House of Commons Journal Volume 9: 25 March 1681

Pages 708-710

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

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Veneris, 25 die Martii, 1681.

Stockbridge Election.

A PETITION of Henry Whitehead Esquire, touching the Election for the Borough of Stockbridge in the County of Southampton, was read.

Ordered, That the said Petition be referred to the Consideration of the Committee of Elections and Privileges; to examine the Matter thereof; and to report the same, with their Opinion therein, to the House.

Earl of Danby's Impeachment.

Ordered, That Mr. Hamden, Sir William Jones, Mr. Harbord, Sir Gilbert Gerrald, Sir Robert Clayton, Sir William Pullney, Mr. Arnold, Sir Eliab Harvey, Sir John Hewley, Sir Fra. Winnington, Sir Christ. Musgrave, Sir Joseph Ash, Mr. Duboys, Sir William Roberts, Mr. St. John, Mr. Stokes, Sir William Portman, Mr. Whorwood, or any Three of them, do inspect the Journals of the late Parliaments, relating to the Impeachment of the Earl of Danby; and do immediately make a Report thereof to the House.

Sir W. Scroggs' Impeachment.

A Message from the Lords, by Sir Timothy Baldwyn and Sir Edward Loe:

Mr. Speaker, The Lords have sent you the Answer of Sir William Scroggs Knight, Chief Justice of his Majesty's Court of King's Bench, to the Articles of Impeachment, exhibited against him by the Commons in the late Parliament assembled, as also a Petition from him to the Lords.

Banbury Election.

A Petition of Thomas Wise Esquire, touching the Election for the Borough of Banbury in the County of Oxon, was read.

Ordered, That the said Petition be referred to the Consideration of the Committee of Elections and Privileges; to examine the Matter thereof; and to report the same, with their Opinion therein, to the House.

Malborough Election.

A Petition of the Burgesses of the Borough of Malborough in the County of Wilts, touching the Election for the said Borough, was read.

Ordered, That the said Petition be referred to the Consideration of the Committee of Elections and Privileges; to examine the Matter thereof; and to report the same, with their Opinion therein, to the House.

Truro Election.

A Petition of Sir Thomas Litleton Baronet, and Thomas Cooke Esquire, touching the Election for the Borough of Truro in the County of Cornwall, was read.

Ordered, That the said Petition be referred to the Consideration of the Committee of Elections and Privileges; to examine the Matter thereof; and to report the same, with their Opinion therein, to the House.

Court of Marches.

Ordered, That Leave be given to bring in a Bill to take away the Court holden before the President and Council in the Marches of Wales.

Members elected without charge.

It being represented to this House by several Members, That many Counties, Cities, and Boroughs, have freely, without Charge, elected many of the Members in this present Parliament, according to the ancient Constitution of Elections of Members to serve in Parliament; wherefore this House doth give their Thanks to such Counties, Cities, and Boroughs, for the said Elections.

Place of Sitting.

Ordered, That a Committee be appointed to consider of a more convenient Place in Oxford, for the Sitting of the Commons in Parliament now assembled; and to make Report thereof to the House.

And it is referred to Sir Robert Howard, Sir Thomas Lee, Mr. Kingdon, Mr. Paul Foley, Mr. Whorwood, Sir John Carew, Sir Gilbert Gerrald, Mr. Buscawen, Sir James Rushout, Mr. Barker, Mr. Ayliffe, Mr. Thompson, Sir William Roberts, Sir Thomas Meres, Mr. Pelham, Mr. Blagrave, Colonel Birch, Mr. Arnold, Mr. Stroude, Colonel Whitley, Mr. Fleetwood, Mr. Pollixfen, and all the Members that serve for the University and City of Oxford; or any Five of them: And they are to meet at Three of the Clock this Afternoon, in the Speaker's Chamber.

Protestant Dissenters.

The House then, according to their Order, took into Consideration the Matter relating to the Bill which passed both Houses last Parliament, intituled, An Act for the Repeal of a Statute made in the Thirty-fifth Year of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth; but was not tendered to his Majesty for his Royal Assent.

Conference desired.

Resolved, That a Message be sent to the Lords, desiring a Conference with their Lordships in Matters relating to the Constitution of Parliaments in Passing of Bills.

Ordered, That a Committee be appointed, to consider of and prepare the Subject Matter to be offered at the said Conference.

And it is referred to Sir William Jones, Sir Thomas Lee, Mr. Powle, Sir Robert Howard, Mr. Hampden, Sir Robert Clayton, Sir Eliab Harvey, Colonel Birch, Mr. Buscawen, Sir Thomas Meres, Sir William Coventry, Mr. Vaughan, Serjeant Rigby, Mr. Papillon, Mr. Love, Mr. Pilkington, Sir Humphry Winch, Sir John Ernle, Mr. Broxholme, Sir John Hotham, Mr. Paul Foley, Lord Cavendish, Mr. Gray, Mr. Dutton Colt, Serjeant Maynard, Mr. Pollixfen, Sir Thomas Player, Mr. Duboice, Sir William Pultney, Sir John Hewley, Sir Edward Deering, Lord Clifford, Colonel Titus, Sir Francis Drake, or any Five of them, to prepare and draw up the same.

Earl of Danby's Impeachment.

Mr. Hamden reports, the Proceedings of the late Parliament relating to the Impeachment of the Commons of England against Thomas Earl of Danby.

Ordered, That a Message be sent to the Lords, to mind their Lordships, That the Commons in Parliament assembled have formerly, by their Speaker, demanded Judgment at the Bar of the Lords House, upon the Impeachment of the Commons against Thomas Earl of Danby of High Treason; and to desire their Lordships to appoint a Day to give Judgment against the said Thomas Earl of Danby, upon the said Impeachment: And that the Lord Cavendish do go up with the said Message.

Popish Plot; Fitzharris' Examination.

Sir George Treby acquaints the House, That he, together with Sir Robert Clayton, had taken the Examination of Edward Fitzharris, relating to the Popish Plot: Which he read in his Place; and afterwards delivered the same in at the Clerk's Table: Where the same being read, is as followeth;

The Examination of Edward Fitzharris, relating to the Popish Plot.

WHO saith, That he was born in Ireland, and is the Son of Sir Edward Fitzharris; and that he was bred, and is, a Roman Catholick: That, in One thousand Six hundred Sixty-two, he went first out of Ireland; and then went into France, to learn the Language, as an Accomplishment, being then of the Age of Fourteen Years. In One thousand Six hundred and Sixty-five he returned thence, through England, into Ireland; where he continued till about One thousand Six hundred and Sixty-eight, when he went to Prague, in order to serve the Emperor in his War in Hungary; but, there then finding a Peace concluded, he came by the Way of Flanders, into England.

And then Sir George Hamilton being about raising a Regiment of Fifteen hundred Foot in Ireland, for the French King's Service, this Examinant obtained from Sir George Hamilton a Commission to be Captain of one of the Companies in that Regiment to be raised; whereupon he went into Ireland, raised the Company, and conducted them into France; and, soon after his Landing there, he was reformed, and discharged of his said Command: whereupon he went to Paris; and, having but little Money, he lived there, difficulty, about a Year.

In One thousand Six hundred Seventy-two, going about to take his Leave of Father Gough, an English Priest at Paris, he saith to this Purpose: "You are going for England: Within these Two or Three Years you will see the Catholick Religion established there, as it is in France." The Examinant asking him how that could be, since the King was a Protestant; he answered, "If the King would not comply, there was Orders taken, and Things so laid, that he should be taken off, or killed: That the Duke of York was a Catholick; and, in his Reign, there would be no Difficulty of doing it." This Examinant then asking him, How long the Duke had been a Catholick; he answered, " That the Queen Mother had made him so." He further said, "That the Declaration of Indulgence was in order to that, and of introducing the Catholick Religion in England: And that, to the same End, the War was made against Holland; for that Holland was a Nest of Hereticks; and, if they were destroyed, the Work would be easily done in England; because the English, or English Protestants, he said, would then have no Assistance from abroad:" And he said, "That Madam came over to Dover about this Design."

The Examinant coming over about the End of October One thousand Six hundred Seventy-two, about February following, had a Commission to be Lieutenant of Captain Sydenham's Company, in the Duke of Albemarle's Regiment, which was then raised, being One of the Regiments in the Army, which was the Summer following mustered at Blackheath: And he says, He knew many of the Lieutenant Colonels, Majors, Captains, and Officers of that Army, to be Roman Catholicks.

That afterwards, the Act passing to disable Roman Catholicks to bear Office, he and others of them were forced to quit their Commands: And says, That the Common Intelligence and Opinion among them was, That that Army was raised with a Design to bring in and settle the Roman Catholick Religion in England; for which End the Invasion of Holland, and the Awing of the City of London, were fit Means.

But the Measures that were thus taken being broken by means of the Peace, and by the Duke of York's, as well as these, and other Officers, quitting all Commands; and the King failing in the Expectations they had from him; the Roman Catholicks, that were engaged in this Council, came to a Resolution to destroy the King, as Father Parrey, Confessor to Don Francisco de Melo, the Portuguese Ambassador, told this Examinant in One thousand Six hundred Seventy-three; and, if all other Means failed, the Queen would procure the Doing of it.

And he says, That this Father used this Confidence towards him, because he was well acquainted with him, and used to confess to him: And this Father repeated the same Discourse to him in Summer One thousand Six hundred Seventy-eight, with more Assurance; adding then "That the Business was now near, and he should soon see it done."

About April One thousand Six hundred Seventy-nine, Marquis Montecuculy, Envoy from the Duke of Modena, after having sworn him to Secrecy, told him, That if he would undertake the killing the King, either in his own Person, or by any other, that he should have Ten thousand Pounds: Which he refusing, the Marquis said, "If you will not, the Duchess of Mazareene understands poisoning as well as her Sister; and a little Phial, when the King comes there, will do it."

And this Examinant had a great Acquaintance with the said Marquis, having first met him several times at the Duchess of Yorke's Chapel; and afterwards lett him a House, and sold him the Furniture therein; and has very often eaten, drank, and walked with him: And the Marquis at the same time told him, That, upon killing the King, the Army in Flanders, and Parts adjacent to France, was to come over into England to destroy the Protestant Party; and that Money was levying in Italy, to recruit and supply Forces, in the Place of those that should so come over into England:

And that, after that Time, there should be no more Parliaments in England: And that the Duke of York was privy to all these Designs.

That, about April One thousand Six hundred and Eighty, he met Kelly the Priest; who there, in Discourse with him, owned, That he was One of the Persons concerned in the Murder of Sir Edmundbury Godfrey; and that the same was done much in the same Manner as Prance had related it.

This Examinant hath known Kelly about Twelve Years; in Part of which Time he has had intimate Conversation with him, and hath sometimes confessed to him.

That he hath been acquainted Six or Seven Years with Monsieur De Puy, a Servant to the Duke of Yorke: And that, soon after the Murder of Sir Edmundbury Godfrey, this De Puy told this Examinant, That that Murder was consulted at Windsor.

And, about the same time, said, That the Duke was very desirous to come to the Crown; for that the King was uncertain, and did not keep Touch with them: And that De Puy said, There was a Necessity of taking off the King; and that it would soon be done.

That the Duke of York having an Estate in Ireland; a Part of which was this Examinant's Father's; and this Examinant, being acquainted with Father Bedinfield, asked him, How he could give Absolution to the Duke, till he had made Restitution. The Father said, "That every Penitent was supposed to know his own Sins, and to make them known to his Confessor." To which this Examinant replying with some Warmth, "But, since you know it, you ought to take notice thereof;" the Father answered, " Be not angry; for ere it be long, you may be in a better Condition."

March One thousand Six hundred Seventy-nine Eighty, he went to Paris, to compound a Debt he owed there, staying there about Eight Days: Where meeting Father Patrick, who well knew this Examinant's Father and Friends; and this Examinant talking of a Rupture that might be between England and France; he said, "The French intended, in such Case, to send Marshal Bellsonds into Ireland with an Army of Ten thousand Foot, and Two thousand Horse, with Arms and Ammunition for Thirty thousand Men more, to be raised in Ireland." And the Father promised this Examinant a Regiment of the Men so to be raised and armed in Ireland: And the Design was, to restore that Kingdom to its former Owners, subject to the French.

He also desired him to send all the Libels that came out in London: And said, "That libelling the King and the Government, was a Thing necessary to be done, in order to distance the King, and make him afraid and jealous of his People."

That he knew Mr. Everard at Paris in One thousand Six hundred Sixty-five; and hath since continued and increased his Acquaintance with him; That the Opinion of Father Patrick was an Encouragement to him to correspond and concur with Mr. Everard, as to the Libel lately written by Mr. Everard.

Capt' 10 Martii, 1681, coram

Rob. Clayton,

Geo. Treby.

Ordered, That the said Examination be forthwith printed.

Fitzbarris impeached.

Resolved, That the said Edward Fitzharris be impeached of High Treason, in the Name of all the Commons of England: And that Mr. Secretary Jenkins do, To-morrow Morning, go up, and impeach him at the Bar of the Lords House.

Ordered, That it be referred to Sir Francis Winnington, Mr. Powle, Mr. Hamden, Sir Tho. Littleton, Mr. Vaughan, Sir Francis Russell, Sir Eliab Harvey, Serjeant Maynard, Mr. Papillon, Sir Robert Clayton, Mr. Whorwood, Colonel Birch, Mr. Thompson, Colonel Mildmay, Lord Russell, Sir William Jones, Sir Thomas Meres, Sir Thomas Lee, Mr. Harbord, Mr. Colt, Mr. Foley, Mr. John Trenchard, Sir Thomas Player, Mr. Duboice, Mr. Barker, Sir John Erle, Sir John Hewley, Sir Gilbert Gerald, Mr. Tho. Foley, or any Five of them, to draw up and prepare Articles of Impeachment against the said Edward Fitzharris.

Popish Plot.

Ordered, That Sir George Treby do, To-morrow Morning, give the House an Account of the Information given by Mr. Sergeant, relating to the Popish Plot.

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