Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 3, 1620-1628. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.
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DIE Jovis,videlicet, 25 die Martii,
Domini tam Spirituales quam Temporales, quorum nomina subscribuntur, præsentes fuerunt:
p. Carolus Princeps Walliæ, etc.
Message to the House of Commons, for Conference touching the King's Declaration.
MESSAGE sent to the Commons, by Mr. Serjeant Crewe and Mr. Attorney General: That the Lords desire a present Conference, in the Painted Chamber, between the former Committees of each House, for the perfecting of the King's Declaration made on Tuesday last, before it be reported to either House.
Answered: That they will meet instantly.
Before their Lordships went to this Conference, they Agreed, That the Access to the Parliament shall be on Thursday in Easter Week, videlicet, the First Day of April next, if the Commons shall like of it; and this to be intimated unto them at the Conference.
And also, That their Lordships have thought fit to name a Committee, to assist the King's Secretaries this Vacancy, in drawing a Manifesto of this great Business; and they have appointed for the Purpose, the Lord Chamberlain and the Earl of South'ton, which they also agreed to be signified unto the Commons.
Report from the Conference.
The Lords Committees being returned from the Conference, the Lord President read the Declaration made by His Majesty on Tuesday last unto the Committees of both Houses, in hæc verba:
The King's Declaration to both Houses of Parliament.
"My Lords and Gentlemen,
"The last Time I spake to you anent this great Business, I told you what, in Mine Opinion, was necessarily required for the Beginning of it; the Reasons whereof you have truly set down out of My last Speech, wherein I shewed you what Good it would do, and what Harm it might free us from, to express particular Aids at this Time, as well as general Promises: It is true, I must confess, that how far you yet declare yourselves is sufficient for the present Entrance into the Business, though a great deal short of that I told you it would require; but, as God bears Me Record, and I think the Hearts of all My loving Subjects will testify for Me, I never stuck for Money, but only desired you to clear yourselves by Particulars, that I might see how I may be able to go through so great a Matter, at least to make a good Beginning of the War; for when the End will be, God knows.
"So, on the other Part, I gave you Thanks for your general Offers, by which you did engage yourselves in your Lives and States, which is more than Forty Subsidies if you had named them, and more worth than a Kingdom; for the Strength of a King stands (next under the Protection of God) in the Hearts of His People; and I must needs say in this Particular, it is without Example, that ever any Parliament, for a Beginning, gave to a King so great a Supply, to be levied in so short a Time. This may well serve for a Preparation; and, for My Part, first considering your general Offer (which is Ten Times more to Me than all Subsidies), and next considering that these Particulars, coming from you, be as much as the People are able to pay in so short a Time, being within a Year, and as much as may be well expended; therefore, with as much Love and as great Thanks as a loving and kind King can give to so loving and dutiful a People, I thank you for your Offer, and do accept it; I told you before, that I never would have craved your Advice to reject it, and so to put a Scorn upon you; think Me not that Man.
"It is true, that I think no wife King can undertake so great a Bargain, but He must well bethink Himself before-hand; and I hold it better that a King advise well before He take a Resolution, than advise rashly, and after repent; therefore, My Lords and Gentlemen, I declare unto you, that, as I am willing to follow your Advice in the Annulling and Breach of those Two Treaties, both of the Match and of the Palatinate; so, on the other Part, I assure Myself, that ye will make Good what ye have said, that, in what you advise Me unto, you will assist Me, with your Wisdom and Counsel, and Forces if Need require.
"I pray you, have a charitable Opinion of Me, as you (fn. 1) ought to have of a King who hath so long ruled and governed over you (and I may vaunt Myself thus far to have done it with Justice and Peace), that, as I told you before, all My Forbearance hath been for sparing the Effusion of Christian Blood, and as the most easy and probable Way for recovering the Palatinate for My Children. It is true, I have been so long delayed and paid with generals, that I dare not trust longer unto them, which made Me enjoin Buckingham to make a particular Relation unto you of all that Business (and I am sure such an Account was never before given in Parliament), that thereby you may know what to trust to. I could in this Case have resolved Myself; but I thought it could not but he a Strength and Honour both, unto Me, to have the Advice of My People.
"My Lords, in the latter Parliament, I then declared unto you, that I was resolved, without respect of Friendship or Match, or whatsoever, to have the Palatinate one Way or other; and I hope you all remember it.
"God is My Judge and Saviour, I never had any other End; and it is Pity I should live to have any other End; and, for My Part, except by such Means as God may put into My Hands I may recover the Palatinate, I could wish never to have been born. I am old, but My only Son is young; and I will promise, for Myself and him both, that no Means shall be unused for the Recovery of it; and this I dare say, as old as I am, if it might do Good to the Business, I would go in My own Person, and think My Travel and Labour well bestowed, though I should end My Days there; for, if I should spare any Means possibly for the Recovery of it, then let Me not be thought worthy to reign over you; and, in good Faith, I never resolved to live with other Mind. Nay, I will say more; there was never any Enemy of My Son-in-Law, with whom I talked of that Business, or any that I ever spake with of that Side, which did not say and confess that I had Reason to have the Palatinate one way or other; and when they say so, that is a good Reason which they themselves allow, and it was a good Spur to Me to think on it.
"My Lords and Gentlemen, thus far assure yourselves, that I will go chearfully about it, to prepare all Things possibly for it; and, as you have given the Means, so will I employ them towards it.
"And in the next Degree, I hope you will think of Me; but that I leave to your own Counsels and Consideration. But I protest to God, a Penny of this Money shall not be bestowed, but upon this Work, and by your own Committees. And I assure Myself you will think on Me, for a double Reason: My Customs are like to fall by Occasion of the War, and My Charges will increase; but, undertaking the War, I must go through with it one way or other, though I should sell Jewels and all.
"In the next Session, you will consider how this hath been husbanded; and, according to that, think what is next to be done; and it will spur you the more to enable Me for the rest, whereof I spake to you before." (Here, for the clearing of some Things which His Majesty spake the last Time, His Majesty called for the Notes of that Speech; but, the same not being readily to be had, His Majesty said, "I will tell it you by Tongue"). And then He said, "I will clear you in some Things; for I will not deal with you in any Thing but freely and clearly as a King; and, though I have broken the Neck of Three Parliaments, one after another, I hope that, in this Parliament, you shall be so resovlved of the Sincerity of My Heart, and I of your Duties and Affections, that this shall be a happy Parliament, and make Me greater and happier than any King of England ever was.
"In My last Speech, I promised, that, if I accepted your Offer, I would follow your Advice, and would not after hearken to any Treaty of Peace, without first acquainting you, and requiring your Advice; and I likewise promised, nothing should be spent of these Moneys, but by your own Committees; but I desire you to understand, I must have a faithful and secret Council of War, that must not be ordered by a Multitude, for so My Designs might be discovered before-hand. A Penny of this Money shall not be bestowed, but in the Sight of your own Committees. But whether I shall send Twenty Thousand or Ten Thousand, whether by Sea or by Land, East or West, by Diversion or otherwise, by Invasion upon the Bavarian or the Emperor, you must leave that to the King.
"Assure yourselves, My Delay hitherto was upon Hope to have gotten it without a War. I held it by a Hair, hoping to have gotten it by Treaty. But, since I see no Certainty by that Way, I hope that God, who hath put it into your Hearts thus to advise Me, and into My Heart to follow your Advice, will so bless it, that I shall clear My Reputation from Obloquy, and, in Despight of the Devil and all his Instruments, shew that I never had but an honest Heart; and I desire that God would bless our Labours for the happy Restitution of My Children; and whosoever did the Wrong, I deserved better at their Hands."
Mr. Attorney read the same also.
Dominus Custos Magni Sigilli declaravit præsens Parliamentum continuandum esse usque in diem Jovis, videlicet, 1m diem Aprilis proximum, hora nona, Dominis sic decernentibus.