[Volume 5, Page 304]
Controversy over Petition of Right3 How. St. Tr. 59, 222--34 1628
The Petition of Right.
The Petition exhibited to his majesty by the lords spiritual and temporal, and commons in this present parliament assembled, concerning divers Rights and Liberties of the Subjects.
To the King's most excellent majesty.
I. "Humbly shew unto our sovereign lord the king, the lords spiritual and temporal, and commons in parliament assembled, that whereas it is declared and enacted by a statute made in the time of the reign of king Edward 1, commonly called, 'statutum de tallagio non concedendo1 ,' that no tallage or aid shall be laid or levied, by the king or his heirs, in this realm, without the good will and assent of the archbishops, bishops, earls, barons, knights, burgesses, and other the freemen of the commonalty of this realm: and by authority of parliament holden in the 25th year of the reign of king Edward 32 , it is declared and enacted, That from thenceforth no person shall be compelled to make any Loans to the king against his will, because such Loans were against reason, and the franchise of the land; and by other3 laws of this realm it is provided, that none should be charged by any charge or imposition, called a Benevolence, nor by such like charge; by which the statutes before-mentioned, and other the good laws and statutes of this realm, your subjects have inherited this freedom, that they should not be compelled to contribute to any tax, tallage, aid, or other like charge, not set by common consent in parliament.
II. "Yet nevertheless, of late, divers Commissions, directed to sundry commissioners in several counties, with instructions, have issued; by means whereof your people have been in divers places assembled, and required to lend certain sums of money unto your majesty, and many of them, upon their refusal so to do, have had an oath administered unto them, not warrantable by the laws or statutes of this realm, and have been constrained to become bound to make appearance, and give attendance before your privy-council, and in other places; and others of them have been therefore imprisoned, confined, and sundry other ways molested and disquieted. And divers other charges have been laid and levied upon your people in several counties, by lords lieutenants, deputy lieutenants, commissioners for musters, justices of peace, and others, by command and direction from your majesty, or your privy-council, against the laws and free customs of this realm.[Volume 5, Page 305]
III. "And whereas also by the statute called4 , 'The Great Charter of the Liberties of England,' it is declared and enacted, That no Freeman may be taken or imprisoned or be disseised of his freehold or liberties, or his free customs, or be outlawed or exiled, or in any manner destroyed, but by the lawful judgment of his peers, or by the law of the land.
IV. "And in the 28th year of the reign of king Edward 35 , it was declared and enacted by authority of parliament, That no man, of what estate or condition he be, should be put out of his land or tenements, nor taken, nor imprisoned, nor disherited, nor put to death, without being brought to answer by due process of law.
V. "Nevertheless, against the tenor of the said statutes6 , and other the good laws and statutes of your realm, to that end provided, divers of your subjects have of late been imprisoned, without any cause shewed; and when for their deliverance they were brought before your justices, by your majesty's Writs of Habeas Corpus, there to undergo and receive as the court should order, and their keepers commanded to certify the causes of their detainer; no cause was certified, but that they were detained by your majesty's special command, signified by the lords of your privy-council, and yet were returned back to several prisons, without being charged with any thing to which they might make answer according to the law.
VI. "And whereas of late, great companies of Soldiers and Mariners have been dispersed into divers counties of the realm, and the inhabitants, against their wills, have been compelled to receive them into their houses, and there to suffer them to sojourn against the laws and customs of this realm, and to the great grievance and vexation of the people.
VII. "And whereas, also, by authority of parliament, in the 25th year of the reign of king Edw. 3, it is declared and enacted, That no man shall be fore-judged of life or limb against the form of the Great Charter and other laws and statutes of this realm: and by the said Great Charter, and other the laws and statutes of this your realm, no man ought to be adjudged to death, but by the laws established in this your realm, either by the customs of the same realm, or by acts of parliament: and, whereas no offender of what kind soever is exempted from the proceedings to be used, and punishments to be inflicted by the laws and statutes of this your realm: nevertheless, of late, divers commissions, under your majesty's great seal, have issued forth, by which, certain persons have been assigned and appointed commissioners with power and authority to proceed, within the land, according to the justice of martial law, against such soldiers and mariners, or other dissolute persons joining with them, as should commit any murder, robbery, felony, mutiny, or other outrage or misdemeanor whatsoever; and by such summary course and orders as is agreeable to martial law, and is used in armies in time of war, to proceed to the trial and condemnation of such offenders, and them to cause to be executed and put to death, according to the martial law.
VIII. "By pretext whereof some of your majesty's subjects have been, by some of the said commissioners, put to death; when and where, if by the laws and statutes of the land they had deserved death, by the same laws and statutes also they might and by no other ought to have been adjudged and executed.
IX. "And, also, sundry grievous offenders by colour thereof, claiming an exemption, have escaped the punishment due to them by the laws and statutes of this your realm, by reason that divers of your officers and ministers of justice have unjustly refused, or forborn to proceed against such offenders, according to the same laws and statutes, upon pretence that the said offenders were punishable only by martial law, and by authority of such commissions, as aforesaid; which commissions, and all others of like nature, are wholly and directly contrary to the said laws and statutes of this your realm.
X. "They do therefore humbly pray your most excellent majesty,7 1. That no man hereafter be compelled to make or yield any gift, loan, benevolence, tax, or such like charge, without common consent by act of parliament; 2. and that none be called to make answer, or take such oath, or to give attendance, or be confined, or otherwise molested or disquieted concerning the same, or for refusal thereof: 3. and that no freeman in any such manner as is before mentioned, be imprisoned or detained.
XI. "All which they most humbly pray of your most excellent majesty, as their rights and liberties, according to the laws and statutes of this realm: and that your majesty would also vouchsafe to declare, that the awards, doings, and proceedings, to the prejudice of your people, in any of the premisses, shall not be drawn hereafter into consequence or example: and that your majesty would be also graciously pleased, for the further comfort and safety of your people, to declare your royal will and pleasure, that in the things aforesaid, all your officers and ministers shall serve you, according to the laws and statutes of this realm, as they tender the honour of your majesty, and the prosperity of this kingdom." [See Statutes at large, 3, 4 Car. 1.]
The King's Answer.
Which Petition being read the 2d of June, the king's Answer was thus delivered by the lord keeper:
"The king willeth that right be done according to the laws and customs of the realm; and that the statutes be put in due execution, that his subjects may have no cause to complain of any wrong or oppressions, contrary to their just Rights and Liberties: to the preservation whereof, he holds himself in conscience as well obliged, as of his prerogative."
On Tuesday, June 3, the king's Answer was read in the House of Commons, and seemed not full enough, in regard of so much expence of time and labour, as had been employed in contriving the Petition.[Volume 5, Page 306]
June 3. A Message was brought from the King by the Speaker,
"That his majesty having, upon the Petition exhibited by both houses, given an Answer full of justice and grace, for which we and our posterity have just cause to bless his majesty, it is now time to grow to a conclusion of the session; and therefore his majesty thinks fit to let you know, that as he doth resolve to abide by that Answer, without further change or alteration, so he will royally and really perform unto you what he hath thereby promised: and further, that he resolves to end this session upon Wednesday the 11th of this month. And therefore wisheth, that the house will seriously attend those businesses, which may best bring the session to a happy conclusion, without entertaining new matters; and so husband the time, that his majesty may with the more comfort bring us speedily together again: at which time, if there be any further grievances not contained, or expressed in the Petition, they may be more maturely considered than the time will now permit.
Another Message was brought from his Majesty by the Speaker, Thursday 5th of June.
"His majesty wished them to remember the Message he last sent them, by which he set a day for the end of this session, and he commanded the Speaker to let them know, that he will certainly hold that day prefixed without alteration; and because that cannot be, if the house entertain more business of length, he requires them, that they enter not into, or proceed with any new business, which may spend greater time, or which may lay any scandal or aspersion upon the state-government or ministers thereof."
Sir Robert Philips, upon this occasion, expressed himself thus: I perceive, that towards God, and towards man, there is little hope, after our humble and careful endeavours, seeing our sins are many and so great: I consider my own infirmities, and if ever my passions were wrought upon, that now this message stirs me up especially; when I remember with what moderation we have proceeded, I cannot but wonder to see the miserable straight we are now in: what have we not done, to have merited? Former times have given wounds enough to the people's liberty, we came hither full of wounds, and we have cured what we could; and what is the return of all but misery and desolation? What did we aim at, but to have served his majesty, and to have done that which would have made him great and glorious? If this be a fault, then we are all criminous. What shall we do, since our humble purposes are thus prevented, which were not to have laid any aspersion on the government, since it tended to no other end, but to give his majesty true information of his and our danger? And to this we are enforced out of a necessity of duty to the king, our country, and to posterity; but we being stopped, and stopped in such manner, as we are enjoined, so we must now leave to be a council. I hear this with that grief, as the saddest message of the greatest loss in the world. But let us still be wise, be humble; let us make a fair declaration to the king.
Sir John Elliot. Our sins are so exceeding great, that unless we speedily return to God, God will remove himself further from us: ye know with what affection and integrity we have proceeded hitherto, to have gained his majesty's heart, and out of a necessity of our duty, were brought to that course we were in: I doubt, a misrepresentation to his majesty hath drawn this mark of his displeasure upon us: I observe in the Message, amongst other sad particulars, it is conceived, that we were about to lay some aspersions on the government; give me leave to protest, that so clear were our intentions, that we desire only to vindicate those dishonours to our king and country, &c. It is said also, as if we cast some aspersions on his majesty's ministers; I am confident no minister, how dear soever, can--
Here the Speaker started up from the seat of the chair, apprehending sir John Elliot intended to fall upon the Duke, and some of the ministers of state; and said, There is a command laid upon me, that I must command you not to proceed.--Whereupon sir John Elliot sate down.
Sir Dudley Diggs. I am as much grieved as ever. Must we not proceed? Let us sit in silence, we are miserable, we know not what to do.
Hereupon there was a silence in the house for a while, which was broken by sir Nathaniel Rich, in these words:
Sir Nathaniel Rich. We must now speak or for ever hold our peace; for us to be silent when king and kingdom are in this calamity, is not fit. The question is, Whether we shall secure ourselves by silence, yea or no? I know it is more for our own security, but it is not for the security of those for whom we serve; let us think on them: some instruments desire a change, we fear his majesty's safety, and the safety of the kingdom, I do not say we now see it; and shall we now sit still and do nothing, and so be scattered? Let us go together to the lords, and shew our dangers, that we may then go to the king together.
Others said, that the Speech lately spoken by sir John Elliot had given offence (as they feared) to his majesty.
Whereupon the House declared, "That every member of the house is free from any undutiful Speech, from the beginning of the parliament to that day;" and ordered, "That the house be turned into a Committee to consider what is fit to be done for the safety of the kingdom; and that no man go out upon pain of going to the Tower." But before the Speaker left the chair, he desired leave to go forth; and the house ordered that he may go forth, if he please. And the house was hereupon turned into a Grand Committee: Mr. Whitby in the chair.
Mr. Wandesford. I am full of grief as others, let us recollect our English hearts, and not sit still, but do our duties: two ways are propounded, to go to the lords, or to the king; I think it is fit we go to the king, for this doth concern our Liberties, and let us not fear to make a Remonstrance of our Rights; we are his counsellors. There are some men which call evil good, and good evil, and bitter sweet; justice is now called popularity and faction.
Sir Edward Coke. We have dealt with that duty and moderation that never was the like, rebus sic stantibus, after such a violation of the Liberties of the Subject: let us take this to heart. In 30 Ed. 3, were they then in doubt in parliament to name men that misled the king? They accused John de Gaunt, the king's son, and lord Latimer, and lord [Volume 5, Page 307] Nevil, for misadvising the king, and they went to the Tower for it; now when there is such a downfal of the state, shall we hold our tongues? How shall we answer our duties to God and men? 7 H. 4, Parl. Rot. n. 31, & 32, 11 H. 4, n. 13, there the Council are complained of, and are removed from the king; they mewed up the king, and dissuaded him from the common good; and why are we now retired from that way we were in? Why may we not name those that are the cause of all our evils? In 4 H. 3, & 27 E. 3, & 13 R. 2 the parliament moderated the king's prerogative; and nothing grows to abuse, but this house hath power to treat of it. What shall we do? Let us palliate no longer; if we do, God will not prosper us. I think the duke of Buckingham is the cause of all our miseries; and till the king be informed thereof, we shall never go out with honour, or sit with honour here: that man is the grievance of grievances: let us set down the causes of all our disasters, and all will reflect upon him. As for going to the lords, that is not via regia; our liberties are now impeached, we are concerned; it is not via regia, the lords are not participant with our liberties.
Mr. Selden advised, That a Declaration be drawn under four heads: 1. To express the house's dutiful carriage towards his majesty. 2. To tender their liberties that are violated. 3. To present what the purpose of the house was to have dealt in. 4. That that great person, viz. the Duke, fearing himself to be questioned, did interpose and cause this distraction. All this time, (said he) we have cast a mantle on what was done last parliament; but now being driven again to look on that man, let us proceed, with that which was then well begun, and let the charge be renewed that was last parliament against him, to which he made an answer, but the particulars were sufficient, that we might demand judgment on that answer only.
In conclusion, the house agreed upon several Heads for a Remonstrance. But the Speaker, who after he had leave to go forth, went privately to the King, brought this Message:
"That his majesty commands for the present they adjourn the house till to-morrow morning, and that all committees cease in the mean time."--And the house was accordingly adjourned.
At the same time the king sent for the Lord-Keeper to attend him presently; the house of lords was adjourned ad libitum. The Lord-Keeper being returned, and the house resumed, his lordship signified his majesty's desire, that the house and all committees be adjourned till to-morrow morning.
Friday, 6th of June, Mr. Speaker brought another Message from the King, and said:--In my service to this house I have had many undeserved favours from you, which I shall ever with all humbleness acknowledge, but none can be greater than that testimony of your confidence yesterday shewed unto me, whereby I hope I have done nothing, or made any representation to his majesty, but what is for the honour and service of this house; and I will have my tongue cleave to my mouth, before I will speak to the disadvantage of any member thereof: I have now a Message to deliver unto you;
"Whereas his majesty understanding, that you did conceive his last Message to restrain you in your just privileges, these are to declare his intentions, That he had no meaning of barring you from what hath been your right, but only to avoid all scandals on his council and actions past, and that his ministers might not be, nor himself, under their names, taxed for their counsel unto his majesty, and that no such particulars should be taken in hand, as would ask a longer time of consideration than what he hath already prefixed, and still resolves to hold; that so, for this time, Christendom might take notice of a sweet parting between him and his people: which if it fall out, his majesty will not be long, from another meeting, when such grievances, if there be any, at their leisure and convenience may be considered."
Mr. Speaker proceeded:
I will observe somewhat out of this Message; ye may observe a great inclination in his majesty to meet in this house. I was bold yesterday to take notice of that liberty ye gave me to go to his majesty: I know there are none here but did imagine whither I went, and but that I knew you were desirous and content that I should leave you, I would not have desired it: give me leave to say, This Message bars you not of your right in matter, nay, not in manner; but it reacheth to his counsels past, and for giving him counsel in those things which he commanded.
The House of Lords likewise received this Message by the Lord-Keeper.
"My Lords, his majesty takes notice, to your great advantage, of the proceedings of this house upon the hearing of his majesty's Message yesterday; he accounts it a fair respect, that ye would neither agree on any committee, or send any Message to his majesty, though it were in your own hearts, but yield yourselves to his majesty's Message, and defer your own resolutions till you meet again at the time appointed by his majesty. Yet his majesty takes it in extreme good part to hear what was in your heart, and especially that you were so sensible of the inconvenience that might ensue upon the breach of this parliament: which if it had happened or shall hereafter happen, his majesty assures himself, that he shall stand clear before God and men of the occasion.--But his majesty saith, Ye had just cause to be sensible of the danger of considering how the state of Christendom now stands in respect of the multitude and strength of our enemies, and weakness on our part. All which his majesty knows very exactly, and in respect thereof, called this parliament; the particulars his majesty holds it needless to recite, especially to your lordships, since they are apparent to all men: neither will it be needful to reiterate them to his majesty, whose cares are most attentive upon them, and the best remedy that can be thought on therein, is, if his subjects do their parts. Therefore his majesty gives you hearty thanks, and bid me tell you, that nothing hath been more acceptable to him all the time of this parliament, than this dutiful and discrete carriage of your lordships, which he professeth hath been a chief motive to his majesty, to suspend those intentions that were not far from a resolution."[Volume 5, Page 308]
Sir Robert Philips assumed the debate, upon the Message delivered by the Speaker, and said; I rise up with a disposition, somewhat in more hope of comfort than yesterday; yet, in regard of the uncertainty of counsels, I shall not change much. In the first place, I must be bold without flattering, a thing not incident to me, to tell you Mr. Speaker, you have not only at all times discharged the duty of a good Speaker, but of a good man; for which I render you many thanks.--Another respect touching his majesty's Answer to our Petition; first, if that answer fall out to be short, I free his majesty, and I believe his resolution was to give that which we all expected: but in what, as in others, we have suffered, by reason of interposed persons between his majesty and us. But this day is by intervenient accidents diverted from that, but so, as in time we go to his majesty; therefore let us remove those jealousies in his majesty of our proceedings, that by some men overgrown have been misrepresented. We have proceeded with temper, in confidence of his majesty's goodness to us, and our fidelity to him; and if any have construed, that what we have done hath been out of fear, let him know we came hither freemen, and will ever resolve to endure the worst; and they are poor men that make such interpretations of parliaments. In this way and method we proceeded, and if any thing fall out unhappily, it is not king Charles that advised himself, but king Charles misadvised by others, and misled by misordered counsel; it becomes us to consider what we were doing, and now to advise what is fit to be done. We were taking consideration of the state of the kingdom, and to present to his majesty the danger he and we are in, if since any man hath been named in particular, (though I love to speak of my betters with humility) let him thank himself and his counsels, but those necessary jealousies give us occasion to name him; I assure myself we shall proceed with temper, and give his majesty satisfaction, if we proceed in that way. His majesty's message is now explanatory in point of our liberties, that he intends not to bar us of our rights, and that he would not have any aspersion cast on the counsels past; let us present to his majesty shortly and faithfully, and declare our intentions, that we intend not to lay any aspersions upon him, but out of a necessity to prevent the imminent dangers we are surrounded with, and to present to him the affairs at home and abroad, and to desire his majesty, that no interposition or mis-information of men in fault may prevail, but to expect the issue that shall be full of duty and loyalty.
The Commons sent a Message to the Lords, that they would join in an humble request to the king, that a clear and satisfactory Answer be given by his majesty in full parliament to the Petition of Right; whereunto the lords did agree.
June 7, the King came to the Lords House, and the house of commons were sent for. And the Lord-Keeper presented the humble Petition of both houses, and said,
"May it please your most excellent majesty, the lords spiritual and temporal, and commons in parliament assembled, taking into consideration that the good intelligence between your majesty and your people doth much depend upon your majesty's Answer unto their Petition of Right formerly presented; with unanimous consent do now become most humble suitors unto your majesty, that you would be graciously pleased to give a clear and satisfactory Answer thereunto in full parliament."
Whereunto the King replied,
"The Answer I have already given you was made with so good deliberation, and approved by the judgments of so many wise men, that I could not have imagined but it should have given you full satisfaction; but to avoid all ambiguous interpretations, and to shew you that there is no doubleness in my meaning, I am willing to please you as well in words as in substance; read your Petition, and you shall have an Answer that I am sure will please you."
The Petition was read, and this Answer was returned:
Soit droit fait come il est desiré par le Petition.
"This I am sure (said his majesty) is full, yet no more than I granted you in my first Answer; for the meaning of that was to confirm all your Liberties, knowing, according to your own protestations, that you neither mean nor can hurt my Prerogative. And I assure you, my maxim is, that the people's Liberties strengthen the king's Prerogative, and the king's Prerogative is to defend the people's Liberties. You see how ready I have shewed myself to satisfy your demands, so that I have done my part; wherefore, if this parliament have not a happy conclusion, the sin is yours, I am free from it."
Whereupon the Commons returned to their own house with unspeakable joy, and resolved so to proceed as to express their thankfulness.
The King's Message to the Lower House by sir Humfrey May, 10th of June 1628.
His majesty is well pleased that your Petition of Right, and his Answer, be not only recorded in both houses of parliament, but also in all the courts of Westminster; and that his pleasure is, it be put in print for his honour, and the content and the satisfaction of his people, and that you proceed cheerfully to settle businesses for the good and reformation of the commonwealth.
June 26. The Speaker being sent for to the king at Whitehall, came not into the house till about nine o'clock. And after prayers, the Remonstrance concerning Tunnage and Poundage being ingrossed, was a reading in the house; and while it was a reading, the king sent for the Speaker and the whole house, and the king made a Speech as followeth:
"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 men can justify it.--Now, since I am truly informed that a second Remonstrance is preparing for me to take away the profit of my Tunnage and Poundage, one [Volume 5, Page 309] of the chief maintenances of my crown, by alledging 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 way 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 antient Liberties of my Subjects. Yet to shew the clearness of my intentions, that I neither repent nor mean to recede from any thing I have promised you, I do here declare myself, That those things which have been done, whereby many have had some cause to suspect 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 Tunnage and Poundage, it is a thing I cannot want, and was never intended by you to ask, nor meant to 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 grant 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."
Then the Lord Keeper said, It is his majesty's pleasure that this session now end, and that the parliament be prorogued till the 20th of October next.
In the following sessions, viz. Wednesday, January 21st, it was ordered that Mr. Selden and others should see if the Petition of Right and his majesty's Answer thereunto were inrolled in the Parliament rolls, and the Courts at Westminster, as his majesty sent them word the last session they should be; and also in what manner they were entered; which was done accordingly, and Mr. Selden made report to the house, that his majesty's Speech made the last day of the session in the upper house is also entered by his majesty's command.--Hereupon Mr. Pym moved, that the debate hereof should be deferred till Tuesday next, by reason of the fewness of the house.
Sir John Elliot. This which is now mentioned, concerns the honour of the house, and the liberty of the kingdom; it is true, it deserves to be deferred till there be a full house, but it is good to prepare things. I find it is a great point; I desire a select Committee may enter into consideration thereof, and also how other Liberties of the kingdom be invaded. I find in the country the Petition of Right printed indeed, but with an Answer that never gave any satisfaction: I desire a committee may consider thereof, and present it to the house, and that the printer be sent for to give satisfaction to the house, by what warrant it was printed. Which was ordered.
Mr. Selden. For this Petition of Right, it is known how lately it hath been violated since our last meeting; the Liberties for life, person and freehold, how they have been invaded; and have not some been committed, contrary to that? Now we, knowing these invasions, must take notice of it. For Liberties, for State, we know of an order made in the Exchequer, that a sheriff was commanded not to execute a replevin, and men's goods are taken and must not be restored. Whereas no man ought to lose life, or limb, but by law; hath not one lately lost his ears (meaning Savage) that was censured in the Star-Chamber by an arbitrary sentence and judgment? Next, they will take away our arms, and then our lives. Let all see we are sensible of these customs creeping upon us: let us make a just presentation hereof to his majesty.
Norton the King's Printer was brought to the bar, and asked by what warrant the Additions to the Petition were printed? He answered, that there was a warrant (as he thought) from the king himself. And being asked whether there were not some copies printed without additions, he answered, there were some, but they were suppressed by warrant.
Sir John Elliot desired some clearer satisfaction might be made, and that he might answer directly by what warrant.--Whereupon he was called in again: who said, he did not remember the particular, but sure he was there was a warrant.
Mr. Selden reported from the Committee concerning the printing of the Petition of Right, that there were printed 1500 without any Addition at all, which were published in the time of the last parliament: but since the parliament, other copies have been printed, and these supprest and made waste paper; which the Printer did, as he said, by command from Mr. Attorney, which he received from his majesty. And the Printer further said, That the Attorney was with the Lord Privy-Seal at Whitehall, and there delivered unto the Printer sundry papers, with divers hands to them, and on the backside was endorsed thus, "We will and command you, that these Copies be printed."
Which put an end to this Grand Affair.
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