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A CVNNING PLOT TO DIVIDE AND DESTROY, THE PARLIAMENT AND THE CITY OF LONDON. Made knowne (at a Common Hall) by the Earle of Northumberland, Maſter Solliciter, and Sir Henry Vane. The Deſign is fully diſ­covered in the

  • Severall Examinations and Confeſsions, of Maſter RILEY
  • Severall Examinations and Confeſsions, of Sir BASILL BROOK
  • Severall Examinations and Confeſsions, of Maſter VIOLET
  • Proclamations from his MAJESTY
  • Letters from his MAJESTY
  • Letters from the Lord DIGBY
  • Letters from Colonell READ.

LONDON, Printed, and are to be ſold by Peter Cole at his ſhop in Cron-Hill, right over againſt Popes-Head Aily neare the Royall Exchange, January 16. 1643.


The Right Honourable, the Earle of Northumberland his Speech.

MY Lord Maior, and you Gentlemen of the City of London, the two Houſes of Par­liament, have not of late had any occaſion to im­ploy us hither, the reaſon hath been, becauſe that your readineſſe and your forwardneſſe have up­on all occaſions prevented any thing that they could ask or deſire from you; But now at this time, we come from command of the two Houſes to communicate unto you, a diſcovery that hath been lately made under a fair and ſpecious pre­tence of deſiring peace, to raiſe diviſions, and to make factions here in the City, and between the City and the two Houſes of Parliament: What hath already paſſed, and come to the knowledge of the Houſes, they have ſent us here to acquaint you with, the Papers and the Examinations will be here read unto you, and likewiſe the Senſe of the two Houſes. When you ſhall heare theſe read, and conſider the Inſtruments that were the Actors and the Perſons imployed in this Negotiation, you will be beſt able to judge of the buſineſſe; If you pleaſe to have the patience to heare theſe Ex­aminations read, theſe Gentlemen will read them.


A Narrative of a Deſigne and Practiſe upon the City of London, lately diſcovered, and ſome Obſervation upon it by Mr SOLLICITER.

MY Lord Mayor, and you Gentlemen and wor­thy Citizens of this City: You have heard by this Noble Lord, that it hath pleaſed Almighty God, out of his goodneſſe within theſe few dayes to make a diſ­covery to both the Houſes of an intended practiſe upon the Parliament and City, and ſo by conſequence upon the whole Kingdome. And in reſpect, that the Stage whereup­on this deſigne was to have been acted, were the Houſes of Parliament, and principally this City, and that ſome of the Actors in that Tragedy (for ſo I may call it) were mem­bers of this Citie: And likewiſe in reſpect of that neere Conjunction between the Houſes and you, That as Hypo­critus twins, they are like to live and dye together, There­fore they have commanded me and diverſe other Gentle­men of the Houſe of Commons to make known unto you, what this deſigne and practice was.

But before I tell you either what it was, or the dange­rous conſequence of it, I think it will not be amiſſe, that you ſhould heare it from one of themſelves who was an Actor and projector of it, that is, from the Lord Digby, who in a letter writ to Sir Baſil Brooke concerning this bu­ſineſſe doth profeſſe, That ſince theſe troubles did begin, There3 was no deſign, nor no practiſe that was ſo likely to have taken, that was ſo likely to have produced that good effect (as they ſtile it) as this.

You may very well remember the bloody Deſigne upon the Parliament and this City diſcovered about half a yeare ſince: he himſelfe ſaid, That this is above all that hi­therto hath been in agitation. This is their ſence upon it, that were the Projectors, and were to have been the Actors in it.

The thing in brief is thus: It was a ſeditious and Ieſuiticall Practice and Deſigne, under the specious pre­tence of Peace, to have rent the Parliament from the City, and the City from the Parliament; To have ſevered and disjoyned the Parliament within it ſelf, the City within it ſelf, Thereby to render up both Parliament and City to the Deſignes of the Enemy, which is not all; for the deſtruction and nulling of this preſent Parliament was intended; as likewiſe the ingaging our ſelves in a Treaty of Peace with­out the advice or conſent of our Brethren of Scotland, contrary to the late Articles ſolemnly agreed upon by both Kingdomes, to the perpetuall diſhonour of this Nation, by breach of our publique Faith, ingaged therein to that Nati­on, thereby not only utterly to fruſtrate our expectation of aſſiſtance from Scotland, but which is worſe (in all likeli­hood) to ingage the two Nations in broyles, if not in a war.

This in briefe was the deſign, the particulars whereup­on it was framed, and the parties that were Actors in it, I ſhall likewiſe diſcover to you.

4There was one Read, who called himſelfe Collonel Read, a man I ſuppoſe well known by name to this City: He had been heretofore many yeares ſince, a common Agent for the Papiſts, he was a principall perſon to whom the Pac­kets and addreſſes from Rome were made; it was he that did diſperſe them abroad in the Kingdome, with whom for the advancing of the Popiſh Cauſe, continued conſul­tations were held, who for advancing of the Catholique Cauſe (as they call it) went over into Ireland, there fo­mented the Rebellion, having been one of the Plotters of it, and was taken Priſoner there and ſent hither; This was the man, who was the principall contriver and Actor in the preſent buſineſſe.

Who together with Sir Baſil Brooke (a known Jeſuited Papiſt, a great Stickler in all the Popiſh tranſactions, and Treaſurer of the monies lately contributed by the Papiſts in the War againſt Scotland) both priſoners having laid the deſigne here, Mr Reads enlargement muſt be procured that he might act his part at Oxford; Sir Baſil Brooke muſt lye ledger here.

But becauſe ſo great a buſineſſe required more manna­gers, therefore one Violet a broken Goldſmith, and a Pro­teſtant in ſhew, muſt be brought in as a fit perſon to go between theſe Papiſts and the parties in the City; Mr Ryley by reaſon of his place of Scoutmaſter of the City, and his reputation amongſt the Commoners muſt be gained, who in theſe reſpects might be very uſefull, both in the way of Intelligence between Oxford and them, as likewiſe by promoting it with the Citizens; others in the City of principall note amongſt the people are dealt withall.

The firſt thing Mr Ryley muſt act, is the exchange of Read (a priſoner for the Treaſon and Rebellion in Ireland) under the name of Captain Read, taken priſoner at Bur­leigh Houſe in this Kingdome, for one of no greater ranke5 than a Quarter-maſter. That being done a Character of Intelligence was agreed on between Read, Ryley, and Violet, Read to be knowne by the name of Collonel Lee, Ryley by the name of The Man in the Moone, and Violet by the name of James Morton.

After Reads going to Oxford, the Queene, the Dutches of Buckingham, and the Lord Digby are conſulted with; Theſe are the Managers at Oxford with his Maieſties knowledge: Reade from Oxford, by Letters to Maſter Rily by the name of the Man in the Moone aſſures him, The buſineſſe goes on well at Oxford; Promiſes of reward are made to Ryley and Vio­let: Peace being the pretence; Therefore Propoſitions are fra­med and agreed on, fix in number, by Read, Sir Baſil Brooke, Ryley, and Violet, and ſeene by others, and afterwards ſent to Oxford. A Petition for Peace being intended, the better to induce that, It was agreed that his Majeſtie muſt write a powerfull and promiſing letter to the Lord Major and Citi­zens, to be read at a Common Hall, and fit Inſtruments thought upon to be imployed to prepare my Lord Major before hand: The Letter was written and agreed uponhere by Sir Baſil Brook, Maſter Ryley and Violet and ſent to Ox­ford, Violet a priſoner by Maſter Ryleys means was procu­red to be exchanged, that he might from Oxford bring the letter and adviſes, for the carrying on of the buſineſſe: At Oxford the buſineſſe was ſo diligently ſollicited by Read, that at Violets coming, all things were ready, and after three houres diſcourſe in his Majeſties preſence, with the Queene, the Dutches of Buckingham, & the Lord Digby, Violet the ſame day, (being the Munday before the diſcovery) dispatched from Oxford with his Majeſties Letter, altered in nothing ſave the Title, and with another Letter from the Lord Digby to Sir Baſil Brooke, whereby the whole managing of the buſineſſe is intruſted to Sir Baſil Brook, and it is wholly left to his Wiſdom and Diſcretion, whither4〈1 page duplicate〉5〈1 page duplicate〉6the letter to the City ſhall be delivered or not.

Violet brought both the Letters to Sir Baſil Brooke the Wedneſday after, and one Wood having formerly brought a Letter from Oxford to the City, the ſame in matter with this that Violet brought, which will be read unto you; Sir Baſil Brook delivered the Letter that came laſt from Oxford to Wood to be delivered to my Lord Major: the next day after which was Thurſday, and with direction, That it ſhould have been publiſhed on the Fryday; The delivery of it to my Lord Major, by the diſcovery of it the ſame day was prevented, and Sir Baſil Brooke, Ryley and Vi­olet that night were examined.

Before the Reading of the Examinations, Letters, and Propoſitions unto you at large, That the main deſigne to be made out by them, as they are conjoyned and have relation to the precedent narrative, may be the better un­derſtood, I ſhall in brief touch upon the matter of them, as likewiſe upon ſuch Concluſions as may neceſſarily be deduced from them.

As firſt, That no Peace was really intended, appears throughout the whole tranſaction: The propoſitions, which upon the Suppoſition that this is no Parliament, if a­nything, were to have been the ground-work & foundation of it, which upon the reading you will finde ſo flight and frivolous, that no man can conceive that our Peace could have been built upon ſuch a foundation; Nothing ſo much as ſpoken of concerning Ireland, or the diſengaging of of ourelves from the Articles of Agreement with our Brethren of Scotland; No proviſion for Reformation of Religion, or preſervation of that we have, or of our Lawes and Liberties: But in ſtead thereof there are quaedam iniqua, the Exciſe muſt be continued beyond the war, that out of it the King might have a benefit, and the debts of the Enemies to the Parliament repayed: and7 the City immediatly to be Treated with.

That no Peace was intended, appeares further from the L: Digbies Letter (written within a day or two of that to the City) to the Ki: Agent at Bruſſels, who writes that the French Treaty was at an end, becauſe the Parliament muſt not be acknow­ledged to be a Parliament, that as the King for a long time had taken that for a ground, ſo he held the ſame reſolution ſtill, be­ing thereunto adviſed by all his Lords at Oxford; and by his reſolution of holding a Great Counſell in the nature of a Parliament at Oxford the 22. of this Moneth. And when his Majeſties Letter ſhall be read, you will finde no parti­culars whereupon a Peace ſhould have been built, ſave on­ly kinde words in generalls.

This further appeares from the perſons who were the firſt Deſigners and Contrivers, and were to have been the chief managers from firſt to laſt of the buſineſſe, Read and Sir Baſil Brook known Ieſuited Papiſts, and alwaies active in promoting Popiſh practizes; This Peace muſt have been ſuch as theſe perſons ſhall contrive; The prayer for our deliverance from the Gun powder Treaſon agreed upon in Parliament, ſaith, That the Faith of ſuch Papiſts is faction, Their practiſes, the murdering of the ſoules and bodies of men; Read he hath been a Contriver and proſecuter of the bloody Tragedies of the Proteſtants in Ireland; the other not without ſuſpicion to have had his hand in it; what is ſaid concerning the Queen in that particular, is ſet forth by the Declaration of both or one of the Houſes, and the Articles of her Impeachment, the Counteſſe of Buckingham (beſide that her husband hath appeared viſibly in that Rebeſſion) is not free of other cauſe of ſuſ­pition: Theſe as was ſaid before, aſſiſted with the Lord Dig­by, muſt be the Inſtruments of this Peace; which as it is ſet forth in his Majeſties Letter, muſt be ſuch as that whereby the true Proteſtant Religion, the Lawes and Liberties of8 the Kingdome muſt be maintained.

Theſe Papiſts you ſee, who had done ſo good ſervice for the Proteſtant Religion in Ireland, muſt lay the foun­dation for the preſervation of it here.

Sir Baſil Brook, and Read, well knew that the Pope and and Popery have been baniſhed this Kingdome by the Parliaments of England, and that the ſucceeding Parlia­ments to this time have alwaies endeavored the ſuppreſſion of popery, and therefore Degenerating from their Prede­ceſſors, who in the Gun-powder Treaſon endeavoured for that cauſe to have blown up the parliament, They muſt now endeavour the Preſervation of the Parliament, and the Lawes and the Liberties of the Kingdome.

The things which from this briefe Narrative, the rea­ding of the Examinations, Propoſitions, and Letters, will appeare to have been deſigned, are theſe;

Firſt the dividing the Parliament from the City, and the Parliament and the City within themſelves.

Firſt in reſpect that this Treaty of Peace was to have been immediately between the King and the City, and that whereupon the Peace of the whole Kingdome ſhould have been ſetled, as appeares by his Majeſties Letter, what wide rents ſuch a Treaty muſt have produced between the City and Parliament is obvious. Again, for the proſecu­tion of the Treaty when entertained by the City; ſafe conducts were to have been granted, not only to thoſe of the City, but to ſuch of the Members of either Houſe, as would have repaired to Oxford for that purpoſe; Every man ſees by this, what diviſion and confuſion would have followed both in City and Parliament. The Projectors were well acquainted with Machivels maxime, divide & impera.

The ſecond was no leſſe then the utter deſtruction, the nulling and making voyd of this preſent Parliament, as9 will appeare by the Lord Digbyes letter to De vic, and the ſummoning of the great Councell or Parliament at Ox­ford compared with the third of theſe Propoſitions. By the letter to De vic this Parliament, as the reſolution then was at Oxford, muſt not be acknowledged; and by this third Propoſition for that very cauſe, the Parliament muſt be waved, and the Treaty muſt be immediatly between the King and City. The conſequence whereof had been no leſſe then the rendring of the Kingdome for ever unca­pable of having any more Parliaments; This Parliament, It was called and continued according to the knowne Lawes and Uſages of the Kingdome, was afterwards by an Act of Parliament, aſſented unto by his Majeſtie, ſo acknowledged, and made indiſſolvable without its own conſent; (a greater Teſtimony of the validity of this Par­liament, then I think was ever given to any:) If neither the Common Lawes and uſages of this Kingdome, nor the concurrent Authority of an Act Parliament be able to ſupport this Parliament, when his Majeſtie ſhall declare the contrary, I ſhall without more words leave to your judgements, whether this doctrin doth not at once blow up the fundamentalls of all Parliaments, Lawes of the Kingdome, Libertie of the Subjects, and of the whole pollicie and Government of this Kingdome, which being deſtroyed, what ſecurity you could have deviſed for the maintaining of the Religion, Lawes, and Liberties of the Kingdome, as is promiſed you in his Majeſties letter, I know not.

3. The third was not onely the preventing of the aſſi­ſtance of our Brethren in Scotland; But that which is worſe, and muſt have neceſſarily followed thereupon, the embroiling of both the Nations in diviſions, in all like­lihood fat all unto both; this will appeare by putting to­gether what hath beene done by the Parliament, thoſe at10 Oxford, and the tranſactions in this deſigne.

The Parliament long ſince have invited that Nation to our aſſiſtance in this common cauſe upon weighty con­ſiderations.

As firſt, conceiving that by this meanes through Gods bleſſing, this great cauſe which concernes our Religion, Lawes, Liberties, and all we have, would be aſſured, and the event of the War, otherwiſe doubtfull, made more cer­taine.

2. Secondly, that by their aſſiſtance the war might be the ſooner ended, and ſo by conſequence the calami­ties which of neceſſity muſt accompany it, their aſſiſtance adding ſo conſiderable a ſtrength to our party, beſides the reputation which the concurrence of a whole Nation with us, will adde to the juſtneſſe of the cauſe.

3. And thirdly, that as in likelihood by their joynt concurrence, a better Peace for preſent might be procu­red, ſo in all probability what ſhall be agreed upon would be the more laſting and durable, both Nations being equally intereſted in what ſhould be agreed upon.

Beſides the Covenant maturely ſworn and agreed upon by both Nations for the maintenance and defence of Re­ligion, and of the mutuall Lawes and Liberties of each Kingdome, a ſolemne league and Treaty hath likewiſe beene mutually agreed upon between the Parliament here and that Kingdome, concerning the manner of their aſſi­ſtance (and great ſums of money have been thereupon ſent unto them.) In which Treaty one Article is, That nei­ther Nation ſhall entertaine any Treaty of Peace, without the ad­vice and conſent of the other. This in briefe containes the tranſactions between that Nation and the Parliament. At Oxford by papers in the forme of Proclamations, they have ſtiled this aſſiſtance, an Invaſion of the Kingdome, and one end of the calling of that great Councell or Par­liament11 is for oppoſing of the ſame.

In the carriage of the preſent deſigne, by one of Reads letters to Ryley he ſaith, That a dore is open by the comming in of the Scots for the deſtruction of this Kingdome; That there­fore this Peace muſt preſently be concluded. That all is loſt un­leſſe it be done ſpeedily. The maine intent of the letter is for the ſpeeding of it to that end. The Lord Digbyes letter to Sir Baſil Brooke, referring the delivering of his Maje­ſties letter to my Lord Mayor to his diſcretion, he forth­with delivers it to Wood, to be the next day delivered to my Lord Mayor, and he next day after the delivery to be by him publiſhed; He ſaw it neceſſary, and ſo reſolved at Oxford, That we muſt ſpeedily breake with the Scots.

Their aſſiſtance, how neceſſary, and by Gods bleſſing how beneficiall it is like to be unto us, I think you ſee, but this muſt be prevented; The honour and publike faith of Nations how Sacred it is, and from the rules of Reli­gion and common policie, how tenderly to be preſerved each man knowes; But this deſigne muſt violate and ſtaine our honour in the higheſt: For contrary to the Article be­fore mentioned, this Treaty muſt preſently be ſet on foot without them; ſuch violations are alwayes deeply reſented by the parties injured: how dangerous therefore the con­ſequence muſt needs have beene, he that runnes may reade.

This was the Deſigne: It was too Ugly, It was too Black, Bare fac'd, to have been preſented to your view, and therefore it muſt be maſqu't; This hook muſt be bai­ted with the ſweet word Peace; It hath been long ſince ob­ſerved from the Eccleſiaſticall proceedings of the Romiſh Church. That in nomine Domini Incipit omne malum, The Holy Name of God muſt bear out all their Spirituall wickedneſſes: The end of all Civil Policie is the pre­ſerving of juſt and Honourable Peace; and therefore12 theſe men when Diviſions, Violence, and what is moſt contrary to Peace is intended, yet for the compaſſing of theſe ends, Peace muſt be pretended. So was it by many of them about this time twelve moneth Deſigned in their Pe­tition to the Parliament for a Peace, and ſo was it in the bloodie plot upon the Citie, and diverſe Members of both Houſes diſcovered the laſt Summer. For upon the exami­nations of diverſe of them, It appeared that the ground of that plot was laid in the firſt Petition, and that the ſecond was to have been guilded over with a Petition for Peace.

Theſe men, (I ſpeak of theſe deſignes) they cry Peace, Peace, that deſtruction might have come upon you as an armed man: You ſhal now hear the examinations and other things read at large unto you.


SIR HENRY VANE JUNIOR, His Introduction to the Reading the ſeverall Examinations taken in this buſineſſe, Together with ſeverall Obſervations, delivered by him, upon occaſion thereof.


YOU have heard very fully the State of this bu ſines, by what the Perſons that have already ſpoken, have opened to you in generall; that which you are now in the next place to have commu­nicated to you, are the Examinations, as they procee­ded from the mouthes of the Parties themſelves, that you may ſee the Deſign in its lively colours, and that as you have had it ſummarily preſented to you from this Noble Lord and worthy Gentleman; you may now hear the parties themſelves ſpeak.

The firſt Examination that was taken, was the 4. of Jan. 1643. and it was the Examination of Theophilus Reyley,

Who ſaith:

THat ſince Newbery fight, one Pitſons wife (whoſe Husband was taken at Newbery fight, was a Quar­termaſter, and formerly imployed by this Examinant, as an Intelligence) did move this Examinant to ſpeak18〈1 page duplicate〉19〈1 page duplicate〉18to Colonel Harvey, for ſome way to get her husband to be releaſed, who replyed, He would doe what he could, but conceived the beſt way was to apply her ſelf to Col. Harvey, who could doe it, having Intereſt in my Lord Generall.

VUpon this occaſion, it is neceſſary for me to give you this account likewiſe of this exchange, that it is very true, Colonell Harvey did hereupon move his Excellency (that is now here preſent with you) but it was ſo conveyed, as it ſeems to Col. Har­vey (whoſe merit is known very well among you, and how well he hath deſerved of the Common-Wealth) that he did acquaint my Lord General with it, under the Notion of a perſon called Cap. Reade, that ſhould be taken at Burlee Caſtle, in a fight here in the Warres in England, thereby to diſguiſe him to his Excellency, that ſo he might be induced to grant this Exchange, and by this handſome ſhift, it ſhould ſeem (as you will hear by and by) that this warrant was procured from his Excellency, who had he known it, as he was not bailable by the law, ſo his Excellency, from the ten­derneſſe he had to the good of the Common-Wealth, he would have had a care to have prevented it, but by this ſhift it was gotten.

Wherupon a warrant was procured from my L. Gen. for the releaſe of Col. Read, in exchange for James Pitſon, and the ſaid Col. Harvey did write a letter to this Exa­minant to take ſecurity of Col. Read for the exchange aforeſaid, and directed him to call for the Warrant which Pitſons wife, by the direction of this Examinant, did fetch from Col. Harveys wife, and brought the warrant to this Examinant, who thereupon did pro­ceed as he was directed, to take ſecurity from Colo­nel Reade, by which occaſion this Examinant began to19 be acquainted with the ſaid Reade, who ſaid that now he was releaſed, he proteſted to God, no man was more wronged then he, that he had never born arms, that none wiſhed happier to the State, for a good Peace, then hee; and that he would, upon his going to Oxford, make it appear, and endeavour the procu­ring of a Peace, at which time Maſter Violet a Gold­ſmith was preſent, who ſaid, That the ſaid Reade would be found to be as likely a man to procure Peace, as any in England, the ſecurity being given, the ſaid Reade went to Oxford, and about a fortnight af­ter, Violet came to this Examinants houſe, and deſired to ſpeak with him; for he had heard from Reade, and that he ſhould ſee the ſaid Reade would be a good In­ſtrument for procuring of Peace, at which time Vio­let produced a Paper of Propoſitions for Peace, and asked his opinion, how they would reliſh with the Parliament, who replyed, That he did verily thinke that the Parliament would not agree unto them all, in his opinion; the particulars this Examinant doth not well remember: that during the impriſonment of the ſaid Violet, the ſaid Violet came Two times to this Examinant, and told him, That Reade would worke the Queene to a Peace, as hee ſhould ſee ſhortly, this Examinant further ſaith, That upon the newes of Sir. Arthur Haſelrigs kinſman-being taken Priſoner at Beaver by the Enemy, this Examinant comming to my Lady Haſelriggs, ſhe (ſpeaking of Pitſon) ſayd, Shee would be glad this Examinant would think of ſome­body for the exchange of her Kinſman, to which this Examinant then replyed nothing: but after that, the ſaid Violet comming to him, he demanded of Violet, if he could think of any one to be exchanged for Sir20 Arthars kinſman, who replyed to this Examinant, Doe you thinke I might be exchanged for him, or to that effect, to which this Examinant anſwered, He would ſpeak to Sir Arthur Haſelrigge concerning him, who did ſo accordingly, and Sir Arthur Haſelrigge prayed this Examinant to ſend Violets name, which this Exami­nant did; and thereupon by Order of the Houſe, this exchange was appointed between Sir Arthur Haſelriggs kinſman and Violet, and ſecurity taken accordingly, and the Bonds left at this Examinants houſe. Vpon Saturday night laſt, Violet came to this Examinants houſe, to know if the ſaid warrant were obtained from my Lord Generall, for his releaſe, and this Examinants man told him it was. the ſaid Violet, upon taking his leave of this Exam. told him he would be back with him within three or foure dayes, and bring the Diſcharg of Sr Arthur Haſelrigs Kinſman, and that there was a Letter already agreed upon at Oxford, to be written from the King to the City, about Petitioning him, and that it would be here on New-yeers day, and that accordingly the ſaid Violet yeſterday returned from Oxford, and this morning told this Examinant, That he had brought a Letter and a Meſſage to Maſter Alderman Gibbs, and the Lord Major, and appointed him to meet with him againe to morrow at Nine of the Clock, the Examinant being then very buſie.


21This is the examination that was firſt taken of Ma­ſter Riley, and at the ſame time when the Committee finiſhed this examination, there chanced to fall from Maſter Riley, without any obſervation at that time by the Committee a paper upon the roome, which afterward the Comnſittee alſo by accident, hardly obſerving what it ſhould be, took up; and found it to be the Letter as was afterward confeſt from Read at Oxford to Maſter Riley, which Letter you ſhall now heare read, and in the ſecond place Maſter Riley his confeſſion that this letter was directed to him, and was the letter of Read to him; the letter is directed on the back of it for the man in the Moone, for when Maſter Read left this towne, there was a threefold character agreed upon for intelligence between Maſter Read, Violet, and Maſter Riley, Maſter Riley was to bee called the man in the Moone, Maſter Violet to be called James Morton, and Colonell Read to be called Colonell Lee, ſo according to this threefold character, Maſter Riley himſelfe acknowledged this was that which was to be applied to him, the letter ye ſhall now heare read.


I Wrote to you formerly but never had any anſwe, I aſſure you faithfully I have not bin wanting to doe what you deſired (as you may perceive by the effects) and if you have not your deſire blame your ſelfe, but give me leave to tell you that if you neglect the oper­tunity now offered to you, it may bee you ſhall never have the like again, for I have made thoſe whom you have given juſt occaſion to bee your worſt friends to be your beſt, and the only inſtrument to procure what here is ſent you, and be you confident ſhe ſhall ſtill be22 ſo, provided you do your part; conſider I beſeech you what a gap is open'd by bringing in of the Scots for the deſtruction of this Kingdome if there be not a peace, (which I pray God almighty to ſend ſpeedily) you muſt expect armies of ſtrangers from ſeverall places, who are now preparing, who certainly at their comming in will overrun the whole Kingdom, and when it is paſt remedy, you wil ſee your own errors, and therefore to prevent more miſery then I am able to expreſſ to this deplorable Kingdom, and the effuſion of the blood of millions of men, women, and children which muſt ine­vitably be this ſummer, apply your ſelves in a humble and ſubmiſſive way to his Majeſty, whom I know you will find ready with arms cutſtretched to receive you to favour and mercy, and grant you favours even be­yond your expectation, defer no time (for Gods ſake) and what you will do; do it ſpeedily, I ſay again doe it ſpeedily and loſe no time, for reaſons I may not write.

The direction of the letter by the ſame hand that it is written within, is for the man in the Moone, without date.

Upon the falling downe of this note to the ground we examined Maſter Riley upon it, who did proteſt to us clearly hee did not know hee had this note about him, who did thereupon declare as you ſhall heare, that the note directed upon the backſide to this examinant to the man in the Moone, he confeſſeth to be ſent him a fortnight ſince from Colonell Read, & that he received another to this effect before, which is alſo here, & ſhall be read unto you. The inſcription upon the back of this letter is for the man in the Moon.


I Aſſure you I have not bin wanting to further your good deſires, and if it be not your own faults I make23 doubt but things wil have a happy iſſue, for I find thoſe that are moſt concerned in it forward enough, reflect now upon the miſery of the times, & upon the groans and ſufferings of thoſe you ſee not, which yet have bin nothing to what they will be if not ſpeedily pre­vented by a Peace; which to obtain, I beſeech you, let it not only be your own care but the care of all thoſe you love, or have power with; otherwiſe be confident of a generall ruine; which certainly will be inevitable both to your ſelves and poſterity; and therefore take it into your ſerious conſideration, and let not cauſeleſe jealouſies hinder you to apply your ſelves in a humble ſubmiſſive manner to his Majeſty, who I am ſure will yet look upon you with a gracious eye, loſe no time, for the longer you delay, it may prove more difficult, no doubt.

TThe former of theſe letters in this examination which is ſign dwith his own hand, he doth acknow­ledge, this letter which hath bin firſt read: we ſhall read you his other examination wherein he likewiſe ac­knowledgeth this letter which hath bin ſince read, and you may obſerve upon theſe letters that this Gentle­man Colonell Read (who as was told you, is a famous leſuit) hath bin the Ring-leader in the rebellion of Ireland, O how tender hearted he is now to the Peace and liberty of this Kingdom, he hath there in Ireland kindled a flame, & rais'd a rebellion to hinder the good indeavours of this Parliament, which if it had not bin, you might have injoyed your liberties without this war and blood that hath bin ſince ſpilt, and now he re­turns a preacher here to exhort Mr. Riley for feare of this ruine which himſelfe hath cauſed for to come to a Peace now, upon Propoſitions of his owne24 contriving, which are nothing elſe but a delivering your ſelves up to the deſignes of theſe Jeſuites and Papiſt, who would in the ſame manner bring our Proteſtant blood to be ſpilt here in England, which with out mercy they have already done in Ireland, I only tell you this by way of Obſervation.

Gent. This paper which was firſt read to you, con­feſt by Mr. Riley to be ſent him from Col. Read, falling thus ſtrangely into our hands, who knew nothing of it, nor knew nothing at all of this conſpiracy, we did thereupon tell M. Rily, that he could not but take no­tice of the finger of God, that would bring the ſame to light, and though from our tendernes and reſpect to him before, we would not examine him of his pa­pers that were about him, wee now did deſire he would pull out his papers from his pocket, to let us ſee what he had beſide, having done ſo, here is ano­ther paper directed like wiſe to M Theophitus Riley, and it is but of four lines, but that which did like wiſe diſcover another perſon that we knew not of, to be intereſted in the buſineſſe, and that is Sir Bafil Brook, It is directed for M Riley, and it runs thus; Good Mr. Riley, theſe are to let you know, that I am returned from Oxford, with good ſircceſſe in my buſineſſe, and perceiving that you have appointed to meet B. B. at 9. of the Clock, I pray without fail, be here at the Eyon in South work before 8. of the clock to mor­row morning. It is ſubſcribed T. V. that is, Tho. Violet, and dated Wedneſday. 3. Jan. 1643. which was the day Mr. Violet returned from Oxford: was this good ſucceſſe as he wrote here in the note, and the next morning it ſeems, Mr. Riley and Sir Baſil Brooke appointed to meet at 9. of the Clock, and he deſired him to meet an houre before, and M. Riley upon the examination cou­feſt this B. B. was Sir Baſil Brooke.


The further Examination of Theophilus Riley, 4. Ianuar. 1643.

This Examinant being further demanded concerning a Let­ter directed for Maſter Theophilus Riley, and ſubſcribed T. V. (which was the Letter laſt read to you) confeſſeth the ſaid Letter was written to himſelfe from Thomas Violet, and ſent to him this morning; that B. B. mentioned in the Letter, is Sir Baſil Brooke, as he conceives: that he hath twice had conference with Sir Baſil Brooke at the three Cranes in the Vintrey, which time the ſaid Thomas Violet was alſo there, this Examinant being brought thither by the ſaid Violet, where they had diſ­courſe about the Treaty to be tranſacted by Colonell Read: that Sir Baſil Brooke ſent for this Examinant on Tuſeday laſt to the three Cranes, where he told this Examinant, a Letter of grace and favour would be ſent from the King to the Lord Ma­jor, that his Majeſty would be willing to receive a Petition from the City: Then Sir Baſil Brooke ſhewed to this Exaninant a co­py of the Kings letter, which was to this effect as he remem­bers: That whereas this City had been famous for their loyal­tie to the King, and that they had of late been diſobedient, yet if they would petition to him, he would lovingly receive them, and proteſted how hee had ever endevoured to maintaine the true Proteſtant Religion, Priviledges of Parliament, and li­berties of the Subject: that there was a Meſſenger come alrea­dy about this buſineſſe; that Violet would returne within three of foure dayes, and upon that appointed another meeting upon Friday at nine of the clocke, in expectation of Violets re­turne. He further ſaith, that the like note to this ſhewed him, directed to the Man in the moone, was delivered to him by Violet about a fortnight ſithence, and this Note was delivered to him by Sir Baſil Brooke at the three Cranes on Munday or Tuſeday laſt, both of them comming from Colonell Read.

T. Riley.

24So there he acknowledgeth both theſe Letters, the one to be delivered him by this Violet, the other by Sir Baſil Brooke.

He further ſaith, that the ſaid Violet delivered this Exami­nant a paper of Propoſitions, demanding this Examinants opi­nion; who told him which he thought would be conſented to by the Parliament, and which not: That the ſaid Vio­let alſo asked this Examinant, whether there might not bee thought on ſome Propoſitions that might pleaſe the King and Parliament.

Theophilus Riley.

Having proceeded to examine Master Riley thus farre, the Com­mittee did likewiſe ſend for Sir Baſil Brooke, who was Priſoner in the Kings Bench, and his Examination is that which is next to be read to you, and is the fifth of Ianuary 1643.

Who ſaith,

That he knowes Colonell Read; that he was the man (as hee thinkes) did deſigne the Treaty of peace, now in agitation betweene the King and the City: That hee knowes Thomas Violet; that he acquainted this Examinant with Propoſitions, which he knowes not whether himſelfe drew, or that hee did it with the aſſiſtance of others: Who further ſaith, that Ma­ſter Violet told this Examinant, that hee thought all thoſe in the City that formerly ſhewed themſelves for peace, would doe ſo now; among which was Alderman Gibbes, who had made a Speech tending that way in the houſe of Commons: that he knowes Maſter Riley, upon occaſion of this buſineſſe, and hath met with him at the three Cranes in the Vintrey two ſeverall times, where he deſired to know of the ſaid Riley, whether if that a Letter came from the King, it might bee a meanes to procure the City to move the Parliament for the procuring of a Treaty of peace? To which Maſter Riley re­plyed, he thought the Lord Major and Common Councell25 would acquaint the Parliament with it and that it was probable thereupon Propoſitions might be thought upon, and a peace might inſue. This Examinant being ſhewed the note directed to the Man in the moone, did confeſſe he received it from Maſter Read by Wood, and that he delivered it with his owne hands to Maſter Riley at the three Cranes at their ſecond meeting, and ſaith that Violet told him this, that by the Man in the moone was meant Maſter Riley. This Examinant further ſaith, that in leſſe then a fortnight one Wood brought ſeverall Letters from Oxford; one from his Majeſty, to the Lord Mayor, Alder­men, and well-affected Citizens; another from the Lord Dig­by to this Examinant, and a Copy of the Kings Letter: That Thomas Violet returned from Oxford on Wedneſday night, and brought with him Letters alſo from his Majeſty, to the Mayor, Aldermen, and Common Councell, a Letter from the Lord Digby to this Examinant, and a copy of his Majeſties Letter; that the later of the Kings Letters is in the hands of the ſaid Wood, and that the ſaid Letter was given him on Thuſday night, with direction to deliver it to the Lord Mayor: the reſt of the Letters this Examinant hath in his power, and undertakes to de­liver them to this Committee, and knoweth who hath the charge of them; that the Kings Letters differed very little, and were to this effect.

That the City had ſhewed great loyalty to the Kings prede­ceſſors, and had received great favours from them, and that he doubted not that he had many good ſubjects in the City that did deſire Peace, and were weary of their miſery; that he had ſent theſe Letters to let them know he would confirme the Pro­teſtant Religion, and the liberties of the ſubjects, in any way they ſhould deviſe, and that hee would bee ready to receive their petition, if they preſented any to him, and give ſafe con­duct to them they ſhould ſend with their Petition.

That the ſubſtance of the Lord Digbies Letter was to direct him to deliver the Kings Letter, or to forbeare, according as he found it probable the City were inclinable thereunto. That Violet did tell this Examinant, that hee conceived the City would be very well inclined to that the King expreſſed in his Letters, and thereupon would acquaint the Parliament with it.

26That Violet told this Examinant hee had ſpoken with Alder­man Gibbes and Maſter Riley ſince his returne from Oxford, and acquainted them that hee had brought a Letter from the King, and though Alderman Gibbes refuſed to have any thing to doe in the buſineſſe but in a publike way, yet hee was concei­ved by Violet notwithſtanding to be the ſame man hee was be­fore, inclinable towards peace: He further ſaith, that he deſi­red Mr. Riley to promiſe him ſecreſie in what he delivered to him, which he did. That Violet told this Examinant, that the King promiſed him to requite him well if the buſineſſe ſuccee­ded; Riley alſo ſhould bee well requited if a peace did follow. That at the meetings betweene this Examinant and Maſter Ri­ley, at the three Cranes, the ſaid Riley told him he thought the ſaid Alderman Gibbes, and divers others in the City, would be for peace; and that hee thought that the Cities declaring for Peace, would be the moſt probable and beſt way to draw the Parliament to joine, and ſo to effect it.

Baſil Brooke.

The next Examination which ſhall be read to you, is the Confeſsion of Violet, written with his owne hand.

Tho. Violet ſaith, that he being aboard the Ship called the Proſperous Sarah, for his twentieth part, hee did write two Let­ters, to my Lord Mayor and Alderman Gibbes, to entreat their aſſiſtance for bringing him on ſhoare; which was done within foure or five dayes, and he was committed to the priſon of the Kings Bench.

That about ten dayes after, Maſter John Read was remanded from the aforeſaid Ship to the priſon of the Kings Bench, and lay in the ſame houſe part of the time of his ſtay in priſon, where he procured to be exchanged for one that was taken by the Kings forces, and carried to Oxford; and underſtanding by Maſter Iohn Read that the Warrant for the exchange was in Maſter Rileys hands to take the ſecurity, hee went twice over with Maſter Read, to have the ſecurity taken; and Maſter Read then telling Maſter Riley, that if there were not a Peace, there would needs come a great deſtruction upon this Kingdome;27 that he would be a bleſſed Inſtrument that could procure peace, which Maſter Riley ſeconded.

Therupon Mr. Read told Mr. Riley and me, that when he came to Oxford he would intimate how he found things to incline to a peace, and proteſted hee would to the utmoſt of his power doe good offices in that behalfe, and that he would ſignifie how he found things to ſtand: Whereupon hee ſent a ſmall note to me, that I ſhould tell Maſter Riley, he had moved him that was moſt concerned in the buſineſſe, and that he found him very willing to imbrace any occaſion to have theſe differences re­conciled. And another Note he ſent me, to goe to Maſter Ri­ley, with a Superſcription, To the Man in the Moone, in which he preſſed earneſtly, that if they would take into their conſide­ration the groanes and ſufferings of them they ſee not, and keep ruine from themſelves and poſterities, the likelieſt way was to petition his Majeſty, that ſo theſe great miſchiefes might bee removed, and things brought to a good end betweene the King and Parliament; which Note I delivered to Maſter Riley.

Within a weeke after there was a Paper left at my Lodging, wherein were about ten Queſtions propounded, two of them I had formerly ſpoken of to Colonell Read, which was, That his Majeſty would be pleaſed to paſſe an Act of Oblivion: And that, if his Majeſty would come and fit with his Parliament, there was revenue enough to ſatisfie all demands in a peaceable way by the Exciſe, both for the King and Parliament. But fin­ding divers other Queſtions in the Paper, I went to Maſter Ri­ley, who upon peruſall uſall of the Paper, told me, that ſome three or foure of them he did conceive might very well be taken into conſideration: and he did often deſire before mee, that ſome courſe might be taken that his Majeſty would ſignifie to the Parliament or Citie, that he would come up to the Parliament, and that the City would petition him in that behalfe.

Whereupon I went to Sir David Watkins, and knowing that he was a man zealous for the Parliament and Common-wealth, I told him.

Sir, I am come to you, to aske your advice in a buſineſſe of great concernment, and if I did thinke there were any danger in the doing of it, I would not meddle with it: and28 therefore I am come to you to deſire your opinion in theſe things I preſent to you, and what you adviſe to doe in it. Whereupon I ſhewed him the paper wherein the Queſti­ons were. He asked me where I had them: I told him, I did conceive they came from Maſter Read, and declared to him moſt of the foreſaid paſſages, but ſome of them I told him I had in the way of diſcourſe ſpoken of to Maſter Read, but for the greateſt part, I know nothing of it.

Sir David Watkins told me, if I would leave the Papers with him, he would aske a friend of his, and take advice; the next day I brought them to him, and he told me he did conceive many of the queſtions were good wayes for a Peace, and that the Parliament and City muſt firſt be mo­ved in it, and for the preſent he would not do any thing in it; but would not ſpeak of it to any one, but wiſhed it might bring a good peace, and ſaid the Exciſe would give content to both. Wherupon I told Mr Riley, that I would deſire Sir Baſil Brook to ſee if he could procure his Majeſties Letters to the Parliament or City, to deſire an Accommodation: And thereupon Sir Baſil Brooke, before he did write any thing, deſired to ſpeak with Maſter Riley himſelfe, to know what he did eſteeme the Exciſe to be worth, and what way he deſired to be taken concerning the Debts of the Pub­like Faith; and how the Kings ingagements might be ſatiſ­fied, and what ground he had for what he ſhould ſpeake; and what he conceived the Exciſe to be worth a yeare, if the times were ſetled.

Whereupon Maſter Riley replyed, he did eſteeme it to be about three millions a yeare, if the times were quiet, which would quickly ſatisfie the debts on both ſides: and afterwards a proportion of what ſhould bee agreed on might goe for the encreaſing of his Majeſties revenue.

Their meeting was at the three Cranes in the Vintrey,29 about a month agoe, and what aſſurance was ſpoken of, if the King would aſſent to come to his Parliament, he ſhould have. Sir Baſil Brook told Maſter Riley, that though he were a Papiſt, he ſuffered as much by the war as any other; for hee could not receive his rents, and Souldiers were bille­ted in his houſe, and therefore it concerned him to looke after peace as well as any other; and he would thank God, if he could be an inſtrument to bring a laſting and good Peace about.

Maſter Riley told him, there was no Queſtion to be made but if the King would ſend a Letter to the Militia to that effect as this which his Majeſty hath ſent, they would peti­tion the Houſe about it; for without their conſent they could not meddle in any thing: Which Sir Baſil Brook told him he never expected or thought otherwiſe; and to this effect was their diſcourſe. Whereupon he told Maſter Ri­ley, he would take ſome courſe to ſee if he could perſwade the King, by ſuch friends as hee had about him, to ſend a Letter to the Parliament, or the City of London, to ſigni­fie the deſire he had for Peace and unitie with all his ſub­jects. Thereupon they parted, and the next morning Sir Baſil Brooke ſpake to me, that he would write to my Lady Dutcheſſe of Buckingham to be a meanes to perſwade the Queene, to be a viſible actor to procure a peace, and that by that meanes ſhe would procure the love of the people; and that ſhee would procure his Majeſty to give an ex­change for me, and that if I could have his Majeſties War­rant to come to Oxford; which when he told me of, hee had written, though I did not ſee it: I made my petition to the Militia, my Lord Mayor, and Alderman Gibbes. I writ a letter, and deſired Maſter Riley to deliver it to them; deſiring them to move the Militia that I might have liberty to goe to Oxford, upon putting in baile30 to pay 70. li. or to return to London within 20 daies, which was not granted: Then I deſired Mr Riley to find me an ex­change, which he did, and I am now againe returned with the Kings pleaſure in that buſines concerning my exchange. There was a Letter ſent downe by Sir Baſil Brook, by Wood, concerning what was deſired, but the King would not ſend it to the Parliament, but writ the Letter as it is come up, and in Sir Baſil Brooks cuſtody, with a power in him onely, from my L. Digby, to deliver it, if he thought it would work the effect of a bleſſed peace: and upon my ſalvation never any thing entred into my heart, but to do all things for the honour of the Parliament, and good of the common wealth, to my power. When I came to Court, on Tuſeday morning, I found the King in the garden, and Read took me a way and brought me to the L. Digby, and preſently my L. Digby told me he had ſent up the Kings letter by one Wood, to the Lo. Mayor, Aldermen, and common Councell, which was deli­vered to Sir Baſil Brook, to which letter I humbly refer my ſelf: and another letter was ſent up to Sir B. Brook, if he ſaw good to deliver the letter, under the L. Digbies hand, which letter I brought up, and delivered it to Sir Baſil Brook, and that was not to be delivered unles Sir Baſil Brook ſaw good, and that it would be a means to work a bleſſed peace: ſince I came to Towne I told Sir David Watkins, Alderman Gibs, Rily, Joſeph Alderman Gibs his man, and ſome others, that there was hope of a bleſſed peace: all which I humbly ſub­mit to your grave wiſdomes. That I was to tell my L. Ma­jor, the King had directed his letter to him Lord Major of London, which (Read told me) was his Majeſties pleaſure, which he did, hearing he was a moderate man in his place: and for Alderman Gibs, his Majeſty did recommend it to his care, that he would further the buſineſſe, as he ſhould think beſt (according to the Letters) for accompliſhing a happy peace.

31M. Ryley told me that it could be no trouble to me to bring up theſe Letters, for when they have brought up any Meſſage to the Lord Major and Common-Councell, they will doe nothing in it till they have ac­quainted the Parliament, and receive their direction what anſwer to give. Sir David Watkins told me, that after it was recommended to the houſs, be would affiſt it both by himſelfe and friends to the uttermoſt of his power for a peace; and the reaſon he gave me, was, that if a peace was concluded, he hoped to be reimburſed the mony he hath layd our, and that the Parliament would looke well to the keeping of the Covenant; the reaſon M. Ryley gave, that the Letters ſhould be directed to the Ci­ty, was, that he did beleeve, if the King did write to them he would not touch upon any thing of the differences between King & Parliament, but leave it to the City to Petition the Parliament, without whoſe conſent and privity he and Sir D. Watkins could or would doe nothing, for it was reſolved the Houſe ſhould know and give their directions for every thing. Beſides Sir B. B. in his directions from the King, was to be aſſu­red that this Letter would be a meanes to work a bleſſed peace, or elſe to forbear the delivery, and afore Sir B. B. wrote about it, he did ſpeak to M. Ryley to know how he ſhould be aſſured of the good inclination of the City for a Peace, to whom M. Ryley reply'd, there was no queſtion of it but it would, and it was reſolved thatint and requeſt of the Mi­litia for a peace to the houſes, was ground enough for the King to take notice of, the inclination of many of his Subjects in London for a peace. And to this laſt, when I told Sir D. Watkins of the way which was inten­ded, the King would take notice of the inclination, by that meſſage he did approve of it, that M. Ryley meeting at the Taverne in Cheapeſide, the ſigne of the man in the moon, did give order to Read when he writ to him to write by that name, Reads name was to be knowne by M. Lee, and Thomas Violets name by Morton, but that I never received any note from Read, other then I have declared.

Tho. Violet.

You ſhall heare now a further Examination of Tho. Violet, who be­ing ſhewed a note, beginning; Sir, I aſſure you, an ending may prove the more difficult, which was the former note I read that was delivered to M. Ryley, by Violet himſelfe. He accknowledgeth he received this note from one Wood, who told this Examinat, it came from one Colo­nell Read, whoſe hand writing he conceived it was, but it was to be delivered to M. Ryley, which this Examinat did accordingly, in a32 day or two after his receipt, by occaſion of meeting the ſaid M. Ryley, and M. Ryle's inquiring of him what Read had done in the buſineſſe of Peace.

He ſaith, that Sir Bazill Brooke wiſhed him to tell the Queene (which he did) that if ſhe would be a mediator in this peace, ſhe would make her ſelfe very famous and glorious, and get the love againe of all the people, and that there would be enough as he did conceive out of the Exciſe to ſatisfie all Publique debts. And that he ſhould acquaint the Queene that M. Ryley had told him, that as ſoone as the Kings Letter was brought up, it ſhould be communicated to the Common-Councell, and from thence to the houſe, which in all probability would be a cer­taine way for peace.

The Queene hereupon replyed, that ſhe would be glad with all her heart to be a mediator betweene the King and his people, and that this Examinat ſhould deſerve very well in promoting this worke, and took it very kindly from this Examinat, and Sir Bazill Brooke; and that ſhe would ſtudy to requite it.

That the ſame Meſſage that this Examinant delivered to the Queen, he preſented alſo to the King, who expreſſed a good acceptance of the buſineſſe.

This Examinant further ſaith, that for the better effecting of the peace deſired, it was thought fit by conſent of Sir Bazill Brooke, and M. Ryley, that this Examinat ſhould prepare a rough draught of a Letter for the King to write to the City, which was by this Examinat after it was drawne by himſelfe to be communicated to M. Ryley, and Sir Bazill Brooke, for their advice concerning the ſame, which was accordingly done by this Examinat, and thereupon the ſaid Sir Bazill Brooke in the firſt place did poliſh and amend the rough draught framed by this Exa­minat, and M. Ryley after him did alſo make ſome alterations, which done, this Examinat did then communicate it to Sir David Watkins, who approved thereof, and thereupon this frame of the Letter was ſent to Oxford by one VVood, about foureteene dayes ſince, and was delive­red by VVood to Col. Read, who procured the Kings Letter according­ly with ſome alterations, in forme, but little in ſubſtance, which was brought to Sir B. B. by Wood upon monday laſt, being the firſt of this in­ſtant Ianuary, to preſent to the Lord Major, Court of Aldermen, and Common-Councell, and from thence to Communicate it to the Houſe of Parliament.

Tho. Violet.

The further Examination of Sir Bazill Brooke, who ſaith, that M. Vi­olet did frame the rough draught of the Letter for his Majeſty to write to the Cuy, that when it was communicated by the ſaid Violet to this Examinat, he did poliſh and mend the Engliſh of it, that afterward the ſaid drought of the Letter was ſent to Oxford about 14 dayes ſince or thereabouts, and delivered by one John Wood to Colonell Read, who procured the Kings Letter according­ly in ſubſtance, though with ſome alterations in forme; which Letter was brought under the Kings band & Signet to Sir B. B. upon monday laſt being the firſt of this inſtant, to preſent it to the L. Maior, Court of Aldermen, and Common-Councell, and from them to be communicated to the Houſes of Parliament.

Bazill Brook.

In this Examination obſerve onely thus much, That whatever pretence there was of having the grace and favour of the King, to be communicated in his gracious Letter, that this grace and favour was of the coutrivement of Sir B. B. or M. Ryley, and M. Violet here in this City before hand, and that they gave rea­ſons and arguments to the Court afterward, why they ſhould ſend it. And in it Sir David Watkins that is named in this, is a party, it is true he was acquainted with this buſineſſe, but did diſcover it in part ten dayes before it came to light, to ſome Members of the houſe of Commons, and did freely come himſelfe before he was ſent for to the Committee, and deſired that it might be found out and ſearched.

This is the laſt Examination we ſhall read in this buſineſſe, after which you ſhall heare the Letters themſelves, of the Lord Digby and his Majeſty, the 7 of Ianuary, 1643.

The further Examination of Sir Bazill Brooke.

That George Wood, mentioned in his former Examination, is called Iohn Wood, who was an Apprentice to a Merchant in the City, and recom­mended by Read to this Examinat, as a fit man to be truſted to carry Letters betweene Oxford and this placo in this buſineſſe. That Violet with the advice of of M. Ryley as this Examinat beleeveth, framed ſome Pro­poſitions, about 12 or 14 in number, which were brought to this Exa­minat by Violet, which mended the Engliſh of them; which Propoſi­tions were reduced afterward to ſix by Violet, Ryley, or both, and after­ward was with the approbation of this Examinat.

That this Examinat at the three Cranes in the Vintry, did meet with M. Ryley and Violet, to confer upon the ſaid Propoſitions, and to conſider of the probability of them to pleaſe this City and Parliament, which34 afterward were carried to Oxford, by the ſaid Wood to Colonell Read, who returned an anſwer, that he thought the King would approve of them upon a Treaty, which might be betweene the City and ſome Par­liament men joyned with them.

That Wood alſo, when he dwelt with his Maſter neere the Stocks, and was imployed about taking up the exchange of monies, and ſince that time the Examinat ſaith, the ſaid Wood told him he ſerved in the wars, par­ticularly he ſerved in the Battel at Newbury, and being asked, whether he knew the uſuall abode of the ſaid Wood, or how to find him out upon occaſion, he ſaith he doth not know.

That the Propoſitions formerly mentioned, this Examinat remem­breth to be theſe, or to this effect.

1. That the City might be ſatisfied, that the King would ſettle the Proteſtant Religion, for without that neither the Parliament nor City would admit any Treaty.

2. That the debts contracted upon the Publike Faith, on either ſide by King or Parliament, ſhould be ſatisfied: and the moſt likelieſt way for the doing thereof was to ſettle the Exciſe for thoſe purpoſes.

3. That it was conceived, that in reſpect of the Kings Declaration, that the Parliament was no Parliament, and that therefore the King could not Treat with them any more, this Treaty was to be immedi­ately betweene the King and the City, and the City was to be the medi­um betweene the King and Parliament.

And this Examinat further ſaith, That the ſaid Wood told the Exa­minat; that if any Parliament men would joyne with the City in this Treaty, they alſo might come with them to Oxford, under the ſafe con­duct granted to the City, though it were not expreſt in the Kings Let­ter; and that the ſaid Wood received directions at Oxford, for this Exami­nat to declare ſo much to whom he ſhould thinke fit.

4. That there muſt be an Act of oblivion for all parties and Delin­quents whatſoever, and a generall pardon, that no Ceſſation ſhould be expected during the Treaty, if there had beene any: That no mention was made in all theſe Propoſitions, either of Scotland or Ireland.

That this Examinat doth remember. That M. Alderman Gibs and M. Ryley, were thought upon as fit men to be ſent to Oxford about the Treaty, as being perſons inclined to the furtherance of Peace. That VVood told this Examinat, that it was wiſhed from Oxford that the ſaid parties might be imployed in this Treaty, that Read being to pro­cure his releaſe, firſt made a Petition to the Militia, by the Name of Iohn35 Read Gent. to ſecure his quality as Colonell, under pretence that he was a poore man, and had children in great want; in which buſineſſe the ſaid Read made uſe of ſome Citizens to promote this Petition. That M. Ryley told the ſaid Read, when his releaſe was obtained, that he might perceive notwithſtanding he might have beene hndred from his in­largement, but that he ſaid he knew no oppoſition, and therefore he wi­ſhed him to labour to requite this curteſie, by endeavouring a peace be­tweene the King and City when he came to Oxford, which he ſaid he would doe.

Bazill Brooke.

Upon this examination you may obſerve that which will give you moſt light in this deſigne, it was made ſo plauſible, not onely under the name of Peace, but it muſt be that which muſt anſwer all mens expectations, and that which moſt pin­ched, which was that the debts of the Publike Faith ſhould be paid by theſe propo­ſitions, by the ſetling of the Exciſe when all things ſhould be eſtabliſhed, that ve­ry thing which the Parliament in their wiſedome and care, would prevent that when your lawes have their freedome, and when you injoy your liberties, you ſhould have no ſuch extraordinary courſes now on foot only for this extraordinary occa­ſion, this muſt be the way and the meanes when your liberties are ſetled, to bring you under the greateſt ſlavery that is, to bring thoſethings upon, you that when you have ſaid all, that muſt not only pay you that have borne the brunt here, but ſatisfie all the Delinquents on the Kings ſide alſo.

And ſecondly you may obſerve clcerely that now the Parliament muſt ſit under a cloude by his treaty it muſt be by the King and the City, the Parliament: muſt be wholy obſcured and waved: The Kings Proclamation which is but a Paper and forme of a Proclamation, muſt have anthority to aboliſh a Parliament ſetled by an Act of Parliament, and that is the end, that while you had a bait laid you for your liberties and peace to be ſetled you might have made ſuch a preſident as ne­ver to have recovered a Parliament againe, but in ſtead of that Act of Oblivion, you might have made an Act for to have buried all Parliaments in Oblivion; this was the right ſtate of this Deſigne.

This Letter, Gentlemen, was directed to Sir Bazill Brooke, in an outward Cover.

The Letter here which is for Sir Bazill Brooke; it is under my Lord Digbies owne hand, it is the Letter which Wood brought to Towne on Monday night laſt.

Your affectionate Servant George Digby.

THe King and Queene have both commanded me, to give you thanks in their Name for your care and diligence in their ſervice; and His Majeſty hath ſo much confidence in your diſcretion, and warineſſe not to be deluded, that in the hopes of the good effects towards a happy peace, which you ſeeme to promiſe your ſelfe from this negotiation, His Majeſty is pleaſed to deſcend very far in writing ſo gratious a Letter to thoſe who may ſeeme to have deſerved ſo ill of him.

I ſend you herewithall a copy of the Letter it ſelfe, which varies only in ſtile, not in matter, from that draught which was ſent downe hither, which if you like and continue your confidence that it might be effectuall to ſo bleſſed an end, as peace and union: you are to deliver to thoſe parties ſecon­ded with aſſurance of his Majeſties moſt gratious and ſincere inclinations, to give them full ſatisfaction in all their reaſonable deſires; but if you ſhall finde cauſe37 to leſſen the beliefe of a powerfull effect by this Let­ter of His Majeſties; It is then recommended to your diſcretion to forbeare the delivery of it, ſince it would be a very unfit thing, to expoſe ſo great a grace, and condeſcending of his Majeſty to hazards of being made fruſtrate and contemned. God ſend you happy ſucceſſe in this great undertaking: I profeſſe it is that whereth wih my beliefe and reaſon goe along more comfortably, then with any thing I have known in projection ſince theſe troubles; But it is not fit to ravell further into the buſineſſe this hazardous way, and therefore I ſhall adde no more, but I am

Your very affectionate Servant GEORGE DIGBY.


If there had beene no Comment made upon this buſineſſe, this Letter would have beene enough. This Letter acknowledgeth the draught that was ſent from the City of London, from thoſe that had contrived it here, and that it was paſt the Court at Oxford, with­out any materiall alteration, this Letter likewiſe acknowledgeth ſo much wiſedome, ſo much caution in Sir Bazill Brooke that known le­ſuited Papiſt, as hath bin told you before, ſo much tendernes of his Ma­jeſties Honour to be in him, that all is left to his diſcretion, as he thinks fit of: If he finde the Temper of the City to be right, to be delivered, it is left to his caution, to his warineſse, to his ſence and meaſure of his Majeſties honour, to doe in it as he pleaſeth: there is likewiſe held forth unto you, that in his opinion (which is my Lord Digbies opini­on) there was nothing that ever he obſerved of any projection (It is his owne word, and therefore you may the better obſerve it) that he never obſerved any thing in projection, or in deſigne all this Parlia­ment, tending this may, that was more likely and probable to bring the Kings ends about: And if you remember this till you heare another Letter of his read by and by, which there declares plainly that the Kings end in his Councels now about him, is never to acknowledge this to be a Parliament: Compare that with this heere, and then you may underſtand what a project this was.

In the last place you may obſerve that the Lord Digby his great inclinations as well as Sir Bazill Brookes, for a bleſled peace, and a bleſſed union in this Kingdome, when you know very well there hath not beene a more unhappy instrument to blow up jealouſies and miſun­derstandings betweene his Majeſty and his People, and that durſt not ſtand the iuſtice of Parliament, but was fain to fly out of the King­dom for it, and at the beginning of theſe unhappy distraction he adviſed his Majeſty to retire into ſome ſtrong place, the better to engage him in a warre upon his Subjects. And yet no other phraſe in his mouth but a happy peace, and a bleſsed union, to cozen poore people, to lead them into ſnares.

41This Letter on the outſide is thus directed,

To Our Truſty and welbeloved, Our Lord Major and Alder­men of Our City of London, and all other our well affected Subjects of that City. It is Superſcribed, Charles Rex. And beneath, By His Majeſties Command, George Digbie.

TRuſty and welbeloved, We greet you well. When We remember the many Acts of Grace and favour We & Our Royall Prede­ceſſours have conferred upon that Our City of London, and the many Examples of emi­nent Dutie and Loyalty, for which that City hath been likewiſe famous, We are willing to beleeve, notwithſtand­the great defection We have found in that place, that all men are not ſo far degenerated from their Affection to Vs and to the Peace of the Kingdom, as to deſire a continu­ance of the miſeries they now fell; and therefore being in­formed, that there is a deſire in ſome principall Perſons of that City to preſent a petition to Us, which may tend to the procuring a good underſtanding between Us and that Our City, whereby the peace of the whole Kingdom may be procured: We have thought fit to let you know, That We are ready to receive any ſuch Petition, and the Perſons who ſhall be appointed to preſent the ſame to Us, ſhall have a ſafe Conduct; And you ſhall aſſure all Our good Subjects of that Our City, whoſe hearts are touched with any ſenſe of duty to Vs, or of Love to the Religion and Lawes eſtabliſhed, in the quiet and peaceable Fruition whereof they and their Anceſtors have enjoyed ſo great Happineſs, That We have neither paſſed any Act, nor made any Profeſsion or Proteſtation for the maintenance and42〈1 page duplicate〉43〈1 page duplicate〉42Defence of the true Proteſtant Religion, and the Liberties of the Subject, which We will not moſt ſtrictly and Reli­giouſly obſerve; and for the which we will not be alwaies ready to give them any ſecurity can be deſired. And of theſe Our Gracious Letters We expect a ſpeedy Anſwer from you. And ſo We bid you farewell.

GENTLEMEN, In this Letter alſo you may obſerve ſome few particulars upon the reading of it over:

Firſt, the good informations his Majeſty hath of the inclinations of his people here, how that ſome principall men in this City, as it ſeems; was informed him, were very willing for to petition him to peace, the grounds of this you know, upon what hath been offered already, how they came to be preſented to him, and that by expreſſing of it here in his Letter, it was rather to win your affections to it, under theſe plauſible pretences, then that he had any reall or ſolid ground for any ſuch thing.

In the ſecond place you may obſerve thus much, as hath been told you already, that his Majeſties ſcope in this Letter, and the deſign of the Counſell about him, is to invite you of this City to be his inter­poſers for the peace of the whole Kingdom, as if there were no Par­liament ſitting, or as if you had quite forgot the truſt that your ſelves have repoſed in this preſent Parliament; for he faith he underſtands, that you have a minde to petition him for a peace, that by that means the peace of the whole Kingdome may be effected; and if you will fend him ſuch a Petition, he will then very willingly receive it.

The third thing is this, That his Majeſty declares, that there is no art he hath hitherto paſſed in Parliament, but he will be moſt willing to confirm, a Declaration that is renewed; upon all occaſions, but ne­ver otherwiſe obſerved then it is now: for in the mean time that act whereby this Parliament is a Parliament, whereby all other acts of Parliament, and the whole frame of the Lawes of this King­dome are confirmed and preſerved, that very act in this deſign is to be laid aſide, and utterly to be deſtroyed. And this Treaty is brought about for no other ends, but to deſtroy that; ſo that you may plain­ly43 ſee upon what ground theſe things are got from his Majeſtie, and upon what counſels; and withall, conſider what colour of ground you can have to receive any fruit from any ſuch Declarations and Proteſtations as theſe are, when they muſt only ſerve to amaze you, til this Parliament, and in this all Parliaments are for ever rooted out, and deſtroyed.

The next Letter that is to be offered to you, is the Letter of the Lord Digby, upon another occaſion, which was preſented to the Houſes by a Noble Lord that is here preſent, his Excellencie, my Lord Generall, who intercepted it, going beyond Sea: you ſhall under­ſtand there yet more clearly what manner of counſels his Majeſty is now upon at Oxford, which Letter ſhall be now read unto you.

For my very worthy Friend, Sir Henry De Vic.

Your very effectionate Friend and Servant, George Digby.

SIr: My indiſpoſition the laſt week fore'ſt me to refer you to my Secretary for an account of what Occurrences that offorded: This week hath been ſo little productive of any thing Conſiderable, that when I ſhall have told you of taking of Beſton Caſtle in Cheſhire, by his Majeſtes Forces under the Lord Biron, a place of huge Importance, both for ſtrength and Command of all thoſe countries of Cheſhier, Lancaſhire, and ſome parts of Stafford, and Darbiſhiere, I ſhall have told you all, the Marqueſſe of New caſtle having attempted nothing ſince the taking of Winckfield Mannor: Plimouth remaining ſtill in its former condition beſieged, and there having been nothing done between my Lord Hopton and Sir Walliam Waller, ſince the un­lucky beating up of one of our Quarters at Alton; But we are in daily expectation of a criticall Blow between them:44 The Lord Wilmot being now joyned with the Lord Ho­pton, with a freſh ſtrength of a thouſand Horſe, and both being under march to attain Waller, who hath poſſeſs'd himſelf of Arundell-Town, we having a ſtrong Garriſon in the Caſtle, and it is probably hoped, he cannot avoid fighting with him upon diſadvantage: Thus much for the Military part. The Prince de Harcourts Negotiation, by way of Intermiſe for an Accommodation, is well nigh at an end, as I beleeve, for that the pretended Parliament will not hearken to any Propoſitions from him, in any o­ther way, then of an avowed addreſſe, by which they might ſeem either to be owned by him as a Parliament, and applied to by him as an Ambaſſadour; or elſe to be admitted by the King, for ſomewhat more conſiderable, then He hath in a long time owned them for: A point which His Majeſtie may not ſuffer them to gain without ſubverting the grounds & Maxime of all his late proceed­ings againſt them, and that which He now goes upon by the advice of all his Nobility here, as you will perceive by this incloſed Proclamation, upon the effects thereof all the Eyes of the Kingdom are now fixed, God ſend them to be as good actuated, as they are in ſpeculation, for I am confident that in reaſon it carries Probability, of the ſureſt and readieſt way to the reeſtabliſhment of His Majeſtie, and his Iuſt Rights and powers, of any courſe that hath been yet attempted: This is all, more then the hearti­eſt reſpects of

Your affectionated Servant: George Digby.

I have received yours of the 19. and will by the next give you an account of that particular in it, that concernes your ſelf.

45GEntlemen, this letter for what concerneth the Military part of it, I beleeve your own knowledges are able to give your ſelves the beſt judgement, how that that Criticall blow that he there ſper­keth of is now fallen in great part upon their own heads, and that thanks be to God Sir William Waller being now in the Caſtle of Arundell, having taken above 1000. or 1200. priſoners, and ſome 100. and odde Officers, with all other things delivered to him, we ſee which way the Criticall blow is fallen: for which we have all cauſe to acknowledge the goodneſſe of Almighty God. The ſecond part declareth to your conſideration, that boldneſſe and confidence, which breakes forth in the Lord Digbyes Pen, that it ſeemeth he hath for­gotten he hath been a Parliament man, he calleth that Parliament which is ſetled by Act of Parliament, the very name whereof ought to be ſacred to the eares of all true Engliſh men and lovers of their Countrey, he calls a pretended Parliament. That which durſt never be called, ſayd, or written at any time heretofore in England by any whatſoever.

The ſecond thing you may obſerve is this,

That that councell of Nobility which you will heare of by and by in a Proclamation, muſt now not onely be of a Councell of Nobility there, but of all thoſe that have beene likewiſe expelled out of the houſe of Commons or houſe of Peeres, or withdrawn themſelves from their duty, and the truſt put in them by their Country: all theſe now muſt aſſemble together. and what to do? To ſettle his Maje­ſties juſt rights and Power; and this juſt right and power is to make this Parliament, though ſetled by an Act of Parliament, a pretended Parliament, or in a word to give our lawes, liberties, or rights a be­ing or not a being ſolely in his Majeſties pleaſure; how juſt that is, you your ſelves may eaſily diſcerne, and how deſtructive it would be to you. A third thing conſiderable in this letter is, that though his Ma­jeſtie ſhould have any inclination to doe his Parliament right, to ac­knowledge them a Parliament, yet my Lord Digby ſaith it is a point that muſt not be ſuffered. It is a point which his Majeſtie muſt not per­mit to be gained, though it be but to do the Parliament that right, as to acknowledge what they are by Act of Parliament, his faithfull and Supreame Councell. But in ſtead of this, as you will heare by a Proclamation of the 22. of December; All the members of both Houſes that have forſaken their Country, deſerted the cauſe, con­tributed to undermine the State and Kingdome, and expoſe them to46 the prey of the Iriſh Rebels. This muſt be the wholeſome advice about his Majeſtie, and this wholeſome advice muſt beheld up, though with the unnaturall ruin of this Parliament, wch muſt not be acknow­ledged; but another thing, ſet up in forme of a Parliament, ſomewhat like a Parliament therby to delude ſimple people, if it were poſſible that might take place, to ſubvert the Lawes of this Kingdome, and ſubject al our liberties to an arbitrary power, under pretence of Law, to the worſt of all evils. By this you may eaſily underſtand the drift of the Councels that are at Oxford, and this uſe we ought to make of it, to unite our ſelves with more ſtrong reſolutions and unwearied affections then ever, with our purſes, lives, and eſtates, to labour to redeeme our ſelves from this miſery and thraldome that is threat­ned us, and now appearing in more cleare Demonſtrations than e­ver yet it hath.

You ſhall now heare the Proclamation it ſelfe read; this Paper that is now to be read to you, is that which commeth in the forme of a Proclamation: for as you well know, the great Seale of Eng­land is now with the Parliament, and the other great Seal by the Ordinance is made voide: and ſuch is the confidence they have of this good doctrine of theirs, and to ſet up another Parliament in the roome of it, and to proceede upon theſe principles and grounds, they think it neceſſary to ſend it beyond ſea, hoping hereby to unite all Popiſh Princes upon this point, who know very well, the true Proteſtant Religion muſt inevitably be rooted out, if this Proteſtant Parliament be made no Parliament or deſtroyed, in which all our other Lawes at the ſame time, and upon the ſame grounds are no Lawes, but muſt periſh alſo.


By the KingA Proclamation for the Aſſembling the Members of both Houſes at Oxford, upon occaſion of the Invaſion by the Scots.

VVhereas we did by Our Proclamation, hearing date the twentieth day of June laſt, upon due conſidera­tion of the miſeries of this kingdom, and the true cauſe there­of, warn all Our good Subjects no longer to be miſſed by the Notes, Divers, and pretended Ordinances of One or Both Houſes, by reaſon the Members do not enjoy the freedom and Liberty of Parliament, which appears by ſeverall inſtances of Force and Violence, and by the courſe of their proceedings mentioned in Our ſaid Proclamation, and ſeverall of Our Declarations: ſince which time Our Subjects of Scotland have made great and Warlike preparations to enter and in­have this Kingdom with an Army, and have already actually invaded the ſame, by poſſeſsing themſelves, by force of Armes, of Our Town of Barwick, upon preſence that they are invited thereunto by the deſires of the two houses; the which as we doubt not all Our good Subjects of this kingdom will look upon as the moſt inſolent Act of ingratitude and diſſoyalty, and to the apparent breach of the late Act of Pacification ſo ſolemnly made between the Kingdoms, and is indeed no other then a deſigne of Conqueſt, and ſo impoſe new Lawes upon this Nation, they not ſo much as pretending the leaſt pro­becation or violation from this Kingdom: ſo We are moſt aſſured that the Major part of both Houſes of Parliament, do from their ſouls abhorre the leaſt thought of introducing that for raigne Power, to encreaſe and make deſperate the mile,48 ries of their unhappy Country. And therefore that it may ap­pear to all the world how far the Maior part of both Houſes is from ſuch Actions of Treaſon and diſloyalty, and how groſſely thoſe few Members remaining at Weſtminſter have and do im­poſe upon Our People; We do Will and require ſuch of the Members of both Houſes, as well thoſe who have been by the faction of the Malignant Party expelled for performing their duty to Us, and into whoſe roomes no Perſons have been ſince choſen by their Country, as the reſt who have been driven thence, and all thoſe who being conſcious of their want of freedom, now ſhall be willing to withdraw from that Rebel­lious City, to aſſemble themſelves together at Our City of Oxford, on Munday the twenty ſecond day of January, where care ſhall be taken for their ſeverall Accomodations. and fit places appointed for their meeting, and where all Our good Sujects ſhall ſee how willing We are to receive Advice for the preſervation of the Religion, Lawes and ſafety of the kingdom, and, as far as in Us lies, to reſtore it to its former Peace and Security (Our chief and only end) from thoſe whom they have truſted, though We cannot receive it in the place where We appointed. And for the better encourage­ment of thoſe Members of either Houſe to reſort to us, who may be conſcious to themſelves of having juſtly incurred Our diſpleaſure by ſubmitting to, or concurring in unlawfull actions; And that all the World may ſee how willing and de­ſirous We are to forget the Injuries and Indignities offered to Us, and by an Union of Engliſh hearts, to prevent the laſt­ing miſeries which this forraigne Invaſion muſt bring upon this kingdom, We do offer a free and Generall Pardon to all the Members of either Houſe, who ſhall at, or before the ſaid twenty ſecond day of January appear at Our City of Oxford, and deſire the ſame, without Exceptions; which con­ſidering the manifeſt Treaſons committed againſt Us, and the condition We are now in, improved by Gods wonderfull bleſſing to a better degree then We have injoyed at any time ſince theſe Diſtractions, is the greateſt inſtance of Princely and fatherly Care of Our People that can be expreſſed, and which Malice it ſelf cannot ſuggeſt to proceed from any other ground. And therefore We hope, and are confident, that all ſuch who upon this Our gratious Invitation will not return49 to their duty and Allegiance, ſhall be no more thought Pro­moters of the Religion, Lawes and Liberty of the Kingdom (which this way may be, without doubt, ſetled and ſecured) but Perſons engaged from the beginning, out of their own Pride, Malice, and Ambition, to bring confuſion and deſo­lation upon their Country, and to that purpoſe (having long once contrived the Deſigne) to invite and joyne with a for­raigne Nation to ruine and extinguiſh their own, and ſhall according be purſued as the moſt deſperate and malitious Ene­mies of the kingdom. And Our Pleaſure is, That this Our proclamation be read in all Churches and Chappells within this Our kingdom, and Dominion of Wales.

God ſave the King.

GENTLEMEN, I believe upon the reading of this Paper, which is put forth in the forme of a Proclamation, you cannot but diſcerne a great affinity in it to this preſent buſineſſe that is now before you; which is to occaſion diviſion between the City and the Parliament, to raiſe factions in both, and to ſay open as much as poſ­ſible may be to the power and malice of their enemies, howſoever they cover themſelves under theſe fair and ſpecious expreſſions, which you have heard before.

This Proclamation doth very ill agred with his Majeſties Letter; here it is called the diſobedient and Rebellious City, in this Procla­mation; and here the Parliament is indeavoured to be brought from you, though before you are the only darlings in his Majeſties eye; whereby they might have ſerved their turns and their ends of you: In that therefore you muſt have as fair and good words as poſſible may be. But now in this on the contrary ſide, when it is to work upon the Parliament, then you muſt be called an odious and rebellious City, to draw them from you to Oxford. This ſufficiently diſcovers how palpable and groſſe they are, that all this faire and foule weather is made up only to ſhift hands to work the ſame deſigne of ſowing di­viſion and diſſention among us, that ſo their party might prevaile: you may likewiſe obſerve from the title of this Proclamation, which50 is by occaſion of the invaſion of the Scots, that they, them­ſelves have forgotten the ceſſation of Ireland; whereby they have let looſe worſe then a forraign nation, a nation imbrued in the Proteſtant blood, and ſettled upon principles, for the utter de­ſtruction of the Religion and Lawes of this Kingdom: I ſay you may diſcerne thereby how far forth the ceſſation of Ireland is for­gotten, that complyes with all this: For after they had murthered almoſt all the Proteſtants there, and after they have layd that King­dom waſte, they muſt have an opportunity to be let into this King­dome, and no councell called about it to hinder them; but rather the councell to bring them over; and the princiall actors in that rebel­lion muſt be neereſt his Majeſties heart. For the comming of the Scots, I believe you all know very well, that the Parliament did think fit, finding how neer the intereſt of theſe two Nations were con­joyned in one, finding the conſtant love and amity of that Kingdome to this, and how in its greateſt extremity it was very punctuall to it; how that the laſt time it was here, it was very punctuall and carefull to obſerve all conditions, and at the deſire of the Parliament, return back again according to their promiſe: they thought it fit to enter into a Treaty with them in a ſolemn Covenant, which Treaty is now ſolemnly ratified by both Kingdomes; yet this muſt be called an In­vaſion. When they were laſt in the Kingdome, if they would have joyned with that Army, to have come up againſt the Parliament, they might have had very large conditions, but that is now forgotten; the offers that were then made to them, I believe you have heard of alrea­dy, which was, that they ſhould have the foure Northern Counties, formerly eſteemed their ancient bounds; that they ſhould have three hundred thouſand pounds in mony paid them down at Newcaſtle; that they ſhould have the plunder of the City of London, and that all man­ner of grace or honour that his Majeſty could beſtow upon particu­lar perſons: this is that which thoſe that have been in Scotland know was then ſent by way of Propoſition, by Sir Iohn Hinderſon, who is now at Oxford; they then rejected thoſe with ſcorn, and did refuſe to make an Invaſion upon this Parliament, but kept true and faithfull to the Parliament. And upon this experience the Parliament thought fit to make uſe of them again, againſt the publike danger, againſt the ru­ine of the Proteſtant Religion, which is threaned in all his Majeſties three Dominions; and therefore, as for that point, though for the pre­ſent we cannot give you the full and large Declaration, as hereafter will come forth from both Houſes; yet it is neceſſary to acquaint you with thus much, that you may not be amazed by any ſuch printed Papers as theſe are.

51Here is a ſecond paper in the forme likewiſe of a Proclamation, whereby you ſhall ſee the unevenneſſe, and unſteddineſſe of His Ma­jeſties Councels, at leaſt in appearance; for though they be ſteddy and united in that which is to bring deſtruction, and ruin upon the Par­liament and Kingdom; yet you may ſee them halt in their expreſ­ſions: Before you were called a famous Citie, you had deſerved ſo well, and had all encouragements offered you; here on the contra­ry you ſhall ſee what language is given you, and becauſe the welfare of this Citie conſiſts much in the reſidence of this Parliament, and Courts of Iuſtice that are here; And of ſuch perſons of quality, as are neceſſarily attendant thereupon. It is not now only thought fit to call away the Parliament from you, but the Courts of Iuſtice, that ſo you might be left a miſerable confuſed Citie; notwithſtand­ing all the faire words and promiſes that have been given you.

BY THE KING.A Proclamation for the removing of the Courts of Kings-Bench, and of the Exchequer, from Weſtminſter to Oxford.

WHereas the ſole power of appointing the Place or Places, in which Our Great Courts of Iuſtice ſhall be kept, and of removing them from one place to another, as urgent occaſion ſhall move Vs, by the Lawes of this kingdom is inherent in Our Royall Perſon. And whereas it is of great importance to Our ſervice in theſe times of difficulty and diſtraction, to have Our Iudges of Our ſaid Courts to attend neer unto Vs, by whoſe advice We may the better proceed in in all thoſe Caſes wherein the Iudgement and knowledge of the Lawes is required. And whereas more eſpecially the Chancellor, or Lord keeper of the Great Seal of England, and the Iudges of Our Court, called the Kings-Bench, were and are to follow the King; and Our Court of Exchequer, being the proper Court of Our Revenue, ought to attend Vs as We ſhall appoint. And whereas Our Cities of London and Weſt­minſter52 have been, and yet are, the chief Cauſers, and Main­tainers of this preſent Rebellion againſt Vs. And We ta­king into Our ſerious conſideration, that while Our Courts of Kings-Bench, Common-Pleas, and of Our Exchequer, are kept at Weſtminſter, many of Our good and Loyall Subjects might be compelled or injoyned, by Proceſs in Our name, to make their appearance there, which they could not do without hazard of Impriſonment, or other dammage or violence from the fo­mentors of this Rebellion; and many might ſuffer prejudice by Verdicts and Iudgements had and obtained againſt them by default or otherwiſe, when they could not with ſafety come to make their juſt defences: thereupon We did reolve to re­move thoſe Courts from Weſtminſter to Our City of Oxford, whether other of Our Courts of Iuſtice hath been and are already removed by Our former Proclamation. And to the end that there might not be any prejudice to any of Our Sub­jects, by diſcontinuance of their Suits in thoſe Courts or o­therwiſe, We did ſend Our ſeverall Writs of Adjournment, directed to Our Iudges of Our ſaid Courts of Kings-Bench and Common-pleas, and to Our Barons of Our Exchequer, thereby commanding and giving Warrant and authority to them reſpectively, to adjourn all Pleas and Proceſs depending before them, in and from the Two and Twentieth day of November laſt paſt, to the firſt return of Hillary Terme next, commonly called Octabis Hillary, to be holden then at Our City of Oxford. But our Meſſenger ſent with thoſe Writs (as We have been informed) for no other cauſe but for doing his duty in carrying and delivering thoſe Writs, was impri­ſoned, and in an unjuſt and illegall way Sentenced to die, and brought to a place of execution, and threatned to be Hanged, as at that time another of Our Meſſengers for no other cauſe then for doing his duty in the like kinde, in carrying Our Proclamations to London, was then ſhamefully Hanged and Murthered, (an Act ſo Barbarous as no former age can para­lell) and We have not yet received any certain and particular information touching the execution of thoſe Writs. In pur­ſuance therefore of Our former reſolution of removing thoſe Courts from Weſtminſter to Our City of Oxford, We do for the preſent by this Our Proclamtion, authorized under Our Great Seal of England, Ordain and appoint, and by theſe pre­ſents53 publiſh and Declare Our Will and Pleaſure to be, that Our ſaid Courts of Kings-Bench and Exchequer, ſhall for the next Hillary Terme, at the uſuall and accuſtomed time for holding of the ſame, be holden and kept at Our ſaid City of Oxford, and not at Weſtminſter, and ſhall be continued and kept there during that whole Terme, and afterwards at the ſeverall times and Termes for holding and keeping of thoſe Courts, untill Our further pleaſure be known and publiſhed for removing them from Oxford. And We do hereby ſtraight­ly charge, and Command all Our Iudges of Our ſaid Court of Kings-Bench, and Our Barons of Our Exchequer, and all Officers, Prethonotaries, Clerkes, and Miniſters of or be­longing to either of thoſe Courts, or which are or ought to do or perform any duty or ſervice in either of them, That they according to their ſeverall places and duties, give their ſeve­rall and reſpective attendances at our ſaid City of Oxford, and there do and perform their reſpective Offices and Duties, during the Terme and time aforeſaid, at Our ſaid City of Oxford and not elſewhere: And that all ſuch as have any Suit or other occaſion to attend in either of Our ſaid Courts, in the ſaid Terme of Saint Hillary next coming, or which have any cauſe or command to appear then in either of the ſaid Courts, do give their attendances, and make their appear­ances reſpectively in the ſaid Courts at Our ſaid City of Ox­ford, and not elſewhere. And We do hereby farther ſtraight­ly Charge and Command all Our Iudges of our ſaid Court of Kings-Bench, and our Barons of the Exchequer, and all of­ficers, Prothonotaries, Clerkes, Miniſters, and Atturnies, of or belonging to either of the ſaid Courts, that they pre­ſuine not, contrary to this Our command, in any ſort, to meet, ſit, or attend at Weſtminſter, or elſewhere, then at Our ſaid City of Oxford, for the holding or keeping, or upon pretence or colour of holding, or keeping of either of the ſaid Courts for the Terme and time aforeſaid, or any part thereof, or in any ſort to proceed in any Action Suite, or Plaint, or Award, make or iſſue out any Proceſs, or do any Act or thing whatſo­ever, proper or belonging to the ſaid Courts, or either of them, in any other place then at Our ſaid City of Oxford, or where We ſhall hereafter appoint the ſame, as they will anſwer the contrary at their utmoſt perills. And We do hereby likewiſe54 charge and Command all Sheriffes, Bayliffes and others, that have to do in the execution or return of any Writs, Precepts, Warrants, or Proceſs, that for ſuch Writs, Precepts, War­rants, or proceſs, as have iſſued out of either of our ſaid Courts of Kings-Bench or the Exchequer, and are not yet returned, they make their ſeverall Returnes of the ſame into the ſaid Courts reſpectively, at Our ſaid City of Oxford, and not at Weſt­minſter. And that they preſume not in any ſort, to obey or exe­cute any Writ, Precept, Warrant, or Proceſs, which ſhall hereafter be awarded, made or iſſued, contrary to the Tenor and effect of this Our Proclamation, as they will anſwer the contrary at their Perills.


GEntlemen, you may remember, that the Kings Letters that hath been read to you, was dated the 26. of Decem. the later of them was dated the ſecond of Ianuary, and notwithſtanding all thoſe expreſſions that were there given you, the Cities of London and VVeſtminſter, are in this Proclamation of the ſecond Ianuary (as if that they had forgot what they had ſet out before, they are here) called the principall Maintainers, and Cauſers of this Rebellion; but not only ſo, but (as was told you before) an endeavour uſed to lay this Citie, as much as in them lay, deſolate; deſolate from all traffick, as you have had it before by Proclamation, deſolate from the great Councell of the Kingdom, which is the Parliament, by car­rying it to Oxford, deſolate now of the Cours of Inſtice, that ſhould be here the life and preſervation of all your affaires and buſineſſes; and yet this is that which in his Majeſties letter, you have ſo many faire expreſſions of affection and good inclination to ſettle your peace; It is not to be doubted, but upon the whole matter, you will hereafter learne, to underſtand all ſuch Complements as theſe are, and know how to mannage your Councels, and to expreſſe your affections, according to the advice of the two Houſes; wherein as55 the Houſes are to acknowledge your faithfulneſſe, and readineſſe to comply with them; ſo they, likewiſe have been willing to expoſe their lives, eſtates and paines; and all that lies in them, to goe before you, in that which may be for your preſervation. In the former Pro­clamation there was notice taken, that the Major part of the two Houſes were of the opinion (or would be, in all likelihood) with the King at Oxford thus much we can declare to you, that there is above 200. (as I remember 13. ſcore) that have already ſolemnely taken the Covenant with us here, and which we are confident of will be ſo tender of the honour of God, and their owne honours, and what they have promiſed in the Covenant, that they will purſue that in­tereſt they have expreſſed; and that they remaining here, make the Major part, you may eaſily judge. And for this Proclamation, we have Authority to declare to you, that ſuch is the care of the two Houſes, and ſuch is their affection to your ſelves, that they are re­ſolved to eſtabliſh the Courts of Juſtice here, with fuller power then hitherto they have been, that is, they will fill the Judges upon the Benches, and take care to have all the Courts ſetled here, in a ſteddie way: And all thoſe that ſhall go to Oxford, in compliance with this Proclamation, they ſhall have their eſtates confiſcate, and they will proceede in ſuch a courſe, as you ſhall ſee the naturall care they have to preſerve you in following their advice, which all of us by the fundamentall lawes of this Kingdome are bound to do; and thus much we have authority to declare unto you.

There is onely one thing more in this Proclamation, which is one­ly a particular by the bye, that gives you notice of that barbarous and unheard of uſage of a ſpie that was here juſtly condemned, by a Councell of war at the inſtance of the Houſes of Parliament, by Command from his Excellencie; it is told you, ſuch a murther was ne­ver heard of; the murther muſt now be put upon this, when you may very well remember, in your owne caſe, how an honeſt Citizen at Reading was proceeded againſt, with an unheard of murther indeed, this being nothing but that neceſſary Juſtice which in times of war is to be expected in all ſuch caſes.


The Right Honourable, the Earl of Northumberland his Speech.

MY Lord Major, and you Gentlemen of the City of London, you have fully heard delivered by theſe Gen­tlemen, all the proceedings, in their late diſcovery; You are now well able to make a right judgement upon the whole matter; I am commanded in the name of both Houſes to read unto you here, their Opinions, and the ſence that they have delivered, and reſolved of among themſelves;

That the matter of this report, containeth a ſedicious and Jeſuiticall practiſe and Deſigne, under the fair and Specious pretence of Peace, having its riſe and fountain from known Ieſuites and Papiſts, to work Diviſions be­tweene the Parliament and City of London, to raiſe Facti­ons in both, thereby to render them up to the Deſignes of the Enemie; and tending alſo to the breach of the Pub­lique faith of this Kingdom, unto our Brethren of Scotland, engaged by the late ſolemn Covenant and Treaty, entred into by both Nations, thereby not onely to weaken us in our united force againſt our Popiſh and Common Ene­mies, but to embroyle the two Nations in unhappy di­viſions.


About this transcription

TextA Cunning plot to divide and destroy, the Parliament and the city of London. Made knowne (at a common hall) by the Earle of Northumberland, Master Solliciter, and Sir Henry Vane. The design is fully discovered in the severall examinations and confessions, of Master Riley. Several examinations and confessions, of Sir Basill Brook. Severall examinations and confessions, of Master Violet. Proclamations from his Majesty. Letters from his Majesty. Letters from the Lord Digby. Letters from Colonell Read.
AuthorNorthumberland, Algernon Percy, Earl of, 1602-1668., ; Vane, Henry, Sir, 1612?-1662., ; England and Wales. Sovereign (1625-1649 : Charles I). Proclamation for the removing of the Courts of Kings-Bench and of the Exchequer from Westminster to Oxford..
Extent Approx. 110 KB of XML-encoded text transcribed from 31 1-bit group-IV TIFF page images.
SeriesEarly English books online.
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(EEBO-TCP ; phase 2, no. A81180)

Transcribed from: (Early English Books Online ; image set 111230)

Images scanned from microfilm: (Thomason Tracts ; 5:E29[3])

About the source text

Bibliographic informationA Cunning plot to divide and destroy, the Parliament and the city of London. Made knowne (at a common hall) by the Earle of Northumberland, Master Solliciter, and Sir Henry Vane. The design is fully discovered in the severall examinations and confessions, of Master Riley. Several examinations and confessions, of Sir Basill Brook. Severall examinations and confessions, of Master Violet. Proclamations from his Majesty. Letters from his Majesty. Letters from the Lord Digby. Letters from Colonell Read. Northumberland, Algernon Percy, Earl of, 1602-1668., Vane, Henry, Sir, 1612?-1662., England and Wales. Sovereign (1625-1649 : Charles I). Proclamation for the removing of the Courts of Kings-Bench and of the Exchequer from Westminster to Oxford.. [4], 12, 17-24, 23-38, 41-56 p. Printed, and are to be sold by Peter Cole at his shop in Corn-Hill, right over against Popes-Head Ally neare the Royall Exchange,London :January 16. 1643. [i.e. 1644]. ("By the King. A proclamation for the assembling the members of both Houses at Oxford, upon occasion of the invasion by the Scots" : p. 47-49.) ("By the King. A proclamation for the removing of the Courts of Kings-Bench and of the Exchequer from Westminster to Oxford" : p. 51-54.) (Reproduction of the original in the British Library.) (With an order to print on verso of first leaf.)
  • England and Wales. -- Parliament -- Early works to 1800.
  • London (England) -- History -- 17th century.

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ImprintAnn Arbor, MI ; Oxford (UK) : 2011-12 (EEBO-TCP Phase 2).
  • DLPS A81180
  • STC Wing C7586
  • STC Thomason E29_3
  • STC ESTC R11898
  • EEBO-CITATION 99859163
  • PROQUEST 99859163
  • VID 111230

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