DIE Martis, 12 die Septembris.
The Lord Grey of Warke was appointed by this
House to be Speaker this Day.
Pettus and Aylett.
Upon hearing of the Counsel on both Sides, (fn. *) in the
Difference between Pettus and Aylett, and others, who
were sent for as Delinquents: It is Ordered, That
the said Mr. Aylett, and the others sent for as Delinquents, shall be discharged from their Restraint, this
House conceiving they have committed no Contempt;
and if the said Pettus will bring in a Petition, and possess this House Originally with the Merits of the Cause,
this House will hear it when their Leisure shall serve.
Next, this House was adjourned during Pleasure, and
the Peers went and robed themselves, to give Judgement against Mr. Justice Berkley.
The House was resumed.
Commons acquainted that the Lords are ready to give Judgement against Justice Berkley.
The Gentleman Usher of the Black (fn. *) Rod was commanded, by the House, to give the House of Commons
Notice, "That the Lords are ready to give Judgement
against Mr. Justice Berckly, if they will come up
with their Speaker, and demand it."
The Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod returned
That the House of Commons were come with their
Speaker; and the House commanded them to be admitted in: Which being done, the Gentleman Usher
was commanded to bring Justice Berkly to the Bar, who
kneeling as a Delinquent;
Commons demand Judgement against him.
The Speaker of the House of Commons said, "That
whereas the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses of the
House of Commons, brought up an Impeachment
against Sir Rob't Berckley Knight, One of the Judges
of the King's Bench, of High Treason, and other
Misdemeanors; since, the House of Commons have
thought it fit to proceed against him only for his
Opinion and Judgement touching Ship-money; for
which he was commanded, by the House of Commons, in their Name, to desire their Lordships to
give Judgement against him for the same."
Hereupon the Speaker of this House read the Judgement against the said Mr. Justice Berckley, as following
in a Paper:
Recapitulation of his Offences.
"Whereas Sir Rob't Berkley Knight, One of the
Justices of the Court of King's Bench, stands impeached before the Lords in Parliament, by the
Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses of the House of
Commons, of High Treason, and other great Misdemeanors; amongst which, in the Fourth Article, he
standeth charged, That he, then being One of the
Justices of the said Court of King's Bench, and having taken an Oath for the due Administration of
Justice, according to the Laws and Statutes of this
Realm, to His Majesty's Liege People, in or about
the last of Novemb. 1635, subscribed an Opinion, in
I am of Opinion, That as where the Benefit doth
more peculiarly redound to the Good of the Ports
or Maritime Parts (as in Case of Piracy or Depredations upon the Seas), there the Charge hath been,
and may be, lawfully imposed upon them, according to the Precedents of former Times; so, where
the Good and Safety of the Kingdom in general is
concerned, and the whole Kingdom in Danger (of
which His Majesty is the only Judge), there the
Charge of the Defence ought to be born by all the
Realm in general. This I hold agreeable both to
Law and Reason.
And in the Fifth Article of the said Impeachment,
That he, the said Sir Rob't Berkley, then being One
of the Justices of the Court of King's Bench, and
duly sworn as aforesaid, in February, 1636, subscribed
an Extrajudicial Opinion, in Answer to Questions
in a Letter from His Majesty, in hæc verba:
"When the Good and Safety of the Kingdom in
general is concerned, and the whole Kingdom in
Danger, Whether may not the King, by Writ under
the Great Seal of England, command all the Subjects
of this Kingdom, at their Charge, to provide and
furnish such Number of Ships, with Men, Victual,
and Munition, and for such Time as He shall think
fit, for the Defence and Safety of the Kingdom from
such Danger and Peril, and by Law compel the doing
thereof, in Case of Refusal or Refractoriness; and
whether, in such Case, is not the King the sole Judge,
both of the Danger, and when and how the same is
to be prevented and avoided?
"May it please Your Most Excellent Majesty,
"We have, according to Your Majesty's Command,
severally every Man by himself, and all of us together,
taken into serious Consideration the Case and Question
signed by Your Majesty, and inclosed in Your Royal
Letter; and are of Opinion, That, when the Good
and Safety of the Kingdom in general is concerned,
and the whole Kingdom in Danger, Your Majesty
may, by Writ under the Great Seal of England,
command all the Subjects of this Your Kingdom,
at their Charge, to provide and furnish such Number
of Ships, with Men, Victual, and Ammunition, and
for such Time, as Your Majesty shall think fit, for
the Defence and Safeguard of the Kingdom from
such Danger and Peril; and that, by Law, Your
Majesty may compel the doing thereof, in Case of
Refusal or Refractoriness; and we are also of Opinion, That, in such Case, Your Majesty is the sole
Judge, both of the Danger, and when and how the
same is to be prevented and avoided:
And in the Sixth Article of the said Impeachment,
That the said Sir Rob't Berkley, then being One of
the Justices of the Court of King's Bench, and duly
sworn as aforesaid, did deliver his Opinion, in the
Exchequer Chamber, against John Hampden Esquire, in the Case of Ship-money, That he, the said
John Hampden, upon the Matter and Substance of
the Case, was chargeable with the Money then in
"The Lords in Parliament, having taken the said
Charge comprised in the said Three Articles into
their due Consideration, do find the said Sir Rob't
Berkley guilty of the great Misdemeanors in the said
Articles charged. And thereupon this High Court
doth Award and Adjudge:
"That the said Sir Rob't Berkley Knight, One of
the Justices of the Court of King's Bench, shall be
fined in the Sum of Twenty Thousand Pounds, to
be paid in at Guildhall, London, to be disposed of
by the Authority of both Houses of Parliament for
the Safety of the Kingdom; and, if it shall not be
paid or satisfied within Six Weeks next after the
Date of this Judgement, other Course shall be
taken for the levying of it, by Authority of Parliament.
"2. That hereby he is discharged of being a
Judge of the King's Bench, and made uncapable to
hold any Place or Office in the State or Commonwealth; and that he shall be uncapable of any Honour in the future.
"3. That he shall be imprisoned in The Tower of
London, during the Pleasure of this House."
This being done, the Commons, with their Speaker,
went to their own (fn. *) House.
Ordered, That Sir Rob't Berkley Knight shall stand
committed to The Tower of London, according to the
Judgement of this House, during the Pleasure of this
House adjourned till 10a cras.