Historical Collections of Private Passages of State: Volume 4, 1640-42. Originally published by D Browne, London, 1721.
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CHAP. II. Touching the Lord Kimbolton and the five Members of the House of Commons, charged by the King with Treason.
On Monday January the 3d. the Lord Keeper acquainted the House of Lords, That he was commanded by the King, to let their Lordships know, That his Majesty had given Sir Edward Harbert, his Attorney General, command to acquaint their Lordships with some particulars from him. And Mr. Attorney approaching to the Clerks Table, spoke as followeth:
The King hath commanded me to tell your Lordships, That divers great and treasonable Designs and Practices against him and the State have come to His Majesty's knowledge, for which His Majesty hath given me command in his Name to accuse, and I do accuse by delivering unto your Lordships these Articles in writing which I received of His Majesty, the six Persons therein named of High-Treason. The Heads of which Treason are contained in the said Articles, which I desire may be read.
- 1. That they have traiterously endeavoured to subvert the Fundamental Laws and Government of the Kingdom of England, to deprive the King of his Royal Power, and to place in Subjects an Arbitrary and Tyrannical Power over the Lives, Liberties and Estates of His Majesty's Liege People.
- 2. That they have have traiterously endeavoured, by many soul aspersions upon His Majesty and his Government, to alienate the affections of his peoples, and to make His Majesty odious unto them.
- 3. That they have endeavoured to draw His Majesty's late Army to disobedience to His Majesty's command, and to side with them in their traiterous Designs.
- 4. That they have traiterously invited and encouraged a Foreign Power to Invade His Majesty's Kingdom of England.
- 5. That they have traiterously endeavoured to subvert the Rights, and the very Being of Parliaments.
- 6. That for the compleating of their traiterous Designs, they have endeavoured so far as in them lay, by force and terror to compel the Parliament to joyn with them in their traiterous Designs; and to that end have actually raised and countenanced Tumults against the King and Parliament.
- 7. And that they have traiterously conspired to Levy, and actually have levied War against the King.
- 1. That a select Committee under a command of secresie may be appointed to take the Examination of such Witnesses as the King will produce in this Business, as formerly hath been done in Cases of like Nature, according to the Justice of this House.
- 2. Liberty to add and alter, if there should be cause.
- 3. That their Lordships would take care for the securing of the Persons as in justice there should be cause.
The Lord Steward, Lord Chamberlain, Earl of Bath, Earl of Southampton, Earl of Warwick, Earl of Bristol, Earl of Holland, with the Assistance of Mr. Serjeant Whitfield and Mr. Serjeant Glanvile, were appointed a Committee to consider Precedents and Records touching the regularity of this Accusation, whether there have ever been any such Proceedings before in this House, whether such an Accusation may be brought by the Attorney-General into this House against a Peer, &c.
The House of Peers sent a Message to the Commons (who were then in Debate of his Majesty's Answer concerning their desire of a Guard) to acquaint them, That some of their Members were accused in the Lords House of High-Treason by the King's Attorney-General.
At the same time Information was also brought them, that several Persons were sealing up the Trunks, Doors, and Papers belonging to Mr. Pym and Mr. Hollis, and afterwards of the other accused Members; whereupon it was ordered by the House of Commons, that the Serjeant attending this House shall have Power to break open the said Doors and the Seals upon the Trunks, &c. and the Speaker to sign a Warrant to apprehend the said Persons: And likewise they passed this following Order:
Die Lunae 3 January, 1641.
It is this Day ordered upon the Question by the Commons House of Parliament, that if any Persons whatsoever shall come to the Lodgings of any Member of this House, and there do offer to Seal the Trunks, Doors, or Papers of any Member of this House, or to seize upon their Persons, that then such Members shall require the Aid of the Constable to keep such Persons in safe Custody, till this House do give further Order. And this House doth further declare, that if any Person whatsoever shall offer to arrest or detain the Person of any Member of this House, without first acquainting this House therewith, and receiving further Order from this House, that it is lawful for such Member or any Person, to assist him, and to stand upon his and their Guard of Defence, and to make Resistance according to the Protestation taken to defend the Privileges of Parliament.
That the violating of the Privilege of Parliament, is the overthrow of Parliament. That by the Protestation taken by both Houses of Parliament, to defend the Privileges of Parliament, both Houses are concerned in the Breach of either. That the Trunks, Chambers and Studies of divers Members of this House are this Day sealed up. That the Parliament, as the great Council of the Kingdom, ought to sit as free a Council, and no Force ought to be set about them without their Consent. That notwithstanding there is a Guard in a Warlike manner, placed at White-Hall, to the Breach of the Privilege of Parliament. Also to desire the Lords that such a Guard may be set about the Parliament as shall be approved of by both Houses, or else to joyn with this House to Adjourn to a Place of Safety; and the House ordered Mr. Glyn, Sir Philip Stapleton and Mr. Fiennes to manage this Conference.
Whilst these Members were about to go to the Lords House, Serjeant Francis being come to the Door of the House, having the Mace in his Hand, sends in Word that he was at the Door of that House, and had a Command to deliver a Message from his Majesty to Mr. Speaker; whereupon he was called in to the Bar (but without his Mace,) and there he delivered this Message, viz.
I am commanded by the King's Majesty, my Master, upon my Allegiance that I should come and repair to the House of Commons where Mr. Speaker it, and there to require of Mr. Speaker five Gentlemen, Members of the House of Commons, and those Gentlemen being delivered, I am commanded to arrest them in his Majesty's Name of High-Treason: Their Names are Densil Hollis, Sir Arthur Hasslerig, John Pym, John Hampden and William Stroud.
After he delivered his Message, the House commanded him to with draw, and appointed Sir John Culpepper, Lord Faulkland, Sir Philip Stapleton and Sir John Hotham to attend his Majesty, and to acquaint him, That this Message from his Majesty was a Matter of great Consequence, that it concerneth the Privilege of Parliament, and therein the Privilege of all the Commons of England: That this House will take it into serious Consideration, and will attend his Majesty with an Answer in all Hnmility and Duty, with as much Speed as the Greatness of the Business will permit; and in the mean time the said Members shall be ready to answer any legal Charge made against them.
At this time Mr. Speaker, by Command of the House, enjoined these five Members before-named, particularly (one by one) to give their Attendance on this House De Die in Diem, till the House take further Order; and further ordered, that to Morrow Morning at Ten of the Clock, the House be turned into a grand Committee, to take into Consideration the Message sent by Serjeant Francis from the King concerning the said Members.
Mr. Glyn reports the Conference this Day had with the Lords concerning this Matter, that the Lords had made an Order to open the Doors and Trunks of the Members of both Houses, which were shut up and sealed, and that they have Resolved to join with this House in an humble Petition to the King, to desire that such a Guard as himself and both Houses of Parliament shall approve of, may be appointed; and that they have appointed two Lords to attend the King with a proportionable Number of the Members of this House in this Matter.
Then the House returned Answer to Serjeant Francis (who attended all this while at the Door of the House of Commons; That this House will send an Answer to his Majesty, to the Message the Serjeant bought, by Members of their own: Whereupon he returned.
The House being informed that it was Sir William Flemming, Sir William Kiligrew, and other Gentlemen, who sealed up the Studies and Doors of the five Members, ordered that they should be forthwith apprehended by the Serjeant at Arms attending this House, and to remain in the Custody of the Serjeant of this House till further Order.
The Lord Faulkland reported the King's Answer to the said Message, delivered the last Night to his Majesty, concerning the Breach of Priviledge of Parliament, in accusing five Members of this House, and sending Serjeant Francis with the Mace to Seize upon their Persons.
That at the delivery of this Message to the King, his Majesty did ask the Lord Faulkland, whether the House did expect an Answer ? and before the Lord Faukland made Answer, his Majesty said he wou'd send an Answer this Morning (being the 4th of January ) as soon as the House was set; and in the mean time he bid him acquaint the House, that the Serjeant at Arms did nothing but what he had directions from himself to do.
After the Report of this Answer of the King's, the House of Commons presently Ordered, that a Conference be desired with the Lords, to acquaint them, that there is a Scandalous Paper published, containing Articles of High Treason against the Lord Kimbolton, of the House of Peers, Denzil Hollis, Sir Arthur Hassterig, John Pim, John Hampden and William Stroud, Members of the House of Commons. And that forasmuch as it being against the Members of both Houses, they do desire the Lords, that Right may be done against the Publishers of the said Scandalous Paper, and to enquire who are the Authors and Publishers thereof, that they may receive Condign Punishment, and that the Commonwealth may be secured against such Persons.
The Gentlemen of the Inns of Court having, upon the apprehensions of Tumults, offer'd themselves to be a Guard to his Majesty, and the Parliament understanding there had been some Practices used to bid them be this Day in a readiness, sent some of their Members to the four Inns of Court, to inquire into the same, who now made their Report; and first Mr. Brown spake and said, That he had done the Message enjoyned him by this House, to the Gentlemen of the Society of Lincolns-Inn, and received this Answer, viz. That they had at first gone to the Court this last Week, only upon occasion of a Report brought to them, that the King's Person was in danger. That yester-night, they had received a Message from his Majesty, by Sir William Killigrew, and Sir William Flemming, That they should keep within this Day, and be ready at an Hours warning, if his Majesty should have occasion to use them. That they brought likewise a Paper of Articles to them, by which the Lord ( (fn. 1)) Mandevile, and five Members of the House of Commons were accused of High Treason: That they had only an intent to desend the King's Person, and would do their utmost also to defend the Parliament; being not able to make any distinction between the King and his Parliament; and that they would ever express all true affection to the House of Commons in particular. Mr. Ellis of Gray's-Inn, Mr. Hill of the Inner Temple, and Mr. Smith of the Middle Temple, made the like Relation from the Gentlemen of those other three Societies, only the Gentlemen of the Middle Temple sent their Answer in Writing, by the said Mr. Smith; in which they shewed. That their Intention to defend the King's Person was no more than they were bound unto by the Oath of Allegiance; with which several Answers from the Inns of Court, the House rested well satisfied,
The said five accused Members this Day after Dinner came into the House, and did appear according to the special Order and Injunction of the House laid upon them Yesterday, to give their Attendance upon the House, de Die in Diem, and their Appearance was entred in the Journal.
They were no sooner sate in their Places, but the House was informed by one Captain Langrish. lately an Officer in Arms in France, that he came from among the Officers and Soldiers at White-Hall, and understanding by them, that his Majesty was coming with a Guard of Military Men, Commanders and Soldiers, to the House of Commons, he passed by them with some Difficulty to get to the House before them, and sent in Word how near the said Officers and Soldiers were come: Whereupon a certain Member of the House having also private Intimation from the Countess of Carlisle, Sister to the Earl of Northumberland, that Endeavours would be used this Day to apprehend the five Members, the House required the five Members to depart the House forthwith, to the end to avoid Combustion in the House, if the said Soldiers should use Violence, to pull any of them out. To which Command of the House, four of the said Members yielded ready Obedience, but Mr. Stroud was obstinate, till Sir Walter Earle (his ancient Acquaintance) pulled him out by Force, the King being at that Time entring into the New-Palace-Tard in Westminster: And as his Majesty came through Westminster-Hall, the Commanders, Reformadoes, &c. that attended him, made a Lane on both sides the Hall (through which his Majesty passed, and came up the Stairs to the House of Commons) and stood before the Guard of Pentioners, and Halberteers, (who also attended the King's Person,) and the Door of the House of Commons being thrown open, his Majesty entred the House, and as he passed up towards the Chair, he cast his Eye on the Right-hand near the Bar of the House, where Mr. Pym used to sit; but his Majesty not seeing him there (knowing him well) went up to the Chair, and said, By your Leave, (Mr. Speaker) I must borrow your Chair a little; whereupon the Speaker came out of the Chair, and his Majesty slept up into it; after he had stood in the Chair a while, casting his Eye upon the Members as they stood up uncovered, but could not discern any of the five Members to be there, nor indeed were they easie to be discerned (had they been there) among so many bare Faces all standing up together.
I Am sorry for this Occasion of coming unto you: Yesterday I sent a Serjeant at Arms upon a very Important Occasion, to apprehend some that by my Command were accused of High Treason; whereunto I did expect Obedience, and not a Message. And I must declare unto you here, that albeit no King that ever was in England, shall be more careful of your Privileges, to maintain them to the uttermost of his Power, than I shall be; yet you must know that in Cases of Treason, no Person hath a Privilege. And therefore I am come to know if any of these Persons that were accused are here: For I must tell you, Gentlemen, that so long as these Persons that I have accused (for no slight Crime, but for Treason) are here, I cannot expect that this House will be in the Right Way that I do heartily wish it: Therefore I am come to tell you, that I must have them wheresoever I find them. Well, since I see all the Birds are flown, I do expect from you, that you shall send them unto me, as soon as they return hither. But I assure you, on the Word of a King, I never did intend any Force, but shall proceed against them in a legal and fair Way, for I never meant any other.
And now since I see I cannot do what I came for, I think this no unfit Occasion to repeat what I have said formerly, That whatsoever I have done in favour, and to the good of my Subjects, I do mean to maintain it.
When the King was looking about the House, the Speaker standing below by the Chair, his Majesty ask'd him, whether any of these Persons were in the House? Whether he saw any of them? And where they were? To which the Speaker falling on his Knee, thus answered.
May it please Your Majesty,
I Have neither Eyes to see, nor Tongue to speak in this Place, but at the House is pleased to direct me, whose Servant I am here; and humbly beg your Majesty's Pardon, that I cannot give any other Answer than this, to what your Majesty is pleased to demand of me.
The King having concluded his Speech, went out of the House again, which was in great Disorder, and many Members cried out aloud, so as he might hear them, Privilege! Privilege! and forthwith adjourned till the next Day at One of the Clock.
The same Evening his Majesty sent James Maxwell, Usher of the House of Peers, to the House of Commons, to require Mr. Rushworth the Clerk Assistant, whom his Majesty had observed to take his Speech in Characters, at the Table in the House, to come to his Majesty; and when Maxwell brought him to the King, his Majesty commanded him to give him a Copy of his Speech in the House. Mr. Rushworth humbly besought his Majesty (hoping for an Excuse) to call to mind how Mr. Francis Nevil, a Yorkshire Member of the House of Commons, was committed to the Tower, but for telling his Majesty what Words were spoken in the House by Mr. Henry Bellasis, some to the Lord Faulconbridge; to which his Majesty smartly replied, I do not ask you to tell me what was said by any Member of the House, but what I said my self. Whereupon he readily gave Obedience to his Majesty's Command, and in his Majesty's Presence, in the Room called the Jewel-House, he Transcribed his Majesty's Speech out of his Characters, his Majesty staying in the Room all the while. And then and there presented the same to the King, which his Majesty was pleased to command to be sent speedily to the Press, and the next Morning it came forth in Print.
The Commons sent Mr. Fiennes with a Message to the Lords, to give them notice of the King's coming Yesterday, and that they conceived it a high and great Breach of Privilege; and to repeat their Desires that their Lordships would join with them in a Petition to the King, that the Parliament may have a Guard to secure them as shall be approved of by his Majesty and both Houses; and also to let them know, that they have appointed a Committee to sit at Guild-Hall, London, and have also appointed the Committee for the Irish Affairs to meet there.
Die Mercurij 5 January.
Whereas His Majesty in his Royal Person yesterday, being the 4th of Jan. 1641. did come to the House of Commons, attended with a great multitude of Men armed in a Warlike manner with Halberts, Swords and Pistols, who came up to the very Door of the House and placed themselves there, and in other places and passages near to the House, to the great terror and disturbance of the Members there of then sitting, and according to their Duty in an orderly and peaceable manner, treating of the great Affairs of both Kingdoms of England and Ireland; and his Majesty having placed himself in the Speaker 's Chair, did demand the Persons of divers Members of the House to be delivered unto him.
It is this Day declared by the House of Commons, that the same is a high Breach of the Rights and Privileges of Parliament, and inconsistent with the liberty and freeborn Members thereof; and therefore this House doth conceive they cannot with the Safety of their own Persons, or Indemnity of the Rights and Privileges of Parliament sit here any longer without a full Vindication of so high a Breach, and sufficient Guard wherein they may comfide, for which both Houses jointly, and this House by it self, have been humble Suitors to his Majesty, and cannot yet obtain.
Notwithstanding which, this House being very sensible of the greatest Trust reposed in them, and especially at this time of the manifold Distractions of this Kingdom, and the lamentable and distressed Condition of the Kingdom of Ireland, doth order that this House shall be adjourned till Tuesday next, at one of the Clock in the Afternoon, and a Committee be named by this House, and all that will come to have voices, shall sit at the Guild-Hall in the City of London, to morrow Morning at Nine of the Clock, and shall have Power to consider and resolve of all things that may concern the Good and Safety of the City and Kingdom, and particularly how our Privileges may be vin dicated, and our Persons secured, and to consider of the Affairs and Relief of Ireland, and shall have Power to consult and advise with any Person or Persons touching the Premisses, and shall have Power to send for Parties, Witnesses, Papers and Records; and it is further ordered, that the Committee for the Irish Affairs shall meet at the Guild-Hall aforesaid, at what time they shall think fit, and consult and do touching the Affairs of Ireland, according to the Power formerly given them by this House, and both the said Committees shall report the Results of their Consideration and Resolution to this House; the Names of the Committee do follow, viz.
Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. Glyn, Mr. Whitlock, Lord Faulkland, Sir Philip Stapleton, Mr. Nathaniel Fiennes, Sir Ralph Hopton, Sir John Hotham, Sir Walter Earl, Sir Robert Cook, Sir Thomas Walsingham, Sir Samuel Roll, Mr. Pierpoint, Mr. Walter Long, Sir Richard Cave, Sir Edward Hungerford, Mr. Grimstone, Sir Christopher Wray, Sir Ben. Rudyard, Sir John Heppisley, Mr. Herbert Price, Sir John Wray, Sir Thomas Barrington, Mr. Wheeler, Sir William Litton: And all that will come are to have Voices at this Committee.
The same Day His Majesty was also pleased to go into London with his usual Attendance, and in his Passage some People did cry out aloud, Privileges of Parliament! Privileges of Parliament! And one Henry Walker in Iron-monger, and Pamphlet-writer, threw into His Majesty's Coach a Paper, wherein was written (to your Tents, O Israel ) for which he was committed, and afterward proceeded against at the Sessions.
I Am come no demand such Persons as I have already accused of High-Treason, and do believe are shrowded in the City. I hope no good Man will keep them from me; their Offences are Treason and Misdemeanors of an high Nature. I desire your loving Assistance herein, that they may be brought to a legal Trial.
And whereas there are divers Suspicions raised, that I am a Favourer of the Popish Religion; I do profess, in the Name of a King, That I did and ever will, and that to the utmost of my Power, be a Prosecutor of all such as shall any ways oppose the Laws und Statutes of this Kingdom, either Papists or Separatists; and not only so, but I will maintain and defend that true Protestant Religion which my Father did profess, and I will continue in it during Life.
The Committee of the House of Commons meeting at Guild-Hall, employ'd themselves in drawing up a Declaration touching his Majesty's late coming to their House, which held them till the 9th of January. Witnesses being examined to prove the Words, Actions, and Gestures of them that followed his Majesty and stood near the Door of the House of Commons.
The Committee Adjourn'd to Grocers-Hall, (because there was a Common-Council at Guild-Hall ) and received Information, That on the 4th of January, the Lieutenant of the Tower permitted one hundred Arms, two Barrels of Powder, and Match and Shot proportionable, to go out of the Tower to White-hall; whereupon some of the Committee were appointed to inquire further into that Matter, which was found to be true.
To the King's most Excellent Majesty.
The humble Petition of the Mayor, Aldermen, and Common Council of the City of London.
May it please Your most Excellent Majesty,
The often Experience of your most Gracious Acceptance of the Manifestation of the Petitioners Duty and Loyalty; and the frequent Declaration of your Majesty's great Care of the Good and Welfare of this City, and of the true Protestant Religion, and of protecting and preserving the Persons and Privileges of your great Counsel Assembled in the High Court of Parliament, hath encouraged your Petitioners to represent the great Dangers, Fears and Distractions, wherein the City now is, by reason of the prevailing Progress of the Bloody Rebels in Ireland, fomented and acted by the Papists and their Adherents, &c. the want of Aid to suppress them, and the several Intimations they have had, both foreign and at home, of the driving on of Designs tending to the utter Ruin of the Protestant Religion, and of the Lives and Liberties of your Majesty's Loyal Subjects, the putting out of Persons of Honour and Trust from being Constable and Lieutenant of the Tower, especially in these Times; and the Preparations there lately made, the Fortifying of White-Hall with Men and Munition in an unusual manner; some of which Men with provoking Language and Violence abused divers Citizens passing by, and the drawing divers Swords, and therewith wounding several other Citizens in Westminster-Hall, that were unarmed; the late Endeavours used to the Inns of Court, the calling in divers Cannoneers and other Assistance into the Tower. The late Discovery of divers Fire-works in the Hands of a Papist, and the Misunderstanding betwixt your Majesty and Parliament, by reason of Mis-information, as they humbly conceive.
Besides all which the Petitioners Fears are exceedingly encreased by your Majesty's late going into the House of Commons, attended with a great Multitude of armed Men (besides your ordinary Guard) for the apprehending of divers Members of that House, to the endangering of your Sacred Person, and of the Persons and Priviledges of that honourable Assembly. The effect of all which fears, tend not only to the overthrow of the whole Trade of this City and Kingdom, which the Petitioners already feel in a deep measure, but also threatens the utter Ruin of the Protestant Religion, and the Lives and Liberties of all your Loyal Subjects.
The Petitioners therefore most humbly pray your Sacred Majesty, that by the Advice of your great Council in Parliament; the Protestants in Ireland may be speedily relieved, the Tower put into the hands of Persons of trust, that by removal of doubtful and unknown persons from about White-hall and Westminster, a known and approved Guard may be appointed for the safety of your Majesty and Parliament; and that the Lord (fn. 2) Mandevill and the five Members of the House of Commons lately accused, may not be restrained of liberty, or proceeded against otherwise then according to the Priviledges of Parliament.
And your Petitioners (as in all duty bound) shall pray for your Majesty's most long and happy Reign.
His Majesty's Answer to the Petition of the Mayor, Aldermen, and Common-Council of the City of London.
His Majesty having fully considered the matter of this Petition, is graciously pleased to declare, that being unalterably resolved to make good all his Expressions and Declarations of his Care of this City, of the true Protestant Religion, and of the Priviledges of Parliament: His Majesty takes in good part the Intimation given by the Petitioners of the fears and distractions wherein the City now seems to be: And though he conceives he did on Wednesday at the Guild-Hall, satisfie most of these particulars, is pleased to add this further Answer.
- 1. That for the said business of Ireland, His Majesty cannot possibly express a greater Sense than he hath done, there being nothing left on His Majesty's part unoffered or undone. And he hoped by the speedy Advice and Assistance of his Parliament, that great and necessary Work would be put in a sure forwardness, to which His Majesty will contribute all his Power, and how zealous he is and hath been therein, will appear in a Declaration speedily to be set forth by His Majesty.
- 2. For the Tower, His Majesty wonders, that having removed a Servant of good Trust and Reputation from that Charge only to satisfie the Fears of the City, and put in another of unquestionable reputation and known ability, the Petitioners should still entertain those fears; and whatever preparations of strength is there made, is with as great an eye of safety and advantage to the City as to his Majesty's own Person, and shall be equally employed to both.
- 3. For the fortifying of White-hall with Men and Munition in an unusual way, His Majesty doubts not but the Petitioners have observed the strange Provocation he hath received to entertain that Guard, that by the disorderly and tumultuous conflux of People at Westminster and White-hall, his Majesty's great Council was not only disquieted, but his own Royal Person in danger: Most seditious language being uttered even under his own Windows, whilst the examination and punishing such Tumults by the course of Law were interrupted and stopped. And if any Citizens were wounded or ill intreated, His Majesty is confidently assured, that it happened by their own evil and corrupt demeanors.
- 4. His Majesty knows no other endeavours to the Inns of Court than a gracious intention, that he received the tender of their Loyal and Dutiful Affections, with very good Approbations and Acceptance, and an encouragement given then to continue the same upon all Occasions. Neither doth His Majesty know what discovery hath been lately made of Fire-works in the hands of any Papist.
- 5. For his going to the House of Commons, when his Attendance were no otherwise armed then as Gentlemen with Swords; His Majesty is verily perswaded, that if the Petitioners knew the clear Grounds upon which those persons stand accused of High-Treason, and what will be proved against them (which in due time they shall be acquainted with) and considered the gentle way His Majesty took for their apprehension, which he preferred before any course of violence (though that way had been very justifiable, for His Majesty is very well assured that it is notoriously known that no Priviledge of Parliament can extend to Treason, Felony, or breach of the Peace) the Petitioners would believe His Majesty's going thither, was an Act of Grace and Favour to that House, and the most peaceable way of having that necessary Service, for the apprehension of those Persons, performed; especially if such Orders have been made, which His Majesty is not willing to believe, for the Resistance of all lawful Authority, as are discoursed of.
- 6. And for the proceeding against these Persons mentiond in the Petition, His Majesty ever intended the same should be with all Justice and Favour, according to the Laws and Statutes of the Realm, to the which all innocent Men would chearfully submit.
- And this extraordinary way of satisfying a Petition of so unusual a Nature, His Majesty is confidently perswaded, will be thought the greatest Instance can be given of his Majesty's clear Intentions to his Subjects, and of the singular Estimation he hath of the good Affections of this City, which he believes in gratitude will never be wanting to his just commands and service.
A Proclamation was published, by which his Majesty declared, That he had accused the Lord Kimbolton and the said five Members, of High-Treason, commanding all Magistrates and Officers to apprehend them, and carry them to the Tower.
The Committee sate again at Grocers-hall, and appointed a Sub-Committee to draw up Heads for their safe coming to Westminster on Tuesday next, and agreed that the Sheriffs of London and Middlesex should raise the posse Comitatus for that day for the Guard of the King and Parliament.
Whilst the grand Committee of the whole House sate in London (amongst other things which they dispatched there) they did on the 9th of January take the Information of Samuel and Daniel Lewis, being examined upon Oath by Mr Whittacre a Justice of the Peace.
The said Daniel Lewis doth depose, that he being yesterday at Dinner with the Lord Blayny, at a Lodging in St. Martin's-Lane, one Captain Hide being then also present, the said Hide asks this Informant if he were a Citizen? Whereunto this Informant answered, that he was a Citizen of London. Whereupon the said Captain Hide said, that he himself was one of the first that did draw his Sword upon the Apprentices at White-Hall-Gate, and said further, that he heard there would come down ten thousand Citizens to Westminster, to Guard the Parliament upon Wednesday next, the 12th of this Month, which if they did, it would be the Bloodiest day that was seen in England these many Years, and that he for his part would kill as many of them as he could, and that they were a company of prick-eared and cropt-eared Rascals, and that he would believe a Papist before a Puritan: And this Informant further faith, that the said Hide in all his discourse did accompany the same with many fearful Oaths and Imprecations; as God-dammy, and the like; and that the said Captain Hide, pulled a Pistol out of his Pocket, saying in a fearing manner, it was not charged, but upon tryal it was found to be charged very deep, and said he had five Supplies for the same; which said Information was also testified upon Oath by Samual Lewis.
At this time divers Mariners and Sea-men came to the Committee, and, with a Petition signed by a thousand Hands, tendered their Service to guard the Committee by Water to Westminster, which was accepted of by the Committee, and ordered that they should provide such Artillery as was necessary on Tuesday Morning, and to rendesvouze so as to go through Bridge with the Tide; and that all great Guns and Musquets in their Vessels should be cleared before-hand, to the end there might be no shooting that Day, except in case of great Necessity; and the Mariners and Seamen declared, they would readily perform what was proposed for the Safety of the King and Parliament, and in pursuance of their Protestation.
After that, there came Apprentices in great Numbers to the Committee, and tendered their Service to guard them to the Parliament on Tuesday next, the 11th of January, who were called in, and Serjeant Wyld, the Chairman to the Committee, gave them Thanks for their Affection and Willingness to serve the Parliament; but told them, that there would be no need of their Assistance, for their would be a Guard provided for them by Water to Westminster, and the Trained Bands would do the same by Land: And told them further, that the Committee was sensible of their former readiness to guard the Parliament, upon which many of them were wounded; and that the Parliament hopes to see them have Redress in due time, and therefore desired them to stay at home that Day.
A Ship at this time arriving in the Thames from Berwick with Arms and Ammunition, and coming near the Tower, the Committee ordered her to fall down the River out of the Command of the Tower, and that if any Persons should offer to take any Arms or Ammunition out of her, the Master of the said Vessel should call to him the Assistance of Sailors and others for the keeping of the same.
The King's Printer was sent for by the Committee, who acknowledged, that he was commanded to print the Proclamation against the five Members, but with Direction not to disperse the same in London, which he said he did not do.
The Committee this Day had some Intelligence or Rumour, that the King proposed to come in Person on Monday next to the said Committee in London, and that there were Hopes of reconciling the Misunderstanding between Him and his People; whereupon they ordered the Captains of the Trained Bands that attended them as a Guard, should take special care, that His Majesty and the English Nobility have way made for them to come in, and all Duty and Respect shewed them, and that they suffer no Person else to come in; and Sir Ralph Hopton and Mr. Charles Price (who were the King's Servants) were desired to stand by the Officers of the Guard to see the same performed, and to shew them such Persons as are of the English Nobility. But this Rumour of His Majesty's coming thither proved false.
That the publishing of several Articles purporting a Form of a Charge of High-Treason against the Lord Kimbolton, one of the Members of the Lords House, and against Mr. Hollis, &c. Members of the House of Commons, by Sir William Killigrew, Sir William Fleming, and others in the Inns of Court and elsewhere, in the King's Name, is a high Breach of the Privileges of Parliament, a great Scandal to His Majesty and his Government, a seditious Act, manifestly tending to the Subversion of the Peace of the Kingdom, and Injury and Dishonour to the said Members, there being no legal Charge or Accusation against them.
That the Privileges of Parliament, and the Liberty of the Subject so violated and broken, cannot be fully and sufficiently vindicated, unless His Majesty will be graciously pleased to discover the Names of those Persons who advised His Majesty to the Sealing of the Chambers and Studies of the said Members, to send a Serjeant at Arms to the House of Commons to demand the said Members, to issue several Warrants under His Majesty's own Hand to apprehend the said Members, his Majesty's coming thither in his own Royal Person, the publishing of the said Articles and printed Papers in the Frame of a Proclamation, against the said Members (in such manner as is before declared,) to the end such Persons may receive condign Punishment.
This present Monday the 10th of January about three of the Clock in the Afternoon, the King, with the Queen and their Royal Off-spring, left Whitehall, and the whole Court: His Majesty being in his Coach, called the Captain of the Guard of Train-bands that attended at Whitehall, unto him, and said, I thank you for your Attendance, and for what you have done, and do no now dismiss you. So His Majesty went to Hampton-Court, and from thence afterwards by Degrees to York.
A Note of His Majesty's several Removes, from the Time of his leaving London, until his Arrival at York, 1641.
This Afternoon the House according to Adjournment being again to meet, the Committee, together with the Lord Kimbolton and the Five Members, about one of the Clock took Water at the Three Cranes, attended with thirty or forty Long-boats, with Guns, Flags, &c. and a great number of Citizens and Seamen in other Boats and Barges, and so they were conveyed to Westminster, some of the Train-bands marching at the same time by Land to be a Guard about the two Houses.
His Majesty taking Notice that some conceive it disputable whether his Proceedings against the Lord Kimbolton, Mr. Hollis, Sir Arthur Haslerig, Mr. Pym, Mr. Hampden, and Mr. Strode, be legal and agreeable to the Privileges of Parliament, and being very destrous to give Satisfaction to all Men in all Matters that may seem to have relation to Privilege, is pleased to wave his former Proceedings; and all Doubts by this means being settled, when the Minds of Men are composed, His Majesty will proceed thereupon in an unquestionable Way, and assures his Parliament, that upon all Occasions he will be as careful of their Privileges as of his Life or his Crown.
A Declaration of the House of Commons, touching a late Breach of their Privileges, and for the Vindication thereof, and of divers Members of the said House, agreed upon at Grocers-Hall, but passed not the House till January the 17th.
Whereas the Chambers, Studies, and Trunks of Mr. Denzil Hollis, Sir Arthur Hasterig, Mr. John Pym, Mr. John Hampden, and Mr. William Strode, Esqs; Members of the House of Commons, upon Monday the 3d of this instant January, by colour of his Majesty's Warrant, have been sealed up by Sir William Killigrew, and Sir William Fleming, and others, which is not only against the Privilege of Parliament, but the common Liberty of every Subject; which said Members afterwards the same day were under the like colour, by Serjeant Francis, one of his Majesty's Serjeants at Arms, contrary to all former Precedents, demanded of the Speaker, sitting in the House of Commons, to be delivered unto him, that he might arrest them of High-Treason: And whereas afterwards, the next day his Majesty in his Royal Person came to the said House, attended with a great multitude of Men, armed in warlike manner with Halberts, Swords and Pistols, who came up to the very Door of the House, and placed themselves there, and in other Places and Passages near to the said House, to the great Terror and Disturbance of the Members then sitting, and according to their duty, in a peaceable and orderly manner, treating of the great Affairs of England and Ireland: And his Majesty having placed himself in the Speaker's Chair, demanded of them the Persons of the said Members to be delivered unto him, which is a high Breach of the Rights and Privileges of Parliament, and inconsistent with the Liberties and Freedom thereof. And whereas afterwards his Majesty did issue forth several Warrants to divers Officers, under his own Hand, for the Apprehension of the Persons of the said Members, which by Law he cannot do; there being not all this time any legal charge or accusation, or due process of Law issued against them, nor any pretence of charge made known to that House; all which are against the Fundamental Liberties of the Subject, and the Rights of Parliament; whereupon we are necessitated, according to our duty to declare; and we do hereby declare, that any Person that shall arrest Mr. Hollis, Sir Arthur Hasterig, Mr. Pym, Mr. Hampden, and Mr. Strode, or any of them, or any other Members of Parliament by pretence or colour of any Warrant issuing out from the King only, is guilty of the Breach of the Liberties of the Subject, and of the Privileges of Parliament, and a publick Enemy to the Common-wealth; and that the Arresting of the said Members or any of them, or of any other Member of Parliament, by any Warrant whatsoever, without a legal proceeding against them, and without consent of that House, whereof such Person is a Member, is against the Liberty of the Subject, and a Breach of Privilege of Parliament; and the Person which shall arrest any of these Persons, or any other Members of the Parliament, is declared a publick Enemy of the Common-wealth. Notwithstanding all which we think it fit farther to declare, that we are so far from any endeavour to protect any of our Members that shall be in due manner prosecuted according to the Laws of the Kingdom, and the Rights and Privileges of Parliament for Treason, or any other Misdemeanor, that none shall be more ready and willing than we our selves to bring them to a speedy and due Trial; being sensible, that it equally imports us, as well to see Justice done against them that are criminal, as to defend the just Rights and Liberties of the Subjects and Parliament of England.
And whereas, upon several Examinations taken the 7th Day of this instant January, before the Committee appointed by the House of Commons to sit in London, it did fully appear, that many Soldiers, Papists and others, to the number of about five hundred, came with His Majesty on Tuesday last to the said House of Commons, armed with Swords, Pistols and other Weapons, and divers of them pressed to the Door of the said House, thrust away the Door-keepers, and placed themselves between the said Door and the ordinary Attendants of His Majesty, holding up their Swords, and some holding up their Pistols ready cock'd, near the said Door, and saying, I am a good Marksman; I can hit right I warrant you; and they not suffering the said Door, according to the custom of Parliament to be shut, but said, they would have the Door open; and if any opposition were against them, they made no question but they should make their Party good, and that they would maintain their Party; and when several Members of the House of Commons were coming into the House, their Attendants desiring that room might be made for them, some of the said Soldiers answer'd, a Pox of God confound them; and others said, a Pox take the House of Commons, let them come and be hang'd; what a-do is here with the House of Commons? And some of the said Soldiers did likewise violently Assault, and by Force disarm some of the Attendants and Servants of the Members of the House of Commons, waiting in the Room next the said House, and upon the King's return out of the said House, many of them by wicked Oaths, and otherwise, expressed much discontent, that some Members of the said House, for whom they came, were not there, and others of them said, when comes the Word? and no Word being given, at His Majesty's coming out, they cry'd, a Lane, a Lane: Afterwards some of them being demanded, what they thought the said Company intended to have done, answer'd, that questionless, in the Posture they were set, if the Word had been given, they should have fallen upon the House of Commons, and have cut all their Throats. Upon all which we are of Opinion, that it is sufficiently proved, that the coming of the said Soldiers, Papists and others, with His Majesty to the House of Commons on Tuesday last, being the 4th of this instant January, in the manner aforesaid, was to take away some of the Members of the said House; and if they should have found opposition or denial, then to have fallen upon the said House in an hostile manner. And we do hereby declare, that the same was a traiterous Design against the King and Parliament. And whereas the said Mr. Hollis, Sir Arthur Hasterig, Mr. Pym, Mr. Hampden and Mr. Strode, upon report of the coming of the said Soldiers, Papists and others in the warlike and hostile manner aforesaid, did, with the Approbation of the House, absent themselves from the Service of the House, for avoiding the great and many Inconveniencies, which otherwise apparently might have happned: Since which time a printed Paper, in the Form of a Proclamation, bearing Date the 6th Day of this instant January, hath issued out, for the apprehending and imprisoning of them; therein suggesting, that through the conscience of their own Guilt, they were absent and fled, not willing to submit themselves to Justice. We do farther declare, that the said printed Paper is false, scandalous and illegal; and that, notwithstanding the said printed Paper, or any Warrant issued out, or any other matter yet appearing against them, or any of them, they may, and ought to attend the Service of the said House of Commons, and the several Committees now on foot. And that it is lawful for all Persons whatsoever to lodge, harbour or converse with them, or any of them; and whosoever shall be question'd for the same, shall be under the protection and privilege of Parliament.
And we do farther declare, That the publishing of several Articles, purporting a Form of a Charge of High Treason against the Lord Kimbolton, one of the Members of the Lords House, and against the said Mr. Hollis, Sir Arthur Hasterig, Mr. Pym, Mr. Hampden, and Mr. Strode, by Sir William Killigrew, Sir William Fleming, and others of the Inns of Court, and elsewhere in the King's Name, was a high Breach of the Privilege of Parliament, a great Scandal to His Majesty and His Government, a seditious Act, manifestly tending to the Subversion of the Peace of the Kingdom, and an Injury and Dishonour to the said Members, there being no legal Charge or Accusation against them.
That the Privileges of Parliament, and the Liberties of the Subjects so violated and broken, cannot be fully and sufficiently vindicated, unless His Majesty will be graciously pleased to discover the Names of those Persons, who advised His Majesty to issue out Warrants for the Sealing of the Chambers and Studies of the said Members, to send a Serjeant at Arms to demand the said Members, to issue out several Warrants under His Majesty's own Hand, to apprehend the said Members; His Majesty's coming thither in his own Royal Person, the publishing of the said Articles and printed Paper, in the Form of a Proclamation against the said Members in such manner as is before declared, to the end that such Persons may receive condign Punishment.
And this House doth farther declare, That all such Persons as have given any Council, or endeavoured to set or maintain division or dislike between the King and Parliament, or have listed their Names, or otherwise entred into any Combination or Agreement, to the aiding or assisting to any such Counsel or Endeavour, or have perswaded any other so to do, or that shall do any the things above-mentioned; and that shall not forthwith discover the same to either House of Parliament, or the Speaker of either of the said Houses respectively, and disclaim it, are declared publick Enemies of the State and Peace of this Kingdom, and shall be inquired of, and proceeded against accordingly.
This Day divers Knights, Gentlemen and Freeholders of the County of Bucks, to the Number of about four Thousand (as they were computed) came to London, riding every one with a printed Copy of the Protestation lately taken in his Hat; and presented the following Petition to the Lords, and the like in effect to the Commons.
To the Right Honourable the House of Peers now Assembled in Parliament.
The humble Petition of the Inhabitants of the County of Bucks.
That whereas we hoped upon the happy Assembly of this present Parliament, we should have had a speedy Redress of those Pressures we have for many years been under, but have been hitherto in a great measure frustrated of our hopes by the strong Counterworking of a malignant Faction, whereby the perfecting of Reformation is hindred, the Endeavours of the House of Commons in great part successless, our dangers grown upon us by reiterated Plots, Priest and other Delinquents unpunished, to the encouragement of others; Ireland lost by protracted Counsels, while thousands are there Butchered by many cruelties; and to cut off all hopes of future Reformation, the very Being of our Parliaments endangered by desperate and unexampled breach of Priviledges, which by our Protestation lately taken, we are bound with our Lives and Estates to maintain; and in respect of that late attempt upon the honourable House of Commons, we are now come to offer our service to that end, and resolved in their just defence to live and dye.
And therefore humbly pray, That this most honourable House will Co-operate with the House of Commons, in most speedy perfecting the most necessary work of Reformation; bringing to condign and exemplary punishment, both wicked Counsellors, and evil Plotters and Delinquents; That Ireland may have speedy relief; the Priviledges of Parliament fortified against all future attempts; and the whole Kingdom put into a sure and present posture of Defence, that we may live both safe from all practices of the malignant Party at home, and the endeavours of any ill effected States abroad.
The Pititioners received the Thanks of each House, and acquainted the House of Commons, That they had a Petition also to His Majesty, and desired the directions of that House touching the best way of delivering it, who told them that they conceived if they selected six or eight of their number to wait upon His Majesty with it, that course would be most acceptable. And accordingly they made choice of such a number, who repaired to the King at Windsor, and presented the Petition following.
To the King's most Excellent Majesty.
That your Petitioners having by vertue of your Highnesses Writ, chosen John Hampden Knight for our Shire, in whose Loyalty we his Countrymen and Neighbours have ever had good cause to confide: However of late to our no less amazement than grief we find him with other Members of Parliament accused of Treason: And having takin into our serious consideration the manner of their Impeachment, we cannot but (under your Majesty's favour) conceive that it doth so opugn the Rights of Parliament, to the maintainance whereof our Protestation binds us, That we believe it is the Malice which their Zeal to your Majesty's service and the State, hath contracted in the Enemies to your Majesty, the Church and Common-wealth, hath occasioned this foul accusation, rather than any deserts of theirs, who do likewise through their sides wound the Judgment and Care of us your Petitioners and others, by whose choice they were presented to the House.
Windsor, 13. Jan. 1641.
His Majesty being graciously pleas'd to let all his Subjects understand his Care not knowingly to violate in the least degree any of the Priviledes of Parliament, hath therefore (lately) by a Message sent by the Lord Keeper, signified, that he is pleased, because of the doubt that hath been raised of the manner, to wave his former proceedings, and the rest mentioned in this Petition; concerning whom his Majesty intends to proceed in an unquestionable way. And then his Majesty saith it will appear, that he had so sufficient grounds to question them, as he might not in Justice to the Kingdom, and Honour to Himself, have forborn: And yet his Majesty had much rather that the said Persons should prove innocent, than be found guilty: However he cannot conceive that their Crimes can in any sort reflect upon those his good Subjects, who elected them to serve in Parliament.
The King sent this Addition to his former Message to the two Houses.
His Majesty being no less tender of the Priviledges of Parliament, and thinking himself no less concern'd, that they be not broken, and that they be afferted and vindicated whensoever they are so, than the Parliament itself, hath thought fit to add to his last Message this Profession, That in all his Proceedings against the L. Kimbolton, Mr. Hollis, Sir Arthur Haslerig, Mr. Pym, Mr. Hampden, and Mr. Strode, he had never the least intention of violating the least Priviledge of Parliament: And in case any doubt of Breach of Priviledge remains, will be willing to clear that, and assert those by any reasonable way that his Parliament shall advise him to; upon confidence of which, he no way doubts his Parliament will forthwith lay by all Jealousies, and apply themselves to the Publick and pressing Affairs, and especially to those of Ireland, wherein the good of this Kingdom and the true Religion (which shall ever be his Majesties first care) are so highly and so nearly concerned. And his Majesty assures himself, that his care of their Priviledges will encrease their tenderness of his lawful Prerogative, which are so necessary to the mutual defence of each other; and both which will be the foundation of a perpetual perfect intelligence between his Majesty and Parliament, and of the happiness and prosperity of his People.
But notwithstanding these Messages the House of Commons were not satisfied, but resolved to proceed against Sir Edward Herbert the Attorney General, and in order thereunto caused him to be examined before the Lords as follows:
The Questions propounded to Mr. Attorney General by the House of Commons, and his Answers thereunto.
Answer. I will deal ingenuously and freely, and shall say the same which before I did to your Lordships; I need no long time to answer this, I did none of these three, neither contrive, frame, nor advise these Articles, or any of them, and will be content to die if I did it.
Answ. I do know nothing of my own knowledge of the truth of this, nor of any particular, nor have heard by information: This I speak upon the truth of an honest Man, and nothing was ever said to me of this, but by my Master the King.
Answ. By my former expression you may discern what answer I can make to this; I cannot undertake to make one tittle good in them, otherwise than my Master shall command me and enable me, for of my self I cannot nor will not, no more then one that ever heard of them.
To which Answer Mr. Serjeant Wild replied, the House of Commons desires you to Answer whether you had any Proof or Testimony, or any Information of any proof of these Articles, they in no kind desired to know what you had. To this Mr. Attorney answered, There is nothing in the World, but I shall be most ready to answer to; but this I desire time to consider of, in regard of a Trust between Master and a Servant.
Die Sab. 15. Jan. 1641.
It is resolved by the House of Commons, since the said Answer of Mr. Attorney General, that he hath broken the Priviledge of Parliament in preferring the said Articles, and that the same is illegal, and he criminous for so doing: And that a Charge be sent up to the Lords in the name of the House of Commons, against Mr. Attorney General, to have satisfaction for this great Scandal and Injury to the Members thereof, unless by Thursday next, he bring in his Proof, and make good (if he can) the said Articles against the said persons, or any of them.
The Impeachment of Sir Edward Herbert Knight, the King's Attorney General.
That the said Edward Herbert Kt. his Majesties Attorney General sworn, did on the third day of January in the year of our Lord 1641. contrary to his Oath and the Duty of his Place, falsly, scandalously, and maliciously, advise, frame, and publish certain false scandalous Articles of High-Treason against the Lord Kimbolton, one of the Members of the House of Peers in Parliament, Denzil Hollis Esq; Sir Arthur Hasterig Bar. John Pym, John Hampden and William Strode Esquires, being then and yet Members of the House of Commons in Parliament; which Articles follow in these words.
1. That they have traiterously endeavoured, &c. (as before the said Articles are set down) and the said Sir Edward Herbert, the said 3d. day of January did falsly unlawfully, and maliciously exhibit the said Articles unto the House of Peers in Parliament, and caused the same to be entered into the Clerks Book of the said House, intending and endeavouring thereby falsly, unlawfully, and maliciously to deprive the said Houses of their said several Members, and to take away their Lives, Estates, and good Names. All which doings of the said Attorney and every of them, were and are high Breaches of the Priviledges of Parliament tending to Sedition, and to the utter Subversion of the Fundamental Rights and Being of Parliaments, the Liberty of the Subject, and to the great Scandal and Dishonour of His Majesty, &c.
For which high Crimes and Misdemeanors the said Commons, saving to themselves the liberty of exhibiting any further or other Impeachment or Accusation against the said Sir Edward Herbert, do impeach him, and do pray that he may be put to answer the Premises in the presence of the Commons.
The Answer of Sir Edward Herbert Knt. His Majesty's Attorney General, to the Impeachment exhibited against him by the honourable House of Commons in this present Parliament.
The said Defendant saving to himself now and at all times hereafter, all just Exception to the said Impeachment, as the same is charged, for Answer, faith and acknowledgeth that he is, and the 3d. day of January last past, was His Majesty's Attorney General sworn: but whereas he is charged with the malicious, false and scandalous advising and contriving the Articles in the said Impeachment mentioned, he saith, that he was and is so far from any malice, falshood or scandal, in the advising and contriving of the same, or any of them, that he did not at all advise or contrive the said Articles or any of them, nor ever knew or heard of them or any of them, until he received them from His Majesty's Hands, the said 3d. day of January last past, ready ingrossed in Paper.
And as to that part of the said Impeachment, which chargeth this Defendant with the Exhibiting of the said Articles to this honourable House, he saith, that upon the said 3d. day of January, he repaired to his Majesty by his command, who then delivered unto this Defendant a Paper containing the Articles in the said Impeachment mentioned, and did command him in His Majesty's Name, to acquaint this honourable House, that divers great and treasonable Designs and Practices against His Majesty and the State, are come to His Majesty's knowledge, for which His Majesty commanded this Defendant in His Majesty's Name, to accuse six Members in the said Paper mentioned, of High-Treason, and other High Misdemeanors, by delivering that Paper to you Lordships, and to desire to have it read: And further to desire in His Majesty's Name, that a select Committee of Lords might be appointed to take the Examinations of such Witnesses as His Majesty should produce, as formerly had been done in cases of like nature, according to the Justice of this House, and that Committee to be under a command of Secresie, as formerly; and further in His Majesty's Name, to ask liberty to add and alter, if there should be cause, according to justice: And likewise that your Lordships would take care of the securing of the said Persons, as in Justice there should be cause; and according to His Majesty's said command, this Defendant did come to this honourable House, the said 3d. day of January, and then after the Right Honourable Edward Lord Littleton, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England, had declared to this honourable House, that he was commanded by His Majesty to let your Lordships know that His Majesty had given this Defendant command to acquaint your Lordships with some things from His Majesty, this Defendant there upon the said 3d. day January in this honourable House before your Lordships then and there sitting in Parliament, in obedience to His Majesty's said commands, as a Message from him, did declare the foresaid commands of His Majesty, by acquainting your Lordships that the King had commanded him to tell your Lordships, that divers great and treasonable Designs and Practices against him and the State had come to His Majesty's knowledge, for which the King had given his command to accuse six Persons of High-Treason, and other High Misdemeanors, by delivering these Articles: And that he was commanded to desire your Lordships to have them read, which by your Lordships command, were accordingly read by the Clerk; and then further declared, that he was also commanded by His Majesty, to desire on His Majesty's behalf, that a select Committee might be appointed to take the Examination of such Witnesses as the King would produce, as formerly had been done in cases of like nature, according to the Justice of this House: and this Committee to be under a command of secresie, as formerly: and that he was commanded to ask liberty to add according to Justice: and that he was commanded to desire that your Lordships would take care for the securing of those Persons as in Justice there should be cause: and saith, he did not conceive there could be any offence in what was so done by him in this honourable House in obedience to those His Majesty's commands, being wholly thereby left to your Lordships Wisdoms and Judgments, being His Majesty's great Council and greatest Court for Advice and Justice, and a touching the false, scandalous, and malicious advising, contriving or publishing the said Articles, or any other Articles against the said Persons in the said Papers mentioned, or any of them, or any breach of this Defendants Oath of Attorney General, and to the false, unlawful and maliciously exhibiting the said Articles into this honourable House, or causing any entry thereof to be made, and the intent and endeavour falsly, unlawfully and maliciously to deprive this honourable House, or the honourable House of Commons, of any of the Members of the said Houses, or to take away any of their Lives, Estates, or good Names, and every Offence and Misdemeanor charged by the said Impeachment upon this Defendant, he saith he is not guilty of them, or any of them, in such manner and form as by the said Impeachment is charged. All which matters and things this Defendant is, and will be ready to aver and prove in such sort, as to this honourable House of Parliament shall seem meet.
The 21. of January both Houses petitioned his Majesty, that they might be informed what Proof there was against the Lord Kimbolton and the Five Members, that they might speedily be proceeded against in a Parliamentary way, &c. To which his Majesty returned this Answer.
His Majesty having seen and considered the Petition presented unto him the 21. of this instant by the Earl of Newport and the Lord Seymour, in the names of both Houses of Parliament, is pleased to return this Answer, That he doth well approve of the desire of both Houses for the speedy proceeding against the Persons mentioned in the Petition, whereof his Majesty finding the great inconveniencies by the first mistake in the way, hath indured some delays, that he might be informed in what order to put the same; but before that that be agreed upon, his Majesty thinks it unusual or unfit to discover what proof is against them, and therefore holds it necessary, least a new mistake should breed more delays, (which his Majesty to his Power will avoid) That it be resolved whether his Majesty be bound in respect of Priviledges, to proceed against them by Impeachment in Parliament; or whether he be at liberty to prefer an Indictment at the Common Law in the usual way, or have his choice of either: Whereupon his Majesty will give such speedy directions for prosecution, as shall shew his Majesties desire to satisfie both Houses, and to put a determination to the business.
To the King's most Excellent Majesty.
The humble Petition of the Lords and Commons now Assembled in Parliament:
That whereas your Majesty by a Message sent to both Houses of Parliament signified an apprehension of some treasonable Matter to have been committed by the Lord Kimbolton, Mr. Hollis, Sir Arthur Haslerig, Mr. Pym, Mr. Hampden, and Mr. Strode, and thereby declared your Majesty's intentions to proceed against them in an unquestionable way; We the Lords and Commons in this present Parliament assembled, did make our humble Petition to your Majesty, to give directions, that your Parliament might be informed before Tuseday then next ensuing, what proof there was against them, that accordingly there might be a Legal and Parliamentary proceeding against them, whereby they might be brought to condign punishment, if guilty; or discharged from so heavy an accusation, if innocent. And whereas your Majesty was graciously pleased in answer to that Petition, to express your good approbation of the desire of both Houses for the speedy proceeding against the Persons in that Petition mentioned: Yet your Majesty gave no other satisfaction to their desire than this, That your Majesty held it necessary, left a new mistake should breed more delays, that it should be resolved, whether your Majesty were bound in respect of Priviledges to proceed against them by Impeachment in Parliament, or be left at liberty to prefer an Indictment at the Common Law in the usual way, or to have the Choice of either. And we finding still that there is no Legal and Parliamentary proceedings against them, and that they still lie under the burthen of that high Charge, we think it our Duty once again to beseech your Majesty to give directions, that your Parliament may be imformed before Friday next, what proof there is against them, that accordingly they may be called to a Legal Trial, it being the undoubted Right and Priviledge of Parliament; That no Member of Parliament can be proceeded against without the consent of Parliament. And this we most humbly conceive our selves obliged to ask, it being no less agreeable with Justice to have the Innocency of Parties unjustly charged, manifested, than to bring the Nocent to their just punishment.
That as he once conceived, that he had ground enough to accuse them, so now his Majesty finds as good cause wholly to desert any Prosecution of them. And for a further Testimony of his Majesties real intention towards all his loving Subjects (some of whom happily may be involved in some unknowing and unwilling Errors) for the better composing and settling of all Fears and Jealousies of what kind soever, his Majesty is ready to grant as Free and General a Pardon for the full contentment of all his loving Subjects, as shall by the Approbation of both Houses of Parliament be thought convenient for that purpose.
To the King's most Excellent Majesty.
The humble Petition of the Lords and Commons now Assembled in Parliament.
That your Majesty in Answer to their late Petition touching the Proceedings against the Lord Kimbolton, Mr. Hollis, Sir Arthur Haslerig, Mr. Pym, Mr. Hampden and Mr. Strode, Members of the Parliament, was pleased to signific, That as your Majesty once conceived, that you had ground enough to accuse them, so now your Majesty finds as good cause wholly to desert any further prosecution of them. Notwithstanding which, they remain still under that heavy charge so imputed unto them, to the exceeding prejudice not of themselves, but also of the whole Parliament. And whereas by the express Laws and Statutes of this your Realm, that is to say, by two Acts of Parliament, the one made in the 37th and the other in the 38th Year of the Reign of your most noble Progenitor King Edw. the 3d. If any Person whatsoever make suggestion to the King himself of any Crime commited by another, the same Person ought to be sent with the suggestion before the Chancellor or Keeper of the Great Seal, the Treasurer, or the Great Council, there to find Surety to pursue his suggestion; which if he cannot prove, he is to be Imprisoned till he hath satisfied the Party accused of his damages and slander, and made Fine and Ransom to the King. The said Lords and Commons therefore humbly beseech your Majesty, that not only in point of Justice to the said Members in these particulars, but for the Vindication of the Rights and Priviledges of Parliament, your Majesty will be pleased to send the Persons or Persons that in this case made the Suggestions or Informations, to your Parliament, that so such Fruits of the said good Laws may be had as was intended by them, and the Rights and Priviledges of Parliament may be vindicated, which of Right and Justice ought not to be denied.
Right trusty and well beloved Counsellor, We greet you well, and have thought good hereby to certifie, That We did the 3d. of January last deliver to our Attorney certain Articles of accusation ingrossed in Paper, a Copy whereof We have here sent enclosed; and did then command him in our Name, to acquaint Our House of Peers, that divers great and treasonable Designs and Practices against Us and the State had come to Our knowledge, for which We commanded him in Our Name to accuse the six Persons in the said Paper mentioned of High-Treason and other High-Misdemeanors, by delivering the Paper to Our said House, and to desire to have it read. And further to desire in Our Name, That a select Committee of Lords might be appointed to take the Examinations of such Witnesses as We would produce, and as had formerly been done in cases of like nature, according to the Justice of the House; and the Committee to be under a command of secresie, as formerly; and further in Our Name to ask liberty to add and alter if there should be cause. We do therefore declare, That Our said Attorney did not advise or contrive the said Articles, nor had any thing to do with, or in advising any breach of Priviledge that followed after. And for what he did in obedience to Our commands, we conceive We was bound by Oath and the Duty of his Place, and by the Trust by Us reposed in him, so to do: And had he refused to obey Us therein, we would have questioned him for breach of Oath, Duty and Trust. But now having declared, That we find cause wholly to desist from proceeding against the Persons accused, We have commanded him to proceed no further therein, nor to produce nor discover any proof concerning the same.
Sabbati 23. April 1642.
Whereas Sir Edward Herbert Knt. His Majesty's Attorney General hath been impeached by the Knights, Citizens and Burgesses of the House of Commons, for the advising, contriving and publishing certain false, scandalous and malicious Articles of High-Treason against the Lord Kimbolton, one of the Members of the House of Peers, Sir Arthur Haslerig Knt. Denzil Hollis Esq; John Pym, John Hampden and William Strode, Esquires, being then, and yet Members of the House of Commons, and for causing Articles of High-Treason to be entred into the Clerks Book of the said House of Peers, which was done against the Priviledges of Parliament, tending to the Subversion of the Ancient Rights, and Being of Parliaments, and against the Liberty of the Subject, and contrary to his Oath and the Laws of this Realm.
The Lords having taken the said Charge into due consideration, do find him guilty of the Exhibiting the said Articles into the House of Peers, and causing the same to be entred into the Clerks Book of the said House, intending thereby falsly, unlawfully and maliciously to deprive the said Houses of the said several Members; all which doings were and are high breaches of the Priviledges of Parliament, tending to the Subversion of the Ancient Rights and Being of Parliaments, and contrary to the Liberty of the Subject, and are of great scandal of his Majesty and his Government, and against the Laws of this Realm. For which Offences this high Court doth award and adjudge:
- 1. That Sir Edward Herbert His Majesty's Attorney General, is by Sentence of this House disabled, and made uncapable of being a Member, Assistant or Pleader in either House of Parliament, and of all Offices, saving that of Attorney General, which he now holds.
- 2. That Mr. Attorney General shall be forthwith committed to the Prison of the Fleet, during the pleasure of this House.