Historical Collections of Private Passages of State: Volume 4, 1640-42. Originally published by D Browne, London, 1721.
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An Act for the better levying and raising of Mariners, and Sailors, and others for the present Guarding of the Seas, and the necessary Defence of this Realm, and other his Majesty's Dominions, was brought in by the Clerk ready engross'd, read a third Time (Mr. Martin spoke against the passing it, but none else) and so it passed upon the Question, and was sent up to the Lords by Mr. Glyn.
Mr. Glyn moved touching Mr. Browning, a Parson of Easton in Essex, that being newly come from London, he should say to one Francis Bowtell, High Constable of the Hundred of That the Canons and Oath made in the Late Synod by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the rest, were as good as the Protestation of the Parliament, that the Five Members of the House of Commons lately accused of High-Treason, were justly accused, and that there were forty more among them guilty of the same Crime; that the King's coming to the House of Commons on the 4th of January last was a just Act. He named also some Members of the House of Commons, that had been Accusers of, and were to be Witnesses against the Traitors, as he called them. All which the said Francis Bowtell being called in, justify'd to the House: And Sir Simon d'Ewes informed the House that the said Browning was a notable Arminian and an Altar-adorer. Whereupon he was sent for in Custody as a Delinquent.
Sir Nathaniel Barnardiston one of the Knights of the Shire for Suffolk, brought a Letter ready drawn for the Knights and Burgesses of that County, to send unto several Towns there, where cloathing was exercised, to desire them not to repair to London with any Numbers. Of which three Copies were sent, one to the Mayor of Sudbury, a second to Sir William Spring, to be read in the Town of Ipworth, and a third to the Town of Lavenham.
The Bill touching Monopolies of Wines, having after a long Debate, been referred to a Committee; the House fell into a Debate concerning Mr Richard Long and Mr. Hooker, being the two Bugesses serving in the House for Bristow, whose Names were expressed amongst many others in the said Bill, to have been Partakers in the Monopoly of Wines; that they should no longer sit in the House, and that it was an Offence for them to have sitten there so long. Mr. Long being then in the House, spoke in vindication of himself; and after a short Debate, the Question concerning him and his Fellow Burgess Mr. Hooker, was referred to the Committee for Monopolies.
A Letter was read in the House from Mr. Hugh Murrell, directed to the Speaker, that divers Irish-men were lately gone from thence, and did pretend Authority from the Parliament for their Passage: That divers Letters were sent out of France to divers Inhabitants of Dover, in which it was supposed there might be Letters of Danger enclosed, but that nobody had Power to search and open them. That the Castle of Dover was out of repair, and unfurnished of Arms and Ammunition. That the Irish were so oppress'd with Taxes, that they had scarce Bread left, and would be willing to partake the Plenty of England.
Sir Henry Vane the Elder, who had lately been put out of the Secretary's Place, said, that he wonder'd by whose Hand those Men had Passes to go beyond-Sea: For when himself had the Honour lately to serve in the Secretary's Place, he knew that such Passes were to come through his Hand: But nothing could be resolved on 'till Murrel were known, or he who wrote the Letter; whose Credit the House concluded to enquire after.
Mr. Denzil Hollis deliver'd in an Examination taken before Sir Thomas Grymes and Sir John Lonthall, two Justices of the Peace in Surry, touching Words spoken by one John Sampson, a mean Fellow, that the Kingdom would never be in quiet 'till Mr. Pym, and such others as he, were hanged up. The said Sampson being brought into the House, acknowledged he might speak those Words, being in Drink; so being withdrawn, it was Ordered he should be sent back to the Justices of Peace, to be sent to the House of Correction.
At this time the Princess, the Lady Mary, according to the Desire of the States of Holland was preparing to go thither, and the Queen desired to accompany her, to which his Majesty gave Consent, but thought fit to acquaint the Parliament therewith.
Also a Petition came in the Names of the Knights, Gentlemen, and Freeholders of the County of Kent, which was read in the House of Commons, acknowledging their great Care and Pains for the Publick. As also the Copy of another Petition to the Lords, praying their Conjunction with the House of Commons, in the Removal of the Popish Lords and Bishops out of the House of Peers, the evil Counsellors about the King, and the Vindication of the Privileges of Parliament.
Upon a Petition delivered by many Inhabitants of Suffolk and part of Essex to the House of Commons, with a Copy of a Petition to the Lords, for Reformation in matters of Religion, declaring how their free trading was stopt by the present Distractions of the Times. Thanks was returned to the Petitioners for their care and obedience to the Orders of the House, in not coming in Multitudes. They also prayed in their Petition, that the Popish Lords and Bishops Votes might be taken away and scandalous Ministers removed.
The Members of the House, who were sent to the King with Reasons to move his Majesty to give his Royal Assent, for the taking away all Temporal Jurisdictions from those in holy Orders, and to the Bill for pressing of Soldiers for Ireland, brought this Answer from the King, That for the first Matter it required Consideration, and for the second his Council had not seen or consider'd of it, but he would return as speedy an Answer as he could.
Petitions at this Time came to the Parliament in the Names of the Knights, Ministers, and Freeholders of the County of Oxford, Lincoln, and Northampton, with a Copy of other Petitions which were presented to the Lords, (to all which Thanks were returned) desiring the Removal of Popish Lords and Bishops out of the House of Peers, and a good Concurrence between both Houses.
Upon a Petition delivered to the House of Commons, from divers well-affected Persons, who therein offered to raise Forces upon their own Charge, and to maintain them for the reducing the Rebels in Ireland, and afterward to receive their Recompence out of the Rebels Estates, as the Parliament should order, the Consideration thereof was referr'd to the Consideration of the Irish Committee.
The second, for pressing of Soldiers for the Service of Ireland, reciting, That whereas by the Laws of the Realm none of his Majesty's Subjects ought to be impressed, or compelled to go out of his County to serve as a Soldier in the Wars, except in case of Necessity of sudden coming of strange Enemies, or except they be bound by Tenure of their Lands; yet for the Prevention of the Plots and Conspiracies in the Kingdom of Ireland, and of this Kingdom of England, and for the Suppressing of that dangerous Rebellion, it's Enacted, That from the 1st. of December, 1641. to the 1st. of November, 1642. the Justices, &c. may Raise, Levy, and Impress so many Men for Soldiers, Gunners, and Chirurgeons, as shall be appointed by his Majesty and both Houses of Parliament for the Service of England or Ireland. And if any refuse; to be committed to Gaol for Six Months, and also 'till he pay 10 l. and for Default of Payment, to remain in Prison without Bail or Mainprize Twelve Months more.
His Majesty's Message to both Houses of Parliament, February the 14th, 1641.
'Though his Majesty is assured, that his having so suddenly passed these two Bills, being of so great Importance, and so earnestly desired by both Houses, will serve to assure his Parliament, That he desires nothing more than the Satisfaction of his Kingdom; yet that he may further manifest to both Houses how impatient he is, 'till he find out a full Remedy to compose the present Distempers, he is pleased to signifie.
'That his Majesty is resolved, that the Seven condemn'd Priests shall be immediately banished (if his Parliament shall consent thereunto:) And his Majesty will give present Order (if it shall be held fit by both Houses) that a Proclamation issue to require all Romish Priests within twenty Days to depart the Kingdom, and if any shall be apprehended after that Time, his Majesty assures both Houses, on the Word of a King, that he will grant no Pardon to any such, without consent of his Parliament.
'And because his Majesty observes great and different Troubles to arise in the Hearts of his People, concerning the Government and Liturgy of the Church, his Majesty is willing to declare, That he will refer that whole Consideration to the Wisdom of his Parliament, which he desires them to enter into speedily, that the present Distractions about the same may be composed. But desires not to be pressed to any single Act on his Part, 'till the whole be so digested and settled by both Houses, that his Majesty may clearly see what is fit to be left, as well as what is fit to be taken away.
'For Ireland, (in behalf of which his Majesty's Heart bleeds) as his Majesty hath concurred with all Propositions made for that Service by his Parliament, so he is resolved to leave nothing undone for their Relief which shall fall within his possible Power, nor will refuse to venture his own Person in that War, if his Parliament shall think it convenient, for the Reduction of that miserable Kingdom.
'And lastly, His Majesty taking Notice by several Petitions of the great and general Decay of Trade in this Kingdom, and more particularly of that of Clothing, and new Draperies, (concerning which he received lately at Greenwich a modest, but earnest Petition from the Clothiers of Suffolk) of which Decay of Trade his Majesty hath a very deep Sense, both in respect of the extream Want and Poverty it hath brought, and must bring upon many Thousands of his loving subjects, and of the Influence it must have in a very short Time upon the very subsistence of this Nation, doth earnestly recommend the Consideration of that great and weighty Business to both Houses, promising them, that he will most readily concur in any Resolution their Wisdoms shall find out, which may conduce to so necessary a Work.
The Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament, do with much Joy receive and with Thankfulness acknowledge your Majesty's Grace and Favour in giving your Royal Assent to a Bill, intituled, An Act for dis-enabling all Person in Holy Orders to exercise any Temporal Jurisdiction or Authority: And also your Majesty's Care for Ireland, expressed in the Dispatch of the Bill of Presing, so much importing the Safety of that, and this Kingdom.
A Message from a Committee of both Houses of Parliament to the Spanish Ambassadour, to make Stay of Ships at Dunkirk, intended for the Supply of the Rebels in Ireland.
The Lords and Commons have commanded us to intimate to the Spanish Ambassadour, the Advertisement that they have received of certain Ships lying in Dunkirk loaded with Ammunition ready to set sail, intended for he Relief of the Rebels of Ireland: This they hold contrary to the Articles agreed upon, in the Treaties of Peace between the two Crowns; and therefore the Ambassadour is to be moved from both Houses, to send speedily to Dunkirk, and to all other his Master's Dominions, and unto the King his Master, to make Stay of those and all such Ships as may carry any Supply of Men, Victuals, Money, or any other Aid to his Majesty's Subjects, that at this present are in Rebellion in Ireland, which otherwise will be understood to be a Breach of the Treaties between the Crowns of England and Spain, and so resented by the Parliament.
A Message having been sent to the Queen from both Houses, to vindicate themselves from some false Reports of a Design to accuse her of Treason, and praying her Majesty to discover the Authors of those Reports and Aspersions, her Majesty returned this Answer.
'The Queen having received a Message from both Houses of Parliament by the Earl of Newport and the Lord Seymore, intimating unto her, that she had been told, that the House of Commons had an Intention to accuse her of High-Treason, and that Articles to that purpose had been shewed unto her, returns this Answer,
'That there was a general Report of an Accusation intended against her, but she never saw any Articles in Writing; and having no certain Author either for the one or for the other, she gave little Credit thereunto, and much less now being assured from the House of Commons, that never any such Thing came into their Thoughts.
'Nor will she believe they will lay an Aspersion upon her, who hath ever been very unapt, so far, to misconstrue the Action of any one Person, and much more the Proceedings of Parliament, and shall at all Times wish a happy Understanding between the King and his People.
At this Time there were certain Letters taken coming from beyond-Seas from George Lord Digby, to Mr. Secretary Nicholas, and to Sir Lewis Dives, and others also with them to the Queen, which last was debated whether it was fit to be opened, and at length it was resolved for the Opening of the Letters; whereupon the Commons sent a Message to the Lords for a Committe of both Houses to open the Letters and report.
A Petition from the County of York, with a Copy of one to his Majesty, and another to the Peers, were read and approved of by the House; and Thanks given to the Petitioners by the Speaker, for their great Care of the Church and Commonwealth.
The Committee appointed to consider of the Lord Digby's Letters, made their Report; and the Business was referred to a Committee, to frame a Declaration to his Majesty, of Reasons for the Opening these Letters, and the Copy of the Letters to be sent to his Majesty; whereupon there was drawn up the following Message:
A Message from both Houses of Parliament, sent to the King and Queen's Majesties; touching certain Letters lately intercepted, and as it may be conjectured, sent from the Lord Digby to the Queen's Majesty.
Most Gracious Sovereign,
Your Majesty's most Loyal and Faithful Subjects the Lords and Commons in Parliament, have received your Message sent at the Instance of the Queen's Majesty, and upon Consideration thereof, to our great Joy and Content, find therein clear Expressions of Grace and Favour from both your Majesty's, for which we return our most humble Thanks, and have here withall sent the Transcript of that Letter required by your Majesty, as likewise of two other Letters directed to Master Secretary Nicholas and Sir Lewis Dives, all which were brought to us under one Cover Indorsed to Mr. Secretary, with Information that they were written by the Lord Digby, who being a Person fled from the Justice of Parliament, and one who had given many Evidences of Disaffection to the Publick Good, we conceived it necessary to open the two former; and finding sundry Expressions in them full of Asperity and Malignity to the Parliament, we thought it very probable that the like may be contained in that to her Majesty, and that it would be dishonourable to her Majesty and dangerous for the Kingdom if it should not be opened, wherein we were not a Whit deceived, as your Majesty may well perceive by the Contents thereof.
And although we cannot but be very sensible of the great Dishonour therein done to your Majesties, and the malicious Endeavours of fomenting and increasing the Jealousies betwixt your Majesty and your People; yet we are far from reflecting any thing upon the Queen, or expecting any Satisfaction from her Majesty, but impute all to the bold and invenomed Spirit of the Man; only we most earnestly beseech your Majesty to perswade the Queen, that she will not vouchsafe any Countenance to, or Correspondency with the Lord Digby, or any other of the Fugitives or Traitors, whose Offences now depend under the Examination and Judgment of Parliament, which we assure ourselves will be very effectual to further the Removal of all Jealousies and Discontents betwixt your Majesty and your People, and the settling the great Affairs of your Majesty and the Kingdom, in an assured State and Condition of Honour, Safety, and Prosperity.
The Letter from the Lord Digby to the Queen herein-mentioned, was as followeth:
I Shall not adventure to write unto your Majesty with Freedom but by Express, 'till such Time that I have a Cypher, which I beseech your Majesty to vouchsafe me. At this Time, therefore, I shall only let your Majesty know, where the humblest and most faithful Servant you have in the World is here at Middleborough, where I shall remain in the privatest way I can, 'till I receive Instruction how to serve the King and our Majesty in these Parts, if the King betake himself to a safe Place, where he may avow and protect his Servants from Rage (I mean) and Violence (for from Justice I will never implore it) I shall then live in Impatience and in Misery till I wait upon you: But if after all he hath done of late, he shall betake himself to the easiest and compliantest Ways of Accommodation, I am confident that then I shall serve him more by my Absence than by all my industry; and it will be a Comfort to me in all Calamities, if I can not serve you by my Actions, that I may do it in some kind by my Sufferings for your Sake, having, I protest to God, no Measure of Happiness or Misfortune in this World, but what I derive from your Majesty's Value of my Affection and Fidelity.
Middleborough, Jan. 21. 1641.
I Hope you will have received the Letter which I wrote unto you from a board Sir Jo. Pennington, wherein I gave you Account of the Accident of Oneal's Man, and why I thought fitting to continue my Journey into Holland; going still upon this ground, that if things go on by way of Accommodation, by my Absence the King will be advantaged. If the King declare himself and retire to a safe Place, I shall be able to wait upon him from hence, as well as out of any Part of England, over and above the Service I may do him here in the mean time. Besides that, I found all the Ports so strict, that if I had not taken this Opportunity of Sir John Pennington's Forwardness in the King's Service, it would have been impossible for me to have gotten away at any other Time.
I am now here at Middleborough, at the Golden Fleece upon the Market, at one George Peterson's House, where I will remain 'till I receive from you Advertisement of the State of Things, and likewise Instructions from their Majesties, which I desire you to hasten unto me by some safe Hand, and withal to send unto me a Cypher, whereby we may write unto one another surely. If you knew how easie a Passage it were, you would offer the King to come over for some few Days your self; God knows I have not a Thought towards my Country to make me blush, much less Criminal; but where Traitors have so great a Sway, the honestest Thoughts may prove most treasonable. Let Dick Shirley be dispatch'd hither speedily with such black Cloaths and Linnen as I have, and let your Letters be directed to the Baron of Sherburn, for by that Name I live unknown, let Care be taken for Bills of Exchange. Middleborough, Jan. 20, 1641. Yours.
The Committee of Lords appointed to Discover and Prevent Evil Counsellors about His Majesty, passed several Votes, which were reported to the House.
'That his Majesty be desired, that all Privy-Counsellors and Great Officers of State, except such as had their Places by Inheritance, be removed. That his Majesty would be pleased to receive none into those Places, but such as shall be recommended, by the humble Advice of both Houses of Parliament.
Upon Wednesday the 16th of February, certain Propositions for the Raising of Money for the more speedy and effectual Reducing of Ireland, proposing that not less than One Million of Money will perfect that Work.
Upon February 17. a Bill was read for Suppressing of divers Innovations in the Church, for the Abolishing of superstitious and scandalous Ministers and idolatrous Practices, the better Observation of the Lord's Day, called Sunday and for Settling of Preaching and Preachers was read the second Time, and committed.
Upon February 18. a Message was sent to the Lords for their Consent, in appointing the Earl of Holland to draw forth the Train'd-Bands upon Tuesday next, being Shrove-Tuesday, to prevent Disorders, &c.
A Message was sent from the Lords to the Commons on February the 19th, to signifie that the twelve Bishops were come to the House of Peers, which they thought fit to acquaint the House of Commons with, to the end that those Members of the House of Commons, who were to manage the Impeachment against them, might come up to the Lords House, whereupon certain Members of the House of Commons, who were of the long Robe, went up accordingly.
The Committee, appointed to draw up the Charge against the Lord Digby, made Report to the House, whereupon it was resolved upon the Question, That the House hath sufficient Grounds to accuse the Lord Digby of High-Treason.
Upon February 21. the House of Commons debated the King's Answer, sent on Saturday last to the Petition, for the Ordering of the Militia of the Kingdom, which was to this purpose, That it being a Matter of great weight, and his Queen and Daughter both going to Holland, he could not so suddenly consider of a particular Answer, but make respite untill his Return, which would be very suddenly.
Whereupon the House of Commons drew up another Petition, further to move his Majesty for a speedy Answer therein, for that the Dangers of the Kingdom were so great that it would not admit of Delay; the Lords also joyned in this Petition, and one Lord and two Commoners were sent to the King therewith.
A Letter brought to the House of Commons from Devonshire, informing, That there was a small Vessel driven into a Harbour in that Country by cross Winds that came from Dunkirk, wherein was Ammunition and some Commanders, and other Provisions going to assist the Rebels in Ireland, (as was suspected) whereupon the House Ordered that the said Vessel should be seized, and her Lading taken forth, and the Men found in her sent to the Parliament.
There was on Mr. Gardner, a rich Citizen, brought before the House of Commons, upon Intelligence given to the House, that he and some others had gone about to petition the King, and contradict an Order of both Houses for the Ordering of the Militia of the City, viz. that there should be a Committee of Citizens chosen by the Lord-Mayor and Common-Council, for the Ordering of the said Militia, which Proposition was first made to the Parliament by the City, and fully assented unto by the Lord-Mayor; whereupon the Common-Council, according to the Order, proceeded to the making of an Election, which was confirmed by an Order of both Houses: But the Citizens disapproving of the Election, alledging, That by their Charter their Lord-Mayor ought to be Lieutenant of the City to order the Militia, drew up a Petition for a new Election, and got about some 300 Hands to it. Of which Petition the House having Notice, appointed one Mr. Long, and some other (Members of the Commons) to enquire after it, who found the Petition with the said Mr. Gardner, and brought the same to the House: The said Mr. Gardner, upon his Examination, refusing to give Answer to some Questions propounded by the Committee, was, by Order of the House, sent to the Tower, for his Contempt.
About thirty or forty other Citizens came to the House of Commons and presented them with a Copy of the said Petition, which was drawn concerning the Militia, which was taken from Mr. Gardner by Order of the House, desiring Mr. Long might produce that Petition, and that it might be read in the House, and they also presented another Petition to the Lords concerning the same Business; but the House of Commons refusing to have the original Petition read in the House, for that there were many that subscribed thereunto, who had relinquish'd their Hands, gave Order that those Gentlemen that brought the Copy to the House, should subscribe their Hands to the same, which being done, and the Petition again presented, after a great Debate concerning it, Mr. Binion, one of the chief of them, was twice called into the House, and examined concerning it. The House taking some Offence at some Words spoken by him in justifying the Actions of himself and the others concerning that Business, and being called in the third Time, he absented himself, and could not be found, whereupon there was a Committee appointed presently to examine those Gentlemen severally, and to make Report thereof.
But that Committee had not sate long before there came a Message from the Lords to desire that there might be a Committee of the House of Commons appointed to joyn with the Lords, to consider of a Petition deliver'd by those Citizens to the Lords that Morning, whereupon the Committee of the Commons went up, and having spent some time in debate concerning it, they Ordered that those Citizens should be appointed again to attend the Committee the next Day to be examined, and the said Mr. Binion was afterwards Committed.
A Message from both Houses of Parliament unto his Majesty concerning the Prince his Son.
- 1. They conceive that his Majesty had resolved, that the Prince should stay at Hampton-Court untill his Majesty's Return.
- 2. That the Lord Marquess Hertford, appointed by his Majesty to be Governour of the Prince, and approved of and commanded by the Parliament to give his Personal Attendance on the Prince, is now so indisposed in his Health, that he is not able to attend the Prince to any other Place.
- 3. That the Prince his Removal, at this Time from Hampton Court may be a Cause to promote Jealousies and Fears in the Hearts of his Majesty's good Subjects, which they conceive very necessary to avoid.
Die Jovis, 24 Febr. 1641.
His Majesty's Answer to the Reasons he received, by way of Message, from both Houses concerning the Prince his Son.
'That his Majesty intended at his Remove from Hampton-Court with his Royal Consort, the Queen, towards Dover, that the Prince his Son should stay at Hampton-Court 'till his Majesty returned to some of his Houses, and thereupon as soon as his Majesty resolved, upon a certain Day, to be at Greenwich, he commanded that his Son should attend him there, which was no way contrary to his former Intention.
'2. That his Majesty was very sorry to hear of the Indisposition of the Marquess of Hertford, being the Person upon whom he principally relies for the Care of his dearest Son. But if that Indisposition should have lasted, his Majesty could no way think sit that his want of Health should have hinder'd the Prince from waiting upon his Majesty according to his Command, and therefore would have been much offended if the Prince had failed of meeting his Majesty according to his Appointment.
'3. To the Fears and Jealousies his Majesty knows not what Answer to give, not being able to imagine from what Grounds they proceed; but if any information have been given to that Purpose, his Majesty much desires that the same may be examined to the Bottom, and then he hopes, that their Fears and Jealousies will be hereafter continued only with reference to his Majesty's Rights and Honour.
An Ordinance of both Houses of Parliament, for the Safeguard of the Parliament, Tower, and City of London, under the Command of Serjeant Major General Skippon.
Whereas upon the 12th of January last past, (amongst other things in that Order,) is Ordered by the Lords and Commons in Parliament, in these Words, And for the better Safe-guard of the Tower; it is further Ordered by hath Houses of Parliament, that the Sheriffs of London and Middlesex, shall appoint and place a sufficient Guard about the Tower; both by Land and Water, under the Command of Serjeant Major General Skippon, Commander of the Guards of Parliament, and that these Guards be careful to see the former Order observed. Now whereas the said Serjeant Major having (in his great care and faithfulness) given his Advice to the said Sheriffs, concerning what Guards he conceived to be fitting, and how the same Guards ought to have been ordered by Water and Land, as he thought most advantagious for the said Service, whereas also the said Serjeant Major hath given his further Advice and Order to divers other Persons concerning the timely discovery, and preventing of any thing that might have been attempted or done contrary to the Intent of the said Order of both Houses of Parliament.
And whereas the said Serjeant Major Skippon, hath according to the Trust reposed in him by the City of London, placed the Train'd-Bands of the said City at the farther End of Tower-street; and in such other Places within and about the City, as he conceived to be most for the Safety of the City; all and every particular of the which Premisses, and whatsoever else in the same kind, and to the same Ends, that he the said Serjeant Major hath advised, or done, or shall advise, or do according to the Order aforesaid, is hereby will approved of, and fully warranted by both Houses of Parliament, as being for the real good Service of his Majesty, and the Common-wealth, as also for the Safety of the Parliament and City; and is in all, and every part thereof according to his Duty, the late Protestation, and the Laws of this Kingdom; and if any Person shall Arrest, or any other way trouble him for so doing, he doth break the Privilege of Parliament, violate the Liberty of the Subjects, and is hereby declared an Enemy to the Common-wealth.
The Votes of the Lords and Commons, upon the Propositions made by divers worthy and well-affected Persons for the speedy and effectual reducing of the Kingdom of Ireland.
The Lords and Commons taking into their serious Oonsiderations, as well the necessity of a speedy reducing of the Rebels of Ireland to their due obedience, as also the great sums of money, that the Commons of England have of late paid for the publick and necessary Affairs of the Kingdom, whereof the Lords and Commons are very sensible and desirous to imbrace all good and honourable Ways tending to his Majesty's Greatness and Profit, the settling of that Realm, and the ease of his Majesty's Subjects of England: And whereas divers worthy and well-affected Persons perceiving that many Millions of Acres of the Rebels Lands of that Kingdom, which go under the name of profitable Lands, will be confiscate, and to be disposed of; and that in case two Millions and a half of these Acres to be equally taken out of the four Provinces of that Kingdom, may be allotted for the satisfaction of such Persons as shall disburse any sums of money for the reducing of the Rebels there, would effectually accomplish the same, have made these Propositions following,
|For each Adventure of||200||1000 Acres in Ulster.|
|300||1000 Acres in Conaught.|
|450||1000 Acres in Munster.|
|600||1000 Acres in Leinster.|
All according to the English Measure, and consisting of Meadow, Arrable, and profitable Pasture, the Boggs, Woods, and barren Mountains, being cast in over and above those two Millions and a half of Acres to be holden in Free and Common Soccage of the King, as of his Castle at Dublin.
|Out of each Acre thereof in||Ulster||1.|
Whereby his Majesty's Revenue, out of those Lands, will be much improved besides the Advantages that he will have by the coming to his hands of all other the Lands of the Rebels and their personal Estates, without any Charge to his Majesty.
3. That for the erecting of Mannours, settling of Wasts and Commons, maintaining of preaching Ministers, creating of Corporations, and regulating of the several Plantations, one or more Commissions be hereafter granted by Authority of Parliament.
4. That money for this great occasion may be the more speedily advanced, all the undertakers in the City of London, and within 20 miles distant thereof, shall under-write their several summs before the 20th day of March, 1641. and all within 60 miles of London before the first of April, 1642. and the rest of the Kingdom before the 1st Day of May, 1642.
5. That the several summs to be under-written, shall be paid in at four payments, viz. one fourth part within ten days days after such under-writing, and the three parts at three months, three months, and three months, all to be paid into the Chamber of London.
6. That for the better securing of the said several summs accordingly, every one that doth so under-write, shall at the time of his subscription pay down the 20th part of the total summ that shall be by him then under-written.
And in case that the residue of his first 4th part be not paid in to such person or persons as shall be appointed to receive the same, within ten days before limited, then such party shall not only forfeit the 20th part of the summ total formerly deposited, but so much more of his first 4th payment to be added thereunto, as shall make up the one moiety of the said first payment; and if the same person shall fail in any other of the three payments, he shall then forfeit his entire first 4th part, and all the benefit of his subscription, which forfeiture shall accrue to the common benefit of the rest of the Undertakers.
The Lords and Commons, upon due and mature deliberation of these propositions, have approved of them, and given their consent unto the same, and will become humble Petitioners to his Majesty for his Royal Approbation thereof, and that hereafter he will be pleased, upon the humble suit of both Houses of Parliament, to give his Royal Assent to such Bills as they shall tender unto him for the settling of those propositions, and all other things necessarily conducing thereunto.
His Majesty's Gracious Answer and Assent declared unto the Propositions of both Houses of Parliament, February 24, 1641. was as followeth
'His Majesty being very glad to receive any Proposition that may repair the Calamity of his distressed Kingdom of Ireland, especially when it may be without burthen or imposition, and for the ease of his good Subjects of this Kingdom, hath graciously considered the overture made by both Houses of Parliament to that purpose, and returns this Answer:
'That as he hath offer'd, and is still ready to venture his own Royal Person for the recovery of that Kingdom, if his Parliament shall advise him there-unto, so he will not deny to contribute any other assistance he can to that service, by parting with any profit or advantage of his own there; and therefore (relying upon the Wisdom of his Parliament) doth consent to every proposition now made to him, without taking time to examine, whether this course may not retard the reducing of that Kingdom by exasperating the Rebels, and rend'ring them desperate of being received into Grace if they shall return to their Obedience.
Die Veneris, Febr. 25, 1641.
And for the better effecting of this Work, the Lords and Commons have thought fit to publish these ensuing Directions.
Whereas according to the proportion of Lands in the Propositions mentioned (being two millions and a half of Acres) the summs to be underwritten, will not exceed one million of money, it will be requisite, that together with the summs under-written, the day and time of each subscription be likewise set down, to the intent that those who do under-write before the million of money shall be made up, may not be excluded from the benefit of their respective subscriptions, in case they make payment of the respective summs according to the Propositions.
Nevertheless, if any shall under-write after the million of money shall be made up, they shall be admitted to the shares of such as (having under-written to the million) shall fail of payment according to the propositions, or else (at their election) shall be forthwith repaid all such summs as they shall have paid in, upon hope of taking benefit of the propositions.
- 2. The places to be appointed for the several under-writings, to be—for the Cities of London and Westminster, and the Counties of Surry and Middlesex the Chamber of London: For all other Counties in England and Wales, the Towns where the last Assizes were kept: But any of those Counties that shall desire to under-write in London, may be at liberty to do it there.
- 3. The persons to be imploy'd in taking the under-writings, and receiving the monies for London and Westminster, Middlesex and Surry, are to be such, as upon further consultation with the Citizens of London, shall be appointed. And in all other Counties respectively, the Sheriffs of the said Counties, who are to give Acquittances for such summs as they shall receive.
- 4. That printed Books of the Propositions, and his Majesty's Answer thereunto, and of the Instructions shall be sent, and Letters written from the Speaker to the several Sheriffs of the said Counties, who shall publish the Books and Letters at the next Assizes, and shall then likewise give publick notice of the times and places by them to be appointed, as well for the several under-writings, as for the payment of the summs that shall be under-written: And for the better publishing of these Books, the several Citizens and Burgesses of the House of Commons shall forthwith send down several Books and Letters to the Head Officers of their Cities and Boroughs respectively.
- 5. That the several Sheriffs shall from Week to Week send up to the Chamber of London, a true Lift of the Names and Summs subscribed, and of the time of the subscriptions.
- 6. For the better encouragement of such persons as shall be imploy'd for the City of London and the parts adjoyning, as likewise of the said Sheriffs, and such other persons as shall be by them imploy'd herein, it shall, and may be lawful for the said Sheriffs, and for the said persons appointed for the City of London respectively, to deduct and retain to his or their use, after the rate of one penny in the pound, for their pains and charges in receiving the said summs, and in returning the same.
- 7. That together with the printed Propositions and Letters from the Speaker, Paper-Books with Titles prefixed, shall be sent down to the Sheriffs of each County, in the beginning of which Books, next under the Titles, the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses respectively, that serve for the same, and who shall under-write any summ, according to the said Propositions, shall subscribe their Names and Summs in the first place.
The Lords and Commons being deeply sensible of the unspeakable Calamities, which his Majesty's good Subjects of the Kingdom of Ireland do now suffer by the barbarous Cruelties and Massacres of the Rebels there; and conceiving these Propositions herewith sent (being ratify'd by his Majesty's Royal Assent, and the unanimous Approbation of both Houses of Parliament) do undoubtedly tend to the speedy and effectual reducing of those bloody Rebels, the propagating of the Protestant Religion, the augmenting of the Greatness, and the Revenue of the Crown of England, and the establishing of an happy and firm Peace, for the future, in his Majesty's three Kingdoms; and all this to be effected (by God's Gracious Assistance) without the general Charge of the Subject, and to the great Advantage of those, that shall under-write, have thought fit to require you to publish these Printed Propositions and Instructions at this Lent-Assizes, to the Intent, that all his Majesty's good People within your County, may take notice of the benefit they may receive by under-writing in due time; and that so many of them, then present, and willing to subscribe, may give up a Note of their Names, Summs, and Dates of their Subscriptions to you, to be enter'd in the Paper-Books, mentioned in the Printed Instructions, which is forthwith to be sent unto you; and you are further directed hereby, at this Lent-Assizes, (if they be not post) by the Advice and Assistance of the Justices of Peace for your County, then present, to appoint certain days and places most convenient for this service, when, and where your self and the Justices of Peace within each Division, will be present, to receive the Names, Summs, and Times of Subscription of such his Majesty's well-affected Subjects within your County, as shall not have subscribed at this Lent-Assizes, their Names, Summs, and Times of Subscription, to be likewise enter'd in the Paper-Book; and if this Letter come to your Hands after the Assizes, then to appoint such Times and Places, as may best speed their Service. And further, your self, the Justices of the Peace, and the Ministers of God's Word, and Persons of Quality within your County, are hereby earnestly desired to shew themselves active and exemplary in advancing this great and pious Work; 'tis a service tending so much to the Glory of God, the Honour and Profit of his Majesty, and the Peace and Tranquility of his Three Kingdoms for the future. And you are likewise to inform those that shall under-write, that the Act of Parliament (which his Majesty hath promised to pass, for the settling of those two Millions and a half of Acres) is already in hand, and that the Lands are to be divided so indifferently by Lot among them that under-write, that no one Man whatsoever shall have more respect and advantage than other, in division. And lastly, you are to give a speedy Account to the Parliament of your Proceedings herein, and of those that do really advance this service: Thus not doubting of your utmost Care and Diligence herein, we bid you heartily Farewell.
And the substance of these Propositions was soon after reduced into a Bill, and having passed both Houses received his Majesty's Royal Assent, Anno 17. Car. And three other Additional Acts touching the same, passed Anno 18 Car. to admit Scotch and Dutch to subscribe, and to accept of Subscriptions for smaller Summs, as of 10 l. or 20 l. For which they were to have Lands in Ireland, proportionate to the former Proposals, &c.
A Committee sate in the Court of Wards concerning Relicks, Crucifixes, Organs, and Images in Churches, whereupon it was ordered by the House, That between this time and a prefixed Day in the Month of May, all those Relicks should be taken down, and in case of the Church-Wardens Neglect herein, any two Justices of the Peace within that County, should have power to execute the Parliaments Commands: And some were so zealous in taking down Crosses and Crucifixes, as they took down the Sign of Charing Cross, being the Sign of a Tavern, near that place where Charing Cross stood.
The Lords sent a Message to the Commons upon February 25. that they had received another Message from his Majesty in answer to their last Petition, concerning the ordering of the Militia of the Kingdom to this effect, That upon his Majesty's coming to Greenwich on Saturday next, he would return an absolute Answer concerning that Business.
Upon Saturday, February 26. Secretary Nicholaus sent a Letter to the House of Commons, which he had received lately from a great Person in Venice, giving him to understand, that the Pope of Rome was much incensed at the proceeding of this Parliament against Popish Priests and Romish Recusants, and if they so proceeded, his Holiness would cause an Army to be raised, and sent into Ireland, and that the Pope takes it ill that the Parliament will not discharge the seven Priests, whom his Majesty hath reprieved.
After the reading of this Letter, it was moved, that they should desire the Lords to joyn with them to move his Majesty, that the seven Priests might be presently hanged, and they drew up an Order that the Capuchin Fryars at Somerset House, should be presently apprehended, and brought to the Parliament.
Upon Monday the last of February, the Lords sent a Message to the Commons to inform them, that to those Lords, that were sent to Greenwich on Sunday last to bring the Prince back to London, his Majesty had given this Answer, That he would take charge of the Prince, and carry him along with him in his intended Journey; his Majesty further adding, That he did not know any ground of such Fears, that there should be any ill intended against the Prince.