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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Ia Sessio, Anno 3° Caroli Regis.
DIE Lunæ, 17 die Martii,
Anno Regni Serenissimi Domini nostri Caroli, Dei Gratia, Angliæ, Scotiæ, Franciæ, et Hiberniæ Regis, Fidei Defensoris, etc. 3, 1627, Domini tam Spirituales quam Temporales, quorum nomina subscribuntur, præsentes fuerunt:
THIS Day the Lords and Commons being present, His Majesty Himself began to shew the Cause of summoning the Parliament, on this Manner: videlicet,
"My Lords and Gentlemen,
The King's Speech.
"These Times are for Action; wherefore, for Example Sake, I mean not to spend much Time in Words; expecting accordingly, that your (as I hope) good Resolutions will be speedy, not spending Time unnecessarily, or (that I may better say) dangerously; for tedious Consultations, at this Conjuncture of Time, is as hurtful as ill Resolutions.
"I am sure you now expect from Me both to know the Cause of your Meeting, and what to resolve on; yet I think there is none here, but knows what common Danger is the Cause of this Parliament, and that Supply at this Time is the chief End of it; so that I need but to point to you what to do. I will use but few Persuasions; for, if to maintain your own Advices, and (as now the Case stands by the following thereof) the true Religion, the Laws, Liberties of this State, and the just Defence of our true Friends and Allies, be not sufficient, no Eloquence of Men or Angels will prevail.
"Only let Me remember you, that My Duty most of all, and every one of yours according to his Degree, is, to seek the Maintenance of this Church and Commonwealth; and certainly there was never a Time in which this Duty was more necessarily required than now.
"I, therefore, judging a Parliament to be the ancient, speediest, and best Way, in this Time of common Danger, to give such Supply as to secure ourselves, and to save our Friends from imminent Ruin, have called you together: Every Man now must do according to his Conscience; wherefore if you (which God forbid) should not do your Duties in contributing what this State at this Time needs, I must, in Discharge of My Conscience, use those other Means which God hath put into My Hands, to save that that the Follies of particular Men may otherwise hazard to lose.
"Take not this as a Threatening (for I scorn to threaten any but My Equals), but an Admonition from Him, that, both out of Nature and Duty, hath most Care of your Preservations and Prosperities, and hopes (though I thus speak) that your Demeanours at this Time will be such, as shall not only approve your former Counsels, but lay on Me such Obligations as shall tie Me by Way of Thankfulness to meet often with you; for, be assured, that nothing can be more pleasing unto Me, than to keep a good Correspondency with you.
"I will only add One Thing more, and then leave the Keeper to make a short Paraphrase upon the Text I have delivered you; which is, to remember a Thing to the End we may forget it: You may imagine I came here with a Doubt of good Success of what I desire, remembering the Distractions at the last Meeting; but I shall assure you, that I shall very easily and gladly forget and forgive what's past, so that you will at this Time leave the former Ways of Distractions, and follow the Counsel lately given you, To maintain the Unity of the Spirit in the Bond of Peace."
The King's Speech being ended; the Lord Keeper conferred with His Majesty, and then spake as followeth: videlicet,
The Ld. Keeper's Speech.
"My Lords, and you the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses of the House of Commons; if I had been delighted in long speaking, yet the Example and Commandment of His Majesty had been more than enough to refrain the Superfluity of that Humour: But there is yet more; for that short and excellentcompacted Speech, which you have heard from His Majesty, begins with a Reason. It is a Time for Action, not for Speech; Examples and Commandments master the Will, and Reason masters the Understanding; and therefore you may expect from me nothing but Brevity: You have heard the Matter already, and I doubt not but with much Reverence, as the Weight and Authority of it requires. You have imprinted it in your Minds; and, the Matter being known, long Speech from me were but babbling to beat the Air. You are here assembled in Parliament, by His Majesty's Writ and Royal Commandment, to consult and conclude of the weighty and urgent Businesses of the King and Kingdom; weighty it is and great, as great as the Honour, Safety and Protection of our Religion, our King and Country; and what can be greater? Urgent it is; it is little Pleasure to tell or think how urgent; and to tell it with all material Circumstances were a long Work. I will but touch the Sum of it; and in few Words: The Pope and House of Austria have long affected, the One a Spiritual, the Other a Temporal Monarchy; and, to effect their Ends, do join together, to serve each other's Turns. The House of Austria, besides their vast and rich Territories in both the Indies and in Africa, are become Masters of Spaine and the great Country of Germany; and, although France be not under their Subjection, yet they have now environed it all about, and (in the very Bowels of that Kingdom, swayed by the Popish Faction) have gotten such a Party, and such Interest in the Government, that, by Pretence of aiding to root out the Protestants and our Religion, they have drawn that King to their Adherence so far, that, albeit upon His Majesty's Interposition by His Ambassadors, and Engagement of His Royal Word for just Performance, the War between that King and His Subjects of the Religion were quieted, and His Majesty, as Protector of that Treaty, was interested and bound to procure a due Accomplishment; yet, against it and the strict Alliance between His Majesty and that King, the Treaty hath been broken, and those of the Religion put to all Extremities, and undoubtedly will be ruined, without present Help; so as the King is not only diverted from assisting the Common Cause, but hath been misled to engage Himself in Hostile Acts against our King and other Princes, making Way thereby for the House of Austria, to the Ruin of His own and other Kingdoms. Other Potentates, that in former Time did balance and interrupt the growing Oreatness of the House of Austria, are now removed and diverted. The Turk hath made Peace with the Emperor, and turned himself wholly into Wars in Asia. The King of Sweden is embroilled in a War with Poland, which is fomented by the Spanish Practices, to keep that King from succouring our Party. The King of Denmarke is chased out of His Dominions on this Side The Sounde; so as the House of Austria is on the Point to command all the Sea-coast from Dantzick to Emden, and all the Rivers falling into the Sea in that great Extent; so as, besides their Power by Land, they begin to threaten our Party by Sea, to the Subversion of all our Trade in the Baltique Sea. They are now providing and arming all the Ships they can build or hire, and have at this Time their Ambassadors treating at Lubeck, to draw into their Service The Hauns Towns; whereby taking from us and our Neighbours the Eastland Trade, by which our Shipping is supplied, they expect, without any Blow given, to make themselves absolute Masters of the Sea.
"In these Western Parts, by the Dunkerkers and by the new French and Spanish Admirals, they ruin the Fishing, of infinite Consequence both to us and The Low Countries. They infest all our Coasts, so that we pass not safely from Port to Port; and that Fleet which lately assisted the French at the Isle of Ree is now preparing at St. Andreas, with other Ships built on the Coast of Bisca to reinforce it; and a great Fleet is making ready at Lisborne, where, besides their own, they do serve themselves upon all Strangers Bottoms, coming to that Coast for Trade. And these great Preparations are, no Doubt, to assault us in England or Ireland, as they shall find Advantage, and a Party fit for their Turn. Our Friends of The Netherlands (besides the Fear that justly troubleth them, lest the whole Force of the Empire may fall down upon them) are distracted by their long Voyages into The East, which hath carried both their Men and Money into another World, and weakened and almost divided them at Home. Thus are we ready on all Sides to be swallowed up; the Emperor, Fraunce, and Spaine being in open Wars with us, Germany over-run, the King of Denmarke distressed, the King of Sweeden diverted, and The Low Countrymen disabled to give us Assistance. I speak not this to increase Fear, unworthy of English Courages, but to press Provision worthy of the Wisdom of a Parliament. And for that Cause His Majesty hath called you hither, that, by a timely Provision against these great and imminent Dangers, ourselves may be strengthened at Home, our Friends and Allies encouraged Abroad, and these great Causes of Fear scattered and dispelled. And because, in all Warlike Preparations, Treasure bears the Name and holds the Semblance of the Nerves and Sinews; and, if a Sinew be too short or too weak, if it be either strained or shrunk, the Part becomes unuseful, it is needful that you do make a good and timely Supply of Treasure, without which all Counsels will prove fruitless. I might press many Reasons to this End: I will but name a few.
"First, for His Majesty's Sake, it requires it. Great is the Duty that we owe Him by the Law of God, great by the Law of Nature and natural Allegiance, great for His own Merit, and the Memory of His Ever-blessed Father.
"I do but point at them; but, methinks, if our Thoughts but recoil on one Consideration touched by His Majesty, which to me seems to sound like a Parliamentary (fn. 1) Pact, or Covenant.
"A War was advised here; Assistance professed; yea, and protested here: I do but touch it. I know you will deeply think of it; and the more for the Example the King hath set you: His Lands, His Plate and Jewels He hath not spared, to supply the War: What the People have protested, the King on His Part hath willingly performed;
"Secondly, for the Cause Sake; it concerns us, in Christian Charity, to tender the Distresses of our Friends Abroad; it concerns us in Honour not to abandon them that have stood for us; and, if these come not close enough, you shall find our Interest so woven and involved with theirs, that the Cause is more ours than theirs. If Religion be in Peril, we have the most flourishing and orthodox Church. If Honour be in Question, the Stories and Monuments of former Ages will shew that our Ancestors left as much as any Nation. If Trade and Commerce be in Danger, we are Islanders; it is our Life. All these at (fn. 2) once lie at the Stake, and (fn. 3) so doth our very Safety and Being.
"Lastly, in respect of the Manner of His Majesty's Demand, which is in Parliament, the Way that hath ever best pleased the Subjects of England; and good Cause for it, for Aid granted in Parliament worketh good Effects for the People; they be commonly accompanied with gracious Pardons, and the like. Besides, just and good Kings, finding the Love of their People, and the Readiness of their Supplies, may the better forbear the Use of their Prerogatives; and moderate the Rigour of Their Laws towards Their Subjects. This Way, as His Majesty Himself hath told you, (fn. 3) He hath chosen, not as the only Way, but as the fittest; not as destitute of others, but as most agreeable to the Goodness of His own gracious Disposition, and to the Desire and Weal of His People. If this be deserted, Necessity and the Sword of the Enemy will make Way to the others. Remember His Majesty's Admonition; I say, remember it. Let me but add, and observe God's Mercy and Goodness towards this Land above others. The Torrent of War hath overwhelmed other Churches and Countries; but God hath hitherto restrained it from us, and still gives us Warning of every approaching Danger, to save us from Surprize. And our Gracious Sovereign, in a true Sense of it, calls together this High Court of Parliament, the lively Representation of the Wisdom, Wealth, and Power of this whole Kingdom, to join together to repel those Hostile Attempts which have distressed our Friends and Allies, and do threaten ourselves. And therefore it behoves all to apply their Thoughts unto Counsel and Consultations, worthy the Greatness and Wisdom of this Assembly; to avoid all Diversions that may either distemper or delay, and to attend that unum necessarium, the Common Cause; propounding, for the Scope and Mark of all their Debates, the general Good of the King and Kingdom, whom God hath joined together by an indissoluble Knot, which none must attempt to cut or untie. And let all endeavour by Unity and good Accord to pattern this Parliaments by the best that have been, that it may be a Pattern to future Parliaments, and may infuse into Parliaments a Kind of multiplying Power and Faculty, whereby they may be more frequent, and the King our Sovereign may delight to fit upon this Throne, and from hence to distribute His Graces and Favours amongst His People. His Majesty hath given you Cause to be confident of this, by that you have heard from His own Royal Mouth; which nevertheless he hath given express Commandment to redouble it. If this Parliament, by these dutiful and wise Proceedings, shall but give the Occasion, His Majesty will be ready not only to manifest His gracious Acceptation, but to put out all Memory of those Distastes that have troubled former Parliaments.
"I have but one Thing to add; and that is, as your Consultations should be serious, so let them be speedy. The Enemy is before-hand with us, and flies on the Wings of Success. We may dandle and play as we will with the Hour-glass that is in our Power, but the Hours will not stay for us; and an Opportunity once lost cannot be regained. And therefore so resolve of the Supplies, that they may be timely and sufficient, sorting the Occasion. Your Counsels, your Aid, and all is but lost, if your Aid be too little, or too late. And His Majesty is resolved that His Affairs cannot permit Him to expect it over-long.
Commons directed to chuse a Speaker.
"And now, having delivered what His Majesty hath commanded me concerning the Cause of this Assembly, His Majesty willeth that you of the House of Commons repair to your own House, to make Choice of a Speaker, whom His Majesty will expect to be presented unto Him on Wednesday next, at Two of the Clock."
Receivers and Triers of Petitions.
Receavours des Peticions d'Angleterre, d'Ecoce,d'Ireland.
Messire Nicholas Hide, Chr. et Cheife Justicier.
Messire Jehan Dodderidge, Chr. et Justicier.
Messire Jaques Whitlocke, Chr. et Justicier.
Messire Roberte Rich, Chr.
Messire Edward Salter, Chr.
Et ceux qui veulent deliver leur Peticions eux baillent dedains sex jours prochenement ensuevant.
Les Receavours des Peticions de Gascoigne, et des autres Terres et Pais de par la Mere et des Isles.
Et ceux qui veulent deliver leur Peticions eux baillent dedeins six jours prochement ensuaunt.
Les Triours des Peticions d'Angleterre, d'Ecoce, et d'Irland.
Touts ceux ensemble, ou quatre des Prelatts et Seigneurs avanditz, appellants as eux les Sergeants le Roi, quant serra busoigne, tiendront leur place en la Chamber de Tresorier.
Les Triours des Peticions de Gascoigne, et des autres Terres et Pais de par la Mere et des Isles.
Toutz ceux ensemble, ou quatre des Prelatts et Seigneurs avanditz, appellantz as eux les Sergeantz le Roi, et auffi l'Attourney le Roi, quant serra busoigne, tiendront leur place en la Chambre du Chamberleine.
Dominus Custos Magni Sigilli, ex Jussu Domini Regis, continuavit præsens Parliamentum usque in diem Mercurii, videlicet, 19m diem instantis Martii, hora nona.