BHO

House of Commons Journal Volume 9: 3 April 1679

Pages 582-584

Journal of the House of Commons: Volume 9, 1667-1687. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1802.

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Jovis, 3 die Aprilis, 1679.

Prayers.

Securing King, &c. against Popery.

SIR Thomas Clerges reports from the Committee appointed to prepare and bring in a Bill for securing the King and Kingdom against the Growth and Danger of Popery, That the Committee had agreed upon a Bill: Which he delivered in at the Clerk's Table: Where the same was read the First time.

Resolved, &c. That the Bill be read a Second time.

Apprehension of certain Persons.

The House being informed, that it was necessary, that certain Persons should be immediately apprehended, in order to their being examined by the Committee of Secrecy;

Ordered, That Mr. Speaker do issue out his Warrant to the Serjeant at Arms attending this House, to take into Custody such Persons as shall be nominated to Mr. Speaker.

Impeachment of Earl Powys, &c.

Mr. Treby reports from the Committee of Secrecy, appointed to take Informations, and prepare Evidences, and draw up Articles against the Lords that are impeached and are now in the Tower; and to take such further Informations as shall be given relating to the Plot and Conspiracy against his Majesty and the Government, and the Murder of Sir Edmundbury Godfrey; That the Committee had agreed upon a Report, containing several Articles of Impeachment of High Treason, and other High Crimes and Offences, against William Earl of Powys, William Viscount Stafford, Henry Lord Arundell of Wardour, William Lord Petre, and John Lord Bellasis: Which he read in his Place, and afterwards, delivered the same in at the Clerk's Table: Where the same were read; and, with an Amendment made at the Table, were, upon the Question, agreed to; and are as followeth;

Articles of Impeachment of High Treason, and other High Crimes and Offences, against William Earl of Powys, William Viscount Stafford, Henry Lord Arundell of Wardour, William Lord Petre, and John Lord Bellasis, now Prisoners in the Tower of London.

THAT, for many Years now last past, there hath been contrived, and carried on, by Papists, a traiterous and execrable Conspiracy and Plot, within this Kingdom of England, and other Places, to alter, change, and subvert the ancient Government and Laws of this Kingdom and Nation; and to suppress the true Religion therein established; and to extirpate and destroy the Professors thereof: Which said Plot and Conspiracy was contrived and carried on, in divers Places, and by several Ways and Means, and by a great Number of Persons of several Qualities and Degrees, who acted therein, and intended thereby to execute and accomplish the aforesaid wicked and traiterous Designs and Purposes.

That the said William Earl of Powys, Wm. Viscount Stafford, Henry Lord Arundell of Wardour, William Lord Petre, and John Lord Bellasis; together with Philip Howard, commonly called Cardinal of Norfolke; Thomas White, alias Whitebread, commonly called Provincial of the Jesuits in England; Richard Strange, lately called Provincial of the Jesuits in England; * Vincent, commonly called Provincial of the Dominicans in England; James Corker, commonly called President of the Benedictines; Sir John Warner, alias Clare, Baronet; William Harcourt, John Kenis, Nicholas Blundell, * Pole, Edward Mico, Thomas Bedingfeild, alias Benefeild, Basil Langworth, Charles Peters, Richard Peters, John Conyers, Sir George Wakeman, Thomas Fenwick, Dominick Kelly, * Fitzgerald, * Evers, Sir Thomas Preston, William Lovell, Jesuits; Lord Baltemore, John Carell, John Townely, Richard Langhorne, William Fogarty, Thomas Penny, Matthew Medbourne, Edward Coleman, William Ireland, John Grove, Thomas Pickering, John Smith, and divers other Jesuits, Priests, Friers; and other Persons; as false Traitors to his Majesty and this Kingdom, within the time aforesaid have traiterously consulted, contrived, and acted to and for the Accomplishing of the said wicked, pernicious, and traiterous Designs: And, for that End, did most wickedly and traiterously agree, conspire, and resolve to imprison, depose, and murder his Sacred Majesty, and to deprive him of his Royal State, Crown, and Dignity; and, by malicious and advised Speaking, Writing, and otherwise, declared such their Purposes and Intention; and also to subject this Kingdom and Nation to the Pope, and to his tyrannical Government; and to seize and share amongst themselves the Estates and Inheritances of his Majesty's Protestant Subjects; and to erect and restore Abbies, Monasteries, and other Convents and Societies, which have been long since, by the Laws of this Kingdom, suppressed, for their Superstition and Idolatry; and to deliver up and restore to them the Lands and Possessions now vested in his Majesty and his Subjects, by the Laws and Statutes of this Realm; and also to found and erect new Monasteries and Convents, and to remove and deprive all Protestant Bishops, and other Ecclesiastical Persons, from their Offices, Benefits, and Preferments; and by this means to destroy his Majesty's Person, extirpate the Protestant Religion, overthrow the Rights, Liberties, and Properties of all his Majesty's good Subjects, subvert the lawful Government of this Kingdom, and subject the same to the Tyranny of the See of Rome.

Impeachment of Earl Powys, &c.

That the Conspirators and their Complices, and Confederates, traiterously had and held several Meetings, Assemblies, and Consultations, wherein it was contrived, and designed among them, what Means should be used, and what Persons and Instruments should be employed, to murder his Majesty; and did then and there resolve to effect it, by Poisoning, Shooting, Stabbing, or some such-like Ways and Means; and offered Rewards and Promises of Advantage to several Persons, to execute the same; and hired and employed several wicked Persons to go to Windsor, and other Places, where his Majesty did resid, to murder and destroy his Majesty: Which said Persons, or some of them, accepted such Rewards, and undertook the Perpetrating thereof; and did actually go to the said Places for that End and Purpose.

That the said Conspirators, the better to compass their traiterous Designs, have consulted to raise, and have procured and raised Men, Money, Horses, Arms, and Ammunition; and also have made Application to, and treated and corresponded with the Pope, his Cardinals, Nuncios, and Agents, and with other foreign Ministers and Persons, to raise and obtain Supplies of Men, Money, Arms, and Ammunition; therewith to make, levy, and raise War, Rebellion, and Tumult, within this Kingdom, and to invade the same with foreign Forces; and to surprise, seize, and destroy his Majesty's Navy, Forts, Magazines, and Places of Strength within this Kingdom: Whereupon the Calamities of War, Murders of innocent Subjects, Men, Women, and Children, Burnings, Rapines, Devastations, and other dreadful Miseries and Mischiefs, must inevitably have ensued, to the Ruin and Destruction of this Nation.

And the said Conspirators have procured, and accepted, and delivered out, several Instruments, Commissions, and Powers, made and granted by or under the Pope, or other unlawful and usurped Authority, to raise and dispose of Men, Monies, Arms, and other Things necessary for their wicked and traiterous Designs; and, namely, a Commission for the said Henry Lord Arundell of Wardour, to be Lord Chancellor of England; another Commission to the said William Earl of Powys, to be Lord Treasurer of England; another Commission to the said John Lord Bellasis, to be General of the Army to be raised; another Commission to the said William Lord Petre, to be Lieutenant General of the said Army; and a Power for the said William Viscount Stafford, to be Paymaster of the Army.

That, in order to encourage themselves in prosecuting the said wicked Plots, Conspiracies, and Treasons, and to hide and hinder the Discovery of the same, and to secure themselves from Justice and Punishment, the Conspiratorsaforesaid, their Complices and Confederates, have used many wicked and diabolical Practices; viz. They did cause their Priests to administer to the said Conspirators an Oath of Secrecy, together with their Sacrament; and also did cause the said Priests, upon Confessions, to give their Absolutions, upon condition that they should conceal the said Conspiracy: And when, about the Month of September last, Sir Edmundbury Godfrey, a Justice of Peace, had, according to the Duty of his Oath and Office, taken several Examinations and Informations concerning the said Conspiracy and Plot; the said Conspirators, or some of them, by Advice, Assent, Counsel, and Instigation of the rest, did incite and procure divers Persons to lie in wait, and pursue the said Sir Edmundbury Godfrey, divers Days, with Intent to murder him; which at last was perpetrated and effected by them: For which said horrid Crimes and Offences Robert Greene, Henry Berry, and Laurence Hill, have since been attainted; and Dominick Kelly, and * Girald, and others, are fled for the same.

After which Murder, and before the Body was found, or the Murder known to any but the Complices therein, the said Persons falsely gave out, that he was alive, and privately married; and after the Body found, dispersed a false and malicious Report, that he had murdered himself. Which said Murder was committed, with Design to stifle and suppress the Evidence he had taken and had Knowledge of; and discourage and deter Magistrates and others from acting in further Discovery of the said Conspiracy and Plot: For which End also, the said Sir Edmundbury Godfrey, while he was alive, was by them, their Complices, and Favourers, threatened, and discouraged in his Proceedings about the same.

And of their further Malice, they have wickedly contrived, by many false Suggestions, to lay the Imputation and Guilt of the aforesaid horrid and detestable Crimes upon the Protestants; that so thereby they might escape the Punishments they have justly deserved, and expose the Protestants to great Scandal, and subject them to Persecution and Oppression, in all Kingdoms and Countries where the Romish Religion is received and professed.

All which Treasons, Crimes, and Offences abovementioned, were contrived, committed, perpetrated, acted, and done, by the said William Earl of Powys, William Viscount Stafford, William Lord Petre, Henry Lord Arundell of Wardour, and John Lord Bellasis, and other the Conspirators aforesaid, against our Sovereign Lord the King, his Crown and Dignity, and against the Laws and Statutes of this Kingdom.

Of all which Treasons, Crimes, and Offences, the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses in Parliament assembled, do in the Name of themselves, and of all the Commons of England, impeach the said William Earl of Powys, William Viscount Stafford, William Lord Petre, Henry Lord Arundell of Wardour, and John Lord Bellasis, and every of them.

And the said Commons, by Protestation, saving to themselves the Liberty of exhibiting, at any Time hereafter, any other Accusations or Impeachments against the said William Earl of Powys, William Viscount Stafford, William Lord Petre, Henry Lord Arundell of Wardour, and John Lord Bellasis, and every of them; and also of replying to the Answers, which they, and every of them, shall make to the Premises, or any of them, or to any other Accusation or Impeachment which shall be by them exhibited, as the Cause, according to Course and Proceedings of Parliament, shall require; do pray, That the said William Earl of Powys, William Viscount Stafford, William Lord Petre, Henry Lord Arundell of Wardour, and John Lord Bellasis, and every of them, be put to answer all and every of the Premises: And that such Proceedings, Examinations, Tryals, and Judgments may be upon them, and every of them, had and used, as shall be agreeable to Law and Justice, and Course of Parliament.

Resolved, &c. That the said Articles be ingrossed.

Convocation Oaths.

An ingrossed Bill, sent from the Lords, intituled, An Act to disable any Person from sitting in any of the Houses of Convocation, till he hath taken the Oaths, and made and subscribed the Declaration therein mentioned, was read the First time.

Resolved, &c. That the Bill be read a Second time.

Regulating Elections.

Mr. Hamden reports from the Committee appointed to bring in a Bill or Bills, upon the Debate of the House, to regulate the Election of Members to serve in Parliament, That the Committee had agreed upon a Bill: Which he delivered in at the Clerk's Table: Where the same was read the First time.

Resolved, &c. That the Bill be read a Second time.

And then the House adjourned till To-morrow Morning, Eight of the Clock.