House of Commons Journal Volume 3: 4 May 1644

Pages 478-481

Journal of the House of Commons: Volume 3, 1643-1644. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1802.

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Die Sabbati, Maii 4, 1644.



ORDERED, That the Two Ordinances for additional Excise be both read on Tuesday Morning next, at Nine of Clock.

Gloucester Ordinance.

Sir Rob. Harley presented from the Committee Reasons for this House's adhering to the Ordinance for Gloucester, in the Point of Sequestrations, and the Clause of Five thousand Pounds, to be had out of concealed Delinquents Estates, to be discovered by the Committee: The which were read; and, by Vote, assented unto; and ordered to be presented unto the Lords at a Conference.

Mr. Serjeant Wilde, Mr. Pury, and Sir Rob. Harley, are appointed Managers of this Conference.

Oats for Gloucester.

Mr. Whitlock, Mr. Pury, Mr. Wheler, Mr. Fountaine, Mr. Greene, the Knights and Burgesses for the County of Bucks, are appointed to examine and consider of the State of the Quantity of Oats in the Custody of one Mr. Crosse; and to report it to the House: And that, if any Advantage shall come to the State by these Oats, that it shall be employed for the Relief of the Garison of Aylisbury: And are to meet this Afternoon, at Three of Clock, in the Exchequer Chamber: And have Power to send for Parties, Witnesses, Papers, Records.

Keepers of Newgate, &c.

Ordered, That it be referred to the Committee for the West, to examine and consider of the Misdemeanors committed by the Keepers of Newgate and the Poultry, London, in letting Prisoners, very notorious, to escape: And that what shall be raised from these Keepers, by way of Fine or otherwise, shall be employed for the Town of Lyme. That Committee has Power to call the Keepers before them: And what Compositions shall be concluded of between them, they are to report to the House.

Powder to Lyme.

Ordered, That so much of the Powder, taken in the Prize Vessel of Lyme, going for Topsome, as shall accrue to the State, shall be taken out, and sent to Lyme.

States Ambassadors.

Mr. Speaker acquainted the House, that the States Ambassadors came to him, and desired him to present their humble Service to the House of Parliament; and to assure them, that they have desired to do all Service they could while they stayed here; and are sorry their Desires have met with no Success; and that what Service they can do to the Parliament of England, when they shall come beyond Sea, they will do it: And desire to take their Leave, being upon their going to Oxon.

Mr. Speaker is appointed to give the States Ambassadors a Visit, &c. and a Return of their Respects to this House: And such Members of the House, as shall so think fit, have Liberty to accompany Mr. Speaker in this Visit.

Berkeley's Fine.

Resolved, &c. That upon the Payment of Seven thousand Pounds, by Sir Rob. Berkeley, within the Time promised, that he shall be discharged from the Fine set upon him; and from further Imprisonment; and from any further Proceedings upon the Articles already exhibited against him: And that the Committee of the West do bring in an Ordinance to this Purpose.

Associated Counties.

Mr. Crew reports from the Committee, the Reasons to be offered to the Lords at a Conference, in Answer to Reasons offered by the Lords at a late Conference, concerning the Ordinance made for maintaining, recruiting, and raising of Forces, in the Eight associated Counties: The which were read; and, by Vote upon the Question, assented unto; and ordered to be delivered unto the Lords at a free Conference.

Earl of Manchester's Ordinance.

Sir H. Mildmay is appointed to desire a free Conference with the Lords, at such Time as may stand with their Lordships Conveniency, upon the Matter of the late Conference, concerning the Earl of Manchester's Ordinance.

Mr. Crewe, Mr. Solicitor, Mr. Ellis, Sir H. Vane, jun. Sir Tho. Barrington, are appointed Managers and Reporters of this Conference.

Mr. Crewe further reported from the Committee, some Observations, made by that Committee upon the Lords late Reasons, delivered at a late Conference, concerning the Earl of Manchester's Ordinance, in Vindication of the Honour and Privilege of this House: The which were read; and, by Vote, passed; and resolved to be delivered as Heads of a Conference with the Lords.

Advance from Excise.

An Ordinance to secure the Five thousand Pounds, advanced by the Commissioners of Excise for Sir Wm. Waller's Brigade, was read, and assented unto; and sent unto the Lords for their Concurrence by Mr. Nicoll.

Mr. Nicoll brings Answer, That the Lords will send Answer by Messengers of their own.

Business deferred.

Ordered, That the Rules for Ordination of Ministers, presented from the Assembly of Divines, and the Propositions for a safe and well-grounded Peace, be taken into Consideration, on Monday Morning next, according to the former Orders respectively made concerning them.

Message to Lords.

Mr. Nicoll is appointed to go to the Lords, to desire them to expedite the Ordinance for the Advance of Five thousand Pounds for Sir Wm. Waller's Brigade, in regard of the Necessities of that Army: And is likewise to carry up the explanatory Order, of the Ordinance of Aprilis 22, to the Commissioners of Excise, concerning the Second Ten thousand Pounds for the Lord General's Army.

Advance from Excise.

Whereas, by a former Ordinance, of the Two-and-twentieth Day of April last, the Commissioners of the Excise are desired, by both Houses of Parliament, to advance Ten thousand Pounds for the Use of the Lord General's Army; which Monies they are to reimburse themselves out of the successive Receipts of the Excise: It is hereby declared, That the said Commissioners of Excise shall reimburse themselves the said Ten thousand Pounds, or so much thereof as they shall advance of their own Monies, out of the first Receipts of the Excise; any Ordinance of Parliament to the contrary notwithstanding.

The Lords Concurrence to be desired herein.

Earl of Manchester's Ordinance.

The Lords Reasons for adhering to their Addition to the Earl of Manchester's Ordinance.

The Lord General's Ordinance, passed the 15 Julii 1642; which was precedent to the Earl of Manchester's Ordinance: And both Houses are obliged to the Lord General by their Protestation, and his Ordinance, made in pursuance thereof: And if the Earl of Manchester's Ordinance, now desired, pass without the Addition desired by the House of Peers, it doth apparently abridge his Power; who hath done such eminent Service to the Kingdom: And the Earl of Manchester hath his Commission from the Lord General; and, to make him independent to the Lord General, is, as well against all Course of War, as against the Words of the Lord General's Ordinance, whereby he is made Captain General of all the Forces of the whole Kingdom. And the Lords conceive it is of no Consequence, by way of Argument or Reason, that this should pass in the same Words the other did, because that passed so; but, the Four Months being expired, both Houses are free to pass this, as they shall find Cause.

This is by way of Supposition: And the Lords cannot conceive, that the Lord General, who hath the supreme Command of all the Forces, and best understands what is most fit for every particular County, as well as for the whole Kingdom, should draw any of those Forces out unfittingly, or without Consultation; but do confidently rely on the Care and Prudence of his Lordship, that he will not draw them out, but for the general Good of the Kingdom, and when they may most fittingly be spared in the Association.

3. The Conditions are not altered in any Point, but in this, which both Houses, by their former Ordinance and Protestation, stand now obliged to, the Four Months being expressed; and the Expiration of former Conditions is alledged but by way of Likelihood or Supposition; which, the Lords conceive, will not be expected, the Variance being but as aforesaid: And, by the Ordinances of 16 Septembris, and 17 Novembris, 1643, Power was given for the raising of Men and Monies: And, by those Ordinances, and other Means, being all before the Ordinance of the Two-and-twentieth of January last, a very considerable Part of the Forces, now under the Earl of Manchester's Command, were raised, and the Lord General's Power not excluded by any of those Ordinances.

4. All Forces in other Associations are raised by the like Taxes; and the Conclusion of this Allegation is granted: But the Interest of the whole Kingdom is greater than the Interest of any particular County, or any Association: And the Lords, and all others, have no Cause to distrust the Wisdom and Prudence of the Lord General, in directing the Forces, as shall be just and fit, in case the Question supposed should happen.

This is but a Supposition, for which the Lords see no Grounds: And, being uncertain whether the Forces will ever be commanded out of the Association by the Lord General, it cannot, in their Lordships Understanding, make Distractions or Discontentment, as is supplied, there being no just Cause or Ground for any.

6. There hath been no Occasion for the Earl of Manchester to obey the Lord General, who never yet commanded him, since he had this Ordinance, for Four Months; nor is likely, if this Power desired by the Lords be not allowed of.

And that which is just, and to which both Houses are formerly obliged, cannot be unseasonable at any time.

Earl of Manchester's Ordinance.

For these Reasons the Lords do adhere to their former Resolutions.

The Observations of the House of Commons upon these Reasons.

The House of Commons find some Expressions, in the Reasons delivered by the Lords at a Conference the First of May, which deeply wound the Honour of that House, and infringe a fundamental Privilege of Parliament.

In the First Reason there are these Words: "Both Houses are obliged to the Lord General by their Protestation, and his Ordinance made in pursuance thereof:"

In the Second Reason these: "Who have the supreme Command of all the Forces, and best understands what is most fit for every particular County, as well as for the whole Kingdom."

In the Third Reason these: "The Conditions are not altered in any Point; but which both Houses, by their former Ordinance and Protestation, stand now obliged to, the Four Months being expired."

In the Conclusion of those Reasons, these: "And that which is just, and to which both Houses are formerly obliged, cannot be unseasonable at any time."

Whereas by the fundamental Laws of the Kingdom, and Privilege of Parliament, any Law, or Act of Parliament, may be altered, and made void by Parliament; and any Ordinance, made by both Houses, be altered and made void: By the Expressions in their Lordships Reasons, my Lord General's Ordinance, and our Protestation, are made so obligatory, as that it is not in the Power of Both Houses, nor just for them, to diminish any Power given to my Lord General by that Ordinance.

By Expressions in the Second, my Lord General, as to the managing the War, seems to be made superior to both Houses, in Power and Abilities.

In these Expressions the House of Commons is charged with Breach of their Protestation to my Lord General; for, if the passing this Ordinance be, as is desired by the Commons, would be Breach of their Protestation, as is alledged by their Lordships, the House of Commons, having passed the same Ordinance since the Protestation, have broken their Protestation; and likewise, by the Ordinances whereby the City Forces have been sent forth, wherein the Committee of Militia for the City of London have had Power to send them forth, and call them back, as they shall see Cause, although they were paid by Parliament: And, upon these Grounds, both Houses might be charged with Breach of the Oath of Allegiance, in tending Bills to take away any of his Majesty's Rights.

The House of Commons (who have been always willing to comply with their Lordships in any thing which hath concerned the Good of the Kingdom, and Privilege of both Houses, and careful to avoid whatsoever might not stand with the Honour and Justice of Parliament of England) finding these Expressions derogatory to their Honour and Integrity, and destructive to the essential Privilege of Parliament, do desire, That these Expressions may not continue upon Record.

1. The Precedency of the Lord General's Ordinance doth not at all disable the Houses to pass the Earl of Manchester's: They wonder that an Ordinance should be made in pursuance of a Protestation, which Protestation was made after the Ordinance: Passing the Earl of Manchester's Ordinance, as is desired by the Association, and the House of Commons, will maintain an Army of Fourteen thousand, which all are under my Lord General's Command; and therefore will enlarge, not abridge, his Power. The Earl of Manchester, whether he be within the Association, or out of it, by Consent, according to a Proviso in this Ordinance, is still under the Lord General, and not independent: The Question not being, whether the Associated Forces shall be commanded by his Excellency, in what Place soever they shall be; but whether they shall be drawn from the Association without Consent; and this stands well with the Lord General's Ordinance, whereby he is made Captain General of all the Forces of the whole Kingdom, to command them in such manner as both Houses shall appoint.

The Force of our First Reason was not in this, that the Ordinance hath formerly passed both Houses; but in the Grounds of passing it, the Desire of the Committee, and the little Hope they had, to raise and continue their Forces at their own Charge without such a Liberty: Both which Grounds remain.

2. It is not said, that the Lord General will draw them forth, when they may not fitly be spared; but that they may be drawn forth when the Association needs them, and the Power of detaining them will be taken out of their Hands by this Alteration, in whom it was formerly placed by both Houses.

3. The Committee did desire it without this Addition; therefore till we hear from them to the contrary, we have Reason to think they expect it now: But, to put this out of Question, they have lately sent a Messenger, for the Continuance of the former Ordinance. We admit that heretofore this Power was not desired; but we do say, that it was desired when the Ordinance passed for Four Months; and is now desired. And whereas their Lordships allege, the Four Months being expired, the Power in Question is determined; the Restriction of Four Months is only applied to the levying of Money, and the other Powers are not determined.

4. It is neither said nor implied, that we have any Cause to distrust the Lord General; Rules and Laws being compatible with the greatest Trusts, which are least successful, when they are unlimited.

5. It is not supposed, that Distractions and Discontentments should arise from an actual drawing Forces out of the Association, as is mentioned by their Lordships; but because the Power of detaining Forces, within the Association, will, by the Addition, be taken from those by whom it hath been desired, and to whom it hath been granted.

6. The Conclusion is answered in the Beginning, in respect the Power in Question continues by the Ordinance of both Houses, not being restrained to Four Months, as is expressed in the Answer to your Lordships Third Reason. We conceive their Lordships Reasons are satisfied, which are against the granting a new Power; whereas the House of Commons only desire the Continuance of a Power settled by the former Ordinance.

Gloucester Garison, &c.

Reasons to be given for the Continuance of the Clause for Sequestrations in the Ordinance for Gloucester.

1. The Forces now belonging to the Garison of Gloucestre, are Three Regiments of Foot, and One Regiment of Horse; which, completed, their Pay by the Month is Seven thousand Pounds; and the Counties, in case they are reduced to the Parliament, are not able, by Contributions, to pay so great a Sum: So that, if the Sequestrations and Ordinance may not pass, the whole Payment of Seven thousand Pounds per Month will rest upon the publick Charge of the Kingdom; and yet the Counties be subject to Plunder, without Account.

2. There ... at least Ten Garisons now kept in the County of Gloucester by the Enemy, which cannot be reduced without the said Forces; and, being reduced, cannot be maintained without the said Sequestrations.

3. All Sequestrations, by the original Ordinance, are therein especially mentioned to be granted for the easing of the good Subjects; and, if the Sequestrations be taken away, the Forces are to be maintained by Contributions of the good Subjects, contrary to that Ordinance, and, in Effect, impossible to be done.

4. The Sequestrations of the County of Gloucester were granted by Ordinance of Parliament, 10 Februarii 1642, unto Sir Wm. Waller, for Maintenance of the Forces, to be there raised, for the Defence there; which doth, by many Months, precede any Ordinance made for Monies to be paid for the Scotts Army out of Sequestrations.

5. Sequestrations of several Counties have, since the Ordinance made for Provision of the Scotts Army, been granted to Sir Wm. Brereton, Sir Thomas Middleton, and other Counties, associated for the Maintenance of the Forces there; and no County is so much necessitated for Maintenance of the Soldiers as Gloucester: And the Case there is ... whether We, or the Scotts, shall enjoy the Sequestrations; but whether the Enemy, or the Parliament Forces, shall be maintained by them; for they must be gotten by the Sword, with the Hazard of the Soldiers Lives, who must live by them.

6. To make Gloucester the first Precedent for the takeing away Sequestrations, will exceedingly discontent that Garison, which hath deserved so well; and, it may be, in all Likelihood produce very evil and mutinous Effects, if they shall once understand, that the States Delinquents are taken from them, which they have purchased with their Blood, and yet perceive no other Means of Subsistence provided for them.

Reasons for the Continuance of that Clause of Five thousand Pounds, to be had out of concealed Delinquents Estates, to be discovered by the Committee.

1. The Five thousand Pounds, if it may be had, is expressed in the Ordinance to be raised for the further Advancement of the said Service; so that it is to be employed to no other Uses, than are expressed in that Ordinance; and for which Purposes all other Monies are thereby to be raised: So that the former Reasons serve for the Continuance of this Clause.

2. The like Clause was never yet denied to others employed in the Service of the Parliament; and therefore conceive their Lordships will not make Gloucester their first Precedent therein.

3. That Five thousand Pounds will be lost to the State, if not discovered by this Committee: And therefore hope their Lordships will rather have so much designed for Gloucester, than to remain in the Hands of such as are Enemies to the Kingdom.