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 Martis, videlicet, 13 die Decembris.
Message to the H. C. that the Lords are ready for the Conference.
Belcher to carry Cloaths to the Duke of York.
Papers from L. Magwire and Macmahoone.
Committee to peruse them.
The Lieutenant of The Tower presented to this House some Papers from the Lord Magwire and Macmahowne, Prisoners in The Tower; and, because the (fn. 1) Confession of the Lord Magwire's was long, this House appointed the Earl of Bollingbrooke, the Earl of Clare, the Lord Brooke, and the Lord Grey of Warke, or any Two, to meet when they please, to peruse the Papers, and report the Contents of them to this House.
Mr. Steward's Cause.
Col. Read's Petition, to relax the Closeness of his Imprisonment, and to be allowed a Servant to attend him.
The humble Petition of Lieutenant Colonel Reade, was read; shewing, "That the Want of Air hath so decayed his Health, that, unless their Lordships will of their Goodness take Pity and Compassion of his Sufferings, and give such Ease to the Strictness of his close Imprisonment, that he may be supplied thereof, and have a Servant allowed to attend and help him in what he cannot help himself, in all Likelihood he must perish; which, with his many other Afflictions and Miseries, he humbly prayeth their Lordships to take into their Considerations, and to afford him such Relief as in their Charity they shall think fit; and he likewise prayeth to give Order, that he may be furnished with such Cloaths, and other Necessaries, as he stands in present Need of."
Likewise the Lieutenant of The Tower informed this House, "That there is a Letter come for Colonel Reade, informing him that his Wife is dead; and that there is a Mourning Suit brought for him; he desired to know their Lordship's Pleasure therein:" And this House Ordered, That the Letter and the Mourning Suit shall be delivered to the said Colonel Reade; and that he shall be permitted to have a Servant to attend him, in regard that he is sick, provided that he be locked up with him.
Answer from the H. C.
Message from thence, for a Conference about the Safety of the West.
That whereas a Conference was desired with their Lordships this Morning, concerning a Declaration, they desire it may be put off for some Time; and that their Lordships would be pleased to give a present Conference concerning the Safety of the West, which will endure no Delay.
Letter from Devon.
Mr. Hollis to command the Army in the West.
Lord General to grant him a Commission for it.
Committees to move the City for Defence of the Western Parts.
"That a Committee of Lords and Commons may recommend the State of the Western Counties unto the City; and earnestly to move them, in regard of the Importance of those Counties, to assist to the Setting forth of a considerable Strength, to be sent into those Parts; and that this Letter from Dartmouth be communicated to the City of London; and that these Committees of both Houses may be a Standing Committee, to take Care to further the sending away of such Supplies, as are resolved to be sent."
Committee for that Purpose.
E. of Stamford and Mr. Hollis to have Commissions from the Lord General.
"That the Commission from my Lord General to the Earl of Stamford, to command in Chief the Forces raised in the County of Hereford, &c. be delivered at this Conference; and that it be Declared, That it is the Opinion of the House of Commons, that this Commission does not derogate from the Power of the Lords Lieutenants of the several Counties; and the same Commission may be granted to Mr. Holles, and all others, that shall be appointed hereafter to command in Chief, in Counties that are associated; and further, that the Lord General be desired to grant this Commission to the Earl of Stamford and Mr. Holles."
E. of Stamford's Commission to command the Army in Wales, &c.
"Robert Earl of Essex and Ewe, Viscount Hereford, Lord Ferrers of Chartley, Bourchier, and Lovaine, nominated and appointed Captain General of the Army employed for the Defence of the Protestant Religion, the Safety of His Majesty's Person, and of the Parliament, the Preservation of the Laws, Liberties, and Peace of the Kingdom, and Protection of His Majesty's Subjects from Violence and Oppression;
"By virtue of the Power and Authority given me by the Ordinance of the Lords and Commons in Parliament, and according to the Direction and Appointment of the same, I do constitute and appoint your Lordship to be Commander in Chief of all the Forces raised in the several Counties of Hereford, Gloucester, Salop, and Worcester, and, during my Absence, to be General of the whole Principality of Wales, to serve for the Defence of the King, Parliament, and Kingdom: These are therefore to desire your Lordship to make your Residence in One of the said Counties, or Principality, as shall be thought most convenient for that Service. And I do hereby authorize your Lordship to raise such other Forces, for the Security of the said Counties, and Principality of Wales, as shall be by your Lordship thought most convenient for that Service; and to nominate all such Officers under you, as shall be requisite for the conducting and governing of the said Forces so raised, or to be raised, for the Service above-mentioned; requiring and commanding all such Officers and Soldiers, in the said several Counties and Principality, to obey your Lordship as Commander in Chief and General; and your Lordship to obey such Order and Direction, as you shall from Time to Time receive from me, or from One or both Houses of Parliament.
Answer to the H. C.
Committee to draw up Propositions to the King.
Letter from the Lords and Justices and Council of Ireland, about Steward and Gray's Complaint against them.
"When particular Persons are so taken up, as they have no Leisure to set apart any Time for their own private Interests, but are continually employed in consulting and ordering the Ways and Means of preserving the Crown and Kingdom from the Hands of those bloody Rebels, who strive to shake off the English Government; we doubt not the Endeavours of those, who so faithfully labour against those Rebels, will find, from that most Honourable House, so noble Acceptance, as they may not in the mean Time suffer in their Persons and private Interests, whilst they set apart all those Considerations to prefer the Public.
"Such then is the Condition of certain Members of this Board now complained against, in that most Honourable House, by Henry Steward and James Gray, for voting a Censure against them in The Castle Chamber; namely, Sir William Parsons One of the Lords Justices, Sir Richard Bolton Lord Chancellor, Sir Adam Loftus Vice Treasurer, Sir Gerard Lowther Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, and Sir Robert Meredith Chancellor of the Exchequer.
"And, considering the Reasons offered by us to the Consideration of that most Noble House, by our former Letters to your Lordships, of the 24th of June, and 23d of September; and considering also that Stewart and Gray were not endamaged by that Sentence; that they paid not the Fines imposed on them, but spared the Charges even of finding themselves during the Time of their Restraint; that they were set free without any Charge at all undergone by them; that, if they had been endamaged thereby (as in Truth they were not), their Damages would be no considerable Sum, the said Stewart's Estate being then but very mean, and the said Gray being but of a very mean Condition, having no Estate at all; that those Members of this Board formerly mentioned, and by them complained against, have had torn from them, by this Rebellion, their Estates and Livelihoods to considerable Values, being the Fruits of many Years Travail and Pains; that they have now nothing left but their Persons, which are continually employed in consulting and ordering the weighty Affairs of this Kingdom, in these Times, wherein their Judgements and many Years Experience of this Kingdom and People contributes largely to the Advancement of the Public Services; that they have not in this Particular innovated any new Practice, but proceeded in a long-continued Practice of this Kingdom, for at least One Hundred Years; that, in Point of State, such a Proceeding was then necessary, as the State of Affairs here then stood; that, if they should be adjudged to pay Damages in this Case, it would open such a Gap, as would trouble both Kingdoms with infinite Complaints against all Judicial Officers, as well here as there; that, having no Means left them whereby to be enabled to pay such Damages, they must render their Persons to Prison, there to end their Days, a Reward far below the Merits of many Years faithful Service to the Crown of England, and than which nothing could be more joyful to the Rebels here; the Consideration whereof, and of many other Particulars which may justly be said upon this Occasion, as it adds much Affliction to those Griefs and Distractions under which they already suffer abundantly, in their Persons and Estates, in the general Calamities of this Kingdom; so we confess we cannot think of it without Grief of Heart, in regard they are Persons no less eminent in Faithfulness to the Prosperity of both Kingdoms, than they are now vigilant and circumspect for the joint Advantage and Security of them: We therefore most earnestly beseech that most (fn. 2) Honourable House, that so high a Prejudice and Discountenance may not be laid on their Persons, nor so dangerous a Gap opened, which may lead in Order to great and general Mischiefs; but that, by the Wisdom and Nobleness of their Lordships, those Members of this Board may be dismissed from that Complaint, which will be so much the more Contentment to them, by how much they find their Lordships sensible of their Merits, in so great a Testimony of their Lordships Favour towards them; and it will not only lessen their present Sense of their great Calamities befallen them here, but also encourage them the more chearfully and comfortably to proceed in their continual painful Endeavours for the Good and Prosperity of this Kingdom. And so we remain, from His Majesty's Castle of Dublin, Nineteenth October, 1642,
"Rich. Boulton, Canc.
Letter from Dartmouth, of some Skirmishes in the West, and desiring a Reinforcement there.
"According to our Duty, and Trust reposed in us, we have used our best Endeavours for the Preservation of this County; and, although little Assistance hath been afforded us by the People here (to what we expected), yet God, that never fails those that go on in His Way, and rest upon His Power and Goodness, hath so blessed us now in the Time of Streights, that He hath done great Things for us by small Means; to Him alone be the Glory and Praise! Upon Tuesday the 29th of November, Captain Thomson and Captain Pym, by Command of Colonel Ruthin, went to Plinton, to keep the Town, with their Troops, and about Seventy Dragooners and Two Hundred Foot, if they saw it might have been kept without great Hazard; but the next Day, hearing the Enemy was marching from Tavistocke, with (as was related to us) Three Thousand Horse and Foot, and about Eight Pieces of Ordnance; and finding the Town of Plinton not to be kept without as great a Force as should come against it, by reason the Town lies so scattering, and several Villages so near it, and least the Enemy should come betwixt them and Plymouth, they drew forth towards the Enemy; but, Night coming on, they could not come to give them a Charge, without Hazard of the Damaging one of another in the Dark; they then went to Plymouth: The next Day, being Thursday, Colonel Ruthin, with Four Troops of Horse and the aforesaid Dragooners, went to Plinton, to view the Town, and to see the Motion of the Enemy, and found the Town as was related to him; then drew towards Plymouth, and stood upon The Lary for the Space of Three Hours, facing the Enemy, who attempted One Charge to have drawn us to their Ambuscades, but fled presently, and durst not, with all their Force (which we judge was at least Two Thousand Five Hundred Horse and Foot then left, for many ran away the Night before), give us a Charge upon fair Ground; but that Night they went to Plinton, where they continued. Wednesday, the 7th of this present Month, Colonel Ruthin, with the aforesaid Four Troops of Horse, and about One Hundred Dragooners, about Three of the Clock in the Morning, marched from Plymouth, over Ruberdowne, being a Bye-way to Modbery, where were gathered together, by the Sheriff's Command, Three or Four Thousand Men, some with Arms and some without; and we came so privately, that they did not discover us until we came within a Mile of the Town, which did so amaze them, that, after Sir Ralph Hopton (fn. 3) drew up the Force he could presently get, he, with Sir Nicholas Slayning, ran away and escaped; and, after a small Skirmish with those that stood to it, with the Loss of One Man, and Two hurt, and Three or Four Horses, we took Prisoners the Sheriff Sir Edmund Forscue and his Brother, Sir Edward Seymour and his Son, Mr. Bassett, Captain Pomeroy, Mr. Shopcut, Captain Wood, Captain Bidlocke Barnes of Exon, Lieutenant Penrose, Mr. Short, &c.
"From thence, we marched that Day with our Prisoners to Dartmouth, to the glading of the Hearts of the good People there (having had a long March, Sixteen Hours on Horseback); for, while we were upon our March towards Madbery, one Mr. Thomas Leigh was in Treaty with Sir Ralph Hopton about the delivering up of the Town, as we are informed, and, by his Confession, he had got a Warrant, to free his House from plundering; which Mr. Leigh we have also taken, and, with the rest of the Prisoners, have sent to Plymouth, this Morning in a Frigate called The Cressett, by one Captain Plunckett. We ran a great Hazard in this Service, as your Honours may judge, for the Enemy lay on both Sides with all their Force, Part at Plinton and Part at Tottneyes; but the Lord carried us along in our Way, and delivered the Enemies of His Truth and our Liberties into our Hands, and made many more to fly before us. The Prisoners Colonel Ruthin hath Ordered to be sent from Plymouth, with the First fair Wind, to London; and we now lie here, expecting some Force from Exon to join with us, which if we can have but One Thousand Dragooners, we hope to do the Enemy much Damage. We hear this Day, that, since our coming hither, the Enemy is come with the greatest Part of their Force to Tatnesse; what are left at Plinton, we know not. If speedy Supply comes not of Men, Money, and Arms, we fear they will plunder most of the good Towns in this County; and what it may grow to, if God doth not mightily work for us, we know not. Your Honours know of what great Concernment the keeping of this County is; and we doubt not but the great Need of Assistance will be sufficient to move your Honours to take into Consideration the Premises; which that your Honours would please to do, is the humble Petition of