Journal of the House of Commons: Volume 1, 1547-1629. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1802.
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Martis, 31 Martii, 1607
L. 1a. B. TO make the Lands, Tenements, and Hereditaments of William Cardinall, deceased, liable to the Payment of Five hundreth Pounds, heretofore decreed in his Majesty's Court of Whytehall, with Costs, and Damages.
B. For Confirmation of certain Lands of the Warden and College of the Souls of all faithful People deceased, of Oxon, and of other Lands, to Sir William Smyth Knight.
The great Bill touching the Fens and surrounded Grounds, &c. appointed to be read the second Sitting-day after Easter.
Mr. Attorney-general reporteth, from the Committee, the Bill whereby Rich. Sackvill, Esquire, is enabled to make a Surrender to the King's Majesty, &c. (which came from the Lords) with a Saving added, and some Amendments; the Amendments and Saving twice read, and inserted; and the whole Bill, upon a third Reading, and upon Question, passed.
B. Touching the drowned Marshes of Lasnes and Fants, &c. reported from the Committee by Mr. Tolderby thirdly read; and, upon the Question, passed.
This Day, upon former Order, the Counsel on both Parts, in the Bill concerning Tanners, Curriers, and other Artificers, occupying the Cutting of Leather, &c. was appointed to be heard ; but, by reason of other Business of the House, as also of their Purpose to adjourn the Sitting until the 20th of April, it was, upon further Motion, ordered, that their Counsel shall be heard upon Wednesday, the 22d of April, being the third Sitting-day of their next Meeting.
Bills sent to Lords.
Moved, that some Bills which had passed, might be sent up to the Lords : And thereupon were prepared, by the Clerk, Four, which came down from the Lords; viz.
1. An Act whereby Rich. Sackvill, Esquire, is enabled to make a Surrender, &c.
2. An Act touching the drowned Marshes of Lesnes and Fants, &c.
3. An Act for Confirmation of the King's Majesty's Letters Patents to Robert Bathyrst Esquire, &c.
4. An Act for Confirmation of the King's Majesty's Letters Patents to William Bourchier Esquire, &c.
Two more, that began in this House; viz.
5. An Act to enable the Committees of Robert Tompson, a Lunatick, &c.
6. An Act for the Sale of some of the Lands of William Waller Esquire, &c.
These were sent up by Mr. Attorney-general.
B. For the true Making of Cloths, upon a Report from the Committee by Mr. Tate, with Amendments, which were then twice read, was, upon Question, ordered to be ingrossed.
House attends the King.
His Majesty's Pleasure delivered, that the House, with Mr. Speaker, should attend in the great Chamber at Whytehall; where his Highness' Purpose was to be present, and to speak unto them: And so the Sitting adjourned till Four a Clock in the Afternoon.
About Two a Clock in the Afternoon, the Lords and Bishops of the Upper House, the Speaker, and Commons, did assemble, according to Appointment: His Majesty, sitting in State, spake unto them, as followeth :
King's Speech concerning the Union.
My Lords of the Higher House, and you Knights and Burgesses of the Lower House:
ALL Men, at the Beginning of a Feast, bring forth good Wine first, and after worse : This was the Saying of the Governor of the Feast at Cana in Galile, where Christ wrought his first Miracle, by changing Water into Wine; but in this Case now, whereof I am to speak unto you, I must follow that Governor's Rule, and not Christ's, Example, in giving you the worst and sourest Wine last. For all the Time of this long Session of the Parliament, you have been so fed and cloyed (specially you of the Lower House) with such Banquets, and choice of delicate Speeches, and your Ears so seasoned with the Sweetness of long precogitate Orations, as this my Speech, now in the Breaking up of this Assembly, cannot but appear unto your Taste, as the worst Wine, proposed in the End of the Banquet; since I am only to deliver now unto you Matter, without curious Form; Substance, without Ceremony; Truth, in all Sincerity. Yet, considering the Person that speaketh; the Parties to whom I speak; the
King's Speech concerning the Union.
Matter whereof I mean to speak; it fits better to utter Matter, rather than Words; in regard of the Greatness of my Place, who am to speak to you; the Gravity of you the Auditory, which is the high Court of Parliament; the Weight of the Matter, which concerns the Security and Establishment of this whole Empire, and little World. Studied Orations, and much Eloquence upon little Matter, is fit for the Universities; where not the Subject that is spoken of, but the Trial of his Wit that speaketh, is most commendable : But, on the contrary, in all great Councils of Parliaments, fewest Words, with most Matter, doth become best; where the Dispatch of the great Errands in hand, and not the Pray of the Person, is most to be looked unto; like the Garment of a chaste Woman, who is only set forth by her natural Beauty, which is properly her own; other Deckings are but Ensigns of an Harlot, that flies with borrowed Feathers. And besides the Conveniency, I am forced hereunto by Necessity, my Place calling me to Action, and not leaving me to the Liberty of Contemplation; having always my Thoughts busied with the publick Care of you all; where every One of you, having but himself, and his own private, to think of, are at more Leisure to make studied Speeches. And therefore the Matter which I deliver you confusedly, as in a Sack, I leave it to you, when you are in your Chambers, and have better Leisure than I can have, to rank them in Order, every One in their own Place.
Thus much by way of Preface: But I proceed to the Matter: Whereof I might say, with St. Paul, I could speak in as many Tongues as you all; but I had rather speak Three Words to Edification, than talk a Day without Understanding. In vain (saith the Psalmist) doth the Builder build the House, or the Watchman watch the City, unless the Lord give his Blessing thereunto : And, in the New Testament, St. Paul saith, that he may plant, Apollo may water; but it is God only that must give the Increase. This I speak, because of the long Time which hath been spent about the Treaty of the Union. For myself, I protest unto you all, when I first propounded the Union, I then thought there could have been no more Question of it, than of your Declaration and Acknowlegement of my Right unto this Crown; and that, as Two Twins, they would have grown up together. The Error was my mistaking: I knew mine own End, but not others Fears. But not [a] finding many Crosses, long Disputations, strange Questions, and nothing done; I must needs think it proceeds, either of Mistaking of the Errand, or else from some Jealousy of me the Propounder, that you so add Delay unto Delay, searching out, as it were, the very Bowels of Curiosity, and conclude nothing. Neither can I condemn you, for being yet in some Jealousy of my Intention in this Matter; having not yet had so great Experience of my Behaviour and Inclination, in these few Years past, as you may peradventure have in a longer time hereafter; and not having Occasion to consult daily with myself, and hear mine own Opinion in all those Particulars, which are debated among you. But here, I pray you now, mistake me not at the first, when as I seem to find Fault with your Delays and Curiosity, as if I would have you to resolve, in an Hour's Time, that which will take a Month's Advertisement: For you all know, that Rex est lex loquens; and you have oft heard me say, that the King's Will and Intention, being the speaking Law, ought to be luce clarius: And I hope you of the Lower House have the Proof of this my Clearness, by a Bill sent you down from the Upper House within these few Days, or rather few Hours ; wherein may very well appear unto you the Care I have, to put my Subjects in a good Security of their Possessions for all Posterities to come. And therefore, that you may clearly understand my Meaning in that Point, I do freely confess, you had Reason to advise at Leisure upon so great a Cause; for great Matters do ever require great Deliberation, before they be well concluded: Deliberandum est diu, quod statuendum est semel. Consultations must proceed lento pede; but the Execution of a Sentence upon the Resolution, would be speedy. If you will go on, it matters not though you go with leaden Feet, so you make still some Progress, and that there be no Lett, nor needless Delay; and do not nodum in scirpo quaerere. I am ever for the Medium in every thing. Between foolish Rashness, and extreme Length, there is a middle Way. Search all that is reasonable; but omit that which is idle, curious, and unnecessary; otherwise there can never be a Resolution or End in any good Work.
And now from the General I will descend to the Particulars; and will, only for the Ease of your Memories, divide the Matter, that I am to speak of, into Four Heads; by opening unto you, First, what I crave: Secondly, in what Manner I desire it: Thirdly, what Commodities will ensue to both the Kingdoms by it: Fourthly, what the supposed Inconveniency may be, that gives Impediments thereunto.
For the first, what I crave ; I protest before God, who knows my Heart, and to you my People, before whom it were a Shame to lye, that I claim nothing but with Acknowlegement of my Bond to you; that, as ye owe to me Subjection and Obedience, so my Sovereignty obligeth me to yield to your Love, Government and Protection : Neither did I ever wish any Happiness to myself, which was not conjoined with the Happiness of my People. I desire a perfect Union of Laws and Persons, and such a Naturalizing as may make One Body of both Kingdoms, under me your King; that I, and my Posterity of it so please God) may rule over you to the World's End; such an Union, as was of the Scots and Pickes in Scotland, and of the Heptarchy here in England. And for Scotland, I avow such an Union, as if you had got it by Conquest; but such a Conquest as may be cemented by Love, the only sure Bond of Subjection or Friendship: That as there is over both but unus Rex; so there may be in both but unus grex, et una lex: For no more possible is it for One King to govern Two Countries contiguous, the One a greater, the other a less; a richer, and a poorer; the greater drawing like an Adamant, the lesser to the Commodities thereof; than for One Head to govern Two Bodies, or One Man to be Husband of Two Wives; whereof Christ himself said, ab initio non fuit sic. But in the general Union you must observe Two Things: For I will discover my Thoughts plainly unto you; I study Clearness, not Eloquence; and therefore, with the old Philosophers, I would heartily wish my Breast were a transparent Glass, for you all to see through, that you might look into my Heart, and then would you be satisfied of my Meaning. For when I speak of a perfect Union, I mean not Confusion of all things: You must not take from Scotland those particular Privileges that may stand as well with this Union, as in England many particular Customs, in particular Shires, as the Customs of Kent, and the Royalties of the County Palatine of Chester, do with the Common Law of the Kingdoms: For every particular Shire almost, and much more every Country, have some particular Customs, that are, as it were, naturally most fit for that People: But I mean of such a general Union of Laws as may reduce the whole Island ; that as they live, already under One Monarch, so they may all be governed by One Law : For I must needs confess, by that little Experience I have had since my coming hither, and I think I am able to prove it, that the Grounds of the Common Law of England are the best of any Law in the World, either civil or municipal, and the fittest for this People. But as every Law would be clear, and full; so the Obscurity in some Points of this our written Law, and want of Fulness in others, the Variation of Cases, and Men's Curiosity, breeding every Day new Questions, hath enforced the Judges to judge, in many Cases here, by Cases and Precedents; wherein, I hope, Lawyers themselves will not deny, but that there must be a great Uncertainty; and I am sure all the rest of you that are Gentlemen of other Professions, were long ago weary of it, if you could have had it amended: For where there is Variety, and
Uncertainty, although a just Judge may do rightly, yet an ill Judge may take Advantage to do wrong; and then are all honest Men that succeed him, tied, in a Manner, to his unjust and partial Conclusions. Wherefore leave not the Law to the Pleasure of the Judge, but let your Laws be looked into: For I desire not the Abolishing of the Laws, but only the Clearing and the Sweeping of the Rust of them; and that by Parliament our Laws might be cleared, and made known to all the Subjects. Yea rather, it were less Hurt, that all the approved Cases were set down, and allowed by Parliament, for standing Laws in all Time to come: For although some of them, peradventure, may be unjust, as set down by corrupt Judges; yet better it is to have a certain Law, with some Spots in it, nor live under such an uncertain and arbitrary Law ; since, as the Proverb is, it is less Harm to suffer an Inconvenience, than a Mischief. And now may you have fair Occasions of amending and polishing your Laws, when Scotland is to be united with you under them: For who can blame Scotland to say, If you will take away our own Laws, I pray you give us a better and clearer in place thereof. But this is not possible to be done, without a fit Preparation. He that buildeth a Ship, must first provide the Timber; and, as Christ himself said, no Man will build a House, but he will first provide the Materials; nor a wise King will not make War against another, without he first make Provision of Money: And all great Works must have their Preparation; and that was my End, in causing the Instrument of the Union to be made. Union is a Marriage: Would he not be thought absurd, that, for Furthering of a Marriage between Two Friends of his, would make his first Motion to have the Two Parties be laid in Bed together, and perform the other Turns of Marriage? Must there not precede [a] the mutual Sight and Acquaintance of the Parties one with another ; the Conditions of the Contract, and Jointure, to be talked of, and agreed upon by their Friends ; and such other things, as in order ought to go before the Ending of such a Work? The Union is an eternal Agreement and Reconciliation of many long, bloody Wars, that have been between these Two ancient Kingdoms. It is the readiest Way to agree a private Quarrel between Two, to bring them, at the first, to shake Hands, and, as it were, kiss other, and lie under One Roof, or rather in One Bed, together, before the first Ground of their Quarrel be communed upon, their Minds mitigated, their Affections prepared, and all other Circumstances first used, that ought to be used, to proceed to such a final Agreement. Every honest Man desireth a perfect Union; but they that say so, and admit no Preparation thereto, have mel in ore, fel in corde. If after your so long Talk of Union, in all this long Session of Parliament, ye rise without agreeing upon any Particular; what will the neighbour Princes judge, whose Eyes are all fixed upon the Conclusion of this Action, but that the King is refused in his Desire; thereby the Nation should be taxed, and the King disgraced? And what an ill Preparation is it for the Minds of Scotland toward the Union, when they shall hear, that ill is spoken of their whole Nation, but nothing is done nor advanced in the Matter of the Union itself ? But this, I am glad, was but the Fault of One ; and One is no Number: Yet have your Neighbours of Scotland this Advantage of you, that none of them hath spoken ill of you (nor shall, as long as I am King) in Parliament, or any such publick Place of Judicature. Consider therefore well, if the Minds of Scotland had not need to be well prepared, to persuade their mutual Consent, seeing you here have all the great Advantage by the Union : Is not here the personal Residence or the King; his whole Court, and Family? Is not here the seat of Justice, and the Fountain of Government? Must they not be subjected to the Laws of England, and so, with Time, become but as Cumberland, and Northumberland, and those other remote and Northern Shires! You are to be the Husband, they the Wife ; you Conquerors, they as conquered; though not by the Sword, but by the sweet and sure Bond of Love: Besides that they, as other Northern Countries, will be seldom seen and saluted by their King; and that, as it were, but in a posting or hunting Journey.
How little Cause then they may have of such a Change of so ancient a Monarchy into the Case of private Shires, judge rightly herein; and, that you may be the more upright Judges, suppose yourselves the Patients of whom such Sentence should be given. But what Preparation is it which I crave ? Only such as, by the Entrance may shew something is done, yet more is intended.
There is a Conceit entertained, and a double Jealousy possesseth many, wherein I am misjudged; first, that this Union will be the Crisis to the Overthrow of England, and Setting up of Scotland: England will be then overwhelmed by the Swarming of the Scots, who, if the Union were affected, would reign, and rule all. The second is my profuse Liberality to the Scottishmen, more than the English : and that, with this Union, all Things shall be given to them, and you turned out of all: To you shall be left the Sweat, and Labour ; to them shall be given the Fruit, and Sweet: And that my Forbearance is but till this Union may be gained.
How agreeable this is to the Truth, judge you; and that, not by my Words, but by my Actions. Do I crave the Union, without Exceptions? Do I not offer to bind myself, and to reserve to you, as in the Instrument, all Places of Judicature ? Do I intend any thing, which standeth not with the equal Good of both Nations ? I could then have done it; and not spoken of it; for all Men of Understanding must agree, that I might dispose, without Assent of Parliament, Offices of Judicature, and others, both ecclesiastical and temporal: But herein I did voluntarily offer, by my Letters from Royston to the Commissioners, to bind my Prerogative.
Some think that I will draw the Scottish Nation hither ; talking idlely of Transporting of Trees out of a barren Ground into a better; and of lean Cattle out of bad Pasture into a more fertile Soil. Can any Man displant you unless you will? Or can any Man think, that Scotland is so strong, to pull you out of your Houses? Or do you not think I know, England hath more People, Scotland more waste Ground ; so that there is Roumth in Scotland, rather than plant your idle People, that swarm in London Streets, and other Towns, and disburthen you of them, than to bring more unto you? And in Case of Justice, if I be partial to either Side, let my own Mouth condemn me, as unworthy to be your King.
I appeal to yourselves, if in Favour of Justice I have been partial: Nay, my Intention was ever, you should then have most Cause to praise my Discretion when you saw I had most Power. If hitherto I have done nothing to your Prejudice, much less mean I hereafter. If when I might have done it, without any Breach of Promise ; think so of me, that much less I will do it, when a Law is to restrain me. I owe no more to the Scottishmen than to the English: I was born there, and sworn here; and now reign over both. Such particular Persons of the Scottish Nation as might claim any extraordinary Merit at my Hands, I have already reasonable rewarded ; and I can assure you, that there is none left, whom for I mean extraordinary to strain myself, further than in such ordinary Benefit, as I may equal bestow, without mine own great Hurt, upon any Subject, or either Nation; in which Case, no King's Hands can ever be fully closed. To both I owe Justice and Protection; which, with God's Grace, I shall ever equally balance. For my Liberality, I have told you of it heretofore: My Three first Years were to * as a Christmas: I could not then be miserable. Should I have been oversparing to them, they might have thought, Joseph had forgotten his Brethren, or that the King had been drunk with his new Kingdom. But Suits go not so cheap, as they were wont; neither are there so many Fees taken in the Hamper and Petty-bag, for the Great Seal, as hath been; and it [a] I did respect the Englishe, when I came first, of whom I was received with Joy, and came as in a hunting Journey; what might
King's Speech concerning the Union.
the Scottish have justly said, if I had not, in some measure, dealt bountifully with them, that so long had served me, so far adventured themselves with me, and been so faithful to me ? I have given you now Four Years Proof since my coming; and what I might have done more, to have raised the Scottish Nation, you all know; and the longer I live, the less Cause have I to be acquainted with them, and so the less Hope of extraordinary Favour towards them : For, since my coming from them, I do not already know the One half of them by Face, most of the Youth being now risen up to be Men, who were but Children when I was there; and more are born since my coming thence. Now, for my Lands, and Revenues of my Crown, which you may think I have diminished ; they are not yet so far diminished, but that I think no Prince of Christendom hath fairer Possessions to his Crown, than yet I have ; and, in Token of my Care to preserve the same to my Posterity for ever, the Entail of my Lands to the Crown hath been long ago offered unto you ; and that it is not yet done, is not my Fault, as you know. My Treasurer here knoweth my Care, and hath already, in Part, declared it; and if I did not hope to treble my Revenue more than I have impaired it, I should never rest quietly in my Bed. But, notwithstanding my coming to the Crown with that extraordinary Applause, which you all know, and that I had Two Nations to be the Objects of my Liberality, which never any Prince had here before ; will you compare my Gifts, out of mine Inheritance, with some Princes here, that had only this Nation to respect; and whose whole Time of Reign was little longer than mine hath been already; it will be found, that their Gifts have far surpassed mine, albeit, as I have already said, they had nothing so great Cause of using their Liberality.
Secondly, for the Manner of the Union presently desired, it standeth in Three Parts : The first, taking away of hostile Laws : For since there can be no Wars betwixt you, is it not Reason, hostile Laws should cease? For deficiente causa, deficit effectus. The King of England now cannot have Wars with the King of Scotland; therefore this fails of itself. The second is, Community of Commerce : I am no Stranger unto you; for you all know, I came from the Loins of your ancient Kings. They of Scotland be my Subjects, as you are ; but how can I be natural liege Lord to you both, and you Strangers one to the other ? Shall they which be of One Allegiance with you, be no better respected of you, nor freer amongst you, than Frenchmen and Spaniards ? Since I am Sovereign over both you, as Subjects to one King; it must needs follow, that you converse and have Commerce together. There is a Rumour of some ill Dealings that should be used by the Commissioners, Merchants of Scotland. They be here in England, and shall remain till your next Meeting, and abide Trial to prove themselves either honest Men, or Knaves.
Thirdly, for the third Point of Naturalization, all you agree, that they are no Aliens, and yet will not allow them to be natural. What Kind of Prerogative will you make ? But for the post nati, your own Lawyers and Judges, at my first coming to this Crown, informed me, there was a Difference between the ante and the post nati, of each Kingdoms; which caused me to publish a Proclamation, that the post nati were naturalized (ipso facto) by the Accession to this Crown. I do not deny, but Judges may err, as Men ; and therefore I do not press you here to swear to all their Reasons: I only urge, at this Time, the Conveniency for both Kingdoms; neither pressing you to judge, nor to be judged: But remember also, it is as possible, and likely, your own Lawyers may err, as the Judges. Therefore as I wish you to proceed here in so far as may tend to the Weal of both Nations; so would I have you, on the other Part, to beware to disgrace either my Proclamation, or the Judges; who, when the Parliament is done, have Power to try your Lands and Lives; for so you may disgrace both your King and your Laws : For, the Doing of any Act that may procure less Reverence to the Judges, cannot but breed a Looseness, in the Government, and a Disgrace to the whole Nation. The Reason that most moves me, for ought I have yet heard, that there cannot but be a Difference between the ante nati and the post nati, and that in the Favour of the last, is, that they must be nearer unto you, being born under the present Government, and common Allegiance. But in Point of Conveniency, there is no Question, but the post nati are more to be respected; for if you would have a perfect and perpetual Union, that cannot be in the ante nati, who are but few in Comparison of those that shall be in all Ages succeeding, and cannot live long; but in the post nati shall the Union be continued, and live ever, Age after Age; which, wanting a Difference, cannot but leave a perpetual Mark of Separation in the Work of the Union: As also that Argument of Jealousy will be so far removed in the Case of the post nati, which are to reap the Benefit in all succeeding Ages, as, by the contrary, there will then rise Pharaos, which never knew Joseph; the Kings, my Successors, who, being born and bred here, can never have more Occasion of Acquaintance with the Scottish Nation in general, than any other English King, that was before my Time. Be not therefore abased with the flattering Speeches of such as would have the ante nati preferred ; alleging their Merit in my Service, and such other Reasons, which indeed are but Sophisms: For my Rewarding, out of my Liberality, of any particular Men, hath nothing adoe with the general Act of the Union, which must not regard the Deserts of private Persons, but the general Weal and conjoining of the Nations. Besides that, the actual Naturalizing, which is the only Point that is in your Hands, is already granted to by yourselves to the most Part of such particular Persons, as can have any Use of it here; and if any other well-deserving Men were to sue for it hereafter, I doubt not, but there would never be Question moved among you, for the granting of it. And therefore it is most evident, that such Discoursers have mel in ore, fel in corde, as I said before, carrying an outward Appearance of Love to the Union, but indeed a contrary Resolution in their Hearts. And as for Limitations, and Respectations, such as shall by me be agreed upon to be reasonable and necessary, after you have fully debated upon them ; you may assure yourselves, I will with Indifferency grant what is requisite, without partial Respect of Scotland. I am, as I have often said, born, and sworn, King over both Kingdoms : Only this far let me intreat you, in debating the Point at your next Meeting, that ye be as ready to resolve Doubts, as to move them, and to be satisfied when Doubts are cleared.
And as for Commodities that come by the Union of these Kingdoms, they are great and evident; Peace, Plenty, Love, free Intercourse, and common Society of Two great Nations. All foreign Kings that have sent their Ambassadors to congratulate with me since my coming, have saluted me, as Monarch of the whole Isle, and with much more Respect of my Greatness, than if I were King alone of One of these,Realms : And with what Comfort do yourselves behold Irish, Scottish, Welsh, and English, divers in Nation, yet all walking as Subjects and Servants within my Court, and all living under the Allegiance of your King; besides the Honour and Lustre, that the Increase of gallant Men in the Court, of divers Nations, carries in the Eyes of all Strangers, that repair hither ? Those confining Places, which * * the Borders of the Two Kingdoms; where heretofore much Blood was shed, and many of your Ancestors lost their Lives ; yea, that lay waste and desolate, and were Habitations but for Runagates; are now become the Navel or Umbilick of both Kingdoms, planted and peopled with Civility and Riches: Their Churches begin to be planted ; their Doors stand now open; they fear neither Robbing, nor Spoiling; and where there was nothing before heard, nor seen, in those Parts, but Bloodshed, Oppressions, Complaints, and Outcries, they now live every Man peaceably under his own Fig-tree; and all their former Cries and Complaints turned only into Prayers to God for their King, under whom they enjoy such Ease and happy Quietness. The Marches, beyond and on this Side Twede, are as fruitful, and as peaceable as most Parts of England. If, after all this, there
shall be a Scissure, what Inconvenience will follow, judge you.
And as for the Inconveniences that are feared on England's Part, it is alleged, that the Scots are a populous Nation; they shall be harboured in our Nests; they shall be planted and flourish in our good Soil; they shall eat our Commons bare, and make us lean. These are foolish and idle Surmises. That which you possess, they are not to enjoy : by Law they cannot, nor by my Partiality they shall not: For, set apart Conscience and Honour (which if I should set apart indeed, I had rather wish ; myself to be set apart, and out of all Being) can any Man conclude, either out of common Reason, or good Policy, that I will prefer those which perhaps I shall never see, or but by Post, for a Month, before those with whom I must always dwell? Can they conquer or overcome you with Swarms of People, as the Goths and the Vandals did Italy? Surely the World knows, they are nothing so populous as you are ; and although they have had the Honour, and good Fortune, never to be conquered ; yet were they ever but upon the defensive Part, and may, in a Part, thank their Hills and inaccessible Passages, that preserved them from an utter Overthrow, at the Hands of all that pretended to conquer them. Or are they so very poor and miserable in their own Habitations, that Necessity should force them all to make Incursions among you? And for my Part, when I have Two Nations under my Government, can you imagine, I will respect the lesser, and neglect the greater ? Would I not think it a less Evil and Hazard to me, that the Plague were at Northampton, or Barwicke, than at London, so near Westminster, the Seat of my Habitation, and of my Wife and Children ? Will not a. Man be more careful to quench the Fire taken in his nearest Neighbour's House, than if a whole Town were a-fire far from him ? You know, that I am careful to preserve the Woods, and Game, through all England, nay, through all the Isle; yet none of you doubts, but that I would be more offended with any Disorder in. the Forest of Waltham, for Stealing of a Stag there, which lieth, as it were, under my Nose, and in a Manner joineth with my Garden, than with Cutting of Timber, or Stealing of a Deer, in any Forest of the North Parts Yorkshire, or the Bishoppricke, Think you, that I will prefer them that be absent, less powerful, and further off to do me good or hurt, before you, with whom my Security and Living must be, and where I desire to plant my Posterity ? If I might, by any such Favours, raise myself to a Greatness, it might be probable : All I cannot draw; and to lose a whole State here, to please a few there, were Madness. I need speak no more of this with Protestations: Speak but of a Wit, it is not likely; and to doubt of my Intention in this, were more than devilish.
For mine own Part, I offer more than I receive; and Conveniency I prefer before Law, in this Point. For Three Parts, wherein I might hurt this Nation, by Partiality to the Scots, you know do absolutely lie in my Hands and Power: For either in Disposition of Rents, or whatsoever Benefit, or in the Preferring of them to any Dignity or Office, civil or ecclesiastical, or in calling them to the Parliament; it doth all fully and only lie within the Compass of my Prerogative; which are the Parts wherein the Scottishmen can receive either Benefit, or Preferment by the Union; and wherein, for the Care I have of this People, I am content to bind myself with some reasonable Restrictions.
As for the fourth Part, the Naturalizing, which only lieth in your Hands ; it is the Point wherein they receive least Benefit of any: For in that they can obtain nothing, but what they buy by their Purse, or acquire by the selfsame means, that you do. And as for the Point of Naturalizing, which is the Point thought so fit, and so precisely belonging to Parliament; not to speak of the Common Law, wherein, as yet, I can profess no great Knowlege, but in the Civil Law, wherein I am a little better versed, and which, in the Point of Conjunction of Nations, should bear a great Sway, it being the Law of Nations; I will maintain Two Principles in it, which no learned and grave Civilian will deny; as being clearly to be proved, both out of the Text itself, in many Places, and also out of the best approved Doctors and Interpreters of that Law: The One, that it is a special Point of the King's own Prerogative, to make Aliens Citizens, and donare civitate; The other, that in any Case wherein the Law is thought not to be cleared (as some of yourselves do doubt, that, in this Case of the post nati, the Law of England doth not clearly determine) then in such a Question wherein no positive Law is resolute, Rex est judex; for he is lex loquens, and is to supply the Law where the Law wants: And if many famous Histories be to be believed, they give the Example, for Maintaining of this Law, in the Persons of the Kings of England and France especially, whose special Prerogative they allege it to be. But this I speak only as knowing what belongeth to a King; although in this Case I press no further, than that which may agree with your Loves, and stand with the Weal and Conveniency of both Nations.
And whereas some may think, this Union will bring Prejudice to some Towns and Corporations within England; it may be, a Merchant or Two of Bristow, or Yarmouth, may have an hundred Pounds less in his Pack; but if the Empire gain, and become the greater, it is no Matter. You see One Corporation is ever against another; and no private Company can be set up, but with some Loss to another.
Fourth: For the supposed Inconveniences rising from Scotland, they are Three: First, that there is an evil Affection in the Scottish Nation to the Union : Next, the Union is incompatible between Two such Nations: Thirdly, that the Gain is small, or none: If this be so, to what End do we talk of an Union ?
For Proof of the first Point, there is alleged an Averseness in the Scottish Nation, expressed in the Instrument, both in the Preface and Body of their Act: In the Preface, where they declare that they will remain an absolute and free Monarchy ; and in the Body of the Act, where they make an Exception of the ancient fundamental Laws of that Kingdom.
And first, for the General, of their Averseness; all the main Current in your Lower House ran this whole Session of Parliament with that Opinion that Scotland was so greedy of this Union, and apprehended, that they should receive so much Benefit by it, as they cared not for the Strictness of any Conditions, so they might attain to the Substance; and yet you now say, they are backwards, and averse from the Union. This is a direct Contradiction in adjecto: For how can they both be Beggars and backwards in One and the self-same Thing, at the same Time ?
But, for Answer to the Particulars, it is an old School Point, Ejus est explicare, cujus est condere: You cannot interpret their Laws, nor they yours: I, that made them, with their Assent, can best expound them.
And first, I confess, that the English Parliament are so long, and the Scottish so short, that a Mean between them would do well: For the Shortness of their continuing together was the Cause of their hasty Mistaking, by setting these Words of Exception of fundamental Laws, in the Body of the Act; which they only did, in pressing to imitate, Word by Word, the English Instrument, wherein the same Words be contained in your Preface. And as to their Meaning and Interpretation of that Word; I will not only deliver it unto you, out of mine own Conceit, but as it was delivered unto me by the Lawyers of Scotland, both Counsellors and other Lawyers, who were at the Making thereof in Scotland, and were Commissioners here for Performance of the same.
Their Meaning in the Word, of fundamental Laws, you shall perceive more fully hereafter, when I handle the Objection of the Difference of Laws; for they intend thereby only those Laws, whereby Confusion is avoided, and their Kings Descent maintained, and the Heritage of the Succession and Monarchy, which hath been a Kingdom, to which I am Descent, Three hundred Years before Christ; not meaning it, as you do, of their Common Law; for they have none, but that which is called jus Regis: And
their Desire of continuing a free Monarchy, was only meant, that all such particular Privileges (whereof I spake before) should not be so confounded, as, for want either of Magistrate, Law, or Order, they might fall into such a Confusion, as to become like a naked Province, without Law or Liberty, under this Kingdom. I hope you mean not, I should set Garisons over them as the Spaniards do over Sicily, and Naples; or govern them by Commissioners, which are seldom found succeedingly all wise and honest Men. This I must say for Scotland, and I may truly vaunt it; here I sit, and govern it with my Pen; I write, and it is done; and by a Clerk of the Council I govern Scotland now, which others could not do by the Sword. And for their Averseness in their Heart against the Union ; it is true indeed, I protest, they did never crave this Union of me, nor sought it, either in private, or the State, by Letters, nor ever once did any of that Nation press me forward, or wish me to accelerate that Business ; but on the other Part, they offered always to obey me, when it should come to them; and all honest Men that desire my Greatness, have been thus minded, for the personal Reverence and Regard they bear unto my Person, and any of my reasonable and just Desires. I know there are many Piggots amongst them, I mean a Number of seditious and discontented particular Persons, as must be in all Commonwealths, but where they dare, may peradventure talk lewdly enough; but no Scottishman ever spake dishonourable of England in Parliament. For here must I note unto you the Difference of the Two Parliaments in these Two Kingdoms: For there they must not speak without the Chancellor's Leave; and if any Man do propound or utter any seditious or uncomely Speeches, he is straight interrupted and silenced by the Chancellor's Authority; whereas here, the Liberty for any Man to speak what he list, and as long as he list, was the only Cause he was not interrupted.
It hath been objected, that there is an Antipathy of the Laws and Customs of these Two Nations. It is much mistaken; for Scotland hath no Common Law, as here; but the Law they have, is of Three Sorts:
All the Law of Scotland for Tenures, Wards and Liveries, Seigniories, and Lands, are drawn out of the Chancery of England, and for Matters of Equity, and in many things else, differs from you, but in certain Terms. James the first, bred here in England, brought the Laws thither in a written Hand.
The second is Statute Laws, which be their Acts of Parliament; wherein they have Power, as you, to make and alter Laws; and those may be looked into by you; for I hope you shall be no more Strangers to that Nation : And the principal Work of this Union will be to reconcile the Statute Laws of both Kingdoms.
The third is the Civil Law. James the fifth brought it out of France, by establishing the Session there, according to the Form of the Court of Parliament of France, which he had seen in the Time of his being there; who occupy there the Place of Civil Judges, in all Matters of Plea or Controversy; yet not to govern absolutely by the Civil Law, as in Fraunce. For if a Man plead that the Law of the Nation is otherwise, it is a Bar to the Civil; and a good Chancellor, or President, will oftentimes repel, and put to Silence, an Argument, that the Lawyers brings out of the Civil Law, where they have a clear Solution in their own Law: So as the Civil Law, in Scotland, is admitted in no other Cases; but to supply such Cases wherein the Municipal Law is defective. Then may you see, it is not so hard a Matter as is thought, to reduce that Country to be united with you under this Law ; nor yet have any old Common Law of their own, but such as, in Effect, is borrowed from yours. And for their Statues Laws in Parliament; you may alter and change them, as oft as Occasion shall require, as you do here.
It hath likewise been objected as another Impediment, that in the Parliament of Scotland, the King hath not a Negative Voice, but must pass all the Laws agreed on by the Lords and Commons.
Of this I can best resolve you; for I am the eldest Parliament-man in Scotland, and have sit in more Parliaments, than any of my Predecessors. I can assure you, that the Form of Parliament there is nothing inclined to Popularity. About a Twenty Days, or such a Time, before the Parliament, Proclamation is made throughout the Kingdom, to deliver in to the King's Clerk of Register (whom you here call the Master of the Rolls) all Bills to be exhibited that Session, before a certain Day. Then they are brought unto the King, and perused, and considered by him ; and only such as I allow of, are put into the Chancellor's Hands, to be propounded to the Parliament, and none others : And if any Man in Parliament speak of any other Matter than as in this Form first allowed by me, the Chancellor tells him, there is no such Bill allowed by the King.
Besides, when they have passed them for Laws, they are presented unto me, and, with my Scepter put into my Hand by the Chancellor, must say, I ratify and approve all things done in this present Parliament: And if there be any thing that I dislike, they rase it out before. If this may be called a Negative Voice, then I have one, I am sure, in that Parliament.
The last Impediment is the French Liberties; which is thought so great, as, except the Scots forsake France, England cannot be united to them.
If the Scottish Nation would be so unwilling to leave them, as is said, it would not lie in their Hands; for the League was never made between the People, as is mistaken, but betwixt the Princes only, and their Crowns. The Beginning was by a Message from a King of Fraunce (Charlemaine, I take it; but I cannot certainly remember) unto a King of Scotland, for a League defensive and offensive, between us and them, against England: Fraunce being at that Time in Wars with England. The like, at that Time, was then desired by England against Fraunce; who also sent their Ambassadors to Scotland. At the first, the Disputation was long maintained in Favour of England ; that they being our nearest Neighbours, joined in One Continent, and a strong and powerful Nation, it was more fit, for the Weal and Security of the State of Scotland, to be in League and Amity with them than with a Country, though never so strong, yet divided by Sea from us; especially England lying betwixt us and them, where we might be sure of a sudden Mischief, but behooved to abide the Hazard of Wind and Weather, and other Accidents, that might hinder our Relief. But after, when the contrary Part of the Argument was maintained; wherein Allegation was made, that England ever sought to conquer Scotland, and therefore, in regard of the pretended Interest in the Kingdom, would never keep any sound Amity with them, longer than saw they their Advantage; whereas Fraunce, lying more remote, and claiming no Interest in the Kingdom, would therefore be found a more constant Friend; it was unhappily concluded in Favour of the last Party; through which Occasion, Scotland gat many Mischiefs after. And it is, by the very Tenor thereof, ordered to be renewed and confirmed, from King to King, successively; which accordingly was ever performed by the Meditation of their Ambassadors, and therefore merely personal; and so was it renewed in the Queen my Mother's Time, only between the Two Kings, and not by Assent of Parliament, or Convention of Three Estates, which it could never have wanted, if it had been a League between the People. And in my Time, when it came to be ratified, because it appeared to be in odium tertii, it was by me left unrenewed or confirmed, as a thing incompatible to my Person, in Consideration of my Title to this Crown. Some Privileges indeed, in the Merchants Favour, for Point of Commerce, were renewed and confirmed in my Time; wherein, for my Part of it, there was scarce three Counsellors more than my Secretary, to whose Place it belonged, and meddled in that Matter. It is true that it behooved to be enterined (as they called it) in the Court of Parliament of Paris; but that only serves for Publication, and not to give it Authority; that Parliament, as you know, being
but a judicial Seat of Judges and Lawyers, and nothing agreeing with the Definition or Office of our Parliaments in this Isle. And therefore, that any Fruits or Privileges possessed by the League with Fraunce, is able now to remain in Scotland, is impossible; for ye may be sure that the French King stays only upon the Sight of the Ending of this Union, to cut it off himself: Otherwise, when this great Work were at an End, I would be forced, for the general Care, I owe to all my Subjects, to crave of Fraunce like Privileges to them all, as Scotland already enjoys; seeing the personal Friendship remains as great between us as between our Progenitors, and all my Subjects must be alike dear unto me ; which either he will never grant, and so all will fall to the Ground; or else it will turn to the Benefit of the whole Island : And so the Scottish Privileges cannot hold longer than my League with France lasteth.
As for another Argument, to prove that this League is only between the Kings, and not between the People ; they which have Pensions, or are privy Intelligence-givers in Fraunce, without my Leave, are in no better Case by the Law of Scotland, than if they were Pensioners to Spaine.
As for the Scottish Guard in France, the Beginning thereof was, when an Earl of Boghan was sent in Aid of the French, with Ten thousand Men; and there being made Constable, and having obtained a Victory, was murthered, with the most of the Scottish Army. In Recompence whereof, and for a future Security to the Scottish Nation, the Scottish Guard was ordained to have the Privilege and Prerogative, before all other Guards, in guarding the King's Person,
And as for the last Point of this Subdivision, concerning the Gain that England may make by this Union; I think no wise nor honest Man will ask any such Question. For who is so ignorant, that doth not know the Gain will be great? Do you not gain by the Union of Wales? And is not Scotland greater than Wales? Shall not your Dominions be increased, of Lands, Seas, and Persons, added to your Greatness ? And are not your Lands and Seas adjoining ? For who can set down the Limits of the Borders, but as a mathematical Line or Idea? Then will that Back-door be shut, and those Ports of Janus be for ever closed: You shall have those that were your Enemies, to molest you, a sure Back to defend you; their Bodies shall be your Aids, and they must be Partners in all your Quarrels. Two Snow-balls put together, make One the greater: Two Houses joined, make One the larger; Two Castle-walls, made in One, makes One as thick and strong as both. And do you not see, in the Low Countries, how available the English and the Scottish are, being joined together? This is a Point so plain, as no Man, that hath Wit or Honesty, but must acknowlege it feelingly.
And where it is objected, that the Scottishmen are not tied to the Service of the King in the Wars, above Forty Days; it is an ignorant Mistaking: For the Truth is, that, in respect the Kings of Scotland did not so abound in Treasure and Money, to take up an Army under Pay, as the Kings of England did; therefore was the Scottish Army wont to be raised only by Proclamation, upon the Penalty of their Breach of Allegiance; so as they were all forced to come to the War, like Snails, who carry their House about with them; every Nobleman and Gentleman bringing with them their Tents, Money, Provision for their House, Victuals of all Sorts, and all other Necessaries, the King supplying them of nothing: Necessity thereupon enforcing a Warning to be given, by the Proclamation of the Space of their Attendance, without which, they could not make their Provision accordingly; especially as long as they were within the Bounds of Scotland, where it was not lawful for them to help themselves by the Spoil or Wasting of the Country. But neither is there any Law prescribing precisely such a certain Number of Days; nor yet is it without the Limits of the King's Power, to keep them together as many more Days as he list; to renew his Proclamations, from time to time, some reasonable Number of Days before the Expiring of the former; they being ever bound to serve and wait upon him, though it were an hundreth Year, if need were.
Now, to conclude; I am glad of this Occasion, that I might liberare animam meam. You are now to recede: When you meet again, remember, I pray you, the Truth and Sincerity of my Meaning; which, in seeking Union, is only to advance the Greatness of your Empire seated here in England ; and yet with such Caution I wish it, as may stand with the Weal of both States. What is now desired, hath oft before been sought, when it could not be obtained; to refuse it now then, were double Iniquity, Strengthen your own Felicity. London must be the Seat of your King, and Scotland joined to this Kingdom by a golden Conquest, but cemented with Love, as I said before; which, within, will make you strong against all civil and intestine Rebellion; as, without, we will be compassed and guarded with our Walls of Brass. Judge me charitable, since in this I seek your equal Good; that so both of you might be made fearful to your Enemies, powerful in yourselves, and available to your Friends. Study therefore, hereafter, to make a good Conclusion; avoid all Delays; cut off all vain Questions; that your King may have his lawful Desire, and be not disgraced in his just Ends; and, for your Security in such reasonable Points of Restrictions whereupon I am to agree, ye need never doubt of my Inclination: For I will not say any thing which I will not promise; nor promise any thing which I will not swear; what I swear, I will sign; and what I sign, I shall, with God's Grace, ever perform.
Martis, 31 Martii. Post meridiem.
Mr. Speaker, with the Commons, after his Majesty's Speech ended, being returned to the House, delivered menu his Highness' Pleasure, that this Court should be adjourned till Monday, the 20th Day of April following.
Letter to excuse Members attending Chancery.
In this Vacancy, Mr. Speaker, being warranted by former general Order, upon the Motion of Sir Edmund Ludlowe, directed his Letter to excuse the said Sir Edm. for Attendance upon a Commission, in this Form:
AFTER my very hearty Commendations. Whereas I am informed, that Sir Edmund Ludlowe Knight, and Henry Ludlowe Esquire, his eldest Son, are warned to be present at the Execution of a Commission awarded out of his Majesty's high Court of Chancery to you, and others, for the Examination of Witnesses, in a Cause depending between them and the Provost and Scholars of Queen's College in Oxford; because, by special Direction from his Majesty, the Court of Parliament being adjourned until Monday next (the Day of your sitting) doth then assemble again; and that further, upon his Highness' Pleasure signified, the House hath settled an Order for the careful and daily Attendance of all the Members of the said House, during this Session; I am, in the Duty of my Place, to advertise you of the said Order, lest, by the Absence of the said Sir Edmund, or his Son, their Cause might be prejudiced, or themselves incur Blame or Contempt; which I pray you foresee, and excuse their Appearance, as you find the Time and Occasion shall require. And so I commend you to the Lord's blessed Protection. From Boswell-house, this Day Of April, 1607 [a].
Your very loving Friend,
Ed. Phelips, Speaker.
State of Bills in the House.
Mr. Speaker produced a Note, framed by the Clerk, containing the State of such Bills as then remained in the House, whether passed, ingrossed, committed, dashed, rejected, or sleeping; and read it distinctly himself; and nothing else was done in it for that Time.
Mr. Martin remembefeth the House, that Tomorrow was a peremptory Day, appointed at their last Sitting, for the Reading of the great Bill of Fens, &c. and expresseth the Desire of such as follow the Bill, to be, that their Counsel might be heard, to open the State of the Cause, and the Equity and Reasons of their Petition, before the Bill were read: Which was not admitted; but, if the Counsel on the other Part desired to be heard, then both to be received : And in that Difference over-ruled, That Counsel, prayed for the Maintenance of any Bill, ought not be heard, before it be opposed.
No Bill read this Day; and the House arose at Ten a Clock, being not above three-score.