A most Excellent and Remarkable SPEECH, DELIVERED By that Mirrour and Miracle of Princes, QƲEEN ELIZABETH, Of famous memory, in the Honourable the High Court of PARLIAMENT, in the seventeenth yeere of her REIGNE;

Wherein shee fully expresseth the duty of Princes to their Subjects, and that of Subjects to their Princes:

Setting forth also, the good Opinion She had of the Justice and Moderation of Our English PARLIAMENTS towards both Prince and People,

As it is faithfully collected out of the Records of the said PARLIAMENT;

A Discourse very suitable for these times.

London, Printed for Humphrey Richardson, Ianuary 28. An. Dom. 1643. ⟨1642⟩


A most Excellent and Remarkable SPEECH, Delivered by that Mirrour and Miracle of Princes, Queen Elizabeth, of famous memory, in the Honourable the High Court of Parliament. in the seventeenth yeere of her Re [...]gne.

My Lord,

THis present Session of Parliament ga­thered together by Our command, for the good of Our selfe and the prosperity of Our, Subjects, Wee wish may be as fortunate to them as conducing to Our intents, which shall still guide themselves to the ad­vancement of Our peoples wel-fare. We are not ignorant of the imbecil­lity and unablenesse of Our sex to governe such a powerfull and mighty Kingdom as this is, strong in faction, through rea­son of diversity of Religion now raigning in it, forraigne Princes, especially the Pope and the King of Spaine, Our in­veterate enemies, in regard of the profession of the Gospell, who, both by practices abroad, and incitations of Our Sub­jects at home, have sought all meanes to deprive Us of the royalty of this Our Hereditary Kingdome; such and so bloody [Page 4] [...] of the [...] lo [...] the true Worship of God, that they never cease, like ro­ring Lyons, to goe about day and night, seeking whom they may devoure: but though feare be naturally incident to Ou [...] sex, it is banished from the condition of a Prince; as We [...] a [...] a woman. We may feare to fall under their malice; as Wee are a Prince, the Soveraigne of this Kingdome, Wee cannot dread their attempts, knowing that the awe which is in­tailed upon Majesty, hath power to strike dead all such en­terprizes of the most desperate traytors that are; and for Our owne part. We shall no wayes be carelesse of Our owne secu­rity: but as you, my Lords, and Our honourable the House of Commons, have beene well and judiciously advised in en­acting good and wholesome lawes against these inhumane and barbarous traytors, the Recusants of this Kingdome, so shall We without regard or feare of any, see they be put in ex­ecution. We have made it alwayes Our principall study, my Lords, to be well experienced in the duty of Princes to­wards their people, and by the instructions both of the Divine and Humane lawes, We find that Princes have as neere a re­lation, and as strict an obligation to their Subjects, as Subjects have to them; secundum morem principis, after the manner which a Prince can be ingaged or obliged, that is, by the bond fealed to the people at the Coronation; every Prince cove­nants with the people, to defend them from all injuries, domesticke and forraigne, to institute and ordaine good and wholesome lawes for their security, from oppressions one from another, and from the Prince himselfe, who by the un­limited power and prerogative of his royalty, may onely, and yet more grievously afflict the people then the people can any way injure one another; the people being equall one with another, and obliged to the same lawes, the Prince be­ing above them. And surely wrongs from equalls are easilier righted then from superiours, the eminence of power oft eithes blinding the Eagles eyes of equity.

A Prince should therefore be toward the people, as that [Page 5] great Prophet Samuel was toward the Israelites, whom, when hee had judged for many yeares, hee boldly challeng'd the whole Congregation to attest against him whose Oxe, or whose Asse he had taken, or from whom he had received any bribe to pervert Justice.

This, my Lords, have We in Our consideration and reso­lution, set downe as Our president in the government of this Our English Israel, whom Gods mercies have notified his peculiar people, and this we shall ever accomplish, the due administration of Justice. Princes as they are Gods on earth in title, should be so in their actions: and We call you all to witnesse, my Lords, this day, that in this seventeenth yeare of Our raigne over you, We have never performed any act preduciall to the liberty, or opposite to the known lawes of the land, which have been confirmed to them by so many Kings, Our Royall Progenitors; and surely what Monarch of England that shall at any time goe about to alienate the property of the Subject, or impose on their immunities any innovation, or diminishment, can never boast himselfe to be absolute Soveraigne of this Kingdome, nor to injoy His Crowne and dignity, with the well wishes, and affections of his Subjects; for so large is the charter of the English Sub­jects liberty, which the piety of Our Royall Predecessors have granted them, and the merit of their own ancestors purchased, that they are a free people, if compared with other Nations, who groan under the yoak and heavy burdens laid on their servile necks by their Soveraignes, custome in suffring, making them undergo their suffrings with-patience.

But the nature We know of all Englishmen to be such, that faire words and gentle usage may sooner overcome and inslave their huge stomacks and great spirits then any force or foule meanes whatsoever. There lives not in the whole world a more obedient people to their Soveraigne then Ours are, so long as they continue; the Prince studies to de­fend and preserve their liberties, but if once they fal off from that opinion, either by the over severity, or too much neg­lect [Page 4] [...] [Page 5] [...] [Page 6] of their Soveraigne in the managing the affaires of the Common-wealth: They are of all other Subjects most vio­lent and implacable, which We conceive proceeds out of the extraordinary affection they beare their King, grieving inwardly, and taking from hence more to heart any indig­nity offered them then any Subject whatsoever.

But you my Lords, and you Our house of Commons, of this Our high Court of Parliament, to you the principall care of Our people by Us hath ever beene committed; Wee are so well assured, both by your own integrities, and the presidents which you have given in former ages, both to Our Royall Father, and others of Our renowned Ancestors, of your loyalties, that Wee should esteeme it an uncivill defect in Our judgement to doubt thereof: Wee know it was the Act and wisedome of Parliament that united those two long jarring Royall Families of Yorke and Lancaster, both in Our selfe incorporated, by the marrying of Our Grandmother and Grandfather of famous memory. It was the power of Parliament that assisted Our said Grand father against all those conspiracies of Warbecke, Lambert, and o­thers, and tendred him victorious over all of them. It was the wisedome of His supreme Councell, the Parliament, guiding and counselling His actions as well as His owne naturall prudence, that made Him bee accounted the very Solomon of his time throught all Nations; and surely it cannot be denied, but it was the same genius of Parliament that in Our Royall Fathers time produced such admirable effects, as were the denying the Antichristian Supremacy of the Pope, and the dissolutions of those Seminaries of sloth and vices, the wealthy Abbies and Monasteries, which had gotten into their possession the very fat of this Land, flowing with milke and honey, and did also assist Him with aids of money in all his wars abroad, rendring His name terrible to other Nations. It hath been the justice of Parlia­ment that hath setled the indubitate right of this Kingdome in his children, Our Brother, Sister, and last of all, Our selfe, [Page 7] who must acknowledge that the Parliaments congregated by Us, have been happy and fortunate, both to Our Selfe and people; they have augmented: and setled Our Royall Revenue, discovered and punished all dangerous conspi­racies against Us, making and providing sharpe and fitting lawes for the determent of all desperate wretches from practising ought of violence-against Our Person. The Par­liament hath by Our consent, reduced coyne throughout Our Kingdome of England, and Principality of Wales, to its just and staple value. Finally, the Parliament is the me­diator betwixt the Soveraignes of this Kingdome and the people thereof, the best inheritance and supportment of the royalty of the one, and the liberty of the other.

To you therefore Our Lords and Commons, assembled in this Our present Parliament, to treat and manage the difficult affaires of this Kingdome, We doe most willingly commit and commend the care of them, Wee believe so many noble and wise men, as here are gathered together, cannot be recreant from the vertue of their Predecessors, who have obtained and ordained so many wholesome and profitable lawes for the weale of the Subject, but be as in­dustrious and zealous in the businesse of the Common­wealth, as they have beene carefull husbands of their properties and patrimonies: they expect from you the con­firmation and augmentation of their liberties; and for Our owne part, We are so confident of your well meanings to Us, that We will freely intrust you with all the differences, or controversies between Our Selfe and people, if any such there be, that you may rectifie and reform them: Our people are as Our Selfe, and whatsoever ill or injury happens to them, either by the too much rigor of the lawes, or ini­quity of the Judges. We shall judge as cast upon Us; looke severely to this businesse, and to all other that shall either concerne the people, or the true service of God, and you shall alwaies finde Us ready and willing to correspond with your votes in any thing.

[Page 8] We have onely one thing to admonish you of, which con­cernes Gods true Religion, and Our selfe and people nee [...]ly, to wit, the power and still increasing number of Popish Recu­sants in this Kingdome; the Pope and Our English Fugitives sending over from beyond Seas daily new Emissaries of un­truth and sedition amongst Us; these must either be preven­ted, or as illegitimate and dangerous sonnes of the Common­wealth, cut off, use in it your owne discretions; We are con­fident Our Parliament hath as great a stocke of wisdome as the grand Councell of any Kingdome whatsoever, that the wisest of the Kings Our Progenitors have relyed upon their prudence, well then may We, a poore weake woman put all Our confidence in your discretions, which wee shall ever as well as at this present time, beseech the God of Heaven to increase and blesse, that the Land may be happy in the pen­dence of your Councels, and We rejoyce and be exalted and beloved of Our neighbours, to the peace of Our Kingdome and Our owne increase of happinesse.


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