HIS MAJESTIES ANSWER TO THE PETITION OF The LORDS and COMMONS in Parliament assembled: Presented to His Majestie at YORK, June 17. 1642.

LONDON: Printed by ROBERT BARKER, Printer to the Kings most Excellent Majestie: And by the Assignes of JOHN BILL. 1642.

To the Kings most Excellent Majestie The humble Petition of the Lords and Commons in Parliament assembled.

YOur Majesties most humble and faithfull Subjects, the Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament, have late­ly received a Petition from a great number of the Gentry, Free­holders and other inhabitants of the County of York, assembled there by Your Majesties Command the third of June, wherein they declare unto us, That having taken a resolution to addresse themselves unto Your Majestie in the humble way of a Petition, for the redresse of those Grievances which they now lie under, they were violently interrupted and affronted therein by the Earle of Lyndsey, the Lord Savill and others, and notwithstanding all the means they could use to present their just desires to Your Majestie, yet they could not prevail with Your Majestie to accept of their Petition; The Copie whereof they have sent to us, with an humble Desire, That we would take such course therein as may tend to the Preserva­tion of their Liberties, and the Peace of the Kingdom; And that we would addresse our selves to Your Majestie in their behalf, that by our means their desires may finde better acceptation with Your Ma­jestie; Whereupon, having seriously weighed, and considered the particulars of those their Complaints and Desires, as they are laid down in their Petition; And finding that the Grievan­ces they complain of are the increase of the Miseries formerly sustained by that Countie (which hath well-nigh for three veers last past been the Tragicall Stage of Armies and War) by reason of Your Majesties distance in Residence, and differ­ence in Counsels from your great Councell, the Parliament, begetting great distempers and distractions thorowout the [Page 2]Kingdom, and especially in that Countie; The drawing to those Parts great numbers of discontented Persons, that may too justly be feared do affect the publike Ruine for their pri­vate advantage; The drawing together of many Companies of the Trained Bands, and others both Horse and Foot of that Countie, and retaining multitudes of Commanders and Cava­liers from other parts; The daily resort of Recusants to Your Majesties Court at York; The great preparations of Arms and other warlike Provisions, to the great terrour and amazement of Your Majesties peaceable Subjects, and causing a great decay of Trade and Commerce amongst them. All and every of which particulars are against the Law, which Your Majestie hath made so many and so frequent Professions to uphold and maintain. And the Lords and Commons finding on the other side their humble desires to be, That Your Majestie would hearken to Your Parliament, and declining all other Counsells whatsoever, unite your Confidence to Your Parliament, and that Your Majestie would not divide Your Subjects joynt dutie to Your Majestie, the Parliament and Kingdom, nor de­stroy the Essence of Your great Councell and highest Court, by subjecting the Determinations and Counsells thereof to the Counsells and Opinions of any private persons whatsoever; That Your Majestie having passed an Act, That this Parliament shall not be dissolved, but by Act of Parliament, Your Majesty would not do any thing tending thereunto, by commanding away the Lords and great Officers, whose attendance is neces­sary thereunto; That Your Majestie having expressed Your confidence in the affections of that Countie, You would please to dismisse Your extraordinary Guards, and the Cavaliers and others of that qualitie, who seem to have little Interest or Af­fection to the publike good, their language and behaviour speaking nothing but Division and War, and their advantage consisting in that which is most destructive to others. And [Page 3]lastly, that in such Consultations and Propositions as Your Ma­jestie maketh to that Countie, such may not be thrust upon them as men of that Countie, that neither by their fortune or residence are any part of it.

All which their humble and most just desires being ac­cording to Law, which Your Majestie hath so often declared should be the Measure and Rule of Your Government and Actions; And we Your Majesties most faithfull Subjects the Lords and Commons fully concurring with the Gentlemen and others of the Countie of York in their Assurance that those de­sires of theirs will abundantly redound to the glory of God, the honour and safety of Your Majestie, the good of Your Po­sterity, and the Peace and Prosperity of this Kingdom; we humbly beseech Your Majestie graciously to hearken unto them, and to grant them; and that you would joyn with Your Parliament in a speedy and effectuall course for the Pre­servation of their Liberties, and the Peace of the Kingdom, which dutie, as we are now called upon by that Countie to dis­charge, so do we stand engaged to God and man for the per­formance thereof by the trust reposed in us, and by our solemn Vow and Protestation; And Your Majestie, together with us, stands engaged by the like Obligation of trust, and of an Oath, besides the many and earnest Professions and Protestations, which Your Majestie hath made to this Purpose to Your whole Kingdom in generall, and to that Countie in particular; the Peace and quiet of the Kingdom (as is well observed by these Gentlemen and Free-holders of Yorkshire in their Peti­tion) being the onely visible means under God, wherein con­sists the Preservation of the Protestant Religion, the Re­demption of our brethren in Ireland, and the happinesse and prosperity of Your Majestie, and of all Your Dominions.

His MAJESTIES Answer to the Petition of the Lords and Commons in Parliament assem­bled, presented to His MAJESTIE at Yorke, the 17 of June. 1642.

HIs Majestie having carefully weighed the matter of this Petition presented to Him at York on Friday the seventeenth of June, by the Lord Howard, Sir Hugh Cholmely, Sir Philip Stapleton, Though He might refer the Petitioners to His two last Declarations, wherein most of the Particulars in this Petition are fully an­swered, or might refuse to give any Answer at all, rill He had received satisfaction in those high Indigni­ties He hath so often complained of, and demanded Iu­stice for; Yet that all the World may see how desirous His Majestie is to leave no Act which seemes to carry the Reputation of both his houses of Parliament, and in the least degree to reflect upon His Majesties Iustice and Honour, unanswered; Is graciously pleased to re­turne this Answer:

That if the Petition mentioned to be Presented to both Houses of Parliament had been annexed to this now delivered to Him, His Majestie might have discerned the number and the quality of the Petitioners, which His Majestie hath great reason to beleeve was not in trueth so considerable as is pretended: For His Majestie assures you▪ That He hath never refused any Petition so attested as that would be thought to be; But His Majestie well [Page 5]remembers, that on the third of Iune, when there was upon His Majesties Summons, the greatest, and the most cheerfull concourse of people that ever was beheld of one County, appearing before Him at York, a Gentle­man (one Sir Thomas Fayrfax) offered in that great Confluence a Petition to His Majestie, which His Ma­jestie seeing to be avowed by no man but himself, and the generall and universall Acclamations of the people seeming to disclaim it, did not receive, conceiving it not to be of so publike a nature, as to be fit to be presented or received in that place: And His Majestie is most con­fident, (and in that must appeal to those were then pre­sent) that what ever the substance of that Petition was, it was not consented to by any considerable num­ber of Gentry, or Freeholders of this County; but solicited by a few, mean, inconsiderable persons, and disliked, and visibly discountenanced by the great Body of the known Gentry, Clergie, and Inhabitants of this whole Countie: And if the matter of that Petition was such as is suggested in this, His Majestie hath great reason to beleeve it was framed and contrived (as many others of such nature have been) in London, not in Yorkshire; For sure no Gentleman of quality and understanding of this County, would talk of His great Preparations of Arms, and other warlike Provisions, to the great Terrour and Amazement of His peaceable Subjects, when they are witnesses of the violent taking His Arms from Him, and stopping all waies for bringing more to Him: And if there were no greater Terrour and Amazement of His Majesties peaceable Subjects in other places by such Preparations and Provisions, there would be no more cause to complaine of a great decay of Trade and Com­merce there, then is in this place▪ But His M [...] [Page 6]hath so great an assurance of the Fidelity and generall Affections of His good Subjects of this County, (which He hopes will prove exemplar over His whole King­dom) that He hath great cause to beleeve, That they do rather complain of His Majesties Confidence, and of His Slownesse; That whilest there is such endeavour abroad to raise Horse, and to provide Arms against His Majestie, and that endeavour put in execution, His Majestie trusts so much to the Iustice of His Cause, and the Affections of His people, and neglects to provide strength to assist that Iustice, and to protect those Af­fections.

For any Affronts offered by the Earl of Lindsey, or the Lord Savill to those who intended to petition His Maje­stie; His Majestie wishes that both His Houses of Par­liament would have examined that Information, and the credit of the Informers, with that gravity and deli­beration, as in Cases which concern the Innoceuce and Honour of Persons of such quality hath been accustom­ed, before they had Proscribed two Peers of the Realm, and exposed them (as much as in them lay) to the rage and fury of the people, under the Character of being Enemies to the Common-wealth, A brand newly found out (and of no Legall signification) to incense the people by, and with which the simplicity of former times was not acquainted; And then His Majestie hath some reason to beleeve, they would have found themselves as much abused in the report concerning those Lords, as He is sure they are in those which tell them of the Resort of great numbers and discontented Persons to Him, and of the other particulars mentioned to be in that Petition; Whereas they who observe what resort is here to His Majestie, well know it to be of the prime Gentlemen of [Page 7]all the Counties in England, whom nothing but the love of Religion, the care of the Laws, and Liberties of the Kingdom, besides their Affection to His Person, could engage into great Iourneys, Trouble and expence, Men of as precious Reputation, and as exemplary Lives, as this Nation hath any, whose assistance His Majestie knows He must not expect, if He should have the least Designe against Honour and Iustice; And such wit­nesses His Majestie desires to have of all His Actions.

For the declining all other Counsells and the Vniting His Confidence to His Parliament, His Majestie de­sires both His Houses of Parliament seriously and sad­ly to consider, that it is not the name of a great or little Councell that makes the Results of that Councell just or unjust; neither can the imputation upon His Majestie of not being advised by His Parliament (especially since all their Actions and all their Orders are exposed to the Publique view) long mislead His good Subjects, except in truth they see some particular sound advice necessarie to the Peace and happinesse of the Common-wealth disesteemed by His Majestie, and such an instance He is most assured, neither can nor shall be given, and that they will think it merit in His Majestie from the Com­mon-wealth to reject such Counsell as would perswade Him to make Himself none of the three Estates, by gi­ving up His negative voice to allow them a Power su­perior to that which the Law hath given Him, whensoe­ver it pleaseth the major part present of both Houses to say, that He doth not discharge His trust as He ought, and to subject His, and His Subjects unquestionable Right and Propriety to their Votes, without and against Law, upon the meer pretence of necessitie. And His Ma­jestie must appeal to all the World, who it is that endea­vours [Page 8]to divide the joynt dutie of His Subiects, His Majestie who requires nothing but what their own du­tie, guided by the infallible Rule of the Law, leads them to do, or they who by Orders and Votes (opposite and contradictory to Law, Cuffome, president and reason) so confound the affections and understandings of His good Subjects, that they know not how to behave them­selves with honestie and safetie, whilest their Conscience will not suffer them to submit to the one, nor their secu­ritie to apply themselves to the other. It is not the bare saying that His Maiesties Actions are against the Law (with which He is reproached in this Petition, as if He departed from His often Protestations to that pur­pose) must conclude Him, there being no one such parti­cular in that Petition alledged, of which His Majestie is in the least degree guiltie, whether the same reverence and esteem be paid by you to the Law (except your own Votes be judge) needs no other Evidence, then those many, very many Orders published in Print, both con­cerning the Church and State, those long Imprison­ments of severall persons without hearing them upon generall information, and the great and unlimited Fees to your Officers, worse then the Imprisonment, and the Arbitrary censure upon them when they are admitted to be heard; Let the Law be judge by whom it is vio­lated.

For that part of the Petition which seems to accuse His Majestie of a purpose to dissolve this Parliament contrary to the Act for the Continuance) by Command­ing away the Lords and great Officers, whose attend­ance is necessary, which His Majestie, well knows to be a new Calumny, by which the Grand Contrivers of ru­ine for the State hope to seduce the mindes of the Peo­ple [Page 9]from their affection to, or into Jealousie of His Ma­jestie, as if He meant this way to bring this Parliament (which may be the case of all Parliaments) to nothing; it is not possible for His Majestie more to expresse His af­fection to, and His Resolution for the Freedom, Liber­tie and Frequencie of Parliaments, then He hath done; And who ever considers how visible it must be to His Majestie, that it is impossible for Him to subsist without the affections of His People, and that those affections cannot possibly be preserved or made use of but by Par­liaments, cannot give the least credit, or have the least suspition, that His Majestie would chuse any other way to the happinesse He desires for Himself and His Poste­ritie, but by Parliaments. But for His calling the Lords hither, or any others absenting themselves, who have not been called, who ever considers the Cumults (which no Votes or Declaration can make to be no Til­mults) by which His Majestie was driven away, and many Members of either House in danger of their lives, the demanding the names of those Lords who would not consent to their Propositions by Message from the House of Commons delivered at the Barr by Master Hollis, with that most tumultuous Petition in the Name of ma­ny thousands (among many other of the same kinde) directed to the House of Commions, and sent up by them to the House of Lords, taking notice of the prevalence of a malignant Faction, which made abortive all their good Motions; which tended to the Peace and Tran­quility of the Kingdom, desiring that those noble Mor­thies of the House of Peers who concurred with them in their happy Votes, might be earnestly desired to joyn with that honourable House, and to sit and Vote as one entire Body, professing that unlesse some speedy [Page 10]remedy were taken for the removeall of all such obstru­ctions as hindred the happy progresse of their great en­deavours, their Petitioners should not rest in quiet­nesse, but should be inforced to lay hold on the next re­medy which was at hand to remove the disturbers of their Peace, and (want and necessity breaking the bounds of modesty) not to leave any means unassayed for their relief, adding that the cry of the Poor and needy was, that such Persons who were the Obstacles of their Peace, and hinderers of the happy proceedings of this Parliament might be forthwith publikely decla­red, whose removeall they conceived would put a Pe­riod to these distractions; upon which a great number of Lords departing, the Vote in order to the Ordinance concerning the Militia was immediatly past, though it had been twice before put to the Question, and rejected by the Votes of much the major part of that House. And whoever considers the strange Orders, Votes and Declarations which have since passed, to which who­soever wo [...]ld not consent, that is, with freedom and liberty of language and reason professe against, was in danger of Censure and Imprisonment, will not blame Our Care in sending for them, or theirs in coming, or absenting themselves from being involved in such Conclusions. Neither will it be any objection that they stayed there long after any Tumults were, and there­fore that the Tumults drave them not away: If every day produced Orders and Resolutions as illegall as, and indeed but the effects of the Tumults, there was no cause to doubt the same power would be ready to pre­vent any Opposition to those Orders after they were made, which had made way and preparation for the Pro­positions of them, and so whosoever conceived himself [Page 11]in danger of future Tumults (against which there is not the least provision) was driven away by those which were past; And His Majestie hath more reason to won­der at those who stay behinde, after all His Legall Power is Voted from Him, and all the People told, That he might be with modesty and duty enough deposed, then any man hath at those who have been willing to with­draw themselves from the place where such desperate and dangerous Positions are avowed; which His Ma­jestie doth not mention with the least thought of lessening the Power or Validity of any Act to which He hath given His Assent this Parliament; All and every of which He shall as inviolably observe, as He looks to have His own Rights preserved, but to shew by what means so many strange Orders have of late been made, And to shew how earnestly His Majestie desires to be present at, and to receive Advice from both Houses of Parliament (against whom it shall never be in the power of a Malignant Party to incense his Majestie) His Majestie again offers His consent, that both Houses may be Adjourned to another Place, which may be thought convenient, where His Majestie will be pre­sent, and doubts not but the Members of either House will make a full Appearance; And even the Intermis­sion which must attend such an Adjournment may not be the least means of recovering that temper which is necessary for such Debates.

And this His Majestie conceives to be so very neces­sary, that if the mindes and inclinations of every Mem­ber of either House were equally composed, the Licence is so great, that the mean people about London and the Suburbs have taken, that both for the Liberty and Di­gnity of Parliament, that Convention for a time should [Page 12]be in another place. And sure how much soever the safe­ty and security of this Kingdom depends on Parlia­ments, it will never be thought, that those Parliaments must of necessity be at Westminster.

His Majesties Confidence is no lesse then he hath ex­pressed (and hath great cause to expresse) in the affections of this County, an instance of which affections all men know, His Guard (which is not extraordinary) to be, and wonders that such a legall Guard at His own charge, for His Person, (within twenty miles of a rebel­lion, and of an Army in pay against Him) should be object­ed by those, who for so many moneths, and in a place of known and confessed security, have without and against Law kept a Guard for themselves at the charge of the Common-wealth, and upon that stock of money which was given for the reliefe of the miserable and bleeding condition of Ireland, or the payment of the great debt due to Our Kingdom of Scotland.

For the resort of Papists to the Court his Majesties great care for the prevention thereof is notoriously known, that when He was informed two or three of his intended Guard were of that Religion, He gave especiall direction, with expressions of His displeasure, that they should be immediatly discharged, and provided that no Person should attend on him under that Relation, but such as took, the oathes of Allegiance and Supremary, that He commanded the Sheriffe to proceed with all se­verity according to the Law against all Papists that should come within five miles of the Court, and if not­withstanding this, there be any Papists neer the Court, (which his Majestie assures you he knowes not, nor hath heard but by this Petition) He doth hereby Command them to depart, and declares to all Officers and Mini­sters [Page 13]of Iustice, that they shall proceed fleictly against them according to the Law, and as they will answer the contrary at their perils.

For the language and behaviour of the Cavaliers (a word by what mistake soever it seemes much in disfa­vour) there hath not been the least complaint here, and therefore it is probable the fault was not found in this County. Neither can His Majestie imag [...]e what is meant by the mention of any men thrust upon them in such Con [...]ultations and Propositions as His Majestie makes to this County, who are neither by there Fortune or Residence any part of it, and therefore can make us Answer to it.

To conclude, His Majestle assures you He hath never refused to receive any Petition, whether you have or no, your selves best know, and will consider what Reputa­tion it will be to you of Iustice or Ingenuity to receive all Petitions how senslesse and scandalous soever of one kinde, under pretence of understanding the good peoples mindes and affections, and not onely refuse the Petition, but punish the Petitioners of another kinde, under co­lour that it is a crime, that they are not satisfied with your sense, as if you were onely trusted by the people of one opinion, to take all pains to publish and print Peti­tions which agree with your wishes, though they were never presented, and to use the same Industry and Au­thority to keep those that indeed were presented and a­vowed from being published (though by Our own Au­thority) because the Argument is not pleasant to you; To pretend Impartiality and Infallibility, and to ex­presse the greatest passion and affection in the Order of your Proceeding, and no lesse errour and mis-under­standing in your Iudgements and Resolutions. He doth [Page 14]remember well the obligation of His Trust, and of His Oath, and desires that you will do so too, and your own solemn Vow and Protestation, and then you wil not only think it convenient, but necessary to give His Majestie a ful Reparation for all the scandalls laid upon Him, and all the scandalous Positions made against Him, and that it is lesse dishonor to retract errors, then by avowing to confesse the malice of them, & will see this to be the su­rest way for the preservation of the Protestant Religion, the redemption of Our Brethren in Ireland, the happi­nesse and prosperity of your selves and of all Our Domi­nions, and of the Dignity and Freedom of Parliament.


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