« PreviousContinue »
said witnesses, by his publicly speaking slight. . dence, and the misrepeating and omitting maly and abusively against them and their eri. , terial parts of their evidence ; whereby the take advantage of it. But, at the bottom, he be certain to every intent, or else it is void ang was as just as the driven show, and, being a will be quashed. For which reason, if words judge, for which office he was fit, because he may be taken in any harmless sense, though had neither fear, favour nor affection besides the same words will also bear a criminal sense, his judgment, he would often, in his charges, they shall be taken in the mildest sense. But shine with his learning and wit; and a little too however, was it reasonable to bring such a much of that broughỉthis accusation over him. charge as this against an, otherwise, unexcepHe was one of a clear conduct, and by princi- tionable judge? It was much wondered, at the ple, bonest and just, and, as we find in the best time, that, in all this noise about the judges, of that character, so was he intrepid, and fear- none were sent for to the House ; the cause ed not the face of all human kind. He made was thought to be, that they were stout men, no ceremony of flying in the face of faction and would have justified all they had done, and at all turns, and," being one of those they that was not thought seasonable. The baron call prerogative men, inaccessible and unalte- for his part, was so far from being concerned rable, he was hated bittterly by the party. And at the terrible sound of an impeachment, that, to do him and the rest of those gentlemen when the other judges looked grave and solemn, right, I must needs say that the prerogative he was as gay and debonair as at a wedding; and of the crown is a doctrine so constantly recom- was only sorry that he had not an opportunity mended in the law books, that a man cannot be of talking in the House of Commons, and would an honest learned lawyer, but must be in the have compounded, for a moderate punishment
, popular sense, a prerogative man, and, in every to have had his full scope of arguing his owa sense, a hater of what they call a republic. case before them. And, as for impeachment, This learned judge was so steady in his admini- he longed to be at it with them, he cared not stration, that no advantage could be taken where, or before whom, provided he might against him for what he did ; so they watched have his talk out. He was prepared to set up his circuit charges, to find somewhat he might Magna Charta, and to demand the Judicium say to accuse him of. And the only passage, parium, and his lawful challenges, and to shew I find charged upon him, was at Kingston as- tbat Lem Terra was referred to the court, and sizes, where he ranted against Zuinglins and not to the country, and was nothing to the pur Calvin, and their disciples, for their fanatical pose against his right of trial; and, upon that restless spirit.
For now, said he, they are law he would have died at a stake, and not have amusing us with fears, and nothing would quitted one iota of his judgment to all the serve them but a parliament. He knew no re- world. It is pity such a stout combatant had presentative of the nation but the king (which not had a clear stage and a fair enemy; but, in an actual sense, is true, for, in parliament, as things fell out, they were not so hard pressed, such, as do not choose, have no actual repre- “ No articles were ever prepared against any sentative; but, in a legal sense, as to the being of the judges, except sir William Scroggs,
the bound all are represented) all power, says he', chief justice of the King's-bench, agaiust centers in him. That is alí coercive power.) And whom articles were brought to the House, and then the judge, in the towering of his fancy, says ordered to stand ; but I do not find by the print • i’faith he (the king) has wisdom enough to that any members were appointed by the entrust it no more with these men, who have llouse to carry them up. He was a man that given us such late examples of their wisdom lay too open ; his course of life was scandalous, and faithfulness.” It would be hard to prove and his discourses violent and intemperate. His here whom he spoke of, so as to frame, out of talent was wit ; and he was master of sagathese words, an accusation ; but it seems there city and boldness enough, for the setting off
' of was no better, and so it came before the House which, his person was large, and his visage of Commons; would any one have thought it? broad. He had a fluent expression, and many
" It is to be noted that, during this heat, as if good turns of thought and language. But he the
common law of justice had been abroga- could not avoid extremities ; if he did ill, it was ted, none of these reverend men were either extremely so, and if well, in extreme also. la called to be heard, or bad any tiine given them the plot, he was violent to insanity; and then, to answer; but the censure of the llouse, past, receiving intelligence of a truer interest at and, for punishment, they were to be impeach court, he was converted, and became, all at
The crime against baron Weston, was once, no less violent the other way; which that the words, in his charge, were scandalous made the plot-drivers and witnesses hate him, to tàe reformation, and tending to raise dis- And Oates and Bedloe did him the honour to cord,' &c. A new sort of offence. It hath been prefer articles to the king in council against him, the usage of the common law, to charge men charging various immoralities ; and there was with fact done, or words, of a direct sense spo- an hearing, but, they failing of proof, he was ken. Matter of aggravation never makes an justitied. The occasion of his conversion, as I accusation where the subject
, of itself, doth was told by the person that administered the not bear it. "Aud so careful is the law of cri- means to him, was this. The lord chief justice minal matters, that it requires an indicument to came once from Windsor with a lord of the
parties indicted were by the said jury acquitted fore the trial of sir George Wakeman (meaning of the fact then charged against them, and fully the aforesaid trial) the witnesses (meaning the proved by the said witnesses.*
aforesaid Dr. Titus Oates, and the said Mr. III. That the said Lord Chief Justice, after William Bedlow) were to be believed ; but that the trial of the said sir George Wakeman, and at and after the said trial, they were not to be others for High Treason, as aforesaid, in the believed by him, nor should not be believed by farcher abuse of the said Dr. Titus Oates, and him ; or to that very effect. Mr. William Bedlow, and in their great dis- IV. That the said Lord Chief Justice, by paragement speaking of them; said, that be- reason of bis office, hath taken upon him the
power to oppress by imprisonment, his majesprivy couecil io his coach ; and, among other ty's loyal subjects ; namely, Henry Care, for discaurse
, Scroggs asked that lord, if the lord writing and causing to be printed divers single Scaftsbury (who was then lord President of the sheet books in English, called The Packet of Council) had really that interest with the king Advice from Rome ; for the information and as he seerned to have ? No, replied that lord, no discovery of the idolatrous errors and impieties more than your footman hath with you. This of the Romish church, to his majesty's loyal sunk into the man, and quite altered the fer- and obedient protestant subjects (in tbis conment, so as, from that time, he was a new man. juncture of time very useful): although the
535 well for him that the parliament was said Lord Chief Justice neither did, nor could dissolved, else they had pursued their impeach- alledge or charge the said Care with any thing keat against him, and what an embroil it had contained in the said book, that was any ways made in parliament, is not easy to conjecture.” criminal or derogatory to his majesty's laws,
Burvet's short account is erroneous ; “They crown or dignity; and refused to take very impeached Scroggs for High Treason, but it was good bail for him, though offered ; and aftervisible that the matters objected to him were wards less bail taken for him upon his Habeas only Misdemeanors ; so the Lords rejected the Corpus in court; but by the said Lord Chief izopeachment, which was carried chiefly by Justice's means, he was continued bound all the earl of Danby's party and in favour to him.” the term to his good behaviour; and at the end 1 Own Times, 584.
thereof antil the next term ; although no par. Sir Francis Winnington, in his speech in ticular crime was, or could be proved against the parliament October 26, 1680, says, “at or laid to his charge. Wakeman's Trial, those persons who at former V. That to the great oppression of his matrials had been treated with that respect jesty's loyal subjects
, the said Lord Chief Justhat is due to the king's evidence, and whose tice, contrary to law, and in manifest breach credit and reputation had stood clear without of his oath, bath, without any reasonable exception in all other trials
, were now not only cause, imprisoned á feme-covert, and divers brow-beaten, but their evidence presented to others his majesty's
said subjects, and refused the jury as doubtful and not to be depended to take bail, though tendered, and the matter on, and so at all other trials of papists from that bailable, as in the case of Mrs. Jane Curtis, time forward. By which many of the greatest Mr. Francis Smith, &c. offenders were quitted and cleared as to the VI. That the Lord Chief Justice is very pilot, and lose that were brought for defaming much addicted to swearing and cursing in his the king's evidence, and suborning witnesses, common
discourse ; and to drink to excess, to in order thereto, very kindly treated, and dis the great disparagement of the
dignity and grachanged with easy sentences, especially if pa- vity of his said place. He did in his common propose but if protestants, though only for discourse at dinner at a gentleman's house of printing or vending some unlicensed book, were quality, publicly and openly use and utter imprismed and largely fined. But I beg leave many oaths and curses, and there drank to to particularise in the case of one Care, who excess, was indicted for printing a weekly intelligence,
VII. That Charles Price being accused upon called “ The Packet of Advice from Rome, or oath, before the said Lord Chief Justice, to be
the History of Popery.' This man had a a Popish priest and Jesuit, and imprisoned for stange knack of writing extraordinary well the same, and also divers other persons accused upon that subject, and that paper was by most upon oath for High Treason ; as namely, sir persons thought not only very ingenious, but Francis Mannock, Richard Vanghan, esq. and of the people, because it laid open very intelli- Justice set them at large upon bail
, without However, upon an information given to the nesses, and against their consent ; divers of court of King's-bench against this Care, this which persons have not since appeared, but rode was made ; Ordinatum est, quod Liber have forfeited their recognizances, and the intitulat
. The Weekly Packet, &c. non ul- persons not to be found. terius imprimatur, vel publicetur per aliquam VIII. That the said Lord Chief Justice, to
personam quamcunque. Per Cur. I think the great discouragement of his majesty's loyal it amounts to little less than a total prohibition of protestant subjects"; to the manifest encourageprinting any thing against popery." Cobb ment of the Roman catholic subjects ; when
information hath been duly and legally given
Parl. Hist. 1169,
to him of the abode, or person of a Popish manifest his slighting opinion of the evidence o priest or Jesuit, and a warrant desired from the said Dr. I'itus Oates, and Mr. Willian him to take or search for such priests or Je. Bedlow, in the presence of his most sacret suits, he hath in a slighting and scornful man- majesty and the right hon. the lords and other per refused the same, and bid the informer go of his majesty's most honourable privy council to sir William Waller, who busied himself in did dare to say, that he had, thought that Dr such matters mainly:
Titus Oates, and Mr. William Bedlow, always IX. That the trial of Knox and Lane, at the had an accusation ready against any body. bar of the King's-bench court for their misde- XII. That at the assize bolden at Mon meanors, in endeavouring to take away the mouth last, the said Lord Chief Justice, in the credit of Dr. Titus Oates, and Mr. William presence of several justices of the peace for Bedlow, two of the principal witnesses for his the said county, did say to Mr. William Bed majesty, in the proving of the conspiracy and low, that he did believe in his conscience, tha conspirators against his majesty's life and go- Richard Langhorn, whom he condemned, died vernment of these kingdoms of England, Scot- wrongfully, to the great disparagement of liis land, and Ireland, the destruction of the pro- majesty's crown and dignity, the justice of the testants and protestant religion, and introducing court, the jury and evidence. and settling of popery there ; although the evi- XIII. That the said Lord Chief Justice, dence was so full and clear against them, that contrary to the dignity of his place, did make the jury found them guilty without going from merchandize of the trials of certain priests to the bar; yet the said Lord Chief Justice, in be tried in Staffordshire, and took twenty further discouragement and disparaging the guineas in earnest; then sold the said trials to evidence of the said Dr. Titus Oates, and Mr. other persons, refusing to return the said twenty William Bedlow, would not, nor did not give guineas to those from whom he had received any charge to the jury therein, but rose up them. And furthermore, before the trial of sir suddenly, after the evidence closed by the George Wakeman ; he the said Lord Chief counsel, and left the said court abruptly, before Justice did bargain with two booksellers for the said jury had given in their verdict. 150 guineas, for them to print the trials; and
X. That the said Lord Chief Justice, knowing in case they would not lay down the money that one William Osborne was in the conspiracy before he went into the court, he would not go and contrivance with the said Knox and Lane, / into the court, but would go into the country: in the last article mentioned, to take away the and if the said trial by reason of its length, credit of the said Dr. Titus Oates, and Mr. could not be finished in one day, he would William Bedlow; and knowing the said Dr. have 100 guineas more, or to that very effect. Titus Oates, and Mr. William Bedlow, to be material witnesses for his majesty, in proving of The ANSWER of Sir WILLIAMSCROGGS, the conspiracy and conspirators, in the said last
knt. Lord Chief Justice of the Court of article mentioned, and had been so against seve
King's-Bench, to the Articles of Mr. Titus ral of the said conspiartors that had been tried,
Oates and Mr. William Bedlow, and were to be so against several others of the 1. To the first he saith, That the lord Brusaid conspirators that were impeached or accus- denell was bailed by the Court of King's Bench ed for the said High-treason, and were to be tried in open Court, and afterwards by the Court for the same ; and knowing the said Wiliam (s. discharged; with this, that William Bedlow borne had been detected before the Lords in par- did importune the lord Westmoreland to get liament assembled, for his said conspiracy and the said lord Brudenell discharged, for that he contrivance with the said Knox and Lane, and had nothing to say against him, as he said to the that upon his own oath, thereupon denying the lord Westmoreland. (See the Rules of Court.) fact in their said conspiracy and contrivance to II. To the second, he saith, That as to his be true : yet out of his malice to the said Dr. omitting or misrepeating the evidence at sir
Titus Oates, and Mr. William Bedlow; and George Wakeman's Trial, it is a reflection as much as in him lay to endeavour the dis- upon the whole court to suppose it true, and paragement, if not the suppressing of the fur- that they should let it pass. "But he saith, that ther discovery of that bellish and damnable Mr. Oates being asked at that trial, why he did plot; the said Lord Chief Justice, without the not charge sir George Wakeman at the council knowledge, consent or approbation of his ma- table with a letter under his own hand concern. jesty, or any of his learned counsel in the law, ing the death of the king? He answered, or the said Dr. Titus Oates, or Mr. William He did not know but that he did: to which it Bedlow; did voluntarily give the said Osborne was replied, It is plain he did not ; for then the liberty to make an affidavit before him upon council would have committed himn. To which oath, of the truth of the said fact, he had be- Mr. Oates replied, that that council would comfore, as aforesaid, denied upon his oath ; with mit nobody for the plot'; which might be the intent that the same might be made use of cause of the misdemeanor of frowning in the against the said Dr. Titus Oates, and Mr. Wil- articles mentioned. liam Bedlow, to their disparagement, anl the III. To the third, he saith, he doth not reapparent prejudice of his majesty, against the member that ever he expressed much concernsaid conspirators, in the said High Treason. ing their credit before their trial; but that there
XI. That he the said Lord Chief Justice, to were some passages at that trial which gert
him great cause of doubt: which he hopes a mere contract with other men, of which he he might do, without making it an article of thinks himself not bound to give Mr. Oates and misdeineanor.
Mr. Bedlow any other account, but that by the IV. and V. To the fourth and fifth, he saith taking of twenty guineas he lost forty; and that That the persons in the articles mentioned, were bis backwardness to go into the court at Wakecimmitted by him for publishing several libel- man's trial, makes it look as if he had not had Jons and scandalous papers, which were proved ten thousand pounds to favour Wakeman in his against them upon oath : which commitments, trial. eren of a Feme-Covert also, notwithstanding
If these Articles shall appear to your majesty Mr. Oates and Mr. Bedlow's skill, were accord
to be frivolous, or scandalous, or not true; I ing to law: though there is no law for these persons to call me to account for judicial acts thereon, in honour to your courts and govern
humbly pray your majesty's just resentment done upon other men.
ment. And that such an unknown attempt may VI. To the sixth, which is an insolent scanda) , he referreth himself to the testimony of that left to be proceeded'ágainst according to law.
not go unpunished ; that the promoters may be gentleman of quality, whoever he be.
FII. To the seventh, he saith, that the per- The Articles of Mr. Titus Oates, and Mr. sons in this article were bailed and discharged William Bedlow, against the Lord Chief Justice by the court, where the Attorney-General was Scroggs, were heard this 21st of January ; first called; but indeed Mr. Oates and Mr. 1679, before the King and Council; and upon Bedlow's consent was not asked.
the hearing of both sides, Mr. Oates and CapVIII. To the eighth, he saith, he conceives tain Bedlow are left to be proceeded against achimself not obliged to do all the business that cording to law. But we do not find that the justices of the peace may do; and though with Chief-Justice recovered any damages. out an offence he might have given such an answer as is mentioned, yet he did not, but a kervant of his did.
M. To the ninth, he saith, That when the PROCEEDINGS AGAINST STR WILLIAM cause was tried, he told the jury the matter was SCROGGS, Knt. LORD Chief Justice Op plain, and so did the rest of the court ; upon The King's-BENCH, AND OTHER JUDGES, IN which he went away, without any compli- PARLIAMENT, 32 CAR. II. A. D. 1680. Dent to Mr. Oates, to try causes in London.
House of Commons, November 23, 1680. X. To the tenth, he saith, That Osborn made only two affidavits before him : the substance Lord Russel. « There are some persons at of one was, that one Bowring, a servant to Mr. the door, who can give you an account of the Oates, had said, that he had heard Mr. Oates illegal proceedings of my Lord Chief Justice say, that the kingdom of England would never Scroggs, in discharging the Grand Jury of flourish, until it became elective, and the kings Middlesex.' chosen by the people,
The other affidavit was Whereupon, several of the Grand Jury were when he was sent to him by an order of conn- called in, and some other persons, who gave cil to be examined; wherein amongst other an Account of the carriage of that matter, as things he swears, that though at the trial of will be at large recited in the Articles against Knox and Lane, it was asked where Osborn the Lord Chief Justice Scroggs. was, and Mr. Oates's counsel answered, that he Sir William Jones.f Sir, The preservation of was fled; yet Osborn swears, that he at that time was at his father's house in the country, * See what Burnet says of Scroggs, ante, and that Mr. Oates knew it; that he took his vol. 6, p. 1425, and Roger North's character of leave of him the day before he went, and told him in the Note at the beginning of this Case. whither he went, and saw a letter wrote by Mr. + Burnet, after mentioning that he obtained Oates to his father to send for him. Notwith- by means of his “ Memoirs of the Dukes of standing it was carried at the trial, as if he had Hamilton,” the acquaintance and friendship of been fled no man knew whither; so that the sir William Jones, then Attorney General, proaffidavit which the article chargeth me for per- ceeds, “He was raised to that high post mitting to be made, was not sworn before me. merely by merit, and by his being thought the
XI. He saith, it is more to be wondered how greatest man of the law: for, as he was no Nr. Oates should dare to charge that as an ar. Hatterer, but a man of a morose temper, so he ticle of misdemeanor, which was said in the was against all the measures that they took at king's presence, and yet repeated false too. Court. They were weary of him, and were
XIL That at Monmouth assizes he did tell raising sir John King to vie with him : but he Mr. Bedlow, that he was more unsatisfied about died in his rise, which indeed went on very Mr. Langhorn's trial than all the rest ; and the quick. Jones was an honest, and wise man. rather, for that he was credibly informed since He had a roughness in his deportment, that the trial, that Mr. Langhorn's study was so si- was very disagreeable : but he was a good natuated, that he that walked in his chamber could tured man at bottom, and a faithful friend. He not see Mr. Langhorn write in his study: which grew weary of his employment, and laid it ras Mr. Bedlow's evidence.
down : and, though the Great Seal was offered XIII. He saith, the matter complained of is him, he would not accept of it, por return to
the government in general, as well as our par- , there ariseth some difficulty how to examine ticular safeties, have a dependance upon the them. I cannot but observe, how the Proclamatter that is now before you ; in which there i mation is here again mentioned; by which you are so many miscarriagos so complicated, as may conclude there lieth a great weight on the business, The quickness of his thoughts car- ! [4 Cobb. Par!. Hist. Appendix, No. XV.] See ried his views far. And the sourdess of bis Eehard 1008 ; 3 Kenn. 399; 1st ed. Roger temper made him too apt both to suspect and to Coke seems not to think it certain that sit despise most of those that came to bim.” William wrote it, but yet to admit the general
Áfterwarıls, the bishop speaking of the dis- reputation that he did. Burnet says, “It was mission of lord Danby's party and the intro- at first penned by Sidney; but a new draught duction of Essex to the treasury in 1679, says, was made by Somers and corrected by Jones :" “ Jo part of the change that was then made with which pretty nearly agrees Oldmixon's was more acceptable than that of the judges. account that it was first drawn up by AlgerFor lord Danby had brought in some sad crea- noon Sidney, then improved by lord" Somers, tures to those important posts, and Jones had and last of all corrected by the very eminent the new modelling of the Bench ; and he put sir William Jones. in very worthy men in the room of those igno- Roger North, whose language is in general rant judges that were now dismissed.” As to sufficiently unsparing of those whom he disthis, it may be observed, that if sir William Lked, and who disliked sir William Jones, not Jones possessed the power a'completely new only for his political principles and conduct, but modelling the Bench, he appears to have em- for his professional rivalry with sir Francis ployed it with more moderation than might be North ; nevertheless ascribes to him much expected from a man of such a temper as merit. “I am persuaded,” says he, “ that, Burnet has described sir William Jones 10 being in place, he was very weary of the Plot have been. Of his zeal and activity against prosecutions, as he was afierwards of being lord Stafford, proofs are to be seen in the Trial among the heads of a faction against the Court of that lord, and in the Parliamentary History in which he had served : the former was obHe was one of the most strenuous and perti- noxious to uneasy reflections, that, if out of nacious supporters of the Bal for excluding | ardor he exceeded, innocent blood might be in the duke of York. See the Parliamentary the rear of lum; and the other touched his reHistory. See, too, 1 Burnet's Own Times, putation, as not consistent with the decorum 466, 468.
of a servant, who though never so ill used, Sir William Temple, mentioning sir William should not publicly fly in his quondam master's Jones entering upon the Bill of Exclusion, so face. All which matters must beeds be weighed abruptly and so desperately as he did, adds, by one of his penetration and judgment, and ti And this person baring the name of the who was no ill man at the bottom, though ungreatest lawyer of England and commonly of happily mistaken in his conduct. And I verily å very wise man, besides this of a very rich, believe, that, all along he aimed at a certain and of a wary or rather timorous nature, made post in the law, then filled by the lord chief people generally conclude tbat the thing was justire North, and directed all his steps tocertam and sate, and would at last be agreed wards it, proposiug to himself, in acquiring on all parts, whatever countenance were made that, to compass his final and retired settleat court.” And Swift has inxrted in his Ap- ment; but he was disappointed and that enpendix to the third Part of Temple's Memoirs creased the uneasiness of his mind, according the following very curions Anecdote, which, as the proffers, he had made towards it, were in his pretace, he says, Temple told him:“ Sir violent and irregular: all which mystery i William Jones was reputed one of the best hope to resolve clearly before I have done. speakers in the House, and was very zealous Atier the Oxford parliament, he did not appear in his endeavours for promoting the Bill of much abroad. He hated Shaftsbury, and, notExclusion. He was a person of great piety withstanding party work, would not willingly and virtue, and baring taken an affection to sir come into the room where he was. His perWilliam Temple, was sorry to see him em- sonai gravity and virtue was great, and he ployed in the delivery of so unacceptable a could not lar such a flirting wit and libertine message (that of January 4th, 1081, against as the other was. He had a great value for the Exclusion Bill] to the House: the sub- Hir. Hampulen, and used to magnify his father stance of what he said to the author upon it as the greiest man, för sense and foresight, was this : that · for himself he was old and that was concerned against king Charles 1. infirm, and expected to die soon. But you, and not without reason ; for he knew all that
said he, will in all probability live to see the litiganing in pariiament would (as was intended) • whole kingdom lament the consequences of end in open rebellion ; therefore he was in with Sthis mi ssage you have now brought us from the tirst, and took a regiment, but was killed the king'
betimes, else he might have had the post of Sir William Jones is generally reputed to Cromwell upon more generous terms. Sir have been the author of the ** Just and Modest William Jones was at a meeting at Mr. Hamp, Vindication of the Proceedings of the two last den's house in Buckinghanisthire, w bere several Parliaments of King Charles the Second." of the most confiding men of the faction as