House of Lords Journal Volume 4: 12 November 1641

Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 4, 1629-42. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.

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, 'House of Lords Journal Volume 4: 12 November 1641', in Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 4, 1629-42, (London, 1767-1830) pp. 435-437. British History Online [accessed 22 May 2024].

. "House of Lords Journal Volume 4: 12 November 1641", in Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 4, 1629-42, (London, 1767-1830) 435-437. British History Online, accessed May 22, 2024,

. "House of Lords Journal Volume 4: 12 November 1641", Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 4, 1629-42, (London, 1767-1830). 435-437. British History Online. Web. 22 May 2024,


In this section

DIE Veneris, videlicet, 12 die Novembris.


Venetian Ambassador's Complaint about his Letters being opened.

The Lord Keeper signified to the House, "That the Venetian Ambassador made a Complaint to the Lords of the Council, that the Dispatches which were sent to him this Week were opened, and the Seal of the State of Venice broken open, by the Parliament, whereby he accounts himself much grieved with it; and for this he hath retired himself from the public Affairs, as an Ambassador between this Kingdom and that State, until he receives further Command from his Masters." Then was read a Paper (being a Translation out of Italian) delivered from the Venetian Ambassador; the Contents was this: videlicet,

"Most Noble Lords,

His Memorial to the House about it.

"The Correspondency betwixt Princes (fn. 1) there hath always been the most immediate Ways of a true Interest of maintaining of Estates, and of Continuance of Commerce, to the Benefit and Increase of the Commonwealth.

"To cultivate this, the most great King hath always used the most Industry; and to facilitate it, they have introduced the Expedition of Ambassadors, to confirm it betwixt the one and the other Kingdom.

"In this there hath been all Respect rendered to all Princes, even in all Times, not only having made the large Prerogatives and Liberties, and the very same (as I may say) the very Princes and Patrons possessing the same Dominions, amongst the remarkable and equally necessary; and that by which we may receive Letters, and send from the proper Prince, and whatsoever Person, without any Interruption, which is the most principal Part of an Ambassador, which Practice (most Noble Sirs) is not the Laws of our Nation alone, but universal, and hath been maintained and inviolated of the King and the Public, and of all Christian Governments, no less than amongst the most barbarous. I nevertheless cannot say but that I have enjoyed, in this great Court, that just Respect, until the last Letters were opened which came from France to me directed, although they were restored by my Lord Feilding and Sir Henry Vane, upon whose Honour they secured me, that it was a simple Error, and not willingly committed, which I believed; yet could not persuade myself that the Government of England, so noble and generous, should have so inferior a Mind as to open the Letters of an Ambassador, and by this Means to violate the Laws, and to give an Example to the World so damnable, and of so little Respect towards the Ministers of the Serenissima Respublica, which, after so many Ages, hath given a sincere Testimony of Affection and Esteem to this Crown. So now new Experience, with my Mortification, hath given Testimony of the contrary, being Yesterday all the Letters were opened coming from Venice, Antwerpe, and other Countries, and the very Letters writ unto me from the Serenissima Respublica, the Regal Seal being broken, and the Commission sent from my Lords being published, and many of my own Letters being taken. The Success of this cannot be approved of by any. I have judged it not inconvenient to give Notice unto your Excellencies, by which you may reflect of the Greatness of their Knowledge as much as concerns them, taking that Resolution which they judge most necessary to the sustaining of the Honour of this Nation, of the Public Faith, under the Protection of whom the Ambassadors live, and make themselves known to all Princes; that in England they do not pretend to introduce new Laws, but that they maintain constant Profession of the ancient, rendering the Respects which they ought to the Ministers of the Serenissima Respublica."

Satisfaction to be given him for it.

This House thought it fit, and agreed, That Satisfaction for this shall be given to the State of Venice, and to the Ambassador for the present.

Committee to draw up an Answer to his Memorial.

The House appointed the Earl of Bristoll, Earl of Holland, Lord Viscount Say & Seale, the Lord Digby, and the Lord Newnham, to draw up presently what was fit to be given by Way of Answer to the Venetian Ambassador; and their Lordships presented a Draught unto the House, which was read, in hæc verba: videlicet,

The Answer.

"That Four Members of the House of Peers be forthwith sent to the Ambassador, to disavow the Action, and to endeavour to give him all Satisfaction, by declaring how sensible they are of it, as tending to the Breach of Public Faith and the Law of Nations; and to shew further how desirous they are to continue the ancient Correspondency betwixt the King and that State, the House of Peers are resolved to be humble Suitors to His Majesty, to hasten the Departure of His Ambassador, to make known to that State the same Sense, with such other Expressions as may best declare the tender Respect they have to the Honour of that State, and the noble Usage their Ministers may expect, and shall find, in their Residence here, from the King and Parliament."

Committee to deliver it to the Ambassador.

This being approved of by the House, the Lord Privy Seal, the Lord Great Chamberlain, and the Lord Marquis Hertford, and the Lord Newnham, were appointed by the House to deliver the aforesaid Paper to the Venetian Ambassador.

List of the King's Servants.

The Lord Chamberlain delivered into this House a List of all the King's Servants, both in Ordinary and Extraordinary.

Mr. Smart versus Dr. Cosens, & al.

Ordered, That the Cause of Peter Smart, Clerk, against Doctor Cosins and others, upon an Impeachment sent up from the House of Commons, shall be peremptorily heard further in this House, at the Bar, on the Fifteenth of January next, at such Time as the House shall sit; and then all the Parties and Witnesses concerning this Cause shall attend the said Hearing.

Thirteen Bishops required to put in their Answers.

After this, the Thirteen Bishops, which stand impeached in this House from the House of Commons for Crimes, in making the late Canons and Constitutions, and granting a Benevolence unto the King, being by Order of this House to put in their Answers to the said Impeachment, were required by the Speaker, in the Name of this House, to put in their Answers.

Their Impeachment read.

Their Impeachment, brought up from the House of Commons, was read; and then the Counsel assigned the Bishops were called in, and demanded to give in the Answers of the Bishops: They answered, they had delivered in the said Answer to the Lords the Bishops.

Their several Answers put in.

The Bishop of Winton hereupon delivered his Answer, with the rest of the impeached Bishops, in Writing, subscribed with all their Hands (excepting the Lord Bishop of Gloucester, who delivered in his by himself by Word of Mouth).

Their Answer was read, which consisteth of a Plea and a Demurrer. (Here enter it).

The Lord Bishop of Gloucester by himself pleaded "Not Guilty, Modo et Forma, as is charged in the Impeachment."

This (fn. 2) being done, the Counsel were commanded to withdraw.

Message to the H. C. to impart their Answers to them.

The House, (fn. 3) having taken this Answer into Consideration, thought it fit to communicate it to the House of Commons, the Impeachment having proceeded from them.

To this Purpose a Message was sent down to the House of Commons, by Serjeant Whitfeild and Serjeant Glanvile:

To deliver to the House of Commons the Plea and Demurrer of the Twelve Bishops that are impeached by them; and also to let them know, that the Bishop of Glocester joins not with the rest, but pleads not guilty of that which he is impeached of Modo et Forma.

Soldiers levied for the King of Spain to take the Oaths.

Ordered, That the Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench shall administer the Oaths of Supremacy and Allegiance to those Soldiers that are taken up by Edmond Moore, for the Service of the King of Spaine, and others now in Saint Katherine's; and such as will take the aforesaid Oaths shall be released; and those that refuse shall be examined by the said Lord Chief Justice, who shall report the said Examinations unto the Lords Committees for the Irish Affairs, and they to take such further Course therein as they shall think fit.

Pluralities and Non-residency.

Ordered, That the Committee concerning the Bill of Pluralities and Non-residency shall meet on Monday Morning next.


Dominus Custos Magni Sigilli declaravit præsens Parliamentum continuandum esse usque in diem crastinum, videlicet, diem Sabbati, 13m diem instantis Novembris, hora 11a, Dominis sic decernentibus.


  • 1. Sic.
  • 2. Bis in Origin.
  • 3. Deest in Origin.