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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DIE Veneris, videlicet, 20 die Aprilis:
Absent Lords excused.
LORD Bishop of Rochester excused for Absence by the Lord Archbishop of Cant. for Sickness.
Lord Bergevenny excused for the like Cause, by the Lord Chancellor.
Lord Bp. of Sarum excused for the like Cause, by the Lord Bishop of Oxon.
The Lord Chancellor, putting the Lords in Mind of the Meeting appointed to be this Afternoon with the Committees of the Lower House, shewed, That hitherto the Committees of this House have from hence no Warrant in what Sort to proceed in the Business at such Meeting, whereof he remembered their Lordships that this Day was appointed to advise and give Direction.
Deliberation concerning His Majesty's Answer to Tenures and Wardships.
The Lord Treasurer, in a very effectual, grave, and worthy Speech, declared, That the Subject of this present Deliberation is, to advise touching the Delivery of His Majesty's Answer to the Committees of the Lower House: That the Matter to which the Answer was made, is not ordinary; not a Grievance, not a Request for Justice, nor any such Matter, whereunto the King may or ought to be urged to any present or certain Answer; but a Suit, for valuable Recompence, to be eased of certain Payments and Burthens, by Law justly lying on the Subject, whereof no Man can justly complain. The Matter requested his Lordship remembered to be, That all Tenures by Grand Serjeanty, Petit Serjeanty, Knights Service in Capite, etc. be turned into Free and Common Socage, as of a Manor, which he likewise affirmed to be the basest and meanest Service: Unto which Request his Lordship reported His Majesty's Answer to be in Effect thus: videlicet, "That he would upon no Terms depart with any Part of His Sovereign Prerogative, whereof the Tenure in Capite of His Person, which is all one as of His Crown, is no small Branch: But, touching the Dependants upon such Tenures, videlicet, Wardship, Marriage, Primier Seizin, Relief, Respect of Homage, and the like, which be the only Burthens of these Tenures (the Honour and Tenures reserved), His Majesty is pleased, when He shall have understood what Recompence will be therefor offered unto Him, with convenient Speed, to give further Answer, for contracting for the same."
Judges required to give their Opinion concerning Tenures and Wardships.
Hereupon it was generally required, That the Lords the Judges then present, videlicet, the Lord Chief Justice of England and the Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, should declare unto the House, whether the Tenures of Honour aforesaid, and the like, may be reserved to His Majesty, and the Matters of Charge or Burthen afore-remembered, and others of like Nature, be released and discharged.
The said Lords the Judges having satisfied the House by Delivery of their Opinions and Reasons (with Reservation) to be:
Opinion of the Judges.
That such Tenures of Honour as aforesaid may be retained, and the Incidents of Charge and Burthen be discharged and released; it was Resolved, That the Lord Treasurer should, in the Afternoon, deliver His Majesty's Answer and good Pleasure to the Committees of the Lower House, and leave the Consideration of the Means and Course to their Wisdoms and Advice.
Dominus Cancellarius continuavit præsens Parliamentum usque in diem crastinum, videlicet, 21m Aprilis, hora 9a.