Historical Collections of Private Passages of State: Volume 1, 1618-29. Originally published by D Browne, London, 1721.
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On the Munday the first of May, the Gentleman-Usher brought the Earl of Bristol to the Bar, according to their Lordship's Order; and the Lord Keeper acquainted him, That the King had commanded his Attorny-General to charge the Earl of Bristol before their Lordships with High Treason, and other offences and Misdemeanors of a very high nature, that they might proceed in a legal course against him, according to the Justice and usual proceedings of Parliament.
I. Offences done and committed by the Earl of Bristol before his Majesty's going into Spain, when he was Prince.
I. That the said Earl being trusted and employed by the said late King as his Ambassador to Ferdinando, then and now Emperor of Germany; and to Philip the Fourth then and now King of Spain, in Annis 1721. 22. and 23. And having Commission, and particular and special Direction to Treat with the said Emperor and the King of Spain, for the plenary restoring of such parts of the Dominions, Territories, and Possessions of the Count Palatine of Rhine, who married with the most Excellent Lady Elizaheth his now Royal Consort, the only Daughter of the said late King James; which were then wrongfully and in hostile manner taken, and possessed with and by the Armies of the said Emperor, and King of Spain, or any other; and for the preserving and keeping such other parts thereof as were not then lost but were then in the protection of the said late King James; and to the use of the said Count Palatine and his Children: And also to Treat with the said King of Spain for a Marriage to be had between the most high and Excellent Prince Charles, then Prince of Wales, the only Son and Heir Apparent of the said King James, and now our most Sovereign Lord and the most Illustrious Lady Donna Maria the Infanta of Spain, Sister to the now King of Spain: He the said Earl, contrary to his Duty and Allegiance, and contrary to the trust and duty of an Ambassador, at Madrid in the Kingdom of Spain, to advance and further the designs of the said King of Spain against our said Sovereign Lord his Children; Friends, and Allies; falsly, willingly and traiterously, and as a Traitor to our said late Sovereign Lord the King, by sundry Letters and other messages sent by the said Earl from Madrid, in the years aforesaid, unto King James, and his Ministers of State of England, did confidently and resolutely, inform, advise, and assure the said late King, that the said Emperor, and King of Spain, would really, fully, and effectually make restitution and plenary restauration to the said Count Palatine and his Children of the said Dominions, Territories, and Possessions of the said Count Palatine, and of the said Electoral Dignity, and that the said King of Spain did really, fully, and effectually intend the said Marriage between the said Lady his Sister, and the said Prince our now Sovereign Lord, according to Articles formerly propounded between the said Kings: Whereas in truth, the said Emperor and King of Spain, or either of them, never really intended such restitution as aforesaid, and whereas the said King of Spain never really intended the Marriage according to those Articles propounded, but the said Emperor and the King of Spain, intended only by those Treaties to gain time to compass their own ends and purposes, to the detriment of this Kingdom, (of all which, the said Earl of Bristol neither was nor could be ignorant) the said late King James by entertaining those Treaties and continuing them upon those false Assurances given unto him by the said Earl, as aforesaid, was made secure and lost the opportunity of time, and thereby the said Dominions, Territories, and Possessions of the said Connt Palatine, and the Electoral Dignity become utterly lost; and some parts thereof were taken out of the actual possession of the said King James, unto whose protection and safe keeping they were put, and committed to the said Count Palatine; and the most Excellent Lady Elizabeth his Wife, and their Children, are now utterly dispossessed and bereaved thereof, to the high dishonour of our said late Sovereign Lord King James, to the desherison of the said late King's Children, and their Posterity, of their ancient patrimony, and to the disadvantage and discouraging of the rest of the Princes of Germany and other Kings and Princes in Amity and League with his Majesty.
II. That the said Earl of Bristol being Ambassador for his late majesty King James, as aforesaid, in Annis supradictis, and having received perfect, plain, and particular Instructions and Directions from his said late Majesty, that he should put the King of Spain to a speedy and punctual Answer, touching the Treaties aforesaid: And the said Earl well understanding the effect of those Instructions and Directions so given unto him, and taking precise knowledge thereof; and also knowing how much it concerned his late majesty in honour and safety (as his great Affairs then stood) to put these Treaties to a speedy conclusion: Yet nevertheless he the said Earl, falsly, willingly, and traiterously, contrary to his Allegiance, and contrary to the trust and duty of an Ambassador, continued those Treaties upon Generalities, without effectual pressing the said King of Spain unto particular Conclusions, according to his Majesty's Directions as aforesaid; and so the said Earl intended to have continued the said Treaties upon Generalities, and without reducing them to Certainties and to direct Conclusions, to the high dishonour of his said late Majesty, and so the extreme danger and detriment of his Majesty's person, his Crown, and Dominions, Confederates, and Allies.
III. That the said Earl of Bristol being Ambassador for his said late majesty as aforesaid, in the years aforesaid, to the intent to discourage the said late King James, for the taking up of Arms, entring into Hostility with the said King of Spain, and for resisting him and his Forces, from attempting the Invasion of his said late Majesty's Dominions, and the Dominions of his said late Majesty's Consederates, Friends, and Allies; the said King of Spain having long thirsted after an Universal Monarchy in these Western parts of the World, hath many times both by words and Letters to the said late King and his Ministers, extolled and magnified the greatness and power of the said King of Spain, and represented unto his said late Majesty, the supposed dangers which would ensue unto him, if a War should happen between them; and affirmed and insinuated unto his said late Majesty, That if such a War should ensue, his said late majesty during the rest of his life, must expect neither to Hunt nor Hawk, not eat his Meat in quiet: Where by the said Earl of Bristol did cunningly and traiterously strive to retard the Resolutions of the said late King, to declare himself an enemy to the said King of Spain (who under colour of Treaties and Alliances, had so much abused him) and to resist his Arms and Forces, to the loss of opportunity of time, which cannot be recalled or regained, and to the extreme danger, dishonour, and detriment of this Kingdom.
IV. The said Earl of Bristol upon this dispatch out of this Realm of England, in his Ambassage aforesaid, having communication with divers persons of London, within this Realm of England before his going into Spain, in and about his Ambassage concerning the said Treaty: For the Negotiation whereof, the said Earl purposely was sent; and he the said Earl being then told, that there was little probability that these Treaties Would or could have any good success, he the said Earl acknowledged as much; and yet nevertheless, contrary to his duty and allegiance, and to the faith and truth of an Ambassador, he the said Earl said and affirmed, That he cared not what the success thereof would be; for he would take care to have his Instructions, and pursue them puctually; and howsoever the business went, he would make his Fortune thereby, or used words at that time to such effect; whereby it plainly appeareth, That the said Earl, from the beginning herein, intended not the Service or Honour of his late Majesty, but his own corrupt and sinister ends, and for his own advancement.
V. That from the beginning of his Negotiation, and throughout the whole management thereof, by the said Earl of Bristol, and during his said Ambassage, He the said Earl, contrary to his faith and duty to God, the true Religion professed by the Church of England, and the Peace of this. Church and State, did intend and resolve, that if the said Marriage so Treated of as aforesaid, should by his Ministry be effected, that thereby the Romish Religion and Professors thereof should be advanced within this Realm, and other his Majesty's Realms and Dominions, and the true Religion and Professors thereof discouraged and discountenanced. And to that end and purpose, the said Earl during the time aforesaid, by Letters unto his late Majesty, and otherwise, often counselled and perswaded his said late majesty to set at liberty the Jesuits and Priests of the Romish Religion; which, according to the good, Religious and Publick Laws of this Kingdom, were imprisoned or restrained, and to grant and to allow unto the Papists and Professors of the Romish Religion, free Toleration and silencing of all the Laws made, and standing in force against them.
VI. That by the false Informations and Intelligence of the said Earl of Bristol during the time aforesaid unto his said late Majesty, and to his majesty that now is (being then Prince) concerning the said Treaties; and by the Assurances aforesaid given by the said Earl, his said late Majesty, and the Prince his now majesty being put in hopes, and by the said long delay used, without producing any effect, their Majesties being put into jealousies and just suspicion, that there was no such sincerity used towards them as they expected, and with so many Answers from the Earl had on their part been undertaken, the said Prince our now gracious Sovereign, was enforced, out of his love to his Country, to his Allies, Friends, and Consederates, and to the Peace of Christendom who all suffered by those intolerable delays, in his own person to undertake his long and dangerous journey into Spain, that thereby he might either speedily conclude those Treaties, or perfectly discover, that on the Emperor's and the King of Spain's part there was no true and real intention to bring the same to conclusion, upon any fit and honourable terms and conditions, and did absolutely and speedily break them off. By which journy, the person of the said Prince being then Heir-Apparent to the Crown of this Realm, and in his person, the peace and safety of this Kingdom, did undergoe such apparent, and such inevitable danger, as at the, very remembrance thereof, the hearts of all good subjects do even tremble.
II. Offences done and committed by the said Earl, during the time of the Princes being in Spain.
VII. That at the Prince's coming into Spain, during the time aforesaid, the Earl of Bristol, cunningly, falsly, and traiterously moved and perswaded the Prince, being then in the power of a forreign King of the Romish Religion, to change his Religion, which was done in this manner. At the Prince's first coming to the said Earl, he asked the Prince for what he came thither, the Prince at first not conceiving the Earl's meaning, answered, You know as well as I. The Earl replied, Sir, Servants can never serve their Masters industriously, although they, may do it faithfully, unless they know their meanings fully. Give me leave therefore to tell you what they say in the Town is the cause of your coming, That you mean to change your Religion, and to declare it here. And yet cunningly to disguise it, the Earl added further. Sir, I do not speak this, that I will perswade you to do it; or that I will promise you to follow your Example, though you will do it: but as your faithful Servant, if you will trust me with so great a secret, I will endeavour to carry it the discretest way I can. The Prince being moved at this unexpected motion again, said unto him, I wonder what you have ever found in me, that you should conceive I would be so base and unworthy, as for a wife to change my Religion. The said Earl replying, he desired the Prince to pardon him, if he had offended him, it was but out of his desire to serve him. Which perswasions of the said Earl was the more dangerous, because the more subtle; whereas it had been the Duty of a faithful Servant, to God and his Master, if he had found the Prince staggering in his Religion, to have prevented so great an error, and to have perswaded against it, so to have avoided the dangerous consequence thereof to the true Religion, and to the State, if such a thing should have hapned.
VIII. That afterwards during the Prince's being in Spain, the said Earl having conference with the said Prince about the Romish Religion, he endeavoured falsly and traiterously to perswade the Prince to change his religion, and to become a Romish Catholick, and to become obedient to the usurped Authority of the Pope of Rome: and to that end and purpose, the said Earl traiterously used these words unto the said Prince, That the State of England never did any great thing, but when they were under the obedience of the Pope of Rome, and that it was impossible they could do any thing of note otherwise.
IX. That during the time of the Princes being in Spain, the Prince consulting and advising with the said Earl, and others about a new offer made by the King of Spain touching the Palatinate's Eldest Son to marry with the Emperor's Daughter, but then he must be bred up in the Emperor's Courts; The said Earl delivered his opinion, That the Proportion was reasonable; whereat when Sir Walter Aston then present falling into some passion, said, That he durst not for his head consent to it; the Earl of Bristol replied, that he saw no such great inconvenience in it; for that he might be bred up in the Emperor's Court in our Religion. But when the extreme danger, and in a manner, the impossibility thereof, was pressed unto the said Earl, he said again, That without some great action, the Peace of Christendom would never be had; which was so dangerous, and so desperate a Counsel, that one near the Crown of England should be poisoned in his Religion, and become an unfriend to our State, that the consequences thereof, both for the present and future times, were infinitely dangerous; and yet hereunto did his disaffection to our Religion, the blindness in his judgment, misled by his sinister respects, and the two much regard he had to the House of Austria, lead him.
III. Offences done and committed by the said Earl after the Prince s coming from Spain.
X. That when the Prince had clearly found himself and his Father deluded in these Treaties, and hereupon resolved to return from the Court of Spain; yet because it behoved him to part fairly, he left the powers of the Desponsories with the Earl of Bristol, to be delivered upon the return of the Dispensation from Rome, which the King of Spain insisted upon; and without which, as he pretended, he would not conclude the Marriage. The Prince foreseeing and fearing lest after the Desponsories, the Insanta that should then be his Wife, might be put into a Monastery, wrote a Letter back to the said Earl from Segovia, thereby commanding him not to make use of the said Powers, until he could give him assurance, that a Monastery should not rob him of his Wife; which Letter the said Earl received, and with speed returned an Answer thereto in England, perswading against this Direction, yet promising obedience thereunto. Shortly after which, the Prince sent another Letter to the said Earl into Spain, discharging him of his Father's Command. But his late Majesty, by the same Messenger, sent him a more express direction, not to dispatch the Desponsories, until a full Conclusion were had of the other Treaty of the Palatinate, with this of the Marriage; for his majesty said, That he would not have one Daughter to laugh, and leave the other Daughter weeping. In which Dispatch, although there were some mistaking, yet in the next following, the same was corrected, and the Earl of Bristol tied to the same Restriction, which himself confessed in one of his Dispatches afterwards, and promised to obey punctually the King's command therein; yet nevertheless, contrary to his Duty and Allegiance, in another Letter sent immediately after, he declared, That he had set a day for the Desponsories, without any assurance, or so much as treating of those things which were commanded to him as Restrictions; and that so short a day, that if extraordinary diligence, with good success in the Journey, had not concurred, the Prince's hands might have been bound up; and yet he neither sure of a Wife, nor any assurance given of the Temporal Articles. All which, in his high presumption, he adventured to do, being an express breach of his Instructions; and if the same had not been prevented by his late Majesty's vigilancy, it might have turned to the infinite dishonour and prejudice of his Majesty.
XI. Lastly, That he hath offended in a high and contemptuous manner, in preferring a scandalous Petition to this Honourable House, to the dishonour of his majesty of blessed Memory, deceased, and of his Sacred majesty that now is, which are no way sufferable in a Subject towards his Sovereign; and in one Article of that Petition specially, wherein he gives his now majesty the Lie, in denying and offering to falsifie that Relation which his majesty affirmed, and thereunto added many things of his own remembrance to both Houses of Parliament.
That he had exhibited his Petition to the House April 19. that he might come up and be heard in his Accusation of the Duke of Buckingham, and that thereupon, he being a Peer of this Realm, is now charged with Treason. That he had heretofore informed the late King of the Duke's unfaithful Service, and thereupon the Duke laboured, that he might be clapt up in the Tower presently upon his return out of Spain: That he importuned the late King, that he might be heard before himself, and his majesty promised it; I pray God (said he) that that promise did him no hurt, for he died shortly after: And for the King's promise, he vouched the Lord Chamberlain for a Witness; and he desired the Lords to take notice, that their House was possessed already of his said Petition, and of his Accusation of the said Duke: And therefore desired first, that they would receive his Charge against the Duke and the Lord Conway, and not to invalid his Testimony against them by the King's Charge against him; and that he might not be impeached, till his Charge of so high a nature be first heard.
So he tendred to the House the Articles against the Duke, which the Clerk received, and he withdrew, and his Petition exhibited the 19. of April, was read; and the Lords resolved upon the Question, That the said Earl's Charge against the Duke of Buckingham, and the Lord Conway, should be presently read.
First, he craved pardon of their Lordships for his earnest Speeches the other day, confessing them to have been in passion, saying, That unexpected Accusation of Treason would warm any honest heart, but would hereafter amend it. Then he rendred their Lordships humble thanks, for their manner of proceeding against him; and desired to know from Mr. Attorny, whether that were his whole Charge or not. Mr. Attorny answered, That he had commandment to open no more against him; peradventure upon the opening of the Charge, some particulars might arise, and be urged, but no new matter should.
Then the Earl desired to know of Mr. Attorney, who was the Relator to his Charge, and that he might understand who was his Accuser. Mr. Attorney answered, That the King himself, out of his own mouth, had given him directions for his own Relation against him, and corrected many things that were added. Unto which the Earl answered, That he would not contest with the King, neither did it beseem him so to do; neither esteemed he his life or his fortunes so much, as to save them by contesting with his Sovereign; and therefore would make no Reply or Answer, were it not that his Religion and Honour were joyntly questioned with his life; but this being to descend to his Posterity, for their sakes he was an humble suitor unto his Majesty, that he would not take indignation at his own just defence, yet would he be ready to make any humble submission to his majesty; and heartily desired some means might be made, that he might make it personally to himself, wherein he would submit himself most willingly to some such act of humiliation and submission, (not wronging his innocency) that never Subject did towards his Sovereign: And also that his majesty would be pleased to set himself in his Throne of Justice, and declare out of his Royal Justice, that he would have the Duke and him upon equal terms, and that neither of their causes should be advanced before the others.
These were his humble Petitions, which he besought their Lordships to present unto his Majesty, and to take into their considerations, of how dangerous a consequence it would be, if the King should be Accuser, Judge, Witness, and should have the Confiscation. As touching the Charge against him, he said, He had once answered it all, except that of his Petition; and he doubted not but to clear himself before their Lordships of every particular of it. He said, He expected not to have heard of this again, having once answered it; He rather expected to have been charged with some practise with Spain against the State; or the receipt of Ten or Twenty thousand pounds, for the perswading and procuring of the delivery up of some Town, of which the Crown was in possession, as might; be the Town of Flushing, the Brill, or the like; or for being the means of lending the King's Ships to a Foreign Nation, and that against those of our own Religion; or for revealing his Majesty's highest Secrets, which none above two or three dares know; or for threatning the greatest affairs, as it were by his own Authority, without formal Instructions in the points; for having taken Rewards, or been corrupted by a Forreign Prince; or to have broken, his Instructions in any Ecclesiastical point; or, as the Law calleth it, to have committed an overt Act of disloyalty, and not to be charged after seven Ambassages with Discourses and Inferences.
Then he desired their Lordships, that he might have a Copy of his Charge in writing, and time allowed him for his Answer, and Counsel assigned him to plead his Cause; and said, There was a great difference between the Duke of Buckingham and him; for the Duke was accused of Treason, and yet at large, and in the King's favour; and he being accused but of that which he had long since answered, was a Prisoner: And therefore he moved, that they might be put in equal condition.
And as touching the Lord Conway, in as much as he had given in Articles against him, he desired his Lordship he might not meddle in that particular business, or use the King's name against him ex officio; he also besought their Lordship's to be suitors to his majesty on his behalf, that all the particular Dispatches of his own Ambassages, and Sir Walter Aston's might be brought thither, and that he might make use of them for his defence, as his Evidence: Then he desired their Lordships, not to think it tedious for him to proceed, and lay open his Case unto them: Which being granted, he began as followeth.
He said, That he had the honour to serve the late King his Matter, of happy memory, for the space of twenty years, and a long time as a Counsellor, and in seven Foreign Ambassages: In all which time, in point of his Negotiation, he had never received one check or rebuke, until the return of the Duke of Buckingham out of Spain; and therefore from thence he would begin his present Narration.
The very day that his majesty departed from Spain, he was pleased to tell him, That he had no ways offended him, but did him the honour to trust him with the custody of the powers for his Marriage; and after his return into England, wrote unto him some Letters, which did in no kind express any distrust or displeasure against him. About the same time he wrote unto his majesty several Letters, as in duty he was bound, not for any earthly respect whatsoever, to conceal from him the true estate of his affairs; in which Letter he set down truly and honestly, That he conceived, that the distastes grown there betwixt the King of Spain and his Ministers, and the Duke of Buckingham, would disorder and utterly overthrow all his affairs, if his wisdom prevented it not, binc illœ lacyrmœ: The Duke of Buckingham got a fight and knowledge of the Letters; and fearing least the Earl, at his return, should discover unto his said late majesty his practices and misdemeanors in Spain, he resolved, That his access to the King was no ways to be admitted, and therefore laboured and endeavoured, that he might be committed to the Tower, presently upon his arrival; and conceiving that the Lord Marquis Hamilton, in regard of his Friendship with the Earl, and the Alliance which was then intended between them, might oppose his course, he earnestly pressed him therein, and moved him to deal with my Lord Chamberlain to the same purpose, vowing, That there was no hurt intended to the Earl, but only that he feared, that if he should be admitted to the King, he would cross and disturb the course of affairs: But they were so honourable, that neither of them would condescend thereunto; and so that intention of his took no effect: And therein the Earl desired my Lord Chamberlain, that he would be pleased, upon his Honour, to deliver his knowledge.
This design of the Duke not taking, he fell upon other things, indeed to have frightned the Earl out of his Country and Honour; and thereupon laid some great and sinister aspersions upon him in both Houses of Parliament, thinking thereby to have terrified him, that he should not return, saying, That if he kept not himself where he was, and laid hold of those great offers which he heard were made unto him in Spain, it would be worse with him.
Then the Earl of Bristol proceeded, and said, That the knowledge of these aspersions cast upon him in the Parliament, came first unto him at Bourdeaux in France, where he was coming home at leisure in the Company of his Wife and Family, having formerly sent a Post of purpose to the Lord Conway, to know if his speedy return would be any way useful to his Majesty's service: Who answered him, That he might very well return at leisure with his family. And in the mean time he was fallen upon by the Duke of Buckingham in Parliament, in such sort as your Lordships well remember; of whose Declaration, he said, he would boldly affirm unto their Lordships, that there was scarce any one thing concerning him in it, which was not contrary to, or different from the truth.
From Bourdeaux the Earl took Post, making haste, for that he hoped to clear his Honour in Parliament before it should break up; and being arrived at Calais, he sent over to have one of the King's Ships, for which there was publick order given: but although both Wind and Weather were as fair as could be, and the King's Ships lay at Boloigne, having carried over Count Mansfield, and might every day within three hours have been with him, yet the Ship came not in eight days expectance; so that the Earl, fearing the Parliament would be dissolved, was enforced to pass the Sea in a Boat with six Oars, as he did, having with him thirty or forty thousand pounds of the King's Jewels.
Upon his landing at Dover, hoping that if his Arrest should have been deferred till his coming to London, he might have gotten directly to the King's presence, which the Duke resolved was by no means to be admitted: The Earl was there, by a Letter of the Lord Conways, delivered unto him by a servant of his, in his Majesty's name, commanded to retire himself to his house, and not to come to the Court, or the King's presence, until he should have answered to certain Questions, which his majesty would appoint some of the Lords of the Council to ask him. Hereupon he sent presently to his Majesty, who sent him word, That his restraint was neither for any ill meaning unto him, nor that it should last long, but was intended for his good, to keep the Parliament from falling violently upon him. And the same reason the Duke alledged to some of his Friends: And all those his troubles, which have followed upon his first restraint, have been procured by the Duke's Art under colour of Favour. But the Earl having received his Message from the King, became a most humble suitor unto his Majesty, that he would expose him to the Parliament; for that if he had not served him honestly in all things, he deserved no favour, but to be proceeded against with all severity. And in this particular he pressed the King, as far as could stand with duty and good manners; but received Answer from his Majesty, that there should but few more days pass, before he would put an end to his affairs. And about this time the Parliament was dissolved.
He still continued his sollicitation to be admitted to the King's presence; who sent him word, and confirmed it by Oath, That as soon as he should have answered the Questions which the Commissioners were to propound to him, he would both see him and hear him, and wondred that he should so much doubt thereof. He then sollicited with all earnestness to have the Questions sent unto him, which was promised should be within few days. In the interim, his Majesty being desirous, that the business should have been accommodated, sent secretly to him by a Gentleman (who is ready to depose it) this Message; That he should write a fair Letter to the Duke, and leave the rest to him. Hereupon the Duke sent a Gentleman (one Mr. Clark) with fair Proportions, offering to procure him whatsoever he could reasonably pretend; only he must not be admitted to the King's presence for some time; and that the Duke would have the disposing of his Vice Chamberlain's place, having been therein formerly engaged. The Earl told the Gentleman, That to condescend to any such course, were joyntly to confess himself faulty in some kind, which he would not do for any respect in the world; and let him know the great wrong that the Duke had already done him; and therefore it would be more honourable for him to procure some reparation, than to press him further. Moreover, not by way of Message, but by way of Information of the said Mr. Clark, he let him know, how fit it were for the Duke not to press these things, who could not but be conscious of his Own faults, and knew his innocency; and withal shewed him a Paper that he had made ready for the King, containing the Particulars wherein the Duke had disparaged him.
Mr. Clark making the Duke acquainted herewith, the Duke wrote a Letter the next day to the Earl, bearing date 7 Julii, telling him, That he had willingly intended the accommodation of his affairs; but by what he had now said to Mr. Clark, he was disobliged, unless he should be pleased to relent it. Whereupon the Earl answered with that directness he thought befitting him in point of Honour. The course of Mediation was interrupted, and the Duke so far incensed, that he swore he would have him questioned for his life. In the interim, (which the Earl desired might be known to the Lords) his late Majesty was so far from thinking him a Delinquent, or any way dishonest, that he was often heard to say and swear, That he held him an honest Man, and that he would answer for him, that he had neither committed Felony nor Treason. And this divers are ready to depose. The which he well confirmed, for that he gave general leave to all Gentlemen of the Court, Privy-Counsellors, and to his Secretary of State, to have free access unto him; yea, even so far, as to admit of Visits and Entercourses with Spanish Ambassadors, and the Padre Maestre, as is best known to my Lord Conway, by whose Letter he received his Majesty's leave in that particular.
Then he resumed the state of his business where he left it, which was in the hands of the Commissioners, and they were to frame Interrogatories for him; the which, although they had promised should be sent him within a few days, yet such Art was used, that six or seven weeks were spent in the framing of them, to the end that his Majesty's Progress beginnings there might be no means for the further clearing of the business: And so supposing, that for the answering of the Twenty Interrogatories of so high a nature, the Earl, would take, some time, they caused the said Interrogatories to be delivered unto him within a few days before the beginning of the Progress; but he used so much diligence, that he made ready to answer in persona, though it were in the nature of a Delinquent. Unto which his Majesty answered most graciously, That out of his favour, and for that he would not do him wrong, he would not admit of it, but that he should send his Answer, and he; would instantly put an end to his businesses; as will appear by Letters. Hereupon the Duke was put into a great strait how to keep him any longer from his Majesty, but desired that only a few Questions more might be asked of him; which the King, upon great urging and instance, condescended unto, so that the Questions might be presently sent him: But herein were such Artifices used, that the bringing of any was delayed until the King had begun his Progress; and then, within a day or two, the Lord Conway sent him word, That he had order indeed for the sending of him some more Questions, but out of his affection to him he forbore the sending of them, unless he should press for them. Whereupon the Earl instantly wrote unto him, that they might be sent unto him. My Lord Conway made him answer by his Letter, That the wished rather the course of Mediation might be pursued, for that would but further exasperate; but if he would needs have the Questions, they should be sent to him. Whereupon he sent to sollicite his Lordship for them with all earnestness, insomuch as to petition his late Majesty twice, that the said Questions might be sent: But when the turn was served of keeping him from the King's presence, the said Questions were never more heard of till this day.
So likewise the Earl having sent his answer to all the Commissioners, who most of them made not nice to declare, that they were fully satisfied; and when it was perceived that the Commissioners would certainly clear him, and that he thereby should be restored unto his Majesty's favour, they were never more permitted to meet: A proceeding which, as he conceived, their Lordships would think hardly to be parallell'd, that a Commission should be appointed to condemn, if there had been cause, but not to clear.
After the Progress was ended, he began again to sollicite his Majesty, and wrote particularly unto the Duke of Buckingham. Whereupon the Duke was pleased to send four or five Propositions, which he desired he should acknowledge; the which Propositions contained nothing but what had been already propounded and satisfied in the former Interrogatories: And if he would make his acknowledgment, he then promised to imploy his force and power with the King and Prince, that he should be admitted to kiss their hands, and be received into their gracious favour; but otherwise, in a menacing sort, That he should lay his hands upon his breast, and so that would be best for him. And in the Preface of the said Propositions, he writeth these words which follow, It is an assertion not granted, that the Earl of Bristol by his answer had satisfied either the King, the Prince, or me of his Innocency. A presumptuous commination for any Subject.
But these Propositions were so unjust, that he wrote unto the Duke, that instead of an acknowledgment, he had sent him an answer unto them; unto which, if either himself, or any Man living, was able to reply, he would submit himself to any thing that should be demanded. But this no way satisfied the Duke, although it did his late Majesty, who, in the Duke's presence said, I were to be accounted a Tyrant, to enjoyn an innocent Man to confess faults, of which he was not guilty. And thereupon sent him word, That he should make his Answer, but acknowledge nothing he was not faulty in. And although he received this Message from the King's own mouth, as will be deposed, yet the Duke at the same time wrote unto him, That the conclusion of all that had been treated with his Majesty, was, That he should make the Acknowledgment in such manner, as was set down in this Paper. And at this time likewise it was, that his Majesty sent him word, That he would hear him concerning the Duke of Buckingham, as well as he had heard the Duke concerning him. And this was not long before his Majesty's sickness: And in the interim, as he had heard by several ways the King suffered much, and was infinitely pressed by the Duke concerning the said Earl and his affairs; and this, he said, was the suffering he had spoken of to their Lordships the other day.
The Earl craved leave of their Lordships to specifie some other particulars, where by it should appear, that his Majesty was in no kind ill-opinion'd of him till his dying-day; viz. That several persons will depose, that they have heard his Majesty say, That he esteemed him an honest Man; and that he was pleased to accept of Toys by way of Present from him, graciously, and in good part; and at last was likewise pleased to give him leave to come to London, and to follow his own affairs; and that his pleasure was signified unto him by the Duke his own Letter. Whereupon he determined to come to London, intimated to the Duke his intention of going to his Lodging in Whitehall; but the Duke was therewith incensed again, and said, He mistook the King's meaning, which was, that he might privately follow his own business. And this, he said, was the true state and condition, when it pleased God to take unto his mercy his late most gracious Majesty.
Upon his Majesty's coming to the Crown, he said, He wrote a most humble Letter unto his Majesty, imploring his grace and goodness, and desiring the Duke's Mediation. But he was pleased to answer by his Letter of 7 May 1625. That the resolution was to proceed against him, without a plain and direct confession of the Point which he had formerly required him to acknowledge; and in a Courtly manner of menace, telleth him, That he would take the freedom to advise him, to bethink himself in time what would be most for his good. But in the interim his Majesty was graciously pleased, that his Writ of Parliament should be sent him; and thereupon he wrote unto the Duke of the receipt of the said Writ, but that he should do nothing but what he should understand to be most agreeable to his Majesty's pleasure. Whereunto the Duke answered, in his Letter of May, in this manner: I have acquainted his Majesty with your requests towards him, touching our Summons to the Parliament, which he taketh very well, and would have you rather make excuse for your absence, notwithstanding your Writ, than to come your self in person. Whereupon he sent humbly to desire a Letter of leave under his Majesty's hand for his Warrant; but instead thereof, he received from the L. Conway an absolute Prohibition, and to restrain and confine him in such sort, as he hath been in the late King's time: and although he was indeed absolutely set free, he could never get clear'd by the L. Conway, though he sent him all the Papers to examine; and when he could make no further reply, he said, He conceived he was under restraint, and that his liberty expired with the late King's death; when indeed Restraint may expire, but liberty is natural. After this he continued for the space of three quarters of a year in the Country without moving, in which time he was removed from those places and Offices he held, during his late Majesty's life; and the greatest part of his Estate being laid out in their Majesty's service, by their particular appointment, he could never be admitted so much as to the clearing of Accompts. Yet hereof he never made the least complaint: But against the time of his Majesty's Coronation, he thought it fit to lay hold of that occasion, when Princes do Acts of grace and favour, to be a most humble Suitor to his Majesty for his grace and goodness; and addressed his Letters unto the Duke of Buckingham, from whom he received a Letter all written in his own hand, and therein a Letter inclosed from his Majesty, so different from some gracious Message which he had received from his Majesty since the said Earl returned into England, Upon the occasion of a great sickness; and likewise from his speeches several times delivered to his Wife, to wit, That he had never offended him, and that for his faults he no ways held them criminal, but to be expiated by any easie acknowledgment; That he confessed he knew not what judgment to make of the said Letter, neither hath presumed hitherto to make any Answer thereto; although by reducing the occasion of speeches, and circumstances to his Majesty's memory, he no ways doubteth but he shall be able to give unto his Majesty such satisfaction to every particular that his Majesty would not remain with the least scruple in any one point.
"After this he said, that his writ of Parliament was detained; whereupon he addressed himself to the Lord Keeper, that he would be a Suitor to his Majesty for him in that behalf: which diligences not taking effect, by Petition he became a Suitor to their Lordships for their Honourable mediation to his Majesty, and thereupon his Writ of Parliament was awarded: But the Duke of Buckingham upon that took occasion, as he had published Copies of the said Letter over all the Kingdom, to read it likewise unto that honourable House, as was best known unto their Lordships, and the Writ was accompanied with a Prohibition from the Lord Keeper; whereupon he addressed himself for Justice to that Honourable House, (being possessed of his Cause by his Petition) for both redress of his own wrongs, and likewise of Complaints against the Duke for many Crimes: And that Honourable House being possessed of his Cause by his Petition, there is preferred against him a succeeding Complaint amounting as high as Treason (as it is pretended) although he for divers years hath not been question'd; yet since his complaint against the Duke he hath been fetcht up like a Prisoner, and brought into the House as a Dilinquent; And the Duke, of whom he hath complained for his great Crimes, is admitted still to fit in the House as one of his Judges. The which with all that he hath formerly said, together with his Life, Fortunes and Honour, he did with all willingness, humility and duty, submit to the Justice and Honour of that House.
"Then the Lords asked him, when he would bring in his Answer? He promised to Answer as soon as might be, but knew not how far he should have occasion to use his ancient Dispatches. The Lord Keeper told him, That Mr. Attorny might help him by letting him know it: The Attorny said, that his Charge should in nothing look further back then to the year 1621. which he desired might be recorded.
Articles of the Earl of Bristol, whereby he chargeth the Duke of Buckingham, bearing Date the First day of May, 1626.
- I. That the Duke of did secretly combine with the Conde of Ambassador for the King of , before his the said Ambassador's last return into , in the Summer 1622. To carry his Majesty (then Prince) into , to the end he might be informed and instructed in the Roman Religion, and thereby have perverted the Prince, and subverted the true Religion, established in : From which misery this Kingdom (next under God's mercy) hath by the wise, religious, and constant carriage of his Majesty been almost miraculously delivered, considering the many bold and subtle attempts of the said Duke in that kind.
- II. That Mr. was made acquainted therewith, and sent into ; and such Messages at his return framed, as might serve for a ground to set on foot this Conspiracy; The which was done accordingly, and thereby the King and Prince highly abused, and their Consents thereby first gotten to the said Journy, that is to say, after the return of the said Mr. , which was about the end of , or the beginning of 1622. whereas the said Duke had plotted it many months before.
- III. That the said Duke, at his arrival in , nourished the Ministers, not only in the belief of his own being Popishly affected, but did (both by absenting himself from all Exercises of Religion constantly used in the Earl of House, and frequented by all other Protestant , and by conforming himself to please the in divers Rites of their Religion, even so far as to kneel and adore their Sacrament) from time to time give the hope of the Prince his Conversion: The which Conversion he endeavoured to procure by all means possible: and thereby caused the Ministers to propound far worse Conditions for Religion, than had been formerly by the Earl of Bristol and Sir , settled and signed under their Majesty's hands, with a Clause in the King of Answer of 12. 1622. that they held the Articles agreed upon sufficient, and such as ought to induce the Pope to the granting of the Dispensation.
- IV. That the Duke of having several times in the presence of the Earl of moved and pressed his late Majesty; at the instance of the Conde of , to write a Letter unto the Pope, and to that purpose having once brought a Letter ready drawn, wherewith the Earl of by his Majesty being made acquainted, did so strongly oppose the writing of any such Letter, that during the abode of the said Earl of Bristol in , the said Duke could not obtain it; yet not long after the Earl was gone, he procured such a Letter to be written from his said late Majesty unto the Pope, and to have him stiled [.]
- V. That the Pope being informed of the Duke of inclination and intention in point of Religion, sent unto the said Duke a particular Bull in parchment, for to perswade and encourage him in the perversion of his Majesty then Prince.
- VI. That the said Duke's behaviour in was such, that he thereby so incensed the king of and his Ministers, as they would admit of no reconciliation, nor further dealing with him. Whereupon the said Duke seeing that the Match would be now to his disadvantage, he endeavoured to break it, not for any service to the Kingdom, nor dislike of the Match in it self, nor for that he found (as since he hath pretended) that the did not really intend the said Match, but out of his particular ends and his indignation.
- VII. That after he intended to cross the Marriage, he put in practice divers undue courses; as namely, making use of the Letters of his Majesty (then Prince) to his own ends, and not to what they were intended; as likewise concealing divers things of high importance from his late Majesty, and thereby overthrew his Majesty's purposes, and advanced his own ends.
- VIII. That the said Duke, as he had with his skill and artifices formerly abused their Majesties, so to the same end he afterwards abused both Houses of Parliament by his sinister Relation of the carriage of Affairs, as shall be made appear almost in every particular that he spake unto the said Houses.
- IX. As for scandal given by his personal behaviour, as also the imploying of his power with the King of for the procuring of Favours and Offices which he bestowed upon base and unworthy persons for the recompence and heir of his Lust; these things as neither sit for the Earl of to speak, nor indeed for the House to hear, he leaveth to your Lordship's wisdom how far you will be pleased to have them examined; It having been indeed a great infamy and dishonour to this Nation, that a Person of the Duke's great quality and imployments, a Privy-Counsellor, an Ambassador, eminent in his Master's favour, and solely trusted with the Person of the Prince, should leave behind him in a Forreign Court so much scandal, as he did by his ill behaviour.
- X. That the Duke hath been in great part the Cause of the ruine and misfortune of the Prince and his Estates, in as much as those Affairs had relation unto this Kingdom.
- XI. That the Duke of hath in his Relations to both Houses of Parliament wronged the Earl of in point of his Honour by many sinister aspersions which he hath said upon him, and in point of his Liberty by many undue Courses through his power and practices.
- XII. That the Earl of did reveal unto his late Majesty both by word and Letter, in what sort the said Duke had disserved him and abused his trust: And that the King by several ways sent him word, That he should rest assured he would hear the said Earl, but that he should leave it to him to take his own time. And thereupon, few days before his sickness, he sent the Earl word, that he would hear him against the said Duke, as well as he had heard the said Duke against him. Which the Duke himself heard; And not long after, his Blessed Majesty sickned and died, having been in the interim much vexed and pressed by the said Duke.
Articles of the Earl of Bristol against the Lord Conway, bearing Date 1 Maii 1626.
- I. That the Lord is so great a Servant of the Duke of that he hath not stuck to send the Earl of plain word, That if businesses could not be accommodated betwixt him and the Duke, he must then adhere and declare himself for the said Duke; and therefore unfit to be a Judge in any thing that concerneth the Duke or the Earl.
- II. That the said Lord professeth himself to be a Secretary of the Duke of creation, and so acknowledged it under his own hand: And altough that he be the King's Secretary of State, and a Privy-Conncellor, he usually beginneth his Letters to the Duke, [.]
- III. That as a Creature of the said Dukes, the said Lord hath been made the Instrument of keeping the Earl of from the King's presence, and of Imprisoning of him by Warrants only under his own hand; for which he cannot (as the Earl conceiveth) produce any sufficient Warrant.
- IV. That by the space of twelve Months last past, the said Lord hath been the Cause of the Earl's restraint, only by misinforming his Majesty, and procuring a Letter of restraint upon undue grounds: And when it was made apparent unto him, that the said Earl was restored to his liberty freely to follow his own affairs by his late Majesty of blessed memory, he replied, That that liberty given him by his Majesty expired with the King's death.
- V. That the Earl of Mother lying sick upon her death-bead, desired for her comfort to see her Son, and to give him her last blessing: Whereupon the Earl writ to the Lord , to desire him to move the King for his leave; which he putting off from day to day, told the person employed, That by reason of the Duke's sickness he could not find opportunity to get the Duke's leave to move the King; And having spoken with the Duke, he made a Negative Answer in the King's name. Whereupon the Earl acquainting the King by some of his Bedchamber, his Majesty was in a very great anger, swearing the Secretary had never moved him, and that to deny the said Earl leave, was a barbarous part; and thereupon sent him presently free leave, which the Secretary hearing of, sent afterwards a Letter of leave, but with divers clauses and limitations differing from the leave, sent him from the King's own mouth.
- VI. That the having the businesses of the Earl of in his own hands, and the Earl being commanded by the King to address himself in his occasions unto his Lordship, he would never deliver any Message, from the said Earl, without acquainting the laid Duke, and receiving his directions, and in a noble manner of freeness stuck not to send him word.
- VII. That the Earl of having received from the Lord Twenty Interrogatories in his late Majesty's name, drawn up by a Commission of the Lords appointed to search into the Proceedings and Imployments of the said Earl, in, which search there was more than two months spent, divers of the said Interrogatories involving Felony and Treason; And his Majesty having been pleased to assure the said Earl both by Message and Letters, that upon sitisfaction given to himself, and the Commissioners by his Answers, he would presently put an end to the Earl of Business. The Earl of having so fully answered as would admit of no reply; and that many of the Commissioners declared themselves to be fully satisfied: the said Lord (being the Secretary in the Commission, to whom it properly belonged to call the Lords to assemble) perceiving the Earl of Bristol was like to be cleared, never moved for any further meeting, neither have they ever been permitted to meet until this day, whereby the troubles of the Earl of have been kept on foot till this present, and the said Earl's Imprisonment hath been enlarged twenty months. And by the Artifices of the said Duke of and the said Lord (as shall be made appear) the said Earl hath been insensibly involved and stauked into the troubles he is now in, which he doubteth not but your Lordships will judge to be a very considerable Case.
- VIII. That for a colour of keeping the Earl from his late Majesty's presence, it being pretended after the Answer to the twenty Interrogatories, that there were some few Questions more to be added, whereunto when he should have Answered, his Majesty swore solemnly, that without any delay he should be admitted to his presence, and that within two or three days he should have the said Questions sent unto him; the Lord notwithstanding he acknowledged under his hand, that he had received his Majesty's directions for the sending of the said Articles, and was often thereunto sollicited on the behalf of the said Earl, would never send the said Questions; and at last Answered, That he had no more to do with the Earl's businesses.
- IX. That the Earl of being set free by his late Majesty to come to to follow his own Affairs as he pleased, and thereupon having his Writ of Parliament sent unto him, without any Letter of Prohibition; but the Earl of , out of his great desire to conform all his actions to that which he should understand would best please his Majesty, sent to know whether his going or stay would be most agreeable unto his Majesty? who was pleased to Answer by a Letter from my Lord Duke of , That he took in very good part the said Earl's respect unto him; but wished him to make some excuse for the present: The which accordingly he did, and moved, That he might have a Letter under the King's hand to warrant his absence; but under colour of this Letter of leave, upon the Earl of own motion and desire, the Lord sent a Letter from his Majesty absolutely forbidding his coming to Parliament, and therein likewise was inserted a Clause, That the Earl should remain restrained as he was in the time of his late ; and so thereby a colour of restraint under his hand was gotten, which could never be procured in his late Majesty's time; whereby the Earl of hath been unduly restrained ever since without being able to procure any redress, or to make the Lord willing to understand his Case, although he sent him all the papers, whereby he might clearly see, that the Earl was not under restraint in his late Majesty's time; but never other Answer could be procured from him, but That he judged the said Earl to be under restraint, and that his Liberty was expired by the late King's death, as is aforesaid.
- X. That the Lord , knowing that the Match for the marrying of the King of eldest Son with the Emperor's Daughter, and being bred in the Emperor's Court, was allowed and propounded by his late Majesty: And that his Majesty by his Letters unto his Son-in-law, declareth, That he thinketh it the fairest and clearest way for the accommodation of his Affairs, and that he will take sufficient care for his breeding in true religion. And notwithstanding that the said Earl received a Copy of the said Letter by the said late King's order, with other Papers setting down all that had been done in the said business, and his Majesty's assent thereunto from the Lord himself; yet hath he suffered all to be charged, as a crime against the Earl of , both in the twentieth Interrogatory, and in his Majesty's last Letter, that he should consent to the breeding of the young Prince in the Emperor's Court. And further in the Interrogatory he alledgeth it is an aggravation against the said Earl, That the breeding of the said Prince in the Emperor's Court inferred to the perversion of his Religion, when he knew that the said breeding was never thought nor spoken of by the King, nor any other, but with that express Clause and Condition, That he should be bred in his own Religion, and have such Tutors and Servants, as his Father should appoint.
- XI. That the Lord hath been the Cause of all the Earl of Troubles by his dubious and intrapping Dispatches, and inferring, That the said Earl hath failed in his Directions, when it shall be made appear, That his Dispatches contained no such Directions as he hath a alledged were given.
The House not being satisfied to commit the Earl to the Tower, let him remain where he was before, with the Gentleman Usher; and further ordered, That the King's Charge against the Earl of Bristol be first heard, and then the Charge of the said Earl against the Duke; yet so that the Earl's Testimony against the Duke be not prevented, prejudiced, or impeached.
That his Majesty taketh notice of the Articles exhibited against the Duke of Buckingham by the Earl of Bristol; and he observeth that many of them are such, as himself is able to say more of his own knowledge than any Man for the Duke's sincere carriage in them: That one of them, touching the Narrative made in Parliament in the One and twentieth of King James, trencheth as far upon himself as the Duke; for that his Majesty went as far as the Duke in that Declaration; and that all of them have been closed in the Earl's own breast now for these two years, contrary to his Duty, if he had known any crime of that nature by the Duke; and now he vents it by way of recrimination against the Duke, whom he knows to be a principal Witness to prove his Majesty's Charge.
And therefore, that his Majesty gave them thanks, that they gave no way to the Earl of Bristol's unreasonable motion, of putting the Duke under the same restraint that they had put the Earl, thereby eschewing what the Earl aimeth at, to alter their dutiful Proceedings towards his Majesty: That thereby they had made his Majesty confident, that as they have, so they will put a difference between his Majesty's Charge against one that appeareth as a Delinquent; and the recrimination of the Earl of Bristol against his Majesty's Witness; and they will not equal them by a proceeding Pari Passu.
At this time there was an endeavour to take the Earl's Cause out of the House, and to proceed by way of Indictment in the King's Bench: To which manner of proceeding why the Lords should not give way, these ensuing Reasons were offered to consideration.
I. It was ordered, That in all causes of moment, the Defendants shall have Copies of all Depositions both and after publication, in convenient time, before hearing, to prepare themselves; and if the Defendants will demand that of the House in due time, they shall have their learned Counsel to assist them in their defence: And their Lordships declared, That they did give their Assents thereto; because in all cases, as well Civil as Criminal and Capital, they hold, That all lawful help could not before just Judges make one that is guilty avoid Justice; and on the other side, God defend that one Innocent should be condemned.
II. The Earl of by his Petition to the House complained of his restraint, desiring to be heard here, as well in points of his wrongs, as in his accusations against the Duke; whereof his Majesty taking consideration, signified his pleasure by the Lord Keeper; the 20, That his Majesty was resolved to put his Cause upon the honour and Justice of this House; and that his pleasure was that the said Earl should be sent for as a Delinquent to answer the offences he committed in his Negotiation before his Majesty's going into , whilst his Majesty was there, and since his coming thence; and that his Majesty would Cause these things to be charged against him in this House; so as the House is fully possessed of the Cause, as well by the Earl's Petition, as by the King's assent, and the Earl brought up to the House as a Delinquent to answer his offences there; and Mr. Attorny hath accordingly delivered the Charge against him in the House, and the Earl also his Charge against the Duke: And now if he be proceeded withal by way of Indictment in the King's-Bench, these dangerous inconveniences will follow, .
- 1. He can have no Counsel.
- 2. He can have no Witness against the King.
- 3. He cannot know what the Evidences against him will be, in a convenient time to prepare for his Defence; and so the Innocent may be condemned, which may be the Case of any Peer.
- 4. The Liberties of the House will be thereby infringed, the Honour and Justice thereof declined, contrary to the King's pleasure expresly signified by the Lord Keeper.
- All these things are expresly against the Order.
- 5. The Earl being indicted, it will not be in the power of the House to keep him from Arraignment, and so he may be disabled to make good his Charge against the Duke.
Therefore the way to proceed according to the Directions and true meaning of the Order, and the King's pleasure already signified, and preserve the Liberties of the House and protect one from injury, will be.
First, to have the Charge delivered into the House in writing, and the Earl to set down his Answer to it in writing; and that the Witnesses may be examined, and Evidences on both sides heard, by such course and manner of proceedings as shall be thought sit by the House; and if upon full hearing the House shall find it to be Treason then to proceed by way of Indictment; if doubtful in point of Law, to have the opinion of the Judges to clear it, if doubtful in matter of Fact, then to refer it to a regal Fait; And the rather for that,
- 1. It appears that the Earl, in the space of two years (till now he complained) hath not been so much as questioned for matter of Treason.
- 2. He hath been examined upon twenty Interrogatories, and the Commissioners satisfie, That his Answer would admit of no Reply.
- 3. The Lord by several Letters hath intimated, That there was nothing against him but what was pardoned by the Parliament. Pardon of the . And signified his Majesty's pleasure, That he might rest in that security he was, and sit still.
This question was put to all the Justices, Whether a Peer impeached for Treason shall be tried in Parliament? And the chief Justice, in the name of all the Justices, delivered his opinion that the course by Law was Indictment, and this to be signified in Parliament, before the Lord Steward; vide 10 Edward 4. 6. or by Bill, and an Act of Parliament to attaint the Party. An Order was made in the Upper-House of Parliament 21 Jac. That any Peer shall have Counsel in Case Criminal or Capital; and upon the Accusation of the Earl of Bristol in Parliament, he made a motion for Counsel; which matter was commended to the King by the Lords with voucher of the said former Order: The King returned Answer, That this was contrary to the Fundamental Laws of the Realm; but inasmuch as it was for his Benefit and Prerogative, with which he may dispense; therefore out of his grace he would allow the Earl of Bristol to have his Counsel with protestion that he would advise in the general; and the same order was made without his privity, and without hearing the Justices or his Counsel. And upon the Trial of the Lord Middlesex, in a Case Criminal and not Capital; afterward that is to say Friday after, upon the assembly of all the Justices, the Attorny of the King by commandment of the King, demanded their opinion; and they with one voice agreed, That where the Trial is upon Indictment, no Counsell in Felony or Treason is to be allowed, unless a matter of Law happen or upon the Indictment, or upon Plea of the Defendant, or upon Evidence, and in such Cases the Prisoner may have Counsel, but not otherwise.
The Lords by Order referred to the Justices this question, Whether the King may be a witness in Case of Treason? Secondly, Admit that this be for Treason done when he is privy: Whether in this Case he may be a witness or not? and before the Resolution, this Message and Command came from the King to the Justices, that in this general question they do not deliver any opinion; but if any point come in particular, they, upon mature deliberation, may give their advice. And this was declared by the Chief Justice in the Upper House of Parliament, and the said, matter surceased.
Sitting this Parliament, the Duke of Buckingham was deputed Procurator by several Peers, whose Votes on any occasion he had power to make use of; viz. by the Earls of Bath, Exeter, Cumberland, Northumberland, Lord Teinham, Colchester, Tunbridge, Evers, Darcy, Meynel, Noel, St. John of Basing, Mansfield, and Roberts, Whereupon the House of Peers made an Order, That after this Session, no Lord of this House shall be capable of receiving above two Proxies, or more to be numbred in any cause voted.
About a fortnight after, the Charge was given in against the Earl of Bristol, the Earl gave in his Answer, which we have chosen to insert here for the Reader's more conveniency, though a little out of time. And having the Answer in his hand, ready to deliver to their Lordships, he did crave leave, that by way of Introduction he might speak a few words, and began thus:
"I Am not insensible upon what disadvantages I come to Trial in this Cause: For First, I am faln into his Majesty's heavy displeasure, and am to encounter with a potent Adversary, highly in favour, and am accused for Treason; for which, all Counsel and Friends abandon me, as a Man infected with the Plague; I am become bound and under restraint; whereas a Man who is to encounter for his Life and Honour, and with a strong Adversary, had need to come upon equal terms.
"But as to the Matter, I find my self charged with divers Articles of High Treason; but looking into them with the eyes of my best understanding, with the opinion also of my Counsel lately assigned me, and taking them apart one Article from another, I find not any thing in them like Treason, or that hath so much as the shew or countenance of a fault, either in act or words; only by laying all things together, and by wresting the wrests with a strained construction, directly contrary to the true, sense and meaning of them, and the occasion whereupon they were spoken, it is informed, and that by way of inference only, That the intent was evil, and the matter to prove the intent to be evil, depends upon two props, viz. III affection to Religion, and too much affection to Spain; which, if I shall clear, the Inference grounded upon these props, will fall of it self.
"Therefore I crave leave of your Lordships, before I give my Answer to the Charge, that I may give you an account of these two particulars; and I humbly beseech you, that what I shall speak in my just defence, may not be conceived to proceed of vain ostentation.
And First for Religion, I was in my Childhood bred in the Protestant Religion, and rather after the stricter manner than otherwise. When I grew in years sit, I travelled into France, Italy, and Rome it self: In all which Travels, I can produce some that I consorted with-all, who will witness with me, that I ever constantly used the Religion I professed, without the least prevarication; no Man being able to charge me, that so much as out of curiosity I ever was present at any of the Exercises belonging to the Roman Religion, or did the least act of conformity to any their Rites or Ceremonies.
"Secondly, after my return home, I was received into the service of his late Majesty of blessed memory, whom I served some years as a Gentleman of his Privy Chamber, and Carver; in which time, none of his Majesty's Servants received the Holy Sacrament, frequented Sermons, and other Exercises of our Religion more than I.
"Thirdly, in that time of my youth, not to avoid idleness, but out of affection to Religion, I translated that excellent Book of our faith, and great Points of our Religion, written by Monsieur Moulins; which his late Majesty having sometimes after seen, approved so well, that he would needs have it printed; which accordingly was printed in the name of Mr. Sampford my Chaplain, to whom I gave the honour: But it was my own act, as Mr. Sampford will not deny, though, to this hour, I had never before spoken it.
"Fourthly, about seven or eight and twenty years of my age, I was employed Ambassador into Spain, in that great business of the Treaty of the Marriage; and whereas others before me carried with them but one Chaplain, I had two, viz, Mr. Sampford and Mr. Boswel; and at my arrival at the Court of Spain, I caused it to be published, that such a day (God willing) I purposed to have a Communion, to the end that that such English as were in the Town, might resort thither. Whereat the Duke de Lerma, and other the great Ministers of Spain, took offence, and told me, they might well perceive, I brought no good affection to the business I came about, that would so publickly and avowedly in that Court, where never the like was done, proclaim there a Communion; and with high expressions perswaded me to decline it. Where-unto I answered, I came to do my Matter's service, which I would heartily and effectually endeavour, but would not omit my service to God, no, though my Master commanded. And at the Communion there were present one hundred persons, some of them Brothers, Kinsmen, and near Dependants upon some of their Lordships, whom I see there in my eye. This I did in Spain; the like I did in Germany, in the Emperor's Courts, in my Ambassage thither.
Fifthly, I had in my several Employments into Spain and Germany, above five hundred persons of all qualities attending upon me, and never one perverted in Religion; my Children carefully instructed and bred in the same Religion. I had constantly every Sabbath a Sermon in my House; and Sacraments, and other Exercises of our Religion frequented.
Seventhly, one of the English dying in the Town of Madrid, of whose Religion there was some question made; and the King's Chaplains telling me, that they at the day of his death had been with him, and taken an account of his faith, and that he died a Protestant: I caused him to be brought home to my House, and there buried according to our Rites; whereat much ado was made, and it was threatned, that the Inquisitors and other Officers, would come and fetch him our, and bury him after their manner: I stood upon it, and that it was the King of England's House, and openly protested, that whosoever should come thither with such intent, I would shoot at him with a Peece; and exhorted all my People, that if such an attempt should be, they should, rather than suffer such a dishonour to our Religion, die with me in that quarrel, and hoped such English as were in the Town would do the like.
"Eighthly, There having been a Monastery for English Jesuits founded and settled at Madrid before my coming thither, and the English Arms set up, I laboured to suppress it, and having written thereof to the late King, his Majesty advised me not to run my head against the Rock, for it was an impossible thing for me to do: yet I undertook it, and it pleased God so to bless my endeavours, that I absolutely dissolved and overthrew it. For which, the Bishop of Winchester, Montague (now with God) wrote unto me by his Majesty's direction, a Letter of his Majesty's gracious acceptance of so great a Service: telling me, Besides the service I had done to the Church and Commonwealth, it should remain a Trophy of Honour to me and my Posterity for ever: And the King himself, with his own hand, wrote unto me, beginning his Letter, Good Fortune Digby, your good luck in your Service well deserves that stile.
"Tenthly, The Match with Spain was not moved by me, I ever advised a Protestant Match, and shewed many Reasons both of Conscience and State; but if with a Catholick, then rather with Spain than France, so as good Conditions might be made for Religion, as appears by a Letter I wrote, and delivered to the Prince, at his First going upon the employment; for which I had like then to have been ruined for being a Puritan, as I am now for being a Papist, and all by one and the same hand.
"Eleventhly, And I appeal to the testimony of Dr. Mason and Dr. Wren, the King's Chaplains with me in Spain; and to Mr. Sampford, Mr. Boswel, and Mr. Frewen my own Chaplains there. And that such Papists as have been my ancient acquaintance and friends, being Men of worth, well known to many of their Lordships, may be examined upon Oath, whether I have not in all places, as well in Spain as in England, and at all times upon sit occasions, avowed my self a Protestant, without the least prevarication; Or whether I did ever any the least act that was not suitable to the same Profession: And that Mr. Frewen, Mr. Wake, my own Chaplains, may give their testimonies, whether in the time of several dangerous sicknesses, which I had of late years faln into, I have not in the time of such my sicknesses (when no Man can be supposed to dissemble with the World, being ready to leave it) made before them a Confession of my faith, and made my Peace with God, resolving to die as befitted a Protestant, and good Christian. This I tell your Lordships, was my Religion I was bred in, have ever professed and lived in, and was resolved, by God's grace, to die in; and yet was so unhappy, by reason of employment, to be distasteful to many good Men, that I have been suspected even by them, not well knowing me: And this hath been the rise the Duke hath now taken against me. Then for my love to Spain, I wonder from whence that opinion should grow, since I was there hated and shamed, as the Man whom, of all others, they desired to have the least to do withal, having stood ever stricter in point of Religion, that by my Instructions I might have done; as after the Capitulation concluded on, they understood by some intelligence which caused their hatred towards me.
Sure I am, I shewed it not by the service I did them; for divers years together there was not a Letter sent by that King to any other State, that the King my Master had not a Copy of before, or by that time it came to the place whither it was directed. There was not any great action on foot, whereof I had not the private Instructions, and sent them thither; not any Expedition by Sea or Land, wherein I had not some Ministers or Intelligencers, that gave me from time to time advertisements of their actions, and most private intentions, whereof I advertised his Majesty from time to time. I used such industry, as to get all the Papers of that King's private Cabinet into my hands; took Copies and Notes of such of them as I thought useful; and upon every of them set my private mark before they were conveyed back again, to the end, that if I should have had an occasion to have charged him with any thing mentioned in the same Papers, I might have let him see I knew it, by telling him in what Paper it was, and marked with such a mark.
There was not a Port in Spain, that I had not caused the depth of it to be sounded, not a Fort whereof I knew not the strength, both for the Garrison, Munition, and other matters of advantage and disadvantage; insomuch as if it should please the King to appoint a Committee of the Lords to take an account of me, I should, by the stores I gathered there, and brought with me, make it appear, I was as useful a Servant to his Majesty in a War, as in Peace. Whereas at his Majesty's coming out of Spain, the powers of the Desponsories were to be deposited in some Man's hands; and the Duke, upon pretence of doing me honour, but intending to break my neck, by it, moved, they might be left with me, and the King of Spain was contented; and so they were put into my hands, not as an Attorney only for the Prince: But the King of Spain having taken the substitution of them by his Secretary of State, entred in Legal form; whereby that King was then become interressed in them by their occupation, as well as the Prince by granting of them. And becoming the Instrumentum stipulatum, wherein they were both interressed, they were deposited into my hands, as an indifferent person, trusted between the King of Spain and the Prince, with a Declaration of the Trust. And now the Duke was returned out of Spain, he plotted by ruin, and put it in execution in this manner. He concealed, that the powers were to expire at Christmas, and procured his Majesty to write a Letter, (not a direct Command) but expressing a desire, that the Desponsories should not be till one of the days in Christmas, intending thereby to draw me into a Dilemma, That if I proceeded in the Match, this Letter should, as now it is, have been inforced against me, as a breach of Instructions: If I had not proceeded, then I had broken my trust between the Prince and King of Spain, overthrown the Marriage, so long sought and laboured, it being the main scope of my Ambassage, contrary to express Warrant, and that upon a Letter I must needs know to be a mistake. And when I had written into England, to have a direct Warrant in the point, the Duke then seeing that Plot would not take, he dealt with divers great Lords, as was well known to some of their Lordships there present, to have me, upon my arrival in England, committed to the Tower, before I should ever come to speak with the King; which the Spanish Ambassador, here in England, having gotten private notice of, gave advertisement thereof to that King: who thereupon foreseeing my danger, and consulting with his Council and Divines, what were fit for him in Honour and Conscience to do in that case, they resolved, That seeing my sufferings grew by being an honest Man, and endeavouring to perform the trust reposed in me by that King, as well as the Prince; That King was bound both in Honour and Conscience, not only to preserve me from ruin, but to make me a reparation for any loss I should sustain by occasion of the Trust: Whereupon, at his departure, going to Court to take his leave, the Conde Olivares told me, what was plotted against me in England; and in respect of the danger, by reason of the greatness of my Adversary, perswaded me to stay there, and in his Master's name made an offer, not in secret, but in the presence of Sir Walter Aston.
Upon what grounds and hope came I to encounter with those dangers? Not upon hope of my greatness in Court, and strength of Friends there, to boulster out an ill cause; no sure, my strength was too weak, and my Adversaries too powerful. But I knew my Conscience was clear, and my Cause good, and trust in God Almighty. And to him now, and to their Lordships Judgments, recommended my self, and my Cause.
And then he delivered his Answer, desiring their Lordships it might be after recorded in Parchment, that it might remain to posterity; which being read by one of his Council, the Lord Keeper asked him, Whether he desired to say any more than he had done? He answered, That he had something more to say, but knew not the Order, or whether Mr. Attorney would speak first; but he being desired to speak, He desired their Lordships he might put them in mind of what he conceived they had already promised; which was, That the Duke whom he accused in that House of far higher offences, than any with which he was charged, might be proceeded with as he was, and that they might be upon equal Conditions. And that such Heads as he had delivered against the Duke, being of such matters as he met withal in his Negotiation as an Ambassador, and which he had, according to his duty, acquainted the State withal, might, by their Lordships care and order, he put into Legal form, and prosecuted; for so was the use, when he had the honour to sit at the Council-Table. He said, He conceived he had already done his part to inform, and would be ready to make it good, it concerning their Lordships to see it prosecuted, it not being to be expected that he should sollicite it; or if he would, he could not, being under restraint. And he desired likewise, that the Judges might deliver their opinions, Whether the matter charged against him were Treason; that if it should not be so in their opinions, he might not lie under so heavy a burden.
He put their Lordships in mind, That it was a strange manner of proceeding, that upon a displeasure, a Peer of the Kingdom complaining of those that had practised against him, and had been the causers of his sufferings, should then, and never but then, be charged with Treason. He told them, it was not his case alone, but it equally concerned them, and their Posterity, and, it might be, some others hereafter, more than him now. For, he said, he thanked God, he had some experience in the world, and thereby, and by those things he had kept, was able to make his innocency appear, which, perhaps, would not be every Man's hereafter; and so many an honest heart in a good cause distracted with fears, and abandoned of Friends, might perish through the malice of a potent Adversary.
The Lords again asked him whether he had any thing more to say? He answered, No, but desired leave only to explain himself in two things; one in his Speech now spoken, and the other when he was first brought to the House. That in his Speech this day, was, where he affirmed, he had like to have been ruined in his Negotiation: First, for being a Puritan, and now for being a Papist, and both by one hand; he explained it to be by the hand of the Duke of 'Buckingham, And the other when he First came to the House, saying there, For redress of former sufferings, and meeting on the sudden with Treason charged upon him, he spake in passion, expressing the wrongs and injuries done him by the Duke; and told their Lordships, He had used means to convey part of his sufferings to the late King his Master, who, in the Duke's hearing, sware he would (after he had heard the Duke against him) hear him also against the Duke; for which his Majesty suffered much, or to some such purpose. Now he understandeth this speech to reflect upon what was in agitation in the Lower House; but he said, Although he could not well excuse the Duke's indiscretion in that point, yet he spake it not any ways to corroborate that opinion; for howsoever the Duke were his enemy, yet he could not think so dishonourably of him.
The Answer of the Earl of Bristol to the Articles of several High Treasons, and other great and enormous Crimes, Offences, and Contempts, supposed to be committed by him against our late Sovereign Lord King James of blessed memory, deceased, and our Sovereign Lord the King's Majesty that now is; wherewith the said Earl is charged by his Majesty's Attorney-General, on his Majesty's behalf, in the most high and Honourable Court of Parliament, before the King and the Lords there. And not acknowledging any the supposed Treasons, Crimes, Offences, and Contempts, wherewith he is charged, in, and by the said Articles to be true; and saving to himself all advantages, benefit, and exception to the incertainty and insufficiency of the said Articles, and of the several Charges in them contained: And humbly praying, that his Cause may not suffer for want of a Legal form whereunto he hath not been used but may be judged according to such real and effectual Grounds and 'Proofs, as may be accepted from an Ambassador (the ground of the Charge growing thence) and that he may have leave to explain himself, and his own meaning, in any thing that may seem of a doubtful Construction, For Answer, faith as followeth.
I. The First Article he denieth; and because the Matters contained in the said Article consist of several parts, viz. The loss of the said Palatinate, and the Match with the said Lady of Spain, and of the several Employments, as of one Extraordinary Ambassage to the Emperor, and another to the King of Spain, in the years 1621, 22, and 23. He humbly craves leave of this most Honourable Court to separate the businesses, and distinguish the times.
And beginning with the Palatinate first, to give an account of his Ambassage to the Emperor, and so to make as brief a Deduction as he could of the whole carriage in that business, from the beginning of his employment, to the time he left it, in his Ambassage to the Emperor, he propounded all things faithfully according to his Instructions, and the Answers which he returned to his late Majesty of blessed memory, were the very same, and no other, than such as were given by the Emperor under his hand and Imperial Seal; the which, according to his duty, he faithfully sent unto his said Majesty, and withal did honestly and truly advertise his said Majesty, what he understood, and thought then upon the place; but was so far from giving to his Majesty any ill-grounded hopes in that behalf, that he wrote unto the Lords of the (Council here in England from Vienna, 26 July, 1624. in such fort as followeth.
I AM further to move your Lordships, that there may be a dispatch made presently into Spain to his Majesty's Ambassador, Mr. Cottington, that they deal effectually for the repairing and ripening of the business against my coming; that they use some plain and direct Language, letting the Ministers there know, that the late Letter sent by the King of Spain to the Emperor, was colder and more reserved, than his Master had reason to expect. I shall conclude with telling your Lordships, That although I despair not of good success in that knotty business, yet I hope his Majesty and your Lordships lay not aside the care of all sitting preparations for a War, in Case a Peace cannot be honourably had. And amongst other things, I most earnestly commend unto your Lordships, by your Lordships unto his Majesty, the continuing yet abroad, for some small time, of Sir Robert Mansel's Fleet upon the Coasts of Spain; which, in case his Majesty should be ill used, will prove the best Argument we can use for the Restitution of the Palatinate.
And this his Advice, he faith, was wholly intended by his Actions, by being the cause, as he returned homeward out of Germany, to bring down Count Mansfield, whereby the Town of Frankendale was relieved, by Supplying of his Majesty's Army, then in great distress, with Moneys and Plate, to the value of. 10000 l. meerly out of his zeal and affection to the the good of the King and his Chrildren, having no Warrant or Order, but that his heart was ever really bent in effects more than in shews, to serve the King's Son-in-law and his Cause, as by the discourse of this business will appear. And how acceptable these services were, will more appear, by the Letters of the Queen of Bohemia, in these words following.
Having understood from Heidelburgh, how you have shewed your affection to the King and me in all things, and in the help of Money you have lent our Soldiers; I cannot let so great Obligations pass, without giving many thanks for it by these Lines, since I have no other means to shew my gratefulness unto you: Howsoever assure your self, that I will never be forgetful of the Testimonies you give me of your love, which I intreat you to continue, in doing the King and me all good Offices you can to his Majesty. You have been an eye-witness of the miserable estate our Countreys are in; I intreat you therefore to solicite his Majesty for our help. You having given me an assurance of your affection; I intreat you now to shew it, helping of us by your good endeavours to his Majesty; and you shall ever bind me to continue, as I am already,
Which Letters were seconded with others about the same time, both from the King of Bohemia, and Council of Heidelburgh, to the same effect, and how much satisfaction his late Majesty received in that behalf, and touching that business, will plainly appear several ways, and particularly by his Speech in Parliament. And the said Earl likewise appealeth to both Houses of Parliament, to whom, by his late Majesty's order, he gave a just and true account of that employment, with what true zeal he proceeded; and how he pressed that single Treaty, and Promises no longer to be relied on, but that a sitting Preparation for War might go along hand in hand with any Treaty of Accommodation. And, for a conclusion, among many of his late Majesty's approbations of his carriage in this employment, he humbly desired, that a Letter of the Duke of 'Buckingham's under his own hand, bearing date the Eleventh of October, 1621. may be produced, being as followeth.
I Am exceeding gland that your Lordship hath carried your self so well in this employment, that his Majesty is infinitely pleased with your service you have done, for which he commanded me to give your Lordship thanks in his name, until he see you himself. You, of all Men, have cause to commend his Majesty's choice of such a Man, that unless your heart had gone with the business, you could never have brought it to so good a pass. Amongst other things, his Majesty liketh very well the care of clearing his Honour, whereof he will advise further with your Lordship at your next coming over. I hope you will not find your Negotiation with the Infanta of such difficulty, as you seem to fear in your Letter, seeing my Brother Edward hath brought with him a Letter from his Majesty's Son in Law, whereby he putteth himself solely to his Majesty's advice and pleasure for his submission, as you will perceive by the Copy of the Letter it self, which I here send your Lordship; wherein, though there be many things impertinent, yet of that point you may make good use for the accomplishment of the business, wherein I have written to the Spanish Ambassador to use his means and credit likewise; which I assure my self he will effectually do, especially seeing the impediments are taken away by Count Mansfield's Composition, and the Conformity of his Majesty's Son in Law to this Submission. For the Money your Lordship hath so seasonably laid forth, his Majesty will see you shall sustain no loss, holding it very unconscionable you should suffer by the care of his Service; which you have shewed so much to his contentment, to the great joy of your Lordship's faithful Servant,
Having given this account of his employment with the Emperor, he humbly craveth leave to make it known in what fort, before this his employment, he endeavoured to serve the Prince Palatine and his Cause, which will best appear by his Majesty's own testimony, upon the going of Sir Francis Nethersole to the Prince Palatine; at which time his Majesty being, out of his Royal and just heart, desirous to do a faithful Servant right, commanded Sir Francis Nerthersole to let the Prince Palatine understand how good a Servant the said Earl had been unto him, and how active in his affairs, as will best appear by a Dispatch of Sir Francis Nethersole, written all with his own hand to Sir George Calvert, dated in Prague, August 11. 1620. and sent by his late Majesty to the said Earl for his comfort, being as followeth.
That you may be the better assured, that I have neither forgotten nor neglected, the Commandments received from his Majesty by your Honour; you will be pleased to have the patience to hear me report what I said to this King upon the delivery of my Lord Deputy's Letters to his Majesty', which was, That the King my Master whose Justice is so renowned over the World, did use to shew it in nothing more, than in vindicating his Servants from wrongful opinions, whereof he knew noble hearts more sensible, than of injuries done to their persons or Fortunes; That out of his Royal disposition his Majesty having found my Lord Digby mistaken by some of his own People at home, by occasion of his being by him employed in the Affairs with Spain, having thereupon received a jealousie, that the same Noble Lord might be also misreported; hitherto his Majesty's hands in that respect gave me a particular commandment, to assure his Majesty, he had not a more truly affectionate Servant in England: And for proof thereof, to let his Majesty understand, That whereas the Baron of Doncaster, now his Majesty's Ambassador for England, had, since his coming hither, obtained but three great Boons for his Majesty's service; viz. the Loan of Money from the King of Denmark, the Contribution in England of the City and Countreys, and the sending Ambassadors to the contrary Parties, that my Lord Digby had been the first propounder of all those to the King my Master, before his Majesty's Ambassador, or any other of his Majesty's Servants in England; although his Lordship were contented, that others, who were but set on, should carry away the thanks and prayers, because his Lordship, being known to be the first mover therein, might possibly weaken the Credit he hath in Spain, and to render himself the more valuable to serve both his own Master and his Majesty; in which respect I humbly prayed his late Majesty to keep this to himself.
By which testimony it may appear, as the said Earl conceiveth, how he, the said Earl, bestowed himself before his Ambassage, and in his said Ambassage with his said late Majesty's approbation thereof. Now he humbly craved leave to give your Lordships account how he proceeded after his return from the Emperor's Court.
As soon as he came into England, he discovered unto his Majesty and the Lord's of the Council, in what great wants he had left the Forces in the Palatinate, and solicited the present sending away of Money; thereupon Thirty thousand pounds was borrowed of Sir Peter Vanlore, Sir Baptist Hicks, and Sir William Cortine, and presently sent unto the Palatinate, besides the Ten thousand pounds which he lent, for which he paid the Interest out of his Purse for six Months, having also given, not long before, Five hundred pounds, by way of Benevolence, to the service of the said Palatinate.
Now in the interim, betwixt his return from the English Coasts, which was in November, 1621. and his going into Spain in May, 1622. he First gave his Account, as aforesaid, of his Ambassage to both Houses of parliament, and moved them effectually, as was possible, for the supplying of his Majesty, and that the Money might wholly be employed for the succour of the Palatinate.
The Parliament being dissolved, he solicited, with great care and industry, the settling of some course for the supplying of the Palatinate, and his Majesty was perswaded to maintain Eight thousand Foot, and Sixteen hundred Horse, under his own Standard, and at his own Purse, in the Palatinates to establish a certain course for due payment of the said Army: The Lord Chichester was, upon the said Earl's motion, sent for out of Ireland, and the said Earl, by his Majesty's command, took order for his Dispatch. In this estate the said Earl left his affaires at his departure towards Spain in May, 1622. nothing doubting, but that all things would have effectually and constantly been pursued, according to the order which was settled and resolved on at his departure.
At his arrival at the Court of Spain, he presently proceeded according to his Instructions, pressing the business of the Palatinate, as effectually as he could, and faithfully laboured and effected, from time to tine (as far as to the point of Negotiation) all particulars that were given him in charge, as it will appear by his late Majesty's Letter upon every particular occasion; and if by the accidents of War for that Summer, the Marquis of Baden, the Count Mansfield and the Duke of Brunswick received each of them an overthrown, (the ordering of whose affaires his Majesty so far complained of to his Son-in-Law, as to give order for the withdrawing of his Forces, as will appear by his Majesty's Letters on the third of June, 1 622. and also by his Letters unto Sir Horace Vere, and the Lord of Chichester of the same date, if there were not a speedy redress) if by any of those accidents those businesses have miscarried, the said Earl hopes he shall not be liable to the blame, it having no relation to him, or to his employment, having so far and so honestly, with his best affections, imployed his care and utmost services in the businesses, as his Majesty was pleased, by many several Letters, upon several actions, to signifie his gracious receptance of his service, as in his Letters of Novem. 24. 1622. written as followeth; viz.
Your Dispatches are in all points so full, and in them we receive so good Satisfaction, as in this we shall not need to enlarge any further, but only tell you, we are well pleased with this diligent and discreet employment of your endeavours, and all that concerneth our service; so are we likewise with the whole proceedings of our Ambassador, Sir Walter Aston. Thus we bid you heartily farewel.
And whereas it is objected, the Palatinate should be lost by the hopes, he, the said Earl, gave, by his Letters out of Spain, it is an Objection of impossibility; but there was nothing left but Manheim and Frankendale when his first Letters out of Spain could possibly come to his late Majesty's hands; for he did not begin to Negotiate that business until August 1622. and about that time Heidelburgh, and all, but Manheim and Frankendale, was lost; and Manheim he had saved by his industry, had it not been so suddenly delivered, as is by his Majesty acknowledged by Letters of 24. November 1622. written thus; viz.
And howsoever the Order given to the Insanta, for the relief of Manheim arrived, too late, and after the Town was yielded to Tilly; yet must we acknowledge it to be a good effect of your Negotiation, and an Argument of that King's sincere and sound intention.
And Frankendale being, by the said Earl's means, once saved, was again the second time saved merely by the said Earl's industry; and procuring a Letter from the King of Spain, dated the second of February, 1623. whereupon followed the Treaty of Sequestration, which hath since continued. And he, the said Earl, was so far from hindring Succours by any Letter or Counsel of his, that he Was the Sollicitor, and, in great part, the Procurer of most of the Succours that had been sent thither, as is formerly set down. And when his Royal Majesty that now is, and the Duke of Buckingham arrived at the Court of Spain, they found the business of the Palatinate in so fair a way, that the Spanish Ministers told them, the King should give his late Majesty a Blank, in which we might frame our own Conditions; and the same he confirmeth unto us now; and the like touching this Blank was likewise acknowledged by the Duke of Buckingham in his Speech in Parliament, after the return of his Majesty out of Spain. And it will appear by the testimony of Sir Walter Aston, and by his and the said Earl's Dispatches, that the said Earl wanted not industry, and zeal in the business: insomuch as the last Answer the said Earl procured herein from the King of Spain, was fuller than he the said Earl was ordered by his late Majesty's latest Letters to insist upon. So as by that which hath been a alledged, the said Earl hopeth your Lordships will be satisfied, not only that he wanted neither will nor industry, but that he hath, with all true zeal and affection, and with his own means, faithfully served their Majesties, and the Prince Palatine in this Cause: And for assurance in that Affair, he had all that could be betwen Christian Princes; and if in the said assurances there hath been any deceit, as by the said Articles is intimated, which he never knew nor believed, he referred it to God to punish their wickedness; for betwixt Princes there can be no greater Tie, than their Words, their Hands and Seals, all which he procured in that behalf; and both the said Earl and Sir Walter Aston were so confident, that the business would be ended to his late Majesty's satisfaction, that in a joynt Dispatch to his late Majesty of 24 November, 1623. after his own Majesty's return into England, they wrote as followeth, viz.
We hope that your Majesty may, according to your desire signified to me the Earl of Bristol by the Letters of October 8. gave to your Majesty's Royal Daughter this Christmas the comfortable news of the near expiring of her great troubles and sufferings, as unto the Prince your Son in the Congratulation of being arrived to a most excellent Princess.
And first, touching his hopes and assurances, that he is charged to have given to his late Majesty, and his Ministers of State here in England, of the Spaniards real proceedings in the said Match, when, he said, he knew he never meant it: He faith, he never gave any hopes of their real proceedings, but such, and the very same that were first given to him, without adding or diminishing; neither could he have done otherwise, either with honesty or safety. And he further faith, That the hopes he gave, were not upon any Intelligence; but as well in that of the Match, as the other of the Palatinate, his Advertisements were grounded upon all the assurances, both of Words and Writing, that could possibly pass between Christians, as will be made evidently appear by his Dispatch of 9 September, 1623. which he humbly desires may be read, if the length of it may not displease. The substance being to shew all the Engagements and Promises of the King of Spain, that he really intended the Match. And the Causes why the Conde Olivares pretended to the Duke of Buckingham, that the Match was not formerly meant, was only thereby to free himself from treating any longer with the said Earl, to the end that he might treat for larger Conditions in point of Religion with the said Duke: The said Conde Olivares taking advantage of having the Person of his Majesty, then Prince, in his hands. And with this Dispatch the said Earl acquainted his Majesty that now is, in Spain, before he sent it.
And by this Dispatch the Earl doubted not, but that it will appear to this Honourable Court, that whilst the Treating of this business was in hand, he proceeded in that, not only with care and industry, but with some measure of vigilancy. And for clearing an Objection that hath been alledged, that the Match was never meant before the Duke's coming into Spain, nor after; the Earl craveth leave to set down some few Reasons of many, which Caused him to believe that the said Match was, and hath been really meant, and that it was so conceived by both their Majesties, and the King of Spain, and their Ministers on both sides.
For first, The Duke of Buckingham certified his late Majesty, that the business of the Marriage was brought to a happy conclusion; whereupon his late Majesty was pleased to give order to the Duke and Earl, to proceed in the business; which his said Majesty would not have Treated till the said Marriage was concluded, as will appear by a Letter of his said late Majestly joyntly to the Duke of Buckingham and the said Earl, of the 23 July 1623.
Secondly, It will appear by Letters of the said Lord Conway to the Duke of Buckingham, bearing date September 4. 1623. That the said Duke had good assurance of the conclusion of the said Match; and upon this confidence were all things put in due execution in England, as had been Capitulated; and the Lord Conway and others faithfully agreed, and settled all the points of Immunity and Liberty for the Roman Catholicks, and for the use of their Religion, as was set down in their Declaration, August 9. 1623. hereafter mentioned in the Answer to the Fifth Article of this Charge.
Thirdly, The very day his now Majesty and the Duke of Buckingham departed from the Escurial in Spain towards England, the said Duke solemnly swore to the Treaty of the said Marriage, and the furtherance of it all that should be in his power, upon the holy Evangelists, in the presence of the said Earl and Sir Walter Ashton.
Fourthly, The Treaty of the said Marriage had been formerly signed, sealed, and solemnly sworn by the King of Spain: And when his Majesty and that King took their leaves, he did solemnly, in the words of a King, faithfully and punctually protest to perform all that had been capitulated in the Treaty of Marriage; and thereupon embraced his Majesty at his departure, and sent the very next day a Letter, written all with his own hand, to his Majesty, vowing and protesting to make all good that he had capitulated or promised unto his Majesty, at his departure the day before. So that if there were no true meaning on the part of Spain to make the Marriage, as by Mr. Attorney is pretended, yet certainly the Earl hath not been slightly deceived; neither can it be, as he conceiveth, any fault in him, since not only his late Majesty, but also his Majesty that now is, and the Duke of Buckingham, being then both upon the place, did confidently believe, and that upon other grounds than misinformations, suggestions, and perswasions of the said Earl, that the Marriage was really intended: And to that effect, both his late Majesty of blessed memory, and his most excellent Majesty that now is, after his return into England, wrote unto him, the said Earl, several Letters, assuring him, that their intents and pleasures were to have the said Match proceeded in, and thereupon the Proxies of his Majesty, then Prince, were again inrolled and sent unto the said Earl. So that the said Earl having so many, and so great Causes to be assured, that the Match was really intended on both sides, he conceiveth it will be hard for Mr. Attorney to make good that part of his Charge, wherein he affirmeth, that the Earl should know the contrary, or the Assurance to be upon false grounds, as in the said Article is alledged.
II. To the second Article, he directly denieth all the supposed offences where with he stands charged by the said Article. And for a clear declaration and manifestation of the truth and manner of his proceedings, he faith,
First, As to the continuing the Treaties upon Generalities, That the Temporal Articles were by Agreements on both sides not to be treated or settled, until such time as the Articles of Religion were fully agreed on; for that it was held most proper and honourable for both sides, first, to see if the difficulty of Religion might be removed, before they passed to any further engagements. And the said Articles of Religion, by reason of the Pope's new demands sent into England by Mr. Gage, were not signed nor condescended unto by his late Majesty, nor his Majesty that now is, then Prince, till Jan. 5. 1622. and were then sent away in Post out of England to the said Earl by Mr. Simon Digby, who arrived with them at Madrid in Spain about the 25 of the same month. But the Earl's care was such to have no time spent in the settling of the Temporal Articles, that before he would condescend so much as de bene esse unto the Articles of Religion, that they should be sent back to Rome, he procured the King of Spain to promise, That within the time limited for procuring the Desponsories, which was by March or April following at the furthest, all Temporal Articles should be settled and Agreed, to the end that the Insanta might be delivered at the Spring, as by the King of Spain his Answer in writing was declared to be the King's intention; and accordingly Sir Walter Ashton and the said Earl did not deal in general, but did most industriously labour to settle all in particular, viz,. That the Portion should be Two Millions, it appearing, that it was so agreed by the late King of Spain; That the Dispensation coming, the Desponsories should be within forty days after; and that Don Duarte de Portugal should be the Man that should attend the Insanta in the Journey. And all other particulars necessary for the conclusion of the said Treaties, were, by Sir Walter Aston and the said Earl, and the Spanish Commissioners, drawn up into Heads, in writing, and after many debates, they were consulted with that King; and 2 Martii 1623 stilo vet. the Gonde Gondomar, and the Secretary Don Andreas de Prada, were appointed to come home to the house of the said Earl, to signifie unto Sir Walter Aston and himself, as they did, That the King of Spain had declared his resolution in all the Particulars, and given them order to come to a speedy conclusion with them in all things: And that King's Answer to that conclusion the Earl saw, and read, all written with the King of Spain's own hand.
On the seventh day of the said Month of March, 1623 the King's Majesty, then Prince, and the Duke of Buckingham, arrived at Madrid; and the Spaniards took new Laws, and. the Negotiation was put into a new form. So that whereas it is objected against the Earl, that he entertained and continued the Treaties so long upon Generalities, he conceives it is not meant upon the Spiritual Articles; for they were such as were sent from Rome into England, from thence they came to the Earl: And for the Temporal Articles, they were not to be settled and treated, till the Articles of Religion were concluded. He conceiveth it cannot be alledged with any colour, that his Majesty was entertained with Generalities, since the time that the said Articles of Religion were brought unto the said Earl by Mr. Simon Digby, being about the 25 of January, There were but six Weeks until March 7. following, when his Majesty, then Prince, arrived in Madrid; and, in the interim, all the above-mentioned Particulars were settled: And the time that hath been spent in this Treaty, hath not been through his, the said Earl's, default, in continuing upon Generalities, without pressing to Particulars, but hath been Caused, as well by Difficulties which the business brought with it, as also with exterior Accidents, viz. The Wars of Bohemia, the death of two Popes, and the late King of Spain, without the least fault of the said Earl, as is acknowledged by the late King of blessed memory, in the said Earl his Instructions, on the 14 of March 1621.
Neither could any delay therein be attributed to him the said Earl; for he was employed in those times into Germany and Flanders, and Sir Walter Aston and Sir Francis Cottington, for the space of three or four years, were resident in Spain; from whence, the hopes they gave were upon all the discreet grounds that Ministers can expect from a State: But the Earl re-assumed his business six months before his Majesty's coming into Spain; and he was so desirous to see his Majesty, then Prince, bestowed, that he pressed nothing so much, both to the King and Prince, as that the Prince might loose no more time, and rather to break the Match with Spain, than suffer any further delays; as will appear by his Dispatches from his first arrival at the Court of Spain, until his Majesty, then Prince, his coming. For in his Letters of June 20. 1622. being the first he wrote after his first Audience, he was so desirous that no time might be lost, that in them he craveth leave of his Majesty, that in case he should find any Delays in Spain, he might, without expecting any Order, take his leave and come home.
I Shall presume to add to that which Mr. Cottington shall deliver unto your Majesty by word of mouth, of the present estate of the Match, what I conceive to be the right way to bring it to a speedy issue: That your Majesty will be pleased positively to declare, what you will do in point of Religion, and that you will appoint me a certain limited time, by which this King should procure the Dispensation, or conclude the Match without it; and in case there shall be any further delay therein, that I may then declare your Majesty to be free and disengaged, to bestow the Prince in such sort, as you shall judge most convenient.
That which will be necessary for his Majesty presently to do on his Majesty's part, is, to declare himself, how far he will be pleased to yield, in point of Religion, as Mr. Cottington will approve unto your Highness: And that he set a prefixed time to break or conclude the Match, either with the Dispensation, or without the same. And for the rest, it may be left to my Negotiation. But your Highness may be pleased to hasten his Majesty's resolution with all possible speed.
And the said Earl faith, That having received from his said late Majesty his resolution in point of Religion, and a limited time according to his desire, he was so precise and punctual therein, that although the making or breaking of the Marriage depended upon it, he would not give one Moneths respite longer time for the procuring of the Dispensation, until he had first acquainted his late Majesty therein, and received his directions under his own hand; as will appear by his Majesty's Letters of Octob. 25. 1622. as followeth.
Right trusty and well-beloved Cousin and Counsellor, We greet you heartily well. Whereas by your last Letter written to our Secretary, dated Sept. 29. you are desirous to have our pleasure signified unto you under our own hand. Whether we will be content or not to grant a Moneths time longer, for the coming of the Dispensation from Rome, than we have already limited unto you, in case they shall there conclude all things else to our contentment, with a resolution to send the Insanta hither the next Spring: We do hereby declare unto you, that in that case you shall not break with them for a Moneths longer delay. We also wish you not to trouble your self with the rash censure of other Men, in case your business should not succeed; resting in that full assurance of our justice and Wisdom, that we will never judge a good and faithful Servant by the effect of things so contingent and variable. And with this assurance we bid you heartily farewel.
And he further faith, That when he had agreed to the Articles of Religion, and that a certain time was set for the coming of the Dispensation, and a conclusion of the Match, although he would bind himself to nothing without his Majesty's approbation, yet for that no time might be lost, he agreed to the Proportions, de bene esse, sent by Mr. Porter, December 10. 1622. to the end the Articles might be immediately sent to Rome, without losing so much time as to hear first from England: And humbly moved, that in case his Majesty should like of the said Articles, he would send his Approbation directly to Rome for the gaining of time; which his Majesty was pleased to do. And at the same time he wrote both to his said late Majesty, and his Majesty, then Prince, as followeth, viz, to his Majesty,
This is the true state of the business as it now standeth. If your Majesty approve of what is done, I hope it will he a happy and a short comlusion: If your Majesty think it not fit to allow and condescend to the said Articles, I have done the uttermost of my endeavours, and shall humbly perswade your Majesty not to lose a day longer in the Treaty; so much it importeth your Majesty and your Kingdoms, that the Prince were bestowed.
I have presumed to write to his Majesty, that which I think my duty to say to your Highness; That in case you shall not approve of what is now conditionally agreed, you permit not a day more to be lost in this Treaty: for it is of so great consequence that your Highness were bestowed, that it importeth almost as much that you were speedily, as fitly Matched. But I hope his Majesty, and your Highness, will in such sort approve of this last Agreement, as you will speedily bring this long Treaty to a happy conclusion. I am out of hope of bringing things to any better terms; therefore I deal clearly with your Highness, and do not only most humbly perswade, but, on my knees, beg it of you, that you either resolve to conclude this Match as you may, or speedily to break it, and bestow your self else-where; for no less than the happiness of your kingdom, and the security of the King your Father, and your Self, depend upon it.
All which things being considered, the Earl most humbly submitteth himself to the Judgment of that most High and Honourable Court, whether the delays which Accidents have brought forth in this business, can be attributed to his fault; since on the one side it will evidently appear to your Lordships, that he never moved his Majesty and the Prince to admit of delays, but rather to think of some other course; and it will on the other side appear by all the Dispatches, that he pressed things with the Ministers of Spain to as speedy a conclusion, as the uttermost terms of fair Negotiation and good manners would bear. And whereas it is pretended, that the Spaniards should take occasion, by entertaining the said Treaties, to abuse his said late Majesty (which he knoweth not) yet, he faith, he used all the vigilancy and industry that a careful Minister could do, and had from the Spaniards all the assurances, by oaths, words, and writings, which could be expected from Christians; the which, without adding or diminishing, he faithfully presented unto his said late Majesty; and his said late Majesty was pleased, in those times, to conceive upon those assurances, that they dealt really with him: And he conceiveth that his Majesty that now is, then Prince, and the Duke of Buckingham, were pleased to write as much to the late King's Majesty, at their first coming into Spain, and that all which the Earl had written, touching that employment, was there avowed by the Conde Olivares and Conde Gondomar, to the said Prince and Duke, at their arrival at Madrid; and he hopeth, that if that Dispatch maybe perused, it will as well appear and be adjudged, that he served his Majesty with some measure of vigilancy, as well as fulness of fidelity.
III. To the third Article the said Earl faith, That he did not, either by words or by Letters to his late Majesty or his Ministers, extol, or magnifie the greatness and power of the King of Spain, nor represented to his late Majesty the supposed danger that might ensue unto him if a War should happen between him and the King of Spain, nor affirmed, nor insinuated the same, as in the said Article is mentioned; but if he did at any time speak or write of the power and greatness of the King of Spain, or represent any danger to his said late Majesty that might ensue by entering into Hostility with the said King of Spain, it was as a faithful Counsellor and Servant to his Majesty by way of his Advice and opinion which he ever delivered sincerely, faithfuly and truly, according to the present occasion, and in no wise with such an intent as in the said Article is mentioned, nor to any other evil intent or purpose whatsoever.
But he hath been so far from disswading his late Majesty to take Arms, that he hath upon all just occasions advised, that all fitting preparations for War might be made, as beginning with the year 1621. from which time he is only charged, will appear by his Speech in Parliament presently after his return out of Germany; and that he hoped his Majesty would no longer rely upon single Treaties, but make all fitting preparations for War; and that the Parliament would enable his Majesty thereunto; and by the care he took before his going again upon his Ambassage into Spain, that the establishment of an Army under his Majesty's own Standard, of Horse and Foot, and under his own pay, might be settled and provided for; as likewise his advice to the Lords of the Council, that his Majesty might have a curb upon the King of Spain upon all occasions, by continuing of Sir Robert Manssield's Fleet upon the Coasts of Spain, as will appear by his Letter written from Vienna, 26 July 1621. mentioned in the Answer to the first Article. By all which it appeareth, that he laboured and endeavoured as much as in him lay that his Majesty might be well prepared for any occasions of War that should happen. And he no way remembred to have discouraged, or to have spoken or written any thing that might have been understood to have tended to the discouraging of his said late Majesty for the taking of Arms, and entering into Hostility with Spain, or for resisting of him and his Forces, from attempting the Invasions of his late Majesty's Dominions, or the Dominions of his late Majesty's Confederates, Friends or Allies, as by the said Articles is charged against him; neither remembreth that he had any Cause so to do. But if he have in any kind spoken or written of Spain, or the power thereof, it may have been to his late Majesty, or to his Majesty that now is, by way of discourse, speaking of the solidness of the Spanish proceeding, of their serious and deliberate debating of business before they resolve on them, of the constant pursuing of them when they are once resolved, wished that England and other Nations would therein imitate them: For he supposeth the right way to impeach their greatness was to grow as wise as they, and to beat them at their own Weapons. But otherwise he is consident never to have been heard to speak or write any thing that might have any terror or discouragement, to his late Majesty or his chief Ministers, knowing that England well ordered, need to take little terror at the power of Spain, having almost in all attempts and enterprises won honour upon them. And as for the preventing of dangers that might ensue upon a War, though he knew not what is aimed at in that particular: yet he is most confident out of the Integrity of his own Conscience, That he neither said, nor advised any thing but what befitted a faithful Counsellor and Ambassador, which was truly to deliver his opinion as he understood it upon the present occasion: And as for affirming that his Majesty's quiet should be disturbed, and he not to be permitted to Hawk or to Hunt, he remembreth not what discourse he may have had, or written to any person, how fit it might be upon the being broiled in a great War, seriously to intend it, and make it our whole work. But as he is confident it will appear, that what discourse soever it might have been, it wanted not true zeal and affection which he hath ever born to the King's service, and he hopeth it will not be found to want due respect and reverence on his part, which he ought to shew to so gracious a Master. Neither can it be conceived; that the considerations of Hunting and fowling, should be considerations worthy so great and prudent a King, to with hold from a War for the good of Christendom, and his Kingdom, if he should have been justly provoked thereunto.
IV. To the fourth Article the said Earl faith, That he did not any thing contrary to his duty and Alleageance, or contrary to the faith and duty of an Ambassador, as by this Article is alledged; but did intend the service and honour of his late Majesty; and no corrupt and sinister ends of his own advancement, as by this Article is so alledged. And as for the conserence which is pretended he should hold concerning the Treaty, That being told there was little probability that the said Treaties would or could have good success, he should acknowledge as much; and yet said, he cared not what the success thereof might be, but that he would take care to have his Instructions perfect, and to pursue them punctually, and would make his Fortune thereby, or words to that effect; he doth not ever remember to have held such discourse. Though it be true, the time hath been many years since, when he thought the Match very unlike to be effected, in regard unequal Answers were given in Prince Henry's days, and of the unlikelihood of accommodating the differences of Religion; And faith further, That the reviving of the Treaty of the said Match for his Majesty that now is, was not by his means, for he ever declared his opinion clearly, both to his late Majesty and to his Majesty that now is, That in the first place he wished and advised a protestant Match, but in the duty of a Servant understanding that both their Majesty's desired the Match really with Spain, he did really and faithfully intend the service and honour of their Majesties, and effectually endeavoured to procure their ends. And it is very likely he might say, he would get his Instructions perfect and pursue them punctually, as he conceiveth was lawful and fit for him; but the latter part of this conserence, that he should say he would make his fortune by it, or any other words to that effect, he was in Anno 1621. and ever since of that rank and quality, both in regard of his Imployments, fortunes, and his Majesty's favour, that he assureth himself he did not, and dares Answer so far for his discretion, That it was impossible for him to hold so mean and unworthy discourse.
V. To the Fifth Article he faith, That what is therein alledged, is so far from being so, that contrarily upon all occasions to the utter most of his power, he did labour to prevent all the inconveniencies in point of Religion that might come by matching with a Princess of a different Religion, as well appeareth by the Paper of his opinion, that his Majesty should Marry with a Lady of his own Religion, hereafter mentioned in his Answer to the Seventh Article. And for further proof thereof, he faith, That in the whole Treaty with Spain, he stood more strict in points of Religion, than by his Instructions he needed to have done, as will appear by the Testimony of Sir Walter Aston, and his Dispatches, of the Twelfth of December, 1622. and other Dispatches, which he desireth may be read. And as for Concealing or Perswading to set at Liberty the Priests or Jesuits, be utterly denieth to have done any such thing, as before he hath Answered. Although it be true, that the Ambassage in Spain be far different from the employment of other places, where there is a Body of oar Reformed Religion, and whereby his Majesty hath Kindred and Allies; whereby his Majesty's Ministers may be informed of the necessary Occurrents of State without the helps of Priests or Jesuits. But in Spain there being none but Roman Catholicks, nor any manner of correspondency or intelligence but by them, the Ambassadors must make use of all sorts of People, especially of Jesuits and Priests, and to that end Ambassadors sent thither have a large and particular Warrant under the King's hand, to treat and make use of Priests and Jesuits, and all other sorts of Men, unless it be such as are proclaimed Rebels. And divers times the Ministers employed in Spain, to gratifie some whom there they employed for the King's Service, have, as he believeth, at their particular Suit moved his Majesty to extend Grace and Favour to some particular Friend, and Kinsman of his, being a Roman Catholick, and imprisoned in England; and that he remembreth to have hapned to others, but doth not remember himself to have written to his late Majesty in that kind: And as concerning his advice and Counsel, to set at liberty Jesuits and Priests, and the granting to the Papists a Toleration, or the silencing of the Laws against them, he said, that his late Majesty was engaged by the Treaty of Madrid, 1617. in divers matters concerning Religion; likewise by promise to Conde Gondomar, and his Letters to the King of Spain, 17 April, 1620. wherein he is pleased to promise some particulars in favour of Roman Catholicks, as by the said Letters will appear: And understanding the said Earl had sufficient Warrant under the King's own hand to assure the King of Spain whatsoever was agreed in the laid Article, or in the said Letters, his Majesty would sincerely perform; yet the said Earl was so cautious in that point, that when for the conclusion of the Match the other Articles of Religion being allowed it was pressed by the Spanish Ministers, that a Clause of Convenience might be inserted with protestation, That the form and way thereof should be wholly left to his Majesty's Wisdom and clemency, and that his Majesty's Roman Catholick Subjects should acknowledge this Grace to have come from the King's Majesty's mercy and goodness: Yet the said Earl would not condescend thereunto De bene esse, as by his Letters to Master Secretary Calvert, 8 October 1622. will appear, hereby to give his Majesty time to have recourse unto his second Consultation, and to take it into consideration before he would engage or bind himself in this point: But his late Majesty and his Majesty that now is, were pleased to condescend hereunto by signing the said Articles with their own hands, and likewise by writing their private Letters of the eighth of January 1622. to that effect to the King of Spain, as by the said Letters will appear. Neither did the said Earl by Letters, or otherwise, ever Counsel or perswade his late Majesty, to grant or allow unto the Papists, or Professors of the Romish Religion a free Toleration, and Silencing of the Laws made and standing in force against them, but ever protested against any such Toleration; and when any such provision hath been offered to be made in Spain, he ever refused so much as to give ear to it, or to suffer it to be propounded; although it be true, that he hath since seen a Paper touching Pardons, Suspensions, and Dispensations for the Roman Catholicks, bearing date the seventh of August 1623. signed by the Lord Conway, and others, which in effect is little less then a Toleration; which Paper is that which followeth.
Salisbury, 7 August 1623.
The Declaration touching the Pardons, Suspensions, and Dispensations of the Roman Catholicks.
For the satisfaction of their Excellencies, the Marquis Ynojosa and Don Carlos de Colonia, the Lord's Ambassadors for the King of Spain; and to the end it may appear that his majesty of Great Britain will presently and really put in Execution the Grace promised and intended to the Roman Catholicks his Majesty's Subjects, and of his own Grace more then he is tied to by the Articles of Treaty of Marriage.
We do declare in his Majesty's Name, That his Majesty's Will and pleasure is, that a Legal and Authentical Pardon shall be passed under the Great Seal, wherein shall be freely pardoned all those Penalties, Forfeitures, and Seisures, Indictments, Convictments, and incumbrances whatsoever, whereunto the Roman Catholicks are lyable or have been proceeded against, or might be as well Priests, as others, for matters of Conscience only, and to which the rest of his Majesty's Subjects are not liable. And to the end his Majesty may make himself clearly understood, where it shall happen that any of those Forfeitures and Pecuniary Mulcts have been given away under his Majesty's Great Seal; his Majesty will not hide that it is not in his power so to make void those Letters Patents, except the be voidable by Law; and then his Majesty is well pleased that all Roman Catholicks may in these Cases plead in Law, if they find it good, and shall have equal and legal Trial. And his Majesty is likewise pleased, that his General Pardon shall remain in being five Years, to the end, all that will, may in that time take it out; and his Majesty will give order for the Comfort of the poorer sort, that the Pardon shall not be costly, but such like course shall be taken as was in a like occasion at his Majesty's coming into England; and that it shall be Lawful to put as many as can be possible into one Pardon.
And we do further declare, That his Majesty's will and pleasure is, to the end the Roman Catholicks his Majesty's Subjects may have a present and a free fruition of as much as is intended them by the articles of Treaty of Marrige, to cause a present Suspension under his Majesty's Seal of all those Penal Laws, Charges, and Forfeitures, whereunto the Roman Catholick Subjects of his Majesty's Subjects have not been liable; and in the same Grant and under the same Seal, to give a Dispensation and Coleration to all the Roman Catholicks his Majesty's Subjects, as well Priests, as Temporal persons and others, of and from all the Penalties, Forfeitutes, Troubles, and incumbrances, which they have been or may be subject to, by reason of any Statute or Law whatsoever, to the observation whereof the rest of his Majesty's Subjects are not bound. We do likewise declare, that his Majesty hath promised in his Royal Word, that the execution shall be no ways burthensome or penal to the Roman Catholicks, but that for the manner of priviledging, and freeing them from that, he must confer with Bishops and Advocates, into which he will presently enter and expedite by all means.
And we do further declare; That his Majesty's intention is presently to pursue his former directions (which had been before executed if their Excellencies had so thought good.) to put under his Seal severally the said Pardon, and Suspension, and Dispensation; and that his Majesty's Attorney, and learned Council shall have referred to them the Charge to pen them with all these effectual words, clauses, expressions, and reservations, which may presently give fruition to the Roman Catholicks his Majesty's Subjects, and make them inviolable in the fruition of all that is intended and promised by his Majesty in the Articles of Marriage, and his Majesties further Grace.
And we do declare; That his Majesty's further Will and Pleasure is, for the better satisfaction and discharge of the care and endeavour of their Excellencies the Ambassadors, that it shall be lawful to them to assign a discreet person to entertain such sufficient Lawyers as shall be thought fit to take care to the strength, validity, and security of the said Grants: and his Majesty's Attorney shall have charge to receive and admit the said Lawyers to the fight and judgment of the said Draughts and in any doubts to give them satisfaction. or to use such legal, necessary, and pertinent words and phrases, as he the said Lawer shall propound for the security of the Roman Catholicks, and sure making of the said Grants.
And we do further declare, That his Majesty's pleasure is, to make a dispatch into Ireland unto his Deputy there, by the hands of the Lord Treasurers and Secretary of State Sir George Calvert for the present confirming and sealing the things concerning the Roman catholicks answerable to the Articles of Treaty, his Royal Promise and Proceedings here. And for Scotland, That his Majesty according to the Constitution of his affairs there, and regard to the Publick good, and peace of that Kingdom, and as soon as possible, will do all that shall be convenient for the accomplishment of his promise in Trace and Favour of the Roman Catholicks his Subjects, conformable to the articles of Treaty of Marrige.
But this Declaration, the said Earl faith and affirmeth was the effect of the Duke of Buckingham's Negotiation, and treated and concluded by the Lord Conway with the Spanish Ambassador here, whilst the Prince was in Spain; neither was his privity or advice in it: for if he had known it, he should have protested against it. All which, together with the difference betwixt the Conditions of Religion agreed at the Treaty of Madrid, 12 December, 1622. by the said Earl, and the said Sir Walter Aston, being by their Lordships considered, the said Earl doubteth not but that it will manifestly appear whose endeavour it was to advance the Romish Religion, and the professors thereof; and judges the said Earl most unfortunate to be charged with an Article of this kind.
VI. To the Sixth Article the Earl faith, That the assurances which he gave his late Majesty, and his Majesty that now is, concerning the Treaties, were such, That it had been dishonesty and breach of his duty and Trust, for him to have held them back, being the same that were given him by the Emperor, and the King of Spain, and their Ministers, upon as great assurances as can pass between Ministers of Princes in the like case. And for the Delays of Spain they could be never so ill, and with so little colour complained of, as at the time of his Majesty's coming thither; for that a certain time was before then prefixed for the coming of the Dispensation, viz, in April 1623. at the furthest, which was the next Month after the Prince's arrival at Madrid; the Desponsories were to be within four days following, and the Insanta begin her journey into England twenty days after: So as three Months patience longer would have shewed the issue of the business without putting of the person of the Prince, being Heir-apparent to the Crown, in so eminent a hazard for the trying of an experiment. And it is an argument of great suspicion, because the Spaniards were suspected to have dealt falsly, and so the less to be trusted with the Person of the Prince, to be put into their hands to try conclusions: But the truth is, though that were made the pretended ground, and the occasion of the journey, it was neither the assurances of the said Earl, nor the jealousies of Spain, but other Motives that were the original Cause of his Majesty's said journey, as shall be sufficiently made apparent in due time. And the said Earl having got an inkling of it by something that was let fall from the Conde Gondomar to that purpose, instantly Dispatched away by Mr. Grisly to his late Majesty to have his journey prevented; who upon the Confines of France, met with his Majesty and the Duke of Buckingham on his journey to wards Spain, and told them as much. So that although he confesseth what is laid in the Charge to be true, viz. That by the said journey, the Person of the Prince, the peace and safety of the Kingdom did undergo further danger (at the remembrance thereof the hearts of all good Subjects do tremble) yet the blame is due to the Authors and Advisers of the same journey, and not to the said Earl; and although it pleased God, to the exceeding great joy and comfort of the said Earl, and of all good Men, to send his gracious Majesty home with safety, yet never was the person of any Prince, upon such grounds, exposed to so great an hazard; and in such cases, not the Success but the Counsellors are considerable.
VII. To the Seventh Article the said Earl faith, that he did not move or perswade his Majesty, then Prince, to change his Religion neither in the manner in the said Article mentioned, nor in any other manner whatsoever: Neither doth he conceive, that the charge in it self as it is laid, will in any reasonable construction bear any such inference as is made therein; so as he conceiveth, he needeth not make any further or other Answer thereunto. Yet that it may appear that the manner he used to the said Prince, was not traiterously, falsly, or cunningly, nor without ground, or to any such intent, as in the said Article is supposed. And to manifest unto this most high and honourable Court, how far he was from all such intention, he faith, That he doth acknowledge that within few days after his Majesty's coming into Spain, whilst he had the great honour to have his Majesty lodged at his House and to have so Royal a Guest, finding by the Spanish Ministers, That there was a general opinion, that his Majesty's coming thither was with an intention to become a Roman Catholick; and the Conde Gondomar having that very morning pressed the Earl not to hinder so pious a work (as he term'd it) of his Majesty's Conversion, and seeming to be assured of the Duke of Buckingham's assistance therein, his Majesty being all alone in a withdrawing Room in the said Earl his House, the said Earl kneeled unto him, and told him, That he had a business to impart unto him, which highly imported his Majesty to know, so that he might be assured his boldness therein might be pardoned; which his Majesty graciously promised. And thereupon the said Earl told his Majesty, That the general opinion of the Court was, that his Majesty's coming into Spain, was with an intention to be a Roman Catholick, and there to declare it. And he confesseth, That at the same time in regard of those things he had heard, he humbly besought his Majesty to deal freely with him as a Servant, of whose fidelity he might be consident, or words to that effect: but he was so far from Perswading his Majesty to be a Roman Catholick, that without respecting his Majesty's Answer he declared himself to be a protestant, and so should always continue; yet he said, he should always serve his Majesty and labour to advance his and the King his Father's affaires, with as much fidelity and honesty, as any Catholick whatsoever: And his Majesty was pleased then to make unto the said Earl a full and clear declaration of his Religion, and of his constant resolution therein; and seemed to be much displeased, that any should have so unworthy an opinion of him, as to think he would for a wife, or any other earthly respect: whatsoever, so much as waver in his Religion. Whereupon the said Earl besought his Majesty to pardon his boldness and then intreated him not to suffer his business to be overthrown by permitting that conceit of his conversion any longer to remain in the Spaniards, nor to any thing that might give them hope therein, alledging, That it was impossible the Marriage could be without a Dispensation; and so long the Spaniards, who were to procure the Dispensation, should have hope of his Majesty's conversion, they would never content themselves with a part; to which they were tied by the Articles agreed upon with the said Earl and Sir Walter Aston. At which time his Majesty was pleased to approve of his opinion, and said, He would expect the Dispensation, and did thereupon afterwards send Mr. Andrews to Rome to hasten it; and the next day the said Earl dealt very roundly with the Conde Olivares and Gondomar, telling them it was a discourteous manner of proceeding to press his Majesty to further Conditions than were formerly agreed upon in point of Religion, and to make his Conditions the worse for the great Obligation he had put upon them by putting himself into their hands; whereat they took such great offence, that they estranged themselves from him for along time after. And that the said Earl did thus proceed with the said Conde, and that it was not a new framed Answer to satisfy present Objections; but that which really and indeed passed, will really appear by his Dispatches unto his late Majesty of blessed Memory; and before his Majesty that now is came out of Spain, they were there shewed unto his Majesty, bearing date the ninth of September 1623. So that although it be true, That he. the said Earl did not disswade his Majesty, for that there was no Cause for it; yet without expecting his Majesty's Answer, he first made a clear and true Profession of his own Religion; and when his Majesty had declared to him his zeal and constancy, he humbly besought him, That the Spaniards might not for any respect be longer held in hopes of that point. And because point of Religion is that which all Men of honour and honesty would chiefly desire to clear, especially having an imputation of that nature laid upon them, as the said Earl hath in the said Article; He humbly beseecheth your Lordships, that he may not seem to digress from his Charge; intending your Lordship's satisfaction in that particular, not by the aforesaid verbal discourse only, which he professeth was in much zeal to Religion and dutiful care to the Prince in that kind, but by some written Testimony of his former opinion both of the Match and Religion. When he was first employed into Spain for the Treaty of his Marriage, 1617. his late Majesty having commanded him to give an account thereof unto his Majesty that now is, he at his departure towards Spain, presumed to give unto his Majesty that now is, his opinion in Writing signed with his own hand, to be kept as a Testimony of future Actions, the Copy whereof is this as followeth.
The opinion which I have ever presumed humbly to offer unto his Majesty concerning your Highness Marriage, hath been, that both in regard of Conscience and satisfaction unto his Majesty's People and Allies; likewise for the security and quiet of your Majesty s estates, Your Highness might take for wise some protestant Princess, although she neither were Daughter to a King, nor had so ample a Portion as might relieve the King's present Necessities and Wants; for then there might be many ways found to help the King's wants, either by some few years providence, and frugality, or by winning the affections of the people to the supplying of his Majesty by way of Subsidies in Parliament; whereas contrariwise, if the number and power of the Papists shall be increased as undoubtedly they will be by your Highness matching with any Catholick Princess, through the concession which must be of necessity for the exercise of her Religion for her self and Family, within your Highness Courts, and thereby by degrees these two different Religions shall grow to an equality of power; it will be great hazard and disquiet to the State, and not to be redressed without great danger, and courses of more violence, than is usual for this State to put in practice. But in case his Majesty out of his Wisdom and consideration best known to himself, hold it fittest that your Highness match with France, or Spain, or any other Catholick, either for that the present time affordeth no protestant Princess, who is for years or Blood suitable for your Highness, or that can in any considerable measure by the Portion, supply his Majesties present wants, I then conceive that the Match by which this State shall suffer least inconveniency and cumbers, and whereby his Majesty's necessities shall by the greatness of the Portion be the most relieved, is with Spain, if such a Match may be made with such conditions of Religion, as other Catholick Princes will contract themselves withal.
Thus much I thought fit humbly to present unto your Highness, for that I see my employment liable to the censure of many worthy Persons, with whom though I concur in my opinion, yet I seem much to differ from them many ways; for that it is more proper to me to be true to my Master's ends and services, than by the declaring this, to procure their satisfaction: Only to your Highness I thought fit to make this Declaration, and shall be a suitor to you for your favour, as you shall see me really labour to put this in effect. And if his Majesty shall, either upon motion of Parliament, or any other Proposition that can be made unto him, think fit to proceed with a Protestant Match, as I shall wish as well unto it as any Man living, so, I hope, in such sort to manage the present business that I have in hand, that it shall rather much further, than any way cross or hinder it. But in case his Majesty shall not be drawn to any Proposition for a Protestant Match, I then conceived, that your Highness both doth, and will approve, that I really and effectually labour to procure a Match for your Highness in Spain, upon such Conditions, in point of Religion and Portion, as to his Majesty shall seem fit.
Besides, which Declaration of his Opinion, he hath all the days of his life, and in all places, lived and allowed himself to be a Protestant, never having done any the least act that was not suitable to that Profession: And in all his former Imployments for the space of fourteen years, of more than five hundred Persons of all qualities that attended on him, there was never one perverted in his Religion, saving two Irish Footmen, who, in Ireland had been bred Papists. And he humbly desired the Testimony of Doctor Mason, and Doctor Wren, his Majesty's Chaplains, who were with his Majesty in Spain, and of Mr. Sampford one of the Prebends of Canterbury, Mr. Boswell, Parson of St. Lawrence in London, and Mr. Frewen Divinity-Reader in Magdalen-Colledge in Oxford, and now one of his Majesty's Chaplains, who were his Majesty's Chaplains in Spain; as well for the frequent use of the Sacrament, as constant profession and exercises of Religion, and the testimony of such Catholicks as are known to have been his ancient Acquaintance and Friends, to examine them upon Oath, Whether publickly or privately, in Spain or in England, they had known him in any kind to make shew, or so much as to forbear, upon all occasions to declare the Religion he professeth. And that the said Mr. Frewen and Mr. Wake may be also examined, Whether in extremity of several Sicknesses, whereinto he hath of late years fallen, he hath not ever settled his Conscience with them towards God, and made a Confession of his faith, resolving as befitting a protestant or good Christian.
VIII. To the eighth Article the Earl faith, That he did not at any time, or in any place, endeavour to perswade the Prince touching his Religion, to become a Roman Catholick, and to be obedient to the usurped Authority of Rome; neither did the said Earl, to that end and purpose, or otherwise, use unto his Majesty, then Prince, the words in the Article mention'd. But the said acknowledgeth, That upon occasion of a Letter that came to his Majesty, then Prince, putting his Majesty in mind of the great actions of his Royal Progenitors in the Holy War, that the great Kings of those times did not only imploy their forces, but in their Persons went into the Holy Land; the Earl believeth that by way of discourse only, and not otherwise, he may have said, That in regard of the difference in Religion, it was of more difficulty to undertake such great actions now, than in former Ages; and it might well be instanced in the present Treaty of the Marriage, wherein the Pope's consent was to be obtained. And to this effect, and upon the like grounds, he is confident there were very many that have, nay, few of nearness about his late Majesty, that have not often heard his Majesty say, That he was the true Martyr, that suffered more for his Religion than all the Princes of Christendom besides; instancing in divers particulars, but especially in this, That he could not match his Children with Kings of his own rank, without the Pope's leave.
But the said Earl faith, He never alledged any such thing to any other purpose, than to shew, that only Conscience, and love to Truth, (in which regard, Protestants suffered much) not any Temporal respects, made Men constant and zealous to the profession of our Religion. By which discourse he ever attributed much to the honour and security of Protestant Religion; but never used it as an Argument to perswade to the contrary, as in the Accusation is insinuated.
Besides, he conceiveth, by way of Answer thereunto, the said Question may be asked, which his Majesty was pleased to ask of the Earl in the Seventh Article, viz. What the said Earl saw in his Majesty, that he should think him so unworthy, as to change his Religion for a Wife, or any earthly respect whatsoever? So, why should it be thought, that being more fit to undertake great Actions in the world (being a meer Moral and Temporal respect) should be an Argument to perswade in Conscience so Religious and wise a Prince, and so well instructed as his Majesty is, as though the Soul of a Christian Prince was to be wrought upon, in point of Truth and Belief, by temporal and worldly respects of Conveniences and Greatness? It were necessary for the proving, that the said Earl perswaded his Majesty touching Religion, to produce some Arguments that he used out of Scripture, to satisfie him in point of Conscience in some Tenets of the Roman Church, or that he produced any Conference with Learned Men for his satisfaction in point of Religion: Otherwise the Articles used in this against the said Earl, do (as he conceiveth) carry little strength to prove the Charge of psrswading his Majesty, either in regard of it self, or in regard of his Majesty's piety.
IX. To the Ninth Article the said Earl faith, That there was a discourse in Spain of the way of accommodating the Prince Palatine his affaires; and by way of discourse it was moved, That the Marriage of his eldest Son with a Daughter of the Emperor, and his Son to be bred in the Emperor's Court, would be the fairest way for the pacifying of, and accommodating those businesses. And the Earl, by way of discourse, and not otherwise, did say, That he thought his late Majesty could not be adverse, either to the said Match, or to the breeding of the Prince Palatine his Son with the Emperor; so as thereby the whole Patrimonial Estate of the Prince Palatine, and the Dignity Electoral might be fully restor'd, and that his Son might be bred in his own Religion, and have such Preceptors, and such a family, as his late Majesty and his Father, meaning the Prince Palatine, should appoint; and they to have free exercise of Religion: for so his late Majesty hath often declared himself to the said Earl, and wished him to lay hold on any occasion for the entertaining of any such Proposition. And otherwise than so, and upon the terms afore said, and by that way of conference and discourse only, he delivered not any opinion to his Majesty at his Majesty's being in Spain: For the said Earl is very confident, that his Majesty was returned out of Spain before any proposition was made for the said Marriage, other than by way of discourse, as aforesaid; the same, as the laid Earl believeth, being first moved and debated on by way of proposition between Mr. Secretary Calvert, and the Ambassador of the King of Spain, Octob. 2. 1623. his late Majesty, upon a relation made unto him by a Letter of Mr. Secretary Calvert, approved of the said proposition, and declared the same to be the only way, as he conceived, to accommodate with honour those great businesses: And wrote to that purpose to his Son-in-Law the Prince Palatine, by his Letters dated 9 Novemb, 1623. a Copy of which he, together with Mr. Secretary Calvert's Relation, and the Lord Conway, by his late Majesty's Commandment, sent unto the said Earl, the Tenor of which, translated out of French, is as followeth.
We have thought good, that we may provide best and most soundly for your affairs, not only to procure, but also to assure your peace, were to cut up by the very roots that evil, which hath been settled in the heart of the Emperor, by the great displeasure and enmity he hath conceived against you. For the removing and quite extinguishing of which, it seemeth to us no better or more powerful means can be used, than a good Alliance, which may be proposed by us between your eldest Son, and the Daughter of the said Emperor, upon the assurance we have, we shall not be refused in this nature, if you on your part will give your consent. And for the more surety of the good success thereof, we are determined, before any such proposition be made to the Emperor, to interest the King of Spain with us in the business, who, we trust, will lend us his helping hand, as well for the effecting of it, and bringing it to a good conclusion, as in procuring likewise, that the Condition be duly observed. Amongst which Conditions, if it happen that the Emperor should demand, that your Son, during his minority, should be brought up in his Court, we shall tell you, that we, for our own part; see no reason why you should stick at it, upon such Conditions as he might be tied unto, to wit, That the young Prince should have with him such Governour, as you shall please to appoint him, although he be no Roman Catholick; and that neither he, nor any of his, should be any way forced in matter of their Conscience. And our meaning is, so to order our proceeding in this Treaty, that before your said Son be put into the hands of the Emperor, we will have a clear and certain assurance of an honourable, entire, and punctual restitution of all whatsoever belonging to you: As also we will take care to provide accordingly, as fully and exactly for the assurances requisite for the Liberty of Conscience, for him and his Domesticks, as they have done here with us touching those that have been granted them for the Insanta. And therefore seeing there is no inconvenience at all, that may Cause your aversness or backwardness in this business, which we, for our parts, think to be the best, shortest, and most honourable way that you can take, for the compassing of the entire Restitution, and making your Peace sure with the Emperor, we hope your opinion will concur with us therein, and shall intreat you, by the first, to send us your Answer.
By which Letters, after his Majesty's coming out of Spain, it appeareth to your Lordships, that there was no proposition of the Marriage betwixt the Son of the Prince Palatine and the Emperor's Daughter, when that Letter was written; for therein his Majesty, faith, he was determined to interest the King of Spain in the business, before any such proposition should be made to the Emperor. And it will also thereby appear, that his late Majesty's inclination was of the conveniency thereof; which the said Earl hopeth will acquit him, if by way of discourse only he declared what his Majesty's opinion was, which, with honesty, he could not have concealed. And the said Earl faith, He doth not remember what Answer Sir Walter Aston made upon that discourse which he then delivered, nor what Replies the said Earl made; but sure he is, whatsoever the said Earl said, or what Answer or Reply soever was made, as it was by way of discourse, and not otherwise, so it was according to that which he truly conceived to be the best and easiest way to accommodate the business, and to be his Majesty's pleasure, (which the said Sir Walter Aston may be ignorant of, as he is consident that he was) and not out of any disaffection to our Religion, or for any sinister respect or regard to the House of Austria, as by the said Article is intimated: For he did conceive the breeding of the Prince Palatine's Son with the Emperor, having a Governour appointed by his late Majesty and his Father, and he and his Domesticks to have free use of their own Religion, to be a matter of impossibility, or such dangerous consequence in point of Religion, at to imply his conversion, as by the Article it is intimated; well knowing, that in the Emperor's Court, all Princes there, though his Prisoners, and others his Counsellors and Servants about his Person, and so great Command in his Armies, being avowed protestants, have the free use of their Religion: And it is not to be supposed the Son of the Prince Palatine, Grand-child to the King of Great Britain, should be matched, and no care taken to capitulate for the use of his Religion, being ever granted to the meanest Prince that is bestowed. And his Majesty's special care in this point is fully seen in the said Letter.
X. To the Tenth Article he faith, That by comparing of this Article of his too much forwardness, with the second Article, whereby he is charged with continuing the Treaty upon Generalities, without reducing them to Certainties and direct conclusions, your Lordships will perceive how impossible it was for him to avoid an Exception. But for direct Answer to the present Charge, he faith, That he did not presumptiously nor yet to his knowledge, break his Instructions, nor set any day at all for the Desponsories; but was therein meerly passive, in admitting the day nominated by the King of Spain, according to the Capitulation before made: Nor did he presumptuously, wilfully, or willingly disobey any Commandment or Direction of his Majesty that now is, then Prince, which he could understand not to be countermanded, either by present or future Instructions otherwise explained.
And for the better manifestation of the truth of his proceedings in, and concerning, the same, he faith, That on the day of the departure of his Majesty, then Prince, from the Escurial in Spain, his Highness delivered unto him, in presence of the Commissioners, his Proxies powers, with publick Declaration taken in writing by the Secretary to the King of Spain, of the Prince his pleasure, and how the said Earl should use. them, viz. That he should deliver them to the King of Spain, upon the coming of the Dispensation cleared from Rome, according to that which hath been agreed, which was to be within ten days after the coming of the Dispensation. And he further faith, That it is true, that the Prince afterwards by his Letters sent by one Mr. Clark, commanded him the said Earl not to deliver the said Proxies, till he should have received security, that the Insanta, after her being betrothed, should not enter into any Religious Order, and that before he proceeded, he should send to his Majesty, then 'Prince, such securities as should be offered, that he might judge whether it were sufficient or not.
Whereupon the said Earl, as became a faithful Servant, presented unto his Majesty that now is, then Prince, such Assurances as were offered unto him, for securing of that point, together with such Reasons as he conceived were fit to be offered to their considerations; which gave unto his late Majesty, and his Majesty, that now is, then Prince, such satisfaction, as they were pleased to dispatch a Post presently unto him, absolutely discharging him of that Commandment, as by their several Letters, dated october 8. 1623. will appear, as followeth,
We have received, your Letters by Grisley, and, the Copy of them to our dear Son; and we cannot forbear to let you know, how well we esteem that dutiful, discreet, and judicial Relation, and humble advice to our Son: Whereupon, having fully deliberated with our self, and communicated with our dear Son, we have resolved, with the good liking of our Son, to rest upon that security, in point of doubt, for the Insanta's taking a Religious Order, which you, in your judgment, shall think meet.
Tour Letter to the King and me, concerning that doubt I made after I came from St. Laurence, hath so satisfied us both, that we think it fit no longer to stick upon it, but leave it to your discretion to take what security you shall think fitting.
Whereby he was absolutely freed of that command; and being so freed thereof, he then remained under the Order which his Majesty, then Prince, had lest with him at his departure, which was, to proceed according to the Capitulations, and his Highness Declaration, when he delivered the said Proxies unto him: And so he intended to have done, till by his Highness's Letters, November 13. 1623. he was directly commanded the contrary; which Commandment he directly and punctually obeyed.
And for such his intentions, till he was countermanded, he conceived he had not only sufficient warrant, but had highly offended if he had done other wise. For first, for his proceedings to consummate the Match, he had warrant and instruction under his late Majesty's hand. Secondly, It was the main scope of his Ambassage. Thirdly, He was enjoyned by the King and Prince his Commission, under the Great Seal. Fourthly, He had positive order, under his Majesty's hand, by Letters since. Fifthly, It was agreed by Capitulation, that it should be within so many days after the coming of the Dispensation. Sixthly, His late Majesty, and his Majesty that now is, then Prince, signified by their Letters unto him at the same time, when they discharged him of his Commandment touching the Insanta's entring into Religion, that they intended to proceed in the Marriage, as by his Majesty's Letters, Octob. 8. 1623. will appear. Seventhly, the Proxies were to that end lest in his hands, and after again renewed after his Majesty's return into England. Eighthly, he had overthrown the Marriage Without order: For although Sir Walter Aston and himself used all Possible means for the gaining of time, and deferring the Desponsories; yet the King of Spain Caused it to be protested, That in case he, the said Earl, should insist upon the deferring of the Desponsories, he would free himself from the Treaty by the said Earl's infringing of the Capitulations: And in truth, although the King of Spain should have condescended to have prolonged the Desponsories until one of the days of Christmas, as by the Letter was required; yet the Prince's Proxies had been before that time expired, and he durst not, without a precise Warrant, put such a scorn upon so noble a Lady, whom, he then conceived, was likely to have been the Prince his wise, as to nominate a day of Marriage when the Proxies were out of date, and he was himself sworn to the Treaty. And lastly, he could not in honour and honesty, but endeavour to perform that publick Trust reposed in him, when the Proxies were deposited in his hands, with publick and legal Declaration, with an Instrument by a Secretary of State to the King of Spain, leading and directing the use of them, and the same being then Instrumentum stipulatum, wherein as well the King of Spain was interessed by the acceptation of the substitution, as the Prince by granting of the Proxies, he could not in honesty fail the publick Trust, with-out clear and undoubted Warrant; which as soon as he had, he obeyed. So as the case standing thus, the said Earl is very consident, that the supposed Countermands, Directions, and Restrictions, when they should be perused and considered of, will appear to have been very slender and insufficient Warrant against the aforesaid Orders and Reasons before specified: And is also as consident, That what is assured out of his, the said Earl's, Dispatches, will also appear to be misunderstood; and that if he had proceeded to the execution of the Desponsories, before he received direct and express commandment to the contrary by the aforesaid Letters, Novemb. 13. 1623. which he readily and punctually obeyed, he had not, under favour, broken his Instructions, or deserved any blame for lack of assurance of the restitution of the Palatinate, and Temporal Articles.
And first, of the Palatinate, his said Majesty did not send to the said Earl express directions not to Dispatch the Desponsories, until a full conclusion were had of the other Treaty of the Palatinate, together with that of the Marriage, as by the said Article is alledged; only his late Majesty, by the aforesaid Letters of octob. 8. required the said Earl so to endeavour, that his Majesty might have the joy of both at Christmas. Whereas his Instructions of May 14. 1621. were express, that he should not make the business of the Palatinate a condition of the Marriage. And his late Majesty's Letters of December 30. 1623. were fully to the same effect. Yet did the said Earl, according to what was intimated by the said Letters of October 8. so carefully provide therein, as that before the Proxies were to be executed, he had an absolute Answer in the business of the Palatinate, the same should be really restor'd according to his late Majesty's desire; and the Conde Olivares, both in his Majesty's name, and in his own, desired the said Earl and Sir Walter Aston, that they would assure his Majesty of the real performance of the same, and intreated, if need were, they should engage their honour and life for it, as by their joynt Dispatches of November 23. 1623. will appear; and so much the said Sir Walter Aston, and the said Earl, agreed should be delivered to them in writing, before they would have delivered their Proxies, and so the said Earl declared it; the which Answer in writing should have been the same, which since was given them of January 8. 1625. And both Sir Walter Aston and the said Earl were consident therein, as they, by their said Letters of November 23. wrote to his late Majesty, as followeth; viz.
That his Majesty might, according to his desire, signified to the said Earl, by his Letters of October 8. give, as well to his Majesty's Daughter that Christmas, the comfortable news of the expiring of her great troubles and sufferings, as to his Son the Prince the Congratulation of being married to a most worthy and excellent Princess.
By which it will evidently appear, he meant not to leave the business of the Palatinate loose, when he intended to proceed to the Marriage; but he confessed, that he was ever of opinion, that the best pawn and assurance his late Majesty could have of the real proceeding of the Palatinate, was, That they proceeded really to the effecting of the Match; and of the same opinion was his late Majesty also, and the Lords Commissioners here in England, as appeareth by his Instructions, dated March 14. 1621. which opinion still continued in them, as appeareth by his late Majesty's Letters of January 7. 1622. And as for the Temporal Articles, the said Earl faith, When the Desponsories were formerly appointed to have been, as he remembreth on Friday, August 29. before the departure of his Majesty, then Prince', out of Spain, which was only hundred by the not coming of the Dispensation, the Prince appointed him and Sir Walter Aston to meet with the Spanish Commissioners, and they drew up the Heads of the Temporal Articles, wherewith the Prince and the Duke of Buckingham were acquainted; and in case the Dispensation had come, and the Desponsories been performed on that day, there had been no other provision made for them before the Marriage; but presently, upon the Prince his departure, he, the said Earl, Caused them to be drawn into form, and sent them to his late Majesty, September 27. 1623. desiring to understand his Majesty's pleasure with all speed, especially if he disapproved anything in them; but never received notice of any dislike thereof, until the aforesaid Letters of November 13. 1623. which put off the Desponsories. So as it appeareth, the said Earl was so far from breaking his Instructions, or from having any Intention to have proceeded to the execution of the Desponsories, before his Majesty and the Prince were satisfied of this point of the Insanta entring into Religion, or before convenient assurance, as well for the restitution of the Palatinate, as performance of the Temporal Articles, that he deserveth, as he conceiveth under favour, no blame, so much as in intention; but if he had erred in intention only (as he did not) the same being never reduced into Act, the fault (as he conceiveth) was removed by his obedience before the intention was put into execution: for so it is in cases towards God. And as to the matter of Aggravation against him, that he appointed so short a time for the Desponsories, as that without extraordinary diligence the Prince had been bound, he thereto faith, as he said before, that he set no day at all thereunto, nor could defer it after the Dispensation came from Rome, without a direct breach of the Match so long laboured in, and so much desired; yet he and Sir Walter Aston having used all possible industry to discover how the motion of deferring the Match would be taken; and finding an absolute resolution in the King of Spain to proceed punctually, and to require the Proxies according to the Capitulation, within ten days after the coming of the Dispensation; and that time also getting advertisement from Rome, that the Dispensation was granted, and would presently be there; he, the said Earl, to the end, in so great a Cause, he might have a clear and undoubted understanding of his late Majesty's pleasure, sent a Dispatch of November 1. with all diligence unto his Majesty, letting his Majesty know, that it could not be possible for him to protract the Marriage above sour days, unless he should hazard the breaking, for which he had no warrant.
But that this now no new resolution, nor the King so straitned in time, as by the said Article is pretended, will appear by the said Earl's Dispatch of September 28. 1623. In which, upon Scruple that was then made of the Insanta's entring into Religion, he wrote to the same effect; viz. That if the Dispensation should come, he knew no means how to detain the Proxies above twenty or twenty four days. So that although difficulty happened until the midst of November, 1623. yet it was foreseen, that it must of necessity happen when soever the Dispensation should come; and then was warning of two months given thereof; viz. from September 24. until November 29. which was the time appointed for the Desponsories.
So as he mod humbly submits himself unto your Lordships, which of the two ways was the safer or dutisuller for him to take; whether upon inferences and conjectures, to have overthrown so great a business; or, on the other side, first, to have presented unto his Majesty the truth and sincerity as he did, the true estate of his affaires, with his humble opinion therein, with an intimation, that if his Majesty should resolve to break the Match, that for the said Earl his honest discharge of the publick Trust reposed in him, when the Proxies were deposited in his hands, and for his sufficient warrant in so great a Cause, his Majesty would be graciously pleased to give him clear and express order (which he had not) and in the interim, whilst his Majesty might take into consideration the great inconveniencies that might ensue, the said inconveniencies might be suspended, and the business kept upon fair terms, that his Majesty might have his way and choice clear and unsoiled before him.
And as to the evil consequences which are pretended would have followed, if the said Earl had proceeded to the consummation of the Match, before he had express order and warrant to the contrary; he supposed his Majesty should speedily have seen the Marriage, which he so long sought to have effected; that the Prince should have had a worthy Lady whom he loved; that the Portion was much greater than ever was given in Money in Christendom; that the King of Spain had engaged himself for restitution of the Palatinate; for which, the said Earl conceived a Daughter of Spain, and two Millions, had been no ill Pawn; besides many other additions of advantage to the Crown of England: Whereas on the contrary side, he foresaw, that the Prince would be kept a year longer unmarried, a thing that so highly concerneth these Kingdoms; he doubteth, that the recovery of the Palatinate from the Emperor and Duke of Bavaria by force would prove a great difficulty, and that Christendom was like to fall into a general Combustion: So that desiring that his Majesty should have obtained his ends, and have had the honour and happiness, not only to have given peace, plenty, and increase unto his own Subjects and Crowns, but to have propounded the greatest differences that had been these many years in Christendom: And by his Piety and Wisdom, to have prevented the shedding of so much Christian Blood, as, he feared, would ensue, if these businesses were disordered. These Reasons, he confessed, and the zeal unto his Majesty's service, made him so earnestly desire the effecting of this business, and cannot but think himself an unfortunate Man (his Majesty's affaires being so near settling to his Majesty's content, as he conceived they were, and hoping to have been to his Majesty, not only a faithful Servant, but a successful Servant) to see the whole estate of his affaires turned up-side down, without any the least fault of his; and yet he the only Minister on the English and Spanish side that remained under disgrace.
XI. To the Eleventh Article, the said Earl said, That the Article is grounded upon a Petition by him preferred to this Honourable House, supposed to be scandalous; which your Lordships (as he conceiveth) according to the Customs and Priviledges of the House of Peers, would have been pleased first to have adjudged so to have been, either for matter appearing in it self, or upon hearing the said Earl; for if the matter appearing in the Petition it self, be not to be excepted unto, it cannot, as he conceiveth, by collaterated accidents, be taken for a Scandal, till it be examined and sound false. for a plain and direct Answer thereunto, he faith, That the said Petition is such, as will not warrant any such inference, as by the said Article is inforced. And that he hoped to justifie the Contents of the said Petition in such sort, as shall not displease his Majesty, nor deserve that expression which is used in the Charge; but contrarily what he hath said, or shall say therein in his defence, shall in all things tend to the Honour and Service of his Majesty, by reducing into his memory divers Circumstances, and laying before him the passages of divers particulars, which by undue Practices have been either concealed from his Majesty, or misrelated to him.
"Having thus offered to this High and Honourable Court, such Proofs and Reasons, as he hoped shall, in your Lordships Wisdom and justice clearly acquit him of any Capital Crime, or wilful Offence; if it shall appear, that out of Errors of Judgment, too much ferventness of zeal to his Majesty's service, or the Ignorance of the Laws of this Realm, (wherewith he hath not been able to be so well acquainted as he ought, by reason of forreign Employments by the space of many years) or by any other ways or means he hath fallen into the danger in the Laws for any thing pardoned in the General Pardon, made in the Parliament holden at Westminster, Anno Vicesimo Primo Regni Imp. Jacobi Anglia, &c. of blessed memory, he humbly prayeth allowance of the Pardons, and the benefit thereof (with this Clause, That he doth and will aver, that he is none of the persons excepted out of the same) although he is very confident, he shall not need the help of any Pardon, having received many significations, as well from his Majesty's own Mouth, that he had never offended his Majesty, as lately, by several Letters of the Lord Conway, that he might rest in the security he was in, and sit still, and should be no further question-ed. But he hopes your Lordships will not only find him so far from blame, but that he hath served his late Majesty of blessed memory, and his most gracious Son, the King's Majesty that now is, with that fidelity, care, and industry, that your Lordships will take course, as you, in your Wisdoms, shall think fit, not only for upholding the Honour and Reputation of a Peer in this Realm, After so many Employments, but likewise become humble and earnest Suitors to his Majesty on his behalf (which he humbly prayeth) that he may be restored to his Majesty's good favour, which, above all worldly things, he most desireth.