Historical Collections of Private Passages of State: Volume 1, 1618-29. Originally published by D Browne, London, 1721.
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And for this advancement of the said Loan Doctor Sibthorp now publishes in print a Sermon preached by him at Northampton, February the Two and twentieth, One thousand fix hundred twenty and fix, at Lent Assizes, entitled, Apostolical Obedience. This Book was Licensed by the Bishop of London, who did approve thereof, as a Sermon learnedly and discreetly Preached. It was dedicated to the King, and expressed to be the Doctor's Meditations, which he first conceived upon his Majesty's Instructions unto all the Bishops of this Kingdom, sit to be put in execution, agreeable to the necessity of the times; and afterwards brought forth upon his Majesty's Commission, for the raising of Moneys by way of Loan.
His Text was, Rom. 13.7. Render therefore to all their dues. Among other passages he had this, and seriously consider, how as Jeroboam took the opportunity and breach betwixt Rehoboam and his Subjects, to bring Idolatry into Israel; so the Papists lie at wait, if they could find a Rent between our Soveraign and his Subjects (which the Lord forbid) to reduce Superstition in England. I speak no more than what I have heard from themselves, whilst I have observe their forwardness to offer double, according to an Act of Parliament so providing; yea, to profess, that they would depart with the half of their Goods. And how, or why can this forwardness be in them, but in hope to cast the imputation of forwardness uponus? And so to them (that which the Jesuite will not suffer them to be) loving and loyal Subjects.
Also the said Sermon holds forth, That the Prince, who is the Head, and makes his Court and Council, it is his duty to direct and make Laws. Eccles. 8.3 and 4. He doth whatsoever pleases him. Where the word of the King is, there is power, and who may say unto him, What doest thou?
And in another place he faith, If Princes command any thing which Subjects may not peform, because it is against the Laws of God, or of Nature, or impossible: jet Subjects are bound to undergo the punishment, without either resisting, or railing, or reviling, and so to yield a Passive Obedience where they cannot exhibit an Active one.
'That the King is not bound to observe the Laws of the Realm concerning the Subjects Rights and Liberties, but that his Royal Will and Command in imposing Loans and Taxes, without common consent in Parliament, doth oblige the Subjects Conscience upon pain of eternal damnation. That those who refused to pay this Loan, offended against the Law of God, and the King's supreme Authority, and became guilty of Impiety, Disloyalty, and Rebellion. And that the Authority of Parliament is not necessary for the raising of Aids and Subsidies; and that the slow proceedings of such great Assemblies, were not sitted for the Supply of the State's urgent necessities, but would rather produce sundry impediments to the just designs of Princes.
The Papists at this time were forward and liberal on this occasion, insomuch that it was said in those times, That in the Point of Allegiance then in hand, the Papists were exceeding Orthodox, and the Puritans were the only Recusants.
Distastes and Jealousies had for a while been nourished between the Courts Of England and France, which seemed to have risen from Disputes and Differences about the government of the Queen's Family. By the Articles of Marriage it was agreed, That the Queen should have a certain number of Priests for her Houshold Chaplains, together with a Bishop, who should exercise all Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction in matters of Religion.
These, with other Romish Priests within this Realm, began to practise and teach, That the Pope, upon the Marriage-Treaty, assumed to himself, or his Delegates, the Jurisdiction of the Queen's whole Family, especially the Institution and Destitution of the Ecclesia-sticks; and that the King of England had no power to intermeddle therein, because he was an Heretick, the Pope threatning to declare those to be Apostates that should seek their establishment from the King. Likewise the Queen insisted to have the ordering of her Family as her self pleased, and the naming of her Officers and Servants; and being therein crossed, did somewhat distaste the King, and unkindness grew between them.
These things the King represented to his Brother of France, imputing the same to the crasty and evil councils of her Servants, rather than to her own inclination; and so declared, he could no longer bear with those that were the known causes and fomenters; of these disturbances, but would presently remove them from about his Wife, if there were nothing more than this, That they had made her go to Tyburn in devotion to Pray there. Which action (as it was reported, his Majesty said) can have no greater invective made against it, than the bare relation; yet his Majesty acknowledged, That the deportment of some of them was without offence; but others of them had so much abused his Patience, and affronted his Person (reflecting most upon Madam Saint George) that he was resolved no longer, to endure it.
So the King dismissed and sent back into France the Queen's Retinue of French (first paying all that was due for Wages or Salaries) and gave the King of France an account of the action by the Lord Carlton, for the preserving of the mutual Correspondency and Brotherly Affection.
And those persons who returned into France, (being for the most-part younger Brothers, and had parted with their Portions at home, in expectation of raising their Fortunes in the service of the Queen of England) did heighten the discontent.
It is not our purpose to relate the particulars of those private transactions which were in England, concerning the preparing of a. Fleet and Army; nor how the same was managed .at first by an Abbot, who had relation to the Duke of Orleance, and had been disobliged by Cardinal Richlieu.
This Man was full of revenge against the Cardinal, and laboured much, and at last effected, the dismissing of the French about the queen; his chief end therein was to put an affront upon Richlieu, and withall, to heighten the differences between the two Crownsof England and France: to which purpose, he remonstrated to the Duke of Buchingham, the Commotions and Discontents that were in France, and how hardly the Protestants there were treated, notwithstanding the Edict of Peace procured by the Mediation of the King of Great Britain.
This Abbot's Negotiation with the Duke, procured the sending of Devic from the King of England to the Duke of Rhoane, who was drawn to engage to raise Four thousand Foot, and Two hundred Horse, upon the landing of the English Army in France, but not before.
This private transaction was also managed by Mr. Walter Mountague but in another capacity: The Duke of Sohies, and Monsieur St. Blan chard, contributed their endeavours also to hasten the Fleet, and the raising of the Army in England against the French, for the relief of those of the Reformed Religion there.
The King declared, as a ground of his War with France, That the House of Austria (conspiring the ruin of all those of the Reformed Religion; throughout Christendom, as (he said) plainly appeared in the affairs of Germany) had such an influence upon the Council of France, as. to prevail with them to obstruct the landing of Count Mansfield's Army, contrary to promise, with whom the French should have joyned forces, for the relief of the Palatinate and the German Princes; which failure of performance in them, proved the ruin of that Army, the greatest part whereof perished, and was, by consequence, the loss of the whole Protestan Party in Germany.
His Majesty further declared, That having by his Mediation prevailed for a Peace between the French King and his Protestant Subjects, and engaged his word, That the Protestants sbould observe the Articles of Agreement: Nevertheless, the King of France, contrary to the said Articles, blocked up their Towns, Garrisons, and Forts, and had committed many spoils upon them, when they had done nothing in violation of the Edict of Peace. And that the King of France had committed an example of great injustice in full Peace, to seize upon One hundred and twenty English Ships, with all their Merchandize and Artillery: For which, Reasons, the King was resolved to send a powerful Army and Navy, to require satisfaction.
That his Majesty hath taken into his Princely consideration, the distressed estate of his dear Brother in Law, and only Sister, the Prince and Princess Elector Palatine and their Children; and finding himself in Nature and Honour nearly bound unto them, at their request, and for their just relief, in recovering their rightful Patrimony taken from them, by the advice of his Privy Council, did, the last year, prepare and set out to Sea a Royal Fleet for Sea-service, for performance of such services, as on his Brother in Law's and Sister's behalf, his Majesty had designed. And for the doing of those designs, and for the honour and safety of his people, his Majesty hath now prepared a new Fleet, which he in tends with all convenient expedition to set out, to be employed, as well by way of offence as defence, as shall be most behaveful for his said Brother in law, his Service; and therefore doth, by the said Commission, appoint the Duke of Buckingham to be Admiral, Captain General, and Governour of his said Royal Fleet, with such Soldiers and Land forces as shall be conveyed therein, for the accomplishment of such execution and employment as they shall be designed unto, according to such private Instructions as his Majesty shall give unto the said Duke. His Majesty, by the said Commission, giving to the Duke power to lead and conduct the said Navy and Army, and with them to fight against his said Brother in Law and Sister's Enemies, or the Enemies of the Crown of England; and to advance to the Order of Knighthood such Persons employed in the Fleet, Forces, and Supplies, as by their valour, desert, and good service in this Expedition, as shall be thought fit in his the said Duke's discretion. to merit the same, and as to the Office of Captain General doth appertain.
On the Seven and twentieth of June, the Duke set fail from Portsmouth (in order to the relief of the Palatinate) with the Fleet, consisting of One, hundred Sail of Ships, whereof Ten were of the King's Royal Navy, having aboard about Six or seven thousand Land-soldiers; and towards the latter end of July he appeared with his Fleet before Rochel, who once much longed for their coming, but now shut their Gates at their appearance.
Hereupon the Duke of Sobiez went a shore with Sir William Beecher, from the Duke of Buckingham, (Sir William Beecher, being also accompanied with a Letter of Credence from his Majesty of Great Britain) they were at last admitted into the Town; and the Magistrates called an Assembly, and there Sir William Beecher declared unto them, That the Duke of Buckingham was come with a great Fleet and Army to their Assistance, which his Master had sent, out of fellow-feeling of their sufferings, and to require from the King of France a performance of the Articles of Peace, made by the King of England's mediation, on the behalf of the Protestants in France. And further declared unto them, That if they do now refuse to give their assistance, by joyning Forces with the English, he said, he would, and did protest before God and Man, in the name of the King his Master, That his said Matter was fully acquit of his Engagement of Honour and Conscience for their Relief.
But notwithstanding this Declaration, and Sobiez his earnst sollicitation and endeavour, the Magistrates and wealthier sort of People in the Town, (being possessed with the fear of the King of France his Army, then upon a March against them; and there being a Court-party also prevalent in the Town) could be drawn to give no other answer at that time, but this, That they did render all humble and hearty thanks to his Majesty of Great Britain for the care he had of them; and to the Duke, for his forwardness and readiness to do his best service for their good: but said, they were bound by Oath of Union to do nothing, but by the common and unanimous consent of the rest of the Protestant Party in France: And therefore prayed the King of Great Britain to excuse them, in that they did suspend the conjunction of Forces till they had sent to the rest of the Protestant Towns, who were of the Union with them: And in the mean time, their Prayers and Vows should be for the happy progress of such Actions, as the Fleet and Army should undertake.
Notwithstanding this Answer, Sobiez had strong assurance from a well-affected party in the Town, That they could and would be able to preserve the same, for the encouragement of the English, and to assist them also with Supplies from thence.
When Sobiez went from the Fleet into Rochel, with Sir William Beecher, the Duke of Buckingham was pleased to communicate his design to Sobiez, by reason of his knowledge in the Country, as well as for his interest in that Kingdom, to raise Forces: that his full purpose and intention . was, to land his Forces in the Ifle of Oleran, near unto Rochel, and not at the lfle of Rhee, being a little further distant: Which Sobiez well approved of, as a thing feasible at the first entrance, the Forces therein being few, and the Forts weakly manned and victualled; and besides, it was of advantage for the Oyles, Wines, and other Commodities therein; whereas the Ifle of Rhee, (as he said to the Duke) was furnished with a confiderable Force, both of Horse and Foot, which would make the landing there very difficult; and besides, they had a Cittadel well fortifi'd to retreat unto.
The Duke not staying for Sobiez his return from Rochel, alters his resolution, and directs his course to the Ifle of Rhee: Toras, the Governor thereof, (having before taken the alarm by the fight of the Fleet at Sea) marches with his Forces to impede their landing, but maugre their opposition, and the Fort La Prie, Sir John Boroughs, Sir Alexander Bret, Sir Charles Rich, together with Monsieur St. Branchard, and other brave Commanders land first at shore, and then about Twelve hundred men, who were presently encountred with the French Horse and Foot, and a fore Fight happed thereupon, being a long time well maintained on both sides, and many Commanders fell, both of the English and Preach, few of the English were unwounded. But at last the English forced their way, the Enemy, was constrained to retreat, and to permit the whole Army to land.
In this Combat, Monsieur St. Blanchard was slain, whose loss was much amented by the Protestant Party in Frances Sir William Heyden, and some hundred of the English were slain. The Foot which engaged on both sides, were much equal in number, but in Horse the French had a great advantage.
The Victory was not pursued by a speedy March after Toras, who retreated to his Cittadel at St. Martin's with his wounded men; for five days time was spent before the Army moved, whereby Toras got not only time to encourage his men to hold out, (being much discomsited at this fight) but to get in assistance of Men, and provision of Victuals, out of the Island into the Cittadel, which improved to get great advantage.
The Fort la Prie, near unto the landingplace, and meanly Victualled and Manned, was all this while the Army staid neglected, omitted, or contemned, as inconsiderable; the gaining whereof (as was said) would have secured a retreat for the English, and impeded the landing of the French (during the Siege) of the Fort at St. Martin's.
This landing of the English was a great astonishment in the Court of France; and if the taking of the Fort had immediately followed, there would have appeared a great change of Affairs; for the King fell fick about the same time, and great discontent there was at Court; and the King sent his resolution, to give the Protestants honourable terms, if they will not joyn with the English; sent to the Duke of Rhoan to content him with money, and other proffers; and renders the landing of the English, to other Protestant Towns, to be a thing not to be complied withall.
The Duke, in two days march, came with his Army before St. Martin's, and published a Manifesto, justifying his Master's taking of Arms against the King of France, declaring (amongst other Reasons) as one cause thereof the French's employing of the English Ships against Rochel, contrary to promise; and lodgeth his Army at the Burgh of St. Martin's at Rhee, which (upon the approach of the Duke) the Enemy quit, and retreated into the City, and quit a Well, which was about thirty paces from the Counterscarp; which, being not at first coming of the Army, made totally unserviceable to the Enemy, they presently drew a Work unto it, and so secured the same for their use, by which they subsisted, during all the time of their Siege.
The Duke blocks up the Cittadel, draws his Forces round about it in order to a close Siege, and disposes his Fleet so, as to hinder relief by Sea, and resolves to take it by Famine, upon presumption (and as the truth was) that they were not provided with Victuals in the Cittadel for a long Siege; and being Matter at Sea, he might in a short time be Matter of the Cittadel.
Sir Thomas Wentworth, afterwards Earl of Strafford, and George Ratcliff Esq; afterwards Sir George, Yorkshire Gentlemen, were sent for by Messengers, and removed out of the County of York into the County of Kent, and there secured by Confinement.
And the Council ordered, that all those refractory persons before named (for so they are called in the Order) who are appointed by his Majesty's command to their several Committments, shall presently obey the Order of the Board sent with their Messenger in that behalf, or be committed close prisoners, any pretence of inability, want of conveniency, or any excuse whatsoever notwithstanding.
Many of those Gentlemen were afterwards sent for by Pursevants, out of those Counties where they were confined by Order of the Council and committed to several Prisons, some to the Fleet, some to the Marshalsea, and Gatehouse, and others remained in custody of the Messengers: And from the Gatehouse Sir John Elliot sends this Petition to his Majesty.
The humble Petition of Sir John Elliot Knight, Prisoner in the Gate-house, concerning the Loan,
That your poor Suppliant, affected with sorrow and unhappiness, through the long sense of your Majesty's displeasure, willing in every act of Duty and Obedience to satisfie your Majesty of the loyalty of his heart, than which, he hath nothing more desired, that there may not remain a jealousie in your Royal Breast, that stubbornness and will have been the motives of his forbearing to condescend to the said Loan, low at your Highness's foot, with a lad, yet a faithful heart, for an Apology to your Clemency and Grace, he now presumes to offer up the Reasons that induced him, which he conceiveth necessity of his Duty to Religion, Justice, and your Majesty, did inforce.
The Rule of Justice he takes to be the Law, Impartial Arbiter of Government and Obedience, the support and strength of Majesty, the observation of that Justice by which Subjection is commanded. This and Religion (added to this Power not to be resisted) binds up the Conscience in an Obligation to that Rule, which (without open prejudice, and violence of these Duties) may not be impeached.
In this particular therefore of the Loan, being desirous to be satisfied how far the Obligation might extend, and resolving where he was left Master of his own, to become Servant to your Will, he had recourse unto the Laws, to be informed by them; which, in all humility, he submitteth to your most Sacred view, in the Collections following.
In the time of Edward the first, he finding that the Commons of that Age were so tender of their Liberties, as they feared even their own free Acts and Gifts might turn them to a Bondage and their heirs. Therefore it was desired, and granted,
That the greatest gift given in Parliament, for the Aid and speed of his matchless undertaking against France, should not be had in example, nor fall to the prejudice of the Subject in time to come; did likewise add, in Confirmation of that Right, That they should not from thenceforth be grieved to sustain any Charge or Aid, but by the Common Assent, and that in Parliament.
That the Loans which were granted to the King by divers persons be released, and that none henceforth be compelled to make such Loans against their Wills, because it is against Reason, and the Franchises of the Land, and Restitution be made to such as made such Loans.
Such were the opinions of these times, for all these Aids, Benevolences, Loans, and such like Charges, exacted from the Subject not in parliament, which they held to be Grievances contrary to their Liberties, and illegal; and so pious were their Princes in Confirmation of their Liberties, as having secured them for the present by such frequent Laws and Statutes, then did likewise by them provide for their Posterity; and in some so strictly, that they bound the Observation with a Curse, as in that of 33 Edw. I. As also under pain of Excommunication; as by the other of the Five and twentieth of the same King, which was to be denounced against all those that violate or break them: which Act extends to us.
First, That the Carriage and Instructions, accompanied with the Authority of the Great Seal, imported a Constraint, such Requests to Subjects being tacit and implied Commands, and so preventing that readiness and love, which, in a free way, would have far exceeded those demands; whereas the wonted Aids given to your happy Ancestors were Ex spontanea voluntate, & charitate populi, whereby they made that conjunction of their Hearts at home, which wrought such power and reputation to their Acts abroad.
Whereas the firmest Obligation of that readiness and love, is the benignity of Princes, giving and preserving to their People just and decent Liberties, which, to this Kingdom, are derived from the Clemency and Wisdom of your Progenitors, to whom there is owing a Sacred Memory for them: he could not, as he feared, without pressure to these immunities, become an Actor in this Loan, which by imprisonment and restraint was urged, contrary to the Grants of the Great Charter, by so many glorious and victorious Kings so many times confirmed, being therein most confident of your Majesty, that never King that Reigned over us, had, of his own benignity and goodness, a more pious disposition to preserve the just Liberties of his Subjects, than your Sacred Self.
Though we were well assured by your Majesty's Royal Promise, whose words he holds as Oracles of Truth, that it should not become a president, during the happiness of your Reign (the long continuance whereof, is the daily subject of his Prayers) yet he conceived from thence a fear, that succeeding Ages might thereby take occasion for Posterity to strike at the propriety of their Goods, contrary to the piety and intention of your Majesty so graciously exprest.
And these being the true grounds and motives of his forbearance to the said Loan, shewing such inconveniencies in Reason, and representing it an Act contradicting so many of your Laws, and most of them by the most prudent and happiest of our Princes granted, which could not, without presumption beyond pardon in your Suppliant, in taking to himself the Dispensation of those Laws, so piously Enacted by him, be violated or impeached.
In the fulness of all Submission and Obedience, as the Apology of his Loyalty and Duty, he lowly offers to your most Sacred Wisdom, for the satisfaction of your Majesty, most humbly praying your Majesty will be graciously pleased to take them into your Princely consideration, where when it shall appear (as he doubts not but from hence it will appear to your deep judgment) that no factious humour, nor disaffection led on by stubborness and will, hath herein stirred or moved him, but the just Obligation of his Conscience, which binds him to the Service of your Majesty, in the observance of your Laws; he is hopeful (presuming upon the Piety and Justice of your Majesty) that your Majesty, according to your innate Clemency and Goodness, will be pleased to bestow him to your favour, and his Liberty, and to afford him the benefit of those Laws, which, in all humility, be craves.
Sir Peter Hayman refusing to part with Loan-money, was called before the Lords of the Council, who charged him with refractoriness, and with an unwillingness to serve the King; and told him, if he did not pay, he should be put upon service. Accordingly they commanded him to go into his Majesty's service into the Palatinate: And having first setled his Estate, he undertook and performed the journey, and afterwards returned into England.
Archbishop Abbot having been long slighted at Court, now fell under the King's high displeasure, for refusing to License Doctor Sibthorp's Sermon, as he was commanded, entituled, Apostolical Obedience; and not long after he was sequestred from his Office, and a Commission was granted to the Bishops of London, Durham, Rochester, Oxford, and Doctor Laud, Bishop of Bath and Wells, to execute Archiepiscopal Jurisdiction. The Commission as followeth.
England, Scotland, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c. To the Right ReverendFather in God, George, Bishop of London; and to the Right Reverend Father in God, Our Trusty and Well-beloved Counsellor, Richard, Lord Bishop of Durham; and to the Right Reverend Father in God, John Lord Bishop of Rochester; and John, Lord Bishop of Oxford; to the Right Reverend Father in God, Our Right Trusty and Well-beloved Counsellor, William, Lord Bishop of Bath and Wells, Greeting.
Whereas George, now Archbishop Of Canterbury, in the right of the Archbishoprick, hath several and distinct Archiepiscopal, Episcopal, and other Spiritual and Ecclesiastical Power and Jurisdiction, to be exercised in the Government and Discipline of the Church within the Province of Canterbury, and in the Administration of Justice in Causes Ecclesiastical within that Province, which are partly executed by himself in his own person, and partly, and more generally, by several persons nominates and authorised by him, being learned in the Ecclesiastical Laws of this Realm, in those several places whereunto they are deputed and appointed by the said Archbishop: Which several Places, as we are informed, they severally hold by several Grants for their several Lives; as namely, Sir Henry Martin Knight, hath and holdeth by the Grants of the said Archbishop, the Offices and places of the Dean of the Arches, and Judge, or Master of the prerogative Court, for the natural Life of the said Sir Henry Martin.
Sir Charles Caesar Knight, hath and holdeth by Grants of the said Archbishop, the places or Offices of the Judge of the Audience, and Master of the Faculties, for the term of the natural Life of the said Sir Charles Caesar.
And Nathaniel Brent, Doctor of the Laws, hath and holdeth by Grant of the said Archbishop, the Office or place of Commissary to the said Archbishop, as of his proper and peculiar Diocess of Canterbury.
And likewise the several Register of the Arches, Prerogative, Audience, Faculties, and of the Uicar General, and Commissary of Canterbury, hold their Places by Grants from the said Archbishop respectively.
Whereas the said Archbishop, in some or all of these several Places and Jurisdictions, doth or may sometimes assume unto his personal and proper Judicature, Order or Direction, some particular Causes, Actions, or Cases at his pleasure. And forasmuch as the said Archbishop cannot at this present, in his own person, attend the Services which are otherwise proper for this Cognisance and Jurisdiction, and which as Archbishop of Canterbury, he might and ought in his own person to have performed and executed in Causes and Matters Ecclesiastical, in the proper function of Archbishop of that province: We therefore, of our Regal power, and of our Princely Care and Providence, that nothing shall be defective in the Order, Discipline, Government or Right of the Church, have thought fit by the Service of some other Learned and Reverend Bishop, to be named by Us, to supply those things which the said Archbishop ought or might in the Cases aforesaid to have done, but for this present cannot perform the same.
Know ye therefore, That we reposing special trust and confidence in your approved Wisdoms, Learning and Integrity, have nominated, authorised, and appointed, and do, BY these presents, nominate, authorise, and appoint you the said George, Lord Bishop of London; Richard, Lord Bishop of Durham; John, Lord Bishop of Rochester; John, Lord Bishop of Oxford; and William, Lord Bishop of Bath and Wells, or any four, three or two of you, to do, execute, and perform all and every those Acts, Matters, and things, any way touching or concerning the Power, Jurisdiction, or Authority of the Archbishop of Canterbury in Causes or Matters Ecclesiastical, as amply, fully, and effectually, to all intents and purposes, as the said Archbishop himself might have done.
And we do further hereby will and command the said Archbishop of Canterbury, quietly and without Interruption, to permit and suffer you the said George Bishop of London; Richard, Bishop of Durham; John Bishop of Rochester; John, Bishop of Oxford; and William, Bishop of Bath and Wells, any four, three, or two you, to execute and perform this our Commission, according to our Royal Pleasure thereby signified.
And we do further will and command all and every other person and persons, whom it may any way concern, in their several Places or Offices to be attendant, observant, and obedient to you, and every of you, in the Execution and Performance of this our Royal Will and Command, as they and every of them will answer to the contrary at their utmost perils.
Nevertheless we do Hereby declare our Royal Pleasure to be, That they the said Sir Henry Martin, Sir Charles Caesar, Sir Thomas Ridley, and Nathaniel Brent, in their several Offices and Places aforesaid, and all other Registers, Officers, and Ministers in the several Courts, Offices, and Jurisdictions, appertaining to the said Archbishop, shall quietly, and without interruption, hold, use, occupy, and enjoy their said Offices and Places, which they now hold by the Grant of the said Archbishop or of any other former Archbishop of Canterbury, in such manner and form, and with those Benefits, Priviledges, Powers, and Authorities which they now have hold, and enjoy therein, or thereout severally and respectively, they, and every of them, In their several Places, being attendant and obedient unto you the said George Bishop of London; Richard, Bishop of Durham; John, Bishop of Rochester; John, Bishop of Oxford; and William, Bishop of Bath and Wells, or to any four, three, or two of you, in all things according to the Tenor of this our Commission, as they should or ought to have been to the said Archbishop himself, if this Commission had not been had or made.
Archbishop Abbot his Narrative.
It is an Example, so without Example, that in the Sunshine of the Gospel, in the midst of profession of the true Religion, under a Gracious King, whom all the world must acknowledge to be blemished with no Vice; a man of my Place and Years, who have done some service in the Church and Common-wealth, so deeply laden with some furious infirmities of Body, should be removed from his ordinary Habitation, and by a kind of deportation should be thrust into one end of the Island (although, I must confess, into his own Diocess) that I hold it fit, that the reason of it should be truly understood, left it may some ways turn to the scandal of my Person and Calling.
Which Declaration notwithstanding, I intend not to communicate to any, but to let it lie by me privately, that it being set down impartially, whilst all things are fresh in memory, I may have recourse to it hereafter, if Questions shall be made of any thing contained in this Relation.
And this I hold necessary to be done, by reason of the strangeness of that, which by way of Censure was inflicted upon me, being then of the age of Sixty five years, incumber'd with the Gout, and afflicted with the Stone; having lived so many years in a place of great Service, and, for ought I know, untainted in any of my Actions, although my Master King James, who resteth with God, had both a searching Wit of his own, to discover his Servants whom he put in trust, whether they took any sinister courses, or no; and wanted not some suggesters about him to make the worst of all mens actions whom they could misreport: Yet this Innocency and good Fame to be over-turned in a month, and a Christian Bishop suddenly to be made Fabula Vulgi, to be tossed upon the Tongues of Friends and Foes, of Protestants and Papists, of Court and Country, of English and Foreigners, must needs, in common opinion, presuppose some Crime, open or secret: Which being discovered by the King, albeit not fully appearing to the World, must draw on Indignation in so high a measure.
I cannot deny, that the Indisposition of my Body kept me from Court, and thereby gave Occasion to Maligners to traduce me, as withdrawing myself from publick services, and therefore misliking some courses that were taken; which abstaining perhaps neither pleased the King, nor the great Man that set them on foot.
It is true, that in the turbulency of some things, I had no great invitements to draw me abroad, but to possess my Soul in patience, tillGod sent fairer weather: But the true ground of my abstaining from solemn and publick places, was the weakness of my Feet, proceeding from the Gout; which disease being hereditary unto me, and having possessed me nine years, had deliberated me more and more: So that I could not stand at all, neither could I go up or down a pair of Stairs, but besides my Staff, I must have the Service of one, at least, of my Men, which was not fit to be admitted in every place where I was to come.
And although I was oft remembred by the wisest of my Friends, that I might be carried as the old Lord Treasurer Burleigh was, yet I did not think my service so necessary for the Commonwealth, as his Lordships, by long experience, was found to be. I did not value my self: at so high a rate, but remembred, that it was not the least cause of overthrow to Robert Earl of Essex, that he prized himself so, as if Queen Elizabeth and the kingdom could not well have stood, if he had not supported both the one and the other.
Now for me, thus enfeebled, not with the Gout only, but with the Stone also, and Gravel, to wait on the King, or the Council-Table, was by me held a matter most inconvenient. In the Courts of Princes, there is little feeling of the infirmities belonging to old age, they like them that be young and gallant in their actions, and in their cloaths, they love not that men should stick too long in any room of Greatness, Change and alteration bring somewhat with it. What have they to do with Kerchieves and Staves, with lame or sick men? It is certainly true there is little compassion upon the bodily defects of any. The Scripture speaketh of men standing before Kings, it were an uncouth sight to see the Subject sit the day before the Coronation, when on the morrow I had work enough for the strongest man in England, being weak in my feet, and coming into Whitehall to see things in a readiness against the next day; yet notwithstanding the Stone and Gout, I was not altogether an inutile Servant in the King's affairs, but did all things in my house that were to be done, as in keeping the High-Commission Court, doing all inferiour actions conducing thereunto, and dispatching References from his Majesty that came thick upon me.
To understand therefore the verity, so it is, That the Duke of Buckingham being still great in the favour of the King, could endure no man that would not depend upon him; among other men, had me in his eye, for not stooping unto him so as to become his Vassal. I that had learned a Lesson, which I constantly hold, to be no man's servant but the King's (for mine own Royal Master, which is with God, and mine own Reason, did teach me so) went on mine own ways, although I could not but observe, That so many as walked in that path, did suffer for it upon all occasions, and so did I, nothing wherein I moved my Master taking place: Which finding so clearly, as if the Duke had set some ill character upon me, I had no way but to rest in patience, leaving all to God, and looking to my self as warily as I might. But this did not serve the turn, his undertaking was so extraordinary, that every one that was not with him, was presently against him; and if a hard opinion were once entertained, there was no place left for satisfaction or reconciliation.
For my self, there is a Gentleman called Sir H. S. who gave the first light what should befal me: This Knight being of more livelihood than wisdom, had married the Lady D. Sister to the now Earl of E. and had so treated her, that both for safeguard of her Honour, blemished by him scandalously, and for her Alimony or maintenance (being glad to get from him) she was enforced to endure a Suit in the High Commission Court: So to strengthen his party, he was made known to the Duke, and by means of a dependant on his Grace, he got a Letter from the King, That the Commissioners should proceed no further in hearing of that Cause, by reason that it being a difference between a Gentleman and his Wife, the King's Majesty would hear it himself. The Sollicitor for the Lady, finding that the course of Justice was stopped, did so earnestly, by Petition, move the King, that by another Letter, there was a relaxation of the former restraint, and the Commissioners Ecclesiastical went on: But now, in the new proceeding, finding himself by Justice like enough to be pinched, he did publickly in the Court refuse to speak by any Counsel, but would plead his Cause himself, wherein he did bear the whole business so disorderly, tumultuously, and unrespectfully, that after divers reproofs, I was enforced for the Honour of the Court, and Reputation of the High Commission to tell him openly, That if he did not carry himself in a better fashion, I would commit him to prison.
This so troubled the young Gallant, that within few days after, being at Dinner, or Supper, where some wished me well, he bolted it out, That as for the Archbishop, the Duke had a purpose to turn him out of his place, and that he did but wait the occasion to effect: it. Which being brought unto me constantly, by more ways than one, I was now in expectation what must be the issue of this great man's indignation, which fell out to be as followeth.
There was one Sibthorp, who not being so much as a Batchelor of Arts, as it hath been credibly reported unto me, by means of Doctor Tierce, Dean of Peterborough, being Vice-chancellor of Oxford, did get to be conferred upon him the Title of Doctor.
This man is Vicar of Brackley in Northamptonshire, and hath another Benefice not far from it in Buckinghamshire. But the lustre of his Honour did arise from the being the Son in Law of Sir John Lamb, Chancellor of Peterborough, whose Daughter he married, and was put into the Commission of Peace.
When the Lent Assizes were in February last at Northampton, the man that preached before the Judges there, was this worthy Doctor; where magnifying the Authority of Kings, (which is so strong in the Scripture, that it needs no flattery any ways to extol it) he let fall divers Speeches which were distasteful to the Auditors; and namely, That they had power to put Poll-money upon their Subjects heads, when against those Challenges men did frequently mourn.
He being a man of a low Fortune, conceived, that putting his Sermon in Print, might gain favour at Court, and raise his Fortune higher, on he goeth with the Transcribing of his Sermon, and got a Bishop or two to prefer this great Service to the Duke; and it being brought unto the Duke, it cometh in his head, or was suggested unto him by some malicious Body, that thereby the Archbishop might be put to some remarkable strait. For if the King should send the Sermon unto him, and command him to allow it to the Press, one of these two things would follow, that either he should authorize it, and so all men that were indifferent, should discover him for a base and unworthy Beast; or he should refuse it, and so should fall into the King's indignation, who might pursue it at his pleasure, as against a man that was contrary to his service.
Out of this Fountain flowed all the Water that afterwards so wet: in rehearsing whereof, I must set down divers particulars, which some men may wonder how they should be discovered unto me. But let it suffice once for all, that in the word of an honest man, and of a Bishop, I recount nothing, but whereof I have good warrant, God himself working means
The matters were revealed unto me, although it be not convenient, that in this Paper I name the manner how they came unto me, left such as did by well doing further me, should receive blame for their labour. Well! resolved it is, that I must be put to it, and that with speed; and therefore Mr. William Murrey, Nephew (as I think) unto Mr. Thomas Murrey, sometimes Tutor unto Prince Charles, and the young man now of the King's Bed-chamber, is sent unto me with the written Sermon; of whom I must say, That albeit he did the King his Master's business, yet he did use himself civilly and temperately unto me. For, avoiding of inquit and inquam (as Tully faith) I said this, and he said that, I will make it by way of Dialogue, not setting down every days conference exactly by itself, but mentioning all things of importance in the whole, yet distinguishing of times, where, for the truth of the Relation, it cannot be avoided.
Murrey. But the King will have you your self to do this, because he is minded, that no Books shall be allowed, but by you and the Bishop of London: And my Lord of London authorised one the other day (Cousens his Book) and he will have you do this.
Archb. This is an occupation that my oldMaster King James did never put me to, and yet I was then young, and had more abilities of body than now I have; so that I see I must now learn a new lesson: but leave it with me, and when I have read it, I shall know what to say unto it; a day or two hence you shall understand my mind. When I had once or twice perused it, I found some words which seemed unto me to cross that which the King intended, and in a sort to destroy it; and therefore upon his return, a day or two after, I express'd my self thus.
Mr. Murrey, I conceive, that the King intendeth, that this Sermon shall promote the service now in hand about the Loan of Money, but in my opinion it much crosseth it; for he layeth it down for a rule, and because it shall not be forgotten, he repeateth it again,
Secondly, in my judgment, there followeth a dangerous Speech, Habemus necessitatem vindicanda libertatis. For this was all that was then quoted out of Calvin, no mention being made of any the other words which are now in the printed Copy: For when by the former Rule he hath set men at liberty, whether they will pay or no, he imposeth upon them a necessity to vindicate this liberty, and Vindicare may be extended to challenge with violence cum vi. But for my part, I would be most unwilling to give occasion to Sedition and Mutiny in the Kingdom.
Moreover, what a speech is this, That he observes the forwardness of the Papists to offer double, according to an Act of Parliament so providing, yea, to profess, that they would part with the half oftheir Goods, where he quoteth in the Margent, Anno I Caroli; the Act for the Subsidy of the Laity, whereby Popish Recusants were to pay double; when indeed there is no such Act.
And in the fifth place it is said in this Sermon, That the Princes of Bohemia have power to depose their Kings, as not being hereditary, which is a great question. Such a one as hath cost much blood, and must not in a word be absolutely defined here, as if it were without controversy. I pray you make his Majesty acquainted with these things, and take the Book with you, (where it is to be noted, that all this, time we had but one single Copy, which was sometime at the Court, and sometime left with me.)
Some two or three days after he returned again unto me, and telleth me, That he had particularly acquainted the King with my Objections; and his Majesty made this Answer: First, for the Laws and Customs of the Kingdom, he did not stand upon that, he had a President for that which he did, and thereon he would insist.
Arch. I think that to be a mistaking, for I fear there will be found no such President. King Henry the Eighth, as the Chronicle sheweth, desired but the Sixth part of Mens Estates, Ten groats in the pound; our King desireth the whole six parts full out, so much as men are set at in the Subsidy Book: And in the time of King Henry, although he were a powerful King, yet, for that Taxation, there began against him little less than a Rebellion; so that he held it wisdom to desist, and laying the blame upon Cardinal Woolsey, professed, that he knew nothing of the matter.
Fourthly, It is true, there was no such Act passed, and therefore it must be amended (and yet in the Printed Book it is suffered still to stand. Such slight, and, I may say slovenly care was had by them that published this Sermon.)
Some other matters there were, against which I took exception, but Mr. Murrey being a young Gentleman, although witty, and full of good behaviour, I doubted, that being not deeply seen in Divinity, he could not so well conceive me, nor make report of my words to his Majesty: And therefore I being lame, and so disabled to wait on the King, did move him, That he would, in my name, humbly beseech his Majesty to send the Bishop of Bath and Wells unto me, and 1 would, by his means, make known my Scruples; and so I dismissed Mr. Murrey, observing with my self, that the Answers to my Five Objections, especially to two or three, were somewhat strange: As if the King were resolved, were it to his good or to his harm, to have the Book go forth.
After one or two days more, the young Gentleman cometh to me again, and telleth me, That the King did not think it fit to send the Bishop of Bath unto me; but he expected I should pass the Book. In the mean time, had gone over one High Commission day, and this Bishop, who used (otherwise) very few days to fail, was not there; which being joined to his Majesty's Message, made me in some measure to smell, that this whole business might have that Bishop's hand in it, especially I knowing in general the disposition of the man.
The minds of those that were Actors for the publishing of the Book, were not quiet at the Court, that the thing was not dispatched; and therefore one Day the Duke said to the King, Do you see how this business is deferred? If more Expedition be not used, it will not be printed before the end of the Term; at which time it is fit that it be sent down into the Countreys.
When I found how far the Duke had prevailed, I thought it my best way to set down in writing many Objections, wherefore the Book was not fit to be published: which I did modestly, and sent them to the King. The words were these, which I culled out of the written Sermon.
- 1. Page 2. Those words deserve to be well weighed, And whereas the Prince pleads not the power of Prerogative.
- 2. Page 8. The King's duty is first to direct and make Laws. There is no' Law made till the King assent unto it; but if it be put simply to make Laws, it will make much startling at it.
- 3. Page 10. If nothing may excuse from active obedience, but what is against the Law of God, or of Nature, or impossible. How doth this agree with the first Fundamental Position? page 5. That all Subjects are bound to all their Princes according to the Laws and Customs of the Kingdom wherein they live.
- 4. Page 11. The Poll-money, mentioned by him in St. Matthew, was imposed by the Emperor as a Conqueror over the Jews, and the execution of it in England, although it was by a Law, produced a terrible effect in King Richard the Second's time, when only it was used, for ought that appeareth.
- 5. Page 12. It is in the bottom, view the Reign of Henry the Third, and whether it be fit to give such allowance to the Book, being surreptitiously put out?
- 6. In the same Page, let the largeness of those words be well considered, Tea all Antiquity to be absolutely for absolute Obedience to Princes in all Civil and Temporal things. For Such Cases as Naboth's Vineyard may fall within this.
- 7. Page 14. Sextus Quintus was dead before the year One thousand five hundred and eighty.
- 8. In the same Page, weigh it well, How this Loan may be call'd a Tribute; and when it is said, We are promised it shall not be immoderately imposed: How that agreeth with his Majesty's Commission and Proclamation, which are quoted in the Margent?
It should seem, that this Paper did prick to the quick, and no satisfaction being thereby excepted, Bishop Laud is called, and he must go to answer to it in writing: This man is the only inward Counseller with Buckingham sitting with him sometimes privately whole hours, and feeding his humour with malice and spight.
His life in Oxford was to pick quarrels in the Lectures of the Publick Readers, and to advertise them to the then Bishop of Durham, that he might fill the ears of King James with discontents, against the honest men that took pains in their Places, and settled the truth (which he Called Puritanism) in their Auditors.
It was an observation what a sweet man this was like to be, that the first observable Act that he did, was the marrying of the Earl of D.to the lady R. when it was notorious to the world, that she had another Husband, and the same a Nobleman, who had divers Children then living by her. King James did for many years take this so ill, that he would never hear of any great preferment of him; insomuch that the Bishop of Lincoln, Doctor Williams, who taketh upon him to be the first promoter of him, hath many times said, That when he made mention of Laud to the King, his Majesty was so averse from it, that he was constrained oftentimes to say, That he would never desire to serve that Master, which could not remit one fault unto hisServant.Well, in the end he did conquer it, to get him to the Bishoprick of St, David's; which he had not long enjoyed, but he began to undermine his Benefactor, as at this day it appeareth. The Countess of Buckingham told Lincoln, that St. David's was the man that undermined him with her Son: And verily such is his aspiring nature, that he will underwork any man in the World, so that he may gain by it.
This Man, who believeth so well of himself, framed an Answer to my Exceptions. But to give some countenance to it, he must call in three other Bishops, that is to say, Durham, Rochester, and Oxford, tried men for such a purpose; and the whole style of the Speech runnteth, We and We.
This seemed so strong a confutation, that for reward of their Service, as well as for hope, that they would do more, Doctor Neal, Bishop of Durham, and the Bishop of Bath, were sworn of the Privy Council.
The very day, being Sunday, Mr. Murrey was sent unto me with a Writing; but finding me all in a sweat by a fit of the Stone, which was then upon me, he forbore for that time to trouble me, and said, That on the morrow he would repair to me again. I got me to bed, and lying all that night in pain, I held it not convenient to rise the next day: And on the Monday, Mr. Murrey came unto me, which was the Eighth time that he had been with me, so uncessantly was I plied with this noble work.
I had shewed it before to a friend or two, whereof the one was a learned Doctor of Divinity, and the other had served many times in Parliament with great commendation. We all agreed, That it was an idle work of a man that understood not Logick, that evidently crossed himself, that sometimes spake plausibly, and in the end of his Sermon fell so poor and flat, that it was not worth the reading.
Archb It is not so hasty a work, it will require time, and I have not been used to study, one sitting by me: But first read it, I pray you. The young Gentleman read it from one end to the other, being two or three sheets of Paper.
Archb. How cometh this about? are the Authors of it afraid of it, or ashamed of it? I pray you tell his Majesty, that I am dealt with neither Manly nor Scholar-like. Not Manly, because I must fight with Adversaries that I know not; nor Scholar-like, because I must not see what it is that must confute me. It is now Eight and forty years ago that I came to the University, and since that time I have ever loved a Learned man; I have disputed and written divers Books, and know very well what appertaineth to the Schools. This is a new kind of Learning unto me, I have formerly found fault, that the Author of this Sermon quoteth not the places whereupon he grounds his Doctrine; and when I have oft called for them, it is replied unto me, That I must take them upon the Credit of the Writer, which I dare not do; for I have searched but one Place, which he quoted in general, but sets down neither the Words, nor the Treatise, nor the Chapter, and I find nothing to the purpose for which it is quoted; and therefore I have reason to suspect all the rest. I pray you therefore, in the humblest manner, to commend my service to the King my Master, and let him know, that unless I may have all the Quotations set down, that I may examine them, and may have that Writing, wherein I am so ill used, I cannot allow the Book.
To this Mr. Murrey said, The King doth not plead it: But my reply was, By what then doth he coerce those Refractories? for I have not heard of any Law whereby they are imprisoned, and therefore I must take it to be by the King's Prerogative.
Page 10. If nothing may excuse from active obedience, but what is against the Law of God, or of Nature, or impossible: How doth this agree with the first fundamental Position? Page 5. That all Subjects are bound to all their Princes, according to the Laws and Customs of the Kingdom wherein they live.
And here before I go to the rest, the Doctor did truly hit upon a good point, in looking to the Laws and Customs, if he could have kept him to it; for in my memory, and in the remembrance of many Lords and others that now live, Doctor Harsenet, the thenBishop of Chichester, and now of Norwich, in Parliament time preached a Sermon at Whitehall, (which was afterwards burned), upon the Text, Give unto Casar the things that be Casars. Wherein he insisted, That Goods and Money were Casars, and therefore they were not to be denied unto him.
At this time, when the whole Parliament took main Offence thereat King James was constrain'd to call the Lords and Commons into the Banqueting-house at Whitehall, and there his Majesty calmed all by saying, The Bishop only failed in this, when he said the Goods were Casars; he did not add, They were his according to the Laws and Customs of the Countrey wherein they did live.
To the Fourth, the Poll-money, in St. Matthew, was imposed by the Emperor, as a Conqueror over the Jews, and the execution of it in England, although it was by a Law, produced a terrible effect in King Richard the Second's time, when only it was used, for ought that appeareth.
Here the Bishop in the Paper excepted divers things, as, That sometimes among us by Act of Parliament, Strangers are appointed to pay by the Poll, which agreeth not with the case; and that it was not well to bring Examples out of weak times, whereas we live in better; but that it was a marvellous fault, the blame was not laid upon the Rebels of that Age.
But my Objection in truth prevailed so far, that in the Printed Book it was qualified thus: Poll-money, other persons, and upon some occasions; where obiter I may observe, That my refusing to sign the Sermon, is not to be judged by the Printed Book, for many things are altered in one, which were in the other.
To the sixth in the same Page, Let the largeness of those words be well considered, Tea, all Antiquity to be absolutely for absolute Obedience to Princes, in all Civil or Temporal things: For such Cases (as Naboth's Vineyard) may fall within this.
Here the Bishop was as a man in a rage, and said, That it was an odious comparison; for it must suppose, that there must bean Ahab, and there must be a Jezabel, and I cannot tell what: but I am sure my Exception standeth true, and reviling and railing doth not satisfy my Argument, All Antiquity taketh the Scripture into it; and if I had allowed that proportion for good, I had been justly beaten with my own Rod.
If the King, the next day, had commanded me to send him all theMoney and Goods I had, I must by my own Rule, have obeyed him; and if he had commanded the like to all the Clergy-men in England, by Doctor Sibthorp's proportion, and my Lord of Canterbury's allowing of the same, they must have sent in all, and left their Wives and Children in a miserable case. Yea, the words extend so far, and are so absolutely delivered, that by this Divinity, if the King should send to the City of London, and the Inhabitants thereof, commanding them to give unto him all the wealth which they have, they were bound to do it: I know our King is so gracious, that he will attempt no such matter; but if he do it not, the defect is not in their flattering Divines, who, if they are called to question for such Doctrine, they would scarce be able to abide it. There is a Meum and a Tuum in Christian Common-wealths, and according to Laws and Customs, Princes may dispose of it, that saying being true, Ad Reges potestas omnium pertinet, ad singulos proprietas.
How that agreeth with his Majesty's Commission and Proclamation, which are quoted in the Margent, they make no Answer; but in the published Sermon, distinguisheth a Tribute from a Loan or Aid, whereby they acknowledged it was not well before; and indeed it was improper and absurd, worthy of none but Dr. Sibthorp.
I have now delivered the grounds whereupon I refused to authorise this Book, being sorry at my heart, that the King, my gracious Master, should rest so great a building upon so weak a foundation, the Treatise being so slender, and without substance, but that it proceeded from a hungry man.
If I had been in Council, when the Project for this Loan was first handled, I would have used my best Reasons to have had it well grounded; but I was absent, and knew not whereupon they proceeded, only I saw it was followed with much vehemency: And since it was put in execution, I did not interpose my self to know the grounds of one, nor of the other.
It seemed therefore strange unto me, that in the upshot of the business, I was called in to make that good by Divinity, which others had done; and must have no other Inducements to it, but Doctor Sibthorp's contemptible Treatise. I imagined this for the manner of the carriage of it, to be somewhat like unto the Earl of Somerset's Case, who abused the Wife of the Earl of Essex, must have her divorced from herHusband, and must himself marry her: And this must not be done, but that the Archbishop of Canterbury must ratifie all judicially. I know the Cases are different, but I only compare the manner of the carriage.
When the Approbation of the Sermon was by me refused, it was carried to the Bishop of London, who gave a great and stately allowance of it; the good man not being willing that any thing should stick which was sent unto him from the Court, as appeareth by the Book, which is commonly called, The Seven Sacraments, which was allowed by his Lordship, with all the Errors; which since that time have been expunged, and taken out of it.
But before this passed the Bishop's File, there is one accident which fitly cometh in to be recounted in this place. My Lord of London hath a Chaplain, Doctor Worral by name, who is Scholar good enough, but a kind of free Fellow-like man, and of no very tender Conscience. Doctor Sibthorp's Sermon was brought unto him, and, hand over head (as the Proverb is) he approved it, and subscribed his name unto it. But afterwards, being better advised, he sent it to a learned Gentleman of the Inner Temple, and writing some few lines unto him, craveth his opinion of that which he had done; the Gentleman read it: but although he had promised to return his judgment by Letter, yet he refused so to do, but desired, that Doctor Worral would come himself; which being done, he spoke to this purpose: What have you done? You have allowed a strange Book yonder; which, if it be true, there is no Meum or Tuum, no man in England hath any thing of his own: If ever the Tide turn, and matters be called to a reckoning, you will be hanged for publishing such a Book. To which the Doctor answered, Yea, but my hand is to it; what shall I do? For that, the other replied, you must scrape out your Name, and do not so much as suffer the sign of any Letter to remain in the paper. Which accordingly he did, and withdrew his singer from the Pye:
But what the Chaplain well advised would not do, his Lord, without sticking, accomplished; and so being insensibly hatched, it came flying into the World: But in my opinion, the Book hath perswaded very few understanding men, and hath not gained the King six-pence.
Hitherto I have declared at length all passages concerning theSermon, and to my remembrance, I have not quitted any thing that was worthy the knowing. I am now in the second place to shew what was the Issue of this not allowing the worthy and learned Treatise In the height of this Question, I privately understood, from a Friend in the Court, that for a punishment upon me, it was resolved, that I should be sent away to Canterbury, and confined there. I kept this silently, and expected God's pleasure; yet laying it up still in my mind, esteeming the Duke to be of the number of them, touching whom Tacitus observeth, That such as are false in their love, are true in their hate. But whatsoever the event must be, I made that use or the Report, that Jacula pravisa minus feriunt. The Duke, at the first, was earned with the King, that I must be presently sent away before his going to Sea: For, faith he, if I were gone, he would be every day at Whitehall, and at the Council Table, and there will cross all things that I have intended. To meet with this Objection, I got me away to Croyden a month sooner than in ordinary years I have used to do; but the Term was ended early, and my main fit of the Stone did call upon me to get me to the Countrey, that there on Horse-back I might ride upon the Downs; which I afterwards performed, and I thank God, found great use of it, in recovering of my Stomach, which was almost utterly gone.
The Duke hastned his preparations for the Fleet; but still that cometh in for one Memorandum, That if he were once absent there should no day pass over, but that the Archbishop would be with the King, and infuse things that would be contrary to his proceedings. What a miserable and restless thing Ambition is, when one Talented, but as a common person, yet by the favour of his Prince, hath gotten that interest, that, in a sort, all the Keys of England hang at his Girdle (which the wife Queen Elizabeth would never endure in any Subject) yet standeth in his own heart in such tickle terms, as that he feared every shadow, and thinketh, that the lending of the King's ear unto any grave and wellseasoned Report, may blow him out of all; which, in his estimation, he thinketh is settled upon no good foundation, but the affection of the Prince, which may be mutable, as it is in all men more or less: If a man would wish harm unto hisEnemy, could he wish him a greater torment, than to be wrested and wringed with ambitious thoughts? Well, at first it went current, that with all haste I must be doffed, but upon latter consideration, it must be staid till the Duke be at Sea, and then put in execution by the King himself, that, as it seemeth, Buckingham might be free from blame, if any should be laid upon any person. Hence it was, that after his going, there was new prosecution of the York-shire men, and the refusing Londoners were pursued more fervently than before; and it is very likely, that the Arrow came out of the same Quiver; that the Bishop coming to the Election at Westminster, was driven back so suddenly to Bugden. Take heed of these things, Noble Duke, you put your King to the worst parts, whereof you may hear one day: So when your Sovereign in the Parliament time had spoken sharply to both Houses, commanding them to go together again, and to give more money, and commanding them to meddle no more with the Duke of Buckingham; you came the next day, and thought to smooth all, taking the glory of qualifying disturbances to yourself; whereas if you had read Books of true State-Government, wherewithall you are not acquainted, sweet things are personally to be acted by Kings and Princes, as giving of Honours, and bestowing of noted Benefits; and those things that are sour and distasting, are to be performed by their Ministers, you go the contrary way.
But as before the whole House falleth on fire, some sparks do fly out; so, before the Message of the King was brought me by the Secretary, there were some inklings that such a thing would follow. And upon the naming of me (by occasion) it was said by a Creature of the Duke's, That it would not belong, before the Archbishop should be sequestred(that was the word.) So well acquinted are theDuke's followers with great actions that are ready to fall out in State.
Accordingly on Tuesday the Fifth of July, One thousand six hundred twenty and seven, the Lord Conway came unto me to Croydon, before Dinner time, having travelled, as he said, a long journey that morning, even from Oatlands thither; he would say nothing till he had dined: then, because he was to return to Oatlands that night, I took him into the Gallery, and when we were both sat down, we fell to it in this manner.
Secretary. It is true, my Lord, and I am the most unwilling man in the world to bring unpleasing news to any person of quality, to whom I wish well, and especially to such a one, as of whose Meat I have eaten, and been merry at his House: But I come from the King, and must deliver his pleasure; I know who you are, and much more, with very civil language.
Archb. Is that it? then I must use the words of the Psalmist, He shall not be afraid of any evil tidings, for his heart standeth fast, and believeth in the Lord. But, I pray you, what is my fault that bringeth this upon me?
Archb. No, I will not use any expostulation; if it be his pleasure, I will obey. I know my self to be an honest man, and therefore fear nothing. But, my Lord, do you think it is for the King's service in this sort to send me away?
Archb. I must say as before, He shall not be afraid of any evil tidings, r his heart standeth fast, and he believeth in the Lord. But I pray you, my Lord, is the King precisely set upon my going to Canterbury? There are questions in Law between me and that Town, about the Liberty of my Archbishoprick, which I, by my Oath, am bound to maintain; and if I should be among them, I have many Adversaries of the Citizens; I have there some Tenants, and the Dean and Chapter are interessed in the Question; I would be unwilling that my Servants and their People should fall together by the ears, while I am in the Town: His Majesty knows this difference to be between us, by the token that a Suit which I lately brought against them, by a Quo Warranto in the King's Bench, was stopped, Justice being denied me, which is not usual to be denied to any Subject; and the King well knoweth by whose means it was stayed. I have therefore another House, called Foord, five miles beyond Canterbury, and more out of the Way; his Majesty may be pleased to let me go thither.
Secret. I can say nothing to that, but I will acquaint the King with it; and I conceive nothing to the contrary, but that his Majesty will yield so much unto you. I have a second charge to deliver unto you, and that is, That his Majesty will not have you from henceforth to meddle with the High Commission; he will take care that it shall be done otherwise.
Archb. I do not doubt but it shall be better managed, than it hath been by me: And yet, my Lord, I tell you, that for these many years that I have had the direction of that Court, the time is to come, that ever honest man did find fault, that he had not there Justice done.
It comforted me not a little, that the word was now out: My confining must be for not allowing of a Book! I had much ado to forbear smiling when I heard it, because now it was clear, it was not for Felony or Treason that was laid to my charge, nor for intelligence with the Spaniards or French, nor for correspondency with Jesuits or Seminary Priests, or any other grievous crime, I thank God for that. I had almost forgotten, that among many other memorable Speeches that passed between us, I used this one, That peradventure the King might be offended at me, because I was no more present at the matter of the Loan; but said I, my lameness hindered me therein, and I hoped thereby to do my Master better service, because if ever course be taken to reconcile the King and his People, (which if it be not, this Kingdom will rue it in the end) I would hope among many other, to be a good' Instrument therein, since my hand hath not been in those bitternesses which have of late fallen out.
The Lord Conway being gone from me for two or three days, I expected to hear the resolution, to what place in Kent I should betake my self; and receiving no news, I tossed many things in my mind, as perhaps, that the King desired to hear some what from the Duke, how he sped in his journey; or that peradventure he might alter his purpose, upon report of my ready obeying; or that it might so fall out, that some of the Lords of the Court understanding, upon the Secretary's return from Croyden, that which was formerly concealed from them, might infuse some other Counsels into the King, These thoughts I resolved, at last, not forgetting the courses of the Court, and imprinting that into my heart, That there was no good intended towards me, but that any advantage would be taken against me, I sent a man to Whitehall, whether the King was now come for a night or two, and by him I wrote to the Lord Conway, in these words.
My very good Lord,
I Do not forget the Message which you brought unto me on Thursday last, and because I have heard nothing from you since that time, I Send this messenger on purpose to know what is resolved touching the House, or Houses where I must remain: There belong to the Archbishoprick three Houses in Kent, one at Canterbury, another five miles beyond, called Foord, and a third on the side of Canterbury, but two miles off, the name where of is Becksburn.
I pray your Lordship to let me know his Majesty's pleasure, whether he will leave the choice of any of those Houses to me to reside in: I have reason to know the resolution hereof because I must make my provision of Wood, and Coals, and Hey for some definite place; d when I shall have Brewed, it is fit to know where to put it, or else it will not serve the turn: It is an unseasonable time to brew now, and as untimely to cut Wood, being green in the highest degree, and to make Coals, without all which my House can not be kept. But when I shall know what must be my Habitation, I will send down my Servants presently, to make the best Provisions that they can. And so expecting your Lord ships Answer, I leave you to the Almighty, and remain,
May it please your Grace,
I Am ashamed, and do confess my fault, that I wrote not to your Grace Before I received your Reproof, though a gracious once; but, in truth, I did not neglect, nor forget. But the continual oppression of business, would not permit me to advertise to your Grace the King's Answer. His Majesty heard seriously your professions and Answer s, and commanded me to signify unto you, That he knew not the present difference between you and the Town; and if he had, he would not have cast you into that inconvenience. He was well pleased you should go to your House at Foord, and said he did not expect when the Question was ended between your Grace and the Town, that you should go to Canterbury.
And he furthers said, He would not tie you to so short a time, as might be any way inconvenient, but doth expect, that your Grace will govern it so, as his Majesty shall not need to warn you a second time.
I will not fail to move his Majesty, to give you liberty to chuse either of your Houses you name, and give you knowledge of his pleasure, and in all things be ready to obey your commandments, or take occasion to serve you in the condition of
I could not but observe there in that passage, That the King doth expect, that your Grace will govern it so, as his Majesty will not need to warn you a second time; I needed no Interpreter to expound those words, and therefore did take order, that one of my Officers was presently dispatched unto Foord, to see the House ready.
While Necessaries were caring for, and I lay for some days at Croyden, and afterwards at Lambeth, the City of London was filled with the report of my confining (for so they did term it) and divers men spake diversly of it. I will not trouble my self to mention some idle things, but some other of them require a little consideration. A main matter that the Duke was said to take in ill part, was, the resort which was made to my House at the times of Dinner and Supper, and that of ten times of such as did not love him.
I My Answer unto that is, That by Nature I have been given to keep a House according to my proportion, since I have had any means, and God hath blessed me in it. That it is a property by Saint Paul required in a Bishop, That he should be given to hospitality; that it is another of his Rules, Let your conversation be without covetousness; and those things I had in mine eyes. Besides, I have no Wife nor Child.; and as for my Kindred, I do that for them which I hold fit; but I will not rob the Church nor the poor for them.
Again, It is so rare a fault in these days, that men not feeding on the King's meat, but of their own charge, should frankly entertain their Friends when they come unto them, that I deserve to be pardoned for it. But this is not all.
When King James gave me the Bishoprick, he did once between him and me, and another time before the Earl of Salisbury, charge me that I should carry my House Nobly (that was his Majesty's word) and live like an Archbishop; which I promised him to do: And when men came to' my house, who were of all civil sorts, I gave them friendly entertainment, not sifting what exceptions the Duke made against them; for I knew he might as undeservedly think ill of others, as he did of me. But I medled with no man's quarrels, and if I should have received none but such as cordially, and in truth, had loved him, I might have gone to Dinner many times without company. There frequented me Lords Spiritual and Temporal, divers privy Counsellers, as occasion served, and Men of the highest Rank; where, if the Duke thought that we had busied ourselves about him, he was much deceived: Yet perhaps the old saying is true, That a man who is guilty of one Evil to himself think-eth that all men that talk together, do say somewhat of him. I do not envy him that happiness, but let it ever attend him.
As for other men of good report, but of lesser quality, I have heard some by name, to whom exception hath been taken, and these are three, (I know from the Court, by a Friend, that my House, for a good space of time, hath been watched; and I marvel that they have not rather named sixty than three.)
The first of these is Sir Dudley Digs, a Very great Mote in the duke's Eye, as I am informed; for it is said, That this Knight hath paid him in Parliament with many sharp speeches. If this be so, yet what is that to me? He is of age to answer for him self. But in the time of the late Parliament, when the Earl of Carlile came unto me, and dealt with me there about, I gave him my word, and I did it truly, That I was not acquainted with these things; only being sick, as I was, I had in general given him advice, That he should do nothing, that might give just offence to the King; and I have credibly heard, that when Sir Dudley was last in the Fleet, committed from the Council-Table, he was much dealt with all to know, Whether he was not instigated by me to accuse the Duke in Parliament: The Knight, with all the protestations and assurances that could come from a Gentleman, acquitted me of the part, and whole, where in he did me but right: And I do remember, when that man, now so hated, was a great Servant of the Duke's. So that if he have now lost him, it cannot but be presumed, that it is for some unworthy carriage, which the Gentleman conceiveth hath, by that Lord, been offered unto him.
Moreover, how can I but imagine, the words and actions of Sir Dudley Diggs have been ill interpreted, and reported: when I my self saw the Duke stand up nine times in a morning in the Parliament House, to fasten upon him words little less (if at all less) than Treason; when by the particular Votes of all the Lords and Commons in both Houses, he was quit of those things, which the other would have enforced upon him: And a little while before he was hastily clapt into the Tower, and with in a day or two released again, because nothing was proved against him. And I assure you, I am so little interressed in his actions, that to this day I could never learn the reason why he was imprisoned in the Fleet, although he was kept there for seven or eight weeks, I distinguish the King from the Duke of Buckingham, the one is our Sovereign by the Laws of God and Men; the other a Subject as we are: And if any Subject do impeach another, though of different degrees, let the Party grieved remedy himself by Law, and not by Power.
But to speak further for this Knight. I may not forget when he was publickly employed, one time to the Hague, a second time to Muscovia, and thirdly, into Ireland, about affairs of the State; such opinion was then held of his good endeavours. And, for my own part, ever since the days of Queen Elizabeth, I have been nearly acquainted with him; he was my Pupil at Oxford, and a very towardly one; and this knowledge each of other, hath continued unto this time. He calleth me Father, and I term his Wife my Daughter, his eldest Son is my God-son, and their Children are, in love, accounted my Grandchildren,
The third was Sir Thomas Wentworth, who had good occasion to send unto me, and sometimes to see me, because we were joynt Executors to Sir George Savile, who married his Sister, and was my Pupil at Oxford; to whose Son also, Sir Thomas Wentworth and I were Guardians as may appear in the Court of Wards, and many things passed between us in that behalf; yet, to my remembrance, I saw not this Gentleman but once in these three quarters of a year last past; at which time he came to seek his Brother-in-law, the Lord Clifford, who was then with me at Dinner at Lambeth.
For one of the punishments laid upon me, it was told me by the Lord Conway, That I must meddle no more with the High Commission; and accordingly within a few days after, a Warrant is sent to the Attorney General, that the Commission must be renewed, and the Archbishop must be left out: This under-hand being buzzed about the Town, with no small mixture of spight, I conceived it to be agreeable to the proceedings with the Lords and Gentlemen which refused to contribute to the Loan, they all being laid aside in the Commissions for Lieutenancy, and the Peace, in their several Countreys. For my part, I had no cause to grieve at this, since it was his Majesty's pleasure; but it was by the Actors there in understood other wise, they supposing, that this power gave me the more Authority and Splendor in the Church and Common-wealth.
To deliver therefore truly the state of this Question, it cannot be denied, but that it was a great point of Policy, for the establishing of Order in the Ecclesiastical, and consequently Civil Estate also, to erect such a Court, whereby Church-men that exorbitated in any grievous manner, might be castigated, and rectified; and such sort of crimes in the Laiety might be censured, as were of Ecclesiastical Cognizance. And verily this is of great use in the Kingdom, as well for the cherishing the Study of the Civil Law, as other wise: so that it be kept incorruptible, and with that integrity, as so grave a Meeting and Assembly requireth.
That was principally my care, who took much pains, and spent much money, that in fair and commendable sort, Justice was indifferently administered to all the King's people that had to do with us : But every one might see, that this was to my singular trouble; for besides that to keep things in a straight course, sometimes in fits of the Gout, I was forced by my servants to be carried into the Court, where I could not speak much, but with difficulty; I was at no time free from Petitions, from Examinations, from signing of Warrants, to call some, to release others, from giving way to speeding and forwarding Acts of Courts; Suitors, as their fashion is, being so importunate, as that in Summer and Winter, in the day, and in the night, in sickness and health, they would not be denied.
These things were daily dispatched by me out of Duty, and more out of Charity, no Allowance of Pay being from the King, or of Fee, from the Subject, to us that were the Judges: Nay, I may say. more, the holding of that Court in such sort as I did, was very expencesul to me out of my private purse, in giving weekly entertainment to the Com-missioners; the reason where of was this : King James being desirous, when he made me Archbishop, that all matters should, gravely and honourably be carried, directed me, that I should always call some of the Bishops that were about London, and some Divines, and Civilians, that by a good Presence, Causes might be handled for the reputation of the Action; and willed me with all to imitate there in the Lord Archbishop Whitgift, who invited weekly some of the Judges to Dinner, the rather to allure them thither. This advice proceeded from the Bishop of Durham that now is, which was not ill, if it came from a good intention.
I obeyed it singly, and did that which was enjoyned: But whereas in those times the Commissioners were but few, since that time there hath been such an inundation of all sorts of men into that Company, that without proportion, both Lords Spiritual and Temporal, Commissioners and not Commissioners, resorted thither, and divers of them brought so many of their men, that it was truly a burthen to me. I think it may by my Officers be justified upon Oath, That since I was Archbishop, the thing alone hath cost me out of my private Estate One Thousand Pounds and a half, and if I did say Two thousand Pounds, it were not much amiss, besides all the trouble of my Servants; who neither directly nor indirectly, gained six pence there by in a whole year, but only travel and pains for their Master's honour, and of that they, had enough: My house being like a great Hostry every Thursday in the Term; and for my Expences, no man giving me so much as thanks.
Now this being the true Case, if the Church and Common-wealth be well provided for in the Administration of Justice, and regard be had of the Publick, can any discreet man think, that the removing of me from this molestation, is any true punishment upon me? I being one that have framed my self to reality, and not to Opinion, and growing more and more in years, and consequently into weakness, having before surfeited so long of worldly shews, where of nothing is truly gained temporally, but vexation of spirit; I have had enough of these things, and do not dote upon them: The world, I hope, hath found me more stayed and reserved in mycouises.
My pain, or weakness, by the Gout, must excuse me herein. When I was younger, and had my health, I so diligently attended at the Stars chamber, that for full seven years I was not one day wanting. And for the Council-Table, the same reason of my indisposition may satisfie: But there are many other things that do speak for me. The greatest matters there handled, were for Money, or more attempts of war: For the one of these, we of the Clergy had done our parts already; the Clergy having put them selves into Payments of Subsidy, by an Act of Parliament, not only for these two last years, when the Temporalty lay in a sort dry, but yet there are three years behind, in which our Payments run on with weight enough unto us, and no man can justly doubt, but my hand was in those Grants in a principal fashion.
And concerning the Provisions for War, I must confess mine ignorance in the Feats there of; I knew not the grounds whereupon the controversies were entred in general; I thought, that before Wars were begun, there should be store of Treasure; That it was not good to fall out with many great Princes at once; That the turning of our Forces another way, must needs be some diminution from the King of Denmark, who was engaged by us into the Quarrel for the Palatinate and Germans, and hazarded both his Person and Dominions in the prosecution of the Question. These matters I thought upon, as one that had some times been acquainted with Councils; but I kept my thoughts unto my self.
Moreover, I was sure that there wanted no Counsellers at the Board, the number being so much increased as it was. Besides, I had no great encouragement to thrust my crazie Body abroad, since l saw what little esteem was made of me in those things which belonged to mine own Occupation; with Bishopricks, and Deanaries, or other Church-places, I was no more acquainted than if I had dwelt at Venice, and understood of them but by some Gazette.
The Duke of Buckingham had the managing of these things, as it was generally conceived : For, what was he not fit to determine, in Church, or Common-wealth; in Court, or Council; in Peace, or War; at Land, or at Sea; at home, or in Foreign parts?
Cosens put out his Treatise, which they commonly call, [The Seven Sacraments:] which, in the first Edition, had many strange things in it, as it seemeth: I knew nothing of it, but as it pleased my Lord of Durham, and the Bishop of Bath: So the World did read.
We were wont in the High-Commission, to repress obstinate and busie Papists: In the end of King James his time, a Letter was brought me under the Hand and Signet of the King, That we must not meddle with any such matter, nor exact the Twelve pence for the Sunday of those which came not to the Church, (with which Forfeit we never, medled.) And this was told us to be in contemplation of a Marriage intended with the Lady Mary, the Daughter ofFrance.
After the death of King James, such another Letter was brought from King Charles, and all executions against Papists were suspended. But when the Term was at Reading, by open divulgation in all Courts, under the Great Seal of England, We and all Magistrates are set at liberty to do as it was prescribed by Law; And now our Pursuivants must have their Warrants again, and take all the Priests they can; where of Mr. Cross took fourteen or fifteen in a very short space. Not long after, all these are set free; and Letters come from the King, under his Royal Signet, That all Warrants must be taken from our Messengers, because they spoiled the Catholicks, and carried themselves unorderly unto them, especially the Bishop's Pursuivants: Whereas we had in all but two; Cross, my Messenger, for whom I did offer to be answerable; and Thomlinson, for whom my Lord of London (I think) would do as much. But the Caterpillers indeed, were the Pursuivants used by the Secretaries, men of no value, and shifters in the world, who had been punished and turn'd away by us for great misdemeanors.
But truth of Religion and God's Service, was wont to over-rule humane Policies, and not to be over-ruled; and I am certain, that things best prosper, where those courses are held. But be it what it may be, I could not tell what to make of this Variation of the Compass, since it was only commanded unto me to put such and such things in execution. But I never understood any thing of the Counsel, where by I might give my judgment how fit or unfit they were, or might speak to alter the Tenure, whereunto in former times I had been otherwise used. Variety of Reasons breedeth Variety of Actions.
For the matter of the Loan, I knew not a long time what to make of it: I was not present when the Advice was taken; I understood not what was the Foundation whereupon the Building was raised, neither did ever any of the Council acquaint me there with. I saw on the one side the King's necessity for Money, and especially it being resolved, that the War should be pursued; and on the other side I could not forget, that in the Parliament great Sums were offered, if the Petitions of the Commons might be hearkened unto. It ran still in my mind, That the old and usual way was best; That in Kingdoms, the Harmony was sweetest, where the Prince and the People tuned well together; That whatsoever pretence of Greatness, he was but an unhappy man, that set the King and the Body of the Realm at division; That the People (though not fit to be too much cockered, yet) are they, that must pray, that must pay, that must fight for their Princes; That it could not be, that a man so universally hated in the Kingdom as the Duke was, must, for the preservation of himself, desperately adventure on any thing, if he might be hearkened unto.
These Meditations I had with my self; and, God knoweth, I frequently in my prayers did beg, That he, whom these things did most concern, would seriously think upon them. It ran in my mind, that this new device for Money could not long hold out; That then we must return into the High-way, whether it were best to retire our selves betimes, the shortest Errors being the best. But these thoughts I suppressed with in my Soul; neither did I ever discourage any man from Lending, nor encourage any man to hold back: which I confidently avouch.
At the opening of the commission for the Loan, I was sent for from Croyden. It seemed to me a strange thing; but I was told there, That howsoever it shewed, the King would have it so, there was no speaking against it. I have not heard, that men throughout the Kingdom should lend money against their will; I knew not what to make of it: But when I saw the Instructions, the Refusers should be sent away for Soldiers to the King of Denmark, I began to remember Urias, that was set in the fore-front of the Battel; and, to speak truth, I durst not be tender in it. And when afterwards I saw, that men were to be put to their Oath, with whom they had had conference, and whether any did disswade them? And yet further beheld, that divers were to be imprisoned: I thought this was some what a New World. Yet all this while I swallowed my own spittle, and spake nothing of it to any man. Nay, when after some trial in Middlesex, the first Sitting was for Surrey in my House at Lambeth, and the Lords were there assembled with the Justices of the whole County, I gave them entertainment in no mean fashion: and I sate with them, albeit I said nothing; for the confusion was such, that I knew not what to make of it: Things went on every day, and speech was, of much Money to be raised out of some Counties; yet afterwards it was not so readily paid, as preferred; and at length some refuse even in London it self, and Southwark, besides many Gentlemen of special rank, and some Lords, as it was said. And though it was reported, that they were but a contemptible company, yet the Prisons in London demonstrated, that they were not a very few, but Persons both of note and number. The Judges besides concurring another way, That they could not allow the Legality of the Demand, and the Enforcement that is used thereupon, did some what puzzle me for being too busie in promoting of that, for which I might one day suffer. Yet hitherto I remained silent, hoping that time would break that off, which was almost come to an absolute period. But instead of this, by the permission of God, I was called up to the King to look clearly into the Question. When the allowance of Sibthorp's Pamphlet was put upon me, I then had some reason, out of the grounds of that Sermon, to fear, (and I pray God that my fear was in vain) that the Duke had a purpose to turn upside down the Laws, and the whole Fundamental Courses, and Liberties of the Subject, and to leave us not under the Statutes and Customs which our Progenitors enjoyed, but to the pleasure of Princes; of whom, as some are gentle and benign, so some others, to ingrate themselves, might strain more than the string will bear.
Besides, now it came in my heart, that I was present at the King's Coronation, where many things on the prince's part were solemnly promised; which being observed, would keep all in order, and the King should have a loving and faithful people, and the Commons should have a kind and gracious King. The contemplation of these things made me stay my Judgment; not any unwillingness to do my Prince any dutiful service, whom I must and do honour above all the Creatures in the world, and will adventure as far for his true good, as anyone whatsoever. But I am loth to plunge my self over head and ears in these difficulties, that I can neither live with quietness of conscience, nor depart out of the world with good fame and estimation. And perhaps my Sovereign, if hereafter he looked well into this Paradox, would, of all the world, hate me, because one of my Profession, Age, and Calling, would deceive him, and with base flattery swerve from the truth. The hearts of Kings are in the hand of God, and he can turn them as the rivers of water.
I draw to a conclusion; only repute it not amiss (because so much falleth in here) to observe a few words of the Duke of Buckingham, not as now he is, but as he was in his rising. I say nothing of his being in France, because I was not present, and divers others there be that remember it well; but I take him at his first repair to Court. King James, for many insolencies, grew weary of Somerset; and the Kingdom groaning under the Triumvirate of Northampton, Suffolk, and Somerset, (though Northampton soon after died) was glad to be rid of him. We could have no way so good to effectuate that which was the common desire, as to bring in another in his room; one Nail (as the Proverb is) being to be driven out by another. It was now observed, that the King began to cast his eye upon George Villiers, who was then Cup bearer, and seemed a modest and courteous youth. But king James had a fashion, that he would never admit any to nearness about himself, but such an one as the Queen should commend unto him, and make some suit on his behalf; that if the Queen afterwards, being ill intreated, should complain of this Dear one, he might make his answer, It is long of your self, for you were the party that commended him unto me. Our old Master took delight strangely in things of this nature.
That Noble Queen (who now resteth in Heaven) knew her Husband well; and having been bitten with Favourites both in England and Scotland, was very shie to adventure upon this request. King James in the mean time, more and more loathed someerset, and did not much conceal it, that his affection increased towards the other; but the Queen would not come to it, albeit divers Lords (whereof some are dead, and some yet living) did earnestly sollicit her Majesty thereunto. When it would not do, I was very much moved to put to my helping hand, they knowing, that Queen Anne was graciously pleased to give me more credit than ordinary, which all her attendants knew she continued till the time of her death. I laboured much, but could not prevail; the Queen of saying to me, My Lord, you and the rest of your friends know not what you do: I know your Master better than you all; for if this young man be once brought in, the first persons that he will plague, must be you that labour for him; yea, shall have my part also; The King will teach him to despise and hardly intreat us all, that he may seem to be beholden to none but himself. Noble queen! How like a Prophetess or Oracle did you speak!
Notwithstanding this, we were still instant, telling her Majesty, that the Change would be for the better: For George was of a good nature, which the other was not; and if he should degenerate, yet it would be a long time before he were able to attain to that height of evil, which the other had. In the end, upon importunity Queen Anne condescended, and so pressed it with the King, that he assented thereunto: Which was so stricken while the Iron was hot, that in the Queen's Bed-chamber, the King knighted him with the Rapier which the Prince did wear. And when the King gave order to swear him of the Bed-chamber, Somerset, who was near, importuned the King with a Message, that he might-be only sworn a Groom: But my self and others that were at the door, sent to her Majesty, that she would perfect her work, and cause him to be sworn a Gentleman of the Chamber. There is a Lord or two living that had a hand in this atchievement; I diminish nothing of their praise for so happy a work: But I know my own part best; and, in the word of an honest man, I have reported nothing but truth. George went in with the King; but no sooner he got loose, but he came forth unto me into the Privy Gallery, and there embraced me: he professed, that he was so infinitely bound unto me, that all his life-long he must honour me as his Father. And now he did beseech me, that I would give him some lessons how he should carry himself. When he earnestly followed this chace, I told him I would give him three short Lessons, if he would learn them. The first was, That daily upon his knees he should pray to God to bless the King his Master, and to give him (George) grace, studiously to serve and please him. The second was, That he should do all good offices between the King and the Queen, and between the King and the Prince. The third was, That he should fill his master's ears with nothing but Truth. I made him repeat these three things unto me, and then I would have him to acquaint the King with them, and so tell me, when I met him again, what the King said unto him. He promised me he would; and the morrow after, Mr. Tho. Murrey, the Prince's Tutor, and I, standing together in the Gallery at whitehall, Sir George Villiers coming forth, and drawing to us, he told Mr. Murrey how much he was beholden unto me, and that I had given him certain Instructions, which I prayed him to rehearse, as indifferently well he did before us; yea, and that he had acquainted the King with them, who said, They were Instructions worthy of an Archbishop to give to a young man. His countenance of thankfulness for a few days continued, but not long, either to me, or any others his Well-wishers. The Roman Historian Tacitus hath somewhere a Note, That Benefits, while they may be requited, seem Courtesies; but when they are so high that they cannot be repaid, they prove matters of Hatred.
Thus to lie by me, to quicken my remembrance, I have laid down the Cause and the Proceedings of my sending into Kent, where I remain at the writing of this Treatise: Praying God to bless and guide our King aright; To continue the prosperity and welfare of this Kingdom, which at this time is shrewdly shaken; To send good and worthy men to be Governors of our Church; To prosper my mind and body, that I may do nothing that may give a wound to my Conscience; and then to send me patience quietly to endure whatsoever his Divine Majesty shall be pleased to lay upon me; Da quod jubes, & jube quod vis! And in the end to give me such a happy deliverance, either in life or death, as may be most for his glory, and for the wholesome example of others, who look much on the Actions and Passions of Men of my Place.
Amongst those many Gentlemen who were imprisoned throughout England, for refusing to lend upon the Commission for Loans, only Five of them brought their Habeas Corpus, viz. Sir Thomas Darnel, Sir John Corbet, Sir Walter Earl, Sir John Heveningham, Sir Edward Hampden.
"That Sir Walter Earl Knight, named in the Writ, is detained in the Prison of the Fleet in his custody, by special command of the King, to him signified by Warrant of several of the Privy-Council, in these words:
Whereas Sir Walter Earl Knight, was heretofore committed to your Custody; These are to will and require you still to detain him, letting you know, that both his first Commitment, and direction for the continuance of him in 'Prison, were, and are, by his Majesty's special commandment.
Sir Thomas darnel was the first that was brought to the Bar upon that Writ, where the King's Attorney-General, Sir Robert Heath, did inform the Court, that his Majesty told him, He heard, that some of the imprisoned Gentlemen for the Loan did report, That the King did deny them the course of Justice; and therefore his Majesty commanded him to renew the Writ of Habeas Corpus, lest they would not move for another themselves, by reason the Warden of the Fleet had not returned the first according to his duty.
To this, Sir Thomas Darnel replied, That such words never came into his thoughts: and did humbly pray, they might make no Impression upon the Court to the disparagement of his Cause; for he was accused of that he was in no manner guilty of. Upon which Sir Nicholas Hide, Chief Justice, said, That he had made a fair and temperate Answer; And you may perceive (said the Chief Justice) the upright and sincere proceedings which have been in this business: You no sooner moved for a habeascorpus, but it was granted you; you no sooner desired counsel, but they were assigned you, though any Counsel might move for you without being assigned, and should have had no blame for it: The King's pleasure is, his Law should take place and be executed, and for that do we (it here; and whether the Commitment be by the King or others, this Court is the place where the King doth sit in person to do right, if injury be done: And we have power to examine it; and if it appear that any man hath wrong done him by his Imprisonment, we have power to deliver and discharge him; if otherwise, he is to be remanded by us to Prison again. And the Attorney-General after the Chief-Justice had spoken, said, Though this be a case which concerns the King in an high degree, yet he hath been so gracious and so just, as not to refuse the Examination and Determination thereof according to the Laws of the Kingdom.
Then the Court proceeded to hear the Arguments made in the Prisoners behalf. Mr. Noy argued for Sir walter Earl, sergeant Bramston for Sir John Heveningham, Mr. Selden for Sir Edward Hampden, Mr. Calthrop for Sir John Corbet, who were all assigned of Counsel with the Prisoners by the Court of Kings-Bench, upon a Petition delivered by them to that 'purpose. After they had argued, Mr. Attorney had a day appointed to argue for the King. It is not our intention to take up the Reader's time with the Arguments at large, either by the one side or the other: We shall only hint unto you some Generals, chiefly concerning the form of the Return of the Writ. The first exception taken by the Council for the imprisoned Gentlemen, was to the form of the Return.
- 1. For that the Return is not positive, but referred to the signification made by another, (by the Lords of the Council.)
- 2. The keepers of the Prisons have not return'd the Cause of the Commitment, but the Cause of the Cause; which they held not to be good.
- 3. That the Return of the Commitment is imperfect, for that it sheweth only the Cause of the detaining in Prison, and not the Cause of the first Commitment.
Lastly, That the Return is contradictory in it self: For that in the first part thereof it is certified, that the detaining of those Gentlemen in Prison is per Speciale mandatum Domini Regis; and when the Warrant of the Lords of the council is shewn, it appeareth, that the commitment is by the command of the King, signified by the Lords of the Council. The second general Exception was to the matter of the Return; and that was touching the imprisohment, per mandatumn domini Reg is; by the Lords of the Council, without any Cause expressed. Wherefore, said Mr. Selden, by the constant and settled Laws of this Kingdom (without which, we have nothing) no man can be justly imprisoned, either by the King or Council, without a Cause of the Commitment; and that ought to be expressed in the Return. The Law faith expresly, No Freeman shall be imprisoned without due Process of the Law: Nullus liber homo capiatur vet imprisonetur nisiper legem terra,&c. And in the Charter of King John there are these words, Nec eum in carcerem mittimus, We will not commit him to Prison; that is, The King himself will not.
This right (faith Sergeant Bramston) is the only means that a Subject hath, whereby to obtain his liberty; and the end of it is, to return the Cause of the Imprisonment, that it may be examined in this Court, whether the Parties ought to be discharged or not: Which cannot be done upon this Return; for the cause of the Imprisonment is so far from appearing particularly by it, that there is no cause at all expressed: And the Writ requires, that the cause of the Imprisonment should be return'd, and the Cause ought to be expressed so far, as that it ought to be none of those Causes, for which, by the Laws of the Kingdom, the Subject ought not to be imprisoned; and it ought to be expressed, that it was by Presentment or Indictment, or up on petition or suggestion made unto the King. For (said he) observe but the consequence: If those gentlemen who are committed without any Cause shewn, should not be bailed, but remanded, the Subjects of the Kingdom may be restrained of their Liberty forever, and by Law there can be no remedy. We shall not resflect upon the present time and Government; but we are to look what may betide us in time to come hereafter. The Laws are called the great Inheritance of every Subject, and the Inheritance of Inheritances, without which we have nothing that deserves the name of Inheritance.
If' upon a Habeascorpus a cause of Commitment be certified, then (said Mr. Noy) the Cause is to be tried before your Lordships; but if no Cause be shewn, the Court must do that which standeth with law and Justice, and that is, to deliver the Party. The Commons did complain in Edw. 3. his time, that the great Charter and other Statutes, were broken; They desired, that for the good of himself and his People, they may be kept and put in execution, and not infringed, by making any Arrest by special command or otherwise. And the Answer which was given them, was this, That the said Great Charter and other Statutes should be put in execution according to the Petition, without disturbance of Arrests by special command; and the King granteth the Commons desire in the same words, as they were expressed in their Petition. And afterwards complaining again, That notwithstanding this Answer of the King, they were imprisoned by special command, without Indictment, or other legal course.of Lrw. The King's Answer was, upon another Petition unto him, That he was therewith well pleased; and for the future he added further, If any man be grieved, let him complain, and right shall be done. And forasmuch as it doth not appear to the Court, that there was any cause of the Commitment of these Members, no charge against them, no Indictment or Process according to the Laws: Wherefore Mr. Noy prayed they might be no longer detained in Prison, but be bailed or discharged.
Admit the Commitment of the Command of the King was lawful, yet, said Mr. Calthorp, when a man hath continued in Prison a reasonable time, he ought to be brought to answer; and not to continue still in Prison, without being brought to answer; for that it appeareth by the Books of our Laws, that Liberty is a thing so favoured of the Law, that the Law will not suffer the continuance of a man in prison for any longer time, than of necessity it must: And therefore the Law will neither suffer the Party, Sheriffs, or Judges, to continue a man in Prison by their power and pleasure. It doth speak of the delivery of a man out of Prison, with as reasonable expedition as may be: And upon this reason it hath been resolved, that howsoever the Law alloweth, that there may be a Term between the Teste of an Original Writ, and the Return of the same, where there is only a Summons, and no imprisonment of the Body; yet the Law will not allow, that there should be a Term between the Teste of a Writ of Capias, and the Return of the same, where the body of a man is to be imprison'd; insomuch that it will give no way, that the Party shall have power to continue the body of a man longer time in prison than needs must; so tender is the Law of the Subjects Liberty.
Monday the 27th. of November the Attorney-General argued for the King, That this was a very great Cause, and hath raised great expectation; and he was afraid, that those Gentlemen whom it concerns, have rather advised their counsels, than their Counsels them. For the first Exception, That the Return is not positive, but hath relation to some others; he did conceive it was positive enough: For (said he) the words are, Quod detenus est sub custodia meaper speciale mandatum Domini Regis: The other words (mihi significatum) they follow after, but are not part of the affirmation made before it. And if they will have it as they seem to understand it, then they must return the words thus; Quod significatum est mihi per Dominos Privati Constilii, quod detent us est per speciale mandatum Domini Regis; and then it had not been their own proper Return, but the signifcation of another, the Lords of the Council. The turning of the sentence would resolve this point: the thing it self must speak for it self: It is clear, it is a positive Return, that the detaining is by the command of the King; and the rest of the Return is rather satisfaction to the Court, than any part of the Return. And for the other Exception., That the Cause of the Cause is returned, and not the Cause it self; he said, Among the Logicians there are two causes; there is Causa causans, and Causa causata. The Causa causans here in this case, is not the Warrant from the Lords of the Council, for that is Causa causata: But the primary and original Cause, which is Causa causans, is, Speciale mandatum Domini Regis; the other is but the Councils Signification, or Testification, or Warrant, for him that made the Return. And for the other exception, the Cause is imperfect, because it shews only the cause of detaining in Prison, and not the cause of the first Commitment: He conceives it is sufficient for an officer of the Law to answer, That the Writ is a Command to make a Return of the detaining of the Prisoner, and he accordingly makes a Return of the Detention; and if the Keeper of the Prison had only said, they were detained, per speciale mandatum, &c. It had been good.
Then he proceeded to the matter of the Return, and to answer the Book-Cases and Records that had been cited by the Council for the Prisoners, and to produce Presidents on the King's be half; which are extant in Print, to which the Reader is referred.
Afterwards Sir Nicholas Hide, Chief Justice, Justice Dodderidge, Justice Jones and Justice whitlock being upon the Bench, and Sir John Heveningham and the fore mentioned Prisoners being brought to the Bar, Sir Nicholas Hide, Lord chief Justice, by the consent and direction of the Judges, spake to this purpose:
That the Court hath seriously considered what hath been spoken by either side, and are grown to a resolution: And that his Brothers have enjoyned him to deliver unto you the resolution of the whole Court: And therefore (said he) though it be delivered by my mouth, it is the resolution of us all. I am sure you expect Justice from hence, and God forbid we should sit here, but to do Justice to all men according to our best skill and knowledge, as it is our Oaths and Duties so to do. But this is a Case of very great weight, and great expectation, and requires more solemn Arguments than the time will now permit. The Exceptions which have been taken to this Return, are two; the one for the form, the other for the substance. First, for the form, because it is not returned, as they say, positively and absolutely, but with reference to a Warrant of the Lords of the Council: Now the Court is of opinion, That this is a positive and absolute Return, upon this Reason, That the Keeper of the Prison first returns, That they are detained by the special command of the King; and if they had ceased there, it had been positive: And for that which follows, That it was signified to him by the Lords of the Council, this is only to certifie the Court, that he returned the Cause truly, and not to shew us that he had no knowledge of the Cause, but by the signification of the Lords of the Council: There is not one word in the Writ that demands the cause why they were taken, but why they are detained. So that that point in the Writ is sufficiently answered, which was only to certify the cause of the detention. And there fore we resolve, That the form of this Return is good.
The next thing is the main point in Law, Whether the substance or matter of the Return be good, or no? Where in the substance is this; He doth certify, that they are detained in Prison by the special command of the King: And whether this be good in Law, or no, is the Question. Here the Lord Chief Justice did mention the several Presidents and Book-Cases cited by each side, too long to be here related.
And concluded, That that which is now to be judged by us, is this, Whether one that is committed by the King's authority, and no cause shewn of his Commitment, according as here it is upon this Return, whether we ought to deliver him by Bail, or to remand him back again? Where by the way you must know, that we can take notice only of this Return; That when the Case appears to us no otherwise than by the Return, we are not bound to examine the truth thereof, but the sufficiency of the Return: We cannot judge upon rumors or reports, but upon that which is before us on Record, which is examinable by us, whether it be sufficient or not.
Mr. Attorney had told you, That the King hath done it; and we trust him in great matters : And we make no doubt but the King, if you seek to him, knowing the cause why you are imprisoned, will have mercy; but we leave that, we must not counsel you : If in justice we ought to deliver you, we would do it; but upon these grounds, Records, Presidents, and Resolutions, cited and produced, the Court is of opinion, they cannot deliver you, but you must be remanded.
Whilst these Arguments about the Loan were in agitation (which began in October in Michaelmas Term) various Reports and Advertisements came from the Isle of Rhee: sometime, that they were in a Treaty with the Duke to surrender the Citadel unto him; others wrote, That it was but a device of the Governour to get time till Relief came: And many were dissatisfied with the Presents and Complements which passed between the Duke, and the Governour of the Citadel; Civilities to an enraged Enemy (as was said) seldom producing good effect. Be side's, it was observed, the Governor by his frequent sending out of Messengers (though in a military way with Drums and Trumpets) gave the Enemy advantage of seeing the Works and Army. But the vulgar sort at home spake more plainly of the miscarriages at Rhee, how all things went there —— The clean contrary way.
It hath been observed, when things come to be Vox populi, it is commonly an ill presage: But at this time, persons of better quality and judgment gave out odd speeches concerning Affairs at Rhee, That the business could not go well at the Isle of Rhee; That there must be a Parliament; That some must be sacrificed, That Bishop Laud was as like as any.
The Bishop hearing of these speeches, and that they were doubled, being spoken by several persons, he acquainted the King there with; who replied unto him, Let me desire you not to trouble your self with any reports, till you see me for sake my other Friends, &c. And the Parliament which afterwards followed (said Bishop Laud) sought his ruine, which by the King's sudden dissolution there of was prevented, and the King's other Friends, by that means, not forsaken.
Not with standing these Reports, the King is resolved speedily to set to Sea divers Ships, with a further supply of Soldiers, to be sent to the Army in the Isle of Rhee; and commands to press certain Companies of Soldiers and Manners, who were to rendezvous at Plymouth, and from thence to be imbarqued and disposed as aforesaid. In order to which service, the King, by Commission, appointed the said Soldiers and mariners to be at present under the command of Charles L.Vicount wilmot. But afterwards his Majesty, by commission, did constitute and appoint the Earl of Holland to repair to Plymouth, and there to take in to his charge, and under his command, the over light, rule, order, and government vernment of all the said Soldiers and Marriners both at Sea and Land, and to see them, and all Provisions and Necessaries to be shipped, and with all conveniency to be transported and conduced to the Isle of Rhee; and a Squadron of Ships was also appointed for their transportation, and he was to deliver them under the command of the Duke of Buckingham, Admiral of England, and General of the Army.
The first news we meet with there, is, That the French (not with standing our Army at Land, and a hundred Sail of Ships at Sea) had got into the Harbour with relief of Provisions: And that Sir John Burroughs, the 20 of September, going to take a view of the Works, was shot with a bullet, where of he presently died: His death was much lamented, having been a great Honour to the English Nation, both at home and abroad.
About this time landeth Sir pierce Crossby, and some other Commanders, with about Sixteen hundred English and Irish, which came as an Assistance to the Forces before Rhee. And now Toras the Governor began to for see want, notwithstanding his late Supply, and to study all ways and means how to give advertisement to the King of France, of the low condition he was reduced unto. Sandgrein, a Frenchman, adventured out of the Cittadel, and privately escaped the Guards, and got with intelligence to the King of France: Yet Toras fearing lest he might miscarry, prevail'd with three of his men, promising large rewards, to adventure their lives, and to swim to the shore of the main Continent: Two miscarried, but the third got safe, and delivered the Message which the Governor entrusted him with. In the mean time more small Vessels got into the Harbour under the Cittadel, and was a further (though small) Supply unto them.
But the King of France was extremely allarm'd by the advertisement from Toras, and thereupon blocks up Rochel with his Army, as if he had designed the taking of it; but the main end in seeming to design the Army against Rochel, was there by to take the opportunity to be near at hand to land Forces under the favour of the little Fort, so much neglected at first, and to put Victuals into the Citadel at S. Martin's, which was at that time reduced to a low condition: And the same was effected time after time, and supplies of men and Victuals got in, notwithstanding the English Guards at Land and Sea, which now and then took some of the vessels, but never the less so much provision got in, as served their occasion in the Cittadel to the end of the Siege.
Now they Rochellers, after the had in vain continued promises of obedience to the King of France, and entertained a division among the Protestants, one Party crossing another, and finding the evil consequence of the division, they put forth a Manifesto, aud declare for England; and the Duke of Rhoan having given Commissions to raise Forces to assist the English, declareth in preservation of the Edict of two Peaces, and protesteth not to demand anything but the observation of the said Edicts. On the other part, the King of France declareth and promiseth, That he will on his part observe the said Edict : And further declares the Duke of Rhoan to be drawn to death; and declares Sobiez a Traitor, and that he that should kill him should be accounted Noble.
By this time the French had got a great supply of Shipping from the spaniard for their assistance, which, with their own, made up above an hundred Sail, (exceeding the English Navy in number) yet did avoid engaging with the English Fleet, exercising all their skill and art how to get in a good and round supply of Provision into the Citadel; and Toras the Governor employed his wit to gain him to that end, by entertaining a Treaty of surrender upon honourable Terms; and prevails with the Duke that he may first send to the King of France that he might come off with honour. The Duke consents thereunto, on condition, that an English Gentleman, an Attendant upon the Duke, might go with that party which Toras sent, and have a safe conduct through France to pass into England. And so they both go to the Court of France, where the English Gentleman was secured; but the party whom Toras sent did his errand, and, no doubt, gave the King of France a. Perfect account of their condition in the Citadel; whilst the English Gentleman was detained, that he could not do the like service for the King of England, in delivering to him what he had in command from the Duke. The French Gentleman returns to the Leaguer at S. Martin's, but by reason the English Gentleman was not permitted to go for England, the Frenchman was not permitted to go again into the Citadel.
Toras again renews the Treaty, pretending, that if he had not Relief such a day, by such an hour, he would surrender: And spun out the time so long, that in good earnest Relief got in, both of Men, Victuals, and Ammunition; and the same Vessels which brought the Relief, carried away the sick and wounded, and unserviceable men in the Citadel. So the Treaty proceeded no further; and the Enemy holds upon their Pike-heads, Mutton, Capons, Turkies, &c. To let the English see they had no want. Now we go to work with Mine and Battery; and presently also comes news, that the French had landed more Forces near the Meadow-Castle, (a place also at the first neglected, though then unmanned) And orders are given to draw out men(leaving the Trenches unguarded) to encounter the French that were landed : Which was performed with some reasonable success; but the Enemy got security under the Castle, and thereupon the English retreated, and were enforced to fight to recover their trenches, which the Enemy had now possessed, and many mens lives were lost in the regaining there of.
This last refreshment of the Enemy (being about the middle of October) caused the Duke to enter into Council, and to think of a resolution for a Retreat; which he communicated to sobiez, and tells him further, That the season is past, his Army diminished, his victuals consumed, and his Council of War had judged it fitting to retire. Sobiez answered the Duke, That the Earl of Holland's Fleet was coming with Supplies; that the Relief given was not considerable; that the Retreat would draw after it the loss of Rochel, and thereby make Sobiez guilty, of the ruine there of; but above all, it would bring an irreparable prejudice and dishonour upon his Master of Great Britain, that had made an Enterprise of so little honour and profit. Upon this the Duke continues the Siege, and shortly after resolves to storm the Citadel and Works; to which (it was said) the English Commanders were much averse, but the French Commanders were zealous for it: And so, for a farewell, Novemb. 6, a vain Attempt was made on all sides of the Citadel. In short, we lost men and honour; for the Fort was unaccessible, besides well manned with fresh supplies of men newly put in; And having lest many dead and hurt, we were forced to retire. This ill success with the advice given, that the Troops of the other Forts did increase,(the French, not with standing our shipping, pouring their Forces a main into the Island) hastened the Duke to raise the Siege and to retreat, to ship his men again for Endland.
Novemb. 8. Early in the morning, the Drums beat, and the Army prepares for a march; but scarce had the Rearguard come out, but the troops of the Enemy appeared, equal in number for Foot, and far stronger in Horse, which the Enemy had (during the Siege) landed in the Island, under the favour of the little Fort, and the Meadow-Castle, (the two places so strangely omitted at the first to be possessed by the English.) Yet not with standing their strength, and the advantage of falling upon an army on a retreat, which had endured much hardship, and received many discouragements, would not the enemy Engage in plain field, when the Duke several times drew up the Army in their march, and made a stand, in hopes of a Battel. But the wary French Commander shunned the hazard of Fight on equal terms, foreseeing a greater advantage with less hazard: For, no sooner were the English entred into the narrow Causey and Lane, having on each hand deep ditches and Salt-pits, but the Enemy observed the advantage and that the English had neglected to raise a Fort at the entry of the Causey to secure their retreat, and (yet worse) that they had not raised a fort at the further end there of, near the Bridge, to secure the passage over it, but had only raised a small Work, not tenable, on the further side of the Bridge; whereupon the Enemy advanced with great fury on a weak Rearguard of Horse, and quickly put them to a retreat; who, in that narrow Causey, disordered the Foot, and the enemy thereby took the advantage, followed close, and did much execution upon the English: Those who escaped the sword, were drowned in the Salt-pits and Ditches; and the crowd was so great on the Bridge, (the Enemy pursuing them over) that many English were drowned in the River. Yet in this discomfited condition the English took courage, faced about, rallied their forces, made up a smart Body that drew up to fight the enemy; but the French (not daring to engage but upon great advantage) were enforced to retreat over the Bridge. The English lost several hundreds of men, and many Colours, and great was their dishonour: The loss of the men was not so great, as that they were lest upon so unequal terms, where the proof and valour of an Englishman could not put forth itself. Novemb. 9. The Army was shipped, and the duke promiseth the Rochellers to come again to their relief; and presently after set sail for England, meeting with the Earl of Holland as he was setting out of Plymouth, coming with a Supply.
And now every man passeth his censure upon this Expedition: Some laying the fault upon the Duke, (1) for being too slow in his march, after the first landing, whereby the Enemy got in provision, and heartned his men.(2) In being too remiss during the siege, in not preventing provisions for going into the Citadel, by do ubling Guards at Land and Sea, when the wind stood fair.(3)In omitting to take in the little Fort, from whence (as it was said)proceeded all the misery that afterwards followed. (4) In retreating before all things were certainly prepared in order to a secure march in narrow places and passages. The Duke pleaded for him self, That he acted for the most part by the advice of a Council of War; and if Orders were given, and not observed, it was not his fault: That had the earl of Holland come with a Supply of Shipping, Men, and Victuals, so soon as he might and ought to have done, he had then, without doubt, so narrowly blocked up the Harbour to the Citadel by Sea, that no Provision I should have got into it. The Earl of Holland answered for himself, That when he was ready to have gone aboard the Fleet at Plymouth. the Ships with Provision were not come out of Chattam: and when the Provisions were shipt, time was spent before he could get them to a Rendezvouz; and when they were come to a Rendezvouz, and he ready to set sail with the whole Fleet, the Winds proved contrary. But some of the chief Commanders, when they came into England, spake somewhat loudly of other miscarriages at Rhee, pleading much on the behalf of the Council of War.
And now when the unfortunate Action of Rhee was known and published throughout the Nation, the cry of the People was so great, and the King's necessities so pressing, that it was in every man's mouth, a parliament must needs be summoned: For we have now provoked two potent neighbour Kings, and near Enemies; our Coasts and Ports were unguarded, our able Commanders worn away, or not employed: the Mariners come in multitudes to the Court at Whitehall, in great disorder and confusion crying out for Pay, and much ado there was to appease them: The Enemies come into our Harbour, survey our rivers, and the Fishermen can scarce look out: A vast number of our Ships have been lost and taken in the three years past, and the Merchants cease to build more, because they were press for the king's Service at a low rate, and not paid; and the Mariners flee from their own employment, fearing to be prest again, and our Enemies grow upon us, especially in the Eastern Countries.
A List of Arrearages for freight of Ships and Sea mens wages; Anne Reyal; Repulse; Assurance; Nonsuch; Wallspite; Adventure; Triumph; Victory; S. George; S. Andrew; Rainbow; Variguard; Red Lion; S. Esperite; Gard-Land; Convectine; Antelop; Entrance.
The Rochellers, after the Duke's arrival in England, sent theirDeputies to his Majesty for succour and relief in their distressed condition, and presented their desires in nature of a Remonstrance to the King and the Lords of the Council; wherein they gave his Majesty most humble thanks for the great assistance and comfort they had received by the Fleet sent in July last, whereof the Duke of Buckingham was Admiral, which would have been of greater assistance unto them, had the season of the year permitted their stay longer there, or that the supply of Victuals and Ammunition had come unto them which his Majesty had assigned. That they are given to understand, that there is application made to the King of Denmark, to propound the making of a Peace between the two Crowns of England and France, a thing to be wished (if really intended:) But the Proceedings of France with the Reformed Churches there, have hitherto been such, as when they spake most fair, and nothing but Peace uttered, nothing less was intended, and great advantages thereby have been taken against the Reformed Churches. But in cafe the Treaty do proceed, they humbly prayed, that then his Majesty will be pleased to insist upon the Capitulation which was made upon his mediation, and for which he pass'd his word, that the Reformed Churches should perform on their part, which they kept inviolable, till there were Forces placed and kept in Forts against them, contrary to Capitulation, and more Forces drawn down, in order to the reduction of the Remonstrants, and a Fleet unexpectedly come upon them, to destroy their Navigation, when nothing, on their part was offered in violation of the Treaty.
They did further remonstrate, That now the Forces of France are breaking down apace about them, totally to block them up by Land, and do intend to make a Barricado cross the Channel, leaving a narrow passage for the flux and reflux of the Sea, and by that means to stop all manner of Provisions by Sea; which evidently remonstrates their further ruine, if they, with all expedition, have not succour and help from his Majesty of Great Britain: For their necessities and straits are very great already, by reason their Magazines are consumed, their Moneys spent, and the Inhabitants reduced to small allowances. And therefore do beseech his Majesty, with all possible diligence to send them supply of all sorts of Provisions fit for a Siege, and to succour them once more with the Navy-Royal to interrupt the blocking up of the River; otherwise they are inevitably lost. And lastly, they did humbly beseech his Majesty, and the Lords of his Council, to have also so far pity of their indigency and need, as to permit a general Collection to be made in England and Scotland, of such persons, whom God shall move to contribute to their succour and relief. And declare, that they are resolved still to hold out, hoping yet a Relief would come that might be of advantage unto them; and they were assured thereof by the Duke of Buckingham at his departure, that he would once more come in person to their assistance.
As soon as the Houfe of Austria had incorporated it self with Spain, and by their new discoveries gotten to themselves the Wealth of the Indies, they began to affect, and have ever since pursued, a Fifth Monarchy. The Emperor Charles would lay the first Foundation of Italy, by surprising Rome: From this he was thrust by force, and respect of Religion, Hen. 8. being made Caput Fœderis against him. Hethen attempted High-Germany practising by faction and force to reduce them first to Petty-States, and so to his absolute power. In this, Hen. 8. again prevented him, by laying the Lutheran Princes under his Confederacy and Assistance. His Son, the Second Philip, pursued the same Ambition in the Netherlands of Germany, by reduction whereof, he intended to make his way further into the others. This the late Queen of England, interrupted, by siding with the afflicted People on the one part, and making herself the Head of the Protestant League with the Princes, on the other part, drawing in secret of State the countenance of France, to give the more reputation of assistance to them, and security to it self.
Spain seeing his hopes thus fruitless by these unions, and streights, began first to break, if he might, the Amity of France and England: But finding the common danger to be a fast tie, he raiseth up a party in that Kingdom of his own; by which the French King was so distressed, that had not the English Council assisted and relieved him, Spain had there removed that next and greatest Obstacle of his Ambition.
His Council now tells him from these examples, That the way to his great work is impossible, so long as England lay a let in his way; and adviseth him, that the remove of that Obstacle be the first of his intents. This drew on those often secret practises against the Person of the Queen, and his open fury in Eighty Eight against the Body of the State: Which she perceiving, following the advice of a free Council, would never after admit of a Peace; winning thereby the hearts of a loving People, who ever found hands and money for all occasions at home, and keeping sacredly all her Alliances abroad, securing to her Confederates, all her time, freedom from fear of Spanish slavery, and so ended her old and happy days in glory.
Spain then, by the wisdom and power of that great Lady, despoiled so of his means to hurt, though not of his desires, makes up with her peaceful Successor of happy memory, that Golden League; that disarming us at home by the opinion of Security, and giving them a power in our Councils, by believing their Friendships and pretended Marriage, gave them way to cherish amongst us a Party of their own, and benefit of power abroad to lead in Jealousie and some division between us and our Confederates: By which, we see, they have swallowed up the Fortune of your Majesty's Brothers Estate, with the rest of the Imperial States; distressed the King of Denmark by that quarrel; diverted Swedens assistance by the Wars with the Pole, and moving them now with offer of the Danish Crown; and now (whether from the Plot of our Fatality) hath cast such a bone between France and us, as hath made themselves, by our quarrel of Religion, a fast Confederate, and us a dangerous Enemy. So as now we are left no other assurance against their malice and ambition, but the Netherlands, where the tie of mutual safety is weakened by daily discontents bred and fed between us, by some ill affected to both our securities, that from the doubtfulness of Friendship, as we now stand, we may rather suspect from our own domestick Faction, if they grow too furious, they will rather follow the example of Rome in her growing (that held, that equal safety, honourable and more easy, dare Regnum, than Subjug are Provinciam) considering the power they have in their hands, than to give any friendly assistance to save the present condition of a State. You may therefore see in what terms we stand abroad, and I fear we are at home for resistance in no better state. There must be to withstand a Foreign Invasion, a proportion both of Sea and Land-Forces: for to give an Enemy an easie passage, and a Port to relieve him in, is no less than to hazard all at one Stake.
And it is to be considered, That no March by Land can be of that speed to make a head against the landing of an Enemy. Then that follows, That there is no such prevention, as to be master of the Sea. To this point of Necessary Defence, there can be no less than Two hundred and forty thousand pounds.
For the Land forces, if it were for an Offensive War, the men of less lively hood were the best spared; and we used formerly to make such War Purgamenta reipub. if we made no further purchase by it. But for the safety of a Commonwealth, the wisdom of all times did never intrust the Publick Cause to any other than to such as had a portion in the Publick Adventure. And that we saw in Eighty Eight, when the care of the Queen and of the Council did make the body of that large Army no other than of the Trained Bands, which with the Auxiliaries of the whole Realm, amounted to no less than Twenty four thousand men. Neither were any of these drawn from forth their Country and proper habitations, before the end of May, that they might be no long grievance to the Publick; such discontentments being to us a more fatal Enemy, than any Foreign forces.
The careful distributing and directing of their Sea and Land-forces, being more fitting for a Council of War, than a private man to advise of, I pass over; yet shall ever be willing and ready, when I shall be called, humbly to offer up such Observations, as I have gathered by the former like occasion in this Realm.
To make up this Preparation, there are requisite two things, Money, and Affections; for they cannot be properly fevered. It was well and wisely said of that great and grave Councellor the Lord Burleigh in the like case, to the late Queen; Win hearts, and you have their hands and purses. And I find that of late, Diffidence hath been in the one, and hath unhappily prevented the other.
In gathering then of Money for this present need, there are three things requisite, Speed, Assurance, and Satisfaction; And the way to gather (as, in other like cases hath been done) must be by the path-way formerly called Via regia, being more secure and speedy: For by unknown and untrodden ways, it is both rough and tedious, and never succeedeth well. This last way, although it took place as it were by a supply at first, and received no general denial, yet since, it hath drawn many to consult with themselves and others in the consequence, as it is now conceived a pressure on their Liberties, and against Law. I much fear, if that now again it be offered, either in the same face, or by Privy-seal it will be refused wholly; neither find I that the restraint of the Recusants hath produc'd any other effect, than a stiff resolution in themselves and others to forbear. Besides although it were at the first with some assurance, yet when we consider the Commissions and other forms incident to such like services, as that how long it hangs in hand, and the many delays that are, we may easily see that such a sum granted by the Parliament is far sooner and easier levied.
If any will make the succession of times to produce an inevitable necessity to enforce it is denied, whether in general by Excise or Imposition, or in particular on some select persons, which is the custom of some Countries, and so conclude it, as there, for the Publick State, Suprema lege; He must look for this to be told him, That seeing Necessity must conclude always to gather Money, 'tis less speedy or assured than that by a Parliament: The success attendeth the honour of the heedless Multitude, that are full of jealousie and distrust, and so unlike to comply to any unusual Course of Levy, but by force; which if used, the effect is fearful, and hath been fatal to the State. Whereas that by Parliament resteth principally on the Regal person, who may with ease and safety mould them to his fit designs by a gracious yielding to their just desires and Petitions.
First for the time of usual Summons, Forty days, reputed to be 100 large for this present Necessity, it may be by dating the Writs lessened, since it is no positive Law; so that a care be had that there may be a County-day after the Sheriff hath received the Writ, before the time of sitting. If then the Sum to be levied be once granted and agreed of for the time, there may be in the body of the Grant an Assignment made to the Knights of every County respectively, who under such assurance may safely give Security proportionable to the Receipts, to such as shall adventure in present for the Publick service any Sums of money.
The last and weightiest Consideration, if a Parliament be thought fit, is, How to remove or comply the Differences between the King and Subjects in their mutual demands. And what I have learned amongst the better sort of the Multitude, I will freely declare, that your Lordships may be the more enabled to remove, and answer those Distrusts, that either concern Religion, publick safety of the King and State, or the just Liberty of the Commonwealth.
Religion is a matter that they lay nearest to their Consciences, and they are led by this ground of jealousie to doubt some practises against it. First, for that though the Spanish Match was broken by the careful industry of my Lord of Buckingham, out of his religious care (as he then declared) that the articles there demanded might lead to some such Sufferance as might endanger the quiet, if not the state of the Reformed Religion here, yet there have (when he was an Actor principal in the Conditions of France) as hard, if not worse to the preservation of our Religion, passed than those with Spain. And the suspect is strengthned by the close keeping of this agreement, and doubt in them of his affection, in that his Mother and others, many his Ministers of near imployment about him are so affected.
They talk much of his advancing men Popishly devoted, to places in the Camp of nearest service and chief Command; and that the Recusants have got these late years by his power, more courage and assurance than before.
If to clear these doubts, (which perhaps are worse in fancy than in truth) he takes a course, it might much advance the Publick service against the squeamish humors, that have more of violent Passion than of setled Judgment, and are not the least of the opposite number in the Commonwealth.
The next is the late misfortunes and losses of Men, Munition, and Honour in the late Undertakings abroad; which the more temperate spirits impute to want of Council, and the more sublime Wits to Practice.
They begin with the Palatinate, and lay the fault of the loss thereof on the imputed Credit of Gondomar, distrusting him for the staying of supply to Sir Horatio Vere, when Colonel Cecil was cast on that imployment; by which the King of Spain became Master of the King's Children's Inheritance. And when Count Mansfield had a Royal Supply of Forces to assist the princes of our party for the recovery thereof, either Plot or Error defeated the enterprise for us to Spain's Advantage. That Sir Robert Mansfield's Expedition to Algiers, should purchase only the security and guard of the Spanish Coasts.
To spend many hundred thousand pounds in the Cadiz-Voyage, against the Advice in Parliament, only to warn the King of Spain to be in readiness, and so our selves weakned, is taken for a sign of an ill affection amongst the Multitude.
The spending of much Munition, Victuals and Money, in my Lord Willonghbies Journey, is counted an unthristy error in the Director of it; To disarm our selves in fruitless Voyages, may seem a plot of danger.
It was held not long ago a fundamental Rule of our Neighbours, and our Security, by the old Lord Burleigh, That nothing can prevent the Spanish Monarchy, but a Fastness of those two Princes, whose Amity gave countenance and courage to the Netherlands and German Princes to make head against his Ambition. And we see, by this disunion, a fearfull Defeat hath hapned to the King of Denmark and that party, to the advantage of the Austrian Family.
Another Fear that may disturb the smooth and speedy passage of the King's desire in Parliament, is the vast waste of the King's Livelyhood; whereby is like, as in former times, to arise this jealousie and fear, That when he hath not of his own to support his ordinary Charge, for which the Lands of the Crown were settled unalterable, and called Sacrum patrimonium Principis, that then he must needs of necessity rest upon those assistances of the people, which ever were only collected and consigned for the commonwealth; from whence it is like there will be no great labour and stiffness, to induce his Majesty to an Act of Resumption; since such desires of the State have found an easy way in the will of all Princes, from the Third Henry unto the last.
But that which is like to pass the deepest into their Disputes and care, is the late Pressures they supposed to have been done upon the Publick-Liberty and Freedom of the Subject, in commanding their Goods without assent by Parliament, imprisoning and confining their Persons without special Cause declared, and that made good against them by the Judges lately, and pretending a Writ to command their attendances in Foreign War; All which they are like to enforce as repugnant to any positive Laws, Institutions, and Customary Immunities of this Commonwealth.
And these dangerous distastes to the Peple are not a little improved by the unexampled course, as they conceive, of retaining an Inland Army in Winter-season, when former times of general fear, as in Eighty eight produced none such; And makes them in their distracted fears to conjecture idly, it was raised wholly to subject their Fortunes to the will of Power, rather than of Law; and make good some further breach upon their Liberties and Freedoms at home, rather than defend us from any force abroad. How far such Jealousies, if they meet with any unusual disorder of lawless Soldiers, are an apt distemper of the loose and needy Multitude, which will easily turn away upon any occasion in the State that they can side withal, as a glorious pretence of Religion and Publick safety, when their true end will be only rapine and ruin of all, is worthy a prudent and preventing care.
I have thus far delivered, with that freedom, you pleased to admit such Difficulties as I have taken up amongst the Multitude, as may arrest if not remove Impediments to any Supply in Parliament. Which how to facilitate, may better become the care of your Judgments, than my Ignorance.
Only I could wish to remove away a personal distaste of my Lord Duke of Buckingham amongst the people: He might be pleased, if there be a necessity of a Parliament, to appear first Adviser thereunto, and of the satisfaction it shall please his Majesty of grace to give at such time to his people; which I would wish to be grounded by president of his best and fortunate Progenitors; And which I conceive will satisfy the desires and hopes of all, if it may appear in some sort to be drawn down from him to the people; by the zealous care and industry that my Lord of Buckingham hath of the publick unity and content. By which there is no doubt but he may remain not only secure from any further quarrel with them but merit a happy memory amongst them of a zealous Patriot. For, to expiate the passion of the people, at such times, with sacrifice of any of his Majesty's Servants, I have found it—as in Ed. 2. Rich. 2. Hen. 6.—no less fatal to the Master, than to the Ministers in the end.
These and such like Considerations being represented to the King, Jan. 29. A Resolution is taken at the Council-Table, to call a Parliament, to meet the 17 of March following. And now Warrants are sent according to a preceeding Order made in this moneth, to all parts, to release the Imprisoned Gentry, and confined Gentlemen, for the business of the Loan-money: And as fast as Writs came to the Counties and Boroughs to choose Members for Parliament, those Gentlemen who suffered for the Loan were chiefly in the Peoples eye to be elected to serve for them in the ensuing Parliament, to present their Grievances, and assert their Liberties.
- Lord Treasurer,
- Lord President,
- Lord Admiral,
- Lord Steward,
- Lord Chamberlain,
- Earl of Suffolk,
- Earl of Dorset,
- Earl of Salisbury,
- Earl of Morton,
- Lord Viscount Conway,
- Lord Bishop of Durham,
- Lord B. Bath and Wells,
- Mr. Treasurer,
- Mr. Comptroller,
- Master of the Wards,
- Mr. Secretary Cook,
- Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer,
- Mr. Chancellor of the Dutchy.
It is this day Didered by his majesty being present in Council, That the federal persons hereunder written, shall from henceforth be discharged and set at liberty from any Restraint heretofore put upon them by his Daiesties Commandment: And hereof all Sheriffs and other Officers are to take notice.
- Sir John Strangewayes
- Sir Thomas Grantham
- Sir William Armim
- Sir William Massam
- Sir William Wilmore
- Sir Erasmus Draiton
- Sir Edward Aiscough
- Sir Nath. Barnardiston
- Sir Robert Poyntz
- Sir Beacham St. John
- Sir Oliver Luke
- Sir Maurice Berkley
- Sir Thomas Wentworth
- Sir John Wray
- Sir William Constable
- Sir John Hotham
- Sir John Pickering
- Sir Francis Barrington
- Sir William Chancey
- William Anderson
- Terringham Norwood
- John Trigonwell
- Thomas Godfrey
- Richard Knightley
- Thomas Nicholas
- John Hampden
- George Ratcliffe
- John Dutton
- Henry Pool
- Nathanael Coxwel
- Robert Hatley
- Thomas Elmes
- Robert Lever
- John Peacock
- Edward Ridge
- John Oclabery
- Andrew Stone
- William Spurstow
- Roger Hughes
- John Pope
- James Bunch
- Thomas Garris
- James Waldron
- John Bennet
- Thomas Sharp
- Ambrose Aylot
- Thomas Totham
- Augustine Brabrook
- Robert Payne
- Edward Talston
- John Whiting
- Thomas Webb
- John Ferry
Orders issued also from the Council to the Lord Mayor and Aldermen of London, to use moderation in the demanding of the Loan-money from those of the City of London who deferred payment. And now Archbishop Abbot, the Earl of Bristol, and the Bishop of Lincoln, notwithstanding the cloud they were under, are had in consideration by the King and Council, and Writs are ordered to be sent unto them to sit in the House of Peers the ensuing Parliament.
After the Writs of Summons went forth, the King gave direction for a Commission to raise Moneys by Impositions in nature of an Excise, to be levied throughout the Nation, to pass under the Great Seal. And at the same time ordered the Lord Treasurer to pay Thirty thousand pounds to Philip Burlemach a Dutch Merchant in London, to be by him returned over into the Low-Countries by Bill of Exchange unto Sir William Balfour and John Dalbier, for the raising of a Thousand Horse, with Arms both for Horse and Foot. The supposed intent of which German Horse was, as was then feared, to inforce the Excise which was then setting on foot.
The Council also had then under consideration the Levying of Ship-money upon the Counties, to raise the King a Revenue that way. But now that a Parliament was called, the Council held it unfit and unseasonable to debate these matters any further at that time.
A little before the Parliament assembled, a Society of Recusants was taken in Clerkenwell: Divers of them were found to be Jesuites, and the House wherein they were taken, was design'd to be a Colledge of that Order.
Among their Papers was found a Copy of this Letter written to their Father Rector at Bruxels discovering their designs upon this State, and their Judgment of the temper thereof, with a Conjecture of the success of the ensuing Parliament.
Let not the damp of Astonishment seise upon your ardent and zealous foul in apprehending the sudden and unexpected Calling of a Parliament: We have not opposed, but rather furthered it; So that we hope as much in this Parliament, as ever we feared any in Queen Elizabeth's days.
You must know the Council is engaged to assist the King by way of Prerogative, in case the Parliamentary way should fail. You shall see this Parliament will resemble the Pelican, which takes a pleasure to dig out with her beak her own bowels.
The Election of Knights and Burgesses hath been in such confusion of apparent Faction, as that which we were want to procure heretofore with much art and industry (when the Spanish Match was in Treaty) now breaks out naturally as a botch or boil, and spits and spues out its own rankor and venom.
You remember how that famous and immortal Statesman the Count of Gondomar fed King James his fancy, and rocked him asleep with the soft sweet sound of Peace, to keep up the Spanish Treaty. Likewise we were much bound to some. Statesmen of our own Countrey, for gaining time by procuring those most advantagious Cessations of Arms in the Palatinate, and advancing the Honour and Integrity of the Spanish Nation, and vilifying the Hollanders; remonstrating to King James, That that State was most ungrateful both to his Predecessor Queen Elizabeth, and his Sacred Majesty; That the States were more obnoxious than the Turk, and perpetually injured his Majesties loving Subjects in the East-Indies, and likewise they have usurped from his Majesty the Regality and unvaluable profit of the Narrow Seas in fishing upon the English Coast, &c.
This great States-man had but one principal means to further their great and good designs, which was to set on King James, that none but the Puritan Faction, which plotted nothing but Anarchy, and his Confusion, were averse to this most happy Union. We steered on the same Course, and have made great use of this Anarchical Election, and have prejudicated and anticipated the Great one, that none but the King's Enemies, and his, are chosen of this Parliament, &c.
We have now many strings to our Bow, and have strongly fortified our Faction, and have added two Bulwarks more: For when King James lived (you know) he was very violent against Arminianism and interrupted (with his pestilent Wit and deep Learning) our strong Designs in Holland, and was a great Friend to that old Rebel and Heretick the Prince of Orange.
The Materials which build up our Bulwark, are the Projectors and Beggers of all ranks and qualities: Howsoever both these Factions cooperate to destroy the Parliament, and to introduce a new species and form of Government, which is Oliargchy.
Those serve as direct Mediums and Instruments to our end, which is the Universal Catholick Monarchy. Our foundation must be Mutation, and Mutation will cause a Relaxation, which will serve as so many violent diseases, as the Stone, Gout, &c. to the speedy distraction of our perpetual and insufferable anguish of body, which is worse than death itself.
There is another matter of Consequence, which we take much into our consideration and tender care, which is to stave off Puritans, that they hang not inthe Duke's ears, They are impudent subtil people.
And it is to be feared left they should negotiate a Reconciliation between the Duke and the Parliament at Oxford, and Westminster; But now we assure ourselves we have so handled the matter, that both Duke and Parliament are irreconcileable.
For the better prevention of the Puritans, the Arminians have already lock'd up the Duke's ears; And we have those of our own Religion, which stand continually at the Duke's Chamber, to see who goes in and out: We cannot be too circumspect and careful in this regard.
I cannot choose but laugh to see how some of our own Coat have accoutred themselves; you would scarce know them, if you saw them: And 'tis admirable, how in speech and gesture they act the Puritans. The Cambridge-Scholars to their woful Experience shall see we can act the Puritans a little better than they have done the Jesuites: They have abused our sacred Patron Saint Ignatius in jest, but we will make them smart for it in earnest. I hope you will excuse my merry digression; for I confess unto you, I am at this time transported with joy to see how happily all Instruments and means as well great as less, cooperate unto our purposes.
But to return to the main Fabrick: Our foundation is Arminianism; The Arminians and Projectors, as it appears in the premisses, affect mutation. This we second, and enforce by probable Arguments. In the first place we take into consideration the King's Honour, and present necessity; and we shew how the King may free himself of his Ward, as Lewis the Eleventh did. And for his great splendor and lustre, he may raise a vast Revenue, and not be beholden to his Subjects; which is by way of Imposition of Excise. Then our Church Catholicks proceed to shew the means how to settle this Excise, which must be by a Mercenary Army of Horse and Foot. For the Horse, we have made that sure; They shall be Foreigners and Germans, who will eat up the King's Revenues, and spoil the Country wheresoever they come, though they would be well paid; What havock will they make there, when they get no Pay, or are not duly Paid? They will do more mischief, than we hope the Army will do.
We are provident and careful, that this Mercenary Army of Two thousand Horse, and Twenty thousand Foot, shall be taken on and in pay before the Excise be settled. In forming the Excise, the Countrey is most likely to rise: If the Mercenary Army subjugate the Country, then the Soldiers and Projectors shall be paid out of the Confiscations; If the Country be too hard for the Soldiers, then they must consequently mutiny, which is equally advantagious unto us. Our superlative design is, to work the Protestants as well as the Catholicks to welcome in a Conqueror, and that is by this means: We hope instantly to dissolve Trades, and hinder the building of Shipping, in devising probable Designs, and putting on the State upon Expeditions, as that of Cadiz, was in taking away the Merchant Ships, so that they may not easily catch and light upon the West India Fleet, &c.
My Lords and Gentlemen,
"These Times are for Action: Wherefore for Examples sake, I mean not to spend much time in Words; expecting accordingly that your (as I hope) good Resolutions will be speedy, not spending time unnecessarily, or (that I may Better say) dangerously; For tedious Consultations at this conjuncture of time are as hurtful as ill Resolutions.
"I am sure you now expect from me, both to know the cause of your meeting, and what to resolve on: Yet I think that there is none here but knows that Common danger is the cause of this Parliament, and that Supply at this time is the chief end of it: So that I need but point to you what to do. I will use but few perswasions: For if to maintain your own Advices, and as now the case stands for the following thereof, the true Religion, Laws, and Liberties of this State, and the just Defence of our true Friends and Allies, be not sufficient, then no Eloquence of Men or Angels will prevail.
"Only let me remember you, That my duty most of all, and every one of yours according to his degree, is to seek the maintenance of this Church and Commonwealth: And certainly, there never was a time in which this duty was more necessarily required, than now.
'I therefore judging a Parliament to be the antient, speediest, and best way in this time of common danger, to give such Supply as to secure our selves, and to save our Friends from imminent ruine, have called you together. Every man now must do according to his Conscience: Wherefore if you (as God forbid) should not do your duties, in contributing what the State at this time needs, I must, in discharge of my Conscience, use those other means, which God hath put into my hands, to save that, which the follies of particular men may otherwise hazard to lose.
'Take not this as a Threatning, for I scorn to threaten any but my Equals; but an Admonition from him, that both out of nature and duty, hath most care of your preservations and prosperities: And (though I thus speak) I hope that your demeanours at this time will be such, as shall not only make me approve your former Counsels, but lay on me such obligations, as shall tie me by way of thankfulness to meet often with you: For, be assured, that nothing can be more pleasing unto me, than to keep a good correspondence with you.
'I will only add one thing more, and then leave my Lord Keeper to make a short Paraphrase upon the Text I have delivered you, which is To remember a thing, to the end we may forget it. You may imagine that I came here with a doubt of success of what I desire, remembring the distractions of the last Meeting: But I assure you, that I shall very easily and gladly forget and forgive what is past, so that you will at this present time leave the former ways of distractions, and follow the Counsel late given you, To maintain the unity of the Spirit in the Spirit in the bond of Peace.
'Ye are here in Parliament by his Majesty's Writ and Royal Command, to consult and conclude of the weighty and urgent Business of this Kingdom. Weighty it is, and great; as great as the honour, safety, and protection of Religion, King, and Countrey; And what can be greater? Urgent it is; It is little pleasure to tell or think how urgent: And to tell it with circumstances, were a long work: I will but touch the sum of it in few words.
'The Pope and House of Austria have long affected, the one a Spiritual, the other a Temporal Monarchy: and to effect their ends, to serve each others turn, the House of Austria, besides the rich and vast Territories of both the Indies, and in Africa, joined together, are become Masters of Spain and Italy, and the great Countrey of Germany. And although France be not under their subjection, yet they have invironed all about it; the very bowels of the Kingdom swayed by the Popish Faction: They have gotten such a part, and such intercession in the Government, that under pretence of Religion, to root out the Protestants and our Religion, they have drawn the King to their adherence so far, that albeit upon his Majesty's interposition by his Ambassadors, and his engagement of his Royal word, there was between the King and his Subjects Articles of Agreement, and the Subjects were quiet; whereof his Majesty, interessed in that great Treaty, was bound to see a true accomplishment; yet against that strict Alliance, that Treaty hath been broken, and those of the Religion have been put to all extremity, and undoubtedly will be ruined, without present help. So as that King is not only diverted from assisting the common Cause, but hath been mis-led to engage himself in Hostile Acts against our King and other Princes, making way thereby for the House of Austria, to the ruine of his own and other Kingdoms.
'Other Potentates that in former times did ballance and interrupt the growing greatness of the House of Austria, are now removed and diverted. The Turk hath made Peace with the Emperor, and turned himself wholly into Wars with Asia: The King of Sweden is embroiled in a War with Poland, which is invented by Spanish practises, to keep that King from succouring our part: The King of Denmark is chaced out of his Kingdom on this, and on that side the Zound; so as the House of Austria is on the point to command all the Seacoasts, from Dantzick to Embden, and all the Rivers falling into the Sea in that great extent: so as besides the power by Land, they begin to threaten our Part by Sea, to the subversion of all our State.
'In the Baltick-Sea, they are providing and arming all the Ships they can build, or hire; and have at this time their Ambassadors treating at Lubeck, to draw into their Service the Hans-Towns, whereby taking from us and our Neighbours the East-land Trade, by which our Shipping is supply'd, they expect, without any blow given, to make themselves Masters of that Sea. In these Western parts, by the Dunkirkers, and by the now French and Spanish Admiral, to the ruine of Fishing (of infinite consequence, both to us, and the Low-Countreys) they infest all our Coast, so as we pass not safely from Port to Port. And that Fleet which lately assisted the French at the Isle of Rhee, is now preparing at S. Andrews, with other Ships built in the Coast of Biscay to re-inforce it, and a great Fleet is making ready in Lisbon; where, besides their own, they do serve themselves upon all Strangers Bottoms coming to that Coast for Trade: And these great Preparations are, no doubt, to assault us in England or Ireland, as they shall find advantage, and a place fit for their turn.
'Our Friends of the Netherlands, besides the fear that justly troubles them, lest the whole force of the Emperor may fall down upon them, are distracted by their Voyages into the East, which hath carried both Men and Money into another World, and much weakned them at home.
'Thus are we even ready on all sides to be swallowed up; the Emperor, France, and Spain being in open War against us, Germany overrun, the King of Denmark distressed, the King of Sweden diverted, and the Low-Countrey-men disabled to give us assistance.
'I speak not this to increase fear, unworthy of English Courages, but to press to provision worthy the wisdom of a Parliament: And for that cause his Majesty hath called you hither, that by a timely provision against those great imminent dangers, our selves may be strengthned at home, our Friends and Allies encouraged abroad, and those great causes of fear scattered and dispelled.
'And because in all Warlike preparations, Treasure bears the name, and holds the semblance of the Nerves and Sinews; and if a Sinew be too short or too weak, if it be either shrunk or strained, the part becomes unuseful: It is needful that you make a good and timely supply of Treasure, without which, all Counsels will prove fruit less. I might press many Reasons to this end; but I will but name few.
'First, for his Majesty's sake, who requires it. Great is the duty which we owe him by the Law of God; great by the Law of Nature, and our own Allegiance; great for his own merit, and the memory of his ever blessed Father. I do but point at them: But methinks our thoughts cannot but recoil on one Consideration touched by his Majesty, which, to me, seems so sound, like a Parliamentary Pact or Covenant.
'A War was devised here, Assistance prosessed, yea, and protested here: I do but touch it, I know you will deeply think on it; and the more, for the example the King hath set you; his Lands, his Plate, his Jewels he hath not spared to supply the War: What the People hath protested, the King, for his part, hath willingly performed.
'Secondly for the Cause sake: It concerns us in Christian charity to tender the distresses of our Friends abroad; it concerns us in Honour not to abandon them, who have stood for us. And if this come not close enough, you shall find our Interest so woven and involved with theirs, that the cause is more ours than theirs. If Religion be in peril, we have the mo t flourishing and Orthodox Church: If Honour be in question, the Stories and Monuments in former Ages will shew; that our Ancestors have left us as much as any Nation: If Trade and Commerce be in danger, we are Islanders, it is our life. All these at once lie at stake, and so doth our safety and being.
'Lastly, in respect of the manner of his Majesty's demand, which is in Parliament, the way that hath ever best pleased the Subjects of England. And good cause for it: For, Aids granted in Parliament work good effects for the People; they be commonly accompanied with wholesome Laws, gracious Pardons, and the like. Besides, just and good Kings finding the love of their People, and the readiness of their Supplies, may the better forbear the use of their Prerogatives, and moderate the rigor of the Laws towards their Subjects.
'This way, as his Majesty hath told you, he hath chosen, not as the only way, but as the fittest; not as destitute of others, but as most agreeable to the goodness of his own most gracious disposition, and to the desire and weal of his People. If this be deferred, Necessity, and the Sword of the Enemy make way to the others. Remember his Majesty's Admonition, I say, remember it.
'Let me but add, and observe God's mercy towards this Land above all others. The Torrent of War hath overwhelmed other Churches and Countreys; but God hath hitherto restrained it from us, and still gives us warning of every approaching danger, to save us from surprise. And our gracious Sovereign, in a true sense of it, calls together his High Court of Parliament, the lively Representation of the Wisdom, Wealth, and Power of the whole Kingdom, to join together to repel those Hostile Attempts, which distressed our Friends and Allies, and threatned our selves.
'And therefore it behoves all to apply their thoughts unto Counsel and Consultations, worthy the Greatness and wisdom of this Assembly; to avoid discontents and divisions, which may either distemper or delay; and to attend that Unum necessarium, the common Cause; propounding for the scope and work of all the Debates, the general Good of the King and Kingdom, whom God hath joined together with an indissoluble knot, which none must attempt to cut or untie. And let all, by unity and good accord, endeavour to pattern this Parliament by the best that have been, that it may be a Pattern to future Parliaments, and may infuse into Parliaments a kind of multiplying power and faculty, whereby they may be more frequent, and the King our Sovereign may delight to sit on his Throne, and from thence to distribute his graces and favours amongst his People.
'His Majesty hath given you cause to be confident of this you have heard from his Royal mouth; which nevertheless he hath given me express command to redouble: If this Parliament, by their dutiful and wise proceedings, shall but give this occasion, His Majesty will be ready, not only to manifest his gracious acceptation, but to put out all memory of those distastes, that have troubled former Parliaments.
'I have but one thing more to add, and that is, As your Consultations be serious, so let them be speedy. The Enemy is beforehand with us, and flies on the wings of success. We may dally and play with the Hour-glass that is in our power, but the Hour will not stay for us; and an Opportunity once lost, cannot be regained.
'And therefore resolve of your Supplies, that they may be timely, and sufficient, serving the Occasion: Your Council, your Aid, all is but lost, if your Aid be either too little, or too late: And his Majesty is resolved, that his Affairs cannot permit him to expect it overlong.
Most Gracious Sovereign,
'Your obedient and loyal Subjects, the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses, by your Royal Summons here Assembled, in obedience to your gracious direction, according to their antient usage and privilege have lately proceeded to the choice of a Speaker; and whether sequestring their better judgments for your more weighty Affairs; or to make it known, that their Honour and Wisdom can take neither increase or diminution, by the value or demerit of any one particular Member, in what place soever serving them; omitting others of worth and ability, they have fixed their eyes of favour and affection upon me.
'Their long knowledge of my unfitness every way to undergo a charge of this important weight and consequence, gave me some hope they would have admitted my just excuse: Yet for their further and clearer satisfaction, I drew the Curtains, and let in what light I could upon my inmost thoughts, truly and really discovering to them what my self best knew, and what I most humbly beseech your Royal Majesty to take now into your consideration, that of so many hundreds sitting among them, they could have found few or none, whose presentation to your Majesty would have been less repute or advantage to them: For, Et impeditioris linguœ sum, and the poor experience I have of that Royal Assembly is so ill ballanced with true Judgment, that every gust and wave hath power on me; whereby I shall not only suffer in my own particular, but (which I apprehend with much more care and sorrow) to prejudice to their common interest.
'Wherefore, dread and dear Sovereign, as low as the lowest step of your Royal Throne, I humbly bend, appealing to your great and Sovereign Judgment, for my discharge from this so unequal a burthen imposed on me; most humbly and earnestly beseeching your most excellent Majesty, for the Honour of that Great Council, and the better digestion of publick services there, and withall to avert so ill an Omen, as the choice of me in the beginning of a Parliament, ordained (I hope) for the joy of our own, and the envy of other Nations; that by your gracious command, the house may reconsult, and settle their better thoughts on some more worthy their Election, and your Majesty's Approbation.
His Majesty with most Gracious and Princely attention, hath heard your humble Excuse, he knoweth the weight and importance of your Place, but your ability to discharge it he approves, and commends the Election of the House of Commons, and therein receives the more content, because they followed the light taken from himself, who formerly made choice of you, to serve him in aplace of Trust, both about himself and his Royal Consort; the Omen can't be ill, when the People so readily follow him, whom God hath ordained to go in and out before them.
And therefore, knowing your Tackling to be strong, and finding your Sail to be moderate, and not overborn, his Majesty doth doubt, neither Gulph nor Wave to endanger your passage; but since you are duly chosen, his Majesty counsels and commands, that unto your Humility you add Resolution and Courage; they stand well together, and being joined they will arm all your Abilities, to that great employment of Service to your King and Countrey, which the Commons, by their Uniform voice, have put upon you; so his Majesty, by his Royal Approbation, doth grant unto you, and settle you Speaker.
Mr. Speaker's Speech,
It is now too long time to dispute with my Lord the King, but with all joy of heart and alacrity, humbly and thankfully meet so great a favour from the best of Masters, and the best of Men: Therefore first I bow my knee to your most Excellent Majesty, in all humble and hearty acknowledgment of this your great and gracious favour; the truth of mine own heart, (full of Zeal and Duty to your Majesty and the Publick as any man's) quits me from all fear of running into wilful Errors, and your Majesty's great goodness, (of which I have been so large a partaker) gives me strong assurance, that having by your gracious Beams drawn me up from Earth and Obscurity, you will so uphold me, by a benign and gracious interpretation of all my Words and Actions, that I fall not down like a rude and imperfect vapor, but consume the rest of my days in the Zeal of your Majesty's Service.
This great and glorious Assembly, made perfect by your Royal Presence, like a curious Perspective, the more I behold it, with the more joy and comfort I find a lively representation of that happiness we all enjoy; a better Tongue were fitter to express it, but a rich Stone returns its value, though ill set.
Here in the fulness and height of your Glory, like the Sun in the Exaltation of his Orb, sits your most Excellent Majesty (the Sovereign Monarch of this Isle) in a Throne made glorious by a long Succession of many great Princes, a Meditation worthy our better thoughts, that we live neither enthrall'd to the slavery and rage of the giddy multitude, nor yet to the distracted Wills of many Masters, but under the Command of a King, the stay and strength of the People, one (as Homer said of Kings, Multorum consilium & aliorum) not to be laid in ballance with other men; (for Kings know no Tenure but God's Service) and their value is only tried at his Beam; besides, that is a Sovereign Hereditary which maketh the Common-wealth, the King's care, as that which is his own Patrimony and Inheritance of his Children, when Elective Monarchies quickly run to ruine, and are ever made poor by the enriching of several Families.
On your right hand are the Reverend, Religious, and Learned Prelates, the Lights of the Church, fit to be set in Golden Candlesticks, and not made contemptible by Parity and Poverty; that blessing, above all the rest, by God's great goodness, and your Majesty's Piety, the Realm enjoys the Liberty of the Gospel, and the free possession of God's true Religion: Tour Majesty passed the fiery Trial in Spain, and gave us the assurance, that your Faith is built on the Rock, against which the Gates of hell shall never prevail.
Since your coming to the Crown, by your Royal Edict you have banished those Incendiaries of Rome, the Priests and Jesuites, Enemies to our Church and State, so as now they are gone to lurk in corners, like the Sons of darkness; You have given life to the Law against Recusants, and by your exemplary Piety, have drawn more to the Church: Yet, Coge ingredi ut impleatur domus mea, was his command that made the great Feast, and is the duty of Magistrates.
And certainly, Dread Sovereign, Religion will be ever a Target to them, that are a Buckler to it, strong to hold your Subjects hearts in true obedience; Our Religion never bred a (fn. 1) Ravilliac, and that execrable Villany, never to be forgot here, when all of us should have turned to ashes, was a Monster that could never be bred, but by the Devil or Jesuites.
Our Laws are excellent as they are, and surely no humane Laws excel them, nor could suit so well with the condition of the People; Justice could never keep her right Channel, nor run so clear, as in your Majesty's Reign it now doth.
I must not forget the other Lights, the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses of the Third State, who though they move more slow, and at more distance from your Royal Person, yet I am confident, will be ever found constant to the Poles of Love and Loyalty: It is a gracious favour of your Majesty, and our former Kings, (which I have thought on) that when both the Houses are humble Suitors for any thing, they are never denied; and I assure my self, your Majesty shall find your Subjects so full of duty to the Crown, and of true and loyal affection to your Royal Person, that you shall never have cause to think your greatest favours ill bestowed upon them. This Union is a greatness beyond that of the Kingdom, to which you are Heir; is of more advantage to the Island, if the Division be not among ourselves, which the God of Unity, for his Mercy's sake, forbid, and so knit our hearts in love one to another, and all of us in duty and Loyalty to your most excellent Majesty, that this renowned Island perish not for want of discretion, but may ever flourish and be like the Jerusalem of God, where his name may be ever honoured.
The first Christian Kings of Europe, that abated the swelling pride of the Pope, by banishing the usurped power over God's Vice-gerent, that first established the true Religion now professed, were all Kings of England, and the last a young one; Queen Elizabeth was a Woman, yet Spain had good cause to remember her, and the Protestants of France will never forget her.
Your Royal Father of Blessed and famous Memory, had a Reign like Solomon's for Religion, no man knew more, and no man's knowledge was of more lustre and advantage to it; this Age shall declare to the next, and all Ages shall see it in his Kingly works; yet whilst under his glorious Reign we abounded with Peace and Plenty, our hands forgot to War, and our fingers to fight; till at last your Princely Mediation, upon the humble suit of both Houses, the two Treaties were dissolved, and a foundation laid for your Majesty to steer another course.
Eritis sicut dii was the Serpent's counsel, and ruined Mankind; nor is it fit for private men (much less for me) to search into the Counsels and Actions of Kings, (only Sovereign) from a heart full of zeal to your Glory and Greatness, to say to your Majesty, The time requires you, and Religion calls upon you, to go on with the Kingly course you have begun, till the State of Christendom be set at his right ballance again.
We see the Eagle spreading her Wings in Germany, reaching with her Talents as far as the Sound and the Baltick Sea, Denmark and Sweden, in danger of utter ruine; Binssyn the Elector at the choice of the Emperor, invested, in a manner, solely in the House of Austria, our Religion in France never so near a Period, and we know from whom it is; Ille cui Monarchia Mundi, &c. and who by the ruine of us and our Religion, would make a new Zodiack, and draw his eclipsed Lines through the East and West-Indies; but he that sits on high will, in his due time, laugh them to scorn; and, as the wise Woman said unto King David, God will make my Lord the King a sure House, to continue still to fight the Battels of Jehovah, and let all England say Amen.
- 1. For the better attending of the publick and important Service of the House, our Selves and our Attendants may be free, both in Person and Goods, from Arrests and Troubles, according to our antient Priviledges and Immunities.
- 2. Next, that your Majesty, according to our antient Use and Priviledge, will be graciously pleased to allow us liberty and Freedom of Speech; and I assure my self, we shall not pass the latitude of Duty and Discretion.
- 3. That upon all occurrences of moment, fit for resort unto your Royal Person, your Majesty, upon humble suit at your best times, will vouchsafe us access to your Royal Person.
- 4. And lastly, That all our Proceedings may be lodged in your Royal Heart, with a belief of our Zeal and Loyalty, and reap the fruit of your Majesty's favourable and gracious Interpretation.
His Majesty with no less contentment than attention, hath hearkened to your eloquent Discourse, and marked your beginning suitable to his gracious encouragement and advice, not departing from your humble modesty but adding to it Alacrity, thankfulness and joy of Heart, he observes that you derive these rights from the Throne in Heaven, his Majesty looks thither, and with you joins his Prayers, that both he and this Assembly may by the divine hand and power be moulded into a joyful Union, for the safety and good of this Kingdom; next in applying your self to the Throne on Earth, of his Majesty's gracious acceptance, and of the fulness of Zeal in your self, his Majesty believes it, and not in you alone but in this great Assembly, and that both you and they may stand secure, not only from fear of wilful and pregnant Errors, but also from doubt of sinister interpretations: I may say with the Woman in Scripture, my Lord the King is like unto an Angel of God, of a quick, of a noble and just apprehension, he strains not at gnats, but will easily distinguish between a Vapor and a Fogg, betwixt a mist of Errors and a Cloud of ill wills: If the heart be right his Majesty knows that out of the abundance of the Heart, the mouth speaks.
You proceed to a Survey of this great and glorious Assembly, and in it as in a curious Cristal, you view the true happiness that we all enjoy, you have shewed and described aright, and whosoever it is that faith otherwise either hath no fight or false glasses.
We have enjoyed it long under gracious and good Princes, and the way to enjoy it still, is, to know, and acknowledge it, and that God hath not dealt so with other Nations, and a principal cause and means is, as you mention in the Form of Government under which we live, a Monarchy and the best of Monarchies, where Sovereignty is Hereditary, no Interregnum no Competition for a Crown, Dissent and Succession are here at once; the Spirit of God did long since propound by the mouth of the wisest of Kings this Beatitude, Blessed art thou, oh Land, where thy King is the Son of Nobles: The Frame of other States are subject, some to Unconstancy, some to Faction, some to Emulation and Ambition, and to many Distempers, where the people ever go to wrack, the Monarchy is most natural in its unity, the best Cement of Government prevailing most in respect of the head that commands the rest; and therefore other States after they have continued a while, for the most part are reduc'd into this, as the best for Peace, for Strength, or for continuance, but forms of Government, though never so exact, move not of themselves, but are moved of the Governors.
And therefore this our Monarchy, and this great Assembly, the lively image of this our Monarchy, are made happy and perfect in his Royal presence, in the Royal presence of him that sits here in his Throne: The Law as it is glorious in it self, so it is glorious in the happy Laws and Oracles that issue from it, but most glorious by them that sit on it, his Majesty; and his most Royal Progenitors, incomparable Kings, that with much honour have swayed the Royal Scepter of this Kingdom, so many Successions and Reigns.
From the Throne of Majesty you turn aside to the Chair of Doctrine, the Reverend Prelats and the Stars of Religion, (as they are properly called) this is (as you have well said) a Blessing of Blessings, the very Pledge and Assurance that secures all the rest, that as our Religion is most sincere and Orthodox, so our Clergy is eminent, both for purity of Doctrine, and integrity of Life, our Priests are cloathed with Righteousness, and their lips preserve knowledge, and therefore we may say with the Prophet, Let God's Saints sing for joy. I must join with you in attributing this transcendent happiness, in the first place to the goodness of God, so in the second place to his Majesty's Piety, who following the example of his ever blessed Father, is careful that all the Lamps of the Church should be furnished with Oyl, and they in Golden Candlesticks with the purest and best Oyl: the Schools and Nurseries of Learning were never so respected; Arts and Sciences did never so flourish, especially Divinity, as in these our last Ages: And as they shew his Majesty's Piety, so they are infallible Arguments of his constancy; the Tryal which you call the fiery Tryal in a place of Danger, against all the power and policy of Rome and Spain, do prove his Majesty's resolutions to be immutable, and his remarkable example in his Chappel and Closet, his strict oversight and command to his houshold-servants, his charge to his Bishops and Judges, his Proclamations and Commissions, and the like, for the execution of the Laws, and his general care to keep the Fountain clear, both from Superstition and Schism, are fruits and effects of a pious Government.
From the Chair of Doctrine you turned to the State of Honour, to the Nobles and Barons of the Kingdom; these are as Robur Belli, and the service of the King and Kingdom, are to make good with their Swords what the Church doth allow and bless with their Prayers: therefore as the Prelates are the Lights of the Church, so these be the Stars of the State; we know the Stars have fought and fought mightily against Gods Enemies.
From the State of Honour you turn to the State of Justice, and the 12 Lyons under Solomon's Throne, the Judges and Sages of the Law; and as they be particularly trusted with the Laws of the Kingdom, Laws undoubtedly fitted to the disposition of this people, for Leges Angliœ & Consuetudines Angliœ (are) Synonima & Consuetudo altera natura; so that besides their Justice and Uprightness, Law is become natural to them. A powerful point of Obedience, such Laws in the mouth of the upright and learned Judges, are like good waters in a pure Channel, the longer they run the sweeter they are, and procure that effect which Solomon speaks of, when the righteous be set in Authority the people rejoice.
From the State of Justice you come to the Knights, Citizens and Burgesses of the third State; the Scriptures are fulfilled; in the multitude of people is the King's Honour; and therefore you may be sure, that no distance of place or distance of order make a distance in affection: For wise Kings ever love their Honour next their Heart. Kings are, Pastores Populi, and the care of the Shepherd extends to the furthest as well as the nearest of his Flocks, nay he hath as much care of the least Lambs as the greatest Cattle; and as it is in the Body natural, no Member is so far remote, but it is still and continually under the Care of the Head; so in this great and politick body of this Kingdom, no rank nor order of people so flow and so far remote from the Throne, but daily and hourly they find and feel the influence and benefit of his Majesty's Care and Providence; nay the superior rank of Nobles, of Judges, of Magistrates are not ordained for themselves but as Fountains to convey the Justice, Protection and Goodness of the King to every inferiour Member, and therefore as the King is so just, so there is just cause you should be constant and Loyal to your power, and thus having perused both Houses by their special parts, you come to join them together, and in that juncture you observe the greatest denyal of their requests is, that the King will Advise; it is a remarkable note, it shews also the Wisdom and Judgment of the House, Kings not willing to deny, and the People not willing to put them upon a denial; in the one modesty and wisdom in their request, in the other moderation and sweetness in their Answers.
But that is not all, Kings deny not the requests of the House, it holds much better by the rules of proportion, that the House deny not the requests of the King, that is the antient and true Union of Parliaments, and the God of unity keep this unity; you have rightly called this an union of hearts, so then it is a present fit for wise people to present to their King; Wise and Magnanimous Kings be a special gift from God, having large Hearts capable of greatness, it is never unwelcome to them where there is unity of Heart, so greatness is above all, and therefore present it to the King and you cannot doubt of acceptance.
Having spoken of Union, you fell into a memorial of the great and glorious Actions of his Majesty's Predecessors, in the thought of this great one that remains, if I mistake not your meaning, you would have it understood, that the union of Princes and people made way to these memorable Actions of those former times, and we that wish the like in ours, should look back on our Forefathers; wisdom requires it, and that as we are the Sons of our Ancestors, so we should do the deeds of our Ancestors.
The Pride of Rome abated (as you say) by England, lifts up her horn again, and Religion, like a Vine Tree planted, and deeply rooted here, did spread into our Neighbour Countries, but lately hath lost many of her GoldenBranches.
Spain often foyled by us, laughs and insults, that by their disguised Treaties, they have spoiled the Patrimony of those Princes, Brancehs of the Royal Cedar, and now she posts apace to universal Monarchy, to the ruine of us, our Friends and Religion; but God hath prevented them, and I hope his People will still stay their course.
His Majesty as he hath a Solomon, so he hath many Davids in the Glorious Catalogue of his Royal Descent, and hath joined himself in the Blood of the greatest Princes, (as you mention) and besides it hath a victorious name suitable to his thoughts, and therefore as you have encouraged him to fight the Battels of Jehovah, so let all put to their helping hands and help, that it may be the glory of our King and Nation, for to set Christendome in a right Ballance.
And now, Mr. Speaker, to come to your Petitions that you have made in behalf of the House, his Majesty most graciously and readily grants them all, according to the true Rights and Priviledges in Parliament, which he trusts and believes you will not transgress, nor exceed; therefore you may go on and conclude of the weighty and publick business, and the Almighty God prosper your Work.
Before the Commons had entered into any Debates, this following Letter, touching the Inconveniencies and Grievances of the State, was communicated to the Members of the House, and it was called A Speech without doors.