Proceedings in Parliament 1624: The House of Commons. Originally published by British History Online, 2015-18.
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THURSDAY, 19 FEBRUARY 1624
I. JOURNAL OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS, PA, HC/CL/JO/1/12
[CJ 670; f. 2v]
Jovis, 190 Februarii, 210 Jacobi
This day his Majesty, according to his Highness's last writ of adjournment, rode in state in his chariot from his court at Whitehall, first unto the Abbey, with the Prince his Highness, and attended by the Lords, judges, etc. At the Abbey, the Bishop of Exeter preached before him; and after the sermon, he came into the higher House of Parliament.
In this meantime, the Privy Council, members of the House of Commons and great numbers of other the members thereof attended, sitting in the said House of Commons, expecting when they should be sent for to come up to his Highness.
After his Majesty was set, a messenger was sent down to require the members of the Commons House to come up to his Majesty, who going up accordingly, his Majesty made unto them a short but a most learned and gracious speech, declaring unto them the principal cause of his calling this Parliament, viz. for their advice, whether he should proceed any further in his treaties with Spain, about the match of the Prince, or concerning the restitution of the Palatinate, and withal gave them very gracious assurance of his care for preservation of their liberties and privileges, etc. And at length directed the House of Commons to go down and choose a Speaker, and to present him whom they should choose unto his Highness upon Saturday then next after, at 2 of the clock in the afternoon.
The members of the Commons House being come down into the said House and settled, Mr. Treasurer of the Household, remembering our grief for our last parting thence and congratulating for the joy in our now meeting (with persuasion of endeavour to advance the good both of king and kingdom, which are inseparable) [f. 3] proceeded, according to his Majesty's directions, to the choice of a Speaker; nominating for that service Sir Thomas Crewe, Serjeant-at-Law, an ancient member of this House, a man every way after our own hearts.
Upon this, a general acclamation in the House, nemine contradicente, "Sir Thomas Crewe", who thereupon standing up, acknowledged the long experience he had had of the love and favour of this House, whence this their choice of him now proceeds; yet the sense of his own disabilities makes him entreat [CJ 671] them, for the honour of the House and advancement of the service, to make choice of some fitter, whereof there are many.
Mr. Treasurer and Mr. Comptroller fetch and lead him to the chair, where being set, he stood up and told the House that since he found this done by God's designment and providence, his best endeavours should not be wanting; would carry an even heart between head and body, and clean hands in bills between party and party; yet desires liberty, with their favour, to appeal to his Majesty to spare him and to direct the choice of a fitter. That his Majesty has appointed the House, upon Saturday, at two of the clock in the afternoon, to present their Speaker to him.
Generally agreed to meet here, and to be ready at one; and so the House departed.
II. JOURNAL OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS, PA, BRY/73
Jovis, 190 Februarii, 210 Jacobi
This day his Majesty rode in state from his court at Whitehall unto the abbey at Westminster, where the Bishop of Exeter preached before him. And the sermon being ended, his Highness came into the higher House of Parliament.
In this meantime, the Privy Council and great numbers of other members of the House of Commons attended, sitting therein in expectation to be sent for to come up to his Highness.
His Majesty being set, a messenger was sent down unto the House of Commons to require the members thereof to come up to his Highness in the Upper House, who, going up accordingly, his Majesty made a short but a most learned and gracious speech thereby declaring the principal motives of his summoning that Parliament, viz. for their advice, whether he should longer continue the treaties with Spain, about the marriage of his son the Prince, or concerning the restitution of the Palatinate, and withal gave a most gracious assurance of his constancy in maintaining God's true religion here established among us, and of his care and resolution for preservation of the liberties and privileges of Parliament. In conclusion, he directed the House of Commons to go down and choose a Speaker, and to present him whom they should choose unto his Highness upon Saturday then next after, at two of the clock in the afternoon.
The members of the Commons House being come down into the House and settled, Mr. Treasurer of the Household stood up. And remembering in his speech our grief for our last parting, and congratulating for our joy in our now meeting (with persuasion to endeavour the advancement both of king and kingdom, which are inseparable) proceeded, according to his Majesty's direction, to the choice of a Speaker, nominating and propounding for that service Sir Thomas Crewe, knight, Serjeant-at-Law, an ancient member of this House and a man in all respects after our own hearts.
Hereupon a general acclamation in the House (nemine contradicente), "Sir Thomas Crewe".
[f. 427v] Sir Thomas Crewe, hereupon standing up, acknowledged the long experience he had had of the love and favour of this House, whence this their choice proceeds; yet the sense of his own disabilities makes him to entreat them, for the honour of the House and advancement of the service, to make choice of some fitter, whereof there are many in the House.
Having thus spoken, Mr. Treasurer and Mr. Comptroller of the Household took him and leading him between them placed him in the chair. Being there set, he stood up and told the House that since he found this done by God's designment and providence, his best endeavours should not be wanting. He would carry an even heart between head and body, and clean hands in bills between party and party, yet desired liberty, with their favour, to appeal to his Majesty to spare him and to direct the choice of a fitter. Moves that since his Majesty has appointed the House to present their Speaker unto him, upon Saturday next at 2 of the clock in the afternoon, they will now resolve of the circumstances of time and place for the meeting of the House. Whereupon it was generally agreed to meet here in the House, and to be ready by 1 of the clock upon Saturday in the afternoon, and so the House departed.
III. DIARY OF JOHN HAWARDE, WILTSHIRE AND SWINDON ARCHIVES, 9/34/2
Jovis, 190 Februarii 1623
Le Roy veig al Parliament et la deliver un gracious speeche al content de tout, et le seigneur Keeper un brefe speeche puis luy (quex sont enter en mon grande liver) et le Roy commende Sir Thomas Crewe pur notre Speaker. Sur cest nous vae al notre Huise et Sir Thomas Edmondes, le Treasorer del Huise le Roy, fait un brefe et nete speeche et commend grandment Sir Thomas Crewe pur Speaker, et il fait son excuse, mes les Huise clamor "a chaire, a chaire", et sur cest Sir Thomas Edmondes et Sir John Suckling, le Tresorer et Controller, duce luy al chaire. La le Speaker fait autre excuse et fait honest et religious speache and dit que Sabbati proximus nous doiomus meete in cest Huise al one a clocke et present le Speaker al Roy al 2, et cest Huise adjourne luy mesme al Saturni proximus one a clocke, et Sir Edward Coke surge de vaer et le gallerye clamor "Sir Edward Coke", mes null doit parley et issint nous departe.
IV. DIARY OF JOHN HOLLES, BL, HARL. MS 6,383
[19 February 1624]
[Parliament had been adjourned to the 19th] ... when his Majesty made his speech to both Houses, then adjourned unto Saturday the 21st at 2 of the clock ...
V. DIARY OF JOHN LOWTHER, CUMBRIA ARCHIVE CENTRE, CARLISLE, DLONS/L/2/1
[19 February 1624]
[Parliament had been adjourned to the 19th] ... at which day, all being assembled in the Upper House, the King made a speech to us to this purpose. That he knew the strength of a king was in the love of his people. In respect of some mistakings, he desired to remove all misunderstanding that was the last Parliament's (which indeed was no Parliament but broke off in respect of some differences between him and the House about their privileges and some other matters then in agitation). And as Christ was husband to the Church his spouse, so said he was he to the commonwealth and his people in his kingdoms in this part of the earth, under whom he was head. And as it is the duty of the husband to entreat, reconcile and to procure the love of his wife, so would he do to his people; and to give them a token of his love and his trust in them, he called them to counsel and craved their advice in the greatest matter that can concern him or them, as the writ imports de ordinibus Regni nostris, or his kingdom.
He showed how he had long treated and laboured for the peace of Christendom, but he was delayed [f. 1v] by fair promises, but he found slow performance; and that in generals, so as he could not attain to certain knowledge, for generalis est dolorous and certainty grows out of particulars. Wherefore his son desired to go over into Spain to sound the particulars and he adventured and sent Buckingham with him, a man he trusted most, with direction never to leave him, and he thanked God that his journey had been successful. That they found nothing prepared but all to be as to be propounded of new when he expected performance; that his son and Buckingham should acquaint the House with all and they should have res integra. Wherein he craved our sound advice and consideration with what haste as might be, for delay brings danger and his grandchildren were put from their inheritance. Yet would not he limit us hours or days, but since he knew the nature of man to be earnest in what it desired and that this in interest concerned us all, he hoped that they would maturely advise.
And because he heard he was doubted to have neglected the care of our religion in his treaties, he protested and would give them a truth: that he did never forget to provide for it. And yet as a good horseman sometimes used the bridle and otherwise the spur, so in government did he, never purposing to drag his laws to silence but still keeping the power in his hands. He desired us to hold close to our [f. 2] considerations and not to be diverted with matters of privilege, with quirks, and said he would not infringe our liberties so long as we kept us within that we had warrant for. For he was an old king and would rather add to our privileges. He said he knew that never king was better beloved of his people than he, and that the Parliament, who was the representative body of his people, he hoped would show it. For his part he had expressed his love in his constant government of his [blank] and would show it still in his carriage to us, their representative body. And he wished us to bring loving affections, and not to be false mirrors to represent their loves as false glasses. He said, as God judge me, I long as much for a good success of this Parliament as the thirsty man for the water in the deserts of Arabia. And so he ended.
Then the Lower House went to their House, and then Sir Thomas Edmondes, a member of it, did propose Sir Thomas Crewe for our Speaker. And then we rose and appointed to meet on Saturday, at one of the clock ...
VI. ANONYMOUS DIARY, KENNETH SPENCER RESEARCH LIBRARY, UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS, MS E237
[19 February 1624]
The 19th day the Marquess Hamilton was made Lord Steward, and the King went in state in his chariot to the Parliament House and made an excellent, pithy and short speech to this effect. First, setting forth the state of a great monarchy consisting of king and people, of which the Parliament House was the representative body; that the majesty of a king consisted in the number of his people but the power of a king in the love of his people, which he assured himself he had as much as any king could have. He likened a king and his people to a man and his wife who should wholly desire the welfare of one another; and as it was the [f. 93v] husband's part, if differences fell between them, to reconcile himself to his wife, so did he desire to do to them.
That out of his care for the honour of God, the good of the kingdom and care of his children, chiefliest of his grandchildren, he had now called this Parliament to consult and advise with them of the weightiest business that could concern the kingdom. Which was that he had long had treaties for a match with the King of Spain for a wife for the Prince his son, from whom finding nothing but delays, which were more dangerous than denials, he yielded to give way to his son the Prince his importunity to go into Spain to bring it to some speedy issue, and commanded the Duke of Buckingham, whom he most trusted, to go with the Prince, to tarry with him and to come home with him.
When the Prince came into Spain, he found that all the former treaties were but in generals; but now that the[y] came to particulars, all was new to begin. So as now finding how he had been abused, his Majesty was determined to have relations made to the Houses of all the proceedings, and did desire the speedy and faithful advice of the Parliament what to do therein. He moved the Commons to have care to speed the time in respect of our own dangers and the bleeding state of Christendom.
[f. 94] That in respect of some speeches cast abroad in the country of his wavering in religion, he would give us some satisfaction, and protested he had never done or taken oath in all this business but always with that caution of salus republicae, and for that which might be most for the glory of God and executing the laws against recusants without infringement; only he said he did like a good rider of a horse, who did not think it best always to use the spur but sometimes to restrain with the bridle as well as correct with the spur, so had he carried himself this while with the recusants.
Now having played the gardener in planting good things among us, so must he also pull up the weeds that grew therein; and of those he would give us warning of two: one was that we should beware of suspicions; the other to avoid frivolous questions, and, as [St.] Paul said, genealogies, but go effectually to these great businesses that should be committed to us, with care for the good of the kingdom and maintenance of his Majesty's estate, and use our privileges so far as was fit, and he would be so far from infringing them as he would rather add unto them.
Then the Lord Keeper made a speech and told us that the King's pleasure was to commend unto us for our speaker Sir Thomas Crewe, and would have us attend on the 21st of February to present him.
[f. 94v] Afterward we went to the House, and after we had sat there a while, Sir Thomas Edmondes, the Treasurer of the King's Household, made a speech and told us of the unhappy breaking up of the former conventions of Parliament without any fruit of our labours, and advised to husband the time now better to the happy effecting of good to the commonwealth, and also told how the King had commended Sir Thomas Crewe, a man generally approved of, to be our Speaker; whereupon the House called up Sir Thomas Crewe to the chair, who stood up and made a modest speech to excuse himself and so sat down again. Then the House called upon him to the chair and then Sir Thomas Edmondes and Sir John Suckling stepped to him and brought him to the chair, where after a while he stood up and made a good speech with thanks for our good opinions in electing of him, and with many promises of his entire and faithful service to the House and so adjourned the court until the 21st of February and then to meet there again by one of the clock to attend the King.
VII. DIARY OF EDWARD NICHOLAS, TNA, SP 14/166
Thursday, 190 Februarii 1623
The King's speech, vide/
The tenor of the King's speech in Parliament, 190 die Februarii 1623.
To testify to the world how far my mind has ever been from eschewing to assemble a Parliament, and how willing I have been upon all necessary occasions to have the advice of my people, I have at this present called you, and to prove unto you my earnest desire I ever had and still have to deserve the love of my people, by proving your trust and communicating unto you a matter of as great consequence as ever king imparted to his people to have their advice and counsel in. I have often said, as St. Paul said of Christ, that he was the spouse of his church and she his wife; the same am I to you, I your spouse and you my wife. And it is the part of a good husband to procure and maintain the love of his wife, which he usually does by two means: by continual cherishing of her, and upon extraordinary occasions to communicate the secrets of his affairs unto her to have her best advice what is to be done therein. In these two I have performed the part of a loving spouse. I have continually cherished you by my constant government, and I know there is no particular of you that has not enjoyed the blessing and benefit of it, of which I will say nothing because you have all been witnesses of it. But this, though I cannot say that it has been without error, yet this I can truly say, and will avow it before the sight of God and angels, that never king governed with a more pure, sincere and uncorrupted heart than I have done, free from all will and meaning of the least error or imperfection in my reign.
I have assembled you at this time to perform the other duty: to impart unto you a secret and matter of as great importance as can be to my state and the estate of my children, wherein I crave your best and safest advice and counsel, according as the writ whereby you are assembled imports, that the king would advise you in matters concerning his state and dignity. And as I have ever endeavoured by these and the like ways to procure and cherish the love of my people towards me, so do I hope, and my hope is exceeded by faith. I fully believe that never any king was more beloved of his people, whom as you, my Lords and gentlemen, do here represent, so would I have you truly to represent their loves also to me; that in you as in a true mirror or glass I may perfectly behold it, and not as a false glass represent it not at all or otherwise than it is indeed, in giving me your free and faithful counsel in the matter I propose. Which is that of which you have often heard, the match of my son, wherein as you may know I have spent much time with great cost in a long treaty, desiring always therein, and not without reason hoping to have effected my desires: the advancement of my state and children, and procuring the general peace of Christendom, wherein I have always constantly laboured. And upon such fair hopes and promises at the earnest instance of my son I was contented, although it were of an extraordinary nature, to satisfy his desire, and thereupon sent him to prosecute his desires, and for his more safety sent Buckingham, in whom I ever reposed the most trust of my person, with him, with this command: continually to be present with him and never to leave him until he returned him safe again unto me, which he performed, though not with that effect in the business as I expected; and yet not altogether without profit, for it taught me this point of wisdom that qui versatur in generalibus is easily deceived, and that generalities bring nothing to good issue, but that before any matter can be fully finished it must be brought to particulars. For whereas I thought the affair had been before their going produced to a narrow point, relying upon their general propositions, I found when they were there the matter proved to be so raw, as if it had almost never been treated of, the generals giving them easy way to evade and affording them means to avoid the effecting of anything. The particulars that passed in the treaty I mean not now to discover unto you, the time being so short; but in that I refer you to Charles, Buckingham and the Secretaries to report, who shall relate to you all the particulars. And although since that of late I have had very fair and full promises to have satisfaction in my demands, yet I will refer it to your considerations, and after, super totam materiam, I desire your best assistance to advise me what is best and fittest for me to do for the good of the commonwealth and the advancement of religion, and the good of me, my son and grandchildren of the Palatinate, and of our estates. I know you cannot but be sensible, considering your welfare consists in ours and you shall be sure to have your shares in what misery shall befall us; and therefore I need to urge no other counsel and furtherance. I assure you in the faith of a Christian king that it is res integra presented unto you, and that I stand not bound nor any way engaged, but remain free to follow what shall be best advised.
And the better to perform the spouse's part unto you I will play the skilful gardener; not only [to] plant a good opinion of me in you, but remove and destroy those weeds which hinder the fruitful increase of it, which I think to be jealousies which have been conceived of my actions. Among the people it has been talked of my remissness in maintenance of religion, and of their suspicion of a toleration. But as God shall judge me, I never thought nor meant nor ever in word expressed anything that savoured of it. It is true that at times for reasons best known to myself, I did not so fully put those laws in execution, but did wink and connive at some things which might have hindered more weighty affairs. But I never in all my treaties agreed to anything that tended to the overthrow or dispensing with those laws, but had in all a chief regard to the preservation of that truth which I have ever professed. And in that respect, as I have a charitable conceit of you, I would have you have the like of me, in which I did not transgress; for it's a good horseman's part not always to use his spur or keep straight the reins, but sometimes to use the spur and to suffer the reins more remiss, and again to keep short the reins and suffer his spur to rest. So is it the part of a wise king, and my age and experience in government has informed it unto me, sometimes to quicken the laws with strict execution, and at others upon just occasions to be more remiss.
I would also remove from your thoughts all jealousies that I meant or ever did question or infringe any of your lawful liberties or privileges; but I protest before God I ever intended you should enjoy the full of all those that former times give good warrant and testimony of, which if need be, I would enlarge and amplify. Therefore I would have you, as I have in this place heretofore told you, as St. Paul did Timothy, avoid genealogies and curious questions, and nice quirks and jerks of law, and idle inventions. And if you minister me no just occasion, I never yet was nor shall be curious or captious to quarrel with you; but I desire you to avoid all doubts and hindrances, and to compose yourselves quietly and speedily to this weighty affair I have proposed; for that I have found already that delays have proved dangerous and have bred destruction of this business, and would not have you by other occasions to neglect or protract it.
And a king that in the sandy deserts of Arabia were in danger of death for want of water to quench his thirst, could not more desire water than I thirst and desire the good and comfortable success of this present Parliament and blessings upon your counsels, that the good issue of this may expiate and requite the fruitless issue of three former. And I pray God your counsels may advance religion and the public weal, and the good of me and my children; wherein, I wish you to avoid all delays and consider that spending of time is the spoiling of public affairs, etc.
The substance of the Lord Keeper's speech the same day.
His Majesty has with that wisdom and eloquence expressed his intentions, and that so freshly and fully that I know it needs not my repetition or reiteration. A Lacedaemonian, being demanded whether he would hear one sing like the nightingale, answered, no, for I have heard the nightingale herself. And it is not decent for a croaking chancellor to discompose that which he cannot, so powerfully as it was, deliver: for that which was said of Aeschines the orator, that after every oration he left pricks and stings in his impressions in those that hear him. And as it is said of Nerva, the emperor, after he had resigned his empire to his son, that they desired his death ut post tem divinum et admirabile illud, nil mortale faceret. And therefore I will not endeavour to revive your thoughts with that which I suppose does already possess them, lest I should be as one that upon a ring of gold enamels a star of rusty iron. His Majesty, according to custom, has assigned you Saturday, two of the clock, to present your common mouth or Speaker, etc.
VIII. DIARY OF SIR WILLIAM SPRING, HOUGHTON LIBRARY, HARVARD UNIVERSITY, MS ENG. 980
[19 February 1624]
The first day the King made a speech to this effect. [Blank].
IX. ANONYMOUS DIARY, BODL., MS RAWL. D. 723
[19 February 1624]
[Parliament had been adjourned until the 19th] ... upon which day the King went to the Parliament, and after he had heard a sermon in the Abbey of Westminster he came into the Upper House, and sending for the Lower House began his speech as follows.
[f. 85] After his Majesty had ended this speech, the Lord Keeper began as follows. My Lords and gentlemen all, you have heard his Majesty's speech and that extraordinary confidence his Majesty has reposed in the great wisdom and loving affection of this present Parliament. You do not expect, I am sure, any iteration or repetition of the same. A Lacedaemonian, being once invited to hear one that could well counterfeit the nightingale, put it off with this compliment: I have heard the nightingale herself. And why should you be troubled with the croaking of a chancellor that have heard the powerful expressions [f. 85v] of a most eloquent king. And in very deed, for me to gloss upon his Majesty's speech were nothing else than, as is in the satire, aureum annulum ferris stellis reddere vestustum, to enamel a ring of pure gold with stud and stars of rusty iron. I do not doubt but his Majesty's grave sentences, like Aeschines his orations, have left behind them a prick or sting in the minds and hearts of all of you his hearers, so that it is not fit that I, with my rude fumbling, should go about to disturb or discompose the same. For as it is written of Nerva, that when he had adopted the Emperor Trajan he was suddenly taken away ne post divinum illud et immortale factum, mortale faceret, least after so transcendent a divine act he should do anything which might relish of mortality, so is it not fit that the judicious ears of these noble hearers be farther troubled at this time ne post divinum immortale audirent.
It remains that I put you in mind of your ancient and laudable custom to go into your House and choose your Speaker, which the King's Majesty will receive on Saturday at two of the clock.
Immediately after this speech ended, we of the House of Commons went into our House and being there sat awhile, Sir Thomas Edmondes, the Treasurer of his Majesty's House[hold], propounded Sir Thomas Crewe for the Speaker, and [he] was by Sir Thomas and Sir John Suckling brought to the chair where Sir Thomas Crewe made a kind of speech to excuse himself. But it seemed both by his own words and the two Privy Council that it was resolved of before. So he was the Speaker ...
X. DIARY OF JOHN PYM, NORTHAMPTONSHIRE RECORD OFFICE, FH/N/C/0050
[19 February 1624]
[On the 16th, Parliament had expected the King] ... who after he had heard a sermon in the Abbey Church of Westminster, came into the Upper House and began the Parliament with a speech containing these points. That a king receives glory from the multitude of his people, and they defence and protection from him; for the more evident expression of his care thereof, he now called them to speak his mind and to remove mistakings. The relation between a king and his people resembles marriage, which binds the husband to 2 duties: to cherish his wife and to reconcile himself to her if there be any unkindness. There are 2 principal ways to stir his love to his people: the first, in his constant government; the 2nd, in his behaviours to the Parliament, their representative body. Of his sincerity in one he had given often experience, and would now declare himself in the other by fulfilling truly the writ of Parliament in conferring with them about great and weighty matters, the greatest that ever could concern him or any king before him.
This intention to the general peace of Christendom had long held him in 2 treaties with slower success than he expected, especially in that concerning his grandchildren, with fair promises and contrary actions. To bring which matter to more certainty, the Prince urged him to that hazardous journey, to which he gave his consent and sent with him Buckingham, the man whom he most trusted. By their return he discovered that deceit, which before was wrapped up in generals, and [blank] what to trust concerning the match, and the utmost that may otherwise be obtained; and though he had received divers new promises and projects lately, yet was determined that his Secretary, with the direction of the Prince and Buckingham, should open all the business, that so he might receive their advice upon the whole matter, which they might give with as much confidence as he did ask it, the business being yet free and of such importance as included both his own and their prosperity.
He protested his own justification against the rumours of his coldness in religion. That he never meant to alter or dispense with the laws. But like a good horseman would not always use the spur but slacken or straighten the reins as he should see cause. Advised them not to spend their time [f. 1v] in small matters as, though he would not limit them to days and hours, their own affections to the state of Christendom, of him, his children and the kingdom ought to press them. That as good gardeners the[y] should not only plant well but remove those weeds: first, jealousy, to which wives are subject, and they were his representative wife. They should [not] doubt him for their privileges; use them moderately, he would maintain and not alter them. Second, curiosity, not to entertain themselves with idle questions and law quirks, but to proceed with gravity and modesty, so they should have his prayers to God for them, his love with them and a happy conclusion of this Parliament, which after the miscarriage of their former he did more desire than ever soldier in the dry wilderness did thirst for drink. He would be neither curious nor captious. Let them avoid occasions of troubling or delaying their proceedings, and remember that the spinning out of time was the spoiling of business. So should he hope to see clearly into their hearts that they were a true representative body. Their conscience could not choose but witness that never king was better beloved of his subjects. Love a true glass. They must be careful to represent that love, whereby they should have a blessing from God, thanks from their people, and from him never any desires but such as tend to the general good.
[f. 2v] The Lord Keeper was so short as can hardly be abbreviated, according to his answer, who because he had heard the true voice of the nightingale, did refuse to hear it counterfeited. So, he said, after the powerful expressions of a king, we should not be troubled with the croaking of a chancellor. [f. 3] To gloss upon his Majesty's speech were to enamel gold with rusty iron. It had like Aeschines's orations left a sting in the minds of his hearers, which his rude fumblings ought not to disturb and discompose. And as it was said that Nero did immediately after the adoption of Trajan, ne post mortale factum mortale faceret, so he ought to spare their ears, ne post immortale dictum mortale audirent. Only in his Majesty's name, he told them, they should choose their Speaker and present him to the King upon Saturday.
After which the Commons resorted to their usual House and made choice of Sir Thomas Crewe, kt. and Serjeant[-at-Law].
XI. DIARY OF SIR WALTER EARLE, BL, ADD. MS 18,597
19th of February
His Majesty's speech the first day of the Parliament, the 19th of February, anno Domini, 1623.
[f. 5] The Lord Keeper's acclamation to it. His Majesty having ended his speech, the Lord Keeper spoke as follows.
XII. JOURNAL OF SIR SIMONDS D'EWES, BL, HARL. MS 159
[19 February 1624]
The King's speech in the Parliament House on Thursday, xix Februarii 1623.
He declared that as the glory and safety of a king consists in the affection and fidelity of his subjects, so the happiness of the subjects was in the peaceable and pious government of a king, which although he could not free himself from errors committed, yet his desires, instructions and performances have proceeded from a sincere affection unto us, more especially at this present, by calling us together according to the direction of his writs to advise him in the weightiest affairs of state that ever king was occasioned [in], which shall shortly be imported unto us by his two Secretaries, [his] son and [the Duke of] Buckingham. In the meantime, he desires us to lay aside all jealousy of him, for he was to us as the church in the canticles to Christ, his spouse, and he would exercise the properties of a husband by loving, cherishing and defending us. And therefore [he] willed us to imitate a good gardener, who does as well pluck up ill weeds as set good plants. So we should pluck up the weeds of jealousy and nourish the fruits of loyal affection and not to be transported with an ill opinion of his falling away from religion, for as good horsemen mingle the use of the spur with the handling of the bridle, sometimes enforcing, other whiles forbearing, so a wise king must do in the government of his kingdom, whereby the state of Christendom may imitate the like remissions of those of our religion who do suffer. But he assured us that neither in promise, heart or intention he has declined from the same, nor never [sic] would.
He acknowledge[d] that he had received full and fair promises for the restitution of his grandchildren's inheritance, but had found foul and empty performances, being fed only with delays; and that at his son's importunity, he did give way to an unheard of precedent which was, with all secrecy, he and Buckingham might go for Spain because he that treats of general[s] can never attain the knowledge of true particulars. By whose going, he send [sic] himself deluded and all things raw, which did, as it were, awake him out of a dream which his credulities had formerly brought him into. Wherefore he wished us, because further delay bred dangers, to advise and assist him with our counsels in these secrets of state, which should be communicated unto us, as may best suit with God's glory and our contentments, public good and the honour of his children, grandchildren and him, and not to spin out time with genealogies and needless questions concerning our privileges, for whatsoever is or has been truly ours, he will not abate or infringe, but rather increase and corroborate; in this doing, as he shall acknowledge himself the happiest king in the world in his subjects' affections, so shall he recompense our loves by complying with us in our just and usual desires.
[f. 7] His Majesty's speech to the two Houses of Parliament assembled together in the Lower House on Thursday the 19th of February 1623, which should have been on the Monday foregoing, being the 16th of that month, the people being then assembled, and the King near ready to depart; but by reason of the sudden and unexpected death of Lewis, Duke of Richmond and Lennox and Steward of the King's Household and his uncle, it was deferred to this Thursday, at which time it eased the hearts of many good and loyal subjects.
[f. 9v] After his Majesty's speech ended to the great comfort and with the applause of the honest hearted hearers, Dr. Williams, Bishop of Lincoln and Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, went on and with it the assembly dissolved.
[f. 57] 19 February, Thursday
This Thursday, according to his Majesty's appointing (proving a temperate and fair day) for the beginning of the Parliament, he with his Lords departed to Westminster about 11 of the clock in the morning, the Prince's Highness riding next his Majesty, the King being drawn in a chariot of purple velvet, which manner of state he had never used before. Instead of the Duke of Lennox, deceased, James Hamilton, Marquess Hamilton, was made Lord Steward, being likewise near allied to his Majesty. The sermon was preached before his Majesty and the rest by Dr. [James] Esher or Ussher, Bishop of Meath in Ireland, being a very learned and honest man.
After sermon ended, the King and the Lords assembled in the Upper House near the Painted Chamber, and so the Lower House being likewise admitted, as many as could get in, his Majesty declared his loving affection to his subjects, the causes that moved him to call them together, and the assuring them of their former wonted privileges; by which perceiving the King's affection not to rest upon the Spanish match as it had done, after the Lord Keeper, John Williams, Doctor of Divinity and Bishop of Lincoln, had likewise made a short speech, the knights and burgesses departed to the Lower House and thereupon the recommendation of [Sir] Thomas Crewe, a Serjeant-at-Law, by his Majesty with one consent they choose him Speaker. And so the day ended with the doubts and fears of many.