The Propositions presented to the King at the Treaty of Oxford (1 February 1642)
[February 1, 1642/3. Rushworth, v. 165. See Great Civil War, i. 89.]
The humble desires and propositions of the Lords and Commons in Parliament assembled, tendered to His Majesty, Feb., 1642.
We your Majesty's most humble and faithful subjects, the Lords and Commons in Parliament assembled, having in our thoughts the glory of God, your Majesty's honour and the prosperity of your people, and being most grievously afflicted with the pressing miseries and calamities which have overwhelmed your two kingdoms of England and Ireland since your Majesty hath, by the persuasion of evil counsellors, withdrawn yourself from the Parliament, raised an army against it, and by force thereof protected delinquents from the justice of it, constraining us to take arms for the defence of our religion, laws, liberties, privileges of Parliament, and for the sitting of the Parliament in safety, which fears and dangers are continued and increased by the raising, drawing together, and arming of great numbers of Papists, under the command of the Earl of Newcastle, likewise by making Lord Herbert of Raglan, and other known papists, commanders of great forces, whereby many grievous oppressions, rapines and cruelties have been, and are daily exercised upon the persons and estates of your people, much innocent blood hath been spilt, and the Papists have attained means of attempting and hopes of effecting their mischievous design of rooting out the reformed religion, and destroying the professors thereof: — in the tender sense and compassion of these evils, under which your people and kingdom lie (according to the duty which we owe to God, your Majesty, and the kingdom, for which we are intrusted), do most earnestly desire that an end may be put to these great distempers and distractions, for the preventing of that desolation which doth threaten all your Majesty's dominions. And as we have rendered, and still are ready to render unto your Majesty that subjection, obedience and service which we owe unto you, so we most humbly beseech your Majesty to remove the cause of this war, and to vouchsafe us that peace and protection which we and our ancestors have formerly enjoyed under your Majesty, and your royal predecessors, and graciously to accept and grant these most humble desires and propositions.
I. That your Majesty will be pleased to disband your armies, as we likewise shall be ready to disband all those forces which we have raised; and that you will be pleased to return to your Parliament.
II. That you will leave delinquents to a legal trial and judgment of Parliament.
III. That the Papists not only be disbanded, but disarmed according to law.
IV. That your Majesty will be pleased to give your royal assent unto the Bill for taking away superstitious innovations: to the Bill for the utter abolishing and taking away of all Archbishops, Bishops, their Chancellors and Commissaries, Deans, Sub-deans, Deans and Chapters, Archdeacons, Canons and Prebendaries, and all Chanters, Chancellors, Treasurers, Sub-treasurers, Succentors and Sacrists, and all Vicars Choral and Choristers, old Vicars and new Vicars of any Cathedral or Collegiate Church, and all other their under officers out of the Church of England: to the Bill against scandalous ministers: to the Bill against pluralities: and to the Bill for consultation to be had with godly, religious, and learned divines: that your Majesty will be pleased to promise to pass such other good Bills for settling of Church government, as upon consultation with the assembly of the said divines shall be resolved on by both Houses of Parliament, and by them be presented to your Majesty.
V. That your Majesty, having expressed in your answer to the Nineteen Propositions of both Houses of Parliament, a hearty affection and intention for the rooting out of Popery out of this kingdom; and that if both the Houses of Parliament can yet find a more effectual course to disable Jesuits, priests, and Popish recusants from disturbing the State or deluding the laws, that you would willingly give your consent unto it; that you would be graciously pleased, for the better discovery and speedier conviction of recusants, that an oath may be established by Act of Parliament to be administered in such manner as by both Houses shall be agreed on; wherein they shall abjure and renounce the Pope's supremacy, the doctrine of transubstantiation, purgatory, worshipping of the consecrated host, crucifixes and images; and the refusing the said oath, being tendered in such manner as shall be appointed by Act of Parliament, shall be a sufficient conviction in law of recusancy. And that your Majesty will be graciously pleased to give your royal assent unto a Bill for the education of the children of Papists, by Protestants in the Protestant religion: that for the more effectual execution of the laws against the Popish recusants, your Majesty would be pleased to consent to a Bill for the true levying of the penalties against them, and that the same penalty may be levied and disposed of in such manner as both Houses of Parliament shall agree on, so as your Majesty be at no loss: and likewise to a Bill whereby the practice of Papists against the State may be prevented, and the laws against them duly executed.
VI. That the Earl of Bristol may be removed from your Majesty's counsels, and that both he and the Lord Herbert, eldest son to the Earl of Worcester, may likewise be restrained from coming within the verge of the Court, and that they may not bear any office, or have any employments concerning the State or commonwealth.
VII. That your Majesty will be graciously pleased by Act of Parliament to settle the militia both by sea and land, and for the forts and ports of the kingdom, in such a manner as shall be agreed on by both Houses.
VIII. That your Majesty will be pleased by your Letters Patent to make Sir John Brampston Chief Justice of your Court of King's Bench, William Lenthall, Esq., the now Speaker of the Commons' House, Master of the Rolls, and to continue the Lord Chief Justice Bankes Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas, and likewise to make Mr. Serjeant Wilde Chief Baron of your Court of Exchequer. And that Mr. Justice Bacon may be continued, and Mr. Serjeant Rolle And Mr. Serjeant Atkins made Justices of the King's Bench. That Mr. Justice Reeves and Mr. Justice Foster may be continued, and Mr. Serjeant Pheasant made one of your Justices of your Court of Common Pleas; that Mr. Serjeant Creswell, Mr. Samuel Browne, and Mr. John Puleston, may be Barons of the Exchequer; and that all these, and all the Judges of the same Courts, for the time to come, may hold their places by Letters Patent under the Great Seal, Quam diu se bene gesserint, and that the several persons not before named, that do hold any of these places before mentioned, may be removed.
IX. That all such persons as have been put out of the Commissions of Peace, or oyer and terminer, or from being custodes rotulorum, since the first day of April 1642 (other than such as were put out by desire of both, or either of the Houses of Parliament), may again be put into those commissions and offices; and that such persons may be put out Of those commissions and offices, as shall be excepted against by both Houses of Parliament.
X. That your Majesty will be pleased to pass the Bill now presented to your Majesty to vindicate and secure the privileges of Parliament from the ill consequence of the late precedent in the charge and proceeding against the Lord Kimbolton, now Earl of Manchester, and the five members of the House of Commons.
XI. That your Majesty's royal assent may be given unto such Acts as shall be advised by both Houses of Parliament, for the satisfying and paying the debts and damages wherein the two Houses of Parliament have engaged the public faith of the kingdom.
XII. That your Majesty will be pleased, according to a gracious answer heretofore received from you, to enter into a more strict alliance with the States of the United Provinces, and other neighbouring princes and States of the Protestant religion, for the defence and maintenance thereof against all designs and attempts of the Popish and Jesuitical faction, to subvert and suppress it, whereby your subjects may hope to be free from the mischiefs which this kingdom hath endured through the power which some of that party have had in your counsels, and will be much encouraged in a parliamentary way for your aid and assistance in restoring your royal sister and the prince elector to those dignities and dominions which belong unto them, and relieving the other distressed Protestant princes who have suffered in the same cause.
XIII. That in the general pardon which your Majesty hath been pleased to offer to your subjects, all offences and misdemeanours committed before the 10th of January, 1641, which have been, or shall be questioned or proceeded against in Parliament, upon complaint in the House of Commons before the 10th of January, 1643, shall be excepted; which offences and misdemeanours shall nevertheless be taken and adjudged to be fully discharged against all other inferior Courts. That likewise there shall be an exception of offences committed by any person or persons, which hath or have had any hand or practice in the rebellion of Ireland, which hath or have given any counsel, assistance or encouragement to the rebels there for the maintenance of that rebellion, as likewise an exception of William, Earl of Newcastle, and George, Lord Digby.
XIV. That your Majesty will be pleased to restore such members of either House of Parliament to their several places of services and employment, out of which they have been put since the beginning of this Parliament; that they may receive satisfaction and reparation for those places, and for the profits which they have lost by such removals, upon the petition of both Houses of Parliament; and that all others may be restored to their offices and employments, who have been put out of the same upon any displeasure conceived against them for any assistance given to both Houses of Parliament, or obeying their commands, or forbearing to leave their attendance upon the Parliament without licence, or for any other occasion arising from these unhappy differences between your Majesty and both Houses of Parliament, upon the like petition of both Houses.
These things being granted and performed, as it hath always been our hearty prayer, so shall we be enabled to make it our hopeful endeavour that your Majesty and your people may enjoy the blessings of peace, truth and justice; the royalty and greatness of your throne may be supported by the loyal and bountiful affections of your people; their liberties and privileges maintained by your Majesty's protection and justice; and this public honour and happiness of your Majesty and all your dominions communicated to other Churches and States of your alliance, and derived to your royal posterity and the future generations in this kingdom for ever.