Historical Collections of Private Passages of State: Volume 3, 1639-40. Originally published by D Browne, London, 1721.
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The Lord Deputy hearing a Peace was concluded at the Camp at Berwick, proposed several Things to his Majesty's Consideration in this following Letter.
July 3. The Lord Deputy writes to the King at Berwick.
May it please your Sacred Majesty,
'Upon the return of Sir Henry Bruce from the Earl of Antrim, we found the Judgment he gave of that Action, no way differing, indeed totally confirming our Opinion therein; yet we held it sit to stay him here, expecting the return of my Servant, and what your Majesty might be pleased thereby to direct in that Particular. But so long had cross Winds detained that Messenger at White-haven, as with him also came a later Dispatch, wherein were the News of the Accommodation with those of the Covenant; which at present sets a Period both to the Designs of that Lord, and all others of that kind.
'And considering Sir Henry will be pleased to deliver this Letter, my Discourse needs to be the less, being a Gentleman able to represent unto your Majesty the outward state of these Affairs, which, God be praised, move still upon the Grounds of Quietness towards the Publick, of perfect Obedience toward your Majesty, and certainly so would have continued, amidst those late threatned Troubles and Distractions of your other two Kingdoms.
'If your Majesty vouchsafe to speak with Sir Henry Bruce, you may be fully satisfied in all Particulars; and in my poor Belief, it may be of use to your Service to hear him, being of right good Affection to your Person, and one whose Truth and Understanding in his own Profession, are of much clearness and consideration.
'This Testimony I must also give, as well of Captain Read as of himself, That I found them exceeding forward to serve the Crown; and, in truth, I deem both of them Gentlemen worthy your Majesty's gracious Esteem, Imployment and Trust.
'Notwithstanding this sudden turn, we resolve to use all diligence in taking the Oath of the Scots, in such sort as was formerly prescribed, as holding it still to be of very great use and advantage, a little to allay, and render less positive those Demands your Majesty perchance may meet with in the next Assembly of the Covenanters, when they find that all are not minded as themselves, nor dancing after their Pipe.
'Likewise we shall, if not otherwise directed, go on to provide (against all Events) your Magazines here, of ten thousand Foot, and one thousand Horse Arms, with all other Ammunitions proportionable thereunto.
'All your gracious Directions, tending to an universal and lasting Peace, shall be on this side punctually pursued and fulfilled; may all Affections be rightly set and inclined for the accomplishment of so blessed a Work.
'Yet admit my attention to your Sacred Person, and prosperity of your Affairs, most humbly to beseech your Majesty, not only to keep your Garisons of Berwick and Carlisle strong, and well provided of all kind of Stores, but to perfect the Fortisications at Leith; and if possible, to put in a good Power there also, of Men approved for their Faith and Zeal to the Service of your Crown: for so total a defection as hath appeared in that People, is not to be trusted with your Sacred Person over-early, if at all; and this the rather, for that I conceive your Designs, and Royal Purposes thus sustained, will have also an excellent furtherance and operation amongst the Subjects in England.
'I should not write thus much, but that I full well know the Goodness, Wisdom, and Secresy of my Master, having otherwise sufficiently contracted already the ill-will of many of the Scotisb Nation: Howbeit for which Transgressions, in good Faith I know not, the best is I apprehend not much, being already seated so low, as I have not far to fall. God long preserve your Majesty.
most faithful, and most humble
Subject and Servant,
His Majesty whilst he resided at Berwick, took into his serious consideration, the sending of a High Commissioner into Scotland, both to the Assembly and Parliament, which were to meet, according to the Articles of Pacification, in August next, His Majesty did much press Marquess Hamilton to go upon that Employment; but he did earnestly excuse himself, and begged of his Majesty not to think further of it. Which Excuse prevailed with the King, and thereupon his Majesty sent into Scotland for Traquair to come to the Court at Berwick; and about the middle of July he came accordingly; and between his Majesty and him there were many Consultations about his Instructions.
Now whilst the King remained at Berwick, he sent for fourteen of the principal Covenanters to come to the Court and wait upon him: And whilst the King expected their coming, he gave Instructions to Marquess Hamilton to try what he could do to gain upon those Lords when they came to the Court, and to discover from them the bottom of their Intentions, when the Assembly and Parliament did meet, especially as to Bishops, &c
The Scots begun to be jealous that these fourteen Lords thus sent for to wait upon the King (being the Principal Men of that Kingdom, engaged in Zeal for the Covenant) and of great Interest in their Army; that if by the Scots Enemies at Court the King should be prevailed with to send them Prisoners to London, it might discompose all their Affairs both in the Army and Kingdom, not knowing what Incendiaries about the Court might further prevail against those Lords; so the Scots only sent three of the number whom his Majesty desired, viz. Montrose, Lowdon, and Lowthian, which the King took in great indignation; that when he had declared himself in his Treaty at the Camp to adventure his Person with them at the Assembly appointed to meet at Edinburgh in August following; and that they the Scots should not adventure those Lords to come to him whom he had sent for, put the King upon a Resolution not to go to their Assembly.
The three Lords before-mentioned, after they came to Court, and after Discourse with them by Marquess Hamilton, were much mollified, but Montrose was only perfectly gained to the King.
The Draught of Traquair's Instructions were finished on the 27th of July at Berwick, and signed by the King, in order to pass the great Seal; but he did not receive the same under Seal till afterwards. For on the 28th of July the King took Post at Berwick, and having rid 260 miles in four days, arrived at Theobalds and London on the first of August.
Traquair's Instructions Passed the Seal on the 6th of August, and he was immediately dispatched Post into Scotland, to be at the meeting of the Assembly at Edinburgh. The Instructions were to the effect following.
Instructions for the Earl of Traquair, Lord High Commissioner for Scotland.
'At the first meeting of the Assembly, before it be brought in dispute who shall preside, you shall appoint him who was Moderator in the last Assembly, to preside in this till a new Moderator be chosen.
'We allow that Lay-Elders shall be admitted Members of this Assembly; but in case of the Election of Commissioners for Presbyteries, the Lay-Elders have had Voice, you shall declare against the informality thereof; as also against Lay-Elders having Voice in fundamental Points of Religion.
'At the first opening of the Assembly, you shall strive to make the Assembly sensible of our Goodness, that notwithstanding all that is past, whereby we might have been justly moved not to hearken to their Petitions, yet we have been graciously pleased to grant a free General Assembly; and for great and weighty Considerations, have commanded the Arch-Bishops and Bishops not to appear at this Assembly.
'You shall not make use of the Assessors in publick, except you find you shall be able to carry their having Vote in the Assembly.
'You shall labour to your utmost that there be no Question made about the last Assembly; and in case it come to the worst, whatever shall be done in Ratification, or with relation to the former Assembly, our Will is, That you declare the same to be done as an Act of this Assembly, and that you consent thereto only upon these terms, and no ways as having any relation to the former Assembly.
'You shall by all means shun the Dispute about our Power in Assemblies; and if it shall be urged, or offered to be disputed, whether we have the negative Voice, or the sole power of indicting, and consequently of dissolving, except you see clearly that you can carry the same in our Favour, stop the Dispute; and rather than it be decided against us, stop the course of the Assembly until we be advertised.
'For the better facilitating of our other Services, and the more peaceable and plausible Progress in all Businesses recommended to you, we allow you at any time you shall find most convenient, after the opening of the Assembly, to declare, That not withstanding our own Inclination, or any other Considerations, we are contented, for our Peoples full Satisfaction, to remit Episcopacy and the Estate of Bishops to the freedom of the Assembly; but so, as no respect be had to the determination of the Point in the last Assembly.
But in giving way to the abolishing of Episcopacy, be careful that it be done without the appearing of any Warrant from the Bishops; and if any offer to appear for them, you are to enquire for their Warrant, and carry the Dispute so, as the conclusion seem not to be made in prejudice of Episcopacy as unlawful, but only in satisfaction to the People for fetling the present Disorders, and such other Reasons of State: But herein you must be careful that our Intentions appear not to any.
'You shall labour, that Ministers deposed by the last Assembly, or Commisions flowing from them, for no other cause but the subscribing the Petition or Declinator against the last Assembly be upon their submission to the determination of this Assembly, reponed in their own Places; and such other Ministers as are deposed for no other Faults, that they be tried of new; and if that cannot be, strive that Commissions may be directed from this Assembly for trying and censuring them, according to the nature of their Process.
That immediately upon the conclusion of this Assembly, you indict another at some convenient time, as near the expiring of the Year as you can; and if you find that Aberdeen be not a Place agreeable, let Glasgow be the Place; and if that cannot give content, let it be elsewhere
The General Assembly is not to meddle with any thing the tis civil, or which formerly hath been established by Act of Parliament, but upon his Majesty's special Command or Warrant.
We will not allow of any Commissioner from the Assembly, nor no such Act as may give ground for the continuing of the Tables or Conventicles.
In case Episcopacy be abolished at this Assembly, you are to labour that we may have the Power of chusing of so many Ministers as may represent the fourteen Bishops in Parliament; or if that cannot be, that fourteen others whom we shall present be agreed to, with a power to chuse the Lords of the Articles for the Nobility for this time, until the Business be further considered upon.
We allow that Episcopacy be abolished for the Reasons contained in the Articles, and the Covenant 1580, for satisfaction of our People be subscribed, provided it be so conceived, that thereby our Subjects be not forced to abjure Episcopacy as a point of Popery, or contrary to God's Law, or the Protestant Religion; but if they require it to be abjured, as contrary to the Constitution of the Church of Scotland, you are to give way to it rather than to make a breach.
After all Assembly-Business is ended, and immediately before Prayers, you shall, in the fairest way you can, protest, That in respect of his Majesty's Resolution of not coming in Person, and that his Instructions to you were upon short advertisement, where upon many things may have occurred, wherein you have not had his Majesty's Pleasure; and for such other Reasons as occasion may furnish, you are to protest, That in cafe any thing hath escaped you, or hath been condescended upon in this present Assembly prejudicial to his Majesty's Service, that his Majesty may be heard for redress thereof in his own Time and Place.
At Berwick the 27th of July, 1639.
At this time the King writ this following Letter to the Arch-Bishop of St. Andrews.
Right trusty and well-belowed Counsellory and reverend, Father in God, We greet you well.
The King writes to the Arch-Bishop of St. Andrews.
'Your Letter, and the rest of the Bishops (sent by the Elect of Cathness) to my Lord of Canterbury, hath been by him communicated to us : And after serious consideration of the Contents thereof, we have thought fit our self to return this Answer to you for Direction, according to our Promise, which you are to communicate to the rest of your Brethren.
'We do in part approve of what you have advised, concerning the prorogating of the Assembly and Parliament, and must acknowledge it to be grounded upon Reason enough, were Reason only to be thought on in this Business, but considering the present state of our Affairs, and what we have promised in the Articles of Pacification, we may not (as we conceive) without great prejudice to our self and Service condescend thereunto; wherefore we are resolved (rather necessitated) to hold the Assembly and Parliament at the Time and Place appointed; and for that end we have nominated the Earl of Traquair our Commissioner : to whom we have given Instructions, not only how to carry himself at the same, but a Charge also to have a special care of your Lordships, and those of the inferior Clergy, who have suffered for their Duty to God, and Obedience to our Commands. And we do hereby assure you, That it shall be still one of our chiefest Studies how to rectify and establish the Government of that Church aright, and to repair your Losses, which we desire you to be most confident of.
'As for your meeting to treat of the Affairs of the Church, we do not fee at this time how that can be done; for within our Kingdom of Scotland we cannot promise you any place of Safety; and in any other of our Dominions we cannot hold it convenient, all things considered; wherefore we conceive that the best way would be for your Lordships to give in, by way of Protestation or Remonstrance, your Exceptions against this Assembly and Parliament to our Commissioner, which may be sent by any mean Man, so he be trusty, and deliver it at his entring into the Church; but we would not have it to be either read or argued in this Meeting, where nothing but Partiality is to be expected, but to be represented to us by him; which we promise to take so into consideration, as becometh a Prince sensible of his own Interest and Honour, joined with the Equity of your Desires; and you may rest secure, that though perhaps
'we may give way for the present to that which will be prejudicial both to the Church and our own Goverment, yet we shall not leave thinking in time how to remedy both.
'We must likewise intimate unto you, That we are so far from conceiving it expedient for you, or any of my Lords of the Clergy, to be present at this Meeting, as we do absolutely discharge your going thither; and for your absence this shall be to you, and every of you, a sufficient Warrant: In the interim, your best course will be to remain in our Kingdom of England till such time as you receive our further Order, where we shall provide for your Subsistence; though not in that measure as we could with, yet in such a way as you shall not be in want.
'Thus you have our Pleasure briefly signified unto you, which we doubt not but you will take in good part: You cannot but know, that what we do in this we are necessitated to; so we bid you farewel.
Whitehall, Aug. 6. 1639.
Afterwards the Bishop of St. Andrews and other Bishops, on the 11th of August, finished a Declinator, and signed the same with their own Hands, and sent it to the Earl of Traquaire.
The Bishops Declinator, Aug. 10, 11.
'Whereas his Majesty, out of his surpassing Goodness, was pleased to indict another national Assembly for rectifying the present Disorders in the Church, and repealing the Acts concluded in the late pretended Assembly at Glasgow against all Right and Reason, charging and commanding us the Arch-Bishops and Bishops of the Church of Scotland, and others that have Place therein, to meet at Edinburgh the 12th of August instant, in hopes that by a peaceable Treaty and Conference Matters should have been brought to a wished Peace and Unity; and that now we perceive all those Hopes disappointed, the Authors of the present Schism and Division proceeding in their wonted Courses of Wrong and Violence, as hath appeared in their presumptuous Protestation against the said Indiction; and in the business they have made throughout the Country for electing Ministers and Laicks of their Faction to make up the said Assembly; whereby it is evident that the same or worse Effects must needs ensue upon the present Meeting, than were seen to follow the former. We therefore the Underscribers, for discharge of our Duties to God, and to the Church committed to our Government under our Sovereign Lord the King's Majesty, protest, as in our former Declinator, as well for our selves, as in Name of the Church of Scotland, and so many as shall adhere to this our Protestation, That the present pretended Assembly be holden and reputed null in Law, as consisting and made up partly of Laical Persons that have no Office in the Church of God, partly of refractory, schismatical, and perjured Ministers, that contrary to their Oaths and Subscriptions, from which no human Power could absolve them, have filthily resiled, and so made themselves to the present and future Ages most infamous; and that no Church-man be bound to appear before them, nor any Citation, Admonition, Certification, or Act whatsoever proceeding from the said pretended meeting, be prejudicial to the Jurisdiction, Liberties, Privileges, Rents, Possessions, and Benefices belonging to the Church, nor to any Acts of former General Assemblies, Acts of Council or Parliament made in favour thereof; but to the contrary, that all such Acts and Deeds, and every one of them, are and shall be reputed unjust, partial, and illegal, with all that may follow thereupon.
And this our Protestation we humbly desire may be presented to his Majesty, whom we do humbly supplicate, according to the Practice of Christian Emperors in antient Time, to convene the Clergy of his whole Dominions for remedying of the present Schism and Division, unto whose Judgment and Determination we promise to submit our selves and all our Proceedings.
Given under our Hands at Morpeth, Berwick, and Holy-Island, the 10th and 11th of August, 1639.
- St. Andrews.
- Wal. Brechinen.
- Da. Edinburgh.
- Ja. Lismoren.
- Jo. Rossen.
- Ad. Aberdeen.
- Tho. Galloway.
About the middle of August the Assembly meeting at Edinburgh, the Earl of Traquaire came thither as Lord High Commissioner, and, found the Pulse of the Assembly to beat against the Service-Book and Book of Canons, taxing them with Popery, and the High Commission with Tyranny, and that Episcopacy must be abolished; of all which the Earl of Traquaire gave the King an Account. Whereupon his Majesty writ unto him to the effect following.
The King writes to Traquaire, and gives him positive Instructions how further to proceed.
'We have hitherto commanded Hamilton to answer several of your Letters, but that of the 16th of August being of more weight than any of your former, we have thought sit to answer it our self.
'And whereas you say, That nothing will satisfy them, except in terminis the last Assembly be named and ratified, or that way be given to the discharging of Episcopacy as abjured in that Church, as contrary to the Consession of Faith 1580, and the Constitutions of the same, you being yet in some hope that the word Abjured may be got changed; and that in drawing up the words of the Act, it be only condemned as contrary to the Constitution of the Church: We in this point leave you to your Instruction, they being full, if you consider what we have said concerning Episcopacy, and subscribing the Consession of Faith 1580, we thinking it fit to declare hereupon unto you, That let their madness be what it will, further than we have declared in our Instructions, in these Points we will not go.
'For the Service-Book and Book of Canons, tho we have been and are content they be discharged, yet we will never give our Voice nor Assent that they be condemned, as containing divers Heads of Popery and Superstition: In like manner, though we have been, and are content that the High-Commission be discharged, yet we will never acknowledge that it is without Law, or destructive to the Civil and Ecclesiastical Judicatories of that our Kingdom: Nor that the Five Articles of Perth, though discharged with our Approbation, be condemned, as contrary to the foresaid Confession. As concerning the late Assemblies, we cannot give our Consent to have them declared null, since they were so notoriously our Father (of happy Memory) his Acts; it seeming strange, that we having condescended to the taking away of these things that they complained of, which were done in those Assemblies, they will not be content therewith without laying an Aspersion on our Father's Actions. Wherefore if the Assembly will, in despite of your endeavour, conclude contrary to this, you are to protest against their Proceedings in these Points, and be sure not to ratify them in Parliament.
'Concerning the yearly Indiction of General Assemblies and the Confession of Faith, we commanded Hamilton, in his of the 16th, to answer that Point to this effect, That we think it infinitely to our prejudice that we should consent to tie our self for the keeping yearly of their Assemblies, not needing to repeat the Reasons, they being well enough known to you; seeing at Berwick it was conceived upon debate of that Point, That your having Power to indict a new one within the Year, would save that Dispute, which you are by all means to eschew. But if this will not give satisfaction, you are by no means to give your Assent to any such Act, nor to ratify the same in Parliament.
'The Article in your Instructions, which is only that the Covenant 1580 shall be subscribed, you must have an especial care of, and how you proceed therein; That the Bond be the same which was in our Father's time, mutatis mutandis; and that you give your Assent no other ways to the interpretations thereof, than may stand with our future Intentions well known to you; nor is the same otherwise to be ratified in Parliament.
'Thus you have our Pleasure fully signified in every particular of your Letter; which you will find no ways contrary to our Resolution taken at Berwick, and our Instructions given to you there. But if the madness of our Subjects be such, that they will not rest satisfied with what we have given you Power and Authority to condescend to, which notwithstanding all their Insolencies we shall allow you to make good to them, we take God to witness, That what misery soever shall fall to the Country hereafter, it is no Fault of ours, but their own Procurement. And hereupon we do command you, That if you cannot compose this Business according to our Instructions, and what we have now written, that you prorogue the Parliament till the next Spring; and that you think upon some course how you may make publickly known to all our Subjects, what we had given you Power to condescend to. And because it is not improbable that this way may produce a present Rupture, you are to warn and assist Ruthwen for the defence of the Castle of Edinburgh; and to take in general the like care of all our Houses and Forts in that Kingdom; and likewise to advertise all such who are affected to our Service, that timously they may secure themselves; and so we bid you heartily farewel.
The greatest Point gained in the Assembly, was an Explication of a Bond of Defence, which was conceived in these Words.
The Explication of the Bond of Defence.
We do Swear, not only our mutual Concurrence and Assistance for the Cause of Religion; and to the utmost of our Power, with our Means and Lives, to stand to the Defence of our dread Sovereign and his Authority, in the Preservation and Defence of the said True Religion, Liberties, and Laws of this Kirk and Kingdom; but also in every Cause which may concern his Majesty's Honour, We shall (according to the Laws of this Kingdom, and Duty of good Subjects) concur with our Friends and Followers in quiet manner, or in Arms, as we shall be required of his Majesty's Council, or any having his Authority.
And as to Episcopacy, it was worded, it was unlawful in the Church of Scotland: whereupon the Covenanters presented to the Commissioner and Council their Covenant, with a desire that it might be signed. And it was accordingly done, but his Majesty was no ways satisfied with this, as hereafter appears.
The said Parliament at Edinburgh, the day appointed for their meeting, consented for that time that Traquair, as Commissioner, should name those Lords of the Articles that were for the Nobility, who should have been named by the Bishops, but protested it should be no Precedent for the future; and they went on roundly to take away the Lords of the Articles totally.
October 30. The Parliament prorogued to November 14.
But Traquair finding he could not keep close to his Instructions, to the Letter of which he resolved to adhere, did prorogue the Parliament to ths 14th of November.
The Covenanters protest against the legality of any Prorogation without consent of Parliament. Which Protestation followeth in these Words.
The Scots Protestation against the Prorogation of the Parliament, August 1639.
Whereas John Earl of Traquair, his Majesty's Commissioner, having closed the Assembly, and fitting in Parliament with them, did now take upon him, without their Consent, or Offence given, to prorogate the Parliament upon a private Warrant; this being a new and unusual way, without Precedent in this Kingdom heretofore, once being convened, have continuation by the express content of the Estates. We therefore declare, That any Prorogation made by the Commissioner's Grace, without content of Parliament, shall be of no Force, and the Actors to be censured in Parliament. And knowing that Declarations have been published against us, and our Proceedings made odious to such as do not consider that we are not private Subjects, but a Sitting Parliament: We therefore declare, That whatsoever we might do lawfully in sitting still, yet we have resolved for the present to make Remonstrance to his Majesty, and some of each Estate to remain still at Edinburg to attend his Gracious Answer. And if it shall happen that our malicious Enemies do notwithstanding prevail against us, we prosess our selves free of the Outrages and Insolencies that may be committed; in the mean time we do our best to prevent Confusion and Misery.
And the Committee appointed to expect the King's Answer, were, the Earls of Lothian and Dalhouse; the Lords Yester, Balmerino, Cranston, and Napier; for the Barons, the Commissioners of the Lothians, Fife, and Twedale; the Boroughs named the Commissioners of Edinburgh, Lithgow, Sterling, Haddington, and Dunbar, to attend at Edinburgh the return of his Majesty's Answer.
The Scots Deputies come to the King at Whitehall.
Their Deputies came to the King at Whitehall, the Earl of Dunfermling and the Lord Loudon; but coming without Warrant from the King's Commissioner Traquair, they were in disdain commanded home again without Audience.
The King commands Traquair to prorogue the Parliament to the second of June 1640; and commands him to come up to give to the Council an account of the most considerable Matters proposed in that Parliament. The end of whose Design was (as the Covenanters gave out) to foment a War, and to engage the King in Person. But he had a cold Reception, the King being highly displeased with his Subscription of the Covenant. But he complained he could have no Assistance from them if he had not done it; and that it was impossible to prevail with those People, except by Force or a total Compliance.
And he to recover himself, was the more earnest to press the King to a new Invasion.
Traquair helps the King to the Letter directed to the French King.
He also furnished the King with a great many Grounds for justifying his Proceedings against the Covenanters; a chief one being a Letter he had got which the Covenanters had written to the French King, desiring his Protection and Assistance; which was High Treason by the Law of Scotland, as being a Treaty with a Foreign Prince, without the King's Permission. And upon these Grounds it was that the Earl of Traquair was afterwards pursued as the grand Incendiary.
Afterwards the Covenanters sent up their Petition to his Majesty by one Cunningham, desiring a permission to send some of their Number for their own Vindication. Which his Majesty granting, the Earl of Loudon and Dunfermling were again sent up.
Some of the Principal Acts of the General Assembly, which sat at Edingburgh in the Month of August, 1639.
Sess 8. Aug. 17. 1639.
Mr. George Grahame his Renouncing and Abjuring of Episcopacy.
The which day there was given in to the Assembly, direct from Mr. George Graham, sometimes pretended Bishop of Orkney, an Abjuration of Episcopacy, subscribed with his Hand; which was publickly read, and entred in the Assembly- Books, ad perpetuam rei memoriam, whereof the Tenor follows.
'To all and sundry whom it effeirs, to whose knowledge these Presents shall come, especially to the Reverend and Honour able Members of the future Assembly, to be holden at Edinburgh the 12th day of Aug.1639. Me Mr. George Graham, some time pretended Bishop of Orkney, being sorry and grieved at my Heart, that I should ever, for any worldly respect, have embraced the Order of Episcopacy, the same having no Warrant from the Word of God, and being such an Order, as hath had sensibly many fearful and evil Consequences in many parts of Christendom, and particularly within the Kirk of Scotland, as by doleful and deplorable Experience this day is manifest, to have disclaimed, like as I by the Tenor hereof do altogether disclaim and abjure all Episcopal Power and Jurisdiction, with the whole Corruptions thereof, condemned by lawful Assemblies in the said Kirk of Scotland; in regard the same is such an Order as is also abjured within the said Kirk, by virtue of that National Oath which was made in the Years 1580, and 1581, promising and swearing, by the great Name of the Lord our God, That I shall never whilst I live, directly or indirectly, exercise any such Power within the Kirk; neither yet shall I ever approve or allow the same, not so much as in my private or publick Discourses, but on the contrary, shall stand and adhere to all the Acts and Constitutions of the late Assembly holden at Glasgow, Novemb.21.1638. and shall concur to the uttermost of my power, sincerely and faithfully, as occasion shall offer, in executing the said Acts, and in advancing the Work of Reformation within this Land, to the Glory of God, the Peace of the Country, and the Comfort and Contentment of all good Christians, as God shall be my help. In testimony of the which Premises, I have subscribed these Presents with my Hand at Breekness in Stronnes, the 11th day of February,in the Year of God 1639, before these Witnesses, Mr. Walter Stuart Minister at Southronnaldsay, Mr. James Heynd Minister at Kirkwall, Mr. Robert Pierson Minister at Frith, and Mr. Patrick Graham Minister at Holm, my Son.
Sess. 8. Aug. 17. 1639.
Act containing the Causes and Remedy of the by-gone Evils of this Kirk.
'The King's Majesty having graciously declared, That it is his Royal Will and Pleasure, that all Questions about Religion, and matters Ecclesiastical, be determined by Assemblies of the Kirk; having also by publick Proclamation indicted this free national Assembly, for setling the Distraction of this Kirk, and for establishing a perfect Peace, against such Divisions and Disorders as have bin sore displeasing to his Majesty, and grievous to all his good Subjects.
'And now his Majesty's Commission, John Earl of Traquair, intrusted and authorized with a full Commission, being present, and sitting in this Assembly, now fully convened, and orderly constitute in all the Members thereof, according to the Order of this Kirk, having at large declared his Majesty's Zeal to the reformed Religion, and his Royal Care and Tender Affection to this Kirk, where his Majesty had both his Birth and Baptism, his great displeasure at the manifold Distractions and Divisions of this Kirk and Kingdom, and his desires to have all our Wounds perfectly cured, with a fair and fatherly Hand. And altho in the way approved by this Kirk, trial hath bin taken in former Assemblies before, from the Kirk. Registers, to our full satisfaction; yet the Commissioner's Grace making particular enquiry from the Members of the Assembly now solemnly convened, concerning the real and true Causes of so many and great Evils as this time past had so sore troubled the Peace of this Kirk and Kingdom, it was represented to his Majesty's Commissioner by this Assembly, that besides many other, the main and most material Causes were,
'First, The pressing of this Kirk by the Prelates with a Service-Book, or Book of Common Prayer, without Warrant or Directions from the Kirk; and containing, besides the Popish Frame thereof, divers Popish Errors and Ceremonies, and the Seeds of manifold gross Superstitions and Idolatry, with a Book of Canons, without Warrant or Direction from the General Assembly, establishing a tyrannical Power over the Kirk in the Persons of Bishops, and overthrowing the whole Discipline and Government of the Kirk by Assemblies; with a Book of Consecration and Ordination, without Warrant or Authority Civil or Ecclesiastical, appointing Offices in the House of God, which are not warranted by the word of God, and repugnant to the Discipline and Acts of the Kirk; and with the High-Commission, erected without consent of the Kirk, and subverting the Jurisdiction and ordinary Judicatories of this Kirk; and giving to Persons merely Ecclesiastical, the power of both Swords; and to Persons merely Civil, the power of the Keys and Kirk Censures.
A second Cause was the Articles of Perth, viz. The Observation of Festival Days, kneeling at the Communion, Confirmation, Administration of the Sacraments in private Places, which are brought in by a null Assembly, and are contrary to the Confessions of Faith, as it was meant and subscribed Anno 1580, and divers times since, and to the Order and Constitutions of this Kirk.
'Thirdly, The changing of the Government of the Kirk from the Assemblies of the Kirk, to the Persons of some Kirk-men, usurping Priority and Power over their Brethren, by the way and under the name of Episcopal Government, against the Confession of Faith in 1580, against the Order set down in the Book of Policy, and against the Intention and Constitution of this Kirk from the beginning.
'Fourthly, The Civil Places and Power of Kirkmen, their sitting in Session, Council, and Exchequer; their riding, siting, and voting in Parliament; and their sitting in the Bench as Justices of Peace: which according to the Constitutions of this Kirk are incompatible with their spiritual Sanction, listing them up above their Brethren in worldly Pomp, and do tend to the hindrance of the Ministry.
'Fifthly, The keeping and authorizing corrupt Assemblies at Linlithgow 1606, and 1608; at Glasgow, 1610; at Aberdeen, 1616; at St. Andrews, 1617; at Perth, 1618. Which are all null and unlawful, as being called and constitute quite contrary to the Order and Constitutions of this Kirk, received and practised ever since the Reformation of Religion; and withal labouring to introduce Novations into this Kirk, against the Order and Religion established.
'A sixth Cause is the want of lawful and free general Assemblies, rightly constitute of Pastors, Doctors, and Elders, yearly or oftner, pro re nata, according to the Liberty of this Kirk, expressed in the Book of Policy, and acknowledged in the Act of Parliament, 1592.
'After which the whole Assembly in one heart and voice did declare, that these and such other, proceeding from the neglect and breach of the National Covenant of this Kirk and Kingdom made in 1580, have been indeed the true and main Causes of all our Evils and Distractions: And therefore ordain, according to the Constitutions of the general Assemblies of this Kirk, and upon the grounds respective above specified, That the aforesaid Service-Book, Books of Canons, and Ordination, and the High Commission, be still rejected; that the Articles of Perth be no more practised; that Episcopal Government, and the Civil Places and Power of Kirkmen, be holden still as unlawful in this Kirk: That the above-named pretended Assemblies, at Linlithgow 1606 and 1608; at Glasgow 1610; at Aberdeen 1616; at St. Andrews 1617; at Perth 1618; be hereafter accounted as null, and of none effect. And that for preservation of Religion, and preventing all such Evils in time coming, general Assemblies rightly constitute, as the proper and competent Judge of all matters Ecclesiastical, hereafter be kept yearly, and oftner, pro re nata, as occasion and necessity shall require; the necessity of these occasional Assemblies being first remonstrate to his Majesty by humble Supplication: As also, that Kirk-Sessions, Presbyteries, and Synodal Assemblies, be constitute and observed according to the Order of this Kirk.
After the voicing of the Act (anent the Causes of our by-gone Evils) his Majesty's Commissioner consented verbally to the said Act, and promised to give in to the Clerk in Writ, the Declaration of his Consent, and that he should ratify this Act in the ensuing Parliament.
Act Sess. 21. Aug. 29. 1639.
An Act anent the keeping the Lord's Day.
'The general Assembly recommendeth to the several Presbyteries, the execution of the old Acts of Assembly against the breach of the Sabbath day, by going of Milns, Salt-Panns, Salmon-fishing, or any such like labour: And to this end revives and renews the Act of the Assembly holden at Halyrood-House, 1602. Sess. 5. whereof the Tenor follows.
'The Assembly considering that the Conventions of the People, especially on the Sabbath-day, are very rare in many places, by distraction of Labour, not only in Harvest and Seed-time, but also every Sabbath, by fishing both of white Fish, and Salmon-fishing, and in going of Milns: Therefore the Assembly dischargeth and inhibiteth all such labour of Fishing, as well white Fish as Salmon-Fish, and going of Milns of all sorts upon the Sabbath, under the pain of incurring the Censures of the Kirk: And ordains the Commissioners of this Assembly to meen the same to his Majesty, and to desire that a pecunial Pain might be enjoined upon the Contraveners of this present Act.
Sess. 23. Aug. 30. 1639.
The Supplication of the General Assembly to the King's Majesties Commissioner, concerning the Book called, The large Declaration.
'We the Members of this present Assembly, for our selves, and in the name of the several Presbyteries, Burghs, and Universities, for which we are Commissioners, resenting the great dishonour done to God, our King, this Kirk, and the whole Kingdom, by the Book called, A large Declaration, have here represented the same to your Grace, and have collected some amongst many of false, gross, and absurd Passages, that from the consideration thereof your Grace perceiving the intolerable Evils foresaid contained therein, may be pleased to represent the same to our gracious Sovereign, and in our behalfs humbly to beseech his Majesty, so much wronged by the many foul and false relations suggested and persuaded to him as Truths, and by stealing the protection of his Royal Name and Authority to the patrociny of such a Book, to be pleased first to call in the said Book, and thereby to shew his dislike thereof; next to give Commission and Warrant to cite all such Parties, as are either known or suspect to have hand in it; and to appoint such as his Majesty knows to be either Authors, Informers, or any ways accessary, being Natives of this Kingdom, to be sent hither, to abide their Trial and Censure before the Judge Ordinary; and in special, Master Walter Balcanquel, now Dean of Durham, who is known, and hath prosessed to be the Author, at least a Vower and Maintainer of a great part thereof, that by their exemplar punishment, others may be deterred from such dangerous Courses, as in such a way to raise Sedition betwixt the King and his Subjects, God's Honour may be vindicate from so high Contempt; his Majesty's Justice may appear, not only in cutting away such Malefactors, but in discouraging all such Underminers of his Throne; his loyal and loving Subjects shall be infinitely contented to be cleared before the World of so false and unjust Imputations, and will live hereafter in greater security, when so dangerous a Course of Sedition is prevented, and so will have the greater and greater cause to pray for his Majesty's long and prosperous Reign.
His Majesty's Commissioner in Council having received the said Supplication, promised to impart the same to his Majesty, and to report his diligence therein.
The Supplication of the Assembly to his Majesty's High Commissioner and the Lords of secret Council.
'We the general Assembly, considering with all humble and thankful acknowledgment the many present Favours bestowed upon us by his Majesty; and that there resteth nothing for crowning his Majesty's incomparable Goodness towards us, but that all the Members of this Kirk and Kingdom be joined in one and the same Confession and Covenant with God, with the King's Majesty, and amongst our selves. And conceiving the main Let and Impediment to this so good a Work, and so much wished by all, to have bin the Informations made to his Majesty, of our Intentions to shake off civil and dutiful Obedience due to Sovereignty, and to diminish the King's Greatness and Authority: And being most willing and desirous to remove this, and all such Impediments which may hinder and impede so full and perfect an Union, and for the clearing of our Loyalty, We in our own Names, and in the Names of all the rest of the Subjects and Congregations whom we represent, do now in all humility represent to your Grace, his Majesty's Commissioner, and the Lords of his Majesty's most Honourable Privy-Council, and declare before God and the World, that we never had nor have any thought of withdrawing our selves from that humble and dutiful Obedience to his Majesty, and to his Government; which by the descent, and under the Reign of 107 Kings, is most chearfully acknowledged by us and our Predecessors; and that we never had, nor have any intention or desire to attempt any thing that may tend to the dishonour or God, or the diminution of the King's Greatness and Authority: But on the contrary, acknowledging our Quietness, Stability, and Happiness, to depend upon the safety of the King's Majesty's Person, and maintenance of his Greatness and Royal Authority, who is God's Vicegerent set over us, for the maintenance of Religion, and ministration of Justice, we have solemnly sworn, and do swear, not only our mutual Concurrence and Assistance for the Cause of Religion, and to the uttermost of our power, with our Means and Lives, to stand to the defence of our dread Sovereign, his Person and Authority, in preservation and defence of the true Religion, Liberties, and Laws of this Kirk and Kingdom; but also in every Cause which may concern his Majesty's Honour, shall accordingly to the Laws of this Kingdom, and the Duties of good good Subjects, concur with our Friends and Followers, in quiet manner, or in Arms, as we shall be required of his Majesty, his Council, or any having his Authority. And therefore being most desirous to clear our selves of all Imputation of this kind, and following the laudable Example of our Predecessors, 1589, do most humbly supplicate your Grace, his Majesty's Commissioner, and the Lords of his Majesty's most Honourable Privy-Council, to enjoin by Act of Council, that the Confession and Covenant, which, as a Testimony of our Fidelity to God, and Loyalty to our King, we have subscribed, be subscribed by all his Majesty's Subjects, of what Rank and Quality soever.
The King's Majesty's Commissioner's Declaration.
'The which day his Majesty's Commissioner, and Lords of Council, after the receiving of the Supplication of the general Assembly, anent the subscribing of the Covenant, having returned to the Assembly, his Majesty's Commissioner, in Name of the Council, declared, That he had received the Supplication of the Assembly, desiring that the Covenant might receive the force of an Act of Council, to be subscribed by all his Majesty's Subjects; that they had found the Desire so fair and reasonable, that they conceived themselves bound in duty to grant the same, and thereupon have made an Act of Council to that effect; and that there rested now the Act of Assembly. And that he himself was so fully satisfied, that he came now as his Majesty's Commissioner, to consent fully unto it; and that he was most willing that it should be enacted here in this Assembly, to oblige all his Majesty's Subjects to subscribe the said Covenant, with the Assemblies Explanation. And because there was a third Thing desired, his Subscription as the King's Commissioner, unto the Covenant, which he behoved to do, with a Declaration in writ; and he declared as a Subject, he should subscribe the Covenant as strictly as any, with the Assemblies Declaration: But as his Majesty's Commissioner, in his Name behoved to prefix to his Subscription, the Declaration following, which no Scots Subjects should subscribe, or have the benefit of, no not him self as Earl of Traquair; the Tenor whereof follows.
'Seeing this Assembly, according to the laudable Form and Custom heretofore kept in the like Cases, have in an humble and dutiful way, supplicate to us his Majesty's Commissioner, and the Lords of his Majesty's most Honourable Privy-Council, That the Covenant, with the Explanation of this Assembly, might be subscribed. And to that effect, that all the Subjects of this Kingdom, by Act of Council, be required to do the same; and that therein, for vindicating themselves from all suspicions of Disloyalty, or derogating from the Greatness and Authority of our Dread Sovereign, have therewith added a Clause, whereby this Covenant is declared one in substance with that which was subscribed by his Majesty's Father (of blessed Memory) 1580, 1581, 1590, and often since renewed. Therefore as his Majesty's Commissioner, for the full satisfaction of the Subjects, and for setling a perfect Peace in Church and Kingdom, do, according to my foresaid Declaration and Subscription, subjoined to the Act of this Assembly, of the date the 17th of this Instant, allow and consent that the Covenant be subscribed throughout all this Kingdom. In Witness whereof I have subscribed the Premises.
Like as his Majesty's Commissioner read and gave in the Declaration following, of his consent to the Act of the Assembly, August 17, anent the Causes of our By-gone Evils.
'I John Earl of Traquair, his Majesty's Commissioner in this present Assembly, do in his Majesty's Name declare, That notwithstanding of his Majesty's own Inclination, and many other grave and weighty Considerations, yet such is his Majesty's incomparable Goodness, that for setling the present Distractions, and giving full satisfaction to the Subject, he doth allow, like as I his Majesty's Commissioner do consent to the foresaid Act, and have subscribed the Premises.
Like as his Majesty's Commissioner read and gave in the Declaration following.
'It is always hereby declared, by me his Majesty's Commissioner, That the Practice of the Premises, prohibited within this Kirk and Kingdom of Scotland, shall never bind nor infer Censure against the Practices outwith the Kingdom. Which when the Commissioner desired to be Insert in the Register of the Kirk, and the Moderator, in the Name of the Assembly, refused to give Warrant for such practice, as not agreeable with a good Conscience. His Grace urged, that it should be recorded at least that he made such a Declaration, whatsoever was the Assemblies Judgment in the contrary; and so it is to be understood to be insert here only rescitative.
Act ordaining the Subscription of the Confession of Faith and Covenant, with the Assemblies Declaration.
'The general Assembly considering the great Happiness which may slow from a full and perfect Union of this Kirk and Kingdom, by joining of all in one and the same Covenant with God, with the King's Majesty, and amongst our selves, having by our great Oath declared the Uprightness and Loyalty of our Intentions in all our Proceedings; and having withal supplicated his Majesty's High Commissioner, and the Lords of his Majesty's Honourable Privy-Council, to enjoin by Act of Council, all the Lieges in time coming to subscribe the Confession of Faith and Covenant, which is a Testimony of our Fidelity to God, and our Loyalty to our King, we have subscribed. And seeing his Majesty's High Commissioner, and the Lords of his Majesty's Honourable Privy-Council, have granted the desire of our Supplication, ordaining by Civil Authority, all his Majesty's Leiges in time coming, to subscribe the aforesaid Covenant, that our Union may be the more full and perfect, we by our Act and Constitution Ecclesiastical, do approve the foresaid Covenant, in all the Heads and Clauses thereof, and Ordains of new under all Ecclesiastical Censure, That all the Masters of Universities, Colleges, and Schools; all Scholars at the passing of their Degrees; all Persons suspect of Papistry, or any other Error; and finally, all the Members of this Kirk and Kingdom subscribe the same, with these words prefixed to their Subscription referred, the Determination of the general Assembly being determined, and that thereby the five Articles of Perth; the Government of the Kirk by Bishops; the Civil Places and Power of the Kirk upon the Reasons and Grounds contained in the Act of the general Assembly, declared to be unlawful within this Kirk, we subscribe, according to the Determination aforesaid; and ordains the Covenant, with the Declaration, to be insert in the Registers of the Assembly of this Kirk, General, Provincial, and Presbyterial, ad perpetuam rei memoriam; and in all humility humbly snpplicates his Majesty's High Commissioner, and the Honourable Estates of Parliament, by their Authority to ratify and enjoin the same under all Civil Pains, which will tend to the Glory of God, Preservation of Religion, the King's Majesty's Honour, and perfect Peace of this Kirk and Kingdom.
Sess. 24. 30 Aug. a meridie.
The Assemblies Supplication of the King's Majesty.
Most Gracious Sovereign,
'We your Majesty's most humble and loyal Subjects, the Commissioners from all the parts of this your Majesty's antient and native Kingdom, and Members of the national Assembly, convened at Edinburgh by your Majesty's special Indiction, and honoured with the presence of your Majesty's High Commissioner, have bin waiting for a day of Rejoicing, and of solemn Thanksgiving to be rendred to God by this whole Kirk and Kingdom, for giving us a King so just and Religious, that it is not only lawful for us to be Christians under your Majesty's Government, which sometime hath bin the greatest praise of great Princes, but also that it hath pleased your gracious Majesty to make known, That it is your Royal Will and Pleasure, that all matters Ecclesiastical be determined in free national Assemblies, and matters Civil in Parliament; which is a most noble and ample expression of your Majesty's Justice; and we trust shall be a powerful means of our common Happiness under your Majesty's most blessed Reign. In the mean while we do most humbly from our Hearts, bless your majesty for that Happiness already begun in the late Assembly at Edinburgh; in the Proceedings where of, next under God, we have laboured to approve our selves unto your Majesty's Vicegerent, as if your Majesty's Eyes had bin upon us; which was the desire of our Souls, and would have bin the Matter of our full rejoicing; and do still continue your Majesty's most humble Suppliants for your Majesty's Civil Sanction and Ratification of the Constitutions of the Assembly in Parliament; that your Majesty's Princely Power, and the Ecclesiastical Authority joining in one, the mutual Imbracements of Religion and Justice, of Truth and Peace, may be seen in this Land, which shall be to us as a Resurrection from the Dead; and shall make us, being not only so far recovered, but also revived, to fill Heaven and Earth with our Praises, and to pray that King Charles may be more and more blessed, and his Throne established before the Lord for ever.
The Assembly appoints the next general Assembly to sit at Aberdeen the last Tuesday of July next, 1640; and warneth all Presbyteries, Universities and Burroughs, to send their Commissioners for keeping of the same. And thereafter the Assembly was concluded, by giving of Thanks by the Moderator, and singing of a Psalm, according to the Custom.
Having given this brief Account of the Scotish Affairs, in reference to the Assembly at Edinburgh, let us return to the Transactions of Affairs in England, where we broke off, and there we find a Proclamation published by the King, declaring an Act of State, and the King's Command concerning a scandalous Paper lately dispersed by the Scots among many of his Subjects, to the effect following.
August II. An Act of State against the Scots concerning a scandalous Paper lately dispersed by them.
Whereas a Paper containing many Falshoods, and tending much to the Dishonour of his Majesty's late Proceedings in the Pacification given to his Subjects of Scotland, hath been dispersed in divers Parts of this Kingdom; whereupon an Act of Council hath bin made in these words ensuing:
On Sunday the fourth of August, 1639. his Majesty being in Council, was pleased to acquaint the Lords with a Paper he had seen at Berwick, entitled, Some Conditions of his Majesty's Treaty with his Subjects of Scotland are set down here for remembrance. Which Paper being in most parts full of Falshood, Dishonour and Scandal to his Majesty's Proceedings in the late Pacification, given of his Princely Care and Goodness to his Subjects of Scotland, hath bin very frequently spread here in England, and avowed by some in Scotland to have bin approved and allowed as Truth by some of those Lords of England, who attended his Majesty, and were present at the Pacification in the Camp. Whereupon the Paper having bin read, and his Majesty commanding those English Lords to declare their knowledge therein. The Earl Marshal first begun to put his Majesty in remembrance, that some few days after the Pacification was concluded, some of the Scotish Lords coming to the Lord Chamberlain's Tent, sent to speak with him, and the Earl of Holland, and offered them a certain Paper, which they pretended to have bin collected for the help of their Memories, and not otherwise, nor to be published: But the said English Lords very dutifully and discreetly refused to accept that or any such Paper, but referred themselves totally to the Pacification in Writing. And the said Earl Marshal further declared, That now upon the reading, he for his part held the said Paper for the most part false and scandalous, and no way agreeable to what his Majesty expressed at the Pacification.
Next the Lord Chamberlain declared, That he being ready to take Horse, and a number of his Friends about him taking their leave, the Lord Loudon pressed him with much importunity to receive a Paper, which he took, not knowing what it contained; but at night when he came to his Lodging, doubting it might be some such Paper as had been formerly offered, and was refused, took it, without reading it, and sealed it up, and so kept it till he presented it to his Majesty at Whitehall, professing that till that time he had never read any one word of it, nor seen any other Copy thereof. Which Paper being that which had been divulged, was the same which his Majesty had commanded to be read at the Board.
The Earl of Salisbury likewise desired to justify himself of a particular Scandal laid upon him, that he had received and brought Copies of this Paper from the North; which he declared could not be, because he was come away from the Camp before that Paper had bin offered, and that he had never seen that, nor any Copy thereof, before his Majesty's return to Theobalds.
After this the Lord Chamberlain, the Earls of Salisbury, Holland, and Barkshire, concurred with the Earl Marshall, That the Contents of that Paper were for the most part notoriously scandalous and false, and contrary to what his Majesty clearly expressed at the Pacification.
His Majesty likewise declared, that before his coming from Berwick he shewed a Copy of this scandalous Paper to the Earl of Lindsey, the Earl of Holland, Master Treasurer, and Master Secretary Cook, who fully concurred in the aforesaid Opinion with the other Lords. All which Lords, and particularly the Earl of Holland, avowed the falsness thereof to the faces of those Scotish Lords who were believed to be the Divulgers of it, (the Lords of the Council of Scotland being there likewise present.)
All which considered, the whole Board unanimonusly became humble Petitioners to his Majesty, That this false and scandalous Paper might be publickly burnt by the Hang-man.
His Majesty declares his Pleasure to continue his Commission and Letters-Patents for Licensing Retailers of Tobacco, notwithstanding his Proclamation.
Concerning the Retailers of Tobacco.
Whereas by his Majesty's Proclamation, dated at York the 9th of April last, it was declared, that among sundry other Commissions granted upon untrue Surmises, a Commission for compounding with Offenders touching Tobacco was thereby revoked and determined. under colour whereof sundry Persons have pretended that his Majesties Commission to the Lord Goring and others, for licensing Retailers of Tobacco, was thereby called in; and thereupon the like Commissioners have bin interrupted in their Proceedings in their Service, and Tobacco in divers parts of the Kingdom hath bin retailed without his Majesty's License, and many who have have Licenses have forborn to make payment of their Rent.
His Majesty therefore, to remove all Doubts, hath thought fit, with the Advice of his Privy-Council, publickly to declare his Royal Intention, that his Majesty's Letters-Patents and Commission to the Lord Goring, concerning the Licensers or Retailers of Tobacco, was not meant to be impeached by the said Proclamation of the 9th of April last; but that the said Letters-Patents and Commissions are still in force, and no way infringed.
At the Court of Whitehall, Aug. 25. 1639.
- Lord Archbishop of Cant.
- Earl of Salisbury,
- Lord Keeper,
- Earl of Holland,
- Lord Duke of Lenox,
- Lord Goring,
- Lord Marquiss Hamilton,
- Lord Cottington,
- Earl Marshal,
- Lord Newburgh,
- Lord High Admiral,
- Mr. Comptroller,
- Earl of Dorset,
- Mr. Secretary Windebank.
August 25. The Lord Goring made one of the Privy-Council.
According to his Majesty's Pleasure signified by Mr. Secretary Windebank, George Lord Goring was this day sworn of his Majesty's Privy-Council, sate at the Board, and signed Letters.
The Oath which he took was as followeth:
The Oath of a Privy-Counsellor.
You shall swear to be a true and faithful Servant unto the King's Majesty, as one of his Privy-Council: You shall not know or understand of any manner of thing to be attempted, done, or spoken against his Majesty's Person, honour, Crown, or Dignity Royal, but you shall let and withstand the same to the uttermost of your Power; and either cause it to be reveated unto his Majesty himself, or to such of his Privy-Council as shall advertise his business of the same. You shall in all things to be moved, treated, and Debated in Council, faithfully and truly declare your Mind and opinion, according to your heart and Conscience; and shall keep secret all Matters committed and rebeaied unto you, or shall be treated of secretly in Countil. Or if any of the said Creaties and Counsels shall touch any of the Counsellors, you shall not rebeal it unto him, but shall keep the same, until such time as by the consent of his Majesty, or of the Council, publication shall be made thereof. You shall to your uttermost bear Faith and Allegiance unto the King's Majesty, his eirs, and Lawful Successors, and shall assist and defend all Jurisdictions, Preheminences, and Authorities, granted to his Majesty, and anneted to his Crown, against all Foreign Princes, Persons, lates, or Potentates, by Act of Parliament, or otherwise.
and generally in all things you shalled, as a faithful and true servant and subject ought to do his Majesty. so help you god; and the bay contents of this Book.
The spanish Armado appear on the English Coast.
The King had not bin returned from Berwick much above a month, when there appeared upon the English Coast a great Spanish Armado, discovered first beyond the Lands-End by a Fleet of Hollanders about the 17th of September. The Fleet was commanded by Don Antonio D'oquendo, consisting of about seventy sail of ships; at the sight they appeared like the invincible Navy in 88. The Vice-Admiral of Holland, with seventeen good Ships ingaged them, yet in a retreating posture, being much too weak for so great a Navy: And when he came into the narrow Seas, still Kept siring of his Ordnance upon the Enemy, having got the Wind of them, with intent not only to annoy them, but to give warning to the Holland Admiral Van Trump then lying before Dunkirk with part of the Holland Fleet; who upon the noise of the Cannon weighed Anchor, and within few hours, bringing with him eight tall Ships, joined with the seventeen Sail. And being now 25 in number, they resolutely set upon the Spanish Fleet, held out a fierce Engagement with them most part of the day; took three Galleons, sunk one, and shattered the rest; insomuch that the Spaniard, for his better security, betook himself to the Downs near Dover, assuring himself of protection while he lay in the King of England's Chamber.
That Night, by the help of an English Pilot, the Spaniard sent away sixteen Ships with 4000 Landmen, who in the dark escaped the Dutch, and got safe to Dunkirk.
The King sent the Earl of Arundel to the Commander of the Spanish Fleet, for a sight of his Commission, and to know the occasion of his coming upon the Coast with so great a Navy and Army, having aboard in number about 20000 Land-men (as the King was informed) besides Seamen.
The Spanish Don returned this Answer, That the King of England might be well assured, that there was no evil intention towards him, nor had they any Design upon any part of his Dominions, for they were only sent with Recruits to Dunkirk and Flanders, with Mony to pay the Soldiers there.
That Answer was all the Commission the Spaniard shewed.
The King afterward desired him to retreat with the first fair Wind, for that he was in Amity with both States, and would not willingly have them engage within his Dominion of the Seas. Captain Pennington in the mean time received Orders from his Majesty to ride with the Royal Navy in the Downs, and there to wait the issue of this Business.
Great were the hopes of the Spaniard to have procured from the King of Great Britain, (Which was not a little laboured for by the Lord Cottington) that Captain Pennington should be Umpire between both Parties, and not suffer any further Engagement, but fall upon that Party that should, without his leave, give the first onset.
But those endeavours proved ineffectual, for the Spaniard having staid almost a month for a Wind to carry him out, the Hollander had in the mean time increased his Fleet to almost an hundred Sail, and incompassed the Spaniard, without receiving any opposition from Capt. Pennington.
The Spaniard in the interim being supplied from London with Powder and other Ammunition, in such Proportion and Quantity as he desired.
The Hollander impatient of lying still, and being grown so strong, that he seemed, as if he cared neither for the English nor Spanish Fleet, divided his Fleet into Squadrons in order to a Fight; which the Spaniard discovering, put himself into the best posture he could to receive him. The Encounter was very hot and furious for the time, till the Hollander fastned some Fire-Ships upon the Spaniard, and so overpowered him with Cannon, that at last the Spaniard was forced to shift for himself: About twenty Spanish Ships, under the Command of the Vice Admiral, ran upon the Shore and were stranded, but most of the Men got on shore. About five of the Spanish Ships were sunk and burnt, whereof one a great Galleon, which was the Vice-Admiral, and carried fifty Pieces of Brass Ordnance; the rest of the Ships, being about thirty in number, put to Sea under the Command of Don Antonio. The Hollanders made sail after them, firing upon their Rear, till a great Fog somewhat abated the heat of the pursuit, yet the Hollander kept so close, as that he continued firing now and then upon the Rear of the Enemy, till the Fog cleared up; and then the Fight began afresh, and the Admiral of Portugal being fired, and divers of the Spaniards taken, Don Antonio, with about ten Ships of the Fleet, hired an English Pilot, steered a Course for Dunkirk, and gained a safe Harbour, the rest were taken and sunk.
The Spaniards that came to Land near Dover, told the Country People, That they were brought out of the Kingdom of Spain against their Wills, and by a Device, viz. That the Beacons being fired, as if an Enemy had landed, all the Country running down with Arms and Clubs towards the Sea Coast, to prevent further Danger, were, as soon as they came there, clapt aboard the Ships, and brought away.
It occasioned no small diversity of Opinion, that so great an Armado should come upon the English Coast at such a conjuncture of Time.
And it was observed, that the Governor of Dunkirk did absolutely refuse, till afterwards he had particular Orders from the chief Governor of Flanders, to give the aforesaid 4000 Soldiers entrance into Dunkirk, not knowing what the Design might be.
Some discoursed that the aim was upon the Isle of Wight, several of the trained Bands of that County being that Summer commanded into the North, and the Governor, or his Deputy, hearing about that time of the Spaniard's coming upon our Coast, in a Frolick, (at drinking of Healths) well night shot away all the Powder, so that the Inhabitants had not enough wherewith to resist an Enemy if they had landed.
Nor had Kent Arms to defend their Coasts; for the trained Bands were ordered to furnish the Soldiers that went by Sea to Scotland with Arms.
Others conjectured, that they were intended for Ireland, where there was an Army raising of 8000 Men, about 7000 whereof were Papists, who might better secure their Landing in that Kingdom, and where there was no want of Men of the same Religion to join with them, and Men of Experience to Command them; for there were not in the Fleet Commanders in any measure proportionable to the number of Men aboard the Ships.
But it was wondred at by all, that the King of Spain should be at so great a Charge to convey his Mony into Flanders, when the English Ships had from Year to Year performed the same Service for the expence of Coinage in the Tower.
Jealousy did arise amongst others, because at that time all the Gunpowder was placed in one hand, and the Tower of London in the Command of one not acceptable to the Nation at that time.
Another sort concluded they were bound for Scotland, in hope that both these Nations would shortly be involved in a War.
This ensuing Proposition made to the King of Spain, was discovered about that time the said Armado came on the English Coast; upon the out-side of the Paper was subscribed Bro-entituled, The means to establish the Catholick Religion in Scotland.
But the Author leaves the Reader free to his own Judgment, what Application can be made, that the Paper had that Design, in reference to the present Disturbances in Scotland. The Proposition was in these words.
'For the Enterprize, there shall be need of no more than 3000 Men of Aid, which shall land in the Islands of Orkney; which being of themselves strong, may be made in a little time impregnable; besides they are fertile, and abundance of all things necessary for the sustaining of the aforesaid number, and very near the Strengths of the most principal and powerful Catholicks of Scotland; amongst which is the Earl of Caithness, who is Lord of all those parts of Caithness, which are nearest the Islands of Orkney, and may aid us with 4000 Men to join with the others; which after having fortified, and made sure the Islands, shall pass on to Dundee, and St. Johnstons, Places very easy to fortify and to keep, being divided from the firm Land by the great River of Frith, which is so deep, that the Enemy cannot pass it with their Horse, neither can the Foot endanger us, because they must of necessity enter by the Mountains of Atholl; the which with a Fort made with 300 Men, shall be inaccessible: And altho we should give them free passage, they could not prejudice us, as well for that Multitude on our part, and the strength of the Country, as also for the Intelligence we shall have amongst them: And if they would set upon us by Sea, they can set out no Fleet so strong as ours shall be, except all the Kingdom contribute to it. The which cannot be done except all the States do join; of which we of the Confederacy shall be the greater part; and so the Enemy shall forthwith be forced, either to give Liberty of Conscience to the Catholicks, or put themselves in evident danger of losing all.
The Commodities which shall result from this Enterprize.
The King of Spain.
'Your Majesty shall get great Honour and Reputation by doing so remarkable Services to God and his Church; and shall put your Enemies to such a streight, and such extraordinary Expences, that they shall now spend more in one Year, than they have done in many; because the Hollanders shall either be forced to maintain an Army, (not to Rob, as they have done in the Indies, but for their own Defence) or to let their Fleet be taken, which goes every Year to fish in our Sea; by which means they would want Provision, Ships, and Mariners, and other incredible Damages would follow; and howsoever it should be, we may take from them, or at least interrupt their Trade of Denmark, Hamburgh, and Lubeck, Breme and Embden, without which they cannot live.
'Last of all, Those of Dunkirk and Newport, which have no other Ports to retire themselves to, shall not want them in Orkney, with a prosperous Wind, to their great Commodity, and annoying their Enemy.
As for the King of Great Britain, if he will not give Liberty of Conscience, he shall be reduced to it with no less Damage; and if he would hinder our Enterprize, he must maintain three Armies, [two] by Sea, one on the West side, the other on the East, and the third by Land; which shall do us no great hurt, by reason the Scots will never sent that the English shall enter, into Scotland, except it be with so small a Troop, as shall be of no effect, and shall be always be subject to be exposed to all Danger, and to be cast out from thence at our pleasure, and this for the great Enmity and Distrust which is and always hath bin between both Nations. Besides, the English Catholicks which are now banished, or shall be hereafter, may retire themselves thither, and hold correspondency with much facility in England, and shall handle and negotiate for the Service of God and your Majesty, and much prejudice the King: And they shall be succoured and helpt of the Irishmen with all things necessary, and upon all occasion that shall be offered.
'For this purpose there ought to be a Consideration of the great mischief that may light upon God's Church, and this Monarchy; if the King of England, being confederate with all the Hereticks and Enemies of God and Spain, should have opportunity during his Life, to carry forward and facilitate his Pretence and Title which he hath to the Crown of France, the Business will be ended before we can from hence hinder him, and he will be the most powerful Enemy to God's Church, and prejudicial to this Monarchy, that ever hath bin, considering the great Power he shall have both by Sea and Land, with the Aid of Denmark his Brother-in-Law, Holland, and other Hereticks his Confederates.
'Other things there be of more Importance, which are not sit to be written, which I reserve to tell your Majesty by word of mouth, or to whomsoever of your Council your Majesty shall be pleased to appoint: to whom I will also give a more particular Account and Satisfaction of what I have here proposed.
Now in regard this Paper doth mention the Ferries in Scotland, and the advantage of strength which that part of the North of Scotland hath thereby, the Reader for his diversion may cast his eye on this Description following, which was made for his Majesty's service against the Covenanters.
A Paper of the Ferries in Scotland.
'The River of Ness is large and deep, falleth out of a Lake named Ness, twenty four Miles long, and five or six in breadth, into a great Bay of the Sea. On this River standeth the Town of Innerness, which hath a strong Castle, in the keeping of the Marquess of Hnntly, as yet not taken. If in this Town and Castle were put a competent Garison, with a Ship and Pinnace in the Bay, you might break the Ferry-Boats, and stop all Passages from Northward of that River.
'The River of Tay falleth out of a Lake ten Miles long, and one and a half broad, from whence the River hath the Name, which is the main and only Passage between the North and South Parts of the Kingdom. This River falleth into the East Sea below Dundee, the biggest Town almost in Scotland. At the entry to the Sea it is two Miles broad, and continueth the same breadth upward till with in three or four Miles of St. Johnstown, between which Town and Dundee there are sixteen Miles and above, at no part whereof there is any Passage but by Ferry-boats. If a few Ships would ride at the Mouth of this River below Dundee, and send up some small Pinnaces, they might break all the Ferry-boats, and stop all the Passages that could be made over at any part between the North of the River and the said Town of St. Johnstown, above which to the said Lake the River is not ridable but at some few Fords, the Passages where of might be kept by the Noblemen, who stand well affected to his Majesty's Service, and whose Estates do lie there about Strathern;such as the Earls of Airly, Perth, Tullibarden, and Kinnoul : who if they were sent home with a competent Number of Soldiers to attend them, all those of their Name, their Friends and Tenants gathered unto them, might stop all Land-passages whatsoever from North to South.
'And in case the People of Fife, who dare not now cross Forth River, in regard of your Majesty's Ships, should march with supply by Sterling-Bridge to Lothian, these Noblemen with their Forces might be in some narrow Passage in their way; and if they could not force them to retire, yet they might fail upon their Country in their absence, so that they could not both be able to defend their Sea Coasts, and secure them from Danger on their Backs; neither durst they all turn back on Strathern, for fear that those of the Fleet Should land on their Shores in their absence.
The Shire of Perth would be a Rendezvouz and safe Retreat to all those of Fife, Angus, Strathern, and the Highlands, who upon this Proclamation shall abandon the Covenanters Party, and stand for his Majesty's Service.
'These four Noblemen, with the Number your Majesty will send with them, might be sent almost to their Dwellings by Sea on the Said River.
'If the Town of Sterling were seized, these River-Passages made sure, and the Town of Aberdeen secured, in regard of your Majesty's Forces in the North, no harm could be expected from the North.
An Account of the Spanish Armado this present Year 1639, but for what Invasion not yet known.
This Paper was sent from beyond Seas, before their Arrival in the Downs near Dover.
Double Cannon, Field-Pieces, Dry-fats filled with old Nails and broken Iron, with store of Carriages, and other Necessaries both for Sea and Land-Service, without number. Also there are 3000 Spears, and Armour Musquet-proof. There is great provision for Wine, Biskets, Hogs, Bacon, Cheese, Beeves, Rice, Pease, Oats, Lamps, Pipes for fresh Water, Torches, Lanthorns, Canvas, Lead, Spades, Mattocks, Shovels, Goulthrip, Baskets, Brushtrops innumerable.
- Duke Albaigne,
- Duke Erdisicke,
- Duke Dadon,
- Marquiss de Dal.
- Don Michel deme Schedula,
- Don Jugg Piker de la,
- Don Egmunda, With other Dons.
With these the Arch-Duke is to meet with great Forces, and to be General of the whole, who is reported to have a Ship thought to be Cannon-proof for this Armado, There cometh with the Arch-duke Marquiss Spinola the younger, the Earl of Tyrone, and the Earl of Arquila, with 3000 Horse to be transported in flat-bottomed Boats. The second Son to the Duke of Savoy is Admiral of the Spanish Navy; Sir Robert Dudley, Vice-Admiral; Sir Griffin Markeham, and Sir Guy Stanley, Colonels of Regiments. Also there is one Nevil, who termeth himself Earl of Westmorland, who hath a great Command.
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There are lately arrived at Lisbon twenty armed Elephants sent from Persia, but for what purpose is unknown.
A Copy of a Letter Sent from Malago.
In this place there is great provision for War, (the like hath not bin known in Spain) from whence the King is to have 1000 Tun of Wine and Vinegar; and likewise there is provided 10000 Barrels of small shot, 10000 Kintals of Powder, 60000 Broaches or Bottles, 60000 Baskets for Pioneers, with an incredible number of Spades, Shovels, Scroops, Mattocks, and all other Provision for Victuals, as also Wild-fire.
There is also expected for this Expedition from Dunkirk, and other Places in the Netherlands under the King of Spain's Dominions great Assistance.
Prayers for the Souls of those slain in the Spanish Armado.
About ten days after the Parliament met in April, Sheriff Warner informed the Speaker something concerning the said Armado, where upon Thomas Chude and John Clay were called into the House of Commons, to testify, touching a Book, entitled, The Jubliee of Jesuits. And First, Thomas Chude declared, That he had one of those Books in his Custody, he had it from a Woman at Redriff, Wise to Henry Cradwel, a Cobler, whose Wife is a Papist; that he delivered the Book the same day he had it to the Sheriff of London, Sheriff Warner: In which Book was contained, That the Papists should fish in troubled Waters, whilst the King was at War with the Scots; with Prayers in it for the boly Martyrs, that suffered in the Fleet sent against Hereticks in England, Anno 1639.