Journal of the House of Commons: Volume 1, 1547-1629. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1802.
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Die Jovis, 22o Martii, 1603
House attends the King.
THIS Day the Speaker Elect, with a great Number of the Commons, returned again to the usual Place, and did there repose themselves, until his Highness, being ascended his Royal Throne in the Upper House, did send unto them; which about Two a Clock in the Afternoon, he was pleased to do; and Mr. Speaker, with the rest of the Commons, coming into the King's Presence, his Majesty took occasion to repeat the Effect of his former Speech delivered the first Day, with Excuse of the Mistaking upon Monday precedent.
His Majesty's Speech was to this Effect:
[a] IT did no sooner please God to lighten his Hand, and relent the Violence of his devouring Angel against the poor People of this City, but as soon did I resolve to call this Parliament; and that for Three chief and principal Reasons: The First whereof is (and which of itself, although there were no more, is not only a sufficient, but a most full and necessary Ground and Reason for Convening of this Assembly) this First Reason, I say, is, that you, who are here presently assembled, to represent the Body of this whole Kingdom, and of all Sorts of People within the same, may with your own Ears hear, and that I out of Mine own Mouth may deliver unto you, the Assurance of My due Thankfulness for your so joyful and general Applause to the Declaring and Receiving of Me in this Seat, which God, by my Birthright and lineal Descent, had in the Fulness of Time provided for me; and that immediately after it pleased God to call your late Sovereign, of famous Memory, full of Days, but fuller of immortal Trophies of Honour, out of this transitory Life: Not that I am able to express by Words, or utter by Eloquence, the Vive-image of Mine inward Thankfulness ; but only, that out of Mine own Mouth you may rest assured to expect that Measure of Thankfulness at My Hands, which is according to the Infiniteness of your Deserts, and to My Inclination and Ability for Requital of the same. Shall I ever, nay can I ever, be able, or rather so unable in Memory, as to forget your unexpected Readiness and Alacrity, your ever-memorable Resolution, and your most wonderful Conjunction and Harmony of your Hearts, in declaring and embracing Me as your undoubted and lawful King and Governor? Or shall it ever be blotted out of My Mind, how, at My first Entry into this Kingdom, the People of all Sorts rid, and ran, nay, rather flew, to meet Me; their Eyes flaming nothing but Sparkles of Affection ; their Mouths and Tongues uttering nothing but Sounds of Joy; their Hands, Feet, and all the rest of their Members, in their Gestures, discovering a passionate Longing and Earnestness to meet and embrace their new Sovereign ? Quid ergo retribuam? Shall I allow in Myself that, which I could never bear with in another ? No, I must plainly and freely confess here, in all your Audiences, that I did ever naturally so far mislike a Tongue too smooth and diligent in paying their Creditors with Lip-payment, and verbal Thanks, as I ever suspected that Sort of People meant not to pay their Debtors [b] in more substantial Sort of Coin : And therefore, for expressing of my Thankfulness, I must resort unto the other Two Reasons of My Convening of this Parliament, by them in Action to utter My Thankfulness ; both the said Reasons having but One Ground, which is the Deeds, whereby, all the Days of My Life, I am, by God's Grace, to express my said Thankfulness toward you; but divided in this; that, in the First of these Two, Mine Actions of Thanks are so inseparably conjoined with My Person, as they are in a manner become individually annexed to the same; in the other Reason, Mine Actions are such, as I may either do them, or leave them undone; although, by God's Grace, I hope never to be weary of the Doing of them.
As to the First, it is the Blessings, which God hath in My Person bestowed upon you all; wherein, I protest, I do more glory at the same for your Weal, than for any particular Respect of Mine own Reputation or Advantage therein.
The first then of these Blessings, which God hath jointly with My Person sent unto you, is outward Peace, that is, Peace abroad with all foreign Neighbours: For, I thank God, I may justly say, that never since I was a King, I either received Wrong of any other Christian Prince or State, or did Wrong to any. I have ever, I praise God, yet kept Peace and Amity with all; which hath been so far tied to My Person, as, at My coming here, you are Witnesses, I found the State embarqued in a great and tedious War; and only by Mine Arrival here, and by the Peace of My Person, is now Amity kept, where War was before; which is no small Blessing to a Christian Commonwealth: For, by Peace abroad with their Neighbours, the Towns flourish, the Merchants become rich, the Trade doth increase, and the People of all Sorts of the Land enjoy free Liberty to exercise themselves in their several Vocations, without Peril, or Disturbance. Not that I think this outward Peace so unseparably tied to My Person, as I dare assuredly promise to Myself, and to you, the certain Continuance thereof; but thus far I can very well assure you, and in the Word of a King promise unto you, that I shall never give the first Occasion of the Breach thereof, neither shall I ever be moved for any particular or private Passion of Mind, to interrupt your publick Peace, except I be forced thereunto, either for Reparation of the Honour of the Kingdom, or else by Necessity, for the Weal and Preservation of the same; in which Case, a secure and honourable War must be preferred to an unsecure and dishonourable Peace : Yet do I hope, by My Experience of the by-past Blessings of Peace which God hath so long ever since My Birth bestowed upon Me, that he will not be weary to continue the same, nor repent him of his Grace towards Me; transferring that Sentence of King David's upon his by-past Victories of War, to Mine of Peace, that That God, who preserved Me from the devouring Jaws of the Bear and of the Lion, and delivered them into my Hands, shall now also grant Me Victory over that uncircumcised Philistine. But although outward Peace be a great Blessing; yet it is as far inferior to Peace within, as civil Wars are more cruel and unnatural than Wars abroad. And therefore the second great Blessing, that God hath, with my Person, sent unto you, is Peace within; and that in a double Form : First, by My Descent lineally out of the Loins of Henry the Seventh, is
reunited and confirmed in Me the Union of the Two princely Roses of the Two Houses of Lancaster and York, whereof that King, of happy Memory, was the first Uniter, as he was also the first Groundlayer of the other Peace. The lamentable and miserable Events, by the civil and bloody Dissension betwixt these two Houses, was so great and so late, as it need not be renewed unto your Memories; which, as it was first settled and united in him, so it is now reunited and confirmed in Me, being justly and lineally descended, not only of that happy Conjunction, but of both the Branches thereof, many times before. But the Union of these Two princely Houses is nothing comparable to the Union of Two ancient and famous Kingdoms; which is the other inward Peace annexed to My Person. And here I must crave your Patiences for a little Space, to give me Leave to discourse more particularly of the Benefits that do arise of that Union, which is made in My Blood; being a Matter, that most properly belongeth unto Me to speak of, as the Head, wherein that great Body is united.
And, first, if we were to look no higher than to natural and physical Reasons, we may easily be persuaded of the great Benefits, that, by That Union, do redound to the whole Island: For, if Twenty thousand Men be a strong Army, is not the double thereof, Forty thousand, a double the stronger Army? If a Baron enricheth himself with double as many Lands as he had before, is he not double the greater? Nature teacheth us, that Mountains are made of Motes; and that, at the first, Kingdoms being divided, and every particular Town or little County, as Tyrants or Usurpers could obtain the Possession, a Seignory apart, many of these little Kingdoms are now, in Process of Time, by the Ordinance of God, joined into great Monarchies; whereby they are become powerful within themselves, to defend themselves from all outward Invasions, and their Head and Governor thereby enabled to redeem them from foreign Assaults, and punish private Transgressions within. Do we not yet remember, that this Kingdom was divided into Seven little Kingdoms, besides Wales ? And is it not now the stronger by their Union ? And hath not the Union of Wales to England added a greater Strength thereto ? Which, tho' it was a great Principality, was nothing comparable, in Greatness and Power, to the ancient and famous Kingdom of Scotland. But what should we stick upon any natural Appearance, when it is manifest, that God, by his almighty Providence, hath pre-ordained it so to be ? Hath not God first united these Two Kingdoms both in Language, Religion, and Similitude of Manners? Yea, hath he not made us all in One Island, compassed with One Sea, and of itself by Nature so indivisible, as almost those that were Borderers themselves on the late Borders, cannot distinguish, nor know or discern their own Limits? These Two Countries being separated neither by Sea nor great River, Mountain, nor other Strength of Nature, but only by little small Brooks, or demolished little Walls; so as rather they were divided in Apprehension than in Effect, and now, in the End and Fulness of Time, united, the Right and Title of both in My Person, alike lineally descended of both the Crowns; whereby it is now become like a little World within itself, being intrenched and fortified round about with a natural, and yet admirable, strong Pond or Ditch, whereby all the former Fears of this Nation are now quite cut off; the other Part of the Island being ever, before now, not only the Place of Landing to all Strangers, that were to make Invasion here, but likewise moved by the Enemies of this State, by untimely Incursions, to make enforced Diversion from their Conquests, for defending themselves at home, and keeping sure their Back-door, as then it was called; which was the greatest Hindrance and Lett, that ever My Predecessors of this Nation gat, in disturbing them from their many famous and glorious Conquests abroad. What God hath conjoined then, let no Man separate. I am the Husband, and all the whole Isle is My lawful Wife: I am the Head, and it is My Body: I am the Shepherd, and it is My Flock, I hope therefore, no Man will be so unreasonable, as to think that I, that am a Christian King under-the Gospel, should be a Polygamist, and Husband to Two Wives; that I, being the Head, should have a divided and monstrous Body; or that, being the Shepherd to so fair a Flock, whose Fold hath no Wall to hedge it, but the Four Seas, should have my Flock parted in Two. But as I am assured, that no honest Subject, of whatsoever Degree, within my whole Dominions, is less glad of this joyful Union than I am; so may the frivolous Objection of any, that would be Hinderers of this Work, which God hath, in My Person, already established, be easily answered ; which can be none, except such as are either blinded with Ignorance, or else transported with Malice, being unable to live in a well-governed Commonwealth, and only delighting to fish in troubled Waters: For, if they would stand upon their Reputation, and Privileges of any of the Kingdoms, I pray you, was not both the Kingdoms Monarchies from the Beginning? and, consequently, could ever the Body be counted without the Head, which was ever unseparably joined thereunto ? So that as Honour and Privileges of any of the Kingdoms could not be divided from their Sovereign; so are they now confounded and joined in My Person, who am equal and like kindly Head to you both. When this Kingdom of England was divided into so many little Kingdoms, as I told before, One of them behoved to eat up another, till they were all united in One: And yet can Wiltshire, or Devonshire, which were of the West Saxons, although their Kingdom was of longest Durance, and did by Conquest overcome divers of the rest of the little Kingdoms, make claim to Priority of Place, or Honour, before Sussex, Essex, or other Shires, which were conquered by them ? And have we not the like Experience in the Kingdom of France, being composed of divers Duchies, and one after another conquered by the Sword? For, even as little Brooks lose their Names by their running and Fall into great Rivers, and the very Name and Memory of the great Rivers swallowed up in the Ocean; so, by the Conjunction of divers little Kingdoms in One, are all these private Differences and Questions swallowed up: And since the Success was happy, of the Saxons Kingdoms being conquered by the Spear of Bellona, how much greater Reason have we to expect a happy Issue of this greater Union, which is only fastened and bound up by the Wedding Ring of Astrea ? And as God hath made Scotland, the One Half of this Isle, to enjoy My Birth, and the first and most unperfect Half of My Life, and you here to enjoy the perfect and last Half thereof; so can I not think, that any would be so injurious to Me, no not in their Thoughts and Wishes as to cut asunder the One Half of Me from the other.
But in this Matter I have far enough insisted, resting assured, that, in your Hearts and Minds, you all applaud this My Discourse. Now although these Blessings before rehearsed, of inward and outward Peace, be great, yet seeing that, in all good things, a great Part of their Goodness and Estimation is lost, if they have not Appearance of Perpetuity, or long Continuance; so hath it pleased Almighty God to accompany My Person also with that Favour, having healthful and hopeful Issue of My Body (whereof some are here present) for Continuance and Propagation of that undoubted Right, which is in My Person; under whom, I doubt not, but it will please God to prosper and continue for many Years this Union, and all other Blessings of inward and outward Peace, which I have brought with me. But neither Peace outward, nor Peace inward, nor any other Blessings that can follow thereupon, nor Appearance of the Perpetuity thereof by Propagation in the Posterity, is but a weak Pillar, and a rotten Reed to lean unto, if God do not strengthen, and, by the Staff of his Blessing, make them durable: For in vain doth the Watchman watch the City if the Lord be not the principal Defence thereof: In vain doth the Builder build the House, if God give not the Success: And in vain, as Paul saith, doth Paul plant, and Apollo[a] water, if God give not the
Increase: For all worldly Blessings are but like swift-passing Shadows, fading Flowers, or Chaff blown before the Wind, if by the Profession of true Religion, and Works according thereunto, God be not moved to maintain and settle the Thrones of Princes. And although that, since Mine Entry into this Kingdom, I have, both by meeting with divers of the Ecclesiastical Estate, and likewise by divers Proclamations, clearly declared My Mind in Points of Religion; yet do I not think it amiss, in this so solemn an Audience, I should now take Occasion to discover somewhat of the Secrets of My Heart in that Matter: For I shall never, with God's Grace, be ashamed to make publick Profession thereof at all Occasions; lest God should be ashamed to profess and allow Me before Men and Angels; especially lest that, at this Time, Men might presume further, upon the Misknowledge of My Meaning, to trouble this Parliament of ours, than were convenient. At My first coming, although I found but One Religion, and that which by Myself is professed, publickly allowed, and by the Law maintained ; yet, found I another Sort of Religion besides, a private Sect, lurking within the Bowels of this Nation. The first is the true Religion, which by Me is professed, and by the Law is established : The second is the falsely called Catholicks, but truly Papists : The Third (which I called a Sect, rather than Religion) is the Puritans and Novelists, who do not so far differ from us in Points of Religion, as in their confused Form of Policy, and Parity; being ever discontented with the present Government, and impatient to suffer any Superiority; which maketh their Sect unable to be suffered in any well-governed Commonwealth : But as for My Course towards them, I remit it to My Proclamations made upon that Subject. And now for the Papists; I must put a Difference betwixt Mine own private Profession of Mine own Salvation, and My politick Government of the Realm, for the Weal and Quietness thereof. As for Mine own Profession, you have Me your Head, now amongst you, of the same Religion that the Body is of. As I am no Stranger to you in Blood, no more am I a Stranger to you in Faith, or in the Matters concerning the House of God: And although this My Profession be according to Mine Education (wherein, I thank God, I sucked the Milk of God's Truth with the Milk of My Nurse) yet do I here protest unto you, that I would never, for such a Conceit of Constancy, or other prejudicate Opinion, have so firmly kept My first Profession, if I had not found it agreeable to all Reason, and to the Rule of My Conscience: But I was never violent nor unreasonable in My Profession: I acknowledge the Roman Church to be our Mother Church, although denied with some Infirmities and Corruptions, as the Jews were, when they crucified Christ: And as I am none Enemy to the Life of a sick Man, because I would have his Body purged of ill Humours; no more am I Enemy to their Church, because I would have them reform their Errors; not wishing the down-throwing of the Temple, but that it might be purged and cleansed from Corruption; otherwise how can they wish us to enter, if their House be not first made clean ? But, as I would be lother to dispense, in the least Point of Mine own Conscience, for any worldly Respect, than the foolishest Precision of them all; so would I be as sorry to straight the Politick Government of the Bodies and Minds of all My Subjects to My private Opinions : Nay, My Mind was ever so free from Persecution, or Thralling of My Subjects in Matters of Conscience, as, I hope, that those of that Profession, within this Kingdom, have a Proof, since My coming, that I was so far from Increasing their Burdens with Rehoboam, as I have, so much as either Time, Occasion, or Law could permit, lightened them; and even now, at this Time, have I been careful to revise, and consider deeply upon, the Laws made against them, that some Overture may be proponed to the present Parliament, for clearing these Laws by Reason (which is the Soul of the Law) in case they have been, in Times past, further or more rigorously extended by Judges, than the Meaning of the Law was, or might tend to the Hurt as well of the Innocent as of guilty Persons. And as to the Persons of My Subjects, which are of that Profession, I must divide them into two Ranks; Clericks, and Laicks: For the Part of the Laicks, certainly I ever thought them far more excusable than the other Sort; because that Sort of Religion containeth such an ignorant, doubtful, and implicit Kind of Faith in the Laicks, grounded upon their Church, as, except they do generally believe whatsoever their Teachers please to affirm, they cannot be thought guilty of these particular Points of Heresies and Corruptions, which their Teachers do so wilfully profess: And again, I must subdivide the same Laicks into Two Ranks; that is, either quiet and well-minded Men, peaceable Subjects, who either, being old, have retained their first drunken-in Liquor, upon a certain Shamefastness to be thought curious or changeable; or, being young Men, through evil Education have never been nursed, or brought up, but upon such Venom, in place of wholsome Nutriment: And that Sort of People, I would be sorry to punish their Bodies for the Error of their Minds, the Reformation whereof must only come of God and the true Spirit: But the other Rank of Laicks, who, either through Curiosity, Affectation of Novelty, or Discontentment in their private Humours, have changed their Coats, only to be factious Stirrers of Sedition, and Perturbers of the Commonwealth, their Backwardness in their Religion giveth a Ground to Me the Magistrate, to take the better heed to their Proceeding, and to correct their Obstinacy. But, for the Part of the Clericks, I must directly say and affirm, that, as long as they maintain One special Point of their Doctrine, and another Point of their Practice, they are no way sufferable to remain in this Kingdom: Their Point of Doctrine is that arrogant and ambitious Supremacy of their Head the Pope, whereby he not only claims to be spiritual Head of all Christians, but also to have an Imperial Civil Power over all Kings and Emperors, dethroning and decrowning Princes with his Foot, as pleaseth him, and Dispensing and Disposing of all Kingdoms and Empires at his Appetite. The other Point, which they observe in continual Practice, is the Assassinates and Murthers of Kings; thinking it no Sin, but rather a Matter of Salvation, to do all Actions of Rebellion and Hostility against their natural Sovereign Lord, if he be once cursed, his Subjects discharged of their Fidelity, and his Kingdom given a Prey by that Three-crowned Monarch, or rather Monster, their Head. And in this Point I have no Occasion to speak further here, saving, that I could wish from My Heart, that it would please God to make Me One of the Members of such a general Christian Union in Religion, as, laying Wilfulness aside on both Hands, we might meet in the Midst, which is the Center and Perfection of all Things: For, if they would leave and be ashamed of such new and gross Corruptions of theirs, as themselves cannot maintain, nor deny to be worthy of Reformation, I would, for Mine own Part, be content to meet them in the. Midway, so that all Novelties might be renounced on either Side: For as my Faith is the true ancient catholick and apostolick Faith, grounded upon the Scriptures and express Word of God; so will I ever yield all Reverence to Antiquity in the Points of ecclesiastical Policy; and by that means shall I ever, with God's Grace, keep Myself from being either an Heretick in Faith, or Schismatick in Matters of Policy. But of One thing would I have the Papists of this Land to be admonished, that they presume not too much upon My Lenity (because I would be loth to be thought a Persecutor) as thereupon to think it lawful for them daily to increase their Number and Strength in this Kingdom; whereby, if not in My Time, at least in the Time of My Posterity, they might be in hope to erect their Religion again: No, let them assure themselves, that, as I am a Friend to their Persons, if they be good Subjects, so am I a vowed Enemy, and do denounce mortal war to their Errors ; and that, as I would be sorry to be driven, by their ill Behaviour, from the Protection and Conservation of their
Bodies and Lives; so will I never cease, so far as I can, to tread down their Errors and wrong Opinions : For I could not permit the Increase and Growing of their Religion, without first Betraying of Myself, and Mine own Conscience ; secondly, this whole Isle, as well the Part I am come from, as the Part I remain in, in betraying their Liberties, and reducing them to the former slavish Yoke, which both had casten off before I came amongst them ; and thirdly, the Liberty of the Crown in My Posterity, which I should leave again under a new Slavery, having found it left free to Me by My Predecessors. And therefore would I wish all good Subjects, that are deceived with that Corruption, first, if they find any Beginning of Instinction in themselves of Knowledge and Love to the Truth, to foster the same by all lawful Means, and to beware of quenching the Spirit, that worketh within them; and if they can find as yet no Motion tending that Way, to be studious, and to read, and confer with learned Men, and to use all such Means as may further their Resolution; assuring themselves, that as long as they are disconformable in Religion from us, they cannot be but half My Subjects, be able to do but half Service, and I to want the best half of them, which is their Souls. And here have I occasion to speak to you, my Lords the Bishops: For as you, my Lord of Durham, said very learnedly Today in your Sermon, Correction without Instruction is but Tyranny ; so ought you, and all the Clergy under you, to be more careful, vigilant, and diligent, than you have been, to win Souls to God, as well by your exemplary Life, as Doctrine; and since you see how careful they are, sparing neither Labour, Pains, nor extreme Peril of their Persons, to divert (the Devil is so busy a Bishop) ye should be the more careful and wakeful in your Charges; following the Rule prescribed you by St. Paul, " Be careful to exhort, and to instruct, in Season, and out of Season;" and where you have been any way sluggish before, now waken yourselves up again, with a new Diligence in this Point; remitting the Success to God, who calling them either at the Second, Third, Tenth, or Twelfth Hour, as they are alike welcome to him, so shall they be to Me his Lieutenant here.
The Third Reason of My Convening of you at this Time, which containeth such Actions of my Thankfulness towards you, as I may either do, or leave undone, yet shall, with God's Grace, ever press to perform all the Days of my Life; it consists in these Two Points; in Making of Laws at certain Times, which is only at such Times as this in Parliament; or in the careful Execution thereof at all other Times. As for the Making of them, I will thus far faithfully promise unto you, that I will ever prefer the Weal of the Body, and of the whole Commonwealth, in Making of good Laws and Constitutions, to any particular or private Ends of Mine; thinking ever the Wealth and Weal of the Commonwealth to be My greatest Weal and worldly Felicity : A Point, wherein a lawful King doth directly differ from a Tyrant. But at this Time I am only thus far to forewarn you in that Point, that you beware to seek the making of too many Laws, for Two special Reasons: First, because in corruptissima Republica, plurimae Leges; and the Execution of good Laws is far more profitable in a Commonwealth, than to burden Men's Memories with the Making of too many of them : And next, because the Making of too many Laws in One Parliament will bring in Confusion, for Lack of Leisure wisely to deliberate before you conclude: For the Bishop said well to-day. That to Deliberation would a large Time be given, but to Execution a greater Promptness was required. As for the Execution of good Laws, it hath been very wisely and honourably foreseen and ordered by My Predecessors in this Kingdom, in planting such, a Number of Judges, and all Sorts of Magistrates, in convenient Places, for the Execution of the same.
And therefore must I now turn Me to you, that are Judges and Magistrates under Me, as Mine Eyes and Ears in this Case. I can say none otherwise to you, than as Ezekias, the good King of Juda, said to their Judges,
Remember, that the Thrones you sit on, are God's and neither yours nor Mine; and that as you must be answerable to Me, so must both you and I be answerable to God, for the due Execution of our Offices. That Place is no Place for you to utter your Affections in : You must not there hate your Foe, nor love your Friend; fear the Offence of the greater Party, or pity the Misery of the meaner: Ye must be blind and not see Distinctions of Persons; handless, not to receive Brides, but keep that just Temper and mid-Course in all your Proceedings, that like a just Balance, ye may neither sway to the Right nor Left Hand. Three principal Qualities are required in. you; Knowledge, Courage, and Sincerity; that you may discern with Knowledge, execute with Courage, and do both in upright Sincerity. And as for my Part, I do vow and protest here, in the Presence of God, and of this honourable Audience, I never shall be weary, nor omit no Occasion, wherein I may shew My Carefulness of the Execution of good Laws; and as I wish you, that are Judges, not to be weary in your Office, in Doing of it; so shall I never be weary, with God's Grace, to take Account of you; which is properly My Calling.
And thus having told you the Three Causes of My Convening of this Parliament, all Three tending only to utter my Thankfulness, but in divers Forms; the first by Word, the other Two by Action; I do confess, that when I have done and performed all that in this Speech I have promised, inutilis Servus sum: Inutile, because the Meaning of the Word inutilis, in that Place of Scripture, is understood, that in doing all that Service, which we can, to God, it is but our Due ; and we do nothing to God, but that, which we are bound to do; and in like Manner, when I have done all that I can for you, I do nothing but that, which I am bound to do, and am accountable to God upon the contrary: For I do acknowledge, that the special and greatest Point of Difference, that is betwixt a rightful King, and an usurping Tyrant, is in this; that whereas the proud and ambitious Tyrant doth think his Kingdom and People are only ordained for Satisfaction of his Desires and unreasonable Appetites; the righteous and just King doth by the contrary acknowlege himself to be ordained for the Procuring of the Wealth and Prosperity of his People, and that his greatest and principal worldly Felicity must consist in their Prosperity. If you be rich, I cannot be poor; if you be happy, I cannot but be fortunate [a]: And I protest, that your Welfare shall ever be My greatest Care and Contentment. And that I am a Servant is most true; that as I am Head and Governor of all the People in my Dominions, who are my natural Vassals and Subjects, considering them in Numbers, and distinct Ranks; so if we will take the whole People as One Body and Mass, then, as the Head is ordained for the Body, and not the Body for the Head ; so must a righteous King know himself to be ordained for his People, and not his People for him : For although a King and People be Relata, yet can he be no King, if he want People and Subjects. But there be many People in the World that lack a Head: Wherefore I will never be ashamed to confess it My principal Honour to be the great Servant of the Commonwealth, and ever think the Prosperity thereof to be My greatest Felicity, as I have already said. But as it was the whole Body of this Kingdom, with an uniform Assent and Harmony, as I told you in the Beginning of my Speech, which did so far oblige Me in Good-will and Thankfulness of Requital, by their Alacrity and Readiness in declaring and receiving Me to that Place, which God had provided for Me, and not any particular Persons (for then it had not been the Body) so is My Thankfulness due to the whole State: For, even as in Matter of Faults, Quod a multis peccatur, impune peccatur; even so in the Matter of virtuous and good Deeds, what is done by the willing Consent and Harmony of the whole Body, no particular Person can justly claim Thanks, as proper to him for the same. And therefore I must here make a little Apo-
logy for Myself, in that I could not satisfy the particular Humours of every Person, that looked for some Advancement or Reward at My Hand, since My Entry into this Kingdom.
Three Kind of Things were craved of Me; Advancement to Honour, Preferment to Place of Credit about My Person, and Reward in Matters of Land or Profit. If I had bestowed Honour upon all, no Man could have been advanced to Honour; for the Degrees of Honour do consist in preferring some above their Fellows : If every Man had the like Access to My Privy or Bed-chamber, then no Man could have it, because it cannot contain all; and if I had bestowed Lands and Rewards upon every Man, the Fountain of my Liberality would be so exhausted and dried, as I should lack Means to be liberal to any Man : And yet was I not so sparing, but I may, without vaunting, affirm, that I have enlarged My Favour in all Three Degrees towards as many, and more, than ever King of England did in so short a Space. No, I rather crave your Pardon, that I have been so bountiful; for if the Means of the Crown be wasted, I behoved then to have recourse to you My Subjects, and be burdensome to you, which I would be lothest to be of any King alive: For as it is true, that, as I have already said, it was a whole Body, which did so well deserve at My Hand, and not every particular Person of the People; yet were there some, who, by reason of their Office, Credit with the People, or otherwise, took Occasion, both before and at the Time of my coming among you, to give Proof of their Love and Affection towards Me: Not that I am any way in Doubt, that if other of My Subjects had been in their Places, and had had the like Occasion, but they would have uttered the like good Effects (so general and so great were the Love and Affection of you all towards Me) but yet, this having been performed by some special Persons, I could not, without Unthankfulness, but requite them accordingly: And therefore had I just Occasion to advance some in Honour, some in Places of Service about Me, and by rewarding, to enable some, who had deserved well of Me, and were not otherwise able, to maintain the Ranks I thought them capable of: and others, who, although they had not particularly deserved before, yet I found them capable and worthy of Place of Preferment and Credit, and not able to sustain those Places, for which I thought them fit, without my Help.
Two special Causes moved Me to be so open-handed; whereof the One was reasonable and honourable, but the other, I will not be ashamed to confess unto you, proceeded of Mine own Infirmity : That, which was just and honourable, was, that being so far beholden to the Body of the whole State, I thought I could not refuse to let run some small Brooks out of the Fountain of My Thankfulness to the Whole, for Refreshing of particular Persons, that were Members of that Multitude; the other, which proceeded out of mine own Infirmity, was the Multitude and Importunity of Suitors. But although Reason come by Infusion, in a manner, yet Experience groweth with Time and Labour; and therefore do I not doubt, but Experience in Time coming will both teach the particular Subjects of this Kingdom not to be so importune and indiscreet in craving, and Me not to be so easily and lightly moved in granting that, which may be harmful to My Estate, and consequently to the whole Kingdom.
And thus having at length declared unto you My Mind in all the Points, for which I called this Parliament, My Conclusion shall only now be to excuse Myself, in case you have not found such Eloquence in my Speech, as peradventure you might have looked for at My Hands. I might, if I list, allege the great Weight of My Affairs, and My continual Business and Distraction, that I could never have Leisure to think upon what I was to speak, before I came to the Place where I was to speak; and I might also allege, that My first Sight of this so famous and honourable an Assembly might likewise breed some Impediment: But, leaving these Excuses, I will plainly and freely, in My Manner, tell you the true Cause of it; which is, that it becometh a King, in my Opinion, to use no other Eloquence than Plainness and Sincerity : By Plainness I mean, that his Speeches should be so clear, and void of all Ambiguity, that they may not be thrown nor rent asunder in contrary Senses, like the old Oracles of the Pagan Gods; and by Sincerity I understand that Uprightness and Honesty, which ought to be in a King's whole Speeches and Actions ; that as far as a King is in Honour erected above any of his Subjects, so far should he strive in Sincerity to be above them all; and that his Tongue should be ever the true Messenger of his Heart: And this Sort of Eloquence may you ever assuredly look for at My Hands.
Mr. Speaker's Speech to the King.
His Majesty's Speech ended, Mr. Speaker, with an eloquent Oration on the Commons Behalf, and his own presented himself to his Majesty : The Heads of which Speech were as followeth, viz.
" Most renowned, and of all other most worthy to be admired Sovereign: As the supreme and all-powerful King of Heaven hath created Man to govern his Works, so did he depute terrestrial Kings, in whom his Image was, to govern Men ; but yet so, as still to think, that they themselves are but Men : And to that End adorned them with Three Imperial Ensigns of Honour; a Crown, a Scepter, and a Sword; commanding to the Crown Reverence, to the Scepter Obedience, and to the Sword Fear: Wherewith, in his divine Distribution of Kings and Kingdoms, he hath magnified and invested Your sacred Person, in the Imperial Throne of this most victorious and happy Nation, wherein You now do, and Nestor like, long may, sit; not as a Conqueror, by the Sword, but as an undoubted Inheritor, by the Scepter; not as a Stepfather, by Match or Alliance, but as a true tender Father, by Descent of Nature, to whom we Your Children are truly naturalized in our Subjection, and from whom in our Loyalty we expect unto us a Paternal Protection: The Ark of Government of which Kingdom hath ever been steered by the Laws of the same; and these distributed to the Jurisdiction of several Courts of Justice ; the Commanding and Imperial Court whereof is this Your Majesty's Great and High Court of Parliament ; by whose Power only new Laws are to be instituted, imperfect Laws reformed, and inconvenient Laws abrogated; whose Justice therein is such, and so absolute, that no such Laws can either be instituted, reformed, or abrogated, but by the Unity of the Commons Agreement, the Lords Accord, and Your Majesty's Royal and Regal Assent; only to Your Highness' Prerogative Nullity, by your own Disassent to their Conclusions, belongeth ; for that this Court standeth compounded of Two Powers; the One ordinary, the other absolute: Ordinary, in the Lords and Commons Proceedings; but in Your Highness, absolute, either negatively to frustrate, or affirmatively to confirm; but not to institute. The Body of which Court, or Council of Estate, consisteth of Two Houses; the One, the Lower House of Parliament, the Members whereof are the Knights of Shires, and Burgesses of Towns and Corporations; the other, the Higher House, framed of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal : The personal Attendance of all which particular Members Your Majesty, by Your Prerogative Royal, hath now commanded; and accordingly Your dutiful and loyal Subjects, the Knights and Burgesses of the Lower House, have therein presented themselves, and, answerable to the ancient Privilege of that Place, and Your gracious Liberty and Favour to them vouchsafed, the better thereby to avoid the Inconvenience of Parity, the Mother of Confusion, and Enemy to Unity, have nominated my worthless Self their unworthy Speaker; wherein although their Affections and Loves (the Abuses of true Opinion and Judgment) have in this misguided their former known and approved Wisdoms; yet it resteth in Your Regal Power, either to breathe Life, or pronounce Death to this their yet unwarranted Nomination. Give me Leave therefore, most prudent
and deserving Sovereign, to appeal from their misled Opinions, by the misguide of their Favours, to Your approved Justice and Judgment, and rather therein to blemish my defective Self, by laying open my secret Imperfections, and thereby endamaging only mine own particular Private, than to deceive their Hopes (being of me but waking Dreams) and wrong the Weight of this so great and important publick Service; which requireth to be managed by the absolute Perfection of Experience, the Mother of Prudence; by the Profoundness of Literature, the Father of true Judgment; and by the Fulness and Grace of Nature's Gifts, which are the Beauty and Ornament of Arts and Actions; from the Virtues of all and every whereof I am so far estranged, that not tasting of Parnassus' Springs at all, nor of that Honey, left upon the Lips of Plato and Pindarus by the Bees, Birds of the Muses, as I remain touched with the Error of the contrary, and thereby am disabled to undergo the Weight of so heavy a Burthen, under which I do already groan, and shall both faint and fail, and if not by Your Justice disburdened, or by Your Clemency commiserated. I therefore, prostrating myself at the Foot of Your Justice-seat, do implore my Discharge; not moved thereto by any cold Humour to Your Highness' Service (for therein I rather choose to be cooled by Death, than by Want of Will to neglect the same) but only through the frost-bitten Defects of mine own Imperfections; which if they could be repaired with Mind's true Zeal to effect that, which my Heart desireth, then Life breatheth not in that Body, who more longeth to employ the same in all Duties, that may to Your Majesty be serviceable, or to Your Highness acceptable. Notwithstanding, as your devoted Subject and Servant, I only and wholly subject myself, my State, and Life, as the true Subject of Your gracious Pleasure; desiring not longer to live, than so to live, that my Breath and Life may breath out to Your Majesty, Loyalty, Faith, and Obedience, whereof my Life and Death shall be my Pawn and Pledge.
b Most renowned Sovereign: If a divided Mind may frame a well-joined Answer, then may I say, too much, more than too justly, may Your Majesty contemn my Wants, but never condemn my Want of Duty : For, although in this Place of Employment (now commanded) I ought, and do, give Precedency to many, yet to none in my Will to do You Service; for therein my Zeal shall ever resemble the Fire, hot, and yet trembling; hot, in my Desire to discharge the full Measure of my Duty; but Pisander like, trembling, in my Fear, lest, through my Imperfections, I fail in that, which I should perform. My Course of Life hath not been much conversant in the Study of Arts, which might make me speak scripta vel sculpta, as Demosthenes wished; nor in the Policies of State, of which a Subject to his Sovereign must speak breviter aut suaviter; but in the Profession and Practice of the Laws, which are Nervi Reipublicae et Lingamenta, the Bonds and Sinews of this Kingdom; which yield more Fruits of Reason, than Words, the Buds of Art, and blossoming Terms of Eloquence : And therefore to confine myself within the proper Element of my Profession, and not to aim and snatch at Things beyond my Reach; be pleased, of all others most renowned Sovereign, in few and unfiled Words to entertain with Your gracious Aspect a comparative Resemblance between a Body by Nature, and the Body Politic of this Your Majesty's Commonwealth, figured and drawn out of the Rules of Law; whereof, as the natural Body of the One is framed of Four Principal Parts, namely, of a Head, of a Body, of a Life, and of a Soul; so is the Politick Body of the other compounded of like Four essential Members; as of a Head, of a Body, of a Life, and of a Soul: And as, by the Disbranching of any One Particular from the natural Body, the Perfection of the Whole is dissolved; so, by the dismembering from the Politick Body of any One of the Four Politick Parts, the Glory of the Whole is disrooted. This Politick Head now is (and we all, with One zealous and united Devotion, pray, long and long may be) Your most honoured and best deserving Self; this Body Politick now is, and still desire to be, Your loyal and faithful Subjects; this Politick Life now is, and so well deserves to be, Your Highness' common and positive Laws ; this Politick Soul now is, and so of necessity must be, Your absolute Justice in the true Distribution of the same. And as the natural Head of the One (although the Prince, and directing Part of the Whole) cannot be supported without his natural Body, nor the natural Body without. his natural Life, nor the natural Life breathe without the Soul; no more can the Politick Head of the other (although the supreme and commanding Part) stand secure without his Subjects, being the Politick Body, nor the Politick Body without his Laws, being his Politick Life, nor his Politick Life without his Politick Soul, being Execution. And as the natural Body of the One is subject to the Imperfections of Nature, and, in best Health and Fulness, findeth least his Danger; so, in Peace and Plenty, is the other subject to Enormities of Misguide and Error; which made good Laws spring out of bad Manners; for if Diseases were not, there needs no Medicines; nor Use of Laws, but for Restraint of Evils. The natural Head's Providence protecteth the Body from gross Diseases, and discreet Foresight preventeth After-claps of Danger; so the Wisdom, Prudence, and good Guide of the Politick Head, is the sovereign Preservative against the infectious Poison of Discord and Disorder : And as to each Part of the natural Body belongeth divers, several, and divided Duties and Offices to be performed; so is or ought to be) every Part of the Politick Body attended on with Four particular Virtues and Properties: As to the Head there belongeth, first, Zeal in Religion, whereby God may be truly honoured ; secondly. Prudence in constituting Laws, whereby the Body may be rightly governed; thirdly, Magnanimity, to repel the Fury, both of Foes and Fortunes ; fourthly, Justice, tempered so with Mercy, whereby the well-disposed may not be drawn to presume, nor the rash and negligent Delinquent driven to Despair: To the Body, first, Devotion, to pray for the Safety of so precious an Head; secondly Minds and Wills to obey him in all faithful Loyalty; thirdly, Hands and Hearts, as Brethren in Unity, to fight against the common Enemy in Defence of his Royal Dignity; fourthly, Purses prepared and open to supply the necessary Occasions of his Sovereignty : To the Life, being the Law, belongeth, first, to inform You our Prince, how us Your Subjects to command ; secondly, to direct us Your Subjects, how You our Sovereign to obey; thirdly, to instruct Your Highness' Magistrates, and Officers of Justice, with Knowledge how to adjudge; fourthly, to teach Your Ministers of Government the Mean and Manner how to discipline ; for Ignorance of Laws brings Error in Judgment, and Error or Corruption in Judgment is the very Plague of the Innocent: The Soul, being Execution, requireth, first, to preserve the Authority of Laws from Contempt; secondly, to maintain the Power of Government in his absolute Virtue ; thirdly, to protect the oppressed from the Tyranny of Oppression; fourthly, to correct the Oppressors with the Sword of judicial Censure, that Your Laws may not be Cobwebs to punish little Flies, and let the great escape ; for Lenity and Gentleness to such so bad, is nothing else but Cruelty to them that are good. A Body of these Mixtures, thus compounded, is both to the Prince and Subjects in Earth, and all earthly Things, Summum Bonum. For the first Four Virtues of the Head, God is honoured, the People governed, Enemies are repelled, Justice without Tyranny, and Mercy without Remissness distributed. By the second four Duties of the Body, the Head is secured. Loyalty performed, Royalty defended, Sovereignty in Wars maintained, and in Peace adorned. By the third Four Properties of the Life, being the Law, Commandments are rightly commanded, Obedience is truly yielded, Judgments with Knowlege are pronounced, Executions without Error executed. By the last Four Offices of the Soul, being Execution, You shall find Laws in Authority preserved. Government in his Virtue maintained, the oppressed strongly, yea,
b Here in the Original these Words are interlined; The second Speech that Day.
graciously, protected, and the Oppressors sharply and worthily corrected. And if any Kingdom and Body Politick might appropriate the Perfection of this so blessed Happiness to themselves, it is we, now Your Majesty's Subjects, in our late deceased Sovereign Queen, and in You, our liege and living King: for such was the Virtue of her princely Regiment, that, as living, she lived of her Sex, the Wonder of her Time; so, now dead, she liveth a true Mirror to all succeeding Ages. For that in her Religion she was zealous, without wavering; in her Counsels wise, without Levity; in her Determinings deliberate, without Rashness ; in her Resolutions constant, without Mutability; in her Justice absolute, without Cruelty; in her Mercy temperate, without careless Remissness ; in her Choice of Magistrates of Justice, and Officers of Attendance, curiously respective, without sudden Admission; first, trying their Deserts by the Touchstone of her Council's Censure; and, secondly, approving them in the Fire of the Worth of their own Virtues, and not by the Value of their own corrupt-given Rewards; rnisliking snaky Ambition, that winds itself into many Figures, till it slide into the Room which it desires; but ever condemning it as an Evil of dangerous Consequence, to place worthless men in worthy Places; foreknowing, they that want true Sufficiency to raise themselves, will make them a Ladder of any Mischief: Secondly, as a thing to herself dishonourable, unless with Virtue she held the Scales, and weighed their Deserts in the Balance of Honour: Thirdly, to her Subjects intolerable, to impose, or suffer, in Place of Justice, a bribing and corrupt Magistrate: And lastly, to the Government of the Estate she esteemed them the Rocks of Government's Reproach, the Quicksands of true Justice, and the Whirlpool of the Commonwealth's Decay ; wherein, if in ought misled by the Error of Information (from which the King of Heaven only, and no King on Earth, is free) theirs, and not her's, was the deserved Blame of that Offence; whose Example therein, being dead, if in ought so misguided, liveth to the Living a lively Admonisher, both to abhor and abandon temporizing Smoothers, Matchavilian Politiquers, and corrupt bribing Informers, as the venomous Poisoners of Virtue's clear Fountain. By which, and many other her princely Governments, we, her People, loved her with our Hearts true Love; obeyed her with Conscience, not by Constraint; feared for her, never feared by her; prayed for her with the Spirit of Faith ; and lived to die for her in all constant Loyalty. The same Love, the same Obedience, the same Fear, the same Faith, and the self-same Loyalty, we still retain, and faithfully, constantly, and religiously profess, protest, and present to Your most sacred Majesty; resolving ourselves, that, as, by Nature, you both descended from that blessed Root of Union, under whom, by whom, and from whom, she did, and Your Majesty now doth, wear and bear the imperial Crown and Scepter of this thrice blessed Monarchy; that, as she did, so Your Majesty will bud the like or greater Fruits of such a Solomon, and so heroick a Root; whereof Your Zeal in Religion, Your unblemished Course of Life, Your Precedence before all other Princes in divine and moral Literature, Your temperance in Disposition, Your Justice in Your Judgments, Your Mercy to Delinquents, and Your approved Magnanimity in Dangers, these all give us Assurance, that we have but exchanged our exquisite Queen for an absolute King : And if Success of Ends may be foreknown by their Beginnings, and Conclusions approved by the Premises, then may I conclude that never were . . more blessed in their King, nor King more beloved and happy in his People : For such, and so high, was and is our Esteem of your princely Deserts, and such, and so great, did and do we value the Price of Your eminent and unmatchable Perfections, that without Hearts grudging, Minds murmuring, or Thoughts discontent (some few impostumed Persons, now disvomited, excepted) You wear, and long may wear, the Imperial Crown of this right powerful Kingdom; whose People Your Majesty shall find, by Profession, to be religious, without fantastical Curiosity; by Nature, to be resolute, without Insolvency ; by Subjection, to be loyal and faithful, without Treason or Treachery ; by moderate Discipline, to be tractable and obedient, without Rebellion; and by Law and Authority only to seek to right their Wrongs, without treacherous Revenge, or publick Hostility; and yet, inter pares, impatient of Baseness and Servility. Jura Regalia they usurp not; but to the Crown they do their Reverence, to the Scepter their Obedience, and the imperial Sword they only fear; whereby this Day, that, to foreign Enemies, and domestical Discontents, was (ill Mens Hope, and good Mens Fear) to be the Day of Blood, is now become the Day of England's settled Peace, and joyful Safety ; and may well be said This is the Day that the Lord hath made, let England rejoice and triumph in it: For that Virtue is now no Treason, nor no Man wisheth the Reign of Augustus, nor speaketh of the first Times of Tiberius. And although some fiery-spirited Detractors, very fault-finding, and yet very faulty, have derogated from Princes Regiment, from States Government, from Senates Integrity, from Judges Justice, from Magistrates Discipline, and from Commons Obedience; yet foregoing Time, and your Majesty's present and future Trial, shall approve it a Regiment never more renowned, a Government never more constantly settled, a Senate never more justly wise, Judges never more judicially just, Magistrates never more respectively vigilant, nor Commons never more loyally obedient; and although, as Men, subject to the Imperfections of Men, yet, from Hands and Hearts Corruption, as free from deserved Accusation, as such traducing Earwigs are guilty of Condemnation. And had Your Majesty, before Your princely Arrival, been an Eye and an Ear-witness to the prudent and provident Directions and Endeavours of the then Council of Estate, of the regardful Employment of the Nobility, of the vigilant Circumspection of the Officers and Ministers of Justice, and generally of the loyal Conformity and Obedience of the Commons, all in their several Ranks endeavouring, and agreeing, with Hearts true united Consent, to Your Highness' Installment; You then would, out of Your princely Judgments, rather have approved it a free Election, than a descending Right; wherein they expressed their Judgments in Your undoubted Title, manifested their reverend Respects to Your high and admired Virtues, and approved their Loyalty to Your approved Crown and Scepter. And although the Policies of precedent Time did forbear the public Declaration of Your then future, and now present Right; yet was both the Head and the Body so far from Purpose to impeach the same, that confidently I believe, and boldly dare affirm, that neither she, nor they, ever thought Thought, or dreamed Dream, to offer Wrong to your Succession therein; but as the One was in Policy forborn, so in Conscience the other was never purposed. And now, since God, to whose only Prerogative the inthronizing and disthronizing of Kings appertaineth, hath, by the Setting of her Sun, raised and spread the Beams of Your Glory; and by calling her to his heavenly Service, hath freed her from her temporal. Regiment; and hath, out of his divine Providence, crowned You with the same Crown, blessed You with the same Religion, enriched You with the same Dominions, and strengthened You with the Hearts of the self-same Subjects and People; that, as she did, so Your Majesty will be pleased to protect us in our Religion, to favour us in our Loyalties, to cherish us in our Obedience, and to nourish us in our faithful Subjection. And as to her, so to You, we faithfully prostrate and subject ourselves, our State, and Lives, to be disposed and sacrificed for and in Your Majesty's Service; religiously praying, that Your Highness' Government, and our Subjection, may be to God pleasing, to You, our Sovereign, absolute, to Enemies and Traitors powerful and fearful; and to all true devoted Subjects fruitful and comfortable : Then shall God be glorified, Your Majesty renowned, Religion advanced, and Your State and People secured from Popes Cursings, Enemies Oppressions, and Traitors Treacheries; whereunto all true English Hearts say, Amen. And thus being by the Rules, of Discretion foretold, that
to offend Your sacred Ears with multa, since to satisfy Your gracious Expectation with multum is denied me, were an Error of Errors the most erroneous: Therefore, since I retain not the Virtue of the one, give me leave, most magnificent Sovereign, to prevent the Error of the other; and in these few Words be pleased to receive as much as can be conceived may proceed from a Man, and Mind, truly and wholly devoted to Your Service; who desireth no longer to breathe, than so to breathe, that his Breath may breathe out to Your Majesty Loyalty, Faith, and Obedience, whereof his Life and Death shall be his Pawn and Pledge. Who here, upon the Knees of my Duty, in all Humility, do present to your gracious Consideration Five Petitions; the Benefit of Three whereof are peculiar to mine own Particular, the other Two to the Knights, Burgesses, and Members of the Lower House of Parliament.
The first whereof is, That if, in Your gracious Eyes, Ears, or Judgment, during the Time of this mine Employment and Service, I have, do, or shall, through my Imperfections (which already appear to Your Majesty to be too too many) either in Manner, Form, or Matter, neglect that which I ought to have performed, or err in that which I ought not to have done, that Your Majesty will be pleased, out of Your Clemency, rather to commiserate the same, than out of Your Justice therein to correct my unwilling committed Errors.
Secondly, That if any, by private Information, endeavour to possess Your sacred Ears with Matter of Blemish or Detraction concerning my Course of Proceeding, that, Your gracious Censure thereof may be suspended, until, by Your Pleasure, I be called to my Trial and Your Judgment: For that many things may be either miscarried or misconceived, in Causes of this Nature.
Thirdly, That, as Occasion shall move, I may, by Your Royal Favour, be permitted Access to Your Princely Presence, in Places and Times convenient for such Negotiations, as the Duty of my Place shall require. Fourthly, ***
Lord Chancellor's Answer.
To this the Lord Chancellor, the common Mouth of that great Presence, answered to this Effect, viz. ***
The Petitions made before by Mr. Speaker were answered, and granted of Course: And Mr. Speaker, with all submiss Reverence to his Majesty, taking leave, he, with the Commons, departed to their usual Place: And there being assembled;
The first Motion was made by Sir William Fleetwood, One of the Knights returned for the County of Buck' on the Behalf of Sir Francis Goodwyne Knight, who, upon the first Writ of Summons, directed to the Sheriff of Buck' was elected the first Knight for that Shire; but, the Return of his Election being made, it was refused by the Clerk of the Crown, quia utlagatus: And because Sir John Fortescue, upon a second Writ, was elected, and entered in that Place; his Desire was, that this Return might be examined, and Sir Francis Goodwyne received as a Member of the House. The House gave way to the Motion; and, for a more deliberate and judicial Proceeding, in a Case of Privilege, so important to the House, ordered, That the Serjeant (the proper Officer of the House) should give Warning to the Clerk of the Crown, to appear at the Bar, at Eight a Clock the next Morning, and to bring with him all the Writs of Summons, Indentures, and Returns of Elections for the County of Buck' made and returned for this Parliament: And to give Warning also to Sir Francis Goodwyne to attend in Person; whom their Pleasure was to hear, ore tenus, deliver the State of his own Cause, and the Manner and Reasons of the Proceeding in the Election of the Knights of the Shire for that County.
Privilege- Arrest of a Member.
This being a Motion tending to Matter of Privilege, was seconded with another by Mr. Serjeant Shirley, touching an Arrest made the 15th of March last, the Day of his Majesty's solemn Entrance through London, and Four Days before the Sitting of the Parliament, upon the Body of Sir Thomas Shirley, elected One of the Burgesses for the Borough of Steyning in the County of Sussex, at the Suit of one Gyles Sympson, a Goldsmith, dwelling in Lumbard-street, London, by one William Watkyns, a Serjeant at Mace, and Thomas Aram, his Yeoman; and prayed, that the Body of the said Sir Thomas might be freed, according to the known Privilege of the House,
Hereupon the House, in Affirmation of their own Privilege, assented, and Ordered, That a Warrant, according to the ancient Form, should be directed, under the Hand of Mr. Speaker, to the Clerk of the Crown, for the Granting of a Writ of Habeas Corpus to bring the Body of the said Sir Thomas into the House, upon Tuesday next, at Eight a Clock in the Morning.
The Form of the Warrant was:
Jovis, 22o Martii, 1603.
IT is this Day Ordered and required by the Commons House of Parliament, that a Writ of Habeas Corpus be awarded, for the Bringing of the Body of Sir Thomas Shirley Knight, one of the Members of this House, and now Prisoner in the Fleet, into the said House, upon Tuesday next, at Eight a Clock in the Morning, according to the ancient Privilege and Custom in that Behalf used. And this shall be your Warrant.
Your loving Friend,
Edward Phelips, Speaker.
To my very loving Friend,
Sir George Coppyn Knight,
Clerk of the Crown in his Majesty's High Court of Chancery.
In pede, Ra. Ewens.
Upon this Warrant, issued a Writ of Habeas Corpus, in this Form :
JACOBUS, Dei gratia, Angliae, Scotiae, Franciae, et Hiberniae, Rex, fidei defensor, &c. Guardiano prisonae nostrae de le Fleet, salutem. Praecipimus tibi, quod habeas coram Nobis, in praesenti Parliamento nostro, apud Westmonasterium, in die Martis, octavo die instantis mensis Maii, circa horam octavam ante meridiem ejusdem diei, corpus Thomas Shirley militis, capt. et in prisona nostra, sub custodia tua, ut dicitur, detent. quocunque nomine, seu cognomine, idem Thomas censeatur, una cum causa captionis et detentionis ejusdem Thomae, ad respondendum super hiis, quae sibi tunc ibidem objicientur, et ad faciendum ulterius, et recipiendum, quod per Nos, in Parliamento nostro praedicto, consideratum et ordinatum fuerit: Et hoc nullatenus omittas, sicut Nobis inde respondere volueris. Et habeas ibi hoc breve. Teste Meipso, apud Westmonasterium, septimo die Maii, anno regni nostri, Angliae, Franciae, et Hiberniae, secundo, et Scotiae, tricesimo septimo.
The Serjeant of the House was also commanded by the House to bring in, at the same time, the Bodies of William Watkins, the Serjeant, and Thomas Aram, his Yeoman.
For the Return of the Writ, and Proceedings upon it, vide Fol. 58. a [a]
Committee of Privileges.
Sir George Moore, allowing these grave and advised Resolutions in point of Privilege, for the better Advancement thereof, and for a more deliberate and due Proceeding in these and the like Cases, best beseeming the Gravity and Honour of that Assembly, moved, that a select Committee might be appointed to consider of all Cases of Returns and Privileges, during the Time of Parliament.
This is an usual Motion in the Beginning of every Parliament.
To this Purpose were named and appointed, all the Privy Council being Members of the House, Sir Geo. Carew Vicechamberlain to the Queen, Sir Edw. Hobby, Sir Robert Wroth, Sir Tho. Fleming his Majesty's Solicitor, Sir Edward Stafford, Sir Francis Bacon, Sir George Moore, Mr. Francis Moore, Mr. Martyn, Sir Francis
Hastings, Mr. John Hare, Mr. Lawrence Hyde, Sir John Hollice, Sir Henry Mountague, Sir Rob. Wingfield, Serjeant Snigg, Sir Lewis Lewknor, Sir Richard Mollineux, Mr. Hext, Sir Herbert Crofts, Sir Thomas Ridgeway, Sir John Luson, Sir Edward Grevill, Sir Tho. Holcroft, Mr. Serjeant Hobbart,
The Authority committed unto them, was, to examine all Matters questionable touching Privileges and. Returns, and to acquaint the House with their Proceedings, from time to time, so as Order might be taken according to the Occasion, and agreeable with ancient Custom and Precedent; and their first Meeting was appointed on Monday following, at Two a Clock in the Afternoon, in the Exchequer Chamber.
The Place and Time of the Meeting of every Committee is specially named by the House ; and the Names of every Committee, with their Authority, their Time and Place of Meeting, given to some One of the principal Committees by the Clerk, upon the Day of Meeting appointed by the House.
This Day the Contempt of the Yeoman of the Guard was again remembered, and propounded, as meet to be left to the Examination and Report of the former Committees for Returns and Privileges. But herein an honourable Person, and a special Member of the House, interposed his Advice, That there might be some moderate Course taken, with respect to his Majesty's Service, and to the eminent and honourable Officers, whom it might concern: Which induced the House thus far to be pleased, that the Offender, the next Day, should appear, and answer his Contempt at the Bar; with this Caution and Purpose (which they did then utter) that, if he seemed to understand his own Offence, to be sorry for it, and would submit himself to the Pleasure and Mercy of the House, praying Pardon and Favour, they would remit and discharge him: And the Serjeant commanded to attend the said Order for his Appearance. Vide Fol. * *
Reading a Bill on first day of sitting.
The first Day of Sitting in every Parliament, some One Bill, and no more, receiveth a First Reading for Form sake.
L. 1. And this Day a new Bill, intituled, Touching common Recoveries against Infants, was read by the Clerk.
Right of Adjournment.
Here was made some Question, whether this Court, viz. the Commons House alone, might, of itself, and by itself, be adjourned; and thereupon a Precedent in Queen Mary's Time, cited by Sir Edw. Hobby; and resolved, by general Opinion, that it might.
And so the Session was adjourned until Eight a Clock the next Morning: And they arose and departed for that time.