House of Commons Journal Volume 1: 15 December 1621

Pages 664-666

Journal of the House of Commons: Volume 1, 1547-1629. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1802.

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Sabbati, 15o Decembris

Privilege - King's Answer.

SIR Geor. Moore: - Hath, sithence Yesterday, thought not, what to say, but do. - That the King hath requested us to proceed on cheerfully. - Wisheth, this may be done, if we may do it with a good Conscience. - 1. We have taken Care for Religion: 2ly, For our Liberties; which the only Freedom, and best Freehold, the Commoners of England have. - Good Cause to be tender of them. - The fairest Flower, which groweth upon the Stalk of the Commons.- - If nipped, and taken from the Stalk, decayeth, and withereth. - 3ly, Our Care to redress the Grievances of the Commonwealth.- - We found, and have redressed, many. -

That the King first, in his Proclamation for Advice in Election of Knights and Burgesses, left it, notwithstanding, to the fundamental Laws of the Kingdom. That the King hath given us Assurance of enjoying all our lawful Liberties: Hath given us Assurance for Religion: Hath eased us of many Grievances. - Doubteth not, but, his Majesty knowing all our Proceedings have been with Sincerity, and to have been good in his Sight; - doubteth not therefore, but no shall find Favour in his Eyes. - Moveth, a Recollection of all our Proceedings this Parliament, and of the King's Answers; that they may remain to Posterity.

Mr. Mallory: - More doubtful, upon his Majesty's Answer, of our Privileges, than before; because his Majesty taketh them to be by Toleration, and not our Inheritance. - To consider, whether our Privileges stand not impeached by his Majesty's Answer.

Serjeant Ashley - That the King washeth with Vinegar and Oil. He touched with the Vinegar; yet the Oil hath overcome it, and filled his Heart with the Oil of Gladness. -

That, beyond our Desire, his Majesty hath given us Answer in those transcendent Points, whereof we desired none. The King's Language not to be questioned. If his Actions tyrannous, as they are not; yet we could but say, Non est tolerabile, but tamen tolerandum. - Kings, Gods ; and to be obeyed, aut patiendo, aut. -

Hath given us an excellent Assurance of our Religion. - To pray for them of our Religion abroad, and provide for the contrary Religion at Home. - Doubteth not, but Cause will be given, by their Insolencies; which he will take the King's Warrant to follow them. -

That a legal Use breedeth a Right; and as good, as a legal Grant. - That his Majesty declineth the Question, and offereth as much Allowance of our Privileges, as we have ever had. -

To redeem now our Time, and presently to review the State of the Bills. Not to give Advantage to the common Adversary to rejoice at our Combustions. -

Moveth, to send an Answer to the Lords, concerning the Bill of Monopolies. - That he hath Warrant from the Lords to say, that the Lords generally approved the Bill.

Sir Francis Seymor: - The King's Letter, Command, and Answer, shew, in what State we stand with his Majesty, and how we are restrained in our Proceedings, and how our Privileges stand; which the King, in his Answer, saith, are but by Toleration and Permission. - Till we stand upright in his Majesty's good Opinion, can [a] have Alacrity to proceed with Bills; whereof, he thinketh. we cannot now have many.

Mr. Chancellor Exchequer: - His Zeal to the good Issue of this Council draweth him up. - This Day, as in a Battle, to be lost but once. -

Epictetus: - One Hand, that will break; and another, that will hold. -

Equality of Language not to be expected by People from a King -

That his Majesty writ this, calente . . . affectu.

Now is the Time to let the World know, we have a King, that resolute for Religion. -

Complaining longer will be rather Discontent, than Sorrow. - Moveth, to go on with Alacrity, according to his Majesty's Advice.

Sir J. Perrott moveth, to enter into a serious Consideration of what passed this Session. - Never House of Parliament ever endeavoured to effect better Things, than this. Many good Bills passed here, and sent up; but either cast out of the Lords House, or behind the Door. The Bill of Monopolies cast out. - Concealments maimed, and goeth upon Stilts. Many Patents decried here, yet some stand still on Foot. - Have laboured to cleanse Corruptions in Courts. - A Chancellor removed : Complaint against Sir Jo. Bennett; who neither cleared nor sentenced. -

With a Protestation of no Purpose to divert any Business, nor to stir any Troubles in the House, doubteth, we stand not right in his Majesty's Judgment. - The Polonian Ambassador. - Our Complaining of the Increase of Popery. - The not Irritating foreign Princes. -

To petition the King specially, to send home the Papists, according to the Laws. - A Committee, for our Liberties.

Mr. Brooke: - If ever, now to be wished, we were all here of One Mind. - Hath received reasonable Satisfaction by his Majesty's Answer. - Not as we would have penned, or wished it: - But now to make the best Use of it. Never Good by any Contestation with a King. Better to make a Transition, than stand to contest. - Knowing the Insolency of the Papists, glad to hear the King's Constancy in Religion.- - That we have made a just Title to our Liberties, by Prescription. - If I be sure of my Title, not material, whether by [b] Grandfather had it, by Descent, or Purchase. - Not to stand upon Terms. To enter here a Protestation, that our former Claim of our Liberties, just. Not to contend with him, that commandeth with Twenty Legions. Not to contend more about Religion, or our Privileges. -

Moveth, to have a short Bill, to continue an the Statutes, standing upon Continuance, till the End of the next Session: A second Bill, to continue all Bills, and Business, in statu quo nunc. - For the Grievances; to reduce them into a parliamentary Manner, and present them to the King. - Mentioneth the Grievances by Cradocke and Lambe. - To have an Order now, to proceed against them at the next Meeting. - If we do not thus, we can neither pass Bill of Subsidy, nor Pardon.

Mr. Treasurer: - Findeth the House much troubled, that the King hath written so angry a Letter to us. - Wisheth, there had been Cause. - As the King hath opened his Heart to us; wisheth, we may make Use of his Admonitions. - The King's Promise, notwithstanding all foreign Alliances, to be constant for the Maintenance of Religion. That, for our Privileges, the King saith, in this we strained the Words of his former Letter beyond his Meaning. That the King hath not directly impeached our Liberties; but his Majesty's Jealousy of our incroaching upon his Prerogative -

Let us rest upon his Majesty's Assurance of Religion, and our Privileges; and not prejudice Religion, our State, nor the King's Children abroad. - To proceed with Bills.

Sir Ro. Carew: - To put it to the Question, whether we shall proceed with Bills, or not.

Sir Ro. Phillippes: - Observeth, in his Majesty's Answer,

1. Reprehension, grounded upon our Proceedings.

- If his Majesty had heard our Speeches, and could see our Hearts, would have better interpreted them. - Agreeth, fit for Princes to speak in other Languages, than Subjects. - 2ly, Declaration for his Resolution to conserve Religion. 2ly, [c], How far he standeth engaged for proceeding in the Spanish Match. 3ly, Not to be cooled in the Defence or Recovery of the Palatinate. - Great Comfort in the King's Declaration of his Resolution for Religion, and of his Offer to pass Laws for popish Children, and to repress popish Insolencies. - This, doubteth not, but the King will, in his good Time, do.

- To rest, for this Time, satisfied with this. -

Great Comfort also in his Resolution for the Palatinate.

- That, peradventure, the King may join with us in what we now desire; but in his own Time, when, per-

adventure, he shall not find that Reality in Performance, which his noble Nature justly expecteth. -

Next, for his Declaration of his Engagement with the Match of Spayne: - Which if we had understood before we should not have touched so much that String.- -

For the Privileges; not satisfied with his Majesty's Answer; sithence Subjects Privileges most wounded, when most stirred by them; as How, both in general, and particular. -

To clear this; whether this a Matter only of Grace, and Toleration; or such an Inheritance, as we have in our Lives and Lands. This no Danger, in time of our so good a King; would be, and may be, if an ill Kind [a],

To take the Course taken l Jac. when that Word " Grace," added to our Liberties. - A select Committee for this, to consider how far our Liberties touched, and how we may present our Claim fairly to the King. And, that this Committee may, in dutiful Manner, present to his Majesty, at Theobalds, our Grief, for his Misinterpretation of our Proceedings. That this Committee may prepare this against Monday, and yet we proceed with other Business. - Thinketh, now impossible to have a Session, nor fit. - The not now having a Session will not prejudice the Country. The Country will not be satisfied, only with Bills. We cannot pass now such Bills as will really content the whole State of the Country. - Besides Bills ; Grievances, and rectifying Matter of Trade; which cannot now be done. - Would not willingly go down with Bills, except Lambe and Cradocke proceeded against: Which the greatest Grievance hath come here. -

This will not hinder the Gathering the Subsidy. - To adjourn till after Christmas; then to proceed with our Business, and perfect it in Five or Six Weeks; peradventure, with a greater Demonstration of our Duty to the King, in Supply, than can now do. -

This no Levity in us, because of our Interruption sithence: For this Resolution above Twelve Days sithence: And, finding an Inconvenience, better to retract, than proceed.

Sir Tho. Wentworth remembereth the last Clause of his Majesty's Letter, to beware of giving Encouragement to the Enemies of his Children. - If we cannot get the best Good, yet to shun the worst Evil. - For our Privileges ; the Common Law a Custom in itself: So have Inheritance, by Custom, in our Privileges. - A Committee, for this ; but by way of Protestation, not of Replication. -

2ly, Doubteth, how the Command to go on with Bills, may trench upon our Liberties. - That this may likewise be examined by a Committee: And not to proceed in the Matter of Session, or no Session, till Account from the Clerk, of the State, of Bills. - But first to rectify our Privileges.

Mr. Beecher: - The Distractions past, already abroad, to the great Rejoicing of our Enemies, and Discouragement of our Friends. - Agreeth with Mr. Brooke for the Two Bills.

Sir D. Digges :- - Must say still, our Privileges are our Inheritances: - Therefore to proceed for this with a Committee. - And whereas some say. Custom carrieth it; yet knoweth not but the Rule holdeth, that nullum tempus occurrit Regi - To commit this first, before any other Business.

Mr. Crew desireth. That Part of the King's Answer may be read, which concerneth our Privileges : Which done accordingly. This read ;

Mr. Crew : - We owe Loyalty to the King, and Duty to the Country. - Long sithence we agreed upon our Petition to the King. - Is against the Two Bills moved by Mr. Brooke. Liketh the old parliamentary Course. Never doubted of a large Pardon, and of our Bills of Grace; that therewith we might have satisfied the People, for our giving three Subsidies in One Year, though but One Harvest, and One Sheep-shearing. - But the Bill of Monopolies cast out: Concealments asleep: All the rest lie still, for ought we hear. Now not possible to get this ready. - Would not have spoken about our Privileges, if the Thing questioned, were only Matter of Form, and not of Matter.

- Our Inheritance; not Matter of Grace, nor Toleration. The like in the first Parliament ; but then a Protestation made by the House, for claiming their Liberties. This of that Importance to us, that, if we should yield our Liberties to be but of Grace, these Walls, that have known the holding them thus many Years, would blush. Magna Charta above Thirty times confirmed, beginning a Jove. - Confirmeth all our Liberties, which but a Confirmation of the Common Law. - Confirmation to London, Cinque Ports, and after, general, to all Men:

- Concludeth with, "renew." - So as Liberties of Subjects, confirmed, and renewed, to be perpetual. -

In a dutiful Manner therefore to claim our Right. - The Word, of

" Inheritance," warranted by our Books, Some would have had the Word " Birthright." -

8o H. 4. our Laws our Inheritance: Therefore our Liberties so : The Laws not being made by us only, but by King, and Lords : Our Liberties only ours.

21 Ed. IV. 44. Abbot of Waltham, his Case, - The Subject inherit in their Laws. -

49o Ass' .... - Common Law not only Custom. Consuetude privat communem legem. Escuage not to be assessed in Parliament. Misprision of Treason only tried at the Common Law. -

Moveth, sithence we cannot now get the Bills of Grace, a Committee of the whole House.

Mr. Solicitor: - This Day spent in a Very weighty Business; the Liberties of our House, and Disposing of the Business here. - Agreeth, the Privilege and Liberty of Parliament the Subjects Inheritance. - To challenge this in the Way we may do most Good. - To pass by the King's Phrase in this Matter, and look to the Matter. - It is but a Wish; and concludeth, we shall enjoy our Privileges. The Difficulty, how far the Bounds, either of our Liberties, or the King's Prerogative. - A Committee, to make our Protestation of our Liberties. - That, when the Committee hath prepared this, we may tender it to the King, intreating his further Expression of his Mind in this. - Yet not to neglect the true End of our Meeting. -

The true Way to prevail in our Liberties, is to spend our Time according to his Majesty's Advice. - Though by these Interpositions diverted from what we intended (which done by the Devil, or his Instruments) yet to proceed with what we can in this little Time. - Agreeth with Mr. Brooke's Motion for the Two Bills; which will assure our Countries, that, what they cannot have now, they shall have hereafter. - Knoweth a good Preparation for the Pardon; for, as already drawn, the King remitteth, and giveth, twice as much as our Three Subsidies.

- Moveth, that the Clerk may give an Account, as Yesterday required, of the State of Bills.

Sir Edw. Sackvyle agreeth, a Committee presently, for a Declaration that our Liberties are our Inheritances. -

The like Declaration in the first Parliament of the King.

Sir H. Fane: - A select Committee. - No doubt, but our Liberties our Inheritance. - The Apology upon it, in the first Parliament of the King.

Lord Clifford: - This concerneth the whole House; therefore a Committee of the whole House.

Sir Edw. Coke: - A Protestation before God, that sithence the Beginning of this Parliament, he never spake, but his own Conscience, and warranted ordinarily. - Hoped, he had spoken nothing but for the Honour of the King, and Good of the Kingdom. - Cum pari luctari, dubium; cum Principe, dolor; cum puero, poena; cum faemina, pudor. -

Fitz-Thomas noluit cum Domino Rege disputare.- - He of that Mind : Not only, for that not fit for a Subject; but for that the King of that Sharpness, as no Subject able to dispute with him. - The Liberties of this House the Laws of this Court: So in every Court. -

The Law of England the Subjects best Birthright; because defendeth all he hath. Magna Charta, Charta Libertatis; because maketh Freemen. Our Privileges in summo gradu. Our Privileges here the Mother and Nurse

of all good Laws; Censure of great Men; Reforming of Grievances. - Not to dispute with the King about Words. - Cannot allow our Style. - This Matter. - The King present in all Courts. Out of his Mouth these Words: Nulli negabimus, nulli vendemus, nulli differemus, justitiam. - Consuetudo regni communis lex: Consuetudo loci privat communem legem. - Doubteth, this but the Phrase of a Pen at the latter End of a Letter. - A Declaration, by a Committee, that our Liberties our Inheritance. - A Committee of the whole House, because we represent the Commons of England; can make no Proxy. - Upon Monday Morning to take Account of the Bills, and Grievances.

Sir Wm. Spencer remembereth the Touch in his Majesty's former, of punishing in or after Parliament; Desireth this Particular may be examined by the same Committee.

Mr. Noy: - Liketh a Declaration, how we claim our Liberties, by Protestation here, that we claim Inheritance in our Liberties, and that we hold them not at Will. - To leave a Memorial of this here, but not to present it to the King; which will require another Censure. - The Usage of our Liberties, the best Claim. - To use here all our Liberties we have before used. To go on here with Matter of Censure, and Judicature, if we have any. - " Libertates suas," in the Confirmation by Magna Charta. - To make this Declaration positively.

Sir W. Earle; - To go to the King with a Signification of our Claim : - And agreeth with Sir Wm. Spencer's Motion.

Mr. Secretary: - For the general, of our Privileges, thinketh it was never his Majesty's Intention; yet, sithence his Majesty's Letter to be of Record here, agreeth, a Committee for this; and to look into the Precedent of the first Parliament of the King. - Liketh not the Particular moved by Sir W. Spencer; because will draw Dispute between the King and us; whereout, doubteth, we shall hardly get out.

Mr. Glanvyle: - For our Privileges; 1. Moved by the Speaker: 2ly, A Model, for Freedom of Speech, ready ; which stayed by a Message of Satisfaction, by Mr. Secretary : 3ly, By the King's first Letter: 4ly, By the King's Command to proceed with Bills : 5ly, By this Answer. - That the King holdeth himself free to punish Misdemeanors in Parliament here : - But hopeth, the King meaneth thereby, Misdemeanors of a high Nature; as Treason, &c. which we cannot punish. The King is to have the Honour of a Request, for the Enjoying our Privileges, but hath not the Power of Refusal. - A Committee of the whole House this Afternoon, to agree upon a Declaration ; and to consider, and report to the House, whether they think it fit to present it to his Majesty.

Ordered, A Committee of the whole House to consider of all Things incident, or concerning, the Privileges of the House. This to be handled the first Business upon Monday Morning.

Sir Nath. Rich: - This a Business of great Weight: Therefore to have it deferred till Monday Morning.

Sir Francis Fane: - That his Majesty cometh this Night to Royston. - Hopeth, his Majesty will, before Monday Morning, send some Message, to take us off from this Rock.

Upon Question, this Matter not to be handled this Afternoon.

Upon Question, to be handled upon Monday Morning, at Eight of the Clock. Mr. Speaker to attend.