Jovis, 26o Junii
Message to attend the King.
Mr. Maxwell cometh, and, from the King, desireth Mr. Speaker, and the whole House, to come up unto him, being set in his royal Throne, in the Lords House of Parliament.
Mr. Speaker, with the whole House, went presently thereupon up; the Bill of Subsidy not being sent down to Mr. Speaker, by him to be carried up, according to the ancient Custom; to which much Exception was taken.
Mr. Speaker, and the Commons, being come up, first his Majesty, in his royal Throne, used this Speech, which hereafter followeth, and is, by his Majesty's special Command, here entered :
IT may seem strange, that I come so suddenly to end this Session. Therefore, before I give my Assent to the Bills, I will tell you the Cause; though I must avow, that I owe an Account to none but to God alone.
It is known to every one, that a while ago the House of Commons gave me a Remonstrance; how acceptable, every Man may judge; and, for the Merit of it, I will not call that in Question, for I am sure no wise Man can justify it.
Now since I am certainly informed, that a second Remonstrance is preparing for me, to take away my Profit of Tonage and Poundage (One of the Chief Maintenances of the Crown) by alleging, that I have given away my Right thereof, by my Answer to your Petition; this is so prejudicial unto me, that I am forced to end this Session some few Hours before I meant it, being not willing, to receive any more Remonstrances, to which I must give a harsh Answer.
And since I see, that even the House of Commons begins already to make false Constructions of what I granted in your Petition, lest it be worse interpreted in the Country, I will now make a Declaration concerning the true Intent thereof.
The Profession of both Houses, in the Time of hammering this Petition, was, no ways to trench on my
Prerogative; saying, they had neither Intention, nor Power, to hurt it; Therefore it must needs be conceived, that I have granted no new, but only confirmed the ancient. Liberties of my Subjects. Yet, to shew the Clearness of my Intentions, that I neither repent, nor mean to recede from any thing I have promised you, I do here declare, that those Things, which have been done, whereby Men had some Cause to suspect the Liberty of the Subjects to be trenched upon (which indeed was the first and true Ground of the Petition) shall not hereafter be drawn into Example for your Prejudice ; and, in time to come, in the Word of a King, you shall not have the like Cause to complain.
But as for Tonage and Poundage, it is a Thing I cannot want; and was never intended by you to ask; never meant, I am sure, by me to grant.
To conclude, I command you all, that are here, to take Notice of what I have spoken at this Time, to be the true Intent and Meaning of what I have granted you in your Petition; but especially you, my Lords the Judges; for to you only, under me, belongs the Interpretation of Laws : For none of the Houses of Parliament, joint or separate (what new Doctrine soever hath been raised) [have] any Power, either to make, or declare, a Law, [without] my Consent.