Journal of the House of Commons: Volume 1, 1547-1629. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1802.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
Martis, 26o Junii, 1604
B. For the Disburthening of Ministers from such Affairs as hinder them in their divine Callings and Cures, reported from the Committee by Sir Francis Barrington, with Amendments; and the Bill, upon Question, ordered to be ingrossed.
Port of London.
Letter from the King, refusing Subsidy.
HAVING been informed, that within theSpace of these Eight or Ten Days past, there hath been divers times Speeches made in the Lower House of our Commons, for a Subsidy to be at this time granted unto us ; we have thought it convenient, that ye should, in our Name, acquaint the House with the sincere Truth of our Meaning in that Matter ; to the end that they, being at a Point in that Question, may, with the greater Expedition, conclude such special Things as are necessary to be done before the Ending of this so longsome Session of Parliament.
It is true, that ever before, and a certain Space after the Sitting down of this Parliament, we were constantly resolved, neither to think, nor, in case it had been offered unto us, any ways to have accepted a Subsidy at this time; for as in our first Speech to this whole Parliament we declared, how unwilling we should ever be to be a Burden to our People ; so thought we it an unfit time, at our first Parliament, after our so happy and peaceable Entry into this Kingdom, with so great and general an Applause, for having a Subsidy raised upon them, notwithstanding of our present great Necessity; and that thorough the Occasion of divers great Expences whereunto we were driven at, our first Entry here: But after the Assembling of this Parliament, we were so often dealt with and informed by divers Members of that House, that were otherwise Strangers to our Affairs, that it was a Thing both honourable and reasonable, that a Subsidy should be granted unto us ; that both our Necessity required it, and the People in their Love were ready to offer it unto us; that it was ever the Form of all Kings of England, to have a Subsidy given them at the very first Assembling of their first Parliament ; that as it was honourable for us to receive it (being an Earnest-penny of the Peoples Love towards us) so would it be a Thing nothing prejudicial nor hurtful for them to yield unto; and that there was enow in that House, that were striving amongst themselves, who should be the first Propounder thereof; as at the last we were moved to be contented, that some should prove the House's Mind in it; only in this Point were we careful, that, in case it were propounded, and put to a Question, it should receive no public Refusal; which could not but
be dishonourable unto us, especially in the Sight of all the Strangers that are now here. But having now, with time, more narrowly examined both the Custom in the like Cases, at the first Parliaments of our Predecessors here, as likewise, that the last Term's Payment of the old great Subsidy is not yet come, so as a double Burden shall appear to be laid upon the People, and yet our Commodity never a Hair the nearer; we have hereupon concluded with ourself, to resort to our former Determination: And therefore is it our express Will, that ye shall, in our Name, signify to our said House of Commons, that we desire them, at this Time, not to meddle any further with that Question; assuring them, in the Word of a King, that we will be so far from taking it unkindly, their not offering it unto us at this first Session of this our first Parliament, as by the contrary we will only interpret it to proceed from the Care they have, that our People should not have any Occasion of Distaste of us offered unto them at this Time, for the Reasons above-mentioned; assuring ourself, that the said House will, in their own Time, be careful to see our State supplied, by such means as may be most convenient for our Weal, and least hurtful to our Subjects; wherein we remit ourself to their discreet Considerations, in the due Time.
King's Letter, refusing Subsidy.
L. 3. An Act for the due Execution of Statutes made against Recusants, &c. (which first begun in this House) the Title altered ; viz. An Act to retain the King's Subjects in their due Obedience: - Thirdly read, and, upon the Question, passed.