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60. SUGGESTED ANSWER OF THE KING TO THE PROPOSITIONS DRAWN UP BY THE LEADING PRESBYTERIANS AND
SMALL NUMBER OF THE INDEPENDENTS, AND FORWARDED BY THE FRENCH AMBASSADOR TO CARDINAL MAZARIN TO BE LAID BEFORE QUEEN HENRIETTA MARIA. [January 29,
1646. Archives des Affaires Étrangères, Angleterre, February 8,
lv. fol. 185.)
Mémoire envoyé par M. de Bellievre au Cardinal Mazarin!
Les sincères intentions du Roy n'ayant pas esté bien entendues par les responses que sa Maté vous a fait cy. devant, elle juge à propos de vous faire connoistre qu'elle estoit lors sa pensée, semblable à la résolution en laquelle elle est aujourd'huy, elle estimoit, lorsque vous ayant fait sçavoir en termes généraux qu'elle vouloit establir la religion en les justes privilèges des Parlements avec la seureté de ses sujets, aux desirs desquels elle prétendoit s'accommoder, et faire toutes les choses qui seroient véritablement pour leur bien et leur advantage, vous deviez estre satisfait.
Mais pour vous le faire entendre plus particulièrement, elle vous dit qu'elle est preste de confirmer pour trois ans le Gouvernement Presbytérial puisqu'il a esté pour ce temps estably par les deux maisons : que sa Maté veut approuver ce qui a esté fait par le grand sceau j'usqu'a ce jour, depuis que les deux maisons s'en sont servy: qu'elle est aussy en volonté de mettre le pouvoir de la milice tant par terre que par mer entre les mains de telles personnes que les deux maisons nommeront, leur donnant pouvoir de changer les dites personnes à leur volonté, et d'en substituer d'autres en leurs places ; et ce pour l'espace de dix années, s'il est jugé qu'il faille tant de temps pour assurer la confirmation de la paix et l'accomplissement des choses qui auront esté agrées.
Sa Maté donnera pareillement pleine satisfaction touchant la conduite de la guerre en Irlande et touchant l'establissement de la religion en la manière qu'elle sera establie en Angleterre, et sa Maté consentira de tout son coeur à l'acte qui sera fait pour la confirmation des privilèges, et des coustumes de la ville de Londres : elle se portera d'autant plus volontiers à accorder ce qui est cy dessus, qu'elle ne
1 This document is only known to exist in the French form.
doute point que vous voudrez avoir la considération que vous devez pour maintenir le juste pouvoir de sa couronne, que ses amis ne seront point en peyne pour l'avoir suivy, et qu'il sera pourveu par un acte d'amnistie et pardon général passé dans le Parlement, à ce que toutes les semences de trouble et de mescontentement soyent entièrement assoupies.
Comme aussy que les expediens seront pris que l'on jugera les plus propres pour l'acquit des debtes publiques et de celles de sa Maté ; le Roy faisant voir quelle est son intention touchant les choses les plus importantes de celles qui sont contenues dans les Propositions, vous pouvez juger que ce qu'il a demandé à estre ouy, ainsy qu'il le demande encore présentement; et que pour cet effect il puisse venir à Londres, ou en l'une de ses maisons qui en sont proches, sur la foy et l'asseurance publiquè que vous luy donnerez, qu'il y demeurera avec honneur, seureté et liberté.
Ce n'est que pour y pouvoir plus promptement et avec plus de facilité que d'un autre lieu prendre et donner des esclaircissements, faire et recevoir les Propositions qui peuvent faire naistre une confiance réciproque entre sa Maté et ses sujets et contribuer à establir et maintenir une bonne paix tant desirée par les gens de bien?
61. THE KING'S THIRD ANSWER TO THE PROPOSITIONS
PRESENTED AT NEWCASTLE. [May 12, 1647. Journals of the House of Lords, ix. 193.] Charles R. As the daily expectation of the coming of the Propositions ? hath made His Majesty this long time to forbear the giving of his answer unto them, so the appearance of their sending being now no more, for any thing he can hear, than it was at his first coming hither, notwithstanding
1 Le mémoire cy joint est ce que les Presbyteriens qui veulent un Roy et se veulent bien passer du Covenant, et quelques personnes de qualité de party contraire jugent que le Roy de la G. B. doit envoyer à ce Parlement arrivent à Homby. Bellievre to Mazarin, Jan. 29-Feb. 8, 1647. Arch. des Aff. Etr. Angl. lv. p. 177.
2 The Houses had for some time been engaged in amending the Propositions sent to Newcastle, but had been interrupted by their quarrel with the army. 3 I. e. Holmby House.
that the Earl of Lauderdale hath been at London these ten days ? (whose not coming was said to be the only stop), hath caused His Majesty thus to anticipate their coming unto him ; and yet, considering his condition, that his servants are denied access to him, all but very few, and those by appointment, not his own election, and that it is a declared crime for any but the Commissioners, or such who are particularly permitted by them, to converse with His Majesty ; or that any letters should be given to or received from him ; may he not truly say that he is not in case fit to make confessions or give answers, since he is not master of those ordinary actions which are the undoubted rights of every free-born man, how mean soever his birth be. And certainly he would still be silent on this subject until his condition were much mended (did he not prefer such a right understanding between him and his Parliament of both kingdoms, which may make a firm and lasting peace in all his dominions, before any particular of his own or any earthly blessing), and therefore His Majesty hath diligently employed his utmost endeavours (for divers months past) so to inform his understanding and satisfy his conscience, that he might be able to give such answers to the Propositions as would be most agreeable to his Parliaments ; but he ingenuously proposes that, notwithstanding all the pains that he hath taken thereon, the nature of some of them appears such unto him, that (without disclaiming that reason which God hath given him to judge by for the good of him and his people, and without putting the greatest violence upon his own conscience) he cannot give his consent to all of them ; yet His Majesty (that it may appear to all the world how desirous he is to give full satisfaction) hath thought fit hereby to express his readiness to grant what he may, and his willingness to receive from them, and that personally, if his two Houses at Westminster shall approve thereof, such further information in the rest, as may but convince his judgment and satisfy those doubts which are not yet clear to him ; desiring them also to consider that, if His Majesty intended to wind himself out of these troubles by indirect means, were it not most easy for him now readily to consent to whatsoever hath or shall be proposed unto him, and afterwards choose his time to break all, alleging that forced concessions are not to be kept:-surely he might, and not yet incur a hard censure from any indifferent men. But maxims of this kind are not the guides of His Majesty's actions ; for he freely and clearly avows that he holds it unlawful for any man, and most base in a King, to recede from his promises for having been obtained by force or under restraint.
1 As a Scottish Commissioner.
Wherefore His Majesty, not only rejecting those arts which he esteems unworthy of him, but even passing by that which he might well insist upon as a point of honour, in respect of his present condition, thus answers the first Proposition :
That, upon His Majesty's coming to London, he will heartily join in all that shall concern the honour of his two kingdoms or the Assembly of States of Scotland, or of the Commissioners or Deputies' of either kingdoms, particularly in those things which are desired in that Proposition ; upon confidence that all of them respectively with the same tenderness will look upon those things which concern His Majesty's honour.
In answer to all the Propositions concerning religion, His Majesty proposeth that he will confirm the Presbyterial government, the Assembly of Divines at Westminster, and the Directory, for three years (being the time set down by the two Houses), so that His Majesty and his household be not hindered from using that form of God's service which they have formerly; and also that a free consultation and debate be had with the Divines at Westminster (twenty of His Majesty's nomination being added unto them), whereby it may be determined by His Majesty and the two Houses, how the Church shall be governed after the said three years, or sooner if differences may be agreed.
Touching the Covenant, His Majesty is not therein yet satisfied, and desires to respite his particular answer thereunto until his coming to London : because, it being a matter of conscience, he cannot give a resolution therein till he may be assisted with the advice of some of his own chaplains (which hath hitherto been denied him), and such other divines as shall be most proper to inform him therein ; and
1 then he will make clearly appear both his zeal to the Protestant profession and the union of these two kingdoms, which he conceives to be the main drift of the Covenant.
To the seventh and eighth Propositions, His Majesty will consent.
To the ninth, His Majesty doubts not but to give good
satisfaction, when he shall be particularly informed how the said penalties shall be levied and disposed of.
To the tenth, His Majesty's answer is, that he hath been always ready to prevent the practices of Papists; and therefore is content to pass an Act of Parliament for that purpose, and also that the laws against them be duly executed.
His Majesty will give his consent to the Act for the due observation of the Lord's Day, for the suppression of innovations, and those concerning the preaching of God's Word, and touching non-residence and pluralities.
And His Majesty will be willing to pass such Act or Acts as shall be requisite to raise moneys for the payment and satisfying of all public debts: expecting also that his will be therein concluded.
As to the Proposition touching the militia : though His Majesty cannot consent unto it in terminis as it is proposed (because thereby, he conceives, he wholly parts with the power of the sword intrusted to him by God and the laws of the land for the protection and government of his people, thereby at once divesting himself, and disinheriting his posterity of that right and prerogative of the Crown which is absolutely necessary to the kingly office, and so weakening monarchy in this kingdom that little more than the name and shadow of it will remain), yet, if it be only security for the preservation of the peace of this kingdom after these unhappy troubles, and the due performance of all the agreements which are now to be concluded, which is desired (which His Majesty always understood to be the case, and hopes that herein he is not mistaken), His Majesty will give abundant satisfaction ; to which end he is willing to consent, by Act of Parliament, that the whole power of the militia, both by sea and land, for the space of ten years, be in such persons as the two Houses of Parliament shall nominate (giving them power, during the said term, to change the said persons, and to substitute others in their places at pleasure), and afterwards to return to the proper channel again, as it was in the times of Queen Elizabeth and King James of blessed memory. And now His Majesty conjures his two Houses of Parliament, as they are Englishmen and lovers of peace, by the duty they owe to His Majesty their King, and by the bowels of compassion they have to their fellow-subjects, that they will accept of this His Majesty's offer, whereby the joyful news of peace may be restored to this languishing kingdom. His Majesty will