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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 39

Precedent of a Member, being a Quaker, refusing to take the Oath

Precedent of a Member, being a Quaker, refusing to take the Oath.

House called over,

And the name of John Archdale, Esquire, a burgess for the borough of Chipping Wicomb, in the county of Bucks, being called over a second time :

Mr. Speaker acquainted the House that Mr. Archdale had been with him this morning, and delivered him a letter sealed, which Mr. Speaker presented to the House.

page 59
And the same was opened and read, and is as followeth, viz.:—

"London, the 3rd of the 11th month, called January 1698—9.


Upon the call of the House it will appear that I am duly chosen and returned to serve in Parliament for the borough of Chipping Wycomb, in the county of Bucks; and, therefore, I request of thee to acquaint the honorable House of Commons the reason I have not as yet appeared, which is, that the burgesses being voluntarily inclined to elect me, I did not oppose their inclinations, believing that my declarations of fidelity, etc., might, in this case, as in others, where the law requires an oath, be accepted, I am, therefore, ready to execute my trust if the House think fit to admit of me thereupon; which I do humbly submit to their wisdom and justice; and shall acquiesce with what they will be pleased to determine therein: This being all at present, I remain,

"Thy real and obliged friend,

"John Archdale."

Day appointed for considering the contents of the said letter.

Mr. Archdale ordered to attend.

The House being informed, that Mr. Archdale attended according to order;

His letter to Mr. Speaker was again read;

And the several statutes qualifying persons to come into and sit and vote in this House were read, viz., of the 30 Car. If., I Will, and Mariæ, and 7 and 8 Will, and Mariæ.

And then the said Mr. Archdale was called in,

And he came into the middle of the House, almost to the table;

And Mr. Speaker, by direction of the House, asked him whether he had taken the Oaths or would take the Oaths, appointed to qualify himself to be a member of this House; To which he answered, That in regard to a principle of his religion he had not taken the Oaths, nor could take them.

And then he withdrew.

A new Writ ordered.