Historical Collections of Private Passages of State: Volume 1, 1618-29. Originally published by D Browne, London, 1721.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
The Commons discontented at the imprisonment of their Members.
The Commons upon the Imprisonment of their Members, and the offence taken by the King at the words spoken by those two Gentlemen in impeaching the Duke, resolved to proceed in no other business till they were righted in their Liberties, and ordered that the House be turned into a grand Committee presently, to sit and consider of the best way and means to effect the same, and that no Member be suffered to go forth. At which time Sir Dudley Carlton observing that unusual, and as he termed it, sullen silence of the House, made this Speech.
Sir Dudley Carlton Speech.
I Find (by a great silence in this House) that it is a sit time to be heard, if you please to give me the patience. I may very fitly compare the heaviness of this House unto some of my misfortunes by Sea in my Travels: for as we were bound unto Marseilles, by oversight of the Mariners we mistook our Course, and by ill fortune met with a Sand; That was no sooner overpast, but we sell on another; and having escaped this likewise, we met with a third, and in that we stuck fast. All of the Passengers being much dismayed by this disaster, as now we are here in this House for the less of those two Member: At last an old experienced Mariner upon confutation affirmed, That the speediest way to come out from the Sands, was to know how we came there; So, well looking and beholding the Compass, he found by going in upon such a point we were brought into that straight; wherefore we must take a new point to rectifie and bring us out of danger.
'This House of Parliament may be compared to the Ship; the Sands to our Messages; and the Commitment, to the Sands that the Ship did stick fast in: and lastly the Compass, to the Table where the Book of Orders doth lie. Then I beseech you let us look into the Book where the Orders are, whether the Gentlemen did go no further than the Order did warrant them. If they did not, it is sit that we should defend them whom we employed in our behests: But if they have exceeded their Commission, and delivered that which they had not warrant for, it is just that we let them fusser for this presumption; and this our Course will bring us from these Rocks.
I beseech you, Gentlemen, move not his Majesty with trenching up on his Prerogatives, lest you bring him out of love with Parliaments. You have heard His Majesty's often Messages to you, to put you for ward in a Course that will be most convenient. In those Messages he told you, That if there were not Correspondence between him and you, he should be inforced to use new Counsels. Now I pray you consider what these new Counsels are, and may be: I fear to declare those that I conceive. In all Christian Kingdoms you know that Parliaments were in use anciently, by which their Kingdoms were governed in a most flourishing manner until the Monarchs began to know their own strength, and seeing the turbulent spirit of their Parliaments, at length they, by little and little, began to stand upon their Prerogatives, and at last overthrew the Parliaments throughout Christendom, except here only with us.
'And indeed you would count it a great misery, if you knew the Subject in foreign Countries, as well as my self; to see them look not like our Nation, with store of flesh on their backs, but like so many Ghosts, and not Men, being nothing but skin and bones, with some thin cover to their nakedness, and wearing only wooden shooes on their feet; so that they cannot eat Meat, or wear good Clothes, but they must pay and be taxed unto the King for it. This is a Misery beyond expression, and that which yet we are free from: Let us be careful then to preserve the King's good opinion of Parliaments, which bringeth this happiness to this Nation, and makes us envied of all others, while there is this sweetness between His Majesty and His Commons; lest we lose the repute of a free born Nation, by turbulences in Parliament. For in my opinion, the greatest and wisest part of a Parliament are those that use the greatest silence, so as it be not opiniatory, or sullen, as now we are by the loss of these our Members that are committed.
'This good Correspondency being kept between the King and his People, will so joyn their love and savor to his Majesty with liking of Parliaments, that his Prerogative shall be preserved entire to Himself, without our trenching upon it; and also the Privilege of the Subject (which is our happiness) inviolated, and both be maintained to the.support of each other. And I told you, if you would hear me patiently, I would tell you what exception His Majesty doth take at those Gentlemen that are committed. You know that Eight Members were chosen to deliver the Charge against the Duke, but there were only six imployed for that purpose; insomuch that there was no exception.
As for Sir Dudley Diggs his part, that was the Prologue, and in that his Majesty doth conceive that he went too far beyond his Commission, in pressing the death of his ever blessed Father in these words, That he was commanded by the House, concerning the Plaister appli'd to the King, that he did forbear to speak further in regard of the Kings Honor, or words to that effect, this his Majesty conceiveth to be to his dishonour, as if there had been any underhand dealing by his Majesty, in applying of the Plaister, and this may make his Subjects jealous of his doings: In this Point his Majesty is allured, that the House did not warrant him. Now for that which is excepted against Sir John Elliot, his over bitterness in the Aggravation upon the whole Charge, and specially upon some of the heads of it: For if you please to remember, when I moved for putting of the St. Peter of Newhaven out of the Charge against the Duke of Buckingham, and shewed my reasons for that purpose, you know how tender Sir John Elliot was of it, as if he had been a child of his own, and so careful in the handling thereof by a Stranger, that he Would not suffer it to be touched, though with never so tender a hand, for fear it may prove a Changeling: which did manifest, how specious soever his pretences were, that he had oculum in cauda: And I must confess, I was heartily sorry when he delivered his Aggravation to the Lords, to see his Tartness against the Duke; when as he had occasion to name him, he only gave him the Title of This man, and The man; whereas the other observed more respect: and modesty in their Charges against so great a Person as the Duke is, considering that then he was not convicted, but stood rectus in Curia. Lastly, for pressing the death of his late Majesty, you know that the Sense of the House concluded, That it is only an Act of presumption; nay, some of them expressly said, Nay God forbid that I should lay the death of the King to his Charge. If he without warrant from the House, insisted upon the Composition of the Plaister, as if there were Aliquid latet quod non patet; This was beyond his Commission from our house, and this is that which his Majesty doth except against; And this, I say, drew his Majesty, with other insolent Invectives, to use his Regal authority in committing them to the Tower.
Sir Dudley Diggs being charged for saying in the matter of applying the Plaister to his late Majesty, That he did forbear to speak further of that in regard of the King's Honor, or words to that effect; There passed a Protection of every man in particular for himself; and it was Ordered in the House That they that were sick in the Town, should have three of the House sent to them to take this Protestation likewise.
The Commons Protestation touching words imputed to Sir Dudley Diggs.
I Protest before almighty God and this House of Parliament, That I never gave content that Sir Dudley Diggs should speek these words that he is now charged withall, or any wotos that effect; And I have not affirmed to any that he did speak such words, or any to that effect.
Sir D. Diggs released out of prison, protests he never spake the words charged on him.
Within few days after Sir Dudley being released out of Prison, came into the House, and made Protestation concerning the Passage whereat his Majesty had taken offence; That speaking of the Plaister applied to the Body of the late King, he said, He would forbear to speak any further of it, in regard of the King's Honor, he protested, that this was far from his words, and that it never came into his thoughts. And he gave the House great thanks for their respect unto him, and said, That he had received from his Majesty a gracious testimony of his satisfaction.
The King is satisfied that the words were not spoken; The Duke dissatisfied.
And the King himself signifieth to the House by the Vice-Chamberlain, That he understood out of some Notes which were taken at the Conference, that Sir Dudley Diggs had spoken the words wherewith he was charged, but now was satisfied that he did not speak them, nor any words to such effect: Nevertheless the Duke affirmed to the House of Peers, that some words were spoken at this late Conference by Sir Dudley Diggs, which so far did trench upon the King's Honor, that they are interpreted Treasonable; and that (had he not been restrained by order of the House) he would then have reprehended him for the same: He therefore earnestly desired, for that divers constructions have been made of those words, and for that they have been diversly reported that every one of the said Reporters would be pleased to produce their Notes taken at the Conference.
Thirty six Lords protest they heard not the words supposed to be spoken at a Conference.
This matter was much debated, and the House of Peers often put into a Committee, and reassumed again, but they came to no resolution therein. In fine, these Lords following, (to the number of thirty six) made this voluntary Protestation upon their honours; That the said Sir Dudley Diggs did not speak any thing at the said Conference, which did or might trench on the King's Honor; and if he had, they would presently have reprehended him for it.
The Lord President affirmed, that he had reported the words in the same sense they were delivered unto him by the Party himself, and though the connexion of them require to be explained, yet he agreed with the rest of the Lords, for the Party's good meaning, and made the lame Protestation;
- The Earl of Mulgrave.
- Earl of Cleveland.
- Earl of Westmorland.
- Earl of Bullingbrooke.
- Earl of Clare.
- Earl of Denbigh.
- Earl of Cambridge.
- Earl of Devon.
- Earl of Warwick.
- Earl of Northampton.
- Earl of Bridgwater.
- Earl of Montgomery.
- Earl of Nottingham.
- Earl of Lincoln.
- Earl of Essex.
- Earl of Hereford.
- Earl of Kent.
- Earl of Oxon.
- Lord Grey of Warke.
- Lord Noell.
- Lord Mountague.
- Lord Russel
- Lord North.
- Lord Cromwell.
- Lord Vaux.
- Lord Dudley.
- Lord Morley.
- Lord Piercy.
- Lord Bishop of Sarum.
- Lord Bishop of Landasse.
- Lord Bishop of Chester.
- Lord Bishop of Cov. and Lich.
- Lord Bishop of Worcester.
- Lord Bishop of Norwich.
- Lord Viscount Say and S.
- Lord, Viscount Rochford.
Not long after Sir John Elliot also was released out of the Tower, and lent for to come into the House. Then the Vice-Chamberlain stood up, and by way of Explanation of his former Speech, said,
Sir Jo. Elliot is released out of the Tower; Is charged by Sir Dudley Charlton for his Speech against the Duke.
That he intended not to charge him, but to give him an occasion to discharge himself. First, That all the others had used respective words in the Conference; but for the manner of his Speech, he conceived it was too tart and harsh to the person of the Duke, and that in representing a Character of his mind, by comparing him with a strange beast, he had out-gone his Commission. Secondly, That contrary to the sense of the House, as if they were ignorant of the return of the Ships out of France, he said,. They say they are come, but I know it not; when the House knew it full well. That speaking of the Duke, he said, That man, which phrase in all Languages is accounted a great indignity to persons of Honor: That he made scandalous comparisons between the Duke and Sejanus, and the Bishop of Ely, which was likewise besides his Charge; That he brake off ambiguously and abruptly with a Sentence of Cicero, as if something the might be which was not yet discovered.
He dischargeth himself.
Sir John Elliot thanked the Vice-Chamberlain for dealing so plainly with him, and giving him occasion to clear himself: And to the particulars charged against him, he answered,
'First, considering the Duke's plurality of great and different Offices together with his deceit and fraud, in persuading the Merchants to go to Dip, there to entrap them; in colouring the Designes to the King, which he had plotted to serve against those of his Religion in abusing the Parliament at Oxford; and disguising his purpose, as if the Ships were to go to Rochel. These particulars being so various, and of such a nature, he called by the name of Stellionatus, from a beast discoloured, uncertain, and doubtful, that they knew not by what name to call it, or by what colour to describe it; and these he called a Character of the mind, because they lie in the heart, and were deceits to abuse the King and Parliament.
'Secondly, as to his saying, He knew not the Ships were come; he answered he did not know it then, and as yet he knew it not, though it was true that he heard it.
'Thirdly, he denied not, that speaking of the Duke, he sometimes used this word, that man, though at other times, he was not wanting to give him his due Titles; and said, that the Latins, speaking of Cesar, called him Ille Casar, and that the same is usual in all Languages; nor did he think the Duke to be a God.
'Fourthly, he confessed, That he parallel'd him with the Bishop of Ely and Sejanus; and though there were many particular censures of that Bishop, yet he produced none but such as were within the compass of his Charge; nor did he apply the Veneries and Venesices of Sejanus to the Duke, but excluded them.
'Lastly, touching the Physick of the King, he said, he brake off so abruptly in Aggravation of the Duke's offence, who not content with the injury of Justice, the wrong of Honor, the prejudice of the State, nor that of the Revenue, his attempts go higher, even to the Person or the King, making on that his practice in such a manner, to such an effect, that he said, he feared to speak, nay, he doubted to think; in which regard he left it, as Cicero did another thing, Ne gravioribus &c.
It was then resolved on the Question, That Sir John Elliot hath not exceeded the Commission given him in any thing that passed from him, in the late conference with the Lords; The like for Sir Dudley Diggs, both passed without a Negative; the like Vote did pass for Mr. Selden, Mr. Herbert, Mr. Glanvile, Mr. Sherland, Mr. Pym, and Mr. Wandesford, who were also managers at that Conference.
The King in the time of this Parliament, had committed the Earl of Arundel to the Tower, but the cause of his Commitment was not expressed; yet it was conceived to be about the Marriage of the Lord Maltravers, the Earl's eldest Son, to the young Duke of Lenox, his sister, which was brought about by the contrivance of the Countess of Arundel and the old Dutchess of Lenox. The Lords were highly discontented at his commitment in time of Parliament; concerning whose Liberties and their own Privileges, they had presented several Petitions to his Majesty, but receiving no satisfactory answer thereto, agreed on this ensuing Petition occasioned by the release of Sir Dudley Diggs.
The Lords Petition to the King about the Earl of Arundel, imprisoned in the time of Parliament.
May it please your Majesty,
The cause that moves us now to attend your Majesty, (as at first the did) is because we boletus that the Coupe of Commons have speedily received a Member of theirs who was committed: we the Peers, ambitions to Deserve of Your Majesty, and to appear to the eye of the would as much respeded in out Rights and Privileges, as and Peers or Commons have ever been, acknowledging you a King of as much goodness as ever King was; do now humbly beseech that the cart of Arundel, a Member of our Douse, may be restored to us; so much concerning as in point Privilege, that we all suffer in what be suffers in this Restraint.
In March last when the Earl of Arundel was committed, the House of Lords purposed to take the same into their considerations, and so to proceed therein, as to give no just cause of offence to his Majesty, and yet preserve the Privileges of Parliament.
The Lord Keeper of the Great Seal thereupon signified unto the House, that he was commanded to deliver this Message from his Majesty unto their Lordships. viz.
'That the Earl of Arundel was retrained for a Misdemeanor Which was personal to his Majesty, and lay in the proper knowledge of his Majesty, and had no relation to Matters of Parliament.
Whereupon the House was put into a Committee; and being resumed.
The Lords Committees for Privileges, &c. were appointed to search for Presidents concerning the commitment of a Peer of this Realm, during the time of Parliament; and the Lord Chief Justice, Mr. Juftice Doderige, and Mr. Justice Telverton, were appointed to attend their Lordships in that behalf.
The day following the Lord Treasurer delivered another Message from the King in hœc verba.
The King's Message to the Lords touching the Earl of Arundel.
Whereas upon a Motion made by one of your Lordships, the Lord Keeper did yesterday deliver a Message from his Majesty, that the Earl of Arundel was restrained for a Misderneanor which was personal to his Majesty, and lay in the proper knowledge of his Majesty, and had no relation to matters of Parliament: His Majesty hath now Commanded him to signifie to your Lordships, that he doth avow the Message in sort as it was delivered, to have been done punctually according to his Majesty's own direction, and he knoweth that he hath therein done justly, and not diminished the Privileges of that House.
And because the Committe appointed yesterday to search for Presidents, &c. had not yet made any Report to the House; therefore the directions for this business were suspended for that time.
Not long after the Earl of Hertford made report to the House, That the Lords Committees for Privileges met on Monday last; The first. Question that arose amongst them was, whether those Proxies were of any validity which are deputed to any Peer, who sitterh not himself in Parliament? And it was conceived that those Votes were lost: Whereupon the Committee sound this House to be deprived of five suffrages by the absence of the Earl of Arundel, unto whom they were intrusted: And the Committee finding by the Journal-Book that the Sub-Committee which was appointed to search Presidents for Privileges concerning the Commitment of a Peer in the time of Parliament, had not yet made report to the House; and then considering together their Notes of Presidents whereof they had made search, sound, That no one Peer had been committed, the Parliament sitting, without tryal of Judgment of the Peers in Parliament; and that one only President of the Bishop of Winchester in the Book-Cafe, in the Third year of Edw. 3. which was here urged, cannot be proved to be in Parliament time; and this the Lords of the Grand-Committee thought sit to offer to the consideration of the House.
The Lords resolved to maintain their Privileges.
Hereupon the House was moved to give power to the Lords Sub Committees for Privileges, &c. to proceed in the search of Presidents of the Commitment of a Peer of this Realm during the time of Parliament; and that the King's Council might shiew them such Presidents as they have of the said Commitment; and that the said Sub-Committee may make the Report unto the House at the next access.
All which was granted and agreed unto, and these Lords were called unto the said Sub-Committee; viz.
- The Lord Treasurer.
- Lord President.
- Duke of Buckingham.
- Earl of Dorset.
- Earl of Devon.
- The Earl of Clare.
- The Viscount Walingford.
- Viscount Mansfield.
- Lord North.
And the King's Council were appointed to Attend the Lords.
The Lord President reported the Proceedings of the said Sub-Committees for Privileges, &c. upon Commitment of the Earl of Arundel, viz.
That the King's Council had searched and acquainted the Lords Sub Committees with all that they had sound in Records, Chronicles and Stories, concerning this matter; Unto which the said Lords Sub-Committees had given full Answer, and also shewn such Presidents as did maintain their own Rights.
The Presidents being read, (which for the length we forbear to mention) It was resolved upon the Question by the whole House, Nemine dissentients.
That the Privilege of this House is, that no Lord of Parliament, the Parliament fitting, or within the usual time of Privileges of Parliament, is to be imprisoned or retrained without Sentence or Decree of the House, unless it be for Treason or Felony, or refusing to give surety of the Peace.
And it was thereupon ordered, That the said Lords Sub-Committees for Privileges, &c. or any five of them, shall meet this afternoon to consider of a Remonstrance and Petition of the Peers concerning the Claim of their Privileges, from Arrests and Imprisonments during the Parliament. Which was conceived by the Lords Sub-Committees for Privileges, according to the order of the House, and was read openly, viz.
May it please your Majesty,
A Remonstrance and Petition of the Peers in behalf of the Earl of Arundel.
We the peers of this your Realm assembled in Parliament, finding the Carl of Arundel absent from his place, that sometimes in this parliament sate amongst us, his presence was therefore called for: But thereupon a Message was delivered unto us from your Majesty by the Lord Keeper, that the Carl of Arundel was restrained for a Misdemeanor which was personal to your Majesty, and had no relation to matters of parliament. This Massage occasioned us to inquire into the And of our Ancestors, and what in like cafes they had done, that so we might not erre in any dutiful respect to your Majesty, and yet Preserve out right and privilege of parliament. and after diligent search both of all Stories, Statutes and Records that might inform us in this cafe, We find it to be an undoubted right and constant privilege of Parliament, That no Lord of Parliament, the Parliament fitting, or within the usual times of Privilege of Parliament, is to be imprisoned or restrained, without Sentence or order of the House, unless it be for Treason or Felony, or for refusing to give surety for the Peace. And to satishe our feibes the better, me have heard all that could be alleadged by your Majesty's Council learned at Lam, that might any way weaken or instinge this claim of the Peers, and to all that can be themed or alleaoged, so full satisfaction both been given, as that all the Peers of Parliament, upon the Duestion move of this Privilege, have, una voce consented, That this is the undoubted Right of the Peers, and bath inviolably been enjoyed by them.
Wherefore me, your Majesty's Loyal Subjects and Humble Servants, the whole body of the Peers now in Parliament assembled, most humbly beseech your Majesty, that the Carl of Arundel, a Member of this body may presently be admitted with your Serious Faber to come, sit, and serve your Majesty and the Commonwealtly in the great affairs of this Parliament. And we shall play, &c.
This remonstrance and Petition to his Majesty was approved by the whole House, who agreed, that it should be presented by the whole House to his Majesty; and it was further agreed, that the Lord President, the Lord Steward, the Earl of Cambridge, and the Lord Great-Chamberlain should presently go to the King to know his Majesty's pleasure when they shall attend him.
These Lords returning, the Lord President reported, that his Majesty had appointed that day, between two and three of the clock, for the whole House to attend him with the said Remonstrance and Petition in the Chamber of Presence at Whitehall.
And it was agreed, That the Lord Keeper should then read the same to the King, and present it to his Majesty.
The Twentieth of April, the Lord President reported the King's Answer unto the Remonstrance and Petition of the Lords, to this effect:
The King's first Answer to the Remonstrance and Petition.
That their Lordships having spent some time about this business, and it being of some consequence, his Majesty should be thought rash if he should give a sudden Answer thereto; and therefore will advise of it, and give them a full Answer in convenient time.
The 21 ft of April 1626, it was ordered, That the House should be called on Monday next, being the 24th of April.
The King promifeth to answer the said Remonstrance.
Which was done accordingly, and the Earls of Arundel, being ealled, the Lord Keeper signified unto the House, that his Majesty had taken into consideration the Petition exhibited by their Lordships the 19th of April concerning the Earl of Arundel, and will return an answer there unto with all expedition.
The Lords are urgent for an Answer.
The 2d of May, it was ordered, that the Lord Keeper should move his Majesty from the House for a speedy and gracious Answer unto the Petition on the Earl of Arundel's behalf.
The King returns another Answer to the Lords touching the Remonstrance.
The 4th of May 1626, the Lord Keeper signified unto their Lordships, that according to the order of the 2d of May, he had moved his Majesty from the House on the behalf of the Earl of Arundel; Who answered,
'It is a Cause wherein he hath had a great deal of care, and is willing to give their Lordships satisfaction, and hath it in his consideration how to do it, and hath been interrupted by other business, where in Mr. Attorney hath had occasion of much conference with him (as their Lordships are acquainted:) But will with all conveniency give their Lordships satisfaction, and return them an Answer.
The 9th of May 1626, the House being moved to Petition the King touching the Earl of Arundel, certain Lords were appointed to set down the form of the said Petition: who reported the same in writing as followeth, viz.
May it please your Majesty
Another Petition to the King touching the Earl of Arundel.
Whereas the whole body of the Peers now affembled in Parliament, did the 19th day of April ethibit to your Majesty an humble Demonstrance and Petition concerning the Privilege of Peers in Parliament, and in particular touching the Carl of Arundel, Whereupon we received a gracious Answer: That in convenient time, me should receive a fuller Anlmer, which we have long and dutifully attended: And now at this time so great a business being in handling in the House, we are pressed by that business to be humbly suitots to your Majesty, for a gracious and present Answer.
Which being read, was approved of by the House, and the said Committee appointed to present the same unto his Majesty from the House, at such time as the Lord Chamberlain shall signifie unto them, that his Majesty is pleased to admit them to his presence.
The 11th of May, the Lord President reported the King's Answer to the said Petition.
The King takes exception at the Petition.
That he did little look for such a Message from the House; That himself had been of the House, and did never know such a Message from the one House unto the other: Therefore when he received a Message sit to come from them to their Sovereign, they shall receive an Answer.
The Lords desire to know of his Majesty, to what part of the Petition he takes exception.
The Lord President further Reported, That the Lords Committees appointed to deliver the Petition to the King, did thereupon withdraw, and require him humbly to desire his Majesty to be pleased to let them know unto what point of the said Petition he takes this Exception; and that his Majesty willed him to say this of himself,; viz.
The Exception the King taketh, is at the peremptoriness of the Term, To have a present Answer; and the King wonders at their impatience, since he hath promised them an Answer in convenient time.
The Petition presented again, and the word (Present) lest out.
Hereupon the House altered their former Petition, leaving out the word Present and appointed the former Committee humbly to deliver the same to his Majesty.
The 13th of May, the Lord President reported the King's Answer to the Petition 5 viz.
The King's answer to the Petition foodered.
It is true, the word (Present) was somewhat strange to his Majesty, because they did not use it from one House to another; but now, that his Majesty knows their meaning, they shall know this from him, that they shall have his Answer so soon as conveniently he can; And this his Majesty will assure them, it shall be such an Answer, as they shall see will not trench upon the Privileges of the House.
The Lords having agreed on another Petition to the King, wherein they acknowledged him to be a Prince of as much goodness as ever King was.
The 19th of May, the Lord Chamberlain signified to their Lordships, that his Majesty being acquainted therewith, is pleased that this House attend him at two of the Clock this day in the afternoon at Whitshall.
On which day the Lords delivered the Petition to his Majesty; who upon the 20th of May returned this Answer.
The King's Answer to the Petition.
'I See that in your Petition you acknowledge me a King of as much goodness as ever King was; for which I thank you, and I will endeavor, by the Grace of God, never to deserve other: But in this I observe that you contradict your selves; for if you believe me to be such, as you say I am, you have no reason to mistrust the sincerity of my Promises: For, whereas upon often Petitions made by you unto me concerning this business, I have promised to give you a full Answer with all convenient speed; by this again importuning of me you seem to mistrust my former promises: But it may be said there is an Emergent cause, for that I have delivered a Member of the Lower-house?
'In this, my Lords, by your favor you are mistaken, for the Causes do no way agree; for that he that was committed of the House of Commons, was committed for words spoken before both Houses, which being Such as I had just cause to commit him; yet because I found they might be words only misplaced, and not ill meant, and were so conceived by many honest men, I was content upon his Interpretation to release him, without any suit from the Lower-House; where-as my Lord of Arundel's fault was directly against my self, having no relation to the Parliament; yet because I see you are so impatient, I will make you a fuller Answer than yet I have done, not doubting but that you will rest contented therewith.
'It is true, I committed him for a cause which most of you know, and though it had been no more, I had reason to do it; yet my Lords, I assure you that I have things of far greater importance to lay to his charge, which you must excuse me for, not to tell you at this time, because it is not yet ripe, and it would much prejudice my service to do it; and this, by the word of a King, I do not speak out of a desire to delay you, but as soon as it is possible, you shall know the cause, which is such as I know you will not judge to be any breach of your Privileges; for my Lords, by this I do not mean to shew the power of a King by diminishing your Privileges.
This Answer being read, it was ordered, That the Committee for Privileges should meet, and consider how farther to proceed with dutiful respect to his Majesty; and yet so, as it may be for the preservation of the Privileges of the Peers of this Land, and the Liberties of the House of Parliament.
Another Petition of the Lords touching the Earl of Arundel.
The 24th of May the Lord President reported the Petition agreed on by the Lords Committees for Privileges, &c. to be presented to the King, which was in bœc verba.
May it please your most Excellent Majesty,
Whatever our care and desire it to preserve our right of peers, yet it is far from our thought either to distrust, or to press any thing that stands not with the affection and Duty of most dutiful and loyal subjects: and therefore in all humility we cast our selves before your majesty, assuring our selves in the word of a king, that with all conveniency possible, your majesty will please either to restore the peer to his place in parliament, or express such a cause as may not infringe our Privileges.
The Petition was generally approved and ordered to be presented to his Majesty by the whole House; and the Earl of Carlisle and the Lord Carlton to go presently to know the King's pleasure when they shall attend his Majesty. Who being returned, reported; That his Majesty hath appointed that Afternoon at two of the clock for the fame.
The 25th of May, the Lord Keeper delivered the King's Answer unto the said Petition, to be read in bœc verba, viz.
The King's Answer to this Petition.
'Your often coming to me, about this matter, made me somewhat doubt you did mistrust me; but now I see you rely wholly on me, I assure you it shall prevail more upon me than all importunities; And if you had done this at first, I should have given you content. And now I assure you, I will use all possible speed to. give satisfaction, and at the furthest before the end of this Session of Parliament.
The Lords adjourn in disgust till the morrow
This being read, the House was moved the second time, That all businesses might be laid aside, and that Consideration might be had how their Privileges may be preserved unto posterity. And the House was put into a Committee for the freer Debate thereof, and afterwards resumed: And it was ordered, That the House be Adjourned till to morrow, and all business to cease.
The 26th of May, the Lord Keeper delivered his Message from the King to the House of Lords, viz.
His Majesty's Message to the Lords,
'That his Majesty hath willed him to signifie unto their Lordships, that he doth marvel his meaning in his last Answer should be mistaken: and for the better clearing of his intention, hath commanded him to signifie unto their Lordships his further answer, which is, That their Lordships last Petition was so acceptable to his Majesty, that his intent was then, and is still, to satisfie their Lordships fully in what they then desired.
Whereupon it was ordered, That all businesses be Adjourned till that day sevennight.
Upon this Message the Lords Adjourn for a seven-night.
At the same time the Duke of Buckingham signified unto their Lordships his desire to have the King's Council allowed him to plead his cause: But the Lords would not hear him, because they would entertain no business: And so the House was Adjourned to the second of June: At which time the House fitting again, the Lord Keeper delivered this Message from the King to the House of Lords, viz.
Another Message to the Lords from his Majesty concerning the Earl or Arundel.
'His Majesty hath Commanded me to deliver unto your Lordships a Message touching the Earl of Arundel; That his Majesty hath thought of that business, and hath advised of his great and pressing affairs, which are such, as make him unwilling to enter into dispute of things doubtful: And therefore to give you clear satisfaction touching that Cause, whereby you may more cheerfully proceed in the business of the House, he hath endeavored as much as may be to ripen it, but cannot yet effect it; but is resolved, that at the farthest by Wednesday sevennight, being the fourteenth of June, he will either declare the Cause or admit him to the House. And addeth further, upon the word of a King, That if it shall be sooner ripe, which he hath good Cause to expect, he will declare it at the soonest. And further, That if the occasion doth enforce to stay, to the time prefixed, yet he doth not purpose to set such a short end to the Parliament, but that there shall be an ample and good space between that, and the end of the Sessions, to dispatch affairs.
The Lords adjourn again.
This Message being delivered, the House was Adjourned ad libitum, and put into a Committee; And toeing resumed, it was agreed, That all businesses should cease, but this of the Earl of Arundel's concerning the Privileges of the House; and the House to meet thereon to morrow morning, and to be put into a Committee to consider thereof. And so the House was adjourned to the next day.
Then the Lord Keeper delivered this Message from the King, viz.
Another Message from the King to the Lords concerning the part of Arundel.
'That in the matter concerning the Earl of Arundel, his Majesty hath been very careful and desirous to avoid all jealousies of violating the Privileges of this House; that he continueth still of the same mind, and doth much desire to find out some Expedient, which may satisfie their Lordships in point of Privilege, and yet not hinder his Majesty's service in that particular. But because this will require some time, his Majesty, though his great affairs are urgent and pressing, is unwilling to urge their Lordships to go on therewith, till his Majesty hath thought on the other: And therefore hath commanded him to signifie his pleasure, That his Majesty is contented their Lordships adjourn the House till Thursday next; and in the mean time his Majesty will take this particular business into further, consideration.
Hereupon the Lords agreed, That the Lord Keeper do render unto his Majesty from the House, their humble thanks for his gracious respect unto their Privileges.
Then the Lord Keeper demanded of the Lords, whether their Lordships would adjourn the House till Thursday next; Whereupon it was agreed by the Lords, and the House was so adjourned.
On Thursday June 8. the Lord Keeper delivered this Message to the Lords from his Majesty, viz.
Another message to the Lords from his Majesty.
'That on Saturday last his Majesty sent word to the House, That by this day he would send them such an Answer concerning the Earl of Arundel, as should satisfie them in point of Privilege. And therefore to take away all dispute, and that their Privileges may be in the same estate as they were when the Parliament began, his Majesty hath taken off the restraint of the said Earl, whereby he hath liberty to come to the House.
The Earl of Arundel released comes to the House.
The Earl of Arundel being returned to the House, did render his humble thanks unto his Majesty for his gracious favor towards him; and gave their Lordships also most hearty thanks for their often intercessions for him unto the King, and protested his Loyalty and faithful service unto his Majesty.
Much about this time, Mr. Moor a Member of the House of Commons, having spoken some words which seemed to reflect upon his Majesty, they were reported to the House, viz. That he said, We were born free, and must continue free, if the King will keep his Kingdom: Adding these words, Thanks be to God, we have no occasion to fear, having a just and pious King. The House for these words committed Mr. Moor to the Tower of London; And his Majesty shortly after sent a Message, That he had passed by his offence. Whereupon he was released.
The Duke, chosen Chancellor of Cam bridge during his Impeachment.
While the Duke stood charged in the Parliament, the Chancellorship of Cambridge became void by the death of the Lord Howard Earl of Suffolk, who died on Whitsunday the 28th of May 1626. The University having understood by several hands, that it was the King's express will and pleasure that the Duke should be chosen in his stead, were ambitious and forward to express their obedience to his Majesty in that behalf; well knowing that in regard of their multitude; and worthy judgment and wisdom, that is esteemed and ought to be in those Electors, this was one of the most honorable Testimonies of worth and Integrity that the Nation can afford: And that whereas all other the Duke's Honors did but help the rather to sink him with their weight, this would seem to shore and prop him up.
Letters were pretended to be sent from his Majesty, to the intent to disencourage all opposers: But though the Pretences of Letters served mainly to effect their, ends, yet the producing of them would have prejudiced the chief intendment of the Election, namely the honor of the Testimony in it; which chiefly lying in the freedom of the Votes, had by Letters been cut off. Many Heads of Houses bestirred themselves according to their several power and interest in their respective Societies; and Trinity College alone (the Master whereof was Dr. Maw, one of the King's Chaplains) supplied the Duke with forty three Votes, the third part of those which served the turn, for he had in all, One hundred and eight.
He was chosen the Thursday following the death of his Predecessor, namely the fourth day after the vacancy, notwithstanding fourteen days are allowed by the University Statute. His chief strength confided in the Doctors (whereof seventeen were for him, and only one against him) and in the Non-Regents, who are Masters of Art of five years standing and upward: Among the Regents (who are Masters under five years) thirty more were against him than for him, and four whole Colleges were entire against the Duke. for notwithstanding all the industry that could be employed on his behalf, there was a Party so diligent and resolute, that the fame morning the choice was made, they jointly pitch'd upon the Lord Thomas Howard, second son to the late deceased Chancellor, and Earl of Berkshire; though they had no Head appearing for him, nor one man in the University that was known to have any reference to him, excepting one Mr. Granado Chester, who was either his Chaplain, or other wife interested in him: And notwithstanding all disadvantages,' they lost it for the said Earl but by five Voices, for the Duke had but One hundred and eight, and the Earl had one hundred and three, besides that two of the Duke's were void by Statute, as being given to the Vice-Chancellor by compromise, to dispose of as he should think fit.
The Earl of Berkshire being afterwards acquainted with the intentions of the University towards him, wrote this Letter to Mr. Chester, a Divine related to his Lordship.
The Earl of berkshire's Letter to Mr. Chester touching Votes, conferred upon him in the Choice of the Chancellor of Cambridge.
The infinite obligation which I owe to the University of Cambridge for the late most ample Testimony of their great love and affection towards me, imboldens me to borrow your help to make known unto them my unfeigned thankfulness: wherein I confess, that the love and favor which they have expressed unto me, joyned with the fashion of it, doth far exceed the weak expression of so feeble a Stile as mine is. for they have been pleas ed out of their abundant affection, to name me to one of the greatest Honors of this Kingdom without any suit or means of mine, which was the Chancellor ship of the University: The Voting whereof in this noble fashion, I account it as much as could befal me; and do receive it with as much thankfulness, as if I were in full possession of the place.
I must therefore intreat you to disperse this my thankful Acknowledgment to all my worthy Friends there, who have so freely bestowed their Voices, and unsought for Favors upon me. And this labour I do the rather lay upon you, because you know I put you to no making means for me which I should undoubtedly have done, if I had preconceived any intention of standing for this Dignity, so often wedded by men of high Places and Noble Families of this Realm, whereof my honored Father deceased, enjoyed the last Testimony, and my Unkle before him; and not ceasing there, it was expressed to me by an hereditary affection: Thus much I pray you make known for me, with this further assurance, That as I had my first Breeding, to my great Honor, in Cambridge, so I will live and dye
S. James, 2 Junii 1626
The true Servant of the University,
The Commons being informed of the aforesaid Proceedings in Cambridge, directed a Letter to be written to that University to signify the House's dislike thereof. Whereupon the King signifieth to the House his pleasure by Sir Richard Weston, that they forbear to send any such Letter, for that the Election had been made by the power of the Charters according to the Rules and Liberties of the University, and that if there have been any Error in the form of the Election, it belongeth unto his Majesty to examine and reform it, and not unto the House. To which Message the Commons return this Answer.
The Commons Answer.
'That they do acknowledge they were about to write to the University, because that the very Election it self, whereby the University is committed to the Government of one that is charged, and publickly omplained of by the Commons in Parliament, whereof the Electors are a part, is, in it self, a very great Grievance, and prejudicial in example; whereof they have Reason to be the more sensible, because they are informed, that in the manner of the Election there were many passages likewise done in contempt of the House: And do humbly beseech his Majesty to believe, That neither in this, nor any other thing, this House did or shall intend to enlarge their own Power and Jurisdiction, to the Diminution of his Majesty's Right or Prerogative.
Whereunto his Majesty replyed by the said Sir Richard weston.
His Majesty's Reply.
'His Majesty Faith, That Cambridge and all Corporations derive their right and privilege from him; and that he hath Reason to esteem the Universities above any other, and is resolved to defend them against any, which either wilfully, or by chance, Shall go about to infringe their Liberties. Concerning the Election it self, his Majesty is far from conceiving it a grievance; For he never heard that Crimes objected, were to be taken as proved; or, that a man should lose his Fame or good opinion in the World, upon an Accusation only.
'But whereas you say in the manner of carriage of the Election, there were many passages done in it to the contempt of the House. His Majesty, is well pleased, that you enquire and punish the Offenders, if there be any that have mis-behaved themselves in that respect. But for the Election it self, or the form of it, his Majesty doth avow his first Message.
The Duke returned this Acknowledgment to the University:
The Duke's Letter of Acknowledgment to the University of Cambridge.
Master Vice-chancellor, and Gentlemen of the University of Cambridge, There is no one thing that concerneth me more near, than the good opinion of Good and Learned honest men: Amongst which number, as you have ever held the first rank in the estimation of the Common-wealth, and same of the Christian World; so in conferring this honor of Chancellor ship upon me, I must confess you have satisfied a great ambition of mine, which I hope will never for sake me; and that is, To be thought well of by Men that deserve well, and men of your profession. Yet I cannot attribute this Honor to any desert in me, but to the respect you bear to the Sacred memory of my Master deceased, the King of Scholars, who loved you, and honored you often with his presence, and to my Gracious Master now living; who inherits, with his blessed Father's Virtues, the affection he bore to your University.
I beseech you, as you have now made your choice with so many kind and noble Circumstances, as the manner is to me as acceptable and grateful as the Matter; so to assure your selves, That you have cast your Votes upon your Servant, who is as apprehensive of the time you have shewed your affection in, as of the Honor you have given him.
And l earnestly request you all, that you would be pleased, not to judge me comparatively by the success and happiness you have had in your former choice of Chancellors; who as they knew better perhaps by advantage of education in your University, how to value the deserts of men of your qualities and degrees, so could they not be more willing to cherish you than my self who will make amends for my want of Scholarship, in my love to the professors of it, and to the source from whence it cometh; having now most just Cause more chiefly to employ my utmost endeavours, with what favour I enjoy from a Royal Master, to the maintaining of the Charters, Privileges, and Immunities of your University in general, and to the advancing of the particular merits of the Students therein.
And since I am so far ingaged to you, I will presume upon a further courtesie, which is, That you will be pleased to supply me with your advice, and suggest a way unto me (as my self likewise shall not fail to think on some means) how we may make posterity remember you had a thankful Chancellor, and that both really loved you and your University: Which is a resolution writ in an honest heart, by him that wanteth much to express his Affection to you, who will ever be
your faithful Friend
and humble Servant,
Also the King was pleased to write to the University of Cambridge, in approbation of the said Election.
Trusty and well-beloved, We greet you well.
The King's Letter to the said University
Whereas upon Our Pleasure, intimated unto you by the Bishop of Durham, for the choice of your Chancellor, you have with much duty, as We expected, highly satisfied Us in your Election; We cannot in our Princely Nature (who are much possessed with this Testimony of your ready, and Loyal Affections) but for ever let you know, how much you are therein made partakers of Our Royal Approbation. And as we shall ever conceive, that an Honour done to a Person We favour, is out of a Loyal respect had unto our self: And as we shall ever justifie Buckingham worthy of this your Election, so shall you find the fruits of it. For we that have found him a faithful Servant to Our dear Father of Blessed Memory, and Our Self, cannot but undertake that he will prove such an one to you; and will assist him with a Gracious Willingness in any thing that may concern the good of the University in general, or the particular Merits of any Students there.
Given under Our Signet at Our Palace of Westminster the Sixth of June, in the Second year of Our Reign.