Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 3, 1620-1628. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.
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DIE Lunæ, 15 die Maii,
Sir Francis Leeke versus Lord Deyncourt.
THE Petition of Sir Frauncis Leeke, Knight, was read; wherein he complains, that he made a Lease unto his Eldest Son (the Lord Deyncourt), of all his Lands, worth Four Thousand Pounds per Annum, at a Yearly Rent of One Thousand Four Hundred Pounds per Annum, of which Rent there is now Two Thousand One Hundred Pounds Arrear, for which he is inforced to sue in the Chancery (being Ninety-four Years of Age); unto which Suit the Lord Deyncourt, by Privilege of Parliament, refuseth to answer.
Whereupon it was Ordered, The Suit to proceed in the Chancery presently, notwithstanding the Privilege of Parliament; and, upon the Payment (fn. 1) of the Rent behind between this and the next Term, the Suit to be stayed.
Earl of Devonshire's Report of the Conference concerning the Complaint of the Commons, against the Duke of Bucks.
"Seeing you have been pleased to lay this Burthen upon me, it is my Duty to obey your Commands; and I shall endeavour, as near as I can, to render unto your Lordships what was spoken by the Fifth Gentleman from the House of Commons at this Conference. That now is my Duty as a Reporter; and, not daring to trust my own Memory, I shall, with your Lordships Favour, as my Lords that have gone before me, take Assistance from my Notes. The Gentleman began thus: videlicet,
"It hath pleased God, who hath the Events and Issues of all Things in His disposing, by Sickness laid on a Gentleman who should have performed this Part, and much more (I doubt not) to your Lordships Contentment, to cast this Task upon me, which I had formerly declined, out of the Consideration of the Importance of the Business, the Greatness of this Presence, and my many Defects, best known to myself.
"But since, by the Act of God, this Necessity on such a sudden is imposed upon me, and that I am snatcht as a Bush to stop a Gap, I hope your Lordships will not expect from me that Composure, that Fulness, that Strength of Speech, which you have had from my Companions that went before me; for, in these Streights of Time, I shall plainly and but confusedly, yet faithfully and effectually, as near as I can, according to the Sense of that House from which I received my Command and Direction about this Service, open (fn. 2) and inforce this Part of the Charge, which now falls to my Share.
"The particular Articles which fall to my Lot are concerning Honour and Judicature, Two Prime Flowers of the Crown; whereof I, being a poor Commoner, acknowledge myself most unfit to speak in the Presence of so many great Persons of Honour, and of the Supreme Judges of this Kingdom.
"But I am commanded from the House of Commons to say, that as your Lordships, though in a higher Sphere, yet are pleased so far to descend, as to be sensible of those Things which afflict and grieve the Commons, and the Common-wealth; so we hope it will not be accounted Presumption in us to fall into Consideration of some of those Things, which may seem at the first more nearly and immediately to concern your Honours.
"And yet I must further let you know, that the main Part of the Charge concerning Honour, if well observed, toucheth the Commons as directly, if not more nearly, in Point of Liberty, than it doth the Peers in Point of Dignity, as you shall now perceive.
"The Parts (fn. 3) of this Charge, as your Lordships may perceive, are Two:
"1. For the First, I must say, by Way of Protestation, that the Commons repine not at any Man lately advanced to Honour; they (fn. 4) think them not unworthy of it; but, for their own Sakes, and the Honour of the State, they wish their Virtues and Deserts had solely raised them thereunto, without (fn. 5) contributing to this bottomless Gulph.
"They complain only against the unworthy Way to Honour, brought in by this great Man, for his own Lucre, and to the Diminution of that high Respect due to the ancient and virtuous Nobility of this Kingdom.
"That this Trade hath been exercised by this great Man, hath fallen from himself; you all had him confitentem reum; only he endeavoured to take off (fn. 6) the Envy of being the first Beginner of it.
"All which notwithstanding, the House of Commons still conceives, that Honour was a Virgin undeflowered, at least not so publicly prostituted, before the Times of this Man, who makes Account, all Things, all Persons, should stoop and subject themselves to his loose Desires and vain Fancies.
"For the First, there must be some Proportion between the Price and the Thing apprised; and where this is not, there can be properly and naturally no Sale of Things; and therefore, in this Rank of Things not vendible, the Casuists place these Three Sorts of Things:
"1. Honour is above all Estimation; and therefore may well be resembled to Liberty, of which the Civilians have a Saying, Libertas est inestimabilis; so Honour certainly transcends all Price and Valuation.
2. Honour is sacred. She had a Temple dedicated to her amongst the Romans. Nay, I can derive it from Heaven, at least by Way of Resemblance, upon Authority of Scripture. Kings are therein stiled Gods; and therefore, by a good Analogy, our Barons, Viscounts, Earls, may well, as in a Type, express the Principalities, Powers, and Dominions, in the Angelical Hierarchy, that encompass more nearly the Divine Majesty, and attend His Throne.
"Now is a fit Season to make a Precedent of this Man, who, being lately raised to a transcendent Height, thinks he cannot shine bright enough unless he dim and damp the rest of his own Sphere, and render your Honour contemptible, by Commonness and Saleableness of it.
"2. Yet hath this great Man gone one Step of Unworthiness further. He not only sets Titles of Honour to Sale, come buy that will, and awards to his Agent a Venditioni exponas for them; but hath compelled others, that were modest, and could have been contented to have remained in their own Rank, to take them at a Price set by himself.
"For the particular Noble Gentleman named in this Article, I am commanded to say of him, as Tacitus did of Galba, Dignus imperare, si non imperasset. So this Man might well have come to this Honour, so it had not been this Way; and in that we impute no Blame unto him, but that he did it ad redimendam Vexationem; but think there well may be made the same Distinction between him and the great Man, which Divines make between the active and the passive Usurer.
"For the Matter itself, it seems very strange to the House of Commons, that this great Man, who is taken Notice of to be the principal Patron and Supporter of a Semi-pelagian Semi-popish Faction, dangerous to the Church and State, lately set on Foot amongst us, that, amongst other Things, hold a modified Freedom of Will in Divine Things, and a Power and Liberty in a Man to receive or refuse Divine Grace offered; that this Man, I say, should be so incongruous, and so far depart from his Principles, as to deny a Man Freedom of Will in Moral Things, and impose a Necessity of receiving the Grace of a King in a Title of Honour whether he would or no. What is this but to add Inhumanity to Oppression, and Injury to Incivility?
"5 H. V. Num. 10. Martyn Babington, and divers other Learned Men, had Writs delivered them to be Serjeants; upon which, out of their Modesty, and Love of Ease, they refused to appear; but, upon the Charge of the then Warden of England, they, after a long Day given, appeared, and took the Degree upon them. There is also a Writ in the Register to compel Men, in some Case, by reason of their Tenure, in others by reason of the Quantity of their Land, to come in, and take the Degree of Knighthood.
"To these I answer, That it is the Wisdom and Policy indeed of the Common Law (as appears in these Laws) to draw Men in that are fit, though otherwise backward, out of Modesty and other Respects, to take on them those Degrees and Dignities which draw along with them the Burthen of Service and Action in the Common-wealth, in the Time of Peace and War, for the Public Good. But that (fn. 7) a Man should be enforced by a private Man, for his private Lucre, to take a Title or Degree upon him, against his own Liking, is without all Example, against all Law, and of dangerous Consequence.
"For a Man of great Power may as well, nay better, compel a Man to buy a Piece of Land from him, or sell a Piece of Land to him, at his own Price; he may enforce a Man to take a Wife with what Portion he pleaseth, etc. Whereto if Way be given, what is this but to let in upon us an incroaching subalternate Tyranny of a Subject, under a most wise, most gracious, and most moderate King?
"First, from the House of Commons, I am directed, to the Honour of the King's Majesty, and all our Comforts, with humble Thankfulness to acknowledge, that, since His happy Coming to the Crown, there have been as many of eminent Parts, Learning, and Integrity, preferred to the Seats of Justice, and other Places of Trust, as ever were, in so short a Time, in any King's Reign.
"Next, concerning the First great Lord named in this Article last read, there is no Intention of any Reflexion upon him. We think his own Deserts might well have raised him to that high Office, without any other Price, and have continued him longer in it too, if he had not been shuffled out, by some that shuffled and cut all in those Days.
"For the Things charged in the last Article; videlicet, the Sale or Procurement of Judicial Places, and other Offices of Trust, for Money; that this is an Offence, is so clear, that to spend Time in Proof of it were all one as to go about to make Glass more transparent by painting it.
"I will take the Ground of what I shall say upon this Subject from Magna Charta, Cap. 29. These Words, Nulli vendemus, nulli negabimus, nulli differemus Justitiam; this, as you may see, is spoken in the Person of the King, in the Behalf of Him and His Successors. He therefore that abuses his Favour and Power with His Majesty, to procure Places of Judicature unto others for Money, doth as much as in him lies to make the King break His Word with His People. This will appear more clearly by looking into the other Parts of that Clause. If any should procure the King to leave the Seats of Justice empty, and make no Judges, or to delay the Supply of vacant Rooms of Judges, when their Service might be requisite for the Administration of Justice, I think therein no Man but would say Magna Charta were infringed; so is it certainly in the other Part too, when those through whose Lips and Hands Justice is to run, are put to buy their Places; for it cannot but follow, and it must be expected, that they that buy must and will sell again, to make their own up with Advantage.
"Hence sprang the Resolution of Alexander Severus, which Lampridius mentioneth in his Life: Non patiar Mercatores Potestatum quos si patiar, damnare non possum. Erubesco enim punire eum hominem qui emit et vendit.
"1. Unworthy Men shall always, or for the most Part, supply great Places, because, being conscious to themselves of their own Want of Worth, they must needs hold themselves obliged to supply that with a greater Weight of Gold.
"2. Contentious Quarrels and Suits will be cherished and lengthened out by their Means that sit in the Seat of Justice; since that makes for their Profit, and they think they do well omnibus viis et modis to make it a good Bargain.
"5. The Great Men, that sell Places and Offices to others, must and will maintain the undue Exactions and Extortions of those whom they have so raised; both because they are their Creatures, as also for that the more the Gain is greatened, the greater Fine must be paid to the next Vacation by the following Successor.
"6. If good and able Men, by some special Providence, be placed at any Time in some eminent Offices, Quarrels will be picked, and some Faults found or made in them, that, by their displacing, Way may be made for such as stand ready, with their Money in their Hands, to leap into the Saddle, and will be more dependent.
"The Civilians and Casuists, descanting upon this last Law of the Thebans, shew the Reason of it to be double: 1. Because the Merchants Trade consists wholly in buying and selling. 2. In the Companies of Merchants, he is thought the best Merchant that can gain most. And therefore, if there should not be some good Time limited, wherein they might forget by Leisure their former Course of Life, it is feared they would, even in Places of Judicature, walk in the same Ways they did when they were Merchants, and sell Justice; thinking him the best Judge that could make most of his Place.
"I may well bring in the Popes next to the Pagans, a Generation none of the purest (I may say safely) from Corruption; yet have they shewed their Dislike and Detestation of this foul and hateful Offence.
"To the Second Tome of the Papal Constitutions, there is a Bull of Pius Quintus, wherein he inflicts the Penalty of Confiscation of Goods upon him that buys either an Office or Dignity, which hath Jurisdiction annexed; and condemns tam ambitiosos hujusmodi quam Pecuniarum hujusmodi Receptores et Stipulatores.
"2 et 3 Edw. VI, in the Duke of Somerset's Cafe, one of the Offences for which he was adjudged by Parliament to forfeit and lose the Moiety of his Estate, appears in the Record to have been, the disposing of Offices in the Commonwealth for Money.
"And it is undoubtedly most just, that those that will stile themselves Patriots and public Persons, and yet shew, by such Practices as these, that they aim at their own private Avail, and not the Public Good, in the equal and free Distribution of Justice, should return back into the Public Treasury of the King and Kingdom what their avaricious Thirst hath gathered and heaped together.
"And so, humbly craving Pardon of your Lordships for my Boldness, and the tumultuary Confusedness of my Speech, occasioned for Want of due Time for my Preparation to this Work; I leave myself to the Judgement of your Favour and Charity, and this great Lord to the Sentence of your Wisdom and Justice.
Earl of Clare's Report of the Conference concerning the Complaint of the Commons against the Duke of Buck ingham.
"Want of Ornament no Disadvantage to the Cause. The Lords such Judges as will proceed to the Proportion of the Matter; and so measure Things by Art and Expression. He would therefore fall to the Matter. The Lords Time more precious than his Elocution.
"Then he opened the Charge, which, for Matter of Fact, needed no Proof, being so notorious; and therefore he would only insist upon the Consequence, which made this Fact of the Duke's a great Grievance in the Common-wealth, and conclude with strengthening the Whole with some Precedents.
"Every Offence, said he, pre-supposes a Duty. The First Work is to shew the Duke was bound to do otherwise. He needed to alledge nothing else, but that he was a sworn Counsellor and Servant to the King; and so ought to have preferred his Master's Honour and Service before his own Pride, in seeking to ennoble his own Blood.
"There are some Laws that are particular, according to the Temper of the States; there be other Laws, which are co-essential and con-natural with Government, which being broken, all Things run into Confusion.
"Secondly, As it is perpetual, not ending with their Persons, but descending upon their Posterity; so there ought to be, in the First Root of this Honour, some such active Merit to the Common-wealth as may transmit a vigorous Example to their Successors, to raise them to an Imitation of the like.
"He speaks modestly of those Persons whom it did collaterally concern; professing his Charge wholly upon the Duke of Buckingham; and therefore would leave the First Point concerning the Offence, and come to the next Point, videlicet, the Grievance, which in the Article is expressed in Three respects.
"First, It is prejudicial to this High Court of Peers; he will not trouble us with Recital, how ancient, how famous, this Degree of Barons hath been in the Western Monarchies; he will only say the Baronage of England hath upheld that Dignity, and doth concern it in a greater Height than any other Nation.
"The Lords are great Judges, a Court of the last Resort. They are great Commanders of State, not only for the present, but as Law-makers, Counsellors for the Time to come. And this not by Delegacy and Commission, but by Birth and Inheritance.
"If any be brought to be a Member of this great Body who is not qualified to the Performance of such State Functions, it must needs prejudice the whole Body; as a little Water, put into a great Vessel of Wine, which as it receives Spirit from the Wine, so doth it leave therein some Degrees of its own Infirmities and Coldness.
"Secondly, it is prejudicial to the King, not that it can disable Him from giving Honour, for that is a Power inseparable; but, by making Honour ordinary, it becomes an incompetent Reward for extraordinary Virtue; when they are made noble, they are taken out of the Press; and how can it choose but fail in Estimation, when Honour itself is made a Price?
"Thirdly, it is prejudicial unto the Kingdom. The Stories and Records are full of the great Assistance, which the Crown hath received from the Barons, both in Foreign and Domestic Occasions; and not only by their own Persons, but their Retinue, and Tenants; and therefore they are called by Bracton, Robur Belli. How can the Crown expect the like from such as have no Tenants, and are hardly able to sustain themselves? Besides, this is not all; for the Prejudice goes not only primatively from thence, but positively, in that they cannot give the Assistance they ought, but in that they have been a great Burthen to the Kingdom, by the Gifts and Pensions they have received, and will stand in Need to receive more futurely, for the Support of their Dignities.
"This makes the Duke's Offences the greater, that, in this Weakness and Consumption of the State, he hath not been content alone to consume the Public Treasure, which is the Blood and Nourishment of the State, but hath brought in others to help him in this Work of Distraction; and, that they might do it the more eagerly, by enlarging their Honours, he hath likewise enlarged their Necessities and Appetites.
"The First, 28 H. VI. 131. in the Complaint against the Duke of Suffolke, that he had made one that had married his Niece Earl of Kendall, and procured him One Thousand Pounds per Annum in the Dutchy of Culen; and yet this Party was the Son of a noble and well-deserving Father.
"The Second, the 17 Edw. IV. an Act of Parliament for the degrading of Thomas Nevill, Marquis Mountague, Duke of Bedford; the Reason expressed in the Act, because he had not a Revenue to support that Dignity; together with another Reason; videlicet, when Men are called to Honour, and have not Livelihood to support it, it induceth great Poverty, and causeth Extortions, Embraceries, and Maintenance.
"Therefore he breaks them into Parts, and selects the most material, either in Point of Offence or of Grievance; then to add the Proof, and afterwards the Reasons and Inforcements, which shall be most conducible to the Judgement which the Commons expect from the Lords.
"And because the Commoners aim not at Judgement only, but at Reformation, he wisheth (fn. 8) that, when the King bestows any Lands for Support of Honours, these Cautions might be used, to annex the Land to the Dignity, lest, being wasted, the Party return to the Crown for a new Support; by which Provision the Crown will reap this Benefit, that, as some Lands go out, some will come in.
"Item, Fines set upon such as broke them; and this he only adds as a further Inforcement of the Grievance, that when the King's Revenues (fn. 9) are too able to defray public Necessities, the Commons must needs be more burthened with supplying the King.
"This is to be proved by the Warrants, remaining with (fn. 10) the Auditor of the Rates, and with the other Auditors.
"The Reason: For by this the King did not only sustain great Loss for the present; but it opened a Way of Prejudice, which ever since hath continued; for all those that have since passed Lands from the Crown, have followed the same Precedent.
"The Third Point of the First Branch concerning Lands is, the Surrender of divers Parcels of those Lands back to the King, after he had held them more or fewer Years, and taking others from the King in Exchange.
"He confessed others had (fn. 11) done the same before him; yet he spake it, because, though he had new Devices of his own, yet for his Advantage he took in all those that went before him.
Whence this Second Observation: That, the best of the King's Lands by this Course being passed away, the worst hung upon His Hand, so as, having Occasion to raise Money, such Lands would not supply Him.
"The Third Observation: Opportunity was hereby left to the Duke, to cut down Woods, to enfranchise Copy holders, to make new Leases, and yet, the old Rent remaining still, the Land to be surrendered. Whether this be done so, uncertain, not having Time to examine; yet he desires the Lords to inquire after it, the rather for that Couphill in Lincolnshire was so dismembered, and turned back, videlicet, Seventeen Pounds of the old Rent sold out of it, which Rent was only abated in the Turning-back.
"2. Observation. It was a Device to prevent the Wisdom of Parliament, if it should be thought fit to make a Resumption; for by this Means these Grants seem to have the Face of valuable Consideration, whereas they were Free Gifts.
"Objection. It may be said this was the Purchasers Desire, for their own Security; of which Objection he made this Use, that the Subjects taking Notice of so much Land given the Duke, there was Cause and Possibility of a Resumption.
"The First Point. The Total Sum received by him in Ten Years amounts to One Hundred Sixty-two Thousand Nine Hundred Ninety-five Pounds; besides Three Pence upon Strangers Goods. Besides the Moiety of Seven Thousand Pounds out of the Customs of Ireland, which he is bound to pay every Year to the King, which so done or not he knows not.
"This he delivered as a Sum estimative, yet so computed, as it may be more, not less; and this Total ariseth by Free Gifts, by Pensions to himself, by the Profit of Farms, by Pensions to others for Offices, whereof he received the Benefit, videlicet, the Admiralty, the Mastership of the Horse; all which will appear by the Schedule annexed to this Charge delivered in.
"The Aggravation. This had in Time of Want, when the Expence of the King's House can hardly be supplied, when His Forts and Castles are unfurnished, when there appears great Wants and Hazards of the Kingdom, for the Provision of the Navy, and Guard of the Seas in his own Charge, the Kingdoms threatened with Invasions, and potent Enemies.
"The Second Point in this Branch, that, under Pretence of Secret Service, he hath procured great Sums of Money to be issued, by Privy Seals, to sundry Persons named by himself, and the Moneys employed to his own Use.
"The one of Eight Thousand Pounds paid to Sir Robert Pye, 12 August 1620, of which Sum the said Sir Robert was discharged by another Privy Seal, 4 Jan. following, and this Money paid towards the Purchase of Burley.
"The Second Instance is Sixty Thousand Pounds paid to Burlemacchie, 7 October 1625, which Time the rather noted, because the Parliament at Oxford was broken; a Sum no greater, nay far less, not granted.
"Whether to that Crime which in the Civil Law is called Crimen Peculatus, which was, when any Man did unjustly turn to his own Use that Money, which was either sacred, dedicated to God's Service, or religious, which was used about Funerals and Monuments of the Dead; or Public, of which Kind the Business now in Question is; and this Offence, by that Law, was Death and Confiscation.
"Or whether the Lords will think it to carry Proportion with that Crime which in the Civil Law is called Crimen falsi, and is defined to be when any shall, simulatione veri, suum compendium alieno dispendio facere; videlicet, that, by Semblance of Truth, made Gain to himself out of others Losses; which, in the Case of a Bondman, was Death; and in Case of other Men was Banishment and Consiscation, as the Nature of the Fact required.
"And therefore, were there not more than a cunning Concealing of what he received from the King, it argues Guilt of Unthankfulness, hiding his Master's Bounty; and Guilt of Unworthiness, as if he durst not avow the Receipt of that which he had not merited; or Guilt of Fear of Punishment, by this Inquisition into his Actions, which now is come to pass.
"By the Privy Seal with which these be issued, they appear to be Free Gifts; but, by the Affirmation of some in Answer for the Duke, it hath been said he was only the Hand to convey it over to the Treasurers of the Navy.
"If the Truth be according to the Privy Seal, it is to be added to the former Sums, as Parcel of his own Gain; if according to the foresaid Allegation, it may prove a Precedent of greater Damage to the King than the Money is worth; for, by this Way, His Majesty hath no Way, by Matter of Record, to charge the Treasurer of the Navy with these Sums, and shall lose the Benefit of the Act, 13 Eliz. whereby Accomptants Lands are made liable to the Payment of their Debts, and in many Cases may be sold for His Majesty's Service.
"The Second, an Act of Controllment, that the King relies not upon the Industry nor Sincerity of any one Man; but, if he fail in either, it may be discovered by the Duty of some other Officers sworn, who can take Notice of it.
"The Fifth Point of this Second Branch is concerning Two Privy Seals of Release, the one the 16th, the other the 20th Jacobi, concerning divers Sums secretly received to His Majesty's Use, and to be returned by the Privy Seal, for the Support of the Duke of Buckingham; the Proof whereof is referred to the Privy Seals themselves.
"Observation in general hence is made of the Duke's Subtilties, which he used to wind himself into the Possession of the King's Money, and to get that by cunning Steps and Degrees, which peradventure he could not have obtained at once.
"A good Master will trust a Servant with a greater Sum than he would give him; yet after, when it is out of (fn. 12) his Possession, will be drawn the more easily to release him of accounting for it.
This is a proper Instance to be added to the Proof of mingling his own Estate with the King's; and of the same Kind be other Particulars mentioned in the Schedule, though not expressed in the Charge; videlicet, the Twenty Thousand Pounds, in Part of the Earl of Midd. Fine, which cannot be discovered whether Part or all be converted to the Duke's Benefit; and yet it appears by a Privy Seal to be clearly intended to the King's own Service of the Houshold, and Wardrobe, till by the Duke's Practice it was diverted into this close and By-way.
"Another Instance of this is, his Endeavours to get the Prize Goods into his own Hands; and for this Purpose he first laboured his Man Gabriell March might receive it; yet it was though fit, some Partner should be joined with him; and divers being tried, none of any Credit would be joined with him. The Commons had Reason to think they had Cause so to do; he is so ill an Accomptant, that he confessed in their House, that, by Authority from the Duke, he received divers Bags of Gold and Silver of The Peter of Newhaven, which he never told: And when this Practice of getting some to join with his Man could take no Effect, then he procured a Commission to Sir William Russell (who is without Exception an able and a worthy Officer; but that is not enough for the King's Security): That, howsoever he received the Money, it was to be issued by the Duke's Warrant, which Clause hath been answered since this was questioned in Parliament; and now it is to be issued out by an immediate Warrant from His Majesty. As it was before, here it may be noted his Incroachment upon the Office of my Lord Treasurer.
The last Point upon this whole Charge was this; a Connexion of Land and Money into one Total; and to that Purpose he valued the Land at Forty Years Purchase; though some were sold for Thirty, and some more worth than an Hundred; so as Forty Years is conceived an even Medium.
"At this Rate, Three Thousand Thirty-five Pounds comes to One Hundred Twenty-one Thousand Four Hundred Pounds; which, being added to the Total of the Moneys received, which were One Hundred Sixtytwo Thousand Nine Hundred Ninety-five Pounds, amounts to the just Sum of Two Hundred Eightyfour Thousand Three Hundred Ninety-five Pounds, besides the Forest of Leafeild. This is a great Sum in itself, but much greater by many Circumstances: If you look upon the Time past, never so much came into any one private Man's Hands out of the public Purse. If you respect the Time present, the King had never so much Want, never so many Occasions, foreign, important, and expensive; the Subjects have never given greater Supplies, and yet those Supplies unable to furnish these Expences. But, as these Circumstances make that Sum the greater, so there be other Circumstances, which make the Sum little, if it be compared with the inestimable Gain he hath made by the Sale of Honours, Offices, and Projects, hurtful to the States both of England and Ireland, or if it be compared with his own Profuseness; witness these Gifts, notwithstanding his Confession before both Houses of Parliament, to be indebted One Hundred Thousand Pounds and above. If this be true, how can we hope to satisfy his immense Prodigality? If false, how can we hope to satisfy his Covetousness? And therefore no wonder the Commons complain to be delivered from such a Grievance.
"The Third, whereas the Master of St. Anthonies, being a Schismatick, had forfeited his Estate into the King's Hands, this Earl took (fn. 13) it in Farm at Twenty Marks the Year, converting the Overplus, which was a Thousand Marks, to his own Benefit; which should have come to the King's.
"That, being next and privatest of Counsel to the King, he had procured Him to grant great Possessions to divers Persons, whereby the King was much impoverished, the Expence of His House unpaid, Wages, Wardrobe, Castles, Navy, Debts unsatisfied; and so, by his subtil Counsel and unprofitable Labour, the Revenues of the Crown, Dutchy of Lancaster, and other the King's Inheritances, have been so diminished, and the Commons of the Realm so extremely charged, that it is near a final Destruction.
"These Precedents he produced as Precedents in Kind, but not in Proportion; and, because these great Persons were not brought to Judgement upon these Articles alone, it is to be noted that ravening upon the King's Estate is always accompanied with other great Faults and Vices; which Consideration he submits to the Lords.
Lord Say and Seale's Report of the Conference touching the Complaint of the Commons against the Duke of Buckingham.
"Thus have your Lordships heard this Charge against the Duke of Buckingham briefly stated; and now may it please you to have represented also unto your Wisdoms and Justice the Nature of this Offence in itself, and how it stands appareled with Circumstances.
"The various Composition and Structure of our Bodies, the several Nature and Degrees of Diseases, the Quality and Power of Medicines, are such subtil Mysteries of Nature, that the Knowledge thereof is not apprehended without great Study and Learning, not perfected without long Practice and Experience.
"Which tender Consideration induced, it seems, the Charity and Providence of that Law, which makes it penal for unskilful Empiricks, and all others, to exercise and practise Physick upon common Persons, without a lawful Calling and Approbation; branding them that shall thus trangress as improbos, maliciosos, temerarios, et audaces homines; but he that without Skill and Calling shall direct a Medicine, which upon the same Person had once wrought bad Effects (enough to have dissuaded a second Adventure), and that when Physicians are present, Physicians selected for Learning and Art, prepared by their Office and Oaths, without their Consent, may even contrary to their Directions, and in a Time unseasonable; I say, must needs be guilty, albeit towards a common Person, of a precipitate and unadvised Rashness.
"But to practise, my Lords, such Experiments upon the Sacred Person of a King, so great, so good, se blessed a Prince, a Prince under the Protection of whose Justice, to use the Words so often recorded by Himself, every Man sat under his own Vine, eat of his own Fig-tree, extends this Fault, this Attempt, beyond all Precedent, all Example.
"For, though the Days of (fn. 14) the greatest Princes, like their meanest Subjects, be numbered, a Time appointed which they cannot pass; yet, while they are upon Earth, they are Vessels of Honour, set apart for God's greater Works; His Vice-gerents, not to be thought upon without Reverence, not to be approached unto without Distance.
"And so pious, my Lords, are our Laws, to put the Subjects in Mind of their Duty towards their Princes, their Persons so sacred, that, (fn. 14) in the Attempt even of a Madman upon the Person of a King, his Want of Reason, which towards any of his Fellow Subjects might acquit him of Felony, shall not excuse him of Treason.
"And how wary and advised our Ancestors have been, not to apply any Thing in this kind to the Person of a King, may appear by a Precedent in the 32 H. VI, where John Arundell and others, the King's Physicians and Surgeons, thought it not safe for them to administer any Thing to the King's Person, without the Assent of the Privy Council, and express Licence under the Great Seal of England.
"But I beseech your Lordships to behold the Difference of Times: The Duty, the Modesty, of those Physicians restrained them from actuating that which their Judgements and Experience might have justified. I am commanded to say, the Boldness of this Lord admits no Warrant, no Command, no Counsel: but, transported by the Passions of his own Will, ventures upon the doubtful Sickness of a King, with a Kind of high, sole, and single Counselling; the Effects whereof, as in all other Things, so especially in such as this, have ever been decried, as leading to Ruin and Destruction.
"What Colour shall be given then, my Lords, what Excuse can be framed, for a Servant, a Servant too obliged as much as the Bounty of a great King and Goodness of a Master could make him, so much forgetting his Duty as to hazard such a Majesty, upon so slight, so poor Pretences?
"Admit, my Lords (for that is all this great Duke's Defence), that this sprang from Affection to his Master, the Desire of His Preservation, out of his Credulity and Confidence, tried perhaps upon this or that Subject. Could this Lord imagine that any Medicine should be so Catholicly good, at all Times, in all Degrees of Age, for all Bodies? But, as I am commanded, alas! what Belief, what Hopes, could he have of this the second Time, when the former appeared so unsuccessful?
"It is a faint Affection, my Lords, where Judgement doth not guide; regulated Judgement should have directed a more advised, a more orderly Proceeding. But, whether it were a fatal Error in Judgement only, or something else, my Lords, in his Affection; the House of Commons leaves it to your Lordships to search into and judge: Only give me Leave to remember, that this Medicine found His Majesty in the Declination of His Disease; and we all wish it had left Him so; but His Blessed Days were shortly turned into worse; and, instead of Health and Recovery, your Lordships shall hear, out of the Testimony (that which troubles the Poor and Loyal Commons of England) of great Distempers, as Drought, Raving, Fainting, and Intermitting Pulse. Strange Effects, my Lords, to follow upon the applying of a Treacle Plaister. But the Truth is, my Lords, Testimony tells us, that this Plaister had a strong Smell, and an invective Quality, striking the Malignity of the Disease inward, which Nature otherwise might have expelled outward.
"And when I call to Mind, my Lords, the Drink Twice given to His Majesty by the Duke of Buckingham's own Hands, and a Third Time refused, and the following Complaint of that Blessed Prince; the Physicians telling Him, to please Him for the Time, that this Second Impairment was from Cold taken, or some other ordinary Cause; No, no (quoth His Majesty), it was that I had from Buckingham; a great Discomfort, no doubt, to think that He should receive any Thing that might hurt Him from one that He so much loved and affected; which makes me call to mind the Condition of Cæsar in the Senate, Et tu, Brute ! et tu, Fili!
"Here your Lordships may perhaps expect to hear what hath been done in like Cases heretofore. It is true, indeed, the former Charges were not without Example. But, as Solon said of his Laws not providing against Parricide, his Reason was, because he thought no Man was so wicked to commit it; so do not we find recorded to Posterity any Precedent of former Ages of an Act offered to the Person of a King, so insolent, so transcendent as this; though it be true that divers Persons as great as this have been questioned and condemned for less Offences against the Person of their Sovereign.
"And not to trouble your Lordships with much Repetition; it was an Article, among others, laid against the Duke of Somersett, for carrying Edward VI. away in the Night-time, of his own Head, but from Hampton-Court to Windsore; and yet he was trusted with the Protection of His Person. And whether this exceed not that Offence, my Lords, I humbly submit to your Judgements.
"The Law judgeth a Deed done in the Execution of an unlawful Act Manslaughter, which otherwise would have been but Chance Medley. And that this Act was unlawful, the House of Commons do believe, as belonging to the Duty and Vocation of a sworn and experienced Physician, and not the Unskilfulness of a young Lord.
"And so precious are the Lives of Men in the Eye of the Law, that though Mr. Stamford saith, a Physician taking one in Cure, and he die under his Hands, it is not Felony, because he did it not feloniously; yet it is Mr. Bracton's Opinion, That if one that is no Physician, or Surgeon, undertaketh a Cure, and the Party die in his Hands, this is Felony. And the Law goeth further, making the Physicians and Surgeons themselves accountable for the Death of their Patients, if it appear they have transgressed the Rules of their own Art; that is, the undertaking a Thing wherein they had no Experience; or, having done that, fail in their Care and Diligence.
"And the House of Commons, my Lords, styling it but Presumption, speaks modestly. But now that they have presented it to your Lordships, and brought it to the Light of your Examination and Judgement, it will appear in its own Colours.
"And I am commanded from the House of Commons to desire your Lordships, seeing he hath made himself a Precedent in committing that which former Ages knew not, your Lordships will, out of your Wisdoms and Justice, make him an Example for the Time to come.
"Finally, I am most humbly to beseech your Lordships, that you will not look upon this luxuriant Boldness through the Infirmities and Weakness of me the Speaker; but be pleased, in your Honours and Justice, thoroughly to examine the Truth, and then to judge according to the great Weight and Consequence of the Matter, as it is represented and complained of unto your Lordships against the Duke of Buckingham."
Bishop of Norwich's Report of the Conference, concerning the Complaint of the Commons against the Duke of Buckingham.
"I humbly crave Favour to acquaint your Lordships, that, touching this Report I am to offer unto your Lordships, I could not get any Help from the Gentleman who induced that Part of the Charge; and therefore I hope, if any Thing be mistaken or misplaced (in my Report), your Lordships will give it a favourable Construction.
"That your Lordships had heard, in the Labours of those Two Days spent in this Service, a Representation from the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses of the Commons House of Parliament, of their Apprehension of their present Evils and Dangers of this Kingdom, of the Causes of these, and of the Application of them to the Duke of Buckingham, so clearly and fully, as he presumed unto your Lordships that he should rather conclude than add any Thing unto his Charge.
"He said, that your Lordships heard how his Ambition was expressed, in procuring and getting into his Hands the greatest Offices (of Strength and Power) of this Kingdom; by what Ways and Means he had attained to these; Money stood for Merit.
"He said, that they needed no Arguments to prove this; but the Common Sense through which we suffer: As first, the Loss of the Regalities of our narrow Seas, the ancient Inheritance of our Predecessors. This he needed not further to press; but from hence his Observation should (fn. 15) go to his other Virtues, and that by Way of Perspective, rather to excite your Lordships Memories than to oppress your Patience.
"First, he proposed unto your Lordships the inward Character of the Duke's Mind, which, he said, was full of Collusion and Deceipt. He could express it no better than by the Beast (by the Ancients) called Stellionatus; a Beast so blurred, so spotted, so full of foul Lines, that they knew not what to make of it. So do we find (says the Reporter) in this Man's Practice.
"Then he colluded with the King, to colour his Offences; his Design being against Rochell and the Religion. Next, with the Parliament, to disguise his Actions; a Practice no less dangerous and disadvantageous to us than prejudicial to our Friends and Allies.
"Next he presents unto your Lordships the Duke's high Oppression, and that of a strange Latitude and Extent, not to Men alone, but to Laws and Statutes, to Acts of Council, to Pleas and Decrees of Courts, to the Pleasure of His Majesty: All must stoop to him, if they oppose or stand in his way. This hath been expressed unto you in the Ship called The Saint Peter, and those at Deepe; nay, he draws on the Colour of His Majesty's great Name to shadow his Design.
"It had been his Duty, nay the Trust of his Place, not to have transmitted them into the Hands of Strangers. But had His Majesty yielded in that Point, the Duke should have opposed it, by his continual Prayers and Intercessions; making known to His Majesty the Inconveniencies (fn. 16) that were likely to ensue; and not to rest there, but to have repaired unto your Lordships sitting in Council, to have desired and prayed your Aid and Assistance in a Matter of so great Importance; and, if all this had failed, he should have entered a Protestation against it. This hath been done by worthy Predecessors in that Office. And this had been the worthy Discharge of the great Trust reposed in his Place.
"The Relator said, he heard that the Ships were returned; but he knew it not; but, if it be so, this neither excuseth nor qualifies the Duke's Offence. The French, in this Case, are to be commended, not he excused. He left them in the Hands of a Foreign Power, who when they once had them, for any Thing he knew, might easily have kept them.
"The Third Head of the Relator's Conclusion was, the Duke's Extortion, in exacting from the East Indian Merchants, without Right or Colour, Ten Thousand Pounds, exquisitely expressed and mathematically observed (by the Gentleman you know by whom employed), who, by his Marine Experience, learned this Observation, that, if the Fleet gained not the Wind by such a Time at The Cape, the Voyage was lost. And here he craved Leave from the House of Commons, far be it from them to lay any Odour or Aspersion on His Majesty's Name; they hold His Honour spotless, not the least Shadow of Blemish can fix upon Him.
"Next to foul Extortion, was that styled by the Relator sordid Bribery and Corruption, in the Sale of Honours and Offices of Command. That which was wont to be the Crown of Virtue and Merit was now become a Merchandize, for the Greatness of this Man; nay, Justice itself made a Prey unto him; all which Particulars your Lordships had heard opened, and enforced with Reasons and Proofs what in themselves they are; and therefore he spared further to press them.
"In the Fifth Place, the Relator fell upon an Apostrophe; telling your Lordships that he was raised to observe a Wonder in Policy and Nature, how this Man, so notorious in Evil, so dangerous to the State, in his immense Greatness, is able to subsist of himself, and keep a Being. To this he answered, that he observed the Duke had used the Help of Art to prop him up. It was apparent that, by his Skill, he had raised a Party in Court, a Party in the Country, and a main Party in the Chief Places of Government in the Kingdom: That all but the most deserving Offices, that require Abilities to discharge them, are fixed upon the Duke, his Allies, and Kindred: And thus hath he drawn to him and his, the Power of Justice, the Power of Honour, and the Power of Command, and in Effect the whole Power of the Kingdom, both for Peace and War, to strengthen his Allies; and, in setting them up, himself hath set upon the Kingdom's Revenues, the Fountain of Supply, and the Nerves of the Land.
"He intercepts, consumes, and exhausts the Revenues of the Crown, not only to satisfy his own lustful Desires, but the Luxury of others; and, by emptying the Veins that the Blood should run in, he hath cast the Body of the Kingdom into an high Consumption.
"Infinite Sums of Money and Mass of Land, exceeding the Value of many Contributions in Parliament, have been heaped upon him; and how have they been employed, upon costly Furnitures, sumptuous Feasts, and magnificent Buildings, the visible Chronicles of the express Exhaustion of the State. and yet his Ambition (which is boundless) resteth not here; but, like a violent Flame, bursteth forth, and getteth further Scope. Not satisfied with Injuries, and Injustice, and dishonouring of Religion, his Attempts grow higher, to the Prejudice of his Sovereign, which is plain in his Practice; the Effects he feared to speak, and doubted to think. He ended this Passage, as Cicero did another: Ne gravioribus utar verbis quam rei natura fert, aut levioribus quam causæ necessites postulat.
"Upon these the Relator took upon him to set before you an Idea of the Man; what he is in his own Power and Greatness (and he thinks some have felt it); what in Reference to the King and State, compatible and incompatible. In Reference to the King, he styles him the Canker to His Treasure. In Reference to the State, the Moth of all Goodness. What future Hopes, or Expectations, your Lordships may draw out of his Actions and Affections, he humbly leaveth unto your Wisdom. In Comparison with others (he said), he could hardly find him a Match or Parallel. In all Precedents, he could find none so like the Duke as Sejanus; who is thus described by Tacitus: Audax, sui obtegens, in alios criminator juxta adulator et superbus. If you please to compare them, you shall easily discern wherein they vary; such Boldness of the one hath lately been presented before you as very seldom or never hath the like been seen. For his secret Intentions and Calumniations, he wished this Parliament had not felt them, nor the other before, For his Pride and Flattery, it is noted of Sejanue, that he did Clientelas suos Provinciis adornare. Doth not this Man the like ? Ask England, Schotland, and Ireland; and they will tell you Sejanus's Pride was so excessive, as Tacitus saith, that he neglected all Counsel, and in his common Language he used Imperatores laborum suorum sacios nominare. How often, how lately, hath (fn. 17) this Man commixt his Actions in Discourses with the Actions of the King ?
"Here the Reporter made a Pause; and said unto the Lords: My Lords, I have done; you see the Man: Only this, which was conceived by the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses, should be boldly by me spoken: That by him came all these Evils; in him we find the Causes, and on him we expect the Remedies. And to this End we met with your Lordships in Conference; to which, as your Wisdom invites us, so we cannot doubt but, in your Lordships Wisdoms, Greatness, and Power, we shall in due Time find Judgement, as he deserves.
Bishop of Ely's Case.
"Here the Relator proceeded with a particular Censure of the Bishop of Ely, reported in the 11 Rich. I, and to give you a short View of his Faults. He was first of all noted to be a Luxuriosus. 2. He married his own Kindred to Personages of the highest Ranks and Places. 3. No Man's Business was done without Help. 4. He would not suffer the King's Counsel to advise in the Affairs of State. 5. He grew to such a Height of Pride, as no Man was accounted worthy to speak unto him, And lastly, that his Castles and Forts of Trust he did obscuris et ignotis hominibus tradere. His Doom was this, he was cried per totam Insulam, pereat qui omnes perimere conatur; opprimatur, ne omnes opprimat.
"Then made he a Protestation, in the Name of the Commons House, saving unto themselves the Liberty of Power in further Impeachment against the Duke. They do pray that the said Duke may be put to the Answer of every one of these particular Examinations, Trials, and Judgements; which may be used agreeable to the Laws of Justice.
"And here the Relator ended, with an humble Deprecation unto your Lordships, that, having discharged this Charge of Justice laid upon him, howsoever unworthy, he craved Pardon at your Lordships Hands: First, for your Favours, in excusing that which he has preferred, though full of Weakness; and herein, as that Gentleman did begin, and led the Way, making his Apology by Colour of Command, so he might place his Excuse that Way, that was his Obedience. He was commanded, and had obeyed; and therein did desire your Lordships, that, notwithstanding any Thing that might reflect upon his Weakness, none might be admitted unto your Lordships Considerations, any ways to diminish Reputation and Wisdom from the House of Commons; which he hoped shall still give your Lordships Testimony, that the House of Commons is still deserving; and therefore, for his Failing herein, he humbly offers them to your favourable Censure.
Impeachment of the Duke of Buckingham by the Commons.
"For the speedy Redress of great Evils and Mischiefs, and of the chief Cause of these Evils and Mischiefs, which this Kingdom of England now grievously suffereth, and of late Years hath suffered, and to the Honour and Safety of our Sovereign Lord the King, and of His Crown and Dignity, and to the Good and Welfare of His People; the Commons in this present Parliament, by the Authority of our said Sovereign Lord the King assembled, do, by this their Bill, shew and declare against George, Duke, Marquis, and Earl of Buckingham, Earl of Coventree, Viscount Villiers, Baron of Whaddon, Great Admiral of the Kingdoms of England and Ireland, and of the Principality of Walles, and of the Dominions and Islands of the same, of the Town of Callis, and of the Marches of the same, and of Normandy, Gascoigne, and Guienne, General Governor of the Seas and Ships of the said Kingdoms, Lieutenant General, Admiral, Captain General and Governor of His Majesty's Royal Fleet and Army lately set forth, Master of the Horse of (fn. 18) our Sovereign Lord the King, Lord Warden, Chancellor, and Admiral of the Cinque Ports, and of the Members thereof, Constable of Dover Castle, Justice in Eyre of all the Forests and Chases on this Side the River of Trent, Constable of the Castle of Windsore, Gentleman of His Majesty's Bedchamber, One of His Majesty's most Honourable Privy Council in His Realms both in England, Scotland, and Ireland, and Knight of the most Honourable Order of the Garter; the Misdemeanors, Misprisions, Offences, Crimes, and other Matters, comprized in the Articles hereafter following; and him the said Duke do accuse and impeach of the said Misdemeanors, Misprisions, Offences, and Crimes.
Plurality of Officers.
"1. First, that whereas the great Offices expressed in the said Duke's Stile and Title heretofore have been the singular Preferments of several Persons eminent in Wisdom and Trust, and fully able for the weighty Service and greatest Employment of the State, whereby the said Offices were both carefully and sufficiently executed, by several Persons of such Wisdom, Trust, and Ability; and others also that were employed by the Royal Progenitors of our Sovereign Lord the King, in Places of less Dignity, were much encouraged with the Hopes of Advancement; and whereas divers of the said Places, severally of themselves, and necessarily, require the whole Care, Industry, and Attendance of a most provident and most able Person; he the said Duke, being young and unexperienced, hath, of late Years, with exorbitant Ambition, and for his own Profit and Advantage, procured and engrossed into his own Hands the said several Offices, both to the Danger of the State, the Prejudice of that Service which should have been performed in them, and to the great Discouragement of others, that, by this procuring and engrossing of the said Offices, are precluded from such Hopes, as their Virtues, Abilities, and public Employments, might otherwise have given them.
Buying the Admiral's Place.
"2. Whereas, by the Laws and Statutes of this Kingdom of England, if any Person whatsoever give or pay any Sum of Money, Fee, or Reward, directly or indirectly, for any Office or Offices, which in any wise touch or concern the Administration or Execution of Justice, or the keeping of any of the King's Majesty's Towns, Fortresses, or Castles, being used, occupied, or appointed for Places of Strength and Defence, the same Person is immediately, upon the same Fee, Money, or Reward, given or paid, to be adjudged a disabled Person in the Law, to all Intents and Purposes, to have, occupy, and enjoy the said Office or Offices, for the which he so giveth or payeth any Sum of Money, Fee, or Reward; he the said Duke did, in or about the Month of January, in the Sixteenth Year of the late King James, of Famons Memory, give and pay unto the Right Honourable Charles then Earl of Nottingham, for the Office of Great Admiral of England and Ireland, and the Principality of Wales, and Office of the General Governor of the Seas and Ships, to the Intent that the said Duke might obtain the said Offices to his own Use, the Sum of Three Thousand Pounds, of lawful Money of England; and did also, about the same Time, procure from the said King a further Reward, for the Surrender of the said Office to the said Earl, of an Annuity of a Thousand Pounds by the Year, for and during the Life of the said Earl; and, by the Procurement of the said Duke, the said King, of Famous Memory, did, by his Letters Patents, dated the Memory, did, by his Letters Patents, dated the 27th Day of January, in the said Year of his Reign, under the Great Seal of England, grant to the said Earl the said Annuity, which he the said Earl accordingly had and enjoyed during his Life; and, by reason of the said Sum of Money so as aforesaid paid by the said Duke, and of his the said Duke's Procurement of the said Annuity, the said Earl of Nottingham did, in the same Month, surrender unto the said late King, of Famous Memory, his said offices, and his Leters Patents of them; and thereupon, and by reason of the Premises, the said Offices were obtained by the said Duke, for his Life, from the said King of Famous Memory, by Letters Patents made to the said Duke of the same Offices, under the Great Seal of England, dated the 28th Day of January, in the said Sixteenth Year of the said King, of Famous Memory: And the said Offices of Great Admiral and Governor, as aforesaid, are Offices that highly touch and concern the Administration and Execution of Justice, within the Provision of the said Laws and Statutes of this Realm; which notwithstanding, the said Duke hath unlawfully, ever since the first unlawful obtaining of the said Grant of the said Offices, retained in his Hands, and exercised them, against the Laws and Statutes aforesaid.
Buying the Wardenship of the Cinque Ports.
"3. The said Duke did likewise, in and about the Month of December, in the Twenty-second Year of the said late King James, of Famous Memory, give and pay unto the Right Honourable Edward late Lord Zouch, Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, and of the Members thereof, and Constable of the Castle of Dover, for the said Offices, and for the Surrender of the said Offices of Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports and Constable of the said Castle of Dover, to be made to the said late King, of Famous Memory, the Sum of One Thousand Pounds, of lawful Money of England; and then also granted an Annuity of Five Hundred Pounds yearly to the said Lord Zouch, for the Life of the said Lord Zouch, to the Intent that he the said Duke might thereby obtain the said Offices to his own Use; and for and by reason of the said Sum of Money so paid by the said Duke, and of the Annuity so granted to the said Edward Lord Zouch, he the said Lord Zouch, the Fourth Day of December, in the Year aforesaid, did surrender his said Offices, and his Letters Patents of them, to the said late King; and thereupon, and by reason of the Premises, he the said Duke obtained the said Offices for his Life, from the said late King, by His Letters Patents under the Great Seal of England, dated the Sixth Day of December, in the said Twenty-second Year. And the said Office of the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, and of the Members thereof, is an Office that doth highly touch and concern Administration and Execution of Justice; and the said Office of Constable of the Castle of Dover is an Office that highly concerneth the Keeping and Defence of the Town and Port, and of the said Castle of Dover, which is, and hath ever been, appointed a most eminent Place of Strength and Defence of this Kingdom; which notwithstanding, the said Duke hath unlawfully, ever since his first unlawful obtaining of the said Offices, retained them in his Hands, and executed them against the Laws and Statutes aforesaid.
His not guarding the Seas.
"4. Whereas the said Duke, by reason of his said Offices of Great Admiral of the Kingdoms of England and Ireland, and of the Principality of Wales, and of Admiral of the Cinque Ports, and General Governor of the Seas and Ships of the said Kingdoms, and by reason of the Trust thereunto belonging, ought, at all Times since the said Offices obtained, to have safely guarded, kept, and preserved the said Seas, and the Dominion of them; and ought also, whensoever there wanted Men, Ships, Munition, or other Strength whatsoever that might conduce to the better Safeguard of them, to have used, from Time to Time, his utmost Endeavour, for the Supply of such Wants, to the Right Honourable the Lords and others of the Privy Council, and by procuring such Supply from his Sovereign, or otherwise; he the said Duke hath, ever since the Dissolution of the Two Treaties mentioned in the Act of Subsidy of the One and Twentieth Year of the late King, of Famous Memory, that is to say, the Space of Two Years last past, neglected the just Performance of his said Office and Duty, and broken the said Trust therewith committed unto him; and hath not, according to his said Offices, during the Time aforesaid, safely kept the said Seas, in so much that, by reason of his Neglect and Default therein, not only the Trade and Strength of this Kingdom of England hath been, during the said Time, much decayed, but the same Seas also have been, during the same Time, ignominiously infested, by Pirates and Enemies, to the Loss both of very many Ships and Goods, and of many of the Subjects of our Sovereign Lord the King; and the Dominion of the said Seas, being the ancient and undoubted Patrimony of the Kings of England, is thereby also in most eminent Danger to be utterly lost.
His unjust Stay of the Ship of Newhaven, called St. Peter, after Sentence.
"5. Whereas, about Michaelmas last past, a Ship, called The St. Peter, of Newhaven (whereof John Mallewe was Master), loaden with divers Goods, Merchandizes, Monies, (fn. 19) Jewels, and Commodities, to the Value of Forty Thousand Pounds, or thereabouts, for the proper Account of Monsieur de Villiers, the then Governor of Newhaven, and other Subjects of the French King, being in perfect Amity and Leaguc with our Sovereign Lord the King, was taken at Sea, by some of the Ships of His Majesty's late Fleet, set forth under the Command of the said Duke, as well by Direction from him the said Duke, as Great Admiral of England, as by the Authority of the extraordinary Commission which he then had, for the Command of the said Fleet; and was by them, together with the said Goods and Lading, brought into the Port of Plymouth, as a Prize, amongst many others, upon Probabilities that the said Ship or Goods belonged to the Subjects of the King of Spaine; and that divers Parcels of the said Goods and Loading were thence taken out of the said Ship of St. Peter; that is to say, Sixteen Barrels of Cochineal, Eight Bags of Gold, Three and Twenty Bags of Silver, Two Boxes of Pearl and Emeralds, a Chain of Gold, Jewels, Moneys, and Commodities, to the Value of Twenty Thousand Pounds, or thereabouts; and by the said Duke were delivered into the private Custody of one Gabriell March, Servant to the said Duke; and that the said Ship, with the Residue of her said Goods and Lading, was sent from thence up the River of Thames, and there detained; whereupon there was an Arrest at Newhaven, in the Kingdom of France, on the Seventh Day of December last, of Two English Merchant Ships trading thither, as was alledged in a certain Petition, exhibited by some English Merchants trading into France, to the Lords and others of His Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council: After which, that is to say, on the 28th Day of the said Month, His Majesty was pleased to order, with the Advice of His Privy Council, that the said Ship and Goods, belonging to the Subjects of the French King, should be re-delivered to such as should re-claim them; and accordingly Intimation was given unto His Majesty's Advocate, in the Chief Court of Admiralty, by the Right Honourable Sir John Cooke, Knight, one of His Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State, for the freeing and discharging of the said Ship and Goods, in the said Court of Admiralty. And afterwards, that is to say, on the Six and Twentieth Day of January last, it was decreed in the said Court, (fn. 20) by the Judge thereof, with the Consent of the said Advocate, that the said Ship, with whatsoever Goods so seized or taken in her (except Three Hundred Mexico Hides, Sixteen Sacks of Ginger, one Box of Gilt Beads, and Five Sacks of Ginger more, mentioned in the said Decree), should be clearly released from further Detension, and delivered to the said Master; and thereupon a Commission under Seal was in that Behalf duly sent out of the said Court unto Sir Allen Apsley, Sir John Woolstenholme, and others, for the due Execution therof: The said Duke, notwithstanding the said Order, Commission, and Decree, detained still to his own Use the said Gold, Silver, Pearls, Emeralds, Jewels, Moneys, and Commodities, so taken out of the said Ship as aforesaid; and, for his own singular Avail and Covetise, on the Sixth Day of February last, having no Information of any new Proof, without any legal Proceedings, by Colour of his said Office, unjustly caused the said Ship and Goods to be again arrested and detained, in public Violation and Contempt of the Laws and Justice of this Land, to the great Disturbance of Trade, and Prejudice of the Merchant.
His Extortion of 10,000£. from the East Indian Company, with the Abuse of Parliament.
"6. Whereas the Honour, Wealth, and Strength of this Realm of England is much increased by the Traffic chiefly of such Merchants as employ and build great Warlike Ships, a Consideration that should move all Counsellors of State, especially the Lord Admiral, to cherish and maintain such Merchants; the said Duke, abusing the Lords of the Parliament in the Twenty-first Year of the late King James, of Famous Memory, with Pretence of serving the State, did oppress the East Indian Merchants, and extorted from them Ten Thousand Pounds, in the subtil and unlawful Manner following: About February, in the Year aforesaid, he the said Duke, hearing some good Success that those Merchants had at Ormus, in the Parts beyond the Seas; by his Agents, cunningly, in or about the Month aforesaid, in the said Year of the said late King, endeavoured to draw from them some great Sum of Money; which their Poverty, and no Gain by that Success at Ormus, made those Merchants absolutely deny; whereupon he the said Duke, perceiving that the said Merchants were then setting forth, in the Course of their Trade, Four Ships, and Two Pinnaces, laden with Goods and Merchandize of very great Value, like to lose their Voyage if they should not speedily depart; the said Duke, on the First of March then following, in the said Year of the said late King, did move the Lords then assembled in the said Parliament, whether he should make Stay of any Ships which were in the Ports (as being High Admiral he might); and namely those Ships prepared for the East India Voyage, which were of great Burthen, and well furnished; which Motion being approved by their Lordships, the Duke did stay those Ships accordingly: But the Fifth of March following, when the then Deputy of that Company, with other of those Merchants, did make Suit to the said Duke for the Release of the said Ships and Pinnaces, he the said Duke said, he had not been the Occasion of their Staying; but that, having heard the Motion with much Earnestness in the Lord House of Parliament, he could do no less than give the Order they had done; and therefore he willed them to set down the Reasons of their Suit, which he would acquaint the House withall; yet in the mean Time he gave them Leave to let their said Ships and Pinnaces fall down as low as Tilbury. And the Tenth of March following, an unusual joint Action was, by his Procurement, entered in the chief Court of Admiralty, in the Name of the said late King, and of the Lord Admiral, against Fifteen Thousand Pounds, taken piratically by some Captains of the said Merchant Ships, and pretended to be in the Hands of the East India Company; and thereupon the King's Advocate, in the Name of Advocate from (fn. 21) the King and the said Lord Admiral, moved and obtained One Attachment, which, by the Serjeant of the said Court of Admiralty, was served on the said Merchants, in their Court, the Sixteenth Day of March following: Whereupon the said Merchants, though there was no Cause for this their Molestation by the Lord Admiral, yet the next Day they were urged in the said Court of Admiralty to bring in the Fifteen Thousand Pounds, or go to Prison; wherefore immediately the Company of the said Merchants did again send the Deputy aforesaid and some others, to make new Suit unto the said Duke, for the Release of the said Ships and Pinnaces, who, unjustly endeavouring to extort Money from the said Merchants, protested that the Ships should not go, except they compounded with him; and, when they urged many more Reasons for the Release of the said Ships and Pinnaces, the Answer of the said Duke was, That the then Parliament House must be first moved. The said Merchants, being in this Perplexity, in their Consultation, the Three and Twentieth of that Month, ever ready to give over that Trade; yet, considering that they should lose more than was demanded, by unloading their Ships, besides their Voyage, they resolved to give the said Duke Ten Thousand Pounds for his unjust Demands; and he the said Duke, by the undue Means aforesaid, and under Colour of his Office, and upon false Pretence of Rights, unjustly did exact and extort from them the said Merchants, the said Ten Thousand Pounds, and received the same about the Twentyeighth of April following the Discharge of those Ships; which were not released by him, till they the said Merchants had yielded to give him the said Duke the said Ten Thousand Pounds for the said Release, and for the false Pretence of Rights made by the said Duke as aforesaid.
His putting some Ships into the Hands of the French.
"7. Whereas the Ships of our Sovereign Lord the King, and of His Kingdoms aforesaid, are the principal Strength and Defence of the said Kingdoms, and ought therefore to be always preserved, and safely kept, under the Command, and for the Service, of our said Sovereign Lord the King, no less than any the Fortresses and Castles of the said Kingdoms; and whereas no Subject of this Realm ought to be dispossessed of any his Goods or Chattels, without Order of Justice, or his own Consent first duly had and obtained; the said Duke, being Great Admiral of England, Governor General and Keeper of the said Ships and Seas, and thereof ought to have and take especial and continual Care and Diligence how to preserve the same; the said Duke, in or about the End of July last, in the First Year of our Sovereign Lord the King, did, under the Colour of the said Office of Great Admiral of England, and by indirect and subtil Means and Practices, procure one of the principal Ships of His Majesty's Navy Royal, called The Vanguarde, then under the Command of Captain John Pennington, and Six other Merchants Ships of great Burthen and Value, belonging to several Persons inhabiting in London, the natural Subjects of His Majesty, to be conveyed over, with all their Ordnance, Munition, Tackle, and Apparel, into the Ports of the Kingdom of France, to the End that, being there, they might be more easily put into the Hands of the French King, His Ministers, and Subjects, and taken into their Possession, Command, and Power; and accordingly the said Duke, by his Ministers and Agents, with Menaces, and other ill Means and Practices, did there, without Order of Justice, and without the Consent of the said Masters and Owners, unduly compel and enforce the said Masters and Owners of the said Six Merchants Ships to deliver their said Ships into the said Possession, Command, and Power of the said French King, His Ministers, and Subjects; and, by reason of this Compulsion, and under the Pretext of his Power as aforesaid, and by his indirect Practices as aforesaid, the said Ships aforesaid, as well the said Ship Royal of His Majesty, as the others belonging to the said Merchants, were there delivered into the Hands and Command of the said French King, His Ministers and Subjects, without either sufficient Security or Assurance for Redelivery, or other necessary Condition in that Behalf taken or propounded, either by the said Duke himself, or otherwise by his Direction, contrary to the Duty of the said Offices of Great Admiral, Governor General, and Keeper of the said Ships and Seas, and to the Faith and Trust in that Behalf reposed, and contrary to the Duty which he oweth our Sovereign Lord the King, in his Place of Privy Counsellor, to the apparent Weakening of the Naval Strength of this Kingdom, to the great Loss and Prejudice of the said Merchants, and against the Liberty of those Subjects of our Sovereign Lord the King that are under the Jurisdiction of the Admiralty.
His Practice for the Employment of them against Rochell.
"8. The said Duke, contrary the Purpose of our Sovereign Lord the King, and His Majesty's known Zeal for the Maintenance and Advancement of the true Religion established in the Church of England, knowing the said Ships were intended to be employed by the said French King, against those of the same Religion, at Rochell, and elsewhere in the Kingdom of France, did procure the said Ship Royal, and compel as aforesaid the said Six other Ships, to be delivered unto the said French King, His Ministers, and Subjects, as aforesaid, to the End that the said Ships might be used and employed by the said French King, in His intended War against those of the said Religion, in the said Town of Rochell, and elsewhere within the Kingdom of France; and the said Ships were, and have been since, so used and employed by the said French King, His Subjects, and Ministers, against them; and this the said Duke did, as aforesaid, in great and most apparent Prejudice of the said Religion, contrary to the Purpose and Intention of our Sovereign Lord the King, and against his Duty in that Behalf, being a sworn Counsellor to His Majesty, and to the great Scandal and Dishonour of this Nation; and, notwithstanding the Delivery of the said Ships by his Procurement and Compulsion as aforesaid, to be employed as aforesaid, the said Duke, in cunning and cautelous Manner, to mask his ill Intentions, did, at the Parliament held at Oxon, in August last, before the Committees of both Houses of the said Parliament, intimate and declare, that the Ships were not, nor should they be, so used and employed against those of the said Religion, as aforesaid, in Contempt of our Sovereign Lord the King, and in Abuse of the said House of Parliament, and in Violation of that Truth which every Man should profess.
His compelting Lord Roberts of Truro to buy his Title of Honour.
"9. Whereas the Titles of Honour of this Kingdom of England were wont to be conferred, as great Rewards, upon such virtuous and industrious Persons as had merited them by their faithful Service; the said Duke, by his importunate and subtil Procurement, hath not only perverted that ancient and most honourable Way, but also unduly, for his own particular Gain, he hath enforced some that were rich (though unwilling) to purchase Honour, as the Lord Roberts, Baron of Truro, who, by Practice of the said Duke and his Agents, was drawn up to London, in or about October, in the Two and Twentieth Year of the Reign of the late King James, of Famous Memory, and there so threatened and dealt withall, that, by reason thereof, he yielded to give, and accordingly did pay, the Sum of Ten Thousand Pounds to the said Duke, and to his Use; for which said Sum the said Duke, in the Month of January, in the Two and Twentieth Year of the said late King, procured the Title of Baron Rob'ts of Truro, to the said Lord Rob'ts; in which Practice as the said Lord Rob'ts was much wronged in his Particular, so the Example thereof tendeth to the Prejudice of the Gentry, and Dishonour of the Nobility, of this Kingdom.
His selling Places of Judicature.
"10. Whereas no Places of Judicature, in the Courts of Justice of our Sovereign Lord the King, or other like Preferments given by the Kings of this Realm, ought to be procured by any Subjects whatsoever, for any Reward, Bribe, or Gift; he the said Duke, in or about the Month of December, in the 18th Year of the Reign of the late King James, of Famous Memory, did procure of the said King the Office of High Treasurer of England to the Lord Viscount Maundevill, now Earl of Manchester; which Office, at his Procurement, was given and granted accordingly to the Lord Viscount Maundevill; and as a Reward for the said Procurement of the same Grant, he the said Duke did then receive, to his own Use, of and from him the said Lord Viscount Maundevill, the Sum of Twenty Thousand Pounds, of lawful Money of England. And also, in or about the Month of January, in the Sixteenth Year of the Reign of the said late King, did procure of the said King, of Famous Memory, the Office of Master of the Wards and Liveries to and for Sir Lioneil Cranfeild, afterward Earl of Midd. which Office was, upon the same Procurement, given and granted to the said Sir Lionell Cranfeild: And, as a Reward for the same Procurement, he the said Duke had to his own Use, or to the Use of some other Person by him appointed, of the said Sir Lionell Cranfeild, the Sum of Six Thousand Pounds, of lawful Money of England, contrary to the Dignity of our Sovereign Lord the King, and against the Duty which should have been performed by the said Duke unto him.
His procuring Honours for his poor Kindred.
"11. That he the said Duke hath, within these Ten Years last past, procured divers Titles of Honour to his Mother, Brothers, Kindred, and Allies; as, the Title of Countess of Buckingham to his Mother, whilst she was Sir Thomas Compton's Wife; the Title of Earl of Anglisey to his younger Brother Christopher Villiers; the Titles of Baron of Newhenham Paddocks, Viscount Feildinge, and the Earl of Denbigh, to his Sister's Husband, Sir William Feilding; the Title of Baron of Stocke, and Viscount Purbecke, to Sir John Villiers, Elder Brother of the said Duke; and divers more of the like Kind to his Kindred and Allies; whereby the noble Barons of England, so well deserving in themselves and in their Ancestors, have been much prejudiced, and the Crown disabled to reward extraordinary Virtues in future Times with Honour; while the poor Estate of those for whom such unnecessary Advancement hath been procured, is apparently likely to be more and more burthensome to the King; notwithstanding such Annuities, Pensions, and Grants of Lands, annexed to the Crown, of great Value, which the said Duke hath procured for those his Kindred, to support these their Dignities.
His exhausting, intercepting, and misemploying the King's Revenue.
"12. He the said Duke, not contented with the great Advancement formerly received from the late King, of Famous Memory, by his Procurement and Practice, in the Fourteenth Year of the said King, for the Support of the many Places, Honours, and Dignities conferred on him, did obtain a Grant of divers Manors, Parcel of the Revenue of the Crown, and of the Dutchy of Lancaster, to the Yearly Valu of One Thousand Six Hundred Ninety-seven Pounds, Two Shillings, Half-penny Farthing, of the old Rent, with all Woods, Timber, Trees, and Advowsons; Part whereof, amounting to the Sum of Seven Hundred Forty-seven Pounds, Thirteen Shillings, and Four Pence, was rated at Two and Thirty Thousand Pounds, but in Truth of a far greater Value; and likewise, in the Sixteenth Year of the same King's Reign, did procure divers other Manors, annexed to the Crown, of the Yearly Value, at the old Rent, of Twelve Hundred Pounds, or thereabouts, according as in a Schedule hereunto annexed appeareth; in the Warrant for passing of which (fn. 22) Lands, he, by his great Favour, procured divers unusual Clauses to be inserted; videlicet, That no Perquisites of Courts should be valued; and that all Bailiffs Fees should be reprised in the Particulars upon which those Lands were rated; whereby a Precedent hath been introduced, which all those that since that Time have obtained any Lands from the Crown have pursued, to the Damage of His late Majesty, and of our Sovereign Lord the King that now is, to an exceeding great Value; and afterwards he surrendered to His said Majesty divers Manors and Lands, Parcel of those Lands formerly granted unto him, to the Value of Seven Hundred Twenty-three Pounds, Eighteen Shillings, Two Pence Half-penny per Annum; in Consideration of which Surrender, he procured divers other Lands of the said late King, to be sold and contracted for by his own Servants and Agents; and thereupon hath obtained Grants of the same to pass from His late Majesty to several Persons of this Kingdom, and hath caused Tallies to be strucken for the Money, being the Consideration mentioned in these Grants in the Receipt of the Exchequer, as if such Money had really come to His Majesty's Coffers; whereas the said Duke (or some other by his Appointment) hath indeed received the same Sums, and expended them upon his own Occasions; and, notwithstanding the great and inestimable Gain by him made by the Sale of Offices, Honours, and by other Suits by him obtained from His Majesty, and for the countenancing of divers Projects and other Courses burthensome to His Majesty's Realms both of England and Ireland; the said Duke hath likewise, by his Procurement and Practice, received into his Hands, and disbursed unto his own Use, exceeding great Sums, that were the Moneys of the late King, of Famous Memory, as appeareth also in the said Schedule hereunto annexed; and, the better to colour his Doings in that Behalf, hath obtained several Privy Seals from His late Majesty, and His Majesty that now is, warranting the Payment of great Sums to Persons by him named; causing it to be recited in such Privy Seals, as if those Sums were directed for secret Services concerning the State, which were notwithstanding disposed of to his own Use, and other Privy Seals by him procured for the Discharge of those Persons, without Accompt; and, by the like Fraud and Practice, under Colour of Free Gifts from His Majesty, he hath gotten into (fn. 23) his Hands great Sums, which were intended by His Majesty to be disbursed for the preparing, furnishing, and victualing of His Royal Navy; by which secret and colourable Devices the constant and ordinary Course of the Exchequer hath been broken, there being no Means, by Matter of Record, to charge either Treasurer or Victualer of the Navy with those Sums which ought to have come to their Hands, and to be accompted for to His Majesty; and such a Confusion and Mixture hath been made between the King's Estate and the Duke's, as cannot be cleared by the Legal Entries and Records, which ought to be truly and faithfully made and kept, both for the Safety of His Majesty's Treasure, and for the Indemnity of His Officers and Subjects, whom it doth concern: And also, in the Sixteenth Year of the said King, and in the Twentieth Year of the said King, did procure to himself several Releases from the said King, of divers great Sums of the Money of the said King by him privately received; and which he procured that he might detain the same for the Support of his Places, Honours, and Dignities; and those Things, and divers others of the like Kind, as appeareth in the said Schedule annexed, hath he done, to the exceeding Diminution of the Revenues of the Crown, and in Deceit both of our Sovereign Lord the King that now is, and of the late King James of Famous Memory, and to the great Detriment of the whole Kingdom.
His transcendent Presumption in giving Physick to the King, &c.
"Whereas especial Care and Order hath been taken by the Laws of this Realm, to restrain and prevent the unskilful Administration of Physick, whereby the Health and Life of Man may be much endangered; and whereas most especially the Royal Persons of Kings of this Realm, in whom we their Loyal Subjects humbly challenge a great Interest, are, and always have been, esteemed by us so sacred, that nothing ought to be prepared for them, or administered unto them, in the Way of Physick or Diet, in the Times of their Sickness, without the Consent and Direction of some of their sworn Physicians, Apothecaries, or Surgeons; and the Boldness of such (how near soever unto them in Place and Favour) who have forgotten their Duty so far as to presume to offer any Thing unto them beyond their Experience, hath been always ranked in the Number of high Offenders and Misdemeanors; and whereas the sworn Physicians of our late Sovereign Lord King James, of Blessed Memory, attending on His Majesty in the Month of March, in the Two and Twentieth of His most Glorious Reign, in the Times of His Sickness, being an Ague, did, in due and necessary Care of and for the Recovery of His Health and Preservation of His Person, upon and after several mature Consultations in that Behalf had and holden, at several Times in the same Month, resolve, and give Directions, that nothing should be applied or given unto His Highness, by Way of Physick or Diet, during His said Sickness, but by and upon their general Advice and Consents, and after good Deliberation thereof first had; more especially, by their like Care, and upon like Consultations, did justly resolve, and publicly give Warning to and for all the Gentlemen, and other Servants and Officers, of His said late Majesty's Bed-chamber, that no Meat or Drink whatsoever should be given unto Him within Two or Three Hours next before the usual Time of and for the coming of His Fit in the said Ague, nor during the Continuance thereof, nor afterwards until His Cold Fit were past; the said Duke of Buckingham, being a sworn Servant of His late Majesty, of and in His Majesty's said Bed-chamber, contrary to his Duty and the tender Respect which he ought to have had of His Majesty's most Sacred Person, and after the Consultations, Resolutions, Directions, and Warning aforesaid, did nevertheless, without any sufficient Warrant in that Behalf, unduly cause and procure certain Plaisters, and a certain Drink or Potion, to be provided for the Use of His said Majesty, without the Direction or Privity of His said late Majesty's Physicians, not prepared by any of His Majesty's sworn Apothecaries or Surgeons, but compounded of several Ingredients to them unknown; notwithstanding the same Plaister, or some Plaister like thereunto, having been formerly administered unto His said Majesty, did procure such ill Effects as that some of the said sworn Physicians did altogether disallow thereof, and utterly refuse to meddle any further with His said Majesty until those Plaisters were removed, as being prejudicial to the Health of His Majesty; yet nevertheless the same Plaister, as also a Drink or Potion, was provided by him the said Duke, which he the said Duke, by Colour of some insufficient and slight Pretences, did, upon Monday, the One and Twentieth Day of March, in the Two and Twentieth Year aforesaid, when His Majesty (by the Judgement of His said Physicians) was in the Declination of His Disease, cause and procure the said Plaister to be applied to the Breast and Wrists of His said late Majesty; and then also, at and in His Majesty's Fit of the said Ague, the same Monday, and at several Times within Two Hours before the coming of the same Fit, and before His Majesty's then Cold Fit was passed, did deliver, and cause to be delivered, several Quantities of the said Drink or Potion to His late Majesty; who thereupon, at the same Times, within the Seasons in that Behalf prohibited by His Majesty's Physicians as aforesaid, did, by the Means and Procurement of the said Duke, drink and take divers Quantities of the said Drink or Potion applied and given unto and taken and received by His said Majesty as aforesaid, (fn. 24) great Distempers and divers ill Symptoms appeared upon His said Majesty, insomuch that the said Physicians, finding His Majesty the next Morning much worse in the Estate of His Health, and holding a Consultation thereabouts, did, by joint Consent, send unto the said Duke, praying him not to adventure to minister unto His Majesty any more Physick, without their Allowance and Approbation; and His said Majesty Himself, finding Himself much diseased and affected with Pain and Sickness, after His then Fit, when, by the Course of His Disease, He expected Intermission and Ease, did attribute the Cause of such His Trouble unto the said Plaister and Drink, which the said Duke had so given, and caused to be administered unto Him. Which said adventurous Act, by a Person obliged in Duty and Thankfulness, done to the Person of so great a King, after so ill Success of the like formerly administered, contrary to such Directions as aforesaid, and accompanied with so unhappy an Event, to the great Grief and Discomfort of all His Majesty's Subjects in general, is an Offence and Misdemeanor of so high a Nature, as may justly be called, and is by the said Commons deemed to be, an Act of transcendent Presumption, and of dangerous Consequence.
"And the said Commons, by Protestation, saving to themselves the Liberty of exhibiting at any Time hereafter any other Accusation or Impeachment against the said Duke, and also of replying to the Answers that the said Duke shall make unto the said Articles, or to any of them, and of offering further Proof also of the Premises, or of any of them, as the Case shall (according to the Course of Parliament) require, do pray, that the said Duke may be put to answer to all and every the Premises; and that such Proceeding, Examination, Trial, and Judgement, may be upon every of them had and used, as is agreeable to Law and Justice.
Some Words of Sir Dudley Diggs at the late Conference questioned.
The Duke of Buckingham affirming that some Words were spoken at this late Conference by Sir Dudley Digges, which so far did trench on the King's Honour that they are interpreted Treasonable; and that (had he not been restrained by the Order of the House) he would then have reprehended him for the same; he therefore earnestly desired (for that divers Constructions have been made of those Words, and for that they have been diversely reported), that every one of the said Eight Reporters would be pleased to produce their Notes taken at the said Conference.
Protestation of some Lords thereupon.
This was much debated; and the House often put into a Committee, and resumed again; and at last (tho' not agreed on by any Order of the House) these Lords following made their voluntary Protestation, upon their Honour, that the said Sir Dudley Digges did not speak any Thing at the said Conference, which did or might trench on the King's Honour; and, if he had, they would presently have reprehended him for it: videlicet,
The Lord President affirmed that he had reported the Words in the same Sense they were delivered unto him by the Party himself; and, though the Dislocation of them requires to be explained, yet he agreed with the rest of the Lords for the Party's good Meaning, and made the same Protestation.
The Earl of Dorsett, that the Party might be his own Interpreter; that his Lordship conceived them not to be treasonable; yet he then thought them so ambiguous, (fn. 25) that he would be troubled for them.
E. of Bristol's being allowed Counsel debated.
The Lords being put in Mind of the King's Message, octavo Maii, touching Counsel allowed to the Earl of Bristol; and that the Consideration thereof might be the more freely debated, the House being put into a Committee, and resumed again, the Order dated 28 Maii 1624, was read, touching Counsel to be allowed generally; and the Order of the 6th of this May, Tha the Earl should have Counsel allowed to plead his Cause. And it was Agreed by most of the Lords, upon the Question, The Lord Keeper to deliver unto His Majesty from the House this Night an humble Message to this Effect; videlicet,
Message to the King concerning it.
"Whereas His Majesty had lately sent unto them a Message, concerning the allowing of Counsel to the Earl of Bristol, their Lordships had, with all Duty, advised of that Business; and thereupon they humbly signify unto His Majesty, that the Allowance of Counsel to the Earl of Bristol was Ordered before His Majesty's Message; and (as they conceive) that Order doth not prejudice any fundamental Law of the Realm. And that, in the Parliament of the 21st of His Majesty's Blessed Father, a general Order was made, touching the Allowance of Counsel unto Delinquents questioned in Parliament; at the Voting whereof His now Majesty (being then Prince) was present; which Order extends further than this late Order for the Earl of Bristol."