House of Lords Journal Volume 4: 16 March 1642

Pages 646-649

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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DIE Mercurii, videlicet, 16 die Martii.


The Lord Keeper signified to the House, "That he hath received a Letter from the King, to command him to deliver a Message to the Parliament."

The House commanded it to be read; which accordingly was as followeth, videlicet,

"To Our Right Trusty and Well-beloved Counsellor, Edward Lord Littleton, Keeper of Our Great Seal of England.


Letter from the King to the Lord Keeper with a

"Right Trusty and Well-beloved Counsellor, We Greet you well. Our Will and Command is, That, at the next Sitting of Our House of Peers (after your Receipt of these), you deliver Our Message (sent inclosed) to be read in Our said House, and afterwards communicated to Our House of Commons. For which this shall be your Warrant.

Given at Our Court at Huntingdon, this 15th of March, 1641."

The Message:

Message about Ireland, and declaring against the Validity of any Act or Ordinance that has not received the Royal Assent.

His Majesty, being now in His Remove to His City of Yorke, where He intends to make His Residence for some Time, thinks fit to send this Message to both Houses of Parliament, That He doth very earnestly desire that they will use all possible Industry in expediting the Business of Ireland, in which they shall find so chearful a Concurrence by His Majesty, that no Inconvenience shall happen to that Service by His Absence; He having all that Passion for the reducing of that Kingdom, which He hath expressed in His former Messages, and being unable by Words to manifest more Affection to it than He hath endeavoured to do by those Messages; having likewise done all such Acts as He hath been moved unto by His Parliament: Therefore, if the Misfortunes and Calamities of His poor Protestant Subjects there shall grow upon them, though His Majesty shall be deeply concerned in, and sensible of their Sufferings, He shall wash His Hands, before all the World, from the least Imputation of Slackness in that most necessary and pious Work.

"And that His Majesty may leave no Way unattempted which may beget a good Understanding between Him and His Parliament, He thinks it necessary to declare, that, as He hath been so tender of the Privileges of Parliament, that He hath been ready and forward to retract any Act of His own, which He hath been informed hath trenched upon the Privileges; so He expects an equal Tenderness in them of His Majesty's known and unquestionable Privileges (which are the Privileges of the Kingdom); amongst which, He is assured, it is a fundamental one, that His Subjects cannot be obliged to obey any Act, Order, or Injunction, to which His Majesty hath not given His Consent: And therefore He thinks it necessary to publish, That He expects, and hereby requires, Obedience from all His loving Subjects to the Laws established; and that they presume not, upon any Pretence of Orders or Ordinance (to which His Majesty is no Party), concerning the Militia, (or any other Thing), to do or execute what is not warranted by those Laws; His Majesty being resolved to observe the Laws Himself, and to require Obedience to them from all His Subjects.

And His Majesty once more recommends to His Parliament the Substance of His Message of the 20th of January last, That they compose and digest with all Speed such Acts as they shall think fit for the present and future Establishment of their Privileges, the free and quiet enjoying their Estates and Fortunes, the Liberties of their Persons, the Security of the true Religion now professed in the Church of England, the maintaining His Majesty's Regal and just Authority, and settling His Revenue; His Majesty being most desirous to take all fitting and just Ways which may beget a happy Understanding between Him and His Parliament, in which He conceives His great Power and Riches doth consist."

Huntingdon, 15 Martii, 1641.

This House, taking this Message into Consideration, Resolved, To communicate the same to the House of Commons presently, at a Conference.

A Message was sent to the House of Commons, by Sir Edward Leech and Doctor Bennet:

Message to the H. C. for a Conference, about the King's Message.

To desire a present Free Conference, by a Committee of both Houses, in the Painted Chamber, concerning a Message lately sent from the King, touching the Privilege of Parliament, and the Good and Safety of the Kingdoms of England and Ireland.

Committee to prepare Heads for it.

These Lords following were appointed Committees, to draw up and consider of the Heads which shall be propounded at this Conference with the House of Commons:

The L. Chamberlain.
Comes Pembrooke.
Comes Leycester.
Comes Warwicke.
Ds. Robartes.

These Lords withdrew themselves presently.

Messenger who brought the Letter to to attend.

Ordered, That the Messenger that brought this Letter to the Lord Keeper shall be commanded to attend this House, to be examined concerning the bringing of this Letter.

The Lords Committees being come again into the House; the Lord Robartes reported from the said Committee those Heads which they think fit to be spoken of at this Conference:

Heads for a Conference upon the King's Message.

"1. That the Lords are of Opinion, according to the Declaration that both Houses made to His Majesty, That His Majesty's Removal to Yorke will be a very great Obstruction, if not a Destruction, to those Affairs.

"2. That, if this Message came from the Court, according to the Date, their Lordships conceive it to be a prophetical Spirit; but this House thinks it fit it be examined, whether it did so or no.

"3. To let the House of Commons know, that this House conceive this Message to be a Breach of the Privilege of Parliament, and the Law of the Land."

Ordered, That this House approves of these Heads, to be spoken of this Conference with the House of Commons; and that any Peer may speak at this Free Conference, concerning these Three Heads.

Bill for raising Monies.

Hodie 3a vice lecta est Billa, An Act for the raising and levying of Monies, for the necessary and great Affairs of the Kingdoms of England and Ireland, etc.

Which being put to the Question, was Resolved to pass as a Law.

Next, a Petition was presented to this House, by divers Knights and Gentlemen of the County of Bedford, which the House received, and caused the same to be read in their Presence, in hæc verba: videlicet,

The Petition of Bedfordshire.

"To the Right Honourable the Peers assembled in Parliament.

"The humble Petition of the High Sheriff, Knights, Esquires, Gentlemen, Ministers, Freeholders, and others Inhabitants, of the County of Bedford,


"That we are unable to express our Joys, or declare the Thankfulness of all our Hearts, for the happy Concurrence of your Lordships with the Honourable House of Commons, upon which the Prosperity and Welfare of our Church and State depends: Only in this ye are able (by the Blessing of God) to effect your great and high Atchievements, and to lay prostrate the desperate Plots and Devices of our wicked Adversaries, whose chiefest Designs (as we have just Cause to believe) hath been to cut in sunder this Gordian Knot, and (by dividing) to triumph in our Ruin and Confusion.

"We most humbly therefore supplicate your Lordships, that this blessed Consent and Unity may long continue, and at this present (being a Time of great Distraction), for the perfecting of what you have so happily begun, for a full and complete Reformation of the Government and Grievances of this Church and Common-wealth. And we, to the last of our Lives, and utmost of our Estates and Fortunes, are resolved to defend His Majesty's Royal Person and State, and your Lordships, in these your joint and honourable Proceedings. And though you should have no Cause to need our Swords, yet for this happy Consent and Union, and for your Lordships Prosperity, shall ever be the daily and hearty Prayers of your Petitioners, etc."

The Gentleman that delivered this Petition said, "He had Commission from the County of Bedford to give their Lordships humble Thanks, for Concurrence with the House of Commons in the Ordinance for settling the Militia of this Kingdom, to which they will give Obedience, and be ready to put the same into Execution whensoever they shall be commanded."

Thanks returned to the Petitioners.

After this, they withdrew; and this House taking this Petition and Offer of that County into Consideration, and having resolved what Answer to return by those that presented it, they were called in again; and the Lord Keeper told them, "That he was commanded by this House to return them Thanks, for their Care of the public Good of England and Ireland; especially for their Readiness to give Obedience to the Ordinance of both Houses of Parliament, for settling the Militia, and to let them know that this House is putting the same into speedy Execution."

Answer from the H. C. about the Conference on the King's Message.

The Messengers sent to the House of Commons return with this Answer:

That the House of Commons will give a present Free Conference, as is desired, in the Painted Chamber.

The House of Commons being come, this House was adjourned during Pleasure, and the Lords went to the Conference; which being ended, the House was resumed.

Taylor, the Messenger, examined whom he had the King's Letter of.

Then Francis Taylor, a Messenger, was brought before this House, to be examined of whom he had the Letter which was delivered to the Lords from the King; and he said, "He had the said Letter from a Servant of the Lord of Falklands last Night, at Nine of the Clock; and he brought it, and delivered it to a Servant of the Lord Keeper."

Bill for clearing Lord Kymbolton, and others.

Ordered, That the Lords Committees for the Bill concerning the clearing of the Lord Kymbolton, and the Five Members of the House of Commons, shall meet presently, and consider of the said Bill, and give Expedition therein; and accordingly they presently withdrew.

Petition of Merchant Strangers of Dover, to be exempted from Subsidies.

A Petition of the Merchant Strangers of Dover was read, desiring they might be exempted from paying of Subsidies, as formerly they have been.

Ordered, That the Consideration of this Petition is referred to the Committee appointed to consider of securing the Bullion of Merchants Strangers; and to report the same to this House.

Next, a Petition was presented to this House, by divers Knights and Gentlemen of the County of Cambridge, which this House receiving, was read in their Presence, as followeth: videlicet,

The Petition of Cambridgeshire.

"To the Right Honourable the Lords in Parliament assembled.

"The humble Petition of the Knights, Esquires, Gentlemen, and Commons, of the County of Cambridge, and Isle of Elie,


"The many Pressures and heavy Grievances which we for many Years past have groaned under, have of late, by your pious and noble Endeavours, received a comfortable Relief in Part, and your Petitioners much cheared with the good Hopes conceived of your Lordships further Care and Zeal for a perfect Cure for the future, most graciously manifested to all by your Lordships late happy Concurrence with the Honourable House of Commons, who (to the great Joy of us) have thereby hitherto gone on in a blessed Progress, towards a thorough Reformation in Church and State; the serious Consideration whereof, and of that great Blessing and Benefit we receive thereby, your Petitioners, in the Duty of their Gratitude, humbly present themselves, their Lives and Fortunes, in the Defence of your noble Persons.

"May it therefore please your Lordships to accept this, though thus long-delayed, as a resolved Assurance of our Fidelities to your Lordships, proceeding in a happy Concurrence, for the Glory of God and the public Good; which your Petitioners, in all Humility, conceive will not be a little advanced, if your Lordships please to speed the settling of God's Worship according to His Word, placing of a Religious Ministry, removing of unwarranted Orders and Dignities, the Steps unto Popery, purging the Universities, banishing of Popish Clergy, excluding ill Counsellors, punishing Delinquents, relieving our distressed Brethren abroad, and fortifying ourselves at Home; wherein we beseech your Lordships to go on, but with as much Zeal and Speed as the pressing Necessity of the Times require.

"So shall we, as we are bound, pray for the Increase of your Lordships Happiness here, and the Fruition thereof hereafter."

Thanks returned to the Petitioners.

The Gentlemen withdrew; and the House having resolved what Answer to return for the present, they were called in again; and told by the Lord Keeper, from this House, "That their Lordships do give them Thanks, for their Care of the Public Good; and that their Petition shall be taken into speedy Consideration."

No more Commissioners Names for Ireland to be added.

Resolved, upon the Question, That there shall no more Commissioners Names be added to the Seven Lords of this House, and the Fourteen Members of the House of Commons, appointed Commissioners by both Houses to manage the Affairs of Ireland.

A Message was sent to the House of Commons, by Sir Edward Leech and Doctor Bennett:

Message to the H. C. with the Commission and Instructions for Commissioners for Ireland.

To let them know, that this House agrees with them in the Commission and Instructions, which are to be given to the Commissioners of both Houses, for the managing of the Affairs of Ireland; and that this House approves of the Persons and Number of the said Commissioners, being Seven Lords, and Fourteen Members of the House of Commons.

Sir Francis Popham's Bill.

The Earl of Warwicke reported from the Committee the Bill of Sir Francis Popham, Knight, with the Amendments; which were read Thrice, and approved of by this House.


Hodie 3a vice lecta est Billa, An Act made for the settling and establishing of the Remainder of a Term of Eighty Years to come, in certain Manors and Lands, in the County of Somersett, in Sir Francis Popham and his Assigns.

And, being put to the Question, it was Resolved, To pass as a Law.

Bill for clearing L. Kymbolton, &c.

The Lord Robartes (fn. 1) reported from the Committee, That they think it fit, that the Bill for clearing the Lord Kymbolton, and the Five Members of the House of Commons, do pass as it is, without any Alterations."


Hodie 3a vice lecta est Billa, An Act for the clearing and vindicating of the Lord Kymbolton, Denzell Holles, Esquire, Sir Arthur Haselrigg, Baronet, John Pym, John Hampden, and William Strode, Esquires, from a late feigned Charge or Accusation of High Treason.

And, it being put to the Question, it was Resolved, To pass as a Law, nemine contradicente.

Clerk of the Crown to prepare Two Commissions for Two Bills to pass.

Ordered, That the Clerk of the Crown in the Chancery shall forthwith draw up Two Commissions, and prepare them ready for the Great Seal, for His Majesty's Royal Assent to be given unto an Act, for the raising of Monies for the great Affairs of the Kingdoms of England and Ireland; and another Act, for the clearing of the Lord Kymbolton, and the Five Members of the House of Commons, of a feigned Charge of High Treason: And further it is Ordered, That the Lord Keeper shall give Order, that the said Commissions be forthwith sent to the King, to be signed.

Private Business put off.

Ordered, That the former Order of this House shall be renewed and re-printed, for putting off all Private Business until the First Day of the next Term, excepting the Cause of the Earl of Warwicke against Langhorne and others; and the Lord Viscount Loftus's Cause, depending in this House; the Cause of the Lord St. Johns against George Benyon.

E. Rivers and L. St. Johns versus Benyon.

Ordered, That the Cause of the Earl Rivers, and the Lord St. Johns, against George Benyon, shall be proceeded in, before the Lords Committees formerly appointed for that Business, on Wednesday the 23d of this Instant March, at Two of the Clock in the Afternoon, in the Painted Chamber; and that the Earl of Riverse and Lord St. Johns, or their Agents, shall have the Perusal and Copies of Mr. Auditor Phillips Books of Accompts, and likewise the Perusal and Copies of the Books of Assignments and Deputations, resting with Martyn Boothby, Anthony Banker, and Peter Duckett; and lastly, that a Warrant shall be granted out, for the summoning of the Witnesses of the said Earl Rivers and Lord St. Johns, to attend the said Hearing; and that the said George Benyon shall have Notice of the Time of the said Hearing.


Dominus Custos Magni Sigilli declaravit præsens Parliamentum continuandum esse usque in diem Jovis, videlicet, 17m diem instantis Martii, hora 1a post meridiem, Dominis sic decernentibus.


  • 1. Origin. Resolved.