Speaker Lenthall's response

Posted by Tory Historian Monday, May 18, 2009 , ,

When King Charles I entered the House of Commons on January 4, 1842 1642 (shame!) to arrest five members who had criticized him in what he felt was a treacherous manner, Speaker William Lenthall, not known until then for his particular courage or ability to control the House sat in his Chair, looked around, noted that the "birds" had, indeed, "flown" and said to the King:

May it please your Majesty, I have neither eyes to see nor tongue to speak in this place but as the House is pleased to direct me, whose servant I am here.
Which is, indeed, what the Speaker is supposed to be. The rest of his career seems to have been somewhat mixed.


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