Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 11, 1660-1666. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.
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- DIE Veneris, 10 die Maii.
DIE Veneris, 10 die Maii.
Domini præsentes fuerunt:
Sir Edward Turner, Speaker of H. C.
His Majesty being again set in His Royal Throne, (fn. 1) in His Regal Robes, the Lords being also in their Robes, the Commons presented unto His Majesty Sir Edward Turner Knight, for their Speaker; who, being brought to the Bar, with great Reverence began his Speech in this Manner; (videlicet,)
"May it please Your Most Excellent Majesty,
"The Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses of the Commons House of Parliament, being there assembled by virtue of Your Majesty's most Gracious Writ, have been pleased (I dare not say to choose, but) to name me their Speaker.
"It is an undoubted Privilege of every Member in that House, to be heard speak, much more when he speaks for or against himself. But, Sir, whether more out of Favour to me or Injury to themselves I cannot tell, they were not pleased to hear, at least they would not accept, my just Apology and Excuse from this Service.
"Therefore, from this their Judgement, if I must so call it, I do most humbly appeal to Your Sovereign Justice; beseeching Your Majesty, for the Errors that are too visible and apparent in their Proceedings, that You will review and reverse the same.
"My Inexperience in the Customs and Orders of the House, my Inability to collect their Sense, and state the Questions rising upon long and arduous Debates, do justly render me unfit, and therefore unworthy, of this weighty Employment.
"Your Majesty well knows, when a Ship puts forth to Sea, she should be provided with Mariners of all Sorts. In case a Storm doth rise, some must trim and lower the Sails, some must watch aloft the Decks, some must work at the Pump; but he had Need be a very good Seaman that is the Pilot. Sir, I hope I may be useful to this Your Sovereign Vessel in some of these inferior Places; but I dare not undertake to be their Steersman.
"I do most humbly therefore beseech Your Majesty, that You will not take us at our First Word; our Second Thoughts are best. Pray, therefore, be pleased to command the Members of the House of Commons to return into their House, to recollect themselves, and to present Your Majesty with a better Choice."
Approved of by the L. Chancellor, in the King's Name.
This being said, the Lord Chancellor, having first conferred with His Majesty, answered as followeth; (videlicet,)
"You have not discredited yourself enough to persuade the King to dissent from His House of Commons in the Election they have made. If He had never seen you before, you have now spoke too well against yourself, for His Majesty to suspect you are no good Speaker: But you have the Honour to be well known to the King; have spoken very often before Him; and His Majesty well knows that you are not without any of those Parts; of knowing the Orders of the House, where you have sat long; or collecting and stating and putting the Questions aptly, which must constitute a right good Speaker. Therefore His Majesty is so far from thinking the House hath made an ill Choice, that He believes they could not have made a better; or from admitting your Excuse, that He confirms their Election, and thanks them very heartily for making it; and requires you to submit to it, and to betake yourself with all Alacrity to the Service."
His Majesty having thus denied Mr. Speaker's Excuse, and approved of the Commons Choice of him; Mr. Speaker proceeded, and said,
The Speaker of H. C. Second Speech.
"He that knows his Master's Will, and doth it not, is worthy to be beaten with many Stripes. I shall therefore humbly and chearfully, to the best of my poor Skill and Knowledge, apply myself to the Performance of my Duty; not doubting therein to obtain Your Majesty's Gracious Pardon for all involuntary Transgressions; for 'tis a Rule in Law, and in Conscience too, Actus non facit reum, nisi Mens sit rca.
"And, since I have found this Favour in the Sight of my Lord the King, pray let me beg Your Majesty's Patience for a while, to make a Stand, and from this Place to look about me. Sir, A weak Head is soon giddy; but the strongest Brain may here be turned: The Presence of this Glory, and the Glory of this Presence, do transport me. Whilst I contemplate the incomparable Beauty of this Body Politic, and the goodly Order of this High Court of Parliament, where at once I behold all the Glory of this Nation, I am almost in the Condition of St. Paul, when he was taken up into the Third Heaven. All he could say upon his Return was, he saw Things unutterable.
"God, that made all Things for the Use of Man, and made him Governor over all His Works, thought it not fit to leave him to himself, nor to live without a Law and Government. The Forms and Species of Governments are various; Monarchical, Aristocratical, and Democratical: But the First is certainly the best, as being nearest to Divinity itself.
"Aristocracy is subject to degenerate, and run into Faction; but Democracy naturally runs into Confusion. Then every Man becomes a Tyrant over his Neighbour; Homo Homini Lupus, Homo Homini Dæmon.
"This famous Island, Historians tell us, was first inhabited by the Brittans, then by the Romans, then by the Saxons, then by the Danes, then by the Normans; and during all these Successions of Ages, and Variety of Changes, though there was sometimes Divisum Imperium, yet every Division was happy under a Monarchical Government.
"Since the Entrance of the Norman Race, Twentyfive Kings and Queens, famous in their Generations, from whom Your Sacred Majesty is lineally descended, have swayed the Royal Sceptre of this Nation.
"The Children of Israell, when they were in the Wilderness, though they were fed with God's own Hand, and eat the Food of Angels, yet they furfeited, and murmured, and rebelled against Moses.
"The same unthankful Spirit dwelt in this Nation for divers Years last past. The Men of that Age were weary of the Government, though it was refined to the Wonder and Envy of all other Nations; they quarreled with our Moses, because He was the Lord's Anointed. Nolumus bunc regnare, was their First Quarrel; but Leveling, Parity, and Confusion followed; then Tyranny and Usurpation was the Conclusion.
"We read of the Emperor Adrian, when He lay a dying, He complained that many Physicians had destroyed Him; meaning, that their contrary Conceits and different Directions for His Recovery had hastened His Death.
"So it is with us: We were sick of Reformation; Our Reformers were of all Ages, Sexes, and Degrees; of all Professions and Trades. The very Cobler went beyond his Last. These new Statesmen took upon them to regulate and govern our Governors: This was the Sickness and Plague of the Nation. Their new Laws were all written in bloody Letters; the Cruelty of their Tribunals made the Judgementseat little differ from a Slaughter-house: The Rich Man was made an Offender for a Word; Poor Men were sold for Slaves, as the Turks sell Heads, Twenty for an Asper: Yet for all this Villany there was at Length found a Protector.
"No Amendment at length would serve these Reformers Turns; no Concessions, though the most gracious that could be imagined, would satisfy these Usurpers; but, Root and Branch, all must go. Our late Sovereign Lord, of Blessed Memory, must be offered up a Sacrifice to their Lust; Your Sacred Person (Great Sir) proscribed, and all the Royal Family exiled. Monarchy itself was voted burdensome, and therefore they must try a Commonwealth; and, the better to digest it, the People were intoxicated with a Belief that they should all, like themselves, be Princes in their Turns.
"Amongst the Persians, after the Death of their Governor there was used to be, /?/ /?/ /?/, a Five Days Lawlessness, in which Time every Man might do what he listed: During those Five Days there was such Killing, and Robbing, and Destroying one another, that, before they were ended, the People longed again for their old Government.
"After the Death of Your Majesty's Most Royal Father, here was the like Licentiousness; but, alas! it continued more than Twice Five Years: Liberty they called it; but it was Libertas quidlibet audendi. Your loyal Subjects were a Prey to Wolves and Tygers; and to the most cruel of all Beasts, unreasonable Men. Every Man did what seemed good in his own Eyes; for in those Days there was no King in our Israell.
"But, as the former Spirit of Reformation at first brought us into this Misery; so the Spirit of Giddiness, which God sent amongst our Reformers, at length cured us. The Brazen Serpent was the best Cure for those that were bitten by the Fiery Serpent. The Divisions and Subdivisions of those that exercised Dominion over us, weakened their own Power, and stirred up the Hearts, and strengthened the Hands, of Your loyal Subjects, to restore our ancient Government, and to bring Your Sacred Majesty back to Your Royal Throne in Peace, as, to the Joy of all our Hearts, we see it this Day.
"This was the Work of God, and it is admirable in our Eyes. And as we have Cause at all Times to bless God, that He hath thus brought Your Majesty to Your People; so we have just Cause at this Time to return our hearty Thanks unto Your Majesty, that You have thus brought Your People to Yourself.
"The Sun exhales the Vapours from the Earth, and sends them down again in Showers of Plenty. So we, to our great Joy, do find that our Obedience and Affection to Your Majesty are returned upon our Heads, in Plenty, Peace, and Protection.
"The last Meeting here in Parliament was happy, in healing the bleeding Wounds of this Nation. They were blessed also, even for their Works Sake. Your Sacred Majesty did bless them; and therefore they shall be blessed to all Posterity.
"But, Sir, we hope You have a Blessing left for us too. That was Your Parliament by Adoption, but this is Yours by Birth-right. This Parliament is free born. I hope this Honour will beget in us an Emulation to exceed the Actions of our Predecessors; and not only to meet Your Majesty as our Sovereign with the Duty of Subjects, but with the Love of Sons to a most indulgent Father.
"Next to the Glory of Your Majesty's Royal Throne, I cannot but observe the Brightness of this Second Orb. This Firmament is richly deckt with Stars of several Magnitudes; each Star appears like the Morning Star, and yet each Star differs from another in Glory.
"You cannot want Commanders, either by Sea or Land, to manage Your Designs, whilst all these Sons of Mars stand Candidate to serve You in the Wars.
"You cannot want Counsellors, to advise You in the great Affairs of the Nation, whilst all these Statesmen, Senators, each sit to be a Conful, contend who shall most ease You in the thorny Cares of the Government.
"Amidst these Noble English Barons are placed the Reverend Judges of the Land, the Sages of the Law; Men so learned and expert in the Customs and Statutes of this Land, that if Wat Tyler, or Jack Cade, or the new Fanatics of this latter Age, had burned our Books, they were able to restore our Laws in Purity and Perfection.
"And next to these, though in a lower Orb, appear the Worthy Knights, the Prudent Citizens and Burgesses, of the House of Commons, being the Third Estate of Parliament.
"When the Fame of Solomon's Wisdom had filled the Neighbour Nations, the Queen of Sheba could not contain Herself at Home; but, with many Camels, laded with Spices, with Gold, and precious Stones in Abundance, She comes to Solomon, to commune with Him of all that was in Her Heart.
"Great Sir, Whilst this Your Native Country was unworthy of You, Foreign Nations were made happy in the Knowledge of Your Person, Your Piety, and Your Wisdom. And now the Lord our God hath brought You Home, and set You on Your Throne, Your Subjects long to see You.
"What Striving and Rejoicing was there, at Your First Landing, to see our rising Sun!
"What Striving was there, at Your Coronation, to see the Imperial Crown set upon Your Royal Head!
"What Striving hath here lately been, in all the Counties, Cities, and Boroughs of this Nation, who should be sent up to hear Your Wisdom, and confer with You in Parliament!
"Royal Sir, These chosen worthy Messengers are not come empty-handed; they are laden, they are sent up to You heavy laden, from their several Counties, Cities, and Boroughs.
"If the Affections of all Englishmen can make You happy; if the Riches of this Nation can make You great; if the Strength of this warlike People can make You considerable at Home and Abroad; be assured, You are the greatest Monarch in the World. Give me Leave, I beseech You, to double my Words, and say it again, I wish my Voice could reach to Spain and to the Indies too, You are the Greatest Monarch in the World.
"I fear Your Royal Patience may be tired. I will therefore speak no more my own Words; but, in the Name of the Commons of England humbly present unto Your Majesty their accustomed Petitions when first they are assembled in Parliament, and so conclude:
"First, I do beseech Your Majesty, That, for our better Attendance on the important Service of the House, ourselves and our necessary Servants may be free, in our Persons and Estates, from all Arrests and Troubles.
"2. That, Debate and Disputes being necessary to the Disquisition of many Matters in the House, Your Majesty will be pleased to vouchsafe us Liberty and Freedom of Speech, which, I doubt not, we shall use with Loyalty and Sobriety.
"3. That, if the great Affairs require it, Your Majesty, upon our humble Suit, will vouchsafe us Access to Your Royal Person.
"4. That the Proceedings of the House may receive a benign Interpretation, and be free at all Times from Misconstructions."
L. Chancellor's Speech.
The Speaker's Speech being ended, the Lord Chancellor again conferred with His Majesty; and answered,
"The King is well pleased with your Obedience, and that you have so chearfully submitted to undergo that Province the House of Commons hath designed you to: He promises Himself and the Kingdom as great Fruit and Benefit from your joint Services, as ever any of His Progenitors received from a Speaker and a House of Commons. The King did His Part, by publishing the very Day He intended the Parliament should meet, a good Time before the Writs were sealed; by sending out the Writs much longer than was necessary before the Day of Meeting, that the Country might not be surprized in their Elections, but that they might send up such, as He might make a clear View and Prospect of the Affections and Desires of His People; and He is persuaded that the Commons of England were never more exactly represented than they are at present, in you, the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses. And yet I have a very particular Command from His Majesty to tell you, which in Truth He meant to have said to you Himself the other Day, and which He hopes you will not take ill in Point of Privilege, that His Majesty takes Notice, indeed He cannot choose but take Notice, of One ill Circumstance in many Elections, which He imputes rather to the Vice of the Times, a Vice worthy your Severity, than to any corrupt Intention; that is, Excess of Drinking, which produceth that other scandalous Excess in the Expence. His Majesty doth very heartily recommend it to your Wisdom, for the Honour and Dignity of Parliaments, that you will take some Course to prevent this Inconvenience for the future; and if you think fit to call for any Help from Him towards it, you will be sure to have it.
"You have made, Mr. Speaker, a very lively Description of the Extravagancy of that Confusion which this poor Nation groaned under, when they would throw off a Government they had lived and prospered under so many Ages, indeed from the Time of being a Nation, and which is as natural to them as their Food or their Raiment, to model a new one for themselves, which they knew no more how to do, than the naked Indians know how to dress themselves in the French Fashion; when (as you say) all Ages, Sexes, and Degrees, all Professions and Trades, would become Reformers, when the common People of England would represent the Commons of England; and abject Men, who could neither write nor read, would make Laws for the Government of the most heroic and the most learned Nation in the World; for sure none of our Neighbours will deny it to have a full Excellency and Perfection both in Arms and Letters. And it was the grossest and most ridiculous Pageant that great Impostor ever exposed to public View, when he gave up the Nation to be disposed of by a Handful of poor mechanic Persons, who, finding they knew not what to do with it, would (he was sure) give it back to him again, as they shortly did, which makes his Title compleat to the Government he meant to exercise. No Man undervalues the common People of England, who are in Truth the best and the honestest, (fn. 2) aye, and the wisest common People in the World, when he says they are not fit to model the Government they are to live under, or to make the Laws they are to obey. Solomon tells us, there is a Time when one Man rules over another to his own Hurt; we have had abundant Instances of such a Time. It is the Privilege, if you please the Prerogative (and it is a great one), of the common People of England, to be represented by the greatest, and learnedest, and wealthiest, and wisest Persons, that can be chose out of the Nation; and the confounding the Commons of England, which is a noble Representative, with the common People of England, was the First Ingredient into that accursed Dose, which intoxicated the Brains of Men with that Imagination of a Commonwealth; a Commonwealth, Mr. Speaker, a Government as impossible for the Spirit and Temper and Genius of the English Nation to submit to, as it is to persuade them to give their Cattle and their Corn to other Men, and to live upon Roots and Herbs themselves. I wish heartily that they who have been most delighted with that Imagination knew in Truth the great Benefit under the Government. There is not a Commonwealth in Europe, where every Man that is worth One Thousand Pounds doth not pay more to the Government than a Man of a Thousand Pounds a Year did ever to the Crown here before these Troubles. And I am persuaded that Monster Commonwealth cost this Nation more, in the few Years she was begot, born, and brought up, and in her Funeral (which was the best Expence of all), than the Monarchy hath done these Six Hundred Years.
"You have well done, Mr. Speaker, in taking Notice of the great Esteem the King hath of the Memory of the last Parliament. He takes all Occasions Himself to do it; and it deserved it at His Hands: But, as the wisest Father takes Joy in the Hopes his Heir will be wiser than he, and the greatest Monarch in the Hopes that His Successor will be greater than He; and if the Souls departed feel any Joy upon what is done in this World, it is in the Case of such an Heir, such a Successor; so, you may be confident, the Ghost of the deceased Parliament will be much delighted, much exalted, to see your Actions excel theirs, and your Fame exceed theirs. It was a blessed Parliament; but there are other and greater Blessings reserved for you. They began many Things which you may have the Happiness to finish; they had not Time, nor Opportunity, to begin many Things which you may have the Honour to begin and finish. They invited His Majesty Home, restored Him to His Throne, and Monarchy to the Nation. It will be your Glory, so to establish Him in His Power and Greatness, so as to annex Monarchy to the Nation, that He and His Posterity shall be never again forced to be Abroad, that They be invited Home, nor in Danger to be restored; so to rivet Monarchy to the Hearts, and to the Understandings of all Men, that no Man may ever presume to conspire against it. Let it not suffice that we have our King again, and our Laws again, and Parliaments again; but let us so provide, that neither King, nor Laws, nor Parliament, may be so used again. Let not our Monarchy be undermined by a Fifth Monarchy, nor Men suffered to have the Protection of a Government they prosess to hate. Root out all anti-monarchical Principles; at least, let not the same Stratagems prevail against us. Let us remember how we were deceived; and let not the same Artifices over-reach us again. Let King, and Church, and Country, receive more and greater Advantages, by the Wisdom and Industry of this Parliament. Let Trade Abroad and at Home be encouraged and enlarged, all Vices and Excesses be restrained and abolished, by new Laws and Provisions; let profitable Arts and Industry find so great Encouragement, that all thriving Inventions may be brought from all Parts of the World to enrich this Kingdom, and that the Inventors may grow rich in this Kingdom. And upon this Argument of encouraging Industry, I have a Command from the King, to recommend to you the Encouragement or Preservation of a great Work of Industry, in which the Honour and Interest of the Nation is more concerned than in any Work this Age hath brought out, it may be in any Nation; and that is, all the Drainings in England, which have given us new Countries upon our own Continent, and brought an inestimable Benefit to the King and People, by an Act of Creation making Earth, and mending Air by Wit and Industry. Let no Waywardness in particular Persons, or Consideration of private and particular Advantage, give Disturbance to Works of so public a Nature, much less destroy such Works; but provide out of Hand for the upholding and supporting them by some good Law, in which due Care may be taken for all particular Interests, when the Public is out of Danger.
"I have but One Desire more, Mr. Speaker, to make to you from the King, to which the Season of the Year, as well as your Inclinations to gratify Him, will dispose you; and that is, that you will use such Expedition in your Councils of most Importance, that the rest may be left to a Recess in the Winter, after an Adjournment; that His Majesty may have a Time to bestow Himself upon His Subjects in a Progress, which He would be glad to begin before the End of July. I have Leave to tell you the Progress He intends; that He desires again to see His good City of Worcester, and to thank God for His Deliverance there, and to thank God even in those Cottages, and Barns, and Haylofts, in which He was sheltered, and feasted, and preserved; and in the Close of that Progress He hopes He shall find His Queen in His Arms, and so return to meet you here in the Beginning of Winter.
"Mr. Speaker, All your Petitions are very grateful to the King. You and your Servants, in your Persons and Estates, are free from all Arrests or Molestations. Your Liberty and Freedom of Speech is very willingly granted to you. When you would repair to His Majesty, you shall be welcome. And His Majesty will be so far from Jealousy of your Actions, that He believes it is impossible for Him to be jealous of you, or you of Him; and, if you please, He will make it penal to nourish that unwholesome Weed in any Part of the Kingdom."
Dominus Cancellarius, ex Jussu Domini Regis, continuavit præsens Parliamentum usque in diem Saturni, videlicet, 11 diem instantis. Maii, hora nona Aurora.