Martis, 10 die Januarii, 1670.
THE Petition of Sir Robert Atkins junior, was read;
complaining of an undue Return, made by the
Steward and Bailiff of the Town and Borough of Cirencester in the County of Gloucester, of one Henry Powle
Esquire, to serve as a Burgess for that Place, in Wrong of
the Petitioner, who was duly elected to serve for the same.
Ordered, That the said Petition of Sir Robert Atkins be
referred to the Committee of Elections, to examine the
Matter of the Petition; and report it, with their Opinions, to the House: And these Members following are
added to the Committee, viz. Sir Henry Felton, Sir John
Hotham, Mr. Ford, Mr. Nevill, Sir Courtney Poole, Sir
Trevor Williams, Sir Will. Farmer, Sir Will. Bucknall,
Sir Edmond Pye.
Privilege- Assault of Sir John Coventry.
The House then resumed the Consideration of the Assault, and Breach of Privilege, committed against Sir
John Coventry, a Member of this House: And, having
received an Account and Narrative of the whole Matter,
as far as hitherto a Discovery is made thereof, from Sir
Thomas Clergis, a Member of this House; before whom,
and Two others of his Majesty's Justices of the Peace,
the Examination of the Witnesses which have testified
in this Matter were taken, and returned into the Sessions,
in order to the Trial of such Persons guilty as are in
Custody: And, upon the whole Matter, it appeared,
that near Twenty Persons armed, Horse and on Foot,
were acting and assisting in this Fact, to assassinate and
wound Sir John Coventry, as he was coming near to his
House, from a Place where he supped that Night near
by, only attended with a Foot-boy, having watched their
Opportunity of doing it between Two and Three Hours,
without any Provocation offered, or Offence given, by
Sir John Coventry, to any of them; some of them wrapping him up in his Cloak, and holding him fast; and
others cutting and maugling his Face, with a Knife, in
a barbarous manner, when he could make no Defence
for himself; robbing him of his Periwig, and his Servant
of his Sword and Belt.
Upon Debate of which Matter, the whole House unanimously resenting this Fact, not only as a high Breach
of Privilege, but an Attempt of dangerous Consequence
to the King, his Laws and Government, and destructive
to the very Essence and Constitution of Parliaments, and
in itself a very vile and horrid Act; which did look to be
no less than a Contrivance of some wicked Persons, that
were Enemies to the King and Peace of his Kingdom;
After Debate whereof,
Resolved, &c. That a Bill be brought in, upon the Debates of the House, for setting a Day to such Persons as
were Actors in the Fact concerning Sir John Coventry,
to come in, and render themselves to Justice, or to be
banished the Nation; with a Clause of Mercy to such as
shall come in, and make a further Discovery of any of
the Persons guilty, if they were not principal Actors in
it themselves: And that no other Business be proceeded
in, whilst the Bill is in passing this House: And it is recommended to Mr. Attorney General, Sir Thomas Meeres,
Mr. Coleman, Sir Will. Coventry, Serjeant Mainard, Mr.
Vaughan, Mr. Milward, Sir Thom. Clergis, Sir John
Birkenhead, Sir Robert Atkins, Mr. Cheney, Mr. Garraway,
Mr. Henry Coventry, Sir Robert Howard, Sir Thom. Lee,
Sir Char. Harbord, Sir Francis Goodricke, or any Three
of them, to prepare and bring in the Bill: And it is recommended to Sir Thomas Lee to take care thereof, that the
Bill be made ready, and brought in To-morrow Morning:
And they are to meet at Four of the Clock this Afternoon, in the Speaker's Chamber, &c.
And then the House adjourned till To-morrow
Morning, Eight of the Clock.