Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 6, 1643. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.
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DIE Mercurii, 6 die Martii.
PRAYERS, by Mr. Greene.
Lords present this Day:
Ds. Greey de Warke, Speaker.
L. Viscount Say & Seale.
Report from the Committee appointed to open the King's Letter.
The Lord General reported, "That the Committee of Lords have met with a Committee of the House of Commons; and have opened the Letter sent from Oxford, with this Superscription, "To the Lords and Commons of Parliament assembled at Westminster."
Which was read in this House, as followeth:
The King's Letter.
"To the Lords and Commons of Parliament assembled at Westminster.
"Out of Our most tender and pious Sense of the sad and bleeding Condition of this Our Kingdom, and Our unwearied Desires to apply all Remedies, which, by the Blessing of Almighty God, may recover it from an utter Ruin; by the Advice of the Lords and Commons of Parliament assembled at Oxford, We do propound and desire, That a convenient Number of fit Persons may be appointed and authorized by you to meet (with all convenient Speed, at such Place as you shall nominate) with an equal Number of fit Persons whom We shall appoint and authorize, to treat of the Ways and Means to settle the present Distractions of this Our Kingdom, and to procure a happy Peace; and particularly how all the Members of both Houses may securely meet, in a free and full Convention of Parliament, there to treat, consult, and agree upon such Things as may conduce to the Maintenance and Defence of the true Reformed Protestant Religion, with due Consideration to all just and reasonable Ease of tender Consciences, to the settling and maintaining of Our just Rights and Prerogatives, of the Rights and Privileges of Parliament, the Laws of the Land, the Liberty and Property of the Subject; and all other Expedients that may conduce to that blessed End of a firm and lasting Peace, both in Church and State, and a perfect Understanding betwixt Us and Our People, wherein no Endeavours or Concurrency of Ours shall be wanting. And God direct your Hearts in the Ways of Peace.
"Oxford, the 3d of March, 1643."
This House took this Letter into a serious Debate; and Ordered, That
Committee to consider of it.
The Lord General,
The Lord Admiral,
The Earls of Northumb.
The Lord Viscount Say & Seale, and
The Lord Wharton,
Are appointed to draw up the Sense of the House concerning this Business; which is to be communicated to the House of Commons, with the Letter which came from Oxford, at a Conference.
The Lords Committees withdrew themselves presently.
Message from the H. C. with an Ordinance;
A Message was brought from the House of Commons, by Mr. Solicitor General;
To desire their Lordships Concurrence in these Particulars:
1. An Ordinance for securing the Advance of Ten Thousand Pounds to the Commissioners of the Excise.
(Here enter it.)
Read Thrice, and Agreed to.
and Instructions for the Agent in Holland.
2. Instructions to be given to Walter Strickland, Agent for the Parliament in Holland, &c. (Here enter them.)
Read, and Agreed to.
The Answer returned was:
That this House agrees to the Ordinance concerning the Ten Thousand Pounds, now brought up: To the Instructions, this House will send an Answer presently, by Messengers of their own.
Mr. Cottingham to be instituted to Hasted.
Upon the Petition of the Inhabitants of the Parish of Hasted, in the County of Kent: It is Ordered, That Sir Nathaniell Brent shall institute and induct Mr. Cottingham to that Parsonage.
Message to the H. C. for a Conference on the King's Letter.
A Message was sent to the House of Commons, by Sir Edward Leech and Doctor Aylett:
To desire a present Conference, in the Painted Chamber, by Committees of both Houses, touching the King's Letter: Also to let them know, that this House agrees to the Instructions to be sent to Mr. Strickland.
Dawes and Jennings.
Ordered, That the Cause between Sir Thomas Dawes and Mr. Jennings shall be heard on Monday come Fortnight, being the 25th of March.
Heads for the Conference on the King's Letter.
The Lord General reported what the Committee have thought fit to be communicated to the House of Commons, at a Conference, upon the Receipt of the King's Letter; which was read, and aproved of:
"That the Lords have observed in this Letter from His Majesty (amongst other Things), that what is propounded in it, is by the Advice of the Lords and Commons of Parliament assembled at Oxford, which is the very same Title given to this Parliament; which puts them at Oxford into an equal Condition with us, though they be Persons which have, contrary to their Duty, deserted the Parliament, and have contributed to the Maintenance of the War against it; and therefore are and may be justly excluded.
"Their Lordships do further observe, That, though there be in the Letter some general Words for Religion, Ease of tender Consciences, His Majesty's just Prerogative, Rights and Privileges of Parliament, Laws of the Land, and Liberty and Property of the Subject, yet the only Expedient offered for these Ends is, to treat how the Members of both Houses may securely meet in a full and free Convention of Parliament, whereof no other Conclusion can be made, but that this is not a full and free Convention of Parliament, and to make a full and free Convention the Presence of those at Oxford is necessary: Their Lordships therefore offer it to the House of Commons, to desire their Concurrence herein, that a Letter may be writ in very plain and humble Language to His Majesty, representing to Him, amongst other Things, that the Continuance of this Parliament here is established by a Law passed by Himself; the which, as all other Laws of the Kingdom, He is sworn to maintain, as we are sworn to our Allegiance: That we must in Duty, and are bound and resolved with our Lives and Fortunes, to defend and preserve the just Rights and full Power of this Parliament: That, as we have used all Means for a just and safe Peace, so we will never be wanting to do our uttermost for the procuring of it; and, as the only Means thereof, we do humbly and earnestly desire His Majesty to come to His Parliament by such a Day as shall be named; and that, if He will not, we must use such Means, and make such Provision for the present and future Preservation of Religion and of the Kingdom, as in the Wisdom of the Two Houses of Parliament shall be found fit and necessary.
"Their Lordships desire that this Letter may speedily be dispatched; as also a Declaration to the Kingdom upon this and the Two former Letters from Oxon, to undeceive the People of the Artifices thereof, under the Pretence of Peace, to set up another Parliament; and that, if the House of Commons approve thereof, it may be referred to the Committee of both Kingdoms, to prepare them for the Houses, because that thereby the Counsel and Advice of the Scotts Commissioners may be had."
Ordered, That the Lord General is appointed to manage this Conference.
"Instructions for Walter Strickland Esquire, employed from the Parliament of England, to The States of the United Provinces, &c.
Instructions for Mr. Strickland, Agent for both Houses in Holland.
"The Lords and Commons in Parliament having long since made Choice of you, to be employed from them to The Lords States, both Generall, and also to the particular States of the United Provinces in the Low Countryes, and approving of your Endeavours hitherto shewed in discharging faithfully the Trust and Confidence they have reposed in you; have now thought fit to send unto you these further Instructions, requiring you to observe and follow the same accordingly:
"The chiefest Care and Labour you are to take in your Employment (as you already do know) must be to rectify the sinistrous Apprehensions, and to remove all evil and prejudicial Impressions, some in those Parts have conceived of our Proceedings; and therefore such as you find or know already truly informed and favouring our just Cause, you are with all possible Industry to confirm in their good Opinion, and to make their brotherly Affections towards us more and more effectual; in bringing also, by their good Example, others, that, by Ignorance or Misinformation, are yet missed, and of different Opinion with them, to receive the like Resentment, and to join together in affording us their helping Hearts and Hands in these our great Troubles and important Occasions; which if they please to consider thoroughly, they will easily perceive to concern them as much as it concerns any Man to look to his own, when he fees his Neighbour's House on Fire.
"These and the like Considerations you are particularly to represent to The States of Holland, Sealand, Frizland, Groningen, and others, whom you know either for Neighbourhood-sake to pity our Calamities, or whom by (fn. 1) your Experience you have discovered to be tied unto us by the Bond of Love and Affection, by reason of the same Religion with us.
"And as for The States of Utrech, where Papists have greater Sway than elsewhere in those Parts, you are to use such Arguments for getting them to judge aright of us, as may shew to them that we do no more than they themselves and other Nations, in desiring the Maintenance of our Laws, and Security of our just Liberties; and because the Ministers of the Word of God in those Countries may much contribute to the Furtherance of a good Cause, both by their Public Sermons and their private Discourses and Conversation with the People, you are therefore to be careful to acquaint yourself with them, and get them (upon your true Information) to be zealous for our Cause, which concerns so much the Glory of God, the Propagation of the Reign of Christ and His true Religion, so that, by their Means, the Hearts of all good Protestants in those Provinces may be satisfied and settled in a good Opinion of us, for a sincere and co-operating Affection towards us.
"And though you have already discovered the great Difficulties in obtaining a Loan of any considerable Sum of Money we might stand in Need of, yet are you to renew your utmost Endeavours, and try what Assistance might be from them obtained upon the Public Faith of the Kingdoms of England and Scotland, now fully united by Solemn Covenant, and entered into a mutual Defence conform to a Treaty; and if not in Money, yet in Ships and other Assistance, especially towards the Coasts of Scotland and Ireland, or for the Defence of Ireland only; in case the Spaniard should, either from Flanders or any other Part of His Dominions, assist our Enemies, and upon some Treaty and Bargain engage Himself against the Religion and this Parliament.
"And to make those States (both generally and particularly) more sensible of our Miseries and their own threatened Dangers, and withall to induce them to a brotherly Assistance, you must endeavour to put them discreetly in Mind, to cast back their Eyes upon their old Condition, and to consider what they have received from this Nation in Times of their greatest Troubles and Necessity; so that many of them have ingenuously confessed, and may yet acknowledge, that the Forts and Bulwarks of their Spiritual and Temporal Liberty and Welfare have been cemented with the Blood and Money of this Kingdom; and you may add what other pregnant Arguments your Judgement and Discretion shall further dictate and afford you: You are withall to assure them, that, upon all Occasions, we shall thankfully requite their Kindness with a sincere and real Friendship, which we desire to bring to a stricter and more useful Union, by some further Treaty.
"And seeing we have already received an ample Testimony of the brotherly Love and Compassion those States and Countries do bear to the distressed Protestants of Ireland, by a favourable Licence of liberal and free Collection and Subvention for them; you are, in our Name, to represent unto them our thankful Acknowledgement, and Assurance never to forget, but still to esteem and deserve the same.
"And forasmuch as the King of Denmarke hath of late, against His own Treaty with our Merchants, made and confirmed under His own Hand and Seal, seized on their Ships and Goods, both in the River of Elbe and in The Sount, whereby the Public Trade upon that free River, and in and through the Balthiq Sea, is hindered and broken, to the great Prejudice of all that are any Wise interested in the Commerce in these Parts; you are to represent the same to such States and Towns you know most concerned therein, and which, upon the like Pretence or Disgust of that King, may come into the like Danger; and so to try and found them, what might be expected from them in Time of Need, in case the King should continue in His unjust Proceedings.
"Howsoever, you are still to be careful to inform them (a main Point you must observe every where) in the Truth of our unhappy Differences here; and withall assure them of the firm Resolution and Conjunction, by Covenant and Treaty, of Scotland with England, in a mutual Defence; since these our Troubles, succeeding those of Scotland, have but One and the same Root, which is Popery: To verify and amplify all these Things, you may receive much Light and Help by the several Declarations made by this Parliament, and especially by that lately set forth of the Two Kingdoms; as likewise of the Letter written by our Assembly of Divines to the Churches of those Provinces, of all which Pieces you have already received Copies: And because divers of our English Merchants in those Provinces are disaffected unto us, according as their particular Interests or Ignorance leadeth them; you are therefore to be careful to discover and discern them, so that upon all Occasions, in our Name, you do afford all Assistance, Countenance, and Favour, to the well-affected, and contrarily oppose and complain against the Malignants, as have hitherto and do yet furnish our Enemies with Monies, Ammunition, Ships, and Arms, as you well know; and the like Complaints you must make also against their own Subjects, that shew the like Disaffection to us, and do us the like Disservice, in helping our Enemies with the said Commodities, notwithstanding their Resolution and Order of the 1 November, 1642.
"All these Things; and whatsoever you conceive to conduce to our just Cause, and what else the Time (which still doth alter, and bring forth new Businesses) may offer, you are with the best Convenience and Dexterity first to discover (if you find it best) to the States of each several Province; and so getting their Affections by the Truth of our, and our Enemies Affairs and Designs, urge and persuade them thereupon earnestly to take Order with their Deputies and Ministers, to admit here, and use such as we employ hereafter, with such Kindness, Respect, and Friendship, as is due to the sincere and constant Affections of this Kingdom and that of Scotland towards them, with whom both Religion and divers other Respects do bind us.
As soon as any Minister shall appear in those Parts from the Kingdom of Scotland, which we conceive will be very shortly, you are to correspond and cooperate together with him for the public Good of both Nations, as you shall hereafter receive further Directions.
"You are to represent to the States General and Particular, and at all other Occasions to suggest to Persons of Place and Power, especially to the Preachers of the Gospel, whom by reason of their particular Trust and Vocation it doth after a special Manner concern, what have been the treacherous and bloody Plots, Conspiracies, Attempts, and Practices, of the Enemies of God, against the true Reformed Religion, and such Kingdoms and States as profess the same (here you may remember unto them the cruel League of the Council of Trent; the Project of the great Council of Rome, De propaganda Fide; the Prosecutions of their Designs there against themselves, and here in the Time of Queen Elizabeth, of King James, and now in the Time of King Charles ever since the Beginning of His Reign, especially of late, of which the Invasion of the Kingdom of Scotland, the Rebellion, the barbarous Massacre, and the Cessation of Ireland, and the present Posture of England, are too plain and pregnant Testimonies); and that, as the Three Kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland have (after the uneffectual essaying of all other Remedies) entered in Covenant for the opposing and extirpating of Popery and of Prelacy (which hath ever been a Nurse of Popery, and Enmity to the Purity and Power of Religion, and mighty Prejudice to the State and Goverment, and to the just Liberty of the Subject), so they may be pleased, upon the Apprehension and Reality of the like Danger to Religion and the just Liberty from Anti-christian Superstition and Tyranny, according to our Desires and Hopes expressed in the End of our Covenant, to join in the same Association, and to invite other Christian Princes and States professing the Reformed Religion to do the like; that all the Reformed Churches which have cast off the Yoke of Popery may be joined, not only in One true Doctrine and Worship, but also in One Form of Church Government, which is our present Endeavours, and for which an Assembly of Divines of both Kingdoms is called, and hath made a good Progress, as we hope shall shortly appear to the Satisfaction of all the Reformed Churches.
"And withall you shall demonstrate unto them, that all of us ought to be more zealous for the Truth than our Enemies are for Error; that the Cause and Controversy must be common to us all; that there is no other Way of common Safety of our Religion and ourselves; and that, being joined in One in our Counsels and Forces, we may, by the Blessing of God, easily prevail against all our Adversaries.
"You are to give, from Time to Time, Notice of what you negociate and do in your Employment, to the Committee of both Nations; of whom you shall receive such further Directions and Instructions as shall be requisite, which you are diligently and carefully to observe and execute.
"You are, by yourself and such others as you shall think fit, to tender the late Solemn League and Covenant agreed upon by both Kingdoms to the Subjects of the Kingdom of England, as well Merchants as others, residing in those Parts; and are to use your best Endeavours therein, and to return to the Houses the Names of such as shall refuse to take the same."
Order for Repayment of 10,000 l. advanced for the Lord General's Army.
"Whereas John Towse Esquire, and Alderman of the City of London, and the rest of the Commissioners of Excise and new Impost, have, upon a late Ordinance of both Houses of Parliament, dated the 1st of February last, for the Payment of Twenty Thousand Pounds out of the Receipts of the Excise, towards the Recruit of his Excellency the Lord General's Army, advanced and lent Ten Thousand Pounds thereof: Be it hereby Ordained, by the Lords and Commons in Parliament assembled, That the said John Towse Esquire, and Alderman of the City of London, and the rest of the Commissioners of Excise and new Impost aforesaid, shall and may re-pay themselves the said Ten Thousand Pounds, with Interest after the Rate of Eight per Cent. out of the Receipts of the Excise, by Ordinance of the Eleventh of September last, within such Intervals of Time as other Ordinances of Parliament shall not happen to fall due, to be paid according to the several Dates thereof."
E. of Middlesex's Assessment.
"Upon Report of the Committee appointed by this House to consider of the Petition of the Earl of Midd. touching his Twentieth Part: It is Ordered, That the full Sum of Six Hundred Pounds, for the Twentieth Part of his Estate, assessed upon him by Order of this House, dated the 15th of February last, shall be forthwith paid accordingly at Haberdashers Hall; their Lordships finding no Cause that any Abatement should be made of the said Sum: And in regard the said Earl of Midd. hath let fall some Words dishonourable to the Earl of Stamford, it is further Ordered, That he shall give the said Earl of Stamford Satisfaction, before Two of the Lords of the said Committee, touching the Words so spoken by him as aforesaid."