Saturday, January 10, 1656–7.
The Grand Committee of the House sat upon the said
additional Bill, concerning the Excise and new Impost, but
I was writing most part of the time in the office.
In the painted chamber sat the Committee upon Mr. Scot's
petition. (fn. 1) Mr. Bampfield had the chair, but was very sick of
it, and some reflections between him, and Mr. Bodurda, and
Colonel Carter upon it.
The lady did appear, and disappeared again; only presented
a petition for longer time, in regard Mr. Finch, her counsel, was out of town. She wanted alimony to defend the
charge. Mr. Scot would allow her none, and she hoped the
Parliament would assign it, if she had but time to apply herself.
Her petition, though collateral to the matter, held a long
debate, and could come to no question, which caused the reflection aforesaid.
Colonel Carter, Mr. Bodurda, Lord Strickland, Colonel
Grosvenor, Mr. Lister, Colonel Fitz-James, and Mr. Waller,
were much for the lady, but the greater part against her.
Mr. Scot's counsel observing this long debate, wished him
to offer 20s. a day to procure counsel for her. Her simple
husband could not utter his mind in a word of sense, but the
counsel propounded this.
It was thought by some an unseasonable offer, to have a
fee to retain counsel, and no time for it. Time was desired
by Mr. Waller and others, and came to a question; but at
last the Committee went on to proof of the petition, notwithstanding there was one Mr. Lea, who came with her to deliver the petition, who was a counsellor, and took notes for
her, but denied that he was retained.
The first witness produced for the petitioner was Mr.
Timothy Rookes, who, it seems, is, and has been, an ancient
servant at Scot's Hall. He ripped up the whole course of
her elopement from her husband.
He said they were married about twenty-five or twentysix years ago. Her father, Lord Goring, was to have given
3000l. portion with her, but only 1500l. are paid. She lived
with her husband about two years, till, desiring one time to
go to London, to stay but a month or three weeks, to see
some friends, she stayed there three years, till she was
brought home by some of her friends. Another time, she
pretended to go to see her brother, who had a sore foot,
promising to stay but three weeks, yet stayed three years.
Another time, she asked leave to go to London for a month,
promising, upon her honour, to return within six weeks, but
stayed out the former time.
Still the poor man was content, from time to time, to receive her and all her faults, and sent to one Mr. Best, in
London, to pay her 40l. to accommodate her for her journey
home; but she having received the griggs set sail another
way, for Oxford, where she was all the time of the siege, playing all her casts.
She came again to London, and there agreed with five or
six lusty fellows, whom she had to a tavern, and gave them 15l.
ill hand, promising them 100l. when they had done their
These five or six blades, by the conduct of one of her servants,
who, for fear of suspicion, stayed half a mile short at a park
side, came to Sir Edward Scot's house, father of the petitioner.
They pretended to be of Colonel Rich's regiment, and desired
the civility of the house, to afford them a cup of beer. They
had both beer and some wine. These blades, watching their
opportunity, single out the petitioner, and take him, walking
in the court, with a hawk on his fist, and throw the hawk
from him, and clap him up behind one of them, without
boots, &c. and hurry him away to London; where he was
kept in obscurity, till, by General Cromwell's order, he was
set at liberty, and the blades, some of them, caught.
This witness did not declare the end of bringing him up to
London; but it is conceived it was to lock her and him together, that the bold-face might have the more colour for
fathering upon him those children, which, in all probability,
were gotten in adultery, they having lived so long asunder.
It seems there is one boy very like the Gorings, and it is
her drift that boy might inherit Scot's estate, which is a brave
estate in Kent, as I take it; and one part of the petition
prays that her children may not inherit his estate, and that
he may be divorced from her.
The second witness was one Major Riswick, a German,
who had been a major in the Parliament's army, but very
poor, and upon crutches. He evidenced two remarkable passages of her life, but one could scarce understand him, for he
spoke pitiful English, insomuch that Mr. Waller desired he
might be set aside till the last witness, that he might bring
his interpreter, for he professed he could not understand a
word, but the Committee thought the motion too light for
their gravity. The witness went on. (fn. 2)
It was a great Committee; there were above one hundred
people present, besides pickpockets, which, by report, were
also there. They said one was under the table, and Colonel Fiennes drew his sword and vapoured hugely, how he would
spit him; but the fellow escaped, if there were any such.
This served the Committee for one night, and indeed it
was past eight, so we adjourned till Saturday, to hear out the
rest of the evidence. Six witnesses more are to be sworn.
I believe the petition will prove but too true, for I talk
with nobody of it, but they cry out upon the Lady Katherine
Scot for a very common, &c. as can be. (fn. 3)
I took not much notice (nor nobody else) what other Committees sate.