Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 10, 1648-1649. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.
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DIE Veneris, 23 die Junii.
L. Viscount Say & Seale.
Ds. La Warr.
Answer from the H.C.
That they agree to the Report for reducing [ (fn. 1) the revolted] Ships, and to the Pardon for Thurstyn: (Here enter it.) To all the rest, they will send an Answer by Messengers of their own.
Letter from Colonel Hammond.
E. of Roscommon, a Pass.
Countess of Worcester, Leave to come Home.
Dillingham's Moderate Intelligencer to be licensed.
Upon reading the Petition of John Dillingham; shewing, "That the Licencer hath this last Week refused to license the Petitioner's Book, called The moderate Intelligencer;" and hath licensed another Man's Book by the same Title:
Snellock sent for, for refusing to release Pacy.
L. Lawar, Leave to be absent.
Ordered, That the Lord La Warr hath Leave to (fn. 2) be absent for a Time.
Letter from Colonel Hammond, that he has sent up Major Rolfe, to confute Osborne's Report of his illtreating the King, and having a Design against His Life.
"Having lately received Knowledge of the unparalleled wicked Practices of Mr. Osborne, from the Right Honourable the Lord Wharton, by a Letter which his Lordship sent me, directed to him from the said Osborne, who hath been the chief Instrument in contriving and acting as far as in him lay the late Design of the King's intended Escape; wherein it appears that, failing in that his treacherous Purpose, and meeting now with new Counsellors, he proceeds, though in a more abominable Way, by shameful and unheard of Lies, as much as in him lieth, to abuse and inflame the disturbed Minds of the People in these distracted Times, and most unworthily to scandalize me and the rest of the Gentlemen now attending the King, in those Things wherein his own Heart is a Witness that they are (of all other) most contrary to Truth: And being since further informed, that, in Prosecution of this his audacious Villany, he hath written Public Letters to both Houses of Parliament, asserting such horrid Falsities that are hardly fit to be named but by such a Wretch, whose Principles, being Falseness and Treachery, knows no Limits in Wickedness. My Lords, My Sense of the Ill that in such Times as these may accrue to the Kingdom by such Abuses causeth me to send up this Bearer Major Rolfe (though through Weakness he be very unapt for Travel), whom he avouches for his Author, that, if your Lordships please, may be examined; who will sufficiently inform your Lordships of the great Untruths raised by that unworthy Person, whom I should let pass, as not worthy the taking Notice of, to Time to shame, as it hath those other unworthy Reporters, who have spread abroad the late false Report of my inhuman abusing the Person of the King, were not the Public more than myself concerned in it: But the Wisdom of your Lordships doth, and I doubt not will, more clearly discern the Design driven at in such Reports; and will take Care for a right Understanding of those who have been, or may yet be, deceived by such Abuses. For my own Particular, had I not been thus occasioned by my Duty to your Lordships and the Kingdom, I should have left the clearing of my Integrity (as formerly, so still) to the Righteous God, who, if with Patience Men can wait upon and trust in Him, will certainly confound and destroy that Structure whose Foundation is laid in Lies, with Shame and Sorrow to its wicked Builders. My Lords, I have not only, to support and bear me up against these Calumnies, the Testimony of a good Conscience; but, to clear me amongst Men, it pleaseth God so to order it, that, upon all Occasions given, and that before many Witnesses, the King is so just to vindicate me from all these Aspersions; and so I doubt not will all others, that have any Sense of Honour or Truth, who have been Witnesses to my Actions and Deportment since His Majesty's unexpected coming to this Place. My Lords, I conclude with this Profession to your Lordships, as in the Presence of God the Searcher of Hearts, That, as all the Good of this World could not have hired me to this Employment could I have avoided it, or would your Lordships have seen it fit otherwise better to have provided for it; so, seeing Providence hath cast me upon it, or rather it upon me, I have (and, by the Assistance of God, shall so continue) to the utmost of my Power and Knowledge demeaned myself with all dutiful Respect to His Majesty's Person, with an equal Eye to the Duty I owe your Lordships and the Kingdom in the great Trust your Lordships have been pleased to place upon me; and this with that Integrity and Evenness, that I stand ready to give an Account to God and all Men of my Actions herein. This Satisfaction to your Lordships I find upon all Occasions, by constant Testimony of your Favour to me, I need not now give your Lordships. Yet, being sensible a little of the Wickendness of this most ungrateful unworthy Person, makes me thus trouble your Lordships, though I need not, Reason itself will plead sufficiently against him, that, having attempted and failed in such a Design, being so principled as such a Man must be, that for his own Interest he should proceed thus to colour his Villany, as by his late Addresses to both Houses. My Lords, I shall not further trouble your Lordships; but, in most earnest Expectation, looking for a Deliverance from my intolerable Burden (which God and a good Conscience only supports a poor weak Man to undergo), either by a Removal of His Majesty's Person from hence, when to your Lordships Wisdoms it shall seem safe and fit, or by better providing for it by a Person or Persons more able to undergo it; either of which, that which may best suit your Lordships Affairs, is most heartily desired, and that with Speed, if God see it good; till when, in the Strength of that God who hath carried me on hitherto, and as He shall enable me (being sufficiently guarded against the worst that Malice can throw upon me), in all constant Integrity, I shall endeavour to express myself,
Carisbrooke Castle, June 21th, 1648.
"Since I ended this Letter, I have examined the Three Soldiers who were dealt with to have been assisting in the King's Escape; but they all affirm, and are ready to make good upon Oath, that neither Osborne, Dowcett, nor any other told them that the King's Life was in Danger; so that it seems clear, a Device of his own, to inflame the People.