Journal of the House of Commons: Volume 4, 1644-1646. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1802.
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Die Sabbati, Januarii 11, 1644.
ORdered, That it be referred to the Members of this House, that managed the Evidence against the late Archbishop of Canterbury, to take care and give order, That the Proceedings at the Trial of the said Archbishop, and all the Evidence given in, as it stood proved, may be printed and published; that the Truth of the Matters alledged and proved in the said Tryal may appear to the whole World: And likewise that the Pardon may be published: And the especial Care hereof is referred to Mr. Sam Browne.
Mr. Whitelock carried up to the Lords the Order concerning Billet and Free-Quarters; Mr. Estwick's Order: The Vote of the House concerning the Entertaining the Businesses of the Armies; the Treaty; the Church, and the Navy; in the first place: The Order for St. Mary's Tower in York to be the County-Gaol.
Mr. Whitelock brings Answer, That the Lords do agree to the Order for Eastwick; and the Gaol at York. As to the Order concerning the Regulating of Billet and FreeQuarter; and the Order concerning important Businesses to be treated on; they will send Answer by Messengers of their own.
The Lords desire a Conference, by Committees of both Houses, presently, in the Painted Chamber, if it stand with the Conveniency of this House, concerning the Ordinance for disabling the Members of either House to bear any Office, Military or Civil, during this War.
"The Lords have considered the Paper, delivered by the House of Commons, at a Conference the Ninth Day of this Month, in Answer to another Paper delivered by the Lords, at a like Conference Two Days before; wherein were contained the Reasons and Grounds of their Lordships dissenting from them in the Ordinance for exempting the Members of either House from any Office, Civil or Martial: And the Lords do find, that the House of Commons have, in their Paper, wholly mistaken the State of the Question: For the Lords do admit it for Truth what is said by them, "That, in a Bill or Ordinance, when either House makes Alteration or Amendment, the Bill or Ordinance itself is returned, together with such Alteration or Amendment; and that otherwise Mistakes cannot be avoided, nor the Way of transacting Bills and Ordinances in both Houses be certain and regular:" But their Lordships do not understand how this Rule hath been broken by them, or that it is at all applicable to the present Cause; for that they had not then any Thought of making Alterations or Amendments in that Ordinance; and cannot but wonder it should be so far mistaken, since they did (as they conceived) offer strong and satisfactory Reasons against the main Body of the Ordinance so penned; it being such, as no Amendment or Alteration could, in their Opinions, make it fit for them to pass, except such as should alter it to be quite another thing: So as it could not be expected their Lordships should, together with those Reasons, send down the Ordinance; because the Ordinance and those Reasons could not stand together. Therefore, whereas it is further expressed, by way of Complaint, That no particular Amendments or Alterations were delivered; That is very true; for their Lordships did not then intend it: But, by the way, it is observable, that the House of Commons do, by their own Saying, clear the Lords of the Breach of the Rule laid down by them in the Beginning; for, if the Lords delivered no Amendments or Alterations, they could not be liable to an Exception for not sending down the Ordinance: And for what is said besides, "That if the Reasons be admitted, yet no Ordinance would thereby pass," it is acknowledged: For, in Truth, those Reasons were, for that End, given, that the Ordinance, so penned, should not pass. But That which their Lordships are tenderly affected with is, That other Expression, "That the Papers sent down by them is a Breach of Privilege, and contrary to the constant Course of Parliament:" Their Lordships cannot here be silent, knowing how forward the House of Peers hath been (which all the World will witness with them) to afford a yielding Compliance to almost all the Desires of the House of Commons, and how careful not to break any of their Privileges, even to the Prejudice of some of their own: Therefore they desire the House of Commons will reciprocally express some Tenderness of Them; and not to entertain such an Opinion, especially in a Particular of this Nature, wherein their Lordships are strongly persuaded, that the House of Commons have formerly delivered a clean contrary Sense: For the Lords well remember, that, when they had rejected an Ordinance sent up by the House of Commons, concerning an Oath of Secrecy to be taken by the Committee of the Two Kingdoms, and had not imparted their Reasons for so doing before unto that House; the House of Commons desired a Conference upon it: And There it was delivered by a worthy Member, Mr. Rowse, That a direct Denial seemed to cut off further Consideration and Conference concerning the Matter proposed; especially where a Negative is returned before any Reasons proposed or heard, and which, being heard, might have altered the Opinion of either House; which (as was then said) the Commons had the more Reason to resent, because the Lords, having voted Reasons in their own House, would not vouchsafe to communicate them to the Commons. This was the Opinion then of the House of Commons, who found Fault because the Lords had thrown out That Ordinance, without communicating their Reasons before. The Lords have now avoided That, which the House of Commons perceived to be an Inconvenience; their Lordships being desirous to preserve the good Understanding, which ought to be between the Two Houses; and therefore would not cast out this Ordinance, so penned, before they had . . . . . the Grounds and Reasons of their so doing to the House of Commons; that so they might either satisfy them with their Reasons, or be satisfied by them with better, and both came to be of one Mind: Which they desired should be in This, and in all things else; and conceived This to be the ready Way to it, not suspecting it possible to be disliked by the House of Commons, especially having been so lately moved unto it by the House of Commons themselves. Yet this is now said to be a Breach of Privilege of Parliament, and contrary to the constant Course of Parliament: The Lords are very sorry to find their Actions to be so misconstrued; and do assure you, they had no such Intention, the Privileges of Parliament being sacred unto them: They are bound, by Protestation and Covenant, to maintain them; which they have done, with Hazard of their Lives, and Loss of their Fortunes: They wish, with all their Hearts, some Course were taken, by the Wisdom of both Houses, to search out, and to ascertain, these Privileges, that neither House might fail in Observation of their own, and of each other's Privileges, so to avoid all Inconveniency of this Nature between the Houses for the Time to come."
Resolved, &c. That a Message be sent to the Lords, on Monday next, to desire their Lordships Concurrence in the speedy Passing the Ordinance, That no Member of either House shall bear Office; in regard that Delay in this Business is not only dangerous, but destructive.
Ordered, That Captain Oneile, and all the Papers taken with him, be referred to the Examination and Consideration of the Committee for regulating my Lord General's Army, where Mr. Tate has the Chair: And Mr. Lisle is appointed to go forth presently, to receive the Papers.
Ordered, That, on Monday next, a Message be sent to the Lords, to desire their Concurrence in the speedy Passing of the Ordinance for the Continuance of the Ordinance for Martial Law; in respect of the Inconveniencies that happen by the Multiplicity of Treacheries and Conspiracies; as That of Dover, and others.