Historical Collections of Private Passages of State: Volume 4, 1640-42. Originally published by D Browne, London, 1721.
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The Militia controverted: being the several Petitions, Messages, Declarations, Answers, Replies, &c. that passed between His Majesty and the two Houses touching the same.
To state this Matter intire, we must look back into the Month of January, when the same began first to be started, and so proceed with the other successive Papers that pass'd thereupon.
His Majesty's Message sent to both Houses of Parliament, Jan. the 20th. 1641.
His Majesty's Proposal for Remedies of Evils, Jan. the 20th, 1641.
'His Majesty perceiving the manifold Distractions which are now in this Kingdom, which cannot but bring great Inconvenience and Mischief to the whole Government. In which, as His Majesty is most chiefly interested, so he holds himself by many Reasons, most obliged to do what in him lies, for the Preventing thereof; tho' he might justly expect (as most proper for the Duty of Subjects) that Propositions, for the Remedies of these Evils, ought rather to come to him, than from him; yet his Fatherly Care of all his People being such, that he will rather lay by any particular Respect of his own Dignity, then that any time should be lost for preventing of these threatning Evils, which cannot admit of the Delays of the ordinary Proceedings in Parliament, doth think fit to make this ensuing Proposition to both Houses of Parliament, That they will with all speed fall into a serious Consideration of all those Particulars, which they shall hold necessary, as well for the upholding and maintaining of His Majesty's Just and Regal Authority, and for the settling of His Revenue, as for the present and future Establishment of their Privileges; the free and quiet enjoying of their Estates and Fortunes; the Liberties of their Persons; the Security of the true Religion now professed in the Church of England, and the settling of Ceremonies in such a manner, as may take away all just Offence; which, when they shall have digested and composed one intire Body, that so His Majesty and themselves may be able to make the more clear Judgment of them, it shall then appear by what His Majesty shall do, how far he hath been from intending, or designing any of those things, which the too great Fears and Jealousies of some Persons seem to apprehend, and how ready he will be to exceed the greatest Examples of the most indulgent Princes in their Acts of Grace and Favour to their People: So that if all the present Distractions (which so apparently threaten the Ruin of this Kingdom) do not (by the Blessing of Almighty God) end in an happy and blessed Accommodation, His Majesty will be ready to call Heaven and Earth, God and Man to witness, that it hath not failed on his Part.
To the King's most Excellent Majesty.
The Humble Petition of the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses of the Commons House now in Parliament Assembled, in Answer to His Majesty's Message of the 20th. of January.
House of Commons Answer.
That whereas the Houses of Parliament have received a gracious Message from your Majesty, dated the twentieth Day of this Instant January, your Petitioners returns to your Majesty most humble Thanks, resolving to take it in a speedy and serious Consideration; and to enable them with Security to discharge their Duties therein, they desired the Peers therein to Joyn with them, in humbly beseeching your Sacred Majesty to raise up unto them a sure Ground of Safety and Confidence, by putting the Tower and other principal Forts of the Kingdom, and the whole Militia thereof into the Hands of such Persons as your Parliament might confide in, and as should be recommended unto your Majesty by both House of Parliament, that all Fears and Jealousies being laid aside, they might with all Cheerfulness proceed to such Resolutions as they hoped would lay a sure Foundation of Honour, Greatness, and Prosperity unto your Subjects throughout all your Dominions; wherein the House of Peers have refused to Joyn with your Petitioners: They, notwithstanding, no way discouraged, but confiding in your Majesty's Goodness to your People, do therefore make their most humble Address to your Majesty, to beseech you, that the Tower of London and other principal Forts, and the whole Militia of the Kingdom, may be put into the Hands of such Persons as shall be recommended unto your Majesty by your Petitioners; not doubting but they shall receive a gracious and speedy Answer to this their humble Desire. Without which, in all Human Reason, the great Distraction of the Kingdom must needs overwhelm it with Misery and Ruin.
And your Petitioners shall ever Pray.
His Majesty's Answer to the Petition of the Commons House January the 28th, 1641.
'His Majesty having seriously considered of the Petition presented to him from the House of Commons, on Wednesday the twenty sixth of this Month, returns this Answer:
The King's Answer to the Petition about the Militia, Jan. the 28th.
'That he was in good hope, his gracious Message of the twentieth of this Month, to both Houses; would have produced some such Overture, which by offering what is sit on their Parts to do, and asking what is proper for His Majesty to grant, might beget a mutual Confidence in each other.
'Concerning the Tower of London, His Majesty did not expect, that having preferred a Person of a known Fortune, and unquestionable Reputation to that Trust, he should be pressed to remove him, without any particular Charge objected against him; and therefore returns his Answer:
'That if upon due Examination, any Particular shall be presented to His Majesty, whereby it may appear, that His Majesty was mistaken in his Opinion of this Gentleman, and that he is unfit for the Trust committed to him, His Majesty will make no Scruple of Discharging him; but otherwise His Majesty is obliged in Justice to himself, to preserve his own work, lest his Favour and good Opinion may prove a disadvantage and misfortune to his Servants, without any other Accusation; of which His Majesty doubts no his own House of Commons will be so tender (as of a business wherein His Majesty's Honour is so much concerned) that if they find no material exception against his Person, they will rather endeavour to satisfie and reform the Fears of other Men, then by complying with them, press His Majesty to any Resolution which may seem so much to reflect upon his Honour and Justice For the Forts and Castles of the Kingdom, His Majesty's resolved that shall always be in such Hands (and only such) as the Parliament may safely confide in; but the nomination of any Persons to those Places (being so principal and inseparable a Flower of his Crown, vested in him, and derived unto him from his Ancestors, by the Fundamental Laws of the Kingdom) he will reserve to himself; in bestowing whereof, as His Majesty will take Care that no corrupt sinister Courses shall prevail with him, so he is willing to declare, that he shall not be induced to express that favour so soon to any Persons, as to those whose good demeanour shall be eminent in, or to his Parliament; and if he now hath, or shall at any time by mis-information, confer such a Trust upon an undeserving Person, he is, and will always be ready to leave him to the Wisdom and Justice of his Parliament.
'For the Militia of the Kingdom, (which by the Law is subject to no command, but of His Majesty, and of Authority lawfully derived from him) when any particular Course, for the ordering the same (which His Majesty holds very necessary for the Peace and Security of his Kingdom) shall be considered and digested by his Parliament, and proposed to His Majesty; His Majesty will return such an Answer as shall be agreeable to his Honour, and the Safety of his People, His Majesty being resolved only to deny those things, the granting whereof would alter the Fundamental Laws, and endanger the very Foundation, upon which the publick happiness and welfare of his People is founded and constituted, and would nourish a greater and more destructive Jealousie between the Crown and the Subject, then any of those which seem to be taken away by such a Satisfaction. And His Majesty doth not doubt, that his having granted more than ever King hath granted, will ever perswade his House of Commons to ask more than ever Subjects have asked, and if they shall acquaint His Majesty with the particular Grounds of their Doubts and Fears, he will very willingly apply Remedies proportionable to those Fears; for His Majesty calls God to witness, that the Preservation of the publick Peace, the Law, and Liberty of the Subject, is, and shall always be as much His Majesty's Care and Industry, as of his own Life, or the Lives of his dearest Children. And therefore His Majesty doth conjure his House of Commons by all the Acts of Duty and Favour they have received from him this Parliament, by their hopes of future Happiness in His Majesty, and in one another, by their Love of Religion, and the Peace of this Kingdom (in which that of Ireland cannot be forgotten) that they will not be transported by Jealousies and Apprehensions of possible Dangers, to put themselves or His Majesty into real and present Inconveniencies; but that they will speedily pursue the way proposed by His Majesty's former Message, which in human Reason is the only way to compose the Distractions of the Kingdom, and with God's Blessing will restore a great measure of Felicity to King and People.
To the King's most Excellent Majesty.
The humble Petition of the Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament.
Petition delivered the 2d. of Feb. for putting the Militia into such Hands as should be recommended by both Houses.
Most Gracious Sovereign,
The present Evils and Calamities wherewith your Kingdoms are most miserably intangled, the imminent Dangers which threaten your Royal Person, and all your People, have caused us your most faithful and obedient Subjects, the Lords and Commons in this present Parliament, with thankfulness to entertain, and with all earnestness of affection and endeavour to pursue the gracious Proposition and Direction, which not long since we have received from your Majesty. And we have thereupon taken into our most serious consideration the ways and means of securing the safety of your Royal Person, preserving the Honour and Authority of your Crown, removing all Jealousies betwixt your Majesty and your People, suppressing the Rebellion in Ireland, preventing the Fears and Dangers in this Kingdom, and the mischievous Designs of those who are Enemies to the Peace of it. And that we may with more comfort and security accomplish our duties herein, We most humbly beseech your Majesty, That you will be pleased forthwith to put the Tower of London, and all other Forts, and the whole Militia of the Kingdom, into the hands of such persons as shall be recommended unto your Majesty by both Houses of Parliament. Which they assure themselves will be a hopeful entrance into those Courses, which (through God's blessing) shall be effectual for the removing all Diffidence and Misapprehension betwixt your Majesty and your People, and for establishing and enlarging the Honour, Greatness, and Power of your Majesty and Royal Posterity, and for the restoring and confirming the Peace and Happiness of your Loyal Subjects in all your Dominions. And to this our most necessary Petition, we in all humility expect your Majesty's speedy and gracious Answer, the great Distractions and Distempers of the Kingdom not admitting any Delay.
His Majesty's Answer.
'His Majesty having well considered of this Petition, and being desirous to express slow willing he is apply a Remedy, not only to your Dangers, but even to your Doubts and Fears, he therefore returns this Answer, That when he shall know the extent of Power which is intended to be establish'd in those Persons whom you desire to be Commanders of the Militia, in the several Counties, and likewise to what time it shall be limited, that no Power shall be executed by his Majesty alone, without the Advice of Parliament, then he will declare, That (for the securing you from all Dangers or Jealousies of any) His Majesty will be content to put in all the Places, both of Forts and Militia in the several Counties, such Persons as both the Houses of Parliament shall either approve or recommend unto him, so that you declare before unto his Majesty the Names of the Persons whom you approve or recommend, unless such Persons shall be named against whom he shall have just and unquestionable exception.
A Message from His Majesty to the House of Peers, on Friday the 11th of February, 1641. concerning his Acceptance of Sir John Coniers, in the Place of Sir John Biron, to be Lieutenant of the Tower.
Concerning the Lieutenant of the Tower.
'ALthough his Majesty conceives that he is not obliged to give an Answer in any particular, concerning the Forts and Militia of the Kingdom, until he shall know and consent to the power and the time, how and to whom, the Forts and Militia shall be disposed. Yet, to shew his real Intention, to satisfie the Fears of his People, he is content to accept of Sir John Conier, in the place of Sir John Biron, for to be Lieutenant of the Tower of London, having already at his earnest Desire, received the Surrender of the said place from him.
An Ordinance of both Houses of Parliament, for the ordering of the Militia of the Kingdom of England, and Dominion of Wales.
The Form of the Ordnance for the Militia presented to his Majesty with a Petition, desining his Consent to the same.
Whereas there hath been of late a most dangerous and desperate Design upon the House of Commons, which we have just Cause to believe to be an Effect of the bloody Councels of Papists, and other ill affected Persons, who have already raised a Rebellion in the Kingdom of Ireland; and by reason of many Discoveries, we cannot but fear they will proceed, not only to stir up the like Rebellion and Insurrections in this Kingdom of England; but also to back them with Forces from abroad. For the safety therefore of his Majesty's Person, the Parliament and Kingdom in this time of imminent Danger. It is ordained by the King, the Lords and Commons now in Parliament assembled, that shall have power to assemble and call together all singular His Majesty's Subjects within the County of as well within the Liberties as without, that are meet and fit for the Wars, and them to Train, Exercise, and put in Readiness, and them after their Abilities and Faculties well and sufficiently from time to time to cause to be arraied and weaponed, and the Master of them to be taken in places most fit for that purpose. And shall have power within the said County, to nominate and appoint such Persons of Quality as to him shall seem meet to be his Deputy Lieutenants, to be approved of by both Houses of Parliament, and that any one or more of the said Deputies so assigned and approved of, shall in the Absence, or by the command of the said have Power and Authority to do and execute within the County all such Powers and Authorities before in this present Ordinance contained, and shall have power to make Colonels and Captains, and other Officers, and to remove out of their places, and to make others, from time to time, as he shall think fit for that purpose; and his Deputies, Colonels, and Captains, and other Officers shall have further Power and Authority to Lead, Conduct, and Imploy the foresaid arraied and weaponed, as well within the County of, as within any other part of this Realm of England, or Dominion of Wales, for the Suppression of Rebellions, Insurrection, and Invasions that may happen, according as they from time to time shall receive Directions by his Majesty's Authority, signified unto them by the Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament.
And it is further ordained; that such Persons as shall not obey in any of the Premises, shall Answer their neglect and contempt to the Lords and Commons in a Parliamentary way, and not otherwise nor else where, and that every the powers granted, as aforesaid shall continue, until it shall be otherwise ordered or declared by both Houses of Parliament, and no longer.
This to go also to the Dominion of Wales.
John Brown, cler. Parliament.
A List of those Persons nominated and recommended by the House of Commons to His Majesty: As Persons fit to be Entrusted with the Militia of the Kingdom, wherein they desire the Concurrence of the House of Peers.
Names of the Persons recommended by the Commons to be trusted with the Militia, Feb. 12, 1641.
Barkshire, Earl of Holland; Bedfordshire, Earl of Bullingbrook; Buckinghamshire, Lord Paget; Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely, Lord North; Cheshire, and the County and City of Chester, Lord Strange; Cornwal, Lord Roberts; Cumberland, Lord Gray of Wark; Derby, Earl of Rutland; Devonshire and of the County and City of Exon, Earl of Bedford; Dorsetshire and the County of the Town of Pool, Earl of Salisbury; for the Isle of Purbeck, County of Dorset, Sir John Banks, Knight, Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, and Constable of Corff. Castle; Durham, Sir Henry Vane, Sen. Essex, Earl of Warwick; Gloucestershire and of the County and City of Gloucester, Lord Shandois; Hampshire and of the Town and County of Southampton, and of the Isle of Wight, Earl of Pembroke; Hartfordshire, Earl of Salisbury; Herefordshire, Lord Dacres; Huntingtonshire, Lord Mandevile; Kent and the City and County of Canterbury, Earl of Leicester; County of Lancaster, Lord Wharton; Leicester, Earl of Stamford; Middlesex, Earl of Holland; County of Northampton, Lord Spencer; Nottingham, and of the Town and County of Nottingham, Earl of Clare; Northumberland, and of the Town and County of Newcastle, and of the Town of Barwick, Earl of Northumberland; Norfolk, and of the County and City of Norwich, Earl of Warwick; Oxfordshire, Lord Viscount Say and Seal; Rutland, Earl of Exon; Salop, Lord Littleton, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England; Somerset, Marquis Hertford.
That the Lieutenant of the County of Wercester, shall be nominated before Somerset.
Staffordshire, and of the County of the City of Lichfield, Earl of Essex; Suffolk, Earl of Suffolk; Surry, Earl of Nottingham; Sussex, Earl of Northumberland; Warwick, and of the County of the City of Coventry, Lord Brook; Westmerland, Earl of Cumberland; Wiltshire Earl of Pembroke; Wigorn, and of the County of the City of Worcester, Lord Edward Howard of Eserig; for the Counry and City of Bristol, Mr. Denzil Hollis; Yorkshire, and of the County of the City of York, and of the County of the Town of Kingstone on Hull, Earl of Essex; of the parts of Kestaven and Holland, and the County of the City of Lincoln, Earl of Lincoln; for the parts of Lindsay in the County of Holland, Lord Willoughby of Parham; Monmouth, Lord Philip Herbert; Isle of Anglesey, Earl of Northumberland; Breknock, Lord Philip Herbert; Cardigan, Earl of Carbery; Carmarthen and Carmarthen Town, Earl of Carbery; Carnarvan, Earl of Pembroke; Denhigh, Lord Fielding; Flintshire, Lord Fielding; Glamorgan, Lord Philip Herbert; Montgommery, Earl of Essex; Merioneth, Earl of Pembroke; Pembroke, and the Town of Haverford West, Earl of Northumberland; Radnor, Lord Littleton, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England.
That for the Levying, Ordering and Exercising of the Militia of the City of London, Power is given unto Sir John Gaire, Sir Jacob Garret, Knights and Aldermen, Thomas Atkin, Alderman, Sir John Wollastone, Knight and Alderman, John Warner, Alderman, and John Towse, Alderman, Serjant Major General Skippon, or any three or more of them; Randolph Manwaring, William Gibs, John Fowke, James Bunce, Francis Peck, Samuel Warner, James Russel, Nathaniel Wright, William Barkley, Alexander Norminghton, Stephan Estweek, Owen Rowe, Citizens of London, or any six or more of them.
His Majesty respites his Answer touching the Ordinance for settling the Militia.
His Majesty's Message to both Houses, concerning the Militia.
'His Majesty having received an Humble Petition of the Lords and Commons, by the Hands of the Earls of Carlisle and Monmouth, returns this Answer, That his dearest Consort the Queen, and his dear Daughter the Princess Mary, being now upon their Departure for Holland, he cannot have so good time to consider of a particular Answer, for a Matter of so great weight as this is, therefore he must respite the same until his Return.
To the King's most Excellent Majesty.
The Humble Petition of the Lords and Commons, concerning this Message.
Petition of the Parliament dissatisfied with the said Message Feb. 22. 1641.
May it please your most Excellent Majesty, your Humble and Loyal Subjects, the Lords and Commons, have with a great deal of Grief received your Majesty's Answer to their just and necessary Petition, concerning the Militia of the Kingdom, which your Majesty by a Gracious Message formerly sent unto them, was pleased to promise, should be put into such Hands as your Parliament should approve of, or recommend unto you; the extent of their power, and the time of their continuance being likewise declared. That being done, and the Persons by both Houses nominated, your Majesty, nevertheless, refers your Resolution herein to a longer and a very uncertain time, which (the present dangers and distractions so great and pressing) is as unsatisfactory and destructive, is an absolute Denial.
There are, we once again beseech your Majesty, to take our desire into your Royal Thoughts, and to give us such an Answer, as may raise in us a confidence that we shall not be exposed to the practices of those, who thirst after the Ruin of this Kingdom, and the kindling of that combustion in England, which they have, in so great a measure, effected in Ireland; for whence (as we are daily informed) they intend and endeavour to invade us, with the assistance of the Papists here amongst us.
Nothing can prevent these evils, nor enable us to suppress the Rebellion in Ireland, and secure our selves, but the instant granting of that Humble Petition, which we hope your Majesty will not deny to those, who must in the discharge of their duties both to your Majesty and the Common-wealth, represent unto your Majesty what they find so absolutely necessary, for the preservation of both, which the Laws both of God and Man enjoyn them to see put in Execution as several Counties by their daily Petitions have desired of us, and in some places begun already to do it of themselves.
Charles Rex. To Our Trusty and Well-beloved Councellor, Edward Lord Littleton, Keeper of the Great Seal.
The King's Letter concerning the Militia.
Right Trusty and Well-beloved Councellor: We greet you well. Our Will and Pleasure is, That you deliver to be read in the House of Peers, this our Answer to the Desire from both both Houses, concerning the Militia, and for so doing, this shall be your sufficient Warrant.
Given at our House at Greenwich, the 28th of February, 1641.
His Majesty's Answer to both Houses of Parliament, concerning the Militia, Febr. 28, 1641.
His Majesty's Answer, Feb. 28. about the Ordinance for settling the Militia.
'His Majesty having with his best Care and Understanding, perused and considered, that which was sent him from both Houses, for the ordering of the Militia, presented unto him to be made an Ordinance of Parliament, by the giving of his Royal Assent; as he can by no means do it for the Reasons hereafter mentioned, so he doth not conceive himself obliged by any Promise made in his Answer of the second of this Month, to the Petition of both Houses to yield the same.
'His Majesty finds great cause to except against the Preface or Introduction to that Order which confesseth a most dangerous and desperate Design upon the House of Commons, of late supposed to be an effect of the bloody Councils of Papists, and other ill-affected Persons, by which many may understand (looking upon other printed Papers to that purpose) his coming in Person to the House of Commons, on the 4th of January, which begot so unhappy a misunderstanding understanding between him and his People; and for that, tho' he believes it upon the Information since given, to be an apparent Breach of their Privilege, and hath offered to repair the same for the future, by any Act that shall be desired of his Majesty, yet he must declare, and require to be believ'd, that he had no other Design upon that House, or any Member of it, than to require (as he did) the Persons of those five Gentlemen, his Majesty had the day before accused of High-Treason; and to declare, that he meant to proceed against them legally and speedily, upon which he believed that House would have delivered them up; and his Majesty calls the Almighty God to Witness, that he was so far from any intention or thought of force or violence, altho' that House had not delivered them according to his Demand, or in any Case whatsoever, that he gave those his Servants, and others, that waited on his Majesty, express charge and command, that they should give no offence to any Man; nay, if they received any provocation or injury, that they should bear it without return; and his Majesty neither saw or knew, that any Person of his Train had any other Weapons, but his Pensioners and Guards those with which they usually attend his Majesty, and the other Gentlemen, Swords. And therefore his Majesty doubts not, but his Parliament will be regardful of his Honour herein, that he shall not undergo any imputation by the rash or indiscreet expressions of any Young Men then in his Train or by any desperate Words uttered by others, who might mingle with them without his Consent or Approbation.
'For the Persons nominated to be Lieutenants of the several Counties of England and Wales, his Majesty is contented to allow that recommendation, only concerning the City of London, and such Corporations, as by ancient Charters have granted unto them the power of the Militia, his Majesty doth not conceive, that it can stand with Justice or Polity to alter their Government in that particular.
'And his Majesty is willing forthwith to grant every of them, (that of London, and those other Corporations excepted,) such Commissions, as he hath done during this Parliament, to some Lord Lieutenants by your advice, but if that power be not thought enough, but that more shall be thought fit to be granted to these Persons named, than by the Law is in the Crown it self: His Majesty holds it reasonable, that the same be by Law first vested in him, with power to transfer it to these Persons, which he will willingly do; and whatever that power shall be, to avoid all future doubts and questions, his Majesty desires, it may be digested into an Act of Parliament rather than an Ordinance; so that all his loving subjects may thereby particularly know, both what they are to suffer, and what they are not to suffer, for their neglect, that there be not the least latitude for his good subjects to suffer under any Arbitrary Power whatever.
'As to the time desir'd for the continuance of the powers to be granted, his Majesty giveth this Answer, That he cannot consent to divest himself of the just Power, which God and the Laws of this Kingdom have placed in him for the Defence of his People, and to put it into the Hands of any other for any indefinite time. And since the ground of this Request from his Parliament, was to secure their present Fears and Jealousies, that they might with safety apply themselves to the matter of his Message of the 20th of January: His Majesty hopeth, that his Grace to them, since that time, in yielding to so many of their desires, and in agreeing to the Persons now recommended to him by his Parliament, and the power before expressed to be placed in them, will wholly dispel those Fears and Jealousies; and assureth them, that as his Majesty hath now apply'd this unusual Remedy to their Doubts, so (if there shall be Cause) he will continue the same to such time as shall be agreeable to the same care he now expresseth toward them.
'And in this Answer, his Majesty is so far from receding from any thing he promised, or intended to grant in his Answer to the former Petition; that his Majesty hath hereby consented to all was then asked of them by that Petition concerning the Militia of the Kingdom, (except that of London, and those other Corporations,) which was to put the same into the Hands of such Persons as should be recommended unto him by both Houses of Parliament: And his Majesty doubts not, but the Parliament upon well weighing the particulars of this his Answer, will find the same more satisfactory to their ends, and the peace and welfare of all his good Subjects, than the way proposed by this intended Ordinance, to which, for these Reasons his Majesty cannot contant.
'And whereas his Majesty observes by the Petition of both Houses presented to him by the Earl of Portland, Sir Tho. Heal, and Sir Will. Savile, that in some places some persons begin already to intermeddle of themselves with the Militia, his Majesty expecteth that his Parliament should examine the particulars thereof, it being a Matter of high Concernment and very great Consequence And his Majesty requireth, that if it shall appear to his Parliament That any persons whatsoever have presumed to command the Militia without Lawful Authority, they may be proceeded against according to Law.
The Petition of both Houses of Parliament concerning the Militia, &c. Presented to His Majesty at Theobalds, 1 Martii, 1641.
Petition presented to his Majesty, 1 March 1641. at Theobalds touching the Militia.
Most Gracious Sovereign,
Your Majesty's most Loyal and Obedient Subjects, the Lords and Commons in Parliament, do find their Just Apprehensions of sorrow and Fear, in espect of the publick Dangers and Mistries like to fall upon your Majesty and the Kingdom, to be much increased, upon the Receipt of your unexpected Denial of their most humble and necessary Petition, concerning the Militia of the Kingdom, especially grieving, that wicked and mischievous Councellors, should still have that Power with your Majesty, as in this time of imminent and approaching Ruin, rather to incline your resolution, to that which is apt to further the accomplishment of the desires at the most malignant Enemies of God's true Religion, and the peace and safety of your Self and your Kingdom than to the dutiful and faithful counsel of your Parliament: Wherefore they are enforced in all humility, to protest, that if your Majesty shall persist in that denial, the dangers and distempers of the Kingdom are such as will endure no longer delay: But unless you shall be graciously pleased to assure them by these Messengers; that you will speedily apply your Royal assent to the satisfaction of their former desires, they shall be inforced, for the safety of your Majesty and your Kingdom, to dispose of the Militia by the Authority of both Houses, in such manner as hath been propounded to your Majesty, and they resolve to do it accordingly.
They likewise most humbly beseech your Majesty to believe, that the dangerous and desperate design upon the House of Commons, mentioned in their Preamble, was not inserted with any intention to cast the least aspersion upon your Majesty, but herein they reflected upon that malignant party, of whose bloody and malicious practices they have had so often experience, and from which they can never be secure, unless your Majesty will be pleased to put from you those wicked and unfaithful Counsellors, who interpose their own corrupt and malicious designs betwixt your Majesty's goodness and wisdom, and the prosperity and contentment of your Self, and of your People: And that for the dispatch of the great Affairs of the Kingdom, the safety of your Person, the protection and comfort of your Subjects, you will be pleased to continue your abode near to London, and the Parliament, and not to withdraw your self to any the remoter parts; which, if your Majesty should do, must needs be a Cause of great danger and distraction.
That your Majesty will likewise be graciously pleased to continue the Prince his Highness in these parts, at St James's, or any other of your Houses near London, whereby the designs which the Enemies of the Religion and Peace of this Kingdom may have upon his Person, and the jealousies and fears of your People my be prevented. And they beseech your Majesty to be informed by them, that, By the Laws of the Kingdom, the Power of raising, ordering, and disposing of the Militia, within any City, Town, or other Place, cannot be granted to any Corporation by Charter, or otherwise, without the Authority and Consent of Parliament; and that those parts of the Kingdom which have put themselves in a posture of defence against the Common Danger, have therein done nothing but according to the Declaration and, irection of both Houses, and what is justifiable by the Laws of the Kingdom.
Al which, their most humble counsel and desires, they pray your Majesty to accept, at the effect of that Duty and Allegiance which they owe unto You, and which will not suffer them to admit of any thoughts, intentions, or endeavours, but such as are necessars and advantagious for your Majesty's Greatness and Honour, and the Safety and Prosperity of the Kingdom, according to that Trust and Power which the Laws have **sed in them.
His Majesty's Answer to the Petition of both Houses, presented the First of March, 1641.
King's Answer, March 2.
'I Am so much amazed at this Message, that I know not what to answer: You speak of Jealousies and Fears: Lay your hands to your hearts, and ask your Selves whether I may not likewise be disturbed with Fears and Jealousies: And if so, I assure you this Message hath nothing lessened them.
'For the Militia, I thought so much of it before I sent that Answer, and am so much assured that the Answer is agreeable to what in Justice or Reason you can ask, or I in Honour grant, that I shall not alter it in any Point.
'For my Residence near you, I wish it might be so safe and honourable, that I had no Cause to absent my self from White-Hall; ask your selves whether I have not.
'For my Son, I shall take that care of him, which shall justifie me to God as a Father, and to my Dominions as a King.
'To conclude, I assure you upon my Honour, that I have no thought but of Peace and Justice to my People, which I shall by all fair means seek to preserve and maintain, relying upon the goodness and providence of God for the preservation of my Self and Rights.
Votes upon His Majesty's last Answer, concerning the Militia, resolved upon by the House of Commons.
Votes of the Commons touching the Militia, and the King's last Answer.
Resolved, &c. That this Answer of his Majesty is a Denial to the Desires of both Houses of Parliament, concerning the Militia.
Resolved, &c. That those that advised his Majesty to give this Answer, are Enemies to the State, and mischievous Projectors against the Defence of the Kingdom.
Resolved, &c. That this Denial is of that dangerous Consequence, that if his Majesty shall persist in it, it will hazard the peace and safety of all his Kingdoms, unless some speedy remedy be apply'd by the wisdom and authority of both Houses of Parliament.
Resolved, &c. That such parts of this Kingdom as have put themselves into a posture of defence against the Common Danger, have done nothing but what is justifiable, and is approved by the House.
Resolved, &c. That if his Majesty shall remove into any remote parts from his Parliament, it will be a great hazard to the Kingdom, and a great prejudice to the proceedings of the Parliament.
Resolved, &c. That this House holds it necessary, that his Majesty may be desired, that the Prince may come unto St. James 's, or to some other convenient place near about London, and there to continue.
Resolved, &c. That the Lords be desired to joyn with this House in an humble request unto his Majesty, That he will be pleased to reside near his Parliament, that both Houses may have a convenience of access unto him upon all occasions.
Resolved, &c. That the Lords be moved to joyn with this House in some fit course of examination, to find who were the persons that gave his Majesty this advice, that they may be removed from his Majesty, and brought to condign punishment.
Resolved, &c. That no Charter can be granted by the King; to create a power in any Corporation, over the Militia of that place, without consent of Parliament.
Resolved, &c. That the Lords shall be moved to joyn with this House in these Votes.
Resolved, &c. That the Lords shall be desired to appoint a Select Committee, that may joyn with a Committee of a proportionable number of this House; to consider, and prepare what is fit to be done upon these Votes, or upon any thing else that may arise upon this Answer of his Majesty concerning the Militia, and concerning the Prince.
Whilst the Parliament were thus busie in debates touching the ordering of the Militia, for the several Counties: Some declared their Opinions, that the power of the Militia was solely in the King, and ought to be left to him, and that the Parliament never did, nor ought to meddle with the same.
Several Opinions, even in the House, about the Right of Disposing the Militia.
Others were of Opinion, that the King had not this power in him, but that it was in the Parliament, and that if the King refused to order it according to the advice of the Parliament, that then they by the Law might do it without him, and this was moved to be now done by the Parliament, the King having denied the former Petitions, for settling of the Militia as they desired.
Upon this Debate this Speech was made:
Whitlock, fol. 53. A Speech thereupon.
I Have often heard it said in former Debates in other Matters, in this House, that such and such a thing was of a great Concernment, as ever came within these Walls, I am sure it may be said so of the Matter of your present debate; it is truly of the greatest concernment that ever came within these Walls.
It highly concerns us all, and our posterity after us, where the power of this Militia shall be placed; this great power, which indeed commands all men, and all things cannot be too warily lodged, nor too seriously considered; and I do heartily wish, that this Great Word, this New Word, the Militia, this Harsh Word, might never have come within these Walls; but that this House might be as the Temple of Janus, ever shut against it: I take the meaning of those Gentlemen, who introduced this Word, to be, the Power of the Sword, Potestas Gladii, which is a great and necessary power, and properly belonging to the Magistrate, Potestas Gladii in Facinersos, without which our Peace and Prosperity cannot be maintained.
But Potestas Gladii in manibus Facinerosorum in the Hands of Soldiers, is that whereof you now debate, and it is best out of their Hands, I hope it will never come there; some worthy Gentlemen have declared their Opinions, that this power of the Militia is by Right and Law in the King only; others affirm it to be in the Parliament only. I crave pardon to differ from both these opinions, I humbly apprehend that this power of the Militia, is neither in the King only, nor in the Parliament, and if the Law hath placed it any where, it is both in the King and Parliament, when they joyn together.
And it is a wise Institution of our Law, not to settle this power any where, but rather to leave it in Dubio, or in Nubibus, that the people might be kept in ignorance thereof, as a thing not fit to known, nor to be pry'd into; it is the great Arcanum Imperii, and the less it is meddled with, the less acquaintance we have with it, the better it will be for all sorts of persons, both for King and people.
That this power of the Militia, is not in the King only, appears in this, that the power of Money is not in the King; but it will be granted here that the power of Money is solely in this House; and without the power of Money to pay the Soldiers, the power of the Militia will be of little force
But if the power of the Militia should be in the King, yet the power of Money being in the Parliament, they must both agree, or else keep the Sword in the Scabbard, which is the best place for it.
It is true, that the King by his Tenures may require the Service in War of those that hold of him, but if they stay above forty days with him, unless he give them pay, they will stay no longer.
And it is also true (as hath been observed) that our Law looks upon the King as the Jewish Law did upon theirs, that by his Kingly Office, he is to go in and out before the people, and to lead them in Battle against their Enemies, but by the Laws of the Jews, their King could not undertake a War abroad without the consent of the great Sanhedrim.
And by our Law, as is declared by the Statute of 1. E. 3. and by divers subsequent Statutes, the King can compel no Man to go out of his Country, but upon the sudden coming of strange Enemies into the Realm; and how many of our Parliament Rolls do record that the King advised with his Parliament about his Foreign Wars, and could not undertake them without the advice and supplies of the Parliament.
All Power of the Militia is exercised either in offence or defence, defence is either against the Invasion of Enemies from abroad, or against Insurrections at home.
Against Insurrections at home, the Sheriff of every County hath the power of the Militia in him, and if he be negligent to suppress them with the Posse Commitatus he is finable for it.
Against Invasions from abroad, every Man will be forward to give his Assistance, there will be little need to raise Forces when every Man will be ready to defend himself, and to fight pro Aris & Focis.
As to Offensive War against a Foreign Enemy, if the King will make it of himself, he must of himself pay his Army, which his own Revenue will hardly afford, nor can he compel any of his Subjects to serve him in those Wars; none can by Law be pressed to serve in the War, but by Act of Parliament.
But not to waste more of your time, Sir, I shall conclude, that in my humble opinion, the power of the Militia is neither in the King alone nor in the Parliament, but if any where, in the Eye of our Law, it is in the King and Parliament, both consenting together.
And I think it best that it should be there still, I cannot joyn in that advice to you, to settle the Militia of our selves without the King, but rather with those worthy Gentlemen who have moved that we yet again should petition his Majesty, that the Militia may be settled in such Hands, as both he and you shall agree upon, whom you may trust, and who, I hope, will be more careful to keep it sheathed than to draw it.
But notwithstanding these and the like motions, the major part were for the Militia to be settled by Ordinance.
Questions resolved upon by both Houses of Parliament, with an Order for the speedy Rigging of the Navy, for the Defence of the Kingdom.
March 2. 1641. Kingdom to be put into a Posture of Defence.
Resolved, &c. That the Kingdom be forthwith put into a posture of defence, by Authority of both Houses, in such a way as is already agreed upon by both Houses of Parliament.
Resolved, &c. That the Lords be desired to joyn with the House of Commons in this Vote.
Resolved, &c. That a Committee shall be appointed to prepare a Declaration upon these two Heads, viz.
First, To lay down the just Cause of the Fears and Jealousies given to these Houses; and to clear these Houses from any Jealousies conceived against them.
Second, And to consider all matters that may arise upon this Message of his Majesty, and to declare their Opinions what is fit to be done thereupon.
An Ordinance of the Lords and Commons in Parliament assembled, for settling the Militia, for the Safety and Defence of the Kingdom of England and Dominion of Wales.
Parliaments Ordinance for the Militia, March the 5th. 1642.
Whereas there hath been of late a most dangerous and desperate Design upon the House of Commons, which we have just cause to believe to be an effect of the bloody Councils of Papists and other ill-affected Persons, who have already raised a Rebellion in the Kingdom of Ireland, and by reason of many Discoveries, we cannot but fear they will proceed not only to stir up the like Rebellion and Insurrections in this Kingdom of England, but also to back them with Forces from abroad.
For the Safety therefore of his Majesty's Person, the Parliament and Kingdom in this time of imminent Danger;
It is ordained by the Lords and Commons now in Parliament assembled, That Henry Earl of Holland shall be Lieutenant of the County of Berks, Oliver Earl of Bullingbrook shall be Lieutenant of the County of Bedford, William Lord Pages shall be Lieutenant of the County of Buckingham, Dudley Lord North shall be Lieutenant of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely, James Lord Strange shall be Lieutenant of the County of Chester, John Lord Roberts shall be Lieutenant of the County of Cornwall, William Lord Gray of Wark, shall be Lieutenant of the County of Cumberland, John Earl of Rutland shall be Lieutenant of the County of Derby, William Earl of Bedford shall be Lieutenant for the County of Devon, and the City of the County of Exeter, Sir John Banks, Knt. Lord Chief Justice of the Common-Pleas, shall be Lieutenant of the Isle of Purbeck and Constable of Corff-Castle, in the County of Dorset, William Earl of Salisbury shall be Lieutenant of the County of Dorset, and the County and Town of Pool, Sir Henry Vane, Senior, shall be Lieutenant of the County Palatine of Durham, Robert Earl of Warwick shall be Lieutenant of the County of Essex, George Lord Chandois shall be Lieutenant of the County of Gloucester, and the County of the City of Gloucester, Philip Earl of Pembroke and Montgomery shall be Lieu enant of the County of Southampton, the Town and County of Southampton and the isle of Wight, William Earl of Salisbury shall be Lieutenant of the County of Hertford, Francis Lord Dacres shall be Lieutenant of the County of Hereford, Edward Lord Kimbolton, shall be Lieutenant of the County of Huntington, Robert Earl of Leicester Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland shall be Lieutenant of the County of Kent, and the City and County of Canterbury, Philip Lord Wharton shall be Lieutenant of the County of Lancester, Theophilus Earl of Lincoln shall be Lieutenant of the Parts of Kestevin and Holland within the County of Lincoln, and for the County of the City of incoln, Francis Lord Willoughby of Parham shall be Lieutenant of the Parts of Lindsey, within the County of Lincoln, Henry Earl of Stamford shall be Lieutenant of the County of Leichester, Henry Earl of Holland shall be Lieutenant of the County of Middlesex, Henry Lord Spencer shall be Lieutenant of the County of Northampton, John Earl of Clare shall be Lieutenant of the County of Nottingham, and the Town and County of Nottingham, algernoon Earl of Northumberland Lord High Admiral of England shall be Lieutenant of the County of Northumberland and Town and County of New-Castle upon Time, and art of Berwick, Robert Earl of Warwick shall be Lieutenant of the County of Norfolk, and the County and City of No wich, William Lord Viscount Say and Seal shall be Lieutenant of the County of Oxford. David Ear. of Exou shall be Lieutenant of the County of Rutland, Edward Lord Littleton Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England, shall be Lieutenant of the County of Salop, William Marquis of Hertford shall be Lieutenant of the County of Somerset, Robert Earl of Essex, Lord Chamberlain of his Majesty's Houshold shall be Lieutenant of the County of Stafford, and the County of the City of Litchfield, James Earl of Suffolk shall be Lieutenant of the County of Suffolk, Charles Earl of Nottingham shall be Lieutenant of the County of Surrey, Algernoon Earl of Northumberland, Lord High Admiral of England shall be Lieutenant of the County of Sussex, Robert Lord Brooke shall be Lieutenant of the County of Warwick, and the City and County of Coventry, Henry Earl of Cumberland shall be Lieutenant of the County of Westmorland, Philip Earl of Pembroke and Montgomery shall be Lieutenant of the County of Wilts, Edward Lord Howard of Eserigg shall be Lieutenant of the County and City of Bristol, Robert Earl of Essex shall be Lieutenant of the County of York, the County of the City of York, and the Town and County of Kingston upon Hull, Philip Lord Herbert shall be Lieutenant of the County of Monmouth, Algernoon Earl of Northumberland shall be Lieutenant of the sle of Anglesey, Philip Lord Herbert shall be Lieutenant of the County of Brecknock, Richard Earl of Carbery, in the Kingdom of Ireland shall be Lieutenant of the County of Carbery, Richard Earl of Cardigan in the Kingdom of Ireland shall be Lieutenant of the County of Carmarthen, Philip Earl of Pembroke and Montgomery shall be Lieutenant of the County of Carnarvon, Basill Lord Newnham shall be Lieutenant of the County of Denbigh, Bisill Lord Newnham shall be Lieutenant of the County of Flint, Philip Lord Herbert shall be Lieutenant of the County of Glamorgan, Robert Earl of Essex shall be Lieutenant of the County of Montgomery, Philip Earl of Pembroke and Montgomery shall be Lieutenant of the County of Merioneth, Edward Lord Littleton Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England shall be Lieutenant of the County of Radnor, Algernoon Earl of Northumberland shall be Lieutenant of the County of Pembroke, and the Town and County of Haverford, West.
And shall severally and respectively have power to assemble and call together all and singular his Majesty's Subjects, within the said several and respective Counties and Places as well within Liberties as without, that are meet and fit for the Wars, and them to train and exercise and put in readiness, and them after their Abilities and Faculties well and sufficiently from time to time to cause to be arrayed and weaponed, and to take the Muster of them in places fit for that purpose; and the aforesaid Henry Earl of Holland, Oliver Earl of Bullingbrook, Lord Paget, &c. shall severally and respectively have Power within the several and respective Counties and Places aforesaid, to nominate and appoint such Persons of Quality as to them shall seem meet to be their Deputy Lieutenants, to be approved of by both Houses of Parliament.
And that any one or more of the said Deputies so assigned and approved of in the absence or by the command of the said Henry Earl of Holland, Oliver Earl of Bullingbrook, William Lord Paget, &c. shall have power to do and execute within the said several and respective Counties and Places to them assigned, as aforesaid, all such Powers and Authorities before in this present Ordinance contained; and the aforesaid Henry Earl of Holland, Oliver Earl of Bullingbrook, William Lord Paget, &c. shall have power to make Collonels, Captains, and other Officers, and to remove out of their Places, and make others from time to time, as they shall think fit for that purpose; and the said Henry Earl of Holland, Oliver Earl of Bullingbrook, &c. their Deputy or Deputies in their absence or by their command, shall have power to lead, conduct, and imploy the Persons aforesaid arrayed and weaponed, for the suppression of all Rebellions, Insurrections, and Invasions that may happen within the several and respective Counties and Places: And shall have Power and Authority to lead, conduct, and imploy the Persons aforesaid arrayed and weaponed, as well within their said several and respective Counties and Places, as within any other part of this Realm of England or Dominion of Wales, for the suppression of all Rebellions, Insurrections, and Invasions that may happen according as they from time to time, shall receive Directions from the Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament.
And be it further ordained, That Sir John Gayre, Sir Jacob Garret, Knights, and Alderman Thomas Atkins, Alderman Sir John Wollaston, Knight, and Alderman John Warner, John Towse, Alderman, Serjeant Major-General Skippon, or any three or more of them, together with Randolph Manwaring, William Gibbs, John Fowke, James Bunce, Francis Peck, Samuel Warner, James Russel, Nathaniel Wright, William Barkley, Alexander Normington, Stephen Estwick, Owen Rowe Citizens of London, or any six or more of them, shall have such Power and Authority within the City of London, as any of the Lieutenants before named are authorized to have by this Ordinance, within the said several and respective Counties (the nomination and appointment of Deputy-Lieutenants only excepted.) And it is further ordained, That such Persons as shall not obey in any of the Premisses, shall answer their neglect and contempt, to the Lords and Commons in a Parliamentary way, and not otherwise nor elsewhere, and that every the Powers granted as aforesaid, shall continue untill it be otherwise ordered or declared by both Houses of Parliament, and no longer.
May it please Your Majesty,
Declaration of both Houses presented to His Majesty at Newmarket, March 9, 1641.
Although the Expressions in your Majesty's Message of the 2d. of this Instant March, do give just Cause of Sorrow to us, your faithful Subjects, the Lords and Commons in Parliament, yet it is not without some mixture of confidence and hope, considering they proceeded from the mis-apprehension of our Actions and Intentions, which having no ground of Truth or Reality, may, by your Majesty's Justice and Wisdom be removed, when your Majesty shall be fully informed, that those Fears and Jealousies of ours, which your Majesty thinks to be causeless, and without any Just Ground, do necessarily and clearly arise from those Dangers and Distempers, into which the mischievous and evil Counsels about you have brought this Kingdom, and that those other Fears and Jealousies, by which your Favour, your Royal Presence and Confidence have been withdrawn from your Parliament, have no Foundation or Subsistence in any Action, Intention, or Miscarriage of ours, but are meerly grounded upon the Falshood and Malice of those, who, for the supporting and fomenting their own wicked Designs against the Religion, and Peace of the Kingdom, do seek to deprive your Majesty of the Strength and Affection of your People, them of your Grace and Protection, and thereby to subject both your Royal Person, and the whole Kingdom to Ruin and Destruction.
To satisfie your Majesty's Judgment and Conscience in both these Points, we desire to make a clear and free Declaration of the Causes of our Fears and Jealousies, which we offer to your Majesty in these Particulars;
- 1. That the Design of altering Religion in this, and in your other Kingdoms, hath been potently carry'd on by those in greatest Authority about you, for divers Years together, the Queen's Agent at Rome, and the Pope's Agent or Nuncio here are not only Evidences of this Design, but have been great Actors in it.
- 2. That the War with Scotland was procured to make way for this Intent and chiefly invited and fomented by the Papists, and others popishly affected, whereof we have many Evidences, especially their free and general Contribution to it.
- 3. That the Rebellion in Ireland was framed and contrived here in England, and that the English Papists should have risen about the same time, we have several Testimonies and Advertisements from Ireland; and that it is common Speech amongst the Rebels, wherewith concur other Evidence and Observations of the suspicious Meetings and Consultations, tumultuary and seditious Carriage of those of that Religion in divers parts of this Kingdom, about the time of the breaking out of the Irish Rebellion; the Deposition of O. Conelly, the Information of Mr. Cole, Minister, the Letter of Tristram Whitcombe, the Deposition of Thomas Crant, and many others, which we may produce, do all agree in this: The publick Declaration of the Lords, Gentlemen, and others of the Pale, that they would joyn with the Rebels, whom they call the Irish Army, or any other, to recover unto his Majesty his Royal Prerogative, wrested from him by the Puritan Faction in the Houses of Parliament in England, and to maintain the same against all others, as also to maintain Episcopal Jurisdiction, and the Lawfulness thereof: These two being Quarrels, upon which his Majesty's late Army in the North should have been incensed against us.
The great Cause we have to doubt, that that late Design, stiled, The Queen's Pious Intention, was for the alteration of Religion in this Kingdom; for success whereof, the Pope's Nuncio, the Count Rosetti injoyned Fasting and Praying to be observed every Week by the English Papists, which appeared to us by one of the Original Letters, directed by him to a Priest in Lancashire.
The Boldness of the Irish Rebels in affirming they do nothing, but by Authority from the King; That they call themselves the Queen's Army; That the Prey, or Booty which they take from the English, they mark with the Queen's Mark; That their purpose was to come to England after they had done in Ireland, and sundry other things of this kind, proved by O. Conelly, and divers others, especially in the 'fore-mentioned Letter from Tristram Whitcombe, the Mayor of Kinsale, to his Brother Benjamin Whitcombe, wherein there is this Passage; That many other strange peeches they utter about Religion and our Court of England, which he dares not commit to Paper.
The manifold Attempts to provoke your Majesty's late Army, and the Army of the Scots, and to raise a Faction in the City of London, and other parts of the Kingdom; That those who have been Actors in those business have had their dependence, their countenance, and encouragement from the Court; witess the Treason, whereof Mr. Jermin and others stand accused, who was Transported beyond-Sea, by Warrant under your Majesty's Hand after Your Majesty given assurance to your Parliament, that your Majesty had laid a strict command upon all your Servants, that none of them should depart from Court; and that dangerous Petition delivered to Captain Leg by your Majesty's own Hand, accompanied with a Direction, signed with C. R.
The false and scandalous Accusation against the Lord Kimbolton, and the Five Members of the House of Commons tendred to the Parliament by your Majestys own command, endeavour'd to be justify'd in the City by your own presence and perswasion, and to be put in execution upon their Persons by your Majesty's demand of them in the House of Commons, in so terrible and violent a manner as far exceeded all former Breaches of Privileges of Parliament acted by your Majesty or any of your Predecessors, and whatsoever your Intentions were, diver bloody and desperate Persons, which attended your Majesty, discovered their affections and resolutions to have massacred and destroy'd the Members of that House, if the absence of those Persons accused, had not, by God's Providence, stopp'd the giving of that word which they expected, for the setting them upon that barbarous and bloody Act, the Listing of so many Officers and Soldiers, and others putting them in the Pay, and under command of Collonels; feasting and caressing them in an unusual manner at White-hall, thereby maintaining them in the violent Assaults, and other Injuries, which they offered to divers of your Subjects, coming that way in a lawful and peaceable manner; the carrying them out of Town, after which they were told by the Lord Digby, that the King removed on purpose, that they might not be trampled in the Dirt; and keeping them solving Pay, endeavouring to engage the Gentlemen of the Inns of Court, in the same Course; the plotting and designing of a perpetual Guard about your Majesty; the labouring to infuse into your Majesty's Subjects an evil Opinion of the Parliament thorough the whole Kingdom, and other Symptoms of a disposition of raising Arms, and dividing your People by a Civil War; in which combustion Irend must needs be lost, and this Kingdom miserably wasted and consumed, if not wholly ruin'd and destroy'd.
That after a Vote had passed in the House of Commons, declaring, That the Lord Digby had appear'd in a warlike manner at Kingston upon Thames, to the terror and fright of your Majesty's good Subjects, and disturbance of the publick Peace of the Kingdom; and that therefore the Lords should be moved to require his attendance, he should nevertheless be of that Credit with your Majesty as to be sent away by your own Warrant to Sir John Pennington, to land him beyond the Sea, from whence he vented his own traiterous conceptions, that your Majesty should declare your self, and retire to a place of Strength in this Kingdom, as if your Majesty could not be safe among your People; and withal took that transcendent boldness to write to the Queen, offering to entertain correspondence with her Majesty by Cyphers, intimating some Service which he might do in those Parts, for which he desired your Majesty's Instructions, where by in probability he intended the procuring of some foreign Force to strengthen your Majesty in that condition, into which he would have brought you; which false and malicious Council and Advice, we have great Cause to doubt, made too deep an Impression in your Majesty, considering the Course you are pleased to take of absenting your self from your Parliament, and carrying the Prince with you, which seems to express a Purpose in your Majesty, to keep you self in a readiness for the acting of it.
The manifold Advertisements which we have had from Rome, Venice, Paris, and other Parts, that they still expect, that your Majesty has some great Design in Hand, for the altering of Religion, the breaking the Neck of your Parliament, that you will yet find means to compass that Design, that the Pope's Nuncio hath sollicited the Kings of France and Spain, to lend your Majesty four thousand Men a-piece to help to maintain your Royalty against the Parliament: And this foreign Force, as it is the most pernicious and malignant Design of all the rest, so we hope it is, and shall always be farthest from your Majesty's Thoughts, because no Man can believe you will give up your People and Kingdom to be spoiled by Strangers, if you did not likewise intend to change both your own Profession in Religion, and the publick Profession of the Kingdom, that so you might still be more assured of those Foreign States of the Popish Religion, for your future support and defence.
These are some of the Grounds of our Fears and Jealousies, which made us so earnestly to implore your Royal Authority and Protection for our Defence and Security, in all the ways of Humility and Submission, which being denied by your Majesty, seduced by evil Counsel, we do with sorrow for the great and unavoidable Misery and Danger, which thereby is like to fall upon your own Person and your Kingdoms, apply our selves to the use of that Power, for the security and defence of both, which by the fundamental Laws and Constitutions of this Kingdom resides in us; yet still resolving to keep our selves within the Bounds of Faithfulness and Allegiance to your Sacred Person, and your Crown; so as to the second sort of Jealousies and Fears of us express'd by your Majesty, we shall give a shorter, but as true and as faithful an Answer.
Whereas your Majesty is pleased to say, that for your Residence near the Parliament, you wish it might be so safe and honourable, that you had no cause to absent your self from White-hall; this we take as the greatest Breach of Privilege of Parliament that can be offered, as the heaviest misery to your self and imputation upon us that can be imagined, and the most mischievous Effects of Evil Councils; it roots up the strongest Foundation of the Safety and Honour, which your Crown affords; it seems as much as may be to cast upon the Parliament such a Charge, as is inconsistent with the Nature of that great Council, being the Body, whereof your Majesty is the Head; it strikes at the very Being both of King and Parliament, depriving your Majesty in your own Apprehension of their Fidelity, and them of your Protection, which are the mutual Bands and Supports of Government and Subjection.
We have, according to your Majesty's Desire, laid our Hands upon our Hearts; we have ask'd our selves in the strictest Examination of our Consciences; we have searched our Affections, our Thoughts; considered our Actions, and we find none that can give your Majesty any just occasion to absent your self from White-hall, and the Parliament; but that you may with more Honour and Safety continue there than in any other Place.
Your Majesty lays a General Tax upon us; if you will be graciously pleased to let us know the Particulars, we shall give a clear and satisfactory Answer; but what hope can we have of ever giving your Majesty satisfaction, when those particulars which you have been made believe were true, yet being produced, and made known to us, appeared to be false, and your Majesty notwithstanding, will neither punish, nor produce the Authors, but go on to contract new Jealousies and Fears upon general and uncertain Grounds, affording us no means or possibility of particular Answer, to the clearing of our selves: For proof whereof, we beseech your Majesty to consider there Instances;
The Speeches alledged to be spoken in a Meeting of divers Members of both Houses at Kensington, concerning a purpose of restraining the Queen and Prince, which after it was denied and disavowed, yet your Majesty refused to Name the Authors, tho' humbly desired by both Houses.
The Report of articles framed against the Queen's Majesty, given out by some of near Relation to the Court; but when it was publickly and constantly disclaimed, the Credit seemed to be withdrawn from it; but the Authors being kept safe, will always be ready for Exploits of the same kind, wherewith your Majesty and the Queen will be often troubled, if this course be taken to cherish and secure them in such wicked and malicious landers.
The heavy Charge and Accusation of the Lord Kimbolton, and the Five Members of the House of Commons, who refused no Tryal or Examination, which might stand with the Privilege of Parliament; yet no Authors, no Witnesses produced, against whom they may have reparation, for the great Injury and Infamy cast upon them notwithstanding three several Petitions of both Houses, and the Authority of two Acts of Parliament vouched in the last of those Petitions.
We beseech your Majesty to consider in what state you are, how easie and fair a way you have to Happiness, Honour, Greatness, Plenty, and Security; if you will joyn with the Parliament, and your faithful Subjects, in Defence of the Religion and Publick Good of the Kingdom: This is all we expect from you, and for this we shall return to you our Lives, Fortunes, and uttermost Endeavours to support your Majesty, your just Sovereignty and Power over us, but it is not words that can secure us in these our humble Desires; we cannot but too well, and sorrowfully remember what gracious Messages we had from you this Summer, when with your privity, the bringing up the Army was in agitation; we cannot but with the like affections recall to our minds, how not two days before you gave directions for the above-mentioned Accusation, and your own coming to the Commons House; that House received from your Majesty a gracious Message, that you would always have a care of their Privileges, as of your own Prerogative, of the safety of their Persons, as of your own Children. That which we expect, which will give us assurance, that you have no thought, but of Peace and Justice to your People, must be some real Effect of your goodness to them in granting those things, which the present necessity of the Kingdom doth enforce us to desire: And in the first place, that your Majesty will be graciously pleased to put from you those wicked and mischievous Counsellors which have caused all these Dangers and Distractions, and to continue your own Residence, and the Princes, near London, and the Parliament, which we hope will be a happy beginning of contentment and confidence betwixt your Majesty and your People, and be followed with many succeeding blessings of Honour and Greatness to your Majesty, and of Security and Prosperity to them.
Additional Reasons of the Lords and Commons for his Majesty's Return to his Parliament.
The Lords and Commons have commanded us to present unto your Majesty this farther Addition to their former Declaration.
That your Majesty's return and continuance near the Parliament, is a matter in their apprehension of so great necessity and importance toward the prefervation of your Royal Person and your Kingdoms, that they cannot think they have discharged their Duties in the single expression of their Desire, unless they add some farther Reasons to back it with.
- 1. Your Majesty's absence will cause men to believe, that it is out of design to discourage the Undertakers, and hinder the other Provisions, for raising money for Defence of Ireland.
- 2. It will very much hearten the Rebels there, and disaffected Persons in this Kingdom, as being an evidence and effect of the Jealousies and Division betwixt your Majesty and your People.
- 3. That it will much weaken and withdraw the Affection of the Subject from your Majesty, without which a Prince is deprived of his chiefest Strength and Lustre, and left naked to the greatest Dangers and Miseries, that can be imagined.
- 4. That it will invite and encourage the Enemies of our Religion, and the States in foreign Parts, to the attempting and acting their Evil Designs and Intentions toward us.
- 5. That it causeth a great Interruption in the Proceedings of Parliament.
These Considerations threaten so great Danger to your Majesty's Person, and to all your Dominions, that as your Majesty's great Council, they hold it necessary to represent to you this their faithful Advice, that so whatsoever followeth, they may be excused before God and Man.
His Majesty's Speech to the Committee, the 9th of March, 1641. when they presented the Declaration of both Houses of Parliament at New market.
I am confident that you expect not I should give you a speedy Answer to this strange and unexpected Declaration; and I am sorry (in the Distraction of this Kingdom) you should think this way of Address to be more convenient, than that proposed by my Message of the 20th of January last to both Houses.
As concerning the Grounds of your Fears and Jealousies, I will take time to Answer particularly, and doubt not but I shall do it to the Satisfaction of all the World. God, in his good time, will, I hope, discover the Secrets and Bottoms of all Plots and Treasons; and then I shall stand right in the Eyes of my People. In the mean time, I must tell you, that I rather expected a Vindication for the Imputation laid on me in Master Pym's Speech, than that any more general Rumours and Discourses should get Credit with you.
For my Fears and Doubts, I did not think they should have been thought so Groundless or Trivial, while so many seditious Pamphlets and Sermons are look'd upon, and so great Tumults are remembred, unpunish'd, uninquir'd into: I still confess my Fears, and call God to Witness, that they are greater for the True Protestant Profession, my People, and Laws, than for my own Rights or Safety; tho', I must tell you, I conceive, that none of these are free from Danger.
What would you have? Have I violated your Laws? Have I denied to pass any Bill for the Ease and Security of my Subjects? I do not ask you, what you have done for me.
Have any of my People been Transported with Fears and Apprehensions? I have offered as Free and General a Pardon, as your selves can devise. All this considered, there is a Judgment from Heaven upon this Nation, if these Distractions continue.
God so deal with me and mine, as all my Thoughts and Intentions are upright for the Maintenance of the True Protestant Profession, and for the Observation and Preservation of the Laws of this Land, and, I hope, God will bless and assist those Laws for my Preservation.
As for the Additional Declaration, you are to expect an Answer to it, when you shall receive the Answer to the Declaration it self.
Some Passages that happen'd the 9th of March, between the King's Majesty, and the Committee of both Houses, when the Declaration was delivered.
When his Majesty heard that part of the Declaration, which mention'd Mr. Jermin 's Transportation, his Majesty interrupted the Earl of Holland in reading, and said, that's false; which being afterward touch'd upon again, his Majesty then said, 'tis a Lye; and when he was inform'd it related not to the Date, but the Execution of the Warrant; his Majesty said, it might have been better express'd then, and that it was a high thing to Tax a King with breach of Promise. As for this Declaration, his Majesty said, I could not have believ'd, the Parliament would have sent me such a one, if I had not seen it brought by such Persons of Honour. I am sorry for the Parliament, but glad I have it: For by that, I doubt not to satisfie my People; tho' I am confident the greater part is so already.
Ye speak of ill Councils, but I am confident, the Parliament hath had worse Informations, than I have had Councils. His Majesty asking, what he had denied the Parliament, the Earl of Holland instanced that of the Militia; his Majesty reply'd, that was no Bill; the Earl of Holland then said, it was a necessary Request at this time, and his Majesty also then said, he had not denied it.
What passed the next Day, when his Majesty delivered his Answer,
Which was read by the Earl of Holland to the rest of the Committee, and that being done, his Lordship endeavour'd to perswade his Majesty to come near the Parliament; whereunto his Majesty answer'd, I would you had given me Cause; but I am sure this Declaration is not the way to it, and in all Aristotle's Rhetories there is no such Argument of perswasion; the Earl of Pembroke thereupon telling him, that the Parliament had humbly besought his Majesty to come near them, as aforesaid, his Majesty reply'd, he had learnt by their Declaration, that words were not sufficient. His Majesty being then again moved by said Earl of Pembroke, to express what he would have; said, he would whip a Boy in Westminster-School, that could not tell that by his Answer. And farther said, they were much mistaken, if they thought his Answer of that a denial. And being also asked by the said Earl of Pembroke, whether the Militia might not be granted, as was desired by the Parliament for a time; his Majesty, swore by God, not for an hour; you have ask'd that of me in this, was never ask'd of any King, and with which I will not trust my Wife and Children.
His Majesty said the business of Ireland will never be done in the way that you are in, four hundred will never do that work, it must be put into the hands of one; if I were trusted with it, I would pawn my Head to end that work; and tho' I am a Beggar my self, yet (speaking with a strong Asseveration) I can find Money for that.
Huntington, 15 Martii, 1641. His Majesty's Message to both Houses of Parliament, upon his Removal to the City of York, where he intends to make his Residence.
King's Message from Huntington, March 15.
'His Majesty being now in his Remove to his City of York, where he intends to make his Residence for some time, thinks fit to send this Message to both Houses of Parliament.
'That he doth very earnestly desire, that they will use all possible industry in expediting the business of Ireland, in which they shall find so cheerful a Concurrence by his Majesty, that no inconvenience shall happen to that service by his Absence, he having all that Passion for the Reducing of that Kingdom, which he hath expressed in his former Messages; and being unable by words to manifest more Affection to it, than he hath endeavour'd to do by those Messages, (having likewise done all such Acts as he hath been moved unto by Parliament.) Therefore if the Misfortunes and Calamities of his poor Protestant Subjects there shall grow upon them (tho' his Majesty shall be deeply concerned in, and sensible of their Sufferings) he shall wash his hands before all the World, from the least imputation of slackness in that most necessary and pious Work.
'And that his Majesty may leave no way unattempted, which may beget a good understanding between him and his Parliament, he thinks it necessary to declare; That as he hath been so tender of the Privileges of Parliament, that he hath been ready and forward to retract any Act of his own, which he hath been informed hath Trencht upon their Privileges; so he expects an equal tenderness in them of his Majesty's known and unquestionable Privileges (which are the Privileges of the Kingdom) amongst which, he is assured it is a fundamental one, that his Subjects cannot be obliged to obey any Act, Order, or Injunction to which his Majesty hath not given his consent: And therefore he thinks it necessary to publish, that he expects, and hereby requires obedience from all his loving Subjects to the Laws established, and that they presume not upon any Pretence of Order or Ordinance (to which his Majesty is no party) concerning the Militia, or any other things to do or execute what is not warranted by those Laws; his Majesty being resolved to keep the Laws himself, and to require obedience to them from all his Subjects.
'And his Majesty once more recommends to his Parliament the substance of his Message of the twentieth of January last, that they compose and digest with all speed, such Acts as they shall think fit, for the present and future establishment of their Privileges, the free and quiet enjoying of their Estates and Fortunes, the Liberties of their Persons, the Security of the True Religion, now professed in the Church of England, the maintaining his Majesty's Regal and Just Authority, and settling his Revenue; his Majesty being most delirous to take all fitting and just ways, which may beget a happy Understanding between him and his Parliament, in which he conceives his greatest Power and Riches doth consist.
The Votes of both Houses of Parliament concerning the King's last Message, sent from Huntington to both Houses, on Wednesday the 16th of March, 1641. concerning the Militia.
Votes upon the King's Message from Huntington, March, 16.
Resolved &c. That this House shall insist upon their former Votes concerning the Militia.
Resolved, &c. That the King's Absence, so far remote from his Parliament, is not only an Obstruction, but may be a Destruction to the Affairs of Ireland.
Resolved, &c. That when the Lords and Commons in Parliament, which is the supream Court of Judicature in the Kingdom, shall declare what the law of the Land is, to have this not only questioned and controverted, but contradicted; and a command, that it should not be obeyed, is a High Breach of the Privilege of Parliament.
Resolved, &c. That a Committee shall be appointed by this House to joyn with a Committee of Lords to inquire where this Message was framed.
Resolved. &c. That those Persons that advise his Majesty to absent himself from the Parliament are Enemies to the Peace of this Kingdom, and justly suspected to be Favourers of the Rebellion in Ireland.
Resolved, &c. That those that advised his Majesty to this Message are Enemies to the peace of this Kingdom, and justly to be suspected to be Favourers of the Rebellion in Ireland.
Several Votes Resolved upon by both Houses of Parliament, concerning the Securing of the Kingdom of England and Dominion of Wales.
Other Votes touching the Ordinance for the Militia, and the King's Commissions.
Resolved upon the Question by the Lords in Parliament, Nemine Contradicente, That the Ordinance of the Lords and Commons in Parliament for the Safety and Defence of the Kingdom of England and Dominion of Wales, is not any way against the Oath of Allegiance.
Resolved, &c. That the several Commissions granted under the Great Seal to the Lieutenants of the several Counties, are illegal and void.
Resolved, &c. That whosoever shall execute any Power over the Militia of this Kingdom and Dominion of Wales, by colour of any Commission of Lieutenancy, without Consent of both Houses of Parliament, shall be accounted a Disturber of the Peace of the Kingdom.
Die Martis 15. Martii, 1641.
Resolved, &c. That the Kingdom hath been of late, and still is in so evident and imminent Danger, both from Enemies abroad, and a popish and discontented Party at home: That there is an urgent and inevitable necessity of putting his Majesty's Subjects into a posture of defence, for the safeguard both of his Majesty and his People.
That the Lords and Commons fully apprehending this danger, and being sensible of their own duty, to provide a suitable prevention; have in several Petitions addressed themselves to his Majesty for the ordering and disposing of the Militia of the Kingdom, in such a way, as was agreed upon by the Wisdom of both Houses to be most effectual and proper for the present exigents of the Kingdom; yet could not obtain it, but his Majesty did several times refuse to give his Royal Assent thereunto.
Ordered, That the House of Peers be moved to agree with the House of Commons in this Proposition.
Resolved, &c. That in this case of extream danger, and of his Majesty's refusal, the Ordinance agreed on by both Houses for the Militia, doth oblige the People, and ought to be obeyed by the Fundamental Laws of this Kingdom.
Resolved, &c. That these shall be the Heads of the Declaration.
Resolved, &c. That such Persons as shall be nominated Deputy-Lieutenants, and approved of by both Houses, shall receive the Commands of both Houses, to take upon them to execute their Offices.
Ordered by the Lords and Commons in Parliament, That these several Votes shall be forthwith Printed and Published.
John Brown, Cleric. Parliament,
His Majesty's Declaration to both Houses of Parliament, (which he likewise recommends to the Consideration of his Loving Subjects) in Answer to that presented to him at Newmarket, 9th of March, 1641.
King's Answer to the Declaration presented to him at Newmarket.
Tho' the Declaration, lately presented to us at Newmarket, from both our Houses of Parliament be of so strange a nature, in respect of what we expected (after so many Acts of Grace and Favour to our People) and some Expressions in it so different from the usual Language to Princes, that we might well take a very long time to consider it; yet the Clearness and Up rightness of our Conscience to God, and Love to our Subjects hath supplied us with a speedy Answer, and our unalterable Affection to our People prevailed with us to suppress that Passion, which might well enough become us, upon such an Invitation.
We have re-consider'd our Answer of the first of this Month, at Theobalds, which is urged to have given just cause of Sorrow to our Subjects. Whosoever looks over that Message (which was in effect to tell us, that if we would not joyn with them in an Act we conceived prejudicial and dangerous to us, and the whole Kingdom, they would make a Law without us, and impose it upon our People) will not think that sudden Answer can be excepted to.
We have little encouragement to Replies of this nature, when we are told of how little value our words are like to be with you, tho' they come accompanied with all the Actions of Love and Justice (where there is room for Actions to accompany them) yet we cannot but disavow the having any such evil Council or Councellors to our Knowledge, as are mentioned; and if any such be discovered, we will leave them to the Censure and Judgment of our Parliament: In the mean time we could wish, that our own immediate Actions, which we avow, and our own Honour might not be so roughly censured and wounded, under that common Stile of Evil Councellors.
For our faithful and zealous Affection to the True Protestant Profession, and our Resolution to concur with our Parliament in any possible Course, for the Propagation of it, and the Suppression of Popery, we can say no more than we have already expressed in our Declaration to all our Loving Subjects, published in Ireland, by the Advice of our Privy-Council, in which we endeavoured to make as lively a Confession of our Self in this point, as we were able, being most assured, that the constant practise of our life hath been answerable thereunto; and therefore we did rather expect a testimony and acknowledgment of such our Zeal and Piety, than those Expressions we met with in this Declaration of any design of altering Religion in this Kingdom; and we do (out of the innocence of our Soul) wish, that the Judgments of Heaven may be manifested upon those, who have, or had any such design.
As for the Scots Troubles, we had well thought that those unhappy Differences had been wrapt up in perpetual silence by the Act of Oblivion, which being solemnly pass'd in the Parliaments of both Kingdoms, stops our mouth from any other Reply, than to shew our great dislike for reviving the memory thereof.
If the Rebellion in Ireland (so odious to all Christians) seems to have been framed and maintained in England, or to have any countenance from hence, We conjure both our Houses of Parliament, and all our Loving Subjects whatsoever to use all possible means to discover, and find such out, that we may join in the most exemplary vengeance upon them, that can be imagined; but we must think our selves highly and causelesly injured in our Reputation, if any Declaration, Action, or Expression of the Irish Rebels, any Letters from Count Rosetti to the Papists for Fasting and Praying, or from Tristram Whitcombe, of strange Speeches uttered in Ireland, shall beget any Jealousie or Misapprehension in our Subjects, of our Justice, Piety, and Affection, it being evident to all understandings, that those mischievous and wicked Rebels are not to capable of great advantage, as by having their false discourses so far believed, as to raise Fears and Jealousies to the distraction of this Kingdom, the only way to their security: And we cannot express a deeper sense of the suffering of our poor Protestant Subjects in that Kingdom, than we have done in our often Messages to both Houses, by which we have offered, and are still ready to venture our Royal Person for their Redemption; well knowing, that as we are (in our own Interest) more concerned in them, so we are to make a strict account to Almighty God, for any neglect of our Duty, or their Preservation.
For the manifold attempts to provoke our late Army, and the Army of the Sects, and to raise a Faction in the City of London, and other parts of the Kingdom; if it be said, as relating to us, we cannot without great indignation suffer our selves to be reproached, to have intended the least Force or Threatning to our Parliament, as the being privy to the bringing up of the Army would imply; whereas we call God to witness, we never had any such Thought, or knew of any such Resolution concerning our late Army.
For the Petition shewed to us by Captain Leg, we well remember the same and the occasion of that Conference; Captain Leg being lately come out of the North, and repairing to us at White-hall; we asked him of the state of our Army, and (after some relation made of it) he told us, that the Commanders and Officers of the Army had a mind to petition the Parliament, as others of our people had done, and shewed us the Copy of a Petition, which we read, and finding it to be very humble, desiring the Parliament might receive no interruption in the reformation of the Church and State, to the Model of Queen Elizabeth 's days; we told him, we saw no harm in it; whereupon he reply'd, that he believ'd all the Officers of the Army would like it, only he thought Sir Jacob Ashley would be unwilling to sign it, out of fear that it might displease us. We then read the Petition over again, and then observing that neither in Matter or Form, we conceived it could possibly give just Cause of Offence, we delivered it to him again, bidding him give it to Sir Jacob Ashley, for whose satisfaction we had written C. R. upon it, to testifie our Approbation: And we wish, that the Petition might be seen, and published, and then we believe it will appear no dangerous one, nor a just ground for the least Jealousies or Misapprehension.
For Mr. Jermin, it is well known, that he was gone from White-hall, before we received the desire of both Houses, for the restraint of our Servants, neither returned he thither, or passed over by any Warrant, granted by us after that Time.
For the Breach of Privilege in the Accusation of the Lord Kimbolton, and the five Members of the House of Commons, we thought we had given so ample satisfaction in our several Messages to that purpose, that it should be no more pressed against us; being confident, if the Breach of Privilege had been greater than ever before offered, our Acknowledgment and Retractation hath been greater than ever King hath given; besides the not examining how many of our Privileges have been invaded, in defence and vindication of the other; and therefore we hoped our true and earnest Protestation, in our Answer to your Order concerning the Militia, would so far have satisfied you of our Intentions then, that you would no more have entertained any imagination of any other design than we there expressed.
But why the lifting of so many Officers, and entertaining them at White-hall should be misconstrued, we much marvel, when it is notoriously known, the tumults at Westminster were so great, and their demeanors so scandalous and seditious, that we had good cause to suppose our own Person, and those of our Wife and Children to be in apparent danger, and therefore we had great reason to appoint a guard about us, and to accept the dutiful tender of the services of any our loving Subjects, which was all we did to the Gentlemen of the Inns of Court.
For the Lord Digby, we assure you in the word of a King, that he had no our Warrant to pass the Seas, and had left our Court before we ever heard of the Vote of the House of Commons, or had any cause to imagine, that his Absence would have been excepted against.
What your Advertisements are from Rome, Venice, Paris, and other Parts, or what the Pope's Nuncio follicits the Kings of France or Spain to do, or from what persons such Informations come to you, or how the credit and reputation of such persons have been sifted and examined, we know not; but are confident, no sober, honest Man in our Kingdoms can believe, that we are so desperate, or so senseless, to entertain such designs, as would not only bury this our Kingdom in sudden distraction and ruin, but our own Name and Posterity in perpetual scorn and infamy; and therefore we could have wished, that in matters of so high and tender a Nature (wherewith the minds of our good subjects must needs be startled) all the expressions were so plain and easie, that nothing might stick with them with reflection upon us, since you thought fit to publish it all.
And having now dealt thus plainly and freely with you by way of Answer to the particular grounds of your Fears; we hope (upon a due consideration, and weighing both together) you will find not the grounds to be of that moment to beger, or longer to continue a misunderstanding betwixt us, or force you to apply your selves to the use of any other Power than what the Law hath given you, the which we always intend shall be the Measure of our own Power, and expect it shall be the Rule of our Subjects Obedience.
Concerning our Fears and Jealousies; as we had no intention of accusing you, so are we sure no words spoken by us (on the sudden) at Theobalds, will bear that interpretation. We said for our residence near you, we wish it might be so safe and honourable, that we had no cause to absent our self from White-hall, and how this can be a breach of Privilege of Parliament, we cannot understand. We explained our meaning in our Answer at New-Market, at the Presentation of this Declaration, concerning the Printed Seditious Pamphlets and Sermons, and the great Tumults at Westminster; and we must appeal to you, and all the World, whether we might not justly suppose our self in danger of either: and if we were now at White-hall, what security have we, that the like shall not be again; especially if any Delinquents of that Nature have been apprehended by the Ministers of Justice, and been rescued by the People, and so as yet escape unpunished? If you have not been informed of the seditious words used in, and the circumstances of those Tumults, and will appoint some way for the examination of them, we will require some of our Learned Council to attend with such Evidence as may satisfie you, and till that be done, or some other Course taken for our Security, you cannot (with Reason) wonder, that we intend not to be, where we most desire to be.
And can there yet want Evidence of our hearty and importunate desire to joyn with our Parliament and all our Faithful Subjects in defence of the Religion and publick Good of the Kingdom? Have we given you no other earnest but Words, to secure you of those Desires? The very Remonstrance of the House of Commons (published in November last) of the state of the Kingdom allows us a more real Testimony of our good Affections, than Words: That Remonstrance valued our Acts of Grace and Justice at so high a Rate, that it declared the Kingdom to be then a Gainer, though it had charged it self by Bills of Subsidies, and Poll-Money, with the Levy of 600000 l, besides the contracting of a Debt to our Scotch Subjects of 220000 l.
Are the Bills for the Triennial Parliament, relinquishing our Title of imposing upon Merchandize, and power of pressing Soldiers, for the taking away the Star-Chamber, and High-Commission-Courts, for the Regulating the Council-Table, but Words? Are the Bills for the Forests, the Stannary-Courts, the Clerk of the Market, and the taking away the Votes of the Bishops out of the Lords House, but Words? Lastly, What greater earnest of our Trust and Reliance on our Parliament, could, or can we give, than the passing of a Bill for the continuance of this present Parliament? The length of which, we hope, will never alter the Nature of Parliaments, and the Constitution of this Kingdom, or invite our Subjects so much to abuse our Confidence, as to esteem any thing fit for this Parliament to do, which were not, if it were in our Power to dissolve it to Morrow. And after all these, and many other Acts of Grace on our part (that we might be sure of a perfect Reconciliation betwixt us and all our Subjects) we have offered, and are still ready to grant a Free and General Pardon, as ample as your selves shall think fit. Now if these be not real Expressions of the Affection of our Soul, for the publick Good of our Kingdom; we must confess, that we want skill to manifest them.
To conclude, (although we think our Answer already full to that point) concerning our Return to London; we are willing to declare, that we look upon it as a matter of so great weight, as with reference to the Affairs of this Kingdom, and our own Inclinations and Desires, that if all we can say or do, can raise a mutual Confidence (the only way, with God's Blessing, to make us all happy) and by your encouragement the Laws of the Land, and the Government of the City of London may recover some life for our security, we will overtake your Desires, and be as soon with you as you can wish; and in the mean time, we will be sure, that neither the business of Ireland, or any other Advantage for this Kingdom shall suffer through our default, or by our absence; we being so far from repenting the Acts of our Justice and Grace, which we have already performed to our People, that we shall with the same Alacrity be still ready to add such new ones, as may best advance the Peace, Honour, and Prosperity of this Nation.
To the King's most Excellent Majesty.
The Humble Petition of the Lords and Commons, Assembled in Parliament.
The Parliament's Justification of their Declaration sent to His Majesty at New-Market, in a Petition presented to His Majesty at York, March the 26th 1642.
May it please Your Majesty,
Your Majesty's Loyal Subjects, the Lords and Commons in Parliament, cannot conceive, that the Declaration, which your Majesty received from us at New-Market, was such as did deserve that Censure your Majesty was pleased to lay upon us in that Speech, which your Majesty made to our Committees there, and sent in Writing to both Houses; our Address therein being accompanied with Plainness, Humility and Faithfulness, we thought more proper for the removing the Distraction of the Kingdom, than if we had then proceeded according to your Majesty's Message of the 20th. of January, by which your Majesty was pleased to desire, that we would declare what we intended to do for your Majesty, and what we expected to be done for our selves, in both which we have been very much hindred by your Majesty's Denial to secure us, and the whole Kingdom, by disposing the Militia, as we had divers times most humbly petitioned; and yet we have not been altogether negligent of either; having lately made good proceedings in preparing a Book of Rates to be passed in a Bill of Tunnage and Poundage; and likewise the most material Heads of those humble Desires, which we intended to make to your Majesty for the Good and Contentment of your Majesty and your People; but none of these could be perfected before the Kingdom be put into Safety, by settling the Militia; and until your Majesty shall be pleased to concur with your Parliament in these necessary Things, we hold it impossible for you to give the World, or your People such satifaction concerning the Fears and Jealousies, which we have expressed, as, we hope, your Majesty hath already received touching that Exception, which you were pleased to make to Mr. Pym's Speech.
As for your Majesty's Fears and Doubts, the Ground whereof is from Seditious Pamphlets and Sermons, we shall be as careful to endeavour the Removal, as soon as we shall understand what Pamphlets and Sermons are by your Majesty intended, as we have been to prevent all dangerous Tumults: And if any extraordinary Concourse of People out of the City of Westminster, had the Face and Shew of Tumult and Danger in your Majesty's Apprehension, it will appear to be caused by your Majesty's Denial of such a Guard to your Parliament, as they might have cause to confide in; and by taking into White-hall such a Guard for your self, as gave just cause of Jealousie to the Parliament, and of Terror and Offence to your People: We seek nothing but your Majesty's Honour, and the Peace and Prosperity of your Kingdoms; and we are heartily sorry we have such plentiful matter of an Answer to that Question, Whether you had violated our Laws.
We beseech your Majesty to remember that the Government of this Kingdom, as it was in a great part managed by your Ministers before the beginning of this Parliament, consisted of many continued and multiplied Acts of Violation of Laws; the wounds whereof were scarcely healed, when the extremity of all those Violations was far exceeded by the late strange and unheard of breach of our Laws, in the Accusation of the Lord Kimbolton, and Five Members of the Commons House, and in the Proceedings there-upon, for which we have received no full satisfaction.
To your Majesty's next Question, whether you had denied any Bill, for the Ease and Security of your Subjects, we wish we could stop in the midst of our Answer; That with much thankfulness we acknowledge that your Majesty hath pass'd many good Bills, full of contentment and advantage to your People; but truth and necessity inforceth us to add this, that even in, or about the time of passing those Bills, some design or other hath been on foot; which, if it had taken effect, would not only have deprived us of the Fruit of those Bills, but have reduced us to a worse condition of confusion, than that wherein the Parliament found us.
And if your Majesty had asked us the third Question, intimated in that Speech, what we had done for your self; our Answer would have been much more easie, That we had paid two Armies, wherewith the Kingdom was burthened last Year; and have undergone the Charge of the War in Ireland, at this time, when through many other excessive charges and pressures, your Subjects have been exhausted, and the Stock of the Kingdom very much diminished; which great mischiefs, and the charges thereupon ensuing, have been occasion'd by the Evil Counsels, so powerful with your Majesty, which have, and will cost this Kingdom more than two Millions, all which, in justice, ought to have been born by your Majesty.
As for that free and general Pardon your Majesty hath been pleased to offer, it can be no security to our fears and jealousies, for which your Majesty seems to propound it, because they arise not from any Guilt of our own Actions, but from the Evil Designs and Attempts of ethers.
To this our humble Answer to that Speech we desire to add an Information, which we lately received from the Deputy-Governour of the Merchant-Adventurers at Rotterdam in Holland, That an unknown Person, appertaining to the Lord Digby, did lately sollicite one James Henely, a Mariner, to go to Elsenore, and to take Charge of a Ship in the Fleet of the King of Denmark, there prepared, which he should conduct to Hull; in which Fleet likewise, he said, a great Army was to be transported: And although we are not apt to give Credit to Informations of this Nature; yet we cannot altogether think it fit to be neglected, but that it may justly add somewhat to the weight of our Fears and Jealousies, considering with what Circumstances it is accompanied, with the Lord Digby's preceding Expressions in his Letter to her Majesty and Sir Lewis Dives, and your Majesty's succeeding course of withdrawing your self Northward from your Parliament in a manner very suitable, and correspondent to that Evil Counsel, which we doubt will make much deeper impression in the generality of yoar People; and therefore we most humbly advise and beseech your Majesty for the procuring and settling the confidence of your Parliament, and all your Subjects; and for the other important Reasons concerning the recovery of Ireland, and securing this Kingdom, which have been formerly presented to your Majesty; you will be graciously pleased (with all convenient speed) to return to these Parts, and to close with the Council and Desire of your Parliament, where you shall find their dutiful Affections and Endeavours ready to attend your Majesty with such Entertainment, as shall not only give your Majesty just cause of security in their faithfulness, but other manifold evidences of their earnest intentions and endeavours to advance your Majesty's Service, Honour, and Contentment, and to establish it upon the sure Foundation of the Peace and Prosperity of all your Kingdoms.
His Majesty's Answer to the Petition of both Houses of Parliament, presented to him at York, on Saturday the 26th of March, 1642. by the Lord Willoughby, Lord Dungarvan, and Sir Anthony Erby.
King's Reply from York concerning the Militia, &c. March 26th, 1642.
'If you would have had the patience to have expected our Answer to your last Declaration (which considering the Nature of it, hath not been long in coming) we believe you would have saved your selves the labour of saying much of this Message; and we could wish, that our Privileges in all parts were so stated, that this way of correspondence might be preserved with that Freedom, which hath been used of old; for we must tell you, that if you may ask any thing of us by Message or Petition, and in what language (how unusual soever) you think fit, and we must neither deny the thing you ask, nor give a Reason why we cannot grant it, without being taxed with breaking your Privileges, or being counselled by those who are Enemies of the Peace of the Kingdom, and Favourers of the Irish Rebellion (for we have seen your printed Votes, upon our Message from Huntington) you will reduce all our Answers hereafter into a very little room: In plain English, it is to take away the Freedom of our Vote, which were we but a Subject were high Injustice; but being your King, we leave all the World to judge what it is.
'Is this the way to compose all mis-understandings? We thought we shewed you one by our Message of the 20th of January, if you have a better or a readier, we shall willingly hearken to it, for hitherto you have shewed us none: But why, the refusal to consent to your Order (which you call a denial of the Militia) should be any interruption to it, we cannot understand; for the Militia (which we always thought necessary to be settled) we never denied the thing, (as we told you in our Answer of the 28th of January, to the Petition of the House of Commons) for we accepted the Persons, (except for Corporations) we only denied the way: You ask it by way of Ordinance, and with such a Preface, as we can neither with justice to our Honour or Innocence consent to: You exclude us from any Power in the Disposition, or Execution of it, together with you, and for a time utterly unlimited. We tell you, we would have the thing done; allow the persons (with that exception) desire a Bill (the only good old way of imposing on our Subjects) we are extreamly unsatisfied what an Ordinance is; but well satisfied, that without our consent it is nothing, not binding; and it is evident by the long time spent in this Argument, the necessity and danger was not so imminent, but a Bill might have well been prepared; which, if it shall yet be done with that due regard to Us and care of our People, in the limitation of the Power, and other Circumstances, we shall recede from nothing we formerly expressed in that Answer to your Order, otherwise we must declare to all the World, that we are not satisfied with, or shall ever allow our Subjects to be bound by your printed Votes of the fifteenth or sixteenth of this Month, or that under pretence of declaring what the Law of the Land is, you shall without Us make a new Law, which is plainly the Case of the Militia; and what is this, but to introduce an Arbitrary way of Government.
'Concerning Pym 's Speech, you will have found by what the Lord Compton, and Mr. Bainton brought from us, in answer to that Message they brought to us, that as yet we rest nothing satisfied in that particular.
'As for the seditious Pamphlets and Sermons, we are both sorry and asham'd in so great variety, and in which our Rights, Honour, and Authority are so insolently slighted and villified, and in which the Dignity and Freedom of Parliament is so much invaded and violated, it should be asked of us to name any; the mentioning of the Protestation protested, the Apprentices Protestation To your Tents, O Israel! or any other, would be too great an Excuse for the rest: If you think them not worth your Inquiry, we have done: But we think it most strange to be told, that our denial of a Guard (which we yet never denied, but granted in another manner, and under a command at that time most accustomed in the Kingdom) or the denial of any thing else (which is in our Power legally to deny) which in our understanding (of which God hath surely given us some use) is not fit to be granted, should be any excuse for so dangerous a concourse of People; which, not only in our Apprehension, but (we believe) in the Interpretation of the Law it self, hath been always held most Tumultuous and Seditious. And we most wonder what, and from whence come the Instructions and Informations that those People have, who can so easily think themselves oblig'd by the Protestation to assemble in such a manner for the defence of Privileges, which cannot be so clearly known to any of them, and so negligently pass over the Consideration, and Defence of our Rights so beneficial and necessary for themselves, and scarce unknown to any of them, which by their Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy (and even by the same Protestation) they are at least equally obliged to defend. And what Interruptions such kind of Assemblies may be to the Freedom of future Parliaments (if not seasonably discountenanced and suppressed) we must advise you to consider, as likewise whether both our Powers may not by such means be usurped, by hands not trusted by the Constitution of this Kingdom. For our Guard, we refer you to our Answer to your Declaration.
'By that Question of Violating your Laws; by which we endeavoured to express our Care and Resolution to observe them; we did not expect you would have been invited to have looked back so many Years, for which you have had so ample Reparation: Neither looked we to be reproached with the Actions of our Ministers (then against the Laws) whilst we express so great a Zeal for the present Defence of them, it being our Resolution, upon Observation of the mischief which then grew by Arbitrary Power (though made plausible to us by the Suggestions of necessity and imminent danger, and take you heed ye fall not into the same Error upon the same Suggestions) hereafter to keep the Rule our self, and to our Power require the same from all others: But above all, we must be most sensible of what you cast upon us for requital of those good Bills you cannot deny. We have denied any such design, and as God Almighty must judge in that point between us, who knows our upright Intentions at the passing those Laws: So in the mean time we defie the Devil to prove that there was any design (with our know ledge or privity) in or about the time of passing those Bills, that had it taken effect could have deprived our Subjects of the Fruit of them: And therefore we demand full Reparation in this point, that we may be cleared in the sight of all the World, and chiefly in the eyes of our loving Subjects from so notorious and false an imputation as this is.
'We are far from denying what you have done, for we acknowledge the Charge our People have sustained in keeping the two Armies, and in relieving Ireland, of the which we are so sensible, that in regard of those great Burthens our People have undergone, we have and do patiently suffer those extream personal Wants, as our Predecessors have been seldom put to, rather than we would press upon them; which we hope (in time) will be considered on your parts.
'In our offer of a general Pardon, our Intent was to compose and secure the general Condition of our Subjects, conceiving that in these times of great Distractions, the good Laws of the Land have not been enough observed; but it is a strange World when Princes proffered Favours are accounted Reproaches: Yet if you like not this our offer, we have done.
'Concerning any Discourses of foreign Forces, though we have given you a full Answer in ours to your last Declaration, yet we must tell you, we have neither so ill an opinion of our own merit, or the affections of our good Subjects, as to think our self in need of any foreign Force to preserve us from Oppression, (and we shall not need for any other purpose) but are confident through God's providence) not to want the good Wishes and Assistance of the whole Kingdom, being resolved to build upon that sure Foundation, the Law of the Land. We take it very ill that any general Discourses between an unknown Person and a Mariner, or Inferences upon Letters should be able to prevail in matters so improbable in themselves, and scandalous to us, for which we cannot but likewise ask Reparation, not only for the vindicating of our own Honour, but also thereby to settle the minds of our Subjects, whose Fears and Jealousies would soon vanish, were they not fed and maintained by such false and malicious Rumours as these.
'For our Return to our Parliament, we have given you a full Answer in ours to your Declaration, and you ought to look on us as not gone but driven (we say not by you, yet) from you. And if it be not so easie for you to make our Residence in London so safe as we could desire, we are, and will be contented that our Parliament be Adjourned to such a Place, where we may be fitly and safely with you. For though we are not pleased to be at this distance, yet ye are not to expect our Presence, until ye shall both secure Us, concerning our just Apprehensions of tumultuary Insolencies, and likewise give us satisfaction for those insupportable and insolent Scandals that are raised upon us.
'To conclude, as we have, or shall not refuse any way agreeable to Justice or Honour, which shall be offered to us for the begetting a right understanding between us; so we are resolved, that no straights or necsseities (to which we may be driven) shall ever compel us to do that, which the Reason and Understanding that God hath given us, and our Honour and Interest, with which God hath trusted us for the good of our Posterity and Kingdoms, shall render unpleasant and grievous unto us.
'And we assure you that (how meanly soever you are pleased to value the discharge of our publick Duty) we are so conscious to our self of having done our part, since this Parliament, that in whatsoever condition we now stand, we are confident of the continued Protection from Almighty God, and the constant Gratitude, Obedience, and Affection from our People: And we shall trust God with all.
A Message from both Houses of Parliament, sent to the King's most Excellent Majesty at York, the 28th of March, 1642.
May it please your Majesty,
The Lords and Commons in this present Parliament assembled, having found it necessary to provide and set to Sea a strong and powerful Navy, for the defence of this Kingdom against foreign Force, and for the security of your other Dominions, the Charge whereof is to be born by the Commonwealth: And taking notice of the Indisposition of the Lord Admiral, which disables him at this time for commanding the Fleet in his own Person, did thereupon recommend unto his Lordship the Earl of Warwick (a Person of such Quality and Ability as in whom they might best confide) to supply his Lordship's room for this Imployment. And understanding that your Majesty hath since signified your pleasure concerning that command, for Sir John Pennington; we do hold it our duty, to represent to your Majesty, the great danger and mischief the Common-wealth is like to sustain by such interruption. And therefore do humbly beseech your Majesty that the noble Person recommended by both Houses of Parliament for this Service, may no longer be detained from it, out of any particular respect to any other Person whatsoever.
To Our right, trusty, and well-beloved Counsellour, Edward Lord Littleton, Keeper of Our Great Seal of England.
'Right, trusty, and well-beloved Counsellour, we greet you well: We wonder both at the form and matter of that inclosed Paper, ye sent us (in the name of both Houses of Parliament; in yours of the 28th of March) it being neither by way of Petition, Declaration, or Letter; and for the matter, we believe it is the first time that the Houses of Parliament have taken upon them the Nomination or Recommendation of the chief Sea Commander; but it adds to the wonder, that Sir John Pennington being already appointed by us for that Service, upon the Recommendation of our Admiral (which is so well known, that none can be ignorant of it) and no fault so much as alledged against him, another should be recommended to us; therefore our Resolution upon this Point, is, that we will not alter him, whom we have already appointed to command this Year's Fleet, whose every way sufficiency is so universally known, the which we are confident our Admiral (if there shall be occasion) will make most evident, (against whose Testimony, we suppose, our Parliament will not except.) And though there were yet none appointed, or the said Sir John (through some accident) not able to perform the Service, yet the Men of that Profession are so well known to us (besides many other Reasons) that (our Admiral excepted because of his Place) Recommendations of that kind would not be acceptable to us.
Given at Our Court at York, the last of March, 1642.
A Question answered: How Laws are to be understood, and Obedience yielded? Necessary for the present State of things, touching the Militia.
A Question concerning the Militia, April the 22d. 1642.
Now in our extream Distractions, when foreign Forces threaten, and probably are invited, and a malignant and popish Party at Home offended; the Devil hath cast a Bone, and raised a Contestation between the King and Parliament touching the Militia. His Majesty claims the disposing of it to be in him by the Right of Law; the Parliament faith, Rebus sic stantibus & nolente Rege, the ordering of it is in them?
Which Question may receive its solution by this distinction: That there is in Laws an equitable and a literal Sense. His Majesty (let it be granted) is intrusted by Law with the Militia; but it's for the good and preservation of the Republick against Foreign Invasions, and Domestick Rebellions: For it canno; be supposed, that the Parliament would ever by Law intrust the King with the Militia against themselves, or the Common-wealth, that intrusts them to provide for their Weal, net for their Woe. So that when there is certain Appearance, or grounded Suspicion, that the Letter of the Law shall be improved against the equity of it (that is, the publick Good, whether of the Body real or representative) then the Commanders going against its equity, gives liberty to the Commanded to refuse Obedience to the Letter, for the Law taken Abstract from its Original Reason and End, is made, a Shell without a Kernel, a Shadow without a Substance, and a Body without a Soul. It is the Execution of Laws according to their Equity and Reason, which (as I may say) is the Spirit that gives Life to Authority, the Letter kills.
Nor need this equity be expressed in the Law, being so naturally imply'd and supposed in all Laws, that are not meerly imperial, from that Analogy, which all Bodies Politick hold with the Natural, whence all Government and Governours hold a proportionable respect: And therefore when the Militia of an Army is committed to the General, it is not with any express Condition, that he shall not turn the Mouths of Cannons against his own Soldiers; for that is so naturally and so necessarily imply'd, that it's needless to be express'd, insomuch, as if he did attempt, or command such a thing against the Nature of his Trust and Place, it did, ipso facto, estate the Army in a right of Disobedience; except we think, that Obedience binds Men to cut their own Throats, or at least their Companions.
And indeed, if this distinction be not allow'd, then the legal and mix'd Monarchy is the greatest Tyranny; for if Laws invest the King in an Absolute Power, and the Letter be not comptrolled by the Equity; then, whereas other Kings that are Absolute Monarchs, and Rule by Will, and not by Law, are Tyrants perforce. Those that Rule by Law, and not by Will, have hereby a Tyranny conferr'd upon them Legally, and so the very end of Laws, which is to give bounds and limits to the exorbitant Wills of Princes, is by the Laws themselves disappointed; for they hereby give corroboration (and much more justification) to an Arbitrary Tyranny, by making legal, not assumed, what Laws were ordained to cross, not to countenance; and therefore is the Letter (where it seems Absolute) always to receive Qualification from the Equity, else the aforesaid Absurdity must follow.
His Majesty's Message to the House of Peers, concerning the foregoing Paper.
King's Message touching that Paper, April the 22d. 1642.
'His Majesty having seen a printed Paper, intituled, A Question answered, How Laws are to be understood, and Obedience yielded (which Paper he sends together with this Message) thinks fit to recommend the consideration of it to his House of Peers, that they may use all possible care and diligence for the finding out the Author, and may give directions to his learned Council, to proceed against him and the Publishers of it, in such a way as shall be agreeable to Law, and the course of Justice, as Persons who endeavour to stir up Sedition against his Majesty. And his Majesty doubts not but they will be very sensible how much their own particular Interest (as well as the publick Government of the Kingdom) is, and must be shaken, if such License shall be permitted to bold factious Spirits, to withdraw his Subjects strict Obedience from the Laws established, by such Seditious and Treasonable Distinctions; and of Doctrines of this Nature. His Majesty doubts not but that their Lordships will publish their great dislike, it being grown into frequent Discourse, and vented in some Pulpits (by those desperate turbulent Preachers, who are the great Promoters of the Distempers of this time) That humane Laws do not bind the Conscience, which being once believed, the Civil Government and Peace of the Kingdom will be quickly dissolved. His Majesty expects a speedy Account of their Lordships exemplary Justice upon the Authors and Publishers of this Paper.
I do not find any Answer returned to this Message.
The two Houses had drawn up and passed a Bill for settling the Militia, much to the same Purport as their Ordinance, and sent the same to his Majesty, desiring his Royal Assent thereunto, he refused, and gave his Reasons in the following Message,
His Majesty's Message to both Houses of Parliament, April 28, 1642. concerning his Refusal to Pass the Bill for the Militia.
King's Message April 28, 1642 of Reasons for denying to pass the Bill for settling the Militia.
'We have with great Deliberation and Patience weighed and considered (it concerning us much, to weigh the Consequences of every Law before we pass it) your Bill lately sent to us, for the settling of the Militia; and tho' it hath not been usual to give any Reason for our Refusal to pass any Bill (it being absolutely in our power to pass, or not pass any Act sent unto us by you (if we conceive it prejudicial to our self, or inconvenient for our Subjects, for whom we are trusted, and must one day give an Account;) yet in this business of the Militia, which being mis-understood amongst our good Subjects, hath been used as an Argument, as if we were not vigilant enough for the publick safety: And left we should be thought less constant in our Resolutions, and this Bill to be the same we sent unto you; we have thought fit to give you, and all the World particular satisfaction, why we must not, ought not, cannot pass this Bill, being the first publick Bill, to our remembrance, we have refused this Parliament; and therefore we must complain, that having expressed our self so clearly, and particularly to you in this point, you should press any thing upon us, which you could not but foresee, that we must refuse, except we departed from those Resolutions, grounded upon so much Reason, which he had so earnestly before acquainted you with, and against which you have not given one Argument to satisfie our Judgment.
'We are pleased, that you have declined the unwarrantable course of your Ordinance (to the which we are confident our good Subjects would never have yielded consent) and chosen this only right way of imposing on our People, which we would have allowed, but for the reasons hereafter mentioned.
'We refused to consent to your Ordinance, as for other things, so, for that the power was put into the Persons nominated therein by direction of both Houses of Parliament, excluding us from any power in the disposition or execution of it together with you. We then advised you for many Reasons, that a Bill should be prepared, and after, in our Answer of the 26th of March last, to the Petition of both Houses, we told you, if such a Bill should be prepared with that due regard to us, and care of our People in the limitation of the power, and other circumstances, we should recede from nothing we formerly expressed.
'What passed (enough to have discouraged us from being farther sollicitous in that Argument) after our full and gracious Answers, we are content to forget. When we resolved of our Journey into Ireland (so that by reason of our absence, there might be no want of settling that Power) besides complying with your Fears, we sent, together with a Message of that our purpose, a Bill for the settling that Power for a year, hoping in that time to return to you; and being sure, that in much less time you might do the business, for which you seemed at first to desire this, which was, that you might securely consider our Message of the 20th of January last. By that Bill we consented to those Names which were proposed in your Ordinance, and in the limitation of the Power; provided, that our self should not be able to execute any thing but by your advice; and when we should be out of the Kingdom, the sole execution to be in you; with many other things of so arbitrary and uncircumscribed a Power, that we should not have consented to, but with reference to the absence of our own Person out of the Kingdom, and thought it the more sufferable, in respect the time was but for a year. Whether this be the Bill you have now sent us to pass, let all the World judge.
'You have by this Bill now tender'd to us (without taking notice of us) put the power of the whole Kingdom, the Life and Liberties of the Subjects of all degrees and qualities, into the hands of particular men for two years. Can you imagine we will trust such an absolute Power in the hands of particular persons which we refused to commit to both Houses of Parliament? Nay, is not the Power it self too Absolute, too Unlimited to be committed to any private hands? Hath not Sir John Hotham's high insolence shewed us, what we may expect from an exorbitant Legal Power, when he by a power not warranted by Law, dares venture upon a Treasonable Disobedience? But we would willingly know (and indeed such an Account in ordinary civility we might, have expected) why we are by this Act absolutely excluded from any Power or Authority in the execution of this Militia. Sure your Fears and Jealousies are not of such a nature, as are capable of no other Remedy, than by leaving us no power in a point of the greatest importance, in which God, and the Law hath trusted us solely, and which we were contented to share with you by our Bill, by putting it, and a greater into the hands of particular Subjects? What would all Christian Princes think of us, after we had passed such a Bill? How would they value our Sovereignty? And yet sure our Reputation with Foreign Princes is some ground of your Security: Nay, we are confident, by that time you have thoroughly consider'd the possible consequence of the Bill upon your selves, and the rest of our good Subjects, you, and they, will give us Thanks for not consenting to it, finding their condition (had it passed) not to have been so pleasing unto them. We hope this Animadversion will be no Breach of your Privileges in this throng of Business, and distemper of Affections; 'tis possible that second Thoughts may present something to your Consideration, which escaped you before.
'We passed, this Parliament, at your entreaty, a Bill concerning the Cap tives of Algier, and waved many Objections of our own to the contrary, upon Information that the Business had been many months consider'd by you. Whether it prove suitable to your intentions, or whether you have not by some private order suspended that Act of Parliament upon view of the mistakings, you best know: As likewise, what other great Alterations you have made in other Bills passed this Session. We cannot pass over the putting their Names out of this Bill, whom before you recommended to us in your Ordinance, it seems, not thinking fit to trust those, who would obey no guide, but the Law of the Land. (We imagine you would not wish, we should in our estimation of others follow that your Rule) and the leaving out, by special Provision, the present Lord-Mayor of London, as a Person in your disfavour; whereas we must tell you, his demeanour hath been such, that the City, and the whole Kingdom is beholding to him for his Example.
'To conclude, We do not find our self possessed with such an excess of Power, that it is fit to transfer, or consent it should be in other persons, (as is directed by the Bill) and therefore we shall rely upon that Royal Right and Jurisdiction, which God, and the Law hath given us, for the suppressing of Rebellion, and resisting Foreign Invasion, which hath preserved this Kingdom in the time of all our Ancestors, and which, we doubt not, but we shall be able to execute; and not more for our own Honour and Right, than for the Liberty and Safety of our People, we cannot consent to pass this Bill.
The Declaration of the Lords and Commons in Parliament Assembled, concerning His Majesty's last Message about the Militia.
May 5, 1642. The Parliament's Answer.
The Lords and Commons holding it necessary, for the peace and safety of this Kingdom, to settle the Militia thereof, did, for that purpose, prepare an Ordinance of Parliament, and with all Humility did present the same to his Majesty for his Royal Assent; who, notwithstanding the faithful Advice of his Parliament, and the several Reasons offer'd by them of the necessity thereof, for the securing of his Majesty's Person, and the peace and safety of his People, did refuse to give his Consent; and thereupon they were necessitated, in discharge of the Trust repos'd in them, as the Representative Body of the Kingdom; to make an Ordinance, by Authority of both Houses, to settle the Militia, warranted thereunto by the Fundamental Laws of the Land: His Majesty taking notice thereof, did by several Messages invite them to settle the same by Act of Parliament; affirming in his Majesty's Message sent in Answer to the Petition of both Houses, presented to his Majesty at York, March 26. That he always thought it necessary the same should be settled, and that he never deny'd the thing, only deny'd the way; and for the matter of it, took exceptions only to the Preface, as a thing not standing with his Honour to consent to, and that himself was excluded in the Execution, and for a time unlimited: Whereupon the Lords and Commons being desirous to give his Majesty all Satisfaction that might be, even to the least Tittle of Form and Circumstance; and when his Majesty was pleased to offer them a Bill ready drawn, did for no other cause, than to manifest their hearty Affection to comply with his Majesty's Desires, and obtain his Consent, entertain the same; in the mean time no way declining their Ordinance, and to express their carnest Zeal to correspond with his Majesty's Desire (in all things that might consist with he peace and safety of the Kingdom, and the trust reposed in them) did pass that Bill, and therein omitted the Preamble inserted before the Ordinance, limited the time to less than two years, and confined the Authority of the Lieutenants to these three particulars, namely, Rebellin, Insurrection, and Foreign Invasion, and returned the same to his Majesty for his Royal Assent: But all these Expressions of Affection and Loyalty, all those Desires and earnest Endeavours to comply with his Majesty, hath (to their great grief and sorrow) produced no better effect than an absolute denial, even of that which his Majesty by his former Messages, as we conceive, had promised; the Advice of evil and wicked Councils, receiving still more credit with him, than that of his Great Council of Parliament, in a matter of so high importance, that the safety of his Kingdom, and the peace of his People depends upon it. But now, what must be the exceptions to this Bill? Not any, sure, that were to the Ordinance; for a care was taken to give satisfaction in all these Particulars. Then the exception was, because that the disposing and execution thereof was referred to both Houses of Parliament, and his Majesty Excluded; and now that by the Bill the power and execution is ascertain'd, and reduced to particulars, and the Law of the Realm made the Rule thereof; his Majesty will not trust the Persons. The power is too great, too unlimitted to trust them with. But what is that power? Is it any other, but in express terms to suppress Rebellion, Insurrection, and Foreign Invasion? And who are those Persons? Are they not such as were nominated by the Great Council of the Kingdom, and assented to by his Majesty? And is it too great a power to trust those persons with the suppression of Rebellion, Insurrection, and Foreign Invasion? Surely the most wicked of them that advised his Majesty to this Answer, cannot suggest but that it is necessary for the safety of his Majesty's Royal Person, and the peace of the Kingdom, such a power should be put in some hands, and there is no pretence of exception to the persons; his Majesty for the space of above fifteen years together, thought, not it power, far exceeding this, to be too great to intrust particular Persons with, to whose Will the Lives and Liberties of his People by Martial Laws were made subject; for such was the power given to Lord Lieutenants and Deputy Lieutenants in every County of this Kingdom, and that without the consent of his People, or authority of Law; but now in case of extream necessity, upon Advice of both Houses of Parliament for no longer space than two years, a lesser power, and that for the safety of the King and People is thought too great to trust particular persons with, though named by both Houses of Parliament, and approved of by his Majesty himself: And surely, if there be a necessity to settle the Militia (which his Majesty was pleased to confess) the persons cannot be trusted with less power than this, to have it at all effectual: And the Precedents of former Ages, when there happened a necessity to raise such a power, never streightened that power to a narrow compass; witness the Commissions of Array in several Kings Reigns, and often issued out by the Consent and Authority of Parliament The Lords and Commons therefore intrusted with the safety of the Kingdom, and peace of the People (which they call God to witness is their only aim) finding themselves denied these their so necessary and just Demands, and that they can never be discharged before God and Man, if they should suffer the safety of the Kingdom, and peace of the People to be exposed to the malice of the malignant Party at home, or the fury of Enemies from abroad: And knowing no other way to encounter the imminent and approaching danger, but by putting the People into a fit posture of defence, do resolve to put their said Ordinance in present execution, and do require all persons in Authority, by virtue of the said Ordinance, forthwith to put the same in execution, and all others to obey it, according to the Fundamental Laws of the Kingdom in such Cases, as they tender the upholding of the True Protestant Religion, the safety of his Majesty's Person, and his Royal Posterity, the peace of the Kingdom, and the being of this Commonwealth.
Jovis 5. Maii, 1642.
Ordered by the Lords and Commons Assembled in Parliament, That this Declaration shall be forthwith Printed and Published.
Joh. Brown, Cler. Parliament.
His Majesty's Answer, by way of Declaration, to a Printed Paper, intituled, A Declaration of both Houses of Parliament, in Answer to His Majesty's last Message concerning the Militia.
King's Reply to the Parliaments Declaration of 5. May, about the Militia.
We very well understand how much it is below the High and Royal Dignity (wherein God hath placed Us) to take notice, much more to trouble our self with answering those many Scandalous, Seditious Pamphlets, and Printed Papers, which are scattered with such great License throughout the Kingdom (notwithstanding our earnest Desire so often, in vain, pressed for a Reformation) tho we find it evident, that the Minds of many of our weak Subjects have been, and still are poysoned by those Means, and that so general a Terror hath possessed the Minds and Hearts of all Men, that while the Presses swarm (and every Day produceth new Tracts against the Established Government of the Church and State) most Men want the Courage, or the Conscience to Write, or the Opportunity, and Encouragement to publish such composed, sober Animadversions, as might either preserve the Minds of our good Subjects from such Infection, or restore and recover them, when they are so infected; but we are contented to let our Self fall to any Office that may undeceive our People, and to take more Pains this Way by our own Pen, than ever King hath done, when we find any Thing that seems to carry the Authority, or Reputation of either, or both Houses of Parliament, and will not have the same Refuted or Disputed by common and vulgar Pens, 'till we are throughly informed, whether those Acts have in Truth that Countenance and Warrant they pretend, which Regard of ours, we doubt not, but in Time will recover that due Reverence (the Absence whereof we have too much Reason to complain of) to our Person, and our Messages, which in all Ages hath been paid (and no doubt is due) to the Crown of England.
We have therefore taken notice of a Printed Paper, intituled, A Declaration of both Houses of Parliament, in Answer to our last Message concerning the Militia, published by Command; the which we are unwilling to believe (both for the Matter of it, the Expressions in it, and the Manner of Publishing it) can result from the Consent of both Houses; neither do we know by what lawful Command such uncomely, irreverent Mention of Us can be published to the World. And though Declarations of this kind have of late (with too much Boldness) broken in upon Us and the whole Kingdom, when one or both Houses have thought fit to Communicate their Councils and Resolutions to the People; yet we are unwilling to believe that such a Declaration as this, should be published in Answer to our Message, without vouchsafing at least to send it to Us as their Answer. Their Business for which they are met by our Writ and Authority, being to Council Us for the Good of our People, not to Write against Us to our People, and no Consent of ours for their long continuing together, enabling them to do any Thing, but what they were first summoned by our Writ to do: At least we will believe, though Misunderstanding and Jealousie (the Justice of God will overtake the Fomenters of that Jealousie, and the Promoters and Contrivers of that Misunderstanding) might produce (to say no worse) those very untoward Expressions, that if those Houses had contrived that Declaration, as an Answer to our Message, they would have vouchsafed some Answer to the Question proposed in ours; which we professed did, and must evidently prevail over our Understanding; and in their Wisdom and Gravity, they would have been sure to have stated the Matters of Fact, as (at least to ordinary Understandings) might be unquestionable; neither of which is done by that Declaration.
We desire to know why we were by that Act absolutely excluded from any Power, or Authority in the Execution of the Militia, and we must appeal to all the World, whether such an Attempt be not a greater and Juster Ground for Fear and Jealousie in Us, than any one that is avowed for those Destructive Fears and Jealousies, which are so publickly own'd, almost to the Ruin of the Kingdom. But we have been told, That we must not be jealous of our great Council of both Houses of Parliament; We are not, no more than they are of Us, their King; and as hitherto they have not avowed any Jealousie of, or Disaffection to our Person; imputed all to our Evil Counsellors, to a malignant Party that are not of their Minds: So we do (and we do it from our Soul) profess no Jealousie of our Parliament, but some Turbulent, Seditious, and Ambitious Natures, which (being not so clearly discerned) may have an Influence, even up on the Actions of both Houses: And if this Declaration hath passed by such consent (which we are not willing to believe) it is not impossible, but that the Apprehension of such Tumults, which have driven Us from the City of London, for the Safety of our Person, may make such an Impression in other Men (not able to remove from the danger, to make their Consent, or not to own a Dissent in Matters not agreeable to their Conscience or Understanding.
We mentioned in that our Answer, our dislike of the putting of their Names out of the Bill, whom before they recommended to Us in their pretended Ordinance, and the leaving out, by special Provision, the present Lord Mayor of London, to all which the Declaration affords no Answer to that our Message, and therefore we cannnot suppose it was intended for an Answer to that our Message; which whosoever looks upon, will find to be in no Degree answered by that Declaration.
But it informs all our Subjects, after the mention with what Humility the Ordinance was prepared, and presented to Us, (a Matter very evident in the Petitions and Messages concerning it) and our Refusal to give our Consent, notwithstanding the several Reasons offered of the necessity thereof, for the securing of our Person, and the peace and safety of our People (whether any such Reasons were given, the weight of them, and whether they were not clearly and candidly answered by Us, the World will easily judge) that they were at last necessitated to make an Ordinance by Authority of both Houses to settle the Militia, warranted thereunto by the Fundamental Laws of the Land: But if that Declaration had indeed intended to have answered Us, it would have told our good Subjects what these Fundamental Laws of the Land are, and where to be found; and would at least have mentioned one Ordinance from the first beginning of Parliaments to this present Parliament, which endeavoured to impose any Thing upon the Subject without the King's Consent; for of such, all the Inquiry we can make could never produce Us one Instance: And if there be such a Secret of the Law, which hath lain hid from the Beginning of the World to this Time, and now is discovered to take away the Just, Legal Power of the King, we wish there be not some other Secret (to be discovered when they please) for the Ruin and Distruction of the Liberty of the Subject: For no doubt, if the Votes of both Houses have any such Authority to make a new Law, it hath the same Authority to repeal the old, and then what will become of the long Established Rights and Libe ties of the King and Subject, and particularly of Magna Charta, will be easily discerned by the most ordinary Understanding.
It is true, we did (out of the Tenderness of the Constitution of the Kingdom, and Care of the Law which we are bound to defend, and being most assured of the Unjustifiableness of the pretended Ordinance) invite and desire both our Houses of Parliament, to settle whatsoever should be fit of that Nature by Act of Parliament; but were we therefore obliged to pass whatsover should be brought to Us of that kind? We did say in our Answer to the Petition of both Houses, presented to Us at York, the 26th of March last, (and we have said the same in other Messages before) That we always thought it necessary the Business of the Miliia should be settled, and that we never deny'd the Thing, only deny'd the Way; and we say the same still, since the many Disputes and Votes upon Lord Lieutenants and their Commissions (which were begun by Us, or our Father) had so discountenanced that Authority, which for many Years together was happily looked upon with Reverence and Obedience by the People: We did, and do think it very necessary, that some wholsome Law be provided for that Business; but we declared in our Answer to the preten'ed Ordinance, we expected, that that necessary Power should be first invested in Us, before we consented to transfer it to other Men: Neither could it ever be imagined, that we could consent that a greater Power should be in the Hands of a Subject, than we were thought worthy to be trusted with our Self. And if it shall not be thought fit to make a new Act or Declaration in this Point, we doubt not, but we shall be able to grant such Commissions, which shall very legally enable those we trust, to do all Offices for the Peace and Quiet of the Kingdom, if any Disturbance shall happen.
But that Declaration faith, we were pleased to offer them a Bill ready drawn; and that they (to express their earnest Zeal to correspond with our Desire) did pass that Bill; yet all that Expression of Affection and Loyalty; all that earnest Desire of theirs to comply with Us, produced no better Effect than an absolute Denial, even of what by our former Messages (as that Declaration conceives) we had promised; and so proceeds (under the Pretence of mentioning evil and wicked Councils) to Censure and Reproach Us in a Dialect, that we are confident our good Subjects will read with much Indignation on our behalf. But sure, if that Declaration had passed the Examination of both Houses of Parliament, they would never have affirmed that the Bill we refused to pass was the same we sent to them, or have thought that our Message, wherein the Difference and Contrariety between the two Bills is so particularly set down, would be answered with the bare averring them to be one and the same Bill; no more would they have declared (when our exceptions to the Ordinance and the Bill are so notoriously known to all our People) that Care being taken to give Satisfaction in all the Particulars we had excepted against in the Ordinance, we had found new Exceptions to the Bill: And yet this very Declaration confesses that our Exception to the Ordinance was, that in the Disposing and Execution thereof we were excluded; and was not this an Express Reason in our Answer for Refusal of the Bill, which this Declaration will needs confute? But the Power was no other than to suppress Rebellion, Insurrection, and Foreign Invasion; and the Persons trusted no other than such as were nominated by the Great Council of the Kingdom, and assented to by Us; and that Declaration asks, if that be too great a Power to trust these Persons with? Indeed, while so great Liberty is used in Voting, and Declaring Men to be Enemies to the Commonwealth, (in English Phrase we scarcely understand and in Censuring Men for their Service and Attendance upon our Person, and in our Lawful Commands, great heed must be taken into what Hands we commit such a Power to suppres: Insurrection and Rebellion: And if Insurrection and Rebellion have found other Definitions, than what the Law hath given them, we must be sure that no Lawful Power shall justifie those Definitions; and if there be Learning found out to make Sir John Hotham's taking Arms against Us. and keeping our Town and Fort from Us, no Treason and Rebellion, we know not whether a new Discovery may not find it Rebellion in Us to defend our Self from such Arms, and to endeavour to recover what is so taken from Us; and therefore it concerns Us ('till the known Law of the Land be allowed to be Judge between Us to take heed into what hands we commit such Power: Besides, can it be thought, that because we are willing to trust certain Persons, that we are obliged to trust them in whatsoever they are willing to be trusted? We say, no private Hands are fit for such a Trust, neither have we departed from any Thing (in the least Degree) we offered, or promised before, tho' we might with as much Reason have withdrawn our Trust from some Persons we before had accepted, as they did from others whom they recommended. For the Power which we are charged to have committed to particular Persons, for the Space of Fifteen Years by our Commissions of Lieutenancy; it is notoriously known, that it was not a Power created by Us, but continued very many Years, and in the most happy Times this Kingdom hath enjoyed; (even those of our renowned Predecessors Queen Elizabeth, and our Father of Happy Memory) and whatever Authority was granted by those Commissions, which were kept in the old Forms, the same was determined at our Pleasure, and as know not, that they produced any of those Calamities, which might give our good subjects cause to be so weary of them, as to run the Hazard of so much Mischief, as that Bill we refused might possibly have produced.
For the Precedents of former Ages in the Commissions of Array we doubt not, but when any such are issued out that the King's Consent was always obtained, and the Commissions determinable at his Pleasure and then what the Extent of Power was, will be nothing applicable to this Case of the Ordinance.
But whither that Declaration bath refuted our Reasons for our Refusal to pass the Bill, or no, it hath Resolved, and Required all Persons in Authority, thereby to put the Ordinance in present Execution, and all others to obey it, according to the Fundamental Laws of the Land. But we, whom God hath trusted to maintain and defend those Fundamental Laws (which, we hope, he will bless to secure Us) do declare, that there is no Legal Power in either, or both Houses upon any Pretence whatsoever, without our Consent, to Command any Part of the Militia of this Kingdom; nor hath the like ever been commanded by either or both Houses, since the first foundation of the Laws of the Land; and that the Execution of, or the Obedience to that pretended Ordinance is against the Fundamental Laws of the Land, against the Liberty of the Subject, and the Right of Parliaments, and a high Crime in any that shall henceforth execute the same. And we do therefore Charge and Command all our Loving Subjects, of what Degree or Quality soever, upon their Allegiance, and as they tender the Peace of this Kingdom, from henceforth, not to Muster, Levy, Array, Summon, or Warn any of our Train'd-Bands to Rise, Muster, or March by Virtue, or under Colour of that pretended Ordinance. And to this Declaration and Command of Ours, We expect and require a full Submission and Obedience from all our Loving Subjects, upon their Allegiance, as they will answer the contrary at their Perils; and as they tender the Upholding of the True Protestant Religion, the Safety of Our Person, and Our Royal Posterity, the Peace and Being of this Kingdom.
By the KING.
A Proclamation, forbidding all His Majesty's Subjects belonging to the Train'd-Bands, or Militia of this Kingdom, to Rise, March, Muster, or Exercise, by Virtue of any Order or Ordinance of one, or both Houses of Parliament, without Consent or Warrant from His Majesty, upon Pain of Punishment according to the Laws.
May 27, 1642. King's Proclamation against the Militia's being raised by the Parliament.
Whereas by the Statute made in the 7 th. Year of King Edward the First, the Prelates, Earls, Barons, and Commonalty of the Realm affirmed in Parliament, That to the King it belongeth, and His Part it is, by His Royal Seigniory, straightly to defend wearing of Armour, and all other Force against the Peace, at all Times, when it shall please Him, and to punish them, which shall do contrary, according to the Laws and Usages of the Realm, and hereunto all Subjects are bound to aid the King, as their Sovereign Lord, at all Seasons, when need shall be. And whereas We understand, that expresly contrary to the said Statute and other good Laws of this Our Kingdom, under Colour and Pretence of an Ordinance of Parliament without Our Consent, or any Commission or Warrant from Us, the Train'd Bands and Militia of this Kingdom have been lately and are intended to be put in Arms, and drawn into Companies in a Warlike manner, whereby the Peace and Quiet of our Subjects is, or may be Disturbed; We being desirous by all Gratious and Fair Admonitions to prevent that some Malignant Persons in this our Kingdom, do not by Degrees reduce our good Subjects from their due Obedience to Us, and the Laws of this our Kingdom, subtilly endeavouring by a general Combustion or Confusion to hide their mischievous Designs and Intentions against the Peace of this our Kingdom, and under a specious Pretence of putting our Train'd-Bands into a Posture, draw and engage our good Subjects into a Warlike Opposition against Us, as our Town of Hull is already, by the Treason of Sir John Hotham, who at first pretended to put a Garrison into the same, only for our Security and Service.
We do therefore by this our Proclamation expresly Charge and Command all our Sheriffs, and Collonels, Lieutenant Collonels, Serjeant-Majors, Offcers, and Soldiers belonging to the Train'd-Bands of this our Kingdom and likewise all High and Petty Constables, and other our Officers and Subjects whatsoever upon their Allegiance, and as they tender the peace of this our Kingdom, not to Muster, Levy, Raise, or March, or to Summon or Warn upon any Warrant, Order, or Ordinance from one, or both Houses of Parliament (whereto we have not, or shall not give our express Consent) any of our Train'd-Bands, or other Forces to Rise, Muster, March, or Exercise, without express Warrant under our Hand, or Warrant from Our Sheriff of the County, grounded upon a particular Writ to that Purpose, under Our Great Seal. And in case any of our Train'd-Bands shall raise, or gather together, contrary to this our Command, We shall then call them in due Time to a strict Account, and proceed Legally against them as Violaters of of the Laws, and Disturbers of the Peace of the Kingdom.
Given at our Court at York, the 27th Day of May, 1642.
God Save the King.
A Declaration of the Lords and Commons in Parliament, concerning His Majesty's Proclamation, May the 27th, 1642.
Parliaments Declaration in Answer to the said Proclamation.
The Lords and Commons having perused his Majesty's Proclamation forbidding all his Majesty's Subjects belonging to the Train'd-Bands, or Militia of this Kingdom, to rise, march, muster, or exercise by Virtue of any Order or Ordinance of one or both Houses of Parliament, without Consent or Warrant from his Majesty, upon Pain of Punishment according to the Laws.
Do thereupon declare, That neither the Statute of the 7th of Edward the First therein vouched, nor any other Law of this Kingdom doth restrain or make void the Ordinance agreed upon by both Houses of Parliament, for the ordering and disposing the Militia of the Kingdom in this Time of extream and imminent Danger, nor expose his Majesty's Subjects to any Punishment for obeying the same. Notwithstanding that his Majesty hath refused to give his Consent to that Ordinance, but ought to be obeyed by the Fundamental Laws of this Kingdom.
The Declaration of 7. Edw. the First, quoted in his Majesty's Proclamation, runneth thus; 'The King to the Justice of his Bench sendeth geeting: Whereas of late, before certain Persons deputed to treat upon sundry Debates, had between us and certain great Men of our Realm, amongst other things, it was accorded, That in our next Parliament, after provision shall be made by us and the common Assent of the Prelates, Earls, and Barons, that in all Parliaments, Treaties, and other Assemblies, which should be made in the Realm of England for ever, that every Man shall come without all Force and Armour, well and peaceably to the Honour of us, and the Peace of us and our Realm, and now in our next Parliament at Westminster, after the said Treaties, the Prelates, Earls, Barons, and the Commonalty of our Realm there assembled to take Advice of this Business, have said that to us belongeth, and our part is through our Royal Seigniory straitly to defend Force of Armour, and all other Force against our Peace at all Times, when it shall please us, und to punish them which shall do contrary according to our Laws and Usages of our Realm; and hereunto they are bound to aid us as their Sovereign Lord at all Seasons when need shall be: We command you, that you cause these things to be read before you in the said Bench, aed there to be enrolled. Given at Westminster the 30th Day of October.
The Occasion of this Declaration for the restraint of Armed Men from coming to the Parliament to disturb the Peace of it, is very improperly alledged for the maintenance of such Levies as are now raised against the Parliament, the Title of the Statute being thus, To all Parliaments and Treaties, every Man shall come without Force and Arms; so that the Question is not whether it belong to the King or no, to restrain such Force, but if the King shall refuse to discharge that Duty and Trust, whether there is not a Power in the two Houses, to provide for the Safety of the Parliament and Peace of the Kingdom, which is the End for which the Ordinance concerning the Militia was made and being agreeable to the Scope and Purpose of the Law, cannot in reason be adjudged to be contrary to it, for although it do affirm it to be in the King, yet it doth not exclude those in whom the Law hath placed a Power for that Purpose, as in the Courts of Justice, that Sheriffs and other Officers and Ministers of those Courts, and as their Power is derived from the King by his Patents, yet cannot it not be restrained by his Majesty's Command, by his Great Seal, or otherwise, much less can the Power of Parliament be concluded by his Majesty's Command, because the Authority thereof is of a higher and more eminent Nature than any of those Courts.
It is acknowledged that the King is the Fountain of Justice and Protection, but the Acts of Justice and Protection are not exercised in his own Person, nor depend upon his Pleasure, but by his Courts, and by his Ministers who must do their Duty therein, though the King in his own Person should forbid them: and therefore if Judgments should be given by them against the King's Will and Personal Command, yet are they the King's Judgments.
The High Court of Parliament is not only a Court of Judicature, enabled by the Laws to adjudge and determine the Rights and Liberties of the Kingdom, against such Patents and Grants of his Majesty as are prejudicial there-unto, although strengthned by his Personal Commands, and by his Proclamation under the Great Seal, but it is likewise a Council to provide for the Necessity, to prevent the imminent Dangers, and preserve the publick Peace and Safety of the Kingdom, and to declare the King's Pleasure in those things that are requisite thereunto, and what they do herein hath the stamp of Royal Authority, although his Majesty seduced by evil Council, do in his own Person oppose or interrupt the same, for the King's Supream and Royal Pleasure is exercised and declared in this High Court of Law and Council after a more eminent and obligatory manner, than it can be by any personal Act or Resolution of his own.
Seeing therefore the Lords and Commons which are his Majesty's greatest and highest Council have ordained, that for the present and necessary defence of the Realm, the Train'd-Bands and Militia of this Kingdom should be ordered according to that Ordinance, and that the Town of Hull should be committed to the Custody of Sir John Hotham to be preserved from the attempts of Papists, and other malignant Persons, who thereby might put the Kingdom into a combustion, which is so far from being a force against the King's Peace, that it is necessary for the keeping and securing thereof, and for that end alone is intended; and all his loving Subjects, as well by the Law as by other Laws are bound to be obedient thereunto, and what they do therein is according to that Law to be interpreted to be done in aid of the King, in discharge of that Trust which he is tyed to perform, and it is so far from being liable to punishment, that if they should refuse to do it, or be perswaded by any Commission or Command of his Majesty to do the contrary, they might justly be punish'd for the same, according to the Laws and Usages of the Realm, for the King by his Sovereignty is not enabled to destroy his People, but to protect and defend them; and the High Court of Parliament, and all other his Majesty's Officers and Ministers ought to be subservient to that Power and Authority; which Law hath placed in his Majesty to that purpose, though he himself in his own Person should neglect the same.
Wherefore the Lords and Commons do declare the said Proclamation to be void in Law, and of none effect; for that by the Constitution and Policy of this Kingdom, the King by his Proclamation, cannot declare the Law contrary to the Judgment and Resolution of any of the inferiour Courts of Justice, much less against the High Court of Parliament; for if it were admitted that the King by his Proclamation may declare a Law, thereby his Proclamations will in effect become Laws, which would turn to the subverting of the Law of the Land, and the Rights and Liberties of the Subjects.
The End of the Fourth Chapter.
And the Lords and Commons do require and command all Constables, petty Constables, and all other his Majesty's Officers and Subjects whatsoever, to muster, levy, raise, march, and exercise, or to summon, or warn any upon Warrant from the Lieutenants, Deputy-Lieutenants, Captains, or other Officers of the Train'd-Bands, and all others according to the said Ordinance of both Houses, and shall not presume to muster, levy, raise, march, or exercise by Virtue of any Commission or other Authority whatsoever, as they will answer the contrary at their Peril. And in their so doing, they do further declare, That they shall be protected by the Power and Authority of both Houses of Parliament, and that whosoever shall oppose, or question, or hinder them in the Execution of the said Ordinance, shall be proceeded against as Violaters of the Laws, and Disturbers of the Peace of the Kingdom.