Historical Collections of Private Passages of State: Volume 4, 1640-42. Originally published by D Browne, London, 1721.
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The Substance of this Message being first delivered by word of mouth, the King desired to have it in writing, which was delivered to his Majesty accordingly. On the Monday following, his Majesty returned the followng Answer to this Address:
His Majesty's Answer to the Address sent the last of December past, by the House of Commons for a Guard.
We have taken the last Message from you, touching your desire of a Guard, into our serious Consideration; and truly, with great Grief of Heart, that (after a whole Years sitting of this Parliament, wherein you have obtained those things for the happiness and security of your selves, and the the rest of our Subjects, as no Age can equal, instead of reaping in Peace and Tranquillity the Fruits of your Labours, and of our Grace and Affection to Our People) We should find Jealousies, Distrusts and Fears still so prevalent among you, as to induce you to declare them unto Us, in so high a measure as you have done at this time.
We are wholly ignorant of the Grounds of your Apprehensions; but this We do protest before Almighty God (to whom we must be accountable for those whom he hath intrusted to our Care and Protection) that had We any Knowledge or Belief of the least Design in any, of Violence, either formerly or at this time against you, We would pursue them to condign Punishment with the same severity and detestation, that We would do to the greatest Attempt upon Our Crown.
We know the Duty of that Place where God hath set Us, the Protection We owe to all Our loyal Subjects, and most particularly to you, called to Our Service by Our Writs: And We do engage unto you solemnly the Word of a King, that the Security of all and every one of you from Violence is, and shall ever be as much Our Care, as the Preservation of Us und Our Children.
And if this general Assurance shall not suffice to remove your Apprehensions; We will command such a Guard to wait upon you as We will be responsible for to Him who hath charged Us with the Safety and Protection of Our Subjects.
The aforesaid Address being made on Friday December 31st. The Commons receiving no present Answer, ordered, That Halberts should be provided and brought into the House, for their own better Security; which was done accordingly, and the said Halberts stood in the House for a considerable time afterwards. And also understanding that the Lords would not sit the next Day, (being New Years-Day ) they also Adjourned the House till Monday, Jan. the 3d, but Ordered to meet the next Day, being Saturday, Jan. the 1st, in a Grand Committee, at Guild-Hall; only substituting a Committee at Westminster, to receive His Majesty's Answer if it came in the mean time.
By the KING.
Whereas divers lewd and wicked Persons have of late risen in Rebellion in Our Kingdom of Ireland, surprized divers of our Forts and Castles, possessed themselves thereof, surprized some of Our Garrisons, possessed themselves of some of Our Magazines of Arms and Munition, dispossessed many of Our Good and Loyal Subjects of the British Nation and Protestants, of their Houses and Lands, robbed and spoiled many thousands of our good Subjects of the British Nation and Protestants of their Goods to great values; massacred Multitudes of them, imprisoned many others, and some who have the Honour to serve us as Privy-Counsellors of that Our Kingdom. We therefore having taken the same into Our Royal Consideration, and abhorring the wicked Disloyalty and horrible Acts committed by those Persons, do hereby not only declare Our just Indignation thereof, but also do declare them and their Adherents and Abettors, and all those who shall hereafter joyn with them, or commit the like Acts on any of Our Good Subjects in that Kingdom, to be Rebels and Traitors against our Royal Person, and Enemies to Our Royal Crown of England and Ireland.
And We do hereby strictly charge and command all those Persons who have presumed to rise in Arms against Us and Our Royal Authority (which We cannot otherwise interpret than Acts of High Rebellion and detestable Disloyalty, when therein they spoil and destroy Our Good and Loyal Subjects of the British Nation and Protestants) that they immediately lay down their Arms, and forbear all further Acts of Hostility. Wherein if they fail, We do let them know, That We have Authorized Our Justices of Ireland, and other Our Chief Governour or Governours, and General or Lieutenant-General of Our Army there: And do hereby accordingly require and authorize them and every of them, to prosecute them the said Rebels and Traitors with Fire and Sword, as Persons who by their High Disloyalty against Us, their lawful and undoubted King and Sovereign, have made themselves unworthy of any Mercy or Favour, wherein Our said Justices, or otherchief Governour, or Governours, and General, Lieutenant General of Our said Army shall be countenanced and supported by Us and by other powerful Succours of Our good Subjects of England and Scotland, That so they may reduce to Obedience those wicked Disturbers of that Peace, which by the Blessing of God that Kingdom hath so long and so happily enjoyed under the Government of Our Royal Father and Us. And this Our Royal Pleasure We do hereby require Our Justices or other chief Governour or Governours of that Our Kingdom of Ireland, to cause to be published and proclaimed in, and throughout Our said Kingdom of Ireland.
And because the Warrant for printing this Proclamation was afterwards mentioned and controverted in some Declarations, I shall here add the same.
The Warrant for printing forty of these Proclamations and not above. See touching this Warrant His Majesty's Answer to the Parliaments Remonstrance of May the 9th. hereafter Inserted in the Month of May, 1642.
It is His Majesty's Pleasure, That you forthwith print in very good Paper, and send unto me, for His Majesty's Service, forty Copies of the Proclamation enclosed, leaving convenient space for His Majesty to sign a-above, and to affix the Privy Signet underneath. And His Majesty's express command is, That you print not above the said number of forty Copies, and forbear to make any further publication of them till his pleasure be further signified.
At this time happened the Accusation of the Lord Kimbolton, and five Members of the House of Commons; the whole Proceedings in which Affair, I shall here present all together, though some of the Messages, &c. relating thereunto bear Date some time afterwards.