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The following speech I have thought worth preserving, as it pretty clearly shews the relation which at this time was understood to subsist, and the tone that prevailed, between the king and his parliament.
The Lord Keeper Williams's Address to both Houses.*
My lords, and you knights, citizens, and burgesses of the house of commons: You are here assembled by his majesty's command, to receive a declaration of his royal pleasure ; which although it be intended only to the house of commons, yet his majesty hath thought meet, the matter being of great weight and importance, it should be delivered in the presence of both houses, and both houses make one general council; and his majesty is willing that the lords should be witnesses of the honour and justice of his resolutions; and therefore the errand which, by his majesty's direction, I must deliver, hath relation to the house of commons. I must address myself therefore to you, Mr. Speaker, and the rest of that house.
And first, his majesty would have you to understand, that there was never any king more loving to his people, or better affectioned to the right use of parliaments, than his majesty hath approved himself to be; not only by his long patience since the sitting down of this parliament, but by those mild and calm directions, which, from time to time, that house hath received by message and letter, and from his royal mouth, when the irregular humours of some particular persons wrought diversions and distractions there, to the disturbance of those great and weighty affairs, which the necessity of the times, the honour and safety of the king and kingdom, called for. And therefore his majesty doth assure you, that when these great affairs are settled, and that his majesty hath received satisfaction of his reasonable demands, he will, as a just king, hear and answer your just grievances, which, in a dutiful way, shall be presented unto him; and this his majesty doth avow.
* See Page 13,
Next, his majesty would have you know of a surety, that as never any king was more loving to his people, nor better affectioned to the right use of parliaments; so never king was more jealous of his honour, nor more sensible of the neglect and contempt of his royal rights, which his majesty will by no means suffer to be violated by any pretended colour of parliamentary liberty; where. in his majesty doth not forget, that the parliament is his council, and therefore ought to have the liberty of a council; but his majesty understands the difference betwixt council and controlling, and between liberty and the abuse of liberty.
This being set down in general, his majesty hath commanded me to relate sone particular passages and proceedings, whereat he finds himself aggrieved.
First, Whereas a seditious speech was uttered amongst you by Mr. Coke, the house did not, as they ought to do, censure and correct him. And when his majesty understanding it, did, by a message by Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer delivered to the house, require justice of you, his majesty hath since found nothing but protracting and delays. This his majesty holds not agreeable to the wisdom and the duty which he expected from the house of commons.
Secondly, Whereas Dr. Turner, in a strange unparliamentary way, without any ground of knowledge in himself, or offering any particular proof to the house, did take upon him to advise the house to enquire upon sundry articles against the duke of Buckingham, as he pretended; but in truth, to wound the honour and government of his majesty, and of his renowned father : and his majesty, first by a message, and after by his own royal mouth, did declare, that the course of en.
quiry was an example, which by no way he could suffer, though it were against his meanest servant, much less against one so near him; and that his majesty did much wonder at the foolish insolency of any man that can think, that his majesty should be drawn, out of any end, to offer such a sacrifice so unworthy of a king or a good master ; yet for all this you have been so far from correcting the insoleney of Turner, that ever since that time your committees have walked in the steps of Turner, and proceeded in an unparliamentary inquisition, running upon generals, and repeating that whereof you have made the same ground-work. Here his majesty hath cause to be exceeding sensible, that upon every particular, he finds the honour of his father stained and blemished, and his own no less; and withal you have manifested a great forwardness, rather to pluck out of his bosom those who are near about him, and whom his majesty hath cause to affect, than to trust his majesty with the future reformation of these things which you seem to aim at: and yet you cannot deny, but his majesty hath wrought a greater reformation in matters of religion, execution of the laws, and concerning things of great importance, than the shortness of his reign in which he hath been hindered, partly through sickness, and the distraction of things, which we could have wished had been otherwise) could produce.
Concerning the duke of Buckingham, his majesty hath commanded me to tell you, that himself doth better know than any man living the sincerity of the duke's proceedings ; with what cautions of weight and discretion he hath been guided in his public employments under his majesty and his blessed father ; what enemies he hath procured at home and abroad; what peril of his pern son, and hazard of his estate, he ran into for the service of his majesty, and his ever blessed father; and how forward he hath been in the service of this house many times since his return from Spain : and therefore his majesty cannot believe that the aim is at the duke of Buck
ingham, but findeth that these proceedings do directly wound the honour and judgment of himself and of his father. It is therefore his majesty's express and final commandment, that you yield obedience unto those directions which you have formerly received, and cease this unparliamentary inquisition ; and commit unto his majesty's care, and wisdom, and justice, the future reformation of these things, which you suppose to be otherwise than they should be. And his majesty is resolved, that, before the end of this session, he will set such a course, both for the amending of any thing that may be found amiss, and for the settling of his own estate, as he doubteth not but will give you ample satisfaction and comfort.
Next to this his majesty takes notice, that you have suffered the greatest council of state to be censured and traduced in the house, by men whose years and education cannot attain to that depth ; that foreign businesses have been entertained in the house, to the hindrance and dis. advantage of his majesty's negotiations ; that the same year, yea, the first day of his majesty's inauguration, you suffered his council, government, and servants, to be paralleled with the times of most exception : that your committees have presumed to examine the letters of se. cretaries of state, nay, his own, and sent a general warrant to his signet office, and commanded his officers not only to produce and shew the records, but their books and private notes, which they made for his majesty's service. This his majesty holds as unsufferable as it was in former times unsual.
Next, I am to speak concerning your supply of three subsidies and three fifteenths, which you have agreed to tender to bis majesty. You have been made acquainted with the greatness of his affairs, both at home and abroad; with the strong preparation of the enemy; with the importance of upholding his allies, strengthening and securing both England and Ireland, besides the encountering and annoying the enemy by a powerful fleet at sea ; and the charge of all this having been calculated unto you, you have professed unto his majesty, by the mouth of your speaker, your carefulness to support the cause wherein his majesty and his allies are justly engaged ; your unanimous consent and real intention to supply his majesty in such a measure as should make him safe at home, and feared abroad; and that in the dispatch hereof, you
would use such diligence as his majesty's pressing and present occasions did
require. And now, his majesty having erected a proceeding suit
, able to this engagement, he doth observe that in two days only of twelve this business was thought of, and not begun till his majesty by a message put you in mind of it, whilst your inquisition against his majesty's direction, proceeded day by day.
And, for the measure of this supply, his majesty find. eth it so far from making himself safe at home, and feared abroad, as contrary wise, it exposeth him both to danger and disesteem ; for his majesty cannot expect, without better help, but that his allies must presently disband, and leave him alone to bear the fury of a provoked and powerful enemy, so as both he and you shall be unsafe at home, and ashamed and despised abroad. And for the manner of the supply, it is in itself very dishonourable, and full of distrust ; for although you have avoided the literal word of a condition, whereof his majesty himself did warn you, when he told you of your parenthesis ; yet you have put to it the effect of a condition, since the bill is not to come into your house until
your grievances be both preferred and answered. No such thing was in that expression and engagement delivered by your speaker, from which his majesty holdeth that you have receded both in matter and manher, to his great disadvantage and dishonour ; and therefore his majesty commandeth, that you go together, and by Saturday next, return your final answer, what fur.' ther supply you will add to this you have already agreed on ; and that to be without condition, either' directly or indirectly, for the supply of these great and important