That they had Vored, No Man should A.D.1681. lend him Money, or buy any Tally of Anti

33 Car. II. cipation, Oc. (as has been recited already) thereby exposing the Nation to all Dangers that might happen either at home or abroad, endeavouring to deprive him of the Poffibility of supporting the Government, and reducing him to a more helpless Condition than the meanest of his Subjects.

That they also pafs'd another Vote against the Prosecution of the Dissenters upon the Penal Laws, (as recited above) Aluming thereby the Power of suspending Acts of Parlia ment.

That having for these Reasons dissolved the Westminister-Parliament, and assembled another at Oxford, He gave them Warning of the Erfors of the former ; adding, That he would not depart from his Resolution concerning the Succeffion, but was ready to hearken to any other Expedient for preserving the Established Religion, but he saw that no Expedient would be entertain's short of a total Exclusion, which he apprehended must be the Occasion of another Civil War, or at least make it necessary to maintain a standing Force, for the Preservation of the Government: Tha: he had Reason to believe, from what had pass'd, that if he could have been brought to consent to the Bill of Exclusion, the Intent of the Commons was not to rest there, but to pass further, and attempt some other great and important Changes, even in his own Time : That the Business of FitzHarris, who was impeach'd by the Commons of High Treason, and by the Lords referred to the Ordinary Course of Law, was on a sudden carried to that Extremity by the

Vol. XXIII P Commons,

[ocr errors]

33 Car.II.

[ocr errors]

A.D.168.. Commons, that there was no Possibility of a

Reconciliation; and as they had made use
of this Impeachment to delay a Trial, his
Majesty had dire&ted against á profess'd Pa-
pist, charged with Treasons of an extraordi-
nary Nature, the House of Peers did them-
selves Right in refusing to give Countenance
to such a Proceeding: That, when after, the
House was so far transported to Vote the
Proceedings of the other to be a Denial of
Justice, a Violation of the Constitution
of Parliaments, &c. withoac Conferences
first had to examine the Grounds of
such Proceedings ; this put the two Hou-
ses out of a Capacity of tranfa&ing Business
together, and consequently was the highest
Violation of the Constitution of Parlia-
ments, and made it absolutely necessary to

put an End to that Parliament. The De

Which Declaration, being read by his Maclaration jesty's Orders in all the Churches of the read in

Kingdom, 'cis observed, mightily reconcild

the People to his Government, especially
when they saw the Weakness of some An-
swers to it by Sir William Jones, and other
disaffected Members, who, for want of other
Arguments, only made scandalous Reflexions
on his Majesty, and Monarchy itself : For
those Libels suggested, That the King was
no more, than the Officer and Servant of
the People, and that he ought to tranfa& no-
thing but by their Advice and Dire&ion; the
very Do&rine the Incendiaries went upon,
who kindled the last Civil War. But his
Majesty foon discovered a Spirit, that sub-
dued all their feeble Efforts to wrest the
Government out of his Hands: And the
People were so sensible of the Indignities that


to his Ma


had been put upon him by the Commons, that A.D.1681: dutiful Addresses were brought him from all Parts of the Kingdom, That they would 33 Car. II. fand by him with their Lives and Fortunes, Dutiful in the Support of the Established Govern- Addresses ment against all Se&aries and Republicans;

jelty. who were known to be the Authors of these Disturbances, and were about this Time ex- Dryden posed in their proper Colours, by Mr. Dryden and Sir Roger L'Estrange; the first in his L'Effrange Heraclitus ridens, and the other in his Obser- Whigs. vators.

The King thought fit, soon after the Difsolution of the Parliament, to confer Honours and Preferments on some of those who had serv'd him faithfully, and distinguished themselves by adhering to his Cause, notwithstanding the Threats of the Commons ; particularly, the Honourable Lawrence Hyde, Creations Esq; was created Baron of Wotton-Baset, of Nobiand Viscount Kennelworth; the Right Ho- !ity. nourable Heneage Lord Finch, Lord Chancellor of England, was created Earl of Note tingham; and Sir Francis Pemberton, the King's Serjeant, was made Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench, on the Refignation of the Lord Chief Justice Scroggs. And now FitzHarris, who had been the Occasion of such Contests between the two Houses, being Indiated for High Treason in the Court of King's Bench on the 26th of April, the Grand Jury made a Scruple of finding the Bil, on Account of his being Impeach'd by the Commons, till the Court acquainted them, That all the Judges of England had resolv'd they might lawfully proceed, notwithstanding the impeachment, and the Votes of the Commons thereupon.

P 2



33 Car. II.


A.D.16811 Whereupon, the Grand-Jury found the

Bill, and Fitz-Harris was Arraigned at the

Bar, on the 30th of April, for High TreaFitz-Har- son, in framing and publishing thc Libel alris's Trial. ready mentioned. The Prisoner pleaded to

the Jurisdiâion of the Court ; alledging,
That as he stood Impeached by the House
of Commons, he could not be try'd in
any of the inferior Courts. To which
the King's Council demurred, and four great
Council were allign'd the Prisoner to argue
in maintenance of his Plea; viz. Sir
Francis Winnington, Mr. Williams, late Speaker
of the Commons, Mr. Pullexfen, and Mr.
Wallop : And on the 7th of May, the Matter
was argued at the King's. Bench Bar ; when
Sir Robert Sawyer the Attorney-General, the
Solicitor-General Mr. Serjeant Jefferys, and
Sir Francis Wittens, Council for the King,
declared, That they meddled not with the
Privilege of the House of Commons, or the
Jurisdi&ion of the Lords, but only with the
Form of the Plea, which they held to be de-
fe&tive; in regard it did not say, of what
Kind of Treason the Prisoner was Impeach-
ed; nor set forth the Impeachment at large,
as a Plea to the Jurisdiction ought to do.
The Council on both sides having been heard
for several Hours, the Judges took four Days
Time to deliver their Opinions ; when the
Prisoner being brought to the Bar again, the
Lord Chief Justice Pemberton, in the Name
of the Court, declared, That he and his
Brethren had considered of the Plea with some
other Judges; and that himself, Mr. Justice
Fones, and Mr. Justice Raymond, were of Opi-
nion, That the Plea' was insufficient, Mr.
Juftice Dolben alone doubting ;' and conse-



quently the Plea was over-ruled, and the A.D.1681. Prisoner ordered to plead over ; whereupon , Car. II. he pleaded Not Guilty; and because he alledged he had a material Witness in Holland, the Trial was put off 'till the Month of Jume.

In the mean Time, che Fa&ion had prevail- Firz.Hare ed upon Fitz-Harris to give Evidence to a

ris accuses

the Queen, Grand- Jury against one De Puy, who had the Duke been Groom of the Stole to the Duke of of York, Tork : Nor did his Evidence affeat De Puy and the

Earl of alone, but the Queen, the Duke, and the Earl of Danby ; charging them with the Popish Plot, and Godfrey's Murder : And a Bill of Indictment for Godfrey's Murder, was a&ually found by the Grand- Jury, against the Earl of Danby and De Puy ; but it was never proceeded upon, Fitz Harris retracting his Evidence loon after, and declaring, That But re: what he had said was with a Delign to keep tracts his off his Trial till another Parliament : And

Evidence. that he was particularly put upon it to accuse the Earl of Danby of Godfrey's Murder, because che Crime of Murder was not inserted in his Pardon.

Fitz. Harris being brought to his Trial The the 9th of Fune, the Whigs did all that lay

endeavour in their power to save him, by tampering to save with the Jury, and otherwise : But the Libel him. mentioned in the Indi&ment, was so fully proved by Everard Smith and Sir William Waller, that he could not deny it; and only infinuated, that he had been put upon this by some great People about the Court, in order to fix a Plot upon the Whigs ; and The fummon's the Lord Howard, the Dutchess of Dutchess

of Portfo Portsmouth, and her Woman Mrs. Wall, into mouch Court, to prove the Suggestion : But they called for a

all Witness.


« ElőzőTovább »