Historical Collections of Private Passages of State: Volume 4, 1640-42. Originally published by D Browne, London, 1721.
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A Clause in the Preamble of a Statute made 25 Edw. III. Intituled, The Statute of Provisors of Benefices.
'Whereupon the said Commons have prayed our said Lord the King, That sith the Right of the Crown of England, and the Law of the said Realm is such, that upon the Mischiefs and Damages which happen to this Realm, he ought, and is bound by his Oath, with the Accord of his People in his Parliament thereof, to make Remedy and Law, and in removing the Mischiefs and Damages which thereof ensue, that it may please him thereupon to ordain Remedy.
'Our Lord the King, seeing the Mischiefs and Damages before-mentioned, and having regard to the Statute made in the Time of his said Grand-father, and to the Causes contained in the same, which Statute holdeth always his Force, and was never defeated, repealed, or annulled in any Point, and by so much he is bounden by his Oath to cause the same to be kept as the Law of his Realm, tho' that by Sufferance and Negligence it hath been fithence attempted to the contrary. Also having regard to the grievous Complaints made to him by his People in divers his Parliaments holden heretofore, willing to ordain Remedy for the great Damages and Mischiefs which have happened, and daily do happen to the Church of England by the said Cause.
Here the Lords and Commons claim it directly, as the Right of the Crown of England, and of the Law of the Land that the King is bound by his Oath, with the Accord of his People in Parliament, to make Remedy and Law upon the Mischiefs and Damages which happen to this Realm; and the King doth not deny it, although he take Occasion, from a Statute formerly made by his Grand-father, which was laid as part of the Grounds of this Petition, to fix his Answer upon another Branch of his Oath, and pretermits that which is claimed by the Lords and Commons, which he would not have done if it might have been excepted against.
In Justice they are obliged thereunto, in respect of the Trust reposed in them, which is as well to preserve the Kingdom by the making of new Laws, when there shall be need, as by observing of Laws already made; a Kingdom being many times as much exposed to Ruin for the want of a new Law, as by the violation of those that are in being; and this is so clear a Right, that no doubt his Majesty will acknowledge it to be as due unto his People, as his Protection. But how far forth he is obliged to follow the Judgment of his Parliament therein, that is the Question. And certainly, besides the Words in the King's Oath, referring unto such Laws as the People shall chuse, as in such Things which concern the Publick Weal and Good of the Kingdom, they are the most proper Judges, who are sent from the whole Kingdom for that very purpose; so we do not find, that since Laws have passed by way of Bills, (which are read thrice in both Houses, and committed, and every Part and Circumstance of them fully weighed, and debated upon the Commitment, and afterward passed in both Houses) that ever the Kings of this Realm did deny them, otherwise than is expected in that usual Answer, Le Roy s'avisera, which signifies rather a Suspension than a Refusal of the Royal Assent. And in these other Laws which are framed by way of Petitions of Right, the Houses of Parliament have taken themselves to be so far Judges of the Rights claimed by them, that when the King's Answer hath not in every Point been fully according to their Desire, they have still insisted upon their Claim, and never rested satisfied, 'till such Time as they had an Answer according to their Demand; as was done in the late Petition of Right, and in former Times upon the like Occasion. And if the Parliament be Judge between the King and his People in the Question of Right, (as by the manner of the Claim in Petitions of Right, and by Judgments in Parliament in Cases of Illegal Impositions and Taxes, and the like, it appeareth to be) why should they not be so also in the Question of the Common Good, and Necessity of the Kingdom, wherein the Kingdom hath as clear a Right also to have the Benefit and Remedy of Law, as in any thing whatsoever? And yet we do not deny, but in Private Bills, and also in Publick of Acts of Grace, as Pardons, and the like Grants of Favours, his Majesty may have a greater Latitude of Granting or Denying, as he shall think fit.
All this consider'd, we cannot but wonder, that the Contriver of this Message should conceive the People of this Land to be so void of common Sense, as to enter into so deep a Mistrust of those that they have, and his Majesty ought to repose so great a Trust in, as to despair of any Security in their private Estates, by Descents, Purchases, Assurances, or Conveyances, unless his Majesty should by his Vote, prevent the Prejudice they might receive therein by the Votes of both Houses of Parliament; as if they, who are especially chosen and intrusted for that purpose, and who themselves must needs have so great a Share in all Grievances of the Subject, had wholly cast off all Care of the Subjects Good, and his Majesty had solely taken it up; and as if it could be imagin'd, that they should by their Votes overthrow the Rights of Descents, Purchases, or of any Conveyance or Assurance, in whose Judgment the whole Kingdom hath placed all their particular Interests, if any of them should be called in Question in any of those Cases, and that (as knowing not where to place them with greater Security) without any Appeal from them to any other Person or Court whatsoever.
But indeed we are very much to seek how the Case of Hull should concern Descents and Purchases, or Conveyances and Assurances, unless it be in procuring more security to Men in their private Interests, by the preservation of the whole from Confusion and Destruction; and much less do we understand how the Sovereign Power was resisted and despised therein. Certainly no Command from his Majesty, and his High Court of Parliament (where the Sovereign Power resides) was disobeyed by Sir John Hotham; nor yet was his Majesty's Authority derived out of any other Court, nor by any Legal Commission, or by any other Way wherein the Law hath appointed his Majesty's Commands to be derived to his Subjects, and of what Validity his Verbal Commands are, without any such Stamp of his Authority upon them, and against the Order of both Houses of Parliament; and whether the not submitting thereunto be a Resisting and Despising of the Sovereign Authority, we leave it to all Men to judge, that do at all understand the Government of this Kingdom.
We acknowledge that his Majesty hath made many Expressions of his Zeal and Intentions against the desperate Designs of Papists; but yet it is also true, that the Councils which have prevailed of late with him, have been little suitable to those Expressions and Intentions: For what doth more advance the open and bloody Design of the Papists in Ireland (whereon the secret Plots of the Papists here do in all likelihood depend) than his Majesty's absenting himself in that manner that he doth from his Parliament, and setting forth such sharp Invectives against them, notwithstanding the humble Petitions, and other Means which his Parliament hath addressed unto him for his Return, and for his Satisfaction concerning their Proceedings? And what was more likely to give a Rise to the Designs of Papists, (whereof there are so many in the North, near to the Town of Hull) and of other malignant and ill-affected Persons, (which are are ready to join with them) or to the Attempts of Foreigners from abroad, than the continuing of that great Magazine at Hull at this time, and contrary to the Desire and Advice of both Houses of Parliament? So that we have too much cause to believe that the Papists have still some way and means whereby they have Influence upon his Majesty's Counsels for their own Advantage.
For the malignant Party his Majesty needeth not a Definition of the Law, nor yet a more full Character of them from both Houses of Parliament for to find them out, if he will please only to apply the Character that himself hath made of them to those unto whom it doth properly and truly belong. Who are so much disaffected to the Peace of the Kingdom, as they that endeavour to disaffect his Majesty from the Houses of Parliament, and perswade him to be at such a Distance from them, both in Place and Affection? Who are more disaffected to the Government of the Kingdom, than such as lead his Majesty away from hearkening to his Parliament, which by the Constitution of this Kingdom is his greatest and best Council, and perswade him to follow the malicious Counsels of some private Men, in opposing and contradicting the wholesome Advices and just Proceedings of that his most faithful Council and highest Court? Who are they that not only neglect and despise, but labour to undermine the Law under colour of maintaining of it, but they that endeavour to destroy the Fountain and Conservatory of the Law, which is the Parliament? And who are they that set up Rules for themselves to walk by, other than such as are appointed by Law, but they that will make other Judges of the Law than the Law hath appointed, and so dispense with their Obedience to that which the Law calleth Authority, and to their Determinations and Resolutions to whom the Judgment doth appertain by Law? For when private Persons shall make the Law to be their Rule, according to their own Understanding, contrary to the Judgment of those who are the competent Judges thereof, they set up unto themselves other Rules than the Law doth acknowledge: Who these Persons are none knoweth better than his Majesty himself; and if he please to take all possible Caution of them, as destructive to the Commonwealth, and himself, and would remove them from about him, it would be the most effectual Means to compose all the Distractions, and to cure the Distempers of this Kingdom.
For the Lord Digby 's Letter, we did not make mention of it as a Ground to hinder his Majesty from visiting his own Fort; but we appeal to the Judgment of any indifferent Man that shall read that Letter, and compare it with the Posture that his Majesty then did, and still doth stand in toward the Parliament, and with the Circumstances of that late Action of his Majesty in going to Hull, whether the Advisers of that Journey intended only a Visit of that Fort and Magazine? As to the Ways and Overtures of Accommodation, and the Message of the 20th of January last, so often pressed, but still in vain, as is alledged: Our Answer is, That altho' so often as the Message of the 20th of January hath been pressed, so often have our Privileges been clearly infringed, that a way and method of proceeding should be prescribed unto us, as well for the settling of his Majesty's Revenue, as for the presenting of our own Desires, (a thing which in former Parliaments hath always been excepted against, as a Breach of Privilege) yet in respect to the Matter contained in that Message, and out of our earnest Desire to beget a good Understanding between his Majesty and us, we swallowed down all Matters of Circumstance, and had e'er this time presented the chief of our Desires to his Majesty, had we not been interrupted with continual Denials, even of those things that were necessary for our present Security and Subsistence; and had not those Denials been followed with perpetual Invectives against us, and our Proceedings; and had not those Invectives been heaped upon us so thick one after another, (who were already in a manner wholly taken up with the pressing Affairs of this Kingdom, and of the Kingdom of Ireland) that as we had little Encouragement from thence to hope of any good Answers to our Desires, so we had not so much Time left us to perfect them in such a manner as to offer them unto his Majesty.
We confess it is a Resolution most worthy of a Prince, and of his Majesty to shut his Ears against any that would incline him to a Civil War, and to ab hor the very Apprehension of it; but we cannot believe that Mind to have been in them that came with his Majesty to the House of Commons, or in them that accompanied his Majesty to Hampton-Court, and appeared in a war-like manner at Kingston upon Thames; or in divers of them that followed his Majesty now lately to Hull; or in them that after drew their Swords at York, demanding who would be for the King; nor in them that advised his Majesty to declare Sir John Hotham a Traytor, before the Message was sent concerning that Business to the Parliament; or to make Propositions to the Gentlemen of the County of York, to assist his Majesty to proceed against him in a way of Force, before he had or possibly could receive an Answer from the Parliament, to whom he had sent to demand Justice of them against Sir John Hotham for that Fact; and if those malignant Spirits shall ever force us to defend our Religion, the Kingdom, the Privileges of Parliament, and the Rights and Liberties of the Subjects with our Swords, the Blood and Destruction that shall ensue thereupon must be wholly cast upon their Account; God and our Consciences tell us, that we are clear, and we doubt not but God, and the whole World will clear us therein.
For Captain Leg, we did not say that he was accused, or that there was any Charge against him for the bringing up of the Army, but that he was employed in that Business. And for that concerning the Earl of Newcastle, mentioned by his Majesty, which is said to have been asked long since, and that it is not easy to be answered; we conceive, that it is a Question of more difficulty, and harder to be answered, why, when his Majesty held it necessary, upon the same Grounds that first moved from the Houses of Parliament, that a Governour should be placed in that Town: Sir John Hotham, a Gentleman of known Fortune and Integrity, and a Person of whom both Houses of Parliament had expressed their Confidence, should be refused by his Majesty and the Earl of Newcastle, (who by the way was so far named in the Business of bringing up the Army, that altho' there was not ground enough for a judicial Proceeding, yet there was ground of Suspicion, at least his Reputation was not left so unblemish'd thereby, as that he should be thought the fittest Man in England for that Employment of Hull) should be sent down in a private way from his Majesty to take upon him that Government, and why he should disguise himself under another Name, when he came thither, as he did. But whosoever shall consider together with these Circumstances, that of the time when Sir John Hotham was first appointed by both Houses of Parliament to take upon him that Employment, which was presently after his Majesty's coming to the House of Commons, and upon the retiring of himself to Hampton-Court, and the Lord Digby 's assembling of Cavaliers at Kingston upon Thames, will find Reason enough why that Town of Hull should be committed rather to Sir John Hotham by the Authority of both Houses of Parliament, than to the Earl of Newcastle, sent from his Majesty in that manner as he was. And for the Power that Sir John Hotham hath from the Houses of Parliament, the better it is known and understood, we are confident the more it will be approved of, and justified; and as we do not conceive that his Majesty's Refusal to have that Magazine removed, could give any Advantage against him to have it taken from him, and as no such thing is done; so we cannot conceive for what other Reason any should counsel his Majesty not to suffer it to be removed upon the Desire of both Houses of Parliament, except it be that they had an Intention to make use of it against them.
We did not except against those that presented a Petition to his Majesty at York, for the continuance of the Magazine at Hull, in respect of their Conditions, or in respect of their Number, because they were mean Persons, or because they were few; but because there being but a few, and there being so many more in the County of as good Quality as themselves, (who have by their Petition to his Majesty disavowed that Act of theirs) that they should take upon them Stile of all the Gentry and Inhabitants of that County, and under that Title should presume to interpose their Advice contrary to the Votes of both Houses of Parliament; and if it can be made so appear, that any of these Petitions, that are said to have been presented to the Houses of Parliament, and to have been of a strange Nature, were of such a Nature as that, we are confident that they were never received with our Consent and Approbation.
Whether there was an Intention to deprive Sir John Hotham of his Life, if his Majesty had been admitted into Hull, and whether the Information were such as that he had ground to believe it, we will not bring it into question; for that was not, nor ought to have been the ground for doing what he did; neither was the Number of his Majesty's Attendants, for being more sewer, much considerable in this case: For altho' it be true, that if his Majesty had entred with twenty Horse only, he might haply have found Means to have forced the Entrance of the rest of his Train, who being once in the Town, would not have been long without Arms, yet that was not the ground that Sir John Hotham was to proceed upon, but upon the Admittance of the King into the Town at all, so as to deliver up the Town and Magazine unto him, and to whomsoever he should give the Command thereof, without the knowledge and consent of both Houses of Parliament, by whom he was intrusted to the contrary. And his Majesty having declared that to be his Intention concerning the Town, in a Message that he sent to the Parliament not long before he went to Hull, saying, That he did not doubt but that Town should be deliver'd up to him whensoever he pleased, as supposing it to be kept against him; and in like manner concerning the Magazine, in his Message of the 24th. of April, wherein it is expressed, That his Majesty went thither with a purpose to take into his Hands the Magazine, and to dispose of it in such manner as he should think fit: Upon these Terms Sir John Hotham could not have admitted his Majesty, and have made good his Trust to the Parliament, tho' his Majesty would have enter'd alone, without any Attendance at all of his own, or of the Prince or Duke, his Sons, which we do not wish to be less than they are in their Number, but could heartily wish that they were generally better in their Conditions.
In the Close of this Message his Majesty states the Case of Hull, and thereupon inferreth, That the Act of Sir John Hotham was levying of War against the King, and consequently, that it was no less than High-Treason by the Letter of the Statute of 25 Edw. III. cap. 2. unless the Sense of that Statute be very far differing from the Letter thereof.
In the Stating of this Case divers Particulars may be observed, wherein it is not rightly stated: As,
- 1. That his Majesty's going to Hull was only an Endeavour to visit a Town and Fort of his, whereas it was indeed to possess himself of the Town and Magazine there, and to dispose of them as he himself should think good, without, and contrary to the Advice and Orders of both Houses of Parliament, as doth clearly appear by his Majesty's own Declaration of his Intention therein, by his Messages to both Houses immediately before, and after that Journey. Nor can we believe that any Man that shall consider the Circumstances of that Journey to Hull, can think that his Majesty would have gone thither at that Time, and in that Posture, that he was pleased to put himself in toward the Parliament, if he had intended only a Visit of the Town and Magazine.
- 2. It is said to be his Majesty's own Town and his own Magazine; which being understood in that Sense as was before expressed, as if his Majesty had a private Interest of Propriety therein, we cannot admit it to be so.
- 3. Which is the main Point of all, Sir John Hotham is said to have shut the Gates against his Majesty, and to have made resistance with armed Men, in defiance of his Majesty; whereas it was indeed in obedience to his Majesty and his Authority, and for his Service, and the Service of the Kingdom, for which use only all that Interest is that the King hath in the Town; and it is no farther his to dispose of, than he useth it for that End. And Sir John Hotham being commanded to keep the Town and Magazine for his Majesty and the Kingdom, and not to deliver them up but by his Majesty's Authority, signified by both Houses of Parliament, all that is to be understood by those Expressions of his denying and opposing his Majesty's Entrance, and telling him, in plain Terms, he should not come in, was only this, That he humbly desired his Majesty to forbear his Entrance, 'till he might acquaint the Parliament, and that his Authority might come signified to him by both Houses of Parliament, according to the Trust reposed in him. And certainly, if the Letter of the Statute of 25 Edw. III. Cap. 2. be thought to import this, That no War can be levied against the King, but what is directed and intended against his Person; or that every levying of Forces, for the Defence of the King's Authority and his Kingdom, against the Personal Commands of the King opposed thereunto, tho' accompanied with his Presence, is levying War against the King, it is very far from the Sense of that Statute; and so much the Statute it self speaks, (besides the Authority of Book-Cases, Precedents of divers Traytors condemned upon that Interpretation thereof): For if the Clause of Levying of War had been meant only against the King's Person, what need had there been thereof, after the other Branch of Treason in the same Statute, of compassing the King's Death, which would necessarily have implied this? And because the former Clause doth imply this, it seems not at all to be intended in this latter Branch, but only the levying of War against the King, that is, against his Laws and Authority: And the levying of War against his Laws and Authority, tho' not against his Person, is levying War against the King; but the levying Force against his Personal Commands, tho' accompanied with his Presence, and not against his Laws and Authority, but in the Maintenance thereof, is no levying War against the King, but for him. Here is then our Case; in a Time of so many successive Plots and Designs of Force against the Parliament and Kingdom, in a Time of probable Invasion from Abroad, and that to begin at Hull, to take opportunity of seizing upon so great a Magazine there, in a Time of so great Distance and Alienation of his Majesty's Affections from his Parliament, and in them from his Kingdom, which they represent, by the wicked Suggestions of a few malignant Persons, by whose mischievous Counsels he is wholly led away from his Parliament, and their faithful Advice and Counsels. In such a Time the Lords and Commons in Parliament commanded Sir John Hotham to draw in some of the Train'd-Bands of the Parts adjacent to the Town of Hull, for the securing of that Town and Magazine for the Service of his Majesty and of the Kingdom, of the Safety whereof there is a higher Trust reposed in them than any where else, and they are the proper Judges of the Danger thereof.
This Town and Magazine being intrusted to Sir John Hotham, with express Orders not to deliver them up, but by the King's Authority, signified by both Houses of Parliament, his Majesty, contrary to the Advice and Direction of both Houses of Parliament, without the Authority of any Court, or of any legal Way wherein the Law appoints the King to speak and command, accompanied with the same evil Counsels about him that he had before, by a verbal Command, requires Sir John Hotham to admit him into the Town, that he might dispose of it, and of the Magazine there, according to his own, or rather according to the Pleasure of those evil Counsellors who are still in so much Credit about him; in like manner as the Lord Digby hath continual recourse unto, and countenance from the Queen's Majesty in Holland, by which means he hath Opportunity still to communicate his Traiterous Suggestions and Conceptions to both their Majesty's, such as those were concerning his Majesty's retiring to a Place of Strength, and declaring himself, and his own advancing of his Majesty's Service in such a Way beyond the Seas, and after that resorting to his Majesty in such a Place of Strength, and divers other Things of that Nature, contained in his Letter to the Queen's Majesty, and to Sir Lewis Dives a Person that had not the least Part in this late Business of Hull, and was presently dispatch'd away into Holland, soon after his Majesty's Return from Hull, for what Purpose we leave the World to judge.
Upon the Refusal of Sir John Hotham to admit his Majesty into Hull, presently, without any due Process of Law, before his Majesty had sent up the Narration of his Fact to the Parliament, he was proclaimed Traytor: And yet it is said, That therein is no Violation of the Subjects Right, nor any Breach of the Law, nor of the Privilege of Parliament, tho' Sir John Hotham be a Member of the House of Commons, and that his Majesty must have better Reason than bare Votes to believe the contrary; altho' the Votes of the Lords and Commons in Parliament, being the Great Council of the Kingdom, are the Reason of the King and Kingdom; yet their Votes do not want clear and apparent Reason for them; for if the solemn proclaiming a Man a Traytor signify any thing, it puts a Man, and all those that any way aid, assist, or adhere unto him, into the same Condition of Traytors, and draws upon him all the Consequences of Treason: And if this may be done by Law, without due Process of Law, the Subject hath a very poor defence of the Law, and a very small, if any proportion of Liberty thereby; and it is as little Satisfaction to a Man that shall be exposed to such Penalties, by that Declaration of him to be a Traytor, to say he shall have a legal Tryal afterwards, as it is to condemn a Man first, and try him afterward.
And if there can be any Necessity for any such proclaiming a Man a Traytor without due Process of Law; yet there was none in this Case, for his Majesty might have as well expected the Judgment of Parliament, (which was the right way) as he had leisure to send to them to demand Justice against Sir John Hotham, And the Breach of Privilege of Parliament is as clear in this Case, as the Subversion of the Subjects common Right; for though the Privileges of Parliaments do not extend to those Cases mentioned in the Declaration, of Treason, Felony, and Breach of the Peace, so as to exempt the Members of Parliament from Punishment, nor from all manner of Process or Tryal, as it doth in other Cases, yet it doth privilege them in the Way and Method of their Tryal and Punishment; and that the Parliament should have the Cause first brought before them, that they may judge of the Fact, and of the Grounds of the Accusation, and how far forth the manner of their Tryal may concern, or not concern the Privilege of Parliament; otherwise it would be in the Power, not only of his Majesty, but of every private Man, under Pretensions of Treason, or those other Crimes, to take any Man from his Service in Parliament, and so as many, one after another, as he pleaseth; and consequently to make a Parliament what he will, and when he will; which would be a Breach of so essential a Privilege of Parliament, as that the very Being thereof depends upon it: And therefore we no ways doubt, but every one that hath taken the Protestation will, according to his solemn Vow and Oath, defend it with his Life and Fortune. Neither doth the Sitting of a Parliament suspend all, or any Law, in maintaining that Law, which upholds the Privilege of Parliament, which upholds the Parliament, which upholds the Kingdom. And we are so far from believing, that his Majesty is the only Person against whom Treason cannot be committed, that in some sense we acknowledge he is the only Person against whom it can be committed, that is, as he is King; and that Treason which is against the Kingdom, is more against the King, than that which is against his Person, because he is King; for that very Treason is not Treason, as it is against him as a Man, but as a Man that is a King, and as he hath Relation to the Kingdom, and stands as a Person instrusted with the Kingdom, and discharging that Trust.
Now the Case is truly stated, and all the World may judge where the Fault is; although we must avow, that there can be no competent Judge of this, or any the like Case, but a Parliament; and we are as confident, that his Majesty shall never have cause to resort to any other Court, or Course, for the vindication of his just Privileges, and for the Recovery and Maintenance of his known and undoubted Rights, if there should be any Invasion or Violation thereof, than to his High Court of Parliament. And in case those wicked Counsellors about him shall drive him into any Course from and against his Parliament, whatever are his Majesty's Expressions and Intentions, we shall appeal to all Mens Consciences, and desire that they would lay their Hands upon their Hearts, and think with themselves, whether such Persons as have of late, and still do resort to his Majesty, and have his Ear and Favour most, either have been, or are more zealous Asserters of the true Protestant Profession, (altho' we believe they are more earnest in the Protestant Profession, than in the Protestant Religion) or of the Laws of the Land, the Liberty of the Subject, and the Privileges of Parliament, than the Members of both Houses of Parliament, who are insinuated to be the Deserters, if not Destroyers of them? And whether if they could master this Parliament by Force, they would not hold up the same Power to deprive us of all Parliaments, which are the Ground and Pillar of the Subjects Liberty, and that which only maketh England a free Monarchy.
For the Order of Assistance to the Committees of both Houses, as they have no Directions or Instructions but what have the Law for their Limits, and the Safety of the Land for their Ends; so we doubt not but all Persons mentioned in that Order, and all his Majesty's good Subjects will yield Obedience to his Majesty's Authority, signified therein by both Houses of Parliament. And that all Men may the better know their Duty in Matters of that Nature, and upon how sure a Ground they go that follow the Judgment of Parliament for their Guide, we wish them judiciously to consider the true meaning and ground of that Statute made in the 11th Year of H. 7. cap. 1. which is printed at large in the end of his Majesty's Message of the 4th of May. This Statute provides. That none that shall attend upon the King, and do him true Service, shall be attainted, or forfeit any thing. What was the Scope of this Statute? To provide, That Men should not suffer as Traitors for serving the King in his Wars, according to the Duty of their Allegiance; if this had been all, it had been a very needless and ridiculous Statute. Was it then intended (as they may seem to take the meaning of it to be, that caused it to be printed after his Majesty's Message) that they should be free from all Crime and Penalty that should follow the King, and serve him in War, in any case whatsoever, whether it were for or against the Kingdom, and the Laws thereof? That cannot be, for that could not stand with the Duty of their Allegiance, which in the beginning of this Statute is expressed to be to serve the King for the Time being in his Wars, for the Defence of him and the Land; and therefore if it be against the Land (as it cannot be understood to be otherwise, if it be against the Parliament, the Representative Body of the Kingdom) it is a declining from the Duty of Allegiance, which this Statute supposeth may be done, tho' Men should follow the King's Person in the War; otherwise there had been no need of such a Proviso in the end of this Statute, that none should take benefit thereby that should decline from their Allegiance. That therefore which is the principal Verb in this Statute is, The serving of the King for the Time being, which cannot be meant of a Perkin Warbeck, or any that should call himself King; but such a one, as, whatever his Title might prove, either in himself or in his Ancestors, should be received and acknowledged for such by the Kingdom, the Consent whereof cannot be discerned but by Parliament, the Act whereof is the Act of the whole Kingdom, by the personal Suffrage of the Peers, and the delegate Consent of all the Commons of England.
And Henry the 7th, a wise King, considering that what was the Case of Richard the 3d, his Predecessor, might, by chance of Battle, be his own, and that he might at once by such a Statute as this, satisfie such as had served his Predecessor in his Wars, and also secure those that should serve him, who might otherwise fear to serve him in the War; left by chance of Battle that might happen to him also (if a Duke of York had set up a Title against him) which had happened to his Predecessor, he procured this Statute to be made, That no Man should be accounted a Traitor for serving the King in his Wars for the Time being, that is, which was for the present allowed and received by the Parliament in behalf of the Kingdom, and as it is truly suggested in the Preamble of the Statute: It is not agreeable to Reason or Conscience, that it should be otherwise, seeing Men should be put upon an Impossibility of knowing their Duty, if the Judgment of the highest Court should not be a Rule and Guide to them. And if the Judgment thereof should be followed, where the Question is, Who is King? much more, What is the best Service of the King and Kingdom? And therefore those that shall guide themselves by the Judgment of Parliament, ought, whatever happen, to be secure and free from all Account and Penalties, upon the Grounds and Equity of this very Statute.
We shall conclude, That altho' those wicked Counsellors about his Majesty have presumed, under his Majesty's Name, to put that Dishonour and Affront upon both Houses of Parliament, as to make them the Countenancers of Treason, enough to have dissolved all the Bands and Sinews of Confidence between his Majesty and the Parliament, of whom the Maxim of the Law is, That a dishonourable Thing ought not to be imagined of them) yet we doubt not but it shall in the end appear to all the World, that our Endeavour have been most hearty and sincer, for the Maintenance of the true Protestant Religion, the King's just Prerogatives, the Laws and Liberties of the Land and the Privileges of Parliament; in which Endeavours, by the Grace of God, we will still persist, tho' we should perish in the Work; which if it should be, it is much to be feared, that Religion, Laws, Liberties, and Parliaments would not be long-liv'd after us.
His Majesty's Answer to a Printed Book, Intituled,
A Remonstrance: or, The Declaration of the Lords and Commons now Assembled in Parliament, the 26th. of May, 1642. in Answer to a Declaration under His Majesty's Name, concerning the Business of Hull.
The King's Answer to the Remonstrance touching Hull.
Though whosoever looks over the late Remonstrance, Intituled, A Declaration of the Lords and Commons of the 26th. of May, will not think we have much Reason to be pleased with it, yet we cannot but commend the Plain-dealing and Ingenuity of the Framers and Contrivers of that Declaration, which hath been wrought in a hotter and quicker Forge than any of the rest who would no longer suffer us to be affronted by being told, They would make us a great and glorious King, whilst they used all possible Skill to reduce us to extream Want and Indigency; and that they would make us to be loved at home and feared abroad, whilst they endeavour'd by all possible ways to render us odious to our good Subjects, and contemptible to all Foreign Princes; but like round-dealing Men, tell in plain English, that they have done us no Wrong, because we are not capable of receiving any; and that they have taken nothing from us, because we had never any thing of our own to lose. If this Doctrine be true, and that indeed we ought to be of no other Consideration than they have informed our People in that Declaration, that Gentleman is much more excusable, that said publickly (unreproved) That the Happiness of this Kingdom doth not depend on us, or upon any of the Royal Branches of that Root; and the other, who said, We were not worthy to be King of England; Language very monstrous to be allowed by either House of Parliament, and of which, by the Help of God and the Law, we must have some Examination: But we doubt not all our good Subjects do now plainly discern, through the Mask and Vizard of their Hypocrisy, what their Design is, and will no more look upon the Framers and Contrivers of that Declaration, as upon both Houses of Parliament (whose Freedom and just Privileges we will always maintain, and in whose behalf we are as much concerned as for our self) but as a Faction of malignant, schismatical, and ambitious Persons, whose Design is, and always hath been to alter the whole Frame of Government, both of Church and State, and to subject both King and People to their own lawless Arbitrary Power and Government, of whose Persons, and of whose Design we shall within a very short time give our good Subjects and the World, a full, and we hope, a satisfactory Narration.
The Contrivers and Penners of that Declaration, of whom we would be only understood to speak, when we mention any of their undutiful Acts against us, tell you, That the great Affairs of this Kingdom, and the miserable and bleeding Condition of the People of Ireland, will afford them little Leisure to spend their Time in Declarations, Answers, and Replies. Indeed the miserable and deplorable Condition of both Kingdoms would require somewhat else at their Hands: But we would gladly know how they have spent their time since their Recess, now almost eight Months but in Declarations, Remonstrances and Invectives against us and our Government, or in preparing Matter for them? Have we invited them to any such expence of Time, by beginning Arguments of that Nature? Their Leiture or their Inclination is not as they pretend; and what is their Printing and Publishing their Petitions to us, their Declarations and Remonstrances of us, their odious Votes and Resolutions sometimes of one, sometimes of both Houses, against us, never in this manner communicated before this Parliament, but an Appeal to the People? and in God's Name let them judge of the Persons they have trusted.
Their first Quarrel is, as it is always (to let them into their frank Expressions to us and our Actions) against the malignant Party, whom they are pleased still to call, and never to prove, to be our evil Counsellors: But indeed nothing is more evident by their whole Proceedings, than that by the malignant Party they intend all the Members of both Houses, who agree not with them in their Opinion. Hence have come their Distinction of good and bad Lords, of Persons ill-affected of the House of Commons, who have been profcribed and their Names listed and read in Tumults, and all the Persons of the Kingdom who approve not of their Actions; fo that in truth, if they would be ingenuous, and name the Persons they intend, who would be the Men upon whom that Imputation of Malignity would be cast, but they who have stood stoutly and immutably for the Religion, Liberties, the Laws, for all publick Interests, so long as there was any to be stood for; they who have always been and are as zealous Professors, and some of them as able and earnest Defenders of the Protestant Doctrine against the Church of Rome, as any are; who have often and earnestly besought us to consent, that no indifferent and unnecessary Ceremony might be pressed upon weak and tender Consciences, and that we would agree to a Bill for that purpose; they to whose Wisdom, Courage, and Counsel, the Kingdom oweth as much as it can to Subjects; and upon whose unblemished Lives Envy it self can lay no Imputation, nor endeavoured to lay any until their Vertues brought them to our Knowledge and Favour. Let the Contrivers of this Declaration be faithful to themselves, and consider all those Persons of both Houses, whom they in their own Consciences know to dissent from them in the Matter and Language of that Declaration, and in all those undutiful Actions of which we complain, and will they not be found in Honour, Fortune, Wisdom, Reputation, and Weight, if not in Number, much superior to them? So much for the evil Counsellors. Now what is the evil Counsel it self? Our coming from London (where we and many, whose Affections to us are very eminent, were in danger every day to be torn in pieces) to York, where we, and all such who will put themselves under our Protection, may live, we thank God, and the Loyalty and Affection of this good People, very securely. Our not submitting our self absolutely, and renouncing our own Understanding to the Votes and Resolutions of the Contrivers of that Declaration, when they tell us, They are above us, and may, by our own Authority, do with us what they please, and our not being contented that all our good Subjects Lives and Fortunes shall be disposed of by their Votes; but by the known Law of the Land, this is the evil Counsel given and taken: And will not all Men believe there needs much Power and Skill of the malignant Party to infuse this Counsel into us? And now apply the Argument the Contrivers of that Declaration make for themselves: Is it probable or possible that such Men whom we have mentioned, who must have so great a Share in the Misery, should take such Pains in the procuring thereof, and spend so much Time, and run so many Hazards to make themselves Slaves, and to ruin the free Men of this Nation. We say, with a clear and upright Conscience to God Almighty, whosoever harbours the least thought in his Breast of ruining or violating the publick Liberty or Religion of this Kingdom, or the just Freedom and Privilege of Parliament, let him be accursed; and he shall be no Counsellour of ours that will not say Amen. For the Contrivers of that Declaration, we have not said any thing which might imply any Inclination in them to be Slaves: That which we have charged them with, is invading the publick Liberty; and our Presumption may be very strong and vehement, that tho' they have no mind to be Slaves, they are not unwilling to be Tyrants: What is Tyranny but to admit no Rule to govern by but their own Wills? and we know how the Misery of Athens was at the highest when it suffer'd under the Thirty Tyrants.
If that Declaration had told us, as indeed it might, and as in Justice it ought to have done, that the Precedents of any of our Ancestors did fall short and much below what hath been done by us this Parliament in point of Grace and Favour to our People, we should no otherwise have wondred at it, than at such a Truth in such a Place: But when to justify their having done more than ever their Predecessors did, it tells our good Subjects (as most in juriously, most insolently it doth) that the highest and most unwarrantable Precedents of any of our Predecessors do fall short, and much below what hath been done to them this Parliament by us; we must confess our self amazed, and not able to understand them: And we must tell those ungrateful Men, who dare tell their King, that they may, without want of Modesty and Duty, depose him: That the Condition of our Subjects, when, by whatsoever Accidents and Conjunctures of Time it was at worst under our Power, unto which, by no Default of ours, they shall be ever again reduced, was, by many Degrees, more pleasant and happy than that to which their furious Pretences of Reformation hath brought them; neither are we afraid of the highest Precedents of other Parliaments, which these Men boldly (our good Subjects will call it worse) tell us, They might, without want of Modesty and Duty make their Patterns; if we had no other Security against those Precedents, but their Modesty and Duty, we were in a miserable Condition, as all Persons will be who depend upon them.
That Declaration will not allow our Inference, that by avowing the Act of Sir John Hotham, they do destroy the Title and Interest of all our Subjects to their Lands and Goods; but confesseth, if they were found guilty of that Charge, it were indeed a very great Crime; and do they not in this Declaration admit themselves guilty of this very Crime? Do they not say, Who doubts but that a Parliament may dispose of any thing, wherein we or our Subjects have a Right, in such a way, as that the Kingdom may not be in danger thereby? Do they not then call themselves this Parliament, and challenge this Power without our Consent? Do they not extend this Power to all Cases, where the Necessity or the common Good of the Kingdom is concerned? And do they not arrogate unto themselves alone the Judgment of this Danger, this Necessity, this common Good of the Kingdom? What is it, if it be not to unsettle the Security of all Mens Estates, and to expose them to an Arbitrary Power of their own, if a Faction shall at any time, by Cunning, or Force, or Absence, or Accident, prevail over a major Part of both Houses, and pretend that they are evil Counsellors, a Malignant Party about the King, by whom the Liberty and the Religion of the Kingdom are both in Danger? This they may do, they have done it; then they may take away, be it from the King or People, whatsoever they in their Judgments shall think fit; this is lawful, they have declared it. So let the World judge whether we charge them unjustly, and whether they are not guilty of the Crime which themselves confess, being proved, is a great one? And how safely we might commit the Power these People desire into their Hands, who in all probability would be no sooner possessed of it, than they would revive that Tragedy which Mr. Hooker relates of the Anabaptists in Germany; who talking of nothing but Faith, and of the true Fear of God, and that Riches and Honour were Vanity, at first, upon their great Opinion of their Humility, Zeal, and Devotion, procured much Reverence and Estimation with the People: After finding how many Persons they had ensnared with their Hypocrisy, they began to propose to themselves to reform both the Ecclefiastical and Civil Government of the State: Then, because possibly they might meet with some Opposition, they secretly enter'd into a League of Association. And shortly after, finding the Power they had got with the Credulous People, enriched themselves with all kind of Spoil and Pillage, and justified it upon our Saviour's Promise, The Meek shall inherit the Earth; and declared, Their Title was the same which the righteous Israelites had unto the Goods of the Wicked Egyptians. This Story is worth the reading at large, and needs no Application.
But we must by no means say, That we have the same Title to our Town of Hull, and the Ammunition there, as any of our Subjects have to their Lands or Money; that is a Principle that pulls up the Foundation of the Liberty and Property of every Subject. Why, pray? Because the King's Property in his Town, and in his Goods bought with the Publick Money, as they conceive our Magazine at Hull was, is inconsistent with the Subjects Property in their Lands, Goods, and Liberty. Do these Men think, that as they assume a Power of declaring Law, and whatsoever contradicts that Declaration, breaks their Privileges; so that they have a Power of declaring Sense and Reason, and imposing Logick-Syllogysins on the Schools, as well as Law upon the People. Doth not all Mankind know, that several Man may have several Rights and Interests the self-same House and Land, and yet neither destroy the other? Is not the Interest of the Lord Paramount, consistent with that of the Mesne Lord, and his with that of the Tennant and yet their Properties and Interest confounded? And why may not we then have a full, lawful Interest and property in our Town of Hull, and yet our Subjects have a Property in their Houses too? But we cannot fell, or give away at our Pleasure, our Towns and Forts, as a private Man may do his Land or Goods. What then? Many Men may have no Authority to let or set their Letters or led their Lands, have they therefore no Title to them, or Interest in them? May they be taken from them, because they cannot led them? The Purpose of our Journey to Hull, was neither to fell it, or give it away.
But for the Magazine, the Munition there that we bought with our own Money, we might surely have sold that lent, or given it away. No, we bought it with the Publick Money, and the Proof is, They conceive it soi; and upon this Conceit have voted, That it shall be taken from us. Excellent Justice Suppose we had kept this Money by us, and not bought Arms with it; would they have taken it from us upon that Conceit? May, may they not, wheresoever this Money is, (for through how many Hands soever it hath passed, it is the publick Money still, if it ever were) seize it, and take it from the Owners? But the Towns, Forts, Magazine, and Kingdom is intrusted to us, and we are a Person trusted: We are so, God and the Law hath trusted us, and we have taken an Oath to discharge that Trust, for the Good and Safety of our People. What Oaths they have taken we know not, unless those which in this Violence they have manifestly and maliciously violated. May any thing be taken from a Man, because he is trusted with it? Nayk, may the Person himself take away the thing he trusts when he will, and in what manner he will? The Law hath been otherwise, and we believe will be so field notwithstanding their Declarations.
But this Trust ought to be managed by their Advice, and the Kingdom hath trusted them for that purpose. Impossible that the same Trust should be irrevocably committed to Us and our Heirs for ever; and the same Trust, and a Power above that Trust (for such is the Power they pretend) be committed to others. Did not the People that sent them, look upon them as a Body but temporary, and dissoluble at our Pleasure? And can it be believed that they intended them for our Guardians and Comptrollers, in the managing of that Trust which God and the Law hath granted to us and our Posterity for ever? What the Extent of their Commission and Trust is, nothing can better teach them than the Writ whereby they are met: We called them, and without that Call they could not have come together to be our Counsellors, not Commanders; for however they frequently confound them, the Offices are several, and Counsellors, not in all things, but in some things, de quibusdam arduis, &c. they easily find amongst their Precedents, that Queen Elizabeth, upon whose Time all good Men look with Reverence, committed one Wentworth, a Member of the House of Commons, to the Tower, sitting in the House, but for proposing, that they might advise the Queen, in a Matter she thought they had nothing to do to meddle in. But we are trusted; and are we the only Person trusted? And may they do what their own Inclination and Fury lead them to? Were not they trusted by us, when we first sent for them? And were they not trusted by us, when we passed them our Promise that we would not dissolve them? Can it be presumed, and Presumptions go far with them, that we trusted them with a Power to destroy us, and to dissolve our Government and Authority? If the People might be allowed to make an equitable construction of the Laws and Statutes, a Doctrine avowed by them, would not all our good Subjects swear, we never intended by that Act of Continuance, that they should do what they have since done? Were they not trusted by those that have sent them? And were they trusted to alter the Government of Church and State, and to make themselves perpetual Dictators over the King and People? Did they intend that the Law it self should be subject to their Votes? and that whatsoever they say or do, should be lawful, because they declare it so? The Oaths which they have taken who sent them, and without taking which, themselves are not capable of their Place in Parliament, makes the one uncapable of giving, and the other of receiving such a Trust unless they can perswade our good Subjects that we are the only Supream Head and Governour of all Causes, and over all Persons within our Dominions, and yet that they have a Power over us to constrain us to manage our Trust, and govern our Power according to their Discretion.
The Contrivers of that Declaration tell us, That they will never allow us (an humble and dutiful Expression) to be Judge of the Law, that belongs only to them, they may and must judge and declare. We all know what Power the Pope, under the Pretence of Interpreting Scriptures, and declaring Articles of Faith, tho' he decline the making the one or the other, hath usurped over Mens Consciences, and that under colour of having Power of ordering all things for the Good of Mens Souls, he entitles himself to all the Kingdoms in the World. We will not accuse the Framers of this Declaration, how bold soever they are with us, that they incline to Popery; of which, another Maxim is, That we must submit our Reason and Understanding, and the Scripture it self, to that declaring Power of his: Neither will we tell them, tho' they have told us so, that they use the very Language of the Rebels of Ireland; and yet they say those Rebels declare, That whatsoever they do, is for the Good of the King and Kingdom; but our good Subjects will easily put the Case to themselves, Whether if the Papists in Ireland in truth were, or by Act or Accident had made themselves the major Part of both Houses of Parliament there, and had pretended the Trust in that Declaration from the Kingdom of Ireland, and thereupon had voted their Religion and Liberty to be in danger of Extirpation from a malignant Party of Protestants and Puritans; and therefore that they should put themselves into a Posture of Defence, that the Forts and Militia of that Kingdom were to be put into the Hands of such Persons as they could confide in; that we were indeed trusted with the Towns, Forts, Magazines, Treasures, Offices, and People of the Kingdom, for the Good, and Safety, and best Advantage thereof; but as this Trust is for the Use of the Kingdom, so it ought to be managed by the Advice of both Houses of Parliament, whom the Kingdom had trusted for that Purpose, it being their Duty to see it discharged, according to the Condition and true Intent thereof, and by all possible means to prevent the contrary: We say, Let all our good Subjects consider, if that Rebellion had been plotted with this Formality, and those Circumstances declared to be legal, (at least according to the equitable Sense of the Law, and to be for the publick Good, and justifiable, by necessity of which they were the only Judges) whether tho' they might have thought their Design the more cunning, they would believe it the more justifiable. Nay, let the Framers of this Declaration ask themselves, if the evil Counsellors, the malignant Party, the Persons ill-affected, the Popish Lords their Adherents, should prove now or hereafter to be a major Part of both Houses, for it hath been declared, a great Part of both Houses have been such, and so might have been the greater; nay, that the greater Part of the House of Peers was such, and we have not heard of any of their Conversions; and thereupon it hath been earnestly pressed, that the major Part of the Lords might join with the major Part of the House of Commons: Were we bound to consent to all such Alterations as these Men should propose to us, and resolve to be for the publick Good? And must the Liberty, Property, Security of all our Subjects depend on what such Votes should declare to be Law? Was the Order of the Militia unfit and unlawful, whilst the major Part of the Lords refused to join in it, as they did two, if not three several Times? And it was never heard before this Parliament, that they should be so and so often pressed after a Dissent declared. And did it grow immediately necessary for the publick Safety, and lawful by the Law of the Land, as soon as so many of the dissenting Peers were driven away, (after their Names had been required at the Bar) contrary to the Freedom and Foundation of Parliaments, that the other Opinion prevailed? Doth the Life and Liberty of the Subject depend upon such Accidents of Days and Hours, that it is impossible for him to know his Right in either? God forbid.
But now to justify their Invasion of our ancient, unquestioned, undoubted Right, settled and established on us and our Posterity by God himself, confirmed and strengthned by all possible Titles of Compact, Laws, Oaths, perpetual and uncontradicted Custom by our People: What have they alledged to declare to the Kingdom, as they say, the Obligation that lieth upon the Kings of this Realm to pass all such Bills as are offered unto them by both Houses of Parliament, a thing never heard of 'till this Day; an Oath (Authority enough for them to break all theirs) that is or ought to be taken by the Kings of this Realm, which is as well to remedy by Law such Inconveniences the Kingdom may suffer, as to keep and protect the Laws already in being; and the Form of this Oath (they say) appears upon a Record there cited, and by a Clause in the Preamble of a Statute made in the Five and Twentieth Year of Edward the Third.
We are not enough acquainted with Records to know whether that be fully and ingenuously cited, and when, and how, and why the several Clauses have been inferred, or taken out of the Oaths formerly administred to the Kings of this Realm: Yet we cannot possibly imagine the Assertion that Declaration makes, can be deduced from the Words, or the Matter of that Oath; for unless they have a Power of declaring Latin as well as Law, sure Elegerit signifyeth hath chosen, as well as will chuse, and that it signifieth so here, besides the Authority of the perpetual Practice of all succeeding Ages (a better Interpreter than their Votes) is evident by the Reference it hath to Customs; Confuetudines anas vulgus elegerit: And could that be a Custom which the People should chuse after this Oath taken? And should a King be sworn to defend such Customs? Besides, can it be imagin'd, that he should be bound by Oath to pass such Laws? and such a Law is the Bill they brought to us of the Militia, as should put the Power wherewith he is trusted, out of himself in the Hands of other Men, and divest and disable him of all possible Power to perform the great Business of the Oath, which is to protect them. If we give away all our Power, or if it be taken from us, we cannot protect any Man. And what discharge would it be for us, either before God or Man, when our good Subjects, whom God and the Law hath committed to our Charge, shall be worried and spoiled, to say, that we trusted others to protect them; that is, to do that Duty for us which is essentially and inseparably our own. But that all good Subjects may see how faithfully these Men, who assume this Trust from them, desire to discharge their Trust, we shall be contented to publish for their satisfaction, a Matter notorious enough, but which we ourselves never thought to have been put to publish, and of which the Framers of that Declaration might as well have made use of, as of a Latin Record, they knew many of our good Subjects could not, and many of themselves do not understand: The Oath it self we took at our Coronation, warranted and enjoyned to it by the Custom and Directions of our Predecessors, and the Ceremony of their and our taking it they may find it in the Records of the Exchequer; this it is,
The Sermon being done, the Archbishop goeth to the King, and asks his Willingness to take the Oath usually taken by his Predecessors.
The King sheweth himself willing, ariseth and goeth to the Altar: The Archbishop administreth these Questions, and the King answers them severally.
Episcopus. 'Sir, Will you grant and keep, and by your Oath confirm to the People of England, the Laws and the Customs to them granted by the Kings of England, your lawful and religious Predecessors; and namely, the Laws, Customs, and Franchises granted to the Clergy by the glorious King Saint Edward, your Predecessor, according to the Laws of God, the true Profession of the Gospel established in this Kingdom, and agreeable to the Prerogative of the Kings thereof, and the ancient Customs of this Realm?
Rex. I grant and promise to keep them.
Episcopus. 'Sir, Will your keep Peace and Godly Agreement entirely according to your Power, both to God, the Holy Church, the Clergy, and the People?
Rex. I will keep it
Episcopus. 'Sir, Will you to your Power cause Law, Justice, and Discretion in Mercy and Truth, to be executed in all your Judgments?
Rex. I will.
Episcopus. 'Sir, Will you grant to hold and keep the Laws and sightful Customs which the Commonalty of this your Kingdom have, and will you defend and uphold them to the Honour of God, so much as in you lieth?
Rex. I grant and promise so to do.
Then one of the Bishops reads this Admonition to the King before the People with a loud Voice.
'Our Lord and King, we beseech you to pardon, and to grant, and to preserve unto us and to the Churches committed to our Charge, all Canonical Privileges, and due Law and Justice; and that you would protect and defend us, as every good King in his Kingdoms, ought to be Protector and Defender of the Bishops and the Churches under their Government.
The King answereth:
With a willing and devout Heart I promise and grant my Pardon, and that I will preserve and maintain to you, and the Churches committed to your Charge, all Canonical Privileges, and due Law and Justice; and that I will be your Protector and Defender to my Power, by the Assistance of God, as every good King in his Kingdom in Right ought to protect and defend the Bishops and Churches under their Government.
Then the King ariseth, and is led to the Communion-Table, where he makes a solemn Oath in Sight of all the People to observe the Premises; and laying his Hand upon the Book, saith,
The Things which I have before promised, I shall perform and keep. So help me God, and the contents of this Book.
Let now all the World judge, whether such Doctrine, or such Conclusions as these Men teach, can follow, or have the least Pretence from this Oath?
For the Preamble of the Statute they cite, that tells us, That the King is bound to remedy by Law the Mischiefs and Damages which happen to the People: He is so. But is the King bound by the Preamble of that Statute, to renounce his own Judgment, his own Understanding in these Mischiefs? and of those Remedies, how far forth he is obliged to follow the Judgment of his Parliament, that Declaration still confesseth to be a Question. Without question, none can take upon them to remedy even Mischiefs but by Law, for fear of greater Mischief than those they go about to remedy.
But we are bound in Justice to consent to their Proposals, because there is a Trust reposed in us to preserve the Kingdom by making new Laws; We are glad there is so: Then we are sure no new Laws can be made without our Consent; and that the gentleness of Answer, Le Roy Pavisera, if it be no Denial, is no Consent, and then the matter is not great: They will allow us yet a greater latitude of granting or denying, as we shall think fit, in publick Acts of Grace; as Pardons, or the like Grants of Favour: Why do they so, if those Pardons and publick Acts of Grace be for the publick Good, (which they may vote they are) they will then be absolutely in their own disposal? But have they left us this Power? they have sure at least shared it with us: How else have they got the Power to pardon Serjeant Major-General Skippon (a new Officer of State, and a Subject we have no Authority to send to speak with) and all other Persons employ'd by them, and such as have employ'd themselves for them, not only for what they have done, but for what they shall do? If they have Power to declare such Actions to be no Treason which we would not pardon, and such Actions to be Treason which needs no Pardon; the Latitude they allow us of granting or denying of Pardons, is a Jewel they may still be contented to suffer us to wear in our Crown, and never think themselves the more in danger.
All this consider'd, the Contrivers of that Message, (since they will afford him no better Title) whom they are angry with, doth not conceive the People of this Land to be so void of common Sense as to believe us (who have deny'd no one thing for the Ease and Benefit of them, which in Justice or Prudence could be asked, or in Honour or Conscience could be granted) to have cast off all Care of our Subjects Good; and the Framers and Devisers of that Declaration, who have endeavoured to render us odious to our Subjects, and them disloyal to us, by pretending such a Trust from them to have only taken it up; neither (we are confident) will they be satisfy'd when they feel the Misery and the Burdens which the Fury and the Malice of those People will bring upon them, with being told, that Calamity proceeds from evil Counsellors, whom no body can name; from Plots and Conspiracies, which no Man can discover; and from Fears and Jealousies, which no Man understands: And therefore that the Consideration of it be left to the Conscience, Reason, Affection, and Loyalty of our good Subjects, who do understand the Government of this Kingdom, we are well content.
Where will the Folly and Madness of these People end, who would have our People believe, that our absenting our self from London, where with our Safety we could not stay; and the continuing our Magazine at Hull, proceeded from the secret Plots of the Papists here, and to advance the Designs of the Papists in Ireland ? But it is no wonder that they who can believe Sir John Hotham 's shutting us out of Hull, to be an Act of Affection and Loyalty, will believe that the Papists or the Turks perswaded us to go thither.
And can any sober Man think that Declaration to be the Consent of either or both Houses of Parliament, unaltered either by Fraud or Force, which (after so many Thanks and humble Acknowledgments of our gracious Favour in our Message of Jan. 20. so often and so unanimously presented unto us from both Houses of Parliament) tells us, That the Message at first was, and as often as it hath been since mentioned by us, hath been a Breach of Privilege, (of which they have not used to be so negligent, as in four Months not to complain, if such a Breach had been) and that the way and method of proceeding should not be proposed to them, as if we had only Authority to call them together, none to tell them what they were to do, not so much as with reference to our own Affairs. What their own Method hath been, and whither it hath led them, and brought the Kingdom, all Men see; what ours would have been, if seasonably and timely apply'd unto, let all Men judge: We will speak no more of it.
But see now what excellent Instances they have found out to prove an Inclination, if not in us, to some about us, to Civil War. Their going with us to the House of Commons (so often urged, and so fully answered) their attending on us to Hampton-Court, and appearing in a warlike manner at Kingston upon Thames; our going to Hull; their drawing their Swords at York, demanding who would be for the King; the declaring Sir John Hotham Traytor before the Message sent to the Parliament; the Propositions to the Gentry in Yorkshire to assist us against him, before we had received an Answer from the Parliament; all desperate Instances of an Inclination to a Civil War: Examine them again. The Manner and Intent of our going to the House of Commons, we set forth at large in our Answer to their Declaration of the 19th of May Let all Men judge. Next, do these Men themselves believe (to what purpose soever that Rumour hath served their Turns) that there was an Appearance in a warlike manner at Kingston upon Thames ? Do they not know, that whensoever we have been at Hampton-Court, since our first coming to the Crown, there was never a less Appearance, or in a less warlike Manner than at the Time they mean? We shall say no more, but that our Appearance in a warlike Manner at Kingston upon Thames, and theirs at Kingston upon Hull, is very different. What is meant by drawing of Swords at York, and demanding who would be for the King, must be inquired at London; for we believe very few in York understand the Meaning of it. For our going to Hull (which they will by no means endure shall be called a Visit) whether it were not the way to prevent rather than make a Civil War, is very obvious; and the declaring him a Traytor in the very Act of his Treason, will never be thought unseasonable, but by those who believe him to be a Loving and Loyal Subject, no more than the endeavouring to make the Gentlemen of this County sensible of that Treason (which they are in an honourable and dutiful Degree) before we received our Answer from both Houses of Parliament. For if they had been (as we expected they should have been) sensible of that intolerable Injury offered to us, might not we have had Occasion to have used the Affection of these Gentlemen? Were we sure that Sir John Hotham, who had kept us out without their Order (we speak of a publick Order) would have let us in when they had bidden him? And if they had not such a sense of us, as the case falls out to be, had we not more reason to make Propositions to those Gentlemen, whose Readiness and Affection we, or our Posterity shall never forget.
But this Business of Hull sticks still with them, and finding our Questions hard, they are pleased to answer us by asking us other Questions. No matter of the Exceptions against the Earl of Newcastle, (which have been so often urged, as one of the principal Grounds of their Fears and Jealousies, and which drew that Question from us) they ask us why, since we held it necessary that a Governour should be placed in Hull, Sir John Hotham should be refused by us, and the Earl of Newcastle sent down? We answer, because we had a better Opinion of the Earl of Newcastle than of Sir John Hotham, and desired to have such a Governour over our Towns (if we must have any) as should keep them for, and not against us: And if his going down were in a more private way than Sir John Hotham 's, it was because we had not that Authority to make a noise by levying and billetting of Soldiers in a peaceable time upon our good Subjects, as it seems Sir John Hotham carry'd down with him; and the Imputation which is cast by the way upon that Earl, to make his Reputation not so unblemished as we conceived, and the World believes it to be, and which, tho' it was not Ground enough for a judicial Proceeding (it is wonder it was not) was yet of suspicion, must be the Case of every Subject in England, (and we wish it went no higher) if every vile Aspersion contrived by unknown Hands, upon unknown or unimaginable Grounds (which is the way practised to bring any vertuous and deserving Men into Obloquy) shall receive the least Credit or Countenance in the World!
They tell us their Exception to those Gentlemen, who delivered their Petition to us at York, was, That they presumed to take the Style upon them of all the Gentry and Inhabitants of that County; whereas they say, so many more of as good Quality as themselves of that County, were of another Opinion, and have since, by their Petition to us, disavowed that Act. Their Information in that Point is no better than it useth to be; and they will find, that neither the Number or the Quality of those who have, or will disavow that Petition, are as they imagine; tho' too many weak Persons are misled, which they do, and will every Day more understand, by the Faction, Skill, and Industry of that true malignant Party of which we do and have reason to complain. They say, they have received no Petition of so strange a Nature. What Nature? con-contrary to the Votes of both Houses? That is, they have received no Petition, they had no Mind to receive. But we told them, and we tell again, and all our good Subjects will tell them, that they have received Petitions, (with Joy and Approbation) against the Votes of both Houses of their Predecessors confirmed and established into Laws, by the Consent of us and our Ancestors; and allowed those Petitions to carry the Style, and to seem to carry the Desires of Cities, Towns, and Counties; when of either City, Town, or County, very few known or considerable Persons have been privy to such Petitions: Whereas in truth the Petitions delivered to us (against which they except) carried not the Style of all, but some of the Gentry and Inhabitants; and imply'd no other Consent, than such as went visibly along with it.
But we are all this while in a Mistake, the Magazine at Hull is not taken from us. Who told you so? They who assure you, (and whom without breaking their Privileges you must believe) that Sir John Hetham 's shutting the Gates against us, and resisting our Entrance with armed Men, (tho' we thought it in Defiance of us) was indeed in Obedience to us and our Authority, and for our Service, and the Service of the Kingdom; he was to let none in, but such as came with our Authority, signified by both Houses of Parliament, himself and they had ordered it so; And therefore he kept us out only 'till we or he might send for their Directions. We know not whether the Contrivers of that Declaration meant, that our good Subjects should so soon understand, tho' it was plain enough to be understood, the Meaning of the King's Authority, signified by both Houses of Parliament: But sure the World will now easily discern in what miserable Case we had by this time been (it is bad enough as it is) if we had consented to their Bill, or to their Ordinance of the Militia, and given those Men Power to have raised all the Arms of the Kingdom against us, (for the Common Good, by our own Authority) would they not, as they have kept us from Hull, by this Time have beaten us from York, and pursued us out of the Kingdom in our own behalf? Nay, may not this Munition, which is not taken from us, be imploy'd against us? not against our Authority, signified by both Houses of Parliament, but only to kill those ill Counsellors, the malignant Party which is about us, and yet for our Good, for the Publick Good, they will declare it so, and so no Treason within the Statute of 25 Edward III. which by their Interpretation hath left us (the King of England) absolutely lets provided for, in point of Safety, than the meanest Subject of the Kingdom; and every Subject of this Land, for whose Security that Law was made, that they may know their Duty, and their Danger in breaking it, may be made a Traytor, when these Men please to say he is so. But do they think, that upon such an Interpretation, (upon Pretence of Authority of Book-Cases and Precedents, which without doubt they would have cited if it had been to their purpose) out of which nothing can result, but Confusion to King and People, will find any Credit with our good Subjects; and that so excellent a Law, made both for Security of King and People, shall be so eluded, by an Interpretation no learned Lawyer in England will at this Hour, we believe, set under his Hand, notwithstanding the Authority of that Declaration, which we hope shall bring nothing but Infamy upon the Contrivers of it.
Now to their Privileges. Tho' it be true, they say, that their Privileges do not extend to Treason, Felony, or Breach of the Peace, so as to exempt Members from all manner of Process and Tryal, yet it doth privilege them in the way or method of their Tryal: The Cause must be first brought before them, and their Consent asked before you can proceed! Why, then their Privileges extend as far in these Cases, as in any that are most unquestioned; for no Privilege whatsoever exempts them from all manner of Process and Tryal, if you first acquaint the House with it, and they give you leave to proceed, by those Process, or to that Tryal. But by this Rule, If a Member of either House commit a Murder, you must by no means meddle with him, 'till you have acquainted that House of which he is a Member, and received their Direction for your proceeding, assuring your self, he will not stir from that place where you left him, 'till you return with their Consent; should it be otherwise, it would be in the Power of every Man, under pretence of Murder, to take one after another, and as many as he pleaseth, and so consequently bring a Parliament to what he pleaseth, when he pleaseth: If a Member of either House shall take a Purse at York, (he may as probably take a Purse from a Subject, as Arms against his King) you must ride to London to know what to do, and he may ride with you, and take a new Purse every Stage, and must not be apprehended, or declared a Felon, till you have asked that House, of which he is a Member; should it be otherwise, it might be in every Man's Power to accuse as many Members as he would of taking Purses, and so bring a Parliament, and so all Parliaments to nothing. Would these Men be believed? and yet they make no doubt but every one who hath taken the Protestation, will defend this Doctrine with his Life and Fortune? Will not our Subjects believe, that they have imposed a pretty Protestation upon them and that they had a very good End in the doing it, it it obligeth them to such Hazards, to such Undertakings? Must they forget or neglect our Person, Honour, and Estate, which by that Protestation they are bound to defend, and in some Degree do understand? And must they only venture their Lives and Fortunes to justify Privileges they know not, or ever heard of before? Or, are they bound by that Protestation to believe, that the Framers of that Declaration have Power to extend their own Privileges as far as they think fit, and to contract our Rights as much as they please, and that they are bound to believe them in either, and to venture their Lives and Fortunes in that Quarrel.
From declaring how mean a Person we are, and how much the Kingdom hath been mistaken in the understanding of the Statute of 25 E. 3 concerning Treason; and that all Men need not fear levying War against us, so they have their Order to warrant them, they proceed in the Spirit of declaring, to certify our Subjects in the Mistakings, which near one hundred and fifty Years have been received concerning the Statute of the eleventh Year of H. 7. Cap 1. (a Statute our good Subjects will read with Comfort) and tell them, that the Service of the King, for the time being, cannot be meant of Perkin Warbeck, or of any that should call him King, but such a one as is allowed and received by the Parliament in the behalf of the Kingdom: And are we not so allowed? however, thro' a dark Mist of Words, and urging their old Privileges, which we hope we have sufficiently answered, and will be every Day more confused by the Actions of our good Subjects, they conclude, that those that shall guide themselves by the Judgment of Parliament, (which they say is their own) ought, whatsoever happen, to be secure and free from all Accompts and Penalties, upon the Ground and Equity of that very Statute. How far their own Chancellours may help them in that Equity, we know not; but (by the Help of God, and that good Law) we shall allow no such Equity.
So then here is the Doctrine of that Declaration, and these are the Positions of the Contrivers of it.
- 1. That they have an absolute Power of declaring the Law; and that whatsoever they declare to be so, ought not to be questioned by our self, or any Subject. So that all Right, and Safety of us and our People, must depend upon their Pleasure.
- 2. That no Precedents can be Limits to bound their Proceedings: So they may do what they please.
- 3. That a Parliament may dispose of any Thing, wherein the King or Subject hath a Right, for the Publick Good: That they, without the King, are this Parliament, and Judge of this publick Good, and that our Consent is not necessary. So the Life and Liberty of the Subject, and all the good Laws made for the Security of them, may be disposed of and repealed by the major Part of both Houses, at any Time present, and by any Ways and Means procured so to be, and we have no Power to protect them.
- 4. That no Member of either House ought to be troubled or meddled with, for Treason, Felony, or any other Crime, without the Cause first brought before them, that they may judge of the Fact, and their Leave obtained to proceed.
- 5. That the Sovereign Power resides in both Houses of Parliament, and that we have no Negative Voice; so then we our self must be subject to their Commands.
- 6. That the levying of Forces against the personal Commands of the King, (tho' accompany'd with his presence) is not levying War against the King, but the levying War against his Laws and Authority, (which they have Power to declare and signify) though not against his Person, is levying War against the King; and that Treason cannot be committed against his Person, otherwise than as he is intrusted with the Kingdom, and discharging that Trust; and that they have a Power to judge whether he discharged this Trust or no.
- 7. That if they should make he highest Precedents of our Parliaments their Patterns, there would be no cause to complain of want of Modesty or Duty in them; that is, they may depose us when they will, and are not to be blamed for so doing.
And now, as if the meer publishing of their Resolutions, would not only prevail with the People, but in the instant destroy all Spirit and Courage in us, to preserve our own Right and Honour, they have since taken the Boldness to assault us with certain Propositions, which they call, The most necessary effectual Means for the removing those Jealousies and Differences between us and our People; that is, That we will be content to divest our self of all our Regal Rights and Dignities; be content with the Title of a King, and suffer them (according to their Discretion) to govern us and the Kingdom, and to dispose of our Children. How suitable and agreeable this Doctrine and these Demands are, to the Affection of our loving Subjects, under whose Trust these Men pretend to say and do these monstrous Things; and to design, not only the Ruin of our Person, but of our Monarchy it self, (which we may justly say, is more than ever was offered in any of our Predecessors Times: For tho' the Person of the King hath been sometimes unjustly deposed, yet the Regal Power was never before this Time strucken at) we believe our good Subjects will find some way to let them and the World know. And from this Time, such who have been misled by their ill Counsels, to have any Hand in the Execution of the Militia, will see to what ends their Service is designed; and therefore if they shall presume hereafter to meddle in it, they must expect that we will immediately proceed against them, as actual Raisers of Sedition, and as Enemies to our Sovereign Power.
We have done, and shall now expect the worst Actions these Men have Power to commit against us; and we doubt not but the major Part of both Houses of Parliament, when they may come together with their Honour and Safety, as well those who were surprized at the Passing of it, and understood not the Malice in it, and the Confusion that must grow by it, if believed, as those who were absent and involved, will so far resent the Indignity offer'd to us, the Dishonour to themselves, and the Mischief to the whole Kingdom, by that Declaration, that they will speedily make the soul Contrivers of it, Instances of their exemplary Justice, and brand them and their Doctrine with the Marks of their perpetual Scorn and Indignation.
To this his Majesty's Answer, the two Houses sometime after published a Reply; but the same being very tedious, is referred to the Appendix, where you will find it at large.
A Design against Hull, carry'd on by Mr. Beckwith, defeated, May 1642.
About the middle of May, Mr. Beckwith of Beverley sent a Letter to one Lieutenant Fowkes, who had marry'd his Daughter, and was then Lieutenant to Captain Lowinger, a Dutch-man, then in Command under Sir John Hotham in Hull. Which Letter Fowkes shewed to Mr. Robert Stockdale, then Secretary to Sir John. The Contents to this Effect, viz.
"I pray you will not fail to come this Day to see me, I have something of Concern to advise with you about, therefore I desire you not to fail to come to me.
Fowkes desired Stockdale to shew this Letter to Sir John Hotham, and obtain his Leave to go, promising to return next Day at what Time he should appoint, and give him a true Account. Which Sir John granted, ordering him to return next Day by Ten o'Clock: Which accordingly he did, and gave Sir John this following Account.——That being come to his Father's, and kindly received, in the Parlour he found about fourteen or fifteen Gentlemen; one of which had a Vizor on, whom he did suppose to be Sir Joceline Piercy, a Papist, then dwelling in Beverley, the rest were all Strangers to him. After Civilities had passed, they told him, They believed that neither he nor his Captain took up Arms under Hotham out of any Disloyalty to the King, but for their better support as Soldiers. He reply'd, That neither he, nor his Captain neither, had any Design of Disloyalty, but should always testify the contrary when any Occasion should happen. Upon which they thanked him; and after some further Discourse, he was told, That it lay in his and his Captain's Power, to do his Majesty such Service as would procure to themselves Honour and Advantage, and proposed that he would consult his Captain; and if they would think of some Way to deliver up Hull to the King, his Captain should have 1000 l. per Annum settled upon him and his Heirs, and 1000 l. in Money; and he 500 l. per Annum, and 500 l. in Money; and one of them give him Fifty Pieces of Gold as an Earnest, (which Gold the Lieutenant shewed to Sir John Hotham). He seemed to comply; but desiring to know whom he should correspond with, they told him only with his Father Beckwith.
Sir J. Hotham, with thanks and promise of Reward, ordered Fowkes to proceed, and drew up a Letter, which was transcribed by Fowkes to Beckwith, That he found the Captain compliable, and should give them Advice, as they proceeded. Several Letters thus pass'd, to humour the Design, 'till Sir John thought fit to bring it to an Issue, by framing a Letter in Fowkes 's Hand to this purpose: That on Tuesday next his Captain and he were to come upon the Guard, his Captain to command the Main-Guard, and he the North-Gate; therefore desired his Majesty would that Afternoon send from York 1000 Horse, and 500 Foot to ride behind the Horse for Expedition; and that they should be at Hull at two o'Clock in the Morning; with a small Party give the Alarm at Mytan Gate, and with the main Body advance to the North Gate, where he would give them Entrance, so they might march up to the Main-Guard, which his Captain would deliver into their Hands, and so the Town become their own without Hazard. Which was agreed on by Beckwith, in an Answer returned on the Monday.
Then Sir John opened the Matter at a Council of War, where the Majority was for permitting the intended Forces to come, and cut them off: Which Sir John opposed, saying, He would never shed Blood when he could save it, and rather chose to give Notice of it to his Majesty; sending away, about One of the Clock that Night, his Secretary; Who next Morning arrived at York, and presented a Letter from Hotham, of the Discovery of the Design. In reading of which his Majesty seemed pleased, it giving a Stop to the Effusion of Blood; some Gentlemen of Quality being then on Horseback, in order to the intended March.
The next Day Sir John Hotham sent an Express to the Parliament, who voted him Thanks, and ordered a Messenger for Beckwith, who seized him at York, by virtue of an Order of both Houses: But he was taken from the Messenger, his Majesty saying, That when the Parliament gave him Justice against Sir John Hotham, he would deliver Beckwith to them.
The King's Guards at York daily encreasing, and his Majesty resolving, as soon as possible, to make himself Master of the Town of Hull, and bring Hotham to exemplary Punishment: Therefore for his own Security, and to prevent any Practices within the Town, Sir John Hotham thought it necessary to try and engage the Inhabitants by a Protestation for the Maintenance of Hull for the King and Parliament, and Kingdom's Use, which was taken by the greater Part of the People, and such as refused were expelled the Town.
Likewise Sir John Hotham supposing that the King's Aim was principally to gain the Magazine, did therefore send all the great Ordnance back to London, and also great Store of Arms and Ammunition, hoping, that the same being removed, he should be the more quiet: And indeed the King for want of Ordnance, was not yet in a Condition to attack him. But on the 2d of June, 1642, the Ship called the Providence (coming from Holland, and making an Escape from the May-Flower, which had taken her in Hamber, and was bringing her into Hull) ran a shore upon Holderness-Coast in Kenningham -Creek, with sixteen Pieces of Ordnance, and great Store of Arms and Ammunition, having been long expected by the Royal Party; and the Tidings being carry'd to York of her Arrival, they unburthened the Ship and armed themselves, and divers Country-men, and prepared for the beleaguering of Hull; in order to which his Majesty sent the following Message and Proclamation to the two Houses, touching the Reason of his Advance before that Town.
His Majesty's Message to both Houses of Parliament of the 11th. of July, 1642. with the Proclamation ensuing.
The King's Message, July 11, 1642 touching his advance to besiege Hull.
By our former Declarations, and this our Proclamation (which we herewith send you) you and all our good Subjects, may see the just Grounds of our present Journey towards our Town of Hull. Before we shall use Force to reduce that Place to its due Obedience, we have thought fit once more to require you, that it may be forthwith deliver'd up to us, (the business being of that nature, that it can admit no delay): Wherein if you shall conform your selves, we shall then be willing to admit such Addresses from you, and return such Propositions to you, as may be proper to settle the Peace of this Kingdom, and compose the present Distractions. Do your Duty herein, and be assured from us, in the Word of a King, that nothing shall be wanting on our Part, that may prevent the Calamities which threaten this Nation, and may render our People truly happy. If this our gracious Invitation shall be declined, God, and all good Men judge betwixt us. We shall expect to receive Satisfaction herein by your Answer to be presented to us at Beverley, upon Friday next, being the 15th, of this present July.
By the KING. A Proclamation; declaring our Purpose to go in our Royal Person to Hull, and the true Occasion and End thereof.
A Proclamation of the Reasons of the King's Besieging Hull, July 8, 1642.
'We having long complained of the high Affront done unto us in our own Person by Sir John Hotham, when we went to our Town of Hull, to view our Magazine and Arms, our own proper Goods, (if we shall be allowed to call any thing our own) which then were there; and since by, and under colour of Orders made by both our Houses of Parliament, not only without, but against our Consent, violently taken and carry'd from thence; and for that the Town it self being the principal Fort and Port of these Northern Parts of this Kingdom, in a warlike manner, with many hundreds of Soldiers hath been kept and maintained against us, as a Garrison and Town of War, as against an Enemy; and that by the Pratice of a malignant Party, which hath too great an Influence upon our two Houses of Parliament. Instead of repairing our Honour for this Indignity, several Orders and Votes of the major Part then present, have been made to justify all this as Legal, which Orders and Votes would have us, and others to believe, upon the many Protestations in Print, that there hath been nothing done therein (as in many other things of that nature) but for the Safety our Person, the Honour of our Crown, and Good of the Kingdom; as if Words directly contrary to these Actions of Hostility could satisfy us, or any reasonable Man, not blinded with Self-Opinion, or abused and misled by vain and false Surmises, or groundless Jealousies. We have now looked somewhat more narrowly into the Manner of Sir John Hotham 's Carriage in this his Employment, and did find by the certain Relation of others, that for the Fortifying of the Place against us his Liege Lord, he hath used the help of Art in making Outworks to desend the Town; he hath purposely cut the Banks, and let in the Waters to drown the Land-passages, and to make the Town inaccessable by that way: He hath set forth a Pinnace (amongst other good Services) to intercept a Pinnace of ours employ'd for carrying of Letters, Messages and Passengers between us and our dearest Consort the Queen; he permitteth his Soldiers to issue out of the Town, and forage upon the Country: He hath not only unlawfully, but tyrannically cast out divers Inhabitants of the Town from their Dwellings, because he could not confide in them: He hath disarmed all the Townsmen, that he might put the sole Power in the Soldiery under his Command; he doth compel some others of the Inhabitants desirous to depart the Town with their Families, to abide and continue there against their Wills; and by drowning of the Lands about the Town in manner as aforesaid, he hath destroyed the Pastures, Meadows, and Corn-Lands within that Compass, containing some thousands of Acres of very fruitful Grounds, amounting to a great value, to the great impoverishing of the Owners and Occupiers thereof. And he hath for divers Months continued in Pay many hundreds of Soldiers, and endeavoured under pretence of Authority from the two Houses of Parliament, to increase their Number from the County of Lincoln adjoyning, and from other Places; and this at the publick Charge of the Kingdom, and out of those Monies provided for the Relief of the Miseries of Ireland, and Payment of the great Debt to our Kingdom of Scotland.
'Whereupon we being very sensible of this extream Dishonour to us, that a Town of such Importance, and so near to the Place of our present Residence, should be thus fortified, kept, and maintained against us; that the Port and Passage by Sea should be defended against us by our own Ships, under the Conduct of the Earl of Warwick, who being legally discharged by us of his Imployment by Sea, by our Revocation of the Commission formerly granted by us to the Earl of Northumberland, and by our Command signified unto him under our own Hand, to deliver the Command of our Ships into the Hands of another Person named by us, hath, notwithstanding our said Commands, (to which the Earl of Northumberland paid a Dutiful Obedience) presumed, not only to dispossess us of our said Navy, but to imploy it against us; and to take Prisoners such of our Captains as expressed a Loyalty to us, according to their Oaths, and the Duty of Subjects. And that a Ship of ours lately imploy'd for our particular Service into Holland, and returning from thence with some of our proper Goods, hath been chased by them as an Enemy, and enforced for her Safety, to put into a small Creek within six Miles of that Town, and there to run on Ground, to the great hazard of our said Vessel; and that both our Ship and Goods there were yet remaining in danger to be surprized by our own Subjects. We took a Journey on Wednesday the Sixth of this Month from York towards the said Creek, to take a View of our said Ship and Goods thus exposed to danger; we having just Cause to fear that Sir John Hotham, and others of his Consederacy, would (for our Good, and the Good of the Kingdom) make Prize of these also. And by the Opportunity of that Journey, we our self are now fully informed of the Certainty of those Things, which we had before received but from the Relation of others; and there received a lamentable Petition of our Subjects of those parts, complaining of the unheard of Insolene and Barbarism of Sir John Hotham, and desiring our just and necessary Protection of them from those cruel Oppressions.
'Upon all which Considerations, that we may at length, after this long Patience, do that Right to our Honour, our Crown and Royal Dignity, and to our good Subjects, in general, and those of and near to our Town of Hull in particular; which we had Reason to have expected from our Two Houses of Parliament, but have failed of the Fruits of our long Expectation, by the Malice of some ill-affected Spirits amongst them, who study nothing more, than by false pretences to amuse and abuse our good People. We have taken this Resolution, by God's Blessing, and the Assistance of our good Subjects, to force Sir John Hotham, and all that shall take part with him, in the unjust and treasonable Defence of the Town of Hull against us, to that Obedience which is due by Subjects to their Liege Lord and Sovereign; and to resist the Assistance intended to Sir John Hotham, from our said County of Lincoln, and other places adjoyning, if they shall attempt it. And to this purpose we Will and Require all our loving Subjects to yield their bell Assistance, of what kind soever, to so necessary a Defence or our Person, and just Vindication of so great an Injury offer'd unto us, to the Dishonour of this Nation. And we do declare, That whosoever shall give us their chearful Help at this Time, and to this Purpose, either with Men, Horse, Arms, or Money, to be brought, sent, or conveyed unto us, we shall look upon it as a service never to be forgotten.
'And this we publish to all our Subjects, and to all the World, that they may truly understand the clearness of our Intentions herein, as we shall do in all other things concerning our Government: And that we do and ever shall maintain those Resolutions we have professed so often, and so feriously by our former Declarations, That we will continue and defend the true Protestant Religion, as it is by Law established in the Church of England, the Laws of the Land, the Rights and just Liberties of our Subjects, equally to and with our own just Prerogative, and the true Privileges of Parliament, and never infringe any Act consented to by us, this Parliament; and that we have not, nor ever had the least thought of making War upon our two Houses of Parliament, as hath been slanderously and maliciously published. And these things, not our Words only, but all our Actions shall make good. And in this Resolution, and the just Observation thereof, we shall both live and die.
'Given at our Court at Beverley, the Eighth Day of July, in the Eighteenth Year of our Reign, 1642.
The two Houses of Parliament, before the Receipt of this Message of the 11th. of July, had prepared and concluded the following Petition to be presented to his Majesty, and therefore resolved not to return any other Answer thereunto. But left his Majesty should think it a Delatoriness in the Parliament to return an Answer, the two Houses sent the Author of these Collections Post to Beverley, to acquaint his Majesty, that the Earl of Holland, Sir John Holland, and Sir Philip Stapleton, were coming down with a Petition of both Houses, in answer to his Majesty's said Message of the 11th. of July; which is as followeth:
To the King's most Excellent Majesty, The Humble Petition of the Lords and Commons in Parliament Assembled.
The Parliament's Petition to the King at Beverley, July 15, 1642.
May it please your Majesty,
ALthough we your Majesty's most humble and faithful Subjects, the Lords and Commons in Parliament assembled, have been very unhappy in many former Petitions and Supplications to your Majesty, wherein we have represented our most dutiful Affections, in advising and desiring those things which we held most necessary for the Preservation of God's true Religion, your Majesty's Safety and Honour, and the Peace of the Kingdom: And with much Sorrow do perceive, That your Majesty, incensed by many false Calumnies and Slanders, doth continue to raise Forces against us, and your other peaceable and loyal Subjects, and to make great Preparations for War, both in the Kingdom, and from beyond the Seas: And by Arms and Violence, to over-rule the Judgment and Advice of your Great Council; and by Force to determine the Questions there depending, concerning the Government and Liberty of the Kingdom: Yet such is our earnest desire of discharging our Duty to your Majesty and the Kingdom, to preserve the Peace thereof, and to prevent the Miseries of Civil War amongst your Subjects, That notwithstanding we hold our selves bound to use all the Means and Power, which by the Laws and Constitutions of this Kingdom we are trusted with, for Defence and Protection thereof, and of the Subjects from Force and Violence; we do in this our humble and loyal Petition, prostrate ourselves at your Majesty's Feet, beseeching your Royal Majesty, That you will be pleased to forbear and remove all Preparations and Actions of War, particularly the Forces from about Hull, from Newcastle, Tinmouth, Lincoln, and Lincolnshire, and all other Places. And that your Majesty will recall the Commissions of Array, which are illegal; dismiss Troops, and extraordinary Guards by you raised: That your Majesty will come nearer to your Parliament, and hearken to their faithful Advice, and humble Petitions, which shall only tend to the Defence and Advancement of Religion, your own Royal Honour and Safety, and the Preservation of our Laws and Liberties. And we have been, and shall ever be careful to prevent and punish all Tumults and seditious Actions, Speeches, and Writings, which may give your Majesty just Cause of Distaste, or Apprehension of Danger, from which publick Aims and Resolutions, no sinister or private Respect shall ever make us to decline: That your Majesty will leave Delinquents to the due Course of Justice; and that nothing done or spoken in Parliament, or by any Person in pursuance of the Command and Direction of both Houses of Parliament, be questioned any where but in Parliament.
And we, for our Parts, shall be ready to lay down all those Preparations which we have been forced to make for our Defence. And for the Town of Hull, and the Ordinance concerning the Militia, as we have in both the Particulars, only sought the Preservation of the Peace of the Kingdom, and the Defence of the Parliament from Force and Violence: So we shall most willingly leave the Town of Hull in the State it was before Sir John Hotham drew any Forces into it, delivering your Majesty's Magazine into the Tower of London; and supplying whatsoever hath been disposed by us for the Service of the Kingdom. We shall be ready to settle the Militia by a Bill, in such a way, as shall be honourable and safe for your Majesty, most agreeable to the Duty of Parliament, and effectual for the Good of the Kingdom. That the Strength thereof be not employed against it self; and that which ought to be for our Security, apply'd to our Destruction: And that the Parliament, and those who profess and desire still to preserve the Protestant Religion, both in this Realm, and in Ireland, may not be left naked, and indefensible, to the mischievous Designs, and cruel Attempts of thosewho are the profess'd and consederated Enemies thereof in your Majesty's Dominions, and other Neighbouring Nations. To which, if your Majesty's Courses and Counsels, shall from henceforth concur, we doubt not but we shall quickly make it appear to the World, by the most eminent Effects of Love and Duty, That your Majesty's Personal Safety, your Royal Honour and Greatness, are much dearer to us than our own Lives and Fortunes: Which we do most heartily dedicate, and shall most willingly imploy for the Support and Maintenance thereof.
His Majesty's Answer to the Petition of the Lords and Commons Assembled in Parliament.
Though his Majesty had no great Reason to believe, that the Directions sent to the Earl of Warwick to go to the River of Humber, with as many Ships as he should think fit, for all possible Assistance to Sir John Hotham, (whilst his Majesty expected the giving up of the Town unto him) and to carry away such Arms from thence as his Discretion thought fit to spare out of his Majesty's own Magazine. The chusing a General, by both Houses of Parliament, for the Defence of those who have obeyed their Orders and Commands, (be they never so Extravagant and Illegal); their Declaration, That in that Case, they would Live and Die with the Earl of Essex, their General (all which they Voted the same Day with this Petition): And the committing the Lord-Mayor of London to Prison, for Executing his Majesty's, Writs and lawful Commands, were but ill Prologues to a Petition which might compose the miserable Distractions of the Kingdom: Yet his Majesty's passtionate Desire of the Peace of the Kingdom, together with the Preface of the Presenters, That they had brought a Petition full of Duty and Submission to his Majesty, and which desired nothing of him but his Consent to Peace, (which his Majesty conceived to be the Language of both Houses too) be got a greedy Hope and Expectation in him, that this Petition would have been such an Introduction to Peace, that it would at least have satisfy'd his Message of the Eleventh of this Month, by delivering up Hull unto his Majesty. But to his unspeakable Grief, his Majesty hath too much Cause to believe, that the End of some Persons by this Petition, is not in truth to give any Satisfaction to his Majesty; but by the specious Pretences of making Offers to him, to mislead and seduce his People, and lay some Imputation upon him of denying what is fit to be granted; otherwise it would not have thrown those unjust Reproaches and Scandals upon his Majesty, for making a necessary and just Defence for his own Safety; and so peremptorily justify'd such Actions against him, as by no Rule of Law or Justice can admit the least Colour of Defence; and after so many free and unlimited Acts of Grace passed by his Majesty, without any Condition, have proposed such Things which in Justice cannot be denied unto him, upon such Conditions as in Honour he cannot grant. However, that all the World may see how willing his Majesty would be to imbrace any Overture that might beget a right Understanding between him and his two Houses of Parliament, (with whom he is sure he shall have no Contention, when the private Practices and subtil Insinuations of some few malignant Persons shall be discover'd, which his Majesty will take Care shall be speedily done); he hath with great Care weighed the Particulars of this Petition, and returns this Answer:
That the Petitioners were never unhappy in their Petitions or Supplications to his Majesty, while they desired any thing which was necessary or convenient for The Preservation of God's true Religion, his Majesty's Safety and Honour, and the Peace of the Kingdom: And therefore when those general envious Foundations are laid, his Majesty could wish some particular Instance had been apply'd. Let Envy and Malice object one particular Proposition for the Preservation of God's true Religion, which his Majesty hath refused to consent to. What himself hath often made for the Ease of Tender Consciences, and for the Advancement of the Protestant Religion, is notorious by many of his Messages and Declarations: What Regard hath been to his Honour and Safety, when he hath been driven from some of his Houses, and kept from other of his Towns by Force: And what Care there hath been of the Peace of the Kingdom, when Endeavour hath been used to put all his Subjects in Arms against him, is so evident, That his Majesty is confident he cannot suffer by those general Imputations: It is enough that the World knows what he hath granted, and what he hath deny'd.
For his Majesty's raising Forces, and making Preparations for War, (what soever the Petitioners by the evil Arts of the Enemies to his Majesty's Person and Government, and by the Calumnies and Slanders raised against his Majesty by them, are induced to believe) all Men may know what is done that way, is but in order to his own Defence. Let the Petitioners remember that (which all the World knows) his Majesty was driven from his Palace of White-hall for Safety of his Life; that both Houses of Parliament upon their own Authority raised a Guard to themselves (having gotten the Command of all the Train'd-Bands of London to that purpose) without the least Colour or Shadow of Danger; that they usurped a Power by their pretended Ordinance (against all Principles and Elements of Law) over the whole Militia of the Kingdom, without, and against his Majesty's Consent; that they took Possession of his Town, Fort, and Magazine of Hull, and committed the same to Sir John Hotham, who shut the Gates against his Majesty, and by Force of Arms denied Entrance thither to his own Person; that they justified this Act, which they had not directed, and took Sir John Hotham into their Protection for whatsoever he had done or should do against his Majesty: And all this, whilst his Majesty had no other Attendance than his own menial Servants. Upon this the Duty and Affection of this County prompted his Subjects here to provide a small Guard for his own Person; which was no sooner done, but a Vote suddenly passed of his Majesty's Intention to levy War against his Parliament, (which, God knows, his Heart abhorreth) and notwithstanding all his Majesty's Professions, Declarations, and Protestations to the contrary, seconded by the clear Testimony of so great a Number of Peers upon the Place, Propositions and Orders for Levies of Men, Horse, and Arms, were sent throughout the Kingdom, Plate and Money brought in and received, Horse and Men raised towards an Army, muster'd and under Command, and all this contrary to the Law, and to his Majesty's Proclamation; and a Declaration published, That if he should use Force for the Recovery of Hull, or Suppressing the pretended Ordinance for the Militia, it should be held levying War against the Parliament, and all this done before his Majesty granted any Commission for the levying or raising a Man: His Majesty's Ships were taken from him, and committed to the Custody of the Earl of Warwick, who presumes under that Power to usurp to himself the Sovereignty of the Sea, to chace, fright, and imprison such of his Majesty's good Subjects as desire to obey his lawful Commands, altho' he had Notice of the legal Revocation of the Earl of Northumberland 's Commission of Admiral, whereby all Power derived from that Commission ceased. Let all the World now judge who began this War, and upon whose Account the Miseries which may follow must be cast; what his Majesty could have done less than he hath done, and whether he were not compelled to make Provision both for the Defence of himself, and Recovery of what is so violently and injuriously taken from him? And whether these Injuries and Indignities are not just Grounds for his Majesty's Fears and Apprehensions of farther Mischief and Danger to him? Whence the Fears and Jealousies of the Petitioners have proceeded, hath never been discovered: The Dangers they have brought upon his Subjects are too evident; what those are they have prevented, no Man knows: And therefore his Majesty cannot but look upon that Charge as the boldest, and the most scandalous hath yet been laid upon him, That this necessary Provision made for his own Safety and Defence, is to over-rule the Judgdment and Advice of his great Council, and by Force to determine the Questions there depending concerning the Government and Liberty of the Kingdom. If no other Force had been raised to determine those Questions than by his Majesty, this unhappy Misunderstanding had not been And his Majesty no longer desires the Blessing and Protection of Almighty God upon himself and his Posterity, than he and they shall solemnly observe the due Execution of the Laws in the Defence of Parliaments, and the just Freedom thereof.
For the Forces about Hull, his Majesty will remove them when he hath attained the End for which they were brought thither. When Hull shall be reduced again to his Subjection, he will no longer have an Army before it? and when he shall be assured that the same necessity and pretence of publick Good, which took Hull from him, may not put a Garrison into Newcastle, to keep the same against him, he will remove his from thence, and from Tinmouth; 'till when, the Example of Hull will not be out of his Memory.
For the Commissions of Array, which are legal, and are so proved by a Declaration now in the Press, his Majesty wonders why they should at the Time be thought grievous, and fit to be recalled, if the Fears of Invasion and Rebellion be so great, that by an illegal pretended Ordinance it is necessary to put his Subjects into a Posture of Defence, to Array, Train, and Muster them, he knows not why the same should not be done in a regular, known, lawful Way: But if in the Execution of that Commission, any thing shall be unlawfully imposed upon his good Subjects, his Majesty will take all just and necessary Care for their Redress.
For his Majesty's coming nearer to his Parliament; his Majesty hath expressed himself so fully in his several Messages, Answers, and Declarations, and so particularly avowed a real Fear of his safety, upon such Instances as cannot be answered, that he hath reason to take himself somewhat neglected. That since upon so manifest Reasons it is not safe for his Majesty to come to them, both his Houses of Parliament will not come nearer to his Majesty, or to such a place where the Freedom and Dignity of Parliament might be preserved. However, his Majesty shall be very glad to hear of some such Example in their punishing the Tumults (which he knows not how to expect) when they have declared, that they knew not of any Tumults, tho' the House of Peers desired, both for the Dignity and Freedom of Parliament, that the House of Commons would join with them in a Declaration against Tumults, which they refused, (that is, neglected to do) and other seditious Actions, Speeches, and Writings, as may take that Apprehension of Danger from him, tho' when he remembers the particular Complaints himself hath made of Businesses of that Nature, and that instead of inquiring out the Authors, neglect of Examination hath been, when Offer hath been made to both Houses to produce the Authors (as in that treasonable Paper concerning the Militia) and when he sees every Day Pamphlets published against his Crown, and against Monarchy itself, as the Observations upon his late Messages, Declarations, and Expresses, and some Declarations of their own, which give too great Encouragement in that Argument to ill-affected Persons; his Majesty cannot with Confidence entertain those Hopes which would be most welcome to him.
For the leaving Delinquents to the due Course of Justice; his Majesty is most assured he hath been no shelter to any such. If the tediousness and delay in Prosecution, the vast Charge in Officers Fees, the keeping Men under a general Accusation without Tryal, a whole Year and more, and so allowing them no way for their Defence and Vindication, have frighted Men away from so chargeable and uncertain an Attendance; the Remedy is best provided where the Disease grew. If the Law be the measure of Delinquency, none such are within his Majesty's Protection. But if by Delinquents, such are understood who are made so by Vote, without any Trespass upon any known or established Law: If by Delinquents those Nine Lords are understood who are made Delinquents for obeying his Majesty's Summons to come to him, after their stay there was neither safe nor honourable, by reason of the Tumults and other Violences; and whose Impeachment, he is confident, is the greatest Breach of Privilege that, before this Parliament, was ever offer'd to the House of Peers. If by Delinquents, such are understood who refuse to submit to the pretended Ordinance of the Militia, to that of the Navy, or to any other which his Majesty hath not consented to, such who, for the Peace of the Kingdom, in an humble manner, prepare Petitions to him, or to both Houses, as his good Subjects of London and Kent did, whilst seditious ones, as that of Essex, and other places, are allowed and cherished. If by Delinquents such are understood, who are called so for publishing his Proclamations, as the Lord-Mayor of London) or for reading his Messages and Declarations (as divers Ministers about London, and elsewhere) when those against him are dispersed with all Care and Industry, to poyson and corrupt the Loyalty and Affection of his People. If by Delinquents such are understood, who have or shall lend his Majesty Money in the Universities, or in any other places: His Majesty declares to all the World, That he will protect such with his utmost Power and Strength, and directs, That in these Cases they submit not to any Messengers or Warrants; it being no less his Duty to protect those who are innocent, than to bring the Guilty to condign Punishment, of both which the Law is to be Judge. And if both Houses do think fit to make a General, and to raise an Army for Defence of those who obey their Orders and Commands; his Majesty must not fit still, and suffer such who submit to his just Power, and are sollicitous for the Laws of the Land, to perish and be undone, because they are called Delinquents: And when they shall take upon them to dispense with the Attendance of those who are called by his Majesty's Writ, whilst they send them to Sea to rob his Majesty of his Ships, or into the several Counties, to put his Subjects in Arms against him, his Majesty, (who only hath it) will not lose the Power to dispense with them to attend his own Person, or to execute such Offices as are necessary for the Preservation of himself and the Kingdom, but must protect them, tho' they are called Delinquents.
For the manner of the proceeding against Delinquents; his Majesty will proceed against those who have no Privilege of Parliament, or in such Cases where no Privilege is to be allowed, as he shall be advised by his Learned Counsel, and according to the known and unquestionable Rules of the Law; it being unreasonable that he should be compelled to proceed against those who have violated the known and undoubted Law, only before them who have directed such Violation.
Having said thus much to the Particulars of the Petition, tho' his Majesty hath Reason to complain, That since the sending this Petition, they have beaten their Drums for Soldiers against him; armed their own General with a Power destructive to the Law and Liberty of the Subjects, and chosen a General of their Horse. His Majesty out of his Princely Love, Tenderness, and Compassion of his People, and Desire to preserve the Peace of the Kingdom, that the whole Force and Strength of it may be united for the Defence of itself, and the Relief of Ireland (in whose behalf he conjures both his Houses of Parliament, as they will answer the contrary to Almighty God, his Majesty, to those that trust them, and to that bleeding miserable Kingdom, That they suffer not any Monies granted and collected by Act of Parliament, to be diverted or employ'd against his Majesty, whilst his Soldiers in that Kingdom are ready to mutiny, or perish for want of Pay, and the barbarous Rebels prevail by that Incouragement) is graciously pleased once more to propose and require:
That his Town of Hull be immediately delivered up to him, which being done, (though his Majesty hath been provoked by the unheard-of Insolencies of Sir John Hotham, since his burning and drowning the Country, in seizing his Wine, and other Provisions for his House; and scornfully using his Servant, whom he sent to require them, saying, It came to him by Providence, end he will keep it; and so refusing to deliver it, with Threats, if he or any other of his Fellow-Servants should again repair to Hull about it; and in taking and detaining Prisoners, divers Gentlemen, and others, in their Passage over the Humber into Lincolnshire, about their necessary Occasions, and such other Indignities, as all Gentlemen must resent in his Majesty's Behalf) his Majesty, to shew his earnest Desire of Peace (for which he will dispense with his own Honour) and how far he is from Desire of Revenge, will grant a free and general Pardon to all Persons within that Town.
That his Majesty's Magazine taken from Hull, be forthwith put into such Hands as he shall appoint.
That his Navy be forthwith delivered into such Hands as he hath directed for the Government thereof; the detaining thereof after his Majesty's Directions published and received to the contrary, and imploying his Ships against him in such manner as they are now used, being notorious High-Treason in the Commanders of those Ships.
That all Arms, Levies, and Provisions for a War, made by the Consent of both Houses (by whose Example his Majesty hath been forced to make some Preparations) be immediately said down; and the pretended Ordinance for the Militia, and all Power of imposing Laws upon the Subject, without his Majesty's Consent, be disavowed, without which, the same Pretence will remain to produce the same Mischiefs; all which his Majesty may as lawfully demand, as to live, and can with no more Justice be denied him, than in Life may be taken from him.
These being done, and the Parliament adjourned to a safe and secure Place his Majesty promises, in the Presence of God, and binds himself by all his Confidence and Assurance in the Affection of his People, that he will instantly and most chearfully lay down all the Force he shall have raised, and discharge all his future and intended Levies, that there may be a general Face of Peace over the whole Kingdom; and will repair to them: And desires that Differences may be freely debated in a Parliamentary Way, whereby the Law may recover its due Reverence, the Subject his just Liberty, and Parliaments themselves their full Vigour and Estimation; and so the whole Kingdom a blessed Peace, Quiet, and Prosperity.
If these Propositions shall be rejected, his Majesty doubts not of the Protection and Assistance of Almighty God, and the ready Concurrence of his good Subjects, who can have no hope left them of enjoying their own long, if their King may be oppressed and spoiled, and must be remediless. And though his Towns, his Ships, his Arms, and his Money be gotten and taken from him, he hath a good Cause lest; and the Hearts of his People, which, with God's Blessing, he doubts not, will recover all the rest.
Lastly, if the Preservation of the Protestant Religion, the Defence of the Liberty and Laws of the Kingdom, the Dignity and Freedom of Parliament and the Recovery and the Relief of bleeding and miserable Ireland, be equally precious to the Petitioners, as they are to his Majesty, (who will have no Quarrel but in Defence of these) there will be a chearful and speedy Consent to what his Majesty hath now proposed and desired.
And of this his Majesty expects a full and positive Answer by Wednesday, the Seven and Twentieth of this instant July: 'Till when he will not make any Attempt of Force upon Hull, hoping in the Affection, Duty, and Loyalty of the Petitioners; and in the mean time expects that no Supply of Men be put into Hull, or any of his Majesty Goods taken from thence.
Our express Pleasure is, That this Petition of the Lords and Commons, with our Answer thereto, be read in all Churches and Chappels within the Kingdom of England and Dominion of Wales, by the Parsons, Vicars, or Curates of the same.
A Replication of the Lords and Commons Assembled in Parliament, to his Majesty's last Answer sent by the Right Honourable the Earl of Holland.
The Lords and Commons in Parliament, having taken into their Consideration his Majesty's Answer to their humble Petition for Peace, delivered by the Earl of Holland, Sir Philip Stapleton, and Sir John Holland, and the Demands which he is thereupon pleased to make concerning the speedy and present Delivery of the Town of Hull, the Magazine, the Navy, disavowing the Ordinance of the Militia, the laying down of all Arms raised by Authority of the two Houses of Parliament, and adjourning themselves to some other Place; do beseech his Majesty to accept this their most humble and just Excuse, that they cannot for the present, with the discharge of the Trust reposed in them, for the Safety of the King and Kingdom, yield to those Demands of his Majesty. The Reason why they took into their Custody the Town of Hull, the Magazine, and Navy, passed the Ordinance of the Militia, and made Preparation of Arms, was for the Security of Religion, the Safety of his Majesty's Person, of the Kingdom and Parliament, all which they did see in evident and eminent Danger: From which when they shall be secured, and that the Forces of the Kingdom shall not be used to the Destruction thereof, they shall then be ready to withdraw the Garrison out of Hull, to deliver the Magazine and Navy, and settle the Militia by Bill, in such a Way as shall be honourable and safe for his Majesty, most agreeable to the Duty of Parliament, and effectual for the Good of the Kingdom, as they have profess'd in their late Petition: And for adjourning the Parliament they apprehend no Reason for his Majesty to require it, nor Security for themselves to consent to it. And as for that Reason which his Majesty is pleased to express, they doubt not but the usual Place will be as safe for his Royal Person as any other, considering the full Assurance they have of the Loyalty and Fidelity of the City of London to his Majesty, and the Care which his Parliament will ever have to prevent any Danger which his Majesty may justly apprehend; besides the manifold Conveniences to be had there, beyond other Parts of the Kingdom. And as for the laying down of Arms, when the Causes which moved them to provide for the Defence of his Majesty, the Kingdom, and Parliament, shall be taken away, they shall very willingly and chearfully forbear any further Preparations, and lay down their Force already raised.
Die Jovis 28 Julii, 1642.
Ordered by the Lords in Parliament, That the Petition of the Lords and Commons in Parliament, delivered to his Majesty the 16th. Day of July, together with his Majesty's Answer thereunto, and a Replication of the said Lords and Commons to the said Answer, dated the 26th of July 1642, shall be read in all Churches and Chappels, within the Kingdom of England and Dominion of Wales, by the Parsons, Vicars, or Curates of the same.
John Brown, Cler. Parliamentorum.
Pursuant to these Resolutions before-mentioned, his Majesty, with an Army reported to be about 3000 Foot and 1000 Horse, was in the beginning of July removed from York to Beverley, a Town distant from Hull six Miles, intending to beleaguer Hull by Land; expecting also that Sir John Pennington, with some of his Ships, should stop all Intercourse by Sea: But the Earl of Warwick had seized the Navy, and sent two Ships to help the Town. His Majesty set forth a Proclamation, That none should convey any Relief or Provision thither; and his Forces endeavoured, by cutting of Trenches, to divert the Current of fresh Water that ran to the Town; and 200 Horse were sent into Lincolnshire to stop all Succour from Burton upon Humber. Sir John having the Advantage of a Spring-tide, presently drew up the Sluice, and laid all the Country about the Town under Water, giving Notice to the Country-men first to remove their Cattle and Goods.
Drums were beat up at London, and Parts adjacent, for Soldiers to be sent to Hull by Sea; and Sir John Meldrum, Scotch -Man, was appointed to assist Sir John Hotham. The Towns-men generally entred into Pay and Duty, and Five Hundred under the Conduct of Sir John Meldrum, issued out (about the end of July) upon the King's Forces; whose Horse drew up couragiously to receive them, but a great Part of their Foot, that consisted of the Train'd-Bands, were not so forward; so that his Majesty's Horse, and stoutest Men, seeing themselves deserted, retired as fast as they could towards Beverley. Sir John Meldrum, in the Pursuit, killed two of them, [The first Blood, as some say, that was shed in these unnatural Wars; though others reckon the Man killed at Manchester by the Lord Strange 's Company, to be the first in that kind] and took about Thirty Prisoners.
And soon after, fresh Supplies being arrived from London, he made another Sally, kill'd some, and took Fifteen Prisoners; and also destroy'd the King's Magazine at Aulby, routing the Guards, and taking most of their Arms. Yet were not his Majesty's Forces idle, but burnt three Mills belonging to the Town; raised a Fort at Paul, a little Town in Holderness, upon the Edge of Humber, which play'd on the Ships as they failed to and fro: But there they broke one of their Guns, and another at Hazzel. Another Fort was raised upon Lincolnshire -Shore, whither sending three Pieces of Ordnance in a Yacht, they were intercepted by the May-Flower Frigot, and carry'd into Hull. Whereupon, and especially upon the Disappointment of Sir John Pennington 's strait'ning the Town by Sea, his Majesty calling a Council of War, and considering the preciousness of the Time which he consumed there, resolved, by their Advice, to raise the Blockade before Hull, and so marched away with his Forces.
A Declaration of the Lords and Commons Assembled in Parliament, for the Preservation and Safety of the Kingdom and Town of Hull, and to satisfy such as have their Lands drowned, &c.
Parliament's Declaration for the Preservation of Hull &c. July 12 1642.
As in all Endeavours since this Parliament began, we intended only the Advancement of his Majesty's Honour and Safety, and the Regainment of the Ancient (though of late Years much invaded) Rights, Laws, and Liberties, being the Birthright of the Subjects of this Land, and settling of the true Protestant Religion (the Glory of our Nation) in Peace and Purity; so did we no less hope for, and expect his Majesty's Concurrence in those Particulars, they being the very Foundation of his Majesty's present Honour and Greatness, and the Fountain of perfect and future Bliss to himself, and all his Loyal Subjects, which too evidently we see our selves (by the wicked Counsellors, now unmasked, about his Majesty) not only deprived of, but instead thereof open War declared, and prosecuted against his Majesty's Loyal Subjects of Hall, and elsewhere in this Kingdom, far unsuitable to such Declarations of Love and Peace, as his Majesty hath frequently promised and published to the Kingdom, and in particular to the County of York, with solemn Protestations that he would not, nor had it enter'd his Thought to make War against his Parliament; which how agreeable they are to the present Courses of his Majesty and Counsellors, specially since from his Agents abroad he received Provisions fit for War, which immediately have been put on for Execution, we refer to the whole World to judge of.
But however, those Promises and Protestations have been no sooner made, but broken, and our hope of Peace and Safety thereby wholly disappointed; yet that it may appear in all Ages to come, that as in Duty we are bound, (the Kingdom having intrusted us) so we have not, nor will be found wanting in the least degree of our Care and Providence (God assisting us) for the Preservation of the whole Kingdom, and Town of Hull, and the Inhabitants thereof, from Violence and Ruin; though for the effecting thereof, his Majesty hath proceeded to many hostile Preparations and Acts, by having got divers Pieces of great Ordnance, and other warlike Provisions, both of Horse and Foot, for the taking in of the said Town, and his other Designs, and by cutting off their fresh Water, intercepting and restraining of Victuals and other Necessaries for their Subsistence and Livelihood; as if to obey the Parliament's Commands, (that being Sir John Hotham 's Crime) though never so much for the Safety of the whole Kingdom, were so capital an Offence, as nothing but Death, Ruin, and Destruction could expiate.
Wherefore we the Lords and Commons in Parliament Assembled, have thought fit, and do hereby declare, That whereas Sir John Hotham, Governour of Hull, by the special Order of the Parliament appointed for that Service, hath been forced, for the Prevention of the sudden Surprisal, and Destruction of the Town and the Inhabitants thereof, to let in some Tides from Humber upon the Grounds adjoyning to the said Town, which for the present could not otherwise have been secured: We do therefore hereby promise and assure all and every such Person and Persons whatsoever, either the Owners, or Farmers of any the said Grounds, which shall be impaired by this over-flowing of the Water, full and ample Satisfaction for all such Loss as they, or any of them, shall thereby sustain, except such Persons only, as formerly have been, now are, or hereafter shall be found the Stirrers-up, Abettors, or Furtherers of any such Way or Means, as have, or may conduce to the Endangering or Annoyance of the said Town of Hull, or the Governour thereof, in his Service and Duty therein, or shall any way disturb the Peace and Safety of the said Town, or any the Inhabitants thereof, who stand well-affected thereto.
And we do also declare, That we, the Lords and Commons in Parliament Assembled, will not only protect, secure, and save harmless all and every such Person and Persons whatsoever, as have or shall, either by Sea or Land, provide, furnish, or deliver any Provision of Victual, Beer, or other Thing whatsoever, for the Relief and Safety of the Garrison of Hull, but shall also make good Payment for the same, and thankfully accept thereof, as good Service done to the Kingdom, any pretended Warrant issued, or hereafter to be issued out, under the Colour of any Name or Anthority whatsoever to the contrary notwithstanding.
And forasmuch as we are informed that some of the Inhabitants of Hull stand firmly resolved in their good Affections to the Service, and safe keeping of the said Town, for the Good of the King and Kingdom, we thought fit also to declare, That all such of the Inhabitants thereof, as shall continue well-affected to the said Service, and stand close in their Fidelity and Assistance to the Governour thereof, we do hereby assure and promise them, That they shall receive from us Protection and Encouragment answerable to such a Service as will be very acceptable unto us, in respect of the Importance of it, for the Preservation of Religion, and Safety of this Kingdom.
And lastly, We do declare our Acknowledgment, Acceptance, and Approbation of that prudent Valour, Vigilancy, and Faithfulness of the Governour, Officers, and Soldiers employ'd in the said Town, both for the Discovery of Plots formerly contrived for the Betraying of the said Town, and their undaunted Resolutions to keep the same against whomsoever, for the Service of his Majesty and Kingdom. And do promise and assure them, That every particular good Service done, or to be done, by any Commander or Soldier, serving, or to serve therein, shall be rewarded, as shall answer the Greatness of this Kingdom, and the Quality of the Service.