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vnte in matters of law, but by common consent in parliament. I dirl further deliver, That if this were used to make a further revenue or benefit lo the king, or in any other nay, but in case of necessity, and -for the preservation of the kingdom, the judgment did Warrant no stub thin;;. My opinion ill this business, 1 did, iu the conclusion of my argument, submit to the judgment of this house. I never delivered my opinion, That money ought to be raised, but ships provided for the defence of this kingdom ; and in that the writ was performed: and that the charge ought not to be in any case, but where the whole kingdom was in danger. Mr justice Ilulton and Mr. justice Crooke were of tire same opinion with inc.—Having rplated unto you my whole carriage in this business, I do humbly submit myself to your grave and favourable censures; beseeching you not to tbink tb.ft I delivered these things w ith the least intention to subvert, prsubject, the common law of the kingdom, or to hring in or to introduce any new way of government. It hath been as far from my thoughts, as any thing under the Heavens.— Mr. Speaker, 1 have beard, too, that there hath been sonic ill opinion conceived of ine about Forest-business: which was a thing as far out of the way of my study, as any thin;
know towards the law, But
Ylwsc records which I thought fit for liismajusty's service; leaving them to discbarge themselves, as by law and justice they might do, I did never, in the h ast kind, go aboot to overthrow the Charter of the Forest; and did puhlish and maintain Chart* de Forests, as a sacred thing, and no man to violate it; and that jl ought to be preserved for the Lin; and commonwealth.S'l do most humbly submit all that I have (lone to the goodness and justice of this bouse."
Whitlockc tells us, * This Apology of lord Finch, which he calls a very elegant and bgenious speech in his own vindication, et captare bcucvolentiain, was delivered with an excellent grace and gesture." He adds, "Hat many were exceedingly taken with his eloquence and carriage, and it was a sad S'.*ht to see a person of his greatness, parts, and favour, to appear in such a posture, before such an assembly, to plead for his life and fortune?"
'The Lord Keeper being withdrawn from the house,
Mr. High/, member for Wigan, stood up, and, in answer to his lordship, spoke as loU lows:—' Mr. Speaker; Though my judgment prompts me. tu sit still and be silent, yet the duty 1 owe to my king, my country, and iny conscience, moves me to stand up and speak. Mr. Speaker, had not this syren so sweets give | tongue, surely he could never have cfleeted «o much mischief to this kingdom: you know, sir, 'opti moruin putrcfactio pessimal the best things putrefied become the worst; and as it is in the natural, so in the body politick ; and what's to be done then, Mr. Speaker, we ;dl knn», 'ensc reddendum est,' the sword of Justice must strike, 'ne pars sineera trabatur.'—Mr. Speaker, it is not the voice, ' noil vox scd votum;' not the tongue, but the heart and actions that tire to be suspected: for doth r.i.t our Saviour say it,' Shew me thy faith by thy works, O man V Now, Mr. Speaker, hath r.; this kingdom seen; seen, said I, Hay felt aid smarted under the cruelty of this man's justice? So malicious as to record it in every court "t Westminster, as if he had not been contented with the enslav ing of us all, unless he entailed it to all posterity. Why shall T believe words now, cum factum vidcani? Shall we be si weak men, as, when we have been injured and nhujcd, to be gained again with fair words ami compliments? Or, like little children, when we have been whipt and beaten, be pleased ngain with sweet meats? Oh, no: there be some birds that, in the summer of parliament, will sing sweetly; who, in the winter of persecution, will, for their prey, ravenously fly at all, upon our goods, nay, sci7c upon our persons; and bath it not been with this man n>,
with some in this assembly?—Mr. Speaker, it hath been objected untq us, Thntinjodment we should think of mercy; and ' 1 ye merciful as your heavenly Father is merciful;' now God Almighty grant that we may be so, and that our hearts and judgment* may be truly rectified- to know truly what a
mercy: I say to know what is mercy; for there is the point, Mr. Speaker: I lime heard of foolish pity, foolish pity: do v»c not nil know the effects of it? And I have met with this epithet to mercy, 'Crudclis mi.-cricordia;' and, i'i some kind, I think there may he n cruel mercy: I inn sure the spirit of God suith, 'He not pitiful in judgment;' nay it saitli,' iie not pitiful of tie poor in judgment;' it" not of the poor, then a huiori not of the r.chj there's the emphasis. Wc see, hy the tel and solemn appointments of our courts of justice, what provision the wisdom of our ancestors hath made lor the preservation, honour, mid esteem of justice; witness our frequent terms, sessions, and assizes; and in w hat pomp and state the-judges in their circuits, In the sheriffs, knights, and justices, and all the country, are attended oft-times for the hanging of x poor thief lor the stealing of u hot; or a shup; nay, in some cases, for the stealing of a penny, and very justly too, in tcrrorein. And now, shall not some of them he hanged that hate robbed us of all our property; and sheared, at once, all our sheep, and all we have away; ami would have made us all indeed poor Belisarius's to have beaded for halfpennies, when th< » would not have left us one penny that we could hint called our own?—Let us therefore now, Mr. Speaker, not he so pitiful as that we become remiss; not so pitiful in judgment, as to bare uo judgment; hut set the deplorable estate of Great Britain now before our eves, and consider how our most gracious sovereign hath been abused, and both his majesty and all his subjects injured, by these wicked instruments: for which my humble motion is, That frith these particulars we become not so merciful, as to the generality (the whole kingdom) we grow merciless. Fiut Justitia.'
It was, then Resolved, upon the Question, 'That John lord Finch, baron of Fordwich, linl keeper of the Great Seal of England, shall be nccu-eo\ by this house of High Treason, and ^tlicr misdemeanors, in the name of this house, and all tlic commons of England. And that the lurds be desired to sequester him from parliament, and be committed; and that, within some convenient time, this house will resort to their lord-hips with particular Articles and Accasalions against l.iin.' Ordered, ' That the lord Falkland go up with this message.'— By the I/irds Journals we find, that this lastnamed message was not delivered till next 'lay; when the lords returned this Answer to It, ' That they had taken the message into consideration; but, having received intimation that the I^jrd Keeper was not to be found, they had ordered him into safe custody w hen he could be so: and when the particulars of his Charge come up against him,, they will give all furtherance to it.' In the mean time his majesty, by commission under the Great Seal, had appointed sir Fdw. Littleton, lord chief .justice of the Common Pleas, to sit as Speaker in the Lord Keeper's place.
As the escape of the Lord Keeper Finch,
prevented the further progress of the Impcaci meiit, we shall not give the Articles at large, but content ourselves with an abstract therei.fj with the lord Falkland's speech to the lo;ds, afier they were read in that house;'as n)<o a Cony of a Letter he wrote to tlic e.trl of Pembroke alter his escape.
Arti'citt of Impeachment against the Lord Kic/ii-r l''incli.l The Sum of the Articles against the Lord Keeper were as follows:—■ I. "That the said John lord Finch, baron of Fordwich, lord keeper, &c. had traitorously endeavoured to subvert the fundamental laws and established government of England, and, instead thereof, to introduce an arbitrary, tyrannical government against law; which he hath declared by traiterouS and wicked words, counsels, opinions, judgments, practices, and action?. II, That, in pursuance of his traitorous purposes, he did, in the 3rd or 4th years of his majesty's reign, being then Speaker of the house of commons, and contrary to the commands of that house, deny, and hinder the reading of some things relating to the safety of the king and kingdom, and the preservation of religion, and did forbid all members to speak; and said, if any of them offered to speak, he would rise and go away, and did offer to rise and go away; endeavouring, as much as in him lay, to subvert the antient and undoubted rights and course of parliaments. III. That, being one of his majesty's council, he endeavoured to enlarge the Forests, particularly in Essex, beyond their due bounds, Sic. lV. That, being chief justice of the Common Pleas in 103j,< he drew up the Questions and Opinions, concerning Ship-Money, and1 solicited and procured the Judges to sign tlicni. V. That he subscribed an extrajudicial Opinion relating to Shin-Money himself, and pressed the justices, Crookc and Hutton, to sign them against their consciences, VI. That he delivered his Opinion against Mr. Hampden in the Exchequer-Chamber, in the case of Ship-Money; and threatened the said judges to induce them to deliver the like opinion; and urged baron Denham to retract the opinion he had given for Mr. Hampden. VII. That he published, in his circuit, That his majesty's right to ShipMoney wns so inherent in the crown, that an act of parliament could not take it away'; and threatened all such as refused to pay it. VIII. That he did most of the business' of the Common-Fleas in his private chamber, and sent warrants into several counties to release all persons arrested on outlawries, on paying 40s. fees; whereas no such persons ought to be bailed or rclerfsed without a supersedeas under seal, or reversal. IX. The ninth Article charges him with perverting justice, while htr was lord chief justice of the Common Fleas. X. That he endeavoured to incense his majesty against parliaments; and framed and udiiscd the publishing the Declaration, after the Dissolution of the last parliament."
Lord Falkland's Speech in Support of the
'N il refert tales versus qua voce legnutur.' And I doubl nut but your lordships must be of the same opinion, of which ihc house of commons appears to have been, by the choice they inudeof me, that the Charge I have brought is Mich, as needs no assistance from the torihger; leaving not so much an a colour for nnv defence, including all possible evidence, and all possible aggravation, that addition alone excepted, which he alone could make, and hath made, I mean his confession, included in his flr«lit.-—Here arc many and mighty crimes, crimes of supererogation: so that high Treason is but a part of his charge, pursuing him fervently in every scleral condition; being a silent Speaker, an unjust Judge, and an unconscionable Keeper: that his life appears a perpetual warfare, by mines and by battery, by battle and by stratagem, against our fundamental laws, (which, by bis own confession, several conquests had left untouched) against the excellent constitution of this kingdom, which hath made it appear unto strangers rather an idea, than a real commonwealth; aiid-piorluced the honour and "happiness of this as the wonder of every other nation; and this with such unfortunate success, that, as he always intended to make our ruins a ground of his advancement, so Iris advancement the means of our further ruin.— After that, contrary to the duty of his place, and the end of that meeting in which be held his place, he bad, as it were, gagged the commonwealth; taking away, to his power, all power of speech from that body, of w hich he ought to have been the mouth, and which alone can perfectly represent t he condition of the people, whom that only represents; which, 'if lie had not done, in all probability, what so grave and judicious an assembly mi'jht have offered to the consideration of so gracious and just a prince, baii occasioned the redress of the ijrjciaiiccs they tlit^i suffered, and prcTeuted those wliich they have 'strive endured: according to fbe aiitieiit maxim of' Odi-sc.qnos iiescris,' lie pursued this offence towards the parliament, by inveighing ajain'-t the members, 'by'scandnhzirig their proceedings, by trampling upon their Acts and Declarations, by usurping and devolving the right, by diminishing and 'abrogating the power, both of that and other parliaments, and makiiig then*) as much as in him lav, both useless and odious to jilsm.ij.; nay, he pursued his hatred to this founfain of justice, by. corrupting tbo streams of it, the laws; and perverting the conduit pipes, the judges.—He practised the annihilating of nn-' ticnt and notorious perambulations of particular Forests, (be better to prepare himself to annihilate the anticnt und notorious perambulations efthewholsliiugdon); the tr.cercsaud bounda
we had not been upif t he. pow er of this per
imd Articles.] After the reading of these Ar- j ricS'between the liberties of the subject and sotie'es, I vereign power; he endeavoured to Have all tc
rhe Lord Falkland made the following 1 nures durante beniphtcito, and to bring all law speech in support of them:—' My holds; j from bis uiaj.'s courts into his majesty's breast; These Articles against my lord Finch being • he gave our goods to the Ling, our lands to the read, I may be bold to apply that of the poet, j deer, our liberties to his sheriffs; so that there
was no way by which
so.n had been equui to his will; or tbnt die
the crime in no less degree than parricide is beyond murder: that this was done in ttt greatest matter joined to the greatest boa*, being against the general liberty, and pu!>k'l property, by*a sworn Judge; and if salt itseli Income unsavoury, the gospel itsejf bath designed whither it' miist be cast: that be pw'toned our very antidotes, rind turned our guards into a'destruction, making law *e ground of illegality: that be used the law n 't only against us, but against itself; making a, as J may say, felo de se; making the prtteutX 'for i can scarce'say, the appearance of it, w to contribute to the utter riliu of itself.—Isli'"1 not need to sny, that cither this is, or can br of the highest kind, and in the highest degree,! true affection to your lordship, as ever any
Parliamentary Treason; a treason which needs not a combination of many several actinus, which alone were not treason, to prove a treason altogether; and by that demonstration uf the intention, to make that formally treason, which were, materially, but a misdemeanor; a treason as well agailrst the king, as against tin: kingdom; for whatsoever is against the whole, is undoubtedly against the head; *hich takes from his mnje-oy the ground of Ins rule, the Laws; (for it foundations be ilestruyed, the pinnacles are must endangered) which talfts from his> majesty the principal honour of his rule, the Killing over Tree Men; a power a? much nobler than that mer villains, iis that is over beasts; which endeavoured to take from his majesty the principal support of his Hole, their heart? and affections over whom he rules; a better and surer strength and wall to the king, than the Ki is' to the kidgdoin; and, by begetting a mutual distrust, and by that a mutual disaffection between them, to hazard the daitger deli of the destruction of both.—My lords, I slnjl the less need to press this, because as it were unreasonable in any Case to suspect yonr justice; so, here especially, where your interest «> nearly unites you; your great share in possessions, giving you an equal concernment in pruperfy; the cafe and pains, used by your Iw'jic ancestors in the founding mid asserting oi our common liberties, rendering the just defence of them your most proper and peculiar inheritance; and both exciting to oppose and euirpatc all such designs as did introduce, and »uuld have settled an arbitrary, that is, an intolerable form of government; and have made oca your lordships and your posterity but right honourable slaves.—My lords, i will soond no more worJs, ' luctnndo cum larva,' in accusing the ghost of a departed person^ iihom Ins crimes accuse more than I can do; aad his absence accuscth no less than his crime*. Neither will 1 excuse the length of "hat I have said, because I cannot add to an ((cute, without adding to the fault; nor plead i«r my own imperfection*., either in the. matter or manner of V- 1 will only desire by the command, and in the behalf of the house of commons, that these proceedings against the lord keeper Finch may be put in so speedy a *ay of ill-patch, as in such cases the course of parliament will allow.'
JjorJ Keeper I'inch't Letter to the EurhifPeinbioke, ufter Im Escape,] The Lord Keeper's l etter irora the Hague, to the carl bf Pembroke, lord chamberlain, after his escape, was as follows:—
"Hague, Jan. 3, 1640. "My roost well-beloved lord; The interest vour. lordsliip hath ever had in the best of my fortunes ana affections, gives me the privilege
was.—My lord, it was not the iossot uiyiplace, and with that of my fortunes, nor being exiled from my dear country and friends, though many of them were cnuse of sorrow, tlrat afflicts; but that which I most suffer under, is, tliat displea-su»e of the house of commons conceived against me: I know how true a heart 1 have ever borne towards them, and your lordship can witness, in part, what ways I have gone in, but silence and putiencc best becomes me; with these I must leave myself and my actions to the favourable construction of my noble friends, in which number your lordship hnth a prime place. I am now at the Hague, where I arrived on Thursday the Last day of last month, where I purpose to live in a fashion agreeable to the poorness of my fortunes, rts for any views in this world, I have ntterly cast off the thoughts wf them; and my aim shall be so to learn ' to number my tlnvs, that 1 may apply my heart unto wisdom ;' that wisdom that shall wipe all tears fawn mine ryes and heart, and lend me by tlie band to true happiness, which can never be taken from me. I pray'the God of Ifenien to blecs this parliament with both a happy progress and conclusion: if my ruin may conduce bnt the least to it, I shall not repine at it. I truly pray for your lordship, and your noble family, that God would give an increase of all worldly blessings, and, in the fullness of days, to receive you to his (Jlory; if I were capable of serving any body, 1 would tell your lordship, that no man should be readier to make known his devotion, nod tree gratitude to vour lordship, than your lordship's roost humble and affectionate poor kinsman and servant, "Finch."
Articles of Impeachment against tir Ott&rge Katclijl'.] Dec. 31. Sir George Uatcliff was impeached by the commons, at a conference with the other house, on the following Articles:
I. "That he the s iid sir George IttitcUff hath imitcrotisly conspired and confederated with Tho. trail of Strafford, to subvert the fundamental laws and governments of the realms of England and Ireland; and to introduce arbitrary and tyrannical government, against laws; and hath been n counsellor, actor, and abettor in that wicked and traiterous design of bringinc the Irish army into 'England, to compel the subjects of this kingdom to submit thereunto. II. That he hath traiterously confederated and conspired with the-said earl of Strafford, and hath been an actor, counsellor, and instrument'to him, in assuming and-exercising regal power, over the liberties and persons, lauds and goods of his majesty's subjects of Ireland; and accordingly hatbexcrcised the •nine tyrannically, to the subversion and undoing of divers of his majesty's liego -people. III. That, for the better enabling of the said exchequer of Ireland, and converting them to the use of the said earl and himself, when his majesty was necessitated for his ow n urgent occasions, the army having been then long unpaid. IV. That he hath traiterously confederated .with the said earl, and abused the power and authority which he held in Ireland, to the countenancing and encouraging of papists, that he might settle a mutual dependence and confidence betwixt the carl and himself, and that party; and to alienate tho affections of the ■Irish Papists from the subjects of England, and by their help to prosecute and accomplish their malicious and tyrannical designs. V. That he hath traiterously confederated with the said carl ofStraffoi'd, in plotting and endeavouring to stir up enmity and hostility between his ■majesty's subjects of Ireland and those of -Scotland. VL That, the better to preserve himself and the said carl, in these and other traiterous courses, he hath laboured to subvert the rights of parliament, and the antient course of parliamentary proceedings.—All w hich of. fences were committed during the time that the said sir George was a counsellor of state in the kingdom of Ireland, and had taken oath for the faithful discharge of the same. By which 'actions, confederacies, and conspiracies, he hath, traiterously, and contrary to his allegiance, endeaveured the ruin and destruction of his majesty* kingdoms, for which they do impeach the-said sir George Ratcliff of High Treason against our sovereign lord the king, his crown and dignity. And the said commons saving to tficmselves, &c. do pray that the said sir George may be put to answer all and every of the premisses, aud that such trial and judgment may be had thereon, as is agreeable to law and justice."
ol troubling your lordship with these few lines, • carl and himself to go on with their trai*«ous from one that bakh now ;iothing left to serve | designs, he, the said sir G. R. • traireronsly you witliall but bis prayers: these your lord-i joined and confederated witfrtlie mid carl, in »hip shall never *arit, "with nn beartns full of. takinggrout sums -of money out ol;>mr«uyos,iy's
Mr. Pifm's Speech in support of the said ^ArticlesJ After the reading of these Articles, Mr. Pi/m delivered himself to the lords in "these words 'My Lords; By hearing this Charge, your lordships may perceive what net'.r conjunction there is between this cause .and the carl of Strafford's: the materials are, for the most part, the same in both; the offences of the carl, moving from a higher orb, -are more comprehensive; they extend both to .England and Ireland : these, except in one particular, of reducing England by the Irish ■army, are confined within this kingdom. The earl is charged as an author, sir George as an instrument and subordinate actor. The inlluences of superior planets arc often augmented and enforced, but seldom mitigated by the concurrence of the inferior, where merit doth 'arise not from well-doing, but from ill : the officiousness of ministers will rather add to the malignity of their instructions, than diminish it; that so they may more fully ingratiate themselves with those upon whom they depend. —In the crimes committed by the carl, there appears more haughtiness and•fierceness, being
• From a collection of this gentleman's speeches, prinlcd by Richard Smithcrs, 1611.
acted by his own principles. Those motion are ever strongest, which arc nearest the pnruum mobile: but in those of sir George, there seems to he more baseness and sen ility, banns resigned and subjected himself to be acted upon by the corrupt will of another.—The carl of Strafford hath not been bred in the ttudr and practice of the law, and having stronger lusts and passions to incite, and less kuon kiigc to restrain him, might more easily he transported from the rule. Sir George, in his natural temper and disposition, being more moderate, and, by his education and profession, better acquainted with the.ground* and directions of the law, w as carried into bis offences by a more immediate concurrence of will, and a more corrupt suppression of his own reason and judgment. My lords, as both these h ue becu partners in offending; so it is the dejirc of the commons they may he put under such Trial and Examination, and other proceedings of justice, as may bring them to partake of s deserved punishment, for the safety aud good of both kingdoms."
Sir George Ratcliff was then ordered to U brought to the har, and told, That the Iiom of commons had brought up Articles ofllcli Treason against him; which being read outo him, and having liberty to speak, be desirc i their lordships that lie might have counsel assigned him, with liberty to come and advi-e him; because he conceived there was in tl:e charge divers points of law to be considered, and he himself was altogether unknotting in the manner of proceedings in this hou.-f. Xext he desired, that he might he allowed;! competent time to answer in. Both which requests were granted him.—Then tlieir lordshipi called in the keeper of the Gatehouse and told him that sir George was committed upon an accusation of High Treason: therefore they would now expect from him that he should Is kept in safe custody upon his peril; and that every night he must take a note what persons have visited him that day, and crcrf Saturday give an account of it to this house.
Informations against six of the Judges.] Dec. 22. The commons resolved, "That a message be forthw ith sent to the lords, to desire them that the lord chief justice Bramston, lord chief baron Davenport, justice Bcrkley.justicc Crawley, baron'Trevor, and baron Weston, d'f by themselves and others, put in good security to abide the judgment of parliament; for that there are Informations of Crimes of a high nature against them in this house." Mr. Wslier to go up with this Message! The Journals ot the Lords acquaint us, That when Mr Waller had accused the J udges, as aforesaid, they being all present except the lord chief bnrro, submitted themselves to the pleasure of tl.e house. And it was ordered, 'That the said Judges, for the present, should enter into recognizances, in open court, of 10,000/. each, to abide the censure of parliament.' Which was done accordingly; and the next day sir UDavenport gave the same security.