that this will be an Encouragement, and an Allowance, for giving the like cruel, barbarous, and illegal Judgments hereafter, unless this Judgment be reversed.
5. Because Sir John Holt, Sir Henry Pollexfen, the Two Chief Justices, and Sir Robert Atkins Chief Baron, with Six Judges more (being all that were then present), for these and many other Reasons, did, before us, solemnly deliver their Opinions; and unanimously declare, That the said Judgments were contrary to Law, and ancient Practice; and therefore erroneous, and ought to be reversed.
6. Because it was contrary to the Declaration on the Twelfth of February last, which was ordered by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, then assembled; and by their Declaration, ingrossed in Parchment, and inrolled among the Records of Parliament, and recorded in Chancery; whereby it doth appear, that excessive Bail ought not to be required, nor excessive Fines imposed, nor cruel nor unusual Punishments inflicted.
Bolton, Bridgwater, Stamford, Bolingbrook, Herbert, Vaughan, Macklesfeild, Oxford, Bath, Grey, Cornwallis, R. Eure, Wharton.
The Two Judgments in Hillarye Term, 36°et 37°Caroli IIdi, against Mr. Oates, for Perjury, were read.
Resolved, That the Prosecution of Titus Oates, upon Two Indictments for Perjury in the Court of King's Bench, was a Design to stifle the Popish Plot: And that the Verdicts given thereupon were corrupt: And that the Judgments given thereupon were cruel and illegal.
Resolved, That a Bill be brought in, to declare the said Judgments illegal, and to reverse the same.
And it is referred to Sir Wm. Williams, Sir Tho. Lee, Mr. Sacheverell, Major Wildman, Mr. Hawles, Mr. Attorney General, Sir Rob. Howard, Mr. Solicitor General; Sir Robert Clayton, Mr. Buscowen, Mr. Foley, to prepare and bring in the Bill.
Judgment against Mr. Johnson.
Resolved, That the Judgment against Sam. Johnson in the King's Bench, upon an Information for a Misdemeanor, was cruel and illegal.
Resolved, That a Bill be brought in, to reverse that Judgment.
Resolved, That the same Committee do prepare and bring in the Bill.
Resolved, That a Committee be appointed, to inquire how Mr. Johnson came to be degraded, and by what Authority it was done. And it is referred to the same Committee; who are to examine and report the Matter to the House, with all convenient Speed.
Journals relating to the Popish Plot.
Resolved, That the Journals of the House, relating to the Popish Plot, be brought into the House, and read To-morrow Morning the first Business.
Bill of Indemnity.
Resolved, That the House do To-morrow Morning, the next Business, proceed in the further Consideration of the Heads for the Bill of Indemnity.
Proceedings against Sir W. Williams.
Ordered, That the Records of the Court of King's Bench, relating to the Proceedings against Wm. Williams, Esquire, now Sir Wm. Williams, Knight and Baronet, late Speaker of this House, be brought into this House, by the Custos Brevium of the said Court, on Thursday Morning next.
And then the House adjourned till To-morrow Morning, Nine a Clock.