Old Bailey Proceedings supplementary material. John Rouse.
17th October 1681
Reference Numbero16811017a-2

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John Rouse being removed by Habeas Corpus from the Tower of London, to the County-Goale of Newgate, a Bill of Indictment for High-Treason was prefered against him, the substance of which was, That he on the Eighteenth of March last and at sundry other times, had spoke divers Treasonable Words, tending to the destruction of his Majesty, and the Subversion of the Government. The Evidence that swore to the Bill, were Bryan Haynes , John Wyat , Edward Turbervile , Edward Ives , John Macknamarra , Bernard Denis , Thomas Corkine , Elizabeth Haynes , and John Smith ; many of which Deposed, That Rouse should say, That although the Sessions of Parliament at that time to be holden at Oxford would be but short, yet the several Prorogations and Dissolutions would avail nothing; and that they the people of England had yet another way to effect their designs; which was by force of Arms to compel his Majesty to condescend to their requests; with many other Treasonable Words, which we think not fit here to insert. After all the Witnesses had been publickly sworn in Court, the Grand-Jury withdrew: but the Court not allowing them to examine the Witnesses in private, they returned, and after a long debate of the Priviledges and usual Customs of Grand-Juries, they consented to hear the Witnesses over again in open Court, and to ask them such Questions as they should think convenient. Whereupon, the Witnesses were called one by one, and after a long and tedious Examination, the Jurors withdrew to debate the Evidence; and having held a private consultation for the space of three hours, they came into Court, and answering every man to his Name, returned the Bill IGNORAMUS; upon which, being demanded whether they did not believe the Witnesses, or that they thought the words expressed in the Indictment, and others that had been sworn to, were not Treasonable; the Court declaring, That if they scrupled the latter, they would resolve their doubts; but their answer was, That they were satisfied in their CONSCIENCES of what they had done; and farther added, That they could not believe what the Witnesses had Sworn.

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