House of Lords Journal Volume 4
9 March 1642

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1767-1830

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'House of Lords Journal Volume 4: 9 March 1642', Journal of the House of Lords: volume 4: 1629-42 (1767-1830), pp. 637-639. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=35798 Date accessed: 26 July 2014.


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DIE Mercurii, videlicet, 9 die Martii.

PRAYERS.

The Earl of Leycester, Lord Lieutenant of the Kingdom of Ireland, was appointed by this House to be Speaker this Day.

Sir H. Herbert Leave to recruit his Company for Holland.

Ordered, That Sir Henry Herbert, Knight, shall have Liberty and Permission to entertain and transport Forty Men, Voluntiers, to recruit his Company in Holland, for the Service of The States of the United Provinces.

Commissions of Lieutenancy brought in.

This Day the Earl of North'ton brought in his Commissions of Lieutenancy for the Counties of Warwick and Glocestershire.

The Lord Chandois brought in his Commission for Lieutenancy of Gloucestershire, being joined with the Earl of North'ton.

The Petition of Sir Phillip Carteret, together with a Memorial of the State of the Militia of the Isle of Jersey, the Wants and Defects, and Means of Defence, were read, in hæc verba: videlicet,

"To the Right Honourable the Lords assembled in Parliament.

Petition of Sir Philip Carteret about the Isle of Jersey.

"Sir Phillip Carteret humbly representeth, that he hath had, under His Majesty and the Governors of the Island of Jersey, the Government and Command thereof committed unto him these many Years, wherein the best Endeavours, Care and Industry have concurred to a faithful Discharge of his Duty therein.

"In May last, it pleased this Honourable House of Peers, by their Order, to remand him to his Charge, and to intrust him with the Defence and Security of that Place.

"So great an Honour and Trust incited his great Care and Vigilancy, which he hath laboured dutifully to express, in his then speedy Repair into that Island, his Discovery and Information given of the then Naval Preparations and Designs in France, his Time wholly spent the last Summer in putting the Inhabitants in a Posture of Defence, and in the Fortifications of the Castle Elizabeth in that Isle, with his own Means and Fortunes till after Michaelmas; at what Time judging it not the least Part of his Devoir to render an Accompt of the State of that Island, of its Strength in their Militia, their Wants and Defects, and best Means of Defence, together with certain Particulars conducing to the Government, Peace, and Quiet of His Majesty's Subjects there, he desired and obtained Leave of the House of Peers to repair hither, where he hath spent near all this Winter, as a Time best permitting his Absence, and wherein he hath waited the Opportunity of some Intermission from those weighty and important Businesses of the Kingdom which hath taken up the whole Time. But now the Advices which he hath received within these few Days, of the French Troops making ready near and upon the Coast bordering upon that Island, and the Summer approaching, a Time of most Danger, he craveth Pardon if he doth precipitate this his humble Request, that it may please the Honourable House, by a Committee, to take these Things into their Honourable Consideration, and such others as he shall represent unto them.

"And as in Duty bound he shall pray, &c.

"Memorial of the State of the Militia and Forts in the Island of Jersey, the Wants and Defects, and Means of Defence.

State of the Island and the Militia there.

"The Island is in Circuit near Forty Miles, seated by the Coast of Normandy, Seven Leagues distant; it lies invironed with Rocks and strong Tides, difficult to be attempted with Ships of Burthen.

"The Landing Places are many, yet an Enemy can hardly make Use but of few to land Forces by Way of Invasion; the Access being difficult, easily defended, and the Country of itself fast.

"The Island is divided into Twelve Parishes, and yields about Three Thousand able Men to bear Arms, whereof some Twelve Hundred are trained, and divided into Twelve Companies, each Parish making up a Company; Twelve Captains are appointed over them, reduced to Three Regiments, of Four Companies in One Regiment.

"Each Parish hath a public Magazine of Powder, Match, and Bullets, for their Ordnance there belonging to them, Three Demy Culverins, Iron placed in several Bays, Twenty-four small Pieces Basse mounted to be kept in their Churches, to be drawn where Need requires.

"The King hath Two Castles; that of Montorgueill, seated towards the nearest Part of France, strongly built and stately, standing high upon a Rock, but near a Hill which lies a Hundred and Forty Paces from it; the chief Use thereof is for a Dwelling to the Governor, a Countenance to the Island, and Retreat of the People in Case of Invasion, or sudden Attempt for Spoil.

"The Castle Elizabeth is seated towards the West, in the Entry of the Harbour, upon a Rock standing in a little Islet, environed with Sea every Six Hours. It hath been of late much augmented by the Addition of a Basse Guard, which renders it almost impregnable but by Famine, which cannot befall it except it were abandoned of Succours.

"There are in these Two Castles kept in Pay Two Porters, Two Gunnors, and Fifty Soldiers; but of these Fifty, Six have been struck off, by Order from the Lords of His Majesty's Council, and Three Officers sent over to be Muster-masters, who receive the said Six Soldiers Pay. These, with the Porters and Gunners, receive each Twelve Pence a Day, and each Soldier Six Pence.

"Neither the Castles nor the Island, in State they now are, are free from Surprize, Spoil, Invasion, or Conquest.

"Yet, notwithstanding, the Island being under the Protection of so powerful a King and State, the Situation of the same, the Sufficiency of the Land to maintain the Inhabitants, the Places naturally seated for Retreat of the People and Defence, makes it not hard to be made safe against any Attempt in any Kind, without great Difficulty or great Cost.

"To effect this, and to provide and avoid Dangers:

"1. The People are to be armed.

"2. They are to be kept under Discipline and Obedience.

"3. The Avenues of the Island are to be kept repaired and fortified.

"4. (fn. *) Their public Magazines to be stored with Powder and Necessaries.

"5. The Castles to be manned with a greater Retinue.

"6. They are to stand stored at all Times with necessary Provisions of War.

"7. Upon imminent Danger, they are to be provided with a competent Portion of Victuals.

"8. Those Orders heretofore established, that conduce to the Security of the Island, are to be duly put in Execution, and Delinquents therein to be severely punished.

"But, that these Particulars may be opened, and the better understood, it is humbly represented:

"1. Concerning the Arming of the People, One Third Part have no Arms at all; One other Third Part are armed with some few bare Pikes, most with Halberts and Bills, of little or no Service; the last Part are sufficiently well provided with Muskets. To arm the People, and fortify the Avenues of the Island, &c. upon Sir Edward Conway, since Lord Viscount Conway, coming into the Island, by the King's Command, to view the same, and to report the State thereof; the Inhabitants were perswaded to a Necessity of having a public Stock, for the defraying, from Time to Time, of these and other their Necessaries.

"Whereupon they petitioned His Majesty, that there might be a Stiver raised upon each Pot of Wine sold in Retail in that Island, which was accordingly granted, and passed under His Majesty's Hand and Privy Seal. But the Inhabitants, being now apprehensive of Invasion, are unwilling the said Rate should be passed the Great Seal; so that it is conceived that there is otherwise no Means left to arm the People but by these Two Ways; First, that the Governor may have Power to cess the Inhabitants to such Arms as their Estates may be able to bear, by the Advice of the Captains and their Officers; the other (and that for the Arming of those that are not able to furnish themselves), it may please His Majesty to send Arms into the Island, to be entered in His Magazine of the Castles, and by the Governor to be delivered to the Captains, and by them distributed to such of the Inhabitants, upon Bond that they shall be rendered and restored in the said Magazine whensoever they shall be required.

"2. That the People be kept in due Obedience, and under Discipline; the State of this Kingdom have always thought it fit to entrust the Governor of that Isle with the sole and absolute Power of the Militia thereof, against which there have happened of late some Opposition and Distractions of evil Consequence; videlicet, That the Governor is not to appoint Officers over the Companies, but by Approbation and Consent of the Company.

"That the Governor may not alter the Watches in the Island, and the Stations of them formerly appointed; that the King is to keep His Castles, and the Inhabitants the Island, so that, upon what Occasion soever, they are not to be commanded into the Castles; provided that, when they shall run away from an Enemy, they may be sheltered in them; that the Governor is not to impose any Command of himself, or can punish the Disobedience of any but by Complaint to the Jurats. These, and others the like, may it please the State here to have settled in their Wisdoms, so that a Guard may not abuse his Power to the Grievance of the Subject, yet he may have that which befits his Charge, for the Safety of the Castles and Island committed to him.

"3. Concerning the repairing and fortifying the Avenues, the Inhabitants have always made and entertained certain Breast-works upon the Landingplaces, for Musketeers to play over, which is as much as may well be done in most of those Places.

"Only at the Port of St. Aulin there lies a Rock, under which all the Shipping of the Island lies; this Rock hath upon it Five Pieces of Ordnance, and a small Square Tower, that served to lodge a Gunner, and to preserve the Powder dry.

"It is humbly conceived that it would greatly conduce to the Safety of the Island, the Preservation of their Shipping, if, upon the said Rock, some Fortification were made; which, (by Esteem), will not amount to above One Hundred and Fifty or Two Hundred Pounds. The Customer of the Island may be made Keeper of the Fort, and a Gunner to be allowed him; those of the Inhabitants that are next to assist the Gunner, and a Watch to be set in the same, as a Governor shall appoint in Time of Danger.

"4. Concerning the public Magazines of the Island to be bestowed, &c. There is at this Time little Powder, or any Thing else, in their Magazines. Sir Philip Carterett, Lieutenant Governor, sent over by the House of Peers to secure that Island, was by them authorized to take so much Powder and Ammunition out of His Majesty's Store as could well be spared, and to distribute the same among the Inhabitants at usual and accustomed Rates; which he having made known to the People, and offered to furnish them accordingly, most have neglected, only some Five or Six Barrels of Powder having been taken off; so that neither the Musketeers of their own Store, nor their Magazines, are provided with sufficient Powder for Defence, nor will they allow any compulsory Power further than what they please.

"5. Concerning the Manning of Castles with a greater Retinue; in the Year 1617, upon Sir Edward Conwaye's Report, it was Ordered, by His Majesty and the Lords, That there should be (fn. *) in Pay in Mountorgueill Castles Two Soldiers, and Thirty in Castle Elizabeth. This Number may suffice in Mountorguiell Castle, especially if a Watch or Court of Guard by Night of the Inhabitants may be continued at the Foot of the Castle, as hath been Ordered by Sir Phillip Carterett, but stands opposed by some factious Persons. As for the Castle Elizabeth, being since fortified, and much augmented, and lying in the Sea, not so suddenly to be succoured against Surprise, a greater Number may be thought needful, that Fort being the Key of the Island for Entrance into it; or otherwise the Soldiers Pay, being but Five Stivers a Day, and paid in French Money, according to the Value and Inhance set upon it by the French, is so small, that the Officers are constrained to tolerate some Neglect in the Soldiers Duties, that (fn. *) they may get somewhat to live more than their Pay, upon which they can hardly subsist.

"6. That the Castles may be at all Times stored with necessary Provisions for War, His Majesty's Care hath been such, as they stand at this Time sufficiently for most Things, especially Ordnance and Powder; some for Carriages, and some other Things of no great Charge, are yet wanting, which are set down in a particular List.

"7. Concerning the Provisions of the said Castles with Victuals; as the Times are more or less dangerous, so ought the said Castles to be furnished with Things necessary, as Wood for Firing, Cyder for Drink, Corn, Salt, &c.

"The Governors have heretofore taken such Provisions as the Island did afford, sometimes paying easy and reasonable Rates, sometimes restoring the said Provisions back; but now the Inhabitants think themselves not bound to furnish any, but where and how the Governor may provide himself at such Rates as they shall demand, and that commonly dearer than they sell to others.

"8. That the Orders established heretofore for the Security of the Island may be observed: It hath been Ordered by Henry the Seventh, and since renewed by His Majesty, That no Normans nor French should reside in the Island, otherwise than for Trade, with the Governor's Leave; and that none should harbour Strangers, but that they should give Notice thereof to the Governor within Four and Twenty Hours: The Inhabitants, notwithstanding, take daily Normans, Maids and Men Servants, Papists, without the Governor's Leave, lodge and harbour Strangers without any Notice given.

"So that the Spies have been sent, and viewed the Island, without Knowledge of the Governor, till he hath, after their Returns, received Intelligence thereof from France.

"One David Brandines, an Alien, and now Dean of that Isle, hath brought into the Isle, and lodged in his House, at several Times, a Mass Priest, who had been accused of Sorcery and Witchcraft, and turned out of his Benefice, and of late hath been executed for the said Crimes, and likewise for assisting at sundry Women's Travails, and murdering the Children; having also kept a Quean Twenty Years, and after married her to his Father, and after had Company with her: Likewise others have of late harboured Frenchmen, and there coined counterfeit Gold and Silver, and vented it to the Inhabitants: Sundry other Orders, necessary to be executed, are by factious Persons pretended to be against the Liberties of the People, so that the King's Rights and Revenues are by them also questioned and withheld."

Ordered, That the Consideration of Sir Phillip Carteret's Petition is referred, together with the Memorial, to the Committee for the Defence of this Kingdom, who are to make Report thereof to this House.

Attorney General's Defence.

This Day being appointed to hear Mr. Attorney General's Defence, he and his Counsel were called in; and being come to the Bar, the Speaker, by the Directions of this House, told the Counsel, "That this House commands them to proceed in assisting Mr. Attorney in his Defence, upon their Perils."

The Counsel desired their Lordships Pardon herein, for they came not now provided to make Mr. Attorney's Defence; hoping to be excused, because the Business concerns the Privileges of Parliament, as was alledged Yesterday.

The House not being satisfied with this Answer; Mr. Attorney and his Counsel were commanded to withdraw.

And the House taking it into Consideration, Ordered, They should be commanded to give a direct Answer, severally, whether they will now plead or no.

And the Counsel being called in, and commanded as aforesaid, they desired to be excused from pleading at this Time.

But the House not being yet satisfied with this Answer, they were commanded to (fn. *) withdraw; and the House Resolved, That they should once more be told, "That this House expected they should severally make a direct, positive, and clear Answer, whether they will now plead or no; and, if they will not answer so, this House will take it as a Denial."

Then they were called in; and the Speaker commanded them as abovesaid.

Sir Tho. Bedding feild answered, "He desired some Time to prepare himself for it, he being not now provided."

Sir Tho. Gardiner, Recorder of the City of London, craved a further Time to consider of it.

The rest of the Counsel answered, "That they were willing to plead now at their Lordships Command, and did hold themselves in Duty bound so to do; but the chief Part of the Defence for Mr. Attorney was committed to the Management of Sir Tho. Beddingfeild and Sir Tho. Gardiner, and by that Means they are not provided at this Time; but desired some further Time, as their Lordships shall please to appoint."

Some of the Attorney General's Counsel committed, for refusing to plead.

Hereupon the Counsel were commanded to withdraw; and the House taking into Consideration what is fit to be done in this Business, conceived, that Sir Tho. Beddingfeild and Mr. Recorder of London have committed a great Contempt to this House, in refusing to plead when they were commanded; therefore Ordered, That, for the said Contempt, Sir Tho. Beddingfeild and Mr. Recorder shall stand committed to The Tower of London, there to remain until the Pleasure of this House be further known.

To have other Counsel.

This House further Ordered (for the better Expedition of the Cause), That, if Mr. Attorney General do desire other Counsel in the Place of Sir Tho. Beddingfeild and Mr. Recorder, he is to bring in the Names of such as he desires To-morrow Morning; and then this House will give Directions therein.

Mr. Attorney General was called in, and told by the Speaker what this House had Ordered; and he desired Leave until To-morrow to consider of it, and then he would present to this House his humble Desires.

Draught of an Ordinance for securing Bullion to be brought into The Tower.

Ordered, That the Committee appointed to prepare a Draught of an Ordinance for securing of Bullion that shall be brought into The Tower by Merchant Strangers, shall meet on Friday Morning next, at Nine of the Clock; and that they shall hereby (fn. †) have Power and Authority to call such Persons before them as they think fittest to give them Information, concerning this Business.

Earl of Portland brought in his Commission of Array.

This Day the Earl of Portland brought in his Commission of Array for the County of South'ton and the Isle of Wight.

Petition of the Twelve Bishops.

A Petition of the Twelve Bishops in The Tower, impeached for High Treason, was read; and Ordered to be respited until To-morrow.

Adjourn.

Comes de Leycester declaravit præsens Parliamentum continuandum esse usque in diem Jovis, videlicet, 10m diem Martii, (fn. ‡) 1641, secunda hora post meridiem, Dominis sic decernentibus.

Footnotes

* Origin. That their.
* Deest in Originali.
* Origin. with.
Bis in Originali.
Origin. 1642.