67. The King's first answer to the Propositions presented at Newcastle.
[August 1, 1646. Journals of the House of Lords, viii. 460. See Great Civil War, iii. 133.] Charles E.
The propositions tendered to His Majesty by the Commissioners from the Lords and Commons assembled in the Parliament of England at Westminster, and the Commissioners of the Parliament of Scotland (to which the Houses of Parliament have taken twice so many months for deliberation, as they have assigned days for His Majesty's answer), do import so great alterations in government both in the Church and kingdom, as it is very difficult to return a particular and positive answer, before a full debate, wherein these propositions, and the necessary explanations, true sense and reasons thereof, be rightly weighed and understood; and that His Majesty (upon a full view of the whole propositions) may know what is left, as well as what is taken away and changed: in all which he finds (upon discourse with the said Commissioners) that they are so bound up from any capacity either to give reasons for the demands they bring, or to give ear to such desires as His Majesty is to propound, as it is impossible for him to give such a present judgment of, and answer to these propositions, whereby he can answer to God that a safe and well-grounded peace will ensue (which is evident to all the world can never be, unless the just power of the Crown, as well as the freedom and propriety of the subject, with the just liberty and privileges of Parliament, be likewise settled): to which end His Majesty desires and proposeth to come to London, or any of his houses thereabouts, upon the public faith and security of the two Houses of his Parliament, and the Scots Commissioners, that he shall be there with freedom, honour and safety; where by his personal presence he may not only raise a mutual confidence between him and his people, but also have these doubts cleared, and these difficulties explained unto him, which he now conceives to be destructive to his just regal power, if he should give a full consent to these propositions as they now stand: as likewise, that he may make known to them such his reasonable demands, as he is most assured will be very much conducible to that peace which all good men desire and pray for, by the settling of religion, the just privileges of Parliament, with the freedom and propriety of the subject: and His Majesty assures them, that as he can never condescend unto what is absolutely destructive to that just power which, by the laws of God and the laud, he is born unto; so he will cheerfully grant and give his assent unto all such Bills (at the desires of his two Houses), or reasonable demands for Scotland, which shall be really for the good and peace of his people, not having regard to his own particular (much less of anybody's else) in respect of the happiness of these kingdoms. Wherefore His Majesty conjures them as Christians, as subjects, and as men who desire to leave a good name behind them, that they will so receive and make use of this answer, that all issues of blood may be stopped, and these unhappy distractions peaceably settled. At Newcastle, the 1st of August, 1646.
Upon assurance of a happy agreement, His Majesty will immediately send for the Prince his son, absolutely answering for his perfect obedience.
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