Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 9, 1646. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.
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DIE Saturni, 24 die Julii.
Ds. La Warr.
Message from the H. C. with a Covenant entered into by divers Citizens for bringing up the King, &c.
A Message was brought from the House of Commons, by Sir John Evelynt Knight; who acquainted this House with a Printed Paper, which was brought to them, being in Form of a Petition, but in the Nature of it is a Covenant, made by some Persons who endeavour to effect some Things prejudicial to the Parliament: The House of Commons have made some Sense upon the Business, wherein they desire their Lordships Concurrence.
Declaration concerning it.
Answer to the H. C.
Ordinance to settle a Minister at Newport.
Alford and Smith.
Congham and Shipdham, about the Living of Blowfield.
Upon reading the Petition of Robert Congham Clerk; complaining, "That he cannot quietly enjoy his Living of Blowfeild, in Norff. having Institution and Induction from this House, by reason that Alexander Shipdham doth keep the Possession against him:"
It is Ordered, That the said Shipdham shall have a Copy of the Petition; and Counsel on both Sides [ (fn. 1) to be heard] on Tuesday come Fortnight.
Mrs. Pigot's Petition.
Heslerton versus L. Evre and Judge Berkley.
Ordered, That the Order the 26th of January, 1646, in the Case of Wm. Heslerton, by Isabell his Mother and Guardian, against the Lord Evre and Justice Berkeley, be 'newed; and Michaelmas given for further Time to return in Answers and Writings.
Captain Gualter's Petition, for his Arrears.
Letter from the Commissioners with the Army.
L. Capel's Security.
L. Delawar, Leave to be absent.
Letter from the Commissioners with the Army, that the Head Quarters are to be at Bedford;—and with the following Papers
"Yesterday the Head Quarters were removed unto this Place, and are To-morrow to be at Bedford. Since our last Dispatch unto you, we have observed that the Army hath been in very frequent Consultations about the expediting the Particulars which they have to propound in reference to a General Settlement, and therein (as we hear) have made some Progress; but, since their coming to this Town, they have received Information (which they give good Credit unto) of some dangerous Contrivance set on-foot in the City of London, under Pretence of a Petition and solemn Engagement of the Citizens, Commanders, Officers, and Soldiers of the Trained Bands, the Auxiliaries, the Young Men and Apprentices of the City of London and Westm'r, Sea Commanders, Seamen, and Watermen, together with divers other Commanders of Officers and Soldiers within the Lines of Communication, tending very much, as is conceived by the Army, to the kindling of a new War; and thereupon they have thought fit to deliver in One Paper unto us, another to the Committee of the Common Council residing here; the Copies of both which, together with the Petition and Engagement itself, and the Information they have received in the same, we held our Duty immediately to send unto your Lordship; being very apprehensive of the ill Effects that Things of this Nature may produce in the Minds of the Army, if not timely prevented and remedied by the Wisdom of Parliament. Of this the Committee of the Common Council residing here are so sensible, that they are gone up with all Speed to London, to give the City a clear Representation of these Affairs, and what Operation it is like to have here. We have no more to add, but that we are, my Lord,
Paper from the Commissioners appointed by the Army, about the Covenant entered into in the City, to prevent their nearer Approach, &c.
"We received this inclosed Paper the last Night, from the Hands of a very-well affected Citizen. It was delivered him by an Officer of the City Militia, who, being invited to meet some Citizens at Skinners Hall upon Wednesday last, with divers others, to sign the same, and offering to dispute against the Matter of it, to shew how dangerous and illegal it was, was silenced, and told, "That it was not to be disputed, but to be signed and joined in; there being divers Citizens and others at the same Place for that Purpose." Which when he understood, he took this printed Copy away with him; by the Contents of which, when you read it, you will easily perceive what it tends to, and how desperate and dangerous it is to the Hazard of the whole Kingdom, and to frustrate all those Endeavours of the Parliament, the Army, and Kingdom, for an happy Settlement; and likewise to precipitate all into a new and bloody War: We cannot therefore but acquaint you, that we look at this as a Business set on-foot by the Malice of some desperate-minded Men, this being their last Engine for the putting all into Confusion, when they could not accomplish their wicked End by other Means.
"To this have all secret Listings tended; and we (fn. 2) wish that needless and superfluous Listing of Auxiliaries, and Connivance at the Continuance of the Reformadoes about the Cities of London and Westm'r, have not had the same Aim: And by this we hope it will appear that our Jealousies and Fears of some such desperate Designs to be hatched in and about the City, considering the Sense of Men there, have not been groundless; nor our Desires to draw near the City of London with the Army, to disappoint and break all such Plots, and to free the Parliament from the Violence of them, have not been without just Cause. And we desire all indifferent Men to judge, whether our withdrawing from the City in Obedience to the Parliament's Commands was for theirs and the Kingdom's Security, or not. We wonder that divers Men did calumniate at our marching so near the City, and put so bad Representations upon it, as that it tended to force the Parliament, or to plunder the City, seeing our doing so was to break that black Design which now begins to shew itself in its Colours; whereas indeed our Consciences witness with us, that our Aims were clear and honest, tending to restore the Parliament into its just Liberty, which was much abated in the Eyes of all the Kingdom, and no Doubt by the Authors and Contrivers of this new Covenant and Engagement, some whereof have been so far from assisting to put the Reformadoes and other dangerous Persons out of the Lines, that now they are called in to join in this Conspiracy.
"We entreat you to give the Parliament a full Representation of these Things; which that you may do, we have sent you the Papers, together with such Informations as may give them an Opportunity to discover the Bottom of this Business. We were marching from London, when we received this Information, in Obedience to the Parliament, to give the City Content, and to stop the Mouths of Slanderers. But if such Designs, so destructive to the Parliament and the Work in Hand, be suffered to go on, that the Parliament be interrupted in the Freedom of their Debates and Proceedings, as we hear within these few Days they were by those that are invited to partake in this Confederacy, we beg it of the Parliament, as they tender their own Safety, the Peace of the Kingdom, and preventing of a Second War, as they would not have the Kingdom lose the Fruit and Benefit of all the Blood and Treasure that hath been spent in this Cause, that they would not suffer their Freedom and Liberty to be endangered by such Designs as these; they having an Army, which, by the Blessing of God, in Spight of theirs and the Kingdom's Enemies can do, will stand and fall with them, and be found faithful and obedient to them in all Things, and as ready to relieve Ireland when the Peace and Rights of the Kingdom are settled.
"We write not this to desire the Parliament to invite us to march up to them; we care not how great a Distance we are from London, if it be the Parliament's Pleasure, and consists with their Security, and the breaking of those Combinations which are hatched in the Bowels of the City. We are hastening our Proposals, which are for the general Settlement, and which, we are confident, will satisfy all that love Truth and Peace; but we see plainly we need more to intend Security than to have Cause to expect to bring Things to a happy Issue by Treaty, while such Designs are on Foot. We pray you, therefore, that the Parliament would speedily and thoroughly enquire into and break these Designs; wherein, as in all Things else, we shall be ready to serve them, as they shall judge it needful, and when they shall command us.
Paper from them, to the Committee from the City residing with the Army, on the same Subject.
"By a printed Paper come to our Hands this Day (a Copy whereof you receive herewith), we still find, and clearly and evidently perceive, that some evil Spirits within the City of London, maliciously disaffected to the Peace of the Kingdom, do secretly and wickedly endeavour to bring about that Mischief upon the Kingdom, which we have so much feared, and by all our several Addresses unto you sought to prevent; which indeed are of that dangerous Consequence, as we can expect no other Issue from, than the unavoidable engaging the Kingdom in a Second War, if not timely and effectually prevented by your Wisdom and Diligence. We must further observe unto you, that whatsoever Design is intended in the aforesaid Paper is contrary to the Authority of Parliament, and in direct Opposition to the Proceedings of the Army (which the Two Houses have owned as theirs, and approved of their Fidelity, by committing the Forces of the Kingdom of England, Dominion of Wales, and Islands of Guernsey and Jersey, under the General's Care and Command); and therefore cannot be effected but by Force of Arms against the Parliament and their Armies, which in Probability may involve the whole Kingdom in Blood, but must necessarily begin within your own Bowels, and draw the Seat and Misery of War upon you and your City.
"Also we desire you would consider, whether we have not had just Cause to suspect that an evil Party lurks within the City, ready to distemper it and the whole Kingdom upon every Occasion; and whether it be probable such Persons desire an happy Close between the King and His Parliament (at least such as will be for the Kingdom's Good), when they take upon them the Boldness to make new Offers to His Majesty, with solemn Engagements to make good the same, during the Time the Parliament hath given us Leave to make Tender of and treat with their Commissioners about these Things which tend to a general Settlement: And therefore we cannot but desire that you would take a speedy Course timously to suppress this great Evil, and to prevent all of this Nature for the future, by making some of these Examples, who have been active to carry on this Business.
"We have not had Time to enquire into Particulars; but shall give you only One Instance, of a Meeting at Skynners Hall, concerning this Business, where some Persons have been very active; the Names of some of whom we have given to your Commissioners, and also the Names of other Citizens who will testify their Carriage there.
"Lastly, we cannot but desire you to concur with us, in our Desire to the Parliament, to put the Militia into the Hands of those that had it before; without which, we can have no Assurance that the City will be free from Designs of this Nature, nor can we expect to see a happy Close.
Petition of Citizens, Trained Bands, Watermen, &c. to the Lord Mayor; with the following Covenant:
"The humble Petition of the Citizens, Commanders, Officers, and Soldiers, of the Trained Bands and Auxiliaries, the Young Men and Apprentices, of the Cities of London and Westm'r, Sea Commanders, Seamen, and Watermen, together with divers other Commanders, Officers, and Soldiers, within the Line of Communication, and Parishes mentioned in the Weekly Bills of Mortality;
"That your Petitioners (taking into serious Consideration how Religion, His Majesty's Honour and Safety, the Privileges of Parliament, and Liberties of the Subject, are at present greatly endangered, and like to be destroyed; and also sadly weighing with ourselves, what Means might likely prove the most effectual to procure a firm and lasting Peace, without a further Effusion of Christian English Blood) have therefore entered into a solemn Engagement, which is hereunto annexed; and do humbly and earnestly desire, that this whole City may join together, by all lawful and possible Means, as One Man, in hearty Endeavours for His Majesty's present coming up to His Two Houses of Parliament, with Honour; Safety, and Freedom, and that without the nearer Approach of the Army, there to confirm such Things as He hath granted in His Message of the 12th of May last, in Answer to the Propositions of both Kingdoms; and that, by a Personal Treaty with His Two Houses of Parliament and the Commissioners of the Kingdom of Scotland, such Things as yet are in Difference may be speedily settled, and a firm and lasting Peace established: All which we desire may be presented to both Houses of Parliament, from this Honourable Assembly.
"A solemn Engagement of the Citizens, Commanders, Officers, and Soldiers, of the Trained Bands and Auxiliaries, the Young Men and Apprentices of the Cities of London and Westm'r, Sea Commanders, Seamen, and Watermen, together with divers other Commanders, Officers, and Soldiers, within the Lines of Communication, and Parishes mentioned in the Weekly Bills of Mortality.
Covenant entered into by them, to prevent the nearer Approach of the Army to London;— and for bringing up the King to the Parliament:
"Whereas we have entered into a solemn League and Covenant, for Reformation and Defence of Religion, the Honour and Happiness of the King, and the Peace and Safety of the Three Kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland, all which we do evidently perceive not only to be endangered, but ready to be destroyed; we do therefore, in Pursuance of our said Covenant, Oath of Allegiance, Oath of every Freeman of the Cities of London and Westm'r, and Protestations, solemnly engage ourselves, and vow unto Almighty God, That we will to the utmost of our Power cordially endeavour that His Majesty may speedily come to His Two Houses of Parliament, with Honour, Safety, and Freedom (and that without the nearer Approach of the Army), there to confirm such Things as He hath granted in His Message of the 12th of May last, in Answer to the Propositions of both Kingdoms; and that, by a Personal Treaty with His Two Houses of Parliament and the Commissioners of the Kingdom of Scotland, such Things as are yet in Difference may be speedily settled, and a firm and lasting Peace established: For effecting hereof, we do protest and re-oblige ourselves, as in the Presence of God the Searcher of all Hearts, with our Lives and Fortunes, to endeayour what in us lies, to preserve and defend His Majesty's Royal Person and Authority, the Privileges of Parliament, and Liberties of the Subject, in their full and constant Freedom; the Cities of London and Westm'r, Lines of Communication, and Parishes mentioned in the Weekly Bills of Mortality; and all others that shall adhere with us to the said Covenant, Oath of Allegiance, Oath of every Freeman of London and Westm'r, and Protestation: Nor shall we by any Means admit, suffer, or endure, any Kind of Neutrality, in this common Cause of God, the King, and Kingdoms, as we do expect the Blessing of Almighty God, whose Help we crave, and wholly devolve ourselves upon, in this our Undertaking."
Attestations concerning it:
"I, William Rawson, heard Captain Seaman say, That he had been at Skinners Hall this Afternoon, where was met together divers Officers of the City, with others a great Number, who were met together to underwrite a solemn Engagement, as by the Paper itself you may know what it is; and find many did underwrite, and that very many Copies were to be sent abroad, whereby he supposed they might get many Thousands to underwrite in a very short Time.
Letter to Sir T. Fairfax, that the Army may not interrupt the Judges at the Assizes.
"I am commanded, by the Lords in Parliament, to let you know that, the Judges being now shortly to go their Circuits, specially to recommend to your Care, that Order may be given from you, to the several Quarters of the Army, that in case there be any Quarters of the Army at the Places where their several Circuits are to be kept, that there be no Interruption given them in their dispatching the Justice of the Kingdom, but used with all Civility, both in their Journey and also at the Places where they are to stay. This is all I have at present.
Declaration against the Covenant entered into by the Citizens:
"The Lords and Commons, having seen a printed Paper, intituled, "A Petition to the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Commons, of the Citty of London, in the Guildhall assembled," under the Name of "Divers Citizens, Commanders, Officers, and Soldiers of the Trained Bands, Auxiliaries, and others, Young Men and Apprentices, Sea Commanders, Seamen, and Watermen," together with a dangerous Engagement of the same Persons, by Oath and Vow, concerning the King's present Coming to the Parliament, upon Terms far different from those which both Houses, after mature Deliberation, have declared to be necessary for the Good and Safety of this Kingdom, casting Reflections upon the Proceedings both of the Parliament and Army, and tending to the embroiling the Kingdom in a new War; and the said Lords and Commons taking Notice of great Endeavours used by divers ill-affected Persons to procure Subscriptions thereunto, whereby well-meaning People may be misled; do therefore declare, That whosoever, after Publication or Notice hereof, shall proceed in, or promote or set his Name to, or give Consent that his Name be set unto, or any Way join in, the said Engagement, shall be deemed and adjudged guilty of High Treason, and shall forfeit Life and Estate, as in Cases of High Treason accustomed.
To be published.
"Ordered, by the Lords and Commons in Parliament assembled, That this Declaration be published forthwith, by Order of the Lord Mayor, Sheriffs, and Committee of the Militia, by Beat of Drum, and Sound of Trumpet, in the Cities of London, Westm'r, and within the Lines of Communication."