Historical Collections of Private Passages of State: Volume 1, 1618-29. Originally published by D Browne, London, 1721.
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Monday 2. June. The King came to the Parliament, and spake thus in brief to both Houses.
I Am come hither to perform my duty, I think no man can think it long, since I have not taken so many days in answering the Petition, as ye spent weeks in framing it: And I am come hither to shew you, that as well in formal things as in effential, I desire to give you as much content as in me lies.
After this, the Lord Keeper spake as followeth.
'My Lords, and ye the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses of the House of Commons, his Majesty hath commanded me to say unto you, That he takes it in good part, that in consideration of setling your own Liberties, ye have generally professed in both Houses, that ye have no intention to lessen or diminish his Majesty's Prerogative; wherein as ye have cleared your own intentions, so now his Majesty comes to clear his, and to subscribe a firm League with his People, which is ever likely to be most constant and perpetual, when the conditions are equal, and known to be so: These cannot be in a more happy estate, than when your Liberties shall be an ornament and a strength to his Majesty's Prerogative, and his Prerogative a defence of your Liberties; in which his Majesty doubts not, but both he and you shall take a mutual comfort hereafter; and, for his part, he is resolved to give an example, in the using of his Power for the preservation of your Liberties, that hereafter ye shall have no cause to complain. This is the sum of that which I am to say to you from his Majesty: And that which farther remains, is, That you hear read your own Petition, and his Majesty's gracious Answer.
The Petition exhibited to his Majesty by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons in this present Parliament assembled, concerning divers Rights and Liberties of the Subjects, with the King's Majesty's Royal Answer thereunto in full Parliament.
To the King's Most Excellent Majesty.
Humbly shew unto our Soveraign Lord the King, the Lords Spiritual & Temporal, & Commons in Parliament assembled, That whereas it is Declared and Enacted by a Satute made in the time of the Reign of K. Edward the First, commonly called, Statutum de Tallagio non concedendo, That no Callage or Aid shall be laid or levied, by the King or his Heirs, in this Realm, without the good will and assent of the Archbishops, Bishops, Earls, Barons, Knights, Burtgesses, and other the Freemen of the Commonalty of this Realm: And by Authority of Parliament holden in the Five and twentieth year of the Reign of King Edward the Third, it is Declared and Enacted, That from thenceforth no person shall be compelled to make any Loans to the King against his will, because such Loans were against Reason, and the Franchise of the Land; and by other Laws of this Realm it is provided, That none should be charged by any Charge or Imposition, called a Benevolence, nor by such like Charge, by which the Statutes before-mentioned, and other the good Laws and Statutes of this Realm, your Subjects have inherited this freedom, That they should not be compelled to contribute to any Car, Callage, Aid, or other like Charge, not set by common consent in Parliament.
Yet nevertheless, of late, divers Commissions, directed to sundry Commissioners in several Counties, with instructions, have issued, by means whereof your people have been in divers places assembled, and requred to lend certain sums of money unto your Majesty, and many of them, upon their refusal so to do, have had an Dath administred unto them, not warrantable by the Laws or Statutes of this Realm, and have been constrained to become bound to make appearance, and give attendance before your Privy Council, and in other places, and others of them have been therefore imprisoned, confined, and sundry other ways molested and disquieted: And dvers other Charges have been laid and levied upon your people in several Counties, by Lords Lieutenants, Deputy Lieutenants, Commssioners for Musters, Justices of Peace, and others, by command and direction from your Majesty, or your Privy-Council, against the Laws and free Customs of this Realm.
9 Hen. 3. 29.
And where also by the Statute called, The great Charter of the Lberties of England, it is declared and enacted, That no Freeman may be taken or imprisoned, or be disseised of his Freeholds or Liberties, or his free Customs, or be Dutlawed or Eriled, or in any manner be destroyed buy by the lawful Judgment of his Peers, or by the Law of the Land.
28 Ed. 3. 3.
And in the eight and twentieth year of the Reign of King Edward the Third, it was declared and Enacted by Authority of Parliament, That no man, of what estate or condton that he be, should be put out of his Lands or Cenements, nor taken, nor imprisoned, nor disherited, nor put to death, without being brought to answer by due process of Law.
37 Ed. 3. 18; 38 Ed. 3. 9; 42 Ed. 3. 3; 17 Ric. 2. 6.
Nevertheless, against the tenor of the said Statutes, and other the good Laws and Statutes of your Realm, to that end provided, dvers of your Subjects have of late been imprisoned, without any cause shewed; and when for ther deliverance they were brought before your Justices, by your Majesty's Writs of Habeas Corpus, there to undergo and receive as the Court shall order, and their Keepers commanded to certify the causes of their detainer; no cause was certified, but that they were detained by your Majesty's special Command, signified by the Lords of your Privy Councl, and yet were returned back to several Prisons, without being charged with any thing to which they might make answer according to the Law.
And whereas of late great Companies of Soldiers and Mariners have been dispersed into divers Counties of the Realm, and the Inhabitants against their wills have been compelled to receive them into their houses, and there to suffer them to sojourn, against the Laws & Customs of this Realm, and to the great grievance and vexation of the people.
25 Ed. 3. 9; 9 Hen. 3. 29; 25 Ed. 3. 4; 28 Ed. 3. 3.
And whereas also by Authority of Parliament, in the 25. year of the Reign of K. Edward 3. it is declared and enacted, That no man shall be forejudged of life or limb against the form of the great Charter, and the Law of the Land: and by the said great Charter, and other the Laws and Statutes of this your Realm no man ought to be adjudged to death, but by the Laws established in this your Realm, either by the Customs of the same Realm, or by Acts of Parliament: And whereas no offender of what kind soever, is erempted from the proceedings to be used, and punishments to be inflicted by the Laws and Statutes of this your Realm; Nevertheless of late, divers Commissions under your Majesty's Great Seal have issued forth, by which, certain persons have been assigned and appointed Commissioners with Power and Authority to proceed within the Land, according to the Justice of Martial Law against such Soldiers and Mariners, or other dissolute persons joyning with them, as should commit any Murder, Robbery, Felony, Mutiny, or other Outrage or Misdemeanor whatsoever, and by such summary Course and Order, as is agreeable to Martial Law, and is used in Armes in time of War, to proceed to the tryal and condemnation of such offenders, and them to cause to be executed and put to death, according to the Law Martial.
By pretert whereof, some of your Majesty's Subjects have been by some of the said Commissioners put to death when and where, if by the Laws and Statutes of the Land they had deserved death, by the same Laws and Statutes also they might, and by no other ought to have been, adjudged and executed.
And also sundry grievous offenders by colour thereof, claiming an exemption, have escaped the punishments due to them by the Laws and Statutes of this your Realm, by reason that dvers of your Officers and Ministers of Justice have unjustly refused, or forborn to proceed against such offenders according to the same Laws and Statutes, upon pretence, that the said offenders were punishable only by Martial Law, and by Authority of such commissions as aforesaid; which Commissions, and all others of like nature, are wholly and directly contrary to the said Laws and Statutes of this your Realm.
They do therefore humbly pray your most excellent Majesty, That no man hereafter be compelled to make or yield and Gift, Loan, Benevolence, Tax, or such like charge, without common consent by Act of Parliament; and that none be called to make answer, or take such Dath, or to give attendance, or he confined, or otherwise molested or disquieted concerning the same, or for refusal thereof: And that no free-man, in any such manner as s before-mentioned, be imprisoned or detained: And that your Majesty will be pleased to remove the said Soldiers and Mariners, and that your People may not be so burden'd in time to come: And that the aforesaid commissions for proceeding by Martial Law, may be revoked and annulled; And that hereafter no Commissions of like nature may issue forth to any person or persons whatsoever, to be erecuted as aforesaid, lest by colour of them, any of your Majesty's Subjects be destroyed or put to death, contrary to the Laws and Franchise of the Land.
All which they most humbly pray of your most excellent Majesty, as their Rights and Liberties, according to the Laws and Statutes of this Realm: And that your Majesty would also vouchsafe to declare, That the awards, doings, and proceedings, to the prejudice of your People, in any of the premisses, shall not be drawn hereafter into consequence or example: And that your Majesty would be also graciously pleased, for the further comfort and safety of your People, to declare your Royal will and pleasure, That in the things aforesaid, all your Officers and Ministers shall serve you, according to the Laws and Statutes of this Realm, as they tender the Honour of your Majesty and the Prosperity of this Kingdom. Which Petition being read the 2. of June, 1628, the King's Answer was thus delivered unto it.
The King willeth, that Right be done according to the Laws and Customs of the Realm; and that the Statutes be put in due execution, that his Subjects may have no cause to complain of any wrong or oppressions, contrary to their just Rights and Liberties, to the preservation whereof, he holds himself in conscience as well obliged as of his Prerogative.
The Answer debated.
On Tuesday, June 3. the King's Answer was read in the House of Commons, and seemed too scant, in regard of so much expence of time and labour, as had been imployed in contriving the Petition: Whereupon Sir John Elliot stood up, and made a long Speech, wherein he gave forth so full and lively representation of all Grievances, both general and particular, as if they had never before been mentioned.
Sir John Elliot Speech in the laying open Grievances
'He reduced the cause of all our Evils to Five heads: Our insincerity and doubling in Religion, which he exemplified by the freedom and increase of Papists; by the composition with them in the North; the slightness of those payments, and the easiness in them; by the hopes, presumptions, and reports of all the Papists generally: by the disposition of Commanders, the trust of Officers, the confidence of secrefies of employments in this Kingdom, in Ireland, and elsewhere,
- '2. Our want of Council, which sacrificed our Honour and our Men sent to the Palatinate, stopping those greater Supplies appointed for that Service, by which it might have been made defensible; this gave direction to that late Expedition to Rhee, whose wounds are yet bleeding, by means whereof, the Protestants of France, and their King, by a necessary consequence, are divided, and that Country so prepared against us, that we have nothing to promise our Neighbours, hardly for our selves; insomuch as by the issue and success, it may rather be thought a conception of Spain, than begotten here by us.
- '3. The insufficency and unfaithfulness of our Generals: Witness first, the Expedition to Cales, where we arrived, and found a Conquest ready, (viz.) the Spanish Ships, fit for the satisfaction of a Voyage, either in point of Honour, or in point of Profit: Why was it neglected? why was it not atchieved, it being granted on all hands feasible? When the whole Army Landed, why was there nothing attempted? If nothing were intended, wherefore did they land? If there were a Service, why were they Ship'd again? Witness, secondly, that to Rhee, where the whole Action was carried against the judgment and opinion of the Officers, (viz.) those that were of the Council; was not the first, was not the last, was not all last, at land in the intrenching, in the continuance there, in the assault, in the retreat, without their assent? To say nothing of leaving the Wines and the Salt, which were in our possession, and of a value, as they say, to answer much of our Expence; nor of that wonder, which no Alexander or Cœsar ever did know, the enriching of an Enemy by courtesies, when the Soldiers want help, nor of the private Entercourses and Parlies with the Fort, which continually we held; what they intended, may be read in the Success.
- '4. Witness the last Voyage to Rochel, which needs no observation, and is fresh in memory.
- '5. The ignorance and corruption of our Ministers. Survey the Court, survey the Country, the Church, the City, the Bar, the Bench, the Courts, the Shipping, the Land, the Seas, all will yield variety of proofs: The Exchequer is empty, the reputation thereof gone, the antient Lands are sold, the Jewels pawn'd, the Plate engag'd, the Debt still great, almost all Charges both extraordinary and ordinary by Projects.
- '6. The oppression of the Subject; it needs no demonstration, the whole Kingdom is a proof, and that oppression speaks the exhausting of our Treasures; what waste of our Provisions, what consumption of our Ships, what destruction of our Men have been? witness the Voyageto Algier, witness that of Mansfield, with that to Cales, witness the next, witness that to Rhee, witness the last, witness the Palatinate, witness the Turks, witness the Dunkirks, witness all: We were never so much weakned, nor had less hopes how to be restored.
'These, Mr. Speaker, are our dangers, these are they do threaten us, and those are like that Trojan Horse, brought in cunningly to surprise us; in these we do lurk the strongest of our Enemies ready to issue on us, and if we do not now the more speedily expel them, these are the sign, the invitation to others.
'These will prepare their entrance, that we shall have no means left of refuge or defence; for if we have these Enemies at home, how can we strive with those that are abroad? If we be free from these, no other can impeach us: Our antient English virtue, that old Spartan valour, cleared from these disorders, being in sincerity of Religion once made friends with Heaven, having maturity of Counsels, sufficiency of Generals, incorruption of Officers, opulency in the King, Liberty in the People, repletion in Treasures, restitution of Provisions, reparation of Ships, preservation of Men.
'Our antient English virtue thus rectified, I say, will secure us; and unless there be a speedy reformation in these, I know not what hopes or expectations we may have.
'These things, Sir, I shall desire to have taken into consideration, that as we are the great Council of the Kingdom, and have the apprehension of these dangers, we may truly represent them unto the King, wherein, I conceive, we are bound by a treble Obligation, of duty unto God, of duty to his Majesty, and of our duty to Country.
'And therefore I wish it may so stand with the Wisdom and Judgment of the House, that they may be drawn into the body of a Remonstrance and therein all humbly expressed with a Prayer unto his Majesty, for the safety of himself, and for the safety of the Kingdom, and for the safety of Religion, that he will be pleased to give us time to make perfect inquisition thereof, or to take them into his own wisdom, and there give them such timely reformation, as the necessity of the Cause, and his Justice doth import.
'And thus, Sir, with a large affection and loyalty to his Majesty, and with a firm duty and service to my Country, I have suddenly, and, it may be, with some disorder, expressed the weak apprehension I have; wherein if I have erred, I humbly crave your pardon, and so submit to the Censure of the House.
Some against the recapitulating of Grievances.
'It seemed to others not suitable to the Wisdom of the House, in that conjuncture, to begin to recapitulate those misfortunes which were now obvious to all, accounting it more discretion not to look back, but forward: and since the King was so near to meet him, that the happiness expected might not be lost: and these were for petitioning his Majesty for a fuller Answer.
Exceptions to Sir John Elliot's Speech
'It was intimated by Sir Henry Martin, that this Speech of Sir John Elliot was suggested from disaffection to his Majesty; and there wanted not some who said, it was made out of some distrust of his Majesty's Answer to the Petition; but Sir John Elliot protested the contrary, and that himself and others had a resolution to open these last mentioned Grievances, to satisfy his Majesty therein, only they stayed for an opportunity: Which averment of Sir John Elliot's was attested by Sir Thomas Wentworth and Sir Robert Philips.
Whilst Sir John Elliot was speaking, an interruption was made by Sir Humphrey May, expressing a disllike; but he was commanded by the Commons to go on: and being afterward questioned by a passage in that Speech, viz. That some actions seemed to be but conceptions of Spain, he explained himself, that in respect of the affairs of Denmark, the ingagement of that unforunate accident of Rhee, he conceived was a conception of Spain, rather than to have any motion from our Council here.
Sir Edward Cook.
In this Debate Sir Edward Cook propounded, That an humble Remonstrance be presented to his Majesty, touching the dangers and means of safety of King and Kingdom: which resolution was taken by the House, and thereupon they turned themselves into a Grand Committee, and the Committee for the Bill of Subsidies was ordered to expedite the said Remonstrance.
A Message was brought from the King by the Speaker.
A Message from the King to the House of Commons to end the Sessions.
'That his Majesty having, upon the Petition, exhibited by both Houses, given an answer full of Justice and Grace, for which we and our Posterity have just cause to bless his Majesty, it is now time to grow to a conclusion of the Session; and therefore his Majesty thinks fit to let you know, That as he doth resolve to abide by that Answer, without further change or alteration, so he will Royally and Really perform unto you what he hath thereby promised: and further, That he resolves to end this Session upon Wednesday the 11. of this month; and therefore wisheth, that the House will seriously attend those businesses, which may best bring the Session to a happy conclusion, without entertaining new matters, and so husband the time, that his Majesty may with the more comfort bring us speedily together again: at which time, if there be any further Grievances not contained, or expressed in the Petition, they may be more maturely considered than the time will now permit.
After the reading of this Message, the House proceeded with a Declaration against Dr. Manwaring, which was the same day presented to the Lords at a Conference, betwixt the Committees of both Houses of Parliament: and Mr. Pym was appointed by the House of Commons to manage that Conference.
The Declaration of the Commons against Dr. Manwaring, Clerk and Doctor in Divinity.
For the more effectual prevention of the apparent ruine and destruction of this Kingdom, which must necessarily ensue, if the good and fundamental Laws and Customs therein established, should be brought into contempt, and violated, and that form of Government thereby altered, by which it hath been so long maintained in peace and happiness, and to the honour of our Sovereign Lord and King, and for the preservation of his Crown and Dignity: The Commons in this present Parliament assembled, do, by this their Bill shew, and declare against Roger Manwaring, Clerk, Doam in Divinity, That whereas by the Laws and Statutes of this Realm, the free Subjects of England do undoubtedly inherit this Right and Liberty, not to be compelled to contribute any Car, Callage, Aid, or to make any Loans, not set or imposed by common consent, by Act of Parliament. And divers of his Majesty's loving Subjects, relying upon the said Laws and Customs, did, in all humility, refuse to lend such sums of Moneys, without Authority of Parliament, as were lately required of them.
Nevertheless he the said Roger Manwaring, in contempt, & contrary to the Laws of this Realm, hath lately preached in his Majesty's presence, two several Sermons, that is to say, the fourth day of July last one of the said Sermons, and upon the 29. day of the same month the other of the said Sermons; both which Sermons he hath since published in print in a Book intituled, Religion and Allegiance; and with a wicked and malicious intention, to seduce and misguide the Conscience of the King's most excellent Majesty, touching the observation of the Laws and Customs of this Kingdom, and of the Rights and Liberties of the Subjects, to incense his Royal displeasure against his good Subjects to refusing, to scandalize, subvert, and impeach the good Laws and Government of this Realm, and the Authority of the High Court of Parliament to alienate his Royal heart from his People, and to cause jealousies, sedition, and division in the Kingdom. He the said Roger Manwaring doth in the said Sermons and Book persuade the King's most excellent Majesty,
First, That his Majesty is not bound to keep and observe the good Laws and Customs of this Realm, concerning the Rights and Liberties of the Subjects aforementioned: And that his Royal Will and Command in imposing Loans, Cares, and other Aids upon his People, without common consent in Parliament, doth so far bind the Consciences of the Subjects of this Kingdom, that they cannot refuse the same without peril of eternal damnation.
Secondly, That those of his Majesty's loving Subjects, which refused the Loan aforementioned, in such manner as is before cited, did therein offend against the Law of God, against his Majesty's Supreme Authority, and by so doing became guilty of impiety, Dissoyalty, Rebellion, & Disobedience, and liable to many other Cares and Censures, which he in the several parts of his Book doth most falsly and maliciously lay upon them.
Thirdly, That Authority of Parliament is not necessary for the raising of Aids and Subsidies; that the flow proceeding of such Assemblies are not fit for the supply of the urgent necessities of the State, but rather apt to produce sundry impediments, to the just designs of Princes, and to give them occasion of displeasure and discontent.
All which the Commons are ready to prove, not only by the general scope of the same Sermons & Book, but likewise by several Clauses, Assertions, & Sentences therein contained; & that he the said Roger Manwaring, by preaching and publishing the Sermons & Book aforementioned, did most unlawfully abuse his holy Function, instituted by God in his Church for the guiding of the Consciences of all his Servants, & chiefly of Sovereign Princes and Magistrates, and for the maintenance of the peace and concord betwirt all men, especially betwirt the King and his People, and hath thereby most grievously offended against the Crown & Dignity of his Majesty, and against the prosperity and good Government of this State and Commonwealth. And the said Commons, by motestation saving to themselves the liberty of exhibiting at any time hereafter, on any other occasion or impeachment against the said Roger Manwaring, and also of teplying to the Answers which he the said Roger shall make unto any of the matters contained in this present Bill of Complaint, and of offering further proof of the premisses, or any of them, as the cause, according to the course of Parliament, shall require, do pray that the said Roger Manwaring may be put to answer to all and every the premisses; and that such proceeding, examination, trial, judgment, and exemplary punishment, may be thereupon had and executed, as is agreeable to Law and Justice.
This Declaration, ingross'din Parliament, being read, Mr. Pym addressed himself to the Lord in this manner.
Mr. Pym's Speech at the delivery of the Charge against Dr. Manwaring.
'That he should speak to this Cause with more confidence, because he saw nothing out of himself that might discourage him: If he considered the matter, the offences were of an high nature, of easy proof; if he considered their Lordships, who were the Judges of their own Interest, their own Honour, the example of their Ancestors, the care of their Posterity, would all be Advocates with him in this cause on the behalf of the Common-wealth; if he considered the King our Soveraign (the pretence of whose Service and Prerogative might perchance be sought unto as a Defence and Shelter for this Delinquent) he could not but remember that part of his Majesty's Answer to the Petition of Right of both Houses, that he held himself bound in conscience to preserve those Liberties, which this man would persuade him to impeach: He said further, That he could not but remember his Majesty's love to Piety and Justice, manifested upon all occasions; and he knew love to be the root and spring of all other passions and affections. A man therefore hates, because he sees somewhat in that which he hates contrary to that which he loves; a man therefore is angry, because he sees somewhat in that wherewith he is angry, that gives impediment and interruption to the accomplishment of that which he loves.
'If this be so, by the same Act of his Apprehension, by which he believes his Majesty's love to Piety and Justice, he must needs believe his hate and detestation of this man, who went about to withdraw him from the exercise of both.
'Then he proceeded to that which, he said, was the Task enjoyned him, to make good every clause of that which had been read unto them: which that he might the more clearly perform, he propounded to observe that order of parts, unto which the said Declaration was naturally dissolved.
'The Preamble consisted altogether of recital; first, of the Inducements upon which the Commons undertook this complaint.
'The second, of those Laws and Liberties, against which the offence was committed.
'The third, of the violation of those Laws which have relation to that offence.
'From the connexion of all those recitals (he said) there did result three Positions, which he was to maintain as the ground-work and foundation of the whole cause.
'The first, That the form of Government in any State could not be altered without apparent danger of ruin to that State.
'The second, the Law of England, whereby the Subject was exempted from Taxes and Loans, not granted by common consent of Parliament, was not introduced by any Statute, or by any Charter or Sanction of Princes, but was the antient and fundamental Law, issuing from the first frame and constitution of the Kingdom.
'The third, that this Liberty of the Subject is not only most convenient and profitable for the People, but most honourable, most necessary for the King; yea, in that point of Supply for which it was endeavoured to be broken.
'The form of Government is that which doth actuate and dispose every part and member of a State to the common good; and as those parts give strength and ornament to the whole, so they receive from it again strength and protection in their several stations and degrees.
'If this mutual relation and entercourse be broken, the whole frame will quickly be dissolved, and fall in pieces, and instead of this concord and interchange of support, whilst one part seeks to uphold the old form of Government, and the other part to introduce a new, they will miserably consume and devour one another. Histories are full of the calamities of whole States and Nations in such cases. It is true, that time must needs bring some alterations, and every alteration is a step and degree towards a dissolution; those things only are eternal which are constant and uniform: Therefore it is observed by the best Writers upon this Subject that those Common-wealths have been most durable and perpetual, which have often reformed and recomposed themselves according to their first Institution and Ordinance; for by this means they repair the breaches, and counterwork the ordinary and natural effects of time.
'The second question is as manifest, there are plain footsteps of those Laws in the Government of the Saxons, they were of that vigour and force, as to over-live the Conquest, nay, to give bounds and limits to the Conqueror, whose Victory gave him first hope; but the assurance and possesion of the Crown he obtained by composition, in which he bound himself to observe these, and the other antient Laws and Liberties of the Kingdom, which afterwards he likewise confirmed by Oath at his Coronation: from him the said Obligation descended to his Successors. It is true, they have been often broken, they have been often confirmed by Charters of Kings, by Acts of Parliaments; but the Petitions of the Subjects, upon which those Charters and Acts were founded, where ever Petitions of Right, demanding their antient and due Liberties, not suing for any new.
'To clear the third Position (he said) may seem to some men more a Paradox, That those Liberties of the Subject should be so Honourable, so profitable for the King, and most necessary for the supply of his Majesty. It hath been upon another occasion declared, that if those Liberties were taken away, there should remain no more industry, no more justice, no more courage; who will contend, who will endanger himself for that which is not his own?
'But, he said, he would not insist upon any of those points, nor yet upon others very important; he said, that if those Liberties were taken away, there would remain no means for the Subjects, by any Act of Bounty or Benevolence, to ingratiate themselves to their Sovereign.
'And he desired their Lordships to remember what profitable Prerogatives the Laws had appointed for the support of Sovereignty; as Wardships, Treasurers-trove, Felons goods, Fines, Amercements, and other Issues of Courts, Wrecks, Escheats, and many more, too long to be enumerated; which for the most part are now by Charters and Grants of several Princes dispersed into the hands of private persons; and that besides the antient Demesns of the Crown of England, William the Conqueror did annex, for the better maintenance of his Estate, great proportions of those Lands, which were confiscate from those English which persisted to withstand him; and of these, very few remain at this day in the King's possession: And that since that time, the Revenue of the Crown had been supplied and augmented by Attainders, and other Casualties, in the Age of our Fathers, by the dissolution of Monasteries and Chantries near a third part of the whole Land being come into the King's possession. He remembred further, that constant and profitable Grant of the Subjets in the Act of Tunnage and Poundage. And all these, he said, were so alienated, anticipated, over-charged with Annuities and Assignments, that no means were left for the pressing and important occasions of this time, but the voluntary and free gift of the Subjects in Parliament.
'The hearts of the People, and their bounty in Parliament, is the only constant Treasure and Revenue of the Crown, which cannot be exhausted, alienated, anticipated, or otherwise charged and incumbred.
In his entrance into the second part, he propounded these steps, by which he meant to proceed.
- '1. To shew the state of the Cause, as it stood both in the Charge and in the Proof, that so their Lordships might the better compare them both together.
- '2. To take away the pretensions of mitigations and limitations of his opinions, which the Doctor had provided for his own defence.
- '3. To observe those circumstances of Aggravation, which might properly be annexed to his Charge.
- '4. To propound some Precedents of former times, wherein, though he could not match the offence now in question (for he thought the like before had never been committed) yet he should produce such as should sufficiently declare, how forward our Ancestors would have been in the prosecution and condemning of such offences, if they had been then committed.
'The Offence was prescribed in a double manner; First, by the general scope and intention, and by the matter and particulars of the Fact, whereby that intention was expressed.
'In the description of the intention he observed six points, every one of which was a character of extreme malice and wickedness.
- '1. His attempt to misguide and seduce the Conscience of the King,
- '2. To incense his Royal displeasure against his Subjects.
- '3. To scandalize, impeach, and subvert the good Laws and Government of the Kingdom, and Authority of Parliaments.
- '4. To avert his Majesty's mind from calling of Parliaments.
- '5. To alienate his Royal Heart from his People.
- '6. To cause Jealousies, Sedition, and Division in the Kingdom.
'Of these Particulars (he said) he would forbear to speak further, till he should come to those parts of the Fact, to which they were most properly to be applied.
'The Materials of the Charge were contrived into three distinct Articles; the first of these comprehended two Clauses.
'1. That his Majesty is not bound to keep and observe the good Laws and Customs of the Realm, concerning the Right and Liberty of the Subject to be exempted from all Loans, Taxes, and other Aids laid upon them, without common consent in Parliament.
'That his Majesty's Will and Command in imposing any Charges upon his Subjects without such consent, doth so far bind them in their Consciences, that they cannot refuse the same without peril of eternal damnation.
'Two kinds of proof were produced upon this Article.
'The first was from some assertions of the Doctor's, concerning the Power of Kings in general, but by the necessary consequence to be applied to the King of England.
'The next kind of Proof was from his Censures, and Determinations upon the particular Case of the late Loan, which by necessity and parity of reason, were likewise applicable to all Cases of the like nature. And left by frailty of memory he might mistake the words, or invert the sense, he desired leave to resort to his Paper, wherein the places were carefully extracted out of the Book it self. And then he read each particular Clause by it self, pointing to the Page for proof, which we here forbear to mention, referring the Reader to the Book it self
'Then he proceeded and said, That from this evidence of the Fact doth issue a clear evidence of his wicked intention to misguide and seduce the King's Conscience, touching the observation of the Laws and Liberties of the Kingdom, to scandalize and impeach the good Laws and Government of the Realm, and the Authority of Parliaments, which are two of those Characters of malice which he formerly noted, and now inforced thus: If to give the King ill Council, in some one particular Action, hath heretofore been heavily punished in this high Court; how much more heinous must it needs be thought by ill Counsel to pervert and seduce his Majesty's Conscience, which is the sovereign Principle of all moral actions, from which they are to receive Warrant for their direction before they be acted, and Judgment for their reformation afterwards? If Scandalum magnatum, Slander and Infamy cast upon great Lords, and Officers of the Kingdom, have been always most severely censured; how much more tender ought we to be of that Slander and Infamy which is here cast upon the Laws and Government, from whence is derived all the Honour and Reverence due to those great Lords and Magistrates?
'All men (and so the greatest and highest Magistrates) are subject to passions and partialities, whereby they may be transported into over-hard injurious crosses: Which considerations may sometimes excuse, though never justify the railing and evil speeches of men, who have been so provoked; it being a true rule, That whatsoever gives strength and inforcement to the temptation in any sin, doth necessarily imply an abatement and diminution of guilt in that sin. But to slander and disgrace the Laws and Government, is without possibility of any such excuse, it being a simple act of a malignant Will, not induced nor excited by any outward provocation: the Laws carrying an equal and constant respect to all, ought to be reverenced equally by all. And thus he derived the Proofs and Inforcements, upon the first Article of the Charge.
'The second Article he said contained three Clauses.
- '1. That these Refusers had offended against the Law of God.
- '2. Against the Supreme Authority.
- '3. By so doing, were become guilty of Impiety, Disloyalty, Rebellion, Disobedience, and liable to many other Taxes.
'For proof of all these (he said) he needed no other evidence than what might be easily drawn from those places which he had read already; for what impiety can be greater, than to contemn the Law of God, and to prefer humane Laws before it? what greater disloyalty, rebellion, and disobedience, than to depress Supreme Authority, to tie the hands and clip the wings of Sovereign Princes? yet he desired their Lordships patience in hearing some few other places, wherein the Stains and Taint, which the Doctor endeavoured to lay upon the Refusers, might appear by the odiousness of their comparisons, in which he doth labour to rank them.
'The first comparison is with Popish Recusants; yet he makes them the worst of the two, and for the better resemblance, gives them a new name of Temporal Recusants.
'For this he alledgeth the 1. Sermon, pag. 31, 32. and part of the fifth Consideration, by which he would persuade them to yield to this Loan.
'Fifthly, If they would consider what advantage this their Recusancy in Temporals, gives to the common Adversary, who for disobedience in Spirituals, have hitherto alone inherited that name: for that which we our selves condemn in them for so doing, and profess to hate that Religion which teacheth them so to do; that is, to refuse subjection unto Princes in Spirituals; the same, if not worse, some of our side now (if ours they be) dare to practise.
'We must needs be argued of less Conscience, and more Ingratitude, both to God and the King, if in Temporal things we obey not: They in Spirituals, denying subjection, wherein they may perhaps frame unto themselves some reasons of probability, that the offence is not so heinous, if we in Temporal shall be so refractory, what colour of reason can we possibly find to make our defence withal, without the utter shaming of our selves, and laying a stain which cannot easilybe washed out, upon that Religion which his Majesty doth so graciously maintain, and our selves profess?
'The second comparison is with Turks and Jews, in the 2. Sermon, pag. 47. What a Paradox, &c. What a Turk will do for a Christian, for a Turk, and a Jew for both, &c. the same and much less Christian men should deny to a Christian King.
'The third comparison is with Corah, Dathan, and Abiram, Theudas and Judas, which is taken out of the 2 Sermon, pag. 49. where he labours to deprive those refusers of all merit in the sufferings for this Cause.
'Corah, Dathan and Abiram, whom for their murmurings God suddenly sunk into Hell-fire, might as well alledge their sufferings had some resemblance with that of the three Children in the Babylonian Furnace; and Theudas & Judas the two incendiaries of the People, in the days of Cœsar's Tribute, might as well pretend their Cause to be like the Maccabees.
'Thus he ended the second Article of the Charge, upon which, he said, were imprinted other two of these six Characters of malice, formerly vented: That is, a wicked intention to increase his Majesty's displeasure against his good subjects so refusing, and to alienate his heart from the rest of his People: Both which were points so odious, that he needed not to add any further inforcement or illustration.
'The Third Article contained three Clauses.
- '1. That Authority of Parliament is not necessary for the raising of Aids and Subsidies.
- '2. That the slow proceedings of such Assemblies, are not fit to supply the urgent necessity of the State.
- '3. That Parliaments are apt to produce sundry impediments to the just designs of Princes, and give them occasion of displeasure and discontent.
'For proof of all which he alledged two places, containing the two first of those six considerations, which are propounded by the Doctor, to induce the refusers to yield to the Loan, in the first Sermon, pag. 26, 27.
'First, if they would please to consider, that though such Assemblies as are the highest and greatest Representations of a Kingdom, be most Sacred and Honourable, and necessary also to those ends to which they were at first instituted; yet know we must, that ordained they were not to this end, to contribute any Right to Kings, whereby to challenge tributary Aids and Subsidiary Helps; but for the more equal imposing, and more easy exacting of that which unto Kings doth appertain by natural and original Law and Justice, as their proper Inheritance annexed to their Imperial Crowns from their-Birth. And therefore if by a Magistrate that is Supreme, if upon necessity, extreme and urgent, such Subsidiary helps be required, a proportion being held respectively to the ability of the persons charged, and the sum and quantity so required surmount not too remarkably the use and charge for which it was levied, very hard would it be for any man in the world, that should not accordingly satisfy such demands, to defend his Conscience from that heavy prejudice of resisting the Ordinance of God, and receiving to himself damnation; though every of those Circumstances be not observed, which by the Municipal Law is required.
'Secondly, if they would consider the importunities that often may be urgent, and pressing necessaries of State, that cannot stay without certain and apparent danger, for the motion and revolution of so great and vast a Body as such Assemblies are, nor yet abide their long and pausing deliberation when they are assembled, nor stand upon the answering of those jealous and over-wary Cautions and Objections made by some who wedded over-much to the love of epidemical and popular Errors, and bent to cross the most just and lawful designs of their wise and gracious Sovereign; and that under the plausible shews of singular liberty and freedom, which, if their Conscience might speak, would appear nothing more than the satisfying either of private humours, passions, or purposes.
'He said, he needed not draw any Arguments or Conclusions from these places; the substance of the Charge appeared sufficiently in the words themselves: and to this 3. Article he fixed two other of these six Characters of malice, that it is his wicked intention to avert his Majesty's mind from calling of Parliaments, and to cause Jealousies, Seditions, and Divisions in the Kingdom; which he shortly enforced thus: If Parliaments be taken away, mischiefs and disorders must needs abound, without any possibility of good Laws to reform them; Grievances will daily increase, without opportunities or means to redress them; and what readier way can there be to distractions betwixt the King and People, to tumults and distempers in the State, than this?
'And so he concluded this third Article of the Charge.
'The Limitations whereby the Doctor had provided to justify (or at least to excuse) himself, were propounded to be three.
- '1. That he did not attribute to the King any such absolute Power as might be exercised at all times, or upon all occasions, according to his own pleasure, but only upon necessity, extreme and urgent.
- '2. That the Sum required, must be proportionable to the ability of the party, and to the use and occasion.
- '3. That he did not say, that the substance of the Municipal or National Laws might be omitted or neglected, but the Circumstances only.
'To these were offered three Answers, the first general, the other two particular. The general answer was this, That it is all one to leave the Power absolute, and to leave the Judgment arbitrary, when to execute that Power; for although these limitations should be admitted, yet it is left to the King alone to determine, what is an urgent and pressing necessity, what is a just proportion, both in respect of the ability, and of the use and occasion; and what shall be said to be a Circumstance, and what of the substance of the Law; and the Subject is left without remedy: the Legal bounds being taken away, no private person shall be allowed to oppose his own particular opinion in any of these points to the King's resolution; so that all these limitations, though specious in shew, are in effect fruitless and vain.
'The first particular Answer applied to that limitation of urgent necessity, was taken from the case of Normandy, as it appears in the Commentaries of Guilme Jeremie, upon the customary Laws of that Dutchy: they having been opprest with some Grievances, contrary to this Franchise, made their complaint to Lewis the Tenth, which by his Charter, in the year 1314. acknowledging the Right and Custom of the Country, and that they had been unjustly grieved, did grant and provide, that from thence forward they should be free from all Subsidies and Exactions to be imposed by him and his Successors; yet with this Clause, Si necessitie grand ne le requiret: Which small Exception hath devoured all these Immunities; for though these States meet every year, yet they have little or no power left, but to agree to such Levies, as the King will please to make upon them.
'The second particular Answer applied to the limitation and diminution of this Power, which may be pretended to be made by this word, Circumstance, as if he did acknowledge the King to be bound to the substance of the Law, and free only in regard of the manner; whereas if the places be observed, it will appear, that he intends by that word, The Assembly of Parliaments, and Assent of the People, such Contribution which is the very substance of the Right and Liberty now in question.
'The Circumstances of Aggravation observed to be annexed to this Cause, were these.
'The first from the place where these Sermons were preached; the Court, the King's own Family, where such Doctrine was before so well believed, that no man needed to be converted. Of this there could be no end, but either Simoniacal, by flattery and soothing to make way for his own preferment, or else extreme malicious, to add new affictions to those who lay under his Majesty's wrath, disgraced and imprisoned, and to enlarge the wound which had been given to the Laws and Liberties of the Kingdom.
'The second was from the consideration of his holy Function: He is a Preacher of God's Word; and yet he had endeavoured to make that which was the only Rule of Justice and Goodness, to be the Warrant for violence and oppression. He is a Messenger of Peace, but he had endeavoured to sow strife and dissension, not only amongst private Persons, but even betwixt the King and his People, to the disturbance and danger of the whole state: He is a Spiritual Father, but like that evil Father in the Gospel, he hath given his Children Stones instead of Bread; instead of Flesh he hath given them Scorpions. Lastly, he is a Minister of the Church of England, but he hath acted the part of a Romish Jesuite; they labour our destruction, by dissolving the Oath of Allegiance taken by the People; he doth the same work, by dissolving the Oath of Protection and Justice taken by the King.
'A third point of Aggravation was drawn from the quality of these Authors, upon whose Authority he doth principally rely, being for the most part Fryers and Jesuits, and from his fraud and shifting in citing those Authors to purposes quite different from their own meanings.
'Touching which it was performed, that most of his places are such as were intended by the Authors concerning absolute Monarchies, not regulated by Laws or Contract betwixt the King and his People; and in Answer to all Authorities of this kind, were alledged certain passages of a Speech from our late Sovereign King James, to the Lords and Commons in Parliament, 1609.
'In these our times we are to distinguish betwixt the state of Kings in their first original, and between the state of setled Kings and Monarchs that do at this time govern in Civil Kingdoms, &c.
'Every just King in a setled Kingdom, is bound to observe the Paction made to his People by his Laws, in framing his Government agreeable thereunto, &c.
'All Kings, that are not Tyrants or perjured, will be glad to be bound themselves within the limits of their Laws; and they that persuade them to the contrary are Vipers and Pests, both against them and the Common-wealth.
'It was secondly observed, that in the 27 page of his first Sermon, he cites these words, Suarez de legibus,lib.5.cap. 17. Acceptationem populi non esse conditionem necessariam ex vi juris naturalis aut gentium, neque ex Jure communi, the Jesuite, adds, Neque ex antiquo Jure Hispaniœ; which words are left out by the Doctor, left the Reader might be invited to inquire what was antiquum Jus Hispaniœ; and it might have been learned from the same Author in another place of that Work, that about two hundred years since, this liberty was granted to the People by one of the Kings, that no Tribute should be imposed without their consent. and the Author adds further, that after the Law introduced and confirmed by Custom, the King is bound to observe it. From this place he took occasion to make this short digression, that the Kings of Spain being powerful and wise Princes, would never have parted with such a mark of absolute Royalty, if they had not found in this course more advantage than in the other, and the success and prosperity of that Kingdom, through the valour and industry of the Spanish Nation, so much advanced since that time, do manifest the wisdom of that change.
'The third observation of fraud, in perverting his Authors, was this. In the twentieth page of the first Sermon, he cites these words out of the same Suarez, de legibus, lib. 5. c. 15. fol. 300. Tributa esse maxime naturalia, & prœ se ferre Justitiam, qui exiguntur de rebus propriis; this he produceth in proof of the just Right of Kings to lay Tribute, And no man that reads it doubts, but that in Suarez's opinion, the King's interest and Propriety in the Goods of his Subject, is the ground of that Justice; but the truth is, that Suarez in that Chapter had distributed Tributes into divers kinds, of which he calls one sort, Tributum reale, and describes it thus, Solent it a vocari pensiones quœdam quœ penduntur regibus & principibus exteris & agris, quœ à principio ad sustentationem illis applicata fuerunt, ipsi vero in feodum in aliis ea donarunt sub certa pensione annua, quœ jure civili Canon appellari solet, quia certa regula & lege prœscripta erat; So that the issue is, this which Suarez affirms for justification of one kind of Tribute, which is no more than a Fee-farm of Rent due by reservation in the Grant of King's own Lands; the Doctor herein, worse than a Jesuit, doth wrest to the justification of all kinds of Tribute exacted by Imposition upon the Goods of the Subjects, wherein the King had no interest or propriety at all.
'4. The last aggravation was drawn from his behaviour since these Sermons preached, whereby he did continue still to multiply and increase his offence, yea, even since the sitting of the Parliament, and his being questioned in Parliament; upon the 4th. of May last he was so bold, as to publish the same Doctrine in his own Parish-Church of St. Giles; the points of which Sermons are these,
'That the King had right to order all, as to him should seem good, without any mans consent.
'That the King might require, in time of necessity, Aid; and if the Subjects did not supply, the King might justly avenge it.
'That the Propriety of Estates and Goods was ordinarily in the Subjects; but extraordinarily (that is, in case of the King's need) the King hath right to dispose them.
'These Assertions in that Sermon, he said, would be proved by very good testimony, and therefore desired the Lords that it might be carefully examined, because the Commons held it to be a great contempt to the Parliament for him to maintain that so publickly, which was here questioned.
'They held it a great presumption for a private Divine to debate the Right and Power of the King, which is a matter of such a nature, as to be handled only in this High Court, and that with moderation and tenderness. And so he concluded that point of Aggravation.
'In the last place he produced some such Precedents as might testify what the opinion of our Ancestors would have been, if this case had fallen out in their time; and herein, he said, he would confine himself to the Reigns of the first Three Edwards, two of them Princes of great glory: He began with the Eldest, Westm. 1. cap. 33.
'By this Statute, 3 Edw. 1. provision was made against those who should tell any false news or device, by which any discord or scandal may arise betwixt the King, his People, and great Men of the Kingdom.
'27 Edw. 3. Rot.part.nu. 20. It was declared by the King's Proclamation, sent into all the Counties of England, That they that reported that he would not observe the Great Charter, were malicious People, who desired to put trouble and debate betwixt the King and his Subjects, and to disturb the peace and good estate of the King, the People, and the Realm.
'5 Edw. 2. Inter novas ordinationes, Henry de Beamond, for giving the King ill counsel against his Oath, was put from the Council, and restrained from coming into the presence of the King, under pain of Confication and Banishment.
'19 Edw. 2. Clause Minidors. Commissions were granted to inquire upon the Statute of W. 1. touching the spreading of news, whereby discord and scandal might grow betwixt the King and his People.
'10 Edw. 3. Clause M. 26. Proclamation went out to arrest all them who had presumed to report, that the King would lay upon the Wools certain Sums, besides the antient and due Customs, where the King calls these Reports, Exquisita mendacia, &c. quœ non tantum in publicam lœsionem, sed in nostrum cedunt damnum, & dedecus manifestum.
'12. Edw. 3. Rot. Almaniœ. The King writes to the Archbishop of Canterbury, excusing himself for some Impositions which he had laid, professing his great sorrow for it, desires the Archbishop by Indulgences and other ways to stir up the People to pray for him, hoping that God would enable him by some satisfactory benefit to make amends and comfort his Subjects for those pressures.
'To these temporal Precedents of antient times which were alledged, he added an Ecclesiastical Precedent out of a Book called Pupilla Oculi, being published for the Instruction of Confessors, in the Title de participantibus cum excommunicatis, fol. 59. All the Articles of Magna Charta are inserted with this direction, Hos articulos ignorare non debent quibus incumbit confessiones audire infra provinciam Cantuariensem.
'He likewise remembred the Proclamation 8 Jac. for the calling in and burning of Doctor Cowel's Book, for which these reasons are given, For mistaking the true state of the Parliament of the Kingdom, and fundamental Constitution and Privileges thereof: For speaking irreverently of the Common Law, it being a thing utterly unlawful for any Subject to speak or write against that Law under which he liveth, and which we are sworn and resolve to maintain.
'From these Precedents he collected, that if former Parliaments were so careful of false rumours and news, they would have been much more tender of such Doctrines as these, which might produce true occasions of discord betwixt the King and his People.
'If those who reported the King would lay Impositions, and break his Laws, were thought such heinous offenders, how much more should the man be condemned, who persuaded the King he is not bound to keep those Laws? If that great King was so far from challenging any right in this kind, that he professed his own sorrow and repentance for grieving his Subjects, with unlawful Charges: If Confessors were enjoyned to frame the Consciences of the People to the observances of these Laws, certainly such Doctrine, and such a Preacher as this, would have been held most strange, and abominable in all these times.
'The third general part was the Conclusion or Prayer of the Commons, which consisted of three Clauses.
'First, they reserved to themselves liberty of any other accusation, and for this, he said, there was great Reason, that as the Doctor multiplied his offences, so they may renew their accusations.
'Secondly, they save to themselves liberty of replying to his Answer, for they had great cause to think that he who would shift so much in offending, would shift much more in answering.
'Thirdly, they desire he might be brought to examination and judgment; this they thought would be very important for the comfort of the present Age, for the security of the future against such wicked and malicious practices; and so he concluded, that seeing the cause had strength enough to maintain it self, his humble suit to their Lordships was, That they would not observe his infirmities and defects, to the diminution or prejudice of that strength.
Not long after the Commons, by their Speaker, demanded Judgment of the Lords against the Doctor; who not accounting his submission with tears and grief, a satisfaction for the great offence wherewith he stood charged, gave this Sentence.
Judgment given against Dr. Manwaring.
- 1. That Dr. Manwaring, Doctor in Divinity, shall be imprisoned during the Pleasure of the House.
- 2. That he be fined One thousand Pounds to the King.
- 3. That he shall make such Submission and Acknowledgment of his Offences, as shall be set down by a Committee in writing, both at the Bar, and in the House of Commons.
- 4. That he shall be suspended for the Term of Three Years, from the exercise of the Ministry, and in the mean time a sufficient preaching Minister shall be provided out of his Livings to serve the Cure: This Suspension and Provision to be done by the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction.
- 5. That he shall be hereafter disabled to have any Ecclesiastical Dignity, or Secular Office.
- 6. That he shall be for ever disabled to preach at the Court hereafter.
- 7. That his said Book is worthy to be burnt, and that for the better effecting of this, his Majesty may be moved to grant a Proclamation to call in the said Books, that they may be all burnt accordingly, in London and both the Universities, and for the inhibiting the printing thereof, up on a great Penalty.
Doctor Manwaring's Submission was in these Words.
Dr. Manwaring's Submission.
May it please this Honourable House, I do here in all Sorrow of Heart, and true Repentance, acknowledge the many Errors and Indiscretions which I have committed, in preaching and publishing those two Sermons of mine, which I called Religion and Allegiance; and my great Fault in falling upon this Theme again, and handling the same rashly and unadvisedly in my own Parish Church of St. Giles's in the Fields, the Fourth of May last past. I do fully acknowledge those Three Sermons to have been full of many dangerous Passages, Inferences, and scandalous Aspersions in most part of the same: And I do humbly acknowledge the Justice of this Honourable House, in that Judgment and Sentence passed upon me for my great Offence: And I do from the bottom of my Heart crave Pardon of God, the King, and this Honourable House, and the Church, and this Commonwealth in general, and those worthy Persons adjudged to be reflected upon by me, in particular, for these great Errors and Offences.
Another Message was brought from his Majesty by the Speaker, Tuesday 5. of June.
Another Message from the King.
"His Majesty wished them to remember the Message he last sent them, by which he set a day for the end of this Session, and he commanded the Speaker to let them know, that he will certainly hold that Day prefix'd without Alteration; and because that cannot be, if the House entertain more business of length, he requires them, that they enter not into, or proceed with any new Business, which may spend greater Time, or which may lay any Scandal or Aspersion upon the State, Government, or Ministers thereof.
Sir Robert Philips.
Sir Rob. Philips, upon this Occasion, expressed himself thus: "I perceive that towards God, and towards Man, there is little hope, after our humble and careful Endeavours, seeing our Sins are many and so great: I consider my own Infirmities, and if ever my Passions were wrought upon than now, this Message stirs me up especially; when I remember with what Moderation we have proceeded, I cannot but wonder to see the miserable Strait we are now in: What have we not done to have merited? former Times have given Wounds enough to the Peoples Liberty. We came hither full of Wounds, and we have cured what we could; and what is the return of all, but Misery and Desolation? What did we aim at, but to have served his Majesty, and to have done that that would have made him Great and Glorious? If this be a Fault, then we are all Criminous: What shall we do, since our humble Purposes are thus prevented, which were not to have laid any Aspersion on the Government, since it tended to no other end, but to give his Majesty true Information of his and our Danger? And to this we are enforced out of a necessity of Duty to the King, our Countrey, and to Posterity; but we being stopped, and stopped in such Manner, as we are enjoined, so we must now leave to be a Council. I hear this with that Grief, as the saddest Message of the greatest loss in the World. But let us still be wise, be humble, let us make a fair Declaration to the King.
Sir John Elliot.
"Our Sins are so exceeding great (said Sir John Elliot) that unless we speedily return to God, God will remove himself further from us; ye know with what Affection and Integrity we have proceeded hitherto, to have gained his Majesty's Heart, and out of a Necessity of our Duty, were brought to that Course we were in: I doubt, a Misrepresentation to his Majesty hath drawn this Mark of his Displeasure upon us: I observe in the Message, amongst other sad Particulars, it is conceived, that we were about to lay some Aspersions on the Government; give me leave to protest, That so clear were our Intentions, that we desire only to vindicate those Dishonours to our King and Country, &c. It is said also, as if we cast some Aspersions on his Majesty's Ministers. I am confident no Minister, how dear soever, can—
Hear the Speaker started up from the Seat of the Chair, apprehending Sir John Elliot intended to fall upon the Duke, and some of the Ministers of State; said, There is a Command laid upon me, that I must Command you not to proceed: Whereupon Sir John Elliot sate down.
Sir Dudley Diggs.
"I am as much grieved as ever, said Sir Dudley Diggs; Must we not proceed? Let us sit in Silence; we are Miserable, we know not what to do.
Hereupon there was a sad Silence in the House for a While, which was broken by Sir Nathaniel Rich, in these Words:
Sir Nathaniel Rich.
We must now speak, or for ever hold our Peace; for us to be silent when King and Kingdom are in this Calamity, is not fit. The question is, whether we shall secure our selves by silence, yea or no? I know it is more for our own Security, but it is not for the Security of those for whom we serve; let us think on them: Some Instruments desire a Change, we fear his Majesty's Safety, and the Safety of the Kingdom: I do not say we now see it; and shall we now sit still and do nothing, and so be scattered? Let us go together to the Lords, and shew our Dangers, that we may then go to the King together.
Others said, That the Speech lately spoken by Sir John Elliot, had given Offence (as they feared) to his Majesty.
The Commons declare, that no undutiful Speech hath been spoken.
Whereupon the House declared, That every Member of the House is free from any undutiful Speech, from the beginning of the Parliament to that day; and Didered, That the House be turned into a Committee, to consider what is fit to be done for the safety of the Kingdom; and that no Man go out upon pain of going to the Tower. But before the Speaker left the Chair, he desired leave to go forth; and the House ordered that he may go forth, if he please. And the House was hereupon turned into a Grand Committee. Mr. Whitby in the Chair.
"I Am as full of Grief as others, said Mr. Wandesford; let us recollect our English Hearts, and not sit still, but do our duties: Two ways are propounded, To go to the Lords, or to the King; I think it is fit we go to the King, for this doth concern our Liberties, and let us not fear to make a Remonstrance of our Rights; we are his Counsellors: There are some Men which call evil Good, and good Evil, and Bitter Sweet: Justice is now called Popularity and Faction.
Sir Edw. Cooke declares the Duke the cause of all our Miseries.
Then Sir Edward Cooke spake freely; "We have dealt with that Duty and Moderation that never was the like, Rebus sic stantibus, after such a Violation of the Liberties of the Subject; let us take this to heart. In 30 E. 3. were they then in doubt in Parliament to name Men that mis-led the King? They accused John de Gaunt, the King's Son, and Lord Latimer, and Lord Nevil, for misadvising the King, and they went to the Tower for it; now when there is such a downfall of the State, shall we hold our Tongues; how lhall we answer our Duties to God and Men? 7 H. 4. Parl. Rot. num. 31 & 32. 11 H. 4. numb. 13. there the Council are complained of, and are removed from the King; they mewed up the King, and dissuaded him from the common good; and why are we now retired from that way we were in? Why may we not Name those that are the Cause of all our Evils? In 4 H. 3. & 27 E. 3. & 13 R. 2. the Parliament moderateth the King's Prerogative, and nothing grows to Abuse, but this House hath Power to treat of it: What shall we do? let us palliate no longer; if we do, God will not prosper us. I think the Duke of Buckingham is the Cause of all our Miseries; and till the King be informed thereof, we shall never go out with Honour, or sit with Honour here; that Man is the Grievance of Grievances: Let us set down the Causes of all our Disasters, and all will reflect upon him. As for going to the Lords, that is not via Regia; our Liberties are now impeached, we are concerned; it is not via Regia, the Lords are not participant with our Liberties:
Mr. Selden's Advice for a Declaration against the Duke.
"Mr. Selden advised, That a Declaration be drawn under four Heads. 1. To express the House's dutiful carriage towards his Majesty. 2. To tender their Liberties that are violated. 3. To present what the purpose of the House was to have dealt in. 4. That that great Person, viz. the Duke, fearing himself to be questioned, did interpose and cause this Distraction. All this time (said he) we have cast a Mantle on what was done last Parliament; but now being driven again to look on that Man, let us proceed with that which was then well begun, and let the Charge be renewed that was last Parliament against him, to which he made an Answer, but the Particulars were sufficient, that we might demand Judgment on that Answer only.
Several Heads agreed on for a Remonstrance.
In conclusion, the House agreed upon several Heads concerning Innovation in Religion, the Safety of the King and Kingdom, Misgovernment, Misfortune of our late Designs, with the Causes of them: And whilst it was moving to be put to the Question, that the Duke of Buckingham shall be instanced to be the chief and principal Cause of all those Evils, the Speaker (who after he had leave to go forth, went privately to the King) brought this Message,
A Message from the King by the Speaker.
"That his Majesty commands for the present they adjourn the House till To-morrow Morning, and that all Committees cease in the mean time. And the House was accordingly adjourned.
At the same time the King sent for the Lord-Keeper to attend him presently; the House of Lords was adjourned ab libitum. The Lord Keeper being returned, and the House resumed, his Lordship signified his Majesty's desire, that the House and all Committees be adjourned till To-morrow Morning.
After this Message was delivered, the Lords House fearing a sudden Dissolution, fell into Consideration of the weak Estate of the Kingdom, and of our Friends and Allies Abroad; and of the great Strength of the House of Austria, and the King of Spain's Ambition, aspiring to an Universal Monarchy, and his present great Preparations for War. Hereupon the House was moved to name a select Committee, to represent these Things to his Majesty, with the Danger like to ensue to this Kingdom, if the Parliament be dissolved without a happy Conclusion. But being satisfied by the Lords of the Privy-Council, that there was no such cause of Fear, as the House apprehended, the naming of a Committee was for that time deferred.
Having met in our Collections with a Letter of Mr. Allured's to old Mr. Chamberlain of the Court of Wards; and being a concurrent Proof to the Passages this Day in the House, we have thought fit here to mention it, viz.
Yesterday was a Day of Desolation among us in Parliament, and this Day we fear will be the day of our Dissolution: Upon Tuesday, Sir John Elliot moved, That as we intended to furnish his Majesty with Money, we should also supply him with Counsel, which was one part of the Occasion why we were sent by the Countrey, and called for by his Majesty: And since that House was the greatest Council of the Kingdom, where, or when should his Majesty have better Counsel than from thence? So he desired there might be a Declaration made to the King, of the Danger wherein the Kingdom stood, by the decay and contempt of Religion, the insufficiency of his Generals, the unfaithfulness of his Officers, the weakness of his Counsels, the exhausting of his Treasure, the death of his Men, the decay of Trade, the loss of Shipping, them any and powerful Enemies, the few and the poor Friends we had Abroad.
In the enumerating of which, the Chancellor of the Dutchy said, It was a strange Language; yet the House commanded Sir John Elliot to go on. Then the Chancellor desired, if he went on, that himself might go out. Whereupon they all bad him be gone; yet he stayed, and heard him out: And the House generally inclined to such a Declaration to be presented in an humble and modest manner, not prescribing the King the way, but leaving it to his judgment for Reformation. So the next day, being Wednesday, we had a Message from his Majesty, by the Speaker, that the Session should end on Wednesday, and that therefore we should husband the time, and dispatch the old Businesses, without entertaining new; intending to pursue their Declaration, they had this Message yesterday Morning brought them, which I have here inclosed sent you, which requiring not to cast or lay any Aspersion upon any Minister of his Majesty, the House was much affected to be so restrained, since the House in former times had proceeded, by finding and committing John of Gaunt the King's Son, and others, and of late have meddled with, and sentenced the Lord Chancellor Bacon, and the Lord Treasurer Cranfield. Then Sir Robert Philips spake, and mingled his Words with weeping. Mr. Prynne did the like; and Sir Edward Cooke, overcome with passion, seeing the desolation likely to ensue, was forced to sit down when he began to speak, through the abundance of Tears; yea, the Speaker in his Speech could not refrain from weeping and shedding of Tears; besides a great many, whose great Griefs made them dumb and silent; yet some bore up in that Storm, and encouraged others: In the End, they desired the Speaker to leave the Chair, and Mr. Whitby was to come into it, that they might speak tht freer and the frequenter, and commanded, That no Man go out of the House upon pain of going to the Tower. Then the Speaker humbly and earnestly besought the House to give him leave to absent himself for half an Hour, presuming they did not think he did it for any ill Intention, which was instantly granted him. Thereupon many Debates about their Liberties hereby infringed, and the imminent Danger wherein the Kingdom stood; Sir Edward Cooke told them, He now saw God had not accepted of their humble and moderate Carriages, and fair Proceedings; and the rather, because he thought they dealt not sincerely with the King, and with the Countrey, in making a true representation of the Causes of all these Miseries, which now he repented himself, since Things were come to this pass, that he did it not sooner; and therefore he not knowing whether ever he should speak in this House again, would now do it freely, and there protested, that the Author and Cause of all those Miseries was the Duke of Buckingham; which was entertained, and answered, with a chearful Acclamation of the House; as when one good Hound recovers the Scent, the rest come in with a full Cry: so they pursued it, and every one came on home, and laid the Blame where they thought the Fault was; and as they were voting it to the Question, whether they should name him, in their intended Remonstrance, the sole or the principal Cause of all their Miseries at Home and Abroaad; the Speaker having been three Hours absent, and with the King, returned with this Message, That the House should then rise (being about Eleven a Clock, and no Committees should sit in the Afternoon) till to Morrow-Morning; what we shall expect this Morning, God of Heaven knows. We shall meet timely this Morning, partly for the Business sake, and partly, because two Days since we made an Order, That whosoever comes in after Prayers, pays Twelve-pence to the Poor. Sir, excuse my haste, and let us have your Prayers, whereof both you and we have here need: So, in scribbling haste, I rest
Affectionately at your Service,
This 6. of June,
This Message mentioned in this Letter of the 6. of June, is already before expressed.