Historical Collections of Private Passages of State: Volume 8, 1640-41. Originally published by D Browne, London, 1721.
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Monday, January 4th, 1640.
Ordered, That a Conference be desired with the Lords tomorrow morning, concerning the state, the disorders and dangers of the new levied Irish Army, and to present them to their Lordships, and to desire them to join with the House in a Petition to His Majesty, for the disbanding of that Army. The Committee appointed for Earl of Strafford's business, are to prepare the Heads of this Conference; and the Members of this House are required to bring into this Committee, between this and tomorrow morning, such Informations as shall come to their Hands conducing to these matters; Sir Walter Earle and Sir John Clotworthy are to manage this Conference.
And to desire a free Conference concerning those Declarations presented by the Scottish Commissioners, against the Lord Lieutenant and the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, as Incendiaries; Sir Peter Heyman to go up with this Message.
The Subject of his Conference to be, to present to the Lords, that it may be made known to the Lords Commissioners, that the Scottish Commissioners be desired to bring in their Proofs against the Lord Lieutenant and the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, to the end the Parliament may proceed to Judgment.
Tuesday, January 12th, 1640.
Ordered, That the several Petitions of Sir Henry Wallop, the Lord Viscount Nettersfield be referred to the Sub-Committee, formerly appointed by the Grand Committee for Irish Affairs for the business of Sir Henry Wallop, because there is something in those Petitions that will materially conduce to the Charge of the Earl of Strafford.
Ordered, That the Committee appointed to prepare some fit way of Representing to the Lords the four Irish Causes formerly Reported here, (viz.) That of the Lord Mountnorris, the Lord Dillon, Lord Viscount Ely, and the Earl of Kildare do sit.
Friday, January 15th, 1640.
Ordered, That the Committee appointed to draw up the Charge against the Earl of Strafford, shall desire to have the Depositions that are yet sealed up, delivered unto them, and may add and insert such particular Instances, and other Circumstances, as they in their Discretions shall think fit to the several Articles delivered in Charge against the Earl of, Strafford, according to the saving in the conclusion of those Articles, and that they present the whole matter to the House on Monday morning next.
Saturday, January 16th, 1640.
To desire their Lordships, That those Examinations which, at the Request of this House, were taken, in the Case of the Earl of Strafford, by the Lords deputed to that purpose, may be delivered to the Commissioners of this House appointed to draw up the Charge against the Earl, that they may make use of them for the enlarging of their Charge, in particularities of Evidences, according to the Clause of Resolution in the conclusion of the said Charge; and likewise to make a Declaration, That however, by the Course of Parliament, this House might proceed with the Charge in general, yet to avoid all scruples, and to bring the business sooner to a conclusion, they do desire to conclude in this way.
Saturday, January 23. 1640.
Thursday, January 28th, 1640.
Friday, January 29th, 1640.
Ordered, That the Consideration of the Commission granted to the Earl of Worcester, and his eldest Son the Lord Herbert, and some Commissions by them granted to others, for the levying of Forces in the several Counties of England and Wales, and all the Circumstances depending thereupon, be referred to the Committee to draw up the Charge against the Earl of Strafford, and to consider of the Magazine in Sir Piercy Herbert's Custody.
Saturday, January 30th, 1640.
The further Impeachment of Thomas Earl of Strafford was again read, and the Title of the Impeachment, and every Article, and the Conclusion, were every of them particularly put to the Question, and were every of them assented unto, and Resolved upon the Question: And afterwards it was Resolved upon the Question, That these Articles being engrossed, shall be forth with sent up to the Lords.
Ordered, That Mr. Hampden go up with a Message to the Lords, to desire a Conference with their Lordships presently (if it may stand with their Lordships Occasions) by a Committee of both Houses, touching the further Impeachment of Thomas Earl of Strafford.
Ordered, That the Thanks of this House be given to Mr. Pym, and to the whole Committee, for the great Service they have done this House in the great pains they have taken, in preparing and drawing up the Charge and Articles against Thomas Earl of Strafford.
Tuesday, February 16th, 1640.
Sir Philip Stapleton went up to the Lords, with a Message, to desire a Conference with their Lordships, by a Committee of both Houses, presently (if it may stand with their Lordships Occasions) concerning the Earl of Strafford.
Resolved upon the Question, That the Heads Reported by Mr. Pym from the Committee appointed to prepare the Heads of the Conference to be desired with the Lords, concerning the Earl of Strafford, shall be Heads of that Conference, and that Committee is to manage the Conference.
Sir Philip Stapleton brings Answer from the Lords, That their Lordships do expect His Majesty at their House this Morning; and that so soon as His Majesty shall be gone, they will send Answer by Messengers of their own.
Thursday, February 18th, 1640.
The Lords desired a Conference by a Committee of both Houses, concerning the Sequestering of Thomas Earl of Strafford from his Offices, presently in the Painted Chamber, if it may stand with the conveniency of this House.
- Sir Walter Earle,
- Sir Jo. Culpepper,
- Mr. Hollis,
- Mr. Sollicitor.
- Mr. Vaughan.
- Mr. Hyde,
- Mr. Pym,
- Mr. Maynard,
- Mr. Selden,
- Mr. Palmer,
- Mr. Whitlock,
- Sir Simon D'Ewes,
- Mr. Whistler,
- Mr. Glyn, and
- Mr. Hampden.
Do take into Consideration the whole matter of the Report of the free Conference now made by Mr. Pym, and also what concerns the Right of the Commons in the Proceedings in the Lords House against the Earl of Strafford, and what Concerns the Kingdom in general, and the Legality of these Proceedings; and they are likewise to Consider, What is fit for the Commons to claim in Causes of Impeachment; and they are to meet this Afternoon at Two of the Clock in the Treasury Chamber.
Friday, February 19th, 1640.
That the Committee for the Earl of Strafford shall have Liberty to open all Letters directed to Sir George Ratcliff, and if they find it worthy the knowledge of the House, they are to acquaint the House therewith.
Tuesday, February 23. 1640.
A Message from the Lords, desiring a present Conference by a Committee of both Houses in the Painted Chamber (if it may stand with the convenience of this House) concerning the Conference that was Yesterday, touching the Proceedings against Thomas Earl of Strafford.
Mr. Glyn Reports from the Conference, That the Lord Keeper delivered the Lords Answer in these words, viz. First, That We shall admit him no further use of Council, than the necessity of the Case, for his just Defence requireth, and wherein Council may, with the Justice and Honour of this House, be afforded him. Secondly, That there shall be no delay in Proceedings, but all Expedition used according to their own desires.
Wednesday, February 24th, 1640.
Mr. Solicitor Reports from the Conference, That Yesterday was the day the Lords had prefixed for my Lord of Strafford to give in his Answer, that accordingly he was there, and had given it in; and that this Answer which now they had delivered to the Commons was the Answer which the Earl of Strafford was to stand or fall by.
The engrossed Answer, and a Copy of it, were both delivered in by the Reporters, and was desired, that when the Copy was perfectly examined, the Original might be delivered to the Clerk of their House.
The same day in the Afternoon the several Articles of the further Impeachment of Thomas Earl of Strafford, by the Commons, were all read; and to every of the said Articles, the particular and several Answers of the said Earl were likewise read.
The Answer held three hours reading, being above 200 sheets of Paper, too long to be here inserted; yet take an exact Abstract of the said Answer to the Articles exhibited against him, which are as followeth:
To the First Article, he faith, He conceives that the Commission and Instruction differ not from those formerly granted, but refers to them, and that such Alterations and Additions as were made, were (for ought he knoweth) rather for the explanation than for the enlarging of the Jurisdiction, the Care whereof was left to the Secretary of that Council, and to the King's Learned Council, to be passed for the good of the King's Service, and the Publick Welfare of that Province; for Legality of the Proceedings, diverseminent Lawyers were joined with the President, who, for the Legal parts, was by them to be directed. He did not advise or procure the enlargement of the Commission and Instructions, and he believeth nothing hath been practiced since, that was not in former Times, contained in former Commissions, under general words. He believeth Sir Conyers Darcy was lawfully Fined for Misdemeanors, as a Justice of Peace; and hath heard, he being in Ireland, that Sir John Boucher was Fined for some great Abuse at the Kings being at York, going into Scotland to be Crowned; to the Proceedings he refers himself. He denies that he hath done any thing by that Commission or Instruction, other than he conceived he might by virtue thereof lawfully do.
To the Second Article, He denieth the speaking of those words, but saith, That 30, 40 l. or more, being returned as Issues out of the Exchequer, against some that had compounded for Knighthood, for 10l. or 20l. so as the Issues far exceed the Composition, and yet would next time have been increased. The said Earl upon this occasion said, That now they might see, that the little Finger of the Law was heavier than the King's Loins, which he spake to nourish good Affections in them towards His Majesty, and not to threaten or terrify any, as the Article is supposed.
To the Third Article, he faith Ireland is not Governed by the same Laws that this Kingdom is, unless it is meant by the Common Laws, their Customs, Statutes, Execution of Martial Laws, Proceedings at Council-Board very much differ, they spake not the words in the Article to any such intent; He faith, It might be fit enough for him to remember them of the great Obligation they had to the King and his Progenitors, that suffered them, being a Conquer'd Nation, to enjoy Freedom and Laws, as their own people of this Kingdom; and it might be, that upon some such occasion, he said to those of Dublin, That some of their Charters were void, and nothing worth, and did not bind His Majesty farther than He pleased, which he believes to be true, having been formerly so informed by His Majesties Learned Council upon sundry occasions.
To the Fourth, he faith, That the legal and ordinary Proceedings at Council-Table are, and time out of mind have been by Petition, Answers, examination of Witnesses, as in other Courts of Justice concerning British Plantations, the Church and cases hence recommended by the King for the time being, and in Appeals from other Courts there; and the Council-Board have always punished Contempts to Orders there made, to Proclamations, and Acts of State, by Fine and Imprisonment. He faith, That it might be, he told the Earl of Cork that he would imprison him if he disobeyed the Orders of the Council-Table, and that he would not have Lawyers dispute or question those Orders, and that they should bind, but remembreth not the Comparison of Acts of Parliament; and he hath been so far from scorning the Laws, that he hath endeavoured to maintain them; the Suit against the Earl, in the Castle-Chamber, was concerning the Possessions of the College of Youghall, worth 6 or 700 l. which he had endeavoured to get, by causing of unlawful Oaths to be taken, and very undue means; the matter proceeded to Examination and Publication of Witnesses, and after, upon the Earl of Cork's humble Suit, and payment of 15000 l. to His Majesty, and his acknowledgment of his Misdemeanors, obtained a Pardon, and the Bill and Proceedings were taken off the Files; and he remembers not any Suit for breach of any Order made at Council-Table.
To the fifth, he faith, The Deputies and Generals of the Army have always executed Martial Law, which is necessary there; and the Army, and the Members thereof, have been long time Governed by Printed Orders, according to which, divers, by Sentence of the Council of War, have formerly been put to Death as well in the time of Peace as War. The Lord Mountnorris being a Captain of a Company in the Army, for mutinous words against the said Earl, General of that Army, and upon two of those ancient Orders was proceeded against by a Council of War, being the Principal Officers of the Army, about twenty in number, and by them, upon clear Evidence, sentenced to Death, wherein the said Earl was no judge, but laboured so effectually with His Majesty, that he obtained the Lord Mountnorris's Pardon, who, by that Sentence, suffered no personal hurt or damage, save about two days Imprisonment. And as to the other Persons, he can make no Answer thereunto, no particulars being described.
To the Sixth, he faith, The Suit had depended many Years in Chancery, and the Plaintiff Complaining of that delay, the said Earl, upon a Petition, (as in such cases hath been usual) calling to him the then Master of the Rolls, the now Lord Chancellor, and the Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, upon the Proofs in the Chancery, decreed for the Plantiff, to which he refers himself, and it may be the Lord Mountnorris was thereupon put out of his Possession.
To the Seventh, he faith, His Majesty being Intituled to divers Lands, upon an Inquisition found, Proclamation was made, That such as Claimed by Patent should come in by a day, and have their Patents allowed, as if they should come in by a day, and have their Patents allowed, as if they had been found in the Inquisition, and accordingly divers were allowed. The Lord Dillon produced his Patent, which being questionable, he consented, and desired that a Case might be drawn, which was drawn by Council, and argued, and the Judges delivered their Opinions, but the Lord Dillon, nor any other, were bound thereby, or put out of Possession, but might have traversed the Office, or otherwise legally have proceeded, that Case or Opinion not with standing.
To the Eighth, he faith, That upon Sir John Gifford's Petition to the King, His Majesty referred it to the Deputy and Council of Ireland, where the matter proceeding legally to a Decree against the Lord Loftus, and upon his Appeal, that Decree, by His Majesty and His Council of England, was confirmed, to which Decree and Order he refers himself, believing the Lord Loftus was committed for disobeying that Decree, and for continuance in contempt committed close Prisoner. He faith, That the Lord Loftus having committed divers Contempts, the Council by Warrant required him to appear at the Board, and to bring the Great Seal with him; which Order he disobeyed, and was shortly after Committed, and the Great Seal was delivered up by His Majesties express Command, and not otherwise. And an Information was exhibited in the Star Chamber, for grievous Oppressions done by the Lord Loftus as Chancellor, whereof he was so far from justifying, as that he submitted, desiring to be an Object of His Majesties Mercy. and not of His Justice.
The Earl of Kildare for not performing of an Award made by King James, and of an Award made in pursuance thereof, by the said Earl of Strafford, upon a Reference from His Majesty, was by the Deputy and Council Committed, and a Letter being unduly obtained, he did not thereupon enlarge him; but upon another Letter, and submission to the Orders, as by the King was directed, he was enlarged.
The Lady Hibbots, and one Hoy her Son, having upon a Petition, Answer, Examination of Witnesses, and other Proceedings at Council-Board, been found to have committed soul abuses by Fraud and Circumvention, to have made a Bargain with the Petitioner Hibbots, for Lands of a great value, for a small sum of Money, was Ordered to deliver up the Writing, no Assurances being perfected, or Money paid, and it's like he threatned her with Commitment if she obeyed not that Order, but denieth that the Lands were after sold to Sir Robert Meredith to his use, or that by any Order by himself made, any one hath been Imprisoned concerning Freeholds, but for debts and personal things, as some have been used by all his Predecessors in like Causes.
To the Ninth, he faith, Warrants to such Effects have been usually granted to the Bishops in Ireland, in the times of all former Deputies; but the Earl not satisfied with the conveniency thereof, refused to give any such Warrants in general to the Bishops as had been formerly done; but being informed that divers in the Diocess of Down gave not fitting Obedience, he granted a Warrant to that Bishop, whereto he referreth, which was the only Warrant he granted of that Nature, and hearing of some Complaints of the Execution thereof, he recalled it.
To the Tenth he faith, The Lord Treasurer Portland offered the Farm of the Customs for 13000 l. per annum in some particular Species, but the Earl of Strafford advanced the same Customs to 15500 l. per annum, and 8000 l. Fine, and by His Majesties Command became a Farmer at those Rates proposed, without addition to those Rates, as by the printed Books 7 Car. Regis may appear; he disswaded the advance of Rates lately proposed by Sir Abraham Dawes, so as it was declined; the Rates of Hydes and Wooll are moderate, consideration being had of their true value, and of the Places whereto they are to be transported, and of the Statute made in the time of Queen Elizabeth, and there in force, prohibiting the Exportation of Wooll, unless they pay to the Crown 5 s. the Stone; the Trade and Shipping of that Kingdom are exceedingly increased.
To the Eleventh he faith, Pipe-staves were prohibited in King James's Time, and not Exported, but by License from the Lord Treasurer of England, or Lord Deputy of Ireland, who had 6 s. 8 d. a 1000, and his Secretary 3 s. 4 d. for the License; but to restrain that destruction of Timber, by Command of His Majesty, and Advice of His Council, for His Revenue in Ireland, first 30 s. then 3 l. the Money was paid to His Majesty, who hath thereby about 1500 l. per annum, and his Lordship lost about 4 or 500 l. per annum, which his Predecessors had for such Licenses. This is paid by the Transporter, not by the Natives, whose Commodity nevertheless appears by the Article to be much increased.
To the Twelfth he faith, The Subsidies there are an Inheritance in the Crown by Act of Parliament, 6 d. was paid for Subsidy, and 1 s. 6 d. for Impost upon every pound of Tobacco, and Farmed 10 or 20 l. per annum, the Commons in Parliament, 10 Car. Regis, finding the Revenue to be short of the Expence of that Kingdom 24000 l. per annum, Petitioned those Grants might be applied to increase His Majesties Revenue, without calling upon the Subject, but upon urgent Occasions: Hereupon upon the Advice of the Committee of the Revenue; and in consideration of a Proclamation made in England, several Proclamations were made, and this settled in a way, till it could be confirmed by Parliament, for which purpose a Bill is transmitted, according to the desire of the Commons, and the Impost of Tobacco is Let to Contractors for eleven years, at 5000 l. per annum for the first five years, and 10000 l. per annum for the other six years, and the Earl hath Lent Money to forward the business, and by His Majesties Allowance is a Partner, but hath not as yet in two years last past had any Accompts thereof, or made Benefit thereby. He knoweth of no Whipping, or other Punishment; the Farms of the Customs are better than formerly 2000 l. per annum, five eight parts whereof is yearly paid unto His Majesty; the prices of Tobacco exceed not 2 s. or 2 s. 4 d. the pound, the settling of that Revenue, according to the Petition of the Commons, he hath not raised, or countenanced any Monopolies, but opposed the same.
To the Thirteenth he faith, He endeavoured to advance the Manufacture of Linnen rather than of Woollen-Cloth, which might prejudice that Trade here; he bought Flax-feed in the Low Countries, and sold it at the same Rate to such as desired it, they making their Cloaths not above a foot broad, and winding 8 or 10 threads from several Bottoms together; the contrary was twined; their Flax, formerly not above a Foot, became a Yard in length, and that soil is fit to bear it, and the people love such easie Works; He hath set up many Looms, made much Cloth, and fold it to the loss of some Thousands of pounds; but when the State saw the Natives would not change their old courses for new and better, the Proclamation was declined. What he did was for the Publick Good, and had nothing from them that was not fully paid for.
To the Fourteenth he faith, He refers to the Oath and Proclamation, which was set forth by the said Earl and Council of State there, at the instance of the Farmers of the Customs, towards the defrauding of the Kings Duties being in France, where of His Majesty had five eight parts: He never heard any Complain of the Oath, or of any that refused to take it, and conceived it to be lawful, divers of the Council approving it, being Learned Judges of the Law, to whose Judgment, for the Legality he submitted, as well in that as to other matters of like nature.
To the Fifteenth, He denieth what is in the Article Objected, but faith, That about the Year 1626, certain Agents authorized in Ireland, were sent into England, and offered and agreed to pay to His Majesty 120000 l. In six years, towards the maintenance of His Army, and a like payment of 20000 l. per annum, was after agreed, and continued for three years longer; the Assessments were made, and it was shortly after, by them and the Lord Faulkland then Deputy, agreed in Ireland, that the money should not be charged upon Record, but levied by Captains, by paper-Assignments, upon Warrants from the Lord Deputy; and this course was held four years in the Lord Faulkland's time, and the four years wherein the Lord Lofius and the Earl of Cork were Lords Justices there; and it held for the remaining year only, after the Earl of Strafford came thither; but the Earl of Cork having spared those Towns for the benefit of himself and Tenants during the time of his being Justice: The Earl of Strafford reduced the Assessments to what it was made by the Lord Faulkland, and gave way that Sir William St. Leiger, Lord President of Munster, to take the same Arrerages, in satisfaction of a Debt due unto him by His Majesty, and he is confident no force was used in levying the same: It hath been usual to lay Soldiers to levy that Contribution, to send Soldiers to apprehend Contemners of Orders made at Council-Board, and the like; and when Out-Laws and Rebels have been in the Woods, no soldiers have in his time been laid, but by the Advice of the Council there. Touching the Castle-Chamber, it's a parcel of the Territory of Ideough, whereto the King was entitled by Inquisition, and the Possession established in a Legal way, when the said Earl was in England, and no Soldiers were sent, but only Twelve at the intreaty of Mr. Wanesford, for security of his Houses and Plantations against Rebels that then were out, and burned and spoiled Houses thereabouts; and neither Richard Butler's or any other Family were thence expelled by the said Earl from their Estates.
To the Sixteenth he faith, There was such a Proposition which was just, to prevent clamorous Complaints here, which there might be redressed, but conceives that by the Laws there, and the Articles known since (by the name of the Articles of Grace made about fourteen years since) none ought to depart that Kingdom without License.
He denied License only to Three, the Earl of Cork, the Lord Mountnorris, and Sir Frederick Hamilton; to the two former, in regard of Criminal Suits then against them in the Castle-Chamber; to the other by Special Command from His Majesty; but so soon as Sir Frederick said he would Complain of the Earl, he made Suit to Ais Majesty, That Sir Frederick might come over, which was granted; He conceives such restraint to be necessary, and if that it be not continued, it will prove of evil Consequence to that Kingdom.
Parry was questioned at the Council-Board for Misdemeanors, and to avoid Sentences, secretly went out of the Kingdom, and at his return, for that and other Offences, was Fined and Imprisoned, to the Sentences there of he refers, and knows of no other that were Imprisoned, as by the Article is Charged.
To the Seventeenth he faith, Its like he might say, (for the better encouragement of the Officers and Soldiers of the old Irish Army, in discharge of their several Duties) that His Majesty was so well satisfied in the way and pains they took in using and practicing of their Arms, that in that Point he would set them as a Pattern to be imitated; and conceives it would not be ill if they were so, they being in the Opinion of those that have seen them Exercise, very able and expert Soldiers, he spake not other words, or to other purpose.
To the Eighteenth he faith, When the Earl of Cork was one of the Lords Justices, he seized some Houses in Dublin, pretending they belonged to Jesuits and Fryars, without Legal Proceedings, which, upon Suits prosecuted at Council-Board, were, according to Justice, restored to the Owners; but how since employed the earl of Strafford knoweth not, but endeavoured the utmost he could to maintain that Seizure. Touching the 8coo Men, he faith, They were raised according to the King's Warrant, and that the said Earl left the Care thereof to the Earl of Ormond and others, and what numbers are Protestants, what Papists, he knoweth not, but believeth such a Body cannot be there raised, without many Papist; the greatest number of the Captains and Officers are Protestants, chosen by the said Earl. The 1000 men were drawn out of the old, to make Officers for the new army, and believeth the 1000 put to the old Army are Protestants, in regard by his express Order no Papist is to be admitted there a Common Soldier. He never preferred any captain, Lieutenant or Ensign to be of that Army that was a Papist, and conceives they are duly paid; and believes those newly raised exercise the Religion no otherwise than was practiced before the Earl's coming thither: He was a Commissioner to Compound with the Recusants for their Forfeitures, and endeavoured to be informed of the utmost value of their Estates; in four years he brought that revenue from 2300 l. to be between II and 12000 l. per annum, more than ever was raised formerly in so short a time, by which faithful dealings, for His Majesty, he procured the hard Opinion of the Recusants throughout the Kingdom; the out of those Compositions he hath paid near 100000 l. into the Exchequer; and they had no other Priviledges that what was exercised in the Commission, and in former like Commissions, and as are in the present Commission to the Lord Treasurer, and others.
To the Nineteenth, he faith, The last Summer was twelve months, when the English and Scotch lay in the Fields near Berwick, the Earl and Council of Ireland having a general notion thereof, were in fear that the Scots in Ulster (being almost 100000 in number) might be drawn to side with the Covenanters, and advising how to secure that Kingdom, the Principal of the nation of Scotland, living in Ireland, came to Dublin and Petitioned, That he might have an Oath whereby they might give Testimony of future Obedience to His Majesty; whereupon on Oath was by the Advice of Council of State framed, and cheerfully taken by those Scotch Gentlemen and generally by all the Nation in Ireland, as the Earl conceives to their advantage, and the Satisfaction of others; he believes that some were Sentenced for refusing it, but none were otherwise exiled. The Earl in his Vote said, That he would endeavour, that all of that Nation should take that Oath, or leave the Kingdom, all which was done by His Majesties Direction and Approbation; and it was not contrived to the intents in the Article Charged, but to prevent their adhering to the Covenanters then in open Arms, and not concerning the Ceremony or Government of the Church.
To the Twentieth, he faith, That in Year 1638. the Earl was in Ireland, when Preparations were made for War, and Summons sent to the Nobility of this Kingdom: In the Year 1639 a General was appointed, and an Army drawn to the Field, and Encamped near Berwick, whereby it appears he was not acquainted that the Article of Pacification had been broken on both Sides, and so distempered, that it was held fit an Army in England should be raised, to suppress the Covenanters, if the business could not with Honour and Safety be otherwise composed. The said Earl humbly advised His Majesty to call a Parliament, and used many Motives thereunto; after the Parliament was called, and before the Sitting thereof, Ten of the Lords, and other of the Council for Foreign Affairs, being assembled, His Majesty then present, an Honourable Person related the Covenanters Demands; it was then voted by all, That they were such as might not in Honour and Safety be condescended unto by His Majesty must be constrained to bring them to it by force; the like Resolution was after at the Council-Table by twenty of the Council: of War, and it was held necessary to borrow 200000 l. upon good Security, till the Supplies by the Parliament might come in. He never said the Scotch Nation were Rebels, but was ever perswaded that many of them are most Loyal Subjects.
Those that raised Arms, when they were at such distance from His Majesty, he might say they were no less than Rebels and Traytors; by Warrant from the Lord Admiral, he caused divers Ships and Goods to be seized, but not with an intent to set on the War, but as much as in him lay to bring all to fair Accommodation, without expence of Blood.
To the 21th, he saith, The Pacification was broken before he came over, as in the Answer to the former Article he moved His Majesty for a Parliament in England, but not with such intent as in the Article, but out of a desire to have settled a right Understanding between the King and His people. It may be, he said, (tho he remembreth it not) that if the Parliament would not Supply His Majesty, he would serve His Majesty in any other lawful way; being well assured that His Majesty would not employ him; nor any man else in any other kind.
To the 22th he saith, According to His Majesties Instructions, he did set forth to the Parliament of Ireland, the State of the Affairs as they then stood, and they freely gave four Subsidies, as an acknowledgment of His Goodness and happy Government, as by the Act and Remonstrance appears in Print; He, by His Majesties Direction, then gave Order for the raising of 8000 Men, who still remain in the King's Pay, and were sent into Ulster to secure those Parts, or to land in Scotland, to divert the Earl of Argile, in caf? he joined with the covenanters Army against the King; but it was mentioned in the King's Letter, 2 Martis, 1639. he had purposely given out, That they should join with the King's Army at Berwick, to colour other Designs; but the true cause of their Levying was made known to be as aforesaid unto the Earl of Ormond, Sir John Burlace, and the Marquis of Hamilton, and Earl of Northumberland, at the time of the writing the Letter, and he denies the words charged in the Articles, or any other words to such intent and purpose.
To the 23th, he faith, The matters of the Parliament were no otherwise referred to him than to the rest of the Council, that coming Sick from Ireland about ten days after the Parliament were set, and after the Treaty with the Earl of Dunsermline, Lord Lowdon, Scotch Commissioners, was broken off, and the Army preparing, and the Parliament not supplying Moneys as His Majesty desired; His Majesty advised what might move them to prefer His Supply; in debate whereof, he humbly advised His Majesty, by a Message to the House, to lay down Ship-Money, and promise never to demand it, and give way to reverse the Judgment by a Writ of Error in Parliament, and to promise a Redress of Grievances when they should be prepared. And secondly, That they would presently agree upon such Supply as should maintain His Army, for reducing the Scots to their Obedience, wherein their Safety and His Honour was concerned: His Majesty assented conditionally, that he might have 12 Subsidies; the Earl besought Him that it might not pass as a Condition, but to Relinquish Ship-Money, and put himself upon their Affections, and drew up the Message in Writing, and delivered it to Mr. Secretary Vane to deliver to the House of Commons: He desired to know if His Majesty would not take less than 12, His Majesty Answered, He feared less would not serve His Occasions; The Earl of Strafford besought His Majesty to accept of Eight, so His Majesty assented, and desired Mr. Secretary to signify so much, as occasion should be offered; but whether he did so or not the said Earl knoweth not. The House of Commons being in debate two days, and not Resolving. His Majesty about the 5th of May last called a Council at Seven of the Clock in the Morning, the said Earl being sick, came late, and was told, (as he remembreth) by the Earl of Bark-shire, the King had declared His Resolution to Dissolve the Parliament; the Earl of Strafford besought His Majesty to hear the Advice of His Council, and first of those that were Members of the House of Commons, by whom the rest might the better be guided: Mr. Secretary Windebank said, He feared the House would first be Answered of their Grievances, and Voted for a Breach of the Parliament. Mr. Secretary Vane, in opposite terms, said, That there was no hope that they would give the King a Penny, and therefore absolutely Voted for a Breach. And the Earl of the Strafford conceiving His Majesties Pleasure to have accepted Eight Subsidies, had been delivered to the House of Commons by Mr. Secretary Vane, did, in His Majesties turn, deliver his Vote for Breach of the Parliament, which otherwise he would not have done; it being contrary to what the Resolved when he came thither, and like Opinion was delivered by the rest of the Lords, being about twenty, except two or three at the most. The Parliament being Dissolved, His Majesty desired Advice of His Council, How Money might be raised, affirming, That the Scotch Army was ready to enter into the Kingdom; The said Earl, in presence of others in the Council, delivered his Opinion, That in a Case of absolute and unavoidable necessity, which neither would nor could be prevented by ordinary remedies, provided by the Laws, nor all His Majesties other means sufficient to defend the Common-Wealth Himself, or their Lives and Estates from an Enemy, without force of Arms, either actually entred, or daily expected to Invade the Realm; he conceived that His Majesty was absolved from ordinary Rules, and might use (in as moderate a way the necessity of the Cause would permit) all ways and means for defence of Himself and Kingdom, for that he conceived in such extremity, Salus Populi was Suprema Lex, provided it were not colourable, nor any thing demanded employed to other use, nor drawn into example, when Law and Justice might take place; and that when Peace was settled, Reparation was to be given to particular men, otherwise it would be unjust. This was not officiously declared, but in Council, forced by the duty of the Oath of a Counsellor, which is, that he shall in all things to be moved, treated and debated in Council, faithfully and truly declare his Mind and Opinion according to his Heart and Conscience; which Oath the said Earl took, and humbly prays their Lordships Consideration thereof; He denieth the words in the Article, or any words to the intent thereby expressed.
To the 24th he saith, He delivered his Opinion with such Cautions and Restrictions, as in the Answer to the precedent Article, and is well assured his Discourse at all times hath been without ill Intentions to either of the Houses of Parliament, which he ever did, and shall think and speak of with all Reverence. He denies that he knew of the Publishing or Printing of the Book, nor who caused it to be Printed or Published, for at that time he was sick in his Bed, more like to die than to live.
To the 25th he saith, Ship-Money was levied, and adjudged to be due, before his coming over. Sherriffs were then called up as before, and not otherwise. If any were sued in Star-Chamber, it was without any particular endeavour of his: It appearing at the Board, That the Mayor and Sheriffs of London had been flow in Collecting Ship-Money, he said, They were but Ministerial, and ought to Exact, and not dispute the King's Writs, and that if through their remissness the King should be less able to provide for the Publick Safety, when any Foreign Army was ready to enter the Kingdom, they might deserve to be Fined and Ransomed; which he spake more to hasten them, than of purpose to advise any such Prosecution; but denies the other words, being, under favour, such Expressions as he is not accustomed unto.
To the 26th he saith, He advised not either of those Projects (being then sick in Bed) but it being debated at the Council-Table, Whether it were better for the King to raise Gold and Silver, or Coin base Money? He (for the Reasons then given) delivered his Opinion for the latter. Sundry Merchants Adventurers coming to his House, desired him to move His Majesty, then at Oatlands, to Release the Bullion or Money, he told them, he knew of no such thing, and would not meddle with it; nor would his Health permit him to go abroad, and said, That if their denying the King in such a Publick Danger, the Loan of 100000 l. upon good Security, the King were constrained, for the Preservation of the Land, to stay the Bullion, they might thank themselves; and the City receiving so great a benefit by Residing amongst them, they made but an unthankful acknowledgment in such a Straight, to refuse the Loan of that Sum. The Officers of the Mint came to the Council-Board, and the Earl then shewed a Letter he received from the Earl of Leicester, wherein was related, That the Cardinal had appointed Commissioners to go into the Merchants houses at Paris, to peruse their Shop-Books and Accompts, and Assess every man according to his Ability, towards the payment of the King's Army, and then said, That it was but just for us here in England, to bless God for being under a King which could not think upon such a Pressing upon the People. But the words in the Article, or words to any such intent, he did not speak, and cannot sufficiently bemoan himself to have been in all his words so ill understood, or so untruly Reported as he hath been.
To the 27th, he faith, He perswaded the Gentry of that Country, to allow the Trained-Band a months Pay, which they yielded, and His Majesty graciously accepted. It was by Council of War (His Majesty being present) thought fit the Trained-Bands should return, save the two Regiments under the Command of Sir William Pennyman and Sir Thomas Danby. It was assented unto by His Majesty, and the great Council of the Peers then Assembled, That those spared should Contribute, and the said Earl was Commanded by them to see it done; which was done accordingly by Warrants from him and from his Deputy-Lieutenants, which was much less charge to the Countries than otherwise, and denies the other particular in the Article mentioned.
To the 28th, he faith, He was Lieutenant-General to the Earl of Northumberland, about the 24th of August, of 10 or 12000 Foot and 2000 Horse, being at New-Castle under the Command of the Lord Conway and Sir Jacob Ashley, and the rest of the Army at York; and the said went form London, and the 26th of August, notwithstanding his extream weakness, and came to York, and having received a Letter from Sir Jacob Ashley, that New Castle was Fortified, and that they must be Infamous Beasts to lose it, and that it was fully Secured; and being acquainted with several Dispatches sent by Mr. Secretary Vane, by His Majesties Directions, to the Lord Conway, General of the Horse, to oppose the Passage of the Scots over the River of Tyne, the one dated 22. Augusti, the other 23. Augusti, another 24. Augusti, another 26. Augusti, the substance of which Letters are particularly mentioned in the Answer to this Article, and to the same Letters the said Earl referreth himself.
The said Earl, upon sight of this and Sir Jacob Ashley's Letter, had reason to believe, that all fitting preparation was made, and then understanding that if the Scotish Army should pass the River, not only New-Castle altogether Unfortified on the South part, would be lost, but the said Army of 11000 Foot and 2000 Horse endangered; and hearing that the Scotish Army were distressed for want of victuals, and knowing the advantage that was in opposing the Passage of such a River. Hereupon the said Earl, by a Letter dated the 27th of August, advised the Lord Conway with all the Horse, and at least 8000 Foot, and all the Cannon, to March and Fight with them, upon the passage of the River; at which time the said Earl had no Charge of the Army; but the truth is, the Lord Conway having not with him all the Horse, and not above 1500 Foot, and only some part of the Cannon, was in a posture to Fight, for the passage before the said Letter of advice came, which he received not half an hour before the fight began, and proceeded according to his own judgment, and His Majesties said general Direction; and afterwards, that is about the 30th of August, and not before, the said Earl took upon him the Charge of the Army at Darlington, and brought it to York to be supplied with Necessaries that they wanted, and purposed to have staid where they were quartered. But hearing from many hands that there was a purpose to question him in Parliament, and His Majesty having given him Liberty of staying there, or coming away, he left the Charge of the Army with the Lord Conway, and other Officers, as His Majesty had directed, and came to London on Monday the 9th, and the 11th of November was put under Restraint, and so hath ever since remained. And faith, That the Town of New-Castle was no way under his Care; and as to other matters whereto by Law he ought to answer, and hath not answered, he faith, He is not Guilty of them, or any of them, in such manner and form, as in the said Article is expressed, and humbly prayeth a convenient time for making his proofs, and to justify and maintain his Actions in Ireland, by sight of His Majesties Warrants, Records, and Witnesses in that Kingdom, and that if any mistake be in this Answer, it may be amended.
And this the said Earl hopeth, that upon equal Construction of his Words and Actions, he shall appear free from any great and hainous Offences wherewith he is Charged; and howsoever it shall please God to dispose of him, he shall ever pray, that by their Lordships great Wisdoms and Prudence, the Affections of His Majesty, and Duty of His Subjects, may this Parliament be so surely knit together, as may by God's blessing lastingly tend to the Prosperity and Flourishing Estate both of King and People.
Friday, February 26th, 1640.
Ordered, That the same Committee that was formerly appointed to draw up the Charge against the Earl of Strafford, with the Addition of Mr. Palmer, Mr. Selden, Mr. Whitlock, and Mr. Maynard, do consider of the Articles and further Impeachment of Thomas Earl of Strafford by the Commons; and likewise the said Earl's Answer to those Articles and further Impeachment. And they are likewise to consider of the Proofs, and how the Witnesses may conveniently be brought together, to give their Testimony Viva Voce in the business; and they are to proceed in the secretest and speediest way they can, for the advantage of the business, in preparing it for a Tryal and further Proceedings; and they have power to send for Persons, Witnesses, Papers, Records, or any thing else, that they in their Judgments shall conceive fit, or may conduce to the Service; and they are to meet this Afternoon at Two of the Clock in the Treasury Chamber.
Sir George Wentworth, upon his Protestation made to the House to keep secret all such Matters as passed this day, had leave to resort to his Brother the Earl of Strafford, but all the other Members of this House are restrained from resorting unto him, without leave first obtained.
Saturday, February 27th, 1640.
Mr. Whitlock Reports from the Committee for the Earl of Strafford. The House does declare, That they are well satisfied, that the Evidence to be produced against Thomas Earl of Strafford at his Trial be managed by those Members.
Friday, March 5th, 1640.
Upon Mr. Whitlock's Report from the Earl of Strafford's Committee, it was Resolved upon the Question, That there shall be no Replication put unto the Earl of Strafford's Answer in Writing, but that the further Proceedings shall be in the manner as is now proposed by the Committee.
That the House of Commons have considered of the Earl of Strafford's Answer, and do aver their Charge of High Treason against him, and that he is Guilty in such manner and form as he stands Accused and Impeached, and that this House will be ready to prove their Charge against him, at such convenient time as their Lordships shall prefix, and intend to manage the Evidence by Members of their own, and desire a free Conference with their Lordships, by Select Committees of both Houses, to consider of some Propositions and Circumstances concerning the Tryal.
Mr. Whitlock brings Answer from the Lords, That their Lordships have taken the Message from this House into Consideration, and will give a meeting, for a free Conference, by a Committee of 24, on Monday morning at Nine of the Clock.
- Mr. Pym.
- Mr. Strade.
- Mr. Sollicitor,
- Mr. Grimston,
- Lord Digby,
- Sir John Clatworthy,
- Sir Walter Earle,
- Mr. Hampden,
- Mr. Whitlocke,
- Mr. Palmer,
- Mr. Selden.
- Mr. Maynard,
- Mr. Treasurer,
- Sir Jo. Culpepper,
- Mr. Reynolds,
- Mr. Hyde,
- Mr. Prideaux,
- Mr. Whitlock,
- Mr. Martin,
- Mr. Proxholm,
- Mr. Gray,
- Lord Faulkland,
- Mr. Vaughan,
- Lord Russell,
- Sir John Strangwaies,
- Mr. Bellasis,
- Sir Guy Palmes,
- Mr. Sutton,
- Mr. Whistler,
- Sir Simon D'Ewes,
- Sir An. Irby,
- Sir Martin Lomly,
- Sir John Eveling,
- Lord Fairfax,
- Sir William Massam,
- Sir Benjamin Rudyard,
- Sir Thomas Barrington,
- Sir Philip Stapleton,
- Sir Ralph Hopton,
- Sir Robert Hatton,
- Sir Gilbert Gerrard,
- Mr. Nathaniel Fines.
A Committee of these 48 are to meet a Committee of 24 of the Lords at a free Conference, concerning the Trial of Thomas Earl of Strafford, on Monday morning next, at Nine of the Clock in the Painted-Chamber.
Monday, March 8th, 1640.
Upon Mr. Whitlock's Report from the Committee for the Earl of Strafford, the Heads of a Conference appointed to be had this day concerning the Tryal of the said Earl. It was Resolved upon the Question:
(1.) To Propose to the Lords, That they will be pleased to take some Order, that there may be a convenient Place appointed for the Tryal of Thomas Earl of Strafford, and to give such Directions as shall be fit for preparing conveniency of room for both Houses, and for such Members of the House as are appointed to manage the Evidence, and for Witnesses, and for the Prisoner; and for excluding of all such as ought not to be present at the Trial.
(2.) That whereas, in the last Message to the Lords, this House did Intimate unto them, That they did intend to manage the Evidence by Members of their own; They are now Commanded to explain their Reason, That their Lordships may take notice, That We do not expect any Council shall be admitted the Earl of Strafford at the giving of Evidence at the Tryal.
Thursday, March 11th, 1640.
Mr. Whitlock Reports from the free Conference, concerning the Tryal of Thomas Earl of Strafford, That the Lord Privy-Seal began with this Introduction; That this Parliament, both Houses, have had often Conferences, and to good Purpose, which had preserved a true Understanding between both Houses, That at the last free Conference their Lordships did receive from this House certain Propositions, concerning the Trail of Thomas Earl of Strafford, which We our Selves call Circumstances. (1.) Concerning Place. (2.) Persons. (3.) Managing the Evidence. (4.) Use of Counsel; he was pleased to remember the words of the Proposition, as they were delivered unto them, and told Us those were Circumstances; yet Circumstances were Servants to Execution, and might be altered; and if they should Change from the House they now sit in into the Painted-Chamber, or the Court of Requests, upon Survey of it, by skilful Men, they were informed the Floor of it is so weak, that it might be very dangerous for so great a Resort to be in together at the Tryal, therefore left that to Our further Consideration. The Lords thought of this, That the Bar in their House might be removed higher, and the Room there made longer; and that being made a Scaffold, might be a Capacity sufficient to receive the Members of this House; this he did only Propose, and said, The Bishops did desire to be absent at this Tryal, so there would be more room, for the Earls would sit in their places. Next that, their Lordships did desire to understand, Whether We meant to be there as a House, which they thought We did, or as single Members of the House. (3.) His Lordship was pleased to tell Us, They desired an Exposition of the words managing of Evidence: Whether we intended a marshalling and applying of the Proof? (4.) That the Lords did desire, concerning the Place and Persons, to know how they have been admitted in former times, that they might be fortified by Presidents for Place and Persons, and for Counsel. Their Lordships are careful not to admit of more than is according to the Law of this Kingdom: And thereupon their Lordships have made this Resolution, That the Earl of Strafford, in matters of meer Fact, shall not make use of Counsel, but in matter of Law he shall; and if any doubt arise, what is matter of Law, and what is matter of Fact, the Lords do reserve the Judgment hereof to themselves; this came by intimation of Ours, that We did intend to manage the Evidence; and at a Conference We explained Our Selves, That We did not expect they would allow Him any Council at the giving of Evidence. After this he was pleased to tell us, That he had not forgot another thing, though he omitted it, that he that delivered the Proposition, at the Message, used words to this purpose, That this House did hold it necessary and fit, that all the Members of the House might be present at the Trail, to the end every one might satisfie his own Conscience, in the giving of their Vote, to demand Judgment. Upon this We thought it not fit to make an Explanation, till We had acquainted the House with it.
Ordered, That the whole matter of the Report, now made of the free Conference with the Lords, concerning the Trial of Tho. Earl of Strafford, be referred to the Committee for the Earl of Strafford, to search and consider of Presidents, and to prepare Reasons, and to present them to the House to morrow morning, and they are to meet this Afternoon at Two of the Clock in the Treasury-Chamber.
A Message from the Lords, to desire a free Conference by the same committee that last met, touching the Demands concerning the Trail of Thomas Earl of Strafford in the Painted-Chamber presently, if it may stand with the conveniency of this House.
Friday, March 12th, 1640.
Mr. Whitlock Reports from the Earl of Strafford's Committee such Heads, as that Committee does present unto this House to be the Heads of a free Conference, to be desired with the Lords concerning the matter of the last free Conference with the Lords, touching the Trail of Thomas Earl of Strafford.
Upon this Report, It was Resolved upon the Question, That this shall be the first Head of the free Conference, viz. 1. As concerning Place, that this House doth conceive, that although the Bar of the Lord's House be removed, and some Members thereof absent; yet without the Bar, the Room will not be sufficient to contain the Members of the House of Commons, and that their Lordships will be pleased to direct some other Place for the Trial. For the Presidents concerning the Place, their Lordships take notice in their Conference, That the Parliament sate in the Chamber Blank, 1 R. 2. but the Parliament being Summoned to appear at the King's Palace at Westminster, if one Room be not convenient, another Room might be desired that shall be more convenient.
Resolved upon the Question, That this shall be the Second Head of the free Conference, viz. (2.) That the Earl of Strafford, being Impeached by the Commons, it doth belong to the House of Commons to Resolve who are to be present at the Trail, and that of Right they may come as House, if they please, but however they are Resolved to send their own Members as a Committee of the whole House.
Resolved upon the Question, That this shall be the Third Head of that free Conference, viz., (3.) That by the managing of the Evidence, this House doth mean the ordering, applying, and inforcing the Evidence, according to the truth of the Fact.
Ordered, That the Fourth Head of this Report now made from the Committee, of the Earl of Strafford, concerning the matter of Council, be recommitted to the same Committee, with the addition of the Lawyers of the House as was Yesterday made; and they are likewise to take into Consideration, what those Gentlemen have incurred that have been of Council with the Earl of Strafford, he being accused of High Treason by this House, in the Name of Themselves, and of all the Commons of England; and to present to this House what they think is fit to be done in that business, and Mr. Peirepoint and Mr. Martin are added to this Committee as to this business, and they are to meet this Afternoon at Two of the Clock in the Treasury-Chamber.
Saturday, March 13th, 1640.
Mr. Whitlock Reports from the Committee for the Earl of Strafford, That the House had heard part of this Report the other day, viz. (1.) The place of Trial. (2.) The Persons to be present. (3.) The managing of the Evidence; these three passed their Vote Yesterday. The Fourth Head concerning Counsel was recommitted, which received this Resolution, That the Commons do acquaint their Lordships, that if at any time, during the Evidence, the Counsel for the Earl of Strafford shall interpose, when the Members of this House, that are appointed to manage the Evidence, are speaking, they must of necessity desist, because it will not become them to plead against Counsel; and as concerning the allowing of Counsel in matters of Law, and reserving to their Lordships to judge the Doubts, what is matter of Law, and what Fact; the Commons do save to themselves all Right that doth appertain to them, according to Law and course of Parliament, and do declare, That the proceedings in this Case shall not be drawn into President, to the prejudice of the Commons. For the other matter, concerning the Offence of the Counsel of the Earl of Strafford, by being of Counsel with him, without leave of this House; the Committee could not proceed, the other matter taking up the whole time.
A Message from the Lords, desiring a free Conference by the same Committee, touching the Demands concerning the Earl of Strafford presently in the Painted-Chamber, if it may stand with the conveniency of this House.
Answer returned by the same Messengers, That this House has taken their Lordships Message into Consideration, and will give a meeting presently, as is desired. The same Committee is to manage and Report this Conference.
Mr. Whitlock Reports from the free Conference, touching the Demands concerning the Trial of the Earl of Strafford, That the Lord of Bath was pleased to declare, in the Name of the Lords, That the House had taken into Consideration those Demands made this Morning, and agreed upon an Answer to every one of them.
(First,) As to the Place, they had agreed, it should be in Westminster Hall, and the King to be made acquainted with it by the Lord Great Chamberlain. (Secondly,) For Persons, their Lordships agreed to it, That the House of Commons be present as a Committee of the whole House for this time, with a saving of the Right of the Lords House, either according to Law or Parliamentary Proceedings; and that this shall not be drawn into President hereafter on either side. For the (Third,) For the managing of Our Evidence, they grant it wholly. For the (Fourth) For Counsel in managing and forcing of Evidence; the Counsel of the Earl of Strafford is not to speak nor interrupt the matter of the House of commons until all the Evidence is finished; and the Counsel is not to stand at the Bat, but in some convenient place where they may hear; and that they may speak for matter of Law, but not for matter of Fact, and that not unless their Lordships shall see fitting. (Next,) For the time, my Lord of Bath did tell Us, They could not yet Resolve upon it, till the Surveyor and Workmen, that did take care to build the Scaffolds, did give account how soon they could be ready.
Ordered, That it be referred to the Committee for the Earl of Strafford, with the addition made to the Committee for this purpose, to consider of the saving, and the other part of the Report now made from the free Conference, concerning the Trial of Thomas Earl of Strafford, and they are to present to the House what they think fit to be done thereupon.
Monday, March 15th, 1640.
A Message from the Lords, That the House of Peers desire a Conference concerning the time of the Earl of Strafford's Trial, and some other Circumstances that concern that Trial; they desire it presently in the Painted-Chamber, if it may stand with the conveniency of this House by the same former Committee.
Mr. Whitlock Reports the Conference had with the Lords, concerning the Trial of the Earl of Strafford, in hæc verba, That the Lord of Bath did tell Us, That he had something to acquaint Us from the Lords, That their Lordships had Ordered, That the Place for the Trial of the Earl of Strafford shall be in Westminster-Hall; That the King hath been acquainted therewith, and bath been pleased to assent thereunto: That the time for the said Trial shall begin on Monday next at Nine of the Clock in the Forenoon; and that against that time Care is taken that all things shall be prepared and made ready; and that the Lords will be pleased to give notice of the time appointed for this Trial to the Earl of Strafford to attend accordingly; and a Warrant is to be directed to the Lieutenant of the Tower, to bring the said Earl of Strafford at the time and to the place aforesaid.
After this the Earl of Essex told Us, The Lords did take into Consideration something alledged in the Earl of Strafford's Answer to the 27 Article, wherein the Peers, that were of the Great Council, had some Aspersion cast upon them, that they had entred this Protestation.
Whereas the Lords of the Great Council at York, to clear their Honours only, have made their Protestation, That they did neither Command nor Approve the raising of Monies in York-shire, as is alledged by the Earl of Strafford in his Answer to the 27th Article. Now the said Protestation is by this House unanimously admitted. And it is likewise Ordered, That so much may be intimated to the Committee of the House of Commons at the next Conference.
Moved, That the Committee for the Earl of Strafford do consider of the last part of the Report now made, concerning the Protestation made by the Lords of the Great Council at York, how far they may make use of it in the Evidence at the Trial of the Earl of Strafford.
Ordered, That the Committee for the Earl of Strafford consider of the last part of the Report of the Committee, concerning the Protestation made by the Lords of the Great Council at York, how far they may think fit to make use of it as Evidence at the Trial.
Tuesday, March 16th, 1640.
Mr. Whitlock Reports from the Committee for the Earl of Strafford, That whereas the House of Commons have formerly declared to their Lordships, that the Earl of Strafford being Impeached by them, they do conceive it doth belong to them to Resolve, in what manner they will be present at his Trial; and that of Right they may come as a House if they please; but for some special Reasons, upon this occasion, they are Resolved to send their own Members as a Committee of the whole House, Authorized by the House to be present at the Trial to hear, and some particular Persons of themselves to manage the Evidence. The House of Commons doth still continue their Resolution in every part thereof and therein, and in the matter of allowing Counsel: And their Lordships Reservation to their Judgment what is matter of Fact, and what not, the House of Commons do save to themselves, as they have formerly done, all Rights that do appertain to them, according to Law, and the course of Parliament; and do declare, That the Proceedings in this Case shall not be drawn into President, to the Prejudice of the Commons.
Wednesday, March 17th, 1640.
Thursday, March 18th, 1640.
Ordered, That the Earl of Strafford's Committee of Twelve do attend that Service, and lay aside all other Excuses and Occasions, unless they be otherwise Commanded by this House, and Mr. Glyn is added to this Committee.
Friday, March 19th, 1640.
Ordered, That a Warrant under Mr. Speaker's Hand, be directed to the Master of the Marshalsea, of the Kings Bench, requiring him to send Robert Coyne (a Prisoner there upon Execution in safe Custody) to attend the Committee for the Earl of Strafford De die in Diem, so long as the Committee shall so require.
Ordered, That Patrick Allen, an Irish Merchant, who has a Petition depending here, shall have the Liberty to go abroad with a Keeper to Prosecute his business here, and to be examined as a Witness at the Committee for the Earl of Strafford.
Sir Thomas Barrington, Sir John Culpepper, Sir Jo. Strangwayes, Mr. Ashburnham, Sir Jo. Hotham, Sir. William Litton, Sir. Jo Holland, Sir Robert Pye, Mr. Wheeler, Mr. Lawrence, and Mr. Whittaker, are appointed as a Committee to View the place for the Earl of Strafford's Trial, and to think of some convenient manner for the Committee of the House to go in, and be present at the said Trial; and for Mr. Speaker to be there in a private manner, and they are to meet this Afternoon at Two of the Clock in the inner Court of Wards.
Saturday, March 20th, 1640.
Ordered, That Mr. White and Mr. Prideaux be appointed to take Notes of the Passages of the Trial of Thomas Earl of Strafford, and to Report them to the House, if occasion be; and that the Committee shall have Power, if occasion be, to make use of two more, such as they shall think fit, though not of the House.
Upon Sir John Culpepper's Report from the Committee appointed to view the Place, and to Regulate the Order and the Manner of the Committee of the Houses coming and being there: It was Ordered, (1.) That the Members of the Commons shall sit together, without any Intermixture of others, in that place which is prepared for them. (2.) That in respect of the inconveniency of it, the Members shall not come to meet at the house on Monday morning, but come directly to the place of the Trial. (3.) That for the well-ordering of the business, the said Committee, with the addition of Mr. Peard, shall be present at the several doors at the Entrance of the place appointed, for the Members of the House by Six of the Clock, and are directed and required by the House to admit none but such as shall bring Tickets of their Names and the Places for which they Serve; and that none of the Members of the House shall be admitted to come in before those that are appointed to attend at the doors shall come; and if any, either Stranger or Member of the House, shall offend this Order, those who are appointed to attend this Service shall Report it to the House. And it is further Ordered, That all of the House shall be there by Eight of the Clock at the farthest; and that such places shall be reserved for them, who shall attend this Service, as they shall find to be most proper and convenient for them. (4.) Ordered, That the Serjeant at Arms shall attend within the Court, and his Men without, to be employed in such Service as they who manage the Evidence shall appoint.
Sir John Culpepper further Reported, That the Speaker might be present in some private place, and as particular Member of this House; but the Committee doth not think fit House should declare any Order in it.
Touching the Members of the House being covered at the Tryal, the Committee thinks it not fit for them to deliver any Opinion, only they offer the difference that may be when both Houses meet, or Committees of both Houses, and the present Case, where the Lords are to meet as a House, and the Commons as a Committee of their House.
Mr. Bellasis went up to the Lords with this Message, To desire their Lordships, That in regard this House is much straitned in time, and hath great Affairs in hand, and will sit this Afternoon, and may have occasion of a Conference with their Lordships, that they will be pleased to sit likewise.
The humble Petition of Thomas Earl of Strafford was this day read, wherein he desires, That he may make use of some Members of this House, nominated in his Petition, as Witnesses at his Tryal; and the House leaves those Members, nominated in the said Petition, to do therein as they shall please, without their giving any offence to the House.
Mr. Martin is to up to the Lords, to desire a free Conference with their Lordships by the same Committee that was formerly appointed, touching the matter of the last free Conference concerning the Tryal of the Earl of Strafford.
Ordered, That those Members of the House, that are appointed to manage the Evidence at the Tryal of the Earl of Strafford, shall have Power, if any Witnesses be produced for the Earl, to ask if they have been sworn, and if it shall appear that they have been sworn; or if any shall be sworn at the Bar, to forbear to proceed any further in the managing of their Evidence, until they have resorted unto the House, and have received further Order.
- George Lord Digby.
- John Hampden, Esq;
- John Pym, Esq;
- Oliver St. John, Esq; shortly after Solicitor-General to King Charles the First.
- Sir Walter Earle, Knight.
- Jeoffery Palmer, afterwards Knighted, and made Attorney-General to King Charles the Second.
- John Maynard, Esq; afterwards Serjeant at Law to King Charles the Second.
- John Glyn, Esq; Recorder of London, afterwards Sworn one of the Council to King Charles the Second.
The Place for the appearance of the Lord Lieutenant was the great Hall in Westminster, where there was a Throne erected for the King, on each side whereof a Cabinet, inclosed about with Boards, and before with Arras: before that were the Seats for the Lords of the Upper-House, And sacks of Wooll for the Judges, before them ten Stages of Seats extending farther than the midst of the Hall, for the Gentlemen of the House of Commons; at the end of all was a Desk closed about and set apart for the Lord Lieutenant and his Counsel.
On Monday Morning, March 22. about Seven of the Clock, he came from the Tower, accompanied with six barges, wherein were one hundred Soldiers of the Tower, all with partizans, for his Guard, and fifty pair of Oars: At his landing at Westminster, there he was attended with two hundred of the Trained Band, and went in guarded by them into the Hall. The Entries at Whitehall, Kingstreet, and Westminster, were guarded by the Constables and Watchmen, from Four of the Clock in the Morning, to keep away all base and idle persons.
The King, Queen, and Prince came to the House about Nine of the clock, but kept themselves private within their Closets, only the Prince came out once or twice to the Cloth of State; So that the King saw and heard all that passed, but was seen of none. Some give the reason of this from the received practise of England in such Cases: Others say, That the Lords did intreat the King, either to be absent, or to be there privately, left pretentions might be made hereafter, that His being there was either to threaten, or some other ways to interrupt the Course of Justice. A third sort, That the King was not willing to be accessary to the Process, till it came to His Part; but rather chose to be present, that he might observe and understand if any Violence, Rigour, or Injustice happened. When the Lieutenant entred the Hall, the Porter of the Hall (whose Office it is) asked Master Maxwell, Whether the Ax should be carried before him or no? Who did Answer, That the King had expressly forbidden it; nor was it the Custom of England to use that Ceremony, but only when the Party Accused was to be put upon his Jury. Those of the House of Lords did sit with their Heads covered, those of the House of Commons uncovered. The Bishops upon the Saturday before did voluntarily decline the giving of their suffrages in matters Criminal, and of that nature, according to the provision of the Cannon Law, and practice of the Kingdom to this day, and therefore would not be present; yet withall they gave in a Protestation, that their absence should not prejudice them of that, or any other Priviledge competent to them, as the Lords Spiritual in Parliament, which was accepted.
The Earl of Arundel, as Lord High Steward of England, sate apart by himself, and at the Lieutenant's Entry, Commanded the House to proceed. Master Pym being Speaker of the Committee for his Accusation, gave in the same Articles, which were presented as his last being before the Upper House, which being read, his Replies were subjoyned and read also, the very same which were presented before in the Upper House: Some gave the reason of this, because the House of Commons had not heard those Accusations in Publick before. Others, that the formality of the Process required no less, however that day was spent in that Exercise.
The Queen went from the House about Eleven of the Clock, the King and Prince staid till the meeting was dissolved, which was after Two. The Lieutenant was sent to the Tower by his Guard, and appointed to return upon Tuesday at Nine of the Clock in the Morning. The croud of people was neither great nor troublesome, all of them saluted him, and he them, with great humility and courtesie, [both at his Entrance and at his Return,] therefore let Fame pretend what please about the malice and discontent of the Multitude, That if he pass the stroak of Justice, they will tear him in pieces; yet there is more in Rumor than in Sight and Appearance; and in this Report, as in all others of this nature, more is thrust upon the Vulgar (who seem as well fearful of Punishment, as exempt from it, for all their great number) than they did justly deserve at this time.
Monday, March 22th, 1640. Post Merid.
The House of Commons spent the Forenoon in the first days Tryal of Thomas Earl of Strafford in Westminster Hall: But in the Afternoon the House Ordered, That in case the Earl of Strafford shall ask leave, or shall have liberty given him to speak anything by way of Defence, before such time as the Members appointed to manage the Evidence, shall enter into the managing of their Evidence, that then they shall Interpose; and if so be that notwithstanding such Interposition, the Lords shall give him leave so to speak, that then they shall forbear to proceed any further in the managing of their Evidence, until they have Reported unto the House, and received further Order from them.
Tuesday, March 23. 1640. Post Merid.
Sir Philip Stapleton went up to the Lords with this Message, To desire a free Conference by a Committee of both Houses, concerning their joining with this House to Petition His Majesty, To Disband the new-levied Irish Army, Disarming the Papists Recusants, and the removal of Papists from Court; especially those formerly named, viz. Mr. Walter Montague, Sir Kenelme Digby, Sir John Winter, and Sir Toby Mathew.
Sir Walter Earle and Mr. Reynolds are to manage this Conference, and are to move the Lords, to appoint a Petition to His Majesty, and are to inforce their desire of removing the Papists from Court by that Circumstance of Mr. Walter Montagues appearing Yesterday, before both Houses, at the Tryal of the Earl of Strafford.
The House does expect that all the Members of the House should conform themselves to the Order made for Regulating matters at the Tryal of Thomas Earl of Strafford; and that the Committee appointed for that business shall complain of any that Conform not thereunto.
Wednesday, March 24th, 1640. Post Merid.
Ordered, That no Member of the House shall stand in the place appointed for the Earl of Strafford's Witnesses, at the time of his Trial, unless they be such as by the said Earl be required to be there as Witnesses.
Ordered, That Sir Henry Mildmay move the Lord High Chamberlain, that the door at the Entrance in at the Room, appointed for those that manage the Evidence at the Trial of Thomas Earl of Strafford, be kept shut, and that there be some other passage for the Members to come into the House at, and Captain Charles Price is added to the Committee appointed to Regulate matters at the Trial of Thomas Earl of Strafford.
Thursday, March 25th, 1641. Post Merid.
Ordered, That the Committee appointed to manage the Evidence at the Trial of Thomas Earl of Strafford, shall have liberty to proceed upon such Articles, as they shall think most Important for the speediest expediting of the Trial, and to contract and proceed in such manner as they shall think most expedient.
Ordered, That the Committee for the Earl of Strafford presently withdraw into the Court of Wards, to prepare Heads for a Conference, to be desired with the Lords, concerning the preventing of all Delays in the Speedier expediting the Trial of Thomas Earl of Strafford.
Sir John Culpepper Reports from the Committee that was appointed to draw Heads for a Conference to be desired with the Lords, concerning the preventing of all Delays in the Trial of the Earl of Strafford, to this purpose:
To Represent to the Lords the necessity of Expediting the Earl of Strafford's Trial, in respect of the pressing Occasions of both Houses, and of the Estate of the whole Kingdom, which will be much interrupted and prejudiced by the Protraction of this Trial: In this Consideration the House of Commons desired their Lordships, that they would be pleased to prevent all unnecessary Delays which may be occasioned by the Earl of Strafford's impertinent Exceptions, which as they will take up much time in Debate, so they may occasion frequent Adjournments, the which we desire their Lordships to take into Consideration, that they may be avoided.
Monday, March 29th, 1641. Post Merid.
This House doth conceive, That the Examination of the Lord Primate of Ireland, already taken, is not to be urged, in regard none of the Members of this House were present at the taking of it, but the Examination of him (provided) that some of the Committee appointed to manage the Evidence at the Trial be present thereat, this House will not oppose it, saving their own Rights; and in like cases the House leaves it to the Committee to proceed in such manner as they shall think agreeable to Law and Justice. And this to be the Subject Matter of the Conference, and Mr. Whitlock is to manage it.
Friday, April 2. 1641. Post Merid.
Mr. Pym went up to the Lords, to desire, That such of their Lordships as this House shall have occasion to make use of, in the Trial of the Earl of Strafford, would be pleased to be present at the said Trial, and by Name the Lord Treasurer, Lord Admiral, Earl of Bristoll, Earl of Holland, and Lord Conway, be also named to the House, with some other Lords that the House should have occasion to make use of; namely, the Lord Primate of Armagh, E. Morton, and Lord Newburgh.
Mr. Pym likewise nominated some Members of this House, viz. Mr. Treasurer, Sir William Pennyman, Sir John Hotham, Sir Hugh Cholmly, Mr. Henry Cholmly, Mr. Thomas Price, Sir John Strangways, Mr. Controllor, Mr. Henry Piercy, Sir William Envidale, Sir Frederick Cornwallis, Sir Henry Mildmay, Mr. Nichols, Mr. Fines, Sir Thomas Heale, Sir Thomas Barington, Mr. Herbert Price; a Note of these Names was given to the Serjeant at Arms, attending on this House; and he is Ordered to give Notice to the Members of the Lords to be present upon all occasions.
Saturday, April 3. 1641. Post Merid.
Tuesday, April 6th, 1641. Post Merid.
Friday, April 9th, 1641. Post Merid
To acquaint the Lords with the great Necessities of the Kingdom, the Pressures of the Time, and how much time has been spent in this Trial: How prejudicial it will be to the Kingdom, if any more than has been be spent, and therefore to desire that to morrow may be appointed for a Peremptory day, for the Earl of Strafford to be heard, if he will come; otherwise that the Committee of this House may proceed to the Replicacation to the whole matter, and the Earl of Strafford to be absolutely concluded, for saying any more to the matter of Fact.
Mr. Pym acquaints the House, That he hath delivered to the Lords what he was intrusted with by this House, concerning the Trial of Thomas Earl of Strafford. They gave no other Answer, than they would send Answer by Messengers of their own.
That the Lords have taken the last Message to this House into Consideration, and have Resolved, That if the Earl of Strafford come tomorrow, he may proceed according to the former Order; if he comes not, that then this House may proceed to Sum up the Evidence as to matter of Fact, and the Earl of Strafford to be concluded as to matter of Fact.
Saturday, April 10th, 1641. Post Merid.
Mr. Glyn Reports from the Committee for the Earl of Strafford, some Grounds concerning the further Evidence that is offered by the Committee to corroborate the Evidence upon the latter part of the 23. Article. And thereupon Sir Henry Vane younger and Mr. Pym, are appointed by this House, to declare their whole knowledge concerning the matters contained in the 23. Article against the Earl of Strafford, and how, and by what means they came to the knowledge thereof, which when they had done, that Paper was produced by Mr. Pym, and so much of it read by him as concerned the Earl of Strafford: And then it was Resolved upon the Question, That the Paper whereof Mr. Pym had now read in part, shall be all of it read, which was done; and Notice being given of a Message from the Lords, It was Ordered, That all the Members keep their Seats, and go not out of the House without leave.
Monday, April 12. Post Merid.
1. The Narrative of the Evidence the Committee intended to have given on Saturday last, concerning which they resorted to the House of Commons for further Direction, to which Evidence two Members of this House were ready to depose.
The House fell into a great and long debate of the second Head. And in the mean time Mr. Hampden went up to the Lords with this Message, to signifie unto their Lordships, That this House is now in Debate of a business of great Importance, which they do intend to Communicate unto their Lordships, but are not yet fully ready for a Conference; and therefore they do intreat their Lordships would be pleased to sit a little while, and they hope they shall come up very suddenly unto them.
The Earl of Strafford's Committee who retired to prepare the Second Head, after some stay returned and presented this following to the House for a Second Head, which was read and allowed of by the House, (viz.)
2. That the House having taken Consideration thereof, did conceive it very material, that in regard of the Danger and Distractions of the present Times, and that what time might be spent in Debate touching the admitting of the Evidence, they Resolved to come to a general Reply, setting aside that Evidence for this time, saving to themselves their Rights, to make use of the said Evidence, for the farther Prosecution of the 23 Article, if their Lordships shall be unsatisfied concerning the same, without admitting the said Earl of Strafford to examine upon any of the other Articles, which the House doth do, to the end, that the business might come to some speedy Conclusion, the loss of time being of extream Danger and ill Consequence to the Common-wealth, as they conceive.
3. The third Head, That upon occasion of discovery of this Evidence, a Paper was read in the House, whereby it did appear, that at the same time when the dangers abroad were spoken by the Earl of Strafford, touching the bringing the Irish Army into England, other words were spoken by two others then present, descyphered by those Letters L. Arch. And L. Cott. (by which We conceive is meant the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury and Lord Cottington,) very full of Pernicious Counsels to the King, and Slander to the Commons Assembled in the last Parliament; as will appear, if their Lordships will be pleased to hear the Papers read, which Paper the Committee is commanded to read, and leave it to their Consideration, and to desire that their Lordships will take some course, that it may be duly examined by whom these words were spoken, that there may be some further Proceedings, to prevent the dangers that may ensue thereupon, and that those Counsels may be looked into, and searched to the bottom.
Mr. Stroud went up to the Lords with this Message, to desire a Conference with their Lordships, by a Committee of both Houses, touching the Proceedings against the Earl of Strafford, and some other matters lately discovered.
The Lords desire a present Conference, by a Committee of both Houses, in the Painted-Chamber, if it may stand with the conveniency of this House, concerning the last Conference about the Proceedings against the said Earl.
That the Lord Steward spake in the Name of the Lords, and did declare, That their Lordships are Resolved this House may proceed, as formerly was intended, before the offer of further Evidence to be propounded, the Earl of Strafford to recollect his Evidence first, and that being done, the Members of the House of Commons to state their Evidence, and this to be done to morrow morning, whereof they will give the Earl of Straffard Notice.
Tuesday, April 13th. 1641. Post Merid.
Wednesday, April 14th, 1641. Post Merid.
The Order for Resolving the House into a Committee, to Consider of the Bill, for the Attainder of Thomas Earl of Strafford of High Treason, was read, and accordingly the House was Resolved into a Committee, and Mr. Peard called to the Chair.
A Message from the Lords by Judge Reeves and Serjeant Glanvile, That their Lordships have appointed to hear the Council of the Earl of Strafford tomorrow at Eight of the Clock in Westminster-Hall, concerning the matter of Law.
Thursday, April 15th, 1641. Post Merid.
Mr. Arthur Capell went up to the Lords with a Message, To desire a free Conference by a Committee of both Houses, concerning the Proceedings against Thomas Earl of Strafford, so soon as it may stand with their Lord-ships Conveniency.
- Mr. Sollicitor,
- Mr. Maynard,
- Mr. Glyn,
- Sir. John Culpepper,
- Mr. Pym.
- Mr. Whitlocke,
- Mr. Whistler,
- Mr. Strode.
- 1. To offer unto their Lordships, that it was last night Five of the Clock before this Intimation of their Lordships Intentions, to hear the Earl of Strafford's Council, came to this House.
- 2. That upon some Conferences heretofore had with their Lordships, a saving was made by this House in the Point, Whether Counsel should be heard or not? and it's not now time to consider, Whether they should depart from this saving.
- 3. Great difficulties to know to what purpose the Counsel shall be heard, the Cafe not being stated, agreed on, or made, when to propound the danger and inconveniences; if his Counsel make a Cafe, and ravel into all our Evidence in such an Auditory; and whether to put the Case as it is alledged in the Articles, that the Evidence of Fact being given, it was in Propositions, from the beginning, to go by way of Bill, and that a Bill is Exhibited here for his Attainder.
That the Proceedings, by way of Bill, stands in no way of opposition to those Proceedings, that have already been in this business. These several Considerations make more difficulty in this House, than to come to a sudden and present Resolution.
Mr. Maynard Reports, That the Earl Marshal acquainted them, that he had made a Report of what had been delivered by the House of Commons, and they had entred into Debate about it, and so soon as they had come to a Resolution, they would send Answer by Messengers of their own. But in the mean time they had put off the hearing of the Earl of Strafford's Counsel for this day.
A Message from the Lords by Judge Foster and Mr. Heath, That the Lords desire a free Conference, by a Committee of both Houses, concerning the business of the Proceedings against the Earl of Strafford presently, (if it may stand with the conveniency of this House) in the Painted-Chamber.
The same Committee that managed the Conference this morning, are to manage this, and to Report it, if occasion be, Mr. Fines is added to the Committee; if any new matter be propounded by the Lords at this Conference, the Committee is to give no Answer unto it, but to Report it to the House.
Mr. Whitlock Reports this Conference, That the Lord Say told them, That they had taken into Consideration the great business, and were not absolutely Resolved how it should proceed, that the Earl of Strafford's Counsel should have Notice to attend there to morrow, and should not speak to any matter of Fact, but to matter of Law; only it was afterwards said by another Lord, That the time was so short, that they had Resolved not to send for him, till they heard from this House.
Friday, April 16th, 1641. Post Merid.
Resolved upon the Question, That it is sufficiently proved, that the Earl of Strafford hath endeavoured to subvert the ancient and Fundamental Laws of the Realms of England and Ireland, and to introduce Arbitrary and Tyrannical Government against Law.
That this House at present is in Debate of a great business, and fear they cannot come to a Resolution so soon as to come to their Lordships for a Conference this Afternoon; if they can, they Resolve to sit this Afternoon, and desire their Lordships to do the like, if it may stand with their Conveniency.
- 1. To take Notice of their Lordships Resolution, to hear the Earl of Strafford's Council in matter of Law.
- 2. To put their Lordships in mind of the saving of this House in that Point, and further to tell them, That if after his Council shall be heard, any doubt shall remain with their Lordships, they shall be ready to satisfy them in due time.
- 3. That to this end they do intend to send a Committee of this House, only to hear what his Council shall say. These Particulars raised some Debate in the House, and being put to the Question, the House was divided upon it; but yet after the Tellers were appointed, the Noes yielded to the Yeas without telling.
- 4. To desire that their Lordships will be pleased to use all Expedition to put an end to this Tryal, as much as in Justice may be.
- 5. To desire a continuance of their Care, that the Counsel, under colour of speaking to the matter of Law, ravel not into the matter of Fact.
Sir Robert Harly went up to the Lords, to desire a free Conference with their Lordships by a Committee of both Houses, upon the free Conference had Yesterday with their Lordships, concerning the further Proceedings against the Earl of Strafford.
The Committee that was appointed to prepare Heads for the Conference, concerning the further Proceedings against the Earl of Strafford, are to manage this Conference, and to Report it, if occasion be.
A Message from the Lords by Justice Foster and Justice Heath, That the Lords have sent this Message, that they will be set to morrow at ten in the Forenoon in Westminster-Hall, to hear the Earl of Strafford's Council in matter of Law.
Saturday, April 17th, 1641. Post Merid.
Monday, April 19th, 1641.
Ordered, That after the Conference shall be ended, the House shall again be Resolved into a Committee, to resume the farther Debate of the Earl of Strafford, and all the Members are required to return from the Conference to the House.
Resolved upon the Question, That the endeavour of Thomas Earl of Strafford to subvert the Ancient and Fundamental Laws of the Realm of England and Ireland, and to Introduce an Arbitrary and Tyrannical Government, against Law, in both these Kingdoms, is High Treason.
The Lord Digbye's Speech in the House of Commons, to the Bill of Attainder of the Earl of Strafford, April 21. 1641.
Mr. Speaker, We are now upon the Point of giving (as much as in Us lies) the Final Sentence unto Death or Life on a great Minister of State, and Peer of this Kingdom, Thomas Earl of Strafford, a Name of hatred in the present Age, by his Practices, and fit to be made a Terrour to future Ages by his Punishment.
I have had the Honour to be employed by the House in this great business, from the first hour that it was taken into Consideration; It was matter of great Trust, (and I will say with confidence) that I have served the House in it both with Industry, according to my ability, and with most exact Faithfulness and Secrecy.
I do with the peace of that unto my self, and the blessings of Almighty God to me and my Posterity, according as my judgment on the life of this man shall be consonant with my heart, and the best of my understanding in all Integrity.
Yea some (I thank them for their plain dealing) have been so free as to tell me, that I suffered much by the backwardness I have shewn in this Bill of Attainder of the Earl of Strafford, against whom I had been formerly so keen and so active.
Truly Sir, I am still the same in my Opinions and Affections, as unto the Earl of Strafford, I confidently believe him the most dangerous Minister, the most insupportable to free Subjects that can be charactered.
I believe his Practices in themselves have been as High, as Tyrannical, as any Subject ever ventured on, and the malignity of them are hugely aggravated by those rare abilities of his, whereof God hath given him the use, but the Devil the application (in a word) I believe him still that grand Apostate to the Common-Wealth, who must not expect to be pardoned in this World, till he be dispatched to the other. And yet let me tell you Mr. Speaker, my hand must not be to that dispatch, I protest, as my Conscience stands informed, I had rather it were off.
Let me unfold unto you the mystery Mr. Speaker, I will not dwell much upon justifying unto you my seeming variance this time from what I was formerly, but by putting you in mind of the difference between Prosecutors and Judges.
In prosecution upon probable Grounds, we are accountable only for our industry or remissness; but in judgment, we are deeply responsible to God Almighty, for its Rectitude or Obliquity in Cases of Life, the Judge is God's Steward of the Parties blood, and must give a strict account for every drop.
The truth on't is, Sir, the same Ground whereupon I (with the rest of the Five, to whom you first committed the Consideration of my Lord Strafford) brought down our Opinion, That it was fit he should be Accused of Treason, upon the same Ground I was engaged with earnestness in his Prosecution, and had the same Ground remained in that force of belief with me, which, till very lately it did, I should not have been tender in his Condemnation. But truly, Sir, to deal plainly with you, that Ground of our Accusation, That spur to our Prosecution, and that which should be the basis of my judgment, of the Earl of Strafford, as unto Treason, is to my understanding quite vanisht away.
This I was assured would be proved, before I gave my consent to his Accusation. I was confirmed in the same belief, during the Prosecution, and fortified in it most of all since Sir Henry Vane's preparatory Examination, by the assurances which that worthy Member, Mr. Pym gave me, that his Testimony would be made convincing, by some Notes of what passed at that Junto concurrent with it, which I ever understanding to be of some other Councellor, you see now, prove but a Copy of the same Secretaries Notes, discovered and produced in the manner you have heard, and those such disjointed Fragments of the Venemous part of Discourses, no Results, no Conclusions of Counsels, which are the only things that Secretaries should Register, there being no use at all of the other, but to Accuse and to bring men into danger.
But this, Sir, which I shall tell you, is that which works with me, under favour, to an utter overthrow of his Evidence, as unto that of the Army of Ireland; before, whilst I was a Prosecutor, and under tie of Secrecy, I might not discover any weakness of the Cause, which now as a Judge I must.
The first time he was questioned to all the Interrogatories, and to that part of the Seventh, which concerns the Army of Ireland: He said positively in these words, I cannot Charge him with that. But for the rest, he desires time to recollect himself, which was granted him.
Some days after he was Examined a second time, and then deposes these words, concerning the King's being Absolved from Rules of Government, and so forth, very clearly. But being prest to that part, concerning the Irish Army, He said again, I can say nothing to that.
Here we thought we had done with him, till divers weeks after, my Lord of Northumberland, and all others of the Junto, denying to have heard anything, concerning those words, Of reducing England by the Irish Army. It was thought fit to Examine the Secretary once more, and then he deposes these words to have been said by the Earl of Strafford to His Majesty, You have an Army in Ireland, which you may employ here, to reduce (or some word to that sense) this Kingdom.
Mr. Speaker, these are the Circumstances which, I confess with my Conscience, thrust quite out of doors that Grand Article of our Charge, concerning his desperate Advice to the King, of Employing the Irish Army here.
Let not this, I beseech you, be driven to an Aspersion upon Mr. Secretary, as if he should have Sworn otherwise than he knew or believed; he is too worthy to do that; only let thus much be inferred from it, that he, who twice upon Oath, with time of recollection, could not remember any thing of such a business, might well a third time mis-remember somewhat in this business, the difference of one letter, here for there, or that for this, quite alters the Case, the latter also being more probable, since it is confest of all hands, that the Debate then was concerning a War with Scotland; and you may remember, that at the Bar he once said, To employ there. And thus, Mr. Speaker, I have faithfully given you an account what it is that hath blunted the edge of the Hatchet or Bill with me towards my Lord of Strafford.
This was that whereupon I Accused him with a free heart, Prosecuted him with earnestness, and had it, to my understanding, been proved, should have condemned him with Innocence. Whereas now I cannot satisfie my Conscience to do it.
I profess, I can have no notion of any bodies intent to subvert the Laws Treasonably, or by force; and this design of force not appearing, all his other wicked Practices cannot amount so high with me.
I can find a more easie and more natural Spring, from whence to derive all his other Crimes, than from an intent to bring in Tyranny, and to make his own Posterity, as well as Us, Slaves; as from Revenge, from Pride, from Avarice, from Passion, and Insolence of Nature.
But had this of the Irish Army been proved, it would have diffused a Complexion of Treason over all, it would have been a Withe, indeed, to bind all those other scattered and lesser branches, as it were, into a Faggot of Treason.
I do not say but the rest may represent him a man as worthy to die, but perhaps worthier than many a Traytor. I do not say, but they may justly direct Us, to Enact, That they shall be Treason for the future.
I know, Mr. Speaker, there is in Parliament a double Power of Life and Death by Bill, a Judicial Power, and a Legislative; the measure of the one; is what's legally just; of the other, what is Prudentially and Politickly fit for the good and preservation of the whole. But these two, under favour, are not to be confounded in Judgment: We must not piece up want of legality with matter of convenience, nor the desailance of prudential fitness with a pretence of legal Justice.
And I do it by the Legislative Power, my reason consultively cannot agree to that, since I am perswaded, neither the Lords nor the King will pass the Bill, and consequently that Our passing it will be a Cause of great Divisions and Combustions in the State.
And therefore my humble advice is, That laying aside this Bill of Attainder, We may think of another, saving only Life, such as may secure the State from my Lord of Strafford, without endangering it, as much by Division concerning his Punishment, as he hath endangered it by his Practices.
If this may not be hearkned unto, Let me conclude, in saying that unto you all, which I have throughly inculcated to mine own Conscience upon this occasion. Let every man lay his hand upon his Heart, and sadly consider what We are going to do, with a Breath, either Justice or Murther; Justice on the one side, or Murther heightned and aggravated to its supreamest extent. For as the Casuists say, That he who lies with his Sister commits Incest, but he that marries his Sister sins higher, by applying God's Ordinance to his Crime: So doubtless he that commits Murther with the Sword of Justice, heightens that Crime to the utmost.
The danger being so great, and the Case so doubtful, that I see the best Lawyers in diametral opposition concerning it: Let every man wipe his Heart, as he does his Eyes, when he would Judge of a nice and subtile Object. The Eye if it be pretincted with any colour, is vitiated in its discerning. Let Us take heed of a blood-shotten Eye in Judgment.
Let every man purge his Heart clear of all passions, (I know this great and wise Body-politick can have none, but I speak to individuals, from the weakness which I find in myself) away with personal Animosities, away with all flatteries to the people, in being the sharper against him, because he is odious to them; away with all fears, left by the sparing his blood they may be incens'd; away with all such Considerations, as that it is not fit for a Parliament, that one Accused by it of Treason, should escape with Life.
Tuesday, April 20th, 1641. Post Merid.
Wednesday, April 21th, 1641. Post Merid.
According to an Order Yesterday made, the House was Resolved into a Committee to Consider of the Bill of Attainder of Thomas Earl of Strafford. Mr. Peard being called to the Chair, then Mr. Speaker reassumed the Chair.
Mr. Peard Reports from the Grand Committee the Bill of Attainder of the Earl of Strafford, with the Additions and Amendments thereunto, the which Addition and Amendments were twice read, and the Bill upon the Question Ordered to be Engrossed.
Ordered, That the House meet this Afternoon at Three of the Clock, and the third time read an Act for the Attainder of Thomas Earl of Strafford of High Treason; and upon the Question for the Passing, the House was divided. The Lord Digby, Mr. Lloyd Tellers for the Teas, Sir Gilbert Gerrard, Sir Thomas Barington Tellers for the Noes; with the Noes 59, with the Teas 204. Upon the Report thereof the Bill Pass'd.
Mr. Pym is appointed to carry up the Bill to the Lords, and was further Ordered to express unto the Lords, That it is a Bill that highly concerns the Common-wealth, especially in the expediting of it.
Mr. Pym acquaints the House, That according to the Commands of this House, he had delivered the Bill of Attainder, with special Recommendations for the Expedition in regard of the Importance, and that this House was ready to justifie the Legality of the Bill, if any way their Lordships should desire a Conference by a Committee of both Houses; the sooner and the more publick the way, shall be the better, and the more agreeable to the desires of this House.
Thursday, April 22th 1641. Post Merid.
The Lords have agreed to hear this House in Westminster-Hall at Eight of the Clock on Saturday next, touching the matter of Law in the business of the Earl of Strafford, if this House shall so please.
Mr. Sollicitor St. John is enjoined by this House to maintain the legal part of the Bill of Attainder of Thomas Earl of Strafford on Saturday Morning next, and Mr. Maynard and Mr. Glyn are adjoined unto him as Assistants.
Sir John Eveling went up to the Lords with this Message, to desire a free Conference by a Committee of both Houses, concerning their Lordships Message sent this day, touching the matter of Law in the Case of the Tryal of the Earl of Strafford.
That this House received a Message from their Lordships this day, to this effect, That their Lordships are ready to hear this House in Westminster-Hall on Saturday Morning next, touching the Point of Law in the Case of Thomas Earl of Strafford, they conceive, this did arise from the Message of this House upon the delivery of the Bill of Attainder of the Earl of Strafford. That this House is ready at a Conference by a Committee of both Houses, to justifie the Justice and Legality of the Bill of Attainder.
Mr. Pierepoint Reports the Conference had with the Lords, touching the matter of Law, in the Case of the Earl of Strafford. My Lord Privy Seal said, That the intention of their House was to have proceeded in the former way, to have heard the Council upon the legal part; but since it is your desire to have a Committee of both Houses, to meet at the time and place before appointed; the day being now far spent, and finding something of moment to be considered of, their Lordships will send an Answer by Messengers of their own in time convenient, and therefore shall not meet on Saturday in Westminster-Hall, but will sit on Saturday in their own House.
Friday, April 23th, 1641. Post Merid.
Exceptions were taken by divers Members of the House to the Lord Digby, for many Passages in a Speech of his, delivered at the passing of the Bill of Attainder of the Earl of Strafford. The Lord Digby rose up, and in his place explained himself, touching those several Passages, and there was no more done thereupon at this time.
Saturday, April 24th, 1641. Post Merid.
The Petition of divers Citizens of London to both Houses of Parliament, wherein is an account of their Grievances, together with their desires for Justice to be executed on the Earl of Strafford and other Delinquents.
That notwithstanding His Majesties Gracious Answer, to the humble Petition of his Loyal Subjects, in Summoning this Parliament, with the great Care and Endeavoured pains taken by both Houses, for the removing the heavy Grievances in Church and Common-wealth; whereof the Petitioners have already received some Fruit, for which they desire to return their most humble and utmost Thanks; yet nevertheless they are enforced, with all Humility, to represent to this most Honourable Assembly, some of those Obstructions which do still hinder that freedom and fulness of Trade in this City they have formerly had, and which considering the numerous multitude thereupon depending, they conceive it not able comfortably to subsist.
As the unsettled Condition of the Kingdom, even since the Troubles in Scotland, hath caused both Strangers, and also some of our own, who did furnish great Sums of Money to Use, to call it in, and remit much of it by Exchange into Foreign Parts, and stand now in expectation of what the issue of things may be.
The stopping Money in the Mint, which till then was accounted the safest place and surest Staple in these Parts of the World, still doth hinder the Importation of Bullion; the Scots now disabled to pay such Debts as they owe to the Petitioners, and others in the City; and by reason of the Oppressions exercised in Ireland, their Debts also are detained there.
Besides all which, from what strong and secret Opposition the Petitioners know not; they have not received what so much time and pains might give and cause to hope, but still Incendiaries of the Kingdoms, and other Notorious Offenders, remain unpunished: The Affairs of the Church, notwithstanding many Petitions concerning it, and long Debate about it, remains unsettled; the Papists still Armed; the Laws against them not Executed, some of the most Active of them still at Court, Priests and Jesuits not yet Banished, the Irish Popish-Army not yet Disbanded, Courts of Justice not yet Reformed, and the Earl of Strafford, who as now appears, hath Counselled the Plundering of this City, and putting it to Fine and Ransom; and said. It would never be well, till some of the Aldermen were hang'd up, because they would not yield to Illegal Levies of Monies, had so drawn out and spent this time in his business, to the very great Charge of the whole Kingdom, and his endeavour to obtain yet more, all which makes us fear there may be Practices now in hand to hinder the Birth of your great Endeavours, and that we lie under some more dangerous Plot than we can discover.
All which Premisses, with their Fears and Distractions, growing there from, and from things of the like nature; the Petitioners humbly offer to the most grave Consideration of this most Honourable Assembly, as being the true Causes of decay of Trade, discouragement of Trades-men, and of the great scarcity of Monies, with the Consequences they labour under.
And do humbly pray, That their said Grievances may be Redressed, the Causes of their Fears removed, Justice executed upon the said Earl, and other Incendiaries and Offenders, the rather, in regard till then the Petitioners humbly conceive neither Religion, nor their Lives, Liberties, or Estates can be secured.
Mr. Glyn is Ordered to manage this Conference, and Mr. Hill to assist him, and to deliver the Petition from the Citizens of London at this Conference, and thence to take occasion of representing the Desires of this House; likewise for the Expediting of the Bill of Attainder of the Earl of Strafford.
Monday, April 26th, 1641. Post Merid.
A Message from the Lords by Judge Reeves and Judge Heath, That they are ready for a Conference, by a Committee of both Houses, to the Petition presented from London, for which this House sent a Message on Saturday last.
Tuesday, April 27th, 1641. Post Merid.
A Message from the Lords by Judge Foster and Judge Heath, That their Lordships will be ready to meet at a Conference, by a Committee of both Houses, at Nine of the Clock upon Thursday Morning in Westminster-Hall, and there to hear this House, according to their own offer, when they brought up the Bill of Attainder of the Earl of Strafford.
Wednesday, April 28th, 1641. Post Merid.
Ordered, That Mr. Solicitor St. John have Power to send for such Records, as he shall think needful for that Service committed unto him, for maintaining the Point of Law, in the Case of the Earl of Strafford.
Mr. Edward Hide went up to the Lords with this Message, to acquaint their Lordships, That the House hath received such Information, as hath moved some Fears in them, that the Earl of Strafford may have design to Escape, that he hath Ships at Sea at Command, and that the Guards about him are weak; therefore to desire their Lordships he may be a close Prisoner, and the Guards strengthened.
Mr. Hide brings this Answer, That their Lordships had heretofore given Directions to the Lieutenant of the Tower, that he should be close Prisoner, and take Care for a stronger Guard, and will take into Examination, and give Directions as is desired.
Friday, April 30th, 1641. Post Merid.
Ordered, That Mr. Solicitor be required from this House, to bring in a particular Copy of his Argument Yesterday in Westminster-Hall, and likewise that Mr. Pym bring him a Copy of the Speeches spoken by him in Westminster-Hall, both at the beginning and latter end of the Trial of the Earl of Strafford.
- The Lord Digby,
- Lord Compton,
- Lord Buckhurst,
- Sir Robert Hatton,
- Sir Thomas Fanshaw,
- Sir Edward Alford,
- Nicholas Slanning,
- Sir Thomas Danby,
- Sir George Wentworth,
- Sir Peter Wentworth,
- Sir Fred. Conwallis,
- Sir William Carnaby,
- Sir Richard Winn,
- Sir Gervas Cliffton,
- Sir William Withrington,
- Sir William Pennyman,
- Sir Patrick Carvin,
- Sir Richard Lee,
- Sir Henry Slingsby,
- Sir William Portman,
- Mr. Gervas Hollis,
- Mr. Sydney Godolphin,
- Mr. Cook,
- Mr. Coventry,
- Mr. Kirton,
- Mr. Pollard
- Mr. Price,
- Mr. Trevanyon,
- Mr. Jeane,
- Mr. Edgcombe,
- Mr. Ben. Weston,
- Mr. Selden,
- Mr. Alford,
- Mr. Loyd,
- Mr. Herbert
- Captain Digby,
- Serjeant Hyde,
- Mr. Tayler,
- Mr. Richard Weston,
- Mr. Griffith,
- Mr. Scawen,
- Mr. Bridgman,
- Mr. Fettyplace,
- Doctor Turner,
- Captain Charles Price,
- Doctor Parry a Civilian,
- Mr. Richard Arundel,
- Mr. Newport,
- Mr. Nowell,
- Mr. chichley,
- Mr. Mallory,
- Mr. Porter,
- Mr. White, Secretary to E.D.
- Mr. Warwick.
It is a Presumption that these Names were thus Posted up by some of those who came in multitudes to the Parliament House, but he that took the List of their Names (as Mr. Elsing told the Author) was one Mr. W who Served for some Borough in the Country of Wilts, and who did not afterwards go to the King at Oxford in time of War, though his Wife did; but he staid in the Parliament to do what friendly Office he could for the King and his Party: It is probable he gave a Copy of those Names to some Friends, not intending to have the same made Publick in that manner. The Name of one Member of the House that was in the List, who is omitted in this, viz. Sir John Strangwayes, who was not then in Town, but Sir John, after his Return out of Dorsetshire, complained that his Name was Posted up amongst others, and moved, that the business might be Examined how the List came abroad, and was made Publick, as aforesaid, he being then in the Country.
Wednesday, May 5th, 1641:
A Message from the Lords by Judge Reeves and Judge Forster, that they give this House Thanks for sitting so long, that they are still in Debate of the Bill against the Earl of Strafford, so that this Night they cannot be ready for a Conference.
Saturday, May 8th 1641.
That in regard the Peace of the Kingdom doth much consist in the Execution of the Bill of Attainder of Thomas Earl of Strafford, to desire their Lordships to move His Majesty as speedily as may be to give His Assent.
Ordered, That this House shall joyn with the Lords, to attend His Majesty, to appoint a time when He would be pleased to set, concerning His Assent to the Bill of Attainder of Thomas Earl of Strafford.
A Message from the Lords by Judge Forster and Judge Heath, That the Lords appointed by their House, attended His Majesty, who appointed that both Houses should attend Him at Four of the Clock in the Banqueting-House, concerning the Bill of Attainder: That they have Passed the Bill concerning the not Dissolving the Parliament.
Monday, May 10th, 1641.
The Gentleman-Usher of the Black-Rod came to signify to the House, That His Majesties Assent to the Bill of Attainder is now to be given by Commission, and that the Lords did expect Mr. Speaker and the House of Commons to come up.