Samuel Rawson Gardiner.

The constitutional documents of the Puritan revolution 1625-1660 online

. (page 15 of 51)
Online LibrarySamuel Rawson GardinerThe constitutional documents of the Puritan revolution 1625-1660 → online text (page 15 of 51)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


! had come to the Lord Keeper, as it did not, he should have
highly offended us if he had obeyed it. Nay, they went so
far as they spared not the honour ofjour^Council ^ard, but
* ^xaminfid iiieit j?ioceedings in the £ase of our customers, inter-
rogating what this or that man of our Council said in direction
of them in the business committed to their charge. And when
one of the members of that House, speaking of our counsellors
said we had wicked counsel ; and another said that the Council
and Judges sought to trample under feet the liberty of the
subject ; and a third traduced our Court of Star Chamber for
the sentence given against Savage, they passed without check
or censure by the House. By which may appear, how far
the members of that House have of late swoln beyond the
rules of moderation and the (modesty of former times; and
this under pretence of privilege and jEreedom of speech^ where-
by they take liberty to declare against all authority of Council
and Courts at their pleasure.

They sent for our Sheriff of London to examine him in
a cause whereof they had no jurisdiction; their true and
ancient jurisdiction extending only to their own members, and
to the conservation of their privileges, and not to the censure
of foreign persons and causes, which have no relation to their



Digitized by V^OOQ IC



i6a8-9] The King's Declaration 95

privileges, the same being but a late innovatioii. And yet
upon an enforced strain of a contempt, for not answering to
their satisfaction, they commit him to the Tower of London,
using that outward pretext for a cause of committing him, the
true and inward cause being, for that he had showed himself
dutiful to us and our commandments in the matter concerning
o^ customs. '"

In these innovations (which we will never permit again)
they pretended indeed our service, but their drift was to break,
by this means, through all respects and ligaments of govern-
ment, and to erect an universal over-swaying power to them-
selves, which belongs only to us, and not to them.

Lastly, in their proceedings against our customers, they
went about to censure them as delinquents, and to punish
them for staying some goods of some factious merchants in
our store-house, for not paying those duties which themselves
had formerly paid, and which the customers, without inter-
ruption, had received of all other merchants many years before,
and to which they were authorised both by our Great Seal
and by several directions and commandments from us and our
Privy Council.

To give some colour to their proceeding herein, they went
about tocreate a new privile ge (which we will never admit),
that a rarliament-man hath privilege for his goods against
the. King; the consequence whereof would be, that he may
not be constrained to pay any duties to the King during the
time of privilege of Parliament. It is true, they would have
this case to have been between the merchants and our farmers
of our customs, and have severed them from our interest and
commandment, thereby the rather to make them liable to the
censure and punishment of that House. But on the other
side, we holding it Jbfith-TOJJigjt .and dishonourable to withdraw
ourself from our officers in anything they did by our command-
ment, or to disavow anything that we had enjoined to be done ;
upon Monday, the twenty-third of February, sent a message
unto them by Secretary Coke \ thanking them for the respect
they had showed in severing the interest of our farmers from

A mx John Cok««



Digitized by V^OOQ IC



96 Constitutional Documents [i6a8-g

our own interest and d^man^ment. Nevertheless we were
^— -Abound Jn honour ^o .acknowledgiy^A^tcuth, that what was done
by them was done bxJJSiV , eypreaa fiomijiandment and direc-
tion; and tf, for doings thereof, our farmers should suffer, it
would hjghly concern us in honour. "*Which message was no
sooner delivered^nto tEem^ T)ut In a tumultuous and discon-
tented manner they called Adjourn, Adjourn ; and thereupon,
without any cause given on our part, in a very unusual manner,
adjourned unto the Wednesday following.

On which day, by the uniform wisdom of our Privy Council,
we caused both Houses to be adjourned until the second day
of March, hoping that in the meantime a better and more
right understanding might be begotten between us and the
members of that House, whereby the Parliament might come
to a happy issue.

But understanding by good advertisement that their dis-
content did not in that time digest and pass away, we resolved
to make a second adjournment until the tenth of March, which
was done, as well to take time to ourself to think of some
means to accommodate those difficulties, as to give them time
to advise better; and accordingly we gave commandment for
a second adjournment in both Houses, and for cessation of
all business till the day appointed, which was very dutifully
obeyed in the Higher House, no man contradicting or question-
ing it. But when the same commandment was delivered in
the House of Commons by their Speaker, it was straightway
contradicted; and although the Speaker declared unto them
it was an absolute right and power in us to adjourn as well
as to prorogue or dissolve, and declared and read unto them
diverp precedents of that House to warrant the same ; yet our
commandment was most contemptuously disobeyed, and some
rising up to speak said they had business to do before the
House should be adjourned ^

Whilst the Duke of Buckingham lived he was entitled to
all the distempers and ill evwts of former Parliaments, and

^ Note by Rushwortk :. ' Here are the passages ooncemiog the members'
deportment in the House, mentioned in this Declaration, which we forbear
to rejpeat, in regard the same are at large expressed in the Information in
the 8Uir Chamber, before mentioned.'



Digitized by V^OOQ IC



1628-9] The King's Declaration 97

therefore much endeavour was used to demolish him, as the
only wall of separation between us and our people. But now
he is dead, no alteration was found amongst those envenomed
spirits which troubled then the blessed harmony between us and
our subjects, and continue still to trouble it. For now undei*
the pretence of public care of the Commonwealth they suggest
new and causeless fears, which in their own hearts they know
to be false; and devise new engines of mischief, so to cast
a blindness upon the good affections of our people, that they
may not see the truth and largeness of our heart towards them.
So that now it is manifest, the Duke was not alone the mark
these men shot at, but was only as a near minister of ours,
taken up, on the by, and in their passage to their more secret
designs; which were only to cast our affairs into a desperate
condition to abate the powers of our Crown, and to bring
our government into obloquy, that in the end all things may
be overwhelmed with anarchy and confusion.

We do nofimpute these disasters to the whole House of
Commons, knowing that there were amongst them many
religious, grave, and well-minded men ; but the sincerer and
better part of the House was overborne by the practices and
clamours of the other, who, careless of their duties, and taking
advantage of the times and our necessities, have enforced us
to break off this meeting ; which, had it been answered with
like duty on their parts as it was invited and begun with love
on ours, might have proved happy and glorious both to us and
this whole nation.

We have thus declared the manifold causes we had to
dissolve ^this Parliament, whereby all the world may see how
much they have forgotten their fo^CBagr^ngagements at^^the '^^
ent ry in to the war, themselves being persuaders to it; pro-
mising to ma^'e us feared by our enemies a^dLssteemed by
our friend s, and how they turned the necessities grown by
that war to enforce us to yield to conditions incompatible with
monarchy.

And now that our people may discern that these provoca-
tions of evil men (whose punishments we reserve to a due
time) have not changed our good intentions to our subjects,
we do here profess to maintain the true religion and doctrine



Digitized by V^OOQ IC






Constitutional Documents



[i6a8-9



established in the Church of England, without admitting or
conniving at any backsliding either to Popery or schism.
We do also declare that we will maintain the ancient and
just rights_and liberties of "our"'subJects, with so much con-
stancy and justice that they shall have cause to acknowledge
that under our government and gracious protection they live
in a more happy and free estate than any subjects in the
Christian world. Yet Ifit no man hereby take the boldness
to abuse that liberty, turning it to licentiousness; nor mis-
interpret the Petition by perverting it to a lawless liberty,
wantonly or frowardly, under that or any other colour, to
/resist lawful and necessary authority. For as we will main-
; tain our subjects in their just liberties, scTw e do and vrill
expecOhal IHey yieTd^jis^ mucTT submission andfjuty to our
royal prerogatives, 'and as ready obedience To o^r authority
and commandments, aa hath been promig,ed.Jfca^thA. greatest
t oT our* piredccessors.

And for our ministers, we will not that they be terrified
by those hai*sh proceedings that have been strained against
some of them. For, as we will not command anything unjust
or dishonourable, but shall use our authority and prerogatives
for the good of our people ; so we wjU expect _that ogr ministers
ob^ jua^ndthey shall assure themselves we will protect them.
As for our merchants, we let them koa^ we shall always
endeavour to cherish and enlarge the trade of such as be
dutiful, without burthening them beyond what is fitting ;
but the duty of five in the hundred for guarding of the seas,
and defence of the realm, to which we hold ourselves still
obliged (and which duty hath continued without interruption
so many succession of ages), we hold no good or dutiful sub-
ject will deny it, being so necessary for the good of the whole
kingdom : and if any factious merchant will affront us in
a thing so reasonable, and wherein we require no more, nor
in no other manner, than so many of our predecessors have
done, and have been dutifully obeyed, let them not deceive
themselves, but be assured that we shall find honourable and
just means to support our estate, vindicate our sovereignty,
and preserve the authority which God hath put into our
Ijands.



Digitized by V^OOQ IC



1633] The Dedaratioft of Sports 99

And now having laid down the truth and clearness of our
proceedings, all wise and discreet men may esisily judge of
those rumours and jealous fears that are maliciously and
wickedly bruited abroad; and maj discern, by examination
of their owrtheart^, whether (in respect of the free passage
0? the GospelTSSifferent and equal administration of justice,
freedom from oppression, and the great peace and quietness
which every man enjoyeth under his own vine and fig-tree)
the happiness of this nation can be paralleled by any of our
neighbour countries; and if not, then to acknowledge their
own blessedness, and for the same be thankful to Gbd, the
author of all goodness^



17. The Declabation of SpobtsV
[October i8, 1633. See H%$L of Engl, vii. 318-324.]

Our dear father of blessed memory, in his return from
Scotland, coming through Lancashire, found that his subjects
were debarred from lawful recreations upon Sundays after
evening prayers ended, and upon Holy-days ; and he prudently
considered that, if these times were taken from them, the
meaner sort who labour hard all the week should have no
recreations at all to refresh their spirits : and after his return,
he further saw that his loyal subjects in all other parts of
his kingdom did suffer in the same kind, though perhaps not
in the same degree : and did therefore in his princely wisdom
publish a Declaration to all his loving subjects conoeming law-
ful sports to be used at such times, which was printed and pub-
lished by his royal commandment in the year 16 18, in the tenor
which hereafter foUoweth :

Whereas upon our return the last year out of Scotland, we
did publish our pleasure touching the recreations of our people
in those parts under our hand ; for some causes us thereunto
moving, we have thought good to command these our directions
then given in Lancashire, with a few words thereunto added,

^ The fall title is, ' The King's Majesty's declaration to his subjects con-
cerning lawful sports to be used. Imprinted at Lond. by Robert Barker,
Printer to the King's most excellent Majesty ; and by the Assigns of
Robert Bill, m.dc.xxxiii.*



H a



Digitized by V^OOQ IC



loo Constitutional Documents [1633

and most appliable to these parts of onr realms, to be published
to all our subjects.

Whereas we did justly in our progress through Lancashire
rebuke some Puritans and precise people, and took order
that the like unlawful carriage should not be used by any of
them hereafter, in the * prohibiting and unlawful punishing of
our good people for using their lawful recreations and honest
exercises upon Sundays, and other Holy-days, after the after-
noon sermon or service, we now find that two sorts of people
wherewith that country is much infected, we mean Papists
and Puritans, have maliciously traduced and calumniated those
our just and honourable proceedings : and therefore. Jest our
reputation might upon the one side (though innocently) have
some aaperaioulaid upon it, and that upon the*"6theF^rt our
good people in that country be misled by the mistaking and
misinterpretation of our meaning, we have therefore thought
good hereby to clear and make'9iirpleasure to be manifested to
all our good people m those parts.

It is true that at our first entry to this Crown and king-
dom we were informed, and that too truly, that our county
of Lancashire abounded more in Popish Recusants than any
county of England, and thus hath still continued since, to our
great regret, with little amendment, save that, now of late,
in our last riding through our said country, we find both
by the report of the Judges, and of the Bishop of that Diocese,
that there is some amendment now daily beginning, which is
no small contentment to us.

The report of this growing amendment amongst them made
us the more sorry, when with our own ears we heard the
general complaint of our people, that they were barred from
all lawful recreations and exercise upon the Sunday's afternoon,
after the ending of all divine service, which cannot but pro-
duce two evils: the one the hindering of the conversion of
many, whom their priests will take occasion hereby to vex,
persuading them that no honest mirth or recreation is lawful
or tolerable in our religion, which cannot but breed a great
discontentment in our people's hearts, especially of such as are
peradventure upon the point of turning : the other inconvenience
is, that this prohibition barreth the common and meaner sort of



Digitized by V^OOQ IC



i^] The Declaration of Sports loi

people from using such exercises as may make their bodies'
more able for war, when His Majesty or his successors shall
have occasionTo use them ; and in place thereof sets up filthy
tippling and drunkenness, and breeds a number of idle and
discontented speeches in their ale-houses. For when shall the
common people have leave to exercise, if not upon the Sundays
and Holy-days, seeing they must apply their labour and win
their liying in all working-days 1

Our express pleasure therefore is, that the laws of our
kingdom and canons of the Church be as well observed in
that county, as in all other places of this our kingdom : and
on the other part, that no lawful recreati9n shall be barred to
our good people, which shall not tend to the breach of our
aforesaid laws and canons of our Church: which to express
more particularly, our pleasure is, that the Bishop, and all other
inferior churchmen and churchwardens, shall for their parts be
careful and diligent, both to instruct the ignorant, and con-
vince and reform them that are misled in religion, presenting
them that will not conform themselves, but obstinately stand
out, to our Judges and Justices : whom we likewise command
to put the law in due execution against them.

Our pleasure likewise is, that the Bishop of that Diocese
take the like strait order with all the Puritans and Pre-
cisians within the same, either constraining them to conform
themselves or to leave the county, according to the laws of our
kingdom and canons of our Church, and so to strike equally
on both hands against the contemners of our authority and
adversaries of our Church ; and as for our good people's lawful
recreation, our pleasure likewise is, that after the end of divine
service our good people be not disturbed, letted or discouraged
from any lawful recreation, such as dancing, either men or
women ; archery for men, leaping, vaulting, or any other such
harmless recreation, nor from having of May-games, Whitsun-
ales^ and Morris-dances ; and the setting up "Ufitf ay-poles and
tJttaer sports therewith used: so as the same be had in due
and convenient time, without impediment or neglect of divine
service: and that women shall have leave to carry rushes to
the church for the "decorating of it, according" "to their old
custom ; but withal we do here account still as prohibited all



Digitized by V^OOQ IC



I02 Constitutional Documents [16^3

unlawful games to be used upon Sundays only, as bear and
bull-baitings, interludes and at all times in the meaner isort
of people by law prohibited, bowling ^

And likewise we bar from tEiTtJBnefit and liberty all such
known Becusants, eiUier men or women, as will abstain from
coming to church or divine 4Bervice, being therefore unworthy
of any lawful recreation after the said service, that will not
first come to the church and serve God: prohibiting in like
sort the said recreations to any that^ though conform in religion,
are not present in the cEurch at the service of God, before their
going to the scadl recreations. Our pleasure likewise is, that
they to whom it belongeth in office, shall present and sharply
punish all such, as in abuse of this our liberty, will use these
exercises before the end of all divine services for that day:
and we likewise straightly command that every person shall
resort to his own parish church to hear divine service, and each
parish by itself to use the said recreation after divine service :
prohibiting likewise any offensive weapons to be carried or used
in the said times of recreation : and our pleasure is, that this
our Declaration shall be published by order from the Bishop
of the Diocese, through all the parish churches, and that both
our Judges of our circuit and our Justices of our Peace be
informed thereof.

Given at our Manor of Greenwich the four and twentieth
day of May, in the sixteenth year of our Beign, of
England, France and Ireland; and of Scotland the one
and fiftieth.

Now out of a like pious care for the service of God, and
for suppressing of any humours that oppose truth, and for
the ease, comfort and recreation of our well-deserving people,
HisMajesty doth ratify and publish this our blessed father's
De clarati on : the rather, because of late in some counties of our
kingdom, we find that under pretence of taking away abuses,
there hath been a general forbidding, not only of ordinary
meetings^ but of, thfiJEeapts of the Dedication of the Cfeurches, x
commonly called ffi^kes. Now 6airexpress will and pleasure-.*^
is, that these Feasts, with others, sEalTiJiEnobserved, and that

* See 53 Henry VIII. c. ix. § ii.



Digitized by V^OOQ IC



1633] Act of the Privy Council 103

our Justices of the Peace, in their several divisions, shall look
to it, both that all disorders there may be prevented or
punished, and that all neighbourhood and freedom, with manlike
and lawful exercises be used: and we fdither command all
Justices of Assize in their several circuits to see that no man
do trouble or molest any of our loyal and dutiful people^ in
or for their lawful recreations, having first done their duty
to God, and continuing in obedience to us and our laws : and
for this we command all our Judges, Justices of Peace, as well
within liberties as without, Mayors, Bailiffs, Constables, and
other officers, to take notice of, and to see observed, as they
tender our displeasure. And we further will that publication
of this our command be made by order from the Bishops,
through all the parish churches of their several dioceses re-
spectively.

Given at our Palace of Westminster, the eighteenth day
of October, in the ninth year of our Eeign.

God save the King



18. Act op the Privy Council on the position op the
Communi on Table at StTIjHEGUki^s.

[November 3, 1633. Prynne's CanterhuryB Doome, 88. See Hist, of
Ungl, vii. 310.]

At Whitehall, the third day of November, 1633.
Present, the King's Most Excellent Majesty.
Lord Archbishop of Canterbury [William Laud],
Lord Keeper [Sir Thomas Coventry], C)CC i^ i ^ '

Lord Archbishop of York [Richard Neile], ^

Lord Treasurer [Earl of Portland], '^^ t .

Lord Privy Seal [Earl of Manchester], ^^ ^ ^ ^ %^\

Lord Duke of Lennox,
Lord Chamberlain [of the Household, Earl of Pembroke and

Montgomery],
Earl of Bridgwater,
Earl of Carlisle,
Lord Cottington,
Master Treasurer [of the Household, Sir Thomas Edmondes],



Digitized by V^OOQ IC



I04 Constitutional Documents [1633

Master Comptroller [of the Household, Sir Henry Vane],
Lord High Chamberlain [Earl of Lindsey],
Earl Marshal [Earl of Ainindel],
Master Secretary Coke,
Master Secretary Windebanke.

This day was debated before His Majesty sitting in
Council, the question and difference which grew about the
removing of the communion table in St. Gregory's church,
near the cathedral church of St. Paul, from the middle of
the chancel to the upper end, and there placed altar-wise, in
such manner as it standeth in the said cathedral and mother
church (as also in all other cathedrals and in His Majesty's
own chapel), and as it is consonant to the practice of approved
antiquity: which removal and placing of it in that sort was
done by order from the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's who
are ordinaries thereof, as was avowed before His Majesty by
Doctor King and Doctor Montfort, two of the prebends
there; yet some few of the parishioners, being but five in
number, did complain of this act by appeal to the Court of
Arches, pretending that the Book of Common Prayer and
the 82nd Canon do give permission to place the communion
table where it may stand with the most fitness and con-
venience. Now His Majesty having heard a particular rela-
tion made by the counsel of both parties of all the carriage
and proceedings in this cause, was pleased to declare his dislike
of all innovation and receding from ancient constitutions,
grounded upon just and waiTantable reasons, especially in
matters conceding ecclesiastical order and government, know-
ing how easily men are drawn to affect novelties, and how
soon weak judgments in such cases may be overtaken and
abused. And he was also pleased to observe, that if these
few parishioners might have their wills, the difference thereby
from the foresaid cathedral mother church, by which all other
churches depending thereon ought to be guided, would be the
more notorious, and give more subject of discourse and disputes
that might be spared, by reason of St. Gregoiy's standing close
to the wall thereof. And likewise for so much as concerns the
liberty given by the said communion book or canon, for pladng
the communion table in any church or chapel with most con-



Digitized by V^OOQ IC



1634] First Writ of Ship-Money 105

venience ; that liberty is not so to be underatood, as if it were
ever left to the discretioD of the parish, much less to the
particular fancy of any humorous person, but to the judgment
of the ordinary to whose place and function it doth properly
belong to give direction in that point, both for the thing itself,
and for the time, when and how long, as he may find cause.
Upon which consideration His Majesty declared himself, that
he well approved and confirmed the act of the said ordinary,
and also gave command that if those few parishioners before
mentioned do proceed in their said appeal, then the Dean of
the Arches^ (who was then attending at the hearing of the
cause) shall confirm the said order of the aforesaid Dean and
Chapter.



19. Specimen op the first Writ op Ship-monbt.
[October ao, 1634. Rushworth, ii. 257. See HUt, of Engl. yii. 356, 369.]



Online LibrarySamuel Rawson GardinerThe constitutional documents of the Puritan revolution 1625-1660 → online text (page 15 of 51)