[The king's manifest in favour of the House of Palatine]

His majesty's manifest touching the Palatine

Charles, by the grace of God, king of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, defender of the faith etc., to all to whom this present manifest shall come, greeting.

To the end that the endeavours of our late dear father King James of blessed memory and our own proceedings since his death in the cause of our dear and only sister, brother-in-law and nephews, electors and princes Palatine of the Rhine may not be forgotten or pretendedly unknown, wherein we have studied and laboured nothing more than the peace of Christendom and the avoiding the effusion of innocent blood by seeking the restitution and re-establishment of the Electoral House of Palatine in their ancient rights, dignities and possessions within the empire, out of which they have been by violence and force of arms and other undue proceedings expelled and banished, contrary to the ancient laws and constitutions of the sacred empire, we have thought fit for the vindication of our own honour to call to mind and to publish to all the world both a summary relation of our actions and endeavours past and our present resolutions in the same cause.

It cannot be unknown to all the princes and estates of Europe, and more particularly to those who have had any interest or relation to the public affairs of Germany, how both ourself and our father have during these 20 years past by many and several embassages, treaties and other negotiations to our great expense and charges both with the late Emperor Ferdinand, [Philip IV], king of Spain, and other princes and estates of the empire, endeavoured by all friendly and treatable means to procure the restitution and re-establishment of our said dear sister, brother-in-law and nephews in their ancient rights and possessions as the only and possible way to settle a good and firm peace in the empire, and consequently with all princes interested therein, without which it is impossible to expect or hope for a good, durable and honest pacification of those troubles which have already almost rent, consumed and involved all the princes of Christendom in a most bloody and destructive war. And for a clear demonstration of our sincere intentions, not only our own pious inclination and care of the public peace has induced us to omit diverse occasions whereby we might by such power as God has put into our hands have prevented the violence and oppressions used to our said sister and nephews, but we have been led on and invited thereto by diverse promises, assurances and several letters both from the late emperor and king of Spain and other usurpers of the inheritances of the Electoral House of Palatine, that they would at last in contemplation of our mediation hearken and incline to a just and honest peace by the restitution of the estates and dignities of our dear sister and nephews, whereby we have been drawn not only to pass by our own and the public interest and to forbear to engage our arms in so just a cause, but also have procured by our father's and our authority the withdrawing and disbanding of the forces of [Peter Ernest], count von Mansfeld out of the Palatinate and advanced diverse truces and cessations of hostility or defence only to prepare the way of amicable composition according to the hopes and promises to that end given us, and particularly have caused the surrender and deposition of some places of strength into the hands of the late Infants of Spain upon reciprocal assurances of a final pacification or restitution.

But what effects all these our peaceable and Christian endeavours have produced and how all our pious negotiations have been either delayed or deluded thereby, and by process of time to root and establish the usurpations of the House of Palatine and our patience and piety thereby abused, is so manifest by the continued oppression of our said dear sister and nephews that we are forced to protest that there has nothing succeeded either to our desires or hopes but a resolution of despair of ever obtaining by the ways of justice, treaty or amity that which has been so often promised to and expected of the lovers of Christian peace.

Notwithstanding, we have lately received advice from our dear uncle [Christian IV], king of Denmark, that at last by his mediation and procurement, [Ferdinand II], present emperor, and [Maximilian I], duke of Bavaria have agreed to a treaty to be held at the diet at Ratisbonne upon 5 May last past for the reviewing and the resettling of the controversies of the House of Palatine as a preparation and inducement to a general peace and amnesty through the whole empire. And that he, with some of the electors of the empire, is accepted as mediator of the said cause and has received strong and pregnant assurances of a better inclination and disposition toward the re-establishment of the electoral family in their rights and dignities. And to that end has procured convenient, safe conduct from the emperor to our nephew and his brethren freely to come in person or to send their deputies to that diet at the time and place appointed, with all other clauses requisite for their safeties going, abiding or coming from there, and there to plead the justice of their own cause. And that in prosecution thereof he has instructed and dispatched his ambassadors to assist either in person or by the deputies of our nephews at the said treaty of pacification, and has defined us herein to comply with him by sending our ambassadors qualified and instructed to the same purpose of procuring a good and settled peace within the empire, according to the intimation of the princes electors signified to him by their letters, thereby defining us to assist in the present assembly at Ratisbonne.

To which end, our nephew [Charles Louis], Prince Elector Palatine, having resolved by our counsel and advice to send his deputies according to the invitation and hopes intimated of a good issue to be expected by the amicable way of treaty and composure,

We have also thought fit not to be wanting to so good a design so concurrent to our own and the desires of so many princes and in some hope of better fruits than hitherto all our endeavours have produced, have resolved to make this our last trial by the way of treaties and to send our ambassador to the emperor and other princes in the said diet assembled, and to that purpose have given him full power and instructions to contribute all our authority to the procurement and settlement of a good and blessed peace by the re-establishment and restitution of the possessions and dignities of our said dear sister, nephews and electoral family, without which no peace can be either honest or secure. Hereby exhorting and defining all other kings, princes and states, our friends, allies and confederates, who shall either be present at the said diet or shall have their ambassadors or deputies there, that they will be assisting to the justice of so good a cause and to so great a blessing as the restoring of peace to the almost desolate estate of Germany.

But because we may have just cause to doubt by many experiences of our former endeavours that the issue and fruit of this meeting may not be answerable to our just expectation, but rather that it may produce contrary effects to the prejudice of the justice and rights of our said nephews and their family (which God forbid), we are hereby forced to protest against all acts, sentences, conclusions or determinations whatsoever which shall or may be had, made or declared either in confirmation of the oppressions and usurpations past or any additions thereto for the future as invalid and of no power or effect.

In which case (being contrary to our desire and expectation), we also further protest and declare that we will not abandon neither our own nor the public interest, nor the cause, rights and just pretences of our dear sister and nephews and other princes and states involved within their oppressions, but that we will use and employ all such force and power wherewith God has enabled us, both by our own arms and the help and assistance of all our allies and friends, to vindicate our own honour, the public peace and redress of the injuries, usurpations and oppressions of our said dearest sister and nephews and their illustrious family.

And hereby as we do profess to use all our endeavour and power to promote a happy and defined peace for the consolation of the distressed empire, so we do appeal to almighty God, the inspector of the hearts of all princes, and to the world, the spectator of all our just actions, that we will be innocent before God and the world of all the evils that may ensue, if these our last hopes shall be delayed or abused.

  1. NLS, Ry.1.2.59 (1), 1-5 or NLS, L.C.3332 (12), 1-14.