Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 11, 1660-1666. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.
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DIE Sabbati, 16 die Junii.
PRAYERS, by Mr. Hodges.
Domini præsentes fuerunt:
Petition to be presented to the King, concerning His Proclamation against Prophaneness.
ORDERED, That the Speaker of this House do present to the King the Petition passed both Houses, for issuing out a Proclamation, that the Proclamation of His Majesty against debauched Persons may be read in Churches.
L. Purbeck brought to the Bar as a Delinquent, he refusing his Peerage.
The Gentleman Usher acquainting the House, "That he had attached the Lord Viscount Purbeck, according to the Order Yesterday;"
The House took into Consideration how he should be called in.
And the House ordered he should come into his Place as a Peer, and hear the Information read against him.
But the Gentleman Usher informing the House, "That the said Viscount Purbeck told him, he had neither Writ nor Patent to be a Peer, and therefore knew no Place he had here in this House, but was now a Member of the House of Commons; and therefore he would not come:"
Hereupon this House, conceiving this Answer and Refusal to be a Contempt to this House, ordered, That he should be brought to the Bar as a Delinquent; and accordingly he was brought in, and kneeled at the Bar as a Delinquent, until, by Order of the House, he was commanded to stand up.
Informations against him.
Then the Informations were read to him; videlicet,
1. The Information of the Earl of Monmouth, who heard the said Viscount Purbeck say, "That rather than the late King should want one to cut off His Head, he the said Viscount Purbecke would do it himself."
2. The Information of the Lord Petre, who, at the pretended High Court of Justice upon the late King, did hear the Lord Viscount Purbeck say to this Effect, "That Bradshaw was a gallant Man, the Preserver of our Liberties; and that he the said Lord Viscount Purbeck hoped that Bradshaw would do Justice upon that Tyrant (speaking of the late King)."
3. An Information, that he the said Viscount Purbeck should say in the House of Commons, in Richard's Convention, standing near the Speaker's Right Hand, "Mr. Speaker, I wonder that I should be accused of being a Cavalier, or bearing Arms for Charles Stuart, which I never did; for I protest, I so much hated Him and His Cause, that, because those of the Name of Villiers did side with Him and assist Him, therefore I hated that Name also, and changed it for D'anvers."
4. The Information of John Harris: "That, Monday, December the 17th, 1649, young Robert Villers, Son to Viscount Purbeck, came in the Afternoon to the Earl of Monmouth's House, being then in Queencstreet, London; and amongst other atheistical Speeches, where he denied the Immortality of the Soul, and scoffed at Judgement to come, he asked the Lady Philadelphia Wharton, "What she feared? That (fn. 1) she had read of the Three-headed Dog Cerberus, and was afraid he would bite her." He also, with blasphemous Words, dared God to maintain His own Quarrel. Asked her, "Supposing she were shut up in a Sheet of Lead, only a little Hole left against her Mouth to breathe at; if that Hole were suddenly soldered up, whither her Soul would go?" Lastly, he scoffingly said, "That God was a good old Man, and troubled himself with little, &c. But He had a Son that was a dapper young Man, that was likely to bestir Himself, &c."
His Reasons for refusing his Peerage;
These being read, the Lord Viscount Purbeck desired to know whether he might have Leave to speak. Which the House granted.
And then he said, "He valued the Honour of this House very much; but he hath no Right himself to this Honour of a Peer, because he can find no Patent for any such Honour in the Petty Bag Office, nor any Writ." He said further, "That he petitioned the King to give him Leave to levy a Fine, to clear him of any Title to that Honour; and His Majesty hath made an Order to the Attorney General to that Purpose: And the Reasons (he said) to induce him to this were,
"1. This Honour was but a Shadow, without a Substance.
2. His small Estate was unfit to maintain any such Honour.
3. That Noble Family he comes of never owned him; neither hath he any Estate from them."
and his Defence:
"As touching the Information now against him," he said, "he is chosen a Member of the House of Commons, to serve there this Parliament; and being so, he did not know whether he should answer or no: But appealed to their Lordships, whether he is to be tried here by their Lordships or no?"
Hereupon the House commanded him to withdraw.
And the Lords, upon Consideration of what the Lord Viscount Purbeck had said; the Speaker was directed by the House to tell him, "That the Lords were not satisfied with his Plea; but expected he should make further Answer."
And he being called in again as before, the Speaker told him the Resolution of the House as aforesaid.
Desires a Copy of his Charge:
And then he desired he might have a Copy of his Charge.
Then the House commanded his Lordship to withdraw again.
And their Lordships, advising upon the Answer, ordered, That he should be called in again, and told by the Speaker, "That what was read now unto him was but an Information, and no Charge; and the House doth not think fit to give him a Copy, but expects he should answer to the Information."
Unto which his Lordship replied, "That he desired Leave to advise with his Counsel, whether he should answer; and he did not know, in regard he is a Member of the House of Commons, whether he might answer."
After this, he was commanded again to withdraw.
To remain in Custody of the Black Rod.
And then the House ordered, That the said Viscount Purbeck should remain in the Custody of the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, until the further Pleasure of this House be signified.
Message from H. C. with Votes to prevent Waste on the Lands of the King and Queen:
A Message was brought from the House of Commons, by Mr. Prynn; who brought up Two Votes, wherein their Lordships Concurrence was desired:
1. A Vote to prevent Waste and Cutting of Woods upon the King's Lands.
2. A Vote to prevent Cutting of Wood, and Waste, upon Lands belonging to the Queen's Jointure.
To be put into Orders of this House.
The aforesaid Votes were read; and ORDERED, That both these Votes be put into single Orders of this House alone, and so to be published; but did not agree to have the Commons joined with their Lordships therein.
Answer to H. C.
The Answer returned to the House of Commons was:
That their Lordships will send an Answer to this Message by Messengers of their own.
House adjourned till 10a Monday Morning next.