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1. The Jesuited Papists, who hate the laws, and aim at the Abp. Cant, subversion of religion.
mons in their
2. The bishops and corrupt part of the clergy, as they call them, are ranged in the second place. These ecclesiastics, charge the they pretend, cherish formality and superstition, as the natural bishops with effects and most probable supports of their tyranny and usurinnovations. pation.
3. Some counsellors and courtiers had, upon mercenary views, engaged themselves with these encroaching churchmen; that the business of this combination was to suppress the purity and power of religion, and those best affected to it, that they might remove the greatest obstacles to the change projected by them.
That this faction of courtiers and churchmen, as these objectors will have it, countenanced the Arminian party in those points wherein they agree with the Papists; that they widen the difference between the common Protestants and those they call Puritans; and introduce such opinions and ceremonies as most tend to an accommodation with popery. And that their design was to increase ignorance and encourage Rushworth's liberty and profaneness in the people.
part 3. p. 438.
They proceed to desire the king that the consciences of men may be unburthened of needless and superstitious ceremonies ; that innovations may be suppressed, and the monuments of idolatry emoved. And for the more effectual carrying on their intended reformation, they address for a general synod of the most grave, pious, and judicious divines of this island; that these churchmen may be assisted with some foreigners professing the same religion; that they may consider all things necessary for the peace and good government of the Church, and report the result of their debates to the parliament. That their resolutions being confirmed by the legislature, may be the better 450. acquiesced in and obeyed.
This expostulating address being presented to the king at Hampton-court, his majesty's answer, as to the Church part, is as follows. He observes their petition concerning religion consists of several branches; to all which he applies an answer. To give the reader his majesty's words.
The pagination of the folio edition is again incorrect in this place; for convenience of reference, however, it is retained.
"We say, that for preserving the peace and safety of this CHARLES kingdom from the design of the popish party, we have, and will still concur with all the just designs of our people, in a parliamentary way. That for the depriving of the bishops of their votes in parliament, we would have you consider, that their right is grounded upon the fundamental law of the kingdom, and constitution of parliament. This we would have you consider; but since you desire our concurrence herein in a parliamentary way, we will give no farther answer at this time.
"As for the abridging of the inordinate power of the clergy, we conceive the taking away of the High Commission court hath well moderated that; but if there continue any usurpations or excesses in their jurisdictions, we therein neither have protected nor will protect them.
"Unto that clause which concerneth corruptions (as you style them) in religion, in Church government, and in discipline, and the removing of such unnecessary ceremonies as weak consciences might check at; that for any illegal innovations which may have crept in, we shall willingly concur in the removal of them. That if our parliament shall advise us to call a national synod, which may duly examine such ceremonies as give just cause of offence to any, we shall take it into consideration, and apply ourself to give due satisfaction therein; but we are very sorry to hear, in such general terms, corruption in religion objected, since we are persuaded in our conscience that no Church can be found upon the earth that professeth the true religion with more purity of doctrine than the Church of England doth, nor where the government and discipline are jointly more beautified, and free from superstition, than as they are here established by law; which, by the grace of God, we will with constancy maintain (while we live) in their purity and glory, not only against all invasions of popery, but also from the irreverence of those many schismatics and separatists, wherewith of late this kingdom and this city abounds, to the great dishonour and hazard both of Church and State; for the suppression of whom, we require your timely aid and active assistance."
The latter part of this answer disgusted the commons, who, 442 notwithstanding this disappointment, resolved to follow their Reg. sect. 4. blow, till they had made themselves master of the enterprise.
LAUD, The bill for taking away the bishops' votes was brought in for Abp. Cant. another trial. And here the earl of Bristol appeared nobly in
defence of the Church. He observed to the lords, "that according to the rules and custom of parliament, a bill once thrown out could not be brought in again the same session; that this was the case of the present bill; and therefore that the going upon it this session would be plainly breaking in upon the settled orders of parliament." This plea, since it could not be disproved, was overruled, and the house carried it for excluding the bishops. This rough expedient was the last remedy, and would have been waved, had the bishops been more resigned and flexible. To escape the odium of innovating thus remarkably upon the constitution, and discharging the first of the three estates from any share in the legislature, some endeavours had lately been used by the earl of Essex and the lord Kimbolton, to persuade the bishops to gratify the importunity of the commons, and give up their right of voting in parliament. To prevail with them for this cession, they gave them an assurance that the temporal lords would be bound in honour to support them in all the essentials of their character. But the bishops had too much discretion and courage to betray their interest and throw up the peerage. But this business, though now in agitation, was not finished till two months forward. In the mean time, to succeed against this repulse, and batter the resolution of the lords spiritual, the apprentices were drawn down to Westminster, to assist the faction and overawe the honest party. These auxiliaries came to the parliament doors in great bodies, and cried, "No bishops!" And for a farther reinforcement, petitions to the houses came up from several counties, setting forth, that the bishops were a common nuisance; that the decay of trade, the clogging and disappointThe bishops ing of all business in parliament, was occasioned by the bishops. the rabble in From hence they advanced to downright railing and insulting going to their persons, and throwing stones at them, so that they could the parliament-house. not come to the lords' house, either by land or water, without apparent hazard of their lives. The rabble, thus fleshed and encouraged, made their next assault on Westminster abbey ; some of them spake out, their design was to pull down the organs and deface the monuments. Archbishop Williams, to prevent this horrible ravage, and secure the regalia from being seized, made fast the doors, and maintained the abbey against
them. However, the reforming mob pressed on, and endea- CHARLES voured to force their entrance; but were beaten off with stones from the leads by the scholars, the choir, and the officers. And in this skirmish one sir Wiseman, a Kentish knight, who headed the rabble, was killed by a tile from the battlements. But the assailants being not yet broken, some of the archbishop's retinue sallied out, and with sword in hand forced them to retire and disperse.
The houses taking no notice of this outrage, the tumult continuing in the same frenzy and numbers, and the bishops going to the parliament being altogether impracticable, they met at the dean of Westminster's lodgings, and subscribed a protestation for preserving their right of sitting in parliament. It was drawn up by archbishop Williams in the form of a petition, and was to be presented to his majesty in the house of peers. Five of the sees being vacant, and some of the bishops gone into the country, it was signed only by twelve; viz., the archbishop of York, the bishops of Durham, Lichfield, Norwich, St. Asaph, Bath and Wells, Hereford, Oxford, Ely, Gloucester, Peterborough, and Landaff. The protesting petition stands thus:
"Whereas the petitioners are called up by several and re- Their petispective writs, and under great penalties, to attend the par- protestation. liament, and have a clear and indubitable right to vote in bills and other matters whatsoever debatable in parliament by the ancient customs, laws and statutes of this realm, and ought to be protected by your majesty quietly to attend and prosecute that great service. They humbly remonstrate and protest before God, your Majesty, and the noble lords and peers now assembled in parliament; that as they have an indubitable right to sit and vote in the house of lords: so are they, if they may be protected from force and violence, most willing and ready to perform their duties accordingly. And that they do abominate all actions or opinions tending to popery or the maintenance thereof, as also all propension and inclination to any malignant party, or any other side or party whatsoever; to the which their own reason and conscience shall not move them to adhere. But whereas they have been at several times violently menaced, affronted, and assaulted by multitudes of people in their coming to perform their services
LAUD, in that honourable house, and lately chased away and put in danger of their lives, and can find no redress or protection upon sundry complaints, made to both houses in these particulars; they humbly protest before your majesty, and the noble house of peers, that saving unto themselves all their rights, and interests of sitting and voting in that house at other times, they dare not sit or vote in the house of peers, until your majesty shall farther secure them from all affronts, indignities, and dangers in the premises. Lastly, whereas their fears are not built upon conceits, but upon such grounds and objects as may well terrify men of good resolutions and much constancy, they do in all humility and duty protest before your majesty, and the peers of the most honourable house of parliament, against all laws, orders, votes, resolutions and determinations, as in themselves null and of none effect, which in their absence, since the 27th of this instant month Decem. 29. of December, 1641, have already passed: as likewise against all such as shall hereafter pass in that most honourable house, during the time of their forced and violent absence from the said most honourable house. Not denying but if their absenting of themselves were wilful and voluntary, that most honourable house might proceed in all their premises, their absence or this protestation notwithstanding. And humbly beseeching your most excellent majesty to command the clerk of the house of peers, to enter this their petition and protestation among his records,
Hacket's Life of Archbishop Williams. Rushworth.
They will ever pray God to bless, &c.
This protestation was put into the lord keeper Littleton's The bishops' hand, but not to be read till the king, at the bishops' instance, came into the house of peers. But the lord keeper, contrary to direction, communicated the petition to some unfriendly members of both houses, before the time. This lord keeper, it is said, had made himself obnoxious to the censure of parliament, by some stretches in his management. And therefore, as it is thought, he struck in against this protestation to purchase an indemnity, and cover himself: for immediately upon the reading the paper in the upper house, the anti-episcopal lords desired a conference with the commons. In short, the bishops' petition being put into their hands, the lord keeper Rushworth. declared the "protestation contained matters of high and