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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THE JOURNAL OF THE House of COMMONS.
A Journal of the Passages of the House of Commons, in the Session of Parliament holden at Westminster, Anno 18 Reginæ Eliz. A. D. 1575, which began there after divers Prorogations of the same, on Wednesday the 8th Day of February, and then and there continued until the Prorogation thereof on Thursday the 15th Day of March.
This present Journal of the House of Commons, containeth in it, not only many good Passages touching the ordinary usages and priviledges of the House, but is plentifully stored also with divers extraordinary and rare Occurrences touching the maintenance of the Liberties of the House, not only from the indignity of private Persons, but also against the pressures of the Lords of the Upper House; in which also there wanted not the zealous endeavour of the House for reformation of divers Ecclesiastical matters, and the remarkable Imprisonment of a Member of the same by themselves: in which I have supplied many Passages and Speeches which were wanting in the Original Journal-Book it self, in the due places, out of several Copies of them I had by me. Yet to avoid confusion, whatsoever is transcribed out of the said Copies, is distinguished by some Annotation or Animadversion, both before and after it. And lastly it may here fitly be observed, that this being but the second Session of the fourth Parliament of her Majesties Reign, the House of Commons, as did also the Lords of the Upper House, sell to their ordinary business upon their first meeting in manner and form following, viz.
On Wednesday the 8th day of February, the Bill that upon Actions upon the Case brought for slanderous words or writings, the Country may be traversed, was read the first time.
Peter Wentworth Esquire, one of the Burgesses for the Borough of Tregony in the County of Cornwall, was for unreverent and undutiful words uttered by him in this House of our Soveraign Lady the Queens Majesty sequestred, that the House might proceed to Conference and consideration of his said Speech. Which Speech I have transcribed out of a Copy I had by me, and added it to this Journal: viz.
Mr Speaker, I find written in a little Volume these words in effect: Sweet is the name of Liberty, but the thing it self a value beyond all inestimable Treasure. So much the more it behoveth us to take care lest we contenting our selves with the sweetness of the name, lose and forgo the thing, being of the greatest value that can come unto this noble Realm. The inestimable Treasure is the use of it in this House. And therefore I do think it needful to put you in remembrance, that this Honourable Assembly are Assembled and come together here in this place for three special Causes of most weighty and great importance.
The first and principal is to make and abrogate such Laws as may be most for the preservation of our noble Soveraign.
The second ......
The third is to make or abrogate such Laws as may be to the chiefest surety, safe-keeping, and enrichment of this noble Realm of England. So that I do think that the part of a faithful-hearted Subject is to do his endeavour to remove all Stumbling-Blocks out of the way that may impair or any manner of way hinder these good and Godly Causes of this our coming together. I was never of Parliament but the last and the last Session, at both which times I saw the Liberty of free Speech, the which is the only Salve to heal all the Sores of this Common-Wealth, so much and so many ways infringed, and so many abuses offered to this Honourable Council, as hath much grieved me even of very Conscience and love to my Prince and State. Wherefore to avoid the like I do think it expedient to open the Commodities that grow to the Prince and whole State by free Speech used in this place, at the least so much as my simple Wit can gather of it, the which is very little in respect of that that wise Heads can say therein, and so it is of the more force.
First, All matters that concern Gods Honour through free Speech, shall be propagated here and set forward, and all things that do hinder it removed, repulsed and taken away.
Next, there is nothing commodious, profitable, or any way beneficial for the Prince or State, but faithful and loving Subjects will offer it in this place.
Thirdly, All things discommodious, perillous or hurtful to the Prince or State shall be prevented, even so much as seemeth good to our merciful God to put into our minds, the which no doubt shall be sufficient if we do earnestly call upon him and fear him, for Solomon faith, "The "fear of God is the beginning of Wisdom, Wis"dom, faith he, breatheth Life into her Children, "receiveth them that seek her, and will go beside "them in the way of Righteousness: so that our minds shall be directed to all good, needful and necessary things, if we call upon God with faithful hearts.
Fourthly, If the Envious do offer any thing hurtful or perillous to the Prince or State in this place, what incommodity doth grow thereby? Verily I think none, nay will you have me to say my simple opinion therein, much good cometh thereof; how forsooth, for by the darkness of the Night the brightness of the Sun Sheweth more excellent and clear, and how can truth appear and conquer until falsehood and all subtilties that should shadow and darken it be found out? for it is offered in this place a piece of fine Needle-work unto them that are most skilful therein, for there cannot be a false stitch (God aiding us) but will be found out.
Fifthly, This good cometh thereof, a wicked purpose may the easier be prevented when it is known.
Sixthly, An evil man can do the less harm when it is known.
Seventhly, Sometime it happeneth that a good man will in this place (for Argument sake) prefer an evil cause, both for that he would have a doubtful truth to be opened and manifested, and also the evil prevented; so that to this point I conclude, that in this House which is termed a place of free Speech, there is nothing so necessary for the preservation of the Prince and State as free Speech, and without it is a scorn and mockery to call it a Parliament House, for in truth it is none, but a very School of Flattery and Dissimulation, and so a fit place to serve the Devil and his Angels in, and not to glorify God and benefit the Common-Wealth.
Now to the impediments thereof which by Gods Grace and my little Experience I will utter plainly and faithfully, I will use the words of Elcha, "Behold, I am as the new Wine which "hath no vent and bursteth the new Vessels in "funder, therefore I will speak that I may have a "vent, I will open my Lips and make Answer, I "will regard no manner of Person, no man will I "Spare, for if I should go about to please men, I "know not how soon my Maker will take me away: my Text is vehement the which by Gods sufferance I mean to observe, hoping therewith to offend none; for that of very Justice none ought to be offended for seeking to do good and saying of the truth.
Amongst other, Mr Speaker, Two things do great hurt in this place, of the which I do mean to speak: the one is a rumour which runneth about the House and this it is, take heed what you do, the Queens Majesty liketh not such a matter, whosoever prefereth it, she will be offended with him; or the contrary, her Majesty liketh of such a matter, whosoever speaketh against it she will be much offended with him.
The other: sometimes a Message is brought into the House either of Commanding or Inhibiting, very injurious to the freedom of Speech and Consultation, I would to God, Mr Speaker, that these two were Buried in Hell, I mean rumours and Messages; for wicked undoubtedly they are, the reason is, the Devil was the first Author of them, from whom proceedeth nothing but wickedness: now I will set down reasons to prove them wicked.
First, If we be in hand with any thing for the advancement of Gods Glory, were it not wicked to say the Queen liketh not of it, or Commanded that we shall not deal in it? greatly were these Speeches to her Majesties dishonour, and an hard opinion were it, Mr Speaker, that these things should enter into her Majesties thought; much more wicked and unnatural were it that her Majesty should like or Command any thing against God, or hurtful to her self and the State. The Lord grant this thing may be far from her Majesties Heart. Here this may be objected, that if the Queens Majesty should have intelligence of any thing perillous or beneficial to her Majesties Person or the State, would you not have her Majesty give knowledge thereof in this House, whereby her peril may be prevented, and her benefit provided for? God forbid, then were her Majesty in worse case than any of her Subjects. And in the beginning of our Speech I shewed it to be a special Cause of our Assembly, but my intent is, that nothing should be done to Gods dishonour, to her Majesties peril, or the peril of the State. And therefore I will shew the inconveniences that grow of these two.
First, If we follow not the Princes mind, Solomon faith, the Kings displeasure is a Messenger of Death: This is a terrible thing to weak nature, for who is able to abide the fierce Countenance of his Prince, but if we will discharge our Consciences, and be true to God, and Prince and State, we must have due consideration of the place and the occasion of our coming together, and especially have regard unto the matter wherein we both shall serve God, and our Prince and State faithfully, and not dissembling as Eye Pleasers, and so justly avoid all displeasures both to God and our Prince; for Solomon faith, in the way of the righteous there is life, as for any other way it is the path to Death. So that to avoid Everlasting Death and Condemnation with the High and Mighty God, we ought to proceed in every Cause according to the matter, and not according to the Princes Mind; and now I will shew you a reason to prove it perilous always to follow the Princes Mind. Many times it falleth out, that a Prince may favour a cause perilous to himself and the whole State; what are we then if we follow the Princes Mind, are we not unfaithful unto God, our Prince and State? Yes truly, we are Chosen of the whole Realm, of a special Trust and Confidence by them reposed in us, to foresee all such Inconveniences. Then I will set down my opinion herein, that is, he that dissembleth to her Majesties peril, is to be counted as an hateful Enemy; for that he giveth unto her Majesty a detestable Judas his Kiss; and he that contrarieth her mind to her Preservation, yea though her Majesty would be much offended with him, is to be adjudged an approved Lover, for faithful are the wounds of a Lover, faith Solomon, but the Kisses of an Enemy are deceitful: And it is better, faith Antisthenes, to fall amongst Ravens than amongst Flatterers, for Ravens do but devour the dead Corps, but Flatterers the Living. And it is both Traiterous and Hellish through Flattery to seek to devour our natural Prince, and that do Flatterers; therefore let them leave it with shame enough.
Now to another great matter that riseth of this grievous rumour, what is it forsooth? whatsoever thou art that pronouncest it, thou dost pronounce thy own discredit; why so? for that thou dost what lyeth in thee to pronounce the Prince to be perjured, the which we neither may nor will believe, for we ought not without too too manifest proof to credit any dishonour to our Anointed, no we ought not without it to think any Evil of her Majesty, but rather to hold him a Lyar what credit soever he be of; for the Queens Majesty is the Head of the Law, and must of necessity maintain the Law, for by the Law her Majesty is made justly our Queen, and by it she is most chiefly maintained: hereunto agreeth the most Excellent words of (fn. 1) Bracton, who faith, the King hath no Peer nor Equal in his Kingdom; he hath no Equal, for otherwise he might lose his Authority of Commanding, sithence that an Equal hath no Rule of Commandment over his Equal. The King ought not to be under man, but under God and under the Law, because the Law maketh him a King: Let the King therefore attribute that to the Law, which the Law attributeth unto him, that is, Dominion and Power; for he is not a King in whom Will and not the Law doth rule, and therefore he ought to be under the Law. I pray you mark the Reason why my Authority faith, the King ought to be under the Law, for faith he, he is Gods Vicegerent here upon Earth, that is, his Lieutenant to execute and do his Will, the which is Law or Justice, and thereunto was her Majesty Sworn at her Coronation, as I have heard learned men in this place sundry times affirm; unto the which I doubt not but her Majesty will for her Honour and Conscience sake have special regard; for free Speech and Conscience in this place are granted by a special Law, as that without the which the Prince and State cannot be preserved or maintained: So that I would wish every man that feareth God, regardeth the Princes Honour, or esteemeth his own Credit, to fear at all times hereafter to pronounce any such horrible Speeches, so much to the Princes Dishonor; for in so doing he sheweth himself an open Enemy to her Majesty, and so worthy to be contemned of all faithful hearts. Yet there is another inconvenience that riseth of this wicked rumour, the Utterers thereof seem to put into our Heads, that the Queens Majesty hath conceived an evil opinion, diffidence and mistrust in us her faithful and loving Subjects; for if she had not, her Majesty would then wish that all the things dangerous to her self should be laid open before us, assuring her self that loving Subjects, as we are, would without Schooling and direction, with careful minds to our Powers, prevent and withstand all perils that might happen unto her Majesty: and this opinion I doubt not but her Majesty hath conceived of us, for undoubtedly there was never Prince that had faithfuller hearts than her Majesty hath here; and surely there were never Subjects had more cause heartily to love their Prince for her quiet Government than we have. So that he that raiseth this rumour, still encreaseth but discredit in seeking to sow Sedition as much as lyeth in him, between our merciful Queen and us her most loving and faithful Subjects, the which by Gods Grace shall never lie in his Power, let him spit out all his venome and there withal shew out his malicious heart; yet I have collected sundry reasons to prove this a hateful and a detestable rumour, and the Utterer thereof to be a very Judas to our Noble Queen, therefore let any hereafter take heed how he publish it, for as a very Judas unto her Majesty, and Enemy to the whole State, we ought to accept him.
Now the other was a Message Mr Speaker brought the last Sessions into the House, that we should not deal in any matters of Religion, but first to receive from the Bishops: Surely this was a doleful Message, for it was as much as to say, Sirs, ye shall not deal in Gods Causes, no, ye shall in no wise seek to advance his Glory; and in recompence of your unkindness, God in his wrath will look upon your doings, that the chief cause that ye were called together for, the which is the preservation of their Prince, shall have no good success: If some one of this House had presently made this interpretation of this said Message, had he not seemed to have the Spirit of Prophecy? Yet truly I assure you Mr Speaker, there were divers of this House that said with grievous hearts, immediately upon the Message, that God of his Justice could not prosper the Session; and let it be holden for a principle Mr Speaker, that Counsel that cometh not together in Gods name, cannot prosper: for God faith, Where two or three are gathered together in his name there am I in the midst among them: Well, God even the great and mighty God, whose name is the Lord of Hosts, great in Councel, and infinite in thought, and who is the only good Director of all hearts, was the last Session shut out of Doors; but what fell out of it forsooth? his great indignation was therefore poured upon this House, for he did put into the Queens Majesties Heart to refuse good and wholsome Laws for her own Preservation, the which caused many faithful hearts for grief to burst out with sorrowful tears, and moved all Papists Traytors to God and her Majesty, who envy good Christian Government, in their Sleeves to laugh all the whole Parliament House to scorn; and shall I pass over this weighty matter so slightly? Nay, I will discharge my Conscience and Duties to God, my Prince and County. So certain it is Mr Speaker that none is without fault, no not our Noble Queen, fith then her Majesty hath committed great fault, yea dangerous faults to her self.
Love, even perfect love void of Dissimulation, will not suffer me to hide them, to her Majesties peril, but to utter them to her Majesties Safety: and these they are, it is a dangerous thing in a Prince unkindly to abuse his or her Nobility and People, and it is a dangerous thing in a Prince to oppose or bend her self against her Nobility and People, yea against most loving and faithful Nobility and People. And how could any Prince more unkindly intreat, abuse, oppose her self against her Nobility and People, than her Majesty did the last Parliament? did she not call it of purpose to prevent Traiterous perils to her Person, and for no other Cause? did not her Majesty send unto us two Bills, willing us to make choice of that we liked best for her safety, and thereof to make a Law, promising her Majesties Royal Consent thereunto? And did we not first chuse the one, and her Majesty refused it, yielding no reason, nay yielding great reasons why she ought to have yielded to it? Yet did we nevertheless receive the other, and agreeing to make a Law thereof, did not her Majesty in the end refuse all our Travels? And did not we, her Majesties faithful Nobility and Subjects, plainly and openly decypher our selves unto her Majesty and our hateful Enemies; and hath not her Majesty left us all to the open revenge? Is this a just recompence in our Christian Queen for our faithful dealings? The Heathen do requite good for good, then how much more is it to be expected in a Christian Prince? And will not this her Majesties handling think you, Mr Speaker, make cold dealing in any of her Majesties Subjects toward her again? I fear it will. And hath it not caused many already think you, Mr Speaker, to seek a Salve for the Head that they have broken? I fear it hath, and many more will do the like if it be not prevented in time. And hath it not marvellously rejoiced and encouraged the hollow hearts of her Majesties hateful Enemies and Traiterous Subjects? no doubt but it hath: And I beseech God that her Majesty may do all things that may grieve the hearts of her Enemies, and may joy the hearts that unfeignedly love her Majesty; And I beseech the same God to endue her Majesty with his Wisdom, whereby she may discern faithful advice from traiterous sugared Speeches, and to send her Majesty a melting yielding heart unto sound Counsel, that Will may not stand for a Reason: and then her Majesty will stand when her Enemies are fallen, for no Estate can stand where the Prince will not be governed by advice. And I doubt not but that some of her Majesties Counsel have dealt plainly and faithfully with her Majesty herein; if any have, let it be a sure token to her Majesty to know them for approved Subjects; and whatsoever they be that did perswade her Majesty so unkindly to intreat, abuse and to oppose her self against her Nobility and People, or commend her Majesty for so doing, let it be a sure token to her Majesty to know them for sure Traytors and Underminers of her Majesties Life, and remove them out of her Majesties presence and favour: for the more cunning they are, the more dangerous are they unto her Majesty. But was this all? No, for God would not vouchsafe that his Holy Spirit should all that Session descend upon our Bishops; so that that Session nothing was done to the advancement of his Glory. I have heard of old Parliament men, that the Banishment of the Pope and Popery, and the restoring of true Religion had their beginning from this House, and not from the Bishops; and I have heard that few Laws for Religion had their Foundation from them; and I do surely think, before God I speak it, that the Bishops were the Cause of that doleful Message, and I will shew you what moveth me so to think: I was amongst others the last Parliament sent unto the Bishop of Canterbury for the Articles of Religion that then passed this House, he asked us why we did put out of the Book the Articles for the Homilies, Consecrating of Bishops, and such like? Surely, Sir, said I, because we were so occupied in other matters, that we had no time to examine them how they agreed with the word of God: what, said he, surely you mistook the matter, you will refer your selves wholly to us therein? No, by the Faith I bear to God, said I, we will pass nothing before we understand what it is; for that were but to make you Popes; make you Popes who list, said I, for we will make you none. And sure, Mr Speaker, the Speech seemed to me to be a Pope-likeSpeech, and I fear left our Bishops do attribute this of the Popes Canons unto themselves, Papa non potest errare; for surely if they did not, they would reform things amiss, and not to spurn against Gods People for writing therein as they do; but I can tell them News, they do but kick against the prick, for undoubtedly they both have, and do err, and God will reveal his truth, maugre the hearts of them and all his Enemies, for great is the truth and it will prevail: and to say the truth, it is an Error to think that Gods Spirit is tied only to them; for the Heavenly Spirit faith, first seek the Kingdom of God and the Righteousness thereof, and all these things (meaning temporal) shall be given you: these words were not spoken to the Bishops only, but to all; and the Writ, Mr Speaker, that we are called up by, is chiefly to deal in Gods Cause; so that our Commission both from God and our Prince is to deal in Gods Causes: therefore the accepting of such Messages, and taking them in good part do highly offend God, and is the acceptation of the breach of the Liberties of this Honourable Councel; for is it not all one thing to say, Sirs, you shall deal in such matters only, as to say, you shall not deal in such matters? and so as good to have Fools and Flatterers in the House, as men of Wisdom, grave Judgment, faithful Hearts, and sincere Consciences, for they being taught what they shall do can give their consents as well as the others: Well, be that hath an Office, faith St Paul, let him wait on his Office, or give diligent attendance upon his Office. It is a great and Special part of our duty and office, Mr Speaker, to maintain the freedom of Consultation and Speech, for by this, good Laws that do set forth Gods Glory, and for the preservation of the Prince and State are made. St Paul in the same place faith, hate that which is evil, cleave unto that which is good: then with St Paul, I do advise you all here present, yea and heartily and earnestly desire you from the bottom of your hearts to hate all Messengers, TaleCarriers, or any other thing whatsoever it be that any manner of way infringes the Liberties of this Honourable Councel; yea hate it or them as venemous and poyson unto our CommonWealth, for they are venemous Beasts that do use it; therefore I say again and again, hate that which is evil and cleave unto that which is good; and this being loving and faithful hearted, I do with to be conceived in fear of God, and of love to our Prince and State; for we are incorporated into this place, to serve God and all England, and not to be Time-Servers, as Humour-feeders, as Cancers that would pierce the Bone, or as Flatterers that would fain beguile all the World, and so worthy to be Condemned both of God and Man; but let us shew our selves a People endued with Faith, I mean with a lively Faith, that bringeth forth good Works, and not as Dead. And these good Works I wish to break forth in this fort, not only in hating the Enemies beforeSpoken against, but also in open reproving them as Enemies to God, our Prince and State that do use them, for they are so. Therefore I would have none spared or forborn that shall from henceforth offend herein, of what calling soever he be, for the higher place he hath the more harm he may do; therefore if he will not eschew offences, the higher I wish him hanged. I speak this in Charity, Mr Speaker, for it is better that one should be hanged, than that this Noble State should be subverted; well I pray God with all my heart to turn the hearts of all the Enemies of our Prince and State, and to forgive them that wherein they have offended, yea and to give them grace to offend therein no more; even so I do heartily beseech God to forgive us for holding our peaces when we have heard any injury offered to this Honourable Councel; for surely it is no small offence, Mr Speaker, for we offend therein against God, our Prince and State, and abuse the confidence by them reposed in us. Wherefore God for his great mercies sake, grant that we may from henceforth shew our selves neither Bastards nor Dastards therein, but that as rightly begotten Children, we may sharply and boldly reprove Gods Enemies, our Princes and State; and so shall every one of us discharge our Duties in this our High Office, wherein he hath placed us, and shew our selves haters of Evil, and Cleavers to that, that is good, to the setting forth of Gods Glory and Honour, and to the Preservation of our Noble Queen and Common-Wealth: for these are the marks that we ought only in this place to shoot at. I am thus earnest I take God to witness, for Conscience Sake, Love, Love unto my Prince and CommonWealth, and for the advancement of Justice; for Justice faith an Antient Father, is the Prince of all Vertues, yea the safe and faithful Guard of mans Life, for by it Empires, Kingdoms, People and Cities be governed, the which if it be taken away, the Society of man cannot long endure. And a King, faith Solomon, that fitteth in the Throne of Judgment and looketh well about him, chaseth away all evil; in the which State and Throne, God for his great mercies sake, grant that our Noble Queen may be heartily vigilant and watchful; for surely there was a great fault committed both in the last Parliament; and since also that was, as faithful hearts as any were unto the Prince and State, received most displeasure, the which is but an hard point in Policy, to encourage the Enemy, to discourage the faithful hearted who of servent love cannot dissemble, but follow the Rule of St Paul, who faith, let love be without dissimulation.
Now to another great fault I found the last Parliament committed by some of this House also, the which I would desire of them all might be left; I have from right good men in other Causes, although I did dislike them in that doing, sit in an evil matter against which they had most earnestly spoken: I mused at it, and asked what it meant, for I do think it a shameful thing to serve God, their Prince or Country, with the tongue only, and not with the Heart and Body. I was answered that it was a common Policy in this House, to mark the best sort of the same, and either to sit or arise with them; that same common Policy I would gladly have banished this House, and have grafted in the stead thereof, either to rise or sit as the matter giveth Cause; For the Eyes of the Lord behold all the Earth to strengthen all the hearts of them that are whole with him. These be Gods own words, mark them well, I heartily beseech you all; for God will not receive half part, he will have the whole. And again, he misliketh those two faced Gentlemen, and here be many Eyes that will to their great shame behold their double dealing that use it. Thus I have holden you long with my rude Speech, the which since it tendeth wholly with pure Conscience to seek the advancement of Gods Glory, our Honourable Soveraigns Safety, and to the sure defence of this noble Isle of England, and all by maintaining of the Liberties of this Honourable Councel, the Fountain from whence all these do Spring; my humble and hearty Suit unto you all is, to accept my good will, and that this that I have here spoken out of Conscience and great zeal unto my Prince and State, may not be buried in the Pit of Oblivion, and so no good come thereof.
Upon this Speech the House out of a reverend regard of her Majesty's Honour, stopped his further proceeding before he had fully finished his Speech. The Message he meant and intended was that which was set by her Majesty to the House of Commons in the said fourteenth year of her Reign upon Wednesday the 28th day of May, by Sir Francis Knolles Knight, Treasurer of her Majesties Houshold, inhibiting them for a certain time to treat or deal in the matter touching the Scottish Queen. Now follows the proceeding of the House upon this Speech out of the Original Journal-Book it self.
Mr Wentworth being Sequestred the House as aforesaid for his said Speech, it was agreed and Ordered by the House upon the Question (after sundry Motions and Disputations had therein) that he should be presently Committed to the Serjeants-Ward as Prisoner, and so remaining should be Examined upon his said Speech for the extenuating of his fault therein, by all the Privy Council being of this House, the Master of the Requests, the Captain of the Guard, Mr Treasurer of the Chamber, the Master of the JewelHouse, the Master of the Wardrobe, Mr Lieutenant of the Tower, Sir Thomas Scott, Sir Rowland Hayward, Mr Attorney of the Dutchy, Mr Henry Knolles the Elder, Mr Sampoole, Mr Randall, Mr Birched, Mr Marsh, who were appointed to meet this Afternoon between two and three of the Clock at the Star-Chamber, and to make report at this House to Morrow next. And then the said Peter Wentworth was brought to the Bar, and Committed thereupon to the said Serjeants-Ward according to the said Order.
This Afternoon-Passages being thus transcribed for the most part out of the Original JournalBook of the House of Commons, now follows the Examination of the said Mr Wentworth before the Committees before appointed, which is transcribed out of a Memorial or Copy thereof set down by the said Mr Wentworth himself, being as followeth.
A true Report of that which was laid to my Charge in the Star-Chamber by the Committees of the Parliament House (viz. the House of Commons) that same Afternoon (viz. Wednesday February the 8th) after that I had delivered the Speech in the House that Forenoon, and my Answer to the same.
First, Where is your late Speech you promised to deliver in writing?
Wentworth. Here it is, and I deliver it upon two Conditions; The first is, that you shall peruse it all, and if you can find any want of good will to my Prince and State in any part thereof, let me Answer all as if I had uttered all. The second is, that you shall deliver it unto the Queens Majesty; if her Majesty or you of her Privy-Council can find any want of Love to her Majesty or the State therein also, let me Answer it.
Commit. We will deal with no more than you uttered in the House.
Went. Your Honours cannot refuse to deliver it to her Majesty, for I do send it to her Majesty as my Heart and Mind, knowing it will do her Majesty good, it will hurt no man but my self.
Commit. Seeing your desire is to have us deliver it to her Majesty, we will deliver it.
Went. I humbly require your Honours so to do.
Commit. Then the Speech being read, they said, Here you have uttered certain rumors of the Queens Majesty, where and of whom heard you them?
Went. If your Honours ask me as Councellors to her Majesty, you shall pardon me; I will make you no Answer: I will do no such injury to the place from whence I came; for I am now no private Person, I am a publick, and a Councellor to the whole State in that place where it is lawful for me to speak my mind freely, and not for you as Councellors to call me to account for any thing that I do speak in the House; and therefore if you ask me as Councellors to her Majesty, you shall pardon me, I will make no Answer; but if you ask me as Committees from the House, I will make you the best Answer I can.
Commit. We ask you as Committees from the House.
Went. I will then Answer you, and the willinger for that mine Answer will be in some part so imperfect as of necessity it must be. Your Question consisteth of these two points, where and of whom I heard these Rumors? The place where I heard them was the Parliament House; but of whom, I assure you I cannot tell.
Commit. This is no Answer to say you cannot tell of whom, neither will we take it for any.
Went. Truly your Honours must needs take it for an Answer, when I can make you no better.
Commit. Belike you have heard some Speeches in the Town of her Majesties misliking of Religion and Succession; you are loth to utter of whom, and did use Speeches thereupon.
Went. I assure your Honours I can shew you that Speech at my own House, written with my hand two or three years ago. So that you may thereby judge that I did not speak it of any thing that I heard since I came to Town.
Commit. You have Answered that, but where heard you it then?
Went. If you Honours do think I speak for excuses fake, let this satisfie you. I protest before the living God I cannot tell of whom I heard these Rumors: yet I do verily think that I heard them of a hundred or two in the House.
Commit. Then of so many you can name some.
Went. No surely, because it was so general a Speech, I marked none; neither do men mark speakers commonly when they be general: and I assure you if I could tell, I would not. For I will never utter any thing told me, to the hurt of any man, when I am not enforced thereunto, as in this Case I may chuse. Yet I would deal plainly with you, for I would tell your Honours so, and if your Honours do not Credit me, I will voluntarily take an Oath, if you offer me a Book, that I cannot tell of whom I heard those Rumors. But if you offer me an Oath of your Authorities, I will refuse it, because I will do nothing to insringe the Liberties of the House. But what need I to use these Speeches? I will give you an instance whereupon I heard these Rumors to your satisfying, even such a one, as if you will speak the truth you shall confess that you heard the same as well as I.
Commit. In so doing we will be satisfied, what is that?
Went. The last Parliament (by which it may be conceived he meant and intended that Parliament in an. 13 Reginæ Eliz.) he that is now Speaker (viz. Robert Bell Esquire, who was also Speaker in the first Session of this present Parliament in an. 14 Reginæ ejusdem) uttered a very good Speech for the calling in of certain Licences granted to four Courtiers, to the utter undoing of six or eight thousand of the Queens Majesties Subjects. This Speech was so disliked of some of the Councel, that he was sent for, and so hardly dealt with, that he came into the House with such an amazed Countenance, that it daunted all the House in such sort, that for ten, twelve, or sixteen days, there was not one in the House that durst deal in any matter of importance. And in those simple matters that they dealt in, they spent more words and time in their preamble, requiring that they might not be mistaken, than they did in the matter they spake unto. This inconvenience grew unto the House by the Councellors hard handling of the said good member, whereupon this rumor grew in the House. Sirs, you may not speak against Licences, the Queens Majesty will be angry, the Councel will be too too angry, and this rumor I suppose there is not one of you here but heard it as well as I. I beseech your Honours discharge your Consciences herein as I do.
Commit. We heard it we consess, and you have satisfied us in this; but how say you to the hard interpretation you made of the Message that was sent into the House? (The words were recited.) I assure you I never heard an harder interpretation of a Message.
Went. I beseech your Honours, First, was there not such a Message sent unto the House?
Commit. We grant that there was.
Went. Then I trust you will bear me Record that I made it not; and I answer you that so hard a Message could not have too hard an interpretation made by the wisest man in England. For can there by any possible means be sent a harder Message to a Councel gathered together to serve God, than to say, you shall not seek to advance the glory of God? I am of this opinion that there cannot be a more wicked Message than it was.
Commit. You may not speak against Messages, for none sendeth them but the Queens Majesty.
Went. If the Message be against the Glory of God, against the Princes Safety, or against the Liberty of this Parliament House whereby the State is maintained, I neither may nor will hold my Peace. I cannot in so doing discharge my Conscience, whosover doth send it. And I say, that I heartily repent me, for that I have hitherto held my Peace in these Causes, and I do promise you all (if God forsake me not) that I will never during Life hold my Tongue, if any Message is sent, wherein God is dishonoured, the Prince perilled, or the Liberties of the Parliament impeached; and every one of you here present ought to repent you of these faults and to amend them.
Commit. It is no new Precedent to have the Prince to send Messages. (Then were two or three Messages recited sent by two or three Princes.)
Went. Sirs (said I) you do very evil to alledge Precedents in this Order. You ought to alledge good Precedents to comfort and embolden men in good doing, and evil Precedents to discourage and terrifie men to do evil.
Commit. But what meant you to make so hard interpretation of Messages?
Went. Surely I marvel what you mean by asking this Question. Have I not said, so hard a Message could not have too hard an interpretation; and have I not set down the reason that moved me in my Speech, that is to say, that for the receiving and accepting that Message, God has poured so great indignation upon us, that he put into the Queens Majesties heart to refuse good and wholsome Laws for her own preservation; which caused many loving and faithful moved me in my Speech, that is to say, that for the receiving and accepting that Message, God has pured so great indignation upon us, that to her Mjesties, and to every good Chiftian Gogood and wholesome Laws for her own preservation; which caused many loving and faithful hearts for grief to burst out with sorrowful tears, and moved all Papists, Traytors to God, to her Majesty, and to every good Christian Government, in their Sleeves to laugh the whole Parliament House to scorn. Have I not thus said, and do not your Honours think it did so?
Commit. Yes truly. But how durst you say that the Queens Majesty had unkindly abused her self against the Nobility and People?
Went. I beseech your Honours tell me how far you can stretch these words of her unkindly abusing and opposing her self against her Majesties Nobility and People? can you apply them any further that I have applied them, that is to say, in that her Majesty called the Parliament of purpose to prevent Trayterous perils to her Person, and for no other Cause, and in that her Majesty did send unto us two Bills, willing us to take our choice of that we liked best for her Majesties Safety, and thereof, to make a Law promising her Royal Consent thereunto; and did we not first chuse the one and her Majesty refused it? yet did not we nevertheless receive the other? and agreeing to make a Law thereof, did not her Majesty in the end refuse all our Travels? And did not the Lord Keeper in her Majesties Presence in the beginning of the Parliament, shew this to be the occasion that we were called together? And did not her Majesty in the end of the Parliament refuse all our Travels, is not this known to all here present, and to all the Parliament House also? I beseech your Honours discharge your Consciences herein, and utter your knowledge simply as I do, for in truth herein her Majesty did abuse her Nobility and Subjects, and did oppose her self against them by the way of advice.
Commit. Surely we cannot deny it, you say the truth.
Went. Then I beseech your Honours shew me if it were not a dangerous doing to her Majesty in these two respects. First in weakning, wounding and discouraging the hearts of her Majesties loving and faithful Subjects, thereby to make them the less able or the more fearful and unwilling to server her Majesty. Another time, on the other side was it not a raising up and encouraging the hearts of her Majesties hateful Enemies to adventure any desperate enterprize to her Majesties peril and danger?
Commit. We cannot deny but that it was very dangerous to her Majesty in those respects.
Went. And is it not a loving part of a Subject to give her Majesty warning to avoid danger?
Commit. It is so.
Went. Then why do your Honours ask how I dare tell a truth, to give the Queens Majesty warning to avoid her danger?
I Answer you thus, I do thank the Lord my God, that I never found fear in my self to give the Queens Majesty warning to avoid her danger, be you all afraid thereof if you will, for I praise God I am not, and I hope never to live to see that day, and yet I will assure your Honours that twenty times and more, when I walked in my Grounds revolving this Speech to prepare against this day, my own fearful conceit did say unto me that this Speech would carry me to the place whither I shall now go, and fear would have moved me to have put it out; then I weighed whether in good Conscience, and the duty of a faithful Subject, I might keep my self out of Prison, and not to warn my Prince from walking in a dangerous course; my Conscience said unto me that I could not be a faithful Subject, if I did more respect to avoid my own danger than my Princes danger: herewith all I was made bold and went forward as your Honours heard, yet when I uttered those words in the House, that there was none without fault, no not our Noble Queen; I paused and beheld all your Countenances, and saw plainly that those words did amaze you all: Then I was afraid with you for Company, and fear bad me to put out those words that followed, for your Countenances did assure me that not one of you would stay me of my Journey; yet the consideration of a good Conscience and of a faithful Subject did make me bold to utter it in such sort as your Honours heard, with this heart and mind I spake it, and I praise God for it, and if it were to do again I would with the same mind speake it again.
Commit. Yea but you might have uttered it in better terms, why did you not so?
Went. Would you have me to have done as you of her Majesties Privy-Council do, to utter a weighty matter in such terms as she should not have understood, to have made a fault, then it would have done her Majesty no good, and my intent was to do her good.
Commit. You have Answered us.
Went. Then I praise God for it, and as I made a Courtesie, another spake these words.
Commit. Mr Wentworth will never acknowledge himself to make a fault, nor say that he is sorry for any thing that he doth speak, you shall hear none of these things come out of his mouth.
Went. Mr Seckford, I will never confess that to be a fault to love the Queens Majesty whilst I live, neither will I be sorry for giving her Majesty warning to avoid danger while the breath is in my Body; if you do think it a fault to love her Majesty, or to be sorry that her Majesty should have warning to avoid her danger, say so, for I cannot; speak for your self Mr Seckford.
This Examination of Mr Wentworth being thus transcribed out of that Copy I had of it, now follows the next days passages out of the Original Journal-Book of the House of Commons; and it is not here to be over-passed, that the said Mr Wentworth was by the Queens special favour restored again to his Liberty and place in the House on Monday the 12th day of March ensuing.
On Thursday the 9th day of February, it was Ordered by this House upon a Motion that John Lord Russell, Son and Heir Apparent of the Right Honourable the Earl of Bedford, being a Burgess for the Borough of Birtport in the County of Dorset, shall continue a Member of this House according to the like former President in the like Case had heretofore of the said new Earl his Father.
This day Mr Treasurer in the name of all the Committees yesterday appointed for the Examination of Peter Wentworth Burgess for Tregony, declared, that all the said Committees did meet Yesterday in the Afternoon in the Star-Chamber according to their Commission, and there Examining the said Peter Wentworth touching the violent and wicked words Yesterday pronounced by him in this House touching the Queens Majesty, made a Collection of the same words; which words so Collected, the said Peter Wentworth did acknowledge and confess. And then did the said Mr Treasurer read unto the House the said Note of Collection, which being read, he declared further that the said Peter Wentworth being Examined what he could say for the extenuating of his said fault and offence, could neither say any thing at all to that purpose, neither yet did charge any other person as Author of his said Speech, but did take all the burthen thereof unto himself; and so the said Mr Treasurer thereupon moved for his punishment and Imprisonment in the Tower as the House should think good and consider of; whereupon after sundry Disputations and Speeches, it was Ordered upon the Question, that the said Peter Wentworth should be committed close Prisoner to the Tower for his said offence, there to remain until such time as this House should have further Consideration of him. And thereupon immediately the said Peter Wentworth being brought to the Bar by the Serjeant received his said Judgment accordingly by the Mouth of Mr Speaker in form above-recited: And so Mr Lieutenant of the Tower was presently charged with the Custody of the said Peter Wentworth. But the said Peter Wentworth was shortly by the Queens special Favour restored again to his Liberty and place in the House, Ut vide on Monday the 12th day of March following.
Mr Moor, Mr Norton, Mr, Telverton and Mr Fenner were appointed to draw a Bill against stealing away of Mens Children by colour of privy Contracts.
It was resolved by this House, that any person being a Member of the same, and being either in service of Ambassage, or else in Execution, or visited with sickness, shall not in any wise be amoved from their place in this House, nor any other to be during such time of service, Execution or sickness Elected. Vide consimile January the 19th Thursday in Anno 23 Reginæ Eliz.
Mr Seckford Master of the Requests, Sir Nicholas Arnold, Mr Atkins and Mr Marsh were appointed to confer together touching the number of Knights and Burgesses of the Parliament.
Three Bills lastly of no great moment had each of them their first reading; of which the last was the Bill for assurances of Lands and Tenements in antient Demesn, and for preservation of the Lords Seignories.
On Friday the 10th day of February, upon a Motion made by Mr Dalton in the behalf of the Lord Russell, supposing he should not be continued a Member of this House, it is nevertheless generally resolved by this House that he may not be discharged of the same: upon present notice whereof given unto him by the Serjeant, the said Lord Russell came into this House accordingly.
Nota, That this Lord Russell was Son and Heir Apparent of Francis the second Earl of Bedford of this Sirname, who having no place in the Upper House might very well be admitted a Member of the House of Commons, and the Precedents of this kind have been so frequent in all the Parliaments of latter times since Queen Elizabeths Death, as there shall need no vouching of them. And it lies also in the favour of the Prince to make such Heirs Apparent of Earldoms Members of the Upper House by Summoning them thither by Writ, but then they take not place there as the Sons of Earls, but according to the Antiquity of their Fathers Baronies.
Two Bills of no great moment had each of them their first reading; of which the second was the Bill touching Bastardy.
Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer declaring the great charges of the Queens Majesty many and sundry ways since her Entry to the Crown, as well in Foreign as Domestical occasions, for the benefit and peaceable Government of the State and Common-Wealth, and the great and imminent necessity of present provision to be had and made for the continuance of the same, did after many great and weighty reasons shewed, move for a Subsidy: which Speech in respect that it is but thus abstractedly set down in the Original Journal-Book of the House of Commons, and containeth in it matter of very good moment, I have thought good to supply it at large out of a Copy thereof I had by me being as followeth:
That in the beginning of this our meeting such matters as be of importance may be thought on in time, I am hold with your favours to move you of one that in my opinion is both of moment and of necessity. To the end if you likewise find the same to be so, you may commit it further to the consideration of such as you shall think convenient.
And that you may the better judge of that which I shall propound, it is requisite that I put you in remembrance, First, how the Queen sound the Realm, next how she hath restored and conserved it; and thirdly, how we stand now. Touching the first no man can be ignorant how that our most gracious Queen at her Entring found this noble Realm, by reason of the evil Government preceeding; miserably over-whelmed with Popery, dangerously afflicted with War, and grievously afflicted with Debts; the burthen of which three cannot be remembered without grief, especially if we call to mind how this Kingdom being utterly delivered from the Usurped Tyranny of Rome, and that many years together, was nevertheless by the iniquity of later time brought back again into the former Captivity, to the great thraldom both of Body and Soul of all the People of this Land. A wretched time, and wretched Ministers to bring to pass so wretched and wicked and Act to strengthen this Bondage of Rome. We saw how there was brought hither a strong Nation to press our Necks again into the Yoke; terrible this was to all the Inhabitants of this Land, and so would have proved, if their abode had been here so long as was to be feared from them; and by their occasion came the War that we entred into with France and Scotland, and not upon any Quarrel of our own; but to help them forward to their great advantage and our great loss and shame, by means whereof and of other disorders the Realm grew into great Debt both at home and abroad, and so was left to the intollerable loss and charge of her Majesty and the State. The Realm being thus miserably oppressed with Popery, with War and with Debts, the Queen our most Gracious Soveraign hath thus restored and conserved it, she hath delivered us from the Tyrannous Yoke of Rome, and restored again the most Holy Religion of the Gospel, not slacking any time therein; but even at the first doing that which was for the Honour of God, to the unspeakable joy of all good Subjects.
But adventuring thereby the malice of the mighty Princes of the World, her Neighbours being Enemies of our Religion; whereby it did appear how much she preferred the Glory of our God before her own Quietness: this done, she made Peace with France and Scotland, the one a mighty Nation, the other though not so Potent, yet in regard of their nearness and of their Habitation with us upon our Continent more dangerous: which may easily appear by consideration of former times, wherein it hath been seen how dangerous Scottish Wars have proved to this Realm above those of any other Nation. But such hath been the Providence of our Gracious Queen as the Peace with Scotland, which in times past was found very tickle, is now become so firm as in no Age there hath been so long and so good Peace between them and us.
And that is brought to pass the rather for that her Majesty by two notable Exploits with her Forces, the one to Lieth and another to Edenburgh-Castle, hath both quieted that Realm, and taken away all occasions of Hostility that might arise against this Country; also by the first delivering Scotland from the French which had so great a footing there, as without aid from hence they must needs in short time have Tyrannized over that Country to their perpetual servitude, and to the peril also of this Country, being so near them, and they so ill Neighbours to dwell by. And by the second ending and putting out the fire of the Civil Wars amongst them to the preservation of their young King and the perpetual quietness of that Realm, both which as they have brought unto her Majesty great and immortal Honor and Renown, and to this Country and that, Peace and Surety: So you cannot but think there with upon the Charges which necessarily follow such two Journeys furnished by Land and by Sea, as for the atchieving of so great Enterprizes was requisite. What her Majesty hath done, besides for the suppressing of a dangerous and unnatural Rebellion practised by the Pope, the most principal and malicious Enemy of this State, and put in ure by certain undutiful Subjects in the North parts of this Realm was seen so late even in your view, as it needeth not to be remembred, neither the charge that belongeth to a matter of such importance as did threaten the utter ruine to our most Gracious Soveraign and to all the People of this Land, if God of his Mercy had not prevented it.
Notwithstanding all which costly Journies both into Scotland and within the Realm, her Majesty hath most carefully and providently delivered this Kingdom from a great and weighty Debt, wherewith it hath been long burthened. A Debt begun four years at the least before the Death of King Henry the Eighth, and not cleared until within these two years, and all that while running upon Interest, a course able to eat up not only private men and their Patrimonies, but also Princes, and their Estates; but such hath been the care of this time, as Her Majesty and the State is clearly freed from that eating corrosive, the truth whereof may be testified by the Citizens of London, whose Bonds under the Common Seal of the City of assurance of payment being usually given and renewed, and which have hanged so many years to their great danger, and to the peril of the whole traffick are now all discharged, cancelled, and delivered into the Chamber of London to their own hands. By means whereof the Realm is not only acquitted of this great burthen, and the Merchants free, but also her Majesties credit thereby both at home and abroad greater than any other Prince for money, if she have need, and so in reason it ought to be, for that she hath kept Promise to all men, wherein other Princes have often failed to the hindrance of many. Lastly, for this point how the Justice of this Realm is preserved and ministred to her People by her Majesties political and just Government is so well known to all men, as our Enemies are driven to confess, that Justice which is the Band of all CommonWealths doth so tie and link together all degrees of Persons within this Land, as there is suffered here no violence, no oppression, no respect of persons in Judgment; but Jus equabile used to all indifferently. All which godly, provident and wise acts in Government, have brought forth these effects that we be in Peace, and all our Neighbours in War; that we be in quietness at home, and safe enough from troubles abroad; that we live in Wealth and all Prosperity, and that which is the greatest, we enjoy the freedom of our Consciences delivered from the Bondage of Rome, wherewith we were so lately oppressed: and thus we stand.
But for all this as wise Mariners in calm weather do most diligently prepare their tackles, and provide to withstand attempts that may happen: even so in this our blessed time of Peace that we enjoy by the blessing of God through the Ministry of her Majesty, we ought in time to make provision to prevent any storm that may arise either here or abroad, and neither to be too careless or negligent, but think that the tayl of these storms, which are so bitter and so boisterous in other Countries may reach us also before they be ended, especially if we do not forget the hatred that is born us by the Adversary of our Religion both for our profession, and for that this Realm is also a merciful Sanctuary for such poor Christians as fly hither for succour; so as now one of the most principal cares that we ought to care in this great Councel of the Realm is both to consider aforehand the dangers that may come by the malice of Enemies, and to provide in time how to resist them; and seeing that by those great occasions which I have remembred, you can easily understand how low her Majesties Coffers are brought, it is our parts frankly and willingly to offer unto her Majesty such a Contribution as shall be able to restore the same again in such sort as she may be sufficiently furnished of Treasure to put in order and maintain her Forces by Land and by Sea to answer any thing that shall be attempted against her and us; and unless it might seem strange to some that her Majesty should want this, some considering that not long sithence Aid was granted by the Realm. To that I Answer, That albeit her Majesty is not to yield an account how she spendeth her Treasure, yet for your satisfactions I will let you understand such things as are very true, and which I dare affirm, having more knowledge thereof than some other, in respect of the place I hold in her Majesties Service.
First how favourable the Taxations of Subsidies be through the whole Realm cannot be unknown to any, whereby far less cometh to her Majesties Coffers than by the Law is granted, a matter now drawn to be so usual as it is hard to be reformed. Next the clearing of all Debts that run upon Interest to the insupportable charge of the Realm. Thirdly, the charge in suppressing the Rebellion in the North. Fourthly, the free and honourable repayment of the last Loans, the like whereof was not seen before. Fifthly, the Journey to Edenburgh-Castle for the quieting of that Country and this. And lastly, the great and continual Charges in Ireland by the evil disposition of the people there, all which could not have been performed by the last Aid, except it had pleased her Majesty to spare out of her own Revenues great Sums of money for the supplying of that which lacked, wherein she more respected the Realm than her own particular Estate, living as you see in most temperate manner, without either Building or other superfluous things of pleasure; and like as these be causes sufficient to move you to devise how these wants may be repaired, so you ought the rather to do it, for that her Majesty lacketh and cannot have without great inconvenience, those helps which in the times of her Father, her Brother and Sister were used, as the abasing of Coin, which brought infinite sums to them, but wrought great damage to the Realm, which we yet feel, and should do more, had not her Majesty to her perpetual Fame, restored the same again, so much as the time could suffer. The sale of Lands whereof came also very great sums of money, but that is not hereafter to be used, saving that by the same the Revenues of the Crown are greatly diminished, which it cannot more bear, the borrowing of money upon Interest the burthen whereof the Realm hath felt so heavy as that is never more to be done, if by any means it may be avoided. And yet notwithstanding all those helps, it is apparent that Subsidies were continually granted in those times, if so then, much more now then, besides War and other extraordinary Charges may happen, her Majesties very ordinary Charges which she cannot but sustain, are far greater by dearth of prices and other occasions, than in any other Princes days, as you may see by the ordinary and annual Charges of the Houshold, the Navy, the Ordnance, the Armory, the Garrison of Berwick, the standing Garrison and Officers within the Realm of Ireland. And whether these are like to be more costly to her Majesty than in former times in respect of the prices of all things, let every man judge by the experience he hath of his private expences.
And so to draw to an end for avoiding of your trouble. I trust these few things may suffice to remember us how her Majesty found the Realm, how she hath restored and preserved it, and how the present State is now, and therewith all may serve as reasons sufficient to perswade us to deal in this necessary cause as her Majesty being the Head of the Common-Wealth: be not unfurnished of that which will be sufficient to maintain both her self and us against the private or open malice of, Enemies, wherein let us so proceed as her Majesty may find how much we think our selves bound to God that hath given us so Gracious a Queen over us, and shew thereby also such gratuity towards her as she may perform the course of her Government cum alacritate.
This foregoing Speech of Sir Walter Mildmay Knight, Chancellor of the Exchequer, being thus transcribed out of the Copy thereof I had by me, now follow the Proceedings thereupon out of the Original Journal Book of the House of Commons, by which it appeareth that divers Members of the said House were appointed immediately after it to have Conference for drawing of a Bill for a Subsidy, which Committees were as followeth, viz. All the Privy-Council being of this House, Mr Captain of the Guard, the Master of the Requests, Sir Thomas Scott, Sir Rowland Hayward, Sir Nicholas Arnold, Sir Thomas Shirley, Sir George Speake, Sir Henry Lea, Sir Robert Wingfeild, Sir John Thynne, Sir George Turpin, Sir William Winter, Sir William Morgan, Sir Edward Stanhope, Mr Edward Horsey Master Recorder of London, Mr Serjeant Lovelace, Mr Sampoole, Mr Grimston, Mr More, Mr Popham, Mr Yelverton, and Mr Hilliard, to meet this Afternoon at the Star-Chamber, or some other place near unto it at three of the Clock.
Mr Wilson Master of the Requests, Mr Norton, Mr Marsh, Mr Edward Stanhope, Mr Sandes, Mr Atkins, and Mr George Ireland, were appointed to draw a Bill for the safe keeping of the Church Books or Registers of the Christnings, Marriages and Burials, and to meet upon Sunday next in the Afternoon at Mr Wilsons Chamber in the Arches at three of the Clock.
Mr Comptroller, Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr Recorder of London, Mr Attorney of the Dutchy, Mr Popham, Mr Marsh, Mr Sampoole, Mr Cromwell, Mr Thomas Browne, and Mr Robert Snagg, were appointed to have Conference in the Star-Chamber to Morrow at three of the Clock in the Afternoon for drawing of a Bill against the oppression of common Promoters.
The Bill lastly, for setting the poor on work and for avoiding of Idleness, was read the second time.
On Saturday the 11th day of February, Two Bills of no great moment had each of them one reading; of which the first being the Bill for Mr Hatton was read the first time.
Upon sundry Arguments made unto the Bill for setting the poor on work and for avoiding of Idleness, it was committed unto Mr Treasurer, Sir Rowland Hayward, Sir Nichlas Arnold, Mr More, Mr Robert Bowes, Mr Atkins, Mr Alford, Mr Aldrich, Mr Sampoole, Mr Norton, Mr Cromwell, Mr Snagg, Mr Layton, Mr Waye, Mr Popham, Mr Woley, Mr Fleet, Mr Honnywood, Mr Longley, Mr Ailmer, Mr Newdigate, Mr William Thomas, Mr Tate, Mr Owen, Mr Grimston, and Mr Cure, to meet at this House upon Monday next at three of the Clock in the Afternoon.
Christopher Dighton Gent. one of the Citizens for the City of Worcester, was licensed by Mr Speaker to take his Journey unto the said City of Worcester for Execution of Dedimus potestatem in the Service of our Soveraign Lady the Queens Majesty.
On Monday the 13th day of February, Five Bills of no great moment had each of them one reading; of which the last being the Bill that in Actions upon the Case brought for words, the County may be traversed was read the second time, and committed presently after this Forenoon.
Mr Treasurer for himself and the residue of the Committees for the Subsidy (whose names see on Friday the 10th day of this instant February foregoing) declared that upon Conference had amongst them at their meeting together upon Friday last, they did then Assent unto certain Articles for drawing of a Bill for one Subsidy and two Fifteenths and Tenths to be paid at several times, whereupon the same Articles were read by the Clerk, and then by Order of the House were the same Articles delivered to some of the Committees being of the Privy-Council, that some of the Queens Majesties Learned Councel may by Warrant from this House cause the same Bill to be drawn accordingly. Vide concerning this matter on Wednesday the 27th day of this instant February ensuing.
The Bill for traversing of the County in Actions upon the Case was committed unto Mr Seckford Master of the Requests, Mr Colsbill, Mr Newdigate, and others who were appointed to meet upon Thursday next at three of the Clock in the Afternoon in the Temple Church.
The Petitions touching Ports was read and committed unto all the Privy-Council being of this House, the Lord Russell, Mr Captain of the Guard, Sir Thomas Scott, Sir William Winter, Mr Recorder of London, the Burgesses for Dover, Mr Sampoole, Mr Grice, Mr. John Hastings, Mr. Norton, Sir Arthur Basset, Mr. Diggs, Sir Henry Gate, Sir Henry Wallop, Mr. Langley, Mr. Hawkins Richardson, Mr. Randall, Mr. Gardiner, Mr. Sandes, Mr. Jenison, Mr. Beale, Mr. Honnywood, Mr. Tremaine, Sir George Speak, Mr. Captain of the Wight, Sir Henry Ratcliffe, Mr. Elesdon, Mr. Layton, and the Burgesses of Linne, to meet to Morrow at three of the Clock in the Afternoon in the Exchequer Chamber.
Sir Nicholas Arnold, Mr. Snagg, Mr. Norton, and Mr. Atkins, were added to the former Committees for drawing of a Bill against the Promoters (whose names see on Friday the 10th day of February) to meet upon Thursday next in the Afternoon at two of the Clock in the Treasury-Chamber near the Star-Chamber.
The Bill for reformation of Errors in Fines and common Recoveries was read the second time and committed unto Mr. Recorder of London, Mr. Attorney of the Dutchy, Mr. Baber, Mr. Yelverton, and others to meet at three of the Clock this present day in the Exchequer Chamber.
Charles Johnson of the Inner Temple Gent. being Examined at the Bar for coming into this House, this present day (the House sitting) confessing himself to be no Member of this House, is Ordered that Mr Wilson Master of the Requests, Mr. Recorder of London, and Mr. Cromwell to examine him (wherein he feigned to excuse himself by ignorance) he was committed to the Serjeants Ward, till further Order should be taken by this House.
Sir Richard Read, and Mr. Doctor Berkley brought into this House a Bill from the Lords touching the diminishing and impairing of the Coins of this Realm and of other Foreign Coins not currant within this Realm.
Two Bills lastly, had each of them their several readings; of which the second being the Bill for the preservation of the Lords Seignories was read the second time and Ordered to be ingrossed.
On Tuesday the 14th day of February, the Bill for Mr. Hatton was read the second time and Ordered to be ingrossed, and committed unto Mr. Treasurer, Mr. Heneage, Mr. Cromwell, Mr. Dalton, Mr. John Spencer, Mr. Norton, and Mr. Alford, to examine the suggestion of the Bill touching the consent of the parties to the passing of the same Bill; whereupon Mr. John Spencer one of the Committees, being also one of the persons named in the said Bill so resolved the residue of the Committees, that upon the report thereof made to the House by Mr. Treasurer it was presently Ordered that the Bill should be ingrossed, and the Proviso omitted and left out.
The Bill for the true payment of the Debts of William Isley Esquire, was read the second time, and the Proviso to the same Bill being twice read, it was committed to Mr. Secretary Walsingham, Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. Treasurer of the Chamber and others.
Two Bills lastly of no great moment had each of them one reading; of which the first being the Bill for Jeofailes was read the first time.
On Wednesday the 15th day of February, Three Bills of no great moment had each of them one reading; of which the third being the Bill against diminishing and impairing the Coins of this Realm, or of other Foreign Realms currant within this Realm, was read the second time and committed to Mr. Treasurer, Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. Secretary Smith, Mr. Secretary Walsingham, Mr. Captain of the Guard, Mr. Chancellor of the Dutchy, Mr. Heneage, Mr. Lieutenant of the Tower, Mr. Sandes, Mr. Darrington, Mr. Popham, and Mr. Norton, to confer with the Lords at the next time that any Bill shall be sent to the Lords from this House.
The Bill against Bastardy was upon the second reading committed unto Mr. Comptroller, Mr. Secretary Smith, Sir Thomas Scott, and others to meet upon Friday next at three of the Clock in the Afternoon at the Star-Chamber.
The Bill for reformation of Jeofailes, &c. was read the second time and committed unto Mr. Seckford Master of the Requests, Mr. Serjeant Lovelace, Mr. Recorder of London and others.
The Bill for the Freemen of the City of London was read the second time and Ordered to be ingrossed.
Upon sundry Motions this day made touching the further proceeding with, or delivery of Charles Johnson Prisoner in the Serjeants Ward, it was Ordered that the matter be referred to be further resolved to Morrow next, sitting the Court. Vide concerning this matter on Monday the 13th day of this instant February foregoing.
On Thursday the 16th day of February, the Bill for one Subsidy and two Fifteenths and Tenths was read the first time. Vide concerning this Bill of the Subsidy on Wednesday the 27th day of this instant February ensuing.
Mr. Lieutenant of the Tower, Sir Nicholas Arnold, and Mr. Serjeant Lovelace were appointed to Examine the matter touching the Arrest of Mr. Hall's Servant before Mr. Speaker at his Chamber this Afternoon. Vide concerning this matter on Saturday the 10th day of March ensuing.
The Bill touching the making of Woollen Cloths in the Counties of Wilts, Somerset, and Gloucester, was read the first time.
Mr. Doctor Berkley and Mr. Powle brought from the Lords the Bill against excess in Apparel, and the Bill for Confirmation of Letters Patents.
The Bill touching the making of Woollen Cloths was committed unto Mr. Comptroller, Sir Rowland Hayward, Sir John Thynne, and others who were appointed to meet upon Saturday next at the Guild-hall at two of the Clock in the Afternoon.
The Bill lastly for assurances of Lands late of Edward Dacre was read the second time, and Ordered to be ingrossed.
On Friday the 17th day of February, Five Bills of no great moment had each of them one reading; of which the fourth being the Bill against making of double double Ale, and double double Beer, and the fifth against Inholders and Tiplers, were each of them read the first time, and committed unto Sir Henry Gates, Sir Rowland Hayward, Mr. Edward Popham and others, who were appointed to meet to Morrow in the Afternoon at Westminster-Hall at three of the Clock.
Two Bills also of no great moment had each of them one reading; of which the second being the Bill against the dangerous abusing of Daggs, Pistolets, &c. was read the second time and committed unto Mr. Secretary Smith, Mr. Comptroller, Mr. Lieutenant of the Tower, and others to meet upon Tuesday next in the Exchequer Chamber at two of the Clock in the Afternoon.
The new Bill for reformation of Errors in Fines and common Recoveries was read the first time.
Upon sundry Motions it was concluded by this House, that according to the old precedents of this House, Mr. Serjeant Jessrie being one of the Knights returned for Sussex may have Voice or give his attendance in this House as a Member of the same, notwithstanding his attendance in the Upper House as one of the Queens Serjeants, for his Councel there as the place where he hath no Voice indeed, nor is any Member of the same.
The Bill for reformation of Under-Sheriffs and other Officers, was read the second time and committed on the day next following. Quod nota.
On Saturday the 18th day of February, Six Bills of no great moment had each of them one reading; of which the last being the Bill for cutting and working of tanned Leather was read the first time and committed unto Mr. Treasurer, Sir Nicholas Arnold, Sir John Thynne, Sir George Bowes, and others to meet upon Tuesday next at the Guildhall at two of the Clock in the Afternoon.
The Bill for assurance of Lands to be made without Coven, was read the second time and argued unto by Mr. Ireland, Mr. Fenner, Mr. Brickhed, Mr. Mersh, Mr. Flowerdewe, Mr. Popham, and others.
Mr. Comptroller, Sir John Finch, Sir Henry Gate, Sir Morrice Berkley, Sir Arthur Basset, and divers others were appointed to meet to Morrow in the Afternoon in the Temple Church at two of the Clock in the Afternoon upon the Committee of the Bill of Sheriffs.
On Monday the 20th day of February, Four Bills of no great moment had each of them one reading; of which the first being the Bill for one Subsidy and two Fifteenths and Tenths was read the second time and Ordered to be ingrossed. Vide concerning this Bill on Monday the 27th day of this instant February ensuing.
The Provisoes also to the Bill for reformation of Errors in Fines, &c. were twice read and Ordered to be ingrossed.
Upon the Question and also upon the Division of the House, it was Ordered that Edward Smalley Yeoman, Servant unto Arthur Hall Esquire, one of the Burgesses for Grantham, shall have priviledge. Vide concerning this matter on Saturday the 10th day of March following.
On Tuesday the 21th day of February, Six Bills of no great moment had each of them their first reading; of which the first was for the perfecting of Grants made by the Dean and Chapter of Norwich, and the second was touching certain Prisoners in Execution escaped out of the Kings Bench.
Four Bills also of no great moment had each of them their third reading and passed the House, and were sent to the Lords by Mr. Treasurer and others; of which one was for the Freemen of the City of London, and another of Woodstock.
The Masters of the Request, Mr Recorder, Mr Attorney of the Dutchy, Mr Sampoole, and Mr. Snagg were appointed to meet at the Rolls Chappel between two and three of the Clock this day in the Afternoon, touching the manner of delivery of Mr. Hall's Servant. Vide de ista materia on Saturday the 10th day of March following.
The Bill for reformation of Errors in Fines and common Recoveries was read the third time and passed the House, and a Proviso to the same Bill was thrice read.
The Committees in the Bill for Jeofailes were appointed to meet to Morrow in the Afternoon in Serjeants-Inn in Chancery-lane, at two of the Clock.
Two Provisoes to the Bill for the true payment of the Debts of William Isley Esquire, were twice read, and with the Bill Ordered to be ingrossed.
Two Bills finally of no great moment had each of them one reading; of which the second being the Bill for Butlerage and Prisage of Wines was read the second time and committed unto Mr. Treasurer, Mr. Secretary Smith, Mr. Chancellor of the Dutchy, Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, and others who were appointed to meet on Friday next in the Afternoon in Chequer Chamber at two of the Clock.
On Wednesday the 22th day of February, Three Bills of no great moment had each of them one reading; of which the last being the Bill for the true payment of the Debts of William Isley Esq; was read the third time and passed upon the Question.
Nota, Report was made by Mr. Attorney of the Dutchy upon the Committee for the delivery of Mr. Hall's Man, that the Committees found no precedent for setting at large by the Mace any person in Arrest but only by Writ, and that by divers precedents of Records perused by the said Committees it appeareth, that every Knight, Citizen and Burgess of this House which doth require priviledge, hath used in that Case to take a corporal Oath before the Lord Chancellor, or Lord Keeper of the Great Seal for the time being, that the party for whom such Writ is prayed came up with him and was his Servant at the time of the Arrest made, and that Mr Hall was thereupon moved by this House that he should repair to the Lord Keeper and make Oath in form aforesaid, and then to proceed to the taking of a Warrant for a Writ of priviledge for his said Servant according to the said Report of the said former precedents. Vide concerning this matter on Saturday the 10th day of March ensuing.
On Thursday the 23th day of February, Ten Bills of no great moment had each of them one reading; of which the last being the Bill touching Presentations by Lapse was read the third time and passed the House, and sent up to the Lords by Mr. Treasurer and others.
The Bill for Cables and Cordage was read the second time, and upon the question rejected.
Sir Richard Read and Mr. Doctor Barkley brought from the Lords four Bills; of which one was the Bill for the repairing of Chepstow-Bridge, and another for the perpetual maintenance of Rochester-Bridge.
The Bill lastly against the diminishing or impairing of Coin was read the third time and pasthe House.
On Friday the 24th day of February, Six Bills of no great moment had each of them one reading; of which the last being the Bill for reformation of Sheriffs, was read the first time and committed unto Sir Thomas Scott, Mr. Attorney of the Dutchy, Mr. Sampoole, and others, to meet this Afternoon at the Temple Church at two of the Clock.
The Bill that the Queens Majesty may entreat the Subjects of Foreign Princes in such sort as they shall intreat the Subjects of this Realm, was read the second time and committed unto all the Privy-Council being of this House, the Masters of the Requests, Mr. Captain of the Guard, Sir Henry Knivett, and divers others to confer presently.
Three Bills also of no great moment had each of them one reading; of which the third being the Bill for Explanation of the Statute against Dilapidations, &c. was read the first time and committed to Sir Thomas Cecill, Mr. Recorder of London, Mr. Popham, and others who were appointed to meet to Morrow in the Afternoon at two of the Clock in the Exchequer Chamber.
Two Bills more had each of them one reading; of which the first being the Bill for the Jurors of Middlesex, was read the first time and committed to Mr. Lieutenant of the Tower, Mr. Wroth, Mr. Sandes, and others to confer to Morrow in the Morning in this House at seven of the Clock.
The Bill for Tryal of Nisi prins in the County of Middlesex was read the second time and committed to the former Committees nominated in the Bill for Jurors.
Three Bills lastly of no great moment had each of them one reading; of which the first being the Bill against fraudulent Gifts and Conveyances made by the late Rebels in the North was read the first time.
On Saturday the 25th day of February, the Bill for the County Palatine of Chester was read the first time and committed unto Mr. Serjeant Lovelace, Mr. Recorder of London, Mr. French, Mr. Norton, Mr. Snagg, and Mr. Townesend, to meet at Serjeants-Inn at Mr. Lovelace's Chamber to Morrow in the Afternoon at three of the Clock.
Five Bills of no great moment had each of them one reading; of which the fourth being the Bills for Confirmation of Letters Patents was read the second time, and committed after the reading and passing of the next Bill.
The Bill for the repairing of the Gaol of St Edmunds-Bury, was read the third time and passed the House.
The Bill for Confirmation of Letters Patents was committed unto all the Privy-Council being of this House, Mr. Captain of the Guard, Mr. Attorney of the Dutchy, Mr. Serjeant Lovelace, and others who were appointed to meet at Mr. Treasurers Chamber this Afternoon at two of the Clock.
Three Bills also of no great moment had each of them one reading; of which the third being the Bill touching fraudulent Conveyances made by the late Rebels in the North Parts, was read the second time and committed unto all the Privy-Council being of this House, Mr. Captain of the Guard, Sir Henry Knivett, Sir Henry Gates, Sir George Bowes, and others to meet this Afternoon at two of the Clock at Mr Treasurers Chamber.
The Bill for Rogues, & c. was read the second time, and the Provisoes or Additions to the same Bill had their first reading.
The Bill for Explanation of the Statute of 31 H. 8. was this day amended according to the request of the Lords in that behalf.
On Monday the 27th day of February, the Bill for the Subsidy, &c. was read the third time and passed the House, of which Vide on Friday the 10th day, Thursday the 16th day, and on Monday the 20th day of this instant February foregoing.
After sundry Reasons and Arguments it was resolved that Edward Smalley Servant unto Arthur Hall Esquire, shall be brought hither to Morrow by the Serjeant and set at liberty by Warrant of the Mace, and not by Writ; Vide on Saturday the 10th day of March ensuing.
Mr. Sollicitor and Mr. Dr. Barkley did require from the Lords that such six of this House as are best acquainted with the Bill for Mr. Isley be sent to confer presently with their Lordships touching the same, whereupon were appointed and presently sent Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. Serjeant Lovelace, Mr. Popham, Mr. St Leger, Mr. Diggs, and Mr. Baber, by whom with Mr. Treasurer and divers others were sent up the Bill for the Subsidy with two others of no great moment, and also the Bill for the Explanation of the Statute of 31 H. 8. with some amendments.
On Tuesday the 28th day of February, the Bill for the Lady Grey was read the second and third time and passed the House.
Four other Bills of no great moment had each of them one reading; of which one being for Chepstow-Bridge, and another for the perpetual maintenance of Rochester-Bridge, were each of them read the second time, but no mention is made that they were either Ordered to be ingrossed or referred to Committees, because they had been sent from the Lords on Thursday the 23th day of this instant February foregoing.
The Bill against Broggers and Drovers was read the first time and committed unto Mr. Comptroller, Sir Nicholas Arnold, Sir William Winter, Sir Rowland Hayward, and others who were appointed to meet to Morrow in the Afternoon at two of the Clock in the Star-Chamber.
The Bill for the Haberdashers was read the second time, and a Proviso to the same Bill was read the first time, and thereupon the Bill was committed unto Mr. Comptroller, Mr. Treasurer, Mr. Hastings, Mr. Hoddy, Mr. French, Mr. Alford, and Mr. Norton, to meet to Morrow in the Afternoon at three of the Clock in the Exchequer Chamber.
Certain Amendments in the Bill of Rogues, &c. reported by Mr. Treasurer upon the last Committee of the Bill, which amendments were read and thereupon the Bill Ordered to be ingrossed.
Two Bills lastly had each of them their first reading; of which the latter was the Bill for Trials by Juries.
Edward Smalley Servant unto Arthur Hall Esq; being this day brought to the Bar in the House by the Serjeant of this House, and accompanied with two Serjeants of London, was presently delivered from his Imprisonment and Execution according to the former Judgment of this House, and the said Serjeants of London discharged of their said Prisoner: and immediately after that the said Serjeants of London were sequestred out of this House, and the said Edward Smalley was committed to the charge of the Serjeant of this House. And thereupon the said Edward Smalley was sequestred till this House should be resolved upon some former Motions, whether the said Edward Smalley did procure himself to be Arrested upon the said Execution, in the abusing and contempt of this House, or not. Vide Mar. 10. Saturday postea.
All the Privy-Council being of this House, the Lord Russell, Mr. Captain of the Guard, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Lieutenant of the Tower, Sir William Winter, Mr. Serjeant Lovelace, Sir Henry Knivett, Mr. Crooke, Mr. Coleby, Mr. Popham, and Mr. Norton, were appointed to meet upon Friday next in the Afternoon at three of the Clock in the Exchequer Chamber, but through the great negligence of Fulk Onslow Esquire, at this time Clerk of the House of Commons, the business about which the foresaid Members of the House were appointed to meet, doth not at all appear.
On Wednesday the 29th day of February, Seven Bills of no great moment had each of them one reading; of which one being the Bill for Chepstow-Bridge, another for Rochester-Bridge, and the third for the Town of Reading, were each of them read the third time and upon the Question passed the House.
Upon a Motion made by Robert Bainbrigge Gent. one of the Burgesses for the Borough of ........ in the County of ....... against one Williams, as well for sundry unsitting Speeches pronounced by the said Williams in misliking of the present State and Government of the Realm, and also for threatning and assaulting of the said Robert Bainbrigge, the Serjeant of this House was thereupon by Order of this House presently sent for the said Williams to be brought unto this House, to Answer such matters as shall be objected against him.
Two Bills of no great moment had each of them one reading; of which the second being the Bill against excess in Apparel was read the first time.
The Petition and Motions made touching the reformation of Discipline in the Church, was committed only to all the Privy-Council of this House. Vide concerning this matter on Friday the 10th day of March ensuing.
Mr. Sollicitor and Mr. Doctor Berkley brought from the Lords four Bills; of which the first was the Bill for the assurance of the Mannor of New Hall to Thomas Earl of Sussex, the second for the appointing of Justices in the Shires of Wales, the third concerning Offices found in the Counties Palatines, and the last for the assurance of certain Lands unto Sir John Ryvers Knight.
All the Privy-Council being of this House, the Lord Russell, the Masters of the Requests, Sir Thomas Scott, Sir Henry Gates, Sir Henry Wallope, and divers others were appointed to meet this Afternoon in the Exchequer Chamber, between two and three of the Clock, and agree touching the nature of the Petition to be made to the Queens Majesty upon the Motions for reformation of Discipline in the Church, and that the matter of the Petition so agreed upon: then those of the Privy-Council only to move the same to the Lords of the Privy-Council after report first made thereof to this House. Vide concerning this matter on Friday the 10th day of March following.
Walter Williams being brought to the Bar confessed that he did strike Mr. Bainbrigge, and that he offered to strike at him with his Dagger: Whereupon it was Ordered that he remain in the Serjeants Ward till the Order of this House be further known: to Morrow Vide.