HIS MAJESTIES ANSWER To the PETITION which ac­companied the DECLARATION of the House of COMMONS: Presented to Him at Hampton-Court, the first of December. 1641.

LONDON: Printed by ROBERT BARKER, Printer to the Kings most Excellent Majestie: And by the Assignes of JOHN BILL. MDCXLI.


HIS MAJESTIES ANSVVER To the PETITION which ac­companied the DECLARATION Presented to Him at Hampton-Court, 1o Decemb. 1641.

WEE having received from you, soon after Our return out of Scotland, a long Peti­tion, consisting of many desires, of great moment, together with a De­claration of a very unusuall nature [Page 2]annexed thereunto, VVe had ta­ken some time to consider of it, as befitted Us in a matter of that con­sequence, being confident, that your own reason and regard to Us, as well as Our expresse intimation by Our Comptroller to that pur­pose, would have restrained you from the publishing of it, till such time, as you should have received Our Answer to it: But, much against Our expectation, finding the contrary, that the said Decla­ration is already abroad in Print, by directions from your House, as appears by the printed Copy; VVe must let you know that VVe are very sensible of the disre­spect. Notwithstanding, it is Our Intention, that no failing on your [Page 3]part, shall make Us fail in Ours, of giving all due satisfaction to the de­sires of Our people, in a Parlia­mentary way; And therefore VVe send you this Answer to your Petition, reserving Our self in point of the Declaration, which VVe think unparliamentary, and shall take a course to do that which VVe shall think fit in prudence and honour.

To the Petition, VVe say; that although there are divers things in the Preamble of it, which VVe are so far from admitting, that VVe professe VVe cannot at all under­stand them, as, Of a wicked and malignant party prevalent in the Government; Of some of that party admitted to Our Privie Councell, [Page 4]and to other Imployments of trust, and necrest to Ʋs and Our Children; Of Endeavours to sowe among the Peo­ple false scandals and imputations, to blemish and disgrace the Proceed­ings of the Parliament: All, or any of which, did VVe know of, VVe should be as ready to reme­dy and punish, as you to complain of. That the Prayers of your Pe­tition are grounded upon such Pre­misses as VVe must in no wise ad­mit; yet notwithstanding VVe are pleased to give this Answer to you.

To the first concerning Religi­on, consisting of severall branches, VVe say, that for the preserving the Peace and Safety of the Kingdom from the designes of the Popish [Page 5]partie, VVe have, and will still concur with all the just desires of Our people in a Parliamentarie way; That for the depriving of the Bishops of their Votes in Par­liament, VVe would have you consider, that their right is ground­ed upon the fundamentall Law of the Kingdom, and constitution of Parliament; This VVe would have you consider, but since you desire Our concurrence herein in a Parliamentary way, VVe will give no further answer at this time.

As for the abridging of the inor­dinate power of the Clergy, VVe conceive that the taking away of the high Commission Court hath well moderated that, but if there continue any Usurpations, or [Page 6]Excesses in their Jurisdictions, VVe therein neither have nor will protect them.

Unto that Clause which con­cerneth Corruptions (as you stile them) in Religion, in Church-go­vernment, and in Discipline, and the removing of such unnecessary Ceremonies as weak Consciences might cheque at. That for any ille­gall Innovations which may have crept in, VVe shall willingly con­cur in the removall of them. That if Our Parliament shall advise Us to call a Nationall Synod, which may duly examine such Ceremo­nies as give just cause of offence to any. VVe shall take it into consi­deration, and apply Our Self to give due satisfaction therein; But [Page 7]VVe are very sorry to hear in such generall terms, Corruption in Religion objected, since VVe are perswaded in Our conscience, that no Church can be found upon the earth that professeth the true Re­ligion with more purity of Do­ctrine then the Church of England doth, nor where the Government and Discipline are joyntly more beautified, and free from superstiti­on, then as they are here establish­ed by Law, which (by the grace of God) VVe will with Con­stancy maintain (while VVe live) in their Puritie and Glory, not on­ly against all invasions of Popery, but also from the irreverence of those many Schismaticks and Se­paratists, wherewith of late this [Page 8]Kingdom and this City abounds, to the great dishonour and hazard both of Church and State; for the suppression of whom VVe re­quire your timely and active assist­ance.

To the second prayer of the Pe­tition, concerning the removall and choice of Councellours, VVe know not any of Our Councell to whom the Character set forth in the Petition can belong. That by those whom VVe had exposed to triall, VVe have already given you sufficient testimony, that there is no man so neer unto Us in place or affection, whom VVe will not leave to the Justice of the Law, if you shall bring a particular charge and sufficient proofs against him; [Page 9]and of this VVe do again assure you, but in the mean time VVe wish you to forbear such generall aspersions as may reflect upon all Our Councell, since you name none in particular.

That for the choice of Our Councellours and Ministers of State, it were to debar Us that na­turall libertie all Free-men have, and it is the undoubted right of the Crown of England, to call such persons to Our Secret Councels, to publike imployment, and Our particular service, as VVe shall think fit, so VVe are, and ever shall be very carefull to make election of such persons in those places of trust, as shall have given good testimo­nies of their abilities and integrity, [Page 10]and against whom there can be no just cause of exception whereon reasonably to ground a diffidence; and to choices of this nature VVe assure you that the mediation of the neerest unto Us hath alwayes concurred.

To the third Prayer of your Petition, concerning Ireland, VVe understand your desire of not alie­nating the forfeited Lands thereof, to proceed from your much care and love; And like wise that it may be a Resolution very fit for Us to take, but whether it be seasonable to declare Resolutions of that na­ture before the events of a war be seen, that VVe much doubt of. Howsoever, VVe cannot but thank you for this care, and your [Page 11]cheerfull ingagement for the sup­pression of that Rebellion; upon the speedy effecting whereof, the glory of God in the Protestant Pro­fession, the safety of the Brittish there, Our honour, and that of the Nation so much depends; all the Interests of this Kingdom being so involved in that businesse, VVe cannot but quicken your affections therein, and shall desire you to frame your Councels, and to give such expedition to the work, as the nature thereof, and the pressures in point of time requires, and where­of you are put in minde by the daily insolence and increase of those Rebels.

For Conclusion, your promise to apply your selves to such cour­ses [Page 12]as may support Our Royall Estate with Honour and Plenty at home, and with Power and Repu­tation abroad, is that which VVe have ever promised Our Self, both from your Loyalties and Affecti­ons, and also for what VVe have already done, and shall daily go adding unto, for the comfort and happinesse of Our people.


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