Week 2: English Roots I
His Majesties Answer to the Nineteen Propositions of Both Houses of Parliament.
Before we shall give you Our Answer to your Petition and Propositions, we shall tell you, That we are now cleerly satisfied, why the Method, which we traced out to you by Our Message of the twentieth of January, 8 and have since so often pressed upon you, as the proper way to compose the Distractions of this Kingdom, and render it truly happy, hath been hitherto declined, and is at length thought fit to be lookt upon.We now see plainly (and desire that you, and all other Our good Subjects, should do so too) that the Caballists of this Businesse, have, with great prudence, reserved themselves untill due preparations should be made for their designe.
If they had unseasonably vented such Propositions, as the wisdom and modesty of your Predecessors never thought fit to offer to any of Our Progenitors, nor We in honour or regard to Our Regall Authoritie (which God hath intrusted Us with for the good of Our people) could receive without just indignation, (and such many of your present Propositions are) their hopes would soon have been blasted, and those persons to whom Offices, Honours, Power and Commands were designed, by such ill-timing of their Businesse, would have failed of their expectation, not without a brand upon the attempt. Therefore, before any of this nature should appear, they have (certainly with great wisdom in the conduct of it) thought fit to remove a troublesome rub in their way, the Law.To this end (that they might undermine the very foundations of it) a new Power hath been assumed to interpret and declare Laws without Us, by extemporary Votes, without any case judicially before either house, (which is in effect the same thing as to make Laws without Us) Orders and Ordinances made only by both houses (tending to a pure Arbitrary power) were pressed upon the people, as Laws, and their obedience required to them.
Their next step was to erect an upstart Authority without Us (in whom, and only in whom, the Laws of this Realm have placed that power) to command the Militia; (very considerable to this their designe). In further Order to it, they have wrested from Us Our Magazine and Town of Hull, and bestird Sir John Hotham in his boldfaced Treason. 9They have prepared and directed to the people, unprecedented Invectives against Our Government, thereby (as much as lay in their power) to weaken Our just Authoritie and due esteem amongst them.They have as injuriously, as presumptuously (though we conceive by this time Impudence itself is ashamed of it) attempted to cast upon Us Aspersions of an unheard of nature, as if We had favoured a Rebellion in Our own bowels.They have likewise broached new Doctrine, That we are obliged to passe all Laws that shall be offered to Us by both Houses (howsoever Our own Judgement and Conscience shall be unsatisfied with them) a point of policie, as proper for their present businesse, as destructive to all Our Rights of Parliament. And so with strange shamelesnesse will forget a clause in a Law still in force,made in the second yeer of King Henry the fifth, wherein both Houses of Parliament do acknowledge,That it is of the King’s Regalitie to grant or deny such of their Petitions as pleaseth himself.They have interpreted Our necessary Guard, legally assembled for the defence of Us and Our Children’s Persons, against a Traitor in open Rebellion against Us, to be with intent to levie war against Our Parliament (the thought whereof Our very soul abhorreth) thereby to render Us odious to Our people.They have so awed Our good Subjects with Pursuivants, 10 long chargeable Attendance, heavie Censures, & illegal Imprisonments, that few of them durst offer to present their tendernesse of Our sufferings, their own just grievances, and their sense of those violations of the Law (the birthright of every Subject of this Kingdom) though in an humble Petition directed to both Houses; and if any did, it was stifled in the birth, called Sedition, and burnt by the common Hangman.They have restrained the attendance of Our ordinary and necessary houshold servants, and seized upon those small sums of Money which Our credit had provided to buy Us Bread; with Injunctions,That none shall be suffered to be conveyed or returned to Us to York, or any of Our Peers or Servants with Us; so that (in effect) they have blocked Us up in that County.They have filled the ears of the people with the noise of Fears and Jealousies (though taken up upon trust) tales of Skippers, Salt Fleets, and such like, by which alarms they might prepare them to receive such impressions as might best advance this Designe, when it should be ripe. And now, it seems, they think We are sufficiently prepared for these bitter Pills.We are in a handsome posture to receive these humble desires (which probably are intended to make way for a superfetation or a (yet) higher nature (if we had not made this discovery to you) for they doe not tell Us this is all). In them We must observe,That these Contrivers (the better to advance their true ends) disguised, as much as they could their intents, with a mixture of some things really to be approved by every honest man; others, specious and popular and some which are already granted by Us. All which are cunningly twisted and mixed with those other things of their main designe of ambition and private Interest, in hope that at the first view, every eye may not so cleerly discern them in their proper colours.
We would not be understood,That We intend to fix this Designe upon both, or either House of Parliament, We utterly professe against it, being most confidenct of the Loyaltie, good Affections, and Integritie of the Intentions of that great Bodie; and knowing well, That very many of both Houses were absent, and many dissented from all those particulars We complain of. But we do beleeve, and accordingly professe to all the world,That the malignity of this Designe (as dangerous to the Laws of this Kingdom, the Peace of the same, and Liberties of all Our good Subjects, as to Ourself and Our just Prerogative) hath proceeded from the subtill Informations, mischievous Practises, and evill Counsels, of ambitious, turbulent Spirits, disaffected to God’s true Religion, and the unity of the Professors thereof, Our Honour and Safety, and the publike Peace and Prosperitie of Our people, not without a strong Influence upon the very Actions of both Houses. But how faultie soever others are,We shall (with God’s assistance) endeavour to discharge Our dutie with uprightnesse of heart. And therefore since these Propositions come to Us in the name of both Houses of Parliament,We shall take a more particular notice of every of them.
If the 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 9. 10. 15. 16. 19. Demands had been writ and printed in a tongue unknown to Us and Our people, it might have been possible We and they might have charitably beleeved the Propositions to be such, as might have been in Order to the ends pretended in the Petition, (to wit) The establishing of Our Honour and Safetie, the welfare and securitie of Our Subjects and Dominions,& the removing those Jealousies and Differences, which are said to have unhappily fallen betwixt Us and Our people, and procuring both Us and them a constant course of Honour, Peace, and Happinesse. But being read and understood by all,We cannot but assure Ourself, that this Profession joined to these Propositions, will rather appear a Mockery and a Scorn.The Demands being such, as we were unworthy of the trust reposed in Us by the Law, and of Our dessent, from so many great and famous Ancestors, if We could be brought to abandon that power which only can inable Us to perform what We are sworn to, in protecting Our people and the Laws, and so assume others into it, as to devest Ourself of it; although not only Our present condition (which it can hardly be) were more necessitous than it is, and We were both vanquisht, and a Prisoner, and in a worse condition than ever the most unfortunate of Our Predecessors have been reduced to, by the most criminall of their Subjects. And though the Bait laid to draw Us to it, and to keep Our Subjects from Indignation at the mention of it, The promises of a plentifull and unparalleled Revenue, were reduced from generalls (which signifie nothing) to clear and certain particulars, since such a Bargain would have but too great a resemblance of that of Esau’s, if we should part with such Flowers of Our Crown as are worth all the rest of the Garland, and have been transmitted to Us from so many Ancestors, and have been found so usefull and necessary for the welfare and security of Our Subjects, for any present necessitie, or for any low and sordid considerations of wealth and gain. And therefore all Men knowing that those accommodations are most easily made and most exactly observed, that are grounded upon reasonable and equall Conditions; We have great cause to beleeve,That the Contrivers of these had no intention of setling any firm Accommodation; but to increase those Jealousies, and widen that division, which (not by Our fault) is now unhappily fallen between Us and both Houses.
It is asked,That all the Lords, and others of Our Privy Councell, and such (We know now what you mean by such, but We have cause to think you mean all) great Officers and Ministers of State, either at home, or beyond the Seas, (for Care is taken to leave out no person or place, that Our dishonour may be sure not to be bounded within this Kingdom, though no subtill Insinuations at such a distance can probably be beleeved to have been the cause of Our distractions and Dangers) should be put from Our Privie Councell, and from those Offices and Imployments, unlesse they be approved by both Houses of Parliament, how faithfull soever We have found them to Us and the Publike, and how far soever they have been from offending against any Law, the only Rule they had, or any others ought to have to walk by.We therefore, to this part of this Demand, return you this Answer, That We are willing to grant that they shall take a larger Oath than you yourselves desire in your eleventh Demand, for maintaining not of any part but of the whole Law; and We have and do assure you, that We will be carefull to make election of such persons in those places of Trust, as shall have given good Testimonies of their abilities and integreities, and against whom there can be no just cause of exception, whereon reasonably to ground a diffidence, that ifWe have, or shall be mistaken in Our election,We have, and do assure you,That there is no man so neer to 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 that We have given you (the best pledge of the effects of such a promise on Our part, and the best securitie for the performance of their duty on theirs) a Trienniall Parliament, 11 the apprehension of whose Justice will, in all probability, make them wary how they provoke it, and Us wary how We chuse such, as by the discoverie of their faults may in any degree seem to discredit Our election. But that, without any shadow of a fault objected, only perhaps because they follow their conscience, and preserve the established Laws, and agree not in such Votes, or assent not to such Bills, as some persons, who have now too great an Influence even upon both Houses, judge or seem to judge, to be for the Publique good, and as are agreeable to that new Utopia of Religion and Government, into which they endevour to transform this Kingdom; (for We remember what Names, and for what Reasons you left out in the Bill offered Us concerning the Militia, which you had yourselves recommended in the Ordinance).We will never consent to the displacing of any, whom for their former merits from, and affection to Us and the publike,We have intrusted, since We conceive,That to do so, would take away both from the affection of Our Servants, the care of Our Service, and the honour of Our Justice. And We the more wonder, that it should be askt by you of Us, since it appears by the twelfth Demand,That yourselves count it reasonable, after the present turn is served, That the Judges and Officers, who are then placed, may hold their places quam diu se bene gesserint ; and We are resolved to be as carefull of those We have chosen, as you are of those you would chuse, and to remove none, till they appear to Us to have otherwise behaved themselves, or shall be evicted by legall proceedings to have done so.
But this Demand (as unreasonable as it is) is but one link of a great Chain, and but the first round of that Ladder, by which Our Just, Ancient, Regall Power is endeavoured to be fetched down to the ground: For it appears plainly, That it is not with the persons now chosen, but with Our chusing, that you are displeased: For you demand, That the persons put into the places and imployments of those, who shall be removed, may be approved by both Houses; which is so far (as to some it may at first sight appear) from being lesse than the power of nomination, that of two things (of which We will never grant either). We would sooner be content, That you should nominate, and We approve, then you approve, and We nominate; the meer nomination being so far from being anything,That if We could do no more,We would never take the pains to do that, when We should only hazard those, whom We esteemed, to the scorn of a refusall, if they happened not to be agreeable, not only to the Judgement, but to the Passion, Interest, or Humour of the present major part of either House:Not to speak now of the great Factions, Animosities, and Divisions which this Power would introduce in both Houses, between both Houses, and in the severall Countreys, for the choice of persons to be sent to that place where that power was, and between the persons that were so chosen. Neither is this strange Potion prescribed to Us only for once, for the cure of a present, pressing, desperate Disease, but for a Diet to Us and Our Posteritie. It is demanded, That Our Councellors, all chief Officers both of Law and State, Commanders of Forts and Castles, and all Peers hereafter made (as to Voting, without which how little is the rest) be approved of (that is, chosen) by them from time to time; and rather than it should ever be left to the Crown (to whom it only doth and shall belong) if any place fall void in the intermission of Parliament; the major part of the approved Councell is to approve them. Neither is it only demanded,That We should quit the power and right Our Predecessors have had of appointing Persons in these places, but for Councellors, We are to be restrained as well in the number as in the persons, and a power must be annext to these places, which their Predecessors had not; and indeed if this power were past to them, it were not fit We should be trusted to chuse those who were to be trusted as much as We.
It is demanded, That such matters as concern the publike, and are proper for the high Court of Parliament (which is Our great and supream Councell) may be debated, resolved and transacted only in Parliament, and not elsewhere, and such as presume to do anything to the contrary shall be reserved to the Censure and Judgement of Parliament, and such other matters of State, as are proper of Our Privie Councell, shall be debated and concluded by such of Our Nobility (though indeed, if being made by Us, they may not Vote without the consent of both Houses,We are rather to call them Your Nobility) and others, as shall be from time to time chosen for that place, by approbation of both Houses of Parliament; and that no publike Act concerning the affairs of the King dom, which are proper for Our Privie Councell, may be esteemed of any validitie, as proceeding from the Royall Authority, unlesse it be done by the Advice and Consent of the major part of Our Councell, attested under their hands:Which Demands are of that Nature, that to grant them were in effect at once to depose both Ourself and Our Posteritie.
These being past, we may be waited on bare-headed; we may have Our hand kissed; The Stile of Majestie continued to Us; And the King’s Authoritie, declared by both Houses of Parliament, may be still the Stile of your Commands.We may have Swords and Maces carried before Us, and please Ourself with the sight of a Crown and Scepter, (and yet even these Twigs would not long flourish, when the Stock upon which they grew were dead) but as to true and reall Power We should remain but the outside, but the Picture, but the signe of a King.We were ever willing that Our Parliament should Debate, Resolve,& Transact such matters as are proper for them, as far as they are proper for them. And We heartily wish, that they would be as carefull not to extend their Debates and Resolutions beyond what is proper to them, that multitudes of things punishable, and causes determinable by the Ordinarie Judicatures, may not be entertained in Parliament, and to cause a long, chargeable, fruitlesse attendance of Our people, and (by degrees) draw to you as well all the causes, as all the faults of Westminster-Hall, and divert your proper businesse.That the course of Law be no wayes diverted,much lesse disturbed, as was actually done by the stop of the proceedings against a Riot in Southwark, 12 by Order of the House of Commons, in a time so riotous and tumultuous, as much increased the danger of popular Insolencies, by such a countenance to Riots, and discountenance of Law.That you descend not to the leasure of recommending Lecturers to Churches, nor ascend to the Legislative power, by commanding (the Law not having yet commanded it) that they whom you recommend be received, although neither the Parson nor Bishop do approve of them; And that the Refusers (according to the course so much formerly complained of to have been used at the Councell Table) be not sent for to attend to shew cause. At least, that you would consider Conveniencie, if not Law, and recommend none, but who are well known to you to be Orthodox, Learned, and Moderate, or at least such as have taken Orders, and are not notorious depravers of the Book of Common Prayer; A care which appeareth by the Discourses, Sermons and persons of some recommended by you, not to have been hitherto taken, and it highly concerns both you in dutie, and the Common-wealth in the consequences, that it should have been taken; That neither one estate transact what is proper for two, nor two what is proper for three, and consequently, that (contrary to Our declared will) Our Forts may not be seized; Our Arms may not be removed;Our Moneys may not be stopt;Our legall Directions may not be countermanded by you, nor We desired to countermand them Ourself, nor such entrances made upon a Reall War against Us, upon pretence of all imaginarie War against you, and a Chimaera of necessitie. So far do you passe beyond your limits, whilest you seem by your Demand to be strangely straitened within them. At least We could have wisht you would have expressed, what matters you meant as fit to be transacted only in Parliament, and what you meant by only in Parliament. You have (of late) been perswaded by the new doctrines of some few, to think that proper for your debates, which hath not used to be at all debated within those walls, but been trusted wholly with Our Predecessors and Us, and to transact those things which without the Regall Authority, since there were Kings of this Kingdom, were never transacted. It therefore concerns Us the more that you speak out, and that both We and Our people may either know the bottom of your Demands, or know them to be bottomlesse.What concerns more the Publike, and is more (indeed) proper for the high Court of Parliament, than the making of Laws, which not only ought there to be transacted, but can be transacted no where else; but then you must admit Us to be a part of the Parliament, you must not (as the sence is of this part of this Demand, if it have any) deny the freedom of Our Answer, when We have as much right to reject what We think unreasonable, as you have to propose what you think convenient or necessary; nor is it possible Our Answers either to Bills, or any other Propositions should be wholly free, if We may not use the Libertie of every one of you, and of every Subject, and receive advice (without their danger who shall give it) from any person known or unknown, sworn or unsworn, in these matters in which the Manage of Our Vote is trusted by the Law, to Our own Judgement and Conscience, which how best to inform, is (and ever shall be) left likewise to Us; and most unreasonable it were that two Estates, proposing something to the Third, that Third should be bound to take no advice, whether it were fit to passe, but from those two that did propose it.We shall ever in these things which are trusted wholly to Us by the Law, not decline to hearken to the Advice of Our great Councell, and shall use to hear willingly the free debates of Our Privie Councell (whensoever We may be suffered to have them for sending for) and they shall not be terrified from that freedom, by Votes (and Brands of Malignants, and Enemies to the State, for advising what no Law forbids to advise) but We will retain Our Power of admitting no more to any Councell than the Nature of the businesse requires, and of discoursing with whom We please, of what We please, and informing Our Understanding by debate with any Persons, who may be well able to Inform and Advise Us in some particular, though their Qualities,Education or other Abilities may not make them so fit to be of Our sworn Councell, and not tie Ourself up not to hear anymore than twenty five (and those not chosen absolutely by Us) out of a Kingdom so replenished with Judicious and Experienced Persons in severall kindes. And though we shall (with the proportionable Consideration due to them) alwayes weigh the Advices both of Our Great and Privie Councell, yet We shall also look upon their Advices, as Advices, not as Commands or Impositions; upon them as Our Councellors, not as Our Tutors and Guardians, and upon Ourself as their King, not as their Pupill, or Ward. For whatsoever of Regality were by the Modesty of Interpretation left in Us in the first part of the second Demand, as to the Parliament, is taken from Us in the second part of the same, and placed in this new fangled kinde of Councellors, whose power is such, and so expressed by it, that in all publike Acts concerning the Affairs of this Kingdom, which are proper for Our Privy Councell (for whose Advice all publike Acts are sometimes proper, though never necessary) they are desired to be admitted joint Patentees with Us in the Regalitie, and it is not plainly expressed whether they mean Us so much as a single Vote in these Affairs. But it is plain they mean Us no more at most than a single Vote in them, and no more power than every one of the rest of Our Fellow Councellors; only leave to Us, out of their respect and duty, (and that only is left of all Our ancient Power) a Choice, whether these that are thus to be joined with (or rather set over) Us, shall be fifteen; or twenty five; and great care is taken that the Oath which these Men shall take, shall be such, in the framing the form of which (though sure We are not wholly unconcerned in it) We may be wholly excluded, and that wholly reserved to be agreed upon by both Houses of Parliament.
And to shew that no more Care is taken of Our safetie, than of Our Power, after so great indignities offered to Us, and countenanced by those who were most obliged to resent them: After Our Town and Fort 13 kept from Us (from which, if it were no otherwise Ours than the whole Kingdom is,We can no more legally be kept out, than out of Our whole Kingdom, which sure yourselves will not deny to be Treason). Our Arms, Our Goods sent away, and Our Money stopt from Us,Our Guards (in which We have no other Intention than to hinder the end of these things from being proportionable to their beginnings) are not only desired to be dismissed before satisfaction for the Injurie, punishments of the Injurers, and care taken for Our future Securitie from the like. But it is likewise desired (and for this Law is pretended, and might as well have been for the rest, which yet with some ingenuitie are it seems acknowledged to be but Desires of Grace) that We shall not for the future raise any Guards or extraordinarie Forces, but in case of actuall Rebellion or Invasion, which if it had been Law, and so observed in the time of Our famous Predecessors, few of those Victories which have made this Nation famous in other parts, could have been legally atchieved, nor could Our blessed Predecessor Queen Elizabeth have so defended Herself in 88. And if no Forces must be levied till Rebellions and Invasions (which will not stay for the calling of Parliaments, and their consent for raising Forces) be actuall, they must undoubtedly (at least most probably) be effectuall and prevalent.
And as neither care is taken for Our Rights, Honour, nor safetie as a Prince, so Our Rights as a private Person are endeavoured to be had from Us, it being asked, that it may be unlawfull and unpunishable, not only to conclude, but even to treat of any Marriage with any Person for Our own Children, or to place Governours about them, without consent of Parliament, and in the intermission of those, without the consent of Our good Lords of the Councell, that We may not only be in a more despicable state than any of Our Predecessors, but in a meaner and viler condition than the lowest of Our Subjects, who value no libertie they have more, than that of the free Education and Marriage of their Children, from which We are asked to debar Ourself, and have the more reason to take it ill, that We are so, because for Our choice of a Governour for Our Son, and of a Husband for Our Daughter (in which the Protestant Religion was Our principall Consideration) We conceived We had reason to expect your present thanks, and the increase of your future trusts.
We suppose these Demands by this time to appear such as the Demanders cannot be supposed to have any such reall fear of Us as hath been long pretended, they are too much in the style, not only of equals, but of Conquerors, and as little to be intended for removing of Jealousies (for which end they are said to be asked, and that is not as Merchants ask at first much more than they will take, but as most necessary to effect it, which (if they be) God help this poor Kingdom, and those who are in the hands of such Persons, whose Jealousies nothing else will remove) which indeed is such a way, as if there being differences and suits between two persons, whereof one would have from the other serverall parcells of his ancient Land, he should propose to him by way of Accommodation, that he would quit to him all those in question, with the rest of his Estate, as the most necessary and effectuall means to remove all those suits and differences. But we call God to witnesse, that as for Our Subjects’ sake these Rights are vested in Us, so for their sakes, as well as for Our own,We are resolved not to quit them, nor to subvert (though in a Parliamentary way) the ancient, equall, happy,well-poised, and never-enough commended Constitution of the Government of this Kingdom, nor to make Ourself of a King of England a Duke of Venice, and this of a Kingdom a Republique.
There being three kindes of Government amongst men, Absolute Monarchy, Aristocracy and Democracy, and all these having their particular conveniencies and inconveniencies. The experience and wisdom of your Ancestors hath so moulded this out of a mixture of these, as to give to this Kingdom (as far as human prudence can provide) the conveniencies of all three, without the inconveniencies of any one, as long as the Balance hangs even between the three Estates, and they run jointly on in their proper Chanell (begetting Verdure and Fertilitie in the Meadows on both sides) and the overflowing of either on either side raise no deluge or Inundation.The ill of absolute Monarchy is Tyrannie, the ill of Aristocracy is Faction and Division, the ills of Democracy are Tumults, Violence and Licentiousnesse. The good of Monarchy is the uniting a Nation under one Head to resist Invasion from abroad, and Insurrection at home.The good of Aristocracie is the Conjuncion of Counsell in the ablest Persons of a State for the publike benefit.The good of Democracy is Liberty, and the Courage and Industrie which Libertie begets.
In this Kingdom the Laws are jointly made by a King, by a House of Peers, and by a House of Commons chosen by the People, all having free Votes and particular Priviledges.The Government according to these Laws is trusted to the King, Power of Treaties of War and Peace, of making Peers, of chusing Officers and Councellors for State, Judges for Law, Commanders for Forts and Castles, giving Commissions for raising men to make War abroad, or to prevent or provide against Invasions or Insurrections at home, benefit of Confiscations, power of pardoning, and some more of the like kinde are placed in the King. And this kinde of regulated Monarchie having this power to preserve that Authoritie, without which it would be disabled to preserve the Laws in their Force, and the Subjects in their Liberties and Proprieties, is intended to draw to him such a Respect and Relation from the great Ones, as may hinder the ills of Division and Faction, and such a Fear and Reverence from the people, as may hinder Tumults, Violence, and Licenciousnesse. Again, that the Prince may not make use of this high and perpetuall power to the hurt of those for whose good he hath it, and make use of the name of Publike Necessitie for the gain of his private Favourites and Followers, to the detriment of his People, the House of Commons (an excellent Conserver of Libertie, but never intended for any share in Government, or the chusing of them that should govern) is solely intrusted with the first Propositions concerning the Levies of Moneys (which is the sinews as well of Peace, as War) and the Impeaching of those, who for their own ends, though countenanced by any surreptitiously gotten Command of the King, have violated that Law, which he is bound (when he knows it) to protect, and to the protection of which they were bound to advise him, at least not to serve him in the Contrary. And the Lords being trusted with a Judicatory power, are an excellent Screen and Bank between the Prince and People, to assist each against any Incroachments of the other, and by just Judgements to preserve that Law, which ought to be the Rule of every one of the three. For the better enabling them in this, beyond the Examples of any of Our Ancestors,We were willingly contented to Oblige Ourself, both to call a Parliament every three yeers, and not to dissolve it in fiftie dayes, and for the present exigent, the better to raise Money, and avoid the pressure (no lesse grievous to Us than them) Our people must have suffered by a longer continuance of so vast a charge as two great Armies, and for their greater certaintie of having sufficient time to remedie the inconveniencies arisen during so long an absence of Parliaments, and for the punishment of the Causers and Ministers of them,We yeelded up Our Right of dissolving this Parliament, expecting an extraordinarie moderation from it in gratitude for so unexampled a Grace, and little looking that any Malignant Partie should have been encouraged or enabled to have perswaded them, first to countenance the Injustices and Indignities We have endured, and then by a new way of satisfaction for what was taken from Us, to demand of Us at once to Confirm what was so taken, and to give up almost all the rest.
Since therefore the Power Legally placed in both Houses is more than sufficient to prevent and restrain the power of Tyrannie, and without the power which is now asked from Us, we shall not be able to discharge that Trust which is the end of Monarchie, since this would be a totall Subversion of the Fundamentall Laws, and that excellent Constitution of this Kingdom, which hath made this Nation so many yeers both famous and happie to a great degree of Envie; since to the power of punishing (which is alreadie in your hands according to Law) if the power of Preferring be added,We shall have nothing left for Us, but to look on; since the incroaching of one of these Estates upon the power of the other, is unhappie in the effects both to them and all the rest; since this power of at most a joint Government in Us with Our Councellors (or rather Our Guardians) will return Us to the worst kinde of Minoritie, and make Us despicable both at home and abroad, and beget eternall Factions and Dissentions (as destructive to publike Happinesse as War) both in the chosen, and the Houses that chuse them, and the people who chuse the Chusers; since so new a power will undoubtedly intoxicate persons who were not born to it, & beget not only Divisions among them as equals, but in them contempt of Us as become an equall to them, and Insolence and Injustice towards Our people, as now so much their inferiors, which will be the more grievous unto them, as suffering from those who were so lately of a neerer degree to themselves, and being to have redresse only from those that placed them, and fearing they may be inclined to preserve what they have made, both out of kindnesse and policie; since all great changes are extreamly inconvenient, and almost infallibly beget yet greater changes, which beget yet greater Inconveniencies.
Since as great an one in the Church must follow this of the Kingdom; Since the second Estate would in all probabilitie follow the Fate of the first, and by some of the same turbulent spirits Jealousies would be soon raised against them, and the like Propositions for reconciliation of Differences would be then sent to them, as they now have joined to send to Us, till (all power being vested in the House of Commons, and their number making them incapable of transacting Affairs of State with the necessary Secrecie and Expedition; those being retrusted to some close Committee) at last the Common people (who in the meantime must be flattered, and to whom Licence must be given in all their wilde humours, how contrary soever to established Law, or their own reall Good) discover this Arcanum Imperii, That all this was done by them, but not for them, grow weary of Journey-work, and set up for themselves, call Parity and Independence, Liberty; devour that Estate which had devoured the rest; Destroy all Rights and Proprieties, all distinctions of Families and Merit; And by this meanes this splendid and excellently distinguished form of Government, end in a dark equall Chaos of Confusion, and the long Line of Our many noble Ancestors in a Jack Cade, or a Wat Tyler. 14
For all these Reasons to all these Demands Our Answer is, Nolumus Leges Angliae mutari . 15 But this We promise, that We will be as carefull of preserving the Laws in what is supposed to concern wholly Our Subjects, as in what most concerns Ourself. For indeed We professe to beleeve, that the preservation of every Law concerns Us, those of Obedience being not secure, when those of Protection are violated. And We being most of any injured in the least violation of that, by which We enjoy the highest Rights and greatest Benefits, and are therefore obliged to defend no lesse by Our Interest, than by Our Duty, and hope that no Jealousies to the contrary shall be any longer nourished in any of Our good people, by the subtill insinuations, and secret practices of men, who for private ends are disaffected to Our Honour and Safety, and the Peace and Prosperity of Our People. And to shew you, that no just indignation at so reproachfull offers shall make Us refuse to grant what is probable to conduce to the good of Our good People, because of the ill company it comes in, We will search carefully in this heap of unreasonable Demands, for so much as We may (complying with Our Conscience, and the duty of Our Trust) assent unto, and shall accordingly agree to it.
In pursuance of which Search, in the fourth Proposition, under a Demand which would take from Us that trust which God, Nature, and the Laws of the Land have placed in Us, and of which none of you could endure to be deprived,We find something to which We give this Answer, That We have committed the principall places about Our Children to persons of Qualitie, Integritie and Pietie, with speciall regard that their tender yeers might be so seasoned with the Principles of the true Protestant Religion, as (by the blessing of God upon this Our care) this whole Kingdom may in due time reap the fruit thereof. And as We have been likewise very carefull in the choice of Servants about them, that none of them may be such, as by ill Principles, or by ill Examples to crosse Our endeavours for their Pious and Vertuous Education, so if there shall be found (for all Our care to prevent it) any person about Our Children (or about Us, which is more than you ask) against whom both Houses shall make appear to Us any just exception, We shall not only remove them, but thank you for the Information. Only We shall expect, that you shall be likewise carefull that there be no underhand dealing by any to seek faults, to make room for others to succeed in their places.
For the fifth Demand, as We will not suffer any to share with Us in Our power of Treaties, which are most improper for Parliaments, and least in those Treaties in which We are neerliest concerned, not only as a King but as a Father, yet We do (such is Our desire to give all reasonable satisfaction) assure you by the word of a King, that We shall never propose or entertain any Treaty whatsoever for the marriage of any of Our Children, without due regard to the true Protestant Profession, the good of Our Kingdoms, and the Honour of Our Family.
For the sixth Demand, concerning the Laws in force against Jesuites, Priests, and Popish Recusants,We have by many of Our Messages to you, by Our voluntarie promise to you so solemnly made never to pardon any Popish Priest, by Our strict Proclamations lately published in this point, and by the publike Examples which We have made in that case since Our Residence at York, and before at London, sufficiently expressed Our Zeal herein.Why do you then ask that in which Our own Inclination hath prevented you? And if you can yet finde any more effectuall Course to disable them from Disturbing the State or eluding the Law by trusts or otherwise,We shall willingly give Our Consent to it.
For the seventh, concerning the Votes of Popish Lords,We understand that they in discretion have withdrawn themselves from the Service of the House of Peers, (and had done so when use was publikely made of their names to asperse the Votes of that House, which was then counted as Malignant as those (who are called Our Unknown and Unsworn Councellors) are now) neither do We conceive that such a positive Law against the Votes of any whose blood give them that right, is so proper in regard of the Priviledge of Parliament, but are content, that so long as they shall not be conformable to the Doctrine and Discipline of the Church of England, they shall not be admitted to sit in the House of Peers, but only to give their Proxies to such Protestant Lords as they shall chuse, who are to dispose of them as they themselves shall think fit, without any Reference at all to the Giver.
As to the desires for a Bill for the Education of the Children of Papists by Protestants in the Protestant Profession, many about Us can witnesse with Us, That We have often delivered Our Opinion, That such a Course (with God’s blessing upon it) would be the most effectuall for the rooting out of Popery out of this Kingdom.We shall therefore thank you for it, and encourage you in it, and, when it comes unto Us, do Our Dutie; and We heartily wish, for the publike good, that the time you have spent in making Ordinances without Us, had been imployed in preparing this and other good Bills for Us.
For the eighth, touching The Reformation to be made of the Church- Government and Liturgie,We had hoped, that what We had formerly declared concerning the same, had been so sufficiently understood by you and all good Subjects, that We should not need to have expressed Ourself further in it.We told you in Our Answers to your Petition presented to Us at Hampton-Court the first of December, That for any illegall Innovations which may have crept in,We should willingly concur in the removall of them. That if Our Parliament should advise Us to call a Nationall Synode,which may duely examine such Ceremonies as give just cause of Offence to any,We should take it into Consideration, and apply Ourself to give due satisfaction therein. That We were perswaded in our Conscience,That no Church could be found upon the Earth, that professeth the true Religion with more puritie 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 Constancie maintain (while We live) in their Puritie and Glorie, not only against all Invasions of Poperie, but also from the Irreverence of those many Schismaticks and Separatists, wherewith of late this Kingdom and Our City of London abounds, to the great dishonour and hazard both of Church and State; For the suppression of whom We required your timely and active assistance.We told you in Our first Declaration, 16 printed by the advice of Our Privie Councell, That for differences amongst ourselves for matters indifferent in their own nature concerning Religion,We should in tendernesse to any number of our loving Subjects very willingly comply with the advice of our Parliament, that some Law might be made for the exemption of tender Consciences from punishment, or Prosecution for such Ceremonies, and in such Cases, which by the judgement of most men are held to be matters indifferent, and of some to be absolutely unlawfull; Provided, that this case should be attempted and pursued with that modestie, temper, and submission, that in the meantime the peace and quiet of the Kingdom be not disturbed, the Decencie and Comelinesse of God’s Service discountenanced, nor the Pious, Sober, Devout actions of those Reverend Persons who were the first Labourers in the blessed Reformation, or of that time, be scandalled and defamed. And We heartily wish, that others, whom it concerned, had been as ready (as their duty bound them, though they had not received it from Us) to have pursued this Caution, as We were, and still are willing and ready to make good every particular of that Promise.Nor did We only appear willing to join in so good a Work, when it should be brought Us, but prest and urged you to it by Our Message of the fourteenth of February, in these words, And because His Majestie observes great and different troubles to arise in the hearts of His People, concerning the Government and Liturgie of the Church,His Majestie is willing to declare, That He will refer the whole consideration to the wisdom of his Parliament, which He desires them to enter into speedily, that the present distractions about the same may be composed: but desires not to be pressed to any single Act on His part, till the whole be so digested and setled by both Houses, that His Majesty may cleerly see what is fit to be left, as well as what is fit to be taken away. Of which We the more hoped of a good sucesse to the generall satisfaction of Our people, because you seem in this Proposition to desire but a Reformation, and not (as is daily preached for as necessary in those many Conventicles which have within these nineteene months begun to swarm; and which, though their Leaders differ from you in this opinion, yet appear to many as countenanced by you, by not being punished by you, (few else, by reason of the Order of the House of Commons of the ninth of September, daring to do it) a destruction of the present Discipline and Liturgie. And We shall most cheerfully give Our best assistance for raising a sufficient maintenance for preaching Ministers, in such course as shall be most for the encouragement and advancement of Pietie and Learning.
For the Bills you mention, and the Consultation you intimate, knowing nothing of the particular matters of the one (though We like the Titles well) nor of the manner of the other, but from an Informer (to whom We give little credit, and We wish no man did more) common Fame,We can say nothing till We see them.
For the eleventh,We would not have the Oath of all Privie Councellors and Judges straitened to particular Statutes of one or two particular Parliaments, but extend to all Statutes of all Parliaments, and the whole Law of the Land, and shall willingly consent that an enquirie of all the breaches and violations of the Law may be given in charge by the Justices of the King’s Bench every Terme, and by the Judges of Assize in their Circuits, and Justices of Peace at the Sessions to be presented and punished according to Law.
For the seventeenth, we shall ever be most ready, (and we are sorry it should be thought needfull to move us to it) not only to joine with any (particularly with the States of the united Provinces, of which We have given a late proofe in the Match of Our Daughter) for the defence and maintenance of Protestant Religion, against all designes and attempts of the Pope and his Adherents, but singly (if need were) to oppose with Our life and fortune all such Designes in all other Nations, were they joined: And that for Considerations of Conscience, far more than any temporall end of obtaining accesse of strength & reputation, or any naturall end of restoring our Royall Sister and her Princely Issue to their dignities and Dominions though these be likewise much considered by us.
For the eighteenth, It was not Our fault, that an Act was not passed to cleere the Lord Kimbolton, and the five Members of the House of Commons, but yours, who inserted such Clauses into both the Preamble and Act (perhaps perswaded to it by some who wish not that you should in anything receive satisfaction from Us) as by passing the Preamble we must have wounded Our Honour against Our Conscience, and by another Clause have admitted a Consequence, from which We could never have been secured, by declaring, That no Member of either House, upon any Accusation of Treason, could have his Person seized without the Consent of that House, of which he is a Member, though the known Law be, That Priviledge of Parliament extends not to Treason, and if it did, any Member (the House being for a short time adjourned, and so their Consent not being so had) how treasonable soever his Intentions were, how cleerly soever known, and how suddenly soever to be executed,must have fair leave given him to go on and pursue them, no way, how legall soever, after the passing such a Clause, being left to prevent it.
To conclude,We conjure you and all men to rest satisfied with the truth of Our Professions, and the Realitie of Our Intentions, not to ask such things as deny themselves; That you declare against Tumults, and punish the Authors;That you allow Us Our Propriety in Our Towns, Arms and Goods, and Our share in the Legislative Power, which would be counted in Us, not only breach of Priviledge, but Tyrannie and Subversion of Parliaments to deny to you. And when you shall have given Us satisfaction upon those persons who have taken away the One, and recalled those Declarations (particularly that of the six and twentieth of May) and those in the point of the Militia, (Our just Rights, wherein We will no more part with than with Our Crown, lest We inable others by them to take that from Us) which would take away the other, and declined the beginnings of a War against Us, under pretence of Our Intention of making One against you. As We have never opposed the first part of the thirteenth Demand, so We shall be ready to concur with you in the latter.
And being then confident that the Credit of those Men, who desire a generall Combustion, will be so weakened with you, that they will not be able to do this Kingdom any more harm,We shall be willing to grant Our generall Pardon, with such Exceptions as shall be thought fit, and shall receive much more joy in the hope of a full and constant Happinesse of Our People in the True Religion, and under the Protection of the Law, by a blessed Union betwen Us and Our Parliament (so much desired by Us) than in any such increase of Our Own Revenue (how much soever beyond former Grants) as (when Our Subjects were wealthiest) Our Parliament could have setled upon Us.