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 Veneris, 1 die Maii,
Report of Heads for another Conference.
The Lord Keeper reported to the House the Heads of the Conference prepared Yesterday, at the Council Chamber at Whitehall, by the Lords Committees, who are appointed to consider of what Matter was fit to propound at the Conference with the House of Commons, as followeth:
"My Lords have commanded me to let you know, That the Desire and Care on your Parts, at the last Conference represented unto them, for preserving a good Union and Correspondence between their Lordships and you, is by them entertained with all Respect, and requited with all good Affection, as that which is the best Way to bring both our Consultations and Resolutions to an happy Issue; to give His Majesty a dutiful Account of our Zeal and Forwardness in those great and weighty Affairs for which we were assembled; and to further those united Proceedings, that may tend to the Happiness of this Kingdom, and the Contentment of both Houses.
"Their Lordships well know the great Privileges belonging to both Houses of Parliament, of which they and you are alike participant; and they are not ignorant of those that are distinctly proper to each House; what belongs to you of the House of Com mons, they never had thought to impeach or diminish in the least Kind; and what they justly challenge to themselves, they presume you will not attempt upon; since you cannot doubt but they will be as tender of their Honour, in the Preservation and Upholding of their own, as they are and shall be careful not to invade or violate any of yours.
"This, their Lordships commanded me to tell you, will best and most clearly appear, by the Course (fn. 1) which hath been held in their own House, and by their Proceedings with you.
"Their Lordships, as in Duty and Affection to His Majesty's Crown and Government they are bound, took into serious Consideration the great and weighty Motives of His Majesty's calling us together at this Time; the great Evils and Calamities that hang over our Heads; and the apparent Danger this Kingdom is like to run into, if, by speedy and fitting Supply, His Majesty be not enabled to prevent it.
"These, with the Reasons enforcing, how insupportable Delay and Protraction was, and how impossible it is for both Houses to recover the Loss of Time in a Matter of so pressing and urgent Consequence, (fn. 2) were, by His Majesty's Command, delivered to their Lordships and you, both in the Lords House, and in the Banqueting House at Whitehall, His Majesty being present.
"His Majesty, both these Times, expressed His Gracious and Princely Desire to do all (that from a just and gracious King might be expected) whereby this Parliament might have a happy and blessed Conclu sion, and bring Joy and Consolation to His Majesty and all His Subjects.
"He told you, that all your just Grievances should be graciously heard and relieved; that He would therein let you be at no Loss of Time; but for the present, before you parted, you should have, without abridging, as much as the Season and great Affairs in Hand would possibly permit; and what you could not now perfect, you should have Time towards Winter to go through with. Their Lordships were Witnesses that His Majesty gave His Royal Word herein; and, for their Parts, lodged in their Hearts as much Trust and Confidence of His Majesty's Royal Performance as ever Subjects did.
"Not long after, His Majesty was pleased to honour the Lords House with His Presence again, to renew the Remembrance of all what had before been delivered to both Houses, both for the Necessity of the Supply desired, with the Impossibility of admitting Delay, and the Clearness of His Majesty's Intentions and Resolutions to give all just Satisfaction to what with Reason could be desired of Him. His Majesty then took Notice to their Lordships of somewhat that had been voted in your House, concerning Religion, Propriety of Goods, and Liberty of Parliament, whereby His Majesty conceived the Matter of His Supply set aside, which He had so often, and with such Weight of Reason, desired might have Precedency.
"And, after very gracious Assurances to their Lordships of His Majesty's constant Affection and Zeal for True Religion, and for preventing all Innovations therein, of His so often iterated Promise to give a gracious Ear and just Relief to all your just Grievances; and in particular expressing His Royal Intentions in that of Ship-money, which He found so much stood upon; He was pleased to desire their Lordships (as Persons in Rank and Degree nearest to Him, in Honour as much or more concerned than others, and in the Safety and Prosperity of this Kingdom, at least equally interested with the rest of his Subjects), That, in a Case of this great and important Weight, they would, by their Counsel and Persuasion, incline you of the House of Commons to give His Majesty a speedy Answer and Resolution in the Matter of Supply.
"Their Lordships took His Majesty's Desire into serious and dutiful Consideration; and, after great and solemn Debate, they Resolved, That their Opinion was, that the Matter of His Majesty's Supply should have Precedency, and be resolved of, before any other Matter whatsoever; and did think fit there should be a Conference desired with you of the House of Commons, to dispose you thereunto; and this was all they then voted, or concluded, with which at the Conference their Lordships acquainted you.
"This, as it was just and honourable for them to do, so it neither extended the Bounds and Limits of their own Privileges, nor narrowed or straitened any of yours. And yet, at the last Conference (which their Lordships are apt and willing to believe proceeded rather from some Mistaking than any Intention to lessen theirs, or enlarge your own Privileges), it was urged, in your Name, That the voting of this was a Breach of your Privilege; and that therein their Lordships have been transported beyond the Grounds which they had set to themselves; because, in the former Conference, their Lordships had admitted that Matter of Supply ought to begin in the House of Commons, as naturally belonging to that House, and wherein their Lordships would not meddle, no, not so much as to give Advice; and yet, by voting what they did, have not only meddled with Matter of Supply, but (as far as in their Lordships lay) had concluded both the Matter and Order of Proceeding; for which you demanded Reparation from their Lordships. Wherein I am commanded, by their Lordships, to let you know, That they have neither varied nor been transported from their own Grounds, or voted any Thing contrary to your Rights and Privileges, or to that admitting of them at that Conference which is pretended, for their Lordships did and do admit, That the Bill of Subsidies ought to have (fn. 3) its Inception and Beginning in your House; that, when it comes up to their Lordships, and is by them agreed unto, it must be returned back to you, and be by your Speaker presented.
"And therefore, as they disclaim any Thought or Intention of such Beginning in their House, so they did at their Debate, and at their Conference with you, disclaim to meddle with the Matter of Subsidy or Supply, that is, by naming the Time, or Number, or any such Circumstances incident to the Bill, which ought to begin with you, or therein to give you any the least Advice. But to confer and talk with you about Supplies in general, or to give their Advice therein, they do not, nor ever did, hold derogatory to yours, or exceeding the Privileges of their own House.
"For, as you frequently impart your Grievances to them, so it is all the Reason in the World they should communicate their Fears and Foresight of Dangers unto you; their Lordships being a Body that moves in an Orb nearer to the Royal Throne than you do, and thereby the likelier to communicate in the Councils and Secrets of State, and for their Persons and Fortunes at least as considerable in Point of Danger.
"Their Lordships are not unacquainted with that Establishment in Parliament, which was by you, at the Conference, stiled The Indemnity of the Commons, but is indeed the Indemnity of Lords and Commons, and so stiled in the Record itself.
"By that Record, made at Gloucester, 9 Henry IV, it appears, there was Conference between the Lords and Commons, about the State of the Realm, and the Defence of it; after which the King demanding of the Lords what Aid was fit to be granted, they said a Tenth and a Half of Cities and Boroughs and a Fifteenth and a Half of others, and a Subsidy of Tonnage and Poundage for Two Years, upon which the King sent to the Commons, to send up to Him and the Lords, Twelve of their Company; to whom when they came, it was, by the King's Command, declared, what had been by the King demanded of the Lords (fn. 4) and their Answer thereunto; which the King willed them to report to their Companions, that they might, with better Speed, conform themselves to the Intention of the Lords.
"This indeed the Commons were troubled at, as being in great Derogation of their Liberties, whereupon, to prevent for the future any Thing that might turn to the Prejudice of their Liberty, or against the Liberty of the Lords, it was established, That it should always be lawful for the Lords to (fn. 5) commune among themselves, in the King's Absence, of the Estate of the Realm, and the Remedies needful, and so for the Commons among themselves, provided always, That neither Lords nor Commons report to the King any Grant by the Commons, and absented to by the Lords, nor the Communications of it, before the Lords and Commons be agreed, and then, as the Manner is, by the Speaker of the House of Commons.
"And, as it hath not one Word that bars the Lords or Commons from conferring about them, so it plainly declares, That Lords or Commons, in their se veral Houses, may equally treat among themselves of the Dangers the Kingdom is in, and of the Way to remedy them; and this my Lords have well weighed, and are satisfied, verifies their Proceedings to have been according to ancient Usage and Custom, as they are grounded upon just and weighty Reasons.
"Many other Reasons their Lordships have, to justify their Proceedings in this Particular; but they conceive this Record, mentioned by yourselves, will herein give you abundant Satisfaction, and plainly shew, that the House of Commons had no Cause to demand Reparation herein from their Lordships.
"A Second Thing was objected, wherein their Lordships have been said to have broken another great Privilege of the House of Commons, established by that Ordinance which I have mentioned before; which is, that their Lordships have taken Notice of some Proceedings in the House of Commons, concerning Three Particulars, Religion, Propriety of Goods, and Privileges of Parliament; to which their Lordships have commanded me to give you this just and honourable Answer:
"His Majesty told their Lordships, you had resolved something concerning those Three Heads, and by that Way of proceeding preferred the Grievances before the Matter of Supply: How His Majesty knew you had so resolved, belongs not to their Lordships to enquire into; their Lordships not meddling with any Thing that others said to the King, but what His Majesty said to their Lordships; and for their Lordships to hear what His Majesty declared to them, and for them thereupon to report the same to the House of Commons, their Lordships are so far from holding it any Diminution, or Violation, of your Privileges, that, on the contrary, in Duty to His Majesty, they could do no other; and the communicating it to you, in that Manner, they think, merits rather your Opinion and Belief of their Affections to you, and Desire of good Correspondence with you, than any other Misconstruction whatsoever; and that which you called the Indemnity of the Commons hath no Words in it that can be construed to make that any Breach of your Privileges; and therefore, their Lordships having thus cleared and justified their own Proceedings, and freed themselves from any Imputation of invading your Liberties; they cannot but return to their first Grounds and Resolutions, which were, in all fair and affectionate Manner, to stir up in you the just Consideration of those great and imminent Dangers that threaten this Kingdom at this Time, and how dangerous and irrecoverable Delay is; and withall to dispose you to take into your first and best Thoughts the Matter of His Majesty's Supply, and give Him a speedy Answer therein.
"This, their Lordships are consident, will be the Means to preserve and continue a good Union and Understanding between their Lordships and you; to make this a happy Parliament, and to avert the public Calamities that menace the Ruin and Overthrow of this famous and renowned Monarchy."
Message to the H. C. for another Conference.
Afterwards a Message was sent from the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of the High Court of Parliament assembled, by the Lord Chief Justice and Mr. Justice Jones, about a Conference, to clear somewhat which fell from them at the last Conference, with a Committee of both Houses, in the Painted Chamber, with all convenient Speed.
Answer was returned: The House of Commons are at this Time employed upon some important Businesses, and cannot now return their Answer; but will send Answer by Messengers of their own, with all convenient Speed; which they hope will be this Morning.
Roll of Fees.
The Report which the Earl of Warwicke made to the House, 29 Aprilis last, That the Grand Committee for Privileges (having received a Report from their Sub-committee) have examined all the Officers ancient Fees in the Upper House of Parliament, and do approve of them; and as for the Lord Keeper's Fees, their Lordships continue them, to be due and payable, in the same Manner as they have been accustomed to his Predecessors; and the Roll of Fees being read openly before the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, in the High Court of Parliament assembled; it was Agreed, and Ordered, by all their Lordships, That the said Fees, entered upon the said Roll, are hereby confirmed, and shall be accordingly paid.
Conference agreed to.
The House of Commons, by Messengers of their own House, returned an Answer to the Message sent them from the Lords. That the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses of the House of Commons, are ready to give a Meeting, presently, in the Painted Chamber, if it stand with their Lordships Occasions.
Hereupon those of the House of Commons withdrew themselves; and the Lord Keeper reporting the said Answer unto the House, the Lords resolved upon a speedy Answer, and the Messengers of the House of Commons being called in, the Lord Keeper told them, That the Lords Spiritual and Temporal will presently give a Meeting, with a Committee of both Houses, in the Painted Chamber.
Hereupon the House was adjourned during Pleasure; and the Lords went to the Conference; the Lord Keeper reading to the House the Heads of the Conference, prepared by Direction of the House; and after the Conference was ended, the House was resumed.