Historical Collections of Private Passages of State: Volume 1, 1618-29. Originally published by D Browne, London, 1721.
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The King's Speech to the Lords
"My Lords, The last time I came hither, My errand was to inform you (as well as my memory could serve Me of things so long past) of the verity of My proceedings, and the caution used by Me in passing those Letters Patents, which are now in question before you, to the effect, that they might not be abused in the execution. And this I did by way of Declaration. But now I am come (understanding the time of your Censure at hand) to express my readiness to put in execution (which is the life of the Law) those things which ye are to sentence; (for even the Law it self is a dead Letter without execution) for which Office, God hath appointed Me in these Kingdoms. And though I assure My Self, that My former behaviour, in all the course of My life, hath made Me well known for a Just King; yet in this special case I thought fit to express My Own intentions out of My Own Mouth, for punishment of things complained of: The first proof whereof I have given, by the diligent search I caused to be made after the person of Sir Giles Mompesson, who, though he were fled, yet My Proclamation pursued him instantly: And as I was earnest in that, so will I be to see your Sentence against him put in execution.
"First, That duty I owe to God, who hath made Me a King, and tied Me to the care of Government by that politick Marriage betwixt Me and My People: For I do assure you, in the heart of an honest Man, and by the Faith of a Christian King, (which both ye and all the world know Me to be) had these things been complained of to Me before the Parliament, I would have done the office of a Just King, and out of Parliament have punished them as feverely, and peradventure more, than ye now intend to do. But now that they are discovered to Me in Parliament, I shall be as ready in this way, as I should have been in the other: For I confess I am ashamed (these things proving so as they are generally reported to be) that it was not My good fortune to be the only Author of the Reformation and punishment of them by some ordinary Courts of Justice. Nevertheless, since these things are new discovered by Parliament, which before I knew not of, nor could so well have discovered otherwise, in regard of that Representative Body of the Kingdom which comes from all parts of the Country, I will be never a whit the flower to do My part for the execution: For, (as many of you as are here have heard me often say, and so I will still say) so pretious unto me is the publick good, that no private person whatsoever (were he never so dear unto Me) shall be respected by Me, by many degrees, as the publick good; not only of the whole Common-wealth, but even of a particular Corporation that is a Member of it: And, I hope, that ye, My Lords, will do Me that right, to publish to My people this My heart and purpose.
"The second reason is, That I intend not to derogate or infringe any of the Liberties or Privileges of this House, but rather to fortifie and strengthen them: For never any King hath done so much for the Nobility of England as I have done, and will ever be ready to do. And whatsoever I shall say, and deliver unto you as My thought; yet when I have said what I think, I will afterwards freely leave the Judgment wholly to your House. I know you will do nothing but what the like hath been done before: And I pray you be not jealous, that I will abridge you of any thing that hath been used; for whatsoever the Precedents (in times of good Government) can warrant, I will allow; for I acknowledge this to be the Supreme Court of Justice, wherein I am ever present by Representation. And in this ye may be the better satisfied by My own presence, coming divers times among you. Neither can I give you any greater assurance, or better pledge of this My purpose, than that I have done you the honour to fet My only Son among you, and hope that ye, with him, shall have the means to make this the happiest Parliament that ever was in England.
"This I prosess and take comfort in, That the House of Commons at this time, have shewed greater love, and used Me with more respect in all their proceedings, then ever any House of Commons have hither to done to me, or, I think, to any of my Predecessors. As for this House of yours, I have always found it respective to Me, and accordingly do I, and ever did, favour you, as you well deserved. And I hope it will be accounted a happiness for you, that My Son doth now fit among you, who when it shall please God to fet him in My Place, will then remember, that he was once a Member of your House, and so be bound to maintain all your lawful priviledges, and like the better of you all the days of his life. But because the World, at this time, talks so much of Bribes, I have just cause to fear, the whole Body of this House hath bribed him to be a good Instrument for you upon all occasions: He doth so good Offices in all his reports to Me, both for the House in general, and every one of you in particular. And the like I may say of one that fits there, Buckingham, he hath been so ready upon all occasions of good Offices, both for the House in general, and every Member in particular. One proof therof, I hope, my Lord of Arundel hath already witnessed unto you, in his Report made unto you of My Answer, touching the Priviledges of the Nobility, how earnesty he spake unto me of that matter.
"Now my Lords, the time draws near of your Recess, whether formality will leave you time for proceeding now to sentence against all, or any of the persons now in question, I know nor, but for my part, since both Houses have dealt so lovingly and freely with me, in giving me a free gift, two Subsidies, in a more loving manner than hath been given to any King before, and so accepted by me: And since I cannot yet retribute by a general Pardon (which hath by form usually been reserved to the end of a Paliament) the least I can do, (which I can forbear no longer) is to do something in present, for the case and good of my people. Three Patents at this time have been complained of, and thought great Grievances.
"My purpose is to strike them all dead; and that time may not be lost, I will have it done presently. That concerning Ale-houses, I would have to be left to the managing of Justices of the peace, as before. That of Gold and Silver Thread was most vilely execured, both for wrong done to mens persons, as also for abuse in the stuff; for it was a kind of false Coin. I have already sreed the persons that were in prison, I will now alsodamn the patent, and this may seem instead of a pardon. All these three I will have recalled by Proclamation, and with you to advise of the sittest form to that purpose.
"I hear also there is another Bill amongst you against Informers. I desire you, my Lords, that as you tender My Honour, and the good of My people, ye will put that Bill to an end, as soon as you can; and at your next meeting to make it one of your first works. For I have already shewed my dislike of that kind of people openly in Star-chamber; and it will be the greatest case to me, and all those that are near about me at Court, that may be: For, I remember, that since the beginning of this Parliament, Buckingham hath told me, he never found such quiet and rest, as in this time of Parliament, from Projectors and Informers, who at other times miserably vexed him at all hours.
"And now I confess, that when I looked before upon the face of the Government, I thought (as every man would have done) that the people were never so happy as in my time: For, even as at divers times, I have looked upon many of my Copices, riding about them, and they appeared on the out-side very thick and well grown, unto me; but when I turned into the midst of them, I found them all bitten within, and full of plains and bare spots; like the Apple or Pear, fair and smooth without, but when you cleave it asunder, you find it rotten at heart. Even so this Kingdom, the External Government being as good as ever it was, and, I am sure, as learned Judges as ever it had, and, I hope, as honest, administring Justice within it; and for Peace, both at home and abroad, I may truly say, more settled and longer lasting, than ever any before; together with as great plenty as ever: So as it was to be thought, that every man might sit in safety under his own Vine and Fig-tree: Yet I am ashamed (and it makes My hair stand upright) to consider, how in this time My people have been vexed and polled by the vile execution of Projects, Patents, Bills of Conformity, and such like; which besides the trouble of My people, have more exhausted their purses, than Subsidies would have done.
"Now, my Lords, before I go hence, since God hath made Me the Great Judge of this Land under him, and that I must answer for the Justice of the same: I will therefore, according to my place, remember you of some things, though I would not teach you; for no Man's Knowledge can be so good, but their Memories will be the better to be refreshed. And now, because e are coming to give Judgment, (all which moves from the King) that you may the better proceed, take into your care two things. 1. To do Bonum. 2. To do it Bene.
"I call Bonum, when all is well proved whereupon ye Judge; for then ye build upon a sure Foundation. And by Bone, I understand, that ye proceed with all Formality and Legality, wherein you have fitoccasion to advise with the Judges, who are to assist you with their Opinions in cases of that nature; and woe be to them if they advise you not well. So the ground being good, and the form orderly, it will prove a course fitting this High Court of Parliament.
"In Sentence ye are to observe two parts: First, to recollect that which is worthy of judging and cenfucing: And secondly, to proceed against these, as against such-like crimes properly. We doubt there will be many matters before you; some complained of out of Passion, and some out of just cause of Grievance: Weigh both, but be not carried away with the impertinent discourses of them that name, as well innocent men as guilry. Proceed judicially, and spare none where ye find just cause to punish: But let your proceedings be according to Law, and remember, that Laws have not their Eyes in their Necks, but in their Foreheads. For, the Moral Reason for the punishment of Vices in all Kingdoms and Common-wealths, is, because of the breach of Laws standing in force: For, none can be punished for breach of Laws by Predestination, before they be made.
"There is yet one particular that I am to remember you of. I hear that Sir Henry Telverton (who is now in the Tower, upon a Sentence given in the Star-chamber against him, for deceiving My trust) is touched concerning a Warrent Dormant which he made, while he was My Attorny. I protest I never heard of this Warrent Dormant before; and I hold it as odious a matter, as any is before you. And, if for respect to Me, ye have forborn to meddle with him in Examination, because he is My Prisoner, I do here freely remit him unto you, and put him into your hands.
"And this is all I have to say unto you at this time, wishing you to proceed justly and nobly, according to the Orders of your House; and I pray God to bless you; and you may assure your selves of My assistance. Wishing, that what I have said this day among you, may be entred into the Records of this House.
- 1. That he shall be degraded of the Order of Knighthood, with reservation of the Dignity of his Wife and Children.
- 2. That he shall stand perpetually, in the degree of his person, Outlawed for Misdemeanour and Trespass.
- 3. That his testimony be received in no Court, nor he to be of any Inquisition of Jury.
- 4. That he shall be expected out of all General Pardons to be hereafter granted.
- 5. That he shall be imprisoned during life.
- 6. That he shall not approach within twelve miles of the Court, or Prince, nor of the King's High-Court usually beld at Westminster.
- 7. And that the King's Majesty shall have the profit of his Lands for life, and all his Goods and Chattels so forfeited; and that he shall undergo Fine and Ransome; which was set at Ten thousand pounds.
- 8. Disabled to hold or receive any Office under the King, or for the Common-wealth.
- 9. That he shall be ever held an infamous person.
- 10. And his Majesty added thereunto, Perpetual Banisbment.
Sir Francis Michel, a Projector, and Mompesson's Compartner, was fined One thousand pounds, degraded, and imprisoned in the same place in Finsbury Fields, which he had prepared for others: for the Tower was thought too honourable for such a person. He rode likewise from Westminster into London with his face to the Horse-tail. Likewise the King revoked his Letters Patents, Commissions and Proclamations concerning Inns and Ale-houses, and the Manufactures of Gold and Silver Thread.
To these Reformations the King gave encouragement by his Third Speech in Parliament, wherein he declared much against Corruption and Bribery in Judicatures; professing, That no person should be preferred before the publick good, and that no offender should go unpunished. In the same Speech he gave them thanks for the Subsidies given in the beginning of the Parliament and for the Title of the Grant, and proceeded to open his present State in relation to his Son in Law, the Prince Elector Palatine; how the Sumsgranted by the Act of Subsidy were taken up before-hand for the defence of the Palatinate, and the maintenance of his Children expelled out of their Country, and for the raising of an Army for that recovery: That he had procured a short Truce, and did hope to obtain a general Peace. But the Charges of sending Ambassadors over Christendom, or an Army into the Palatinate, in case a Peace were not settled, could not be born, but by the grant of more Subsidies. Moreover, he protested before God, that he would not dissolve the Parliament, till the matters in agitation were finished.
Soon after, the Lord Chancellor Bacon was proceeded against, and a Conference of both Houses was held concerning him: Where, first, the Commons observed his incomparable good parts, which they highly commended: Secondly, they magnified the place he held, from whence Bounty, Justice, and Mercy were to be distributed to the Subjects; whither all great Causes were drawn, and from whence there was no Appeal, in case of injustice, or wrong done, save to the Parliament. Thirdly, he was accused of great Bribery and Corruption in this eminent Place, and the particulars were laid open. Then they concluded, that this matter, which concerned a person of so great eminency, might not depend long before their Lordships; but that the examination of Proofs be expedited, that as he shall be found upon Trial, either he or his Accusers might be punished.
After this the Marquis of Buckingham, Lord Admiral, declared to the House of Lords, that he had received a Letter from the Chancellor, expressing that he was indisposed in health; but whether he lived or died, he would be glad to preserve his Honour and Fame as far as he was worthy, desiring to be maintained in their good opinions without prejudice, till his cause was heard; that he should not trick up innocency with cavillation, but plainly and ingenuously declare what he knew or remembred; being happy, that he had such Noble Peers, and Reverend Prelates to dilcern of his Cause; That he desired no privilege of Greatness for fubterfuge of Guiltiness, but meaned to deal fairly and plainly with their Lordships, and to put himself upon their Honours and Favours.
May it please your Lordships,
I shall humbly crave at your hands a benign interpretation of that which I shall now write: for words that come from wasted spirits, and oppressed minds, are more safe in being deposited to a noble construction, then being circled with any reserved caution.
This being moved (and, as I hope, obtained of your Lordships) as a protection to all that I shall say, I shall go on; but with a very strange entrance, as may seem to your Lordships, at first: For, in the midst of a state of as great affliction as, I think, a mortal man can endure (Honour being above Life) I shall begin with the professing of gladness in some things.
The next, That after this example, it is like that Judges will flie from anything in the likeness of Corruption (though it were at a great distance) as from a Serpent; which tends to the purging of the Courts of Justice, and reducing them to their true honour and splendour. And in these two points (God is my witness) though it be my fortune to be the Anvile upon which these two effects are broken and wrought, I take no small comfort. But to pass from the motions of my heart (whereof God is my Judge) to the merits of my Cause, whereof your Lordships are Judges, under God and his Lieutenant; I do understand there hath been heretofore expected from me some justification; and therefore I have chosen one only justification, instead of all others, out of the justification of Job. For after the clear submission and confession which I shall now make unto your Lordships, I hope I may say, and justifie with Job in these words, I have not hid my sin, as did Adam, nor concealed my faults in my bofom. This is the only justification which I will use.
It refresh therefore, that without Fig-leaves I do ingeniously confess and acknowledge, that having understood the particulars of the Charge, not formally from the House, but enough to inform my Conscience and Memory: I find matter sufficient and full, both to move me to desert my defence, and to move your Lordships to condemn and censure me. Neither will I trouble your Lordships by singling these particulars which I think might fall off. Quid te exemptajuvat spinis de pluribus uva? Neither will I prompt your Lordships to observe upon the proofs where they come not home, or the scruple touching the credits of the Witnesses. Neither will I represent to your Lordships, how far a Defence might, in divers things, extenuate the offence, in respect of the time and manner of the guilt, or the like Circumstances; but only leave these things to spring out of your more noble thoughts, and observations of the evidence, and examinations themselves, and charitably to wind about the particulars of the Charge, here and there, as God shall put into your mind, and so submit my self wholly to your Piety and Grace.
Your Lordships are not simply Judges, but Parliamentary Judges; you have a further extent of Arbitrary Power than other Courts; and if you be not tied by ordinary course of Courts, or Precedents, in points of strictness and severity much less in points of Mercy and Mitigation: And yet if any thing which I shall move, might be contrary to your honourable and worthy End, (the introducing a Reformation) I should not seek it. But herein I beseech your Lordships to give me leave to tell you a story.
Titus Manlius took his Son's life, for giving Battel against the prohibition of his General: Not many years after, the like severity was pursued by Papirius Cursor, the Dictator, against Quintus Maximus; who being upon the point to be sentenced, was, by the intercession of some particular persons of the Senate, spared: Whereupon Livy maketh this grave and gracious observation, Neque minus firmata eft Disciplina Militaris periculo Quinti Maximi, quam miserabili supplicio Titi Manlii. The Discipline of War was no less established by the questioning of Quintus Maximus, than by the punisbment of Titus Manlius. And the same reason is in the reformation of Justice; for the questioning of Men in eminent Places, hath the same terror though not the same rigour with the punisbment. But my Cause stays not there; for my humble defire is, That his Majesty would take the Seal into his hands; which is a great downfal, and may sorve, I hope, in it self, for an expiation of my faults.
Therefore, if Mercy and Mitigation be in your Lordship's power, and no way cross your ends, Why should I not hope of your favour and commiseration? Tour Lordships will be pleased to behold your chief pattern, the King our Sovereign, a King of incomparable Clemency, and whose heart is instructable for Wisdom and Goodness; And your Lordships will remember there sat not these hundred years before, a Prince in your House, and never such a Prince, whose presence deserveth to be made memorable by Records, and Acts mixt of Mercy and Justice. Tour selves are either Nobles (and compassion ever beateth in the Veins of Noble Blood) or Reverend Prelates, who are the Servants of him that would not break the bruised Read, or quench the smoking Flax. You all sit upon a high Stage, and therefore cannot but be sensible of the change of humane conditions, and of the fall of any from high place.
Neither will your Lordships forget, that there are Vitia temporis, as well as Vitia hominis; and the beginning of Reformation hath the contrary power to the Pool of Bethesda; for, that had strength to cure him only that was first cast in, and this hath strength to cure him only that is first cast in; and for my part, I wish it may stay there, and go no further.
Lastly, I assure my self, your Lordships have a noble feeling of me, as a Member of your own Body, and one that in this very Session had some taste of your loving affections, which, I hope, was not a lightning before the death of them, but rather a spark of that grace, which now in the conclusion will more appear: And therefore my humble suit to your Lordships, is, That my penitent Submission may be my Sentence, the loss of my Seal my punishment, and that your Lordships would recommend me to his Majesty's Grace and Pardon for all that is past. God's holy Spirit be among you.
The Parliament not satisfied with this general Acknowledgment, do require the Chancellor, either to confess the particulars of the Charge, or they would descend to proof against him. Hereupon he came to an express and plain acknowledgment, even to confess his Servants receipt of a dozen of Buttons, as a gift, in a cause depending before him; and put himself upon their Lordship's mercy. And he further said, "That he was never noted for an avaritious man; and the Apostle faith, Covetousness is the root of all evil; and hoped their Lordships did find him in a state of Grace, for that in all particular Charges against him, there were few or none that were not almost two years old: whereas those that have the habit of corruption, do commonly wax worse and worse; and for his Estate, it was so mean and poor, that his care was now chiefly to satisfy his debts. The Lords afterwards pronounced him guilty of the charge exhibited against him, and in the presence of the Commons gave sentence, That he should undergo Fine and Ransome, and be made incapable to bear Office, &c.
This Learned Peer, eminent over the Christian World for his many Writings extant in Print, was known to be no admirer of Money, yet had the unhappiness to be defiled therewith: He treasured up nothing, either for himself or his Family, for he both lived and died in debt; he was over-indulgent to his Servants, and connived at their takings, and their ways betrayed him to that error; they were prosuse and expensive, and had at command whatever he was Master of. The gifts taken were, for the most part, for interlocutory Orders; his Decrees were generally made with so much equity, that though gifts rendred him suspected for injustice, yet never any Decree made by him was reversed as unjust, as it hath been observed by some knowing in our Laws.
About the same time Sir Henry Telverton was accused by the Commons; who, by charging him, rendred him the less offender; and he thereby had the opportunity to speak that at the Bar, which he durst not say in the Tower, where he was yet a prisoner, upon a late Sentence in the Starchamber, for passing some Clauses in the City Charter, when he was Attourny-General, not agreeable to his Majesty's Warrant. The matter charged against him by the Commons, was, for committing divers persons for not entring into Bonds to restrain their own Trades: That he signed Dormant Warrants, having no authority for the same: That he advised the Patents of Gold and Silver Thread, to be re-assumed into the King's hands, conceiving the same to be a Monopoly, and advised the Patentees to proceed by contract with the King: That four thousand Quo Warranto's were granted by him touching the Patents of Inns, and but two to come to Trail: That he commenced divers Suits in the Exchequer, touching the Gold and Silver Thread, but did not prosecute the same.
Which Charge being read unto him, he said, he thought himself happy in the midst of his Majesty's disfavour, that his Majesty was pleased to cast the Grace upon him, as to send him to this Honourable House; That Innocence hath her present Answer, but Wisdom requires time. Therefore he made it his humble suit for time, to give his further Answer; adding withall, That the chief Complaint against him was, concerning the two Patents of Gold and Silver Thread, Inns and Osteries. He said, That is he deserved well of his Majesty, it was in that matter; That the King and Subjects were more abused by that Patent, than by any other; and that he suffered at that day for opposing that Patent, as he took it.
The King being informed of this passage in his Speech, came in person to the House of Peers, took notice thereof, saying, It seemed strange unto him, that Sir Henry Telverton should be questioned here upon any thing, save the Patent of Gold and Silver Thread; for his Majesty did not conceive, that any matter was complained of against him touching the Inns and Osteries, whereof he was also examined: touching which Patent, Mompesson had made a complaint to his Majesty, that Telverton refused to send any Process of Quo Warranto against a multitude of Innkeepers; and his Majesty accepted Telverton's modest answer, That he misliked those proceedings against his Subjects His Majesty, to clear himself, did lay open the many former just mislikes which he had against Sir Henry, and his gentle proceedings against him for the same. And when his Majesty intended to question him, Buckingham Lord Admiral besought him not to think of any private wrongs done to his Lordship; His Majesty added, That in the examination of the business touching the Charter of London, Telverton had first justified himself by his Majesty's Warrant; and that by that Warrant, he might have given away all London from him; yet at length he made a good Submission in the beginning, but in the end he said, he had not wronged his Majesty in his Prerogative. And sith that now Telverton doth tax his Majesty, that he suffered for his good service done, his Majesty requires the Lords, who are able to do him justice, to punish Telverton for his slander.
"I Cannot but present my self this day before your Highness, and my Lords with much fear, with more grief; for I am compassed with to many terrors from his Majesty, as I might well hide my head with Adam. His Lordship's displeasure (meaning Buckingham) wounds me more, than the conscience of any these facts; yet had I rather die, than the Common-wealth should so much as receive a scratch from me. I that in none of my actions feared that great man, on whom they (viz. Sir Edward Villars and Sir Giles Mompesson) did depend, much less would I fear them, who were but his shadow. But, my most noble Lords, knowing that my Lord of Buckingham was ever at his Majesty's hand, ready upon every occasion to hew me down, out of the honest fear of a Servant, not to offend so gracious a Master, as his Majesty hath ever been to me, I did commit them (viz. the Silk-men.)
And speaking concerning the Patent of Inns, he said, "I cannot here in but bemoan my unhappiness, that in the last cause, labouring by all lawful means to advance the honest profit of his Majesty; and in this (with the sight almost of my own ruine) to preserve his Majesty's honour, and the quiet of the People, I am yet drawn in question, as if I had equally dishonoured his Majesty in both.
"When Sir Giles saw I would not be wooed to offend his Majesty in his direction, I received a Message by Mr. Emmerson, sent me from Sir Giles, That I would run my self upon the Rocks, and that I should not hold my place long, if I did thus withstand the Patent of Inns, or to this effect. Soon after came Sir Giles himself, and like an Herauld at Arms, told me to this effect, He had a message to tell me from the Lord of Buckingham, that I should not hold my place a month, if I did not conform my self in better measure to the Patent of Inns; for my Lord, had obtained it by his favour, and would maintain it by his power: How could I but startle at this message? for I saw, here was a great assuming of power to himself, to place and displace an Officer. I saw my self cast upon two main Rocks, either treacherously to forsake the standing his Majesty had set me in, or else to endanger my self by a by-blow, and so hazard my Fortune.
"I humbly beseech your Lordships: Nature will struggle when she sees her place and means of living thus assaulted; for now it was come to this, Whether I would obey his Majesty, or my Lord, if Sir Giles spake true. Yet I resolved in this, to be as stubborn as Mordecai, not to stoop or pass those gracious bounds his Majesty had prescribed me.
"Soon after, I found the message in part made good; for all the Profits almost of my Place were diverted from me, and turned to an unusual Channel, to one of my Lord's Worthies, that I retained little more than the name of Attorny. It became so fatal and so penal, that it became almost the loss of a Suit to come to me. My place was but the seat of Winds and Tempests.
"Howbeit, I dare say, is my Lord of Buckingham had but read the Articles exhibited in this place against Hugh Spencer, and had known the danger of placing and displacing Officers about a King, he would not have pursued me with such bitterness. But by opposing my Lord in this Patent of Inns, in the Patent of Ale-houses, in the Irish Customs and in Sir Robert Nanton's Deputation of his place in the Court of Wards: These have been my overthrow, and for these I suffer at this day in my Estate and Fortune (not meaning to say, I take it, but as I know, and for my humble oppositions to his Lordship) above Twenty thousand pounds.
The King hearing of this Speech, commanded the Lord Treasurer to acquaint the House so Lords, That he understood that Telverton, being called before them the other day as a Delinquent, answered not as a Delinquent, but as a Judge, or Accuser of a Member of that House, the Lord of Buckingham; saying, He suffered for the Patent of Inns, or to that effect: That he was so far from excusing or extenuating of his Offence the last day here, that he hath aggravated the same. Wherefore his Majesty's pleasure is, That himself will be Judge of what concerns his Majesty; for that which concerns the Lord of Buckingham, his Lordship hath befought his Majesty, that that might be left to the House; and so his Majesty leaves that wholly to their Lordships.
The Lords made an humble Return to his Majesty, That forasmuch as he was once pleased to make their House Judge of those words formerly spoken by Sir Henry Telverton, which touch'd his Majesty's Honour, that his Majesty will be pleased not to resume the same out of their hands, but so far to tender the privileges of their House, as to continue his first resolution: Which afterwards the King condescended unto.
The Lords first examining Emerson, (who varied in the matter he was examined about) proceeded to sentence Sir Henry Telverton, not up on the Charge exhibited against him by the Commons, but for the words spoken by the by; and declared, That the said Sir Henry Telverton for his Speeches uttered here in the Court, which do touch the King's Majesty his Honour, shall be fined to the King in Ten thousand marks, be imprisoned during the King's pleasure, and make a Submission unto his Majesty. And for the scandal committed in these words of his against the Lord Marquis of Buckingham, That he should pay him Five thousand marks, and make his submission.
As soon as the Judgment was pronounced against him, the Lord Marquis of Buckingham stood up, and did freely remit him the said Five thousand marks; for which Sir Henry humbly thanked his Lordship: and the House of Peers agreed to move his Majesty, to mitigate Sir Henry Telverton's Fine, and the Prince his Highness offered to move his Majesty therein; which accordingly was done, and Sir Henry was set at liberty; the Duke reconciled to him; he afterwards preferred to be a Judge, and was esteemed a man Valde eruditus in Lege.
But the Treaties with the Emperor and the King of Spain were much disrelished; Gondomar had raised the People's fury, and was reviled and assaulted in London streets: Whereupon the day following, the Privy Council commanded the Recorder of London to be careful in the strict examination of an insolent and barbarous affront, offered to the Spanish Ambassador and his People, for which the King would have exemplary Justice done. And forasmuch as his Majesty was informed, that there was a Fellow already apprehended, though not for casting of stones, or threatning the Ambassador's person, as some are said to have done; yet for using railing speeches against him, calling him Devil, or words to that purpose, it was his Majesty's pleasure, that that Fellow without any further delay, on the morrow in the forenoon, be publickly and sharply whipt through London, beginning at Algate, and so through the streets along by the place where the affront was offered, towards Fleetstreet, and so to Temple-Bar, without any manner of favour.
By means of his power with the King, he had transported Ordnance, and other Warlike Provisions, to furnish the Spanish Arsenals; and it was believed, that he underhand wrought the sending of Sir Robert Mansel in to the Mediterranean Sea, to fall upon the Pirates of Algier. The Merchants of this Kingdom, by them much infested, being also induced to move for this Expedition, wherein the English Fleet performed gallantly, and advancing within the reach of Canon and Small-shot, which from the Land showred like Hail upon them, fired the Pirate's Ships within their own Horbor. Nevertheless hereby our Strength was diverted, our Treasure exhausted, and the Spanish Fleet and Merchants secured from those Robbers, and Spain left at liberty to assist in subduing the Palatinate.
In Bohemia, the Emperor having well-nigh subdued and settled the Country, proceeded to the Trial and Execution of the Authors of the late Commotions; some were condemned to perpetual imprisonment, and others to death; and the Heads of many eminent persons were fixed on the Towers in Prague, and their Bodies quarter'd. After this the Emperor began, both in Austria and Hungaria, to imprison divers that assisted the Bohemians, and caused Process to be made against them. The Marquis of Jagerndorfe, who stirred in the County of Glatsburg, and raised forces by Commission from the Elector Palatine, published Letters against the Executions in Bohemia, as cruel and barbarous.
The Emperor put forth an Answer, and said, That the Marquis published those things maliciously, forasmuch as in Bohemia was the Original sedition, and the head that infected the members: That some few persons, Authors of the troubles, not in hatred of their Religion, but for their Rebellion, have been punished by the hand of Justice, And he declared further, That the like exemplary Justice should not be done in other places, but that the Articles of the Peace should be observed.
By this time the Parliament having fate about four months, King James was desirous to give them a time of vacancy. The Lord Treasurer, by the King's command, declared unto the Houses, That His Majesty, by the advice of his Privy Council, thought fit to adjourn the Parliament, left the season of the year, by the continual concourse of people, should cause infection. Also, that the Lieutenants and Justices might be in the Country; and the Adjournment keeping the Parliament still in being, was better then Proroguing. That his Majesty had already redressed corruption in Courts of Justice, and by his Proclamation called in the Patents of Inns, of Osteries, and of Gold and Silver Thread, and cherished the Bill against Informers and Monopolies.
The Commons were troubled at this Message, and desired a Conference with the Lords, and moved them to petition the King to forbear the Adjournment. The King takes notice of it; and the Treasurer acquainted the Lords, that a petition of this nature could not be pleasing to his Majesty, it seeming to derogate from his Prerogative, who alone hath power to Call, Adjourn, and Determine Parliaments. The Commons at a further Conference, declared their hearty sorrow and passionate grief at the King's resolution, which, they said, cutoff the performance of what they had consulted, and promised for the publick weal.
The Lords sitting in their Robes, the King came and made a Speech, takes notice of his Message to both Houses, and gave their Lordships thanks for obeying the same, and acknowledging his power to Call, Adjourn, and Dissolve Parliaments, and for refusing to joyn with the Commons in the Petition for Non-adjournment. And whereas some had given out, that no good had been done this Parliament, he put them in mind, that the two Patents, grievous to the Common-wealth, were called in, and that the Parliament had censured the offenders for an example to all ages. And, if they desired it, he offered them eight or ten days longer fitting, to expedite Bills; but said, that at the request of the Commons he would not grant it. The Lords had a Conference with the Commons; after which, they moved the King to continue their fitting for fourteen days; which was granted, and the Commons were satisfied with the resolution of Adjournment.
A Committee of both Houses afterwards attending the King, he told them how ill he took it, that the Commons should dispute his Reasons of Adjournment; all power being in him alone to Call, Adjourn, Prorogue, and Dissolve Parliaments. And on June 4. he declared for an Adjournment till November following; and that he will in the mean time, of his own Authority, redress Grievances. And his Majesty, as General Bishop of the Land, did offer his Prayers to God for both the Houses; and admonished them, That when they go into the Country, they give his people a good account and satisfaction, both as to the Proceedings, and to the Adjournment of the Parliament.
The House of Commons, immediately before their recess, taking to heart the miseries of the Palatinate, resolved, that the drawing back in so good a Cause, should not be charged on their slackness; and there upon drew up this following Declaration, with an universal consent.
The commons assembled in Parliament taking into most serious consideration the present state of the King's Children abroad, and the generally afflicted estate of the true Professors of the same Cmiffian Religion, professed by the Church of England, in foreign parts; and being touched with a true sense and fellow feeling of their distresses, as Members of the same Body, do, with unanimous consent, in the name of themselves, and the whole Body of the kingdom (whom they represent) declare unto his most excellent Majesty, and to the whole World their hearty grief and sorrow for the same: and do not only joyn with them in their humble and debout prayers unto Almighty God, to protect this true Church, and to abert the dangers now threatned, but also with one heart and voice do solemnly protest, That if His Majesty's pious endeavours by Treaty, to procure their peace and safety, shall not take that good effect which is desired in Treaty; (wherefore they humbly beseech His Majesty not to suffer any longer delay) That then upon signification of His Majestys pleasure in Parliament, they shall be ready, to the utmost of their powers, both with their Lives and Fortunes, to assist him so, as by the Divine help of Almighty God, (which is never wanting unto those, who, in his fear, shall undertake the defence of his own Cause) he may be able to do that with his Sword, which by a peacable course shall not be effected.
After the recess of Parliament, the King, by Proclamation, declared his Grace to his Subjects in matters of publick Grievance: And taking notice, that many great affairs, debated in Parliament, could not be brought to perfection in so short a time, and that the Commons thought it convenient to continue the same Session in course of Adjournment; and withal observing that divers of those particulars required a speedy determination and settlement for his Peoples good, and that they are of that condition and quality, as that he needeth not the assistance of Parliament to reform the same, and would have reformed them before the Parliament, if the true state of his Subjects Grievances had been made known unto him; He hath determined, and doth declare an immediate redress therein, by his own Regal Authority, as in the business of Informers, of Miscarriages of Ministers in Chancery, of the Patents for Gold and Silver-Thread, for Licensing Pedlars and Petty-Chapmen, for the sole Dressing of Arms, for the Exportation of Lifts and Shreds, and for the sole making of Tobacco-pipes, Cards, and the like. And besides the redress of these Grievances, he will enlarge his Grace unto other kinds for the Subjects ease: And that both his own, and the ears of his Privy-Council shall be open to his Peoples modest and just Complaints.
Moreover, a second Proclamation was issued forth against excess of licentious speech touching State-affairs: For, notwithstanding the strictness of the King's former Command, the Peoples inordinate liberty of unreverend speech increased daily. Wherefore the King threatned severity, as well against the Concealers of such Discourses, as against the boldness of audacious Tongues and Pens.
The King was plied from Spain and Rome, to enlarge his favours to Popish Recusants: For reports were then brough to Rome, That the Catholicks of England, Scotland, and Ireland, were cruelly used. And besides this, there went a rumour, that King James in a Speech in Parliament had declared, That notwithstanding the Marriage with Spain, the English Catholicks should not be one jot in better condition. But the King said no more than this, "That if any of that party did grow insolent, let his People count him unworthy to reign, if he gave not extraordinary punishment." Thus was the King intangled in the ways which he had chosen: For it was not possible for him at once to please his People, and to satisfie his Forreign Interests.
About the same time the Lord Digby, who was sent Ambassador to the Emperor, had Audience at Vienna. The principal Heads of his Embassy were these, That the Elector Palatine, and the Children of the King of Great Britain his Master, might be received into the Emperor's favour, and restor'd to all their Hereditary Goods, and the Prince Elector himself to the Title which he enjoyed before the troubles of Bohemia: That the Ban Imperial published against him, should be revoked, and the execution thereof suspended; which being done, the King of Great Britain will undertake, that the Palatine shall render due obedience to his Imperial Majesty, and Submit to Conditions meet and honest.
To these Demands he received Answer, "That the Emperor had a very good will to gratifie the King of Great Britain, and those other Kings and Princes that had made the same request for the Palatine: But he could not grant it, because the Palatine to this hour useth the Counsels of many of the Electors and Princes, in opposition to the Emperor: And when the Emperor had agreed to a Cessation of Arms, according to the desires of the King of Great Britain, and had ordered the suspending all Hostility in the Lower Palatinate, at the same time the Palatine gave Commission to raise Forces, and do acts of hostility, which was put in execution by Count Mansfeld and Marquis Jagerndorf, to begin new troubles in Bohemia, Silefia, and Moravia. Nevertheless the Emperor, having appointed an Assembly to meet at Ratisbone, will there make known the desires of the King of Great Britain, who shall know what Resolution is there taken concerning the Palatine.
Albert Archduke of Flanders, at the request of King James, had made intercession for the Palsgrave. After his decease, the Archduchess his Wife continued the same mediation by Letters to the Emperor. And withal, the King's Ambassador further proposed these Conditions for a Cessation of Arms, and a Suspension of the Ban Imperial; That Mansfeld and Jagerndorf shall observe the Agreement; otherwise, the Prince Palatine shall revoke their Commissions, and declare them his Enemies, And that their Garrisons in Bohemia shall be rendred to the Emperor.
The Emperor answered the Archduchess, That the Archduke her Husband, in his life-time, had exceedingly recommended the Interposition of the King of Great Britain, and the great prudence of that King in not approving the actions of the Palatine: Which Recommendation, as to a Treaty and Cessation of Arms, he shall entertain, and consult thereupon with the Deputies of the Electors and Princes of the Empire.
The English Ambassador departed from Vienna to the Duke of Bavaria, who had then entred the Upper Palatinate, and had published the Emperor's Declaration against Mansfeld and his Adherents, and exhorted the States and Princes there to execute the same; and the rather, for that he had not heard of any King, Elector, Prince, or State; no, not so much as the King of Great Britain, that had approved the seditious Revolt of the Bohemians, except some few States and Princes, who for interest did countenance the same. The Ambassador found the Bavarian acting hostility, and committing great spoils in the Country, and resolving to reject all propositions of Peace or Cessation. Nor could the Emperor agree upon any Truce without the Duke of Bavaria: First, in respect of his agreement, neither to make War or Peace, without the consent of the said Duke; which hapned, because upon the former Truce made with the Archduke, the Soldiers that were in the Lower Palatinate, and wanted employment, came up into the Higher Palatinate to Count Mansfeld, and much infested the Duke of Bavaria. Secondly, in regard the Duke of Bavaria had a great part of Austria in pledge for his satisfaction. Thirdly, because the Emperor was barred from all other passages, but through Bavaria, by Bethlem Gabor, Jagerndorf, and Budiani. And the Duke, upon receipt of the Emperor's Letter touching the Truce, sent the Lord Digby a deriding answer, That there was no need to labour for a Truce, for the Wars were at an end, in that he had agreed with Count Mansfeld; nor did he doubt of keeping both Palatinates in peace, till the Emperor and Palsgrave were agreed. So the King received but a slender return of the Lord Digby's Embasy to the Emperor, for the restoring the Elector Palatine. But the Emperor's full meaning in this business may be found at large in his own Letter to Don Baltazar de Zuniga, a prime Counseller of State in Spain, to be by him represented to the King his Master, to this effect.
That beholding the admirable Providence of God over him, he is bound to use that most notable Victory to the honour of God, and the extirpation of all Seditions and Factions, which are nourished chiefly among the Calvinists; left that judgment which the Prophet threatned the King of Israel should fall upon him, Because thou hast dismissed a man worthy of death, thy soul shall be for his soul. The Palatine keeps now in Holland, not only exiled from the Kingdom which he rasbly attempted, but despoiled almost of all his own Territories, expecting, as it were, the last cast of Fortune: whom if by an impious kind of commiseration, and his subtle petitioning, he shall be perswaded to restore, and nourish in his bosome as a troden half-living Snake, what can be expect less than a deadly sting from him, who, in regard of his guilt, can never be faithful, but will alway gape for occasions to free himself from his fears, and the genius of whose Sect will make him an Enemy, or an unfound Friend, to the House of Austria, and all other Catholick Princes?
Wherefore firmly casting in his mind that the Palatine cannot be restored, he hath freely offered the Electorate to the Duke of Bavaria, a most eager Defender of the Catholick Cause; by which means the Empire will always remain in the hand of Catholicks, and so by consequence in the House of Austria. And in so doing, he shall take away all hope from the Palatine, and those that sollicite so importunately for his restitution. And it is to be hoped, that the Lutheran Princes, especially the Duke of Saxony, will not so far disallow this translation, as to take up Arms, seeing Charles the Fifth, upon a far lighter cause, deprived John Frederick Duke of Saxony of the Electorate, and conferred it on Maurice, this Duke's Great Uncle. Besides, no less is the Lutherans hatred of the Calvinists, than of the Catholicks.
The Parliament that was to meet November the Fourteenth, the King by Proclamation, adjourned to the Eighth of February, and expressed the cause to be the unseasonableness of the time of the year. But this long Recess was shortened, and the King declared, that upon important Reasons he had altered his former Resolutions, and did adjourn it for no longer time, than from the Fourteenth to the Twentieth of this instant November.
Upon which day it re-assembled, and the King being absent, by reason of his indisposition in health, commanded a Message to be delivered to both Houses, by the Lord Keeper, the Lord Digby, and the Lord Treasurer.
In the first place he acquainted the Two Houses with his Majesty's indisposition of health, which was the occasion of his absence at the opening of the Parliament; yet he could not say he was absent, so long as he was represented by a Son, who was as dear to the Kingdom as to his Majesty. As to the occasion of calling the Parliament by way of Antecedent, he took notice of several effects of his Majesties gracious care over the Nation, since the last Recess of the Parliament, in his Majesties answering several Petitions concerning Trade, Importation of Bullion, Conservation of Coin in the Land, and prohibiting the Transportation of Iron Ordnance; and that His Majesty by his Proclamation reformed Thirty six or Thirty seven several matters, complained of as publick Grievances, all of them without the least Trucking or Merchandising with the People, a thing usual in former times. He further said, That his Majesty did principally fix the occasion of the calling a Parliament upon the Declaration recorded, and divulged far and near by the Representative Commonalty of this Kingdom, to assist his Majesty to carry on the War to recover the Palatinate; yet withall, his Lordship gave an account, how his Majesty, since the last Parliament, encouraged to travel a little longer in his pious endeavours to procure a Peace by way of Treaty, and that the Lord Digby was sent Ambassador upon that occasion, and since returned, but not with such success as was to be hoped for. He minded both Houses of one Heroical Act of his Majesty's, since the last Parliament, in the Advancement of Forty thousand pounds, to keep together a Body of an Army in the Lower Palatinate, which otherwise had been dissolved before this Parliament could be assembled: And that unless the Parliament take further resolution, and imitate rather Ancient than Modern Principles, and be expeditious in what they do, the Army in the Palatinate will fall to the ground. And lastly, told them, That his Majesty did resolve, that this Parliament should continue till seven or eight days before the Festivals, and to be renewed again the eighth of Febraury, to continue for the Enacting of Laws, and perioding things of Reformation, as long as the necessity of the State shall require the same.
After the Lord Keeper had done, the Lord Digby (having received a command from his Majesty to that purpose) gave a brief account of his Negotiation with the Archduke about the Treaty of Peace; how the Archduke consented thereunto, and writ accordingly to the Emperor and the King of Spain of his proceedings; who also writ to Spinola for a Cessation of Arms, the Archduke having the command of the Spanish Forces in Germany; but the Duke of Bavaria would not consent thereunto. And the Lord Digby informed the Two Houses, that by the carriage of the Duke of Bavaria, and by other circumstances, he did evidently discover, That from the beginning that Duke affected to get unto himself the Palatinate, and the Title of Elector. He further declared, That if Count Mansfeld was not speedily supplied, he could not keep his Army together. Then he gave an account, how bravely Sir Horatio Vere had be haved himself in the Palatinate, and that, by his wisdom and valor, there was kept from the Enemy, Heidelburgh, Mainheim, and Frankendale; the last of which places had then endured a month's Siege. He also spoke honourably of Captain Burroughs, and concluded, That the fittest redress was, to furnish and keep up the Army already there; which must be done by supplies of Money, and more Forces must be prepared against the next Spring, that we may have there an Army of our own, for the strengthening of the Palatinate, and encouragement of the Princes of the Union.
Then the Lord Treasurer spake, and acquainted both Houses; How empty the King's Coffers were, and how he had assisted the Palatinate, and Princes of the Union, with great sums, which had exhausted his Treasure, and that his Majesty was much in debt.
Nevertheless, though the King declared for War, he pursued Peace, and resolved to close with Spain, hoping to heal the Breach by that Alliance. The House of Commons, before they granted Subsidies, resolved to try the King's Spirit by this Petition and Remonstrance, which laid open the distempers of those times, with their Causes and Cures.
Most Gracious and Dread Sovereign,
We Your Majestys most Humble and Loyal Subjects, the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses, now assembled in Parliament, who represent the Commons of Your Realm, full of hearty sorrow, to be deprived of the comfort of Your Royal, Presence, the rather, for that it proceeds from the want of your health, wherein we all unseignedly do suffer; In all humble manner calling to mind your Gracious Answer to our former Petition concerning Religion, which, notwithstanding your majesties Pious and Princely Intentions, hath not produced that good effect, which the danger of these times both seem to us to require: And finding how ill your majesties goodness hath been requited by Princes of different Religion, who even in time of Creaty, have taken opportunity to advance their own ends, tending to the subvertion of Religion, and disadvantage of your affairs, and the estate of your Children; By reason whereof your ill affected Subjects at home, the Popish Recusants, have taken too much encouragement, and are dangerously encreased in their number, and in their Insolencies. We cannot but be cencible thereof, and therefore humbly represent what we conceive to be the causes of so great and growing mischiess, and what be the Remedies.
- I. The Uigilancy and Ambition of the Pope of Rome, and his dearest Son, the one aiming at as large a temporal Donarchy, as the other at a Spiritual Supremacy.
- II. The Devillish Positions and Doctrines, whereon Popery is built, and taught with Authority to their followers, for advancement of their temporal ends.
- III. The diffressed and miserable estate of the Professors of true Religion in foreign parts.
- IV. The Disafferous accidents to your Majesties Children abroad, expressed with rejoycing, and even with contempt of their persons.
- V. The strange Confederacy of the Princes of the Popish Religion, aiming mainly at the advancement of theirs, and subverting of ours, and taking the advantages conducing to that end upon all occasions.
- VI. The great and many Armies raised, and maintained at the charge of the King of Spain, the Chief of that League.
- VII. The Expectation of the Popish Recusants of the Batch with Spain, and feeding themselves with great hopes of the consequences thereof.
- VIII. The interposing of Foreign Princes and their Agents, in the behalf of Popish Recusants, for connivance and favour unto them.
- IX. The open and usual resort to the houses, and, which is worse, to the Chappels of Foreign Ambassadors.
- X. Their more than usual concourse to the City, and their frequent Conventicles and conferences there.
- XI. The education of their Children in many several Seminaries and houses of their Religion in Foreign parts, appropriated to the English Fugitives.
- XII. The Grants of their just Forfeitures intended by your majesty, as a Reward of Service to the Grantees; but beyond your Majesty's intention, transferred or compounded for, at such mean rates, as will amount to little less than a Toleration.
- XIII. The Licentious Printing and dispersing of Popish and Seditious Books, even in the time of Parliament.
- XIV. The swarms of Priests and Jesuits, the common Incendiaries of all Christendom, dispersed in all parts of your kingdom.
- I. The Popish Religion is incompatible with ours, in respect of their Positions.
- II. It draweth with it an unavailable dependency on Foreign Princes.
- III. It openeth too wide a gap for Popularity, to any who shall draw too great a party.
- IV. It hath a restless spirit, and will strive by these gradations; if it once get but a Connivancy, it will press for a Toleration; if that should be obtained, they must have an Equality; from thence they will aspire to Superiority, and will never rest till they get a Subversion of the true Religion.
- I. That seeing this inevitable necessity is fallen upon your Majesty, which no wisdom or providence of a peaceable and pious king can avoid, your majesty would not omit this just occasion, speedily and effectually to take your Sword into your hand.
- II. That once undertaken upon to honourable and just grounds, your Majesty would resolve to pursue, and more publickly avow the aiding of those of our Religion in Foreign parts, which doubtless would reunite the Princes and States of the Union, by these disasters disheartned and disbanded.
- III. That your Majesty would propose to your self to manage this war with the best advantage, by a diversion or otherwise, as in your deep judgment shall be found fittess, and not to rest upon a War in these parts only, which will consume your Treasure, and discourage your People.
- IV. That the bent of this War, and point of your Sword, may be against that Prince (whatsoever opinion of Potency he hath) whose Armies and Treasures have first diverted, and since maintained the War in the Palatinate.
- V. That for securing of our Peace at home, your Majesty would be pleased to review the parts of our Petition, formerly delivered unto your Majesty, and hereunto annexed, and to put in execution, by the care of choice Commissioners to be thereunto especially appointed, the Laws already, and hereafter to be made for preventing of dangers by Popish Recusants, and their wonted evasions.
- VI. That to frustrate their hopes for a future Age, our most Noble Prince may be timely and happily married to one of our own Religion.
- VII. That the Children of the Nobility and Centry of this Kingdom and of others ill affected and suspected in their Religion, now beyond the Seas, may be forthwith called home by your means, and at the charge of their Parents of Governours.
- VIII. That the Children of Popish Recusants, or such whose Wines are Popish Recusants, be brought up, during their Minority, with Protessant School matters and Teachers, who may low, in their tender years, the seeds of true Religion.
- IX. That your Majesty will be pleased speedily to revoke all former Licences for such Children and Youth to travel beyond the Seas, and not grant any such Licence hereafter.
- X. That your Majesty's Learned Council may receive commandment from your highness, carefully to look into former Grants of Recusants Lands, and to avoid them, if by Law they can: and that your Majesty will say your hand from passing any such Grants hereafter.
This is the sum and effect of our humble Declaration, which we (no ways intending to press upon your Majesty's undoubted and Regal Prerogative) do with the fulness of our Duty and Obedience, humbly submit to your most Princely consideration: The glory of God, whose cause it is; the zeal of our true Religion, in which we have been born, and wherein (by God's grace) we are resolved to die; the safety of your Majesty's Person, who is the very life of your People; the happiness of your Children and Posterity; the honour and good of the Church and State, dearer unto us then our own lives, having kindled these affections truly devoted to your Majesty.
And secing out of our duty to your Majesty, we have already resolved to give, at the end of this Session, one entire Subsidy, for the present relief of the Palatinate only, to be past in the end of February next, which cannot well be effected but by passing a Bill in a Parliamentary course before Christmas; we most humbly beseech your Majesty (as our assured hope is) that you will then also vouchsafe to give life, by your Royal Assent, to such Bills, as before that time shall be prepared for your Majesty's honour, and the general good of your People: And that such Bills may be also accompanied (as has been accustomed) with your Majesty's gracious Pardon, which proceeding from your own meer State, may, by your Highness direction, be drawn to that latitude and extent, as may belt sort with your Majesties bounty and goodness. And that not only Felons and Criminal Offenders may take benefit thereof, but that your good Subjects may receive case thereby. And if it shall so stand with your good pleasure, That it may extend to the relief of the old Debts and Duties to the Crown before the first year of your Majesties Reign, to the discharge of Alternations without Licence, and mis-using of Liveries, and Oustre le Maine, before the first Summons of this Parliament, and of concealed Wardships, and not suing of Liveries, and Oustre le Maines, before the Twelfth year of your Majesties Reign. Which gracious favour would much comfort your good Subjects, and ease them from vexation, with little loss or prejudice to your own profit.
And we, by our daily and devout Prayers to the Almighty, the Great King of Kings, shall contend for a blessing upon our endeavours; and for your Majesties long and happy Reign over us; and for your Childrens Children after you, for many and many Generations.
The House had sufficient cause to set forth the danger of true Religion, and the miseries of the Professors thereof in Foreign parts; when besides the great wound made in Germany, and the Cruelties of the prevailing House of Austria, the Protestants in France were almost ruined by Lewis the Thirteenth, being besieged at once in several places, as in Montauban, by the King, and in Rochel by Count Soysons, and the Duke of Guise: And for their relief, the King of England prevailed nothing, by sending of Sir Edward Herbert, since Baron of Cherbury, and after him the Viscount Doncaster, Ambassador for Mediation.
We have heard, by divers reports; to our great grief, that our distance from the Houses of Parliament, caused by our Indisposition of health; hath emboldened some fiery and popular Spirits of some of the House of Commons, to argue and debate publickly of the matters far above their reach and capacity, tending to our high dishonour, and breach of Prerogative Royal. These are therefore to command you, to make known; in our Name, unto the House, That none therein shall presume henceforth to meddle with any thing concerning our Government, or deep matters of State, and namely not to deal with our dearest Son's Match with the Daughter of Spain, nor to touch the honour of that King, or any other our Friends and Confederates: and also not to meddle with any man's particulars, which have their due motion in our ordinary Courts of Justice. And whereas we hear, they have sent a Message to Sir Edward Sandys, to know the reasons of his late restraint, you shall in our Name resolve them, That it was not for any misdemeanor of his in Parliament, but to put them out of doubt of any question of that nature that may among them hereafter, you shall resolve them in our name, That we think our self-very free and able to punish any man's misdemeanors in Parliament, as well during their sitting, as after: which we mean not to spare hereafter, upon any occasion of any man's insolent behaviour there that shall be ministred unto us: And if they have already touched any of these points, which we have forbidden, in any Petition of theirs, which is to be sent unto us, it is our pleasure that you shall tell them, That except they reform it before it come to our hands, we will not deign the hearing, nor answering of it.
Most Dread and Gracious Sovereign,
We your most humble and loyal Subjects, the Knights, Citizens and Burgesses, assembled in the Commons Douse of Parliament, full of grief, and unspeakable sorrow, though the true sense of your Majesty's displeasure, expressed by your Letter lately sent to our Speaker, and by him related and read unto us: Yet comforted again with the assurance of your grace and goodness, and of the sincerity of our own intentions and proceedings, whereon with confidence we can rely, in all humbleness beseech your most excellent Majesty, that the loyalty and dutifulness of as faithful and loving Subjects as ever served, or lived under a gracious Sovereign, may not undeservedly suffer by the mis-information of partial and uncertain Reports, which are ever unfaithful Intelligencers: But that your Majesty would, in the clearness of your own Judgment, first vouchsafe to understand from our selves, and not from others, what our humble Declaration and Petition (resolved upon by the universal voice of the Douse, and proposed with your gracious favour to be presented unto your Sacred Majesty) both contain. Upon what occasion we entred into consideration of those things which are therein contained, with what dutiful respect to your Majesty, and your service, we did consider thereof, and what was our true intention thereby. And that when your Majesty shall thereby truly discern our dutiful affections, you will, in your Royal Judgment, free us from those heavy charges, wherewith some of our Members are burthen'd, and wherein the whole house is involved.
And we humble beseech your Majesty, that you would not hereafter give credit to private Reports, against all or any of the Members of our house, whom the whole have not censured, until your Majesty have been truly informed thereof from our selves: And that in the mean time, and ever, we may stand upright in your Majesty's grace and good opinion, then which, no worldly consideration is, or can be dearer unto us.
When your Majesty had reassembled us in Parliament by your Royal Commandment sooner then we expected, and did vouchsafe, by the mouths of three honourable Lords, to impact unto us the weighty occasions moving your Majesty thereunto; and from them we did understand these particulars.
That the estate of those of the Religion in foreign paris was miserable; and, that out of these considerations we were called to a war, and forthwith to advise for a supply for keeping the forces in the Palatinate from disbanding, and to foresee the means for raising and maintaining the Body of an Army, for the War, against the Spring. We therefore, out of our zeal to your majesty and your Posterity, with more alacrity and celerity then ever was presidented in Parliament, did address our selves to the service commended unto us. And although we cannot conceive, that the honour and safety of your majesty and your Posserity, the Patrimony of your Children invaded, and possessed by their enemies, the welfare of Religion, and state of your Kingdom, are matters at any time unfit for our deepest consideration in time of Parliament: And although before this time we were in some of these points silent, yet being now invited thereunto, and led on by so just an occasion, we thought it our duties to provide for the present supply thereof, & not only to turn our eyes on a War abroad, but to take care for the securing of our peace at home, which the dangerous increase and insolency of Popish Recusants apparently, visibly, and sensibly did lead us unto. The consideration whereof did necessarily draw us truly to represent unto your majesty, what we conceive to be the causes, what me feared would be the effects, and what we hoped might be the remedies of these growing evils; among which, as incident and unavoidable, we fell upon some things, which seem to touch upon the king of Spain, as they have relation to Popish Recusants at home, to the Wars by him maintained in the Palatinate against your Majesty's Children, and to his several Armies now on foot, yet as we conceived, without touch of dishonour to that king, or any other Prince your majesty's Confederate.
In the discourse whereof, we did not assume to our selves any power to determine of any part thereof, not intend to incroach or intrude up on the Sacred Bounds of your Royal Authority, to whom, and to whom only, we acknowledge it both belong to resolve of Peace and war, and of the marriage of the most noble Prince your son: But as your most loyal and humble Subjects and Servants, representing the whole Commons of your Kingdom (who have a large interest in the happy and prosperous estate of your majesty, and your Royal Posserity, and of the flourishing estate of our Church and Commonwealth) did resolve, out of our cares and fears, truly and plainly to demonstrate these things to your Majesty, which we were not assured could otherwise come so fully and clearly to your knowledge; and that being done, to lay the same down at your Majesties feet, with but expectation of any other Answer of your Majesty, touching these higher points, then what at your good pleasure, and in your own time should be held sit.
This being the effect of that me had formerly resolved upon, and these the Occasions and Reasons inducing the same, our humble suit to your Majesty, and confidence is, That your Majesty will be graciously pleased to receive, at the hands of these our Messengers, our former humble Declaration and Petition, and vouchsafe to read, and favourably to interpret the same; and that to so much thereof as containeth our humble Petition concerning Jesuits, Priests, and Popish Recusants, the passage of Bills, and granting your Royal Pardon, you will vouchsafe an answer unto us.
And whereas your Majesty, by the general words of your Letter, seemeth to restrain us from intermedling with matters of Government, or Particulars which have their motion in the Courts of Justice, the generality of which words, in the largeness of the extent thereof, (as we hope beyond your Majesties intention) might involve those things, which are the proper subjects of Parliamentary occasions and discourse.
And whereas your Majesty both seem to abridge us of the ancient Liberty of Parliament for freedom of Speech, Jurisdiction, and Just Censure of the house, and other proceedings there (wherein, me trust in God, we shall never transgress the bounds of Loyal and Dutiful Subjects) a Liberty which me assure our selves, so Wife and so Just a king will not infringe, the same being our ancient and undoubted Right, and an Inheritance received from our Ancessors; without which me cannot freely debate not clearly discern of things in question before us, not truly inform your majesty: In which me have been confirmed by your Majesty's most gracious former Speeches and Messages. We are therefore now again inforced in all humbleness to pray your Majesty to allow the same, and thereby to take away the Doubts and Scruples, your Majesty's late Letter to our Speaker hath wrought upon us.
So shall me your loyal and loving Subjects ever acknowledge your Majesty's Justice, Grace and Goodness, and be ready to perform that service to your Majesty, which in the true affection of our hearts me process, and pour out our daily and devout Prayers to the Almighty for your Majesties long Life, happy and Religious Reign, and prosperous Estate, and for your Royal Posterity after you for ever.
"We must here begin in the same fashion that we would have done, if the first Petition had come to our hands before we had made a stay thereof, which is to repeat the first words of the late Queen of famous memory, used by her, in an Answer to an insolent Proposition made by a Polonian Ambassador unto her, that is, Legatum expectabamus, Heraldom accipimus. For we had great reason to expect, that the first Message from your House should have been a Message of Thanksgiving for our continued gracious behaviour towards our People, since your last Recess, not only by our Proclamation of Grace, wherein were contained six or seven and thirty Articles, all of several points of Grace to the people, but also by the labour we took for the satisfaction of both Houses, in those three Articles recommended unto us in both their names, by the Right Reverend Father in God, the Archbishop of Canterbury; and likewise for the good Government of Ireland, we are now in hand with, at your request: but not only have we heard no news of all this, but contrary, great complaints of the danger of Religion within this Kingdom, tacitly implying our ill Government in this point. And we leave you to judge whether it be your duties, that are the Representative Body of our People, so to distaste them with our Government; whereas by the contrary it is your duty, with all your endeavours, to kindle more and more a dutiful and thankful love in the people's hearts towards us, for our just and gracious Government.
"Now whereas, in the very beginning of this your Apology, you tax us in fair terms of trusting uncertain Reports, and partial Informations concerning your proceedings, we wish you to remember, that we are an old and experienc'd King, needing no such Lessons, being in our Conscience freest of any King alive, from hearing or trusting idle Reports, which so many of your House, as are nearest us, can bear witness unto you, if you would give as good ear to them, as you do to some Tribunitial Orators among you: And, for proof in this particular, we have made your own Messengers confer your other Petitions sent by you, with the Copy thereof, which was sent us before: Between which, there is no difference at all; but that since our receiving the first Copy, you added a conclusion unto it, which could not come to our hands, till it was done by you, and your Messengers sent, which was all at onetime. And if we had no Copy of it before-hand, we must have received your first Petition to our great dishonour, before we had known what it contained, which would have enforced us to return you a far worse Answer than now we do; for then your Messengers had returned with nothing, but that we have judged your Petition unlawful, and unworthy of an Answer; For, as to your Conclusion thereof, it is nothing but Protestatio coniraria facto; for, in the Body of your Petition, you usurp upon our Prerogative Royal, and meddle with things far above your reach, and then in the conclusion you protest the contrary; as if a Robber would take a man's purse, and then protest he meant not to rob him. For, first, you presume to give us your advice concerning the Match of our dearest Son with some Protestant (we cannot say Princess, for we know none of these fit for him) and disswade us from his Match with Spain, urging us to a present War with that King; and yet in the conclusion, forsooth, ye protest ye intend not to press upon our most undoubted and Regal Prerogative; as if the petitioning of us in matters, that your selves confess ye ought not to meddle with, were not a meddling with them.
"And whereas ye pretend, That ye were invited to this course by the Speeches of three honourable Lords; yet by so much as your selves repeat of the Speeches, nothing can be concluded, but that we, were resolved by War to regain the Palatinate, if otherwise we could not attain unto it. And you were invited to advise forthwith upon a Supply, for keeping the Forces in the Palatinate from disbanding, and to foresee the means for the raising, and. maintenance of the Body of an Army for that War against the Spring. Now, what inference can be made upon this, that therefore we must presently denounce War against the King of Spain, break our dearest Son's Match, and match him to one of our Religion, let the World judge: The difference is no greater, than if we would tell a Merchant, that we had great need to borrow Money from him for raising an Army; that thereupon it would follow, that we were bound to follow his advice in the direction of the War, and all things depending thereupon: But yet not contenting your selves with this excuse of yours, which indeed cannot hold water, ye come after to a direct contradiction to the conclusion of your former Petition, saying, That the honour and safety of us and our Posterity, and the Patrimony of our Children, invaded and possessed by their enemies, the welfare of Religion, and State of our Kingdom, are matters at any time not unfit for your deepest considerations in Parliament. To this Generality, we answer with the Logicians, That where all things are contained, nothing is omitted. So as this Plenipotency of yours invests you in all power upon Earth, lacking nothing but the Popes to have the Keys also both of Heaven and Purgatory: And to this vast generality of yours, we can give no other answer; for it will trouble all the best Lawyers in the House, to make a good commentary upon it: For so did the Puritan Ministers in Scotland bring all kind of causes within the compass of their jurisdiction, saying, That it was the Churches office to judge of slander; and there could no kind of crime or fault be committed, but there was a slander in it, either against God, the King, or their Neighbour; and by this means they hooked into themselves the cognizance of all causes; Or like Bellarmin's distinction of the Pope's Power over Kings, in Ordine ad Spiritualia, whereby he gives them all Temporal Jurisdiction over them.
"But to give you a direct Answer to the matter of War, for which you are so earnest. We confess, we rather expect you should have given us thanks for the so long maintaining a settled Peace in all our Dominions, when as all our Neighbours about are in miserable combustion of War; but, dulce bellum inexpertis. And we indeed find by experience, that a number of our Subjects are so pamper'd with Peace, as they are desirous of change, though they knew not what.
"It is true, that we have ever professed (and in that mind, with God's grace we will live and die) that we will labour by all means possible, either by Treaty or by Force, to restore our Children to their ancient Dignity and Inheritance: And whatsoever Christian Princes or Potentates will set themselves against it, we will not spare any lawful means to to bring our so just and honourable purpose to a good end; neither shall the Match of our Son, or any other worldly respect, be preferred to this our resolution. For by our credit and intervention with the King of Spain, and the Arch-Duchess, and her Husband, now with God, we preserved the Lower Palatinate one whole year from any further conquering in it, which in eight days space, in that time, might have easily been swallow'd up by Spinola's Army, without any resistance. And in no better case was it now at our Ambassador the Lord Digby's coming through Heidelburgh, if he had not extraordinarily succoured it.
"The beginning of this miserable War, which hath set all Christendom on fire, was not for Religion, but only caused by our Son in Law his hasty and harsh resolution, following evil counsel, to take to himself the Crown of Bohemia.
"And that this is true, himself wrote Letters unto us at that time, desiring to give assurance both to the French King, and State of Venice, that his accepting of the Crown of Bohemia had no reference to the cause of Religion, but only by reason of his right of Election (as he called it.) And we would be sorry that that aspersion should come upon our Religion, as to make it a good pretext for dethroning of Kings, and usurping their Crowns; And we would be loath that our People here should be taught that strange Doctrine: No, let us not so far wrong the Jesuites, as to rob them of their sweet positions and practice in that very point.
"And upon the other part, we assure our self so far of your charitable thoughts of us, that we would never have constantly denied our Son in Law both the Title and assistance in that point, if we had been well perswaded of the justice of his quarrel. But to conclude, This unjust usurpation of the Crowns of Bohemia and Hungaria from the Emperor, hath given the Pope and all that Party too fair a ground, and opened them too wide a gate for curbing and oppressing of many thousands of our Religion in divers parts of Christendom.
"And whereas you excuse your touching upon the King of Spain, upon occasion of the incidents by you repeated in that place, and yet affirm, that it is without any touch to his honour; we cannot wonder enough that ye are so forgetful both of your words and writs: For in your former Petition ye plainly affirm, That he affects the Temporal Monarchy of the whole Earth; then which, there can be no more malice uttered against any great King, to make all other Princes and Potentates both envy and hate him; but, if ye lift, it may easily be tried, whether that speech touched him in honour or not, if ye shall ask him the question, whether he means to assume to himself that Title or no: for every King can best judge of his own honour. We omit the particular ejaculations of some foulmouthed Orators in your House, against the honour of that King's Crown and State.
"And touching your excuse of not determining any thing concerning the Match of our dearest Son, but only to tell your Opinion, and lay it down at our feet: First, we desire to know, how you could have presumed to determine in that point, without committing of High Treason? And next you cannot deny, but your talking of his Match after that manner, was a direct breach of our commandment and declaration out of our own mouth, at the first fitting down of this Parliament, where we plainly professed, that we were in Treaty of this Match with Spain; and wished you to have that confidence in our Religion and Wisdom, that we would so manage it, as our Religion should receive no prejudice by it: And the same we now repeat unto you, professing that we are so far engaged in that Match, as we cannot in honour go back, except the King of Spain perform not such things as we expect at his hands. And therefore we are sorry that ye should shew to have so great distrust in us, as to conceive that we should be cold in our Religion; otherwise we cannot imagine how our former publick Declaration should not have stopt your mouths in this point.
"And as to your request, That we would now receive your former Petition; We wonder what could make you presume, that we would receive it, whereas in our former Letter we plainly declared the contrary unto you. And therefore we have justly rejected that suit of yours: For what have you left unattempted in the highest points of Sovereignty, in that Petition of yours, except the striking of Coin? For it contains the violation of Leagues, the particular way how to govern a War, and the Marriage of our dearest Son, both Negative with Spain, nay, with any other Popish Princess; and also Affirmatively, as to the Matching with one of our Religion; which we confess is a strain beyond any providence or wisdom God hath given us, as things now stand.
These are unfit things to be handled in Parliament, except your King should require it of you: For who can have wisdom to judge of things of that nature, but such as are daily acquainted with the particulars of Treaties, and of the variable and fixed connexion of affairs of State, tegether with the knowledge of the secret ways, ends, and intentions of Princes in their several Negotiations; otherwise a small mistaking of matters of this nature, may produce more effects then can be imagined: And therefore, Ne Sutor ultra crepidam. And besides, the intermedling in Parliament with matters of Peace or War, and Marriage of our dearest Son, would be such a diminution to us to our Crown in Foreign Countries, as would make any Prince neglect to treat with us, either in matters of Peace or Marriage, except they might be assured by the assent of Parliament. And so it proved long ago with a King of France, who upon a Trick procuring his States to dissent from some Treaty which before he had made, was after refused Treating with any other Princes, to his great Reproach, unless he would first procure the assent of his Estates to their Proposition. And will you cast your eyes upon the late times, you shall find, that the late Queen, of famous memory, was humbly petitioned by a Parliament to be pleased to marry: But her Answer was, That she liked their Petition well, because it was simple, not limiting her to place or person, as not befitting her liking to their fancies; and if they had done otherwise, she would have thought it a high presumption in them. Judge then what we may do in such a case, having made our publick Declaration already (as we said before) directly contrary to that which you have now petitioned.
"Now to the points in your Petition, whereof you desire an Answer, as properly belonging to the Parliament; the first and the greatest point is, that of Religion: Concerning which, at this time we can give you no other Answer than in the general; which is, That you may rest secure, that we will never be weary to do all we can for the propagation of our Religion, and repressing of Popery: But the manner and form you must remit to our care and providence, who can best consider of times and seasons, not by undertaking a publick War of Religion through all the world at once, (which how hard and dangerous a task it may prove, you may judge.) But this puts us in mind, how all the world complained the last year of plenty of Corn; and God sent us a Cooling-card this year for that heat: And so we pray God, that this desire among you of kindling Wars (shewing your weariness of peace and plenty) may not make God permit us to fall into the miseries of both. But, as we already said, our care of Religion must be such, as on the one part we must not, by the hot persecution of our Recusants at home, irritate Forreign Princes of contrary Religion, and teach them the way to plague the Protestants in their Dominions, with whom we daily intercede, and at this time principally, for ease to them of our profession that live under them; yet upon the other part, we never mean to spare from due and severe punishment any Papist that will grow insolent for living under our so mild Government. And you may also be assured, we will leave no care untaken, as well for the Education of the Youth at home, especially the Children of Papists, as also for preserving at all times hereafter the Youth that are or shall be abroad, from being bred in dangerous places, and so poisoned in Popish Seminaries. And as in this point, namely, the good education of Popish Youth at home, we have already given some good proofs, both in this Kingdom and in Ireland; so will we be well pleased to pass any good Laws that shall be made, either now, or at any time hereafter, to this purpose.
"But for the Pardon, ye crave such particulars in it, as we must be well advised upon, left otherwise we give you back the double or treble of that we are to receive by your entire Subsidy, without Fifteens. But the ordinary course we hold fittest to be used still in this case, is, That we should of our free grace send you down a Pardon from the Higher House, containing such points as we shall think fittest, wherein, we hope, ye shall receive good satisfaction.
"But we cannot omit to shew you, how strange we think it, that ye should make so bad and unjust a Commentary upon some words of our former Letter, as if we meant to restrain you thereby of your ancient Priviledges and Liberties in Parliament. Truly a Scholar would be asham'd so to misplace and misjudge any Sentences in another man's Book. For whereas in the end of our former Letter, we discharge you to meddle with matters of Government, and mysteries of State, namely, matters of War of Peace, or our dearest Son's Match with Spain; by which particular denominations we interpret and restrain our former words: And then after we forbid you to meddle with such things as have their ordinary course in Courts of Justice: Ye couple together those two distinct sentences, and plainly leave out those words, Of Mysteries of State; so as ye erre, ´ bene divisis ad male conjuneta: For of the former part, concerning Mysteries of State, we plainly restrain our meaning to the particulars that were after mentioned; and in the latter, we confess we meant it by Sir Edward Cook's foolish business. And therefore it had well became him, especially being our Servant, and one of our Council, to have complained unto us, which he never did, though he was ordinarily at Court since, and never had access refused unto him.
"And although we cannot allow of the style, calling it, Tour ancient and undoubted Right and Inheritance; but could rather have wished, that ye had said, That your Priviledges were derived from the grace and permission of our Ancestors and Us; (for most of them grow from Precedents, whith shews rather a Toleration than Inheritance:) Yet we are pleased to give you our Royal assurance, that as long as you contain your selves within the limits of your duty, we will be as careful to maintain and preserve your lawful Liberties and Priviledges, as ever any of our Predecessors were, nay, as to preserve our own Royal Prerogative. So as your House shall only have need to beware to trench upon the Prerogative of the Crown; which would enforce us, or any just King, to retrench them of their Priviledges, that would pare his Prerogative, and Flowers of the Crown: But of this, we hope, there shall never be cause given. Dated at Newmarket the Eleventh day of December, 1621.
The Lord Keeper Williams advised, That the harshness of this Answer should be mitigated with a Letter from his Majesty to the Houses. For (said he) his Majesty rightly infers, That their Priviledges which they claim to be their Natural Birth-rights, are but the favours of former Kings. Now the Kings Assertion and their Claim may easily be reconciled, if men were peaceably disposed, and affected the dispatch of common business.
These Priviledges were originally the favour of Princes; neither doth his Majesty go about to impair or diminish them. Therefore if his Majesty would be pleased to qualifie the passage with some mild and noble expression, and require them strictly to prepare things for a Session, and to leave those needless disputes, he shall make it appear to all wife and just men, that those persons are opposite to those common ends, whereof they vaunt themselves the only Patrons. Will the King be pleased to add in this Letter, That if they will not prepare Bills for a Session, he will break up the Parliament without any longer Prorogation, acquainting the Kingdom with their undutifulness and obstinacy, and supply the present wants by some other means: Or else will he adjourn the present Assembly to the appointed Eighth of February. This latter course is fitter for further advice; but the former, to express a just indignation.
The Lord Digby minded the Peers, That this Session was called for the present support of the Palatinate, as was declared by the Message from his Majesty to both Houses in the beginning thereof. He reported also, That he had received many great advertisements of that Countries present distress and danger, by the Duke of Bavaria; and that the Army of Mansfeld, who came in for defence, if he be not speedily supplied with moneys, is in a possibility of deserting the service; for he hath fair offers of making his peace, but nothing will take with him, being in hopes of relief from England.
Decemeber 19. The Prince delivered to the Clerk the Commission for an Adjournment to the Eighth of February: Which discontented the Commons and good people of England, foreseeing a dissolution by Gondomar's means.
The Commons now assembled in Parliament, being justly occasioned thereunto, concerning sundry Liberties, Franchises, and Priviledges of Parliament, amongst others here mentioned, to make this Protestation following, That the Liberties, Franchies, Priviledges, and Jurisdictions of Parliament, are the ancient and undoubted Birth-right and Inheritance of the Subjects of England, and that the arduous and urgent affairs concerning the King, State and Defence of the Realm, and of the Church of England, and the maintenance and making of Laws, and redress of mischiefs and grievances which daily happen within this Realm, are proper Subjects and matter of Counsel and Debate in Parliament; and that in the handling and proceeding of those businesses, every Member of the house of Parliament hath, and, of right, ought to have freedom of speech, to propound, treat, reason, and bring to conclusion the same; and that the Commons in Parliament have like liberty and freedom to treat of these matters in such order, as in their Judgments shall seem fittest; And that every Member of the said house hath like freedom from all Impeachment, Imprisonment, and Molestation (other then by Censure of the House it self) for on concerning any speaking, reasoning, on declaring of any matter on matters touching the Parliament, or Parliament business; and that if any of the faith Members be complained of, and questioned for any thing done or said in Parliament, the same is to be shewed to the King by the advice and assent of all the Commons assembled in Parliament, before the King give credence to any private Information.
Whiteball, Decemb. 30. 1621.
His most excellent majesty coming this way to the Council, the Prince his highness, and all the Lords and others of his majesties Priby Council fitting about him, and all the Judges then in London, which were fix in number, there attending upon his majesty; the Clerk of the Commons house of Parliament was called for, and commanded to produce his Journal Book, wherin was noted, and Entries made of most passages that were in the Commons house of Parliament; and amongst other things there was written down the form of a Protestation concerning sundry Liberties, Priviledges, and Franchises of Parliament; with which form of Protestation his majesty was justly offended. Nevertheless his Majesty, in a most gracious manner, there expressed, Chat he never meant to deny that house of Commons any lawful Priviledges that ever they had enjoyed; but whatsoever Priviledges of Liberties they had by any Law of Statute, the same should be inviolably preserved unto them; and whatsoever Priviledges they enjoyed by Custom, or uncontrolled and lawful president, his Majesty would be careful to preferve. But this Protestation of the Commons house, so contrived and carried as it was, his Majesty thought fit to be rased out of all memorials, and utterly to be annihilated, both in respect of the manner by which it was gained, and the matter therein contained. For the manner of getting it, first, unrespect of the time: for after such time as his Majesty, out of his Princely grace, and to take away all mistakings, had directed his Letters to Secretary Calvert, dated at Royston, 16 Decembris, and therein had to explained himself in the point of maintaing the Privilleges of the house of Commons, as that most of the said house rested fully satisfied, and freed from any scruple of having their Liberties impeached; And after that, by his Majesty's Letters, directed to the Speaker, dated 18 December, being Tuesday, his Majesty, at the humble suit of the house of Commons, condescended to make this Meeting a Session before Christmas, and for that purpose had assigned Saturday following. Now upon this very Tuesday, and while the Messangers from the house of Commons were with his Majesty at Theobalds, to return thanks unto his Majesty, and therewith an excute from them not to make is a Session, in respect of the strait of time whereunto they were driven: which deferment his Majesty admitted of at their desires, and thereupon gave orders for the Adjourmnent of the Parliament until the Eighth of February next, which was the first day formerly appointed by his Majesty for the meeting together of the Parliament: And whilst their Messengers were with his Majesty, and had received a gracious Answer to return unto their houses; even that afternoon, a Commitee was procured to be made for taking their Liberties into consideration: And this afternoon a Protestation was made (to whom, appears not) concerning their Liberties; and at six o clock at night, by candle-light, the same Protestation was brought into the house by the Committee, and at that time of night it was called upon to be put to the Discussion, there not being the third part of the house then present; whereas in all matters of weight, their usual custom is, to put nothing of importance to the Duction, till the house be full: And at this time many of them that were present, expected the Duction would have been deferred to an other day, and a fuller house; and some then present food up to have spoken to it, but could not be seen or heard in that darkness and confusion. Now for the matter of the Protestation, it is penned in such ambiguous and general words, as may force for future times to inbade most of the Rights and Prerogatives annexed to the Imperial Crown; the claim of some privileges being grounded upon the words of the Writ for assembling the Parliament, wherein some words, viz. Ardiis Regni, are cunningly mentioned; but the world quibusdam, which restraineth the generality to such particular Cases, as his Majesty pleaseth to consult with them upon, is purposely omitted.
These things considered, his Majesty did, this present day, in full assembly of his Council, and in the presence of the judges, declare the said Protestation to be invalid, annussed, boid, and of no effect: And did further, manu sua propria, take the said Protestation out of the Journal Book of the Clerk of the Commons house of Parliament, and commanded an Act of Councel to be made thereupon, and this Act to be entred in the Register of Council causes.
On the Sixth of January, the King, by Proclamation, dissolved the Parliament; shewing, that the assembly, continuing, and dissolving of Parliaments, doth so peculiarly belong unto him, that he needs not give an account thereof unto any; Yet he thought sit to declare, That in this Dissolution, he had the advice and uniform consent of his whole Council. And that some particular Members of the House of Commons took inordinate liberty, not only to treat of his high Prerogatives, and sundry things, not fir to be argued in Parliament, but also to speak with less respect to Forreign Princes. That they spent the time in disputing Privileges, descanting upon the words and syllables of his Letter and Messages: And that these evil-tempered Spirits sowed Tares among the Corn, and by their cunning devices have imposed upon him a necessity of discontinuing this present Parliament, without putting unto it the name or period of a Session. And lastly, he declared, That though the Parliament be broken off, yet he intended to govern well, and shall be glad to lay hold on the first occasion to call a Parliament again at convenient time.
The King was highly displeased with some of the Commons House, whom he called, III-tempered spirits; Sir Edward Cook, Sir Robert Philips, were committed to the Tower; Mr.Selden, Mr.Pym, Mr.Mallery, to other Prisons and Consinements. Order was given for the sealing up the locks and doors of Sir Edward Cook's Chamb rs in London, and in the Temple, for the feizing of his Papers. And the Council debating about the General Pardon that should have passed this last Parliament, had consulted about the ways of excluding him from that benefit, either by preferring a Bill against him before the publication of the Pardon, or by exempting him by name, whereof, they said they had presidents.
Likewise Sir Dudley Diggs, Sir Thomas Crew, Sir Nathanael Rich, and Sir James Perrot, for punishment were sent into Ireland, joyned in Commission with others, under the Great Seal of England, for the enquiry of sundry matters concerning his Majesty's service, as well in the Government Ecclesiastical and Civil, as in point of his Revenue and otherwise, within that Kingdom.
Proclamations had formerly issued out against the peoples too liberal speaking of matters above their reach: Which at this time occasioned Letters from the Council, to the Judges of the next Assizes, taking notice of licentious and undutiful speeches touching State and Government, notwithstanding several Proclamations prohibiting the same, which the King was resolved no longer to let pass without feverest Punishment; and thereupon required the Judges to give this in charge in their several Circuits, and to do exemplary Justice where they find any such Offenders.
The King still walked in his beaten path of Sollicitations and Treaties, after the constant bad success of his former Mediations: for at the very time when he treated of Peace, his Son in Law was despoiled of his Hereditary Partimony by the Emperor's commandment; who after the suspension of the Ban, or Proscription, commanded the taking up of Arms again in the Lower Palatinate, the Upper Palatinate being already subdued. Which Misery King James acknowledged to be the fruit of his own patience, delays, and doubtfulness. Nevertheless he ceaseth not to pursue the favour of an implacable Enemy. He wrote to the Emperor Ferdinand, declaring his earnest endeavours to appease the Bohemian War, and his ardent zeal for peace from the beginning; and expressed the Terms which he had prescribed to his Son in Law: as, That he shall for himself and his Son renounce all pretence of Right and Claim to the Crown of Bohemia; That he shall from henceforth yield all constant due devotion to the Imperial Majesty, as do other obedient Princes Electors of the Empire; That he shall crave pardon of the Imperial Majesty; That he shall not hereafter, any manner of way, demean himself unfittingly toward the Imperial Majesty, nor disturb his Kingdoms and Countries; And that he shall, upon reasonable conditions, reconcile himself to other Princes and States of the Empire, and hold all good correspondence with them; And he shall really do whatsoever like things shall be judged reasonable and necessary.
King James requested of the Emperor the acceptance of these Conditions, as a notable testimony of his Imperial Majesty's goodness and grace, which, he said, should be by himself acknowledged in all willing service, and unfeigned friendship to the Emperor himself, and the most renowned house of Austria. But if these his just demands, and wellwilled presentations, shall not find acceptance, or be slightly waved by some new tergiversation, or a pretence of that long and tedious way of Consultation with the Princes of the Empire, he is resolved to try his utmost power for his Children's relief, judging it a foul stain to his Honour, if he shall leave them and their Partizans without counsel, aid and protection.
The Emperor replied and confessed, That in this exulcerate business, so much moderation and respect of justice and equity, hath shined forth in the King of Great Britain, that there is not any thing that he should refuse to render thereunto, reserving his Cesarian Authority, and the Laws of the Empire: Yet that person whom it most concerns, hath given no occasion, by the least sign of repentance, to a condescension to this Treaty of Pacification; for he is still so obstinate, as by continual machinations by Jagerndorf and Mansfeld, and other cruel disturbers of the publick peace, to call up Hell, rather then to acquiesce in better counsels, and desist from the usurped Title of a Kingdom. Howbeit, in favour of the King of Great Britain, he shall consent to a Treaty to be held at Bruxels, wherein he would devolve his power upon the Illustrious Elizabetha Clara Eugenia, Infanta of Spain.
The appointment of the Treaty at Bruxels was accepted by King James, whither he sent his Ambassador Sir Richard Weston, Chancellor of the Exchequer. In the mean while, misfortune and misery over-ran the Palatinate: The Enemy having prevailed in several grand encounters, proceeded to subdue the Country, without regard to the Treaty of Peace at Bruxels. Which was more easily effected, the Commotions in Hungaria, Bohemia, Silesia, Moravia, being now ended in a Treaty of Peace between the Emperor and Bethlem Gabor, the Emperor having made use of the Palsgrave's submission, and resignation of the Crown of Bohemia, to accelerate this Treaty.
About this time Philip the Third, King of Spain, departed this life; and the Lord Digby was sent Extraordinary Ambassador into Spain, as well to condole his death, as to advance the Match, and by all means possible to bring it to a final conclusion. To which end, he was accompanied with Letters from his Majesty, and the Prince, to that King, as also a private Letter to Don Baltazar de Zuniga.
Most Serene and Potent Prince, Kinsman, and dearly beloved Friend, When we heard of the death of your Majesty's Father, Philip the Third, with whom we had great Amity, and by our Amity, managed very important Matters, which, he being dead, could not but of necessity be interrupted: It was no less grief to us, then if he had been our own natural and most intimate Brother: Which grief we have certified both to your Majesty by our Letters, as was fitting, and intimated to our people in a solemn and due manner. And thus far we have satisfied our selves; but in the next place we must also give Custom its due. For which end we send unto your Majesty our Publick Ambassadour and Messenger of this our grief, the Baron John Digby, our Counsellor and Vice-Chamberlain, adjoyning unto the rest of his Instructions, this our wish, That your Serenity may rule your Father's Kingdoms, which you have received under a most prosperous Star, with his and our Ancestors Prudence, and that we may really find that love which alway passed between your Father, of most happy memory, and us, propagated with the same candor unto you his Successor, the which we also hope.
Prince Charles, to the King of Spain.
Most Serene and Potent Prince, and well beloved Kinsman, Some years ago, our most Serene Parents began to treat about a Match between us and the most Serene, our dearly beloved Princess, the Lady Mary, your Majesty's most honoured Sister. The condition and success of which affair and Treaty, our most Serene and honoured Lord and Father, out of his Fatherly affection towards us, was pleased, upon all occasions, so much the more willingly to impart unto us, by how much greater propension and apparent signs of true affection he discovered in us thereunto; for which cause, the Baron Digby, his Majesty's Vice Chamberlain, and Extraordinary Ambassador, and one of our Privy Chamber, being new bound for Spain, with most ample Instructions to bring unto an happy issue, that which was prosperously began, and advanced, before your most gracious Father, our Uncle, of happy memory, departed this life: We thought it no less becoming us, by these our letters, most affectionately to salute your Majesty; who, if you shall perswade your self, that we highly esteem of your affection, as we ought to do, and that by a most dear bond of affinity, we desire to have it enlarged and confirmed towards us, that very perswasion will not a little add to the measure of our love. It remains, that we intreat your Majesty to give full credit to such further Proposals, as the Baron Digby shall make in our name. In the mean time, we will hope for such a success of the principal business as may give us occasion to use a more familiar stile here after in our Letters, as an argument of a nearer relation; which if it shall happen, this will also follow, That we shall most readily embrace all occasions, whereby to evidence unto your Majesty the progress and increase of our affection, as well towards your self, as your most Serene Sister.
To the Right Honourable, the Lord Balthazar of Zuniga.
Right Honourable, and Well-beloved Friend,
Because we have divers times been informed by your Friends, of your singular propension and zeal towards our affairs, we neither will, nor ought to leave you unsaluted at this time, you have so well deserved of us: But it will be no small accession of your good-will, if you continue as you have began, to promote, by your assistance, our concernments with his Majesty our Well-beloved Brother; which, by what way it may best be done, our Ambassador the Baron John Digby will be able to direct you, to whom we have intrusted the residue of that matter. And if, during his residence there, he may make use of your singular humanity and favour with the King, in his Negotiation, it will be most acceptable to us, and render us, who were, by your deservings, already forward to oblige you, most forward for the future to deserve well of you; which we shall most willingly testisie, as occasion offers, not only in word, but in deed.
Sir Walter Asbton, the Leiger Ambassador, had managed that Treaty by directions received from Digby; and now Digby remained at large in it, and had communication of the passages from him. The Spaniards proceed in the Match with a very formal appearance; for at this very time, the Emperor's Ambassador in Spain had discoursed of a Marriage between his Master's Son and the Insanta; but was presently answered, That the King's hands were tied by a Treaty on foot with the King of Great Britain; and in this particular they seemed (as said the English Agent) to deal-above-board.
In the mean time, the Privy Council, by the King's commandment, consulted about the raising of Moneys to defend the Palatinate. They appointed the Keeper of the Records of the Tower, to search for all such Writings as concerned the Levies of Men at the publick charge of the Country, from the time of King Edward the Third, until this present.
What endeavours his Majesty hath used by Treaty, and by all fair and amiable ways to recover the Patrimony of his Children in Germany, now for the most part with-holden from them by force, is not unknown to all his loving Subjects, since his Majesty was pleased to communicate to them in Parliament his whole proceedings in that business: Of which Treaty, being of late frustrate, he was inforced to take other resolutions; namely, to recover that by the Sword, which by other means he saw no likelihood to compass. For which purpose, it was expected by his Majesty, that his People in Parliament would (in a cause so nearly concerning his and his Children's Interest) have chearfully contributed thereunto. But the same unfortunately failing, his Majesty is constrained, in a case of so great necessity, to try the dutiful affections of his loving Subjects in another way, as his Predecessors have done in former times, by propounding unto them a voluntary contribution. And therefore, as your selves have already given a liberal and worthy example (which his Majesty doth take in very gracious part) so his pleasure is, and we do accordingly hereby authorise and require your Lordships, as well to countenance and assist the service by your best means, in your next Circuits, in the several Counties where you hold General Assizes; as also now presently, with all convenient expedition, to call before you all the Officers and Attorneys, belonging to any his Majesty's Courts of Justice; and also all such others of the Houses and Societies of Court, or that otherwise have dependance upon the Law, as are meet to be treated withal in this kind, and have not already contributed; and to move them to joyn willingly in this Contribution in some good measure, answerable to that your selves and others have done before us, according to their means and fortunes; Wherein his Majesty doubteth not, but beside the interest of his Children, and his own Crown and Dignity, the Religion prosessed by his Majesty, and happily flourishing under him, within this Kingdom, (having a great part in the succels of this business) will be a special motive to incite and persivade them thereunto. Nevertheless, if any person shall, out of obstinacy or disaffection, refuse to contribute herein, proportionably to their Estates and Means, you are to certifie their names unto this Board.
Letters to the same effect were directed to the High Sheriffs and Justices of Peace of the feveral Counties, and to the Mayors and Bailiffs of every City and Town-Corporate within the Kingdom, requiring them to summon all of known Abilities within their Jurisdictions, and to move them to a chearful contribution according to their Means and Fortunes in some good measure, answerable to what others well affected had done before them. And to make choice of meet Collectors of the Moneys, and to return a Schedule of the names of such as shall contribute, and the sums that are offered by them; that his Majesty may take notice of the good inclinations of his Subjects to a cause of such importance; as likewife of such others, if any such be, as, out of obstinacy or disaffection, shall refuse to contribute.
About this time, George Abbot, Archbishop of Canterbury, began to fall into disgrace at Court; his enemies taking the advantage of a late sad misfortune, for shooting at a Deer with a Cross- bow in Bramzil Park, he casually killed the Keeper. Upon this unhappy accident, it was fuggested to the King, who already disgusted him for opposing the Match with Spain, That in regard of his eminent rank in the Church, it might administer matter of Scandal; which was aggravated by such as aspired unto his place and dignity. The Bishop of Lincoln, then Lord Keeper, informed the Marquis of Buckingham, That, by the Common Law of England, the Archbishop's whole Estate was forfeited to the King; and by the Canon Law, which is still in force, he is made irregular, ipsofacto, and so suspended from all Ecclesiastical Function, until he be restored by his Superior, which was the King's Majesty, in this rank and order of Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction; "To add affliction to the afficted (said he) will be against his Majesty's nature; yet to leave a man of blood, Primate and Patriarch of all his Churches, is a thing that founds very harsh in the Old Councils and Canons, and the Papists will not spare to censure it.
The King made choice of the Lord Keeper, the Bishops of London, Winton, Rochester, S. David's, and Exeter, Sir Henry Hobart, Justice Doderidge, Sir Henry Martin, and Dr. Stuart, to inform him of the nature of this cause, and the scandal that might arise thereupon; and to certifie what the same may amount unto, whether to an irregularity, or otherwise, and what means may be found for redress. However this consultation was managed, the Archbishop was not deprived; but a Plant was growing up that overtopped him whilst he lived, and after his decease obtained the Primacy.
Doctor Laud, who was first chosen to the Bishoprick of S David's by the mediation of the Lord Keeper Williams, and was consecrated by the Bishops of London, Worcester, Chichester, Ely, Landaff, and Oxon; the Archbishop in the mean time was not thought irregular for the Casual Homicide.
This Bishop, Doctor Laud, was looked upon, in those times, as an Arminian, and a fierce opposer of Puritans; and while he lived in Oxford, suspected to incline to Popish Tenets, as may appear by his Letter of Complaint, sent to his Patron, Doctor Neal, then Bishop of Lincoln, against a Sermon preached by Robert Abbot, Doctor of the Chair in Oxford; in which Letter he inclosed this (amongst other passages) of the Doctor's Sermon, viz.
"That men under pretence of Truth, and preaching against the Puritans, strike at the heart and root of Faith and Religion now established among us. That this preaching against the Puritans was but the practise of Parsons and Campion's counsel, when they came into England to seduce young Students: And when many of them were afraid to lose their places, if they should professedly be thus, the counsel they then gave them, was, That they should speak freely against the Puritans, and that should suffice. And they cannot intend, that they are accounted Papists, because they speak against the Puritans. But because they indeed are Papists, they speak nothing against them. If they do at any time speak against the Papists, they do beat a little upon the Bush, and that softly too, for fear of troubling or disquieting the Birds that are in it.
I came time enough (faith Mr. Laud) to be at the rehearsal of this Sermon, upon much persivasion, where I was fain to sit patiently, and hear my self abused almost an hour together, being pointed at as I sate. For this present abuse, I would have taken no notice of it, but that the whole University apply it to me, and my own friends tell me, I shall sink my Credit, if I answer not Dr. Abbot in his own. Nevertheless, in a business of this kind, I will not be swayed from a patient course. Only I desire you Lordship to vouchsafe me some direction what to do, &.
The Arminian Sect, opposed by King James, and by his special concurrence lately broken in the Netherlands, by the beheading of Barnevelt the chief of them, began in his latter times to spring up in England, and was countenanced by the said Prelate, who had newly obtained the opinion and favour of the Marquis of Buckingham: The King's main design then not suffering of that way, which in common judgment was inclined to Popery, or he thought to recover all his losses, and to salve all misfortunes by the Spanish Match. And for this cause, he released Multitudes of Priests and Popish Recusants, then imprisoned, which the Spaniards professed to be a great demonstration of the King's sincere affection, to confirm the correspondence and amity between the Crowns. And that this enlargement might be the more expedite, and less chargeable, the King gave direction to the Lord Keeper Williams, Bishop of Lincoln,