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the head of a faction therein, and there would soon then
be an end of the liberty and privileges of parliament, and
they might shut up their doors. He therefore desired
that Mr. Palmer, not being in the house, might be
sent for.

Several members of Hyde's party next rose, and objected
to Palmer's being sent for ; and some wished to know by
what right Mr. Hotham had applied the word " faction "
to any section of members in that house. But, adds
D'Ewes, " whilst we were in debate about sending for
" him, Mr. Palmer came in ; and then Mr. Hotham laid
" the same charge against him which he had done before,
" for the substance thereof." Hereon, he continues, some
would have had Mr. Palmer to make his answer, and then
to withdraw into the Committee Chamber, that so they
might proceed to censure ; but others said, that either he
had committed no fault to which he was to answer, or, if
he had spoken anything amiss, he was to have been
questioned for it at the time when he spake it, and not at
this time, which was two days since the pretended words
were uttered. " And this was maintained," says D'Ewes,
"with great vehemence by those who spake for Mr.
" Palmer."

Hyde and Culpeper were as usual the most vehement.
Speaking to the orders of the House, Hyde said' the
charge against Palmer was against the orders, being he
was only charged with words, not with any ill carriage.

' Clarendon's own account of his "conld not be presumed that his

speech {Hist. ii. 48) is, that, upon Mr. " own memory could recollect all the

Palmer being called upon to explain, "words he had used ; or, that any-

"Mr. Hyde (who loved him much, "body else could charge him with

"and had rather have suflfered him- "them ; and appealed to the house

" self, than that he should) spoke to " whether there was any precedent of

"the order of the house, and said that "the like — and there is no doubt

"it was against the orders and "there never had been; and it was

' ' practice of the house that any ' ' very irregular. " The account of

"man should be called upon to ex- the speech in the text, however,

"plain, for anything he said in the is manifestly more correct than this

' ' Ixouse two days before ; when it notice of it preserved by its author.


This being so, and the words not having been excepted
against at the time they were spoken, it was now no
orderly charge. For, in that case, a man might be
questioned for words spoken a month or a year ago, as
well as for those spoken on Monday last. Words might
be forged, too, and then how could a man answer for
himself? It would take away the great privilege of
freedom of speech. Culpeper went still further. Also
speaking to the orders of the House, he took the objection,
that the members assembled on that day, Wednesday the
2ith, could not be competent judges of words spoken on
Monday the 22d, because divers were on this occasion
present who on the former were absent ; although he did
not deny that the House was the same in respect of the
power of it. And what could be more dangerous than for
a man to be questioned for words spoken in the house
after the time he should speak them ; for might he not in
such case be also questioned in another parliament after ?

These confident opinions appear to have shaken some
of the members present ; the debate went on with in-
creasing heat ; and three hours had been so passed, when
Denzil Holies got up, and declared that he would charge
Mr. Palmer with a new charge, in making a pernicious
motion. But now, Sir Simonds D'Ewes, fortified with
precedents, advanced to the rescue ; undertaking to prove
that the original proposition to make Palmer responsible
for the words he had uttered, was strictly in accordance
with the usage, and no violation of the orders, of the

He began by sajing he was sorry, with all his heart,
that the House should already have lost so much time
about this business, and the more because it concerned a
gentleman whom he had long known, and knew to be
learned in his profession. But he wondered to see any
member of that house, and much more (alluding to Hyde)
any of the long robe, affirm that they could not question
words spoken therein any day after they were spoken,
unless exception to the words were taken at the time of


speaking. '•'! dare be bold to say," continued Sir
Simonds, warming into confidence, as his Avell-beloved
records and precedents came to him at need, " there
" are ahnost precedents in every journal we have of the
" House of Commons. Some I can remember upon the
" sudden, as Mr. Copley, in the time of Queen Mary ;
" Mr. Peter Wentworth, in 85th Elizabeth ; ' and, in
" 43d and 44th of the same Queen, either one Hastings
" took exception at Mr. Francis Bacon, or he to Hastings :
" for I dare not trust an ill memory with the exact relation
" of it upon the sudden. And all these were questioned
" in this house after the day was past in which the Avords
" were spoken. This, indeed, is the true, ancient, funda-
" mental right of parliament, that we should not be
" questioned anywhere else for things spoken within
" these walls. But that we should not have power here to
" question our own members for words spoken within
'' these walls, either at the time when the said words were
" spoken, or at any time after also, were to destroy those
" very liberties and rights of parliament."

Having laid down thus clearly and boldly the undoubted
parhamentary rule, D'Ewes went on to apply it to
Palmer's case. Premising that the words spoken, and
matter of fact in issue, must be stated exactly, he shewed
that to resist any proposal to question the same, whether
at the moment of delivery, or at any time after, would be
to decline the justice of the House, which for his part he
should never do, but should always be ready to answer,
at any present or future time, to anythng he should
there say. As for that which was objected, he continued,
by the gentleman on the other side (and he pointed to Su'
John Culpeper), that it were a dangerous thing for them
to admit that a succeeding parliament might question
what was done in a former, there was nothing more
ordinary or more usual. There was no doubt what-

' " I was mistaken in tlie year," "in — " but alas! the correction is
notes the particular D'Ewes in the not legible to me.
margin of his Journal, "for it was



ever but that a succeeding parliament might not only
question any particular thing clone b)^ them, as, for
example, what was in progress at that moment, but
might also revoke and repeal all the acts and statutes
which they had passed. And the reason thereof was
evident and plain. For they sat not there in their own
right, but were sent thither, and entrusted by the whole
kingdom ; the knights being chosen by the several coun-
ties, and the rest by the several cities and towns. And,
for that which was objected by the same worthy gentle-
man opposite, that, there being divers others in the house
who were not there wdien the words were spoken, there-
fore the House was not the same, he (Sir Simonds D'Ewes)
said confidently that the House was the same to all intents
and purposes, not only quoad potestatem, but quoad
notionem also ; for of course he assumed there must be a
perfect agreement as to what the words were that were
spoken, before they could proceed to a censure of them.
Whereupon, as though remembering his own absence at
the extraordinary scene, he thus proceeded :

" And truly they may well be excused that were absent
" out of this house at midnight, for it was about that time
" on Monda}' night last when these words were spoken ;
" and I do as much wonder that so many in this house
" should object that the speaking of words is not an
" action, when that old verse assures us of the contrary —
" ' Quatuor et dentes et duo labra simul, &c.' And
" more strange it seems to me also, that when this
" worthy gentleman himself (and I pointed to Mr. Palmer)
" hath so often stood up, himself, to speak, so many should
" hinder him ; for if they will not let him speak by way
" of answering, yet let him speak by way of speaking. —
" Some laughed at this, thinking I had been mistaken ;
" but I proceeded and told them, that I should be sorry
" to speak anything in that house which I could not make
" good logic of; and therefore I still pressed, that if we
" would not let him speak by way of answering, that is
" by coaction and as a delinquent, then let him speak by


" way of speaking, that is sermoni lihero et sponfaneo. And
" who knows," concluded the precise and learned orator,
" but that he may give much satisfaction to this House by
" his speaking ? And therefore, Sii', I desii'e that he
" may be heard."

The desire of the worthy Sir Simonds, however, failed
to convince Mr. Palmer's friends of the expediency of
yielding thereto. In vain the Speaker renewed the
proposition that the member for Stamford should be
heard. In vain was it m-ged that no man was entitled to
object because none knew what he would say. The
objectors stood so firm, that it became clear it would have
to come to a division, and Hyde and Culpeper violently
called out to divide. Palmer withdrew into the Committee
Chamber, and the Speaker put the question — As many as
are of opinion that Mr. Palmer shall be required to answer
to the charge laid against him, let them say Aye. " But
"then," interposes D'Ewes, " Mr. Palmer's friends would
" have had these words to have been added to the question,
" namely, ' for words by him spoken on Monday night
" ' last ; ' but we that thought Mr. Palmer deserved to be
" questioned, would not agree to that addition. Where-
" upon it came to a division upon the question."

The tellers appointed on the one side were Hyde and
Sir Frederick ComwaJlis, and on the other Sir Thomas
Barrington and Sir Martin Lumley, the member for
Essex. The Ayes went out, and proved to be but 146 ;
the Noes (of whom D'Ewes was one) sat still, and were
192. It being directed, upon this, that Hyde's addition
should not be made, Sir Robert Hatton, the member for
Castle Piising, and a determined royalist, jumped up to
speak against the other question ; but Mr. Speaker inter-
rupted and told him he was out of order, for he could not
now speak until the question had been put. It was put
accordingly, the same tellers being appointed on both
sides ; and the Ayes (of whom D'Ewes was one) going
out, were 190, whereas the Noes, sitting still, were but

142. It was thereupon immediately ordered, that Mr.

a 2


Palmer should be required to speak; and being called
down from the Committee Chamber, in which he had
remained since before the first division, he was informed
by the Speaker that the House required him to make
answer to the charge laid against him.

He presently arose, and, professing his innocency as to
the particular matter alleged, made relation of some
foregoing passages. That when, upon the vote being
determined that the Declaration should pass, a motion
was made by Mr. Peard that it should be printed, divers
protested against it; and that himself desired also to have
his protestation entered, against the printing but not the
passing ; and that w'hen, afterwards, it was moved that the
names of such as had protested might be entered, he being
imsatisfied, and desiring it might be debated first whether
such a protestation might be made or not, wished a day
to be appointed for that end, and thereupon desired that
his own name, and the names of the rest who had pro-
tested, might be entered by the Clerk. And that Mr.
Hampden thereupon asking him, how he knew other
men's minds, he answered, because he had heard others
desire their names to be entered, and heard them cry
" All, all." But for the other words charged upon him,
that he had protested " in the name of himself and the
" rest," he declared he did not remember that he had
spoken them. But he was ver}^ sensible of his own
misfortune, and sorry for having given that occasion to
the House to question him. And so, having ended, he
withdrew again into the Committee Chamber.

Bulstrode Whitelocke, member for Marlow, and a per-
sonal friend of Palmer's, though himself a supporter of the
Remonstrance, rose immediately after to confirm gene-
rally, by his own recollection, the substance of the state-
ment just made : but the hour was now late, it having
long struck four, and it had gi'own so dark that the
Speaker was no longer able to discern who stood up.
Cries from both sides became loud for an adjournment,
and order was accordingly made that the further con-


sideration of Mr. Palmer's offence should be resumed at
ten o'clock the next morning. Dark as it was, however,
the House was not allowed to rise until the indefatigable
Mr.Pym had obtained direction for a committee, consisting
of himself, Mr. Denzil Holies, and others, to take examina-
tions of divers Irishmen ' then in the Serjeant's custody,
suspected of privit}^ in the late horrible design ; and his
purpose in so demanding this immediate committee was,
that those who on examination might be found not fairly
obnoxious to suspicion might at once be dismissed.
Through all the frequent conspiracies and dangers of this
troubled time, the reins of authority seized by the House
were held with a firm, yet wise and temperate, hand; and
no strain upon the liberty of the subject that could be
safely spared, was countenanced or permitted by its gi'eat

On Thursday, the 25th of November, the Speaker took
the chair at ten o'clock, but Mr. Solicitor St. John inter-
posed before the resumption of Palmer's business, to
obtain leave to bring in a short bill for the levy of tonnage
and poundage, and after him Denzil Holies rose to remind
the House of that suggestion of the worthy member sitting
below him by the bar (designating Pym) which had found
favour on Monday night, to accompany the Remonstrance
by a Petition to his Majesty; as to which he moved
accordingly that some might be appointed to draw this
Petition in such manner as to show what had necessitated
them to make theu* Declaration. Some little debate
ensued hereon, and ended in the adoption of Holles's
motion that the Petition should be prepared and presented
by the same committee that had drawn the Declaration ;
to which was added an order, on the motion of Sir
Gilbert Gerrard, member for Middlesex, that they
should include in the said Petition a form of congratula-
tion for his Majesty's safe return from Scotland, which

1 "He hoped also" the liberal "who had conveyed letters iuto
leader told the House on this occasion, ' ' Ireland."
"that they had the woman in hold


slioulcl also be presented to him in the name of the

D'Ewes had left his place while Holies was speaking,
and when he returned to it, between eleven and twelve
o'clock, he found the Solicitor- General pressing his bill of
tonnage and poundage through the necessary stages to
obtain its enactment before the existing bill should expire.
After this some other business of moment presented itself,
but members grew impatient for the conclusion of the
debate respecting Palmer ; and on the motion of Sir Robert
Cook, who sat for Tewkesbury, and who urged with some
vehemence the propriety of not delaying censure in a
matter aifecting the high privileges of the House, that
subject was resumed. "We then," says D'Ewes, " pro-
" ceeded before twelve of the clock with the debate and
" consideration touching Mr. Palmer's offence. That held
" till about three of the clock in the afternoon, before we
" proceeded to debate of his punishment."

The substance of the speeches on either side Avill suffi-
ciently indicate the character of the early part of the debate.
In aggravation it was insisted on, that as to the particular
matter, Palmer's great ability in his profession, his very
temperateness of nature in the general, and the fact of
his being a gownsman, much increased his offence. " That
" after the first distemper of the House Avas well pacified
" which arose about the protestation-making, he, by his
" new motion to have a protestation entered in his own
" name and the name of all the rest, did again raise the
" flame to such an heighth, as, if God had not prevented
" it, murder and calamity might have followed thereupon,
" and this parliament with our posterity and the kingdom
" itself might have been destroyed. For, upon Mr. Palmer's
" said motion, some waved their hats, and others took
" their swords with the scabbards out of their belts and
" held them in their hands." On the other side in
extenuation it was urged, that Palmer had in no respect
forfeited his reputation as a sober, learned, and moderate
man. That his only intent in the motion he made was


to put an end to the particular niglit's debate, it being so
far spent ; and to put off to a further day the dispute of
the question whether the members of that house might
protest or not. There had been an earnest offer to
protest on the part of Mr. Hyde, then a motion to take
names by others, and then Palmer moved in the name of
himself and all others of his mind : but whether this was
to i^rotest, or to take names, was 3'et a question. Afterwards,
indeed. Palmer was questioned by Mr. Hampden, and he
stood up, and the House cried, " All, all." But there was
no proof that he had an intention to raise any heat or
combustion. He had done very good service in the house,
and particularly in the enquiries into forest abuses, where
he occupied the chair ; and he was entitled to have that
remembered now. Some, however, went still further in
extenuation, and others even justified what he had done
to be no offence at all.

The afternoon wore away in such debate, but it was in
vain that Palmer's friends exhausted ever}'- resource to
avert what they too plainly felt must inevitably come.
The popular leaders were not to be turned from their
purpose. The offence committed, and the person com-
mitting it, were of no ordinary kind. The offence struck
at the very source and foundation of the power of the House,
breaking down all the barriers which old usage and custom
had thrown up, to keep before the people sole and intact,
no matter wliat their internal divisions might be, the
authority and influence of the Commons. The offender in
himself represented a new and powerful party, bred within
the house itself, who would have entered through the
breach so made, and tm-ned that very influence and
authority to the secret service of the King. Palmer's
success would have divided the House against itself ; into
a minority claiming to be free from undue strain and
pressure upon their consciences, opposed to a majority
claiming predominance incompatible with the exercise of
individual rights, and coercing free deliberation. Once
admit such division, all the votes of the i^ast year would


lose their claim to continued respect,' and the Sovereign
would again be uncontrolled. No jot would Vjm and
Hampden consent to abate therefore, from what was strictly
necessary to single out and set aside what Palmer had done,
as matter of high and weighty censure. But they did not
go beyond it. They demanded his committal to the
Tower until due submission and retractation were made.
Some indeed were eager to have gone farther, demand-
ing his expulsion ; but none of the great names on the
liberal side appear among these, who were in truth led by
the very man. Sir John Hotham, whom Clarendon repre-
sents as most opposed to what the more prominent and
leading men desired. Sir Robert Cook, the member for
Tewkesbury, would have had the offender not only
sentenced to the Tower, but turned out of the House
as well : whereupon Sir John Strangwa^^s got up and
reminded that worthy member, that as he had been sworn
since the last Lord Steward surrendered his staff, some
doubts existed how far there was any legal commission to
swear him,^ and perhaps he might himself, by the statute
21st of James, be turned out of the house before Mr. Palmer.
The member for Southwark, Mr. Bagshaw, rose next, and,
as a brother barrister of Palmer's, took the liberty to doubt
whether, having denied the fact charged, he was fit to be

' Clarendon occasionally, to use an " of strength to make that act good,

expression of his own, "lets himself " which was in itself null. And I

loose" (i. 7 : as if, to quote War- "doubt," he adds, "this logic had

burton's shrewd comment on the " an influence upon other acts of no

phrase, he were speaking against his "less moment than these." Those

duty when he censures the Crown) ; are surely very significant and preg-

and there is a rem^-rkable and most uant words.

weighty passage in his History (ii. ^ Three days subsequent to this,

25.:!), in which he distinctly admits an order was made to move the Lords

that it was the King's habit to con- to join with the Commons in moving

sent to particular measures (in this his Majesty "to appoint the Earl of

case he is speaking of the bill for "Pembroke Lord Steward of his

taking away the legislative power of "Majesty's household : for that this

the bishops) from an opinion that " house is deprived of certain mem-

what he held to be the violence and " bers, by reason there is no Lord

force used in procuring them, ren- "Steward, to give or authorise the

dered them absolutely invalid and " giving of the oaths of allegiance and

void, and "made the confirmation of "supremacy."
*'them less considered, as not being


sentenced ; seeing that the charge had really not yet been
proved by any one man, and all judges should go secundum
allegata et probata. But Palmer found a more effective
advocate in Mr. John Crew, the member for Brackley.

Crew, a man of great fortune, and of principle as firm
and unassailable as he was generally moderate in speech
(it was by his help chiefly that Vane and Cromwell were
able subsequently to pass the Self-Denying Ordinance),
had voted uniformly with Vyva. and Hampden throughout
the debates on the Eemonstrance,' and he now thought
that the justice of the case, which he considered to have
been fully admitted, would be satisfied sufficiently by such
admonishment as the Speaker standing in his place might
then and there administer. For himself, he would interpret
things doubtful ever in the best sense ; and he could not
forget such service as Mr. Palmer had heretofore rendered
to the cause which in this late matter had received some
offence from him. " Sir," continued this discreet and
temperate advocate, " though none can plead his merits
" to excuse a fault, yet if I have received many favours
" from a man that now doth me injury, I shall not forget
" those benefits, but be the willinger to forget the injury,
" and the rather in this place, because we have power to
*' punish our own members when they offend, but not to
" reward them when they do well." It was impossible
that such an appeal as this should fail of effect ; but the
effect was in a great degree removed by a speech in which
Waller meant to have followed up the advantage, but in
his lively audacious way, seeking to please both sides,
satisfied neither, and almost wholly lost what Crew had
gained. He desired the House not to permit a man's
success to be the proof of his delinquency. All their
punishments were but the Tower and the Bar, and those
were great punishments, when they were inflicted for great

' It is worth mention, perhaps, side of the Parliament, with GeoSrey
that in the famous treaty of Uxbridge, Palmer opposed to him on the King's
nearly four years after this date, Grew side. See Clai'cudon, Jlist. iii. 37,
was one of the commissioners on the 76, and 90.

a 3


ofi'ences. But the custom liad arisen, both within and
without those walls, of punishments disproportioned to
the offence. In former days, while Queen Elizabeth
reigned, a check from the Council Table, or a sentence in
the Star Chamber, were of such repute that none
esteemed men who were so checked or sentenced : but what
was it their Remonstrance had justly taken exception to?
Of late these punishments had been inflicted for such small
ofiences, that all men did rather value and esteem those
as martyrs who suffered in that way, than cUsesteem them
for it. He adjured them, therefore, to let no man be
punished for temperance, lest they should seem to punish

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