The Journals of All the Parliaments During the Reign of Queen Elizabeth. Originally published by Irish University Press, Shannon, Ire, 1682.
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On Thursday the 2d day of January, the Lord Keeper and divers other Lords, both Spiritual and Temporal, were present (although through the negligence of Francis Spilman Esq; at this time Clerk of the Upper House, it doth not certainly appear who they were in the Original Journal-Book of the same House) but no Bill (as it seemeth) was read, or any thing else done; but only the Parliament continued by the Lord Keeper, which is there Entred in manner and form following, viz.
Nota, That it appears in the Original JournalBook of the House of Commons, that after the Parliament had been continued, as aforesaid, Doctor Huick was sent down to the said House, from the Lord Keeper, to give them notice thereof.
Nota also, That in the Original Journal-Book of the Upper House, there is no mention made of any thing that was done, or of any Speech used, nor touching the Dissolution of this present Session of Parliament, but only that her Majesty was there present, with divers Lords both Spiritual and Temporal; and therefore I have supplyed the whole Proceedings of this Afternoon at large, out of a very Copious and Elaborate Anonymous Memorial thereof, I had by me; which also I have in some places supplyed out of the Original Journal-Book of the House of Commons, although it be so little and short, as it may rather be called matter of Confirmation than Enlargement; in which also it shall lastly suffice to touch briefly, that I have always observed, contrary to the ordinary course, to insert all such Speeches and other passages (as largely as by any good Authority I might) into the Journal of the Upper House, in which House they were agitated and uttered, and to the Journal of which house they so most properly belong, and do only for Order sake add some short expressions thereof in the Journals of the House of Commons. The said Passages of this Afternoon do now next ensue out of the above-mentioned Manuscript Memorial.
The Queens Majesty between two or three of the Clock in the Afternoon (of this present Thursday being the second day of January, in the ninth year of her Reign) came by Water from Whitehall, and Landed on the backside of the Parliament-Chamber. And so the Earl of Westmorland bearing the Sword afore her, the Lady Strange the Train, with the Lords in their daily Apparel, and Heralds attending on her, she proceeded up into the Privy-Chamber, to prepare her self in her Parliament-Robes, during which time the Lords and Justices put on their Parliament-Robes, and took their places.
On the Westside sate Vaughan and Yale, Masters of the Chancery, Mr Spilman Clerk of the Parliament, Mr Powle Deputy and Joint-Patentee with Mr Martin, Clerk of the Crown; afore which Sack stood a little Table.
Then the Queens Majesty being Apparelled in her Parliament-Robes, with a Caul on her Head, came forth, and proceeded up and took her Seat; the Marquess of Northampton carrying the Cap of Maintenance, and stood on her right hand, and the Earl of Westmorland the Sword at her left hand, with the Heralds and Serjeants at Arms before her; the Queens Mantle born up on either side from her Arms, by the Earl of Leicester, and the Lord of Hunsdon, who always stood still by her for the assisting thereof, when she stood up; her Train born by the Lady Strange, assisted by the Lord Chamberlain, and Vice-Chamberlain. At the left hand of the Queen, and Southside, kneeled the Ladies; and behind the Queen, at the Rail, stood the Lord Keeper on the right hand, the Lord Treasurer on the left hand, with divers young Lords, and Peers Eldest Sons.
Then all being placed, Mr Onslow the Speaker was brought in, between Sir Francis Knolles Vice-Chamberlain, and Sir Ambrose Cave Chancellor of the Dutchy; and after Reverence done, proceeded down to the Wall, and from thence came up to the Rail, in the way making three Reverences; and standing there, made other three like Reverences, and then began his Oration, as followeth.
MOST Excellent and Vertuous Princess, &c. Where I have been Elected by the Knights, Citizens and Burgesses of this your nether House to be their Mouth, or Speaker, and thereunto appointed and allowed by your Majesty, to supply the same room, to the bewraying of my wants, specially, that thereby I shall be forced utterly to discover the barrenness of my learning before this Noble Assembly, which not a little grieveth me, and would gladly be excused, considering the true saying, How there is no difference between a wise Man and a Fool, if they may keep silence; which I require. But again, considering your Majesties Clemency, taking in good part the good will of the party, for want of ability, which putteth me, in remembrance, and good hope perswading me, that you will not take your said Clemency from me, contrary to your Nature.
Again, when I consider my Office, as Speaker, it is no great matter, being but a Mouth, to utter things appointed me to speak unto you, and not otherwise; which consisteth only in Speaking, and not in any other Knowledge; whereby I gather how it is necessary, I speak simply, and plainly, according to the truth and trust reposed in me. And thus, considering whose mouth I am, which chose me to speak for them, being the Knights, Citizens and Burgesses, who were not also by the Commons chosen for their Eloquence, but for their Wisdom and discretion, by this means being fit men to whom the Commons have committed the care and charge of themselves, Wives and Children, Lands and Goods, and so in their behalf to foresee, and take order for all things necessary. Thus they being Chosen by the plain Commons, it is necessary they Elect a plain Speaker, sit for the plain matter, and therefore well provided at first to have such a one as should use plain words, and not either so fine that they cannot be understood, or else so Eloquent, that now and then they miss the Cushion.
But now upon occasion of beholding your Grace and this Noble Assembly, I consider the manifold and great benefits, which God suddenly hath sent unto this Country; for although God hath granted the benefit of Creation and Conservation, with many other Commodities, to other Nations of the World, yet this our Native Country he hath blessed, not only with the like, but also with much more fruitfulness than any other; of which great and inestimable benefit of Gods preferment, which appeareth better by the want that others have of the same, I am occasioned now to speak, the rather to move and stir up our hearts, to give most hearty thanks to God for the same.
Now to speak of Government by Succession, Election, Religion, or Policy; First, if the Body should want a Head, it were a great Monster; so it is likewise, if it have many Heads, as if upon every several Member were a Head. And to speak of one Head; although in the Body be divers Members, which be made of Flesh, Bones, Sinews and Joints, yet the one Head thereof governeth wisely the same; which if it should want, we should be worse than wild Beasts, without a Shepherd, and so worthily be called a Monstrous Beast.
Again, If the Body should be Governed by many Heads, then the same would soon come to destruction, by reason of the Controversy amongst them, who would never agree, but be destroyed without any Foreign Invasion; therefore God seeth it is needful that the people have a King, and therefore a King is granted them; and so therefore the best Government is to be ruled by one King, and not many, who may maintain and cherish the good and Godly, and punish the Ungodly and Offenders.
As for Government by Election, in that is great variance, partiality, strifes and part-takings. As for Examples, amongst the rest take out one, which is called the most Holy, as that of the Pope; and weigh how holily and quietly it is done, called indeed holy and quiet, but utterly unholy and unquiet, with great part-takings and strifes.
Now touching Religion. To see the Divine Providence of God, how that many Nations be Governed by one Prince, which were impossible, but that God Ordereth it so, by whom the Order of Regiment is appointed, and that in his Scriptures; wherefore the Subjects ought to obey the same, yea although they were evil, and much more those that be good. So God hath here appointed us, not a Heathen, or unbelieving Prince, as he might, but a Faithful, and one of his own Children, to govern us his Children: in which Government the Prince serveth God two ways; as a Man, and as a King. In that he is a Man, he ought to live and serve God, as one of his good Creatures; And in that he is a King, and so Gods special Creature, he ought to make Laws whereby God may be truly worshipped, and that his Subjects might do no injury one to another, and specially to make quietness amongst the Ministers of the Church; to extinguish and put away all hurtful and unprofitable Ceremonies in any Case contrary to Gods word; in which point we have in your Majesties behalf great thanks to give unto God, in setting forth unto us the Liberty of Gods word, whereof before we were bereaved, and that you have reformed the State of the corrupt Church, now drawing Souls out of dangerous errors, which afore by that Corruption they were led and brought unto.
And concerning Policy, God hath Committed to your Highness two Swords; the one of which may be called the Sword of War, to punish outward Enemies withal, and the other the Sword of Justice, to Correct offending Subjects: in which point of Policy your Majesty is not behind your Progenitors; for although at your Entrance you found this Realm in War, and ungarnished with Manition, and that with such store as never was before; yet you have dislodged our antient Enemies which were planted and placed even upon the Walls of this Realm. And concerning Policy in Laws, as Bones, Sinews and Joints be the force of a Natural Body, so are good Laws the strength of a Common-Wealth: And your Laws be consisting of two points, the Common Laws, and the Statutes.
And for the Common Law, it is so grounded on Gods Laws and Natures, that three several Nations governing here have all allowed the same; which is not inferior, but rather superior, and more indifferent than any other Law. For by our Common Law, although there be for the Prince provided many Princely Prerogatives and Royalties; yet it is not such, as the Prince can take money, or other things, or do as he will at his own pleasure without order: but quietly to suffer his Subjects to enjoy their own, without wrongful oppression, wherein other Princes by their Liberty do take as pleaseth them.
Aristotle faith, That the Life of the Prince is the Maintenance of the Laws, and that it is better to be governed by a good Prince, than by good Laws; and so your Majesty, as a good Prince, is not given to Tyranny, contrary to your Laws; but have and do pardon divers of your Subjects offending against the Laws. As now for Example, of your special Grace you have granted a general Pardon, either without our seeking, or looking for; whereby it is the better welcom. Again your Majesty hath not attempted to make Laws contrary to Order, but orderly have called this Parliament, who perceived certain wants, and thereunto have put their helping hand, and for help of evil manners, good Laws are brought forth; of the which we beseech your Excellent Majesty, so many as you shall allow, to inspire with the breath of your Majesties Power; whereby they may be quickned, which now want Life, and so be made Laws.
Furthermore concerning Payments to be made to the Prince, it is as to deliver the same to Gods Ministers, who are appointed always for our defence; wherefore your humble Subjects do offer a Subsidy, to be put into your Majesties Treasure; which although it be but as a Mite, or a Farthing, yet is the good will of them to be reputed as the poor Widows was in the Gospel; wherein I must not omit to do that which never Speaker did before; viz. to desire your Majesty not to regard this simple offer of ours, but therein to accept our good will, wherein your Highness hath prevented me in taking in the best part our good will; and required us to retain in our hands part of our gift, and accounting it to be in our Purses as in your own; and so is our Duty, besides the Policy thereof, it being for our own Defence: and also honestly, for that we have received many benefits by your Majesty; for he that doth a good turn, deserveth the praise, and not he which afterwards goeth about to reward, or doth reward the same. Also giving most hearty thanks to God, for that your Highness hath signified your pleasure of your inclination to Marriage; which afore you were not given unto, which is done for our safeguard; that when God shall call you, you shall leave of your own Body to succeed you, which was the greatest promise that God made to David, and the greatest request that Abraham desired of God, when God promised him exceeding great reward: Who said, Lord, what wilt thou give me, when I go Childless, and he that is the Steward of mine House, is mine Heir? Therefore God grant us, that, as your Majesty hath defended the Faith of Abraham, you may have the like desire of Issue with you. And for that purpose, that you would shortly imbrace the holy State of Matrimony, to have one, when and with whom God shall appoint, and best like your Majesty; and so the Issue of your own Body, by your Example, Rule over our Posterity; and that we may obtain this, let us give our most humble thanks to God for his manifold benefits bestowed upon us, and pray for the Reign of your Majesties Issue, after your long desired Government; and so ended and did his Obeysance.
Mr Speaker, The Queen hath heard and understood your Wife and Eloquent Oration, whereby principally I gather four things; First, Disabling your self. Secondly, Concerning Governance. The third, touching the Subsidy. And lastly, In giving thanks; which also was intermingled very wisely in all parts of your Oration.
For the second, Concerning Governance, as well by Succession as Election, of Religion and Policy, in which Discourse you have dealt well, I therefore leave it, and mean to speak only a few words, as to your last word Policy.
Politick Orders be Rules of all good Acts, and touching those that you have made to the over-throwing of good Laws, they deserve reproof as well as the others deserve praise; in which like case you err, in bringing her Majesties Prerogative in Question, and for that thing, wherein she meant not to hurt any of your Liberties. And again, the grant of her Letters Patents in Question is not a little marvail, for that therein you find fault; which is now no new devised thing, but such as afore this time hath been used and put in practice, howbeit her Majesties nature is mild and full of Clemency; so that she is loth herein to be austere; and therefore, though at this time she suffer you all to depart quietly unto your Countries for your Amendment, yet as it is needful, so she hopeth that the Offenders will hereafter use themselves well.
Again, touching the good Laws, which you have taken great pains in making; if they be not Executed, they be not only as Rods without Hands to execute them, or as Torches without Light, but also breed great contempt: therefore look well to the Execution; for if it be not done, the fault is in some of us, which she putteth orderly in trust to see it done.
For the third point, concerning the presentment of the Subsidy, her Majesty biddeth me say, that when the Lords Spiritual and Temporal granted it unto her, so she trusteth you will be as careful in gathering of it; which I, and others be witness, how very unwilling and loth she was to take, but to avoid further inconvenience.
And lastly, Concerning knowledge of benefits, and giving of thanks, which you have well declared be many, yet one in comparison above all, yea a fruit above all other, and whereby you may enjoy all the other, which is her Marriage; whereof she hath put you in good hope.
Further, I have to put you in remembrance of three things; the first is, that where now you acknowledge benefits, and as you have cause to give thanks, so secondly, that you be not unmindful hereafter to do the like; And thirdly, that in all your doings hereafter, you show your selves, that all these benefits be had in remembrance, and not forgotten; for that it should be a thing against reason in humane Creatures; specially therefore now it behoveth you all, as you have acknowledged benefits, and for them given thanks in the first point, so that you see the other two observed. And then her Majesty will not fail likewise thankfully to accept the same; and so ended.
Thus far out of the before-mentioned Memorial, touching the Passages and Speeches of this present Afternoon. Now followeth the manner of her Majesties giving her Royal Assent to such Acts as passed, out of one of the Original JournalBooks of the Upper House, durante Regno Regin. Eliz. viz. in an. 30. although it be not so expresly set down in that of this present Session of Parliament.
The Clerk of the Parliament, having read the Queens acceptance and thanks for the Subsidy given, as aforesaid, did then upon the reading of the Pardon, pronounce in these French words following, the thanks of the Lords and Commons for the same.
Les Prelats, Seigneurs & Communes, en ce present Parliament assembles, an nom de touts vous autres subjects, remercient tres-humblement vostre Majesty, & prient à Dieu, que il vous done en santè bonne vie & longue.
Nor to the Bill of Pardon, because it is originally her free gift, is any other circumstance required, than that the thankful acceptance thereof by the Lords and Commons be likewise expressed; it being but once read in either House, before it come thus at last to be expedited. Now to all other Bills, either private or publick, the Queens express consent, though in different words, is always requisite, as followeth, viz.
The Bills of Subsidy and Pardon being passed in manner and form as aforesaid, then were the publick Acts read; to every one of which allowed by the Queen, the Clerk of the Parliament read in French these words following, viz.
THen the Queen standing up, said (after she had given her Royal Assent unto nineteen publick Acts, and thirteen private) My Lords, and others the Commons of this Assembly, although the Lord Keeper hath, according to Order, very well Answered in my Name, yet as a Periphrasis I have a few words further, to speak unto you: Notwithstanding I have not been used, nor love to do it, in such open Assemblies; yet now (not to the end to amend his talk) but remembring, that commonly Princes own words be better printed in the hearers memory, than those spoken by her Command, I mean to say thus much unto you. I have in this Assembly found so much dissimulation, where I always professed plainness, that I marvail thereat, yea two Faces under one Hood, and the Body rotten, being covered with two Vizors, Succession and Liberty, which they determined must be either presently granted, denied or deferred. In granting whereof, they had their desires, and denying or deferring thereof (those things being so plaudable, as indeed to all men they are) they thought to work me that mischief, which never Foreign Enemy could bring to pass, which is the hatred of my Commons. But also they began to pierce the Vessel before the Wine was fined, and began a thing not foreseeing the end, how by this means I have seen my wellwillers from mine Enemies, and can, as me seemeth, very well divide the House into four.
First the Broachers and workers thereof, who are in the greatest fault. Secondly, The Speakers, who by Eloquent Tales perswaded others, are in the next degree. Thirdly, The agreers, who being so light of Credit, that the Eloquence of the Tales so overcame them, that they gave more Credit thereunto, than unto their own Wits. And lastly, those that sate still Mute, and medled not therewith, but rather wondred disallowing the matter; who in my Opinion, are most to be Excused.
But do you think, that either I am unmindful of your Surety by Succession, wherein is all my Care, considering I know my self to be mortal? No, I warrant you: Or that I went about to break your Liberberties? No, it was never in my meaning, but to stay you before you fell into the Ditch. For all things have their time. And although perhaps you may have after me one better Learned, or Wiser; yet I assure you, none more careful over you: And therefore henceforth, whether I live to see the like Assembly or no, or whoever it be, yet beware however you prove your Princes Patience, as you have now done mine. And now to conclude, all this notwithstanding (not meaning to make a Lent of Christmas) the most part of you may assure your selves, that you depart in your Princes Grace.
Then she spake openly to the Lord Keeper, saying, My Lord, You will do as I bad. Who then said aloud, The Queens Majesty hath agreed to Dissolve this Parliament. Therefore every man may take his ease, and depart at his pleasure. And the Queen rose, and went and shifted her, and took her Barge, and returned to the Court, being past six of the Clock; and then after her rising, she made Anthony Browne, one of the Justices of the Common-Pleas, a Knight.
1. William Duke of Normandy sending Ambassadors to King Harold, to deliver up the Crown of England to him, and to Marry the Dukes Daughter; Herald returned him this Answer. (fn. 1) Si de filia sua, quam debui in uxorem ut asserit ducere, agit, super Regnum Angliæ mulierem extraneam inconsultis Principibus (words of a large extension used in those times by Historians) me nec debere nec sine grandi injuria posse adducere noverit. Malmesbury (fn. 2) that antient and famour Historian, recites it thus. Quæ dixi de puellæ nuptiis referens de Regno addebat præsumptuo sum fuisse quod absq; Generali Senatus & Populi Conventu & Edicto alienam illi hæreditatem juraverit.
2. William the Son of H. 1. being dead, (fn. 3) Rex legalis Conjugii nexu olim solutus, ne quid ulterius inhonestum committeret, Consilio Radulphi Cantuar. Pontisicis & Principum Regni, quos omnes in Epiphania Domini sub uno Londoniæ congregavit, decrevit sibi in uxorem Atheleidem filiam Godfredi Ducis Lotharingiæ.
3. King John being Divorced, the new Queen was Crowned, (fn. 4) de communi assensu & concordi voluntate Archiepiscoporum, Episcoporum, Comitum, Baronum, Cleri & Populi totius Regni.
4. H. 3. declares (fn. 5) Ad omnem notitiam volumus pervenire, quod de assensu Magnatum & fidelium nostrorum (words comprehensive of a Parliament, precedent and future Authorities in the like Case considered) acceptabimus ducere in uxorem legitimam Alianoram filiam nobilis viri P. Comitis Provinciæ, &c. he having had once a purpose to Marry the King of Scots younger Sister. Proposuit Rex (sayes the (fn. 6) Historian) ducere in uxorem Regis Scotiæ Sororem, indignantibus Comitibus & (fn. 7) Baronibus suis universis; non enim ut dixerunt decebat quod Rex duceret filiam natu minorem cum Hubertus Justiciarius (meaning Hubert de Burgo) natu majorem haberet sibi matrimonio copulatam.
5. Edward the Second, (fn. 8) pro solempnitate sponsalium & Coronationis, Consulted with his Parliament in his first Year.
6. And An. 5 E. 3. the Chancellor declaring the reasons of the Assembly of the Parliament, amongst others tells them, that it was to (fn. 9) consult and resolve, whether the King should proceed with France for recovery of his Seignories, en voie de amiable trete per aliance de mariage, ou de guerre.
7. In the 23d Year of H. 6. that great Favourite, William de la Pole, Marquess of Suffolk, then Chancellor, by the Kings Command informs the Parliament, (fn. 10) that the Marriage with Margaret the Sicilian Kings Daughter, was Contracted for inducing the Peace made with France; against which the Lords, as being made without their advice, made Protestation, and caused it to be entred upon the Parliament Roll; but it appears the Commons agreed to it, by the Petition which they put up to the King, whereby they recommended by the Chancellors Interest, his Services and Actions, praying his Grace to accept him to his gracious favour and good acceptance, and that he was a great instrument of the intended Peace and Marriage, which the Commons well liked of, though the Lords did not.
8. The Lords Spiritual, Temporal and Commons, tell the King, (fn. 11) that they had considered, how that the pretended Marriage between E. 4. and Elizabeth Gray, was made of great presumption, without the knowledge and assent of the Lords of this Land.
9. And in the Parliament 1 H. 7. the Commons by Thomas Lovell their Speaker, did (fn. 12) Petition the King to Marry Elizabeth, Edward the Fourths Daughter, which he at their request (back'd by the Lords) agreed to do: the Memorial of which is thus recorded in the Parliament Roll.
Memorand, quod decimo die Decembris Anno præsenti Communes Regni Angliæ in pleno Parliamento coram Domino Rege comparentes, per Thomas Lovell Prolocutorem suum Regiæ Celsitudini humillime supplicabant eandem Celsitudinem affectuose requirentes, eo considerato quod authoritate Parliamenti stabilitum est & inactitatum quod hæreditates Regnorum Angliæ & Franciæ cum præemineatia & potestate Regali sint, restent, remaneant & permaneant in persona ejusdem Domini Regis & hæredum de corpore suo legitimè exeuntium, eadem Regalis sublimitas vellet sibi illam præclaram Dominam Elizabetham Regis Edwardi Quarti filiam in Uxorem & Conthoralem assumere, unde per Dei gratiam sobolium propagatio de stirpe Regum à multis speratarum in totius Regni consolationem consequeretur. Quare Domini Spirituales & Temporales in eodem Parliamento existentes à sedibus suis surgentes & ante Regem in Regali solio residentem stantes capitibus suis inclinatis eandem requestam fecerunt voce divisa: quibus idem Rex respondebat ore proprio, se juxta eorum desideria & requestas procedere fuisse contentum.
10. Anno Domini 1530. Anno 21 H. 8. the Parliament sent a Declaration or Letter to the Pope, touching the Marriage and Divorce of that King from Queen Katherine, telling him, that (fn. 13) Causa Regiæ Majestatis nostra cujusq; propria est à Capite in membra derivata, dolor ad omnes atq; injuria ex æquo pertinet, and that if his Holiness did not give his consent, nostri nobis curam esse relictam & aliunde nobis remedia conquiramus, that is, in plain English, if the Pope would not do it, they would, which indeed afterwards they did.
To which Pope Clement the Seventh sent an Answer directed thus, Venerabilibus fratribus Archiepiscopis & Episcopis ac dilectis filiis Abbatibus Nobilibusq; viris Ducibus, Marchionibus, Comitibus, Baronibus, Militibus, ac Doctoribus Parliamenti Regni Angliæ.
11. The Marriage of King Philip and Queen Mary, it is true, was treated on before, yet nothing could absolutely be concluded till the whole Treaty and Articles of Marriage were solemnly and solidly debated in Parliament, (fn. 14) which being agreed to, they confirm and establish them by a Law.
12. We your Majesties most humble Subjects, cannot forbear, but with all humbleness most thankfully to set before the same, our most lowly thanks for three special matters proceeding from your Majesty to our benefit, joy and comfort in this present Assembly.
First, For the more Princely consideration had of us in the forbearing at this time some portion of that, which according to the greatness and necessity of your Affairs, we of Duty meant and intended to have yielded unto your Majesty.
Secondly, For the most comfortable assurance and promise by your Majesty made and declared unto us, that for our Weal and Surety, your Majesty would Marry as soon as God should give you opportunity to accomplish the same, whereof we have received infinite comfort, and shall pray to Almighty God to further and prosper all your Majesties Actions tending thereunto, that we your most natural Subjects may speedily see some noble Issue of your Body, to continue perpetually by Descent the Succession of this Imperial Crown.
Thirdly, For the great hope and comfort we have conceived by the means of your Majesties most Honourable Speech, uttered and declared unto us, of your most Gracious and Princely Disposition and determination, when time thereunto shall serve conveniently, with the Surety of your Majesties Person, and the Weal and Tranquillity of your Realm, to have due regard to the further establishing of the Succession of your Imperial Crown.
(fn. 15)Quod omnes tangit, ab omnibus approbetur.