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, 9 die Decembris, 1680.
ORDERED, That a Committee be appointed to inspect the Law made for the Erecting and Establishing a Post Office; and to bring in a Bill or Bills for regulating the Post Office.
And it is referred to Mr. Colt, Sir Samuel Bernardiston, Sir Francis Russell, Mr. Slater, Sir Philip Skippon, Mr. Bremen, Mr. Evelin, Sir George Downing, Sir Henry Thompson, Mr. Foley, Sir John. Hartop, Sir William Bastard, Mr. Hamden, Mr. Duboys, Mr. Love, Mr. Papillon, Mr. Conningsby, Mr. Burdett, Colonel Whitley, Mr. Grey, Sir Trevor Williams, Sir Henry Calverly, Mr. Pollixfen, Mr. Pierpoint, Sir John Knight, Mr. White, and all the Members of the House that are Merchants; or any Five of them: And they are to meet at Three of the Clock this Afternoon, in the Speaker's Chamber: And are impowered to send for Persons, Papers, and Records.
Leave of Absence.
Ordered, That Mr. John Grey and Mr. Nicolas Herne, Members of this House, have Leave to go into the Country.
Ordered, That a Committee be appointed to prepare and bring in a Bill for regulating the Coinage; and for Continuance of the Law made concerning Coinage.
And it is referred to Sir George Downing, Mr. Powle, Sir Robert Clayton, Mr. Papillon, Mr. Evelin, Sir Thomas Player, Colonel Birch, Mr. Colt, Mr. Duboys, Sir Samuel Bernardiston, Sir Trevor Williams, Sir Roger Hill, Mr. Onslow, Sir William Yorke, Sir Richard Temple, Sir Henry Thompson, Mr. Hamden, Colonel Titus, Mr. Foley, Mr. Pilkington, Sir Robert Carr, Mr. Love, Sir John Moreton, Sir John Newton, Mr. Buscawen, Mr. Harbord; or any Five of them: And they are to meet at Three of the Clock this Afternoon, in the Speaker's Chamber: And are impowered to send for Persons, Papers, and Records.
Leave of Absence.
Ordered, That Mr. Woolrich, a Member of this House, have Leave to repair into the Country.
Sir Robert Corbett reports from the Committee of Elections and Privileges, to whom the Matter of the Election for the Borough of Rygate in the County of Surrey was committed; That the Committee having taken the same into their Consideration, had agreed upon the following Resolves: Which he read in his Place; and afterwards delivered the same in at the Clerk's Table: Where the same being read, are as followeth; viz.
Resolved, That Ralph Freeman Esquire is not duly elected a Burgess to serve in this present Parliament, for the Borough of Ryegate in the County of Surrey.
Resolved, That Deane Goodwin Esquire is duly elected a Burgess to serve in this present Parliament, for the Borough of Ryegate in the County of Surrey.
The First of the said Resolves being read a Second time;
Resolved, That this House doth agree with the Committee, That Ralph Freeman Esquire is not duly elected a Burgess to serve in this present Parliament, for the Borough of Ryegate in the County of Surrey.
The Second of the said Resolves being read a Second time;
Resolved, That this House doth agree with the Committee, That Deane Goodwin Esquire is duly elected a Burgess to serve in this present Parliament, for the Borough of Ryegate in the County of Surrey.
Leave of Absence.
A Motion being made to the House, That Sir William Spring, a Member of this House, have Leave to go into the Country;
And the Question being put, That he have such Leave;
The House divide.
The Yeas go forth.
|Tellers,||Sir Samuel Bernardiston,||for the Yeas,||84.|
|Tellers,||Sir John Moreton,||for the Noes,||59.|
And so it was resolved in the Affirmative.
A Bill for exporting Leather was read a Second time.
Resolved, That the Bill be committed to Sir George Downing, Mr. Pierpoint, Sir John Knight, Mr. Love, Sir Trevor Williams, Mr. Barker, Mr. Cotton, Sir Thomas Clarges, Colonel Birch, Sir Vere Fane, Sir William Franklin, Sir John Moreton, Mr. Conningsby, Mr. Slater, Sir Roger Hill, Sir Henry Foord, Sir Samuel Bernardiston, Sir Richard Temple, Mr. Duboys, Mr. Papillon, Sir Henry Thompson, Sir Robert Clayton, Mr. White, Sir John Guyes, Sir Wm. Estcourt, Sir Henry Calverly, Sir John Trevor, Sir Robert Markham, Sir Thomas Thynn, Mr. Hales: And they are to meet at Three of the Clock this Afternoon, in the Speaker's Chamber.
Eye Return amended.
The Clerk of the Crown being called in; amended the Return for the Borough of Eye in the County of Suffolk. by taking off the Indenture, whereby Sir Charles Gaudy, and Sir Robert Reeves, were returned.
Ordered, That the Clerk of the Crown do attend Tomorrow Morning, to amend the Return for the Borough of Ryegate in the County of Surrey.
Colonel Birch reports from the Committee appointed to examine the Matter of the Information given to this House by Mr. Peter Norris, That the Committee, having taken the same into their Consideration, had not thought fit to come to any Resolution therein: But had ordered him to report the Matter especially to the House: Which Report he read in his Place; and afterwards delivered the same in at the Clerk's Table: Where the same being read, is as followeth;
That the Committee, in the first place, after Hearing of the said Norris his Complaint, That several Papers were taken from him, sent for the said Papers, which were informed to them, to be in a Chest in the Council Chamber: Which Papers were brought to this Committee, by an Inventory: Which the said Norris then acknowledged to be all: And they still remain with this Committee.
In the next place, They proceeded to examine, Upon what Occasion the said Mr. Norris was sent beyond Sea: Which not only by the said Papers, but also by a Certificate delivered to the Chairman of this Committee, from the Earl of Essex; and divers other Informations, as well as the said Norris his Instructions, given by Doctor Tonge; was, to fetch over one Dowdall, an Irish Priest, who had been conversant with the Priests in France and Flanders, who managed the Plot both in England and Ireland; and, mixing himself amongst them, was privy to the whole Plot; which the said Dowdall, by several Letters, had made known to Doctor Tonge: Which Letters were perused by the Earl of Essex; and also Satisfaction was given by a known Merchant in London, That the said Dowdall was an honest man, of good Understanding, and might be credited.
Then the Committee proceeded to inquire, Who at any time had Knowledge of the Sending over for the said Dowdall; and found by an Order of Council, bearing Date the Eighteenth Day of July One thousand Six hundred Seventy-nine, That the said Dowdall, by the Name of Edward Dowdall, was permitted to come from Dover: and stay for a Month: But in that Order there is no Mention of Dowdall's being a Priest.
And it likewise appears to this Committee, That not long after the said Order for his coming over, Dowdall died, and not without suspicion, that it was a violent Death: But it doth not appear to this Committee, That the Death of Dowdall was known in England till after the Return of Norris, who was sent to fetch the said Dowdall over; which was about Ten Months after the Date of the said Order of Council.
Upon which, this Committee proceeded to examine, How it came to pass, That the said Norris was in such Danger beyond Sea, and particularly at his coming aboard the Pacquet Boat at Calais; and likewise his Imprisonment at Dover in the common Prison, and his being brought from Dover by a Messenger: And they found the Cause of it to be by a Description given of Peter Norris to Secretary Jenkins the Twenty-ninth of May One thousand Six hundred Eighty, in these Words;
"Peter Norris, some calls him Morris, a Scotchman, handsome, neat Face, sanguine Complexion, short Nose, bald-pated, white Wig, slender Body, little Stature, civil and smooth in Discourse, speaking French, aged Thirty-four Years more or less; Taylor by Trade:" And, under this Description, written with another Hand and Ink, these Words, "Went into France on Wednesday was Three Weeks, to bring with him a Priest."
Thereupon, this Committee proceeded to examine, Who brought this Description to the said Secretary; and where and by whom it was drawn, with all the Circumstances that they could find about it: And first they found That Thomas Sheridan, a Gentleman, who affirmed himself a Protestant, born in Ireland; heretofore employed in collecting the Revenues there, and lately with the Duke at his Court at Brussells, and came over with him in the same Yacht; confessed, upon his Examination, That he carried the said Description to the said Secretary: But, it being shewed him, he denied the Writing any Part of it, save the last Line: But confesseth that it was written and brought to him by one Anthony Day, Doctor of Physick to the late Army in Flanders: Whereupon the said Sheridan was commanded to produce the said Day; and, with him, to attend.
Doctor Day and Mr. Sheridan both appearing, were examined severally; and first the said Day, who confessed himself a Papist, and pretended very little Knowledge of Mr. Sheridan; but that, coming to give him a Visit, which he had not done of Six Weeks before, Mr. Sheridan began to discourse of News; and particularly of the Plot: To which the said Doctor replied, That now the whole Plot would be discovered, and laid open; for he heard there was one gone beyond Sea to fetch over a Priest, that knew of the whole Plot; and doth not remember any thing more at that time but common Discourse: But some few Days after, meeting with Mr. Sheridan, the said Mr. Sheridan desired him to describe the Person that was so sent over: The said Doctor replied, That he knew not the Person that was gone, nor the Priest he was to fetch; but that John Butler, Keeper of a Brandy Shop near the French Ambassador's, upon Discouse, had told him so: To whom Mr. Sheridan desired him to go, and get the Description: Which he did accordingly: And the Description being shewed him, confessed he writ it from his Mouth, save the last Line: But saith, That Person is now dead, who gave him the said Description; but his Wife is living.
Mr. Sheridan, being then called in, and examined, said, He had no great Acquaintance with the said Doctor; and seldom saw him but upon a Visit, which haply might be once a Week, or the like: Confesseth, that the said Doctor told him, as News, The Plot would now be laid open; for there was one sent over into France to fetch a Priest that knew of the whole Plot: And further said, That he that went over, knew also as much of the Plot as any Man in England: Whereupon the said Sheridan confessed, That he went shortly after, but remembers not how long, to Secretary Jenkins; and told him, That there was one gone over into France that knew as much of the Plot as any Man: And that he went over to fetch a Priest, that also knew the whole Plot; which he, the said Sherridan, supposed, was to be a Witness: Upon which the said Secretary commanded him the said Sherridan to give him a Description of the Person so sent over; but remembers no other Discourse at that time: But that some short time after (but remembers not how long) he met with Mr. Day; who gave him the Description, in the Presence of Mr. John Wilson, of the Middle Temple: Which he shortly after delivered to Mr. Secretary; and used, as he remembers, only these Words, "Sir, Here is the Description of the Person I mentioned to you."
After this Description so delivered to the Secretary, a Letter was written by Mr. Cooke; which Mr. Secretary declared at the Committee, he would take upon himself, in these Words following;
Sir, Whitehall, May 31th, 1680.
THE Right honourable Sir Leoline Jenkins, One of his Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State, being hastily called this Day to wait upon his Majesty at Windsor, hath commanded me to send you the inclosed Description of a Person, who, if he shall happen to come from France, and land at your Port, Mr. Secretary saith, you will do the King and Kingdom a great Service, if you will keep a strict Eye upon him, and the Company that shall arrive with him, till they be all brought before Mr. Mayor, or other Chief Magistrate of your Town, whom Mr. Secretary desires to offer the said Persons the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy; and, in case of their or any of their Refusal of the same, to secure them, and deal with them according to Law; giving Mr. Secretary an Account, with what Speed may be, of all the Proceedings in this Affair: If such a Person, as is here described, should come, and make no Bones of taking the aforesaid Oaths; yet, in case Mr. Mayor, or other Chief Magistrate, before whom they are brought, shall have reasonable Ground to suspect, that he is the Man so described; and that he hath One or more in his Company, who may be reasonably suspected to be Priests; some handsome Course is to be taken to detain them, till Mr. Secretary can be acquainted with what is done, and send such further Directions as shall be thought necessary. Mr. Mayor's Authority, with your Prudence and Zeal in this Matter, will, I hope, produce a good Effect upon this Command.
I am, Sir,
Your very humble Servant,
Pray favour me with a Line, that this comes safe to your Hands.
Vera Copia. John Pepper.
Upon which, Norris was committed to the common Prison, as is mentioned in his Complaint.
All which being of more than an ordinary Nature, this Committee thought not fit to give any Opinion; but humbly referred it to the Wisdom of this House.
Ordered, That Mr. Sherridan and Mr. Day be forthwith brought, in Custody of the Serjeant at Arms, to the Bar of this House.
Ordered, That a Committee be appointed, forthwith to search the Papers of the said Mr. Sherridan and Mr. Day; and to report the same to the House.
And it is referred to Sir John Moreton, Mr. Colt, Colonel Birch, Sir John Coventry, Lord Brandon, Mr. Harbord, Mr. Bremen, Sir William Roberts, Sir William Waller, Mr. Vernon; or any Three of them.
A Motion being made to the House, That the Matter touching the Election for the City of Gloucester, be appointed to be heard before the Committee of Elections and Privileges, on the Third Day of January next;
Ordered, That the Consideration of this Motion be referred to the Committee of Elections and Privileges.
Ordered, That the Matter of the Complaint made against Mr. Tyler be referred to the Committee of Privileges; to examine the same: And they are to proceed therein in the first Place; and make Report thereof to the House.
Ordered, That all Committees that are discontinued, be revived; and do sit this Afternoon in the respective Places formerly appointed.
Tryal of Peers.
Ordered, That the Lord Russell, Lord Brandon, Mr. Montague, Lord Dursley, be added to the Committee to whom the Bill for the better Regulating the Tryal of the Peers of England, is committed: And all that come are to have Voices at the said Committee.
Papers to be searched for.
Sir William Roberts acquaints the House, from the Committee appointed to search Mr. Sherridon's Papers, That the Committee had seized several of his Papers: Which were delivered in to the House.
Mr. Sherridon being called in, was examined in the Matter touching the Report this Day made of Mr. Norris's Information.
And being withdrawn;
Ordered, That the Serjeant at Arms attending this House do, in the Presence of the Committee last-mentioned, search Mr. Sherridon, for such Papers as he hath about him: And that such Papers be produced to the House.
Ordered, That the House of Mr. Burnetti, in Yorke Buildings, where the said Mr. Sherridon lately lodged, be immediately searched by the same Committee: And if they shall find any suspicious Papers, that they bring them to the House: And that Mr. Lucy, Sir Robert Clayton, Mr. Arnold, Lord Annesly, and Lord Dursley, be added to the said Committee.
Ordered, That the said Mr. Brunetti do attend this House To-morrow Morning at Ten of the Clock.
Ordered, That the Papers of Mr. Sherridon, now delivered into the House, be perused by Mr. Papillon, Mr. Duboys, Sir Rowland Guynn, Mr. Upton, Sir Fran. Winnington, Sir Thomas Player, Mr. Foley, or any Three of them: And that the same be committed to the Charge of Mr. Papillon for the Service of the House: And the said Committee are to make Report thereof to the House, To-morrow Morning.
Ordered, That a Committee be appointed to search the House where Mr. Day formerly lodged in Princess Street: And that they bring with them all such suspicious Papers as they shall there find.
And it is referred to Mr. Colt, Sir Thomas Meres, Mr. Palmes, Mr. Trenchard, Mr. Vernon, Sir John Holman, Mr. Onslow, Sir Gilbert Gerald; or any Three of them.
Mr. Day being called in, was examined in the said Matter.
Mr. Lucy acquaints the House from the Committee appointed to search Mr. Brunetti's House, That they had accordingly searched the same; but did not find any Papers therein that gave Suspicion.
Ordered, That the further Consideration of the whole Matter be adjourned to Ten of the Clock To-morrow Morning.
Ordered, That Mr. Sherridon and Mr. Day do severally continue in Custody of the Serjeant at Arms during the Pleasure of this House: And that no Person be admitted to come to them, but such as shall have Occasion to bring them Necessaries.
And then the House adjourned to Eight of the Clock To-morrow Morning.