Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 3, 1620-1628. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.
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DIE Lunæ, videlicet, 12 die Maii,
Absent Lords excused.
|LORD Viscount Campden,||Excused.|
Lord Mohun introduced.
Letter from the King to the Lords, touching the Liberty of the Subject.
"We being desirous of nothing more than the advancing of the Good, Peace, and Prosperity of Our People, have given Leave to free Debates of the highest Points of Our Prerogative Royal, which, in the Times of Our Predecessors, Kings and Queens of this Realm, were ever restrained, as Matters that they would not have disputed; and in other Things We have been willing so far to descend to the Desires of Our good Subjects, as might fully satisfy all moderate Minds, and free them from all just Fears and Jealousies; which those Messages that We have heretofore sent unto the Commons House will well demonstrate to the World. And yet We find it still insisted on, that, in no Case whatsoever, should it never so nearly concern Matters of State and Government, We or Our Privy Council have Power to commit any Man without the Cause shewed; whereas it often happens that should the Cause be shewed, the Service itself would thereby be destroyed and defeated: And the Cause alledged must be such as may be determined by Our Judges of Our Courts of Westm. in a legal and ordinary Way of Justice; whereas the Cause may be such as those Judges have not Capacity of Judicature, nor Rules of Law, to direct and guide their Judgements, in Cases of that transcendent Nature; which happening so often, the very intermitting of the constant Rules of Government, for so many Ages, within this Kingdom practised, would soon dissolve the very Frame and Foundation of Our Monarchy. Wherefore, (fn. 1) as to Our Commons We made fair Propositions, which might equally prefer the just Liberties of the Subjects; so, my Lords, We have thought good to let you know, That, without Overthrow of Sovereignty, We cannot suffer this Power to be impeached. Notwithstanding, to clear Our Conscience and just Intentions, this We publish, That it is not in Our Heart, nor will We ever extend Our Regal Power (lent unto Us from God) beyond that just Rule of Moderation, in any Thing which shall be contrary to Our Laws and Customs, wherein the Safety of Our People shall be Our only Aim. And We do hereby declare Our Royal Pleasure and Resolution to be, which God willing We shall ever constantly maintain, That neither We nor Our Privy Council shall or will, at any Time hereafter, commit or command to Prison, or otherwise restrain, the Person of any, for the not lending of Money unto Us, or for any other Cause which in Our Conscience doth not concern the State, the Public Good, and Safety of Us and Our People.
"We will not be drawn to pretend any Cause, which, in Our Judgement, is not, or is not expressed (which base Thought We hope no Man will imagine can shall into Our Royal Breast); and that, in all Causes of this Nature which shall hereafter happen, We shall, upon the humble Petition of the Party, or Address of Our Judges unto Us, readily and really express the true Cause of their Commitment or Restraint, so soon as with Conveniency and Safety the same is fit to be disclosed and expressed.
"And that, in all Causes Criminal of ordinary Jurisdiction, Our Judges shall proceed to the Deliverance or Bailment of the Prisoner, according to the known and ordinary Rules of the Law of this Land, and according to the Statute of Magna Charta and those other Six Statutes insisted on; which, We do take Knowledge, stand in full Force, and which we intend not to abrogate or weaken, against the true Intention thereof.
"This We have thought fit to signify unto you the rather for shortening of any long Debate upon this Question; the Season of the Year so far advanced, and Our great Occasions of State, not lending Us many Days for longer Continuance of this Session of Parliament. Given under Our Signet, at Our Palace of Westm. the 12th Day of May, in the Fourth Year of Our Reign."
Message to the Commons, to desire they will continue sitting.
That the Lords think they shall have Occasion to send unto them this Morning; and therefore desire them to sit until their Lordships send unto them again. And, if their Lordships shall not be ready to send unto them this Morning, they shall have Notice thereof.
Petition of Right.
Message to the H. C. for a Conference touching this Petition.
In the mean Time, the Alterations of the Petition of Right for the Subjects Liberties were read, and agreed to be offered unto the Commons only narratively. And a Copy being made of the King's Letter, and the Lord Keeper having repeated what he was to deliver unto the Commons at the Conference intended, and the same being approved of; a Message was sent unto the Commons, by the Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas and Mr. Justice Yelverton, for a present Conference between both Houses, in the Painted Chamber.
The Lords being returned from the Conference, and the House resumed; the Lord Keeper declared, "That, according to the Directions of the Houses, he declared unto the Commons their Lordships Desire to continue the Correspondency between both Houses.
"That they desired this Conference, to shew their Proceedings on the Petition of Right presented unto their Lordships by the Commons; the which (after much Debate in the House) was referred to a select Committee, to be considered whether any Thing (not altering the Sense of the Petition) might be altered therein, as it might be sit to receive a gracious Answer to the same from His Majesty: That the said Committee returned to the House these Alterations, which are now offered unto the Commons only narratively: That the said Committee left one great Point in the said Petition, concerning Imprisonments without a Cause expressed, to be debated by their House; and, before the Lords had entered into the Debate thereof, they received a gracious Letter this Morning from His Majesty, which offers Satisfaction to both Houses therein. But, before their Lordships would proceed any further, they thought it fit to acquaint them therewith.
"That, this being spoken, he (the Lord Keeper) delivered unto the Commons the said Petition of Right, and the said Alterations thereof, in Paper: And that his Lordship did deliver unto them also a Copy of His Majesty's said Letter, and read the Original thereof; they acknowledging the said Copy to agree therewith verbatim. And then his Lordship desired the Commons to expedite this Business; unto which they answered, That they came with Ears only."
Epus. Co. et Lich.
Epus. Bath. et Well.
Ds. Coventrey, Ds. Custos Magni Sigilli.
Comes Marleborough, Mag. Thesaurarius Angliæ.
Comes Maunchester, Præs. Conc. Domini Regis.
Dux Buckingham, Mag. Admirall. Angliæ.
Comes Lindsey, Mag. Camerar. Angliæ,
Comes Arundell et Surr. Comes Marescallus Angliæ.
Comes Pembroc, Senescallus Hospitii.
Comes Mountgomery, Camerar. Hospitii.
Vicecomes Say et Seale.
Vicecomes (fn. 2)Newarke.
Ds. St. John de Bas.
Ds. Stanhope de H.
Ds. Stanhope de Sh.
E. of River's Privilege.
UPON the Petition of Thomas Grey (who pretends he is Servant to the Earl of Rivers), shewing, That he hath lain in Prison in The Fleet ever since May 1626, by Order of Parliament, for Payment of Fees and Charges ordered then by the House for him to pay, which he is unable to do, and humbly praying to be therefore delivered;
L. Abergavenny's Bill.
Hodie 3a vice lecta est Billa, An Act for Assurance of a Jointure to Dame Frances, Wife of Sir Thomas Nevill, Knight; and to enable the Lord Bergavenny and the said Sir Thomas to sell Lands, for Payment of Debts, etc.
The King's Letter debated.
Their Lordships being put in Mind of the Business touching the King's Letter sent unto them this Morning, the House was put into a Committee. After long Debate, the House being resumed again, and it being first declared, that their Lordships intend not, by their Vote now to be given, neither to conclude themselves thereby, nor yet to exclude the Proposition of the Commons, nor the Petition of Right presented by them;
Petition of Right.
It was put to the Question, and Agreed, That, touching the Point of Imprisonment in the Petition, this House should move the House of Commons, That the Petition may be reduced, so far as concerns that Point of Imprisonment, within the Compass of that which His Majesty hath offered by His Gracious Letter.