Journal of the House of Commons: Volume 8, 1660-1667. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1802.
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Veneris 27 Febr. 15 Car. IIdi.
Preserving Woods, &c.
Watling Street Road.
Resolved, &c. That this Bill be committed to Sir John Duncombe, Sir Hum. Winch, Sir Robert Atkyns, Sir John Goodrick, Sir Wm. Hickman, Mr. Crouch, Sir Hen. North, Lord Ancram, Sir Wm. Lowther, Sir John Birkinhead, Lord Fenshaw, Sir Lanc. Lake, Sir Rich. Franklyn, Colonel Reames, Sir Clifford Clifton, Sir John Brampsion, Lord Richardson, Mr. George, Mr. Peirse, Sir John Rouse, Mr. Finch, Lord Gorge, Sir Phil. Musgrave, Sir Fra. Goodrick, Sir Cha. Harbord, Mr. Westfaling, Sir Rich. Onslow, Mr. Steward, Sir Tho. Allen, Mr. Hungerford, Sir Tho. Gower, Sir John Holland, Serjeant Charlton, Mr. Phillips, Sir Bain. Throckmorton: And all the Members of this House, that serve for the Counties of Buckingham, Northampton, Bedford, and Leicester, are added to the said Committee: And they are to meet in the Speaker's Chamber, at Two of the Clock this Afternoon: And have Power to send for Persons, Papers, and Records.
Serjeant Charlton reports from the Committee of Privileges, the Case between Sir Richard Onslow and Mr. Lucy; the Opinion of the Committee, That none of the Persons complained against had done any thing criminal.
He also reports the Opinion of the Committee, That the Turning out of Inwood, the Tenant in Possession, was a Breach of Privilege on Sir Richard Onslow: And that there ought to be such a Restitution granted to the Tenant, as Tenant to Sir Richard Onslow; and that he ought to attorn and pay his Rent to him.
Address on Declaration and Speech.
Sir Heneage Finch reports from the Committee appointed to collect and bring in the Reasons of this House for their Vote of Advice to the King's Majesty; and, in the Close of those Reasons, to add, That the House will assist his Majesty with their Lives and Fortunes; and to pen an Address to his Majesty for that Purpose; The several Reasons, and Address, agreed by the Committee, in Writing: Which he read in his Place; and did, after, bring up and deliver the same in at the Clerk's Table.
Resolved, &c. That this Clause be added in the Close of the First Paragraph; "nor could it be otherwise understood, because there were Laws of Uniformity then in being, which could not be dispensed with, but by Act of Parliament."
Resolved, &c. That the Reason, being in these Words, "It is a thing altogether without Precedent, and will take away all Means of convicting Recusants, and be inconsistent with the Method and Proceeding of the Laws of England," be inserted.
Resolved, &c. That these Words, in the Close of the last Paragraph; viz. "it being most notorious, that the very Prayers, which some pretend to make for the Supreme Authority, are still mingled with vile and sediticus Reflections;" be omitted.
WE, Your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal Subjects, the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses, of the House of Commons, in Parliament assembled, having, with all Fidelity and Obedience, considered of the several Matters comprised in Your Majesty's late gracious Declaration of the Twenty-sixth of December last; and Your most gracious Speech at the Beginning of this present Session; do, in the First place, for ourselves, and in the Names of all the Commons of England, render to Your Sacred Majesty the Tribute of our most hearty Thanks, for that infinite Grace and Goodness, wherewith Your Majesty hath been pleased to publish Your Royal Intentions of adhering to Your Act of Indemnity and Oblivion, by a constant and religious Observance of it: And our Hearts are further enlarged in these Returns of Thanksgivings, when we consider Your Majesty's most Princely and Heroick Professions, of relying upon the Affections of Your People, and abhorring all sorts of military and arbitrary Rule. But, above all, we can never enough remember to the Honour of Your Majesty's Piety, and our own unspeakable Comfort, those solemn and most endearing Invitations of us Your Majesty's Subjects, to prepare Laws, to be presented to Your Majesty, against the Growth and Increase of Popery; and, withal, to provide more Laws against Licentiousness and Impiety; at the same time declaring Your own Resolutions, for maintaining the Act of Uniformity. And it becomes us always to acknowledge and admire Your Majesty's Wisdom, in this Your Declaration; whereby Your Majesty is pleased to resolve, not only by Sumptuary Laws, but by Your own Royal Example of Frugality, to restrain that Excess in Men's Expences, which is grown so general, and so exorbitant; and to direct our Endeavours to find out fit and proper Laws for Advancement of Trade and Commerce.
After all this, we most humbly beseech Your Majesty to believe, That it is with extreme Unwillingness, and Reluctancy of Heart, that we are brought to differ from any thing, which Your Majesty hath thought fit to propose: And, though we do no way doubt, but that the unreasonable Distempers of Mens Spirits, and the many Mutinies and Conspiracies, which were carried on during the late Intervals of Parliament, did reasonably incline Your Majesty to endeavour, by Your Declaration, to give some Allay to those ill Humours, till the Parliament assembled; and the Hopes of an Indulgence, if the Parliament should consent to it; especially seeing the Pretenders to this Indulgence did seem to make some Title to it, by virtue of Your Majesty's Declaration from Breda; nevertheless, we Your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal Subjects, who are now returned to serve in Parliament from those several Parts and Places of Your Kingdom, for which we were chosen, do humbly offer it to Your Majesty's great Wisdom; That it is in no sort adviseable, that there be any Indulgence to such Persons who presume to dissent from the Act of Uniformity, and Religion established; for these Reasons:
We have considered the Nature of Your Majesty's Declaration from Breda; and are humbly of Opinion, That Your Majesty ought not to be pressed with it any further; because, it is not a Promise in itself, but only a gracious Declaration of Your Majesty's Intentions, to do what in You lay, and what a Parliament should advise Your Majesty to do: And no such Advice was ever given, or thought fit to be offered: Nor could it be otherwise understood; because there were Laws of Uniformity then in being, which could not be dispensed with, but by Act of Parliament.
They, who do pretend a Right to that supposed Promise, put their Right into the Hands of their Representatives, whom they chose to serve for them in this Parliament; Who have passed, and Your Majesty consented to the Act of Uniformity.
If any shall presume to say, That a Right to the Benefit of this Declaration doth still remain, after this Act passed; it tends to dissolve the very Bonds of Government; and to suppose a Disability in Your Majesty, and Your Houses of Parliament, to make a Law contrary to any Part of Your Majesty's Declaration, though both Houses should advise your Majesty to it.
It will no way become the Gravity or Wisdom of a Parliament, to pass a Law at one Session for Uniformity; and, at the next Session (the Reasons for Uniformity continuing still the same), to pass another Law, to frustrate or weaken the Execution of it.
It will be a Cause of increasing Sects and Sectaries: whose Numbers will weaken the true Protestant Profession so far, that it will, at least, become difficult for it to defend itself against them: And, which is yet further considerable, those Numbers which, by being troublesome to the Government, find they can arrive to an Indulgence, will, as their Numbers increase, be yet more troublesome, that so, at length, they may arrive to a general Toleration, which Your Majesty hath declared against; and, in time, some prevalent Sect will, at last, contend for an Establishment; which, for aught can be foreseen, may end in Popery.
Lastly, it is humbly conceived, that the Indulgence proposed will be so far from tending to the Peace of the Kingdom, that it is likely rather to occasion great Disturbance: And, on the contrary, that the Asserting of the Laws, and the Religion established, according to the Act of Uniformity, is the most probable Means to produce a settled Peace and Obedience through the Kingdom; because the Variety of Professions in Religion, when openly indulged, doth directly distinguish Men into Parties, and, withal gives them Opportunity to count their Numbers; which, considering the Animosities that, out of a religious Pride, will be kept on Foot by the several Factions, doth tend, directly and inevitably, to open Disturbance: Nor can Your Majesty have any Security, that the Doctrine or Worship of the several Factions, which are all governed by a several Rule, shall be consistent with the Peace of Your Kingdom.
And, if any Person shall presume to disturb the Peace of the Kingdom, we do, in all Humility, declare, That we will for ever, and upon all Occasions, be ready, with our uttermost Endeavours and Assistance, to adhere to, and serve, Your Majesty, according to our bounden Duty and Allegiance.
Time of receiving Address.
Ordered, That such Members of this House, as are of his Majesty's Privy Council, do move the King's Majesty, that he would give Leave to this House to wait on him, at such Time and Place as his Majesty shall think fit and appoint.