COPY Of the SPEAKERS LETTER To the VICE-CHANCELLOUR AND The Heads of Houses of the VNI­VERSITY of Oxford, together with the PROTESTATION and DECLARATION with it.


OXFORD, Printed by LEONARD LICHFIELD, Anno Dom. 1642.

TO THE VICE-CHANCELLOVR, and the HEADS of HOVSES of the Vniversity of OXFORD.

Mr Vice-chauncellour,

IT is now some moneths since that the Prote­station taken by the Lords and House of Commons, was sent downe into the Country with an expectation that it should be gene­rally [Page 2] taken throughout the Kingdome, for a Testimony of their good Concurrence with the Parliament. But through the remiss­nesse of some of those that had the care of recommending it to others, very many there be that have not hitherto taken it.

Now the House of Commons (ha­ving discovered many dangerous de­signes, plotted against the Parliament, and especially, that of the fourth of this instant Ianuary, which had it taken effect, would have strucken, not only at the Pri­viledges, but the very being of Parlia­ments, as will more appeare by the Decla­ration herewith sent unto you, which the House desires you to publish through all parts of the University of Oxford,) have thought fitt once againe to recommend the taking of this Protestation, and have there­fore [Page 3] commanded me in their name to de­sire you, and all, and every the Heads of Houses in the same University, to meet together in one place, as soone as possibly you may, and there to take the Protestati­on your selves, and then to call together all, and every the Masters, Schollars, and Servants of the same University, being of the age of 18. yeares or upwards, and ten­der unto them the Protestation, to bee taken in the presence of you, the said Mr Uice-chancelour, and the said Heads of Houses; and to take the names both of those that doe take, and doe refuse to take the same Protestation, and to returne them unto the Burgesses serving for that Uni­versity, before the 20th day of February next, wherein the House desires your greatest care and diligence, as a matter ve­ry [Page 4] much importing the good, both of the King and Kingdome, which being all I have in Command, I rest

Your very loving friend William Lenthall

Die Mercurij: 5o. Maij. 1641.

IT is this day Ordered by the House of Commons now assem­bled in Parliament, That the Pre­amble, together with the Prote­station, which the Members of this House made the third of May, shall be forthwith Printed, and the Co­pies Printed brought to the Clark of the said House, to attest under his hand, to the end that the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses may send them downe to the Sheriffes and Iustices of Peace of the severall Shires, and to the Citizens and Burgesses of the severall Cities, Boroughs, and Cinque Ports, respectively. And the Knights, Citizens, and Bur­gesses, are to intimate unto the Shires, Cities, Bo­roughs, and Cinque Ports, with what willingnesse all the Members of this House made this Protestation: And further to signify, that as they justify the taking of it in themselves, so they cannot but approve it in all such as shall take it.

WE the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses of the Commons House in Parliament, finding, to the great griefe of our hearts, that the designes of the Priests and Iesuites, and other Adherents to the See of Rome, have of late been more boldly and frequently put in practise then for­merly, to the undermining and danger of the ruine of the true re­formed Protestant Religion in His Maiesties Dominions esta­blished: And finding also that there have been, and having iust cause to suspect that there still are, even during this sitting in Parliament, indeavours to subvert the Fundamentall Lawes of England and Ireland, & to introduce the exercise of an Arbitra­ry and Tyrannicall Government, by most pernicious and wicked Councells, Practises, Plots, and Conspiracies: And that the long intermission, and unhappy breach of Parliaments, hath occasioned many illegall Taxations, whereupon the Subiect hath been prosecuted and grieved: And that diverse Innovations and superstitions have been brought into the Church; multitudes driven out of His Maiesties Dominions, Iealousies raised and fomented betwixt the King and His people, a Popish Army levyed in Ireland, and two Armies brought into the Bowells of this Kingdome, to the hazard of His Maiesties Royall Person, the consumption of the Revenues of the Crowne, and Treasure of this Kingdome: And lastly, finding great cause of Iealousie, that indeavours have been, and are used to bring the English Army into a misunderstanding of this Parliament, thereby to incline that Army, with force to bring to passe those wicked Councells, Have therefore thought good to ioyne our selves in a Declaration of our united Affections and Resolutions, and to make this ensuing Protestation.

I A. B. doe in the presence of Almighty God, Promise, Vow, and Protest, to maintaine and defend, as farre as lawfully I may, with my life, power, and e­state, the true Reformed Prote­stant Religion, expressed in the Doctrine of the Church of England against all Popery and Popish Innovations within this Realme, contrary to the same Doctrine, and according to the duty of my Allegiance, His Majesties Royall Person, Honour, and Estate; As also the Power and Priviledges of Parliament; The lawfull Rights and Liberties of the Subject, and every person that maketh this Protestation, in whatsoever he shall doe in the law­full pursuance of the same. And to my power, and as farre as lawfully I may, I will oppose, and by all good wayes and meanes indeavour to bring to con­digne punishment, all such as shall either by Force, Practise, Councells, Plots, Conspiracies or other­wise, doe any thing to the contrary of anything in [Page 8] this present Protestation contained. And further, that I shall in all just and Honourable wayes indea­vour to preserve the Union and Peace between the three Kingdomes of England, Scotland, and Ireland; And neither for hope, feare, nor other re­spect, shall relinquish this Promise, Vow and Prote­station.

Whereas some doubts have been raised by severall per­sons out of this House, concerning the meaning of these words contained in the Protestation lately made by the Members of this House, (viz:) The true reformed Protestant Religion, expressed in the Doctrine of the Church of England against all Popery and Popish Innova­tions within this Realme, contrary to the same doctrine; This House doth declare, That by those words, was and is meant, onely the publike Doctrine professed in the said Church, so farre as it is opposite to Popery and Popish Innovations; And that the said words are not to be extended to the maintaining of any forme of Worship, Discipline, or Goverment, nor of any Rites or Ceremonies of the said Church of England.


A Declaration of the House of Com­mons, touching the late breach of their Pri­viledges; And for the Vindication there­of, and of divers members of the said House.

WHEREAS the Chambers, Studies, and Trunks, of Master Denzill Hollis, Sir Arthur Haslerigg, Master Iohn Pym, Master Iohn Hampden, and Master William Strode E­squires, Members of the House of Com­mons, upon Munday the 3. of this instant Ia­nuary, by colour of His Majesties warrant have been sealed up by Sir William Killigrew, and Sir William Flemen, and others, which is not only against the Priviledge of Parliament, but the Common liberty of every Subject: Which said Members af­terwards, the same day were under the like colour, by Serje­ant Francis, one of His Majesties Serjeants at Arms, contrary to all former Presidents demanded of the Speaker, sitting in the House of Commons, to be delivered unto him, that he might Arrest them of high Treason. And whereas, afterwards the next day, His Majesty in His Royall Person, came to the same House attended with a great multitude of men armed in a [Page 10] warlike manner, with Halberts, Swords, and Pistolls, who came up to the very door of the House, and placed themselves there, and in other places, and passages neer the said House, to the great terrour and disturbance of the Members then sitting; and according to their duty in a peaceable, and orderly man­ner, treating of the great affaires of England and Ireland. And His Majesty having placed himselfe in the Speakers Chair, de­manded of them the Persons of the said Members to be deli­vered unto him, which is a high Breach of the Rights, and Pri­viledges of Parliament, and Inconsistent with the Liberties, and Freedom thereof. And whereas, afterwards His Majesty did issue forth severall Warrants to divers Officers, under His own hand, for the apprehension of the Persons of the said Members, which by Law he cannot doe; there being not all this time, any Legall charge or accusation, or due Processe of Law issued against them, nor any pretence of charge made known to that House; all which are against the Fundamentall Liber­ties of the Subject, and the Rights of Parliament. Whereupon we are necessitated, according to our duty, to declare; And we doe hereby declare, that if any Person shall Arrest M. Hol­lis, Sir Arthur Haslerigg, M. Pym, M. Hampden, and M. Strode, or any of them, or any other Member of Parliament, by pre­tence or colour of any Warrant issuing out from the King only, is guilty of the Breach of the Liberties of the Subject, and of the Priviledge of Parliament, and a publike enemy to the Common-wealth. And that the Arresting of the said Mem­bers, or any of them, or of any other Member of Parliament, by any Warrant whatsoever, without a legall Proceeding a­gainst them, and without consent of that House, whereof such Person is a Member, is against the liberty of the Subject, and a Breach of Priviledge of Parliament; And the Person which shall Arrest any of these Persons, or any other Member of the Parliament, is declared a publique enemy of the Common-wealth. Notwithstanding all which we think fit, further to declare that we are so farre from any endeavours to protect a­ny [Page 11] of our Members, that shall be in due manner prosecuted ac­cording to the Lawes of the Kingdom, and the Rights and Pri­viledges of Parliament for Treason, or any other misdemea­nors, That none shall be more ready and willing then we our selves, to bring them to a speedy, and due tryall, being sensi­ble that it equally imports us, as well to see Iustice done against them that are criminous, as to defend the just Rights and Li­berties of the Subjects, and Parliament of England.

And whereas upon severall Examinations taken the seventh day of this instant Ianuary, before the Committee appointed by the House of Commons, to sit in London, it did fully ap­pear, that many Souldiers, Papists, and others, to the number of about 500. came with His Majesty on Tuesday last, to the said House of Commons, armed with Swords, Pistolls, and o­ther Weapons; and divers of them pressed to the door of the said House, thrust away the door Keepers, and placed them­selves, between the said door, and the ordinary attendants of His Majesty; holding up their Swords, and some holding up their Pistolls ready cocked neer the said door; and saying, I am a good Marksman, I can hit right I warrant you, and they not suffering the said door, according to the custom of Parliament to be shut, but said they would have the door open, and if any opposition were against them, they made no question, but they should make their party good, and that they would maintain their party; and when severall Members of the House of Com­mons were coming into the House, their attendants desiring that Room might be made for them, some of the said Souldi­ers answered, A Pox of God confound them, and others said, A Pox take the house of Commons, let them come and be han­ged, what a do is here with the House of Commons; and some of the said Souldiers did likewise violently assault, and by force disarme some of the Attendants, and servants of the Mem­bers of the House of Commons, waiting in the Room next the said House, and upon the Kings return out of the said House, many of them by wicked oaths, and otherwise, expressed [Page 12] much discontent, that some Members of the said House, for whom they came were not there; and others of them said, when comes the word, and no word being given at His Ma­jesties coming out, they cryed a lane, a lane; afterwards some of them being demanded, what they thought the said compa­ny intended to have done, answered, That questionlesse in the posture they were set, if the word had been given, they should have fallen upon the House of Commons, and have cut all their throats. Vpon all which we are of opinion, that it is suffici­ently proved, that the coming of the said Souldiers, Papists, and others with His Majesty to the House of Commons on Tuesday last, being the fourth of this instant Ianuary, in the manner aforesaid, was to take away some of the Members of the said House; and if they should have found opposition, or deniall, then to have fallen upon the said House in a hostile manner. And we doe hereby declare that the same was a trai­terous designe against the King and Parliament. And whereas the said M Hollis, Sir Arthur Haslerigg, M. Pym, M. Hamp­den, and M. Strode, upon report of the coming of the said Soul­diers, Papists, & others in the warlike and hostile manner, afore­said, did with the approbation of the House absent themselves from the service of the House, for avoiding the great, and ma­ny inconveniences, which otherwise apparantly might have hapned: Since which time a printed paper in the form of a Proclamation, bearing date the sixth day of this instant Ianuary, hath issued out for the apprehending, and imprisoning of them, Therein suggesting that through the conscience of their own guilt, they were absent and fled, not willing to submit them­selves to Iustice; We doe farther declare that the said printed paper is false, scandalous and illegall, and that notwithstanding the said printed paper, or any warrant issued out, or any other matter yet appearing against them, or any of them, they may and ought to attend the service of the said House of Commons, and the severall Committees now on foot. And that it is law­full for all persons whatsoever to lodge, harbour or converse [Page 13] with them, or any of them; And whosoever shall be questioned for the same, shall be under the Protection and Priviledge of Parliament.

And we doe further declare, That the publishing of severall Articles purporting a form of a charge of high Treason against the Lord Kimbolton, one of the Members of the Lords House, and against the said, M. Hollis, Sir Arthur Haslerigg, M. Pym, M. Hampden, and M. Strode, by Sir William Killigrew, Sir William Flemen, and others in the Innes of Court, and else­where in the Kings Name, was a high Breach of the Priviledge of Parliament, a great scandall to His Maiesty, and His Gover­ment: A seditious Act manifestly tending to the subversion of the Peace of the Kingdome, and an injury, and dishonour to the said Members, there being no legall charge or accusation against them.

That the Priviledges of Parliament, and the Liberties of the Subject so violated and broken, cannot be fully and suffici­ently Vindicated, unlesse His Majesty will be gratiously plea­sed, to discover the names of those Persons, who advised His Majesty to issue out Warrants, for the sealing of the Chambers, and Studies of the said Members, to send a Serjeant at Arms to the House of Commons, to demand their said Members, to is­sue out severall Warrants under His Majesties own hand, to ap­prehend the said Members. His Majesties coming thither, in His own Royall Person. The publishing of the said Articles, and printed paper in the form of a Proclamation against the said Members in such manner as is before declared; To the end that such Persons may receive condigne punishment.

And this House doth further declare, That all such persons as have given any Councell, or endeavoured to set or maintain division or dislike, between the King and Parliament, or have Listed their names, or otherwise entred into any combination or agreement, to beayding or assisting to any such councell or endeavour, or have perswaded any other so to doe, or that shall doe any the things above mentioned, And shall not forthwith [Page 14] discover the same to either House of Parliament, or the Speaker of either of the said Houses respectively, and disclaime it; are declared publike enimies of the State and Peace of this King­dome, and shall be enquired of, and proceeded against accord­ingly.

It is this day ordered, by the Commons assem­bled in Parliament, that this Declaration shall be forthwith published in Print.

Hen. Elsing. Cler. Parl. De Com.

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