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 Lunæ, videlicet, 8 die Maii,
Domini tam Spirituales quam Temporales, quorum nomina subscribuntur, præsentes fuerunt:
THE Lord Keeper delivered a Message from the King, to this Effect: videlicet,
Message from the King touching the E. of Bristol's having Counsel allowed him.
"Whereas the Earl of Bristol hath made Request unto this House, for Counsel to be allowed to plead his Cause, His Majesty understands that the not using of Counsel for a Defendant, in Cases of Treason and Felony, is an ancient Fundamental Law of this Kingdom; and therefore His Majesty desires (fn. 1) that, forasmuch as he hath committed this Cause to the Honour and Justice of this House, your Lordships would proceed with all Caution, that that ancient and fundamental Law may receive no Prejudice or Blemish."
The Duke of Buckingham moved the House, That the Lord Chamberlain might again declare his Knowledge of that which the Earl of Bristol had vouched him for, sexto Maii, 1626.
Whereupon the Lord Chamberlain (by Commandment of the House) did again declare his Knowledge therein, to the same Effect he had on Saturday last; and the Duke presently spake as followeth: videlicet,
"I can do no less, on the Behalf of this Noble Lord, of whom I will not leave it uncertain in your Lordships Opinions that he hath alledged any Thing of a Friend that is dead that he might not very well say, nor suffer my dead Friend, who cannot answer for himself, to be thought that he had in the least Kind broken the Trust I reposed in him; but to acknowledge, on the Behalf of them both, that I have often said to him and others (not under the Seal of Secrecy), that, if the Earl of Bristol have Access unto His Majesty with new Hopes, (fn. 2) he would go near to alter the Resolution taken by Advice of both Houses; and I added thus much further (not out of any Malice to his Person), that, if the Earl of Bristol had been my Brother, considering his Carriage in this Business, I should have thought The Tower the fittest Lodging for him."
The Petition of the Earl of Bristol was read, in hæc verba: videlicet,
"To the Right Honourable the Lords of the Higher House of Parliament.
"The Humble Petition of John Earl of Bristol.
Petition of E. of Bristol.
"Humbly sheweth unto your Lordships, That whereas it appeareth, by the Title of the Charge exhibited against the Earl of Bristol in this Honourable House, that the Earl of Bristol is to answer before His Majesty and the Peers; and that His Majesty is his Judge; and, by Mr. Attorney's Confession, this Charge is by His Majesty's Relation, and so he standeth by His Majesty accused; and that several Points of the said Charge are grounded only upon Private Conferences with His Majesty; so that His Majesty, by His Testimony, becometh a Witness; and, in case the said Earl should be convict, his Confiscation cometh unto the Crown: For this regard, and divers others, he humbly beseecheth your Lordships to take into Consideration of what Consequence such a Precedent may be; and therein most humbly to move His Majesty for the declining (at least) of His Majesty's Accusation and Testimony, in such Sort as you, in your high Wisdom, shall think fit; whereunto the said Earl doth most willingly submit himself. And forasmuch as the said Earl is so unhappy (as he understandeth) to have fallen into His Majesty's high Displeasure, for which he is most heartily sorry; and the Duke of Buckingham, against whom he contesteth, standeth so eminent in His Majesty's Favour, whereat the Earl presumeth not in the least Measure to repine, but holdeth most just that His Majesty should, according to His Affection and good Pleasure of His own Royal Heart, favour, prefer, or make Difference of Persons, in all Points of Grace and Favour and Mediation; yet, in a Case of Justice, wherein Two Peers of the Realm, Two that have been Privy Counsellors and Ambassadors, employed in the same Affairs, and thereupon do now contest in Point of Honour and their Loyalty; he most humbly beseecheth your Lordships to be Intercessors unto His Majesty, that their Causes may, by His Majesty, be equally referred to the Justice of this Honourable House, and their Persons remain in equal Condition.
"Further, he humbly beseecheth your Lordships so far to favour him, as to present unto His Majesty the true Sorrow and Grief of his Heart, for having ever offended His Majesty; and to make Offer unto His Majesty, on the said Earl's Behalf, of all the Acts of Hamiliation and Submission (not tending to the wronging of his Innocency), that ever Subject made unto his Sovereign; and that your Lordships would be earnest. Mediators herein for him to His Majesty.
"That your Lordships would be pleased to move His Majesty, to give Leave that all the Dispatches, concerning the Negotiation of the Years 1621, 1622, 1623, may be brought into this High Court; and that he may make Use of them as his Evidence.
"That His Majesty may be moved, that my Lord Conway may not use His Majesty's Name ex Officio, in any Thing that may concern the Earl of Bristol or his Cause; and he shall pray, &c.
Unto this Petition was also annexed as followeth: videlicet,
"The Names of such Counsel as the Earl of Bristol humbly desireth may be assigned to him:
"Mr. Serjeant Hedley.
Mr. Serjeant Bromston.
Mr. Serjeant Crawley.
Mr. Anthony Lowe."
"The Earl of Bristol, concerning the Time of putting in his Answer, faith, That, though the Charge looketh no further back than 1621, yet the Inferences thereof are drawn from his Dispatches of far ancienter Date; so that he is constrained to send Post for some of them to his House in the Country, which he hath done. And therefore desireth the Space of Eight Days; assuring your Lordships, that, if in shorter Time (as he nothing doubteth) he shall be able to finish it, he will presently advertise your Lordships thereof.
"The said Earl further humbly prayeth, that, being in the Custody of Mr. Maxwell, Gentleman Usher of this House, and there being many Things that may in the Interim happen wherein he may need your Lordships further Order; that your Lordships will be pleased now to Order, That Mr. Maxwell may present unto your Lordships such further Petitions, or Requests, on the Behalf of the said Earl, as he shall have Occasion to prefer unto your Lordships.
And it was Ordered, That Mr. Maxwell may present to the House any Petition, which he shall have Occasion to make hereafter.
The House was put into a Committee, that their Lordships might the more freely debate the Contents of this Petition; and the Petitions were read in Parts, and each Part considered of by itself. But, before any Conclusion was had thereof, a Message came from the House of Commons; whereupon their Lordships proceeded no further herein at this Time; and the House was resumed.
Message from the Commons, by
Mr. Vice-chamberlain and others:
Message from the H. C. for a Conference.
That the Commons desire a Conference, between a Committee of both Houses, if it shall so please their Lordships; and at such Time, after this Morning, as their Lordships shall appoint.
A Committee of this whole House will meet a Committee of the whole House of Commons, at Two this Afternoon, in the Painted Chamber, to receive what shall be propounded unto their Lordships.
The Messengers being departed; the House appointed these Lords to report what the Commons should propound at this Committee: videlicet,
The Lord President.
E. of Dorsett.
E. of Bridgewater.
E. of Devonshire.
E. of Clare.
L. Viscount Say et S.
L. Bp. of Norwich.
And it was Agreed, That these Eight Lords should have the first and most convenient Places at this Committee.
Dominus Custos Magni Sigilli declaravit præsens Parliamentum continuandum esse usque in diem crastinum, videlicet, nonum diem instantis Maii, hora nona, Dominis sic decernentibus.