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send unto your Lordships, here enclosed, the copy of an order lately made in the high Court of Star Chamber, whereby your Lordships may perceive the care of that honourable Court, for preservation of the woods in the county of Londonderry, in that kingdom, as well for those woods which are already felled there, by the Londoners, or their assigns, as for those that are yet standing, that none of the one sort or the other, be, under colour of employing the same for the Plantations, converted to any other uses, whereof your Lordships are, by that order, to take especial care, and myself, by direction thereof, as from the Court, to require it at your Lordship’s hands, which accordingly I reccommend unto you, not doubting but your Lordships will be very careful to give the Court all due satisfaction therein, and so do commit your Lordships to God's protection, and remain, &c.”
- 7th August.— The Lords of the Council in England, sent to the Lords Justices of Ireland, the following letter:
i“ After our hearty commendations to your Lordships, &c. his Majesty's letters, which this bearer will deliver, may best inform you, what care and endeavour his Majesty expecteth in the execution of a commission sent from the Star Chamber here, to examine witnesses in Ireland, in a cause depending betwixt his Majesty and the Londoners, for the breaches of covenants and orders, in their Plantation in Ulster, for your Lordships further instruction; in particular, we send herewith unto you a summary declaration of the state of that business, together with the bill, answer, and proceedings, as they stand in Court, whereby the points appear which require farther proof by witnesses or by record ; such records and memorials as may be had from the council-books, or otherwise, your Lordships will cause to be searched, and sent over in authentic form, and generally how much the Londoners have failed in planting with British, and in settling justice, civility, and trade, and what they have done in their buildings and fortifications, and what spoils they have committed in the woods, and otherwise, your Lordships can best discover; and. the declaration we send, containeth the particulars in such manner, as we shall not need to enlarge your directions, save only, in desiring your Lordships to peruse the last commission that was executed in Ireland, about this business, and to consider all the points first agreed upon, by most of the Commissioners, and what return was made, and to cause the whole truth to be certified to the Court; this cause very much concerneth, not only the profit, but the honour of his Majesty, and in consequence, the common welfare, and settling of that kingdom, which is now committed to your Lordship’s govern-, ment and trust; and therefore, we must call upon you to proceed effectually therein, as we doubt not you will. And for the better expediting of this business, we have made choice of Sir Thomas Phillips, Knight, whose diligence, fidelity, and circumspection, we are well assured of, to take upon him the care and solicitation of the execution of this commission; and therefore, we do pray, and require your Lordships, both to give him yourselves your best furtherance and countenance, and likewise to recommend him to the Commissioners, that all fitting respect be given to him, and that he may be present and privy to the proceedings; and so we bid your Lordships very heartily farewell, from Whitehall, 7th August, 1631.”
“ Postscript.-Where in our letter we mention that your Lordships should peruse the last commission executed in. Ireland, and to consider all the points first agreed upon by most of the Commissioners, and to cause the whole truth thereof to be certified to the Court; our meaning therein is, that your Lordships take special care, that in the execution of this commission some witnesses may be examined, to prove what was so conceived and agreed upon by those Commissioners, or the greater part of them, in those points which are now in question, that so the Court of Star-chamber here. may be judicially informed thereof.”
222 August -The King sent the following letter to the Lords Justices : “ CHARLES, Rex.—Right, trusty, and well-beloved cousins and councillors, we greet you well.
“ Whereas we have awarded our commission, under our great seal of England, out of our Court of Star-chamber here, for the examination of witnesses in a cause of great import, much concerning us in point of profit, but more in the safety of our kingdom of Ireland, which we far more tender; wherein our Attorney-general, on our behalf, is plaintiff, and the Lord Mayor of our City of London, and the Aldermen, his brethren, are defendants. And that we are credibly informed, that there being many witnesses to be produced living within the county of Londonderry, under the distress of the defendants, who being men but of mean quality and ability, will be very backward and unwilling to appear in that cause, to be examined against the said defendants, their landlords; and the rather being terrified and dismayed through the hard measure and illdealing that have been used towards others, who have heretofore been produced witnesses in the like kind; to the intent, therefore, that the said witnesses may not be afraid to appear, nor daunted when they appear, to deliver the truth of their knowledges, though it be against the defendants, nor receive any blame hereafter for their well-doing therein, but be countenanced and cherished for the same. And that there may be the more fair and indifferent carriage at the said commission, we do will and require you, that ye so agree together, that one of you, or if that cannot be, some of our Privy Council nominated by you, be present at the execution of the said commission and examination of the said witnesses; and that you appoint, and make choice, of one counsel learned in the law, whom you shall think fit, to be likewise there, attending the execution thereof, for the satisfying and appeasing of any doubts or questions in law that shall or may happen to arise; and for the assisting of our servant, Sir Thomas Phillips, - Knight, for the better managing the said commission, and speeding thereof. Given under our signet, at our manor of Woodstoke, the 22d of August, in the seventh year of our reign.”
, 1632.—The whole county of Londonderry was sequestrated, and the rents levied for the King's use; and Bishop Bramhall was appointed chief receiver. : 1634.—By sentence of the Court of Star Chamber, it was adjudged, that the letters patent of King James the first should be surrendered, and brought into Court: to be cancelled. - The Society were alarmed, and made application for redress; but seeing nothing more done, and thinking that the King, at his leisure, would grant them remedy, they submitted without impatience to this infringement of their rights. But' those who projected these hostile measures, were not inactive to accomplish their designs effectually; and in the first place, Bishop Bramhall procured a letter of King Charles, dated 24th February, 1635, for passing of letters patents of several large quantities of the Society's lands and others, as termon and erenagh lands, which he kept dormant till a fit opportunity offered for procuring them, which happened on the 4th August, 1637, when the King's letters patent were passed for the quarter lands, called the fifteen hundred acres; amongst other things, reserving out of part, a rent of £90. 10s. to the Mayor and Commonalty of Londonderry. · These were the premises which had been left as commonage, by the Society, to the Corporation of Derry, for the support of the Magistracy, &c.
28th December, 1637.-The city of London, the Irish Society, the twelve chief Companies by distinct denominations: arged in th.
advice ofizerm followinot accepted
and in general all other tenants of lands, &c. in the county of Londonderry, were served with a scire facias of eighteen skins of parchment, containing various recitals of the possessions and rights granted originally, to appear in the Court of Chancery, to shew: cause why judgment should not pass.
The scire facias stated, that the Irish Society was formed as trustees for the City of London, for the use of the companies. : Although the Society surmised what was before determined, and offered an appearance conditionally, that they might have time to send for their agents from Ireland, to answer, some of the matters of fact charged in the writ against them, yet it was not accepted, but, on the contrary, in Hilary Term following, the Lord Chancellor, with the advice of the Judges, King's Counsel, &c. gave judgment, that the letters patent to the Society for the city and county of Londonderry, and the enrolment thereof, should be revoked, cancelled, and made void, and the said City and County seized into the King's hands. 5* This decree was enrolled in the Petty Bag Office.' - In conformity with the aforesaid judgment, the city of Londonderry was seized into the King's hands. 1.9th of June, 1638. The Bishop of Derry (Dr Bramhall) applied on behalf of himself, the Corporation of Derry, and two others, for a licence to grant leases, which licence was granted as follows :"“ WENTWORTH, (Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.)
... 6 Whereas the Rev. Father in God, John Lord Bishop of Derry, and the Mayor and Commonalty of the same, William Latham, Esq. and Nathaniel Houslock, exhibited petition at this Board, which followeth in these words :—To the Right Honourable the Lord Deputy, and Council, the humble petition of John Lord Bishop of Derry, and the Mayor and Commonalty of the same, William