Several Orders of the Council concerning several Mutinies of Soldiers, in their March towards Newcastle against the Scots, in the Months of June and July.
At White-Hall, June 21. 1640.
June 21. 1640.; Concerning Riots in the County of Berks, and killing a Lieutenant (said to be a Papist.) See more p. 1193.
'Whereas the Soldiers lately impressed in the County of Dorset, for the Service of his Majesty in this Expedition into the North parts, did in their passage through the County of Berks, and in or near the Town of Farringdon, being in number six hundred Men, or thereabouts, fall into a most insolent and desperate Mutiny, in which, amongst other Outrages by them committed, they did in a cruel and barbarous manner murder Lieutenant Mohoune, one of their Officers: Upon consideration had thereof, (his Majesty being present in Council) it was resolved and ordered, That a Proclamation should be forthwith drawn and published for the finding out and apprehending of the principal Actors and Abettors in the said Mutiny and Murder: Whereof his Majesty's Attorney General is hereby required to take notice, and accordingly to prepare a Proclamation ready for his Majesty's Signature.
Another Letter concerning a Mutiny in Warwickshire, was written to the effect following:
At White-Hall, June 28. 1640.
Order concerning the Mutiny of Soldiers in the County of Warwick, of Col. Lunsford's Regiment.
'This Day (his Majesty being present in Council) the Board was informed, that the Soldiers under the Regiment of Colonel Lunsford were fallen into such a Mutiny against their Officers, and Disorders otherwise, in the County of Warwick, in their passage through the said County, as that a great part of them are run away, and the rest persisting in so much Disobedience, as that they are ready all to disband; and that there is such a general remissness and backwardness in the Deputy Lieutenants and others, to whom it appertains, to countenance and assist the Officers and Commanders in punishing and reducing them to Conformity and Obedience; and especially in the raising and following of Hue and Cries for the apprehending of those that run away, as that they seem rather to foment, than to endeavour the suppressing and reformation thereof: Upon consideration and debate whereof had, and for that Information hath been given to the Board from other Counties, of the like Mutinies and Disorders, and of the like remissness and backwardness (though not altogether in so high a degree) in those that should assist the Commanders and Officers for punishing and suppressing the same; whereby a great number of the Soldiers are disbanded and run away, to the great dis-service of his Majesty and the Publick, and the high contempt and scandal of all Authority and Government. It was therefore resolved and ordered, That a Proclamation should be forthwith published throughout the Kingdom, requiring the Deputy Lieutenants and Justices of Peace in the several Counties, and all others to whom it appertains, that they use all possible diligence and endeavour for the apprehending and punishing, according to the Laws, of all those that shall be found to have run away from their Commanders and Officers, and likewise, that they assist and endeavour all
that possibly they may, in punishing and suppressing of the Mutinies of the Soldiers against their Officers, or any other Insolencies and Disorders by them committed: Whereof his Majesty's Attorney General is hereby required to take notice, and accordingly to prepare a Proclamation ready for his Majesty's Signature.
The Privy Council being informed of another Mutiny in Herefordshire, and of some Men slain, writ this Letter following.
A Letter directed to the Judges of Assize for the County of Hereford.
July 6. 1640.; Concerning a Mutiny in Lempster in Herefordshire, wherein some were slain.
'After, &c. we send you here enclosed a Copy of a Letter of Captain Hennis, one of his Majesty's Commanders, complaining against the Bailiff of the Town of Lempster and other Officers, who (as is informed by the said Letter) first committed upon some occasion one of his Majesty's Soldiers, and after raised the Town in Arms against the Commander and his Company, and caused the men of the Town to charge against his Majesty's said Commander and Soldiers, whereby divers of the said Soldiers were slain, many hurt, and twenty four gone away from their said Commander, besides the Serjeant and Drummer, in such manner as by the said Letter herewith sent you will perceive more at large. But in regard we know not how the business was carried, nor what ground the Bailiff and the rest had to commit the said Soldier, and to proceed as they did to the execution which followed, we have thought good to pray and require you, at the Assizes shortly to be holden for that County, to examine very particularly the whole proceeding of that Tumult and Uproar, and to cause Justice to be done. For which purpose we have prayed and required our very good Lord the Lord General, that some on behalf of the Commanders and Soldiers may be there by the twentieth of this Month, to give Information and Testimony of the Complaint. And so we bid you, &c. Dated the sixth of July 1640. Signed,
- Lord Privy Seal.
- Earl Marshal.
- Lord Admiral.
- Earl of Dorset.
- Lord Goring.
- Sir Thomas Rowe.
- Lord Chief Justice.
Another Alarm came to the Privy Council from the County of Somerset, touching the Death of a Lieutenant by the Mutiny of Soldiers: Whereupon this Letter was writ.
A Letter from the Council Board to the Lords Lieutenants of the County of Somerset.
July 17.; Touching the Death of a Lieutenant by the Mutiny of the Soldiers.
'Whereas we are informed that the Soldiers levied in that County falling into a desperate Mutiny against some of their Commanders and Officers, have slain a Lieutenant of a Company: Now to the end the same, being of so high and dangerous
Consequence, may be exemplarily punished, we do hereby pray and require your Lordships forthwith to cause some of the principal Actors and Abettors in the said Mutiny and Murder to be apprehended and committed to the Goal; and herein your Lordships are to cause the Trained Bands to be raised, and assist if there shall be cause. And in regard the Assizes for that County are at hand, and that a proceeding against them at that time would be the more exemplary, we therefore pray your Lordships to cause all possible diligence to be used for the apprehending and committing of them, so as that they may be brought to a Tryal at the said Assizes. And so, &c. Dated the 17th of July, 1640. Signed,
- Lord Arch-Bishop of Canterbury.
- Lord Keeper.
- Lord Treasurer.
- Lord Privy Seal.
- Lord Marquess Hamilton.
- Mr. Treasurer.
- Mr. Secretary Windebank.
A further Order of the Privy Council concerning the Mutiny of the Soldiers in Dosetshire, in killing their Lieutenant, to the effect following.
July 28. 1640.; Concerning the Mutinies of the Dorsetshire Soldiers in their passage through Berks, killing their Lieutenant.
'Whereas the Soldiers lately pressed in the County of Dorset, for his Majesty's Service in this Expedition into the Northern parts, did in their passage through the County of Berks, and in or near the Town of Farringdon (being in number six hundred Men, or thereabouts) fall into an insolent and desperate Mutiny, in which (amongst other Outrages by them committed) they did most cruelly murder Lieutenant (fn. 1) Mohoune, one of their Officers, and in a most barbarous and an inhuman manner dragg'd him through the Streets, and after hang'd up his dead Body. His Majesty (now present in Council) out of a Princely Care that an Offence of this nature, and of so dangerous a consequence, should not escape unpunished, hath caused John Ludlow, Robert Thrillcot, and Humphrey Edwards, three of the principal Actors, to be apprehended and committed to Prison. And doth likewise order, that a Proclamation should be published for the apprehending and committing to Prison John Lock, John Gates, Jeffery Stacy, William Garlant, Richard Tice, Christopher Frompton, John Parsons, Robert Dibbin, William Bunne, and Christopher Drodge; who were all likewise principal Actors and Abettors in the said Mutiny and Murder. In which Proclamation also his Majesty's Royal Tender of Grace and Pardon is to be declared and published, to all such of those six hundred Soldiers (other than the Persons before named) as either before the 13th Day of July now next coming, shall repair to Blandford in the said County of Dorset, and there render themselves to his Majesty's Deputy Lieutenants of the said County; or before the 25th Day of July next shall render themselves to Sir Jacob Ashley, Serjeant-Major-General of his Majesty's Army, at the Quarters at or near Selby in Yorkshire, to be again received and employed in his Majesty's Service. Whereof his Majesty's Attorney General is hereby required to take notice, and accordingly to prepare a Proclamation ready for his Majesty's Signature.
A Letter directed to the Lord Lieutenant of the County of Dorset.
A Letter from the Lords of the Council concerning the death of Lieutenant Mohoune.
'After, &c. Whereas his Majesty by his late Proclamation, occasioned by the Mutiny and barbarous Murder of Lieutenant Mohoune, by the Soldiers levied in the County of Dorset, in their March and Passage through the County of Berks, is pleased to declare and publish his Royal Tender of Grace and Pardon to all such of those six hundred Soldiers (other than the Persons in the said Proclamation named excepted) who were guilty of the late Mutiny and Murder committed at Farringdon in the said County of Berks, as either before the said 13th day of July now next coming, shall repair to Blandford in the said County of Dorset, and there render themselves to his Majesty's Deputy Lieutenants of the said County; or before the 25th of July next shall render themselves to Sir Jacob Ashly Serjeant-Major-General of his Majesty's Army, at the Quarters at or near Selby in the County of York, to be again received and employed for his Majesty's Service: We have therefore thought good hereby to pray and require your Lordship to give effectual order to your Deputy Lieutenants, That they cause such of them as shall render themselves by the time aforesaid, to be kept together, and to be sent by Conducters of their own (to be appointed by the Deputy Lieutenants) to the general Rendezvous at or near Selby in the said County of York: And for the defraying of that Charge, such Monies of the King's as were intended to carry them to the said Rendezvous, which are remaining in the Hands of Sir Thomas Culpeper, to be received from them by the Deputy Lieutenants, and to be employed on that behalf. And your Lordship is to cause the Deputy Lieutenants to give an account of such of the said Monies as they shall receive, and how the same is expended and employed. And so, &c. Dated July 30th, and Signed by
- Lord Arch-Bishop of Canterbury.
- Lord Keeper.
- Lord Treasurer.
- Lord Privy Seal.
- Lord Admiral.
- Lord Cottington.
- Lord Newburgh.
- Mr. Secretary Windebank.
Another Alarm came to the Court, of Insolencies committed by Soldiers in the County of Essex: Whereupon this ensuing Order was made.
A Letter directed to the Earl of Warwick and Lord Maynard, Lords Lieutenants of the County of Essex.
July 29. 1640.; Insolencies of Soldiers in the County of Essex.
'After, &c. to your good Lordships, we have been made acquainted with the Letter of the 27th of this present to Mr. Treasurer, and do not so much marvel at the Insolencies and Outrages therein mentioned to be committed by the Soldiers (though they be of a high nature) as at the remisness of those in Authority, in not preventing or repressing the same in an exemplary way, according to the quality of the Offences, and the great Trust reposed in them for
the service of his Majesty, and the publick Peace and Quiet; and more particularly, that the High Sheriff, who hath the power of the County at his command, should suffer such an Outrage to be acted, and the Actors to escape unapprehended or unpunished in the Town and Place where himself hath his House and Residence. And whereas we find by your Letter that William Bates, one of the Delinquents, is already committed to the Goal of Colchester, and one other of them (whose name is not mentioned) to the House of Correction at Chelmsford; we think fit that the last should be likewise committed to the Goal of Colchester, and that charge be given for the keeping them both in very safe and strict Custody; and that your Lordships should give order for a sufficient Watch and Guard to be in readiness near the said Prison or Prisons where they, or any other their Associates or Abettors, shall be committed, for the preventing of any violence or rescue that may be attempted by the Soldiers for their delivery out of Prison. And we do likewise think fit that your Lordships should cause speedy and effectual order to be taken for the apprehending such others as were principal Actors therein, and to commit and continue them in strict and safe Imprisonment, until, upon our acquainting his Majesty herewithal, your Lordships shall receive further order and direction for proceeding against them, and that for the future more care and diligence be used for the suppressing of any the like Insolencies which shall happen to be attempted, as well by raising the Power of the County, as by all other round and compulsory ways. And so, &c. Dated the 29th of July, 1640. Signed,
- Lord Arch-Bishop of Canterbury.
- Lord Keeper.
- Lord Treasurer.
- Lord Cottington.
- Mr. Treasurer.
- Mr. Secretary Windebank.
A Letter to the Lord Chief Justice Brampston.
July 3. 1640.; Concerning a Mutiny near Chelmsford in Essex.
'His Majesty being informed of a Mutiny and Tumult that hath been lately raised at or near Chelmsford in the County of Essex, by the Soldiers levied in that County for his Majesty's Service, hath been pleased to direct a Commission of Oyer and Terminer to be forthwith sent to your Lordship and others, for the present Punishment of some of the principal Offenders, to prevent further Mischiefs and Inconveniencies.
'To which purpose your Lordship is, by his Majesty's express Command, to hasten to Chelmsford to morrow, there to take effectual order that the said Commission be sat upon with all possible diligence, that by the speedy and exemplary punishment of some of the said Delinquents, the rest of the Soldiers may be kept in better order. And thus not doubting your Lordship's speedy and effectual care of a business of this Importance, we bid, &c. Dated the third of July, 1640. Signed,
- Lord Arch-Bishop of Canterbury.
- Lord Keeper,
- Lord Privy Seal.
- Lord Admiral,
- Lord Chamberlain.
- Lord Goring.
- Mr. Secretary Windebank.
- Sir Thomas Rowe.
- Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas.
Having done with Mutinies of Soldiers in the Months of June and July, let us now return to matters independent which happened in those two Months.
At the Court at White-Hall, June 9, 1640.
Order upon John Crew Esq; his Petition.
'Upon consideration this day had at the Board of the Petition exhibited by John Crew Esq; now close Prisoner in the Tower for his miscarriage and offence, expressed in an Order of the Board of the tenth of May last; their Lordships not being satisfied with the submission and acknowledgments by him made in the said Petition, in that he pretended rather to have done what he did out of Ignorance, than acknowledgeth it (as he ought to do) to be an Offence; It was therefore thought fit that he should not be discharged of his Imprisonment, until he had mended his Petition in that particular; and had likewise signed the Petition so amended under his own Hand; and had also made an Affidavit before a Master of the Chancery, to the effect following, viz.
'The Petitioner maketh Oath, That he hath delivered to the Lieutenant of the Tower all such Petitions, Papers, and Complaints, as he received being in the Chair at the Committee for Religion the last Parliament, a Catalogue whereof was annnexed to the Petition.
'For the making of which Affidavit the Lieutenant of the Tower is hereby authorized and required to permit him to go with a Keeper before a Master of the Chancery.
But the said Mr. Crew did not think fit to do the same, and thereby to bring into question in the High Commission many silenced Ministers who had petitioned the Parliament for Relief, being suspended and deprived for not reading the Book of Sports on the Lord's Day.
A Letter from the Lord Conway to the Archbishop of Canterbury.
July 13. 1640.; The Lord Conterbuay to the Archbishop of Canterbury of an Alarm from Carlisle.
'The Deputy Lieutenants and Captain Alcocke did send me a fierce Alarm from Carlisle, desiring me to send them five hundred Horse, because the Scots are within a few days of Dumfrise, seven or eight thousand, with which Army they mean to fall into Cumberland; but I am slow in answering the Spur, because the Advertisement of the Scotch Preparations on this side are not such as that they may be much feared as yet: in my Opinion the Scots will not come into England; but lest they should go against the Rules of right Reason, I do provide as if they were coming; the Horse are now come to the North Part of Yorkshire into Cleaveland; the Foot about Selby were disorderly, and took out of Prison those that were committed; but now a Guard is set upon the Prison, and they begin to be better in order.
Concerning Martial Law.
'One thing I will tell you, and shall desire that you will speak with my Lord Lieutenant in it: I did write to him of it, but I have not heard any thing from him, so that I think that in his Sickness, believing that my Letter did only contain News of Scotland, he did not read it; the Business is this, My Lord of Northumberland did write to me, that having had Occasion to look into the Power he hath to give Commissions, the Lawyers and Judges are all of opinion that Martial Law cannot be executed here in England, but when an Enemy is really near to an Army of the King's, and that it is necessary that both my Lord of Northumberland and myself do take a Pardon for the Man that was executed here for the Mutiny. If this be so, it is all one as to break the Troops, for so soon as it shall be known, there will be no Obedience; therefore put some Remedy to this by all Means very speedily: there are now here in Prison two Men for killing of Men, and the Provost Martial for letting them escape out of Prison, although he took them again: I do forbear to call them to a Council of War, neither dare I tell the Reason why I do not, being often urged, but suffer them to think me negligent. I do not think it fit that the Lawyers should deliver any Opinion; for if the Soldiers do know that it is questioned, they will decide it by their Disobedience, as the Country doth by their Ship-Money, and with far more dangerous Consequence, for the Soldier may bring the Country to Reason, but who shall compel the Soldier? therefore if it cannot be helped with a Commission of Oyer and Terminer, which must be only in the Officer or Officers of the Army, or in some special Commission of the King's, such as he gives when Noblemen are arraigned; let him then give under his own Hand a Commission for the Execution of Martial Law, to him that will hazard his Life and Estate upon the King's Word. Sir Jacob Ashley hath no Commission for the Execution of Martial Law, but if the Fault deserve Death, he is to advertise my Lord of Northumberland; this will absolutely undo all: the Soldier must be punished by his Officer: if it would come to debate, some may peradventure say, that for Faults that deserve Death, the Soldier may be sent to the Goal to be tryed by the Judges; this will take away the Respect of the Soldier to the Officer, and there will presently be no Obedience, or Care, either in Soldier
or Officer. I think that this doth so much concern the King in the Government of the Army, that if a Lawyer should say so here, if I had a Commission I would hang him, and so I think the King ought to do others. I shall ever be
Your Grace's most Humble and
most Faithful Servant,
Conway and Kilulta.
Newcastle, June 13. 1640.
A Letter to the Lords Lieutenants of the Counties of Cumberland and Westmoreland.
June 17. 1640.; Watches to be kept upon the Borders of Scotland as usual.
'After and amongst other Particulars taken into Consideration by his Majesty and the Board concerning the Safety and Defence of the Realm; especially in those Parts, which are most exposed to danger: these following being of great Importance, were resolved on as fit to be speedily and timely provided for; viz.
- 1. 'That strict Watches should be kept upon the Passages of the Borders into Scotland by the several Townships, as formerly hath been (fn. 2) accustomed in times of Hostility, and that the Beacons be so watched and kept as that they be fit and serviceable upon any sudden Occasion or Alarm.
- 2. 'That search and enquiry should be made what Store of Corn there is in any of the Graineries or Barns on the other side of the River of Eden, betwixt it and Scotland; and that no Persons should keep by them more Provision of any kind especially of Corn) than should serve their Families respectively for a Week, and the rest to be put in Places of Safety, lest the Enemy might surprize and possess himself of it.
- 3. 'That it being the usual manner in those Parts to take one thousand or fifteen hundred Cattle to juyste or depasture in the Summer time, and to have none but a Boy or two to look to them; that those who receive the Profits of the Juystment of those Cattle may be compelled to keep such and so many Herdsmen as may presently upon Notice and Warning drive those Cattle over the Eden, that they may be the better secured from the Pillage of the Enemy; we have therefore thought good in his Majesty's Name, and by his express Command, hereby to pray and require your Lordship, and in your absence your Deputy Lieutenants, to give speedy and effectual Order concerning the Premises: hereof we require a speedy Execution, and your Answer. And so &c.
A Letter to the High Sheriff of the County of Huntingdon.
June 30. 1640.; A sharp Letter for not levying of Ship-Money.
'After, &c. We have read and considered of your Letter of the 24th of this present, wherein we perceive that you have been rather industrious to represent the Difficulties which (as you say) you find in the Execution of his Majesty's Writ, than circumspect and careful, as you ought to have been, in overcoming and removing them; and yet you well know, that there are none of those Difficulties against which you are not armed by his Majesty's Writ, and for which you have not already received directions
'how to proceed by your Instructions, and former Letters from this Board. And we cannot but make this Judgment upon your Proceedings, that instead of doing your Duty in Person, and compelling others subordinate to you to do theirs, you endeavour to make Excuses both for yourself and them. And therefore, we will you again to know, that his Majesty and this Board expects and requires that you perform and expedite the Service according to the Writ and Instructions sent you therewith. And in case of your further Neglect therein, whereby you are theCause (for so much as concerns that County) that the Service of his Majesty and the Publick both in Honour and Safety shall suffer and be endangered, there will be a round Course taken against you, and quick and exemplary Reparation required of you, proportionable to the ill Effects and dangerous Consequence of your Neglect; and if upon this Admonition you shall refuse to redeem your former Omissions and Disservice, and shall only make Discourses and Excuses as hitherto you have done, instead of acting and performing your Duty, this will likewise be added to your Account. And so &c.
July 1. 1640; Concerning a Commission of Array to Lords Lieutenants of Counties.
Mr. Attorney-General did this day present to his Majesty and the Board, a Copy of the Commission of Array settled by Parliament in 5 Hen. 4. Upon reading whereof, and upon mature Debate had thereupon, It was thought fit and ordered by his Majesty, with advice of the Board, that the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England shall issue out Commissions of Array in the Form aforesaid, for each of the several Counties in England and Wales; directed to the Lords or Lords Lieutenants of the said several Counties, and the Sheriff of the said Counties, and such other of the Deputy Lieutenants by their Names or others, being three or more, as the said Lords Lieutenants shall recommend. And his Majesty and the Board did declare that there is no Intention by this Commission of Array to derogate from, or in any sort to abridge the Commissions of Lieutenancy already issued, or to be issued, but that the Lords Lieutenants may make use of these concurrent Commissions of Array, where they shall find a fit Occasion for the Advancement of his Majesty's Service.
A Letter to the Lord Maynard, Lord Lieutenant of Cambridge.
July 3. 1640; Concerning Horses and Carters to be brought to the Rendezvouz at New Castle.
'After, &c. Whereas the Necessity of the Defence of the Realm at this time doth continually require from us a care by all fit means to provide for the Strength and Advancement of his Majesty's Service, and Army now in raising for the Northern Parts and all things incident thereunto. For which purpose there is nothing more necessary than a fit provision to be made of Horses for the Train of Artillery; and for the Carriage of Ammunition and other requisite Provisions. We have thought fit to pray and require your Lordship to take order, that there may be provided fifty strong and able Horses, and seventeen able Carters to take care of them within the Limits of your Lieutenancy in such Places where they may be most conveniently had, to be ready at Newcastle upon Time by the 20th of this instant July. And for the Charge of sending the Horse and Carters to the Rendezvouz at Newcastle, that is to be born by that County; but when they shall arrive there they shall enter into
his Majesty's Pay of 12d. per diem for every Horse, and 8d. per diem for every Carter, and shall be continued therein so long as they shall remain in his Majesty's Service; and when they shall be discharged, an especial Care shall be had, and a convenient Allowance made for their Return home again. And lastly, We do expect and require the Justices of Peace and other Officers in their several Divisions to be aiding and assisting to your Lordship and your Deputy Lieutenants in the Performance of all this Service, as they are directed by his Majesty's Letters of Lieutenancy to you under the Great Seal, and as Practice hath been in former times. Whereof the said Justices of Peace and other Officers are to take Notice upon your imparting these Letters unto them. And so &c. Dated the 3d of July 1640. Signed by
- Lord Archbishop of Canterbury.
- Lord Keeper.
- Lord Goring.
- Lord Privy-Seal.
- Lord Newburgh.
- Mr. Secretary Windebanke.
- Sir Thomas Rowe.
- Lord Chief Justice of the Common-Pleas.
A Letter to Sir Thomas Grimes, one of the Deputy Lieutenants of the County of Surry.
July 4. 1640; Concerning Coat and Conduct Money in the County of Surry.
'After, &c. We send you here inclosed Warrants for apprehending of all the Parties which you have returned Refusers to pay the Coat and Conduct Money, and for the three Constables who have made you no return, and we have sent down two Messengers of his Majesty's Chamber; but by reason that the Delinquents are so very many, we did not think fit to deliver the Warrants to the Messengers themselves, but have sent them inclosed unto you, to the end that by notifying to the Parties either by the Messengers themselves, or by such other Means as you shall think fit, you may draw as many to Conformity as will be willing to avoid their further Trouble and Charge; and for those that shall stand out, you are to give Direction upon whom they shall serve the Warrants, and then as many of them as shall conform, we do think fit that they be discharged there, without coming up to their further Trouble and Charge. But for such as shall not be conformable, they must of necessity be brought up. In all which Proceedings we do advise, that the most able and the most refractory should be first begun with, and the rest by their Example be reduced if it may be: and because in so general a Case there may be some Miscarriage by the Messengers under colour of their Fees; we have sent you a Copy of the Order of the Board in that behalf of the 9th of December 1635, to the end it may be observed. And although we are willing to let you understand our Opinions for your better Encouragement in these Proceedings, yet because there may be much variety in the particular Cases, we do rely ourselves upon your Discretion (whereof we have received good Proof in your long Service) for Direction of the Execution of the inclosed Warrants, as you shall find most conducing to his Majesty's Service. Dated the 4th of July 1640.
At White-Hall, July 5. 1640.
Mr. Attorney to proceed against the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs of London and Middlesex in the Star-Chamber.
'Whereas the Lord-Mayor of London and the two Sheriffs did this Day appear before his Majesty and the Board, to give an Account of their Proceedings upon the Writ for the Ship Business this present Year: Forasmuch as it did appear, that besides all former Neglects in the Execution of that Writ, his Majesty having respited the Information against them for the same; yet they have not since distrained any one Person according to the said Writ. It was this Day ordered by his Majesty with the Advice of the Board that his Majesty's Attorney General shall forthwith prefer an Information in the Star-Chamber against the Lord-Mayor and Sheriffs of London and Middlesex, for their Contempt and Default in the Execution of the said Writ; and shall forthwith proceed against-them de die in diem, until the Cause be ready for hearing: and if upon Examination of the said Cause, his Majesty's Attorney General shall find sufficient Cause against any of the Aldermen, that then he do prefer one other Information against the said Aldermen; and in like manner do proceed against them apart.
July 12. 1640.
Several Letters written of the Tenor following, to most of the Justices of Peace of the County of Middlesex, for the gathering in of the Coat and Conduct Money in the said County.
Concerning Coat and Conduct Money in the County of Middlesex.
'After, &c. Whereas we have received a Certificate from you of your Proceedings for the Collection of the Coat and Conduct Money in your Division, for which we give you thanks; we have thought fit to send you here inclosed, Warrants for apprehending of all the Parties which you
have returned to refuse to pay the said Coat and Conduct Money, or otherwise to perform their Duty in that Service, which we have sent by a Messenger of his Majesty's Chamber. But by reason that the Delinquents are so very many, we did not think fit to deliver the Warrants to the Messengers themselves, but have sent them inclosed to you; to the end, that by notifying to the Parties, either by the Messengers, or by such other Means as you shall think fit, you may draw as many to Conformity as will be willing to avoid their further Trouble and Charge, and for those that shall stand out, you are to give Direction upon whom the Messengers shall serve the Warrants, and then as many of them as shall conform, we do think fit that they be discharged there by you, without coming up to their further Trouble and Charge. But for such as will not be conformable, they must of necessity be brought up. In all which Proceedings we do advise, that the most able and most refractory should be first begun with, and the rest by their Example be reduced, if it may be. And although we are willing to let you understand our Opinion for your better Encouragement in these Proceedings; yet because there may be much Variety in the particular Cases, we do rely our selves upon your Discretion, (whereof we have received good Proof in your last Service) for Direction of the Execution of the inclosed Warrants, as you shall find most conducing to his Majesty's Service. And lastly, Whereas by our former Letters to you, you were limited to give us an Account by the seventh of July, we have now thought fit to enlarge the time until the eight and twentieth of this Month; at which time we do pray and require you to return us a new Certificate, how you have proceeded since the Receipt of these our Warrants, in the like manner as your former Certificate was made.
At White-Hall, July 12. 1640.
Sheriff of Suffolk to be proceeded against in the Star-Chamber.
'His Majesty and the Board taking Notice of the great Neglect and Contempt of Sir Symonds Dewes Knight, now High Sheriff of the County of Suffolk, in not executing the Writ for the Shipping Business for this present Year, have thought fit and ordered, that Mr. Attorney General shall forthwith proceed against the said Sir Symonds Dewes in the Star-Chamber.
From Northamptonshire, July 1640
Grounds of Exception against the Oath, &c. required in the sixth Canon establish'd in the Synod, 1640.
The taking of this Oath doth seem to establish the Legality of it, and prepare a way for the imposing of other new Oaths; whereas it is questionable, whether any Oath may be imposed, not establish'd and appointed by Parliament.
The taking of it, may seem to approve the exacting of it of all the Persons of whom it is required; many of whom cannot take it (probably) in Judgment, as not being acquainted with the Doctrine and Discipline of the Church, nor the Controverses concerning them.
It is required, we should swear all things necessary for Salvation to be contained in the Doctrine and Discipline of the Church of England.
1. It is not declared, What is to be accounted the Doctrine of the Church.
The Book of Homilies hath been disclaimed: The Articles claimed by the Arminians and others, and some of them corrupted.
2. It hath not been conceived, that any particular kind of Discipline was necessary to Salvation.
The Presbyterians have been derided and writ against, for making the Discipline a part of the Kingdom of Christ
It's acknowledged, That the Reformed Churches that differ from us in Discipline, want nothing necessary to Salvation.
It's required to swear, Not to consent to the Alteration of the Government by Archbishops, Bishops, Archdeacons, &c. as it is by Law established, and by right they ought to stand: which Clause we dare not swear to, for these Causes:
- 1. Because we judge it unlawful to swear the Perpetuation of any mere Ecclesiastical Ordinance, which is subject to such Corruptions as may necessitate an Alteration; and such we judge this Government to be, at least in part; for Archbishops, Arch-deacons and Deans are but Ecclesiastical, whatever may be said for Bishops.
- 2. We have taken the Oath of Supremacy, by which we acknowledge the King's Majesty and his Successors supream Head of the Church, and Governor in Causes and over Persons Ecclesiastical as well as Civil, which this Oath seems to contradict.
- 1. It binds from consenting to the Alteration of Church Government, so that if the King or his Successors should alter
it, we must dissent and preach against them, as in the eighth Canon.
- 2. It binds to acknowledge a further Right that Archbishops and Bishops, &c. have in the Government of the Church, than that which is given them by Law, meaning a Divine Right, as we are induced to believe:
- 1. Many Bishops have so declared themselves.
- 2. In the first Canon they have not given the King any Power in Ecclesiastical Government, disclaiming only Papal, Popular, Independent, Co-active Power, but not Episcopal; whereas the Controversies of this time require a more precise and open Declaration.
- 3. It seems to make more Account of the Discipline, than of the Doctrine of the Church; for in that we abjure Consent to any Alteration, in this we abjure Endeavour to induce Popish Errors only.
- 4. This Clause is administer'd with an &c. which we conceive was never tendered in any Oath before now.
- 5. There are some things in the Discipline of the Church, which we have just Ground to desire and endeavour the Alteration of, should it be offered. As,
That the Bishop delegates his Power to be officiated by a Chancellor, whereby it comes to pass, that the Sentence of Excommunication, which is incompatible with a meer Lay-man (as our Church teacheth against Presbyterians) is devolved upon a meer Layman; and the Plaister provided by the thirteenth Canon is too narrow for this Sore.
The grave Minister to whom the pronouncing the Sentence belongs, is but the Chancellor's Voice to speak what he decrees; and so the Power of Excommunication is still in him.
The whole Oath is filled with so many Ambiguities, that we dare not take it.
The taking of it, makes us approve of the Synod, by which there are induced and tolerated divers Ceremonies contrary to the Book of Common-Prayer, which we have subscribed unto, and must in this Oath (if we take it) abjure.
It is required, to be taken heartily and willingly, and yet they that refuse it, are threatned with severe Punishments; by which means it is to be feared, that many that are weak, may for swear themselves.
The Queries of Kent concerning the Oath, &c.
- 1. Whether it be lawful to take an Oath with an &c. where there may be a doubt how much is thereby signified?
- 2. Whether to affirm in an Oath, that such a thing ought so by right to stand, doth not suppose it to be a Divine Right?
- 3. Whether it be lawful to swear the perpetual maintaining any Order merely Ecclesiastical?
- 4. Whether the Superiority of Archbishops above Bishops, and the substitution of Archdeacons, Deans, &c. be not meerly Ecclesiastical?
- 5. Whether when Divine Authority hath ordained only Bishops to be Church Governors, particularly in point of Excommunication, it be lawful to consent any more than passively, to any other Governors Ecclesiastical, to exercise the same Authority of Excommunication?
- 6. Whether, since the Church of England rejects the Lay-Elders of other Churches, it doth not thereby condemn the giving of any power to Commissaries, Chancellors, and Officials, which are merely Lay-men, to meddle in Excommunication even jointly with Ministers, much less as chief Surrogates, being but his Deputies and Ecclesiastical?
- 7. Whether the Scriptures authorize such Power being given to mere Lay-men?
- 8. Whether having sworn to the King's Supremacy in all Causes Ecclesiastical, it be not a violation of that Oath, or at least a hazard of it in time to come, to swear not to give consent to such an alteration in Government, which may at least possibly be thought fit, and even be commanded with all Authority by the King, or any Successor of his hereafter?
Devonshire Exceptions to the Oath.
- 1. That they are bound to take it willingly, which they cannot do with safe Conscience, and so shall be perjured ipso facto.
- 2. That they must swear sincerely, without any mental reservation, yet that &c. in the Oath, referreth and implieth somewhat more than is expressed, which they must conceive or understand.
- 3. That they must acknowledge both the Doctrine and Discipline of our Church, to contain all things necessary to Salvation: which is not true of the Discipline.
- 4. That they are tied never to give consent to any alteration of the said Discipline, though the King and State should enjoyn them thereunto.
- 5. That it crosseth or contradicteth the Oath of Allegiance and Supremacy which they have already taken; because, if the King by Parliament would disannul any part of that Ecclesiastical Discipline, or by a Synod shall alter it, they are bound never to consent.
- 6. That it is a flat bandy against the power of Parliaments; because the Clergy can constitute no Canons, much less create or impose Oaths, unless the Parliament confirm them: and therefore they think it a Project to suppress all Parliaments for ever.
- 7. That it clips the Wings of the King's Royal Prerogative and Spiritual Supremacy, bereaving him and his Successors from altering any thing in Church-Government, either by Synod, Convocation or Parliament.
The main Foundation the Clergy build upon is the general Resolution of the Lawyers, That no Oath can be ordained, nor any authorized to give it, unless it be first establised by Parliament.
This Week being our Assizes, the Gentry and Clergy have taken much pains to frame a Petition against the Oath in the new Canon, wherewith go the Heads on which they ground then Petition: my Lord of Bath first firmed it, most of the Gentry and Clergy that were here have firmed it; and they say Mr. Wise and Mr. Seymour, our Parliament Knights, have undertaken to deliver it, whatever Answer they have. I believe very few in this County will take the Oath; besides, it doth open Mens mouths extreamly against the Arch-Bishop.
August 8. 1640.
To the Right Honourable the Lords of his Majesty's most Honourable Privy Council.
The most humble Petition of the Subscribers, with the Consent of many Gentlemen and others of good Worth of this County of Devon,
A Petition from Devonshire against the Oath, &c.
'That your Petitioners observing to their comfort your Lordships constant Providence for his Majesty's Honour, and Service; and by experience often finding your Lordships to be favourable Mediators to his most excellent Majesty in behalf of his Subjects in many of their Grievances, which his Majesty hath lately graciously declared himself ready to redress; they are thereby heartened to tender to your Lordships Consideration some scruple of their Consciences, and other doubts of great Inconveniencies arising from the Oath expressed in Canons lately made by the Reverend Synod, which, as they conceive, do not only concern your Petitioners and their Posterity, but his Majesty' and his Successors in his Royal Dignity and Prerogative: His Majesty's Supremacy of the Church of England, whereunto most of your Lordships Petitioners have been often sworn, and by that Oath are in express words bound to defend it; they believe will mainly weakened, if not in substance totally subverted and taken away, if this new Oath doth receive the intended Permission. The Doctrine, of this Church no good Protestant will deny to contain all things, necessary to Salvation; but the Discipline many Men think worthy
of Reformation. The Book of Common Prayer in the Commination doth wish it, and the late Synod endeavoured it in part Canon 17. had they thought fit to have done it more fully, their Acts confirmed by his Majesty had been no less lawful; for most of the Officers of Discipline, have their Jurisdiction merely from the King, as is plainly declared 37 H. 8. :17. and it cannot be denied, but that they may by him be changed. What pretence then can be so fair, or intention so good, as to justify an Oath binding subjects from ever consenting to their Prince's lawful Prerogative in doing lawful Acts? It must needs in short space make the whole Clergy and most of the Laity to be in Spiritual matters independent on the Crown. If the abuse of Excommunication, which hath been a long noted spot in our Church, cannot be really Reformed, until that long List of Officers which the Synod thought fit to involve in an &c. and are not known to many, do suffer a change by his Majesties Royal Prerogative, then certainly this Oath once generally taken, his Majesty will want means, because he shall have no instruments (indeed no Subjects) when the younger Laity shall take it in the Universities, to make this Reformation in Discipline, whensoever God shall put it into his religious and princely Heart; so will his Majesty and his Successors to the great grief of your Lordship's Petitioners, be for ever abridged of that free power in the Supremacy of this Church, which their Ancestors ever had and have enjoyed as their due right and chief flower of their Crown since the Pope's just rejection: had this course been thought on in the time of the Pope's reign here, the Doctrine of the Church had never attainted the present Purity. Other inconveniencies which your Lordships Petitioners confidently suppose, will follow the taking this Oath, will be these; no decrease of Popery as is pretended, every Changeling to that Religion may have his dispenlation for this or any other Oath: But this Oath striking deeply at the root of many Conscientjous and constant preaching Ministers, whose purity and zeal to the peace of the Church, hath led them hitherto to dutiful conformity, must needs deprive them, if they take not the Oath, both ab Officio & Beneficio, and consequently duce a general ignorance, the Mother only of Popish devotion. Again, your Petitioners do verily believe, that this Oath used as is enjoined in the Universities, will in short space prove their great damage and decay: for all those that account it crossing with the Oath of Supremacy, will seek their Childrens breeding in any other Country rather than this, where they will be subject to an enlargement, opposite to the Laws of this Kingdom, namely, the 25 H. 8. 19. and 37 H. 8. 17. and 1 Eliz. 1. and the other binds to nothing but to duty and obedience to the Laws, and the defence and maintenance of his Majesties Royal Perogative as supreme Head of this Church, by the Oath of Supremacy the takers are bound to defend it; and by this new Oath taken they must never consent to the use of it in matters of greatest moment: It is therefore the most humble desire of your Lordships Petitioners, that your Lordships would vouchsafe your noble mediation to his most excellent Majesty, that he would be pleased piously to weigh these doubts of theirs, no less concerning his undoubted Right, than it doth the growth of the true professed Religion, as dear to them as their lives, and their consciences no less dear to your Lordships most humble Petitioners.
Scotland, June and July.
Let us see what they have been doing in Scotland these two Months of June and July: for on the second of June there was a Parliament to meet; but it seems the King had sent an Order to the Justice Clerk to prorogue it; and he is to carry along with him in this Affair, the assistance of the King's Advocate, who was at this time confined to his House in Fife, upon pretence of some miscarriage in his Office; but really because he was suspected to adhere to the Covenanters. The Advocate was glad upon this occasion to be delivered from the disgrace of Confinement, and to be honoured with the Employment.
Concerning the proroguing of the Parliament.
It is to be observed, that when Traquair got his Commission under the Broad Seal, there was another Commission given under the Quarter Seal to the Lord Elphingstown, the Lord Napier, the King's Advocate, and the Justice Clerk; these, or three of them, were impower'd to act as Commissioners in Traquair's Absence; and upon his Orders therefore the King's Advocate adjudged it needless to fill up a Blank that was sent down to be made use of, if need were, to make the Prorogation legal, but resolved to require one of the other two, to concur with the Justice Clerk and himself in the Prorogation, which was to be done after the Parliament was senced: Therefore they provided the Persons necessary for fencing of it, (a Ceremony they use in the beginning of a Session) who are the Constable, the Marshal, the Provost of Edinburgh, the Sheriff of Lowthtan, and a Doomester; and if any of these be absent, the King must name others for their Service that Day. So the Members of Parliament being met, the King's Advocate required the Lord Elphinstown, who was first in the Commission, to go up with them to the Throne for executing the King's Commands; who having read the Commission, found their Power was only to act by the Commissioner's Order, and therefore called for Traquair's Warrant: The King's Advocate answered, That as when the King is present, a Commissioner's Power of it self expires; so also when his Warrant is produced, there is no need of one from his Commissioner: but Elphinstown stood on the Letter of the Commission, and so found he was not legally warranted to do it. The like was the Lord Napier's Answer, who was also of the Commission; and so the King's Advocate and the Justice Clerk could do nothing but take Instruments.
By which Deportment of the Advocate, the Members of Parliament proceeded to vote themselves to be in a Parliamentary Capacity, as being summoned by the King at first, and again adjourned to this Day. Whereupon they proceeded to the enacting of what they had designed the former Year: and their Acts, though of great importance, yet meeting no opposition, were quickly dispatched. All which, with a Prologue and Epilogue of two high Declarations, were sent in the Pacquet to the Earl of Lanerick, with the following Letter written by a Committee of Lords, whom they had left to sit at Edinburgh to attend the King's Answer concerning the Acts of the Parliament sent up to his Majesty by their Commissioners.
A Letter from the Council in Scotland to the Earl of Lanerick.
It is not unknown to your Lordship with what difficulties this Kingdom hath wrestled this time past, in asserting their Religion and Liberties against the dealings of bad Instruments with his Majesty to the contrary.
The means which they have used have been no other but such as they humbly petitioned and obtained from his Majesty, a free National Assembly and Parliament. The Assembly went on in a fair way, and was closed with the liking and full consent of his Majesty's Commissioner; but the Parliament indicted by his Majesty was prorogated till the Reasons of the Demands of the Estates were rendered to his Majesty; which having done by their Commissioners, they kept the second of June (the Day appointed by his Majesty) for the sitting of the Parliament: and after diligent Enquiry, hearing nothing from his Majesty nor his Commissinor, neither by their own Commissioners or any others sent from his Majesty, which might hinder the Parliament to proceed to the settling of their Religion and Liberties, after mature deliberation, and long waiting for some signification of his Majesty's Pleasure, they have all with one consent resolved upon certain Acts, which they have adjudged to be most necessary and conducible for his Majesty's Honour and the Peace of the Kingdom, so far endangered by delays: and have committed to us the Trust to shew you so much, and withal to send a just Copy of the Acts, that by your Lordship (his Majesty's Principal Secretary of Scotland) they may be presented to his Majesty. The Declaration prefixed to the particular Acts, and the Petition in the End, contain so full Expressions of the Warrants of the Proceedings of the Estates, and of their humble continued Desires, that no word needs to be added by us. We do therefore in their Name (according to the Trust committed to us) desire your Lordship (all other ways of Information being stopt) with the presenting of the Acts of Parliament, to represent unto his Majesty against all Suspicions, Suggestions and Tentations to the contrary, the constant Love and Loyalty of this Kingdom unto his Majesty's Royal Authority and Person, as their native King and kindly Monarch: And that they are seeking nothing but the establishing of their Religion and Liberties under his Majesty's Government, that they may still be a free Kingdom, to do his Majesty all the Honour and Service that becometh humble Subjects; that their Extremity is greater through the Hostility and Violence threatned by Arms, and already done to them in their Persons and Goods, by Castles within; and Ships without the Kingdom, than they can longer endure: And that, as his Majesty loveth his own Honour and the Weal of this his antient Kingdom, speedy course may be taken for their relief and quietness; and that if this their faithful Remonstrance (to which; as the great Council of the Kingdom, they found themselves bound at this time for their Exoneration) be passed over in silence, or answered with delays, they must prepare and provide for their own defence and safety. We are very hopeful that your Lordship (as a good Patriot, and according to the obligement of your Place) will not be deficient in that Duty for your native Country, and send us a speedy Answer, as we shall in every Duty be careful at all occasions to shew our selves
Your Lordship's humble Servants.
- Thomas Hop.
- John Murray.
- John Hamilton.
- George Dundas.
- John Smith.
- Ed. Egger.
- Thomas Patterson.
- Ja. Sword.
The Covenanters at this last meeting of the Parliament did sign a Bond among themselves for adhering to those Acts, and prosecuting of those who had been the Incendiaries from the beginning of those Stirs, the chief of which they accounted were Marquess Hamilton and Traquair: But this business gave great offence to the King, and he judged himself bound to repair this Affront, with the Sword.
On the twenty seventh of June the Earl of Lanerick returns Answer to the Committee in Scotland, to the effect following:
The Earl of Lanerick's Answer to the Committee's Letter.
'By my former of the date of the 23d of June, his Majesty was pleased to promise by me, to let you know within few days his further Pleasure concerning those Proceedings and Desires of the Noblemen, and Barons, and Burgesses, which you sent me to be presented to his Majesty; whereupon he hath now commanded me to tell you, That the not proroguing of the Parliament in a legal and formal way, was not for want of clear Instructions, and of full and ample Power from his Majesty, he having fully signified his Pleasure to those whom he did entrust with the executing thereof, not thinking it fit to employ other Servants of greater Eminence, by reason of the Disorders and Iniquities of the times: and as forced by the importance of his other great and weighty Affairs, he was necessitated to prorogue the Parliament for some few days, so did he most really intend to perform at the time prefixed, whatsoever he had promised by the Act of Pacification; but neither can the neglect of his Servants (if any be) nor those other Reasons alledged by the foresaid Noblemen, Barons and Burgesses, in their Declaration for their sitting, satisfy his Majesty for their proceeding in a Parliamentary way; since by the Duty and Allegiance of Subjects they are bound to acknowledge in a most special manner his transcendent Power in Parliaments. And if Subjects there do assume the Power of making Laws, and rescinding those already made, what Act can be done more derogatory to that Regal Power and Authority we all are sworn to maintain? Therefore his Majesty conceives they cannot in reason expect he can interpose his Royal Authority to these, or any other Acts whatsoever, whereto neither he in his own real Person, nor by his Commissioner did assist. Yet such is his Majesty's Clemency, that when they shall take such an humble and dutiful way, as may witness that they are as careful and tender of his Majesty's Royal Power, as they are desirous of his Approbation; then shall it be time for them to expect such a gracious and just Answer, as may testify his Majesty's Fatherly Compassion of that his native Kingdom, and his Pious and Princely care of performing whatsoever is necessary for establishing their Religion and Laws. So thus having imparted unto you all that was enjoined me by his Majesty, I shall say no more from my self, but I am
Your Lordship's humble Servant,
Whitehall, June 27. 1640
To which the Committee, on the seventh of July, made this Reply following to the Lord Lanerick.
A Reply from the Committee.
'We received your Lordship's Letter of the twenty seventh of June from the Lord London, whose Relief out of Prison gives us occasion (before we answer your Lordship's Letter) to acknowledge the same as an Act of his Majesty's Royal Justice and Goodness, although the pretended cause of his Imprisonment was but a malicious Calumny of the Enemies of the King's Honour and our Peace, forged to engage both his Majesty's Kingdoms in a national War. As we cannot but regret that any neglect of his Majesty's Officers, or absence of his Commissioner, whose presence we did both desire and expect, should hinder the interposing of his Royal Authority to these Acts of Parliament, which were found most necessary for establishing Religion and the Peace of this Kingdom; and which, according to the Acts of Pacification, his Majesty was graciously pleased to promise; so we have and shall still endeavour to give demonstration of that tender respect we have of his Majesty's Honour and Royal Power. And whereas your Lordship's Letter doth imply, that we should take some other way for the more easie obtaining of his Majesty's Approbation, which also by several reasons hath been most instantly pressed by the Lord Lowdon; yet we conceive, that Parliamentary way which was taken by the Estates convened by his Majesty's special Warrant, to have been most legal and necessary, and no ways derogatory to his Majesty's Power in Parliament, nor contrary to the Duty of good Subjects, who are warranted by the Articles of Pacification under his Majesty's Hand, to determine all civil Questions, ratify the Conclusions of the Assembly, and remove the present Distractions of this Kingdom, as is more abundantly demonstrated by their Declaration in Parliament hereabout; so that we dare not take any other course, which may entrench upon their Parliamentary Power or Proceedings; nor will we (being so few in number appointed to stay here) presume of our selves, in a matter of so great moment, to return a more full and particular Answer, till there be a more frequent meeting of those appointed by Parliament, which will be shortly; and then your Lordship shall be acquainted, that you may shew his Majesty their Resolutions and humble Desires: and we shall remain
Your Lordship's affectionate Friends and Servants.
- J. Murray.
- G. Dunglass.
- Ja. Sword.
- J. Forbes.
- Ed. Eggar.
Edinburgh, July 7. 1640.
Towards the latter end of this Month, and the beginning of August, the Scots were very active in raising their Forces, and imposing a Tax of a tenth Penny upon every Man's Rents throughout the Kingdom, towards the maintenance of their Army to march into England; and advanced part of their Forces Southward: but General Lesly was resolved not to move with the whole Body till he was Master of Edinburgh Castle, conceiving it unsafe to leave a Place of that strength behind him, which was kept for the King by Ruthmyn the Governor, a Man of known Courage; who nevertheless being somewhat straitned for want of Ammunition and Victuals, and the falling away of the Water into the Rock of the Castle by the often discharging of his great Guns, was constrained to capitulate; and so the Castle was delivered up to the Covenanters. And now General Lesly prepares all things in order to a March with the whole Army.
Let us now return to give an account of Affairs in England, where we left in the Month of July.
The King's Army in their march to Newcastle in the Month of July, quartered much in the County of York; and being billetted upon the Inhabitants, grew to be a great Burden to the County: whereupon the Gentry of the said County of York assembled at the Assizes at York on the 28th of July, agreed upon this following petition to be presented to the King.
To the King's most excellent Majesty,
The humble Petition of the Gentry of your Majesty's County of York, now assembled at the Assizes at York, July 28. 1640.
May it please your Sacred Majesty,
'Your most humble Subjects shew unto your sacred Majesty, that in all humility this Country hath endeavoured to fulfil your Majesty's Commands with the forwardest of your Majesty's Subjects, and the last Year, in the execution of your Majesty's Royal Commands about the military Affairs, did expend one hundred thousand Pounds, to our great Impoverishment, and far above the proportion of other Counties; which altho at that time we were willing (out of a desire to serve your Majesty) to do, yet for the future the burden is so heavy, that we neither can, nor are able to bear it. Now upon this our cheerfulness to serve you, we thought to have found equal Favours with other Counties.
'But so it is, most gracious Sovereign, to our great Grief, and (as we conceive) to the great Disservice of your Majesty, we find our selves oppressed with the billeting of unruly Soldiers, whose Speeches and Actions tend to the burning of our Villages and Houses, and to whose Violences and Insolencies we are so daily subject, as we cannot say we enjoy our Wives, Children and Estates safely. Wherefore we are embolden'd humbly to present these our Complaints, beseeching, that as the billeting of Soldiers in any of your Subjects Houses against their Will, is contrary to the antient Laws of this Kingdom, confirmed by your Majesty in the Petition of Right, we most humbly pray, that this insupportable Burden be taken from us; left by their Insolencies some such sad Accidents may happen, as will be much displeasing unto your sacred Majesty and your loyal and obedient Subjects, who will never cease to pray for your Majesty's long and happy Reign over us.
- Philip Wharton.
- Ferdinando Fairfax.
- Henry Bellasis.
- William Savile.
- Francis Wortley.
- Thomas Gower.
- Jo. Hotham.
- Ed. Stanhope.
- Henry Grissith.
- William Sheiffith.
- Richard Darley.
- Jo. Ramsden.
- Hugh Cholmeley.
- Hugh Bethell.
- William Strickland.
- Thomas Remmington.
- Thomas Metham.
- Robert Strickland.
- Jo. Legard.
- George Buttler.
- Francis Mountone.
- Henry Cholmeley.
- George Trotter.
- Henry Darley.
- Richard Remmington.
- William Frankland.
- Thomas Hebblethwaite.
- Jo. Hotham.
- Christopher Pearcihey.
- Jos. Pearcey.
- Brian Stapleton.
- Philip Stapleton.
- Ing. Hopton.
- Henry Anderson.
- George Crosbie.
- George Marwood.
- Thomas Hisketh.
- Jo. Anlabie.
- Christopher Legard.
- Jo. Inglebie.
- Mar. Noreliffe.
- With divers others.
This Petition being thus agreed unto, was sent up by some of the Gentry of the County of York to the King, then at London; and the same being presented at the Council-Board (the Earl of Strafford being present) his Lordship thought fit to acquaint his Majesty, That he conceived the Petitioners were mistaken it computing the Charge of the last Year's Expedition, in saying it amounted to One hundred thousand Pounds: and for them at such a time as this is, thus to complain when an Invasion is threaten'd by the Scots, it seemed to be a mutinous Petition; with some other Expressions of Dissatisfaction with his Countrymen for offering such a Petition.
The King seizeth on the Bullion in the Tower.
In this Month of July the King's Necessities being great, he was pleased to give order to seize upon the Bullion in the Mint at the Tower, which was brought from beyond Seas to be coined there, which gave a great Alarm to the Spanish Merchants and others, with which they were obliged forthwith to acquaint their Correspondents and Partners beyond Seas: Yet they made an immediate Address to his Majesty, humbly declaring, That this Example would for ever after hinder the bringing of Bullion into the Tower, and would prove to his Majesty's great Prejudice, not only by the loss of the coinage of the Bullion, but in his Reputation (his Faith being pledged for the freedom of Merchants to bring in their Bullion into the Tower, and freely to carry the same out again.) So the result of that day's debate at the Council was, That the Owners of that Bullion should be desired to let the King have forty thousand Pounds of it, being the third part of the Money in the Mint; and his Majesty tendered them Security for the payment thereof, with Interest, by his Farmers of the Customs; whose Security the Merchants did accept, who accommodated his Majesty with the said Sum, which was afterwards duly repaid unto them; and thereupon the Council ordered, that the Foreign Post which was stayed upon the seizure of the Mint, should now be at liberty to carry Letters beyond Seas.
The King buys all the Pepper kept under the Old Exchange.
About the same time the King's Necessities for want of Money still increasing, a device was found out to perswade the King to buy all the Pepper the Merchants had in store lying under the Old Exchange, which amounted to a great Sum, for which the King gave Security to the Owners that the same should he paid: but the Pepper was immediately sold again at a much under value; yet it being ready Money to his Majesty, though with damage to himself, his Majesty was enabled thereby the better to carry on the War against the Scots.
A design to make Copper Money.
But these ways of getting Money were but shifts to stop one leak in twenty in the Ship; for that nothing but a standing Supply could constantly keep up an Army in good order and reputation; and thereupon it was debated in Council, to mix Silver and Copper together, and to coin to the value of three hundred thousand Pounds; and the Coin to be such that three Pence in Silver, added to a quantity of Copper, should be made to go current for twelve Pence: And that it be declared by Proclamation, that it should be current Money to pay the Army marching to Newcastle. This Business held several days debate; yet at last his Majesty and the Council thought fit to hear Sir Thomas Rowe his Judgment and Opinion in this business, being a Person well experienced in the Coins of Sweden and other Foreign Parts; who being permitted to speak his Opinion, he declared himself to the effect following.
Sir Thomas Rowe his Speech at the Council Table, touching Brass Money, or against mixing Brass Money with Silver; with many notable Observations thereupon, July 1640.
July 1640; Sir Thomas Rowe his Speech against Brass Money.
'Since it hath pleased this honourable Table to command, amongst others, my poor Opinion concerning this weighty Proposition of Money; I must humbly crave pardon, if with that Freedom that becometh my Duty to my good and gracious Master, and my Obedience to your great Commands, I deliver it so.
'I conceive this intended Project of enfeebling the Coin, will intrench very far both into the Honour, Justice and Profit of the King.
'All Estates do stand magis fama quam vi, as Tacitus saith of Rome; and Wealth in every Kingdom, is one of the essential Marks of their Greatness, and is best expressed in the Measures and Purity of their Moneys, Hence it was, that so long as the Roman Empire, a Pattern of the best Government, held up their Glory or Greatness, they ever maintained with little or no Change the Standard of their Coin; but after the loose time of Commodus had led into need by excess, by that shift of changing the Standard, the Majesty of that Empire fell by degrees: And as Vopiscus faith, the steps by which that State descended, were visible most by the general Alteration of their Coins; and there are no surer symptoms of Consumption in State, than the Corruption of Money.
'What Renown is left to the Posterity of Edward I. in amending the Standard both in Purity and Weight, from that of elder and barbarous times? It must needs stick as a blemish upon Princes that do the contrary.
'Thus we see it was with Henry VI. who, after he had begun with abating the Measures, he afterwards fell into abasing the matter, and granted Commission to Mifsend and others to practise Alchymy to serve his Mint.
'The extremity the State in general felt by this Grievance, besides the Dishonour it laid upon the Person of the King, was not the least disadvantage his disloyal Kinsman took to ingrace himself into the People's favour, to his Sovereign's ruin.
'When Henry VIII. had gained as much of Power and Glory abroad, of Love and Obedience at home, as ever any, he suffered a Loss by this Rock.
'When his Daughter Queen Elizabeth came to the Crown, she was happier in Counsel to amend that Error of her Father; for it appears in a Memorial of the Lord Treasurer Burleigh's Hand, that he and Sir Thomas Smith, a grave and learned Men, advised the Queen, that it was the Crown and the true Wealth of her self and People, to reduce the Standard to the antient Parity and Purity of her great Grand-father Edward IV. and that it was not the short end of Wits, nor starting holes of Devices, that can sustain the expence of a Monarchy, but sound and solid Courses: for so are the
words. She followed their Advice, and began to reduce the Moneys to their elder goodness, stiling this Work in her first Proclamation Anno 3. a famous Act. The next Year following Anno 3. having perfected it, as it after stood, she telleth her People by another Edict, That she had conquered now that Monster that had so long devoured them; meaning the variation of the Standard. And so long as that sad Adviser lived, she never (though often by Projectors importuned) could be drawn to any shift or change in her Moneys.
'To avoid the trouble of permutation, Coins were devised as a rule and measure of Merchandize and Manufactories, which if mutable, no Man can tell either what he hath, or what he oweth; no Contract can be certain, and so all Commerce both publick and private is destroyed, and Men again enforced to permutation with things not subject to Will and Fraud.
'The regulating of Coin hath been left to the care of Princes, who have ever been presumed to be the Fathers of the Common-wealth; upon their Honours they are Debtors and Warrants to the Subjects in that behalf.
'They cannot, saith Bodin, alter the price of Moneys to the prejudice of the Subject, without incurring the reproach of Faux moneyans: And therefore Stories term Philip de Belle, falsificator de monet. Integritas debet quœri ubi vultus noster imprimatur, saith Theodoret the Goth to his Mint-master. Quidnam erit tutum si nostra peccetur effigie? Princes must not suffer their Faces to warrant Falshood.
'Although some are not of opinion with the Mirror des Justices, the antientest Book of the Common Law, that Le Roy ne veut sa money impaire ne amander sans Passent des touts les Counties, which was the great Council of the Kingdom; yet we may pass over the Goodness and Grace of many other our Kings, as Edward I. Edward III. Henry IV. and V. and others, who out of the Rule of their Justice, Quod ad omnes spectat, ab omnibus debet approbari, have often advised with their People in Parliament, both for the Allay, Weight, Number of Pieces, Rate of Coinage and Exchange; and most with infinite goodness acknowledge the Care and Justice now of my good Master, and your Lordships Wisdoms, that would not upon, the Information of some few Officers of the Mint, before a free and careful Debate, put in execution this Project: yet I must, under your Lordship's Favour, suspect it would have taken away the tenth part of every Man's due Debt or Rent already, reserved throughout the Realm, not sparing the King; which could have been little less than a Species of that which the Roman Stories call, Tabula nova, from whence every Sedition hath sprung; as that of Marius Grantidianus in Livy. who pretending in his Consulship that the current Money was wasted, called in and altered the Standard; which grew so heavy and grievous to the People, (as the Author saith, because thereby no Man knoweth certainly his Wealth) that it caused a Tumult.
'In this last part, which is the dis-profit that the enfeebling the Coin will bring both to his Majesty and the Common-wealth; I must distinguish the Moneys of Gold and Silver as they are Bullion and Commodities, and as they are Measurer, the one of the extrinsick
quality, which is at the King's Pleasure, as all other Measures to name; the other, the intrinsick quality of pure Metal, which is in the Merchant to value; as their measure shall be either to be lessened or enlarged, so is the quantity of the Commodity that is to be exchanged. If then the King shall cut his Shilling or Pound in Money less than it was before, a less proportion of such Commodities as shall be exchanged for it must be received; it must then of force follow, that all things of necessity, as Victuals, Apparel, and the rest, as well as those of Pleasure, must be inhanced. If then all Men shall receive in their Shillings and Pounds a less proportion of Silver and Gold than they did before this projected alteration, and pay for what they buy at a Rate enhanced, it must cast upon all a double loss. What the King will suffer by it in the Rents of his Lands, is demonstrated enough by the alteration since the 18th of Edward III. when all the Revenues of the Crown came unto the Receipts, pondere & numero, after five Groats the Ounce; which since that time, by several changes of the Standard, is come to five Shillings, whereby the King hath two third parts of his just Revenues.
'In his Customs, the Book of Rates being regulated by Pounds and Shillings, his Majesty must lose alike, and so in all and whatsoever Moneys that after this he must receive; the profits of his Coinage cannot be much more permanent, the loss lasting, and so long it tendeth to the diminishing of his Revenue; for in every Pound tail of Gold is seven Ounces, one Penny-weight, and nineteen Grains loss, which is twenty five Pounds in account; and in seven hundred Pound tail of Silver 14l. 17s. more. And his Majesty shall undergo all this loss hereafter in all his Receipts, so shall he no less in all his Disbursements: the Wages of his Soldiers must be rateably advanced, as the Money is decreased. This Edward III. as appeareth by the Accounts of the Wardrobe and Exchequer, (as all the Kings after him) was enforced to do, as often as he lessened the Standard of the Moneys. What shall be bought for his Majesty's Service, must in like manner be inhanced on him. As his Majesty hath the greatest profits of Receipts and Issues, so must he of necessity taste of the most loss by this Device.
'It will destroy of discourage a great proportion of the Trade in England, impair his Majesty's Customs, for that part being not the least that passeth upon Trust and Credit, will be overthrown; for all Men being doubtful of diminution hereby of their Personal Estates, will call in their Moneys already out, and no Man will part with that which is lying by him upon apparent loss, as this must bring. What damage may befall the State by such a sudden change of Trade, is submitted to consideration.
'The Moneys both of Gold and Silver, formerly coined and abroad, richer than those intended, will be transported; which I conceive to be none of the least Inducements that hath drawn so many Goldsmiths to side in this Project, that they may be thereby Factors for the Strangers, who, by the Law of Mintage, bring but two Shillings Silver to the Pound weight, and four Shillings for Gold; whereas with us, the one is two Shillings six Pence, and the other five Shillings: many make that profit beyond the Sea, they cannot here; and so his Majesty's Mint will be unset of work.
'And as his Majesty's loss appeareth in the alteration of Money a fourteenth in the Silver, and a twenty fifth part in all the Gold he after shall receive; so shall it be with the Gentry and Nobility, and all other landed Men in all their former settled Rents, Annuities, Pensions, and Sums of Money: the like will fall upon the Labourers and Workmen in their Statute-Wages. And as their Receipts are lessened hereby, so are their Issues increased either by improving all Prices, dis-furnishing the Market, which must necessarily follow; for in the fifth of Edward VI. 3 Mary, 4 Eliz. as appeareth by their Proclamations, a Rumour only of Alteration caused such Effects; and they punished the Authors of such Reports with Imprisonment and Pillory. It cannot be doubted, but the projecting of such a Change must be of far greater consequence and danger to the State; and it would be wished that the Actors and Authors of such Disturbances in the Common-wealth at all times hereafter, might undergo a Punishment proportionable.
'It cannot be held an Advice of best Judgment, that layeth the loss upon our selves, and the gain upon our Enemies; for who are like to be in this the greatest Thrivers? Is it not visible that the Strangers who import Money for Bullion, our own Goldsmiths who are their Brokers, and the Hedge-minters of the Netherlands (as one termed them well) will have a fresh and full Trade by this Abasement? And we cannot do the Spanish King, our greatest Enemy, a greater Favour than by this, who being Lord of the Commodities by his West-Indies, we shall so advance them to our Impoverishment: for it is not in the power of any State to raise the price of their own Commodities; but it is the value that their Neighbours set upon them. Experience hath taught us, that the enfeebling of the Coin is but a shift for a while, as Drink to one in a Dropsy, to make him swell the more. But the State was never thoroughly cured, as we saw in Henry the Eighth's time and the late Queen's, until the Coin was made rich again.
'To conclude, If the proportion of Gold and Silver to each other be wrought to that Purity, by the Advice of the Artists, that neither may be too rich for the other, that the Mintage may be reduced to some proportion of Neighbour parts, and that the Issue of Native Commodities may be brought to overballance the entrance of the Foreign, we need not seek any shift; but shall again see our Trade to flourish, the Mint, as the Pulse of the Common-wealth, again to beat; and our Materials, by Industry, to be Mines of Gold and Silver, (which we all wish and work for) supported unto us, and the Honour of Justice, and Profit of his Majesty.
August 15. 1640.