The second parliament of Charles II: Third session- begins 18/2/1663

Pages 60-72

The History and Proceedings of the House of Commons: Volume 1, 1660-1680. Originally published by Chandler, London, 1742.

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In this section

The third Session.

On February 18, 1662-3. the Parliament met after a Recess of nine Months; upon which occasion his Majesty made the ensuing Speech to both Houses, from the Throne.

The King's Speech to both Houses.

'My Lords and Gentlemen,

'I Am very glad to meet you here again, having thought the time long since we parted, and have often wish'd you had been together to help me in some Occasions which have fallen out: I need not repeat them to you, you have all had the noise of them in your several Counties; and, God be thanked, they were but noise without any worse Effects. To cure the Distempers, and compose the differing Minds among us, I set forth my Declaration of the 26th of December, in which you may see I am willing to set bounds to the Hopes of some, and to the Fears of others; of which when you shall have examin'd well the grounds, I doubt not but I shall have your concurrence therein. The truth is, I am in my nature an Enemy to all Severity for Religion and Conscience, how mistaken soever it be, when it extends to capital and sanguinary Punishments, which I am told were begun in Popish Times: Therefore when I say this, I hope, I shall not need to warn any here not to infer from thence, I mean to favour Popery. I must confess to you, There are many of that Profession, who, having serv'd my Father and my self very well, may fairly hope for some part of that Indulgence I would willingly afford to others who dissent from us: But let me explain my self, lest some mistake me herein, as I hear they did in my Declaration: I am far from meaning by this a Toleration, or qualifying them thereby to hold any Offices or Places in the Government; may further, I desire some Laws may be made to hinder the Growth and Progress of their Doctrines. I hope you have all so good an opinion of my Zeal for the Protestant Religion, as I need not tell you I will not yield to any therein, not to the Bishops themselves, nor in my liking the Uniformity of it, as it is now established; which, being the Standard of our Religion, must be kept pure and uncorrupted, free from all other Mixtures: And yet if the Diffenters will demean themselves peaceably and modestly under the Government, I could heartily wish I had such a power of Indulgence, to use upon occasions, as might not needlesly force them out of the Kingdom, or staying here, give them cause to conspire against the Peace of it. My Lords and Gentlemen, it would look like Flattery in me to tell you to what degree I am confident of your Wisdom and Affection in all things that relate to the Greatness and Prosperity of the Kingdom. If you consider well what is best for us all, I dare say we shall not disagree. I have no more to say to you at present, but once again to bid you heartily welcome.'

The Commons Address in relation to the Indulgence.

After this the Commons being withdrawn, appointed the 25th for taking into consideration, both his Majesty's Speech and the Declaration mentioned therein: At which time they unanimously resolved, That the Thanks of the House should be return'd to the King's Majesty for all that was contain'd in the Declaration, except what related to the Indulgence; with regard to which, they appointed a Committee (who chose Sir (fn. 1) Heneage Finch the King's Solicitor, for their Chairman) to draw up an Address, that, after several Amendments and Additions, was presented to his Majesty, by the Speaker on the 27th; and, after the particular Thanks for the several Parts of the Declaration, proceeded thus: 'It is with extreme Unwillingness and Reluctancy of Heart, that we are brought to differ from any thing which your Majesty has thought fit to propose: And tho' we do no way doubt, but that the unreasonable Distempers of Mens Spirits, and the many Mutinies and Conspiracies which were carried on, during the late Intervals of Parliament, did reasonably incline your Majesty to endeavour by your Declaration to give some allay to those ill Humours, till the Parliament assembled; and the Hopes of Indulgence, if the Parliament should consent to it; espe cially seeing the Pretenders to this Indulgence did seem to make some Titles to it, by virtue of your Majesty's Declaration from Breda: Nevertheless, we your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal Subjects, who are now return'd to serve in Parliament, from those several Parts and Places of your Kingdom, for which we were chosen, do humbly offer to your Majesty's great Wisdom, That it is in no fort adviseable that there be any Indulgence to such Persons, who presume to dissent from the Act of Uniformity, and the Religion established. For these Reasons, we have considered the Nature of your Majesty's Declaration from Breda, and are humbly of opinion, That your Majesty ought not to be press'd with it any further; 1. Because it is not a Promise in it self, but only a gracious Declaration of your Majesty's Intentions, to do what in you lay, and what a Parliament should advise your Majesty to do; and no such Advice was ever given, or thought fit to be offered; nor could it be otherwise understood, because there were Laws of Uniformity then in being, which could not be dispens'd with, but by Act of Parliament. 2. They who do pretend a Right to that supposed Promise, put the Right into the hands of their Representatives, whom they chose to serve for them in this Parliament, who have pass'd, and your Majesty consented to, the Act of Uniformity: If any shall presume to say, That a Right to the Benefit of this Declaration doth still remain after this Act passed; 3. It tends to dissolve the very Bonds of Government, and to suppose a Disability in your Majesty and the Houses of Parliament, to make a Law contrary to any Part of your Majesty's Declaration, tho' both Houses should advise your Majesty to it.

We have also consider'd the Nature of the Indulgence propos'd, with reference to those Consequences which must necessarily attend it. 1. It will establish Schism by a Law, and make the whole Government of the Church precarious, and the Censures of it of no Moment or Consideration at all. 2. It will no way become the Gravity or Wisdom of a Parliament, to pass a Law at one Session for Uniformity, and at the next Session (the Reasons of Uniformity continuing still the same) to pass another Law to frustrate or weaken the Execution of it. 3. It will expose your Majesty to the restless Importunity of every Sect or Opinion, and of every single Person also, who shall presume to dissent from the Church of England. 4. It will be a cause of increasing Sects and Sectaries, whose Numbers will weaken the true Protestant Profession so far, that it will at least be difficult for it to defend it self against them: And which is yet further considerable, those Numbers, which by being troublesome to the Government, find they can arrive to an Indulgence, will, as their Numbers increase, be yet more troublesome, that so at length they may arrive to general Toleration, which your Majesty hath declared against; and in time, some prevalent Sect will at last contend for an Establishment; which, for ought can be foreseen, may end in Popery. 5. It is a thing altogether without Precedent, and it will take away all means of convicting Recusants, and be inconsistent with the Method and Proceedings of the Laws of England. Lastly, It is humbly conceiv'd, that the Indulgence propos'd will be so far from tending to the Peace of the Kingdom, that it is rather likely to occasion great Disturbance. And on the contrary, That the asserting of the Laws, and the Religion established, according to the Act of Uniformity, is the most probable means to produce a settled Peace and Obedience throughout your Kingdom: Because the Variety of Professions in Religion, when openly indulg'd, doth directly distinguish Men into Parties, and withal gives them opportunity to count their Numbers; which, considering the Animosities that out of a religious Pride will be kept on foot by the several Factions, doth tend directly and inevitably to open Disturbance. Nor can your Majesty have any Security, that the Doctrine or Worship of the several Factions, which are all govern'd by a several Rule, shall be consistent with the Peace of your Kingdom And if any Persons shall presume to disturb the Peace of the Kingdom, we do in all humility declare, That we will for ever, and on all occasions, be ready with our utmost Endeavours and Assistance to adhere to, and serve your Majesty, according to our bounden Duty and Allegiance.'

The King's Answer. ; And Message.

To this Address, his Majesty gave this gracious Answer: That he gave them hearty Thanks for their many Thanks; that never any King was so happy in a House of Commons, as he in this; that the Paper and Reasons were long, and therefore he would take time to consider of them, and send them a Message; that they could never differ but in Judgment, and that must be when he did not rightly express himself, or they did not rightly understand him; but their Interest was so far linked together, that they could never disagree.' According to this Promise, a little above a Fortnight after, on the 16th of March, he sent this Message to the House of Commons: 'That he was unwilling to enlarge upon the Address lately made to him by his House of Commons, or to reply to the Reasons, tho he found what he said not much understood; but he renew'd his hearty Thanks to them, for their Expressions of so great Duty and Affection, and for their free Declaration, That if any Person shall presume to disturb the Peace of the Kingdom, they will for ever, and upon all occasions, be ready with their utmost Endeavours and Assistance, to adhere to, and serve his Majesty; and did very heartily desire them so to enable him, and to put the Kingdom into such a posture of Defence, as that if any Disturbance or seditions Designs arose, they might be easily suppress'd.' To all which the House of Commons returned their particular Thanks and Promises.

Lords and Commons petition against Papists.

The House having thus manifested their Zeal against Dissenters, proceeded next, in conjunction with the Lords, to draw up an humble Representation to the King, concerncerning Romish Priests and Jesuits; which was as follows: 'The humble Representation and Petition of the Lords and Commons, sheweth, That notwithstanding your Majesty's unquestionable Affection and Zeal for the true Protestant Religion, manifested in your constant Profession and Practice, against all Temptations whatsoever; yet, by the great Resort of Jesuits and Romish Priests into this Kingdom, your good Subjects are generally much affected with Jealousy and Apprehension, That the Popish Religion may much increase in this Kingdom, which your Majesty hath most piously desired may be prevented; and so the Peace both in Church and State may be insensibly disturb'd, to the great danger of both. Your two Houses of Parliament are therefore humble Suitors to your Majesty, to issue out your Proclamation to command all Jesuits, and all English, Irish and Scottish Popish Priests, and all such other Priests as have taken Orders from the See of Rome, or by Authority thereof, (except such Foreign Jesuits or Priests, as by Contract of Marriage are to attend the Persons of either of the Queens, or by the Law of Nations to attend Foreign Ambassadors) to depart this Kingdom by a Day, under pain of having the Penalties of the Law inslicted upon them.'

The King's Reply to it.

This Representation having been read to his Majesty, he immediately made the following Speech to both Houses: My Lords, and Gentlemen, You do not expect that I should give you an Answer presently to your Petition, yet I tell you, that I will speedily send you an Answer, which I am confident will be to your satisfaction. It may be the general Jealousy of the Nation hath made this Address necessary; and indeed I believe nothing hath more contributed to that Jealousy than my own Confidence, That it was impossible there should be any such Jealousy, and the Effects of that Confidence: But I shall give you Satisfaction, and then I am sure you will easily satisfy and compose the Minds of the Nation. I confess, my Lords and Gentlemen, I have heard of one Jealousy, which I will never forgive the Authors of, That I had a Jealousy of your Affections, that I was offended with the Parliament to that degree that I intended to dissolve it. They say Men are naturally most angry with those Reports which reflect upon their Understanding, which make them thought weak Men: Truly, I should appear a very weak Man, if I should have any such Passion, any such Purpose. No, my Lords, and Gentlemen, I will not part with you upon those terms! Never King was so much beholden to a Parliament as I am to you, and if my Kindness to you and my Confidence in you be not proportionable, I am behind-hand with you; which, God-willing, I will not be.

'Mr. Speaker, and you Gentlemen of the House of Commons, I am willing to take this occasion to give you my particular Thanks for your great Kindness in taking hold upon an easy Intimation, rather than an Invitation from me to enter upon the Consideration of my Revenue: It was kindly done, and I shall never forget it. I have given order, that you may be fully inform'd of the true State of it, and then I know you will do that which is good for me, and you: And I pray pursue your good Resolution, in putting the Kingdom into such a posture, that we may prevent, at least not fear, any desperate Insurrection.

A second Answer.

The King, according to his Promise, the very next day sent an Answer to the Petition in Writing to the House of Lords, which, in a Conference between both Houses, was likewise deliver'd to the Commons, and was as follows: His Majesty, having seriously consider'd and weigh'd the humble Representation and Petition of his Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament, and the great Affection and Duty with which the same was presented to him; and after having made some Reflections on himself and his own Actions, is not a little troubled, that his Lenity and Condescensions towards many of the Popish Persuasion (which were but natural Effects of his Generosity and Good nature, after having lived so many Years in the Dominions of Roman-Catholic Princes; and out of a just Memory of what many of them had done and suffered in the Service of his Royal Father of blessed Memory, and of some eminent Services perform'd by others of them, towards his Majesty himself in the time of his greatest Affiction) have been made so ill use of, and so ill deserv'd, that the Resort of Jesuits and Priests into this Kingdom hath been thereby increas'd; with which his Majesty is, and hath long been highly offended. And therefore his Majesty readily concurs with the Advice of his two Houses of Parliament, and hath given order for the preparing and issuing out such a Proclamation as is desired, with the same Clause referring to the Treaty of Marriage, as was in the Proclamation; which, upon the like Occasion, was issu'd out upon the Advice of both Houses of Parliament in the Year 1640. And his Majesty will take farther care, that the same shall be effectual, at least to a greater degree than any Proclamation of this kind hath ever been. And his Majesty farther declares, and assures both his Houses of Parliament, and all his loving Subjects of all his Dominions, that as his Affection and Zeal for the Protestant Religion and the Church of England' hath not been conceal'd, or untaken notice of in the World: so he is not, nor ever will be so solicitous for the settling his own Revenue, or providing any other Expedients for the Peace and Tranquillity of the Kingdom, as for the Advancement and Improvement of the Religion establish'd, and for the using and applying all proper and effectual Remedies to hinder the growth of Popery; both which he doth in truth look upon as the best Expedient to establish the Peace and Prosperity of all his Kingdoms.'

The King's Revenue taken into Consideration.

The House proceeded next, to take the State of the Revenue into Consideration; and found upon Enquiry, according to the Account made by (fn. 2) Sir Philip Warwick, That the Whole did not amount to quite 1,100,000 l. But while they were thus employ'd, his Majesty, by a Message, demanded their Attendance at Whitehall, where he received them with the following Speech:

The King's Speech to the Commons alone.

'Mr. Speaker, and you Gentlemen of the House of Commons,

I Have sent for you this Day to communicate with you, as good Friends ought to do, when they discover the least Jealousy growing, which may lessen their Confidence in each other. It is a Freedom very necessary to be used between me and you: And you may all remember, That when there was lately a little Jealousy amongst you, upon somewhat I had said or done, I made all the haste I could to give you Satisfaction; for which you all return'd me your hearty Thanks; and were, I think, satisfy'd. Gentlemen, it is in no Man's power, no not in your own power, to make me suspect, or in the least degree imagine it possible, That your Affections and Kindness is lessen'd or diminish'd towards me. I know very well, That the People did never in any Age use that Vigilance and Circumspection in the Election of Persons of known and try'd Affections to the Crown, of your good Principles, and unquestionable Inclinations to the Peace of the Church and the State, for their Representatives in Parliament, as they did when they chose you. You are the very same Men, who at your first coming together, gave such signal Testimonies of your Affection and Friendship to my Person, of your Zeal for the Honour and Dignity of the Crown, and liberal Support of the Government, and of your Horror and Detestation of those Men, whose Principles you discern'd keep them awake to take all Occasions to disturb the Peace of the Kingdom, and to embroil us in a new Civil War; which is as much their Endeavour now as ever, and it may be not enough abhorr'd by others, whose Principles and Ends are very different from them. You are the same Men, who, at your first Meeting, by a wonderful and chearful Harmony and Concurrence in whatsoever I could wish, gave me Reputation abroad and Security at home, made our Neighbours solicitous for our Friendship, and set a just Value upon it. And, trust me, such a Reputation is of such a vast Importance, as made my evil Subjects even despair of bringing their wicked Purposes to pass. And is it possible that the same Persons can continue the same together, without the same Affection for Me? I am sure it is impossible!

'And yet, I must tell you, the Reputation I had from your Concurrence and Tenderness towards me is not at all improv'd since the Beginning of this Session: Indeed it is much lessen'd. And I am sure I never stood in more need of that Reputation than at present, to carry me through the many Difficulties, in which the Public is at least concern'd, as much as myself. Let Me and You think never so well of ourselves, if all the World knows or believes that we are poor, that we are in Extremity of Want, if our Friends think we can do them no Good, or our Enemies believe we can do them no harm, our Condition is far from being prosperous.' You cannot take it amiss (you shall use as much Freedom with me) That I tell you there hath not appeared that Warmth in you of late in the Consideration of my Revenue, as I expected, as well from some of your Messages, as my own Confidence in your Care and Kindness. It hath been said to myself, That it is usual for the Parliament to give the Crown extraordinary Supplies upon emergent Occasions, but not to improve the constant Revenue of the Crown. I wish, and so do you, that nothing had lately been done in and by Parliaments but what is usual: But if ill Parliaments contrive the Ruin and Disinherison of the Crown, God forbid but good Parliaments should repair it, how unusual soever it is. If you yourselves had not in an extraordinary Manner improv'd my Revenne, the Government could not have been supported; and if it be not yet improv'd to the Proportion you have design'd, I cannot doubt but you will proceed in it with your old Alacrity. I am very well contented that you proceed in your Inspection; I know it will be to my Advantage, and that you will neither find my Receipts so great, nor my Expences so exorbitant, as you imagine: And for an Evidence of the last, I will give you an Account of the Issues of the twelve hundred thousand Pounds you so liberally gave me; one Penny whereof was not disposed but upon full Deliberation with myself, and by my own Order, and I think you will all say for the public Service. But, Gentlemen, this Inquisition cannot be finish'd in the short Time we can now conveniently stay together: And yet if you do not provide before we part, for the better Paying and Collecting what you have already given me, you can hardly presume what it will amount to: and if you do not support what you have already given me by some Addition, you will quickly see lawful Ways found to lessen the Revenue more than you imagine: And therefore I cannot but expect your Wisdoms will seasonably and speedily provide a Remedy for that growing Mischief. Believe me, Gentlemen, the most disaffected Subjects in England are not more unwilling to pay any Tax or Imposition you lay upon them, than I am to receive it: God knows I do not long more for any Blessing in this World, than that I may live to call a Parliament, and not ask or receive any Money from them; I will do all I can to see that happy Day. I know the vast Burdens the Kingdom hath borne these last twenty Years and more; that it is exceedingly impoverish'd: But, alas! What will that which is left do them good, if the Government cannot be supported; if I am not able to defray the Charge that is necessary for their Peace and Security? I must deal plainly with you (and I do but discharge my Conscience in that Plainness) if you do not, besides the improving my Revenue in the Manner I have recommended to you, give me some present Supply of Money to enable me to struggle with those Difficulties I am press'd with, I shall have a very melancholic Summer, and shall much apprehend the public Quiet.

'You have heard, I presume, of the late Design in Ireland for the Surprize of the Castle of Dublin, which was spread all over that Kingdom, and many Parliament-Men were engag'd in it. There is an absolute Necessity that I forthwith send over a Sum of Money thither, for the Payment of the Army, and putting the Gartisons there in good order. You will not doubt but that those seditious Persons there, had a Correspondence with their Friends here: And I pray let us not be too careless of them. I assure you, I have so great Occasion for Money here, which my Revenue cannot supply me with, that I every day omit the doing somewhat that is very necessary for the public Benefit. These sure are just Motives to persuade you to give me a Supply, as ever mov'd a House of Commons. And therefore I conjure you to go chearfully about it, and let me not be disappointed in my Confidence of your Affections: And I pray remember the Season of the Year; and how necessary it is that we make a Recess at or about Midsummer. I have enlarg'd much more to you upon this Occasion than I have used to do; and you may perceive it hath not been very easy to me: But I was willing that you should understand from myself what I desire, and expect from you: and the rather, because I hear some Men have confidently undertaken to know my Mind, who have had no Authority from me, and to drive on Designs very contrary to my Desires. I do pray heartily that the Effect of this Day's Conversation may be the renewing of our Confidence in each other, and raising our joint Reputation, which will be our strongest Security, with God's Blessing, the Kingdom can have for its Peace, Plenty and full Prosperity: And upon my Word, you shall have great Comfort in what you shall do for me, upon this very earnest and hearty Recommendation.'

Four Subsidies voted. ; The Speaker's Speech to the King at the Prorogation.

This Speech did not fail of its desir'd Effect: The House gave way to the King's Rhetoric, and soon after, voted him four Subsidies. The Business of the Session being now over, his Majesty repair'd to the House of Peers, and the Speaker having presented the Bills which were ready for the royal Assent, accompanied them with the following Speech: 'The Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses of the Commons House of Parliament, have, since their last Meeting, in many weighty and arduous Affairs presented your Majesty with their humble Advice; which with all Thankfulness they acknowledge, never wanted a most gracious Reception. Never any Prince did so freely commune with his People, and never any People did with more Joy and Duty commemorate their Happiness. The last Session of Parliament our Care was chiefly to secure the Being of this Nation under our ancient, happy, monarchical Government: This Session we have endeavour'd to advance the Peace and Wellbeing both of Church and State. Material Structures are best secured by deep Foundations in the Earth; but the Foundations of true Happiness are from above: We have therefore in the first Place perused the Laws, which enjoin the Observation of the Lord's-Day, and where we found any Defect either in the Rules or Penalties, we have with great Care supply'd them; well knowing, That he who doth not remember on the first Day of the Week to observe a Christian Sabbath, will hazard, before the Week comes round, to forget he is a Christian.—At the Opening of this Session, your Majesty was most graciously pleased to call upon us to prepare some Laws for the Prevention of the Growth of Popery; and we have heartily labour'd therein, both to prevent the Growth of Popery, and all forts of Sectaries and Nonconformists: But as the rankest Corn, and the fullest Ears are aptest to be laid; so fares it in this matter, these Fruits are not yet ready for the Harvest. But we are confident, by the Wisdom of your Majesty's Government, and the Readiness of your faithful Subjects to support it, by the just and true Execution of the Laws, these Persons will either be persuaded to Conformity, or forc'd into a peaceable and orderly Conversation.' Then, in the Name of the Commons of England, praying for one Proclamation against Papists, Sectaries, and Nonconformists; and another against Profaneness, Debauchery, and Licentiousness, he proceeded thus: 'And for the better securing the Peace of the Nation against the united Counsels of all the Dissenters to our Religion, and establish'd Discipline, we have prepared an additional Bill for the ordering the Forces of the Kingdom; whereby your Majesty's Lieutenants, and the Deputy-Lieutenants, will be enabled to train, discipline, and keep together such a Party as will be able to prevent Disorders, and sufficient to check any Insurrections, till the great Body of the Militia can come in to their Assistance. During the late unhappy Wars in this Nation, our Neighbours Eyes were open to spy out all Advantages of spoiling our Trade, and to advance their own; but by the several good Bills here made ready for your Majesty's royal Assent, we hope we shall restore and encrease the flourishing Trade of this Nation. Great Sir, I have but one Word more, and that is by Command from your Majesty's loyal and dutiful Subjects, the Commons of England: They have duly consider'd the present unsettled Condition of this Nation, and the great Expence which must attend such Distractions: and do humbly beseech your Majesty to accept an Aid from them, consisting of four entire Subsidies; two of which are to be paid by the first of November next, and the other two by the first of May next following.

Upon the finishing of this, and passing some Bills, of which several were not expresly mentioned by the Speaker, the King made the following Speech to both Houses:

The King's Speech to both Houses.

'My Lords and Gentlemen,

I Thank you for the Present you have made me this Day; I hope your Countries will thank you when you come home for having done it. I am not conscious of having brought the Streights and Necessities I am in upon myself, by any Improvidence or Ill-husbandry of my own: I know the contrary, and I assure you, I would not have desir'd, or receiv'd the Supply you have given me, if it were not absolutely necessary for the Peace and Quiet of the Kingdom, as well as mine: And I must tell you, it will do me very little Good, if I do not improve it by very good Husbandry of my own; and by retrenching those very Expences, (which in many respects may be thought necessary enough.) But you shall see I will much rather impose upon myself, than you my Subjects; and if all Men will follow my Example in retrenching their Expences, (which it may be they may do with much more Conveniency than I can do mine) the Kingdom will in a very short time gain what you have given me this Day. I am very glad you are now going into your several Countries, where your Presence will do much Good: And I hope your Vigilance and Authority will prevent those Disturbances, which the restless Spirits of ill and unquiet Men will be always contriving, and of which I assure you they promise themselves some Effects this Summer. There have been more Pains and unusual Ways taken to kindle the old fatal Fears and Jealousies, than I thought I should ever have liv'd to have seen, at least to have seen so countenanc'd. I do desire you, and conjure you, my Lords and Gentlemen, to watch this evil Spirit and Temper with your utmost Care and Prudence, and secure the Persons of those whom you find possess'd with it, That the Peace of the Kingdom may not be sacrific'd to their Pride, Humour and Madness.

'I did expect to have had some Bills presented unto me against the several Distempers in Religion, against seditious Conventicles, and against the Growth of Popery: But it may be you have been in some fear of those Contradictions in Religion in some Conspiracy against the public Peace, to which I doubt Men of the most contrary Motives in Conscience are inclinable enough. I do promise you to lay this Business, and the Mischiefs which must flow from these Licences, to heart; and if I live to meet with you again, as I hope I shall, I will myself take care to present two Bills to you to that end. And as I have already given it in charge to the Judges, in their several Circuits, to use their utmost endeavours to prevent and punish the scandalous and seditious Meetings of Sectaries, and to convict the Papists; so I will be as watchful, and take all the pains I can, that neither the one nor the other shall disturb the Peace of the Kingdom. I shall not need to desire you to use all diligence in levying and collecting the Subsidies you have given me, and heartily wish the distribution may be made with all Equality and Justice, and without any Animosity or Faction, or remembring any thing that hath been done in the late ill Times; which you know we are all oblig'd to forget, as well as to forgive. And indeed till we have dene so, we can never be in perfect Peace; and therefore I can never put you too much in mind of it. I think it necessary to make this a Session, that so the Current of Justice may run the next two Terms, without any obstruction by privilege of Parliament: And therefore I shall prorogue you till March, when I doubt not but by God's Blessing we shall meet again, to our joint Satisfaction; and that you shall have cause to thank me for what I shall have done in the Interval.'


  • 1. Afterwards Attorney-General, Lord-Chancellor, and created Earl of Nottingham.
  • 2. Clerk of the Signet.