Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 4, 1629-42. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.
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Anno Decimo sexto Caroli Regis.
DIE Lunæ, decimo tertio die Aprilis,
Anno Regni Serenissimi Domini nostri Caroli, Dei Gratia, Angliæ, Scotiæ, Franciæ, et Hiberniæ Regis, Fidei Defensoris, etc. Decimo sexto, 1640, Domini tam Spirituales quam Temporales, quorum nomina subscribuntur, præsentes fuerunt :
Præsens R E X.
THE King, being arrayed in His Regal Robes, ascended His Royal Throne; the Prince sitting on His Majesty's Left Hand, near the State, appareled in his Robes; commanded the House of Commons to be called in; which being done, His Majesty made a short Speech to the Lords Spiritual and Temporal assembled in the High Court of Parliament, being all in then Robes, and to the House of Commons, as followeth :
"My Lords, and Gentlemen,
"There was never a King that had a more grea and weighty Cause to call His People together than Myself. I will not trouble you with the Particulars; I have informed My Lord Keeper, and commanded him to speak; and desire your Attention."
Lord Keepers Speech.
"My Lords, and you the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses of the House of Commons,
"You are here this Day assembled, by His Majesty's Gracious Writ and Royal Command, to hold a Par liament, the general, ancient, and greatest Council of this Renowned Kingdom. By you, as by a select and choice Abstract, the whole Kingdom is presented to His Majesty's Royal View, and made happy in the beholding of His Excellent and Sacred Person, all of you, not only the Prelates, Nobles, and Grandees, but, in your Persons that are of the House of Com mons, every one, even the meanest, of His Majesty's Subjects, are graciously allowed to participate and share in the Honour of those Councils that concern the great and weighty Affairs of this Kingdom. You come all armed with the Votes and Suffiages of the whole Nation; and I assure myself that your Hearts are filled with that zealous and humble Affection to His Majesty's Person and Government, that so just, so pious, and Gracious a King hath Reason to expect from all His Subjects. I doubt not but you rejoice at this Day's Meeting; and methinks you should do so too; and good Reason you have so to do, and with all Humbleness of Heart to acknowledge the great Goodness of His Majesty, who, sequestering the Memory of all former Discouragements in preceding Assemblies, is now, out of a Fatherly Affection to His People, and a Confidence that they will not be failing in their Duty to Him, pleased graciously to invite you, and all His loving Subjects, to a Sacred Unity of Hearts, and Affection in the Service of Him and of the Commonwealth; and in Execution of those Counsels that tend only to the Honour of His Majesty, and to the good Preservation of you all. His Majesty's Kingly Resolutions are seated in the Ark of His Sacred Breast; and it were a Presumption of too high a Nature for any Uzzah, uncalled, to touch it; yet His Majesty is now pleased to lay by the shining Berms of Majesty, as Phæbus did for Phaeton, that the Distance between Sovereignty and Subjection should not bar you of that Filial Freedom of Access to His Person and Counsel; only let us beware how, with the Son of Clymene, we aim at the guiding of the Chariot, as if that were the only Testimony of Fa therly Affection; and let us ever remember, that, though the King sometimes lays by the Beams and Rays of Majesty, He never lays by Majesty itself In former Parliaments, you have been advised, for the preventing and diverting of those Dangers, which by Foreign and more remote Counsels might have tended to the Ruin and to the Dishonour of this Nation; therein His Majesty's great Wisdom and Providence hath, for many Years, eased you of that Trouble; His Majesty having, with great Judgement and Prudence, not only foreseen and prevented our Dan gers, but kept up the Honour and Splendour of the English Crown; of which we all at this Day find a happy and comfortable Experience; Almighty God having vouchsafed such Success to His Majesty's Counsels, that tour Fleet is dry, when it rains Blood in all the neighbouring States. But what avails this the Kingdom? Styforis hostem non inoeniat, domi invenient. You are now summoned to Counsels and Resolutions that more nearly concern you, to prevent a Danger and Dishonour that knocl s as our Gates; and that mo from such from whom we had little Reason to suspect it. It is well known upon what happy and solid Counsels one of our wisest Kings made a Match with Scotland for his eldest Daughter; we cannot forget (I am sure we should not) the Blessed Success that waited upon those Counsers, when the Cross of England was settled upon King James (of Ever-blesled and Famous Memory), who, with the Fulness of Joy to all true English Hearts, made His Entry here by Blood, and not by Bloodshed The Wall of Separation was thereby taken away; and that Glorious King, to make His Word good, Facram eos in gentem unam, made all England rejoice; and Scotland, I am sure had no Reason to be sorry for it; they participated of English Honours; the Wealth and Honour of this Nation they shared in, and no good Thing was withholden from them, such was the Largeness of the Heart of that most Excellent King, and such was the Comfort we took in this Fraternity, or rather Unity, when now both of us had but one Brazen Wall of Fortification to look to, the Sea; and all Thing. so equally and evenly carried between us, that,
"Tros Tyriusque mihi ruilo discrimine habentur.
"His Majesty, our most Gracious Sovereign, became Hen as well to His Fathers Virtues as His Kingdoms,
"Pacatumque regit patriis artutibus orbem.
"And His tender and gracious Affection to that Nation hath given as many indulgent Testmones of Love and Benignity as they could expect. Thus became we both a Land flowing with Milk and Honey; Peace and Plenty dwelt in our Streets; and we have had all our Blessings crowned with the sweet Hopes of a Perpetuity. God found out, for my (fn. 1) Lord the King, a Companion meet for Him, His Royal Consort, our most Gracious Queen; who, as She is not to be paralleled for Her Person and Virtues, so hath She made His Majesty and this whole Kingdom most happy and blessed, in the sweetest Pledges of their Love, and our Hopes, that ever stood like Olive branches about Throne or Table. But, what I sorry for, Civiles furores Patriæ nimia infelicitas; and, when His Majesty had most Reason to expect a grateful Return of Loyalty and Obedience from all the Scottish Nation, some Men of Belial, some Shebahs, have blown the Trumpet there; and, by their Insolencies and Rebellious Actions, drawn many after them, to the utter Desertion of His Majesty's Government His Majesty's and His Kingly Father's Love and Bourty to that Nation quile forgotten; His Goodness and Piety unremembered; they have led a Multitude after them into a Course of Disloyalty and Rebellious Treason, such as former Times have not left in Mention, nor this present Age can any where equal. They have taken up Arms against the Lord's Anointed, their rightful Prince and undoubted Sovereign; and, following the wicked Counsels of some Achitophells, they have seized on the Trophies of Honour, and invested themselves with Regal Power and Authority; such and so many Acts of Disloyalty and Disobedience as, let their Pretences be what they will be, no true English Christian Heart but must acknowledge them to be the Effects of foul and horrid Treasons. The last Summer His Majesty, at His own Charge, and at the vast Expence of many of His faithful and loving Subjects of England, went with an Army; and then they took upon them the Boldness to out face and brave His Royal Army with another of their own raising: yet; for all this, His Majesty's Goodness was not lessened by that; nor could His gracious Nature forget what He was to them, and what they were to Him, but, considering with Himself they were such, quos nec vincere, nec vinci gloriosum; out of His Piety and Clemency, He chose father to pass by their former Miscarriage, upon their humble Protestations of future Loyalty and Obedience, than by just Ven geance to punish their Rebellions; but His Majesty, who is ever awake and vigilant for the Good and Safety of all His, hath since too plamly discovered, that they did but prevaricate with Him, to divert the Storm that hung over their Heads; and, by gaining Time, to purchase themselves more Advantage for pursuing their Rebellious Purposes; for, since His Majesty came from Barwicke, it is come to His certain Knowledge, that, instead of performing that Loyalty and Obedience, which, by the Law of God, of Nature and Nations, they owe unto Him, they have addressed themselves to Foreign States, and treated with them to deliver themselves up into their Protection and Power; as, by God's great Providence and Goodness, His Gracious Majesty is able to shew, under the Hands of the prime Ringleaders of that Faction; than which nothing could be of more dan gerous Consequence to this and His Majesty's other Kingdoms Whosoever they be that shall or do wish England ill, they may know it to be of too tough a Complexion and Courage, to be assailed in the Face, or to be set upon at the Fore-door; and therefore it is not unlikely but they may do as in former Times, find out a Postern Gate. There were heretofore Two of them, Scotland and Ireland; and both of them had their several Dependencies. Ireland, through His Majesty's just and prudent Government, is not only reduced from the Distempers of former Times, but settled in such a Condition of Peace, and, during His Majesty's happy Reign, so ordered and civilized, that, instead of being a Charge to Him, as it was to His Predecessors, it hath yielded Him some Revenue, and His Subjects there do daily give very acceptable Testimonies of their loyal and dutiful Affection, both to His Person and Government. And now lately, at the Parliament assembled, they have not only, with one full and free Consent, made His Majesty a chearful Aid towards His present Preparations, to reduce His disaffected Subjects in Scotland to their due Obedience; but they have also professed and promised that they will be ready, with their Persons and Estates, to the uttermost of their Ability, for His Majesty's future Supply, as His great Occasions, by the Continuance of His Forces against that Distemper, shall require; so that the Hopes of hurting England that Way are quite extinct. Scotland then only remains, whither, as to a weak and distempered Part of the Body, all the Rheums and Fluxes of factious and seditious Humours make way. His Majesty hath taken all these, and much more, to His Princely Consideration; and, to avoid a manifest and an apparent Mischief threatened to this and His other Kingdoms, hath resolved, by the Means of a powerful Army, to reduce them to their just and modest Condition of Obedience and Subjection. It is Course His Majesty takes no Delight in, but is forced unto it; for such is His Majesty's Grace and Goodness to all His Subjects, and such it is and will be to them, how undutiful and rebellious soever they now are, that, if they put themselves into a Way of Humility becoming them, His Majesty's Piety and Clemency will soon appear to all the World. But His Majesty will not endure to have His Honour weighed at the common Beam, nor permit any to step between Him and His Virtue And therefore, as He will upon no Terms admit the Mediation of any Person whatsoever, so He shall judge it a high Presumption in any to offer it; as that which He must account most dangerous to His Honour, to have any Concert that the Solicitation of others can, by any Possibility, better incline Him to His People than He is, and ever will be, out of His own Grace and Goodness.
The Charge of such an Army hath been thoroughly advised, and must needs amount to a very great Sum, such as cannot be imagined to be found in His Majesty's Coffers; which, how empty soever, have never yet been exhausted by unnecessary Triumphs, or sumptuous Buildings, or other Magnificence whatsoever; but most of His own Revenue, and whatsoever hath come from His Subjects, hath been by Him employed for the common Good and the Preservation of the Kingdom; and, like Vapours rising out of the Earth, and gathered into a Cloud, have fallen in sweet and refreshing Showers upon the same Ground, wherefore His Majesty hath now at this Time called this Parliament; the second Means, under God's Blessing, to avert these public Calamities, threatened to all His Kingdoms by the mutinous Behav our of them: And as His Majesty's Predecessors have accustomed to do with your Forefathers; so His Majesty now offers you the Honour of working, together with Himself, for the Good of Him and His, and for the common Preservation of yourselves and your Posterity. Counsels and Deliberations that tend to Benefit or Profit may enqure Disputes and Debates, because they seem only to be accompanied with Persuasions; but Deliberations that tend to Preservation are waited upon by Necessity, and cannot endure either Debate or Delay. Of such Nature are the Bleeding Evils now to be provided against This Summer must not be lost, nor any Minute of Time fore-slowed to reduce them of Scotland, left, by Protraction here, they gain Time and Advantage, to frame their Parties with Foreign States. His Majesty doth therefore desire you, upon these pressing and urgent Reasons, That you will for a while lay aside all other Debates; and that you would pass an Act for such and so many Subsidies as you, in your hearty Affections to Him and to the common Good, shall think fit and convenient for so great an Action; and withall, that you would hasten the Payment of it as soon as may be; with a Proviso in the Act, That His Majesty's Royal Assent shall not determine this Session. His Majesty assures you all, That He would not have proposed any Thing out of the ordinary Way; but that such is the Streightness of the Time, that unless the Subsidies be forthwith passed, it is not possible for Him to put in Order such Things as must be prepared before so great an Army can be brought into the Field; and, indeed, had not His Majesty, upon the Credit of His Servants, and Security out of His own Estate, taken up and issued between Three and Four Hundred Thousand Pounds, it had not been possible for His Majesty to have provided those Things to begin with, which were necessary for so great an Enterprize, and without which He could not have secured Barwicke and Carliell, or avoided those Affronts which the Insolency of that Faction have put upon us, by injuring the Persons and Fortunes of His loyal Subjects in the Northern Parts. To avoid all Questions and Dispute that may arise touching His Majesty's taking of Tonnage and Poundage, His Majesty hath commanded me to declare to you, That He hath taken it only de facto, according to the Example of former Kings, from the Death of their Predecessors, until the Parliament had past it themselves; that, in like Manner, His Majesty desires not to claim it, but by Grant of Parliament; for this Purpose, His Majesty hath caused a Bill to be prepared in the same Form as it past to His Royal Father (of Blessed Memory), adding only Words to give it Him from the First of his Majesty's Reign. This, and the Bill of Subsidies, His Majesty expects, for the pressing Reasons before delivered unto you, may be dispatched with all Speed, which His Majesty commanded me to tell you He shall graciously accept, as the welcome Pledges of your loving, happy, and dutiful Affection to Him, His Person, and Government. And His Majesty is most graciously pleased to give you His Royal Word, That afterward He will give you Time for considering of such Petitions as you shall conceive to be good for the Common-wealth; even now, before you part, ac cording as the Season of the Year and the great Affairs in Hand will permit. And what is now omitted, His Majesty will give you Time to perfect towards Winter, when your own Leisure and Conveniency may better attend it; He knowing well that these Subsides can be of little Use without that more ample Supply, which His Majesty expects upon the most happy Conclusion of this Session; and therein His Majesty is graciously pleased, according to the ancient Way of Parliament, to stay till your just Grievances be heard and redressed; and His Majesty assures you, that He will go along with you, for your Advantage, through all the gracious Expressions of a just, a pious, and a gracious King; to the End that there may be such a happy Conclusion of this Parliament, that it may be a Cause of many more Meetings with you. I have now delivered what I had in Command from His Majesty."
After this, the King further expressed Himself, and said:
"You shall see he hath spoken nothing hyperbolically, nor nothing but that I will make good, one way or other. And because he did mention a Letter, by which My Subjects in Scotland did seek to draw in Foreign Power for Aid; here is the original Letter, which I shall command him to read to you. And, be cause it may touch a Neighbour of Mine, whom I would not lay any Thing on but that which is just (God forbid I should); for My Part, I think it was never accepted by Him. Indeed it is a Letter to the French King; but I know not that ever He had it, for, by Chance, I intercepted it as it was going to Him; and therefore I hope you will understand Me right in that."
His Majesty delivered the Letter to the Lord Keeper; and he read it, saying :
"The Superscription of the Letter is this, Au Roy; and observed, that the Nature of the Superscription, as it is well known to all that know the Style of France, that this is never written by any Frenchman to any but to their own King; and therefore, being directed Au Roy, it is to their own King; for so, in Effect, by that Superscription, they do acknowledge."
Then his Lordship read the Letter in French, being the original Language wherein it was written:
Letter from some Scotch Nobles to the French King.
"Vostre Majesté (estant I'Asyle & Sanctuaire des Princes & Estats affligéz) nous avons trouvé necessaire d'envoyer ce Gentilhomme, le Sieur de Colvil, pour representer a V. M la Candeur & Naivete tant de nos Actions & Procedures, que de nos Intentions, lesquelles nous desirons estre gravées & escrites a tout I'Univers avec un Ray du Soleil, aussy bien qu'a V M Nous Vous supplions doncques tres humble ment (Sire) de luy adjouster Foy & Creance, & a tout ce qu'il diia de nostre Part, touchant nous & nos Affaires; estant tres asseurés (Sire) d'une Assistance esgale a Vostre Clemence accoustumee cydevant, & sisouvent monstrèe a ceste Nation, laquelle ne cedera la Gloire à autre quelconque d'estre eternellement,
de V. M.
"Rothes, Montrose, Leslie, Mar, Montgomery, Loudoun, Forrester."
Which being read, his Lordship added: "His Majesty commands me to read it in English, as it iss translated; for that is the Original, under their own Hands :
Translation of the above.
"Your Majesty being the Refuge and Sanctuary of afflicted Princes and States, we have found it necessary to send this Gentleman, Mr. Colvil, o represert unto Your Majesty the Candour and Ingeruity, as well of our Actions and Proceedings, as of our Intertions, which we desire to be engraven and written to the whole World with a Beam of the Sun, as well as to Your Majesty. We therefore most humbly beseech You (Sire) to give Faith and Credit to him, and to all that he shall say, on our Part, touching us and our Affairs; being most assured (Sire) of an Assistance equal to Your wonted Clemency, heretofore and so often shewed to this Nation; which will not yield the Glory to any other whatsoever, to be eternally,
"Your Majesty's most humble, most obedient and most affectionate Servants,
"Rothes, Montrose, Leslie, Mar, Montgomery, Loudoun, Forrester."
Then the King added further:
One of the Parties apprehended.
"Of these Gentlemen that set their Hands to this Letter, here is one; and I believe you will think it very strange if I should not lay him fast; and therefore I have signed a Warrant to lay him in The Tower, close Prisoner. My Lords, I think, but that I will not say positively, because I will not say any Thing here but what I am sure of; but I think I have the Gentleman that should have carried the Letter fast enough, but, I know not, (fn. 2) I may be mistaken."
And then the Lord Keeper concluded:
Common directed to chuse a Speaker.
"You of the House of Commons, His Majesty's Pleasure is, that you repair now to your own House, there to make Choice of your Speaker; whom His Majesty will expect to be presented to Him on Wednesday next, at Two of the Clock in the Afternoon."
This Day, the Clerk read the Names of the Receivers and Triers of Petitions in French.
Triers of Petitions.
Les Receavours des Peticions.
Messire John Bramston, Che. et Chiefe Justice.
Messire William Jones, Chr. et Justicier.
Messire George Crooke, Chr. et Justicier.
Messire Robert Rich, Che.
Messire Edward Salter, Che.
Et ceux qui veulent delivier leur Peticions eux baillent dedenis six jours prochensment ensuent.
Les Receavours des Peticions de Gascoigne, et des autres Terres et Pais de par de le Mere et des Iles.
Messire Edward Littleton, Chr. et Chiefe Justice Banc Common.
Messire Humphrey Davenport, Chr. et Chiefe Baron del Exchequor le Roy.
Messire Robert Barkley, Chr. et Justicier.
Messire John Michell, Chr.
Messire John Page, Ar.
Et ceux qui veulent deliver leur Peticions eux baillent dedenis six jours prochenement ensuent.
Les Triours des Peticions d' Angleterre, d' Escoce, et d'Ireland
Touts ceux ensemble, ou quatre des Prelatts et Seigneurs avantditz, appellants as eux les Sergeants le Roy, quant serra bisogne, tiendront leur Place en la Chambre de Tresorier.
Les Triours des Peticions de Gascoigne, et des autres Terres Pais de par la Mere et des Isles.
Touts ceux ensemble, ou quatre des Prelatts et Seigneuis avantditz, appellants as eux les Sergeants le Roy, et ainsi l' Attorney le Roy, quant serra bisogne, tiendront leur Place en la Chamber du Chamberleine.
Dominus Custos Magni Sigilli, ex Jussu Domini Regis, continuavit præsens Parliamentum, usque in diem Mercurii, videlicet, 15m diem instantis Aprilis, hora nona Aurora, Dominis sic decernentibus.