Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 5, 1642-1643. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.
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DIE Sabbati, videlicet, 19 die Novembris.
L. Hastings's Absence excused.
Answer from the H. C.
L. Falkland's Letter to the Speaker; with
the King's Reply to the Parliament's Answer.
"To the Answer of both Houses of Parliament to His Majesty's Message of the 12th of November, His Majesty makes this Reply: That His Message of the 12th, though not received by them till the 14th, was sent to them first upon the same Day upon which it was dated, and meeting with Stops by the Way was again sent upon the 13th, and taken up on that Day at Ten in the Morning by the Earl of Essex, and, though not unto him directed, was by him opened; so the Slowness of the Delivery is not so strange as the Stop of the Letter said to be sent by Sir Peter Killigrewe, which His Majesty hath not yet received, but concludes, from the Matter expressed to have been contained in that Letter (to wit, to know His Pleasure, whether He intended the Forbearance of Hostility), and by the Command of such Forbearance said to be sent to the Lord of Essex's Army, that no such Forbearance was already concluded; and consequently neither had His Majesty Cause to suppose that He should take any of their Forces unprovided, and secure in Expectation of a fair Treaty; neither could any Hostile Act of His Majesty's Forces have been a Course unsuitable to His Expressions; much less could an Endeavour to prepossess (for so He hoped He might have done) that Place, which might have stopped the further March of those Forces towards Him (which, for aught appeared to Him, might as well have been intended to Colebrooke as to Branford), and by that the farther Effusion of Blood, deserve that Stile. His Majesty further conceives, that the Printing so out of Time of such a Declaration as the Reply to His Answer to theirs of the 26th of May, but the Day before they voted the Delivery of their Petition, and the March of the Earl of Essex's Forces to Brainford so near to His Majesty, when the Committee at the same Time attended Him with a Petition for a Treaty, the Earl of Essex being before possessed of all the other Avenues to His Army, by his Forces at Windsor, Action, and Kingston, was a more strange Introduction to Peace, than for His Majesty not to suffer Himself to be cooped up on all Sides, because a Treaty had been mentioned, which was so really and so much desired by His Majesty, that this Proceeding seems to Him purposely by some intended to divert (which it could not do) that His Inclination.
"That His Majesty had no Intention to master the City by so advancing, besides His Profession, which (how meanly soever they seem to value it) He conceives a sufficient Argument (especially being only opposed by Suspicions and Surmises), may appear by His not pursuing His Victory at Brainford, but giving Orders to His Army to march away to Kingston as soon as He heard that Place was quitted, before any Notice or Appearance of further Forces from London; nor could He find a better Way to satisfy them before-hand that He had no such Intention, but that His Desire of Peace and of Propositions that might conduce to it still continued, than by that Message of the 12th; for which Care of His, He was requited by such a Reception of His Message and Messenger as was contrary at once both to Duty, Civility, and the very Custom and Law of War and Nations; and such as theirs (though after this Provocation) hath not found from Him.
"His Majesty wonders that His Soldiers should be charged with thirsting after Blood, who took above Five Hundred Prisoners in the very Heat of the Fight; His Majesty having since dismissed all the common Soldiers, and entertained such as were willing to serve Him, and required only from the rest an Oath not to serve against Him.
"And His Majesty supposes such most apt and likely to maintain their Power by Blood and Rapine, who have only got it by Oppression and Injustice: That His is vested in Him by the Law; and by that only (if the destructive Counsels of others would not hinder such a Peace, in which that might once again be the universal Rule, and in which Religion and Justice can only flourish), He desires to maintain it; and if Peace were equally desired by them as it is by His Majesty, He conceives it would have been proper to have sent Him such a Paper as should have contained just Propositions of Peace, and not an unjust Accusation of His Counsels, Proceedings, and Person. And His Majesty intends to march to such a Distance from His City of London as may take away all Pretence of Apprehension from His Army, that might hinder them in all Security from yet preparing them to present to Him; and there will be ready either to receive them, or to end the Pressures and Miseries which His Subjects (to His great Grief) suffer through this War, by a present Battle."
Papers taken upon Mr. Murray, who brought the King's Reply.
Next, the Earl of Northumb, informed this House, "That he had received a Packet of Papers, which were taken about Mr. Murrey, that brought the King's Reply, which his Lordship desired the Direction of this House how to dispose of them:" Hereupon this House perused the Papers, and found a Copy of the Reply sent to this House, with a Declaration of His Majesty's, and a Warrant to the Printer to print them. Upon this, the House Ordered, To have a present Conference with the House of Commons, and communicate unto them these Papers, together with the King's Reply; and to desire the House of Commons to join with their Lordships, to appoint a Committee of both Houses, to consider what Answer is fit to be given to this Reply of His Majesty's, it being a Business of great Consequence, that either a great Deal of Misery, or a great Deal of Happiness, will follow upon the Resolutions, that shall be taken thereupon.
Message to the H. C. for a Conference about them.
L. Coventry Leave to go to Norfolk.
A Servant of the E. of St. Alban's sent for, out of Prison at Maidston, who refused taking the Oaths.
Upon Information to this House, "That one a Servant of the Earl of St. Albanes, being in Kent upon some Business of his Lordship's, was stayed, and, the Oaths of Supremacy and Allegiance being offered to him, he refused, whereupon he is committed to the Prison at Maidston; and it was desired that he might have the Privilege of Parliament:" Hereupon this House Ordered, That the said shall be sent (fn. 1) for, to appear before this House; and then further Consideration and Examination hereof is to be had.