House of Lords Journal Volume 6: 20 March 1644

Pages 476-479

Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 6, 1643. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.

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In this section

DIE Mercurii, 20 die Martii.

PRAYERS, by Mr. Wilson.

Lords present this Day:

Ds. Grey de Warke, Speaker.

L. General.
L. Admiral.
Comes Pembrooke.
Comes Lyncolne.
Comes Rutland.
Comes Bolingbrooke.
Comes Nottingham.
Comes Northumb.
Comes Sarum.
L. Viscount Say & Seale.
Comes Stamford.
Ds. Howard.
Ds. Dacres.
Ds. Berkley.
Ds. Wharton.

Hester Hodges, Leave to stay in Town to provide Childbed Linen for the Queen.

Upon reading the Petition of Hester Hodges, Servant to the Countess of Denbigh; shewing, "That she being sent up from her Lady, to make Provision of Childbed Linen and other Necessaries for the Time of Her Majesty's Lying-in, and she being by the Committee of Examinations ordered to return to Oxford at or before Friday next, unless she shall have Leave from the Parliament to the contrary:" It is Ordered, That this House gives Liberty for the said Hester Hodges to stay in Town until this Day Sevennight, to dispatch the Businesses aforesaid.

Mr. Peters, 100 l.

Ordered, That this House agrees with the House of Commons in the Order for (fn. 1) paying One Hundred Pounds to Mr. Peters. (Here enter it.)

Sir W. Brereton, 1000 l.

Ordered, That this House agrees with the House of Commons in the Order for paying One Thousand Pounds to Sir Wm. Brereton, out of Haberdasher's Hall.

(Here enter it.)

Paper from The States Ambassadors.

The Speaker acquainted this House with a Paper; which was delivered to him by The States Ambassadors, to be presented to the Lords; which was read, being translated into English. (Here enter it.)

Report of the Conference about it;

Next, the Speaker reported the Effect of the Conference with the House of Commons:

"That Sir Henry Vane Junior did acquaint their Lordships with a Letter, which the House of Commons received from The States Ambassadors; which, for the better understanding of it, was translated into English; which was read.

"Concerning which Paper, it being a Thing of great Importance, the House of Commons have made a Vote, wherein they desire their Lordships Concurrence; videlicet,

"That it be referred to the Committee of both Kingdoms, to consider and present their Opinions to the Houses, of the Order to be held in the Proceeding upon the Paper from The States Ambassadors."

and concerning Lord Howard's Ordinance;

"The Second Part of the Conference was, concerning the Ordinance touching the Lord Howard of Esc. wherein the House of Commons do not agree: But they desire their Lordships, that William Lord Craven may be assessed for his Twentieth Part, and that whatsoever shall be so assessed may be conferred upon the Lord Howard; and that it be referred to the Committee at Haberdashers Hall, to collect and levy the said Twentieth Part so assessed; and that, after the Assessment so made, the Committee at Haberdashers Hall shall allow and pay to the said Lord Howard Fifty Pounds per Week, and reimburse themselves out of the said Twentieth Part.

and the Ordinance for raising Monies for the Counties under Sir W. Waller.

"The Third Part of this Conference was, concerning the Alterations made by their Lordships in the Ordinance concerning the Four associated Counties whereof Sir Wm. Waller is to be Major General.

"The Clause as it went from [ (fn. 2) the House of Commons to] the Lords, to which the Lords inserted their Three Amendments:

"And be it further Ordained, That all the Forces raised, or to be raised, in the said associated Counties, shall be kept entirely, and not to be drawn forth out of the said Counties, or kept or continued forth upon any Service, without the Knowledge and joint Consent of the said Sir Wm. Waller, and the said Committee that shall be appointed by virtue of this present Ordinance, to be continually in the Army with the said Sir Wm. Waller, while they are together, or (fn. 3) of One of them while they are distant one from another, or without particular Direction of Parliament, or of the Committee appointed for the ordering and directing all Matters concerning the War; by Ordinance of both Houses of Parliament.

1. They consider, that the Forces mentioned in the said Ordinance are to be raised and maintained at the Charge of the associated (fn. 4) Counties; and therefore they hold it good Prudence, to comply with the reasonable Desires of those Counties in regulating of those Forces; they understand it to be the Desire of those Counties, that those Forces should not be drawn forth in any other Manner than as it is expressed in that Clause.

"As to the First Amendments in the Title and Preamble of the Ordinance, the House of Commons doth consent to them, with this Explanation to be inserted before the last Proposition in that Ordinance:

"Provided always, and be it Ordained, by the Authority aforesaid, That, in the Absence of his Excellency the Earl of Essex Lord General, the said Sir Wm. Waller shall command, and have the full Power of a Commander in Chief, in the said associated Counties, over all the Forces raised, or to be raised, as aforesaid, notwithstanding any Expressions in this present Ordinance."

Ordered, That this (fn. 4) House agrees with the Desire of the House of Commons, concerning the assessing of the Lord Craven for his Twentieth Part; and the Committee for assessing of the Peers is hereby appointed to meet To-morrow Morning, at Eight of the Clock, to assess the Lord Craven and the Earl of Arundell.

Report concerning appointing Committees, to join with the Scotch Commissioners to treat about a Peace.

Next, the Earl of Lyncolne reported to this House, That the Committee have considered what is fit to be communicated to the House of Commons, at a Conference, concerning the late Conference with the House of Commons;" and the Paper of their Opinions was read:

"The Lords have always been ready, upon every Occasion, to join with you in any Thing that concerneth the Good of the Kingdom; and are now most willing to agree with you, to consider and prepare Grounds whereby all His Majesty's Dominions may enjoy a happy and safe Peace: But whereas it is desired that the same should be referred to the Committee of the Two Kingdoms, the Lords do consider, that many of the Members of that Committee, both Lords and Commons, are such as are by their Employments engaged to be upon Service abroad, and thereby necessitated to be absent from this, which is of so great Importance, and requires the best and ablest Assistance, they having already the whole Care of managing the War; so as to add unto them this further Employment must needs be some Prejudice to the Public Service, so few of them being in a Possibility to attend it.

"And the Lords desiring to retain the ancient approved Parliamentary Way, for each House to nominate their own Members as Committees, and this being a new Power to be given to them, have named a Committee of Nine Lords of their House; and desire that you will name a proportionable Number of your House, to join with them, to treat with the Commissioners of Scotland for the Purpose aforesaid.

"And the Lords are the rather encouraged to expect a chearful Concurrence from you, because the Ordinance that came from you did restrain the Committee in the former Ordinance from treating of Peace; and they having now named their own Members, if any Delay be used in a Business they so much desire to advance and expedite, they hope it will not be imputed to them."

And it was Resolved, upon the Question, That this House will communicate this Paper to the House of Commons, at a Conference.

Committee for that Purpose.

Hereupon the House nominated these Nine Lords, as follow:

L. General.
L. Admiral.
Comes Pembrooke.
Comes Sarum.
Comes Lyncolne.
Comes Northumb.
L. Viscount Say & Seale.
Ds. Grey.
Ds. Howard.

Paper from The States Ambassadors.

Ordered, That this House thinks fit that the Paper of The States Ambassadors be referred to the aforesaid Committee of Nine Lords.

Message to the H. C. for a Conference, concerning these Matters.

A Message (fn. 5) was sent to the House of Commons, by Serjeant Whitfield and Dr. Aylett:

To desire a Conference, by a Committee of both Houses, touching the Business of Peace delivered to them at a late Conference, and concerning the Paper delivered to the Lords from The States Ambassadors.

Report of the Conference concerning the Oath of Secrecy.

The Lord Wharton this Day reported the Conference with the House of Commons formerly, concerning the Oath of Secrecy, &c.; videlicet,

That Mr. Rous delivered at the Conference, That the Parliament hath been inforced to maintain Religion, the Parliament, and Laws, by a Defensive War.

"The managing of this was, by an Ordinance of both Houses, put into the Hands of a Committee with the Scottish Commissioners.

"This Committee is the Ship wherein all those Things as far as concerns the War are included.

"A Leak in this Ship will undo it, and all that is in it.

"Some Votes of your Lordships do endanger to make a Double Leak, to the endangering of this Ship; for,

"If it hath not Secrecy, the Counsels will be let out; if the Power be let out, as good no such Thing.

"As to that of Secrecy, your Lordships have voted and declared, That it is the undoubted Right and Privilege of a Peer that sits in this House, to come to any Committee of this House, or of both Houses, and particularly to the Committee of both Kingdoms lately made by the Ordinance of Parliament, intituled, "An Ordinance for the appointing a Committee of both Houses of Parliament, to join with the Committee and Commissioners of Scotland, for the better managing the Affairs of both Nations in the common Cause, according to the Ends expressed in the late Covenant and Treaty between the Two Nations of England and Scotland."

"Now, if any Peer may come to this Committee, it gives the same Liberty for any Member of the House of Commons; and so there would be no Use of the Committee, in Point of Secrecy, more than if the managing of the War were in both Houses at large.

"As to that of Power, your Lordships have voted, That, when the Lord General at any Time receives Directions from the Committee appointed by both Houses of Parliament to treat with the Scottish Commissioners, if he see Cause to the contrary, he may suspend the Execution thereof until he have acquainted both Houses of Parliament therewith.

"And though this Vote passed Two Days before the Ordinance, and so may be thought void; yet it cannot be thought that it stands for nothing; nothing of nothing would not be voted.

"If this Vote refer to something, then it must look to the Ordinance; and if so, then 'twould be lawful for the Lord General not to pursue the Directions of the Committee till he acquaint both Houses; and then the Secrecy is gone.

"The Steps of the Proceedings are to be observed in Point of Time.

"8 Feb. the Ordinance was sent up by the Commons, and Three Conferences had upon it.

"14 Feb. the Vote passed, That my Lord General might suspend the Execution of any Directions from the Committee, till he have acquainted both Houses therewith, as (fn. 6) by the Votes appears.

"16 Feb. the Ordinance was passed unanimously.

"21 Feb. the Vote passed, That it was the undoubted Right and Privilege of a Peer, to come to any Committee, &c.

"24 Feb. the Oath of Secrecy was rejected.

"27 Feb. the Message delivered thereof to their own Messengers at the Bar.

"The House of Commons, for the maintaining of good Understanding between the Two Houses, hath not usually received negative Answers by their own Messengers, neither have returned negative Answers by the Messengers of the Lords; as neither the King doth to the Bills of the Two Houses, but by such Words, Le Roy s'avisera; direct Denial seeming to cut off further Consideration and Conference concerning the Matter proposed in a Message, especially in this Case, wherein a Negative is returned before any Reasons proposed or heard, and which, being heard, might have altered the Opinion of either House; which the Commons have the more Reason to resent, because the Lords, having voted Reasons in their own House, would not vouchsafe to communicate them to the Commons.

"And having made Mention hereof, they do especially insist on the Matter itself contained in the Message, together with other Votes of the Lords relating to the same Business for which the Oath of Secrecy was proposed: First, in the Ordinance itself, is acknowledged a great Usefulness and absolute Necessity of this joint Committee, for receiving the Desires, and communicating Counsels of both Kingdoms, for the common Cause of Religion and Liberties.

Reasons for the Oath of Secrecy:

1. That these Uses will be altogether ineffectual, and wholly lost, without Secrecy; and an Oath being the most solemn and usual Band of Secrecy, it seems in this Case to be of absolute Necessity.

2. Likewise the Parliament, for this very Reason of Secrecy, did restrain the Matters contained in the Ordinance to a lesser Number of Persons; and for the same Reason, the House of Commons thought it fit that their Debates and Resolutions should be under an Oath of Secrecy.

"3. And also most of the Things contained in our Protestation and Oaths are such as Parliament-men were bound to perform without an Oath, which Oaths and Protestations were submitted unto and taken.

"4. It will give greater Confidence, Security, and Encouragement, to those that are without, to make Discoveries; and a greater Confidence and Freedom in the Debates of the Committee itself.

5. It will prevent the Temptations which may arise from Curiosity and Inquisitions.

6. And lastly, the Committees will be subject to Penalty.

"Reasons against the First Order of the Lords, of the 14th of February:

1. It will destroy the Privacy and Expedition intended by the Ordinance, if the Lord General may suspend the Execution until the Houses be acquainted.

"2. The Scottish Commissioners having a joint Power of ordering and directing the Affairs in that Ordinance, with relation to the carrying on of the War by the joint Forces of both Kingdoms, this Appeal to both Houses doth wholly abrogate this Power as to them.

Reasons against the Second Order of the Lords, of the 21 Februarii:

"1. If the Lords, then the Commons may come to this Committee; and so the whole End of the Ordinance is destroyed.

2. In Case that either House may not, upon emergent Occasions, make a Private Committee, to which other Members may not resort, it would be a Denying of Means to either of the Houses to manage particular and special Business to the most and best Advantage.

Reasons against both Orders together:

1. That it is Unparliamentary, and of ill Consequence to all Ordinances and Laws that may pass in Parliament, if it may be in the Power of either House to vote a dormant Sense upon any Law or Ordinance, other than the Sense of the Ordinance or Law itself; and it will very little differ from the Case of the King's giving a private Sense upon the Petition of Right, to alter that Sense to which He gave His Parliamentary Consent; and what Resentment the Houses had of that, appears by their Proceedings thereupon.

"2. The House of Commons do the more resent these Two Orders in this particular Case (because the Committees of the Houses, by this Ordinance, are to be joined with the Commissioners of Scotland, for the managing of the Particulars contained in the Ordinance), as that which may be of dangerous Consequence, and a Cause of Jealousy to the Commissioners here, that there should be any Orders in either House which might carry any other Sense beside what is contained in the Ordinance itself, whereby the Committees are ordered to treat with them; and from these Proceedings, Doubts may arise that there may be some Orders in the Houses, which may alter the true Sense and Meaning of the Treaty, and other Public Transactions between the Two Kingdoms.

"Upon the whole Matter, the Desire of the House of Commons is,

"1. When the Lords do send Negatives to any Message, that they will do it in the usual Parliamentary Way.

"2. That an Oath of Secrecy be passed.

"3. Thirdly, That the Two Orders beforementioned may be by them declared void.

The Conclusion:

The House of Commons desires a good Correspondence with their Lordships.

That they are very sensible of the ill Consequences if it should be otherwise; but such are the present Inconveniences in the Miscarriage of these Affairs, as may appear by what hath already been represented, as that he was commanded, in the Name of the Commons of England, to let your Lordships know, that if this great Cause, that concerns Religion and all that is dear unto us, shall miscarry for Want of your Lordships Concurrence in those just and necessary Ways, which, according to their Duty, they have proposed for the carrying of it on, they have removed the Guilt of it from their own Doors: Nevertheless, according to the Trust reposed in them, they shall continue to do that which, in their Judgement, and they hope in the World's, shall be most needful for the perfecting the pious and glorious Work which is in their Hands, for God and the Kingdom.

"The House of Commons do now bring up to their Lordships an Oath for Secrecy, with some Alterations from the last Oath of Secrecy, wherein they desire their Lordships Concurrence."

Ordered, That this House will take the Matter of this Report into Consideration on Monday Morning next.

Message from the H. C. with Two Ordinances.

A Message was brought from the House of Commons, by Mr. Greene and others;

To desire their Lordships Concurrence in Two Ordinances:

1. Concerning the making of Gunpowder in England and Wales.

2. Concerning Tonnage and (fn. 7) Poundage.

The Answer returned was:


That their Lordships will send an Answer by Messengers of their own.

Randall sworn, to be examined at Haberdashers Hall.

This Day John Randall was sworn at this Bar, and is to be examined by the Lords and Commons at Haberdashers Hall.

Southby's Petition.

Upon reading the Petition of James Southby Merchant: It is Ordered, That his Petition be referred to the Lords and Commons for Sequestrations, to take the same into their Consideration.

Answer from the H. C.

The Messengers return with this Answer from the House of Commons:

That they will give an Answer, as is desired.

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

Paper from The States Ambassadors, for bringing about a Peace.


"It is almost Two Years since our Lords The States Generall of the United Provinces of The Lowe Countryes having with much Displeasure, understood the Distractions of these Kingdoms, had ordained us their Ambassadors to go and present their Interposition, thereby (if it could be done) to mediate an Accommodation betwixt the King and His Parliament.

"The Hope (fn. 8) their Lords conceived that these Affairs might (fn. 9) of themselves turn from ill to better, made them to delay our sending; but, seeing the Mischance should here come to a full Measure, and burst out into an open War, our said Lords have been induced to return to their former Care, and have sent us presently into this Kingdom, to propound an Accommodation, and to present to the same our Interposition.

"The King hath so much yielded to our Offer, that His Majesty hath declared that He liked well of our Interposition, and accepted the same, and an Overture of a Treaty; and we do not doubt, if the Thrice Noble and Honourable Lords and Commons of the Parliament, for Reasons that concern the Conservation of the true Religion, the Good of the King and of these Kingdoms, and of so many Millions of People (which otherwise are and shall be exposed to all Hazards of a certain Ruin), do condescend to a Conference and Treaty of Peace, to which we will present our Interposition and Mediation if it shall be liked, but that the great God of Peace and Concord will within a little while grant a good and happy Issue to these bloody Troubles and Miseries; which to attain, we will not spare any sincere and most affectionate Duties, according to our Instructions, and such as may be expected from a State in Friendship, and from those who, in the common Profession of the true Religion, and in Interests, being so streightly joined, will esteem both the Good and Evil of this State to be unto them most sensible and unseparable.

"Delivered by the Ambassadors of the said Lords States, unto Monsieur the Baron Gray of Warke, Speaker, to be communicated to the Lords of the Parliament, this 14th of March, 1643."

Order for 100 l. to Mr. Peters.

"It is this Day Ordered, by the Lords and Commons in Parliament assembled, That One Hundred Pounds shall be forthwith bestowed upon Mr. Peters, in Testimony and Acknowledgement of his good Service done to the Kingdom, in this great Cause of Religion and Liberty, both here and abroad; and that the Committee at Habberdash'rs Hall do forthwith pay the said Hundred Pounds to Mr. Peters, or such as he shall appoint to receive the same."

Order for 1000 l. to Sir W. Brereton.

"Whereas, by an Order of both Houses, of the 29th of February, Five Hundred Pounds was appointed presently to be paid, upon Accompt, to Sir William Brer'ton, assigned unto him by Order of both Houses, towards the providing of Arms out of the Monies that come in at Habberdashers Hall, and the Residue that the said Arms shall amount unto by Month and Month, till the whole Sum that the said Arms should come unto were paid; the which Sum of Five Hundred Pounds he hath already received: For the better and speedier expediting of Sir William Brer'ton upon the Service of the State, it is Ordered, by the Lords and Commons, That the said Committee at Habberdash'rs Hall do forthwith pay unto the said Sir William Brer'ton, upon Accompt, for the Uses aforesaid, One Thousand Pounds more."


House adjourned till 9a cras.


  • 1. Origin. pay.
  • 2. Bis in Originali.
  • 3. Origin. if.
  • 4. Deest in Originali.
  • 5. Bis in Originali.
  • 6. Deest in Originali.
  • 7. Origin. Powder.
  • 8. Origin. your.
  • 9. Origin. with of.