Passages in Parliament: May 1640

Pages 734-761

Historical Collections of Private Passages of State: Volume 8, 1640-41. Originally published by D Browne, London, 1721.

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In this section

Saturday, May 1. 1640.

The King came to the House of Lords, and sent for the Commons thither, and made this Speech to both Houses:

I Had not any intention to speak of this business, which causes me to come here to day, which is the great Impeachment of the Earl of Strafford; But now it comes to pass, that of necessity I must have part in that Judgment: I am sure you all know that I have been present at the Hearing of this great business, from the one end to the other. That which I have to declare unto you is, shortly, this;

That in my Conscience, I cannot Condemn him of High-Treason: It is not fit for me to argue the business, I am sure you will not expect it. A Positive Doctrine best comes out of the mouth of a Prince; Yet I must tell you Three great Truths, which I am sure no body can know so well as my self. 1. That I never had any intention of bringing over the Irish Army into England, nor ever was advised by any body so to do. 2. There never was any Debate before me, neither in publick Council, nor at private Committee, of the Disloyalty and Disaffection of my English Subjects, nor ever had I any suspicion of them. 3. I was never counselled by any to alter the least of any of the Laws of England, much less to alter all the Laws; Nay, I must tell you this, I think no body durst be ever so impudent to move me in it; for if they had, I should have put a Mark upon them, and made them such an Example, that all Posterity should know my intention by it: for my intention was ever to Govern according to the Law, and no otherwise.

I desire to be rightly understood; I told you; in my Conscience I cannot Condemn him of High-Treason; yet I cannot say I can clear him of Misdemeanor: Therefore I hope that you may find a way for to satisfie Justice and your own Fears, and not to press upon my Conscience. My Lords, I hope you know what a tender thing Conscience is: Yet I must declare unto you, that to satisfy my People, I would do great matters; But in this of Conscience, no Fear, no Respect whatsoever, shall ever make me go against it. Certainly, I have not so ill deserved of the Parliament at this time, that they should press me in this tender point, and therefore I cannot expect that you will go about it.

Nay, I must confess, for matter of Misdemeanor, I am so clear in that, that tho' I will not chalk out the way, yet let me tell you, that I do think my Lord of Strafford is not fit hereafter to serve Me or the Commonwealth in any place of Trust, no, not so much as to be a High-Constable. Therefore, I leave it to you, my Lords, to find some such way as to bring me out of this great streight, and keep your Selves and the Kingdom from such Inconveniences. Certainly, he that thinks him Guilty of High-Treason in his Conscience, may Condemn him of Misdemeanor.

The House of Commons Adjourned, upon this Speech of the king's, in Some Dissatisfaction; May the 3d, the Commons having a Plot discovered, fall into the Debare thereof;

The House of Commons, as soon as they returned, seemed to be much discontented with what the King had spoken, and immediately Adjourned 'till Monday following; on which Day, being the Third of May, Mr. Pim makes known to the House, that there are divers Informations given of desperate Designs, both at Home and Abroad, against the Parliament and the Peace of the Nation, and that the Persons engaged in it, are under an Oath of Secrecy; that there is an endeavour to disaffect the Army, not only against the Proceedings of the Parliament, but to bring them up against the Parliament; That there is a design upon the Tower, that there is an endeavour for the Earl of Strafford to escape; That those Combinations at Home, have a Correspondency with Practices Abroad; and that the French are drawing down their Forces in all haste to the Sea-side, and that there is cause to fear their intent is upon Portsmouth; That divers Persons of Eminency about the King (as, by good information, appears) are deeply engaged in the Plot: That it is necessary the Ports be stopt; and that His Majesty be desired to command, that no Person attending upon the King, Queen, or Prince, do depart without Leave of His Majesty, with the humble Advice of His Parliament.

And the same Day Resolve upon a Protestation.

The Commons hereupon fell into serious Debate of this Matter, and the same day came to a Resolution of taking a Protestation; which was accordingly taken by the Speaker, and about three hundred Members then present, Man by Man.

The Preamble to the Protestation.

'We the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses of the Commons-House in Parliament, finding, to the grief of our hearts, that the Designs of the Priests and Jesuits, and other Adherents to the See of Rome, have of late been more boldly and frequently put in practise than formerly, to the Undermining and Danger of the true Reformed 'Protestant Religion in His Majesty's Dominions established: And finding also that there hath been, and having just cause to suspect there still are, ev'n during the sitting in Parliament, Endeavours to subvert the fundamental Laws of England and Ireland, and to introduce the exercise of an Arbitrary and Tyrannical Government, by most pernicious and wicked Counsels, Practices, Plots, and Conspiracies; and that the long intermission, and unhappier breach of Parliaments, hath occasioned many illegal Taxations, whereby the Subjects have been 'prosecuted and grieved: And that divers Innovations and Superstitions have been brought into the Church; multitudes driven out of His Majesty's Dominions; Jealousies raised and fomented between the King and his People: A Popish Army levied in Ireland, and two Armies brought into the bowels of this Kingdom, to the hazard of His Majesty's Royal Person, the consumption of the Revenue of the Crown, and the Treasure of this Realm: And lastly, finding the great causes of jealousy, that Endeavours have been, and are used, to bring the English Army into a misunderstanding of this Parliament, thereby to incline that Army, by Force, to bring that Army to pass those wicked Counsels; Have therefore thought good to joyn our Selves in a Declaration of our united Affections and Resolutions, and to make this 'ensuing Protestation:

The Protestation.

I A. B. Do, in the presence of God, Promise, Vow, and Protest to Maintain and Defend, as far as lawfully I may, with my Life, Power, and Estate, the true Reformed Protestant Religion, expressed in the Doctrine of the Church of England, against all Popery and Popish Innovation within this Realm, contrary to the said Doctrine; and according to the Duty of my Allegiance, I will Maintain and Defend His Majesty's Royal Person and Estate.

As also the Power and Privilege of Parliaments, the lawful Rights and Liberties of the Subjects, and every Person that shall make this Protestation, in whatsoever he shall do in the lawful pursuance of the same. And to my power, as far as lawfully I may, I will oppose, and, by all good Ways and Means, endeavour to bring to condign Punishment all such as shall by Force, Practice, Counsels, Plots, Conspiracies, or otherwise do any thing to the contrary in this present Protestation contained. And further, That I shall, in all Just and Honourable Ways, endeavour to preserve the Union and Peace betwixt the Three Kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland; and neither for Hope, Fear, or any other respects, shall relinquish this Promise, Vow, and Protestation.

This Protestation was read by Mr. Maynard. Here folfolloweth the Names of the Members of the House of Commons, who took the same, May 3d, 1640, (viz.)

  • WIlliam Lenthal Esq; Speaker
  • Edward Hyde
  • George Ld. Digby
  • Ld. Faulkland
  • Sir John Culpepper
  • John Selden
  • Orlando Bridgman
  • Sir William Pennyman
  • Sir Henry Herbert
  • Sir Thomas Fanshaw
  • Sir William Widdrington
  • Sir Frederick Cornwallis
  • Robert Holborne Esq;
  • Tho. Chicheley Esq;
  • Sir George Wentworth
  • William Mallory Esq;
  • Jo. Bellasis Esq;
  • Sir Guy Palmes
  • Edm. Waller Esq;
  • Sidney Godolphin Esq;
  • Sir Nic Slany
  • Sir Henry Slingsby
  • Tho. Jermin Esq;
  • Sir Tbo. Peyton
  • Sir Philip Musgrave
  • Sir Patricins Curwin
  • Sir John Stowel
  • Sir John Strangwayes
  • Sir John Paulet
  • Sir Richard Wynn
  • Tho. Tomkins Esq;
  • Arthur Capel Esq;
  • James Ld. Compton
  • Sir Ralph Hopton
  • Geofrey Palmer Esq;
  • Jo. Vaughan Esq;
  • Edw. Mountague Esq;
  • Geo. Mountague Esq;
  • Will. Plydell Esq;
  • Sir John Paulet
  • Charles Price Esq;
  • Herbert Price Esq;
  • Sir Ralph Sidenham
  • Fitz-William Conisby Esq;
  • Baptist Noel Esq;
  • Sir Roger Palmer
  • John Coventry Esq;
  • Edw. Seymor Esq;
  • Sir Arthur Ingram
  • Sir Tho. Ingram
  • Sir Edw. Verney
  • Sir Ralph Verney
  • Francis Newport Esq;
  • Ben. Weston Esq;
  • Lord Mansfield
  • Sir William Carnaby
  • Sir Nicholas Slaning
  • Jo. Craven Esq;
  • William Constantine Esq;
  • Sir Edw. Deering
  • Sir Geo. Dalston
  • Sir Tho. Bowyer
  • Jo. Hamden Esq;
  • Henry Pelham Esq;
  • Sir Tho. Widdrington
  • Sir Henry Herbert
  • Sir Edw. Bainton
  • James Cambel Esq;
  • Sir Tho. Heale
  • Sir Henry Anderson
  • Sir Harbottle Grimston
  • Sir Robert Pye sen.
  • Ferd. Ld. Fairfax
  • Sir Henry Mildmay
  • Sir William Armyn
  • Sir RogerNorth
  • Sir Walter D' Averaux
  • Tho. Hatcher Esq;
  • Sir Chr. Yelverton
  • William Ld. Russel
  • Sir Philip Stapleton
  • Sir Henry Cholmly
  • Sir John Hotham
  • John Pym Esq;
  • Sir Ben. Rudyyard
  • Herbert Esq;
  • Digby Esq;
  • Sir Gilbert Gerrard
  • Lord Ruthen
  • Sir Nevil Pool
  • Denzil Hollis Esq;
  • John Maynard Esq;
  • Sir Robert Harly
  • John Glyn Esq;
  • Sir Tho. Barington
  • William Stroud Esq;
  • Nathan. Fines Esq;
  • Henry Martin Esq;
  • John Bodvil Esq;
  • Sir Fran. Knoles
  • Rich. Shettleworth Esq;
  • John Moor Esq;
  • Sir Simon D'Ewes
  • Sir John Wray
  • Sir Chr. Wray
  • Sir Martin Lomly
  • Herbert Morly Esq;
  • Tho. Ld. Grey
  • Rog. Burgoine Esq;
  • Sir Edw. Hungerford
  • Sir John Curson
  • Will. Perepoint Esq;
  • John Marstal Esq;
  • Hugh Owen Esq;
  • Norton Knatchbold Esq;
  • Sir Ed. Hales
  • Sir Ed. Master
  • John Cowcher Esq;
  • Sir William Strickland
  • Sir Edw. Boys
  • Sir Tho, Walsingham
  • Sir Peter Wrath
  • Tho. Maleveror Esq;
  • Edw. Bainton Esq;
  • Oliver Cromwel Esq;
  • Sir Gilbert Pickering
  • Will. Whittaker Esq;
  • Mich. Oldsworth Esq;
  • Sir John Harrison
  • Sir Hugh Cholmley
  • Isaac Pennington Esq;
  • George Peard Esq;
  • Sir Jo. Howard
  • Henry Vaugham Esq;
  • Ed. Kirton Esq;
  • Ed. Bagshaw Esq;
  • Sir Walter Smith
  • Rich. Harding Esq;
  • Bulstred Whitlock Esq;
  • Will. Price Esq;
  • Henry Lucas Esq;
  • Gilbert Willington Esq;
  • Sir Tho. Huchinson
  • Sir Will. Morly
  • Sir Henry Bellingham
  • Sir John Frankland
  • Sir John Clothworthy
  • Sir Edw. Munford
  • Will. Kage Esq;
  • John Northcot Esq;
  • Sir Tho. Middleton
  • Sir John Salisbury
  • Sir Ro. Nappier
  • Tho. Lower Esq;
  • Fran. Gerrard Esq;
  • Perigrin Pelham Esq;
  • Tho. Fountain Esq;
  • Hen. Vernon Esq;
  • Lord Lisle
  • Edw. Dawx Esq;
  • Ro. Scowen Esq;
  • Sir Dudley North
  • Lawrence Whitaker Esq;
  • Henry Heyman Esq;
  • Tho. Hiblethwait Esq;
  • Arthur Jones Esq;
  • Will. Bell Esq;
  • Henry Bellasis Esq;
  • Jo. Harvy Esq;
  • Jo. Ash Esq;
  • Geo. Gallop Esq;
  • Jo. Nash Esq;
  • Edw. Ash Esq;
  • Rich Seaburn Esq;
  • Cornelius Holland Esq;
  • Edm. Dunch Esq;
  • Rich. Barwis Esq;
  • Ro. Trelawny Esq;
  • Rich. Weston Esq;
  • John Goodwin Esq;
  • Nath. Stephen Esq;
  • Jo. White Esq;
  • Sir Ed. Griffin
  • Rich. Albrough Esq;
  • Dr. Sam. Turner
  • Ral. Snead Esq;
  • Ed. Patridge Esq;
  • Sir Peter Temple
  • Poynings Moore Esq;
  • Sir Will. Lewis
  • Peter Venebles Esq;
  • Hen. Killagrew Esq;
  • John Harris Esq;
  • Jo. Moston Esq;
  • Peter Leigh Esq;
  • Dr. Tho. Eaden
  • Will. Glanvil Esq;
  • Arthur Goodwin Esq;
  • Edw. Owner Esq;
  • Tho Toll Esq;
  • John Polwhil Esq;
  • Simon Thelwal Esq;
  • Oliv. St. John Regis Solic.
  • Sir Will. Allynson
  • Jo. Crew
  • Rich. Catelin Esq;
  • Ro. Goodwy Esq;
  • Jo. Blakeston Esq;
  • Sir Will Brereton
  • Miles Corbet Esq;
  • Phil. Smith. Esq;
  • Sir Rich. Vivion
  • Ravenscroft Esq;
  • Sir Tho. Middleton
  • Ralph Ashton Esq;
  • Will. Fitz-Williams Esq;
  • Sir Edm. Fowel
  • Sir Jo. Price
  • Rich. Boyle Lord Dungaroen
  • Edw. Pool Esq;
  • Roger Hill Esq;
  • Sir Jo. Eveling
  • Giles Green Esq;
  • Roger Hill Esq;
  • Sir Jo. Eveling
  • Edw. Prideaux
  • Giles Green Esq;
  • Dennis Bond Esq;
  • Roger Mathews Esq;
  • Zouch Pate Esq;
  • Jo. White Esq;
  • Rich. Moore Esq;
  • Rich. Reeves Esq;
  • Tho. Pewry Esq;
  • Will. Pewrisoy Esq;
  • Will. Spurflow Esq;
  • Simon Snow Esq;
  • Rich. Ferris Esq;
  • Edw. Thomas Esq;
  • Serj. Wild
  • Humphry Salway Esq;
  • Tho. Leeds Esq;
  • Will. Harrison Esq;
  • Gervas Clifton
  • William Herbert Esq;
  • John Woogan Esq;
  • Henry Brett Esq;
  • John Trevanion Esq;
  • Walter Lloyd Esq;
  • Sir Rich. Leigh
  • Sir Tho. Ingram
  • John Arundel Esq;
  • Jona. Rashly Esq;
  • Rich. Arundel Esq;
  • John Woddon Esq;
  • John Persival Esq;
  • Sir Wil. Portman
  • Theobald Gorge Esq;
  • Tho. Smith Esq;
  • Sir Martin Lister
  • Sir Tho. Cheek
  • Tho. Hayle Esq;
  • Anthony Bedingfield Esq;
  • Sir Tho. Smith
  • Ralph Ashton Esq;
  • John Potts Esq;
  • Francis Rowse Esq;
  • Pierce Edcomb Esq;
  • Sir Walter Earl
  • Sir Will. Masham
  • John Gourdon Esq;
  • John Role Esq;
  • Tho. Arundel Esq;
  • Joseph Jane Esq;
  • Sir Philip Parker
  • Arthur Ainflow Esq;
  • Geo. Hartnal Esq;
  • Edw. Wingate Esq;
  • Robert Sicil Esq;
  • Sir William Litton
  • Sir John Jennings
  • Sir Oliv. Luke
  • Sir An. Nichols Hen
  • John Broxam Esq;
  • John Alured Esq;
  • Geo. Buller Esq;
  • James Fines Esq;
  • Nich. Weston Esq;
  • Sir Beauchamp St. John
  • Sir Richard Anslow
  • Sir Jo. Corbet
  • Sir Alex. Denton
  • Sir Jo. Parker
  • Sir Ro. Parkhurst
  • Sir Ambrose Brown
  • Sir Sam. Owfield
  • Sir Rich Buller
  • Alex. Carew Esq;
  • Sir Nath. Barnadistion
  • Sir Harvy Baggot
  • Simon Norton Esq;
  • Samson Evers Serj. at Law
  • Philip Sidney Lord Tisle
  • John Alford Esq;
  • Sir Ch. Williams
  • Rich. Herbert Esq;
  • Sir Edw. Alford
  • Sir William Plaitor
  • Francis Gamull Esq;
  • Sir Job. Stepney
  • Sir Jo. Brook
  • Jo. Fenwick Esq;
  • Will Chadwell Esq;
  • Alex. Lutterell Esq;
  • Jo. Burlace Esq;
  • Sir Jo. Cook
  • Tho. Cook Esq;
  • Tho. May Esq;
  • Sir Richard Lewison
  • John Griffith Esq;
  • Mathew Davis Esq;
  • John Fettiplace Esq;
  • Geo. Loe Esq;
  • Rich. Edgcomb Esq;
  • Sir Ed. Redny
  • Sir Arth. Haswelrig
  • Sir Fran. Barnham
  • Sir Tho. Gervis
  • Ro, Wallop Esq;
  • James Rivers Esq;
  • Will Haveningham Esq;
  • Will Cawly Esq;
  • John Button Esq;
  • Tho. Gervis Esq;
  • Sir Hen. Worsly
  • Darly Esq;
  • Valentine Walton Esq;
  • Sam. Vassal Esq;
  • Hen. Campion Esq;
  • Jo. Merrick Esq
  • Herbert Price Esq;
  • Tho. Earle Esq;
  • Will. Marlet Esq;
  • Will. Drake Esq;
  • Sir Ed Littleton
  • Sir And. Ludlow
  • Rich. Harman Esq;
  • Rich Shettleworth Esq;
  • Sir John Draidon
  • Will Ellis Esq;
  • Will. Thomas Esq;
  • Jo. Pine Esq;
  • Will. Jepson Esq;
  • John Hotham Esq;
  • Tho. Hodges Esq;
  • Tho More Esq;
  • Godsrey Boswell Esq;
  • Antho. Staply Esq;
  • Jo. Moyle Esq
  • Will Hay Esq;
  • Ferdinando Stanhop Esq;
  • Harbottle Grimston Esq;
  • John Craven Esq;
  • Robert Crooke Esq;
  • Edw. Philips Esq;
  • Rob. Reynolds Esq
  • Sir Tho. Pelham
  • Benj. Valentine Esq;
  • Sir Thomas Fanshaw
  • Matthew Cradock Esq;
  • Lloyd Esq;
  • Sir Will. Dalson
  • Sir Tho. Woodhouse
  • Francis Godolphin Esq;
  • Framling ham Gaudy Esq;
  • Anthony Irby Esq;
  • Lord Wenman
  • John Lowry Esq;
  • Sir Tho. Danby
  • John Eveling Esq;
  • Long Esq;
  • George Parry Esq;
  • Will. Morgan Esq;
  • Walter Kirk Esq;
  • Sir Tho. Parker
  • Grantham Esq;
  • Tailer Esq;
  • John Trenchard Esq
  • Robert Sutton Esq;
  • John Whistler Esq;
  • An. Hungerford Esq;
  • Tho. Eversfield Esq;
  • George Searl Esq;
  • Cha. Baldwin Esq;
  • Rich. Whitehead Esq;
  • Gerrard Napier Esq;
  • Hen. Garton Esq;
  • Mich. Noble Esq;
  • Serjeant Creswel
  • Sir John Holland
  • Sir Will. Ogle
  • Sir Charles Gross
  • Sir Geo. Stonehouse
  • Ro. Hurst Esq;
  • Will. Basset Esq;
  • Ralph Godwin Esq;
  • Ro. Nichols Esq;
  • Sir Er. Knowles
  • Nath. Hollow
  • Ambros Mannaton Esq;
  • Ro. Walker Esq;
  • Sir Rich. Brown.

The Commons send a Message to the Lords, concerning the Plot; And desire a select Committee to take Examinations upon Oath; And that no Servant of the King or Queen's Majesties depart the Kingdom 'till they examined:

A Message was immediately sent to the Lords, to acquaint them, that the Commons had just cause and ground to suspect, that there hath been, and still is a secret practice, to discontent the Army with the Proceedings of the Parliament, to engage them in some design of dangerous consequence to the State, and, by some mischievous ways, to prevent the happy Success and Conclusion of this Assembly; and to desire their Lordships that a select Committee might be appointed to take the Examinations upon Oath, concerning this desperate Plot and Design, in the presence of some of the Commons; and to move his Majesty, in the Name of the Parliament, that upon this great and weighty Occasion, no Servant of His Majesty, the Queen, or Prince, may depart the Kingdom without Leave of His Majesty, with the Advice of his Parliament, until they appear and be examined. And the Commons immediately agreed upon a Letter to the Army, and sent it away by an Express, to assure them of the Care the Parliament took to provide Monies for them, and did not doubt but the Army will give a fair testimony of their affections to the Parliament, notwithstanding the evil dportments of some Persons, who have endeavoured to discontent them.

And sent a Letter to the Army, to assure them of the Parliament's Care of them; The Commons passed several Resolves.

At the same time the Commons passed several Resolves, in order to the Security of the Nation, viz. That strict enquiry be made, what Papists, Priests, and Jesuits be now about the Town; That the 1500 Barrels of Powder going to Portsmouth may be stayed; That the Forces in Wiltshire and Hampshire be drawn towards Portsmouth; and the Forces in Kent and Sussex, towards Dover: And they did declare, That whosoever should give Counsel or Assistance, or joyn any manner of way to bring any Foreign Force into the Kingdom, unless it by Command from His Majesty, with Consent of both Houses of Parliament, shall be adjudged and reputed as publick Enemies to the King and Kingdoms.

These Resolves, and the Protestation, communicated to the Lords.

These Resolves the Commons made known to the Lords, for. their concurrence, and also desired them to move His Majesty for the stop of the Ports; and that the Lord Admiral should place such trusty Commanders in the Ships, for the security of the Nation, as they could confide in; In all which, the Lords did most readily concurr.

The Commons did further communicate unto the Lords the Protestation which they had taken in their House, desiring the Lords it might also be taken by every Member of their House: It was carry'd to the House of Lords by Mr. Hollis, who, at the delivering thereof, did (amongst other passages) express himself to this effect;

Mr. Hollis's Speech, in a Message to the Lords about the Plot.

My Lords,
'The Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses of the House of Commons, having taken into their serious Consideration the present State and Condition of this Kingdom; they find it surrounded with variety of pernicious and destructive Designs, Practices, and Plots against the Well-being of it, Nay, the very Being of it, and some of those Designs hatched within our own Bowels, and, Viper-like, working our own Destruction.

'They find Jesuits and Priests conspiring with ill Ministers of State, to destroy our Religion: They find ill Ministers conjoyned together to subvert the Laws and Liberties: They find obstructions of Justice, (which is the Life and Blood of every State.) The Parliament, of late Years, have been like the Fig-tree in the Gospel, without Efficacy, without Fruit, commonly taken away, as Elias was with a Whirlwind, never coming to any maturity.

'The same ill Counsels which first raised that storm, and almost shipwrackt the Common-wealth, do still continue; they blow strong, like the East Wind that brought the Locusts over the Land. Is it not time then, my Lords, that we should unite and concentrate our selves, and defeat the Counsels of these Achitophels, which would involve us, our Religion, our King, our Laws, our Liberties, all that can be near and dear unto an honest Soul, in one universal and general Desolation ? To defeat, I say, the Counsels of such Achitophels, the, Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses of the House of Commons (knowing themselves to be specially intrusted with the Preservation of the Whole, and in their Conscience perswaded that the Dangers are so imminent, as they will admit of no delay) have thought fit to declare their united Affections by entring into an Association amongst themselves, by making a solemn Protestation and Vow unto their God, that they will unanimously endeavour to oppose and prevent the Counsels and Counsellors which have brought upon us all these Miseries, and the fears of greater, to prevent the Ends, and bring the Authors of them to condign Punishment, and thereby discharge themselves the better before God and Man.

Here the Protestation was read unto the Lords, together with the Grounds and Reasons which induced the House of Commons to make it, which are prefixed to it by way of Preamble.

Multitudes of People flock to Westminster, crying Justice! Justice! &c.

The King's Speech on Saturday last to both Houses, being publickly known in the City, rumours were spread abroad, concerning desperate Plots and Designs against the Parliament, which occasion'd multitudes of People to resort the Monday following, being May 3d, to both Houses of Parliament, in such a confluence as hath not been usual; they tendred. Petitions to both Houses, crying Justice! Justice against the Earl of Strafford ! and when the Houses arose, they departed.

The People assemble again in Multitudes, which the Lords communicate to the Commons at a Conference;

Tuesday the 4th of May, the Lords desired a Conference with the Commons, which was managed by the Lord Privy Seal, who spake to this effect:

'That the Occasion of the Conference was so visible, that he should not need to say more of it, the Multitudes without bespake the Business and Matter of it; That which he had to say, was by Command from the King to the Peers, to be communicated to both Houses of Parliament; That His Majesty takes notice that the People do assemble in such unusual Numbers, that the Council, and Peace of the Kingdom, may be thereby interrupted; and therefore, as a King that loveth Peace, and taketh care that all Proceedings in Parliament may be free, and in a peaceable manner, he desires that these Interruptions may be removed; and wisheth both Houses to devise a course, how the same may be done.

And communicate the Petition of the Multitude, as followeth;

At the same time the Lord Privy Seal communicated to the Commons, a Petition, which the Lords had the Day before received, from the multitude of People that flock'd together in the Palace-yard, which was to this effect:

Desiring Justice and Execution upon the Earl of Strafford; To be secured against Plots, and against a Garrison newly put into the Tower to make way for the Earl of Strafford's Escape.

'That whereas your Petitioners did yesterday Petition for the Redress of many Grievances, and for the Execution of Justice upon the Earl of Strafford, and other Incendiaries, and to be secured from some dangerous Plots and Designs on Foot; to which your Lordships have this Day given Answer, that you have the same under present Consideration; Your Petitioners do render humble Thanks: But forasmuch as your Petitioners understand, that the Tower of London is presently to receive a Garrison of Men, not of the Hamblets, (as usually they were wont to do) but consisting of other Persons, under the Command of a Captain, a great Confident of the Earl of Stafford's; which doth increase their fears of the sudden Destruction of King and Kingdom, wherein your Lordships and Posterity are deeply interested; and this is done, to make way for the Escape of the Earl of Strafford, the grand Incendiary:

'They humbly pray that instant Course may be taken for the Discovery thereof, and that speedy Execution of Justice be done upon the Earl of Strafford.

The Lords send six Peers to the Tower to enquire of this business. The Lieutenant said, he had His Majesty's Command to receive an hundred Men; The Lords at the Conference declared, That the Tumults hindred their proceeding upon the Bill of Attainder. The Lords took the Protestation.

Whereupon the Lords sent six Peers of their House to the Tower, to understand what Truth there was in this Information, and to demand of the Lieutenant who chose those men to be lodged in the Tower, whether he was privy to it himself, and what Order he had to receive them, and what Captain was to command them ? To the two first, he said he was wholly ignorant; and for the third he said, he had His Majesty's Command, to receive One hundred Men into the Tower, and Capt. Billingsly to command them, and to receive only such Men as he should bring unto him; but now understanding their Lordships Order, he did promise, that no other Guard should come into the Tower, unless it were the Hamblet-men. The Lords did further declare at the Conference, that they were drawing to a conclusion of the Bill of Attainder of the Earl of Strafford, but were so incompassed with multitudes of People, that their Lordships might be conceived not to be free, unless they were sent home, whose flocking hither was the only hindrance to the dispatching of that Bill; and therefore desired the Commons to joyn with their Lordships, to find out some way how this Concourse about both Houses might be avoided: And then they debated the Protestation and passed it, and took the same.

And the Multitude departed.

After that the Commons returned to the House, Dr. Burgess was desired to acquaint the Multitude with the Protestation, which both Houses had taken; which being read by him, and also made known unto them, that the Parliament desired they would return home to their Houses, they forthwith departed.

The said Protestation was afterward tendred to the whole Kingdom, with this intimation, that whosoever refused to take it, should be noted as disaffected to the Parliament.

A Bill for the Continuance of the present Parliament, twice read.

The Commons forthwith ordered the bringing in of a Bill for the Continuance of this present Parliament, that it might not be Dissolved without the Consent of both Houses; which was read the First and Second time, and committed.

That Day the Earl of Strafford writ this ensuing Letter to His Majesty:

May it please Your Sacred Majesty;

The Earl of Strafford's Letter to the King.

It hath been my greatest Grief in all these Troubles, to be taken as a person which should endeavour to represent and set things amiss between Your Majesty and Tour People, and to give Counsels tending to the Disquiet of the Three Kingdoms.

Most true it is, (that this mine own private Condition considered) it had been a great madness, (since through Your gracious Favour I was so provided) as not to expect in any kind to mend my Fortune, or please my Mind more, than by resting where your bounteous Hands had placed me.

Nay, it is most mightily mistaken; for unto Tour Majesty it is well known, my poor and humble Advices concluded still in this, That Tour Majesty and Your People could never be Happy, 'till there were a right Understanding betwixt You and them; and that no other Means were left to effect and settle this Happiness, but by the Counsel and Assent of Your Parliament, or to prevent the growing Evils of this State, but by entirely putting Tour Self in this last resort, upon the Loyalty and good Affections of Your English Subjects.

Yet such is my misfortune, that this Truth findeth little credit; yea, the contrary seemeth generally to be believed, and my self reputed as one who endeavoured to make a Separation between You and Your People: Under a heavier Censure than this, I am perswaded no Gentleman can suffer.

Now I understand the minds of Men are more and more incensed against me, notwithstanding Your Majesty hath Declared, That in Your Princely opinion I am not Guilty of Treason, and that you are not satisfied in Your Conscience to pass the Bill.

This bringeth me in a very great streight: There is before me the Ruin of my Children and Family, hitherto untouch'd in all the Branches of it with any foul Crime: Here are before me the many Ills, which may befall Your Sacred, Person and the whole Kingdom, should Your Self and Parliament part less satisfied one with the other, than is necessary for the preservation both of King and People: Here an before me the things most valued most feared by mortal Men, Life or Death.

To say, Sir, that there hath not been a strife in me, were to make me less Man, than, God knoweth, my Infirmities make me; and to call a Destruction upon my Self and young Children, (where the Intentions of my Heart, at least, have been innocent of this great Offence) may be believed, will find no easie consent from Flesh and Blood.

But with much sadness I am come to a resolution of that, which I take to be best becoming me, and to upon it, as that which is most principal in it self, which doubtless is the Prosperity of your Sacred Person, and the Common-wealth, things infinitely before any Private Man's Interest.

And therefore in few Words, as I put may self wholly upon the Honour and Justice of my Peers, so clearly, as to wish Your Majesty might please to have spared that Declaration of Your's on Saturday last, and intirely to have left me to their Lordships; So now, to set Your Majesty's Conscience at Liberty, I do most humbly beseech Your Majesty, for prevention of Evils which may happen by Your refusal to pass this Bill, and by this means to remove (praised be God) I cannot say this accursed, (but I confess) this unfortunate thing, forth of the Way towards that blessed agreement, which God, I trust, shall ever establish between You and Your Subjects.

Sir, My Consent shall more acquit You herein to God, than all the World can do besides; To a willing Man there is no Injury done: And as, by God's Grace, I forgive all the World, with a calmness and meekness of infinite Contentment to my dislodging Soul; So, Sir, to You I can give the Life of this World, with all the chearfulness imaginable, in the just acknowledgment of Your exceeding Favours; and only beg, that in Your Goodness, You would vouchsafe to cast Your Gracious Regard upon my poor Son, and his three Sisters, less or more, and no otherwise than as their (in present) unfortunate Father may hereafter appear more or less guilty of this Death. God long preserve Your Majesty.

Your Majesty's most Faithful, And Humble Subject, And Servant,

Tower, May. 4. 1641.

A great Hubbub in the City.

Wednesday the 5th of May there happened to be a strange Hubbub in the City, upon a false Alarm, That the Parliament-House was beset, and on fire, and all their Lives in Danger; which occasioned such running up and down in a confused manner, to come to protect them, that the like hath scarce been seen. This Hubbub and Alarm happened upon this Occasion, Sir Walter Earl was making a Report to the House of some Plot and Design to blow up the House of Commons; Whereupon, some Members in the Gallery stood up, the better to hear the Report, and Mr. Moyle of Cornwal, and Mr. Middleton of Sussex, two Persons of good bigness, weighed down a Board in the Gallery, which gave so great a crack, that some Members thought that it was a Plot indeed; and Sir John Wray speaking out, he smelt Gunpowder, hastening back out of the Gallery, some Members, and others in fear, running out of the House, frighted People in the Lobby, who ran into the Hall, crying out, The Parliament-House was falling, and the Members were slain, and the People running in a Hurry through the Hall, Sir Robert Mansel drew his Sword, bid them Stand, for shame; he saw no Enemy to hurt the Parliament, nor heard any noise of the fall of the Parliament-House; but some of them hasten'd by Water from Westminster, and carry'd the Alarm into London, which occasioned so great a Resort of People in Multitudes to Westminster, to save the Parliament, and one Regiment of Trained-Bands, commanded by Colonel Manwaring, upon beat of Drum, were instantly Armed, and marched as far as Covent-Garden (beyond their Liberties) to secure the Parliament; but finding the Alarm false, they returned again. The same Day the Commons passed the Bill for the Continuance of the present Parliament, and carried the same up to the Lords.

The House of Commons commanded all their Members to attend the House, and not to depart the Town.

Conspirators fled; The Queen designs to go to Portsmouth.

The next Day the Committee appointed to joyn with the Lords, for taking Examinations concerning the Plot, did acquaint the House, that six or eight of the chief Conspirators were fled, of which Mr. Henry Jermin, and Mr Henry Peircy, Members of the House, were two, and that they were gone towards Portsmouth: Upon which Report, present Information came, that the Queen was preparing to go to Portsmouth; thereupon both Houses had a Conference, and agreed to move Her Majesty to stay Her Journey, for the security of Her Person, Her Majesty not knowing what Danger she might be exposed to in those parts: In the mean time, one Lord and two Commoners were dispatcht to Portsmouth, with private Instructions, to propose certain Queries to the Governour there, and to take further Care for the Security of the Place and Haven of such Importance; and they took an Oath of Secrecy, as those Lords and Commons had done who were appointed to examine the Plot.

Proclamation to call in the conspirators.

His Majesty was desired by both Houses, to issue out a Proclamation, for the calling in Mr. Peircy, and Mr. Jermin, within a time limited, which was accordingly granted. And the Lords were desired by the Commons, to hasten the Bill of Attainder of the Earl of Strafford.

To prevent further Discontents in the Army, this Letter was sent by Order, to Sir Jacob Ashly, and Sir John Connyers, to be communicated to the Army in the North.

A Letter to prevent the design to engage the Army against the Parliament, sent to Sir Jacob Ashly and Sir John Conyers.

Whereas there hath been just Cause of Jealousy, that there hath been some secret Attempt and Practices, to infuse into the Army a Mistake of this Parliament, to some dangerous Intent and Purpose against this State; and that now the matter is grown to strong Presumption, upon further Discoveries, and by reason that some of those which were suspected to have been active therein, are fled, upon the first stiring thereof, before ever they were once named; It pleaseth this House to Declare, That notwithstanding they intend to search into the bottom of this Conspiracy, yet purposing to proceed, especially against the principal Actors therein, this House hath resolved, whereunto the. House of Peers hath likewise consented, That for such of the Army as the Conspirators have endeavoured to work upon, if they shall testify their Fidelity to the State, by a total Discovery of that which they know, and can testify therein, they shall not only be free from all Punishment, but also shall shall be esteemed to have done that which is for the service of the State, in the discovering so dangerous a Plot; and for such of the Army as are and shall be found no ways tainted with the Design, or knowing any thing thereof, shall make such Discovery as aforesaid, as this House shall no ways doubt of their Loyalty and Fidelity, so it will have a special care, not only to satisfie all such Arrears as this House hath formerly promised to discharge, but also give a fair testimony of the sense they have of their present and past Wants; And it is Ordered by this House, that immediately after the receipt hereof, you shall communicate this their Declaration unto all the Officers and Members of the Army, under your Command.

The Plot consisted of three Heads; Capt. Billingsly his Examination, that he had Orders to get 100 Men into the Tower; The Earl of Strafford expostulates about his Escape.

This Plot consisted of Three Heads; The First was, the Design upon the Tower; The Second, to Engage the Army; The Third, to bring in foreign Forces. For the Tower, it appeared to be thus, Captain Billingsly being examined upon Oath, confessed, that he was acquired with Sir John Suckling, that the said Sir John lately offered him Employment in one of the King's ships then at Portsmouth; afterwards Employment for Portugal; That this Deponent having notice to meet at the Privy Lodgings at Whitehall, did there receive Orders to get 100 Men to serve in the Tower under him, and if he did sail, he should answer it with his Life: and afterwards meeting with Sir John Suckling, and acquiring him therewith, he told him he would furnish him with the said number. Sir Will. Balfower Lieutenant of the Tower being examined, said, That he had a Command to receive Capt. Billingly with 100 Men into the Tower, who should be under his Command. That the Earl of Strafford, at that time expostulating with him about his Escape, told him he would attempt nothing on that kind without his privity, and that he should have the King's Warrant for his Indemnity, and that he warrant should be to command him to remove the said Earl of Strafford from the Tower to some other Castle, and he would then take his opportunity to Escape. That the Lieutenant of the Tower not giving any complying Answer thereunto, the said Earl sent again to intreat him to come to him, and wou'd have perswaded him to let him make an Escape, saying, Without your concurrence, it cannot be done; and if you will cosent thereunto, I will make you concurrence, it cannot be done; and if you will consent thereunto, I will make you present payment of Twenty two thousand Pounds; besides, you shall have a good Marriage for you Son. To which the Lieutenant of the Tower replied, He was so far from concurring therein, that he was not to be further moved in such a thing. Thus much the Lieutenant delivered upon Oath.

Examination of three Witness more as to the Earl's Escape.

Three other Witness were examined, who did Depose, That being desirous to see the Earl of Strafford, they were carry'd to the Back-door of the gallery where his Lodgings were, and heard the Earl of Strafford discourse, as he was walking with Mr. Slingsby (as afterwards they understood his Name to be) about his Escape, as they conceiv'd for they heard him say, Where is your Brother's Ship? To which he answered, In such a place, and that he might be there in three hours, if he Lieutenant of the Tower were sure to him: And heard the Earl further say, That if the King could have done any thing, His Majesty would, by his Warrant, have done it before now, and have sent for him to be removed, but now there was nothing to be thought upon but an Escape: And also heard the said Earl say, If this Fort could be guarded two or three Months, there would Aid enough come.

The Plot concerning the Army, was thus:

Col. Goring's Examination about the Plot.

Col. Goring, upon his Examination in the House of Commons, did confess that Sir John Suckling was the first Person that ever made any Overture unto him concerning the Army's marching towards London; afterwards being in the Queen's Lodgings, he met with Mr. H. P. which was about the beginning or middle of Lent last, and Mr. P. told him, there was a Consultation of Officers to be had, concerning the good of the Army, and desired him to go along with him to his Chamber, where the meeting was to be; there were present at the same Meeting, Commissary Wilmot, Col. Asbburnham, Capt. Pollard, Sir John Berkley, Dan. O-Neal, Mr. Fermin, and Himself. That Mr. P. said, There were Propositions to be made, which were of great Concernment, and that it was necessary there should be an Oath of Secrecy taken, before any thing was propounded; That the Oath should be to this purpose, That we should, neither directly nor indirectly, discover any part of the Consultation, nor ever to think our selves dissolved from that Oath, by any other Oath which might be imposed upon us hereafter. Which Oath was read out of a Paper, when it was tendred unto them; and that thereupon they were sworn, by laying their Hands upon the Bible; That he and Fermin were sworn together, for the rest had taken the Oath before.

Then three Propositions were made unto them, (being the same in substance expressed in Mr. P.'s Letter.)

He further said, That the whole number there met, were of opinion, that the Army should not march towards London, 'till a Declaration had been first sent up to the Parliament. That he the said Goring answered, It was a nice point to interpose in the Proceedings of the Parliament, and did propound some Difficulties, to allay the business, to divert Commissary Wilmot and those other Persons from so dangerous a business; and said, That he did think it was a design of folly to undertake it, for they must think that the Scots would take the advantage, upon the Army's removal Southwards, whose Corespondency was so great with the City; and for them to begin to shew their teeth, and not be able to bite, would argue little prudence; That they should either undertake it so, as to go thorough with it, or to let it alone: That he did ask them what Ammunition they had to accommodate so great an Army, and whether they could command the Ammunition in the Tower? That Wilmot, Pollard, and Asbburnbam then made answer, They had no purpose to go to London; for to surprize the Tower, was to conquer the Kingdom. That this, amongst other passages, was part of the Discourse at the first meeting.

That shortly after, there was another meeting of the fame Persons, and in the same Place in Mr. Peircy's Chamber, where there were Propositions of another nature, Desperate and Impious on the one hand, and foolish on the. other: and that he endeavoured, by Argument, to divert them, by propounding an Impossibility to effect the same; For how could the Army, lodged in several Quarters, unpay'd, and at such a distance, march on a sudden to London, and surprize what they had in Design?

That Mr. Jermin was the Person who first proposed the marching of the Army towards London; That he, for his part, declar'd himself absolutely against it: That Mr. Fermin reply'd to him in private, You do not dislike the Design, for you are as ready for any wild, mad Undertaking, as any Man I know, but you dislike the Temper of those Persons who are engaged in the Business.

He did further confess, That he propounded, that Suckling might also be admitted to the Consultation; but Wilmot, Asbburnbam, and Pollard would not hear of it; and they three did then declare themselves against the Army's marching towards London.

Then he took occasion to say, That he did acquaint some Members of both Houses, whom he could name, that there were some of the Army whom they did not think so well of, were more faithful and serviceable to the Parliament than they were aware of, which Time would produce, and named them; and they did accordingly give testimony of his Integrity, so far as general terms could discover the Design: He confessed, that Mr. Jermin did make some offers unto him, to relinquish the Government of Portsmouth, upon some other terms of advantage; but he said, he did not conclude anything, for he would first see the performance of what was offered, so had no further discourse with him concerning that business, but be doth believe that Suckling and Jermin did confer together about the Design: He said, they did desire his opinion about a General; some were for Essex, some for Holland, but he, with Jermin, were for Newcastle.

Being again examined upon his Oath, before the Committee of Lords and Commons, and pressed more particularly to answer Questions not before proposed unto him; He did confess. that meeting with Mr. Jermin in the Queen's Drawing-Chamber, Her Majesty came and told him, the King would speak with him; and meeting with His Majesty, He told him, He was minded to set his Army in a good posture, being advised thereto by the Earl of Bristol, (as he said;) and his Majesty then commanded him to joyn with Mr. Peircy, and some others, in that business.

As for the Designs from beyond Seas, the Committee did make Report to the House, that it was clear'd unto them, That Jermin endeavoured to have got the possession of Portsmouth; That the King of France had drawn down great Forces to the Sea-side; That the Governor of Calais had examin'd some English-men, whether the Earl of Strafford's Head was yet off? and this was, in point of time, the 1st of May, according to the English Stile, and Sir Philip Cartwright Governor of Garnsey wrote Letters also, which came in great haste, That he understood the French had a Design upon that Island, or some part of England. It also appeared to the Committee, by divers of the Letters which were opened coming from beyond Sea, that they expected the Earl of Strafford there, and that they hoped the Horse-leeches should be starved for want of Blood; and in some of those Letters, there was Advice to the Cardinal, to bestir himself betimes, to interrupt the height of the proceedings here in England. Also Examinations of some Priests were taken in Lancashire, and sent up to London, which were there taken on the 3d of May, which did testify, That the Priests did say, The Parliament should be suddenly dissolved, for the Army was to march up thither with all speed, and they would be seconded by Forces out of France; and that Mountague did write out of France to Mr. Peircy, (which was also intercepted,) That if he did perform what he had undertaken, he would be made a Knight of the Garter.

Mr. Peircy's Letter to the Earl of Northumberland, and by him presented to the Parliament.

Mr. Peircy's Letter against the Plot.

What with my own Innocency, and the Violence I hear is against me, I find my self much distracted: I will not ask your Counsel, because it may bring prejudice upon you, but I will with all faithfulness and truth tell you what my part hath been, that at least it may be cleared by you, whatsoever becomes of me.

'When there was 50000 l. designed by the Parliament for the English Army, there was (as I take it) a sudden Demand by the Scots at the same time, of 25000 l. of which there was 15000 l. ready; this they pressed with much necessity, so as the Parliament did (after an Order made) think it fit for them to reduct 10000 l. out of the 50000 l. formerly granted. Upon which the Soldiers in our House were much scandalized, amongst which I was one; and sitting by Wilmot and Ashburnham, Wilmot stood up and told them, If that the Scors could procure Money, he doubted not but the Officers of the English Army might easily do the like: But the first Order was reversed notwithstanding, and 10000 l. given to the Scots. This was the cause of many discourses of dislike among us, and came to this purpose, That they were disobliged by the Parliament, and not by the King: This being said often to one another, we did resolve, that Wilmot, Ashburnham, Pollard, O-Neal, and my Self, to make some expressions of serving the King in all things he would command us that were honourable for Him and us, being likewise agreeing to the fundamental Laws of the Kingdom, that so far we would live and die with him. This was agreed upon with us, not having any communication with others, that I am coupled now withal; and further, by their joynt-consent, I was to tell His Majesty thus much from them, but withal, I was to order the matter so, as the King might apprehend this as a great service done unto him at this time, that when Affairs were in so ill a condition, and they were most confident they would engage the whole Army thus far, but further they would undertake nothing, because they would neither infringe on the Liberty of the Subject, nor destroy the Laws: To which I and every one consented; and having their sence, I drew the Heads up in a Paper, which they all approved of when I read it, and then we did, by an Oath, promise one another to be constant and secret in all this, and did all of us take this Oath together. Then I said, Well, Sirs, I must now be informed what your particular desires are, that so I may be the better able to serve you; which they were pleased to do: and so I did very faithfully serve them therein, as far as I could This is the Truth, and all the Truth, upon my Soul. In particular discourses after that, we did fall upon the petitioning the King and Parliament for Monies, there being so great Arrears due to us, and so much delays made in the procuring of them; but that was never done.

    The Heads were these:

  • 1. Concerning the Bishops Functions and Votes.
  • 2. The not Disbanding of the Irish Army, until the Scots were Disbanded too.
  • 3. The endeavouring to settle His Majefty's Revenue to that proportion it was formerly.

'And it was resolved by us all, if the King should require our assistance in those things, that, as far as we could, we might contribute thereunto, without breaking the Laws of the Kingdom. And in case the King should be denied, those things being put to them, we should not flie from him: All these Persons did Act and Concurr in this, as well as I. This being all imparted to the King by me from them, I perceived he had been treated with by others, concerning some things of our Army, which agreed not with what was proposed by me, but tended to a way more sharp and high, not having limits either of Honour or Law. I told the King, He might be pleased to consider with himself, which of the Ways it was fit for him to hearken unto; for us, we were resolved not to depart from our grounds; we should not be displeased, whosoever they were, but the Particualrs of the Designs, or the Persons, we desired not to know, tho' it was no hard matter to guess at them. In the end, I believe, the Danger of the one, and the Justice of the other, made the King tell me, He wou'd cast off all thoughts of other Propositions but ours, as things not practicable, but desired, notwithstanding, that Goring and Jermin, who were acquainted with the other Proceedings, should be admitted amongst us. I told Him, I thought the other Gentry wou'd never consent to it, but I would propose it, which I did, and we were all much against it; but the King did press it so much, as at the last it was consented unto, and Goring and Jermin came to my Chamber there: I was appointed to tell them, after they had sworn to Secrecy, what we had proposed, which I did; But before I go into the Debate of the Way, I must tell you, Jermin, and Goring were very earnest, Suckling should be admitted, which we did all decline, and was desired by all our Men to be resolute in it; which I was, and gave many Reasons: Whereupon Mr. Goring made answer, he was engaged with Suckling, his being employ'd in the Army, but for his meeting with us, they were content to pass it by. Then we took up again the Ways that were proposed, which took great debate, and their differed from ours in Violence and Height, which we all protested against, and parted, disagreeing totally, yet remitted it to be spoken of by me and Jermin to the King, which we both did; and the King, constant to his former Resolutions, told them, These Ways were all vain and foolish, and would think of them no more. I omit one thing of Mr. Goring, he desired to know how the Chief Commands were to be dispos'd of, for if he had not a condition worthy of himself, he would not go along with us. We made answer, That no body thought of that; we intended, if we were sent down, to go all in the same capacity we were in: He did not like that by any means, and by that did work so with Mr. Chidley, that there was a Letter sent by some of the Commanders, to make him Lieutenant-General; and when he had ordered this matter at London, and Mr. Chidley had his Instructions, then did he go to Portsmouth, pretending to be absent when this was a working. We all desired my Lords of Essex or Holland to be General, but Goring and Germin were for Newcastle. They were pleased to give report, that I should be General of Horse; but I protest, neither to the King, nor any else, did I so much as think of it; my Lord of Holland was made General, and so all things were laid aside. And this is the Truth, and all the Truth I knew of these Proceedings; and this I will, and do protest unto you, upon my Faith; and Wilmot, Ashburnham, and O-Neal have at severl times confessed and sworn, I never said any thing in the business, they did not every one agree unto, and justifie.

'This Relation I sent you, rather to inform you of the Truth of the Matter, that you may the better know how to do me good; but I should think my self very unhappy to be made a Betrayer of any body. What concerned the Tower, or any thing else, I never medled withal, nor ever spake with Goring, but that night before them all, and I said nothing but what was consented unto by any party; I never spake one word with Suckling, Carnarvan, D'Avenant, or any other creature. Methinks, if my Friends and Kindred knew the Truth and Justice of the Matter, it were no hard matter to serve me in some measure.

Afterwards was read Father Philip's Letter to Mr. Mountague, as followeth:

Father Philips his Letter against the Parliament.

'The good King and Queen are left very naked; the Puritans, if they durst, would pull the good Queen in pieces. Can the good King of France, suffer a Daughter of France, his Sister, and her Children, to be thus affronted? Can the wise Cardinal endure England and Scotland to unite, and not be able to discern, in the end, it is like they will joyn together, and turn head against France? A stirring active Ambassador might do good here: I have sent you a Copy of the King's Speech on Saturday last, at which time he discharged his Conscience concerning the Earl of Strafford, and was advised to make that Speech by the Earl of Bristol and the Lord Savile.

This Speech did much operate to the Disadvantage of the Earl of Strafford, for the Commons were thereby much incensed and inflamed against him; and this brought forth, the next day, being Monday, a Protestation, which was taken in both Houses of Parliament, of the same nature, but rather worse than the Scotch Covenant.

'The Londoners, who are very boisterous, came on Monday, five or six hundred, and were so rude, that they would not suffer the Lords to come and go quietly and peaceably to their House, but threatned them, that if they had not Justice, and if they had not his Life, it should go hard for all those that stood for him; following them up and down, and calling for Justice! Justice! Justice!

'There was in the House of Commons fifty six that denied to pass the Earl of Strafford's Bill; their Names were taken, and they were fixed upon Posts in divers parts of London, and there was written over head, These are Straffordians, the Betrayers of their Country.

By this means it came to pass, that the Lords and Judges were much affrighted, and most of his Friends in the Lords House forsook him, all the Popish Lords did absent themselves, the Lords of Holland and Hertford were absent, so was Bristol, and others; Savile and the Duke only stuck close and faithfully to him, and some few other Lords. God knows, the King is much dejected, the Lords much affrighted, which made the Citizens and the House of Commons shew their heads; some have braved little less than to Unthrone His Majesty, Who, if He had but an ordinary Spirit, might easily quash and suppress these People. Our good Queen is much afflicted, and in my conscience, the Puritans, if they durst, would tear her in pieces. This cannot be for the Honour of France, to endure a Daughter, of that Nation to be opressed and affronted.

Earl of land General of the Army.

The Earl of Holland is made General of the Army, whither he is gone down; the Earl of Newport, Matter of the Ordnance: Balfower, Lieutenant of the Tower, hath proved an arrant Traytor to the King, who commanded him, upon his Allegiance, to receive a Captain and 100 Men into the Tower, which he most trayterously refused to do.

'There was a Report in London, that the Parliament-House was on fire; whereupon there were many thousands of People very suddenly gather'd together: whereby you may easily see the height and violence of the Peoples Affections.

May. 6th, Ann. Dom. 1641.

Father Philips to be sent for.

Upon the reading of this Letter, and Exceptions taken to his expression, That the Puritans tear the Queen in pieces, and to other passages in the Letter; and upon Information also given, of his endeavouring to seduce the King's Subjects to the Popish Religion; It was ordered he should be sent for to be examined: Who thereupon applied himself to His Majesty; and the King told him, He would know what the business was, before he should go, (as Philips told the Sergeant) and so refused to come with him. Hereupon the House of Commons desired Mr. Treasurer to acquaint His Majesty, That they had some cause to examine Francis Philips a Romish Priest, and to that end sent him a Summons, which he doth refuse to obey, and makes His Majesty's House a Sanctuary in cafe of High-Treason; That, in respect to His Majesty, the House doth forbear to take further Course herein, 'till His Majesty be further acquainted with it.

He appears.

Hereupon Father Philips appeared, and was called to the Bar of the House, where he first kneeled, and afterwards stood up, and being demanded the reason, wherefore he appeared not ? He answered, Because the Warrant was to apprehend Francis Philips, and his Name was Robert Philips, and that the Queen wish'd him to stay 'till he had spoken with the King; and the King told him, the House may send for him, when they call for any of his Servants, 'till then he need not go: And the Letter before mentioned, being produced unto him, he confessed the same to be his own Hand-writing. The further Examination of this business, was referred to the Committee for the Popish Hierarchy, who drew up this Impeachment following:

The Impeachment and Articles of Complaint against Father Philips the Queen's Confessor, lately committed to the Tower by the Parliament.

I. That the said Father Philips hath been observed to be a great cause, both in Himself and his Adherents, of a great part of the Unquietness of this State.

II. He, with Parsons, and others their Assistants, were the only cause that the Pope was stirred up to some Breves to these Kingdoms of England and Scotland, to hinder the Oath of Allegiance, and Lawful Obedience of the Subjects to Our Gracious King, that so they may still fish in troubled waters.

III. The damnable Doctrine which He and other Jesuits have taught to Destroy, and Depose Kings, hath been the cause of the Civil Wars like to befall these Kingdoms, if God, in his Mercy, do not prevent it.

IV. They have been the cause of the Monopolies projected in this Kingdom, especially concerning Soap, the Forest of Dean, and Marking of Butter-Cask, where all the parties were Partners and Confederates with them, as Sir Basil Brook, Sir John Winter, and a Brother-in-Law of the said Sir John, that lived in Worcestershire, and Mr. Ployden, whose Servant named Baldwin hath been seen to deliver to Capt. Read, a Substitute of the Jesuits, an Hundred Pounds at a time to one Jesuit.

V. Father Philips hath been a great Actor with the Superior of the Capuchins, who is a most turbulent spirit, and was sent thither by Cardinal Richlieu of France, to be a Spy at this Court for the French Faction: And hath therefore laboured by all means to breed Dissentions; for the French aim at nothing more, than to make a Schism betwixt the English and the Scots, that this State might so be weaken'd, and made unable to withstand them, that so they might have an opportunity to conquer these Kingdoms: These unquiet spirits having access to Her Majesty, may importune things. not fit for the State.

VI. The said Father Philips hath been guided by a Gray-Fryar, who by degrees hath intruded himself to be Clerk of Her Majesty's Chapel, and Chaplain Extraordinary in time of Progress, who when he is out of London, goeth by the Name of Mr. Wilson, but his true Name is William Thompson Doctor of Divinity, as some Jesuits have affirmed; but a most furious spirit, and unquiet, and therefore by Nickname is by some call'd Cacasugo, that is as much as if in English you should say Shitfire; by whom Father Philips hath been so led, that he hath been very officious to perform whatsoever he would have done. These two have ruled all the business concerning the two Kingdoms on the Papists parts, and for the most part of Rome also.

VII. The said Father Philips hath placed many unfit Persons about Her Majesty, viz. Sir John Winter to be Her Majesty's Secretary; Signior Georgeo, come late Agent from the Pope, (his Brother,) was by his means admitted to be Servant Extraordinary to the Queen, a Man altogether unfit for that Place, a most scandalous Person, having three Wives, all now alive.

VIII. Sundry Persons by the said Father Philips have been admitted to be the Queen's Servants Extraordinary, by some supposed Office or other, as Mr. Laburn, Geo. Gage (Brother to Col. Gage,) both Oratorian Priests, the one of the French Faction very seditious, the other of the Spanish, whose Brother is now left Resident at Rome for them, by his Master Mr. William Hamilton late Agent at Rome; Penrick is sworn Servant Extraordinary to Her Majesty, who is a sworn Spaniard, and Intelligencer for Rome, in respect his Brother is Agent here by Father Philips: These, and many others, who are factious and turbulent spirits, have, by Father Philip's means, received Protection from the Queen's Majesty.

IX. The said Philips hath been much ruled by Sir Toby Mathews, Sir John Winter, and Mr. Walter Mountague.

X. He was very forward, with his Complices, for the breaking of the Ice to begin the Treaty here for the Pope's Honour' s sake; and when Sir Robert Dowglas and Signior Georgio were nominated, whom he thought most. fit, Cardinal Richlieu was thought fittest to be the Man who should direct him to begin the Correspondency between the Pope and the Queen, and therefore he was sent to France with many Letters, and from thence he was dispatcht for Rome by the Cardinal, where he was received with great Respect; and after a Viatick, he was dispatcht again for England with some few small Gifts, as Pictures, Crosses, Agnus Dei's, and such-like Popish stuff, to Father Philips.

XI. The said Father Philips was the chief Agent in correspondency with, and bringing in of Signior Georgio Parsons the Oratorian Priest, by whose direction, this Priest, being at Paris, left wearing of Priest's Cloaths, and went in the Habit of a Gentleman, and because he had a shaven Crown, therefore he wore a Periwig; and Father Philip's directed all those that sent, to write to him, as to an Italian Gentleman desirous to see these Kingdoms; and by Father Philip's direction, he afterwards came hither, who did here contrive for the space of two Years, practising great and dangerous Innovations from place to place, and then having dispatcht his business, returns to Rome with great Presents from Catholicks of the greater sort.

XII. Whereas it hath pleased God of bless us with a hopeful Prince, to the comfort of our King and Kingdom, yet the said Father Philips hath attempted to traduce his tender years to Popery; but God hath prevented him of his Purpose, and let us pray to God to preserve that Royal Race from Popery, and the whole Land from all Innovations, that Our Gracious King may rule Gloriously, and the whole Land live in Peace, to the Honour of God, and Comfort of us all. Amen.

Seve al Votes against Mr. Peircy, about the Plot.

Resolved, That Mr. Henry Peircy, in the Months of March and April last, in the Parish of St. Martin's, in the County of Middlesex, did Compass, Plot, and Conspire with others, to draw the Army together, and employ the same against the Parliament, and by Force and Dread thereof, to compel the Parliament to agree to certain Propositions by them contrived, and to hinder and interrupt the Proceedings of the Parliament. The like Resolution in the same Words concerning Mr. Jermin, Sir John Suckling, &c.

Resolved, That in pursuance of the said Design, the said Henry Peircy, by the Plot and Combination aforesaid, did endeavour to perswade divers Members of the House of Commons of the said Parliament and others, being Officers of the said Army, that is to say, Wilmot, Ashburnham, Berkley, Pollard, and Daniel O-Neal, that they were disobliged by the Parliament; thereby to incense them, and to affect them against the Parliament, and did hold divers Consultations with the said Parties, to effect the said wicked and dangerous Design; and to that purpose, did set down in Writing certain Propositions to the effect as followeth, viz. The preserving of Bishops in their Functions and Votes; The not Disbanding of the Irish Army, until the Scots were Disbanded; and the endeavouring to settle the King's Revenue to the proportion it was formerly.

Resolved, That the said Henry Peircy did, in pursuance of the Plot and Combination aforesaid, and for the more secret carriage thereof, administer to the said Parties a wicked and unlawful Oath, whereby they did swear upon the Holy Evangelists, not to reveal any thing that was spoken concerning the business that was in Consultation, directly or indirectly, nor to think themselves absolved by any other Oath that should be after taken by them, from the Secrecy enjoyned by the said Oath.

Resolved, That the said Henry Peircy at the time of the said Oath was taken, and at divers other times did propound and endeavour to perswade the Persons before-named, and other Officers of the said Army, to put the said Army into a Warlike posture, and to bring them up to Lodon, and likewise to make themselves sure of the Tower, and so, by force, to compel the Parliament to conform to their Will; and he, with Suckling, &c. did endeavour to work a belief in the said Army, that the King and Parliament would disagree, and so to perswade them to adhere to His Majesty, against the Parliament; and said, that all the French about the City of London would assist them; and, to the great scandal of the King, That the Prince and the Earl of Newcastle were to meet the Army at Nottingham with a Thousand Horse; and that Suckling, to compass the Design of gaining the Tower, did contrive, that 100 Men, under Capt. Billingsly, should be designed for that purpose, when the opportunity was offered, to the end the City of London should not be able to make any resistance, when the said Army should come up, according to the fore-mention'd Design; and Suckling, by the Means and Plot aforesaid, did thereby endeavour that the Earl of Strafford, then Prisoner in the Tower, might the better compass his Escape.

Berkley and O-Neal are fled.

That Berkley and O-Neal being question'd, did flie for the same.

Mr. Peircy charged with High Treason.

Resolved, That upon the whole Matter, Mr. Peircy shall be charged with High-Treason; the like for Jermin and Suckling.

That 3000 l. of the Pole-Money be pay'd to Col. Goring, for the use of the Garrison of Portsmouth.

Resolved, That Col. Goring, in his Depositions concerning this Discovery, hath done nothing contrary to Justice and Honour, but hath therein deserved very well of the Commons of this House.

Bill of Attainder, and for Continuance of the Parliament, passed.

Friday the 7th of May, the Lords passed the Bill of Attainder, as also the Bill for the Continuance of this present Parliament.

Message to the Lords, to move the King for his consent to pass the Bill of Attainder.

Saturday the 8th of May, Mr. Hotham was sent with a Message to the House of Lords, to desire their Lordships to joyn with them, to move His Majesty for his Consent to the Bill of Attainder, in regard the Peace of the Kingdom doth so much depend upon the execution of that Bill, which had passed both Houses; and accordingly a certain number of the House of Peers were sent unto his Majesty, to acquaint him therewith; and also with the Bill for the Continuance of this present Parliament.

To Press Mariners.

The House being informed, That Ships were ready to be put to Sea, but that Mariners could not be got; It was the same day Resolved, That a Bill should be drawn, to enable the Pressing of Mariners, for a certain time; the House being very tender of bringing the way of Pressing into example by a Law.

The King, Judges, and Bishops consult about Strafford; The King gives Warrant for a Commission to give His Assent to the Bill for Execution of the Earl of Strafford.

Sunday the 9th of May, the King call'd his Privy-Council together at Whitehall, and propounded several Scruples unto them concerning that Bill; some of the Judges and Bishops were present also, to whom His Majesty imparted his Doubts, and had their Opinions therein. In fine, His Majesty gave Order for a Commission to impower the Earl of Arundel, the Lord Privy-Seal, and two other Lords, to give his Assent to the Bill for the Execution of the Earl of Strafford upon Wednesday following; as also to the other Bill for the Continuance of this present Parliament.

The Royal Assent given this day, and the Bill passed.

Monday the 10th of May, the Commission passed the Great-Seal accordingly, and the Commons were sent for to the House of Lords, to be present at the giving the Royal Assent to both those Bills.

The King consents that the Irish Army should be instantly Disbanded.

The same day His Majesty sent a Message to both Houses, that the Irish Army should be instantly Disbanded, and that he would that night dispatch an Express for the expediting thereof.

Thanks returned to His Majesty.

It was hereupon moved, That Mr. Treasurer be desired by the House of Commons to return their humble Thanks to His Majesty, and to assure him, that they would make him as Glorious a Potentate, and as Rich a Prince, as any of his Predecessors, His Majesty continuing still to take the Advice of his Great Council the Parliament along with him, in the Management of the great Affairs of the Kingdom.

The Earl of Strafford understanding that His Majesty had passed the Bill, did humbly Petition the House of Peers:

The Earl of Strafford's Petition to the House of Peers.

'Seeing it is the good Will and Pleasure of God, that your Petitioner is now shortly to pay that Debt which we all owe to our frail Nature; he shall in all Christian Patience and Charity conform and submit himself to your Justice, in a comfortable Assurance of the great Hope laid up for us, in the Mercy and Merits of our Saviour blessed for ever.

'Only he humbly craves to return your Lordships most humble Thanks for your noble Compassion towards those innocent Children, whom now with his last blessing, he must commit to the protection of Almighty God; beseeching your Lordships to finish his pious Intentions towards them, and desiring that the Reward thereof may be fulfilled in you, by Him that is able to give above all we are able to ask or think; Wherein I trust the Honourable House of Commons will afford their Christian Assistance.

'And so beseeching your Lordships charitably to forgive all his Omissions and Infirmities, he doth very heartily and truly recommend your Lordships to the Mercies of our heavenly Father, and that for his Goodness, he may perfect you in every good Work. Amen

Tho. Wentworth.

The Bill of Attainder.

'Whereas the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses of the House of Commons in this present Parliament assembled, have, in the name of themselves, and of all the Commons of England, Impeached Thomas Earl Strafford of High-Treason, for endeavouring to subvert the Ancient and Fundamental Laws and Government of His Majesty's Realms of England and Ireland, and to introduce an Arbitrary and Tyrannical Government against Law in the said Kingdoms, and for exercising a Tyrannous and Exorbitant Power over, and against the Laws of the said Kingdoms, and the Liberties, Estates, and Lives of His Majesty's Subjects; and likewise having, by his own Authority, commanded the Laying and Assessing of Soldiers upon, His Majesty's Subjects in Ireland, against their Consents, to Compel them to obey his unlawful Summons and Orders made upon Paper Petitions, in Causes between Party and Party, which accordingly was executed upon divers of His Majesty's Subjects in a Warlike manner, within the said Realm of Ireland; and in so doing, did Levy War against the King's Majesty, and his Liege People in that Kingdom: And also, for that he, upon the unhappy Dissolution of the last Parliament, did slander the House of Commons to His Majesty, and did Counsel and Advise His Majesty, That he was loose and absolved from the Rules of Government, and that he had an Army in Ireland, by which he might reduce this Kingdom; for which he deserves to undergo the Pains and Forfeitures of High-Treason.

'And the said Earl hath been an Incendiary of the Wars between the two Kingdoms of England and Scotland; all which Offences have been sufficiently proved against the said Earl, upon his Impeachment.

'Be it therefore Enacted by the King's Most Excellent Majesty, and by the Lords and Commons in this present Parliament assembled, and by the Authority of the same, That the said Earl of Strafford, for the Heinous Crimes. and Offences aforesaid, stand, and be adjudged and attainted of High Treason, and shall suffer such pain of Death, and incurr the Forfeitures of his Goods and Chattels, Lands, Tenements and Hereditaments of any Estate of Freehold, or Inheritance in the said Kingdoms of England and Ireland, which the said Earl, or any other to his use, or in trust for him, have or had the day of the first sitting of this Parliament, or at any time since.

(fn. 1)Provided, That no Judge or Judges, Justice or Justices whatsoever, shall adjudge or interpret any Act or Thing to be Treason, nor hear or determin any Treason in any other manner than he or they should, or ought to have done before the making of this Act, and as if this Act had never been had or made. Saving always unto all and singular Persons, Bodies Politick and Corporate, their Heirs and Successors, other than the said Earl and his Heirs, and such as claim from, by, or under him, all such Right, Title, and Interest of, in, and to all and singular such of the said Lands, Tenements and Hereditaments, as he, they, or any of them had before the first day of this present Parliament; Any thing herein contained to the contrary notwithstanding.

Provided, That the Passing of this present Act, or His Majesty's Assent thereunto, shall not be any determination of this present Session of Parliament; But that this present Session of Parliament, and all Bills and Matters whatsoever depending in Parliament, and not fully Enacted or Determined, and all Statutes and Acts of Parliament which have their continuance until the end of this present Session of Parliament, shall remain, continue, and be in full force as if this Act had not been.

The day following, the King wrote this Letter to the Lords, on the behalf of the Earl of Strafford, and sent it by the Prince:

The King's Letter, on behalf of the Earl of Strafford.

My Lords,
I Did yesterday satisfie the Justice of the Kingdom, by Passing the Bill of Attainder against the Earl of Strafford; but Mercy being as inherent and inseparable to a King as Justice, I desire at this time, in some measure, to shew that likewise, by suffering that unfortunate Man to fulfil the Natural Course of his Life in a Close Imprisonment;, Yet so, if ever he make the least offer to escape, or offer directly, or indirectly, to meddle in any sort of publick business, especially with Me, either by Message or Letter, it shall cost him his Life, without further Process: This, if it may be done without the Discontentment of My People, will be an unspeakable Contentment to Me. To which end, as in the first place, I by this Letter do earnestly desire your Approbation, and to endear it more, have chosen him to carry it, that of all your House is most dear to me; So I desire that by a Conference, you will endeavour to give the House of Commons Contentment assuring you that the exercise of Mercy is no more pleasing to Me, than to see both Houses of Parliament consent, for My sake, that I should moderate the severity of the Law in so important a Case.

I will not say, that your Complying with Me in this My intended Mercy, shall make Me more Willing, but certainly 'twill auks Me more Chearful, in Granting your Just Grievances: But, if no less than his Life can satisfie My People, I must say, Fiat Justitia. Thus again recommending the Consideration of My Intention to you, I rest,

Your unalterable and affectionate Friend,
Charles R.

Whitehall, 11th of May, 1641.

If he must Die, it were Charity to Reprieve him till Saturday.

Twelve Lords sent to the King.

This Letter, all written with the King's own Hand, and delivered by the Hand of the Prince, was twice Read in the House, and after serious and sad Consideration, the House Resolved presently to send twelve of the Peers Messengers to the King, humbly to signifie, "That neither of the two Intentions, expressed in the Letter, could, with Duty in them, or without Danger to Himself, his dearest Consort the Queen, and all the young Princes their Children, possibly be advised." All which being done accordingly, and the Reasons shewed to His Majesty, He suffered no more Words to come from them; but, out of the fulness of his Heart, to the observance of Justice, and for the Contentment of his People, told them, That what He intended by His Letter, was with an (if) if it might be done without Discontentment of His People; If that cannot be, I say again, the same I writ, Fiat Justitia: My other Intention proceeding out of Charity for a few days Respite, was upon certain Information, that his Estate was so distracted, that it necessarily required some few days for settlement thereof.

Whereunto the Lords Answered, "Their purpose was to be Suitors to His Majesty, for Favour to be shewed to his innocent Children; and if himself had made any provision for them, the same might hold.

This was well-liking unto His Majesty, who thereupon departed from the Lords: At his Majesty's parting, they offered up into His hands the Letter it self which He had sent; but He was pleased to say, My Lords, What I have Written to you, I shall be content it be Registred by you in your House; In it you see My Mind, I hope you will use it to My Honour.

This, upon return of the Lords from the King, was presently Reported to the House by the Lord Privy-Seal; and Ordered by them, That these Lines should go out with the King's Letter, if any Copies of the Letter were dispersed.


The House being informed, That the Queen-Mother apprehending Her self in some Danger, by reason that divers Words were scattered among the tumultuous Assembly, as if they had some Design upon Her Person, and those Priests which she had for Her own Houshold, desired a Guard for Her Security; Concluded, That as to the Security of Her own Person, they were bound in Honour not to suffer any Violence to be done unto Her; and so referred it to a Committee, to consider what was fit to be done, in order thereto: Which being Reported by Mr. Henry Martyn, he declared, That the Committee had duly considered Her Majesty's just Fears, and therefore should agree to all good Ways and Means that might conduce to the Safety of Her Person. But fearing that the said Means may, notwithstanding, prove ineffectual for Her Protection, That therefore the House would intreat the Lords to joyn with them, humbly to beseech His Majesty, That the Queen Mother may be moved to depart the Kingdom, the rather for the Quieting of those Jealousies in the Hearts of His Majesty's well-affected Subjects, occasioned by some ill Instruments about the said Queen's Person, by the flocking of Priests and Papists to Her House, and by the Use and Practice of the Idolatry of the Mass.

Wednesday the 12th of May.

The Earl of Strafford brought to the Scaffold.

The Earl of Strafford was brought from the Tower to the Scaffold upon Tower-Hill, where the Bishop of Armagh, The Earl of Cleeveland, Sir George Wentworth, Brother to the said Earl of Strafford, and others of his Friends, were present, to take their Leaves of him. But before he fitted himself to prostrate his Body to Execution, he desired Patience of the People to hear him speak a few Words, which the Author took from his Mouth, being then there on the Scaffold with him. (viz.)

His speech.

'My Lord Primate of Ireland, and my Lords, and the rest of these Noble Gentlemen, It is a great Comfort to me to have your Lordships by me this Day, because I have been known to you a long time, and I now desire to be heard a few Words.

'I come here my Lords, to pay my last Debt to Sin, which is Death; and through he Mercies of God, to rise again to Eternal Glory.

'My Lords, If I may use a few Words, I shall take it as a great Courtesy from you; I come here to submit to the Judgment that is passed against me; I do it with a very quiet and contented Mind; I do freely forgive all the World; a Forgiveness not from the Teeth outward, (as they say) but from my Heart; I speak in the Presence of Almighty God, before whom I stand, that there is not a displeasing Thought that ariseth in me against any Man: I thank God, I say truly, my Conscience bears me Witness, that in all the Honour I had to serve His Majesty, I had not any Intention in my Heart, but what did aim at the Joynt and Individual Prosperity of the King and his People; although it be my ill hap to be misconstrued; I am not the first Man that hath suffered in this kind: It is a Common Portion that befalls Men in this Life, Righteous Judgment shall be hereafter; here we are subject to Error, and Mis-judging one another.

'One thing I desire to be heard in, and do hope, that for Christian Charity's sake I shall be believ'd; I was so far from being against Parliaments, that I did always think Parliaments in England to be the happy Constitution of the Kingdom and Nation, and the best Means, under God, to make the King and His People happy: As for my Death, do here acquit all the World, and beseech God to forgive them; In particular, I am very glad His Majesty conceives me not meriting so severe and heavy a Punishment, as the utmost Execution of this Sentence; I do infinitely rejoyce in it, and in that Mercy of His, and do beseech God to Return Him the same, that He may find Mercy when He hath most need of it. I wish this Kingdom all Prosperity and Happiness in the World: I did it Living, and now Dying it is my Wish.

'I profess heartily my Apprehension, and do humbly recommend it to you, and wish that every Man would lay his hand on his heart, and consider seriously, Whether the beginning of the Peoples Happiness should be Written in Letters of Blood? I fear they are in a Wrong Way; I desire Almighty God, that no one drop of my Blood rife up in judgment against them: I have but one word more, and that is for my Religion.

'My Lord of Armagh, I profess myself seriously, faithfully, and truly to be an obedient Son of the Church of England: In that Church I was born and bred; in that Religion I have lived, and now in that I die; Prosperity and Happiness be ever to it.

'It hath been said, I was inclined to Popery. If it be an Objection worth the Answering, let me say truly from my heart, that since I was 21 years of age unto this day, going on 49 years, I never had thought or doubt of the Truth of this Religion, nor had ever any the boldness to suggest: to me the contrary, to my best remembrance.

'And so being reconciled to the Mercies of Jesus Christ my Saviour, into whose bosom I hope shortly to be gathered, to enjoy Eternal Happiness; which shall never have an end; I desire heartily to be forgiven of every Man, if any rash or unadvised Words or Deeds have passed from me; and desire all your Prayers; and so, my Lord, farewel and farewel all things in this World.

'The Lord strengthen my Faith, and give me Confidence and Assurance in the Merits of Christ Jesus I trust in God we shall all meet to live eternally in Heaven, and receive the accomplishment of all Happiness, where every Tear mail be wiped from our Eyes, and fad Thoughts from our Hearts; And so God bless this Kingdom, and Jesus have Mercy on my Soul.

Then turning himself about, he saluted all the Noblemen, and took a solemn Leave of all considerable Persons on the Scaffold, giving them his Hand.

And after that, he said, 'Gentlemen, I wou'd say my Prayers, and I intreat you all to pray with me, and for me.' Then his Chaplain laid the Book of Common-Prayer upon the Chair before him, as he kneeled down, on which he prayed almost a quarter of an hour; then he prayed as long or longer without a Book, and ended with the Lord's Prayer: Then standing up, he spy'd his Brother Sir George Wentworth, and call'd to him, and said, 'Brother, We must part; remember me to my Sister, and to my Wife, and carry my blessing to my eldest Son, and charge him from me, that he fear God, and continue an obedient Son of the Church of England, and that he approve himself a faithful Subject to the King, and tell him, that he should not have any private Grudge or Revenge towards any concerning me, and bid him beware to meddle not with Church-Livings, for that will prove a Moth and Canker to him in his Estate, and with him to content himself to be a Servant to his Country, as a Justice of Peace in his County, not aiming at higher Preferments Carry my blessing also to my Daughters Anne and Arabella, charge them to fear and serve God, and He will bless them; not forgetting my little Infant, that knows neither good nor evil, and cannot speak for itself, God speak for it, and bless it. Then said he, 1 have nigh done; One Stroke will make my Wife Husbandless, my dear Children Fatherless, and my poor Servants Masterless, and separate me from my dear Brother, and all my Friends; but let God be to you and them all in all.

After that, (going to take off his Doublet, arid to make himself unready) he said, 'I thank God I am no more afraid of Death, nor daunted with any Discouragements arising from any Fears, but do as chearfully put off my Doublet at this time, as ever I did when I went to Bed: Then he put off his Doublet, and wound up his Hair with his Hands, and put on a white Cap.

Then he called, Where is the Man that should do this last Office? (meaning the Executioner) call him to me. When he came, and ask'd him forgiveness; he told him, He forgave him, and all the world. Then kneeling down by the Block, he went to Prayer again himself, the Bishop of Armagh kneeling on the one side, and the Minister on the other; to the which Minister, after Prayer, he turned himself, and spoke some few words softly, having his Hands listed up; the Minister closed his Hands with his: Then bowing himself to the Earth, to lay down his Head on the Block, he told the Executioner, That he would first lay down his Head to try the fitness of the Block, and take it up again, before he. laid it down for good and all; and so he did; and before he laid it down again, he told the Executioner, That he would give him warning when to strike, by stretching forth his Hands; and then laying down his Neck on the Block, stretching out his Hands, the Executioner struck off his Head at one blow; then he took the Head up in his Hand, and shewed it to all the People, and said, God save the King.


  • 1. This hath occationed the common discourte and opinion, that this Judgment against the Earl, was Enacted, never to be drawn into Precedent.