criminall. Besides, who should doe it? For if it bee
graunted (wch I beeleeve will bee a matter of much difficulty
to prove), The Lords' howse, or my Lord Keeper
in it, may in some cases administer an Oath to a Commoner,
may a Committee of the Lords and Commons
doe it? I conceive they had no president for doing so.
Yet that was our case. Mr Spencer, Sr George Strood,
and myselfe must upon oath have accused each other,
though told wee were not to answer anything concerned
ourselves. But our integryty was such, nothing of consequence
could be discovered more then beefore. After
this, they two (and Sr Edward Dering absent) were empeached.
Of my charge a stoppe was made, wch after
was layd aside as forgotten; and those two having by
good advise put in their answer, there was no farther
prosecution of them, onely wee were commanded to call
in all ye copies of this petition had beene by us distributed,
wdl was done accordingly.
39. Some may, perhaps, admire why the two howses
were so transcendently incenced at this petition I why
they laboured so earnestly the finding out a plot wdl was
never imagined I why they tooke so unheard of wayes in
their proceedings'? for when ever did the howse of
Commons appoynt theyr members to joyn wth ye Lords in examining Commoners upon oath, much lesse such as
were criminis participes, one against ye other I Why
shewde so strange partialyty as to incourage petitioning
in some, yet make this a crime so heynous, as it is certayn
a lawyer1 of the Howse went so far as to say there were
in it things not far from treason ? and another gentleman2
of, I dare say, sincere and pious intentions, told
me, defending it, I did not understand the ayme of that
Petition; to whom I could onely wish the event might
prove me ye foole.
1 Mr. George Peard, of the Inner Temple.—T.
2 Mr. Rich, Browne, of Great Chart.—T.