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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DIE Mercurii, 15 die Aprilis,
Speaker of the Commons presented.
The House of Commons were sent for, who appeared, and presented Serjeant Glanvile for their Speaker; who, after low Obeisance made, (fn. 1) came to the Middle of the Bar, and did humbly desire His Majesty "to excuse him in that weighty Service, and command the House of Commons once more to elect another, fitter for so considerable a Business He confessed, he had a hearty Affection to serve, but little Abilities; being ready to faint before the Burthen came upon him."
The Lord Keeper came from his Place behind the King, and kneeled down; and receiving the King's Direction, returned to his Place, and told the Speaker, His Majesty had commanded him to let him know, that He gave a great and Princely Attention to his learned Speech, and finds nothing to disagree from what He expected; telling him he hath shewed his Abilities, in setting forth his own Disabilities; and so commended and approved the Choice of the Commons; and would not admit of his Excuse."
"The Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses of the Commons House of Parliament, in Conformity to most an cient and most constant Usage (the best Guide in great Solemnities), according to their well-known Privileges, a sure Warrant for their Proceedings, and in Obedience to Your Majesty s most Gracious Counsel and Com mand, a Duty well becoming loyal Subjects, have met together in their House, and chosen a Speaker, one of themselves, to be the Mouth, indeed the Servant, of all the rest; to steer watchfully and pru dently in all their weighty Consultations and Debates, to collect faithfully and readily the Vote and genuine Sense of a numerous Assembly; to propound the same seasonably, and in apt Questions of their final Resolutions; and to represent (fn. 2) them, and then Conclusion, their Declarations and Petitions upon all urgent Occasions, with Truth, with Right, with Life, with Lustre, and with full Advantage, to Your most Excellent Majesty. With what Wit, what Temper, what Spirit, what Elocution, he ought to be endowed and qualified, that, with any Hope of good Success, should undergo any such Employment, Your Majesty, in Your great Wisdom, is best able to discern and judge; both as it may relate to Your own peculiar and most important Assairs of State and Government; and as it must relate to the proper Business of the House of Commons, which was never small nor mean, and is like at this Time to be exceeding weghty. Had Your House of Commons been as happy in their Choice of myself as they were regular, wellwarranted, and dutiful, who stands elected yet to be their Speaker, and am now presented by them to Your Majesty for Your Gracious and Royal Appro bation, should not have needed to have become trou blesome to Your Majesty, in this Suit of my Releasement and Discharge; which now, in Duty to Your Majesty, and Care for the Preservation and good Success of Your Affairs, I hold myself obliged to make. My Imperfections and Disabilities are best known to myself; to Your Majesty (I suppose) not altogether unknown, before whom, in the Course of my Practice and Profession, it hath been Your Goodness towards the meanest of Your Subjects, I have divers Times had the Honour and Favour to appear, and bear a Part, as an ordinary Pleader. It is a learned Age wherein we live, under Your Majesty's most peaceful and most flourishing Government; and Your House of Commons, as it is now composed, is not only Your Representative Body, but the abstracted Quintessence of all the whole Commonalty of this Your Noble Realm of England. There be very many amongst them much fitter for this Place than I am; few or none, in my own Opinion, so unfit as myself.
"I most humbly beseech Your Majesty, as You are the Father of the Common-wealth, and Head of the whole Parliament, to whom the Care of all our Welfare chiefly appertains, have Respect to Your own Ends, have Regard to Your House of Commons, have Compassion upon me, the most unworthy Member of that Body, ready to faint with Fear before the Burthen falls upon me. Why then should they in me, of Your Majesty in them, through my Defect, stand exposed to any Hazard of Differvice? I have only a hearty Affection to serve You and Your People, lit tle Abilites for Performance. In the Fullness, there fore, of Your Kingly Power, Your Piety, and Your Goodness, be graciously pleased to command Your House of Commons once more to meet together o consult and deliberate better about their Choice of a meet Speaker, till they can agree of some such Person as may be worthy of their Choosing and of Your Majesty's Acceptation."
L. Keeper Answer.
"His Majesty, with a Gracious Ear and Princely At tention, hath listened to your humble and modest Re quest, full of Flowers of Wit, of Flowers o Floquence, and Flowers of Judgement. Many Reasons from yourself he hath taken, to approve and agree to the Choice and Election made by the House on Commons. He finds none, from any Thing that you have said, to diffent or disagree from it. You have set forth your Inabilities with so much Ability, you hvae so well decyphered and delmeated the Parts and Duty and Office of a good Speaker, which is, to col lect the Sum of the House judicially, to read it with Fidelity, to sum it up with Dextenity, and to mould it into fit and apt Questions for Resolution; and those, as Occasion shall serve, to present with Vigour and Advantage and Humility to His Majesty. He doubts not but you, that are so perfect in the Theory, will with great Ease perform the practique Part; and, with no less Commendation, His Majesty hath taken Notice, and well remembers, your often waiting on him in private Causes, wherein you have always so carried yourself, and won so much good Opinion from His Majesty, as he doubteth not, but that now you are called forth to serve Him, and to serve the Public; your Affections and the Powers of your Soul will be set on Work with more Zeal and with more Alacrity. It is that for which Philosophers call a Man happy, when Men that have Ability and Goodness do meet with an Object fit to bring it into Act; and such at this Time is your good Fortune, an Occasion being ministered unto you to shew your Ability and Goodness, and your Fidelity to His Maje sty's Service; to shew the Candour and Clearness of your Heart towards those of the House of Commons In all which His Majesty nothing doubteth but that you will so discharge yourself, as He may, to His former Favours, find Occasion and Reason to add more unto you; that the House of Commons may rejoice in this Election of theirs; and that the whole King dom, by your good and clear and candid Service, may receive Fruits and Effects that may be comfortable to all. His Majesty therefore doth approve and confirm the Choice of the House of Commons, and ratifies you for Speaker."
Speakers Address to His Majesty.
"My Profession hath taught me that, from the highest Judge, and highest Seat of Justice, there lieth no Writ of Error, no Appeal. Your Majesty, in full Parliament, hath been pleased, by the Mouth of Your Lord Keeper, to declare Your Royal Judgement, in Affirmation of the Election of Your House of Commons Thereby I am become their Speaker, and their Servant What is therefore left unto me; but, in the First Place, devoutly to beseech Almighty God, the Author and Finisher of all good Works, to enable me, by His Blessing, to discharge honestly and effectually so great a Task, so great a Trust; and, in the next Place, humbly to acknowledge (as I do) the great Grace and Favour that is done unto me by Your Majesty, and readily to conform to Your good Pleasure and Command, to which I now submit with all possible Chearfulness; lest else my too-much Diffidence to undertake the Service might add a further Disadvantage to my Performance, than peradventure would arise out of my other Imperfections.
"Two Enemies I might fear, the common Enemies of such Services, Expectation and Jealousy. I am not worthy of the former; I contemn the latter. Time, which trieth the Truth, shall let the whole World see and know, that I am, and will be found, an equal Freeman, zealous to serve my Gracious King, and zealous to serve my dearest Country.
"Monarchy, Royal and Hereditary, as of all Sorts of Government the most complete and excellent, whether we regard the Glory, the Wealth, or the Safety of the Governor, or of the People; or of both; and I hope there are not of this Nation any that are of Anti-monarchical Spirits or Resolutions, no nor Dispositions, nor Friends to such as are so. If there be, I with no greater Honour to this Parlia ment, than to discover them, and, by all good Means possible, to assist Your Gracious Majesty to suppress them or confound them.
"You are a great King at all Times; but, sitting now attended by Your Prelates, Your Lords, and People, in Free Parliament, are in the highest State of Majesty and Glory. I remember well, I heard Your Majesty's most Royal and Learned Father, our late Dear Sovereign King James of Sacred Memory), speak to that Purpose of Himself and of Kings in general, His Majesty sitting then in Parliament, upon that Throne, which, by Descent from Him, and from innumerable Royal Ancestors, is now become Your Majesty's lawful Seat and rightful Inheritance.
"To behold You thus in Peace and Safety, upon great and good Occasion, after full Fifteen Years Experience of Your most peaceful Government, yields compleat Joy to all Your Majesty's loyal and well-affected Subjects, who cannot but concur with me in this Desire;
"England is Your State of Residence; not made a Province, not governed by a Vice-roy God open all our Eyes and Understandings, to discern and value the great Blessings and Benefits we enjoy by Your Majesty's Gracious Presence, and immediate Influence of Life and Chearfulness, to all the Parts of Your Noble Kingdom.
"Ireland begins a-pace to imitate England, in a great and quick Progress to Civility of Manners and Conversation, by many sedulous Plantations, and Improvement of Your Soil, by their receiving and enacting of the more wholesome Laws and Statutes of this Kingdom, and by many other good Effects and Fruits of Peace and blessed Government.
"The Prerogative of a King is as necessary as it is great; without it, He should want that Power and Majesty which is and ought to be inseparable from the Crown and Sceptre; nor can there any Danger result, from such Prerogative in the King, to the Liberty of the Subject, so long as both of them admit the Tomperament of Law and Justice; especially under such a King as Your Majesty, who, to Your immortal Glory, among Your Printed Laws, have published this to the whole World, for Your Maxim :
"The Liberty of the People strengthens the King's Prerogative; and the King's Prerogative is, to defend the People's Liberties Apples of Gold in Pictures of Silver! Kings, as (fn. 3) Kings, are never said to err, only the best may be abused by Information; the highest Point of the Prerogative is, The King can do no Wrong; if, therefore, by the Subtilty of Misinformers, by the specious false Pretences of Public Good, by cunning and close Contrivance of their Ways to seduce, the Sacred Royal Person shall, at any Time, be circumvented, or surprized, or over wrought, and drawn to command Things contrary to Law; and that the same be done accordingly; these Commands will be void, and the King innocent, even in His very Person, defended by His Prerogative; nevertheless the Authors of such Mis-informations, and Actors in those Abuses, will stand liable and exposed to strict Examination and just Censure, as having nothing to defend themselves but the Colour of a void Command, made void by just Prerogative, and by the fundamental and true Reason of State and Monarchy; and what Difference is there, or can be, in Law, between a void Command and no Command at all?.
"If Religion, Justice, and Mercy, all happily assembled, and graciously lodged together in Your Royal Breast, may give to Your well-affected Subjects a good Hope of the good Success of this Parliament, I know not why we should not all of us expect it, with much Confidence. Some few Particulars, pertuning to the general Heads, I humbly beg of Your Majesty, that, without Offence to Your Sacred Ears, I may have Leave to mention and observe, to the further Comfort of myself and all that hear me. What Prince of this Land was ever known to keep the Hours and set Times for Prayer, and for the Service of Almighty God, with that Regularity and Constancy as Your Majesty? nay more, have You not, eversince Your Access to the Crown, had One Day in every Week, besides the Lord's Day, dedicated and applied to Preaching and Devotion? I may not stay here: There is another Particular, equaling, nay, much excelling, both the former; and that is, Your Majesty's great Care to educate those Pledges of conjugal and most abundant mutual Love, that is between Your Majesty and Your most Gracious Consort, the best Queen and Woman, and the Foundation of our future Hopes, the illustii our Prince Charles, and the rest of Your Royal Pro geny, in the true Religion of Almighty God, public ly prosessed, and by Law established, in this King dom What Tongue is able to express the great Joy and Consolation, which all Your Majesty's most loyal and loving Subjects do derive themselves, in Contemplation of Your Majesty's great Piety and Prudence, in this One Act expressed, extending itself not only to the present Time, but to the Good of Succession, and of all After-ages. Touching Justice, there is not any more certain Sign to discern an equal Judge, than by his Patience to be well informed be fore he give his Sentence; and I may boldly say, all Your Judges, throughout all Your Kingdom, may take Example by Your Majesty, and learn their Duty by Your Practice in this Kind Myself have often been a Witness of it, to my no little Admiration and Content. From Your patient Hearing, to let me pass on to Your Righteous Judgement, and therein bring but one Instance; but it shall be a great one: When Your Lords and Your People, in Your last Parliament, presented to Your Majesty a Petition, concerning divers Liberties and Rights of Your Subjects, the Petition being of no small Weight and Importance, as by the same may well appear; Your Majesty, after meet Deliberation, in few, but most effectual Words, Soit droict fait comme est desire, made them such an Answer as shall renown You for just Judgement in this Age and to all Posterty. I make Haste to come unto Your Mercy, whereof I cannot but have Need again and again, before I have finished that Service to which I am enjoined; and am not altogether in Despair of obtaining it. Nevertheless, the Mercy which I mean to celebrate is not only concerning single or particular Persons, but whole Nations; that unexampled Mercy and Clemency, which, in Your Royal Wisdom and abundant Goodness happily net together, Your Ma jesty vouchsafed to shew to us, and to all the King dom, in not drawing Your Sword of Justice the last Summer against Your People of Scotland, though Your Army were much the better and stronger It seems, Your Majesty remembered, with more Ten derness of Heart than they do, that they were Christians and Your Subjects; and that Your Rule was posse et nolle nobile; whatsoever might be the Rule that in clined You to Mercy, I am sure the Benefit redounds to us and ours, who by this Means are still in Peace and in Tranquillity, not without good Hopes of long Continunance; a Blessing per adventure under valued by us, who have had so much of it, under Your Majesty's most Gracious Fathers Blessed Government I have yet no Instructions from Your House of Com mons, and therefore can propound nothing as by War rant from them: But, if I may have Leave to present Your Majesty with my own most humble and most hearty Withes and Desires; they be directed upon Religion and Cnivalry, Commerce and Justice, and Unity, that this Parliament might be famous for the Care and Advancement of God's true Religion, the only Means to make us happy in this World and that to come; and, to that Purpose, that the most Reverend Prelates, Your Majesty's Archbishops and Bishops, sitting in the Right-Hand of Your Throne, will therein be most forward, to whom it is most prosperous That the Lords Temporal, girt with their Swords in their Creation, as more specially rewarded on designed for Actors Military, would call to Mind the most noble and most valiant of their Ancestors (whose I ands and Honours they inherit); and how famous this Land hath been, at Home and Abroad, for Deeds of Arms and Acts of Chivaliy; and o labour to restore it, by all Means, to its ancien Glory; the best Way to preserve Peace is, to be ready prepared and well-fitted for War: That Your Majesty would be pleased to command that Your Grave and Reverend Judges, whose Observations should e ceed all other Mens, though they be but Assistanes in this Service, to contribute the best and utmost the can, to explain, to execute, to advance our good old Laws, and to propound such Things for the enacting of wholesome and plain new Statutes, that every Subject of this Realm may be enabled to know and understand himself clearly, both what he hath to do, and what he may possess, and what not. There are no consderable (fn. 4) Mines in this Kingdom; Trade and Commerce, the Exportation of our Wools in Manufactures, and Native Commodities, is that which furnisheth us with Gold and Silver; the Materials of our Monies, and hath only Power to enable us to supply Your Majesty, for the defending of ourselves, and the offending of our Enemies: That Merchants and Tradesmen, therefore, should have all meet Encouragement, is a most special Interest of this Island; but, were we never so valiant, never so wealthy, if Love and Unity be not amongst us, what Good will our Wealth do to ourselves, or to Your Majesty? He that commands a Heart in Love, he and he only commands assuredly the Purse to pay and Hands to fight I pray God, we may all endeavour to knit such a Knot of Love and true Affection, betwixt the Head and the Members, that all Jesuited Foreign States, who look perchance with envious and malignant Eyes upon us, and would be glad to rejoice in our Divisions, may see themselves lost and defeated of all then subtile Plots and Combinations, and of all then wicked Hopes and Expectations, to render us, if then Endeavours might prevail, a People inconsiderable at Home, and contemptible Abroad. Religion hath taught us, St. Deus nobiscum, quis contra nos? And Experience, I hope, will teach us, St. sumus inseparabiles, sumus insuperabiles. It was wont to be, and I hope it ever will be, the Tenet and Position of Your House of Commons, That the Good of the King and of the People cannot be severed; and cursed be every one that shall go about to divide them.
"I fear, I have adventured too far on Your Royal Patience; though yet, I consess, I never knew it wearied. Nevertheless, I will here conclude, only first beseech Your Gracious Majesty, in the Name and Right of the whole House of Commons, That in Your Justice, You would be pleased to grant and confirm to them, for their better Encoaragement to pro ceed in then great Business, these their ancient ad just Liberties, which Time out of Mind they have rightfully enjoyed:
"That they, their Servants, and necessary Attendants, together with their Goods, may be freed from all Imprisonments; Arrests, and Molestatons, during Parliament; that they may enjoy Freedom of Speech in all then Propositions and Debates, which I hope they will be careful to use within the Bounds of Loyalty and Duty; that, upon all necessary Occasion, they may have Access to Your Majesty, with such a competent Number, and at such seasonable Time and Place, as Your Majesty shall appoint; and last of all, that Your Majesty would be pleated Graciously to make the best Construction of all their Words and Actions, and of mine in particular."
Lord Keeper, by His Majesty s Direction, answers Mr. Speakers Address.
"His Majesty is no less pleased with your humble and chearful Submission to His Pleasure, than He is with your Modesty in your Excuse of it. before, neither doth He the less commend what you have now said, as that which is full both of Judgement in dividing the Parts of it, and of Sharpness and Elo quence in the Expressions of it. You lift up your Thoughts and direct your Devotions aright; first, to the great Throne of Heaven; next, to this Throne upon Earth: To the first, for Divine Assistance, to the other, for Gracious Acceptation. Armed with this Confidence, you need (fn. 5) fear no Enemy, and yet I must tell you, Mr. Speaker, as smoothly as I look upon you, there was entertained and lodged within our Breast that great Enemy of yours, Expectation: But, now you have lost it and discovered it, I will not fear to name him unto you; for the other, Jealousy, it is too base a Companion to receive Admittance into any noble and magnanimous Heart, and I will leave it, with you, to the greatest Contempt and Disdain that may be. You have set forth the Blessedness and Happiness of this Kingdom, in the Frame of Government, that it is Monarchical, in the Nature of that that is Hereditary; and certainly it was a good and a true Saying, Nolle discrimine, etc. It is a large Field to walk in, and such a one as, to speak any Thing to the Purpose, would take up more Time than either I have to speak, or you to hear, and yet you have brought me into a large Field too, for, as Monarchies in general are but Happinesses, that a Man cannot fix upon, unless we receive the Joy, the Comfort, and the Fruit of them in particular; for certainly, in the Person of His most Excel lent Majesty, (fn. 6) are justly and rightly summed up all our Blessings and all our Happiness in one, but in one great and eminent and unequaled Example. His Majesty's Piety, the World cannot doubt it; you have well observed it. His Justice is well known to all His Subjects, His Clemency beyond Expression. When did ever a King of this Kingdom sit in His White Robes for Fifteen Years together, when scarce any Man was made to feel the sensible Stroke of the Axe, non Blood be drawn, but in petty and particular Causes? Mr. Speaker, it was a good Wish, and I will join with you in it with all my Heart, that they may be accursed and anathematized by this Parliament, by all the Kingdom, by all succeeding Ages, that go about in the least to innovate or alter any Thing, in that happy Government under which we live."
"It is a joyful Acclamation, and I doubt not but your Hearts are full. And certainly, you my Lords, and you of the House of Commons, may easily know, that those that are of that Spirit and that Disposition, they will quickly resolve all these Debates, and all their Actions, into (fn. 7) Cades and Cade's Principles; which is, to ruin the Nobility, to ruin the Gentry, and to ruin Learning; to devour and eat up one another Mr. Speaker, you have list up your Contemplations, and raised them on Five excellent Pillars: That of Re ligion, you do well in the first Place to begin withal, for certainly it is that which must season all our other Blessings, and it is that to which we ought to ascribe the great Happiness that we have so long enjoyed; in that, with great Judgement and Discretion, you fix your Eye and your Care upon the Reverend Prelates that assist His Majesty upon His Right Hand; certainly to them, and to their Predecessors, we owe the Preservation of the Cospel, in that Purity and Sincerity we now enjoy it; let any Man look back from the First of Queen Elizabeth, and somewhat before, to these Times, and see to whom we owe it most The Prophet Elisha, when he had Eliah's Spirit doubled on him, (fn. 8) took up his Mantle; and there are Golden Candlesticks, and there are Gates of Sapphire and Onyx, and of rich Stone, spoken of as well in the New Testament as in the Old, and God forbid but we should live to do so. God, that is the God of Order, the God of Glory, the God of Decency, served in such Sort and Manner as Ploughmen come home from the Plough ! Mr. Speaker, you shall not need to doubt but that His Majesty's pious Example, unprecedented by any King (if I should say by any Man I should not say amiss), will give you, and the House of Commons, and all the World, cause to rest most confident and most assured of His Zeal and Constancy in the Religion He professeth; (fn. 9) in which nothing within or without the Kingdom hath ever (fn. 9) been found to shake or alter Him. Next place, you look upon the Judges and Sages of the Law, and well you may; Persons for Gravity and for Learning certainly not exceeded in any Age; and, for Justice and Integrity, I am sure, if any of them be guilty of the least Defect therein, they have the least Reason to be excused for it that ever Judges, in any Time or Age ever had: They have the Example of the King; they have the Freedom of His Royal Election; they have received, from Time to Time, Charge and Command, that they should with Equality and Indifferencyd stribute that Justice committed to them, and so discharge the Trust by God laid upon His Majesty, and by Him transmitted to then Dispensations. For Chivalry, the next Pillar on which you set up the Trophies of Honour, the Grandees and Great Lords of this Kingdom, you behold them in Number, I think, greater than ever their Ancestors were; and I doubt not but their Courage is every way equal; and I assure myself they will never forget the famous Acts which have left them Honourable to all Posterity, nor do the least Thing that may either deface the Monumental Name and Actions of them, or that may in the least Kind stain the known Honour, Nobility, and Magnanimity For Commerce, it is most certain, Mr. Speaker, that it is the Royal Mine of this Kingdom, the East and West Indies of our Nation; and in that we have all Cause to bless God, and to give humble Thanks to His Majesty, that He takes such Care to maintain and encourage it, that this Nation never more flourished since the Conquest than now it doth There remains but Unity; and (as you said well) without that, we can never be happy I will but turn yourself, you have said, Si sumus inseparabiles, sumus insuperabiles; I will but say (it is a borrowed one, and I will as soon borrow that as any), Si collidimur, frangimur Mr. Speaker, let all the World avoid Distrust Assure yourself, there will not lack Attempts and Designs out of malignant and all Affections; there will not lacl, from discontented Persons, pestilent and peevish Endeavours to make good their Actions; there will not lack, from malicious and ambitious Spirits, evil Counsel, that may disjoint and unknit His Majesty and this House And you of the House of Commons, you see His Majesty hath Graciously invited you hither; and let me put you in Mind, that you forget not what I said unto you the last Day; and that you remember, that there is nothing doth take a gracious and good Nature so much, as an humble, and sweet, and chearful Expression.
"For your Petitions, His Majesty hath heard them all, and He grants them all, as fully and as freely as ever Himself, in other Parliaments, did, or any of His Predecessors before Him; and therefore there remains nothing now, but that you go on with Chearfulness, you go on with Duty, you go on with those Expressions, that you may rejoice the Heart of so gracious, so just, and so good a King; and that may, more than Showers in the Drought and Heat of Summer, refresh and chear this Kingdom, and all His Majesty's other Dominions."
King s Directions to the Speaker.
"I will only say one Word unto you Now that you are the Speaker; I command you to do the Office of a Speaker, which is, faithfully to report the great Cause of the Meeting, that My Lord Keeper, in My Name, did represent unto you the last Day; with this Assurance, That, you giving Me your (fn. 10) timely Help in this great Affair, I shall give a willing Ear to all your just Grievances."
Dominus Custos Magni Sigilli, ex Jussu Domini Regis, declaravit præsens Parliamentum continuandum esse usque in diem crastmum, videlicet, 16m diem instantis Aprilis, hora octava Aurora, Dominis sic decernentibus.