Journal of the House of Commons: Volume 2, 1640-1643. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1802.
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Die Lunæ, 27 Aprilis, 1640.
Bills in Members Hands.
Lords Interference in Matters of Supply.
It pleased his Majesty so to honour the Lords House, as to come thither in Person, and make us many gracious Expressions; and he put us in mind of what had been by me, in his Majesty's Name, delivered, first in the Lords House, and after to both Houses in the Banqueting House at Whitehall; and then he gave us his Royal Word and Assurance, he would not depart from One Tittle of that which in his Majesty's Name had been delivered to you, but would perform it really to the uttermost.
But he gave us to understand, that the Necessity of his Affairs was such, as could bear no Delay; and a Delay would be as good as a Denial, both in regard of the Affairs themselves, and of the Danger that did attend them, as well of his honour in foreign Parts, which so much concerned him to uphold, as he held it as dear as his Life, and of as great Importance to maintain it.
His Majesty did think, that in Civility and good Manners, as well as Necessity, it was fit for him to be first trusted; there must be a Trust (begin it with him, or with you) in the Relation; the total Trust must be in him; the Difference is but in point of Time; though you trust him in the Beginning, it is but in part; he must trust you in all, before the End of this Parliament.
It is but a present Supply that he expects at this Time, to go on with the Things in hand; or else, all the Charges, which have been told you is a hundred thousand Pound a Month, will be lost; and very little time lost will make it impossible for my Lords and you to recover that, which will, by a little Delay, be lost.
My Lords have commanded me to tell you of the Necessity of the Affairs, and Urgency of the Danger, by somewhat that is lately come to their knowledge. The War is begun; the Men of Scotland have pitched their Tents at Duns, and threaten an Invasion of Northumberland; and have taken some of the Troopers of Sir Wm. Brounker; so as their Intention is plain, besides their Letter, which may shew their Purpose, to put themselves into the Protection and Defence of Foreign States.
The Necessity is such, as his Majesty could not possibly transfer the Trust to you, to begin with you; or otherwise he would most willingly let you go on in your Course, to begin with Redress of your Grievances. And therefore, his Necessity requiring a present Supply; after which he will let you go on with your Grievances, and doth promise a gracious and princely Ear, and will relieve you therein, as far as in Justice and Reason you can ask.
His Majesty did express, that he holds no King so glorious, as he that is King of a rich and free People; and if he do not secure you in your Liberty and Propriety of Estate, he cannot allow you a rich and free People, and consequently himself not so glorious a King.
Lords Interference in Matters of Supply.
Therefore his Majesty declared, that for those Three Things, Religion, Propriety of Estate, and Privileges of Parliament, his Heart and his Conscience doth stand with the Religion of the Church of England; and as he has lived in it, so will he live and die in it. No Man can be more careful to keep out Innovations than his Majesty will be; and for that Purpose, he would lay a great Charge upon his Archbishops and Bishops, that they should take Order accordingly.
For Ship Money, his Majesty declared, it was never in his Thoughts to make the least Benefit of it. He did never make Advantage of it, but, contrary, had laid out many thousand Pounds, out of his own Treasure, towards the Defence for which that was intended, as many of the Lords can witness. All his Scope and Aim was, for the Preservation of your Safety, Peace, and Plenty, and his own Honour abroad, that he may reign among you as great and glorious a King, as you ought to desire he should. Therefore think you of any other Way for Guard and Preservation of the Seas, which, considering the naval Preparations abroad doth so much import, that he may be able to maintain a Navy, whereby he may be Moderator, and keep the Dominion of the narrow Seas; without which, it is impossible for you to subsist. Keep the Sea; which is the Way, by which God hath enabled his Majesty to protect and defend you. Put it into what Way you will, his Majesty will join with you in it.
Gentlemen, My Lords have taken into Consideration his Majesty's gracious Expressions. You have the Word of a King, and, as some of my Lords were pleased to say, not only of a King, but of a Gentleman: And they would no more be guilty of distrusting him, than they would be of the highest Undutifulness towards him.
And, upon all these Considerations, though my Lords would not meddle with Matter of Subsidy, which belongs properly and naturally to you, no, not to give you Advice therein, but have utterly declined it; yet, being Members of One Body, and Subjects of the same King, and all concerned in the common Safety, and in their Duty to his Majesty, and in their Zeal and natural Love to their Country, themselves, and their Posterity, they have declared by Vote, "That they held it most necessary and fit, that the Matter of Supply should have Precedency, before any other Matter or Consideration whatsoever;" and therefore desired a Conference with you, to let you know their Reasons.
This taken into Consideration, and done by you, trusting in his Majesty's Promises, which they hold the greatest Obligation upon him, and the greatest security to yourselves; they will freely join with you, in all that concerns Matter of Religion, Propriety of Estate, and Privilege of Parliament. This Course being followed, their Lordships are of Opinion, we shall have a most happy and blessed Parliament.
2. Resolved, upon the Question, That the Words now read by the King's Sollicitor were a faithful and true Report of Part of that late Conference had with the Lords; and that the same Words be entered in the Journal.
3. Resolved, upon the Question, That their Lordships Voting, Propounding, and Declaring, touching Matters of Supply, in such Sort as is contained in this Report, as it is now entered, before it moved from this House, is a Breach of Privilege of this House.
"Upon all these Considerations, though my Lords would not meddle with Matter of Subsidies, which belongs properly and naturally to you, no, not to give you Advice therein, but have utterly declined it; yet, being Members of One Body, and Subjects of the same King, and all concerned in the common Safety, and in their Duty to his Majesty, and in their Zeal and natural Love to their Country, themselves and their Posterity, they have declared by Vote, that they held it most necessary and fit, that the Matter of Supply should have Precedence, before any other Matter or Consideration whatsoever; and therefore desired a Conference with you, to let you know their Reasons. This taken into Consideration, and done by you, trusting unto his Majesty's Promises, which they hold the greatest Obligation upon him, and the greatest Security to yourselves; they will freely join with you, in all that concerns Matter of Religion, Propriety of Estate, and Privilege of Parliament. This Course being followed, their Lordships are of Opinion, we shall have a most happy and blessed Parliament."
This select Committee, upon the Matter of this Day's Debate and Resolutions, is to prepare, in Writing, an Address unto the Lords, for righting our Privileges; and they are to meet this Afternoon at Two of Clock, in the Court of Wards.
Members being of Committee on what they oppose.
It was Declared, That those that speak against the Body, or Substance of any Bill, Committee, or other thing proposed in this House, ought not, by the Order of this House, to be of the Committee for that Business: Yet, at this time, though the King's Solicitor spake against the Body of this last Committee, and desired himself in that regard to be exempted from it, yet, for some Reasons then alleged, he was allowed to be of it.
Conference with Lords.
The Committee, that was appointed on Friday last, to prepare and give Directions, for the Managing of the Conference to be desired with the Lords, being sine die was ordered, in the same Manner, and with the same Power, to meet this Day at the former Time and Place; and this Report to be reassumed for the first Business To-morrow Morning.