Journal of the House of Commons: Volume 1, 1547-1629. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1802.
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Lunae, 17 Decembris
Mr. Speaker to take the Chair.
THE House sitting as a Committee, Mr. Secretary moved, Mr. Speaker might go into his Chair, to make an House; because had a Message to deliver to the House from his Majesty, Whereupon Mr. Speaker went into his Chair.
Sir S. Sands, accordant. - Usual for the Committee to require Mr. Speaker to go into the Chair. The Reason of desiring the House to be full, because so many great Questions already, by Messages, concerning the whole House, wherein every one hath an Interest.
Letter from the King - Privilege.
Sir Edw. Coke: - The King's Letter gracious in genere, for our Privileges; but what they are in specie, the Question. - Bringeth Two Acts of Parliament out of the Tower, for our Privileges. - To satisfy the King, what our Privileges in particular. -
For the King calling us for Business of the Commonwealth, those private Things are to be forborn during Parliament; else the Members of the House may. One after another, be taken from the Service of the Commonwealth. -
Sir Francis Seymor: - Not yet satisfied concerning that Point of the King's Letter, of punishing in, or after, Parliament. - The King's Letter now, in One Point, conditional ; " if we deserve it:" - And, " such as are uncontrouled." - To set down positively, what our Privileges are.
Mr. Recorder: - That the King's last Answer affected, and afflicted, him much, by impeaching our Claim of our Liberties to be our Inheritance. - Yet now the King descendeth, let us meet him. - Hopeth, we may now proceed with our Privileges. - Was stumbled at the Word " antimonarchical." Thinketh, the King might at first stumble at the Word " Inheritance." Never knew that we used, before this Time, that Word; but, "our Rights and Liberties." - The King's Oath tied him to maintain our Liberties. - That the Words, " if we deserve," &c. relateth to those that are of Grace. - That all our Privileges cannot be set down in this short Time. - Besides, setting down our Privileges in Writing, much more dangerous, than to keep them by Use. This were to exclude all those Things which are not set down. -
Sir Nath. Rich; - Not to confine our Liberties in a general to a Paper. Now only to meddle with the Debate of such Privileges which we conceive to have been impeached sithence the Beginning of this Parliament, - Moveth; a Committee for this.
King's Answer, to him, full Satisfaction. - Never so many Adjournments, and for so long a time. The Justice of the Country suffereth. Moveth a select Committee for drawing a Protestation ; wherein to shew the Cause of our Protestation; and to go on with Bills.
Mr. Crew: - Contestation with the King, not fit. The Question now, whether this Letter full Satisfaction; and so to retract our last Order. - Moveth, to have Copies, and consider of this Letter. - That we have not been guilty of Loss of Time. - Reading of Bills, and sending up to the Lords, of no Use ; for our special Bills, with the Lords already, are not yet there passed. - The Word " antimonarchical," - That we cannot, in Duty to our Country, but stand upon it, that our Liberties and Privileges are our undoubted Birthright and Inheritance. - Petition of Right. - " Curious Shifts, maliciously found out." - A Committee of the whole House, to consider of the last Answer, and this. This Committee not to reduce our Privileges into Writing; which of that Extent as cannot be easily reduced into Writing (for leaving out loseth them) but this Committee to consider whether those Things contained in our Petition, not done in a parliamentary Manner; and, of this Word " Inheritance."
Sir D. Digges: - To keep, by all Means possible, the Prerogative and our Liberties from interfering. - Justification between Husband and Wife, Father and Children, Master and Servant, Prince and People. - To shun Justification now. - For the Point of our Delaying; we all satisfied of our Innocency. - For the Word " antimonarchical ;" not to dispute about Words. To see the Possibility of making a Session now. - A Committee; but not of the whole House; but of the Privileges, or another select Committee.
Mr. Glanvyle : - Remembereth the former Message about Freedom of Speech : and how taken off it by a general Message ; yet this questioned already before the End of this Session of Parliament. - A Committee to consider, 1. Of what we may treat here : 2ly, ...... 3ly,
Whether we bound to observe such Directions, as shall be given for our particular Proceeding, in this, or any Other, Business. - Would proceed with Bills, but for the Commandment to proceed with them. - To go on first with our Privileges, without which we can never freely make any Law : - This will be more acceptable to the People than any Bills: - And then to proceed with Grievances and Judicature; as for Goldsmyth and Lepton.
Mr. Hutton : - A private Committee. - A Protestation to be entered here, and not sent to the King. - Remembereth the Message to the Lords, concerning the Bill of Monopolies. - If Impossibility of ending a Session, to know the State of the Bills above, by a Conference with the Lords; and, if, upon that, we cannot do it, then from both Houses, to satisfy the King of the Impossibility.
Mr. Solicitor concordat. - Not against a Committee ; but there to set apart Contestation against Words of the King's Letter, so there be Substance there for us. - We desired from his Majesty a gracious Interpretation of our Declaration : - To yield him the same Measure. - A Committee there, to consider whether the Substance of this Letter give not full Satisfaction for our Privileges : To recollect, summarily, the Reasons of our Stop : To set down, that fitly done, till we satisfied with the King's last Letter. - That this will satisfy both the King and us, that we have gone upon good Grounds.
- A Committee, to consider of particular Privileges; because Particulars questioned. - To make only a Protestation and Declaration ; but not to go to the King; because the King, by his Letter, alloweth us all our lawful Privileges. - " Must" excludeth " May." -
Mr. Hackwill: - Our Privileges a principal Part of the Law of England: - For general Customs of England. Customs of the Commons of England, Custom of England; ergo, the Law of England: Which we hold not by Grace, more than our Lands and Goods. -
Our Liberties of the Essence of Parliament. - Cannot, as a great Council, advise without Freedom of Speech; nor hold our Court, without punishing the Contemners of it. - Cowel's Book: - That the Commons of England are not, of Right, but Grace, to give Assent to Laws." -
The Prayer for this, in Beginning of Parliaments, a Matter of good Manners : Never used till of late Years. Anciently, Protestations made by the Speaker, in this Point: 1. H. IV. the first Prayer. - Fit to forbear this hereafter. - Yet disclaimeth our Right, no more than a Petition of Right for Lands, doth for Lands. - That the King's Letter now, is to go on with Business ; and not with Bills, as before. An humble Declaration to his Majesty, that we hold our Privileges as our Inheritance. Readeth Part of the Apology, made, in this Point, in the first Parliament of the King. - A Committee for Privileges ; and yet to go on with Businesses.
Sir Wm. Strowde: - A select Committee for this; and yet to survey the State of the Bills in the House. - Moveth, the honourable Persons about the Chair, will inform his Majesty, that not possible now to have a Session; and to pray his Majesty to adjourn till presently after the Holidays; in which mean time the Committee may prepare this.
Sir Edw. Coke: - The Committee to set down, wherein our Privileges impeached. - To make a Protestation; and to enter it here, and present it to the King, but as not requiring Answer. - This Course followed in the first Parliament of the King. Though the King satisfied, and so signified to the House, by the Speaker, yet they went on with the Protestation. Sir James Pickering, Speaker, made a Request for Pardon of any Slip of his; and that the Commons might amend the same. After, Gildsboroughe, Speaker, did the like. Sir Rich. Waldgrave, Speaker, did the like. Sir J. Pickering, again Speaker, made the same. - The Demand of Privileges, when first questioned : Thereupon desired ; or else should have a silent Parliament.
Mr. Alford: - For a general Committee, because some Points have not been debated. - Doubteth yet, whether we free to speak of the King's Prerogative. - At a Committee, to agree upon what we may speak, and of what not. - Monopolies, Cart-taking, Nullum tempus occurrit Regi, Impositions are Matters of Prerogative. - That we may resolve, we may freely treat of these Things.