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 Sabbati, videlicet, 6 die Maii,
Domini tam Spirituales quam Temporales, quorum nomina subscribuntur, præsentes fuerunt:
E. of Totness excused.
THE Earl of Totnes was excused.
Upon the Reading of the Petition of Sir George Reynolds, Knight, Marshal of the King's Bench, That Richard Culpeper, Servant to the Lord Cromewell, arrested in Execution in the King's Bench, upon an Action of Battery, at the Suit of one William Galthropp, and discharged out of Prison by the Lord Keeper, upon a Habeas corpus, according to an Order of the Twelfth of August last, in the Parliament at Oxon, for that he was arrested contrary to the Privilege of Parliament (as by a Copy of the said Discharge, dated 17th of August 1625, appeareth); he the said William Galthrope, notwithstanding the said Discharge, hath impleaded him the said George Reynolds, upon an Action of Escape, intending to charge him with the Execution Money.
Galthrop to attend.
Whereupon it was Ordered, William Galthropp to be warned to be here on Monday next, to answer the said Complaint.
Better Maintenance of the Ministry.
Hodie 1a et 2a vice lecta est Billa, An Act for the better Maintenance of the Ministry.
This was a new Bill, commended by one of the Committees of the former Bill.
Committed unto the Lords Committees of the former Bill; these being added; videlicet,
E. of Devon.
E. of Clare.
E. of Cleveland.
L. Bp. of Durham.
L. Bp. of Rochester.
L. Bp. of Co. et Lich.
To meet on Wednesday next, at Two, in the Painted Chamber.
Attorney General desires the Attendance of the Clerk of the Crown in the King's Bench at the reading the Charge against the E. of Bristol. Denied.
The Gentleman Usher being commanded to bring the Earl of Bristol to the Bar, the Lord Keeper signified, that Mr. Attorney desires, in respect the House hath heard of what Nature the Crimes are against the said Earl, that the Clerk of the Crown in the King's Bench may attend the reading of the Charge here, according to a Precedent of former Times.
Which was denied, in respect that the Clerk of the Crown in the King's Bench is no Minister of this Court; and for that it was Ordered (4 Maii), That this Cause shall be retained within this House.
E. of Bristol at the Bar.
The said Order, 4 Maii, being read, the Earl of Bristol was brought to the Bar accordingly. And the Lord Keeper commanded Mr. Attorney to read the Charge against him, who read it, in hæc verba: videlicet,
The Charge against him.
"Articles of several High Treasons, and other great and enormous Crimes, Offences, and Contempts, committed by John Earl of Bristall against our late Sovereign Lord King James, of Blessed Memory, deceased, and our Sovereign Lord the King's Majesty which now is; wherewith the said Earl is charged by His Majesty's Attorney General, on His Majesty's Behalf, in the most High and Honourable Court of Parliament, before the King and His Lords there.
Offences done and committed by the E. of Bristol before His Majesty's going into Spain, when He was Prince.
"1. That the said Earl, being trusted and employed by the said late King as His Ambassador unto Ferdinand, then and now Emperor of Germanye, and unto Phillipp the Fourth, then and now King of Spaine, in the Years of our Lord God 1621, 1622, and 1623; and having Commission, and special and particular Direction, to treat with the said Emperor and King of Spaine, for the plenary restoring of such Parts of the Dominions, Territories, and Possessions of the Count Palatine of Rhene, who married with the most Excellent Lady Elizabeth, his now Royal Consort, the only Daughter of the said late King James, as were then wrongfully, and in hostile Manner, taken and possessed with and by the Arms of the said Emperor and King of Spaine, or any others; and for preserving and keeping such other Parts thereof as were not then lost, but were then in the Protection of the said late King James, to the Use of the said Count Palatine and his Children; and for the restoring of the Electoral Dignity unto the said Count Palatine and his Children; and also to treat with the said King of Spaine for a Marriage, to be had between the most High and Excellent Prince Charles, then Prince of Wales, the only Son and Heir Apparent of the said King James, and now our most Dread Sovereign Lord, and the most Illustrious Lady Donna Maria, the Infanta of Spaine, Sister to the said now King of Spaine; he the said Earl, contrary to his Duty and Allegiance, and contrary to the Trust and Duty of an Ambassador, at Madridd, in the Kingdom of Spaine, to advance and further the Designs of the said King of Spaine against our said Sovereign Lord the King, His Children, Friends, and Allies, falsely, willingly, and traiterously, and as a Traitor to our said late Sovereign Lord the King, by sundry Letters, and other Messages, sent by the said Earl from Madridd aforesaid, in the Years aforesaid, unto the said King James and His Ministers of State in England, did confidently and resolutely inform, advise, and assure the said late King, that the said Emperor and King of Spaine would really, fully, and effectually make Restitution, and plenary Restoration, to the said Count Palatine and his Children, of the said Dominions, Territories, and Possessions of the said Count Palatine, and of the said Electoral Dignity; and that the said King of Spaine did really, fully, and effectually intend the said Marriage, between the said Lady His Sister and the said Prince now our said Sovereign Lord, according to Articles formerly propounded between the said Two Kings; whereas, in Truth, the said Emperor and King of Spaine, or either of them, never really intended such Restitution as aforesaid: And whereas the said King of Spaine never really intended the said Marriage, according to those Articles propounded; but the said Emperor and King of Spaine intended only, by those Treaties, to gain Time for compassing their own Ends and Purposes, to the Detriment of this Kingdom; of all which the said Earl of Bristol neither was nor could be ignorant; and the said late King James, by entertaining those Treaties, and continuing of them, upon those false Assurances given unto Him by the said Earl as aforesaid, was made secure, and lost the Opportunity of Time; and thereby the said Dominions, Territories, and Possessions of the said Count Palatine, and the Electoral Dignity, became utterly lost; and some Parts thereof were taken out of the actual Possession of the said King James, into whose Protection and Safe-keeping they were put and committed by the said Count Palatine; and the said Count Palatine, and the said most Excellent Lady Elizabeth his Wife, and their Children, are now utterly dispossessed and bereaved thereof, to the high Dishonour of our said late Sovereign Lord King James, to the Disherison of the said late King's Children and their Posterity of their ancient Patrimony, and to the disanimating and discouraging of the rest of the Princes of Germany, and other Kings and Princes in Amity and League with His said Majesty.
"2. That the said Earl of Bristol, being Ambassador for His said late Majesty King James as aforesaid, in the Years aforesaid, and having received perfect, plain, and particular Instructions and Directions from His said late Majesty, that he should put the said King of Spaine to a speedy and punctual Answer, touching the Treaties aforesaid; and the said Earl well understanding the Effect of those Instructions and Directions so given unto him, and taking precise Knowledge thereof, and also well knowing how much it concerned His said late Majesty in Honour and Safety, as His great Affairs then stood, to put those Treaties to a speedy Conclusion; yet nevertheless he, the said Earl, falsely, willingly, and traiteroutly, contrary to His Allegiance, and contrary to the Trust and Duty of an Ambassador, did continue those Treaties upon Generalities, without effectual pressing of [ (fn. 1) the] said King of Spaine unto particular Conclusions, according to His Majesty's Directions as aforesaid; and so the said Earl intended to have continued the said Treaties upon Generalities, and without reducing them to Certainties and direct Conclusions, to the high Dishonour of His said late Majest, and to the extreme Danger and Detriment of His Majesty's Person, His Crown, and Dominions, and of His Confederates and Allies.
3. That the said Earl of Bristol, being Ambassador for His said late Majesty as aforesaid, in the Years aforesaid, to the Intent to discourage the said late King James for taking up of Arms, or entering into Hostility with the said King of Spaine; and for resisting of Him and His Forces from attempting the Invasion of His said Majesty's Dominions, and the Dominions of His said late Majesty's Confederates, Friends, and Allies; the said King of Spaine having long thirsted after an universal Monarchy in these Western Parts of the World; hath many Times, both by Words and Letters to the said late King and His Ministers, extolled and magnified the Greatness and Power of the said King of Spaine, and represented unto His said late Majesty the supposed Dangers which should ensue unto Him, if a War should happen between Him and the said King of Spaine; and affirmed and insinuated unto His late Majesty, that, if such a War should ensue, His said late Majesty, during the Residue of His Life, must expect neither to hunt nor hawk, nor to eat His Meat in Quiet; whereby the said Earl of Bristoll did cunningly and traiterously strive to retard the Resolutions of the said late King, to declare himself an Enemy to the said King of Spaine, who, under Colour of Treaties and Alliances, had so much abused Him, or to resist His Arms and Forces, to the Loss of Opportunity of Time, which cannot be recalled or regained, and to the extreme Dishonour of His said late Majesty, and to the extreme Danger and Detriment of this Realm.
"4. That the said Earl of Bristoll, upon his Dispatch out of this Realm of England in his Embassage aforesaid, having Communication with divers Persons in London, within this Realm of England, before his going into Spaine, in and about his Embassage aforesaid, concerning the said Treaty, for the negotiating whereof the said Earl was purposely sent; and he the said Earl being then told that there was little Probability that those Treaties would or could have any good Success, he the said Earl acknowledged as much; and yet nevertheless, contrary to his Duty and Allegiance, and contrary to the Faith and Trust of an Ambassador, he then said and affirmed, that he cared not what the Success thereof would be; for he would take care to have his Instructions perfect, and to pursue them punctually; and, howsoever the Business went, he would make his Fortune thereby, or used Words at that Time to such Effect; whereby it plainly appeareth that the said Earl, from the Beginning, intended not therein the Service or Honour of His late Majesty, but his own corrupt and sinister Ends, and his own Advancement.
"5. That, from the Beginning of his Negotiation, and throughout the whole managing thereof by the said Earl of Bristoll, in and during his Embassage aforesaid, he the said Earl, contrary to his Faith and Duty to God, the true Religion professed by the Church of England, and the Peace of this Church and State, did intend and resolve, That, if the said Marriage, so treated of as aforesaid, should by his Ministry be effected; that thereby the Romish Religion, and the Professors thereof, should be advanced within this Realm, and others His Majesty's Realms and Dominions; and the true Religion, and the Professors thereof, discouraged and discountenanced; and, to that End and Purpose, the said Earl, during the Time aforesaid, by Letters unto His late Majesty and otherwise, often counseled and persuaded the said late King's Majesty to set at Liberty the Jesuits and Priests of the Romish Religion, which, according to the good, religious, and politic Laws of this Realm, were imprisoned or restrained; and to grant and allow unto the Papists and Professors of the Romish Religion a free Toleration, and a silencing of all the Laws made and standing in Force against them.
"6. That, by the false Informations and Intelligences of the said Earl of Bristoll, during the Time aforesaid, unto His said late Majesty, and to His Majesty that now is, being then Prince, concerning the said Treaties, and by the Assurances aforesaid given by the said Earl, His said late Majesty and the Prince, His now Majesty, being put into Hopes; and by the said long Delay used without producing any Effect, their Majesties being put into Jealousies and just Suspicion that there was not that Sincerity used towards them which they expected, and which, by so many Assurances from the said Earl, had, on their Parts, been undertaken; the said Prince, our now Gracious Sovereign, was inforced, out of His Love to His Country, and to His Allies, Friends, and Confederates, and to the Peace of Christendom, who all suffered by those intolerable Delays, in His own Person to undertake His long and dangerous Journey into Spaine; that thereby he might either speedily conclude those Treaties, or speedily discover that, on the Emperor and King of Spaine's Part, there was no true and real Intention to bring the same to Conclusion, upon any fit and honourable Terms and Conditions, and so absolutely and speedily break them off; by which Journey the Person of the said Prince, being then Heir Apparent unto the Crown of this Realm, and in His Person the Peace and Safety of this Kingdom, did undergo such apparent and yet such inevitable Danger, as at the very Remembrance thereof the Hearts of all good Subjects do even tremble.
Offences done and committed by the said Earl during the Time of the Prince's being in Spain.
"7. That, at the Prince's coming into Spaine, during the Time aforesaid, the said Earl of Bristoll cunningly, falsely, and traiterously moved and persuaded the Prince (being then in the Power of a Foreign King, of the Romish Religion) to change His Religion, which was done in this Manner: At the Prince's first coming to the said Earl, he asked the Prince for what He came thither. The Prince, at first not conceiving the Earl's Meaning, answered, You know as well as I. The Earl replied, Sir, Servants can never serve their Master industriously, although they may do it faithfully, unless they know their Meanings fully. Give me Leave, therefore, to tell You what they say in the Town is the Cause of Your coming; that You mean to change Your Religion, and to declare it here; and yet cunningly to disguise it. The Earl added further, Sir, I do not speak this that I will persuade You to do it, or that I will follow Your Example, though You will do it; but, as Your faithful Servant, if You will trust me with so great a Secret, I will endeavour to carry it the discreetest Way I can. The Prince, being moved with this unexpected Motion, again said unto him, I wonder what you have ever found in Me, that you should conceive I would be so base or unworthy as, for a Wife, to change My Religion. The said Earl, replying, desired the Prince to pardon him if he had offended Him; it was but cut of his Desire to serve Him: Which Persuasions of the said Earl were the more dangerous, because the more subtile; whereas it had been the Duty of a faithful Servant to God and his Master, if he had found the Prince staggering in His Religion, to have prevented so great an Error, and to have persuaded against it; so to have avoided the dangerous Consequences thereof to the true Religion, and to this State, if such a Thing should have happened.
"8. That afterward, during the Prince's being in Spaine, the said Earl having Conference with the said Prince about the Romish Religion, he endeavoured, falsely and traiterously, to persuade the Prince to change His Religion as aforesaid, and become a Romish Catholick, and to become obedient to the usurped Authority of the Pope of Rome; and, to that End and Purpose, the said Earl traiterously used these Words unto the said Prince: That the State of England did never any great Thing, but when they were under the Obedience of the Pope of Rome; and that it was impossible they could do any Thing of Note otherwise.
"9. That, during the Time of the Prince's being in Spaine as aforesaid, the Prince consulting and advising with the said Earl and others about a new Offer made by the King of Spaine, touching the Palatinate; which was, that the eldest Son of the Prince Palatine should marry with the Emperor's Daughter, but must be bred up in the Emperor's Court; the said Earl delivered his Opinion, that the Proposition was reasonable; whereat when Sir Walter Aston, then present, falling into some Passion, said, that he durst not for his Head consent unto it, the Earl of Bristoll replied, that he saw no such great Inconvenience in it, for that he might be bred up in the Emperor's Court in our Religion. But, when the extreme Danger, and in a manner the Impossibility thereof, was pressed unto the said Earl, he said again, that, without some such great Action, the Peace of Christen dom would never be had; which was so dangerous and desperate a Counsel, that one so near to the Crown of England should be poisoned in his Religion, and put into the Power of a Foreign Prince, Enemy to our Religion, and an Unfriend to our State, that the Consequence thereof, both for the present and future Times, were infinitely dangerous: And yet hereunto did his Disaffection to our Religion, the Blindness in his Judgment, misled by sinister Respects, and the too much Regard he had to the House of Austria, lead him.
Offences done and committed by the said Earl after the Prince's coming from Spain.
"10. That, when the Prince had clearly found Himself and His Father deluded in these Treaties, and thereupon resolved to return from the Court of Spaine; and yet, because it behoved Him to part fairly, He left the Powers of the Desposorios with the said Earl of Bristol, to be delivered upon the Return of the Dispensation from Rome (which the King of Spaine insisted upon, and without which, as He pretended, He would not conclude the Marriage); the Prince, foreseeing and fearing lest, after the Desposorios, the Infanta, which should then be His Wife, might be put into a Monastery, wrote a Letter back to the said Earl from Segovia, thereby commanding him not to make Use of the said Powers, until he could give Him Assurance that a Monastery might not rob Him of His Wife; which Letter the said Earl received, and with Speed returned an Answer thereunto into England, persuading against this Direction, yet promising Obedience thereunto. Shortly after which, the Prince sent another Letter to the said Earl into Spaine, discharging him of his former Command; but His late Majesty, by the same Messenger, sent him a more express Direction, not to dispatch the Desposorios until a full Conclusion were had of the other Treaty of the Palatinate, together with this of the Marriage; for His Majesty said, That He would not have one Daughter to laugh, and leave the other Daughter weeping; in which Dispatch although there were some Mistaking, yet in the next following the same was corrected, and the Earl of Bristol still tied to the aforesaid Restrictions, which himself confessed in one of his Dispatches afterward, and promised to obey punctually the King's Command therein; yet nevertheless, contrary to his Duty and Allegiance, in another Letter, sent immediately after, he declared that he had set a Day for the Desposorios, without any Assurance, or so much as treating of those Things which were commanded to him as Restrictions; and that so short a Day, that if extraordinary Diligence, with good Success in the Journey, had not concurred, the Prince's Hand might have been bound up, and yet He neither sure of a Wife, nor the Prince Palatine of any Restitution, nor any Assurance given of the Temporal Articles; all which, in his high Presumption, he adventured to do, being an express Breach of his Instructions; and, if the same had not been prevented by His late Majesty's Vigilancy, it might have turned to the infinite Dishonour and Prejudice of His Majesty.
"Lastly, that he hath offended in a high and contemptuous Manner, in preferring a scandalous Petition to this Honourable House, to the Dishonour of His Majesty, of Blessed Memory, deceased, and of His Sacred Majesty that now is, which are no Way sufferable in a Subject toward his Sovereign; and in one Article of that Petition especially, wherein he gives His now Majesty the Lie, in denying and offering to falsify that Relation which His Majesty affirmed, and thereunto added many Things of His own Remembrance, to both Houses of Parliament.
Mr. Attorney having read the Charge, and the Earl of Bristol permitted to speak for himself; he first craved Pardon of their Lordships for his earnest Speeches here the other Day; confessing he spake in Passion; saying, "That an unexpected Accusation of High Treason would warm an honest Heart; and I like my Heart never the worse for it; but he would hereafter amend that Fault."
Then he rendered their Lordships all most humble Thanks for this Manner of Proceeding against him, and desired to know from Mr. Attorney, "Whether this be his whole Charge or no?"
Mr. Attorney answered, "That he hath Commandment to open no more against him; peradventure, in the Opening of the Charge, upon some Incidents of his Answer, some other Particulars may arise, and be urged; but no new Matter should."
Then the Earl desired to know of Mr. Attorney the Relator, as he might understand who is his Accuser.
And Mr. Attorney answered, "That the King Himself, out of His own Mouth, had given him Directions for his own Relation against the Earl, and corrected many Things which were added."
Unto which the Earl replied, and said to this Effect: videlicet,
E. of Bristol's Defence.
"I will not contest with the King; neither doth it beseem me so to do; neither esteem I my Life or my Fortunes so much as to save them by contesting with my Sovereign; and therefore I would make no Reply nor Answer, were it not that my Honour and Religion were jointly questioned with my Life; but, they being to descend to my Posterity, for their Sake I am an humble Suitor to His Majesty, that He would not take Indignation at my own just Defence. Yet I will be ready to make any humble Submission to His Majesty; and I heartily desire that some Means may be made that I may make it personally unto Himself; wherein I will submit myself most willingly to any Act of Humiliation and Submission (not wronging my Innocency), that ever Subject did towards his Sovereign; and I also desire that His Majesty would be pleased to set Himself here on His Throne of Justice, and declare that, out of His Royal Justice, he leaves the Duke of Buckingham and me upon equal Terms; and that neither of their Causes shall be advanced before the other.
"These my humble Petitions I beseech your Lordships to present unto His Majesty, on my Behalf; and withall what a Disservice it will be unto His Majesty hereafter, in Embassages, if my Accuser shall be my Judge, His own Witness, and have my Confiscation.
"As touching the Charge itself, I have once answered it all (except that of my Petition); and I doubt not but to clear myself of every Particular thereof. I expected not to have heard of these again. I expected a Remonstrance of some Practice with Spaine against the State; or to be charged with the Receipt of Ten or Twenty Thousand Pounds for the persuading and procuring the Delivery up of some Town that the Crown was in Possession of as might be The Brill, or Flushing, or the like; or for being the Means of the King's Ships to serve a Forcign Nation against those of our own Religion; or for the revealing of His Majesty's highest Secrets, which none but Two or Three did know of; or for treating of the greatest Affairs, as it were by mine own Authority, without former Instructions in the Point; or, as the Law calls it, to have committed some Overt-act of Disloyalty; and not to be charged, after Seven Embassages, with Discourses and Inferences.
"I desire your Lordships that I may have a Copy of my Charge in Writing, and Time for my Answer, and Counsel assigned me.
"There is a great Difference between the Duke of Buckingham and me. The Duke is accused of Treason, and yet at large, and in the King's Favour; and I, being accused but of that which I had long since answered, am a Prisoner: And therefore I beseech your Lordships, that we may be put into equal Condition; and forasmuch as I have exhibited Articles against the Lord Conway, I humbly desire that his Lordship may not meddle in this particular Business, nor use the King's Name against me ex Officio, as Secretary of State; and that your Lordships would be Suitors unto His Majesty, on my Behalf, that all the particular Dispatches of my own Embassages, and Sir Walter Ashton's, might be brought hither; and I to make use of them for my Defence, as of my Evidences.
"And sith His late Majesty hath heretofore, in the Presence of many Lords here present, affirmed that I had neither committed Treason nor Felony in my late Embassages, and permitted divers of His Servants to come unto me; and His Majesty that now is then said that He thought me an honest Man, and hath lately said that my Faults were but Criminal, in the Presence of divers of your Lordships and others; and the Lord Conway did lately offer me to come to my Trial, but he thought the CoronationPardon would free me; and yet now my Offences are made High Treason. And for that, when I saw I could get no Redress from His Majesty by Means of the Duke of Buckingham, I did address my Petition unto this House concerning him, the Duke's Cunning hath made the King a Party against me; and, for my Accusation of him, I am made a Traitor, and he a Judge to vote against me. I do therefor humbly beseech your Lordships to distinguish of this, and (although I have been too tedious already) to suffer me to proceed, and present my Case unto you."
Which being granted; he said:
"At the Prince's coming out of Spaine, I was in Favour with His Highness; and with the late King also, at His Return into England. But I having acquainted the Prince (at His being in Spaine) with my Letters which I wrote unto the late King, of the Duke's unfaithful Dealings (which Letters His Highness forbad (fn. 2) me to send); and the Duke at his Return having gotten a Sight of those Letters (hinc illæ lachrymæ!) he laboured with the Duke of Richmond and the Marquis Hamilton for my Commitment to The Tower, so soon as I should return into England; and he moved the Marquis to deal with the Lord Chamberlain for my Commitment, though but for a Time, until Things were settled, lest my coming to the King should disturb all. I desire the Lord Chamberlain, who is here present, to deliver his Knowledge herein.
"Then the Duke accused me in the Parliament of the Prince's dangerous Journey into Spaine, which I will prove to have been plotted by the Duke himself aforehand, with Conde de Gondomar, the Spanish Ambassador; and I will also make it appear unto your Lordships, that there are very many Contrarieties in the Duke's Relation to both Houses. I, hearing of this, and of the many Dangers threatened me, offered to come Home presently; but my Letters were answered, that I might stay and come at Leisure. Yet I came with as much Speed as conveniently I could, considering my long Journey, and that I brought my Wife and Family with me; and being at Callys, with above Forty Thousand Pounds-worth of the King's Jewels, I could not procure Shipping from hence to pass me over; but was enforced to venture in a Boat with Six Oars; I making Haste to come before the Parliament should end, and the Duke using all the Means he could to put off my coming until the Parliament was ended.
"At my coming to Land, a single Letter was sent me, of some Six Lines, from the Lord Conway, of His Majesty's Pleasure not to come to the Court, but to remain in my own Lodging. Being there, I petitioned the King that I might answer in the Parliament; and His Majesty said, that the Parliament was so incensed against me, that it was not safe for me to be brought thither; but, within a few Days, I should have an End of my Troubles.
"At last, I had Articles sent me by Commissioners appointed to enquire of my Proceedings; which Articles contained the Substance of this Charge; and I fully answered them in Writing; and the late King read them all, and was so well satisfied therewith that He sent me Word that He would see me. Whereupon the Duke of Buckingham desired His Majesty that I might first answer some Four other Questions; which being delayed, and I petitioning the King for them to be sent me, His Majesty gave Order to have them presently sent; yet they came not. Divers Delays were sought; and at last the Lord Conway wrote me a Letter that they were ready; but he thought it better I did accommodate the Business.
"Though I often solicited the Lord Conway, yet his Lordship, perceiving that I should be cleared by the Commissioners, would never send those Questions, nor suffer the Commissioners once to meet; and at last answered that he had no more to do with me.
"Then the late King sent me a Message, to write but a fair Letter unto Bucks for a Reconciliation; and that I should leave the rest unto Him. The Duke hereupon sent one Mr. Clerke unto me, what fair Propositions I should make; only to retire into the Country, and not come to the Court; but permit his Grace to dispose of the Vicechamberlain's Place. And I shewing Mr. Clerke, by way of private Conference, what Papers I had to produce against the Duke, his Grace then required a Retraclation; which I denied; and so all Reconcilement brake off. Afterwards the Duke sent me a certain Proposition in a Letter, which I should acknowledge; and the Preface of that Proposition saith, It is not granted that the Earl of Bristol hath, by his Answer, satisfied either the King, the Prince, or me, of his Innocency (a strange Conjunction of a Subject!); and the Duke would not be satisfied with less than a direct Acknowledgement.
"Upon this, I petitioned the late King, that I might be at Liberty to follow my Affairs freely; which His Majesty condescended unto, and signified His Pleasure by the Duke, that He was satisfied; and that there fore I had my Freedom. But, when I had an Intent to come to my Lodging at Whitehall, and made the Duke acquainted therewith, he seemed much displeased thereat; and moved His Majesty that I might first make an Acknowledgement of my Fault, which His Majesty refused to compel me unto; saying He might then be thought a Tyrant, to force a Man to acknowledge that which he was not guilty of; and His Majesty sent me Word, that I should make no Acknowledgement unless I would freely confess my self guilty. Yet the Duke caused a Message to be sent me, that His Majesty expected that I should make the said Acknowledgement, and confess myself guilty. And thus it stood with me when the late King (my Blessed Master) sickened and died.
"When His Majesty that now is came to the Crown, He was pleased to send me a Gracious Message, upon the Occasion of a great Sickness I had; and my Writ of Parliament was freely sent me; but, out of Respect, I desired to know what would best please the King, my Coming, or my Stay from the Parliament. And the Duke of Buckingham did write unto me, that His Majesty took that Respect very well at my Hands, but would have me excuse my coming; for which I craved a Letter of Licence from the Parliament; instead whereof I received from the Lord Conway a Letter of Prohibition, and Restraint and Confinement, under the King's own Hand, whereas before I was restrained only by the Lord Conway.
"After this, I continued quiet almost a Year in the Country, until the Coronation; and then I wrote a most humble Letter unto His Majesty, and to the Duke of Buckingham; but received a Letter from His Majesty, written in a great Roman Hand, inclosed in one from the Duke, so differing from those Gracious Messages His Majesty had formerly sent me, and several Professions His Majesty had made to my Wife and others, that I knew not what Judgement to make of the said Letters; and divers Copies of them were divulged abroad.
"Then, my Writ of Parliament being denied, I several Times caused the Lord Keeper to be moved for it; but could procure no Redress. And when I petitioned the House for my Writ, the Duke thereupon took Occasion (to my great Disgrace) to read the above-specified Letter in the open House; and a Letter of Prohibition was sent me (with my Writ) to stay me from the Parliament. Upon this I petitioned the House for Redress against the Duke of Buckingham's Wrongs unto me, and accused him of divers Crimes; and, since the House was possessed of this my Petition, I have been charged with Treason; having been offered from His Majesty but few Days before to rest in Security, and not to be questioned; but I, thinking it fit for the clearing of mine Honour to have Recourse unto this House, do find myself a restrained Man, and the Duke at Liberty, sitting as one of my Judges; which I hope your Lordships will speedily redress. And I humbly desire your Lordships to take my Cause into your Consideration, having put myself wholly into your Hands."
E. of Bristol withdrawn.
This being spoken by the Earl of Bristol, he was withdrawn.
And the Lord Chamberlain being required by the House, to deliver his Knowledge of that which the Earl had vouched him for; he said, "The Marquis Hamilton told me, That in a Speech which he the said Marquis had with the Duke of Buckingham, the Duke told him, that his Niceness, the Duke of Richmond's, and mine, in not giving Way to the Earl of Bristol's Commitment to The Tower, would prejudice the Cause; for, if he came to the King, he would put new Hopes into His Majesty, whereby the Breach of the Treaties with Spaine, touching the Marriage and the Palatinate, would be hindered."
At the Bar again.
To have a Copy of the King's Charge against him, and be allowed Counsel.
The House having debated, and agreed how far to allow of the Earl's Requests, he was brought to the Bar again; and the Lord Keeper signified unto him, That their Lordships require him the said Earl to put in Writing the short Heads of those Petitions, which he desires this House to present unto the King on his Behalf; and of what else he will desire their Lordships to be Mediators for him to His Majesty; which the Earl promised to do on Monday next. The Lord Keeper further told him, That the House had granted him a Copy of the King's Charge against him; and that he should have Counsel allowed him to plead his Cause; and that he is to let their Lordships know on what Time he shall be ready to make his Answer.
And the Earl desired to have Time till this Day Sevennight for his Answer; for that many of his Dispatches are in the Country, which he would send for up in all Speed.
Mr. Attorney signified to their Lordships (being demanded from what Time he would charge the said Earl), That he had Directions to charge him no further than with the Dispatches (fn. 3) of Anno 1621, and downwards.
Whereupon the Earl besought their Lordships, that on Monday next he might signify when he shall be ready to make his Answer. Which being granted by the House, he rendered their Lordships most humble and hearty Thanks for their Honourable Proceedings; and so he was withdrawn.
Horsley to have a Habeas corpus.
The Earl of Bridgewater reported, That one John Horsley, a poor Man, and Prisoner in Ludgate, hath exhibited his Petition; complaining of many Wrongs by him received; and, for that he is not of Ability to retain Counsel to make the Truth of the Cause known, the Lords Committees for Petitions do think it fit, That a Habcas corpus be awarded, to bring him before them on Thursday next, at Two of the Clock in the Afternoon, and afterwards de die in diem, as often as their Lordships shall appoint.
Which was Ordered accordingly.
Dominus Custos Magni Sigilli declaravit præsens Parliamentum continuandum esse usque in diem Lunæ proximum, videlicet, octavum diem instantis Maii, hora nona, Dominis sic decernentibus.