Historical Collections of Private Passages of State: Volume 4, 1640-42. Originally published by D Browne, London, 1721.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
The House debated what Committees should sit till the Adjournment, and appointed Twenty for the most material Businesses to be continued, viz. The Committee for numbring of Papists, and disarming them; The Committee of Twenty-four, for the Remonstrance; The Committee for Sir Peter Riccard; The Committee for the Estate of the King's Army; the Committee for James's Fort, in stabbing of Justice Heywood, &c.
Sir John Strangeways moved in the behalf of himself, and the Fifty-nine that voted against the Bill of Attainder of the Earl of Strafford, That there might be some Order taken, for that they went in fear of their Lives, great Abuses being lately offered them; and this he the rather moved, because his Name was inserted and posted in the List of the Straffordians, though when that matter was in Agitation he was absent, and at his House in Dorset shire.
A Petition delivered to the Commons by divers Citizens of London, against the Abuses of Parliament Protections, alledging, that if there were not some speedy Order for the calling in or regulating the same, they would occasion the undoing of many Families; whereupon the Petition was referred to a Committee for that purpose.
It being informed, That the Archbishop of Canterbury did use his Episcopal Power in ordaining Ministers, &c. in the Tower, it was moved, that there might be an Order to restrain the same. But it was generally thought more fit, for Prevention, to hasten the Proceedings for his Tryal.
The House falling into Debate about raising of Monies for the Armies; it was insisted upon, that no less than Eight hundred thousand Pounds would suffice for that Purpose: Whereupon it was moved, in respect Monies could not be procured so suddenly as is required, there might be order taken for the melting of a Proportion of Plate, and turning it into Coyn; which Motion was well liked, and referred to a Committee.
In the Afternoon Dr. Cadman took the Oath of Allegiance, but desired Time to consider the taking of the Oath of Supremacy, for that he had thought the Pope to be Head of the Church, and made a large Speech to that Purpose. And one Sandford was committed for enticing a young Gentlewoman to go beyond Sea to be a Nun: And Mr. Beeston and Mr. Allen committed for refusing the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy.
An Order for regulating the manner of going about the Perambulation, or Circuits of Parishes, commonly called Going in Procession, requiring that there shall not be any Service read, or Psalm sung, as in some Places had been used.
The Lords at a Conference gave Reasons why they do not judge it unlawful for the Bishops to have Votes in Parliament. And for their Right to Vote there, they conceive by the Common and Statute Law, and ancient Practice, there's no question of it. And as for any Inconveniencies, they do not yet understand any such as might induce them to deprive the Bishops, and their Successors of their Right, and for removing them from the Star-Chamber, Council-Table, or any Office in Secular Affairs, their Lordships fully concur with the Commons.
A Message from the King to the Lords, That his Majesty is desirous, that all Things between his Two Kingdoms of England and Scotland, be reduced into the same State they were in before the beginning of the late Troubles; and therefore he doth give his Assent to the Advice of his Two Houses of Parliament; That the Garrisons of Berwick and Carlisle, upon the disbanding of the Scottish Army now in England, and of all such Forces as are gathered together in Scotland, be likewise presently removed: And that the Fortifications of Lerwick and Carlisle be also reduced to the same Condition they were in before the last Troubles: so that all Fortifications in Scotland be likewise put into the same Condition they were in before the said Troubles,
Resolved, That the Warrant from the Council-Board, by which Sir John Corbet was committed (for speaking against the said Fee) was an illegal Warrant, and that he ought to have Reparation for his unjust Vexation and Imprisonment, and that the said Council make the same: And the House thinks fit that the Attorney-General take the Information in the Star-Chamber, against the said Sir John, off the File; and that he and others of the Privy-Council, whose Hands are at the Warrant for the said Sir John Corbet's Commitment, ought to join in the making of him Reparation, viz. Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Cottington, &c.
Resolved, That the Imposition of 30 l. per Annum, levyed upon the Subjects of the County of Salop, for the Muster-Master's Fee, by the Earl of Bridgewater, Lord Lieutenant of that County, is an illegal Charge, and against the Petition of Right; and that it is an high Presumption for a Subject to impose any Tax upon the Subject; and the taking of it is an Extortion, and against the Right of the Subject.
In Pursuance of the late Motion for the Coining of Plate, divers Goldsmiths were sent for to attend that Committee, to resolve what sort of Plate might be melted with the least Loss. Also the Minters attended to certifie what Expedition they could make in the Coying of it. And agreed,
That for the relieving the present Necessity of Money, a Proportion of Plate should be melted for Coyn; and that the same shall be Trencher-Plate, and Dish-Plate: And that all such, from whom any such Plate shall be taken, shall have Security for it, and be repaid, either in Plate or Monies.
- 1. Because it is a great Hindrance to their Ministerial Function.
- 2. Because they do vow and undertake at their Ordination, when they enter into holy Orders, that they will give themselves wholly to that Vocation.
- 3. Because Councils and Canons in several Ages, do forbid them to meddle in Secular Affairs.
- 4. Because the Twenty-four Bishops have Dependance on the Two Archbishops, and take their Oath of Canonical Obedience unto them.
- 5. Because they are but for their Lives, and therefore are not fit to have Legislative Power over the Honours, Inheritances, Persons, and Liberties of others.
- 6. Because of Bishops Dependency and Expectancy of Translation to Places of greater Profit.
- 7. That the several Bishops have of late much encroached upon the Consciences and Liberties of the Subject; and they and their Successors will be much encouraged still to encroach; and the Subject will be much discouraged from complaining against such Encroachment, if Twenty-six of that Order be to be Judges upon that Complaint. The same Reason extends to their Legislative Power in any Bill to pass for the Regulation of that Power, upon any emergent Inconveniency by it.
- 8. Because the whole Number of them are interested to maintain the Jurisdiction of Bishops; which hath been found so grievous to the Three Kingdoms, that Scotland hath utterly abolished it.
- 9. Because the Bishops, being Lords of Parliament, it settleth too great a Distance between them and the rest of the Brethren in the Ministry; which occasioneth Pride in them, Discontent in others, and Disquiet in the Church. And as to their having Votes a long Time, the Answer is, if it be inconvenient, Time and Usage are not to be considered with Law-makers: Some Abbots voted as anciently in Parliament as Bishops, yet are taken away.
To these Reasons there was soon after an Answer printed, called An Abstract, &c. (said to be done by the Archbishop of York) and to that presently came forth a Reply; but these being but the Works of particular Men, we refer the Reader to the Prints.
Ordered, That one Robinson, a Servant and Clerk in the Custom-House, who preached for Mr. Crabtree in his Pulpit; John Spencer, being but an Horseman, Adam Banks, late a Seller of Stockings, and one Green, who preached privately in the House of one Mr. Green, in Crutchet-Friars, shall be summoned to attend the House on Monday in the Afternoon, at Two of the Clock.
The Customers were warned to bring in some of their Fines, in respect of the present Necessities of the Publick. After which, the House proceeded with the Bill for Tonnage and Poundage; and divers Officers of the Custom-House, as the Surveyor and others, were appointed to attend next Day concerning the same.
In the Afternoon they appointed several Committees to sit; as a Committee for Protections; at which it was concluded, That divers Protections should be annull'd, some being surreptitiously obtained, others procured by Persons of Ability, on purpose to defeat their Creditors. Also a Committee concerning the Archbishop of Canterbury; another concerning Soap; another concerning the two Parts of Recusants Lands; another touching Leather, and one concerning Printing, where two Printers were committed for Offences in that kind.
In the Afternoon the House being resolved into a Committee concerning the late Plot for bringing up the Northern Army, and sitting somewhat late, there happened some Words to be spoken, as if Col. Goring was a perjured Man for discovering the Plot to the House, having taken an Oath of Secresie. In debate whereof being very earnest, Candles were called for, but the major Part opposed it; yet Candles being brought by a Mistake, and commanded out again, Sir Will. Widdrington, and Mr. Herbert Price, irregularly took the Candles, and brought them in, contrary to the general Sense of the House; whereupon there was some Stir in the House about it, and the Committee rose.
The Disorder last Night in the House was complained of, and Mr. Hollis made a Speech in Aggravation of the Gentlemens Offence that occasioned it; shewing, That there ought to be no Heats nor Distempers within the House, being a Rule of Order; and if there be within, well there might be without; which might have tended to great Mischief, if Parties should have side thereupon. After a full Debate, Sir William Widdrington, and Mr. Herbert Price (though they submitted themselves to the House) were committed to the Tower.
Resolved, That Col. Goring, in this Deposition of his, concerning this Discovery, hath done nothing contrary to Justice or Honour, but hath therein deserved very well of the Commonwealth and this House.
Also there was a Bill read for the melting of a quantity of Plate to be turned into Coin, That every one that hath 20l. worth of Plate, shall send half of it to be coined, and in the mean time to have Security and Interest for the Forbearance; such as live within Ten Miles, to send up their Plate within Four Days; within Twenty Miles, in Fourteen Days; and those that live within sixty Miles, within Twenty Days. But after some Debate, it was referred to a Committee; and the Warden of the Mint, and other Officers, with the Company of Goldsmiths, were ordered to attend that Committee on Friday following.
Resolved, That 100000l. promised to be paid by the Farmers of the Customs, and the 120000l. promised to be lent by the City, and 150000l. promised to be lent by the Merchant-Adventurers, shall be disposed of for the Relief of the Northern Counties, and of disbanding the Armies.
'Whereas the Government of the Church of England, by Archbishops and Bishops, their Chancellors and Commissaries, Deans, Archdeacons, and other Ecclesiastical Officers, hath been found by long Experience, to be a great Impediment to the perfect Reformation and Growth of Religion, and very prejudicial to the State and Government of this Kingdom.
In this long Debate, the Authority of that very ancient Parchment Manuscript-Copy of the Bible, remaining in his Majesty's Library at St. James's and sent to his Majesty by Cyrillus Patriarch of Alexandria, being all written in great Capital Greek Letters, was vouched and asserted by Sir Simon d' Ewes (a great Antiquary) wherein the Postscripts to the Epistles to Timothy and Titus, are only thus: The first, to Timothy, written from Laodicea: The second, to Timothy, written from Laodicea: To Titus, written from Nicopolis. Whence he inferred, That the stiling of Timothy to be the first Bishop of Ephesus, and Titus the first Bishop of Crete, were the spurious Additions of some Eastern Bishop or Monk, at least five hundred Years after Christ.
The House sending to the Earl of Northumberland, to know whether he had received a Letter (being the Letter before recited) from his Brother Mr. Hen. Piercy, he said he had received one of his own Hand-writing, in which there is some relation concerning the discovery of the late Plot, but withal he writes of private Business between him and his Brother; but if the House will command a Copy of so much as concerns the Plot, he is willing to cause the same to be written out of the Letter it self, in the presence of any Members of this House; and for the present, he saith, That his Brother acknowledgeth the taking the Oath of Secresie with others: That there was a Consultation of other Designs, by other Persons, which he was not called unto: That the Company of them who had tied themselves, by that Oath, were resolved to assist the King in some Particulars, if it should be denied by Parliament, viz, First, To maintain Bishops in their Rights and Functions: The Irish Army not to be disbanded, till the Scotch Army were: To keep up the King's Revenue.
A Letter from divers Officers of the Army was read, and likewise a Copy of a Letter, written formerly to Mr. Hen. Darly; which being taken into Consideration, Commissary Wilmot, Captain Ashburnham, and Captain Pollard, were examined in the House one after another, but one being present at a time: Whereupon it was Resolved, That they should all three be committed Prisoners, upon suspicion of High-Treason, viz. Mr. Wilmot to the Tower, Mr. Ashburnham to the King's Bench, and Mr. Pollard to the Gate-house. And further ordered, That Sir John Berkley, and Dan. O Neal, be sent for as Delinquents, upon Suspicion of High-Treason.
A Bill for restoring in Blood and Honour, Sir Will. Wentworth, Knight, and the rest of the Children of the late Earl of Strafford, and for the settling of the Lands and Tenements of the said late Earl upon his Heirs, &c. was read.
A Complaint was this Day exhibited to the House of Lords, by the Minister and several Inhabitants of St. Saviour Southwark, against some unruly People, who not only refused to receive the Sacrament kneeling, but abused the Minister in the Celebration thereof; and came a day or two after, and violently pull'd down the Rails which were placed about the Communion-Table, having no Authority so to do.
That all the Lands taken by this Bill, from Deans and Chapters, shall be employ'd to the advancement of Learning and Piety, provision being had and made that his Majesty be no Loser in his Rents, First Fruits, and other Duties; and that a competent Maintenance shall be made to the several Persons concerned, if such Persons appear not Peccant and Deliquents to this House.
Mr. Thomas his Speech, about Deans, &c. June 15.
I Have heretofore delivered the Reasons that induced me to yield my several Votes, touching the Corruption and Unsoundness of the present Episcopacy and Church Government, so for their Unlawfulness of their intermeddling in Secular Affairs, and using Civil Power, as also the harm and noxiousness of their sitting as Members in the Lords House, and Judges in that most Honourable and High Court: Now I crave Leave to do the like, in shewing the Reasons of my Vote concerning Deans and their Office: I say, that my Opinion then was, and now is, That as the Office is unnecessary, themselves useless, so the Substance of the one, and Continuance of the other needless; nay, rather, as I will declare, most hurtful; therefore may be easily spared, nay rather ought to be abolished. My Reasons are these: That the Office of Deans doth neither rend or conduce (as some have alledged) to the Honour of God, the Propogation of Piety, the Advancement of Learning, or Benefit of the Commonweal; but e contra, that they occasion the Dishonour and Disservice of God, the Hindrance, if not the Destruction of Piety, the Suppression and Discouragement of Learning and learned Men, and the Detriment and Prejudice of Church and Commonweal. This, I conceive, I shall make most apparent, if Time and your Patience will permit; but first I humbly crave leave (and I think it will not be impertinent) to declare what Deans were originally, in their first Birth; secondly, what in their Increase and further Growth; and lastly, their present Condition, being at their full, and, as I think, their final Period.
As to their Original, it is not to be denied, but themselves and Office are of great Antiquity, St. Augustine declaring both; but I do not say that it is an ancient Office in the Church, but what Officers Deans then were, be pleased to hear from St. Augustine's own delivery, in his Book De moribus Ecclesiae Catholicae (if that Book, as also that of Monachorum be this, which Erasmns and others have doubted): The Monks (faith he) for their more Retiredness and better Contemplation, appointed Officers which they called Deans; the Office of them, and why they were so call'd, he delivereth in these Words, as near as I remember: Opns autem tradunt illis quos Decanos vocant (eo quod sunt Denis praepositi), ut neminem illo rum cura sui Corporis tangat, neque in Cibo, neque in Vestimento, neque si quid aliud vel quotidiana necessitate, vel mutata (ut assolet) Valetudine: bi autem Decani magna solicitudine, omnia disponentes & prasto faciente quicquid illa vita propter imbecillitatem corporis postulet.
Here we see the Office of Deans in St. Augustine's time; Antiquity sufficient, but not Antiquity for being Officers of the Church; therefore they do not rightly plead Antiquity, as to the Point now controverted, the Question being whether the Office as now it is exercised, be the same that it was then. Sure they shall find it not only different, but in a manner quite contrary; they are deceived that urge it; but they are to know, that this Judicious House is able to discern and distinguish a Counterseit face of Antiquity from the true; and in vain do they, with the Gibeonites, labour to deceive us by old Sacks, old Shoes, old Garments, old Boots, and old Bread that is dry and mouldy: Therefore to no purpose, and causeless do they charge us to affect Novelty, and to offer to take away Church Governour and Governments. What these Men, I mean Deans, were originally, we see; how they came to be Presbyters, and of the Ministers, and for what Cause, I shall hereafter declare: But we may not think this charging of us as Innovators strange, when as Christ himself had his Doctrine censured as new; What Doctrine is this? said the Jews, Mark 1. 17. We are not then to expect we shall escape the like Censure of Innovation.
The Servant is not above his Lord, nor the Disciple above his Master; and indeed so St. Paul sound it; for the Grecians made the same demand to him: May we (say they) know what this new Doctrine is, whereof thou speakest? Acts 17. But let us liberare animae nostras, conscientia satisfacimus, nibil in famam laboremus, consentiamus in eo quod convenit, non in eo quod traditum.
But to return where I lest. Granting the Name and Office, we find them to be only Caterers or Stewards to provide Food and Raiment for the Monks; whose Garments as they were not costly, so neither was their Fair dainty, being but Bread and Water, as witnesseth St. Jerome, Athanasins, Theodoret, and others; and Surins in the Life of Paconins testifieth the same. To have the like Employment now, I neither deny nor envy them.
Well; now let us see how they increased in Authority, and came to be accounted Officers of great Dignity. Then thus: When for the Austerity of their Lives, and Opinion of their Sanctity, Princes and others did bestow Lands and Revenues upon the Monks, then their Prapositi the Deans did partake of their Honours and Possessions, and then began the Corruption and Poisoning of them: Tunc venenum infunditur in Decanos, Religio peprit divitias, & Filia devoravit Matrem. Answerable whereto is that of St. Hierom, in Vitas Patrum, since Holy Church increased in Possessions, it decreased in Virtues: the like hath St. Bernard, and many others.
Thus we see that the Spring that was clear in the barren Mountains, descending down to the richer Valleys, becomes thick and muddy, and at last is swallowed by the brinish Ocean, Salsum per dulces imbibet AEquor aquae. But to deliver it in the Words of an Honourable Author: Time, faith he, is most truly compared to a Stream, that conveyeth down fresh and pure Water into the salt Sea of Corruption, which environeth all humane Actions; and therefore if a Man shall not by his Industry, Vertue, and Policy, as it were with the Oar, row against the Stream and Inclination of Time, all Institution and Ordinances, be they never so pure, will corrupt and degenerate; which we shall see verified in Deans and their Officers. For now being endowed with great Possessions it was ordained they should be chosen out of the Presbytery to that Place, Ne sit Decanns nisi Presbyter, as I find in St. Bernard. Well; Did they rest in this State and Condition? No, They must be Civil Magistrates, Chancellors, or Keepers of the Seal, Lord Treasurers, Privy Counsellors; Or what have they not of Lay-Offices, Dignities, and Titles? I will not trouble you with enumeration of particular Deans, I will only cite one, tho if the time permitted, I might cite twenty-one; and that is a Dean of Paul's, about An. 1197. who was made a Lord Treasurer, who carrying that Office, quickly hoarded up a great Treasure; at last falling into a deadly Disease past recovery, he was exhorted by the Bishops and great Men, to receive the Sacrament of Christ's Body and Blood; which he trembling at, refused to do; whereupon the King admonished and commanded him to do it: He promised him thereupon to do it the next day. Being admonish'd to make his Will, he commanded all to void the Room but one Scribe; who beginning to write his Will in the accustomed Form, In the Name of the Father, of the Son, &c. the Dean perceiving it, commanded him in a rage to blot it out, and these Words only to be written: I bequeath all my Goods to my Lord the King, my Body to the Grave, and my Soul to the Devils; which being uttered, he gave up the Ghost: The King hereupon commanded his Carkass to be carried into a Cart, and drowned in the River. Good God, what a Change is this! from being humble Servants to poor Monks, to become proud Prelates, Peers to Princes! Quantum mutah ab illis? Nunc Cigni qui modo Corvi. They now forsake their Templa Paupertatis & Templa Pietatis, tanquam noxima numina, and only allow and make choice of Templa Honoris & Templa Fortunae. They then took care for the poor Monastery but now poorly care for the Ministry: and to speak no less truly than plainly they do either just nothing, or what is worse, nothing that is just. But not to trace them further, let us examine what their present Office is, which we find so honoured and dignified.
In the Constitutions of Hen. 8. and Edw. 6. thus I read: Decani quoque cum in Clero amplam dignitatem & locum honoratum in Ecclefia sortiantur, Presbyteri sunto, viri graves, docti, & magna prudentia insignes, Cathedrales Ecclesias juxta illarum constitutiones regant, Collegio tam Canonicorum quam Clericorum Ecclesie majoris prasint, neque disciplinam labi sinant, provideantque summa diligentia ut in sua Ecclesia sacri Ritus ordine, ac jusla ratione peragantur, utque omnia ordine & convenienti gravitate ad fratrum utilitatem agantur: ut Archidiaconi foris, sic illi domi, hoc est in Ecclesia Cathedrali, & eorum Canonici & Clerici Episcopo sint adjumento quasi duo ejus membra utilissima & necessaria. Quare nec Decani abesse debent à sua Ecclesia, sine maxima & urgentissima causa ab Episcopo approbanda. I have declared the whole Chapter entire, because I would deal clearly.
Thirdly, To be Adjuments or Assistants to the Bishops in the Cathedrals, as be the Archdeacons abroad; part of which Assistance is, as seemeth, to preach for them; but the Bishops will excuse them that Service as too painful, nay forbid it as too dangerous. But tho' they will not busie themselves in preaching, yet have they Leisure to be inventive and operative in poor beggarly Toys and Trifles, which neither bring Honour to God, nor Good to the Church and People. Their preaching and godly Life did anciently win the People's Hearts to love God, and them as his Ministers, whom they received as Angels of God, Ambassadors from Heaven. Humility, Piety and Industry laid the Foundation of all those magnificent Structures, Dignities, Titles, Places, Revenues, and Priviledges, wherewith the Church-men were anciently endowed. What hath, or is likely to waste and demolish them, is easie to conjecture; King James hath delivered it in these Words: 'The natural Sickness that hath ever troubled, and been the Decay of all Churches since the Beginning of the World, hath been Pride, Ambition, and Avarice; and these Infirmities wrought the overthrow of the Popish Church in this Country and divers others; but the Reformation of Religion in Scotland, was extraordinarily wrought by God, tho' many things were inordinately done, by such as blindly were doing the Work of God. Thus far that Wise and Religious Prince.
But lest I should forget a principal part of the Office, Church-Musick, it shall have here the first Place; the rather, for that, as I read, the first coming in thereof, was to usher Antichrist : For I do find in my reading, that Anno 666. the Year that was designed or computed for the Coming of Antichrist, Vitalian Bishop of Rome, brought to the Church Singing of Service, and the Use of Organs, &c. as we read in Platina, Baleus, and others, in the Life of Vitalian, who therefore was called the Musical Pope; although at that time there was greater Occasion of Sorrow, the Longobards having entered and wasted Italy; and therefore Fasting and Praying had been more proper than Musick or melodious Singing. Hereupon (saith mine Author) Ignorance arose among the People, lull'd, as it were, asleep by the confused noise of many Voices. This carried Colour of advancing Devotion, altho' it was no better (as the Case then stood) than the Altar erected to the unknown God, Acts 17. Hereby the Key of Knowledge was hid, Luke 11. when the common People understood not what was sung; and the heat of Zeal was quenched in Men of Understanding, whose Ears were tickled, but Hearts not touched, whilst (as St. Augustine complains of himself) most were more moved with the Sweetness of the Song, than by the Sence of the Matter, which was sung unto them; working their Bane, like the deadly Touch of the Aspis, in a tickling Delight, or as the soft Touch of the Hyana, which doth infatuate and lull asleep, and then devoureth. If Service in the Latin or unknown Tongue, whereof the simplest People understood somewhat, was justly censured, certainly this manner of singing Psalms and Service, whereof the most Learned can understand nothing, is to be condemned. I dislike not singing, tho' by Musick of Organs and other Instruments; but I wish that what is sung may be understood: And as Justinian the Emperour commanded all Bishops and Priests to celebrate Prayer with a loud and clear Voice, non tacito modo, that the Minds of the Hearers might be stirred up with more Devotion to express the Praises of God; so wish I that Service and Psalms may be so read and sung, that they may be understood, and so edifie the Mind, as well as please the Ear.
Now I am to declare, that this Office doth neither tend to the Honour of God, the Propagation of Piety, the Advancement of Learning, or Benefit of the Commonweal; but to the contrary, as I have delivered, rather to the Dishonour, &c. But the Day being so far spent, I will not assume too much Boldness to press upon your Patience for further hearing thereof; but will crave leave for futher rendering thereof at fitter Opportunity, and your better Conveniency.
But the Business proceeding vigorously in the House, we do not find an further Speech made by this Gentleman on this Subject. But Mr. Thomas Pury (an Alderman of Gloucester) did at the same time thus express himself.
Mr. Pury's Speech against Deans and Chapters.
Irise not up to answer the Arguments of the learned Gentleman of the Long Robe that spake last, which were to prove some Incoherence of the Preamble with the Body of the Bill concerning the abolishing of Deans and Chapters, in respect of their Government in the Church of England, who have none at all, as hath been argued: But there are some Reasons stick with me, whereby I do conceive, that the Deans and Chapters have been and are part of the Government of the Church of England; and that the Preamble and Body of this Bill, therein may very well stand together. For if you take the Deans and Chapters in their Original, who (as it was said by a Learned Serjeant over against me) were first founded in Superstition, allied to your Regular Monks; or if you consider them as in Institution to be Consilium Episcopi, to assist Bishops in their Government and Discipline; or if you look upon those Deans and Chapters of the last Foundation by King Henry VIII. yet certainly they are, in all these Capacities, a part of the Government of the Church of England; and as well the Rural as the Cathedral Deans, are numbred by your own Writers amongst Church-Governours; and they are in and amongst themselves a part of the Church-Government: And by the Book of Reformation of Ecclesiastical Laws, they are to govern themselves according to their Statutes of Foundation; and to keep them pure and entire, so far as they are not repugnant to the Word of God, and our Constitutions of Religion.
And for the better Satisfaction of this Committee and my self, here is a Copy of the Statutes, Grant, and Foundation of the Dean and Chapter of our Cathedral of Gloucester: I have read them over, and do find, 1 The End wheresore the Lands and Possessions were granted to them. 2. The Manner and Form of their governing themselves. And, Lastly, their several Oaths to keep all the Statutes prescribed unto them. And because of my weak Memory, please you to give me Leave to read the Words in the King's Grant, Englished thus:
'We have erected and constituted Cathedrals and Colleges in the Place of Monasteries, to the End that where Ignorance and Superstition did reign, there the sincere Worship of God should flourish, and the Holy Gospel of Christ Jesus be daily and purely preached. And further, that the Encrease of the Christian Faith and Piety, the Instruction of Youth in good Learning, and the Sustentation of the Poor, should be for ever there kept, maintained, and continued. And the said Deans, Prebends, Canons, and all other Persons belonging to the said Cathedrals and Colleges, are to be governed and ruled according to the Statutes prescribed unto them.
The Statutes are many; I will in brief tell you the Substance of some few of them. The said Deans, Prebends, and Canons, are always to reside and dwell in the Houses of the said Cathedral, and there to keep a Family, good Hospitality, to feed the Poor, and to distribute Alms unto the Needy; to be careful to preach the Word of God, in Season and out of season, and to sow the Seed of the Word of God Abroad, but especially in the said Cathedral Church, and to have Youth prositably taught there. And to the End that they all serve God, as well at Meals as in the Church, they are to have a Common-Table in the Common-Hall of the said Cathedral, where the said Canons, Scholars, Choristers, and Under Officers, are appointed to eat together. And the said Dean and Chapter are to give Yearly 20 I, to the Poor, besides their own poor Alms-men, and 20 I, more yearly towards the repairing of Bridges and High-ways thereabouts.
Sir, For the Performances of the said Statutes and Premises, the said Deans, Prebends, Canons, and Ministers of the said Cathedral, do, or ought respectively to take an Oath, and thereby in express Words do call God to Witness, and do swear upon the Holy Evangelifts, to rule, govern, and behave themselves well and faithfully in the said Church, according to the Will and Statutes of the Founder: And every one of them doth swear, That he will to his utmost Power, well and faithfully keep all and singular the said Ordinances and Statutes, as much as concerns himself; and will procure all others, as much as concerns them, to keep the same inviolably: So help him God, and these holy Gospels of God.
Mr. hide, You see wherefore the Lands were granted unto Deans and Chapters; what their Statutes are, and their Oaths to keep them. It might be thought, that these Men do know a Way, another, or nearer Way to Heaven, than they teach us; or otherwise they would not sit in the Seat of Perjary, as they seem to do, without remorse of Conscience.
For it is notoriously known to the City of Gloucester, and County thereabouts, That not one of the said Statutes, before-mention'd, are, or ever were, during my Remembrance, kept, or the Matters contained in any of them, performed, by any of the Deans or Prebends of the said Cathedral. They come, indeed, once a Year to receive the Rents and Profits of the said Lands; but do not distribute to the Poor and Needy their Portion, neglecting altogether the mending of the High-ways and Bridges, and do not keep any Common-Table at all; and instead of preaching the Word of God themselves, in Season and out of Season, they are and have been the chief Instruments to hinder the same in others. Infinite are the Pressures that many Cities near unto Deans and Chapters, have endured by them and their Procurement.
And whereas it was objected by another learned Gentleman of the Long Robe, That the Deans and Chapters are a Body Corporate, and that they have as much Right unto their Lay Possessions as any other Body Politick, or any City or Town Corporate; I am of his Opinion, for such Lands and Possessions (if they have any) which they bought themselves in Right of their Corporation, or for such Lands as were given them for their own Use; and I am well contented that such Lands should be left unto them. But their Case is far different in my Opinion; for I have shewed you before, to what godly, pious, and charitable Uses, the said Lands and Possessions were granted unto them: And suitable thereunto, you may call to mind the Londoners Case, about London-Derry, in the Star-Chamber, where they were fined 70000 l. to his Majesty; and the same afterwards estreated into his Majesty, as I have heard, received not Benefit of any such Lands, whereof the Corporation was Seized for the Mainenance of any Hospitals, Bridges, or other charitable Uses, nor ought to have done, as I conceive.
Seeing therefore the said Deans and Chapters are but Trustees, and the Profits of the said Lands so ill imploy'd by them, contrary to the Trust in them reposed, I am clear of Opinion, That by a Legislative Power in Parliament, it is sit to take them away, and to put them into the Hands of Feoffees, to be disposed of to such pious and charitable Uses, as they were first intended.
But it was said by a worthy Knight, That he Should be unwilling to take away their Lands and Possessions, until he first knew how they should be disposed of; and how the Persons, who were many Thousands in this Kingdom (as he said) that should want Bread, should be provided for. Certainly, Mr. Hide, tho' that is not the Work at this time, yet I account it no Difficulty to satisfie that worthy Knight; for I find upon the Survey of the Lands of the said Deanary of Gloucester, that it hath above twelve Rectories of good Value, and about thirty Vicarages, Pensions, and Portions of Tythes, which being at the first Deo Consecarta, most sit they should be still employ'd for the Maintenance of the Gospel. And therefore, if the Dean and those Prebends, being but Seven in all, to be now taken away, will be preaching Ministers, there is, I hope, sufficient Maintenance for so many of them, as have not too much besides, and yet to reserve as large a Salary, as now is allow'd, for so many Singing-men there in Holy Orders that cannot preach: And then there are left to be provided for, but the Organist, eight Singing-Boys, two School-Masters, four poor Alms-Men, and some under Officers, whose yearly Wages come unto about 100l. per Annum; and the said Dean and Chapter have almost the third Part of the Houses of the City of Gloucester, the old Rent of them being yearly about 175l. which will well desray that Charge,, with a sufficient Surplusage, for Repairing the High-ways and Bridges, and 20l. a Year to the Poor, as is a foresaid.
But over and besides the said yearly Revenues before-mention'd, the said Dean and Chapter of Gloucester (altho' but of the last Foundation, and one of the least in Revenue in this Kingdom, yet) have also eighteen goodly Mannors, and also divers other Lands, Tenements, and Hered taments, besides the Mannor-Houses and Pemises, the old Rent of Assize of one of the said Mannors being 80l. per Annum.
Out of which Mannors and Lands, the said Cathedral being to be made a Parochial Church, 200l. per Annum, or more, may be allowed for a learned preaching Minister there, and 100l. per Annum a-piece, for two such others to assist him, which in few Years, one of the said Mannors will discharge, and also sufficiently repair the said Cathedral Church. And then the rest of the said Mannors and Lands may be employ'd to other godly, pious, or charitable Uses, as the Wisdom of the King and Parliament shall think sit; and suitable to this, but in a more ample Proportion of Maintenance, will be the Allowances of all other Deanries in England.
Again, This, I conceive, will answer another Objection, raised by a worthy Knight at the Bar, touching the Poverty of the Clergy of England, if this Bill should take Effect; surely my Opinion is quite contrary, and to that Purpose, I call to Mind the Saying of a learned Divine, Chaplain to a Nobleman, upon some Conference with him, of our wish'd Desire to remove scandalous Ministers, and to reduce the Impropriations of Bishops, Deans, and Chapters, to a preaching Ministry; If these things, faith he, take Effect, the Universities will not be able to supply the Churches.
And surely, Sir, if these things take Effect, I am confident we shall be so far from having a poor, beggarly Clergy, as that no Kingdom in the Christian World will have a more rich and flourishing Clergy, both for Nurseries and Encouragement of Learning, and for their Maintenance in more plentiful manner, than it is at this present. Please you therefore to put the Question, I am ready to give my Aid thereunto.
The House of Commons having Cause of Jealousie, that there was some Design by a disaffected Party in Scotland, to disturb the disbbanding of the Scots Army, took into Consideration a Paper sent from Scotland, intituled, Instructions given by the Earl of Montross to the Lord Napier, and to the Lords of Ker, &c. The Contents of which obscure Paper were this Day read, and was to this Effect, viz.
(1.) to give Advice above, how necessary it is that R. do come to the Plantation [viz. Parliament.] (2.) That H. [that is, Offices of State] be kept till it be seen who serves him best. (3.) That H. [Offices of State] be not bestowed by the Advice of the Elephant [that is, Hamilton, for fear he crush the R. to assure R. that R. and l. [that is, Religion and Liberty] being granted, he will be powerful to crush the Elephant; not to let R. drink Water, except he promise not to cast it up again: That R. be present in Person in the Proclamation [that is, the Parliament] to countenance his own Security.
Upon the Debate of this Paper of the Earl of Montross's; it was Resolved, That both Houses be humble Suitors to his Majesty, That the Armies may be disbanded before the King's going into the North [his Majesty preparing for a Progress into Scotland.] That all Parts of the Kingdom be put into a Posture of Defence against all Opposition whatsoever: That all Counties, especially the Norhtern, should be well stored with Ammunition and Arms; and that the Train'd-Bands be exercised: That an especial Eye may be had over all Counties, where the Papists are most resident: And, That all publick Bills, for the Peoples Satisfaction, may be expedited while the King is among us.
That Care may be taken of her Majesty's Safety, and the Safety of the King's Children; and that some Person of Credit, Quality, and Trust, may be thoughtof, to be always near the Queen, in the time of the King's Absence.
Col. Goring this Day made a Declaration of all he knew in the Business concerning the uniting of the Forces of the Army, and putting it into a Posture, and some other Circumstances depending upon that Business.
Of the Examinations of several Gentlemen concerned in the late intended Conspiracy against the State, whereof these following are the Minutes.
The before-recited Examination of the Lieutenant of the Tower was likewise read; which plainly shewed, That the Earl of Strafford endeavoured an Escape, promising him 20000 l. and to advance his Son in Marriage, to one of the richest Matches in the Kingdom.
As concerning the Army to be engaged against the Parliament, Lieut. Colonel Ballard 's Examination was read; whereby it appeared, that Capt. Chidley brought down to the Army many Propositions; some of which were, That Colonel Goring should be Lieut. General of the Army, and that the Prince, and the Earl of Newcastle would be in Nottinghamsbire with a Thousand Horse ready to join with the Army.
That Willis upon his Examination declared, That the French were to assist them; and that the Clergy would, at their own Charge, send 2000 Horse to the Aid of the Army; and that the Prince would come down to the Army.
A Committe appointed to consider of that Clause concerning Tonnage and Poundage, added to the Petition of Right, and how the same came in; and to consider of some Remedy to prevent the Inconveniences that may happen to Posterity thereby.
The Lords this Day proceeding upon the Complaint late made unto them, for the Minister, and several Inhabitants of St. Saviour's Southwark, sentenced Two of the riotous Delinquents, finning them Twenty Pound a-piece, to stand Two several Market-Days in the Pillory, and Imprisonment during Pleasure; and Two others they referred to the Quarter-Sessions, to be there indicted and prosecuted according to Law.
A Committee appointed to draw a Bill for Poll-money, according to the several Votes this Day pass'd, touching the several Degrees, and how much each should pay, viz. Every Duke to pay 100 l. A Marquiss 80 l. Earl 60 l. Viscount 50 l. Lord 40 l. Baronet 30 l. Knight 20 l. Esquire 10 l. and so on to inferiour Ranks.
This Day Order was given for the making ready against Monday, the King and Queen's Barges, for the Conveyance of the Queen-Mother and her Train, to Gravesend, being bound (as was said) for Italy, her Native Country. But (for want of Money) she did not go for some time after.
In the House of Commons Sir William Savyl's Petition was read, for his releasing out of the Tower (whither he had been committed some time before, for disclosing and informing certain Words spoken in the House, by certain Members in a former Parliament; by Occasion where of after the said Parliament dissolv'd, they were imprisoned.) The House was divided upon it; but by the Majority, carried for his Continuance in Custody.
A Bill read against Pluralities, That whoever had Two Livings, should resign the one before the 21st of September next: And such as should be absent from their Living at any time Sixty Days, to lose it.
There was also a great Debate about the Payment of the 300000 l. allowed the Scots. And at length it was concluded, That they should have 100000 l. paid at Michaelmas come Twelve-Month, and the other 200000 l. at Midsummer, Two Years after.
Sir Edward Deering's Speech about Church-Government, June 21. 1641.
You have here a Bill, but such a one as is like to be short-liv'd, and not to grow into a perfect Act, unless you please to add thereunto some very important, very significant Provisoes; such, wherein we may have, or where-by we may be assured in another Bill, to have a future Government in room of this that goes out. I am confident the Lords will otherwise Debate and Dispute your Bill quite out of Doors.
Sir, We are all bound unto the Goodness of his Sacred Majesty (God preserve Him and His for it) none of all our Bills, none of our Petitions (this Parliament) have miscarried in his Royal Hand, but have been all compleated with the Royal Assent.
But the Ambition of some of our Prelates will not let them see how incompatible Two several contradistinguish'd Functions are in one and the same Person: And therefore there is lest you neither Root nor Branch of that so good, so necessary a Bill, which lately we did send up, and consequently no Hope of such a Reformation as we all do aim at.
What Spark of Hope can we then have, that this Bill, which strikes at Root and Branch, both of their Seats of Justice there, and of their Episcopal Chairs in the Church, will pass, as it is, and without tender some other Government in lieu of this, since the Voices are still the same which outed your former Bill?
Truly (I profess) my Hopes are sad in this: never had one Parliament so many great Affairs; never had any Parliament any Affair so great as this, which we call The Bill of Episcopacy: Certainly, Sir, it is the great Hope, or the exceeding Fear of every Man here, and of all Men abroad.
Many a time, this Parliament, I have heard (and not unjustly) that the Business then in Hand was of as great Consequence as any had been agitated with in these Walls. But in truth, Sir, to my Apprehension, neither Star-Chamber, nor High-Commission, nor Ship-Money, nor Strafford's Death, nor Canterbury's Life, are (with me) equivalent to the settling, or unsettling of the whole National Church of this Kingdom.
We cannot answer to God, or Man, if we do not use our best and most vigorous Endeavours for the Peace of the Church we live in. I should think this a happy Day, if we could so temper this Bill, that it might walk fairly on through the House of Lords unto the King. To this end, that we may not lose All, by asking more than All, I will be bold to offer to your Consideration a Provisional Addition or two; such as, I hope, may both satisfie us, and secure our Bill by fit Amendments.
[Here was a little Interruption, and then a long Addition to the Bill, presented in Writing, for putting all Church-Government into the Hands of Commissioners in every Diocess. But Sir Edward proceeded:]
There is now offered unto you a large Addition to your Bill, longer (indeed) by far than the Bill it self; it seems to desire that a proportional Number of Clergy and Laity, may be Commissionated together, for all Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction, until a future Government be resolved on.—I must contess I am not satisfied with this way of Commissioners. It would joy me much, and satisfie me more, if as one Government goes out, I could fee another come in, without an Interregnum of Commissioners.
We are Resolved, That the present Way of Government is unsufferable; let it go, but let us have another. This I conceive to be feasible, and that in fewer Words than this Additional Increment, now offered to your Bill; which in truth will make me like your Bill the worse.
To this purpose I do lay this Ground: A Church Government we must have; this is (within these Walls for ought I hear) on all Hands agreed upon; and then (by unavoidable necessity) this Government must be distributed into Parts, into certain Limits, Circuits, and Divisions of Places, wherein it is to be exercised.
First, Our present Diocesses are (for the most part) much too large, too vast; I desire therefore, That the Circuit, for future Church-Government may be reduced to the common Boundaries and Limits of our several Shires; the disproportion from thence objected shall be easily answered.
Secondly, Next, in every of these Division, I desire that some Choice, Able, Grave Divines, (Twelve or more in a Shire) may be by the Parliament appointed, to be in the Nature of an Old Primitive Constant Presbytery among us.
Thirdly and lastly, Because all Meetings of many must be disorderly, and the Rule of many cannot be without Confusion, unless there be one to guide and to direct the rest, I shall desire, that in every Shire, over every Presbytery, we may establish one President. A President, I say, more to satissie others than my self. The Name of Bishop disturbs not me; let him be a Bishop, or an Overseer, or a President, or a Moderator, or a Super intendent, or a Ruling Elder; call him what you will, so as you provide me one in every Shire, over every Presbytery, to guide and direct the rest.
The different Sense (to be easily observ'd) and, I hope, not past our Strength to be reconciled, in this House, concerning our present Church-Government, is Two-fold: One is for Ruin thereof; the other for Reforming; both are nearer together in Heart, I perswade my self, than we are yet aware of; the nearer the better, and more easie Composure, both of our selves here, and of the Churches Peace throughout the Land abroad. God send that we may find the Way to Peace.
This Bishop was not so much a Lord, as a Father over his Charge, ruling with Love and tender Bowels: Whosoever did Institute this Episcopacy, sure I am, this Bishop hath, and ever had, a Precedency before, and a Presidency over others of his own Order: He was one Man chosen out among the rest, and by the rest put into a several Degree (not into a distinct Superiour Order) above the rest εἰς τὸ Επισκοπεῖν, ad Episcopandum, to oversee the Rest; and this only in Matters Spiritual; nothing at all in Affairs Temporal or Secular Employments.
If this Bishop were not of Apestolical Institution, yet it is undeniable that he was of Apostolical Permission. For of, and in the Apostolical Times, all Stories, all Fathers, all Ages have agreed, that such Bishops there were. His Rule indeed was with consent of his Senate, his Presbytery: Direction was his; Coercion was still their own.
He had προεδρίαν, yea and προστασίαν, both the first place of Sitting, and the chiefest part of Power: I say the chiefest Part; I do not say the greatest Part of Power. The Power, it was more eminent in him, but it was virtually residing and domesticant in the Plurality of his Assessors.
These Assessors were the Presbyters the Elders of the Church, of whom Holy Ignatius (a Father so Primitive, that he was Disciple to St. John the Apostle) and by some, thought to be that very Child (whilst he was a Child) whom our Blessed Saviour took and set before his Disciples, whereof you read in three of the Evangelists. This Ignatius, I say, in his Epistle to the Trallians, doth call these Elders συμβουλους καὶ συνεδρεμίας του Επισκόπου, The Counsellors and Co-assessors of the Bishop.
Here was in this Age (and yet this Father died a Bishop and a Martyr before the last Apostle went to Heaven:) here was a Fellowship, yet such a Fellowship as destroyed not Presidency; and in another Epistle (that to the Magnesians) you have such a Presidency, as doth admit also of a Fellowship. The Words are προκαθεμιζιου τῶν Επισκόπου εἰς τοπον Θεου, καὶ τῶν Πρεσβυτέρων εἰς τοπον συνεδρίου τῶν Αποστολῶν, the Bishop being President, (the very Name and Office there) as in the Place of God, and the Presbyters as a Senate of Apostles. I forbear to dilare upon this Episcopacy: But I will be bold, Ponere ad Oculos, to set him before your Eyes: I will give him you, even by way of Demonstration.
Mr. Hide, Your self are now in this Great Committee: Mr. Speaker is in the House, the Bishop of our Congregation: You are in Your selves but Fellow-Members of the same House with us, return'd hither (as we also are) to sit on these Benches with us, until by our Election, and by common Suffrage you are Incathedrated: Then you have (and it is fit and necessary that you should have) a Precedency before us, and a Presidency over us; notwithstanding this, you are not diversify'd into a several distinct Order from us; (you must not swell with that Concert;) you are still the same Member of the same House you were, tho' rais'd to a painful and careful Degree among us, and above us.
This Bishop had (as your self have here) Potestatem Directivam, but not Correctivam. Correction in our House doth dwell in the general Vote. You know the Power you have is Lmited and circumscribed by them who gave it: You are no Dictator to prescribe us our Laws, but must gather our Votes; and then your pronouncing doth fix our (not your own single) Orders. Neither you here, not Mr. Speaker in the House, can degrade any one of us from these Seats, nor can you silence us in the due Liberty of our Speech.
Truly, Sir, as yet advised, I do heartily with, that we had in every Shire of England, a Bishop, such and so regulated for Church Government, within that Sphere, as Mr. Speaker is bounded in and limited, by the Rules and Cancels of this House. That were indeed a well tempered and a blessed Reformation; whereby our Times might be approximant and conformant to the Apostolical and pure Primitive Church: But this, I fear, is Magis optandum quam sperandum; Yet it being the Cause of God, who can then despair?
This Happiness (I mean living under Episcopal Presidency, not under a Domineering Prelacy;) this is too high above our reach; yet strong Prayers, and hearty Endeavours may pull the Blessing down upon us: In the mean time, Woe is our Churches Portion, for our Bishop-President is lost, and grown a Stranger to us; and in his Room is crept in and stept up a Lordly Prelate, made proud with Pomp and Ease; who neglecting the best part of his Office in God's Vineyard, instead of Supporting the weak, and binding up the broken, forageth the Vines, and drives away other Labourers. The Vines indeed have both Grapesand Leaves, and Religious Acts, both Substance and Circumstance, but the Gardener is much to blame, who gives more Charge to the Workman of the Leaves than of the Fruit.
This rough Enforcement of late, to that which is not the better part, is an Episcopacy that turns all our Melody into a Threnody: This makes many poor, pious Christian Souls, to Sing the Songs of Sion in a Strange Land.
This Bishop will have no Assessors (or if any, so formally admitted, and so awed, as good have none) no Senate, no Consulation, no Presbytery or Common Suffrage but elates himself up into usurped Titles, and incompatible Power, and Sublimes it self by assuming a Soleship both in Orders and in Censures, Religion and Reason, and Primitive Example, are allow'd against this Episcopacy. This too elate subliming of one, cannot stand without a too mean Demission, I may say, debasing of many other of the same Order: Nay, this Bishop, not content with Ecclesiastick Pride alone, will swell also with Ambition and Offices Secular.
Truly, Sir, you have done exceeding well to vote away this Bishop: For of this Bishop (and of this alone) I must understand the Vote you have passed, until I be better instructed; for your Vote is against the present Episcopacy; and for the present, you can hardly find any other Episcopacy but this, an Authority, however by some of them better exercised, yet too solely entrusted to them all.
Away then with this Lordly Domineerer, who plays the Monarch (perhaps the Tyrant) in a Diocess: Of him it is of whom I read, Episcopalis Dignitas Papalem Sastum redolet. This kind of Episcopacy, it smells rank of the Papacy: Nor shall you ever be able utterly and absolutely to extirpate Popery, unless you root out this Soleship of Episcopacy.
To conclude, in short, and plain English, I am for abolishing of our present Episcopacy, both Diocesses and Diocesan, as now they are. But I am withal (at the same tim) for Restauration of the Pure Primitive Episcopal Presidency. Cut off the usurped Adjuncts of our present Episcopacy, reduce the ancient Episcopacy, such as it was, in puris spiritualibiss. Both may be done with the same Hand, and I think in a shorter Bill than is offer'd now by way of Addition.
Down then with our Prelatical Hierarchy, or Hierarchical Prelacy, (such as now we have) most of it consisting of Temporal Adjuncts only; the Diana and the Idol of proud and lazy Church-men! This do, but ea Lege, on this Condition, That with the same Hand, in the same Bill, we do gently raise again (even from under the Ruins of that Babel) such an Episcopacy, such a Presidency, as is venerable in its Antiquity and Purity, and most behoveful for the Peace of our Christendom.
This is the way of Reforming: And thus by yielding to the present Storm, and throwing that over-board which is adventitious, borrowed and undue: Peace may be brought Home unto our Church again, the best of that Building, and the Truth of ancient Episcopacy may be preserv'd; otherwise we hazard all. This would be glorious for us and for our Religion; and the Glory thereof will be the greater, because it redounds unto the God of Glory.
Ordered, That the Committee appointed to meet with the Scoteb Commissioners, do receive an Narration of several Passages in Scotland, concerning that Kingdom; and to move that the Papers themselves may be delivered.
The House finding every Day new Discoveries of Meetings of Papists and others, and of several Plots and Designs to disturb the Peace of this Kingdom, and the Kingdom of Scotland, do therefore desire the Lords, That all suspected Persons may be stay'd and examin'd and all Letters of this Week may be seiz'd upon, and brought to be perused.
The Gentleman-Usher signified to the House, that his Majesty was in the House of Peers, and expected the House, with the Speaker to attend him there; at which time his Majesty pass'd the Bill for Tonnage and Poundage, being presented to him by the Speaker, with this Speech.
Mr. Speaker's Speech in the Lords House of Parliament, June 22. 1641.
That Policy is best, most Gracious and Dread Sovereign, which weights the Prerogative of the King, and Property of the Subject in the Same Scales, and encreases the Plenty of the Crown, and Contentment of the People; the even poising of this Beam, enables both; the one being ordain'd for the Preservation of the other.
This Principle is so rivetted into the Hearts of your Subjects, by the Acts of their Ancestors, and Traditions of their Fore-Fathers, that it hath created a Belief in them, that their Wills are bound to a due Allegiance, and their Fortunes and Estates, as well as their Duty and Subjection, must bend to the Commands of that Sovereign Power, with which God hath invested your Sacred Majesty.
Compulsory Obedience, advanced by the transcendent Power of Prerogative is too weak to support the Right of Government; it is the Affections and Estates of your People, tyed with the Threads of Obedience, by the Rules of Law, that fastens Safety and Prosperity to the Crown.
The Experiment of Elder Times, in the Reign of the most Valiant, Puissant Princes, hath concluded this the Soveraign Preservative against the Diseases of Distraction and Confusion, and makes it manifest to the World, that the Honour and Glory of this Throne is to Command the Hearts of Free-Men.
Several Parliaments in former Times have stamp'd the Character of a free Gift upon the Fore-front of this Aid, still offered by the People as a Sacrifice of Thanksgiving to the Crown for the safe Conduct of your Merchant's, and Provision of the Navy, to strengthen your undoubted Dominion over the Seas, which have protected your Allies, and is a Terrour to your Enemies.
Our Hopes were long since to have settled this for the Measure and Time; and with this, to have presented to your Sacred Majesty the Triumphant Palm of Tranquility in all your Kingdoms: But as a Ship floating upon a rough Sea, we have been cast upon the Rock of Fears and Dangers, and tossed on the Billows of Distraction, and distrust of Church and Commonwealth, where we yet remain hopeless, ever to pass through that narrow Channel, which leads to the Haven of Peace, unless we be steadily steered on by the Hand of your Sacred Wisdom, Care and Providence.
And to that End, I am now sent by the Commons of England to present this as a Mark, only whereby your Sacred Majesty may view the inward Duties of our Hearts, until Time and Opportunity will give leave for a farther Expression of our Duties and Affections; the Acceptation of this Gift will glad the Hearts of your People, and the Approbation by the Royal Assent of this Bill (being the largest for the Measure which was ever given) will joyn Wings to our Desires and Hopes; which shall never return without that Olive-Leaf, which may declare, That the Waters are abated, and your Sacred Majesty may have full Assurance of the Faith and Loyalty of your Subjects.
The King's Speech at his passing the Bill of Tonnage and Poundage, June 22. 1641.
I do very willingly accept your Offer made at this Time, as a Testimony of your Love, and beginning of your Dutiful Affections unto me: and I no way doubt but that you will perform that which you have intimated unto me, and that in due time you will perform the rest when you have leisure.
I doubt not likewise but that in passing this Bill, you will see a Testimony of the Trust and Confidence I have in your Affection; as also that I omit no occasion whereby I may show that Affection to my People, that I desire my People would show to me, as in this Parliament hitherto no body can say, but that I have sought Occasions, both to show my Affections unto them, and to remove Disputes.
And therefore in this particular Bill, I hope you will know that I do freely and frankly give over the Right which my Predecessors have ever challenge'd unto them; (hough, I confess, disputed, but yet they did never yield it in their Times:) Therefore your will understand this, but as a Mark of my Confidence, to put my self wholly upon the Love and Affection of my People for my Subsistence; and therefore I hope that in Prosecution of this, you will go on as you have said: And though you have Rumours of Jealousies and Suspicions, by flying and idle Discourses that have come to my Ears, concerning the Extraordinary Way, I confess I never understood it otherwise than as having relation to the Scottish Army, and prevention Insurrection, which vanished as soon as they were born.
And therefore now you see my Clearness, I will leave that to you, and will not meddle with it one way or other; for I never had other Design, but to win the Affections of my People by my Justice in my Government.
Die Jovis, 24 Junij, 1641. A large Conference with the Lords, concerning several Particulars about disbanding the Army, the Capuchins, &c.
- 1. That Five Regiments, according to the former Order of both Houses, be first disbanded.
- 2. That the Commissioners for Scotland be entreated to retire some part of their Army.
- 3. That their Lordships will join with us in a Petition to his Majesty, to declare his Pleasure concerning the disbanding of the Five Regiments, for which there is present Money provided, and of the rest of the Army, as soon as Money is ready.
- 4. And to declare, if any be refractory, and contemn his Majesty's Authority, that he will use it for the Punishment of them.
- 5. And that the Lord-General go down to his Charge of the Army, and begin his Journey on Saturday next; and that the Master of the Ordnance go then down also to take care of his Charge of Artillery.
That his Majesty will be pleased to allow a convenient Time before his Journey into Scotland; that both Armies be first disbanded, and some of the Business of Importance, concerning the Peace of the Kingdom depending in Parliament, may be dispatched before his going: This is seconded with divers Reasons.
- 1. The Safety of his Majesty's Person.
- 2. Preventing the Jealousies of his Subjects.
- 3. Suppressing of the Hopes of Persons ill-affected, that may have Designs upon the Army to disturb the Peace of the Kingdom.
- 4. Great Advantage to the King's Affairs, and Contentment to his People.
- 5. That some of the Bills now depending in Parliament, whereof divers are sent up already to the Lords, and some proceeding in this House, may receive his Royal Assent before he go to Scotland; and that we may have Time to pass the Bill of Tonnage to his Majesty, for supporting of the Royal Estate, and to settle his Majesty's Revenues for the best Advantage of his Service; and for these Reasons to allow some Time before he go into the North.
Both Houses to make Suit to his Majesty, to remove from him all such Counsellors as I am commanded to describe; viz. such as have been active for the Time past, in furthering those Courses, contrary to Religion, Liberty, Good Government of the Kingdom, and as have lately interested themselves in those Counsels, to stir up Division between him and his People,
2. As we desire removal of those that are Evil, so to take into his Council for managing of the great Affairs of this Kingdom, such Officers and Counsellors as his People and Parliament may have just Cause to conside in. This is all concerning the third Head.
- 1. That his Majesty be pleased, by Advice of his Parliament, to persuade the Queen to accept some of the Nobility, and others of Trust, into her Majesty's Service, into such Places as are now in her Disposal.
- 2. That no Jesuit, nor any in Orders, what Countrymen soever, whether French or Italian, be received into her Majesty's Service; nor any Priests of his Majesty's Dominion, English, Scottish, or Irish; and that they be restrained from coming to the Court.
- 3. That the College of Capuchins at Somerset-House, may be dissolved and sent out of the Kingdom. These Two which I last mentioned concerning the Queen, Priests, Jesuits, and Capuchins, I am commanded to deliver you some Particulars for.
- 1. Publick Danger, and Scandal of this Kingdom, and Peace of the Kingdom.
- 2. The Disaffection of some of those wicked Conspirators, is express'd in two Letters; which Letters were here read openly.
- 3. A particular Letter of Father Phillips here also read.
- 4. Because of the Priests, Jesuits, and the College, there are divers great Quantities of Gold transported frequently.
- 5. Particular touching the Queen, is upon special Occasions of his Majesty's Absence, That their Lordships will be pleased to join with us to advise the King, That some of the Nobility, and others of Quality, with competent Guards, may be appointed to attend the Queen's Person, against all Designs of Papists, and of ill-affected Persons, and of restraining Resort thither in his Absence.
V. The Fifth Head concerns the King's Children, That some Persons of Publick Trust, and well-affected in Religion, may be placed about the Prince, who may take care of his Education, and of the rest of his Children, especially in Matters of Religion and Liberty.
VI. The Sixth Head concerneth such as shall come into the Kingdom, with Titles of being the Pope's Nuncio, That it may be declared, that if any Man come into this Kingdom with Instructions from the Pope of Rome, it be a Case of High-Treason; and that he be out of the King's Protection, and out of the Protection of the Law. And I am to inform your Lordships, That there is Notice given upon very good Grounds, that Count Rosetti doth yet continue in the Kingdom, and yet resorts unto the Court.
- 1. That there may be good Lord-Lieutenants, and Deputy-Lieutenants, and such as may be faithful and trusty, and careful of the Peace of the Kingdom.
- 2. That the Train'd-Bands be furnish'd with Arms, and Powder, and Bullets, and exercised, and made fit for Service; and that a special Oath may be prepared, by Consent of both Houses, authorised by Law; and to be taken by the Lord-Lieutenants, and Deputy-Lieutenants, Captains, and other Officers, such an Oath as may be fit to secure us in these Times of Danger.
- 3. That the Cinque-Ports, and all the Ports of the Kingdom may be put into good Hands; and a List of those in whose Charge they now are, may be presented in Parliament, and special Care taken for the Reparation and Provision of those Forts.
- 4. That my Lord Admiral may inform the Parliament in what Cafe his Majesty's Navy is, which is to be provided for out of Tonnage and Poundage, for the Security and Peace of the Kingdom.
IX. The Ninth Head doth concern a Committee of both Houses, That their Lordships would appoint a Number of their Members to join together, with a proportionable Number of this House, who from Timeto Time may conser upon some particular Causes, as shall be most effectual for the common Good.
X. The Tenth and last Head, That his Majesty be moved that he would be pleased to be very sparing in sending for Papists to Court; and that if any should come without being sent for, that the Laws be severely put in Execution against them: And that the English Ladies that are Recusants, be removed from Court; and that his Majesty be moved to give his Assent, that the Persons of the most active Papisty, either Lords or Commons, may be so restrained, as may be most necessary for the Safety of the Kingdom; and that no Pensions be allowed to such Recusants as are held dangerous to the State.
The intercepted Letter of Father Phillips, mentioned in this Conference, we have recited before in the Month of May; but being remembred again upon this Occasion, occasioned the House to Order, That Robert Phillips (one of the Queen's Priests, whom they suspect to be the Writer of this and another dangerous Letter) should be sent for to attend the Committee in the Afternoon.
The Messenger coming to White-Hall, and finding him, acquainted him therewith; who said he would go in and eat something, and come presently and go with him. But by a back Door he went, and acquainted the Queen with his being sent for; and after some stay, came and told the Officer, That he had been with the Queen, who had commanded him That be should not go till she bad spoke with the King; and that he would obey her Commands before those of the House of Commons. Of which, Information being given to the House, they sent a Warrant to apprehend him, and bring him forthwith as a Delinquent.
That the Scots may also retire in some Proportion, wishing that Care be taken of the Honour and Safety of the Kingdom in the disbanding. And also they add, That within a Day or two the Treaty will be concluded.
The Lords let the House of Commons know, That his Majesty had received Advertisement from the Venetian Ambassador, that Rosetti did intend to be gone out of this Kingdom within two or three Days, waiting only for a safe Passage.
The Serjeant-at-Arms waiting with his Warrant at White-Hall, to apprehend Phillips the Priest, the Lord Chamberlain sent for him, and examined him by what Authority he came within the Verge of the Court to attach any one? Who shewing his Warrant, his Lordship desired he would trust him with it to shew the King; which the Officer did: And the Lord Chamberlain soon after returning, gave this Answer: That his Majesty would satisfie the House about it, if Phillips did not appear.
In the Afternoon, the said Phillips did voluntarily appear, and was called to the Bar; where having kneeled for some Time, he was commanded to stand up, and endeavoured to excuse his not coming at first, because the Warrant was for Francis Phillips, and his Name was Robert; besides, the Queen wished him to stay' till she had acquainted his Majesty, &c. yet understanding this Day, that the Honourable House was offended, he came of his own accord.
The Impeachment of Father Phillips.
- I. That the said Father Phillips hath been observed to be a great Cause, both in himself and his Adherents, of a great part of the Unquietness of this State.
- II. He, with Parsons, and others their Assistants, were the only Cause that the Pope was stirred up to send Breves to these Kingdoms of England and Scotland, to hinder the Oath of Allegiance, and lawful Obedience of the Subjects to our gracious King, that so they may still fish in troubled Waters.
- III. The damnable Doctrine which he and the other Jesuites have taught, to destroy and depose Kings, hath been the Cause of the Civil Wars like to befal these Kingdoms, if God in his Mercy do not prevent it.
- IV. They have been the Cause of the Monopolies projected in this Kingdom, especially concerning Soap, the Forest of Dean, and Marking of Butter Casks, where all the Parties were Partners and Confederates with them; as, Sir Basil Brook, Sir John Winter, and a Brother-in-Law of the said Sir John, that lived in Worcestershire, and Mr. Ploydon, whose Servant, named Baldwin, hath been seen to deliver to Captain Read, a Substitute of the Jesuites, an Hundred Pounds at a time to one Jesuit.
- V. Father Phillips hath been a great Actor with the Superior of the Capuchins, who is of a most turbulent Spirit, and was sent thither by Cardinal Richlieu of France, to be a Spy at this Court for the French Faction; and hath therefore laboured by all Means to breed Dissentions; for the French aim at nothing more, than to make a Schism betwixt the English and the Scots, that this State might so be weakened, and made unable to withstand them, that so they might have an Opportunity to conquer these Kingdoms. These unquiet Spirits having Access to her Majesty, may importune Things not fit for the State.
- VI. The said Father Phillips hath been guided by a Grey-Friar, who, by Degrees hath intruded himself to be a Clerk of her Majesty's Chappel, and Chaplain Extraordinary in Time of Progress; who when he is out of London, goeth by the Name of Mr. Wilson, but his true Name is William Thomson, Doctor of Divinity, as some Jesuites have affirmed; but a most furious Spirit, and unquiet, and therefore by Nick-name is by some called Cacafugo; that is as much as if in English you should say, Shit-fire; by whom Father Phillips hath been so led, that he hath been very officious to perform whatsoever he would have done. These two have ruled all the Business concerning the two Kingdoms on the Papists Parts, and for the most part of Rome also.
- VII. The said Father Phillips hath placed many unfit Persons about her Majesty, viz. Sir John Winter, to be her Majesty's Secretrary, Seigni or Georgio, come late Agent from the Pope, his Brother, was by his means admitted to be Servant Extraordinary to the Queen, a Man altogether unfit for that Place, a most seandalous Person, having three Wives, all now alive.
- VIII. Sundry Persons, by the said Father Phillips, have been admitted to be the Queen's Servants Extraordinary, by some supposed Office or other, as Mr. Laburn, George Gage, Brother to Colonel Gage, both Oratorian Priests; the one of the French Faction, very seditious, the other of the Spanish, whose Brother is now left Resident at Rome for them, by his Master, Mr. William Hamilton, late Agent at Rome; Pendrick is sworn Servant Extraordinary to her Majesty, who is a sworn Spaniard and Intelligencer for Rome, in respect his Brother is Agent here by Father Phillips: These, and many others, who are factious and turbulent Spirits, have, by Father Phillips his Means, received Protection from the Queen's Majesty.
- IX. The said Phillips hath been much ruled by Sir Toby Mathews Sir John Winter, and Mr. Walter Montague.
- X. He was very forward, with his Complices, for the breaking of the Ice to begin the Treaty here for the Pope's Honour's sake: And when Sir Robert Dowglas, and Seignior Georgio were nominated, whom he thought most fit; Cardinal Richlieu was thought fittest to be the Man who should direct him to begin the Correspondency between the Pope and the Queen; and therefore he was sent into France with many Letters, and from thence he was dispatched for Rome, by the Cardinal, where he was received with great Respect; and after a Viatick, he was dispatched again for England, with some few small Gifts, as Pictures, Crosses, Agnus Dei's, and such-like Popish Stuff, for Father Phillips.
- XI. The said Father Phillips was the chief Agent in Correspondency with, and bringing in of Seignior Georgio Parsons, the Oratorian Priest, by whose Direction, this Priest being at Paris, left wearing of Priests Cloaths, and went in the Habit of a Gentleman; and because he had a shaven Crown, therefore he wore a Perriwig: And Father Phillips directed all those that he sent, to write to him as to an Italian Gentleman, desirous to see these Kingdoms: And by Father Phillips's Direction, he afterwards came hither, who did here contrive, for the Space of two Years practising great and dangerous Innovation from Place to Place; and then having dispatched his Business, returns to Rome with great Presents from the Catholicks of the greater sort.
- XII. Whereas it hath pleased God to bless us with a hopeful Prince, to the Comfort of our King and Kingdom, yet the said Father Phillips hath attempted to traduce his tender Years to Popery; but God hath prevented him his Purpose: And let us pray to God to preserve that Royal Race from Popery, and the whole Land from all Innovations, that our gracious King may rule gloriously, and the whole Land live in Peace, to the Honour of God, and Comfort of us all. Amen.
Ordered, That it be referred to the Committee for the Popish Hierarchy, to enquire what Pensions are allowed to Phillips and others, for the seducing of the Children of Protestants from the true Religion to Popery; and what Pensions are allowed to Seminaries beyond the Seas, and of Priests within the Kingdom.
The Scots Commissioners acquaint the House, That they having heard as if the Parliament would endeavour to disswade his Majesty from his Royal Intentions of going into Scotland; they found themselves obliged to acquaint the House, That the same would be a great Prejudice to them, for that they had sent Proclamation through the Kingdom for his Entertainment, desiring the House would take it into Consideration; nevertheless they disired not that he should go 'till Things were settled here, so that it might not be prejudicial unto them, by causing some Jealousies amongst the People there.
The House of Lords fell upon the Scottish Affairs, for the speedy disbanding of five Regiments of the Scots, with the five English Regiments. After that, they took up the Debate of the two Bills against the Star-Chamber and High-Commission; and returned the said Bills to the Commons, with some Amendments; which being again read in the House of Commons, they voted, That from the first Day of August next, the said Court of High Commission and Star-Chamber shall both cease; and that no Ecclesiastical Court should hereafter administer unto any the Oath ex Officio, or any other Church-Wardens at their Entrance.
This Morning was a Conference betwixt both Houses; at which the Lords shewed, That the Scots Commissioners desired his Majesty might set forwards towards Scotland the 5th of August; and after some Conference with the said Commissioners, it was agreed, That his Majesty should be humbly desired not to go 'till the 10th of August; and that in the mean time both Armies should be disbanded; and some Bills passed which are now in Hand.
The Commons proceededed about te Council-Table, and the altering of a Clause in that Bill; concluding, That the same should not intermeddle with Men's Estates, nor try Causes determinable by Law, but only such Matters as should be warranted by the Statutes of this Kingdom for that purpose. They also had some Debate about the Star-Chamber Bill.
A Petition was read in the House of Commons from Captain Pollard, one of the Conspirators in Custody, for tampering with the Army, desiring that he might have Liberty to go into the Country under Bail, to see his Father, to make his Peace with him, being sick with Grief, that his Son should have any Hand in such a Business, and threatens to difinherit him: Upon which, the Earl of Essex and another Lord proferring to be his Bail, it was accepted; and he had Leave accordingly.
The Lords reading the Bill for Poll-Money, some Dissatisfaction arose in their House about the Inequality of that Tax; and the Bishops pleaded Inability to pay their First Fruits, Tenths, and Subsidies, and that too: Whereupon a Conference was desired with the Commons; at which, the Lords delivered the Bill back, to have some Alterations therein, desiring they might rate themselves, and the Commons themselves: But this was refused, as being contrary to the Rule and Practice of Parliaments.