Journal of the House of Commons: Volume 9, 1667-1687. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1802.
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Mercurii, 6 Novembris, 1667.
GODFRID Van Itterne did this Day take the Oath of Allegiancy and Supremacy before the Speaker, at the Clerk's Table, in order to his Naturalization.
A Petition of the Blacksmiths of the Town of Cirencester, in the County of Gloucester, was read.
Resolved, &c. That this Petition be committed to Mr. George, Mr. Coventry, Sir William Lewis, Mr. Vaughan, Mr. Boscawen, Mr. Crouch, Sir John Moreton, Mr. Weld, Sir Robert Carr, Mr. Finch, Mr. Orme, Mr. Morris, Sir Lanc. Lake, Mr. Seymour, Mr. Pryn, Sir Walter Young, Mr. Solicitor General, Sir William Lowther, Sir Thomas Gower, Sir John Holland, Sir Anthony Irby, Mr. Musgrave, Sir James Thynne, Mr. Swinfen, Mr. Westphaling, Mr. King, Sir George Downing, Sir William Portman, Sir Henry Cæsar, Sir Edward Masters, Mr. Lovelace, Mr. Dowdswell, Sir John Berkenhead, Sir John Brampston, Sir Jonathan Trelawny, Sir Edmund Windham, Sir Solomon Swale: And all that come are to have Voices: And they are to meet on Friday next, at Two of the Clock in the Afternoon, in the Exchequer Chamber; and to examine the Matter of the Petition; and also to peruse the several Acts in Force, concerning Hearth-money; and to receive Information, and to examine, what Abuses and Grievances have been committed on the People in collecting this Duty, and how the same may be remedied; and to report the Matter, with their Opinions therein, to the House.
Woodmongers and Inn-holders.
Sir Thomas Higgons reports from the Committee to which the Bill to prevent Abuses and Extortion of Woodmongers, and others, was committed, several Votes and Resolves of the Committee; as also the Report from the Attorney General; and that the Abuses mentioned therein had been verified before this Committee: Which Reports, Votes, and Resolves, are as followeth; viz.
Resolved, &c. That the House doth agree with the Committee, that the Charter of incorporating the Woodmongers is illegal.
Resolved, &c. That the said Charter is a Grievance to his Majesty's People, and not to be continued.
Ordered, That the Committee formerly appointed be revived: And that they do consider of the Crimes and Abuses committed by the Woodmongers, by colour of their illegal Charter; and to draw them into Heads; and to present them to the House, that the Offenders may be punished: And to propose Expedients to prevent the like Abuses for the further; and that Coal and Wood may be sold at easy Rates: And they are to meet at the Place formerly appointed.
Thefts and Robberies.
Sir Charles Harbord reports from the Committee appointed to advise with the Lord General for the Securing of the Highways against Thefts and Robberies, several Proposals agreed for that Purpose; which he read in his Place; and, after, delivered the same in at the Clerk's Table.
* * * *
Ordered, That this Report be taken into Consideration To-morrow Morning.
Earl of Clarendon's Impeachment.
Sir Thomas Littleton reports from the Committee appointed to draw up the Heads of the Accusations against the Earl of Clarendon, several Particulars brought in by several Members, amounting, in the Whole, to Seventeen; which he read: And another Particular, touching the Dividing of the Fleet, being delivered in, and added to the rest; and the Heads again read at the Table, and the Matter debated;
The Question being put, That the Heads of the Accusations brought in against the Earl of Clarendon be referred to a Committee to take the Proofs, and report;
The House was divided.
The Yeas went out.
And so it passed in the Negative.
Earl of Clarendon's Impeachment.
Resolved, &c. That the House do now proceed on the Heads of the Accusations.
And the first Five Heads being read; which, with the rest of the Heads of Accusation, are as followeth; viz.
1. That the Earl of Clarendon hath designed a Standing Army to be raised, and to govern the Kingdom thereby; advised the King to dissolve this present Parliament; to lay aside all Thoughts of Parliaments for the future; to govern by a military Power; and to maintain the same by free Quarter and Contribution.
2. That he hath, in the Hearing of many of his Majesty's Subjects, falsely and seditiously said, that the King was in his Heart a Papist, popishly affected; or Words to that Effect.
3. That he hath received great Sums of Money for passing the Canary Patent, and other illegal Patents; and granted illegal Injunctions to stop Proceedings at Law against them, and other illegal Patents formerly granted.
4. That he hath advised and procured divers of his Majesty's Subjects to be imprisoned, against Law, in remote Islands, Garisons, and other Places; thereby, to prevent them from the Benefit of the Law, and to introduce Precedents for imprisoning any other of his Majesty's Subjects in like Manner.
5. That he hath corruptly sold several Offices, contrary to Law.
6. That he procured his Majesty's Customs to be farmed at under Rates, knowing the same; and great pretended Debts to be paid by his Majesty, to the Payment of which his Majesty was not in Strictness bound; and hath received great Sums of Money for procuring the same.
7. That he received great Sums of Money from the Company of Vintners, or some of them, or their Agents, for enhancing the Prices of Wines; and for freeing of them from the Payments of legal Penalties, which they had incurred.
8. That he hath, in short time, gained to himself a greater Estate than can be imagined to be lawfully gained in so short a time; and, contrary to his Oath, hath procured several Grants, under the Great Seal, from his Majesty, to himself, and his Relations, of several of His Majesty's Lands, Hereditaments, and Leases; to the Disprofit of his Majesty.
9. That he introduced an arbitrary Government in his Majesty's Plantations; and hath caused such as complained thereof before his Majesty and Council, to be long imprisoned for so doing.
10. That he did reject and frustrate a Proposal and Undertaking, approved by his Majesty, for the Preservation of Nevis and St. Christopher's, and reducing the French Plantations to his Majesty's Obedience, after the Commissions were drawn up for that Purpose; which was the Occasion of our great Losses and Damages in those Parts.
11. That he advised and effected the Sale of Dunkirk to the French King, being Part of his Majesty's Dominions; together with the Ammunition, Artillery, and all Sorts of Stores there; and for no greater Value than the said Ammunition, Artillery, and Stores, were worth.
12. That the said Earl did unduly cause his Majesty's Letters Patents, under the Great Seal, to one Dr. Croucher, to be altered, and the Enrollment thereof to be unduly razed.
13. That he hath, in an arbitrary Way, examined, and drawn into Question, divers of his Majesty's Subjects, concerning their Lands, Tenements, Goods and Chattels, and Properties; determined thereof at the Council Table; and stopped Proceedings at Law, by Order of the Council Table; and threatened some that pleaded the Statutes of 17 Car. I.
14. That he hath caused Quo Warranto's to be issued out against most of the Corporations of England, immediately after their Charters were confirmed by Act of Parliament; to the Intent he might receive great Sums of Money from them, for renewing their Charters; which when they complied withal, he caused the said Quo Warranto's to be discharged, or Prosecution thereupon to cease.
15. That he procured the Bills of Settlement for Ireland, and received great Sums of Money for the same, in most corrupt and unlawful Manner.
16. That he hath deluded and betrayed his Majesty, and the Nation, in Foreign Treaties and Negociations, relating to the late War; and discovered and betrayed his secret Counsels to his Enemies.
17. That he was a principal Author of the fatal Counsel of dividing the Fleet, about June 1666.
Resolved, &c. That the further Consideration of this Matter be adjourned till To-morrow Morning.
And then the House adjourned till To-morrow Morning, Eight of the Clock.