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 Sabbati, videlicet, 19 die Februarii.
Captain Miller's Petition, concerning the Trained Bands refusing to guard the Parliament.
Upon the humble Petition of Michaell Miller, Esquire, one of the Captains of the Trained Bands of Midd. shewing, "That many of his Company do refuse to give their Attendance upon the Parliament, notwithstanding the Warning that they have had;" it is Ordered, That the Names of such as would not appear shall be returned into this House, and Affidavit made who they are that refuse to do their Service; and then this House will give further Directions therein.
Lord Capell Leave to be absent.
Mr. Draycott released from his Restraint.
Upon the reading of the Certificate of Thomas Crompton and George Cradock, Esquire, Two of His Majesty's Justices of the Peace for the County of Stafford, who searched for Powder and Arms in the House of Phillipp Draycott, of Painsley, in the said County, Esquire, by an Order of this House; and making their Return "that they found but Eight Pound Weight of Powder, and some Birding Pieces, and such Arms only as he stands charged with for the Service of his Country;" it is Ordered by this House, That the said Mr. Dracott shall be discharged of his present Restraint and Attendance upon the Lords in Parliament, notwithstanding any Affidavit made in this Cause; and that the Powder, Arms, and Birding Pieces aforesaid, shall be left to the free Disposure of the said Mr. Dracott.
Message to the H. C. that the Lords are ready to proceed in the Bishops Trial.
Then the Lord Newnham reported, "That he had received an Answer from the Spanish Ambassador, to the Message sent him lately from both Houses, which Answer was in, and a Translation therein into English; which was read, in hæc verba:
Spanish Ambassor's Answer about Ships at Dunkirk with Arms.
"The Lord Ambassador of Spaine, Don Alonso de Cardenas, having understood what the Lord Fielding of the Lords House, and Sir Thomas Barrington, Baronet, and Sir John Holland, Baronet, of the House of Commons, all Three Commissaries for the Parliament, have said in Behalf of both Houses, concerning the Advertisement given them that, in the Haven of Dunkirke, there were certain Ships landed with Ammunition, ready to take Sail, intended for the Relief of the Rebels of Ireland, which they hold contrary to the Articles of Peace between the Two Crowns; and that they required he should send to Dunkirke, and to all others his Master's Dominions, and that he should write unto the King his Master, to make Stay of those and all such Ships as may carry Supply of Powder, or Victuals, Money, or any other Aids, to His Majesty's Subjects, that at this present are in Rebellion in Ireland, because otherwise it would be understood to be a Breach of the Treaties between the Two Crowns, and so resented by the Parliament: The said Ambassador of Spaine answered, That, besides the Understanding which he hath of the King his Master's Mind and Intention to conserve the Friendship which He professeth with His Majesty of Great Brittanye, he hath express and most particular Notice that the Ships which are now in Dunkerke Haven, laded with Soldiers and Ammunition, and ready to sail, neither are for Ireland, nor were they provided for any such Purpose; and that this Notice was given him by Don Francisco De Melo, Earl of Assumar, Governor and Captain General of the States of Flaunders, whom the Resident of His Majesty of Great Brittanye that assists in Brussells assured that he is fully satisfied of their not going for Ireland, as is also his King, who signified so much unto him in a Letter, in which He likewise commanded him to thank the said Don Francisco De Melo for denying Leave, which certain Irish serving in those States had asked, to return to their Country, which He denied to avoid all Suspicion, notwithstanding their End for asking it was unknown : The same Assurance did the said Ambassador give unto the Commissaries aforesaid of the Parliament, concerning the mentioned Ships in Dunkirke, laden with Ammunition and Soldiers, that they are not for Ireland; and he proffered to write to Dunkerke, and all other Parts of Flaunders, and Dominions of the King his Master, and particularly to His Catholic Majesty, to the End that the Observance of the Articles of Peace, which hitherto have been so religiously observed of the King his Master's Part and His Subjects, may be continued; and that new and strict Orders be given that no Subject of His Catholic Majesty shall dare violate them, (fn. 1) by sending any Kind of Aids to foster the Insurrection in Ireland, under Pain of the Punishment imposed upon the Transgressors; and the said Ambassador, to manifest the Sincerity of his Heart, proffered to solicit it with the readiest and most forcible Means that lie in his Power, hoping (as is Reason he should) that His Majesty of Great Brittanye and the Parliament will, for their Part, punctually observe the same, in the aforesaid Conformity towards the Rebels of the King his Master, not permitting any Kind of Succour or Assistance, in whatsoever Quality, to be afforded them from these Kingdoms; renewing, for this Effect, all requisite Orders unto the Officers and Ports of the said Kingdoms, chastising the Transgressors of what is settled in the Peace with the Punishments contained in the Articles of it, that so, by a reciprocal Observance, the good Correspondence which is at this present betwixt the Two Crowns of Spaine and England may be assuredly maintained."
Copy of it to be sent to the House of Commons.
Message from the H. C. with an Answer to the King's Message about Lord Digby's Letter to the Queen.
That the House of Commons, having taken into serious Consideration His Majesty's late Gracious Message, have conceived an Answer, which they think fit to be presented to His Majesty; and they desire their Lordships Concurrence herein. The House of Com mons have likewise thought fit to send a Copy to the King of the Letter written to the Queen from the Lord Digby, with Copies of the Two other Letters.
Your Majesty's most loyal and faithful Subjects, the Lords and Commons in Parliament, have received Your Message of the 16th of this Instant February, sent at the Instance of the Queen's Majesty; and, upon Consideration thereof, to our great Joy and Content, (fn. 2) find therein clear Expressions of Grace and Favour from both Your Majesties, for which we return our most humble Thanks, and have herewithall sent the Transcript of that Letter required by Your Majesties, as likewise of Two other Letters directed to Mr. Secretary Nicholas and Sir Lewis Dives, all which were brought to us under one Cover indorsed to Mr. Secretary, with Information that they were written by the Lord Digby, who being a Person fled from the Justice of Parliament, and one who had given many Evidences of his Disaffection to the Public Good, we conceived it necessary to open the Two former; and, finding sundry Expressions in them full of Asperity and Malignity to the Parliament, we thought it very probable that the like might be contained in that to Her Majesty, and that it would be dishonourable to Her Majesty, and dangerous for the Kingdom, if it should not be opened, wherein we were no whit deceived, as Your Majesty may well perceive by the Contents thereof.
"And, although we cannot but be very sensible of the great Dishonour therein done to Your Majesties, and the malicious Endeavours of somenting and increasing the Jealousy betwixt Your Majesty and Your People, yet we are far from reflecting any Thing upon the Queen, or expecting any Satisfaction from Her Majesty, but impute all to the bold and venomed Spirit of the Man; only we most earnestly beseech Your Majesty to persuade the Queen, that She will not vouchsafe any Countenance to, or Correspondency with, the Lord Digby, or any other of the Fugitives or Traitors, whose Offences now depend under the Examination and Judgement of Parliament, which, we assure ourselves, will be very effectual to further the Removal of all Jealousies and Discontents betwixt Your Majesty and Your People, and the Settling the great Affairs of Your Majesty and the Kingdom in an assured State and Condition of Honour, Safety, and Prosperity."
Committee of both Houses to attend the King with it.
Message from the H. C. that they are ready for the Trial of the Twelve Bishops.
The Bishops at the Bar.
Then the Lord Keeper told the Committee of the House of Commons that were to manage the Evidence, That, this Day being appointed for the Trial of these Twelve Bishops, they might now proceed therein as they shall think fit."
Impeachment against therd read.
Their Answer read.
Next, was read the Answer or Plea of the Twelve Bishops, made to this Impeachment the 17th of January last; which was, "That they were not guilty of the Treason charged by the said Impeachment, in Manner as the same is therein charged."
Their Petition read.
Charge against them opened.
Whether they did subscribe the Petition now read, and whether it be (fn. 3) their Hand-writing?"
Upon this, all the impeached Bishops (excepting the Archbishop of Yorke) voluntarily confessed that they subscribed the said Petition, and did own the Hand-writing subscribed to be their Hand-writing; but denied that they consented to the preferring of it.
Evidence against them.
Then the Committee of the House of Commons proceeded in their Evidence; and desired Leave to examine some Witnesses, to prove the Falsity of the Bishops Petition, in styling it "The Petition and Protestation of all the Bishops and Prelates now called by His Majesty's Writ, to attend in Parliament, and present about London and Westm." and likewise to prove, that divers of the Bishops did never give their Consents to the said Petition, or ever absented themselves from Parliament, upon any Occasion or Reason of Fear or Menace; and that some of the Petitioners, videlicet, the Bishop of Gloucester, Bath and Wells, sat in the House of Peers the 28th of December last.
Bp. of Salisbury sworn.
To prove this, the Bishop of Salissbury was sworn; and he confessed, "That he was present about the Cities of London and Westm. at the Time when the other Bishops did present their Petition to the King and Parliament; but he was not absent from the Parliament upon any other Occasion but for his Attendance upon the Prince, and not out of any Fear or Menace; neither did he ever know, or hear of that Petition before he heard it was brought into the House of Peers and censured, neither did he ever consent unto it before it was preferred, nor since."
Bp. Winton sworn.
Next, Walter Bishop of Winchester, upon Oath, deponed, "That, ever since the last Recess, he hath been resident in and about the Cities of London and Westm. and attending the Parliament; and that he was sent for to come to the Archbishop of Yorke the Day after the great Tumult; and, going to his Grace at the Dean of Westm. House (where were present the said Archbishop, and the Bishops of Peterborough, Bath and Wells, and the now Bishop of Oxford and others); and the said Archbishop did then, at his being there, say, that they had been affronted; and he made a Draught of a Petition, and read it to them; and there being Speech of some Amendments to be made therein, the said Archbishop said it was suddenly done, and it might be better thought on, or Words to that Effect; and then the Archbishop went (fn. 4) away from them; and it being late, his Lordship went Home, but said he heard no more thereof until he, being in the Parliament House, did there see a Petition which was under the Twelve Bishops Hands, and thinks that it was in Effect agreeable with the aforesaid Draught, although he thinketh there might be some Alterations made therein."
Also he said, "That, on the 29th Day of December last, he being coming to the Parliament by Water, met the Lord Newburgh between the Landing Place at the Parliament Stairs and the Parliament House, who asked him whither he was going, and told him there were none of his Brethren the Bishops in the House; and thereupon he returned back, and went not then to the Parliament."
Likewise he said, "That on a Day about that Time (but whether it was the same Day, or another, he doth not know certainly), he being in a Boat, and coming towards the Shore, to land at the Parliament Stairs, and seeing a Company of Prentices and others standing on the Shore, crying No Bishops; many cried out to his Lordship, and advised him not to land there; and thereupon he caused the Boat in which he was to turn off, and carry him to Lambeth, where he staid till he sent for his Coach, which came and carried him Home."
He further said, "That he never absented himself at any other Time from Parliament, unless it were upon private Occasions, to his Remembrance; and that he would have come to the Parliament on the said Day he met with the Lord Newburg, had he not met him and spoke to him as aforesaid."
Bishop of London sworn.
Next, the Bishop of London was sworn; and he confessed, "That he hath been resident in and about the Cities of London and Westm. and Fulham, ever since last Access of this Parliament; and that he, being at Fulham the Thursday on which the Twelve Bishops were committed to The Tower, did there hear of their Commitment about a Petition; and the next Day, being Friday, he came to the Parliament, and there did see the said Petition which the said Bishops did prefer; but, before the said Thursday Night, he did never hear of the said Petition."
And he further said, "That the only Reason why he came not to the Parliament the Tuesday and Wednesday before, was because of the Frost, he being then at Fulbam; and saith, he did never consent to the Delivery of the said Petition to His Majesty, nor to the Lords in Parliament."
Then, to prove that a Vote passed in this House the 28th of December last, That this Parliament is a Free Parliament, the Journal Book was produced; and, that the Bishop of Gloucester was present in the House that Day that the said Vote was passed, the Book of Presence was produced.
That, by reason of the great Concourse of People, and their Menaces, they were afraid to come to the Parliament, which was the Cause of preferring the aforesaid Petition and Protestation, to preserve their Rights in Parliament, without any Intention to commit any treasonable Act, or destroy the fundamental Laws and Being of Parliaments, as is charged in the Impeachment against them."
After this, Mr. Glyn replied, and made some Observations of the Words of the Protestation in the Petition; and observed the Circumstances of the Body of the Petition, which he pressed by Way of Aggravation:
Reply against the Bishops is several Heads following.
"'Tis said, in their Petition, that they can find no Redress or Protection upon sundry Complaints made to both Houses; and they do protest against all Votes, Laws, Orders, Resolutions, and Determinations, as in themselves null and of none Effect, which, in their Absence since the 27th of December last, have already passed, as likewise against all such as shall hereafter pass in this House, during the Time of their Absence from this House.
2. Their Crime tends to the Subversion and Undermining the Foundation and Power of Parliaments; it deprives this House of all Being, and makes it a Body without Life or Motion, and to be less than a Piepowder Court, unless the Bishops were present.
4. It is a high Derogation of the Honour and Privileges of Parliament, charging both Houses of Parliament with Denial to give them Redress, upon Complaints to them made, of the Particulars in the Petition; whereas in Truth no such Complaint was ever made to the Houses of Parliament.
5. That the Bishops, in the Petition, endeavour to make Sedition, and to fix an Impression in the Hearts of the People that the Parliament at that Time had no Power to act or proceed in any Businesses, to relieve them in their Grievances, without the Bishops being present.
6. That, when the Bishops Petition and Protestation was preferred, there was a great Rebellion in the Kingdom of Ireland; and the Remedy to subdue that Kingdom to Obedience was Aids and Supplies, as the Wisdom and Power of Parliament should provide, which was well known to the said Bishops; therefore the Petition and Protestation of the Bishops was a direct Act to endeavour the Loss of that Kingdom.
2. By the Time when this Petition and Protestation was preferred, it being the next Day but one after a Vote had passed in this House, That this Parliament is a Free Parliament; therefore it was an Endeavour to make an Assault upon that Vote, and to annul it.
The Bishops desire to be heard by Counsel in Matter of Law.
Hereupon the Lords, commanding both the Committee and the Bishops to withdraw, and taking the same into Consideration, Ordered, That the Trial of the Twelve Bishops impeached of High Treason by the House of Commons shall be further proceeded in on Thursday the 24th of this Instant February, at which Time the Counsel of the said Bishops are to be heard in Point of Law, and themselves then are to attend in Person.
Lord Mountague Leave to Travel.
Message to the H. C. to acquaint them with it.
The House was informed, "That the Lord Viscount Mountague is an humble Suitor to their Lordships, for Leave to go beyond the Seas, for his Health:" Hereupon it is Ordered, That the Lord Viscount Mountague shall be permitted to go into France, for his Health-sake; and, because there was a Bill sent to the House of Commons for securing the Persons of Recusants, this House thought it fit to acquaint the House of Commons with this Leave: And accordingly a Message was sent to the House of Commons, by Mr. Serjeant Whitfeild and Serjeant Glanvile.