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 Mercurii, 17 die Martii.
Ordinance to make Wapping Parochial.
The Ordinance concerning Wapping to be made a Parochial Parish, was reported from the Committee; and read the Third Time, and Agreed to; and Ordered to be sent to the House of Commons for Concurrence.
Colonel Rous's Order for 1000 l.
Answer to the King, about His Chaplains attending Him.
Message from the H. C. with Ordinances.
Ameredith's Ordinance to be Rector of Landulp.
The Ordinance (fn. 1) for Mr. Amerideth to be Rector of Landulph, in Cornwaill, was read the Third Time, and Agreed to; and Ordered to be sent to the House of Commons for their Concurrence.
Jelinger's of S. Brent.
Ordinance for recruiting this House.
The House was adjourned into a Committee during Pleasure, to take into Consideration the Business which was in Debate on Saturday last, concerning the Ordinance then brought in, for Recruiting of this House.
Next, it was moved, "Whether the Consideration of the whole Matter, as it now stands before their Lordships, shall be put off until the Tuesday Sevennight after this House receives an Answer to the Propositions?"
Petition from the Court of Aldermen, &c. and Answer to it.
Petition of the Court of Aldermen, for Leave to choose their Militia Officers annually;— for the Army to be removed from the Neighbourhood of London, and disbanded;— and for the following Petition to be suppressed, and the Autho punished.
"Humbly acknowledging the hopeful Progress which your Lordships have made upon some Particulars of the former Addresses of the Petitioners; wherein as they are confident your Lordships will still go forward, so they humbly crave Pardon if they continue their Importunity for such an effectual and speedy Resolution upon the Whole, as may, with God's Blessing, at length settle the Affairs of this long-distracted Kingdom.
"And now that His Majesty is come nearer in Person to His Parliament of England, the Petitioners would gladly entertain some Hope, and cannot but earnestly desire, that God would also bring His Royal Heart and Will nearer to His Chief and Greatest Council; and that His Majesty will now be persuaded to join with His Parliaments and all His People in the National and Solemn League and Covenant, and give Satisfaction in the Matter of Propositions, which the Parliaments of both Nations shall make unto Him, for the full Assurance of His People in the future and the firm Establishment of the Peace and Union of these Kingdoms in Church and Commonwealth; without both which, the Petitioners cannot expect any firm or real Peace in these Kingdoms: And that His Majesty may be the better disposed to this Conjunction, and the Parliament and this City in the Interim secured, the Petitioners humbly offer it unto the Wisdom of your Lordships, to take Course that such as have been in Opposition to the Parliament may be removed out of this City, and be kept at a Distance from His Majesty's Royal Presence.
These are the Hopes and Prayers of the Petitioners, which they humbly pray may be as favourably accepted and interpreted as they proceed from a sincere Heart. That which the Petitioners intended hereby is, still more and more to manifest their Integrity to the Parliament, to stop the malicious Tongues of Sectaries on the One Party, who have, from the Petitioners late humble Addresses, suggested some Defection in the City; and to cut off the vain Hopes of Malignants, and such as have been in Opposition to the Parliament, on the other Party; that they can expect no Compliance from the Petitioners: For the Petitioners do, for themselves and the whole City whom they represent, declare unto the whole World, That they still are, and with God's Blessing are resolved so to remain, in their Zeal as fervent, and in their Respects as humble and real, to the Parliament as ever; and, according to their Covenant, do next under God wholly rely upon the Wisdom and Justice of the Parliament, for the Settlement of their Peace and Propriety.
"Here the Petitioners should willingly have concluded; but that the Army (which they hoped should ere this have been disbanded) is now drawn so suddenly, and quartered, so near the Parliament and this City; besides that, in the same Juncture of Time, a most dangerous and seditious Petition (as they humbly conceive) is set on Foot, to be presented to the Honourable House of Commons, the Copy whereof, as it was delivered to them, is annexed, which doth exact this Addition from the Petitioners, That your Lordships would consider what Effect the unexpected Approach of such an Army and the Concurrence of such a Petition may work in the People; how long Time all Manner of Provisions have been dear and scarce in this City; how much the same must needs be increased, when such an Army must be fed before they can expect to be served thence; and what Murmurs the same may raise amongst so great a Multitude of Poor as are already, and do daily increase, in this City:
And then that your Lordships would be pleased to give Command, that the Army may be forthwith removed, and after with all convenient Speed disbanded; that the Petition annexed may be out of Hand suppressed, and the Contrivers and Promoters thereof enquired after; and, that the Parliament and this City may in the mean Time be (fn. 2) preserved in Safety, that your Lordships would please to give this Court Authority to make Annual Election of the Members of the Militia of this City, according to their late Petition.
Petition intended to be presented to the H. C. against the Lords obliging Persons to Answer to Interrogatories;—their molesting Persons on account of Non-conformity;—for the Merchant Adventurers to be dissolved;—for Tithes to be a bolished;—for Prisoners for Debt to be released, &c.
That as no Government is more just in the Constitution than that of Parliaments, having its Foundation in the free Choice of the People; and as the End of all Government is the Safety and Freedom of the Governed; even so the People of this Nation, in all Times, have manifested most hearty Affections unto Parliaments, as the most proper Remedy of their Grievances: Yet such hath been the wicked Policies of those who from Time to Time have endeavoured to bring this Nation into Bondage, that they in all Times, either by Disuse or Abuse of Parliaments, deprived the People of their Hopes; for Testimony whereof, the late Times foregoing this Parliament will sadly witness, when it was not only made a Crime to mention a Parliament, but either the pretended Negative Voice, the most destructive to Freedom, or a speedy Dissolution, blasted the Fruit and Benefit thereof, whilst the whole Land was overspread with all Kinds of Oppression and Tyranny, extending both to Soul and Body, and that in so rooted and settled a Way, that the Complaint of the People in general witnessed that they would have given any Thing in the World for one Six Months Freedom of Parliament; which have been since evidenced in their instant and constant Readiness of Assistance to this present Parliament, exceeding the Records of all former Ages, and wherein God hath blessed them with their First Desires, making this Parliament the most absolute and free of any Parliament that ever was, and enabling it with Power sufficient to deliver the whole Nation from all Kinds of Oppressions and Grievances, though of never so long Continuance, and to make it the most absolute and free Nation in the World.
"And it is most thankfully acknowledged that ye have, in order to the Freedom of the People, suppressed the High Commission, Star-chamber, and Council-table; called Home the Banished; delivered such as were in Prison for Matters of Conscience; and brought some Delinquents to deserved Punishment; that ye have suppressed the Bishops and Popish Lords, abolished Episcopacy, and that Kind of Prelatical persecuting Government; that ye have taken away Shipmoney, and all the new illegal Patents, whereby the Hearts of all the Well-affected were enlarged, and filled with a confident Hope that they should have seen long ere this a compleat Removal of all Grievances, and the whole People delivered from all Oppressions over Soul or Body: But such is our Misery, that, after the Expence of so much precious Time, of Blood and Treasure, and the Ruin of so many Thousand of honest Families in recovering our Liberty, we still find this Nation oppressed with Grievances of the same destructive Nature as formerly, though under other Notions, and which are so much the more grievous unto us, because they are inflicted in the very Time of this present Parliament, (under God) the Hope of the Oppressed; for as then all the Men and Women in England were made liable to the Summons, Attachments, Sentences, and Imprisonments, of the Lords of the Council-board; so we find by woeful Experience, and Sufferings of many particular Persons, that the present Lords do assume and exercise the same Power, than which nothing is or can be more repugnant and destructive to the common just Liberties: As then the unjust Power of Star-chamber was exercised in compelling Men and Women to answer to Interrogatories tending to accuse themselves and others; so is the same now frequently practised upon divers Persons, even your cordial Friends, that have been and still are punished for refusing to answer to Questions against themselves, and nearest Relations: As then the great Oppression of the High Commission was most evident, in molesting of godly, peaceable People, for Non-conformity, or different Opinion and Practice in Religion, judging all who were contraryminded to themselves Heretics, Sectaries, Schismatics, Seditious, Factious, Enemies to the State, and the like, and under great Penalties forbidding all Parsons not licensed by them to preach or publish the Gospel; even so now at this Day the very same, if not greater, Molestations are set on Foot, and violently prosecuted, by the Instigation of a Clergy no more infallible than the former, to the extreme Discouragement and Affliction of many Thousands of your faithful Adherents, who are not satisfied that Controversies in Religion can be trusted to the compulsive Regulation of any, and, after the Bishops were suppressed, did hope never to have seen such a Power assumed by any in this Nation any more.
"And although all new illegal Patents are by you abolished; yet the oppressive Monopoly of Merchant Adventurers and others do still remain, to the great Abridgement of the Liberties of the People, and to the extreme Prejudice of all such industrious People as depend on Cloathing or other Woollen Manufactures, it being the Staple Commodity of this Nation, and to the great Discouragement and Disadvantage to all sorts of Tradesmen, Seafaring Men, and Hindrance of Shipping and Navigation: Also the old, tedious, and chargeable Way of deciding Controversies or Suits in Law is continued to this Day, to the extreme Vexation and utter Undoing of Multitudes of Families, a Grievance as great and as palpable as any in the World: Likewise that old but most unequal Ways (fn. 3) Punishment of Malefactors is still continued, whereby Mens Lives and Liberties are as liable to the Law, and Corporal Pains as much inflicted, for small as for great Offences; and that most unjustly, upon the Testimony of One Witness, contrary both to the Law of God and Common Equity; a Grievance very great, but little regarded: Also Tithes and other enforced Maintenance are still continued, though there be no Ground for either under the Gospel, and though the same have occasioned Multitudes of Suits, Quarrels, and Debates, both in former and latter Times: In like Manner, Multitudes of poor distressed Prisoners for Debt lie still unregarded, in a most miserable and woeful Condition, throughout the Land, to the great Reproach of the Nation: Likewise Prison-keepers or Jailors are as presumptuous as ever they were, both in receiving and detaining of Prisoners illegally committed, as cruel and inhuman to all, especially to such as are well-affected, as oppressive and extorting in their Fees, and are attended with Under-officers of such vile and unchristian Demeanour as is most abominable: Also Thousands of Men and Women still, as formerly, permitted to live in Beggary and Wickedness all their Life long, and to breed their Children to the same idle and vicious Course of Life, and no effectual Means used to reclaim either, or to reduce them to any Virtue or Industry.
"And lastly, as they that found themselves aggrieved formerly at the Burdens and Oppressions of those Times, that did not conform to the Church Government then established, refused to pay Ship-money, or yield Obedience to unjust Patents, were reviled and reproached with wicked Names, of Puritans, Heretics, Schismatics, Sectaries, or were termed Factious or Seditious, Men of turbulent Spirits, Despisers of Government, and Disturbers of the Public Peace; even so is it at this Day in all respects with those who shew any Sensibility of the fore-recited Grievances, or move in any Manner or Measure for Remedy thereof: All the Reproaches, Evils, and Mischiefs, that can be devised, are thought too few to be laid upon them, as Round-heads, Sectaries, Inde pendents, Heretics, Schismatics, Factious, Seditious, Rebellious, Disturbers of the Public Peace, Destroyers of all Civil Relation and Subordination; yea, and beyond what was formerly, Non-conformity is now judged a sufficient Cause to disable any Person, though of known Fidelity, from bearing any Office of Trust in the Commonwealth, whilst Neuters, Malignants, and Disaffected, are admitted and continued: And though it be not now made a Crime to mention a Parliament, yet it is little less to mention the Supreme Power of this Honourable House; so that, in all these respects, this Nation remaineth in a very sad and disconsolate Condition; and the more, because it is thus with us after so long a Session of so powerful and so free a Parliament, and which hath been so made and maintained by the abundant Love, and liberal Effusion of the Blood of the People.
"And therefore, knowing no Danger or Thraldom like unto our being left in this most sad Condition by this Parliament; and observing that you are now drawing the great and weighty Affairs of this Nation to some Kind of Conclusion; and fearing that ye may ere long be obstructed by something equally evil to a Negative Voice; and that ye may be induced to lay by that Strength which under God hath hitherto made you powerful to all good Works, whilst we have yet Time to hope, and you Power to help; and lest by our Silence we might be guilty of that Ruin and Slavery which without your speedy Help is like to fall upon us, yourselves, and the whole Nation, we have presumed to spread our Cause thus plainly and largely before you; and do most earnestly intreat that ye will stir up your Affections to a zealous Love and tender Regard of the People, who have chosen and trusted you; and that you will seriously consider, that the End of their Trust was Freedom and Deliverance from all Kind of Grievances and Oppression:
1. And that therefore, in the First Place, ye will be exceeding careful to preserve your just Authority from all Prejudices of a Negative Voice, in any Person or Persons whomsoever, which may disable you from making that happy Return unto the People which they will justly expect; and that ye will not be induced to lay by your Strength, until you have satisfied your Understandings in the undoubted Security of yourselves, and of those who have voluntarily and faithfully adhered unto you in all your Extremities, and until ye have secured and settled the Commonwealth in a solid Peace and true Freedom, which is the End of the primitive Institution of all Governments.
"2. That ye will take off all Sentences, Fines, and Imprisonments, imposed on Commoners, by any whomsoever, without due Course of Law, or Judgement of their Equals, and to give due Reparations to all those who have been so injuriously dealt withal; and, for preventing the like for the Time to come, that ye will enact all such arbitrary Proceedings to be Capital Crimes.
"3. That ye will permit no Authority whatsoever to compel any Person or Persons to answer to Questions against themselves or nearest Relations, except in Causes of Private Interest between Party and Party in a legal Way; and to release all such as suffer, by Imprisonment or otherwise, for refusing to answer to such Interrogatories.
"4. That all Statutes, Oaths, and Covenants, may be repealed, so far as they tend or may be construed to the Molestation and Ensnaring of religious, peaceable, well-affected People, for Nonconformity, or different Opinion or Practice in Religiou.
5. That no Man, for preaching or publishing his Opinion in Religion in a peaceable Way, be punished or prosecuted as Heretical, by Judges that are not infallible, but may be mistaken as well as other Men in their Judgement; lest, upon Pretence of suppressing Errors, Sects, and Schisms, the most necessary Truths and sincere Professors thereof may be suppressed, as upon the like Pretences it hath been in all Ages.
"7. That ye will settle a just, speedy, plain, and unburthensome Way, for deciding of Controversies and Suits in Law, and reduce all Laws to the nearest Agreement with Christianity, and publish them in the English Tongue; and that all Process and Proceedings therein may be true, and also in English, and in the most usual Character of Writing, without any Abbreviation, that each one who can read may the better understand their own Affairs; and that the Duty of all Judges, Officers, and Practicers in the Law, and of all Magistrates in the Commonwealth, may be prescribed, and their Fees limited, under strict Penalties, and published in Print, to the View and Knowledge of all Men; by which just and equitable Means, this Nation shall be for ever freed of an Oppression more burthensome and troublesome than all the Oppressions hitherto by this Parliament removed.
"8. That the Life of no Person be taken away under the Testimony of Two Witnesses at least, of honest Conversation; and that, in an equitable Way, you will proportion Punishment to Offences, that so no Man's Life may be taken, his Body punished, nor his Estate forfeited, but upon such weighty and considerable Causes as justly deserve such Punishment; and that all Prisoners may have a speedy Trial, that they be neither starved, nor their Families ruined, by long and lingering Imprisonment; and that Imprisonment may be used only for Safe Custody until Time of Trial, and not as Punishment for Offences.
"9. That Tithes, and all other enforced Maintenance, may be for ever abolished; nothing in Place thereof imposed; but that all Ministers may be paid only by those who voluntarily choose them, and contract with them for their Labours.
"10. That ye will take some speedy and effectual Course to relieve all such Prisoners for Debt as are altogether unable to pay, that they may not perish in Prison through the Hard-heartedness of their Creditors; and that all such as have any Estates may be enforced to make Payment accordingly, and not shelter themselves in Prison, to defraud their Creditors.
"11. That none may be Prison-keepers but such as are of approved Honesty; and that they may be prohibited, under great Penalties, to receive or detain any Person or Persons without lawful Warrant; that their Usage of Prisoners may be with Gentleness and Civility, their Fees moderate and certain; and that they may give Security for the good Behaviour of their Under-officers.
"13. That ye will restrain and discountenance the Malice and Impudency of impious Persons, in their reviling and reproaching the Well-affected with the ignominious Titles of Roundheads, Factious, Seditious, and the like, whereby your real Friends have been a long Time, and still are, exceedingly wronged, discouraged, and made obnoxious to rude and prophane People; and that you will not exclude any of approved Fidelity from bearing Office of Trust in the Commonwealth for Non-conformity, but rather Neuters, and such as manifest Disaffection or Opposition to common Freedom; the Admittance and Continuation of such being the chief Cause of all our Grievances.
"These Remedies, or what other shall seem more effectual to grave Wisdoms, we humbly pray may be speedily applied; and that, in doing thereof, ye will be confident of the Assistance of your Petitioners, and of all considerate well-minded People, to the uttermost of their best Abilities, against all Opposition whatsoever; looking upon ourselves as more concerned now at last to make a good End, than at first to have made a good Beginning: For what shall it profit us, or what Remedy can we expect, if now, after so great Troubles and Miseries, this Nation should be left by this Parliament in so great a Thraldom, both of Body, Mind, and Estate?
We beseech you, therefore, that with all your Might, whilst ye have Time, Freedom, and Power, so effectually to fulfil the End of Parliaments, in delivering this Nation from those and all other Grievances, that none may presume or dare to introduce the like for ever: And we trust the God of your good Successes will manifest the Sincerity of your Intentions herein; and that our humble Desires are such as tend not only to our own Particular, but to the general Good of the Commonwealth, and proper for this Honourable House to grant, without which this Nation cannot be safe or happy; and that He will bless you with true Christian Fortitude, suitable to the Trust and Greatness of the Work ye have undertaken, and make the Memory of this Parliament blessed to all succeeding Generations;
Answer to the Court of Aldermen, &c.
"The Lords acknowledge that they have had such eminent and constant Expressions of the Fidelity and good Affections of the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Commons of the City of London, as that nothing can alter their Confidence of them. The present Declaration of your Zeal and Care for the Honour and Safety of the Parliament, delivered by your Petition, the Lords receive with Gladness; and return you Thanks, and desire to be confident that they will neglect no Time nor Means in the improving of their Power, for the Preservation of the Happiness and Security of the Kingdom, Parliament, and City of London.
"The Particular concerning the Militia of the City of London, the Lords have long since taken into their Consideration, and passed it, and have transmitted it into the House of Commons; and for the several other Particulars in your Petition, they will speedily take the same into their Consideration."
Sebrock to be instituted to Westham;
Ordered, by the Lords in Parliament assembled, That Dr. Aylett, or his lawful Deputy, are hereby authorized and required, upon Sight of this Order, to give Institution and Induction unto Gilbert Sebrocke Clerk, Master of Arts, unto the Vicarage of Westham, in the County of Essex, void by the Death of the last Incumbent, Salvo Jure cujuscunque; the said Mr. Sebrock taking the National League and Covenant, and producing his Presentation thereunto under the Great Seal of England.