DIE Jovis, videlicet, 28 die Octobris.
The Lord Keeper of the Great Seal sat Speaker
The Lord Privy Seal reported the Effect of the Conference Yesterday with the House of Commons, touching the Bishops: videlicet,
Report of the Conference about depriving the impeached Bishops of their Votes.
"Mr. Pym delivered from the House of Commons,
That there is nothing of greater Importance to the
Safety and Good of the Kingdom, than that this High
Court of Parliament, which is the Fountain of Justice
and Government, should be kept pure and uncorrupted, pure from Corruption, free from Partiality
and By-respects. This will not only add Lustre and
Reputation, but Strength and Authority, to all our
Actions: Herein (he said) your Lordships are specially interested, as you are a Third Estate by Inheritance and Birth-right. So the Commons are publicly
interested, by Representation of the whole Body of
the Commons of the Kingdom, whose Lives, Fortunes, and Liberties, are deposited under the Custody
and Trust of the Parliament. He said, The Commons had commanded him and his Colleague Mr. Solicitor General to present to your Lordships Two Propositions, which they thought very necessary to be
observed and put in Execution at this Time.
"1. First, That the Thirteen Bishops which stand
accused before your Lordships, for making the late
pretended Canons and Constitutions, may be excluded
from their Votes in Parliament.
"2. The Second, That all the Bishops may be suspended from their Votes upon that Bill which is intituled, "To disable all Persons in Holy Orders to
exercise any Jurisdiction or Authority Temporal."
"The First of these is committed to his Charge,
and he said he was commanded to support it with
Reasons of the Commons for it.
"1. That the Thirteen Bishops have broken that
Trust to which every Member of Parliament is obliged;
which Trust is, to maintain, 1. The Prerogative of
the King. 2. The Privilege of Parliament. 3. The
Propriety of the Subject. 4. The Peace of the
"And this Trust they have broken, not by one
transient Act, but by setting up Canons in Nature of
Laws to bind the Kingdom for ever.
"That the Canons are of this Nature, appears by
the Votes of both Houses. And that they were all
Parties to the making thereof, appears by the Acts
of that Synod: The Book itself the Commons cannot
tender to your Lordships, because they sent for it,
but he that hath the Book in Custody was out of
Town, but a Member of their own House, upon
View of it, is ready to depose, that their Names
were entered amongst those that did subscribe to it.
"1. Wherefore the House of Commons desire your
Lordships, in the First Place, to consider whether they
that took to themselves a Legislative Power destructive to Parliaments, be fit to exercise that Power of
making Laws which only belongs to Parliament.
"2. Secondly, Whether it can be safe for the Commonwealth, that they should be trusted with making
Laws, who, as much as in them lay, have endeavoured
to deprive the Subject of these good Laws which are
"3. A Third Reason is this, That they stand accused
of Crimes very heinous; that is, Of Sedition. 2. Of
Subversion of the Laws of the Kingdom. This will
easily appear, in the Nature of the Canons themselves,
as also by the Votes to which your Lordships and the
Commons have already agreed.
"And here were read the Votes both of the Lords
and Commons, which are entered in both Houses.
For barring all the Bishops from having Votes on the Bill for disabling Persons in Holy Orders from exercising Temporal Jurisdiction.
"For the Second Proposition, he said, that should be
handled by one that will do it with more Advantage
of Reason and Learning than he could do; therefore
he would leave it to him."
"Mr. Solicitor General was the Man he left it to,
who informed their Lordships, that the excluding of
the Bishops from Votes in Parliament was not of so
general Consequence as that by it the whole Clergy
of England was excluded.
Reasons of the Commons for it.
"His First Reason offered was this, 1. That the Bishops
did not vote for the whole Clergy; for that, if it
should be so, then the Clergy of England should be
Twice represented and Twice voted for in Parliament.
"This appears by all the ancient Writs of Summons,
which till of late were to this Effect: A Writ of
Summons went to the Bishop, commanding him summonere all the Clergy of his Diocese to appear, by Proxies
of their own choosing. What to do? Ad consentiendum
iis quæ de communi Concilio Regni ordinari contigerint;
so that, if the Bishops do represent the Clergy, then
the Clergy are Twice represented, both by the
Proctors, and again by the Bishops.
"Now, although the former of those Writs be altered, yet the Reason holds, and still remains.
"2. Secondly, if they vote for their Clergy, then
they are to be elected by the Clergy, as the Members
of the Commons House now are. But your Lordships, voting only for yourselves, need no Election.
"3. Thirdly, if they voted for the Clergy as a Third
Estate, then would follow, that no Act of Parliament
could be good where they did dissent, but many Acts
of Parliament are passed where all the Clergy dissented; and the last (he said) that to his Memory is
the Statute of 1°Eliz. establishing the Book of Common Prayer, to which all the Bishops did disassent.
The Entry in the Roll is, dissentientibus Episcopis; and
yet the Statute holden for a good Law to this Day.
This was offered to shew that it might not be conceived that the denying the Bishops to have Votes in
this Bill now before your Lordships, was of that such
general Influence as to take from the whole Clergy
any Interest or Privileges that formerly belonged to
"2. In the Second Place, he said, he was to present the
Sense of the whole House of Commons to your Lordships, that the Prelates have not so absolute a Right
of Peerage for voting in Parliament as the Temporal
Lords have out of Parliament: This appears by that
of highest Consequence, that they are not triable by
their Peers for their Lives, but by an ordinary Jury.
In Parliament, they have no Vote in Judgement of
Blood, Life, or Member; but, if their Peerage were
so inherent in them as it is in the Temporal Peers, no
Ecclesiastical Canons could take it from them. Besides,
in Point of Right, it hath been Resolved by all the
Judges of England, 7 H. VIII. in Kellawaye's Reports,
That the King may hold His Parliament by the Lords
Temporal and Commons without calling of the
Bishops; and that, upon several Occasions specially
concerning the Pope or themselves, the Bishops
have been excluded, and their Votes not admitted
herein. He said, he was commanded to offer some
Precedents to your Lordships upon the sudden.
Precedents to support the Request of the Commons.
"In the Parliament Roll, 25 E. I. The Bishops refusing to join with the Lords and Commons in granting of Subsidies for the Good of the Kingdom, this
was holden at Bury, and, excluso Clero, many Acts
were then made, never since questioned. 35 E. I. the
Statute of Carlile, divers Petitions there exhibited
by the Commons concerning the Prelates and Lord,
Abbots, for oppressing the poor Clergy, several Acts
were then made for their Relief; but by whom? by
the King, Earls, Barons, and other Nobles, and the
Commons only; now, in respect the several Ranks
of the Nobility are named, and the Bishops not mentioned, it shews they did not consent, because that,
in all other Acts where they do consent, they are
particularly named. And if it be objected, that they
might be there and vote, and might give a Negative, and therefore were not named amongst them that
did consent, it appears that, babito Tractatu cum
Comitibus, Baronibus, et cæteris Communitatibus, the
King did enact those Things, and never called the
Bishops to the Debate. This appears in the Parliament Book.
"20 E. III. Parliament Roll, No. 33. The Commons petition, That no Allowance be made to the
Cardinals that had been in France for treating of
Peace. In the Roll it is thus entered: Assented unto
as reasonable by the Dukes, Earls, Barons, and other
the Lay Gents; without ever naming the Bishops;
now the Word other Lay Gents shews the Bishops
were none of the Number that voted in that Law.
"Secondly, it was voted, That, in Acts where the
particular Ranks are set down, none of the Temporal
Ranks have ever been omitted.
"And, if the Spiritualty had voted, they should
have been named, though in Vote they had dissented.
"Eodem Anno, N° 35. ad N° 38. there being Two
other several Acts made upon Petitions of the Commons, the one made against Provisions for some Cardinals, and the other to restrain the carrying of Money
to Rome, the Answer is made as before, by the
Dukes, Earls, Barons, and Commonalty, never mentioning the Lords Spiritual.
"3 R. II. Cap. 3. and 7 R. II. Cap. 3. These are
in Print, Acts made by the King and Lords Temporal
only, without the Lords Spiritual.
"The Statute of 7 R. II. reciting the former Statute
of 3 R. II. which says, Our Lord the King, by the
Advice and Common Assent of all the Lords Temporal
and Commons being in this Parliament assembled, hath
ordained, ut sequitur, in the Act.
"And these Acts, made by the King, the Lords Temporal, and Commons only, were upon the clamorous
Complaints of the Commons about the giving of the
Benefices of England to others, and others who never
were Residents upon the Benefices."
This Report being ended, the House took the same
into Consideration; and, for the better Debate of the
Propositions, the House was adjourned into a Committee
during Pleasure; and the Question was, whether those
Thirteen Bishops, that are impeached of those Crimes
from the House of Commons, shall be suspended from
their Votes in this House untill they stand recte in Curia.
Consideration of these Propositions, and the Bill to disable Persons in Holy Orders from exercising Temporal Jurisdiction deferred.
After a long Debate herein, the House was resumed;
and it is Ordered, That the further Consideration of
the Propositions which came from the House of Commons, and the Bill, intituled, "An Act for disabling all
Persons in Holy Orders to exercise any Temporal
Jurisdiction," shall be both deferred untill the Tenth
Day of November next.
Message from the H. C. about a Witness in the Cause of the Impeachment against the Bishops;
A Message was brought from the House of Commons, by Arthur Goodwin, Esquire; to let their Lordships know, "That whereas, at a Conference Yesterday, touching the Bishops which are impeached for
making of Canons, the House of Commons did tell
their Lordships that they had a Witness, a Member
of their House, Mr. Wheeler, to prove that the said
Bishops did subscribe to those Canons, he having
seen the Register Book with their Names written with
their own Hands, all which he is now ready upon
Oath to prove, if their Lordships shall rest therein
satisfied, the Register Book being in a House which
is visited with the Plague.
and to determine the Business concerning the Soldiers.
"And further the House of Commons desires, That
the Three Points concerning the Soldiers, brought up
lately to their Lordships from the House of Commons,
may be speedily determined."
The Answer hereunto returned is:
That their Lordships will return an Answer, by Messengers of their own, in convenient Time.
Sir Wm. Killegrew's Witnesses to be examined.
Ordered, That any Three of the Lords Committees
may examine Sir William Killegrewe's Witnesses which
are now in Town.
E. of Bolingbroke's Privilege.
Ordered, etc. That Nicholas Cockaine, Servant to
the Right Honourable the Earl of Bollingbrooke, being
now in the Gaol at Bedford, who was arrested contrary
to the Privilege of Parliament, shall (by virtue of this
Order) be freed of and from his present Restraint and
Imprisonment; and this shall be a sufficient Warrant in
"To the Keeper of the Gaol at
Bedford, his Deputy or Deputies."
Gamble, Under-sheriff, sent for.
Ordered, etc. That the Gentleman Usher attending
this House, his Deputy or Deputies, shall attach, or
cause to be attached, and brought forthwith before
their Lordships, the Body of George Gamble, Undersheriff of the County of Bedford, for arresting and
imprisoning the Body of Nicholas Cockaine, a Servant of
the Right Honourable the Earl of Bollingbrook's, contrary
to the Privilege of Parliament; and this shall be your
"To the Gentleman Usher, &c."
Dominus Custos Magni Sigilli declaravit præsens Parliamentum continuandum esse usque in diem Veneris,
videlicet, 29m diem instantis Octobris, hora nona Aurora,
Dominis sic decernentibus.