Amendment VIII

Document 1

Case of Titus Oates

10 How. St. Tr. 1079, 1316 K.B. 1685

"First, The Court does order for a fine, that you pay 1000 marks upon each Indictment.

"Secondly, That you be stript of all your Canonical Habits.

"Thirdly, the Court does award, That you do stand upon the Pillory, and in the Pillory, here before Westminster-hall gate, upon Monday next, for an hour's time, between the hours of 10 and 12; with a paper over your head (which you must first walk with round about to all the Courts in Westminister-hall) declaring your crime. And that is upon the first Indictment.

"Fourthly, (on the Second Indictment), upon Tuesday, you shall stand upon, and in the Pillory, at the Royal Exchange in London, for the space of an hour, between the hours of twelve and two; with the same inscription.

"You shall upon the next Wednesday be whipped from Aldgate to Newgate.

"Upon Friday, you shall be whipped from Newgate to Tyburn, by the hands of the common hangman.

"But, Mr. Oates, we cannot but remember, there were several particular times you swore false about; and therefore, as annual commemorations, that it may be known to all people as long as you live, we have taken special care of you for an annual punishment.

"Upon the 24th of April every year, as long as you live, you are to stand upon the Pillory and in the Pillory, at Tyburn, just opposite to the gallows, for the space of an hour, between the hours of ten and twelve.

"You are to stand upon, and in the Pillory, here at Westminster-hall gate, every 9th of August, in every year, so long as you live. And that it may be known what we mean by it, 'tis to remember, what he swore about Mr. Ireland's being in town between the 8th and 12th of August.

"You are to stand upon, and in the Pillory, at Charing-cross, on the 10th of August, every year, during your life, for an hour, between ten and twelve.

"The like over-against the Temple gate, upon the 11th.

"And upon the 2d of September, (which is another notorious time, which you cannot but be remember'd of) you are to stand upon, and in the Pillory, for the space of one hour, between twelve and two, at the Royal Exchange; and all this you are to do every year, during your life; and to be committed close prisoner, as long as you live."

Dissenting statement of a minority of the House of Lords:

"1. For that the king's bench, being a temporal court, made it part of the judgment, that Titus Oates, being a clerk, should for his said perjuries, be divested of his canonical and priestly habit, and to continue divested all his life; which is a matter wholly out of their power, belonging to the ecclesiastical courts only.

"2. For that the said judgments are barbarous, inhuman, and unchristian; and there is no precedents to warrant the punishments of whipping and committing to prison for life, for the crime of perjury; which yet were but part of the punishments inflicted upon him.

"3. For that the particular matters upon which the indictments were found, were the points objected against Mr. Titus Oates' testimony in several of the trials, in which he was allowed to be a good and credible witness, though testified against him by most of the same persons, who witnessed against him upon those indictments.

"4. For that this will be an encouragement and allowance for giving the like cruel, barbarous, and illegal judgments hereafter, unless this judgment be reversed.

"5. Because sir John Holt, sir Henry Pollexfen, the two chief justices, and sir Robert Atkins chief baron, with six judges more (being all that where then present), for these and many other reasons, did, before us, solemnly deliver their opinions, and unanimously declare, That the said judgments were contrary to law and ancient practice, and therefore erroneous, and ought to be reversed.

"6. Because it is contrary to the declaration on the twelfth of February last, which was ordered by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons then assembled, and by their declaration engrossed in parchment, and enrolled among the records of parliament, and recorded in chancery; whereby it doth appear, that excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel nor unusual punishments inflicted."

The Founders' Constitution
Volume 5, Amendment VIII, Document 1
The University of Chicago Press

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