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HONOURABLE AND WORTHY SPEECH,
Spoken in the High Court of Parliament,
October 28, 1641,
Concerning the Regulating of the King's Majesty's Prerogative, and the
Liberties of the Subjects. With a Motion for the speedy Redress of all Grievances, under which the Church and State do lie.
Loudon, printed by Bernard Alsop, 1641, Quarto, containing eight Pages.
Mr. Speaker, THE last time we
assembled, we sat like a college of physicians, upon the life and death of three great patients; whose bleeding hearts lay prostrate before us, and we arrived at that critical minute, either to receive relief, or cternal destruction. The three fortunate nations were presented to us, in all their distractions, and grown to such a superlative in their miseries, that, like nursing mothers bereaved of their tender infants, they were careless of what might happen to them, Quia perdiderunt libertates. These three kingdoms, whose peace and amity filled the remaining world with envy and emulation, and were, like that happy trinity of faith, hope, and charity, in a perfect ́union, had but now their swords edged to each others confusion. O scelus hominum! Height of impiety! Kai su teknon ! said Cæsar in the senate; it was not his death that grieved him, but that his son should advance his hand to his slaughter. How many sons and Neroes had we, whose earnest endeavours were to rip up their mother's womb, and, like vipers, eat through her bowels, and to lay desolate their father's house:
Quis talia fando
And yet all this had been but a prologue to our tragedy, bad not God Almighty pleased to interpose his hand, and to have been a pillar
of fire betwixt us and our captivity, and to have wrought our deliverance, by his great instrument, the parliament; whose constant labour it hath been, for this year past, to create a true understanding and firm peace between the nations; which I hope is so accomplished, that it is not in the power of the devil, or all his works, ever to dissolve it. This, I say, was the work of our last sitting. Give me leave, sir, I beseech you, to deliver what I couceive convenient to be of this: To give God his due, to establish rights between king and people, and to compose things amongst ourselves.' That we may give God his due, we must advance his worship, and compel obedience to his commands, wherein he hath been so much neglected. Honour and riches have been set up for Gods, in competition with him; idolatry and superstition have been introduced, even into his house, the church, and he expulsed ; his name bath been blasphemed, and his day prophaned, by the authority of that unlawful book of sports; and thuse, who would not tremble thus to dishonour God, would not scruple to do it to their parents, or injure their neighbours, either by murther of themselves, or names, or by adultery, David's great crimes : They have not only robbed God of his honour, but men of their estates, and of part of themselves ; members and cars have been set to sale, even to the deforming of that creature, whom God had honoured with his own image; that they might colour this their wickedness, perjury and false testimony have been more frequent with them, than their prayers; and all this proceeded out of an inordinatc desire of that which was their neighbours; and thus God in all his commandments hath been abused. Can we then wonder at his judgments, or think he could do less to right himself upon such a rebellious people than he hath?
I beseech you, 'sir, let us do something to seat him in his throne, and worship all with one mind, and not that every one should go to God a way by himself; this uncertainty staggers the unresolved soul, and leads it into such a labyrinth, that, nut knowing where to fix, for fear of erring, sticks to no way; so dies before it performs that, for which it was made to live: Uniformity in his worship is that which pleascth him, and if we will thus serve him, we may expect protection from him.
The next thing that I conceive fit to be considered, is, to cause the rights, both of the king and people, truly to be understood; and in . this, to give that authority to the prerogative which legally it hath, and to uphold the subjects liberty from being minced into servitude.
That the king should have a prerogative, is necessary for his honour; it differences hiin from his people; but, if it swells too high, and makes an inundation upon his subjects liberty, it is no longer then to be stiled by that name: the privilege of the subject is likewise for his majesty's high honour. King David gloried in the number of his people; and Queen Elisabeth delivered in a speech in parliament, that the greatness of a prince consisted in the riches of his subjects; intimating, that then they stood like lofty cedars about him to defend him from the storms of the world, and there were ample demonstrations of that, in that renowned queen's reign; but what encouragement can they have, either to, increase their numbers, or estates, unless they may have protection both
for themselves, and estates? therefore, the privilege and greatness of the subjects are relatively for the honour of the prince.
Prerogative and liberty are both necessary to this kingdom; and, like the sun and moon, give a lustre to this benighted nation, so long as they walk at their equal distances; but when one of them shall venture into the other's orb, like those planets in conjunction, they then cause a deeper eclipse. What shall be the compass then, by which these two must steer? Why, nothing but the same by which they are, the law; which if it might run in the free current of its purity, without being poisoned by the venomous spirits of ill-affected dispositions, would so fix the king to his crown, that it would make him stand like a star in the firmament, for the neighbour-world to behold and tremble at.
That they may be the better acted, I shall humbly desire, that after so many times, that great charter, the light of the law, may be reviewed, the liberty of the subject explained, and be once more confirmed; and penalties imposed on the breakers, and let him die unto the bargain, that dares attempt the act.
The last thing, that falls into consideration, is, to set things right amongst ourselves, the subjects of England; and in this, so to provide, that the Mecenasses of the times may not, like great jacks in a pool, devour their inferiors, and make poverty a pavement for themselves to trample on. This hath been a burthen we have long groaned under ; før if a great one did but say the word, it was sufficient to evict my right, even from my own inheritance. They had both law and justice so in a string, that they could command them with a nod; and thus people have been disinherited of their common right, the law, which is as due to them, as the air they breathe in.
On the other side, we must take care, that the common people may not carve themselves out justice, by their multitudes. Of this we have too frequent experience, by their breaking down inclosures, and by raising other tumults, to as ill purposes; which if they be not suddenly suppressed, to how desperate an issue this may grow, I will leave to your better judgments. My humble motion, therefore, is, that an intimation may go forth, unto the country, to wish those that are injured to resort to courts of law. And, if there they fajl of justice, in parliament they may be confident to receive it.
CASES OF TREASON.
SIR FRANCIS BACON, KNIGHT,
HIS MAJESTY'S SOLLICITOR-GENERAL..
Printed at London, by the Assigns of John Moore, and are sold by Matthew Wal.
banck, and William Coke, Anno. 1641. Quarto, containing thirty-eight Pages.
THERE a man doth compass or imagine the death of the king, the
king's wife, the king's eldest son, and heir apparent, if it appear by any overt-act, it is treason.
Where a man doth violate the king's wife, the king's eldest daughter, unmarried, the wife of the king's eldest son, and heir apparent, it is treason.
Where a man doth levy war against the king in the realm, it is treason. 4. Where a man is adherent to the king's enemics, giving them aid and comfort, it is treasun. Y Where a man counterfeiteth the king's great seal, privy signet, sign manual, it is treason; likewise his money. :: Where a man bringeth into this realm false money, counterfeited to the likeness of English, with intent to merchandise or make payment thereof, and knowing it to be false money, it is treason.
Where a man counterfeiteth any coin current in payment within this realm, it is treason.
Where a man doth bring in any money, being current within the realm, the same being false and counterfeit, with intent to utter it, and knowing the same to be false, it is treason.
Where a man doth clip, waste, round, or file any of the king's money, or any foreign coin, current by proclamation, for gain's sake, it is treason.
Where a man sloth any way impair, diminish, falsify, scale, or lighten money current by proclamation, it is treason.
Where a man killeth the chancellor, the treasurer, the king's justices in Eyre, the king's justices of assizes, the justices ef Oyer and Terminer, being in their several places, and doing their offices, it is treason.
Where a man procureth or consenteth to treason, it is treason.
Where a man doth persuade or withdraw any of the king's subjects from his obedience, or from the religion of his majesty established, with intent to withdraw any from the king's obedience, it is treason.