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to put off pain, than to enjoy pleasure; because the one hath no intermission, and with the other we are often satisfied ; so it is in the smart of injury and the memory of good turns : wrongs are written in marble; benefits are, sometimes, acknowledged, rarely requited. But, my lord, we shall do the king great wrong, to judge him by common rules, or ordinary examples ; for, seeing his Majesty hath greatly inriched and advanced those that have but pretended his service, no man needs to doubt of his goodness, towards those that shall perform any thing worthy reward. Nay, the not taking knowledge of those of his own vassals, that have done him wrong, is more to be lamented, than the relinquishing of those that do him right, is to be suspected. I am, therefore, my good lord, held to my resolution, by these two, besides the former : the first, that God would never have blessed him with so many years, and in so many actions, yea, in all his actions, had he paid his honest servants with evil for good. The second, where your lordship tells me, that I will be sorry for not following your advice, I pray your lordship to believe, that I am no way subject to the common sorrowing of worldly men, this maxim of Plato being true : dolores omnes ex amore animi erga corpus nascuntur. But, for my body, my mind values it at nothing.
Couns. What is it then you hope for, or seek ?
Just. Neither riches, nor honour, or thanks; but I only seek to satisfy his Majesty (which I would have been glad to have done in matters of more importance) that I have lived, and will die an ho nest man.
The Author's Epitaph, made by himself.
EVEN such is time, which takes in trust
Our youth, and joys, and all we have,
Which in the dark and silent grave,
ACCUSATION AND IMPEACHMENT
JOHN LORD FINCH,
BARON OF FORDWICH,
Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England, by the House of Commons.
Printed Anno Domini 1640. Quarto, containing twelve pages.
, , &c. hath traiterously and wickedly endeavoured to subvert the fundamental laws, and established government of the realm of England, and, instead thereof, to introduce an arbitrary tyrannical government against law; which he hath declared by traiterous and wicked words, counsels, opinions, judgments, practices, and actions.
II. That, in pursuance of those his traiterous and wicked purposes, he did, in the third and fourth years of his Majesty's reign, or one of them, being then speaker of the commons house of parliament, contrary to the commands of the house, then assembled and sitting, deny and hinder the reading of some things, which the said house of commons required to be read for the safety of the king and kingdom, and preservation of the religion of this realm ; and did forbid all the members of the house to speak; and said, that, if any did offer to speak, he would rise and go away; and said, nothing should be then done in the house; and did offer to rise and go away ; and did thereby, and otherwise, as much as in him lay, endeavour to subvert the ancient and undoubted rights and course of parliaments.
III, That he, being of his Majesty's council, at the justice-seat held for the county of Essex, in the month of October, in the tenth year of his Row Majesty's reign, at Strafford-Langton, in the same county, being then of his Majesty's council, in that service did practise, by unlawful means, to enlarge the forest of that county many miles beyond the known bounds thereof, as they had been enjoyed near three hundred years, contrary to the law, and to the charter of the liberties of the forest, and other charters, and divers acts of parliament; and, for effecte ing the same, did unlawfully cause and procure undue returns to be made of jurors, and great numbers of other persons, who were unsworn, to be joined to them of the jury; and threatened and awed the said jurors to give a verdict for the king; and, by unlawful means, did sure
prise the county, that they might not make defence; and did use several menacing wicked speeches and actions to the jury, and others, for obtaining his unjust purpose aforesaid; and, after a verdict obtained for the king in the month of April following (at which time the said justice-seat was called by adjournment) the said John Lord Finch, then Lord Chief Justice of his Majesty's Court of Common Pleas, was one of the judges assistants for them, and continued, by further unlawful and unjust practices, to maintain and confirm the said verdict; and did then and there, being assistant to the justice in eyre, advise the refusal of the traverse offered by the county, and all their evidences, but only what they should verbally deliver ; which was refused accordingly,
IV. That he, about the month of November, 1635, being then Lord Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas, and having taken an oath for the due administration of justice to his Majesty's liege people according to the laws and statutes of the realm, contrived an opinion in hæc verba : When the good and safety, &c. and did subscribe his name to that opinion, and by persuasions, threats, and false suggestions, did solicit and procure Sir John Bramston, then and now Lord Chief Justice of England; Sir Humfrey Davenport, knight, Lord Chief Baron of his Majesty's Court of Exchequer ; Sir Richard Hutton, knight, late one of the justices of his Majesty's Court of Common Pleas; Sir John Denham, knight, late one of the barons of his Majesty's Court of Exchequer; Sir William Jones, knight, late one of the justices of the said Court of King's Bench ; Sir George Crouke, then and now one of the judges of the said Court of King's Bench; Sir Thomas Trevor, knight, then and now one of the barons of the Exchequer ; Sir George Vernon, knight, late one of the justices of the said Court of Common Pleas; Sir Robert Barkley, knight, then and now one of the justices of the said Court of King's Bench ; Sir Francis Crawley, knight, then and now one of the justices of the said Court of Common Pleas : Sir Richard Weston, knight, then and now one of the barons of the said Court of Exchequer, some or one of them to subscribe with their names the said opinion presently, and injoined them severally, some or one of them, secrecy upon their allegiance, V. That he the
then being Lord Chief Justice of the said Court of Common Pleas, subscribed an extra-judicial opinion in answer to questions in a letter from his Majesty, in hæc verba, &c.
And that he contrived the said questions, and procured the said letter from his Majesty ; and, whereas the said Justice Hutton and Justice Crooke declared to him their opinions to the contrary; yet he required and pressed them to subscribe, upon his promise that he would let his Majesty know the truth ef their opinions, notwithstanding such subscriptions, which nevertheless he did uɔt make known to his Majesty, but delivered the same to his Majesty as the opinion of all the judges.
VI. That he, being Lord Chief Justice of the said Court of Common Pleas, delivered his opinion in the Exchequer-chamber against Master Hampden in the case of ship-money ; that he the said Master
Hampden upon the matter and substance of the case was chargeable with the money then in question; a copy of which proceedings the Commons will deliver to your lordships, and did sollicit and threaten the said judges, some or one of them, to deliver their opinions in like manner against Master Hampden; and, after the said Baron Denham had delivered his opinion for Master Hampden, the said Lord Finch repaired purposely to the said Baron Denham's chamber in Serjeants, Inn, in Fleet-street, and, after the said Master Baron Denbam had declared and expressed his opinion, urged him to retract the said opinion; which he refusing, was threatened by the said Lord Finch, because he refused.
VII. That he, then being Lord Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas, declared and published in the Exchequer-chamber, and western circuit where he went judge, that the king's right to ship-money, as aforesaid, was so inherent a right to the crown, as an act of parliament could not take away; and with divers malicious speeches inveighed against and threatened all such as refused to pay ship-money; all which opinions, contained in the fourth, fifth, and sixth articles, are
against the law of the realm, the subjects right of property, and con- trary to forner resolutions in parliament, and to the petition of right;
which said resolutions and petition of right were well known to him, and resolved and enacted in parliament when he was speaker of the Commons house of parliament.
VIII. That he, being Lord Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas, did take the general practice of that court to his private chamber; and that he sent warrants into all or many shires of England to several men, as to Francis Giles of the county of Devon, Robert Benson of the county of York, attornies of that court, and to divers others, to release all persons arrested on any outlawry about forty shillings fees, whereas none by law so arrested can be bailed or released, without a supersedeas under seal, or reversal.
IX. That he, being Lord Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas, upon a pretended suit begun in Michaelmas term in the eleventh year of of his Majesty's reign, although there was no plaint or declaraiion against him, did notoriously, and contrary to all law and justice, by threats, menaces, and imprisonment, compel Thomas Laurence, an executor, to pay nineteen pounds twelve shillings ; and likewise caused Richard Barnard, being only overseer of the last will of that testator, to he arrested for the payment of the said money, contrary to the advice of the rest of the judges of that court, and against the known and ordinary course of justice, and his said oath and knowledge, and denied his Majesty's subjects the common and ordinary justice of this realm, as to Master Limericke, and others; and, for his private benefit, endamaged and ruined the estates of very many of his Majesty's subjects, contrary to his oath and knowledge.
X. That he, being Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England, and sworn one of his Majesty's Privy Council, did, by false and malicious slanders, labour to incense his Majesty against parliaments, and did frame and advise the publishing the declaration, after the dissolution of the last parliament.
All which treasons and misdemeanors, above-mentioned, were done and committed by the said John Lord Finch, Baron of Fordwich, Lord Keeper of the great Seal of England ; and thereby he, the said Lord Finch, bath traitorously, and contrary to his allegiance, laboured to lay imputations and scandals upon his Majesty's government, and to alie nate the hearts of his Majesty's liege people from his Majesty, and to set a division between them, and to ruin and destroy his Majesty's realm of England ; for which they do impeach him, the said Lord Finch, Baron of Fordwich; Lord Keeper of the great Seal of England, of high treason, against our Sovereign Lord the King, his crown, and dignity, of the misdemeanors above-mentioned. And the said Commons by protestation, saving to themselves the liberty of exhibiting at any time hereafter, any other accusation, or impeachment, against the said Lord Finch, and also of replying to the answer; that the said John, Lord Finch, shall make unto the said articles, or to any of them, and of offer, ing proof of the premisses, or any of their impeachments or accusations that shall be exhibited hy them, as the case shall, according to the course of parliaments, require, do pray, that the said John, Lord Finch, Baron of Fordwich, Lord Keeper of the great Seal of England, may be put to answer all, and every the premisses, and such proceedings, examinations, trials, and judgments, as may be upon every of thein had, and used, as is agreeable to law and justice,
LORD DIG BY’S SPEECH,
HOUSE OF COMMONS,
To the Bill for Triennial Parliaments, January 19, 1640,
be made; I hope there will be no occasion of that, but that we shall concur all unanimously in what concerneth all so universally.
Only, Sir, by way of preparation, to the end, that we may not be discouraged in this great work by difficulties that may appear in the