« ForrigeFortsett »
1641.] A bill is introduced for extirpating bishops, deans, and chapters. 95
Cuncta prius tentanda, sed immedicabile vulnus gracious a reception as was expected : many of the
Ense recidendum est, ne pars sincera trahatur. greatest men of that house grew weary of the empire which the others had exercised over them; He took notice “ of the great moderation and and some, who had gone with them, upon their ob “ candour of the house, in applying so gentle a servation that they had worse designs than they remedy, by the late bill, to retrench the exowned, fell from them, and took the opportunity “ orbitances of the clergy: hoping that the prunto discover themselves, upon the debate of this bill; “ ing and taking off a few unnecessary branches against which they inveighed with great sharpness; “ from the trunk, the tree might prosper the and blamed the house of commons, “for presum better; that this mortification might have mend
ing to meddle with an affair, that so immediately “ed their constitution, and that they would the “ concerned them: that if they might send up a more carefully have intended their health : but “ bill this day, at once to take out one whole bench “ that this soft remedy had proved so ineffectual, “ from the house, as this would do the bishops, " that they were grown more obstinate and incor
they might to-morrow send another, to take rigible; so that it was now necessary to put the away
the barons, or some other degree of the axe to the root of the tree;" and thereupon denobility :” with many more arguments, as the sired, “ that the bill might be read.” nature of the thing would easily administer ; with As soon as the title of it was read, (which was such warmth and vigour as they had not before almost as long as the bill itself,) Mr. Hyde moved expressed : insomuch as, though the other party, with great warmth, “that the bill might not be which had not hitherto been withstood, set up their “ read : that it was against the custom and rule of rest upon the carrying it; supplying their other “ parliament, that any private person should take arguments with that, “How much the house of “ upon him (without having first obtained the
commons, which best knew the temper and ex “ leave and direction of the house) to bring in a pectation of the nation, would resent their not new act, so much as to abrogate and abolish any concurring with them in a remedy they judged “old single law; and therefore, that it was a wonso necessary; and what the consequence might “ derful presumption in that gentleman, without • be, of such a breach between the two houses, any communication of his purpose, or so much they trembled to think; since the kingdom had as a motion that he might do it, to bring in a
no hope of being preserved but by their union, bill, that overthrew and repealed so many acts “ and the effects of their wisdom, in removing all “ of parliament, and changed and confounded the
things, and all persons, out of the way, which « whole frame of the government of the kingwere like to obstruct such a thorough reforma “ dom :" and therefore desired, “ that it might
tion, as the kingdom needs and expects ;" all “ be rejected.” The gentleman who brought it in which prevailed so little, that the house could not made many excuses “of his ignorance in the cusbe prevailed with, so much as to commit the bill, “ toms of parliament, having never before served (a countenance they frequently give to bills they “ in any;" and acknowledged, “ that he had never never intend to pass,) but at the second reading “ read more than the title of the bill ; it, they utterly cast it out.
prevailed with by his neighbour who sat next to This unexpected and unimagined act cast such “ him (who was sir Arthur Haslerig) to deliver a damp upon the spirits of the governing party in “ it;" which he saw would have been done by both houses, that they knew not what to do: 'the somebody else. Though the rejecting it was earmischiefs which were in view, by this discovery of nestly urged by very many; and ought, by the the temper of the house of peers, had no bottom; rules of parliament, to have been done ; yet, all they were not now sure, that they should be able to the other people as violently pressed the reading carry any thing; for the major part, which threw it; and none so importunately as Saint-John, who out this bill, might cross them in any thing they was now the king's solicitor (who in truth had went about : besides the influence it would have in drawn it :) he said, “ nobody could judge of a bill the house of commons, and every where else; for by the title, which might be false; and this bill, they very well knew, how many of their followers “ for aught any man knew to the contrary, at least, therefore followed them, because they believed they “ for aught he and many others knew, might conwould carry all before them.
“ tain the establishing the bishops, and granting However, that their spirits might not be thought « other immunities to the church; to fail, they made haste to proceed in all the angry “suing the matter of the title :” and others, as and choleric things before them: to the trial of uningeniously declaring, “ that our orders are the earl of Strafford; impeaching several bishops “ in our own power, and to be altered, or disfor innovations, and the like; the house of com-“ pensed with, as we see cause :” many out of mons being very diligent to kindle those fires curiosity desiring to hear it read; and more to which might warm the peers : and that the bishops shew the lords that they would not abate their might see how little they had gotten, by obstruct- mettle ; upon their declaring their pleasure, the ing the other bill, they prepared a very short bill
, bill was at last read; and no question being to be " for the utter eradication of bishops, deans, and put, upon the first reading, it was laid by, and not
chapters; with all chancellors, officials, and all called upon in a long time after ; many men being “officers, and other persons belonging to either really persuaded, that there was no intention to “ of them :” which they prevailed with sir Ed- pursue it; and that it was only brought in, to ward Deering, a man very opposite to all their manifest a neglect towards the lords. designs, (but a man of levity and vanity; easily When the house grew entangled in multiplicity flattered, by being commended,) who presented l of business and despatches now, the northern
instead of pur
(воок Іш gentlemen, at least they who were most active, / and concluded with “ desiring the lords to concu and had most credit, (as Hotham, and Cholmely, “ in the same sense, the house of commons ha and Stapleton) were marvellously solicitous to expressed themselves to be of, with reference t despatch the commitment of (the bill “for taking “ the commission and instructions."
away] the court of York," and having after The speech, and argument, had a wonderfu great debate, and hearing what all parties interest- approbation in both houses; where he got gre ed could offer, gotten the committee to vote, credit by it: and the earl of Bath, who was t “That it was an illegal commission, and very pre- report it, and had no excellent or graceful pronur
judicial to the liberty and the property of his ma- ciation, came himself to Mr. Hyde, and "desire
jesty's subjects of those four northern counties, a copy of it, that he might not do him wrong “where that jurisdiction was exercised;" they “ the house, by the report;" and having receive called upon Mr. Hyde (the chairman) to make the it, it was read 'in the house, and by order entere report : and the house having concurred in, and and the paper itself affixed to their Journal ; whe confirmed, the same vote; they appointed him it still remains; and the house of peers fully co “ to prepare himself to deliver the opinion of the curred with the commons in their vote : so th “ house (they having confirmed the vote of the there was not, in many years after, any attempt, “ committee) at a conference with the house of so much as mention of another commission.
peers, and to desire their concurrence in it; And the northern men were so well pleased, te “ and that they would thereupon be suitors to the they resolved to move the house, “to give Mr. Hy “ king, that there might be no more commissions public thanks for the service he had done t “ of that kind granted :” for they had a great ap “house;" but the principal leaders diverted the prehension, that either upon the earl of Strafford's from it, by saying, “ that he had too much cre resignation, or his death, (which they resolved “ already, and needed not such an addition, as should be very shortly,) they should have a new “ behaved himself.” However, those northern m president put over them.
themselves continued marvellously kind; and on Mr. Hyde, at the conference in the painted behalf, on all occasions, opposed any combinat chamber, (being appointed by the house to manage of the most powerful of them against him ; it,) told the lords, "that the four northern counties which somewhat will be said hereafter.
were suitors to their lordships, that they might In the afternoon of the same day (when the c “not be distinguished from the rest of his majesty's ference had been in the painted chamber upon
subjects, in the administration of his justice, and court of York) Mr. Hyde going to a place ca
receiving the fruits thereof; that they only were Piccadilly, (which was a fair house for entert “ left to the arbitrary power of a president and ment and gaming, and handsome gravel walks “ council, which every day procured new authority shade, and where were an upper and lower bowli “and power to oppress them :" he told them, that green, whither very many of the nobility, and get
[the thirty-first] year of king Harry the of the best quality, resorted, both for exercise Eighth, the administration of justice was the same conversation,) as soon as ever he came into “ in the north, as in the west, or other parts of the ground, the earl of Bedford came to him; and a “ realm ; that about that time there was some in- some short compliments upon what had passe “surrection in that country, which produced great the morning, he told him, He was glad he “ disorders and bloodshed, which spread itself to come thither, for there was a friend of his in “ the very borders of Scotland : whereupon that “ lower ground, who needed his counsel.”
king issued out a commission to the archbishop then lamented “the misery the kingdom was “ of York, and the principal gentlemen of those “ to fall into, by their own violence, and war
counties, and some learned lawyers, to examine “ temper, in the prosecution of their own ha “ the grounds of all those disorders, and to proceed ness.” He said, “This business concerning “ against the malefactors with all severity, according “ earl of Strafford was a rock, upon whicl “ to the laws of the land.” He read that first “ should all split, and that the passion of the commission to them ; which appeared to be no “ liament would destroy the kingdom: tha other, than a bare commission of oyer and terminer. king was ready to do all they could desis “ It was found that this commission did much good, “ the life of the earl of Strafford might be spa “and therefore it was kept on foot for some time “ that he was satisfied, that he had proceeded • longer than such commissions use to be; and it more passion in many things, than he oug was often renewed after, but still in the same “ have done, by which he had rendered hi
form, or very little alteration, till queen Eliza “ useless to his service for the future; and t “ beth's time; and then there was some alteration “ fore he was well contented, that he mig “ in the commission itself; besides that, it had “ made incapable of any employment for the "reference to instructions, which contained matters “to come; and that he should be banishe “ of state upon some emergent occasions : there • imprisoned for his life, as they should ch were more and greater alterations, both in the “ that if they would take his death upon
the “ commission and instructions, in the time of king “their own judicatory, he would not interpos “ James, when the lord Scroop was president; and “ act of his own conscience: but since the “ that, when the lord Strafford was first made pre “ declined that way, and meant to proceed
sident, they were more enlarged; and yet he had “ act of parliament, to which he himself m procured new additions to be made twice after.” a party, that it could not consist with his The instructions of the several times were read; science, ever to give his royal assent to tha and the alterations observed; and some precedents “ because, having been present at the whole very pertinently and smartly urged; in which it (as he had been, in a box provided on py appeared, that great men had been very severely incognito, though conspicuous enough,) “and sentenced, in no less penalty than of a premunire, “ all the testimony they had given against hi for procuring and executing such commissions : “ he had heard nothing proved, by which h
1641.] Mr. Hyde's conversation with the earl of Bedford on Strafford's trial. 97 “ believe that he was a traitor, either in fact or in “ that argument, and therefore desired him to “ intention: and therefore his majesty did most “ continue the discourse no longer then; assuring
earnestly desire, that the two houses would not “him, he would be ready to confer with him upon
bring him a bill to pass, which in conscience he “ it at any other time.”
The earl said ; “Though he yet was satisfied so tunity to speak freely with him again concerning it, “ well in his own conscience, that he believed he but found him upon his guard; and though he “should have no scruple in giving his own vote heard all the other would say, with great patience, “ for the passing it,” (for it yet depended in the yet he did not at all enlarge in his answers, but lords' house,) "he knew not how the king could seemed fixed in his resolution; and when he was “ be pressed to do an act so contrary to his own pressed, “ how unjustifiable a thing it was, for any “conscience; and that, for his part, he took all man to do any thing which his conscience in“ the pains he could to persuade his friends to de “ formed him was sinful; that he knew him so « cline their violent prosecution, and to be con well, that if he were not satisfied in his own con“ tented with the remedy proposed by the king ; science, of the guilt of the earl of Strafford, the “ which he thought might be rendered so secure, king could never be able to oblige him to give " that there need remain no fears of that man's “ his vote for that bill; and therefore he wondered,
ever appearing again in business : and that how “ how he could urge the king to do an act which “ difficult a work soever he found it to be, he “ he declared to be so much against his conscience, “should not despair of it, if he could persuade the " that he neither could, nor would, ever give his “ earl of Essex to comply; but that he found him royal assent to that bill ; to which he answered
so obstinate, that he could not in the least degree more at large, and with some commotion, (as if he
prevail with him ; that he had left his brother, were in truth possessed with that opinion himself,) “ the earl of Hertford, (who was that day made a “ That the king was obliged in conscience to con“marquis,) in the lower ground, walking with him, “ form himself, and his own understanding, to the “ who he knew would do all he couldl; and he de " advice and conscience of his parliament:" which “sired Mr. Hyde to walk down into that place, was a doctrine newly resolved by their divines, and “ and take his turn, to persuade him to what was of great use to them for the pursuing their future “ reasonable;” which he was very willing to do. counsels,
He found the marquis and the earl walking there Notwithstanding all this, the bill had not that together, and no other persons there; and as soon warm reception in the house of peers, that was exas they saw him, they both came to him; and the pected; but, after the first reading, rested many marquis, after a short salutation, departed, and left days; and being then read the second time, dethe other two together; which he did purposely. pended long at the committee; few men believing, The earl began merrily, in telling him, " That he upon consideration of the affections and parts of “ had that morning performed a service, which he the several lords, that of the fourscore, who were “knew he did not intend to do; that by what he present at the trial, above twenty would ever have “ had said against the court of York, he had revived consented to that act : besides, it was not believed, “ their indignation against the earl of Strafford; so now the formal trial and way of judicature was “ that he now hoped, they should proceed in their waved, the bishops would so stupidly (to say no “ bill against him with vigour, (whereas they had worse) exclude themselves from voting in a law
slept so long upon it,) which he said was the which was to be an act of parliament. “ effect, of which he was sure he had no mind to But there happened about that time two acci“ be the cause.” Mr. Hyde confessed, “ he had dents, which (though not then, or it may be since, “ indeed no such purpose ; and hoped, that some taken notice of, as of any moment or relation to “ what he had said might put other thoughts into that business) contributed strangely to the passing “ them, to proceed in another manner upon his that bill; and so to the fate of that great person. “ crimes : that he knew well, that the cause of The first, a discovery of some meetings and dis“their having slept so long upon the bill, was their courses, between some persons of near relation to
disagreement upon the point of treason, which his majesty's service, and some officers of the army, " the longer they thought of, would administer the about the high proceedings of the parliament; and
more difficulties : but that, if they declined that, of some expedients, that might reduce them to a
they should all agree, that there were crimes and better temper; which were no sooner intimated to “misdemeanours evidently enough proved, to de- some of the great managers, than the whole was
serve so severe a censure, as would determine all | formed and shaped into “ a formidable and bloody the activity hereafter of the earl of Strafford, that design against the parliament.” The second, the
might prove dangerous to the kingdom; or mis- sudden death of the earl of Bedford. Of both “ chievous to any particular person, to whom he which it will be necessary to say somewhat; that was not a friend."
it may be observed, from how little accidents, and He shook his head, and answered, “Stone-dead small circumstances, by the art and industry of “ hath no fellow: that if he were judged guilty in those men, the greatest matters have flowed, towards
a premunire, according to the precedents cited | the confusion we now labour under.
Some principal officers of the army, who were “ tenced to be imprisoned during his life; the king members of the house of commons, and had been “would presently grant him his pardon and his caressed, both before and after the beginning of
estate, release all fines, and would likewise give the parliament, by the most popular agents of both “ him his liberty, as soon as he had a mind to houses ; and had in truth contributed more to their “receive his service; which would be as soon as designs, than was agreeable to their duty, and the “the parliament should be ended.” And when he trust reposed in them by the king ; found themwas ready to reply to him, the earl told him fami- selves now not so particularly considered as they liarly, " that he had been tired that afternoon upon expected, by that party; and their credit in other
Petition of the officers and soldiers of the army. (BOOK 111. places, and particularly in the army, to be lessened : “ great and happy a reformation upon the former for that' there was visibly much more care taken distempers of this church and commonwealth: for the supply of the Scottish army, than of the “ as first, in your majesty's gracious condescendking's; insomuch, that sometimes money that was ing to the many important demands of our neighassigned and paid for the use of the king's army, « bours of the Scottish nation ; secondly, in grantwas again taken away, and disposed to the other ; ' ing so free a course of justice against all delinand yet, that the parliament much presumed, and quents of what quality soever; thirdly, in the depended, upon their interest in, and power to dis “ removal of all those grievances, wherewith the pose, the affections of that army.
subjects did conceive either their liberty of perTherefore, to redeem what had been done amiss,
sons, property, or estate, or freedom of conand to ingratiate themselves to his majesty's favour,“ science, prejudiced; and lastly, in the greatest they bethought themselves how to dispose, or at pledge of security that ever the subjects of Engleast to pretend that they would dispose, the army “ land received from their sovereign, the bill of to some such expressions of duty and loyalty to “ triennial parliament. wards the king, as might take away all hope from These things so graciously accorded unto by other men, that it might be applied to his disser your majesty, without bargain or compensation, vice: and to that purpose, they had conference, as they are more than expectation or hope could and communication, with some servants of a more " extend unto, so now certainly they are such, as immediate trust and relation to both their majesties; “ all loyal hearts ought to acquiesce in with thankthrough whom they might convey their intentions “fulness; which we do with all humility, and do and devotions to the king, and again receive his “ at this time, with as much earnestness as any, royal pleasure, and direction, how they should de- "pray, and wish, that the kingdom may be settled mean themselves. For aught I could ever observe, in peace and quietness, and that all men may, at by what was afterwards reported in the house of " their own homes, enjoy the blessed fruits of your commons; or could learn from those who were
“ wisdom and justice. conversant with all the secrets of that design ; there “ But it may please your excellent majesty, and was never the least intention of working farther "this high court of parliament, to give us leave, upon the affections of the army, than to preserve “with grief and anguish of heart, to represent unto them from being corrupted, or made use of, for you, that we hear that there are certain persons the imposing unjust or unreasonable things upon stirring and pragmatical, who, instead of renderthe king: and all that ever the king so much as ing glory to God, thanks to your majesty, and consented should be done by them, was, that as acknowledgment to the parliament, remain yet most counties in England, or rather, the factious as unsatisfied and mutinous as ever; who, whilst and seditious persons in most counties, had been “ all the rest of the kingdom are arrived even beinduced to frame and subscribe petitions to the par yond their wishes, are daily forging new and liament, against the established government of the “ unseasonable demands; who, whilst all men of church, with other clauses, scandalous to the go reason, loyalty, and moderation, are thinking how vernment of the state too; (so] the officers of the they may provide for your majesty's honour and army should subscribe this following petition; which "plenty, in return of so many graces to the subject, was brought ingrossed to his majesty for his ap are still attempting new diminutions of your probation, before they would presume to recom majesty's just regalities, which must ever be no mend it to any for their subscription.
« less dear to all honest men than our own freeTo the king's most excellent majesty; the lords spi
in fine, men of such turbulent spirits, ritual and temporal ; the knights, citizens, and
as are ready to sacrifice the honour and welfare burgesses, now assembled in the high court of
“of the whole kingdom to their private fancies, parliament.
“ whom nothing else than a subversion of the whole
“ frame of government will satisfy: far be it from “ The humble petition of the officers and sol“ diers of the army,
our thoughts to believe, that the violence and
“ unreasonableness of such kind of persons can “Humbly sheweth, That although our wants “ have any influence upon the prudence and just“ have been very pressing, and the burden we are “ice of the parliament. But that which begets “ become unto these parts (by reason of those “ the trouble and disquiet of our loyal hearts,
wants) very grievous unto us : yet so have we “at this present, is, that we hear those ill-affected “ demeaned ourselves, that your majesty's great persons are backed in their violence by the mul“and weighty affairs, in this present parliament, “ titude and the power of raising tumults; that “ have hitherto received no interruption, by any “ thousands flock at their call, and beset the par
complaint, either from us, or against us; a temper “ liament, and Whitehall itself; not only to the “not usual in armies ; especially in one destitute prejudice of that freedom which is necessary to “ not only of pay, but also of martial discipline, great councils and judicatories, but possibly to “ and many of its principal officers; that we can some personal danger of your sacred majesty, “ not but 'attribute it to a particular blessing of “ and the peers.
Almighty God, on our most hearty affections “ The vast consequence of these persons' mars and zeal to the common good, in the happy suc lignity, and of the licentiousness of those multi
cess of this parliament; to which, as we should “ tudes that follow them, considered, in most deep have been ready hourly to contribute our dearest care and zealous affection for the safety of your
blood, so now that it hath pleased God to mani “sacred majesty, and the parliament; our humble os fest his blessing so evidently therein, we cannot “petition is, that in your wisdom you would be “ but acknowledge it with thankfulness; as like-“ pleased to remove such dangers, by punishing “ wise his great mercy, in that he hath inclined “ the ringleaders of these tumults, that your mayour majesty's royal heart so to cooperate with “
jesty and the parliament may be secured from - the wisdom of the parliament, as to effect so “such insolences hereafter. For the suppressing
99 “ of which, in all humility we offer ourselves to it ridiculous and unpracticable; and so the meeting, “ wait upon you, (if you please,) hoping we shall for that time, dissolved.
appear as considerable in the way of defence, to Whether the person that proposed this desperate our gracious sovereign, the parliament, our reli- device, did it only as a bait, to draw an opinion from gion, and the established laws of the kingdom, as other men, (for he was of a perfect dislike and
what number soever shall audaciously presume to malice to some of the company,) or whether the “violate them: so shall we, by the wisdom of your disdain to see his counsel rejected, and the fear
majesty and the parliament, not only be vindi- that it might be discovered to his disadvantage, “cated from precedent innovations, but be secured wrought upon him, I know not; but the same, or
from the future, that are threatened, and likely the next day, he discovered all, and more than had “ to produce more dangerous effects than the passed, to some of those who seemed to take most “ former.
care for the public; intimated to them, “how he “ And we shall pray,” &c.
was startled with the horror of the design, and
“ how faithfully he resolved to serve the commonHis majesty having read this petition, and con- “ wealth, or to lose his life in the attempt:" yet at ceiving that the authority of the army might seem the same time acted his part at court, with all posof as great importance for the good reception of so sible demonstration of abhorring the proceedings much reason and justice, as the subscription of a of the parliament, to that degree, that he offered rabble had been alleged often to be, for the counte “ to undertake, with a crew of officers and good nance of what in truth was mutinous and seditious, fellows, (who, he said, were at his disposal,) to said, “ that he approved well enough of it, and was rescue the earl of Strafford from the lieutenant “content that it might be subscribed by the officers “ of the Tower, as he should bring him to his trial, “ of the army, if they desired it.” The officer, “and so to enable hiin to make an escape into who presented the draught to his majesty, told him, foreign parts.” “ that very few of the army had yet seen it: and The discovery being thus made, to the earl of “ that it would be a great countenance to it, if, Bedford, the lord Say, and the lord Kimbolton, “when it was carried to the principal officers who and, no doubt, by them communicated to their
were first to sign it, any evidence might be given chief associates; as dangerous as the design was to them, that it had passed his majesty's ap- afterwards alleged to be, it was not published in probation; otherwise possibly they might make three months after to the houses, against whom the
scruple for fear of offending him." Thereupon treason was intended; nor till long after the death
The meetings continuing, between those officers could not have been made up.
At the first meeting, the person that was so in- gracious profession of the king, to warm and introduced, after he had heard the calm propositions flame them again with a discovery, or promise of of the rest, and that “ their design was, only to a discovery, of some notable plot and conspiracy “observe and defend the laws, that neither the against themselves, “ to dissolve the parliament by
arguments of the Scots, nor the reputation of “ the papists ; or some other way, in which they “their army, might compel the king to consent to would be sure that somewhat always should reflect " the alteration of the government of the church, upon the court. Thus they were sometimes in
nor to remove the bishops out of the house of forming of great multitudes of papists gathering peers, which would, in a great degree, produce “ together in Lancashire;” then“ of secret meetan alteration; or the power of
discontented “ings in caves, and under ground in Surrey ; persons, by their tumultuary petitions, impose “ letters from beyond sea, of great provisions of upon, or diminish, the just legal power of the arms making there for the catholics of England;" king,” told them, “Those resolutions would pro- and the like; which upon examination always va
very little effects for his majesty's service; nished: but for the time and they were always “ that there was but one way to do his majesty applied in useful articles of time) served to trans“ notable service, which was by bringing up the port common minds with fears and apprehensions,
army presently to London, which would so awe and so induced them to comply in sense with those, the parliament, that they would do any thing the who were like soonest to find remedies for those
king commanded.” There was not (as I have diseases which none but themselves could discover. been credibly informed) a man in the company, And in this progress there sometimes happened that did not perfectly abhor (or seemed so to do) strange accidents for the confirmation of their that odious proposition; but contented themselves credit. with making such objections against it, as rendered Whilst they were full of clamour against the