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Frauncis Kinge. Memorandum-Forasmuch as the examinations of these witnesses would require much time, it was agreed, that the committees should transmit the names of some of the principallest of them, and the heads whereupon they were to be examined, and the examinations to be taken in open court.
The form of the oath agreed upon :
“ You shall swear, that you shall true answer make to all such questions and interrogatories as shall be mentioned unto you by this high court, or by the lords the committees, or by any person or persons authorized by this high court. You shall say the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth ; and you shall not spare to do so, neither for fear, favour, affection, or any other cause whatsoever; whether your depositions be in writing or by word of mouth. So help you God, and the contents of this book.”
Interrogatories to be ministred to them that shall be so transmitted to be examined in open court :
“1. Whether they, by themselves, or any other person, have given money, or other gratuity, to the Lord Chancellor, or to any other servants, friends, or follower of his?
“2. Whether they have advised or directed any so to do, or known of any other that hath so done?
“3. Whether they, or the parties which they advised so to do, or have heard so to have done, had then any cause or suit depending before him, or intended
have any ?
“4. Whether they have intended, attempted, or known others that have attempted or contracted for any gratuity, so to be given, though not performed ?
Sir George Renell examined in open court. He did also set down his knowledge of bribes given by him to the Lord Chancellor, in writing under his hand, and delivered the same upon his oath.
Ordered-No witnesses to be examined what they received themselves, but only what bribes were given to the Lord Chancellor.
Message from the lower house, by Sir Robert Philips and others :
Moved, That the Lord Chief Justice should not relate the message unto the house until the prince be present, who was desirous to hear the same.
Answer to the commons in the mean time, that the lords take notice of the great care and industry used (by the lower house) in the search and examination of these great grievances now complained of; for which they give them bearty thanks, and will hold correspondence with them therein, as is desired. And, when the lords are resolved of the recess of this parliament, and when to meet again ; notice thereof shall be given, as they likewise desire.
Thomas Mewlys examined in open court, touching bribes given to the Lord Chancellor, * Oath; he desired respite until to-morrow, to set down in writing his full knowledge herein upon his oath.
John Hunt examined also in open court, touching the same, and required to set the same down in writing under his hand and upon oath, and deliver the same in open court to-morrow morning.
Edward Shereburne examined in open court; and Memorandum, the said Edward Shereburne was admitted to explain himself upon his former examination; which being done, he also was required to set down in writing his knowledge therein, and deliver the same in open court to-morrow morning, signed with his own hand.
Randolph Davenport examined in open court.
set down his full knowledge therein in writing, under his hand, and deliver the same in open court to-morrow morning.
Dominus capitalis justiciarius, locum tenens Domini Cancellarii, declaravit præsens parliamentum continuandum esse usque in diem crastinum, videlicet, diem Jovis, 22 Martii, Dominis sic decernentibus.
[From the Journals.] Die Jovis, videlicet, 22nd die Martii, Domini tam spirituales quam temporales, quorum nomina obscribuntur, præsentes fuerunt :
p. Carolus Princeps Walliæ, etc. Archiepus. Cant.
p. Jac. Ley, Miles et Bar. Ds. p. Archiepus. Eborum.
Capit. Justic. Locum tenens,
Sir Jo. Fynnett.
Sir Eubulo Thelwall.
The which consisted of two parts: the one of matter of respect, the other of substance.
In the one, they acknowledged the good correspondence between both the houses, especially in the examination of the grievances complained of, and presented to the lords ; with humble thanks for the supply the lords added to their labours, in giving the oath unto the examinants, which they cannot do. They humbly desire to know the time of the recess of this parliament, and of the access again, as they may accordingly depart and meet again at the same time their lordships shall.
The second, being matter of substance, consisted of four points objected against the Lord Chancellor.
1. The first, a suit in the chancery being between the Lady Wharton, plaintiff, and Wood and others, defendants, upon cross bills; the Lord Chancellor, upon hearing, wholly dismissed them. But, upon the entry of the order, the cross bill against the Lady Wharton was only dismissed. And afterwards, for a bribe of 3001. given by the Lady Wharton to the Lord Chancellor, his lordship decreed the cause for her ; and then, hearing that Wood and the other defendants complained thereof to the commons, his lordship sent for them, and damned that decree, as unduly gotten ; and, when the Lady Wharton began to complain thereof, his lordship sent for her also, and promised her redress, saying, “ That decree is not yet ended.”
Secondly, in a suit, between Hull, plaintiff, and Hollman, defendant, Hollman, deferring his answer, was committed to the Fleet, where he lay twenty weeks, and, petitioning to be delivered, was answered by some about the Lord Chancellor, the bill shall be decreed against him (pro confesso), unless he would enter into 20001. bond to stand to the Lord Chancellor's order ; which he refusing, his liberty cost him, one way and other, better than 10001. Hollman being freed out of the Fleet, Hull petitioned to the Lord Chancellor, and Hollman, finding his cause to go hard on his side, complained to the commons ; whereupon the Lord Chancellor sent for him, and, to pacify him, told him, he should have what order he would himself.
Thirdly, in the cause between Smithwick and Wyche, the matter in question being for accompts; the merchants, to whom it was referred, certified on the behalf of Smithwick; yet Smythwicke, to obtain a decree in his cause, was told by one Mr. Borough (one near the Lord Chancellor), that it must cost him 2001. which he paid to Mr. Borough, or Mr. Hunt, to the use of the Lord Chancellor; and yet the Lord Chancellor decreed but one part of the certificate ; whereupon he treats again with Mr. Borough, who demanded another 1001. which Smithwycke also paid, to the use of the Lord Chancellor ; then his lordship referred the accompts again to the same merchants, who certified again for Smithwycke ; yet his lordship decreed the second part of the certificate against Smithwycke, and the first part (which was formerly decreed for him) his lordship made doubtful. Smithwycke petitioned to the Lord Chancellor for his money again, and had it all, save 201. kept back by Hunt for a year.
The Lord Chief Justice also delivered the three petitions, which his lordship received yesterday from the commons; the first by the Lady Wharton; the second by Wood and Pargitor and others; the third by Smithwycke.
Fourthly, the fourth part of the message consisted only of instructions delivered to the commons by one Churchill, a register, containing divers bribes and abuses in the chancery, which the commons desire may be examined.
Robert Barker delivered his depositions in writing, under his hand, of a bribe given by him to the Lord Chancellor ; which was read, and he dismissed from further attendance.
John Hunt also delivered his deposition, signed with his hand, touching bribes given to the Lord Chancellor ; which was read, and he dismissed from further attendance.
Edward Shereborne delivered his depositions also, signed with his hand, touching bribes given to the Lord Chancellor ; which was read, and he commanded to attend.
William Peacock delivered his deposition, signed with his hand, which was read; but, for that it was not so full as he delivered it yesterday in court, the same was delivered to him again, to add his further knowledge therein, and also to set down what security he had from the Lord Chancellor for repayment of the 10001. which he lent his lordship, and the time of repayment thereof, and the use (if any) to be answered for the same; and to set down whether he had spoken with any of the Lord Chancellor's servants since he was examined yesterday, and what the conference was. He confessed he had spoken since with Edward Shereborne.
The confession and instructions of John Churchill touching bribery and corruption of the Lord Chancellor was read :
And memorandum, that presently upon the reading thereof the said confession and instructions, together with the three petitions sent from the commons, were delivered to the lords' committees appointed to examine the same.
Upon the motion of Lord Houghton for precedents to be produced touching judicature, attestations, and judgments, anciently used in the high court of parliament.
It was ordered, that a committee of a small number should presently take care for the search thereof amongst the records remaining in the Tower, or elsewhere; copies of the same to be also certified under the officer's hands.
The names of the committees :
E. of Huntingdon.
L. Haughton. Memorandum, the clerk made a warrant, under his hand, to all officers, to permit the said lords' committees to make search, amongst the said records, and the officers to subscribe notes or copies thereof, without fee.
In causa Domini Cancellarii, jurati fuerunt:
Lady Dorothy Wharton.
[From the Journals.] Die Veneris, videlicet, 23d die Martii.-It was also agreed, that the three former committees, or any two lords of either of the said committees, appointed to examine witnesses (in causa Domini Cancellarii), may, from time to time hereafter, examine any witnesses touching the said cause, between the recess and access.
Jurati in causa Domini Cancellarii :
The petition of Edward Egerton was read, whereby he humbly desired, Sir Rowland Egerton to be ordered forthwith to produce upon oath certain indentures and writings, unduly gotten from the petitioner.
Ordered, ex motione Domini Sheffeild, this petition to remain with the clerk, until the corruption and bribery complained of be determined, and then the lords will take it into their consideration.
In causa Domini Cancellarii : Sir Ralph Hansby, knt. sworn.
The Earl of South'ton shewed, that the said Sir Ralph Hansby, being examined by his lordship and others of a bribe of 5001. given by himself to the Lord Chancellor, that the said Sir Ralph made a doubt whether his answer thereunto might not be prejudicial to his cause. Wherefore their lordships' resolution herein was required; whether the said Sir Ralph should be urged to make his answer hereunto or no.
After long debate of this matter, it was ordered, that the examinations taken in this court should not be hereafter used in any other cause, nor in any other court,
And although divers of the lords were of opinion, that the parties' confession of the giving of a bribe should not be prejudicial at all unto him ; yet divers doubted thereof.
Whereupon it was put to the question, whether the said Sir Ralph shall be examined what gift or reward he hath given to the Lord Chancellor; it was agreed, he should be examined thereupon.
The lords' committees appointed yesterday to search for precedents, videlicet, the Earl of Huntingdon, the Earl of Warwick, and the Lord Haughton, returned from the Tower.
The Earl of Huntingdon made report of their search and view of the records; and the Earl of Warwick read the heads of the precedents, and then delivered the notes taken out of the records, and signed by the officer, unto the clerk, to be kept.
To the Marquis of Buckingham. My very good lord, Yesterday I know was no day; now I hope I shall hear from your lordship, who are my anchor in these fouds. Meanwhile to ease my heart, I liave written to his majesty the inclosed, which I pray your lordship to read advisedly, and to deliver it, or not to deliver it, as you think good. God ever prosper your lordship.
Yours ever, 25th March, 1621.
Fr. St. ALBAN, Canc.
To the King. It may please your most excellent majesty, Time hath been, when I have brought unto you Gemitum Columbæ from others, now I bring it from myself. I fly unto your majesty, with the wings of a dove, which once within these seven days, I thought would have carried me a higher flight. When I enter into myself, I find not the materials of such a tempest as is come upon me. I have been (as your majesty knoweth best)
never author of any immoderate counsel, but always desired to have things carried suavibus modis. I have been no avaricious oppressor of the people. I have been no haughty, or intolerable, or hateful man, in my conversation or carriage : I have inherited no hatred from my father, but am a good patriot born. Whence should this be ? For these are the things that used to raise dislikes abroad.
For the house of commons, I began my credit there, and now it must be the place of the sepulture thereof; and yet this parliament, upon the message touching religion, the old love revived, and they said, I was the same man still, only honesty was turned into honour.
For the upper house, even within these days, before these troubles, they seemed as to take me into their arms, finding in me ingenuity, which they took to be the true streight-line of nobleness, without any crookes or angles.
And for the briberies and gifts, wherewith I am charged, when the books of hearts shall be opened, I hope, I shall not be found to have the troubled fountain of a corrupt heart, in a depraved habit of taking rewards to pervert justice ; howsoever I may be frail, and partake of the abuses of the times.
And therefore, I am resolved, when I come to my answer, not to trick my innocency, (as I writ to the lords) by cavillations, or voydances; but to speak to them the language, that my heart speaketh to me, in excusing, extenuating, or ingenuously confessing : praying to God to give me the grace to see the bot. tom of my faults, and that no hardness of heart do steal upon me, under shew of more neatness of conscience, than is cause. But not to trouble your majesty any longer, craving pardon for this long mourning letter ; that which I thirst after, as the hart after the streams, is, that I may know, by my matchless friend that presenteth to you this letter, your majesty's heart (which is an abyssus of goodness as I am an abyssus of misery) towards me. I have been ever your man, and counted myself but an usufructuary of myself, the property being yours. And now making myself an oblation to do with me as may best conduce to the honour of your justice, the honour of your mercy, and the use of your service, resting as clay in your majesty's gracious hands,
FR. ST. ALBAN, Canc 27th March.-On the 27th of March both houses adjourned till the 17th of April.
During this recess there was a private interview between the King and the Lord Chancellor.
This appears, 1st, from an entry in the journals of the house of lords ; 2dly, from a statement by Mr. Bushel ; and, 3dly, from a letter written after the interview.
The following is the extract from the journals of the house of lords of April 17.
The Lord Treasurer signified, that in the interim of this cessation, the Lord Chancellor was an humble suitor unto his majesty, that he might see his majesty and speak with him; and although his majesty, in respect of the Lord Chancellor's person, and of the place he holds, might have given his lordship that favour, yet, for that his lordship is under the trial of this house his majesty would not on the sudden grant it.
That, on Sunday last, the king calling all the lords of this house which were of his council before him, it pleased his majesty to shew their lordships what was desired by the Lord Chancellor, demanding their lordships advice therein.
The lords did not presume to advise his majesty; for that his majesty did suddenly propound such a course as all the world could not advise a better; which was, that his majesty would speak with him privately,
That yesterday, his majesty admitting the Lord Chancellor to his presence, his lordship desired that he might have a particular of those matters wherewith he is charged before the lords of this house ; for that it was not possible for him, who past so many orders and decrees in a year, to remember all things that fell out in them ; and that, this being granted, his lordship would desire two requests of his majesty. 1. That, where his answers should be fair and