Anno 31 Caroli Secundi.
DIE Jovis, sexto die Martii, 167 8/9, Anno Regni Serenissimi Domini Nostri Caroli Secundi, Dei Gratia, Angliæ, Scociæ, Franciæ, et Hiberniæ, Regis, Fidei Defensoris, &c. Tricesimo primo; quo die inchoat. hoc
Domini tam Spirituales quam Temporales præsentes
Epus. Bath & Wells.
Epus. Ly' colne.
Heneage Ds. Finch of Daventrie, L. Chancellor.
Thomas Earl of Danby, L. Treasurer.
Dux of Monmouth.
Marq. of Winchester.
Marq. of Worcester.
Henry Earl of Arlington, L. Chamberlain of the Household.
Comes St. Albans.
Ds. De Grey.
Ds. North & Grey de Rolleston.
Ds. Grey de Wark.
Ds. Howard Esc.
Ds. Herbert de Cherbury.
Ds. Gerard Brandon.
Ds. Arundell Trerise.
Ds. Butler de Moore Park.
His Majesty, being arrayed in His Regal Robes, ascended His Royal Throne, commanded the House of
Commons to be called.
Which being done;
His Majesty made a Speech to the Lords Spiritual and
Temporal (being all in their Robes), and to the House
of Commons as followeth:
"My Lords and Gentlemen,
"I meet you here with the most earnest Desire that
Man can have to unite the Minds of all My Subjects,
both to Me, and to one another. And I resolve it
shall be your Faults, if the Success be not suitable
to my Desires. I have done many great Things already
in order to that End; as, the Exclusion of the Popish
Lords from their Seats in Parliament; the Execution
of several Men, both upon the Score of the Plot,
and of the Murder of Sir Edmond-berry Godfrey:
And it is apparent that I have not been idle in prosecuting the Discovery of both, as much further as
hath been possible in so short a Time.
"I have disbanded as much of the Army as I could
get Money to do; and I am ready to disband the rest,
so soon as you shall reimburse what they have cost
Me, and will enable Me to pay off the Remainder:
And, above all, I have commanded My Brother to
absent himself from Me, because I would not leave
the most Malicious Men Room to say, I had not removed all Causes which could be pretended to influence Me towards Popish Counsels.
"Besides that End of Union which I aim at (and
which I wish could be extended to Protestants abroad,
as well as at Home), I propose, by this last great Step
I have made, to discern whether Protestant Religion
and the Peace of the Kingdom be as truly aimed at
by others, as they are really intended by Me; for, if
they be, you will employ your Time upon the great
Concerns of the Nation, and not be drawn to promote
private Animosities, under Pretences of the Public;
your Proceedings will be calm and peaceable, in
order to those good Ends I have recommended to
you; and you will curb the Motions of any unruly
Spirits, which would endeavour to disturb them. I
hope there will be none such amongst you; because
there can be no Man, that must not see how fatal
Differences amongst ourselves are like to be at this
Time, both at Home and Abroad.
"I shall not cease My Endeavours daily to find out
what more I can, both of the Plot and Murder of
Sir Edmond-berry Godfrey; and shall desire the Assistance of both My Houses in that Work.
"I have not been wanting to give Orders for putting
all the present Laws in Execution against Papists; and
I am ready to join in the making such further Laws as
may be necessary for securing of the Kingdom against
"I must desire your Assistance also in Supplies, both
for disbanding the Army (as I have already told you)
and for paying that Part of the Fleet which hath been
provided for by Parliament but till the Fifth of June
last; as also that Debt for Stores which was occasioned
by the Poll Bill's falling short of the Sum which that
Act gave Credit for.
"I must necessarily recommend to you likewise the
discharging of those Anticipations which are upon
My Revenue, and which I have commanded to be
laid before you; and I have just Cause to desire such
an Increase of the Revenue itself, as might make it
equal to My necessary Expenses: But, by reason of
those other Supplies which are absolutely necessary
at this Time, I am contented to struggle with that
Difficulty a while longer; expecting for the present,
only to have the additional Duties upon Customs and
Excise to be prolonged to Me; and that you will
some Way make up the Loss I sustain by the Prohibition of French Wines and Brandy, which turns
only to My Prejudice, and to the great Advantage of
"I must needs put you in Mind, how necessary it will
be to have a good Strength at Sea this Summer, since
our Neighbours are making Naval Preparations; and,
notwithstanding the great Difficulties I labour under,
I have taken such Care as will prevent any Danger
which can threaten us, if your Parts be performed in
Time. And I do heartily recommend to you, that such
a constant Establishment might be made for the Navy
as might make this Kingdom not only safe, but formidable; which can never be whilst there remains
not enough besides to pay the necessary Charges of
"I will conclude, as I begun, with My earnest Desires to have this an healing Parliament; and I do
give you this Assurance, that I will with My Life
defend, both the Protestant Religion and the Laws
of this Kingdom; and I do expect from you, to be
defended from the Calumny, as well as Danger, of
those worst of Men, who endeavour to render Me
and My Government odious to My People.
"The rest I leave to the Lord Chancellor."
Then the Lord Chancellor spake as followeth:
L. Chancellor's Speech.
"My Lords; and you the Knights, Citizens, and
Burgesses, of the House of Commons;
"You are here assembled, by virtue of His Majesty's
most Gracious Writs of Summons, to hold a Parliament; the great, the wife, and the powerful Council
of this Kingdom. From the Wisdom of this Council,
the King is sure, He shall receive the best Advice;
from the Duty and Loyalty of this Assembly, He can
never want a chearful Assistance: And the King resolves to meet you all with so much Grace and Goodness, that He hopes this Parliament shall End in no
Disappointment of any, but our Enemies.
"It may seem strange perhaps to some, that His
Majesty, who had so long and large an Experience of
the Duty of the last Parliament, should now, and in
this present Conjuncture, think fit to call a new one.
But the King hath so equal a Confidence in the Affections of all His good Subjects, that He intends to be
acquainted with them all, and to have many and frequent Consultations with them; and hopes by this
Means to attain, first, a true and right Understanding of
the Desires of His People; and, next to that, to be
rightly understood by them.
"The Considerations which are now to be laid before you, are as urgent and as weighty as ever were yet
offered to any Parliament, or indeed ever can be:
So great and so surprising have been our Dangers at
Home, so formidable are the Appearances of Danger
from Abroad, that the most united Councils, the most
sedate and the calmest Temper, together with the most
dutiful and zealous Affections that a Parliament can
shew, are all become absolutely and indispensably
necessary for our Preservation.
"At Home we had need look about us; for His
Majesty's Royal Person hath been in Danger, by a
Conspiracy against His Sacred Life, maliciously contrived, and industriously carried on, by those Seminary
Priests and Jesuits, and their Adherents, who think
themselves under some Obligation of Conscience to
effect it; and, having vowed the Subversion of the
true Religion amongst us, find no Way so likely
to compass it, as to wound us in the Head, and to
kill the Defender of the Faith.
"His Majesty wanted not sufficient Evidence of His
Zeal for our Religion, without this Testimony from
His Enemies, who were about to sacrifice Him for it:
But it hath ever been the Practice of those Votaries,
first, to murder the Fame of Princes, and then their
Persons; first, to slander them to their People, as
if they favoured Papists, and then to assassinate them
for being too zealous Protestants. And thus, by all
the Ways and Means which our Law calls Treason,
and their Divinity calls Merit and Martyrdom, they
are trying to set up the Dominion and the Supremacy
of the Pope, as if the Dignity of His Triple Crown
could never be sufficiently advanced, unless these
Three Kingdoms were added unto Him, and all brought
back again under that Yoke, which neither we nor
our Fore-fathers were able to bear.
"The Inquiry into this Conspiracy hath been closely
pursued, and the Lords of the Council have been
careful to prosecute the Discovery, ever since the
Rising of the last Parliament; and the King doth now
recommend it to you to perfect: More Evidence hath
been already found out, and more Malefactors discovered, some in Hold, some fled: Justices of Peace
have been quickened in the Execution of their Duty,
the Negligent have been reproved and punished, the
Diligent encouraged, and assisted in doubtful Cases
by the Opinions of the Judges; active and faithful
Messengers have been sent into all the Corners of
the Kingdom where there was any Hope of Service
to be done. The very Prisons have been searched,
to see whether any had fled thither to hide themselves there, and under Pretence of Debt to escape
the Pursuit: And if any have desired Leave to go
beyond Sea, they have first given Security not to go
to Rome, nor send their Children to be bred in any
Foreign Seminaries, and then they have been obliged to
give in a List of all their menial Servants, and those Servants too have been examined upon Oath; and Order
is given that they be again examined at the Ports, and
make Oath they are the same Persons were examined
above: So that all possible Care hath been taken that
no Malefactors might escape us in Disguise.
"And though the Priests themselves do not keep
the Confessions of their Proselytes more secret than
these keep the Injunctions of their Priests, yet enough
hath appeared to bring some capital Offenders to
public Justice, and to convict them of the Crime:
Some of the Traitors have been executed; several
Priests have been arrested and imprisoned; all are
hiding themselves, and lurking in secret Corners like
the Sons of Darkness. The Murderers of Sir Edmond-berry Godfrey have been condemned, and suffered Death; some Papists have banished themselves
out of the Kingdom; others are imprisoned for not
taking the Oaths; all are prosecuted towards Conviction; and the very Shame and Reproach which
attends such abominable Practices hath covered so
many Faces with new and strange Confusions, that it
hath proved a powerful Argument for their Conversion; nor is it to be wondered at that they could
no longer believe all that to be Gospel which their
Priests taught them, when they saw the Way and
Means of introducing it was so far from being Evangelical.
"In a Word, so universal is that Despair to which
the Papists are now reduced, that they have no other
Hopes left but this, that we may chance to overdo
our own Business; and, by being too far transported
with the Fears of Popery, neglect the Opportunities
we now have of making sober and lasting Provisions
"And 'tis not to be doubted, but that it would infinitely gratify the Papists in the Revenge they wish
for this Discovery, if they could see us distracted with
Jealousies incurable, and distrusting the Government
to such a Degree as should weaken all that Reverence
by which it stands: For then the Plot would not be
altogether without Effect; but those whom they could
not destroy by their Conspiracy, they should have
the Satisfaction to see ruining themselves after the
Discovery; so that, though we had escaped that Desolation which they intended to have brought upon
us, nothing could save us from that Destruction which
we should bring upon ourselves.
"But their Expectations of this are as vain, as their
other Designs were wicked; for His Majesty hath
already begun to let them see with what Severity He
intends to proceed against them. He hath passed a
Law to disable all the Nobility and Gentry of that
Faction ever to sit in Parliament; and, not content
with that, He did offer to the last Parliament, and
does again renew the same Offer to this Parliament, to
pass any further Laws against Popery which shall be
desired, so as the same extend not to the Diminution
of His own Prerogative, not to alter the Descent of
the Crown in the right Line, not to defeat the Succession. He hath refused the Petition of the Lords,
who, during the Interval of Parliament, desired to
be brought to their Trial; and, after so long an Imprisonment, might reasonably enough have expected it:
But His Majesty thought it fitter to reserve them to
a more public and conspicuous Trial in Parliament;
for which Cause, their Trial ought now to be hastened, for it is high Time there should be some Period
put to the Imprisonment of the Lords.
"But that which the King hath been pleased to
mention to you this Morning surpasses all the rest, and
is sufficient of itself alone to discharge all those Fears
of Popish Influences which many good Men had too
far entertained: For now, you see, His Majesty of
His own Accord hath done that which would have
been very difficult for you to ask, and hath deprived
Himself of the Conversation of His Royal and only
Brother, by commanding Him to depart the Kingdom;
to which Command His Royal Highness hath paid a
most humble and most entire Submission and Obedience. This Separation was attended with a more
than ordinary Sorrow on both Sides. But He that
for your Sakes could part with such a Brother and
such a Friend, you may be sure, hath now no Favourite but His People. Since, therefore, His Majesty hath shewn so much Readiness to concur with,
and in a Manner to prevent, the Desires of His Parliament, it is a miserable Refuge our Enemies trust
to, when they hope to see our Zeal outrun our Discretion, and that we ourselves should become the
unhappy Occasion of making our own Councils abortive.
"Not only the Care of the State, but the Care we
ought to have of the Church too, will preserve us
from all Errors of this Kind: For, as there neither
is; nor hath been these Fifteen Hundred Years, a
purer Church than ours, so 'tis for the Sake of
this (fn. *) poor Church alone that the State hath been so
much disturbed: It is her Truth and Peace, her Decency and Order, which they labour to undermine,
and pursue with so restless a Malice; and, since they
do so, it will be necessary for us to distinguish between
Popish and other Recusants, between them that would
destroy the whole Flock, and them that only wander
from it: And amongst the many good Laws you shall
think fit to provide, it may not be amiss to think of
some better Remedy for regulating the Press, from
whence there daily steal forth Popish Catechisms;
Psalters, and Books of Controversy. And it may
be another good Fruit of such a Law, to hinder
schismatical and seditious Libels too; for certainly
it were much better for us to make such Laws as will
prevent Offences, rather than such as serve only to
punish the Offenders.
"From the Dangers which we know at Home, and
have already in a great Measure overcome, be pleased
to carry your Considerations Abroad, and weigh the
Dangers which may come from thence. We all see
and know the Posture of our Neighbours; and that,
the general Peace of Europe being once made, there
must needs be great Fleets and Armies unemployed,
and ready for an Occasion. And 'tis as visible that
some of our Neighbours are so wasted by the War,
that they are unable to give us any Help, if we should
stand in Need of it. And when we consider withal
the afflicted Condition of the Protestants Abroad, we
may be sure that every Calamity they suffer is in
some Measure a Weakening of the Protestant Interest,
and looks as if it were intended to make Way for a
"These Dangers would not be so considerable as they
are, if the present Wants of the Crown were not too
well known. The King doth not intend to press you
at this Time with the full Consideration of them all
for, as the King cannot hope in any One Session to
do all that may be good for His People, so neither
doth He expect from them all that may be necessary
for Himself; but hopes the good Understanding between Him and His People shall be for ever maintained,
by a perpetual Reciprocation of Grace and Favour
on His Part, and Duty and Affection on yours.
"That which doth most press the King at present
is, the Want of that Treasure which He hath exhausted by going as far as He could in the Disbanding of His Army; which is very much, but not
fully done. The Charge of a great Fleet at Sea,
now ready to be paid off after a long Service, and
the Necessity of setting out another this Summer;
the Defects of the Poll Bill, which fell short of that
Sum which was allowed to be borrowed upon it, and
by that Means hath deceived those who did furnish
Stores upon the Credit of that Act, unless you relieve
them; together with the Continuation of some additional Duties of Custom and Excise; and it were much
to be wished, that, since the Revenue at the best was
always short of the necessary Charge of the Government, a Way may be found to take off those Debts
and Anticipations, and to supply that Diminution of
the Customs which makes it much narrower than it
"My Lords and Gentlemen,
"There are so many Things to do, and so little Time
to do them in, that there ought not to be One Minute lost. The Season of the Year is not yet so far
advanced, as to make it too late to set out a Fleet this
Summer; for most of the Preparations are ready, if
we go about it with that Diligence which is requisite:
And therefore it doth infinitely import us all to husband Time.
"The best Way of doing this will be, to avoid all
long and tedious Consultations, which sometimes do
as much Harm as ill Resolutions; and, above all, to
take Heed of such Questions and Debates as tend to
raise Heat, or may create any Kind of Disturbance;
nor does any Thing in the World so much contribute
to Dispatch, as a quiet and orderly Proceeding; for
they who are in Haste and attempt to do all their
Business at once most commonly hinder themselves from
bringing any Thing to Perfection.
"You have now an Opportunity of doing great
Things for the King and Kingdom, and it deserves
your utmost Care to make a right Use of it; for
/?/tis not in the Power of a Parliament to recover a
lost Opportunity, or to restore themselves again to
the same Circumstances, or the same Condition, which
they had once a Power to have improved.
"Would you secure Religion at Home, and strengthen
it from Abroad, by uniting the Interests of all the
Protestants in Europe? This is the Time.
"Would you let the Christian World see the King
in a Condition able to protect those who shall adhere
to Him, or depend upon Him? This is the Time.
"Would you extinguish all our Fears and Jealousies?
Would you lay aside all private Animosities, and give
them up to the Quiet and Repose of the Public?
This is the Time.
"Would you lay the Foundations of a lasting Peace,
and secure the Church and State against all the Future Machinations of our Enemies? This is the Time.
"My Lords and Gentlemen,
"The present Face of Things, and the State wherein
we now are, is so well known and understood Abroad,
that the whole World is in great Expectation of those
Resolutions which shall be taken here. The Results
of this Council seem to be decisive of the Fate of
these Kingdoms for many Ages; and are like to determine us either to Happiness or Misery of a very
"We use to say, and say truly, That the King, when
seated in Parliament, is then in the Fulness of His
Majesty and Power, and shines forth with the brightest
Lustre: Let no Exhalations from beneath darken or
"Foreign Nations say, and say truly, That a King
of England, in Conjunction with His Parliament, is
as great and dreadful a Prince as any in Europe. Shew
them the Sight they are afraid of: And, since they
have laid it down for a Maxim in their Politics, That
England can never be destroyed but by itself, and
that 'tis in vain to make any Attempt upon this Nation, until they be in some great Disorder and Confusion among themselves; make the Ambitious despair
betimes; and establish so perfect an Intelligence between all the Parts of this great Body, that there may
be but One Heart and One Soul among us.
"And let us all pray, That He who hath once more
miraculously delivered the King, the Church, and the
State, would be pleased still to continue His Divine
Protection, and give us thankful and obedient Hearts.
And when we have offered up those Hearts to God,
let us in the next Place offer them again to the King,
and lay them down at the Footstool of His Throne;
that so the King may see Himself safe in your Councils, rich in your Affections, victorious by your Arms,
and raised to such a Height by your Loyalty and
Courage, that you may have the Honour of making
Him the greatest King, and He the Glory of making
you the happiest People.
Commons directed to choose a Speaker.
"I have but One Thing more in Command; and that
is to the Gentlemen of the House of Commons: That
they proceed immediately to the Choice of a Speaker;
whom His Majesty will expect to be presented to Him
here at Three of the Clock To-morrow in the Afternoon."
Then His Majesty withdrew Himself; and the Commons went to their House.
Lords take the Oaths.
These Lords following took the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy, and made and subscribed
the Declaration, in Pursuance of the Act for the
more effectual preserving the King's Person and
Government, by disabling Papists from Sitting
in either House of Parliament:
The Lord Chancellor singly in the First Place.
Thomas Lord Butler of Moore Parke.
Richard Lord Arundell of Trerise.
John Lord Freschevile.
George Lord Delamer.
Charles Lord Cornwallis.
Denzell Lord Holles.
Charles Lord Wotton.
Charles Lord Gerard de Brandon.
Thomas Lord Colepeper.
Richard Lord Vaughan.
Richard Lord Byron.
Henry Lord Herbert de Cherbury.
William Lord Howard de Esc.
George Lord Coventrie.
William Lord Maynard.
Ford Lord Grey de Warke.
James Lord Chandos.
Charles Lord North & Grey de Rolleston.
Philip Lord Wharton.
Ralph Lord Eure.
Charles Lord De Grey.
Thomas Lord Morley & Monteagle.
George Lord Berkley.
Thomas Lord Bishop of Exon.
John Lord Bishop of Oxon.
Thomas Lord Bishop of Lyncolne.
William Lord Bishop of Landaffe.
Peter Lord Bishop of Bath & Wells.
John Lord Bishop of Gloucester.
Peter Lord Bishop of Ely.
John Lord Bishop of Rochester.
Joseph Lord Bishop of Peterborough.
Seth Lord Bishop of Sarum.
George Lord Bishop of Winchester.
Nathaniell Lord Bishop of Durham.
Henry Lord Bishop of London.
Francis Viscount Newport.
George Viscount Halyfax.
John Earl of Guilford.
Robert Earl of Aylesbury.
William Earl of Craven.
John Earl of Bath.
Arthur Earl of Essex.
Henry Earl of Clarendon.
Henry Earl of St. Albans.
John Earl of Rochester.
Nicholas Earl of Scarsdale.
Robert Earl of Sunderland.
William Earl of Strafford.
Thomas Earl of Stamford.
Henry Earl of Peterborough.
Thomas Earl Rivers.
William Earl of Denbigh.
James Earl of North'ton.
John Earl of Bridgwater.
John Earl of Exeter.
James Earl of Salisbury.
James Earl of Suffolk.
William Earl of Bedford.
Theophilus Earl of Huntingdon.
Anthony Earl of Kent.
Aubrey Earl of Oxford.
Henry Earl of Arlington, Lord Chamberlain of His
Henry Marquis of Worcester.
Charles Marquis of Winchester.
James Duke of Monmouth.
Christopher Duke of Albemarle.
Thomas Earl of Danby, Lord High Treasurer.
William Archbishop of Ganterbury.
Rupert Duke of Cumberland.
Address of Thanks for King's Speech.
ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in
Parliament assembled, That the Lords with the White
Staves do attend His Majesty, to give Him the humble
Thanks of this House, for His most Gracious Speech
made in this House this Day; and also to desire that
His Majesty will be pleased to give Order that His said
Speech, as also the Lord Chancellor's Speech made by
His Majesty's Direction pursuant thereunto, may be
printed and published.
Dominus Cancellarius declaravit præsens Parliamentum continuandum esse usque in diem Veneris, septimum
diem instantis Martii, hora tertia post meridiem, Dominis