Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 7, 1644. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.
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DIE Mercurii, 1 Octobris.
Ordinance concerning Liverpool.
Lieut. Ogleby's Petition, to be freed from an Arrest.
Upon reading the Petition of Lieutenant James Oglebie; shewing, "That he hath served the State, as an Officer (fn. 1) of Horse, in Plymouth Regiment, &c. and being visited with Sickness, he hath contracted sundry Debts for his present Support; and before he can obtain any Part of his Entertainment's Arrears, he hath been and standeth arrested and imprisoned for his said Debts: Therefore he desires he may forthwith receive some Part of his Arrears, or otherwise Order may be given for his Enlargement, and Protection for his Person, that so he may go to his Charge."
Ld. Mayor Elect to be presented.
Mr. Holland's Ordinance.
Report of the Conference about Sir F. Drake being High Sheriff of Devon; and Committees Names being added for that County;
"1. That whereas the House of Commons sent up a Vote, for the making of Sir Francis Drake High Sheriff of the County of Devon, wherein their Lordships Concurrence was desired; to which this House agreed, with the Addition of some Names to the Committee of Devonshire, being a Business of another Nature, which, the House of Commons conceive, is an Agreement with a Compact, which is not Parliamentary; therefore they desire their Lordships Concurrence as it came from the House of Commons.
About Ld. Savill.
"The Second Particular was concerning the Lord Savill, who, they understand, is bailed, and released by this House; therefore do offer Reasons, why the Lord Savill should not be bailed, and, being bailed, should be remanded to Prison.
Reasons of the H. C. why he should be recommitted.
"1. That the Lord Savill having reported, That Mr. Holles, a Member of their House, did hold Correspondency with the Lord Digby, and discover the Councils and Proceedings of Parliament to the Enemy, a Crime no less than High Treason if true, and grounding this Information upon a Letter, which, as he faith, he received from a Person from whom he received it, and thereby maketh himself the Author of the Report, and not proving it, is liable to that Punishment which the Law inflicts upon a false Accuser.
"2. That he being several Times enjoined by the Committee of both Houses, and by the Houses themselves, to declare from whom he received that Letter, and refusing and persisting in his Refusal, it was by both Houses adjudged to be a high Contempt in him; whereupon the House of Commons made it their Desire unto this House, that he might be committed close Prisoner to The Tower, for his Contempt to both Houses, in refusing to answer according to the Order.
"4. That the said Lord Savill ought not to be bailed, in Case of Contempt as aforesaid, until he have discovered the Persons from whom he received the Letter wherein Mr. Holles was named, according to the said Orders, which is in his own Power to do, and so to free himself from the Contempt and Punishment due for it, if he please, by yielding Obedience to both Houses of Parliament; it being against all Law and Reason, and the Proceedings of all Courts of Justice, that a Person committed for a Contempt to a Court should be bailed by that Court whilst he continues in that Contempt; and in this Particular the Offence is much aggravated, by the Wilfulness of the Lord Savill, it being so easy for him to deliver himself, by declaring what (by his own Saying, if he say true) he knows, which is the great Fault in him not to do.
5. Besides, he stands committed also for some Letters and Papers written by him, of a very dangerous Nature, as holding a Treaty with the Enemy, and giving him Intelligence of what passes here and in our Armies, which Business is yet under Examination; and it seems very strange unto the House of Commons, that, in the mean Time, his Person should be set at Liberty, which is not fit at any Time, even of greatest Security, that One, if but suspected of such a Crime, should be let out of Prison before it be thoroughly examined; but most unsafe now, in a Time of so many Practices, and of so much Danger.
"Upon these Considerations, the House of Commons doth desire, seeing their Lordships have bailed the Lord Savill, that they will forthwith remand him again to the same Prison, to be kept close Prisoner as he was, until he conform to the Order of both Houses.
And about expediting the Committees Names for the Eastern Association, including Suffolk, Norfolk, &c.
"3. The Third Part was concerning an Ordinance for adding the Names of some Persons to be of the Committees for the Eastern Association: They look upon this Business as a Thing of great Importance; and the House of Commons have often sent up, to desire an Answer concerning the same; but have received no Answer. They say, that this Business stops the supplying and recruiting Sir Tho. Fairefax' Army, and raising Monies for maintaining of it. There are no Exceptions offered against them; and those Persons were formerly named in former Committees: Therefore the Desire of the House of Commons is, that their Lordships would take the same into speedy Consideration; how these Gentlemen came to be laid aside they know not, but it was done by some One Hand."
Sir F. Drake to be Sheriff of Devon.
The House taking these Particulars into Consideration; and as the First Particular touching the Vote concerning the High Sheriff of Devon, this House agrees to the same; and it is Ordered, That the Earl of Warwicke, the Lord North, and the Lord Robertes, are appointed to consider of Reasons, to offer to the House of Commons, for vindicating the Privileges of this House, upon what was delivered at this Conference, concerning the Addition to this Vote.
Ld. Savill recommitted to The Tower.
Committees for the Eastern Association.
Papers from the Scots Commissioners.
Message to the H. C. with them; and about the Prince of Wales's Letter.
Sheriff of Berks to give up Sir E. Sawyer's Bond.
The Earl of Suffolke this Day averring to this House, "That Sir Edmond Sawyer is his Lordship's Solicitor in his Affairs;" the House Ordered, That the said Sir Edmond shall be allowed the Privilege of Parliament; and that his Bond he hath entered into, to the Sheriff of Berks, may be delivered up.
Francis, Mayor of Plymouth, protected for Debts contracted for the Public.
Upon reading the Petition of Phillip Francis, late Mayor of Plymouth: (Here enter.) It is Ordered, That he shall have the Protection of this House, for such Sums of Money as he stands engaged for, for the Use of the State, until he shall be reimbursed the same.
Mr. Lisle's Ordinance.
Foster, Wyne, and Norton, for killing the E. of Suffolk's Deer at Somersham.
Foster committed, and Wyne and Norton reprimanded.
Upon this, (fn. 2) it is Ordered, That the said Henry Foster, for this Offence, shall stand committed to The Fleete, and give Satisfaction to the Earl of Suffolke for it; and that Lieutenant Norton and Wyne shall have a sharp Reprehension from this House, and enjoined never to do the like Offence; and Norton to prevent his Soldiers from offering any Violence in the like Kind to the Deer of the Earl of Suff.
Ordinance to continue the Franchisements, &c. of Liverpool; and to confirm to them a Ferry, &c. lately rented of Ld. Molineux.
"Whereas a Windmill and Ferry Boats, formerly belonging to the Corporation of Leverpoole, were lately in the Possession of Richard Lord Mullineux, who is in Hostility against the Parliament, and, by his Power with the Lord Cottington (late Master of the Court of Wards and Liveries), brought a vexatious Suit against the said Corporation, to their great Damage and Impoverishment; and whereas all the Writings and ancient Records belonging to the said Corporation were taken away when that Town was taken by the Enemy; considering the exceeding great Losses and Sufferings of the said Town, and to the End that the ancient Rights of the said Corporation may be restored, and those Privileges, whereof they are and long have been in Possession, may be continued and remain inviolable;
"The Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament do Order and Ordain, and be it Ordered and Ordained, That the said Corporation shall have, hold, and enjoy, the said Windmill and Ferry Boats, and the Rent of Twenty Pounds per Annum, formerly paid by the said Corporation to the said Lord Mulleneux, till both Houses take further Order: And it is hereby further Ordered and Ordained, That all other the Rights, Powers, Privileges, Liberties, and Franchisements whatsoever, contained in the Charters of the said Corporation, shall be and continue to the said Corporation: Saving to the King's Majesty, His Heirs and Successors, and all other Person and Persons, Bodies Politic and Corporate, other than the said Lord Mulleneux and his Heirs, all their Rights, Titles, and Interests whatsoever."
Mr. Holland's Ordinance, for a Lease of Creslow, &c. in Buckinghamshire, in Lieu of the Profits of the Place of Paymaster and Clerk of the Board of Green Cloth.
"Whereas Cornelius Holland Esquire, a Member of the House of Commons, was sworn Paymaster and Clerk of the Green Cloth, by virtue of His Majesty's Royal Signature, bearing Date the 5th Day of May, in the Year of our Lord God 1638, to attend as well the Prince as the rest of His Majesty's Royal Children; the Profits of which Place, according to His Majesty's Book signed, and Warrant under His Majesty's Sign Manual, amounts to the Yearly Sum of Eight Hundred Twenty-seven Pounds, and Seven Shillings, who, by virtue thereof, continued in the actual Employment and Possession of the said Office, until about the 23th of January; 1640, and then was displaced by His Majesty, without any Cause declared; and therefore, about November, 1642, the said Cornelius Holland was restored unto the said Paymaster's Place; and in March, 1643, confirmed in both the said Places of Paymaster and Clerk of the Green Cloth, by Order of both Houses, and is not disabled from enjoying the said Offices, and the Profits thereunto belonging, by the Ordinance of Parliament for the disabling of the Members of either House to hold any Office Military or Civil: The Lords and Commons do Order and Ordain, That, in Lieu of the said Profits, there shall be a Lease made by His Majesty unto the said Cornelius Holland, of all that the Mansion-house, wherein the Keeper of the Grounds called The Creslow Pastures used to dwell, and also of Cribb Close, Sunney his Close, Great Feild, Bushy Meade, Greate Bushy Meade, New Feild, Home Mead, and of the Lands of His Majesty's Pastures of Creslowe, in the County of Bucks, formerly used for the Feeding of Composition Cattle, and of the Houses, Barns, Stables, Orchards, Pounds, and Pens, belonging to the Premises, all which do lie in the Parishes of Whitchurch, Cublington, Dunton, and Hogston, in the said County of Buckingham, containing by Estimation Six Hundred Ninety-seven Acres, or thereabouts; to the End that the said Cornelius Holland and his Assigns may have the Feeding of the same, with any Manner of Cattle, and have the whole Benefit and Profit thereof; nevertheless, with out Prejudice of the Interest, Custody, Charge, and Keeping of the Premises, or any Profits and Benefit by reason thereof formerly granted, by several Letters Patents of His Majesty and His Majesty's Royal Father, unto the said Cornelius Holland and Joseph Mayne, and their Assigns; to have and to hold the same, unto him and his Assigns, for One and Twenty Years, from the 25th Day of March next ensuing, paying for the same the Yearly Rent of Two Hundred Pounds into the Receipt of the Exchequer at Westm. upon the 29th Day of September and the 25th Day of March, or at the End of Forty Days following, with Covenants for the Repair of the said Mansion-house, Barns, Stables, and Buildings, Hedges, and Fences, and with Exceptions of all Woods upon the Premises, allowing Timber for the said Repair, together with Hedgeboote, Fireboote, and other Bootes: And Oliver St. John Esquire, His Majesty's Solicitor General, is hereby required and authorized to prepare the said Lease accordingly; and the Commissioners for the Great Seal of England for the Time being are likewise required and authorized to pass the said Lease under the Great Seal of England; and for the doing thereof, this present Ordinance shall be their sufficient Warrant in that Behalf: Provided always, That if the said Cornelius Holland shall be hereafter restored unto his said Places and the Profits thereof, that then the said Lease hereby granted unto him shall determine, Consideration being first had unto the Damage he shall sustain by reason of the Loss of the Profits of the said Places in the mean Time: Provided likewise, That the Lease hereby granted unto the said Cornelius Holland shall not prejudice the Interest he had in the Premises before the passing of this Ordinance, in case the Lease before mentioned shall determine by reason of the Proviso beforegoing."
Ordinance for Committees in the Eastern Association.
"It is Ordered and Ordained, by the Lords and Commons in Parliament assembled, That the Standing Committees in the several Counties of the Eastern Association be continued; and that the particular Persons in the respective Counties hereafter mentioned be added to the Committees of the said Counties, for the Execution of the Ordinances for the Scotts, and for Sir Thomas Fairefax' Army:
Paper from the Scots Commissioners, representing the great Failure of Payments for their Army, and the great Distress it is in by that Means.
"The Desires of both Houses, concerninge the marching of our Army to beseidge Newarke, were not communicated to us till Friday last: Wee had prepared an Answere thereunto Yesterday Morning, and were ready to deliver it to your Lordships at that Tyme, and alsoe in the Afternoone; but there not being a Committee to receive it, wee desired your Secretary to advertise your Lordships to bee present this Afternoone, that wee might deliver it; which accordingly wee doe herewith present, to bee reported to both Houses of Parliament.
Derby House, 30th Sept. 1645.
"Upon the 26th of this Instant, your Lordships did comunicate to us the Resolutions of both Houses, to which you desired a speedy Answere; and further acquainted us, that the Papers by us lately given in were under Consideration of the House, and that wee shall receive their Answere with all Conveniency: Upon the 27th, your Lordships renewed the same Desire.
"Wee cannott give a positive Answere to the Desires of both Houses concerning the Disposall of the Army, because it is not in our Power; but wee shall comunicate their Desires forthwith to the Committee with the Army, and presse them with all the Earnestnes wee can; to which wee expect they wil bee ready to give all just Sattisfaction, soe farr as the Season of the Yeare may admitt; and in the meane Tyme wee desire a speedy Answere to our Paper of the 4th of this Instant, and the other of the 12th, soe farr as concernes Money, Armes, and Amunition, which is still as necessary for Accomplishment of our Desires as if the Army had marched into Scotland; and the speedy providing thereof wil bee a greate Incouragment to that Army, and a Furtherance to their Undertakings.
"It is well enough knowne to the Honnorable Houses, how farr that Army hath bin disappointed of Provisions formerly (haveinge, for Instance, received but One Moneth's Pay these 7 Moneths past); how much their Proceedings have beene retarded this Summer, and some of their Undertakings frustrated, for Want of necessary Accomodation; and wee desire it may bee considered, what Hindrance it may bee for the Publique Service, if, for the future, effectuall Course shall not bee taken for their Entertainment, and other Necessaryes.
"It is agreed upon, by the Treaty, that 31000 l. should bee Monthly allowed and paid, towards the Maintenance of that Army; for reall Performance whereof, many Declarations have beene made by the Honnorable Houses of Parliament, before and since the Entry of that Army into this Kingdome; and finding the Moneyes ariseing out of the Assessments and Revenues of the Northerne Countyes were not sufficient for Maintenance thereof, did, in February last, passe an Ordinance of Parliament, for assessinge 21000 l. Monthly upon the severall Countyes therein mentioned; of all which (there being now full Seaventh Monthes past), there is only come in to the Committee of Gouldsmithes Hall aboute 12000 l. which, together with 19000 l. yet to bee brought in, they are obliged to pay to the Citty of London, for the Monethe's Pay by them advanced; soe that there is noe Probability that any considerable Proportion can for a long Tyme bee brought in, to supply the Necessityes of that Army; especially there beinge Two other Assessments which preceed the Assessments for the Scottish Army (although the Treaty betweene the Kingdomes doth preced them all and ought to bee observed as soone as any particuler Ordinance); and these Assessments for other Armyes are really executed, and Moneyes thereupon collected by the Countyes, and brought in; whereas the Assessment for the Scottish Army is almost wholly neglected, is not executed by others, and cannott bee executed by us, our very demaunding the Question beinge clamoured against, as intermedling with their Estates; neither is it our Desire in the least Kinde to intermeddle, providing that it were remembred, that not a written Ordinance, but reall Payment, can sattisfy the Necessityes of the Souldier.
"By the Ordinance 20th February, 1644, the Commissioners of Excise appointed by Ordinance of Parliament, or their respective Deputyes and Sub-commissioners, are ordained to pay 3000 l. Monthly, out of the whole Excise ariseing within the Six Northerne Countyes, to that Army; and though the Excise is accompted, and doth really prove to all others, to bee One of the best Securityes within the Kingdome, yet Wayes are taken to make it ineffectuall to that Army, soe that there hath not bin One Hundred Pounds thereof receaved in all for these Five Moneths past, the Profitts thereof being almost wholly anticipated and forestalled here in the South, and applyed to other Uses; and in all Appeareance shall still continue in that Condition, unlesse the Honnorable Houses give further Order herein to the Commissioners of Excise, for Payment of that 3000 l. to the Scottish Army, accordinge to the Intent of the Ordinance.
"Concerning the Coale of Newcastle, the Price thereof hath beene soe much diminished, and the Trade thereby decreased, that this last Month the Profitts thereof have not amounted to above Eight Hundred Pounds; whereas they were estimated by your Lordships, in a Paper of November 1644, to Seaven Thousand Pounds per Mensem, for and towards the Payment of the 31000 l. Monthly due to the Scottish Army.
"There was alsoe 200 l. per Diem lately appointed to bee payed to the Infantry of that Army, whereof they never receaved One Penny to this Houre; as was certifyed to the House of Commons by their Commissioners, in their Letters of 31 of August.
"These Obstructions and Faylings in the Wayes appointed by the Houses for the Entertaynment of that Army, with diverse others, wee have represented in our former Papers, to which wee have never received any Answere, nor seene any effectuall Course taken for Redresse thereof: And if the Houses shal bee pleased to remove these Obstructions, supply the Defects, and take an effectuall Course for their Entertainment, the Scottish Army wil bee very farr from giveinge the least Occasion to the Parliament to make any Declaration more concerning them then other Armyes within the Kingdome, against layinge of Taxes, or laying any Contribution upon any County, or Part of the Kingdome, or giveing any Cause of Complaint to the Country: And wee are perswaded it is the earnest Desire of that Army, to evidence, according to the 9th Article of the Treaty, that their Entrance into and Continuance in England shal bee made Use of to noe other Ends then are expressed in the Covenant and Treaty: But if noe effectuall Course shall bee taken for their Entertainment according to the Treaty, and that it shall not bee thought lawfull for them to provide for their necessary Subsistence in the Parts where they shall reside, wee leave to the Houses of Parliament to judge, whether it must not inevitably followe, that they shall either starve or disband; which, wee are confident, is as farr from the Intention of the Honnorable Houses, as it is against the Lawe of Nature, the Cause wherein, and the Covenant and Treaty whereby, that Army was ingaged.
"These Things, out of the Conscience of our Duty, and Sence of the Trust put upon us, wee could not forbeare to expresse, for our owne exhoneration; nor doe wee represent them to expostulate for the Tyme past, but that a speedy and effectuall Remedy may bee taken by the Honnorable Houses for the future, whereby that Army may bee enabled, and rendred more active in advanceinge the Publique Service.
Another Paper from them, about the Settlement of Religion, and dispatching Propositions for a Peace to the King.
"Whereas, in Answere to ours of the Date June 20th, 1645, bearinge our earnest Desires of the settling of Religion and Peace in these Kingdomes, and our other Papers since to the same Effect, diverse Votes of the Lords and Commons in Parliament assembled have beine communicated unto us, which for soe long a Tyme have not beine effectuall to produce the intented and soe-much-desired Ends; wee are, upon many and very urgent Causes, constrained to renew our former Desires, and are very confident the Honnorable Howses, judinge of us, in relation to the Trust committed unto us, as if wee were their owne Commissioners in the like Case, and considering that our Demaunds of establishing Truth and Peace are not only agreeable unto, but coincident with, their owne mayne Intentions, for which they have done and suffered soe much; wee shall not only bee free of the Censure of Importunity, but shall have their Approbation, with such an Answere as may give us Sattisfaction, and put our Mynds to Rest heareafter.
"And First, concerning Religion, wee blesse God, and thankfully acknowledge the Zeale and Endeavors of the Parliament, for what is already done in the Matter of the Directory for the Publique Worshipp of God; but cannott wonder enough what should bee the Cause that the Government of the Church, which is the Wall of Jerusalem, and the Hedge for preservinge of all other Parts of Religion, is soe long expected by all the Reformed Churches, especially by the Church of Scotland, soe earnestly desired by the Assembly, by the Godly of the Ministry and People both in Citty and Country, is opposed by the Enemy, as the finall Determination of the Controversies of Religion, and the Ruine of all their Presumption and Expectation ever to recover themselves, and would soe much conduce for Order both in Church and State, should stay soe long in the Birth, and not bee brought forth and established.
"Wee cannott conceive the Want of the Love of Religion, which is soe acceptable to God that without it nothinge can bee accepted, and soe profitable both to the Publique and to every Man's Private that it is the only Thing that is necessary, to bee the Cause, when wee remember that the Honnorable Houses, by their Commissioners, and in their Declarations to the Kirke and Kingdome of Scotland, and the Reverend Assembly of Divines in their Letters by their Direction, have soe fully and frequently professed, That Religion was the Controversity betwixt them and the contrary Party, and the cheife Ground of craveing Ayde and Assistance from the Kingdome of Scotland, and of the Solemne League and Covenant now knowne to all the World, the prime Articles whereof are for the Reformation of Religion, as well in Discipline and Government as in Doctrine and Worshipp, and for Unity and Uniformity in all these in the Three Kingdomes; like as, upon the other Part, it was the principall Cause that moved the Kingdome of Scotland to deny themselves, to forsake their owne Peace and Ease, and to joyne with their Brethren in the Tyme of their Distresse, for prosecutinge this Warre, wherein they have spent soe much Blood in this Kingdome and at Home, losed soe many worthy and precious Men, and endured soe many Misseryes; in all which, and against Death itselfe, their cheifest Comfort hath beine the Testimony of their Consciences, that they were contending, suffering, and dieinge, for Religion, and for the Cause and Covenant of God, which is alsoe the Consolation of their Widdowes, Orphanes, and Freinds, whome they have left behinde them.
Nor doe wee apprehend how the Impediment or Obstruction doth come from any other Party: Such as have wilfully refused to joyne themselves in Covenant, or doe deale falsely in the Covenant, are not to bee regarded, but are to bee reckoned amongest the Enemyes; and, whatever their Professions or Pretences bee, are not indeid serving the Lord Jesus Christ or the Publique, but seeking themselves and their owne Ends; and such as have taken the Covenant, and make Conscience of the Oath of God, will not slight Reformation, Uniformity, or the Extirpation of Superstition, Heresey, Schisme, and Profanes, farr lesse appeare against the setling of the Government of the Church; but will with all their Strength endeavor it, as the Meane appointed of God for soe good and necessary Ends: Noe Man can bee soe destitute of Sense and Reason, as to thinke such an Anarchy and Confusion as now prevaileth in the Churches of this Kingdome to bee the Ordinance of God; noe Christian can bee soe voyd of Knowledge and Faith, as to imagine such a monstrous Deformity to bee the Beauty and Glory of the Kingdome of Christ on Earth; noe Brother can beare a Mynde soe contrary to Charity, as to judge such an intollerable Condition to bee the Reward of soe much Bloud as hath beine shed in this Cause, and of the soe many and greivous Sufferings of all the Three Kingdomes: Nay, wee are perswaded that God hath provided better Things for us; that Necessity will bring all that tender the Preservation of Religion and the Peace of the Church to joyne at last in the right Order and Government of the Church; and that both Houses (which is all our Desire concerning this) will add, from that Authority wherewith God hath vested them, their Civile Sanction to what the pious and learned Assembly, after long and seriouse Debates, have advised, as most agreeable to the Word of God.
There bee alwayes some Incendiaryes and evill Instruments, who will bee raiseing Jealousyes against Church Government, as a collaterall Power erectinge itselfe at the Side of the Civill, and end-overtopping it; which is nothinge els but to raise Jealousyes against the Spirituall Kingdome of Christ, as if it were inconsistent with the Kingdomes of the World.
In other Places, where Civill Powers are noe lesse tender of their Greatnes and Superiority, there is noe such Thing; upon the contrare, the Civill Powers finde their Honnor and Authority encreased, the People under them more dutifull and obedient, and their Places more (fn. 3) comfortable both in Peace and Warre, by the Disciplyne of the Church in Presbyteryes and Synods. Mynisters, in their Persons and Possessions, are subject to Civill Authority; and although they receive the Rules and Directions of their Ministry from Christ, yet may the Civill Power commaund and compell them to doe their Duty, in Preachinge, administring the Sacraments, and exerciseinge of Disciplyne; and may hold them to such Principalls as are very well knowne by the Consessions of the Reformed Churches, and their long peaceable Practise agreeable thereunto; and therefore noe Danger is to bee feared from their Power; but much Helpe and Happines from their Faithfullnes, if they finde Encouragment from the Civill Power, which they will greatly neede, against soe many Difficultyes as they have to wrastle with, before this Church bee setled in Purity and Peace.
It is noe Marvaile that wicked Men, the Lovers of Belial, are unwilling to submitt their Necks unto this Yoke, that Christ may raigne over them; this is their Corruption, and will prove their Missery: But it is the Excellency and Praise of Church Government, that it is terrible to such, as an Army with Baners; nor should it seeme strang, that some of the Godly, who have beene sore pressed with Prelaticall Tirrany and Usurpation, should bee afraid of all Ecclefiasticall Government: But this will appeare to bee a needlesse Feare, when they cast their Eyes upon the sweete and peaceable Government of all the Reformed Churches for soe many Yeares; and when they consider that the Power of the Keyes is not to bee exercised at the Pleasure of any One in a Monarchicall Way, but by a Company and Colledge of Ministers and Elders, chosen with the Consent of the People; or that others of the Godly, measureinge the Constitution of Presbyteryes and Assemblyes by the Corruption and Profanes of many Presbyteries in the Preiaticall Tymes, should conceave of them as formidable to the Power of Godlynes: But when they shall perceave that, by the Wisdome and Care of the Parliament, the Presbyteryes and Assemblyes are constitute and made upp of orthodox, pious, and select Persons, zealous of the Honnor of Jesus Christ and of the Edification of Soules, this Feare will evanish; nor can there bee any other Remedy of soe many Feares and Jealousyes, but the setting upp of the Government itselfe, which, by the Power of God accompaninge His owne Ordinance, will prove a Comfort to the Godly, a Meane to wyn many Soules to Christ, and a Matter of Rejoycinge to all who have bin Instruments of soe good a Worke, especially to the Honnorable Houses of Parliament, whome wee therefore earnestly desire, against all Obliques and Impediments, by their Authority, to establish it, that it may in Reality speake for itselfe above any verball Expressions of ours; and when wee (fn. 4) see Religion soe farr promoted, wee may the more cheerfully proceede in the common Cause, as knowing that wee have not beine beating the Aire.
Our other renewed Desire is concerning Peace, which of all Things next unto Truth is most desireable; for attayning whereof, wee conceave Two Things to bee necessary; One is, that seeinge, by God's good Providence, the Scottish Army is not necessitate to goe into Scotland, but may remaine in this Kingdome, a solid Course may bee taken for their necessary Maintenance, that they may bee incouraged to act their Part, and bee kept from such other Wayes as have bin and must bee uncomfortable to themselves, and hurtfull to their Brethren heere; whereupon much Discontent ariseth on both Sides, and by joynt Counsells may bee directed, and sett in such a Way, for prosecutinge the Warr, as may bee most effectuall and beneficiall for the Good of this, and consequently of both Kingdomes: The other Thing which wee conceave to bee necessary is, that Propositions of Peace bee speedily dispatcht to His Majesty; this wee have pressed diverse Tymes before, and have waited for the Results of the Consideration of the Business by the House of Commons, conforme to their Order of the 18th of August; but till this Tyme wee have not heard what Progresse they have made: Our Importunity herein is not greater then our Commission is urgent, and our Comaundments frequent, to all Occasions for speeding the Settlement of Truth and Peace, the Ends which have ingaged us in this Warr. Of late, when our Kingdomes was in the wonderfull Providence of God brought low, wee were altogether silent, least our Desire should have appeared to proceed rather from Impatience under the Sense of our Sufferings, then from our Sincerity and Zeale of the Publique Peace; but now, when the mighty Hand of God hath wrought a notable Deliverance for Scotland, and hath blessed the Armyes of this Kingdome with mervellous Successe; by which Meanes the King, haveing noe considerable Strength to rely upon in Scotland or England, may bee humbled, and His Heart prepared for harkening to Peace, wee conceave the Motion to bee more seasonable, and doe hope it wil bee more successefull, then ever before; and what the Lord will doe heareafter, when Oppertunityes have not beene taken Hold of, wee doe not knowe, nor is it for us to conjecture; but soe much wee may in Certainty see, That, if the Kinge shall graunt such Propositions as may bee the Foundation of a firme and safe Peace, wee have that which ought to bee the common Desire of all the Three Kingdomes in the most easy Way; and if (which God forbidd) His Heart shall still bee averse, our Advantage is greate, haveinge, beside the Approbation of God and the internall Peace of our owne Soules, the Testimoney of the World, and the Conviction of our Enemyes, together with the stronger Resolution, when wee are at our Witts End, to followe the Warre, and thereby within a short Tyme (through the Blessinge of God) to obtayne our Peace: Concerning the Kingdome of Scotland, the Reports of others, and their owne Speculations of the Misseryes of Warre in Forraigne Parts, are felt of them, and verysied of late in their lamentable Experience; as, the Want of the Ordinary Courts and Courses of Justice; the Decay of Commerce and Trade by Sea and Land, to the Impoverishing of the Kingdome, and the makeinge of Thousands of Familyes to begg, who hardly can finde Supply from the richer Sort, because their Revenues are not paid them; the Plunder and Devastation of the Souldiers; the Assessments, Pressures, and necessary Burthens, layd upon the Subjects, for intertayninge the Warre, above that which they are able to beare; the greate Effusion of Blood, and the cutting of, of many of the best-affected; with other Sufferings of Woemen and Children, which are greivous to remember; and when, by the Calamityes of a long-lasting Warre, they are brought lowe, and exhausted of Men and Meanes, the Danger of drawing in the barbarous Irishes, or some other Forraigne Enemy, to their utter Undoeinge, the Difficultyes and Distresses of this Kingdome through the long Continuance of this unnaturall Warre are better knowne to the Wisdome of the Honnorable Houses then to us; yet, after soe long Residence upon Publique Imployments in this Place, wee cannott bee soe voyd of the Knowledge and Sense of them, as not to apprehend the Danger of the like Extreamity at last unto our Brethen of England.
Seeing, therefore, the Feilds are now white to the Harvest, both of perfectinge the Reformation of Religion, and of makeinge a sure and wellgrounded Peace, and there bee soe stronge Inclynations and Desires, soe many Invitations and Encouragments, soe fitt Preparations and sutable Dispositions on all Hands for soe blessed a Worke; wee doe in all Earnestnes desire, that the Oppertunity, which can hardley bee redeemed when once lost, may bee improved to the greatest Advantage, by the Wisdome and Zeale of the Honnorable Houses; and doe expect their speedy Answere, that wee may bee able to render an Accompt to the Parliament of Scotland, and to those that sent us, and waite for it at our Hands.
Francis late Mayor of Plymouth, Petition to be freed from Arrests, for Debts contracted for the Public Service.
That your Petitioner, during the Mayoralty, and the several Sieges of Plymouth, upon your Lordships Order for his Reimbursement annexed, disbursed and engaged himself to several Persons, in great Sums of Money, for Provisions and other Necessaries for the Garrisons there (as by his Accompts given to the Accomptants of the Kingdom appeareth), on which there rests due to your Petitioner Five Thousand Six Hundred Sixty-eight Pounds, Fourteen Shillings, and Five Pence, besides Six Hundred Fifty-two Pounds, Twelve Shillings, and Seven Pence, which is due to him for billeting of Soldiers, and Money lent the State; by reason whereof, your Petitioner is so much hindered in his Trade and Traffic, and decayed in his Estate and Credit, that, without your Lordships Favour (for his Support until he shall be satisfied), he cannot subsist.
And therefore humbly prays your Honours, that all Suits, Arrests, and Prosecutions at Law against him, for such Sum or Sums of Money as he stands engaged for the State, or which he hath disbursed or employed in Provisions and Necessaries for the State, or for their Service, may be forborn and stayed, until the Petitioner shall be reimbursed by the State.