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done for many years last past.

142. Improving the herring-fishing upon our coasts, which
will be of mighty use in the employment of the poor, and a
plentiful nursery of mariners for enabling the kingdom in any
great action.

143. The oppositions, obstructions and the difficulties where-
with we have been encountered, and which still lie in our way
with some strength and much obstinacy, are these; the malignant
party whom we have formerly described to be the actors and
promotors of all our misery, they have taken heart again.

144. They have been able to prefer some of their own factors
and agents to degrees of honour, to places of trust and employ-
ment, even during the Parliament.

145. They have endeavoured to work in His Majesty ill
impressions and opinions of our proceedings, as if we had
altogether done our own work, and not his ; and had obtained
from him many things very prejudicial to the Crown, both in
respect of prerogative and profit.

146. To wipe out this slander we think good only to say
thus much : that all that we have done is for His Majesty, his
greatness, honour and support, when we yield to give £25,000
a month for the relief of the Northern Counties ; this was given
to the King, for he was bound to protect his subjects.

147. They were His Majesty's evil counsellors, and their ill
instruments that were actors in those grievances which brought
in the Scots.

148. And if His Majesty please to force those who were the
authors of this war to make satisfaction, as he might justly and
easily do, it seems very reasonable that the people might well
be excused from taking upon them this burden, being altogether
innocent and free from being any cause of it.

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1641] The Grand Remonstrance 225

149. When we undertook the charge of the army, which
cost above £50,000 a month, was not this given to the King 1
Was it not His Majesty's army 1 Were not all the com-
manders under contract with His Majeaty, at higher rates
and greater wages than ordinary 1

150. And have we not taken upon us to discharge all the
brotherly assistance of £300,000, which we gave the Scots?
Was it not toward repair of those damages and losses which
they received from the King's ships and from his ministers 1

151. These three particulars amount to above £1,100,000.

152. Besides, His Majesty hath received by impositions upon
merchandise at least £400,000.

153* So that His Majesty hath had out of the subjects'
purse since the Parliament began, £1,500,000, and yet these
men can be so impudent as to tell His Majesty that we have
done nothing for him.

154. As to the second branch of this slander, we acknow-
ledge with much thankfulness that His Majesty hath passed
more good Bills to tho advantage of the subjects than have
been in many ages.

155. But withal we cannot forget that these venomous
councils did manifest themselves in some endeavours to hinder
these good acts.

156. And for both Houses of Parliament we may with
truth and modesty say thus much : that we have ever been
careful not to desire anything that should weaken the Crown
either in just profit or useful power.

157. The triennial Parliament for the matter of it, doth
not extend to so much as by law we ought to have required
(there being two statutes still in force for a Parliament to be
once a year), and for the manner of it, it is in the King's power
that it shall never take effect, if he by a timely summons shall
prevent any other way of assembling.

158. In the Bill for continuance of this present Parliament,
there seems to be some restraint of the royal power in dis-
solving of Parliaments, not to take it out of the Crown, but
to suspend the execution of it for this time and occasion only :
which was so necessary for the King's own security and the
public peace, that without it we could not have undertaken


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226 Constitutional Documents [1641

any of these great charges, but must have left both the armies
to disorder and confusion, and the whole kingdom to blood and

159. The Star Chamber was much more fruitful in oppression
than in profit, the great fines being for the most part giyen
away, and the rest stalled ^ at long times.

160. The fines of the High Commission were in themselves
unjust, and seldom or never came into the Eling's purse.
These four Bills are particularly and more specially instanced.

161. In the rest there will not be found so much as a
shadow of prejudice to the Crown.

162. They have sought to diminish our reputation with the
people, and to bring them out of love with Parliaments.

163. The aspersions which they have attempted this way
have been such as these :

164. That we have spent much time and done little, especially
in those grievances which concern religion.

165. That the Parliament is a burden to the kingdom by
the abundance of protections which hinder justice and trade ;
and by many subsidies granted much more heavy than aay
formerly endured.

166. To which there is a ready answer ; if the time spent
in this Parliament be considered in relation backward to the
long growth and deep root of those grievances, which we
have removed, to the powerful supports of those delinquents,
which we have pui*sued, to the great necessities and other
charges of the commonwealth for which we have provided.

167. Or if it be considered in relation forward to many
advantages, which not only the present but future ages are
like to reap by the good laws and other proceedings in this
Parliament, we doubt not but it will be thought by all
indifferent judgments, that our time hath been much better
employed than in a far greater proportion of time in many
former Parliaments put together ; and the charges which have
been laid upon the subject, and the other inconveniences which
they have borne, will seem very light in respect of the benefit
they have and may receive,

x68. And for the matter of protections, the Parliament is
^ I. e. ordered to be paid by inBtalments.

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1641] The Grand Remonstrattce 227

80 sensible of it that therein they intended to give them
whatsoeyer ease may stand with honour and jostice, and are
in a way of passing a Bill to give them satisfaction.

169. They have sought by many subtle practices to cause
jealousies and diyisions betwixt us and our brethren of Scot-
land, by slandering their proceedings and intentions towards us^
and by secret endeavours to instigate and incense them and us
one against another.

170. They have had such a party of Bishops and Popish
lords in the House of Peers, as hath caused much opposition
and delay in the prosecution of delinquents, hindered the
proceedings of divers good Bills passed in the Commons'
House, concerning the reformation of sundry great abuses and
corruptions both in Church and State.

171. They have laboured to seduce and corrupt some of
the Commons' House to draw them into conspiracies and
combinations against the liberty of the Parliament.

172. And by their instruments and agents they have
attempted to disaffect and discontent His Majesty's army, and to
engage it for the maintenance of their wicked and traitorous
designs; the keeping up of Bishops in votes and functions,
and by force to compel the Parliament to order, limit and dispose
their proceedings in such manner as might best concur with
the intentions of this dangerous and potent faction.

173. And when one mischievous design and attempt of theirs
to bring on the army against the Parliament and the City of
London hath been discovered and prevented;

174. They presently undertook another of the same damn-
able nature, with this addition to it, to endeavour to make
the Scottish army neutral, whilst the English army, which they
had laboured to corrupt and envenom against us by their
false and slanderous suggestions, should execute their 'malice
to the subversion of our religion and the dissolution of our

175. Thus they have been continually practising to disturb
the peace, and plotting the destruction even of all the King's
dominions; and have employed their emissaries and agents
in them, all for the promoting their devilish designs, which
the vigilancy of those who were well affected hath still dis-


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228 Constitutional Documents [1641

covered and defeated before they were ripe for execution in
England and Scotland.

176. Only in Ireland, which was farther off, they have had
time and opportunity to mould and prepare their work, and
had brought it to that perfection .that they had possessed
themselves of that whole kingdom, totally subverted the
government of it, routed out religion, and destroyed all the
Protestants whom the conscience of their duty to God, their
King and country, would not have permitted to join with them,
if by God's wonderful providence their main enterprise upon the
city and castle of Dublin had not been detected and prevented
upon the very eve before it should have been executed.

177. Notwithstanding they have in other parts of that
kingdom broken out into open rebellion, surprising towns and
castles, committed murders, rapes and other villainies, and
shaken off all bonds of obedience to His Majesty and the laws
of the realm.

178. And in general have kindled such a fire, as nothing
but God's infinite blessing upon the wisdom and endeavours
of this State will be able to quench it.

179. And certainly had not God in His great mercy unto
this land discovered and confounded their former designs, we had
been the prologue to this tragedy in Ireland, and had by this
been made the lamentable spectacle of misery and confusion.

180. And now what hope have we but in God, when as
the only means of our subsistence and power of reformation
is under Him in the Parliament?

181. But what can we the Commons, without the con-
junction of the House of Lords, and what coi^unction can
we expect there, when the Bishops and recusant lords are
so numerous and prevalent that they are able to cross and
interrupt our best endeavours for reformation, and by that
means give advantage to this malignant party to traduce our
proceedings 1

182. They infuse into the people that we mean to abolish
all Church government, and leave every man to his own
fancy for the service and worship of God, absolving him of
that obedience which he owes under God unto His Majesty,
whom we know to be entrusted with the ecclesiastical law

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1641] The Grand Remonstrance 229

as well as with the temporal, to regulate all the members of
the Church of England, by such rules of order and discipline
as are established by Parliament, which is his great council,
in all affairs both in Church and State.

183. We confess our intention is, and our endeavours have
been, to reduce within Hounds that exorbitant power which
the prelates have assumed unto themselves, so contrary both
to the Word of God and to the laws of the land, to which
end we passed the £ill for the removing them from their tem-
poral power and employments, that so the better they might
with meekness apply themselves to the discharge of their func-
tions, which Bill themselves opposed, and were the principal
instruments of crossing it.

184. And we do here declare that it is far from our pur-
pose or desire to let loose the golden reins of discipline and
government in the Church, to leave private persons or particular
congregations to take up what form of Divine Service they
please, for we hold it requisite that there should be through-
out the whole realm a conformity to that order which the
laws ei^oin according to the Word of Qod. And we desire
to unburden the consciences of men of needless and super-
stitious ceremonies, suppress innovations, and take away the
monuments of idolatry.

185. And the better to effect the intended reformation, we
desire there may be a general synod of the most grave, pious,
learned and judicious divines of this island ; assisted with some
from foreign parts, professing the same religion with us, who
may consider of all things necessary for the peace and good
government of the Church, and represent the results of their
consultations unto the Parliament, to be there allowed of and
confirmed, and receive the stamp of authority, thereby to find
passage and obedience throughout the kingdom.

186. They have maliciously charged us that we intend to
destroy and discourage learning, whereas it is our chiefest care
and desire to advance it, and to provide a competent mainten-
ance for conscionable and preaching ministers throughout the
kingdom, which will be a great encouragement to scholars, and
a certain means whereby the want, meanness and ignorance, to
which a great part of the clergy is now subject, will be prevented.

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187. And we intended likewise to reform and purge the
fountains of learning, the two Universities, that the streams
flowing from thence may he clear and pure, and an honour
and comfort to the whole land.

188* They have strained to blast our piooeedings in Parlia-
ment, by wresting the interpretations of our orders from their
genuine intention.

189. They tell the people that our meddling with the power
of episcopacy hath caused sectaiies and conventicles, when
idolatrous and Popish ceremonies, introduced into the Church
by the command of the Bishops, have not only debarred the
people from thence, but expelled them from the kingdom.

190. Thus with Elijah ^ we are called by this malignant
party the troublers of the State, and still, while we endeavour
to reform their abuses, they make us the authors of those mis-
chiefs we study to prevent.

191. For the perfecting of the work begun, and removing all
future impediments, we conceive these courses will be very ef-
fectual, seeing the religion of the Papists hath such principles as
do certainly tend to the destruction and extirpation of all Pro-
testants, when they shall have opportunity to effect it.

192. It is necessary in the flrst place to keep them in such
condition as that they may not be able to do us any hurt, and
for avoiding of such connivance and favour as hath heretofore
been shown unto them.

193. That His Majesty be pleased to grant a standing
Commission to some choice men named in Parliament, who
may take notice of their increase, their counsels and pro-
ceedings, and use all due means by execution of the laws to
prevent all mischievous designs against the peace and safety
of this kingdom.

194. Thus some good course be taken to discover the coun-
terfeit and false conformity of Papists to the Church, by colour
whereof persons very much disaffected to the true religion have
been admitted into place of greatest authority and trust in the

195. For the better preservation of the laws and libei-ties

^ Elidb in Hugh worth*

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1641] The Grand Remonstrance 231

of the kingdom, that all illegal grievances and exactions be
presented and punished at the sessions and assizes.

196. And that Judges and Justices be very careful to give
this in charge to the grand jury, and both the Sheriff and
Justices to be sworn to the due execution of the Petition of
Bight and other laws.

197. That His Majesty be humbly petitioned by both Houses
to employ such councillors, ambassadors and other ministers, in
managing his business at home and abroad as the Parliament
may have cause to confide in, without which we cannot give
His Majesty such supplies for support of his own estate, nor
such assistance to the Protestant party beyond the sea, as is

198. It may offcen fall out that the Commons may have just
cause to take exceptions at some men for being councillors, and
yet not charge those men with crimes, for there be grounds of
diffidence which lie not in proof.

199. There are others, which though they may be proved,
yet are not legally criminal.

200. To be a known favourer of Papists, or to have been
very forward in defending or countenancing some great offenders
questioned in Parliament ; or to speak contemptuously of either
Houses of Parliament or Parliamentary proceediugs.

201. Oi^ such as are factors or agents for any foreign prince
of another religion ; such are justly suspected to get coun-
cillors' places, or any other of trust concerning public em-
ployment for money ; for all these and divers others we may
have great reason to be earnest with His Majesty, not to put
his great affairs into such hands, though we may be unwilling
to proceed against them in any legal way of charge or impeach-

202. That all Councillors of State may be sworn to observe
those laws which concern the subject in his liberty, that they
may likewise take an oath not to receive or give reward or
pension from any foreign prince, but such as they shall within
some reasonable time discover to the Lords of His Majesty's

203. And although they should wickedly forswear them-
selves, yet it may herein do good to make them known to

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232 Cofistitutional Documents [1641

be false and peijured to those who employ them, and thereby
bring them into as little credit with them as with us.

204. That His Majesty may have cause to be in love with
good counsel and good men, by showing him in an humble
and dutiful manner how full of advantage it would be to
himself, to see his own estate settled in a plentiful condition
to support his honour; to see his people united in ways of
duty to him, and endeavours of the public good ; to see hap-
piness, wealth, peace and safety derived to his own kingdom,
and procured to his allies by the influence of his own power
and government.


''^44. The King's Pboclamation on Religion.

[December lo, 1641. Buth worth, iv. 456. See Hiit, of Engl. x. 98.]

By the King.

A p-oclamation for obedience to the laws, ordained for the estab'
lishing of the true religion in this kingdom of England,

His Majesty considering it is a duty most beseeming, and
that most obligeth sovereign authority in a Christian King
to be careful (above all other things) of preserving and ad-
vancing the honour and service of Almighty Qod, and the
peace and tranquillity of the Church, to which end His Ma-
jesty with his Parliament hath it under consideration, how
all just scruples may be removed, and being in the meantime
sensible that the present division, separation and disorder about
the worship and service of God, as it is established by the laws
and statutes of this kingdom in the Church of England, tendeth
to great distraction and confusion, and may endanger the sub-
version of the very essence and substance of true religion;
hath resolved for the preservation of unity and peace (which is
most necessary at this time for the Church of England), require
obedience to the laws and statutes ordained for the establishing
of the true religion in this kingdom, whereby the honour of God
may be advanced, to the great comfort and happiness both of
His Majesty and his good subjects.

His Majesty doth therefore charge and command, that Di-
vine Service be performed in this his kingdom of England

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1641] The King's Answer to the Petition 233

and dominion of Wales, as is appointed by the laws and
statutes established in this realm; and that obedience be
given by all his subjects, ecclesiastical and temporal, to the
said laws and statutes concerning the same. And that all
Judges, officers and ministers, ecclesiastical and temporal, ac-
cording to justice and their respective duties, do put the said
Acts of Parliament in due execution against all wilful con-
temners and disturbers of Divine Service contrary to the said
laws and statutes.

His Majesty doth further command that no parsons, vicars
or curates in their several parishes shall presume to introduce
any rite or ceremonies other than those which are established
by the laws and statutes of the land.

Dated the tenth day of December, in the

seventeenth year of His Majesty's reign.


45. The Kino's Answkb to the Petition accompanying the
Qband Hemonstbance.

[December 23, 1641. Bushwoi'ih, iv. 452. See Hist, of Bngl, x. 108.]

We having received from you, soon after our return out of
Scotland, a long petition consisting of many desires of great
moment, together with a declaration of a very unusual nature
annexed thereunto, we had taken some time to consider of it,
as befitted us in a matter of that consequence, being confident
that your own reason and regard to us, as well as our express
intimation by our comptroller*, to that purpose, would have
restrained you from the publishing of it till such time as you
should have received our answer to it; but, much against our
expectation, finding the contrary, that the said declaration is
already abroad in print, by directions from your House as
appears by the printed copy, we must let you know that we
are very sensible of the disrespect. Notwithstanding, it is our
intention that no failing on your part shall niake us fail in
ours of giving all due satisfaction to the desires of our people
in a parliamentary way ; and therefore we send you this answer
to your petition, reserving ourself in point of the declaration
^ Sir Thomas Jermyn. See Journala of the House of Commons, ii. 330.

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234 Consttiutional Documents [1641

which we think UDparliamentary, and shall take a course to
do that which we shall think fit in prudence and honour.

To the petition, we say that although there are divers things
in the preamble of it which we are so far from admitting that
we profess we cannot at all understand them, as of ' a wicked
and malignant party prevalent in the government ' ; of < some
of that party admitted to our Privy Council and to other em-
ployments of trust, and nearest to us and our children ' ; of
'endeavours to sow among the people false scandals and im-
putations, to blemish and disgrace the proceedings of the Parlia-
ment ' ; all, or any of them, did we know of, we should be as
ready to remedy and punish as you to complain of, so that
the prayers of your petition are grounded upon such premises
as we must in no wise admit ; yet, notwithstanding, we are
pleased to give this answer to you.

To the first, concerning religion, consisting of several
branches, we say that, for preserving the peace and safety of
this kingdom from the design of the Popish party, we have,
and will still, concur with all the just desires of our people in
a parliamentary way: that, for the depriving of the Bishops
of their votes in Parliament, we would have you consider that
their right is grounded upon the fundamental law of the
kingdom and constitution of Parliament. This we would have
you consider; but since you desire our concurrence herein in
a parliamentary way, we will give no further answer at this

As for the abridging of the inordinate power of the clergy,
we conceive that the taking away of the High Commission
Court hath well moderated that; but if there continue any
usurpations or excesses in their jurisdictions, we therein nei*
ther have nor will protect them.

Unto that clause which concemeth corruptions (as you style
them) in religion, in Church government, and in discipline,
and the removing of such unnecessary ceremonies as weak con-
sciences might check at : that for any illegal innovations which
may have crept in, we shall willingly concur in the removal of
them : that, if our Parliament shall advise us to call a national
synod, which may duly examine such ceremonies as give just
cause of offence to any, we shall take it into consideration, and

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1641] The King's Answer to the Petition 235

apply ourself to give due satisfaction therein ; but we are very
sorry to hear, in such general terms, corruption in religion
objected, since we are persuaded in our consciences that no
Church can be found upon the earth that professeth the true
religion with more purity 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 constancy maintain (while we live) in their purity
and glory, not only against all invasions of Popery, but also
from the irreverence of those many schismatics and separatists,
wherewith of late this kingdom and this city abounds, to the
great dishonour and hazard both of Church and State, for the
suppression of whom we require your timely aid and active

Online LibrarySamuel Rawson GardinerThe constitutional documents of the Puritan revolution 1625-1660 → online text (page 27 of 51)