Welsh Journals

Search over 450 titles and 1.2 million pages

I know not how far the House in their last Order about me might be influenced by any Report of the Messenger who came down to my House; but, to pre- vent Misrepresentation, I think it proper to assure you, that, within Three Days after a very dangerous Fit of the Gout suffered me to come down Stairs, I came from thence hither to my Father-in-Law's, 18 miles in my way to London: But the Motion of so small a Journey brought another Fit upon me immediately; with which I have been laid up here ever since; not having been yet so much as able to return to my own House. This verbose attempt at self-defence by the Member for Cardiganshire carried little if any conviction. It was hardly reasonable for learned Members to believe that Lewis Pryse had been elected to Parliament without even being acquainted with the fact of his own candidature, particularly as he was not the sitting Member for either of the two previous Parliaments. Then there was the question of the eighteen miles journey to Aberllefenni, 'in my way to London', whereas the usual route lay along another road. Without any ado the House resolved that Lewis Pryse be forthwith brought up in custody for not attending 'the Service of this House; and having never qualified himself as a Member of this House, by taking the Oaths at the Table'. But Lewis Pryse, safe among his own kith and kin, had other ideas, and on 23 March 1716 Mr. Speaker had perforce to acquaint the House that the messenger who went pursuant to the Order of the 7th to bring Lewis Pryse up in custody was returned. Reporting at the Bar of the House he related how he had been at Aberlleferry (sic) where had heard Mr. Pryse was, but did not find him there. He had then travelled to Mr. Pryse's house in Cardiganshire and had searched that and several other houses for him, but wholly in vain, except that a certain Dr. Pugh, Mr. Pryse's physician, delivered a letter to him from his patient, which read: Aberllefenny, March 120, 1715/16. Mr. Kingham, Having had some Intelligence of your coming here, I thought it more adviseable to be removed out of the way, than to make myself a Prisoner in this sickly condition that I am now in; the Consequences of which would be fatal to me, if I should be required to undertake a London Journey, as my Physician, and the whole Country can inform you. I am, Your Friend and Servant, LE. PRYSE. Parliament thereupon judged him guilty of contempt and expelled him from the House, a process which was much more satisfying to Pryse. In April 1717 the