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House of Commons Journal Volume 9: 5 April 1679

Pages 585-586

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

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Sabbati, 5 die Aprilis, 1679.

Prayers.

Regulating Elections.

A BILL for the better Regulating the Election of Members to serve in Parliament, was read the Second time.

Resolved, &c. That the Bill be committed to Mr. Hamden, Sir John Hewley, Sir John Maynard, Colonel Titus, Mr. Boscawen, Sir John Cloberry, Sir Wm. Francklyn, Mr. Harbord, Sir Thomas Meres, Sir Christopher Musgrave, Mr. Wright, Sir Robert Peyton, Sir Henry Capell, Alderman Love, Mr. Woogan, Mr. Garraway, Sir Gilbert Gerrard, Sir Edmund Jennings, Sir Walter Young, Mr. Foley, Mr. Tempest, Sir Robert Markham, Sir Joseph Tredenham, Sir Trevor Williams, Sir Thomas Clerges, Mr. Palmes, Mr. Barker, Mr. Papillon, Sir Thomas Lee, Master of the Rolls, Sir Nicholas Carew, Sir Wm. Coventry, Sir Tho. Stringer, Mr. Withers, Mr. Upton, Sir * Duke, Mr. Mildmay, Sir Tho. Player, Sir James Oxenden, Sir Nich. Pedley, Sir Richard Corbet, Sir Samuel Bernardiston, Sir Henry Ford, Colonel Birch, Mr. Reynall, Sir Ralph Dutton, Mr. Colt, Sir Philip Egerton, Sir Thomas Middleton, Sir Philip Skippon, Sir Richard Graham, Mr. Powle: And all that come are to have Voices: And they are to meet at Three of the Clock this Afternoon, in the Exchequer Chamber: And are at Liberty to divide the Bill into several Bills, as they shall see Cause.

New Windsor Election.

Sir Thomas Meres reports from the Committee of Elections and Privileges, That the Committee had agreed upon a Report touching the Election of Members to serve in this present Parliament for the Borough of New Windsor: Which he read in his Place; and afterwards delivered the same in at the Clerk's Table: Where the same was once read, and is as followeth; viz.

The Question was, Whether the Mayor, Bailiffs, and Burgesses, not exceeding the Number of Thirty; or, the Inhabitants at large; have Right to vote in Elections to Parliament.

The Petitioners Mr. Winwood and Mr. Starkey, produced the several Records following, to prove the Borough of New Windsor to be a Borough by Prescription; and that the Inhabitants at large ought to vote in Elections:

A Charter of 5° Edw. I. Whereby the King grants, probis Hominibus de Windsore, Quod Villa de Nova Windsor de cætero sit liber Burgus; & quod probi Homines ejusdem Villæ sint liberi Burgenses, & habeant Gildam Mercatoriam.

Mr. Lawrence Halstead, Keeper of the Records of the Tower, testified, That the ancientest Returns of Members to serve in Parliament were those of Edw. I.

They also produced these Records following; being Returns out of the Tower and Rolls; viz.

30. Edw. I.-Two Burgesses returned for New Windsor on this Writ.

25. Hen. VI.-Major & Communitas Burgensium elegerunt In cujus Testimonium Sigillum Commune omnium & singulorum Burgensium & Communitati prædict' est appensum.

27. Hen. VI The same exactly.

39. Hen. VI.-Major, Ballivi, & tota Communitas elegerunt-Dat' sub Sigillo Majoritatis.

7 Edv. VI.-Major, simul cum Ballivis, Burgensibus, & Communitate, elegerunt-In cujus Testimonium Sigillum Commune Burgi, in Gilda ibidem, apposuimus.

1. & 2. Phil. & Mar.-Major, Ballivi, & Burgenses, simul cum Communitate, ex communi Assensu, elegerunt- Dat' sub Sigillo Communi Burgi in Gilda Aula.

2. & 3. Phil. & Mar. 4. & 5. Phil. & Mar.-The same exactly.

1. Eliz.-Major, simul cum Ballivis, Burgensibus, & Communitate elegerunt.

16. Car. I. 17. Car. I.-Mayor, Bailiffs, Burgesses and Inhabitants have chosen.-Sealed with the Common Seal, and the Inhabitants.

A Report of Serjeant Maynard, in 1640, at the Committee of Elections, was read: Whereby it was resolved, That all the Inhabitants have Right to elect.

They also proved, by Mr. Taylor and Mr. Baker, That the Election in the 3d Car. was at the Market Cross, and by the Inhabitants; and in 1640 and 1660: And that, in the last Parliament, the said Examinants were elected: But it was adjudged against them by the committee of Elections and Privileges; they wanting Records; which were mislaid by one Starkey, as the said Starkey afterwards confessed.

And Mr. Taylor says, he was imprisoned Five Months by my Lord Mordant concerning the said Election to the last Parliament.

Nicholas Moor, John Maidstone, Stephen Jones, Thomas Johnson, Watkin Nicholas, prove, That, on the Twentysixth of February last, the Mayor and Bailiffs of Windsor made Proclamation at the Market Cross, That there was a Precept to elect Two Burgesses for this Parliament. And that the Election should be next Day, between the Hours of Nine and Eleven: And that accordingly, next Day above Two hundred of the Inhabitants of Windsor met at the Market Cross; and about Eleven of the Clock, being asked by Mr. Starkey, Whom they would have for their Members in Parliament, in pursuance of the Precept read the Day before; and that they all answered, Mr. Winwood and Mr. Starkey. Then there went about Twenty of them to the Hall, where the Mayor, and Bailiffs, and Burgesses were, and demanded Entrance, to give their Votes: But the Constables and Tithing Men denied to let them come in; saying, They had Order to keep them out: And that thereupon they came back to the Cross, and sealed and signed an Indenture now produced; and went again with it to the Hall; and demanded Entrance, and to have the Common Seal to fix to the said Indenture: Which was also denied them.

That the Mayor, being demanded to set the Common Seal to the said Indenture, answered, He would have done it with all his Heart; but that he had an Order of the Corporation to secure him, touching his Returning of Sir John Ernle and Mr. Powney; to which the Town Clerk was a Witness.

The Sitting Members, Sir John Ernle and Mr. Powney, produced several Witnesses following; viz.

James Smith, Tho. Monck, * Harris, * Mathews, * Brazier: Who prove, That the Mayor, Bailiff, and Chief Burgesses, made Proclamation, of Twenty-sixth of February, that the Election should be next Day: And that, next Day, they went to the Hall about Ten of the Clock, and shut the Doors for some time, while they made Freemen; and about Eleven of the Clock read the Precept, the Mayor first giving Order, That the Doors should be opened. But there being a Tumult, the Constables were ordered to keep the Peace, and the Doors: And then the Mayor, Bailiff, and Burgesses, went to Election; and unanimously chose Sir John Ernly, and Mr. Powney: And several of them say, The Doors were open at the said Election; and they had no Order to shut them.

New Windsor Election.

But Brazier says, Several of the Inhabitants, and Mr. Whinwood and Mr. Starkey, were denied to come in, when they came to demand Entrance, to have the Common Seal: But he heard none of the Inhabitants ask to come in, to give a Vote.

Lord Sterling, Tho. Porter, Samuel Gilman, Wm. Roe, prove, That the Election in the Hall was a little after Eleven of the Clock; and that the Election at the Cross was over, before the Precept was read at the Hall; as they believe, by the Computation of Time.

They further produced the several Records and Books following; to prove the Election to be in the Mayor, Bailiffs, and Burgesses, not exceeding the Number of Thirty; viz.

35. Hen. VIII. - Major, Ballivi, & Burgenses elegerunt,-Dat' sub Communi Sigillo, in Guilda Aula Regia.

1. Edw. VI.-14. Eliz.-30. Eliz.-43. Eliz. -1. Jacobi.-7. Jacobi.-18. Jacobi.-21. Jacobi.-1. Car. I.-Eodem Anno.-3. Car. I. Two Indentures-15. Car. I.-16. Car. I.- 13. Car. II.-29. Car. II: All these are by the Mayor, Bailiffs, and Burgesses, and under the Common Seal; and most of them dated in the Guildhall of Windsor.

A Report of Serjeant Charleton, upon the Dispute of the Election of Sir Rich. Braham, and Sir Thomas Higgons, in 1661, was read; whereby it was resolved, That the Mayor, Bailiffs, and Burgesses, not above Thirty in Number, have only Right to elect.

The Book of Entries of the Town of Windsor was read; whereby it appears, that Three several Elections, in Queen Elizabeth's Reign, were by a Number not exceeding Thirty.

Whereupon the Committee came to these Resolutions following;

Resolved, &c. That the Mayor, Bailiffs, and Burgesses, of New Windsor, not exceeding the Number of Thirty, have not the Right of Election of Members to serve in Parliament for the said Borough.

Resolved, &c. That the Borough of New Windsor has a Right to send Burgesses to Parliament by Prescription.

Resolved, &c. That the Inhabitants of the Borough of New Windsor have the Right of electing Members to serve in Parliament for the said Borough.

Resolved, &c. That Sir John Ernle and Mr. Powney are not duly elected to serve in this present Parliament, for the Borough of New Windsor.

Resolved, &c. That Mr. Winwood and Mr. Starkey are not duly elected to serve in this present Parliament, for the Borough of New Windsor.

Resolved, &c. That the late Election of Members to serve in this present Parliament, for the Borough of New Windsor, is a void Election.

The First Second, Third, and Fourth Resolves were read a Second time; and, upon the Question, severally agreed to.

Resolved, &c. That this House doth agree with the Committee, That the Mayor, Bailiffs, and Burgesses of New Windsor, not exceeding the Number of Thirty, have not the Right of Election of Members to serve in Parliament for the Borough of New Windsor.

Resolved, &c. That this House doth agree with the Committee, the Borough of New Windsor has a Right to send Burgesses to Parliament by Prescription.

Resolved, &c. That this House doth agree with the Committee, That all the Inhabitants of the Borough of New Windsor have the Right of electing Members to serve in Parliament for the said Borough.

Resolved, &c. That this House doth agree with the Committee, That Sir John Ernle and Mr. Powney are not duly elected to serve in this present Parliament, for the Borough of New Windsor.

The Fifth Resolve being read a Second time;

The Question being put, To agree with the Committee, That Mr. Winwood and Mr. Starkey are not duly elected to serve in this present Parliament, for the Borough of New Windsor.

The House divide.

The Noes go forth.

Tellers, Lord Cavendish, for the Noes, 189.
Sir Franc. Russell,
Tellers, Sir Jos. Tredenham, for the Yeas, 153.
Sir John Talbot,

And so it passed in the Negative.

Resolved, &c. That Mr. Winwood and Mr. Starkey are duly elected to serve in this present Parliament for the Borough of New Windsor.

Ordered, That the Clerk of the Crown, and the Mayor of the Borough of New Windsor, do attend on Monday Morning next, at Ten of the Clock, and amend the Return for the said Borough.

Mr. Speaker communicates a Letter.

Mr. Speaker acquaints the House, That he had received a Letter from Mr. Reading, intimating, That he had Matters of great Importance to the King and Kingdom to communicate to this House; and therefore desired to be heard at the Bar of this House.

Ordered, That the further Examination of Mr. Reading be referred to the Committee of Secrecy: And they are to make Report thereof to the House this Afternoon at Six of the Clock.

Ordered, That the Serjeant at Arms do take Care, that no Person be admitted to have Access to Mr. Reading, except the Committee of Secrecy; nor to make use of Pen, Ink or Paper, but in the Presence of the Serjeant.

Committees.

Ordered, That all Committees be adjourned.

And then the House adjourned till Five of the Clock in the Afternoon.

Post Meridiem.

Address for Trial of Reading.

Mr. Sachaverell reports from the Committee of Secrecy, That they had several times examined Mr. Nathanael Reading; and likewise the Witnesses against him: The Effect of which Examinations he acquainted the House with.

Resolved, &c. That an humble Address be made to his Majesty, to desire his Majesty to give Order, That a Special Commission of Oyer and Terminer may be forthwith issued out for the Trying of Mr. Nathanael Reading.

And it is referred to Mr. Powle, Sir Tho. Lee, Sir Henry Capell, Sir Wm. Poultney, Sir Wm. Coventry, Sir Francis Winnington, Mr. Vaughan, Mr. Sachaverell, Mr. Treby, Sir Thomas Clerges, or any Three of them, to prepare and draw up the same.

Warrant for Assistance to the Serjeant.

Ordered, That Mr. Speaker do issue out his Warrant, requiring all Sheriffs, Bailiffs, Constables, and all other his Majesty's Officers and Subjects, to be aiding and assisting to the Serjeant at Arms attending this House.

Attainder of Earl of Danby.

Ordered, That the Consideration of the Lords Amendments to the Bill of Attainder against Thomas Earl of Danby be adjourned till Monday Morning next.

Information against a Member.

Ordered, That the further Examination of the Matter of Mr. Everard's Information against Sir John Robinson, a Member of this House, be adjourned till Thursday next: And that Mr. Oats and his Witnesses do then attend.

Commitments of Lords in the Tower.

Ordered, That Sir John Robinson, on Monday next, do bring into this House the Warrants of Commitment of the Lords in the Tower; and likewise the Orders, and a List of the Names of the Persons that were admitted to have Access to them; and all other Orders that relate to them.

And then the House adjourned till Monday Morning, Eight of the Clock.