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you do this,
Court permit you to do it; if you offer it by way of demurrer to the jurisdiction of the Court, they have considered of their jurisdiction, they do affirm their own jurisdiction.
King • I say Sir, by your favour, that the Commons of England was never a court of judicature; I would know how they came to be
President. Sir, you are not permitted to go on in that speech, and these discourses. Then the Clerk of the Court read as followeth :
Charles Stuart, King of England, you have been accused on the behalf of the people of England of high treason, and other high crimes; the Court have determined, that you ought to answer the same.'
King: I will answer the same as soon as I know by what authority
President. If this be all that you will say, then Gentlemen, you that brought the prisoner hither, take charge of him back again.
King. I do require that you will give in my reasons why I do not answer and give me time for that.' President. Sir, 'tis not for prisoners to require. King. Prisoners! Sir, I am not an ordinary prisoner.'
President. The Court hath considered of their jurisdiction, and they have already affirmed their jurisdiction ; if you will not answer, we shall give order to record your default.
King. You never heard my reasons yet.'
President. Sir, your reasons are not to be beard against the highest jurisdiction.
King. Shew me that jurisdiction, where reason is not to be heard."
President. Sir, we shew it to you here, the Commons of England; and the next time you are brouglit, you will know more of the pleasure of the Court, and it may be, their final determination.
King Shew me wherever the House of Commons was court of judicature of that kind.'
President. Serjeant, take away the prisoner. King. Well Sir, remember that the King is not suffered to give his reasons for the liberty and freedom of all his subjects.'
President. Sir, you are not to have liberty to use this language; how great a friend you have been to the laws and liberties of the people, Let all England and the world judge.
King: Sir, under favour, it was the liberty, freedom, and laws of the subject, that ever I took defended myself with arms; I
never took up arms against the people, but for the people and the laws.'
President. The command of the Court must be obeyed; no answer will be given to the charge.
King. Well, Sir.'
Then the Lord President ordered the default to be recorded, and the contempt of the Court, and that no answer would be given to the charge.
And so was guarded forth to Sir Robert Cotton's house.
Then the Court adjourned to the Painted Chamber on Tuesday, at twelve o'clock, and from thence they intended to adjourn to Westminster Hall, at which time all persons concerned were to give their attendance. Resolutions of the Court at their Meeting in the Painted Chamber;
Lunæ, January 22, 1648. This day the King being withdrawn from the bar of the High Court of Justice, the Commissioners of the said High Court of Justice sat private in the Painted Chamber, and considered of the King's carriage upon the Saturday before, and of all that had passed, and fully approved of what the Lord President had done and said in the managing of the business of that day, as agreeing to their sense. And perceiving what the King aimed at, viz. to bring in question (if he could) the ju risdiction of the Court, and the authority thereof, whereby they sat; and considering that in the interim he had not acknowledged them in any sort to be a Court or bis Judges; and through their sides intended to wound (if he might be permitted) the supreme authority of the Commons of England, in their representatives the Commons assembled in Parliament, after advice with their Council, learned in both laws, and mature deliberation had of the matter:
Resolved, That the King should not be suffered to argue the Court's jurisdiction, of that which constituted them a Court, of which debate they had not proper conisance, nor could they, being a derivative Judge of that Ŝupreme Court which made them Judges, from which there was no appeal, and did thereforc order and direct, viz.
Ordered, That in case the King shall again offer to dispute the aui thority of the Court, the Lord President do let him know, that the Court have taken into consideration his demands of the last day, and that he ought to rest satisfied with this answer: That the Commons of England assembled in Parliament, haye constituted this Court, whose power may not, nor should be permitted to be disputed by him.
That in case the King shall refuse to answer or acknowledge the Court, the Lord President do let him know that the Court will take it as a contumacy, and that it shall be so recorded.
That in case he shall offer or answer with a saving, notwithstanding of his pretended prerogatives above the jurisdiction of the Court, that the Lord President do in the name of the Court refuse his protest, and require his positive answer, whether he will own the Court or not.
That in case the King shall demand a copy of the charge, that he shall then declare his intention to answer, and that declaring his intention, a copy be granted unto him.
That in case the King shall still persist in his contempt, the Lord President do give command to the Clerk, to demand of the King, in the name of the Court, in these words following, viz.
Charles Stuart, King of England, you are accused in the behalf of the people of England, of divers high crimes and treasons, which charge hath been read unto you. The Court requires you to give a positive answer, to confess or deny the charge, having determined that you ought to answer the same. At the High Court of Justice sitting in Westminster-Hall, January,
23, 1648. O yes made. Silence commanded. The Court called. Seventy, three persons present.
The King comes in with his guard, looks with an austere countenance upon the Court, and sits down.
The second 0 yes made, and silence commanded.
Mr. Cook, Solicitor-General. May it please your Lordship, my Lord President,
This is now the third time that by the great grace and favour of this High Court, the prisoner hath been brought to the bar, before any issue joined in the cause. My Lord, I did at the first Court exhibit a charge against him, containing the highest treason that ever was wrought upon the theatre of England: that a King of England, trusted to keep the law, that had taken an oath so to do, that had tribute paid him for that end, should be guilty of a wicked design to subvert and destroy our laws, and introduce an arbitrary and tyrannical government, in the defiance of the Parliament and their authority, set up his standard for war against his Parliament and people ; and I did humbly pray, in the behalf of the people of England; that he might speedily be required to make an answer to the charge.
But, my Lord, instead of making any answer, he did then dispute the authority of this High Court; your Lordship was pleased to give him a further day to consider, and to put in his answer, which day be ing yesterday, I did humbly move that he might be required to give a direct and positive answer, either by denying, or confession of it; but (my Lord) he was then pleased for to demur to the jurisdiction of the Court, which the Court did then over-rule, and command him to give a direct and positive answer. My Lord, besides this great delay of justice, I shall now humbly move your Lordship for speedy judgment against him. My Lord, I might press your Lordship upon the whole, that according to the known rules of the law of the land, that if a prisoner shall stand as contumacious in contempt, and shall not put in an issuable plea, Guilty or not Guilty of the charge given against him, whereby he may come to a fair trial ; that as by an implicate confession, it may be taken pro confesso, as it hath been done to those who have deserved more favour than the prisoner at the bar has done : but besides, my Lord, I shall humbly press your Lordship upon the whole fact; the House of Commons, the supreme authority and jurisdiction of the kingdom, they have declared, that it is notorious, that the matter of the charge is true, as it is in truth (my Lord) as clear as christal, and as the sun that shines at noon day; which if your Lordship and the Court be not satisfied in, I have notwithstanding, on the people of England's behalf, several witnesses to produce : and therefore I do humbly pray, and yet I must confess it is not so much I, as the innocent blood ihat hath been shed, the cry whereof is very great for justice end judgment, and therefore I do humbly pray, that speedy judgment be pronounced against the prisoner at the bar.
President. Sir, you have heard what is moved by the Council, on the behalf of the kingdom against you. Sir, you may well remember, and if
you do not, the Court cannot forget, what dilatory dealings the Court hath found in your hand : you were pleased to propound some questions, you have had your resolutions upon them. You were told over and over again, that the Court did affirm their own jurisdiction : that it was not for you, nor any other man, to dispute the jurisdiction of the supreme and highest authority of England, from which there is no appeal, and touching which there must be no dispute; yet you did persist in such carriage, as you gave no manner of obedience, nor did you acknowledge any authority in them, nor the High Court that constituted this Court of Justice.
Sir, I must let you know from the Court, that they are very sensible of these delays of your's, and that they ought not, being thus autho
tised by the supreme Court of England to be thus trifled withal, and that they might in justice, if they pleased, and according to the rules of justice, take advantage of these delays, and proceed to pronounce judgment against you: yet nevertheless they are pleased to give direction, and on their behalfs I do require you, that you make a positive answer unto this charge that is against you, Sir, in plain terms; for justice knows no respect of persons; you are to give your positive and final answer in plain English, whether you be guilty or not guilty of these treasons laid to your charge. The King after a little pause, said,
When I was here yesterday, I did desire to speak for the liberties of the people of England ; I was interrupted : I desire to know yet whether I may speak freely or not ?".
President. Sír, you have had the resolution of the Court upon the like question the last day, and you were told that having such a charge ‘of so high a nature against you, your work was, that you ought to ac. knowledge the jurisdiction of the Court, and to answer to your charges: Sir, if you answer to your charge, which the Court gives you leave now to do, though they might have taken the advantage of your coné, tempt, yet if you be able to answer to your charge, when you have once answered, you shall be heard at large, make the best defence you can. But, Sir, I must let you know from the Court, as their commands, that you are not to be permitted to issue out into any other discourses, 'till such time as you have given a positive answer concerning the matter that is charged upon you.
King. For the charge I value it not a rush, it is the liberty of the people of England that I stand for ; for me to acknowledge a new Court, that I never heard of before, I that am your King, that should be an example to all the people of England, to uphold justice, to maintain the old laws; indeed I do not know how to do it; you spoke very well the first day that I came here on Saturday), of the obligation that I had laid upon me by God, to the maintenance of the liberties of my people: the same obligation you speak of, I do acknowledge to God ibat I owe to him, and to my people, to defend as much as in me lies, the ancient laws of the kingdom; therefore, until that I may know that this is not against the fundamental laws of the kingdom, by your favour, I can put in no particular answer :•if you will give me time, I will then shew you my reasons why I cannot do it, and this Here being interrupted, he said,
By your favour you ought not to interrupt me ; how I came here, I know not, there is no law for it, to make your King your prisoner.