Historical Collections of Private Passages of State: Volume 4, 1640-42. Originally published by D Browne, London, 1721.
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CHAP. III. Concerning Passes into Ireland.
About this time began the occasion of a Controversie between the King and House of Commons, about their aspersing him, as granting Licenses to Papists to pass into Ireland. The Original Ground of which, and the Messages on each side concerning it, take here altogether as followeth.
At a Conference betwixt both Houses, January the 25th. 1641. concerning divers Petitions presented to the House of Commons, Mr. Pym appointed to manage that Conference, spake as followeth:
Mr. Pym's Speech at a Conference, Jan. the 25th.
I Am commanded by the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses assembled for the Commons in Parliament, to present to your Lordships divers Petitions, which they have received from several Parts concerning the State of the Kingdom: whereunto they are chiefly moved by that constant Affection, which they have always exprest, of maintaining a firm Union and good Correspondence with your Lordships; wherein they have ever found much Advantage, and Contentment; but never held it more important and necessary, than at this time, wherein the Wisdom and Resolution of Parliament, have as many great Dangers and Difficulties to pass through, as ever heretofore.
We are united in the publick Trust, which is derived from the Commonwealth in the common Duty and Obligation whereby God doth bind us to the discharge of that Trust: and the Commons desire to impart to your Lordships, whatsoever Information or Intelligence, whatsoever Incouragement or Assistance they have received from those several Countries which they represent, that so likewise we may be united in the same Intentions and Endeavours of improving all to the Service of his Majesty, and the common Good of the Kingdom.
The Petitions which I am directed to communicate to your Lordships, are Four; from London, Middlesex, Essex and Hertfordshire. We have received many more, but it would take up too much time, and be too great a trouble to peruse all; and, in these Four, you may perceive the Effect and Sense of all: First, I am to desire your Lordships to hear them read, and then I shall pursue my Instructions in propounding some Observations out of them.
To the Honourable the Knights, Citizens and Burgesses, of the House of Commons assembled in Parliament.
The City Petition January 24.
The Humble Petition and Answer of the Mayor, Aldermen, and the rest of the Common Council of the City of London:
That the Committee of this Honourable House, upon Saturday the 22d of this Instant January, sent a Message to the Petitioners for the Loan of One hundred thousand Pounds, or of so much thereof as could conveniently be forthwith raised, for levying of Forces to suppress the Rebels in Ireland: To which Message something was then answered, and a further Answer in Writing promised.
In Performance whereof they humbly present the Answer following, together with the Reasons thereof, desiring that the same (being the best that for the present they are able to give) may favourably be accepted.
And they shall ever pray, &c.
Their Answer touching lending 100000 l.
The Petitioners are duly and deeply sensible of the great Miseries of their Brethren in Ireland, and of the imminent Danger, not only of the total Loss of that Kingdom, but of the Ruin of this also, if that of Ireland should (which God forbid) be lost. And as they have hitherto shewed themselves ready, even beyond their Abilities to serve the King and Parliament; so shall they ever continue to the utmost of their power, with all Chearfulness and Duty. But at the present they are compelled to repeat their former Answer; That they have no Power to raise any Sums by way of Tax for any Foreign Use; and do further answer, that they have no means to do it, otherwise than by the immediate personal Consent of every particular Lender, which they cannot hope to obtain, in regard of these Obstructions, following; which the Petitioners humbly present, together with this their further Answer, as the Reasons thereof.
Obstructions that hinder the Loan.
- 1. That immediately before the Parliament, and sithence divers great Sums for the Service of the King and Kingdom have been already lent by the Citizens of London, besides 50000 l. for the Supply of Ireland, in particular; a great part whereof some of the Lenders were compelled to borrow, and cannot to this Day repay.
- 2. That such part of those Monies as are already due to the Citizens from the Parliament, and should have been repaid out of the Poll-Money and Subsidies, is not yet done, because there is not any considerable Sum come in from the Country, as was expected to satisfie the same.
- 3. That the said 50000 l. lent for Ireland was hastened and speedily paid within near about 2000 l. upon this Ground then urged by the Parliament; that if it were forthwith lent, it might be of more Use to preserve that Kingdom than the Loan of 200000 l. could be, if deferred but six Weeks; yet no considerable Forces are sent thither to this Day. And we find that Men will not be willing to lend any Thing till they be assured that a good Strength be sent thither with full Commission to relieve London-Dervy, and other Parts of that Kingdom.
- 4. The General withholding of very great Sums of Money from the Petitioners, and many others, which Monies have been long due, not only from Chapmen and other Debtors in England; but from very many in Ireland (who owe many hundred Thousands of Pounds to the Citizens of London) doth render divers Persons of good Estates and Credit, hardly able to go on with Trade, or to pay their Debts, and maintain their Charge.
- 5. The Brotherly Offers of Scotland to send 10000 Men into Ireland, not yet so accepted as to produce any Relief to that bleeding Kingdom, while yet our Brethren are daily massacred there, discourageth most Men from lending any Money, were they never so able.
- 6. The not passing the Bill for Pressing of Soldiers here, whereby such Forces as are requisite might be timely sent from hence into Ireland, puts many Men into Fears, that there may be some Design rather to lose that Kingdom, and to consume this in the losing of Ireland, than to preserve either the one or the other; for that it cannot be conceived, that the Rebels (being grown so powerful) will be suppressed by Voluntiers.
- 7. The slow issuing of Commissions to those who being in Ireland, or going thither are willing to enter the Field against the Rebels, disables them from doing any effectual Execution upon the Enemy, unless in their own Defence; and so all the Monies that have been, or may be sent thither, are exhausted to maintain our Forces to do little or nothing worthy of them, rather than imployed to chastise the Rebels, and to reduce them to Obedience, by Means whereof the Number and Power of the Rebels are greatly encreased, divers Castles and Towns are by them taken, much Protestant Blood is daily split, many thousand Families destroyed, the malignant Part of Papists and their Adherents here are encouraged, and those Rebels so much imboldened, that they boast, they will extirpate the British Nation there, and then make England the Seat of War.
- 8. The not disarming of Papists here in England, after many Discoveries of their Treacheries, and bloody Designs upon the Parliament and Kingdom, the great Decays of Fortifications, Block-houses and other Sea-forts, the not managing of them, nor furnish them with Ordnance and Ammunition, the not placing all of them in such Hands in whom the Parliament may confide, and the not settling this Kingdom in a Posture of Defence, in times of so many Fears and Jealousies of foreign Invasions and intestine Conspiracies, the not removing the present Lieutenant of the Tower, and putting such a Person into that Place, as may be well approved of by the Parliament, notwithstanding the earnest Petitions exhibited to this Honourable House for that Purpose, which hath produced a Forbearance to bring Bullion into the Tower in this time of Scarcity of Monies; all which cannot but overthrow Trading more and more, and make Monies yet more scarce in the City and Kingdom.
- 9. The King's Ships which ought to be a Wall of Defence to this Kingdom, and a Convoy to the Merchants (for which Tonnage and Poundage was granted) are not fitted and imployed, as the present Condition of this Kingdom and Ireland requires, but some of them for the conveying away of Delinquents, who durst not abide the Test of the Parliament, to the great Encouragement of the rest of the malignant Party here, who when their Designs and themselves be detected, know how to escape the Hand of Justice through the Abuse of a Royal Conduct.
- 10. The not questioning those many thousands of unknown Persons, who are sheltered in Covent-Garden, and thereabouts, which do not imploy themselves in any lawful Calling, and it's very probable, lie in a readiness to adventure upon some desperate Attempt, to the endangering of the Welfare, Peace and Safety of the King's Majesty, Parliament and City.
- 11. The Misunderstanding between the King and the Parliament, the not vindicating the Privileges of Parliament, the not suppressing of Protections, the not punishing of Delinquents, and the not executing of all Priests and Jesuits, legally condemned, while others contrary to Privilege of Parliament have been illegally (as the Petitioners conceive) charged with Treason, to the deterring of worthy Members from discharging their Duties, and to the destroying of the very Being of Parliaments, do exceedingly fill the Minds of Men well affected to the Publick, with many Fears and Discouragements throughout the Kingdom, and so disables them from that cheerful Assistance which they would be glad to afford.
- 12. By means of the Premisses there is such decay of Trading, and such scarcity of Money (neither of which can be cured, till the former Evils be removed) as it is likely in very short time, to cast innumerable Multitudes of poor Artificers into such a depth of Poverty and Extremity, as may enforce them upon some dangerous and desperate Attempts, not fit to be expressed, much less to be justified: Which they leave to the Wisdom of this House speedily to consider and prevent.
These are the Evils under which the Petitioners do exceedingly labour and languish, which they humbly conceive to have sprung from the imploying of ill affected Persons in places of Trust and Honour in the State, and near to the sacred Person of his Majesty; and that these Evils are still continued by means of the Votes of Bishops and Popish Lords in the House of Peers.
And now, that the Petitioners have faithfully represented the true Reasons which do really enforce them to return this Answer, most of which have been formerly offered to this Honourable House in sundry Petitions; and that they have done all that in them lies (even beyond all President) to serve the King, Parliament and Kingdom; They humbly crave leave to protest before God and the High Court of Parliament, that if any further Miseries befall their dear Brethren in Ireland, or if any Mischief shall break in upon this Kingdom, to the endangering or disturbing thereof, it ought not to be imputed to the Petitioners, but only to such as shall endeavour to hinder the effectual and speedy cure of the Evils before recited., that so much disable and discourage the Petitioners from doing that which by this Honourable House is desired of them.
To the Honourable the Knights, Citizens and Burgesses of the House of Commons in the High Court of Parliament.
The Humble Petition of the Knights, Gentlemen, Ministers, and other Inhabitants of the County of Essex.
The Essex Petition.
To this Honourable House, that we are truly sensible of your great Care, and extraordinary Endeavours to settle our Religion and Peace, and daily bless God Almighty, and the King's Majesty, the Peers, and this Honourable Assembly for the same. And we do further in all Humility represent to your Honourable Consideration, that notwithstanding your abundant Care and Industry, we do still apprehend a great stop of Reformation in Matters of Religion, and our selves together with you, and the whole Kingdom to be in great danger from the Papists, and other ill affected Persons, who are every where very Insolent, and ready to act the Parts of those savage Blood-suckers in Ireland, if they be not speedily prevented; by means whereof our Tradings, especially of Clothing and Farming, grow apace to so great a Damp, as many thousands an like to come to sudden Want: Nor can we expect any Redress thereof, unless the Bishop and Popish Lords be removed out of the House of Peers.
Therefore we humbly Pray, that you would earnestly mediate with his Majesty and the House of Peers, that our Brethren in Ireland may be speedily Relieved, the Papists throughout this Kingdom may be Disarmed, and the Kingdom be put into such a warlike Posture, for Defence, as may be for its Safety; And that the Bishops and Popish Lords who (as we conceive) have hindered the Success of your godly Endeavours, may be excluded the House of Peers; not doubting, but that then our Petitions formerly presented to this House, will receive the more full and speedy Answer.
And your Petitioners (resolving in all just and honourable Ways, according to our late Protestation, to assist you in your Rights and Priviledges with our Estates and Lives against the Enemies of God, the King and State,) humbly pray, &c.
To the Honourable, the Knights, Citizens and Burgesses of the House of Commons Assembled in Parliament.
The Humble Petition of the Knights, Gentlemen, Freeholders, and other Inhabitants of the County of Hertford,
That this Church and Kingdom being by the Prelates, those multitudes of corrupt and scandalous Ministers (their Creatures;) and the Popish Party concurring with them on the one hand; and by wicked Counsellors, evil Ministers of State, and great Swarms of Projectors, and others ill-affected to the Peace of this Realm, on the other hand, brought to a sad, and almost desperate Condition, and thereby the Splendor of his Majesty s Crown and Dignity dangerously weakened and eclipsed, it pleased his Majesty, having respect to the Petitions of Nobles and People in that behalf, to call this present Parliament, the only able Means (under God) to reform the many Pressures and Grievances of the Church and Kingdom, and to remove the Causes thereof.
In which Parliament, to the Honour of his Majesty, and Comfort of his good Subjects, exemplary Justice hath been executed, A bitrary Courts, Ship-Money, Monopolies, and other illegal Impositions removed, the shedding of much Blood prevented, by the late Union between the two Kingdoms of England and Scotland, and further hopes given us of perfecting what remains by the happy Continuance and much desired Progress of this Parliament.
And although that malignant Party of Prelates and Papists, and their Adherents (whose present Standings, and the happy Success of this Parliament, as the Petitioners humbly conceive, are inconsistent) have by their manifold wicked Practices and Designs endeavoured to hinder all thorow Reformation in Church and Commonwealth, to stifle in the Birth and Progress all those good Bills, and other Preparations made by this Honourable Assembly for that Purpose, and specially for the Relief of the Kingdom of Ireland, (the Ruine whereof will endanger this Kingdom also.) To stop the Influence of his Majesty s Royal Favour in giving Life thereto, to divide between his Majesty and this Honourable Assembly, and to render you not only contemptible, but also bur hensome to the People; yet the Petitioners, and as they verily believe, all well affected to his Majesty, and the Peace and Prosperity of this Kingdom, have, and still shall continue an high and honourable Esteem of this worthy Assembly, and of your great and unwearied Endeavours, and do with the utmost Expressions of their Thankfulness acknowledge the same, and the progress and perfecting thereof to be of great Consequence, and deep Necessity to the Peace and Welfare of this Church and Kingdom, and such as without which not only a Reflux of the former Calamities, but even utter Ruine and Desolation, like that, being too long continued in sad and much lamented Ireland, will apparently ensue.
From the Sense whereof, and of the great and unheard of Breaches lately made upon the Priviledges of Parliament, even to the endangering of the Being thereof, wherein your Petitioners and their Posterity are much concerned. The Petitioners take upon them the humble Boldness to declare their Readiness and great Engagements according to their Protestation, to stand to and defend, to the utmost Peril of their Lives and Estates, the King's Majesty and High Court of Parliament, with all the Power and Priviledges of the same, and all your Honourable Proceedings for the common Good, against all Popish, and other malignant Opposers, who endeavour, either by evil Counsel, secret Plots, or open Force to hurt or prejudice the same, or to make Divisions between his Majesty and the Parliament.
And the said Petitioners humbly pray, that the Papists may be fully disarmed, the Laws against them executed, the Kingdom, and especially this County, according to their late Petition in that behalf, put into a Posture of War for their better Defence; the Forts and Strength of this Kingdom put into safe Hands, which the Parliament may confide and trust in; the Priviledges of Parliament repaired and thoroughly vindicated, and that this Honourable Assembly (as hath been lately desired of you by the Citizens of London) will be a Means unto his Majesty and House of Peers, that Life may be speedily given to your good Endeavours by their Concurrence with you in taking away of the Votes of Popish Lords and Bishops out of the House of Peers, the speedy and strong Relief of Ireland, the further Punishment of Delinquents, the removal of the Pressures and Grievances in Church and Commonwealth, and Reforming of what is therein amiss.
For all which your Petitioners shall daily pray, &c.
The Petitions being read by four several Members of the House, Mr. Pym reassumed his Discourse.
The rest of Mr. Pym's Speech.
In these four Petitions you may hear the Voice, or rather the Cry of all England, and you cannot wonder if the Urgency, the Extremity of the Condition wherein we are, do produce some Earnestness and Vehemency of Expression more than ordinary, the Agony, Terror, and Perplexity in which the Kingdom labours, is universal, all Parts are affected with it; and therefore in these, you may observe the Groans and miserable Complaints of all.
Divers Reasons may be given why those Diseases which are Epidemical are more dangerous than others: The Cause of such Diseases is universal and supernatural not from an evil Constitution, or evil Diet, or any other Accident; and such Causes work with more Vigour and Efficacy than those which are particular and inferior. 2. In such Diseases there is a communicative Quality, whereby the Malignity of them is multiplied and enforced. 3. They have a concerting, transforming Power, that turns other Diseases and evil Affections of Mens Bodies into their own Nature.
The common and epidemical Disease wherein this Commonwealth lies now gasping, hath a superior and universal Cause from the evil Counsels and Designs of those, who under his Majesty bear the greatest Sway in Government. 2. It hath a contagious and infectious Quality, whereby it is diffused and dispetsed through all Parts of the Kingdom. 3. It is apt to take in the Discontents, evil Affections, and Designs of particular Persons to encrease and fortifie it self.
I shall take occasion from several Branches of those Petitions which your Lordships have heard, to observe:
- 1. The Variety of Dangers to which this Kingdom is now subject.
- 2. The manifold Distempers which are the Cause of those Dangers.
- 3. The Multiplicity of those evil Influences, which are the Causes of those Distempers.
1. The Variety of Dangers.
The first Danger is from Enemies abroad; this may seem a causeless and impertinent Observation at this time, seeing we are in Peace with all Nations about us: But (my Lords) you may be pleased to consider, that the Safety of the Kingdom ought not to depend upon the Will and Disposition of our Neithbours, but upon our own Strength and Provision: Betwixt States there are often sudden Changes from Peace to War, according to Occasion and Advantage. All the States of Christendom are now arm'd, and we have no Reason to believe but that those of greatest Power have an evil Eye upon us in respect of our Religion: And if their private Differences should be composed, how dangerously, how speedily might those great Armies and other Preparations now ready, be applied to some Enterprise and Attempt against us? And if there were no other Cause, this were sufficient to make us stand upon our Guard; but there are divers more especial Symptoms of Dangers of this kind.
We may perceive by several Advertisements from abroad, that they did foresee our Dangers many Months before they broke out; they could foretell the Time and Manner of them, which is a clear Evidence they held Intelligence with those which were the Contrivers and Workers of the present Toubles.
We have have many dangerous Traitors and Fugitives now in other Parts, who can discover the Weakness and Distemper of the Kingdom; who hold Intelligence with the ill-affected Party here, and by all cunning and subtile Practises endeavour to incite and provoke other Princes against us.
Some of the Ministers of our neighbour Princes may be justly suspected to have had a more immediate Hand and Operation in the Insurrection and Rebellion of Ireland, many of the Commanders, and most of the Soldiers levied for the Service of Spain are now joined with the Rebels there; and those Irish Friars which were employed by the Spanish Ambassador for the making of those Levies, are known to have been the chief Incendiaries of this Rebellion, and are still very active in the Prosecution and Encouragement of it.
The Rebels have a ready and Speedy supply from some of our Neighbours. Two Convoys of Munition and Arms we are certainly informed of; one from Dunkirk, the other from Nants in Britany; and certainly those that are so forward to enable others to hurt us, will not forbear to hurt us themselves, as soon as they shall have Means and Opportunity to do it.
Another Danger is from the Papists and ill-affected Party at Home. The Papists here, are acted by the same Principles with those in Ireland; many of the most active of them have lately been there; which argues an Intercourse and Communication of Counsel. They have still store of Arms and Munition at their disposing, notwithstanding all our Endeavours to disarm them, they have a free Resort to the City and to the Court, they want no Opportunities to consult together; they have the same or greater Encouragement from above, and from about, than ever, in respect of the Example and Success of the Rebels in Ireland, and the great Confusions and Divisions which by their cunning and subtile Practices are raised and fomented amongst our selves at Home.
3. A third Danger is of Tumults and Insurrections of the meaner sort of People, by reason of their ill Vent of Cloth and other Manufactures, whereby great Multitudes are set on Work, who live for the most part by their daily Gettings, and will in a very short Time be brought to great Extremity, if not employed; nothing is more sharp and pressing than Necessity and Want; what they cannot buy they will take, and from them, the like Necessity will quickly be derived to the Farmers and Husbandmen: and so grow higher, and involve all in an Equality of Misery and Distress, if it be not prevented. And at this time such Tumults will be dangerous, because the Kingdom is full of disbanded Soldiers and Officers, which will be ready to head and to animate the Multitude to commit Violence with more Strength and Advantage; And if they once grow into a Body, it will be much more difficult to reduce them into Order again, because Necessity and Want, which are the Cause of this Disturbance, will still encrease as the Effects do encrease.
A fourth Danger is from the Rebels in Ireland, not only in the respect of that Kingdom, but in respect of This. They have seized upon the Body of that Kingdom already, they abound in Men of very able Bodies, they encrease in Arms and Munition, they have great Hopes of Supplies from abroad, of Incouragement here, and are sure of good Entertainment from the Popish Party, so that they begin to speak already there of transporting themselves hither, and making this Kingdom the Seat of the War.
2. The Distemper procuring the former Dangers.
The Distemper which hath produced these Dangers, is various, and exceeding violent. Whensoever Nature is hindred in her proper Operations and Faculties, Distempers will necessarily follow.
The Obstructions which have brought us into this Distemper, are very many, so that we cannot wonder at the Strength and Malignity of it. Some of the chiefest of these Obstructions I shall endeavour to remember.
- 1. The Obstruction of Reformation in Matters of Rligion: No Grievances are sharper than those that press upon the tender Consciences of Men; and there was never Church or State afflicted with more Grievances of this kind than we have been. And though they are by the Wisdom of this Parliament partly eased and diminished, yet many still remain: and as long as the Bishops and the corrupt part of the Clergy continue in their Power, there will be little Hope of Freedom, either from the Sense of those which continue, or the Fear of those which are removed. And of this Obstruction, (my Lords) I must clear the Commons, we are in no part guilty of it: Some good Bills have past us, and others are in Prepararion, which might have been past before this, if we had not found such ill Success in the other. Whatsoever Mischief this Obstruction shall produce, we are free from it: we may have our part of the Misery, we can have no part in the Guilt or Dishonour.
- 2. An Obstruction in Trade, it is the Trade that brings Food and Nourishment to the Kingdom: It is that which preserves and encreaseth the Stock of the Whole, and distributes a convenient Portion of Maintenance to every part of it; therefore such an Obstruction as this must needs be dangerous; the Freedom of Trade being so necessary, the Benefit so important, as that it gives Life, Strength and Beauty to the whole Body of the Commonwealth; but I must protest the House of Commmons hath given no Cause to this Obstruction; we have eas'd Trade of many Burdens and heavy Taxes which are taken off; we have freed it from many hard Restraints by Patents and Monopolies; we have been willing to part with our own Privileges, to give Encouragement; we have sought to put the Merchants into Security and Confidence in respect of the Tower of London, that so they might be invited to bring in their Bullion to the Mint, as heretofore they have done; and we are no way guilty of the Troubles, the Fears, and publick Dangers which make Men withdraw teir Stocks, and to keep their Money by them, to be ready for such sudden Exigents, as in these great Distractions we have too much Cause to expect.
- 3. The Obstruction in the Relief of Ireland. It must needs be accounted a great Shame and Dishonour to this Kingdom, that our Neighbours have shewed themselves more forward to supply the Rebels, than we have been to relieve our distressed Brethren and Fellow-Subjects. But I must declare that we are altogether innocent of any neglect herein. As soon as the first News of the Rebellion came over, we undertook the War, not by way of Supply and Aid, as in former Rebellions the Subjects have used to do, but we undertook the whole Charge of it, and we suffered not twenty four Hours to pass, before we agreed to a great Levy of Money and Men, to be employed against the Rebels, even in a larger Proportion than the Lords Justices and Council there did desire; and from time to time we have done all for the Furtherance thereof, though in the midst of many Distractions and Diversions; but the want of Commissions for levying Men, for issuing Arms, and divers other Impediments, have been the Causes of that Obstruction; and I wish we had not only found Impediments to our selves, but also Incouragements to them. Many of the chief Commanders, now in the Head of the Rebels, after we had with your Lordship's Concurrence stopt the Ports against all Irish Papists, have been suffered to pass by his Majesty's immediate Warrant, much to the Discouragement of the Lords Justices and the Council there; and, this procured, as we believe, by some evil Instrument too near his Regal Person, without his Majesty's Knowledge and Intention.
- 4. The Obstruction in Prosecution of Delinquents: Many we have already brought unto your Lordships; divers others we have been discouraged to transmit; such difficult Proceedings have we met withal; such Terrors and Discountenance have been cast upon our selves and our Witnesses; and those who have shewed themselves their Friends and Patrons, have found it the most ready way to Preferment; yea, his Majesty's own Hand hath been obtained, his Majesty's Ships employed for the transporting of divers of those who have fled from the Justice of the Parliament.
- 5. A general Obstruction and Interruption of the Proceedings of Parliament, by those manifold Designs of Violence (which through God's Mercy we have escaped;) by the great and frequent Breaches of Priviledge; by the subtil Endeavours to raise Parties in our House, and Jealousies betwixt the two Houses.
- 6. The Obstruction in providing for the Defence of the Kingdom, that we might be enabled to resist a Foreign Enemy, to suppress all Civil Insurrections; and what a pressing Necessity there is of this, the exceeding great Decays in the Navy, in the Forts, in the Power of ordering the Militia of the Kingdom, and Means of furnishing them with Munition, are sufficient Evidences, known to none better than to your Lordships; and what Endeavour we have used to remove them (but hitherto without the Success and Concurrence which we expect:) and where the Stop hath been, and upon what good Grounds, we may claim our own Innocency and Faithfulness in this, we desire no other Witnesses but your selves.
3. The Influences that have caused so great Distempers.
Lastly, I come to the evil Influences which have caused this Distemper, and I shall content my self to mention some few of those which are most Apparent and Important.
- 1. In the first Place, I shall remember the evil Counsels about the King, whereof we have often complained. Diseases of the Brain are most dangerous, because from thence Sense and Motion are derived to the whole Body. The Malignity of evil Counsels will quickly be infused into all Parts of the State. None can doubt but we have exceedingly laboured under most dangerous and mischievous Counsels. This evil Influence hath been the Cause of the Preparation of War with Scotland, of the procuring a Rebellion in Ireland, of corrupting Religion, suppressing the Liberty of this Kingdom, and of many fearful and horrid Attempts, to the subverting the very being of Parliaments, which was the only hopeful Means of opposing and preventing all the rest: And this doth appear to be a most predominant Evil of the Time; whereat we need not wonder, when we consider how Counsellors have been preferred and prepared. And I appeal to your Lordships own Conferences, whether the giving, and the countenancing of evil Counsel, hath not been almost the only way to farther Advancement.
- 2. The Discouragement of good Counsel: Divers honest and approved Counsellors have been put from their Places; others so discountenanced, as that the way of Favour hath been shut against them, and that of Danger and Destruction only open to them.
- 3. The great Power that an interested and factious Party hath in the Parliament, by the Continuance of the Votes of the Bishops and Popish Lords in your Lordships House; and the taking in of others both out of the House of Commons, and otherwise, to increase their Strength.
- 4. The fomenting and cherishing of a malignant Party throughout the whole Kingdom.
- 5. The manifold Jealousies betwixt the King, his Parliament, and good Subjects, whereby his Protection and Favour hath in a great Measure been witheld from them; their Inclination and Resolution to serve and assist him, hath been very much hindred and interrupted: We have often suffer'd under the Misinterpretation of good Actions, and false Imputation of Evil, which we never intended. So that we may justly purge our selves from all Guilt of being Authors of this Jealousie and Misunderstanding: We have been, and are still ready to serve his Majesty with our Lives and Fortunes, with as much Cheerfulness and Earnestness of Affection, as ever any Subjects were; and we doubt not but our Proceedings will so manifest this, that we shall be as clear in the Apprehension of the World, as we are in the Testimony of our own Consciences.
I am now come to a Conclusion, and I have nothing to propound to your Lordships by way of Request or Desire from the House of Commons; I doubt not but your Judgments will tell you what is to be done; your Consciences, your Honours, your Interests will call upon you for the doing of it; the Commons will be glad to have your Help and Concurrence in saving of the Kingdom, but if they should fail of it, it should not discourage them in doing their Duty. And whether the Kingdom be lost or saved (as through God's Blessing I hope it will be) they shall be sorry that the Story of this present Parliament should tell Posterity, that in so great a Danger and Extremity, the House of Commons should be enforced to save the Kingdom alone, and that the House of Peers should have no Part in the Honour of the Preservation of it, you having so great an Interest in the good Success of those Endeavours in respect of your great Estates and high Degrees of Nobility.
My Lords, consider what the present Necessities and Dangers of the Commonwealth require, what the Commons have reason to expect, to what Endeavours and Counsels the concurrent Desires of all the People do invite you: so that applying your selves to the Preservation of the King and Kingdom, I may be bold to assure you in the Name of all the Commons of England, that you shall be bravely seconded.
Die Martis 25. January. 1641.
It is this Day ordered by the Commons House of Parliament, that Mr. Speaker, in the Name of the House, shall give Thanks unto Mr. Pym for his so well performing the Service he was employed in by the Commons of this House, at this Conference. And it is further ordered, that Mr. Pym be desired to put the Speech he made at this Conference into Writing, and to deliver it into the House, to the end itmay be Printed.
H. Elsynge, Cler. Parl. D. Com.
His Majesty's Message sent to the House of Commons, concerning Licenses granted by his Majesty to several Persons to pass into Ireland.
Febr. 7th, 1641 King's Message about Passes granted to Papists to go into Ireland.
'His Majesty taking notice of a Speech, pretending in the Title to have been delivered by Mr. Pym in a Conference and Printed by Order of the House of Commons. In which it is affirmed, That since the Stop upon the Ports against all Irish Papists, by both Houses, many of the Chief Commanders, now in the Head of the Rebels, have been suffered to pass, by his Majesty's immediate Warrant, and being very certain of having used extream Caution, in the granting of Passports into Ireland, so that he conceives either this Paper not to have been so delivered and printed as it pretends, or this House to have received some Misinformation. His Majesty would be resolved whether this Speech were so delivered and printed, and if it were, would have this House to review, upon what Information that particular particular was grounded, That either that may be found upon Re-examination, to have been false, and both this House and his Majesty injur'd by it; or that his Majesty may know by what Means, and by whose Fault his Authority hath been so highly abused, as to be made to conduce to the Assistance of that Rebellion, which he so much detests and abhors: And that he may see himself fully vindicated from all Reflections of the least Suspicion of that kind.
The Answer of the House of Commons.
The Commons Answer concerning Mr. Pym's Speech about Passes granted to Papists to go into Ireland.
Your Majesty's most Loyal and Faithful Subjects, the Commons now Assembled in Parliament, have taken into their serious Consideration the Message received from your Majesty the seventh of this Instant February, and do acknowledge that the Speech therein mentioned to be delivered by Mr. Pym in a Conference, was printed by their Order, and that what was therein delivered was agreeable to the Sense of the House; and touching that Passage wherein it is affirmed, that since the Stop upon the Ports against all Irish Papists by both Houses, many of the Chief Commanders, now in the Head of the Rebels, have been suffered to pass by your Majesty's immediate Warrant: They present your Majesty with this their humble Answer.
That they have received divers Advertisements concerning the several Persons, Irish Papists, and others which have obtained your Majesty's immediate Warrant for their passing into Ireland since the Order of Restraint of both Houses, some of which, as they have been informed since rheir coming into Ireland, have joined with the Rebels, and been Commanders amongst them, and some others have been staid, and are yet in safe Custody, particularly the Lord Delvin and some other Persons in his Company, (whereof one is thought to be a Priest ) one Colonel Butler, Brother to the Lord Minyart, now in Rebellion, and Sir George Hamilton, all which are Papists, and one other (as is reported) being Son of the Lord Netersfield, whose Father and Brother are both in Rebellion; the particular Names of others we have not yet received, but doubt not but upon Examination they may be discovered.
And your Majesty's most faithful Subjects are very sorry, that the extream Caution which your Majesty hath used, hath been so ill seconded with the Diligence and Faithfulness of your Ministers. And that your Royal Authority should be so highly abused, altho', as it was exprest in that Speech by Mr. Pym, we believe it was by the Procurement of some evil Instruments too near your Royal Person, without your Majesty's Knowledge and Intention. And we beseech your Majesty to take such Course that not only your Honour may be vindicated for the time past, but your Kingdom may be secured from like Mischief for the time to come.
Read, and by Vote of the Question, Assented unto.
His Majesty's Reply to the House of Commons Answer concerning Licenses granted by the King to several Persons to go into Ireland.
'As his Majesty hath expressed a great Desire to give his House of Commons all possible Satisfaction to all their just Requests, and a Readiness to rectifie or retract any thing done by himself, which might seem to trench upon their Privileges by any Mistake of his, so he doubts not they will be ready, upon all Occasions, to manifest an equal Tenderness and Regard of his Majesty's Honour and Reputation with his good Subjects; and therefore his Majesty expects they should review his Message of the seventh of this Month, concerning a Passage in Mr. Pym 's Speech, and their Answer sent to his Majesty by some of their Members on the tenth of the same, with which his Majesty can by no means rest satisfied.
'His Majesty's Exception in that Message was, that it was affirmed in that Speech, that since the Step upon the Ports against all Irish Papists, by both Houses; many of the Chief Commanders, now in the Head of the Rebels, have been suffered to pass by his Majesty's immediate Warrant.
'To this the Answer is, That the Speech mentioned in that Message to be delivered by Mr. Pym, was printed by their Order, and that what was therein delivered was agreeable to the sense of the House: That they have received divers Advertisements concerning several Persons, Irish Papists and others, who have obtained His Majesty's immediate Warrant for their passing into Ireland, since the Order of Restraint of both Houses, some of which, they have been informed since their coming into Ireland, have joined with the Rebels, and been Commanders amongst them.
'His Majesty is most assured, no such Person hath passed by His Warrant or Privity, and then He desires His House of Commons to consider, whether such a General Information and Advertisement (in which there is not so much as the Name of any particular Person mentioned) be ground enough for such a direct and positive Affirmation, as is made in that Speech, which in respect of the Place and Person, and being now acknowledged to be agreeable to the Sense of the House, is of that Authority, that His Majesty may suffer in the Affections of many of his good Subjects, and fall under a possible Construction (considering many scandalous Pamphlets to such a Purpose) of not being sensible enough of that Rebellion, so horrid and odious to all Christians, by which in this distraction, such a danger might possibly ensue to His Majesty's Person and Estate, as He is well assured His House of Commons will use their utmost endeavours to prevent. And therefore his Majesty thinks it very necessary and expects that they name those Persons, who by his Majesties License have passed into Ireland, and are now there in the Head of the Rebels; Or, that if upon their re-examination, they do not find particular Evidence to prove that Assertion (as His Majesty is confident they never can); as this Affirmation, which may reflect upon his Majesty, is very publick, so they will publish such a Declaration, whereby that mistake may be discovered, His Majesty being the more tender in that particular, which hath Reference to Ireland, as being most assured that he hath been, and is, from his Soul, resolved to discharge his Duty (which God will require at his hands) for the Relief of his poor Protestant Subjects there, and the utter rooting out that Rebellion; So that Service hath not suffered any, but necessary delays by any Act of His Majesties, for the want of any thing proposed to His Majesty within His Majesty's Power to do.
'For the Persons named in the Answer, His Majesty faith that Collonel Butler, and the Son of the Lord Nuttersfield, obtained his Warrants for their Passage into Ireland at His Majesty's being in Scotland, which was long (as His Majesty thinks) before the Order of both Houses: His Majesty knowing the former of them to be one who hath always made Professions to his Service, and to be Uncle to the Earl of Ormond, of whose Affection to the Protestant Religion, and his Majesty's Service, his Majesty hath great Cause to be assured: And the latter being a Person of whom, at that time, there was no Suspition to His Majesty's Knowledge. For the other, it may be, they have obtained Warrants from His Majesty since the said Order, but his Majesty assures the Parliament, That he had no Intimation of such an Order, till after Stay made of Sir George Hamilton, who was the last that had any License from His Majesty to pass for Ireland.
'And his Majesty having since this Answer from the House of Commons used all possible means, by the examining his own memory, and the Notes of his Secretaries, to find what Warrants have been granted by him, and to what Persons, doth not find that he hath granted any to any Irish; but those who are named by the House of Commons, and in December last to the Earl of Saint Albans, and to two of his Servants, and to one Walter Terrel, a poor man, they being such as his Majesty is assured are not with the Rebels, and much less chief Commanders over them. And tho' it may be, the Persons named by the House of Commons are Papists, yet his Majesty, at that time, thought it not fit, in respect of their Alliance in that Kingdom, to such Persons of great Power, of whom his Majesty hoped well, to discover any Suspition of them, the Lords Justices have declared by their Letters (which Letters were not disapproved of by the Parliament here) that they were so far from owning a publick Jealousie of all Papists there, that they had thought fit to put Arms into the hands of divers Noblemen of the Pale of that Religion, who made Professions to his Majesties Service, and desired the same. And since so great a Trust, reposed in some of the Lords of that Religion was not disapproved by the Parliament here, his Majesty could not imagine it unsafe or unfit for him to give Licenses to some few to pass into that Kingdom, who, tho' Papists, professed due Allegiance and Loyalty to his Majesty.
'And therefore, unless the first Affirmation of the House of Commons can be made good by some particulars, his Majesty doth not know that his Ministers have failed in their diligence and faithfulness to his Majesty in this point, or that his Honour hath suffered so much by any Act of his own, as that it needs be vindicated for the time past, by any other way than such a Declaration which he expects from this House, as in Duty and Justice due to his Majesty.
A Declaration of both Houses of Parliament sent to the King's Most Excellent Majesty, touching Passes into Ireland.
May it please Your Majesty,
March 16. Declaration concerning Paffes into Ireland.
Your Majesty's most humble and faithful Subjects, the Knights, Citizens and Burgesses of the Common's House of Parliament, having considered Your Majesty's Reply to their Answer, touching such Persons as have been licensed by your Majesty to pass into Ireland, do most humbly beseech your Majesty to believe, that they shall always, with Thankfulness and Joy, receive from your Majesty any satisfactory Answer to their just Requests; and, as they hope, they shall find in Your Majesty a readiness to rectify those things which have been done to their Prejudice, so will they be careful to remove all Apprehensions of their Actions or Speches, which may seem to cast any Dishonour upon Your Majesty.
For Your Majesty's better satisfaction concerning the positive affirmation that many of the chief Commanders, now in the Head of the Rebels (after the Ports were stopped by Order of both Houses) have been Suffered to pass by Your Majesty's immediate Warrant. May it please Your Majesty to consider, that herein they have affirmed nothing but what they had Cause to believe was true, the Grounds whereof they humbly present to Your Majesty.
The first Ground is this; That both Houses of Parliament (having, upon Your Majesty's Commendation, taken into their Care the Suppression of the Rebellion in Ireland ) had Reason to be especially watchful over the Ports, because the Rebels, abounding in Numbers of Men, for the most part ignorant of the use of their Arms, could by no means become dangerous or formidable to this Kingdom, but by the access of Soldiers and Commanders, where with they were like to be furnished, either out of France or Flanders, from both which Places the Passage into Ireland is speedy and easie through this Kingdom, and therefore they could not chuse but be very sensible of whatsoever gave liberty or opportunity to such a Passage, as of a very hurtful and dangerous Grievance; for prevention where of they did, upon the seventh of November, agree upon an Order, and restrain all Passage into Ireland without License; but, upon due and strict Examination, by such Persons as were trusted to make those Licenses.
A Second Ground, that the other Licenses acknowledged by Your Majesty's Answer were such (both in regard of the Persons to whom they were granted, and the extent of the words in which they were granted) as were apt to produce such an Effect as is mentioned in that positive Affirmation, that is, to open away for the passage of Papists and other dangerous Persons to join with the Rebels, and to be Meads and Commanders among them, which is thus proved.
The Warrant granted to Collonel Butler (since the Order of Restraint by both Houses of Parliament) did extend to all Ports of England and Scotland, and did give free Passage to himself and to his Company, without any Qualification of Persons, or limitation of Number; and this Collonel was himself a Papist, had a Brother in Rebellion, and General of the Rebels in Munster, was expected, and very much desired by those Rebels, who for a long time kept a Regiment to be commanded by him, as we have been credibly informed.
The second was granted to a Son of the Lord Netersfield, which Lord had four Sons in England since the Rebellion, one of which is settled in England, three others intended to pass into Ireland, and were all dangerous Persons, being Papists, bred in the Wars, in the service of the King of Spain, and one of them lately become a Jesuit.
The Third, to the Lord Delvin extends to himself, and four Persons more unnamed that one of those, who should have past with him, is taken to be a Jesuit, and another, who calls himself Plunket, seems to be a man of some Breeding and Quality, and like to have been serviceable to the Rebels, and to have done mischief, if he had gone over.
The Fourth to Sir George Hamilton, and three more unnamed: This Gentleman likewise is a profess'd Papist, and may be doubted to be of the Party of the Rebels; one of that name being mentioned in the instruction of Sempil the Jesuit, among divers other dangerous Persons of the Popish Party in Scotland and Ireland; which instructions were found in a Ship staid in Cornwal, which was going into Ireland with divers Jesuits, Soldiers, and others, for the Encouragement of the Rebels.
A Third Ground is this, That by vertue and authority of these Licenses several Persons have passed over, which are now in actual Rebellion, and joyned with the Rebels, and some have Command among them, which is thus Proved;
One Captain Sutton did by vertue and authority of Your Majesty's License, imbark at White-haven, in the Company of Collonel Butler, and was driven back by foul weather; whereupon the Collonel staid, and went to Chester; but that Captain re-imbarked himself in the same Bottom, and passed into Ireland, where he went into Rebellion with the Lord Dunsany, and since obtained the Place of a Collonel among the Rebels, as we are very credibly informed.
Two of the Sons of the Lord Nettersfield, one a Jesuit, and the other a Soldier, passed into Ireland in December last, both of them by vertue of Your Majesty's Warrant, as we have cause to believe; for that they went both together in one Ship, and the Licenses, acknowledged to be granted by Your Warrant, must needs be granted to one of them; seeing the other Brother, who lately endeavoured to pass over, did produce no License, and upon his Examination doth absolutely deny that he had any.
A Fourth Ground (which we humbly offer to Your Majesty) is this; That Your Majesty cannot be assured, that no other did pass upon Your License, as Your Majesty doth conceive, and are pleased to express in Your Answer; and that we had great Cause to believe, that divers others had passed over by Your Warrant, besides the Persons afore-mentioned, and that for these Reasons:
- 1. Because we received such a general information, that divers now in the Head of the Rebels were passed by Your Majesty's License, which being true in part, and ease to be effected, in regard of the Nature and Extent of the Warrants, and probable to be attempted, in regard of the Subtilty and Vigilancy of that Party to make use of all Advantages, seemed to deserve Credit; which we should not have given to it, if it had been a naked information without such circumstances.
- 2. Because we had concurring Advertisements from Ireland and Chester, that divers Priests, Jesuits, and Popish Commanders had passed over, and were landed there, and particularly some of Collonel Butler's Company; and that the Officers of the Ports had kept no Entry of the Names of these Persons, or of the Warrants by which they were Transported.
These, we hope, will be sufficient to perswade Your Majesty to believe; that as we had some cause to give credit to the said Informations, so we had no intention to make any ill use of them to Your Majesty's Dishonour, but did impute the Blame to Your Ministers, who might have been more careful to have informed Your Majesty of the Quality of those Persons named in Your Licenses, and so to have limited them, that they might not have extended to others, as they did, how many and dangerous soever.
And they pray Your Majesty to rest assured, that they shall always be tender of Your Honour and Reputation with your good Subjects, and for this Cause have made this true Declaration of the full state of this matter, that they may think no otherwise of it than the Truth; and in all things shall labour to establish a good Understanding and Confidence betwixt Your Majesty and Your People, which they heartily desire, and pray for, as the chiefest means of preserving the Honour, Safety, and Prosperity of Your Majesty and Your Kingdom.
His Majesty's Answer to a Message, sent to him by the House of Commons concerning Licenses, granted by him to Persons to go into Ireland.
The King's Reply to the last Declaration about Passes into Ireland.
'His Majesty hath seen and considered the Message, presented to Him by the Lord Compton and Mr. Bainton, the nineteenth of March, 1641, at York, touching such Persons as have been Licensed by His Majesty to pass into Ireland.
'Tho' he will not insist upon what little Reason they had to suspect, that some ill affected Persons had passed into Ireland, under colour of His Majesty's License (Inferences being slender Proofs to ground Belief upon) yet he must needs avow, that for any thing that is yet declared, he cannot see any Ground, why Mr. Pym should so boldly affirm before both Houses of Parliament, That since the stop upon the Ports by both Houses against all Irish Papists, many of the Commanders, now in the Head of the Rebels, have been suffered to pass by His Majesty's immediate Warrant: for as yet there is not any particular Person named, that is now so much as in Rebellion (much less in the Head of the Rebels, to whom His Majesty hath given License.
'And therefore, according to His Majesty's Reply upon that Subject, His Majesty experts, that His House of Commons will publish such a Declaration, whereby this mistaking may be cleared; that so all the World may see His Majesty's Caution in giving of Passes, and likewise, that His Ministers have not abused His Majesty's Trust by any surrepetitious Warrants.
The End of the Third Chapter.
'And lastly, His Majesty expects, that henceforth there be more Wariness used, before such publick Aspersions be laid, unless the Grounds be before-hand better warranted by sufficient Proofs.