Front Page Titles (by Subject) PART III: FROM THE MEETING OF THE LONG PARLIAMENT TO THE OUTBREAK OF THE CIVIL WAR. - The Constitutional Documents of the Puritan Revolution, 1625-1660
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PART III: FROM THE MEETING OF THE LONG PARLIAMENT TO THE OUTBREAK OF THE CIVIL WAR. - 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 LONG PARLIAMENT TO THE OUTBREAK OF THE CIVIL WAR.
The Root and Branch Petition.
[December 11, 1640. Rushworth, iv. 93. See Hist. of Eng. ix. 247.]
To the Right Honourable the Commons House of Parliament.
The humble Petition of many of His Majesty’s subjects in and about the City of London, and several Counties of the Kingdom,
That whereas the government of archbishops and lord bishops, deans and archdeacons, &c., with their courts and ministrations in them, have proved prejudicial and very dangerous both to the Church and Commonwealth, they themselves having formerly held that they have their jurisdiction or authority of human authority, till of these later times, being further pressed about the unlawfulness, that they have claimed their calling immediately from the Lord Jesus Christ, which is against the laws of this kingdom, and derogatory to His Majesty and his state royal. And whereas the said government is found by woeful experience to be a main cause and occasion of many foul evils, pressures and grievances of a very high nature unto His Majesty’s subjects in their own consciences, liberties and estates, as in a schedule of particulars hereunto annexed may in part appear:
We therefore most humbly pray, and beseech this honourable assembly, the premises considered, that the said government, with all its dependencies, roots and branches, may be abolished, and all laws in their behalf made void, and the government according to God’s Word may be rightly placed amongst us: and we your humble suppliants, as in duty we are bound, will daily pray for His Majesty’s long and happy reign over us, and for the prosperous success of this high and honourable Court of Parliament.
A Particular of the manifold evils, pressures, and grievances caused, practised and occasioned by the Prelates and their dependents.
1. The subjecting and enthralling all ministers under them and their authority, and so by degrees exempting them from the temporal power; whence follows,
2. The faint-heartedness of ministers to preach the truth of God, lest they should displease the prelates; as namely, the doctrine of predestination, of free grace, of perseverance, of original sin remaining after baptism, of the sabbath, the doctrine against universal grace, election for faith foreseen, free-will against antichrist, non-residents, human inventions in God’s worship; all which are generally withheld from the people’s knowledge, because not relishing to the bishops.
3. The encouragement of ministers to despise the temporal magistracy, the nobles and gentry of the land; to abuse the subjects, and live contentiously with their neighbours, knowing that they, being the bishops’ creatures, shall be supported.
4. The restraint of many godly and able men from the ministry, and thrusting out of many congregations their faithful, diligent, and powerful ministers, who lived peaceably with them, and did them good, only because they cannot in conscience submit unto and maintain the bishops’ needless devices; nay, sometimes for no other cause but for their zeal in preaching, or great auditories.
5. The suppressing of that godly design set on foot by certain saints, and sugared with many great gifts by sundry well-affected persons for the buying of impropriations, and placing of able ministers in them, maintaining of lectures, and founding of free schools, which the prelates could not endure, lest it should darken their glories, and draw the ministers from their dependence upon them.
6. The great increase of idle, lewd and dissolute, ignorant and erroneous men in the ministry, which swarm like the locusts of Egypt over the whole kingdom; and will they but wear a canonical coat, a surplice, a hood, bow at the name of Jesus, and be zealous of superstitious ceremonies, they may live as they list, confront whom they please, preach and vent what errors they will, and neglect preaching at their pleasures without control.
7. The discouragement of many from bringing up their children in learning; the many schisms, errors, and strange opinions which are in the Church; great corruptions which are in the Universities; the gross and lamentable ignorance almost everywhere among the people; the want of preaching ministers in very many places both of England and Wales; the loathing of the ministry, and the general defection to all manner of profaneness.
8. The swarming of lascivious, idle, and unprofitable books and pamphlets, play-books and ballads; as namely, Ovid’s ‘Fits of Love,’ ‘The Parliament of Women,’ which came out at the dissolving of the last Parliament; Barns’s ‘Poems,’ Parker’s ‘Ballads,’ in disgrace of religion, to the increase of all vice, and withdrawing of people from reading, studying, and hearing the Word of God, and other good books.
9. The hindering of godly books to be printed, the blotting out or perverting those which they suffer, all or most of that which strikes either at Popery or Arminianism; the adding of what or where pleaseth them, and the restraint of reprinting books formerly licensed, without relicensing.
10. The publishing and venting of Popish, Arminian, and other dangerous books and tenets; as namely, ‘That the Church of Rome is a true Church, and in the worst times never erred in fundamentals;’ ‘that the subjects have no propriety in their estates, but that the King may take from them what he pleaseth;’ ‘that all is the King’s, and that he is bound by no law;’ and many other, from the former whereof hath sprung,
11. The growth of Popery and increase of Papists, Priests and Jesuits in sundry places, but especially about London since the Reformation; the frequent venting of crucifixes and Popish pictures both engraven and printed, and the placing of such in Bibles.
12. The multitude of monopolies and patents, drawing with them innumerable perjuries; the large increase of customs and impositions upon commodities, the ship-money, and many other great burthens upon the Commonwealth, under which all groan.
13. Moreover, the offices and jurisdictions of archbishops, lord bishops, deans, archdeacons, being the same way of Church government, which is in the Romish Church, and which was in England in the time of Popery, little change thereof being made (except only the head from whence it was derived), the same arguments supporting the Pope which do uphold the prelates, and overthrowing the prelates, which do pull down the Pope; and other Reformed Churches, having upon their rejection of the Pope cast the prelates out also as members of the beast. Hence it is that the prelates here in England, by themselves or their disciples, plead and maintain that the Pope is not Antichrist, and that the Church of Rome is a true Church, hath not erred in fundamental points, and that salvation is attainable in that religion, and therefore have restrained to pray for the conversion of our Sovereign Lady the Queen. Hence also hath come,
14. The great conformity and likeness both continued and increased of our Church to the Church of Rome, in vestures, postures, ceremonies and administrations, namely as the bishops’ rochets and the lawn-sleeves, the four-cornered cap, the cope and surplice, the tippet, the hood, and the canonical coat; the pulpits, clothed, especially now of late, with the Jesuits’ badge upon them every way.
15. The standing up at Gloria Patri and at the reading of the Gospel, praying towards the East, the bowing at the name of Jesus, the bowing to the altar towards the East, cross in baptism, the kneeling at the Communion.
16. The turning of the Communion-table altar-wise, setting images, crucifixes, and conceits over them, and tapers and books upon them, and bowing or adoring to or before them; the reading of the second service at the altar, and forcing people to come up thither to receive, or else denying the sacrament to them; terming the altar to be the mercy-seat, or the place of God Almighty in the church, which is a plain device to usher in the Mass.
17. The christening and consecrating of churches and chapels, the consecrating fonts, tables, pulpits, chalices, churchyards, and many other things, and putting holiness in them; yea, reconsecrating upon pretended pollution, as though everything were unclean without their consecrating; and for want of this sundry churches have been interdicted, and kept from use as polluted.
18. The Liturgy for the most part is framed out of the Romish Breviary, Rituals, Mass-book, also the Book of Ordination for archbishops and ministers framed out of the Roman Pontifical.
19. The multitude of canons formerly made, wherein among other things excommunication, ipso facto, is denounced for speaking of a word against the devices abovesaid, or subscription thereunto, though no law enjoined a restraint from the ministry without subscription, and appeal is denied to any that should refuse subscription or unlawful conformity, though he be never so much wronged by the inferior judges. Also the canons made in the late Sacred Synod, as they call it, wherein are many strange and dangerous devices to undermine the Gospel and the subjects’ liberties, to propagate Popery, to spoil God’s people, ensnare ministers, and other students, and so to draw all into an absolute subjection and thraldom to them and their government, spoiling both the King and the Parliament of their power.
20. The countenancing plurality of benefices, prohibiting of marriages without their licence, at certain times almost half the year, and licensing of marriages without banns asking.
21. Profanation of the Lord’s Day, pleading for it, and enjoining ministers to read a Declaration set forth (as it is thought) by their procurement for tolerating of sports upon that day, suspending and depriving many godly ministers for not reading the same only out of conscience, because it was against the law of God so to do, and no law of the land to enjoin it.
22. The pressing of the strict observation of the saints’ days, whereby great sums of money are drawn out of men’s purses for working on them; a very high burthen on most people, who getting their living on their daily employments, must either omit them, and be idle, or part with their money, whereby many poor families are undone, or brought behindhand; yet many churchwardens are sued, or threatened to be sued by their troublesome ministers, as perjured persons, for not presenting their parishioners who failed in observing holy-days.
23. The great increase and frequency of whoredoms and adulteries, occasioned by the prelates’ corrupt administration of justice in such cases, who taking upon them the punishment of it, do turn all into monies for the filling of their purses; and lest their officers should defraud them of their gain, they have in their late canon, instead of remedying these vices, decreed that the commutation of penance shall not be without the bishops’ privity.
24. The general abuse of that great ordinance of excommunication, which God hath left in His Church as the last and greatest punishment which the Church can inflict upon obstinate and great offenders; and the prelates and their officers, who of right have nothing to do with it, do daily excommunicate men, either for doing that which is lawful, or for vain, idle, and trivial matters, as working, or opening a shop on a holy-day, for not appearing at every beck upon their summons, not paying a fee, or the like; yea, they have made it, as they do all other things, a hook or instrument wherewith to empty men’s purses, and to advance their own greatness; and so that sacred ordinance of God, by their perverting of it, becomes contemptible to all men, and is seldom or never used against notorious offenders, who for the most part are their favourites.
25. Yea further, the pride and ambition of the prelates being boundless, unwilling to be subject either to man or laws, they claim their office and jurisdiction to be Jure Divino, exercise ecclesiastical authority in their own names and rights, and under their own seals, and take upon them temporal dignities, places and offices in the Commonwealth, that they may sway both swords.
26. Whence follows the taking Commissions in their own Courts and Consistories, and where else they sit in matters determinable of right at Common Law, the putting of ministers upon parishes, without the patron’s and people’s consent.
27. The imposing of oaths of various and trivial articles yearly upon churchwardens and sidesmen, which they cannot take without perjury, unless they fall at jars continually with their ministers and neighbours, and wholly neglect their own calling.
28. The exercising of the oath ex officio, and other proceedings by way of inquisition, reaching even to men’s thoughts, the apprehending and detaining of men by pursuivants, the frequent suspending and depriving of ministers, fining and imprisoning of all sorts of people, breaking up of men’s houses and studies, taking away men’s books, letters, and other writings, seizing upon their estates, removing them from their callings, separating between them and their wives against both their wills, the rejecting of prohibitions with threatenings, and the doing of many other outrages, to the utter infringing the laws of the realm and the subjects’ liberties, and ruining of them and their families; and of later time the judges of the land are so awed with the power and greatness of the prelates, and other ways promoted, that neither prohibition, Habeas Corpus, nor any other lawful remedy can be had, or take place, for the distressed subjects in most cases; only Papists, Jesuits, Priests, and such others as propagate Popery or Arminianism, are countenanced, spared, and have much liberty; and from hence followed amongst others these dangerous consequences.
1. The general hope and expectation of the Romish party, that their superstitious religion will ere long be fully planted in this kingdom again, and so they are encouraged to persist therein, and to practise the same openly in divers places, to the high dishonour of God, and contrary to the laws of the realm.
2. The discouragement and destruction of all good subjects, of whom are multitudes, both clothiers, merchants and others, who being deprived of their ministers, and overburthened with these pressures, have departed the kingdom to Holland, and other parts, and have drawn with them a great manufacture of cloth and trading out of the land into other places where they reside, whereby wool, the great staple of the kingdom, is become of small value, and vends not; trading is decayed, many poor people want work, seamen lose employment, and the whole land is much impoverished, to the great dishonour of this kingdom and blemishment to the government thereof.
3. The present wars and commotions happened between His Majesty and his subjects of Scotland, wherein His Majesty and all his kingdoms are endangered, and suffer greatly, and are like to become a prey to the common enemy in case the wars go on, which we exceedingly fear will not only go on, but also increase to an utter ruin of all, unless the prelates with their dependences be removed out of England, and also they and their practices, who, as we under your Honour’s favours, do verily believe and conceive have occasioned the quarrel.
All which we humbly refer to the consideration of this Honourable Assembly, desiring the Lord of heaven to direct you in the right way to redress all these evils.
The Triennial Act.
[February 15, 1640/1. 16 Car. I. cap. 1. Statutes of the Realm, v. 54. See Hist. of Engl. ix. 253, 262, 290.]
An Act for the preventing of inconveniences happening by the long intermission of Parliaments.
I. Whereas by the laws and statutes of this realm the Parliament ought to be holden at least once every year for the redress of grievances, but the appointment of the time and place for the holding thereof hath always belonged, as it ought, to His Majesty and his royal progenitors: and whereas it is by experience found that the not holding of Parliaments accordingly hath produced sundry and great mischiefs and inconveniences to the King’s Majesty, the Church and Commonwealth; for the prevention of the like mischiefs and inconveniences in time to come:
II. Be it enacted by the King’s Most Excellent Majesty, with the consent of the Lord’s spiritual and temporal, and the Commons in this present Parliament assembled, that the said laws and statutes be from henceforth duly kept and observed; and your Majesty’s loyal and obedient subjects, in this present Parliament now assembled, do humbly pray that it be enacted: and be it enacted accordingly, by the authority of this present Parliament, that in case there be not a Parliament summoned by writ under the Great Seal of England, and assembled and held before the 10th of September, which shall be in the third year next after the last day of the last meeting and sitting in this present Parliament, the beginning of the first year to be accounted from the said last day of the last meeting and sitting in Parliament; and so from time to time, and in all times hereafter, if there shall not be a Parliament assembled and held before the 10th day of September, which shall be in the third year next after the last day of the last meeting and sitting in Parliament before the time assembled and held; the beginning of the first year to be accounted from the said last day of the last meeting and sitting in Parliament; that then in every such case as aforesaid, the Parliament shall assemble and be held in the usual place at Westminster, in such manner, and by such means only, as is hereafter in this present Act declared and enacted, and not otherwise, on the second Monday, which shall be in the month of November, then next ensuing. And in case this present Parliament now assembled and held, or any other Parliament which shall at any time hereafter be assembled and held by writ under the Great Seal of England, or in case any Parliament shall be assembled and held by authority of this present Act; and such Parliaments, or any of them, shall be prorogued, or adjourned, or continued by prorogation or adjournment, until the 10th day of September, which shall be in the third year next after the last day of the last meeting and sitting in Parliament, to be accounted as aforesaid; that then in every such case, every such Parliament so prorogued or adjourned, or so continued by prorogation or adjournment, as aforesaid, shall from the said 10th day of September be thenceforth clearly and absolutely dissolved, and the Lord Chancellor of England, the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England, and every Commissioner and Commissioners, for the keeping of the Great Seal of England, for the time being, shall within six days after the said 10th day of September, in every such third year as aforesaid, in due form of law and without any further warrant or direction from His Majesty, his heirs or successors, seal, issue forth, and send abroad several and respective writs to the several and respective peers of this realm, commanding every such peer that he personally be at the Parliament to be held at Westminster on the second Monday which shall be in November next following the said 10th day of September, then and there to treat concerning the high and urgent affairs concerning His Majesty, the state and defence of the kingdom and Church of England; and shall also seal and issue forth, and send abroad several and respective writs to the several and respective sheriffs of the several and respective counties, cities and boroughs of England and Wales, and to the Constable of the Castle of Dover, Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, or his lieutenant for the time being, and to the Mayor and Bailiffs of Berwick upon Tweed, and to all and every other officers and persons to whom writs have used to be directed, for the electing of the knights, citizens, barons and burgesses of and for the said Counties, Cities, Cinque Ports and Boroughs of England and Wales respectively, in the accustomed form, to appear and serve in the Parliament to be held at Westminster on the said second Monday, which shall be in November aforesaid; which said peers, after the said writs received, and which said knights, citizens, barons and burgesses chosen by virtue of the said writs, shall then and there appear and serve in Parliament accordingly. And the said Lord Chancellor, Lord Keeper, Commissioner and Commissioners aforesaid, shall respectively take a solemn oath upon the Holy Evangelists for the due issuing of writs, according to the tenor of this Act, in haec verba,—
‘You shall swear that you shall truly and faithfully issue forth, and send abroad all writs of summons to Parliament for both Houses, at such time, and in such manner, as is expressed and enjoined by an Act of Parliament, entitled, “An Act for the preventing of inconveniences happening by the long intermission of Parliaments.”’
Which oath is forthwith to be taken by the present Lord Keeper, and to be administered by the Clerk of the Crown to every Lord Chancellor, Lord Keeper, Commissioner and Commissioners aforesaid; and that none of the said officers respectively shall henceforth execute any the said offices before they have taken the said oath. And if the said Lord Chancellor, Lord Keeper, or any of the said Commissioners shall fail, or forbear so to issue out the said writs, according to the true meaning of this Act, then he or they respectively shall, beside the incurring of the grievous sin of perjury, be disabled, and become, by virtue of this Act, incapable, ipso facto, to bear his and their said offices respectively; and be further liable to such punishments as shall be inflicted upon him or them by the next, or any other ensuing Parliament. And in case the said Lord Chancellor, Lord Keeper, Commissioner or Commissioners aforesaid, shall not issue forth the said writs as aforesaid: or in case that the Parliament do not assemble and be held at the time and place before appointed, then the Parliament shall assemble and be held in the usual place at Westminster, in such manner, and by such means only, as is hereafter in this present Act declared and enacted, and not otherwise, on the third Monday which shall be in the month of January then next ensuing. And the peers of this realm shall by virtue of this Act be enabled, and are enjoined to meet in the Old Palace of Westminster, in the usual place there, on the third Monday in the said month of November: and they or any twelve or more of them, then and there assembled, shall on or before the last Monday of November next following the tenth day of September aforesaid, by virtue of this Act, without other warrant, issue out writs in the usual form, in the name of the King’s Majesty, his heirs or successors, attested under the hands and seals of twelve or more of the said peers, to the several and respective sheriffs of the several and respective counties, cities, and boroughs of England and Wales; and to the Constable of the Castle of Dover, Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, or his lieutenant for the time being, and to the Mayor and Bailiffs of Berwick upon Tweed; and to all and every other the said officers and persons to whom writs have been used to be directed, for the electing of the knights, citizens, barons and burgesses, of and for the said Counties, Cities, Cinque Ports and Boroughs, to be and appear at the Parliament at Westminster aforesaid, to be held on the third Monday in January then next following: all and every which writs the Clerks of the Petty Bag, and other clerks, to whom the writing of the writs for summons to the Parliament doth and shall belong, or whom the said Lords, or twelve or more of them shall appoint, shall at the command of the said Lords so assembled, or of any twelve or more of them, make and prepare ready for the signature of the said Lords, or any twelve or more of them, under pain of the loss of their places and offices, and of such other punishment as in the next, or any other encuring Parliament, shall be inflicted on him or them: and it is enacted that the said writs so issued shall be of the same power and force to all intents and purposes, as the writs or summons to Parliament under the Great Seal of England have ever been or ought to be. And all the messengers of the Chamber or others who shall be appointed by the said Lords, or any twelve or more, are hereby required faithfully and speedily to deliver the said writs to every person and persons, sheriffs, officers, and others, to whom the same shall be directed: which if the said messengers or any of them shall fail to perform, they shall forfeit their respective places, and incur such other pains and punishments as by that or any other ensuing Parliament shall be imposed on them.
III. And it is also further enacted, that all and every the peers of this realm shall make their appearance, and shall assemble on the said third Monday in January, in such manner, and to such effect, and with such power, as if they had received every of them writs of summons to Parliament under the Great Seal of England, in the usual and accustomed manner. And in case the said Lords, or twelve or more of them, shall fail to issue forth such writs, or that the said writs do not come to the said several Counties, Cities, Cinque Ports and Boroughs, so that an election be not thereupon made; and in case there be not a Parliament assembled and held before the 23rd day of the said month of January, and so from time to time, and in all times hereafter, if there shall not be a Parliament assembled and held before the said 23rd day of January, then in every such case as aforesaid the Parliament shall assemble, and be held in the usual place at Westminster, in such manner, and by such means only, as is hereafter in this present Act declared and enacted, and not otherwise, on the second Tuesday which shall be in the month of March next after the said 23rd day of January; at which Parliament the peers of this realm shall make their appearance, and shall assemble at the time and place aforesaid, and shall each of them be liable unto such pains and censures for his and their not appearing and serving then and there in Parliament, as if he or they had been summoned by writ under the Great Seal of England, and had not appeared and served; and to such further pains and censures, as by the rest of the peers in Parliament assembled they shall be adjudged unto.
IV. And for the better assembling of the knights, citizens, barons, and burgesses to the said Parliament, as aforesaid, it is further enacted, that the several and respective sheriffs of the several and respective Counties, Cities and Boroughs of England and Wales, and the Chancellors, Masters and Scholars of both and every of the Universities, and the Mayor and Bailiffs of the borough of Berwick upon Tweed, shall at the several courts and places to be held and appointed for their respective Counties, Universities, Cities and Boroughs, next after the said 23rd day of January, cause such knight and knights, citizen and citizens, burgess and burgesses of their said Counties, Universities, Cities and Boroughs respectively, to be chosen by such persons, and in such manner, as if several and respective writs of summons to Parliament, under the Great Seal of England, had issued, and been awarded. And in case any of the several Sheriffs, or the Chancellors, Masters and Scholars of either of the Universities, or the Mayor and Bailiffs of Berwick respectively, do not before ten of the clock in the forenoon of the same day wherein the several and respective courts and places shall be held or appointed for their several and respective Counties, Universities, Cities and Boroughs as aforesaid, begin and proceed on according to the meaning of this law, in causing elections to be made of such knight and knights, citizen and citizens, burgess and burgesses, of their said Counties, Universities, Cities and Boroughs as aforesaid, then the freeholders of each County, and the Masters and Scholars of every the Universities, and the citizens and others having voices in such election respectively, in each University, City and Borough, that shall be assembled at the said courts or places to be held, or appointed, as aforesaid, shall forthwith, without further warrant or direction, proceed to the election of such knight or knights, citizen or citizens, burgess or burgesses aforesaid, in such manner as is usual in cases of writs of summons issued and awarded.
V. And it is further enacted that the several and respective sheriffs of their several and respective counties, and the Constables of the Castle of Dover, and Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, or his lieutenant for the time being respectively, shall after the said 23rd day of January, and before the 8th day of February then immediately next ensuing, award and send forth their precepts to the several and respective cities and boroughs within their several counties, and likewise unto the said Cinque Ports respectively, commanding them respectively to make choice of such citizen and citizens, barons, burgess and burgesses, to serve in the said Parliament, at the time and place aforesaid: which said Cities, Cinque Ports and Boroughs respectively, shall before the last day of the said month of February make election of such citizen and citizens, barons, burgess and burgesses, as if writs for summoning of a Parliament, under the Great Seal of England, has issued and been awarded. And in case no such precept shall come unto the said Cities, Cinque Ports and Boroughs respectively, by the time herein limited: or in case any precept shall come, and no election be made thereupon, before the said last day of February, that then the several citizens, burgesses, and other persons that ought to elect and send citizens, barons, and burgesses to the Parliament, shall on the first Tuesday in March then next ensuing the said last day of February make choice of such citizen and citizens, barons, burgess and burgesses, as if a writ of summons under the Great Seal of England had issued and been awarded, and precepts thereupon issued, to such Cities, Cinque Ports and Boroughs: which knights, citizens, barons and burgesses so chosen shall appear and serve in Parliament at the time and place aforesaid, and shall each of them be liable unto such pains and censures for his and their not appearing and serving then and there in Parliament, as if he or they had been elected and chosen by virtue of a writ under the Great Seal of England, and shall be likewise subject unto such further pains and censures for his and their not appearing and serving then and there in Parliament, as if he or they had been elected and chosen by virtue of a writ under the Great Seal of England, and shall be likewise subject to such further pains and censures as by the rest of the knights, citizens and burgesses assembled in the Commons House of Parliament, he or they shall be adjudged unto. And the sheriffs and other officers and persons to whom it appertaineth shall make returns, and accept and receive the returns of such elections in like manner as if writs of summons had issued, and been executed, as hath been used and accustomed: and in default of the sheriffs and other officers respectively, in not accepting or making return of such elections, it shall and may be lawful to and for the several freeholders, and other persons that have elected, to make returns of the knights, citizens, barons and burgesses by them elected, which shall be as good and effectual to all intents and purposes as if the sheriff or other officers had received a writ of summons for a Parliament, and had made such returns: and that such elections, precepts and returns shall be had and made at such times, by such persons, and in such manner, as before in this Act is expressed and declared, according to the true intent and meaning of this law; any writ, proclamation, edict, act, restraint, inhibition, order or warrant to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding. And in case any person or persons shall be so hardy to advise, frame, contrive, serve or put in execution any such writs, proclamation, edict, act, restraint, inhibition, order or warrant thereupon, then he or they so offending shall incur and sustain the pains, penalties and forfeitures limited, ordained and provided in and by the Statute of Provision and Premunire made in the 16th year of King Richard the Second, and shall from thenceforth be disabled, during his life, to sue and implead any person in any action real or personal, or to make any gift, grant, conveyance, or other disposition of any his lands, tenements, hereditaments, goods or chattels which he hath to his own use, either by act executed in his lifetime, or by his last will, or otherwise, or to take any gift, conveyance, or legacy to his own use: and if any Sheriff, Constable of the Castle of Dover, or Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, shall not perform his duty enjoined by this Act, then he shall lose and forfeit the sum of £1000, and every County, City, Cinque Port and Borough that shall not make election of their knights, citizens, barons and burgesses, respectively, shall incur the penalties following (that is to say) every County the sum of £1000, and every City, which is no County, £200, and every Cinque Port and Borough the sum of £100; all and every of which several forfeitures, and all other forfeitures in this Act mentioned, shall and may be recovered in any of the King’s Courts of Record at Westminster, without naming the Christian name and surname of the said Mayor for the time being, by action of debt, bill, plaint or information, wherein no essoine, protection, wager of law, aid, prayer, privilege, injunction, or order of restraint, shall be in any wise prayed, granted or allowed, nor any more than one imparlance: and if any person after notice given that the action depending is grounded and prosecuted upon or by virtue of this Statute shall cause or procure any such action to be stayed or delayed before judgment by colour or means of any order, warrant, power or authority, save only of the court wherein such action as aforesaid shall be brought or depending, or after judgment had upon such action, shall cause or procure the execution of, or upon any such judgment, to be stayed or delayed by colour or means of any order, warrant, power or authority, save only by writ of error or attaint, that then the said persons so offending shall incur and sustain all and every the pains, penalties and forfeitures, limited, ordained and provided in and by the said Statute of Provision and Premunire, made in the 16th of King Richard the Second. And if any Lord Mayor of London shall at any time hereafter commence or prefer any such suit, action or information, and shall happen to die or be removed out of his office before recovery and execution had, that yet not such action, suit or information, sued, commenced or preferred, shall by such displacing or death be abated, discontinued or ended, but that it shall and may be lawful to and for the Lord Mayor of the City of London next succeeding in that office and place, to prosecute, pursue and follow all and every such action, bill, plaint or information for the causes aforesaid, so hanging and depending in such manner and form, and to all intents and purposes, as that Lord Mayor might have done, which first commenced or preferred the same. The fifth part of all and every the forfeitures in this Act mentioned, shall go and be, to, and for the use and behoof of the City of London, and the other four parts and residue to be employed and disposed to, and for such only uses, intents and purposes as by the knights, citizens and burgesses in Parliament assembled, shall be declared, directed and appointed.
Provided that in case the freeholders of any County and inhabitants, or other persons having or claiming power to make election of any knights, citizens, barons or burgesses, shall proceed to making of election of their knights, citizens, barons and burgesses, which election shall afterwards fall out to be adjudged or declared void in law by the House of Commons, by reason of equality of voices or misdemeanour of any person whatsoever, then the said County, City, Cinque Port or Borough shall not incur the penalties in this law, so as an election de facto be made.
VI. And it is further enacted, that no Parliament henceforth to be assembled shall be dissolved or prorogued within fifty days at least after the time appointed for the meeting thereof, unless it be by assent of His Majesty, his heirs or successors, and of both Houses in Parliament assembled; and that neither the House of Peers nor the House of Commons shall be adjourned within fifty days at least after the meeting thereof, unless it be by the free consent of every the said Houses respectively.
VII. And be it further enacted and declared by authority of this present Parliament, that the Peers to be assembled at any Parliament by virtue of this Act, shall and may from time to time, at any time during such their assembly in Parliament, choose and declare such person to be Speaker for the said Peers as they shall think fit. And likewise that the said knights, citizens and burgesses to be assembled at any Parliament by virtue of this Act, shall and may from time to time, at any time during such their assembly in Parliament, choose and declare one of themselves to be Speaker for the said knights, citizens and burgesses of the House of Commons assembled in the said Parliament as they shall think fit; which said Speakers, and every of them, as well for the said Peers as for the said House of Commons respectively, shall, by virtue of this Act, be perfect and complete Speakers for the said Houses respectively, and shall have as full and large power, jurisdiction and privileges, to all intents and purposes, as any Speaker or Speakers of either of the said Houses respectively, heretofore have had or enjoyed.
VIII. And it is further enacted and declared, that all Parliaments hereafter to be assembled by authority of this Act and every member thereof shall have and enjoy all rights, privileges, jurisdictions and immunities, as any Parliament summoned by writ under the Great Seal of England, or any member thereof might or ought to have; and all and every the members that shall be elected and chosen to serve in any Parliament hereafter to be assembled by authority of this Act as aforesaid, shall assemble and meet in the Commons House of Parliament, and shall enter into the same, and have voices in such Parliament before and without the taking of the several oaths of supremacy and allegiance, or either of them, any law or statute to the contrary thereof in any wise notwithstanding.
IX. Provided always, that if the King’s Majesty, his heirs or successors, shall at any time during any Parliament hereafter to be assembled by authority of this Act as aforesaid, award or direct any commission or commissions unto any person or persons whatsoever, thereby giving power and authority to him or them to take and receive the oath of supremacy and allegiance, of all or any the members of the Commons House of Parliament, and any the members of that House being duly required thereunto, shall refuse or neglect to take and pronounce the same, that from thenceforth such person so refusing or neglecting shall be deemed no member of that House, nor shall have any voice therein, and shall suffer such pains and penalties as if he had presumed to sit in the same House without election, return or authority.
X. And it is likewise provided and enacted, that this Statute shall be publicly read yearly at every General Sessions of the Peace, to be held next after the Epiphany, and every Assizes then next ensuing by the Clerk of the Peace and Clerk of the Assizes for the time being respectively. And if they or either of them shall neglect or fail to do the same accordingly, then such party so neglecting or failing shall forfeit the sum of one hundred pounds.
XI. And it is lastly provided and enacted, that His Majesty’s royal assent to this Bill shall not thereby determine this present Session of Parliament1 , and that all statutes and Acts of Parliament which are to have continuance unto the end of this present Session, shall be of full force after His Majesty’s assent, until this present Session be fully ended and determined; and if this present Session shall determine by dissolution of this present Parliament, then all the Acts and statutes aforesaid shall be continued until the end of the first Session of the next Parliament.
[May 3, 1641. Rushworth, viii. 735. See Hist. of Engl. ix. 353.]
We the knights, citizens and burgesses of the Commons House in Parliament, finding to the grief of our hearts that the designs of the Priests and Jesuits, and other adherents to the See of Rome, have of late been more boldly and frequently put in practice than formerly, to the undermining and danger of the true reformed Protestant religion in His Majesty’s dominions established; and finding also that there hath been, and having just cause to suspect there still are, even during the sittings in Parliament, endeavours to subvert the fundamental laws of England and Ireland, and to introduce the exercise of an arbitrary and tyrannical government by most pernicious and wicked counsels, practices, plots and conspiracies; and that the long intermission and unhappier breach of Parliaments hath occasioned many illegal taxations, whereby the subjects have been prosecuted and grieved; and that divers innovations and superstitions have been brought into the Church, multitudes driven out of His Majesty’s dominions, jealousies raised and fomented between the King and his people; a Popish army levied in Ireland, and two armies2 brought into the bowels of this kingdom, to the hazard of His Majesty’s royal person, the consumption of the revenue of the crown and the treasure of this realm. And lastly, finding the great cause of jealousy, that endeavours have been, and are used, to bring the English army into a misunderstanding of this Parliament, thereby to incline that army by force to bring to pass those wicked counsels; have therefore thought good to join ourselves in a Declaration of our united affections and resolutions and to make this ensuing Protestation:—
I, A. B., do, in the presence of God, promise, vow and protest to maintain and defend, as far as lawfully I may with my life, power and estate, the true reformed Protestant religion expressed in the doctrine of the Church of England, against all Popery and popish innovation within this realm, contrary to the said doctrine, and according to the duty of my allegiance, I will maintain and defend His Majesty’s royal person and estate, as also the power and privilege of Parliaments, the lawful rights and liberties of the subjects, and every person that shall make this Protestation in whatsoever he shall do, in the lawful pursuance of the same; and to my power, as far as lawfully I may, I will oppose, and by all good ways and means endeavour to bring to condign punishment all such as shall by force, practice, counsels, plots, conspiracies or otherwise do anything to the contrary in this present Protestation contained: and further, that I shall in all just and honourable ways endeavour to preserve the union and peace betwixt the three kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland, and neither for hope, fear or any other respects, shall relinquish this promise, vow and protestation.
The Act for the Attainder of the Earl of Strafford.
[May 10, 1641. Statutes of the Realm, v. 177. See Hist. of Engl. ix. 329-366.]
Whereas the knights, citizens and burgesses of the House of Commons in this present Parliament assembled, have, in the name of themselves and of all the Commons of England, impeached Thomas Earl of Strafford of high treason, for endeavouring to subvert the ancient and fundamental laws and government of His Majesty’s realms of England and Ireland, and to introduce an arbitrary and tyrannical government against law in the said kingdoms, and for exercising a tyrannous and exorbitant power above and against the laws of the said kingdoms, over the liberties, estates and lives of His Majesty’s subjects; and likewise for having by his own authority commanded the laying and sessing of soldiers upon His Majesty’s subjects in Ireland, against their consents, to compel them to obey his unlawful summons and orders, made upon paper petitions in causes between party and party, which accordingly was executed upon divers of His Majesty’s subjects in a warlike manner within the said realm of Ireland; and in so doing did levy war against the King’s Majesty and his liege-people in that kingdom; and also for that he, upon the unhappy dissolution of the last Parliament, did slander the House of Commons to His Majesty; and did counsel and advise His Majesty that he was loose and absolved from rules of government; and that he had an army in Ireland which he might employ to reduce this kingdom, for which he deserves to undergo the pains and forfeitures of high treason. And the said Earl hath also been an incendiary of the wars between the two kingdoms of England and Scotland, all which offences hath been sufficiently proved against the said Earl upon his impeachment.
Be it therefore enacted by the King’s Most Excellent Majesty, and by the Lords and Commons in this present Parliament assembled, and by authority of the same, that the said Earl of Strafford, for the heinous crimes and offences aforesaid, stand and be adjudged and attainted of high treason, and shall suffer such pains of death, and incur the forfeitures of his goods and chattels, lands, tenements and hereditaments of any estate of freehold or inheritance in the said kingdoms of England and Ireland, which the said Earl or any other to his use, or in trust for him, have or had, the day of the first sitting of this Parliament, or at any time since.
Provided1 that no judge or judges, justice or justices whatsoever, shall adjudge or interpret any act or thing to be treason, nor hear or determine any treason nor in any other manner than he or they should or ought to have done before the making of this Act, and as if this Act had never been had nor made; saving always unto all and singular persons, bodies, politic and corporate, their heirs and successors, others than the said Earl and his heirs, and such as claim from, by, or under him, all such right, title and interest of, in, and to all and singular such of the lands, tenements and hereditaments, as he, they, or any of them had before the first day of this present Parliament, anything herein contained to the contrary notwithstanding.
Provided that the passing of this present Act, or His Majesty’s assent thereunto, shall not be any determination of this present Sessions of Parliament; but that this present Sessions of Parliament, and all Bills and matters whatsoever depending in Parliament, and not fully enacted or determined, and all statutes and Acts of Parliament which have their continuance until the end of this present Sessions of Parliament, shall remain, continue, and be in full force, as if this Act had not been.
The Act against Dissolving the Long Parliament without its own consent.
[May 10, 1641. 17 Car. I. cap. 7. Statutes of the Realm, v. 103. See Hist. of Engl. ix. 359, 367.]
An Act to prevent inconveniences which may happen by the untimely adjourning, proroguing, or dissolving this present Parliament.
Whereas great sums of money must of necessity be speedily advanced and provided for the relief of His Majesty’s army and people in the northern parts of this realm, and for preventing the imminent danger it is in, and for supply of other His Majesty’s present and urgent occasions, which cannot be so timely effected as is requisite without credit for raising the said monies; which credit cannot be obtained until such obstacles be first removed as are occasioned by fears, jealousies and apprehensions of divers His Majesty’s loyal subjects, that this present Parliament may be adjourned, prorogued, or dissolved, before justice shall be duly executed upon delinquents, public grievances redressed, a firm peace between the two nations of England and Scotland concluded, and before sufficient provision be made for the re-payment of the said monies so to be raised; all which the Commons in this present Parliament assembled, having duly considered, do therefore most humbly beseech your Majesty that it may be declared and enacted.
And be it declared and enacted by the King, our Sovereign Lord, with the assent of the Lords and Commons in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, that this present Parliament now assembled shall not be dissolved unless it be by Act of Parliament to be passed for that purpose; nor shall be, at any time or times, during the continuance thereof, prorogued or adjourned, unless it be by Act of Parliament to be likewise passed for that purpose; and that the House of Peers shall not at any time or times during this present Parliament be adjourned, unless it be by themselves or by their own order; and in like manner, that the House of Commons shall not, at any time or times, during this present Parliament, be adjourned, unless it be by themselves or by their own order; and that all and every thing or things whatsoever done, or to be done for the adjournment, proroguing, or dissolving of this present Parliament, contrary to this Act, shall be utterly void and of none effect.
The Tonnage and Poundage Act.
[June 22, 1641. 17 Car. I. cap. 8. Statutes of the Realm, v. 104. See Hist. of Engl. ix. 400.]
A subsidy granted to the King, of tonnage, poundage, and other sums of money payable upon merchandise exported and imported.
1. Whereas upon examination in this present Parliament of divers of the farmers, customers, and collectors of the customs upon merchandise, and likewise upon their own confession, it appeared that they have taken divers great sums of money of His Majesty’s subjects, and likewise of merchants aliens for goods imported and exported by the names of a subsidy of tonnage and poundage, and by colour of divers other impositions laid upon merchandise, which have been taken and received against the laws of the realm, in regard the said sums of money and impositions were not granted by common consent in Parliament, and for so doing have deserved condign punishment. Be it therefore declared and enacted by the King’s Most Excellent Majesty and the Lords and Commons in this present Parliament assembled: and it is hereby declared and enacted, That it is and hath been the ancient right of the subjects of this realm, that no subsidy, custom, impost, or other charge whatsoever ought or may be laid or imposed upon any merchandise exported or imported by subjects, denizens, or aliens without common consent in Parliament: yet nevertheless the Commons before whom those examinations were taken, taking into their consideration the great peril that might ensue to this realm by the not guarding of the seas, and the other inconveniences which might follow in case the said sums of money should upon the sudden be forborne to be paid by and with the advice and consent of the Lords in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, do give and grant to our supreme liege Lord and Sovereign one subsidy called tonnage, that is to say, of every tun of wine that is or shall come into this realm or any His Majesty’s dominions by way of merchandise the sum of three shillings, and so after that rate, and of every tun of sweet wines, as well malmsey as other, that is or shall come into this realm by any merchant alien three shillings, and so after the rate over and above the three shillings above mentioned, and of every awme of Rhenish wine that is or shall so come in twelve pence; and also one other subsidy called poundage, that is to say, of all manner of goods and merchandise of every merchant, denizen and alien carried or to be carried out of this realm, or any His Majesty’s dominions, or to be brought into the same by way of merchandise, of the value of every twenty shillings of the same goods and merchandise twelve pence, and so after the rate; and of every twenty shillings value of tin and pewter vessel carried out of this realm by every or any merchant alien, twelve pence over and above the twelve pence aforesaid, except and foreprized out of this grant of subsidy of poundage all manner of woollen cloth made or wrought, or which shall be made or wrought within this realm of England and by every or any merchant denizen, and not born alien, carried or to be carried out of this realm; and all manner of wools, woolfells, hides, and backs of leather, that is or shall be carried out of this realm; and all wines not before limited to pay subsidy or tonnage, and all manner of fresh fish and bestial coming or that shall come into this realm.
II. And further the said Commons by the advice, assent, and authority aforesaid, do give and grant unto our said liege Lord, our Sovereign for the causes aforesaid, one other subsidy, that is to say, of every merchant born denizen of and for every sack of wool thirty-three shillings four pence, and of and for every two hundred and forty woolfells thirty-three shillings four pence, and of and for every last of hides and backs three pounds six shillings eight pence, and so after the same rate for every less or greater quantity for any the same merchandise more or less; and of every merchant stranger not born denizen, of and for every sack of wool three pounds six shillings eight pence; and of and for every two hundred forty woolfells three pounds six shillings eight pence, and for every last of hides and backs three pounds thirteen shillings four pence, and so of all the said wools, woolfells, hides and backs, and of every of them after the rate, and such other sums of money as have been imposed upon any merchandise either outward or inward by pretext of any letters patents, commission under the Great Seal of England or Privy Seal, since the first year of the reign of his late Majesty King James of blessed memory, and which were continued and paid at the beginning of this present Parliament; to have, take, enjoy, and perceive the subsidies aforesaid, and other the fore-mentioned sums and every of them, and every part and parcel of them to our said liege Lord and Sovereign from the five and twentieth of May, one thousand six hundred forty-one, to the fifteenth of July next ensuing.
III. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid: that the said subsidy of tonnage, poundage, wools, and other sums of money shall be taken and employed during the time aforesaid to and for the intents and purposes, and upon and under such provisions, clauses, and limitations as are contained in one Act made in the Parliament held in the first year of the reign of his said late Majesty King James of blessed memory, entitled An Act for the granting of a Subsidy to the King, of Tonnage, Poundage, Wools, &c.
IV. And it is hereby declared that the sums of money hereby granted upon merchandise are not the rates intended to be continued, but the same to be hereafter in this present Parliament altered in such manner as shall be thought fit.
V. Provided that no penalty or forfeiture contained in this present Act or in the said Act made in the first year of King James do or shall ensue to any person or persons, unless they refuse to compound for any merchandise or goods imported or exported after notice given of this act, penalty, and forfeiture by proclamation, where the said goods are or ought to be entered.
VI. And it is further enacted that any customer or comptroller, or any other officer or person that after the determination of this grant shall take or receive or cause to be taken or received the said subsidy, sums of money or any other imposition upon merchandise whatsoever exported or imported (except the same by grant in Parliament be due, or by such grant shall become due or have been continually paid from the end of the reign of the late King Edward the Third until the beginning of the reign of the late Queen Mary), shall incur and sustain the pains, penalties, and forfeitures ordained and provided by the Statute of Provision and Premunire made in the sixteenth year of King Richard the Second, and shall also from thenceforth be disabled during his life to sue or implead any person in any action real, mixed or personal, or in any court whatsoever.
VII. Provided always that this Act shall not extend to any imposition or charge upon any sort of tobacco of English plantations, but that the said tobaccos shall be charged only with the payment of two pence in the pound and no more.
The Ten Propositions.
[June 24, 1641. Rushworth, iv. 298. See Hist. of Engl. ix. 401.]
A large conference with the Lords, concerning several particulars about disbanding the army, the Capuchins, &c.
I. The first head, concerning the disbanding of the armies; and under this there are several particulars.
1. That five regiments, according to the former order of both Houses, be first disbanded.
2. That the Commissioners for Scotland be entreated to retire some part of their army.
3. That their lordships will join with us in a petition to His Majesty, to declare his pleasure concerning the disbanding of the five regiments, for which there is present money provided, and of the rest of the army as soon as money is ready.
4. And to declare if any be refractory, and contemn His Majesty’s authority, that he will use it for the punishment of them.
5. And that the Lord General1 go down to his charge of the army, and begin his journey on Saturday next; and that the Master of the Ordnance go then down also to take care of his charge of artillery.
II. The second head is concerning His Majesty’s journey to Scotland.
That His Majesty will be pleased to allow a convenient time before his journey into Scotland; that both armies be first disbanded, and some of the business of importance, concerning the peace of the kingdom depending in Parliament, may be dispatched before his going: this is seconded with divers reasons.
1. The safety of His Majesty’s person.
2. Preventing the jealousies of his subjects.
3. Suppressing of the hopes of persons ill-affected, that may have designs upon the army to disturb the peace of the kingdom.
4. Great advantage to the King’s affairs, and contentment to his people.
5. That some of the Bills now depending in Parliament, whereof divers are sent up already to the Lords, and some proceeding in this House, may receive his royal assent before he go to Scotland; and that we may have time to pass the Bill of Tonnage to His Majesty for supporting of the royal estate, and to settle His Majesty’s revenues for the best advantage of his service; and for these reasons to allow some time before he go into the North.
III. The third head, concerning His Majesty’s Council and Ministers of State.
1. Both Houses to make suit to His Majesty to remove from him all such counsellors as I am commanded to describe; viz. such as have been active for the time past in furthering those courses contrary to religion, liberty, good government of the kingdom, and as have lately interested themselves in those Councils, to stir up division between him and his people.
2. As we desire removal of those that are evil, so to take into his Council for managing of the great affairs of this kingdom such officers and counsellors as his people and Parliament may have just cause to confide in. This is all concerning the third head.
IV. The fourth head, touching the Queen’s Most Excellent Majesty, which containeth divers particulars.
1. That His Majesty be pleased, by advice of his Parliament, to persuade the Queen to accept some of the nobility, and others of trust, into Her Majesty’s service, into such places as are now in her disposal.
2. That no Jesuit, nor any in orders, what countrymen soever, whether French or Italian, be received into Her Majesty’s service; nor any Priests of His Majesty’s dominion, English Scottish, or Irish; and that they be restrained from coming to the Court.
3. That the College of Capuchins at Somerset House may be dissolved and sent out of the kingdom. These two which I last mentioned concerning the Queen, Priests, Jesuits, and Capuchins, I am commanded to deliver you some particulars for.
(1) Public danger and scandal of this kingdom, and peace of the kingdom.
(2) The disaffection of some of those wicked conspirators is expressed in two letters; which letters were here read openly.
(3) A particular letter of Father Phillips here also read.
(4) Because of the Priests, Jesuits, and the College, there are divers great quantities of gold transported frequently.
(5) Particular touching the Queen is upon special occasions of His Majesty’s absence, that their lordships will be pleased to join with us to advise the King that some of the nobility, and others of quality, with competent guards, may be appointed to attend the Queen’s person, against all designs of papists, and of ill-affected persons, and of restraining resort thither in his absence.
V. The fifth head concerns the King’s children, that some persons of public trust, and well-affected in religion, may be placed about the Prince. who may take care of his education, and of the rest of his children, especially in matters of religion and liberty.
VI. The sixth head concerneth such as shall come into the kingdom with titles of being the Pope’s nuncio, that it may be declared that if any man come into this kingdom with instructions from the Pope of Rome, it be a case of high treason; and that he be out of the King’s protection and out of the protection of the law; and I am to inform your lordships, that there is notice given upon very good grounds, that Count Rossetti1 doth yet continue in the kingdom and yet resorts unto the Court.
VII. The seventh head is concerning the security and peace of the kingdom.
1. That there may be good lord-lieutenants, and deputy-lieutenants; and such as may be faithful and trusty, and careful of the peace of the kingdom.
2. That the trained bands be furnished with arms and powder, and bullets, and exercised and made fit for service; and that a special oath may be prepared, by consent of both Houses, authorised by law; and to be taken by the lord-lieutenants and deputy-lieutenants, captains, and other officers, such an oath as may be fit to secure us in these times of danger.
3. That the Cinque Ports and all the ports of the kingdom may be put into good hands; and a list of those in whose charge they now are may be presented in Parliament, and special care taken for the reparation and provision of those ports.
4. That my Lord Admiral1 may inform the Parliament in what case His Majesty’s navy is, which is to be provided for out of tonnage and poundage for the security and peace of the kingdom.
VIII. The eighth head, that His Majesty be pleased to give directions to his learned council to prepare a general pardon in such a large manner as may be for the relief of His Majesty’s subjects.
IX. The ninth head doth concern a committee of both Houses, that their lordships would appoint a number of their members to join together, with a proportionable number of this House, who from time to time may confer upon some particular causes, as shall be most effectual for the common good.
X. The tenth and last head, that His Majesty be moved that he would be pleased to be very sparing in sending for Papists to Court; and that if any should come without being sent for, that the laws be severely put in execution against them; and that the English ladies that are recusants, be removed from Court; and that His Majesty be moved to give his assent, that the persons of the most active Papists, either Lords or Commons, may be so restrained as may be most necessary for the safety of the kingdom; and that no pensions be allowed to such recusants as are held dangerous to the state.
Bill on Church Reform bead twice in the House of Lords1 .
[House of Lords’ MSS. First reading July 1, second reading July 3, 16412 . See Fuller, Church History, ed. Brewer, vi. 188; Hist. of Engl. ix. 409.]
An Act for the better regulating of Archbishops, Bishops, Deans, Deans and Chapters, Canons and Prebends, and the better ordering of their revenues, and for the better governing of the Courts Ecclesiastical and the Ministers thereof, and the proceeding therein.
Whereas the preaching of God’s Holy Word hath of late years been much neglected in several places, and to the end that Archbishops and Bishops may from henceforth give good examples to others in Holy Orders, by doing their duties in their own persons for the better instruction of the people committed to their charge, His Majesty, out of his abundant goodness and religious care of the souls of his people, is graciously pleased that it be enacted, and by the authority of this present Parliament be it enacted, that every Archbishop and Bishop, being under the age of seventy years, and not being hindered by sickness and being within his diocese, shall from henceforth, from and after the first day of January now next ensuing, upon every Lord’s Day throughout the year, preach in some one Cathedral Church, Parish Church or public Chapel, upon pain to forfeit the sum of five pounds for every default therein, to the use of the poor of the same parish where the said Archbishop or Bishop shall then be, where he make such default, and of the poor of the four parishes thereunto next adjoining, the same to be levied of the goods of every such offender by distress and sale thereof, and rendering the overplus to the owner thereof, by warrant of any one Justice of the Peace next or near adjoining to the place where such offence shall be committed, to be directed to the constable, churchwardens and overseers of the poor of the said several parishes and every of them. And to the intent that the said Archbishops, Bishops and all other persons now or at any time hereafter being in Holy Orders, may not be hindered to discharge their duties in the office of the Ministry by intermeddling with secular affairs: be it therefore enacted by the authority aforesaid, that no Archbishop, Bishop, Parson, Vicar or other person whatsoever, that hath received or at any time hereafter shall receive any degree in Holy Orders with cure of souls, shall at any time from and after the said first day of January have any suffrage or vote, or use or execute any power or authority in the Court usually called the Star-Chamber, nor shall have any suffrage or voice, or use or execute any judicial power or authority in any other temporal Court whatsoever; nor shall be any Justice of Peace, nor use nor execute the office of a Justice of the Peace by virtue or colour of any statute, commission, charter or otherwise within the kingdom of England or dominion of Wales; nor shall have or enjoy any judicial room or place in any of the said Courts, nor shall execute any commission that shall issue from any standing temporal Court whatsoever; nor shall be of the Privy Council of His Majesty, his heirs or successors, but shall be wholly disabled and incapable to have, receive, use or execute any of the said offices, places, powers and authorities aforesaid. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that all acts from and after the said first day of January which shall be done or executed by any Archbishop, Bishop, Parson, Vicar or other person whatsoever in Holy Orders, and all and every suffrage, vote and voice to be given or delivered by them or any of them, contrary to the purport and true meaning of this present Act, shall be utterly void in law to all intents, constructions and purposes; and be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that if any Archbishop, Bishop, Parson, Vicar or other person whatsoever in Holy Orders from or after the said first day of January, shall give his or their votes, suffrage or voice, or shall do or execute anything prohibited or forbidden by this Act, contrary to the true intent and meaning thereof, shall for the first offence forfeit and lose so much money as shall amount unto the full and true value of one whole year’s profit and benefit of all his and their spiritual and ecclesiastical livings, benefices, dignities and promotions whatsoever, the same to be recovered in any of His Majesty’s Courts of Record by action of debt, bill, plaint or information by him or them that will sue for the same, in which suit no essoine, protection, wager of law, aid, prayer, privilege, injunction or order of restraint, nor any more than one imparlance shall be in anywise prayed, granted, admitted or allowed, the one moiety whereof to be unto our Sovereign Lord the King, his heirs and successors, and the other moiety to him or them that will sue for the same. And if any Archbishop, Bishop, Parson, Vicar or other person whatsoever, once convict of any offence concerning the premises or against whom any such recovery shall be had as aforesaid, shall therein offend again or shall thereafter do anything contrary to the true intent and meaning of this law, and shall be thereof duly convicted by indictment, information or any other lawful ways or means, then such party shall from and after such conviction, forfeit and lose, and be incapable to hold all and every the spiritual and ecclesiastical livings, benefices, dignities and promotions which he shall then have, and be from thenceforth utterly disabled to have, receive, take or enjoy any the same spiritual or ecclesiastical livings, benefices, dignities or promotions whatsoever; and that all the spiritual and ecclesiastical livings, benefices, dignities and promotions which he shall have at the time of such conviction1 , shall be to all intents, constructions and purposes utterly void. Provided always, and be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, that no lapse shall incur against the patron or such person as ought to present unto, collate or dispose of all or any such spiritual or ecclesiastical benefices, livings, dignities or promotions until six months after notice given by the Ordinary of the Diocese within which such spiritual or ecclesiastical living, benefice, dignity or promotion shall be, unto the patron or other person that ought to present thereunto, or collate or dispose thereof. And be it likewise further provided and enacted, that this Act, or any clause or thing therein contained, shall not extend unto the exercise of any jurisdiction, power or authority within either of the two Universities or the liberties thereof, nor unto any person or persons being or who hereafter shall be in Holy Orders, and who is or hereafter shall be a Duke, Marquis, Earl, Viscount, Baron or Peer of this kingdom by descent, nor unto the exercise of any the power of a Justice of Peace at any time heretofore given by any Act of Parliament to the Dean of Westminster within the liberties of Westminster, at Saint Martin’s Le Grand in London.
And to the end that Archbishops and Bishops within their several dioceses may have such assistance as may hereafter tend and be for the better execution of their said offices and places, be it therefore enacted by the authority aforesaid, that within every shire or county of each several diocese within the kingdom of England and dominion of Wales there be nominated, in such manner as is hereafter expressed, twelve ministers being in Holy Orders, and being fit both in respect of their life and doctrine, to be assistants to every such Archbishop and Bishop, together with the Dean and Chapter of each several diocese, in conferring of Holy Orders and in the exercise and administration of ecclesiastical jurisdiction, and for such other purposes as be hereafter declared; and that none of the said Archbishops or Bishops at any time from henceforth shall confer any Holy Orders upon any person or persons without the presence and approbation of four of the said assistants at the least; and that none of the said Archbishops or Bishops, or any Dean, Archdeacon, Chancellor, Commissary, Official, Surrogate or other person having or exercising any ecclesiastical jurisdiction within any of the dioceses aforesaid, or within any places of peculiar or exempt jurisdiction whatsoever, shall pronounce any sentence of degradation, deprivation or suspension against any minister or other person in Holy Orders, or any sentence of excommunication or absolution of or against any person whatsoever, or shall proceed to the final sentence of any cause whatsoever depending in any of their several Courts, or to the sentence or taxation of costs or charges of suit, or to the making of any request or instance to any ordinary or superior Judge to hear or determine any cause depending before them without the presence and approbation of two or, at the least, of one of the said assistants next dwelling; and that the said assistants shall from time to time be nominated or chosen in manner following, that is to say: before the said first day of January four of them by the King’s Majesty, his heirs or successors, under the sign manual; four other of them by the order of the Lords in Parliament assembled, and the other four by the order of the House of Commons in Parliament assembled; and upon the death or removal of any of the said assistants out of any of the shires or counties in the several dioceses aforesaid respectively, such other person or persons shall be named in their stead and to supply their rooms, as by His Majesty, his heirs or successors, shall be nominated and appointed in like manner as is aforesaid, which said assistants and every of them respectively, shall from time to time hereafter give their personal attendance in and for the due execution of the trust by this Act in them reposed, at each public Ordination within each several diocese, and at such other times when any such sentence, or any such taxation of costs, or any such act for request or instance shall be made as is aforesaid, upon sufficient notice to be given or left at their several dwelling-houses by the known apparitor of any such Archbishop or Bishop by the space of fourteen days next before any meeting shall be had for any of the purposes aforesaid; and if any such assistant, having such notice as is aforesaid, shall fail to appear at the place so intimated unto him as is aforesaid, that then the said assistant for every such default shall forfeit £10, to be levied by distress and sale of the goods of every such offender (rendering to every such offender the overplus) to the use of the poor of the parish where such assistant shall be then dwelling, by warrant from any Justice of the Peace next or nigh adjoining to the said parish, to be directed to the constable, churchwarden or overseer of the same parish or any of them, unless the said offender shall have such reasonable excuse for his said default as shall be allowed by the said Archbishop or by the Bishop of the same diocese and the said then other assistants respectively, or the greater number of them, within three months next after any such default. And be it also enacted by the authority aforesaid, that all sentences and other of the acts of Courts aforesaid, which at any time hereafter shall be sped, pronounced, declared or made in any other manner than is by this present Act appointed, shall be utterly void to all intents and purposes; and that all and every Archbishop, Bishop and other the ecclesiastical Judges aforesaid, which shall speed, pronounce, declare or make any of the said sentences or acts of Court, or which shall confer any Holy Orders otherwise than as by this Act is limited and appointed, shall ipso facto be suspended from the exercise of their said respective places, offices and functions by the space of one whole year next ensuing every such offence, and shall forfeit for every such offence the sum of £100, to be recovered by bill, action, plaint or information by any person that shall sue for the same in any of His Majesty’s Courts of Record, in which no wager of law, essoine, protection, privilege, injunction or order of restraint, nor any more than one imparlance shall be admitted or allowed, the one moiety of the said forfeiture to be to such person or persons as will sue for the same, and the other to be employed to and for the relief of the poor of the parish where the said offence shall be committed.
And that from henceforth such persons may be preferred to be Archbishops and Bishops which shall be of the best integrity of life, soundness of doctrine and fitness for government, be it therefore enacted by authority of this present Parliament, that upon every avoidance of any of the Archbishops or Bishops aforesaid at any time hereafter to be made, the Dean and Chapter of each several diocese respectively, and the said assistants of all the shires and counties within the said diocese, so to be named as is aforesaid, or the greater number of the said Dean, Chapter and assistants then living within twenty days next after every such avoidance, shall, by a writing under their hands and seals, recommend and present to His Majesty, his heirs or successors, the names of three persons in Holy Orders within the same or any other of the said dioceses, whom in their judgments they shall hold fit and worthy for so great a function; and that thereupon His Majesty, his heirs or successors, shall and may be pleased by his or their Letters Patents, under the Great Seal of England, to nominate one of the said three persons to be Archbishop or Bishop of the see so respectively being void; and if the same be a Bishopric which shall be so void, that then the nomination by His Majesty, his heirs or successors, to be as aforesaid made, shall be made to the Archbishop of the Province within which the see of the said Bishopric shall happen to be; and if it shall be an Archbishopric which shall be so void, that then every such nomination shall be made to the other Archbishop or, in his vacancy, to four such Bishops within this realm of England as shall be thereunto appointed by His Majesty, his heirs or successors; and that with all convenient speed, after every such nomination to be made as is aforesaid, the said Archbishop or four Bishops, to whom the same shall be made as is aforesaid, shall invest and consecrate the said person so nominated to the said Archbishopric or Bishopric so being void; and that every person hereafter being so nominated as aforesaid to any Archbishopric or Bishopric, and so invested and consecrated and receiving their temporalities out of the hands of His Majesty, his heirs or successors, and taking their oath and making their homage as in such case is now accustomed, shall and may from thenceforth be installed and have and take their restitution out of the hands of His Majesty, his heirs or successors, of all the possessions, rents and profits belonging to the said Archbishopric or Bishopric whereunto they shall be so nominated as is aforesaid, and shall be from thenceforth enabled fully and to all intents and purposes to do, execute and perform all and every thing and things in the present Act expressed and declared to be done by every such Archbishop and Bishop respectively, and in such manner as in and by this present Act is expressed, limited and appointed, and also to do all such other thing or things as any Archbishop or Bishop of the same see might lawfully do before the making of this present Act; and if the said Dean, Chapter and assistants shall defer or delay such their nomination and presentment of the names of the said three persons longer than by the space of twenty days next after the avoidance of any such Archbishopric or Bishopric as is aforesaid, that then upon every such default the King’s Majesty, his heirs and successors, at their liberty and pleasure, shall and may nominate and present any such person as they shall think fit, as if this present Act had not been made, anything herein to the contrary thereof notwithstanding. And for every such default the said Dean and Chapter and assistants, or such of them as shall be in such default as is aforesaid, shall forfeit the sum of £100 to be recovered by bill, action, plaint or information by any person that will sue for the same in any of His Majesty’s said Courts of Record, in which no wager of law, essoine, protection, privilege, injunction or other order of restraint, nor any more than one imparlance shall be admitted or allowed, the one moiety of the said forfeiture to be to such person or persons as will sue for the same, and the other to be employed to and for the use of such Commissioners as shall be hereafter nominated by this present Act for the buying in of impropriations.
And to the intent the revenues of Deans and Chapters and of all Cathedrals and Collegiate Churches may be better employed for the good of the Church and advancement of religion, and that the Deans, Canons, Prebendaries and Residentiaries may not themselves live idly during the time of their residencies, but spend their times for the instructing of the people, well ordering of the Church, and good example of other Ministers; be it further enacted, that all Deans and Chapters, and Residentiaries and Prebendaries in Cathedral or Collegiate Churches, that hold any living or livings with cure of souls, shall so dispose of their time of residency in the said Cathedral or Collegiate Churches, as that they shall not severally and respectively spend more time in their said residence than sixty days in one year, all local statutes of the said Churches to the contrary notwithstanding; and that they shall likewise preach or provide to be preached two sermons upon every Lord’s Day, the one in the forenoon and the other in the afternoon, and one upon every Holy Day, and one Lecture upon every Wednesday, for which they shall pay to the Lecturer one hundred marks per annum at the least, in every one of the said Cathedral and Collegiate Churches, upon pain and penalty of £100 to the King upon every default, and to be suspended from the profit of their places for one whole year, and the profit of that year to be employed to raise a stock for the poor of that city or town, where such Cathedral or Collegiate Church is situate. And further, that when any Archbishop, Bishop, Dean, Dean and Chapter, or any other Dignitary or Prebendary of any Cathedral or Collegiate Church, Master, Fellows and Scholars of any College in either University or elsewhere in the kingdom of England, shall take a fine or sum of money for the renovation or letting of any lease belonging to any of their several corps or the communalty of their Church or College, or shall increase the rent upon any such lease, they shall lay aside one-fourth part of that fine or sum of money, and of that increase of yearly rent, for the buying in of impropriations of parsonages or vicarages or portions of tithes now made lay fees, all such sums of money to be delivered into the hands of so many able Commissioners as shall from time to time be nominated by the orders of both Houses of Parliament, in every shire or county of England and Wales, for the collecting and receiving of the said money, and for the purchasing and bringing in of such impropriations, when the money shall arise to a sufficient sum for such an employment, and that such fine shall not be agreed or concluded of between the lessors and lessees, or any other on their behalf, without the approbation of three of the said Commissioners under their hands in writing.
And be it further enacted, that every impropriation or parsonage or vicarage or portion of tithes now impropriate, shall by due course of law, upon the purchases thereof, be made disappropriate and annexed to the Church, and made presentative for ever, without any license of mortmain to be obtained for the same; and that the said Commissioners shall present a Clerk for the first time: the Archbishop, Bishop, Dean, Dean and Chapter (wherein these Dignities and Prebendaries are endowed), as also the Master, Fellows and Scholars of the said Colleges from whom those sums of money are received respectively, shall ever after the first time severally and respectively present or nominate such Clerks as shall have and receive the benefit thereof. And it is further provided and enacted, that of the sum remaining of any fine or sum of money received by or from any of these persons, bodies or corporations before mentioned, for any lease or increase of rent upon any impropriate rectory belonging to any of the said Archbishops, Bishops, Deans, Deans and Chapters, Dignities, Prebendaries, Masters, Fellows and Scholars of any of the said former Colleges, one-tenth part of the remaining fine shall be duly paid unto the Vicar or Curate (where no vicarage is endowed) that dischargeth the cure of the said impropriation, until the same shall be reunited and annexed to the Church, and be employed for the use and benefit of that minister who shall officiate the cure; and if any of the said Archbishops, Bishops, Deans, Deans and Chapters, Dignities, Prebendaries, Masters, Fellows and Scholars of any of the said Colleges, or any of them shall defraud or fail to pay unto the said Commissioners, or the said Vicars respectively, the said several apportioned fines and sums of money, the same being lawfully demanded at the two usual feasts of the year, the one of St. Michael the Archangel and the other of the Annunciation of Our Lady, all persons and corporations so offending shall forfeit unto the said Commissioners and Vicars respectively three times the value of that fine or sum of money so detained or not justly and duly paid, the same to be recovered by the Commissioners and Vicars respectively in any Court of Law or Equity.
Be it likewise enacted, that every Residentiary or Canon of any Cathedral or Collegiate Church, that hath a living with cure of souls, shall pay unto his Curate that preacheth and officiates that cure at or upon that living for his hire or his wages (over and besides his ordinary entertainment for the other part of the year), a proportion of the moiety of the value of that benefice, be it more or less, for that time of the year wherein such Prebendary, Residentiary or Canon liveth at the Cathedral Church, and is non-resident from his parsonage or vicarage; and that every Parson or Vicar that hath two or more livings with cure of souls, shall maintain upon that living on which he doth reside, an able minister and preacher, that shall preach twice every Lord’s Day, and shall pay unto him for his entertainment a full moiety of the profits of the said benefice for the time he doth not reside thereon, first-fruits, tenths and subsidies being first deducted.
And for the better regulating of Ecclesiastical Courts, which are now an extreme grievance and vexation to the common people of England, be it enacted, that no citation shall at any time hereafter issue forth against any of the King’s subjects, without the articles and libel be first left in Court ready to be showed and delivered to the party cited, under pain of suspension ab officio et beneficio in both the Judge and Registrar; and that no cause hereafter be proceeded in against any of the King’s subjects ex officio mero, but both the Judge and Registrar shall be liable to pay the costs and double damages to the party so proceeded against, in case the cause be not confessed or proved against him; and further, that none of the King’s subjects hereafter be put to accuse themselves by or upon their own oaths in any criminal cause whatsoever in any of the said Courts Ecclesiastical, unless it be voluntarily taken by them to clear themselves from a fame, thereby to satisfy the Church or Congregation; and that the defendant being cited, shall answer within twenty days after the day assigned for his appearance, and the agent and defendant shall examine all their witnesses in that cause, which they mean to produce upon the articles, libel and interrogatories, or other proofs and evidences, within four months then next following, or else the defendant to be dismissed and have costs paid unto him, her or them, for their unjust vexation. And to avoid that dilatory and vexatious course yet in use, it is further enacted, that no exceptions be admitted against witnesses, but either for some matters appearing of record in one of the King’s Courts, or for some matters proved against or confessed by the party produced in some Ecclesiastical Court before that time, whereby it shall appear that such witness is a party interested in the cause, or a person to whose testimony credit is not to be given; and that causes in this Court may come to a speedier end than heretofore, be it further enacted, that if any cause be protracted so that it be not ended within one twelve-month after the first beginning of the suit, then at the end of the year the defendant shall be dismissed with his costs, to be paid, the one half by the plaintiff, and the other by the Judge and the Proctor for the agent or plaintiff in that Court, unless they shall show unto the Bishop of the diocese, with the attestation of one or more of the assistants, that the defendant did wilfully hinder the same, in which case the Bishop, with two or more assistants, shall order according to reason and justice.
And to avoid the excessive number of Proctors and Apparitors in Courts Ecclesiastical, be it further enacted, that the Bishops and six of the assistants shall name the number and also the choice of the Proctors and Apparitors in their several dioceses respectively, that are to plead and serve in all the several Ecclesiastical Courts within this kingdom, and that no Judge, Proctor or Registrar shall suffer any suitor, plaintiff or defendant, to go upon trust for their fees in any cause of instance, under pain of suspension from their places for one year for every time so offending; and that the Proctor shall have no fee allowed him at the taxation but for those days only wherein he doth plead or defend actually, and not for desiring continuance of days; and whereas there are now, by reason of unnecessary appeals, four or five instances or processes in all or most causes and proceedings ecclesiastical, to the great vexation and undoing of the plaintiff and defendant, and the apparent wrong and scandal of all inferior judicatories, Bishops, and ecclesiastical jurisdiction, be it enacted, that from henceforth there shall lie from the first ecclesiastical Judge in the cause, be he Dean, Archdeacon, Prebendary, Official, Commissary, Chancellor, or of any other title whatsoever, assisted as is before required, but two appeals only, one to the Bishop of the diocese, who shall not hear the same otherwise than accompanied with six of the said assistants at the least, so to be nominated as aforesaid, and then from the Bishop so assisted to the King’s Majesty’s delegates only and immediately, amongst the which the Archbishops of Canterbury and of York, with respect to the causes arising from their several provinces, shall be always in every Commission, and of the quorum in ferenda sententia, in all causes wherein the appeal lieth not from their own sentence, and all other appeals from the several dioceses to the Arches or audience to be from henceforth utterly abolished as an intolerable vexation to the subject—and altogether unnecessary; which Courts of Arches and audience are by virtue of this Act utterly suppressed and made void as concerning appeals from inferior Courts; and the Lord Keeper for the time being is hereby required to be very careful what persons he doth nominate for Judges delegates in this high and supreme Court in causes ecclesiastical, which care hath hitherto been much neglected.
Lastly, because the Church of England hath now lived under no certain ecclesiastical laws, but in an interim only, from the 25th of Henry VIII to this present, by reason that the persons for the purging of the ecclesiastical laws and the squaring of them to the common laws of the realm have not as yet met together, be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, that sixteen persons, to be named, six by the King’s Majesty, five by the House of Lords, and five by the House of Commons respectively, understanding in both the laws, do presently meet, and taking the form begun by Doctor Haddon into their consideration, reduce by their general assent, or by the assent of the major part of them, all the canon laws of use and practice within this kingdom into as short a body and digest in the English tongue as well can be, so as they may be understood as well by the Bishops, Deans, Archdeacons, and Prebendaries, as also by the rest of the King’s liege people, and may be more ascertained in matter and form, and receive the allowance of the King and the Parliament.
The Act for the Abolition of the Court of Star Chamber.
[July 5, 1641. Statutes of the Realm, v. 110. 17 Car. I. cap. 10. See Hist. of Engl. ix. 404.]
An Act for the Regulating the Privy Council and for taking away the Court commonly called the Star Chamber.
I. Whereas by the Great Charter many times confirmed in Parliament, it is enacted that no freeman shall be taken or imprisoned, or disseized of his freehold or liberties or free customs, or be outlawed or exiled or otherwise destroyed, and that the King will not pass upon him or condemn him but by lawful judgment of his Peers or by the law of the land; and by another statute made in the fifth year of the reign of King Edward the Third1 , it is enacted that no man shall be attached by any accusation nor forejudged of life or limb, nor his lands, tenements, goods nor chattels seized into the King’s hands against the form of the Great Charter and the law of the land2 : and by another statute made in the five-and-twentieth year of the reign of the same King Edward the Third3 , it is accorded, asseuted and established that none shall be taken by petition or suggestion made to the King or to his Council, unless it be by indictment or presentment of good and lawful people of the same neighbourhood where such deeds be done, in due manner or by process made by writ original at the common law, and that none be put out of his franchise or freehold unless he be duly brought in to answer and forejudged of the same by the course of the law, and if anything be done against the same, it shall be redressed and holden for none: and by another statute made in the eight-and-twentieth year of the reign of the same King Edward the Third4 , it is amongst other things enacted that no man of what estate or condition soever he be shall be put out of his lands or tenements, nor taken nor imprisoned nor disinherited without being brought in to answer by due process of law: and by another statute made in the two-and-fortieth year of the reign of the said King Edward the Third5 , it is enacted that no man be put to answer without presentment before Justices or matter of record, or by due process and writ original according to the old law of the land, and if anything be done to the contrary, it shall be void in law and holden for error: and by another statute made in the six-and-thirtieth year of the same King Edward the Third6 , it is amongst other things enacted, that all pleas which shall be pleaded in any Courts before any of the King’s Justices, or in his other places or before any of his other ministers, or in the Courts and places of any other Lords within the realm, shall be entered and enrolled in Latin: and whereas by the statute made in the third year of King Henry the Seventh1 , power is given to the Chancellor, the Lord Treasurer of England for the time being, and the Keeper of the King’s Privy Seal, or two of them calling unto them a Bishop and a Temporal Lord of the King’s most honourable Council, and the two Chief Justices of the King’s Bench and Common Pleas for the time being, or other two Justices in their absence, to proceed as in that Act is expressed for the punishment of some particular offences therein mentioned: and by the statute made in the one-and-twentieth year of King Henry the Eighth2 , the President of the Council is associated to join with the Lord Chancellor and other Judges in the said statute of the third of Henry the Seventh mentioned: but the said Judges have not kept themselves to the points limited by the said statute, but have undertaken to punish where no law doth warrant, and to make decrees for things having no such authority, and to inflict heavier punishments than by any law is warranted; and forasmuch as all matters examinable or determinable before the said Judges, or in the Court commonly called the Star Chamber, may have their proper remedy and redress, and their due punishment and correction by the common law of the land, and in the ordinary course of justice elsewhere, and forasmuch as the reasons and motives inducing the erection and continuance of that Court do now cease, and the proceedings, censures and decrees of that Court have by experience been found to be an intolerable burden to the subjects, and the means to introduce an arbitrary power and government: and forasmuch as the Council Table hath of late times assumed unto itself a power to intermeddle in civil causes and matters only of private interest between party and party, and have adventured to determine of the estates and liberties of the subject contrary to the law of the land and the rights and privileges of the subject, by which great and manifold mischiefs and inconveniences have arisen and happened, and much uncertainty by means of such proceedings hath been conceived concerning men’s rights and estates: for settling whereof and preventing the like in time to come, be it ordained and enacted by the authority of this present Parliament, that the said Court commonly called the Star Chamber, and all jurisdiction, power and authority belonging unto or exercised in the same Court, or by any of the Judges, Officers or Ministers thereof be, from the first day of August in the year of our Lord God one thousand six hundred forty and one, clearly and absolutely dissolved, taken away, and determined; and that from the said first day of August neither the Lord Chancellor or Keeper of the Great Seal of England, the Lord Treasurer of England, the Keeper of the King’s Privy Seal, or President of the Council, nor any Bishop, Temporal Lord, Privy Councillor, or Judge, or Justice whatsoever, shall have any power or authority to hear, examine or determine any matter or thing whatsoever in the said Court commonly called the Star Chamber, or to make, pronounce or deliver any judgment, sentence, order or decree, or to do any judicial or ministerial act in the said Court: and that all and every Act and Acts of Parliament, and all and every article, clause, and sentence in them and every of them, by which any jurisdiction, power or authority is given, limited or appointed unto the said Court, commonly called the Star Chamber, or unto all or any the Judges, Officers or Ministers thereof, or for any proceedings to be had or made in the said Court, or for any matter or thing to be drawn into question, examined or determined, there shall, for so much as concerneth the said Court of Star Chamber, and the power and authority thereby given unto it be, from the said first day of August, repealed and absolutely revoked and made void.
II. And be it likewise enacted, that the like jurisdiction now used and exercised in the Court before the President and Council in the Marches of Wales; and also in the Court before the President and Council established in the northern parts; and also in the Court commonly called the Court of the Duchy of Lancaster, held before the Chancellor and Council of the Court; and also in the Court of Exchequer of the County Palatine of Chester, held before the Chamberlain and Council of that Court; the like jurisdiction being exercised there, shall, from the said first day of August one thousand six hundred forty and one, be also repealed and absolutely revoked and made void, any law, prescription, custom or usage; or the said statute made in the third year of King Henry the Seventh; or the statute made the one-and-twentieth of Henry the Eighth; or any Act or Acts of Parliament heretofore had or made to the contrary thereof in any wise notwithstanding; and that from henceforth no court, council, or place of judicature shall be erected, ordained, constituted, or appointed within this realm of England or dominion of Wales, which shall have, use or exercise the same or the like jurisdiction, as is or hath been used, practised or exercised in the said Court of Star Chamber.
III. Be it likewise declared and enacted by authority of this present Parliament, that neither His Majesty nor his Privy Council have or ought to have any jurisdiction, power or authority by English bill, petition, articles, libel, or any other arbitrary way whatsoever, to examine or draw into question, determine or dispose of the lands, tenements, hereditaments, goods or chattels of any the subjects of this kingdom, but that the same ought to be tried and determined in the ordinary Courts of Justice and by the ordinary course of the law.
IV. And be it further provided and enacted, that if any Lord Chancellor or Keeper of the Great Seal of England, Lord Treasurer, Keeper of the King’s Privy Seal, President of the Council, Bishop, Temporal Lord, Privy Councillor, Judge, or Justice whatsoever, shall offend or do anything contrary to the purport, true intent and meaning of this law; then he or they shall for such offence forfeit the sum of £500 of lawful money of England unto any party grieved, his executors or administrators, who shall really prosecute for the same, and first obtain judgment thereupon to be recorded in any Court of Record at Westminster by action of debt, bill, plaint or information, wherein no essoine1 , protection, wager of law, aid, prayer, privilege, injunction or order of restraint shall be in any wise prayed, granted or allowed, nor any more than one imparlance; and if any person against whom any such judgment or recovery shall be had as aforesaid, shall after such judgment or recovery offend again in the same, then he or they for such offence shall forfeit the sum of £1000 of lawful money of England unto any party grieved, his executors or administrators, who shall really prosecute for the same, and first obtain judgment thereupon to be recorded in any Court of Record at Westminster by action of debt, bill, plaint or information, in which no essoine, protection, wager of law, aid, prayer, privilege, injunction or order of restraint shall be in any wise prayed, granted or allowed, nor any more than one imparlance. And if any person against whom any such judgment or recovery shall be had as aforesaid, shall after such judgment or recovery offend again in the same kind, and shall be thereof duly convicted by indictment, information or any other lawful way or means, that such person so convicted shall be from thenceforth disabled and become by virtue of this Act incapable ipso facto to bear his and their said office and offices respectively, and shall be likewise disabled to make any gift, grant, conveyance or other disposition of any his lands, tenements, hereditaments, goods or chattels, or to take any benefit of any gift, conveyance or legacy to his own use.
V. And every person so offending shall likewise forfeit and lose unto the party grieved, by anything done contrary to the true intent and meaning of this law, his treble damages which he shall sustain and be put unto by means or occasion of any such act or thing done, the same to be recovered in any of His Majesty’s Courts of Record at Westminster by action of debt, bill, plaint or information, wherein no essoine, protection, wager of law, aid, prayer, privilege, injunction or order of restraint, shall be in any wise prayed, granted or allowed, nor any more than one imparlance.
VI. And be it also provided and enacted, that if any person shall hereafter be committed, restrained of his liberty or suffer imprisonment [by the order or decree of any such Court of Star Chamber or other Court aforesaid, now or at any time hereafter having or pretending to have the same or like jurisdiction, power or authority to commit or imprison as aforesaid, or by the command or warrant of the King’s Majesty, his heirs or successors, in their own person or by the command or warrant of the Council Board or of any of the Lords or others of His Majesty’s Privy Council1 ], that in every such case every person so committed, restrained of his liberty, or suffering imprisonment, upon demand or motion made by his counsel or other employed by him for that purpose unto the Judges of the Court of King’s Bench or Common Pleas in open Court, shall, without delay upon any pretence whatsoever, for the ordinary fees usually paid for the same, have forthwith granted unto him a Writ of Habeas Corpus to be directed generally unto all and every sheriff’s gaoler, minister, officer or other person in whose custody the party committed or restrained shall be, and the sheriff’s gaoler, minister, officer or other person in whose custody the party so committed or restrained shall be, shall at the return of writ and according to the command thereof, upon due and convenient notice thereof given unto him [at the charge of the party who requireth or procureth such writ, and upon security by his own bond given to pay the charge of carrying back the prisoner if he shall be remanded by the Court to which he shall be brought, as in like cases hath been used, such charges of bringing up and carrying back the prisoner to be always ordered by the Court if any difference shall arise thereabout1 ], bring or cause to be brought the body of the said party so committed or restrained unto and before the Judges or Justices of the said Court from whence the same writ shall issue in open Court, and shall then likewise certify the true cause of such his detenior or imprisonment, and thereupon the Court, within three court days after such return made and delivered in open Court, shall proceed to examine and determine whether the cause of such commitment appearing upon the said return be just and legal or not, and shall thereupon do what to justice shall appertain, either by delivering, bailing or remanding the prisoner. And if anything shall be otherwise wilfully done or omitted to be done by any Judge, Justice, officer or other person aforementioned, contrary to the direction and true meaning hereof, that then such person so offending shall forfeit to the party grieved his treble damages, to be recovered by such means and in such manner as is formerly in this Act limited and appointed for the like penalty to be sued for and recovered.
VII. Provided always and be it enacted, that this Act and the several clauses therein contained shall be taken and expounded to extend only to the Court of Star Chamber, and to the said Courts holden before the President and Council in the Marches of Wales, and before the President and Council in the northern parts, and also to the Court commonly called the Court of the Duchy of Lancaster, holden before the Chancellor and Council of that Court, and also in the Court of Exchequer of the County Palatine of Chester, held before the Chamberlain and Council of that Court, and to all Courts of like jurisdiction to be hereafter erected, ordained, constituted or appointed as aforesaid, and to the warrants and directions of the Council Board, and to the commitments, restraints, and imprisonments of any person or persons made, commanded or awarded by the King’s Majesty, his heirs or successors, in their own person or by the Lords and others of the Privy Council and every one of them.
VIII. And lastly, provided and be it enacted, that no person or persons shall be sued, impleaded, molested or troubled for any offence against this present Act, unless the party supposed to have so offended shall be sued or impleaded for the same within two years at the most after such time wherein the said offence shall be committed.
The Act for the Abolition of the Court of High Commission.
[July 5, 1641. 17 Car. I. cap. 11. Statutes of the Realm, v. 112. See Hist. of Engl. ix. 404.]
An Act for the repeal of a branch of a Statute primo Elizabethae, concerning Commissioners for causes ecclesiastical.
I. Whereas in the Parliament holden in the first year of the reign of the late Queen Elizabeth, late Queen of England, there was an Act made and established, entitled ‘An Act restoring to the Crown the ancient jurisdiction over the State ecclesiastical and spiritual,’ and abolishing all foreign power repugnant to the same: in which Act, amongst other things, there is contained one clause, branch, article or sentence whereby it was enacted to this effect: namely, that the said late Queen’s Highness, her heirs and successors, Kings or Queens of this realm, should have full power and authority by virtue of that Act, by Letters Patents under the Great Seal of England, to assign, name and authorise when and as often as Her Highness, her heirs or successors, should think meet and convenient, and for such and so long time as should please Her Highness, her heirs or successors, such person or persons being natural born subjects to Her Highness, her heirs or successors, as Her Majesty, her heirs or successors, should think meet to exercise, use, occupy and execute under Her Highness, her heirs and successors, all manner of jurisdictions, privileges, and preeminence in any wise touching or concerning any spiritual or ecclesiastical jurisdiction within these her realms of England and Ireland, or any other Her Highness’s dominious and countries, and to visit, reform, redress, order, correct and amend all such errors, heresies, schisms, abuses, offences, contempts and enormities whatsoever, which by any manner spiritual or ecclesiastical power, authority or jurisdiction can or may lawfully be reformed, ordered, redressed, corrected, restrained, or amended, to the pleasure of Almighty God, the increase of virtue and the conservation of the peace and unity of this realm. And that such person or persons so to be named, assigned, authorised and appointed by Her Highness, her heirs or successors, after the said Letters Patents to him or them made and delivered as aforesaid, should have full power and authority by virtue of that Act and of the said Letters Patents under Her Highness, her heirs or successors, to exercise, use and execute all the premises, according to the tenor and effect of the said Letters Patents, any matter or cause to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding; and whereas by colour of some words in the foresaid branch of the said Act, whereby Commissioners are authorised to execute their commission according to the tenor and effect of the King’s Letters Patents, and by Letters Patents grounded thereupon, the said Commissioners have, to the great and insufferable wrong and oppression of the King’s subjects, used to fine and imprison them, and to exercise other authority not belonging to ecclesiastical jurisdiction restored by that Act, and divers other great mischiefs and inconveniences have also ensued to the King’s subjects by occasion of the said branch and commissions issued thereupon, and the executions thereof: therefore for the repressing and preventing of the foresaid abuses, mischiefs and inconveniences in time to come, be it enacted by the King’s Most Excellent Majesty and the Lords and Commons in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, that the foresaid branch, clause, article or sentence contained in the said Act, and every word, matter and thing contained in that branch, clause, article or sentence shall from henceforth be repealed, annulled, revoked, annihilated and utterly made void for ever, anything in the said Act to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding.
II. And be it also enacted by the authority aforesaid, that no Archbishop, Bishop, nor Vicar General, nor any Chancellor, Official, nor Commissary of any Archbishop, Bishop or Vicar General, nor any Ordinary whatsoever, nor any other spiritual or ecclesiastical Judge, Officer or Minister of Justice, nor any other person or persons whatsoever exercising spiritual or ecclesiastical power, authority or jurisdiction by any grant, licence or commission of the King’s Majesty, his heirs or successors, or by any power or authority derived from the King, his heirs or successors, or otherwise, shall from and after the first day of August, which shall be in the year of our Lord God one thousand six hundred forty and one, award, impose or inflict any pain, penalty, fine, amercement, imprisonment or other corporal punishment upon any of the King’s subjects for any contempt, misdemeanour, crime, offence, matter or thing whatsoever belonging to spiritual or ecclesiastical cognizance or jurisdiction, or shall ex officio, or at the instance or promotion of any other person whatsoever, urge, enforce, tender, give or minister unto any churchwarden, sidesman or other person whatsoever any corporal oath, whereby he or she shall or may be charged or obliged to make any presentment of any crime or offence, or to confess or to accuse him or herself of any crime, offence, delinquency or misdemeanour, or any neglect or thing whereby, or by reason whereof, he or she shall or may be liable or exposed to any censure, pain, penalty or punishment whatsoever, upon pain and penalty that every person who shall offend contrary to this statute shall forfeit and pay treble damages to every person thereby grieved, and the sum of £100 to him or them who shall demand and sue for the same; which said treble damages and sum of £100 shall and may be demanded and recovered by action of debt, bill or plaint in any Court of Record wherein no privilege, essoine, protection or wager of law shall be admitted or allowed to the defendant.
III. And be it further enacted, that every person who shall be once convicted of any act or offence prohibited by this statute, shall for such act or offence be from and after such conviction utterly disabled to be or continue in any office or employment in any Court of Justice whatsoever, or to exercise or execute any power, authority or jurisdiction by force of any Commission or Letters Patents of the King, his heirs or successors.
IV. And be it further enacted, that from and after the said first day of August, no new Court shall be erected, ordained or appointed within this realm of England or dominion of Wales, which shall or may have the like power, jurisdiction or authority as the said High Commission Court now hath or pretendeth to have; but that all and every such Letters Patents, Commissions and Grants made or to be made by His Majesty, his heirs or successors, and all powers and authorities granted or pretended or mentioned to be granted thereby, and all acts, sentences and decrees, to be made by virtue or colour thereof shall be utterly void and of none effect.
Act declaring the illegality of Ship-money.
[August 7, 1641. 17 Car. I. cap. 14. Statutes of the Realm, v. 116. See Hist. of Engl. ix. 415.]
An Act for the declaring unlawful and void the late proceedings touching Ship-money, and for the vacating of all records and process concerning the same.
I. Whereas divers writs of late time issued under the Great Seal of England, commonly called Ship-writs, for the charging of the Ports, Towns, Cities, Boroughs, and Counties of this realm respectively, to provide and furnish certain ships for His Majesty’s service; and whereas upon the execution of the same writs and returns of certioraries thereupon made, and the sending the same by Mittimus into the Court of Exchequer, process hath been thence made against sundry persons pretended to be charged by way of contribution for the making up of certain sums assessed for the providing of the said ships; and in especial in Easter Term in the thirteenth year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord the King that now is, a Writ of Scire facias was awarded out of the Court of Exchequer to the then Sheriff of Buckinghamshire against John Hampden, Esquire, to appear and show cause why he should not be charged with a certain sum so assessed upon him: upon whose appearance and demurrer to the proceedings therein the Barons of the Exchequer adjourned the same case into the Exchequer Chamber, where it was solemnly argued divers days; and at length it was there agreed by the greater part of all the Justices of the Courts of King’s Bench and Common Pleas and of the Barons of the Exchequer there assembled, that the said John Hampden should be charged with the said sum so as aforesaid assessed on him; the main grounds and reasons of the said Justices and Barons which so agreed being, that when the good and safety of the kingdom in general is concerned, and the whole kingdom in danger, the King might by writ under the Great Seal of England command all the subjects of this his kingdom at their charge to provide and furnish such number of ships with men, victuals and munition, and for such time as the King should think fit for the defence and safeguard of the kingdom from such danger and peril, and that by law the King might compel the doing thereof in case of refusal or refractoriness, and that the King is the sole judge both of the danger, and when and how the same is to be prevented and avoided; according to which grounds and reasons all the Justices of the said Courts of King’s Bench and Common Pleas, and the said Barons of the Exchequer, having been formerly consulted with by His Majesty’s command, had set their hands to an extrajudicial opinion expressed to the same purpose, which opinion with their names thereunto was also by His Majesty’s command enrolled in the Courts of Chancery, King’s Bench, Common Pleas and Exchequer, and likewise entered among the remembrances of the Court of Star Chamber, and according to the said agreement of the said Justices and Barons, judgment was given by the Barons of the Exchequer that the said John Hampden should be charged with the said sum so assessed on him: and, whereas some other actions and process depend, and have depended in the said Court of Exchequer and in some other Courts, against other persons for the like kind of charge grounded upon the said writs commonly called Ship-writs; all which writs and proceedings as aforesaid were utterly against the law of the land: be it therefore declared and enacted by the King’s Most Excellent Majesty and the Lords and the Commons in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, that the said charge imposed upon the subject for the providing and furnishing of ships commonly called Ship-money, and the said extrajudicial opinion of the said Justices and Barons and the said writs, and every of them, and the said agreement or opinion of the greater part of the said Justices and Barons, and the said judgment given against the said John Hampden, were and are contrary to and against the laws and statutes of this realm, the right of property, the liberty of the subjects, former resolutions in Parliament, and the Petition of Right made in the third year of the reign of His Majesty that now is.
II. And it is further declared and enacted by the authority aforesaid, that all and every the particulars prayed or desired in the said Petition of Right shall from henceforth be put in execution accordingly, and shall be firmly and strictly holden and observed as in the same Petition they are prayed and expressed; and that all and every the records and remembrances of all and every the judgment, enrolments, entry, and proceedings as aforesaid, and all and every the proceedings whatsoever, upon or by pretext or colour of any of the said writs commonly called Ship-writs, and all and every the dependents on any of them, shall be deemed and adjudged, to all intents, constructions and purposes, to be utterly void and disannulled; and that all and every the said judgment, enrolments, entries, proceedings and dependents of what kind soever, shall be vacated and cancelled in such manner and form as records use to be that are vacated.
Act for the limitation of Forests.
[August 7, 1641. 17 Car. I. cap. 16. Statutes of the Realm, v. 119. See Hist. of Engl. ix. 415.]
I. Whereas by Act of Parliament made in the first year of the reign of the late King Edward the Third3 , it is ordained that the old perambulation of the forest in the time of King Edward the First should be thenceforth holden in like form as it was then ridden and bounded, and in such places where it was not bounden, the King would that it should be bounden by good men and lawful: and whereas for many ages past certain meets, meers, limits and bounds of the forests, have been commonly known and observed in the several Counties, wherein the said forests lie: and whereas of late divers presentments have been made and some judgments given whereby the meets, meers, limits and bounds of some of the said forests have been variously extended or pretended to extend beyond some of the meets, meers, limits and bounds so commonly known and formerly observed, to the great grievance and vexation of many persons having lands adjoining to the said meets, meers, limits and bounds so commonly known and formerly observed: and whereas of late time some endeavours or pretences have been to set on foot forests in some parts of this realm and the dominion of Wales, where in truth none have been or ought to be, or at least have not been used of long time: for remedy thereof, may it please your Most Excellent Majesty that it be declared and enacted by authority of Parliament; and be it declared and enacted by the King’s Most Excellent Majesty and the Lords and Commons in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, that from henceforth the meets, meers, limits and bounds of all and every the forests respectively, shall be to all intents and purposes taken, adjudged and deemed to extend no further respectively than the meets, meers, limits and bounds which in the several Counties respectively wherein the said forests do lie were commonly known, reputed, used or taken to be the meets, meers, limits and bounds of the said forests respectively in the twentieth year of the reign of our late Sovereign Lord King James, and not beyond in any wise any perambulation, or perambulations, presentments, extents, surveys, judgments, records, decrees, or other matter or thing whatsoever to the contrary notwithstanding: and that all and every the presentments since the said twentieth year made, and all and every other presentment and presentments, and all and every judgment and award upon or by reason or pretext of any such present or presentments, and all and every perambulation, and perambulations, surveys, extents, and other act and acts at any time heretofore had or made, by which the meets, meers, limits or bounds of the said forest, or any of them, are or are pretended to be further extended than as aforesaid; and also all and every presentment of any other person or persons at any Justice seat, Swainemote, or Court of Attachments, for or by reason or by colour of any act or acts whatsoever done or committed in any place without or beyond the said meets, meers, limits or bounds respectively, so commonly known, reputed, used, or taken as aforesaid, and all and every fine and fines, and amercement and amercements, upon by reason or colour of any such presentment or presentments, shall from henceforth be adjudged, deemed, and taken to be utterly void and of no force or effect; any law, statute, record or pretence whatsoever to the contrary notwithstanding.
II. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that no place or places within this realm of England or dominion of Wales, where no such Justice seat, Swainemote, or Court of Attachment have been held or kept, or where no Verderers have been chosen, or regard made within the space of sixty years next before the first year of His Majesty’s reign that now is, shall be at any time hereafter judged, deemed, or taken to be forest, or within the bounds or meets of the forest; but the same shall be from henceforth for ever hereafter disafforested, and freed, and exempted from the forest laws; any Justice seat, Swainemote, or Court of Attachment held or kept within or for any such place or places at any time or times since the beginning of His Majesty’s said reign, or any presentment, enquiry, act, or thing heretofore made, or hereafter to be made or done to the contrary notwithstanding.
III. Provided also, and be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that for the better putting into certainty all and every the meets, meers, bounds and limits of all and every the forests as aforesaid, the Lord Chancellor or Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England for the time being shall, by virtue of this Act, upon request of any of the Peers of this kingdom, or of the Knights and Burgesses of the Parliament or any of them, grant several commissions under the Great Seal of England to Commissioners to be nominated respectively by the said Peers, Knights and Burgesses, or any of them, to enquire of and find out by inquests of good and lawful men upon oath, and by the oaths of witnesses to be produced at the said inquests, and by all other lawful means, all and every the meers, meets, bounds and limits of the forests respectively, which were commonly known to be their meers, meets, bounds and limits respectively in the said twentieth year of the reign of our late Sovereign Lord King James; and to return the inquests so taken into the Court of Chancery, and that all and every the Sheriffs and Bailiffs of and in every County wherein any such inquests shall be so to be taken; and all and every the Verderers, Foresters, Rangers, and other officers of the forest respectively, where any such officers be, shall be assistant and attendant to the executions of the said commissions, according as by virtue of the said commissions respectively they shall be commanded; and where no such officers are or where such officers be, if they or any of them shall refuse or neglect such assistance and attendance as aforesaid, then the said Commissioners shall and may proceed without them in the execution of the said commissions.
IV. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that the forests whereof the meets, meers, limits and bounds shall be so returned and certified by virtue of any the said commissions as aforesaid, from thenceforth shall not extend, nor be extended, nor be deemed, adjudged, or taken to extend any further in any wise than the meets, meers, limits and bounds that shall be so returned and certified; and that all the places and territories that shall be without the meets, meers, limits and bounds so returned and certified, shall be and are hereby declared to be from thenceforth free to all intents and purposes as if the same had never been forest, or so reputed; any Act or Acts, matter or thing whatsoever to the contrary thereof notwithstanding.
V. Provided, and be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that all and every the grounds, territories or places which have been or are disafforested or mentioned to be disafforested in or by any Letters Patents, Charters, or otherwise since the said twentieth year of the reign of our said late Sovereign Lord King James, shall be excluded and left out of the meets, meers, limits and bounds of the forests which are to be enquired of, returned and certified by virtue of the said commissions, or any of them respectively, and shall be, and hereby are declared and enacted to be utterly disafforested, free, and exempt to all intents and purposes as if the same had never been at all forest, or so reputed; any thing in this present Act contained, or any other Act, matter or thing whatsoever to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding.
VI. Provided nevertheless and be it enacted that the tenants, owners, and occupiers, and every of them, of lands and tenements, which shall be excluded and left out of the meets, meers, limits or bounds of the forests to be returned and certified by virtue of any the said commissions, shall or may use and enjoy such common and other profits and easements within the forests as anciently or accustomarily they have used and enjoyed; anything in this present Act contained, or any Act or Ordinance made in the three-and-thirtieth year of King Edward the First, or any custom or law of the forest, or any other matter or thing to the contrary thereof notwithstanding.
Act prohibiting the exaction of Knighthood Fines.
[August 10, 1641. 17 Car. I. cap. 20. Statutes of the Realm, v. 131. See Hist. of Engl. ix. 417.
An Act for the prevention of vexatious proceedings touching the Order of Knighthood.
Whereas upon pretext of an ancient custom or usage of this realm of England, that men of full age being not Knights, and being seized of lands or rents of the yearly value of forty pounds or more (especially if their seizen had so continued by the space of three years next past), might be compelled by the King’s writ to receive, or take upon them the Order of Knighthood, or else to make fine for the discharge or respite of the same, several writs, about the beginning of His Majesty’s reign issued out of the Court of Chancery for proclamations to be made in every County to that purpose, and for certifying the names of all such persons, and for summoning them personally to appear in the King’s presence, before a certain day, to be there ready to receive the said Order or Dignity: upon return of which writs, and transmitting the same with their returns into the Court of Exchequer, and upon other writs for further inquiry of the names of such persons issuing out of the said Court of Exchequer, process by distringas was thence made against a very great number of persons, many of which were altogether unfit, in regard either of estate or quality, to receive the said Order or Dignity, and very many were put to grievous fines and other vexations for the same, although in truth it were not sufficiently known how, or in what sort, or where they, or any of them, should, or might have addressed themselves for receiving the said Order or Dignity, and for saving themselves thereby from the said fines, process and vexations: and whereas it is most apparent that all and every such proceeding, in regard of the matter therein pretended, is altogether useless and unreasonable: may it therefore please your Most Excellent Majesty that it be by authority of Parliament declared and enacted; and be it declared and enacted by the King’s Most Excellent Majesty, and the Lords and Commons in this Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, that from henceforth no person or persons of what condition, quality, estate or degree soever, shall at any time be distrained or otherwise compelled by any writ or process of the Court of Chancery or Court of Exchequer, or otherwise by any means whatsoever, to receive or take upon him or them respectively the Order or Dignity of Knighthood, nor shall suffer or undergo any fine, trouble or molestation whatsoever by reason or colour of his or their having not received or not taken upon him or them the said Order or Dignity; and that all and every writ or process whatsoever, and all and every proceeding which shall hereafter be had or made contrary to the intent of this Act, shall be deemed and adjudged to be utterly void; and that all and every process, proceeding, and charge now depending by reason or colour of the said pretended custom or writs aforesaid, or of any the dependents thereof, shall from henceforth cease, and stand, lie and remain discharged and utterly void, any former law or custom, or any pretence of any former law or custom or any other matter whatsoever to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding.
Resolutions of the House of Commons on Ecclesiastical Innovations.
[September 1, 1641. Journals of the House of Commons, ii. 279. See Hist. of Engl. x. 14.]
Whereas divers innovations in or about the worship of God have been lately practised in this kingdom, by enjoining some things and prohibiting others, without warrant of law, to the great grievance and discontent of His Majesty’s subjects; for the suppression of such innovations, and for preservation of the public peace, it is this day ordered by the Commons in Parliament assembled:
That the churchwardens of every parish church and chapel respectively, do forthwith remove the communion table from the east end of the church, chapel, or chancel into some other convenient place; and that they take away the rails, and level the chaucels as heretofore they were before the late innovations:
That all crucifixes, scandalous pictures of any one or more persons of the Trinity, and all images of the Virgin Mary, shall be taken away and abolished; and that all tapers, candlesticks and basins be removed from the communion table:
That all corporal bowing at the name of Jesus, or towards the east end of the church, chapel, or chancel, or towards the communion table be henceforth forborne:
That the orders aforesaid be observed in all the several cathedral churches of this kingdom, and all the collegiate churches or chapels in the two Universities, or any other part of the kingdom; and in the Temple Church, and the chapels of the other Inns of Court, by the Deans of the said cathedral churches, by the Vice-Chancellors of the said Universities, and by the heads and governors of the several colleges and halls aforesaid; and by the benchers and readers in the said Inns of Court respectively:
That the Lord’s Day shall be duly observed and sanctified; all dancing or other sports, either before or after divine service, be forborne and restrained; and that the preaching of God’s Word be permitted in the afternoon in the several churches and chapels of this kingdom; and that ministers and preachers be encouraged thereunto:
That the Vice-Chancellors of the Universities, heads and governors of colleges, all parsons, vicars, churchwardens, &c. make certificates of the performance of these orders: and if the same shall not be observed in any of the places aforementioned, upon complaint thereof made to the two next Justices of Peace, Mayor, or head officers of cities, or towns corporate; it is ordered, that the said Justices, Mayor, or other head officer respectively, shall examine the truth of all such complaints, and certify by whose default the same are committed: all which certificates are to be delivered in Parliament before the thirteenth of October next.
Order of the House of Lords on the Services of the Church.
[September 9, 1641. Imprinted at London by Robert Barker, printer to the King’s Most Excellent Majesty, and by the Assigns of John Bill. See Hist. of Engl. x. 16.]
Die Sabbati 16 Januarii, 16401 .
It is this day ordered by the Lords spiritual and temporal in the High Court of Parliament assembled, that the divine service be performed as it is appointed by the Acts of Parliament of this realm; and that all such as shall disturb that wholesome order, shall be severely punished according to the law; and the parsons, vicars, and curates in the several parishes, shall forbear to introduce any rites or ceremonies that may give offence, otherwise than those which are established by the laws of the land.
Die Jovis 9 Septemb., 1641.
It is this day voted by the Lords in Parliament, that the order abovesaid shall be printed and published.
Extract from the Instructions to the Committee in Scotland, proposed by the House of Commons.
[November 8, 16412 . Journals of the House of Lords, iv. 431. See Hist. of Engl. x. 55-57.]
. . . . . . . . . .
7. Lastly3 , you shall represent to His Most Excellent Majesty this our humble and faithful declaration: that we cannot without much grief remember the great miseries, burdens, and distempers, which have for divers years afflicted all his kingdoms and dominions, and brought them to the last point of ruin and destruction; all which have issued from the cunning, false and malicious practices of some of those who have been admitted into very near places of counsel and authority about him, who have been favourers of Popery, superstition and innovation, subverters of religion, honour and justice, factors for promoting the designs of foreign princes and states, to the great and apparent danger of his royal person, crown and dignity, and of all his people; authors of false scandals and jealousies betwixt His Majesty and his loving subjects, enemies to the peace, union and confidence betwixt him and his Parliament, which is the surest foundation of prosperity and greatness to His Majesty, and of comfort and hope to them; that, by their counsels and endeavours, those great sums which have been lately drawn from the people have been either consumed unprofitably, or in the maintenance of such designs as have been mischievous and destructive to the State; and whilst we have been labouring to support His Majesty to purge out the corruptions and restore the decays both of the Church and State, others of their faction and party have been contriving by violence to suppress the liberty of Parliament, and endanger the safety of those who have opposed such wicked and pernicious courses.
8. That we have just cause of belief that those conspiracies and commotions in Ireland are but the effects of the same counsels; and if persons of such aims and conditions shall still continue in credit, authority and employment, the great aids which we shall be enforced to draw from his people for subduing the rebellion in Ireland, will be applied to the fomenting and cherishing of it there, and encouraging some such-like attempt by the Papists and ill-affected subjects in England, and in the end, to the subversion of religion and destruction of his loyal subjects in both kingdoms; and do therefore most humbly beseech His Majesty to change those counsels, from which such ill courses have proceeded, and which have caused so many miseries and dangers to himself and all his dominions; and that he will be graciously pleased to employ such counsellors and ministers as shall be approved by his Parliament, who are his greatest and most faithful Council, that so his people may with courage and confidence undergo the charge and hazard of this war, and, by their bounty and faithful endeavours (with God’s favour and blessing) restore to His Majesty and this kingdom that honour, peace, safety and prosperity which they have enjoyed in former times.
And, if herein His Majesty shall not vouchsafe to condescend to our humble supplication, although we shall always continue with reverence and faithfulness to his person and his crown, to perform those duties of service and obedience to which, by the laws of God and this kingdom, we are obliged, yet we shall be forced, in discharge of the trust which we owe to the State, and to those whom we represent, to resolve upon some such way of defending Ireland from the rebels as may concur to the securing of ourselves from such mischievous counsels and designs as have lately been, and still are in practice and agitation against us, as we have just cause to believe; and to commend those aids and contributions which this great necessity shall require, to the custody and disposing of such persons of honour and fidelity as we have cause to confide in.
The King’s Speech to the Recorder of the City of London.
[November 25, 1641. Rushworth, iv. 430. See Hist. of Engl. x. 84.]
I must desire you, because my voice cannot reach to all those that I desire should hear me, to give most hearty thanks to all the good citizens of London, for their hearty expressions of their love to me this day; and, indeed, I cannot sufficiently express the contentment I have received therein, for now I see that all these tumults and disorders have only risen from the meaner sort of people, and that the affections of the better, and main part of the City, have ever been loyal and affectionate to my person and government.
And likewise it comforts me to see, that all those misreports that have been made of me in my absence, have not the least power to do me prejudice in your opinions, as may be easily seen by this day’s expression of joy.
And now I think it fit for me to assure you, that I am returned with as hearty and kind affections to my people in general, and to this City in particular, as can be desired by loving subjects: the first I shall express by governing you all according to the laws of this kingdom, and in maintaining and protecting the true Protestant religion, according as it hath been established in my two famous predecessors’ times, Queen Elizabeth and my father; and this I will do, if need be, to the hazard of my life and all that is dear to me.
As for the City in particular, I shall study by all means their prosperity; and I assure you, I will singly grant those few reasonable demands you have now made unto me, in the name of the City; and likewise, I shall study to re-establish that flourishing trade which now is in some disorder amongst you, which I doubt not to effect with the good assistance of the Parliament.
One thing I have thought of, as a particular affection to you, which is, to give back unto you freely that part of Londonderry which heretofore was evicted from you. This, I confess, as that kingdom is now, is no great gift, but I hope to recover it first, and then to give it to you whole and entirely; and for the legal part of this I command you, Mr. Recorder, to wait upon me to see it punctually performed.
I will end as I begun, to desire you, Mr. Recorder, to give all the City thanks in better expressions than I can make, though I must tell you it will be far short of that real contentment I find in my heart, for this real and seasonable demonstration of their affections to me.
The Grand Remonstrance, with the Petition accompanying it.
[Presented to the King, December 1, 1641. Rushworth, iv. 437. See Hist. of Engl. x. 59-64, 71-79, 88.]
The Petition of the House of Commons, which accompanied the Remonstrance of the state of the kingdom, when it was presented to His Majesty at Hampton Court, December 1, 1641.
Most Gracious Sovereign,
Your Majesty’s most humble and faithful subjects the Commons in this present Parliament assembled, do with much thankfulness and joy acknowledge the great mercy and favour of God, in giving your Majesty a safe and peaceable return out of Scotland into your kingdom of England, where the pressing dangers and distempers of the State have caused us with much earnestness to desire the comfort of your gracious presence, and likewise the unity and justice of your royal authority, to give more life and power to the dutiful and loyal counsels and endeavours of your Parliament, for the prevention of that eminent ruin and destruction wherein your kingdoms of England and Scotland are threatened. The duty which we owe to your Majesty and our country, cannot but make us very sensible and apprehensive, that the multiplicity, sharpness and malignity of those evils under which we have now many years suffered, are fomented and cherished by a corrupt and ill-affected party, who amongst other their mischievous devices for the alteration of religion and government, have sought by many false scandals and imputations, cunningly insinuated and dispersed amongst the people, to blemish and disgrace our proceedings in this Parliament, and to get themselves a party and faction amongst your subjects, for the better strengthening themselves in their wicked courses, and hindering those provisions and remedies which might, by the wisdom of your Majesty and counsel of your Parliament, be opposed against them.
For preventing whereof, and the better information of your Majesty, your Peers and all other your loyal subjects, we have been necessitated to make a declaration of the state of the kingdom, both before and since the assembly of this Parliament, unto this time, which we do humbly present to your Majesty, without the least intention to lay any blemish upon your royal person, but only to represent how your royal authority and trust have been abused, to the great prejudice and danger of your Majesty, and of all your good subjects.
And because we have reason to believe that those malignant parties, whose proceedings evidently appear to be mainly for the advantage and increase of Popery, is composed, set up, and acted by the subtile practice of the Jesuits and other engineers and factors for Rome, and to the great danger of this kingdom, and most grievous affliction of your loyal subjects, have so far prevailed as to corrupt divers of your Bishops and others in prime places of the Church, and also to bring divers of these instruments to be of your Privy Council, and other employments of trust and nearness about your Majesty, the Prince, and the rest of your royal children.
And by this means have had such an operation in your counsel and the most important affairs and proceedings of your government, that a most dangerous division and chargeable preparation for war betwixt your kingdoms of England and Scotland, the increase of jealousies betwixt your Majesty and your most obedient subjects, the violent distraction and interruption of this Parliament, the insurrection of the Papists in your kingdom of Ireland, and bloody massacre of your people, have been not only endeavoured and attempted, but in a great measure compassed and effected.
For preventing the final accomplishment whereof, your poor subjects are enforced to engage their persons and estates to the maintaining of a very expensive and dangerous war, notwithstanding they have already since the beginning of this Parliament undergone the charge of £150,000 sterling, or thereabouts, for the necessary support and supply of your Majesty in these present and perilous designs. And because all our most faithful endeavours and engagements will be ineffectual for the peace, safety and preservation of your Majesty and your people, if some present, real and effectual course be not taken for suppressing this wicked and malignant party:—
We, your most humble and obedient subjects, do with all faithfulness and humility beseech your Majesty,—
1. That you will be graciously pleased to concur with the humble desires of your people in a parliamentary way, for the preserving the peace and safety of the kingdom from the malicious designs of the Popish party:—
For depriving the Bishops of their votes in Parliament, and abridging their immoderate power usurped over the Clergy, and other your good subjects, which they have perniciously abused to the hazard of religion, and great prejudice and oppression to the laws of the kingdom, and just liberty of your people:—
For the taking away such oppressions in religion, Church government and discipline, as have been brought in and fomented by them:—
For uniting all such your loyal subjects together as join in the same fundamental truths against the Papists, by removing some oppressive and unnecessary ceremonies by which divers weak consciences have been scrupled, and seem to be divided from the rest, and for the due execution of those good laws which have been made for securing the liberty of your subjects.
2. That your Majesty will likewise be pleased to remove from your council all such as persist to favour and promote any of those pressures and corruptions wherewith your people have been grieved; and that for the future your Majesty will vouchsafe to employ such persons in your great and public affairs, and to take such to be near you in places of trust, as your Parliament may have cause to confide in; that in your princely goodness to your people you will reject and refuse all mediation and solicitation to the contrary, how powerful and near soever.
3. That you will be pleased to forbear to alienate any of the forfeited and escheated lands in Ireland which shall accrue to your Crown by reason of this rebellion, that out of them the Crown may be the better supported, and some satisfaction made to your subjects of this kingdom for the great expenses they are like to undergo [in] this war.
Which humble desires of ours being graciously fulfilled by your Majesty, we will, by the blessing and favour of God, most cheerfully undergo the hazard and expenses of this war, and apply ourselves to such other courses and counsels as may support your real estate with honour and plenty at home, with power and reputation abroad, and by our loyal affections, obedience and service, lay a sure and lasting foundation of the greatness and prosperity of your Majesty, and your royal posterity in future times.
The Grand Remonstrance.
The Commons in this present Parliament assembled, having with much earnestness and faithfulness of affection and zeal to the public good of this kingdom, and His Majesty’s honour and service, for the space of twelve months wrestled with great dangers and fears, the pressing miseries and calamities, the various distempers and disorders which had not only assaulted, but even overwhelmed and extinguished the liberty, peace and prosperity of this kingdom, the comfort and hopes of all His Majesty’s good subjects, and exceedingly weakened and undermined the foundation and strength of his own royal throne, do yet find an abounding malignity and opposition in those parties and factions who have been the cause of those evils, and do still labour to cast aspersions upon that which hath been done, and to raise many difficulties for the hindrance of that which remains yet undone, and to foment jealousies between the King and Parliament, that so they may deprive him and his people of the fruit of his own gracious intentions, and their humble desires of procuring the public peace, safety and happiness of this realm.
For the preventing of those miserable effects which such malicious endeavours may produce, we have thought good to declare the root and the growth of these mischievous designs: the maturity and ripeness to which they have attained before the beginning of the Parliament: the effectual means which have been used for the extirpation of those dangerous evils, and the progress which hath therein been made by His Majesty’s goodness and the wisdom of the Parliament: the ways of obstruction and opposition by which that progress hath been interrupted: the courses to be taken for the removing those obstacles, and for the accomplishing of our most dutiful and faithful intentions and endeavours of restoring and establishing the ancient honour, greatness and security of this Crown and nation.
The root of all this mischief we find to be a malignant and pernicious design of subverting the fundamental laws and principles of government, upon which the religion and justice of this kingdom are firmly established. The actors and promoters hereof have been:
1. The Jesuited Papists, who hate the laws, as the obstacles of that change and subversion of religion which they so much long for.
2. The Bishops, and the corrupt part of the Clergy, who cherish formality and superstition as the natural effects and more probable supports of their own ecclesiastical tyranny and usurpation.
3. Such Councillors and Courtiers as for private ends have engaged themselves to further the interests of some foreign princes or states to the prejudice of His Majesty and the State at home.
The common principles by which they moulded and governed all their particular counsels and actions were these:
First, to maintain continual differences and discontents between the King and the people, upon questions of prerogative and liberty, that so they might have the advantage of siding with him, and under the notions of men addicted to his service, gain to themselves and their parties the places of greatest trust and power in the kingdom.
A second, to suppress the purity and power of religion and such persons as were best affected to it, as being contrary to their own ends, and the greatest impediment to that change which they thought to introduce.
A third, to conjoin those parties of the kingdom which were most propitious to their own ends, and to divide those who were most opposite, which consisted in many particular observations.
To cherish the Arminian part in those points wherein they agree with the Papists, to multiply and enlarge the difference between the common Protestants and those whom they call Puritans, to introduce and countenance such opinions and ceremonies as are fittest for accommodation with Popery, to increase and maintain ignorance, looseness and profaneness in the people; that of those three parties, Papists, Arminians and Libertines, they might compose a body fit to act such counsels and resolutions as were most conducible to their own ends.
A fourth, to disaffect the King to Parliaments by slander and false imputations, and by putting him upon other ways of supply, which in show and appearance were fuller of advantage than the ordinary course of subsidies, though in truth they brought more loss than gain both to the King and people, and have caused the great distractions under which we both suffer.
As in all compounded bodies the operations are qualified according to the predominant element, so in this mixed party, the Jesuited counsels, being most active and prevailing, may easily be discovered to have had the greatest sway in all their determinations, and if they be not prevented, are likely to devour the rest, or to turn them into their own nature.
In the beginning of His Majesty’s reign the party began to revive and flourish again, having been somewhat damped by the breach with Spain in the last year of King James, and by His Majesty’s marriage with France; the interests and counsels of that State being not so contrary to the good of religion and the prosperity of this kingdom as those of Spain; and the Papists of England, having been ever more addicted to Spain than France, yet they still retained a purpose and resolution to weaken the Protestant parties in all parts, and even in France, whereby to make way for the change of religion which they intended at home.
1. The first effect and evidence of their recovery and strength was the dissolution of the Parliament at Oxford, after there had been given two subsidies to His Majesty, and before they received relief in any one grievance many other more miserable effects followed.
2. The loss of the Rochel fleet, by the help of our shipping, set forth and delivered over to the French in opposition to the advice of Parliament, which left that town without defence by sea, and made way, not only to the loss of that important place, but likewise to the loss of all the strength and security of the Protestant religion in France.
3. The diverting of His Majesty’s course of wars from the West Indies, which was the most facile and hopeful way for this kingdom to prevail against the Spaniard, to an expenseful and successless attempt upon Cadiz, which was so ordered as if it had rather been intended to make us weary of war than to prosper in it.
4. The precipitate breach with France, by taking their ships to a great value without making recompense to the English, whose goods were thereupon imbarred and confiscated in that kingdom.
5. The peace with Spain without consent of Parliament, contrary to the promise of King James to both Houses, whereby the Palatine’s cause was deserted and left to chargeable and hopeless treaties, which for the most part were managed by those who might justly be suspected to be no friends to that cause.
6. The charging of the kingdom with billeted soldiers in all parts of it, and the concomitant design of German horse, that the land might either submit with fear or be enforced with rigour to such arbitrary contributions as should be required of them.
7. The dissolving of the Parliament in the second year of His Majesty’s reign, after a declaration of their intent to grant five subsidies.
8. The exacting of the like proportion of five subsidies, after the Parliament dissolved, by commission of loan, and divers gentlemen and others imprisoned for not yielding to pay that loan, whereby many of them contracted such sicknesses as cost them their lives.
9. Great sums of money required and raised by privy seals.
10. An unjust and pernicious attempt to extort great payments from the subject by way of excise, and a commission issued under the seal to that purpose.
11. The Petition of Right, which was granted in full Parliament, blasted, with an illegal declaration to make it destructive to itself, to the power of Parliament, to the liberty of the subject, and to that purpose printed with it, and the Petition made of no use but to show the bold and presumptuous injustice of such ministers as durst break the laws and suppress the liberties of the kingdom, after they had been so solemnly and evidently declared.
12. Another Parliament dissolved 4 Car., the privilege of Parliament broken, by imprisoning divers members of the House, detaining them close prisoners for many months together, without the liberty of using books, pen, ink or paper; denying them all the comforts of life, all means of preservation of health, not permitting their wives to come unto them even in the time of their sickness.
13. And for the completing of that cruelty, after years spent in such miserable durance, depriving them of the necessary means of spiritual consolation, not suffering them to go abroad to enjoy God’s ordinances in God’s House, or God’s ministers to come to them to minister comfort to them in their private chambers.
14. And to keep them still in this oppressed condition, not admitting them to be bailed according to law, yet vexing them with informations in inferior courts1 , sentencing and fining some of them for matters done in Parliament; and extorting the payments of those fines from them, enforcing others to put in security of good behaviour before they could be released.
15. The imprisonment of the rest, which refused to be bound, still continued, which might have been perpetual if necessity had not the last year brought another Parliament to relieve them, of whom one died2 by the cruelty and harshness of his imprisonment, which would admit of no relaxation, notwithstanding the imminent danger of his life did sufficiently appear by the declaration of his physician, and his release, or at least his refreshment, was sought by many humble petitions, and his blood still cries either for vengeance or repentance of those Ministers of State, who have at once obstructed the course both of His Majesty’s justice and mercy.
16. Upon the dissolution of both these Parliaments, untrue and scandalous declarations were published to asperse their proceedings, and some of their members unjustly; to make them odious, and colour the violence which was used against them; proclamations set out to the same purpose; and to the great dejecting of the hearts of the people, forbidding them even to speak of Parliaments.
17. After the breach of the Parliament in the fourth of His Majesty, injustice, oppression and violence broke in upon us without any restraint or moderation, and yet the first project was the great sums exacted through the whole kingdom for default of knighthood, which seemed to have some colour and shadow of a law, yet if it be rightly examined by that obsolete law which was pretended for it, it will be found to be against all the rules of justice, both in respect of the persons charged, the proportion of the fines demanded, and the absurd and unreasonable manner of their proceedings.
18. Tonnage and Poundage hath been received without colour or pretence of law; many other heavy impositions continued against law, and some so unreasonable that the sum of the charge exceeds the value of the goods.
19. The Book of Rates1 lately enhanced to a high proportion, and such merchants that would not submit to their illegal and unreasonable payments, were vexed and oppressed above measure; and the ordinary course of justice, the common birthright of the subject of England, wholly obstructed unto them.
20. And although all this was taken upon pretence of guarding the seas, yet a new unheard-of tax of ship-money was devised, and upon the same pretence, by both which there was charged upon the subject near £700,000 some years, and yet the merchants have been left so naked to the violence of the Turkish pirates, that many great ships of value and thousands of His Majesty’s subjects have been taken by them, and do still remain in miserable slavery.
21. The enlargements of forests, contrary to Carta de Foresta, and the composition thereupon.
22. The exactions of coat and conduct money and divers other military charges.
23. The taking away the arms of trained bands of divers counties.
24. The desperate design of engrossing all the gunpowder into one hand, keeping it in the Tower of London, and setting so high a rate upon it that the poorer sort were not able to buy it, nor could any have it without licence, thereby to leave the several parts of the kingdom destitute of their necessary defence, and by selling so dear that which was sold to make an unlawful advantage of it, to the great charge and detriment of the subject.
25. The general destruction of the King’s timber, especially that in the Forest of Deane, sold to Papists, which was the best store-house of this kingdom for the maintenance of our shipping.
26. The taking away of men’s right, under the colour of the King’s title to land, between high and low water marks.
27. The monopolies of soap, salt, wine, leather, sea-coal, and in a manner of all things of most common and necessary use.
28. The restraint of the liberties of the subjects in their habitation, trades and other interests.
29. Their vexation and oppression by purveyors, clerks of the market and saltpetre men.
30. The sale of pretended nuisances, as building in and about London.
31. Conversion of arable into pasture, continuance of pasture, under the name of depopulation, have driven many millions out of the subjects’ purses, without any considerable profit to His Majesty.
32. Large quantities of common and several grounds hath been taken from the subject by colour of the Statute of Improvement, and by abuse of the Commission of Sewers, without their consent, and against it.
33. And not only private interest, but also public faith, have been broken in seizing of the money and bullion in the mint, and the whole kingdom like to be robbed at once in that abominable project of brass money.
34. Great numbers of His Majesty’s subjects for refusing those unlawful charges, have been vexed with long and expensive suits, some fined and censured, others committed to long and hard imprisonments and confinements, to the loss of health in many, of life in some, and others have had their houses broken up, their goods seized, some have been restrained from their lawful callings.
35. Ships have been interrupted in their voyages, surprised at sea in a hostile manner by projectors, as by a common enemy.
36. Merchants prohibited to unlade their goods in such ports as were for their own advantage, and forced to bring them to those places which were much for the advantage of the monopolisers and projectors.
37. The Court of Star Chamber hath abounded in extravagant censures, not only for the maintenance and improvement of monopolies and their unlawful taxes, but for divers other causes where there hath been no offence, or very small; whereby His Majesty’s subjects have been oppressed by grievous fines, imprisonments, stigmatisings, mutilations, whippings, pillories, gags, confinements, banishments; after so rigid a manner as hath not only deprived men of the society of their friends, exercise of their professions, comfort of books, use of paper or ink, but even violated that near union which God hath established between men and their wives, by forced and constrained separation, whereby they have been bereaved of the comfort and conversation one of another for many years together, without hope of relief, if God had not by His overruling providence given some interruption to the prevailing power, and counsel of those who were the authors and promoters of such peremptory and heady courses.
38. Judges have been put out of their places for refusing to do against their oaths and consciences; others have been so awed that they durst not do their duties, and the better to hold a rod over them, the clause Quam diu se bene gesserit was left out of their patents, and a new clause Durante bene placito inserted.
39. Lawyers have been checked for being faithful to their clients; solicitors and attorneys have been threatened, and some punished, for following lawful suits. And by this means all the approaches to justice were interrupted and forecluded.
40. New oaths have been forced upon the subject against law.
41. New judicatories erected without law. The Council Table have by their orders offered to bind the subjects in their freeholds, estates, suits and actions.
42. The pretended Court of the Earl Marshal was arbitrary and illegal in its being and proceedings.
43. The Chancery, Exchequer Chamber, Court of Wards, and other English Courts, have been grievous in exceeding their jurisdiction.
44. The estate of many families weakened, and some ruined by excessive fines, exacted from them for compositions of wardships.
45. All leases of above a hundred years made to draw on wardship contrary to law.
46. Undue proceedings used in the finding of offices to make the jury find for the King.
47. The Common Law Courts, feeling all men more inclined to seek justice there, where it may be fitted to their own desire, are known frequently to forsake the rules of the Common Law, and straying beyond their bounds, under pretence of equity, to do injustice.
48. Titles of honour, judicial places, serjeantships at law, and other offices have been sold for great sums of money, whereby the common justice of the kingdom hath been much endangered, not only by opening a way of employment in places of great trust, and advantage to men of weak parts, but also by giving occasion to bribery, extortion, partiality, it seldom happening that places ill-gotten are well used.
49. Commissions have been granted for examining the excess of fees, and when great exactions have been discovered, compositions have been made with delinquents, not only for the time past, but likewise for immunity and security in offending for the time to come, which under colour of remedy hath but confirmed and increased the grievance to the subject.
50. The usual course of pricking Sheriffs not observed, but many times Sheriffs made in an extraordinary way, sometimes as a punishment and charge unto them; sometimes such were pricked out as would be instruments to execute whatsoever they would have to be done.
51. The Bishops and the rest of the Clergy did triumph in the suspensions, excommunications, deprivations, and degradations of divers painful, learned and pious ministers, in the vexation and grievous oppression of great numbers of His Majesty’s good subjects.
52. The High Commission grew to such excess of sharpness and severity as was not much less than the Romish Inquisition, and yet in many cases by the Archbishop’s power was made much more heavy, being assisted and strengthened by authority of the Council Table.
53. The Bishops and their Courts were as eager in the country; although their jurisdiction could not reach so high in rigour and extremity of punishment, yet were they no less grievous in respect of the generality and multiplicity of vexations, which lighting upon the meaner sort of tradesmen and artificers did impoverish many thousands.
54. And so afflict and trouble others, that great numbers to avoid their miseries departed out of the kingdom, some into New England and other parts of America, others into Holland,
55. Where they have transported their manufactures of cloth, which is not only a loss by diminishing the present stock of the kingdom, but a great mischief by impairing and endangering the loss of that particular trade of clothing, which hath been a plentiful fountain of wealth and honour to this nation.
56. Those were fittest for ecclesiastical preferment, and soonest obtained it, who were most officious in promoting superstition, most virulent in railing against godliness and honesty.
57. The most public and solemn sermons before His Majesty were either to advance prerogative above law, and decry the property of the subject, or full of such kind of invectives.
58. Whereby they might make those odious who sought to maintain the religion, laws and liberties of the kingdom, and such men were sure to be weeded out of the commission of the peace, and out of all other employments of power in the government of the country.
59. Many noble personages were councillors in name, but the power and authority remained in a few of such as were most addicted to this party, whose resolutions and determinations were brought to the table for countenance and execution, and not for debate and deliberation, and no man could offer to oppose them without disgrace and hazard to himself.
60. Nay, all those that did not wholly concur and actively contribute to the furtherance of their designs, though otherwise persons of never so great honour and abilities, were so far from being employed in any place of trust and power, that they were neglected, discountenanced, and upon all occasions injured and oppressed.
61. This faction was grown to that height and entireness of power, that now they began to think of finishing their work, which consisted of these three parts.
62. I. The government must be set free from all restraint of laws concerning our persons and estates.
63. II. There must be a conjunction between Papists and Protestants in doctrine, discipline and ceremonies; only it must not yet be called Popery.
64. III. The Puritans, under which name they include all those that desire to preserve the laws and liberties of the kingdom, and to maintain religion in the power of it, must be either rooted out of the kingdom with force, or driven out with fear.
65. For the effecting of this it was thought necessary to reduce Scotland to such Popish superstitions and innovations as might make them apt to join with England in that great change which was intended.
66. Whereupon new canons and a new liturgy were pressed upon them, and when they refused to admit of them, an army was raised to force them to it, towards which the Clergy and the Papists were very forward in their contribution.
67. The Scots likewise raised an army for their defence.
68. And when both armies were come together, and ready for a bloody encounter, His Majesty’s own gracious disposition, and the counsel of the English nobility and dutiful submission of the Scots, did so far prevail against the evil counsel of others, that a pacification was made, and His Majesty returned with peace and much honour to London.
69. The unexpected reconciliation was most acceptable to all the kingdom, except to the malignant party; whereof the Archbishop and the Earl of Strafford being heads, they and their faction began to inveigh against the peace, and to aggravate the proceedings of the states, which so incensed His Majesty, that he forthwith prepared again for war.
70. And such was their confidence, that having corrupted and distempered the whole frame and government of the kingdom, they did now hope to corrupt that which was the only means to restore all to a right frame and temper again.
71. To which end they persuaded His Majesty to call a Parliament, not to seek counsel and advice of them, but to draw countenance and supply from them, and to engage the whole kingdom in their quarrel.
72. And in the meantime continued all their unjust levies of money, resolving either to make the Parliament pliant to their will, and to establish mischief by a law, or else to break it, and with more colour to go on by violence to take what they could not obtain by consent. The ground alleged for the justification of this war was this,
73. That the undutiful demands of the Parliaments in Scotland was a sufficient reason for His Majesty to take arms against them, without hearing the reason of those demands, and thereupon a new army was prepared against them, their ships were seized in all ports both of England and Ireland, and at sea, their petitions rejected, their commissioners refused audience.
74. This whole kingdom most miserably distempered with levies of men and money, and imprisonments of those who denied to submit to those levies.
75. The Earl of Strafford passed into Ireland, caused the Parliament there to declare against the Scots, to give four subsidies towards that war, and to engage themselves, their lives and fortunes, for the prosecution of it, and gave directions for an army of eight thousand foot and one thousand horse to be levied there, which were for the most part Papists.
76. The Parliament met upon the 13th of April, 1640. The Earl of Strafford and Archbishop of Canterbury, with their party, so prevailed with His Majesty, that the House of Commons was pressed to yield a supply for maintenance of the war with Scotland, before they had provided any relief for the great and pressing grievances of the people, which being against the fundamental privilege and proceeding of Parliament, was yet in humble respect to His Majesty, so far admitted as that they agreed to take the matter of supply into consideration, and two several days it was debated.
77. Twelve subsidies were demanded for the release of ship-money alone, a third day was appointed for conclusion, when the heads of that party began to fear the people might close with the King, in satisfying his desires of money; but that withal they were like to blast their malicious designs against Scotland, finding them very much indisposed to give any countenance to that war.
78. Thereupon they wickedly advised the King to break off the Parliament and to return to the ways of confusion, in which their own evil intentions were most likely to prosper and succeed.
79. After the Parliament ended the 5th of May, 1640, this party grew so bold as to counsel the King to supply himself out of his subjects’ estates by his own power, at his own will, without their consent.
80. The very next day some members of both Houses had their studies and cabinets, yea, their pockets searched: another of them not long after was committed close prisoner for not delivering some petitions which he received by authority of that House.
81. And if harsher courses were intended (as was reported) it is very probable that the sickness of the Earl of Strafford, and the tumultuous rising in Southwark and about Lambeth were the causes that such violent intentions were not brought into execution.
82. A false and scandalous Declaration against the House of Commons was published in His Majesty’s name, which yet wrought little effect with the people, but only to manifest the impudence of those who were authors of it.
83. A forced loan of money was attempted in the City of London.
84. The Lord Mayor and Aldermen in their several wards, enjoined to bring in a list of the names of such persons as they judged fit to lend, and of the sums they should lend. And such Aldermen as refused to do so were committed to prison.
85. The Archbishop and the other Bishops and Clergy continued the Convocation, and by a new commission turned it into a provincial Synod, in which, by an unheard-of presumption, they made canons that contain in them many matters contrary to the King’s prerogative, to the fundamental laws and statutes of the realm, to the right of Parliaments, to the property and liberty of the subject, and matters tending to sedition and of dangerous consequence, thereby establishing their own usurpations, justifying their altar-worship, and those other superstitious innovations which they formerly introduced without warrant of law.
86. They imposed a new oath upon divers of His Majesty’s subjects, both ecclesiastical and lay, for maintenance of their own tyranny, and laid a great tax on the Clergy, for supply of His Majesty, and generally they showed themselves very affectionate to the war with Scotland, which was by some of them styled Bellum Episcopale, and a prayer composed and enjoined to be read in all churches, calling the Scots rebels, to put the two nations in blood and make them irreconcileable.
87. All those pretended canons and constitutions were armed with the several censures of suspension, excommunication, deprivation, by which they would have thrust out all the good ministers, and most of the well-affected people of the kingdom, and left an easy passage to their own design of reconciliation with Rome.
88. The Popish party enjoyed such exemptions from penal laws as amounted to a toleration, besides many other encouragements and Court favours.
89. They had a Secretary of State, Sir Francis Windebanck, a powerful agent for speeding all their desires.
90. A Pope’s Nuncio residing here, to act and govern them according to such influences as he received from Rome, and to intercede for them with the most powerful concurrence of the foreign Princes of that religion.
91. By his authority the Papists of all sorts, nobility, gentry, and clergy, were convocated after the manner of a Parliament.
92. New jurisdictions were erected of Romish Archbishops, taxes levied, another state moulded within this state, independent in government, contrary in interest and affection, secretly corrupting the ignorant or negligent professors of our religion, and closely uniting and combining themselves against such as were found in this posture, waiting for an opportunity by force to destroy those whom they could not hope to seduce.
93. For the effecting whereof they were strengthened with arms and munitions, encouraged by superstitious prayers, enjoined by the Nuncio to be weekly made for the prosperity of some great design.
94. And such power had they at Court, that secretly a commission was issued out, or intended to be issued to some great men of that profession, for the levying of soldiers, and to command and employ them according to private instructions, which we doubt were framed for the advantage of those who were the contrivers of them.
95. His Majesty’s treasure was consumed, his revenue anticipated.
96. His servants and officers compelled to lend great sums of money.
97. Multitudes were called to the Council Table, who were tired with long attendances there for refusing illegal payments.
98. The prisons were filled with their commitments; many of the Sheriffs summoned into the Star Chamber, and some imprisoned for not being quick enough in levying the ship-money; the people languished under grief and fear, no visible hope being left but in desperation.
99. The nobility began to weary of their silence and patience, and sensible of the duty and trust which belongs to them: and thereupon some of the most ancient of them did petition His Majesty at such a time, when evil counsels were so strong, that they had occasion to expect more hazard to themselves, than redress of those public evils for which they interceded.
100. Whilst the kingdom was in this agitation and distemper, the Scots, restrained in their trades, impoverished by the loss of many of their ships, bereaved of all possibility of satisfying His Majesty by any naked supplication, entered with a powerful army into the kingdom, and without any hostile act or spoil in the country they passed, more than forcing a passage over the Tyne at Newburn, near Newcastle, possessed themselves of Newcastle, and had a fair opportunity to press on further upon the King’s army.
101. But duty and reverence to His Majesty, and brotherly love to the English nation, made them stay there, whereby the King had leisure to entertain better counsels.
102. Wherein God so blessed and directed him that he summoned the Great Council of Peers to meet at York upon the 24th of September, and there declared a Parliament to begin the 3rd of November then following.
103. The Scots, the first day of the Great Council, presented an humble Potition to His Majesty, whereupon the Treaty was appointed at Ripon.
104. A present cessation of arms agreed upon, and the full conclusion of all differences referred to the wisdom and care of the Parliament.
105. As our first meeting, all oppositions seemed to vanish, the mischiefs were so evident which those evil counsellors produced, that no man durst stand up to defend them: yet the work itself afforded difficulty enough.
106. The multiplied evils and corruption of fifteen years, strengthened by custom and authority, and the concurrent interest of many powerful delinquents, were now to be brought to judgment and reformation.
107. The King’s household was to be provided for:—they had brought him to that want, that he could not supply his ordinary and necessary expenses without the assistance of his people.
108. Two armies were to be paid, which amounted very near to eighty thousand pounds a month.
109. The people were to be tenderly charged, having been formerly exhausted with many burdensome projects.
110. The difficulties seemed to be insuperable, which by the Divine Providence we have overcome. The contrarieties incompatible, which yet in a great measure we have reconciled.
111. Six subsidies have been granted and a Bill of pollmoney, which if it be duly levied, may equal six subsidies more, in all £600,000.
112. Besides we have contracted a debt to the Scots of £220,000, yet God hath so blessed the endeavours of this Parliament, that the kingdom is a great gainer by all these charges.
113. The ship-money is abolished, which cost the kingdom about £200,000 a year.
114. The coat and conduct-money, and other military charges are taken away, which in many countries amounted to little less than the ship-money.
115. The monopolies are all suppressed; whereof some few did prejudice the subject, above £1,000,000 yearly.
116. The soap £100,000.
117. The wine £300,000.
118. The leather must needs exceed both, and salt could be no less than that.
119. Besides the inferior monopolies, which, if they could be exactly computed, would make up a great sum.
120. That which is more beneficial than all this is, that the root of these evils is taken away, which was the arbitrary power pretended to be in His Majesty of taxing the subject, or charging their estates without consent in Parliament, which is now declared to be against law by the judgment of both Houses, and likewise by an Act of Parliament.
121. Another step of great advantage is this, the living grievances, the evil counsellors and actors of these mischiefs have been so quelled.
122. By the justice done upon the Earl of Strafford, the flight of the Lord Finch and Secretary Windebanck,
123. The accusation and imprisonment of the Archbishop of Canterbury, of Judge Berkeley; and
124. The impeachment of divers other Bishops and Judges, that it is like not only to be an ease to the present times, but a preservation to the future.
125. The discontinuance of Parliaments is prevented by the Bill for a triennial Parliament, and the abrupt dissolution of this Parliament by another Bill, by which it is provided it shall not be dissolved or adjourned without the consent of both Houses.
126. Which two laws well considered may be thought more advantageous than all the former, because they secure a full operation of the present remedy, and afford a perpetual spring of remedies for the future.
127. The Star Chamber.
128. The High Commission.
129. The Courts of the President and Council in the North were so many forges of misery, oppression and violence, and are all taken away, whereby men are more secured in their persons, liberties and estates, than they could be by any law or example for the regulation of those Courts or terror of the Judges.
130. The immoderate power of the Council Table, and the excessive abuse of that power is so ordered and restrained, that we may well hope that no such things as were frequently done by them, to the prejudice of the public liberty, will appear in future times but only in stories, to give us and our posterity more occasion to praise God for His Majesty’s goodness, and the faithful endeavours of this Parliament.
131. The canons and power of canon-making are blasted by the votes of both Houses.
132. The exorbitant power of Bishops and their courts are much abated, by some provisions in the Bill against the High Commission Court, the authors of the many innovations in doctrine and ceremonies.
133. The ministers that have been scandalous in their lives, have been so terrified in just complaints and accusations, that we may well hope they will be more modest for the time to come; either inwardly convicted by the sight of their own folly, or outwardly restrained by the fear of punishment.
134. The forests are by a good law reduced to their right bounds.
135. The encroachments and oppressions of the Stannary Courts, the extortions of the clerk of the market.
136. And the compulsion of the subject to receive the Order of Knighthood against his will, paying of fines for not receiving it, and the vexatious proceedings thereupon for levying of those fines, are by other beneficial laws reformed and prevented.
137. Many excellent laws and provisions are in preparation for removing the inordinate power, vexation and usurpation of Bishops, for reforming the pride and idleness of many of the clergy, for easing the people of unnecessary ceremonies in religion, for censuring and removing unworthy and unprofitable ministers, and for maintaining godly and diligent preachers through the kingdom.
138. Other things of main importance for the good of this kingdom are in proposition, though little could hitherto be done in regard of the many other more pressing businesses, which yet before the end of this Session we hope may receive some progress and perfection.
139. The establishing and ordering the King’s revenue, that so the abuse of officers and superfluity of expenses may be cut off, and the necessary disbursements for His Majesty’s honour, the defence and government of the kingdom, may be more certainly provided for.
140. The regulating of courts of justice, and abridging both the delays and charges of law-suits.
141. The settling of some good courses for preventing the exportation of gold and silver, and the inequality of exchanges between us and other nations, for the advancing of native commodities, increase of our manufactures, and well balancing of trade, whereby the stock of the kingdom may be increased, or at least kept from impairing, as through neglect hereof it hath done for many years last past.
142. Improving the herring-fishing upon our coasts, which will be of mighty use in the employment of the poor, and a plentiful nursery of mariners for enabling the kingdom in any great action.
143. The oppositions, obstructions and the difficulties wherewith we have been encountered, and which still lie in our way with some strength and much obstinacy, are these; the malignant party whom we have formerly described to be the actors and promotors of all our misery, they have taken heart again.
144. They have been able to prefer some of their own factors and agents to degrees of honour, to places of trust and employment, even during the Parliament.
145. They have endeavoured to work in His Majesty ill impressions and opinions of our proceedings, as if we had altogether done our own work, and not his; and had obtained from him many things very prejudicial to the Crown, both in respect of prerogative and profit.
146. To wipe out this slander we think good only to say thus much: that all that we have done is for His Majesty, his greatness, honour and support, when we yield to give £25,000 a month for the relief of the Northern Counties; this was given to the King, for he was bound to protect his subjects.
147. They were His Majesty’s evil counsellors, and their ill instruments that were actors in those grievances which brought in the Scots.
148. And if His Majesty please to force those who were the authors of this war to make satisfaction, as he might justly and easily do, it seems very reasonable that the people might well be excused from taking upon them this burden, being altogether innocent and free from being any cause of it.
149. When we undertook the charge of the army, which cost above £50,000 a month, was not this given to the King? Was it not His Majesty’s army? Were not all the commanders under contract with His Majesty, at higher rates and greater wages than ordinary?
150. And have we not taken upon us to discharge all the brotherly assistance of £300,000, which we gave the Scots? Was it not toward repair of those damages and losses which they received from the King’s ships and from his ministers?
151. These three particulars amount to above £1,100,000.
152. Besides, His Majesty hath received by impositions upon merchandise at least £400,000.
153. So that His Majesty hath had out of the subjects’ purse since the Parliament began, £1,500,000, and yet these men can be so impudent as to tell His Majesty that we have done nothing for him.
154. As to the second branch of this slander, we acknowledge with much thankfulness that His Majesty hath passed more good Bills to the advantage of the subjects than have been in many ages.
155. But withal we cannot forget that these venomous councils did manifest themselves in some endeavours to hinder these good acts.
156. And for both Houses of Parliament we may with truth and modesty say thus much: that we have ever been careful not to desire anything that should weaken the Crown either in just profit or useful power.
157. The triennial Parliament for the matter of it, doth not extend to so much as by law we ought to have required (there being two statutes still in force for a Parliament to be once a year), and for the manner of it, it is in the King’s power that it shall never take effect, if he by a timely summons shall prevent any other way of assembling.
158. In the Bill for continuance of this present Parliament, there seems to be some restraint of the royal power in dissolving of Parliaments, not to take it out of the Crown, but to suspend the execution of it for this time and occasion only: which was so necessary for the King’s own security and the public peace, that without it we could not have undertaken any of these great charges, but must have left both the armies to disorder and confusion, and the whole kingdom to blood and rapine.
159. The Star Chamber was much more fruitful in oppression than in profit, the great fines being for the most part given away, and the rest stalled1 at long times.
160. The fines of the High Commission were in themselves unjust, and seldom or never came into the King’s purse. These four Bills are particularly and more specially instanced.
161. In the rest there will not be found so much as a shadow of prejudice to the Crown.
162. They have sought to diminish our reputation with the people, and to bring them out of love with Parliaments.
163. The aspersions which they have attempted this way have been such as these:
164. That we have spent much time and done little, especially in those grievances which concern religion.
165. That the Parliament is a burden to the kingdom by the abundance of protections which hinder justice and trade; and by many subsidies granted much more heavy than any formerly endured.
166. To which there is a ready answer; if the time spent in this Parliament be considered in relation backward to the long growth and deep root of those grievances, which we have removed, to the powerful supports of those delinquents, which we have pursued, to the great necessities and other charges of the commonwealth for which we have provided.
167. Or if it be considered in relation forward to many advantages, which not only the present but future ages are like to reap by the good laws and other proceedings in this Parliament, we doubt not but it will be thought by all indifferent judgments, that our time hath been much better employed than in a far greater proportion of time in many former Parliaments put together; and the charges which have been laid upon the subject, and the other inconveniences which they have borne, will seem very light in respect of the benefit they have and may receive.
168. And for the matter of protections, the Parliament is so sensible of it that therein they intended to give them whatsoever ease may stand with honour and justice, and are in a way of passing a Bill to give them satisfaction.
169. They have sought by many subtle practices to cause jealousies and divisions betwixt us and our brethren of Scotland, by slandering their proceedings and intentions towards us, and by secret endeavours to instigate and incense them and us one against another.
170. They have had such a party of Bishops and Popish lords in the House of Peers, as hath caused much opposition and delay in the prosecution of delinquents, hindered the proceedings of divers good Bills passed in the Commons’ House, concerning the reformation of sundry great abuses and corruptions both in Church and State.
171. They have laboured to seduce and corrupt some of the Commons’ House to draw them into conspiracies and combinations against the liberty of the Parliament.
172. And by their instruments and agents they have attempted to disaffect and discontent His Majesty’s army, and to engage it for the maintenance of their wicked and traitorous designs; the keeping up of Bishops in votes and functions, and by force to compel the Parliament to order, limit and dispose their proceedings in such manner as might best concur with the intentions of this dangerous and potent faction.
173. And when one mischievous design and attempt of theirs to bring on the army against the Parliament and the City of London hath been discovered and prevented;
174. They presently undertook another of the same damnable nature, with this addition to it, to endeavour to make the Scottish army neutral, whilst the English army, which they had laboured to corrupt and envenom against us by their false and slanderous suggestions, should execute their malice to the subversion of our religion and the dissolution of our government.
175. Thus they have been continually practising to disturb the peace, and plotting the destruction even of all the King’s dominions; and have employed their emissaries and agents in them, all for the promoting their devilish designs, which the vigilancy of those who were well affected hath still discovered and defeated before they were ripe for execution in England and Scotland.
176. Only in Ireland, which was farther off, they have had time and opportunity to mould and prepare their work, and had brought it to that perfection that they had possessed themselves of that whole kingdom, totally subverted the government of it, routed out religion, and destroyed all the Protestants whom the conscience of their duty to God, their King and country, would not have permitted to join with them, if by God’s wonderful providence their main enterprise upon the city and castle of Dublin had not been detected and prevented upon the very eve before it should have been executed.
177. Notwithstanding they have in other parts of that kingdom broken out into open rebellion, surprising towns and castles, committed murders, rapes and other villainies, and shaken off all bonds of obedience to His Majesty and the laws of the realm.
178. And in general have kindled such a fire, as nothing but God’s infinite blessing upon the wisdom and endeavours of this State will be able to quench it.
179. And certainly had not God in His great mercy unto this land discovered and confounded their former designs, we had been the prologue to this tragedy in Ireland, and had by this been made the lamentable spectacle of misery and confusion.
180. And now what hope have we but in God, when as the only means of our subsistence and power of reformation is under Him in the Parliament?
181. But what can we the Commons, without the conjunction of the House of Lords, and what conjunction can we expect there, when the Bishops and recusant lords are so numerous and prevalent that they are able to cross and interrupt our best endeavours for reformation, and by that means give advantage to this malignant party to traduce our proceedings?
182. They infuse into the people that we mean to abolish all Church government, and leave every man to his own fancy for the service and worship of God, absolving him of that obedience which he owes under God unto His Majesty, whom we know to be entrusted with the ecclesiastical law as well as with the temporal, to regulate all the members of the Church of England, by such rules of order and discipline as are established by Parliament, which is his great council, in all affairs both in Church and State.
183. We confess our intention is, and our endeavours have been, to reduce within bounds that exorbitant power which the prelates have assumed unto themselves, so contrary both to the Word of God and to the laws of the land, to which end we passed the Bill for the removing them from their temporal power and employments, that so the better they might with meekness apply themselves to the discharge of their functions, which Bill themselves opposed, and were the principal instruments of crossing it.
184. And we do here declare that it is far from our purpose or desire to let loose the golden reins of discipline and government in the Church, to leave private persons or particular congregations to take up what form of Divine Service they please, for we hold it requisite that there should be throughout the whole realm a conformity to that order which the laws enjoin according to the Word of God. And we desire to unburden the consciences of men of needless and superstitious ceremonies, suppress innovations, and take away the monuments of idolatry.
185. And the better to effect the intended reformation, we desire there may be a general synod of the most grave, pious, learned and judicious divines of this island; assisted with some from foreign parts, professing the same religion with us, who may consider of all things necessary for the peace and good government of the Church, and represent the results of their consultations unto the Parliament, to be there allowed of and confirmed, and receive the stamp of authority, thereby to find passage and obedience throughout the kingdom.
186. They have maliciously charged us that we intend to destroy and discourage learning, whereas it is our chiefest care and desire to advance it, and to provide a competent maintenance for conscionable and preaching ministers throughout the kingdom, which will be a great encouragement to scholars, and a certain means whereby the want, meanness and ignorance, to which a great part of the clergy is now subject, will be prevented.
187. And we intended likewise to reform and purge the fountains of learning, the two Universities, that the streams flowing from thence may be clear and pure, and an honour and comfort to the whole land.
188. They have strained to blast our proceedings in Parliament, by wresting the interpretations of our orders from their genuine intention.
189. They tell the people that our meddling with the power of episcopacy hath caused sectaries and conventicles, when idolatrous and Popish ceremonies, introduced into the Church by the command of the Bishops, have not only debarred the people from thence, but expelled them from the kingdom.
190. Thus with Elijah1 , we are called by this malignant party the troublers of the State, and still, while we endeavour to reform their abuses, they make us the authors of those mischiefs we study to prevent.
191. For the perfecting of the work begun, and removing all future impediments, we conceive these courses will be very effectual, seeing the religion of the Papists hath such principles as do certainly tend to the destruction and extirpation of all Protestants, when they shall have opportunity to effect it.
192. It is necessary in the first place to keep them in such condition as that they may not be able to do us any hurt, and for avoiding of such connivance and favour as hath heretofore been shown unto them.
193. That His Majesty be pleased to grant a standing Commission to some choice men named in Parliament, who may take notice of their increase, their counsels and proceedings, and use all due means by execution of the laws to prevent all mischievous designs against the peace and safety of this kingdom.
194. Thus some good course be taken to discover the counterfeit and false conformity of Papists to the Church, by colour whereof persons very much disaffected to the true religion have been admitted into place of greatest authority and trust in the kingdom.
195. For the better preservation of the laws and liberties of the kingdom, that all illegal grievances and exactions be presented and punished at the sessions and assizes.
196. And that Judges and Justices be very careful to give this in charge to the grand jury, and both the Sheriff and Justices to be sworn to the due execution of the Petition of Right and other laws.
197. That His Majesty be humbly petitioned by both Houses to employ such councillors, ambassadors and other ministers, in managing his business at home and abroad as the Parliament may have cause to confide in, without which we cannot give His Majesty such supplies for support of his own estate, nor such assistance to the Protestant party beyond the sea, as is desired.
198. It may often fall out that the Commons may have just cause to take exceptions at some men for being councillors, and yet not charge those men with crimes, for there be grounds of diffidence which lie not in proof.
199. There are others, which though they may be proved, yet are not legally criminal.
200. To be a known favourer of Papists, or to have been very forward in defending or countenancing some great offenders questioned in Parliament; or to speak contemptuously of either Houses of Parliament or Parliamentary proceedings.
201. Or such as are factors or agents for any foreign prince of another religion; such are justly suspected to get councillors’ places, or any other of trust concerning public employment for money; for all these and divers others we may have great reason to be earnest with His Majesty, not to put his great affairs into such hands, though we may be unwilling to proceed against them in any legal way of charge or impeachment.
202. That all Councillors of State may be sworn to observe those laws which concern the subject in his liberty, that they may likewise take an oath not to receive or give reward or pension from any foreign prince, but such as they shall within some reasonable time discover to the Lords of His Majesty’s Council.
203. And although they should wickedly forswear themselves, yet it may herein do good to make them known to be false and perjured to those who employ them, and thereby bring them into as little credit with them as with us.
204. That His Majesty may have cause to be in love with good counsel and good men, by showing him in an humble and dutiful manner how full of advantage it would be to himself, to see his own estate settled in a plentiful condition to support his honour; to see his people united in ways of duty to him, and endeavours of the public good; to see happiness, wealth, peace and safety derived to his own kingdom, and procured to his allies by the influence of his own power and government.
The King’s Proclamation on Religion.
[December 10, 1641. Rushworth, iv. 456. See Hist. of Engl. x. 98.]
By the King.
A proclamation for obedience to the laws, ordained for the establishing of the true religion in this kingdom of England.
His Majesty considering it is a duty most beseeming, and that most obligeth sovereign authority in a Christian King to be careful (above all other things) of preserving and advancing the honour and service of Almighty God, and the peace and tranquillity of the Church, to which end His Majesty with his Parliament hath it under consideration, how all just scruples may be removed, and being in the meantime sensible that the present division, separation and disorder about the worship and service of God, as it is established by the laws and statutes of this kingdom in the Church of England, tendeth to great distraction and confusion, and may endanger the subversion of the very essence and substance of true religion; hath resolved for the preservation of unity and peace (which is most necessary at this time for the Church of England), require obedience to the laws and statutes ordained for the establishing of the true religion in this kingdom, whereby the honour of God may be advanced, to the great comfort and happiness both of His Majesty and his good subjects.
His Majesty doth therefore charge and command, that Divine Service be performed in this his kingdom of England and dominion of Wales, as is appointed by the laws and statutes established in this realm; and that obedience be given by all his subjects, ecclesiastical and temporal, to the said laws and statutes concerning the same. And that all Judges, officers and ministers, ecclesiastical and temporal, according to justice and their respective duties, do put the said Acts of Parliament in due execution against all wilful contemners and disturbers of Divine Service contrary to the said laws and statutes.
His Majesty doth further command that no parsons, vicars or curates in their several parishes shall presume to introduce any rite or ceremonies other than those which are established by the laws and statutes of the land.
Dated the tenth day of December, in the seventeenth year of His Majesty’s reign.
The King’s Answer to the Petition accompanying the Grand Remonstrance.
[December 23, 1641. Rushworth, iv. 452. See Hist. of Engl. x. 108.]
We having received from you, soon after our return out of Scotland, a long petition consisting of many desires of great moment, together with a declaration of a very unusual nature annexed thereunto, we had taken some time to consider of it, as befitted us in a matter of that consequence, being confident that your own reason and regard to us, as well as our express intimation by our comptroller1 , to that purpose, would have restrained you from the publishing of it till such time as you should have received our answer to it; but, much against our expectation, finding the contrary, that the said declaration is already abroad in print, by directions from your House as appears by the printed copy, we must let you know that we are very sensible of the disrespect. Notwithstanding, it is our intention that no failing on your part shall make us fail in ours of giving all due satisfaction to the desires of our people in a parliamentary way; and therefore we send you this answer to your petition, reserving ourself in point of the declaration which we think unparliamentary, and shall take a course to do that which we shall think fit in prudence and honour.
To the petition, we say that although there are divers things in the preamble of it which we are so far from admitting that we profess we cannot at all understand them, as of ‘a wicked and malignant party prevalent in the government’; of ‘some of that party admitted to our Privy Council and to other employments of trust, and nearest to us and our children’; of ‘endeavours to sow among the people false scandals and imputations, to blemish and disgrace the proceedings of the Parliament’; all, or any of them, did we know of, we should be as ready to remedy and punish as you to complain of, so that the prayers of your petition are grounded upon such premises as we must in no wise admit; yet, notwithstanding, we are pleased to give this answer to you.
To the first, concerning religion, consisting of several branches, we say that, for preserving the peace and safety of this kingdom from the design of the Popish party, we have, and will still, concur with all the just desires of our people in a parliamentary way: that, for the depriving of the Bishops of their votes in Parliament, we would have you consider that their right is grounded upon the fundamental law of the kingdom and constitution of Parliament. This we would have you consider; but since you desire our concurrence herein in a parliamentary way, we will give no further answer at this time.
As for the abridging of the inordinate power of the clergy, we conceive that the taking away of the High Commission Court hath well moderated that; but if there continue any usurpations or excesses in their jurisdictions, we therein neither have nor will protect them.
Unto that clause which concerneth corruptions (as you style them) in religion, in Church government, and in discipline, and the removing of such unnecessary ceremonies as weak consciences might check at: that for any illegal innovations which may have crept in, we shall willingly concur in the removal of them: that, if our Parliament shall advise us to call a national synod, which may duly examine such ceremonies as give just cause of offence to any, we shall take it into consideration, and apply ourself to give due satisfaction therein; but we are very sorry to hear, in such general terms, corruption in religion objected, since we are persuaded in our consciences that no Church can be found upon the earth that professeth the true religion with more purity of doctrine than the Church of England doth, nor where the government and discipline are jointly more beautified and free from superstition, than as they are here established by law, which, by the grace of God, we will with constancy maintain (while we live) in their purity and glory, not only against all invasions of Popery, but also from the irreverence of those many schismatics and separatists, wherewith of late this kingdom and this city abounds, to the great dishonour and hazard both of Church and State, for the suppression of whom we require your timely aid and active assistance.
To the second prayer of the petition, concerning the removal and choice of councillors, we know not any of our Council to whom the character set forth in the petition can belong: that by those whom we had exposed to trial, we have already given you sufficient testimony that there is no man so near unto us in place or affection, whom we will not leave to the justice of the law, if you shall bring a particular charge and sufficient proofs against him; and of this we do again assure you, but in the meantime we wish you to forbear such general aspersions as may reflect upon all our Council, since you name none in particular.
That for the choice of our councillors and ministers of state, it were to debar us that natural liberty all freemen have; and as it is the undoubted right of the Crown of England to call such persons to our secret counsels, to public employment and our particular service as we shall think fit, so we are, and ever shall be, very careful to make election of such persons in those places of trust as shall have given good testimonies of their abilities and integrity, and against whom there can be no just cause of exception whereon reasonably to ground a diffidence; and to choices of this nature, we assure you that the mediation of the nearest unto us hath always concurred.
To the third prayer of your petition concerning Ireland, we understand your desire of not alienating the forfeited lands thereof, to proceed from much care and love, and likewise that it may be a resolution very fit for us to take; but whether it be seasonable to declare resolutions of that nature before the events of a war be seen, that we much doubt of. Howsoever, we cannot but thank you for this care, and your cheerful engagement for the suppression of that rebellion; upon the speedy effecting whereof, the glory of God in the Protestant profession, the safety of the British there, our honour, and that of the nation, so much depends; all the interests of this kingdom being so involved in that business, we cannot but quicken your affections therein, and shall desire you to frame your counsels, to give such expedition to the work as the nature thereof and the pressures in point of time require; and whereof you are put in mind by the daily insolence and increase of those rebels.
For conclusion, your promise to apply yourselves to such courses as may support our royal estate with honour and plenty at home, and with power and reputation abroad, is that which we have ever promised ourself, both from your loyalties and affections, and also for what we have already done, and shall daily go adding unto, for the comfort and happiness of our people.
The Impeachment of one member of the House of Lords, and of five members of the House of Commons.
[January 3, 1642. Journals of the House of Lords, iv. 501. See Hist. of Engl. x. 130.]
Articles of high treason and other high misdemeanours against the Lord Kimbolton, Mr. Denzil Holles, Sir Arthur Haslerigg, Mr. John Pym, Mr. John Hampden and Mr. William Strode.
1. That they have traitorously endeavoured to subvert the fundamental laws and government of the kingdom of England, to deprive the King of his regal power, and to place in subjects an arbitrary and tyrannical power over the lives, liberties and estates of His Majesty’s liege people.
2. That they have traitorously endeavoured, by many foul aspersions upon His Majesty and his government, to alienate the affections of his people, and to make His Majesty odious unto them.
3. That they have endeavoured to draw His Majesty’s late army to disobedience to His Majesty’s commands, and to side with them in their traitorous designs.
4. That they have traitorously invited and encouraged a foreign power to invade His Majesty’s kingdom of England.
5. That they have traitorously endeavoured to subvert the rights and the very being of Parliaments.
6. That for the completing of their traitorous designs they have endeavoured (as far as in them lay) by force and terror to compel the Parliament to join with them in their traitorous designs, and to that end have actually raised and countenanced tumults against the King and Parliament.
7. And that they have traitorously conspired to levy, and actually have levied, war against the King.
A Declaration of the House of Commons touching a late breach of their Privileges.
[January 17, 164½. Rushworth, iv. 484. See Journals of the House of Commons, ii. 373, 383.]
Whereas the chambers, studies and trunks of Mr. Denzil Holles, Sir Arthur Haslerigg, Mr John Pym, Mr. John Hampden and Mr. William Strode, Esquires, members of the House of Commons, upon Monday the third of this instant January, by colour of His Majesty’s warrant, have been sealed up by Sir William Killigrew and Sir William Fleming and others, which is not only against the privilege of Parliament, but the common liberty of every subject; which said members afterwards the same day were under the like colour, by Serjeant Francis, one of His Majesty’s serjeants-at-arms, contrary to all former precedents, demanded of the Speaker, sitting in the House of Commons, to be delivered unto him, that he might arrest them of high treason; and whereas afterwards, the next day His Majesty in his royal person came to the said House, attended with a great multitude of men, armed in warlike manner with halberds, swords and pistols, who came up to the very door of the House, and placed themselves there, and in other places and passages near to the said House, to the great terror and disturbance of the members then sitting, and according to their duty, in a peaceable and orderly manner, treating of the great affairs of England and Ireland; and His Majesty, having placed himself in the Speaker’s chair, demanded of them the persons of the said members to be delivered unto him, which is a high breach of the rights and privileges of Parliament, and inconsistent with the liberties and freedom thereof; and whereas afterwards His Majesty did issue forth several warrants to divers officers, under his own hand, for the apprehension of the persons of the said members, which by law he cannot do; there being not all this time any legal charge or accusation, or due process of law issued against them, nor any pretence of charge made known to that House, all which are against the fundamental liberties of the subject and the rights of Parliament; whereupon we are necessitated according to our duty to declare, and we do hereby declare, that any person that shall arrest Mr. Holles, Sir Arthur Haslerigg, Mr. Pym, Mr. Hampden and Mr. Strode, or any of them, or any other members of Parliament by pretence or colour of any warrant issuing out from the King only, is guilty of the breach of liberties of the subject and of the privileges of Parliament, and a public enemy to the commonwealth; and that the arresting of the said members or any of them, or of any other member of Parliament, by any warrant whatsoever without a legal proceeding against them, and without consent of that House, whereof such person is a member, is against the liberty of the subject, and a breach of privilege of Parliament; and the person which shall arrest any of these persons, or any other members of the Parliament, is declared a public enemy of the commonwealth. Notwithstanding all which we think fit farther to declare, that we are so far from any endeavour to protect any of our members that shall be in due manner prosecuted according to the laws of the kingdom and the rights and privileges of Parliament for treason or any other misdemeanour, that none shall be more ready and willing than we ourselves to bring them to a speedy and due trial; being sensible that it equally imports us, as well to see justice done against them that are criminal as to defend the just rights and liberties of the subjects and Parliament of England.
And whereas, upon several examinations taken the 7th day of this instant January, before the committee appointed by the House of Commons to sit in London, it did fully appear that many soldiers, Papists and others, to the number of about five hundred, came with His Majesty on Tuesday last to the said House of Commons, armed with swords, pistols and other weapons, and divers of them pressed to the door of the said House, thrust away the door-keepers, and placed themselves between the said door and the ordinary attendants of His Majesty, holding up their swords, and some holding up their pistols ready cocked near the said door and saying, ‘I am a good marksman; I can hit right, I warrant you,’ and they not suffering the said door according to the custom of Parliament to be shut, but said they would have the door open, and if any opposition were against them, they made no question but they should make their party good, and that they would maintain their party; and when several members of the House of Commons were coming into the House, their attendants desiring that room might be made for them, some of the said soldiers answered, ‘A pox of God confound them,’ and others said, ‘A pox take the House of Commons, let them come and be hanged, what ado is here with the House of Commons?’ And some of the said soldiers did likewise violently assault, and by force disarm some of the attendants and servants of the members of the House of Commons waiting in the room next the said House, and upon the King’s return out of the said House, many of them by wicked oaths and otherwise, expressed much discontent that some members of the said House for whom they came were not there, and others of them said, ‘When comes the word?’ And no word being given, at His Majesty’s coming out they cried, ‘A lane, a lane’; afterwards some of them being demanded what they thought the said company intended to have done, answered that, questionless, in the posture they were set, if the word had been given, they should have fallen upon the House of Commons and have cut all their throats. Upon all which we are of opinion, that it is sufficiently proved that the coming of the said soldiers, Papists and others, with His Majesty to the House of Commons on Tuesday last, being the 4th of this instant January, in the manner aforesaid, was to take away some of the members of the said House; and if they should have found opposition or denial, then to have fallen upon the said House in an hostile manner. And we do hereby declare, that the same was a traitorous design against the King and Parliament. And whereas the said Mr. Holles, Sir Arthur Haslerigg, Mr. Pym, Mr. Hampden, and Mr. Strode, upon report of the coming of the said soldiers, Papists and others, in the warlike and hostile manner aforesaid did, with the approbation of the House, absent themselves from the service of the House, for avoiding the great and many inconveniences which otherwise apparently1 might have happened; since which time a printed paper, in the form of a Proclamation, bearing date the 6th day of this instant January hath issued out, for the apprehending and imprisoning of them, therein suggesting, that through the conscience of their own guilt they were absent and fled, not willing to submit themselves to justice; we do further declare, that the said printed paper is false, scandalous and illegal; and that, notwithstanding the said printed paper, or any warrant issued out, or any other matter yet appearing against them or any of them, they may and ought to attend the service of the said House of Commons and the several Committees now on foot; and that it is lawful for all persons whatsoever to lodge, harbour or converse with them or any of them; and whosoever shall be questioned for the same, shall be under the protection and privilege of Parliament.
And we do further declare, that the publishing of several articles purporting a form of a charge of high treason against Lord Kimbolton, one of the members of the Lords’ House, and against the said Mr. Holles, Sir Arthur Haslerigg, Mr. Pym, Mr. Hampden and Mr. Strode, by Sir William Killigrew, Sir William Fleming and others of the Inns of Court, and elsewhere in the King’s name, was a high breach of the privilege of Parliament, a great scandal to His Majesty and his government, a seditious act manifestly tending to the subversion of the peace of the kingdom, and an injury and dishonour to the said members, there being no legal charge or accusation against them.
That the privileges of Parliament and the liberties of the subjects so violated and broken, cannot be fully and sufficiently vindicated unless His Majesty will be graciously pleased to discover the names of those persons who advised His Majesty to issue out warrants for the sealing of the chambers and studies of the said members, to send a serjeant-at-arms to demand the said members, to issue out several warrants under His Majesty’s own hand to apprehend the said members, His Majesty’s coming thither in his own royal person, the publishing of the said articles and printed paper, in the form of a Proclamation, against the said members in such manner as is before declared, to the end that such persons may receive condign punishment.
And this House doth further declare, that all such persons as have given any counsel, or endeavoured to set or maintain division or dislike between the King and Parliament, or have listed their names or otherwise entered into any combination or agreement to the aiding or assisting to any such counsel or endeavour, or have persuaded any other so to do, or that shall do any the things above mentioned; and that shall not forthwith discover the same to either House of Parliament, or the Speaker of either of the said Houses respectively, and disclaim it, are declared public enemies of the State and peace of this kingdom, and shall be enquired of and proceeded against accordingly.
The Clerical Disabilities Act.
[February 13, 164½. 17 Car. I, cap. 27. Statutes of the Realm, v. 138. See Hist. of Engl. x. 165.]
An Act for disenabling all persons in Holy Orders to exercise any temporal jurisdiction or authority.
1. Whereas Bishops and other persons in Holy Orders ought not to be entangled with secular jurisdiction, the office of the ministry being of such great importance that it will take up the whole man; and for that it is found by long experience that their intermeddling with secular jurisdictions hath occasioned great mischiefs and scandal both to Church and State; His Majesty, out of his religious care of the Church, and souls of his people, is graciously pleased that it be enacted, and by authority of this present Parliament be it enacted, that no Archbishop or Bishop or other person that now is or hereafter shall be in Holy Orders, shall at any time after the 15th day of February, in the Year of Our Lord one thousand six hundred forty-one1 , have any seat or place. suffrage, or voice, or use, or execute any power or authority in the Parliaments of this realm, nor shall be of the Privy Council of His Majesty, his heirs or successors, or Justice of the Peace of oyer and terminer or gaol delivery, or execute any temporal authority by virtue of any commission, but shall be wholly disabled and be incapable to have, receive, use or execute any of the said offices, places, powers, authorities and things aforesaid.
2. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that all acts from and after the said 15th day of February, which shall be done or executed by any Archbishop or Bishop, or other person whatsoever in Holy Orders, and all and every suffrage or voice given or delivered by them or any of them, or other thing done by them or any of them contrary to the purport and true meaning of this present Act, shall be utterly void to all intents, constructions and purposes.
The Impressment Act.
[February 13, 164½. 17 Car. I, cap. 28. Statutes of the Realm, v. 138. See Hist. of Engl. x. 166.]
An Act for the better raising and levying of soldiers for the present defence of the kingdoms of England and Ireland.
I. Forasmuch as great commotions and rebellions have been lately raised and stirred up in His Majesty’s kingdom of Ireland by the wicked plots and conspiracies of divers of His Majesty’s subjects there (being traitorously affected), to the great endangering not only of the said kingdom, but also of this kingdom of England, unless a speedy course be taken for the preventing thereof, and for the raising and pressing of men for those services: and whereas by the laws of this realm none of His Majesty’s subjects ought to be impressed or compelled to go out of his county to serve as a soldier in the wars, except in case of necessity of the sudden coming in of strange enemies into the kingdom, or except they be otherwise bound by tenure of their lands or possessions; therefore in respect of the great and urgent necessity of providing a present supply of men for the preventing of these great and imminent dangers, and for the speedy suppressing of the said heinous and dangerous rebellions, be it enacted by authority of this present Parliament, that the Justices of the Peace of every county and riding within this realm, or any three or more of them, as also the Mayor or other head officer or officers of every city or town corporate within this realm having Justices of the Peace, together with any two or more Justices of the Peace of the same city or town corporate respectively, or in default of such Justices, then with two or more Justices of the Peace of the county wherein the said city or town is, shall and may at any time or times between the 1st of December one thousand six hundred forty and one and the 1st of November, which shall be in the year of Our Lord God one thousand six hundred forty-two, within their several limits and jurisdictions raise, levy and impress so many men for soldiers, gunners and chirurgeons, as shall be appointed by order of the King’s Majesty, his heirs or successors, and both Houses of Parliament, for the said services, and to command all and every the high constables, other constables, and inferior officers of and within every such county, riding, city or town corporate, or the liberties thereof respectively, by warrant under the hands and seals of such Justices of the Peace, Mayor, or other head officer or officers, as are authorised by this Act as aforesaid, to bring before them any such person or persons as shall be fit and necessary for the said services, which said persons so to be impressed as aforesaid, and every of them shall have such imprest money, and such allowance for coat and conduct unto the place of their rendezvous, as likewise such wages and entertainment from the time of their first entering into pay during their continuance in the said services, and such other necessary charges and allowances shall be made touching the said press: the said money and other charges and allowances to be paid by such persons and in such manner as by order of His Majesty, his heirs and successors, and of both Houses of Parliament, shall be appointed; and if any person or persons shall wilfully refuse to be impressed for the said services, that then it shall and may be lawful to and for the said persons so authorised as aforesaid to the said press, to commit such offender to prison, there to remain without bail or mainprize by the space of six months, and until he shall pay the sum of £10 to the Treasurers for the maimed soldiers of the same county, city or town corporate, where any such Treasurers are to be employed for and towards the relief and maintenance of such soldiers, gunners and chirurgeons, as shall happen to be maimed in the said services, or if none such shall happen to be, then for the relief of other the maimed soldiers of the said county, city or town corporate respectively; and in default of payment of the said sum, then the said person offending to remain in prison by the space of one whole year over and above the said six months, without bail or mainprize.
II. Provided always that this Act shall not extend to the pressing of any clergyman, or any scholars or students or privileged persons of either of the Universities, Inns of Court or Chancery, or any of the trained bands of this realm, or to the pressing of any other person who was rated towards the payment of the last subsidies, or that shall be rated or taxed towards the payment of any subsidies hereafter to be granted before the time of such impressing, or to the eldest son of any person who is or shall be before the time of such impressing rated in the subsidy-book at £3 lands or £5 goods, or to any person of the rank or degree of an esquire or upwards, or to the son of any such person of the said rank or degree, or of the widow of any such person, or to any person under the age of eighteen or above the age of threescore years, or to any mariners, seamen or fishermen.
III. Provided also, and be it enacted, that no money or other reward shall be taken, or other corrupt practice used in or for the pressing, changing or releasing of any person impressed, or to be impressed by force of this Act, by any person hereby authorised in that behalf or their agents, under pain of forfeiture of £20 by every person so offending for every such offence, to be paid and employed to the Treasurers of the maimed soldiers in manner and to the uses aforesaid.
IV. Provided also, and be it enacted, that this present Act shall not extend to the impressing of any of the menial servants of the members or assistants or officers of the Lords’ House of Parliament, or to the menial servants of the members or officers of the House of Commons, or of any of the inhabitants of the Isle of Wight, or of the Isle of Anglesey, or of any of the Cinque Ports, or members thereof.
The Militia Ordinance.
[March 5, 164½. Journals of the House of Lords, iv. 587. See Hist. of Engl. x. 167, 1711 .]
An Ordinance of the Lords and Commons in Parliament, for the safety and defence of the kingdom of England and dominion of Wales.
Whereas there hath been of late a most dangerous and desperate design upon the House of Commons, which we have just cause to believe to be an effect of the bloody counsels of Papists and other ill-affected persons, who have already raised a rebellion in the kingdom of Ireland; and by reason of many discoveries we cannot but fear they will proceed not only to stir up the like rebellion and insurrections in this kingdom of England, but also to back them with forces from abroad.
For the safety therefore of His Majesty’s person, the Parliament and kingdom in this time of imminent danger:
It is ordained by1 the Lords and Commons now in Parliament assembled, that Henry Earl of Holland shall be Lieutenant of the County of Berks, Oliver Earl of Bolingbroke shall be Lieutenant of the County of Bedford, &c.
. . . . . . . . . .
And shall severally and respectively have power to assemble and call together all and singular His Majesty’s subjects, within the said several and respective counties and places, as well within liberties as without, that are meet and fit for the wars, and them to train and exercise and put in readiness, and them after their abilities and faculties well and sufficiently from time to time to cause to be arrayed and weaponed, and to take the muster of them in places most2 fit for that purpose; and the aforesaid Henry Earl of Holland, Oliver Earl of Bolingbroke, &c., shall severally and respectively have power within the several and respective counties and places aforesaid, to nominate and appoint such persons of quality as to them shall seem meet to be their Deputy Lieutenants, to be approved of by both Houses of Parliament:
And that any one or more of the said deputies so assigned and approved of in the absence or by the command of the said Henry Earl of Holland, Oliver Earl of Bolingbroke, &c., shall have power and authority to do and execute within the said several and respective counties and places to them assigned as aforesaid, all such powers and authorities before in this present Ordinance contained; and the aforesaid Henry Earl of Holland, Oliver Earl of Bolingbroke, &c., shall have power to make colonels, captains and other officers, and to remove out of their places, and make others from time to time, as they shall think fit for that purpose; and the said Henry Earl of Holland, Oliver Earl of Bolingbroke, &c., their deputy or deputies in their absence or by their command, shall have power to lead, conduct and employ the persons aforesaid arrayed and weaponed, for the suppression of all rebellions, insurrections and invasions that may happen within the several and respective counties and places; and shall have power and authority to lead, conduct and employ the persons aforesaid arrayed and weaponed, as well within their said several and respective counties and places, as within any other part of this realm of England or dominion of Wales, for the suppression of all rebellions, insurrections and invasions that may happen, according as they from time to time shall receive directions from1 the Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament.
And be it further ordained, that Sir John Gayre, Sir Jacob Garret, Knights, &c., citizens of London, or any six or more of them, shall have such power and authority within the City of London as any of the Lieutenants before named are authorised to have by this Ordinance, within the said several and respective counties (the nomination and appointment of Deputy Lieutenants only excepted). And it is further ordained, that such persons as shall not obey in any of the premises, shall answer their neglect and contempt to the Lords and Commons in a Parliamentary way, and not otherwise nor elsewhere, and that every the powers granted as aforesaid shall continue until it shall be otherwise ordered or declared by both Houses of Parliament and no longer.
The Declaration of the Houses on Church Reform.
[April 8, 1642. Journals of the House of Lords, iv. 706. See Hist. of Engl. x. 186.]
The Lords and Commons so declare, that they intend a due and necessary reformation of the government and liturgy of the Church, and to take away nothing in the one or the other but what shall be evil and justly offensive, or at least, unnecessary and burdensome; and, for the better effecting thereof, speedily to have consultation with godly and learned divines; and because this will never of itself attain the end sought therein, they will therefore use their utmost endeavour to establish learned and preaching ministers, with a good and sufficient maintenance, throughout the whole kingdom, wherein many dark corners are miserably destitute of the means of salvation, and many poor ministers want necessary provision.
The King’s Proclamation condemning the Militia Ordinance.
[May 27, 1642. Journals of the House of Lords, v. 111. See Hist. of Engl. x. 202.]
By the King.
A Proclamation, forbidding all His Majesty’s subjects belonging to the trained bands or militia of this kingdom to rise, march, muster or exercise, by virtue of any Order or Ordinance of one or both Houses of Parliament, without consent or warrant from His Majesty, upon pain of punishment according to the laws.
Whereas, by the statute made in the seventh year of King Edward the First1 , the Prelates, Earls, Barons and Commonalty of the realm affirmed in Parliament, that to the King it belongeth, and his part it is by his royal seigniory straightly to defend wearing of armour and all other force against the peace, at all times when it shall please him, and to punish them which do the contrary according to the laws and usages of the realm; and hereunto all subjects are bound to aid the King as their sovereign lord, at all seasons when need shall be; and whereas we understand that, expressly contrary to the said statute and other good laws of this our kingdom, under colour and pretence of an Ordinance of Parliament, without our consent, or any commission or warrant from us, the trained bands and militia of this kingdom have been lately, and are intended to be put in arms, and drawn into companies in a warlike manner, whereby the peace and quiet of our subjects is, or may be, disturbed; we being desirous, by all gracious and fair admonitions, to prevent that some malignant persons in this our kingdom do not by degrees seduce our good subjects from their due obedience to us and the laws of this our kingdom, subtilely endeavouring, by a general combustion or confusion, to hide their mischievous designs and intentions against the peace of this our kingdom, and under a specious pretence of putting our trained bands into a posture, draw and engage our good subjects in a warlike opposition against us, as our town of Hull is already by the treason of Sir John Hotham, who at first pretended to put a garrison into the same only for security and service.
We do therefore, by this our Proclamation, expressly charge and command all our sheriffs, and all colonels, lieutenant-colonels, sergeant-majors, captains, officers and soldiers, belonging to the trained bands of this our kingdom, and likewise all high and petty constables, and other our officers and subjects whatsoever, upon their allegiance, and as they tender the peace of this our kingdom, not to muster, levy, raise or march, or to summon or warn, upon any warrant, order or ordinance from one or both of our Houses of Parliament (whereunto we have not, or shall not, give our express consent), any of our trained bands or other forces, to rise, muster, march or exercise, without express warrant under our hand or warrant from our sheriff of the county, grounded upon a particular writ to that purpose under our Great Seal; and in case any of our trained bands shall rise or gather together contrary to this our command, we shall then call them in due time to a strict account, and proceed legally against them, as violators of the laws and disturbers of the peace of this kingdom.
Given at our Court at York the 27th day of May, 1642.
The Nineteen Propositions sent by the two Houses of Parliament to the King at York.
[June 11 , 1642. Journals of the House of Lords, v. 97. See Hist. of Engl. x. 196.]
Your Majesty’s most humble and faithful subjects, the Lords and Commons in Parliament, having nothing in their thoughts and desires more precious and of higher esteem (next to the honour and immediate service of God) than the just and faithful performance of their duty to your Majesty and this kingdom: and being very sensible of the great distractions and distempers, and of the imminent dangers and calamities which those distractions and distempers are like to bring upon your Majesty and your subjects; all which have proceeded from the subtile insinuations, mischievous practices and evil counsels of men disaffected to God’s true religion, your Majesty’s honour and safety, and the public peace and prosperity of your people, after a serious observation of the causes of those mischiefs, do in all humility and sincerity present to your Majesty their most dutiful petition and advice, that out of your princely wisdom for the establishing your own honour and safety, and gracious tenderness of the welfare and security of your subjects and dominions, you will be pleased to grant and accept these their humble desires and propositions, as the most necessary effectual means, through God’s blessing, of removing those jealousies and differences which have unhappily fallen betwixt you and your people, and procuring both your Majesty and them a constant course of honour, peace, and happiness.
The Nineteen Propositions.
1. That the Lords and others of your Majesty’s Privy Council, and such great officers and Ministers of State, either at home or beyond the seas, may be put from your Privy Council, and from those offices and employments, excepting such as shall be approved of by both Houses of Parliament; and that the persons put into the places and employments of those that are removed may be approved of by both Houses of Parliament; and that the Privy Councillors shall take an oath for the due execution of their places, in such form as shall be agreed upon by both Houses of Parliament.
2. That the great affairs of the kingdom may not be concluded or transacted by the advice of private men, or by any unknown or unsworn councillors, but that such matters as concern the public, and are proper for the High Court of Parliament, which is your Majesty’s great and supreme council, may be debated, resolved and transacted only in Parliament, and not elsewhere: and such as shall presume to do anything to the contrary shall be reserved to the censure and judgment of Parliament: and such other matters of state as are proper for your Majesty’s Privy Council shall be debated and concluded by such of the nobility and others as shall from time to time be chosen for that place, by approbation of both Houses of Parliament: and that no public act concerning the affairs of the kingdom, which are proper for your Privy Council, may be esteemed of any validity, as proceeding from the royal authority, unless it be done by the advice and consent of the major part of your Council, attested under their hands: and that your Council may be limited to a certain number, not exceeding five and twenty, nor under fifteen: and if any councillor’s place happen to be void in the interval of Parliament, it shall not be supplied without the assent of the major part of the Council, which choice shall be confirmed at the next sitting of Parliament, or else to be void.
3. That the Lord High Steward of England, Lord High Constable, Lord Chancellor, or Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, Lord Treasurer, Lord Privy Seal, Earl Marshall, Lord Admiral, Warden of the Cinque Ports, Chief Governor of Ireland, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Master of the Wards, Secretaries of State, two Chief Justices and Chief Baron, may always be chosen with the approbation of both Houses of Parliament; and in the intervals of Parliament, by assent of the major part of the Council, in such manner as is before expressed in the choice of councillors.
4. That he, or they unto whom the government and education of the King’s children shall be committed, shall be approved of by both Houses of Parliament; and in the intervals of Parliament, by the assent of the major part of the Council, in such manner as is before expressed in the choice of councillors; and that all such servants as are now about them, against whom both Houses shall have any just exceptions, shall be removed.
5. That no marriage shall be concluded or treated for any of the King’s children, with any foreign prince, or other person whatsoever, abroad or at home, without the consent of Parliament, under the penalty of a premunire, upon such as shall conclude or treat of any marriage as aforesaid; and that the said penalty shall not be pardoned or dispensed with but by the consent of both Houses of Parliament.
6. That the laws in force against Jesuits, priests, and Popish recusants, be strictly put in execution, without any toleration or dispensation to the contrary; and that some more effectual course may be enacted, by authority of Parliament, to disable them from making any disturbance in the State, or eluding the law by trusts or otherwise.
7. That the votes of Popish lords in the House of Peers may be taken away, so long as they continue Papists: and that your Majesty will consent to such a Bill as shall be drawn for the education of the children of Papists by Protestants in the Protestant religion.
8. That your Majesty will be pleased to consent that such a reformation be made of the Church government and liturgy, as both Houses of Parliament shall advise; wherein they intend to have consultations with divines, as is expressed in their declaration to that purpose; and that your Majesty will contribute your best assistance to them, for the raising of a sufficient maintenance for preaching ministers throughout the kingdom; and that your Majesty will be pleased to give your consent to laws for the taking away of innovations and superstition, and of pluralities, and against scandalous ministers.
9. That your Majesty will be pleased to rest satisfied with that course that the Lords and Commons have appointed for ordering of the militia, until the same shall be further settled by a Bill; and that your Majesty will recall your Declarations and Proclamations against the Ordinance made by the Lords and Commons concerning it.
10. That such members of either House of Parliament as have, during the present Parliament, been put out of any place and office, may either be restored to that place and office, or otherwise have satisfaction for the same, upon the petition of that House whereof he or they are members.
11. That all Privy Councillors and Judges may take an oath, the form whereof to be agreed on and settled by Act of Parliament, for the maintaining of the Petition of Right and of certain statutes made by the Parliament, which shall be mentioned by both Houses of Parliament: and that an enquiry of all the breaches and violations of those laws may be given in charge by the Justices of the King’s Bench every Term, and by the Judges of Assize in their circuits, and Justices of the Peace at the sessions, to be presented and punished according to law.
12. That all the Judges, and all the officers placed by approbation of both Houses of Parliament, may hold their places quam diu bene se gesserint.
13. That the justice of Parliament may pass upon all delinquents, whether they be within the kingdom or fled out of it; and that all persons cited by either House of Parliament may appear and abide the censure of Parliament.
14. That the general pardon offered by your Majesty may be granted, with such exceptions as shall be advised by both Houses of Parliament.
15. That the forts and castles of this kingdom may be put under the command and custody of such persons as your Majesty shall appoint, with the approbation of your Parliament: and in the intervals of Parliament, with approbation of the major part of the Council, in such manner as is before expressed in the choice of councillors.
16. That the extraordinary guards and military forces now attending your Majesty, may be removed and discharged; and that for the future you will raise no such guards or extraordinary forces, but according to the law, in case of actual rebellion or invasion.
17. That your Majesty will be pleased to enter into a more strict alliance with the States of the United Provinces, and other neighbouring princes and states of the Protestant religion, for the defence and maintenance thereof, against all designs and attempts of the Pope and his adherents to subvert and suppress it; whereby your Majesty will obtain a great access of strength and reputation, and your subjects be much encouraged and enabled, in a Parliamentary way, for your aid and assistance, in restoring your royal sister and her princely issue to those dignities and dominions which belong unto them, and relieving the other Protestant princes who have suffered in the same cause.
18. That your Majesty will be pleased, by Act of Parliament, to clear the Lord Kimbolton and the five members of the House of Commons, in such manner that future Parliaments may be secured from the consequence of that evil precedent.
19. That your Majesty will be graciously pleased to pass a Bill for restraining peers made hereafter, from sitting or voting in Parliament, unless they be admitted thereunto with the consent of both Houses of Parliament.
And these our humble desires being granted by your Majesty, we shall forthwith apply ourselves to regulate your present revenue in such sort as may be for your best advantage; and likewise to settle such an ordinary and constant increase of it, as shall be sufficient to support your royal dignity in honour and plenty, beyond the proportion of any former grants of the subjects of this kingdom to your Majesty’s royal predecessors. We shall likewise put the town of Hull into such hands as your Majesty shall appoint, with the consent and approbation of Parliament, and deliver up a just account of all the magazine, and cheerfully employ the uttermost of our power and endeavours in the real expression and performance of our most dutiful and loyal affections, to the preserving and maintaining the royal honour, greatness and safety of your Majesty and your posterity.
Declaration of the Houses in Defence of the Militia Ordinance.
[June 6, 1642. Journals of the House of Lords, v. 112. See Hist. of Engl. x. 200.]
A Declaration of the Lords and Commons in Parliament concerning His Majesty’s Proclamation1 , the 27th of May, 1642.
The Lords and Commons, having perused His Majesty’s Proclamation forbidding all His Majesty’s subjects belonging to the trained bands or militia of this kingdom, to rise, march, muster or exercise, by virtue of any Order or Ordinance of one or both Houses of Parliament, without consent or warrant from His Majesty, upon pain of punishment according to the laws:
Do thereupon declare, that neither the statute of the seventh of Edward the First, therein vouched, nor any other law of this kingdom, doth restrain or make void the Ordinance agreed upon by both Houses of Parliament, for the ordering and disposing the militia of the kingdom in this time of extreme and imminent danger, nor expose His Majesty’s subjects to any punishment for obeying the same, notwithstanding that His Majesty hath refused to give his consent to that Ordinance, but ought to be obeyed by the fundamental laws of this kingdom.
The declaration of 7 Edward I, quoted in His Majesty’s Proclamation, runneth thus:
The King to the Justices of his Bench sendeth greeting: Whereas of late, before certain persons deputed to treat upon sundry debates had between us and certain great men of our realm, amongst other things it was accorded, that in our next Parliament, after provision shall be made by us, and the common assent of Prelates, Earls and Barons, that in all Parliaments, treaties and other assemblies, which should be made in the realm of England for ever, that every man shall come, without all force and armour, well and peaceably, to the honour of us and our realm; and now, in our next Parliament at Westminster, after the said treaties, the Prelates, Earls, Barons and the Commonalty of our realm, there assembled to take advice of this business, have said, that to us belongeth, and our part is, through our royal seigniory, straightly to defend force of armour, and all other force against our peace at all times when it shall please us, and to punish them which shall do contrary according to our laws and usages of our realm.
And hereunto they are bound to aid us, as their sovereign lord, at all seasons when need shall be; we command you, that you cause these things to be read before you in the said Bench and there to be enrolled.
Given at Westminster the 30th day of October.
The occasion of this Declaration was for the restraint of armed men from coming to the Parliament to disturb the peace of it, and is very improperly alleged for the maintenance of such levies as are now raised against the Parliament, the title of the statute being thus, ‘To all Parliaments and treaties every man shall come without force and arms’; so the question is not whether it belong to the King or no to restrain such force, but, if the King shall refuse to discharge that duty and trust, whether there is not a power in the two Houses to provide for the safety of the Parliament and peace of the kingdom, which is the end for which the Ordinance concerning the militia was made, and, being agreeable to the scope and purposes of the law, cannot in reason be adjudged to be contrary to it; for, although the law do affirm it to be in the King, yet it doth not exclude those in whom the law hath placed a power for that purpose, as in the courts of justice, the sheriffs and other officers and ministers of those courts; and as their power is derived from the King by his patent, yet cannot it be restrained by His Majesty’s command, by his Great Seal or otherwise; much less can the power of Parliament be concluded by His Majesty’s command, because the authority thereof is of a higher and more eminent nature than any of these courts.
It is acknowledged that the King is the fountain of justice and protection, but the acts of justice and protection are not exercised in his own person, nor depend upon his pleasure, but by his courts and by his ministers, who must do their duty therein, though the King in his own person should forbid them; and therefore, if judgments should be given by them against the King’s will and personal command, yet are they the King’s judgments.
The High Court of Parliament is not only a court of judicature, enabled by the laws to adjudge and determine the rights and liberties of the kingdom, against such patents and grants of His Majesty as are prejudicial thereunto, although strengthened both by his personal command and by his Proclamation under the Great Seal; but it is likewise a council, to provide for the necessities, prevent the imminent dangers, and preserve the public peace and safety of the kingdom, and to declare the King’s pleasure in those things as are requisite thereunto; and what they do herein hath the stamp of the royal authority, although His Majesty, seduced by evil counsel, do in his own person oppose or interrupt the same; for the King’s supreme and royal pleasure is exercised and declared in this High Court of law and council, after a more eminent and obligatory manner than it can be by personal act or resolution of his own.
Seeing therefore the Lords and Commons, which are His Majesty’s great and high council, have ordained, that for the present and necessary defence of the realm, the trained bands and militia of this kingdom should be ordered according to that Ordinance, and that the town of Hull should be committed to the custody of Sir John Hotham, to be preserved from the attempts of Papists and other malignant persons, who thereby might put the kingdom into a combustion, which is so far from being a force against the King’s peace that it is necessary for the keeping and securing thereof, and for that end alone is intended; and all His Majesty’s loving subjects, as well by that law as by other laws, are bound to be obedient thereunto; and what they do therein is (according to that law) to be interpreted to be done in aid of the King, in discharge of that trust which he is tied to perform; and it is so far from being liable to punishment, that, if they should refuse to do it, or be persuaded by any commission or command of His Majesty to do the contrary, they might justly be punished for the same, according to the laws and usages of the realm; for the King, by his sovereignty, is not enabled to destroy his people, but to protect and defend them; and the High Court of Parliament, and all other His Majesty’s officers and ministers, ought to be subservient to that power and authority which the law hath placed in His Majesty to that purpose, though he himself, in his own person, should neglect the same.
Wherefore the Lords and Commons do declare the said Proclamation to be void in law, and of none effect; for that, by the constitution and policy of this kingdom, the King by his Proclamation cannot declare the law contrary to the judgment and resolution of any of the inferior courts of justice, much less against the High Court of Parliament; for if it were admitted that the King, by his Proclamation, may declare a law, thereby his Proclamations will in effect become laws, which would turn to the subverting of the law of the land, and the rights and liberties of the subjects.
And the Lords and Commons do require and command all constables, petty constables, and all other His Majesty’s officers and subjects whatsoever, to muster, levy, raise, march and exercise, or to summon or warn any, upon warrants from the Lieutenants, Deputy Lieutenants, Captains, or other officers of the trained bands, and all others, according to the said Ordinance of both Houses, and shall not presume to muster, levy, raise, march or exercise, by virtue of any commission or other authority whatsoever, as they will answer the contrary at their perils; and in their so doing, they do further declare that they shall be protected by the power and authority of both Houses of Parliament; and that whatsoever shall oppose, question or hinder them in the execution of the said Ordinance, shall be proceeded against as violators of the laws and disturbers of the peace of the kingdom.
The King’s Letter sent with the Commissions of Array to Leicestershire.
[June 12, 1642. Rushworth, iv. 657. See Hist. of Engl. x. 202.]
Right trusty and right well-beloved cousins, and right trusty and well-beloved, we greet you well. Whereas it hath been declared by the votes of both Houses of Parliament the 15th day of March last, that the kingdom hath of late, and still is in so evident and imminent danger, both from enemies abroad and a Popish discontented party at home, that there is an urgent and inevitable necessity of putting our subjects into a posture of defence for the safeguard both of our person and people; and that sithence divers inhabitants of divers counties have addressed their petitions to that purpose: and whereas a small number of both Houses (after it had been rejected by the Lords in a full House, and without our royal assent, or the opinion of the Judges concerning the legality of it) have attempted by way of Ordinance, to put in execution the militia of the kingdom, and to dispossess many of our ancient nobility of the command and trust reposed in them by us, and have nominated divers others who have no interest, nor live near to some of the counties to which they are nominated for the Lieutenancy, whereby they cannot be properly serviceable to the counties wherewith they are entrusted, nor our people receive that content and security which we desire they should. To submit to the execution of which power by the way of Ordinance, without it were reduced into a law by Act of Parliament established by our royal assent, were to reduce and expose our subjects to a mere arbitrary government, which by God’s grace we shall never permit.
We, therefore, considering that by the laws of the realm it belongeth to us to order and govern the militia of the kingdom, have thereupon by our Proclamation of the 27th of May last, prohibited all manner of persons whatsoever upon their allegiance to muster, levy or summon upon any warrant, order or ordinance from one or both Houses of Parliament, whereunto we have not, or shall not give our express consent to any of the trained bands, or other officers without express warrant under our hands, or warrant from our Sheriff of the county, grounded upon a particular writ to that purpose under our Great Seal; and considering that in ancient time the militia of the kingdom was ever disposed of by the Commissions of Array, and that by a particular statute upon record in the Tower, made in the fifth year of Henry the Fourth1 , by full consent of the Prelates, Earls, Barons and Commons, and at their suit, and by the advice and opinion of the Judges then had, such Commissions were mitigated in respect of some clauses perilous to the Commissioners, and approved of for the time to come. And by the subsequent records it appeareth that all our royal predecessors have continually exercised that power by such Commissions, till of late time they have been discontinued by the grants of particular Commissions of Lieutenancy, little differing in substance from the said Commissions of Array, against which the Houses it seems have taken some exception; and though we are no way satisfied of the illegality of them, our counsel being never heard in the defence thereof, yet being willing to avoid all exceptions at present, we have thought fit to refer it to that ancient legal way of disposing the power of the militia by Commissions of Array for defence of us, our kingdom and our county; authorizing you, or any three or more of you, to array and train our people, and to apportion and assess such persons as have estates and are not able to bear arms, to find arms for other men in a reasonable and moderate proportion; and to conduct them so arrayed, as well to the coasts as to other places, for the opposition and destruction of our enemies in case of danger, as to your discretions, or any three or more of you, shall seem meet, whereof you Henry Earl of Huntingdon, and in your absence William Earl of Devonshire, or Henry Hastings, Esq., to be one; and being both confident in a great measure both of the loyal affections of our people, and very tender to bring any unnecessary burden or charge on them by augmenting the number of the trained bands, we do for the present only require that you do forthwith cause to be mustered and trained all the ancient trained bands and freehold bands of the county, carefully seeing that they be supplied with able and sufficient persons, and completely armed; unless you find that there be just cause, and that it shall be with the good liking of the inhabitants for their own better security, to make any increase of their number; and over such bands to appoint and set such colonels, captains and officers as you shall think most fit for the discharge of that service, being such persons as have considerable interest in the county, and not strangers; and in case of any opposition, you are to raise the power of the county to suppress it, and to commit all such persons as are found rebellious herein into the custody of our Sheriff, whose care and assistance we especially require: and that he shall from time to time issue forth such warrants for the assembling of our people at such times and places as by you shall be agreed on, according to the trust reposed in him by our said Commission: and we have authorized you our Commissioners, or any three of you after such array made, from time to time to train and take musters of our said bands, and to provide beacons and other necessaries, for the better exercising of our people, and discovery of sudden invasions and commotions. Of all which your proceedings herein we expect a plenary and speedy account, according to the trust reposed in you, and authority given you by our Commission on that behalf.
Given at our Court at York the 12th day of June, in the 18th year of our reign, 1642.
The Votes of the Houses for raising an Army.
[July 12, 1642. Rushworth, iv. 755. See Hist. of Engl. x. 211.]
Die Martis 12 Julii, 1642.
Resolved upon the question, that an army shall be forthwith raised for the safety of the King’s person, defence of both Houses of Parliament, and of those who have obeyed their orders and commands, and preserving of the true religion, the laws, liberty and peace of the kingdom.
Resolved upon the question, that the Earl of Essex shall be general.
Resolved upon the question, that this House doth declare, that in this cause, for the safety of the King’s person, defence of both Houses of Parliament, and of those who have obeyed their orders and commands, and preserving of the true religion, the laws, liberty and peace of the kingdom, they will live and die with the Earl of Essex, whom they have nominated general in this cause.
Resolved upon the question, that a petition shall be framed, to move His Majesty to a good accord with his Parliament to prevent a civil war.
[1 ] It was at that time the custom that the royal assent was given to Bills at the end of the Session, and it was consequently argued that the assent put an end to the Session.
[2 ] The Scottish army and the English army opposed to it.
[1 ] Note by Rushworth: ‘This proviso hath occasioned the common discourse and opinion that this judgment against the Earl was enacted never to be drawn into precedent in Parliament, whereas it expressly respects only judges in inferior courts.’
[1 ] The Earl of Holland.
[1 ] The Pope’s agent at the Queen’s Court.
[1 ] The Earl of Northumberland.
[1 ] Indorsed ‘The Bishops’ Bill. Hodie 1d vice lecta est Billa, 1o Julii, 1641. 2d vice lecta est 3o Julii, 1641. Committed to the whole House.’
[1 ] Convention in MS.
[1 ] 5 E. III. c. 9.
[2 ] Magna Carta, 9 H. III. c. 29.
[3 ] 25 E. III. st. 5. c. 4.
[4 ] 28 E. III. c. 3.
[5 ] 42 E. III. c. 3.
[6 ] 36 E. III. c. 15.
[1 ] 3 H. VII. c. 1. § 1.
[2 ] 21 H. VIII. c. 20.
[1 ] Allegation of absence from lawful reasons.
[1 ] Annexed to the original Act in a separate schedule.
[1 ] Annexed to the original Act in a separate schedule.
[1 ] Borders.
[2 ] Measurements.
[3 ] 1 E. III. st. 2. c. 1.
[1 ] I. e. 1640/1.
[3 ] The preceding instructions relate to the preparations for the Irish war.
[1 ] I. e. inferior to Parliament.
[2 ] Sir John Eliot.
[1 ] The Book of Rates was issued from time to time by the King to state the value of goods according to the current prices of the day. This was necessary because Poundage was laid on goods by the £1 value, not on their weight or measure. Most writers confuse this Book of Rates with the setting of impositions by patent, which was a very different thing.
[1 ] I.e. ordered to be paid by instalments.
[1 ]Eliab in Rushworth.
[1 ] Sir Thomas Jermyn. See Journals of the House of Commons, ii. 330.
[1 ] I. e. evidently.
[1 ] I.e. 164½.
[1 ] ‘by the King’s Most Excellent Majesty,’ is here inserted in the Ordinance of February 16.
[2 ] ‘most’ is omitted in the Ordinance of February 16.
[1 ] ‘by His Majesty’s authority, signified unto them by’ stands in the Ordinance of February 16 in the place of ‘from.’
[1 ] This is not printed amongst the Statutes of the Realm. See No. 54.
[1 ] No. 52.
[1 ] Rolls of Parliament, iii. 526.
[2 ] Fuller says that the bishops and divines, directed by the lords ‘to consult together for correction of what was amiss’ in the Church ‘and to settle peace,’ of which John Williams, Bishop of Lincoln, was chairman, considered four subjects:—Innovations in doctrine; innovations in discipline; the Common Prayer; and regulation of government. Their proposal on the latter head, he says, ‘was not brought in, because the Bishop of Lincoln had undertaken the draft thereof, but not finished it.’ Fuller seems to have been mistaken, as the Bill here given was certainly brought into the House of Lords, and can hardly be other than that proposed by Williams.
[2 ] Presented to the Lords on November 9.
[1 ] A very similar Ordinance was sent up to the Lords on Feb. 15 and accepted by them on the 16th (Journals of the House of Lords, iv. 587). It was sent to the King, and his answer having been voted to be a denial, the Lords returned the Ordinance to the Commons in a slightly altered form. It was finally adopted by both Houses on March 5.
[1 ] Rushworth (iv. 772) gives the date of June 2, but see Lords’ Journals, v. 100. In my History I have followed Rushworth’s date. The propositions may not have been actually despatched till that day. At all events June 1 is the date of their final acceptance by the Houses.