Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 3, 1620-1628. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
DIE Jovis, videlicet, 22 die Martii,
Domini tam Spirituales quam Temporales, quorum nomina subscribuntur, præsentes fuerunt:
p. Carolus Princeps Walliæ, etc.
Persons sworn in the Lord Chancellor's Cause.
JURATI in causa Domini Cancellarii: videlicet,
Sir Edward Fisher.
Sir Jo. Fynnett.
Sir Eubulo Thelwall.
Lord Chief Justice relates the Message from the House of Commons Yesterday.
The Lord Chief Justice related the Message delivered Yesterday from the Lower House, by Sir Robert Phillipps and others:
The which consisted of Two Parts: the one of Matter of Respect, the other of Substance.
In the one, they acknowledged the good Correspondence between both the Houses, especially in the Examination of the Grievances complained of, and presented to the Lords; with humble Thanks for the Supply the Lords added to their Labours, in giving the Oath unto the Examinants, which they cannot do. They humbly desire to know the Time of the Recess of this Parliament, and of the Access again, as they may accordingly depart and meet again at the same Time their Lordships shall.
The Second, being Matter of Substance, consisted of Four Points objected against the Lord Chancellor.
1. The first, a Suit in the Chancery being between the Lady Wharton, Plaintiff, and Wood and others, Defendants, upon Cross Bills; the Lord Chancellor, upon hearing, wholly dismissed them. But, upon the Entry of the Order, the Cross Bill against the Lady Wharton was only dismissed. And afterwards, for a Bribe of Three Hundred Pounds, given by the Lady Wharton to the Lord Chancellor, his Lordship decreed the Cause for her; and then, hearing that Wood and the other Defendants complained thereof to the Commons, his Lordship sent for them, and damned that Decree, as unduly gotten; and, when the Lady Wharton began to complain thereof, his Lordship sent for her also, and promised her Redress, saying, "That Decree is not yet ended."
Secondly, in a Suit, between Hull, Plantiff, and Hollman, Defendant, Hollman, deferring his Answer, was committed to The Fleet, where he lay Twenty Weeks, and, petitioning to be delivered, was answered by some about the Lord Chancellor, the Bill shall be decreed against him (pro confesso), unless he would enter into Two Thousand Pounds Bond to stand to the Lord Chancellor's Order; which he refusing, his Liberty cost him, one way and other, better than One Thousand Pounds. Holman being freed out of The Fleet, Hull petitioned to the Lord Chancellor, and Hollman, finding his Cause to go hard on his Side, complained to the Commons; whereupon the Lord Chancellor sent for him, and, to pacify him, told him, he should have what Order he would himself.
Thirdly, in the Cause between Smithwick and Wyche, the Matter in Question being for Accompts; the Merchants, to whom it was referred, certified on the Behalf of Smithwick; yet Smythwicke, to obtain a Decree in his Cause, was told by one Mr. Borough (one near the Lord Chancellor), that it must cost him Two Hundred Pounds, which he paid to Mr. Burough, or Mr. Hunt, to the Use of the Lord Chancellor; and yet the Lord Chancellor decreed but one Part of the Certificate; whereupon he treats again with Mr. Borough, who demanded another Hundred Pounds, which Smithwycke also paid, to the Use of the Lord Chancellor; then his Lordship referred the Accompts again to the same Merchants, who certified again for Smithwycke; yet his Lordship decreed the second Part of the Certificate against Smithwycke, and the first Part (which was formerly decreed for him) his Lordship made doubtful. Smithwycke petitioned to the Lord Chancellor for his Money again, and had it all, save Twenty Pounds kept back by Hunt for a Year.
The Lord Chief Justice also delivered the Three Petitions, which his Lordship received Yesterday from the Commons; the first by the Lady Wharton; the second by Wood and Pargitor and others; the third by Smithwycke.
Fourthly, the fourth Part of the Message consisted only of Instructions delivered to the Commons by one Churchill, a Register, containing divers Bribes and Abuses in the Chancery, which the Commons desire may be examined.
The Lord Chief Justice declared to the Lords (ex relatione Clerici Coronæ), how that one Thomas Harding, Brother-in-law unto Sir Gyles Mompesson, endeavours to sue out a Writ of Extent against the Lands of Sir Gyles Mompesson, upon a Recognizance of One Thousand Pounds, acknowledged unto him by the said Sir Gyles. Whereupon it was Ordered by the Court, That Stay be made of the said Extent. Whereof (Mr. Benbowe) the Deputy Clerk of the Crown, being present, took Notice.
Robert Barker delivered his Depositions in Writing, under his Hand, of a Bribe given by him to the Lord Chancellor; which was read, and he dismissed from further Attendance.
John Hunt also delivered his Deposition, signed with his Hand, touching Bribes given to the Lord Chancellor; which was read, and he dismissed from further Attendance.
Edward Shereborne delivered his Depositions also, signed with his Hand, touching Bribes given to the Lord Chancellor; which was read, and he commanded to attend.
William Peacock delivered his Deposition, signed with his Hand, which was read; but, for that it was not so full as he delivered it Yesterday in Court, the same was delivered to him again, to add his further Knowledge therein, and also to set down what Security he had from the Lord Chancellor for Repayment of the Thousand Pounds, which he lent his Lordship, and the Time of Repayment thereof, and the Use (if any) to be answered for the same; and to set down whether he had spoken with any of the Lord Chancellor's Servants since he was examined Yesterday, and what the Conference was. He confessed he had spoken since with Edward Shereborne.
Sir Gyles Mompesson.
The Lord Chamberlain reported, That the Consideration of the Declaration of the Grievances of the Patents of Inns and Hosteries (complained of) was committed to his Lordship, and other Committees joined with him. That, in the said Declaration, Three Things were considerable; the first, the Legality of the Patent granted to Mompesson, whereof the Lords Committees had no Power to consider; the second, the Inconveniency; the third, the Abuses in the Execution.
That the Inconveniency appeared in the Patents, where the Judges are made subject to a base Fee of Five Shillings. It appears in the Execution also; in that Sir Gyles Mompesson affronted the Justices of Peace, and threatened divers of them with the Council Table.
And whereas there was a Clause for a Certificate to be sent him, from Time to Time, of all Alehouse-keepers which were suppressed for their ill Behaviour, he made this Use of it, to make them Inn-keepers.
He granted Licences to divers base Fellows to keep Inns; and sued out Process against Four Thousand, for keeping Inns without Licence, and for the Prices of Horse-meat, whereof he tried but Two Suits only.
As for Gyles Bridges, and Thurbarne, the Lords Committees found that their Names were only used, but they were no Agents in the Business.
His Lordship delivered a Collection of the particular Abuses, and the Proofs thereof.
Gold and Silver Thread.
The Earl of Arundell reported, That the Consideration of the Grievances of the Patents of sole Manufacture of Gold and Silver Thread (complained of) was committed unto his Lordship, and other Committees joined with him. That their Lordships often met, the Business being of great Difficulty, and of many Particulars. They examined many Witnesses, which produced more, who were also fit to be examined, if the Time of Recess were not so near at Hand. The Lords Committees have thought good to present unto the House those Proofs they have made, and not to delay the same now (your Lordships not being excluded from further Proof hereafter).
His Lordship shewed further, that the Lords Committees dealt chiefly with the Execution, not with the Legality of those Patents. They found, in the Execution thereof, that the Authority given by the Letters Patents (which ought to be used rarely) was used by them familiarly, to the Undoing of Thousands. That the Warrants Dormants, to seize and imprison, &c. and exceed all Kind of Warrants; whereof there be Three, and one of them is without Date, and razed, and the other hath a Date with a new Hand.
That Sir Gyles Mompesson committed divers to Prison without Examination, which they could not do by that Warrant.
That divers were threatened to be imprisoned.
That Fowles did lock up divers in his own House.
That divers Houses were violently broken up, and the Parties Goods seized.
That divers were compelled to enter into Bonds not to exercise their own Trade, and to stand to their Orders, and to make Oath what Quantity of Gold and Silver Thread they sold, and to whom.
That Sir Gyles confessed divers of these Wrongs, and made Restitution unto many.
That this Work of Gold and Silver Thread was much sophisticated, since the Grant of the sole Manufacture thereof.
His Lordship further shewed, That the Lords Committees urged none to accuse himself, and admonished every Man not to accuse any other out of Passion.
And his Lordship desired, That, though Sir Gyles Mompesson be fled, yet Fowles and the other Delinquents may be heard here, what they can say in their own Defence.
The Earl of South'ton reported unto the Lords, That the Consideration of the Grievances of Concealments (complained of) was committed to the Consideration of his Lordship, and other Committees joined with him. He acknowledged, that his Lordship's Part of this Committee was the easiest. That they found his Majesty to be much abused in the Pretence and Execution of this Grant. They find, that Sir Gyles Mompesson obtained a Commission to himself, to call all Officers before him; by virtue whereof, he fetcht up, from all Parts, the King's Officers, and kept them here to fill his Book granted unto him of Two Hundred Pounds per Annum of concealed Lands, in Recompence of his Service; the Proceedings, the Warrants, and the Abuses in the Execution, are all set down in the Declaration delivered by the Commons.
Their Lordships Labour was to look into these Informations; wherein they desired the Help of divers Gentlemen of the Lower House, who, not as Members of that House, but as private Gentlemen and Friends, gave their Lordships full Satisfaction therein.
They found Proofs of every Point set down in the said Declaration, and, for their further Satisfaction, they viewed the Records themselves; wherein they found some Proceedings not mentioned in the Declaration, and not warranted by any Commission: videlicet,
1. Process used by George Geldarde (Sir Gyles Mompesson's Agent), in the King's Attorney's Name; the said Geldarde confessing one, and but one.
2. Sir Gyles Mompesson used Geldarde and Geldarde's Man, as his Agents; Geldard to be his Commissioner, and Geldard's Man to be his Clerk.
Their Lordships found likewise, that Geldard's Man gave the Evidence to the Jury; and, though the Jury found an imperfect Verdict, yet Geldard proceeded as upon a perfect Verdict.
That Geldard compounded with divers, who were questioned for their Lands (as concealed), and employed those Parties as Commissioners for their own Composition.
That they put into the Book an Advowson and Rectory at Four Pence per Annum.
That they put in Land, called Pesemarsh, at Ten Shillings per Annum, which was affirmed by Sir George More (the Tenant) to contain Seven Hundred Acres, and to be better worth than Three Hundred Pounds per Annum.
That there was no Time limited unto Sir Gyles Mompesson to fill up his Book, whereby his vexing the Subject to fill the same might continue Seven Years.
Their Lordships conceived, that, as His Majesty had been abused in the Grant, and in the Execution, so He should also have been in the End.
The Lord Admiral moved, That a Care may be taken hereafter, that the Sophistication of the Manufacture of Gold and Silver Thread be prohibited, and none be permitted to work thereon, to the Waste and Consumption of the Bullion in the Land. He commended the Trade, that it might set Thousands on Work; and, if Order be first taken for the bringing in of Bullion, and against the Sophistication, it might be both gainful to the King, and to the Commonwealth, and to the new Patentees, if a new Patent thereof shall be thought fit.
His Lordship shewed further, That the Motive for the Grant of Concealments was, that Sir Gyles Mompesson offered his Service, to consider how the Multitude of the Officers of the Exchequer might be cut off, wherein His Majesty would first know the Opinions of the Judges; and His Majesty's Pleasure was, not to prejudice any Officer during his Life, but to provide for the future. Which was, and yet is, His Majesty's Resolution to do. In Consideration whereof, this Patent of Concealments was granted unto the said Sir Gyles. It was ill foreseen, that a Man of his corrupt Disposition should be admitted to view the Records, which he might embezzle, blot, or raze, for his own Profit; but at that Time Sir Gyles had the Reputation of an honest Man. That Sir Gyles had abused this Grant many Ways, but as yet nothing was passed under Seal. The Abuse partly grew out of this, that Sir Gyles had compounded with one Geldard for the same, who, to make his best Commodity thereof, put into the Book Matters of great Value at small Rates; which when his Lordship heard of, he rebuked Sir Gyles, and willed him to look to it, and not to suffer any Thing to be past, but what the Chancellor of the Exchequer should first allow of. And that thereupon the said Sir Gyles, in the Hearing of his Lordship, delivered his Book unto Mr. Chancellor, to be viewed, whatsoever he should think good to be put out; though much was intended to the Prejudice of His Majesty and the Subject, yet nothing was passed.
Moved and Agreed, That, although by the several Reports made by the Three Lords, good and manifest Proof is made of the Misdemeanors of Sir Gyles Mompesson, and others his Agents, that yet their Lordships will hear the Parties themselves, what they can say in their own Defence; but, for that Easter is drawing on, the Time of Recess is also near, in which Shortness of Time, all the Delinquents cannot be heard and proceeded against.
It was further Agreed, That a Collection be made out of all the Proofs concerning Sir Gyles Mompesson only; which being related to the House, and the Proofs read, the Lords to proceed to sentence Sir Gyles, though absent, for that his Flight is an Eviction in Law; and, for that the Expectation hereof is great (as is the Grief), that therefore the Proceedings might be with Expedition, as the whole Kingdom may hear of the Punishment upon the Delinquents imposed by this Parliament, as well as of the Subsidies granted.
It was further debated, in what Manner to proceed against the Delinquent Sir Gyles Mompesson, whether by Indictment here or otherwise.
Order of the House, no Lord to speak Twice.
Memorandum, That, by the Prince's Motion, it was declared, and Agreed, That, by the ancient Orders of the House, no Lord is to speak Twice, though to explain himself, except some other Lord mistake him in any Part of his former Speech; and this commanded to be entered, and Ordered to be observed.
Upon Motion of the Earl of Arundell, the House was adjourned ad libitum; wherefore the Lord Chief Justice removed from the Lord Chancellor's Seat to his Place of Assistance.
Fowles, Geldard, and other Delinquents.
In the mean Time it was debated, what Course should be held with Mathias Fowles and George Geldard, and other Delinquents committed by the Lower House, and transmitted by them to be examined by the Lords, and many foul Abuses proved against them; as also touching Sir Frauncis Michell, whom the Lower House first committed for a Contempt against that House, and is also found guilty of many great Misdemeanors, touching the Execution of the Patents of Gold and Silver Thread.
The Lord Chief Justice returned to the Seat of the Lord Chancellor.
Message to the Commons.
Message sent to the Lower House, by the Lord Chief Baron and Mr. Baron Denham:
Royal Assent for Subsidies.
That the Lower House be pleased this Afternoon to present themselves, accompanied with their Speaker, to hear His Majesty's Commission read, for the Royal Assent unto the Two Acts of the Subsidies; and to let them understand, that the Lords have Agreed, the Recess from Parliament, for this Time, to be on Tuesday next; and that the Lords do leave the Time for the Access again to the Consideration of the Commons.
And further to let them understand, that the Lords are very careful to expedite the Bill against Promoters, which was so earnestly commended unto their Lordships; the which Bill hath been once read; but, for that the Time of the Recess is so near at Hand, their Lordships intend to spend the same about their Proceeding to sentence Sir Gyles Mompesson only.
Fowles, Geldard, and other Delinquents.
Lastly, that their Lordships desire a Conference with them about the safe Custody, or Bail, of Mathias Fowles, George Gelderd, and other Delinquents, committed by them of that House; and that they come prepared to give their Lordships Satisfaction therein.
The Place to be the Painted Chamber, the Time (with Expedition) left unto them.
The Committee, the whole House.
That they will be ready at Two this Afternoon to hear the Commission read.
They will come prepared for the Conference.
And they like well of the Recess to be on Tuesday next; for the Time of the Access, which the Lords leave unto them, they will take it into their Consideration, and return Answer.
None to disturb the House whilst any Lord is speaking.
The Earl of Arundell shewed, it was against the ancient Orders of the House, for any Lord (whilst a Lord is in Speaking) to disturb the House with Talking.
Dominus Capitalis Justiciarius, Locum tenens Domini Cancellarii, declaravit præsens Parliamentum continuandum esse usque in postmeridiem hujus diei, hora 2a, Dominis sic decernentibus.
Domini tam Spirituales quam Temporales, quorum nomina subscribuntur, præsentes fuerunt:
p. Carolus Princeps Walliæ, etc.
Commission about Subsidies.
THE Speaker of the Commons of the Lower House being first sent for in, and come to the Bar, the Lord Chief Justice delivered unto the Clerk the King's Commission, signed by His Majesty, and under the Great Seal, with the Two Acts for the Subsidies annexed thereunto. Which Commission being read, the Commons were dismissed. The Tenor of which Commission ensueth, in hæc verba: videlicet,
"James, by the Grace of God, King of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c. To Our Right Trusty and Well-beloved the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and to Our Trusty and Well beloved the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses, the Commons in this present Parliament assembled, Greeting.
"We have seen, and perfectly understood, Two several Acts and Ordinances, annexed and affiled to these Presents, agreed and accorded on by you Our Loving Subjects, the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and the Commons in this Our present Parliament assembled, and severally indorsed by you, as hath been accustomed; one of them intituled, An Act for the Grant of Two entire Subsidies granted by the Temporalty; and the other of them intituled, An Act for Confirmation of the Subsidies granted by the Clergy. And albeit the said several Acts and Ordinances, by you Our said Subjects the Lords and Commons in this Our present Parliament assembled, be fully agreed and consented unto, yet nevertheless the same be not of Force and Effect in the Law, without Our Royal Assent given and put to the same Acts and Ordinances, and either of them; and forasmuch as, for divers great and urgent Causes and Considerations, We cannot conveniently, at this present, be personally, in Our Royal Person, in the Higher House of Our said Parliament, being the Place accustomed to give Our Royal Assent unto such Acts and Ordinances as have been agreed upon by Our said Subjects the Lords and Commons; We have therefore caused these Our Letters Patents to be made, and have signed the same, and by the same do give and put Our Royal Assent to both the said Acts and Ordinances, and to all Articles, Clauses, and Provisions, in them contained, and be fully agreed and assented to both the said Acts; willing that the said Acts, and every Article, Clause, Sentence, and Provision, in them contained, from henceforth, shall be of the same Strength, Force, and Effect, as if We had been personally present in the said Higher House, and had openly and publickly, in the Presence of you all, assented to the same. And We do, by these Presents, declare and notify the same Our Royal Assent, as well to you the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and the Commons aforesaid, as to all others whom it may concern; commanding also, by these Presents, as well Our Chancellor of England to seal these Our Letters Patents with Our Great Seal, as Our Trusty and Well-beloved Sir James Ley, Knight and Baronet, Chief Justice of the Pleas before Us to be holden, to declare and notify this Our Royal Assent, in Our Absence in the said Higher House, in the Presence of you the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and the Commons of this Our Parliament there to be assembled for that Purpose; and the Clerk of Our Parliament to indorse the said Acts with such Terms and Words, in Our Name, as is requisite, and hath been accustomed for the same; and also to inroll these Our Letters Patents, and all and every the said Acts, in the Parliament Roll; and these Our Letters Patents shall be to every of them a sufficient Warrant in that Behalf. And finally, We declare and will, that, after this Our Royal Assent given and passed by these Presents, and declared and notified as is aforesaid; that then immediately the said Acts, and either of them, shall be taken, accepted, and admitted, good, sufficient, and perfect Acts of Parliament and Laws, to all Intents, Constructions, and Purposes, and to be put in due Execution accordingly; the Continuance or Dissolution of this Our Parliament, or any other Use, Custom, Thing, or Things, to the contrary thereof notwithstanding. In Witness whereof, We have caused these Our Letters to be made Patent. Witness Ourself, at Theobalds, the One and Twentieth Day of March, in the Eighteenth Year of Our Reign of England, France, and Ireland, and of Scotland the Four and Fiftieth.
"Per ipsum Regem,
The Lords being to meet the Commons in the Painted Chamber, for the Conference demanded, the Earl of Dorsett declared how that (as his Lordship was informed by divers Gentlemen of the Lower House) the Message sent unto them this Morning, by the Lord Chief Baron and Mr. Baron Denham, was utterly mistaken in the Delivery thereof.
Message to the Commons.
Whereupon another Message was sent unto them, by Sir William Bird, and Mr. Attorney General, to this Effect: videlicet,
That the Recess of the Parliament is agreed on by the Lords to be on Tuesday next.
That the Access is left to the Consideration of the Lower House.
That the Bail of Sir Francis Michell, and other Prisoners, is left to their Consideration.
That the Lords do intend, at this Time, to proceed against Sir Gyles Mompesson only.
That the Bill against Promoters, so commended by them unto their Lordships, hath been once read; and their Lordships will be very careful to expedite the same at the Access after Easter.
And, Memorandum, it was moved, and generally Agreed by all the Lords, That, to express the great Desire which their Lordships have, to hold and continue all good Correspondency with the Commons, the Lord Treasurer should deliver this their Desire, together with the Contents of the Message, at the Conference, and to report the Answer and Resolution of the Commons unto the Lords.
Memorandum, That, when the Lords went into the Painted Chamber unto the said Conference, the Lord Chief Justice removed from the Lord Chancellor's Seat, to his Place of Assistance.
At the Return from the said Conference, the Lord Treasurer reported, That the Commons render the Lords humble Thanks for their honourable and loving Entertainment, with hearty Thanks unto Almighty God for the great Unity between the Two Houses.
That, whereas their Lordships had left the Time of the Access unto the Parliament to be resolved on by them; they, upon serious Deliberation, have agreed the same to be on Tuesday, the Seventeenth Day of April next.
That they refer unto their Lordships the Bailment, or Commitment, of Mathias Fowles, George Gelderd, and the other Prisoners by them transmitted unto their Lordships; but their Opinion is (if it may so stand with their Lordships Pleasure) that the Gaol is the best Bail for them.
And as for Sir Francis Michell, though he be committed by them to The Tower, yet he is left to be transmitted to their Lordships, and if their Lordships please.
Fowles and Geldard.
It being debated what should become of these Prisoners, it was Ordered, That Mathias Fowles and George Geldard shall be committed Prisoners to The Fleet, with a special Charge to the Warden, for their safe Custody; and that they be not permitted to go abroad with a Keeper, nor any great Resort permitted to come unto them.
The Clerk made a Warrant for their Commitment accordingly, directed to the Warden of The Fleet, and delivered the same unto Henry Crompton (a Messenger in ordinary) to carry them unto the said Prison.
Gold and Silver Thread.
The Lord Treasurer did put the Lords in Mind of the Motion made by the Lord Admiral this Morning, for some Order to be taken to prevent the Sophistication of Gold and Silver Thread, and the Waste of our Silver. Agreed, Mr. Attorney General to draw up a Form of a Proclamation for that Purpose, and to present the same to the House, and, upon Approbation thereof, to be presented to His Majesty.
Lord Chancellor's Case.
The Confession and Instructions of John Churchill, touching Bribery and Corruption of the Lord Chancellor, was read.
And, Memorandum, that presently, upon the reading thereof, the said Confession and Instructions, with the Three Petitions sent from the Commons, were delivered to the Lords Committees appointed to examine the same.
Upon the Motion of the Lord Houghton, for Precedents to be produced touching Judicature, Accusations, and Judgments, anciently used in this High Court of Parliament;
It was Ordered, That a Committee of a small Number should presently take Care for the Search thereof amongst the Records remaining in The Tower, or elsewhere; Copies of the same to be also certified under the Officers Hands.
Committees to search Precedents for Judicature, &c.
The Names of the Committees:
Memorandum, The Clerk made a Warrant, under his Hand, to all Officers, to permit the said Lords Committees to make Search, amongst the said Records, and the Officers to subscribe Notes or Copies thereof, without Fee.
In causa Domini Cancellarii, jurati fuerunt:
Dominus Capitalis Justiciarius, Locum tenens Domini Cancellarii, declaravit præsens Parliamentum continuandum esse usque in diem crastinum, 23m diem Martii, Dominis sic decernentibus.