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 Lunæ, 25 die Martii, 1644.
L. Viscount Say & Seale.
Captain Kettelby's Petition.
Upon reading the Petition of Captain Tho. Kettelby: It is Ordered, That it be recommended to the House of Commons, that the Committee of the Navy may pay him Fifty Pounds, for Part of his Arrears, for the Relief of his Wife and Children, which are in Want by reason of his Imprisonment.
Ordinance for making Saltpetre.
L. Viscount Say & Seale.
Any Three, to meet when and where they please.
Mr. Serjeant Whitfield to attand.
March's Petition, about the Earl of Arundel's Assessment.
The Petition of Wm. March Gentleman, Servant to the Right Honourable Thomas Earl of Arundell and Surry; sheweth, "That the Petitioner being informed that his Lord is assessed One Thousand Pounds by this House, for the Twentieth Part of his Lordship's Estate; therefore he humbly desired, in regard his Lordship hath had but Three Hundred Pounds of his Revenue these Six Months to subsist withall, to forbear the Prosecution of that Assessment until such Time as the Petitioner may write to the said Lord to receive his Lordship's Directions."
Earl of Arundel, and other Peers beyond the Sea, to be sent for Home.
Hereupon this House Ordered, That Five Hundred Pounds, being Half of the One Thousand Pounds assessed upon the Earl of Arrundell for his Twentieth Part, shall be laid down, and paid, according to the Ordinance; and concerning the other Five Hundred Pounds, this House gives him Three Weeks Space to be heard concerning the paying of the rest; and what he shall offer to this House to be just Grounds for Mitigation: And it is further Ordered, That the Earl of Arrundell, and all other Peers that are beyond the Seas, shall be sent for, and have Notice to give their Attendance on this House.
Ordinance for recruiting the Lord General's Army.
The said Ordinance was read again, and Agreed to, with a Proviso, That the Rates assessed upon the Members of both Houses, and their Assistants and Attendants, shall be presented to the Houses, and approved of before they be levied.
Lord Petre's Sequestration.
Upon reading the Petition of the Lady Peter, Mother to the now Lord Peters, concerning his Estate: It is Ordered, To send it down to the House of Commons, and to desire that it may (fn. 1) be referred to the Committee of Lords and Commons for Sequestrations, to examine whether the Lord Peter's Estate is liable to Sequestration or not, and to consider of the rest of the Particulars in the Petition.
Message to the H. C. with the Ordinance for recruiting the Lord General's Army;
and with Two Petitions.
Message from thence, about the Dutch Papers.
and Sir William Brereton's Ordinance.
That this (fn. 1) House will take the Particulars of this Message into Consideration, and return an Answer by Messengers of their own.
Declaration to the Kingdom, concerning Overtures from the King for a Peace.
Ordered, That this Declaration be forthwith printed and published, by the Printer appointed for this House; and that it be sent (fn. 2) to Mr. Recorder, to receive his Directions for the Manner of printing it.
Report of the Conference, concerning the Grounds of a Peace, and the Dutch Papers.
And this Question was put, "Such of your Lordships as are of Opinion, to adhere to the Vote of chusing the Committee of Nine Lords for this Purpose, say, "Content;" and such as are of another Opinion, say, "Not Content."
Message to the H. C. for a further Conference about them.
A Message was sent to the House of Commons, by Sir Edw. Leech (fn. 3) and Doctor Aylett:
Message from thence, for One on the Ordinance for the Weekly Meal.
|And accordingly they withdrew presently.|
Sir Thomas Dawes and Jennings.
Answer from the H. C.
Meads for the Conference concerning the Grounds of a Peace, and the Dutch Papers.
"The Lords having, on Saturday, at a Conference, received the Resolution of the House of Commons to adhere unto their Votes concerning the Grounds of Peace; and having this Day received a Message from you, to hasten an Answer concerning the Propositions made by the Dutch Ambassadors, which my Lords are desirous to do with all possible Expedition; have therefore thought fit to let you know, at this Conference, that they do agree with you totally in the Matter; but, upon Debate of your Reasons, they do not find any Cause but that they should adhere to their former Votes, concerning the Committee of Nine which they have nominated.
"The Lords, having agreed with you in the Substance, would be loth there should be any Difference in a Circumstance, to hinder a Business of so high Importance; therefore they do not doubt but, as they have often yielded to give you Satisfaction in many Things formerly, so you will now manifest a mutual and reciprocal Yielding to them in this Particular, whereupon (if Time would permit) they could shew you sufficient Reasons that they have just Cause to insist; but have forborn that at this present, to avoid any further Delays."
Reasons of the H. C. for adhering to their Resolution about referring the Propositions for a Peace, and the Dutch Papers, to the Committee of both Kingdoms.
"The House of Commons, out of a Desire of keeping a good Correspondence between the Two Houses, have been always very tender, and are so still, of pressing your Lordships with any Thing, but what in their Apprehensions greatly concerns the Good of the Kingdoms; and therefore should be ready to acquiesce in the Answer received from your Lordships, but that they find it would turn very much to the Disservice of the Public: By what the House of Commons have received from your Lordships, it doth appear that your Lordships Desire is, that a Committee may be appointed, to treat with the Scotts Commissioners, to consider and prepare Grounds whereby all His Majesty's Dominions may enjoy a happy and a safe Peace, and that this may be by another Committee than what the House of Commons desired; which the House of Commons taking into their Consideration, do observe that your Lordships do as well differ in the Matter of the Votes sent up by them, as in the Way which they propounded for the managing thereof.
"That whereas the House of Commons have desired that the Grounds of the just and safe Peace propounded should be such as both Kingdoms might consent unto and prosecute; your Lordships having left these Words out, it doth not appear that your Lordships do agree that the Grounds of the Peace should be such whereto the joint Consent and Prosecution of both Kingdoms should be desired; and the House of Commons, considering the Treaty with our Brethren of Scotland, and their present Engagement in the same Cause, do think it very necessary to adhere to their Vote in that Particular.
"As concerning the Way propounded by your Lordships, it is in the First Place, that a Committee be nominated by the Houses, only to treat with the Commissioners of Scotland in this Business, which puts the Transaction thereof in a Way of that Delay and Distance between the Two Kingdoms, as if they were not united in One common Cause, or that it should not be managed by a joint Committee of both Nations; which was, and still is, the Desire of the House of Commons.
"The Second Thing wherein your Lordships differ from the House of Commons in the Way of managing this Business is, that whereas the House of Commons have desired it might be referred to the Committee of both Kingdoms, &c. your Lordships desire that another Committee may be appointed; it being alledged by your Lordships, that some of those Persons of the Committee of both Kingdoms, by reason of their other Employments, will be necessitated to be absent from this.
"The House of Commons do conceive, that both Houses, foreseeing that divers of that Committee, by reason of their Places of Public Service, might be employed elsewhere, did therefore nominate a greater Number of Persons of each House than otherwise they would have done; and they then conceived that the Number of Six, whereof One to be of the House of Peers, and Two of the House of Commons, were sufficient for the transacting of the Matters contained in that Ordinance; and, considering that the Members of either House that are likely to remain, notwithstanding the Absence of those that have such Public Employments elsewhere, will much exceed that Quorum, they do not see any Reason for the present to recede from their former Resolution in that Particular.
Another Reason of your Lordships dissenting from referring this Business to the Committee propounded by the House of Commons is, that your Lordships desired to retain the ancient approved Parliamentary Way, for each House to nominate their own Members as Committees, this being a new Power to be given to them.
"In Answer to which, the House of Commons do conceive it to be the usual Way in Parliament, that when both the Houses have nominated a Committee of the Members of both Houses, that either House may desire to refer any other subsequent Thing to the same Committee, which hath been in all Times accordingly practised; neither can they consent that it is improper to refer this Business to the Committee desired by them, upon your Lordships Reason, that the Ordinance that came from them did restrain the Committee of both Kingdoms in Matters of Peace, in respect that by the Ordinance it doth appear, that such Matters, by Directions of the Houses, might be referred to them; and the Restraint mentioned by your Lordships in that Ordinance doth rather imply that the Houses intended the Reference of Businesses of this Nature to this Committee, than the Constructions your Lordships put upon it.
"And the House of Commons, in further Maintenance of their Votes, do propound it to your Lordships Consideration, that the Committee to which the House of Commons have referred this Business is a joint Committee, by Ordinance of Parliament, with the Scotts Commissioners, and therefore cannot proceed in the managing the War, &c. without their Presence; and in respect the Number of the Scotts Commissioners here is so small, that they have not a sufficient Quorum for both Committees (in case the Committee desired by your Lordships should be agreed unto by the House of Commons), it must necessarily follow that the Businesses of One or both Committees must be very much retarded, if not wholly laid aside: And this likewise answers your Lordships Objection, that the adding this new Power to the Committee of both Kingdoms would be prejudicial to the managing of the War, and the Service of the Public; the contrary whereof doth appear.
"So that, although your Lordships have not as yet thought fit to concur with the House of Commons in their Votes concerning this Business; yet, hoping that they have now given your Lordships full Satisfaction, they do continue their former Desires of your Lordships Concurrence, and that with all convenient Speed, since it is a Business, as your Lordships acknowledge, which much concerns the Good of the Three Kingdoms, and that it now rests with your Lordships.
"And as the House of Commons do adhere for the referring of the preparing the Grounds of Peace to the Committee of both Kingdoms; so likewise, for the same Reasons, they do adhere to their former Vote, for the referring the Paper from The States Ambassadors to the same Committee, and desire likewise your Lordships Concurrence with them therein."
Declaration of both Houses to the Kingdom, concerning Overtures of Peace from the King.
"We the Lords and Commons in this present Parliament assembled, having Notice given us by the Earl of Essex, Lord General of the Forces raised for the Defence of the King and Parliament, of divers Letters sent unto him by the Earl of Forth, and of a Writing in Parchment, dated at Oxon, and subscribed by divers Lords and Gentlemen, inclosed in One of those Letters, and directed to the said Earl of Essex; and likewise of another Letter, subscribed by His Majesty, and directed thus, "To the Lords and Commons of Parliament, assembled at Westminster;" which, by the Intimation given by the Earl of Forth in his Letter, wherein it was inclosed, seemed to be intended for the Two Houses of Parliament, all which we have caused to be herewith printed; did take the same into our serious Consideration; and the rather, because it carried with it a Rumour and Pretence of a Treaty of Peace, which (being accompanied with Truth) hath always been our earnest Desires, and shall be our faithful Endeavours to effect; and having truly weighed the same, with the Circumstances thereof, do find it so far from any Aim or Intention to Peace, that, under the Mask and Title thereof, it appears to be an Endeavour to make our unhappy Distractions and Miseries more lasting, and the War more irreconcileable; for now, what the Authors and Fomentors of our sad Calamities from the Beginning intended, they have procured to be in Substance openly professed; that is, the Overthrow and Destruction of this present Parliament, being (under God) the only Basis and Support of our Religion and Liberty, and the very Bulwark between us and Tyranny, Popery, and Superstition, which are pressing hard to overrun all the Three Kingdoms; and because they foresaw the Subversion of this Parliament would be of a hard Digestion with the People, they would first present it under the Disguise of Peace; and therefore His Majesty, in His Application thereunto, must by His Letter deny the Freedom and Continuance thereof, and make Way to the setting up of another at Oxon; in stiling that Convention by the Name of "The Lords and Commons of Parliament assembled at Oxon," being the same Title which is therein given to the Parliament, and owning this Proceeding toward Peace to be by their Advice; and then, if upon these Terms the Two Houses entertained this Overture, they have gained an Acknowledgement from us of being no Parliament, or at leastwise a tacit Consent of the Assembly at Oxford to be in equal Condition with us; but, in case this Address should be rejected, then they would take the Advantage thereby to persuade the World, that they at Oxon did labour for, and the Parliament was averse to Peace, and so, by this subtil Insinuation, poison the Affections of the People, to make the better Way to ruin both Parliament and People: And therefore, that the Sincerity of our Actions, and the Malice and Subtilty of our Adversaries, may be the more clearly discovered, we thought it our Duty (with the Advice and Concurrence of the Commissioners of the Kingdom of Scotland) to publish our Proceedings to the Kingdom; and to declare, That, as it hath always been, and ever shall be, our earnest and faithful Endeavours, to put an End to the Troubles and dangerous Distempers of this Kingdom, by a happy and well-grounded Peace, so is it our settled Resolution, in Discharge of the Trust reposed in us, never to purchase it with the Loss and Ruin of our Religion and Liberty; having before our Eyes the sad Spectacle of that woeful Kingdom of Ireland, which, after the Expence of so much innocent Blood in Defence of the Protestant Religion, is, under the false Gloss of Peace, subjected and brought under the Power of Popery and Superstition; and those bloody Rebels, having effected their Ends in that Kingdom, (fn. 4) are brought over hither, to bring us under the same Yoke, which upon this Occasion we are necessitated to publish, being now tempted by that specious Pretence to acknowledge the Dissolution of this Parliament; which had we assented to, would not only deprive us and our Posterity of the present, but of the Hopes and Capacity of any future Parliament, and so at One Blow cut in sunder the chief Support and Pillar of our Laws and Liberties; for what better Assurance can we have, either of our present or future Liberties, than the Laws and Statutes of the Kingdom? and what greater Obligation can we expect for the Observance thereof, than His Majesty's Personal Consent to that Law, and His sacred and solemn Oath to observe the Laws? And yet both these are not thought Holds strong enough to secure us our own; insomuch that not only this present Parliament, convened according to the common Law and Usage of the Realm, and enacted by a Law consented unto by Himself to have Continuance, and herewith printed, is attempted to be dissolved, but another endeavoured to be set up at Oxon; and if the King, notwithstanding all these Obligations, shall at His Pleasure dissolve this, the Kingdom is not only deprived of the present, but made incapable of enjoying the Benefit of any future Parliament or Laws, any longer than shall stand with the Will and Pleasure of the King; and consequently the Fundamentals of all our Laws and Government are subverted: And we very well know this Design to be long since contrived at Oxon, as appeareth by the Lord Digby's intercepted Letter, dated the 27th of December last (which we have caused to be herewith printed), and of such Expectation, that he in that Letter expresseth it to carry along with it Probability of the surest and readiest Way, &c. of any Course that hath been yet taken; knowing very well that the Evils and Miseries himself and his wicked Confederates have brought upon this distressed Kingdom can expect no Safety but by attempting more; and truly, they could not think of any more likely to involve themselves in the same Guilt, than those Lords and Gentlemen now met at Oxon, who had already (contrary to their Duty, and the Trust reposed in them by their Country) deserted the Parliament, and assisted a War against it; and had there been any Doubt or Suspicion of their Concurrence in that Design, the very Place of Meeting, being the Head Quarters of a Popish Army, whose Cause they were there to consult of, would be a Rod sharp enough to secure them from that Fear: And it doth sufficiently appear that they have answered their Expectation; for they have assumed the Form and exercised the Power of a Parliament; they sit in Two distinct Places, terming the one the House of Peers, and the other the House of Commons; and they have made the Lord Littleton Speaker of that which they call the House of Peers, and Serjeant Eure of the other which they name the House of Commons; they have granted the Sum of One Hundred Thousand Pounds, for the Maintenance and Recruiting of the Forces raised against the Parliament and Kingdom, and have advised the same to be levied upon the People in an Arbitrary Way, by Privy Seal, under the Colour of Loan, which, by their Consent and pretended Authority, is accordingly put in Execution, as appeareth by the Privy Seals themselves, signed by the said Lord Littleton and Serjeant Eure, a Copy of One of them we have caused to be herewith printed; and, what is beyond all, and without the Power and Capacity of a Parliament, they have declared another Kingdom and the Parliament itself guilty of High Treason; having voted our Brethren of Scotland, who, upon our Invitation, and according to the Act of Pacification, are come in to assist us in Maintenance of our Religion and just Privileges, and the Two Houses, who have raised Forces for their own just Defence, and the Maintenance of their Religion and Liberty, Traitors and Rebels: And now we refer it to any sober and indifferent Judgement, whether there can be a higher Attempt to shake off and cut in sunder all Bands of Law and Government, and to bring the People under the Yoke and Bondage of an absolute Tyranny, than this is; and we cannot chuse but admire and lament that this Kingdom should produce such unnatural Monsters, who, like Vipers, to make Way for their own Safety, would destroy the Womb that bare them; and, because themselves are justly cut off as rotten and destructive Branches of the Representative Body of the Kingdom, would therefore pluck up the Tree by the Root, and destroy both Parliament and Kingdom: But, when we consider the Persons this Idol is composed of, it produceth no great Wonder; consisting not only of such who, for betraying the Trust reposed in them by their Country, and their Duty to the Commonwealth, have been justly excluded the Parliament, but of the Lord Digby, Piercy, Jermyn, and others, who, even before these unhappy Differences, have been legally impeached, or questioned in Parliament for High Treason, and, being convinced in their own Consciences of the Guilt thereof, sled the Kingdom, to avoid their Trial, and therefore, by Proclamations in His Majesty's Name, when His Majesty was here present, summoned to appear, to answer to that Charge: But our greatest Grief is, that their Counsels should so far prevail, as to procure His Majesty (under the Pretence of Peace) to be their Instrument to an Attempt so destructive to Himself, Kingdom, and People, and to endeavour the Consent of the Parliament to destroy itself, and their own Religion and Liberties; an Attempt not to be paralleled by the Precedent of the most pernicious Times, and, if effected, would in the End prove as dangerous to His Majesty as to the Kingdom, which may be made apparent by the Example of some of His Predecessors, unhappily missed by the desperate Counsels of private and ill-affected Persons; which Consideration necessitated us to return His Majesty the Answer herewith printed, wherein we take the Boldness with all Humility and Plainness to declare, as well the Duty we owe unto our Country for whom we are intrusted, as the Allegiance we owe to Him; and that, without apparent Breach of both, we could not assent to any Treaty upon the Terms expressed in His Majesty's Letter; and likewise to tender unto Him our humble Advice of a safe and ready Way to put an End to the present sad Conditions of His Majesty's Dominions: and we shall never cease, by our continual and earnest Prayers to Almighty God, to implore Him, that yet at length He would incline His Royal Heart to be throughly sensible of these unhappy Divisions, that have occasioned so much innocent Blood to stain the Land, and, by hearkening to the joint Advice of both Kingdoms, now happily united in this common Cause by their late Solemn League and Covenant, put an happy Issue to all these Troubles.
"This we thought necessary to declare, to the End the World may see as well our own real Endeavours to attain a safe and a just Peace, as the indefatigable Practices of those Popish and Jesuitical Counsels (the Instruments of all our Miseries), who are content to appear in all Shapes, and leave no Means unattempted, to compass their own Ends: First, they would have undermined us by secret Practices; then they would have forced us by open War; and now they would allure us, by the specious Pretence of Peace, to disavow this Parliament, and our just Rights and Privileges, and consequently resign ourselves, Religion, Laws, and Liberties, to the Power of Idolatry, Superstition, and Tyranny.
"But we are constantly resolved, in Discharge of the Duty we owe to our God, the Trust reposed in us by our Country, and our late Solemn Oath and Covenant, with the Hazard of our Lives and Fortunes, to defend our lawful Rights and Liberties, the Freedom and Privileges of this present Parliament, and, which is above all, the true Protestant Religion, wherein we shall not doubt but to receive the hearty Concurrence and Assistance of all well-affected Protestants, and true Lovers of their Country and Liberty; and the Lord of Hosts, whose Cause it is we stand for, and upon whose Assistance we principally rely, grant our Endeavours a blessed and happy Success!"