Front Page Titles (by Subject) PART II: FROM THE MEETING OF THE THIRD PARLIAMENT OF CHARLES I. TO THE MEETING OF THE LONG PARLIAMENT. - The Constitutional Documents of the Puritan Revolution, 1625-1660
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PART II: FROM THE MEETING OF THE THIRD PARLIAMENT OF CHARLES I. TO THE MEETING OF THE LONG PARLIAMENT. - Samuel Rawson Gardiner, The Constitutional Documents of the Puritan Revolution, 1625-1660 
The Constitutional Documents of the Puritan Revolution, 1625-1660, selected and edited by Samuel Rawson Gardiner (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1906).
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FROM THE MEETING OF THE THIRD PARLIAMENT OF CHARLES I. TO THE MEETING OF THE LONG PARLIAMENT.
Notes of a Bill brought in by Sir Edward Coke to secure the liberties of the subject.
[April 29, 1628. Harl. MSS. 1771, fol. 123. See Hist. of Engl. vi. 264-5.]
An Act for the better securing of every freeman touching the propriety of his goods and liberty of his person.
Whereas it is enacted and declared by Magna Carta that no freeman is to be convicted, destroyed, &c., and whereas by a statute made in E. 7, called de tallagio non concedendo; and whereas by the Parliament, 5 E. 3, and 29 E. 3, &c.; and whereas by the said great Charter was confirmed, and that the other laws, &c.
Be it enacted that Magna Carta and these Acts be put in due execution and that all allegements, awards, and rules given or to be given to the contrary shall be void; and whereas by the common law and statute it appeareth that no freeman ought to be committed1 by command of the King, &c.; and if any freeman be so committed and the same returned upon a habeas corpus, he ought to be delivered or bailed, and whereas by the common law and statutes every freeman hath a propriety of his goods and estate as no tax, tallage, &c., nor any soldier can be billeted in his house, &c.
Be it enacted that no tax, tallage, or loan shall be levied &c., by the King or any minister by Act of Parliament, and that none be compelled to receive any soldiers into his house against his will.
The Petition of Right.
[June 7, 1628. 3 Car. I, cap. 1. Statutes of the Realm, v. 23. See Hist. of Engl. vi. 274-309.]
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 show unto our Sovereign Lord the King, the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons in Parliament assembled, that whereas it is declared and enacted by a statute made in the time of the reign of King Edward the First, commonly called Statutum de Tallagio non concedendo1 , that no tallage or aid shall be laid or levied by the King or his heirs in this realm, without the goodwill and assent of the Archbishops, Bishops, Earls, Barons, Knights, Burgesses, 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 Third2 , 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, or by such like charge3 , 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 tax, tallage, 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 required to lend certain sums of money unto your Majesty, and many of them upon their refusal so to do, have had an oath administered 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 divers other charges have been laid and levied upon your people in several counties, by Lords Lieutenants, Deputy Lieutenants, Commissioners for Musters, Justices of Peace and others, by command or direction from your Majesty or your Privy Council, against the laws and free customs of this realm:
And where also by the statute called, ‘The Great Charter of the Liberties of England1 ,’ 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 outlawed or exiled; or in any manner destroyed, but by the lawful judgment of his peers, or by the law of the land:
And in the eight and twentieth year of the reign of King Edward the Third2 , it was declared and enacted by authority of Parliament, that no man of what estate or condition that he be, should be put out of his lands or tenements, nor taken, nor imprisoned, nor disherited, nor put to death, without being brought to answer by due process of law:
Nevertheless, against the tenor of the said statutes3 , and other the good laws and statutes of your realm, to that end provided, divers of your subjects have of late been imprisoned without any cause showed, and when for their deliverance they were brought before your Justices, by your Majesty’s writs of Habeas Corpus, there to undergo and receive as the Court should 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 Council, and yet were returned back to several prisons, without being charged with anything 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 and customs of this realm, and to the great grievance and vexation of the people:
And whereas also by authority of Parliament, in the 25th year of the reign of King Edward the Third1 , 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 realm2 , 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 exempted 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 joining with them, as should commit any murder, robbery, felony, mutiny, or other outrage or misdemeanour whatsoever, and by such summary course and order, as is agreeable to martial law, and is used in armies in time of war, to proceed to the trial and condemnation of such offenders, and them to cause to be executed and put to death, according to the law martial:
By pretext 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 divers of your officers and ministers of justice have unjustly refused, or forborne 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 other 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 any 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 oath, or to give attendance, or be confined, or otherwise molested or disquieted concerning the same, or for refusal thereof; and that no freeman, in any such manner as is 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 burdened in time to come; and that the foresaid 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 executed 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 premises, 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 2nd 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 as well obliged as of his prerogative.
On June 7 the answer was given in the accustomed form, Soit droit fait comme il est désiré.]
The Remonstrance against Tonnage and Poundage.
[June 25, 1628. Rushworth, i. 628. See Hist. of Engl. vi. 323.]
Most Gracious Sovereign, your Majesty’s most loyal and dutiful subjects, the Commons in this present Parliament assembled, being in nothing more careful than of the honour and prosperity of your Majesty, and the kingdom, which they know do much depend upon that happy union and relation betwixt your Majesty and your people, do with much sorrow apprehend, that by reason of the incertainty of their continuance together, the unexpected interruptions which have been cast upon them, and the shortness of time in which your Majesty hath determined to end this Session, they cannot bring to maturity and perfection divers businesses of weight, which they have taken into their consideration and resolution, as most important for the common good: amongst other things they have taken into especial care the preparing of a Bill for the granting of your Majesty such a subsidy of Tonnage and Poundage, as might uphold your profit and revenue in as ample a manner as their just care and respect of trade (wherein not only the prosperity, but even the life of the kingdom doth consist) would permit: but being a work which will require much time, and preparation by conference with your Majesty’s officers, and with the merchants, not only of London, but of other remote parts, they find it not possible to be accomplished at this time: wherefore considering it will be much more prejudicial to the right of the subject, if your Majesty should continue to receive the same without authority of law, after the determination of a Session, than if there had been a recess by adjournment only, in which case that intended grant would have related to the first day of the Parliament; and assuring themselves that your Majesty is resolved to observe that your royal answer, which you have lately made to the Petition of Right of both Houses of Parliament; yet doubting lest your Majesty may be misinformed concerning this particular case, as if you might continue to take those subsidies of Tonnage and Poundage, and other impositions upon merchants, without breaking that answer, they are forced by that duty which they owe to your Majesty, and to those whom they represent, to declare, that there ought not any imposition to be laid upon the goods of merchants, exported or imported, without common consent by Act of Parliament, which is the right and inheritance of your subjects, founded not only upon the most ancient and original constitution of this kingdom, but often confirmed and declared in divers statute laws.
And for the better manifestation thereof, may it please your Majesty to understand, that although your royal predecessors the Kings of this realm have often had such subsidies, and impositions granted unto them, upon divers occasions, especially for the guarding of the seas, and safeguard of merchants; yet the subjects have been ever careful to use such cautions, and limitations in those grants, as might prevent any claim to be made, that such subsidies do proceed from duty, and not from the free gift of the subjects: and that they have heretofore used to limit a time in such grants, and for the most part but short, as for a year or two, and if it were continued longer, they have sometimes directed a certain space of cessation, or intermission, that so the right of the subject might be more evident. At other times it hath been granted upon occasion of war, for a certain number of years, with proviso, that if the war were ended in the meantime, then the grant should cease; and of course it hath been sequestered into the hands of some subjects to be employed for the guarding of the seas. And it is acknowledged by the ordinary answers of your Majesty’s predecessors in their assent to the Bills of subsidies of Tonnage and Poundage, that it is of the nature of other subsidies, proceeding from the goodwill of the subject. Very few of your predecessors had it for life, until the reign of Henry VII1 , who was so far from conceiving he had any right thereunto, that although he granted commissions for collecting certain duties and customs due by law, yet he made no commissions for receiving the subsidy of Tonnage and Poundage, until the same was granted unto him in Parliament. Since his time all the Kings and Queens of this realm have had the like grants for life by the free love and goodwill of the subjects. And whensoever the people have been grieved by laying any impositions or other charges upon their goods and merchandises, without authority of law (which hath been very seldom), yet upon complaint in Parliament they have been forthwith relieved; saving in the time of your royal father, who having through ill counsel raised the rates and charges upon merchandises to that height at which they now are, yet he was pleased so far forth to yield to the complaint of his people, as to offer that if the value of those impositions which he had set might be made good unto him, he would bind himself and his heirs by Act of Parliament never to lay any other; which offer the Commons at that time, in regard of the great burden, did not think fit to yield unto. Nevertheless, your loyal Commons in this Parliament, out of their especial zeal to your service, and especial regard of your pressing occasions, have taken into their consideration, so to frame a grant of subsidy of Tonnage or Poundage to your Majesty, that both you might have been the better enabled for the defence of your realm, and your subjects, by being secure from all undue charges, be the more encouraged cheerfully to proceed in their course of trade; by the increase whereof your Majesty’s profit, and likewise the strength of the kingdom would be very much augmented.
But not now being able to accomplish this their desire, there is no course left unto them, without manifest breach of their duty, both to your Majesty and their country, save only to make this humble declaration, ‘That the receiving of Tonnage and Poundage, and other impositions not granted by Parliament, is a breach of the fundamental liberties of this kingdom, and contrary to your Majesty’s royal answer to the said Petition of Right.’ And therefore they do most humbly beseech your Majesty to forbear any further receiving of the same, and not to take it in ill part from those of your Majesty’s loving subjects, who shall refuse to make payment of any such charges, without warrant of law demanded.
And as by this forbearance, your Most Excellent Majesty shall manifest unto the world your royal justice in the observation of your laws: so they doubt not, but hereafter, at the time appointed for their coming again, they shall have occasion to express their great desire to advance your Majesty’s honour and profit.
The King’s Speech at the Prorogation of Parliament at the end of the Session of 1628.
[June 26, 1628. Lords’ Journals, iii. 879. See Hist. of Engl. vi. 324.]
It may seem strange, that I come so suddenly to end this Session; wherefore before I give my assent to the Bills, I will tell you the cause, though I must avow, that I owe an account of my actions to none but to God alone. It is known to every one, that a while ago the House of Commons gave me a Remonstrance1 , how acceptable every man may judge; and for the merit of it, I will not call that in question, for I am sure no wise man can justify it.
Now since I am certainly informed, that a second Remonstrance2 is preparing for me to take away my profit of Tonnage and Poundage, one of the chief maintenances of my Crown, by alleging I have given away my right thereof by my answer to your Petition; this is so prejudicial unto me, that I am forced to end this Session some few hours before I meant it, being willing not to receive any more Remonstrances, to which I must give a harsh answer.
And since I see that even the House of Commons begins already to make false constructions of what I granted in your Petition, lest it might be worse interpreted in the country, I will now make a declaration concerning the true meaning thereof:
The profession of both Houses, in time of hammering this Petition, was no ways to intrench upon my Prerogative, saying, they had neither intention nor power to hurt it. Therefore it must needs be conceived that I have granted no new, but only confirmed the ancient liberties of my subjects: yet to show the clearness of my intentions, that I neither repent, nor mean to recede from anything I have promised you, I do here declare, that those things which have been done, whereby men had some cause to suspect the liberties of the subjects to be trenched upon,—which indeed was the first and true ground of the Petition,—shall not hereafter be drawn into example for your prejudice; and in time to come, on the word of a king, you shall not have the like cause to complain.
But as for Tonnage and Poundage, it is a thing I cannot want, and was never intended by you to ask, nor meant—I am sure—by me to grant.
To conclude, I command you all that are here to take notice of what I have spoken at this time, to be the true intent and meaning of what I granted you in your Petition; but especially, you my Lords the Judges, for to you only under me belongs the interpretation of laws; for none of the House of Commons, joint or separate, (what new doctrine soever may be raised) have any power either to make or declare a law without my consent1 .
The King’s Declaration prefixed to the Articles of Religion.
[November, 1628. Commonly printed with the Book of Common Prayer. See Hist. of Engl. vii. 20.]
Being by God’s ordinance, according to our just title, Defender of the Faith, and Supreme Governor of the Church, within these our dominions, we hold it most agreeable to this our kingly office, and our own religious zeal, to conserve and maintain the Church committed to our charge, in the unity of true religion, and in the bond of peace; and not to suffer unnecessary disputations, altercations, or questions to be raised, which may nourish faction both in the Church and Commonwealth. We have therefore, upon mature deliberation, and with the advice of so many of our Bishops as might conveniently be called together, thought fit to make this declaration following:
That the Articles of the Church of England (which have been allowed and authorised heretofore, and which our clergy generally have subscribed unto) do contain the true doctrine of the Church of England agreeable to God’s Word: which we do therefore ratify and confirm, requiring all our loving subjects to continue in the uniform profession thereof, and prohibiting the least difference from the said Articles; which to that end we command to be new printed, and this our declaration to be published therewith:
That we are supreme Governor of the Church of England: and that if any difference arise about the external policy, concerning the injunctions, canons, and other constitutions whatsoever thereto belonging, the Clergy in their Convocation is to order and settle them, having first obtained leave under our broad seal so to do: and we approving their said ordinances and constitutions; providing that none be made contrary to the laws and customs of the land.
That out of our princely care that the churchmen may do the work which is proper unto them, the Bishops and Clergy, from time to time in Convocation, upon their humble desire, shall have license under our broad seal to deliberate of, and to do all such things as, being made plain by them, and assented unto by us, shall concern the settled continuance of the doctrine and discipline of the Church of England now established; from which we will not endure any varying or departing in the least degree.
That for the present, though some differences have been ill raised, yet we take comfort in this, that all clergymen within our realm have always most willingly subscribed to the Articles established; which is an argument to us, that they all agree in the true, usual, literal meaning of the said Articles; and that even in those curious points, in which the present differences lie, men of all sorts take the Articles of the Church of England to be for them; which is an argument again, that none of them intend any desertion of the Articles established.
That therefore in these both curious and unhappy differences, which have for so many hundred years, in different times and places, exercised the Church of Christ, we will, that all further curious search be laid aside, and these disputes shut up in God’s promises, as they be generally set forth to us in the holy scriptures, and the general meaning of the Articles of the Church of England according to them. And that no man hereafter shall either print, or preach, to draw the Article aside any way, but shall submit to it in the plain and full meaning thereof: and shall not put his own sense or comment to be the meaning of the Article, but shall take it in the literal and grammatical sense.
That if any public Reader in either of our Universities, or any Head or Master of a College, or any other person respectively in either of them, shall affix any new sense to any Article, or shall publicly read, determine, or hold any public disputation, or suffer any such to be held either way, in either the Universities or Colleges respectively; or if any divine in the Universities shall preach or print any thing either way, other than is already established in Convocation with our royal assent; he, or they the offenders, shall be liable to our displeasure, and the Church’s censure in our commission ecclesiastical, as well as any other: and we will see there shall be due execution upon them.
Resolutions on Religion drawn by a Sub-Committee of the House of Commons.
[February 24, 1628-9. Cobbett’s Parliamentary History, ii. col. 483. See Hist. of Engl. vii. 65.]
Heads of Articles to be insisted on, and agreed upon, at a Sub-Committee for Religion.
I. That we call to mind, how that, in the last Session of this Parliament, we presented to His Majesty an humble declaration of the great danger threatened to this Church and State, by divers courses and practices tending to the change and innovation of religion.
II. That what we then feared, we do now sensibly feel; and therefore have just cause to renew our former complaints herein.
III. That, yet nevertheless, we do, with all thankfulness, acknowledge the great blessing we have received from Almighty God, in setting a king over us, of whose constancy in the profession and practice of the true religion here established, we rest full assured; as likewise of his most pious zeal and careful endeavour for the maintenance and propagation thereof; being so far from having the least doubt of His Majesty’s remissness therein, that we, next under God, ascribe unto his own princely wisdom and goodness, that our holy religion hath yet any countenance at all amongst us.
IV. And for that the pious intention and endeavours, even of the best and wisest princes, are often frustrated through the unfaithfulness and carelessness of their ministers; and that we find a great unhappiness to have befallen His Majesty this way; we think, that being now assembled in Parliament to advise of the weighty and important affairs concerning Church and State; we cannot do a work more acceptable than, in the first place, according to the dignity of the matter, and necessity of the present occasions, faithfully and freely to make known, what we conceive may conduce to the preservation of God’s religion, in great peril now to be lost; and, therewithal, the safety and tranquillity of His Majesty and his kingdoms now threatened with certain dangers. For the clearer proceedings therein, we shall declare, 1. What those dangers and inconveniences are. 2. Whence they arise. 3. In some sort, how they may be redressed.
The dangers may appear partly from the consideration of the state of religion abroad; and partly from the condition thereof within His Majesty’s own dominions, and especially within this kingdom of England.
From abroad we make these observations: 1. By the mighty and prevalent party, by which true religion is actually opposed, and the contrary maintained. 2. Their combined counsels, forces, attempts, and practices, together with a most diligent pursuit of their designs, aiming at the subversion of all the Protestant Churches in Christendom. 3. The weak resistance that is made against them. 4. Their victorious and successful enterprises, whereby the Churches of Germany, France, and other places, are in a great part already ruined, and the rest in the most weak and miserable condition.
In His Majesty’s own dominions, these: 1. In Scotland, the stirs lately raised and insolences committed by the Popish party, have already not a little disquieted that famous Church; of which, with comfort we take notice, His Majesty hath expressed himself exceeding sensible; and hath accordingly given most royal and prudent directions therein. 2. Ireland is now almost wholly overspread with Popery, swarming with friars, priests, and Jesuits, and other superstitious persons of all sorts; whose practice is daily to seduce His Majesty’s subjects from their allegiance, and to cause them to adhere to his enemies. That even in the city of Dublin, in the view of the State, where not many years since, as we have been credibly informed, there were few or none that refused to come to church, there are lately restored and erected for friars, Jesuits, and idolatrous mass-priests, thirteen houses, being more in number than the parish churches within that city; besides many more likewise erected in the best parts of the kingdom; and the people, almost wholly, revolted from our religion, to the open exercise of Popish superstition. The danger from hence is further increased, by reason of the intercourse which the subjects, of all sorts, in that kingdom, have into Spain, and the Archduchess’s country; and that, of late, divers principal persons being Papists are trusted with the command of soldiers; and great numbers of the Irish are acquainted with the exercise of arms and martial discipline; which, heretofore, hath not been permitted, even in times of greatest security. 3. Lastly, here in England we observe an extraordinary growth of Popery, insomuch that in some counties, where in Queen Elizabeth’s time there were few or none known Recusants, now there are above 2000, and all the rest generally apt to revolt. A bold and open allowance of their religion, by frequent and public resort to mass, in multitudes, without control, and that even to the Queen’s Court; to the great scandal of His Majesty’s government. Their extraordinary insolence; for instance, the late erecting of a College of Jesuits in Clerkenwell, and the strange proceedings thereupon used in favour of them. The subtle and pernicious spreading of the Arminian faction; whereby they have kindled such a fire of division in the very bowels of the State, as if not speedily extinguished, it is of itself sufficient to ruin our religion; by dividing us from the Reformed Churches abroad, and separating amongst ourselves at home, by casting doubts upon the religion professed and established; which, if faulty or questionable in three or four Articles, will be rendered suspicious to unstable minds, in all the rest, and incline them to Popery, to which those tenets, in their own nature, do prepare the way: so that if our religion be suppressed and destroyed abroad, disturbed in Scotland, lost in Ireland, undermined and almost outdared in England, it is manifest that our danger is very great and imminent.
The causes of which danger here, amongst divers others, we conceive to be chiefly these instanced in: 1. The suspension or negligence in execution of the laws against Popery. 2. The late proceedings against the College of Jesuits1 . 3. Divers letters sent by Sir Robert Heath, His Majesty’s Attorney, into the country, for stay of proceedings against Recusants. 4. The publishing and defending points of Popery in sermons and books, without punishment; instance Bishop Montague’s three books, viz. ‘The Gag2 ,’ ‘Invocation of Saints3 ,’ and his ‘Appeal1 ;’ also Dr. Cosin’s ‘Horary2 ’ and the Bishop of Gloucester’s Sermons3 . 5. The bold and unwarranted introducing, practising, and defending of sundry new ceremonies, and laying of injunctions upon men by governors of the Church and others, without authority, in conformity to the Church of Rome; as, for example, in some places erecting of altars, in others changing the usual and prescribed manner of placing the communion table, and setting it at the upper end of the chancel, north and south, in imitation of the High Altar; by which they, also, call it, and adorn it with candlesticks, which, by the injunctions, 10 Eliz., were to be taken away; and do also make obeisance by bowing thereunto, commanding men to stand up at Gloria Patri; bringing men to question and trouble for not obeying that command for which there is no authority; enjoining that no woman be churched without a veil; setting up of pictures, lights, and images in churches; praying towards the east, crossing ad omnem motum et gestum. 6. The false and counterfeit conformity of Papists, whereby they do not only evade the law, but obtain places of trust and authority: instance Mr. Browne of Oxford, and his treatise written to that purpose; the Bishop of Gloucester; and the now Bishop of Durham. 7. The suppressing and restraint of the orthodox doctrine, contained in the Articles of Religion, confirmed in Parliament, 13 Eliz., according to the sense which hath been received publicly, and taught as the doctrine of the Church of England in those points, wherein the Arminians differ from us and other the Reformed Churches; wherein the essence of our Articles, in those controverted points, is known and proved. 8. The publishing of books, and preaching of sermons, contrary to the former orthodox doctrine, and suppressing books written in defence thereof: instance Bishop Montague’s ‘Gag’ and ‘Appeal,’ Mr. Jackson’s ‘Book of the Essence and Attributes of God,’ Dr. White’s two sermons preached at Court, one upon the 5th of November, the other on Christmas Day last: and for orthodox books suppressed, instance in all that have been written against Bishop Montague and Cosin, yea even Bishop Carleton’s book. 9. That these persons who have published and maintained such Papistical, Arminian, and superstitious opinions and practices, who are known to be unsound in religion, are countenanced, favoured, and preferred: instance, Mr. Montague made Bishop of Chichester; also the late Bishop of Carlisle1 , since his last Arminian sermon preached at Court, advanced to the bishopric of Norwich; a known Arminian2 made Bishop of Ely; the Bishop of Oxford3 , a long-suspected Papist, advanced to the bishopric of Durham; Mr. Cosin, advanced to dignity and a great living; Dr. Wren, made Dean of Windsor, and one of the High Commission Court. 10. That some prelates near the King, having gotten the chief administration of ecclesiastical affairs under His Majesty, discountenance and hinder the preferment of those that are orthodox, and favour such as are contrary: instance, the Bishops of Winchester4 and London5 , in divers particulars.
The points wherein the Arminians differ from us and other the Reformed Churches, in the sense of the Articles confirmed in Parliament, 13 Eliz., may be known and proved in these controverted points, viz.: 1. By the Common Prayer, established in Parliament. 2. By the book of Homilies, confirmed by the acts of religion. 3. By the Catechism concerning the points printed in the Bible, and read in churches, and divers other impressions published by authority. 4. Bishop Jewel’s works, commanded to be kept in all churches, that every parish may have one of them. 5. The public determination of divinity professors, published by authority. 6. The public determination of divines in both the Universities. 7. The Resolution of the Archbishop of Canterbury and other rev. bishops and divines assembled at Lambeth, for this very purpose, to declare their opinions concerning those points, anno 1595, unto which the Archbishop of York and all his province did likewise agree. 8. The Articles of Ireland, though framed by the Convocation there, yet allowed by the Clergy and State here. 9. The suffrage of the British divines, sent by King James, to the Synod of Dort. 10. The uniform consent of our writers published by authority. 11. The censures, recantations, punishments, and submissions, made, enjoined, and inflicted upon those that taught contrary thereunto, as Barrow and Barrett in Cambridge, and Bridges in Oxford.
The remedy of which abuses we conceive may be these: 1. Due execution of laws against Papists. 2. Exemplary punishments to be inflicted upon teachers, publishers, and maintainers of Popish opinions, and practising of superstitious ceremonies, and some stricter laws in that case to be provided. 3. The orthodox doctrine of our Church, in these now controverted points by the Arminian sect, may be established and freely taught; according as it hath been hitherto generally received, without any alteration or innovation; and severe punishment, by the same laws to be provided against such as shall, either by word or writing, publish anything contrary thereunto. 4. That the said books of Bishop Montague and Cosin may be burned. 5. That such as have been authors, or abettors, of those Popish and Arminian innovations in doctrine, may be condignly punished. 6. That some good order may be taken for licensing books hereafter. 7. That His Majesty would be graciously pleased to confer bishoprics, and other ecclesiastical preferments, with advice of his Privy Council, upon learned, pious, and orthodox men. 8. That bishops and clergymen being well chosen, may reside upon their charge, and with diligence and fidelity perform their several duties, and that accordingly they may be countenanced and preferred. 9. That some course may, in this Parliament, be considered of, for providing competent means to maintain a godly, able minister in every parish church of this kingdom. 10. That His Majesty would be graciously pleased to make a special choice of such persons, for the execution of his ecclesiastical commissions, as are approved for integrity of life and soundness of doctrine.
Protestation of the House of Commons.
[March 2, 1628-9. Rushworth, i. 660. See Hist. of Engl. vii. 75.]
1. Whosoever shall bring in innovation of religion, or by favour or countenance seek to extend or introduce Popery or Arminianism, or other opinion disagreeing from the true and orthodox Church, shall be reputed a capital enemy to this Kingdom and Commonwealth.
2. Whosoever shall counsel or advise the taking and levying of the subsidies of Tonnage and Poundage, not being granted by Parliament, or shall be an actor or instrument therein, shall be likewise reputed an innovator in the Government, and a capital enemy to the Kingdom and Commonwealth.
3. If any merchant or person whatsoever shall voluntarily yield, or pay the said subsidies of Tonnage and Poundage, not being granted by Parliament, he shall likewise be reputed a betrayer of the liberties of England, and an enemy to the same1 .
The King’s Declaration showing the causes of the late Dissolution.
[March 10, 1628/9. Rushworth, i. App. 1. See Hist. of Engl. vii. 78.]
Howsoever princes are not bound to give account of their actions, but to God alone; yet for the satisfaction of the minds and affections of our loving subjects, we have thought good to set down thus much by way of declaration, that we may appear to the world in the truth and sincerity of our actions, and not in those colours in which we know some turbulent and ill-affected spirits (to mask and disguise their wicked intentions, dangerous to the State) would represent us to the public view.
We assembled our Parliament the seventeenth day of March, in the third year of our reign, for the safety of religion, for securing our kingdoms and subjects at home, and our friends and allies abroad; and therefore at the first sitting down of it we declared the miserable afflicted estate of those of the reformed religion, in Germany, France, and other parts of Christendom; the distressed extremities of our dearest uncle, the King of Denmark2 , chased out of a great part of his dominions; the strength of that party which was united against us; that (besides the Pope, and the House of Austria, and their ancient confederates) the French King professed the rooting out of the Protestant Religion; that, of the Princes and States on our party, some were overrun, others diverted, and some disabled to give assistance: for which, and other important motives, we propounded a speedy supply of treasure, answerable to the necessity of the cause.
These things in the beginning were well resented by the House of Commons, and with much alacrity and readiness they agreed to grant a liberal aid: but before it was brought to any perfection, they were diverted by a multitude of questions raised amongst them touching their liberties and privileges, and by other long disputes, that the Bill did not pass in a long time; and by that delay our affairs were put into a far worse case than at the first, our foreign actions then in hand being thereby disgraced and ruined for want of timely help.
In this, as we are not willing to derogate from the merit and good intentions of those wise and moderate men of that House, (to whose forwardness we attribute it, that it was propounded and resolved so soon): so we must needs say, that the delay of passing it, when it was resolved, occasioned by causeless jealousies, stirred up by men of another temper, did much lessen both the reputation and reality of that supply: and their spirit, infused into many of the Commissioners and Assessors in the country, hath returned up the subsidies in such a scanty proportion, as is infinitely short, not only of our great occasions, but of the precedents of former subsidies, and of the intentions of all well-affected men in that House.
In those large disputes, as we permitted many of our high prerogatives to be debated, which in the best times of our predecessors had never been questioned without punishment or sharp reproof, so we did endeavour to have shortened those debates, for winning of time, which would have much advantaged our great affairs both at home and abroad. And therefore both by speeches and messages we did often declare our gracious and clear resolution to maintain, not only the Parliament, but all our people, in their ancient and just liberties without either violation or diminution; and in the end, for their full satisfaction and security, did by an answer, framed in the form by themselves desired, to their Parliamentary Petition1 , confirm their ancient and just liberties and rights, which we resolve with all constancy and justice to maintain.
This Parliament, howsoever, besides the settling our necessary supply and their own liberties, they wasted much time in such proceedings, blasting our government, as we are unwilling to remember, yet we suffered them to sit, until themselves desired us to appoint a time for recess, not naming either adjournment or prorogation.
Whereupon, by advice of our Council, we resolved to prorogue and make a Session; and to that end prefixed a day, by which they might (as was meet in so long a sitting) finish some profitable and good laws; and withal, gave order for a gracious pardon to all our subjects; which, according to the use of former Parliaments, passed the Higher House, and was sent down to the Commons. All which being graciously intended by us, was ill-entertained by some disaffected persons of that House, who by their artifices in a short time raised so much heat and distemper in the House,—for no other visible cause but because we had declared our resolution to prorogue, as our Council advised, and not to adjourn, as some of that House (after our resolution declared, and not before) did manifest themselves to affect,—that seldom hath greater passion been seen in that House, upon the greatest occasions. And some glances in the House, but upon open rumours abroad, were spread, that by the answer to the Petition we had given away, not only our impositions upon goods exported and imported, but the Tonnage and Poundage—whereas in the debate and hammering of that Petition, there was no speech or mention in either House concerning those impositions, but concerning taxes and other charges, within the land; much less was there any thought thereby to debar us of Tonnage and Poundage, which both before and after the Answer to that Petition the House of Commons, in all their speeches and treaties, did profess they were willing to grant; and at the same time many other misinterpretations were raised of that Petition and Answer, by men not well distinguishing between well-ordered liberty and licentiousness; as if by our answer to that Petition we had let loose the reins of our government: and in this distemper, the House of Commons laying aside the Pardon (a thing never done in any former Parliament) and other business, fit to have been concluded that Session, some of them went about to frame and contrive a Remonstrance against our receiving of Tonnage and Poundage, which was so far proceeded in the night before the prefixed time for concluding the Session, and so hastened by the contrivers thereof, that they meant to have put it to the vote of the House the next morning, before we should prorogue the Session: and therefore finding our gracious favours in that Session, afforded to our people, so ill-requited, and such sinister strains made upon our answer to that Petition, to the diminution of our profit, and (which was more) to the danger of our government: we resolved to prevent the finishing of that Remonstrance, and other dangerous intentions of some ill-affected persons, by ending the Session the next morning, some few hours sooner than was expected, and by our own mouth to declare to both Houses the cause thereof; and for hindering the spreading of those sinister interpretations of that Petition and Answer, to give some necessary directions for settling and quieting our government until another meeting; which we performed accordingly the six and twentieth of June last.
The Session thus ended, and the Parliament risen, that intended Remonstrance gave us occasion to look into the business of Tonnage and Poundage: and therefore, though our necessities pleaded strongly for us, yet we were not apt to strain that point too far, but resolved to guide ourself by the practice of former ages, and examples of our most noble predecessors; thinking those counsels best warranted, which the wisdom of former ages, concurring with the present occasions did approve; and therefore gave order for a diligent search of records: upon which it was found, that although in the Parliament holden in the first year of the reign of King Edward the Fourth, the subsidy of Tonnage and Poundage was not granted unto that King, but was first granted unto him by Parliament in the third year of his reign; yet the same was accounted and answered to that King, from the first day of his reign, all the first and second years of his reign, and until it was granted by Parliament: and that in the succeeding times of King Richard the Third, King Henry the Seventh, King Henry the Eighth, King Edward the Sixth, Queen Mary, and Queen Elizabeth, the subsidy of Tonnage and Poundage was not only enjoyed by every of those Kings and Queens, from the death of each of them deceasing, until it was granted by Parliament unto the successor; but in all those times (being for the most part peaceable, and not burdened with like charges and necessities, as these modern times) the Parliament did most readily and cheerfully, in the beginning of every of those reigns, grant the same, as a thing most necessary for the guarding of the seas, safety and defence of the realm, and supportation of the royal dignity: and in the time of our royal father of blessed memory, he enjoyed the same a full year, wanting very few days, before his Parliament began; and above a year before the Act of Parliament for the grant of it was passed: and yet when the Parliament was assembled, it was granted without difficulty. And in our own time we quietly received the same three years and more, expecting with patience, in several Parliaments, the like grant thereof, as had been made to so many of our predecessors; the House of Commons still professing that multitude of other businesses, and not want of willingness on their part, had caused the settling thereof to be so long deferred: and therefore, finding so much reason and necessity for the receiving of the ordinary duties in the Custom House, to concur with the practice of such a succession of Kings and Queens, famous for wisdom, justice, and government; and nothing to the contrary, but that intended Remonstrance, hatched out of the passionate brains of a few particular persons; we thought it was so far from the wisdom and duty of a House of Parliament, as we could not think that any moderate and discreet man (upon composed thoughts, setting aside passion and distemper) could be against receiving of Tonnage and Poundage; especially since we do, and still must, pursue those ends, and undergo that charge, for which it was first granted to the Crown; it having been so long and constantly continued to our predecessors, as that in four several Acts of Parliament for the granting thereof to King Edward the Sixth, Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth, and our blessed father, it is in express terms mentioned, to have been had and enjoyed by the several Kings, named in those acts, time out of mind, by authority of Parliament: and therefore upon these reasons we held it agreeable to our kingly honour, and necessary for the safety and good of our kingdom, to continue the receipt thereof, as so many of our predecessors had done. Wherefore when a few merchants (being at first but one or two), fomented, as it is well known, by those evil spirits, that would have hatched that undutiful Remonstrance, began to oppose the payment of our accustomed duties in the Custom House, we gave order to the officers of our customs to go on, notwithstanding that opposition, in the receiving of the usual duties; and caused those that refused to be warned to attend at the Council Board, that by the wisdom and authority of our Council they might be reduced to obedience and duty; where some of them, without reverence or respect to the honour and dignity of that presence, behaved themselves with such boldness and insolency of speech, as was not to be endured by a far meaner assembly, much less to be countenanced by a House of Parliament, against the body of our Privy Council.
And as in this we did what in reason and honour was fit for the present, so our thoughts were daily intentive upon the reassembling of our Parliament, with full intention on our part to take away all ill understanding between us and our people, whose love as we desired to continue and preserve, so we used our best endeavours to prepare and facilitate the way to it; and to this end, having taken a strict and exact survey of our government, both in the Church and Commonwealth, and what things were most fit and necessary to be reformed: we found in the first place that much exception had been taken at a book entitled Appello Caesarem, or an Appeal to Caesar, and published in the year 1625 by Richard Montague, then Bachelor of Divinity, and now Bishop of Chichester; and because it did open the way to those schisms and divisions which have since ensued in the Church, we did, for remedy and redress thereof, and for the satisfaction of the consciences of our good people, not only by our public proclamation, call in that book, which ministered matter of offence, but to prevent the like danger for hereafter, reprinted the Articles of Religion, established in the time of Queen Elizabeth of famous memory, and by a declaration before those Articles1 , we did tie and restrain all opinions to the sense of those Articles, that nothing might be left for private fancies and innovations. For we call God to record, before whom we stand, that it is, and always hath been, our heart’s desire to be found worthy of that title, which we account the most glorious in all our Crown, Defender of the Faith. Neither shall we ever give way to the authorising of anything, whereby any innovation may steal or creep into the Church, but to preserve that unity of doctrine and discipline, established in the time of Queen Elizabeth, whereby the Church of England hath stood and flourished ever since.
And as we were careful to make up all breaches and rents in religion at home, so did we, by our proclamation and commandment, for the execution of laws against Priests and Popish Recusants, fortify all ways and approaches against that foreign enemy; which, if it have not succeeded according to our intention, we must lay the fault where it is, in the subordinate officers and ministers in the country, by whose remissness Jesuits and Priests escape without apprehension, and Recusants, from those convictions and penalties which the law and our commandment would have inflicted on them: for we do profess, that, as it is our duty, so it shall be our care, to command and direct well; but it is the part of others to perform the ministerial office, and when we have done our office we shall account ourself, and all charitable men will account us innocent, both to God and men; and those that are negligent we will esteem as culpable both to God and us, and therefore will expect that hereafter they give us a better account.
And, as we have been careful for the settling of religion and quieting the Church, so were we not unmindful of the preservation of the just and ancient liberties of our subjects, which we secured to them by our gracious answer to the Petition in Parliament, having not since that time done any act whereby to infringe them: but our care is, and hereafter shall be, to keep them entire and inviolable, as we would do our own right and sovereignty, having for that purpose enrolled the Petition and Answer in our Courts of Justice.
Next to the care of religion and of our subjects’ rights, we did our best for the provident and well-ordering of that aid and supply, which was granted us the last Session, whereof no part hath been wastefully spent, nor put to any other use, than those for which it was desired and granted, as upon payment of our fleet and army; wherein our care hath been such as we chose rather to discontent our dearest friends and allies, and our nearest servants, than to leave our soldiers and mariners unsatisfied, whereby any vexation or disquiet might arise to our people. We have also, with part of those monies, begun to supply our magazines and stores of munition, and to put our navy into a constant form and order. Our fleet likewise is fitting, and almost in a readiness, whereby the narrow seas may be guarded, commerce maintained, and our kingdom secured from all foreign attempts. These acts of ours might have made this impression in all good minds, that we were careful to direct our counsels, and dispose our actions, as might most conduce to the maintenance of religion, honour of our government, and safety of our people. But with mischievous men once ill-affected, seu bene seu male facta premunt; and whatsoever once seemed amiss is ever remembered, but good endeavours are never regarded.
Now all these things that were the chief complaints the last Session, being by our princely care so seriously reformed, the Parliament reassembled the twentieth of January last. We expected, according to the candour and sincerity of our own thoughts, that men would have framed themselves for the effecting of a right understanding between us and our people; but some few malevolent persons, like empirics and lewd artists, did strive to make new work, and to have some disease on foot, to keep themselves in request, and to be employed and entertained in the cure. And yet to manifest how much offences have been diminished, the committees for grievances, committees for Courts of Justice, and committees for trade, have, since the sitting down of the Parliament, received few complaints, and those such as they themselves have not thought to be of that moment or importance, with which our ears should be acquainted.
No sooner therefore was the Parliament set down but these ill-affected men began to sow and disperse their jealousies, by casting out some glances and doubtful speeches, as if the subject had not been so clearly and well dealt with, touching the liberties, and touching the Petition answered the last Parliament. This being a plausible theme, thought on for an ill purpose, easily took hold on the minds of many that knew not the practice. And thereupon the second day of the Parliament, a committee was appointed to search whether the Petition and our Answer thereunto were enrolled in the Parliament roll, and in the Courts at Westminster, and in what manner the same was done. And a day also was then appointed, on which the House, being resolved into a committee, should take into consideration those things wherein the liberty of the subject had been invaded, against the Petition of Right. This, though it produced no other effect of moment or importance, yet was sufficient to raise a jealousy against our proceedings, in such as were not well acquainted with the sincerity and clearness of them. There followed another of no less skill; for although our proceeding before the Parliament, about matters of religion, might have satisfied any moderate men of our zealous care thereof (as we are sure it did the most), yet, as bad stomachs turn the best things into their own nature for want of good digestion, so those distempered persons have done the like of our good intents by a bad and sinister interpretation; for, when they did observe that many honest and religious minds in that House did complain of those dangers that did threaten the Church, they likewise took the same word in their mouth, and their cry likewise was Templum Domini, Templum Domini, when the true care of the Church never came into their hearts; and what the one did out of zeal unto religion, the other took up as a plausible theme to deprave our government, as if we, our clergy and council, were either senseless or careless of religion; and this wicked practice hath been to make us seem to walk before our people as if we halted before God.
Having by these artifices made a jealous impression in the hearts of many, and a day being appointed to treat of the grant of Tonnage and Poundage, at the time prefixed, all express great willingness to grant it. But a new strain is found out, that it could not be done without great peril to the right of the subject, unless we should disclaim any right therein, but by grant in Parliament, and should cause all those goods to be restored, which, upon commandment from us or our Council, were staid by our officer until those duties were paid, and consequently should put ourselves out of the possession of the Tonnage and Poundage before they were granted; for else, it was pretended, the subject stood not in fit case to grant it. A fancy and cavil raised of purpose to trouble the business; it being evident that all the Kings before-named did receive that duty, and were in actual possession of it before, and at the very time, when it was granted to them by Parliament. And although we, to remove all difficulties, did from our own mouth, in those clear and open terms that might have satisfied any moderate and well-disposed minds, declare that it was our meaning, by the gift of our people, to enjoy it, and that we did not challenge it of right, but took it de bene esse, showing thereby not the right but the necessity by which we were to take it (wherein we descended, for their satisfaction, so far beneath ourself, as we are confident never any of our predecessors did the like, nor was the like ever required or expected from them). Yet for all this, the Bill of Tonnage and Poundage was laid aside, upon pretence they must first clear the right of the subject therein; under colour whereof, they entertain the complaints, not only of John Rolle, a member of their House, but also of Richard Chambers, John Fowkes, and Bartholomew Gilman, against the officers of our customs, for detaining their goods upon refusal to pay the ordinary duty, accustomed to be paid for the same. And upon these complaints they send for the officers of the customs, enforcing them to attend day after day by the space of a month together; they cause them to produce their letters patents under our Great Seal, and the warrants made by our Privy Council for levying of those duties. They examine the officers upon what questions they please, thereby to entrap them for doing our service and commandments. In these and other their proceedings, because we would not give the least show of interruption, we endured long with much patience both these and sundry other strange and exorbitant encroachments and usurpations, such as were never before attempted in that House.
We are not ignorant how much that House hath of late years endeavoured to extend their privileges, by setting up general committees for religion, for Courts of Justice, for trade, and the like; a course never heard of until of late: so as, where in former times the Knights and Burgesses were wont to communicate to the House such business as they brought from their countries; now there are so many chairs erected, to make inquiry upon all sorts of men, where complaints of all sorts are entertained, to the unsufferable disturbance and scandal of justice and government, which, having been tolerated awhile by our father and ourself, hath daily grown to more and more height; insomuch that young lawyers sitting there take upon them to decry the opinions of the Judges; and some have not doubted to maintain that the resolutions of that House must bind the Judges, a thing never heard of in ages past: but in this last assembly of Parliament they have taken on them much more than ever before.
They sent messengers to examine our Attorney-General (who is an officer of trust and secrecy) touching the execution of some commandments of ours, of which, without our leave first obtained, he was not to give account to any but ourself. They sent a captious and directory message to the Lord Treasurer, Chancellor, and Barons of the Exchequer, touching some judicial proceedings of theirs in our Court of Exchequer.
They sent messengers to examine upon sundry questions, our two Chief Justices and three other of our Judges, touching their judicial proceedings at the Gaol Delivery at Newgate, of which they are not accountable to the House of Commons.
And whereas suits were commenced in our Court of Star Chamber, against Richard Chambers, John Fowkes, Bartholomew Gilman, and Richard Phillips, by our Attorney-General, for great misdemeanours; they resolved that they were to have privilege of Parliament against us for their persons, for no other cause but because they had petitions depending in that House; and (which is more strange) they resolved that a signification should be made from that House, by a letter to issue under the hand of their Speaker unto the Lord Keeper of our Great Seal, that no attachments should be granted out against the said Chambers, Fowkes, Gilman, or Phillips, during their said privilege of Parliament. Whereas it is far above the power of that House to give direction to any of our Courts at Westminster to stop attachments against any man, though never so strongly privileged; the breach of privilege being not in the Court that grants, but in the party or minister that puts in execution such attachments. And therefore, if any such letter had come to the Lord Keeper, as it did not, he should have highly offended us if he had obeyed it. Nay, they went so far as they spared not the honour of our Council Board, but examined their proceedings in the case of our customers, interrogating what this or that man of our Council said in direction of them in the business committed to their charge. And when one of the members of that House, speaking of our counsellors said we had wicked counsel; and another said that the Council and Judges sought to trample under feet the liberty of the subject; and a third traduced our Court of Star Chamber for the sentence given against Savage, they passed without check or censure by the House. By which may appear, how far the members of that House have of late swoln beyond the rules of moderation and the modesty of former times; and this under pretence of privilege and freedom of speech, whereby they take liberty to declare against all authority of Council and Courts at their pleasure.
They sent for our Sheriff of London to examine him in a cause whereof they had no jurisdiction; their true and ancient jurisdiction extending only to their own members, and to the conservation of their privileges, and not to the censure of foreign persons and causes, which have no relation to their privileges, the same being but a late innovation. And yet upon an enforced strain of a contempt, for not answering to their satisfaction, they commit him to the Tower of London, using that outward pretext for a cause of committing him, the true and inward cause being, for that he had showed himself dutiful to us and our commandments in the matter concerning our customs.
In these innovations (which we will never permit again) they pretended indeed our service, but their drift was to break, by this means, through all respects and ligaments of government, and to erect an universal over-swaying power to themselves, which belongs only to us, and not to them.
Lastly, in their proceedings against our customers, they went about to censure them as delinquents, and to punish them for staying some goods of some factious merchants in our store-house, for not paying those duties which themselves had formerly paid, and which the customers, without interruption, had received of all other merchants many years before, and to which they were authorised both by our Great Seal and by several directions and commandments from us and our Privy Council.
To give some colour to their proceeding herein, they went about to create a new privilege (which we will never admit), that a Parliament-man hath privilege for his goods against the King; the consequence whereof would be, that he may not be constrained to pay any duties to the King during the time of privilege of Parliament. It is true, they would have this case to have been between the merchants and our farmers of our customs, and have severed them from our interest and commandment, thereby the rather to make them liable to the censure and punishment of that House. But on the other side, we holding it both unjust and dishonourable to withdraw ourself from our officers in anything they did by our commandment, or to disavow anything that we had enjoined to be done; upon Monday, the twenty-third of February, sent a message unto them by Secretary Coke1 , thanking them for the respect they had showed in severing the interest of our farmers from our own interest and commandment. Nevertheless we were bound in honour to acknowledge a truth, that what was done by them was done by our express commandment and direction; and if, for doing thereof, our farmers should suffer, it would highly concern us in honour. Which message was no sooner delivered unto them, but in a tumultuous and discontented manner they called Adjourn, Adjourn; and thereupon, without any cause given on our part, in a very unusual manner, adjourned unto the Wednesday following.
On which day, by the uniform wisdom of our Privy Council, we caused both Houses to be adjourned until the second day of March, hoping that in the meantime a better and more right understanding might be begotten between us and the members of that House, whereby the Parliament might come to a happy issue.
But understanding by good advertisement that their discontent did not in that time digest and pass away, we resolved to make a second adjournment until the tenth of March, which was done, as well to take time to ourself to think of some means to accommodate those difficulties, as to give them time to advise better; and accordingly we gave commandment for a second adjournment in both Houses, and for cessation of all business till the day appointed, which was very dutifully obeyed in the Higher House, no man contradicting or questioning it. But when the same commandment was delivered in the House of Commons by their Speaker, it was straightway contradicted; and although the Speaker declared unto them it was an absolute right and power in us to adjourn as well as to prorogue or dissolve, and declared and read unto them divers precedents of that House to warrant the same; yet our commandment was most contemptuously disobeyed, and some rising up to speak said they had business to do before the House should be adjourned1 .
Whilst the Duke of Buckingham lived he was entitled to all the distempers and ill events of former Parliaments, and therefore much endeavour was used to demolish him, as the only wall of separation between us and our people. But now he is dead, no alteration was found amongst those envenomed spirits which troubled then the blessed harmony between us and our subjects, and continue still to trouble it. For now under the pretence of public care of the Commonwealth they suggest new and causeless fears, which in their own hearts they know to be false; and devise new engines of mischief, so to cast a blindness upon the good affections of our people, that they may not see the truth and largeness of our heart towards them. So that now it is manifest, the Duke was not alone the mark these men shot at, but was only as a near minister of ours, taken up, on the by, and in their passage to their more secret designs; which were only to cast our affairs into a desperate condition to abate the powers of our Crown, and to bring our government into obloquy, that in the end all things may be overwhelmed with anarchy and confusion.
We do not impute these disasters to the whole House of Commons, knowing that there were amongst them many religious, grave, and well-minded men; but the sincerer and better part of the House was overborne by the practices and clamours of the other, who, careless of their duties, and taking advantage of the times and our necessities, have enforced us to break off this meeting; which, had it been answered with like duty on their parts as it was invited and begun with love on ours, might have proved happy and glorious both to us and this whole nation.
We have thus declared the manifold causes we had to dissolve this Parliament, whereby all the world may see how much they have forgotten their former engagements at the entry into the war, themselves being persuaders to it; promising to make us feared by our enemies and esteemed by our friends, and how they turned the necessities grown by that war to enforce us to yield to conditions incompatible with monarchy.
And now that our people may discern that these provocations of evil men (whose punishments we reserve to a due time) have not changed our good intentions to our subjects, we do here profess to maintain the true religion and doctrine established in the Church of England, without admitting or conniving at any backsliding either to Popery or schism. We do also declare that we will maintain the ancient and just rights and liberties of our subjects, with so much constancy and justice that they shall have cause to acknowledge that under our government and gracious protection they live in a more happy and free estate than any subjects in the Christian world. Yet let no man hereby take the boldness to abuse that liberty, turning it to licentiousness; nor misinterpret the Petition by perverting it to a lawless liberty, wantonly or frowardly, under that or any other colour, to resist lawful and necessary authority. For as we will maintain our subjects in their just liberties, so we do and will expect that they yield as much submission and duty to our royal prerogatives, and as ready obedience to our authority and commandments, as hath been promised to the greatest of our predecessors.
And for our ministers, we will not that they be terrified by those harsh proceedings that have been strained against some of them. For, as we will not command anything unjust or dishonourable, but shall use our authority and prerogatives for the good of our people; so we will expect that our ministers obey us, and they shall assure themselves we will protect them.
As for our merchants, we let them know we shall always endeavour to cherish and enlarge the trade of such as be dutiful, without burthening them beyond what is fitting; but the duty of five in the hundred for guarding of the seas, and defence of the realm, to which we hold ourselves still obliged (and which duty hath continued without interruption so many succession of ages), we hold no good or dutiful subject will deny it, being so necessary for the good of the whole kingdom: and if any factious merchant will affront us in a thing so reasonable, and wherein we require no more, nor in no other manner, than so many of our predecessors have done, and have been dutifully obeyed, let them not deceive themselves, but be assured that we shall find honourable and just means to support our estate, vindicate our sovereignty, and preserve the authority which God hath put into our hands.
And now having laid down the truth and clearness of our proceedings, all wise and discreet men may easily judge of those rumours and jealous fears that are maliciously and wickedly bruited abroad; and may discern, by examination of their own hearts, whether (in respect of the free passage of the Gospel, indifferent and equal administration of justice, freedom from oppression, and the great peace and quietness which every man enjoyeth under his own vine and fig-tree) the happiness of this nation can be paralleled by any of our neighbour countries; and if not, then to acknowledge their own blessedness, and for the same be thankful to God, the author of all goodness.
The Declaration of Sports1 .
[October 18, 1633. See Hist. of Engl. vii. 318-324.]
Our dear father of blessed memory, in his return from Scotland, coming through Lancashire, found that his subjects were debarred from lawful recreations upon Sundays after evening prayers ended, and upon Holy-days; and he prudently considered that, if these times were taken from them, the meaner sort who labour hard all the week should have no recreations at all to refresh their spirits: and after his return, he further saw that his loyal subjects in all other parts of his kingdom did suffer in the same kind, though perhaps not in the same degree: and did therefore in his princely wisdom publish a Declaration to all his loving subjects concerning lawful sports to be used at such times, which was printed and published by his royal commandment in the year 1618, in the tenor which hereafter followeth:
Whereas upon our return the last year out of Scotland, we did publish our pleasure touching the recreations of our people in those parts under our hand; for some causes us thereunto moving, we have thought good to command these our directions then given in Lancashire, with a few words thereunto added, and most appliable to these parts of our realms, to be published to all our subjects.
Whereas we did justly in our progress through Lancashire rebuke some Puritans and precise people, and took order that the like unlawful carriage should not be used by any of them hereafter, in the prohibiting and unlawful punishing of our good people for using their lawful recreations and honest exercises upon Sundays, and other Holy-days, after the afternoon sermon or service, we now find that two sorts of people wherewith that country is much infected, we mean Papists and Puritans, have maliciously traduced and calumniated those our just and honourable proceedings: and therefore, lest our reputation might upon the one side (though innocently) have some aspersion laid upon it, and that upon the other part our good people in that country be misled by the mistaking and misinterpretation of our meaning, we have therefore thought good hereby to clear and make our pleasure to be manifested to all our good people in those parts.
It is true that at our first entry to this Crown and kingdom we were informed, and that too truly, that our county of Lancashire abounded more in Popish Recusants than any county of England, and thus hath still continued since, to our great regret, with little amendment, save that, now of late, in our last riding through our said country, we find both by the report of the Judges, and of the Bishop of that Diocese, that there is some amendment now daily beginning, which is no small contentment to us.
The report of this growing amendment amongst them made us the more sorry, when with our own ears we heard the general complaint of our people, that they were barred from all lawful recreations and exercise upon the Sunday’s afternoon, after the ending of all divine service, which cannot but produce two evils: the one the hindering of the conversion of many, whom their priests will take occasion hereby to vex, persuading them that no honest mirth or recreation is lawful or tolerable in our religion, which cannot but breed a great discontentment in our people’s hearts, especially of such as are peradventure upon the point of turning: the other inconvenience is, that this prohibition barreth the common and meaner sort of people from using such exercises as may make their bodies more able for war, when His Majesty or his successors shall have occasion to use them; and in place thereof sets up filthy tippling and drunkenness, and breeds a number of idle and discontented speeches in their ale-houses. For when shall the common people have leave to exercise, if not upon the Sundays and Holy-days, seeing they must apply their labour and win their living in all working-days?
Our express pleasure therefore is, that the laws of our kingdom and canons of the Church be as well observed in that county, as in all other places of this our kingdom: and on the other part, that no lawful recreation shall be barred to our good people, which shall not tend to the breach of our aforesaid laws and canons of our Church: which to express more particularly, our pleasure is, that the Bishop, and all other inferior churchmen and churchwardens, shall for their parts be careful and diligent, both to instruct the ignorant, and convince and reform them that are misled in religion, presenting them that will not conform themselves, but obstinately stand out, to our Judges and Justices: whom we likewise command to put the law in due execution against them.
Our pleasure likewise is, that the Bishop of that Diocese take the like strait order with all the Puritans and Precisians within the same, either constraining them to conform themselves or to leave the county, according to the laws of our kingdom and canons of our Church, and so to strike equally on both hands against the contemners of our authority and adversaries of our Church; and as for our good people’s lawful recreation, our pleasure likewise is, that after the end of divine service our good people be not disturbed, letted or discouraged from any lawful recreation, such as dancing, either men or women; archery for men, leaping, vaulting, or any other such harmless recreation, nor from having of May-games, Whitsunales, and Morris-dances; and the setting up of May-poles and other sports therewith used: so as the same be had in due and convenient time, without impediment or neglect of divine service: and that women shall have leave to carry rushes to the church for the decorating of it, according to their old custom; but withal we do here account still as prohibited all unlawful games to be used upon Sundays only, as bear and bull-baitings, interludes and at all times in the meaner sort of people by law prohibited, bowling1 .
And likewise we bar from this benefit and liberty all such known Recusants, either men or women, as will abstain from coming to church or divine service, being therefore unworthy of any lawful recreation after the said service, that will not first come to the church and serve God: prohibiting in like sort the said recreations to any that, though conform in religion, are not present in the church at the service of God, before their going to the said recreations. Our pleasure likewise is, that they to whom it belongeth in office, shall present and sharply punish all such, as in abuse of this our liberty, will use these exercises before the end of all divine services for that day: and we likewise straightly command that every person shall resort to his own parish church to hear divine service, and each parish by itself to use the said recreation after divine service: prohibiting likewise any offensive weapons to be carried or used in the said times of recreation: and our pleasure is, that this our Declaration shall be published by order from the Bishop of the Diocese, through all the parish churches, and that both our Judges of our circuit and our Justices of our Peace be informed thereof.
Given at our Manor of Greenwich the four and twentieth day of May, in the sixteenth year of our Reign, of England, France and Ireland; and of Scotland the one and fiftieth.
Now out of a like pious care for the service of God, and for suppressing of any humours that oppose truth, and for the ease, comfort and recreation of our well-deserving people, His Majesty doth ratify and publish this our blessed father’s Declaration: the rather, because of late in some counties of our kingdom, we find that under pretence of taking away abuses, there hath been a general forbidding, not only of ordinary meetings, but of the Feasts of the Dedication of the Churches, commonly called Wakes. Now our express will and pleasure is, that these Feasts, with others, shall be observed, and that our Justices of the Peace, in their several divisions, shall look to it, both that all disorders there may be prevented or punished, and that all neighbourhood and freedom, with manlike and lawful exercises be used: and we further command all Justices of Assize in their several circuits to see that no man do trouble or molest any of our loyal and dutiful people, in or for their lawful recreations, having first done their duty to God, and continuing in obedience to us and our laws: and for this we command all our Judges, Justices of Peace, as well within liberties as without, Mayors, Bailiffs, Constables, and other officers, to take notice of, and to see observed, as they tender our displeasure. And we further will that publication of this our command be made by order from the Bishops, through all the parish churches of their several dioceses respectively.
Given at our Palace of Westminster, the eighteenth day of October, in the ninth year of our Reign.
God save the King.
Act of the Privy Council on the position of the Communion Table at St. Gregory’s.
[November 3, 1633. Prynne’s Canterbury’s Doome, 88. See Hist. of Engl. vii. 310.]
At Whitehall, the third day of November, 1633.
Present, the King’s Most Excellent Majesty.
Lord Archbishop of Canterbury [William Laud],
Lord Keeper [Sir Thomas Coventry],
Lord Archbishop of York [Richard Neile],
Lord Treasurer [Earl of Portland],
Lord Privy Seal [Earl of Manchester],
Lord Duke of Lennox,
Lord Chamberlain [of the Household, Earl of Pembroke and Montgomery],
Earl of Bridgwater,
Earl of Carlisle,
Master Treasurer [of the Household, Sir Thomas Edmondes],
Master Comptroller [of the Household, Sir Henry Vane],
Lord High Chamberlain [Earl of Lindsey],
Earl Marshal [Earl of Arundel],
Master Secretary Coke,
Master Secretary Windebanke.
This day was debated before His Majesty sitting in Council, the question and difference which grew about the removing of the communion table in St. Gregory’s church, near the cathedral church of St. Paul, from the middle of the chancel to the upper end, and there placed altar-wise, in such manner as it standeth in the said cathedral and mother church (as also in all other cathedrals and in His Majesty’s own chapel), and as it is consonant to the practice of approved antiquity: which removal and placing of it in that sort was done by order from the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul’s who are ordinaries thereof, as was avowed before His Majesty by Doctor King and Doctor Montfort, two of the prebends there; yet some few of the parishioners, being but five in number, did complain of this act by appeal to the Court of Arches, pretending that the Book of Common Prayer and the 82nd Canon do give permission to place the communion table where it may stand with the most fitness and convenience. Now His Majesty having heard a particular relation made by the counsel of both parties of all the carriage and proceedings in this cause, was pleased to declare his dislike of all innovation and receding from ancient constitutions, grounded upon just and warrantable reasons, especially in matters concerning ecclesiastical order and government, knowing how easily men are drawn to affect novelties, and how soon weak judgments in such cases may be overtaken and abused. And he was also pleased to observe, that if these few parishioners might have their wills, the difference thereby from the foresaid cathedral mother church, by which all other churches depending thereon ought to be guided, would be the more notorious, and give more subject of discourse and disputes that might be spared, by reason of St. Gregory’s standing close to the wall thereof. And likewise for so much as concerns the liberty given by the said communion book or canon, for placing the communion table in any church or chapel with most convenience; that liberty is not so to be understood, as if it were ever left to the discretion of the parish, much less to the particular fancy of any humorous person, but to the judgment of the ordinary to whose place and function it doth properly belong to give direction in that point, both for the thing itself, and for the time, when and how long, as he may find cause. Upon which consideration His Majesty declared himself, that he well approved and confirmed the act of the said ordinary, and also gave command that if those few parishioners before mentioned do proceed in their said appeal, then the Dean of the Arches1 (who was then attending at the hearing of the cause) shall confirm the said order of the aforesaid Dean and Chapter.
Specimen of the first Writ of Ship-money.
[October 20, 1634. Rushworth, ii. 257. See Hist. of Engl. vii. 356, 369.]
To the Mayor, commonalty, and citizens of our city of London, and to the sheriffs of the same city, and good men in the said city and in the liberties, and members of the same, greeting: Because we are given to understand that certain thieves, pirates, and robbers of the sea, as well Turks, enemies of the Christian name, as others, being gathered together, wickedly taking by force and spoiling the ships, and goods, and merchandises, not only of our subjects, but also the subjects of our friends in the sea, which hath been accustomed anciently to be defended by the English nation, and the same, at their pleasure, have carried away, delivering the men in the same into miserable captivity: and forasmuch as we see them daily preparing all manner of shipping farther to molest our merchants, and to grieve the kingdom, unless remedy be not sooner applied, and their endeavours be not more manly met withal; also the dangers considered which, on every side, in these times of war do hang over our heads, that it behoveth us and our subjects to hasten the defence of the sea and kingdom with all expedition or speed that we can; we willing by the help of God chiefly to provide for the defence of the kingdom, safeguard of the sea, security of our subjects, safe conduct of ships and merchandises to our kingdom of England coming, and from the same kingdom to foreign parts passing; forasmuch as we, and our progenitors, Kings of England, have been always heretofore masters of the aforesaid sea, and it would be very irksome unto us if that princely honour in our times should be lost or in any thing diminished. And although that charge of defence which concerneth all men ought to be supported by all, as by the laws and customs of the kingdom of England hath been accustomed to be done: notwithstanding we considering that you constituted in the sea-coasts, to whom by sea as well great dangers are imminent, and who by the same do get more plentiful gains for the defence of the sea, and conservation of our princely honour in that behalf, according to the duty of your allegiance against such attempts, are chiefly bound to set to your helping hand; we command firmly, enjoining you the aforesaid Mayor, commonalty and citizens, and sheriffs of the said city, and the good men in the same city and in the liberties, and members of the same, in the faith and allegiance wherein you are bound unto us, and as you do love us and our honour, and under the forfeiture of all which you can forfeit to us, that you cause to be prepared and brought to the port of Portsmouth, before the first day of March now next ensuing, one ship of war of the burden of nine hundred tons, with three hundred and fifty men at the least, as well expert masters, as very able and skilful mariners; one other ship of war of the burden of eight hundred tons, with two hundred and sixty men at the least, as well skilful masters, as very able and expert mariners: four other ships of war, every of them of the burden of five hundred tons, and every of them with two hundred men at the least, as well expert masters, as very able and skilful mariners: and one other ship of war of the burden of three hundred tons, with a hundred and fifty men, as well expert masters, as very able and skilful mariners: and also every of the said ships with ordnance, as well greater as lesser, gunpowder, and spears and weapons, and other necessary arms sufficient for war, and with double tackling, and with victuals, until the said first of March, competent for so many men; and from that time, for twenty-six weeks, at your charges, as well in victuals as men’s wages, and other things necessary for war, during that time, upon defence of the sea in our service, in command of the admiral of the sea, to whom we shall commit the custody of the sea, before the aforesaid first day of March, and as he, on our behalf, shall command them to continue; so that they may be there the same day, at the farthest, to go from thence with our ships, and the ships of other faithful subjects, for the safeguard of the sea, and defence of you and yours, and repulse and vanquishing of whomsoever busying themselves to molest or trouble upon the sea our merchants, and other subjects, and faithful people coming into our dominions for cause of merchandise, or from thence returning to their own countries. Also we have assigned you, the aforesaid Mayor and Aldermen of the city aforesaid, or any thirteen, or more of you, within thirteen days after the receipt of this writ, to assess all men in the said city, and in the liberties, and members of the same, and the landholders in the same, not having a ship, or any part of the aforesaid ships, nor serving in the same, to contribute to the expenses, about the necessary provision of the premises; and to assess and lay upon the aforesaid city, with the liberties and members thereof, viz. upon every of them according to their estate and substances, and the portion assessed upon them; and to nominate and appoint collectors in this behalf. Also we have assigned you, the aforesaid Mayor, and also the Sheriffs of the city aforesaid, to levy the portions so as aforesaid assessed upon the aforesaid men and landholders, and every of them in the aforesaid city, with the liberties and members of the same, by distress and other due means; and to commit to prison all those whom you shall find rebellious and contrary in the premises, there to remain until we shall give further order for their delivery. And moreover we command you, that about the premises you diligently attend, and do, and execute those things with effect, upon peril that shall fall thereon: but we will not, that under colour of our aforesaid command, more should be levied of the said men than shall suffice for the necessary expenses of the premises; or that any who have levied money for contribution to raise the aforesaid charges, should by him detain the same, or any part thereof; or should presume, by any manner of colour, to appropriate the same to other uses; willing, that if more than may be sufficient shall be collected, the same may be paid out among the contributors, for the rate of the part to them belonging.
Witness myself, at Westminster the twentieth day of October, in the tenth year of our reign1 .
The King’s Case laid before the Judges, with their Answer2 .
[February 7, 1637. Rushworth, ii. 355. See Hist. of Engl. viii. 207.]
When the good and safety of the kingdom in general is concerned, and the whole kingdom in danger, whether may not the King, by writ under the Great Seal of England, command all the subjects of our kingdom at their charge to provide and furnish such a number of ships, with men, victuals, and munition, and for such time as we shall think fit for the defence and safeguard of the kingdom from such danger and peril, and by law compel the doing thereof, in case of refusal or refractoriness: and whether in such a case is not the King the sole judge both of the danger, and when and how the same is to be prevented and avoided?
May it please your Most Excellent Majesty,
We have, according to your Majesty’s command, every man by himself, and all of us together, taken into serious consideration the case and question signed by your Majesty, and inclosed in your royal letter; and we are of opinion, that when the good and safety of the kingdom in general is concerned, and the kingdom in danger, your Majesty may, by writ under the Great Seal of England, command all your subjects of this your kingdom, at their charge to provide and furnish such a number of ships, with men, victuals, and munition, and for such time as your Majesty shall think fit for the defence and safeguard of this kingdom from such danger and peril: and that by law your Majesty may compel the doing thereof in case of refusal, or refractoriness: and we are also of opinion, that in such case your Majesty is the sole judge both of the danger, and when and how the same is to be prevented and avoided.
Extracts from the Speech of Oliver St. John in the Ship-money Case.
[November, 1637. Rushworth, ii. 481. See Hist. of Engl. viii. 271.]
. . . . . . . . . . .
My Lords, by the law the King is Pater familiae, who by the law of economics is not only to keep peace at home, but to protect his wife and children and whole families from injuries from abroad.
It is his vigilance and watchfulness that discovers who are our friends and foes, and that after such discovery first warns us of them, for he only hath power to make war and peace.
Neither hath the law only intrusted the care of the defence to His Majesty, but it hath likewise, secondly, put the armatam potestatem and means of defence wholly in his hands; for when the enemy is by him discovered and declared, it is not in the power of the subject to order the way and means of defence, either by sea or by land, according as they shall think fit; for no man without commission or special license from His Majesty, can set forth any ships to sea for that purpose; neither can any man, without such commission or license, unless upon sudden coming of enemies, erect a fort, castle, or bulwark, though upon his own ground; neither, but upon some such emergent cause, is it lawful for any subject, without special commission, to arm or draw together any troops or companies of soldiers, or to make any general collections of money of any of His Majesty’s subjects, though with their consent.
Neither, in the third place, is His Majesty armed only with this primitive prerogative power of generalissimo, and commander-in-chief, that none can advance towards the enemy until he gives the signal, nor in other manner than according to his direction; but likewise with all other powers requisite for the full execution of all things incident to so high a place, as well in times of eminent danger as of actual war. The sheriff of each county, who is but His Majesty’s minister, he hath the Posse Comitatus; and therefore it must needs follow, that the Posse Regni is in himself.
My Lords, not to burn daylight longer, it must needs be granted that in this business of defence the suprema potestas is inherent in His Majesty, as part of his crown and kingly dignity.
So that as the care and provision of the law of England extends in the first place to foreign defence, and secondly lays the burden upon all, and for ought I have to say against it, it maketh the quantity of each man’s estate the rule whereby this burden is to be equally apportioned upon each person; so likewise hath it in the third place made His Majesty the sole judge of dangers from foreigners, and when and how the same are to be prevented, and to come nearer, hath given him power by writ under the Great Seal of England, to command the inhabitants of each county to provide shipping for the defence of the kingdom, and may by law compel the doing thereof.
So that, my Lords, as I still conceive the question will not be de persona, in whom the suprema potestas of giving the authorities or powers to the sheriff, which are mentioned in this writ, doth lie, for that it is in the King; but the question is only de modo, by what medium or method this supreme power, which is in His Majesty, doth infuse and let out itself into this particular; and whether or no in this cause such of them have been used, as have rightly accommodated, and applied this power unto this writ in the intended way of defence for the law of England, for the applying of that supreme power, which it hath settled in His Majesty, to the particular causes and occasions that fall out, hath set down methods and known rules, which are necessary to be observed.
In His Majesty there is a two-fold power, voluntas, or potestas interna, or naturalis; externa, or legalis, which by all the Judges of England, 2 R. 3. fo. 11, is expressed per voluntatem Regis in camera, and voluntatem Regis per legem.
My Lords, the forms and rules of law are not observed; this supreme power not working per media, it remains still in himself as voluntas Regis interna, and operates not to the good and relief of the subject that standeth in need.
His Majesty is the fountain of bounty; but a grant of lands without Letters Patent transfers no estate out of the King to the patentee, nor by Letters Patents, but by such words as the law hath prescribed.
His Majesty is the fountain of justice; and though all justice which is done within the realm flows from this fountain, yet it must run in certain and known channels: an assize in the King’s Bench, or an appeal of death in the Common Pleas, are coram non judice, though the writ be His Majesty’s command; and so of the several jurisdictions of each Court, the justice whereby all felons and traitors are put to death, proceeds from His Majesty; but if a writ of execution of a traitor or felon be awarded by His Majesty, without appeal or indictment preceding, an appeal of death will lie by the heir against the executioner. If the process be legal, and in a right Court, yet I conceive that His Majesty alone, without assistance of the Judges of the Court, cannot give judgment. I know that King John, H. 3, and other Kings, have sat on the King’s Bench, and in the Exchequer; but for ought appears they were assisted by their Judges. This I ground upon the Book Case of 2 R. 3. fo. 10 & 11.
Where the party is to make fine and ransom at the King’s will and pleasure, this fine, by the opinion of the Judges of England, must be set by the Judges before whom the party was convicted, and cannot be set by the King: the words of the book are thus: In terminis, et non per Regem per se in camera sua nec aliter coram se nisi per justitiarios suos; et haec est voluntas Regis, scilicet per justitiarios suos et per legem suam to do it.
And as without the assistance of his Judges, who are his settled counsel at law, His Majesty applies not the law and justice in many cases unto his subjects; so likewise in other cases: neither is this sufficient to do it without the assistance of his great Council in Parliament; if an erroneous judgment was given before the Statute of 27 Eliz. in the King’s Bench, the King could not relieve his grieved subjects any way but by Writ of Error in Parliament; neither can he out of Parliament alter the old laws, nor make new, or make any naturalizations or legitimations, nor do some other things; and yet is the Parliament His Majesty’s Court too, as well as other his Courts of Justice. It is His Majesty that gives life and being to that, for he only summons, continues, and dissolves it, and he by his le volt enlivens all the actions of it; and after the dissolution of it, by supporting his Courts of Justice, he keeps them still alive, by putting them in execution: and although in the Writ of Wast, and some other writs, it is called Commune Concilium Regni, in respect that the whole kingdom is representatively there; and secondly, that the whole kingdom have access thither in all things that concern them, other Courts affording relief but in special causes; and thirdly, in respect that the whole kingdom is interested in, and receive benefit by the laws and things there passed; yet it is Concilium Regni no otherwise than the Common Law is Lex Terrae, that is per modum Regis whose it is; if I may so term it in a great part, even in point of interest, as he is the head of the Commonwealth, and whose it is wholly in trust for the good of the whole body of the realm; for he alone is trusted with the execution of it.
. . . . . . . . .
The second thing which I observe is this, by the cases before cited it appears, that without the assistance in Parliament, His Majesty cannot in many cases communicate either his justice or power unto his subjects.
. . . . . . . . .
My Lords, I have now done with the stating of the question: the things whereupon I shall spend all the rest of my time are these five.
1. Admitting that the ordinary means before-mentioned had been all used, and that they had not been sufficient, whether in this case His Majesty, without consent in Parliament, may, in this case of extraordinary defence, alter the property of the subject’s goods for the doing thereof.
2. In the next place I shall endeavour to answer to some objections which may be made to the contrary.
3. In the third place, for qualifying of this I shall admit, that in some cases the property of the subject’s goods, for the defence of the realm, may be altered without consent in Parliament; and I shall show what they be in particular, and compare them and the present occasion together.
4. In the fourth place, because of some precedents of the matter of fact, and likewise legal authorities that may seem to prove a legality in this particular of shipping for the defence at sea, whatever it be in the general; I shall therefore endeavour an answer to such of them as I have met withal.
And shall conclude in the last place with the authorities in point.
For the first, that to the altering of the property of the subject’s goods, though for the defence of the realm, that a parliamentary assistance is necessary.
In this it must be granted in the first place, that the law ties no man, and much less the King, to impossibilities.
And secondly, that the kingdom must be defended.
As therefore the law hath put this great trust upon His Majesty; so when the supplies, which by the ways before mentioned it hath put into his hands, are spent, therein it hath provided other ways for a new supply, which is the first thing that I shall present to your Lordships, and this is the aids and subsidies in Parliament.
That amongst the ardua Regni negotia, for which Parliaments are called, this of the defence is not only one of them, but even the chief, is cleared by this, that of all the rest none is named particularly in the summons, but only this; for all the summons to Parliament show the cause of the calling of them to be pro quibusdam arduis negotiis nos et defensionem Regni nostri Angliae et Ecclesiae Anglicanae concernentibus. And in conclusion, the party summoned is commanded to be there sicut honorem nostrum, et salvationem, et defensionem Regni et Ecclesiae diligit.
And in all the ancient summons of Parliament, when aid was demanded, the particular cause of defence and against what enemy in special was mentioned.
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My Lords, the Parliament, as it is best qualified and fitted to make this supply for some of each rank, and that through all the parts of the kingdom being there met, His Majesty having declared the danger, they best knowing the estates of all men within the realm, are fittest, by comparing the danger and men’s estates together, to proportion the aid accordingly.
And secondly, as they are fittest for the preservation of that fundamental propriety which the subject hath in his lands and goods, because each subject’s vote is included in whatsoever is there done; so that it cannot be done otherwise, I shall endeavour to prove to your Lordships both by reason and authority.
My first reason is this, that the Parliament by the law is appointed as the ordinary means for supply upon extraordinary occasions, when the ordinary supplies will not do it: if this in the writ therefore may, without resorting to that, be used, the same argument will hold as before in resorting to the extraordinary, by [exclusion?] of the ordinary, and the same inconvenience follow.
My second reason is taken from the actions of former Kings in this of the defence.
The aids demanded by them, and granted in Parliament, even for this purpose of the defence, and that in times of imminent danger, are so frequent, that I will spare the citing of any of them: it is rare in a subject, and more in a prince, to ask and take that of gift, which he may and ought to have of right, and that without so much as a salvo, or declaration of his right.
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My Lords, it appears not by anything in the writ, that any war at all was proclaimed against any State, or that if any His Majesty’s subjects had taken away the goods of any prince’s subjects in Christendom, but that the party might have recovered them before your Lordships in any His Majesty’s Courts; so that the case in the first place is, whether in times of peace His Majesty may, without consent in Parliament, alter the property of the subject’s goods for the defence of the realm.
Secondly, the time that will serve the turn for the bringing in of the supplies and means of the defence, appears to your Lordships judicially by the writ, that is seven months within four days; for the writ went out Aug. 4, and commands the ship to be at Portsmouth, the place of the rendezvous, the first of March following; and thereby it appears that the necessity in respect of the time was not such, but that a parliamentary consent might in that time have been endeavoured for the effecting of the supply.
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Extracts from the Argument of Sir Robert Berkeley, Justice of the King’s Bench.
[1638. State Trials, iii. col. 1090. See Hist. of Engl. viii. 278.]
For my clear delivery and expression of myself, I divide all that I shall say into these four heads. (1) I will state the case and will settle the proper question of it, as the pleadings are. (The true stating and settling of a case conduceth much to the right answer of it.) (2) I will consider the policy and fundamental rules of the Common Law, applicable unto that which upon stating the case shall appear to be the proper question. (3) I will consider the Acts of Parliament, the answer to petitions in Parliament, and the several Magna Chartas of the liberties of England, which concern the King’s proceeding in this case. (4) I will answer the material objections, which have been made on the other side.
Upon my first general head. I hope that none doth imagine, that it either is or can be drawn by consequence, to be any part of the question in this case, whether the King may at all times, and upon all occasions, impose charges upon his subjects in general, without common consent in Parliament? If that were made the question, it is questionless that he may not. The people of the kingdom are subjects, not slaves, freemen, not villains, to be taxed de alto et basso.
Though the King of England hath a monarchical power, and hath jura summae majestatis, and hath an absolute trust settled in his crown and person, for government of his subjects; yet his government is to be secundum leges regni. It is one of the questions in the juramentum regis, at his coronation (see the old Magna Charta, fol. 164); Concedis justas leges et consuetudines regni esse tuendas? And the king is to answer, Concedo. By those laws the subjects are not tenants at the king’s will, of what they have. They have in their lands Feodum simplex, which by Littleton’s description is, haereditas legitima, vel pura. They have in their goods a property, a peculiar interest, a meum et tuum. They have a birthright in the laws of the kingdom. No new laws can be put upon them; none of their laws can be altered or abrogated without common consent in Parliament.
Thus much I speak to avoid misapprehensions and misreports upon that which I shall say in this case; not as if there were cause of saying so much upon anything challenged on the King’s side. We have in print His Majesty’s own most gracious Declaration, that it is his maxim, that the people’s liberties strengthen the King’s prerogative, and that the King’s prerogative is to defend the people’s liberties.
Secondly, though Mr. Hampden’s counsel have spent all their powder in citing a multitude of records, beginning with one in King John’s time, and so downwards, to prove that the King’s ministers have paid, that the barons have been by writs commanded sometimes to pay, sometimes to make allowances, out of the King’s moneys or dues,—in cases of foreign auxiliary, and voluntary wars: in cases of particular or ordinary defence of the realm, as upon rebellion of subjects, or inroads by enemies, into parts, marches, or maritime; such enemies I mean, as are not greatly formidable, as are apt to run away when they hear of any force coming against them: in cases of setting forth ships, for scouring the seas from petty pirates, so that merchants may have safe passage: in cases where victuals, or other provisions, were taken from particular persons, by way of purveyance, for soldiers, or for the King’s army: in cases of borrowing of money by the King’s officers for war, or ordinary or extraordinary defence: in cases of taking money or goods against the owner’s consent, by warrant for the King’s use, for war, or other manner of defence: in cases where particular men’s ships, horses, or armour, were lost in the wars: in cases where private men’s houses were used in the King’s service: lastly, in cases of general and extraordinary defence, where the King had sufficient aids for that purpose granted to him in Parliament. Although I confess it be true, that the King in all these cited cases must pay of his own, without imposing upon the subject; yet I say that those cases come not close to our case: for every of those cases hath a manifest, particular, and just reason; but none of these reasons are applicable to the case now in question, as is easy to demonstrate, if a man would enter into every of these particulars; which I forbear, for saving of time. And these records being taken away, the multitude of vouchers on Mr. Hampden’s side will be greatly abated.
Thirdly, the case of the ancient tribute called Danegelt, of which Mr. Hampden’s counsel hath spoken, though it come nearer than any of the former mentioned cases, yet it much differs from the charge imposed in our case.
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Fourthly, I affirm, with some clearness, under favour, that the charge now demanded is not within the ancient acceptation or signification of the words, aids, mises, prizes, taxes, or talliages, which it is to be agreed cannot be exacted by the King, without consent in Parliament. Neither is it within the compass of the word subsidy, which may not be levied, but upon grant of it in Parliament. Aids, if you take the word in a general sense, they were of two kinds: (1) Such as were aids and services too, as pur faire fitz chevalier, pur file marier. That kind of aid, common persons, who had seigniories, had right unto, as well as the King. No colour of comprehending this kind of aids, within the word, aids, pertinent to this question. (2) To the second kind of aids, were sums of money from the subject to the King, by way of help, ad agenda1regis; as for making of castles, building of bridges, helps for voluntary or auxiliary wars, or for the King to do his pleasure with, and the like . . . . . Mises were presentations in kind of a benevolence, upon a King’s first coming to his crown; such are yielded at this day in Wales to a Prince of Wales. Prises are taking of part of the subject’s goods from them to the King’s use without pay; hence prisage of wines at this day.
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Fifthly, it cannot be said that the present case is to be stated so, as unless the charge commanded be obeyed, an assured infallible ruin and subversion of this kingdom will happen, and that instantly. In such a case, quid non is lawful; and happy he who by doing any exploit can save the ship from sinking, the body from falling.
Sixthly, it is to be observed that the principal command in the Shipping-Writ is not to levy money, it is to provide a ship; which ship being to be provided at the charge of a multitude, in regard the thing cannot be done any manner of way, but by the means of that which is mensura rerum, namely, money, therefore the instructions in the Shipping-Writ are not only apt, but necessary; that an assessment be made, whereby proportionable sums of money may be collected for the provision of the thing commanded. And thereupon it may be said, that the sum assessed upon every one, and in our case upon Mr. Hampden, is not a debt vi termini, but is rather a duty to be performed as a means conducing to the principal end. The refusal of performance of which duty is a refusal to obey the principal thing commanded, qui negat medium, destruit finem. And the principal thing commanded, being of a kind concerning the commonwealth, the King, who is the head, the sovereign of the commonwealth, and who hath, as incident to his regal office, power of coercion, is by law to exercise such his power of coercion, to inforce such as refuse to join with others in performance of that which is commanded for the commonwealth. And this being the true state and way of the proceedings in the present case, it is apparent, that, though the Scire Facias against Mr. Hampden be in the King’s name, yet it is not to have execution as for the King’s money, or as for a debt due to the King from Mr. Hampden. But as is manifest, if the whole contexture of the Writ of Scire Facias be observed, it is nothing else but to bring on a declaratory payment. That Mr. Hampden ought onerari to the payment of the 20s. assessed upon him. So that with his 20s., together with the other money of Buckinghamshire men, assessed also upon every of them particularly, the ship commanded from the county of Buckingham may be provided.
Seventhly and lastly, having declared of what nature our case is not, I come now to tell you what the state of it is. The true state of our question must be made out of the whole record or pleading of the case, the matter of fact wherein the defendant hath confessed (as I noted in the beginning). In the writ of Aug. 11 Car. and in the Writ of Mittimus, there are causes expressed of the issuing of the writ of Aug. 11, of the Shipping-Writ; those causes are several, but not to be severed, all of them are to be laid together into the balance.
1. Piratae congregati, upon the English seas. 2. Piratae navigium indies preparantes, ad mercatores ulterius molestandos, et ad regnum gravandum. 3. Pericula are undique regno Angliae, in his guerrinis temporibus. 4. Those pericula do imminere regno, nisi citius remedium ponatur; where the word citius is a comparative word, relative to slow ways of remedy, amongst which Parliaments is one. 5. Regi et subditis convenit, omni qua poterint festinatione accelerare, ad regni defensionem, maris tuitionem, et securitatem subditorum.
Out of all those positions it appears that there is in the case real and manifest peril; not panicus terror, fear without cause; tempora are de facto guerrina, there is de facto navium congregatio.
Again, we must observe, that in this case: 1. The command is, ad proficiscendum cum navibus regis. So the King himself is to join with the subject in the common defence. Here is not a quod tibi fieri non vis. Here is rather a contributio than a tribulio. 2. The ships and arms to be provided are to continue the subject’s own in property. The King doth not assume the property of them to himself; he only commands them to be made and used for the common defence. This appears by the words ad proficiscendum cum navibus nostris. So the writ sets a distinction between naves nostrae (that is, the King’s) and the ships to be provided. See the like of this, m. 28 and 29 Ed. 1, Communia, with the King’s Remembrancer, for galleys commanded upon the like occasion; and P. 5, E. 2, and P. 13, E. 2, with the King’s Remembrancer, inter brevia directa baronibus. 3. The subjects are commanded, in this case, to be at the expenses, tam in victualibus, quam hominum salariis ad guerram necessariis. This I shall prove clearly anon, to be consonant to law, and warranted by many precedents in the like cases. 4. All the counties of the kingdom, that is, all the kingdom in general, is charged, not any spared; the clergy, the King himself, are to join in the provisions. 5. The final end and scope of all this preparation is defensio regni, tuitio maris, retentio dominii maris, securitas subditorum, salus reipublicae.
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Now whether to set the commonwealth free and in safety from this peril of ruin and destruction, the King may not, of his own royal authority, and without common assent in Parliament, impose a charge upon his subjects in general to provide such shipping as is necessary in his royal judgment, to join with His Majesty’s own ships to attend them for such time as His Majesty in his royal wisdom shall think fit, and also to enjoin them to be themselves at the expenses, tam in victualibus quam hominum salariis et aliis ad guerram necessariis?
I would be loth to irritate any differing in opinion from me with provoking or odious terms; but I cannot more fully express myself (and so I desire it may be taken as an expression, and not as a comparison) than in saying, that it is a dangerous tenet, a kind of judaizing opinion, to hold that the weal public must be exposed to peril of utter ruin and subversion, rather than such a charge as this, which may secure the commonwealth, may be imposed by the King upon the subject, without common consent in Parliament. So that the security of the commonwealth, for the very subsistence of it, must stay and expect until a Parliament provide for it; in which interim of time, it is possible, nay, apparently probable, yea, in a manner to be presumed, that all may be, yea, will be brought to a final period of destruction and desolation.
All know that the Jews were so strict, that they would not use means for defence of themselves and their country upon their Sabbath. Their enemies took the advantage, and ruined their state.
The Second General Head.—I now come to my second general head, wherein I proposed to consider of the fundamental policy, and maxims, and rules of law, for the government of this realm, and of the reasons of law pertinent to our case, which are very many. I will briefly and severally point at those which make impression on me. 1. It is plain that as originally, even before the Romans’ time, the frame of this kingdom was a monarchical state, so for divers hundreds of years past, upon the Romans’ desertion of it, and after the heptarchy ended, it was, and continued, and still continueth monarchical. And our gracious sovereign is a monarch, and the rights of free monarchy appertain unto him; and yet still with this, that he must leges ad consuetudines regni servare, et praecipue leges et consuetudines et libertates a glorioso rege Edwardo (that is, Edward the Confessor) clero populoque concessas; as appears in the old Magn. Chart. fol. 164, tit. juramentum regis quando coronatur.
2. Where Mr. Holborne1 supposed a fundamental policy in the creation of the frame of this kingdom, that in case the monarch of England should be inclined to exact from his subjects at his pleasure, he should be restrained, for that he could have nothing from them, but upon a common consent in Parliament.
He is utterly mistaken herein. I agree the Parliament to be a most ancient and supreme court, where the King and Peers, as judges, are in person, and the whole body of the Commons representatively. There Peers and Commons may, in a fitting way, parler lour ment, and show the estate of every part of the kingdom; and amongst other things, make known their grievances (if there be any) to their sovereign, and humbly petition him for redress.
But the former fancied policy I utterly deny. The law knows no such king-yoking policy. The law is of itself an old and trusty servant of the King’s; it is his instrument or means which he useth to govern his people by. I never read nor heard that lex was Rex; but it is common and most true that Rex is lex, for he is lex loquens, a living, a speaking, an acting law: and because the King is lex loquens, therefore it is said that Rex censetur habere omnia jura in scrinio pectoris sui.
There are two maxims of the law of England, which plainly disprove Mr. Holborne’s supposed policy. The first is, ‘That the King is a person trusted with the state of the commonwealth.’ The second of these maxims is, ‘That the King cannot do wrong.’ Upon these two maxims the jura summae majestatis are grounded, with which none but the King himself (not his high court of Parliament without leave) hath to meddle, as, namely, war and peace, value of coin, Parliament at pleasure, power to dispense with penal laws, and divers others; amongst which I range these also, of regal power to command provision (in case of necessity) of means from the subjects, to be adjoined to the King’s own means for the defence of the commonwealth, for the preservation of the salus reipublicae. Otherwise I do not understand how the King’s Majesty may be said to have the majestical right and power of a free monarch.
It is agreed that the King is, by his regal office, bound to defend his people against foreign enemies; our books are so, Fitzherbert, Natura brevium, fol. 118, Est a intendre que le roy doit de droit; saver et defendre son realme com’ vers le meere, com’ vers enemies. Juramentum Regis, cited before, servabis ecclesiae Dei, clero, et populo, pacem ex integro secundum vires tuas; if ex integro, then against all disturbers of the general peace amongst them, most chiefly, in my judgment, against dangerous foreigners.
Bracton and Glanvill, in the front of their books, published that the King must have arms as well as laws; arms and strength against foreign enemies, laws for doing justice at home. Certainly if he must have these two necessaries, he must be enabled with means for them, and that of himself, not dependent ex aliorum arbitrio; for it is regula juris, lex est, quando quis aliquid alicui concedit, concedit et id sine quo res ipsa esse non potest.
3. Though I have gone already very high, I shall go yet to a higher contemplation of the fundamental policy of our laws: which is this, that the King of mere right ought to have, and the people of mere duty are bound to yield unto the King, supply for the defence of the kingdom. And when the Parliament itself doth grant supply in that case, it is not merely a benevolence of the people, but therein they do an act of justice and duty to the King. I know the most solemn form of Parliament, and of the humble expression of the Commons, of their hearty affection and goodwill to their King, in tendering to him their bills of subsidics or fifteenths.
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4. I confess, that by the fundamental law of England, the Parliament is commune concilium regis et regni, that it is the greatest, the most honourable and supreme court in the kingdom; that no man ought to think any dishonourable thing of it: yet give me leave to say that it is but a concilium; to say so is no dishonour to it: the King may call it, prorogue it, dissolve it, at his pleasure; and whatsoever the King doth therein, is always to be taken for just and necessary. We must consider that it is a great body, moves slowly; sudden despatches cannot be expected in it. Besides, though the Parliament cannot err, parliament-men may de facto; every particular member of the House hath his free voice; some of them may chance to make scruples, where there is no cause; it is possible some of them may have sinister ends; these things breed delays, so they may disturbances.—I would to God the late woeful experience of this kingdom had not verified these speculations. Yea, there have been, in former times, censures of Parliaments themselves: the Good Parliament, temp. Ed. 3, parliamentum indoctorum, temp. Hen. 4, and in the same King’s time, if we believe my Lord Coke, 11, fo. 113, Brangwit, id est, the White-Crow Act. These matters are considerable in such cases as ours is. Wherein apparently Mora trahit periculum, and to follow the rule, Festina lente, is most dangerous.
5. The point of retentio dominii maris (which is in the case) is not of an ordinary consideration; for, besides the ancient inheritance and right which the crown of England hath in it, it is obvious to every judgment, that in the continuance or not continuance of it to the crown, not only the bene esse, but even the esse itself of the commonwealth doth consist; and therefore it behoveth the subjects accelerare to the tuition of it: slowness is an argument of stupidity, or want of that sensibleness of the diminution of that right which every subject ought of right, and hath a concerning reason, to propose to himself.
The Scottish National Covenant.
[February 27, 1638. Rushworth, ii. 734. See IIist. of Engl. viii. 329.]
The confession of faith of the Kirk of Scotland, subscribed at first by the King’s Majesty and his household in the year of God 1580; thereafter by persons of all ranks in the year 1581, by ordinance of the lords of the secret council, and acts of the general assembly; subscribed again by all sorts of persons in the year 1590, by a new ordinance of council, at the desire of the general assembly; with a general band for the maintenance of the true religion, and the King’s person, and now subscribed in the year 1638, by us noblemen, barons, gentlemen, burgesses, ministers, and commons under subscribing; together with our resolution and promises for the causes after specified, to maintain the said true religion, and the King’s Majesty, according to the confession aforesaid, and Acts of Parliament; the tenure whereof here followeth.
We all, and every one of us underwritten, do protest, that after long and due examination of our own consciences in matters of true and false religion, we are now thoroughly resolved of the truth, by the word and spirit of God; and therefore we believe with our hearts, confess with our mouths, subscribe with our hands, and constantly affirm before God and the whole world, that this only is the true Christian faith and religion, pleasing God, and bringing salvation to man, which now is by the mercy of God revealed to the world by the preaching of the blessed evangel, and received, believed, and defended by many and sundry notable kirks and realms, but chiefly by the Kirk of Scotland, the King’s Majesty, and three estates of this realm, as God’s eternal truth and only ground of our salvation; as more particularly is expressed in the confession of our faith established and publicly confirmed by sundry Acts of Parliament; and now of a long time hath been openly professed by the King’s Majesty, and whole body of this realm, both in burgh and land. To the which confession and form of religion we willingly agree in our consciences in all points, as unto God’s undoubted truth and verity, grounded only upon His written Word; and therefore we abhor and detest all contrary religion and doctrine, but chiefly all kind of papistry in general and particular heads, even as they are now damned and confuted by the Word of God and Kirk of Scotland. But in special we detest and refuse the usurped authority of that Roman Antichrist upon the Scriptures of God, upon the Kirk, the civil magistrate, and consciences of men; all his tyrannous laws made upon indifferent things against our Christian liberty; his erroneous doctrine against the sufficiency of the written Word, the perfection of the law, the office of Christ and His blessed evangel; his corrupted doctrine concerning original sin, our natural inability and rebellion to God’s law, our justification by faith only, our imperfect sanctification and obedience to the law, the nature, number, and use of the holy sacraments; his five bastard sacraments, with all his rites, ceremonies, and false doctrine, added to the ministration of the true sacraments, without the Word of God; his cruel judgments against infants departing without the sacrament; his absolute necessity of baptism; his blasphemous opinion of transubstantiation or real presence of Christ’s body in the elements, and receiving of the same by the wicked, or bodies of men; his dispensations, with solemn oaths, perjuries, and degrees of marriage, forbidden in the Word; his cruelty against the innocent divorced; his devilish mass; his blasphemous priesthood; his profane sacrifice for the sins of the dead and the quick; his canonization of men, calling upon angels or saints departed, worshipping of imagery, relics, and crosses; dedicating of kirks, altars, days, vows to creatures; his purgatory, prayers for the dead, praying or speaking in a strange language; with his processions and blasphemous litany; and multitude of advocates or mediators; his manifold orders, auricular confession; his desperate and uncertain repentance; his general and doubtsome faith; his satisfactions of men for their sins; his justification by works, opus operatum, works of supererogation, merits, pardons, peregrinations and stations; his holy water, baptizing of bells, conjuring of spirits, crossing, saning, anointing, conjuring, hallowing of God’s good creatures, with the superstitious opinion joined therewith; his worldly monarchy and wicked hierarchy; his three solemn vows, with all his shavelings of sundry sorts; his erroneous and bloody decrees made at Trent, with all the subscribers and approvers of that cruel and bloody band conjured against the Kirk of God. And finally, we detest all his vain allegories, rites, signs, and traditions, brought in the Kirk without or against the Word of God, and doctrine of this true reformed Kirk. To which we join ourselves willingly, in doctrine, religion, faith, discipline, and life of the holy sacraments, as lively members of the same, in Christ our head, promising and swearing, by the great name of the Lord our God, that we shall continue in the obedience of the doctrine and discipline of this Kirk, and shall defend the same according to our vocation and power all the days of our lives, under the pains contained in the law, and danger both of body and soul in the day of God’s fearful judgment. And seeing that many are stirred up by Satan and that Roman Antichrist, to promise, swear, subscribe, and for a time use the holy sacraments in the Kirk, deceitfully against their own consciences, minding thereby, first under the external cloak of religion, to corrupt and subvert secretly God’s true religion within the Kirk; and afterwards, when time may serve, to become open enemies and persecutors of the same, under vain hope of the Pope’s dispensation, devised against the Word of God, to his great confusion, and their double condemnation in the day of the Lord Jesus.
We therefore, willing to take away all suspicion of hypocrisy, and of such double dealing with God and His Kirk, protest and call the Searcher of all hearts for witness, that our minds and hearts do fully agree with this our confession, promise, oath, and subscription: so that we are not moved for any worldly respect, but are persuaded only in our consciences, through the knowledge and love of God’s true religion printed in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, as we shall answer to Him in the day when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed. And because we perceive that the quietness and stability of our religion and Kirk doth depend upon the safety and good behaviour of the King’s Majesty, as upon a comfortable instrument of God’s mercy granted to this country for the maintenance of His Kirk, and ministration of justice among us, we protest and promise with our hearts under the same oath, haud-writ, and pains, that we shall defend his person and authority with our goods, bodies, and lives, in the defence of Christ His evangel, liberties of our country, ministration of justice, and punishment of iniquity, against all enemies within this realm or without, as we desire our God to be a strong and merciful defender to us in the day of our death, and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ; to Whom, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, be all honour and glory eternally.
Like as many Acts of Parliament not only in general do abrogate, annul, and resciud all laws, statutes, acts, constitutions, canons civil or municipal, with all other ordinances and practick penalties whatsoever, made in prejudice of the true religion, and professors thereof, or of the true Kirk discipline, jurisdiction, and freedom thereof; or in favours of idolatry and superstition; or of the papistical kirk (as Act 3. Act 31. Parl. 1. Act 23. Parl. 11. Act 114. Parl. 12, of K. James VI), that papistry and superstition may be utterly suppressed, according to the intention of the Acts of Parliament reported in Act 5. Parl. 20. K. James VI. And to that end they ordained all papists and priests to be punished by manifold civil and ecclesiastical pains, as adversaries to God’s true religion preached, and by law established within this realm (Act. 24. Parl. 11. K. James VI) as common enemies to all Christian government (Act 18. Parl. 16. K. James VI), as rebellers and gainstanders of our Sovereign Lord’s authority (Act 47. Parl. 3. K. James VI), and as idolaters (Act 104. Parl. 7. K. James VI), but also in particular (by and attour the confession of faith) do abolish and condemn the Pope’s authority and jurisdiction out of this land, and ordains the maintainers thereof to be punished (Act 2. Parl. 1. Act. 51. Parl. 3. Act 106. Parl. 7. Act 114. Parl. 12. of K. James VI); do condemn the Pope’s erroneous doctrine, or any other erroneous doctrine repugnant to any of the Articles of the true and Christian religion publicly preached, and by law established in this realm; and ordains the spreaders or makers of books or libels, or letters or writs of that nature, to be punished (Act 46. Parl. 3. Act 106. Parl. 7. Act 24. Parl. 11. K. James VI); do condemn all baptism conform to the Pope’s kirk, and the idolatry of the Mass; and ordains all sayers, wilful hearers, and concealers of the Mass, the maintainers and resetters of the Priests, Jesuits, trafficking Papists, to be punished without exception or restriction (Act 5. Parl. 1. Act 120 Parl. 12. Act 164. Parl. 13. Act 193. Parl. 14. Act. 1. Parl. 19. Act 5. Parl. 20 K. James VI); do condemn all erroneous books and writs containing erroneous doctrine against the religion presently professed, or containing superstitious rights and ceremonies papistical, whereby the people are greatly abused; and ordains the home-bringers of them to be punished (Act 25. Parl. 11. K. James VI); do condemn the monuments and dregs of bygone idolatry, as going to crosses, observing the festival days of saints, and such other superstitious and papistical rites, to the dishonour of God, contempt of true religion, and fostering of great errors among the people, and ordains the users of them to be punished for the second fault as idolaters (Act 104. Parl. 7. K. James VI).
Like as many Acts of Parliament are conceived for maintenance of God’s true and Christian religion, and the purity thereof in doctrine and sacraments of the true Church of God, the liberty and freedom thereof in her national synodal assemblies, presbyteries, sessions, policy, discipline, and jurisdiction thereof, as that purity of religion and liberty of the Church was used, professed, exercised, preached, and confessed according to the reformation of religion in this realm. (As for instance: Act 99. Parl. 7. Act 23. Parl 11. Act 114. Parl. 12. Act 160. Parl. 13. K. James VI, ratified by Act 4. K. Charles.) So that Act 6. Parl. 1. and Act 68. Parl. 6. of K. James VI, in the year of God 1579, declares the ministers of the blessed evangel, whom God of His mercy had raised up or hereafter should raise, agreeing with them that then lived in doctrine and administration of the sacraments, and the people that professed Christ, as He was then offered in the evangel, and doth communicate with the holy sacraments (as in the reformed Kirks of this realm they were presently administered) according to the confession of faith to be the true and holy Kirk of Christ Jesus within this realm, and discerns and declares all and sundry, who either gainsays the word of the evangel, received and approved as the heads of the confession of faith, professed in Parliament in the year of God 1560, specified also in the first Parliament of K. James VI, and ratified in this present Parliament, more particularly do specify; or that refuses the administration of the holy sacraments as they were then ministrated, to be no members of the said Kirk within this realm and true religion presently professed, so long as they keep themselves so divided from the society of Christ’s body. And the subsequent Act 69. Parl. 6. K. James VI, declares that there is no other face of Kirk, nor other face of religion than was presently at that time by the favour of God established within this realm, which therefore is ever styled God’s true religion, Christ’s true religion, the true and Christian religion, and a perfect religion, which by manifold Acts of Parliament all within this realm are bound to profess to subscribe the Articles thereof, the confession of faith, to recant all doctrine and errors repugnant to any of the said Articles (Act 4 and 9. Parl. 1. Act 45. 46. 47. Parl. 3. Act 71. Parl. 6. Act 106. Parl. 7. Act 24. Parl. 11. Act 123. Parl. 12. Act 194 and 197. Parl. 14 of K. James VI). And all magistrates, sheriffs, &c., on the one part, are ordained to search, apprehend, and punish all contraveners (for instance, Act 5. Parl. 1. Act 104. Parl. 7. Act2 5. Parl. 11. K. James VI). And that, notwithstanding of the King’s Majesty’s licences on the contrary, which are discharged and declared to be of no force, in so far as they tend in any ways to the prejudice and hindrance of the execution of the Acts of Parliament against Papists and adversaries of the true religion (Act 106. Parl. 7. K. James VI). On the other part, in Act 47. Parl. 3. K. James VI, it is declared and ordained, seeing the cause of God’s true religion and His Highness’s authority are so joined as the hurt of the one is common to both; and that none shall be reputed as loyal and faithful subjects to our Sovereign Lord or his authority, but be punishable as rebellers and gainstanders of the same, who shall not give their confession and make profession of the said true religion; and that they, who after defection shall give the confession of their faith of new, they shall promise to continue therein in time coming, to maintain our Sovereign Lord’s authority, and at the uttermost of their power to fortify, assist, and maintain the true preachers and professors of Christ’s religion, against whatsoever enemies and gainstanders of the same; and namely, against all such of whatsoever nation, estate, or degree they be of, that have joined or bound themselves, or have assisted or assists to set forward and execute the cruel decrees of Trent, contrary to the preachers and true professors of the Word of God, which is repeated word by word in the Articles of Pacification at Perth, the 23rd of Feb., 1572, approved by Parliament the last of April 1573, ratified in Parliament 1578, and related Act 123. Parl. 12. of K. James VI, with this addition, that they are bound to resist all treasonable uproars and hostilities raised against the true religion, the King’s Majesty and the true professors.
Like as all lieges are bound to maintain the King’s Majesty’s royal person and authority, the authority of Parliaments, without which neither any laws or lawful judicatories can be established (Act 130. Act 131. Parl. 8. K. James VI), and the subjects’ liberties, who ought only to live and be governed by the King’s laws, the common laws of this realm allanerly (Act 48. Parl. 3. K. James I, Act 79. Parl. 6. K. James VI, repeated in Act 131. Parl. 8. K. James VI), which if they be innovated or prejudged the commission anent the union of the two kingdoms of Scotland and England, which is the sole Act of 17 Parl. James VI, declares such confusion would ensue as this realm could be no more a free monarchy; because by the fundamental laws, ancient privileges, offices, and liberties of this kingdom, not only the princely authority of His Majesty’s royal descent hath been these many ages maintained, also the people’s security of their lands, livings, rights, offices, liberties and dignities preserved. And therefore for the preservation of the said true religion, laws and liberties of this kingdom, it is statute by Act 8. Parl. 1. repeated in Act 99. Parl. 7. ratified in Act 23. Parl. 11 and 14. Act of K. James VI and 4 Act of K. Charles, that all Kings and Princes at their coronation and reception of their princely authority, shall make their faithful promise by their solemn oath in the presence of the Eternal God, that during the whole time of their lives they shall serve the same Eternal God to the utmost of their power, according as He hath required in His most Holy Word, contained in the Old and New Testaments, and according to the same Word shall maintain the true religion of Christ Jesus, the preaching of His Holy Word, the due and right ministration of the sacraments now received and preached within this realm (according to the confession of faith immediately preceding); and shall abolish and gainstand all false religion contrary to the same; and shall rule the people committed to their charge according to the will and commandment of God revealed in His foresaid Word, and according to the lowable laws and constitutions received in this realm, no ways repugnant to the said will of the Eternal God; and shall procure to the utmost of their power, to the Kirk of God, and whole Christian people, true and perfect peace in all time coming; and that they shall be careful to root out of their Empire all heretics and enemies to the true worship of God, who shall be convicted by the true Kirk of God of the aforesaid crimes. Which was also observed by His Majesty at his Coronation in Edinburgh, 1633, as may be seen in the Order of the Coronation.
In obedience to the commands of God, conform to the practice of the godly in former times, and according to the laudable example of our worthy and religious progenitors, and of many yet living amongst us, which was warranted also by act of council, commanding a general band to be made and subscribed by His Majesty’s subjects of all ranks for two causes: one was, for defending the true religion, as it was then reformed, and is expressed in the confession of faith above written, and a former large confession established by sundry acts of lawful general assemblies and of Parliament, unto which it hath relation, set down in public catechisms, and which had been for many years with a blessing from heaven preached and professed in this Kirk and kingdom, as God’s undoubted truth grounded only upon His written Word. The other cause was for maintaining the King’s Majesty, his person and estate; the true worship of God and the King’s authority being so straitly joined, as that they had the same friends and common enemies, and did stand and fall together. And finally, being convinced in our minds, and confessing with our mouths, that the present and succeeding generations in this land are bound to keep the aforesaid national oath and subscription inviolable:—
We noblemen, barons, gentlemen, burgesses, ministers, and commons under subscribing, considering divers times before, and especially at this time, the danger of the true reformed religion, of the King’s honour, and of the public peace of the kingdom, by the manifold innovations and evils generally contained and particularly mentioned in our late supplications, complaints, and protestations, do hereby profess, and before God, His angels and the world, solemnly declare, that with our whole hearts we agree and resolve all the days of our life constantly to adhere unto and to defend the aforesaid true religion, and forbearing the practice of all novations already introduced in the matters of the worship of God, or approbation of the corruptions of the public government of the Kirk, or civil places and power of kirkmen, till they be tried and allowed in free assemblies and in Parliaments, to labour by all means lawful to recover the purity and liberty of the Gospel as it was established and professed before the aforesaid novations; and because, after due examination, we plainly perceive and undoubtedly believe that the innovations and evils contained in our supplications, complaints, and protestations have no warrant of the Word of God, are contrary to the articles of the aforesaid confessions, to the intention and meaning of the blessed reformers of religion in this land, to the above-written Acts of Parliament, and do sensibly tend to the re-establishing of the popish religion and tyranny, and to the subversion and ruin of the true reformed religion, and of our liberties, laws and estates; we also declare that the aforesaid confessions are to be interpreted, and ought to be understood of the aforesaid novations and evils, no less than if every one of them had been expressed in the aforesaid confessions; and that we are obliged to detest and abhor them, amongst other particular heads of papistry abjured therein; and therefore from the knowledge and conscience of our duty to God, to our King and country, without any worldly respect or inducement so far as human infirmity will suffer, wishing a further measure of the grace of God for this effect, we promise and swear by the great name of the Lord our God, to continue in the profession and obedience of the aforesaid religion; that we shall defend the same, and resist all these contrary errors and corruptions according to our vocation, and to the utmost of that power that God hath put into our hands, all the days of our life. And in like manner, with the same heart we declare before God and men, that we have no intention or desire to attempt anything that may turn to the dishonour of God or the diminution of the King’s greatness and authority; but on the contrary we promise and swear that we shall to the utmost of our power, with our means and lives, stand to the defence of our dread Sovereign the King’s Majesty, his person and authority, in the defence and preservation of the aforesaid true religion, liberties and laws of the kingdom; as also to the mutual defence and assistance every one of us of another, in the same cause of maintaining the true religion and His Majesty’s authority, with our best counsels, our bodies, means and whole power, against all sorts of persons whatsoever; so that whatsoever shall be done to the least of us for that cause shall be taken as done to us all in general, and to every one of us in particular; and that we shall neither directly or indirectly suffer ourselves to be divided or withdrawn by whatsoever suggestion, combination, allurement or terror from this blessed and loyal conjunction; nor shall cast in any let or impediment that may stay or hinder any such resolution as by common consent shall be found to conduce for so good ends; but on the contrary shall by all lawful means labour to further and promote the same; and if any such dangerous and divisive motion be made to us by word or writ, we and every one of us shall either suppress it or (if need be) shall incontinently make the same known, that it may be timously obviated. Neither do we fear the foul aspersions of rebellion, combination or what else our adversaries from their craft and malice would put upon us, seeing what we do is so well warranted, and ariseth from an unfeigned desire to maintain the true worship of God, the majesty of our King, and the peace of the kingdom, for the common happiness of ourselves and posterity. And because we cannot look for a blessing from God upon our proceedings, except with our profession and subscription, we join such a life and conversation as beseemeth Christians who have renewed their covenant with God; we therefore faithfully promise, for ourselves, our followers, and all other under us, both in public, in our particular families and personal carriage, to endeavour to keep ourselves within the bounds of Christian liberty, and to be good examples to others of all godliness, soberness and righteousness, and of every duty we owe to God and man; and that this our union and conjunction may be observed without violation we call the living God, the searcher of our hearts to witness, who knoweth this to be our sincere desire and unfeigned resolution, as we shall answer to Jesus Christ in the great day, and under the pain of God’s everlasting wrath, and of infamy, and of loss of all honour and respect in this world; most humbly beseeching the Lord to strengthen us by His Holy Spirit for this end, and to bless our desires and proceedings with a happy success, that religion and righteousness may flourish in the land, to the glory of God, the honour of our King, and peace and comfort of us all.
In witness whereof we have subscribed with our hands all the premises, &c.
Petition of Twelve Peers for the summoning of a new Parliament.
[August 28, 1640. State Papers, Charles I, Domestic, cccclxv. 16. See Hist. of Engl. ix. 199.]
To the King’s Most Excellent Majesty.
The humble Petition of your Majesty’s most loyal and obedient subjects, whose names are here underwritten in behalf of themselves and divers others.
Most Gracious Sovereign,
The sense of that duty and service which we owe to your Sacred Majesty, and our earnest affection to the good and welfare of this your realm of England, have moved us in all humility to beseech your Royal Majesty to give us leave to offer unto your princely wisdom the apprehension which we and other your faithful subjects have conceived of the great distempers and dangers now threatening the Church and State and your Royal person, and the fittest means by which they may be removed and prevented.
The evils and dangers whereof your Majesty may be pleased to take notice are these:
That your Majesty’s sacred person is exposed to hazard and danger in the present expedition against the Scottish army, and by occasion of this war your revenue is much wasted, your subjects burdened with coat-and-conduct-money, billeting of soldiers, and other military charges, and divers rapines and disorders committed in several parts in this your realm, by the soldiers raised for that service, and your whole kingdom become full of fear and discontents.
The sundry innovations in matters of religion, the oath and canons lately imposed upon the clergy and other your Majesty’s subjects.
The great increase of Popery, and employing of Popish Recusants, and others ill-affected to the religion by law established in places of power and trust, especially in commanding of men and arms both in the field and in sundry counties of this your realm, whereas by the laws they are not permitted to have arms in their own houses.
The great mischiefs which may fall upon this kingdom if the intentions which have been credibly reported, of bringing in Irish and foreign forces, shall take effect.
The urging of ship-money, and prosecution of some sheriffs in the Star Chamber for not levying of it.
The heavy charges of merchandise to the discouragement of trade, the multitude of monopolies, and other patents, whereby the commodities and manufactures of the kingdom are much burthened, to the great and universal grievance of your people.
The great grief of your subjects by the long intermission of Parliaments, in the late and former dissolving of such as have been called, without the hoped effects which otherwise they might have procured.
For remedy whereof, and prevention of the dangers that may ensue to your royal person and to the whole state, they do in all humility and faithfulness beseech your most Excellent Majesty that you would be pleased to summon a Parliament within some short and convenient time, whereby the causes of these and other great grievances which your people lie under may be taken away, and the authors and counsellors of them may be there brought to such legal trial and condign punishment as the nature of the several offences shall require, and that the present war may be composed by your Majesty’s wisdom without bloodshed, in such manner as may conduce to the honour and safety of your Majesty’s person, the comforts of your people, and the uniting of both of your realms against the common enemies of the reformed religion. And your Majesty’s petitioners shall ever pray, &c.
W. Say and Sele.
Ed. Howard (of Escrick)2 .
The King’s Writ summoning the Great Council.
[September 7, 1640. Rushworth, iii. 1257. See Hist. of Engl. ix. 201.]
Rex Reverendissimo in Christo Patri ac fideli consiliario nostro Willielmo eadem gratia Cantuar. Archiepiscopo, totius Angliae primati et Metropolitano salutem. Quia super quibusdam arduis et urgentissimis negotiis nos et Regni nostri statum Coronaeque nostrae Jura specialiter concernentibus vobiscum et cum aliis Praelatis, Magnatibus et Proceribus ipsius Regni apud civitatem nostram Ebor. die Jovis, 24 die instantis mensis Septembris colloquium habere volumus et tractatum, vobis in fide et dilectione quibus nobis tenemini firmiter injungimus et mandamus, quod cessante excusatione quacunque, dictis die et loco personaliter intersitis nobiscum et cum Praelatis, Magnatibus et Proceribus praedictis super dictis negotiis tractaturi vestrumque consilium impensuri, et hoc sicut nos et honorem nostrum ac tranquillitatem regni nostri juriumque nostrorum praedictorum diligitis, nullatenus omittatis. Teste etc. 7 Sept.
[1 ] ‘convicted’ in MS.
[1 ] This is now held not to have been a statute. See Stubbs, Const. Hist. (ed. 1875), ii. 143, Select Charters, p. 87.
[2 ] I have failed to discover this statute.
[3 ] In 1484, 1 Ric. III. c. 2.
[1 ] 9 Hen. III. 29.
[2 ] 28 Ed. III. 3.
[3 ] 37 Ed. III. 18; 38 Ed. III. 9; 42. Ed. III. 3; 17 Ric. II. 6.
[1 ] 25 Ed. III. 9.
[2 ] 9 Hen. III. 29; 25 Ed. III. 4; 28 Ed. III. 3.
[1 ] Tonnage and Poundage was granted for life to Edward IV in 1464 (3 & 4 Ed. IV), Rot. Parl. v. 508. It was also granted in 1483 to Richard III for life (1 Ric. III), ib. vi. 238.
[1 ] A general remonstrance on the misgovernment of the kingdom, in which Buckingham was named as the author of abuses, had been presented to the King on June 17.
[2 ] See No. 11.
[1 ] The last clause of this paragraph is corrected from Parl. Hist. ii. 434.
[1 ]Hist. of Engl. vi. 238.
[2 ]A gag for the new gospel! No! a new gag for an old goose. 1624.
[3 ]Immediate address unto God alone . . . enlarged to a just treatise of invocation of saints. 1624.
[1 ]Appello Caesarem, 1625.
[2 ]A collection of private devotions . . . called the Hours of Prayer, 1627.
[3 ] Probably the Fall of Man, by Godfrey Goodman, published in 1616. He was now Bishop of Gloucester. A new edition was issued in 1629 against his wish.
[1 ] Francis White.
[2 ] John Buckeridge.
[3 ] John Howson.
[4 ] Richard Neile.
[5 ] William Laud.
[1 ] This protestation was recited by Holles after the Speaker had been held down in his chair, as the King was approaching to break open the door of the House of Commons.
[2 ] Christian IV.
[1 ] i. e. The Petition of Right.
[1 ] See p. 75.
[1 ] Sir John Coke.
[1 ] Note by Rushworth: ‘Here are the passages concerning the members’ deportment in the House, mentioned in this Declaration, which we forbear to repeat, in regard the same are at large expressed in the Information in the Star Chamber, before mentioned.’
[1 ] The full title is, ‘The King’s Majesty’s declaration to his subjects concerning lawful sports to be used. Imprinted at Lond. by Robert Barker, Printer to the King’s most excellent Majesty: and by the Assigns of Robert Bill, m.dc.xxxiii.’
[1 ] See 33 Henry VIII. c. ix. § 11.
[1 ] Sir Henry Marten.
[1 ] In 1635 the writs were extended to the inland counties.
[2 ] An earlier opinion had been given by the Judges at Finch’s instance in November, 1635 (Rushworth, iii. App. 249), to the following effect:—‘I am of opinion that, as when the benefit doth more particularly redound to the ports or maritime parts, as in case of piracy or depredations upon the seas, that the charge hath been, and may be lawfully imposed upon them according to precedents of former times; so when the good and safety of the kingdom in general is concerned, and the whole kingdom in danger (of which His Majesty is the only judge), then the charge of the defence ought to be borne by all the realm in general. This I hold agreeably both to law and reason.’
[1 ] Corrected from Stowe MSS. 187/2.
[1 ] One of Hampden’s counsel.
[1 ] Baron Kimbolton in his own right.
[2 ] The signatures as here given are no doubt the correct ones, as the copy on which they appear has a note on it in Nicholas’s hand. Other copies with a different set of signatures were in circulation, one of which, containing several errors, appears in Rushworth. As the signatures are scattered about the paper, I have placed them in order of precedence.