Report On the Records of the City of Exeter. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1916.
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The Virginia Company.
L. 167. July 15, 1615.—Richard Martyn (fn. 1) writes to the Mayor, stating that he has presented the Patent of High Steward of Exeter to the Earl of Suffolk (see page 76), adding: "I may not forgett to returne unto you the humble thancks of our poore Councell and Company of Verginia for your bouutifull returne of ther lottery booke, (fn. 2) which as it shewes your charity and love to honourable and relligious actions, so hath it done good in example and advantaged our purpose in procuring more adventures. The coldness and backwardness of other places and persons in returning ther books hath made us once more to deferr the drawing out till November peremptorily by God's leave. Meanetime I reserve your adventures amounting to 97l. in my hands because by a bill under my hand I have given to my brother assurance to redeliver the money if by any unknowne (or unfeard) mischance ye lottery should not be drawen, which I make no doubt at ye time appointed shalbe done—with right and order to every one's satisfaction and to ye benefitt of your adventurers, who best deserve the best prizes."
Exeter College, Oxford.
L. 172. Exeter College, Jan. 15, s.a. [but should be 1619, as Mr. Martin is Mayor].—John Prideaux, Rector of Exeter College, (fn. 3) writes to the Mayor: "Wee understand by Mr. Farington of your exceeding forwardnesse to your citizens in the behalf of our colledge, for which howsoever it speed wee must ever acknowledge ourselves bound unto you. Two thynges wee heare are objected as hinderances—our unwillingnesse to preferre any of your citty in our house and corruption in the admitting. (fn. 4) But we request those that urge the first to take notice that Dr. Baskervill, (fn. 5) Dr. Hakewell, (fn. 6) Dr. Vilvayne (fn. 7) and some others of good note were Exceter men. If Exceter men succeeded them not it is not the aversenesse of our societye but the backwardnesse and negligence of such as come short of their parts, or will not use the meanes. Noe Exceter man (I am sure) hath just cause to complayne in this kind, nor I trust ever shall." He denies the charge of corruption, and will leave his place if it is proved. He hints that the city might do something for the College, as Mr. Peryam (fn. 8) and Sir John Aclande (see L. 100) have shewed you the way." (fn. 9)
"Right Worthy,—It may seeme strange unto you that Exceter Colledge should now after 300 years sithens it was built become a sutor to the City of Exceter to be at length finished. Wee confesse this might have been thought of sooner, but (as wee are persuaded) there was never heretofore the like opportunity and assurance of speeding. Wee neede not use as motives our Founders the Bishops of that Sea, our Colledge bearing the name of your Citye, the multitude of worthy men it hath bred received from you and returned furnished to doe service in Church and Country. These things (we are sure) you account and esteeme as somwhat. But if it please you further to take notice that Exceter Colledge besides the revenues it possesseth (meaner in regard of the company then any other Colledge) is also the most unseemely for buildings and scanted for lodgings, wee cannot thinke but that out of your worthy and religious disposition you would doe somewhat to bringe it to an uniformity which never before this tyme could be hoped for, and now by your good meanes may conveniently be accomplished. One vacant place is already of late supplyed by the religious liberality of our worthy Benefactor Mr. John Periam to the glory of of God, the grace of our Colledge and . . . further is now undertaken by another of our countrymen, whose work will make him shortly knowne to be never here after forgotten. A third space is (as it were) by divine providence left for you, which if God so move your harts to continue to the rest of the buildings we shall at length see Exceter Colledge in a square as other colledges are, and pray for the Honoured Corporation of the City of Exeter amongst the rest of our worthy Benefactors, which we much desire. If God shall put in your hearts that this earnest suite of ours find acceptance amongst you, Mr. Isaiah Farrington, (fn. 10) a learned, sincere and truly regligious man, once a worthy member of our Colledge, will be at hand to informe for the best effecting of it. OUrselves upon any notice of your good inclinations will be ready to satisfie all doubts and give all further content. The thinge that wee desire cannot be more for us then for you and your children, to whom it will be a comfort and creditt in future ages that they lodge in those buildings which their Auncestors have founded. Our successours will recount with thankfulllness what the City of Exceter hath done for Exceter Colledge. The portion so alloted will be a blessinge to the rest of your store, it will come home againe into your bosoms when you little thinke of it. The Lord that hath made us thus confident and given so good occasions through other men's liberality to sollicite you in this businesse will (wee trust) direct your respects to such a publique good rather then to private excuses and prosper that worthy Corporation for which we shall never cease to pay.—Your very lovinge ffreindes,
In L. 184, Lympstone, Oct. 27, 1618, Isaiah Farrington writes thanking the Mayor [Thomas Marten] for his "kinde affection towards Exeter Collidge," and elcoses a letter (L. 185) to be delivered to the Chamber.
In L. 185, Lympstone, Oct. 27, 1618, Isaiah Farrington asks the Chamber for assistance to increase the buildings of Exeter College, "urging the meanness of their maintenance, the want of Form of their buildings, their want of room, &c." "It cannot be denied but that God hath blessed many of you with a great increase of worldly estate. All is not yours (for you are made but Stewards of it)." "All the good that we can hope for from our earthly Treasures doth consist in the good use of them; and what better use can you respect than the good of learning, the good of religion, the good of the Church, the good of the common welth, yea, the good of yourselfs also, some of whose posterity may, as it is not improbable, repe the benefit of this." "Labored I have to stirre you up unto this worke who ame by birth a citizen, by affection a citizen, in hart a citizen, and doe desire the greatest honor of your citie that yourselfs can desire. With me in this petition doe joyne Learning, Religion, the sound profession of the gospel, which papists slander. The Church, the Commonwealth, the angell protector of your citie, the publicke good—all these doe intreat you that in the performance of this worke you would honour God, your countrie, your citie, your posteritie, all which will be honored by it."
In L. 186 (undated), is a speech made by the Mayor to the Chamber on the occasion of reading the foregoing letter (L. 185), in which he refers to the letter of Dr. Prideaux, the Rector of the College (L. 187), cites the examples of Mr. Peryam and Sir John Acland, who had become liberal benefactors of the College, and exhorts the citizens to give to such a pious work some part of the wealth which God has given them. "Yf we prove unfaithful yt is to be doubted that the judgment of the unjust steward will light on us, from which God shilde us."
In L. 497, Exeter College, May 13, 1734, the Rector, Joseph Atwell, (fn. 11) the Sub-Rector and the Dean of Exeter College, certify that Mr. John Warren was elected Hebrew Reader in Exeter College for one year from Michaelmas, 1732, (fn. 12) with an order from the said John Warren to Mr. Thomas Heath, (fn. 13) Treasurer of St. John's Hospital, to pay the 12l. due to him to Mr. Laurence Horner. (fn. 14)
L. 173. Feb. 3rd, 1615–16.—John Martin [Chamberlain] notifies William Martin [Recorder, page 55], "concerning our busyness agaynst Mrs. Tyckell." (fn. 15)
"All this is delyvered to Mr. Rich. Martyn, who wold have moved herein on tuseday yf my L. Chauncelor [Lord Ellesmere] had bene well as he is not, for he hath kept his Chamber synce ffryday the 26 of January."
"I have used my best meanes to Mr. Underwood, who is next to my Lord Cheefe Baron [Laurence Tanfield], who willeth me to brynge Mr. Ducke with me to his Lordship on Monday, and in the meane tyme he will move his Lordship for our cause. Our assyses at Exeter begyns on thursday the 7 of Marche, and Mr. Underwood wylled to wryte to Mr. Mayor that the judges will dyne with hym that daye, and bad me depend on yt upon his word," and "by the next conveyent (sic) messenger I will enforme you more at large."
L. 190, 1619, endorsed: "Mrs. Prouz, widow, her demands from the Chamber for Chamberleyn Prouz, his office, 1619 [or 1629 ? ]." (fn. 16) being a note of money due to him drawn up by his nephew Richard Prouz [see L. 389], in which he says inter alia:—
"My ante desires your worship to geve her allowance of the fees (16l. 8s. 0>d.) belonging to her husband's office for the time he exersised the place which was a yeare and a halfe unpayd to the time of his death." She claims also repayment of disbursements made by him on the city's behalf:—
In L. 280 (undated but circ. 1624) is a presentment of the names of the sureties for William Prowz, who desires to be elected Chamberlain. The sureties (nine in number) offer to be bound in various amounts, the total being 900l. in addition "my particuler bond eyther in 500 or 1,000l. at the Chamber's pleasure."
In L. 389, Tower Hill, London, July 26, 1641, his son William Prouze writes to the Mayor desiring the return of the bonds given by his uncle Mr. John Prouze and his (John's) son Richard [see L. 190], when William Prouze (the father) became Chamberlain of Exeter, "which place he did not longe enioy," adding: "My father hath bine dead some thirteene yeares (I take it)," and "I would not have any blurr to lie upon my father and upon his whose Ancestors have undergone all offices in your Ancient Corporation and have done good service in your Citie and for the Contrie."
In L. 280 (undated) are the names of six sureties for Richard Tickell [who was Chamberlain from April 21, 1629, till April, 1636]. "Too of those sixe to bee bounde in 250l. a pece and myselffe to be bounde in 1,500li.—Richard Tickell."
In D. 1754, April 14, 1636, are Articles of Agreement between the Chamber and John Chrewkerne (fn. 17) concerning the execution of the office of Chamberlain by the said John, with his signature "John Crewkerne."
In D. 1788, Nov. 3, 1691, is a discharge from the Chamber to Edward Mallett from the office of Chamberlain. (fn. 18)
In D. 1791, March 20, 1693, are Articles of Agreement between the Chamber and Samuel Izacke [son of the historian Richard] on his appointment to the Chamberlainship, (fn. 19) and in D. 1792, D. 1793 (March 20, 1693) Richard and Samuel Izacke each give a bond in 200l. to the Chamber for the performance of covenants of certain indentures of the same date.
Maps and Plots.
L. 182 (undated, ? circ. 1630).—Robert Sherwode writes to the Chamber concerning maps and platts made by him "for the better preservation of your Lande dyverslie and have delyvered for your use to this worshippfull Place Againste Rycharde Ewyas Brewer (2), Richard Payne Brewer in Exilond, (1) the land of Copleston of Instowe and the Mylles Leate of Newe Mylles, against John Levermore (2) in defence of his followed."
In L. 618, 619, 620 are 3 coloured maps of the City of Exeter and the suburbs, one of them dated 1633 and the others apparently of about the same date. [See Cotton Guild, p. ix. For map (1587) see Ibid. at end.]
In L. 617 (undated) is a plan of a breakfast table set with Green and Bohea tea equipages at either end, bunns in silver in the centre, coffee, chocolate and toast (silver), hot buttered rolls, butter pattes, and bread and butter with China plates, knives and knapkings at the side.
L. 618 (endorsed "A Mapp of ye Cittie") roughly coloured corresponds in extent with the map in Freeman Frontispiece (i.e. circ. 1570, Bousfield in Trans. Devon. Association, XXV (1893), p. 11), which was engraved by Remigius Hogenberg in 1587—See Lysons, vi, 178; H. E. Reynolds, p. 1. It differs considerably from the map (circ. 1757) in Izacke, frontispiece; Freeman, p. 97.
L. 619.—A coloured map of the South Eastern section of the City corresponding with Hooker's map of the Cathedral precincts in Book 52, i.e. Hooker's Exeter, p. 61, with a note: "That the Southeaste parte of the Cittyes walkes are defended with 4 Towres, because that part is weakest (and also, it is towards the See port), which is but 3 myles distante one of the cheafest of which Towers being next to the South gate hath Broken yn."
L. 620.—An unfinished map of the city showing the walls and towers, endorsed: Aprill 29, 1633: This Mappe was shewed unto Robert Sherwoode, Marchant, at the time of his Examinacion at the Execution of a Commission at the Cittie of Exeter between the King's Majestie's Attorney Generall, Complainant, and the Mayor, Bayliffes and Commonaltie of the Cittie of Exeter, Defendants, before us, Rober (sic) Northl—."
L. 195, July 5, 1620.—Robert Maxwell and other grantees of forfeited recognizances of Alehouse keepers (fn. 20) write to the Chamber and Mr. Henry Crewkerne concerning forfeited recognizances, appointing four, three or two of the Chamber and the said Mr. Crewkerne to be a committee to examine alehouse keepers and to deal with them for the forfeitures due on their recognizances.
Loan for the King of Bohemia.
L. 196. March 13, 1621.—Achatius Dohne (fn. 21) to the Mayor &c. :—" My very worthie freindes,—I have receaved from you by the handes of Mr. John Rouse (fn. 22) (sic), one of the Aldermen of your Cittie that proporcion which you have been pleased to contribute to the affaires of the King and Queen of Bohemia, wherein you have so farre shewed your affeccions for the of your Soveraignes royall issue and the furtherance of their iust occasions as all Religious and honest men will approve and applaude yow for it, and I an assure yow of their Majesties gratious and thankfull acceptance thereof when by my letters I shall acquaint them with it. In the meane time I pray yow receave in good part this my acknowledgment and thankes for your favours and for your further satisfaccion I have sent you an acquittance in the usuall forme for the somme of three hundreth sixcty-seven poundes. And so I committ yow to the protection of the Almightie and rest,
The acquittance, which is dated March 12, 1620, is signed by Achatius Dona as Ambassador Extraordinary, and Abraham Williams as Agent for the King of Bohemia, acknowledges the receipt of 367l. "being mony contributed by way of loan from the Citty of Exeter for the service of the King and Queen of Bohemia [i.e. Princess Elizabeth, L. 161, page 90] in defence of the Palatinat."
L. 213. Whitehall, March 31, 1622.—The Lords of the Council write the Mayor &c. :—" After our verie heartie commendacions. What indeavors his Majestie hath used by Treatie and by all faire and amicable waies to recover the Patrimonie of his Children in Germanie now for the most part withholden from them by force is not unknowne to all his Loving subiects, since his Majestie was pleased to communicate unto them in Parliament his whole proceeding in that business. Of which Treatie his hopes being att Last frustrate he was inforced to take other resolucions mainely to recover that by the sword which by other meanes he saw noe Likelihood to compasse. And his Majestie was confident that in a cause soe neerely concerning him and his children's interest his people in Parliament would have yeeled him a Liberall and speedie supplie. But the same unexpectedly not succeeding his Majestie is constrained in a case of soe great necessity to trie the dutifull and forward affections of his Loving subiects in another waie as his Predecessors upon Like occasions have done in former times by propounding a voluntarie contribucion. And therefore as wee doubt not but yourselves will herein readily follow the good liberall example of such as have beene before us which wee assure you his Majestie will take in verie gracious part, soe his pleasure is and wee doe hereby authorise and require you to call before you all the knights, gentlemen, subsidymen and all others of known ability in the City and move them to join cheerfully in this contribution, ffor the better advancement of which service you are not to call too many att one time, but to take the answers and offers severally, calling in the persons unto you one by one; ffor the Collectors wee doubt not but yow will conceive how requisite it wilbe to make choice of meete and sufficient persons who are to call for the monies that shalbe given, soe as the same may be all paid in by the 30th of June next, praying you to returne unto us by the 10th of June next a Schedule of the names of such as shall contribute and the summes offered by them, that his majestie may take notice of the good inclination of his subiects to a cause of such importance as likewise of such others (if anie bee) that out of obstinacie or disaffection shall refuse to contribute herein, wee bid you verie hartely farewell.—Your verie loving friends. (Here follow 15 original signatures.)
L. 228, 1622.—The Chamber write to the Lords of the Council :—" Right honourable and our very good Lords : Our dutyes humbly Remembered, we receyved your Lordshipps' Letters of the last of March [L. 213, 214]. In performance of which our dutye to his Majestie and your Lordshipps' comand we have (with as much speed as wee might) called before us the Subsidie men and other such Inhabitants of this City and County and have done our best endeavors in movinge and perswadinge them to to this contrybucion, and have by this bearer, Mr. William Prouz (sic) sent unto your Lordshipps the names of such as have cherefully joyned with us herein, together with the particular sumes by them and our selves given, amountynge to the some of ccxxviijl. xvijs. iiijd., which money we have ordered the said Mr. Prouz presently to paye where your Lordshipps shalbe pleased to assigne him. Our harty desire was to have advanced this some hygher for his Majestie, but wee could not, by reason of great losses which our marchants have receaved by the Turkes, ffrench and others at sea, by bankrupts, decaye of clothinge and declynation of trade [L. 199, p. 108], by meanes whereof there are fallen upon us whole familyes which wee are enforced to releeve, which just Reasons we humbly desire your Lordshipps to take into your honorable consideracions."
"Also accordinge to your Lordshipps' comand wee have sent your Lordshipps the names of such Subsidye men as have not joyned with us in this contrybucion, and thus pray wee your Lordshipps ffavorably to accept of theis our dewtyfull endevurs. Wee doe with all humblences leave your Lordshipps to the happye proteccon of the Almighty."
In L. 229, July 2, 1622, Wm. Prouz writes to the Mayor, &c.:— "I am ordered to-morrow to present your letters to the Lords, with the Schedules of names, from whom I shall receive order where to paie the same, which wilbe to Sir Robte. Pye, which when I have received and paid, shall occasion me to require talie. I will also deliver your letter to the Lord President and attend his farder directions to the partes theroef."
In L. 231, July 6, 1622, William Prouz reports to the Mayor:—" I delivered your letter and Schedule to the Lords upon Wednesdaie, as theie began to sitt in Councell, who referred me to paie the money to Sir Ro. Pye, (fn. 23) which accordingelie yesterdaie I did, and have thte tailie for the whole some, viz., 228l. 17s. 4d."
Decay of Trade.
L. 199. London, Oct. 13, 1621.—John Levermore [see page 104] writes to the Mayor, Walter Burrough (fn. 24) that "yesterday wee had order from the Clerk of the Counsell to geve in (in wrytinge) our reasons for decay of trade and want to money, which wee have donne this daye, being commanded to attend the Lords at there next sitting, (fn. 25) at what tyme wee shall know their further pleasure."
In L. 200, Exon (sic), Oct. 27, 1621, John Levermore writes to the Mayor : "On Thursday last wee had a full debatinge of the matter for the decay of trade and want of money at the Counsell Chamber at Whithall before my Lords the Lord President, my Lord Carye, (fn. 26) Sir Thomas Edmunds and Sir Ric. Weston (beinge apoynted comyttees (fn. 27) for this Bussines) and after they had (particularly) conferred with us touchinge the Reasons which wee had proponded, they commanded us to joyne ourselves altogether and to consult of some remedyes, and to bringe them the wrytinge against Wensday next under our hande. The lords rednes and facylity to hire us doth geve us great hope that this Business will produce much good to the Commonwelth, which pray God grant one of them the west parts did export great quantyties of money into Bretteyne (as they arre informed), and I could wish our merchants to take care how they trust some Londoners to much about ther bussines in that kinde, for I suppose they are complained of."
L. 201. (Endorsed Nov. 9, 1621.)—John Levermore writes to the Mayor:—" The last week I certified you that one (sic) Wednesdaye wee were to bringe in our oppynyons (to the Concell Borde) touchinge Remedyes for the decay of trade and want of money: which wee dyd. And yet wee are demanded to attend the Comytteys which are now busyed about other Business. The Kinge beinge at Whithall, last nyght sate in Consell with the Lords, where my Lord Dygby (fn. 28) was also, and this morninge wee had newes that the parlament wilbe the xxth of this November." (fn. 29)
In L. 351 (undated) is a reference to "the dednes of trade these thre last yeares, more espetially in the yeare of God's visitation, (fn. 30) wherein was almost no trading."
L. 202. Nov. 14, 1621.—A note (fn. 31) of such thinges as were found in the pockett of john Dowes [or Douse, i.e. John Sweet, (fn. 32) "a Jesuit of eminence." Cal. Dom. 1619–1623, pp. 311, 320, Nov. 19, Dec. 11, 1621] the "xiiij. daye of november, 1621," and also of things found in his chamber in Alexander Snelgrove's house; i.e. a missal, a red box with wafer cakes, a MS. of questions and answers concerning the Protestnt religion, a chalice, 3 little boxes of oil, and some bowls and pictures, one of them with a black forrel. [Printed in H. Foley iv, 648.]
In L. 205, Nov. 24, 1621, John Prouse writes to the Mayor: I did no sooner receyve your letters by Mr. Recorder's man but I presently delyvered that which you sent to the Lords of the Counsell to Mr. Secretary [i.e. Sire George Calvert], understanding before by Sir Clement Edmonds that the Lordes would not sitt tomorowe. His honor promised me to make the Lords acquainted therewith, and I will attend hym for thier Resolution. Wishing that you had not omitted in that letter the speeche of Risdon (fn. 33) reported by his boyee, (fn. 34) which would have bene wondrous materiall, but as I shall find oportunitie I will urge the same, and so will acquaint you what successe your goode service shall receyve. [Printed in Oliver, Coll. Hist., p. 6; Foley, iv, 650.]
In L. 206, dated "this last daie of the Terme," endorsed "1621," John Prouse writes to the Mayor: "I was this evening with Mr. Secretary for aunsweare of your letter touching Sweete, who told me that the lords did not sitt since I delyvered the same, but to-morrow is their sitting appoynted, after which he promisethe to make me partake of their Resolution, with which I will spedely acquaint you."
In L. 207, Whitehall, Nov. 29, 1621, the Lords of the Council issue a warrant to John Poulter and Leonard Joyner, (fn. 35) two of the messengers of His Majesties Chamber to receive from the Mayor of Exeter the person of John Sweete. [Printed in Oliver, Coll. Biogr., 201; also Oliver, Coll. Hist., p. 7; Foley iv, 650.]
In L. 208, Whitehall, Nov. 29, 1621, the lords of the Council inform the Chamber that they have received their letter of the 19th and desire them to deliver up John Sweete, "supposed to be a Jesuit," apprehended by them, as well as the Examinations taken by them concerning him, and "the many superstitious things found about him" (see L. 202). [Printed in Oliver Coll. Hist., p. 7; Foley iv, 651.]
In L. 210, London, Nov. 30, 1621, Ignatius Jurdain writes to the Mayor: "After my hartie comendations &c., It may please you to be advertised that Mr. Prowse showed me of late a letter which he receaved from you touching a Jesuite and certain papists who were taken at Exeter, as also he said he had receaved a letter thearin directed to the Lords of the Counsaile, which he told me he had delivered unto Mr. Secretary Calvert. So that I doubt not but he will writ you their answer."
In L. 211 (endorsed "1621"), Richard Reynell (fn. 36) writes to the Mayor and Justices of Exeter that he has received their letter and thereby perceives the great care they have of the safety of the State and of the city." He will do his best to help them. "Whereupon you shall have speedy advertisement thereof. I returne you young Baggot's letter agayn as not fitt ot be delivered by my servant." He adds as a postscript: "There is one Peter Comins in Morchard Bishop, a very rich man, whose sonne is one of the constables there, and some others of that name, and your letter mencioneth only Comins." [Partly printed in Oliver, Coll. Hist., p. 8; Foley iv. 653.]
In L. 212 (endorsed "about 1621"), Richard Reynell writes to the Mayor and Justices of Exeter that he has received their second letter "of the 19th of this instant November," and perceives that they have written to the Lords and that they have examined another of Baggot's sons, adding: "I wish I had sooner known which Comyns it had ben for that I think the Constable had been at P. Comins house among the rest. Dowes is there descrybed by a gould hat band which as I remember he wearith." He has sent for old Baggot, who has been seen riding to and fro from popish houses. [Partly printed in Oliver, Coll. Hist., p. 8; Foley iv, 653.]
John Prouse's Letters.
In L. 205, Nov. 24, 1621, John Prouse (fn. 37) writes to the Mayor:—
"Lett me nowe tell you that before I came up the Lords had ordered our Citizens having lyvinges in the Countrye to contribute as the Lievetenants of Devonshire did desire, drawing a president (sic) from the Citizens of London, who do the lyke. This I am told for a truthe and howe to stopp I knowe not, but I wishe that my counsell had been followed in wryting to the Counsell long since, which peradventure would have staied thier hands untill I had come up; howsoever I must suffer in this as others, and I find no hope to the contrarie." Adding: "Of newes I shalbe able to wryte more by the nexte. In the meane tyme I end and rest,
"I cannot but remember my love unto you and withall acquaint you what hathe passed the howse of Parliamente this daie, when we sat untill 4 in the afternone, and at last have gyven a whole subsidie to the King to be paid at thend of Februarye next towards the recovering of the palatinate out of the Jawes of the princelie palatine's invertirable enemye" (see L. 196, page 105).
"Sir, It is very late and therefore I cannot enlarge my selfe at this tyme. Only I remember my true love to you and my brethren, not forgetting Mrs. MAyris and Mr. Leache when you see hym, and so do rest, your ever loving ffriend, Jo. Prouse.
In L. 209, Nov. 30, 1621, he writes: "Of Parliamente passinges I can wryte you nothinge but what I have alreadie done, only wee labour heartilie to prepare our bills for the King's royall assent, hoping that wee shall bring home some, thogh not all such as wee desire, and so to make this a Session. The King dothe yet contynue at New Markett, (fn. 38) and for ought I heare wilnot be here untill Snt. Thomas' daie, which occasionethe me to suspect that wee shalnot be at home at the beginning of Christies. The next weke will produce more certeintie. In the meane tyme I leave you to the protection of the Almightie, and so do rest,
In L. 210, London, Nov. 30, 1621, Ignatius Jurdain (fn. 39) writes to the Mayor: "Our dissesse hear wilbe about 8 dayes before Christies, as was delivered unto us from the King (who is yet at New Market). The chefe cause of our meeting hear now was for supply of the palatanat to keep that which remayneth that the whole be not lost. So thear is on subsidy given to be paid in February." It is now agreed by the House to send a petition to the King that this may be mad a Session (See L. 209) before we depart, that so these bills may pas which are alredy engrosed and that such bills as ar not engrosed that they may stand in being at our next meeting, which said is to be the 8th February. Next that it would please his Majestie to hav war with our comon enimy (who is said to be the Spaniard), for that not only he hath 5 or 6 armyes afoote about the palatinat, but also that his mony payeth the soldiars that war against us thear and that thear armies which ar thear doe but watch thear oportunities. And next that our gracious prince may not be matched with any out of our owne Religion. This is the summe and the maine pointes of the peticion which is now agreed upon by the Committee contayning an Introduction, a Narration and a Conclusion, and withall inserted the boldnes and great hopes which the papists now have and pretend, which I hop will never com to thear end. It is certainly advertised hear to the house that in Cheshere divers wagons laden with munition have of late ben brought into recusants' houses and thear words hav ben very high and daungerous (fn. 40) even against the King, which I omitt to writ untill I se what the house will doe. Hear cam newes very hot 3 dayes past that Sir Oratio Vear, that worthy general, and Count Mansfild wear clene over-throwne and thear armies, but thanks be to God the newes is now reverted. (fn. 41) So not having at presente any other special matter to enlarge doe take my leave and comend you to the grace of God in Christ.
It is my comfort that I understand our tyme of departing hence to be no longer than this daie sennight, which wilbe the Saterdaie before Christmas, and yet as the present condicion is betwixt the King and the Lower howse I would not willinglye goe hence but upon better termes then nowe wee stand upon of eache side which difference I hope wilbe fayrly Reconcild this next weke. Of all theise things I shalbe able to enforme you at my Retorne (when God pleaseth) more at Large. I was in hope to have kept my whole Christmas at Exeter, but it wilnot be, yet I am not out of hope to begyn my newe yeare with you there.
Sir, the weather is bitter cold and my Inke freesethe to fast to contynewe a Long letter, therefore without anie further Relation of newes I do with my best Love to your selfe, Mrs. Mayris and your children, end and Rest,
"I have according to the Instructions sent up both for the Cittie and Companie of Merchants ( see page 41) employed my best care to please you every waie and have possessed the howse of parliament with suche things as do most touche the Merchants in burthen of their trade, (fn. 42) as they have advised. So as from the lower house the higher is made acquainted therewith, and I hope ease wilbe gyven in some particulars though not in all at their meting, for some things there are which trenche into the King's profitt which I feare wilnot in haste be determined as namelie the pretermitted custom (fn. 43) the Right whereof hath endured much Learned debate in the howse bothe for the King and subjects by the Lawiers that good newes I shall imparte to you if God send me home thend of the Parliamente will tell me I meane of theise things.
"Sir, it can be no newes to you that my Lord Treasurer [i.e. Lionel Cranfield, Earl of Middlesex] hath been highly questioned of Late for manie severall busynesses, and still the Lords are upon a dailie examination of his courses, which are Reported to be very foule (fn. 44); he hathe manie potent adversaries against hym, and the King hathe left hym to cleere hymselfe, not yelding hym anie countenance; to saye no more in the opinion of all his fall is at hand.
"Yesterday (fn. 45) the Kinge was at Whythall, whyther the house by order went to hym to receave his awnseare to a Peticion which was delyvered unto hym from bothe howses against Jesuits, Priests and Recusants, to which he hathe gyven a most noble awnsweare to the comfort of all his true hearted subiects, which I hope wilbe put in execution ere long. The coppie of which I will assone as I can gett it shalbe sent you, for it is worthie the keping in the Citties Chamber for manie reasons. (fn. 46) I wishe you had all suche passages, but you must then be at the charge and not put me to the paynes to coppie them, for which paynes I am to old, and so I leave that unprofitable argument for this tyme.
"Sir, I have enlarged my selfe in theise for your sake, Mr. Walker and the rest of my brethren, and to save my farther Labour in wryting, being tyred out dailie and full wearye of this service, which I find to be to burthensome for an old man bothe in purse and bodie, but no more of this and so I end with my Love to all and Remain,
"Sir, the death of our ffriend Mr. Martyn (fn. 47) hathe left to the Chamber the election of two officers, I hope you wilbe cautious in your choise and not Leave my brother unrespected."
L. 215, 216, Whitehall, April 1, 1622.—The Lords of the Council order the Chamber to make a return of the number, condition and trades of all strangers and children of strangers within the kingdom. (fn. 48)
In L. 244, London, May 8, 1623, Peter Proby, Lord Mayor of London, and seven others, including Heneage Finch, Alderman of London, inform the Mayor of Exeter that they have been commanded by the Lords of the Council to procure a general search to be made throughout England as to what strangers, strangers' children or strangers' servants, whether English or foreigners, there are, and they beg the assistance of the Mayor of Exeter in procuring the return.
In L. 249, Plymouth, June 14, 1623, John Martyn, Mayor of Plymouth, writes to the Mayor of Exeter. He has caused a search to be made touching these strangers and foreigners that are resident in the town of Plymouth, and encloses a list of names [which is not preserved].
In L. 250, Dartmouth, June 4, 1623, John Spurwaie, Mayor of Dartmouth, reports to the Mayor of Exeter on the same subject, that there is only one Fleminge, a poor tailor named Jacob Jacobsonn, who hath a daughter named Katheren, about a year old.
William Prous' Letters.
L. 217. London, May 4, 1622.—William Prous (fn. 49) writes to the Mayor, &c. :—
"I finde by Mr. Benbowes relacion that the suite attempted by our Bishop [Valentine Cary] to be a Justice of peace within the Countie and Citie of Exon, was first sett on foote by Doctor Goche by waie of ernest solicitinge of the Lord Keeper for the furtherance of his egar suite in your behalfe. He presented unto the Clerke of the Crowne a copie of your Charter to thende he might the rather a despatche of his intended purpose. This suite hathe since his departure hence ben ernestlie solicited, and the Lord Keeper hathe ordered Mr. Benbow to drawe up a Commission readie for the seale, which he hathe promised to forslow and protracte, untill expres comaundement be laied upon him and that by warrant under his Lordship's hand and the hand of some of the Kinges Counsell, which promise he hathe seriously professed this daie unto me he will performe. Assuringe me that as occasion requires he will not faile to acquainte me to thende I maie gaine tyme to crosse the B.B. intended course, which as yet resolved I purpose shalbe by peticion to his Majesty that he wilbe gratiously pleased to referre thexamynacion of his suite to be measured by the judgment of his heighnes Judges or unto the Justics of assize for the westerne partes, or to the determynacion of the Lords of his Majesties Privie Councell. Where upon the reasons of the inconveniencie of suche an untymelie suite I doubt not but wee shall obteyne an honorable audience, upon suche reasons as shalbe framed and exhibited unto them, of the divers inconveniences that will attend the succes yf it be obteyned; which suite in my single and poore opinyon is neyther guided with evidens of utilitie for anie publik good nor pricked on for anie urgent necessitie in regard of anie insufficiencie of goverment accordinge to positive rules : but yf I maie speake without offence, endevoured out of displeasure and some spice of contempt and disdaine to your person and dignitie. The Bishop is not yet returned from Cambridge, but dailie expected. I will have a vigilant eye to his cariage herein which yet lyethe a sleepe ; which when he shall awaken shall stirre me up with all dilligent duetie and circumspection to withstand by the best meanes I maie with resolucion to establishe my endevors by councell. I have made a relacion of Mr. Benbowes conference with me unto my Cosen Mr. Hackwell, (fn. 50) whose affections are bente with all cherefullnes to attend by waie of opposition this unkindly suite he hathe taken in his serious consideracion the legall poynts of your Charter and intendes in pointe of Law to mainteyne the foundacion and intencon of H.8. graunte your case beinge otherwise then the case of a forreine countie your nounber of Justics being stinted and to be made out of the 24, neyther can the Lord Keeper yf he maye do it, which is much doubted, as by good opinyon I am informed, Graunte a Commission without damadge and greate inconveniencie ; nor hathe he anie precedent to warrant the same (the precedents of Berwick and Northampton beinge but Boroughe Townes and no Counties). The burgesses of Northampton do stronngely withstand, do. Lambes Commission . I presume yf it maie stand with the Chambers likinge to addres their letters to the Lord precedent of ye Councell, who is a well affected friend to the Citie to my especiall knowledg for the favouringe of your suite, that It maie turne to your good. I will deliver it yf you please commend It. As occasion shalbe offred I will not spare my pen to advertise your worshipps of the succes of my labours.
"I came into London upon Thursdaie at 3 of the clock, and presentlie repaired into Aldersgate Streete to my Cosen Hackwell. In whose true love and care your Chamber hathe deepe interest he desires to be remembered hartily to your worship and to the rest of the Chamber.
In L. 218, London, May 7, 1622, William Prous writes to his brother John Prous :—Sir. There are two of the Lord Keeper's (fn. 51) gentlemen that have undertaken the sollicitinge of theire Lord in the absence of our Bishop, who returnes not from Cambridge untill thend of this weeke. It appears theire Lord needes no Remembrancer for of him selfe he effects the mocion and resolves to effecte it. To which end he hathe ordered the Clerke of the Corone to draw in readines the Comyssion which direction is now afreshe stifelie urged. My endevors now are bent to peticion his Lordship, but not before tyme and oportunitie necessarily shall occasion the exhibitinge of a Peticion and yf the partes thereof please not his Lordship after he hathe measured them with his judiciall eye, I am purposte (yf the Lord will) to present his Majestie with a peticion for a reference of the convenience of the Commission endevoured to be gott by our bishop. The Lord Hubert, Cheife Justice of the Commone pleas, hathe ben enformed of our Bishop's practise and thereupon intreated a friend to intreate the Lord Keeper to forbeare the grauntinge out of such a Commission, for that the precedent will not onlie be daungerous, but It will occasion muche hart burninge and contention. I am purposed to let our Justices of assize understand his Practise. I learne by some aboute the Lord Keeper that he resolves that doctor Goche shalbe not one of the Commission, but to joyne the deane and one other of the Canons in Commission with the Bishop. I desire to be informed to what ende our late Bishop (fn. 52) attempted to exhibite his bill in Parliament, and what he did therein and what succes he had and how he incroched upon the liberties of the Citie for the inlardginge of his fee and what resistance he and his baylie in his part made in cases of searchinge for murderers, felons or other misdemeanors within his fee whereof your selfe in particular can speake when you were Sheryfe [ i.e. in 1599]. Yf you please I praie speedily acquainte Mr. Maior and the Chamber with the partes of this letter, to whom in duetie I desire humblie to have my service commended.—I remayne your affectionate brother
He adds : "Sir Tho. Myddleton's (fn. 53) matche with Mistress Harrison is cleane broken off."
"Rt. Worshipfull. I have accordinge to my duetie caried a watchfull eye ever since my cominge hither to the waies and pathes wherein our Bishop walkes and treades in the prosecution of his suite. And I finde that in his absence he left behind him two Remembrancers attendinge nere the Lord Keeper, whose eger solicitation to theire Lord have not ben failinge to further our Bishop's attempted suite, which as yet lies unperfected (thoughe most ernestlie and hartily asserted by theire Lord). This prosecution hathe ben also vehemently followed by our Chancelor since his cominge to London, to whom replie hathe ben made by the Clerke of the Crowne, who is a true affected friend to your Chambers suite and my intimate ancient acquaintance that he deemes it a most unfittinge request of our Bishop, and a president not paraliled in anie Citie beinge a Countie within this Realme, which replie is unsavorie in his nostrells. And therefore doth determyne to put on with might and maine all his power to obteyne theire desire as a suite in theire private opinyon verie respective and comodious to the publique utilitie : for the goverment of their Citie. But I hope theire hopes will shortly be frustrated.
"There hathe latelie directions ben given to the Clerk of the Crowne by the Lord Keeper to make a Commission for the Chancelor of Lytchfield to be a Justice of the quorum within that Citie and also Custos Rotulorum which Commission is appointed this daie to pass under the greate seale of England : the Citizens of Lytchfield faylinge of theire suite to the Lord Keeper for the staie thereof entend speedily to peticion the King, whose succes I will hear after and advertise as tyme and occasion shall require.
"And to thend our suite maie receive some stop a peticion is drawen and discretelie polished by the pennes of Mr. Recorder and my Cosen Hakewill, a true copie whereof I here inclosed present to Your worship and the rest of the Chamber, humblie besechinge that after the branches thereof be duely measured by your wisedomes, It maie be secreted for a while (my desire beinge bounded with this reason), that I purpose not to deliver it untill I have knowledge of his Lordship's warrant to the Clerke of the Crowne to draw the said Commission, which he will not hastily do, but with advantadge of competent tyme before hand given unto me: for prevencion to obteyne a supersedias if I maie upon the reasons exhibited trulie in the parts of my peticion. Whereof yf I faile my last refuge shalbe to peticion his Majestie for the reference of our just suite eyther to the Lords the Judges or Justices of Assize, which must be left to his hieghness arbitrarie denominacion and appointment.
"Be pleased to consider of that branche of my last addressed letters to your Worship and the Chamber towchinge your letters to the Lord president for his assistance yf neede shall require and particulerly towchinge his observacion of your government. This also dothe Mr. Recorder and my Cosen Hakewill deeme verie requisite, whose directions in all pointes attending this service as is required : I will cherefullie and readily observe and prosecute with dilligence and carefullnes. My duetie and service remembered to your worship and to the rest of your brethren and socitie do remayne yours readily and humbly to be commaunded.
"Our Bishop is here and intends to be with the Lord Keeper this after noone; the King comes hither this daie. The report is that the Lord Keeper shall be made Lord Chancelor (fn. 54) tomorrow at Courte.
"Rt. Worshipfull, My last addressed letters to you presented a full declaracion of our bishop's progres in his attempted suite ; by them also I lefte you informed how farre my endevours did bend to oppose by faire meanes the current of his intended desire, which in particuler was evidenced by the copie of the peticion resolved to be exhibited to the Lord Keeper. It is fitt accordinge to my duetie that I advertise you what this weekes worke hathe begotten, thorought the Bishop's solicitinge of the same who hathe bin here theis ten daies and is this daie againe gone hence : I am crediblie informed that he hathe bin ernest with the Lord Keeper for the speedinge of his desire which onlie he affectes to obteyne to himselfe alone without anie associacion of anie other belonginge to the Churche or her dependents. The direction given to the Clerke of the Crowne from my Lord's owne mouthe is to draw a Commission for him to be a Commissioner ioyntly with the Maior &c., bothe of the peace and gaole deliverie within Citie and Countie, which yet Mr. Benbow refusethe to do untill theie bringe him a true copie of the Charter: which will be a hard task for them to do. I have not yet presented the peticion to the Lord Keeper, which by advise I have forborne for some especiall consideracions, but am purposed (yf God will) to deliver the same to his Lordship upon Mondaie nexte : and then humblie to beseche him to cast his eye upon the partes thereof, and to measure them with his favoure in judgment. The Bishop's glosse to swaie his Lordship's inclynacion is for the better goverment of the Citizens, the ponishment of malefactors and the better orderinge of the incorrigeable beggers and releyfe of the poore. Theise are some of the principle heads which he inforcethe upon his Lordship's consideracion, whereupon the Lord Keeper hathe ordered and commanded Mr. Benbow to make the Commission readie for the greate seale : which I hope I shall stopp for 10 daies. In the meane tyme yf my peticion game no fruite from the Lord Keeper, I will expedite the presentinge of a peticion to the King or to the Lords as occasion shall require and as my course therein shalbe established by the opinyon of your Councell (Mr. Recorder havinge directed me to reteyne Mr. Noye of [blank], counsell for you, which I have accordingelie don. The Bishop understands that the Chamber is in opposicion with him, which he estemes not as his solicitors in this busines vaunte, professinge that he intendes to become an ernest suitor to his Majestie for the obteyninge of his Commission.
Loathe I am to acquainte you by my pen with eyche particuler circumstantiall passage that hathe ben unworthily put on by the prosecutors of this suite in pointe of untruthe and indignitie. I referre the relacion of them untill my returne admyringe how the Bishop, the Chancellor and some other inferior persons come to the knowledge of some particuler late passages in your assemblies.
When the benevolent money is sent up, let that partie that hathe the charge of payment present bothe your letter towchinge the same and the some to the Lord Treasurer which maie advantadge your suite and which also he will and dothe expecte. This I am told to advise out of my love and duetie to the reputacion of your Chamber.
"Right Worshipfull,—I have presented the peticion to the Lord Keeper this daie, which for some reasons I could not with convenience performe soner. After I had presented the same I humblie intreated his Lordship to cast his eyes upon the parts thereof, which favour he votchafed unto me. And after he had measured the branches thereof, he turnes aboute unto me and asked me the reasons whie your Chamber should refuse to have a Bishop to be joyned with them in the Commission of peace, being your diocesan and as worthie a prelate as is anie in the Kingdome. My answear was that your antient Charter did lymitt the particuler nomber of Justics, which besides the Maior and Recorder coulde not be but eight, which eight were to be chosen out of that number that had borne the office of maioraltie. For confirmacion of the truthe thereof I humblie besought him to admytt our Councell farder to informe him : to which he replied that he had sene your Charter. I presumed to answeare him that under favour his Lordship had onlie senne the severall confirmacions thereof of E. the 6 and Queene Elizabeth, but not the copie of the originale Charter [Charters XXXII, XXXIII], and affirminge that It was the Kinges pleasure to have our Bishop in Commission with you, adding for his reason that in respecte of your froward caraige towards the late Lord Bishop, for so he termed it, that the King required him to graunte our Bishop the said Commission. His Lordship was well pleased to receive an answere which I framed accordinge to truthe and upon my certeine knowledge, which was that in no place of this Land anie one Bishop had received more respecte and observacion than the Bishop of Exon from the magistrats ; some other exceptions his Lordship had: to everie of which I endevoured to give him satisfaction, humblie concludinge with ernest peticion that his Lordship would take into his serious consideracion the indempnities that mighte ensue to the bodie of your Charter whereunto with muche myldnes he replied that he would send within a shorte tyme give me farder resolucion. This Commission is alreadie drawen, and hathe bin perused by his Lordship; in the foote wherof with his owne hand he hathe desired the King's Attorney to peruse the same and yf by law and president It maye hold he desires him also to order the Clerke of the Crowne to ingrosse it readie for the seale; but this direction was before I delivered the peticion ; which I hope maie turne the bente of my Lord's intencion (my delaies beinge grounded upon sounde reasons), which hereafter you shall understand. And when I shall understand that Mr. Benbow shall repaire to Mr. Attornie with the drawght of the said Commission, I shall informe Mr. Recorder and Mr. Jo. Hakewill, who intend to carry Mr. Noye to Mr. Attorney and to informe him of the state of the busines and to acquainte him with the Innovation that will attend the succes of the suite yf It be obteyned.
"My Lord was pleased to prove that no other should be ioyned in Commission with our Lord Bishop, and Sir, quothe he: Let your maiestrats be displeased, for I assure you, quothe he, this Bishop will not staie longe amonge you. I have used some preparative meanes to Mr. Attorney besides that which is resolved in by Mr. Recorder; as yet wee are not resolved what course wee shall take whither to peticion his Majestie or the Lords (yf the Lord Keeper favour not our suite; for my owne particuler opinyon I am resolved upon whose shoulders the burden of this suite in pointe of prosecutions attendans and care is laied by your warrant, that I will follow the initiall direction of your Counsell, bending my whole endevors to informe myselfe and so to relate unto them the speediest and safest waie and meanes of prevencion. Lastlie I humblie desire that due consideracion maie be speedily had of some partes of my former letters tendinge muche to the furtherans of the suite in hand.
"Rt. Worshipfull. As yet I cannot make you anie other relacion touchinge our Bishop's attempte for the obteyninge of his Comyssion then my last letters informed you, since which tyme Mr. attorney hathe appointed me to attend him with your Councell upon thursdaie nexte, at which tyme he will informe him selfe of the partes of your Charter, and so resolve the Lord Keeper of his opinyon towchinge the conveniencie or inconveniencie thereof. And yf It shall fall out that he certifie against you that It is in the Kinges power to add more Comyssioners to that nomber prescribed and lymited by your Charter, your Councell will advise what course shalbe speedilie taken : eyther to peticion his Majestie or the Lords. At whose borde this particuler cause will wante a speciall assistant of eminence ; amonge which nomber yf Mr. Secretarie have no touche on our Bishop's parte your directions shalbe fourthwith prosecuted (yf your Councell asserte it). I have ben an ernest solicitor to Mr. Attorney to conferre with the Lord Huberte, the Lord Cheife Baron, and Justice Hutton, towchinge their opinion in pointe of lawe and their opinyons of your goverment : to which he inclynes and votesafed to promise me that before he made his reporte backe to the Lord Keeper that he would conferre with sume of them. I have also acquainted him that Justice Doddridge is a nere neighboure unto the Citie, who also can and will testifie of your peaceable and good goverment. Let me be bold humblie to intreate your societie to secreete the partes of my advertisements towchnige this busines and that no unseemelie wordes be given out of our Bishop or of his attempte of suite. I have ben charged by Batt that my letters have occasioned your extraordinarie meetings, which intelligence I deeme to porecede from Mr. Mainwaringe.
"And forasmuche as the case stands thus betwene your Chamber and some others; I have contracted and concluded the sute betwene Sir W. Pole and the poore for the somme of 70l. to be paid unto me upon Mondaie nexte, the 17th of this monethe, and taken Mr. Erles bond for payment thereof, which is securitie verie sufficient. In this contracte I have concluded Sir W. power of disposall, and to that end have drawen a pole deede, which herewith I send, humblie besechinge you that Mr. Salter maie carrie the same over unto him and intreate him to seale it, for whose better satisfaction I have procured Mr. Erle his nephew, who standes ingaidged for the payment of the 70l. to write of Sir William that the release herewith send was perused and is allowed of under his hand. I wishe Mr. Salter will take in his waie Mr. Batt, who is privie to Mr. Erles and my agrement. Mr. Recorder dothe second my agrement. Yf I had gone to a hearinge before my Lord before I had ended this sute, It would have cost me 10l. or 12l., and I doubte my Lord would have stiken of a good parte of the damages given by the Jurie and Comyssioners—so as It is thought by your Councell I have made a good end safelie.
"I do humblie desire that I maie receive directions from you and the Chamber how I shall send the money downe unto you, for I hartily desire a present imployment thereof, but of this some must be deducted suche expenses at thathe ben disbursed aboute the prosecucion thereof, which in particuler I cannot now advertise (my notes beinge at my howse), which at my returne I will honestlie sett downe without eyther the poore or impeychment to my conscience or outward reputacion.
"Rt. Worshipfull. By my last letters I advertised you of the conference passed betwene your Councell and the Kinges Attorney: for some spetiall reasons tendinge to better hopes, as then so now since continued. I did forbeare to write this last weeke by our carrier, be pleased therefore by these to understand that upon Mondaie last bothe the Attorney generall and the Clerke of the Crowne (fn. 55) informed the Lord Keeper what strenght your Charter beares in pointe of negative, that his Majestie by Law cannot make by waie of associacion any more Justics then are warranted by the same; to which his Lordship replied with &c. that notwithstandinge It was his Majesties expres pleasure to have our Bishop a Justice with that and yf otherwise It mighte not be, then his Majestie would graunte him a non obstante which cannot impeyche the iurisdiction given you by your Charter. So as yf no other thinge happen betweene I cannot be discouraged but that our Lord Bishop maie mysse his marke. Howbeit I knowe he dothe use all meanes to gaine his purpose wherein he hathe the espetiall assistance of the Lord Keeper.
"I have propounded the desire of your howse to all your Councell towchinge the speedie peticioninge of his Majestie to the furtherans whereof I have penned a peticion and have tendred the partes thereof to be measured by Mr. Recorder, but for that as yet I cannot tracte out our Bishop's pathe which waie he bendes his course. Your Councell do not deeme it expedient yet to prosecute this suite by waie of peticion to the Kinge. I have and do carefullie bend all my endevors to gaine knowledge of our Bishop's pursuite, which when I have obteyend shall occasion me accordinge to your Councel's directions to follow suche course as shalbe by theire better judgment propounded unto me the succes whereof as It shall happen I will commend by my letters to your understandinge.
"I was latelie informed by Mr. Recorder upon a conference betweene him and one Mr. Norden, (fn. 56) a surveyour of landes and a dependant upon the prince's service, that the tytle of your mannors of Exe Iland [Charter XXXVI, p. 5], and all the houses and land belonging to the Castle of Exon with northernehaie is likelie to be questioned by the Prince upon Mr. Recorder's perswasion to conferre with Mr. Norden (with whom I have some acquaintans). I endevored to speake with him, but beinge gon from his lodginge here into Kent I have myssed him, and yet notwithstandinge have by other and better meanes intreated a kynsman of my wyfes attendinge also the prince's service in a speciall manner, to sound mr. Norden towchinge the tytle pretended by his heighnes; which he hathe promised faithfullie to do At his returne out of Kent, which will not be yet.
"I have now received 70l. from Mr. Earle of Sir Wm. Pole, his due upon the decree. By my former letter I intreated directions from you how I might conveye it downe, and finding none by the partes of your last do intreate to be advertised by warrant to whom I shall paie it here, for I dare not send it by the Carryer, neyther dothe Mr. Recorder think it safe.
"It is saied that our Bishop wilbe with you aboute thend of Julie, and intendethe to ledge with Mr. Chancelor. I wishe he were gon hence that I might take my flight westwardes, for I am verie wearie of my longe staie here.
"After I had penned and delivered my last letters sent by my Cosen Mr. Fra. Crossinge, I toke occasion ioyntlie to conferre with Mr. Recorder, Mr. Noye, and my Cosen Hackwell towchinge a farder progres to meete with our Bishop's egar pursuite of his attempted suite: who is now more vehement then heretofore he hathe ben with the Clerke of the Crowne, to whom at my instance, but from his owne invencion as I have desired him, he hathe returned him answeare that the Lord Keeper hathe referred the due consideracion of the partes of the new Commission drawen, unto the Kinges Attorney in pointe of Law and president, whose resolucion by waie of certificate under his hand backe againe returned to the Lord Keeper, yf by Law and president of like nature the Kinge maie do it, wilbe his Lordship's incouragement to direct a fiat to the Clerke to ingrosse the same readie for the great seale ; so as hitherto no commaund is come to the Clerk to finish the said Commission. And albeit this busines hathe ben closelie followed by our Bishop and his solicitors, yet hitherto thei have founde a hard taske thereof and yet are without knowledge who watchethe theire stepps ; albeit theie have used manie meanes to dog the trade of my waie.
"Upon deliberacion of my proposicion your Councell have ben pleased to consent to become your humble suitors to Mr. Secretaire Calverte, (fn. 57) that his honor would be pleased accordinge to the Chamber's desire to take upon him the patronizinge of your cause as occasion hereafter shall require ; eyther to his Majestie or at the Councell Bord (our busines now standinge upon better and more safer termes I last wrote unto you and in particuler sithe I maie not inlardge by my pen ; howbeit my hopes are prouder now of a fairer yssue then heretofore theie have ben.
"This morninge it was agreed that my Cosen hakewill should present your humble suite to Mr. Secretarie, in whose favoure he hathe muche interest ; upon whom I was intreated to attend to thend his honor might take knowledge of me to be your Solicitor for this cause. At our cominge to Mr. Secretaries house in St. Martin's Lane, we were informed that he was at Grenewiche, where the Courte is ; but sone at his returne or upon Mondaie morninge it hathe pleased my Cosen hakewill to promyse me to go with me to the Secretaries howse and to acquainte him with your suite and the nature and conveniencie thereof, which yf his honour when occasion shall require, shall obligee you with all thankfullnes to deserve his favoure, to which end I go provided I neede not expres myselfe in open termes farder to your wisedomes in theis resolucion.
"Upon some late accident I presume the Lord Keeper will staie his hand from subscribinge a fiat for this Commission. Yf he do, there wilbe a remedie provided for maintenance of your solide power and iurisdiction of which hereafter you maie more particulerlie be informed. In the meane season Mr. Recorder is carefull, my Cosen Hakewell foreward and my honest endevours shall in no respecte be failinge to do the duetie of a faithfull and dilligent solicitor, orderinge the prosecution as in course of Law and discretion shalbe propounded unto me by your Councell.
"I am informed that a letter was latelie sent unto you, Mr. Maior, aboute some busines to which an answeare is expected: I know not the meaninge, but a follower of the Lord President (fn. 58) required of me whither I had not received a letter from you to the Lords, to whom I replied that I had, but I informed him that was towards the benevolence money. That is not the busines he prayed me to put you in mynd to returne with all speede an answeare.
"My laste letters informed you of an intencion to acquainte Mr. Secretarie Calverte with the state of your busines for the maintenance of priviledges against our Bishop's attempted suite ; by theise you maie be pleased to take knowledge that my Cosen Hakewell and my selfe had accesse unto his honor verie privatelie. After his honor had ben fullie informed by my Cosen Hakewell of the integritie of your Charter and sufficiencie of well orderinge your selves in the dueties of your places, to the generall applause of the Justices of Assize, the gentrie of the Countie of Devon, and what readie obedience the Inhabitants of Exon from tyme to tyme cherefullie and without anie opposicion have yealded thereunto, His honor advised a course which before was performed in parte, and that hitherto hath given bothe your Councell and my selfe muche comforte and contentment, which in particuler your worship with the rest of your societie maie more Sithe understand from Mr. Recorder's relacion, then by intelligence from my pen : and therefore do spare to present you the full descours onlie he hathe promised his readie assistance when and as often as occasion shall require, requiringe my attendance and access unto him upon everie occasion, assuringe me of free cominge unto him and of his hartie affection to further your ymployments eyther to his Majestie or to the Councell borde.
"Mr. Secretarie [Calvert], with whom wee were this daie, did informe my Cosen Hackwell that sone after the conclusion of peace between the Turke and the polonians the Turkes souldiers required of him some recompence for theire service to which the Turke replied with bitternes that theie should have none, threatninge them also to put them to the sword, which so provoked them that theie sett upon the Turke and slew him, (fn. 59) his brother and four other of his nexte bloode and 3,000 gent, and have sett up the Turkes Uncle, whom he put by [i.e. Mustapha I, who had been deposed in 1618], esteiminge him to be a foole, so that of that race there is no more lefte but he, and he is verie old. (fn. 60)
"I have had my seconde accesse unto the Lord Keeper towchinge his returne of answeare unto the partes of the peticion which I delivered unto him this weeke. He advised me to forbeare anie farder pursuite of your busines, affirminge verie confidentlie unto me that his Majesties expres pleasure is commended unto him to graunte the said Comyssion to our Lord Bishop, which by his warrant is drawen and delivered unto the Kinges Attorney, whom I have attended with humble request that he wilbe pleased not hastily to returne the same unto the Crowne Office but to bounde a tyme when I maie bringe the Cities Councell to conferre with him towchinge the partes of your immunitie by Charter, which favoure he hathe yealded unto me and for the better strengtheninge of our endevors I have with the consent of our Recorder and my Cosen Hakewill reteyned the Recorder of London and one Mr. Bridgman, a learned gent, towchinge the pleas of the Crowne, and verie inwardlie interessed with the acquaintans of Mr. Attorney.
"This suite is heavily sett upon and pursued with force and stronge meanes insomuche I feare the succes, and the more in regard of the reason which by my laste letters to my brother, I presented to the consideracion of your Societie which I humblie desire maie be considered and taken to harte amonge you for yf you forslow the oportunitie and meanes now offered you maie preiudice the pillars of your goverment. I dare not inlardge my reasons by pen, but deeme it sufficient to give you a word in season, nothinge doubtinge but that as the case now standes with you, you will providentlie bend bothe your wills, wytts and purses, to further the betteringe of that which in some points is founde defective; you know my meaninge.
"This weeke (the terme beinge ended) I intend to bringe all your reteyned Councell with your owne togeather, purposelie to consider of such material pointes as necessarilie are to be drawen out of the bodie of your Charter for Mr. Attorneyes better informacion, whereunto I will add suche notes of inconveniencie and conveniencie as maie perswade him of the daunger of suche a president, which tendeth to the disturbance of the peace, of the entire goverment and will also turne to irregularitie of state, which pointe Mr. Recorder dothe ernestlie desire you to prevent by some speedie provision and providence to right all imperfections of &c. which are menconed in my letter to my brother. This bearer beinge a footeman is hastie and occasionethe this brevitie. My humble duetie remembered, do remayne,
"This inclosed (i.e. L. 230) which was penned purposelie to be sent unto you by the footepost of Tavistocke who departed and hathe left the same behind him, dothe particulerlie acquainte you with the state of your busines with the Lord Keeper: and how farre your suite unto Mr. Secretarie hathe ben prevalent. By theise be pleased to be advertised that this daie the Lord Keeper hathe resolved to have the Commission perfected, notwithstandinge the Kinges Attorney hathe again confidentlie acquainted him that your Charters are negative and that by Law nor precedent his Majestie maie not safelie do It. Which resolucion his Lordship dothe not relishe, but intendes as is thought, to establishe his cause by warrant from his hieghnes, to meete with him in that course, as yet your Counsell have not advised but intend purposelie to conferr thereaboute to-morrow and then to sett foreward theire determynacion for me to prosecute. Which dilligentlie and carefullie I will pursue with an upright harte and true affection : for the maintenance of your priviledges and reputacons. Upon thursdaie nexte the Kinge comes to Whitehaule, where he intendes to make a shorte staie, goinge from thens to farname (fn. 61) in progres. Yf the Lord Keeper or our Bishop's intendment be to compas theire desire, It is presumed that theire suite to his Majestie wilbe to have a non obstante to settle him against the power of your Charter and consequentlie the Common Law of the Realme : wherein everie good subiecte hathe an estate of inheritans. Thus with the due remembrance of my duetie and service to your worship, and to the rest of your societie, do take leave remaininge at your comaundment most readie,
"I am crediblie informed that our Bishop was yesterdaie with my Lord Keeper, which the rather I do beleive in respecte the Kinges Attorney told me this afternoone that the Lord Keeper would go on with the Commission to associate the Bishop in Commission with you, not withstandinge his opinyon that the King could not do it in pointe of Law ; And for my better satisfaction I presentlie repaired to the Clerke of the Crowne who asserteined me that my Lord this morninge ordered him to drawe a new Commission, (the former drawght beinge erronious) and yf the King maie not do it by Law ; yet his Majesties will is to have it, and therefore It shalbe don, quoth my Lord. Hereof I have informed your Councell, by whose advise I am ordered to conferre with Mr. Benbow for some directions, to some pointes which I purpose to propounde unto which (sic) resolved. Shall occasion the prosecution of a new intended course, which I cannot by my letters advertise because it is not yet fullie determyned. Neyther can be theise two Daies. Now yf my Lord will observe what he deemes fitt, you must with patience endevoure to maineteine your priviledges in a legall course, which by opinyon is conceived to be verie prevalent. Howbeit your Councell do presume that his Lordship will better consider that there is neyther Law nor president to warrant a Commission of that nature, tendinge to irregularitie in pointe of presumption. Now as the wynde blowes good or bad, towchinge your publick busines I will evermore advertise duringe my abode here; which yf the Lord will shalbe no longer than the Satturdaie after thend of this terme, for London hathe cleane tired me out. It is privatelie reported here that the frenche Kinge is deade (fn. 62) and that he dyed of an impostume in his head. This last Sabaothe the Kinge made two new privie Counsellors, Sir Edward Connawaie and Sir Oliver St. John, the late Deputie of Ireland. (fn. 63)
"I presume after some fewe daies I shall finde out the Lord Keeper's determynacion towchinge the ordering of our Bishop's Commission, which so ernestlie thoughe underhand by his instruments he pursues. And albeit the stirringe solicitor assigned by our Bishop hathe latelie informed the Clerke of the Crowne, from whose mouth I received relacion that the Solicitor tolde him that the Bishop was not desirous to have a Commission of association to sitt with you, but that It proceeded onlie from the affection of the Lord Keeper to authorize him thereunto, yet nevertheles I knowe and have found out his instruments that cease not to gaine his desire and longinge disposicion thereon by some unfittinge practises, which hitherto have ben cautiouslie yet secretlie prevented. So as yf his Majesties commaund be not put to the furtherance hereof, I hope his suite wilbe fruiteles.
"The Kinge came hither upon thursdaie, and wente hence yesterdaie. It is conceived that the Lord Keeper will and hathe moved the Kinge towchinge the conveniency of havinge our Bishop a Commyssioner with you, pretendinge that It wilbe muche for the furtherance of his Majesties service there, but his Majesties Attorney yf he be required to satisfie in pointe of Law his hieghnes I hope will informe by that It maie not be done eyther by law, president nor conveniencie.
"And for that It is supposed that my Lord will not hastily give informacion of his Majesties pleasure to have the Commission finished yf he shall obteyne it. It is thought fit by your Councell and also otherwise that my staie here shalbe lengthened to take notice what furder directions wilbe given therein that accordingelie I maie you reporte thereof at my returne, which otherwise I intended should have ben with Mr. Recorder, who comes hence upon Mondaie nexte, to whom I will make an accounte of those thinges that I shall learne and finde out towchinge the passages of this in the meane while yf anie happen to be.
I was at London, and in my Journey homewardes three weekes and two daies, which I caste not upon the Chamber's charge, but charge my expenses for so longe tyme upon my account to Mr. Maior of Tiverton.
In D. 1742, April, 1623, the Chamber appoints John Prouse, Alderman, and William Prouse, gentleman, as attornies for us and in our names to become humble suitors as well to the Kinges most excellent Majestie as to the Lordes of his Majesties most honorable Privie Counsell for the mayntenance of all such liberties, rights and privileges as have heretofore benne graunted unto us or any of our predecessors within the said Cittye and Countie of Exeter."
In L. 242, London, April 17, 1623, John Prouse writes to the Mayor:—"I doubt not but you expect to heare from me, and I wyshe that I could Imparte unto you suche good newes towching your busynesse as you desire, but suche as it is by theise you shall understand. Upon Thursdaie last my brother [i.e. William Prous] ridd to Hampton Court, (fn. 64) where he found a better oportunitie to delyver your peticion to his Majestie then I could do the Wednesdaie before, although I wayted long at Whythall to have performed so muche, the King beinge no waie Inclinable at that tyme to receave anie one peticion, nor did from anie. His Majestie accepted the petition with muche perswasion, first understanding from whome it came; and when he was told from whome, he said that he understood that the citizens were Puritans, to which my brother made a modest awnsweare, which somewhat pacified the King. At last he gave him this awnswere, that he should attend at Windsore and there he should have his awnsweare, according to which direction my brother is this daie Ridden thither; at whose Retorne I hope to wryte you more Largelye for as yet I knowe not what successe wee shall have. Your letter I delyvered to my Lord Treasurer, (fn. 65) who hathe nobly promised to stand for us and for our peticion, and to speak with his Majestie hand to hand for the furtherance of our suit. The next Labor wilbe to attend bothe his Lordship and some other to worke our peace and to bring our honest ends to a fayrer Issue, which God grant us, assuring you that no good meanes shalbe neglected by us which maie effect the same, for I knowe that wee shall have strong opposition by potent personages in the behalfe of our byshopp, who hathe traduced us exceedinglie to his Majestie as hereafter wilbe manifested, for he hathe gyven out that his workmen and servant were beaten by 500 people, which I knowe to be untrue [see L. 234, page 134], and shalbe made plaine if the King put over this busynesse with the hearing thereof to the Counsell bord, untill when no more, onlie I doubt that your cause before it Receyve a consideracion will prove costlie to you and burdensome to us by Long attendance, but God's will be done. I praie you lett not this letter be made common, for I am assured that all you do is presentlie here. Silence become the grave magistrates. And so I leave your selfe and my brethren to the grace of God and rest
"Untill I receyved your letter by George Salter, I did little doubt but that the Commission for the money clippers had bene Longe agoe dispatched. I shall have such important busynes partlie concerning the City of Exon and partlie my selfe in my particuler, and will lye so uppon me and require my attendance here so longe, that I thinke I shall not be able to reache home before your Sessions. I praie you therfor to acquaynt Mr. Maior with it and in my behalfe heartilie to intreat Mr. Waltham and Mr. Reynell [see L. 211, page 110], for the giving of the charge and to attend to the Sessions and busynes; and I shalbe ready to acknowledge yt. And I conceive the busynes will neyther be longe or difficult. For the Sequestracon I have moved the Barons, and it is yet yeelded that wages shalbe allowed for a Cuarat to serve the Cure, such as the ordinary shall think fitt. Bud (sic) Mr. Costard hath petitioned his Majestie, who hath referred the consideracion of that busynes of the sequestracion to my Lord Treasurer, and by hym to Baron Denham; so that wee knowe not yet what the finall end wilbe. But the sending in of the money by Mr. Maior is well allowed. For the Eschetorship, we are now in hand with yt and will doe our best, and yeeld an account of our proceedings therin uppon our returne. William Prowse is employed about the Escheatorship, and followes it carefully and like himself. Wee feare much the Commission of the peace, but wee shall do our best to withstand yt for so much as shall lie in our powers. Thus with my hearty commendacons I leave the success of all busynes to God, and rest your assured frend,
"Our Lord Lieutenant for Devon and Exon hathe ben pleased to acquaint me that he is dealinge with Mr. Secretary Calvert for the passage of his Comyssion and dothe expecte allowance from your Chamber to be fourthwith disbursed according to the ordinary proporcon heretofore dispended upon like occasion. And because his pleasure could not be made knowen soner unto your worships (howbeit It is saied that sume amounge you were acquainted with his Lordship's resolucon bendinge that waie at his being at Exon), I have thought it my duetie (being thereunto also by his Lordship requested) to give you knowledge thereof, Leaving further directions to be given for his Lordship's better satisfaction and the accomplishment of this weightie affaire, to your deep and better considerations and wisedomes.
"I finde his Lordship's inclynacon bendinge to the increase of the number and to make the number full with addicon of two more, to those that formerlie have ben deputed. He hathe required my attendance aboute this service,for which purposelie I intend to lengthen my tyme for 10 daies (my determynacons beinge formerlie and resolutely setled to have come heare upon thursdaie nexte beinge the 13 of this instant monethe. I humblie therefore desire to be informed (yf so It shall seeme good unto you)|what returne I shall make unto his Lordship for payment of such somme as shalbe required for the passage and dueties incident to the procuringe thereof; And the rather do beseche the expeditinge of your answeare in regard of|my desire to leave this care, which is very noysome to my bodie. Untill the 23 your occasions shall staie me here.
"The Catalogue of those names which are to be presented unto his Lordship for increase of the number must be those four Justics which are none of the number alreadie mencioned in his deputacon,of which number I presume the lott will fall into the Lappe of Mr. Waltham [Geoffrey Waltham, Mayor 1613] and Mr. Muddyford [John Modyford, Mayor 1622], gentlemen well approved of.
"I have the warrant of his Lordship's comaund to comend his hartiest affections to you, Mr. Maior, by name, with many thankes for his liberall and cherefull enterteinement, which words I received from his owne mouthe, and the like affections to the rest of the lieutenants, with his love to the Common Counsell.
"There are certeine directions towchinge marshall affairs which he ordereth to be delivered and sent or carried to your worshipps, which with safetie Yf God will shalbe performed Yf the charge is laied upon me.