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, 13 Maii,
Domini tam Spirituales quam Temporales, quorum nomina subscribuntur, præsentes fuerunt:
THE Judges being appointed by Order of this House, 9 Maii, to deliver their Opinions as on this Day, touching the Two Questions propounded that Day; and the said Judges being now required to deliver their Opinions therein; the Lord Chief Justice said:
"May it please your Lordships,
The Judges Opinions in E. Bristol's Cause.
According to your Lordships Commandment, we appointed a Time to have taken into Consideration the Two Questions propounded by your Lordships: videlicet, Whether, in Case of Treason and of Felony, the King's Testimony is to be admitted? Secondly, Whether Words spoken to the Prince, being afterwards King, make any Difference in the Case? But, before our Meeting, Mr. Attorney General, to whom it belongs, in the Duty of his Place, to have an Eye of Care and Vigilancy in Cases concerning the King, desired to know from us the Time of our Meeting; whereof we gave him Knowledge; before which Time he brought unto us a Message and Signification of the King's Pleasure, to this Effect: videlicet,
That His Majesty was resolved, in this and in all other Causes, to proceed justly, and with that Moderation that became a Just and Gracious King; and that His Majesty was so sensible of His Honour, that He would not suffer the Rights of His Crown, which may justly be preserved, to be diminished in His Time: And that therefore His Majesty's Pleasure was, That, in any particular Case or Question which may arise, in the Cause of the Earl of Bristoll, and wherein the Lords desire our Opinions, that, upon mature Deliberation, we deliver the same according to our Consciences; His Majesty assuring Himself, that, in all Things, (fn. 1) we will deliver ourselves with that Justice and Evenness between His Majesty and His People, as shall be worthy of our Places. But to these general Questions, whereof His Majesty could not discern the Consequences which might happen to the Prejudice of His Crown, every particular Case varying according to Circumstances; so, as it was very hard and dangerous to give a general Rule, according to the Latitude of those Questions, His Majesty's Pleasure was, therefore, that we should forbear to give an Answer thereunto."
The King's Answer to the Petition touching the E. of Arundel reported.
The Lord President reported the King's Answer unto the Petition of this House, concerning the Earl of Arundell: videlicet,
"It is true, your Word present was somewhat strange unto Me, because you do not use it from one House to another.
"But, now that I know your Meaning, you shall know this from Me, that you shall have My Answer so soon as conveniently I can. And this I will assure you, it shall be such an Answer, as you shall see I will not trench upon the Privileges of your House."
Ld. President's Report of the Conference touching D. of Bucks.
Here follows the Report of the Conference with the Commons, on Monday, the 8th of this May, in the Afternoon; and on Wednesday, the 10th of May, in the Forenoon; which was appointed to be reported unto the House by these Lords: videlicet,
The L. President,
The L. Chamberlain,
The E. of Dorsett,
The E. of Bridgewater,
The E. of Devon,
The E. of Clare,
The L. Visc. Say et Seale, And
The L. Bp. of Norwich.
The Lord President began the same, on this Manner: videlicet,
Report of the Conference touching D. of Buckingham.
Sir Dudley Diggs, to induce the Conference prayed by the Commons of your Lordships, used this Induction:
The Complaint of the Commons against him.
There are so many Things of great Importance to be said in little Time this Day, that I conceive it will not be unacceptable unto your Lordships, if, setting by all Rhetorical Affectations, I only, in plain Country Language, humbly pray your Favours, to include many Excuses necessary for my manifold Infirmities, in this one only Word, I am commanded; that is, by the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses of the House of Commons; to present unto your Lordships their most affectionate Thanks, for your ready and speedy condescending to this Conference; which, out of Confidence in your Wisdoms, and your Justice, for the Service of His Majesty, and the Welfare of the Kingdom, they desired upon this Occasion.
The House of Commons finding, by a fatal and universal Concurrence of Complaints from all the Sea-bordering Parts of this Kingdom, that there was a great Interruption and Stopping of Trade; the base Pirates of Salley ignominiously infesting our Coasts, taking our Ships and Goods, and leading away the Subjects into barbarous Captivity; so, to our Shame, and Hinderance of Commerce, the Enemies did as it were block up and besiege our Ports and Rivers Mouths:
Finding also a great Diminution of the ancient Honour of the Crown, and Reputation of our Nation; insomuch that our Friends, upon small Occasions, made Embargoes of our Merchants Goods, and every Nation was ready to contemn and slight us:
The Commons were much troubled hereat; calling to Remembrance, how formerly in Fraunce, in Spaine, in Holy-land, and every where by Sea and Land, the Valour of this Kingdom had been better valued, and even in latter Times, within Remembrance, when there was no Alliance with Fraunce, with Denmarke, nor in Germany, no Friends in Italy, Scotland ununited, to say no more, Ireland not settled in Peace, and much less Security at Home; when Spaine was as ambitious as it is under a King they call their wisest, Phillip II; the House of Austria as great, and strengthened with a malicious League of Persons ill affected in Fraunce; and when The Low Countries had no Being:
Yet, by constant Counsels of old English Ways, even that Spanish Pride was cooled; the Greatness of the House of Austria, so formidable to us now, was well resisted; and to The Re-united Provinces such a Being, Growth and Strength was given, as gave us Honour over all the World.
The Commons, therefore, wondering at these Evils, debating of the Causes, found that they were many drawn like Lines to one Center, met all in one Great Man, as the Cause of all; whom (said he) I am here commanded to name; that is, the Duke of Buckingham.
Here he made a Pause; and the Preamble of my Lord of Buckingham's Titles all enumerated at large, as they are set down in the Roll. This read, then he came to his Second Part; and said:
This lofty Title of this Mighty Prince doth raise me higher; and now, to speak with a Paulo majora canamus. And let it not displease your Lordships, if, for a Foundation, I compare the beautiful Composition and fair Structure of this Monarchy and Commonwealth, wherein we live, to the great Work of God, the World itself, wherein there is the solid Body of Incorporated Earth and Seas; which I conceive, in regard of our Husbandry, our Manufactures, and Commerce by Sea and Land, may well resemble us the Commons.
It is encompassed with Air and Fire, and Spheres Celestial of Planets, and a Firmament of Fixed Stars; all which receive their Heat, their Light, their Life and Lustre from one great glorious Sun, even like the King our Sovereign Lord.
That Firmament of Fixed Stars, I take to be your Lordships; the Planets to be the Great Officers of the Kingdom; that pure Element of Fire to be the most Religious and Pious Clergy; the Reverend Judges, Magistrates, and Ministers of Law and Justice, to be the very Air wherein we breathe; all these encompassing round with cherishing Comfort this Body of the Commons, who do in Truth labour for them all. And, though they be the Foot-stool, and the lowest, yet may truly be said the settled Centre of the State.
Now, my good Lords, if this glorious Sun, by His powerful Beams of Grace and Favour, shall draw from the Bowels of this Earth an Exhalation that shall take Fire and burn, and shine out like a Star; it cannot be marveled at, if the poor Commons gaze and wonder at the Comet; and, if they feel the Effects, impute them to the corruptible Matter of it.
But, if such an Apparition, like that in the last Age in the Chair of Cassiopeia, happen amongst the Fixed Stars themselves, where Aristotle of the old Philosophers conceived there was no Place for such Corruptions; then, as the Learned Mathematicians were troubled to observe the irregular Motions, the prodigious Magnitude, the ominous Prognosticks of that Meteor; so the Commons, when they see such a Blazing-star in Course, so exorbitant in the Affairs of the Commonwealth, cannot but look upon it; and, for Want of Perspectives, commend the nearer Examination to your Lordships, that may behold it at a better Distance.
Such the Commons apprehend the great Duke of Buckingham; against whom and his Ways there are, by Learned Gentlemen, Legal Articles of Charge to be delivered, which I am commanded generally first to open.
Here he began the First Charge:
The Offices of the Kingdom, that are the Eyes, the Ears, the Hands of the Common-wealth, how have they been ingrossed, bought, and sold, and many of them held in his own One Hand, which in former Ages severally gave sufficient Content to great Favourites, and were Work enough for the wisest Counsellors; by Means whereof there have ensued infinite Neglects!
The Seas unguarded; Trade disturbed; the Ships, even One of the Royal Ships, delivered over into Foreign Hands, and employed to the Prejudice, almost the Ruin, of our Friends of our own Religion.
For Honours, those most precious Jewels of the Crown, a Treasure inestimable, wherewith your Ancestors, my Lords, have been rewarded for their eminent Services in the Common-wealth, and for Exploits abroad, when in Dust and Blood they sweat for the Service and Honour of this Realm; what Back-ways and Bye-ways have been found out, is too well known; whereas anciently it was the Honour of England, as among the Romans, the Way to the Temple of Honour was through the Temple of Virtue. But I am commanded to press this no further than to let your Lordships know, an Instance may perhaps be given of some One Lord compelled to purchase Honour.
"And here ended with his Second Part.
"The Third was exhausting of Revenue. Of this he spake little, but left it all to the Party to whose Part it was assigned, that indeed handled it fully and forcibly.
"Then said he:
"The last of the Charges that are prepared, will be an Injury offered to the Person of the late King, of Blessed Memory, that is with God; of which as your Lordships may have heard heretofore, so you shall anon have further Information. But, upon this Occasion, I am commanded by the Commons to take Care of the Honour of the King our Sovereign that lives; and long may He live, to our Comfort and the Good of the Christian World; as also of His Blessed Father that is dead, on whom, to the Grief of the Commons, and their Distaste, the Lord Duke, they conceive, unworthily did cast some ill Odour of his own Ways; whereas, anciently, Servants were wont to bear, as indeed they ought, their Masters Faults, and not to cast their own on them undeservedly.
"It is well known the King, with God, had the same Power, and the same Wisdom, before He knew this Duke; aye, and the same Affections too; by which, as a good and gracious Master, He advanced and raised some Stars in your Lordships Firmament; in whose Times this exorbitant Will, this transcendent Power, this placing and displacing Officers, this irregular running into all the Courses of the Planets, this sole and singular managing of the great Affairs of State, was never heard of.
"So that to my Lord Duke, and his Procurement and Misinformations, these Faults complained of are alone to be imputed.
"And for our Sovereign that lives, whose Name hath been used, and may be, for Justification, we know well that, amongst His Majesty's Royal Virtues, His Piety unto His Father hath made Him a pious Nourisher even of His Affections to my Lord Duke; in whom, out of that Consideration, He hath wrought a Kind of Wonder, making Favour Hereditary. But the Abuse of it must be my Lord Duke's own, and his Misinformations, if there have been any Commands at all that have procured them.
"For the Laws of England have taught us, that Kings cannot command ill or unlawful Things. When they speak even by Letters Patents; if the Thing be evil, those Letters Patents are void. And whatsoever ill Event succeeds, the Executioner of such Commands must answer for them.
"Thus, my Lords, said he, I have been long troublesome, but think it now high Time to crave your Pardon, and make Way for a Learned Gentleman to begin a particular Charge.
"Thus, as he did for a Learned Gentleman, so shall I do for a Noble Lord that is next me."
"The Lord Chamberlain made his Report of the said Conference, in this Manner: videlicet,
Ld. Chamberlain's Report of the Conference concerning the Complaint of the Commons against the D. of Bucks.
"I will not waste a Minute of your Lordships Time with any Apology for myself. I have it in Charge to deliver the Truth of Fact, the Weight, the Danger, and Inconvenience of the First Parts or Articles of the great Declaration and Impeachment against the Duke of Buckingham; whereof your Lordships have heard the general Heads mentioned. And I am commanded, before I do this, to read the Articles.
"And there he read the Articles of Plurality of Offices.
"In this too great Power, gotten with exorbitant Ambition into a young and unexperienced Hand, for particular Profit, your Lordships do observe the Commons sensible of the Danger, of the Prejudice to the Performance and Execution of the Offices, and the Discouragement of others, by whose Virtues, Abilities, and Employments, there might have been a better Execution of those Places.
"My Lords, For the Danger; when the Commons had fallen into a careful Consideration of the Good of the Kingdom, and the Safety of His Sacred Majesty; when they had but entered into this, they had a Representation made unto them of the Imminence of the present Danger, wherein themselves, your Lordships, and His Majesty were involved; for the Prevention whereof, a large and speedy Relief and Contribution was moved. This Danger was pressed to an Appearance of being so true, and so near, as it wrought upon them, first, to the inverting of a constant Order in their House, now to declare an Intention of giving in the Beginning of a Session, which they had used to do but in the End; and, in the next Place, it made them extend the Measure of their Gift, at least to the uttermost of their Abilities.
"My Lords, if the Danger of being found unprovided (which was said must be without a Contribution) by a potent and provoked Enemy were thus great; it could not be but an extreme Danger to His Majesty and the Kingdom, that so much of the Power, the Strength, the Ships, the Forts, the Keys of the Kingdom, should be found by a mighty and enraged Enemy in an unexperienced and therefore in an unsufficient Hand. And this Danger seemed multiplied, when, in a sad Disquisition of the Causes of the Ills under which the Kingdom suffered, they had found this too great Power in so unfit a Hand was amongst the principal Causes of that so great and so near a Danger. In this vast Power, your Lordships will observe this unfortunate Complication of Danger and Mischief to the State; that, by this took great Power, the Duke hath too much Ability, if he be false, to do Harm, to ruin the Kingdom; and too little Ability, if he be faithful, and never so industrious, to do Good; being divided amongst so many great Places, whereof every one would employ the whole Industry of a provident, an able, and exercised Man.
"My Lords, for the Insufficiency of Performance, or the Prejudice of the great Service of the State that should be in these Places, it may well appear, if, from a running or cursory Survey of the Compass and Latitude of so great a Power, so many Offices, your Lordships observe an Impossibility of just Performance by one such Hand. The Command of the Strength and Walls of the Kingdom, of all the Ships, each one being a Regal Fort, and hath had, through a Succession of must Renowned Princes, by Law annexed to the faithful keeping of it, a Trust as high as Allegiance, the Breach whereof hath been Treason; and with this the Keys and Ports of the Kingdom, and (besides the most necessary Attendance of his Court-places) the immense Care of a Counsellor of Estate of Three Mighty Kingdoms. I shall need mention no more of his great Title, for the Discouragement of others. I shall decline to consider that, as a Theme, or Subject of Learning, wherein it would be hard to be short. I shall only present it as the Sense of the House of Commons, the well-examined and measured Sense and Apprehension of the general Body of the People, after a long and serious Deliberation and View of the State of the Commonweal. And in this Contemplation it will have Weight with your Lordships.
"When your Lordships have seen the Danger, the Disservice, and Discouragement of this great Power, I am commanded to read the Articles of buying the Two great Offices of Admiral and Cinque-ports, that shew it to be, besides too great a Power, an ill-gotten Power; and then reads the Second and Third Article.
"In these Articles, your Lordships observe the Sense of the Commons, both for the Unlawfulness and Inconveniency of the obtaining these Offices, and the Disability of holding them. And first my Lords, the Commons declare the Duke wholly disabled to hold these Offices, and hath been so from the First Instant of his obtaining them. Of the Bane and Mischief to the Common-wealth by buying and selling of Offices of Trust and Judicature in the general, your Lordships will hear much in a proper Place; and I shall trouble your Lordships little with that, and nothing at all with any Point of Learning concerning it, or how it might be enlightened or exampled in other States. I will only observe the Sense and Understanding of Parliaments; that, as this now before your Lordships is the Sense of the Commons in Parliament, so your Lordships may be pleased to observe the Sense, not of the Commons alone, but of the Lords and Kings in former Parliaments; how baneful, how destroying a Mischief the buying of Offices is. The express Law of 5 Ed. VI, that disables the Duke to hold these Offices, was grounded upon this Foundation; That the buying of such Places doth necessarily introduce corrupt and insufficient Officers, the Ruin and Subversion of Foundations of the Public Good. In Parliament 12 Ed. IV, there is a Declaration of singular Note. It is there declared, and by the whole Parliament, That those who thus unlawfully buy their Places, do (these are the express Words) bind themselves to be Extortioners and Offenders, as if they apprehended it warrantable, or as if there lay an Obligation upon them, that, if they bought, they should sell again. The Instance there is low, if your Lordships consider the Offices before you; and it were very high to carry the Sense of that Parliament to buying of Offices of so high a Nature as the Custody and Command of the Strength and Walls and Keys and Ports of the Kingdom. A Difference might be constituted betwixt the buying of ordinary Places and buying of these; wherein beginning the Way to set a Price upon the Trust and Command of the Walls and Gates of the Kingdom needs rather a round and speedy Remedy, a quick and weighty Judgement, to make it exemplary, than any Inforcement to shew the Mischief of it.
"Your Lordships have thus seen the Dangers and Inconveniencies whereof the Commons appear sensible, particularly in these several Articles; and for the Danger and Consideration wherein they agree, your Lordships may observe that, though they are not presented under the Names of Crimes and Offences, nor those Names mentioned in the speaking of them; and that, because they are not against any particular Law, which designs any Penalty for them, other than hath been said, from which Ground ordinarily the Name of Offence grows; yet they may be justly offered as the Roots and Causes of the great following Crimes; and more, they hold so much of the Nature of an Offence, that, as particular ordinary Offences are therefore so, because they break and subvert some particular Law, so these, as far as they subvert the Good and Welfare and Safety of the People, so far they are against the highest Law, and assume the Nature of the highest Offences. And, my Lords, the Welfare and Safety of the People and State, is the supreme Law. Thus they are fit for so great a Council as the Commons of England to declare, and fit for so great a Power as your Lordships have to judge.
"Now, besides these, if your Lordships shall find out of the following Parts, that the Duke hath broken his Duty and Trust, in not guarding the Seas, and suffered Infestation of our Coasts; if he have unjustly stayed the Ships, and seized the Goods, of other Nations; if he have, by Colour of his Place, for his own Profit, stayed our own Ships, extorted from our own Merchants, and interrupted our Trade; if he have delivered, contrary to the Duty of his Place, our Ships to Foreign Nations; these will be more than Arguments, they will be particular Demonstrations, of too dangerous a Power, and in too unfit a Hand. The Weight and Danger your Lordships have seen; the Truth of Fact will appear in every Particular alledged by these Proofs, I am commanded to offer unto your Lordships.
"The Proofs for Pluralities of Offices, and the Buying of the Admiralty and the Wardenship of the Cinque-ports.
"The Patents prove this:
The Earl of Dorset made his Report of the said Conference, in Manner following: videlicet,
E. of Dorset's Report of the Conference concerning the Complaint of the Common against the D. of Buckingham.
"After the Disability, shewed the unjust executing of those Offices, especially that of Great Admiral of England and Ireland;
Though disabled by Law to retain them, because he so bought them; yet he was bound justly to execute them, so long as de facto he retained them.
1. Not guarding the Seas since the Two Trcaties broken, mentioned in the Act of Subsidy, 21° Jacobi.
"2. The Stay of the Ship called The St. Peter, and detaining Goods, etc.
"The Article opened:
"1. They have not been guarded.
"2. That he, as Admiral, ought to have guarded them.
"3. The particular Neglects of his Duty.
"4. The Nature of the Offence.
"1. The Proofs of the First, by Losses of Ships, Goods, and Men, Disturbance of Trade, etc. the Proofs be ing ready to be offered.
|"2. He ought to have guarded them, by the Nature of his Office, as it appears,||In his Patent. In the Practice of former Times, and the ancient Duty of Admirals.|
"By his Patent, he is made Magnus Admirallus Angliæ, Hiberniæ, Walliæ, Normaniæ, Acquitaniæ, Villæ Calesis, et Marchiarum ejusdem, and Præfectus Generalis Classium, et Marium dictorum Regnorum.
"The Seas of England and Ireland are committed to him, as being a Part of the Demesnes and Possessions of the Crown of England; not as if he should thereby have Jurisdiction only, as in Cases of the Admirals of Fraunce and Spaine.
Rot. de Superioritate Maris et in Turr London.
"That might be proved variously, by Testimonies of our own Nations, but especially by an Acknowledgement of the Procurers of all or the most of the Maritime Parts (fn. 2) of Europe, remaining to this Day in The Tower. It was made under Edward the First.
"Those of the States of Genua, Cavellanua, and other Marine Parts of Spaine;
"The Sea Towns of Almaine, Seland, Holland, Friseland, Denmarch, Norway, and other Parts of the Empire;
"Shew, that the Kings of England, by reason of their said Realm, have used, Time out of Mind, to be in peaceable Possession, and Sovereign Lords, of the Sea of England, and of the Islands belonging to them.
"And though that Hollander wrote of Purpose to destroy all Dominion in the vast Ocean; yet he speaks nothing against the Dominion of our English Seas (however he hath been misapprehended); but expressly elsewhere says, that
Grotius, in Inauguratione Jacobi Regis.
"Littora sunt aliis.
"The utmost Limit of the Demesnes of the Crown of England are the Shores of the Neighbouring Countries; the whole Sea, or the Territorium Marinum, that intercedes, being Parcel of the Possession of the Crown.
"The Keeping and Safe-guard of these Seas committed to the Lord Admiral by the Name of Præfectus Marium and Admirallus, being but the same.
"Anciently, before the Word Admiral came in (which was under E.I), the Admirals had the Title of Custodes Maris; as,
"The Safe-guarding of the Seas hath, from ancient Times, been especially undertaken by the Kings of this Realm, and committed generally to none else but the Admirals.
"And this Præsectura, or Custodia, or Office of the Safe-guarding the Seas, binds him to all Care and perpetual Observance of whatsoever conduces to that Safe-guard.
"As in Custos Sigilli, Custos Marchiarum, Custos Portuum, Custos Comitatus; agreeable to the Practice of former Times.
Book of the Office of the Admiralty used heretofore by the Ld. Clinton, afterwards E. of Lincoln, and by the E. of Nottingham, Ld. Admirals, &c.
"1. In certifying yearly, at least to the King and His Council, the many Forces both of the King's Ships and Ships of Merchants, the Names of the Owners, the Number of Mariners, etc. so that the King and His Council may always know his Force by Sea.
Such Estimates are in the Paper Chamber and in private Hands, and these usually given about Christmas, Temp. Reg. Eliz. et Temp. Reg. Mariæ.
"2. In shewing Wants of Ships, etc. yearly, for the Safe-guard of the Seas, with the Estimates of the Supply, that so they might be procured.
Rot. Parl. H. IV. N.30.
"3. In their Personal Attendance upon the Service of guarding the Seas, upon all Occasions of Weights in 7 H. IV, Nicholas Blackborne, and Richard Cliderow (one of the Knights for Kent) were made Admirals for keeping the Seas, upon Consideration had of it in Parliament; and the other Knight being Robert Clifford, it was Agreed, in Parliament, That he should have the Voices of both, because the other must of Necessity be absent; and they both amongst other Things, petitioned the Council, that, if the King in his Person should come on the Sea, they might have such Liberty to wait upon Him as that they might make their Lieutenants during the Time, for the Service of their Places. But the Council, that allowed the rest, or the most of their Demands, answered to that, Le Conseil ne le peut faire.
"4. And so, in preserving the Possession que p Ad. mirall de la dit Mere depute par le Roy d' Angleterr et touts les auters Admiralls par mesme celuy Roy d' Angleterr et ses Ancestors jades Royes d'Angleterr eussent etre en paisible Possession de le dit Soveraigne Gard; and had exercised Jurisdiction in all Cases, saving where there was Appeal from them to the King, et de Suerty prendre de la Pees de cet Mannere de Gentz usantz Armes en la dit Mier ou menans niefs auterment apparailes ou garnies que ne appertenent a nief Marchand et en cets auters points en gueux home past aver reasonable Cause de Suspeccion vers eux de Robberie ou des autres Meffaits.
"The particular Neglects of his Duty:
"1. In not certifying the Ships, Mariners, etc. that so the Force of the Kingdom and the State of it may be known.
"2. In not shewing the Wants of Ships, Men, etc. nor procuring Supply for any Wants of them.
"3. In no Personal Attendance.
"4. In not preserving the Possessions of the Sea, nor taking any other Care to prevent the Spoil made by Enemies, as the Duty of the Office requires.
"The Reply to Two obvious Objections:
"1. That there is Want of Money.
"2. That the Patent gives Leave to make Viceadmirals.
"To the First: That his Power hath been so great, in procuring vast Sums, both in the Revenue of the Crown, and of whole Sums in gross (as appears in a following Article), that he might also for this Purpose, which so properly belonged to his Office, have done the like. And that the most of the Customs of Ireland, and that of Poundage there, and other Subsidies of that Country, being of their own Nature proper for the Defence of that Kingdom and the Seas of it, come yearly through his Hands, though he pay a Rent of Sixty Thousand Pounds yearly, and the Half of the Profits taken there; as also in that other Article will anon appear.
"To the Second: That the Power of Deputation is, and ut melius et commodius exequi possit Officium sunm; and the Officers deputed by him are appointed to be sub se necessarii, idonei, et opportuni pro dicto Officio; so that whatsoever is wanting in the Safe-guarding of the Seas is his Default, while their Office is but the same with his, and at his Appointment.
"And there is no Doubt but that his Power of providing Supply could not have been transferred to any Deputies. Therefore therein his own Person was still necessary.
"The Nature of the Offence may be
|"Estimated out of||
1. The Consequents that follow the not guarding the Seas.
2. The Complaints of like Nature, and Punishment (fn. 3) inflicted upon such Kind of Offences.
"The Nature of the Offence by the Consequents:
"1. The Losses already shewed.
"2. The Prevention of Trade, which gives Life and Increase to the Wealth of the Kingdom.
"3. The Weakening of the Naval Strength; for, whilst the Sea is so kept and open, Trade is safely exercised, and the Naval Strength increased; when not, that presently diminishes, the Merchant being so discouraged from their building Ships, which they cannot use, etc.
Rot. Parl. 1 R. II.
"In 1 R. II, the Commons opened the Two chief and almost sole Causes of the weakening of the Kingdom at that Time.
"1. Neglect of Chivalry, or eminent Virtue not regarded nor rewarded.
"2. The Decay of Trade, sithence the Navy was grown weak.
"Besides all this, the Loss of the quiet Possession of so large a Territory as the Seas of England and Ireland, by the free Use of which that ancient Greatness and Glory of the Crown of England hath so constantly subsisted.
"The Complaints of like Nature and Punishment inflicted:
"This very Offence, and thus committed by a Lord Admiral, made by Patent, is not found; therefore the Case every Way can have no just Example.
Rot. Parl. 10 R. II, Art. 5. –9 R. II. Art. 10.
"But, amongst the Complaints against Michael De la Poole, Lord Chancellor, one is, (fn. 4) That, in 9 R. II, certain Subsidies were given, pro salva Custodia Maris (as appears in the Roll); the Money was spent otherwise, si que la Mere n'estoit gardez de par ont divers Mischess sont avenus du Royalme e vray semblable est d'avenire e ce en default du dit madgacis Chancelor.
"But the Case being, that some other Lords of the Council had been particularly by the Parliament trusted, together with him; therefore the Lords thought it not fit that he should be impeached par soi sans ses Compagnons, etc.
Parl. 28 H. VI. N. 20.
In the Bill of Articles of Misprisions and horrible Offences against William Duke Marquis and Earl of Suffolke, one is, That whereas divers Subsidies and Fifteenths were granted, for the Safe-guard of the Sea, etc. he hath caused great Part of the Revenue to be employed to other Uses and Dispences, not profitable to the King; and so the Defence of the Realm and the Safe-keeping of the Sea not had not kept, to the great impoverishing of the Realm.
Spelman, in Gloff. Verb. Admiral.
"This Duke was Admiral, not in his own Right, but by reason of the Wardship of Henry Duke of Exon, who was a joint Patentee in the Office of his Father; and, being in Ward to this Duke, the Duke exercised it for about Three Years before.
"The rest of the Articles in that Bill is for no Offen of a greater Nature; and for these only in this Bill, he was extrajudicially commanded by the King into Banishment.
The Punishment of such as have broke their Trusts in their Offices, as Sheriffs, or other Keepers of Prisons, upon Escapes, etc. might be mentioned; a voluntary Escape of a Felon, Felony; a negligent Escape, fineable, etc.
"But rather to the Examples of Parliament Law, that is, either done in Parliament, or allowed there for good Law. And the Lords protested anciently, That they would proceed neither by Common Law, nor by Civil Law, but by Law of Parliament.
Nothing nearer the not safe-guarding the Seas, or losing the Possession or Use of it, being the ancient Possession of the Crown, than the not safe-guarding Towns, or Castles, or Forts, by them to whom they are committed.
"Edward the Third committed the Safe-guard of the Town of Berwicke to the Lord Greystok. The King being in Fraunce, the Lord Greystok went thither to wait on Him, and left a valiant Gentleman, Robert de Ogle, as his Lieutenant of the Town. While he was with the King, upon a fierce Assault made by those of Scotland, wherein (yet the Lieutenant fought bravely, and he himself, with Two of his Sons, died in the Place) the Town being lost, the Lord Greystok was arraigned before John King of Castile, and divers other Lords, who adjudged that, because he had Empris de sannement garder mesme le Ville au Roy e s'en departist dilleques sans Mandement de mesme le Roy, and so the Town suit perdue en Absence du dit Baron; it was adjudged it was lost in Default of him; e par celz Cause il averoit Judgement de Vie et de Membre, and forfeit all his Estate.
1 R. II. Rot. Parl. ibidem.
"In the First of R. II, when the Commons desired that all such as had lost any Castles by Default, or without inevitable Compulsion, should be questioned before the Lords and them, and to be punished par Agard du Baronage, etc.
"William de Weston is accused for losing the Castle of Outhrewicke, in Normandy, committed to him. He shews how it was often assaulted; that he sent for Home Reinforcement to the Council, could have none; desired it otherwise, but could have none; And that, at Length, there was no considerable Number of Persons, nor any Colour of further Defence; and so, by common Assent, the said Castle, que plus ne re poit tenir suist per Force renduz, for saving their Lives, etc. and that he had spent a great Part of his own Estate upon it also. And so was the Case in Truth.
"But, in the Parliament, upon the Case of the Lord Greystok, they resolved, That in this also, because William de Weston had lost the Castle sans nul Duresse ou Default des Victuales contre sa Ligeance et imprise suisdiles, he should suffer Death, and be drawn and hanged.
11 R. II. Art. 8. Rot. Parl. et Ind. The Duke of Glocester, E. of Darby, E. of Arundell, E. of Warwick, E. Marshal, Lords Appellants. Appellees,
"Thence was it, it seems, that the Lords Appellants, in 11 R. II, conceived it was Treason in the Appellees, that they had took no other Care of some Castles and Forts in Fraunce, committed to them; but that the Possession of them was lost for Want of safe-keeping them. But this was adjudged not to be Treason, though no Doubt can be but the Offence was very great."
The Duke of (fn. 5)
"The Stay of the Ship, called The St. Peter of Newhaven, and detaining great Part of her Goods that were of her Lading.
"The Case opened, and the Proofs offered:
|"The Second Stay and detaining the Goods.||
Against the Marine Laws of England,
Against the Common Laws,
Against the Law of Merchants;
And so, by Consequence, of Nations,
|All which he was bound to observe.|
"By the Marine Laws (agreeable to the Civil Laws), a Sentence given for any Subject, or other, against the King, may, upon new Proof, be revoked.
"But not without new Proof.
"He is made, by his Patent, a Judge of all Maritime Cases, as well as a Keeper of the Sea; his Jurisdiction to be exercised juxta Leges Nostras Civiles et Maritimas, and accordingly to hear (fn. 6) all Cases emergent; to proceed, ex Officio mero, mixto, vel promoto, secundum Leges Nostras, Civiles et Maritimas.
"After Sentence given, the 26 January, without any Pretence, either then used, or since offered, he commanded this Stay, without any Kind of Proceeding according to those Laws:
"2. Edw. III. Cap. 8.
"Neither the Great Seal nor Petit Seal shall be obeyed for not doing Common Right.
"20 Edw. III. Cap. 1.
"That they do Execution aright, and according to Justice (as far as in them lies), without letting to do so for any Letters or Commandments which may come to them from Us, or from any other, or by any other Cause.
"Against the Law of Nations:
"Against what is agreed on, by the Leagues betwixt us and Foreign Nations, that the Subjects of Nations in Amity with us shall be well used, and permitted, without Molestation, for what Cause or Occasion soever, according to the Laws and Customs of the Places where they then shall be. And the Law of Merchants to have celerem Justitiam sine Strepitu de plano, &c. Not only bare Injustice, by Way of Denial of the just Execution of the Decree in the Admiralty; but also a detaining of the Goods to his own Use, and such delivering of them to his Servant March (being not bona peritura), as that neither could he have any just Account of them, nor the Owners, nor the King, to whom of Right (being taken by His Command) they had belonged, if they had been Spanish, taken Jure Belli.
"1. The Consequent of this Offence.
"2. The Punishment given to those of the like kind.
"The Punishment given to Offences of this Nature.
28. H. VI. Art. 43. Rot. Parl.
"One of the Misprisions and horrible Offences against William Duke of Suffolke is, That whereas several Writs of Appeal of Murder had been sued against William Talbois, by divers Women, an exiget upon one of them was directed to the Sheriff of Lincolneshire; but the Duke entreated the Sheriff not to execute it, and procured also a Letter from the King to that Purpose, and a Pardon to the Sheriff; and this in express Subversion of the Laws.
2 et 3 Edw. VI. Cap. 18
"And in the 3 Edw. VI, after many Particulars recited of the Offences, the taking to his own Use Goods piratically taken, and expressly against the Order determined by the Lord Protector and the whole Council, whereunto his own Hand hath been for the Restitution of them (as this very Case is), where Foreign Princes took Displeasure, the Subjects had great Losses, and to the Peril of breaking the Leagues and Treaties of Amity betwixt the King's Majesty and other Foreign Princes, as their Ambassadors here have plainly declared, and as present Experience teacheth. And this is brought as a great Addition or Confirmation of the rest against him to be Treason, and he is by Act of Parliament adjudged a Traitor.
"And so, having thus gone through the Two Articles committed to my Charge, and having offered to your Lordships these Testimonies and Examples, by the same Command that I have spoken; I leave them all wholly to your Lordships Judgements."
E. of Bridgewater's Report of the Conference concerning the Complaint of the Commone against the D. of Buckingham.
The Earl of Bridgwater made his Report of the said Conference, in Manner following: videlicet,
"The Fourth Part of this Charge, which was delivered by a Gentleman of the House of Commons, falls to my Share; and, because your Lordships may remember it took up long Time when he spake before your Lordships, I will not waste more Time than needs I must, whilst I render unto you an Account of that Charge, which hath been in this Business in posed on me.
"In the Beginning of this Narration, he told your Lordships, that he was to read some Things, and to speak some Things. And I desire, as he did, that the Sixth Article may be read.
"The Article was read, and after (fn. 7) he proceeded thus:
"He divided his Charge into Two Parts: 1. The East India Company, for which he did read this 6th Article. 2. The French Rochell Business, for the Ships; and, because the Seventh and Eighth Articles concern that, I will reserve the Reading of them until I come to the Second Part.
"And now, my Lords, I desire what was his Speaking may be my Reading Part; and so I shall let your Lordships know, that the stating of the Case and Evidence, concerning the Moneys alledged to be extorted from the East India Company, took its Rise from the Treaty made.
"The Substance of the Commons Evidence against the Duke of Buckingham, touching the Ten Thousand Pounds unlawfully exacted and exterted of the East Indian Company, by Colour of his Office of Lord Admiral of England.
"In a Treaty, the 18th of August 1624, between the Kings of Greate Brittain, &c. and Phillip the Third, King of Spaine, it was agreed, That there should be perfect Amity and Peace, to endure for ever, by Land, Sea, and Fresh Waters between them, their Heirs and Successors, their Dominions, Liegemen, and Subjects, then being, or which should be; and that each Party should then after abstain from all Depredations, Offences, and Spoils, by Sea, Land, and Fresh Water, in whatsoever Dominions and Governments of the other, and should cause Restitution to be made of all Depredations which thenafter should be committed, and the Damages growing by Means thereof; and that the said Kings shall take Care that Their Subjects should from thenceforth abstain from all Force and Wrong-doing; and that they likewise should revoke all Commissions and Letters Patents of Reprisal and Mart, or otherwise containing Licence to take Prizes, all which are declared by the said Treaty to be void; and that whosoever should do any Thing contrary should be punished, not only criminally, according to the Merit of his Offence, but should also be compelled to make Restitution and Satisfaction for the Losses, to the Parties damnified requiring the same: And that, between them and every of their Subjects, there might be free Commerce, in all their Dominions, by Sea, Land, and Fresh Waters, in which before the Wars there hath been Commerce, like and according to the Use and Observance of the ancient Leagues and Treaties before the War, etc. the Customs as they were at that present rated, according to the Ordinance of the Places, being paid.
"14 Decembris, 13° Jacobi, the King did grant and confirm to the said Company:
"In Case they be justly provoked, or driven thereunto, in the Defence of their Persons, Goods, or Ships, by any Disturbance or Hindrance in their quiet Course of Trade, or for Recompence or Recovery of the Persons, Ships or Goods, of any of His Majesty's Subjects, that had been already in or near the East Indies, or for any other just Cause of their Defence, or Recompence of Losses sustained; that then the Captains, or Principal Commanders, of the said Company, or any others under their Government, should and might attempt, surprize, and take, the Persons, Ships, and Goods, of any Prince or State, by whose Subjects they should sustain any Wrong, or Loss, in Manner as aforesaid, as by the said Letters Patents appeareth.
Under Pretext that the said Treaty was broken, there was some Interruption and Violence offered by the King of Spaine's Subjects, in the Parts of East India, to the Merchants of our East Indian Company trading into those Parts, whereby they were much damnified; and thereupon suspecting that it might be in vain to complain for Redress in an ordinary Course of Justice in the East Indies, or, in Default thereof, to return into Spaine to make Complaint to that Purpose, where nothing was likely to be done till they had sent from thence again into the East Indies, and received an Answer; and, after all this, upon Denial of Justice in Spaine, to come into this Kingdom for Letters of Request, without which, in ordinary Course, they should not use Reprisal; and many Years would be spent before they could come to have an End of these Suits: It is true, that thereupon, partly in their Defence, and partly for Amends, and partly for Revenge, they did, by Pretext of the said Letters Patents, take some Goods of the Portugales, in the East Indies, Subjects to the King of Spaine; and afterwards being commanded by the King of Persia, to transport certain Forces of His into Ormus, an Island situated in the Gulph of Persia, some Goods of Portugales, Subjects to the King of Spaine, were there taken, by Captain Blithe and Captain Wedele, and others of their Company, being Servants and in Pay under the East Indian Company.
"In July 1623, Two Ships, called The Lyon and The Jonas, being Part of a Fleet belonging to the said Company, returned from Ormus aforesaid, out of an East Indian Voyage, and arrived in The Downes, richly laden with Goods and Merchandize, lawfully belonging to the said Company, of estimate Value of an Hundred Thousand Pounds.
"The Duke of Buckingham, in or about October 1623, being advertised hereof, and thinking it a fit Subject for him to exact and extort some great Sum of Money from the said Company, out of the Profit of these Ships and their Loading, by Colour of (fn. 8) the said Office of Lord Admiral of England, and out of his Power and Greatness, his Office being used for a Ground-work of his Design therein, did pretend that the Loading of the said Ships was for the most Part of Goods piratically taken at Sea by the said Ships, in the Parts about Ormus aforesaid; and that a Tenth Part, or some other great Share thereof, did belong to him, in Right of his said Office of Lord Great Admiral of England, and by virtue of his Letters Patents and Grants from His late Majesty in that Behalf; alledging withall, howsoever the said Company might peradventure answer the Matter, yet there would or might be strong Opposition against them; and in the Months of November, December, January, and February, then next following, had divers Treaties, by himself and his Agents, with the then Governor and others of the said Company, for the effecting of his said Designs, wherein he still unlawfully pretended that a Tenth Part, or some other great Shares, out of the Loading of the said Ships, belonged unto him; albeit the said Company, upon right Information of their Case to their Counsel, both Civilians and Common Lawyers, were advised that there did no Tenths, nor other such Shares, belong to the said Duke, as he pretended. And whereas the said Duke, finding that he could not prevail to get his Ends by any fair Course, and well knowing that the said Company had then Four Ships, called The Great James, The Jonas, The Starr, and The Eagle, and Two Pinnaces, called The Spie and The Scoute, the said Ships and Pinnaces, with their Victuals, Stores, and Ordinance, being of the Value of Fifty-four Thousand Pounds and more, loaden with Lead, Cloth, and other Merchandize in them, to the Value of Twenty Thousand Pounds and more, and about Thirty Thousand Pounds in Rials of Spanish Money, in all an Hundred Thousand Pounds and more; and were well near ready to set Sail for a Voyage into the East Indies, by the First Day of March, in the 21st Year of His said late Majesty's Reign; and also well knowing how great an Hindrance it would be to the said Company, if the said Ships and Pinnaces should be stayed for any long Time, the rather in regard that, if they did not set Sail about that Time of the Year, and within few Days after then, by reason of the Course of Winds, called The Monsoons, which are constant Six Months Easterly and Six Months Westerly every Year in the Parts of Africa, about the Cape of Bona Speranza, of which Winds the said Ships were to make their Use in the usual and due Time, in their said Vovage, or else utterly to lose their Voyage; for the Opportunity and Season of those Winds, by the Course of the Year would have been spent before the said Ships and Pinnaces could have come to the Place where they should have made Use of them, had they stayed but a while longer from setting forth out of England, in a Voyage for the East Indies; the Middle of March, and not beyond the 20th of that Month, being the ordinary and best Time to set forth from England in such a Voyage.
"The Duke, upon the said First Day of March 1623, to effect his Designs upon the said Company, and intending to get that by Circumvention and Surprize which he could not do legally, both Houses of Parliament must be used for Colour; and thereupon that Day did put the Lords in Parliament in Mind, touching the great Business likely to ensue upon Dissolution of the then Treaties with Spaine; and that a speedy Resolution thereof was necessarily required, for that the Enemy would pretermit no Time; and if we should lose the Benefit of that Spring (he said), it would be irrevocable; and thereupon he took Occasion to move that House, whether he should make any Stay of any Shipping which were then in the Ports (as being High Admiral he might), and namely the said Ships prepared for the East Indian Voyage, which were of great Burthen, well furnished, and fit to guard our own Coasts; which Motion was generally approved of, the whole House knowing nothing of the Duke's secret Designs or private Intentions; and the same Day a Motion was made amongst the Commons in Parliament, to the same Effect, by the Vice Admiral to the Duke in the County of Devon; which, in respect of the Time when, and Person by whom it was propounded, is very suspicious, that it moved all from one Spirit, and that he was set on by the Duke, and is fit to be examined.
"By Colour of this Order in the Lords House of Parliament, the Duke caused Stay to be made of the said Ships and Pinnaces; howbeit, notwithstanding all the Occasion then pretended for Defence of the Realm, we find not any other Ships stayed at this Time.
"The 5th of March 1623, the said Company sued to the said Duke for a Releasement of the said Ships and Pinnaces; whereunto the Duke replied, that he had not been the Cause of their Stay; but, having heard the Motion in the Lords House, he could do no less than order as they had done; yet told them withall that he had something in his Pocket that would do them Good; and willed them to set down what Reasons they could for their Suit, and he would acquaint the House thereof.
"Nevertheless, about this Time, he presumed of himself, at Theobalds, to give Leave for the said Ships and Pinnaces to fall down as far as Tylbury, there to attend such further Directions as should be given unto them; with Leave so to signify, by Word of Mouth, to the Serjeant of the Admiralty, for that the Duke had then no Secretary with him.
"The Tenth of March 1623, being out of the usual Terms, the King's Advocate, as Advocate for the King and the Lord Admiral, made an Allegation, in the Admiralty, that it appeared, by Examinations there taken, that Fifteen Thousand Pounds and more, piratically taken by the said Captains Blith and Wedle, and Complices, upon the Sea, near Ormus, and in other Parts within the Jurisdiction of the Admiralty, was come to the Possession of the Treasurers of the East Indian Company, and remained in their Hands; and prayed it might be attached, and the said Treasurers be monished to appear the Wednesday then next following; and then to bring in the said Fifteen Thousand Pounds to remain in Deposito with the Register of that Court.
"The same Tenth of March 1623, a Warrant issued accordingly, directed to the Marshal of the said Court; and upon the said next Wednesday, the 17th of March 1623, the said Warrant was returned by the said Marshal, that the Day before he had attached the said Moneys in the Hands of Mr. Stone, then present in the Court; and had admonished him, and Mr. Abbott the Deputy, and divers others then present, to bring in the same.
"Upon the same Wednesday, also Mr. Stone, and all that had Interest in this Money, were prayed by the Advocate, that they might be pronounced as in Contumacy, and therefore to be arrested and detained until the Fifteen Thousand Pounds were brought into the Register.
"Hereupon Sentence of Contumacy was pronounced, but the Pain respited until Friday following; upon which 17th of March 1623, Mr. Stone, Mr. Abdey, Mr. Browne, and Mr. Bonest, Officers of the said Company, informed how their Governor was lately dead, and buried but the Day before; that, upon Thursday then next following, they had apppointed a Court for Election of a new Governor; and until then they could resolve of nothing; and desired further Respite.
"The Advocate did again earnestly press their Imprisonment; but the Judge took Time to advise on it.
"The Company, finding by these Courses the Drift of the Duke, and considering his Greatness and Power, and withall observing what a Streight they were cast into by reason of the Stay of their Ships, which, if it were much longer, would lose their Voyage; and the very unloading of them would endamage them to the Value of the Sum exacted; and being told that the Eye of the State was upon this Business, and that it would light heavy upon them; and hearing the Duke protest their Ships should not go except they compounded with him; and finding that he made Difficulty of releasing their Ships, by saying the Parliament must be moved ere they could be discharged, albeit the Wind were now fair for them; and making Overture of some colourable Ground of Composition, by offering to grant Letters of Mart to the said Company for the future, against the Subjects of the King of Spaine, while yet the Peace or Treaties between His late Majesty and the King of Spaine were not broken or dissolved; the said Company was drawn to make Offer of Six Thousand Pounds to the said Duke, which was rejected, as a base Offer; and the Time pressing them on very hard, some Consultations were had amongst them whether it were better for them to make use of a Clause in their Patent, allowing them Three Years to draw Home their Estates, and so to let their Company die, or be dissolved, or else to yield to the Duke's Desires; yet, in Conclusion, they were drawn, and in some sort inforced, to offer him Ten Thousand Pounds for their Peace, if it would serve; which Offer was made unto him accordingly; and at first he would not accept it. Howbeit, about 23 Martii 1623, they agreed to give him the Ten Thousand Pounds, which he accepted; and forthwith, without moving the Lords of Parliament, or acquainting them therewith, he released their Ships, and gave them Leave to depart in their Voyage, which they accordingly did, setting (fn. 9) Sail the 27th Day of the same Month from The Downes; and afterwards, upon the 5th of April 1624, the Duke signified unto the Lords House of Parliament, that His Majesty, at the humble Petition of the East Indian Merchants, had commanded him to discharge those East Indian Ships which he had once stayed, according to the Order of this House made the said First Day of March then last past; and moved, that the said Order might be countermanded. And thereupon it was Ordered, That the Clerk of that House should cross the said Order of the First of March out of his Book, which was done accordingly; and afterwards the said Ten Thousand Pounds was paid unto the said Duke, which he received and accepted accordingly; and, upon the 28th of April aforesaid, suffered colourably a Sentence in the Admiralty to be given against him, for their Discharge, in such sort as by the same Sentence it appeareth. And, for a further Colour, sealed and delivered unto the said Company a Deed of Acquittance and Release of the said Ten Thousand Pounds, and of all his pretended Rights against them, as by the Deed thereof also appeareth.
"And then he enforced the same by Reasons and Precedents, and said, That upon this whole Case it is (fn. 9) easy to see wherein the Duke's Fault consists; and that is, by extorting Ten Thousand Pounds, as for a Composition for Right where he had none; making his Pretence therein but a Ground, or Colour, to exact and extort upon; for, if his Right had been good, it might peradventure have been a fair Composition; but, his Pretence falling away, it was a naked Bribe, or unjust Extortion; as may appear by Two notable Precedents of Judgments in Parliament; the one ancient, in 10 R. II, where the Earl of Suffolke being impeached by Articles from the Commons, and amongst the rest by the Fifth Article charged, that he would not give Livery to the Master of Saint Anthonies until he had given Security by Three Thousand Pounds to pay One Hundred Pounds per Annum to him and John his Son; the Earl set forth a pretended Title in his Son; and that he took the Hundred Pounds per Annum for Composition; which proving but a Colour, the Earl was sentenced, and punished greatly for this Offence amongst others, as by the Record appeareth.
"The other Precedent is more modern, in the Case of the Earl of Middlesex, late Lord Treasurer of England, who was charged by the Commons in Parliament for taking Five Hundred Pounds of the Farmers of the Great Customs, as a Bribe for allowing of that Security for Payment of their Farm Rent to the King, which, without such Reward of Five Hundred Pounds, he had formerly refused to allow of. The Earl pleaded for himself, that he had not only that Five Hundred Pounds, but Five Hundred Pounds more, in all One Thousand Pounds, of the said Farmers, as for a Release of his Claim of Four Two and Thirty Parts in the said Farm: But, upon the Proof, it appearing the said Earl had not any Parts of that Farm as he pretended, it was, the 13th of May, 22° Jacobi, adjudged by your Lordships in Parliament (which I think is yet fresh in your Memories), that the Earl, for this amongst other Things, should undergo many grievous Censures, as by the Records of your Lordships House appeareth. It remaineth then to prove, his Lordship had no Title to any Part of the Goods by him claimed against the East Indian Company; which is very manifest, if his Lordship's Pretence, by his own Allegations in the Admiralty, were true, that the said Goods were piratically taken; for of such Goods it is very clear, by Reason and Authority, that no Part or Share is due to the Lord Admiral.
"First, by Reason; for that the Parties from whom the same are taken ought to have entire Restitution; and it were an Injury to the Intercourse of Nations, if the contrary should be any way tolerated.
"Secondly, by Law; for so are the Statutes of this Kingdom, and more especially in 2 & 3 E. VI. Cap. 18. in the Act of Parliament touching Sir Thomas Seymor, Knight, Great Admiral of England; who therein, amongst divers other Things, is charged with this, That he had taken to his own Use the Goods piratously taken against the Laws, whereby he moved almost all Princes Christian to conceive a Grudge and Displeasure, and by open Wars to seek Remedies by their own Hands. And thereupon, for this amongst other Things, he was attainted of High Treason, as appeareth by that Act wherein the Law is so declared to be, as before is expressed.
"But, if it should be granted that the Duke had a Right in this Case, yet the Manner of his seeking to try the same is clearly unlawful, in making the Parliament a Colour to obtain his private Ends; and in proceeding to arrest and stay the Ships of Men that were able to answer him his Suit well enough though their Ships had gone in their Voyage, and doing it in so pressing a Streight of Time, as also in respect of their ill Circumstances, observable out of the Truth of the Fact concerning this Business.
"Now, for the French and Rochell Business, I desire that the Seventh and Eighth Articles may be read; (which being done), I shall then desire that I may read,
"The Substance of the Commons Evidence against the Duke of Buckingham, touching the Ships which were put into the Power and Service of the French King, and employed afterwards against the Rochellers.
"In or about the 22d Year of the Reign of our late Sovereign Lord King James, of Famous Memory, there being then a Treaty between our said late Sovereign and the French King, for a Marriage to be had between our then Prince, and now King, and the French King's Sister, our now Queen; and for entering into an active War against the King of Spaine and His Allies in Italy, and the Valtoline; our said late Sovereign passed some Promise to the French King's Ambassador here, the Marquis D'Effiat, for the procuring or lending of some Ships, to be employed by the French in that Service, upon reasonable Conditions; but without Intent that they should be employed against the Rochellers, or any others of our Religion in Fraunce; for it was pretended by the French King's Ministers to our King, that the said Ships should be employed particularly against Genoa, and not otherwise. But afterwards some Matters of Suspicion breaking forth from those of our Religion in Fraunce, that the Design for Italy was but a Pretence to make the Body of an Army to fall upon the Rochellers, or others of our Religion in that Kingdom, the King grew so gracious in His Conditions, that, as He would perform His Promise to lend His Ships, so, to preserve those of our Religion, He contracted or gave Directions that the greater Part of the Men in the same Ships should be English, whereby the Power of them should be ever in His Hands; and the Duke of Buckingham, then and yet Great Admiral of England, well knowing all this to be true, pretended he was and would be very careful, and proceed with Art, to keep the Ships in the Hands of our King and upon our own Coasts; and yet nevertheless, under-hand, he unduly intended, practised, and endeavoured the contrary.
"For afterwards, by his Direction and Procurement, in or about the 22d Year aforesaid, a Ship of His Majesty's, called The Vauntgard, being one of His Majesty's Royal Navy, was allotted, and appointed to be made ready, for the Service of the French King; and Seven Merchant Ships, of great Burthen and Strength, belonging to several Persons, the natural Subjects of our said late Sovereign Lord, were imprest, as for the Service of His said late Majesty, and willed to make themselves ready accordingly.
"The Names and Tonnage of the said Seven Merchant Ships were as followeth: videlicet,
"1. The Great Neptune, whereof Sir Fardinando Gorges was Captain, etc.
"2. The Industrie, of the Burthen of Four Hundred and Fifty Tons, whereof James Mowyer was Captain.
"3. The Pearle, of Four Hundred and Fifty Tons, whereof Anthonie Tuchin was Captain, etc.
"4. The Marigold, of Three Hundred Tons, whereof Tho. Davies was Captain, etc.
"5. The Loyalty, of Three Hundred Tons, whereof Jasper Dare was Captain, etc.
"6. The Peter and John, of Three Hundred and Fifty Tons, whereof John Davies was Captain, etc.
"7. The Guift of God, of Three Hundred Tons, whereof Henry Lewen was Captain, etc.
"Also, about the same Time, a Contract was made, by and between Sir John Coke, and other the Commissioners of His Majesty's Navy, as on the Behalf of His Majesty, for His said Ship The Vauntgard, and on the Behalf of the Captains, Masters, and Owners of the said Seven Merchant Ships (but without their Privity or Direction), for the Service of the French King, upon Conditions pretended to be safe and reasonable for our King, this Realm, and State, as also for the said Captains, Masters, and Owners of the said Seven Merchant Ships, and for their Companies.
"For Sir John Cooke drew the Instructions for the Direction of the said Contract; which Instructions passed, and were allowed by the King and such of the Council as were made acquainted with and used in this Business. In which Instructions, as Sir John Coke hath since alledged in the House of Commons, there was Care taken, for Provision to be made, that the said Ship of His Majesty's, called The Vauntguard, should not serve against the City or Inhabitants of Rochell, or those of our Religion in Fraunce, nor take into her more Men of the French than she could, from Time to Time, be well able to command and master; but whether the Instructions for the said Merchants Ships and the King's Ship were all one, is not yet cleared unto the Commons. Howbeit it appeareth not, but that the Intent of our King and State was to be alike careful for both.
"Nevertheless a Form of Articles, dated the 25th of March, in the 23d Year of His said late Majesty's Reign, was prepared, ingrossed, and made ready to be sealed, without the Knowledge of the Captains, Masters, and Owners of the said Merchants Ships, between the said Marquis D'Effiat, the Ambassador, of the one Part, and the several Owners of the said Merchants Ships respectively, on the other Part: videlicet, a several Writing, or Instrument, for every of the said Ships respectively, whereby, amongst other Things, as by the same appeareth, it was covenanted and agreed, by and on the Part and Behalf of the said Owners, to and with the said Marquis D'Effiat, to this Effect: namely,
"1. That their said several Ships respectively, with a certain Number of Men for every of them, limited with Ordnance, Munition, and other Necessaries, should be ready for the French King's Service by the 13th Day of April then next following.
"2. That they should go in that Service under a French Gentleman, to be as Captain in every of the said Merchant Ships respectively, of the Appointment of the French King or His Ambassador.
"3. That they should serve the French King against any whatsoever but the King of Greate Brittaine.
"4. That they should take in as many Soldiers into their several Ships as they could stow or carry, besides their Victual and Apparel, etc.
"5. That they should continue Six Months, or longer, in the Service, so the whole Time did not exceed Eighteen Months.
"6. To permit the French to have the absolute Command of their Ships for Fights and Voyages.
"And it was thereby, amongst other Things, covenanted and agreed, by and on the Part and Behalf of the said Marquis D'Effiat, as for and on the Behalf of the French King, amongst other Things, to this Effect: namely,
"1. That there should be paid to the said Owners a Month's Freight in Hand, after the Rate agreed on, and Freight for Two Months more, after the same Rate, within Fifteen Days after the Date of the Articles, the Computation of the Months to begin from the 28th of the same March.
"2. That the Ships should be re-delivered into a certain Form, prescribed at the End of the Service.
"When all Things were in a Readiness for Circumvention and Surprisal of the Owners of the said Merchant Ships, then, and not before, they were suddenly pressed to seal the Counterparts of the said prepared Articles; and they were about the same Time released and discharged from the Imprest for His Majesty's Service, and made acquainted and designed to serve the French King, the said Three Months Pay being offered and afterwards paid unto them aforehand, as a Bait to draw on and entangle them in the Business.
"Nevertheless, the Captains and Owners of the said Merchant Ships doubted upon some Points: videlicet; 1. Against whom they should be employed. 2. What Foreign Power they should be bound to take into their Ships; and 3. what sufficient Security they should have for their Freight and Re-delivery of their Ships.
"But there were private Instructions given to Captain John Pennington, Captain of the King's Ship The Vauntguard, as for him and the whole Fleet, that he should observe the First Instructions: videlicet, not to serve against those of our Religion, and to take into his Ship no more Frenchmen than he could master.
"The Pretence for Genoa, and his private Instruction to Penington, were a further Artifice to train the Ships into Fraunce, and to conceal the breaking forth of the Matter here in England; and, the more to endear and confirm them in an Opinion of right Intention, they were commanded to conceal these private Instructions, as if the Duke and his Agents had trusted them more than the Ambassador.
"By these and other like cunning and undue Proceedings of the Duke, the said Marquis D'Effiat sealed one Part, and the Owners of the said Merchant Ships respectively sealed the other Part, of the said prepared Articles; trusting that they should not be bound to the strict Performance thereof, by reason of the said private Instruction to the contrary.
"After the passing of those Articles, the said Ships being formerly ready, the said Duke, the 8th of May 1625, made a Warrant, under Seal, to call the Companies aboard, which had been raised and fitted for the said French Service, according to former Instructions, and, with the first Opportunity, to go to such Port as the French Ambassador should direct, etc, there to expect the Direction of the Party that should be Admiral of the said Fleet, so prepared; with a Requiry of all Officers to be assistant hereunto.
"Captain Pennington (being Admiral of this whole Fleet), in May 1625, went, with the King's Ship and Seven Merchant Ships aforesaid, to Deepe, in Fraunce.
"There instantly the Duke of Memorance, Admiral of Fraunce, would have put Two Hundred French Soldiers aboard the Ship called The Industrie; being no more Men than she could stow, but a far greater Proportion of Men than her proper Company was able to command or master; and offered also to do the like to every of the said Ships; telling the said Captain Pennington, and other the said Captains and Owners, and their Companies, in direct Terms, that they were to go, and should go, and serve against the City and Inhabitants of Rochell, and against those of our Religion; whereunto they all shewing themselves unwilling, there were Chains of Gold, and other Rewards, offered unto some of the Captains, Masters, and Owners, to induce them all; which they utterly refused, and protested against the Design; and would not take in above a fit Number of Men, such as they might be able to command.
"Also the Company of the King's Ships did there inform Captain Pennington of this Overture, made to go against Rochell, and exhibited a Petition to him against the same, subscribing their Names to the Potition in a Circle, or Compass, that it might not appear who was the Beginner of the same; and then they laid it under his Prayer-book, where he found and read it.
"Hereupon Captain Pennington, and the rest, consalted more seriously of the Matter; and, by a general Assent, returned all back to The Downes, where they arrived about the End of June, or Beginning of July, 1625.
"From thence Captain Pennington sent a Letter to the Duke of Buckingham, by one Ingram, with the said Petition inclosed, and employed him to become a Suitor to get a Discharge from serving against Rochell.
"Ingram delivered the Letter to the Duke, and saw him read it, together with the said Petition; whereby, as by other former and latter Means, he had full Notice of the Design and Intent of the French to go against the Rochellers.
"James Mowyer also, about the same Time, came to the Court, and had Conference with my Lord Conway, and Sir John Cooke, now Mr. Secretary Cooke, acquainting them what had passed at Deepe; praying them to acquaint the Duke, which they did; and the Duke delivered the said Letter and Petition to Sir John Cooke.
"The Duke of Shiveruex and Monsieur de Villocleire being come into England, as Extraordinary Ambassaders from the French King, they and the said Marquis D'Effiat (more especially D'Effiat) solicited and got a Letter from my Lord Conway, by the Duke's Means, dated the 10th of July 1625, directed to Captain Pennington, whereby he took upon him to signify His Majesty's express Pleasure to be, That His Majesty had left the Command of the said Ships to the French King.
"And that, therefore, the said Captain Pennington should receive into them so many Men as that King should please, for the Time contracted; and recommended his Letter to be as a sufficient Warrant in that Behalf.
"All this while the King, or Body of the Council, were never made acquainted with any other Design than that of Genoa, nor heard any Thing of the Passages at Deepe, nor of the Design for Rochell, nor of our Masters and Companies Petitions, Informations, or Complaints thereof.
"This Letter was sent by Packet from HamptonCourt, unto Pennington, being now about The Downes, and was, not long after, delivered into his Hands.
"About this Time Mr. De la Touche, and others from the Duke de Roan, and others of the Protestant Party in Fraunce, solicited our King and Council against the going of our Ships, and had good Words and Hopes from both; but from the Duke the contrary, who told them the King his Master was obliged, and therefore the Ships must and should go.
"The Ships remained still at The Downes, and afterwards, videlicet, about the 15th of July 1625, there was a Treaty at Rochester, between the Three Ambassadors Extraordinary of Fraunce, and James Mowyer and Anthony Touchin, for themselves and other the English Captains and Masters of Ships, etc. the said Mowyer and Touchin being by Message commanded to attend the Duke of Buckingham at Rochester, for a Conclusion and Settlement to be had of this Business; the said Ambassador did there parafet and offer to the said Mowyer and Touchin, an Instrument in French, purporting thus: videlicet,
"1. That the said Captains and their Companies should consent and promise to serve the French King against all, none excepted, but the King of Greate Brittaine, in Conformity of the Contract formerly passed between D'Effiat and them.
"2. That they should consent and agree (in Consideration of the Assurance given them by the Ambassador; videlicet, the Articles of the 25th of March 1625), if the French King would be made Master of the said Ships by indifferent Inventory: and then they should be by Him warranted against all Hazards of Sea and Fight; and if they miscarried, then the Value thereof to be paid by the French King, who should also confirm this new Proposition within Fifteen Days after the Ships should be delivered to his Use, by good Caution in London.
"3. And if the French King would take any Men out of the said Ships, He might; but without Diminution of Freight for or in respect thereof.
"The said Mowyer having gotten the same Instrument interpreted;
"1. They would not go to serve against Rochell. 2. Nor send their Ships without good Warrant for their going. And 3. Not without sufficient Security, to their Liking, for Payment of their Freight, and Redelivery of their Ships, or the Value thereof; for the Ambassador's Security was not by them taken to be sufficient; and they protested against, and refused, his Parafeted Instrument.
"Here also Sir John Ipsley and Sir Thomas Love dissuaded the Duke from this Enterprize; telling him he could not justify nor answer the Delivery of the Ships to the French.
"The Lord Duke being at Rochester, and there acquainted with all these Proceedings, commanded the said Mowyer, etc. before the Ambassadors, that they should obey the Lord Conwayes Letter, and return to Deepe, to serve the French; and that so was our King's Pleasure. Howbeit, His Majesty's Pleasure herein appeared not, but to the contrary; yet privately, at the same Time, the Duke told them, that the Security offered, or formerly given, by the Ambassador, was insufficient; and that, though they went to Deepe, yet they might and should there keep their Ships in their own Power, till they had made their own Conditions, to their own Liking.
"The 16th of July 1625, the Duke of Cheveruex and Mr. Villocleare, finding that they could not accomplish their Desires at Rochester, but that they must be fain to defer the getting thereof till the coming of the Ships back again to Deip (where it was thought that better Opportunity, and more Advantage for their Ends, would be had), did to that Purpose make and ordain the Marquis D'Effiat their Deputy to contract with the Captains and Masters of the English Ships, for the French King's Service, as effectually as themselves might do; thereby transferring their Power in that Behalf to the said D'Effiat, who intended to go over to Diep forthwith about this Business.
"The Duke of Buckingham having thus the Second Time dealt with the Captains and Masters to go to Deip, and armed and prepared D'Effiat, how and in what Manner there to circumvent them, sent over to Diep privately, and under-hand, his Secretary, Mr. Edward Nicholas, together with the said Marquis D'Effiat.
"Mr. Nicholas, at and before his going over, had Instructions from the Duke, by Word, to see the Execution of the King's Pleasure, signified by Letter from my Lord Conway, and to procure the Captains and Masters of the said Merchants Ships to deliver over their Ships into the Hands of the French, upon the Security parafeted at Rochester by the Three French Ambassadors, and by them delivered to the Duke of Buckingham, who committed the same to the said Mr. Nicholas, as the Security which in that Behalf he was to take and accept.
"Mr. Nicholas, according to these Instructions, went to Diep with D'Effiat, and was there to be very urgent to get the Ships delivered, according to his said Instructions.
"At their coming over to Diep, D'Effiat entered a Suit, or Protest, against our Captains and Masters, on their original Articles, the better to enforce them to perform the same, without respect to the Duke's verbal Pretences or Allegations made to the Captain and Masters at Rochester, and in other Places, formerly, to the contrary.
"The Captains and Masters came over again to Diep, about the 20th of July, where they found themselves in a Strait, by reason of the said Protest; the Duke's Instructions by Word being too weak to exempt them from obeying the Contract under their Hands und Seals; also Mr. Nicholas, using the King's Name, with threatening Words, was there very earnest with them from Day to Day, and very vehemently pressed them to deliver over their Ships, before Security given to their Content, contrary to the former Propositions: videlicet, the Lord Duke's Words to them at Rochester, etc. which they refusing to yield unto, Advertisement thereof was speedily sent to the Duke of Buckingham, and to his Agents, into England; and Mr. Nicholas continued still in Dicp, about his former Negotiation.
"Twenty-seventh of July 1625, Sir Fardinando Gorges, Anthonie Towchin, James Mowyer, Henry Lewen, Thomas Davis, Jasper Dare, and John Davis, as Owners and Captains of the Seven English Ships hired for the French, did express in Writing, that they held it fit they should not quit their Ships until they had made their own reasonable Condition, and were freed from the Questions and Troubles they were in, and in particular:
"1. They prayed to be free of the said Protest, that they might the better treat of their Affairs.
"2. Secondly, if the French King would have Delivery of their Ships into His Power and Possession, then that they might have Security by Money deposited in London, without Revocation, etc. for Satisfaction of their Entertainment and Re-delivery of their Ships; the former Security by Merchants being insufficient, and a Stop already made of their Pay, which upon that Security they knew not how to come by.
"3. Their Ships being Fortresses of this Kingdom, and the Delivery of them over to a Foreign Prince, without good Warrant in that Behalf under the Great Seal of England before they should be bound so to deliver them over.
"4. And to be free of their Bonds entered into for not selling their Ordnance, and also free of Punishment in that Behalf. And they shewed how they were more cautious herein; for that Commissioners drew the First Articles, which were now wholly broken, and these Articles were to be done by themselves.
"And this they sent from their Ships by one Mr. Bassett Cole, to be presented ashore to the Marquis D'Effiat, at Diep, appointing the said Mr. Cole to treat for a speedy Conclusion, according to these Articles, who treated accordingly; and the Marquis D'Effiat, to induce him to yield to his Ends, shewed him a Letter in French, signed by the Duke of Buckingham, whereby the Duke promised his Endeavour to get the Marquis D'Effiat's Turn served touching these Ships.
"The next Day, videlicet, 28th of July 1625, Mr. Nicholas came to board the Neptune; declaring in Writing under his Hand, how and why he was sent over by the Duke of Buckingham as before; and craved the Captains and Masters Answers in writing, under their Hands, whether they would conform to the Lord Conwayes Letter, and to the Instrument parafeted at Rochester, for Delivery over of the Ships, offering to prove them a sufficient Discharge to their Contentment.
"The same Day Sir Fardinando Gorges, and the rest, by Writing under their Hands subscribed, did declare as followeth: namely,
"That they were willing to obey our King, etc. but held not the Security parafeted at Rochester by the Three Ambassadors to be sufficient (though honourable); and therefore they absolutely refused to deliver their Ships upon that Security, desiring better Caution in that Behalf: videlicet,
"1. By Merchants of Parris.
"2. To be transferred to London.
"4. And such as might not be protected by Prerogative; and to have this under the Hands and Seals of both Kings.
"All this while our King, or Body of the Council, knew nothing in certain of any other Design of the French, than only of their Pretence against Genoa; and believed that all the Articles and Instruments that had passed between the French and us, or the Captains, Masters, and Owners of the English Ships, had been penned and contrived with full and good Cautions accordingly, for Prevention of all Dangers that might grow by the contrary.
"Also, the same 28th Day of July 1625, the said Captains and Masters taking Notice of Mr. Nicholas's pressing them to deliver their Ships before Security given to their Content, contrary to former Propositions (which they held unreasonable), did make Answer to the Marquis D'Effiat in Writing, that, until they should have Security to their Contentment, they would not quit the Possession of their Ships, which was unreasonable; and they sent therewith a Valuation of their several Ships as they would stand to.
"They likewise demanded the Performance of all Things formerly sent to his Lordship from them by Mr. Nicholas (save only for the Security by Money deposited); saying, that for all the rest, they durst not proceed otherwise.
"Lastly, they prayed a present Answer, that the Delays in this Business might not appear to be in them.
"But D'Effiat, being confident upon the Duke of Buckingham's Letter, Promises, and Proceedings aforesaid, would not consent to the said reasonable Demands of the Captains and Masters of the English Ships, protracting the Time till he might hear further from the said Duke out of England.
"While these Things were thus in handling both in France and in England, there were written over, out of Fraunce into England, Letters of Advertisement (how or upon what Grounds, or by what Act or Means, procured or occasioned, appeareth not yet), from one Mr. Larkin, a Servant to the Earl of Holland, and a kind of Agent or Person someway employed by our State, or under some of our Ambassadors or Ministers in Fraunce, that the Peace was concluded with these of our Religion in Fraunce; and that within Fourteen Days the War should break forth or begin in Italy, with a Design upon Genoa, a Matter of great Importance for annoying the Spaniard.
"This Letter of Larkin came to the English Court at Richmond, the 28th Day of July, when the Duchess of Cheveruex Child was there Christened; and the Contents thereof, as hath been alledged, was confirmed by the Ambassador of Savoy and Venice; by the Advantage and Colour whereof, the Duke of Buckingham drew the King (who all this while knew nothing of the Design upon Rochell, or those of the Religion; but thought the former Articles had been safe and well penned, both for Him and His Subjects, according to the most Religious and Politic Intention and Instructions in that Behalf originally given by His late Father), to write a Letter, dated at Richmond, the same 28th Day of July 1625, directed to the said Captain Pennington, to this Effect: videlicet,
"His Majesty did, by His said Letter, charge and command the said Captain Pennington, without Delay, to put His Majesty's former Command in Execution, for consigning The Vauntguard into the Hand of the Marquis D'Effiat, with all her Furniture; assuring her Officers His Majesty would provide for their Indemnity.
"And to require the Seven Merchants Ships, in His Majesty's Name, to put themselves into the Service of the French King, according to the Promise His Majesty had made unto Him.
"And, in Case of Backwardness or Refusal, commanding him to use all forcible Means to compel them, even to sinking; with a Charge not to fail, and this Letter to be his Warrant.
"This Letter was sent by Captain Thomas Wilborne to Captain Pennington, who was yet in The Downes.
"In the Beginning of August 1625, Captain Pennington went over again to Diep, carrying with him the said Letter of His Majesty's, and certain Instructions in Writing from the Duke of Buckingham to Mr. Nicholas, agreeable in Substance to the former verbal Instructions given by the Duke to him at Rochester, as the said Nicholas alledgeth; who also affirmeth that, in all Things he did touching that Business, he did nothing but what was warranted by the Duke's Instructions to him; which if it be true, then the Duke of Buckingham, who employed him, and commanded him therein, must needs be guilty of the Matters so acted by the said Mr. Nicholas.
"If there be any subsequent Act or Assent of Council, or of some Counsellors of State, for the going of these Ships to the French, or for putting them into their Power; it was obtained only for a Colour, and was unduly gotten, by misinforming the Contents of the sealed Articles, and pretending of the better verbal or other good Instructions to be the only true Substance of the Contracts, Conditions, and Instruments, for his Service, and concealing the Truth, or by some other undue Means; neither can any such latter Act of Council in any sort justify the Duke's Proceedings, which, by the whole Series of the Matter, appear to have been indirect from the very Beginning.
"About the Time of Captain Pennington's coming over the Second Time, Mr. Nicholas did, in his Speeches to the Captains and Owners of the Seven Merchants Ships, threaten and tell them that it was (fn. 10) as much as their Lives were worth if they delivered not their Ships to the French as he required, which put them in such Fear that they could hardly sleep; and thereupon Two of them were once resolved to have come away with their Ships; and, because the former Threats had made them afraid to return into England, therefore to have brought and left their Ships in The Downes; and themselves, for Safety of their Lives, to have gone into Holland.
"Captain Pennington, being the Second Time come to Diep, did there forthwith deliver and put the said Ship called The Vauntgard into the absolute Power and Command of the French King, His Subjects, and Ministers, to the said French King's Use, to be employed in His Service, at His Pleasure; and acquainted the rest of the Fleet with His Majesty's Letter; and commanded and required them also to deliver and put their Ships into the Possession, Power, and Command of the French King accordingly.
"The Captains, Masters, and Owners of the Seven Merchants Ships refused so to do, as conceiving it was not the King's Pleasure they should so do, without Security for Re-delivery of their Ships, or Satisfaction for the same, etc. to their good Contentment.
"Hereupon Pennington went ashore at Diep, and there spake with D'Effiat, the Ambassador, and shortly after returned aboard, and gave the Captains, Masters, and Owners, an Answer insisting upon the Validity, and urging the Performance of the former Contract made and perfected in England.
"Then the said Masters and Captains prepared to be gone, and weighed Anchor accordingly; whereupon Captain Pennington shot at them, and forced them to come again to an Anchor, as yielding themselves for Fear to his Mercy and Disposal.
"Upon this Captain Pennington, and the Frenchmen that now commanded The Vauntguard came aboard the Merchants Ships; and there proposed unto him a new Way for their Security touching their Ships; namely, to accept the Security of the Town of Deepe; whereupon they all went ashore unto Sir Fardinando Gorges, who, with his Ship, The Great Neptune, adventured to come away, as not liking the new and unreasonable Proposition.
"At their coming ashore, they spake with Mr. Nicholas; and there, by his Inforcement, came to a new Agreement, to accept of the Security of the Town of Diep, upon certain Conditions, as by the same appeareth: namely,
"The said Marquis D'Effiat, as extraordinary Ambassador in England, and as having Power by the said Deputation from the Duke of Cheveruex and Mr. De Villocleare, on or about the Sixth Day of August 1625, did agree and promise to the said Mowyer, Touching, Thomas Davies, Dare, John Davis, Lewen, as with the Captains and Owners of the said Ships, called The Industrie, The Pearle, The Marygould, The Loyaltie, The Peter and John, and The Guift of God, then being in the Road of the said Town of Diep; that the French King should give and furnish to the said Owners (they being present and accepting it in this Town) this sufficient Security, That, within Fifteen Days after the said French King shall be in Possession of the said Ships, he should give sufficient Caution in London, for the Sum of Two Hundred and Thirteen Thousand Livres, whereat the said Ships are estimated, with all that appertaineth to them, as Cannons, and other Munitions of War; to wit, Fifty Thousand Pounds. And on or about the same Fifth of August 1625, the Commonalty of the said Town of Diep entered Security, and bound the Goods of their Commonalty to the said Captains and Owners, That the French King and the French Ambassador should furnish the said Security within the City of London, within the Time, for the Sum aforesaid.
"On or about the 6th Day of August 1625, the said Marquis D'Effiat, as well in Quality of his being Ambassador, as by virtue of his said Deputation, did, by a Public Act, promise unto the said Mowyer, Touchin, Thomas Davics, Dare, John Davies, and Lewen, to give and furnish to them (they being present and requiring it in the Town of Deip) sufficient Security in the City of London, within Fifteen Days after the French King should be in peaceable Possession of the said Ships, for the Sum of Two Hundred and Thirteen Thousand Livres Turneys, whereto the said Ships were valued; namely, for the Ship called The Industrie, M Livres, and so a several Sum for every of the said Ships; which Security should remain for Security to pay to every of them the Prices of their Ships before specified, in case they should be lost in the French King's Hands, with other Particulars in the said Act mentioned; without derogating nevertheless from the Clauses of the said Contract of the 25th of March 1625; albeit, because the said Ambassador had found it good now to discharge the English Mariners out of the said Ships, that therefore the Freight agreed upon by the said former Contract should not be wholly paid, but only for the Space of the first Six Months; yet, if the French King would use them for Twelve Months longer, or for any less Time, that then he should pay Freight for the same, according to a new and particular Rate and Manner expressed in the said Act; and bound the Goods of Himself and the said Duke of Chevereux, and Mr. Villocleare, for the Performance thereof, as by the Act itself, Reference being thereunto had amongst other Things, more fully appeareth.
"This Act being passed, and recorded in Diep, all the Seven Merchants Ships (except The Great Neptune, who was gone away, in Detestation of the Action intended by the French) were forthwith delivered into the absolute Possession, Power, and Command of the French King, and of His said Ambassador D'Effiat, and other Ministers and Subjects of the said French King, to be employed by Him in His Service, at His Pleasure; and not one of all this English Company, Man or Boy, other than only One Man (a Gunner, as it should seem), would stay in any of the Ships to serve against the Rochellers, or those of our Religion.
"As soon as the Ships were then delivered into the Possession and Power of the French, the said Ambassador moved them, and dealt earnestly with them, for the Sale of their Ships.
"Mr. Nicholas, (fn. 11) at his coming from Diep, received a Diamond Ring, worth Fifty Pounds, and a Hatband, set with Sparks of Diamonds, worth a Hundred Marks, of the Ambassador, as a Recompence for his Pains taken in this Employment; which, though it be an usual Thing with an Ambassador, to cause greater Rewards sometimes, at their Departures, upon Persons of Mr. Nicholas's Quality, for less Service done, yet it was more than so ill an Office as he was employed in could in any Sort deserve.
"The said Captain Pennington returned speedily into England, and took his Journey towards the City of Oxford, where the Parliament was then sitting by Adjournment from Westm. thither; and there several Propositions were taken into Debate, for the Good of our Religion, and the Supply of His Majesty's Occasions; for the well-resolving and settling whereof, the true Knowledge how and upon what Terms the several Ships aforesaid were sent, delivered, employed, and to be employed, was very requisite. Afterwards nevertheless, upon or about the 8th Day of August 1625, at a Meeting and Conference between both the Houses of Parliament, in Christ Church Hall, after the reading there of His Majesty's most Gracious Answer to a Petition of the Lords and Commons formerly exhibited unto His Highness, touching our Religion, and much for the Good thereof; the Duke of Buckingham, well knowing all the Premises to be true, did not only cautelously conceal the same, but also most boldly and untruly, by Colour of delivering a Message from His Majesty to both the said Houses, did affirm unto them, touching these Ships, to this Effect:
"That it was not always fit for Kings to give Account of their Councils; and that Five Months of the Six were already past, and yet the said Ships were not employed against Rochell; willing or advising the said Lords and Commons to judge the King by the Event, to which he seemed to refer the Matter; by which cunning Speeches the Duke intended, and accordingly did make the Lords and Commons then to believe, that the said Ships were never meant, nor any way in Danger to be employed against the Rochellers, or those of our Religion in Fraunce; and herein he did a great Injury and Disservice to His Majesty, to the great Scandal and Prejudice of our Religion and Affairs, and highly abused and wronged both the Lords and Commons, by this cautelous and subtil Speech and Information, and thereby gave them Occasion to forbear petitioning or suing to His Majesty for Redress in this Business, while that the Time was passed, for the Ships were not then actually employed against the Rochellers, or those of our Religion, albeit in Truth they were then delivered into the French King's Power.
"And about the same Time, before the Parliament was dissolved, Captain Pennington (who could have opened the whole Truth of the Business, for the Service of the King and Realm) came to Oxford, but was there drawn to conceal himself, by Means of the Duke, and not to publish in due Time his Knowledge in the Premises, as was there shortly after reported; the Truth whereof the Lords in this Parliament may be pleased to examine, as they shall see Cause.
"The Parliament at Oxford being shortly after, upon the 12th of the same August, unhappily dissolved; in or about September 1625, the said Ships were actually employed against the Rochellers and their Friends, to their exceeding great Prejudice and almost utter Ruin; the said Ship the Vauntguard doing them that Spoil, that it hath been said by some of the French, that she mowed them down like Grass; to the great Dishonour of our Nation, and the Scandal of our Religion, and Disadvantage of the general Affairs of us and all Christendom.
"That the Ships were in eminent Peril to be utterly lost; and if they (fn. 12) be come Home since this Parliament safe, and long after the Matter was here propounded and taken into Examination, it may well be presumed, that it is by some under-hand Procurement of the Duke, and secret complying of the French with him, to colour out the Matter; which the Lords may examine as they see Cause.
"The one and only Englishman that presumed to stay in one of the Ships, and to serve against the poor Rochellers of our Religion, at his Return was slain, in coming to charge a Piece of Ordnance not by him well sponged.
"In February last, Monsieur De la Touch having Speech with Mr. Thomas Chcrwill, a Member of the Commons House of Parliament; and Monsieur De la Touch going down into Somersetshire, to Mr. John Pawlett's, to Monsieur Soubise, he told Mr. Chirwill, in the Hearing of Mr. John Clement, of Plymouth, who is now in Town, the Words that the Duke had spoken unto him the last Summer, touching these Ships; and thereupon used these Words: Cest Duc est un mescant Homme.
"Here ended this Narrative Relation, and then he proceeded:
"That, upon this whole Narrative of the Fact, touching the Matter of Delivery of these Ships to the French, divers Things may be observed, wherein the Duke's Offences do consist:
"1. As betraying a Ship of the King's Royal Navy into a Foreign Prince's Hand, without good Warrant for the same.
"2. The dispossessing the Subjects of this Realm of their Ships and Goods, by many Artifices and Subtilties, and in Conclusion with a high Hand and open Violence, against the good Will of the Owners.
"3. In breaking the Duty of Lord Admiral and Guardian of the Ships and Seas of this Kingdom.
"4. In varying from the original good Instructions, and presuming to give others of his own Head, in Matters of State.
"5. In violating the Duty of a sworn Privy Counsellor to His Majesty.
"6. In abusing both Houses of Parliament, by cautelous Misinformation, under Colour of a Message from His Majesty.
"7. And in disadvantaging the Affairs of those of our Religion in Foreign Parts.
"Offences of a high and grievous Nature. For the Proof of some Parts whereof, which are not the least, I offer to your Lordships Consideration the Statute of the 2 and 3 E. VI, touching the Duke of Somerset, wherein it is recited, That amongst other Things, he did not suffer the (fn. 13) Ports called Newhaven and Blacknest, in the Parts beyond the Seas, to be furnished with Victual and Money, whereby the French were encouraged to invade and win the same: And for this Offence, amongst others, it was enacted, That a great Mass of his Lands should be taken from him. And if non feisans, in a Matter tending to lose a Fixed Castle belonging to the King, be an high Offence, then the actual putting of a Ship Royal of the King's into the Hand of a Foreign Prince, which is a moveable and more useful Fortress or Castle of the Realm, must needs be held a greater Offence. I will forbear to cite any more Precedents of this Kind, because some of those that have gone before me have touched at divers Precedents of this Nature, which may be applied to this my Part: Only, because the Abuse of the Parliament, which is the highest Council and Court of State and Justice in the Realm, is not the least Offence in this Business, I shall desire your Lordships to take into your Consideration the Statute of Westm. the First, Chap. 30. whereby such as seek to beguile Courts of Justice are to be fore-judged the same Court, and punished, as by that Statute appeareth. And thus I humbly leave myself to your Lordships Favour, and my Lord Duke of Buckingham to your Justice.
"And, for my Part, I must crave your Pardon, for having been so long troublesome to your Lordships; but, being to deliver unto you the Words of another Man, I was of Necessity to report the same to your Lordships; which I have done by reading them unto you as well as I could out of these Papers."
These Four Lords having ended their Reports of thus much of the said Conference, and the Day being far spent; the House was moved to be adjourned.
Dominus Custos Magni Sigilli declaravit præsens Parliamentum continuandum esse in diem Lunæ proximum, videlicet, decimum quintum diem instantis Maii, hora nona, Dominis sic decernentibus.