12. The King's Speech at the Prorogation of Parliament at the end of the Session of 1628.

[June 26, 1628. Lords' Journals, iii. 879. See Hist. of Engl. vi. 324.]

It may seem strange, that I come so suddenly to end this Session; wherefore before I give my assent to the Bills, I will tell you the cause, though I must avow, that I owe an account of my actions to none but to God alone. It is known to every one, that a while ago the House of Commons gave me a Remonstrance,[1] how acceptable every man may judge; and for the merit of it, I will not call that in question, for I am sure no wise man can justify it.

Now since I am certainly informed, that a second Remonstrance[2] is preparing for me to take away my profit of Tonnage and Poundage, one of the chief maintenances of my Crown, by alleging I have given away my right thereof by my answer to your Petition; this is so prejudicial unto me, that I am forced to end this Session some few hours before I meant it, being willing not to receive any more Remonstrances, to which I must give a harsh answer.

And since I see that even the House of Commons begins already to make false constructions of what I granted in your Petition, lest it might be worse interpreted in the country, I will now make a declaration concerning the true meaning thereof:

The profession of both Houses, in time of hammering this Petition, was no ways to intrench upon my Prerogative, saying, they had neither intention nor power to hurt it. Therefore it must needs be conceived that I have granted no new, but only confirmed the ancient liberties of my subjects: yet to show the clearness of my intentions, that I neither repent, cor mean to recede from anything I have promised you, I do here declare, that those things which have been done, whereby men had some cause to suspect the liberties of the subjects to be trenched upon, — which indeed was the first and true ground of the Petition, — shall not hereafter be drawn into example for your prejudice; and in time to come, on the word of a king, you shall not have the like cause to complain.

But as for Tonnage and Poundage, it is a thing I cannot want, and was never intended by you to ask, nor meant —

I am sure — by me to grant.

To conclude, I command you all that are here to take notice of what I have spoken at this time, to be the true intent and meaning of what I granted you in your Petition; but especially, you my Lords the Judges, for to you only under me belongs the interpretation of laws; for none of the House of Commons, joint or separate, (what new doctrine soever may be raised) have any power either to make or declare a law without my consent[3].

[1] A general remonstrance on the misgovernment of the kingdom, in which Buckingham was named as the author of abuses, had been presented to the King on June 17.

[2] See No. 11.

[3] The last clause of this paragraph is corrected from Parl. Hist. ii. 434

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