Saturday, November 9.
The King, in a Speech to both Houses, "gave them Thanks
for their [great and extraordinary] care for the preservation of
his Person and Government," and assured them, "that he would
be ready to give his consent to such reasonable Bills as should
be presented, to make them safe in the Reign of any Successor,
so as they tend not to impeach the right of Succession, nor the
Descent of the Crown in the true Line; and so as they restrain not his Power, nor the just Rights of any Protestant Successor, &c."
Mr Sacheverell.] I desire to know whether the conditions
in the King's Speech are not to tie our hands so fast, that
we can do nothing for the King's safety, or the Protestant
Religion. I think it not a home, full, and effectual Security, but such an one as may deceive both the King and his
people. I am one of those of opinion not to accept of a rattle, to keep us quiet. If we may not make our own Securities, I had rather lay the whole thing upon the King, and
leave it to the King, for him to secure it which way he please.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] The King will consent "to
any reasonable way of Security of the Protestant Religion
in the reign of any Successor;" but you would not have
him consent to all things that are in his power: That
were to give up his Royal Power.
Mr Sacheverell.] I will tell you one point in the King's
Speech, and see if all the House can answer me. It is
put into the King's Speech, "that, if we infringe not
the Rights of a Protestant Successor, we shall have Laws
to make us safe, &c." If we have no Security that the
Successor shall be a Protestant, you sit down, and can do
Mr Secretary Coventry.] If it be as that Gentleman
says, there needs no Bill at all for Security of the Protestant Religion, for the Bill must run, "every King
hereafter, not doing thus and thus, shall not succeed."
Mr Sacheverell.] If any King does not perform the
conditions of the Bill, shall any subject resist that King?
I would know that.
The Speaker.] If you will set a time when, or enter
now upon the Bill, you may; but this way of Debate is
irregular. The first thing you are to do, is to set a time
to consider of the King's Speech.
Mr Sacheverell.] I moved not particulars, I avoided it.
Colonel Birch.] I suppose it is agreed, "that Thanks
shall be returned to his Majesty, for the gracious Expressions in his Speech." Till something of this be done,
neither his Majesty's life, nor we, can be safe. I would
not delay one hour, to consider this matter, though tomorrow be Sunday, and a day for another purpose. This
business will not keep. The better day, the better deed.
You cannot delay this.
Sir John Ernly.] I speak only as to considering this
to-morrow. To-day, before to-morrow, is not soon
enough, and I am for to-morrow.
Mr Secretary Williamson.] If you consider the weight
of the thing, it is as great a matter as ever came before
us. It is necessary we should be all clear in our minds,
and of the King's mind also. The King's heartwas never
more open than in this business. He says, "to you
it is left entirely to make what security you please." I
think there is no effect for pressing it to-morrow, and let
this have the preference on Monday.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] I hear our Bill for excluding Members of both Houses that refuse the Oaths, &c. and the
Test, is in a fair progress in the Lords House, and I hope
we shall address the King to pass that Bill, and then we
shall have the more unanimity—I would proceed now in the
Letters, &c. and I would be glad to see public justice done
on offenders; and then we shall go on chearfully.
Sir Richard Temple.] I am glad there is farther discovery of Letters, ready. We have a double aspect, to be
safe in Religion, &c. for the present, and for the future.
I would go on with the Letters now, and on Monday with
remedies for our safety for the present. Let us not call
for more evidence of the Plot—We have enough before
us, at present, to convince and awaken us. The King
has told you what he will do, but not what he will not
Colonel Titus.] Information we have enough already, and
if we think not ourselves in as bad a condition as may be,
then we may seek for farther information. If we stay for
more, it will do us no good, and we may stay so long
that the matter may be past remedy. Other letters beget
no more belief than we have already—The King intends
all he says in his Speech, but his Speech naturally leads
you to what you fear for the future.
Sir Thomas Lee.] I did not hear the Order of Thanks
read for the King's Speech. I hope you intend it not
general, but with restrictions, viz. "for the gracious Expressions in his Speech." Now there are twenty three
companies, and all Popish Officers—Therefore I would
have a short day set to show the King, that it is impossible
we should have any Security so long as such Officers are
Ordered, That the King's Speech be taken into consideration
on Monday; and that Thanks be returned to his Majesty for
the gracious Expressions in his Speech.
Mr Secretary Williamson.] The King is sensible of the
defect in the Prayers, and has ordered my Lord of Canterbury to attend him about it. This I am ordered from
the King to let you know.
Sir Richard Everard.] I have searched for, and have
found, a person mentioned in Mr Coleman's Letters. I
found, in his chamber, a great number of Papers. He took
no notice of the Proclamation, and staid in town. He
is one Mons. Tortereaux. I would have your direction
what I shall do with his Papers. I have set a good guard
upon him for the present. He has the gout, and is full
Mr Secretary Coventry.] He was never under the notion of a Priest. He is an old man, and very infirm.
Mr Henry Seymour.] He was Carver to the Queenmother. He married Lady Molyneux. He has not brains
enough to be a plotter.
Sir Nicholas Carew.] I see these people have advocates; but that he has stayed after the Proclamation is
plain; therefore I would have the Oaths tendered him.
Colonel Birch.] I wonder this should be an argument
for his stay. We know, by experience, that men may
have the gout, and yet their tongues and heads be well
enough. (Carew had the gout at that time.) If you
break rules, your Proclamation will be worth nothing—
Is this a time to excuse Papists, and talk of "Carvers
to the Queen-mother?" Let him take the Oaths, or go
Sir Thomas Lee.] I would know, whether he is in the
long roll of those licensed by the Council.
Sir Henry Capel.] A Member yesterday (Mr Hampden)
offered to serve you, and before Mr Ayliffe could be
called in, your Clerk reflected upon him, &c. and he
went away. We ought now to spare nobody (fn. 1) . Everard has informed you about Tortereaux. He is a Justice of the Peace. Pray let him go to jail, if he take
not the Oaths, &c.
Sir John Ernly.] Proceed with every man alike, and
when his Papers are inspected, proceed with him.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] I hear that Justices of the Peace
are limited to the Oaths, &c. in their Commissions, as to
housholders and foreigners. By the Statute of King James
all are to take the Oaths—I hear that the Commissions to
give the Oaths are limited and qualified; and then the
Justices have no power to give them.
Sir William Hickman.] If there be these doings already,
what shall we come to hereafter? Therefore I would have
some Gentlemen inspect the Commissions.
The Speaker.] The matter before you is the information of Sir Richard Everard. You cannot proceed in a
thing where matter of Law may do. That is without end
—Refer the Papers to what Committee you please—If you
would have the Commission brought hither, you suspend all execution of it for the present.
He was answered,] That the Clerk of the Crown may
immediately bring the Commissions hither for you to
inspect them; and no delay may be in the execution of it.
Which was ordered accordingly.
Colonel Birch.] I am now for losing no time. I would
not sit looking on one another, now we are come to great
things—The most material Letters may be reported.
Mr Sacheverell.] I would have two Letters reported,
one from the Cardinal of Norfolk, how the Pope directs
matters for Religion; the other from Sir William Throgmorton, concerning the Duke's assisting the matter in promotion of the Catholic Religion.
The Speaker reads the Letters, to the following effect: "His
Majesty of France will show that he will take his Highness's part
—This Parliament is not profitable for the King of France, nor
for his Royal Highness, and so it is put on by my Lord Arlington
—If the Ambassador Rouvigny be not to his Highness's liking, the
King of France will send over what other person he would have
—If the Duke could carry on a dissolution of the Parliament,
to do it upon any terms—But if the Duke cannot do it under
200,000l. take care to let us have it—You cannot imagine how
the King is despised, and if the Duke should be so too, the
disease is epidemical---The Archbishop of Dublin is the lyingest rogue in the world, and has done us no good---We are
rejoiced to hear of the dissolving of the Parliament—Nothing
will settle things more lastingly, than making the Duke's and
the King of France's interest one—The Duke may have great
advantage by joining with the French King—Money is a cunning sophister—You know those whom Money has power of,
are the scum of the Family, who say one thing to-day, and act
the contrary to-morrow, as Rouvigny's predecessor, [Courtin,]
knew to his cost (fn. 2) ."
Mr Secretary Williamson.] Mr Bedlow lodged at my
house the other night, but I thought myself not answerable for so great a stake. Now he lodges at Whitehall, and
I suppose he is attending at the Lords.
Ordered, That Mr Bedlow attend here at four of the clock this
afternoon, andthat Mr Vice-chamberlain bring him with a guard.
In the Afternoon.
The Clerk of the Crown brought the Commissions, &c.
for giving the Oaths of Allegiance, Supremacy, &c. and
said, "that a preparatory form of the Commission was brought
by Mr Attorney General to my Lord Chancellor; it remains with Mr Harris; it could not be sealed, but must be
The Speaker.] There has been formerly a Dedimus
potestatem, where divers Members have been Commissioners to give the Oaths; and no Catholics were convicted.
Sir Thomas Lee.] I would humbly represent it to the
King, that the obstruction is from the Lords of the Council, that this Commission is not issued out; and the miscarriage arises from thence.
Serjeant Rigby.] I would enquire where this stop is, for
if inferior people may make these stoppages, we are not
and cannot be safe.
Colonel Birch.] I would be glad to see what this
Commission is, that must be thus altered. This must be
of vast weight, that must hinder this seal from passing,
and thereby keep so many Catholics in town against the
Mr Sacheverell.] I do believe that there is some Command that supersedes the King's Command. I would know,
whether ever Mr Harris read this Commission, or no.
Clerk of the Crown.] I tendered the Ingrossment to Mr Harris, which I brought to the Chancellor. One comes, who read
some of it; the Chancellor said, "the form must be altered."
I tendered it on Thursday morning.
Sir Thomas Meres.] It is strange that an Address of
both Houses cannot procure a thing so ordinary as this
Commission. The Papists say, "that all inferior persons are out of their wits;" and they will say, "inferior
Clerks are out of their wits, that take false Examinations and Informations." Your sending for Macarty
did you more good than the Proclamation, though you
dismissed him civilly. Send for Harris, and him next
to him, and find this neglect out, and stand not upon
Mr Sacheverell.] I would not go this way of sending
for the Chancellor's servants, to prevent a breach with
the Lords; but I would go up to the House of Peers,
and charge the Chancellor with this presently, that he
may give an account of this to the Peers.
Sir Thomas Littleton.] You may do it at a Conference,
to inform the Lords of this miscarriage presently.
The Commission was read.
Mr Powle.] The King is graciously pleased to tell
you, "that he will consent to Laws for your preservation in a future Succession;" but it will be to no purpose to make new Laws, if the old ones are not executed. There is a defect somewhere near the Government,
that all along discourages the execution of them—This
House must take care of the execution of Laws, as well
as making them. It may be imputed to us abroad, that
the half ways we have taken in these things, occasion
this, the Lords, and we, and the King having applied
remedies. Let us represent it to the Lords at a Conference, that there is a non-execution of the Proclamation,
of the King's Commands and Laws, and desire remedies
from their Lordships.
Sir Edward Dering.] I know that the Chancellor is a
good Protestant—The Commission was not right, and
the Lord Chancellor would have it mended—Pray stay
your farther proceedings till Monday, and have a true narrative of the fact; and then you may proceed as you
Colonel Titus.] If this Dedimus potestatem, that the
Attorney General brought to the Chancellor, be against
Law, let him be punished for doing it against Law.
What we do out of complaisance and civility, is accounted abroad meanness and poorness. If the Lord
Chancellor has no better testimony of his care of the
Protestant Religion, than he has given in this, it is very
slender, and signifies little. I would have a Conference
with the Lords upon this, as is moved.
Serjeant Maynard.] All we have is at stake; and
if the Chancellor, or who he will, be to blame, I will
not speak for him, if the honour of this House is concerned, but I will speak for it. But suppose you go and
charge the Chancellor with this, and there is no such thing.
Enquire into the whole matter; send for Harris; lest you
have no proof of the thing, and then turn your backs.
You have not yet that proof before you, as to maintain it at the Conference; and it will not be for your
Mr Powle.] That which I design to speak to, is
this: Serjeant Maynard is mistaken. This is no direct
Charge against the Chancellor, but to desire the Lords
to enquire into the thing, to avoid a Breach of Privilege of sending for Harris, who is attending upon a
Peer. No man can defend this, that a Proclamation
should be sent out on Monday, &c. and no Commissions
The Speaker.] Nothing can hinder your enquiry into
this; and in sending to the Lords you wound your own
Power. You are angry with the Chancellor, because
he has not sent out an imperfect Commission; a greater
fault, if he had, than sending none. Examine it, to be
rightly before you.
Mr Sacheverell.] You have had the same excuse formerly, when the Commission was imperfect in our
country for conviction of Recusants, and that was never rectified.
The Speaker.] I will excuse nobody. My endeavours
are to serve the House, as far as I can; but I would not
have you out of the way. The Proclamation being out,
there is a List given in of those that stay; and that must
have time to be returned, and it could not be done sooner
with any effect; and there has been no time lost.
Sir Thomas Meres.] It was said, "that a Constable told
Sir John Cutler, that his Return was ready of the Names,
&c." but Cutler said, "I have no Commission to give the
Sir Francis Russel.] I gave Meres an account of it, and
my Landlord, a Constable, informed me of it.
Colonel Titus.] Under the pretence of changing the form
of this Commission, it is delayed. If any Member had
said it, or the Clerk of the Crown, it had been something;
but it is one thing to say, "that the Commission must be
changed in the form," and another, "that it is imperfect."
Mr Secretary Williamson.] I was absent at the first
part of this Debate. I see it is about the Commission that
the Chancellor is to issue out. You will please to see to
what degree the Chancellor is the occasion of this.
There were two persons brought to me, suspected of
Popery; they were returned by the Constable of St
Martin's parish, who said, "he must offer them the Oaths
to take." They said, "we are ready to come over to
the Church from whence we went, upon discovery of
this horrid Plot." I beg it may be considered. If the
List could have been done in two or three days by the
Constables, then it might have been an omission. The
Lord Chancellor has called often to his officers for it.
These things considered, whether you will proceed with
such exactness? You may send to the Lord Chancellor
to know farther, &c. and whether you will depart from
that right of sending for persons, I would have it well
considered. You may send some Members of your own
to the Chancellor.
Colonel Birch.] All this business is cut out by a
thread. If there be any such fools as Coleman, to let Papers lie from August to the latter end of September, they
might have been taken—Information was given, that
Sir Edmundbury Godfrey was at Somerset-House at six of
the clock that night he was missing; and it was not
searched till next day. Here is remissness in every thing.
I mistrust not the Lord Chancellor in this, but some
other persons—Till you have gone to the bottom of
this, if every Minister be not as diligent as you, you will
never do any thing—Send for a Conference, therefore,
to the Lords, to examine this.
Sir Nicholas Carew.] I have no heart to question Ministers; we could never carry the questioning of one yet.
and then I am sure we shall never be able to carry the
whole lump. The Proclamation is drawn according to
Law, and well drawn—We are not now to compliment;
wherever the fault is, there let them hear of it.
Mr Finch.] The Question now before you is, how it
comes to pass that the Commission for giving the Oaths,
&c. is not issued out?—I am not able to give you an
account, but I am willing to know—I am so sensible of
the integrity of the person of the Chancellor, that he is
willing you should search into the bottom of it. Before you
come to Conference with the Lords, send to him. If he
gives you not a satisfactory answer, then you may proceed
as you please; but this is to accuse him before you have
ground. If the Chancellor did not proceed as to the Information of Mr Oates in time, it was not imparted to
him in time, and he could not proceed.
Mr Sacheverell.] I have a great respect for my Lord
Chancellor. I accuse him not. I believe this obstruction comes from a greater hand. But the not sealing
these Commissions is the thing. I hope, ere long, we
shall find out a way of conviction of Papists more effectual.
Sir Thomas Littleton.] This Proclamation was issued
out by the joint Address of both Houses; and I think
it the most proper way to go by the Lords, in our Enquiry into this neglect, and it is no Infringement of our
Right at all.
Sir William Hickman.] I am for sending now to the
Lords, &c. because, when you sent once to the Chancellor, about putting Gentlemen out of Commission of
the Peace, he answered, "that as we were Members of
the House of Commons, he could give us no answer."
Ordered, That a Conference be desired with the Lords, to
enquire into the reason of the Lord Chancellor's not issuing out
Commissions to tender the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy,
according to the King's Proclamation; [which the Lords agreed
to, and fixed for Monday.]
[Mr Bedlow was ordered to attend to-morrow.]
Sunday, November 10, in the Afternoon.
Sir Nicholas Carew.] I must complain to you, that,
in the Prayers for the Fast, there is not one word of the
Plot nor Popery (fn. 3) . I desire the last Prayers that were set
out, may be read.
Mr Secretary Williamson.] The House is so favourable
to those that go upon their commands, that they give
them in writing; the King had it read to him, and he
ordered my Lord of Canterbury to attend him about it.
Colonel Birch.] Read the Prayers and the Address,
and then you will see whether they are according to your
They were read.
Mr Powle.] I observe plainly that there is not one
mention of the Papists. The Prayers may be as well relating to Fanatics as Papists. No wonder that the Privy
Counsellors will not speak plainly to the King, when the
Bishops will not speak plainly to God Almighty. I would
enquire into it.
Sir Thomas Meres.] It is a very good Prayer, but I see
there is an awe and terror upon those that made it. We
must remove that terror. It is not according to the sense
of the House. If any man be of another sense, let him
dare to show it.
Colonel Birch.] It is enough. This is to make every
man look about him. Certainly this is not the mind of
all England. The earth seems to shake under us. We are
afraid to handle this. I would have the new Prayers
that shall be made, sent to every County and Borough by
the respective Members.
Sir Thomas Lee.] I am loth to lose your time by Addresses; but since the Prayer has not answered your Addresses, I hope you will send to the King to know why
his commands are not obeyed.
Sir Thomas Littleton.] The Proclamation is according
to our Address. The very words in our Address gave
the Bishops words for the Prayers; but I find them in
dustriously avoided. The Prayers may be ready against
the time of the Fast; and I would let the King know
that his commands are not obeyed.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] Consider, this was the Address
of both Houses; and I would have the Lords in this
taken along with you.
Sir Henry Capel.] We ought to proceed with equal
Justice. I have a great honour for my Lord of Canterbury;
but I would to-morrow, at a Conference with the Lords,
let them know the defect; and desire them to join with
you in an Address to his Majesty, that his commands
may be obeyed, &c.
Sir Christopher Musgrave.] This is not upon an equal
foot with that matter relating to my Lord Chancellor
yesterday.—The King answered your Address, and the
second Answer was to you only; and in this you may go
to the King without the Lords.
Mr Secretary Williamson.] I agree to the Address to
the King. It is not the Archbishop of Canterbury's authority, but the King's, that causes these Prayers to be composed. It is the King that commands it.—To save the
scandal of mending and mending Prayers, pray go to the
King, and not by way of the Lords.
Sir Thomas Meres.] I think it is agreed that the second
Address about the Prayers was immediately by us to the
King. I know not how to send to the Archbishop of Canterbury. I think him a very worthy man, but I would
send to the King.
Sir Robert Sawyer.] It is the Gentry that must preserve the Crown and Religion. I am glad to see the
zeal of the House in this. Pray let us go to the King,
&c. with an Address to him, that his Commands are
not observed, &c.
Colonel Birch.] If there be tenderness in this matter,
we all see and know where it is; but let it not be here.
Represent the defect of the Prayers, in the words of the
Colonel Titus.] I would not have the words of the
Address, "that the King's Commands are not fully
obeyed."That will imply, as if the King's Commands
have been obeyed in part.
Resolved, That an humble Address be presented to his Majesty, to represent to him, that his Majesty's Commands, for
composing an additional Prayer, or Prayers, [to be used on
Wednesday next,] relating to the horrid Plot and Conspiracy,
have not as yet been obeyed, [no mention being therein made
of the Papists, &c.] and that the Members of the Privy Council carry it.
Mr William Bedlow
(fn. 4) was then called in, to give an account
concerning the murder of Sir Edmundbury Godfrey, as also concerning the Plot.
Sir Thomas Littleton.] I would have him asked only,
whether he has been examined by any judicial Power before he came hither, to the end that he may not recede
nor go back from what he says.
Sir Thomas Meres.] I would have the truth from him,
without asking him the least question; and take care that
we do not in the least invalidate his Testimony, when he
is to give it at Tryals. If he will tender any Narrative
in writing, you may accept of it, but I would not introduce him by any questions.
Mr Bedlow was brought to the Bar.
The Speaker.] Mr Bedlow, You are brought hither
for enquiry into the Popish Plot, and the murder of Sir
Edmundbury Godfrey. The House leaves it to yourself to
take your own way how you came to the knowledge of
it, and what induced your discovery.
Then Mr Bedlow read a Narrative, which he presented to
the Lords (fn. 5) . All the Information he then gave at the Bar, relating to the Plot, is fully mentioned in the Tryals of the
Murderers of Sir Edmundbury Godfrey, and others of the Traytors, &c. He withdrew.
Upon some reflections he made, of Correspondences in Hull,
for betraying the Deputy Governor,
Colonel Rigby said,] I have the honour to be Deputy
Governor of Hull, and I desire Mr Bedlow's particular
Examination whom this Correspondence is with, that
honest men may be vindicated, and others punished.
Serjeant Maynard.] I never knew but that, upon publication of Evidence, Witnesses were found out to contradict that Evidence; therefore I would have Mr Bedlow's Papers kept private.
Mr Sacheverell.] I would do this to prevent publication: I desire that we may have these Papers sealed up
till to-morrow, that we may see they are the same that
Mr Bedlow read to us.
[Ordered, That the said Papers be sealed up forthwith, and do
so remain till farther Order.]
Mr Secretary Coventry acquaints the House, that Sir Ellis
Leighton's Papers were seized before he came to Dover; that he
was searched at his arrival at Dover, but he had no Papers about
him to make much matter of; some few Letters were found upon
his two maid servants, and there being nothing against him, I
would know whether you would have him discharged.
Monday, November 11.
On the High Sheriff's undue Return for the Borough of
Mr Williams.] The Judges were of opinion, in the
case of Sir Samuel Barnardiston, upon argument in the Exchequer chamber, "that an action of the case does not lie
upon an undue Return made; but that the House of Commons may fine him for misdemeanor." It is now an ordinary thing to spend 3 or 4000l. upon an Election in a
Borough. I would therefore have you fine the Sheriff for
this undue Return.
Sir Thomas Lee.] This being the first example of this
kind, I would have the Serjeant take the Sheriff into custody; not to go abroad at his pleasure, but to keep him
close; and that is the reason why you do not send him to
[Ordered, That Mr Neale, High Sheriff for the County of Northampton, be committed to the custody of the Serjeant at Arms;
and Mr Ralph Montagu
(fn. 6) was declared duly elected.]
Mr Powle reports the Conference with the Lords, concerning
the not issuing out the Commissions for giving the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy, &c. The Lords giving your Managers
no Paper, if I be not so exact in the Report as I should be, yet I
hope I shall omit nothing material that the Lords delivered.
"The Lords take in good part the zeal of the House of Commons in this matter. They say, that if the Commissions, &c.
had been issued out before the returns had been made of Papists,
or suspected Papists, there could have been no use made of them,
for they could not have been executed: [That nevertheless] the
Lords thought it not enough to tell you, that there was no negligence of the Chancellor in the matter; but that, with all the
care that possibly could be, the Commissions will be brought to
the Justices by Thursday: The Lords have had the matter in
Debate, and what limitations should be for aged and infirm
people, whom it would be hard upon, a severity they suppose
the House of Commons did not intend. In the Proclamation
there is a prudential power [reserved,] in six Lords of the Council, [to grant Licences,] otherwise those that stay would be in a
worse condition than they that go. [Peers of the Realm,] aliens,
and foreign merchants, the Lords conceived were not within
that Law: The Lords thought fit to insert this, that they need
not trouble themselves with it---The Chancellor had acquainted
the Lords this morning, that he had Commissions ready for six
counties, included within that circle of ten miles from London—
Though the Lords thought these exceptions reasonable, yet the
Chancellor withdrew to have the Commissions sealed according to
the Proclamation; "and see now, Gentlemen, (the Lords said,)
you have your desires."
Sir Trevor Williams.] I would have you declare, by
Vote, that whoever has a hand in this Conspiracy may
be declared a Traytor.
Sir Thomas Lee.] You need not declare by Vote what is
Law already. I hope shortly you will see them brought
to punishment as Traytors, the Plot being as clear as the
sun that shines—I see by the Lords Conference, that the
wheels need greasing and oiling. We could not get so
much as Prayers from the Bishops, for the Fast-day, to
make mention of the Plot and Popery: I would therefore
remind the Lords of the Bill before them of excluding
Members of both Houses that refuse the Test and
Colonel Birch.] We see disease upon disease, danger
upon danger; if you cannot get that Bill, it is neither safe
for the King nor Kingdom. This gives the Papists encouragement—I would let the Lords know, that, without
that Bill, we cannot make one step in the safety of the
King and Kingdom.
Sir Nicholas Carew.] If we have not this Bill, I know
not what will become of us, should we be under the
curse of a Popish Prince. I would therefore remind the
Lords of it.
Mr Bennet.] If the Popish Lords be in the House, and
the Duke be a Papist, we can do nothing without this Bill.
Colonel Titus.] Without this Bill we shall be like Physicians that make very learned discourses of the disease of the
patient, but give no remedy, till the patient be past remedy.
If all Papists cannot pretend that they have either Lawsuits to follow, or that they are so old, or so young, that
they cannot go out of town, it is strange. Who are they
that are gone? They are such as have no friends, and are
mostly the inconsiderable part of them; but the considerable part of them are left behind: It is as if Coachman
and Footmen were turned away for Papists, and yet they
may have a Jesuit for their Steward.
Dat veniam corvis, vexat censura columbas.
Unless this Bill pass, we can do nothing.
Sir Thomas Meres.] This Bill is to clear the fountain
of Law, for our time, and to take from the King great
men constantly at his ear to disturb him—We have as
much right to our places in Parliament, without any
Oaths and Test, as the Lords have—And we must be
turned out if we are Papists, as we have done lately with
two of our Members (Swale and Strickland.) I would willingly discourse this point a little with the Lords, and have
our parchment Bill again at a Conference. Conferences
cannot be secret. There will be standers by. This Bill
went fairly on with the Lords till Friday last, and you
know what we did that day—(Debate on the removal of
the Duke of York.) I would have the Lords fairly and
softly moved, to remind them of this Bill.
Sir Thomas Littleton.] This way of sending Messages
to the Lords, and they to us, to remind one another of
Bills, is not very ancient, yet has obtained upon us. You
may add some quickening words in your Message in reciting the Bill, "upon which the safety of the King and
Serjeant Maynard.] In the great danger the King and
Kingdom are, I wonder at the reason this Bill is retarded.
The Popish Lords say, "it is their inheritance to sit in
the Lords House without Oaths or Test, and what will
become of the Peerage of the Lords if they suffer such a
change?" But will they put any thing in balance with the
safety of the King, Religion, and Government? No man
can claim an inheritance, but by lawful marriage, and no
lawful marriage but by a Priest. And how have we been
married these hundred years? Estates and Honours must
come by descent in legal matrimony, and that must be
by the Bishop's Certificate, and that must be by Popish
matrimony: I propound this only, for I do not know
what changes may be heareafter, should Popery be settled
The Lords were reminded of the Bill by a Message, [with the
words annexed that were proposed above, by Sir Thomas Littleton.]
Tuesday, November 12.
A Motion being made to address the King to recall Sir William Godolphin from his Embassy in Spain, &c. as one accused of
Mr Secretary Coventry said,] Godolphin stays only to
dispatch some business of the King's.
Sir Thomas Littleton.] I would have the Address be,
"That he be recalled to answer such crimes as are objected against him in relation to the Plot."
Sir Nicholas Carew.] That he should be still suffered to
be in Spain is like all the rest, and I do not wonder at it.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] I think an Ambassador has the
power of a Prince in his house where he is Ambassador,
which may be of very ill consequence in this Gentleman.
Resolved, That an [humble] Address be [presented] to his
Majesty, to desire that Sir William Godolphin, [his Majesty's Ambassador in Spain,] being accused of [High] Treason, may be
called home to answer the accusation.
Sir Thomas Lee.] I cannot but observe, that some of
the Kings houses are harbours for Papists. Those places
are out of the jurisdiction of Justices of the Peace; therefore I would know, whether there are directions to the
Officers of the King's family to give the Oaths there,
that that place may be clear of them, as well as the poor
shopkeepers sent out of town.
Colonel Titus.] As I hear, when the Bishop of London
did procure a Protestant Church at St James's, it was objected against it, "that it was an inconvenience that great
numbers of people should resort to any of the King's
houses;" but Papists may, it seems. A Member of the
House intended to go to church there, but, it seems, he
was mistaken; he was in the wrong box, for he found
upon the door, Pray for the souls of such and such departed
this life! It was a Popish Chapel, and they were going to
Mr Miles Fleetwood.] Affirmed it.
Mr Powle.] You will never be free from Plots, till
Whitehall be free from Papists. I would address the
King, that the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy may
be tendered to all persons within any of the King's Houses;
unless to such persons (jeeringly) as are licensed by the
Privy Council. By this means, you will, in a great measure, take off the aspersion of this being a State Plot.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] In the late King's time there was
an Address made to the King, for removing all persons from the Queen's attendance, who were not Protestants.
Mr Williams.] In 3 James, and 35 Hen. VIII. (I find
it not repealed) there is a particular Oath directed and
prescribed by that Statute by special Commissioners to be
tendered to all the King's family. They that refused it
were executed for Traytors. It was Sir Thomas More's
case—I move that Oath may be tendered them.
Sir William Coventry.] Concerning the giving the Oaths
in the King's Houses, I know nothing of the present Articles of the Queen's Marriage, which have ever been kept
in mists. When the Crown of Portugal, in the necessity
they were in for us, married the Queen hither, I believe
there were no greater Articles of Marriage in favour of
the Popish servants, than we see in Mr Rushworth's Collections, when the Match was in treaty with Spain; and
those Articles, when the late King married into France;
and those Articles were for foreign Popish servants only,
and no Articles about Popish servants are in being of
longer date than the Marriage with the late Queen.—It
is said, this Queen has but thirteen Popish servants. I
have not heard of above that number; but as to the
Plot of taking away the King's life, a less number than
that may do that horrid thing.—If the King be murdered, will they make him alive again? But if the King be
in such danger by the Papists, it is enough to cancell that
obligation of Marriage.—This would be a condition, to
create terror to the King. The very Law of Nature would
make such conditions void, and I would not have you
Sir Thomas Meres.] In the last Bill, about giving the
Test and Oaths, &c. all the Queen's servants were to
take it, except the Queen's Portugal servants. Articles
of Marriage cannot bind against the Law of the land; and
I would have it so.
Mr Secretary Williamson.] It is truly said by Coventry,
"that such Articles are of no longer date than the late
Queen's time." You will find, in those Articles, "that
all the Queen's servants shall be French, and such as die
shall be filled up as the King shall approve of them;" and
the Articles relating to this Queen are the same—Do you
think fit that the King should disallow the same servants
that he has put in with his own approbation?
Sir William Coventry.] I had forgot, before Williamson
put me in mind by saying, "these were the same Articles
that were made in the late Queen's Marriage." The practice of those Articles was not the same as this is; for the
French servants were sent away upon another account than
these are; but there is much more reason for these; for
this is a conspiracy against the King's life, and the sending away of those French servants then was not thought a
breach of the Law of Nations.
Resolved, That an humble Address be presented to his Majesty, to desire his Majesty, that a special Commission may be
issued forth, for tendering the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy to all the servants of his Majesty and his Royal Highness,
and to all other persons (except her Majesty's Portugal servants) residing within his Majesty's Houses of Whitehall, Saint
James's, and Somerset-House, and all other his Majesty's Houses.
Sir William Coventry.] There may be some doubt in the
words "residing within his Majesty's Houses, &c."Something does occur to me which happened in Cromwell's
time, when they searched for persons about a Plot, &c.
At the House where I was searched for, they made a successful lie, by saying "that I lodged in the Inns of Court,
and might be found there;" so by change of dress I saved
myself: The Inns of Court were never generally searched,
unless for some particular person; therefore I would have
a Commission to give the Oaths to all those that have
lodgings in the Inns of Court.
[This was also Ordered, in manner following: "And that
there may likewise special Commissions be issued forth, for tendering the said Oaths to all persons residing within the two Serjeants-Inns, all the Inns of Court, and Inns of Chancery."]
Colonel Titus.] I was showed a Manacle, found in
Somerset-House: I know not what use they are for; neither do I desire to try. (The Manacle was produced.)
Mr Sacheverell reports Mr Atkins's Examination, [taken in
Newgate,] accused by Mr Bedlow of being one of those that
had a hand in Sir Edmundbury Godfrey's murder.
Mr Sacheverell.] I must needs say thus much of him,
that he is as ingenious a man to say nothing, as ever
I heard. He says, "he was never in Somerset-House for
some months before;" and knows not where Godfrey was
on Saturday, Sunday, or Monday.
[Mr Secretary Williamson acquainted the House, that, in pursuance of the second Address of the House, touching a particular Prayer to be used on Wednesday, his Majesty had given order, that the Prayers should be altered.]
[Wednesday, November 13. Fast-day. Dr Stilling fleet, Dean
of St Paul's, preached before the House.]