Journal of the House of Commons: Volume 9, 1667-1687. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1802.
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Die Mercurii, 12 Februarii, 1667.
Order for keeping Streets clear.
ORDERED, That the Constables and other Officers of Middlesex and Westminster concerned, do take care, that from Eight of the Clock in the Morning till Two in the Afternoon, being the usual Time of the Meeting and Rising of this House, of Passage through the Streets between Temple Bar and Westminster Hall, be kept free and open; and that no Obstruction be made by Cars, Drays, Carts, or otherwise, to hinder the Passage of the Members to and from the House: And the Serjeant at Arms attending this House is to give Notice of this Order: And it is referred to him, Mr. Newman, and Mr. Bailes, Justices of the Peace, to see the Order executed and performed.
State of Trade.
A Petition of Stephen Stringer, and other Clothiers, was read.
Ordered, &c. That this Petition be referred to the Committee, formerly appointed by Order of the 4th of November last, for balancing Trade, preventing the Exportation of Wool, and other Matters thereby directed; to take the Matter of this Petition into Consideration; and to report it, with their Opinions, to the House: And Sir Thomas Dyke, and Sir John Northcott, are added to the Committee.
Escapes from London Sheriffs.
Mr. Vaughan reports from the Committee, to which the Bill to indemnify the late Sheriffs of London, and others, as to Escapes of Prisoners, was committed, some Amendments to be made, and Clauses to be added, to the Bill: Which he read, with the Coherence; and delivered the same in at the Clerk's Table: And the Amendments, being twice read, were, upon the Question, severally agreed to.
Resolved, &c. That the Bill, with the Amendments agreed to, be ingrossed.
Ordered, That the Committee to which the Petition of Sir John Prettyman was committed, be revived; and do sit To-morrow at Two of the Clock in the Afternoon: And that Mr. Milward, Sir Wm. Terringham, Lord Richardson, Sir Jo. Shawe, Sir Henry Capell, Mr. Luckin, Sir Richard Browne, Mr. Gold, and Col. Reames, be added to the Committee.
Mr. Harbord reports from the Committee, to which the Matter touching the Forest of Deane, was committed, the whole State of that Case, with several Votes and Resolves of the Committee thereupon: Which Report, Votes, and Resolves, were again read; and debated; and are as followeth;
That his Majesty did, Anno 1638, issue out a Commission to divers Persons, to make a Survey of the Wood, and Timber, and Soil, of the Forest of Deane: Whereby it appears, that there were then within the Forest (besides the Woodwardship of the Lea Baylye containing about 1,000 Acres) 105,557 Trees, containing 61,928 Tons of Timber, and 150,808 Cords of Wood.
And, upon this Survey, Sir John Wintour did contract with his late Majesty, that in Consideration of 16,000£. per Annum to be paid to his Majesty for Six Years, for the Timber and Wood; and of a Fee Farm Rent of 1,950£. 12s. 8d. of the Soil, payable to the Crown for ever.
And, in Anno 1639, obtained a Grant to him and his Heirs accordingly, not only of all the Timber and Wood, (excepting 15,000 Tons of Ship Timber reserved in the King) but also of 18,000 Acres of the Soil of the said Forest, containing in the Whole about 22,000 Acres, besides the said Lee Baylye; together with divers Powers, Privileges, and Immunities, directly contrary to the Purport and Meaning of several Statutes of this Realm: Which said 18,000 Acres were set out by his Majesty's Surveyor General, and other Commissioners, upon Treaty and Agreement with some of the Commoners, leaving to them 4,000 Acres of the said Soil, for Common: And their Lands were to be deforested, and all past Offences pardoned.
That Complaint being made of the Illegality and dangerous Consequences of this Grant, to the House of Commons, of the Beginning of the Parliament holden at Westminster, Anno 1640, upon a full Examination thereof, as appears by their Journal, that the House did then vote to this Effect, viz.
"First, That Sir John Wintour, in respect of his Recusancy, and not performing Conditions with the King, is not fit to hold his Bargain of the Forest of Deane any longer; especially the Bargain itself being disadvantageous to the Commonwealth:"
"Secondly, That Sir John Wintour offers to surrender his Patent into the Hands of the Commissioners for the Treasury, is fit to be accepted, and his Patent surrendered accordingly."
"Thirdly, That the Commissioners be intreated to issue a Commission for taking Sir John Wintour's Account, that it may appear what Debts are owing between the King and him, and Satisfaction made accordingly."
"Fourthly, That the Commissioners of the Treasury be likewise desired to appoint Officers, for the disposing of such Timber and Wood to the best Advantage of his Majesty, as is now felled and will otherwise be spoiled."
But the Wars, coming then on, hindered the Performance of their Votes.
And it appears, that a Convention, sitting at Westminster in 1656, in the Time of Oliver Cromwell, did re-assume the Consideration of that Forest; and, by an Act of theirs, re-afforested the said Lands: Whereby it was put into a very flourishing Condition, not only for a future Growth of Ship Timber, but the Officer who was intrusted with the Care and Management thereof, out of the very offal Wood raised a constant Revenue to the Publick of Three or Four thousand Pounds per Annum; and so continued it till his Majesty's happy Restauration.
That, in the Convention of Parliament at his Majesty's happy Restauration, a Bill was brought in to the House of Commons, for continuing the Forest in that Condition, and to make a legal Settlement thereof, for the Use of his Majesty: Which Bill was accordingly committed: Where Sir John Wintour, claiming by virtue of his Grant all the Timber and Wood, together with 18,000 Acres of the Soil, was required to state his Account: he offering, upon Satisfaction to relinquish his Pretences, and to surrender his Patent; and demanded a Debt, due to him, of 14,000£. only, and no more: Which the then Committee thought fit to allow him: But, before the Bill could pass, that Convention was dissolved.
In pursuance of which Offer, the late Lord Treasurer did shortly after treat with Sir John Wintour, for the surrendering of his Grant: Whereto Sir John Wintour consented, upon Satisfaction to be given him: And, in order to it, the Lord Treasurer referred his Account to some of the Auditors of his Majesty's Exchequer, to be stated; and in Part of Satisfaction of what was owing to him, assigned him, in Iron, and Debts, the Sum of 4,300£. the greatest Part whereof, if not all, Sir John Wintour confesseth to have received.
But the Act of Indemnity being passed, and no Provision made to debar him of his Pretences to the Timber, Wood, and Soil, became discharged of his Arrear of the said Fee Farm Rent of 1,950£. 12s. 8d. per Ann. behind and unpaid for about Twenty Years, amounting to 39,000£. or thereabouts; and likewise of the said 16,000£. per Ann. for the Wood; whereof Four Years, at least, was behind and unpaid, amounting to 64,000£.; and the Total to 103,000£. Whereupon Sir John Wintour declined his said Demands of 14,000£. as due to him, upon Account, by the King; and insisted upon the Validity of his Letters Patents; and then demanded (over and above the 4,300£. delivered to him, in Iron and Debts) 30,000£.
That, to the end Satisfaction might be given him, a Commission was issued out of his Majesty's Court of Exchequer, about April 1662, to view and survey what Quantity of Timber and Wood was then standing within all the Parts of the Forest, excepting the said Lea Bayly: And, upon an exact Survey made by the then Commissioners, there was then found the Number of 25,929 Oaks, and 4,204 Beeches; in all, 30,233 Trees; and that these Trees did contain 121,572 Cords of Wood, and 11,335 Tons of Ship Timber for the Navy.
That, upon Return of this Commission, Sir John Wintour, by Treaty with the Lord Treasurer, about June 1662, did surrender his Patent of the Wood, Timber, and Soil; and, in Compensation thereof, had granted by Letters Patents under the Great Seal of England, bearing Date 13 Julii 14 of his now Majesty's Reign, all the above-mentioned Trees containing 121,572 Cords of Wood, worth, to be sold after the rates of that Country, 30,000£. together with the Use of his Majesty's Ironworks there, for the spending of the same; and also the Use of the Mine and Cinders; which might reasonably render the same (over and above all Charges) worth 60,000£.; and all 20,000 Cords of offal Wood, blown down in the Lea Bayley, worth 6,000£; the King's Majesty only reserving to himself, out of all those Trees, the said quantity of 11,335 Tons of Ship Timber, therein computed, to be left for the Use of the Navy: And, for the better securing the same from Spoil and Destruction, Sir John Wintour covenants, that he will before every Fellet give Notice to the Commissioners or Surveyors of the Navy (then there resident) what is intended to be felled, and when he intends to leave off; and that, for every Ton of Timber, which shall fall short of the 11,335 Tons so reserved, Sir John Wintour shall be accountable, and pay to his Majesty the Sum of 15s.
That, upon Complaint made to this House, Anno 1663, of the great Waste and Destruction of Timber, which was then committed by Sir John Wintour, within the Forest of Deane, the Consideration thereof was referred to a Committee; as appears by the then Journals: And, upon the Examination, and a Report thereof made, the House did order that a present Stop should be put to any further Felling or Cutting out of the Wood; and that a Bill should be brought into the House for reassuming Sir John Wintour's said last Grant, for settling the same in the Crown forever: Which Bill was accordingly committed; but the Parliament being prorogued before the Bill could pass, the House of Commons recommended the Preservation of the Timber of that Forest to the late Lord Treasurer, and Chancellor of his Majesty's Exchequer.
That, notwithstanding his Recommendation, it appears, that of the said 30,233 Trees, returned by that Survey to be then standing within the Forest, there are not now above Two hundred left; and, of the said 11,335 Tons of Ship Timber, reserved to his Majesty, there hath not been delivered to his Majesty's Officers above 1,100 Tons.
That there are 3,500 Trees lying upon the Ground in divers Parts of the Forest, as Sir John Wintour's Servants alledged; and that the same contain 9,600 Tons of all Sorts of Timber: But the Persons employed by his Majesty's Shipwright there, and who have viewed and marked the Trees so lying on the Ground, do not estimate and compute the same to contain above 3,000 Tons of all sorts of Timber; whereof not above one moiety will be useful or fit for his Majesty's Navy.
That, in all probability, there will be wanting and fall short, of the said 11,335 Tons of Ship Timber reserved by his Majesty for the service of his Royal Navy, the Quantity of 7 or 8,000 Tons; for every Ton whereof Sir John Wintour must be accountable 15s.: for Security whereof, his Majesty hath only a Covenant from Sir John Wintour.
That the Persons employed by his Majesty's Chief Shipwright or Purveyor of the Navy there affirm, that divers Pieces of Ship Timber, of great Lengths, marked and sealed for the Navy, have, by Sir John Wintour's Workmen, or the Workmen of those who claim under him, been cut out, and converted into Cord-wood.
That several other great Wastes have been committed of the Timber there by Sir John Wintour's Workmen, or the Workmen of the Persons who claim under him: And, though Complaint thereof hath been made; yet the same hath, notwithstanding, been continued; and the Persons who committed them have not been punished, nor turned out of the Work.
That there hath been great Waste and Destruction committed upon the Underwoods and Saplings within the said Wastes (not granted to Sir Jo. Wintour) by the Wilfulness and Negligence of the Cutters, Carriers, and Corders, employed by the Persons who claim and enjoy the Woods under him: That one of them did negligently set on Fire some Furs or Bushes, which did burn or destroy 200 Acres of Underwood; and likewise 1,300 Cords of Wood belonging to Sir John Wintour; though, in his last Grant, he covenants with his Majesty, that his Workmen shall be careful and circumspect to prevent Spoils of any Kind by Coaling, &c. further or other than may consist and stand with the Nature and Conveniency of such Actings and Employments; being thereby obliged to give Satisfaction for such Damage.
That Sir John Wintour, after he had obtained his last Grant of the Wood, did, at a publick Meeting, promise divers Freeholders and Inhabitants who claim Right of Estovers therein, that, if they would suffer him peaceably to enjoy his last Grant, without claiming any of their Estovers of Wood and Timber, he would never more meddle or have to do with the Soil.
That, upon the said Sir John Wintour's Surrender of his first Grant, all the said Soil of the Forest became the King's Majesty's: And, in July 1665, the said Sir John Wintour, not satisfied with all these great Advantages obtained of his Majesty, makes a new Contract with the late Lord Treasurer, and Chancellor of his Majesty's Exchequer, by Warrant and Direction from his Majesty, to make an Inclosure of 10,000 Acres of the said waste Soil of the Forest, for and towards a Nursery of Ship Timber there for the future, at his own proper Costs and Charges, with such Mounds and Fences, as the said Treasurer, Lord Commissioners of the Treasury, and Chancellor of his Majesty's Exchequer, shall think sit: And that he will, at his own Costs and Charges, purchase a certain Parcel of Land, called Cannopp (containing about 1,100 Acres, formerly Part of the Wastes of the Forest granted away by his late Majesty, and lying near the Middle thereof) before Trinity Term 1666, in case the same be to be bought; or else will pay unto his Majesty the Sum of 1,500£. in lieu thereof: And that he will maintain and justify his Majesty's Title, at his own proper Costs and Charges, against all Persons who claim Right of Common within the Forest, until a judicial Determination thereof be made at a Justice Seat, or in some other of his Majesty's Courts of Judicature: And that he will, at his own Costs and Charges, maintain the Mounds and Fences thereof; and upon Notice from his Majesty's Officers, repair any Breach which shall happen to be made therein; with a Provision, nevertheless, if any of the Mounds and Fences be riotously thrown down, and where his Majesty may by the Statutes and Laws of this Realm have Redress therein, then, till the same be raised again by his Majesty's Officers, Sir John Wintour, nor his Security, shall no ways be liable to it.
And that a Commission shall be issued out, for the setting out, by Metes and Boundaries, the said 10,000 Acres intended for a Nursery; and afterwards, that Sir John Wintour shall have such other Commission, Writs, and Process, as he shall think fit, for the better Settling and Securing the same: And, when the said 10,000 Acres shall be so set out, bounded, and butted, his Majesty covenants to convey to Sir John Wintour and his Heirs for ever, all the Residue of the Wastes (under the yearly Fee Farm Rent of 20 s.) amounting to 8,000 Acres, over and above the said Quantity of 1,100 Acres called Cannopp.
And that, presently after the setting out of the said 10,000 Acres, and before any of the intended Mounds or Fences be made, Sir John Wintour is to have all the Wood growing on the said 8,000 Acres, amounting to 4,340 Cords, valued at 1,000£. or more; giving Security, by Recognizance of 2,000£. only to be answerable for the Profits thereby arising, in case the Mounds and Fences be not made, and other the Covenants performed according to Agreement.
He hath likewise granted unto him all Fines and Forfeitures arising by Breach of the Forest Laws, since his Majesty's happy Restoration, to be imposed upon such as shall not consent to the intended Improvement; and that his Majesty will at any Time, upon the Request of Sir John Wintour, cause a Justice Seat to be held or kept there for that Purpose.
That Sir John Wintour hath, by these Articles, divers great and vast Powers and Privileges, which were formerly granted unto him by his said first Grant, granted him anew; viz. All Felons Goods, &c. with Power to make Parks or Chaces, with free Warren and free Chace; Power to make Parishes, to found Parochial Churches, and endow them, the Incumbent to be incorporated by Name of Rector, and to have Cure of Souls, the Patronage to be in him; to erect Markets; to be discharged from Carriage of Timber for his Majesty; and that his Workmen or Servants shall be exempted from all Offices, and Services upon Juries, for Ten Years.
That he hath Power to grub up the Saplings and Underwood, and to convert the Wood, and the Soil, to what Use he shall think fit, notwithstanding the beforementioned Statutes now in Force to the contrary.
That his Majesty will de-afforest the 4,000 Acres left in Common to the Country, and make good such other Conditions, as Sir John Wintour shall make with the Country, for the better securing the intended Inclosure.
That Sir John Wintour, in order to compel the Commoners to submit to the Improvement of 10,000 Acres to the said intended Nursery, according to the Purport and Meaning of his said Articles, and to the Improvement of 8,000 Acres for himself; and to accept of 4,000 Acres, in full Compensation and Discharge of the Right of Common in the whole, hath, by threatening them with a Justice Seat, to their utter Ruin forced divers of them to consent thereunto.
That there are several Parishes, containing about Twenty Manors, the Freeholders and Inhabitants whereof claim Right of Common in the Wastes, and do lie within the Perambulation of the said Forest.
That the Persons, intrusted by these Freeholders and Inhabitants, as appears by a Letter of Attorney produced, under the Hands of divers of them, admitted to be the Owners of the major Part of the Lands and Tenements whereto the Right of Common is claimed to belong, did, by their Counsel, make out a Title, by Prescription and Usage, proved by divers ancient Records and Depositions, to Right of Common of Herbage, Panage, and Estovers, within the said Wastes.
That, in the Third Year of the late King's Reign, Sir John Wintour, Benedict Hall, and divers others of the said Freeholders and Inhabitants, did exhibit their Bill of Complaint in his Majesty's Court of Exchequer against the then Attorney General, upon Denial of their Estovers; setting out their Right of Common of Herbage, Panage, and Estovers, within the Wastes of the said Forests; and that they had from time to time enjoyed the same, according to the Rules and Limitations of the Forest Laws: And, upon the Attorney General's Answer to their Bill, had it allowed them; and a Decree for it accordingly.
That the said Freeholders, Inhabitants, and Commoners, have been and are very willing to comply with whatsoever shall be thought best for the Service of his Majesty and the Publick, and ready to submit their just Rights thereunto; but have and will always defend themselves against all private Designs. And, to the end a Nursery may be made for a future Growth of Ship Timber in the Forest, the Soil whereof is so apt and fit for it, they presented the Committee the following Proposals.
"Proposals, by and on the Behalf of the Freeholders, Inhabitants, and Commoners, within the Forest of Deane, for the Preservation and Improvement of the Growth of Timber there."
"Imprimis, That 11,000 Acres of the waste Soil of the Forest of Deane, whereof the Lea Baily and Cannopp to be Part of the said Waste, may be inclosed by his Majesty, and discharged for ever from all Manner of Pasture, Estovers, and Panage; and, if ever his Majesty, or his Successors, shall think fit to lay open any Part of the said 11,000 Acres, then to take in so much elsewhere, so as the whole Inclosure exceed not at any one Time 11,000 Acres."
"That all the Wood or Timber, which shall hereafter grow upon the remaining 13,000 Acres, shall absolutely belong to his Majesty, discharged from all Estovers for ever, and Panage for Twenty Years next ensuing."
"That the whole waste Soil be re-afforested, and subject to the Forest Laws; but that the Severity of the Forest Laws be taken off from the Lands in Several belonging to the Freeholders and Inhabitants within the said Forest; they themselves being contented to serve his Majesty, according to their several Offices and Places, as formerly, at the Forest Courts."
"That the Deer, to be kept on the said waste Soils, may not exceed Eight hundred at any one time; and the Fees which belong to the particular Officers, touching Venison, may be preserved to them, as to Venison only, and not to Wood and Trees.
"That it is consented to, that the Winter Heyning and Fence Month, according to the Forest Law, being such Times wherein no kind of Cattle be permitted to abide in any Part of the said Waste, may be understood to be from St. Martin's Day in the Winter, to St. George's Day in April; and afterwards, from Fifteen Days before Midsummer, to Fifteen Days after."
"That all Grants of any Part of the waste Soil of the said Forest be re-assumed, and made void; and that no Part of the said Waste or Soil be aliened for ever from the Crown, or farmed to any particular Person or Persons, by Lease, or otherwise."
"And that this may be so settled by Act of Parliament;"
That the Committee, upon comparing the Articles between his Majesty and Sir John Wintour, with the said Proposals made by and on the Behalf of the said Freeholders and Inhabitants, who claim Right of Common within the said Forest of Deane; and considering which of them would most conduce and be fit for a present Growth and Increase of Timber there, and preserve it for the future; and also considering, that the said Freeholders and Inhabitants have always had and enjoyed a Right of Common of Herbage, Panage, and Estovers there; together with the great Number of Persons concerned therein, and the general Satisfaction of the said Freeholders and Inhabitants, in case that any Part of the said Soil should be converted to private Uses, the Whole being exceeding fit for Timber; and the dangerous Consequences of granting such vast Powers, as, at the Discretion of any private Person, to exercise the Severity of Forest Laws, and to receive the Benefit thereof to his own Use; and that, in case, when the Mounds and Fences shall be made up, if they should be riotously thrown down again, which is to be feared, the same having been there done upon several former Improvements, and particularly Cannopp, which now continues open and in common, the like may befal the intended Nursery, and so it be laid open and Waste, though the Crown part with Eight thousand Acres, and the Wood thereupon growing, for doing thereof: And considering the extraordinary Usefulness of this Forest, for Wood and Timber, and how advantageous it will be to the King and Kingdom, to have Eleven thousand Acres of the Soil thereof converted to a Nursery for a future Growth of Ship Timber, freed and discharged, by a general Consent of all Manner of Right of Common whatsoever; and also, how beneficial it will be to the Crown, to have the Wood and Timber growing in the remaining Thirteen thousand Acres, freed and discharged from Common of Estovers for ever, and Panage for Twenty Years; and that the making the Inclosure will not cost above Fifteen hundred Pounds, with a Fence sufficient to defend it from Spoil; and that the Buying of Cannopp will cost but Fifteen hundred Pounds; amounting in all, but to Three thousand Pounds: And that, as appears by a late Survey, there are yet left divers Trees of Beech, Birch, Hazle, Haythorn, and Holly, containing about Thirty thousand Cords of Underwood, growing on the said Wastes; which must be cut down, or else they will in a great measure destroy any Plantation of younger Oaks that shall arise there; many of which Trees, whereof his Majesty makes no Benefit, may be cut down, and sold for defraying the Charge of the said Inclosure and Improvement (they being now daily cut, and stolen away); and considering what great Waste and Destruction hath been hitherto committed in that Forest, and that Sir John Wintour is, by the Articles, to have all the young Trees and Wood upon the said Eight thousand Acres:
Resolved, &c. That this House doth agree with the Committee, that, formerly, Sir John Wintour was a great Occasion, and, since his Majesty's happy Restauration, hath been the sole Occasion, of the Waste and Destruction of the Timber within the Waste of the said Forest of Deane.
Resolved, &c. That this House doth agree with the Committee that Sir John Wintour's Articles are impracticable, and come short of the Country's Offers, by One thousand Acres to be for ever inclosed for a Nursery, and also by his Majesty's retaining his Interest intire, in all the rest of the waste Soil, freed from Common of Estovers, and consisting of about Thirteen thousand Acres, being the ancient Demesnes of the Crown: That the Proposals made by and on the Behalf of the Freeholders and Commoners, who claim Right of Common there, are much more advantageous for the present Increase of Ship Timber there, and the future Preservation thereof.
Resolved, &c. That this House doth agree with the Committee, that a present Stop be put to the further felling the few Trees that are left in the said Forest; and from converting any of the Three thousand Five hundred Trees, alledged by Sir John Wintour's Servants to be now on the Ground, into Cord Wood.
Resolved, &c. That this House doth agree with the Committee, that the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury be desired forthwith to issue a Commission, to inquire what Waste of Timber hath been committed within the said Forest, and by what Means; and what will remain due to his Majesty out of the Eleven thousand Three hundred Thirty-five Tons of Timber; and that the Stock of Wood and Coals be seized and secured for his Majesty's Satisfaction; and that present care be taken for the Squaring out of such Timber; as shall appear fit for his Majesty's Navy.
Ordered, &c. That it be referred to the said Committee, forthwith to prepare and bring in a Bill upon these; and such other Proposals as shall be made to them, upon the Debates in the House; and to take care for the Inclosures for Preservation of the Timber: And Mr. Vaughan is added to the Committee; which is revived; and to sit To-morrow in the Afternoon, in the Speaker's Chamber; and to examine, what Waste or Destruction hath been done by Sir John Wintour, or his Agents, to the Detriment of the King or Country; and to state the Case, as to Sir John Wintour's Interest, to the House: And that the Care of the Bill be recommended to Sir Charles Harbord.
And then the House adjourned till To-morrow Morning Eight of the Clock.