68. The King's second answer to the Propositions presented at Newcastle.

[December 20, 1646. Journals of the House of Lords, viii. 627. See Great Civil War, iii. 183.]

Charles R.

His Majesty's thoughts being always sincerely bent to the peace of his kingdoms, was and will be ever desirous to take all ways which might the most clearly make appear the candour of his intentions to his people: and to this end could find no better way than to propose a personal free debate with his two Houses of Parliament upon all the present differences; yet finding, very much against his expectations, that this offer was laid aside, His Majesty bent all his thoughts to make his intentions fully known, by a particular answer to the propositions delivered to him in the name of both kingdoms, 24th July last: but the more he endeavoured it, he more plainly saw that any answer he could make would be subject to misinformations and misconstructions, which upon his own paraphrases and explanations he is most confident will give so good satisfaction, as would doubtless cause a happy and lasting peace. Lest therefore that good intentions may produce ill effects, His Majesty again proposes and desires to come to London, or any of his houses thereabouts, upon the public faith and security of his two Houses of Parliament and the Scots Commissioners, that he shall be there with honour, freedom and safety: where, by his personal presence, he may not only raise a mutual confidence between him and his people, but also have those doubts cleared and those difficulties explained to him, without which he cannot, but with the aforesaid mischievous inconveniences, give a particular answer to the Propositions: and with which he doubts not but so to manifest his real intentions for the settling of religion, the just privileges of Parliament, with the freedom and propriety of the subject, that it shall not be in the power of wicked and malicious men to hinder the establishing of that firm peace which all honest men desire: "assuring them that as he will make no other demands but such as he believes confidently to be just, and much conducing to the tranquillity of the people: so he will be most willing to condescend unto them in whatsoever shall be really for their good and happiness: not doubting likewise but you will also have a due regard to maintain the just power of the Crown, according to your many protestations and professions: for certainly except King and people have reciprocal care each of other, neither can be happy.

To conclude, 'tis your King who desires to be heard, the which if refused to a subject by a King, he would be thought a tyrant for it, and for that end which all men profess to desire. Wherefore His Majesty conjures you, as you desire to show yourselves really what you profess, even as you are good Christians and subjects, that you will accept this his offer, which he is confident God will so bless, that it will be the readiest means by which these kingdoms may again become a comfort to their friends, and a terror to their enemies.

Newcastle, the 20th of December, 1646.

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