Welsh Journals

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poll was broke up in great disorder and confusion', several gentlemen coming drunk upon the bench and crying out for a poll. The Reverend Thomas Richards, Chaplain of St. Mary's, Cardigan, stated in evidence that his salary was ten pounds per annum. When Mr. Laugharne had the estate he allowed him an additional forty shillings yearly, but that about three years after Mr. Pryse had purchased the estate he went to his steward and demanded his arrears of the forty shillings per year, which was not paid him until a short time before the election when the steward pressed him for his vote. The evidence submitted on behalf of the sitting Member disproved the accusations made against the manner of polling, and it was argued that, far from being critical of the proceedings on the Friday night, the petitioner told Lewis Pryse he had carried the election fairly and congratulated him thereupon. On being put to the vote the House resolved 'that Lewis Pryse, Esquire, is duly elected a Knight of the Shire by 149 votes to 106. In 1715 Lewis Pryse and Thomas Johnes were again candidates for the County and on the election of the former, his opponent immediately petitioned Parliament. This was submitted to the House on 31 March 1715, and among other charges maintained 'that several qualified Persons would have polled for the Petitioner but were, by Threats, &c., hindered from so doing As usual the matter was referred to the Committee of Privileges.9 On 8 August, however, the House being called over according to Order, a number of members failed to answer. Several of these appeared later, 'and others were excused upon account of their being ill, some in the Country, some in Town', and for other divers reasons. Eleven others who were not in their place were not excused, whereupon an individual order for their attendance was made,-seven of them to appear a fortnight later, one a month later, and the remaining three, Sir Michael Warton, Corbett Kynaston, and Lewis Pryse, to 'be sent for in Custody of the Serjeant at Arms attending this House'. But Lewis Pryse had already declared his sympathy for the Jacobite move- ment and was therefore wary of attending the House either voluntarily or under escort. On 2 February 1716 the Serjeant at Arms had perforce to report to the Speaker 'That the Messenger he had sent to bring up Mr. Pryse had been at his House at Gargathan (sic) but that he was not there; nor could the Messenger have any Intelligence where he was'. Whereupon it was ordered that he surrender himself into the custody of the Serjeant at Arms 'this Day month', upon pain of incurring the further displeasure of the House, and of being proceeded against with the utmost severity. Careful to avoid, if possible, an open breach with Parlia- ment, and yet not wanting to appear before his fellow members, Lewis Pryse, judg- ing discretion to be the better part of valour, wrote the following lengthy epistle to the Speaker, which the Clerk read on 7 March: Sir, 'Tis with Pleasure that I embrace every Opportunity of returning you my Acknowledgements for the good Offices you have done me, as often as the Case of my unavoidable Absence has come under Debate in the House: