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 Jovis, videlicet, 30 die Decembris.
10,000 English Voluntiers for Ireland.
The Lord Keeper signified to the House, "That the King had commanded him to let their Lordships know, that He means the Ten Thousand Men which He offered to be raised for Ireland should be English Voluntiers."
The Bishops Petition and Protestation.
"That whereas the Petitioners are called up by several and respective Writs, and under great Penalties, to attend in Parliament, and have a clear and indubitate Right to vote, in Bills and other Matters whatsoever debateable in Parliament, by the ancient Customs, Laws, and Statutes of this Realm, and ought to be protected by Your Majesty quietly to attend and prosecute that great Service:
"They humbly remonstrate and protest, before God, Your Majesty, and the noble Lords and Peers now assembled in Parliament, that, as they have an indubitate Right to sit and vote in the House of the Lords; so are they (if they may be protected from Force and Violence) most ready and willing to perform their Duties accordingly; and that they do abominate all Actions or Opinions tending to Popery and the Maintenance thereof, as also all Propension and Inclination to any malignant Party, or any other Side or Party whatsoever, to the which their own Reasons and Consciences shall not move them to adhere.
"But whereas they have been, at several Times, violently menaced, affronted, and assaulted, by Multitudes of People, in their coming to perform their Service in that Honourable House, and lately chased away, and put in Danger of their Lives, and can find no Redress or Protection, upon sundry Complaints made to both Houses in these Particulars;
"They likewise humbly protest, before Your Majesty and the Noble House of Peers, That, saving unto themselves all their Rights and Interests of Sitting and Voting in that House at other Times, they dare not sit or vote in the House of Peers until Your Majesty shall further secure them from all Affronts, Indignities, and Dangers in the Premises.
"Lastly, Whereas their Fears are not built upon Phantasies and Conceits, but upon such Grounds and Objects as may well terrify Men of good Resolutions and much Constancy, they do (in all Duty and Humility) protest before Your Majesty, and the Peers of that most Honourable House of Parliament, against all Laws, Orders, Votes, Resolutions, and Determinations, as in themselves null and of none Effect, which in their Absence, sithence the 27th of this Instant Month of December 1641, have already passed in that most Honourable House, during the Time of this their forced and violent Absence from the said most Honourable House; not denying but, if their absenting of themselves were wilful and voluntary, that most Noble House might proceed in all these Premises, their Absence or this their Protestation notwithstanding.
Ro. Co. Liche.
Guil. Bath & Wells.
Sent to the House of Commons.
Hereupon a Message was sent to the House of Commons by the Lord Chief (fn. 1) Justice of the Common Pleas and Justice Reeves:
To desire a present Conference, by a Committee of both Houses, touching a Petition and Protestation of the Bishops, delivered to the King and the Lords in Parliament, being a Thing of high and dangerous Consequence.
The Subject of the Conference was to be, "To communicate the aforesaid Petition of the Bishops to the House of Commons, and let them know, that, the Petition containing Matters of high and dangerous Consequence, are such as their Lordships are very sensible of, and requires a speedy and sudden Resolution; the Petition extending to the deep intrenching upon the fundamental Privileges and Being of Parliament, this House thinks it fit, the Business concerning the whole Parliament, to communicate with the House of Commons in this Affair, of so great and of so general Concernment."
Answer from the H. C.
Message to the H. C. to sit P. M.
The Fast assented to by His Majesty.
The Lord Keeper reported to this House, "That he had, according to their Lordships Commands, moved the King in the humble Desire of both Houses, concerning the keeping a Monthly Fast during the Troubles in Ireland, throughout the Kingdom, and likewise for keeping of the 20th of January next a Fast; and that He would be pleased to give Order that a Proclamation may issue forth accordingly: To both which Desires His Majesty is pleased (fn. 1) to consent, and will give Warrant for a Proclamation to issue forth presently."
The Twelve Bishops that made the Protestation accused of Treason by the H. C.
To give their Lordships Thanks, for communicating this Petition and Protestation of the Twelve Bishops unto them with so much Speed; and further he declared, "That he was commanded to accuse, and did accuse, John Archbishop of Yorke, Thomas Bishop of Durham, Joseph Bishop of Norwich, Robert Bishop of Coventry and Lichefeild, John Bishop of St. Asaph, William Bishop of Bath and Wells, George Bishop of Hereford, Mathew Bishop of Elie, Robert Bishop of Oxon, Godfrey Bishop of Gloucester, John Bishop of Peterborough, and Morgan Bishop of Landaff, in the Name of the House of Commons, and of all the Commons of England, of High Treason, for endeavouring to subvert the fundamental Laws of this Realm, and the Being of Parliament, by preferring this Petition and Protestation; and the House of Commons desires that they may be forthwith sequestered from Parliament, and forthwith committed into safe Custody, and that a speedy Day be given them for their Answers, and the House of Commons will be ready to make good their Charge."
The Twelve Bishops sent fer.
Hereupon it is Ordered, That the Twelve Bishops that are accused of High Treason shall be forthwith brought before this House, and committed to safe Custody; and accordingly Order was given to the Gentleman Usher, attending this House, to bring them.
Commons acquainted with it.
King's Answer about the E. of Newport.
"It is true that I have heard Rumours of some Proposition that should have been made at Kensington, for the seizing of the Persons of My Wife and Children; and in Things of so high a Nature it may be fit for any Prince to enquire, even where He hath no Belief, nor Persuasion of the Thing; so I have asked Newport some Questions concerning that Business, but far from that Way of expressing a Belief of the Thing which Newport hath had the Boldness and Confidence to affirm, which I could easily make appear, but that I think it beneath Me to contest with any particular Person. But let this suffice, that I assure you I neither did nor do give Credit to any such Rumour: As for telling the Name of the Person who informed Me, I do stick to the Answer which I gave to your last Petition upon the like Particular."
Copy of it to be sent to the H. C.
Message from the H. C. for a Conference about the Safety of the Kingdom and both Houses.
Proclamation to be issued for none but Members to wear Weapons about the Houses.
Bill for raising Mariners.
Hodie 3a vice lecta est Billa, An Act for the better raising and levying of Mariners, Sailors, and others, for the present guarding of the Seas, and necessary Defence of the Realm, and other His Majesty's Kingdoms.
E. of Pembroke's Bill sent to the Commons.
To deliver a Bill, which had passed this House, intituled, "An Act for the Indemnity of Philip Earl of Pembrooke and Mountgomery, and the Lady his Wife, and the (fn. 1) Heirs and Assigns of the said Lady Anne, notwithstanding any Office to be found, and Livery to be sued, etc."
Conference concerning Disorders upon the King's Subjects reported.
Guard for the Parliament.
Then the Lord Keeper reported the Effect of this Conference: "That Yesterday the House of Commons sent up a Message to their Lordships, wherein they expressed their Fears of the ill Consequences which will happen, by the many Disorders and Assaults made upon the King's Subjects, to the Violation of their Liberties and Peace, going to and returning from the Parliament; for preventing whereof, and for the securing of the Parliament, they desired that their Lordships would join with them, to desire His Majesty, that the Parliament may have such a Guard as both Houses might confide in, and that they might be commanded by the Earl of Essex; to which Desire the House of Commons have received yet no Answer: They desire their Lordships would take these Reasons following into Consideration, by Way of Addition to their former:
"1. The insolent and traiterous Petition and Protestation of the Bishops preferred this Day to their Lordships, which the House of Commons conceive they durst not dare to have done without some Back in their Design.
"2. They desire to have a Guard, because they hear that the King hath a Guard at Whitehall, as apprehending it fit; and the House of Commons conceives that those that (fn. 1) are Enemies to the King, are likewise Enemies to the Parliament; and those that are Enemies to the Parliament are Enemies to the King.
"Therefore the House of Commons desires their Lordships to take these Things into Consideration, and give them an Answer whether their Lordships will join with them in an humble Petition to His Majesty, that the Parliament may have such a Guard as shall be approved of by both Houses of Parliament, and that it may be commanded by the noble Person formerly named, the Earl of Essex."
Answer to the H. C. concerning the Guard for the Houses.
The Bishops brought in, and committed to The Tower.
After this, the House having Notice that the Bishops that were accused of High Treason were attending without, the House gave Directions they should be severally called in, and have their Accusation made known unto them by (fn. 1) the Lord Keeper; and then, if they desired to speak, they should be heard.
Abp. of York.
First, John Archbishop of Yorke was brought in by the Gentleman Usher; and having kneeled at this Bar as a Delinquent, he was commanded to stand up; and then the Lord Keeper told him, "That the House of Commons, in their Name, and of all the Commons of England, had accused him, and others of the Bishops, with High Treason, for endeavouring to subvert the fundamental Laws of this Realm, and the Being of Parliament, by preferring their Petition and Protestation this Day to this House."
The said Archbishop desired Leave of this House to speak a few Words, which the House granting, he said, He would not at this Time make any Demurrer to this Charge, as having never heard it before; but he desired their Lordships would give him Leave to do as should be advised when he came to his Answer." And then he withdrew.
Bp. of Durham.
The Bishop of Durham was in the same Manner brought to the Bar; and the Lord Keeper repeated unto him the same Charge as he did to the Archbishop of Yorke; and he having Leave to speak, he said, "That this was the greatest Misery that ever befel him, and what he did was not with any malicious or treasonable Intent; but he going by Chance to the Archbishop of Yorke's House about Two Days ago, he found some Bishops there, and the Petition signed by many of the Bishops; and being desired to subscribe the said Petition, he read it over, and took some Exceptions to it; but he was drawn to it by Inducements, or rather Seducements; and he did subscribe it only to preserve his Right in voting in Parliament;" and, desiring their Lordships to have Pity upon him, being a Man of great Years, he withdrew.
Bp. of Norwich.
And then, in the same Manner, the Bishop of Norwich was brought to the Bar; and, after he had heard his Accusation, he said, "That this was the heaviest Affliction that ever came to him, and professed it was far from his Thoughts to be guilty of an Offence of so high a Nature, and confessed he subscribed the Petition and Protestation; but he desired the rest of his Brethren the Bishops that it might be very well considered before it was delivered; but whether it was, he knows not."
Bp. of Litchfield and Coventry.
Next, the Bishop of Coventry and Litchfield was brought to the Bar, after the same Manner, and confessed he subscribed the Petition; but craved their Lordships best Constructions, for he did it not with any traiterous Intention; and submitted himself to the Pleasure of this House.
Bp. of St. Asaph.
Next, in the same Manner, the Bishop of Saint Asaph was brought to the Bar, and confessed that he subscribed the said Petition; but he did it for Matter of Form, because the rest of his Brethren had done so; Thoughts of Treason were far from his Heart; and desired their Lordships Favour and Compassion towards him.
Bp. of Bath and Wells.
Next, the Bishop of Bath and Wells was brought to the Bar, who acknowledged he set his Hand to the said Petition without any ill Intent, and desired of his Brethren that it might not be delivered until it had been well considered of; and that all the Bishops had set their Hands thereunto.
Bp. of Hereford.
Bp. of Ely.
Next, the Bishop of Ely was brought to the Bar, and desired their Lordships would excuse him from speaking now, lest he should do himself more Hurt (fn. 1) by speaking than by Silence.
B. of Oxford.
Bp. of Gloucester.
Next, the Bishop of Gloucester was brought in the same Manner to the Bar, and confessed (fn. 1) he set his Hand to the said Petition; and it may appear he was one of the last that subscribed, which he professed was not done with any traiterous Intent, but through Ignorance, and submits himself humbly to the Wisdom of this House.
Bp. of Peterborough.
Next, the Bishop of Peterborough was brought to the Bar; and being told his Charge, he confessed he did set his Hand to the said Petition, but he never had any such ill Intent as is expressed in his Charge; but (fn. 1) what is done is through Ignorance; and he submits himself to their Lordships Pleasure.
Bp. of Landaff to appear Tomorrow.
Bishops of Durham and Coventry are committed only to the Gentleman Usher.
Ordered, That the Bishop of Durham and the Bishop of Covent. and Litchfield shall forthwith be committed to the safe Custody of the Gentleman Usher attending this House; and the rest of the Bishops now accused of High Treason shall be forthwith committed to The Tower of London, there to remain until the further Pleasure of this House be known.
Time given the Bishops to Answer.
The King's Answer about Powder for Ireland.
The Earl of Holland reported, "That the Lords, as they were appointed, have acquainted the King with the Desire of both Houses, that His Majesty would be pleased to give Warrants to the Earl of Newport, for sending Powder for the Service of Ireland; and His Majesty is willing thereunto, and will give Warrants when He knows the Particulars; but His Majesty desires the Parliament will take Care that Powder be made, to supply His Stores again."
Bp. of Winton disclaims the Protestation.
The Bishop of Winchester sitting this Day in this House, it was moved, "That the Petition and Protestation exhibited this Day, being in the Name of all the Bishops, that he might be put to answer whether he consents, or disassents, and disclaims the said Petition and Protestation, before he be suffered to sit and vote in this House."
The said Bishop answered, "That he never knew of any such Matter:" Hereupon the House gave him Leave to read over the said Petition, and give his Answer therein; which was, "That he never read the Petition before, and he doth now utterly disclaim it." And with this Answer this House was satisfied.