Journal of the House of Commons: Volume 7, 1651-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1802.
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Wednesday, the 2d of February, 1658.
RESOLVED, &c. That a Grand Committee of the whole House, for Religion, do sit in the House on every Monday, weekly, in the Afternoon.
Resolved, &c. That the Grand Committee of the whole House, for Grievances and Courts of Justice, do sit in the House on every Wednesday, weekly, in the Afternoon.
Resolved, &c. That a Grand Committee of the whole House, for Trade, do sit in the House on every Friday, weekly, in the Afternoon.
Ordered, That every of the said Committees have Power to receive Petitions, touching the respective Matters for which they are appointed; and to send for Persons, Papers, Witnesses, and Records.
The House being informed, that Major Audley, a Prisoner in the Custody of the Serjeant at Arms attending this House, was without at the Door; he was, by the Command of the House, brought to the Bar; not as a Delinquent, but stood at the Bar; and the Serjeant with the Mace stood on the Right-hand of him, within the Bar.
Mr. Speaker informed him, That there had been a Complaint against him of the great Violation of the Privileges of the House, in the Abuse offered by him in WestminsterHall on Thursday last, to Two of the Members of this House, Mr. Bish, and Mr. Turgis, that serve for the Borough of Gatton in Surrey: And that he had given Mr. Bish very foul and contumelious Language; had called him Rascal, and base Rascal; and had given him other provoking Language, tending to a Duel: And that he had likewise abused Mr. Turgis with like contumelious and opprobrious Language; and had called him base Fellow. And the House being willing to hear what he had to say for himself had brought him to the Bar in this Manner first, and not upon his Knee.
Major Audley standing at the Bar, said, he was afraid to offend the House by speaking; and that what he had to say for himself, was contained in a Petition: Which he humbly desired might be received, and read.
Whereupon Major Audley was commanded to withdraw: And was after called in again; and stood at the Bar, the Serjeant standing by him within the Bar, as before.
And Mr. Speaker informed him, That the House expected he should give them a positive Answer to the Offence, and the Words he was charged with; whether he be guilty, or not: And that the House was not pleased to receive any Answer from him in Writing, but expected he should positively answer, Whether he had not given Mr. Bish such opprobrions and provoking Language, as before, or not; or had dared him out to sight, or not: And whether he had not given Mr. Turgis such foul and contumelious Language as is above-mentioned, or not.
Whereupon Major Audley, standing at the Bar, said, He should have been glad to have given his Answer in Writing: That he did confess he had Discourse with Mr. Bish on Thursday last, in the Hall: That their Discourse arose about an Election at Gatton in Surrey, for which Place he conceived he was chosen a Burgess to serve in this Parliament; and that, being informed, That there was a Double Return, he thought he had great Wrong done him by the Sheriff: That he came to buy Paper in the Hall; and Mr. Bish being present, and asking him, What he would do with that Paper? Major Audley told him, it was to discover the foul Proceedings at Gatlon: And that Words of Heat and Anger passing between them, he desired Mr. Bish, that if he intended to proceed in that Language, he would draw aside, that the People might not take Notice of their Folly and Passion: That, being withdrawn aside, Mr. Bish told him, That he was no Gentleman; had no Arms; and that he was a Turncoat: That he did not challenge Mr. Bish: That he had no Weapon about him: That he would not acknowlege himself guilty, of what he is not guilty: And that, concerning Mr. Turgis; he met him at the Sign of the Legg in the Palace-Yard, and did ask Mr. Turgis, How long he had taken a Lease of his Sitting in the House, because he meant to question it; but that there was no uncivil Language, or other than might become a Gentleman, between them: That he did acknowledge himself guilty of offending accidentally against this House, and not willingly; for he knew not that Mr. Bish was returned by a single Indenture: That he humbly asked Pardon of Mr. Bish, as a Member, as a private Gentleman, and of the House, for so far as it might concern the Parliament; and humbly begged his Liberty, to prosecute his Complaint concerning the Election: And that the Matters charged upon him might be referred to a Committee, to state the Matter of Fact, and report the same to the House.
Whereupon the House commanded Major Audley to withdraw.
After he was withdrawn, the House was informed by another of the Members of this House, That coming out of the House into the Hall, he saw Mr. Audley in the Hall in some Passion; and heard him say of Mr. Bish, That he was a very unworthy Fellow: That he did not challenge Mr. Bish; but that he told Mr. Bish, That, if he would come over the Hedge, he would try it with him.
And the House being further informed of the particular Words of Provocation given by Major Audley to Mr. Bish; That he had called Mr. Bish Rascal; and Base Rascal; and followed him in the Hall, calling him those contumelious Names; and that Mr. Shirley being turned from them, Major Audley had dared Mr. Bish, and said he would right himself as a Gentleman; and that he had called Mr. Turgis a base stinking Fellow and a Shit-breech.
Of which abusive and opporbrious Language the House being satisfied; It was
Resolved, &c. That Major Lewis Audley be committed Prisoner to the Tower, during the Pleasure of this House; for the Breach of the Privilege of Parliament, in his giving of contumelious and provoking Langnage on Thursday last, to Two of the Members of this House.
The Question being propounded, That the Lords Keepers of the Great Seal be desired to put Major Lewis Audley out of the Commission of the Peace for the County of Surrey;
The Question was put, That this Question be now put;
The House was divided.
The Noes went forth.
|Mr. Fagg; and||Tellers for the Noes:||173.|
|Mr. John Goodwyn,||With the Noes,|
|Sir Thomas Beaumond,||Tellers for the Yeas:||155.|
|Mr. Henry Fitz-James,||With the Yeas,|
So the Question passed with the Negative.
Major Audley was brought in to the Bar by the Serjeant; as a Delinquent: And kneeling down on both his Knees as the Bar, the Serjeant standing with the Mace at the Bar by him, on his Right Hand, Mr. Speaker acquainted Major Audley, That the House had seriously considered of his Crime; and had proceeded with great Moderation towards him, finding his Offence so highly aggravated in all the Circumstances of it, even by his own Confession: For which he pronounced the Judgment of the House upon him; viz.
That he should be committed Prisoner to the Tower, during the Pleasure of this House.