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Demands on both sides upon
1643 should at any time be found guilty of any thing that might make him
unworthy of that trust, that he might be proceeded against according to the rules of justice. That the government of the town of Portsmouth, and all other forts, castles, and towns, as were formerly kept by garrisons, should be put into the hands of such persons against whom no just exceptions could be made; all of them being before these troubles by letters patents granted to several persons against any of whom he knew not any exceptions, who should be removed if just cause should be given for the same. The Warden of the Cinque Ports, and all other governors and commanders of the towns and castles, should keep their charges as by the law they ought to do, and for the King's service and safety of the kingdom; and they should not admit into any of them foreign forces, or other forces raised and brought into them contrary to the law, but should use their utmost endeavours to suppress such forces, and should seize all 'arms and ammunition
which by the laws and statutes of the kingdom they ought to seize.' March 28. 8. To that part which concerned the ships, the King told
9. It is evident to all men where the difference now lay between them, being, whether the King would reserve the disposal of those offices and places of trust to himself which all kings had enjoyed, and was indeed a part of his regality, or whether he would be content with such a nomination, as, being to pass and depend upon their approbation, no man should ever be admitted to them who was nominated by him.
10. The committee, upon his answer, desired to know, ‘if he did intend that both Houses should express their confidence of the persons to whose trust those places were to be committed; for that they were directed by their instructions, that, if his majesty was pleased to assent thereunto, and to nominate persons of quality to receive the charge of them, that they should certify both Houses of Parliament, that thereupon they might express their confidence in those persons, or humbly desire his
the first articles of the treaty.
majesty to name others; none of which persons to be removed during three 1643 years next ensuing, without just cause to be approved by both Houses; and if any should be so removed, or die within that space, the persons to be put in their places to be such as the two Houses should confide in.' The King answered, that
April 5. • He did not intend that the Houses should express their confidence of the persons to whose trusts those places should be committed, but only that they should have liberty upon any just exceptions to proceed against any such persons according to law; his majesty being resolved not to protect them against the public justice. When any of the places should be void, he well knew the nomination and free election of those who should succeed to be a right belonging to, and inherent in, his majesty; and having been enjoyed by all his royal progenitors, he could not believe his well affected subjects desired to limit him in that right ;' and desired they would be April 14. satisfied with this answer, or give him any reasons to alter his resolution, and he would comply with them. 11. They told him,
April 14. • There could be no good and firm peace hoped for if there were not a cure found out for their fears and jealousies; and they knew none sure but this which they had proposed.' The King replied,
April 15. • That he rather expected reasons grounded upon law, to have shewed him that by the law he had not that right he pretended, or that they had a right superior to his, in what was now in question, or that they would have shewed him some legal reason why the persons trusted by him were incapable of such a trust, than that they would only have insisted upon fears and jealousies, of which as he knew no ground, so he must be ignorant of the cure. That the argument they used might extend to the depriving him of, or at least sharing with him in, all his just regal power ; since power, as well as forces, might be the object of fears and jealousies, and there would be always a power left to hurt whilst there was any left to protect and defend.' He told them, “If he had as much inclination, as he had more right, to fears and jealousies, he might with more reason have insisted upon an addition of power, as a security to enable him to keep his forts when he had them, since it appeared it was not so great but that they had been able to take them from him, than they to make any difficulty to restore them to him in the same case they were before. But,' he said, ' as he was himself content with, so, he took God to witness, his greatest desire was to observe always and maintain, the law of the land ; and expected the same from his subjects; and believed the mutual observance of that rule, and neither of them to fear what the law feared not, to be, on both parts, a better cure for that dangerous disease of fears and jealousies, and a better means to establish a happy and perpetual peace, than for him to divest himself of those trusts which the law of the land had settled in the Crown alone, to preserve the power and dignity of the prince, for the better protection of the subject and of the law, and to avoid those dangerous distractions which the interest of any sharers with him would have infallibly produced.'
Demands on both sides upon
1643 12. The committee neither offered to answer his majesty's
reasons, or to oppose other reasons to weigh against them, but April 10. only said that
• They were commanded by their instructions to insist upon the desires of
both Houses formerly expressed.' April 5. To which the King made no other answer than that
· He conceived it all the justice in the world for him to insist that what was by law his own, and had been contrary to law taken from him, should be fully restored to him, without conditioning to impose any new limitation[s] upon him or his ministers which were not formerly required from them by the law; and he thought it most unreasonable to be pressed to diminish his own just rights himself because others had violated and usurped them.
This was the sum of what passed in the treaty upon that proposition.
13. To the first proposition of the two Houses,
• That his majesty would be pleased to disband his armies, as they likewise would be ready to disband all their forces which they had raised,
and that he would be pleased to return to his Parliament;' March 28. the King answered,
• That he was as ready and willing that all armies should be disbanded as any person whatsoever; and conceived the best way to it would be a happy and a speedy conclusion of the present treaty, which, if both Houses would contribute as much as he would do to it, would be suddenly effected. And as he desired nothing more than to be with his two Houses, so he would repair thither as soon as he could possibly do it with his honour and safety.'
14. The committee asked him * If by a happy and speedy conclusion of the present treaty he intended a conclusion upon the two first propositions, or a conclusion of the treaty in all the propositions of both parts ?'
The King, who well knew it would be very ungracious to
deny the disbanding the armies till all the propositions were April 5. agreed, some whereof would require much time, answered,
That he intended such a conclusion of or in the treaty, as there might be a clear evidence to himself and his subjects of a future peace, and no ground left for the continuance or growth of those bloody dissensions; which, he doubted not, might be obtained, if both Houses would consent that the treaty should proceed without farther interruption, or limitation of days.'
They asked him, •What he intended should be a clear evidence to him and his good subjects of a future peace, and no ground left for the continuance and growth of those bloody dissensions?'
the first articles of the treaty.
His majesty told them,
1643 * If the conclusion of the present treaty upon his first proposition and April 7. the first proposition of both Houses should be so full and perfectly made, that the law of the land might have a full, free, and uninterrupted course, for the defence and preservation of the rights of his majesty, and of themselves, and the rest of his subjects, there would be thence a clear evidence to him and all men of a future peace ; and it would be such a conclusion as he intended, never meaning that both armies should remain undisbanded until the propositions on both sides were fully concluded.'
To the other clause of their own proposition concerning the April 6. King's return to the Parliament, they said, they had no instructions to treat upon it,' which the King much wondered at; and finding that they had no other authority to treat or debate what was necessary to be done in order to disbanding, but only to press him to appoint a day for the actual disbanding, and that the forces in the north, where he had a great army and they had none, might be first disbanded, he endeavoured to draw them to some propositions upon his return to the Parliament; from whence expedients would naturally result, if they pursued that heartily, which would conclude a general peace. And it seemed very strange that, after so many discourses of the King's absence from the Houses, from whence they had taught the people to believe that most of the present evils flowed and proceeded, when a treaty was now entered upon, and that was a part of their own first proposition, that their committee should have no instructions or authority to treat upon it. In the end, they received new instructions, 'to declare to his majesty the desire of both Houses for his coming to April 10. his Parliament; 'which,' they said, they had often expressed with full offers of security to his royal person, agreeable to their duty and allegiance, and they knew no cause why he might not repair thither with honour and safety. When the King found he could not engage them in that argument to make any particular overture or invitation to him, and that the committee, who expressed willingness enough, had not in truth the least power to promote or contribute to an accommodation ; lest they should make the people believe that he had a desire to continue the war, because he consented not to their proposition of disbanding the armies, he sent this message by an express of
The King's message of April 12,
1643 his own to the two Houses, after he had first communicated it Apr. 12. to their committee :15.
• Oxford, April 12th, 1643. • To shew to the whole world how earnestly his majesty longs for peace, and that no success shall make him desire the continuance of his army to any other end, or for any longer time, than that, and until, things may be so settled, as that the law may have a full, and uninterrupted course, for the defence and preservation of the rights of his majesty, both Houses, and his good subjects :
16. 1. “As soon as his majesty is satisfied in his first proposition concerning his own revenue, magazines, ships, and forts, in which he desires nothing but that the just, known legal rights of his majesty, (devolved to him from his progenitors,) and of the persons trusted by him, which have violently been taken from both, be restored unto him and unto them, unless any just and legal exceptions against any of the persons trusted by him (which are yet unknown to his majesty) can be made appear to him:
17. 2. “As soon as all the members of both Houses shall be restored to the same capacity of sitting and voting in Parliament as they had upon the first of January 1641 ; the same, of right, belonging unto them by their birthrights and the free election of those that sent them, and having been voted from them for adhering to his majesty in these distractions; his majesty not intending that this should extend either to the bishops, whose votes have been taken away by bill, or to such in whose places upon new writs new elections have been made :
18. 3. • As soon as his majesty and both Houses may be secured from such tumultuous assemblies as, to the great breach of the privileges and the high dishonour of Parliaments, have formerly assembled about both Houses, and awed the members of the same, and occasioned two several complaints from the Lords' House, and two several desires of that House to the House of Commons, to join in a declaration against them; the complying with which desire might have prevented all these miserable distractions which have ensued; which security, his majesty conceives, can be only settled by adjourning the Parliament to some other place at the least twenty miles from London, the choice of which his majesty leaves to both Houses :
19. ·His majesty will most cheerfully and readily consent that both armies be immediately disbanded, and give a present meeting to both his Houses of Parliament at the time and place at and to which the Parliament shall be agreed to be adjourned: his majesty being most confident that the law will then recover the due credit and estimation; and that upon a free debate, in a full and peaceable convention of Parliament, such provisions will be made against seditious preaching and printing against his majesty and the established laws, which hath been one of the chief causes of the present distractions, and such care will be taken concerning the legal and known rights of his majesty, and the property and liberty of his subjects, that whatsoever hath been published, or done, in or by colour of any illegal declaration, ordinance, or order of one or both Houses, or any committee