Back to search results

George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham 'Proceedings at the Council Table (4 April 1628)'

British Library, Harley MS 390, ff. 379r-386r


12 April 1628 That on friday the Eue of their fast, late in the afternoone beyond all expectation, the House of Commons gaue his Ma[jes]tie unanimously without all condition/ .5. subsidies to be payed beweene this & Christmas. The report whereof being by S[i]r Iohn Cook carried to his Ma[jes]tie his Ma[jes]tie expressed wonderfull joy & contentment saying he was more happie then any of the Kings his predecessors were, &c & then asking S[i] Iohn Cook further by how many voices he carried it, he answered But by once voice; whereat his Ma[jes]tie being at first somewhat appalled appalled, S[i]r Iohn replyed, his Ma[jes]tie had so much the greater cause of joy, the whole House being so vnanimous, as they made all but One voice at which they say His Ma[jes]tie wept. The Duke at the Counsell Table whitherwhere his {gap: illegible} Ma[jes]tie was present humbly besought his Ma[jes]tie to grant all the Parlaments desires, since he was perswaded they intended nothing more then his & the Kingdomes good. And the better to accomplish it desire his Ma[jes]tie to withdraw his favour from him, seing he was willing to sacrifice himselfe his honours & all that he had for the good of his Countrey And whereas he vnderstood, that his pluralitie of Offices was excepted against, he was contented to giue up the Master of the Horse to Marquesse Hammilton, The Warden of the Cinque Ports to the E of Carleile, when he returned from his Ambassadge. And for the Admiraltie, he desired onely to be Admirall in time of peace & at home, & that the Counsell & the Houses of Parlament might appoint another Admirall for all seruice at Sea. This was within few houres after the grant of the subsidies.

Secretary Cook returning to the House to signifie his Ma[jes]ties {ioyfull ex} gracious acceptance & that his Ma[jes]tie promised he would deny them nothing that any of his predecessors had granted {gap: illegible} them, for their liberties & immunities &c he added also, for a conclusion what service my Lo[rd] Duke had done in so earnestly beseeching his Ma[jes]tie to giue the House full content in all their desires. For which S[i]r Iohn Eliot stood vp & checked him, saying, that they in what they had done had no respect to any but his Ma[jes]tie alone, nor intended {gap: illegible} to giue any man content but him onely, nor regarded any mans acceptance but his. Nor knew they of any other distinction but of King & Subjects & therefore accounted of the Great man no otherwise than as one of themselues, who together with them was to advise of meanes to giue his Ma[jes]tie contentment {gap: illegible} in prouision for the good of the Kingdome. Wherevnto many in the House made an acclamation, Well spoken S[i]r Iohn Eiot.

On monday Last the Duke made a speach in the Lords house which they say, giues much contentment. The King is willing to yeeld to all they desire in behalfe of their liberties; onely stands somewhat vpon the point o billetting of souldiers. which he sees not, how he can yeeld to, as they desire it, without some maine diminution to his prerogatiue yet it is supposed, they they will agree

{gap: elision}379v 380r

13 April 1628 Worthie Sir/

This l[ett]re enclosed was written time enough, but sent to late, or the Cheesman went too soone & sooner then he was wont. for it stayd behind. I sent it now to Kenford, if the Carrier carie it not to Bury to gett 2d more, as once he did. And that I may make some amends for disappointing your expectation, at the usuall time; I sent with it the summe of [th]e Kings speech & the Dukes formally printed. I wonder, whose wisedome it was, in this sort, to publish them thus checkmate together: but I hope you will excuse me for sending them. In my le[tt]re I told you that the Duke in his speech made offer of resignation of some of his offices vpon this occasion: I saw it written from Court, & from the relation of one that kept that Counsell-chamberdore all the while. But you shall find no such matter in this printed speech. It may be, it aws not thought fitt. The rest I wrot about the subsidies & the consequents, you may correct by what, I haue inscribed into the couer of the speaches, in the same words I receiued it yesterday from Mr Pory. whose intelligence I supp suppose is more more perfect, then that I had before, depending vpon memory.

The Parlament sittes euery day, saue onely this, the K himselfe moued to haue it so. The rest you shall receiue next saturday. In hast with my respect.

Christ Coll[ege] Aprill 13.


To the R wor[shipfu]ll his much respect freind S[i]r Martin Stuteville Knight these at Dalham

Aprill. 12. et 15

Leaue this letter at Kenf Kenford at Mr James Fysons to be sent as aforesayd presently vpon the receipt

I pray be carefull that it be not carried to Bury.

381r 381v

Both speeches following were deliuered at the Counsell table in the afternoone of th same day, when the five subsidies were granted in the House of Commons.

The same morning before the graunt, his Ma[jes]tie had sent a most gracious message to the House, by S[i]r Iohn Cook, signifieing, that he would confirme all the priviledges of the subject conteined either in Magna charta, or elsewhere, in any manner, as they should think good to propound. Which message so privailed with them, as they presently fell into the discourse of giving, which ended with the graunt aforesayd. To this message is reference in the Dukes speach.


Aprill 4.

The proceeding of the Parliament, being this day related to the King, by the Councellors of the Commons House of Parliament.

HIS Maiestie vpon the report made, expressed great content-ment that it gaue him; not valewing the Money giuen, comparable to the hearts shewed in the way of the Guift: For although his great occasions of State did require more Money then at this time was giuen; yet now he made account he could not lacke since he had their loues; and that this day, he thought that he had gayned more Re-putation in Christendome, then if he had wonne many Battailes; Say-ing further, (according to his Speech the first day of the Parliament,) That they might easily make him in louewith382v with Parliaments, (now he professed he was so:) And that we should finde the fruits of it by calling vs often to-gether, and to secure further feares, and create future confidence, he assu-red vs that we should enioy as great imunitie and freedom in his time, as euer we possessed or had vnder the Reigne of any the best Kings of this Realme.


The Duke of Bvckingham his Speach to his Maiestie on Friday being the 4th. of A-prill, 1628.


MEE thinkes I now behold you a great King; For loue is greater then Maiestie. Opinion that your People loued you not had almost lost you in the opinion of the World: but this day makes you appeare as you are, A glorious King loued at home, and now to bee feared abroad. This falling out so happily, I beseech you giue mee leaue to bee an humble Sutor vnto your Maiestie. First, for my selfe, that I who haue had the honour to be your Fauourite, may now giue vp383v vp my title vnto them, they to bee your Fauourite, and I to bee your Seruant. My second sute is, that they hauing all done so well, you will account of them all as one, a Body of many members, but all of one Heart. Opinion might haue made them differ, but Affection did moue them all to ioyne with like loue in this great Guift: for pro-portion it being lesse then your oc-casions may aske, yet it is more then euer Subiects did giue in so short a time: Nor am I perswaded it will rest there, for this is but as an ear-nest of their affections, to let you see, and the world know what Sub-iects you haue, that when your Ho-nour and the good of the State is en-gaged, and Ayde asked in the ordi-dinary way of Parliament, you can- not384r not want. This is not a gift of fiue Subsidies alone, but the opening of a Mine of Subsidies which lyeth in their hearts. This good beginning hath wrought already these ef-fects, they haue taken your heart, drawne from you a declaration that you will loue Parliaments. And a-gaine, this will be mett, I make no question, with such respect, that their demands will be iust, dutifull and moderate: For they that know thus to giue, knowe what is fit to aske: then cannot your Maiestie do lesse then outgoe their demands or else you doe lesse then your selfe, or them: For your Message begat trust, their trust and your promise must then beget performance. This being done, then shall I with a glad heart hold this worke as well ended as384v as now begun, and then shall I hope that Parliaments shalbe made here-after so frequent, by the effects and good vse of them, as shall haue this further benefit, to deterre from ap-proaching your eares those Proiec-tors & Inducers of Innouation, as di-sturbers both of Church & Co[m]mon-wealth. Now Sir, to open my heart and to ease my griefe, please you to pardon me a word more. I must confesse I haue long liued in paine, Sleepe hath giuen mee no rest, Fa-uours & Fortunes no content, much haue bene my secret sorrowes to be thought the man of Seperation, and that diuided the King from his peo-ple, and them from him; but I hope it shall appeare, they were some mi-staken mindes, that would haue made me the euill Spirit that wal- ked385r ked betweene a good Master and a loyall People for ill offices. VVhereas by your Maiesties fa-uour, I shall euer endeauour to ap-proue my selfe a good Spirit brea-thing nothing but the best of serui-ces vnto them all. Therefore this day I account more blessed vnto me then my birth, to see my selfe able to serue them, to see you brought in loue with Parliaments, to see a Parliament expresse such loue to you. Loue them I beseech you, and God so loue me and mine, as I ioy to see this day.

385v 386r

The next morning being satturday April. 5. S[r] Iohn Cook made report of both these speaches to the House of Com[m]ons./

Which being done, S[i]r Iohn Eliott stept up, & taxed Mr Secretary for entermingling a subjects speech with the Kings message, whereby he might seeme (sayd he) to derogate from the honour & Ma[jes]tie of a King. Nor could it become any subject, to beare himselfe in such a fashion, as if no grace out to descend from the King to [th]e people, nor any loyaltie ascend from the people to [th]e King, but through him onely./


No introduction.


British Library, Harley MS 390, ff. 379r-386r, Newsletters from Joseph Meade to Sir M Stuteville, vol. II, 1626-1631

Languages: English

Creation date: 4 April 1628


Other Witnesses

Seventeenth Century Print Exemplars

  • Aprill 4. The proceeding of the Parliament, being this day related to the King, by the councellors of the Commons House of Parliament ([London], [1628]) [STC 24739], sigs. A2r–A4r
  • George Villiers 1st Duke of Buckingham, The Duke of Buckingham his speech to the King in Parliament Aprill 4. 1628 (London, 1641) [Wing B5308B]

Modern Print Exemplars

No bibliography

Selected Criticism

No bibliography

Keywords (Text Type)

  • speech

Keywords (Text Topics)

  • Forced Loan
  • parliament
  • court
  • state finance

Transcribed by:

No transcription details