Historical Collections of Private Passages of State: Volume 1, 1618-29. Originally published by D Browne, London, 1721.
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Friday 6. of June.
"In my Service to this House I have had many undeserved Favours from you, which I shall ever with all Humbleness acknowledge; but none can be greater than that Testimony of your Confidence Yesterday shewed unto me, whereby I hope I have done nothing, or made any representation to his Majesty, but what is for the Honour and Service of this House; and I will have my Tongue cleave to my Mouth, before I will speak to the disadvantage of any Member thereof: I have now a Message to deliver unto you.
"Whereas his Majesty understanding, that ye did conceive his last Message to restrain you in your just Privileges, to complain of any of his Ministers; these are to declare his Intentions, That he had no meaning of barring you from what hath been your Right, but only to avoid all Scandals on his Council and Actions past, and that his Ministers might not be, nor himself, under their Names, taxed for their Counsel unto his Majesty, and that no such Particulars should be taken in Hand, as would ask a longer time of Consideration than what he hath prefixed, and still resolves to hold; that so, for this, time, all Christendom might take notice of a sweet parting between him and his People: Which if it fall out, his Majesty will not be long from another Meeting, when such (if there be any) at their Leisure and Convenience may be considered.
"I will observe somewhat out of this Message; Ye may observe a great Inclination in his Majesty to meet in this House. I was bold yesterday to take notice of that Liberty ye gave me to go to his Majesty; I know there are none here but did imagine whither I went, and but that I knew ye were desirous and content that I should leave you, I would not have desired it, give me leave to say, this Message bars you not of your Right in Matter, nay, not in Manner, but it reacheth to his Counsels past, and for giving him counsel in those Things which he commanded. It is not his Majesty's Intentions to protect any Abettor of Spain. The end of this was, that we might meet again sweetly and happily.
"My Lords, his Majesty takes notice, to your great Advantage, of the Proceedings of this House upon the hearing of his Majesty's Message Yesterday; he accounts it a fair Respect, that ye would neither agree of any Committee, or send any Message to his Majesty, though it were in your own Hearts, but yield your selves to his Majesty's Message, and defer your own Resolutions till you meet again at the Time appointed by his Majesty. Yet his Majesty takes it in extreme good Part to hear what was in your Heart, and especially that you were so sensible of the Inconvenience that might ensue upon the Breach of this Parliament; which if it had happened, or shall hereafter happen, his Majesty assures himself, that he shall stand clear before God and Men of the Occasion.
"But his Majesty saith, Ye had just Cause to be sensible of the Danger, considering how the State of Christendom now stands in respect of the Multitude and Strength of our Enemies, and Weakness on our part. All which his Majesty knows very exactly, and, in respect thereof, called this Parliament; the Particulars his Majesty holds it needless to recite, especially to your Lordships, since they are apparent to all Men: Neither will it be needful to reiterate them to his Majesty, whose Cares are most attentive upon them; and the best Remedy that can be thought on therein, is, if his Subjects do their Parts. Therefore his Majesty gives you hearty Thanks, and bade me tell you, That nothing hath been more acceptable to him all the Time of this Parliament, than this dutiful and discreet Carriage of your Lordships, which he professeth hath been a chief Motive to his Majesty, to suspend those Intentions, that were not far from a Resolution.
"I rise up with a Disposition somewhat in more hope of Comfort than Yesterday; yet, in regard of the uncertainty of Counsels, I shall, not change much: In the first Place, I must be bold without flattering, a Thing not incident to me, to tell you (Mr. Speaker) you have not only at all Times discharged the Duty of a good Speaker, but of a good Man, for which I render you many Thanks.
"Another respect touching his Majesty's Answer to our Petition; First, If that Answer fall out to be short, I free his Majesty, and I believe his Resolution was, to give that that we all expected: But in that, as in others, we have suffered, by reason of interposed Persons between his Majesty and us; but this Day is by intervenient Accidents diverted from that, but so, as in Time we go to his Majesty: Therefore let us remove those Jealousies in his Majesty of our Proceedings, that by some Men over-grown, have been misrepresented: We have proceeded with Temper in Confidence of his Majesty's Goodness to us, and our Fidelity to him, and if any have construed that what we have done hath been out of Fear, let him know, we came hither Free-men, and will ever resolve to endure the worst; and they are Poor Men that make such Interpretations of Parliaments; in this Way and Method we proceed, and if any Thing fall out unhappily, it is not King Charles that advised himself, but King Charles mis-advised by others, and mis-led by mis-ordered Counsel; it becomes us to consider what we were doing, and now to Advise what is fit to done, We were taking Consideration of the State of the Kingdom, and to present to his Majesty the Danger he and we are in; if since any Man hath been named in particular (though I love to speak of my Betters with Humility) let him thank himself and his Counsels, but those necessary Jealousies give us Occasion to Name him; I assure my self we shall proceed with Temper, and give his Majesty Satisfaction, if we proceed in that Way. His Majesty's Message is now explanatory in Point of our Liberties, that he intends not to bar us of our Rights, and that he would not have any Aspersion cast on the Counsels past; let us present to his Majesty shortly and faithfully, and declare our Intentions, that we intend not to lay any Aspersions upon him, but out of a necessity to prevent the imminent Dangers we are surrounded with, and to present to him the Affairs at Home and Abroad, and to desire his Majesty, that no Interposition or Mis-information of Men in fault may prevail, but to expect the Issue that shall be full of Duty and Loyalty.
"The Commons sent a Message to the Lords, that they would join in an humble Request to the King, that a clear and satisfactory Answer be given by his Majesty in full Parliament to the Petition of Right; whereunto the Lords did agree.
"Afterward the House was turned again into a Committee, and considered of some more Heads to be inserted into the Declaration or Remonstrance, as the Design to bring into this Nation Foreign Forces, under the command of Dolbier: And Burlemack was called into the House, who confessed, he received Thirty Thousand Pound by Privy Seal for the buying of Horses; that One thousand of them are levied, that those Horse and their Riders are to come over, and Arms are provided for them in Holland; but he hears a Countermand is gone to stay them.
"Charles by the Grace of God, King of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c. To the Treasurer, and Under-Treasurer for our Exchequer for the time being, Greeting: We do hereby will and command you, out of our Treasury remaining in the Receipt of our said Exchequer, forthwith to pay, or cause to be paid unto Philip Burlemack of London, Merchant, the Sum of Thirty Thousand Pounds to be paid by him over by Bill of Exchange into the Low-Countries and Germany, unto our Trusty and Well-beloved Sir William Balfour, Knight, and John Dolbier, Esquire, or either of them, for levying and providing certain Numbers of Horses, with Arms for Horse and Foot, to be brought over into this Kingdom for our Service, viz. for the levying and transporting of one Thousand Horse, fifteen Thousand Pounds; for Five thousand Muskets, five Thousand Corslets, and five Thousand Pikes, ten Thousand five Hundred Pounds; and for One Thousand Curassiers compleat, Two Hundred Corslets and Carbines, Four thousand five hundred Pounds, amounting in the whole to the said Sum of Thirty Thousand Pounds. And this our Letter shall be your sufficient Warrant, and Discharge in this behalf. Given under our Privy-Seal at our Palace of Westminster, the 30th of January, in the Third Year of our Reign.
May it please your most excellent Majesty, the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons in Parliament assembled, taking in Consideration that the good Intelligence between your Majesty and your People doth much depend upon your Majesty's Answer upon their Petition of Right formerly presented. With unanimous Consent, do now become most humble Suitors unto your Majesty, that you would be pleased to give a clear and satisfactory Answer thereunto in full Parliament.
Whereunto the King replied,
The Answer I have already given you was made with so good Deliberation, and approved by the Judgments of so many Wise Men, that I could not have imagined but it should have given you full Satisfaction; But to avoid all ambiguous Interpretations, and to shew you there is no doubleness in my meaning, I am willing to pleasure you as well in Words as in Substance; read your Petition, and you shall have an Answer that I am sure will please you.
This I am sure (said his Majesty) is full, yet no more than I granted you in my first Answer; for the meaning of that was to confirm your Liberties, knowing according to your own Protestations, that ye neither mean nor can hurt my Prerogative. And I assure you my Maxim is, That the Peoples Liberties strengthen the Kings Prerogative, and the Kings Prerogative is to defend the Peoples Liberties.
Whereupon the Commons returned to their own House with unspeakable Joy, and resolved so to proceed as to express their Thankfulness; and now frequent Mention was made of proceeding with the Bill of Subsidies, of sending the Bills (which were ready) to the Lords, of perfecting the Bill of Tunnage and Poundage, and Sir John Strangeways also expressed his Joy at the Answer; and further added, Let us perfect our Remonstrance; King James was wont to say, He knew that by Parliaments which otherwise he could never have known.
After the granting the Petition of Right, the House ordered that the Grand Committees for Religion, Trade, Grievances, and Courts of Justice, do sit no longer, but that the House proceed only in the Consideration of Grievances of most Moment: And first, they fell upon the Commission for Excise, and sent to the Lord Keeper for the same who returned Answer, that he received Warrant at the Council Table for the sealing thereof, and when it was sealed, he carried it back to the Council Table. The Commission being sent, it was read in the House, viz.
Charles, By the Grace of God, King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c. To Sir Thomas Coventry, Knight, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England; To James Earl of Malburg, Lord High Creasurer of England, Henry Earl of Manchester, Lord President of our Council, Edward Earl of Worcester, Lord Keeper of our Privy Seal, George Duke of Buckingham, Lord High Admiral of England, William Earl of Pembroke, Lord Steward of our Noushold, Philip Earl of Montgomery, Lord Chamberlain of our Noushold, Theophilus Earl of Suffolk, Edward Earl of Dorset, William Earl of Salisbury, Thomas Earl of Exeter, John Earl of Bridgwater, James Earl of Carlisle, Henry Earl of Holland, William Earl of Denbigh, George Earl of Totnes, Sir George Hay Kt. Lord Chancellor of Scotland, William Earl of Morton, Thomas Earl of Kelley, Thomas Earl of Mellers, Edward Discount Conway, one of our Principal Secretaries of State, Edward Discount Wimbleton, Oliver Discount Grandison, Henry Falkland Lord Deputy of Ireland; To the Lord Bishop of Winchester, William Lord Bishop of Bath and Wells, Fulk Lord Brook, Dudley Ash Lord Carleton, Vice Chamberlain of our Noushold, Sir Thomas Edmonds Creasurer of our Noushold, Sir John Savil Comptroler of our Noushold, Sir Robert Nanton Master of the Court of Wards, Sir John Cook one of the Principal Secretaries of State, Sir Richard Weston Chancellor and Under Creasurer of our Erchequer, Julius Cæsar Master of the Rolls, and Sir Humphrey May Knight, Chancellor of our Dutchy of Lancaster, Greeting. Whereas the present Conjuncture of the general Affairs of Christendom, and our own particular Interest, in giving Assistance unto our oppressed Allies, and for providing for the Defence and Safety of our own Dominions and People, do call upon us to neglect nothing that may conduce to those good Ends: And because Monies (the principal Sinews of War, and one of the first and chiefest Movers in all great Preparations and Actions) are necessary to be provided in the first place, and we are careful the same may be raised by such Ways as may best stand with the State of our Kingdoms, and Subjects, and yet may answer the pressing Dccasions of the present Times: We therefore, our of the experience We have had, and for the Trust we repose in your Wisdoms, Fidelities, and dutiful Care of your Service; and for the experience we have of all great Causes concerning us, and our State, both as they have relation to Foreign Parts Abroad, and as to our Commonwealth, and People at Home (Ye being Persons called by Us to be of our Privy Council) have thought fit amongst those great and important Matters, which so much concern us, in the first and chiefest Place, to recommend this to your special Care and Diligence.
And we do hereby Authorize and Appoint, and strictly Will and Require you, that speedily and seriously you enter into Consideration of all the best and speediest Ways and Means ye can for raising of Monies for the most important Dccasions aforesaid: Which without extremest hazard to Us, our Domnions, and People, and to our Friends and Allies, can admit of no long delay, the same to be done by Impositions, or otherwise, as in your Wisdom and best Judgments ye shall find to be most convenient in a Case of this inevitable Necessity, wherein Form and Circumstance must be dispensed with, rather than the Substance be lost and hazarded. And herein our Will and Pleasure is, that You or as many of You from time to time as can be spared from Attendance upon our Person, or other our necessary Services, do use all diligence by your frequent meetings, and serious Considerations. And when ye have brought any thing to maturity, ye make Report thereof unto us, for the advancement of this great Service, which with the greatest Affection we can, we recommend to your best Care and Judgment, whereof ye must not fail, as ye tender Our Honour, and Safety of our Dominions and People: And for doing hereof, these Presents shall be to you, and every of you a sufficent Warrant and Discharge in that behalf: In witness whereof we have caused these our Letters to be made Letters Patents; Witness Our Self at Westmnster the last Day of February, in the Third Year of Our Reign.
First, it was after the Summons to the Parliament. Sure, some thought the Parliament should not be. 2. There is a Pudor in it, was kept Secret, some great Lords never knew it. 3. The End of it was Excises, for they are Impositions, and to be sure he would have the Word (otherwise) wherefore his Advice was to go up to the Lords, and desire a Conference, to complain of the Commission, and desire it may be Cancelled, and if there be any Inrolment of it, to cancel that also, and that the Projector may be found out and punished.
My Lords, the Subject of this Conference is a Commission, therefore we shall desire your Lordships to hear it read; which was done accordingly. That which I shall deliver is certain Observations out of the Patent. First, The Persons to whom it is directed. 2. The Authority that is committed. 3. The great Penalty laid on them if they do it not. 4. The Time.
1. The Persons to whom it is directed are Twenty Three Lords, and other of his Majesty's Council. 2. The Authority committed unto them, is to consider how Money may be levied by Impositions, or otherwise: It is true, it is but a Power to levy Money by Imposition; We do not find any Thing raised (that is left to your Lordships) but a Commission to levy Money by Imposition or otherwise, give us leave to fear that Excise, and whatever is comprehended in it, was intended. Sure I am, it is against the Law, it is a very high breach of your Lordships, and our the poor Commons Liberties; and yet this being ill in it self may produce a happy Effect: the King and both Houses have given a Judgment, the greatest that ever was against this in the Petition of Right, and when this Judgment is given, see how God's Goodness hath brought it to pass, that this Patent shall be part of Execution of that Judgment, to damn it for the Punishment.
I do utterly dislike that Clause, as you tender the King's Honour; That that must come to a Thing of this Nature, and it is strange to me, I cannot dive into it, I leave it to your Lordships, for the Time; it came out Seven Days after the Summons of Parliament; all knew the Parliament would descry this, but I hope it will now turn to good: I will not say it was kept secret.
That which I am to demand of your Lordships first, is, that as we having considered of this Commission, finding it ex diametro against the late Judgment in the Petition of Right, have condemned it: So your Lordships would concur with us as hitherto you have done.
- 2. That this Commission as a Thing against Law, may be cancelled.
- 3. That if it be inrolled, a Vote may be made of it; and if not, that Order be taken that it be not inrolled.
- 4. That the Warrant may be damned and destroyed.
- 5. That it would please your Lordships in your Wisdoms to take into Consideration, who is the Projector of this Device; and if he could be found out, that some exemplary Punishment may be according to Justice inflicted on him.
The House having well nigh finished the several particulars of Grievances of most Moment, resumeth the former Motion to declare who was the Cause of all those Evils, which in a Committee of the whole House was mentioned before.
The Debate was as hot as ever, and the Crimes so frequently objected against the Duke, were brought in afresh, as if they had never been proposed in the House. One made a Distinction that the Duke was The Cause of some, and A Cause of other Grievances. For the first, he instanced in the disaster of the Armies, the decay of Ports, Trade, Ships, and Mariners. For the second, he instanced in Religion. First, his Mother was a Recusant, and a Fosterer of Recusants. Secondly, Papists have Honour in his own Employments, and Papist Captains are placed by him. And as for Arminians, York House is a place of Consultation for Montague and others, from whence is like to follow Innovation in Government.
Another in pursuit of the Argument, that Papists were employed by the Duke, named Dalbeer, as the Man who betray'd our Men at the Isle of Rhee, where all was carried by the Advice of private Men, and some ill affect in Religion, and in an Assault before they came away, 500 Men were lost, and in the Retreat Dalbeer was to make a Bridge, which did so entangle them, as they could make no Defence; and all contrary to the Advice of the rest of the Commanders.
Sir Robert Philips was of Opinion to have the Declaration run thus, We conceive the Greatness and Power of the Duke of Buckingham is the chief Cause of all these Evils. We are not in a way of Charge, but of a Remonstrance.
Sir John Elliot, Sir Edward Cooke, and Mr. Selden were positively to name the Duke as the Cause of our Evils, for so, said they, he had been already declared in the last Parliament, since when the Causes are multiplied, and he hath deserved nothing better of the Commonwealth.
In this Debate there wanted no Mediators which did desire the House, for their own Ends and Happiness, to be sparing in that kind. Sir Humphrey May put them again in Mind of the King's Desire, that all personal Aspersions might be forborn, that his Majesty will take it as an Argument of their Moderation and Judgment, if they forbear in this.
Sir Henry Martin advised that the Remonstrance be so framed, as to make it passable to his Majesty's Judgment and Affection: Let him be persuaded that it comes from a publick Sense, and not from private Ends. And he vindicated the Duke in point of Religion. 'Tis true, said he, his Mother is a Recusant, but never any thing more grieved him, and never did a Son use more means than he to convert her, and he hath no Power over her; and for his own Lady whom he found not firm in his Religion, he hath used means to confirm her. As for Arminians, I have often heard him protest, and vow against these Opinions. It is true, many that have skill therein, may have some Credit with him, and make use of his noble Nature for their own Ends. One particular I know well, that some Gentlemen and Preachers of great Esteem were question'd for a matter, wherein there was some Error in the manner, of which they were presented; I told him of them and that they were questioned, and he answered me, he would do the best he could for to countenance them.
Sir Benjamin Rudyard gave his Judgment, that if the Matter be urged home, it will proclaim the Man louder than we can in Words. If we name excess of Power, and abuse of Power, it will reach to the Duke, and all others in future Times; and to a Gentleman of Honour, nothing is so dear as sense of Honour. I am witness, and do know that he did many great and good Offices to this House. If the Forfeiture of my Life could breed an Opinion, that ye should have no Occasion to complain at your next meeting, I would pawn it to you. Nor let any Man say, it is Fear makes us desist, we have shewed already what we dare do.
And because the Employment of Dalbeer had given much Offence, Sir Thomas Jermin stood up in his Defence, and said, he had given great Evidence of his Trust and Fidelity. When the Count Palatine retired himself, and the Council agreed to send a Party under Count Mansfield to make a Head, and the King sent word to the Palatine to be present in Person, Dalbeer went along with him, with one more, and being in a Village in Germany, a Troop of Fifty Horse met them, Dalbeer went to the Captain and said, we are in a Service, I will give you so many Crowns to conduct us, which was done, and Dalbeer went along with him.
In conclusion, June the 13th, it was ordered upon the Question, that the excessive Power of the Duke of Buckingham, is the Cause of the Evils and Dangers to the King and Kingdom; and that this be added to the Remonstrance.
At this very time, being June 18. 1628. Doctor Lamb, so called, having been at a Play-house, came through the City of London, and being a Person very Notorious, the Boys gathered thick about him, which increased to the access of ordinary People and the Rabble; they presently reviled him with Words, call'd him a Witch, a Devil, the Duke's Conjurer, &c. he took Sanctuary in the Windmill Tavern at the lower end of the Old-Jury, where he remained a little space; but there being two Doors opening to several Streets out of the said House, the Rout discovering the same, made sure both Doors, lest he should escape, and pressed so hard upon the Vintner to enter the House, that he, for fear the House should be pulled down, and the Wines in his Cellar spoiled and destroyed, thrust the imaginary Devil out of his House, whereupon the Tumult carried him in a Croud among them, hooting and shouting, crying, A Witch, a Devil; and when they saw a Guard coming, by order of the Lord Mayor, for the Rescue of him, they fell upon the Doctor, beat him and bruised him, and left him for dead. With much ado the Officers that rescued him got him Alive to the Counter, where he remained some few Hours, and died that Night. The City of London endeavoured to find out the most active Persons in this Riot, but could not find any that either could, or, if they could, were willing to witness against any Person in that Business. This happened to be in Parliament Time, and at that instant of Time when they were about the Remonstrance against the Duke.
Let Charles and George do what they can,
The Duke shall die like Doctor Lamb.
Whereas we are given to understand, that by the Fury and Outrage of divers dissolute and disorderly Persons assembled together in great Numbers without any Resistance made, or course taken to suppress them (by the Magistrates to whom it appertained) one Lamb was in a barbarous manner Slain and Murdered, wherewith his Majesty having been likewise made acquainted, as he is very sensible of the Scandal that may hereby be cast upon the Peace and Government of this Realm in general, when the chief City hereof, and where his own Person is resident, should by the remissness and neglect of Magistrates, in the Execution of his Laws, suffer a Fact and Misdemeanor of so high a Nature to be committed, and to pass unpunished. So he is very highly displeased thereat, and hath therefore commanded us in his Name hereby streightly to charge and require your Lordship, &c. that with all Care and Diligence you do forthwith enquire out the principal Actors and Abettors therein, and to cause them to be apprehended and committed to Prison, and to be proceeded with, and punished in the severest Manner, that by the Laws of the Realm is provided against Offenders in so high a Nature. And so, &c.
The Commons at this Time voted, that Dr. Neal Bishop of Winchester, and Dr. Laud Bishop of Bath and Wells, be named to be those near about the King who are suspected to be Arminians, and that they are justly suspected to be unsound in their Opinions that Way.
And Mr. Selden proposed, that to the excessive Power of the Duke, should be added the Abuse of that Power; and since that Abuse is the Cause of these Evils, that it be presented to his Majesty to consider whether it be safe for the King and Commonwealth, that a Man of his Power should be so near his Majesty, and it was ordered accordingly. All the Parts of the Remonstrance being agreed unto, it was perfected to be presented to the King, being as followeth.
Most Dread Sovereign, as with humble Thankfulness we your dutiful Commons now Assembled in Parliament, do acknowledge the great Comfort which we have in your Majesty's Pious and Gracious Disposition, so we think it a meet and most necessary Duty, being called by your Majesty, to consult and advise of the great and urgent Affairs of this Church, and Commonwealth, finding them at this Time in apparent Danger of Ruin and Destruction, faithfully, and dutifully to inform your Majesty thereof, and with bleeding Hearts and bended Knees, to crave your speedy redress therein, as to your own Wisdom (unto which we most humbly submit our Selves and our Desires) shall seem most meet and convenient. What the Multitude and Potency of your Majesty's Enemies are Abroad; What be their Malicious and Ambitious Ends; and how vigilant and constantly Industrious they are in pursuing the same, is well known to your Majesty; Together with the Dangers threatned thereby to your Sacred Person, and your Kingdoms, and the Calamities which have already fallen, and do daily increase upon your friends and Allies, of which we are well assured your Majesty is most sensible, and will accordingly in your great Wisdom, and with the gravest and most mature Council, according to the erigency of the Times and Dccasions, provide to prevent and help the same.
To which End we most humbly intreat your Majesty first and especially to cast your Eyes upon the miserable Condition of this your own Kingdom, of late so strangely weakened and dejected, that unless, through your Majesty's most gracious Wisdom, Goodness, and Justice, it be speedily raised to a better Condition, it is in no little Danger to become a sudden Prey to the Enemies thereof; and of the most happy and flourishing, to be the most miserable and contemptible Nation in the World. In the Discoveries of which Dangers, Mischiefs, and Inconveniencies lying upon us, we do freely protest that it is far from our Thoughts to lay the least aspersion upon your Sacred Person, or the least Scandal upon your Government; for we do in all sincerity of our Hearts, not only for our selves, but in the Name of all the Commons of the Realm (whom we represent) ascribe as much Duty, as a most loyal and affectionate People can do, unto the best King, (for so you are, and so have been pleased abundantly to express your self this present Parliament by your Majesty's clear and satisfactory Answer to our Petition of Right: For which both ourselves and our Posterity shall bless God for you, and ever preserve & thankful Memory of your great goodness and Justice therein.) And we do berily believe, that all or most of these Things which we shall now present unto your Majesty, are either known unto you, or else by some of your Majesty's Ministers offered under such specious Pretences as may hide their own ill Intentions, and ill Consequences of them, from your Majesty. But we assure our selves according to the good example of your Majesty's Predecessors, nothing can make your Majesty, (being a Wise and Judicious Prince, and above all Things desirous of the Welfare of your People) more in love with Parliaments than this, which is one of the principal Ends of calling them, that therein your Majesty may be truly informed of the State of all the several Parts of your Kingdom, and how your Officers and Ministers do behave themselves in the trust reposed in them by your Majesty, which is scarce able to be made known unto you, but in Parliament, as was declared by your blessed Father, when he was pleased to put the Commons in Parliament assembled in Mind, That it would be the greatest unfaithfulness, and breach of Duty to his Majesty, and of the Trust committed to them by the Country that could be, if in setting forth the Grievances of the People, and the Condition of all the Parts of this Kingdom from whence they come, they did not deal clearly with him, without sparing any, how near and dear soever they were unto him, if they were hurtful or dangerous to the Commonwealth.
In Confidence therefore of your Majesty's gracious Acceptation in a Matter of so high Importance, and in faithful Discharge of our Duties; We do first of all most humbly beseech your Majesty to take Notice, that howsoever we know your Majesty doth with your Soul abhor, that any such thing should be imagined or attempted; Yet there is a general Fear conceived in your People of secret Working and Combination to introduce into their Kingdom Innovation and Change of our Holy Religion, more precious unto us than our Lives and whatever this World can afford. And our Fears and Jealousies herein are not meerly conjectural, but arising out of such certain and visible Effects, as may demonstrate a true and real Cause: For notwithstanding the many good and wholsome Laws, and the Provisions made to prevent the increase of Popery within this Kingdom, and notwithstanding your Majesty's Ncuses in that behalf, presented to your Majesty at Oxford, We find there hath followed no good Execution nor Effect, but on the contrary (at which your Majesty out of the quick Sense of your own Religious Heart cannot but be in the highest Measure displeased) those of that Religion do find extraordinary Fabours and Respect in Court from Persons of great Quality and Power, whom they continually resort unto, and in particular to the Countess of Buckingham, who her self openly professing that Religion, is a known fabourer and supporter of them that do the same; which we well hoped upon your Majesty's Answer to the aforesaid Petition at Oxford, should not have been permitted, nor that any of your Majesty's Subjects of that Religion, justly to be suspected, should be entertained in the Service of your Majesty, or your Royal Confort the Queen. Some likewise of that Religion have had honours, Offices, and Places of Command and Authority lately conferred upon them. But that which striketh the greatest Terror into the Hearts of your Loyal Subjects concerning this, is, that Letters of Stay of Legal Proceedings against them have been procured from your Majesty (by what indirect means we know not:) And Commissions under the Great Seal, granted and executed for Composition to be made with Popish Recusants, with Inhibitions and Restraint both to the Ecclesiastical and Temporal Courts and Officers, to intermeddle with them, which is conceived to amount to no less than a Toleration, odious to God, full of dishonour, and extreme disprofit to your Majesty, of extreme Scandal and Grief to your good People, and of apparent Danger to the present State of your Majesty, and of this Kingdom; their Numbers, Power, and Insolency daily increasing in all Parts of your Kingdom, and especially about London, and the Suburbs thereof, where exceeding many Families do make their abode Publikly, frequent Mass at Denmark-house, and other Places, and by their often Meetings and Conferences, have opportunities of combining their Counsels and Strength together, and to the hazard of your Majesty's Safety, and the State, and most especially in these doubtful and calamitous Times. And as our Fear concerning change of Subversion of Religion is grounded upon the daily increase of Papists, the open and professed Enemies thereof, for the Reasons formerly mentioned; So are the Hearts of your good Subjects no less perplered, when with Sorrow they behold a daily growth and spreading of the Faction of the Arminians, that being, as your Majesty well knows, but a cunning Way to bring in Popery; and the Professors of those Opinions, the common disturbers of the Protestant Churches, and incendiaries in those States wherein they have gotten any Head, being Protestants in shew, but Jesuits in Opinion; which caused your Royal Father, with so much pious Wisdom, and ardent Zeal, to endeavour the suppressing of them, as well at Home as in the Neighbour Countries. And your gracious Majesty, imitating his most worthy Example, hath openly, and by your Proclamation declared your misstake of those Persons, and of their Opinions; who not withstanding are much favoured and advanced, not wanting Friends even of the Clergy near to your Majesty; nakely, Doctor Neal Bishop of Winchester, and Doctor Laud Bishop of Bath and Wells, who are justly suspected to be unsound in their Opinions that Way. And it being now generally held the Way to Preferment, and Promotion in the Chuch many Scholars do bend the Course of their Studies to maintain those Errors; their Books and Opinions are suffered to be printed and published; and on the other side, the imprinting of such as are Written against them, and in Defence of the Drthodor Church, are hinder'd and prohibited; and (which is a boldness almost incredible) this restraint of Drthodor Books is made under colour of your Majesty's formerly mentioned Proclamation, the intent and meaning whereof we know was quite contrary. And further, to increase our Fears concerning Innobation of Religion, we find, that there hath been no small labouring to remove that which is the most powerful means to strengthen and increase our own Religion, and to oppose both those, which is the diligent teaching and Instruction of the People in the true Knowledge and Worship of Almighty God. And therefore means hath been sought out to depress and discountenance Pious, and Painful, and Drthodor Preachers, and how conformable soever, and peaceable in their Disposition and Carriage they be, yet the Preferment of such is opposed, and instead of being encouraged, they are molested with beratious Courses, and Pursuits, and hardly permitted to Lecture. And in those places where are no constant preaching Ministers, whereby many of your good People (whose Souls, in this Case, we beseech your Majesty to commiserate) are kept in Ignorance, and are apt to be easily seduced to Error and Superstition: It doth not a little also increase our Dangers and Fears this Way, to understand the miserable Condition of your Kingdom of Ireland, where without controul, the Popish Religion is openly professed, and practised in every Part thereof, Popish Jurisdiction being there generally exercised and avowed, Monasteries, Nunneries, and other Superstitious Houses newly erected, re-edified, and replenished with Men and Women of several Drders, and in a plentiful manner maintained at Dublin, and most of the Great Towns, and divers other Places of the Kingdom; which, of what ill Consequence it may prove, if not seasonably repressed, we leave to your Majesty's Wisdom to judge: But most humbly beseech you (as we assure our selves you will) to lay the serious Consideration thereof to your Royal and Pious Heart, and that some speedy Course may be taken for redress therein.
And if now to all these your Majesty will be pleased to add the Consideration of the Circumstances of Time, wherein these Courses, tending to the Destruction of true Religion, within these your Kingdoms, have been taken here, even then when the same is with open Force and Uiclence prosecuted in other Countries, and all the Reformed Churches in Christendom, either depressed, or miserably distressed: We do humbly appeal unto your Majesty's Princely Judgment, whether there be not just ground of Fear that there is some secret and strong Co-operating here with the Enemies of our Religion Abroad, for the utter Extirpation thereof? And whether, if those Courses be not speedily redressed, and the Profession of true Religion more encouraged, we can expect any other but Misery and Ruin speedily to fall upon us; especially, if besides the visible and apparent Dangers wherewith we are compassed about, you would be pleased to remember the Displeasure of Almighty God, always bent against the neglect of his Holy Religion, the strokes of whose Divine Justice we have already felt, and do still fell with smart and sorrow in great Measure.
And besides this Fear of Innovation in Religion, we do in like faithful discharge of our Duties, most humbly declare to your Majesty, that the Hearts of your People are full of Fear of Innovation and Change of Government, and accordingly possessed with extreme Grief and Sorrow; yet in this Point by your Majesty's late Answer to our Petition of Right touchties much comforted, and raised again out of that sadness and discontent, which they generally had conceived throughout the whole Kingdom, for the undue courses which were the last year taken for raising of Moneys by Loans, than which (whatever your Majesty hath been informed to the contrary) there were never any Moneys demanded nor paid with greater grief, and general dislike of all your faithful Subjects; though many, partly out of fear, and partly out of other respects (yet most unwillingly) were drawn to yield to what was required.
The Billeting of Soldiers did much augment both their fears and grief, wherein likewise they find much comfort upon your gracious Answer to our Petition of Right, and to that we presented to your Majesty concerning this particular. Yet we most humbly beseech your Majesty, that we may inform you, that the still continuance, and late re-enforcing of those Soldiers, the Conditions of their Persons (many of them not being Natives of this Kingdom, nor of the same, but of an opposite Religion) the placing them upon the Sea-coast, where making head amongst themselves, they may unite with the Popish party at home, if occasion serve, and joyn with an invading Enemy to do extreme mischief; and that they are not yet dismissed; doth still minister cause of jealousie in your loving Subjects; for that the Soldiers cannot be continued without exceeding great danger of the peace and safety of your Kingdom.
The report of the strange and dangerous purpose of bringing in German Horse and Riders, would have turned our doubts into despair, and our fears into a certainty of confusion, had not your Majesty's gracious Message (for which we humbly give you thanks) comforted us by the assurance of your Royal Word, that they neither are, nor were intended by your Majesty, for any service in England, but that they were designed for some other Foreign Employment. Yet the sight of the Privy-Seal, by which, it seemeth, they were to be levied; the great Sum of Money, which, upon examinations, we found to be paid for that purpose, gave us just cause of fear, That much about the same time there was a Commission under the Great Seal granted unto the Lords, and others of the Privy-Council, to consider of other ways for raising of Monies, so particularly by Impositions, gave us just cause to suspect, that whatsoever was your Majesty's gracious intention, yet there wanted not those, that under some colourable pretence, might secretly by this, as by other ways, contrive to change the frame both of Religion and Government, and thereby undermine the safety of your Majesty, and your Kingdoms.
These men could not be ignorant, that the bringing in of Strangers for aid, hath been pernicious to most States, where they have been admitted, but to England fatal. We do bless God that hath given your Majesty a wise understanding heart to discern of those courses, and that such Power produceth nothing but Weakness, and Calamity. And we beseech your Majesty to pardon the vehemency of our expression, if in the sections we hear to your Majesty and your service, we are bold to declare to your Majesty, and the whole World, that we hold it far beneath the heart of any free Englishman to think, that this victorious Nation should now stand in need of German Soldiers to defend their now King and Kingdom.
But when the consider the course formerly mentioned, and these things tending to an apparent change of Government, the often breaches of Parliament, whereby your Majesty hath been deprived of the faithful Counsel, and free Aids of your People, by taking of Connage and Poundage, without grant thereof by Act of Parliament, ever since the beginning of your Majesty's Reign to this present; the standing Commssion granted to the Duke of Buckingham to be General of an Army in the Land in the time of Peace, the discharging of faithful and sufficient Officers and Ministers, some from Judicial places, and others from the Offices and Authorities which they formerly held in the Commonwealth: We cannot but at the sight of such an apparent desolation as must necessarily follow these courses, out of the depth of sorrow, lift up our cries to Heaven for help, and next, under God, apply our selves unto your Sacred Majesty, who, if you could bear so many thousands speaking together, do jointly implore speedy help and Reformation.
And if your Majesty would be pleased to take a further view of the present state of your Realm, we do humbly pray you to consider, whether the miserable disasters, and ill success that hath accompanied all your late designs and actions, particularly those of Cales, and the Isle of Rhee, and the last Erpedition to Rochel, have not extremely wasted that Stock of Honour that was left unto this Kingdom, sometimes terrible to all other Nations, and now declining to contempt beneath the meanest.
Together with our Honours we there lost those (and that not a few) who had they lived, we might have some better hope of recovering it again, our valiant and expert Colonels, Captains, and Commanders, and many thousand common Soldiers and Mariners: Though we have some cause to think, that your Majesty is not as yet rightly informed thereof; and that of six or seven thousand of your Subjects lost at the Isle of Rhee, your Majesty received information but of a few hundreds. And this dishonour and loss hath been purchased with the consumption of above a million of Treasure.
Many of the Forts are exceeding weak, and decayed, and want both Men and Munition. And here we cannot but with grief consider, and complain of a strange improvidence (we think your Majesty will rather call it Treachery) That your Store of Powder, which, by Order of your Privy-Council, dated the Tenth of December, 1626, should be constantly Three hundred Last, besides a continual Supply of Twenty Last a Month for ordinary expences, and were now fit (as we conceive) to be double the proportion, is at this time in the Tower (the present Warrants being served) but Nine Lasts and Forty eight pounds in all; which we tremble to think of. And that notwithstanding this extreme scarcity of Powder, great quantities have been permitted to be sold out of your Majesty's Store, to particular persons for private gain; whereof the have seen a Certificate, six Last sold sithence the fourteenth of January last, and your Majesty's Store being unfurnished of Powder, which by a contract made with Mr. Evelyn by advice of your Lords in Parliament, ought to be supplied monthly with Twenty Last, at the rate of Three pound ten shillings ten pence a Barrel, your Majesty hath been forced to pay above Seven pound a Barrel for Powder, to be brought in from beyond Seas; for which purpose, Twelve thousand four hundred pounds was impressed to Mr. Burlemack the last Year, and that Powder not so good as that by Contract your Majesty should have, by one third part: All which are most fearful and dangerous abuses. But what the poverty, weakness, and misery of our Kingdom is now grown unto by decay of Trade, and destruction, and loss of Ships and Mariners, within these three years, we are almost afraid to declare; And could we by any other means have been sure, that your Majesty should any other way have had a true information thereof, we should have been doubtful to have made our weakness, and extremity of misfortune in this kind, to appear: But the importunate and most pitiful complaints from all parts of the Kingdom near adjoyning to the Sea in this kind, would rend, as we think, the stoniest heart in the world with sorrow, and the sense we have of the miserable condition your Kingdom is in by reason thereof, especially, for that we see no possible means (being now shortly to end this Session) how to help the same, adds such a weight of grief unto our sad thoughts, as we have not words to express it: But for your Majesty's more exact information therein, we beseech you be pleased to peruse the Kalendar of Particulars, which, with the Remonstrance, we most humbly present unto your Majesty.
One reason amongst many of this decay of Trade, and loss of Ships and Mariners, is, the not guarding of the Narrow Seas, the Regality whereof, your Majesty hath now in a manner wholly lost, being that wherein a principal part of the Honour and Safety of this Kingdom heretofore consisted; and now having absolutely neglected it, the Town of Dunkirk doth so continually rob and spoil your Subjects, that we can assure your Majesty (if some present and effectual remedy be not forthwith provided) the whole Trade of this Kingdom, the Shipping, Mariners, and all belonging thereunto, will be utterly loss and consumed. The principal cause of which evils and dangers we conceive to be the excessive power of the Duke of Buckingham, and the abuse of that power: And we humbly submit unto your Majesty's excellent wisdom, whether it be safe for your Self, or your Kingdoms, that so great power as rests in him by Sea and Land, should be in the Hands of any one Subject whatsoever.
And as it is not safe, to sure we are, it cannot be for your service, it being impossible for one man to manage so many and weighty Affairs of the Kingdom as he hath undertaken, besides the ordinary Duties of those Offices which he holds, some of which well performed, would require the time and industry of the ablest men both of Counsel and Action, that your whole Kingdom will afford, especially in these times of common danger.
And our humble desire is further, that your most excellent Majesty will be pleased to take into your most Princely Consideration, whether, in respect the said Duke hath so abused his Power, it be safe for your Majesty and your Kingdom, to continue him either in his great Offices, or in his Place of Tearness and Counsel about your Sacred Person.
And this in all humility, aiming at nothing but the Honour of Almighty God, and the maintenance of his true Religion, the safety and happiness of your most excellent Majesty, and the preservation and prosperity of this Church and Common-wealth; we have endeavoured, with faithful hearts and intentions, and in discharge of the duty we owe to your Majesty and our Country, to give your Majesty a true Representation of our present danger, and pressing calamities, which we humbly beseech your Majesty graciously to accept, and to take the same to heart, accounting the safety and prosperity of your People, your greatest happiness, and their love, your richest Treasure. A rueful and lamentable spectacle, we confess, it must needs be, to behold those ruins in so fair an House, so many Diseases, and almost every one of them deadly, in so strong and well tempered a Body as this Kingdom lately was. But yet we will not doubt, but that God hath reserved this Honour for your Majesty, to resteze the safety and happiness thereof, as a work worthy so excellent a Prince, for whose long life and true felicity we daily pray, and that your Fame and never dying Glory may be continued to all succeeding Generations.
Hereupon a Message was sent to his Majesty, desiring Access to his Person, with the Remonstrance, and the Speaker was appointed to deliver it; who much desired to be excused, but the House would not give way thereunto. The House also sent up the Bill of Subsidy unto the Lords. Soon after, the King sends a Message by Sir Humphrey May, that he means to end this Session on the 26th. of June: Whereupon the Commons fall upon the Bill of Tonnage and Poundage. In the mean time, this ensuing Order concerning the Duke was made in the Star-Chamber, upon the signification of his Majesty's Pleasure.
"Forasmuch as his Majesty hath been graciously pleased to signify unto his Highness's Attorney-General, that his Royal Pleasure is, That the Bill or Information exhibited into this Court, against the Right Honourable, George Duke of Bucks. for divers great Offences and Misdemeanors objected against him, (for that his Majesty is fully satisfied of the Innocency of that Duke in all those Things mentioned in the said Information, as well by his own certain Knowledge, as by the Proofs in the Cause) shall therefore, together with the said Duke's Answer thereunto, and all other Proceeding thereupon, be taken off the File, that no Memory thereof remain of Record against him, which may tend to his Disgrace. It is therefore ordered, That the said Information or Bill, the Answer thereunto, and all other Proceedings thereupon, be forthwith taken from the File, by his Majesty's said Attorney General, according to his Majesty's Pleasure therein signified under his Hand, and now remainining in the Custody of the Register of this Court.