Friday, the 25th of March, 1653.
E. of Shrewsbury.
ORDERED, That the Business touching the Earl
of Shrewsbury be taken into Consideration on Tuesday Sevennight; and that, in the mean time, the Commissioners for compounding do state the whole Case, and
certify the same to the Parliament: And that the Commissioners do stay all further Proceedings in that Business, in the mean time.
Sir K. Digby.
Ordered, That the Business touching Sir Kenelme
Digby be taken into Consideration on Tuesday Sevennight, next after the Business of the Earl of Shrewsbury.
Weymouth and Melcomb Regis.
Ordered, That, next after the Business of Sir Kenelme
Digby, the Report touching the Town of Weymouth and
Melcomb-Regis, be made on Tuesday Sevennight.
Well-affected in Wales.
The humble Petition of divers Well-affected, in South
and North Wales, was this Day read.
Petition from S. Wales.
Col. Bennett reports from the Committee of plundered Ministers, to whom the Petition of the Inhabitants
of the Six Counties of South Wales was referred.
THE Parliament having, by their Order of the 10th
of March 1651, referred the Petition, intituled, "The
humble Petition of several of the Inhabitants of the Six
Counties of South Wales, and the County of Monmouth,
well-affected to the Parliament, and present Government,
in the Behalf of themselves, and the rest of the Inhabitants there," to the Committee of plundered Ministers, to
examine the Business, and state the Matter of Fact; and
report their Opinions therein to the House, &c.
The said Petition and Order were delivered to this
Committee the said 10th Day of March 1651, and by
them referred to the 16th of the said Month; at which
Time the Solicitors of the Petition, with their Counsel,
were present; and moved for a Commission into the Country, to examine Witnesses touching Matters contained in
the Petition: Whereupon this Committee taking the
Petition into Consideration, and finding the same ambiguously drawn, and containing only Things in general,
and the Persons, seemed to be complained against, not
named; and, besides, some Things therein represented as
Crimes, if proved, would not appear to be so; and conceiving it might be of dangerous Consequence to grant
such a Commission without clear Grounds; did think fit
first to demand, of the Solicitors of the Petition, a particular Charge; viz. What Ministers were unjustly ejected,
and what Persons had embezzled any of the Monies,
and the like, in order to a thorough Examination thereof,
as was desired: To which the Solicitors of the Petition,
and their Counsel, being withdrawn for an Hour's Time
and upwards, and called in again, returned Answer to
this Effect, That they were only Solicitors for the
Petitioners, and had no more yet in Charge, than the
Prosecution of the Petition; but said, If convenient Time
were given to send into the Country, Particulars might
be had: Whereupon this Committee did put off the
whole Business to the 18th of May 1652; ordering, in
the mean time, for the better Clearing of Things, a
Letter to be prepared, and sent to the Commissioners,
by Act of Parliament, for Propagation of the Gospel in
Wales, together with a Copy of the said Petition, desiring them to give an Account to this Committee, by
the said 18th Day of May, touching all the Particulars
in the said Petition contained: Upon which said 18th Day
of May, though it appeared unto this Committee, that
the said Letter was not sent; notwithstanding the Commissioners for South Wales and Monmouthshire, having
Intimation of the Proceedings herein, sent up Agents, by
that Day to attend this Committee, with a Letter to the
Chairman, having inclosed in it a full Account touching
all the Particulars in the said Petition contained: And
a Book also was brought before this Committee, of about
Sixty Sheets of Paper, containing all the Proceedings of the
said Commissioners in Obedience to the Act; and avouching the Account inclosed in the Letter, in the Particulars
thereof: Which said Letter and Account was read, in
Presence of Parties of both Sides, and Counsel of the
Petitioners; and as it gave much Satisfaction to this
Committee, so also the Counsel of the Petitioners acknowleged it to be ingenuous; and said, They were glad to
see the Commissioners could give so good an Account of
their Proceedings; yet desired a Copy thereof, that they
might make Exceptions thereunto; and, withal, pressed
again to have a Commission into the Country, to examine
Witnesses upon their Petition: Upon Consideration of all
which, and Debate of what was offered thereupon, this
Committee ordered, That the Petitioners should, on Friday then next following, exhibit such Particulars contained
in the said Petition, upon which they would insist, and
desire to examine Witnesses: On which Day, being the
21th of May 1652, the Solicitors of the Petition came
before this Committee; and, by their Counsel said, That
they appeared in Obedience to the aforesaid Order, and
prayed, that they might have Liberty to examine the
Truth of their Petition, in every Particular; and to that
End, that the Committee would grant them a Commission, to examine Witnesses in the Country where the
Matter of Fact doth arise; refusing to give any other
Answer, or exhibit the said Particulars; and prayed, that
this their Answer might be entered. Information, and
Proofs were also offered to this Committee, that the said
Petition was contrived and printed in this City by disaffected Persons, some of whom appear now as Solicitors
thereof, and Copies sent down to Malignants in the
Country, with Instructions for gaining underhand Subscriptions thereunto, and raising large Contributions
amongst disaffected Gentlemen for carrying on thereof;
and that the same is chiefly subscribed by Malignants,
their Servants and Tenants, and by Women and SchoolBoys, of the Counties of Brecknock and Radnor; the other
Five Counties scarcely hearing thereof, before it was presented; and that there is a Design therein, of very dangerous Consequence to the Peace of those Counties,
whereof this Committee conceived themselves not impowered, by the Parliament, to take full Cognizance of.
He also reports, A Letter from several Justices of the
Peace in the said Counties, to the Chairman of the said
Committee; and the Answer of the Commissioners for
propagating the Gospel, to the Heads of the said Petition: Which were this Day read.
He also reports, An Information and Discovery of the
indirect Practices, and dangerous Designs, of John Gunter, and other his Confederates, in framing and promoting
of the late Petition presented to the Parliament, intituled,
"The humble Petition of several of the Inhabitants of
the six Counties of South Wales, and the County of
Monmouth, well-affected to the Parliament, and present
Government, on the Behalf of themselves, and the rest
of the Inhabitants there; offered to the honourable Committee of Plundered Ministers, the Day of June
1652:" Which was read.
Resolved, by this Parliament, That this Report be recommitted; with Power to the Committee to examine
the whole Matter, and to report it to the Parliament.
Ordered, That the Act, intituled, An Act for the better Propagation and Preaching of the Gospel in Wales,
and Redress of some Grievances, be brought in, and read,
on Friday Morning next, the first Business; in order to
the Reviving thereof, if the House shall see Cause.
The House, according to former Order, adjourned
itself to Tuesday Morning next, Eight of Clock.