House of Commons Journal Volume 9: 21 April 1668

Pages 84-86

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 Martis, 21 Aprilis, 1668.


Lyndsey Level.

ORDERED, That the House do sit To-morrow in the Afternoon, to hear the Evidence touching Lyndsey Level summed up.


A Bill for Continuance of a former Act concerning Jurors was read the Second time.

Resolved, &c. That the Bill be committed to Sir Thomas Gower, Sir Jo. Moreton, Sir Clifford Clifton, Sir Jo. Brampston, Mr. Crouch, Sir Charles Harbord, Mr. Malet, Sir Jo. Frederick, Mr. Daniell, Mr. Rigby, Sir Robert Long, Sir John Heath, Mr Dowdeswell, Sir Jo. Birkenhead, Mr. Otway, Colonel Reames, Sir Fretchvile Hollis, Sir Thomas Allen, Sir Robert Brookes, Mr. Buscawen, Mr. Nasworthy, Mr. Herle, Sir Gilbert Gerrard, Mr. Pepis, Mr. Ratcliffe, Mr. Ford, Mr. Elliott, and all the Gentlemen of the Long Robe: And all that come shall have Voices: And are to meet this Afternoon at Two of the Clock, in the Speaker's Chamber: And to send for Persons, Papers, and Records.

Reducing Interest.

Ordered, That the Bill for abating Interest; the Bill for the Navy Creditors; and the Bill for ordering the Accounts of Administrators; be read in Order as they stand.

Preventing Export of Wool.

A Bill against the Exportation of Wool was read the First time.

Ordered, That this Bill be read the Second time on Thursday Morning.

Ordered, That the Matter concerning the Persons in Custody for Exportation of Wool be referred to the Committee appointed for Advance of Trade, and to prevent the Exportation of Wool; to examine the Matter, and report it, with their Opinions therein, to the House.


Ordered, That * Walker and * Tatham, at whose Suit, and by whose Order and Directions a Subpæna was taken out against Mr. Hardees a Member of this House, to appear in the Court of Chancery, and answer a Bill there, whilst he is attending the Service of this House, be sent for in Custody of the Serjeant at Arms attending this House, or his Deputy, to answer the Breach of Privilege.

Rebuilding London.

Ordered, That Mr. Comptroller, Sir Geo. Downing, Sir Jo. Duncombe, Sir Robert Long, Sir John Denham, Sir Jo. Birkenhead, Sir Gilbert Talbott, Sir Jo. Talbott, be added to the Committee to which the Bill for the better rebuilding of the City of London was committed.

Money received for indigent Officers.

A Bill for the better levying of Monies payable to the indigent loyal Officers, was read the First time.

Ordered, That this Bill be read the Second time on Thursday Morning next.

Sir W. Penn's Impeachment.

Sir Robert Howard reports from the Committee appointed to draw up an Impeachment against Sir Wm. Penn, several Articles of Impeachment, of High Crimes and Misdemeanours committed by him: Which he read in his Place.

He also reports a Precedent, in the Case of Sir Gyles Mompeson, 27 Feb. 18° Jac.

And the Articles, and Precedent, being delivered in at the Clerk's Table, are as followeth; viz.

Articles of Impeachment by the Commons of England assembled in Parliament, in the Name of themselves and of all the Commons of England, against Sir Wm. Penn Knight, One of the now Commissioners of his Majesty's Navy, for several High Crimes and Misdemeanours committed by him.

I. WHEREAS in or about the Month of September, in the Year of our Lord 1665, the Golden Phænix, and the Slothany, Two Ships belonging to the Subjects of the United Provinces of the Netherlands, were taken at Sea as Prize, during the late War, by his Majesty's Fleet, under the Command of Edw. Earl of Sandwich; in which said Fleet the said Sir Wm. Penn was then Vice Admiral, and Commander in Chief next under the said Earl, in the actual Pay and Service of his Majesty: He the said Sir Wm. Penn did, contrary to his Allegiance and Duty, Commission, and the Articles of War established by an Act of this present Parliament, made in the Thirteenth Year of his Majesty's Reign that now is (intituled, An Act for the establishing Articles and Orders for the Regulating and better Government of his Majesty's Navy, Ships of War, and Forces by Sea) and other good Laws of the Land, for his singular Lucre, and with Intent to share the same, did conspire and advise with several Persons to open the Holds of the said Ships, divers and sundry times, before Judgment thereof first passed in the Admiralty Court; and from thence took out and imbezzled great Quantities of rich Goods; whereby his Majesty was defrauded to the Value of One hundred and Fifteen thousand Pounds, or thereabouts; besides great Quantities of Jewels and other rich Commodities, of which no certain Estimate can be made.

II. That the said Sir Wm. Penn, in pursuance of the said Conspiracy, did, on or about the Fourteenth Day of the said Month of September, repair on Board the said Prize Ship the Slothany, in the Company of Sir Wm. Berkley, then Commander of his Majesty's Ship the Swift Sure, and Vice Admiral to the White Squadron, commanded by the said Sir Wm. Penn; and did then and there give Order and Command unto Captain Robert Worden (unto whose Charge the said Ship the Slothany was then committed) to follow such Directions as he should receive from the said Sir Wm. Berkley: Who immediately thereupon caused the Hatchways of the said Ship to be broke open; and took out of the said Ship several Bales of Silk, Mace, and other Goods, to a great Value, and carried them away; and afterwards, at several other times, caused the Hatchways of the said Ship to be broken open, after they were closed, and sealed up; at every of which times, he took and carried away great Quantities of rich Goods; he the said Sir Wm. Penn having sent several Men on Board the said Ship the Slothany to assist the said Sir Wm. Berkley therein.

III. He the said Sir Wm. Penn got a considerable Part of the said Goods into his Possession, and converted them to his own use; and, on or about the latter End of the said Month of September, or the Beginning of October then following, did sell divers Parcels of the said Goods; and, further warranted the Sale thereof.

IV. The better to colour the said Fraud and Imbezzlement, Orders were obtained from the said Earl of Sandwich, bearing Date the Fifteenth and Twenty-first of September 1665, for the taking and distributing of some Part of the said Goods among several Officers, whereof the said Sir Wm. Penn was one, and had a great Proportion thereof allotted to him, submitted (as was pretended) to his Majesty's further Pleasure; although he the said Sir Wm. Penn very well knew, that the said Orders of him the Earl of Sandwich were void, and contrary to the Commission of the said Earl, the Articles of War, and the Law of this Land: And afterwards a Warrant, dated the Seventeenth of October 1665, was unduly procured from his Majesty, for distributing the said Goods; whereas, in truth, he the said Sir Wm. Penn had, before the said Warrant of his Majesty, possessed himself of divers of the said Goods, and sold and warranted the same, as in the third Article is expressed: And further, did take, sell, and dispose of a far greater Quantity of Goods, than was contained either in the Orders of the said Earl of Sandwich, or his Majesty's said Warrant, to the Value of Two thousand Eighty-five Pounds, or thereabouts.

All and every of which Proceedings are contrary to the Articles of War above-mentioned, and to the Laws of the Land, and of dangerous Consequence and Example, if unredressed.

And the said Commons by Protestation, saving to themselves the Liberty of exhibiting, at any time hereafter, any other Accusation or Impeachment against the said Sir Wm. Penn; and also of replying to the Answer of the said Articles, or any of them, or of offering Proofs of the Premises, or any other Impeachment or Accusation that shall be exhibited by them, as the Case, according to the Course of Parliament, shall require, do pray, that the said Sir Wm. Penn may be called to answer the said several Crimes and Misdemeanours, and receive such condign Punishment as the same shall deserve; and that such further Proceedings may be upon every one of them had and used against him, as is agreeable to Law and Justice.

"February 27. 18 of King James.

"Resolved, &c. That Sir Gyles Mompesson be called in to the Bar; and Mr. Speaker let him know the Pleasure of the House, That, for his Offences and Faults, he shall, for the present, remain with the Serjeant; who is required to keep him safe, at his Peril."

The Articles of Impeachment were again read.

The first Article of Impeachment was read the Second time; and the Words "the Earl of Sandwich," upon the Question, omitted; and the Words "with several Persons" inserted; and the Words "the said Sir Wm. Penn" inserted, was, upon the Question, agreed.

The second Article was read the Second time; and, with some Amendments made at the Table, upon the Question, severally agreed.

Resolved, &c. That the said Articles of Impeachment against Sir Wm. Penn be ingrossed.

Sir William suspended, pending Impeachment.

Resolved, That Sir Wm. Penn be suspended from sitting in the House, whilst the Impeachment against him is depending.

Precedents of Suspension &c.

Resolved, &c. That the Committee to sit this Afternoon, and search Precedents touching the Suspension or Expulsion of Members impeached, from sitting.

Miscarriages of the War.

The House then resumed the further Consideration of the Miscarriage in the Year 1665, in slacking Sail and not pursuing the Dutch Fleet, contrary to the express Order of his Royal Highness.

Sir John Harman, being called in, delivers his further Answer and Testimony in Writing: Which was read.

Mr. Brunckard being, by Order of the House, to attend this Day, to make further Answer to the Evidence and Matters objected against him, in persuading and pretending to bring Orders from his Royal Highness to slack Sail, in the Year 1665, contrary to the express Orders given by his Royal Highness himself, in Person; and Mr. Brunckard absenting himself, and being not to be found near the House;

A Member expelled.

Resolved, &c. That Mr. Brunckard, for his Contempt in not attending and giving in his further Answer to the Evidence and Matters objected against him this Day, according to the Order of the House, made at his own Request, and in his Favour; but waving the Justice of the House; be expelled from being a Member of this House.

Ordered, That Mr. Speaker do issue his Warrant to the Clerk of the Crown, to make out a new Writ for electing a Member, in the stead of Mr. Brunkard, to serve for the Cinque Port of New Rumney.

Sir John Harman was called in; and examined to some Questions.

Captain Cox was called in; and examined to some Questions.

The whole Matter being debated;

Resolved, &c. That Sir John Harman be discharged of this Commitment to the Serjeant at Arms attending this House.

Resolved, &c. That this House is satisfied, that Mr. Brunckard is guilty of bringing pretended Orders from his Royal Highness to Sir John Harman, commanding the lowering the Sails in the June Engagement 1665.

Resolved, &c. That the bringing these Orders to Sir John Harman was one Cause of the Non-prosecution of that Victory.

Mr. Brunckard impeached.

Resolved, &c. That Mr. Brunckard be impeached for this Misdemeanour: And it is referred to the Committee formerly appointed, that drew up the Impeachment against Sir Wm. Penn, to prepare and draw up the Impeachment against Mr. Brunckard.

Resolved, &c. That the further Debate of this Matter be adjourned.


Ordered, That all Committees, that were to sit this Afternoon, be adjourned.

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