Proceedings in Parliament 1624: The House of Commons. Originally published by British History Online, 2015-18.
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FRIDAY, 27 FEBRUARY 1624
I. JOURNAL OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS, PA, HC/CL/JO/1/13
[CJ 719; f. 10]
Veneris, 270 Februarii
SIR EDWARD GILES moves in the behalf of Sir John Eliot, who has a trial, to make stay of it.
Ordered, a warrant shall go out.
SIR JOHN ELIOT. To have some general tie of secrecy here among ourselves, which wanting in no council but this. Again to petition his Majesty for the continuance of those favours our ancestors have enjoyed.
MR. [EDWARD] ALFORD. When time serves, will concur with this gentleman to leave this place as free to our successors as they to us. Magna Carta confirmed 30 times. Opus huius dici. Many rocks will here fall out. To avoid all particulars. To have a select committee to draw a bill. 8 Hen. so by bill; and that after the old fashion, without preamble. An act declaratory; these and these are our privileges. And then to petition the King to give royal assent to it.
[f. 10v] SIR FRANCIS SEYMOUR. To have a review had of the protestation concerning our liberties. To sue for an enlargement of our privileges, not only in general, but in some particulars.
- 1. That the members of this House, any ways offending, may be punished here.
- [2.] To have a committee of 10 or 12 to take into consideration how far we have suffered in our privileges.
SIR ROBERT PHELIPS. Did not this day expect this proposition. Popish recusants will now both pray and practice the disturbance of our peace. The eyes of Christendom on this Parliament. To have our ways so ordered that our memory may not receive obloquy and prejudice in future times. This, our meeting, not much less than a miracle, and from miraculous causes come somewhat more than reasonable effects. In gratitude bound to govern the proceedings of this Parliament wisely and obediently. The Prince now played the part of the Son of Heaven by mediating between father and us. To have a committee appointed, how far unfortunate in some pressures of our privileges.
SIR EDWARD COKE hopes he shall give an end to this question. Lex et consuetudo Parliamenti, which we call our liberties. 4 kind[s] of proceeding:
To have all join in one petition of grace to his Majesty, not to dissolve the Parliament without some cause showed us. Freedom of speech the quintessence of the other 4 essences. Sed malus interpres rerum, metus.
To preserve our liberties, but have no contestation with our Sovereign. Begin with Solomon's arbitrament: "He that shall repeat, separat [illegible]." Follow the wisest King, not repeat particulars. 1 Edw. granted an aid, which they after thought against the liberty of the subject. [CJ 720] Desired this might not be taken for a precedent [f. 11] after, which he granted. To have a committee select, of few, for this business, not above 12.
SIR JAMES PERROT thinks it not the intention of those that spoke to look back. Agrees to have a committee to consider of a way to maintain our privileges for time to come.
Ordered. That a committee
These [illegible] appointed are to take into consideration the liberties and privileges of the House. Monday, Court of Wards, 2 o'clock.
MR. CHANCELLOR EXCHEQUER makes report from the meeting of both Houses at Whitehall, Tuesday last. This task divided between him and Secretary Cottington. Will neither add nor detract, as near as he can; quiquid dixero minus erit. That relation of that great person will be disgraced by his delivery. Can hardly be said whether the matter exceed the person or the person the matter. The weight on him the more easy because all present. Therefore craves assistance by his papers.
[f. 11v] The Duke thus began. My Lords spiritual and temporal and you gentlemen of the Commons House. And so desired both Houses that they would be pleased to pardon if he did not orderly proceed in his relation. Not the least favour he had to put him under the protection of the Prince, without whose help his misfortune to speak in this business. Would freely discover the truth of the business to both Houses, without reflecting on the persons of either King's ministers. He thought not to need to begin higher than from his negotiation at Brussels. This was the first occasion of mistrust of their indirect dealings.
Letter read, 3 October 1622. When this letter read, he beseeched us to take for truth what he said, and told us that my Lord of Bristol was now more directly commanded to press this; that my Lord did not put his directions home. Gave out, he meant to come away. This sent by [Endymion] Porter; commanded not to stay above 10 days. Went to Olivares; desired him to speed his dispatch. Asked him what he wanted. He told no more than promised; that the King of Spain should assist or give way to our forces. He replied, this a preposterous demand. Porter, speaking of the marriage, told him he neither understood the marriage nor a word of this. Told Bristol of this. He exceedingly incensed. Would make/
Next day, sent for Porter. He had changed his mind. Told him why Olivares was so shy with him: because no public minister. Went to Olivares again, who told him he took it ill from him, that he should impart that he said to him, to Bristol. Duke said, when he came into Spain, found Olivares exceedingly incensed with Porter. Hated the ground he went on.
[f. 12] Upon Porter's coming here, he (Prince) resolved to go himself, because he found the King abused by delays. A desperate disease must have a desperate cure. The Duke acquainted the King with this. He at last yielded to it and commanded the Duke to wait on the Prince. When arrived at Madrid, first discovered to Bristol. Duke met with Olivares in a garden, where Olivares much magnified the journey of the Prince. Must be a match and divide the world between them.
When his Majesty's ambassadors heard these words, they entreated the Duke to justify their former advertisement to his Majesty. Answered, these but general.
Next day King and Prince met; where, after many ceremonies past, Olivares took Duke into his coach, where discoursed of the marriage. Would make it a match without the Pope.
Duke answered, they were mistaken: came not to bargain. Prince settled in his conscience; no scruple in it. Then Olivares said, no way but to send to Rome for a dispensation. Duke assented. Olivares wrote a letter, which Duke perused. Found it very cold. Duke desired a postscript.
This the Conde angry at; swore it could not be. The Duke told the Prince they neither intended the match nor Palatinate; wished, at home again. The messenger sent to Rome. Then the Prince carried into the streets to see his mistress go from church to church. Pressed a visit but delayed from day to day.
[f. 12v] Duke understood an order of the Council.
At last, Prince had a visit; a strange one: not suffered to speak anything but what dictated. This reason given: not known whether a marriage or no.
Olivares told him that if the dispensation come, should lie with her that night, if not as a wife, as a mistress.
After this, carried the Prince to a monastery to labour his conversion. Desired him not to be an enemy to their religion.
Thought himself as like to convert her as she him. Still pressed him to meet divines. Denied for 3 reasons:
- 1. No scruple in conscience.
- [2.] Breed ill blood.
- 3. The Infanta would take it ill, if found so constant.
Still pressed him to it.
The dispensation came 6 weeks after the Prince's arrival, but they concealed it 5 days. They then appointed commissioners to treat, where the Prince and the Conde of Olivares sent to school.
The Prince under[stood], underhand, the dispensation to be clogged. Inquired after it and confessed to be true; that the King of Spain was tied to take an oath to see the King of England perform the conditions, or take arms against him. This strange. Prince asked the King of Spain whether he could [take] this oath. [f. 13] Answered, could not until some assurance from England, articles not yielded.
A junta of divines to consider whether the King of Spain might take this oath.
Prince went on with the commission. Agreed on all articles but 3, which he reserved, to content the King of Spain.
Next day, came 2 great men to the Prince and told him, unless he would [sic] to the dispensation, as from Rome, they could do nothing, could alter nothing, not false Latin, [blank] to juggle with him.
Prince resolved to take his leave. Olivares made 2 propositions: to send to Rome, and to England. Prince accepted both; would go himself to England. Olivares desired him to stay 20 days. This the Prince much declined.
Bristol and Olivares desired him to speak no more of his going. Would break all.
When consented to stay 20 days, articles to be sent to England in all haste. They kept these articles 3 weeks with new additions. Prince showed them a way: the oath of Queen Mary and Philip.
My Lord of Bristol digested these articles in 6 hours. This delay of purpose to obtrude some article on him not agreed on.
[f. 13v] SECRETARY COTTINGTON. [Blank] When these articles were sent into England, the junta of divines declared the Infanta might not be sent into England until spring following. With this the Prince much discont[ented]. Resolved to break the business. Another proposition made. [Blank]
The Duke pressed the [sic] Olivares to a better resolution. He desired him to go to a council there near sitting. When he was going, he bade him ask this question.
When they saw him, all wondered. He put that question, whereat they all stranged. At last, one bade him ask the Conde the question. Went back again to Olivares; told him he had very good answer.
Knocked with his staff; they all came in, where Olivares laboured much to make them understand.
Bishop of Segovia told the Duke that our King could not grant a toleration without a rebellion. The King of Spain could not do it there.
Duke answered, they sought a rebellion. But this far from a toleration. That by Parliament, this by the King. [CJ 721] At this all amazed: looked on Gondomar, who fell a commending our King.
[f. 14] Gondomar said that the Infanta was not to be sent over until all put in execution.
At this, the Duke much incensed. [Blank]
Gondomar took very ill, and after requited him. Olivares made another proposition: that if the Prince would accept of the Infanta at spring, he should have a blank for the Palatinate. The Prince, for some reasons, accepted the time.
The Duke, by way of digression, said he always spoke by an interpreter, whom he always brought. Great show of joy and gladness at this acceptance of the Prince. The Prince, at last, desired to have the Infanta along with him for many reasons. The King much stricken in years.
Olivares said the Duke had bewitched him with his reasons. Desired the Prince might not know it. To set a day for it.
The Infanta took this very ill.
The Countess of Olivares persuaded his Highness to say that he would rather stay 7 years than to go without her.
Olivares swore at this.
Would give order for disbursement of the charge.
After all this, [Sir Francis] Cottington returned to Spain with letters and a command for the Prince to come away within one month at least.
Dejected to see these dispatches.
Would send him home with an army. That, the Prince answered, was worse than the disease.
[f. 14v] The Duke told the/
That the Lord of Bristol laid a wager with the Prince (a ring of a [£]1,000) that he should not be able to go away before Christmas. This lost, and paid.
Olivares, being demanded, whether the King of Spain would join against the Emperor, answered, by no means. Though he should beat them, or buffet them, must not meddle.
Duke then answered, here an end of all.
Olivares confessed that the Devil put in his head to call the junta of divines.
3 ways yet left:
- 1. That the Prince should be converted.
- 2. That they should freely deliver the Infanta.
- 3. By strict conditions, to bind the Prince hand and foot.
Duke answered, they had chosen the worst.
Olivares said, if he were a private man, would persuade the match; or, if the King 30 years old, would make it a match. If the Duke would turn Catholic, should deliver the Infanta. Now the Prince grown very cheap among them. After this, Duke went to Olivares, who said now a match. Duke answered, hoped so for 7 years in treaty. Olivares said no, nor 7 months. Olivares produced a letter of the King of Spain's.
This they read over 5 or 6 times. Not suffered to copy them out, but after set down the substance of [it] in writing.
[f. 15] A letter of the King of Spain to Olivares read; and another of Olivares to him.
The Prince now leaves a proxy with Bristol and takes his leave. Sends back again, not to deliver it until further order. The chief reason was that he unde[rstood].
The Prince made relation to the King of all, who liked it well, but said he would not marry his son with his joy [and] leave his daughter in tears. Duke observed that the treaties of Spain only general.
Then read a copy of the King's letter to Bristol after the Prince's arrival, 8 October 1623.
A copy of the Prince's letter to Bristol.
The Earl of Bristol's letter read, 1 November 1623.
The Prince not sworn to comply with the performance of the proxy, but the articles.
Secretary Conway's letter to Earl of Bristol read.
King of Spain's answer to the 3rd memorial of the ambassador.
The King of Spain's answer to the 3 last propositions read.
Something desired to be explained.
His Majesty now desires our opinions, whether he shall trust to these propo[sitions] or trust his own legs.
Duke also declared that he had late advertisement from Sir Walter Aston that our ships had been stayed in Spain.
[f. 15v] When the Prince accepted of the Infanta's coming here, they styled the Infanta "Princess of Wales", but upon the deferring of the powers, this taken away.
A new dispatch from my Lord of Bristol, by one [Edward] Clarke, put the King in mind what to do: to treat of the business of the Palatinate before the match. This by the King's proceedings here.
SOLICITOR . We have heard this large and exact report of the former conference. The weight of the business and gravity of the House require not to proceed suddenly in it. Until Monday, to set all other business apart.
MR. [EDWARD] ALFORD. This matter touches 2 points: marriage and Palatinate. We, first, to treat of the marriage, to take away all fears and rubs. But if we first leave England, not good Englishmen.
To have an order entered, that the matter we shall treat upon shall be only concerning this marriage.
SIR HENRY POOLE. To refer the whole consideration of this until Monday, and no sitting tomorrow.
Ordered, that the whole consideration of this business shall be respited until Monday, and that all other business shall be put off in the meantime, saving committee this afternoon; and the House to be adjourned until Monday.
MR. RECORDER. To have an order that these letters made public may be left with the Clerk, that any may have copies of them.
SECRETARY CONWAY has the keeping of these letters. Must ask the King's leave for leaving of them.
[f. 16] A message from the Lords by Serjeant [Sir Ranulphe] Crewe and Attorney General. The Lords have sent down this information and message: that whereas they have been informed that complaint has been made to the King that the Duke of Buckingham, in his last narration, did put that dishonour on the King of Spain that there can be no other expiation but by his head. They have freely acquitted him, by a general vote of the House, that he has done nothing but that in honour to be done. They have thought fit to have a committee to right him. Inform the King that the Duke has done nothing, but/
SIR ROBERT PHELIPS. This message concerns my Lord of Buckingham. Not anything fell from him that might reflect on the King of Spain. If anything dishonourable, not the Duke's fault but the King of Spain's ministers. And whereas no other expiation will serve but his head, hopes to see his head on his shoulders when many 1,000 of their heads/
Let not us come behind the Lords in this: to clear him here by an unanimous vote and consent.
MR. [EDWARD] ALFORD. To have some of our House join with the committee of the Lords.
SIR EDWARD COKE. Nothing can serve to satisfy Spain but the Duke's head. This a further end. Duke of Buckingham did nothing there but the Prince affirmed and assented. And shall he lose his head? Never any man deserved better of his king and country. And shall he lose his head? Mundimarre, not Gondomar.
SIR WILLIAM STRODE. If any man can take exception, reason to take consideration; but now no reason to stay it.
[f. 16v] Agreed, upon question, by the general vote of the House, that the Duke of Buckingham is acquitted from all blame for anything that was delivered by him at his last narration before both Houses. And that he has merited a great deal of thanks of this House, and the whole commonwealth, for the same.
MR. RECORDER. In our answer, to intimate to the Lords that we also are very sensible of the wrong to this; and that we might both join to his Majesty.
[CJ 722] SIR GEORGE GORING. This threatened my Lord of Buckingham long before he came out of Spain. Have waited an opportunity a long time for it but could not because of the Prince's presence and the Duke's.
MR. [NATHANIEL] TOMPKINS elects to serve for Christchurch in Hampshire.
Answer to the message: this House has taken into consideration the message. They have, with a general vote, acquitted that noble person from blame, and that nothing let fall/
They are sensible of the wrong done that noble person and this House. They resolve to take it into consideration, and return thanks to their Lordships for their good correspondence.
These are to take into consideration the dishonour done my Lord Duke and this House. This afternoon, 3 o'clock, Court of Wards.
SIR FRANCIS BRANDLING. To have a writ go down for a new election in place of Sir William Grey, who is made a baron.
This House does adjourn itself until Monday, 8 of the clock.
II. DIARY OF JOHN HAWARDE, WILTSHIRE AND SWINDON ARCHIVES, 9/34/2
Vendredis, 270 Februarii 1623
SIR EDWARD GILES. Pur staie triall versus Sir John Eliot.
SIR JOHN ELIOT. [Blank]
MR. [EDWARD] ALFORD. Pur bill de passer pur liberties.
[SIR] FRANCIS SEYMOUR. [Blank]
[p. 155] SIR ROBERT PHELIPS. [Blank]
SIR EDWARD COKE. Libertates quia faciunt liberos, ceux causes de Parliament:
Le Center de tout libertie de speeche. Sapientia incipit e fine. Null contestatcion ove le Roy. Solamon: Qui repetit separat. 5 E. 3 aide grante et liberties del Huise. Comittee pur privileges and in cest not to looke backe nor conteste.
Munday in the [Court of] Wards.
Le reporte SIR RICHARD WESTON
Whether the person or man [sic] or the man [sic] the person do exceed. Order leave the best impressions.
Begine ove negociacions de Weston al Brussels; begot the first jealousies. 3 October 1622, lettre del Roy de Hampton Courte al Digby: Heidelberg deste deliver devant 70 jours, autrement free passage in Germania. Raise armes ou call Parliamente. Bristol put not this hoame.
[Buckingham's] desire to be assisted and corrected by the Prince.
Olivares pur Spaine de raiser armes vers son unkle. [p. 156] He knew not of the marriage nor a word of it. Earle d'angliterre as a good as a Conde. [Endymion] Porter no publike officer uncore servant. Sur Porter's retorn et relacion le Prince resolve de vaer en Spaine. Desperat disease, desperate cure. Null scruple in conscience; wound le reputacion del divines; l'infanta discourage sur son constancie.
6 weekes after the arrivall del Prince, le dispencation vient et 6 dayes conceale, mes clogge ove condicions et matter, viz. pur le Roy de Spaine de jurer pur Roy d'angliterre de perfomrer cest ou preser armes vers Roy d'angliterre. Bristol enforce article deste agree par ambideux Royes.
Nurse, eslgice et education de children. The firste time that ever he saw they juggled with him. 6 dayes and 3 weekes.
SIR FRANCIS COTTINGTON.
5 Novembris 1622, lettre ore al/
8 Novembris 1622, lettre Olivares al Catho[lic] Roye.
[p. 157] 8 Octobris 1623, lettre del Roy al Bristol.
24 Septembris 1623, lettre del Prince al Bristol.
24 Octobris 1623, lettre de Bristol al Roy.
1 Novembris 1623, lettre de Bristol al Roy.
13 Novembris 1623, lettre del Roy al Bristol sur committee del counsell.
13 Novembris 1623, Conway al Bristol.
6 Decembris 1623, lettre del Catho[lic] Roy al Roy d'angliterre.
5 Januarii 1623, le darrein lettre del Catho[lic] Roy al Roy d'angliterre.
MR. SOLICITOR. Pur praier. Mondaie.
MR. [EDWARD] ALFORD. Primer le mariage.
Message from the Lords, par Sir Ranulphe Crewe et l'attonrie generall, that the King had intimated unto them that the Spanish ambassador had complained unto him that the Duke of Buckingham had, in his narration to the Houses of Parliament, so highly dishonoured his master, the King of Spain, that he could not expiate it but with his head, and that the Lords with one vote had cleared him of it. We returned answer that we, with one vote, had done the like and declared him worthy of honour and thanks of the whole kingdom for that he had done. And then appointed a committee to prepare a message to his Majesty touching that.
SIR EDWARD COKE said, Gondomar, mundemar. His head: he hoped to live to see many thousands Spaniards' head in the dust and sea before his head should be removed.
[p. 158] [Afternoon, committee of grievances]
In the afternoon. Sir Edward Coke in the chair.
Pattente de Sir Ferdinando Gorges pur frank piscante in New England, Monday next.
Pattente al Sir John Townshend et [William] Tipper. Monday next.
Pattente pur concealed tithes, Sparrow et Sparrow.
Lightes, Winterton[ness] et Dungeness; Sir John Wilbrome, et Lamplie.
Pattente pur whales et seahorse.
Light in le weste, pattente to [be] broughte in, pur Lizard light.
III. DIARY OF JOHN HOLLES, BL, HARL. MS 6,383
[27 February 1624]
SIR EDWARD GILES moved that whereas Sir John Eliot had 2 trials at Exeter's assizes, he being of the House and desirous to have no distractions, that they should be stopped according to the ancient orders of the House.
And so it was ordered in general, notwithstanding the opposition of some that distinguished if they were not trials for debt.
MR. [EDWARD] ALFORD said Magna Carta was confirmed 30 times, 12 times by one King. It is our duty to leave the Parliament as free in privileges to our suc- [f. 84] cessors as our predecessors left it us.
SIR JOHN ELIOT moved for a petition to the King to confirm our privileges.
SIR FRANCIS SEYMOUR seconded, saying he was not satisfied with the King's promise in his speech for so much he had said before, yet had some been punished. He therefore added that those gentlemen that had been committed the last Parliament should, upon their credits, deliver whether they were punished for Parliament business or no.
SIR ROBERT PHELIPS. Little less than a miracle that were now here assembled, and miraculous causes he hoped would produce extraordinary good effects. The Prince had played the part of the great son of heaven to mediate between his father and people. He moved for a committee to search records and precedents for the former liberties and privileges of the House without contesting with the King.
SIR EDWARD COKE. 4 kinds of proceedings in Parliament:
These are the 4 essences, the quintessence is free speech. Sapiens incipit a fine. Let us preserve our liberties without contesting with the King. In making of peace, never look back; repetitions move more heat. The more of a committee the worse, causes confusion, not above 12.
SIR JAMES PERROT would have preservation of privileges but no repetition of former breaches; look forward, not back.
A committee of 12 to consider of the liberties of the House, to provide the best remedy for time to come, without contestation.
In [SIR RICHARD] WESTON'S report of Buckingham's relation at Whitehall.
When I have approved my obedience, I shall so much show my insufficiency as shall excuse me from the like charge hereafter. It can hardly be said whether the person that made the relation, or matter, do exceed. His report will be the less, because all present may be his reporters.
Buckingham began. My Lords spiritual and temporal, and you gentlemen of the House of Commons. [f. 84v] Order leaves best impression. Misfortune to speak of this business, whereunto no true Englishman but ill affected, and then one runs the hazard to be accounted malicious. Begun at my negotiation at Brussels, whereof he was pleased to give the testimony that therein I made the first discovery, whereupon the King wrote to Bristol, 3rd of October 1622, telling him how crossly things succeeded at Brussels, no fruit of his treaties but scorn and dishonour, Heidelberg taken, the garrison put to sword, Mannheim besieged, his trust in all things deceived. Wherefore, he willed Bristol to press the King of Spain that within 70 days after this declaration, he would procure the restoring of Heidelberg and a cessation of arms, or that the King of Spain, if not prevailing, would join arms to recover the Palatinate, and give English forces passage; but if all these were denied, then should Digby fairly take his leave within 10 days. But the directions Digby did not put home as he should.
[Endymion] Porter carried this dispatch, who delivered the effect thereof by word of mouth to Olivares, who answered it was a preposterous demand for his master to war against the Emperor and the Catholic League, and of the marriage he understood nothing; which answer Porter returning to Digby, he said if Olivares should use that language to him, he would question him and let him know an English earl was as good as a Spanish conde. Next day, he went to Olivares and returning, told Porter that Olivares was so secret to him because he was no public minister. Digby was so angry with Porter, he said he hated the very ground he trod on.
Upon Porter's return, the Prince resolved to go into Spain. At the first meeting, Olivares told Buckingham they knew not how to make the Prince amends for his journey but for his master and the Prince to divide the world between them. Here Buckingham noted their liberality, that having long ago in their opinion swallowed the whole world, would at one blow give half of it.
Next day at the King of Spain's and the Prince's meeting in the prado, Olivares taking Buckingham aside told him, let us make up the match without the Pope, and so touched the Prince's conversion; whereunto Buckingham answering, no worldly respects would move the Prince, then they agreed to send for the dispensation. 4 or 5 days after, the Prince saw his mistress en passant in a coach. He pressed for [f. 85] a visit but he was put off, and a resolution taken in council he should not see her until the dispensation came. At last he saw her, but not suffered to say but what was dictated to him; like a Prince he must speak but not a suitor's language. Then, to entertain time, they invited him to a country house called Aranjuez, where again they importuned his conversion, and that at least he would not be an enemy to their religion. He said he hated not the persons. Then they desired he would give a lady leave to try him in religion; this he did not refuse, saying he thought he was as likely to convert her as she him, and urged 3 reason for his not conversion. [Blank]
6 weeks after his arrival, the dispensation came, and concealed 4 or 5 days, and long had been if the Prince had not charged them with it. Then they called a council. The Prince heard the dispensation came clogged in matter and manner. About an article of religion demanded by the Pope and denied by the Prince, Bristol said it was already agreed on by both Kings.
Montesclaros and Gondomar told the Prince except he would agree to all in the dispensation, no match; they could alter nothing therein, no not a word of broken Latin. Here the Prince confessed was the first time he saw himself juggled with and would have been gone but Bristol desired the Prince to stay 20 days, and then would not have him speak of his going, and it would hinder his business and show coldness of affection. In these 20 days' stay, articles were agreed on, which [Sir Francis] Cottington should have carried, but they could not deliver them of 3 weeks.
In [SIR FRANCIS] COTTINGTON'S report of Buckingham's relation at Whitehall.
He asked leave to read to help his memory which, was granted. The junta of divines agreed the Infanta should not come until spring, whereat the Prince discontent; they answered, it was only for form sake, not to delay the business one hour. Then they propounded she should only stay until the King of Spain's ministers here had reported our King's performance of the articles. This the Prince liked worse than the other, for the other set down a certain day; under this colour, they [f. 85v] may keep the Infanta this 7 years until they shall please to have their ministers report all to be concluded here.
In the Spanish Council, the Bishop of Segovia said the King of England could not grant a toleration without rebellion, nor no more could the King of Spain. Gondomar commended our King for a wise king, beloved of his people and experienced with long government, yet would he not have the Infanta sent without a full performance of all articles. Buckingham [said that Gondomar] offered the match without prejudice to religion or government; he urged our King's disadvantage of treaty, who held himself bound to performance, whereas theirs had a back door, the Pope's dispensation. Buckingham ever treated by interpreter, whom he after brought to the Prince to witness what had passed. The Countess Olivares told the Prince the Infanta took ill his haste of going, and persuaded him to say he would stay 7 years.
Buckingham sent for Cottington out of the House (before he reported) to tell the House of Digby's wager with the Prince of a ring of £1,000. [Blank] The Prince said they would have him betrothed to bind his hands. Olivares said the Emperor had not used the King of Spain well, yet they must observe their maxim to have no war with the Emperors. Olivares said in the Council, there was 3 grounds for them to make the match on:
- 1. The Prince to convert.
- 2. By strict conditions to bind him, as it were, hand and foot.
- 3. Or else, to deliver the Infanta upon the Prince's word only for performance of conditions.
Olivares said, if Buckingham would convert, they would deliver the Infanta.
The Prince said the match had been 7 years treating. No, says Olivares, not 7 months, in proof whereof he produced 2 papers; which amazed Sir Walter Aston, for presently, after Philip III's death, Aston asking this King if he would continue the match, he said he was so far from being averse to it as he would put wings to it.
The King of Spain's letter to Olivares, the 5th of November 1622, wherein he expressed his father's dislike of the match. This letter Olivares showed the Prince, who, with Buckingham and Aston, read it over divers times, but promised not to copy it but deliver it presently; which they did, but immediately all 3 together, as near as they could, set down the effect of it.
Olivares's letter or paper to the King of Spain was the 8th of November 1622, wherein he said that that [f. 86] day, the Infanta should be married or betrothed, she would put herself into the monastery of the Decallso.
The Prince returned, the King like of all, but said he would not marry his son in joy and leave his daughter in tears.
One of the King's letters to Bristol, 8th of October 1623. At the top, James Rex. We have received your letters by Gresley, etc. He would have Digby betroth the Infanta in words de presenti some day in Christmas, the proxy ending before Christmas. To give the King of Spain thanks for the Prince's entertainment, to know about restitution of the Palatinate; concluding, resting in all points upon your tried fidelity.
The Prince's letter to Bristol from the seaside, 24 September 1622, to stay the proxy, etc., and did end: so I rest your loving friend, Charles, Prince, writ with his own hand.
October 24, Bristol's letter to the King, that the proxy was to end before Christmas, therefore the King's desire frustrate. That all things there were in a fair way, concluding: I humbly crave your Majesty's pardon, recommending you to God's holy protection, and rest, etc.
Friday, February 27 [sic]
The Prince was not sworn to fulfil the proxy.
1st of November 1623, Bristol's letter to the King. He would not insist to ask the Palatinate for the King; could not do it with honour, being a new thing, and would dishonour the fair proceedings the King had ever used in all his actions. He would prefix a day for the desposorios. He would not move the Palatinate until a month after the desposorios.
The King's letter to Bristol, by Gresley, November 13, 1623. If he had seen the proxy, he would not have appointed the desposorios in Christmas after the expiration of the proxy. He now revoked the proxy, for that the Bergstrat, which is the best part of the Palatinate, was given the Bishop of Mainz, who had an ancient claim to it.
Secretary Conway wrote at the same time to Bristol to press the King of Spain to a punctual answer categorice [f. 86v] and, if still answered by delays, he should take his leave fairly, [saying] that he had long ago sued for his return home for his own private and, as occasion served, he would be ready to come back.
The Prince observed the King of Spain's power with the Pope, that sometimes he had, and sometimes he had not, as he pleased.
The King of Spain promised to do good offices to the Emperor for the Palatinate, but a declaration to make war against him upon his refusal he would not, showing want of respect to accompany a mediation with a menace.
The Infanta was styled in Spain "Princess of Wales", which title is now taken away by public order. Mr. [Edward] Clarke's late message from Bristol, that our proceedings here put the Spaniards in mind what to do, to proceed with treaty of the Palatinate, and let the match sleep.
And accordingly [MR. EDWARD] ALFORD moved in the House.
The Lords sent us a message, by Sir Ranulphe Crewe, that the King was informed Buckingham had, in his narration, so much touched the King of Spain's honour, which nothing would expiate but his head; that the Lords had already cleared him with one vote and appointed a committee to give the king satisfaction.
SIR ROBERT PHELIPS said, in the way that Buckingham did now run, he hoped Buckingham should rather live to see many thousand Spanish heads in the sea, or lying on the ground, and wished a committee to join with the Lords; which was done.
SIR EDWARD CECIL moved to bethink how the Spanish ambassador should have that intelligence.
IV. DIARY OF SIR THOMAS JERVOISE, HAMPSHIRE RECORD OFFICE, 44M69/F4/20/1
Friday, 26th [sic] February
The report of the conference at Whitehall
MR. CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER. In the [sic] this cause is the good or ill of this kingdom.
The first beginning of the Duke: my Lords spiritual and temporal. It was not the least favour the kingdom had done him. A man well affected should speak the truth. He could not gain honour in it.
A letter to Earl Bristol, October, 1622. While we are in treaty, the town of Heidelberg is taken and the town and garrison is spoiled. My Lord of Bristol was desired. My Lord of Bristol did not put the directions home. That if the King of Spain/
The Prince commanded the Duke of Buckingham to tell the King that this delay [p. 14] was worse than a denial. Upon their first coming into Spain, the Conde Olivares to[ld] the Prince he had a match. Olivares promised to make a match without the Pope. The Prince desired that he might have a visit but it was delayed from day to day; but it was at last and was admitted, but when it was, not as a suitor but dictated. They carried the Prince into the country to a house where they endeavoured to convert him, and to that purpose did desire a meeting of divines, which the Prince denied for 3 causes.
When the dispensation came, they concealed it two days but it was clogged with certain conditions, which was that the King of Spain [p. 15] should take an oath to see that the King of England should perform the execution of those articles before propounded. Conde Gondomar coming to the Prince, told him that if he would not yield to all that was come from Rome, they could do nothing, no they had not power to al[ter] a word of Latin if it were false. The Prince entreated to stay 20 days and Sir Francis Cottington/
SIR FRANCIS COTTINGTON. When the articles were sent into England, the junta of divines did deliver that the Infanta could not go into England until the spring. That the King of England could not give a toleration without a rebellion. Gondomar would not that the Infanta should come into England without an assurance [p. 16] to have those things performed that were capitulated. If the[y] would not restore the Palatinate with all his honour, there should be on [sic] match nor friendship. Olivares told the Duke of Buckingham that the Devil himself could not break the match.
A letter of the Prince for restraining of his proxy left with the Lord Bristol. The first, that should do all good offices for gaining the Palatinate.
[p. 17] The message this day from the Lords. There was a complaint come from the King of my Lord Buckingham that he had done such dishonour to the King of Spain by the relation of the business, that nothing can [be] expiated but with his head. The Lords have not only appointed a committee to clear the Lord Buckingham but have also undertaken the business as an indignity to themselves.
At the great committee of grievance this afternoon
Sir John Townshend's patent questioned, a patent bearing date/
Sir Ferdinando Gorges's patent for fishing. Dr. [Barnaby] Gooch the treasurer for the company. This patent to be brought in Monday next. A committee appointed to review the principal point of this patent.
[p. 18] The patent of Sir John Townshend, it was brought in last Parliament, and must attend this committee with counsel next sitting.
The patent of Greenland Company to be brought into the House to be considered of.
This patent was pronounced by this House, both in the creation and execution, a great grievance and was damned.
V. DIARY OF JOHN LOWTHER, CUMBRIA ARCHIVE CENTRE, CARLISLE, DLONS/L/2/1
28 [sic] February
A character of the last age, that the kingdom unhappy what the Parliament desire to reflect from what has been to what may be. God reserves power to save us his prerogative, H. 3 descend to Parliament more advantageous to him than all before. All since an expression of thanks; he is to us as we to the country. The King is wise and only sapiens bonum. Ended to petition to have our liberties confirmed.
Confirmed by MR. [EDWARD] ALFORD to be done in true end. Desired that a bill may be drawn, not a petition, to declare our privileges; not by petition, as was first proposed, and a committee to be nominated to draw the bill.
SIR ROBERT PHELIPS qu'ad suffer, fugent son propre sustenance et maintain le proposition et le general care, que le papist will endeavour distraction et de gouverne nost: proceedings ne fuit obliquy.
[f. 15v] SIR EDWARD COKE. 4 proceedings in Parliament:
In la queux desir que petition que ne dissolve Parliament sans cause monstre que ils respoigne.
A committee chosen for privileges.
A message from the Lords, as by Serjeant [Sir Ranulphe] Crewe and the Attorney [General], how the King is informed that the Lord of Buckingham had so dishonoured the King of Spain as could of no expiation but his head. He having only delivered truth, desires a committee to justify him.
SIR ROBERT PHELIPS now discovers we are right, that the Duke does it not but the King of Spain's ministers.
[Afternoon, committee for grievances]
Patent of concealed tithes damned, if executed, since a grievance in creation and execution; parties to be sent for.
VI. DIARY OF SIR NATHANIEL RICH, BL, ADD. MS 46,191
Friday, 27 February 1623
SIR JOHN ELIOT. This House a sanctuary for the grieved subject, a magazine of store and wealth. In the first of 120 [Jacobi], a jealously of undertaking. In the last, rocks cast in the way. The King's grace prejudicate; never king called any subjects came with best resolutions. The doubts: the King conceived his prerogative, the subjects conceived their privileges. Seneca calls it proprium regis; we his prerogative. Incomparable wisdom in H. 3 that he descended to the counsels of Parliament. Propounds a tice of secrecy wanting in no council but ours. To petition to enjoy the privileges: that we may have free speech and be free from restraint.
MR. [EDWARD] ALFORD. When time serves, he will concur for it is our duty. Was Magna Charta confirmed once or by one king? Yes, 30 times least. But consider what is opus huius diei. To avoid all particulars. Appoint a select committee to draw a bill without preamble, an act declaratory.
SIR FRANCIS SEYMOUR seconds the first motion. He is not satisfied in his Majesty's grant of our privileges, for the last time he said he would punish us in Parliament or out, etc. This a bar to our just privileges. And if the King hearken to any that may prove both accusers and judges. A review of the protestation last made, not to renew it, for that to no purpose because the last time he did/
That the King would grant our privileges, 2 especially:
- 1. That every member of this House may be only questioned by this House.
- 2. That the King would hearken to no report but such as shall be made by the whole House.
[f. 19] Moves for a committee of 10 or 12 to consider how far we have suffered in our privileges, and how to right us.
[SIR ROBERT] PHELIPS. He forgets all particulars out of good affection to the commonwealth. He did not look to have set it afoot but now wishes a good resolution. Had not God protected us, the papists had swallowed us up in 30 [Jacobi]. They did then pray and practice for our distraction and disunion. The fears and hopes of Christendom upon us. Let us carry ourselves so as we run not into obloquy. It is almost a miracle that we are now assembled. In gratitude, we are bound to carry the proceedings of this Parliament wisely. The glory of this Parliament in our hopeful Prince. Let all former things be buried. The Prince has played the part of the son of heaven to mediate between us and his father. A committee to consider how we have been unfortunate in the pressures of our privileges, and to redress them.
SIR EDWARD COKE. He cannot hold his peace. Prays God he may have the happiness to give a certain ending. To discourse of the privileges of the House a vain thing. Libertates quia liberas facit. 4 kinds of proceedings in Parliament: by bill; judicature; petition of right; petition of grace. To pray the King not to dissolve the Parliament until he show us some cause. Freedom of speech the quintessence of Parliament. To call the past to memory, yet to preserve our liberty not to contest with the King. Pray God we may never see the last Parliament.
How shall we preserve our liberties? Solomon: he that shall repeat separates and that friends. Ed. I: in his time, the great men (great indeed) did grant an aid against the liberty of the subject. They humbly desired in Parliament that nothing done which might be taken to the prejudice of the subject might be drawn into precedent.
[f. 20] SIR JAMES PERROT concurs for lex amnestiae.
[MR. WILLIAM] MALLORY. Monday 2 o'clock.
Report by the CHANCELLOR [OF THE EXCHEQUER].
According to the command of this House, he attended. When we have taken notice of his obedience, we shall regard of his insufficiency; not put such task on him hereafter. Follows the order of him that related it. If he speak of the person Quicquid dixero minus erit. If to the matter, he shall prejudice his own judgment and ours. He is astonished, for it can hardly be said whether matter exceed the person of the Prince or the Prince the matter, for on both lie the good of this kingdom and Christendom. Desires pardon and leave to use his papers.
His Grace began thus. My Lords spiritual, etc., and proceeded to desire both Houses that what, in this burden, he could not discharge [blank]. To pray to consider that he had not been used to speak in so great and so grave an assembly. A misfortune to speak in a business of that nature; he could not but blush if he spoke the truth. He would, he said, in his narration affect the matter without laying aspersion on our or the King of Spain's minister.
Sir Richard Weston's negotiation first gave occasion of jealously and indirect dealings. 3 October 1622, the King's letter to the Earl of Bristol from Hampton Court. Recites the King's desire to merit well of the house of Austria and relying on his promises for the Palatinate. No fruits of these but dishonour and scorn when all objections answered, yet she refused to command a cessation. By confidence in the King of Spain, exposed to dishonour and reproach. That Heidelberg [be] delivered within 70 days and Frankenthal, Mannheim and cessation of arms in the Palatinate.
[f. 21] The Palatinate lost upon trust to the King of Spain. A direct assurance within 10 days under the hand and seal of the King of Spain. Restitution, cessation of arms, general treaty or passage for our armies, etc., else/
His Grace, after this letter read, told us that Bristol was commanded to press this home, but that the Earl of Bristol did not put this home. This dispatch sent by [Endymion] Porter and having stayed his 10 days and my Lord Digby not procuring it, he went to Olivares, who asked what he would have. Ans[wer]: that if the Palatinate could not be got by entreaty, the King of Spain would assist by force, or give peaceable passage to, our forces. Olivares told Porter he neither understood the marriage nor the restitution.
This Porter told Digby, who angry, but changed his mind next day. The business then to be carried with more mildness. Olivares, he said, was shy of Porter because no public minister. Porter expostulates this with Olivares, who is angry that Porter revealed this secret to the ambassador, and Olivares hated Porter.
When Porter came back, the Prince resolved to go into Spain because the King deluded they gained in religion. That his sister held out of her patrimony, our allies won upon. Delay worse than a denial. These reasons moved the Prince's journey, which was first moved to the King by the Duke.
When he came into Spain, Olivares and the Duke met in a garden. There Olivares makes great show of friendship. It must be a match and they would divide the world (which, said the Duke, have swallowed in appetite the whole).
The ambassadors required the Duke to report to the King the faithfulness of their proceedings, which, being in generals, he refused.
[f. 22] Next, the King and Prince met in the Prado. Then Olivares, the Duke and Porter go together. Olivares: let us, said he, make the match without the Pope by the Prince's conversion. The Duke resolved that the Prince was resolved in his religion. Hereon, they must send into Rome.
This letter read, the Duke requires a postscript to make it free (the dispensation) and without delay. Upon this, the Duke told the Prince they neither intended the match nor Palatinate. But the messenger sent to Rome. Carefree for the Prince's entertainment. 4 or 5 days after, saw his mistress in the street but he promised within 2 days to visit the Infanta within 2 days [sic]. But found at last by the Duke, and after confessed, that before the dispensation came, the Prince might not see her.
At last the Prince had a visit but such as was never heard of, for he might speak nothing but what was dictated to him. Olivares told him that when the dispensation came, he should lie with her and should have her as a mistress if not a wife.
Then interim they carry the Prince into the country, there labour his conversion. He resolved not to hearken, then labour it not. For 3 reasons the Prince refused to confer. First, he had no scruple [blank]; secondly, it would touch the reputation of the [di]vines if all could not convert one young man; thirdly, the Infanta would be hardened against him. Yet they persisted to labour the Prince. Then Olivares would treat on the end of friendship, but the Duke refuses.
Now the dispensation came within 6 weeks after the Prince's arrival; contrary to professions, kept six days. [f. 23] Then Olivares sent to school, for he knew nothing of marriage or Palatinate.
Confessed that the dispensation came clogged, for the King of Spain was to take oath either to see the King of England execute the articles or the King of Spain to take arms against him. The Prince protests he would not add to the articles. Differences between Bristol and the Duke about an article which the Pope desired.
A junta of divines to consider whether the King of Spain/
Nurse, church and education of the children excepted out of the articles. These the Prince satisfied; then Olivares said, she was his wife. But next day, Gondomar told him that unless the Prince would yield to all as it came from Rome, the match must break. Here the Prince first saw clearly they juggled. He resolves to return. Olivares propounds to send these articles to Rome, to labour to lessen, and to the King of England to come into them.
Digby prayed the Prince to yield to stay as a punctilio. The Prince then consents to stay 20 days. [Sir Francis] Cottington goes into England. The articles kept three weeks, which might have been done the next day. At last they brought them, but with new things, and then stayed amendment a week, then brought them worse. At last, in six hours, dispatched by Digby.
Here ended the Chancellor.
[SIR FRANCIS] COTTINGTON'S report.
He always served beyond seas but obedient. Craves pardon and help of papers. [f. 24] When the articles brought into England by him, the junta declared that the Infanta must stay until the spring. With this the Prince discontented, and resolved to break. But [Sir Walter] Aston and Digby propounds that the Prince would stay until the ambassadors of Spain sent word that all the articles were executed. This the Duke disliked as worst. Then Olivares prays the Duke to go to the council; then alters the question. They wondered to see him there. The Bishop of Segovia told the Duke, change of religion would breed a rebellion.
Gondomar pointed out, but would not advise, that the Infanta should come into England until the articles of religion were executed and says the Duke knew it, but he denies it and says that Gondomar offered his daughter. Diverse things done without the Pope by Spain, as Gondomar said.
Olivares next propounds that if the Prince would stay until the spring, he should have a blank paper for restitution of the Palatinate. Upon which, the Prince accepted of the time but sent to know whether it was real. They confirmed and persuaded it as that best to recover the Palatinate.
Great joy when the Prince had accepted of the time. The Prince pressed to have the time shortened for sundry reasons: his father old [blank]. Olivares consented and said the Duke had bewitched him with the reasons; only desired the Prince might not know it but he would do it.
This the Infanta takes ill as an argument of his cold affections to stay so short a time. The Countess Olivares prays the Prince to say he would stay 7 years or go without her. Then returns Cottington with letters that all was well here and a command that the Prince should return in a month. With this, they all dejected. [f. 25] No show or preparation for the Infanta's journey.
Here an addition: that the Earl of Bristol laid a wager with the Prince — a ring of a £1,000 — that the Prince should not come into England before Christmas.
Then they labour to contract the Prince.
A maxim: that the Kings of Spain must not make war with the Emperor. The Prince resolved and declared that without restitution of the Palatinate, no match or friendship. Olivares said the Devil put into his head to put the matter to the junta, but yet 3 ways to effect the marriage: the Prince's conversion; secondly, free; thirdly, to tie him. And lastly, if the Duke himself would be a Catholic.
By this time, the Prince grew very cheap among them and seldom visited by Olivares. Olivares said the treaty not seven months, and to prove it showed a paper, 5 November 1622, and his answer of 8 November, just at the time that Mr. Porter was in Spain. Aston amazed, for when he propounded it to this King, he said it went before, now he would make it run. Olivares says the King's reputation is at stake.
His Highness resolved to return; left his proxy with Digby but willed him not to deliver it until he heard from him, and to prevent any abuse that, being betrothed, a monastery should not rob him of his wife. This letter in the Prince's own hand to Bristol, dated 24 September last.
The dispensation came clogged, yet would Digby have delivered it and yet had certified that the portion was come to £20,000 pension and jewels, and of the Palatinate, nothing but left to be accommodated by the Infanta.
The King's letters to Bristol, 8 October last. [f. 26] Thanks for entertainment. A treaty for restitution of the Palatinate, so ever understood: required to know the King of Spain's direct answer. Puts the King in Spain in mind of the blank.
Then were read 2 letters from Bristol to our King, one of the 24th October whether the conclusion of the match shall depend on the resolution of a treaty for the Palatinate, which will be long.
All the King's businesses in a fair way. The Prince like to have a fair and virtuous lady and one that much loves him. Desires order to deliver the powers and conclude the espousals, and will do his best to engage the King, if he can, for restitution and he conceives the dispatch of the match will be a good pawn.
The Prince told us that he never sworn to comply to the proxy but to the articles.
Bristol's letter, 1 November. He hears that the dispensation is come free; knows not what to do for delivery of the powers.
After this, the Duke told the King had appointed a committee of the council, by whose advice there were 2 letters written to Bristol, one from the King, the other from Conway.
Received his letter of the 28th October, and renews the powers until satisfaction on grounds of friendship for the Palatinate. Part of the Palatinate taken by the arms of Spain and in possession of the Spanish. Delivered to the Bishop of Mainz contrary to the contract at Brussels. Required, therefore, to deal plainly that before he delivers the powers or move contract, that he will help to the Palatinate, either by mediation in a time set or else by arms. The articles with himself. The portion rejected of pension and jewels.
Secretary Conway's letter of the same date. To press the King of Spain's answer within 15 days; then to press a categorical answer within 5 days; and if not successful, then desire to come home and fairly to take his leave.
[f. 27] Lastly, an answer of the King of Spain of the 6th of December. The Prince told us the King of Spain conceives he has, and he has not, power over the Pope at his own pleasure.
Touching the Palatinate, not to treat until the Palatinate had submitted, etc. For he may not doubt of the Emperor's clemency were to do him injury.
And, lastly, a draft of a letter, which the King of Spain offers to sign if the King of England will desire.
The King of Spain's last answer touching the Palatinate. Solicited, first, to mediate; secondly, for a limited time; thirdly, that if the mediation take not effect, then to take arms.
For the rest, ready to do all good offices, the Prince first performing the things required. Secondly, contented the time to be limited, but this cannot be accommodated with a long time. To begin a treaty to accommodate. Third point: it will make him a formal party and to disrespect his uncle, but will not withdraw his hand until the King's desires be accomplished.
The Prince said the ambassador had been required to interpret this phrase. They expound only the hand of mediation.
The King will be advised by us whether to accept this offer.
The Prince says he forgot a material circumstance: when the Prince accepted of the time of his stay, the Infanta styled princess.
Mr. [Edward] Clarke, out of Spain, says that now it is resolved in Spain first to treat of the Palatinate.
[f. 28] MR. SOLICITOR. We have heard this large and exact delivery of what passed in the last conference. The weight of the business, the gravity, requires that we may withdraw and retire our thoughts, and pray to God to assist us and that nothing may divert us from so great a work.
[MR. EDWARD] ALFORD. The match and the Palatinate be the 2 points, but first to treat of the match for in this no rubs.
VII. ANONYMOUS DIARY, KENNETH SPENCER RESEARCH LIBRARY, UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS, MS E237
After a bill or 2 had been read, SIR JOHN ELIOT made a long and eloquent speech concerning the privileges of the House, and showed the sudden breaking up and our fruitless labours in the 2 last meetings of Parliaments. Spoke of the interruptions: in the first, by the undertakers; in the last, of the breach of our liberties, notwithstanding our extraordinary expression of our love to the King by giving 2 subsidies, and of questioning some members after. Therefore, desired now that a petition might be framed to his Majesty for securing of privileges forever hereafter.
MR. [EDWARD] ALFORD moved for the like, but not to look back to former times but to secure us more certainly for the time to come, especiall[y] for freedom of speech.
SIR FRANCIS SEYMOUR seconded him for the like and wished that we should not trust to the King's promises for our privileges, since we saw what a breach was made into them by committing divers worthy members, for Parliament business, after the Parliament.
SIR ROBERT PHELIPS and SIR EDWARD COKE moved likewise for maintaining privileges, especially liberty of speech, but wished to let it rest until a further time, and for the present to consider of the great and weighty business in hand.
And so it rested, and SIR RICHARD WESTON and SIR FRANCIS COTTINGTON fell to make their report of the Duke's narration of the Spanish business.
[f. 97] After they had done, SIR FRANCIS COTTINGTON said he was willed to let us know, which the Duke forgot to tell before, that the Earl of Bristol laid a wager with the Prince that his Highness should not go out of Spain until after Christmas. The wager was a diamond ring of £1,000 price, which was lost and paid. And also that the King of Spain had very lately sent the King word that he had not taught him where to begin his treaty, for that he would now have the treaty for the Palatinate at an end before he would treat any more of the marriage.
The Lords sent us a message, and a narration, that the Spanish ambassador had made a great complaint to the King that the Duke had, in his narration to the Houses, put that dishonour upon the King of Spain as could not be expiated but with the head of the Duke. The Lords took this for so great an injury to both Houses as they could not but give us knowledge of it, and that their Lordships had appointed a committee to consider how to clear the Duke to the King. Whereupon, we returned thanks to the Lords, and that we, by the question, had with one voice cleared him, and would elect a committee to consider what to frame to join with their Lordships to clear him to the King. A committee was appointed.
VIII. DIARY OF EDWARD NICHOLAS, TNA, SP 14/166
Friday, 270 Februarii
It is ordered, at the motion of SIR EDWARD GILES, that a trial at the assize against Sir John Eliot shall be by order of this House stayed.
SIR JOHN ELIOT. That it was the opinion of a great statist that an imperfect Parliament was the greatest unhappiness could befall this kingdom. It was held in an incomparable wisdom in H. 3, that he, after many turns of state wherein he had involved himself, he at last threw himself into the arms of the Parliament, which gave him more than he desired. This is the place where the corruptions of judges are punished and where such sponges of the state are squeezed, to the disburdening of the King of the weight of jealousy and envy which is by such laid on him. That there is no council that is less secret. They that fear Parliaments are they that deform the privileges of this House with their insinuations and whisperings. He would have us seek to the King for our particular sureties, the promise we have had from the King being but general.
MR. [EDWARD] ALFORD. When time is fit, he will concur in the opinion for the preservation of our liberties, that we may leave our privilege to our posterity as free as we have found them. He would not have us here fall on the particulars of such as have suffered against the privileges. He would have a select committee appointed to prefer a bill for the preservation of our liberties, without repetition of any breaches of our privileges.
SIR FRANCIS SEYMOUR says that if the King shall give ear to any that shall acquaint him with information of any speeches here used, he would have those gentlemen suffer [f. 29] upon their reputations [blank]. He would have us sue to the King that we might here punish such of our members as shall misbehave himself towards the King, and that no debate may be told the King until things are agreed.
SIR ROBERT PHELIPS. That he will forget any of his interest in respect of the good of the commonwealth; that since this motion is on foot, he thinks it should not rest unresolved and u[n]ordered. If God had not protected us in 3 Jac., we had all perished by that almost forgotten Gunpowder Plot, and it will be a great joy to the hearts of our adversaries and enemies to cast a discord and division among us here in Parliament. That, considering the last rupture or breaking of the Parliament, it is almost a miracle that we are now here again assembled. As the good of the subject consists in the love of his people, so does the honour and safety of the King in the affection of his subjects. He prays God that all the former proceedings may be forgotten and not rise in judgement against us nor the King in this world, nor in the world to come. The King and we have been at variance. Let us a little respect him that seeks to reconcile us, which is the Prince. But he likes well to have a committee to consider of the preservation of our privileges, and therein would not have them exasperate the King.
SIR EDWARD COKE. No court of justice can subsist without the custom and course of it and this we in Parliament call liberties and privileges. He would have us all join in a petition that his Majesty will not, after the passing of laws, dissolve the Parliament but that he would show cause for it. He would have us preserve our liberties, but no contestation with our Sovereign.
There are 4 sort of proceeding in Parliament:
He would have us learn of Solomon in the ending of differences not to use any repetitions, which do aggravate more than the former discourtesies. He would have us consider the state of Christendom, and the desires of our enemies to break off our meetings without success. He desires there may be a committee of the ancientest Parliament-men and not above 12 of them at most.
It is ordered that there shall be a select committee to consider of all the liberties and privileges of the House. To sit Monday in the Court of Wards.
Then was the report of the relation that was at the conference between both Houses concerning the great business of Spain. After the report of the relation.
MR. [EDWARD] ALFORD would have us first treat of the marriage and after of the Palatinate, and would have us stay until Monday before we treat of this business and then to treat of nothing else.
It is ordered that the consideration of this great business concerning the Prince's and Buckingham's relation now reported (of the match of Spain and the treaty of the Palatinate) shall be respited until Monday next, and all businesses shall be put off until that day, excepting the committee this afternoon.
Message from the Lords signifying, that whereas their Lordships have been informed that complaint is made to the King [f. 30] that at the relation made to both Houses, the Duke of Buckingham reflected such dishonour upon the King of Spain as that his Majesty could give the King of Spain no less than the Duke's head, that their Lordships, having taken consideration thereof, have by the vote of the House cleared Buckingham from blame; that their Lordships were sensible of a wrong done by the complaint to themselves and have appointed a committee to present Buckingham clear and innocent to the King. Whereof, their Lordships thought good to advertise us.
SIR ROBERT PHELIPS is glad this fire is struck. He now believes that our intentions are direct and our resolutions are own. That if the ministers of Spain had [blank]. In the way that Buckingham holds, he prays and hopes that Buckingham shall keep his head on his shoulders to see thousands of the Spaniard's heads either from their shoulders or in the seas. [Blank] He would have us clear Buckingham here, as their Lordships have done by vote, and consider concerning the point of a committee.
[f. 30v] SIR EDWARD COKE says that Buckingham said nothing but what Olivares and Gondomar, or rather mundamar, said. He would have us put a question not for the clearing of Buckingham, but whether in the relation that Buckingham made of the business of the treaty with Spain, he did not deserve honour or no.
It is by question and vote of this House resolved that the Duke of Buckingham, in the last narration at a committee of both Houses, is both to be acquitted of any blame but to have deserved a great deal of honour for that business as being a noble patriot of his country.
Our answer: that this House has taken into consideration the message delivered and have not, with one full voice, only acquitted his Lordship from blame that there was nothing let fall that touched the dishonour of the King of Spain but what became the honour of so noble a Lord to relate, and give their Lordships and the [sic] Buckingham thanks.
A committee appointed to consider of the dishonour done to this House and the Duke of Buckingham by the complaint to the King against Buckingham, to sit this afternoon in the Exchequer Court.
[f. 31] MR. [EDWARD] ALFORD would have us petition that when any complaint is made to the King against any member of this House by any ambassador, that the King should demand proof thereof from the ambassador.
This is referred to this last committee to consider of.
This House is adjourned until Monday, by reason of the great business of Spain, concerning the match with the Infanta and the restitution of the Palatinate.
[Afternoon], committee for grievances, 270 Februarii 1623
Sir Edward Coke being in the chair.
It is here resolved that the patent of corporation for fishing at New England granted to Sir Ferdinando Gorges et al. shall be brought into the committee Monday next.
Mr. [Thomas] Sherwill says that when any fishermen were ready to go to sea that were not of this company, the patentees ever procured a proclamation to stay their going a fishing, or if they were gone before the proclamation came, then were their ships and goods arrested by warrant out of the Admiralty.
The Lord Duke of Buckingham is president of this corporation.
A subcommittee is appointed to take view of this patent, which is remaining with the Clerk of the Crown, and to examine the abuses that have been in the execution.
Concerning the patent of concealments granted to Sir John Townshend and [William] Tipper: [f. 31v] Sir John Townshend, by virtue of this patent, has taken away the lands of, or compounded with, 14 hospitals.
It is alleged that these patentees have summoned and troubled divers poor men by virtue of this patent, putting them to great charges by calling them to this town from the north and other parts of this kingdom.
It is ordered that Sir John Townshend shall bring in his commission of concealments of land found by 31 inquisitions taken here in Southwark.
It is ordered that the patentees of the sole fishing at Greenland for whales shall bring in their patent on Friday next.
It is ordered that the patent of Dungeness shall be brought in this day sevennight and the patent for Winter[ton]ness shall be brought into this committee this day sevennight. These patents were both condemned here the last meeting in Parliament for grievances in creation and execution.
IX. DIARY OF SIR WILLIAM SPRING, HOUGHTON LIBRARY, HARVARD UNIVERSITY, MS ENG. 980
Friday, the 27th of February
MR. [EDWARD] ALFORD moved for a bill declaratory of our privileges without any preamble.
SIR EDWARD COKE says that in all Parliaments, there is lex et consuetudo parliamenti, which we call liberties, which is the quintessence of Parliaments, that there should be freedom of speech. Sapiens incipit a fine, for that is the end of this assembly, etc. Let us preserve our liberties without contestation with our sovereign. Qui repetit separat foederatos, said Solomon. In Edward the first's time, they granted him an aid contrary to the liberties of the House; they acquainted him with it and he restored them the liberty again.
A committee was appointed for this, on Monday.
SIR RICHARD WESTON reported the Prince's and the Duke's relation at Whitehall; see it among the speeches of this Parliament annexed to this book.
A message came from the Lords to signify that they had heard that there had been a complaint made unto the King against the Duke of Buckingham for some such dishonour done unto the King of Spain as that nothing could expiate it but his head, and that the Lords had acquitted him of such an imputation and appointed a committee to right him and themselves in it.
[p. 35] SIR R[OBERT] PHELIPS hoped to have 1,000 of their heads on the ground and his to stand; moved to acquit him by vote of the House, since the Spanish ministers here do seek to destroy him.
SIR EDWARD COKE bids observe what a damnable demand this was of his head when that he said nothing which the Prince did not affirm; that this was like to be some such trick as Gondomar, mundamar, used.
SIR WILLIAM STRODE says the Spaniards are loath that any honest Lord's head should stand on his shoulders.
[p. 39] [Afternoon]
The committee on Friday the 27th of February for grievances in the House
Sir Edward Coke had the chair.
Mr. [William] Nyell moved concerning a complaint formerly made by him against the patent of Sir Ferdinando Gorges for the Newfoundland, by virtue whereof diverse of the ships in the west were under arrest upon pretence of contrarying that patent for fishing and coming upon the coast of New England. He moves that the patent may be sent for. And accordingly, the Clerk of the Crown is commanded to bring it in.
Mr. [William] Mallory complained of Sir John Townshend's patent for concealments concerning hospitals and free schools. This patent, last meeting, was found by the vote of the House to be faulty both in the creation and execution. He complains against [William] Tipper also for drawing men to charge and attendance upon pretences of such patents. Moves that both Townshend and Tipper may be severally sent for to answer the execution of these patents being damned before.
Dr. [Barnaby] Gooch maintains the patent of Sir Ferdinando Gorges, for that it is profitable to the commonwealth, and that every subject may have free part in the adventure, either for little or much, and that the Duke and many great ones are interested in it as much as Sir Ferdinando.
Mr. [John] Glanville answers, that the Duke was, by false information, gotten to it, to grace it; that it is true any may come in, but being in, must be regulated by the company and get out how he can.
Sir Edward Coke says it is no more scandal to the Duke than to the King, whose great seal is to it, and yet in case of a public grievance, it must be questioned.
[p. 40] Sir Ferdinando Gorges was sent for and commanded to bring in the patent. He desires time and counsel to be allowed him, and a copy of the objections. All is granted to him. A select company is appointed to gather all the passages of grievances in that patent contrary to law, and what have been in matter of fact.
Mr. [Robert] Snelling complains of a patent to some in London for the sole fishing in Greenland for whales, and they are commanded to bring in their patent on Friday next.
Sir William Cope moves against the patent of concealed tithes found a grievance in creation and execution the last Parliament, and condemned since by the King's proclamation.
Mr. [John] Wylde informs that in Worcestershire, it has been executed since.
Complaint was made for the patent for the lights on the coast at Dungeness and Wintertonness. They were called in last Parliament and yet executed since with more rigour; then thought a grievance in creation and execution. And for Lizard's light the same, the patent is given for that to the Council.
Complaint of the East India Companies [sic] was made for withholding the necessaries for furnishing of ships to the west parts; for enforcing them to buy at London; will not suffer the Hollander to bring any necessaries; and many ships lie still for want of masts, pitch and tacklin[g].
X. DIARY OF SIR THOMAS HOLLAND, BODL., TANNER MS 392
Friday, 27 February
[SIR EDWARD] GILES. That a stay of suit against Sir John Eliot, a member of this House, be ordered.
[SIR JOHN] ELIOT. That a new petition be made to the King for our privileges.
[MR. EDWARD] ALFORD. [Blank]
[SIR FRANCIS] SEYMOUR. That he is not satisfied in his Majesty's declaration of grace to our privileges of speaking freely, for so was it before yet he would reserve our power to punish. He would have the protestation renewed. Next, he would have the members restrained the last Parliament deliver whether it was not for Parliament business. Next, that the members may be punished in this House and not after the Parliament imprisoned. Lastly, that the King be not traduced by any members that are ill affected.
[SIR ROBERT] PHELIPS. That the popish recusants did not only practice but pray for the issue according to their intention, and so do now to bring a distraction to this Parliament. [f. 5] That we are bound in gratitude to proceed in love and obedience. That a committee be appointed to examine how far our liberties are entrenched to, and the same to be humbly presented to his Majesty.
[SIR EDWARD] COKE. To discourse of the privileges were vain, for no court can proceed without law. 4 kinds [of] proceeding: by bill, judicature, petition of right and petitions of grace. That we may be petitioners of them that we may not have all our labour in vain by dissolving the Parliament without showing the cause. Shall any matters be called to mind? Yes, for matters of privilege by precedents, which no doubt may be effected without contestation, but he would have no repetitions of particulars. He desires that in respect of Christendom, we may, without giving ear to disturbers, go on by way of committee of twelve.
[SIR JAMES] PERROT for a committee.
[MR. WILLIAM] MALLORY for a committee named and time, place appointed.
A committee set down: [Sir Edward] Coke, [Sir Robert] Phelips, [Sir Edwin] Sandys, [Sir Francis] Bar[rington], [Mr. William] Mall[ory], [Mr. Edward] Alford, [Sir Nathaniel] Rich, [Sir Henry] Poole, [Sir John] Eliot, [Sir Francis] Seymour, Recorder, [Sir John] Savile, [Sir Dudley] Digges. They are to deal in all liberties and privileges of this House, to provide the best remedy for the time to come. Court/
[f. 5v] CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER reports. The great person made a character of his faith. His Grace's beginnings: Lords, gentlemen, and so proceeded to desire the Houses if he did not proceed to speak in so great assembly and in order. That the grace was great from his Majesty. If he did speak the truth, he was [blank]. The greatest business that ever Parliament. He would without reflecting upon the ministers of either King. From the Chancellor [of the Exchequer's] negotiations was the first time that ever any discovery there was. The letter sent from Hampton, 3 October 1622, from Gresley from the treaty at Brussels. Heidelberg taken by force while treaties. Infanta, a commission to conclude a cessation of arms, yet pretends want of authority. The garrisons for honour sake. Since the King of Spain has no better issue at the Emp[eror's hands], both wronged. That the King undertake that within 70 days be surrendered the castle. [f. 6] If refused by the Emperor, the King of Spain join his forces and that he permits our forces to pass through his territories. If not, to take his leave. Otherwise, to proceed to the marriage according to his instructions.
That my Lord of Bristol was to put it home that wars and Parliament might be called, which the Lord Bristol did not put home. Demand of the Duke of Olivares for the Palatinate, for arms to be raised against the Emperor, or Infanta, was preposterous. Porter desired his furtherance because of the marriage. He replied, he knew not of any marriage, which Bristol took in ill part. Olivares took it ill that Porter should acquaint the ambassador before him, which he answered with his duty reser[ved].
Upon Porter's relation at his return, the Prince departed to Spain. After consultation with the King, the King gave way at his Highness's coming to Madrid. He came to Bristol. The Duke, next day, visited Olivares, who did magnify the Prince's [f. 6v] coming and said it should be a match and that they would part the world between. The Prince and the King met, Conde Olivares and the Duke went together. Olivares would have the marriage done without the Pope, which might easily be upon the Prince's conversion, which his journey showed. But the Prince refused his conversion. Then a dispensation. [Blank] He saw his mistress go from church to church, but could not obtain a visit, yet had a promise. The Duke said the report was that he should not see her until a dispensation came. He said it was true. After he had a visit, but the Prince['s part] was dictated to him. [Blank] He was again solicited for a conversion, which he refused, they [blank]. [f. 7] Dishonourable; no scruple in conscience; next, ill blood; lastly, that the Infanta could take it ill and hardly go with him.
6 weeks after the Prince's coming, the dispensation came, yet was it kept from the Prince 6 days. A consultation before the Prince was had; when Olivares heard it, he knew nothing. The dispensation was clogged that the King should take an oath. The King of Spain refused the oath until the King of England had taken his oath. Junta of divines whether the King might take the oath. The Prince went on with his articles; best 3: the nurse, bringing up of children [blank]. Monteclaros said, except he would yield to it as it came from Rome, it could not be. The Prince intended to depart. Olivares made proposition that the articles might be sent to Rome [f. 7v] and the other was to be sent to our King, which the Prince accepted of, that he would come over to acquaint the King. The articles was [sic] sent away to England. The articles were kept by the[m] 3 weeks and much altered. The Prince showed the agreement between King Philip and Queen Mary, which they snatched from him and said they would amend it.
When the articles were sent into England, the junta of divines resolved that the Infanta could not go until the spring, which the Prince took in ill part; that they said, it was but for form; but if that the ambassadors in England returned notice that the King of England had performed, he should carry the Infanta away. After, the Duke was appointed by Olivares to go into the council. [f. 8] The Bishop of Segovia said, that the King of England could not grant a toleration in England without a rebellion, no more could it be done in Spain. Gondomar, being looked on, spoke that the King of England was a wise king, a brave prince and rich in the hearts of his people; wished that the King of England might be urged from the performance of all the articles. Another proposition was made to the Prince, that if he would stay for the return from the ambassadors, he should have a blank and set down his own conditions for the Palatinate. The Infanta discontented. [Blank] [f. 8v] All things were returned dispatched, and the King willed [the Prince] to return within a month. They were dejected. [Blank]
The Duke forgot to tell that the Earl of Bristol laid with the Prince a ring of a £1,000, that the Prince/
When the Palatinate was demanded, the Palsgrave was to be left out and never spoke of the Electorate. The Palsgrave's son was nominated for the Emperor's daughter. [Blank] 3 ways for the match: first, conversion in religion; next, the delivery of the Infanta; the third, to bind the Prince hand and foot. [f. 9] If the Duke would be a Catholic, he would deliver the Infanta.
Olivares said, the Devil could not now break it off. The Duke said, it was seven years. Olivares said, not seven months and took our letters out, Novembers 5, 1622, to Olivares that the King, his father, never intended to marry his daughter with the Prince of Wales, which Balthazar understood and intended to delay it. Nevertheless it is advanced. [Blank] Olivares, 8 November 1622, that the Infanta determined to put herself into Descalces. 2 [sic] causes of the King of Great Britain: first, to secure himself of his Catholics; next, to marry in Austria; lastly, for the Palatinate. If the marriage go on, the Palatinate must not be surrendered. Then your Majesty must engage yourself in a war against the Emperor; if not, the King of England to make war against [f. 9v] the Emperor and he marry your daughter. The Diet will transfer the Palatinate. The Emperor will marry his eldest daughter with the Prince of Wales and second daughter to the Palsgrave's son, who shall be brought up in the Emperor's/
The proxy was left with the Earl of [Bristol] and [the Prince] wrote from the seaside that he should not deliver it until he heard from him, because he would be assured that after she was betrothed his wife, should not be put into a monastery.
From the King to Bristol, the 8th of October: that the betrothing be in Christmas; that his doubt of the Infanta being put into a monastery is taken away; that the treaty was entered and understood; that the Palatinate should be surrendered; that he require a punctual answer for the Palatinate from the King of Spain; likewise, to see what account the King will give of the blank he promised.
[f. 10] A letter from the Prince to Bristol, 24 September 1623, for restraining his proxy for fear of her going into a monastery after betrothing; not to deliver the proxy until he have a security from the King and Infanta that the monastery [not] rob him of his wife.
24 October 1623, Bristol to the King. Because he perceived his desire continued for the marriage, that the desponsories should be delayed until Christmas will be after date and no powers left. His directions was to treat of the Palatinate, but divided from the treaty of the marriage.
1 November, from Bristol to the King, 1623. That the Pope has passed the dispensation and that they will demand the powers. [Blank]
[f. 10v] 13 November 1623, the King's letter sent to Bristol. That the King desires to hasten the desponsories, yet to renew the proxy. Bound in honour, nature and affection not leave our son-in-law in tears; that you treat with our brother for the Palatinate and his assistance in arms if mediation fails. Secretary Conway's letter to Bristol the same day. That with importunity, you press the King to an answer; if it be delayed, then to a categorical answer; and if that prevail not, then to take your leave.
6 1623, from the King of Spain/
5 January, a draft of a letter from the King of Spain to the King. 3 points for offices of mediation, that a limited time for negotiation, that if these prevail not, then for arms. For the first, he promises; the second, he agrees to; for the last, is to bereave him of the power by making him a formal party and to set the Emperor and him apart.
[f. 11] Whether he shall trust to the sundry p[ropositions]. [Blank] The Prince's circumstances that when they accepted of the time set for the Princess Infanta coming, she was called the "Princess of Wales" and the ambassadors kissed her hand as her servants, which title is forbidden. Mr. [Edward] Clarke, from Spain: that the King's proceedings here put them in mind what they were to do there, and therefore they were determined to go on with the Palatinate before they treated of the match.
[MR. EDWARD] ALFORD. That we may first/
It is ordered all considerations for this great business shall be deferred until Monday.
[f. 11v] The messengers from the Lords, Serjeant [Sir Ranulphe] Crewe, Mr. Attorney [General]. That whereas complaint has been made to the King that the Duke of Buckingham, at the conference, has taxed the King of Spain so as nothing will expiate it but his head; that the Lords had acquit him from blame and have appointed a committee to right themselves, and the Duke of Buckingham, and thought fit to acquaint us with it.
[SIR ROBERT] PHELIPS. Two points in consideration: that ourselves come not behind in clearing his Lordship; and that we join with a committee of the Lords to that purpose.
[MR. EDWARD] ALFORD to that purpose, but wishes that we may proceed in a Parliamentary way and understand the cause.
[SIR EDWARD] COKE. If ever/
[SIR DUDLEY] DIGGES. [Blank]
[f. 12] The question: as many a[s] be of opinion that the noble Duke of Buckingham has faithfully performed the relation and discharged him of all dishonour, which was done without one no.
[SIR GEORGE] GORING. That this indignity was threatened before the Prince's coming from Spain, and since they have endeavoured to inform the King but could not in respect of the Prince's and Duke's attendance, and at last they threatened to do it before his face.
XI. DIARY OF JOHN PYM, NORTHAMPTONSHIRE RECORD OFFICE, FH/N/C/0050
SIR JOHN ELIOT, with much earnestness and preparation, set afoot the question of privilege. That we had lost the freedom of ancient Parliaments. The jealousy between us and the King the cause, and our want of secrecy the cause of that jealousy. Some, perchance, that were instruments in that discovery did but serve the turn of others that had worse ends than themselves. If there were not false glasses between us and the King, our privileges and his prerogative would stand well together. To consult and deliberate, do not include only restraint of his supreme power. H. 3 made the Parliament his council, and whatsoever they did the judgement and wisdom was referred to the King. In times swollen with corruption, Parliaments bring not only honour to the state but profit by many great fines and mulcts. We are the representative body of the kingdom, the King of us, and all that we do is both under him and for him. So it concluded with a 3-fold motion:
- 1. That some general obligation might be invented of trust and secrecy.
- 2. That his Majesty would not respect such whisperers and think the enemies to Parliaments could not be any good servants to him.
- 3. To frame a petition for the privileges.
Divers were afraid this motion would have put the House into some such heat as to disturb the great business.
MR. [EDWARD] ALFORD endeavoured to allay it by acknowledging the matter but wishing a more seasonable time.
But SIR FRANCIS SEYMOUR pressed it farther. That a restraint lay upon our judgements in matters of grievance and upon the Council in matters of advice. To remove this. That we should enter the protestation made the last Parliament; and if any of our members should offend, to take order they might be punished in the House and not subject to any other punishment. And [f. 9] that those which were punished the last Parliament might deliver upon their credits for what they were questioned.
SIR ROBERT PHELIPS. That since this was stirred, it was our duty to calm it, and to remember the misfortune of other times. Our destruction was plotted and the breaking now would have no better effect. The eyes of all Christendom were upon the good success of this Parliament, so to govern ourselves as not to give cause of obloquy nor prejudice to future times. This meeting was a miracle, which, since the Prince had wrought, we ought in gratitude to him, next under God, to cast off all distractions and jealousies and to rest upon his mediation. And for the present only, to appoint a committee to consider what is needful to be done to express our duty to the King and secure the liberty of the subject.
SIR EDWARD COKE recited 4 courses of proceeding in Parliament:
That in all of them liberty of speech was needful. Yet not to meet with matters past, but to provide that nothing done might be prejudicial in the time to come.
So this matter was referred to a committee.
MR. CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER. That by his attendance at Whitehall upon Tuesday, he had approved his obedience, and by his report they might take such knowledge of his insufficiency as to excuse him for the time to come. In his report, he would observe the same method which was used in the delivery without adding much of his own, for what should he speak? If to the person, quicquid dixerit, minor erit; if to the matter, either prejudice their judgement or his own; if to that great person who was the relation, I must come short of that character which he has given of his own labour in searching out the bottom of this mystery, and of his felicity in delivering it. In comparison between the person and the matter, the Prince's person exceeds, though upon the matter depend the good both of this kingdom and of all Christendom.
So he proceeded through a great part of my Lord of Buckingham's relation with much truth and judgement, according to a partition between him and SIR FRANCIS COTTINGTON, who was appointed one of the other reporters. And the 2 Secretaries assisted them in producing the letters when there was occasion. The conclusion was that the King had commanded my Lord Digby not to contract the Prince by virtue of the proxy left with him until he might be secured what should be done for the delivery of the Palatinate, concerning which 3 propositions were delivered:
- 1. That the King of Spain would join in a treaty of mediation for restitution of the Palatinate and Electorate.
- 2. A time certain to be declared within which that mediation should be confined.
- 3. If the restitution could not be obtained within that time, the King of Spain to join in arms for the recovery thereof.
[f. 9v] To this, the project of an answer was framed by the King of Spain's commandment, and a copy thereof sent to this effect. He yielded to the 2 first, but as for the 3rd, that he was certain through his intercession and performance of the submission of the King's son-in-law to obtain the Emperor's clemency, but he should bereave himself of the power of a mediator and fail in respect to his uncle if he should make himself a party and accompany his mediation with menaces, yet he would not withdraw his hand until the King's desires should be accomplished. This was the last answer and utmost that could be obtained, which now was sent but as a draft. And if the King should like of it, it should be returned under the King of Spain's hand. Some doubt his Majesty made of these words abor la mane, not withdraw his hand, and therefore desired the interpretation of the Spanish ambassador, who said he thought his Majesty meant nothing but the hand of mediation.
It was added in the report, according to the Duke of Buckingham's relation, that he had lately received a dispatch from Sir Walter Aston that the King of Spain is gone to visit his fleet and has stayed some English ships and taken out the men and filled them with Spaniards; and that Padre Maestro, the friar who was here with Gondomar, is now coming for England with more propositions, all which might be motives unto us to dispatch. Upon the whole matter, his Majesty desires us to give our advice whether to rely upon this answer for the Palatinate, and continue the treaty, or else stand upon himself.
It was added in the Duke's relation, and likewise in the report, that he had received late advertisements of the preparation of a fleet in Spain, of the arrest of divers of our ships, and that Padre Maestro was coming into England with new propositions, all which might be motives to us of dispatch [sic].
It was ordered, upon MR. SOLICITOR'S motion, that the debate of this great business should be adjourned until Monday that in the meantime we might better meditate upon it and pray for God's assistance. To which was added by others that every man might resort to the Clerk's book for copies, and desired the letters might be left with him. But that the Secretaries would not presume to do without the King's leave.
A message came from the Lords to this effect: that the Spanish ambassador had made a complaint to his Majesty against the Duke of Buckingham for speaking words in his late relation so much to the dishonour of the King of Spain as could receive none other expiation but with his head. The Lords had freely acquitted him from blame and appointed a committee to inform his Majesty, taking it as a dishonour to their House that any speeches should be spoken there which should deserve that punishment [f. 10] and they would not be the first that should inform his Majesty.
Divers things were spoken on this occasion, not so as that men were willing to express their own forwardness in the acquittal.
SIR ROBERT PHELIPS. That if the ways of the minister of Spain could not be spoken of without reflecting upon the King, it was their own faults, and not my Lord of Buckingham's, whose head he prayed God to keep so long while he might see 1,000 of their heads off. It was no wonder if he had his part in that which was publicly intended, for the ministers of Spain lay among us for our destruction. That we should follow good precedents and not come behind the Lords in doing him honour.
MR. [EDWARD] ALFORD. He proceeded gravely:
1. To honour the particulars, and our committee to join with the Lords.
SIR EDWARD COKE. He would not speak of his going into Spain, but since his return he had not deserved the loss of his head.
SIR WILLIAM STRODE. By their will, no good subject should keep his head on.
MR. SPENCER. To take occasion by this to let the King see that it is no wonder that private men are sometimes traduced when they will presume to slander my Lord of Buckingham.
Divers others spoke, but at last it was concluded, by question, that my Lord of Buckingham was not only to be acquitted from blame but worthy of honour and thanks.
SIR GEORGE GORING. That he had long since been threatened by the Spanish ambassador, who if he had had his will would have had his head before this, but that the Prince did stick so close to him.
It was moved by another that this business might be referred to the former committee for the great business with the Lords.
SIR GEORGE MORE. That it was more answerable to the worth of the great Lord and the dignity of the Houses that it should be proceeded in singly.
The Lords' messengers received this answer by order: that we had acquitted my Lord of Buckingham and thought him worthy of honour and thanks, and would further take it in consideration by a committee how to clear the honour of both Houses and acquaint their Lordships therewith by a messenger of our own.
Eodem die, at the committee for grievances
Divers things were spoken of, nothing debated and examined:
- 1. The patent for New England.
- 2. Sir John Townshend's patent of concealments.
- 3. Patent for whale fishing in Greenland.
- 4. Sea lights, viz. Dungeness and Wintertonness, condemned the last Parliament, and another since erected at the Lizard, which was under complaint before the Lords, yet it was now ordered to be brought in.
XII. DIARY OF SIR WALTER EARLE, BL, ADD. MS 18,597
SIR JOHN ELIOT, moving somewhat touching the securing of the liberties of the House, MR. [EDWARD] ALFORD proposed a course for a bill declaratory to be preferred.
SIR FRANCIS SEYMOUR would have had better assurance given from the King than was last, and would have had the parties that were restrained to declare whether it were for Parliament business.
But this was not approved of by the House.
SIR ROBERT PHELIPS. He expected not any such proposition. It is well known in what a miserable estate both this kingdom and all Christendom is. Foreign parts are interested in this Parliament as well as we; good, therefore, to have respect to disturbances and diversions. This, our assembly, is a kind of miracle. Two things are to be expected, gratitude and obedience. Think fit to have a committee to consider of the best course how to proceed with least offence to his Majesty.
SIR EDWARD COKE. Liberties of Parliament [f. 32] are the common law. Proceedings of Parliament of 4 sorts: by bill, judicature, petition of right and petition of grace. Freedom of speech. Let us take heed of contestation with our sovereign, yet preserve our liberties. Considering the end [blank]. Solomon says qui reperit, separat. Ed. I a wise and valiant king, an aid was granted, which the subjects conceived it trenched into their privileges. They petitioned the King that whereas, etc.; henceforward, nothing may be done contrary to their privileges.
A committee appointed to consider of the liberties and privileges, myself one of them, Monday, 2 of the clock.
MR. CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER'S report of the great business related by the Duke of Buckingham, etc., following the same method and order wherein it was delivered.
Saturday, 28 February [sic]
A message from the Lords. The Lords having been informed that complaint having been made to the King by the ambassador of Spain that the [f. 32v] Duke of Buckingham in his last relation had done such wrong and dishonour to the King of Spain, his master, as that there could be no expiation but by the having of his head, the Lords acquit him from blame and that he has done nothing but that which, etc. That wrong has been done them in an high nature. They have cleared him by vote of their House. They have appointed a committee to consider what is fit to be done. Thought good to acquaint us therewith, that we might consider of it and do what we thought fit.
SIR ROBERT PHELIPS. The Duke of Buckingham questioned for doing that which he was commanded by the King. The fault he laid on the King of Spain's ministers, not on the King. The Lords have cleared him by a general vote.
The Duke of Buckingham cleared by the vote of the House to be without blame, and to have deserved honour and thanks.
The answer to the message. The House have taken into consideration the, etc. They have, by the vote of the House, cleared, etc., and think that honourable Lord worthy of all honour and thanks. They have resolved to consider of some course, etc.
XIII. JOURNAL OF SIR SIMONDS D'EWES, BL, HARL. MS 159
February 27, Friday
A motion for the staying of a trial of Sir John Eliot's in Devonshire, he being a member of the House and now therein.
A motion for confirmation of the privileges of the House. Some thought fit to do it by petition to the King, others rather by an act declaratory of the privileges. Some were not satisfied that the King had formerly said he would punish such as misdemeaned themselves in the House, even during the time of Parliament. Others called for a review of their protestations the last time. Others that such as were restrained the last time should declare why they were committed. Some moved for punishing of members of the House by the House only, and to petition the King not to believe misreports of the proceedings of the House. Others for a committee to consider how far the House had suffered in their privileges. Some thought the time not seasonable to move in any of these things yet, for fear of preventing a greater good.
SIR EDWARD COKE. There were petitions of right and petitions of grace, and [f. 62] that this was to be done by the latter, and to entreat his Majesty not to dissolve the Parliament until he had given his royal assent thereto. Sed malus interpres verum metus omne habebit de Jove consilium. A course to be taken to preserve the liberties of the House, but not to contest with the King, for there was no fear that he would deny them since he had given us his word for them in his speech at the beginning of the Parliament. And so, as Sallust says, qui repetit separat foederatos. Let all old things die. Lex αρνησίας now needful.
In fine, a committee was chosen and an order made that they should consider the liberties and privileges of the House every Monday in the Court of Wards.
Then came the report of the narration of the Duke of Buckingham made by SIR RICHARD WESTON and SIR FRANCIS COTTINGTON.
An order to respite the debating of this great business until Monday following and to adjourn the court until then, because we were all to receive the sacrament on Sunday and that one day was fit to prepare for it, which was the best preparation to this great consultation.
A message came from the Lords by Sir Ranulphe Crewe and Sir Thomas Coventry, to let the House understand that the Duke of Buckingham had been complained of to the King that he had, in his late narration, so highly taxed the King of Spain as that no expiation was sufficient but his head. Withal, to let the House know that the Lords, by a general vote, had cleared him and held it a wrong to their House to have him so charged, and appointed a committee to give satisfaction in it to the King.
It was put to the question whether the Duke, in his narration, had done anything or let slip any speeches that might be dishonourable to the King [f. 62v] of Spain. The House, generally to a man, cleared him and appointed a committee to the same purpose that the Lords had done.
A motion to entreat the King to be pleased that when any foreign ambassador complained in the like kind again, that he would cause him to make his proof and so it should be known who they were that did such ill offices.
SIR DUDLEY DIGGES. He was not that light but was sent to bear witness of that light, in relation to the Duke's words at the close in the speech he made. See before, February 24.