Historical Collections of Private Passages of State: Volume 1, 1618-29. Originally published by D Browne, London, 1721.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
'In a case of pressure considered by it self, I have a fair beginning, it is a due debt to your Lordships for this Honorable Favor in leaving it to my choice, whether I would Answer to the particulars in the Aggravation, or not. I may, without lessening my Obligation, say, The favor is greater at first, it may be yours, or your Posterities hereafter. I have in a manner tied my self to my charge, hoping I gave your Lordships satisfaction in that, the Aggravations will fall of themselves. I could not well have followed the Aggravations, being composed of words, which I hope my actions have not deserved; and I am sure my Ears have not been made acquainted with, without some diftraction of spirit; yet I have left nothing of them unanswered that is material. I have used as much speed to come to an Answer, as conveniently I could without prejudice of my cause; having my reputation too long upon the stage; and had your Lordships called for it sooner, I had been as ready as now I was desirous, to detain your Lordships as little as may be (with the expectation of my particular) from weightier business.
'I was also grieved that my business should be a cause of the loss of this year from foreign attempts, and the hindrance of those resolutions that would have comforted our Friends abroad, and secured our selves at home: But in this, my Lords, I am sure, you will easily acquit me in your thoughts. When I look upon my Charge in general (as they did) without searching into the integrity of mine own heart and actions which are yet unknown to most of them, I wonder not so much at their proceedings, the particulars not being voted against me, nor unanimously: But had they taken the means to have been better and, trulier informed of the particulars, or have given me cause to have inform-ed them, I assure my self they had not troubled your Lordships with this Charge: But I confess there hath been that contestation in the House of Commons concerning my justification; that I cannot but acknowledge much favour there from many; And if the actions of some others in that House, do not conclude me of a worse disposition than I shall hereafter be sound, there is none but may say with me, I am at peace with all.
'I shall only for the present, apply my self to the clearing of my Reputation, and for the future, of those actions and endeavours which may repossess me of that I have counted one of my greatest losses, their good opinions: I would not speak nor profess this before your Lordships, if Reason and my own disposition did not warrant the performance of it.
'The one is too subtle a Body, if a Body: the other too great for me to contest with; and I am confident, when my cause shall be tried, neither the one nor the other, or part of either, will be found to be my enemy
'But as Fame is subtle, so it is often and especially in accusations false; therefore the House of Commons have not wronged me: Yet I am confident it will at length be sound, that Common Fame hath abused both them and me.
'I presume the House of Commons have proceeded against me out of an hearty and zealous affection to do their King and Country service, I hope out of Christian Charity to punish and amend my faults (if fame could have proved them) and not to envy my Reputation or destroy my Fortune. I shall never call such proceedings wrong, if seeking to cure my errors, give me opportunity to clear and publish my innocency: For the State it self, I have little to say, it is but a little, I will not abuse your Lordships patience. I was born and bred in it, I owe it my self; I have been raised to Honors and Fortunes in it (I freely confess) beyond my Merits; what I wanted in sufficiency and experience for the service of it, I have endeavored to supply by care and industry.
'And could there be the least alienation hereafter in my heart from the service of the State, for any thing that hath past, I should be the ungratefullest man living; should but such a thought stain my heart, I should be content it were let blood. If my Posterity should not inherit the fame fidelity, I should desirean invertion in the course of Nature, and be glad to fee them earthed before me. My Answer to the several points in Charge, I shall crave leave to deliver in brief, and in form of Law, but as naked as truth loves to be; and so I leave my self and my cause to your Lordships Justice.
The humble Answer and Plea of George, Duke of Buckingham, to the Declaration and Impeachment made against him, before your Lordships, by the Commons House of Parliament.
The said Duke of Buckingham being accused, and sought to be impeached before your Lordships, of the many Misdemeanors, Misprisions, Offences, and Crimes, wherewith he is charged by the Commons. House of Parliament, and which are comprised in the Articles preferred against him, and were aggravated by those, whose service was used by that House in the delivery of them, doth find in himself an unexpressible pressure of deep and hearty sorrow, that so great and so worthy a Body should have him suspected of those things which are objected against him; whereas, had that Honorable House first known the very truth of those particulars, whereof they had not there the means to be rightly informed, he is well assured in their own true judgments, they would have forborn to have charged him therewith.
But the integrity of his own Heart and Conscience, being the most able and most impartial witnesses, not accusing him of the least thought of disloyalty to his Sovereign, or to his Country, doth raise his spirits again to make his just defence before your Lordships, of whose Wisdom, Justice and Honor, he is so well assured, That he doth, with confidence, and yet with all humbleness submit himself and his cause to your Examinations and Judgments, before whom he shall with all sincerity and clearness, unfold and lay open the secrets of his own actions, and of his heart; and in his Answer shall not affirm the least Substantial, and as near as he can the least Circumstantial point, which he doth not be lieve he shall clearly prove before your Lordships.
The Charge consisteth of Thirteen several Articles, whereunto the Duke, saving to himself the usual benefit of not being prejudiced by any words or want of form in his Answer; but that he may be admitted to make further explanation and proof, as there shall be occasion, and saving to him all Privileges and Rights belonging to him, as one of the Peers of the Realm, doth make these several and distinct Answers following, in the fame order they are laid down unto him.
To the first which concerneth the Plurality of Offices which he holdeth, he answereth thus, That it is true that he holdeth those several Places and Offices, which are enumerated in the preamble of his Charge, whereof only three are worthy the name of Offices, viz. The Admiralty; the Wardenship of the cinque Ports, and Mastership of the Horse; the other are rather titularly and additions of Honor. For these Offices -he humbly and freely acknowledgeth the bounty and goodness of his most gracious Master who is with God; who when he had cast an eye of Favor upon him, and had taken him into a more near place of service about his Royal Person, was more willing to multiply his Graces and Favors upon him, than the Duke was forward to ask them; and for the most part (as many honorable persons, and his now most excellent Majesty, above all others, can best testifie) did prevent the very desires of the Duke in asking: and all these particular places, he can and doth truly affirm, his late Majesty did bestow them of his own Royal Motion (except the Wardenship of the Cinque-Ports only) and there to also he gave his approbation and encouragement.
And the Duke denieth, that he obtained these places either to satisfie his exorbitant ambition, or his own profit or advantage, as is objected against him: And he hopeth he shall give good satisfaction to the contrary in his particular Answers ensuing, touching the manner if his obtaining the places of the Admiralty, and the Wardenship of the Cinque Ports, whereunto he humbly desireth to refer himself. And for the Mastership of the Horse to his Majesty, he faith it is a meer domestick office of attendance upon the King's person, whereby he receiveth some profit; yet but as a conveniency to render him more fit for his continual attendance; and in that place, the times compared, he hath retrenched the King's annual charge to a confiderablk value, as shall be made apparent.
And for the number of places he holdeth, he faith, That if the Commonwealth doth not suffer thereby, he hopeth he may without blame, receive and retain that, which the liberal and bountiful hand of his Master hath freely conferred upon him: And it is not without many Presidents, both in antient and Modern times, That one man eminent in the esteem of his Sovereign, hath at one time held as great and as many Offices: But when it shall be discerned, That he shall falsly or corruptly execute those places, or any of them, or that the Publick shall suffer thereby; he is To thankful for what he hath freely received, that whensoever his Gracious Master shall require it, without disputing With his Sovereign he will readily lay down at his Royal Feet, not only his Places and Offices, but his whole Fortunes and his Life, to do him service.
That it is true, that in January, in the sixteenth year of his late Majesty's Reign, his late Majesty did by his Letters Patents under the Great Seal of England, grant unto the Duke the Office of Admiralty for his life; which Grant, as he well knoweth it, was made freely and without any Contract or Bargain with the late Lord Admiral, or any other; and upon the voluntary Surrender of that Noble and well deserving Lord, so he is advised it will appear to be free from any defect in Law, by reason of the Statute of 5 Edw, 6. mentioned in the Article of his Charge, or for any other Cause whatsoever: For he faith the true manner of his obtaining this Office, and of all the passages thereof, which he is ready to make good by proof, was thus; That honorable Lord, the late Earl of Nottingham, the Lord Admiral, being grown much in years, and finding that he was not then so able to perform that which appertained tohis place, as in former times he had done to his great Honor; and fearing lest his Majesty's service, and the Common wealth might suffer by his defect, became an humble and earnest Petitioner to his late Majesty, to admit him to surrender his Office. His Late Majesty was at the first unwilling unto it, out of his Royal Affection to his Persion, and true Judgment of his worth: But the Earl renewed his Petitions, and in some of them nominated the Duke to be his successor, without the Duke's privity or fore-thought of it. And about that time, a Gentleman of good place about the Navy and of long experience, of himself came to the Duke, and earnestly moved him to undertake the place. The Duke apprehending the weight of the place, and considering his young years, and want of experience to manage so great a charge, gave no ear unto it; but excused it, not for form, but really and ingenuously out of the apprehension of his then unfitness for it. The Gentleman not thus satisfied, without the Duke applied himself to the late King, and moved his Majesty therein and offered Reasons for it, That the Duke was the fittest man at that time, and as the State of the Navy then stood, for that place, for he said, it was then a time of peace. That the best service that could be done for the present, was to repair the Navy and Ships Royal, which then were much in decay, and to retrench the King's charge and to employ it effectually; and that before there was like to be personal use of service, otherwise the Duke being young and active, might gain experience, and make himself, as fit as any other; and that in the mean time, none was so fit as himself, having the opportunity of his Majesty's Favor and Means to his Person, to procure a constant assignment and payment of Moneys for the Navy; the want whereof, was the greatest cause of the former defects.
These Reasons persuaded his late Majesty, and upon his Majesty's own motion, persuaded the Duke to take the Charge upon him: And thereupon the Earl voluntarily, freely, willingly, and upon his own earnest and often suit, surrendred the place without any President, Contract or Promise whatsoever; which might render the Duke in the least degree subject to the danger of the Law (which was not then so much as once thought upon) and upon that Surrender, the grant was made to the Duke. But it is true, that his Majesty, out of his Royal Bounty, for recompence of the long and faithful service of the said Earl, and for an honorable memory of his deserts to him, and the Crown of England did grant him a Pension of one thousand pounds per annum, for his life; which in all Ages hath been the Royal way of Princes, wherewith to reward antient and well-deserving Servants in their elder years; when without their own faults they are become less serviceable to the State: And the Duke also voluntarily and freely, and as an argument of his noble respect towards so honorable a Predecessor, whom to his death he called Father; whose Effete as he then understood, with his late Majesty's Privity and approbation, did send him three thousand pounds in Money, which he hopeth no person of worth and honor will esteem to be an act worthy of blame in him. And when the Duke had thus obtained this place of great trust, he was so careful of his duty, that he would not relie upon his judgment or ability, but of himself humbly besought his then Majesty to fettle a Commission of fit and able persons for the Affairs of the Navy; by whose Council and assistance, he might manage that weighty business with the best advantage for his Majesty's Service; which Commission was granted, and yet continueth, and without the advice of those Commissioners, he hath never done any thing of moment; and by their advice and industry he hath thus husbanded the King's Money, and furthered the service, that where before the ordinary charge of the Navy was Fifty sour thousand pounds per annum, and yet the Ships were very much decayed, and their Provisions neglecled, the charge was returned to Thirty thousand pounds per annum, and with that charge, the Ships all repaired and made serviceable, and two new Ships builded yearly; and for the two last years, when the re were no new Ships built, the ordinary charge was reduced to Twenty one thousand fix hundred pounds per annum. And now he dare boldly affirm, that his Majesty's Navy is in better state by much, than ever it was in any precedent time whatsoever.
That in December, in the Two and twentieth year of his late Majesty's Reign, he obtained the Office of Lord Warden of the Cinqueports and Constable of the Castle of Dover, (being one entire Office) upon the Surrender of the Lord Zouch, then Lord Warden.
The manner of obtaining whereof, was thus, The Lord Zouch being grown in years, and with his almost continual lameness being grown less fit for that place, he discovered a willngness to leave it, and made several offers thereof to the Duke of Richmond, and Richard Earl of Dorset deceased; but he was not willing to part with it, without recompence. Notice whereof coming to the Duke, by an offer made from the Lord Zouch, he finding by experience how much, and how many ways both the King's service might and many times did suffer; and how many in-conveniencies did arise to the King's Subjects in their Goods, Ships, and Lives, by the intermixture of the Jurisdictions of the Admiralty and Wardenship of the Cinque-ports, by the emulation, disaffection, and contention of their Officers, as clearly appear by these particulars, amongst many others which may be instanced.
- 1. Where the Admiral-Jurisdiction extends generally to all the Narrow Seas; the Warden of the Cinque-Ports hath and exerciseth Admiral-Jurisdiction on all the Sea-Coasts, from Show-Beacon in Essex, to the Red Noor in Sussex; and within those Limits there have been continual differences between the Lord Admiral, and the Lord. Warden, whether the Lord, Warden's Jurisdicion extends into the main Sea, or only as far as the low Water-mark, and so much further into the Sea, as a man on Horseback can reach with a Launce, which occasioneth Questions between those chief Officers themselves.
- 2. There are many and continual differences in executing of Warrants against offenders: the Officers of the one, refusing to obey or assist the Authority of the other; whereby the offenders protected or countenanced by either, easily escape.
- 3. Merchants and Owners of Goods questioned in the Admiralty, are often enforced to sue in both Courts, and often enforced, for their peace, to compound with both Officers.
- 4. The King's Service is much hindred; for the most usual and ordinary Rendevouz of the King's Ships, being at the Downs, and that being within the Jurisdiction of the Lord Warden, the Lord Admiral or Captains of the King's Ships have no power or warrant to press men from the shore, if the King's Ships be in distress.
- 5. When the King's Ships, or others, be in danger on the Goodwins, and other places within the view of the Portsmen, they have refused to help with their Boats, lest the King's Ships should command them on board, whereby many Ships have perished, and much Goods have been lost.
- 6. When Warrants come to press a Ship at Road for the King's service, the Officers take occasion to disobey the Warrants, and prejudice the King's service for if the Warrant come from the Lord Warden, they will pretend the Ship to be out of their Jurisdiction; if the Warrant come from the Lord Admiral, they will pretend it to be within the Jurisdiction of the Cinque-Ports: And so whilst the Officers dispute, the opportunity of the service is lost.
- 7. When the King's Ships lie near the Ports, and the men come on shore, the Officers refuse to assist the Captains to reduce them to the Ships without the Lord Warden's Warrant.
- 8. If the King's Ships, on the sudden, have any need of Pilots for the Sands Coasts of Flanders, or the like, wherein the Ports-men are best experienced, they will not serve without the Lord Warden's, or his Lieutenant's Warrant, who perhaps are not near the place.
- 9. When for great occasions for the service of the State, the Lord Admiral and Lord Warden must both joyn their Authority; if the Officers for want of true understanding of their several Limits and Jurisdictions, mistake their Warrants, the service which many times can endure no delay, is lost or not so effectually performed.
For these and many other Reasons of the like kind, the Duke not being led, either with ambition or hope of profit as hath been objected (for it could be no increase of Honor to him, having been honored before with a greater place; nor of profit, for it hath not yielded him in any matter any profit at all, nor is like to yield him above Three hundred pounds per annum at any time) but out of his desire to make himself the more able to do the King and Kingdom service, and prevent all differences and difficulties which heretofore had, or hereafter might hinder the same he did entertain that motion, and doth confess, that not knowings or so much as thinking of the said Act of Parliament before-mentioned, he did agree to give the said Lord one thousand pounds in money, Five hundred pounds per annum, in respect of his Surrender, he not being willing to leave his Place without such consideration, nor the Duke willing to have it without his full satisfaction; and the occasion why the Duke of Buckingham gave that Consideration to the Lord Zouch, was, because the Duke of Richmond in his life time had first a-greed to give the fame Consideration for it; and if he had lived, he had had that Place upon the fame terms: And when the said Duke of Richmond was dead, his late Majesty directed the Duke of Buckingham to go through for that Place, and for the Reasons before-mentioned, to put both these Offices together, and to give the same Consideration to the said Lord, which the Duke of Richmond should have given, and his late Majesty said, he would repay the money. And how far this act of his, in acquiring this Office, accompanied with these Circumstances, may be with-in the danger of the Law, the King being privy to all the passages of it, and encouraging and directing it, he humbly submitteth to your judgment; and he humbly leaves it to your Lordships judgments in what third way an antient Servant to the Crown, by age or infirmity, disabled to perform his service, can in an honourable course relinquish his Place; for if the King himself give the Reward, it maybe said it is a charge to the Crown; if the succeeding Officer gave the Recompence, it may be thus objected to be within the danger of the Law: And howsoever it be, yet he hopeth it shall not be held in him a Crime, when his intentions were just and honourable, and for the furtherance of the King's service; neither is it without president, that in former times of great employment, both these Offices were put into one hand by several Grants.
To this Article, whereby the not guarding of the narrow Seas in these last two years by the Duke, according to the trust and duty of an Admiral, is laid to his charge; whereof the consequence, supposed to have been meerly through his default, are the ignominious inferring of the Coasts with Pirates and Enemies, are the endangering of the Dominion of the Seas, the extreme' loss of the Merchants, and the decay of the Trade and strength of the Kingdom.
The Duke maketh this Answer, That he doubteth not but he shall make it appear, to the good satisfaction of your Lordships, that albeit there hath hapned much loss to the King's Subjects within the said time of two years, by Pirates and Enemies, yet that hath not hapned by the neglect of the Duke, or want of care and diligence in his place: For whereas in former times, the ordinary Guard allowed for the Narrow Seas hath been but four Ships, the Duke hath, since Hostility began, and before, procured their number to be much increased, for since June 1624, there hath never been fewer than five of the King's Ships, and ordinarily fix, besides Pinnaces, Merchant Ships, and Drumblers; and since open Hostility, eight of the King's Ships, besides Merchants of great number, and Pinnaces, and Drumblers, and all these well furnished and manned, sufficiently instructed and authorised for the service. He faith, He hath from time to time, upon all occasions, acquainted his Majesty, and the Council-Board therewith, and craved their advice, and used the assistance of the Commissioners for the Navy in this service: And for the Dunkirkers; who have of late infested these Coasts more than in former years, he faith, There was that providence used for the repression of them, that his Majesty's Ships and the Hollanders joyning together, the Port of Dunkirk was blocked up, and so should have continued, had hot a sudden Storm dispersed dispersed them, which being the immediate hand of God, could not by any policy of man be prevented; at which time, they took the opportunity to rove abroad, but it hath been so far from endangering the Dominion of the Narrow Seas thereby, as it is suggested, that his Majesty's Ships or Men of War, were never yet mattered, nor encountered by them, nor will they endure the sight of any of our Ships; and when the Duke himself was in person, the Dunkirkers run into their Harbours. But here is a necessity, that according to the Fortune of Wars, interchangeable losses will happen; yet hitherto not withstanding their more than wonted insolency, the loss of the Enemies part hath been as much, if not more, than what hath hapned to us; and that loss that hath faln, hath chiefly come by this means, that the Dunkirkers Ships being of late years exercised in continual hostility with the Hollanders, are built of a Mold as fitfor flight as for fight; and so they pilfer upon our Coasts, and creep to the shore, and escape frome the King's Ships: but to prevent that inconvenience for the time to come, there is already order taken for the building some Ships, which shall be of the like Mold, light and quick of Sail, to meet with the adverse party in their own way. And for the Pirates of Sallee, and those parts, he faith, it is but very lately that they found the way unto our Coast, where, by surprise, they might easily do hurt; but there hath been that provision taken by his Majesty, not without the care of the Duke, both by force and treaty to repress them for the time to come, as will give good satisfaction. All which he is allured will clearly appear upon proof.
To this Article the Duke maketh this Answer, That about September last, this Ship called the St. Peter (amongst divers others) was seized on as a lawful Prize by his Majesty's Ships and brought into Plimouth, as Ships laden by the Subjects of the King of Spain; in the end of October, or beginning of November, they were all brought to the Tower of London, all of them were there unladen; but the Peter, and the bulk of her Goods was not stirred, because they were challenged by the Subjects of the French King; and there did not then appear so much proof against her, and the Goods in her, as against the rest. About the middle of November, Allegations were generally put in against them all in the Admiralty Court, to justisie the seizure; and all the Pretendents were called in upon these proceedings, divers of the Ships and Goods were condemned, and divers were released in a legal course; and others of them were in suspense till full proof made. The Eight and twentieth day of December, complaint was made on the behalf of some French-men at the Council-board, concerning this Ship and others, when the King, by advice of his Council (his Majesty being present in Person) did order, That the Ship of Newhaven, called the Peter, and the Goods in her, and all such other Goods of the other Prizes, as should be sound to appertain to his Majesty's own Subjects, or to the Subjects of his good Brother the French King, or the States of the United Provinces, or any other Princes or States in Friendship or Alliance with his Majesty, should be delivered: But this was not absolute, as is supposed by the Charge, but was thus qualified, so as they were not fraudulently coloured; and it was referred to a judicial proceeding.
According to this just and honourable Direction, the King's Advocate proceeded upon the general Allegations formerly put in the 26th of Jan. after there was a Sentence in the Admiralty, that the Peter should be charged, and the King's Advocate not having then any knowledge of,: further proof, consented to it. But this was not a definitive Sentence, but a Sentence Interlocutory, as it is termed in that Court. Within few days after, this Ship prepared her self to be gone, and was falling down the River: Then came new intelligence to the Lord Admiral, by the Lieutenant of the Tower, That all those Ships were laden by the Subjects of the King of Spain; that the Amirant asco wafted them beyond the North Cape; that they were but coloured by Frenchmen; that there were Witnesses ready to make good this new Allegation: neither was it improbable to be so; for part of the goods in that Ship have been conses fed to be lawful Prize. This Ship being now fallen down the River, and being a Ship of the mod value of all the rest, the Duke acquainted the King therewith, and by his commandment made stay of the Ship, left otherwise it would be too late; which the Duke, in the Duty of his place of Admiral, as he believeth, ought to have done, without such command: And if he had not done so, he might worthily have been blamed for his negligence; and then instantly he sent for the Judge of the Admiralty, to be informed from him, how far the Sentence already past, did bind, and whether it might stand with justice to make stay of her again,, she being once discharged in such manner as before. The Judge Answered, as he was advised, That it might justly be done, upon better proofs appearing: yet discreetly, in a matter of that moment, he took time to give a resolute Answer, that in the interim he might review the Acts which had passed. The next day, or very shortly after, the Judge came again to the Duke, and, upon advice, Answered resolutely, That the Ship and Goods might justly be stayed, if the proofs fell out to be Answerable to the Informations given; whereof, he said, he could not judge, till he had seen the Depositions. And according to this resolution of the Judge, did five other learned Advocates, besides the King's Advocate, concur in opinion, being intreated by the Duke to advise thereof; so cautious was the Duke not to do any unjust Act Then he acquainted the King again therewith, and his Majesty commanded him to re-seize this Ship, and to proceed judicially to the proofs; and the Duke often required the King's Advocate to hasten the examination of the Witnesses and many Witnesses were produced and examined, in pursuance of this new Information. But the French Merchants, impatient of any delay, complaind again to the Council-board, where it wasorder'd not barely, That the Ship and Goods should be presently delivered, but should be delivered upon security; and upon security she had been then delivered, if it had been given; and security was once offerced, but after wards retraced: And when all the Witnesses produced were examined, and published, the King's Advocate having duly considered of them, forth with acquainted the Duke, that the Proofs came too short for the Pester; and thereupon the Duke instantly gave order for her final discharge, and she was discharged by the order of the Court accordingly.
By which true Narration of the Fact, and all the proceedings, the Duke hopeth it will sufficiently appear, that he hath not done anything herein, on his part, which was not justifiable, and grounded upon deliberate and well advised Councils and Warrant. But for the doing of this to his own lucre and advantage, he utterly denieth it; for he faith, that there was nothing removed out of the Ship, but some Moneys, and some small Boxes of Stones of very mean value, and other small portable things lying above the Deck, easily to be imbezelled: And whatsoever was taken out of the Ship, was first publickly shewed to his Majesty himself, and thence committed to the custody of Gabriel Marsb, in the Article mentioned, by Inventory, then and still Marshall of the Admiralty, by him to be safely kept; whereof the money was employed for the King's immediate service, and by his direction, and the rest was left in safe keeping, and are all since delivered, and re-imbursed to the Owners, or pretended Owners thereof; and not a peny profit thereof, or thereby, hath come to the Duke himself, as shall be made good by proof: And whereas the suggestion hath been made, That this accident was the Cause of the Imbargo of the Ships and Goods of our Merchants trading in France, he faith, That it is utterly mistaken; for divers of their Goods were embargued before this hapned; and if, in truth, the French had therein received that, as either they pretend, or is pretended from them; yet the embarguing of the Goods of the English upon that occasion, was utterly illegal and unwarrantable; for by the mutual Articles between the two Kings, they ought not to have righted themselves before Legal complaint, and a denial on our part, and then by way of Reprisal, and not by Imbargo. So that the Duke doth humbly leave it to the consideration of your Lordships, whether the harm which hath hapned to your Merchants, hath not been more occasioned by the unseasonable justifying of the actions of the French, which animated them to encrease their injuries, than by an act, either of the Duke, or any other.
To this Article, which consisteth of two main Points, the one of the extorting of Ten thousand pounds unjustly, and without right, from the East-India Company; the other, admitting the Duke had a right, as Lord Admiral, the compassing it by undue ways, and abusing the Parliament, to work his private ends; the Duke giveth this Answer, wherein a plain Narration of the Fact, he hopeth, will clear the matters objected; and in this he shall lay down no more, than will fully appear upon proof.
About the end of Michaelmas Term, 1623, the Duke had Information given him, by a principal Member of their own Company, that the Company had made a great advantage to themselves in the Seas of East-India, and other parts of Asia and Africa, by rich Prizes gotten there forcibly from the Portugals, and others; and a large part thereof was due to his Majesty, and to the Duke as Admiral, by the Law; forwhich neither of them had any satisfaction. Whereupon directions were given for a legal prosecution in the Court of Admiralty, and to proceed in such matters as should be held fittest by the advice of Council.
In the months of December and January, in that year, divers Witnesses were examined in the Admiralty, according to the ordinary course of that Court, to instruct and furnish Informative Processes in this behalf After the Tenth of March 1623, an Action was commenced in the Court in the joynt names of his Majesty and the Admiral, grounded upon the former proceeding; this was prosecuted by the King's Advocate, and the demand at first was Fifteen thousand pounds. The Action being thus framed in both their names, by advice of Council, because it was doubted in the judgment of the Council, whether it did more properly belong to the one, or the other, or to both; and the form of Entring that Action being most usual in that Court, on the Eight and twentieth of April 1624, the Judicial Agreement and Sentence patted there upon in the Admiralty Court, wherein the Companies consent, and their own offer, plainly appeareth; so that for the second part of the right, it we very hard to conclude, that the Duke had no right, contrary to the; Companies own consent, and the Sentence of the Court, grounded on, their Agreement; unless it shall fully appear, that the Company was by strong hand enforced thereto, and so the money extorted.
Therefore to clear that scruple, That as the matter of the Suit was just, or at least so probable, as the Company willingly desired it for their peace, so the manner was as just and honorable; your Lordships are humbly entreated to observe these few true Circumstances. The Suit in the Admiralty began divers months before the first mention of it in Parliament; and some months before the beginning of it in that Parliament; it was prosecuted in a legal course, and upon such grounds as will yet be maintained to be just. The Composition made by the Company, was not moved by the Duke, but his late Majesty, on the behalf of himself, and of the Duke, treated with divers Members of the Company about it, and the Duke himself treated not at all with them. The Company, without any compulsion at all, agreed to the Composition; not that they were willing to give so much, if they might have efcaped for no thing, but that they were willing to give so much, rather than to hazard the fuccefs of the Suit: and upon this composition, concluded by his Majesty, the Company desired and obtained a Pardon for all that was objected against them. The Motion in Parliament about the stay of the Companies Ships then ready prepared and furnished, was not out of any respect, to draw them the rather to give the Composition, but really out of an apprehension, that there might be need of their strength for the defence of the Realm at home; and if so, then all private refpects muft give way to the-publick Interest. These Ships, upon the importunity of the Merchants, and reasons given by them, were suffered nevertheless to fall down to Tilbury, by his late Majesty's direction, to speed their Voyage the better, whilst they might be accommodated for this Voyage, without pre judice to the publick safety, they were discharged when there was an Accommodation propounded and allowed, which was, That they should forthwith prepare other Ships for the home service, whilst those went over with their Voyage; which they accordingly did. That the Motion made in the Commons House, was without the Duke's knowledge or privity. That when there was a rumor, that the Duke had drawn on the composition by staying of the Ships which were then gone, the Duke was so much offended thereat, that he would have had the former communication to have broken off, and have proceeded in a legal course, and he sent to the Company to that purpose; but the Company gave him satisfaction, that they had raised no such rumor, nor would, nor could a vow any such thing, and entreated him to rest satisfied with such publick acts to the contrary. That after this, their Ships being gone, themselves careful of their future security, follicited the dispatch of the Composition, consulted with Counsel about the Instruments which passed about it, and were at the charge thereof, and the money was paid long after the Sentence, and the Sentence given after the Ships were gone, and no security given at all for the money, but the Sentence; and when this money was paid to the Duke, the whole sum (but Two hundred pounds thereof only) was borrowed by the King, and imployed by his own Officers, for the service of the Navy. If these things do, upon proof, appear to your Lordships, as is assured they will, he humbly submitteth it to your judgments, how far verbal Affirmations or Informations extrajudicial, shall move your judgments, when judicial acts, and those things which were acted and executed, prove the contrary.
To this Article, which is so mixt with Actions of great Princes, as that he dareth not in his duty publish every passage thereof, he cannot for the present make so particular an Answer as he may, hath, and will do to the rest of his Charge. But he giveth this general Answer, the truth whereof he humbly prayeth may rather appear to your Lordships by the Proofs, than by any discourse of his; which, in Reason of State,' will happily be conceived fit to be more privately handled.
Since the Duke's Answer delivered into the House, he hath himself openly declared to their Lordships, That for the better clearing of his Honour and Fidelity to the State, in that part of his Charge which is objected against him by this Seventh Article, he hath been an earnest: and humble Suitor to his Majesty, to give him leave in his Proofs, to unsold the whole Truth and Secret of that great Action; and hath obtained his Majesty's gracious leave therein: and accordingly doth intend to make such open and clear Proof thereof, that he nothing doubteth, but the fame, when it shall appear, will not only clear him from blame, but be a Testimoay of his care and faithfulness in Serving the State.
That these Ships were lent to the French King at first, without the Duke's privity: That when he knew it, he did that which belonged to an Admiral of England, and a true Englishman: And he doth deny, that by menace, or compulsion, or any other indirect or undue practise or means, he, by himself, or by any others, did deliver those Ships, or any of them, into the hands of the French, as is objected against him
That the Error which did happen, by what direction foever it were, was not in the intention any ways injurious, or dishonourable, or dangerous to this State, or prejudicial to any private man, interested in any of those Ships, nor could have given any such offence at all, if those Promises had been observed by others, which were professed and really performed by his Majesty and his Subjects on their parts.
That he was so far from practising or consenting, that the said Ships should so be employed, that he shall make it clearly to appear, that when it was discovered, that they would be employed against those of the Religion, the Protestation of the French King being otherwise, and their pretence being, That there was a Peace concluded with those of the Religion, and that the French King would use those Ships against Genoa; which had been an action of no ill consequence to the affairs of Christendom: The Duke did by all fit and honourable means endeavour to divert that course of their employment against Rochel. And he doth truly and boldly affirm, That his endeavours under the Royal care of his most Excellent Majesty, have been a great part of the means to preserve the Town of Rochel, as the Proofs, when they shall be produced, will make appear. And when his Majesty did find, that, beyond his intention, and contrary to the faithful promises of the French, they were so misemployed, he found himself bound in honour to intercede with the most Christian King his good Brother, for the Peace of that Town, and of the Religion, lest his Majesty's Honour might otherwise suffer: Which intercession his Majesty did so sedulously, and so successfully pursue, that the Town, and the Religion there, do and will acknowledge the fruits thereof.
And whereas it is further objected against him, That when in so unfaithful a manner hehad delivered those Ships into the power of a foreign State, to the danger of the Religion, and scandal and dishonour of our Nation, which he utterly denieth to be so: That to mask his. ill intentions, in cunning and cautelous manner, he abused the Parliament at Oxford, in affirming before the Committees of both Houses, That the said Ships' were not, nor should be so used or employed; he faith, (under the favour of those who so understood his words) That he did not then use those words, which are expressed in the Charge to have been spoken by him; but there being then a jealousie of the misemploying of those Ships, the Duke having no knowledge thereof, and knowing well what the promises of the French King were, but was not then seasonable to be published; he hoping they would not have varied from what was promised, did say, That the event would show it was no undertaking for them, but a Declaration of that in general terms which should really have been performed, and which his Majesty had just cause to expect: from them.
That the Duke did compel the Lord R. to buy his Title of Honour, he utterly denieth, and he is very confident, that the Lord R. himself will not affirm it, or any thing tending that way: Neither can he, nor any man else, truly say so. But the said Duke is able to prove, that the Lord R. was before willing to have given a much greater sum, but could not then obtain it; and he did now obtain it by sollicitation of his own Agents.
For the felling of Places of Judicature by the Duke, which are specially instanced in the Charge, he answereth, That he received not, or had a penny of either of those sums to his own use; but the truth is, the Lord M. was made Lord Treasurer by his late Majesty, without contracting for any thing for it; and after that he had the Office conferred upon him, his late Majesty moved him to lend him Twenty thousand pounds, upon promise of repayment at the end of a year; the Lord M. yielded it, so as he might have the Duke's word, that it should be repayed unto him accordingly: The Duke gave his word for it; the Lord M. relied upon it, and delivered the said sum to the hands of Mr. Porter, then attending upon the Duke, by the late King's appointment, to be disposed as his Majesty should direct. And according to the King's direction, that very money was fully paid out to others, and the Duke neither had, nor disposed of a penny thereof to his own use, as is suggested against him.
And afterwards when the Lord M. lest that place, and his money was not repayed unto him, he urged the Duke upon his promise; where upon the Duke being jealous of his Honour, and to keep his word, not having money to pay him, he assured Lands of his own to the Lord M. for his security. But when the Duke was in Spain, the Lord M. obtained a promise from his late Majesty of some Lands in Fee-farm, to such a value, as he accepted of the fame in satisfaction of the said money, which were afterward passed unto him; and at the Duke's return, the Lord M, delivered back unto him the security of the Duke's Lands, which had been given unto him as aforesaid.
And for the Six thousand pounds supposed to have been received by the Duke, for procuring to the Earl of M. the Mastership. of the Wards, he utterly denieth it; but afterwards he heard, that the Earl of M. did disburse Six thousand pounds about that time; and his late Majesty bestowed the same upon Sir Henry Mildway his Servant, without the Duke's privity, and he had it, and enjoyed it, and no penny thereof came to the said Duke, or to his use.
To this Article the Duke answereth, That it is true, that his late Majesty, out of his Royal favour unto him, having honoured the Duke himself with many Titles and Dignities of his bounty; and as a greater argument of his Princely Grace, did also think fit to honour those, who were in equal degree of Blood with him, and also to enoble their Mother, who was the Stock that bear them.
The Titles bestowed on the Viscount P. the Duke's elder Brother, were conferred upon him, who was a Servant of the Bed-chamber to his now Majesty, then Prince, by his Highness's means; the Earl of A. of his late Majesty's Bed-chamber, and the Honours and Lands conferred on him, was done when the Duke was in Spain.
But if it were true, that the Duke had procured Honours for those who are so near and dear unto him, the Law of Nature, and the King's Royal favour, he hopeth, will plead for his excuse; and he rather believeth he were worthy to be condemned in the opinion of all generous minds, if being in such favour with his Master, he had minded only his own advancement, and had neglected those who were nearest unto him.
To this Article his Answer is, That he doth humbly, and with all thankfulness acknowledge the bountiful hand of his late Majesty unto him; for which he oweth so much to the memory of that deceased King, his most excellent Majesty that now is, and their Posterity, that he shall willingly render back whatsoever he hath received, together with his life, to do them service. But for the immense Sums and Values which are suggested to have been given unto him, he faith, There are very great mistakings in the calculations which are in the Schedules in this Article mentioned; unto which the Duke will apply particular Answers in another Schedule, which shall express the truth of every particular, as near as he can collect, the same, to which he referreth himself; whereby it shall appear, what a great disproportion there is between Conjectures and Certainties: And those gifts which he hath received, though he Confesseth that they exceed his Merit, yet they exceed not Presidents of former times. But whatsoever it is he hath, or hath had, he utterly denieth that he obtained the same, or any part thereof, by any undue sollicitation or practise, or did unduly obtain any release of any sums of money he received; but he having, at several times, and upon several occasions, disposed of divers sums of the moneys of his late Majesty, and of his Majesty that now is, by their private directions, he hath Releases thereof for his discharge, which was honourable and gracious in their Majesties, who granted the same for their Servants indempnity; and he hopeth was not unfit for him to accept, of, left, in future times, he or his might be charged therewith, when he could not be able to give so clear an account thereof, as he hopeth he shall now well be able to do.
To this Charge, which is set forth in such an expression of words as might argue an extraordinary guiltiness in the Duke, who by such infinite bounds of duty and thankfulness was obliged to be tender of the life and health of his Most dread and dear Soveraign and Master, he maketh this clear and true Answer: That he did neither apply nor procure the Plaister or posset-drink, in the Charge termed to be a Potion unto his late Majesty, nor was present when the same was first taken or applied: But the truth is this: That his Majesty being sick of an Ague took notice of the Duke's recovery of an Ague not long before, and asked him how he had recovered, and what he found did him most good? The Duke gave him a particular Answer thereto, and that one who was the Earl of Warwick's Physician had ministred a plaister and posset-drink to him; and the chief thing that did him good was a Vomit, which he wished the King had taken in the beginning of his sickness. The King was very desirous to have that plaister and posset-drink sent for, but the Duke delayed it, whereupon the King impatiently asked, Whether it were sent for or not? and finding by the Duke's speeches he had not sent for it, his late Majesty sent for John Baker the Duke's servant and with his own Mouth commanded him to go for it: Whereupon the Duke besought his Majesty not to make use of it but by the advice of his own Physicians, nor until it shall be tried of James Palmer of his Bed-chamber, who was then sick of an Ague, and upon two Children in the Town. Which the King said he would do: And in this resolution the Duke left his Majesty, and went to London; and in the mean time in his absence the plaister and posset-drink was brought and applied by his late Majesty's own command. At the Duke's return, his Majesty was in taking of the posset-drink, and the King then commanded the Duke to give it him, which he did in the Presence of some of the King's Physicians, they then no ways seeming to dislike it, the same drink being first tasted of by some of them, and divers others in the King's Bed-chamber. And he thinketh this was the second time the King took it. Afterwards when the King grew some what worse than before, the Duke heard a rumour as if his physick had done the King hurt, and that the Duke had ministred that Physick to him without advice. The Duke acquainted the King therewith, to whom the King with much discontent answered thus, They are worse than Devils that say it. So far from the truth it was, which now notwithstanding (as it seemeth) is taken up again by some, and with much confidence affirmed. And here the Duke humbly prayeth all your Lordships, not only to consider the truth of this Answer, but also to commiserate the sad thought which this Article had revived in him.
This being the plain, clear and evident truth of all those things which are contained and particularly expressed in his Charge, (the rest being in general requiring no Answer) He being well assured that he hath herein affirmed nothing which he shall not make good by proof in such way as your Lordships shall direct:
He Humbly referreth it to the judgment of your Lordships, how full of danger and prejudice it is to give too ready an earand too easie a belief unto Reports or Testimony without Oath, which are not of weight enough to condemn any. He humbly acknowledged how easie it was for him in his younger years and inexperienced, to fall into thousands of errors in those ten years wherein he had the honour to serve to great and open hearted a Soveraign and Master: But the fear of Almighty God, his sincerity in the true Religion established in the Church of England, (though accompanied with many weaknesses and imperfections, which he is not ashamed humbly and heartily to confess) his awfulness not willing to offend so good and gracious a Master, and his love and duty to his Country have retrained him and preserved him (he hopeth) from running into henious and high misdemeanors and crimes. But whatsoever upon examination and mature deliberation they shall appear to be, least in any thing unwittingly within the compass of so many years he shall have offended, He humbly prayeth your Lordships not only in those, but to all the said misdemeanors, misprisions, offences and crimes wherewith he standeth charged before your Lordships to allow unto him the benefit of the free and general Pardon granted by his late Majesty in Parliament in the list year of his Reign, out of which he is not excepted; and of the gracious Pardon of his now Majesty granted to the said Duke, and vouchsafed in like manner to all his Subjects at the time of his most happy Inauguration and Coronation: Which said Pardon under the Great Seal of England granted the said Duke, beareth date the tenth day of February now last part and here is shewn forth unto your Lordships, on which he doth most humbly rely: And yet he hopeth your Lordships in your Justice and Honour, upon which with confidence he puts himself, will acquit him of and from those misdemeanors, offences, misprisions and crimes wherewith he hath been charged; and he hopeth, and will daily pray, that for the future he shall by God's Grace so watch over his Actions both publick and private, that he shall not give any just offence to any.
Trusty and Well-beloved, we greet you well. Our House of Commons cannot forget how often and how earnestly We have called upon them for the speeding of that Aid which they intended Us for our great and weighty affairs, concerning the safety and honour of Us and our Kingdoms: And now the time being so far spent, that unless it be presently concluded, it can neither bring us Money nor Credit by the time which themselves have fixed, which is the last of this Month, and being further deferred would be of little use, we being daily advertised from all parts of the great preparations of the Enemy ready to assail Us; We hold it necessary by these; Our Letters to give them Our last and final admonition, and to let them know that We shall account all further delays and excuses to be express denials. And therefore We will and require you to signifie unto them, that we do expect that they forthwith bring in their Bill of Subsidy to be passed without delay or condition, so as it may fully pass the House by the end of the next week at the furthest: Which if they do not, it will force Us to take other resolutions. But let them know, if they finish this according to our desire; that we are resolved to let them sit together for the dispatch of their other affairs so long as the season will permit, and after their recess to bring them together against the next Winter. And if by their denial or delay, anything of all consequence shall fall out either at home or abroad, We call God and Man to witness that we have done our part to prevent it, by calling our People together to advise with Us, by opening the weight of our occasions unto them, and by requiring their timely help and assistance in these Actions wherein we stand engaged by their own Councils. And we will and command you that this Letter be read publickly in the House.
About this time there hapned, at three a clock in the Afternoon, a terrible storm of Rain and Hail in and about the City of London, and with it a very great Thunder and Lightning: The graves were laid open in St. Andrew's Church-yard in Holborn, by the sudden fall of the Wall which brought away the Earth with it, whereby many Coffins, and the Corps therein were exposed to open view, and the ruder sort would ordinarily lift up the lids of the Coffins to see the posture of the dead Corps lying therein, who had been buried of the Plague but the year before.
At the same instant of time there was a terrible storm and strange Spectacle upon Thames by the turbulency of the waters, and a Mist that arose out of the same, which appeared in a round Circle of a good bigness above the waters. The fierceness of the Storm bent it self towards York-house, (the then habitation of the Duke of Buckingham) beating against the Stairs and wall thereof: And at last this round Circle (thus elevated all this while above the water) dispersed itself by degrees like the smoak issing out of a Furnace, and ascended higher and higher till it quite vanished away, to the great admiration of the beholders. This occasioned the more discourse among the Vulgar, in that Doctor Lamb appeared then upon Thames, to whose Art of Conjuring they attributed that which had hapned. The Parliament was then fitting, and this Spectacle was seen by many of the Members out of the windows of the House.
To the King's most Excellent Majesty,
Your Majesty's most obedient and loyal Subjects the Commons in this present parliament assembled, do with great comfort remember the many Testimonies which your Majesty hath given of your sincerity and zeal of the true Religion, established in this kingdom, and in particular your gracious answer to both houses of Parliament at Oxford, upon their petition concerning the Causes and Remedies of the increase of popery; That your Majesty thought sit, and would give order to remove from all places of authority and Government, all such persons as are either Popish Recusants, or according to Direction of former Acts of State justly to be suspected; which was then presented as a great and principal cause of that mischief. But not having received to full redress herrin as may conduce to the peace of this Church and safety of this Regal State, They hold it their Duty once more to resort to your Sacred Majesty, humbly to inform you, that upon examination they find the persons under written to be either Recusants, Papists justly suspected according to the former Acts of State, who now do, or since the sitting of the parliament did remain in places of Government and authority, and trust in your several Counties of this your Realm of England and Dominion of Wales.
The Right Honourable, Francis, Earl of Rutland, Lieutenant of the County of Lincoln, Rutland, Northampton, Nottingham, and a Commissioner of the Peace, and of Oyer and Terminer in the County of York, and Justice of Oyer from Trent Northwards. His Lordship is presented to be a Popish Recusant, and to have Affronted all the Commissioners of the Peace within the North-Riding of Yorkshire, by sending a Licence under his hand and Seal unto his Tenant Thomas Fisher, dwelling in his Lordships Mannor of Helmsley, in the said North-Riding of the said County of York, to keep an Ale-house; soon after he was, by an Order made at the Quarter-Sessions, discharged from keeping an Ale-house, because he was a Popish convict Recusant, and to have procured a Popish School-master, namely, Roger Conyers, to teach Scholars within the said Mannor of Helmsley, that formerly had his Licence to teach Scholars taken from him, for teaching Scholars that were the Children of Popish Recusants, and because he suffered these Children to be absent themselves from the Church whilst they were his Scholars; for which the said Conyers was formerly complained of in Parliament.
The Right Honourable Viscount Dunbar, Deputy-Justice in Oyer to the Earl of Rutland, from Trent Northward, and a Commissioner of Sewers, and a Deputy-Lieutenant within the East-Riding of Yorkshire; his Lordship is presented to be a Popish Recusant, and his Indictment removed into the King's Bench, and his Wife, Mother, and the greatest part, of his Family are Popish Recusants, and some of them convicted.
William Lord Evre, in Commission for the Sewers, in the East-Riding, a convict Popish Recusant; Henry Lord Abergaveney, John Lord Tenham, Edward Lord Wotton, in Commission for Sewers, justly suspected for Popery; Henry Lord Morely, Commissioner for Sewers in Com. Lanc. himself suspected, and his Wife a Recusant: John Lord Mordant, Commissioner of the Peace, Sewers, and Subsidy in Com. Northampton.
Em. Lord Scroop, Lord President of his Majesty's Council in the North, Lord Lieutenant of the County and City of York, & Com. Eborac. & Villa King ston super Hull, presented the last time, and continuing still to give suspition of his ill-affection in Religion.
- 1. By never coming to the Cathedral Church upon those days, where in former Presidents have been accustomed.
- 2. By never receiving the Sacrament upon Common days, as other Presidents were accustomed, but publickly departing out of the Church, with his Servants, upon those days, when the rest of the Council, Lord Mayor and Aldermen do receive.
- 3. By never, or very seldom, repairing to the Fasts, but often publickly riding abroad with his Hawks, on those days.
- 4. By causing such as are known to be firm on those days in the Religion established, to be left out of Commission, which is instanced in Henry Alured Esq; by his Lordship's procurement put out of the Commission of Sewers, or else from keeping them from executing their Places, which is instanced in Dr. Hudson, Doctor in Divinity, to whom his Lordship hath refused to give the Oath, being appointed.
- 5. By putting divers other ill-affected persons in Commission of the Council of Oyer and Terminer, and of the Sewers, and in other places of Trust, contrary to his Majesty's gracious Answer to the late Parliament.
- 6. In October last 1625, being certified of divers Spanish Ships of War upon the Coasts of Scharborough, his Lordship went thither, and took with him the Lord Dunbar, Sir Thomas Metham and William Alford, and lay at the House of the Lord Eury, whom he knew to be a convict Recusant and did notwithstanding refuse to disarm him, although he had received Letters from the Lords of the Council to that effect; and did likewise refuse to shew the Commissioners who were to be employed for disarming of Popish Recusants, the original Letters of the Privy Council, or to deliver them any Copies as they desired, and as his Predecessors in that place were wont to do.
- 7. By giving Order to the Lord Dunbar, Sir William Wetham and Sir William Alford, to view the Forts and Store of Munition in the Town of Kingston upon Hull, who made one Kerton a convict Recusant, and suspected to be a Priest, their Clerk in that service.
- 8. By denying to accept a Plea tendred according to the Law by Sir William Hilliard Defendant, against Isabel Simson Plaintiff, in an Action of Trover, that she was a convict Popish Recusant, and forcing him to pay costs.
- 9. By the great increase of Recusants since his Lordship's coming to that Government in January 1619. It appearing by the Records of the Sessions, that there are in the East-Riding only One thousand six hundred and seventy more convicted than were before, which is conceived to be an effect of his favour and countenance towards them.
William Langdale Esquire convicted of Popish Recusancy; Jordan Metham, Henry Holm, Michael Partington, Esquires, George Crefwel, Thomas Danby, Commissioner of the Sewers, and put in Commission by procurement of the Lord Scroop, Lord President of the North, and who have all Popish Recusants, to their Wives; Ralph Bridgmana Non-Communicant.
Sir Thomas Metham Knight Deputy-Lieutenant, made by the Lord Scroop in Commission of the Council of the North, and of Oyer and Terminer, and other Commissions of Trust; all by procurement of the same Lord President since the King's Answer; never known to have received the Communion; his two only Daughters brought up to be Popish, and one of them lately marryed to Thomas Doleman Esquire, a Popish Recusant.
Sir William Wray Knight, Deputy Lieutenant, Colonel to a Regiment, his Wife a Recusant; Sir Edward Musgrave, Sir Thomas Lampleigh Justices of Peace and Zuorum; Sir Thomas Savage Deputy-Lieutenant and Justice of Peace, his Wife and Children Recusants; Sir Richard Egerton a Non-Communicant.
Thomas Savage Esq; a Deputy-Lieutenant, a Recusant, and his Wife indicted and presented; William Whitmore Commissioner of the Subsidy, his Wife and Children Recusants; Sir Hugh Beeston Commissioner of the Subsidy, his Daughter and many of his Servants Recusants; Sir William Massie Commissioner for the Subsidy, his Lady indicted for Recusancy, and his Children Papists; Sir William Courtney Knight, Vice-Warden of the Stannery, and Deputy Lieutenant, a Popish Recusant.
Sir William Mullineux Deputy-Lieutenant and Justice of Peace, his Wife a Recusant; Sir Richard Houghton Knight Deputy-Lieutenant, his Wife and some of his Daughters Recusants; Sir William Noris Captain of the general Forces, and Justice of Peace, a Recusant; Sir Gilbert Ireland Justice of Peace, a Recusant; James Anderton Esquire, Justice of Peace, and one of his Majesty's Receivers, his Wife a Non-Communicant, his Son and Heir a great Recusant, and himself suspected.
Sir Henry Spiller Knight, in Commission for Middlesex and Westminster and Deputy-Lieutenant; Valantine Saunders Esq; one of the six Clerks both which are justly suspected to be ill-affected in Religion according to the Acts of State.
Sir Henry Bedding fieId Knight, Deputy-Lieutenant, and Justice in Oyer and Terminer, and in Commission of Sewers, Justice of Peace, and Captain of a Foot Company, his Wife nor any of his Children, as is informed, come to the Church.
- 1. He being in trust for one Ratcliff of Bury, deceased, for the educating of his Son; he took him from the School at 12 years old, and sent him beyond the Seas to be brought up. there in a Popish Seminary, where he hath remained fix or seven years, as was generally reported.
- 2. One of his Parishioners doubted in some points of Religion, being sick and desired to be satisfied by him, who confirmed him in the Religion of the Church of Rome, which he told to his Brothers before his death, who are ready to affirm the same, but this was divers years since.
- 3. There being Letters directed to four Knights of that County to call the Ministers and other Officers before them, and to cause them to present all such as absented themselves from the Church, and were Popishly affected, he was desired to present those within his Parish-Church of Welfords, which he accordingly did, but left out at the left one half; and being asked, Why he did so? he answered, That he was no Informer: And being asked of some particulars, Whether they came to the Church or not, his Answer was, They did not; and, Why then did he not present them? he said, They might be Anabaptists or Brownists, and would not present them, and this certified by three Members of the House.
- 4. He having a Brother dwelling in Sudbury that was presented for not coming to the Church, he came to one of the Ministers, and told him, That he took it ill they presented his Brothers; who answered, He did it not: but, if he had known of it he would: whereupon he replied, He was glad he had a Brother of any Religion.
- 5. One of his Parish, named Fage, having intelligence, that there was one of the said Parish, that could inform of a private place where Arms were in the Recusants House in the Parish, came to some of the Deputy-Lieutenants in Commission for a Warrant to bring the same in form before them, to be examined concerning the same, and the said Fage delivered the warrant to the Constable, he carried him before the said M. Warren, who rated the said Fage for that he did not come to him first, telling him, that he was a Fectious fellow, and laid him by the heels for two hours, which the said Fage is ready to affirm.
Sir Benjamin Tichbburne Knight and Baronet, Justice of Oyer and Terminer, Justice of Peace, and Deputy-Lieutenant, and in Commission for the Subsidy: his Wife, Children and Servants indicted for Popish Recusancy.
Wherefore they humbly beseech your Majesty not to suffer your loving Subjects to continue any longer discouraged by the apparent sence of that increase both in number and power, which by the favour and countenance of such like ill-affected Governors accerneth to the Popish party; but that according to your own wisdom, goodness and Popish (whereof they rest assured) you will be Graciously pleased to command that answer of your Majesty's to be effectually observed, and the Parties above named, and all such others to be put out of such Commissions and Places of Authority wherein they now are in your Majesty's Realm of England, contrary to the Acts and laws of States in hat behalf.
A Committee Was appointed to prepare an Answer to his Majesty's Letter, which was ingrossed and allowed of, but the Copy thereof we cannot find; yet the Substance was delivered by the Speaker, Sir Henage Finch, in these words.
"According to that liberty of access, and liberty of speech which your Majesty and your Royal Progenitors have ever vouch safed to your House of Commons, your Majesty's most humble and loyal Subjects, the Commons now assembled in Parliament have been tuitors for this access to your Royal Throne.
"And out of their consideration of the nature, and of the weight and importance of the business, they have thought the attendance of the whole House, with their Speaker, not too solemn; and yet they have not thought sit barely to commit those words, which express their thoughts, to the trust of any man's speech, but are bold to present them in writing to your gracious hands, that they may not vanish, but be more lasting than the most powerful words of a more able Speaker like to be.
"This Parchment contains two things, the one by way of Declaration, to give your Majesty an account and humble satisfaction of their clear and sincere endeavors and intentions in your Majesty's service; and the other, an humble Petition to your Majesty, for the removal of that great Person, the Duke of Buckingham, from access to your Royal presence.
"For the first, They Beseech your most excellent Majesty to believe, that no earthly thing is so dear and precious to them, as that your Majesty should retain them in your grace and good opinion; and it is grief to them, beyond my expression, that any misinformation, or misinterpretation, should at any time render their words or proceedings offensive to your Majesty.
"It is not proper for any one to hear the Eccho of a Voice, that hears not the Voice; and if Eccho's be sometimes heard to double and redouble, the Eccho of the Eccho is still fainter, and sounds not louder.
"I need not make the application, words mis-reported, though by an Eccho, or but an Eccho of an Eccho, at a third or fourth hand, have oft a louder found than the voice itself, and may found disloyalty, though the Voice had nothing undutiful or illoyal in it.
"Such mis-informations, they fear, have begot those interruptions and diversions, which have delayed the ripening and expediting of those great Counsels, which concern your Majesty's important service, and have enforced this Declaration.
"Your Majesty hath been pleased to give many Royal Testimonies and Arguments to the world, how good and gracious a Master you are; and that which the Queen of Sheba once said to the wisest King, may without flattery be said to your Majesty,
"But the Relations by which your Majesty stands in a gracious aspect towards your People do far transcend, and are more prevalent and binding, than any relation of a Master towards a Servant; and to hear and satisfie the just and necessary desires of your People, is more honourable, than any expression of grace to a Servant.
"Your Majesty is truly styled with that name, which the greatest Emperors, though they borrowed Names and Titles from those Countreys, which they gained by Conquest, most delighted in, Pater Patriæ. And desires of Children are preferred before those of Servants, and the Servant abideth not in the House for ever, but the Son abideth ever.
"The Government of a King was truly termed by your Royal Father, A politick Marriage between him and his People; and I may safely say, There was never a better union between a married Pair, than is between your Majesty and your People.
Afterwards the Commons made what haste they could to perfect a Remonstrance or Declaration against the Duke, and concerning Tonage and Poundage, taken by the King since the death of his Father, without consent in Parliament; which was no sooner finished, but they had intimation the King would that day dissolve the Parliament: whereupon they order'd every Member of the House to have a Copy of the Remonstrance.
We your faithful and loyal Subjects, the Peers of this Kingdom, having received this morning a message from your Majesty, intimating an intention to dissolve this Parliament; remembering that we are your Majesty's hereditary great Council of the Kingdom, do conceive, that we cannot deserve your Majesty's gracious opinion expressed in this Message unto us, nor discharge our duty to God, your Majesty's and your Country, if after expression of our great and universal sorrow, we did not humbly offer our loyal and faithful advice to continue this Parliament, by which those great and apparent dangers at home and abroad, signified unto us by your Majesty's command may be prevented, and your Majesty made happy in the duty and lose of your People, which we hold the greatest safety and treasury of a King; for the effecting whereof, our humble and faithful endeavour Shall never be wanting.
The Lords sent the Vicount Mandeville, Earl of Manchester, Lord President of his Majesty's Council, the Earl of Pembrook, the Earl of Carlisle, and the Earl of Holland, to intreat his Majesty to give audience to the Whole House of Peers. But the King returned Answer, That his Resolution was to hear no motion for that purpose, but he would dissolve the Parliament, and immediately caused a Commission to pass under the Great Seal to that purpose, in hœc verba.
Carolus, Dei gratia, Anglia, Scotia, Francis & Hibernia Rex, Fidei Desensor, &c Reverendissimo in Christo Patri & fideli consiliario nostro Georgio Archiepisc. Cantuar. totius Anglia Primati & Metropolitano: Ac perdilecto & fideli Confiliar. nostro Thoma Coventry Militi, Dom. Custod. Magni Sigilli nostri Anglie: Ac etiam Reverendiff in Christo Patri Tobia Archiep. Ebor, Anglia Primati & Metro politano: Nec non charissimis Consanguineis & Consiliariis nostris Jacobo Comiti Marlborough, The saurario nostro Anglia; Henrico Comiti Manchester, Dom. Presidenti Confilii nostri; Edwardo Comiti Wigorn. Custod. Privati Sigilli nostri; Georgio Duci Buckingham, Magno Admirallo nostro Anglia; Willielmo Comiti Pembroke, Camerario Hospitii nostri: Ac etiam charissimo Consanguineo nostro Edwar do Comiti Dorset; nec non charissimo & Consiliar, nostro Philippo Comiti Mountgomery; charissimoque Consanguineo nostro Willielmo Comiti Northampton. Presidenti Confilii nostri infra Principalitatem & Marchias Wallia; ac chariss. Consanguineo & Consiliar. nostro Jacobo Comiti Carleol. Nec non charissimis Consanguineis nostris Johanni Comiti de Clare, Thoma Comiti Cleveland, Edmundo Comiti de Mulgrave: nec non charissimo Consanguineo & Consiliar. nostro Georgio Comiti de Totnes; charissimoque Consanguineo nostro Henrico Vicecomiti Rochford: Ac etiam reverendis in Christo Patribus Georgio Episcopo London. Richardo Episc. Dunelm. Reverendoquein Christo Patri & fideli Consiliar. nostro Lanceloto Episc. Winton. Nec non Reverendis in Christo Patribus, Samueli Episc. Norwicen. Willielmo Episc. Meneven. Ac perdilecto & fideli Consiliario nostro Edwardo Dom. Conway, uni primorum Secretoriorum nostrorum, Ac etiam perdilecto & fideli nostro Samueli Dom. Scroop, Prasidenti Confilii nostri in partibus Borealibus; perdilectoque & fideli Consiliar nostro Fulconi Dom. Brook, Salutem.
Cum nuper pro quibusdam arduis & urgentibus negotiis nos statum & desensionem Regni nostri Anglia & Ecclesia Anglicana, concernentibus, prasens hoc Parliamentum nostrum apud Civitatem nostram Westmonasterii sexto die Februar. Anno Regni nostri primo inchoari & teneri ordinaverimus, á quo die idem Parliamentum nostrum usq; ad & insantem decimum quintum diem Junii continuatum fuerat: Sciatis quod nos pro certis urgentibus causis & considerationibus nos specialiter moventibus, idem Parliamentum nostrum hoc instanti decimo quinto die Junii duximus dissolvendum. De fidelitate igitur, prudentia & circumspectione vestris plurimum considentes, de avisamento & assensu Confilii nostri assignavimus vos Commissionarios nostros, dantes vobis & aliquibus tribus vel pluribus vestrum tenore prœsentium, plenam potestatem & authoritatem hoc instanti decimo quinto die Junii ad dictum Parliamentum nostrum nomine nostro plenarie dissolvendum; & ideo vobis mandamus quod vos, vel aliqui tres vel plures vestrum, idem Parliamentum nostrum hoc instante decimo quinto dii Junii, virtute harum Literarum nostrarum patent, plenarie dissolvatis & determinetis. Et ideo vobis mandamus quod pramissa diligenter intendatis, acea in forma pradicta effectualiter expleatis & exequamini.Damus autem universis & singulis Archiepiscopis, Ducibus, Marchionibus, Comitibus, Vicecomitibus, Episcopis, Baronibus, Militibus, Civibus & Burgenfibus, acomnibus aliis quorum interest ad dictum Parliamentum nostrum conventurum, tenore prœsentium sirmiter in mandat. quod vobis in pramissis faciend. agend.& exequend. pariant,obediant, & intendant in omnibus prout decet. In cujus rei testimonium has literas nostras sieri fecimus patentes. Teste meipso apud Westm. decimo quinto die Junii, Anno Regni nostri secundo.
Most Gracious Sovereign,
We your loyal and faithful Subjects, the Commons assembled by your Majesty's most Royal authority in this present Parliament, having with all Dutiful affection, from the time of our first meeting, earnestly endeavoured to proceed speedily to those affairs that might best and soonest conduce to our dispatch of the intended supply of your Majesty's great designs, to the inlargement of your Support, and to the enabling of ourselves, and them whom we represent, to the full and timely performance of the same; bade notwithstanding, by reason of divers informations, interruptions,. and other preventions, been hithered to retarded in the prosecution of these affairs, that we now thought it a necessary part of our most humble Duties thus to Declare, both those interruptions and preventions, with the true original and continual cause of them; as alsoour most earnest devotion of the Parliamentary service of your most excellent Majesty, and of the careful safety and defence of your Dominions, Crown and Diginity: And we most humbly therefore beseech your most excellent Majesty, to be graciously pleased here to cast your eye on some particulars, that have relation, as well to your first parliament, as to this out of which we cannot doubt, but that your great goodness may receive an ample satisfaction touching our most loyal and faithful intentions.
In the first Parliament of the first year of your Majesty's most Happy Reign over us, the Commons then assmbled, after then had cheerfully presented to your Majesty, as the first fruits of their affections, two entire Subsidies, mere exceedingly preffed by the means of the Duke of Buckingham, and for his own ends as we conceive, to enlarge that Supply: which when he conceived would not be there effected, he procured, for the same ends, from your Majesty, an adjournment of the parliament to the City of Oxford; where the Commons then taking into just consideration, the great mischiefs which this kingdom variously hath suffered, and that chiefly by reason of the exorbitant power, and frequent misdoings of the said Duke, were entering into a Parliamentary course of examination of those mischiefs, power, and misdoings: But no sooner was there any mention made of his name too this purpose, but that he, fearing left his actions might so have been too much laid open to the blew of your most excellent Majesty, and to the just Censure that might then have followed, presently through his misinformations to your Majesty of the intentions of your said Commons (as we have just cause to believe) procured a dissolution of the said parliament: And afterwards also in the same year, through divers misreports made to your Majesty in his behalf, touching come Members of the said Commons, who had more particularly drawn his name into just question, and justly professed themselves aderse to his ends there, procured (as we cannot but conceive) the said Members to be made the Sheriffs of several Counties for this year that followed, to the end that they might have all been precluded from being chosen Members of the present Parliament, left they would again have there questioned him, and by the like practice also (as we are perswaded be procured, soon after the said dissolution, an other (fn. 1) Member of the said house, because he had justly professed himself against his ends to be sent as Secretary of your Majesty's last Fleet, hereby indeed to punish him, by such drawing him from his practise of the law, which was his profession under colour of an honourable Employment.
It pleased your Majesty afterwards, in February last, to call this present parliament, wherein though none of those whom the said Duke had so procured to be made high Sheriffs have sat as members; yet we finding in ourselves the like affection, first to the Service of your Majesty and next to the good of the Commonwealth, we took into serious consideration several Propositions, how for the safety and happiness of your Majesty's Kingdoms and Allies, we might enlarge your Supports, and to the Military Strength without charge to the poorer sort of your Subjects, and give a larger Supply to your Majesty for your instant and pressing occasions, than hath ever yet but once been given in Parliament: Whereupon, for the enabling of ourselves, and those whom we represent, we conceive it first necessary to search into the Causes of those mischiefs, which this your Kingdom suffereth, and divers of the Brievances that over-burden your Subjects; without doing of which, we could neither be faithful to your Majesty nor to the Country that doth trust and employ us, as your Royal Father also, of blessed memory, admonished the Douse of Commons in the fourth Session of his first Parliament. In this consideration we found, that the most pressing and comprehensive Mischief and Grievance that he suffered, was fundamentally settled in the vast power and enormous actions of the said Duke, being such, that by reason of his plurality of Offices all gotten by ambition, and some for money, expresly against the Laws of your Realm; his breach of Crust in not guarding the Seas; his high injustice in the Admirality; his Extortion; his delivering over the Ships of this kingdom into the hands of a foreign Prince: his procuring of the compulsory buying of honaur for his own gain; his unexampled exhausting of the Treasures and Revenues of the kingdom; his transcendent presumption of that unhappy applying of Physick to your Royal Father of blessed memory, few days before his death, and some other his Dffences carefully and maturely examined by us, we made a Parliamentary Charge of the same matters and offences against him, to the Lords, by your Majesty assembled in parliament, there expecting some Remedy by a speedy proceeding against him: But, may it place your most excellent Majesty, not only during the time of our examination of the matters and offences of the same charge, e were diversty interrupted and diverted by messages procured through misinformation from your Majesty, which with most humble duty and reverence we did ever receive; whence it first felt out, that so not only much time was spent amongst us, before the same Charge was perfected, but also within two days next after the same Charge was transmitted by us to the Lords: Upon untrue and malicious misinformations, privately and against the Privilege of Parliaments, given to your Majesty of certain words supposed to have been spoken by Sir Dudley Diggs and Sir John Elliot Knights, two of the Members of our House, in their service of the transmitting of the said Charge, both of them having been especially employed in the Chairs of Committees with us, about the examination of the said matter and offences, they were both by your Majesty's command committed to close Imprisonment in the Tower of London, and their Lodgings presently searched, and their Papers there found, presently taken away; by reason whereof not only our known Priviledges of parliament were infringed, but we ourselves, that upon full hope of speedy course of Justice against the said Duke, were preparing with all dutiful affection to proceed to the dispatch of the Supply, and other Services to your Majesty, were wholly, as the Course and Priviledge of Parliament binds us, diverted for divers days, to the taking only into consideration come courses for the ratifying and Preservation of the Priviledges so instringed; and we think it our duties, most gracious Sovereign, most rightly to inform here by your most excellent Majesty, of the course held in the Commitment of the two Members: For whereas by your Majesty's warrant to your Messengers for the arresting of them, you were plesed to command, that they would repair to their Lodgings, and there take them; your Majesty's principal Secretary, the Lord Conway, gave the said Messengers (as they affirmed) an express command, contrary to the said warrants, that they should not go to their Lodgings, but to the house of Commons, and there take them; and if they found them not there, they should stay until they were come into house and apprehend them wheresoever else they should find them. which besides that it is contrary to your Majesty's command, as an apparent Testimony of some mischievous intention there had against the whole house of Commons, and against the service intended to your Majesty. All which, with the several interruptions that preceded it, and the misinformation that hath caused all of them, we cannot doubt but that they were wrought and procured by the Duke, to his own behoof, and for his advantage, especially because the said interruptions have, through misinformation, come amongst us, only at such times where in we have had the matters and offences charged against him in agitation; but your Majesty, out of your great goodness and justice, being afterwards informed truly of our Priviledge, and the justice, being afterwards informed truly of our Priviledge, and the demerit of the Cause that concerned our two Members, graciously commanded the delivery of them out of the Tower, for which we render unto your Majesty most humble thanks; and were then again, by reason of our hopes of the dispatch of Proceedings with the Lords, upon our Charge against him the said Duke, in a cheerful purpose to go on with the matter of Supply, and other Services to your Mejesty when again these hopes failed in us, by reason of some new exorbitancies now lately shewed in the exercise of his so great power and ambition; for by such his power and ambition, notwithstanding our Declaration against him for his so great plurality of Offices, he also procured to himself, by the sollicitation of his agents, and of such as depended upon him, the Office of Chancellor of the University of Cambridge; whereas the same Unversity having two Burgesses in Parliament, did, by the same Burgesses, a few weeks before, content with us in the Charge against him for his ambition for procuring such a Plurality of Offices; such was his ambition to sue for it, such was his power to make them give it him, contrary to what themselves had agreed in Parliament with all the Commons of England. And he procured also the same Office, by the special labours and endeavours (as we are informed) of a factious party, who adhereth to that dangerous Innovation of Religion, published in the seditious writings of one Richard Montague Clerks; of whom it is thence also and heretofore, upon other reasons it hath been conceived, that the said Duke is, and long hath been, an Abettor and Protector.
These actions of the said Duke have thus among us hindred the service of your Majesty, by reason both of the interruptions that have so necessarily accompanied them, and of the prevention of our cheerfulness, which other otherewise had long since been most effectually shewed in us, that having nothing else in our cares, next to our duty to God, but the Loyal service of your Majesty, the safety of your Kingdom, and the substance of ourselves and those whom we represent, for the continuance of that service and safety, which we cannot hope for: And we beseech your most excellent Majesty, graciously to receive this our humble and free Protestation, That we cannot hope for it, so long as we thus suffer under under the pressures of the power and ambition of the said Duke, and the divers and false Informations so given to your Majesty on his behalf, and for his advantages; especially when we observe also, that in such his greatness, he prevented giving of true Information to your Majesty, in all things that may any ways reflect to his own misdoings, to shew unto your Majesty the true state of your Subjects and Kingdoms, otherwise than as it may be represented for his own ends. And to that purspose also hath he procured so many persons depending on him, either by allince or advancement, to places of eminency near your Sacred Person. Through his misinformations of that king also, and power, we have seen, to our great grief, both in the time of your Majesty's Royal Father of blessed Memory, and of Your Majesty, divers officers of the Kingdom, so often by him displaced and altered, that within these few years past, since the beginning of his greatness, more such displacing alterations have, by his means happened than in many years before them: Neither was there in the time of your Royal Father of blessed Memory any such course held, before it was by the practise of the said Duke thus induced And since that time, divers officers of the Crown, not only in this your kingdom of England, but also in Ireland, as they have been made friends or adverse to the said Duke, have been either so commended, on misrepresented by him to his Sovereign, and by his procurement to placed, or displaced, that he hath always herein, as much as in him lay, made his own ends and advantage the measure of the good or ill of your Majesty's Kingdoms.
But now at length, may it please your most excellent Majesty, we have received from the Lords a Copy of the said Duke's Answer to our Charge transmitted against him; whereunto we shall presently in such sort reply, according to the Laws of Parliament, that unless his power and practice against undermine our proceedings, we do not doubt but we shall upon the same have Judgment against him.
In the times also (most gracious Sovereign) of these interruptions which came amongst us, by reason of the procurement of two of your members committed, a gracious Message was formerly received from your Majesty, wherein you had been pleased to let us know, That if you had not a timely Supply, your Majesty; would betake yourself to new Counsels, which we cannot doubt were intended by your most excellent Majesty to be such as stood with Justice and the Laws of this Realm. But these words New Counsels, were remembred in a Speech made amongst us by one of your Majesty's Privy Council, and lately a Member of us, who in the same Speech told us, he had often thought of those words, New Counsels; That in his consideration of them, he remembered that there were such kinds of Parliaments antiently among other Nations, as are now in England; That in England he saw the Country-people live in happiness and plenty, but in these other Nations he saw them poor both in persons and habit; or to that effect: which state and condition happened (as he said) to them, where such New counsels were taken, as that the use of their Parliaments ended.
This intimation, may it please your Majesty, was such, as also gave us just cause to fear there were some ill Ministers near your Majesty, that in behalf of the said Duke, and together with him, who is so strangely powerful, were so much against the Parliamentary course of this Kingdom, as they might perhaps advice your most excellent Majesty such new Counsels as these, that felt under the memory and consideration of that Privy Counsellor. And one especial reason among others hath increased that fear among us, for that where as the Subsides of Tonnage and Poundage, which determined upon the death of your most Royal Father, our late Sovereign, and were never payable to any of your Majesty's Ancestors, but only by a special Act of Parliament, and ought not to be levied without such and Act; yet ever since the beginning of your Majesty's happy Reign over us, the said Subsidies have been levied by some of your Majesty's Ministers, as if they were still due; although also one Parliament hath been since then began, and dissolved by procurement of the said Duke, as is before shewed, wherein no act passed for the same Subsidies. which example is so much against the constant use of former times, and the known Right and Liberty of your Subjects, that it is an apparent effect of some new Counsels given against the antient setled course of Government of this Laws of this your Majesty's Kingdom, and chiefly against the Right of your Commons, as if there might be any Subsidy, Tax, or Aid levied upon them, without their content in Parliament, or contrary to the setled Laws of this Kingdom. But if any such do so ill an office, as the mis representation of the state and right of your Majesty's loyal Subjects, advise any such new Counsels as the levying any Aid, Tax, or Subsidy among your People, contrary to the setled Laws of your Kingdom, we cannot, most geacious Sovereign, but esteem them that shall so advise, not only as Chipers, but pests to their King and Commonwealth, (as all such were to both Houses of Parliament expressly styled by your most Royal Father) but also Capital Enemies, as well to your Crown and Dignity, as to the Commonwealth. And we shall for our parts in Parliament shew as occasion shall require, and be ready to declare their offences of this kind, such as that may be rewarded with the highest punishment, as your Laws instict on any offenders.
These, and some of these things, amongst many other, (most gracious Sovereign) are those which have so much prevented a right understanding between your Majesty and us, and which have possessed the hearts of your People and Loyal Commons with unspeakable sorrow and grief, finding apparently all humble and hearty endeavours mis interpreted, bindred, and now at last almost frustrated utterly, by the interposition of the excessive and abusive power of one man; against whom we have just cause to protest, not only in regard of the particulars wherewith he hath been charged, which Parliamentary way we are enforced to insist upon, as matters which lie in our notice and proof, but also because we apprehend him of so unbridled Ambition, and so adverse to the good and tranquility of the Church and State, that we derily believe him to be and Enemy to both: And therefore, unless we would betray our own duties to your Majesty, and those from whom we are trusted, we cannot but express our infinite grief, that he should have so great power and interest in your Princely affections, and under your Majesty wholly, in a manner to engross to himself the Administration of our Affairs of the Kingdom, which by that means is drawn into a conditions most miserable and hazardous.
Give us then leave, most dear Sovereign, in the name of all the Commons of this your kingdom, prostrate at the feet of your Sacred Majesty, most humbly to beseech you, even for the honour of Almighty Sob, whose Religion is directly undetermined by the practice of that Party whom this Duke supports; for your Honour, which will be much advanced in the relieving of your People in this their great and general grievance; for the honour, safety, and welfare of your kingdom, which by this means is threatned with almost unavoidable dangers; And for the love which your Majesty, as a good and loving father, bears unto your good people, to whom we profess, in the presence of Almighty God (the searcher of all hearts) you are as highly esteemed and beloved, as ever any of your Predecessors were, that you would be graciously plesed to remove this person from access to your Sacred presence, and that you would not ballance this one man with all these things, and with the Affairs of the Christian World, which do all suffer so far, as they have relation to this Kingdom, chiefly by his means. For we protect to your Majesty, and to the whole world, That until this great Person be removed from intermedling with the great Affairs of State, we are out of hope of any success; and do fear, that any money we shall or can give, will, through his mis-employment, be turned rather to the hurt and predudice of this your Kingdom, than otherwise, as by lamentable experience we have found, in those large Supplies we have formerly and lately given.
But no sooner shall we receive redress and relief in this, (which, of all others, is our most insupportable grievance) but we shall forthwith proceed to accomplish your Majesty's own desire, for Supply, and likewise with all cheerfulness apply our selves to the perfecting of divers other great things, such as we think no one Parliament in one Age can parallel, tending to the stability, wealth, and strength, and honour of this your kingdom, and the support of your friends and Allies abroad: And we doubt not but through God's blessing, as you are best, so shall you ever be the best beloved, and greatest Monarch that ever fat on the Royal Throne of this famous Kingdom.
The King's most excellent Majesty, since his happy access to the Imperial Crown of this Relam, having by his Royal Authority summoned and assembled two several Parliaments; the first whereof was in August last, by Adjournment held at Oxford, and there dissolved; and the other begun in February last, and continued until the Fifteenth day of this present moneth of June, and then, to the unspeakable grief of himself, and (as he belseveth) of all his good and well-affected Subjects, dissolved also: Although he well knoweth that the Calling, Adjourning, Proroguing, and Dissolving of Parliaments, being his great Council of the Kingdom, do peculiarly belong unto himself by an undoubted Prerogative inseparably united to his Imperial Crown; of which, as of his other Royal Actions, he is not bound to give an account to any but to God only, whose immediate Lieutenant and Uicegerent he is in these Realms and Dominions, by the Divine Providence committed to his charge and government: yet Forasmuch as by the assistance of the Almighty, his purpose is so to order himself and all his actions, especially in the great and publick Actions of State, concerning the meal of his Kingdoms, as may justifie themselves, not only his own Conscience, and to his own People, but to the whole world; his Majesty hath thought it sit and necessary, as the affairs now stand both at home abroad, to make a true, plain, and clear Declaration of the Causes which moved his Majesty to assemble, and after enforced him to dissolve these Parliaments; that so the mouth of malice itself may be stopped, and the doubts and fears of his own good Subjects at home, and of his Friends and Allies abroad may be satisfied, and the deserved blame of so unhappy accidents may justly light upon the Authors thereof.
When his Majesty, by the death of his dear and Royal Father of ever blessed memory, first came to the Crown, he found himself engaged in a War with a Potent Enemy, not undertaken rashly, nor without just and honourable grounds, but enforced for the necessary defence of himself and his Dominions, for the support of his Friends and Allies, for the redeeming of the antient Honour of this Nation for the recovering of the Patrimony of his dear Sister, her Consort, and their Children, injuriously, and under colour of Treaties and Friendship, taken from them, for the maintenance of the true Religion, and invited thereunto, and encourged threin by the humble advice of both the houses of Parliament, and by their large promises and protestations to his late Majesty, to give him full and real assistance those Enterprises, which were of so great importance to this Realm, and to the general peace and safety of all his Friends and Allies: But when his Majesty entred into a view of his Treasure, be found how ill provided be was to proceed effectually with so great an action, unless be might be assured to receive such Supplies from his loving Subjects, as might him to manage the same.
hereupon his Majesty, being wiling to tread in the steps of his Royal Progenitor, for the making of good and wholesome Laws for the better Government of his People, for the right understanding of their true Grievances, and for the supply of moneys to be employed for those publick services, he did resolve to summon a Parliament with all convenient speed be might; and finding a former Parliament already called in the life of his Father, he was desirous, for the speedier dispatch of his weighty affairs, and gaining of time, to have continued the same, without an alteration of the Members thereof, had be not been advised to the contrary by his Judges and Council at Law; for that it had been subject to question in Law, which he desired to avoid. But as soon as possible he could, be summoned a new Parliament, which he did with much confidence and assurance of the love of his People, that those (who had, not long before, with some importunity, won his Father to break off his former Treaties with Spain, and to effect it had used the mediation of his now Majesty, being then Prince and a Member of the Parliament, and had promised in Parliament their, utmost assistance, for the enabling of his late Majesty to undergo the War, which they then forelaw might follow)would assuredly have performed it to his now Majesty, and would not have suffered him in his first Enterprise of so great an expectation, to have run the least hazard through their defaults.
This Parliament (after some Adjournment, by reason of his Majesty's unavoidable occasions interposing) being assembled on the Highteenth day of June, it is true, that his Commons in Parliament taking into their due and serious condisideration the manifold occasions, which, at his first entry, did his Majesty, and his most important affairs, which, both at home and abroad, were then in action, did, with great readiness and alacrity, as a pledge of their most bounden duty and thankfulness, and as the first fruits of the most dutiful affections of his loving and loyal Subjects, devoted to his service his Majesty with the free and cheerful gift of two entire Subsidies: Which their gift, and much more the freeness and heartiness expressed in the giving thereof, his Majesty did thankfully and lovingly accept: But when he had more narrowly entred into the condsideration of his great affairs, wherein he was embarqued, and from which be could not, without much dishonour and disadvantage withdraw his hand, he found, that this sum of money was much more of that, which of necessity must be presently expended, for the setting forward of those great Actions, which by advice of his Council, he had undertaken, and were that Summer to be pursued. This his Majesty imparted to his Commons house of Parliament; but before the same could receive that debate and due consideration which was fit, fearful Distation of the Plague in and about the Cities of London and Westminster, where the Lords and the principal Settlement of Duality of his whole Kingdom were, for the time of this their service, lodged and abiding, did so much increase, that his Majesty, without extreme persit to the lives of his good Subjects, which were dear unto him, could not continue the Parliament any longer in that place.
His majesty therefore, on the eleventh day of July then following, adjourned the Parliament from Westminster, until the first Day of August then following, at the City of Oxford. And his highness was to careful to accommodate his Lords and Commons there, that as he made choice of that place, being then the freest of all others from the Danger of that grievous sickness, so he there fitted the parliamentmen with all things convenient for their entertainment: And his majesty himself, being in his own heart sincere and free from all Ends upon his people, which the Searcher of Hearts best knoweth, he little expected, that any misconstruction of his actions would have been made as he there found. But when the parliament had been a while assemebled, and his Majesty's affairs opened unto them, and a further Supply desired, as necessity required, he found them so flow, and so full of delays and diversions in their Resolutions, that before any thing could be determined, the fearful Contagion daily increased, and was dispersed into all parts of this Kingdom, and came home even to their doors where they assembled. His majesty therefore rather preferred the safety of his people from that present and visible danger, than the providing for that which was more remote, but no less dangerous to the State of this Kingdom, and of the affairs of that part of Christendom which then were, and yet are in friendship and alliance with his majesty. And thereupon his Majesty, not being then able to discern when it might please God to stay his hand of Uisitation, nor what place might more secure than other, at a time convenient for their reassembling, his Majesty dissolved that Parliament.
That Parliament being now ended, his Majesty did not therewith cast off his Royal care of his great and important affairs; but by the advice of his Privy-Council, and of his Council of War, he continued his Preparations, and former Resolutions; and therein not only expended those moneys, which by the two Subsidies aforesaid were given unto him for his own private use, whereof he had too much occasion, as he found the state of his Exchequer at his first entrance, but added much more of his own, as by his credit, and the credit of some of his Servants he was able to compass the same. At last, by much disadvantage, by the retarding of provisions, and uncertainty of the means, his Navy was prepared and set to Sea, and the Designs unto which they were sent and specially directed, were so probable, and so well advised, that had they not miscarried in the execution, his Majesty is well assured they would have given good satisfaction, not only to his own people, but to all the world, that they were not lightly or unadvisedly undertaken and pursued. But it pleased God, who is the Lord of Hosts, and unto whose providence and good pleasure his Majesty doth, and shall submit himself, and all his endeavours, not to give that success which was desired: And yet were those attempts not altogether so fruitless as the envy of the times hath apprehended, the Enemy receiving thereby no small loss, nor our party no little advantage. And would much avail to further his Majesty's great affairs, and the peace of Christendom, which ought to be the true end of all hostility. were these first beginnings, which are most subject to miscarry, well seconded and pursued, as his Majesty intended, and as in the judgment of all men, conversant in his actions of this nature, were fit not to have been neglected.
These things being thus acted, and God of his infinite goodness, beyond expectation, asswaging the rage of the Pestilence, and, in a manner, of a sudden restoring health and safety to the cities of London and Westminster, which are the fittest places for the resort of his Majesty, his Lords and Commons to meet in parliament; his Majesty in the depth of Winter, no sooner descried the probability of a safe assembling of his People, and in his Princely wisdom and providence foresaw, that if the opportunity of Seasons should be omitted, preparations both defensive and offensive could not be made in such sort as was requisite for their common safety, but he advised and resolved of the summoning of a new parliament, where he might freely communicate the necessities of the State, and the countess and advice of the Lords and Commons in parliament, who were the representative Body of the whole Kingdom, and the great Council of the Realm, might proceed in these enterprises, and be enabled thereunto, which concern the common good, safety and honour both of prince and people, and accordingly the six of February last, a new Parliament was begun. At the first meeting his Majesty did forbear to press them with any thing which might have the least appearance of his own interest, but recommended unto them the care of making good Law, which are the ordinary Subject for a parliament.
His Majesty believing, that they could not have suffered many days, much less many Weeks, to have passed by, before the apprehension and care of the common safety of this Kingdom, and the true Religion, professed and maintained therein, and of our Friends and Allies, who must prosper, or suffer with us, would have led them to a due and timely consideration of all the means which might best conduce to those ends; which the Lords of the Higher House by a Committee of that House, did timely and seasonably consider of, and invited the Commons to a Conference concerning that great business: At Which Conference there were opened unto them, the great occasions which pressed his Majesty; which making no impression with them, his Majesty did, first, by Message, and after by Letters, put the House of Commons in mind of that which was most necessary, the defence of the Kingdom, and due and timely preparations for the same.
The Commons House after this, upon the 27 of March last, with one unanimous consent at first, agreed to give unto his majesty three entire Subsidies, and three fifteens, for a present Supply unto him; and upon the 26 of April after, upon second cogitations, they added a fourth Subsidy, and ordered the days of payment for, them all, Whereof the first should have been on the last day of this present June. Upon this, the King of Denmark and other Princes and States, being engaged with his majesty in this common Cause, his Majesty fitted his occasions according to the times which were appointed for the payment of those Subsidies and Fifteens, and hasted on the Lords Committees, and his Council of War, to perfect their resolutions for the ordering and setting of his designs; which they accordingly did, and brought them to that maturity, that they found no impediment to a final conclusion of their Confess, but want of Money to put things into action. His Majesty hereupon, who had with much patience expected the real performance of that which the Commons had promised, finding the time of the year posting away, and having intelligence not only from his own ministers and Subjects in Foreign parts, but from all parts of Christendom, and of the great and powerful preparations of the king of Spain, and that his Design was upon this Kingdom, or the kingdom of Ireland, or both, (and It is hard to Determine which of them would be of worst consequence) he acquainted the House of Commons therewith, and said open unto them truly and clearly, how the state of things then stood, and yet stand, and at several times, and upon several occasions reiterated the same: But that House being abused by the violent and ill advised passions of a few Members of the House, for private and personal ends, ill beseeming publick persons, trusted by their Countrey, as then they were, not only neglected, but willfully refused to hearken to all the gentle admonitions which his majesty could give them, and neither did nor would intend any thing, but the prosecution of one of the Peers of this Realm, and that in such a Disordered manner, as being set at their own instance into a legal way, wherein the proofs on either part would have ruled the cause, which his majesty allowed, they were not therewith content, but in their intemperate passions, and Desires to seek for Errors in another, fell into a greater error themselves, and not only neglected to give just satisfaction to his Majesty in several cases which happened concerning his Regality, but Wholly forgot their engagements to his majesty for the publick Defence of the Realm: Whereupon his Majesty wrote the forementioned Letter to the Speaker, dated the ninth day of June, 1626.
Notwithstanding which Letter read in the House, being a clear and gracious Manifest of his Majesty's Resolutions, they never so much as admitted one Reading to the Bill of Subsidies, but instead thereof, they prepared and voted a Remonstrance or Declaration, which they intended to prefer to his majesty, containing (though palliated with glossing terms) as well Dishonourable aspersions upon his Majesty, and upon the sacred memory of his Deceased Father, as also Dilatory excuses for their not proceeding with the Subsidies, adding thereto also coloured conditions, crossing thereby his Majesty's Direction; Which his Majesty understanding, and esteeming (as he had cause) to be a denial of the promised Supply, and finding, that no admonitions could move, no reasons or persuasions could prevail, when the time was so far spent, that they had put an impossibility upon themselves to perform their promises, which they esteemed all gracious messages unto them to be but interruptions: His majesty, upon mature advisement, discerning that all further patience would prove Fruitless, on the fifteenth day of this present moneth he hath dissolved this unhappy Parliament: the acting whereof, as it was to his majesty an unexpressible grief, so the memory thereof doth renew the hearty sorrow, which all his good and well-affected Subjects will compassionate with him.
These passages his Majesty hath at the move length, and with the true circumstances thereof, expressed and published to the world, lest that which hath been unfortunate in itself, through the malice of the Author of so great a mischief, and the malevolent report of such as are ill affected to this State, or the true Religion here processed, or the fears or jealousies of Friends and dutiful Subjects, might be made more unfortunate in the consequences of it, which may be of worse effect than at the first can he well apprehended; and his Majesty, being best privy to the integrity of his own heart, for the constant maintaining of the sincerity and unity of the true Religion processed in the Church of England, and to free it from the open contagion of Popery, and secret infection of schism, of both which, by his publick Acts and Actions, he hath given good testimony, and with a single heart, as in the presence of God, who can best judge thereof, purposeth resolutely and constantly to proceed in the due execution of either; and observing the subtilty of the adverse party, he cannot but believe that the hand of Joab hath been in this disaster, that the common Incendiaries of Christendom have subtilty and secretly insinuated those things, Which unhappily (and, as his Majesty hopeth, beyond the intentions of the Actors) have caused these diversions and distractions: and yet notwithstanding, his most excellent Majesty, for the comfort of his good and well-affected Subjects, in Whose loves be doth repose himself with confidence, and esteemeth it as his greatest riches; for the assuring of his friends and Allies, with whom, by God's assistance, he with not break in the substance of what he hath undertaken; for the Discouraging of his Adversaries, and the Adversaries of his Cause, and of his Dominions, and Religion, hath put on this resolution, which he doth hereby publish to all the world, That as god hath made him King of this great People, and large Dominions, famous in former Ages both by Land and Sea, and trusted him to be a Father and protector both of their persons and fortunes, and a Defender of the Faith, and true Religion; so he will go on cheerfully and constantly in the defence thereof (and notwithstanding so many difficulties and discouragements) will take his Sceptre and sward into his hand, and not expose the Persons of the People committed to his charge to the unsatiable desires of the king of Spain, who hath long thirsted after the Universal Monarchy, nor their Consciences to the yoke of the Pope of Rome: And that at home he will take that care to redress the just grievances of his good Subjects, as shall be every way fit for a good king.
And in the mean time his Majesty doth publish this to all his loving Subjects, that they map know what to think with truth, and speak with duty, of his majesty's actions and proceedings in these two last dissolved parliaments.
Moreover the King published a Proclamation, taking notice of a Remonstrance drawn by a Committee of the late Commons House, and by them intended to have been presented to him, wherein, he said, are many things contained to the dishonour of himself, and his Royal Father of blessed memory, and whereby, through the sides of a Peer of this Realm, they wound their Sovereign's honour; as also, that some Members of that House, ill-affected to his Service, to vent their own passions against that Peer, and to prepossess the world with an ill opinion of him, before his Cause were heard in a Judicial way, have before-hand and scattered Copies of that intended Declaration, whereby to detract from their Sovereign Wherefore his Majesty, for the suppressing of his insufferable wrong to himself, doth command, upon pain of his indignation and high displeasure, all persons of whatsoever quality, who have, or shall have, hereafter, any Copies or Notes of the said Remonstrance, or shall come to the view thereof, forthwith to burn the same, that the memory thereof may be utterly abolished, and never give occasion to his Majesty to renew the remembrance of that, which out of his grace and goodness, he would gladly forget.
In another Proclamation, the King declared his Religious care of the Peace of this Church and Common wealth of England, and other his Dominions, and taking notice, that in all Ages, great disturbances, both to Church and State, have ensued out of small beginnings, when the feeds of contention were not timely prevented; and finding, that of late, some Questions and opinions seem to have been broached in matters of Doctrine and Tenets of our Religion, at first only intended against Papists, have afterwards by the sharp and indiscreet handling of some of either Party, given much offence to the sober and well-grounded Readers, and raised some hopes in the Roman Catholicks that, by degrees, the Professors of our Religion may be drawn first to Schism, and afterwards to plain Popery. His Majesty in the integrity of his own heart, and singular Providence, for the peaceable Government of that People, which God hath committed to his charge, hath thought fit, by the advice of his Reverend Bishops, to declare and publish, not only to his own People, but also to the whole world, his utter dislike of all those, who, to Shew the subtilty of their Wits, or please their own humors, or vent their own passions, shall adventure to start any new opinions, not only contrary to, but differing from the found and Orthodox grounds of the Religion, established in the Church of England; and also to declare his full and constant Resolution, that neither in Doctrine nor Discipline of the Church, nor in the Government of the State, he will admit of the least innovation, but, by God's assistance, will so guide the Sceptre of these Kingdoms, as shall be most for the comfort and assurance of his sober, religious, and well-affected Subjects, and for the repressing and severe punishing of the insolencies of such, as out of any Minister respects, or difaffection to his Majesty's Person or Government, shall dare either in Church or State, to disturb the Peace thereof: Wherefore he doth straightly charge and command all his Subjects of his Realms of England and Ireland, of what degree so ever, especially those who are Churchmen, from henceforth to carry themselves so wisely, warily, and conscionably, that neither by Writing, Preaching, Printing, Conferences, or otherwise, they raise, publish or maintain any other. Opinions concerning Religion, than such as are clearly warranted by the Doctrine and Discipline of the Church of England, established by Authority. And enjoyneth his Reverend. Archbishops and Bishops, in their several Dioceses, speedily to reclaim and repress all such spirits, as shall in the least degree attempt to violate this Bond of Peace; and all the Ministers of Justice were required to execute his Majesty's Pious, and Royal pleasure herein expressed; and if any shall take the boldness to neglect this gracious Admonition, his Majesty will proceed against such offenders with that severity, as their contempt shall deserve, that by their exemplary punishment, others may be warned, and that those that be studious of the peace and prosperity of this Church, and Common-wealth, may bless God for his Majesty's pious, religious, wise, just and gracious Government.
Shortly after, an Information was preferred, by the King's special command, in the Star-Chamber, against the Duke of Buckingham, for high offences and misdemeanors; wherein he was charged (amongst other things) with the particulars mentioned in the last Article exhibited against him by the House of Commons, concerning the Plaister applied to King James. To which the Duke put in his Answer, and divers Witnesses were examined. But the cause came not to a Judicial hearing in the Court, as it is afterwards expressed.
And now the King taking into consideration the present straits and inconveniencies, into which the Revenue of the Crown was faln, and the pressing necessity of his Affairs, did, by the advice and instance of his Council, resolve and declare, That all men of what quality and condition soever, shall, from henceforth, upon pain of his displeasure, forbear for two years space to present or sollicit any suit for any thing prohibited in the Book of Bounty, published in King James his time, or any other things that shall import the diminution of his Majesty's Revenue.
The Privy-Council declared, That it hath been constantly continued for many Ages, and is a principal and most necessary part of the Revenue of the Crown; and that in the two last Parliaments it hath been thought upon, but could not be setled by their Authority, by reason of their dissolution, before the matters therein treated could be brought to perfection: Nevertheless, that it was then intended to have been confirmed by Parliament, as it hath been from time to time by many Descents and Ages.
Whereupon they ordered, That all such Duties and Merchandizes shall be levied and paid: and they advised the King, That the Attorney General prepare for his Majesty's Signature an Instrument, which may pass under the Great Seal of England, to declare his pleasure therein, until by Parliament, as in former times, it may receive an absolute settlement: which passed the Great Seal accordingly.
The Forfeitures arising to the Crown by the execution of the Laws against Priests, Jesuites, and Popish Recusants, were dedicated to the vast and growing charge of the Designs in hand. And complaint being made against Inferiour Officers, whose service was herein employed, that they had misdemeaned themselves, to the oppressing of Recusants, without advantage to the King; Commissioners of Honourable Quality were appointed for the regulating of these proceedings; yet no liberty given to the encouragement or countenance of such dangerous persons, as might infect the People, or trouble the Peace of Church and State.
The King therefore grants a Commission under the Great Seal, directed to the most Reverend Father in God, Toby Archbishop of York, Sir John Savile Knight, Sir George Manners, Sir Henry Slings-by, Sir William Ellis Knights, and to divers other Knights and Gentlemen, and therein recites.
That his majesty hath received credible information of the great loss and Damage which the king's subjects, living in maritime Towns, especially in the northern parts, do Suffer by depredations, attempts and assaults at Sea from Foreign Enemies, whereby trade from those parts is interrupted, and the city of London much endamaged for want of Coals and other Commodities, unusually transported either from Newcastle upon Tine: for redress of which evil, his majesty doth think fit to appropriate and convert all such Debts, sums of money, Rents, penalties, and forfeitures of all Recusants inhabiting in the Counties Of York, Durham, Northumberland, Cumberland, Westmorland, Lancaster, Nottingham, Derby, Stafford, and Chester, which at any time have grown due since the tenth year of King James, and are not yet satisfied, or which hereafter shall groin due by reason of any Law or Statute against Recusants, to be employed for the maintenance, provision, arming, manning, vidualling, and furnishing of Sir able Ships of war for guarding and Defending the Coast of this Realm, from the further North-East point of the Sea, unto the mouth of the River of Thames his majesty further expressing in the said Commission, that his Subjects who are owners of Coalpits, the Oast-men of Newcastle upon Tine, owners of Ships and Merchants, Buyers and Sellers of Newcastle Coals, have been and are willing to contribute and pay for every Chaloron for the uses aforesaid, Wherefore his Majesty upon the considerations before mentioned, Doth by his said Commission give power unto the said Commissioners, or any four or more of them to treat and make Composition and agreement with the said Recusants, inhabiting within the said Counties, for Leases of all their Manors, Lands, Tenements, etc within those Counties for any term of years, not exceeding Due and forty years; and for all forfeitures due since the tenth year of King James for their Recusancy, in not going to Church to hear Divine Service, according to the laws and Statutes of this Realm, under such Condition and immunities, as they or any four of them shall see meet and convenient, according to such Instructions as his majesty hath or shall give to that purpose; his Majesty rather desiring their Conversion than Destruction. And such Leases his Majesty Doth Declare, made to the said Recusants themselves, or to any persons for their use, shall be good and effectual, any law or Statute to the contrary notwithstanding.
And by the said Commission Sir John Savile was appointed Receiver of all such sums of money as shall be paid upon these Leases; and Mr. Alexander Davison of the Town of Newcastle upon Tine, Merchant Adventurer, was appointed to receive out of the voluntary and freewill Contribution of the Owners, Buyers, and Sellers of Coals, the Six pence per Chaldron of Coals. In pursuance of this Commission, the Recusants did make their Composition upon very easie terms, as was afterwards complained of in Parliament.
To the Nobles the King sent particularly to let them know, That according to the Presidents of former times, wherein the Kings and Queens of England, upon such extraordinary occasions have had recourse to those Contributions which arose from the Subjects in general, or to the private helps of some that were well affected; he doth now expect from them such a large and chearful testimony of their Loyalty, as may be acceptable to himself, and exemplary to his People.
His Majesty demanded of the City of London the Loan of an hundred thousand pounds. But the Peoples excuses were represented unto the Council-Table by the Magistrates of the City. Immediately the Council sent a very strict command to the Lord Mayor and Aldermen, wherein they set forth the Enemies strong preparations as ready for an Invasion, and the King's great necessities, together with his gracious and moderate Proposals in the Sum required, and the frivolous pretences upon which they excuse themselves: Wherefore they require them, all excuses being set apart, to enter into the business again, and to manage the same, as appertaineth to Magistrates so highly intrusted, and in a time of such necessities, and to return to his Majesty a direct and speedy Answer, that so he may know how far he may rely upon their Faith and Duty; or in default thereof, may frame his Counsels as appertaineth to a King in such extreme and important occasions.
Moreover, a peculiar charge was laid upon the several Ports and Maritime Countries to furnish and set out Ships for the present service, The Privy-Council expressing his Majesty's care and providence to guard his own Coasts, against attempts from Spain or Flanders, by arming as well the Ships of his Subjects, as of his own Navy, made a distribution to every Port, that with the Assistance and Contribution of the Counties adjoyning, they prepare so many Ships as were appointed to them severally; and in particular the City of London was appointed to set forth Twenty of the best Ships that lay in the River, with all manner of Tackle, Sea-stores, and Ammunition, Manned and Victualled for three months.
The Deputy-Lieutenants, and Justices or the Peace at Dorset, having received the King's commandment for the setting forth of Ships from the Ports of Tool, Weymouth, and Lime, with the assistance of Contributions from the Counties adjoyning, presented to the Council-Table an excuse in the behalf both of the Ports and County, and pleaded, That the Case was without President.
The Council gave them a check, for that instead of conformity, they disputed the Case, letting them know, That State-occasions, and the defence of the Kingdoms in time of extraordinary danger, were not to be guided by ordinary Presidents.
In like manner the Lord Mayor and Commonalty of London petitioned the Council for an Abatement of the twenty Ships rated upon them, unto ten Ships and two Pinnaces, alledging disability: Whereunto the Council gave this following Answer, That the former commandment was necessary, the preservation of the State requiring it; and that the Charge imposed on them was moderate, as not exceeding the value of many of their private Estates: That Petitions and Pleadings to this Command, tend to the danger and prejudice of the Commonwealth, and are not to be received: That as the Commandment was given to all in general, and every particular of the City; so the State will require an account both of the City in general, and of every particular.
And whereas they mention Presidents, they might know, that the Presidents of former times were Obedience, not Direction; and that Presidents were not wanting for the punishment of those that disobey his Majesty's commands, signified by that Board, which they hope shall have no occasion to let them more particularly understand.
Hereupon the Citizens were glad to submit, and declared their consent to the King's demands, and by Petition to the Council had the favour to nominate all the Officers of those twenty Ships, the Captains only excepted, the nomination of whom appertained to the Lord High Admiral of England.
And because the late Parliament resolved to have given the King Four Subsidies and Three Fifteens, the Sums which the King required, were according to that proportion. And to prevent misunderstanding, it was declared unto the Country, that the Supplies now demanded were not the Subsidies and Fifteens intended to be given by the Parliament, but meerly a free gift from the Subject to the Soveraign, upon such weighty and pressing occasions of State.
Amidst these preparations, the King being exposed to dangers, both Foreign and Domestick, a general Fast was held on the fifth of July, in the Cities of London and Westminster, and places adjacent; and on the second of August throughout the Kingdom, to implore a blessing upon the endeavours of the State, and the diverting of those judgments which the sins of the Land deserve and threaten.
And for the defence or this Realm, threatned with a powerful Invasion, extraordinary Commissions were given to the Lords Lieutenants of the several Counties, to muster the Subjects of whatsoever degree or dignity, that were apt for War, and to try and array them, and cause them to be armed according to the degrees and faculties, as well men of Arms as other Horsemen, Archers and Footmen, and to lead them against publick Enemies, Rebels and Traytors, and their adherents, within the Counties of their Lieutenancy, to repress, slay, and subdue them, and to execute Martial Law, sparing and putting to death according to discretion.
And in case of Invasions, Insurrections, Rebellions and Riots, without the limits of their respective Counties, to repair to the places of such Commotions, and as need required, to repress them by Battel, or any forcible means or otherwise, either by the Law of this Realm, or the Law Martial.
In like manner, left the deserting of the Coasts, Ports, and Sea-Towns, should expose those places to become a prey, and invite the Enemy to an Invasion, the Inhabitants, and those that had withdrawn themselves to Inland places, were required to return with their Families and Retinues, and there to abide during those times of Hostility and Danger.
And for the securing of the Coasts from Spain or Flanders, some of the King's Ships were employed in the River Elbe, to prevent the furnishing of Spain from those parts with materials for Shipping; which occasioned a great discontent in those of Hamburgh, for that their Neighbours of Lubeck, and other Towns of the East-Sea, were free from this restraint; insomuch that they resolved to force their passage by a Fleet of fifty or threescore fail of Ships.
Whereupon the Lord Admiral informed the Council, that his Majesty's charge at Hamburgh was expended to little purpose, except also the Sound could be shut up against all Shipping that should carry prohibited Commodities, especially since the Hamburghers send their Commodities by Land to Lubeck, to be transported from thence into Spain; and that the States and the King of Denmark's Ships are departed from the Elbe, and have left the English alone.
Fordsmuch as the Elector Palatine, by the procurement of the King Of Great Britain, and him the King Of Denmark, had offered the Submission to his imperial Majesty, and to crave pardon; and thereupon was In hopes to have his Patrimony, with the Dignities of his ancestors, restored: yet notwithstanding, the emperor did still commit great spoils and acts of Hostility in his Country, giving no regard to the said submission, and had much damnished the Lower Saxony, by the forces which he had brought thither under Tilly.
Whereupon (he says) the Princes of the Lower Saxony have desired the aid and assistance of him the King of Denmark, to settle the peace and Liberty of Germany, who was resolved to take up Arms, and with whom he was resolved for to joyn, having the like assurance from the King of Great Britain, who had deeply engaged to assist in this War, for the Restitution of the elector Palatine.
Therefore the King of Denmark declares, that seeing all prayers, Mediations and accessions, cannot prevail with his Imperial Majesty, be will endeavour to procure a peace and Settlement by force, which he should have been glad would have been obtained unto him upon fair terms of Treaty.
In the beginning of the year, divers Towns were taken by the King of Denmark, and some retaken by Tilly; but the seven and twentieth of August decided the Controversie: on which day, the King of Denmark, upon the approach of Tilly (desiring to decline Battel with the Emperor's old Soldiers, many of his own men being new levied Soldiers) endeavoured to make his retreat: but Tilly followed soclosehis Rearguard, that he kept them in continual action, till the King of Denmark saw no remedy, but that he must either fight, or lose the Rear of his Army, and Train of Artillery. Whereupon his Commanders advised him to resolve of a place of advantage, and face about, and give Battel; which accordingly they did, and both Armies drew near Luttem; the Denmark Forces had the advantage of the ground, Tilly being much scanted in the Rear of his Army, for want of ground to place his Reserves in. The Dane stood to the shock a while, but was presently put to his Retreat, and all his Infantry dispersed, Train of Artillery taken, and two and twenty Pieces of Canon. He lost many great Commanders in the Fight, and many were taken Prisoners.
In the month of September, The King being informed or the disaster that had befaln his Uncle (and principally also) the King of Denmark, whose engagement was chiefly for the Cause of the Elector Palatine, commanded his Council to advise by what means and ways he might fitly and speedily be furnished with moneys suitable to the importance of the undertaking.
Hereupon, after a consultation of divers days together, they came to this resolution, That the urgency of Affairs not admitting the way of Parliament, the most speedy, equal, and convenient means were, by a general Loan from the Subject, according as every man was assessed in the Rolls of the last Subsidy.
Upon which Result, the King forthwith chose Commissioners for the Loan, and caused a Declaration to be published, wherein he alledged for this course of Supply, the Reasons set down at large in his late Declaration touching the Dissolution of the Parliament. Adding further, That the urgency of the occasion would not give leave to the calling of a Parliament; but assuring the People, that this way should not be made a President for the time to come to charge them or their posterity, the prejudice of their just and antient Liberties enjoyed under his most noble Progenitors; endeavouring thereby to root out of their minds, the suspicion, that he intended to serve himself of such ways, to the abolishing of Parliaments: and promising them in the word of a Prince, first, to repay all such sums of money as should be lent without Fee or Charge, so soon as he shall in any ways be enabled thereunto, upon shewing forth the Acquittance of the Collectors, testifying the Receipt thereof. And secondly, That not one penny so borrowed, should be bestowed or expended, but upon those publick and general Services, wherein every of them, and the Body of the Kingdom, their Wives, Children, and Posterity, have their Personal and common Interest.
As first, That they should themselves, for a good example to others, lend unto his Majesty the several sums of money required of them, testifying it by their names, with their own hands, That when they shall in his Majesty's name require others to lend, they may discern the said Commissioners forwardness.
Secondly, to take for their guide those Rates, at which men were assessed in the Book of the last Subsidy, and to require the Loan of so much money, as the entire rate and value comes to, at which they are rated and set; as (namely) he that is set an hundred pounds in Goods, to lend a hundred marks; and he that is set an hundred pounds in Land, to lend a hundred pounds in money; and so per rata for a greater or lesser sum.
Thirdly, To use all possible endeavours to cause every man willingly and chearfully to lend, opening unto them the necessity and unavoidableness of this course, the Honour and Reputation of the Nation, the true Religion and common safety of Prince and People, of our Friends and Allies engaged in the common Cause; that there is no time now of disputing, but of acting.
Fourthly, That they appoint the days of payment to be within fourteen days, and persuade such as shall be able, to pay it at one entire payment, the better to accommodate his Majesty's occasion; otherwise to accept of the one half at fourteen days, and the other to be paid before the twentieth of December, now next coming.
Fifthly, That they treat apart with every one of those that are to lend, and not in the presence or hearing of any other, unless they see cause to the contrary. And if any shall refuse to lend, and shall make delays, or excuses, and persist in their obstinacy, that they examine such persons upon Oath, whether they have been dealt withall to deny or refuse to lend, or make an excuse for not lending; Who hath dealt so with him, and what speeches or persuasions he or they have used to him, tending to that purpose : And that they shall also charge every such person in his Majesty's name upon his Allegiance, not to disclose to any other what his Answer was.
Sixthly, That they shew their discretion and affections, by making choice of such to begin with, who are likely to give the best examples: and when they have a competent number of Hands to the Roll or List of the Leaders, that they shew the same to others to lead them in like manner.
Seventhly, That they endeavour to discover, whether any publickly, or underhand, be workers or persuaders of others to dissent from, or dislike of this course, or hinder the good disposition of others. And that, as much as they may, they hinder all discourse about it, and certifie to the Privy-Council in writing the names, qualities, and dwelling-places of all such refractory persons with all speed, and especially if they shall discover any Combination or Confederacy against these proceedings.
Eighthly; That they let all men know whom it may concern, that his Majesty is well pleased, upon lending these Sums required, to remit all that which by Letters, in his name, was desired upon the late Benevolence for Free-Grant; and whatever hath been already paid upon that account, shall be accepted for part of this Loan; and if it exceed the Sum desired, that the overplus shall be repaid without Fee or Charge; so likewise for Privy Seals, if any have been already paid: But if not, that the agreeing of the Loan of the Sum required, be excused of the payment of the Privy-Seal.
Ninthly, That they admit of no Suit to be made, or Reasons to be given for the abating of any Sum, the time and instant occasion not admitting any such dispute, which would but disturb and protract the Sheriff.
To the Imposition of Loan was added, the burthen of Billeting of Soldiers formerly returned from Cadiz; and the Moneys to discharge their Quarters were for the present levied upon the Country, to be repaid out of Sums collected upon the general Loan.
The Companies were scattered here and there in the bowels of the Kingdom, and governed by Martial Law: The King gave Commissions to the Lords Lieutenants and their Deputies, in case of Felonies, Robberies, Murders, Outrages, or Misdemeanors, committed by Marriners, Soldiers, or other disorderly persons joyning with them, to proceed according to certain Instructions, to the Tryal, Judgment, and Execution of such Offenders, as in time of War; and some were executed by those Commissions.
Nevertheless, the Soldiers brake out in great disorders; they mattered the People, disturbed the Peace of Families, and the Civil Government of the Land; there were frequent Robberries, Burglaries, Rapes, Rapines, Murthers, and barbarous Cruelties: Unto some places they were sent for a punishment; and wherever they came, there was a general outcry. The High ways were dangerous, and the Markets unfrequented; they were a terror to all, and undoing to many.
Divers Lords of the Council were appointed to repair into their several Countries, for the advancement to the Loan, and were ordered to carry a List of the names, as well of the Nobility and Privy-Counsellors, as of the Judges and Serjeants at Law, that had subscribed to lend, or sent in money for the publick Service, to be a pattern and leading Example to the whole Nation. But Sir Randolph Crew shewing no zeal for the advancing thereof, was then removed from his place of Lord Chief Justice, and Sir Nicholas Hide succeeded in his room: A person, who for his parts and abilities, was thought worthy of that preferment; yet nevertheless came to the same with a prejudice, coming in the place of one so well beloved, and so suddenly removed; but more especially by reason the Duke appeared in his advancement, to express a grateful acknowledgment to that Knight, for the care and pains he took in drawing the Duke's Answer to the Impeachment in Parliament against him.
This business of the Loan occasioned a complaint to the Lords of the Council against the Bishop of Lincoln, for publickly speaking words concerning it, which was conceived to be against the King and Government.
Whereupon Sir John Lamb and Dr. Sibthorp informed the Council to this purpose, That many were grieved to see the Bishop of Lincoln give place to unconformable Ministers, when he turned his back to those that were conformable; and how the Puritans ruled all with him, and that divers Puritans in Leiceslershire being convented, his Lordship would not admit proceedings to be had against them.
That Dr. Sibthorp deing desired to stay at Leicester this year, as Commissary for the High Commission there, the Country being much overspread with Puritanism, Sir John Lamb and the said Doctor did inform, the Bishop of Lincoln, then at Bugden, what factious Puritans there were in the County, who would not come up to the Table to receive the Communion kneeling; and that there were unlawful Fasts and Meetings kept in the County; and one Fast that held from Nine in the Forenoon till Eight at Night; and that Collections for Moneys were made without Authority, upon pretence for the Palatinate: And therefore they desired leave from the Bishop to proceed against those Puritans Ex Officio. The said Bishop replied, He would not meddle against the Puritans, for his part he expected not another Bisboprick; they might complain of them, if they would, to the Council-Table; or he was under a Cloud already, and he had the Duke of Buckingham for his Enemy; and he would not draw the Puritans upon him, for he was sure they would carry all things at last: Besides, he said, the King in the first year of his Reign had given Answer to a Petition of the Lower House, in favour of the Puritans (fn. 2).
It appeared also, by the Information of others who were present at the Conference at Bugden, That Sir John Lamb and Dr. Sibthorp did, notwithstanding the Bishop's aversness, again press the Bishop to proceed against the Puritans in Leicestershire, the Bishop asked them then what manner of people they were, and of what condition? For his part, he knew of none. To which Sir John Lamb replied (Dr. Sibthorp being present) That they seem to the World to be such as would not Swear, Whose, nor Drink; but yet would Lie, Cozen, and Deceive: That they would frequently hear two Sermons a day, and repeat the same again too; and afterwards pray, and sometimes fast all day long. Then the Bishop asked, Whether those places, where those Puritans were, did lend money freely upon the Collection of the Loan? To which Sir John Lamb and Dr. Sibthorp replied, that they did generally resolve to lend freely: Then said the Bishop, No man of discretion can say, that that place is a place of Puritans: For my part (said the Bishop) I am not satisfied to give way to proceedings against them. At which Dr. Sibthorp was much discontented, and said. He was troubled to see that the Church is no better regarded.
These Informations being transmitted to the Council-Table, were ordered to be sealed up, and committed to the custody of Mr. Trumbal, one of the Clerks of the Council; nevertheless, the Bishop of Lincoln used such means, as he got a Copy of them.
For which, and some other matters, an Information was afterwards preferred against him in the Star-Chamber. Of which, more at large, when we come in the next Volume to treat of the great and high proceedings of that Court.
Bishop Laud, not long before this passage with the Bishop of Lincoln, was informed, that the Bishop of Lincoln endeavoured to be reconciled to the Duke; and that night that he was so informed, he dreamed, That the Bishop of Lincoln came with Iron Chains, but returned freed from them: That he leaped, upon a Horse, departed, and he could not overtake him.
The Interpretation of his dream may (not unfitly) be thus applied; His Chains might signifie the imprisonment of the Bishop of Lincoln afterwards in the Tower; his returning free, to his being set at Liberty again at the meeting of the Parliament; his leaping on Horseback, and departing, to his going into Wales, and there commanding a Troop in the Parliaments service; and that Bishop Laud could not overtake him, might portend, that himself should become a Prisoner in the same place, and be rendered thereby incapable to follow, much less to overtake him.
At this time the King had Six thousand Foot-Soldiers in the Service of the United Provinces, under the command of Sir Charles Morgan, Sir Edward Herbert, Sir John Burlacy, Sir James Leving ston, &c. for the assistance of the States, against the encreasing power of Spinola. Upon the present occasion, these Forces were called off from the States services, to joyn with the King of Denmark, under the command of Sir Charles Morgan, against the common Enemy, the King of Spain, and his adherents.
Some few months after, One thousand three hundred Foot more were embarqued at Hull, to be transported by Captain Conisby to the Town of Stood in Germany, and there to be delivered over to the charge of the aforesaid Sir Charles Morgan, General of the English Forces in the service of the King of Denmark; a person of known Valour, and sit for conduct of an Army.
But the Assessment of the general Loan did not pass currently with the People; for divers persons refused to subscribe their names, and to lend after the rate propounded; and amongst others certain of the Parish of Clement Danes, the Savoy, the Dutchy, and other parts within the Liberties of Westminster, who first alledged poverty: Whereunto reply was made, That if they would subscribe, their ability should be enquired of, before any thing were levied upon them; and in case they were found unable, they should be discharged, notwithstanding what they had underwritten; and unto some of them, the money demanded was proffered to be given them. Nevertheless, they afterwards absolutely refused to subscribe their names, or to say, they were willing to lend, if able. Whereupon the Council directed their Warrant to the Commissioners of the Navy, to impress these men to serve in the Ships ready to go out in his Majesty's Service.
The Non-subscribers of high Rank and Right, in all the Counties, were bound over by Recognizance, to tender their appearance at the Council-Table, and performed the same accordingly, and divers of them were committed to Prison; but the common sort to appear in the Military-yard near St. Martin's in the Fields, before the Lieutenant of the Tower of London, by him to be there enrolled among the Companies of Soldiers; that they who refused to assist with their Purses, should serve in their Persons for the common defence.
The same Loan being demanded of the Society and Inns of Court, the Benchers of LincolnsInn received a Letter of reproof from the Lords of the Council, for neglecting the advance of Service in their Society, and to return the names of such as were refractory.