Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 2, 1578-1614. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.
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Anno Secundo Jacobi Regis.
"To the King's most Excellent Majesty.
"The humble Petition of Edward Nevill, of Bergevenie.
Neville's Petition for the Barony of Abergavenny.
"THAT, it may please Your most Excellent Majesty (of Your most Gracious Inclination to support the Nobility of this Your Realm of England) to vouchsafe, that the lawful Claim of Your Highness's most humble Subject and Suppliant, to the Name, Stile, and Dignity of Baron of Bergevenie, may be heard, and, with Your Highness's Allowance, determined, by the Lords and Peers of this Realm, in Your High Court of Parliament, according as Your Majesty's most Gracious Pleasure heretofore hath been therein declared; and as our late Sovereign Queen Elizabeth, and other Your Noble Progenitors and Predecessors, have heretofore referred Causes of like Nature. And Your said humble and most Loyal Subject shall daily pray for Your Majesty long in Peace and Tranquillity to reign over us.
"Our Pleasure is, That the Lords and Peers of the Higher House of our Parliament shall hear and determine this Cause, calling the Competitors to it.
"Ex. per LAKE."
"The Order and Determination of the Upper House, in the Higher Court of Parliament, in the Question touching the Claim and Title to the Barony of Bergevenny, betwixt Mr. Edward Nevile, Heir Male, and the Lady Fane, Heir General.
Precedency between the Baronies of Abergavenny and Le Despencer.
"WHEREAS Edward Nevile, of Bergevenny, hath presented an humble Petition to the King's Majesty, in Form as followeth:
"That it would please His most Excellent Majesty (of his most Gracious Inclination to support the Nobility of this His Realm of England) to vouchsafe, that the Lawful Claim of His Highness's said most humble Subject and Suppliant to the Name, Stile, and Dignity of Baron of Bergevenny may be heard, and, with His Highness's Allowance, determined, by the Lords and Peers of this Realm, in the High Court of Parliament, according as His Majesty's most Gracious Pleasure heretofore hath been therein declared, and as our late Sovereign, Queen Elizabeth, and others His Noble Progenitors and Predecessors, have heretofore referred Causes of like Nature.
"And whereas, upon Signification of His Majesty's Pleasure concerning the same, expressed by the signing of the said Petition with His own Hand, and Reference of the Cause (according to the Petitioner's humble Request) unto the Hearing and Determination of the Lords and Peers, in the Higher House of Parliament, calling the Competitors to it, the Lords Spiritual and Temporal took present Order for performing of His Majesty's Direction therein; first, by calling as well the Competitors, namely, the Lady Marie Fane, sole Daughter and Heir of Henry late Lord Bergevenny, as also the said Edward Nevile, to give Attendance, with or by their Learned Counsel, for debating of the Cause; and then, by Direction given (at the first Attendance and Arguing thereof before them) to set down in Writing, and deliver mutually each to other, their several Claims and Titles to the said Barony, together with their particular Precedents; and afterwards, by diligent Hearing of the said Cause, Seven several Days debated in open Court before them, by the Learned Counsel on each Part, taking Knowledge both of the Declaration of their several Pretensions, Claims, and Titles, derived and deduced by their very ancient Pedigrees, and also of all their Reasons and Allegations, and likewise of all Precedents (that they could shew), either proper and peculiar to their own Case and Instance of the same Barony, or applicable by Similitude and Example in like Cases of other Baronies, even so far forth as the said Learned Counsel, on either Part, in their several Turns and Times of arguing and debating (largely and orderly granted unto them), had ought to declare, alledge, or produce; forasmuch as, notwithstanding all the Allegations, Arguments, Reasons, Precedents, and Proofs on either Side, and the diligent Observation of the same; the Question, nevertheless, seemed not so perfectly and exactly resolved, as might give clear and undoubted Satisfaction to all the Consciences or Judgments of all the Lords, for the precise Point of Right; and yet so much was shewed and alledged on each Part, as, in the Opinion of the House (if it might stand with the King's good Pleasure and Grace) made them both capable and worthy of Honour; it was therefore moved, and so Agreed, That Information should be given unto the King's Majesty of all the Proceedings of the said Court, in this Matter; and that humble Suit should be made to His Majesty from the Lords, for the ennobling of both Parties, by way of Restitution; the one to the said Barony of Bergevenny, and the ancient Place belonging to the same; and the other to the Barony of Le Despencer, and the ancient Place belonging to the same (which Barony of Le Despencer, in former Times, the Ancestors of both the said Competitors also had and enjoyed, but now remained in His Majesty's Power to be disposed of); which humble Suit having been accordingly presented to His Majesty, by certain of the Lords thereunto chosen and appointed, and His most Gracious Answer received and delivered by the same Lords unto the House, of His Majesty's Pleasure and Assent, that both the Competitors should be ennobled, by way of Restitution, according to the said humble Suit; and that, nevertheless, the Lords should proceed to determine upon which of the said Competitors the Dignity of the Barony of Bergevenny should in their Judgments be settled; and that, on the other Party (whichsoever of them should not obtain that Barony of Bergevenny) the Barony of Le Despencer should in like sort be settled. The Lords, upon this Signification of His Majesty's good Pleasure, having (the 23d of May) proceeded to a final Hearing of the Counsel Learned, for so much as remained to be delivered touching the Precedents; and thereupon having entered into some Debate, whether they should presently deliver their Opinions, or take some Respite till another Day to consider thereof first with themselves; it was, by the more Voices, determined, That it should presently be put to the Question, and they then deliver their Judgment; and the Question being in this Form propounded by the Lord Chancellor, Whether the Heir Male should have the Dignity of Bergevenny, or the Heir General; and that they which would give their Voice for the Heir Male should express it by saying "NEVILE;" the others for the Heir General by saying "FANE;" it was Agreed and Resolved, by the greater Number of Voices for the Heir Male, That Nevile should be restored to the said Barony of Bergevenny, and settled therein: Whereupon another Question also being immediately propounded, Whether the Lady Fane and her Heirs should be restored to the Dignity of the Barony of Le Despencer or no, it was, by the full Consent of the whole House, Resolved, That the said Lady Fane and her Heirs should (according to His Majesty's Gracious Pleasure signified in that Behalf) be restored to the said Dignity of the Barony of Le Despencer, and settled therein: And so both Parties, by the Determination and Agreement of the House, were adjudged meet to be ennobled, by way of Restitution unto the said several Baronies.
"This being concluded and determined as aforesaid, it was Ordered, That Report should be made unto the King's Majesty (by the same Lords that presented the former humble Suit for ennobling both Parties) of this Determination and Judgment of the House; and that they should therein desire to understand His Majesty's further Pleasure; which Report having been made accordingly to His Highness, it pleased Him Graciously to give Approbation and Allowance to the Proceeding and Determination of the House; and thereupon signed a Warrant for a Writ of Summons to the Parliament of the said Edward Nevile, as Baron of Bergevenny, with His Majesty's Approbation of the ancient Place and Precedence thereunto belonging; and, by His Letters Patents under the Great Seal of England, restored the Lady Fane and her Heirs to the Dignity of the Barony of Le Despencer, and to the eminent Place and Precedency belonging to the same; the Tenor of which His Majesty's said Warrant, Writ of Summons, and Letters Patents is verbatim hereafter written; and, by virtue of the said Writ of Summons, the Lord Bergavenny was brought into the House, in his Parliament Robes, the 26th of May, by the Lord Lawarr and by the Lord Stafford, in their Parliament Robes also; and took his Place or Room next above the Lord Audeley; and the said Letters Patents were likewise publickly read the same Day in the House.
"After this Order and Proceeding in the House, by His Majesty's Direction as aforesaid, some Question was moved, concerning the Precedence of the said Baronies of Bergevenny and Le Despencer; and thereupon (for the deciding and clearing of the said Doubt and Question) the Lords did refer the Examination and Consideration thereof unto the Commissioners for Causes belonging to the Office of Earl Marshal of England; who, having called unto them the Principal Heralds and other Officers at Arms, and received Information from them, as also considered of sundry ancient Records pertaining thereunto, did set down, under their Hands and Seals, their Order and Judgment touching the Precedency and Pre-eminency of the said Baronies, which was read this present Sixth of July, in the House, and commanded by the Lords to be also entered in the Journal Book."
Here followeth the Copy of His Majesty's Warrant for the Writ of Summons aforesaid, signed with His Majesty's Hand.
"Signed JAMES R.
"FIAT Breve, sub Magno Sigillo Nostro Angliæ, ad summonendum Edwardum Nevile de Bergevenny, Chr. ad præsens Parliamentum Nostrum, datum vicesimo quinto die Maii, Anno Regni Nostri Angliæ, Franciæ, et Hiberniæ Secundo, et Scotiæ Tricesimo septimo. Thomæ Domino Ellesmere Cancellario Nostro Angliæ."
Copy of the said Writ of Summons.
"Jacobus, Dei Gratia, Angliæ, Scotiæ, Franciæ, et Hiberniæ Rex, Fidei Defensor, &c. Prædilecto et Fideli Nostro Edwardo Nevill de Bergevenny, Chr. Salutem.
"Cum nuper, de Avisamento et Assensu Consilii Nostri, pro quibusdam arduis et urgentibus Negotiis, Nos, Statum et Defensionem Regni Nostri Angliæ et Ecclesiæ Anglicanæ concernentibus, præsens Parliamentum Nostrum, apud Civitatem Nostram Westm. decimo nono die Martii ultimo præterito, teneri ordinavimus, et ibidem, cum Prælatis, Magnatibus, et Proceribus dicti Regni Nostri, Colloquium habere et Tractatum; vobis, sub Fide et Ligeantia quibus Nobis tenemini, firmiter injungendo mandamus, quod, consideratis dictorum Negotiorum Arduitate et Periculis imminentibus, cessante Excusatione quacunque, vicesimo sexto die instantis mensis Maii, ad præsens Parliamentum Nostrum personaliter intersitis, Nobiscum, ac cum Prælatis, Magnatibus et Proceribus prædictis, super dictis Negotiis tractaturi, vestrumque Consilium impensuri. Et hoc, sicut Nos et Honorem Nostrum, ac Salvationem et Defensionem Regni et Ecclesiæ prædictæ, Expeditionemque dictorum Negotiorum diligitis, nullatenus omittatis. Teste Meipso, apud Westm. vicesimo quinto die Maii, Anno Regni Nostri Angliæ, Franciæ, et Hiberniæ Secundo, et Scotiæ Tricesimo septimo."
Copy of the Order of the Commissioners for the Earl Marshal's Office, concerning their Proceedings and Judgment in the Controversy for the Precedency of the Baronies of Abergavenny and Le Despencer.
"WHEREAS the King's most Excellent Majesty, by His Letters Patents under the Great Seal of England, dated at Westm. the 25th Day of May, in the Year of His Majesty's Reign of England, France, and Ireland the Second, and of Scotland the Seven and Thirtieth, for certain Causes and Considerations, purposing and resolving to restore, give, and grant, the Name, Stile, Title, Degree, Honour, and Dignity, of the Barony Le Despencer, and the ancient Place, Seat, Preeminence and Precedence thereof, did, of his own certain Knowledge and mere Motion, by the Advice, Assent, and Consent, of all and singular the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in this Present Parliament assembled, restore, erect, make, declare, create, and establish, Marie Fane, to the Estate, Degree, Title, Stile, Name, Honour, and Dignity, of Baroness Le Despencer, to the said Marie and her Heirs for ever; with all and every such Place and Pre-eminence as Hugh Le Despencer, some Time Justice of England, or Hugh Le Despencer, some Time Earl of Winchester, as Baron Le Despencer, had used, or enjoyed, as in and by the said Letters Patents (whereof we have advisedly considered) more at large doth and may appear; since which Time, to the Intent that the said Mary Baroness Le Despencer and her Heirs may have and enjoy the true and ancient Place, Seat, Pre-eminence, and Precedence, of the Barons Le Despencer, according to the said Letters Patents, the Examination and Consideration thereof was, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of the present Parliament, referred unto us, whose Names are hereunder written, Commissioners for Causes belonging to the Office of Earl Marshal of England; we, upon Sight and Consideration had of sundry ancient Summons to Parliament, and other Records, and, for our better Information and Satisfaction therein, having called the principal Heralds and other Officers at Arms before us, and hearing what they could say, produce, and alledge, in that Behalf, have found, and do with one Voice adjudge and determine, that the Place, Seat, Precedency, and Pre-eminence of the Barons Le Despencer, anciently was, is, and ought to be, before and above that of the Barons of Bergevenny, who now, during the Life of the said Barones Le Despencer, holdech and enjoyeth the first and highest Place and Seat, and hath Precedency and Pre-eminency of and among the Barons of this Realm, as Barons of Parliament; and we do therefore decree and order, that both the said Mary during her Natural Life, in all Places, Resorts, Meetings, and Assemblies, meet for her Sex; and, after her Decease, her Heirs, in all Parliaments, Councils, Resorts, Meetings, Assemblies, and Places, shall successively have, hold, and enjoy, the same, as honourably, amply, and beneficially, in all respects, as to the Degree and State of such a Baron doth belong, or hath been heretofore allowed, used, or accustomed; saving and reserving to all other the Lords and Barons of this Realm, which now are, or hereafter shall be, their just Right, Interest, Title, Claim, and Competition, to any Place, Seat, Precedence, and Preeminence; any Thing herein contained to the contrary notwithstanding. In Witness whereof, we have put to these Presents our Hands and Seals. Given at His Majesty's Palace of Whitehall, the Seven and Twentieth Day of May, in the Year above-mentioned.
"Signed by the Earls hereunder named: videlicet,
Earl of Notingham,
Earl of Suffolke,
Earl of Worcester,
Earl of Northampton."
Copy of His Majesty's Letters Patent for Restitution of the Lady Mary Fane and her Heirs to the Dignity of the Barony of Le Despencer.
"JACOBUS, Dei Gratia, Angliæ, Scotiæ, Franciæ, et Hiberniæ Rex, Fidei Defensor, &c. Archiepiscopis, Ducibus, Marchionibus, Comitibus, Vicecomitibus, Episcopis, Baronibus, Militibus, Præpositis, et aliis Officiariis, Ministris, et Subditis Nostris quibuscunque, Salutem.
"Cum Hugo Le Despencer, quondam Justiciarius Angliæ, tempore Regni Henrici Tertii, quondam Regis Angliæ, suerit unus ex Magnatibus, Proceribus, et Baronibus Regni Angliæ, per Nomen Baronis Le Despencer, sibi et Hæredibus suis; cumque Maria Fane, unica Filia et Hæres Henrici Baronis de Abergevenny, Filii et Hæredis Georgii Baronis de Abergevenny, Filii et Hæredis Georgii Baronis de Abergevenny, Filii et Hæredis Elizabethæ, Primogenitæ Filiæ Isabellæ unicæ Sororis et Hæredis Ricardi Le Despencer, Filii Thomæ Le Despencer, Comitis Glocestren. et Baronis Le Despencer, Filii Edwardi Baronis Le Despencer ex Elizabetha unica Filia et Hærede Bartholomæi Baronis Burghersh, Filii Edwardi Le Despencer, Filii Hugonis Baronis Le Despencer, Filii Hugonis Le Despencer, Comitis Winton, et Baronis Le Despencer, Filii Hugonis prænominati Baronis Le Despencer Justiciarii Angliæ, qui summonitus suerat ad Parliamentum, inter Proceres et Magnates Regni Angliæ, Anno Quadragesimo nono præfati Henrici Tertii, quondam Regis Angliæ, non solum Honoratissimo et Clarissimo Genere sit prognata, verum etiam omnium Virtutum Præsidiis ita munita, ut Majoribus suis se dignissimam præbeat, duosque suscepit Filios, Franciscum et Georgium, Equestris Ordinis Viros, Corporis Animique Dotibus præclaros, promptos, paratosque Patriæ et Principi strenuam Operam Domi Bellique navare, unamque Filiam, Roberto Brett, Militi, Servienti Nostro, enuptam: Nos, cogitantes, et Animo destinantes, restituere, dare, et concedere Nomen, Stilum, Titulum, Gradum, Honorem, et Dignitatem Baronis Le Despencer, et antiquum ejusdem Locum, Sedem, Præ-eminentiam, et Præcedentiam, per Advisamentum et unanimem Consensum omnium et singulorum Dominorum Spiritualium et Temporalium in præsenti Parliamento, de Gratia Nostra speciali, ac ex certa Scientia et mero Motu Nostris, præfatam Mariam ad Statum, Gradum, Titulum, Stilum, Nomen, Honorem, et Dignitatem Baronissæ Le Despencer restituimus, ereximus, præfecimus, declaravimus, creavimus, et stabilivimus, ipsamque Mariam in Baronissam Le Despencer, tenore præsentium, restituimus, erigimus, præsicimus, declaramus, creamus, et stabilimus; eidemque Mariæ Nomen, Titulum, Statum, Stilum, Honorem, et Dignitatem Baronissæ Le Despencer imponimus, damus, concedimus, præbemus, ratificamus, et confirmamus, per præsentes; habendum et tenendum prædictum Statum, Gradum, Titulum, Nomen, Stilum, Dignitatem, et Honorem Baronissæ Le Despencer præsatæ Mariæ, et Hæredibus suis, in perpetuum; volentes, et, per præsentes, pro Nobis, Hæredibus, et Successoribus Nostris, concedentes, quod eadem Maria prædictum Nomen, Statum, Gradum, Titulum, Stilum, Honorem, et Dignitatem Baronissæ Le Despencer, durante Vita sua naturali, gerat et habeat; quodque, post Mortem prædictæ Mariæ, Hæredes sui Nomen, Statum, Gradum, Titulum, Stilum, Honorem, et Dignitatem Baronum Le Despencer successive gerant et habeant, et eorum quilibet gerat et habeat; et quod eadem Maria, durante Vita sua naturali, per Nomen Baronissæ Le Despencer vocetur et nuncuperur; et quod, post ejus Decessum, Hæredes sui per Nomen Baronis Le Despencer successive vocentur et nuncupentur, et eorum quilibet vocetur et nuncupetur; quodque eadem Maria, durante Vita sua, Baronissa Le Despencer in omnibus teneatur, et ut Baronissa tractetur et reputetur; et quod, post Decessum præfatæ Mariæ, Hæredes sui successive Barones Le Despencer in omnibus teneantur, et ut Barones tractentur et reputentur, et eorum quilibet teneatur, tractetur, et reputetur, habeantque, teneant, et possideant, et eorum quilibet habeat, teneat, et possideat, talem Sedem, Locum, et Vocem, in Parliamentis, et Publicis Comitiis atque Conciliis Nostris, Hæredum et Successorum Nostrorum, infra Regnum Nostrum Angliæ, inter alios Barones, ut Barones Parliamentorum, et Publicorum Comitiorum et Consiliorum, quales prædictus Hugo Le Despencer, quondam Justiciarius Angliæ, aut prædictus Hugo Le Despencer, quondam Comes Winton, ut Baro Le Despencer, Temporibus retroactis, habuit, tenuit, aut gavisus suit, nec non gaudeant et utantur, et eorum quilibet gaudeat et utatur successive, per Nomen Baronis Le Despencer, omnibus et singulis Talibus, Juribus, Privilegiis, Locis, Præ-eminenciis, et Immunitatibus Statui Baronis in omnibus rite et de jure pertinentibus, qualibus præfatus Hugo Le Despencer, quondam Justiciarius Angliæ, aut prædictus Hugo Le Despencer, quondam Comes Winton, ut Baro Le Despencer, dudum honorificentur, usus et gavisus fuit; et hoc, absque Fine seu Feodo, magno vel parvo, in Hanaperio Nostro, seu alibi, ad Usum Nostrum, proinde quoque modo reddendo, solvendo, seu faciendo, eo quod expressa Mentio de vero Valore Annuo, aut de aliquo alio Valore, vel Certitudine præmissorum, sive eorum alicujus, aut de aliis Donis seu Concessionibus, per Nos, seu per aliquem Antecessorum seu Progenitorum Nostrorum, præfatæ Mariæ Baronissæ Le Despencer ante hæc Tempora facta, in præsentibus minime facta existit, aut aliquo Statuto, Actu, Ordinatione, Provisione, Proclamatione, sive Restrictione, in contrarium ante hæc habita, facta, edita, Ordinatione, seu Provisione aut aliqua alia Re, Causa, vel Materia quacunque, in aliquo non obstante. In cujus Rei Testimonium, has Literas Nostras fieri fecimus Patentes. Teste Meipso, apud Westmonasterium, vicesimo quinto die Maii, Anno Regni Nostri Angliæ, Franciæ, et Hiberniæ Secundo, Scotiæ Tricesimo septimo."
Copy of the Writ of Certiorari, for certifying the said Order and Determination of the House into the Rolls of Chancery.
"Jacobus, Dei Gratia, Angliæ, Scotiæ, Franciæ, et Hiberniæ Rex, Fidei Defensor, &c. Dilecto et Fideli suo Thomæ Smith, Militi, Clerico Parliamentorum suorum, Salutem.
"Volentes, certis de Causis, Certiorari super tenore cujusdam Ordinis et Determinationis, per Nos et Dominos Domus Superioris in Alma Curia Parliamenti, in Parliamento Nostro, tento apud Westm. decimo nono die Martii, Anno Regni Nostri Angliæ Primo, in Quæstione concernente Clameum et Titulum ad Baroniam de Bergevenny, inter Edwardum Nevile, Hæredem Masculum, et Dominam Fane, Hæredem Generalem, habita et determinata, intitulata, The Order and Determination of the Upper House, in the High Court of Parliament, in the Question touching the Claim and Title to the Barony of Bergevenny, between Mr. Edward Nevile, Heir Male, and the Lady Fane, Heir General; ac in Libro qui dicitur Le Jornall intrata, et modo in Custodia vesta remanente; vobis mandamus, quod tenorem Ordinis et Determinationis prædictæ, cum omnibus eum tangentibus, Nobis, in Cancellariam Nostram, sub Sigillo vestro, distincte et aperte, sine Dilatione, mittatis, et hoc Breve. Teste Meipso, apud Westmr. xii die Novembris, Anno Regni Nostri Angliæ, Franciæ, et Hiberniæ Quarto, et Scotiæ Quadragesimo.
This was written in the Head of the Transcript, which was certified into the Chancery, 27 Nov. 1606.
"Coram Domino Rege, ac Dominis tam Spiritualibus quam Temporalibus, in Superiori Domo Parliamenti, in Parliamento tento apud Westmonasterium, xix die Martii, Anno Regni Jacobi Regis Angliæ, Scotiæ, Franciæ, et Hyberniæ, videlicet, Angliæ, Franciæ, et Hiberniæ Primo, et Scotiæ xxxvii°, tam per dictum Dominum Regem, quam per dictos Dominos Spirituales et Temporales, ordinatum, decretum, et determinatum fuit, prout sequitur."
Commissioners Decree ratified by the House.
"AND, howbeit the same was oppugned by the said Lord Bergevenny, and his Counsel Learned heard therein, yet, upon mature and deliberate Consideration of all that could be alledged in that Behalf, the said Commissioners saw no Cause to alter their Order and Determination. Where upon the same their Decree and Judgment was, this present Sixth Day of July, presented and recommended to the House by the said Commissioners; and, after the same had been publickly read, it received the Allowance and Approbation of the whole House; and was ratified and approved by the Lords; and commanded to be entered in the Dorse of the Parliament Roll, together with the said Letters Patents, as the final Judgement and Sentence of the House in that Behalf.
"This is the Effect of that which I reported to the House, as approved by the Commissioners for the Office of Earl Marshal.
"Nottingham, T. Suffolke, E. Worcester, H. Northampton."