Mercurii, 5 die Februarii, 1672.
Message to attend the King.
MR. Speaker Elect, and the House, being met;
A Message was sent from his Majesty to the
House, by Sir Edward Carteret Usher of the Black Rod:
Gentlemen of the House of Commons,
The King commands this honourable House to attend
him forthwith in the House of Lords.
Mr. Speaker approved of.
And accordingly Mr. Speaker Elect, with the Members, went up to attend his Majesty.
And Mr. Speaker being presented to, and approved by,
his Majesty; returned, with the Mace carried before him:
Which being placed on the Table; and Mr. Speaker
settled in the Chair.
His Majesty having been pleased to deliver his Speech,
in Writing, to Mr. Speaker; which he having read to
the House; and the Speech also of the Lord Chancellor
being delivered in Writing, and read by the Clerk: And
his Majesty having, after his Speech, further declared,
that he had given Order to the Lord Chancellor to send
out Writs, for the better Supply of the House, having
seen Precedents for it; but, if any Scruple or Question
did arise about it, he left it to the House to debate, as
soon as they would-
Most Gracious Sovereign,
THE Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses of the House of
Commons, in Obedience to Your Royal Command,
have proceeded to the Choice of a Speaker. They have
among them many worthy Persons, eminently qualified for
so great a Trust; yet, with too favourable an Eye, have
castit upon me; who am really conscious to myself of many
Infirmities, rendering me much unfit for so great an Employment: And although my Endeavours of excusing myself before them have not been successful, yet they have
been so indulgent as to permit me to continue my Endeavours therein before Your Majesty's most piercing and
The Veneration due to Majesty, which lodgeth in every
loyal Breast, makes it not an easy matter to speak before
Your Majesty at any Time, or in any Capacity: But to
speak before Your Majesty in Your Exaltation, thus gloriously supported and attended, and That as Speaker of
Your House of Commons, requires greater Abilities than
I can pretend to own. I am not also without Fear, that
the publick Affairs, wherein Your Majesty, and Your
Kingdom, in this Juncture of Time, are so highly concerned, may receive Detriment through my Weakness.
I therefore, with a plain, humble Heart, prostrate at
Your Royal Feet, beseech, that You will command them
to review what they have done; and to proceed to another Election.
Mr. Serjeant Charleton,
THE King hath very attentively heard your discreet
and handsome Discourse, whereby you endeavour to
excuse and disable yourself for the Place of Speaker. In
Answer whereof, His Majesty hath commanded me to
say to you, That He doth, in no sort, admit of the same;
for His Majesty hath had long Experience of your Abilities and good Affection, Integrity and Resolution, in several Employments of great Trust and Weight: He knows
you have been long a Parliament Man; and therefore
every way fitted and qualified for the Employment: Besides, he cannot disapprove the Election of this House of
Commons, especially where they have expressed so much
Duty in chusing one worthy and acceptable to him: And
therefore the King doth allow of the Election, and admits you for Speaker.
SINCE it is Your gracious Pleasure not to accept of
my humble Excuse, but by Your Royal Approbation to fix
me under this great, though honourable Weight, and to
think me fit to be invested with a Trust of so high a Nature as This is:
I take it, in the first Place, to be incumbent upon
me, that I render your Majesty all possible Thanks,
which I now humbly do, with a Heart full of all Duty,
and affected with a deeper Sense of Gratitude, than I
can find Words to express.
Next, from your royal Determination in this Affair,
whereby you have imprinted a new Character, upon me,
I take Courage against my own Diffidence, and chearfully bend myself with such Strength and Abilities, as God
shall give to the Service so graciously designed me; no
way doubting, that Your Majesty will please to pardon
my Frailties, to accept of my faithful Endeavours, and
always to look favourably on the Work of Your own
And now, Sir, my first Entrance upon this Service
obliges me to make a few necessary but humble Petitions
on the Behalf of your most loyal and dutiful House of
1st, That, for our better Attendance on the publick
Service, We and our Servants may be free in our Persons
and Estates, from Arrests and other Disturbances.
2dly, That, in our Debates, Liberty and Freedom of
Speech be allowed us.
3dly, That, as Occasion shall require, Your Majesty,
upon our humble Suit, and at such Times as your Majesty shall judge seasonable, will vouchsafe us Access to
your Royal Person.
4thly, That all our Proceedings may receive a favourable Construction. That God who hath brought You
back to the Throne of Your Fathers, and with you all
our Comforts, grant you a long and a prosperous Reign;
and send you Victory over all Your Enemies: And
every good Man's Heart will say, Amen.
THE King's Majesty hath heard and well weighed
your short and eloquent Oration: And in the first
place, much approves, that you have with so much Advantage introduced a shorter Way of speaking upon this
Occasion. His Majesty doth well accept of all those dutiful and affectionate Expressions in which you have
delivered your Submission to his Royal Pleasure; and
looks upon it as a good Omen to his Affairs, and as an
Evidence, that the House of Commons have still the
same Heart that have chosen such a Mouth, the Conjuncture of Time, and the King and Kingdom's Affairs require: Such a House of Commons; Such a Speaker! For
with Reverence to the Holy Scripture, upon this Occasion,
the King may say, He that is not with Me, is against Me:
For he that doth not now put his Hand and Heart to
support the King in the common Cause of this Kingdom,
can hardly ever hope for such another Opportunity, or find
a Time to make Satisfaction for the Omission of this.
Next, I am commanded by his Majesty, to answer your
Four Petitions: Whereof the First, being the Freedom of
you and your Servants, in your Persons and Estates, without Arrest or other Disturbance, the King is graciously
pleased to grant it as full as to any of your Predecessors:
The Second, for Liberty and Freedom of Speech; The
Third, for Access to his Royal Person; and the Fourth,
that your Proceedings may receive a favourable Construction; are all freely and fully granted by his Majesty.
My Lords and Gentlemen,
The King's Speech.
I AM glad to see you here this Day: I would have called
you together sooner, but that I am willing to ease you
and the Country, till there were an absolute Necessity.
Since you were last here, I have been forced to a most
important, necessary, and expensive War; and I make
no Doubt but you will give Me suitable and effectual Assistance to go thorough with it. I refer you to my Declaration for the Causes, and indeed the Necessity, of
this War; and shall now only tell you, That I might
have digested the Indignities to my own Person, rather
than have brought it to this Extremity, if the Interest as
well as the Honour of the whole Kingdom had not been
at Stake: And if I had omitted this Conjuncture, perhaps I had not again ever met with the like Advantage.
You will find, that the last Supply you gave me; did
not answer Expectation for the Ends you gave it; the
Payment of our Debts: Therefore, I must, in the next
Place, recommend them again to your special Care.
Some few Days before I declared the War, I put forth
my Declaration for Indulgence to Dissenters: And have
hitherto found a good Effect of it, by securing Peace at
Home, when I had War abroad. There is one Part of
it, that hath been subject to Misconstruction; which is
That concerning the Papists, as if more Liberty were
granted them than to the other Recusants, when it is
plain there is less: For the others have publick Places
allowed them; and I never intended that They should have
any, but only have the Freedom of their Religion in
their own Houses, without any Concern of others: And
I could not grant them less than this, when I had extended so much more Grace to others, most of them
having been loyal, and in the Service of Me, and of
the King my Father: And in the whole Course of this Indulgence, I do not intend, that it shall any way prejudice
the Church; but I will support its Rights and It, in its full
Power. Having said this, I shall take it very, very ill,
to receive Contradiction in what I have done: And I will
deal plainly with you, I am resolved to stick to my Declaration.
There is one Jealousy more, that is maliciously spread
abroad, and yet so weak and frivolous, that I once thought
it not of Moment enough to mention; but it may have
gotten some Ground with some well-minded People; and
that is, That the Forces I have raised in this War, were
designed to controul Law and Property. I wish I had
had more Forces the last Summer; the Want of them
then, convinces me I must raise more against this next
Spring; and I do not doubt, but you will consider the
Charge of them in your Supplies. I will conclude, with
this Assurance to you, that I will preserve the true Reformed Protestant Religion and the Church, as it is now
established in this Kingdom; and that no Man's Property or Liberty shall ever be invaded.
I leave the rest to the Chancellor.
My Lords, and you the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses of the House of Commons;
The Chancellor's Speech.
THE King hath spoken so fully, so excellently well,
and so like Himself, that you are not to expect much
from me. There is not a Word in His Speech, that
hath not its full Weight; and I dare with Assurance say,
will have its Effect with you. His Majesty had called
you sooner; and his Affairs required it; but that He was
resolved to give you all the Ease and Vacancy to your own
private Concerns, and the People as much Respite from
Payments and Taxes, as the Necessity of his Business, or
their Preservation, would permit: And yet, which I
cannot but here mention to you, by the Insinuations of
some ill-affected Persons, there have been spread strange
and desperate Rumours, which your Meeting together
this Day, hath sufficiently proved both malicious and false.
His Majesty hath told you, that he is now engaged
in an important, very excessive, and indeed a War absolutely necessary and unavoidable: He hath referred you
to his Declaration, where you will find the personal Indignities, by Pictures and Medals, and other publick
Affronts, His Majesty hath received from the States:
Their Breach of Treaties, both in the Serinham and East
India Business: And at last they came to that Height of
Insolence, as to deny the Honour and Right of the Flag,
though an undoubted Jewel of this Crown, never to be
parted with; and by them particularly owned in the late
Treaty of Breda, and never contested in any Age: And
whilst the King first long expected, and then solemnly
demanded, Satisfaction, they disputed his Title to it, in
all the Courts of Christendome; and made great Offers to
the French King, if he would stand by them against us.
But the Most Christian King too well remembered what
they did at Munster, contrary to so many Treaties and
solemn Engagements; and how dangerous a Neighbour
they were to all Crowned Heads.
The King and his Ministers had here a hard Time,
and lay every Day under new Obloquies: Some time they
were represented as selling all to France for Money, to
make this War: Portsmouth, Plymouth, and Hull, were to
be given into the French Hands, for Caution: The next
Day News came, that France and Holland were agreed.
Then the Obloquy was turned from Treachery to Folly:
The Ministers were now Fools, that some Days before
were Villains: And indeed the Coffee-houses were not to
be blamed for their last Apprehensions; since, if that
Conjunction had taken Effect, then England had been in
a far worse Case than now it is; and the War had been
turned upon us. But both Kings knowing their Interests,
resolved to join against them who were the common Enemy
to all Monarchies, and I may say, especially to ours, their
only Competitor for Trade and Power at Sea; and who
only stand in their Way to an universal Empire, as great
as Rome. This the States understood so well, and had
swallowed so deep, that, under all their present Distress
and Danger, they are so intoxicated with that vast Ambition, that they slight a Treaty, and refuse a Cessation.
All this, you and the whole Nation saw before the
last War; but it could not then be so well timed, or our
Alliances so well made: But you judged aright, that at
any Rate, Delenda est Carthago, That Government is
to be brought down: And therefore the King may well
say to you, It is Your War: He took his Measures from
You; and they were just and right ones: And He expects a suitable Assistance to so necessary and expensive
an Action, which he has hitherto maintained at his own
Charges; and was unwilling either to trouble you, or
burden the Country, until it came to an evitable Necessity. And his Majesty commands me to tell you, that
unless it be a certain Sum, and speedily raised, it can
never answer the Occasion.
My Lords and Gentlemen,
Reputation is the greatest Support of War or Peace.
This War had never begun, nor had the States ever slighted
the King, or ever refused Him Satisfaction; neither had
this War continued to this Day, or subsisted now; but
that the States were deceived in their Measures, and
apprehended His Majesty in that great Want of Money,
that He must sit down under any Affronts, and was not
able to begin or carry on a War: Nay, at this Day, the
States support themselves amongst their People by this
only Falshood, that they are assured of the Temper of
England, and of the Parliament; and that you will not
supply the King in this War; and that, if they can hold
out until your Meeting, they will have new Life, and will
take new Measures. There are lately taken Two of their
principal Agents, with their Credentials and Instructions,
to this Purpose; who are now in the Tower, and shall
be proceeded against according to the Law of Nations.
But the King is sufficiently assured of His People;
knows You better, and can never doubt His Parliament.
This had not been mentioned, but to shew you of what
Importance the Frankness and Seasonableness of this
Supply is, as well as the Fulness of it.
Let me say, the King has brought the States to that
Condition, that your hearty Conjunction at this Time,
in supplying His Majesty, will make them never more
formidable to Kings, or dangerous to England: And if
after this you suffer them to get up, let this be remembered, The States of Holland are England's eternal
Enemy, both by Interest and Inclination.
Lord Chancellor's Speech.
In the next Place to the Supply for the carrying on
of the War; His Majesty recommends to you the taking
Care of His Debts. What you gave the last Session, did
not near answer your own Expectation: Besides, another
considerable Aid you designed His Majesty, was unfortunately lost in the Birth; so that the King was forced,
for the carrying on of his Affairs, much against his Will
to put a Stop to the Payments out of the Exchequer. He
saw the Pressures upon Himself growing, and Inconveniences to His People, by great Interest, and the Difference through all His Business, between ready Money and
Orders. This gave the King the Necessisy of that Proceeding to make use of His own Revenue; which hath
been of so great Effect in this War. But though He hath
put a Stop to the Trade and Gain of the Bankers, yet He
would be unwilling to ruin them, and oppress so many
Families as are concerned in those Debts. Besides, it
was too disproportionable a Burden upon many of His
good Subjects: But neither the Bankers nor They have
Reason to complain, if you now take them into your
Care, and they have paid them what was due to them
when the Stop was made, and Six Pounds per Cent.
Interest from that Time. The King is very much concerned, both in Honour and Interest, to see this done:
And yet He desires you not to mis-time it, but that it
may only have the Second Place; and that you will first
settle what you intend about the Supply.
His Majesty has so fully vindicated His Declaration,
from that Calumny concerning the Papists, that no reasonable Scruple can be made by any good Man. He has
sufficiently satisfied it by the Time it was published in, and
the Effects it hath had from it; and might have done it
more, from the Agreeableness of it to His own natural
Disposition, which no good Englishman can wish other
than it is. He loves not Blood, nor rigorous Severities;
but where mild or gentle Ways may be used by a wise
Prince, He is certain to chuse them. The Church of
England, and all good Protestants, have Reason to rejoice
in such a Head, and such a Defender. His Majesty doth
declare His Care and Concerns for the Church, and will
maintain them in all their Rights and Privileges, equal, if
not beyond, any of his Predecessors: He was born and
bred up in it: It was That His Father died for. We all
know, how great Temptations and Offers He resisted
abroad, when He was in his lowest Condition: And
thinks it the Honour of His Reign, that He hath been the
Restorer of the Church. Tis That He will ever maintain; and hopes to leave to Posterity, in greater Lustre,
and upon surer Grounds, than our Ancestors ever saw it.
But His Majesty is not convinced, that violent Ways
are the Interest of Religion, or the Church.
There is one Thing more that I am commanded to
speak to you of; which is, the Jealousy which hath been
foolishly spread abroad of the Forces the King hath raised
in this War; wherein the King hath opened himself freely
to you, and confessed the Fault, on the other hand: For
if this last Summer had not proved a Miracle of Storms and
Tempests; such as secured their East India Fleet, and
protected their Sea Coasts from a Descent, nothing but the
true Reason, Want of Money, could have justified the
Defect in the Number of our Forces. Tis That His Majesty
is providing for against the next Spring; having given out
Orders for the raising Seven or Eight Regiments more
of Foot, under the Command of Persons of the greatest
Fortunes and Quality: And I am earnestly to recommend
unto you, that in your Supply you will take into your
Consideration this necessary Addition of Charge.
And, after His Majesty's Conclusion of His Speech, let
me conclude; nay, let us All conclude, with blessing God
and the King: Let us bless God, that he hath given us
Such a King, to be the Repairer of our Breaches, both in
Church and State, and the Restorer of our Paths to dwell
in: That in the Midst of War and Misery, which rages in
our neighbour Countries, our Garners are full, and there
is no Complaining in our Streets; and a Man can hardly
know there is a War. Let us bless God, that hath given
This King signally the Hearts of His People; and most
particularly of This Parliament, who, in their Affection
and Loyalty to their Prince, have exceeded all their Predecessors: A Parliament, with whom the King hath many
Years lived, with all the Caresses of a happy Marriage.
Has the King had a Concern? You have wedded it: Has
His Majesty wanted Supplies ? You have readily, chearfully, and fully provided for them: You have relied upon
the Wisdom and Conduct of His Majesty, in all His Affairs.
So that you have never attempted to exceed Your Bounds,
or to impose upon Him: Whilst the King, on the other
hand, hath made Your Councils the Foundations of all His
Proceedings; and hath been so tender of you, that He
hath, upon his own Revenue and Credit, endeavoured to
support even foreign Wars, that He might be least uneasy to you, or burdensome to His People. And let me say,
that though this Marriage be according to Moses's Law,
where the Husband can give a Bill of Divorce, put her
away, and take another; yet I can assure you, it is as
impossible for the King to part with This Parliament, as
it is for you to depart with your Loyalty, Affection, and
dutiful Behaviour you have hitherto shewed towards Him.
Let us bless the King, for taking away all our Fears,
and leaving no Room for Jealousies; for those Assurances
and Promises He hath made us. Let us bless God and the
King, That our Religion is safe, That the Church of
England is the Care of our Prince, That Parliaments are
safe, That our Properties and Liberties are safe. What
more hath a good Englishman to ask, but that This King
may long reign; and that this Triple Alliance of King,
Parliament, and People, may never be dissolved?
Abuses in Elections.
A Bill for punishing Disorders committed in Elections
to Parliament, was read the First time.
Irregular Writs issued and Returns made in Recess.
Resolved, &c. That the Matter concerning the Electing and Returning of Persons to serve in Parliament,
since the last Session, be taken into Consideration, the
first Business To-morrow Morning, at Nine of the Clock:
And that the Persons so returned do forbear Sitting, till
this Matter be determined: And that no other Business
Thanks for Speech.
Ordered, That such Members of this House as are of his
Majesty's Privy Council, be desired to return the humble
and hearty Thanks of this House, to his Majesty for his
gracious Speech: And to acquaint his Majesty, That this
House will take the Matter of his Majesty's Speech into
further Consideration, on Friday Morning next.
And then the House adjourned till To-morrow
Morning, Nine of the Clock.