Charles I - volume 515: May 1647

Calendar of State Papers Domestic: Charles I, 1645-7. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1891.

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'Charles I - volume 515: May 1647', in Calendar of State Papers Domestic: Charles I, 1645-7, (London, 1891) pp. 550-559. British History Online [accessed 21 April 2024]


May 1647

May 1. 52. Commission drawn in the King's name and issued by order of the Houses at Westminster, appointing these persons to be Visitors of Oxford University and the Cathedral or Collegiate Church of Christ's Church, viz., Sir Nathaniel Brent, Edw. Corbett, John Pulixton, of the Middle Temple, Henry Wilkinson, Wm. Prynne, of Lincoln's Inn, Wm. Typing, Sir Wm. Cobb, George Greenwood, Dr. John Wilkinson, Edward Reynolds, Robt. Harris, Francis Cheynell, John Packer, John Wilkinson, John Mills, Christopher Rogers, Wm. Cope, Bartholomew Hall, of the Middle Temple, Thos. Knight, of Lincoln's Inn, John Helling, of Gray's Inn, Wm. Draper, Gabriel Beck, of Lincoln's Inn, John Cartwright, and Samuel Dunch, Esqrs. They, or any five of them, to act as Visitors, and to determine all matters according to law, and punish offences and crimes according to the laws and statutes of this realm, or by the customs or statutes rightly established in the said University. You are to inquire upon oath concerning the Deans, Prebends, Students, Scholars, and officers of Christ Church, and concerning the Governors, Masters, Professors, Fellows, Graduates, Students, Scholars, and members of the respective foundations of all Halls and Colleges in connection with the University, and to find out upon oath so many of them as have neglected to take the Solemn League and Covenant and the Negative Oath which you are authorized to administer to them; also to find out such persons as do oppose the execution of the Ordinances of the Lords and Commons in Parliament concerning the discipline and directory, and such as teach or write against any point of doctrine the ignorance whereof doth exclude from the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper. You are likewise to inquire upon oath for such as have taken up or been in arms against the Houses of Parliament, or the forces raised under their authority, or have been active in assisting or encouraging the forces raised against the Parliament. You are hereby further required from time to time to certify to the Committee of Lords and Commons named in an Ordinance of Parliament of the first of May, entitled, "An Ordinance for the Visitation and Reformation of the University of Oxford, &c.," the names of such as you shall find to have committed any of these offences, that such further proceedings may be taken against the offenders as shall be thought meet by the said Committee. You are further to examine and consider of all such oaths as are enjoined by the Statutes of the University or of Christ. Church, or of any of the Colleges and Halls, and of such as are not fit to be taken, and to present your opinions concerning the same to the Committee of Lords and Commons, that such course may be taken therein as may be agreeable to the intended reformation of our said University. You are hereby required to cite before you and try upon oath all persons informed against as guilty of any of these offences. You are also empowered and authorized to name and appoint a registrar to enter and take notice of all and every your proceedings. [Certified copy in English taken out of the Crown Office, examined and approved by Mr. Peale. This copy differs from the Ordinance printed in the Lords' Journals, vol. ix., p. 169, being in the form of a commission drawn in the King's name, otherwise it is to the same effect. 13 pp.]
[May 1.] 53. The first and last parts of the same in Latin, [Draftpp.]
May 1. 54. Articles of Inquiry to be ministered, in the visitation of the University of Oxford, under an Ordinance of both Houses of Parliament, being to the same effect as those embodied in the above commission. [Draft. 1 p.]
May 1. 55. Copy of the above Articles of Inquiry. [3 pp.]
May 5. Petition of Thos. Hobman of Newark, ironmonger, to the Committee for Compounding. That petitioner being an inhabitant of Newark, long before and at the time when it was a garrison for the King, did adhere unto the King's party there, and assisted them against the forces raised by Parliament; and by reason of the late visitation of the plague he could not with safety appear to proceed upon his composition according to the time limited in the Articles of Surrender of that town. But now being cleared he had made his address to this honourable Committee to proceed effectually therein. Prays that he may be admitted to compound for his delinquency upon the Articles of Newark, as if he had come in according to the time limited in these Articles wherein he is comprised. Underwritten,
Received 5 May 1647, and referred to the sub-committee. [Interregnum 208 G., p. 364]
May 5.
56. Robt. Earl of Warwick to the Committee for taking the Accounts of the kingdom. The bearer, Captain Fabian, has been a long time an officer in Guernsey, and on his way from thence was lately taken by an Irish pirate. His account is referred to your consideration, and considering the little pay he has received, and the necessities of himself and family, I could not do less, in respect of my late relation to that island, than commend it to your favour, that he may receive as quick a despatch as your occasions will admit. [½ p.]
May 5/15.
Queen Henrietta Maria to Pope [Innocent X.]. Having understood that certain Kings of England, predecessors of the King my lord, in former times so highly esteemed the virtue of the blessed Father Robert d'Abruissel, founder of the Order of Fontevrault, that they consulted him on affairs of the utmost importance to their crown, I therefore hold it to be incumbent on me to do all in my power to procure that all the faithful should acknowledge him as a saint, and render to his merits the honours which are their due. This has caused me to write this second letter to your Holiness to earnestly press you to proceed to the canonization of this blessed Father, in the hope that having contributed my endeavours to render him important on earth after his death, he may procure in heaven, where his soul reposes, some favours for the kingdom which he served with so much fidelity during his life. [Francia Nunziatura, Vol. 89. Transcripts from Rome, P.R.O. French Copy. 1 p.]
May 6/16.
Queen Henrietta Maria to Pope [Innocent X.]. I could not refuse the prayer of my cousin the Prince Dom Louis of Portugal to recommend his claims to your Holiness, as he has always manifested his good will towards me. Likewise I am persuaded that his personal good qualities, worthy of his birth, and his extraordinary zeal which he has shown in the protection and relief of the poor Catholics of Holland, render him worthy of the consideration of your Holiness. I shall be beholden to your Holiness for all the graces and favours which on this occasion he may receive from you. [Franzia Nunziatura, Vol. 89. Transcripts from Rome, P.R.O. French. Copy. 1 p.]
May 6.
57. The Committee of Accounts in Lancashire to the Committee of Accounts for the whole kingdom. That several commanders and other officers in this county having farmed diverse sequestered estates from the Agents for Sequestration at certain annual rents, upon tendering their accounts to us, they insert those rents as part satisfaction for their arrears due to them from the State, detaining those rents in their own hands, consequently we have denied to pass their accounts until further order. We desire to receive directions herein so that it may be a precedent in like cases. [Seal with device, broken. 1 p.]
May 7.
58. Committee of Accounts in Lancashire to the Committee of Accounts for the whole kingdom. We are fallen upon the tedious labour of taking the accounts of the soldiery. We do not, neither do we consider it proper for us, to examine them further than for what [money] they have received and disposed of belonging to the State; but as concerning their commissions, their continuance in actual service, and the like, we think ourselves no ways enabled to examine thereof or authorized thereunto, but conceive it more proper for the standing Committee of the county, who not only gave most of them their commissions, but orders to march upon several designs, and thereby are better enabled to discover their commands and continuance in actual service. Thus much we made bold to acquaint you with lest you should mistake our proceedings. Underwritten,
58. i. Minute of the reply to be sent. To take the soldiers' accounts according to the new Ordinance and instructions, and to examine their commissions and certificates, which must be according to the said Ordinance, under the hands and seals of such as are therein expressed. [¾ p.]
May 10.
59. Committee of Accounts at Nottingham to the Committee of Accounts for the whole kingdom. Urge the necessity of supplying a speedy allowance of pay to their officers, though they themselves are content to give their daily attendance without remuneration on the service of the State. If you shall deem this too much to effect we pray your license of dismission both of us and them, and that you will place some others in our stead. [Seal with crest and arms. 1 p.]
May 12.
60. The King to the Speaker of the Lords' House pro tempore, to be communicated to both Houses at Westminster and to the Commissioners from the Parliament of Scotland. Complaining of the restrictions he is under; giving particular answers to the Propositions submitted to him from the Parliament; desiring a personal treaty; his Majesty earnestly desiring presently to be admitted to his Parliament at Westminster, with that honour which is due to their Sovereign, there solemnly to confirm the same and legally to pass the Acts before mentioned; and to give and receive as well satisfaction in all the remaining particulars, as likewise such other pledges of mutual love, trust, and confidence as shall most concern the good and prosperity of him and his people. He thereupon pledges his word that he will order the Prince of Wales to return immediately to him, and will undertake for his ready obedience thereunto. [Printed in Lords' Journals ix., pp. 193, 194, and in Reliquiœ Sacrœ Carolinœ, ed. 1657, pp. 112– 117. Copy amongst the Conway Papers. 11 pp.]
May 13. 61. Ordinance of both Houses of Parliament for securing all those who shall advance 200,000l. for the service of this kingdom and of Ireland, with the names of the trustees and treasurers for raising the money. Ordered by the Lords to be printed and published, 13 May 1647. The Lords and Commons intending to raise 200,000l. for the service of this kingdom and of Ireland, for the encouragement of such as shall advance any sum towards the same, do hereby ordain and declare,—That every person who hath advanced any money, plate, or horses with their furniture and arms, upon the public faith or propositions; or who hath lent any sum upon the Ordinance of 18 Aug. 1643, or for the expedition into Kent, upon the commotion there, for which the City seal stands yet engaged; or towards the loan of 30,000l. in November 1642, or of 40,000l. in Apr. 1643, or of 23,000l. in May 1643, which are not already repaid, the which sums were advanced upon the pressing necessities of England and Ireland; or who have lent any sums towards paying the 50,000l. borrowed for the service of Ireland in Nov. 1641, or who have lent any sums in the year 1641, yet unpaid, upon security of the Act of Parliament, for the speedy raising of money for disbanding the armies and settling the peace of the two kingdoms of England and Scotland; that such persons may for every sum of money he shall further lend for the advancement of this 200,000l. be secured a like sum more, to be paid out of the Grand Excise, in course, and out of the moiety of all compositions made with delinquents at Goldsmiths' Hall, after the engagements already charged upon those compositions are satisfied, and out of the remainder of the proceeds of the Bishops' lands, after they shall be clear of the present engagements, and out of the proceeds of the estates and sale of the lands of Papists who have been in arms against the Parliament, except advowsons and impropriations, whichever shall first happen to be available; together with interest due thereupon after the rate of 8l. per cent. per annum, to be paid every six months, out of the receipt of the Excise till principal and interest be fully discharged. [Pamphlet printed in London for John Wright at the King's Head in the Old Bailey, 1647. 15 pp.]
May 15/25.
Queen Henrietta Maria to Pope [Innocent X.]. Your Holiness having always manifested your good will to contribute everything in your power for the good and ease of my affairs, and those of the [Roman] Catholic subjects of the King my lord, which have ever been as dear to me as my own, I gave order and instructions to the Chevalier Digby, when I sent him to reside with your Holiness, to keep you informed from time to time, on my part, of all that might be useful therein, believing that as you should be the better informed, we should experience the effects of your paternal piety in all our necessities. However, by information that has been given me I learn that some have had the boldness to approach your Holiness under pretext of acting in such matters, without any order from me, or the seal of my said Resident. I therefore would humbly beg you to give no attention to such persons, or the affairs submitted by them, but only to the said Chevalier Digby, so that I may with the greater confidence have recourse to your Holiness in the occasions which may present themselves, assuring myself that your Holiness will not be less satisfied. [Francia Nunziatura, Vol. 89. Transcripts from Rome, P. R. O. French. Copy. 1 p.]
May 17. 62. Declaration by David Jenkins, now prisoner in the Tower, one of his Majesty's judges in Wales. All capital crimes ought only to be tried by juries, and not otherwise, unless it be by Act of Parliament. The common law of this land is, that every free man is subject to a trial by Bill of attainder in Parliament wherein his Majesty and both Houses must necessarily concur, for that trial and attainder is an Act of Parliament to which all men are subject. No man shall otherwise be destroyed, &c., but by the lawful judgment of his peers, or by the common law of the land, &c., And therefore it is well worth your observation what was said by Mr. John Pymm, M.P., in his speech against the Earl of Strafford, in the beginning of this Parliament, which speech is published by the express order of the House of Commons; the words are these,—"The law is that which puts a difference betwixt good and evil, betwixt just and unjust, it you take away the law all things will fall into a confusion, every man will become a law unto himself, which in the depraved condition of human nature must needs produce many great enormities; lust will become a law, and evil will become a law, covetousness and ambition will become laws, and what dictates, what derisions such laws will produce, may easily be discerned, &c." They that love this commonwealth as things now stand will use all means to procure an Act of Oblivion, a general pardon from his Majesty, the soldiers their arrears, and tender consciences a just and reasonable satisfaction, else we all must perish first or last. God preserve his Majesty, and laws wherein their Lordships and the whole kingdom are concerned. David Jenkins, prisoner in the Tower. [Broadside.]
[May 17.] 63. A discourse touching the inconveniences of a long continued Parliament, and the judgment of the law of the land in that behalf by David Jenkins, now prisoner in the Tower. A perpetual Parliament is repugnant to the Act made this Parliament for a triennial Parliament; for how can every three years a Parliament begin if this be perpetual, which may be so if the two Houses please? This Parliament, as appears by the Act for not dissolving thereof set down in the printed Statutes of this Parliament, fol. 138, cannot be prorogued but by Act of Parliament. There hath been as yet no Act of Parliament present[ed], and therefore all the Acts of this Parliament are Acts of one session. All the Acts of one session relate to the first day of the Parliament, and all the Acts of such a Parliament are Acts of one day, so the Act for the triennial and the Act for this perpetual are two Acts of one day by the law. [References given in margin to prove this.] When an Act of Parliament is against common right or reason, or repugnant or impossible to be performed, the Common law shall control it, and adjudge this Act to be void; these are the words of the law. [Ref. in margin to prove this.] An Act of Parliament that a man shall be judge in his own cause is a void Act. The end of the Act of 17 Car., which is to continue at pleasure, is in that Act expressed to be to raise money for these three purposes. 1st. For relief of his Majesty's army and people in the north. 2ndly. For preventing the imminent danger of the kingdom. 3rdly. For supply of other his Majesty's present and urgent occasions. These ends are [now] ended, the relief of the army, the imminent danger supposed was six years ago, the supply of his Majesty hath been a supply against him, take away the end, the means thereto are to no purpose, take away the cause, the effect ceases; and therefore the three ends of this Act being determined, it agrees with law and reason the Act should end, the law rejects things unprofitable and useless. A perpetual Parliament, besides that it incites men to self-ends, destructive to the public, of which the whole kingdom hath had sufficient experience, will be a constant charge to the kingdom, &c., for which reasons it is clear that such long continuance of Parliaments will instead of being a remedy become an insufferable grievance and oppression to all the people of the land. The writ of summons [for] this Parliament is the basis and foundation of the Parliament. If the foundation be destroyed the Parliament falls. The assembly of Parliament is for three purposes, &c. This Parliament hath overthrown this foundation in all three parts. All the judges of England have resolved that noblemen committing treason have forfeited their office and dignity, their office being to counsel the King in time of peace, to defend him in time of war, and therefore those men against the duty and end of their dignity taking not only counsel but arms also to destroy him, and being thereof attaint by the due course of law by a tacit condition annexed to the estate of their dignity, have forfeited the same; these are the words of the law, and therefore they have made themselves incapable to be members of the Upper House. The rest of the pamphlet is taken up with a discourse on "the oppressions of the people," and "assault upon Parliament men." Conclusion. I say again, that without an Act of Oblivion, a gracious general pardon from his Majesty, the arrears of the soldiers paid, a favourable regard had to tender consciences, there will be neither truth nor peace in this land, nor any man secure of anything he hath. [Printed in the year 1647. Pamphlet. 10 pp.]
May 17. 64. The answer and demurrer of Sir James Stonehouse, Bart., defendant to the bill of complaint of Dame Katherine Hutchinson, widow, complainant, sworn before Dr. Robert Aylett. Not acknowledging anything in this bill of complaint to be true, or any ways to concern this defendant, but to make answer to what may any ways concern him, saith that he doth not know that Sir Thos. Hutchinson in the bill named, at the request of or for the debt of Sir John Byron, also named in the bill, became bound to any persons whomsoever, neither doth he know that Sir John Byron did at any time enter into any recognizance or statute merchant to Sir Thos. Hutchinson, or that any defeasance was at any time made upon such statute or recognizance. [11 pp.]
May 24. 65. Pamphlet entitled "The Army's Indemnity," arranged in 10 paragraphs, signed David Jenkins, prisoner in the Tower, 24 May 1647. [The proceedings against him will be found in Commons' Journals, vol. 5.] The opening paragraph explains the object of this pamphlet:—"Upon the publishing of the Ordinances of the 22nd of this instant May for the indemnity of the army, certain gentlemen well affected to the peace of the kingdom and safety of the army desired me to set down in writing whether, by the law of the land, the said Ordinance did secure them from danger as to the matters therein mentioned? For whose satisfaction, in a business wherein the lives and fortunes of so many men were concerned, and also the peace of the kingdom involved, I conceived I was bound in duty and conscience faithfully and truly to set down what the law of the land therein is, which accordingly I have with all sincerity expressed in the following discourse. The danger of the army by the law of the land is apparent to all men. It is high treason to levy war against the King, to compass or imagine his death," &c. King and Commons, King and Lords, Commons and Lords cannot declare any other thing to be treason than therein [25 Edw. III., cap. 2] is declared, as appears by the references to Coke's Institutes cited in the margin; a law book published by order of the Commons this Parliament, as appears in the last leaf of the Second Part of the Institutes, published likewise by their order. The last paragraph concludes with these words, "I say again, it is a certain truth, this kingdom, without an Act of Oblivion, &c., general pardon, and the payment of soldiers' arrears, and a meet regard had to tender consciences, will unavoidably be ruined." The pamphlet concludes with an analysis of the Statutes 25 Ewd. III., cap. 2, and 11 Hen. VII., cap. 1. [Printed pamphlet. 8 pp.]
May 28. 66. Ordinance of both Houses. That for the disbanding of the foot under Sir. Thos. Fairfax, and for a fortnight's pay in part of the six weeks' pay for such of the foot as shall volunteer for the service in Ireland, it is hereby ordered that the Treasurer appointed for raising 200,000l. shall pay to Sir John Wollaston and the other Treasurers-at-Wars 40,000l., to be issued for the uses above stated, to such persons and in such proportions as by Fairfax's warrant shall be directed for such of the army as do disband, and by Skippon's warrant for such as engage for Ireland. [Damaged by damp. 1½ pp.]
[May?] 67. "The answer of the Commons to a petition in the name of thousands of well affected persons inhabiting London, Westminster, Southwark, and hamlets and places adjoining." This House is very well pleased with your desires of peace, and hopes that when you are satisfied the ways you propounded for obtaining it do not conduce to that end, but tend to make the war endless, your right affections will follow right reason, and they therefore inform you of those mistakes which were the cause of the propositions you have framed in order to peace. First, we cannot but notice you say that you engaged on our part againt the King. You know we raised arms at first and engaged such as assisted us for King and Parliament, and you know both we and you took a protestation [margin, "May 1864." See Commons" Journals ii., 132] to defend the King's person and estate; and you know both you and we are the King's subjects, and ought by our allegiance to adhere to and defend him, and we cannot make war upon him or our fellowsubjects his adherents without breach of allegiance, all which might inform you that we have made no avowed war against the King but against his evil counsellors, and we believed if we should have told you we intended to make war against the King you would not have aided us, knowing it high treason, as you profess you do; which was the reason the engagement was for King and Parliament. Next, we wish you would keep within the bounds of obedience and not presume to anticipate our counsels and prevent our proceedings by telling us what you expect our resolutions to be. We are contented to receive your grievances from you, but not be schooled by you; although in the beginning we gave way to some such petition in regard to the distempers of your minds, whereby the Lords and many of our own members were overawed, yet this House cannot approve that such courses are agreeable to law or reason. Where you say that you had not engaged on the part of this House, but that you judged this House the Supreme authority of England, is very strange to us, yourselves, we believe, as well as we having, according to the common duty of the law of the land, acknowledged before God that the King is the supreme governor of this realm, and bound ourselves by oath to defend his supremacy; and we always call ourselves his Commons and his House of Commons, and make petition to him for his grace and favour, styling him as he is our most gracious Sovereign, the experience of all times and the opinion of all men of sound judgment being that this kingdom is a monarchy, and so acknowledged in many Acts of Parliament. This House was instituted by the King's predecessors, all towns sending burgesses by their grants, and you know you engaged for the Lords as well as this House. We believe your mention of our supremacy is but a pretence, and that you mean to assume the power you say is in the people, and exclude this House as well as King and Lords, &c. We assure you we know of no better condition to restore the kingdom unto than to be governed by the laws established, whereby they are the freest people in the world, and were so in all ages past. And when you profess the cause of your assisting us was to destroy the law, you make yourself more guilty of blood than the King's party, who say they fight for it. [This would appear to be intended in answer to a petition to the House of Commons, entitled "To the Right Honble. and Supreme Authority of this Nation, the Commons assembled in Parliament." See Commons' Journals v., p. 162. But, as this petition was disapproved of and rejected by the House, the answer probably was never proceeded with. Draft, with many corrections and alterations. 4 pp.]