Samuel Rawson Gardiner.

The constitutional documents of the Puritan revolution 1625-1660 online

. (page 10 of 51)
Online LibrarySamuel Rawson GardinerThe constitutional documents of the Puritan revolution 1625-1660 → online text (page 10 of 51)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Digitized by V^OOQ IC


40 Constitutional Documents [1696

as His Majesty should direct ; and accordingly that very money
was fully paid out to others; and the Duke neither had, of
a penny thereof to his own use, as is suggested against him.
And afterwards when the Lord Mandeville left that place, and
his money was not repaid him, he urged the Duke upon his
promise; whereupon the Duke, being jealous ^f his honour,
and to ke^phis word, not having money to pay him^Tie assured
lands of his own to the Lord Mandeville for his security.

But when the Duke was in Spain the Lord Mandeville
obtained a promise from his late Majesty of some lands in fee
farm, to such a value as he accepted of the same in Batisfaction
of the said money ; which were afterwards passed unto him ;
and, at the Duke's return, the Lord Mandeville delivered back
unto him the security of the Duke's lands which had been given
unto him as aforesaid.

And for the six thousand pounds supposed to have been re-
ceived by the Duke for procuring to the Earl of Middlesex the
Mastership of the Wards, he utterly denieth it ; but afterwards
he heard that the Earl of Middlesex did disburse six thousand
pounds about that time; and his late Majesty bestowed the
same upon Sir Heniy Mildmay, his servant, without the Duke's
privity ; and he had it and enjoyed it, and no penny of it came
to the Duke, or to his use.

II. To this article the Duke answereth, thatiLifLioiP that
lys late .Majesty,. 4mt..nLJ)JLS royal favour unto him^bayii^g
^ honoufedy the Duke himself with many titles and dignities of
hig^ bounty, and as a gjreat^ijument of his princely"*grace, did
also think^jBlt to h(HM>ur those who were in equaF degree of
blood with him, and also to ennoble their mother, who* was the
stock that bare them. The title of Countess of Buckingham,
bestowed upon the mother, was not without precedent; and
she hath nothing. ijMMn. the,„Crpwn but a title of honour which
dieth with her. The titles bestowed upon the VTscoiTnt Purbeck,
the Duke's elder brother, were conferred upon him, who was
a servant and of the bed-chamber to his now Majesty, then
prince, by his Highness's means. The Earl of Anglesea was of
his late Majesty's bed-chamber, and the honours and lands
conferred on him was done when the Duke was in Spain. The
Earl of Denbigh hath the honours mentioned in the charge;

Digitized by V^OOQ IC

i6a6] Impeachment of the Duke of Buckingham 41

but he hath not a foot of land which came from the Crown, or
of the King's grant.

But if it were tnie that the Duke had prociy^fijLhftfifiprs for
those ih§ijLa£e,jQ.jifiaXL-^nd sp^^ea?^ unto him ; the I^aw oi
nalure, and the King's royal favour, he hopeth, will j^lead for
his excuse] and lie "rather telieveth, he were to be condemned
of all generous minds, if being in such favour with his master,
he had minded only his own advancement, and had neglected
those who were nearest unto him.

12. To this article he answereth this, that he dothjiumbly.

^V'\ Wf*^^ °^^ 4^V.oT»Trf«1n^aa ftckuowlec jg^ t^*^ T^iiTififnl JytTi^ nt

bifl Uffl Mftjpafy ^pf^^ l^im ; for wM ch he oweth sp much to the
memoiy of that deceased King, and to the King's most Excellent
Majesty that nowls7and their posterity, that h e shal l willingly
r ender back whatsoever h e hath received^ together with his life
to do them servi ce. But for the immense sums and values
wEFch are^ suggested to have been given unto him, he saith
there are very great mistakings in the calculations, which are
in the schedule in this article mentioned j unto which the Duke
will apply particular answers in another schedule, which shall
express the truth in every particular as near as he can collect
the same; to which he referreth himself; whereby it shall
appear what a great disproportion there is between conjectures
and certainties. And those gifts which he hath received, though
he confesseth that they exceed his merit, yet they exceed not
precedents of former times. But whatsoever it is that he hath,
or hath had, he utterly denieth that he obtained the same or
any part thereof by any undue solicitation or practice or did
unduly obtain any release of any sums of money he received.
But he having at several times, and upon several occasions,
disposed of divers sums of the monies of his late Majesty, and
of His Majesty that now is, by their private directions, he hath
releases thereof for his discharge; which was honourable and
gracious in their Majesties, who granted the same for their
servant's indemnity, and he hopeth was not unfit for him to
accept of, lest in future times he or his might be charged
therewith, when they could not be able to give so clear an
account thereof, as he hopeth he shall now be well able to do.

13. To this charge which is set forth with such an expression

Digitized by V^OOQ IC

42 Constitutional Documents [i6a6

of words as might argue an extraordinary guiltiness in the
Duke, who by such intimate bonds of duty and thankfulness,
was obliged to be tender of the life and health of his most
dread and dear sovereign and master, he maketh this clear and
true answer, that he did neither apply nor procure the plaister
or posset drink, in the charge termed to be a potion, unto His
Majesty, nor was present when the same was first taken or
applied ; but the truth is this, that His Majesty being sick of
an ague, he took notice of the Duke's recovery of an ague not
loug before; and asked him how he recovered, and what he
found did him most good. The Duke gave him a particular
answer thereto ; and that one who was the Earl of Warwick's
physician had ministered a plaister and a posset drink unto
him; and the chief thing that did him good was a vomit, which
he wished the King had taken in the beginning of his sickness.
The King was very desirous to have that plaister and posset
drink sent for ; but the Duke delayed it ; whereupon the King
impatiently asked whether it was sent for or not ; and finding
by the Duke's speeches that he had not sent for it, his late
Majesty sent for John Baker, the Duke*s servant, and with his
own mouth commanded him to go for it. Whereupon the Duke
besought His Majesty not to make use of it, but by the advice
of his own physicians, nor until it should be first tried by
James Palmer of his bed-chamber, who was then sick of an
ague, and upon two children in the town, which the King said
he would do. And in this resolution the Duke left His Majesty,
and went to London ; and in the mean time, in his absence, the
plaister and posset drink was brought and applied by his late
Majesty's own command. At the Duke's return. His Majesty
was in taking the posset drink ; and the King then commanded
the Duke to give it to him, which he did in the presence of
some of the King's physicians, they then no ways seeming to
dislike it ; the same drink being first taken by some of them,
and divers of the King's bed-chamber; and he thinketh this
was the second time the King took it.

Afterwards, when the King grew somewhat worse than
before, the Duke heard a rumour as if thb physic had done the
King hurt, and that the Duke had ministered that physic unto
him without advice. The Duke acquainted the King there-

Digitized by V^OOQ IC

i626] Impeachment of the Duke of Buckingham 43

with. To whom the King, with much discontent, answered
thus: 'They are worse than devils that say it;' so fai* from
' the truth it was, which now notwithstanding (as it seemeth) is
taken up again by some, and with much confidence affirmed.
And here the Duke humbly prayeth all your Lordships, not only
to consider this truth of his answer ; but also to commiserate
the sad thoughts that this article hath revived in him. This
being the plain, clear and evident truth of all those things
which are contained and particularly expressed in his charge
(the rest being in general require no answer) ; he being well
assured that he hath herein affirmed nothing which he shall
not make good by proof, in such way as your Lordships shall C< ^^ —
direct. He humbly referreth it to the judgment of your Lord- t'l^n^ *'
ships, how mil o i danger ana pre judice it is to give too ready t^ l< ^ ^
an ear and too easy a belief, unto report s orTestimon y without j^\t^.i *
" oath, which are noi of weight' enough to condemn any.

3e humbly acinowledgeth how easy it was for him, in his
young years and unexperienced to fall into thousands of errors,
in those ten years wherein he had the ^i^nonf j ^ serve s o great ^: i ^ -
And so open-hearted a sovereign and master; but the fear of ^ ^
A Jmighty God, his sincerity to true religion established in the . .^ . ♦ / ^ ,
C hurch of England (though accompan ied with nfany weak-
nesses and imp erfections, whii j ili Jift ia nnf RaRarmftd humbly and |l ,
.^»^ ^heart Uy to confess^ his awfulness not willing to offenJ so good^ ^'^^''^
ana gracious ^ mas ter, and his foVy ^and^^du ^ To hi s°cou&tryj[ n^^
" have restrained jim, a nd preserved him ^he Eopeth ) from
mnniT^y into heinpuf^ ^r}A high TniRclp.|Tiftfl.TinnrR_ and crimes.
But whatsoever, upon examination and mature deliFeration, \/
they shall appear to be, lest in anything unwittingly or un- nj^
willingly wdthin the compass of so many years he shall have ^^^f '
offended, Jie humbly prayeth your lordship s, not only in those, f . '
b ut as to all the said misdemean ours, misprisions, offences andj ^ >
c rimes, wherewith he standet Echar gg^- be fore. your^Lordships.
to aHow unto him the benefit of th^free Jtnd general pardon,
fj^ranted by ^is late Majesty in Parfiatnent in t£e" one And
tweniiet h jear oT^is reign, out of which he is not excepted ;
and of the gracious pai'do n of his now Majesty, granted to the
said Duke, and vouchsafed in like manner at the time of his
most happy inauguration and coronation; which said pardon

Digitized by V^OOQ IC

44 Constitutional Documents [i6^

under the Qreat Seal of England granted to the said Duke,
bearing date the tenth day of February now last past^ and here
is shown forth to your Lordships, on which he doth humbly rely.
And yet he hopeth your Lordships in your justice and honour,
upon which with confidence he puts himself, will acquit him
of and from those misdemeanours, offences, misprisions, and
crimes, wherewith he hath been charged. A nd he hopeth and
will daily pray, th at for the futore, he shall, byGo^i^g^c^, so
watch overiiis actions, both public and private, that he shall
not give any just offence to any.

4. The Eebtbaint of the Eabls of Abundel
AND Bristol.

A. Complaint of the House of Lords in ArundeVs ease,

[March 14, 1626. Lords' Journals, iii. 526. See Sist of
Engl. vi. 91, 92.]

The Earl of Arundel being committed by the King to the
Tower, sitting the Parliament, the House was moved, to take
the same into their consideration, and so to proceed therein, as
they might give no just offence to His Majesty, and yet preserve
the privilege of Parliament.

The Lord Keeper thereupon signified to the House, that he
was commanded to deliver this message from His Majesty unto
their Lordships, viz. That the Earl of Arundel was resti'ained
for a misdemeanour which was personal unto His Majesty, and
lay in the proper knowledge of His Majesty, and had no relation
to matters of Parliament.

B. Petition of the Earl of Bristol,
[March 30, 1626. Lords' Journals, iii. 544. See Hist of Engl. vi. 94.]

The petition of the Earl of Bristol, for his writ of summons,
being referred to the Lords Committees for privileges, &o.,
the Earl of Hertford reported the same, on this manner, viz.

My Lords, whereas the Earl of Bristol hath preferred a peti-
tion unto this House, thereby signifying that his writ of sum-
mons is withheld from him . . . this petition being referred

Digitized by V^OOQ IC

i6fl6] The Restraint of Arundel and Bristol 45 L^,

At .
unto the Committee for privileges, and after diligent search, no
precedent being found that any writ of summons hath been
detained from any peer that is capable of sitting in the House
of Parliament; and considering withal how far it may treiich
into the right of every member of this House, whether sitting by
ancient right oj inh eritance or by patent^to have tbeir w rits ^
cletained: the Lords Committees are all ofommon, l^iiat it will ^
" Ee^ecessary Tor fthis H ouse humbly to beseeclj('^is MajS^fj'T*"^
that a writ of summons may be sent to this petitioner, aild"'
to sych other L or as to whom no writ of su mmons hath been
djrgQtecl jtor^"niis Parliament, excepting^ sucF'liS "are made
incapable to sit in Parliament by judgment of Parliament or
any other legal judgment. ^

Whereupon the Duke of Buckingham signified onto the House,
That up on the E arl ofJMstolVgetition, thft-Kiag iadj^eat hin#
his writ ^f summons.

tc* C. Lord Keeper Coventry's Letter to ths Earl of Bristol^,

^:" [March 31, i6a6. Lords' Journals, iii. 563.]

^' -V

P My very goodr-Lord, By His M ajesty's command,m ent I here-

with send unto your LordsLip your writ of summons for the
Parliament, but withal signify His Majesty's jjeasure herein
further ; That, howsoever he gives way to the awarding of the
writ, yet his meaning thereby is not to discharge any former
direction for restraint of your Lordship's coming hither; but
that you continue under the same restriction as you did before,
80 as your Lordship's personal attendance is to be forborne . . «

Thomas Coventby.
Dorset Court,

March 31, 1626.

^ On April 17, Bristol, who had come to London and justified his action
that the King's writ of summons was of greater weight than a letter from
the Lord Keeper, accused Buckingham before the House of Lords. On
the a 1st, Charles accused him of high treason before the same House.


Digitized by V^OOQ IC

46 Constitutional Documents [i6a6

D. The remonstrance and jyetition of the Peers on the restraint
of tlie Earl of ArundeZ *

[April 19, 1626. Lords' Journals, iii. 564. See Hist, of Engl. vi. 92.]

May it please your Majesty, we, the Peers of this your realm
now assembled in Parliament, finding the Earl of Arundel
absent from his place, that sometimes in this Parliament sat
amongst us, his presence was therefore called for, but hereon
a message was delivered unto us from your Majesty by the
Lord Keeper, that the Earl of Arundel was restrained [&c., as
above, p. 44]. This message occasioned us to enquire into the
acts of our ancestors . . . and after diligent search both of all
stories, statutes and records that might inform us in this case,
wfi. find iJLtq. be an undoubted right and constant privilege of
Parliament, that no Lord of Parliament, the Parliament sitting,
or within the usual times of privilege of Parliament, iajfco. be
imprisoned or restrained without sentence or order of the
House, unless it be for treason or felonv, or for refusing to give
surety for the peace . . . wherefore ^e, ^our Majesty's loyal
sn^j<ects jind humble servants, the whole hbdyoT tte Feers now
in Parliament assemtled, most (lumbly beseecryour Majesty, that
the Earl of Arun'3eI7a iriernhftr of T3ug "bS^^f, lu'fiCjnpf Gently be
adniitted^^with your^gracious favour, to comeV^sTT, and serve
your Majesty and the Commonwealth in the great afPairs of this
Parliament And we shall^ra y, &c.

This remonstrance and petition^eing read, it was generally
approved of by the whole House, and agreed to be presented
unto his Majesty by the whole House ^.

6. The King's Letteb akd Instbuctions fob the
Collection of a Fbbb Gift.

[July 7, 1626. S. P. Dom. xxxi. 30, 31. See Eitt, qf Engl, vi. 125.]

Trusty and well beloved we greet you weU. It is not
unknown unto you that in February last oj ir high C ourt of
Parliament was by us summoned and assembled to treat of
tte grg&t and weighty affairs concerning the Church of England
and the true religion therein established^ and the defence and

^ Arundel was at last released on June 5.

Digitized by V^OOQ IC

i6a6] The King's Letter and Instructions 47

safety of the Kingdom ; and that they there continiied together
until the 15th of June last, within which time many things
of good moment . . . were propounded and began to be handled;
and amongst other things, our Commons here assembled . . .
not for our own private use, but for the common safety of us
and our people, did, with one unanimous consent, agree ^ to
give unto us a supply of four entire subsidies and three fifteens,
and did, by order of that House, set down the days and times
for payment of the same; which their loving and free oflFer unto
us we did graciously accept and rely upon, and dispose of our
affairs accordingly, and afterwards with much patience, even
beyond the pressing necessity of our public affairs, continually
did expect the real performance thereof; and we are assured
the same had been performed accordingly, had not the disordered
passion of some members of that House, contrary to the good
inclination of the graver and wiser sort of them, so far misled
themselves and others, that they neither did nor would intend
that which concerned the public defence of the Kingdom, for
which they were specially called ; wherefore, when no gracioas
admonitions could stay them (though much against our heart)
we have dissolved that Parliament.

And the Parliament being now ended and yet the necessity
of a supply of money lying still upon us . . . and pressing us,
without which the common safety of us and our people cannot
be defended and maintained, but is in eminent and apparent
danger to be assailed and swallowed up by a vigilant and
powerful enemy, we have been enforced to cast all the ways
aAd means which honourably and justly we might take for
supply of these important affairs; and many several courses
have been propounded and offered unto us: and although no .<
ordinary rules can prescribe a law to necessity, and the common U

d^iiftft "ftTuT gftf^^tgJpri^iFgfr fKA vftVy fluTifgi ftt ftnnft~n?'4:>ift wholc

mi ght jus tlv warrastjis, if out of 7)ur"rdy&l" prerogative and
power we should take any way more extraordinary, or less
indifferent to any part thereof, yet we desiring nothing more
(next to the love and favour of Almighty God, by whose
gracious assistance we desire to govern ourselves and all our

^ The agreement was merely by resolation. No bill having been'
founded on it. it had no legal force.

48 Constitutional Documents [i6a6

actions) than the love of our people, which we esteem as our
greatest riches, we have made choice of that way which may
be most equal and acceptable to them. And therefore 'wifijdo
des ire all our loving subjects, in-xu^case of this unavoidable
necessity, to be a law unto themselves a nd lovingly ^ f reel v»
a nd volun tarily to perform^ that-wh ich by law^ if i t had passed
focnaal^-by-«Lj|ct, as was intended, they had been compellable
unto ; and so in a timely wsy to provider nol o nly for our but
foPtheir own defence, and for the common safety of all our
friends and allies, and of our lives and honour ; the performance
of which our request will not only give us an ample testimony
of the dutiful and good affections of our people in general,
but will give us just encouragement the more speedily to meet
in Parliament.

We therefore desire you forthwith to meet together and to
take such order as may best advance our service, and in our
name to desire and exhort our people according to such in-
structions as herewith we send unto yo», that jbhey w ould
not faiKfreelyJ;o^^ve.^unto us^a full jupplj^answerable to the
necessity of our present occasions. And these^ur Xetters, &c.

Instructions to the Justices of Peace in the several Counties*

1. That speedily upon receipt of these Letters you assemble
together at some place convenient, and take them and the
matter thereby commended unto you, into your due con-

2. That when ye are thus assembled, ye call to mind the
resolution in the Parliament lately dissolved, to have given us
four subsidies, and three fifteens, and that the several days
of payment were ordered for the same ; and therefore the sum
of money to have been raised thei-eby was in the judgment
of the Parliament but competent and the times of payment
convenient for the present and pressing occasions, and we are
confident that the same considerations will prevail with our

3. That you let them know how much it will avail to our
affairs and to the affairs of our friends and allies, to assail
our enemies on their own coasts; and that we have bc^un
a preparation to that end but want monies to perfect the

Digitized by V^OOQ IC

x6a6] Commission for Tonnage and Poundage 49

same. And that whilst we are in these coDSultations, we are
advertised from all parts, of powerful preparations made to
assail as at home, or in Ireland, or both.

4. That you put them in mind that nothing invites an
enemy more to invasion than an opinion that that part intended
to be invaded is either secure, or distracted, and so unprovided
for a resistance.

5. That therefore you, the Deputy Lieutenants, give present
direction to have all the troops and bands of the county com-
pleted, mustered, trained, and so well^^rnished that they may
be pregared jo march u nto theVendezyous^at an hour's warning
upon pain of death. -«« .^-^ — -^ — «-

6. That yeT conclude upon a constant way of propounding
and pursuing this our supply in your several divisions, to the
inhabitants of all the whole county.

7. That when you have first settled this work among your-
selves, ye agree how to divide yourselves throughout the whole
county into so many parts and divisions as ye in your judgments
shall think fittest. . . .

8. [Collectors to be nominated by the justices.]

9. That ye assure them in our name and in our royal word,
which we will not break with our people, that we will wholly
employ all the monies which shall thus be given unto us, to
the common defence of the kingdom and not to or for any
other end whatsoever.

10. That together with the monies ye collect, ye send a
perfect roll of the names of all those who do thus contribute,
and of them who shall refuse, if any such be, that we may
be thereby informed who are well affected to our service, and
who are otherwise, and what monies are given unto us . . .

11. And lastly that all this be instantly performed, for that all
delays will defeat and overthrow our greatest counsels and affairs.

6. Comassioir tob baisino Tonkaob akd Poundage


[July 26, 1626. Bymer^t Fmderay xviii. 737. See Hitt, of Engl, vi. 135.]

Oharles, by the grace of God [&c.], to our Lord Treasurer of
England, now and for the time being, the Commissioners of our


Digitized by V^OOQ IC

50 Constitutional Documents [i6a6

TreaBury for the time being, to our Chancellor and Under-
Treasurer of our Exchequer, now and for the time being, to our
Chief Baron and the rest of the Barons of our Exchequer [and
others], greeting.

Whereas the Lords and others of our Privy Council have
taken into their serious consideration the present state of our
revenue arising by customs subsidy and impost upon goods and
merchandise to be exported and imported out of and into this
our realm . . . and finding that it hath been constanly con-
tinued for many ages, and is now a principal part of the
revenue of our Crown, and is of necessity to be so continued
for the supportation thereof, which in the two last Parliaments
hath been thought upon, but could not be there settled by
authority of Parliament ... by reason of the dissolution of
those Parliaments before those things which were there treated
of could be perfected, have therefore . . . specially ordered, that
all those duties upon goods and merchandizes, called by the
several names of customs subsidy and imposts, should be levied
... in such manner as the same were levied in the time of our
late dear father King James . . . and forasmuch as, through the
want of a parliamentary course to settle the payment of those
duties, many inconveniences may arise, which would tend to the
impairing of our revenue of that nature, if in convenient time
some settled course should not be taken for the prevention
thereof: —

Know ye therefore that we ... by the advice of the Lords
and others of our Privy Council, do by these presents 4gcla re
our will and pleasure to be, that all those duties . . . shiJlbe
levied in such manner as the same were levied at the time of
the decease of our said late father, and upon such accounts and
forms as now the same are collected, or hereafter shall be by us

Online LibrarySamuel Rawson GardinerThe constitutional documents of the Puritan revolution 1625-1660 → online text (page 10 of 51)