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dies of Tonnage and Poundage, and other impositions upon merchants, without breaking that answer, they are forced by that duty which they owe to your Majesty, and to those whom they represent, to declare, that there ought not any imposition to be laid upon the goods of merchants, exported or imported, without common consent by Act of Parliament, which is the right and inheritance of your subjects, founded not only upon the most ancient and original constitution of this kingdom, but often confirmed and declared in divers statute laws.
And for the better manifestation thereof, may it please your Majesty to understand, that although your royal predecessors the Kings of this realm have often had such subsidies, and impositions granted unto them, upon divers occasions, especially for the guarding of the seas, and safeguard of merchants; yet the subjects have been ever careful to use such cautions, and limitations in those grants, as might prevent any claim to be made, that such subsidies do proceed from duty, and not from the free gift of the subjects : and that they have heretofore used to limit a time in such grants, and for the most part but short, as for a year or two, and if it were continued longer, they have sometimes directed a certain space of cessation, or intermission, that so the right of the subject might be more evident. At other times it hath been granted upon occasion of war, for a certain number of years, with proviso, that if the war were ended in the meantime, then the grant should cease ; and of course it hath been sequestered into the hands of some subjects to be employed for the guarding of the seas. And it is acknowledged by the ordinary answers of your Majesty's predecessors in their assent to the Bills of subsidies of Tonnage and Poundage, that it is of the nature of other subsidies, proceeding from the goodwill of the subject. Very few of your predecessors had it for life, until the reign of Henry VII', who was so far from conceiving he had any right thereunto, that although he granted commissions for collecting certain duties and customs due by law, yet he made no commissions for receiving the subsidy of Tonnage and Poundage, until the same was granted unto him in Parliament. Since his time all the Kings and Queens of this realm have had the like grants for life by the free love and goodwill of the
Tonnage and Poundage was granted for life to Edward IV in 1464 (3 & 4 Ed. IV), Rot. Parl. v. 508. It was also granted in 1483 to Richard III for life (1 Ric. III), ib. vi. 238.
subjects. And whensoever the people have been grieved by laying any impositions or other charges upon their goods and merchandises without authority of law (which hath been very seldom), yet upon complaint in Parliament they have been forthwith relieved ; saving in the time of your royal father, who having through ill counsel raised the rates and charges upon merchandises to that height at which they now are, yet he was pleased so far forth to yield to the complaint of his people, as to offer that if the value of those impositions which he had set might be made good unto him, he would bind himself and his heirs by Act of Parliament never to lay any other; which offer the Commons at that time, in regard of the great burden, did not think fit to yield unto. Nevertheless, your loyal Commons in this Parliament, out of their especial zeal to your service, and especial regard of your pressing occasions, have taken into their consideration, so to frame a grant of subsidy of Tonnage or Poundage to your Majesty, that both you might have been the better enabled for the defence of your realm, and your subjects, by being secure from all undue charges, be the more encouraged cheerfully to proceed in their course of trade; by the increase whereof your Majesty's profit, and likewise the strength of the kingdom would be very much augmented.
But not now being able to accomplish this their desire, there is no course left unto them, without manifest breach of their duty, both to your Majesty and their country, save only to make this humble declaration, "That the receiving of Tonnage and Poundage, and other impositions not granted by Parliament, is a breach of the fundamental liberties of this kingdom, and contrary to your Majesty's royal answer to the said Petition of Right.' And therefore they do most humbly beseech your Majesty to forbear any further receiving of the same, and not to take it in ill part from those of your Majesty's loving subjects, who shall refuse to make payment of any such charges, without warrant of law demanded.
And as by this forbearance, your Most Excellent Majesty shall manifest unto the world your royal justice in the observation of your laws : so they doubt not, but hereafter, at the time appointed for their coming again, they shall have occasion to express their great desire to advance your Majesty's honour and profit.
3. THE KING's SPEECH AT THE PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT
AT THE END OF THE SESSION OF 1628.
(June 26, 1628. Rushworth, i. 631. See Hist. of Engl. vi. 324.] It may seem strange, that I came so suddenly to end this Session ; before I give my assent to the Bills, I will tell you the cause, though I must avow, that I owe the account of my actions to God alone. It is known to every one, that a while ago the House of Commons gave me a Remonstrance", how acceptable every man may judge ; and for the merit of it, I will not call that in question, for I am sure no wise man can justify it.
Now since I am truly informed, that a second Remonstrance is preparing for me to take away the profit of my Tonnage and Poundage, one of the chiefest maintenances of my Crown, by alleging I have given away my right thereto by my answer to your
Petition : This is so prejudicial unto me, that I am forced to end this Session some few hours before I meant, being not willing to receive any more Remonstrances, to which I must give a harsh answer.
And since I see that even the House of Commons begins already to make false constructions of what I granted in your Petition, lest it be worse interpreted in the country, I will now make a declaration concerning the true intent thereof:
The profession of both Houses in the time of hammering this Petition, was no ways to trench upon my Prerogative, saying they had neither intention or power to hurt it. Therefore it must needs be conceived that I have granted no new, but only confirmed the ancient liberties of my subjects: yet to show the clearness of my intentions, that I neither repent, nor mean to recede from anything I have promised you, I do here declare myself, that those things which have been done, whereby many have had some cause to expect the liberties of the subjects to be trenched upon, which indeed was the first and true ground of the Petition, shall not hereafter be drawn into example for your prejudice, and from time to time; in the word of a king, ye shall not have the like cause to complain : but as for Tonnage and
1 A general remonstrance on the misgovernment of the kingdom, in which Buckingham was named as the author of abuses, had been presented to the King on June 17.
2 See No. 2.
Poundage, it is a thing I cannot want, and was intended by you to ask, nor meant by me--I am sure-to grant.
To conclude, I command you all that are here to take notice of what I have spoken at this time, to be the true intent and meaning of what I granted you in your Petition ; but especially, you my Lords the Judges, for to you only under me belongs the interpretation of laws, for none of the Houses of Parliament, either joint or separate, (what new doctrine soever may be raised) have any power either to make or declare a law without my consent.
4. THE King's DECLARATION PREFIXED TO THE ARTICLES
OF RELIGION. [November, 1628. Commonly printed with the Book of Common Prayer.
See Hist. of Engl. vii. 20.] Being by God's ordinance, according to our just title, Defender of the Faith, and Supreme Governor of the Church, within these our dominions, we hold it most agreeable to this our kingly office, and our own religious zeal, to conserve and maintain the Church committed to our charge, in the unity of true religion, and in the bond of peace; and not to suffer unnecessary disputations, altercations, or questions to be raised, which may nourish faction both in the Church and Commonwealth. We have therefore, upon mature deliberation, and with the advice of so many of our Bishops as might conveniently be called together, thought fit to make this declaration following:
That the Articles of the Church of England (which have been allowed and authorised heretofore, and which our clergy generally have subscribed unto) do contain the true doctrine of the Church of England agreeable to God's Word : which we do therefore ratify and confirm, requiring all our loving subjects to continue in the uniform profession thereof, and prohibiting the least difference from the said Articles; which to that end we command to be new printed, and this our declaration to be published therewith : That we
supreme Governor of the Church of England : and that if any difference arise about the external policy, concerning the injunctions, canons, and other constitutions whatsoever thereto belonging, the Clergy in their Convocation is to order and settle them, having first
obtained leave under our broad seal so to do: and we approving their said ordinances and constitutions ; providing that none be made contrary to the laws and customs of the land.
That out of our princely care that the churchmen may do the work which is proper unto them, the Bishops and Clergy, from time to time in Convocation, upon their humble desire, shall have license under our broad seal to deliberate of, and to do all such things as, being made plain by them, and assented unto by us, shall concern the settled continuance of the doctrine and discipline of the Church of England now established ; from which we will not endure any varying or departing in the least degree.
That for the present, though some differences have been ill raised, yet we take comfort in this, that all clergymen within our realm have always most willingly subscribed to the Articles established; which is an argument to us, that they all agree in the true, usual, literal meaning of the said Articles ; and that even in those curious points, in which the present differences lie, men of all sorts take the Articles of the Church of England to be for them ; which is an argument again, that none of them intend any desertion of the Articles established.
That therefore in these both curious and unhappy differences, which have for so many hundred
years, in different times and places, exercised the Church of Christ, we will, that all further curious search be laid aside, and these disputes shut up in God's promises, as they be generally set forth to us in the holy scriptures, and the general meaning of the Articles of the Church of England according to them. And that no man hereafter shall either print, or preach, to draw the Article aside any way, but shall submit to it in the plain and full meaning thereof: and shall not put his own sense or comment to be the meaning of the Article, but shall take it in the literal and grammatical
That if any public Reader in either of our Universities, or any Head or Master of a College, or any other person respectively in either of them, shall affix any new sense to any Article, or shall publicly read, determine, or hold any public disputation, or suffer any such to be held either way, in either the Universities or Colleges respectively; or if any
divine in the Universities shall preach or print any thing either way, other than is already established in Con