THE MOST REVEREND FATHER IN GOD WILLIAM LAUD,
LORD ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY, BEFORE THE HOUSE OF LORDS, MARCH 12, 1643.
The Commons having impeached his grace of high treason, and other high crimes and misdemeanors, at the bar of the House of Lords, on the 18th of December, 1640, desired he might be committed to safe custody; whereupon he was delivered to the Black-rod, till the Commons should proceed in their impeachment ; and on Friday the 26th of February following, fourteen general articles were sent up to the Lords against him.
1. That he had traitorously endeavoured to subvert the laws, and introduce arbitrary government.
2. That he had denied the authority of parliaments, establishing an absolute power, not only in the king, but in himself and other bishops, above and against the law.
3. That by threats and promises to the judges, he had perverted the course of justice, and deprived the king's subjects of their rights.
4'. That in hiÂ§ own courts he had sold justice, and taken bribes. 5. That he had caused divers canons to be made, contrary to the king's prerogative, and the laws ; established an unlawful authority
r-vf n.. W Â»_, X~l. A-Jfe4Up- JÂ«I j m j
FOR HIGH TREASON. 27
in himself, and successors ; and endeavoured to confirm his exorbi- tant power by a wicked oath.
6. That he had assumed a papal and tyrannical power.
7. That he endeavoured to subvert the true religion, and intro- duce popish superstition.
8. That he abused the trust his Majesty reposed in him, procuring the nomination of persons to ecclesiastical preferments, which be- longed to others, and preferring persons that were popishly affected.
9. That his own chaplains, to whom he committed the licensing of books, were popishly affected, which had occasioned the publishing of divers superstitious books.
10. That he endeavoured to reconcile the churches of England and Rome, and countenanced the establishing a popish hierarchy in the kingdom.
11. That he had caused several orthodox ministers to be silenced, and deprived, and many loyal subjects to forsake the kingdom.
12. That he had abrogated the privileges granted the French and Dutch churches in this kingdom, endeavouring to cause discord between the Church of England and other reformed churches.
13. That he had laboured to bring divers popish innovations into the kingdom of Scotland, in order to create a war between the kingdoms of England and Scotland, and advised his Majesty to sub- due the Scots, forcing the English clergy to contribute to that war : that he had censured the pacification as dishonourable, and so in- censed his Majesty, that he entered into an offensive war with the Scots.
14. That, to prevent his being questioned for these traitorous pro- ceedings, he endeavoured to subvert the rights of parliament, and to cause divisions between his Majesty and his people; for which they impeached him of high treason.
Two or three days after sending up these articles, his grace was committed to the tower, "where he remained in close imprisonment from the 29th of February, 1640-1, to the 24th of October, 1643, when he received ten ad- ditional articles, together with an order from the Lords, to put in his answer in writing before the 30th of the month.
1 . The first additional article charges, that in the 3d and 4th year of the king, he caused the parliament to be dissolved, and aspersed the members, affirming they were factious Puritans, and commended the Papists.
2. That for ten years past he had endeavoured to advance the power of the council-table, the canons of the church, and the king's prerogative above the laws.
3. That to advance the ecclesiastical power, he had hindered the granting writs of prohibition to the ecclesiastical courts.
4. That a judgment being given against one Burley, a parson, for non-residency, he had stayed execution by applying to the judges, and said, " He would never suffer a judgment to pass against a cler- gyman, by nihil dicit."
28 ARCHBISHOP LAUD,
5. That he had caused Sir John Corbet, a justice of peace, to be imprisoned, for causing the petition of right to be read at the ses- sions of the peace ; and, during his imprisonment, granted away part of the glebe lands of Alderly, belonging to the said Sir John ; and prevented the execution of a judgment, which Sir John had obtained, and procured him to be committed by the council-table, till he submitted to their order.
6. That divers sums being given for purchasing impropriations, he had caused the same to be overthrown in the court of Exchequer.
7. That he had harboured and relieved Popish priests, who had traduced the 39 articles.
8. That he had said, a blow must be given to the church, before it could be brought to conformity.
9. That in May, 164o, he caused the convocation to be held, after the dissolution of the parliament, where canons were made, con- trary to law and the privilege of parliament, and a dangerous and illegal oath formed, approving the doctrine and discipline of the es- tablished church, and promising not to consent to any alteration in the government of the church by archbishops, bishops, deans, arch- deacons, &c. Which oath he had taken himself, and caused other ministers to take ; and imprisoned the bishop of Gloucester, for re- fusing to subscribe the said canons, and take the oath, till he sub- mitted.
10. That a resolution being taken at the council-table for assist- ing the king by extraordinary means, if the parliament should prove peevish, the archbishop wickedly advised his Majesty to dissolve the parliament in 1640, and it was thereupon dissolved ; and soon after he told his Majesty, " that he was now absolved from all rules of government, and at liberty to use extraordinary ways for a supply.'*
Upon receipt of these articles, and the abovesaid order from the Lords, his grace petitioned he might be' allowed something out of his estate, which they had seized and sequestered, to bear the charges of his trial ; that his papers might be restored him, that he might be enabled to prepare for his defence ; and that he might have coun- sel, a solicitor, and some servants to attend his business ; and upon a second petition, Mr. Dell, his graced secre- tary, was assigned him for a solicitor ; Mr. Hearne, Mr. Chute, Mr. Hales, and Mr. Gerrard, were assigned him for counsel ; but they would not allow him a penny out of his estate, Glynn telling them he might proceed in forma pauperis : however, they made him pay even for the copies of his own papers.
His grace petitioned the Lords, also, that they would distinguish the treason from the misdemeanors in the articles ; for the crimes were so interwoven and connected in the conclusion, that they might all refer to treason,
FOR HIGH TREASON. 29
and consequently his counsel would not be permitted to him any advice in matters of fact; but neither the Lords nor Commons would make any distinction, though application was made to them respectively: however, the Cords were so gracious as to allow him till the 13th of November, to give in his answer, when his grace ap- peared at their Lordship's bar, and put in his answer in writing to the last article, viz. " That he was not guilty in such manner and form as the said articles of mi peachment charged."
But his grace appearing at the Lord's bar again, the 10th of January, 1643-4, it was observed, there was no answer put in to the first articles, or any issue joined ; and thereupon his grace was ordered to put in his answer to the original articles the 22d of January.
Then his grace petitioned that his answer to the last articles might be taken off the file, and that they would distinguish between treason and misdemeanors, that he might give a particular answer to both ; and that they would give his counsel leave to speak to the generality and uncertainty of the articles which they declared no man living could prepare an answer to, as the case stood ; but his grace was not indulged in any of these particu- lars, and therefore found himself under a necessity of putting in the same general answer he had done before (viz.) " That he was not guilty : ' only as to the 13th original article, and to the rest of them that related to Scotland, he pleaded the late act of indemnity.
His grace, having received an order to prepare for his trial the 12th of March, 1643-4, was brought to the bar of the House of Lords that day, where he found a com- mittee of the Commons, consisting of Serjeant Wilde, Mr. Brown, Mr. Maynard, Mr. Nicholas, and Mr. Hill, appointed to manage the evidence against him ; and Prynne acted as their solicitor, having Grice and Beck to assist him. His grace also observes, that Prynne, during the trial, kept an office, where he instructed and tampered with the witnesses.
Mr. Serjeant Wilde opened the charge, and said, that if the me- mory of all the pernicious practices, which had been from time to time attempted against our religion and laws were lost, here they would find them revived indeed. That had the faults of this man been no other than those of common frailty and inadvertency, they would gladly have thrown a veil over them ; but, being wilful, de-
30 ARCHBISHOP LAUD,
structive, and comprehensive of all evils, the sin would lie on their own heads, if they did not call for justice. That here was treason in the highest pitch and altitude ; even the betraying the whole realm, and the subversion of the very foundations. That these crimes, of themselves so heinous, were aggravated by the quality oi' the offender, who had been advanced to the most eminent stations in church and state, and was endowed with many great gifts of na- ture : but all these advantages he had perverted to the destruction of the public.
That churchmen in all ages, were the archest seedsmen of mis- chief, and the principal actors in all the great distractions that had happened ; and as they meddled with temporal things, heterogeneal to their calling, God was pleased to smite with blindness, and infa- tuate their councils, of which this prelate was an instance ; who, employing his time in state affairs, became " the author of all thÂ» illegal and tyrannical proceedings and innovations in religion and government, and indeed, of all the concussions and distractions, that had happened in church and state."
And when by the magnanimity of former princes, and the wisdom of their ancestors, they had shaken off the antichristian yoke ; and when they had seen such bloody massacres, plots, and prosecutions at home and abroad, in order to introduce it again ; that this man should go about to reduce them to those rotten principles of error and darkness again, it could not be expected but the people should be ready to stone him. He concluded, that though Naaman was a great man, yet he was a leper : and this man's leprosy so infected all, that there remained no cure, but the sword of justice ; which they doubted not but their Lordships would apply, that the com- monwealth might live again and flourish.*'
His grace having obtained leave to speak in his de- fence, said ; â€”
That it was a great affliction to him to appear at this bar as a criminal, though he should be acquitted ; but he was not very soli- citous about his sentence, for he thanked God he had spent his time so, that he was neither ashamed to live, nor afraid to die ; nor could the world be more weary of him, than he was of it : but if none of these things whereof these men accused him, merited death by law, though he might not in this case appeal to Caesar, yet he might, and did, to their Lordships' justice; not doubting but God would pro- tect his innocence.
^ The charge against him, he observed, was divided into two prin- cipal heads, (viz.) his endeavouring to subvert the laws, and, the re- ligion by those laws established.
^ As to the laws, he said he had been a strict observer of them all his life ; and since he had any share in the administration, no man had been more guided by them than himself, as the learned counsel present, who had attended the council-table, could testify ; nay, he had ever held, that human laws bind the conscience ; and this doctrine he constantly preached. That he looked upon an endeavour to sub- vert the law a greater crime than to break any particular law, and this they might observe was his judgment, by the book he wrote against Fisher ; out of which he read a passage to that purpose^
TRIAi or ARCHBISHOP I.
1 (K HIGH TREASON. 31
As to religion, he was born and bred up in the Church of Eng- land, and by the blessing of God, and tne favour of his prince, grown up to the years that were then upon him, and to that place of preferment which he did yet bear; and in this church, by the grace of (iod he was resolved to die: that he had ever continued steady to his profession and principles, without any regard to worldly views; though if his conscience would have given him leave to shift his tenets as time and occasion served, he might have easily slid through all the difficulties of this sort that had pressed him : that he had alw&VI endeavoured, that the public worship of God, which was too much slighted, might be preserved, and that with as much decency and uniformity as might be ; for he was still of opinion, that unity could not long continue in the church, without uniformity. He saw that the neglect of public worship, and the places dedicated to that service, had cast a damp upon the true and inward worship of God ; which, while we live in the body, needs external helps, and all little enough to keep it in any vigour : but, though he had endeavoured to redress things according to the law and canons, he did not know lie had ever done it, but with the consent of the people.
That he was innocent, as well in thought as practice, of any de- sign to alter religion and introduce popery ; and, if nothing but truth were spoken, he challenged whatever was between heaven and hell to say their worst against him, in point of religion, in which he ever hated dissimulation : and though he might have procured his safety by it, he thought it no way became a Christian Bishop to halt with" God.
Lastly, he said, it was strange if he designed to introduce Popery, he shouid have laboured so much to reduce those who were going, or had gone over to it ; and instanced in two-and-twenty persons, most of them men of condition, whom he had brought over to, or confirmed in the Protestant religion ; and challenged any clergyman to give a better proof of his zeal to the established church ; not doubting, but he should be able to answer, whatever should be more particularly objected against him."
The Archbishop being brought to the bar again on the 13th of Marcn, the managers proceeded to make good the first and second original articles ; and the se- cond additional article relating to the subversion of the laws, introducing arbitrary power, questioning the au- thority of parliaments, advancing the power of the council-table, &c.
To prove this part of the charge, Mr. Maynard read the following words out of his grace's diary, (viz.) the 5th of December, 1639.
" The king declared his resolution for a parliament, in case of the Scottish rebellion; the first movers of it were my Lord deputy of Ireland, the Lord Marquis of Hamilton, and myself; and a resolu- tion voted at the board, to assist the king in extraordinary ways, if the parliament should prove peevish and refuse." From whence it was urged, he had bestowed the epithet of peevish on the parlia-
32 ARCHBISHOP LAUD,
ment ; and that the vote to assist the king by extraordinary ways, proceeded from his advice. The evidence of Sir Henry Vane, the elder, also was insisted on ; who deposed, that his grace said to the king, after the rising of the last parliament, " Now he might use his power."
Alderman Atkins deposed, that when he was brought before the council about ship money, none was so violent against him as his grace.
It was objected to him, that he had asserted the king's proclama- tions were of the same force as a statute ; and, speaking of the king's power, he had said, " Whosoever falls upon it shall be broken ; but upon whomsoever it falls, it shall grind him to powder."
And that, speaking of an act of parliament, he said, " That he saw nothing would down with them but acts of parliament : no re- gard at all to the canons of the church ; and that he would rescind all acts that were against the canons ; and hoped shortly to see the canons and the king's prerogative of equal force with an act of par- liament."
He was also charged with giving the king subsidies in convocation, without consent of parliament ; and with some other matters of less moment, to support the three articles above-mentioned.
He was charged also with forcing people to lend money for the repairing of St. Paul's, and with the imprisonment of one Vassal by the council-board ; who conceived his grace to be the author of it. The imprisonment of Sir John Corbet by the council-board, was also imputed to him. His projecting to give the ministers of Lon- don some assistance as to their tithes, was urged as another offence, and his diary produced as an evidence of it.
The imprisoning Burton, Prynne, and Bastwick, also was laid to his charge ; and particularly the censuring Prynne for libelling : and lastly, he was charged with being instrumental in removing two brew-houses, that were an alledged nuisance to the palace of St. James's.
His grace being brought before the Lords again on Friday the 22d of March, it was represented by the com- mittee, that Mr Newcommen of Colchester, refused to administer the sacrament any where but at the rails ; that Burroughs, the witness, indicting him for it, his bill was thrown out, and he was afterwards called before the high- commission court for it, by a warrant from his grace; that the mayor would not obey a habeas corpus, but said he would obey his graced warrant, before the king's writ ; and that a letter was sent to Judge Crawley, and shewed to Judge Hutton.
One Ask deposed, that his grace protected some players, that were found at a tavern at an unseasonable time of night; that there was a plot to make the deponent an instrument, about receiving the sa- crament at the rails ; that letters missive were sent him by the high commission, and that applying to his grace, he told the deponent, if hewas so strict against churchmen, he must expect to be dealt with
FOR HIGH TREASON. 33
as strictly by the high commission ; and that the deponent went to Holland, to avoid the oath ex officio.
Grafton, a Brownist, also deposed, that he was imprisoned twelve and fined 50l. and believed he might have been set at liberty sooner, if* it had not been for the archbishop.
Thus ended the fifth day's hearing, and his grace being brought to the bar again, on Thursday the 28th el March, was charged with the censure, deprivation, and imprisonment of Mr. Huntley, a clergyman, and telling iiis attorney he deserved to be laid by the heels.
That his grace threatened and imprisoned those who brought prohibitions ; and when Prynne brought a pro- hibition, lie said that he would lay him by the heels that brought the next ; that he wondered who durst grant prohibitions, the high commission court being above all.
The next charge was that of bribery, and his obliging Sir Edward Gresham to give half the penalty of a bond of 2001. which the court assigned him, to the repair of St. Paul's. That the Chester men being fined 10U0I. for feasting of Prynne, his grace, for a bribe of two hogsheads of sack, procured the fine to be lessened to 2001. And his secretary received 1501. to get his hand to a petition to the lord keeper.
His grace being brought to the bar again the 16th of April, was charged with making canons in convocation, after the parliament was dissolved, &c. and to prove he had assumed papal power, some letters from the Uni- versity of Oxford were produced, wherein his grace is styled, sanctitas tua^ and spiritu sancto effusissime ple- 7ius, summus j)ontife<r, fyc. that he had said, " The clergy were now debased; that heretofore it was other- â– , and he hoped to see it so again." And lastly, that be brought Sir Richard Samuel into the high commis- . for doing his office of justice of the peace upon clergymen ; and that one of the articles against him, was his being an enemy to the clergy.
This day's hearing being over, the Archbishop was
red to attend again, the 22d of April, which he did,
but was sent back, and nothing done any more than on
the 2oth and 30th of April, when he attended likewise, at
the expense of seven or eight pounds a day.
On Saturday, May the 4th, his grace was brought to the bar again, when Mr. Nicholas, the manager, again reproached him with the high titles he had suffered the
34 ARCHBISHOP LAUD,
University of Oxford, and others, to confer upon him, and then proceeded to enforce that part of the charge, in relation to his endeavouring to exempt the clergy from the civil power ; for proof whereof they cited part of a speech of his grace's in the star-chamber, wherein he ad- vises them to take care not to cause the laws of the church, and the kingdom to clash ; another proof was a suggestion that he caused some justices of the peace to be summoned before the high-commission, for keeping their sessions at Tewkesbury in a part of the church ; and as a further evidence of this charge, they said, when the mayor of Oxford had set the watch, they were dis- turbed by the proctors, and a constable imprisoned, and that his grace refused to refer the matter ; that he had also formed a project to abolish all impropriations ; that he had introduced several new and exorbitant clauses intc* the high commission : and lastly, that he had illegally extorted a patent from the king* for the fines in the high commission, towards repairing St. Paul's.
He was ordered to appear again on the 9th, and thcÂ» the J 3th of May, both which days he attended, and stood exposed to the scorn and laughter of the mob, and was at length dismissed unheard.
His grace being brought to the bar again, the 1 6th of May, was charged with presenting a blind man to a living of Sir Arthur Haslerigs, which was an impro- priation, and a lay-fee, and with saying, if he lived, no man should stand upon his lay fee ; that he had illegally deprived one Fautrye for simony, the high commission having no power over freeholds ; that he had altered the statutes of the university of Oxford, taking upon him- self to be an universal law-giver ; that he had illegally made new statutes for cathedral churches ; and ordered that nothing should be done on those statutes, without advising with him. His injunctions for the visitation of Winton also were complained of, requiring the pulling down several houses that were upon consecrated ground ; and his intention of visiting the two Universities : then he was charged with the censure of Bastwick, for a book he wrote against Bishops; and with saying, " That Christian Bishops were before Christian Kings. 1 '
His grace attending again the 20th of May, the com- mittee proceeded on the 6th and 7th original articles ;
for high treason. $5
which chaigt, that liis grace " had traitorously endea- voured to alter, and subvert God's true religion ;" which thev endea\oured to prove by some alterations he had uaaae in his chapel at Lambeth ; as his turning the table north and south, repairing the windows with coloured la, and imitating the pictures in the mass book ; that he used bowings at his coming into the chapel, and going up to the altar ; and the organs, candlesticks, the history-piece at the back of the altar, and the wearing copes at communions and consecrations, were brought in, to support the charge. Another instance produced, to shew his intentions of altering religion, was, his conse- crating the communion plate. A Bible that was found in his study, with the five wounds of our Saviour wrought on the cover ; a missal, and other books relating to the popish liturgy, and his own prayer-book, where the times of prayer were appointed at canonical hours, were held to be sufficient evidence of his design to introduce popery. The pictures of the fathers in the gallery, and a dove over one of them, (which they said stood for the Holy Ghost) and an ecce homo, or Pilate bringing forth Christ, were all looked upon as proofs of his popery.
His grace answered, as to the alterations in his chapel, that it lay before in a very indecent manner ; that he had set the table north and south, according to Queen Elizabeth's injunctions, and they were guilty of innovations who set it otherwise ; that the windows were miserably patched ; and he did, by the assistance of his secre- tary, discover the story by what remained, and got them repaired, but not by the missal, as was suggested ; they contained the whole story from the creation, to the day of judgment : and he did not be- lieve this was in the missal : and even Calvin was of the opinion, that pictures and images might be of use to instruct the people; and that both in King Edward's and Queen Elizabeth's reign, such pictures were allowed; that bowings also were usual in Queen Elizabeth's time, and if he must bow to men, in either house of parliament, must he not bow and worship God in his own house, though there were neither altar nor communion table in it ? That organs, &c. were in the royal chapels in the last reigns; and that in all ages of the church, the consecrating the sacred vessels, as well as churches, had been used. And if there can be no dedication of these things to gods, no separation of them from common uses, then neither the things or place were holy ; and there would be no such thing as sa- crilege, no difference between a church and a common house, be- tween holy tables and ordinary tables ; that St. Paul's question puts the matter home, if they would consider it, " Thou which abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege ?" Thou who abhorrest idols to the very defacing of church windows, dost thou of all others com- mit sacrilege, which the yery worshippers of idols puni*h ? As to
S6 ARCHBISHOP LAUD,
his prayer of dedication, this was not taken from the missal, bat from one used by Bishop Andrews. The Bible mentioned, was a present from a protestant lady, and never seen out of his study, by any who might be offended at it : that he had also a missal and other popish books, but more of the Greek liturgies than the Roman ; and he did not know how he should answei their errors, if he might not have them. That he had also the Koran in divers copies, and they might by the same rule, conclude him a Mahometan. And as to their ex- posing his private prayers, he thought this was not to be paralleled in any heathen nation. If he had enjoined himself, his prayers, at canonical hours, he hoped there was no sin in it; and if his prayer at the consecration of Hammersmith chapel might be read, no of- fence could be taken at it. If he had been so addicted to popery as they suggested, it was a wonder the diligent Mr. Prynne had found no prayers to the blessed Virgin, and the Saints, among his papers.
That as to the dove, representing the Holy Ghost, this was more than the witness could depose; and as to that and the ecce homo he answered out of Calvin, that it was lawful to make a picture of any thing that might be seen. And lastly, these pictures had remained in the gallery, ever since the reign of Queen Mary ; nor had any of his predecessors, during the time of Queen Elizabeth, or King James, thought fit to remove them. And as to the bowings he was re- proached with, he was sorry any reverence in God's house could be thought too much ; but it was the devil's cunning, when he saw su- perstition thrown out of the church, to bring in irreverence and pro- faneness. As to the crucifix in the altar-piece, there had been one in the old hangings for thirty years before, which had never given offence.
After this hearing was ended, his grace was ordered to attend another day, when nothing was done ; but he was so fortunate, at last, to get an order to the commit- tee of sequestrations, to receive 200/. out of his own estate ; which was all they suffered him to take out of the profits, in the two years it was under sequestration.
At another hearing, on May the 27th, they renewed their charge against the windows in Lambeth chapel ; particularly they observed, that there was a picture of God the Father in them ; and Prynne deposed, that his grace had a book of pictures, containing the history of our Saviour. They also urged, that the ceremonies used at the coronation were superstitious ; and that he had taken upon him to alter the coronation oath. That his grace suffered the picture of the blessed Virgin, to be painted on the church door of St. Mary's in Oxford; and that copes, bowings, pictures, and candlesticks, were used at Oxford, and in several parish churches, and the communion-table placed altar-wise ; which they held to be sufficient evidence of his introducing popery.
His grace being brought to the bar again on the 6th of
FOR HIGH TREASON'. f7
June, mat part of tlic charge of the day before was mptttteo, ana they accused him of promoting several se- vere sentences iu the high commission ; and particularly one against Mr. Workman, for preaching against images ; and another against Mr. Sherfield, for defacing a church Window at Salisbury : wherein was the picture of God the Father ; and that his chaplain, Dr. Bragge, refused to license Dr. Featly's sermons, till a passage against images was struck out.
At the conclusion of this hearing, his grace complained of a paper called, " The Diurnal," wherein he was scan- dalously abused ; and observed, that it had been affirmed in this, and other papers, that the whole charge had been proved against him, which their Lordships knew to be false ; but his complaint's were very little regarded
His grace being brought to the bar again, the 11th of June, the managers proceeded to give evidence of his attempts to subvert the established religion, of which his consecration of two churches, viz. St. Katherine's Cree church, and St. Gileses in the Fields, were said to be in- stances. The witnesses deposed, tha the came in a pom- pous manner to perform the ceremony, and at his approach to the church door, caused the following passage out of the Psalms to be read, viz. " Lift up your heads O ye gates, and be ye lift ye everlasting doors, and the king of glory shall come in.*" That he kneeled down at his coming in, and used many bowings and cringes, threw dust into the air, and used several curses in imitation of the pontifical, taking also one of his prayers from thence; and at last pronounced the place holy. He was charged also with the consecration of chapels, and giving the name of St. John to his own chapel ; and a paper was read, said to be a list of his chapel furniture, wherein wafers were mentioned instead of consecrated bread.
The publishing the book of Sports was also urged as a piece of popery, and his punishing several of his clergy for not reading it, as another offence. Sir Henry Mild- may, and Anthony Mildmay deposed; that his grace was hated by one faction at Rome, and loved by another ; and, though he was but an obscure man, they observed, within these fifteen years, there was a strong opinion of .1 reconciliation between the churches of Rome and 1 iand since his advancement.
38 ARCHBISHOP LAUD,
At another hearing of the 17th of June, he was accused as being the occasion of Damport , s leaving his benefice, and retiring to Holland; and with saying, (when he heard he was in New England) " That his arm should reach him there. 1 '
That one Nathaniel Wickens had been imprisoned nine weeks, only for being a servant to Mr. Prynne ; that upon his refusing the oath ex officio, his grace said, the charge should be taken pro confesso ; and that his friends were refused a sight of the articles against him.
His grace was also charged with stopping books at the press, and expunging passages out of them ; and parti- cularly the English Bible with Geneva notes : and that he had used his power, to suppress some books in Hol- land ; that he suppressed an Almanac, that left out the apostles and saints, and inserted the martyrs of Queen Mary's reign in their stead.
His grace being brought from the Tower to Westmin- ster every day to bis trial, related, that at his landing, he was generally saluted with reproachful language, and particularly by one quarter-man, who this day cried out, " What do the Lords mean to be troubled so often with this base fellow ? They would do well to hang him out of the way." Nor was Nicholas the manager less scur- rilous, when his grace appeared at the bar, giving him worse language, than a man of any education would have given to his slave.
On the 27th of June his grace was charged with the following passages out of a speech he made in the star- chamber ; from whence the managers said, it was evident he held tran substantiation, viz. " The altar is the great- est place of God's residence on earth, greater than the pulpit ; for there it is, hoc est corpus ?neum, this is my body, but in the other it is at most, hoc est verbum meum, this is my word ; and a greater reverence is due to the body, than to the word of God.""
He was also charged again, with licensing Popish and Arminian books, and suffering his chaplains to preach and print Arminian doctrines.
His grace being brought to the bar again on the 17th of June, was charged with making a division between the Church of England and the foreign reformed churches, by depriving the foreign churches here, of their privU
Foil HIGH TREASON. 39
leges; and that paFsage in his book against Fisher, viz. " No bishop, no church,* was urged as a further proof of his intention: a passage in Isishop Montagu's book also was cited against his grace, viz. " that none but a bishop could ordain, unless in case of necessity ." And a third thing insisted on Was, his advising Bishop Hall, not to affirm positively, that the pope was antichrist. Another offence was, his having asserted, that church government by bishops was not alterable by human laws.
On the 24th of July, the managers went upon the same articles they did at the preceding hearing, and re- peated a great deal of the same matter ; they charged him also with saying, " that the Church of Rome and ours, were all one, that we did not differ in fundamentals, but circumstances ; that Rome was a true church," &c. That he favoured papists and released them out of prison, entertained and Harboured Sir Toby Matthew, and several popish priests, refused to commit Fisher the Jesuit, and was very intimate with secretary Windebank, who used to dismiss popish priests, when the messengers had taken them ; that the priests had the best lodgings in Newgate, and the liberty of walking the streets ; that he would not suffer popish books that were taken to be destroyed, but frequently returned them to the owners ; and that he had said in the preface to his book against Fisher, " that to his remembrance, he had not given him or his, any coarse language."
His Grace being brought to the bar again the 29th of July, the managers went upon the 14th original article, (viz.) " that to prevent his being questioned for these and other his traitorous proceedings, he had endeavoured to subvert the rights of parliament, and create a division between his majesty and his people, and ruin his king- doms, for which they impeached him of high-treason.
The evidence to support this charge was, that he had assisted the Duke of Buckingham in making two speeches, when he was im- peached by the House of Commons, and that he had drawn up two of the King's speeches to the parliament, in which were some four passages, and Sir Sackville Crowe deposed, that his grace shewed him a paper, in which were several aspersions on the parliament, and that the paper was subscribed VV. Laud. A passage out of his diary also was read, to shew his enmity to parliaments (viz.) June 1 5th, 1626. Post miiltas agitatione privata malitiain Ducem Buckinghamice superavit $ suffocavit omnia publico negotia / nihil actum est, sed
40 ' ARCHBISHOP LAUD,
parliamentam solutum: wherein it was observed, he charged the parliament with malice. Another evidence of his aversion to parlia- ments, was said to be, his assisting in drawing up the proclamation for suppressing the (rebellious) remonstrance; a paper was also produced, called his grace's " reasons against parliaments," said to be of his own hand-writing, and the following words were read out of his diary against him, (viz.) " the parliament which was dissolved 10th March, 1628, sought my ruin," as also some notes on Sir Benja- min Rudyard's speech in parliament.
Another passage in his diary was read, purely to expose him, (xiz.) 27th October, 1640. " Going into my upper study to send away some manuscripts to Oxford, I found my picture fallen down upon the face, and lying on the floor, I am almost every day threatened with ruin. God grant this be no omen of it." Another passage half burnt out, which the managers supplied out oÂ£ their own invention, was read; wherein they make him say, that "Magna Charta had an obscure birth, and was fostered by an ill nurse." And concluded with part of a dream, the Earl of Pembroke deposed, that his Grace related to him, (viz.) " that he should come to greater preferment in the church, and power in the state, than any man of his birth and calling had done before, but in the end he should be hanged.
Whereupon, Nicholas the manager, said, the first part of his dream had proved true, to the great hurt both of church and state, and he hoped their lord- ships would now make good the latter, and hang him. His Grace appearing at the bar the 2nd of September, saw that every lord had a small folio in his hand, which he found to be his diary in print, with Prynne's remarks upon it : Before he entered upon his recapitulation, he observed, that his trial began the 12th of March 1643-4, and ended the 29th of July following ; during which time their Lordships had heard him twenty days, and twelve days they had sent him back without hearing ; and the intervals had been taken up, in finding and managing the evidence against him.
In his defence, he desired their Lordships would consider his Function, his great age, his long imprisonment, the loss of his estate, and the resignation with which he had borne these afflictions ; that they would also observe the generality and uncertainty of every article, which made his defence extremely difficult ; that the use of his study, his books and papers had been taken from him, and that twenty-three parcels of papers prepared for his defence, were taken from him in the tower, by Mr. Prynne, but three were returned again : That his very pockets were searched, and even his diary and prayer-book taken from him ; and made use of, not to prove, but to frame a charge against him. But thus far these hardships had been an advantage to him ; that their lordships had seen the passages of his life ; and by his prayer-book, the greatest secrets between God and lili soul; and though these had been thoroughly searched, he
FOR HIGH TREASON. 41
thanked God, they could find no disloyalty in the one, or popery in the other. That all the council-books, those of the Star-chamber, High Commission, Signet office, Registers of Oxford and Cambridge, had all been diligently searched for matter against him ; yet he was suffered to have no assistance from any of them, towards making his defence.
That even his actions, that tended to the public good, and the honour of the church and kingdom, and in which he had been at great pains and expences, such as the repairing St. Paul's, and settling the statutes of the University of Oxford, had been objected to him as crimes ; that most of the witnesses produced against him, had been exasperated sectaries or separatists, whom the laws had been put in execution against ; but by the civil law, no schismatick was to be admitted a witness against his Bishop. That these men were made witnesses in their own causes ; and the judgments of the Star-chamber, High-commission and Council-table, were here on a sudden overthrown, by the testimonies of the parties themselves ; nor was it possible for one, who had sitten as judge in so many several causes, to give an account of the respective motives that directed his conscience in every one of them, after so many years elapsed. That what he had done, was, to the best of his understanding conducive to the peace and welfare of the kingdom, and the main- tenance of the doctrines and discipline of the church established by law : and observed that, while he was in the administration, God had been pleased to bless this state with such peace and plenty, that the neighbouring nations looked on us with admiration. What the overthrow of this constitution might produce, God only knew, but he prayed God to avert it.
He observed also, that every hasty expression to which he had been urged by any provocation, had been insisted on to aggravate the charge ; but he hoped their lordships would impute them to human frailty, that he was in many instances criminally charged with the actions of other men, and even with the acts of the Star Chamber, Council Table, High Commission, and Convocation, where he had but a single vote, and in some of these courts, there sat with him men of the greatest honour, learning and experience ; and it was hard, that the same facts should be construed treason in him, which were
not censured as misdemeanors in any of the rest. That there had
been no proof of his soliciting any man to concur with him, nor could his vote influence others, because it was always given last.
That as to what had been so strenuously urged against him, that he ascribed that power to the church which belonged to the parliament ; he conceived, the parliament could not as the law stood, determine the truth of doctrines, without the assent of the church in convoca- tion ; that the first clause in Magna Charta, establishes the church in all her rights, of which, " the power of determining in matters of doctrine, and discipline was one at that time ; nor had this right of* the clergy been limited by any law since, but by the clause of 1 Eliz. cap. l. which empowers the parliament with the assent of the convocation, to judge of heresy, &c, and still he held, that the judging of the truth or falsehood of any doctrine, was in the church, though the power of punishing offenders was in the parliament, with the assent of the clergy.
42 ARCHBISHOP LAUD,
That it was true the king and parliament might, by their absolute power, change Christianity into mahometanism; and those who could not obey, must either fly, or endure the penalties inflicted for their disobedience; but both king and parliament, must answer for the abuse of their power to God. And though it had been objected, that if the parliament would not have meddled with religion without the convocation, there had been no reformation ; yet the articles of religion were settled by a synod of the clergy, at the reformation, and confirmed by parliament, with the assent of the clergy in convocation.
And whereas, his accusers had not been able to charge any one of his actions as treasonable, yet they had notwithstanding, urged that the result of them altogether amounted to treason. He begged leave to observe, that the result must be of the same nature and species with the particulars from which it arises. And as this rule held in nature and morality, so it did in law, for where there were never so many crimes heaped together, yet there was no law that made the result of different crimes, treason, where none of the particulars were treason by law. That the statute of the 25 Edw. III. had determined what should be deemed treason, and what not; and unless this result was something within that statute, it could not be treason.
His Grace afterwards moved, that his council might be heard to the following points, (viz.) whether all, or any of the articles amounted to high treason ; secondly, whether the charge contained in them, was made with that certainty the law required. But these points being communicated to the Commons, they would not suffer the counsel to argue any more than the first, with whom their Lordships (now in a manner subject to the Com- mons) agreed ; and Mr. Hern was decided on, to deliver his own, and the arguments of the rest of his Grace's counsel, at the bar of the house, the 11th of October. Wherein besides what his Grace had already insisted on, they observe, that as nothing is treason by the law of England, but what is made so by the 25th Edw. III., so that act ought not to be construed by equity or inference : 1 . Because it is a declarative law, and no declaration ought to be surcharged with another declaration. 2. This law was provided for a security in life, liberty, and estate ; but to admit constructions and inferences upon it, must by consequence destroy the intent and force of the provision. 3. It has been held in Parliament and judical debates, that this act shall be literally construed, and not stretched to in- ferences.
They urged also several things which his Grace had
FOK HI (I II TREASON. 43
ted on before; and in the whole argument confined themselves to the nature and degree of the crimes ex- hibited in the articles, without touching on matter of fact, of enquiring whether the particulars of the charge were proved or not.
The hearing being over, a petition was handed about London, for bringing delinquents to justice, and several preachers did all that lay in their power to inflame the people ; telling them that nothing could conduce more to the glory of God, than the execution of delinquents, and by these means, a multitude of hands were procured to the petition, which was delivered to the Commons, the 28th of October, none being named in it but the Arch- bishop, and the Bishop of Ely.
The Commons finding that the Lords would not con- vict the Archbishop of high treason, resolved to punish him by a bill of attainder, which they were so gracious as to acquaint the Archbishop with, and ordered him to be brought to their bar on the 1st of November, where Mr. Brown, one of their managers, gave them a summary of the proceedings, before the House of Lords, and his Grace was permitted to answer it, the I lth of the same month.
On the 14th of November, his Grace was brought to the bar of the House of Commons again, to hear Mr. Brown's reply, but was not suffered to speak afterwards, and within two days they passed the Ordinance, or Bill of Attainder, and sent it up to the Lords, who were still of opinion that the facts his Grace was charged with, did not amount to high treason. But the Commons sending them a message " that they would do well to pass the Ordinance, or the multitude would come down and force them to it ; and giving them to understand also, that they would be soon voted useless, if they did not comply ; a remnant of the Lords, not above fourteen at most, present in the House,* passed the Ordinance for the Archbishop's attainder, on the 4th of January, and on the 6th, an order of' both Houses was made for his execution on tfie 10th of the same month.
- Some historians relate there were only seven lords present at the
passing the bill of attainder, and give us the names of six of them, viz. The Earls of Kent, Pembroke, Salisbury, and Bolingbroke, the Lord North, and the Lord Grey, of Werk,"
44 ARCHBISHOP LAUD.
The Archbishop afterwards acquainted the House9, that he had his Majesty^ pardon, but this would not avail him. First, because it was granted before convic- tion, they said ; and secondly, that if it had been subse- quent, yet in a case of treason against the kingdom, (as they termed it) it could be of no force. However, they remitted all the sentence, but the beheading.
Being brought to the scaffold on Tower-hill, on the 1 Oth of January, he mounted it with an air of great resolution and cheerfulness, beginning his speech with the following text of scripture.
" Let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, &c." And among other things he said, " that he was well assured, God was able to deliver him from this violence, as he did the three children from the furnace ; and that by our Saviour's assistance, his resolution was the same with theirs. They refused to worship the image the king had set up : neither would he idolize the imaginations of the people, nor forsake the temple and truth of God, to follow the bleating of Jeroboam's calves. As for the people, he observed, they were miserably misled ; the blind led the blind ; and if they went on, they would both certainly fall into the ditch. Then he observed, that he was not only the first archbishop, but the first man, that ever died by an ordinance of parliament, and hoped his cause would\ appear in heaven with a different complexion from what was put upon it here. That his case, as foul as it was represented, looked something like that of St. Paul's, who was accused as a great criminal against the law and the temple ; and St. Stephen's, who was arraigned for breaking the ordinances that Moses had delivered : that is, for endeavouring the subversion of the laws and religion of his country."
Then he proceeded to clear the king of being popishly affected, a calumny which he said he knew him to be as free from, as any man living ; for he held him to be as sound a protestant, (according to the religion by law established) as any man in the kingdom ; and that he would venture his life as far and as freely for it. He complained of the riotous tumults of the people, and their clamouring for justice at the parliament house. This was the way, he said, to draw the guilt of blood upon their heads ; and these mutinous disorders, he observed, were not restrained by the magistracy. He lamented the calamitous condition of the Church of England. She was be- come he said, like an oak, cleft in pieces with wedges made of her own body, while iniquity and profaneness triumphed under the pre- tence of godliness ; that the substance of religion was lost, and that church which stood firm against the attacks of the Jesuits, was terribly battered by her own party.
As to his religion, he declared himself of the communion of the Church of England, established by law ; and in this persuasion, he said he had always lived, notwithstanding the unreasonable clamours raised against him. He declared himself also a friend to the constitution, and particularly to parliaments j but the best things
CHARLES Till. 1 I KST. \T>
he observed, were often corrupted and became the worst. Thus the parliament being the highest court, the last resort, from which there was bo appeal, when this last resort was misinformed or misgoverned, it turned to the most fatal grievance, for in such cases, the subject was left without remedy.
After this speech, the archbishop performed his devo- tions with great fervency, and then moving towards the block, found the scaffold so crowded with his enemies that came to triumph, that he was forced to entreat them to make way, and give him room to die ; but Sir John Clotworthy, who endeavoured t to give him all the dis- turbance he could in his last moments, still stood in his way, and demanded what text of scripture was most comfortable to a dying man ? to which his grace answered Cup lo dissolvi, ct esse cum Christo : but Sir John replied, there must be an assurance to found that desire upon ; and Sir John continuing this barbarous treatment, the archbishop could find no other way to get rid of the impertinent zealot, than by bidding the executioner do his office ; and he separated his head from his body at ' one blow.