Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 11, 1660-1666. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.
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DIE Sabbati, 29 Decembris.
PRAYERS, by Dr. Hodges.
Domini præsentes fuerunt:
Answer from H. C.
The Messengers sent Yesterday to the House of Commons return with this Answer:
That they agree to the Proviso in the Bill for Review of the Poll Bill, as it was sent down; and that they had delivered the Bill for the Wines.
Message from thence, about the Bill for further Amendment of the Poll Bill.
A Message was brought from the House of Commons, by Sir John Holland Knight, &c.
To inform their Lordships, that they agree to all the Alterations offered Yesterday at the Conference, concerning the Reviewing of the Poll Bill.
Bill to prevent the Exportation of Wool, &c.
The Bill for inhibiting the Transportation of Wool and Wool Fells, was reported from the Committee, with Alterations and Amendments; which were read Twice, and Agreed to.
Hodie 3a vice lecta est Billa, "An Act to inhibit the transporting of Wool (fn. 1) and Wool Fells."
The Question being put, "Whether this Bill, with the Alterations and Additions now read, [ (fn. 2) shall pass]?"
It was Resolved in the Affirmative.
Message to H. C. with it.
A Message was sent to the House of Commons, by Doctor Chyld and Mr. Escott:
To deliver to them the Bill against exporting of Wool and Wool Fells, and desire their Concurrence in the Alterations.
Message from thence, about the Bill for Augmentation of Vicarages.
A Message was brought from the House of Commons, by Mr. Bunkley, &c.
To put their Lordships in Mind of passing the Bill brought from the House of Commons, (fn. 4) for the Augmentation of Vicarages.
Peers Privilege, Militia.
ORDERED, That the Order of this House, for exempting the Peers from finding Horse and Arms, be printed and published.
Answer from H. C.
The Messengers return with this Answer from the House of Commons:
That they agree to the Alterations in the Bill against exporting of Wool and Wool Fells, &c.
This Day being appointed by His Majesty for dissolving this present Parliament, His Majesty, sitting in His Throne, gave Command to the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, to go to the House of Commons; and let them know His Majesty's Pleasure, that they presently come and attend Him with their Speaker; who, after a little while, came up; and, after a Speech made to His Majesty by their Speaker;
(Here enter it.)
Speaker of H. C. Speech, on delivering the Money Bills.
(fn. 5) "Most Gracious and Dread Sovereign,
"The Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses, now assembled in Parliament, being the Representative Body of Your Commons of England, are as Conduit Pipes, or Quills, to convey the Streams of Your People's dutiful Affections and humble Desires into Your Royal Presence; and, that being done, they need no other Speaker but Yourself; for they know Your Skill, and they have had Experience of Your Will. And yet, Royal Sir, though they have no Cause to complain, they cannot but take Notice of Your Partiality; for, when any Thing in Point of Right, or but Conveniency, hath fallen out to be, as we use to say, a measuring Cast, a disputable Case between Yourself and Your People, without any Regard or Respect had unto Your own Right, or the Advantage that might accrue to Yourself by asserting the same, if the Good of Your People hath come in Competition with it, You have always cast it against Yourself, and given it in on Your People's Side.
"Royal Sir, Thus to undo Yourself, to do Your People Good, is not to do as You would be done unto. And what can we do less, than, by Way of a grateful Retribution, chearfully to pay Your Majesty the just Tribute of our dutiful Obedience unto all Your Royal Commands; and upon all Occasions readily to sacrifice se et sua, all that we have or enjoy, Lives and Fortunes, in the Service of such an incomparable Sovereign?
"But, Royal Sir, it becomes not me to fill Your Majesty's Ears with Air. Loquere ut te videam, is the only Rhetoric the People ought to use to such a King of Kindness, and a Prince so full of good Works; and therefore, as I am commanded, I must humbly assure Your Majesty, that the many healing Expedients propounded by Yourself, in Your several most Gracious Declarations, have been the Subject-matter upon which Your Commons have wrought all this Parliament: And in the First Place, they took into Consideration the great and growing Charges which then lay upon Your People, for the Pay of Your Army and Navy; and they conceived it necessary to begin with that Part thereof next at Hand, wherein Your People would receive the most Ease, and the greatest Security and Satisfaction; which was, the disbanding Your Majesty's Forces by Land, and the paying off Five and Twenty of Your Ships then in the Harbour, and of no Use: And this led them to the Consideration of such Ways and Means as were to be used to raise Monies for that Purpose. And that for Poll-money being propounded and passed, some were of Opinion, that that alone would have overdone the Work; others, having had Experience of a former Bill of the same Nature, and upon the like Occasion, fearing it might not answer Expectation, and being unwilling to be deceived the Second Time, especially in such a Business as this, wherein a Mistake was like to prove so penal, moved for a further Supply, which, after some Debate, was agreed upon, of a Two Months Assessment, at Seventy Thousand Pounds a Month; and both have not yet fully done the Work for which they were designed. But, with the Help of Two other Bills here in my Hand, the one intituled, "An Act for the levying of the Arrears of the Twelve Months Assessment commencing the Four and Twentieth of June One Thousand Six Hundred Fifty and Nine, and the Six Months Assessment commencing the Five and Twentieth of December One Thousand Six Hundred and Fifty (fn. 6) Nine," and the other intituled, An Act for the further supplying and explaining certain Defects in an Act for the speedy Provision of Money, for disbanding and paying off the Forces of this Kingdom both by Land and Sea," they hope, this Accompt will be fully cleared off at last.
"Sir, Your Commons have likewise taken into their Considerations the Charge of Your Summer Fleet, which, besides that Part thereof Your Majesty is pleased to take upon Yourself for Your ordinary Guard of the Seas, will amount unto a very great Sum. And as it is a great Debt, so it is a growing Debt; in a few Months it doubles. There is a saying, Qui cito dat, bis dat. I am sure, 'tis most true in this Case, Qui cito solvit, bis solvit. To pay this Debt readily, is the Way to pay it but Once; and to take Time to pay it, is the sure Way to pay it Twice. And therefore Your Commons, laying aside the sad Thoughts of their long Sufferings, and those miserable Devastations and Pressures they have lain under for many Years last past, and looking upon the Necessity of Affairs, which call importunately, and must be answered effectually, have passed another Bill, here in my Hand, intituled, "An Act for Six Months Assessment, at Seventy Thousand Pounds per Mensem, to begin the First of January, and to be paid in, the one Moiety thereof before the First of February, and the other Moiety, being the remaining Part, by the First of April next ensuing; which is to be applied wholly to the paying off the Arrears of Your Majesty's Navy and Army.
"I have Three other Bills in my Hand, which have Relation to Your Majesty's Revenue, and are Branches thereof; the one, intituled, "An Act for the better ordering the selling of Wines by Retail, and for preventing Abuses in the mingling, corrupting, and vitiating of Wines, and for settling and limiting the Prices of the same:" And this Bill is tendered unto Your Majesty, for preventing all future Disputes touching the Legality thereof; for we know it is Your Majesty's Desire, that nothing might be done, by any of Your Officers or Ministers that act under you, sine Figura Justitiæ, et Warranto Legis. Another is intituled, "An Act for erecting and establishing a Post-office; and this, being likewise legally settled, will be of very great Use to all Your Majesty's People, and especially Your Merchants, for holding Intelligence with their Correspondents, Factors, and Agents, in Foreign Parts. Literæ sunt Indices Animi; and without the safe and speedy Dispatch and Conveyance of their Letters, they will never be able to time their Business, nor carry on their Trades to an equal Advantage with the Merchants of other Countries. The other Bill provides for the increasing Your Majesty's ordinary and constant Revenue, by the Grant of an Impost, to be taken upon Ale, Beer, and other Beverages therein particularly mentioned and expressed, to hold to Your Majesty for Life, which God long continue. And as it is the Desire of Your Commons that Your Majesty might never be necessitated to resort to any extraordinary or unparliamentary Ways and Means for the raising of Money upon Your People; so they likewise acknowledge it to be their Duties, to support and uphold, to the utmost of their Powers, the Honour and Grandeur of Your Majesty's Royal State and Dignity.
"And for a further Evidence of Your Commons dutiful Assections to Your Majesty's most dear and Royal Person, they have passed another Bill, for the raising of Seventy Thousand Pounds for Your Majesty's further Supply; all which Bills I am commanded humbly to present Your Majesty withal, and to pray Your Gracious Acceptance thereof, and Your Royal Assent thereunto.
"There are other Bills, likewise of Public Concernment, which have passed both Houses, and do now attend upon Your Majesty, waiting for Your Royal Assent. The one is intituled, "An Act for the Attainder of several Persons, guilty of the horrid Murder of His late Sacred Majesty, Your Royal Father, of Ever-blessed Memory." There is another Bill, intituled, "An Act for Confirmation of Leases and Grants from Colleges and Hospitals:" This will tend much to the quieting of many Mens Estates, that in the late unhappy Times were enforced to renew and change their Estates much for the worse, were it not for the Favour Your Majesty intends them in this Bill.
"There is another Bill, to prohibit the Exportation of Wool, Wool Fells, Fullers Earth, or any other Scouring Earths: Woollen Manufactures, besides the Duties they pay Your Majesty for Your Customs here at Home, have great Impositions laid upon them in Foreign Parts where they are vented; in The Low Countries, Sixteen or Seventeen per Cent. and in Portugall Twenty per Cent. at the least. But those, who for their own private base filthy Lucre sake, having no Regard or Respect unto the Public Good, that steal over the Materials of which those Manufactures are made, pay not One Penny here or there; and by that Means Strangers do make those Manufactures of our Wool upon such easy Terms, that they can afford and do undersell Your Merchants; which is the Occasion of a Double Loss, First to Your Majesty in Your Customs, and in the next Place to Your People, who are thereby disheartened and discouraged, and in a short Time, if not prevented, will be utterly beaten out of that ancient native Staple Trade, upon which many Thousands of Families do wholly depend for all their Livelihood and Subsistence.
"There is another Bill, intituled, "An Act for prohibiting the planting, setting, or sowing of Tobacco, in England and Ireland." This Climate is so cold, that it never comes to any Maturity or Perfection; for we find by Experience, though it be never so well healed, made up with the greatest Art and Skill that (fn. 7) possibly can be, yet it is impossible, after it is made up into the Roll, to keep it, and preserve it from putrifying, above Three or Four Months at the most; and therefore Physicians, even those that love it best and use it most, conclude generally, that it is unwholesome for Mens Bodies. Besides, many other great Damages and Inconveniencies will follow upon it, if it should be permitted: The Abatement of Your Majesty's Custom; the Destruction of Your Plantations Abroad; the discouraging of Navigation; and so consequently the Decay of Shipping, which are the Walls and Bulwarks of Your Majesty's Kingdom.
"There is another Bill, intituled, "An Act for the taking away the Court of Wards and Liveries, together with Tenures in Capite, Knights Service Tenures, and Purveyances." This Bill, ex re nata, may properly be called a Bill of Exchange; for, as Care is therein taken for the Ease of Your People, so the Supply of that Part of Your Majesty's Revenue which formerly came into Your Treasury, by Your Tenures, and for Your Purveyances, is thereby likewise fully provided for, by the Grant of another Imposition, to be taken upon Ale, Beer, and other Liquors, to hold to Your Majesty, Your Heirs and Successors for ever: And that they should not look upon the Considerations mentioned in this Bill as a full Compensation and Recompence for Your Majesty's parting with Two such Royal Prerogatives and ancient Flowers of Your Crown, if more were not implied than is expressed. For, Royal Sir, Your Tenures in Capite are not only turned into a Tenure in Soccage (though that alone will for ever give Your Majesty a just Right and Title to the Labour of our Ploughs, and the Sweat of our Brows), but they are likewise turned into a Tenure in Corde. What Your Majesty had before in Your Court of Wards, You will be sure to find it hereafter in the Exchequer of Your People's Hearts. The King of Spaine's Mines will sooner deceive Him, than this Revenue will fail You: For His Mines have Bottoms; but the deeper Your Majesty sinks Yourself into the Hearts and Affections of Your People, the greater You find Your Wealth to be, and the more invincible Your Strength.
"Royal Sir, We have nothing more to offer, or to ask: But must conclude all our Work this Parliament with an humble and thankful Acknowledgement of God's infinite Goodness and Mercy, in restoring Your Majesty to Your Royal and Imperial Crown, Throne, and Dignity; and for making You the Restorer of, that which is dearer unto us than our Lives, our Religion; in which, through God's Blessing and gracious Assistance, we are resolved to live and die; as likewise for restoring us to our Magna Charta Liberties, having taken the Charge and Care of them into Your own Heart, which is our greatest Security, and more than a Thousand Confirmations.
"Royal Sir, You have denied us nothing we have asked this Parliament. Indeed You have outdone Your Parliament, by doing much more for us than we could agree amongst ourselves to ask; and therefore must needs be a happy Parliament: This is a healing Parliament; a reconciling, Peace-making Parliament; a blessed Parliament; a Parliament, propter Excellentiam, that may truly becalled Parliamentissimum Parliamentum. No Man can say, that hath made the most curious Search into Books or Records, that there ever was such a Parliament as this: And it's our unspeakable Joy and Comfort, that no Man can say, so long as Your Majesty lives, but we may have such another; for You have set Your Royal Heart upon it, to do Your People Good.
"And as we have nothing more to say, so we have nothing more to do, but, that which will be a doing as long as we have a Being, the pouring out ourselves unto Almighty God, for Your Majesty's long, long, long, and most happy, blessed, glorious, and prosperous Reign over us."
They by him presented to His Majesty these Bills following; (videlicet,)
"1. An Act for the levying of the Arrears of the Twelve Months Assessment commencing the 24th of June 1659, and the Six Months commencing the 25th of December 1659."
"2. An Act for the further supplying and explaining certain Defects in an Act for the speedy Provision of Money, for disbanding and paying off the Forces of this Kingdom, both by Land and Sea."
"3. An Act for granting unto the King's Majesty Four Hundred Twenty Thousand Pounds, by Assessment of Seventy Thousand Pounds by the Month, for Six Months, for disbanding of the Army, and paying off the Navy."
"4. An Act for erecting and establishing a Post-office."
"5. An Act for the better ordering the selling of Wines by Retail; and for preventing Abuses in the mingling, corrupting, and vitiating of Wines; and for settling and limiting the Prices of the same."
"6. An Act for raising of Seventy Thousand Pounds, for a further Supply of His Majesty."
These Bills, being received from the Speaker by the Clerk of the Parliaments, were brought to his Table; and had the Royal Assent given them, with other Bills, as followeth. The several Titles were read by the Clerk of the Crown:
"1. An Act for the Attainder of several Persons guilty of the horrid Murder of His late Sacred Majesty King Charles the First."
"2. An Act for prohibiting the planting, setting, or sowing, of Tobacco, in England and Ireland."
"3. An Act for Confirmation of Marriages."
"4. An Act for Confirmation of Leases and Grants from Colleges and Hospitals."
"5. An Act for prohibiting the Exportation of Wool, Wool Fells, Fullers Earth, or any Kind of Scouring Earth."
To these Five Bills the Royal Assent was pronounced, by the Clerk of the Parliament, in these Words,
"Le Roy le veult."
"6. An Act for the levying of the Arrears of the Twelve Months Assessment commencing the 24th of June 1659, and the Six Months Assessment commencing the 25th of December 1659."
"7. An Act for the further supplying and explaining certain Defects in an Act for the speedy Provision of Money, for disbanding and paying off the Forces of this Kingdom, both by Land and Sea."
"8. An Act for granting unto the King's Majesty Four Hundred Twenty Thousand Pounds, by Assessment of Seventy Thousand Pounds by the Month, for Six Months, for disbanding the Remainder of the Army, and paying off the Navy."
"9. An Act for erecting and establishing a Post office."
"10. An Act for the better ordering the selling of Wines by Retail; and for preventing Abuses in the mingling, corrupting, and vitiating of Wines; and for settling and limiting the Prices of the same."
"11. An Act for raising of Seventy Thousand Pounds, for a further Supply of His Majesty."
To these Six Bills the Clerk of the Parliaments pronounced the Royal Assent, in these Words,
"Le Roy, remerciant Ses bons Subjects, accepte leur Benevolence, et ainsi le veult."
Then these Private Bills were passed:
"12. An Act for Restitution of Thomas Earl of Arrundell, Surrey, and Norfolke, to the Dignity and Title of Duke of Norfolke."
"13. An Act for the restoring of Henry Lord Arrundell of Warder to the Possession of his Estate."
"14. An Act to restore to Wentworth Earl of Roscomon, of the Kingdom of Ireland, all the Honours, Castles, Lordships, Lands, Tenements, and Hereditaments, in Ireland, whereof James Earl of Roscomon his Great Grandfather, or James Earl of Roscomon his Father, were in Possession on the 23th of October, 1641."
"15. An Act for restoring Sir George Hamilton unto his Lands and Estate in Ireland."
"16. An Act for Maintenance of the Vicar for the Time being of the Vicarage of Royston, in the Counties of Hertford and Cambridge, and of his Successors Vicars of the said Vicarage."
"17. An Act for enabling Sir William Wray to sell Lands, for Payment of his Debts, and raising of Portions for his Younger Children."
"18. An Act for naturalizing of Gerard Vantenhussens, Daniell Demetrius, and others."
"19. An Act for enabling of John Newton the Younger, and William Oakeley, to make Sale of Lands, for Payment of Debts, and raising of Portions, &c."
"20. An Act, empowering the Master of The Rolls for the Time being to make Leases for Years, in order to new build the Old Houses belonging to The Rolls."
"21. An Act for the levying of certain Monies, for the Protestants of Piedmont."
"22. An Act for the Naturalization of John Boreel, Esquire, Eldest Son of Sir William Boreel Knight and Baronet."
"23. An Act for the Naturalization of Abraham Wachter, born beyond the Sea."
"24. An Act for restoring of Sir Thomas Grymes Baronet to his Estate."
"25. An Act for enabling George Faunt, of Foston, in the County of Leicester, Esquire, to sell and convey Part of his Lands, for Payment of several Debts and Legacies, charged upon his Estate by Sir William Faunt Knight, deceased; and for the raising of Portions for his younger Children, and for the making his Wife a Jointure."
"26. An Act for naturalizing of Francis Hyde, &c."
"27. An Act to enable Joseph Mickletwayte, an Insant, and his Trustees, to sell Land, for Payment of his Father's Debts."
"28. An Act for raising Portions, and making Provision for Maintenance, for the younger Children of Sir Edward Gostwicke."
"29. An Act for confirming the Sale of the Manor of Hitcham, sold to Charles Doe by Sir John Clarke Knight and Baronet; and for settling and disposing other Lands of the said Sir John Clarke and Dame Philadelphia his Wife."
"30. An Act for the settling of some of the Manors and Lands of the Earl of Cleaveland in Trustees, to be sold, for the satisfying of the Debts of the said Earl, and of Thomas Lord Wentworth his Son."
"31. An Act for the disappropriating of the Rectory Appropriate of Preston, and uniting and consolidating of the said Rectory, and of the Vicarage of the Church of Preston, and for assuring of the Advowson and Right of Patronage of the same unto the Master, Fellows, and Scholars, of Emanuell Colledge, in Cambridge, and their Successors."
"32. An Act for making the Precinct of Covent Garden Parochial."
To these Bills the Royal Assent was pronounced by the Clerk of the Parliament, in these Words, "Soit fait come il est desiré."
These Bills being thus passed, the King was pleased to make this following Speech; (videlicet,)
The King's Speech.
"My Lords and Gentlemen,
"I will not entertain you with a long Discourse; the Sum of all I have to say to you being but to give you Thanks. And I assure you I find it a very difficult Work to satisfy Myself in My own Expressions of those Thanks. Perfunctory Thanks, ordinary Thanks for ordinary Civilities, are easily given. But when the Heart is as full as Mine is, it is a Labour to thank you. You have taken great Pains to oblige Me; and therefore it cannot be easy for Me to express the Sense I have of it.
"I will enlarge no further upon this Occasion than to tell you, That when God brought Me hither, I brought with Me an extraordinary Affection and Esteem for Parliaments. I need not tell you how much it is improved by your Carriage towards Me. You have outdone all the good and obliging Acts of your Predecessors towards the Crown; and therefore you cannot but believe My Heart is exceedingly enlarged with the Acknowledgement.
"Many former Parliaments have had particular Denominations from what they have done. They have been stiled Learned, and Unlearned; and sometimes have had worse Epithets, I pray, let us all resolve that this be for ever called, "The Healing and the Blessed Parliament."
"As I thank you, though not enough, for what you have done; so I have not the least Doubt, by the Blessing of God, but, when I shall call the next Parliament, which I shall do as soon as reasonably you can expect or desire, I shall receive your Thanks for what I have done since I parted with you: For, I deal truly with you, I shall not more propose any One Rule to Myself in My Actions and My Councils, than this, "What is a Parliament like to think of this Action, or this Council?" And it shall be Want of Understanding in Me, if it will not bear that Test.
"I shall conclude with this, which I cannot say too often, nor you too often where you go, That, next to the Miraculous Blessing of God Almighty, and indeed as an immediate Effect of that Blessing, I do impute the good Disposition and Security we are all in, to the happy Act of Indemnity and Oblivion. That is the principal Corner-stone which supports this excellent Building, that creates Kindness in us to each other; and Confidence is our joint and common Security. You may be sure, I will not only observe it religiously, and inviolably Myself, but also exact the Observation of it from others. And if any Person should ever have the Boldness to attempt to persuade Me to the contrary, he will find such an Acceptation from Me, as he would have, who should persuade Me to burn Magna Charta, cancel all the old Laws, and to erect a new Government after My own Invention and Appetite.
"There are many other Particulars, which I will not trust My own Memory with; but will require the Chancellor to say the rest to you."
After His Majesty had done, the Lord Chancellor came from his Place, and kneeled down close by His Majesty's Chair; and received His Majesty's Directions what to say further.
And being returned to his Place, he said as followeth:
Ld. Chancellor's Speech.
"My Lords; and you, the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses, of the House of Commons;
"There cannot be a greater Manifestation of an excellent Temper and Harmony of Affections throughout the Nation, than that the King and His Two Houses of Parliament meet with the same Affections and Chearfulness, the same Alacrity in their Countenance, at the Dissolution, as when they met at the Convention of Parliament. It is an unquestionable Evidence, that they are exceedingly satisfied in what they have done towards each other; that they have very well done all the Business they came about. This is now your Case: You have so well satisfied your own Consciences, that you are sure you have satisfied the King's Expectation, and His Hope, and the Desires and Wishes of the Country.
"It was very justly observed by you, Mr. Speaker, "That you have never asked any One Thing of the King, which He hath not with all imaginable Chearfulness granted." And in Truth His Majesty doth with great Comfort acknowledge, that you have been so far from denying Him any Thing He hath asked, that He hath scarce wished any Thing that you have not granted. And it is no Wonder that, having so fully complied with your Obligations, and having so well composed the Minds of the Nation, you are willing to be relieved from this extraordinary Fatigue you have submitted so long to, and to return to the Consideration of your own particular Affairs, which you have so long sacrificed to the Public. And this reasonable Wish and Desire hath brought the King to comply with you; and, which nothing else could do, to part with you with an equal Chearfulness. And He makes no Doubt, but all succeeding Parliaments will pay you their Thanks for all you have done; and look upon your Actions, and your Example, with all possible Approbation and Reverence.
"The King and you have given such Earnest to each other of your mutual Affection, you have been so exact and punctual in your Proceedings towards each other, that you have made no Promise, no Profession to each other, of the making good and performing of which the World is not Witness. You declared, at the Adjournment in September last, your Resolution to settle a noble Revenue on the Crown: You have done it with all the Circumstances of Affection and Prudence. The King promised you to establish a Council for Trade, a Council for the Foreign Plantations, a Commission for composing all Difference upon Sales: All this He did before your coming together, and with very good Effect; and you shall hear that the Proceedings in every One of them are more vigorous and effectual after your Dissolution. His Majesty then promised you, that He would give up all His Endeavours to compose the unhappy Differences in Matters of Religion, and to restore the languishing Church to Peace, Unity, and Order. Constantine Himself hardly spent so much of His own Time in Private and Public Conferences to that Purpose. His Majesty in Private conferred with the learned Men, and heard all that could be said upon several Opinions and Interests apart; and then in the Presence of both Parties, Himself moderating in the Debates (and less Care and Diligence and Authority would not have done the Work). And God hath so blessed His Labour and made His Determinations in that Affair so generally agreeable, that He hath received Thanks from His Houses of Parliament, that is, from the whole Kingdom. If, after all this, His Majesty doth not reap the full Harvest He expected from those Condescensions; if some Men, by their Writing, and by their Preachings, endeavour to continue those Breaches, and very rashly, and I think unconscientiously, keep up the Distinctions, and publicly justify and maintain what hath heretofore been done amiss, and for which the Act of Indemnity was the best Defence; I shall say no more, than that I hope their Want of Modesty and Obedience will cause them to be disclaimed by all pious and peaceable Men, who cannot but be well contented to see them reduced by Law to the Obedience they owe to Law. And His Majesty is confident, that this His beloved City, towards which His Heart is so gracious, and so full of Princely Designs to improve their Honour, their Wealth, and their Beauty, will discountenance all those seditious Designs, and, by returning and fixing themselves upon their good old Foundations, make themselves the great Example of Piety, of Loyalty, and of hearty Affection, to the whole Kingdom.
"This Discourse puts me in Mind to say to you, that though the King wonders much more at the many great Things you have done, than that you left any Thing undone; yet He could have wished, and would have been glad, that your other weighty Affairs had given you Time to have published your Opinion and Advice in the Business of the Militia; that the People, after so many Disputes upon that Argument, might have discerned that the King and His Two Houses of Parliament are as much of the same Mind in that as in all other Things, as no Doubt they are. But, since that could not be done, you may all assure yourselves, that the King will proceed therein with all imaginable Care and Circumspection, for the Ease, and Quiet, and Security of His People. And as He did before the last Recess, by the unanimous Advice of His Privy Council, issue out His Commissions of Lieutenancy, for the settling the Militia in the several Counties, to prevent any Disorders which many apprehended might arise upon the disbanding the Army; so He will now again recommend it to themselves, in such a Posture as may disappoint any seditious Designs which (fn. 8) are now on-foot; and there cannot be too much Circumspection and Vigilance, to frustrate those Designs.
"You have heard of many suspected and dangerous Persons which have (fn. 10) been lately clapped up; and it was high Time to look about. His Majesty hath spent many Hours Himself in the Examination of this Business; and some of the principal Officers, who, before they came to His Majesty's Presence, could not be brought to acknowledge any Thing, after the King Himself had spoken to them, confessed, that their Spirits were insensibly prevailed upon and subdued, and that it was not in their Power to conceal their Guilt from Him. They have confessed, that there is a Party of the late disbanded Officers and Soldiers, and others, full of Discontent and seditious Purposes, and a Resolution to attempt the Change of the present Government, and to erect the Republic. They acknowledge, that they did purpose to have made their Attempt for the Rescue of those Wretches, who were so justly condemned at Newgate, and so worthily executed, and that Ludlow should then have appeared in the Head of them; that they made themselves sure, at the same Time, by Parties and Confederacy, to have surprized The Tower of London, and the Castle of Windsor; but that they found, or at least apprehended, that their Design was discovered, which so broke their Spirits, that they concluded they must acquiesce for the present, and stay till the Army should be disbanded; which, they said, was generally debauched, that is, returned to an honest and fast Obedience to the King; and that it was evident they were betrayed by those who were most entirely trusted by them. And they were in the Right: The King had Notice of all their Design, what Progress it made, and the Night they intended to surprize The Tower and Windsor; and gave Notice to the several Governors; and so, without any Noise, that Mischief was by God's Goodness prevented. They acknowledge that they have since recovered their Courage and Resolution, and were about this Time to make their full Attempt. They have been promised some considerable Rising in the West, under Ludlow; and in the North, under others. But this Place was the Scene of greatest Hope. They made sure of a Body here, I think they say of Two Thousand Five Hundred Men, with which they resolved in the First Place to secure (you know what that Security is) the Person of the General, the Duke of Albemarle, with whom they have so much Reason to be angry, and at the same Time to possess themselves of Whitehall. You know the Method used in such Possessing: Kill, and take Possession. And this insupportable Calamity God hath again diverted from us; though I must tell you, the poor Men, who seem to speak honestly and upon the Impulsion of Conscience, are very far from being confident that there will not be some desperate Insurrections and Attempts in several Parts of the Kingdom within a short Time, which all possible Care will be taken to prevent. And in Truth this very good City so well requites the King's abundant Grace and Kindness to it, that not only by the unwearied Pains and Diligence of the worthy Lord Mayor, but by the general Temper and Constitution of the whole City, the discontented and seditious Party (which can never be totally extirpated out of such a Metropolis) is like to receive little Encouragement to pursue their desperate Councils.
"The King doth not believe that all those Persons who at present are apprehended, and in Custody, will be found guilty of this Treason. It is a vulgar and known Artifice, to corrupt inferior Persons, by persuading them that better Men are engaged in the same Enterprize; and the King will make as much Haste as He can to set those at Liberty against whom the Evidence or Suspicion is not too reasonable. In the mean Time they who in Truth (fn. 11) are innocent must confess that the Proceeding towards them hath been very natural, and full of Clemency; and no Man will wonder, if His Majesty be very desirous that in this Conjuncture, and in order to prevent or suppress these too visible Distempers and Machinations, His Majesty in all Places be in good Order and Preparation. And you (fn. 9) may assure yourselves, that, in the Forming and Conduct of it, He will have so great a Care of the Ease and Quiet of His People, that if any Person trusted by Him shall, through Want of Skill or Want of Temper, satisfy his own Passion or Appetite, in grieving or vexing his Neighbours, His Majesty will be so sensible of it, that, if it can be cured no other Way, his Trust shall be quickly determined. And He is not at all reserved in giving those Animadversions and Reprehensions when there is Occasion, and His Ears will be always open to receive those Complaints.
"My Lords and Gentlemen,
"You are now returning to your Countries, to receive the Thanks and Acknowledgements of your Friends and Neighbours for the great Things you have done, and to make the Burdens you have laid upon them easy, by convincing them of the inevitable Necessity of their submitting to them. You will make them see that you have proceeded very far towards the Separation, and even Divorce, of that Necessity from them, to which they have been so long married; that they are now restored to that blessed Temper of Government, under which their Ancestors enjoyed so many Hundred Years that full Measure of Felicity, and the Misery of being deprived of which they have so sensibly felt; that they are now free from those Midnight Alarms, with which they have been terrified; and rise out of their Beds at their own healthy Hours, without being saluted with the Death of a Husband, a Son, and Friend, miserably killed the Night or the Day before, and with such Circumstances killed, as improved the Misery beyond the Loss itself: This Enfranchisement is worth all they pay for it. Your Lordships will easily recover that Estimation and Reverence that is due to your high Condition, by the Exercise and Practice of that Virtue from whence your Honours first sprang; the Example of your Justice and Piety will inflame the Hearts of the People towards you; and from your Practice they will make a Judgement of the King Himself. They know very well, that you are not only admitted to His Presence, but to His Conversation, and even in a Degree to His Friendship; for you are His Great Council. By your Example they will form their own Manners, and by yours they will make a Guess at the King's. Therefore, under that Obligation, you will cause your Piety, your Justice, your Assability, and your Charity, to shine as bright as is possible before them. They are too much in Love with England, too partial to it, who believe it the best Country in the World; there is better Earth, and a better Air, and a better, that is, a warmer, Sun in other Countries: But we are no more than just, when we say that England is an Inclosure of the best People in the World, when they are well informed and instructed; a People in Sobriety of Conscience the most devoted to God Almighty; in the Integrity of their Affections, the most dutiful to the King; in their Good-manners and Inclinations, most regardful and loving to the Nobility; no Nobility in Europe so entirely loved by the People; there may be more Awe, and Fear, and Terror of them, but no such Love towards them as in England. I beseech your Lordships, do not undervalue this Love. They have looked upon your Lordships, and they will look upon your Lordships again, as the greatest Examples and Patterns of Duty to the King, as the greatest Security and Protection from Injury and Injustice, and for their enjoying whatsoever is due to them by the Law, and as the most proper Mediators and Interposers to the King, if, by any Failure of Justice, they should be exposed to any Oppression and Violence. And this Exercise of your Justice and Kindness towards them will make them the more abhor and abominate that Parity upon which a Commonwealth must be founded, because it would extirpate, or suppress, or deprive them of their beloved Nobility, which are such a Support and Security to their full Happiness.
"And you, Gentlem of the House of Commons, you (fn. 11) are now returning to your Country, laden with a Trust not inferior, or (fn. 11) less weighty, than that you brought from thence. You came up their Deputies to the King; and He returns you now His Deputies to them, His Plenipotentiaries, to inform and assure them, that He thinks Himself the happiest and the greatest Prince of the World; not from the Situation of His Dominions and the Power of His great Navy, with which He can visit His Neighbours and keep them from visiting Him, or from the noble Revenue you have settled upon Him, which He will improve with all good Husbandry; but from being possessed of the Affections and Hearts of such Subjects; that He doth so entirely love them, and depend upon them, that all His Actions and all His Councils shall tend to no other End, but to make them happy and prosperous; that He thinks His Honour and His Interest principally to consist in providing for, and advancing, the Honour and Interest of the Nation. That you may have the more Credit in what you say, He will not take it unkindly if you publish His Defects and Infirmities. You may tell them, that He is so confident in the Multitude of His very good and faithful Subjects, that He is very hard to be persuaded that His few ill and unfaithful Subjects can do Him much Harm; that He so much depends upon the Affection of honest Men, and their Zeal for His Security, that He is not so solicitous and vigilant for His own Safety as He ought to be, amidst so many Combinations, of which He is so well informed, that His Servants, who with Grief and Anguish importune Him not to take so little Care of His own Safety, can obtain no other Answer from Him than what Cæsar heretofore gave to his jealous Friends, Mori se malle, quam timeri, or timere; He will die any Death, rather than live in Fear of His own Subjects, or that they should in Fear of Him. You may tell them, as a great Infirmity, that a troubled and discontented Countenance so afflicts Him, that He would remove it from them at His own Charge, as if He Himself were in the Fault; and when He hath been informed of any less kind or jealous Thing said amongst you, as your Windows are never so close shut but that the Sound of your Words goes to the several Corners of the Town, His Majesty hath been heard to say no more but, "What have I done? I wish that Gentleman and I were acquainted, that he knew Me better." Oh! Gentlemen, you cannot be yourselves, nor you cannot make your Friends, too zealous, or too jealous, for such a Prince's Safety, or too solicitous for such a Prince's Satisfaction and Content; to whom we may very justly say, as the King of Tyre writ to Solomon, Because God hath loved His People, He hath made Thee King over them. Even His very Defects and Infirmities are very necessary towards the full Measure of our Prosperity.
"My Lords and Gentlemen,
"God hath enabled us to invert One Argument, which, I hope, may to a good Degree repair the much Mischief it hath heretofore done. It hath been urged very unreasonably, yet successfully urged, in the worst Times, "That it was not Faith, but Presumption, to expect that God would restore a Family, with which He seemed to have a Controversy, and had humbled so far; that He would ever countenance a Party, that He had so much discountenanced, and almost destroyed." We may now much more reasonably, and therefore I hope as effectually, press the Miracles that God Almighty hath lately wrought for King and People, as an Evidence that He will not again easily forsake them. We may tell those who are using all their Endeavours to embroil the Nation in new Troubles, That it is not probale, that a Nation against which God seemed these late Years to have pronounced His Judgement in the very Language of the Prophet, Go, ye swift Messengers, to a Nation scattered and peeled, to a People terrible from the Beginning hitherto, to a Nation rooted out and trodden down, whose Land the Rivers have spoiled, the Lord hath mingled a perverse Spirit in the Midst thereof; that He should reduce that Perverseness to the greatest Meekness and Resignation; that He should withdraw His Judgement from this Nation, and in a Moment restore it to all the Happiness it can wish, and to no other End but to expose it to the Mercy and Fury of a few discontented Persons, the worst of the Nation, is not easy to be believed.
"We may tell those who still contrive the Ruin of the Church, the best and the best-reformed Church in the Christian World, reformed by that Authority, and with those Circumstances, as a Reformation ought to be made, That God would not so miraculously have snatched this Church as a Brand out of the Fire, would not have raised it from the Grave, after He had suffered it to be buried so many Years, by the boisterous Hands of prophane and sacrilegious Persons, under its own Rubbish, to expose it again to the same Rapine, Reproach, and Impiety. That Church which delights itself in being called Catholic was never so near Expiration, never had such a Resurrection. That so small a Pittance of Meal and Oil should be sufficient to preserve and nourish the poor Widow and her Family so long, is very little more miraculous, than that such a Number of pious, learned, and very aged Bishops, should so many Years be preserved, in such wonderful Straits and Oppressions, until they should plentifully provide for their own Succession: That after such a deep Deluge of Sacrilege, Prophaneness, and Impiety, had covered, and to common Understanding swallowed it up, that that Church should again appear above the Waters, God be again served in that Church, and served as He ought to be; and that there should be still some Revenue left, to support and encourage those who serve Him; nay, that many of those who seemed to thirst after that Revenue till they had possessed it, should conscientiously restore what they had taken away, and become good Sons and willing Tenants to that Church they had so lately spoiled; may make us all piously believe that God Almighty would not have been at the Expence and Charge of such a Deliverance, but in the Behalf of a Church very acceptable to Him, and which shall continue to the End of the World, and against which the Gates of Hell shall not be able to prevail.
"We may tell those desperate Wretches, who yet harbour in their Thoughts wicked Designs against the Sacred Person of the King, in order to the compassing their own Imaginations, that God Almighty would not have led Him through so many Wildernesses of Afflictions of all Kinds, conducted Him through so many Perils by Sea and Perils by Land, snatched Him out of the Midst of this Kingdom when it was not worthy of Him; and when the Hands of His Enemies were even upon Him; when they thought themselves so sure of Him that they would bid so cheap and so vile a Price for Him; He would not in that Article have so covered Him with a Cloud, that He traveled even with some Pleasure, and great Observation, through the Midst of His Enemies; He would not so wonderfully have new modeled that Army, so inspired their Hearts and the Hearts of the whole Nation with an honest and impatient Longing for the Return of their dear Sovereign, and in the mean Time have so exercised Him (which had little less of Providence in it than the other) with those unnatural, or at least unusual, Disrespects and Reproaches Abroad, that He might have a harmless and an innocent Appetite to His own Country, and return to His own People, with a full Value and the whole unwasted Bulk of His Affections, without being corrupted or biassed by extraordinary Foreign Obligations. God Almighty would not have done all this, but for a Servant whom He will always preserve as the Apple of His own Eye, and always (fn. 11) defend from the most secret Machinations of His Enemies.
"If these Argumentations, Gentlemen, urged with that Vivacity as is most natural to your own Gratitude and Affections, recover as many (and it would be strange if it should not) as have been corrupted by the other Logic; the Hearts of the whole Nation, even to a Man, will insensibly be so devoted to the King, as the only Conservator and Protector of all that is dear and precious to them, and will be so zealous to please Him whose greatest Pleasure is to see them pleased, that when they make Choice of Persons again to serve in Parliament, they will not choose such as they wish should oppose the King; but therefore choose, because they have, and because they are like to serve the King with their whole Hearts; and, since He desires what is best for His People, to gratify Him in all His Desires. This blessed Harmony would raise us to the highest Pinnacle of Honour and Happiness in this World, a Pinnacle without a Point, upon which King and People may securely rest and repose themselves, against all the Gusts, and Storms, and Tempests, which all the Malice of this World can raise against us; and I am sure you will all contend to be at the Top of this Pinnacle.
"I have no more to add, but the Words of Custom, That the King declares this present Parliament to be dissolved. And this present Parliament is dissolved."