Source Problems in English History

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World History

11.

Cobbett’s State Trials,

III. (Proceedings against Sir John Eliot, Denzil Holles, Esq., and Benjamin Valentine, Esq., for seditious speeches in Parliament. 1630.)

Pages 293–294.

Sir Robert Heath, the King’s Attorney-General, exhibited informations . . . that the said Eliot publicly and maliciously in the House of Commons, to raise sedition between the King, his nobles and peoples, uttered these words, "That the Council and Judges had all conspired to trample underfoot the liberties of the subjects."

[The attorney further alleges that the three above mentioned were guilty by "confederacy aforehand" of uttering a long-continued speech, with malicious and seditious words, of holding the Speaker in his chair, etc. The defendants pleaded . . . that these offences had been done in Parliament and ought not to be punished in any other court. The judgment of the Court was pronounced as follows]:

Pages 309–310.

The matter of the information now, by the confession of the defendants, is admitted to be true, and we think their plea to the jurisdiction insufficient for the matter and manner of it. And we hereby will not draw the true liberties of Parliament men into question; to wit, for such matters which they do Or speak in a parliamentary manner. But in this case there was a conspiracy between the defendants to slander the state, and to raise sedition and discord between the King, his peers, and people, and this was not a parliamentary course. All the judges of England except one have resolved the statute of 4 H. 8 [Strode statute1] to be a private act, and to extend to Strode only. But every member of the Parliament shall have such privileges as are there mentioned; but they have no privilege to speak at their pleasure. The Parliament is an high court, therefore it ought not to be disorderly, but ought to give good example to other courts. If a judge of our court should rail upon the state, or clergy, he is punishable for it. A member of the Parliament may charge any great officer of the state with any particular offence; but this was a malevolous accusation in the generality of all the officers of state, therefore the matter contained within the information is a great offence, and punishable in this court.

[The three were to be imprisoned during the King’s pleasure, to pay heavy fines, and not to be delivered until they gave security for good behavior and acknowledged their offences.]

12. Commons Journals, II. (July 6, 1641.)

Page 200.

Resolved, that the exhibiting of an information in the Court of Star Chamber against Mr. Holies and the rest for matters done by them in Parliament, being members of the Parliament, and the Same so appearing in the information, is a breach of the privilege in Parliament.

[July 8, 1641.] Resolved, that the exhibiting of the information against Mr. Holles, Sir John Eliot and Mr. Valentine in the King’s Bench, being members of the Parliament, for matter done in Parliament, was a breach of the privilege of Parliament.

1See The Setting, p. 172.

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Chicago: "Cobbett’s State Trials,," Source Problems in English History in Source Problems in English History, ed. Albert Beebe White and Wallace Notestein (New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1915), 235–237. Original Sources, accessed April 21, 2018, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=DKYZXL8SZUAV1JP.

MLA: . "Cobbett’s State Trials,." Source Problems in English History, in Source Problems in English History, edited by Albert Beebe White and Wallace Notestein, New York, Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1915, pp. 235–237. Original Sources. 21 Apr. 2018. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=DKYZXL8SZUAV1JP.

Harvard: , 'Cobbett’s State Trials,' in Source Problems in English History. cited in 1915, Source Problems in English History, ed. , Harper & Brothers Publishers, New York, pp.235–237. Original Sources, retrieved 21 April 2018, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=DKYZXL8SZUAV1JP.