THE REASONS which Compelled the States of BOHEMIA to reject the Archduke FERDINAND &c. and inforced them to Elect a new KING.

Together, VVITH THE PROPO­sition which was made vppon the first motion of the choyce of th'Elector Palatine to bee King of BOHEMIA, by the States of that King­dome in their publique Assembly on the Sixteenth of August, being the Birth day of the same Elector Palatine.

Translated out of the French copies at. Dort. Printed by. George Waters.

VERY CONSIDERABLE REASONS WHY THE Arch-Duke FERDINAND neither could, nor indeede ought to be admitted to the gouernment and possession of the Kingdome of Bohemia, &c.


HEE was not chosen King of Bohemia accor­ding to the accustomed manner, and the ancient obserued priuiledges of that King­dome; but rather was neuer chosen at all; onely would bee admitted and Crowned, as shall bee cleared in the amplifying of this first, and the third Article.


Hee attayned to this comming in and Coronation (which was done in the life time of the Emperor Mathias) by sinister meanes, and vnlawfull practises, thorough the suggestion, and ayde of some vnfaithfull, and disloyall Members of that Kingdome; corrupted partly by guiftes and promises, and partly by sharpenes of threatnings wherewith they were attempted by the States for the time being, and for that purpose assembled. Which ele­ction (notwithstanding.) was made vpon this condition; that if hee did not punctually obserue his promises, the States were neither by Oath, nor by any other way obli­ged vnto him.


Hee did not onely not obserue the Conditions; but di­uers wayes directly, and de facto contraried that Oath which he had made to the States, and those Reuersall let­ters which hee hath giuen the Prouinces, and (which is more) hee did not onely intrude into the gouernment of that Kingdome in the life time of the Emperour Ma­thias; but after his death, as hee hath done while he liued, and (indeed much more) declared himselfe an open E­nemy there; and all this, to the end, to roote out the true Religion in those partes, and to depriue and Frustrate the States of that Crowne and the incorporated Countries; as of the free Election of a King, so of their other Priui­ledges; and (of purpose) to bring them wholly vnder the Spanish yoake: whereby hee Forfaicted all hee could there pretend vnto, after the death of the Emperour Ma­thias; and so did absolutely dissolue and loose the Oath of fidelity giuen him by that Kingdome, and those Pro­uinces; as shall hereafter in another more ample decla­ration, (not yet published) bee particulary demonstra­ted to the view of all the world; this following expositi­on seruing in the meane time, for a briefe information on euery point.

For the first reason, it may be vniuersally knowne, that the Bohemian Nation hath alwayes, euer since the Coun­trey was inhabited, had the free Election of their Prince; which from time to time, (Carefull of holding their owne due) they haue obserued, asmuch as in them lay that were true to the State of their Country, as wil plain­ly appeare both by Histories, and by their priuiledges, and other rules proper vnto them. And this Free Electi­on (their ancient Custome) hath since also beene yeelded [Page 3] and confirmed vnto them, authentically, from Empe­rours, by their Golden Bulles, and increase of Priuiledges. For example, there are yet to bee seene the originals, of three Golden Bulles of th' Emperour Frederick, dated in the yeares of out Lord, 1212, 1216. and 1231. by which he confirmed the Kings, chosen by the States; and saide expresly: That the States of that Kingdome, haue power to choose a King of their owne free will; and that the Romane Em­perours were to giue their Regall right to him whom they Ele­cted. This acknowledgement and confirmation hath beene reiterated by diuers other Golden Bulles, and Letters Patents of the Emperor Charles the in the yeares 1248 and 1370. thereby is made a reassurance vnto them of the Priuledges graunted by the Emperour, Fredericke; wherein (besides) is a more ample mention made, that the Bohemians haue free power to elect a King, and it is agreeably confirmed by the Golden Bull of the same Em­perour (at that time King of Bohemia,) which hee granted to the whole Romane Empire. Where speaking of the Seauen Electors, what belongs to their office in particular, and what Principalities might fall to the Empire; the seauerill Chapter hath these worde. That if any of their principalities come to be [...], or thence to fall to the Emperour it shall bee in the power of the Emperour of the King then Raig­nig to have the ordering of it, as of a thing lawfully fallen to him and the Empire; Sauing alwayes the Priviledges, Rights and Statutes of [...] touching the free Election of a King; in case that Kingdome should come to be voyde; and Sauing those likewise of the Empire that haue power and right to choose a King of Bohemia, according to the tenour of their Priuiled­ges, and those good and ancient Customes (besides) which they have obtained of the Emperours & Kings of the Romanes: which [Page 4] by this law and Imperiall Edict we haue no meaning to deragate from, or to preindice in any kinde whatsoeuer; but most religi­ously to protect them, and to cause them to be observed, not onely for the present, but euer lastingly for the time to come; in euery point and Article agreeing with their true forme and te­nour, &c. as it is more largely expressed in that Golden Bull giuen at Neurembergh 1356. and published.

Now howsouer Charles the after he had confirmed the Bull of the Emperor Frederick, did withall adde some other clause to the confirmation (which doubtlesse hee did for the aduantage of himselfe and his successors) that is to say, The intent thereof ought to be thus vnderstood; that in case the Issue male or Female of the direct line Reyall should come to faile; that then the Free Election of a King shallbee in the power of the States of Bohemia and the Prouinces belonging to that Kingdome. This exposition (notwithstanding) tooke no place, nor was euer obserued. First, because it was directly contrary to ancient Statute and Custome; and against the meaning of that Bull of the Emperor Fre­derick. Secondly, suppose it possible such a Law might haue beene obserued; it could yet extend no further then to the race of the Emperor Charles, as descended from the House of Luxenburgh; that is to say, vntill the death of his two Sonnes, Wencestans and Sigismund; who after they had been Romane Emperors and Kings of Bohemia, dyed with out any lineall Heyre; and left none to succeed but their Sister Elizabeth, married to Albertus Archduke of Austria; to whom shee brought a Son called Vladislans. After the decease of this Vladislaus, the States of Bohemia by vertue of their Freedomes and Priuiledges, elected a King: who was neither to the House of Luxenburg, nor of that of Au­stria: namely King George of Kustat; whome the House of [Page 5] Austria was so farre from not approuing of, as on the con­trary Frederick the 3. the first of that Family, then Empe­rour of the Romanes, did confirme and ratifie the Priui­ledges of the Kingdome of Bohemia to the said K. George; as doth amply appeare by the saide confirmation, Dated, 1459. Thence it may easily bee seene, that the foresaide clause, and condition inserted in the Confirmation of Charles the Fourth was vtterly abolished; and by that meanes the Kingdome of Bohemia is declared Free, and not tyed to any particular race or Family.

And that Bohemia hath a Freedome of Election, and is in not kinde a Kingdome hereditary; the following exam­ple will justifie: for although King George left Sonnes be­hinde him, yet there was not one of them that euer came either to gouerne, or to bee Elected there. But after the Fathers departure, the Bohemians Elected and Crowned Vladislaus; of the Family of the Princes of Lituania, Sonne to Casimir King of Polonia, Anno 1471. On whome the Emperor Frederick conferred the Tenures, and confirmed them vnto him; as it is to bee seene at large in the Act for that purpose, 1480. Now where it will be objected that this K. Vladislaus by his Letters patentes in the fauour of his Daughter Anne, (first acknowledging that the States of Bohemia meerly of their owne free will had Crowned, and receiued his sonne Lewijs for their King) did then ordaine that his Sonne Lewijs comming to dye without Issue, the inheritance of the Kingdome should remaine with his Daughter Anne; to that objection, this Answere. Since (as hath already beene said) the clause of restraint inserted by Charles, is wholy annihilated; and that the States haue had their Election free; (as by examples there hath suffi­cient testimony been giuen) that is to say, That the house [Page 6] of Austria inherited not the succession of the Kingdome, after the Election of K. George; nor euen the Sonnes of the same George preferred against the choise of Vladislaus King of Polonia; by the same authority of reason (therefore) it was much lesse in the power & prerogatiue of Vladislaus to ordaine his Daughter heyre to the Kingdom, against the priuiledges of the Country; without both the conuoca­tion & the consent of the States, so as (indeed) she could not inherite the Kingdome after her Father but after her Brother: and was Queene then, but as being the Wife of another elected King. That there was no conuocation of the States, it is an vnquestionable truth, and it followes necessarily, they gaue not their consent, neither did they euer permither in any thing effectually to enioy the Go­uernment. But after King Lewijs was fallen in battaile, and that the heroyick Prince Ferdinand Archduke of Au­stria had married the Lady Anne, that sister of King Lewijs; the States of Bohem (then) of their owne Free will, and by vertue of their Priuildges; Elected Archduke Ferdi­nand for their King, 1526. Indeed the King according to custome being once crowned as Soueraigne, the Lady Anne, afterwardes, was Crowned as his companion, and no otherwise. And if euen at that time, the Freedome of the States Election will yet be quarelled withall, let King Ferdinands Reuersall letters bee enquired of, they will sa­tisfie for it. They were giuen at Vienna the Thirteenth of December, 1526. And for their better strength the oath hee gaue the States will declare it selfe.

But there hath very lately beene discouered a strange fact-committed vpon those Reuersall Letters of Ferdinand the Emperour done without the knowledge, much lesse the consent of the body of the States. The said Letters [Page 7] hauing beene copyed in Parchment out of the originall, and inserted to the other Priuiledges of the Countrey in a booke expresly appointed for that purpose; (and that the originall it selfe was placed there with other priuiled­ges; and that the said Reuersall Letters, themselues, (as it is said) were annexed to the Statutes and Ordinances of the Country for the space of Nineteene yeares together, remaine yet to be seene:) It is now found out that after the expiration of those nineteene yeares, that is to say in the yeare 1545. some person not yet come into publicke knowledge, in the Register of the Countries customes, vppon the margine of those Reuersall Letters writt these wordes, following: The Letters were rendred his Maiesty by the States of Bohemia, in the generall Assembly of the States of the Country at the Castle of Prague, on Monday after the Ascen­tion of the most blessed Virgin Mary in the yeare 1545. and in place of those, were other Letters giuen to the said States of the Kingdome in the Bohemian tongue, which were likewise inserted into this booke in the leafe &c. Done at the Castle of Prague, the Wednesday after St. Aegidius day, 1545.’

Now that this point was in this manner euer effected, or that the States in their full Assemblie did euer render those Reuersall Letters to the King and receiued other Pa­tentes in their place, it can no way bee found: For in the generall Assembly held the same yeare at the Castle of Prague (which at this day remaines quoted in the Regi­ster of the Countrey) there is not any mention made thereof; no not so much as in the proposition itselfe then opened on the part of the King. Neither were the Let­ters Patents supposed to bee giuen instead of the first assu­rances, according to that, forme addition written in the [Page 8] saide booke; but afterwards included in another. It may thence bee easily iudged that the writer of those added words (whosoeur he was) did it out of a priuate authori­ty, to please some other persons. Thence likewise it may very easily bee perceiued to what ayme, the corruption was directed; namely by this meanes to frustrate and de­priue the States for the time to come to the Freedome of their Election. As indeed those Patents doe nothing a­gree with the first Assurances, saue onely in this, That the States ought to looke to themselues, that the said election of King Ferdinand may not derogate nor bee preiuidiciall to their Pri­uiledges. But the saide Reuersals haue in them another sence directly contrary to all the Priuiledges and Free­domes of the Countrey, both olde and new, and particu­larly in this, that there are againe alledged the insertions both of Charles the in his confirmation, and of Vladis­laus for the aduancement of his disposition towards his Daughter; which as hath beene said, is long agoe made voyde, and was obserued onely in one case alone; the States (notwithstanding) hauing alwayes retayned the free Election.

Now that this was not done to violate the Priuiledges rather then to confirme them, wee referre to the iudge­ment of the whole world. The reason why, the States haue not receiued perfect knowledge of all these indirect passages vntill now, is, that from time to time they haue been concealed by the principall Officers of the land, who were Romane Catholiques. For the States in the diuers pursuites of their cause, aswell to the generall Assemblies of the Countrey, as otherwaies, could neuer get so much as a hearing of the Priuiledges read; much lesse a possessi­on of the writings or copyes of them.

[Page 9] Howsoeuer, it is euident that the Emperour Ferdinand himselfe, did very well iudge and consider that this King­dome, and the Prouinces incorporate, were not Heredi­tary, and that those Letters Patents could take no place, nor bee of force with Posteritie against the ancient Priui­ledges and Statutes. It is euident in this, that the same Emperour called a generall Assembly of the Countrey in the yeare 1549. where hee desired of the States of Bo­hemia, that Archduke Maximilian his eldest Sonne, might after his death bee receiued for their King. Which the States accorded vnto, to the end that in the life time of his Maiesty, his Sonne might carry the name of King, vp­on condition (neuerthelesse) that hee should not be inve­sted in the gouernment during the time of his Father. According to which Condition (and likewise by vertue of certaine interchanged Articles) the Coronation of King Maximilian and his wife Queene Mary, succeeded not vntill the yeare 1562.

In like manner Maximilian comming to be Emperour presented his eldest Son Rodolph, and desired he might be accepted of and Crowned King of Bohemia for the future, which the States consented vnto, accepted of him, and declared him then vpon certaine present conditions, and afterwards drew from him his Letters of Assurance.

Furthermore, were the Kingdome and the Prouinces incorporate Hereditary to the House of Austria, it is to be belieued, that it had beene altogether vnnecessary to seeke to the States by request for the Succession; since vpon the termes of Inheritance euery eldest Sonne com­ming to furuiue the Father, there must haue discended a right vnto his owne person for his title to the Crowne, without any intercession: as the Archdukes of Austria [Page 10] themselues doe exemplifie by their owne claimes to their Countryes of inheritance. It may hereunto bee added that from the Acceptation, and declaration of those two Kings Maximilian and Rodolphe there can no prejudice fall vpon the Freedome of Election, since both of them being the eldest Sonnes of Kinges of Bohemia, their successe in all reason might happen to bee the more easie; and yet it was not done without both seeking and obtaining the willing consent of the States. Thence therefore there can no argument be drawne that the States by that Act haue quitt the right of their free Election.

If yet there will bee something inferred thence to the contrary; the proceeding of Rodolphe himselfe will con­fesse that inference an errour. For being vnmarryed, and without Children, it was the designe of the Archduke Ma­thias as the eldest Brother to his Imperiall Majesty, to pro­cure himselfe first nominated King of Bohemia, the Empe­rour yet liuing; and by the intercession of his Majesty, that afterwards hee might bee Elected and Crowned ac­cording to custome. And in this case where lineall heyres haue fayled, it neuer sufficed the conferring of the suc­cession vpon another, to haue these wordes vsed onely: Acceptation, Declaration, and Coronation; but there was al­wayes regard had aswell of the one part as the other, to the sauing of the Free Election, which the States haue by vertue of their ancient Priuiledges from Fredericke the Emperour and others. As indeede the Emperour Ro­dolphe, himselfe also did anew in all indifferent vnderstan­dings, very authentically confirme and ratifie the same Priuiledges to the States in this point, that his Majesty sought and interceded to them for his Brother the Arch­duke Mathias, that by vertue of their Priuiledges and [Page 11] freedomes, and of their owne bounty, and free will, they would first designe his Brother for King of Bohemia, and afterwards Elect him. Accordingly the Archduke Ma­thias obserued the same sence, and desired hee might bee Elected after the ordinary custome. It followes that his Majesty the Emperour interceding, and the Archduke being so Elected, they haue both of them very manifestly acknowledged and confirmed that in such a case howso­euer, (if not otherwise where the right line is extinguish­ed) the States haue a free Election. Which besides the authority it receiues from Priuiledges and Customes of auncient vse, it hath more then sufficiently beene ratified likewise, not onely by a contract passed before Prague in the yeare 1608. between his Imperiall Majesty, the Arch­duke and the Prouinces; but also by the proposition made on the parte of the same Emperour in the generall Assembly of the States; and by the Letters of Assurance from both their Majesties Imperiall and Royall.

Moreouer the States of the Reformed Church of the Crowne of Bohemia, (after the persecutions they had su­steyned) were competently prouided for by his Majesty the Emperour Rodolphe their King with an Edict of Pacifi­cation vpon the cause of Religion, and the free exercise thereof, according to the agreement with the generall Assembly of the States, in the yeare 1608. and as it hath since beene confirmed in 1610. at the request of the Ele­ctors of the Empire sollicited by the States. And their said Majesties confirmed certain accords passed between those of the Religion of the Gospell, and the Romane Ca­tholiques, as also betweene those of the Religion of the Gospell themseues. And all this for the conser [...]tion, and aduancement of mutuall Amitie and agreement, in [Page 12] such a manner, that in whome soeuer the least opposition or con­tradiction that can bee imagined, should be found to bee inten­ded against that Edict of Pacification, or the other accords, hee should be proceeded against as a disturber of the publicke quiet.

From these proceedings our people generally did promise themselues that thence forth they should liue in a peaceable condition together, both vnder his Majesty and the succeeding Kings of Bohemia, and that euery man might serue God safely and obey the Magistrates. But in­continently vpon it, and sine likewise, these promises met with persons of turbulent and wicked dispositions, who, by the suggestion of an euill spirit haue laboured to make the world vnderstand, that nothing could be more contrary, to their mindes then the free election of a King, and the free exercise of Religion. And out of that male­uolent nature refused to signe the Edict of pacification, and the agreements passed with the matter depending on them which his Imperiall Majesty and other peaceable Romane Catholike Estates had by example inuited them vnto, but bent themselues with all their might partly by their secret Conspiracies, and Fraudulent practices, and partly by abusing their offices, and by their impudent ma­lice to ouerthrow the whole worke of Peace, and to di­spose euen his Majesty himselfe to the consent of this ruyne; not withstanding that presently vpon it in a pub­licke Assembly of the States they were protested against, that in case the States of the Religion of the Gospell should come to bee yet further molested, the offence should be imputed to them alone, and they should bee proceeded against, as troublers and infringers of the pub­lick [...]iet. This caution wrought no regard in them, but on the contrary, they were so farre from it, as euen in [Page 13] the life time of the Emperour Mathias, it was the princi­pall point of their study to prouide themselues for the time to come of such a Lord as their enterprises might expect countenance, and assistance from. And indeed they did so succesfully aduaunce their affaires, that in the yeare 1617. they procured that Archduke Ferdinand, of whose courses all Christendome haue taken notice, that hee was no sooner entred the gouernment of the Coun­trey then he persecuted those of the Religion, in such a manner, as at last without making of any difference be­tween the condition of person & person, he chased them quite away; and in the pursuite of his inhumanenes, hee caused the bodyes of the Dead to bee digged out of their Graues, and exercised such Cruelties vpon them, as might haue tonuer­ted a very barbours education to a gentlenes of Nature, by be­holding, or but by hearing onely of the hatefulnes of the Perse­cuttan. This Archduke Ferdinand was called to Prague, adopted by the Emperour Mathias for his Sonne, and af­terwards by greatnes of threatnings, and by promises, and presents bestowed vpon some disloyall, and treache­rous members, and by their Conspiracies with the ene­mies of the Religion of the Gospell, he was receiued, de­clared, and Crowned for the King of Bohemia, to succeed, but not Elected. For they would by no meanes giue eare to the mouing of an Election during the whole time of the giuing of voyces.

Now touching the other thinges of passage in this ad­mission, & Coronation; it shalbe spoken of in the second Article. This shall suffice to conclude with, for the first point, that he was not chosen King of Bohemia according to the accustomed order, nor the vertue of the ancient ob­seruation of the Priuiledges, & Statutes of the Country.

[Page 14] For the second reason; that is to say, how the admissi­on, and Coronation came to passe, there hath somewhat already beene spoken, and in what fashion of cariage the disloyall members were brauely imployed, to reach the end of their pernicious designes. To which this that fol­lowes likewise offers it selfe. At the very time of the con­uocation of the Assembly of the States of the Countrey, the States were by letters Patents forbidden to treate there of any other thing, then the point touching a Successour to the Crowne, which is a crime not onely contrary to the auncient obseruation, but opposed also the decree made in a generall Assembly of the Countrey, Anno 1610 where it is expresly, deliuered, that in all the Assemblies of the States, it shall bee free and lawfull for them; (im­mediately after the deliberation of the proposition made on the part of the King) to set before them the Articles of the publicke griefes which then ought to be taken into mature aduice and to be ordered, and applyed remedy vnto, before the rising of the Assembly. This was the reason that many of the States made difficulty to appeare in an Assembly so exorbitant. And those which were there, gaue their testimonies by their voyces against such proceeding, as a thing infringing the franchises and pri­uiledges of the Kingdome, adding that the Prouinces in­corporate were not called thither: with these (notwith­standing) it was concluded in the holding of the last As­sembly of the States; as pretending to haue right in the giuing of their voyces for the Election of a King; hauing first resolued and accorded with the Prouinces. These States (I say) were threatned, aswell by the vnfaithfull members, as by others, and in such a maner, as it was pro­fessed [Page 15] that if any man would vndertake to carry his suf­frage another way, hee had neede be furnished with two heads, and must looke to be dealt withall as strangely as some others had been not many yeares agoe. And seeing it was impossible to countermine their practises, and to withstand the whole faction of the Romanist; who had fished vp and down to call in such as had little or nothing to loose in the Countrey, that those of the Religion were ouerborne by the plurality of voices: It must thē come to this necessitie, that whether they would or not, they were to giue way to the acceptation, and Coronation. Which (neuerthelesse) was not yeelded vnto, without cōditions. For the Archduke Ferdinand gaue the States his Reuersall Letters, among the Articles whereof these are some that follow.


That he thanked the States, and would he carefull to acknow­ledge them with gratiousuesse, and Royall beneuolence; in such a measure as they should receiue all contentment from his Maiesty.


That during the life of the Emperour Mathias hee would not inuest himselfe in the Gouernment of the Kingdome; nor would hee put himselfe vpon it, without the knowledge and consent, aswell of his Maiesty and the principall Officers and Presidents of the Countrey; as of the Councellours of Estate, and of his Maie­sties Finances, and of the chiefe Lords of the Countrey; of two persons of the commonalty of euery Circuit; of sixe of the Towne of Prague, and of other Townes deputed in the Assembly of the States of the Land.


That if during the life of the Emperour hee shall vndertake to enter the Gouernment; in that case the Estates shall no way bee held, or bound to render him any obedience or duty of Fidelity.

[Page 16] Now in what fashion K. Ferdinand hath made good his Oath, and obserued his Reuersall Letters, it is notorious to the whole world; and shall briefly be showne in the third Article following.


Concerning then the third and last reason; namely why King Ferdinand is rejected; and how hee hath depri­ued himselfe, and made himselfe vncapable of the Accep­tation and Coronation; and in summe, of all else depen­ding thereon, which he might pretend vnto:

It is a thing most noted and manifest, that the vnfaith­full members; together with the pernicious sect of the Iesuites, after the Coronation became so insolent, that they did instantly set a foote diuers persecutions, not one­ly as principally in the Kingdome of Bohemia, bus also in the principalities of the vpper and lower Silesia; and in many places against the States of the Religion of the Gospell, and the free exercise thereof; and expresly against the prohibition contained in the Edict of pacification; be­sides this, the Churches of the Religion, some they caused to bee blocked vp, and some they pull'd downe to the very ground, the persons they cast into Prison, and ther held them long. And at last cut off all accesse and audience betweene his Majesty the Emperour, and the States of Bohemia, as also between him and the defendants ordained by the consent of his Majesty, forbad their Assemblies, directly against the mea­ning of the Law, and condemned them without either ac­cusatiō or hearing. The Iesuites with much passion of joy writ to Archduke Leopold the aduertisement of this Co­ronation, and put it in Print, confessing & reporting that the Archduke Ferdinand, aswell before, as at his entrance to the Gouernment of his hereditary Countries, was bound by Oath to affect rather the loosing of blood, and [Page 17] life, then to agree in the least measure that could be about matter of Religion in fauour of the Heretickes, meaning the true belieuing Christians: as it may particularly and at large bee vnderstood in the defences and griefes of this Land which are published.

From these vnlawfull Oppressions it grew to this, by the conspiracies of those false Statesmen, that for a long time they looked after no other subject then warre, & the effusion of blood; Insomuch, as the late Emperour was carryed away and suborned by them, to the inuading of this faire Kingdome and the Inhabitants with an Army, which hath destroyed a good part of it, by pillage, fire and sword. Wherein King Ferdinand did not onely giue testimony that hee tooke contentment, but (which is more) became himselfe both a Counsailour, and an exe­cutor against the Kingdome: and intruded into the Go­uernment thereof, to be inuested before his time, thereby raising his purpose to bee a cause of infinite vnsufferable oppressions and calamities: The truth whereof is as cleere as day. For the world can not bee ignorant that he inue­sted himselfe in the Gouernment while the Emperour Mathias was yet liuing; insomuch as against the will of the Emperour hee did both cast, and imprison Cardinall Klesel President of the Priuie Councell, and one of whose imployment his Majesty receiued seruice in all his Coun­sailes. Further, in that the saide Ferdinand did not onely aduise a Warre against this Kingdome, but also imploy­ed his owne Forces, which he had in Friaull, to inuade the Land, commaunding them to make spoyle of it and to put the Inhabitants to Fire and Sword.

Item for hauing himselfe in person held an Assembly in the Marquisat of Marauia, against the Kingdom of Boheme, [Page 18] where hee demaunded, both to joyne the Troupes of Mo­rauia to those of the Emperour, and their passage through the saide Marquisat; and then indeede, partly by faire wordes, partly by threatnings he perswaded the States of Morauia to allow of the passage.

Item for hauing, after the decease of the Emperour, not only taken into his pay and seruice all the Forces, and open enemies of that Kingdome; but also caused all the leuies made before, to bee aduanced, and brought in ma­ny thousand Spaniards, and other forces; by meanes whereof horrible Cruelties, and Tyrannies were exerci­sed, by Fire, and Sword, and Sackings: both in Bohemia, and Morauia, and much greater then in the time of the Emperour Mathias, Insomuch that they spared neither olde nor young, men nor women, no not the innocent Babes, whereof many of them were in there Mothers bellyes: and which is more, in worse then a Barberous fashion digged their bodyes out of their Graues, stripped them; and binding their hands and feete together, layde them starke naked in a horrible manner vp­on the Altars, and set them at the doores of Churches.

And though it bee well knowne to the world that he neuer entred into possession of this Kingdome; yet not withstanding, he hath not forborne by his letters to make choyce of, and to admit for his Lieutenants the aforesaid treacherous Patriots who are the source, and originall cause of all this euill: some of which hee hath yet by his person; who for being perfidious to this Kingdome and for other great considerations were banished, of whome (notwithstanuing) hee doth serue himselfe both in his Counsailes and Embassages, manifesting thereby that he doth approoue of all the mischiefe they haue donne euen vntill this present for the abolishing, and cassation of the [Page 19] franchises, and Priuiledges of the Countrey, and that hee makes more accompt of such men, then of the whole Kingdome: by which euery one may easily iudge, what the Prouinces may expect or hope for so such a Lord.

Especially if wee consider withall the Contracts and treaties which haue passed betweene the King of Spaine and King Ferdinand, not onely for so much as concerneth the Kingdome of Bohemia, and the incorporated Prouinces thereof, but chiefly also concerning the free Kingdome of Hungarie, and that this was donne euen then, when he was neither yet receiued, nor Crowned in any of the two Kingdomes; which Treaties as then were kept secret and concealed from the Prouinces, but discouered afterwards and brought to light by a singular, & diuine prouidence.

In those treaties the Free Election and the Priuiledges (which the said two Kingdomes haue by vertue of that E­lection) are entirely cut off, and appropriated Heredita­rily to the King of Spaine and his Successors; in such sort as the King of Spaine doth now quit and yeeld his Heredi­tary right vnto King Ferdinand; but with this restriction, that vpon default of Heyres males of the race of King Ferdinand, the said two Kingdomes, with the depending Prouinces, shall fall by right of Succession to the King of Spaine, his Heyres and Successors: As indeed the saide Archduke Ferdinand, euer since the said contracts were passed, hath changed the olde style, wherewith the prece­dent Emperours and Kings of Boheme alwayes contented themselues; for that the Emperours Ferdinand, Maximi­lian, rnd Rodolphe did ordinarily write: Our Kingdomes and Prouinces Hereditarie; but the Archduke Ferdinand doth write now in this fashion: Our Kingdomes Hereditarie and Prouinces. By this wee may againe easily iudge, what was [Page 20] the drift of King Ferdinand, and why hee would not bee chosen, but onely acknowledged in Bohemia; namely to suppresse the Free Election, and accordingly to be Lieu­tenant of the King of Spaine in these Countries, vntill such time as hee had in the end entirely reduced them to the Spanish yoake and seruitude. But if the States had then had any knowledge of the said contracts, doubtlesse they had sufficient cause, both to contradict, and oppose them selues against it. For all men know, that the Kinges of those Kingdomes which are not Hereditary, but subsist by a Free Election, (as hath been formerly prooued tou­ching the Kingdome of Bohemia) cannot make any con­tract with a stranger Prince without the approbation and consent of the States, and all such treaties are in them­selues voyde and of none effect. Such and the like treaties might prooue exceeding dangerous to the Empire; for by this meanes the King of Spaine would thrust in a foote to the Empire, as King of Bohemia, from whence would necessarily follow that he must be Elector of the Empire, by vertue of the Golden Bull of the Emperour Charles the, and so hereafter would affect and pretend also to be King of the Romanes, at which all the Spanish practises doe leuell and ayme, which would bee expresly contrary to the Golden Bull, and the Oath of the other Electors; as also against the Ordinances and constitutions of the Empire, and by this meanes the Imperial Crowne would be quite taken away from the Germane Nation, and bee made entirely Hereditary as they haue endeauoured, and practised to make the Crowne of Bohemia. All which, together with that hath been written by the States of Bo­hemia to the Colledge of Electors lately held at Franckford: as also how they protested against the Election of the [Page 21] person of King Ferdinand to the Crowne of the Kings of the Romanes; will plainely appeare by their writings.

Since then in regard hereof the Prouinces haue ac­knowledged, and plainely seene, that it was most dange­rous, and indeed impossible to enter into any treatie with such a Lord, who is not of himselfe, who speakes and writes peaceably, but harboureth warre and bloodshed in his heart; much lesse for the reasons aforesaid receiue him into the Gouernment, whereof he hath many wayes depriued himself: let vs consider the pernicious conse­quence that this would haue brought with it.

1 First, hereby the said treaties with Spaine would haue beene confirmed.

2 Secondly, the States could not expect of such a Lord any certainty or assurance in point of Religion or State.

3 And thirdly, without doubt the States must haue pay­ed, not onely their owne but their enemies Forces, which haue exercised so many Cruelties against them, and their good Friends, and haue beene constrained to joyne with their enemies, and March against their owne Friends, which professe their owne Religion.

4 Fourthly, it would giue occasion to our enemies to blaspheme the name of God, and to say, alas where is now our God?

5 And fiftly it came to that, that other Potentates, and Princes, of the Religion had neuer giuen any assistance to the saide States, if they had found but the least inclinati­on in them to enter into treaty with the Archduke Ferdi­nand and other enemies.

And therefore seeing that for the reasons aforesaid, it hath beene sufficiently proued, that the Archduke Ferdi­nand was neuer Elected King of Bohemia by the ordinary [Page 22] course, and that hee himself, hath depriued himselfe, and hath forfeited both the Acceptation and the Coronati­on, which was conditionally conferred vpon him (as be­fore) by not obseruing either his Letters of Assurance, or Oath: As also seeing he hath exercised manifest tyrannies in the Kingdome, and passed contracts with the House of Spaine without the consent or knowledge of the States: For these reasons, they vnderstand, and finde themselues to bee free from him, and not any way tyed vnto him in what kinde soeuer.

And for the same reasons, agreeable both to diuine and humane right, (with the ayde of the Almighty) they haue taken the Freedome to Elect another King, as shall bee more fully declared to the world in a Manifestation hereafter to bee published.

A PROPOSITION made by the States of Bohemia, in their Assembly at PRAGVE vpon the Election of a King; the 16. of August, 1619. being the Birth-day of the Prince Elector Palatine.

ALbeit the Nomination of a King of BOHEMIA, requires a mature counsell and deliberation; which ought to pre­cede the nomination; in this point (ne­uerthelesse) there is not so much diffi­cultie, as in the rejecting of a King; which gaue a beginning to this, and standes in neede both of a good Iustification, and of a great Power, where the nomination hath no neede of those aydes, but but of itselfe followes, after the rejection.

Now therefore since the Rejection (as the thing more importing vs) is already donne; the Nomi­nation will be much the more easie, prouided wee stand not vpon such a perfection in the choyse, as the whole world cannot yeeld vs. It behooues vs to set apart all particular passions, and to haue re­gard (onely) to those reasons which are Fundamen­tall. For there are pointes requisite, so necessary [Page 24] to bee considered in the Election of a King; as it is not for any good Patriot to giue his aduice for the receiuing of one in whome those thinges required are not to bee found. But we may with very good assurance conclude for him, in whome they meete, more than in any other man.

1 As in the first place, it is needfull that in such a person, there be none of these matters to be feared for which King FERDINAND was rejected. That is to say, that hee ought not either to persequute, or aduance any for the respect of Religion, nor to ex­ceede in the dependance of his owne Counsellors, or of strangers; but to joyne himselfe with the States. He ought not to bee opinionatiue▪ nor gi­uen to doe thinges of his owne head, but to acco­modate the Customes of his House, and his, to the ordinances and liberties of this Crowne.

2 In the second place, it is required, that hee af­fect the Estates with an acknowledgement of re­putation.

3 Thirdly, that in time both of Peace and warre, hee gouerne his Kingdome by his owne presence; worthily and profitably.

4 Fourthly, that the Confederates may receiue no cause of feare from him, either of danger, or damage.

[Page 25] Since then there are Fiue who are inferred into the treatie of this Election; that is to say, the King of DENMARRKE, the Elector PALATINE, the E­lector of SAXONIE, the Duke of SAVOY, and the Prince of TRANSILVANIA, it will bee therefore to purpose to consider, that although there bee not any one of any one of these Princes in his owne particular, but is of merite both to bee Praised and recommended; there is among them (notwith­standing) a certaine diuersitie which euery one by himselfe may prudently waigh. And forasmuch as it is not permitted vs to iudge liberally of great Princes; in this place (therefore) it shall suffice, without offence to any, briefly to deduce the rea­sons for which the Elector Palatine ought to bee esteemed very capable of the Crowne of BOHEMIA, and fit to maintaine the present estate of the King­dome.

For although he be not yet aboue twenty three; hee is a Prince (neuerthelesse) endued with a great iudgement, bred vp from his Cradle in good­nes and vertue: holdes continually about him per­sons of great quality, as well for the Field, as the State: accustomed to Courtesie; in himselfe of ve­ry plentifull Hopes: and at this Age hee will bet­ter forme himselfe to the Customes of the King­dome, [Page 26] than if hee were more increased in yeares. And God bestowes not wisdome alwayes accor­ding to the Age of a man but vpon him that calles to God for it in his feare.

Hee is a Prince, moderate, vertuous and reso­lute in his Actions; quicke and sharpe in his Dis­course, true courteous towards all men; well Lan­guaged; holdes a faire Court, of Earles, Barons, and Gentlemen; Loues and cherishes the Nobilitie: imployes euen men of meane condition in his Ser­uice, when hee findes desert in them for it; and will let no worthy seruice passe him without his ac­knowledgement, his Subjects and Countrey (in part the Frontiers of this Kingdome) hee gouernes with Prudence; giues estimation to men of Ho­nour; holdes a well-ordered Councell, frequents the Councell Table in his owne Person; takes ex­act heede to the opinions, and propositions of his Councellours; giues good cause to haue his owne Iudgement approued, and commended in thinges of importance; inclines willingly to the informati­ons of other men; loues the Common good, and therein takes paines, with zeale, and without feare: beares Compassion to the afflicted; shewes him­selfe laborious and resolued; is beloued of his Subjects; carries himselfe Peaceably with his [Page 27] neighbours, of what Religion soeuer they be; and for that winnes respect euen of those of different beliefes. For his owne Religion, hee is well affe­cted; yet there is not any in his Countryes though of another Profession, that findes himselfe disquie­ted for matter of Conscience or in the exercise of his Religion; so as euery man may with freedome liue vnder him, prouided his conuersation bee ho­nest, and good.

There is none that can accuse him either of pre­cipitation, or opinionatiuenes; a thing very re­markeable.

Hee is in good correspondence with those of the Houses PALATINE and of BAVIERS; and yet for that reason forsakes nothing either of those rightes, or of those Duties belonging to the gene­rall State of the Countrey.

And howsoeuer hee is a Prince but young, and shewes himselfe courteous, and sweet towards his people; for all that there is neither lightnes, disso­lutenes, nor voluptuousnes seene in him; nor any disorder, or excesse at all in his Dyet; nor any Auarice, Prodigalitie, or other thing whatsoeuer, vnagreeable, or contrary to the reputation of a Prince.

For the assistance the Crowne of BOHEMIA may [Page 28] expect from him; it is cleare to euery mans vnder­standing, that hee is not onely not in debt; and that of his Reuenue hee can lay something vp, but also that the King of Great BRITAINE is his Father in Law; the King of DENMARKE his neare Ally, and likewise the Elector of BRANDENBVRGH: the Prince of ORENGE his Vncle; the Duke of BVIL­LON his Ally; the States of the Vnited Prouinces of the Low-Countryes his Confederates: the King of SWEDEN, and the Hanse Townes his Friends; and for his Correspondents, the Duke of SAVOY, VENICE, and SWISSERLAND. Hee is in good credit with all the Princes Electors, and other Prin­ces, and States of the Empire, more particularly with those of the Vnion. Hee hath confederacies, and auncient Alliances with FRANCE. The Prince of TRANSILVANIA & High HVNGARIE beares him affection. SAXONIE and BAVIER, are in good tearmes with him. MENTZ, and the neighbour-Countryes doe looke vpon him with Honour and respect. Insomuch as the Crowne of Bohemia by his onely meanes may get the Amitie of all those, which wee doe now seeke with so much labour, and trauaile; and by the same meanes wee may bee conserued, and Fortified against our Enemies; which from any other treated of in the Election [Page 29] can neither bee expected, nor hoped for.

And since it is a certainty that this Prince would not accept of the Election for ambitions sake, but onely for the Common good; wee may therefore promise our selues that hee will euer continue in the good affection hee hath already showne to­wards this Crowne, by the profitable Councels and assistances, which aswell in his owne person, as by other wayes (according to the occasion) hee hath made to appeare: when some others, for their par­ticular considerations, haue greatly prejudized both the States of the Kingdome of Bohemia, and the Countries, and Prouinces confederate.

Those Prouinces confederate, who are already in good vnderstanding with this Prince, haue to consider, that they cannot ground the like confi­dence vpon others: (who are too much tyed in re­spect of the House of Austria) for the receiuing of a succour in time of their neede. And in this case the confederacie might bring them rather preju­dice, than benefite; a thing exceedingly importing this Crowne, as may be seene by experience.

Since then those qualities required, are found all to meete in the person of the Prince-Elector-Palatine; and that in those of the other Princes spoken of in this Election (the Prince of Transil­uania [Page 30] excepted: who hath his eye vpon another marke) though in themselues of great woorth and merit: in regard (notwithstanding) of the consti­tution of our State, there are many abilities wan­ting, (as may bee easily showne:) it will be to pur­pose therefore no longer to deferre the Election. And so much the rather, because the Crowne of Bohemia, with the Countryes confederate (now after the rejection) will bee more disquieted than euer, and remayning without a Heade, wee shall finde no man that will duely vndertake our prote­ction or Defence.


To the Reader.

The Reader may not expect hereof at this time so ex­act an impression as the subject requireth: by reason the Copie (out of which it was Printed) was written ouer in hast, and by a stranger: and Printed likewise in hast, the Compositors also strangers. By reason whereof some escapes may haue passed in the Orthographie, the which beeing but Literall, may the more easily bee pardoned, both to the Printer, and the Ouer-seer no ordinary Cor­rector, Vale.

Iohn Harrison.

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