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 Mercurii, videlicet, 11 die Januarii.
Justice Bacon ordered by the King to attend Him at Oxford.
Mr. Justice Bacon acquainted this House, "That he hath received a Letter from the King, commanding him, upon his Allegiance, to attend Him speedily at Oxford; and humbly desired the Directions of this House therein."
To attend the House.
The House taking this into Consideration, and because of the great Matters now in Agitation, Ordered, That the said Mr. Justice Bacon shall give his Attendance upon this House, as an Assistant, according to his Writ, notwithstanding this Letter.
Petition of the Ministers of the Dutch and French Congregations in London.
Ordered, That these Lords Committees following shall take this Petition into Consideration, and examine the whole Business, and report the same to this House; and that they shall have Power to send for the Parties on both Sides, to hear them:
Committee to consider of it.
L. Grey de (fn. 1) Warke.
The Answer returned was, "That this House approves of their Petition of Desire of Peace, which hath always been (fn. 2) their Endeavours; and nothing shall be wanting by their Lordships to effect it."
Pretended Speeches of Two Lords called in.
Bill against Pluralities.
E. of Portland not to be absent from the House without Leave.
The Earl of Portland being this Day in the House, his Lordship being Yesterday released of his Restraint: It is Ordered, That the Earl of Portland shall have the Command of this House, not to be absent from this House without Leave; but to give his Attendance upon this House, according to his Writ, which was signified to his Lordship by the Speaker; and his Lordship promised to give Obedience to their Lordships Order and Command.
Bill for clearing Ld. Kymbolton, &c.
County of Hertford Petition.
"Your Petitioners, being very sensible of the great Distractions and Distempers of the Kingdom, and the Danger wherein it now standeth, and of the great Effusion of Blood lately made (with great Cruelty and Imanity) amongst People of One and the same Nation; and considering the imminent Dangers and Calamities that these Distractions and Distempers are like to bring upon them and this whole Kingdom, if this unnatural and Civil War be not, in short Time, by some good Means determined; the greatest Number of People now (breaking the Bands of Laws) submit not themselves to Government, but threaten and commit Outrages and High Misdemeanors, to the Terror of your Petitioners and others, who are many of them likely to fall into Want and Misery, by Reason of the Decay of Trading, and Exhausting of their Estates, unless some speedy and happy Accommodation of the Differences betwixt His Majesty and your High and Honourable Court may (by the Blessing of Almighty God) be obtained: In all which Extremities, your Petitioners humbly fly to your Grave and Honourable Assemblies for Relief.
"And therefore do, in all Humility, beg and desire your Honourable Favours, that some Means of Accommodation and Peace may be obtained, in such wife as to your High and Honourable Assemblies great Wisdoms may be thought fit; and that, in the mean Time, there may be a Cessation of Hostility, and some Order taken that your Petitioners may the better possess themselves and their Estates in Peace, with Protection from the Violence and Fury of unruly and dissolute Multitudes, who endeavour to raise themselves by the Ruin of your Petitioners.
Ministers of the French and Dutch Congregations Petition.
"That, in the Time of the cruel Persecutions beyond the Seas, many of the Petitioners Predecessors, to avoid the Fury of those destroying Flames, were enforced to fly in this Kingdom, which (by God's Providence) was then a Sanctuary and Refuge to their distressed Souls, where, by the special Grace and Goodness of King Edward the Sixth (of Everblessed Memory), they did not only receive Protection and Liberty of Conscience, but also especial Favours and Privileges (by His Gracious Letters Patents and Authority of Parliament), to them and their Successors, for the peaceable Exercising of their Religion in their own Languages, according to the Orders, Government, and Discipline, of the true Reformed Protestant Churches beyond the Seas; which accordingly, by the Goodness and Approbation of His Sacred Majesty that now is, and His Royal Predecessors, they ever since have quietly enjoyed: For which great Blessing, they praise God; and, as they ever have done, so they shall always continue (as in Duty they are bound) to pray for the Peace and Happiness of this State and Kingdom.
"And whereas the said Congregations have, ever sithence, to the Glory of God, been governed in Unity, Peace, and Godliness, by the said Orders and Discipline; and the Charge of maintaining the Ministry, their Poor, and repairing their Churches, hath always been born by the free and voluntary Contributions of the Members of the said Congregations, without being any Ways burthensome or chargeable unto the Kingdom:
"Yet so it is, may it please your Lordships, that, within these few Months past, one John D'espaigne, Minister of the French Church of Santhoffs, in the Isle of Axolme, and one Stephen Cursoll, who likewise pretends himself to be a Minister, have, for By-respects and private Ends to themselves, endeavoured to disturb and distract the Peace and Quiet of the French Congregation, by making Divisions and Dissentions amongst them, and in erecting to themselves, without Warrant, Authority, or Example, new Congregations (out of the Members of the said Church), who in Conventicles assemble themselves, and preach in private Houses, whereby (if not timely prevented) not only the Peace but also the very Being of that so ancient French Congregation in very short Time will be utterly destroyed, and by that Means a Gap made to the Ruin of the Dutch Congregation likewise; and so both Churches (so well reputed of by all Reformed Churches beyond the Seas) will be dissolved, by losing of their Members, without whose usual Assistance and Contribution they will not be able to subsist, and, if once dissolved, may utterly despair of ever being again re-established, or settled to their former Conditions.
"To the Prevention, (fn. 3) therefore, of all these Disorders and Evils, which otherwise may befal the said Congregations;
"It is humbly craved, that this Honourable House will be graciously pleased, that some Order may be settled, such as in your Honours Wisdom shall be thought fit, to suppress, by the Authority thereof, these and such like Disorders, that so the said Churches may without further Disturbance continue and exercise their Orders, Government, and Discipline, as heretofore they usually have done.