Mr. GRIMSTON HIS SPEECH, At the Committee sitting in Guild-hall on Thursday the 6. of Ianuary 1641.

Concerning the breaches of the pri­viledges of Parliament; by breaking open the Chambers, Studies, and Trunks of the Lord Kimbolton, and the rest of the members of the House of Commons, accused by His Majesty of high Treason.

Whereupon, The same day there was a declaration agreed upon, and published, for the preservation of their privi­ledges, and protection of their Members from the like violence in time to come.

Printed at London for B. W. 1642.

Mr. GRIMSTON His Speech, at the Committee sitting in Guild-hall on Thursday the sixt of Ianuary, 1641.


THere is no Courts of Judicature within this Kingdome of England, but have severall rights and priviledges apper­taining and belonging unto them: and have such power and authority in the severall jurisdictions of the same, that they may call to an account, prosecute, and bring to judgement the infringers and breakers of the same. Of all these Courts there is none, yea put them all together, they are not of such power and jurisdiction, but inferi­our and subject to the Ordinances and Statutes of the high Court of Parliament.

M. Speaker, Of such awfull predominance is the very name of a Parliament to this Nation, that it strikes with terrour and despaire all such evill doers as are malefactors in the State: on the contrary side, it cheares and comforts the drooping Spirits of men groaning under the burthen of tyrannicall oppres­sion inflicted on them unjustly and maliciously by [Page] unmercifull and wicked men that have usurped to themselves places and offices of power and autho­rity both in Church and State.

M. Speaker, This great and high Court is not only the powerfullest of all other Courts whatsoever, but the prudentest and wisest, made and compacted not onely of men sound in Religion, well learned, but ripe in their judgments, contracted from all parts of this Kingdome, elected and chosen with the free consent of the whole body politique of the King­dome. This great and high Councell is not onely of such power and wisdome, but endowed and atten­ded with the most and greatest priviledges of all others; yea, so great are the priviledges thereof, that not onely the meanest of his Majesties Subjects, but the greatest personages of the Kingdome are in danger, if infringers of the same, to be called in question and by them punished therefore. Give me leave M. Speaker, to speake somewhat of the pri­viledges in particular, incident and appertaining to this wise Senate: and in speaking thereof, I shall observe these three particulars: first, the rights and priviledges belonging to the same, in the free votes and judicature thereof. Secondly, the rights and priviledges belonging to the power and jurisdiction thereof; and thirdly, the rights and priviledges in the continuance thereof, being freely called and assembled by his Majesties royall authority, not to be dissolved or broken off till all things agitated therein for the good both of Church and Common­wealth, be fully concluded and determined.

First, M. Speaker, concerning the priviledges of a [Page] Parliament belonging to the free votes and judica­ture thereof, I shall observe these particulars: first, to speake freely without interruption or contradi­ction in any debate, dispute, or argument, upon any businesse agitated in the same being a member thereof, I conceive to be one priviledge of a Parlia­ment.

Secondly, not to be questioned, for any such free dispute, argument, or debate, to be taxed or accused for the same, either during the free sitting thereof, or after, is another priviledge of Parliament.

Thirdly, freely to give vote, judgement, or sen­tence, upon the reading of any Bill, to be made a law, or any bill, either of Attainder, or other charge against Delinquents and Criminous persons of the State at their triall upon the same, is a third privi­ledge of Parliament.

Fourthly, to defend and maintain, the free votes, judgements, and sentences of the whole House, by Protestation, Remonstrance, or other Declaration, if not consented unto or opposed by the House of Lords, is a fourth priviledge.

Fifthly, for any member of the House not to be accused of any crime, or impeached for treason by any person whatsoever, during the continuance of the Parliament for things done in the same, with­out legall accusation and prosecution of any such member by the whole House, is another priviledge of Parliament.

Sixthly, not to be apprehended upon such im­peachment, or arrested by any officer, or to have up­on such accusation their Chambers, Trunks, and Stu­dies [Page] broken open, their bookes and writings seazed upon, without consent or warrant of the whole Par­liament, is another priviledge of the same. And thus much Mr. Speaker shall suffice to be spoken concerning the priviledges and rites of Parliament, pertinent to the subject, of which I am to speake. I come now to the second thing I proposed to your audience, which was the rites and priviledges be­longing to the power and jurisdiction of the Parlia­ment: In which I shall observe these particulars. First, to consult and consider of what lawes are fit to be made and inacted in this kingdome for the good government thereof, is one priviledge belonging to the power and jurisdiction of this High Court.

Secondly, to nullifie and abrogate, repeale, make voide, to ratifie and confirme, establish, and main­taine lawes, statutes, and ordinances, made and en­acted by precedent Parliament, by Councels of State, or other Courts of judicature, is a second priviledge pertaining to the power and jurisdiction of the Par­liament.

Thirdly, to give subsidies, to raise taxes, to im­pose loanes and other charges upon the subject, is another priviledge belonging to the power and ju­risdiction of the Parliament.

Fourthly, to accuse or impeach any Incendiaries or Delinquents in this kingdome of any crime no­torious, tending to the prejudice of his Ma­jesty or any of his loyall Subjects, whether it be for treason or otherwise, be they members of the Parliament or no, is another priviledge belong­ing to the power and jurisdiction of the Parliament.

[Page]Fifthly, and lastly, to proceed and bring to judge­ment such persons so accused or impeached for any crime whatsoever, is another priviledge belonging to the power and jurisdiction of this Court, and thus much of the rites and priviledges belonging to the power and jurisdiction of a Parliament.

And now Mr. Speaker, I come to the last things I mentioned to you, concerning the priviledges be­longing to the continuance and free sitting till all things be concluded of for the good government both of Church and state, in which I shall also ob­serve these particulars. First, that for a Parliament when freely called and assembled by royall authori­ty, not to be tyed to debate, or argue any one parti­cular businesse appointed by any person whatsoever, is one priviledge belonging to the free continuance of a Parliament.

Secondly, not to break off or dissolve a free Par­liament, untill all the grievances and oppressions of all his Majesties loyall subjects bee fully redressed and remedied, is a second priviledge belonging to the continuance of a Parliament.

Thirdly, not to breake off or dissolve a Parlia­ment, till all Incendiaries and Delinquents in the state be brought to condigne punishment for their crimes.

Fourthly and lastly, not to accuse or impeach any member of the Parliament thereby to hinder and in­terrupt the legall proceedings thereof in the waigh­ty affaires of the Common-wealth, is another privi­ledge belonging to the continuance of a Parlia­ment.

[Page]And thus Master Speaker, having briefly declared unto you the power and jurisdiction of a Parliament above all other Courts of Iudicature in this land, the wisdome and policy of a Parliament above all other Councels, the rights and priviledges of a Parlia­ment, in respect of the free votes and judicature thereof, the power and jurisdiction thereof, and the free continuance thereof; I humbly leave to the con­sideration of this House, whether the accusation of these Gentlemen accused by his Majesty, and the il­legall breaking open upon this their accusation, of their Chambers, Trunks, & studies, be not a breach of some of the Priviledges of Parliament which I have mentioned unto you.


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