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 daily Passages of the House of Commons in the Parliament holden at Westminster, Anno 35 Reginx Eliz. Anno Domini 1592. which began there on Monday the 19th Day of February, and then and there continued until the Dissolution thereof on Tuesday the 10th Day of April, Anno Domini 1593.
THIS Journal of the House of Commons is fully replenished with many Excellent Passages; both touching the publick State of the Realm, and also concerning Priviledges, Elections, Returns and such like private Affairs of the House it self: So that not only the dangers of the Realm were discussed and the Ecclesiastical Government touched, but also consultation was had for a seasonable and timely preparation to be made against the ambitious and proud designs of the Spanish King. Neither is it unworthy the Observation, that some unusual distast was occasioned from her Majesty towards some Members of the House by reason of their intermedling with the Succession of the Crown, which she had expresly forbidden. Which Passage, as also divers other particular Speeches, being not found in the Original Journal-Book of the House of Commons, are supplied out of another Journal of the same House very exactly and elaborately taken by an Anonymus, being a Member of the same at this Parliament: but yet with this Caution, to avoid confusion, that whatsoever is inserted out of the said Anonymous Journal hath a particular Animadversion annexed unto it for discovery thereof.
The eighth Parliament of our Soveraign Lady Elizabeth by the Grace of God Queen of England, Franceand Ireland, Defender of the Faith, begun at Westminster upon Monday being the 19th day of February in the thirty fifth year of her Majesties Reign. And thereupon many of the Knights, Citizens, Burgesses and Barons returned into the same Parliament, then made their Appearances at Westminster before the Right Honourable the Earl of Darby, Lord Steward of her Majesties most Honourable Household, and did take the Oath before the said Lord Steward or his Deputies, according to the Statute in that behalf lately made and provided.
The manner of the administring of the said Oath to the said Knights, Citizens and Burgesses, was as followeth. The said Lord Steward removed into the Court of Requests, and having called over the said Knights and others that were returned by their names. Mr Vice-Chamberlain and others of her Majesties Privy-Council took the said Oath before his Honour; and then having appointed them his Deputies to swear the residue of the House of Commons who had then appeared according to their several returns, he departed. And thereupon his Lordships said Deputies proceeded to the further administrating of the aforesaid Oath to other Members of the said House; who after they had taken the same, entred into it and placed themselves. The Fee for entring the name into the Serjeants Book, is two shillings. The reward to the Door-Keeper three shillings eight pence. The Fee for returning the Indenture two shillings.
About two of the Clock in the Afternoon this present Monday her Highness with divers of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and such others as had place there, being let into the Upper House, and the Knights, Citizens and Burgesses of the House of Commons, as many as conveniently could, being (at length) let in; The Right Honourable Sir John Puckering Knight, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England, declared the said Parliament to be called by her Highness only for Consultation and Preparation of Aid to be had and made against the mighty and great Forces of the King of Spain, bent and intended against this Realm, as well by some practices attempted by him in the Realm of France, and with some of the Nobility of Scotland, as by many other ways and means to that end and purpose. And did in the end advise the said Commons to employ the time of this present Session of Parliament in the aforesaid Consultation; and not to go about the making of any new Laws for the Common-Wealth at this time, as well for that there are very many good Laws already in force; more (he said) than are well executed; as for that also such new Laws (if they be needful) may be treated of and dealt in at some other time hereafter. And so willed them to repair to their accustomed place, and make Choice of their Speaker. Which done, the said Parliament was Adjourned until Thursday next following.
After which the said Knights, Citizens and Burgesses of the House of Commons being Assembled in the same House, the Right Honourable Sir Francis Knowles Knight, one of her Majesties most Honourable Privy-Council, and Treasurer of her Highness most Honourable Houshold, stood up, and putting the House in remembrance of the said Charge of the said Lord Keeper given unto them for chusing of their Speaker; and very gravely and amply setting out sundry the good parts and commendable qualities and abilities of the Right Worshipful Mr Edward Cooke Esqire Learned in the Laws of this Realm, Sollicitor General to her Majesty, and being a Member of this House returned into the same one of the Knights for the County of Norfolk doth in the end for his part and opinion nominate the said Mr Edward Cooke to be chosen for their Speaker in this present Parliament, if the residue of this House shall so think good. Unto which Motion as many of the said House assented with their Voices, so the said Mr Edward Cooke thereupon stood up, and very gravely and discreetly behaving himself as well in all due thankfulness unto this House for their said good opinion conceived of him, as also in disabling himself in divers respects for the discharge due and requisite for that place, humbly prayeth them to proceed to a new Election. Which done, the Right Honourable Sir Thomas Heneage Knight, Vice-Chamberlain to her Majesty, and one other of her Highness's most Honourable Privy-Council, stood up, and not only approving but also very much amplifying the said former sundry commendable gifts and abilities of the said Mr Edward Cooke exceeding many others, and comparable in his opinion and judgement with any others for that place and charge, (gathering also the same partly from his own late former Speech of excuses) doth in the end resolutely deliver his opinion to make choice of the said Mr Cooke to be their Speaker. And also thereupon moving the question to the House, the said Mr Cooke was with one full consent and voice of the whole House; nominated and chosen to be their Speaker for this present Parliament. And so was thereupon presently brought by the said Mr Treasurer and Mr ViceChamberlain, and set in the Chair. And immediately after the House did rise and were appointed to repair thither again upon Thursday next following.
On Thursday the 22th day of February, to which day the Parliament that begun on Monday foregoing, being the 19th day of the same Month, had been continued by Sir John Puckering Knight Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, by her Majesties Commandment, the Queens Majesty and divers of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal being set in the Upper House, the Knights, Citizens and Burgesses of the House of Commons had notice thereof, and thereupon they repaired thither with Edward Cooke Esquire, her Majesties Sollicitor, their lately Elected Speaker; who being led up to the Rail or Bar at the lower end of the said House by two of the most eminent Personages of the aforesaid House of Commons, after humble reverence made, declared unto her Majesty his Election to the said place of Prolocutor; and then alledging (according to the usual course) his own insufficiency did desire her Majesty to enable him to that Charge; and to consider that howsoever he were the meanest that ever went before him in that place in respect of Experience, yet in respect of his faithfulness he thought himself inferiour to none.
After which Speech her Majesty by the Mouth of the Lord Keeper, having allowed and approved his Election, the said Speaker having in a second Speech shortly touched her Highness happy and victorious Reign, and somewhat largely proved the antient Supremacy of the Kings of England in Ecclesiastical matters, did in the end of his said Speech make certain Petitions of course in the name of the House of Commons; First, For liberty of Speech; Secondly, For freedom from Arrests; And thirdly, For Access unto her Majesty. And lastly, For Pardon for himself if he should in any thing unwittingly be mistaken.
To which Speech the Lord Keeper, having received new Instructions from her Majesty, made a reply in particular to the several branches of the said Speakers Speech. And to his three demands he Answered, that liberty of Speech was granted in respect of the I and No, but not that every one should speak what he listed. And touching freedom from Arrests, and Access to her Majesty, he advised, that they might be cautiously made use of.
Nota, That none of these Particulars touching the Presentment of the Speaker, are set down in the Original Journal-Book of the House of Commons, but are abstracted out of another Journal of the same House taken by an Anonymous Member of the same during the Parliament, mentioned at the beginning of this present Journal, yet it appeareth plainly by the very Original Journal-Book it self, Fol. 262. 1. that the Prolocutor was this day presented to her Majesty, where the words are as followeth, viz.
Which said words (being only here a little otherwise placed for Order sake than there) have a large Blank left at the end of them of somewhat above half a page, with intention no doubt at the first to have inserted the whole manner of the proceeding both of this presentment and admission.
After the Return also of the Speaker (now compleatly invested in that place) with the rest of the House of Commons, one Bill was read according to the usual form in that Case accustomed, which is set down in the said Journal-Book in these words following, viz.
Mr Speaker immediately after the reading of this Bill, and his opening of the contents of the same to this House, shewed unto them from her Majesty, that her Highness had Adjourned (mistaken for continued) the Higher House till Saturday next; And also that her Majesties pleasure likewise was, that this House should therefore be Adjourned till the same time; which being so done accordingly, this House did then rise, and every man went away.
On Saturday the 24th day of February the House being set, and a great number of the Members of the same assembled; Mr Speaker not then as yet being come to the House, some of the House said one to another, they heard he was sick: And one affirmed it to be so indeed, shewing that he had been with him this Morning himself; and left him sick in his Bed, and his Physician and his Wife with him; and some others supposing that he would shortly signify unto this House, the Cause of that his absence, moved that the Clerk might in the mean time proceed to saying of the Litany and Prayers. Which being so done accordingly, the Serjeant of this House presently after the said Prayers finished, brought word from Mr Speaker unto the Right Honourable Sir John Woolley Knight one of her Majesties most Honourable Privy Council, and a Member of this House and then present in the same House, that he had been this last Night and also was this present Forenoon so extreamly pained with a wind in his Stomach and Loosness of Body, that he could not as yet without his further great peril and danger adventure into the Air at this time, which otherwise most willingly he would have done. And willed that the Clerk of this House might signify unto the House the said estate of his Case, and in his name to desire their good favourable considerations of the same, not doubting their gentle and courteous acceptance of that his so reasonable excuse, as by this House hath also been in former time used in like Case towards some other his Predecessors in the place he now serveth; And to shew them, he trusteth in God he shall be able to attend them in this House upon the next day of sitting, which will be Monday next. The Effect of which Message being then signified unto this House by the said Clerk of the House, all the said Members of this House being very sorry for Mr Speaker his sickness, rested well satisfied. And so the House did rise, and every man departed away.
Nota, That this is all which is found in the Original Journal-Book of the House of Commons touching this days business, and therefore that which followeth is supplied out of that Anonymous Journal mentioned at the beginning of this present Journal, touching the residue of this days passages.
This day Mr Peter Wentworth and Sir Henry Bromley delivered a Petition unto the Lord Keeper, therein desiring the Lords of the Upper House to be suppliants with them of the lower House unto her Majesty for Entailing the Succession of the Crown, whereof a Bill was readily drawn by them.
Her Majesty was highly displeaded therewith after the knew therof, as a matter contrary to her former strait Commandment; and charged the Council to call the parties before them. Sir Thomas Heneage presently sent for them, and after Speeches had with them, commanded them to forbear the Parliament, and not to go out from their several Lodgings.
The day after being Sunday and the 25th of Febr. though the House sate not, yet they were called before the Lord Treasurer, the Lord Buckhurst and Sir Thomas Heneage. The Lords intreated them favourably and with good Speeches; But so highly was her Majesty offended that they must needs commit them, and so they told them. Whereupon Mr Peter Wentworth was sent Prisoner unto the Tower; Sir Henry Bromley and one Mr Richard Stevens, to whom Sir Henry Bromley had imparted the matter, were sent to the Fleet, as also Mr Welch the other Knight for Worcestershire. Vide Mar. 10.
About this matter in the beginning of the Parliament was appointed a Committee to be had of many grave, wise and ancient Parliament men, which were of the House, but at this time few met at the place appointed, at least not such as were expected.
It was appointed also at this time to Mr Stevens to peruse the penning of the Petition that should have been delivered to that House, and to have provided a Speech upon the delivery of it: But this Office by reason of other occasions he could not attend. What other things were done or spoken in that Conference, were, as I heard, confessed to some of the Privy-Council by some of those Parties that were present at that Conference. All that were there, except those beforenamed, went free and were never called in question that I heard of. And thus far it is inserted out of the aforesaid Anonymous Journal.
Upon a Motion made by Mr George Moore touching some questions for the manner of Election of one Richard Hutton returned into this House one of the Burgesses for the Borough of Southwark in the County of Surrey, and supposed to have been indirectly made; and so prayed to be further Examined by some Committee of this House, and then to be reported over to this House for the further Order of this House in the same: And upon another Motion thereupon also made by Mr Wroth for a Committee for the Liberties and Priviledges of the Members of this House and their Servants, it is upon the question Ordered, that all the Members of this House being of her Majesties Privy-Council, Sir William Moore, Mr Serjeant Yelverton, Mr Robert Wroth, Mr Recorder of London, Mr Heyle, Mr Conisby, Mr Miles Sands, Mr Attorney of the Wards, Mr Attorney of the Dutchy, Mr William Howard, Sir Henry Cooke, Sir Francis Godolphin, Sir George Moore, Sir Walter Raleigh, Sir Francis Drake, Mr Tanfield, Mr Francis Bacon, Mr Lewkenor, Sir John Harrington, Mr Emersam, Sir Edward Hobby, Mr Lawrence Stourton, Mr Beale, Mr Doctor James, Sir Henry Duton, Mr Doctor Cæsar, Mr Tasborough, Sir Moyle Finch, Sir Thomas Cecill and Sir Francis Hastings shall, during all this present Sessions of Parliament, examine and make report of all such Cases touching the Elections and Returns of any the Knights, Citizens, Burgesses and Barons of this House, and also all such Cases for priviledge as in any wise may occur or fall out during all the same Sessions of Parliament; to the end this House upon the Reports of the same Examinations may proceed to such further course in every the same Cases as to this House shall be thought meet. And it is further Ordered, that that said Committees do meet upon Wednesday next in the Exchequer Chamber at three of the Clock in the Afternoon to examine the manner of the said Election of the said Richard Hutton, and also any other case of Elections, Returns or Priviledges whatsoever in question, which shall be moved unto them by any Member of this House at their Pleasure. And notice was then also given in the House to all the Members of the same, that in all these Cases they might from time to time repair to the said Committees as occasion shall serve accordingly.
Sir Robert Cecill, Sir John Wolley, Sir John Fortescue, Sir Edward Stafford and Mr Francis Bacon, having severally delivered most manifest and apparent reasons of the inevitable necessity both of present consultation and also of present Provision of Treasure to prevent and withstand the great imminent perils and dangers of this Realm, intended against the same by the King of Spain, the Pope and other Confederates of the Holy League; The said Sir Robert Cecill, Sir John Fortescue, Sir John Wolley, and Mr Francis Bacon, laying open the sundry particular practices of the King of Spain against the State of this Realm; attempted both in Ireland, the Low Countries, France and Scotland, do each of them in the end conclude and move, That a grave Committee of this House be presently selected to have Conference touching some fit course to be taken for the said consultation and provision of Treasure. And thereupon it was upon the Question Ordered and Assented to by the whole House.
Nota, That this is all that is found in the Original Journal-Book of the House of Commons touching these Speeches; which because they contain many Excellent Passages concerning the History of these times of her Majesty, I have therefore supplied at large, Sir Edward Staffords Speech only excepted (which was wanting there also) out of a very Elaborate Journal of the same House, taken by some Anonymous Member thereof at this Parliament, which is mentioned more at large in the beginning of this present Journal. Sir Robert Cecill Spake first and said.
As I remember, I have been of this House there five Parliaments, and I have not determined to say any thing in these Assemblies further than my Cogitations should concur with my Conscience in saying bare I, or No. Give me leave, I pray you, to rehearse an old saying, and it is in Latin, Nec te collaudes, nec te vituperes ipse; for me to do the one were exceeding arrogancy, and to do the other, I do confess, I hope, you will pardon me.
The occasion of this Parliament, as I take it by that which we received from the Honourable and Learned Speech of the Lord Keeper of and from her Majesty to us in the Higher House, is for the cause of Religion and maintenance thereof amongst us, the preservation of her Majesties most Royal Person, and the good of this Realm of our Country. All which because they be things of most dear and greatest price, and at this present in exceeding great and imminent danger, it is most behoofful to consult of speedy remedies, which should proceed from the wisest Heads. The Enemy to these is the King of Spain, whose malice and ambition is such, as together with the Pope, that Antichrist of Rome, (for I may well couple them together, the one being always accompained with envy at our Prosperity, the other with unsatiable desire) makes them by all means to seek the Subversion of the State. But concerning the first the cause of God and his Religion, which her Majesty professed before she came to sit in this Royal Seat, which she hath defended and maintained, and for which cause God hath so blessed her Government since her coming to the Crown: Yea while the Crown was scarce warm on her Head, she abolished the Authority of Rome, and did set up Gods truth amongst us; and to her great renown made this little Land to be a Sanctuary for all the persecuted Saints of God: whereby the people perceived her Magnanimity, Zeal and Judgment; Magnanimity in undertaking so great an Enterprize; Zeal in professing the same not for the shew, but of sincerity; Judgment in defending it and preventing all his designs. He sent forth his Bulls and Missives against her Majesty, thereby most unnaturally depriving her of her most natural right, the Duty and Loyalty which her Subjects should owe unto her, &c. He touched the many dangers her Majesty had been in, which as it caused him to fear to think, so did he tremble to speak concerning the danger of her Country, and so the lost of our Lives, Liberties, Wives, Children, and all other Priviledges. Let me not trouble you with things past so long and perhaps beyond my reach, but with things past of late years and since Eighty eight. When we were so secure and never thought that the King of Spain would have set up his Rest for England; Then sent he his Navy termed Invincible, and was almost upon the Banks of us before we were aware. Yea we were so slack in provision, that it was too late to make resistance, had not God preserved us. His attempt against us by seeking to win the Low-Countries and to obtain Ireland, being but trifles and partly devices, which I mean not to trouble you with; he hath now of late gone about to win France, wherein he hath greatly prevailed, as in Lorrain and in other parts, as you have heard, but specially in Britany, having most part of the Port Towns in his Possession, whither he still sendeth supply daily, and reinforces them every four or five Months, which part is always open and his men and forces never wanting. This Province he especially desireth, for it lyeth most fitly to annoy us, whither he may send forces continually, and there have his Navy in a readiness; the which he could not so easily, unless he had the wind in a bag. Besides having this Province, he might keep us from Traffick to Rochell and Burdeaux, as he doth in the Straights from Tripoly and St Jean de Luce: And so hinder us from carrying forth and bringing into this Land any Commodities from those parts, whereby the Realm might be inriched and her Majesties Impost ever eased, being one of the greatest Revenues of her Crown. He hath also gone about with them of Stade and the King of Poland, one of his own Faction, and who by reason he cannot do in that Kingdom what he listeth, he may not so easily command him to impeach, or hinder our Traffick in those Eastern parts, which if he could bring to pass, you see how hurtful it would be to this Land.
But to descend yet lower into these latter Actions. He hath seen it is but a folly to make Woodden Bridges to pass into Ireland, therefore he hath found out a safer way and stronger passage into it by Land, and that by Scotland, which though it be not talked of on the Exchange, nor Preached at Paul's Cross; yet it is most true, and in Scotland as common as the high-way, That he hath procured unto him many of the Nobility. It may be he hath sent thither no great Navy, and that her Majesty would not suffer him to do; yet do what she can, some one Paltry Fly-Boat may escape her Majesties Ships, and carry gold enough in her to make them Traytors, and stir them to Sedition. These things her Majesty understood before, and Advertized the King thereof; which the effect hath proved to be true. For unless I be deceived, the last Letter that came from thence might shew that the King is gone to make a Rode into the North, and to bring back the Lord Bothwell and the Lord Huntley. The King of Spain's malice thus daily increaseth against us, and seeketh also to stir up Sedition amongst us by his Instruments. The number also of Papists daily increaseth, or at least wise becomes more manifest. My advice is, that you would consult how to withstand such imminent dangers, which the greater they be, the sooner they would be looked into and remembred. Wherefore I would desire Mr Speaker that he would appoint some Committees of the sufficientest and wisest men in the House to consider thereon.
Sir John Wolley spake to the like Effect, saying, that upon the Cause of the danger the Realm was now in, and of the remedy, his Speech should consist; which he likened to a natural Body, in which the more danger the principal Member was in, the greater means there should be used for the preservation thereof. Roan being made now Admiral of France by the League, should say, that he was a poor Admiral now, but yet he doubted not 'but that shortly he should be able to bring such a Navy as should terrify the Queen of England. Also he shewed how the Princes of the Holy League had conspired the overthrow of the Realm, the extirpation of Religion, and the confusion of her Majesty and her Loyal Subjects. And exhorted the House, now because the season of the year groweth on, which calleth many of the Knights and Burgesses to be in their Countries, besides the Sickness being in the Town, so that many of that House he thought knew not whether they lodged in Houses infected or not, that they would seek to dispatch and end the Parliament so soon as might be. He also shewed how the Dunkirkers trouled our Fishermen in small Barks upon the Seacoasts. And so that this matter might be Committed to some of the sufficientest in the House. He also exhorted the House to a speedy agreeing of a Subsidy: which considering the dangers we were in, and that it was for our own good, as also for her Majesty's, he hoped that no good Subject but would willingly agree to it. Also he shewed that the Wars with the King of Spain had cost her Majesty a Million of Money: but his he avouched, that where it cost her Majesty one, it cost the King of Spain three.
Then Sir John Fortescue Spake and said: They that spake before me, spake sufficiently of the Authors of our trouble, of the great danger which is now imminent, insomuch that as it is come to that point now, Non utrùm imprare, sed utrùm vivere. I will speak of nothing but that which concerns my Calling. Her Majesty not being only careful for the preservation of Her own Realm, but of her Neighbours also; she hath not only defended her own Subjects from being invaded, but also hath aided Strangers which wanted Money, with whom otherwise it would have gone ill by this time both with them and ourselves. Insomuch that the burthen of four Kingdoms hath rested upon her Majesty, which she hath maintained with her Purse, England, France, Ireland, and Scotland. For how could the French King at his first coming to the Crown have held out against those Leaguers, had not her Majesty assisted him with her Men and Money, which hath cost her Majesty about a hundred thousand pound? For 'tis well known that the French King had not been able to withstand the Duke of Parma's coming into France, had it not been for our Englishmen and Money. As for the Low Countries, they have stood her Majesty in yearly, since she undertook the defence of them, one hundred and fifty thousand pound. All which her Majesty bestowed for the good of the Realm, to free us from War at home. Besides, when her Majesty came to the Crown, she found it four Millions indebted; her Navy when she came to view it, she found greatly decayed: Yet all this hath discharged, and (thanks be to God) is nothing indebted; and now she is able to match any Prince in Europe, which the Spaniards found when they came to invade as. Yea she hath with her Ships compassed the whole world, whereby this Land is made famous throughout all places. She did find in her Navy all Iron Pieces, but she hath furnished it with Artillery of Brass, so that one of her Ships is not a Subject's but a petty King's wealth. As for her own private Expences, they have been little in building; she hath consumed little or nothing in her pleasures. As for her Apparel, it is Royal and Princely, beseeming her Calling, but not sumptuous nor excessive. The Charges of her House small, yea never less in any Kings time. And shortly (by Gods grace) she will free her Subjects from that trouble which hath come by the means of Purveyors. Wherefore she trusteth, that every good subject will assist her Majesty with his Purse, seeing it concerns his own good and the preservation of his estate. For before that any of us would lose the least member of his body, we would bestow a great deal, and stick for no Cost nor Charges: How much more ought we in this political Body, whereof not only a member but the whole is in jeopardy, if we do not once hast to the preservation thereof? And for these Subsidies which are granted now adays to her Majesty, they are less by half than they were in King Henry the 8th's time. Now although her Majesty had borrowed some Money of her Subjests besides her Subsidies, yet she had truly repaid and answered every one fully. He desired the matter might be put to a Committee.
Sir Edward Stafford spake next to the like effect; but what his said Speech was, is not at all set down in the aforesaid Anonymous Journal mentioned more fully at the beginning of this Journal present.
Mr Speaker, That which these Honourable Personages have spoken of their Experiences, May it please you to give me leave likewise to deliver of my common knowledge. The Cause of Assembling all Parliaments hath been hitherto for Laws or Moneys: The one being the Sinews of Peace, the other of War. To the one I am not privy, but the other I should know. I did take great contentment in her Majesties Speeches the other day delivered by the Lord Keeper, how that it was a thing not to be done suddenly nor at one Parliament, nor scarce a whole year would suffice to purge the Statute-Book and lessen the Volume of Laws, being so many in number, that neither Common People can practise them, nor the Lawyer sufficiently understand them: Than the which nothing should tend more to the praise of her Majesty.
The Romans appointed ten men, who were to correct and recal all former Laws, and to set forth those Twelve Tables so much of all men to be commended. The Athenians likewise appointed six for that purpose. And Lewes the 9th King of France did the like in reforming his Laws ............. But what should here follow is wholly omitted in that Anonymous Journal mentioned in the beginning of these Speeches, out of which they are all taken; yet it should seem that the main end and scope of the ensuing particulars of this Speech, which are omitted, were for the appointing of a select and grave Committee, both to consider of the dangers of the Realm, and of speedy supply and aid to be given to her Majesty.
And thereupon after the Conclusion of this Speech of Mr Francis Bacon's, the House did accordingly nominate the said Committee, to deliberate and consult in what proportion they might now to relieve her Majesty with Subsidies, in respect of those many and great Enemies against whose power and malice she was to provide and prepare for necessary defence and preservation of her Realms and Dominions. The names of which said Committees are set down in the Original Journal-Book of the House of Commons (though omitted in that other before-mentioned taken by the said Anonymus) in manner and form following, viz.
All those of this House which are of her Majesties Privy-Council, all the Members of this House which are returned Knights for the Counties, Sir Walter Raleigh, Sir Thomas Cecill, Mr George Moore, Sir Henry Unton, Mr Wroth, Sir Thomas Wilkes, Mr Francis Bacon, Mr Nathanael Bacon, Mr George Cary, Mr Beale, Mr Fulk Grevill, Mr Attorney of the Wards, Mr Attorney of the Dutchy, Sir John Paton, Mr Robert Sackvill; Sir Francis Hastings, all the Serjeants at Law which were Members of this House, Sir John Hare, Mr Doctor Cæsar, Mr Doctor James, Mr William Haward, Mr Sands, Sir Robert Sidney, Mr Fanshaw, Sir Thomas West, Sir John Warrington, Sir Thomas Read, Sir Francis Drake, Mr Thomas Fane, Mr Vincent Skinner, Sir William Moor, Mr Fuller, Mr Heyle, Mr John Hare, Mr Shinne, Mr Christopher Blount, Mr Edward Lewkenor, Sir William Bowes, Sir John Wingfield, Mr Tasborough, Sir Edward Stafford, Mr Lawrence Fanshaw, Mr Nicholas Saunders, Mr Doctor Lewen, Sir Thomas Flodd, Sir Francis Gudolphin, Sir Francis Vere, Mr Edward Dyer, Mr Conisby, Mr Boyse, Mr Apselie and Mr Emersam should be nominated and appointed to have Conference in the said Cause; and to meet for that purpose in this House to Morrow next at two of the Clock in the Afternoon.
On Tuesday the 27th day of February, Two Bills of no great moment had each of them one reading; of which the first being the Bill touching Woollen Cloaths called Vesses, Rayes, &c. was read the first time.
Mr Morrice Attorney of the Court of Wards, moveth the House touching the hard Courses of the Bishops and Ordinaries and other Ecclesiastical Judges in their Courts, used towards sundry learned and godly Ministers and Preachers of this Realm by way of Inquisition, subscription and binding absolution, contrary (he said) to the honour of God, the Regality of her Majesty, the Laws of this Realm, and the liberty of the Subjects of the same; compelling them upon their own Oaths to accuse themselves in their own private actions, words and thoughts, if they shall take such Oaths, because they know not to what questions they shall answer till after the time they be sworn; And also after such Examination proceed against them by deprivation, degradation or suppression, upon such their own Accusations of themselves. And if they refuse to take such Oath, then they commit them to Prison and there keep and detain them at their own pleasure, not absolving or releasing them until they shall first have taken a Corporal Oath of their Canonical Obedience to their Ordinaries. And shewing further at large the great inconvenience thereby grown unto the free Subjects of this Realm, doth in the end pray a Consultation to be had therein by this House for redress of the said Enormities; and offereth unto Mr Speaker two Bills, the one concerning the said Inquisitions, subscriptions and offering of Oaths, and the other concerning the Imprisonments upon their refusal to the said Oaths, praying that the said latter Bill which concerneth the said Imprisonments might be read, and the other to be offered to this House at some other more convenient time.
Nota, That there is no other Speech touching this business particularly and fully set down in the Original Journal-Book of the House of Commons, and therefore those Speeches which follow are supplied out of that Anonymous Journal of the same House, of which there is more particular mention made in the very beginning of this present Journal.
Mr Dalton stood up and spake with much earnestness against it, saying, It is hard upon a sudden for me to Answer a long premeditated Speech, but as I am able I will say and shew what I think of the Bill Exhibited. It pretends great things in shew, tending to the hindrance of Gods service and the derogation of her Majesties Prerogative, to the overthrow of our Laws and violating of our Liberties; Things I say great in shew, but no such things to be found in the matter spoke against. It is easy to make of a MoleHill a Mountain in words, so by a well complied Speech to make a great and dangerous thing of nothing; nay a thing indeed needless; for that the State hath hitherto always stood upon this Government. And so shewed how Ecclesiastical Government was distinct from the Temporal. The Reasons he gave were few or none; only his great dislike was, that having received strait Commandment from her Majesty not to meddle with things concerning the Reformation of the Church and State of this Realm, therefore in his opinion the Bill ought to be suppressed.
Sir John Woolley spake also against the Bill disallowing the matters in it: And taking it as too busy a medling in such a thing so forbidden by her Majesty, so he thought it not fit that it should be read.
Then Spake Sir Francis Knowles, allowing the Bill, and Answered, That whereas it was condemned as seeking the overthrow of a Member of the State, and so against the Law, it tended in his opinion but to the reforming of abuses and restraining of the Prelates: That if they meddle against the Laws, they shall incur a prœmunire. So that he thought the Bill to be good and fit to be read.
Then spake Doctor Lewen, driving his Speech to a full Answer of Mr Morris his Speech. And first he shewed, that as the natural Body was delighted in Change, so was it also in the politick Body, greedy of alteration. That this Eversion of Bishops had long been sought for; and in shooting at their Jurisdiction their aim was at their places; as being no more able to stand the one without the other, than a House without a Foundation. Then he entred into a Discourse of Government, as Monarchies, Aristocracies and Democracies. He allowed the Monarchies; and in the most famous Monarchies in the World shewed this Government now exercised by the Bishops to have been used. He endeavoured to prove the Bishops to be such a part of the Body politick, as without them it could be no Body. And in comparing it with the state of the Natural Body, he termed the Prince and the Counsellors of State to be as the Senses, and as the Head; The Bishops and Ministers as the Shoulders and Arms; the common people the Legs. Now to take away the Shoulders from the Body were as great a blemish and prejudice as to have the Fingers tied unto the Shoulders. Then came he to three parts of Mr Morris his Speech, Inquisition, Subscription and binding absolution. Inquisition he proved lawful; First because it had been so long used, and in the greatest Monarchies allowed. For before Inquisition came in, the manner of Tryal was by Accusation, and then the party accusing was to suffer the penalty that the Law inflicted upon the party accused, if he failed in his accusation. Then it might be that the party accused, if the Accuser failed in his accusation, might sollicite two Witnesses to Answer for him, which was sufficient to acquit him: So the guilty escaped and the guiltless accuser was punished. This seeming grievous, they changed their Tryals into Inquisitions. And whosoever reads Demosthenes and Tully, shall see how unwillingly they were hired to accuse. And if we look into the Laws of this Realm, it is altogether by Inquisitions in Courts Baron, Leets, and in the Kings Courts, and in the Star-Chamber. So that this course is as lawful in the Ecclesiastical as in the Temporal Law. Subscription was a thing we were bound unto by Statute. The like was used in our Churches as at Geneva, so as allowable here. Absolution, termed binding, is no other than in the Common Law; for in the Writ de Excommunicato capiendo, the party absolved is to be sworn ad servandum jus, and his Oath to perform the Law in this absolution is not grievous: Whereas otherwise the party accused was to find pledges for the same. Nay it is a liberty to him, when upon his Oath he may be freed. And so as to the Bill, he thought it fittest that it should be first considered of by the Bishops and Judges of the Realm before it were read.
After this Mr. Henry Finch (as may be conjectured out of the Original Journal-Book of the House of Commons, where though his Speech be omitted, yet he is set down and nominated to have spoken next after Doctor Lewen) spake also against the Bill much to that effect which the said Doctor Lewen had spoken: But neither was his name expressed in the aforesaid Anonymous Journal, out of which these several Speeches are transcribed, nor yet any more particulars of that which he spake.
Then stood up Mr. Oliver St John, as may be collected out of the aforesaid Original JournalBook of the House of Commons, where he is said to have spoken next after Mr. Henry Finch, although his Speech be wholly omitted (as is his name in the said Anonymous Journal, out of which the said Speech and the rest are inserted) and speaking for the Bill said; it is and hath been the manner of this House to allow a mixture in speaking, and after the Grave, Honourable and Wisest, then to hear the meanest also. For my self, I am but young, yet will I shew unto you matter which is old. In Answer to them that Spake last, the Ancient Charter of this Realm says, Nullus liber homo, &c. which is flatly violated by Bishops Jurisdiction. You know what things Thomas Becket stood upon against the King, which things are now also crept in. And for more full Answer of one that spake before, his Antiquity and prescription cannot be allowed in this Government for any reason; for so were the Official prestitute to take and exact Fees, because time out of mind they had done so; And set it down that it was Answered in the Parliament House, That Thieves may prescribe to take Purses on Shooters-Hill, because time out of mind they had done so.
For that of Inquisition, it seems to him (specially) that spake last, to be allowed before that tryal by accusation; First by reason of the Antiquity of the tryal. But it cannot be proved so ancient as the manner of tryals by accusations. For in John, the Adulterous Woman being brought to Christ, he asked who were her Accusers? And for that manner of Accusation, the Lawyers themselves speak against it; for one faith of it, Ut libere fatear quod sentiam, nunquam mihi placebat. For Subscription, the Statute alledged is meant but a Subscription to certain Articles in Religion, and not a Subscription in this form. And because it is allowed in Geneva, so to allow it here, that is no reason. For in Geneva there be many things allowed, which the party speaking would (I dare say) be loth to have used here. As to Absolution, there is no such Oath to be required therein in our Writ de Excommunicato capiendo, as was said. So I think the Bill very worthy and fit to be read.
Then Sir Robert Cecill spake and said: I am unwilling to speak, yea I speak against my Will; and to answer Speeches well studied and premeditated upon the sudden, it is hard for me. What the Bill containeth, I am ignorant of; and whether to allow of it or not, I will suspend my opinion. To say the truth, the man that offered it was learned and wise, and one whom I love; yet a Bill to be offered and inforced in this sort, being of such effect, I know not how to allow of it. For her Majesty had straitly forbidden to meddle in such Cases; yet not forgetting the Cause, she had in her Excellent wisdom cared and pretended that a redress should be had of things that are amiss. To which end her Majesty before the Parliament summoned, had directed her Letters to the Archbishops to certifie her.
Now her Highness Care for our good shall be prevented by our hasty speaking of these things before our time. Sure it is not fit, and her Majesty cannot but be offended at it. For the Bill I protest I know it not; but it seemed to contain things needful. Wherefore it were fittest it should be commended to her Majesty, and so recommended unto us. And if I may do this Office and Service for the House, I will in all dutiful Loves and Service do it. But if the other course be taken, I fear the things sought will be denied for the violence used in it.
The Mr Speaker said, In favour and free love, above my merits or desert, you have Elected me, which should bind me to do all my best Service, and to be faithful toward you. This Bill delivered me is long and containeth important matters of great weight, and such matters as cannot be expressed in four words. It hath many parts, and if you put me presently to open it, I cannot so readily understand it, and do it as I should; For indeed it is a matter far above my ordinary practice: and to deliver a thing before I conceive it, I could not. Wherefore if it would please you to give me leave to consider of it, I protest I will be faithful and keep it with all Secrecy.
Hereupon the House was in question, whether it should be committed to the Speaker only, or to the Privy-Council and him: but it was holden to be against the Order of the House that any Bill should be committed before it was read. Therefore upon a Motion made by Mr Wroth, it was agreed, that Mr Speaker should have it.
This Afternoon at two of the Clock Mr Speaker was sent for to the Court, where the Queen her self gave him Commandment to deliver unto the House ........... and so the matter abruptly breaks off in the said Anonymous Journal, mentioned more particularly in the beginning of this present Journal, out of which all these aforesaid Speeches are inserted: But that which should here follow can be no more but only, that her Majesty did Command him to deliver a certain Message to the House the day following, which he did then perform accordingly: Ut vide postea in fine diei sequentis.
The Bill lastly, that a Bar at large may be pleaded in an Ejectione firmæ, was upon the second reading committed unto Mr Edgecombe, Sir Henry Knivet, and the Serjeants at Law that are Members of the House, Mr Attorney of the Wards and others, who were appointed to meet upon Thursday next at two of the Clock in the Afternoon at Serjeants-Inn in Fleetstreet.
Nota, That before this Bill was committed, divers spake unto it, which being omitted in the Original Journal-Book after the mentioning of the second reading thereof, I thought good to supply the said Speeches out of that Anonymous Journal so often before-mentioned; and the rather, because this Bill being against Popish Recusants, the said Speeches do contain matter of much weight in them.
There is no man as I think so irreligious towards God, so unloyal towards her Majesty, so careless of the common Statutes, but thinks the Bill to be good, and the Law very necessary before it be Enacted: Yet it were fit every part of it were considered of and reformed. The thing to be reformed is this: The words of the Act being Every person that shall receive a Recusant, &c. And thus the Purvey being General, the good Subject may be grieved by this Law; and he that shall have but a Recusant in his Custody, shall be within the letter of the Law for receiving a Recusant into his House. Things to be considered are first, Whether it be good to deprive them of all their goods, for so we shall leave them no means of living. Secondly, Whether the Parties that be now Recusants being reconciled, if they fall into relapse and afterwards be newly reconciled again, shall be enabled to take benefit of their Lands and good: for 'tis hard, if after their repenting they be not restored.
Then Mr. Philips Answering all Objections against the Bill, affirmed it sufficient in all points, and that neither the sence nor the letter could be prejudicial to the good Subject. Only he could have wisht it were provided that the Recusant should not use this Law to his benefit, by procuring Commons to be their Friends, and take Leases of their own Lands answering the Queens Title.
Then Mr. Nathanael Bacon spake and said, The Children might not be committed to the Bishop of the Diocess, because their Chancellors are so much affected to the Canon Law, that some are infected with Popish Religion. Besides, the office of Bishops is to preach, and this duty in the one calling would not be hindred by other affairs committed to their care. Wherefore fitter it is, that the Justices of Assize should have the appointment of them.
Then Mr. Wroth spake as followeth. The Law hath no Proviso for Leases, no remedy is appointed, as by the distress or otherwise, how the Guardian is to come by the money appointed to him for the Custody of the Child of a Recusant. And it were fit to make a Proviso that no Party being next Heir to the Child should be his Guardian. And the Recusant not to forfeit ten pound a Month for the keeping of his Wife; otherwise for keeping of Servants Recusants.
After all these Speeches they agreed to have the Bill committed. But the Committees names are all omitted in the said Anonymous Journal, out of which these foresaid Speeches are inserted, and are therefore to be supplied out of the Original Journal-Book of the House of Commons, where they are set down in manner and form following, viz.
All the Privy Council, Sir Thomas Cecil, Sir Walter Raleigh, Sir William Moore, Mr Feele, Mr Finch, Mr Worth, Mr Greenfield, Mr Fulke Grevill, Mr Sands, Mr Cradock, Sir Francis Hastings, Sir Edward Stafford, Mr Morrice, Mr George Cary, Mr Peejam, Mr Tasborough, Sir Henry Unton, Sir William Bowes, Sir Moyle Finch, Mr Attorney of the Dutchy, Mr Alice, Sir Francis Vere, Sir Edward Dimock, Mr. Warren, Mr Lewes, Mr. Tansfeild, Mr. Edw. Barker, Mr. Beale, Mr. Philips, Mr. Stephenson, Mr Lewkenor Mr Nat. Bacon, Mr Grimston, Mr. Fuller, all the Serjeants at Law, Mr. George Moore, Sir Thomas Wast, Mr. Doctor Cæsar, Mr. Doctor Lewen, Sir Henry Cock, Sir Edward Cock, Sir Edward Hobby, Mr. Dier, Mr. John Cary, Mr. Emerson, Sir Thomas Shirley, Mr. Fanshaw, Sir John Harrington, Sir Henry Knivett, Sir Charles Candish, and Sir Francis Drake. And the Bill was delivered to Mr. Serjeant Yelverton, who with the rest was appointed to meet upon to Morrow next at two of the Clock in the Afternoon at SerjeantsInn in Fleetstreet.
Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, one of the Committees in the great Cause for Consultation and provision of Treasure (appointed on Monday the 26th day of this instant February foregoing) shewed, that he and the residue of the Committees in that Case met yesterday in the Afternoon according to the Commission of this House, and upon Conference had amongst them for some convenient proportion of Treasure to be provided, did in the end agree, that two intire Subsidies and four Fifteenths and Tenths should be granted unto her Majesty, if this present House shall so think good. Upon which Report by him made, it was upon the question agreed unto by the whole House, that the same two intire Subsidies and four Fifteenths and Tenths should be granted unto her said Highness accordingly. Which done Mr. Nathanael Bacon, one also of the said Committees, put the House in remembrance, that at their said Conference in the said Committee it was moved by some of them, that the present necessity of the Causes now moving them to offer the said double Subsidy and double Fifteenths and Tenths, should be set down and inserted in the Bill for the granting thereof.
After this Speech of Mr. Bacons there is no particular mention of any other Speech which was spoken at this time touching this business in the Original Journal-Book of the House of Commons, and therefore these Speeches which follow are supplyed out of another Anonymous Journal of the passages of this Parliament more particularly mentioned at the beginning of this present Journal.
Sir Henry Knivett spake, allowing the Subsidies, but withal desired these things: First, that it might be lawful for every Subject to annoy the King of Spain that would, that weak Forces might not be spent against him, but a Royal Army. That we should not wrastle with him on our own ground but abroad. Further, that all her Majesties debtors might be called in, and her Majesty to have power to sell all the Debtors Lands, of what State soever they were seized of. No Steward or Commissioner but to answer her Majesty the Royal Fines and Sums they received. All her Woods to be viewed, and the great Timber to be for sale, the Copy wood to be sold to encrease the Revenues. Licences granted to any to have benefit of penal Statutes, to be taken in; and the whole benefit of Inns and Alehouses to come to the Queen. A great benefit to come to the Queen by this new Statute against Recusants. Their Children to be committed to persons of sound Religion. The whole benefit of their relief and living to come to the Queen, deducting only charges for Education of Children.
Serjeant Harris agreed on the Subsidy because Parliaments were seldom, whereas by the Statute of 4 Edw. 3. they may be called every year. The Subsidies to be granted to maintain Wars; but whether it be War or no War, as yet we know not: And the things which we take from the Spaniard, is doubted by many not to be lawful prize. Therefore desires in the Subsidies to have it set down, that those Subsidies be to maintain a War impulsive and defensive against the Spaniard.
Sir Walter Raleigh seconded his Speech, agreeing in all things with the Serjeant, and said, he knew many that held it not lawful in Conscience, as the time is, to take from the Spaniards: And he knew, that if it might be lawful and open War, there would be more voluntary hands to fight against the Spaniard, than the Queen should stand in need of to send to Sea.
Nota, That these aforesaid Speeches are all that are found in the forementioned Anonymous Journal, and therefore that which follows is made perfect out of the Original Journal-Book it self, in manner and form following, viz.
After the former and other like Speeches, in which also some had moved, that to make the Wars against the King of Spain and his Subjects lawful and warrantable, it should be inserted into the preamble of the said Bill [that so great and extraordinary supply was at this time given for the resisting of his power and preventing of his malice] it was Ordered by the House upon the question, that all the Serjeants at Law which are Members of this House, Mr. Heile, Mr. Philips, Sir Walter Raleigh, Sir Francis Drake, Sir George Carey, Mr. Doctor Cæsar, Mr. Doctor Awberry, Mr. Francis Bacon, Sir Francis Gudolphin, Mr. John Hare, Sir Thomas Conisby, Mr. Attorney of the Wards, Mr. Attorney of the Dutchy, Mr. John Trevor; Mr. Sands, Mr. Doctor Lewen, Mr. Beale, Sir Henry Unton and Mr. Ridisden should meet upon Saturday next at two of the Clock in the Afternoon in the Exchequer; for drawing the Articles and Preamble of the said Bill accordingly; to the end the same Articles and Preamble being considered of afterwards by this House, the same may be delivered by Mr. Speaker to her Majesties Learned Council for the framing and drawing of the said Bill.
Now in the next place there ensueth the Relation of her Majesties sending for the Speaker yesterday, and of the Message which she gave him in Command to deliver to the House; all which he declared at large this day, as it is very elaborately and fully set down in the Anonymous Journal mentioned more particularly at the beginning of this present Journal, and therefore it is wholly inserted out of it; and the rather, because it is almost wholly wanting in the Original Journal-Book it self, there being one whole blank Page and a good part of another Page left unwritten, with intention doubtless at first to have inserted it, although it was afterwards very negligently omitted by Mr. Fulk Onslow Clerk of the said House of Commons. It is therefore (as is aforesaid) very fitly supplied out of the Anonymous Journal in manner and form following, viz.
Yesterday a great number of this House (after many Speeches used) delivered two Bills to me. Which Bills though not read, yet were diversly spoken of. They being long, the matters grave and of great importance, and the day being almost spent, I desired further time to consider of the parts of the Bills. I humbly thank this Honourable House, time was freely granted me. It being almost twelve of the Clock, I had perused and read both the Bills; I have them about me, and they have been continually with me ever since they were delivered unto me. Never any mans eye more than my own ever saw one word of them.
A little after I had perused the Bills, I was sent for by a special Messenger from her Majesty. Coming in her Royal presence, I was commanded to deliver these words from her most Excellent Majesty unto the Body of the Realm, for so she termed this House. The matter I have to speak is great, yea it is the greatest matter that ever I had to deal in. Wherefore I pray God to direct mentem & linguam hanc. I must be short, for her Majesties words were not many: And I may perhaps fail in the delivery of them. For though my Auditors be great, yet who is so impudent whom the presence of such a Majesty could not appal? And it did greatly fear me when I saw none of these honourable persons in her presence, who were present at the holding of the matter in this House. Yet God in his Providence had appointed it, That even in this while came in some of the persons here present, who if I fail in delivering what is given me in Charge, can report it unto you. And I am glad there are Witnesses with me in this Action, what was my faithful service for this House. I protest, a greater comfort never befel me, than that this my integrity and faithful promise to this House is not violated. For her Majesty in her most gracious Wisdom before my coming determined not to press me in this, neither indeed did she require the Bill of me; for this only she required of me, what were the things in the Bill spoken of by the House; which points I only delivered, as they that heard me can tell.
The Message delivered me from her Majesty consisteth in three things; First, The end for which the Parliament was called; Secondly, The Speech which the Lord Keeper used from her Majesty; Thirdly, What her Pleasure and Commandment now is. For the first, it is in me and my Power (I speak now in her Majesties Person) to call Parliaments, it is in my power to end and determine the same, it is in my power to assent or dissent to any thing done in Parliaments. The calling of this Parliament was only, that the Majesty of God might be more religiously served, and those that neglect this service might be compelled by some sharp means to a more due Obedience, and more true service of God, than there hath been hitherto used. And further, that the Safety of her Majesties Person and of this Realm might be by all means possible provided for, against our great Enemies the Pope and the King of Spain. Her Majesties Pleasure being then delivered unto us by the Lord Keeper, it was not meant we should meddle with matters of State, or Causes Ecclesiastical; for so her Majesty termed them. She wondred, that any could be of so high commandment to attempt (I use her own words) a thing so expersly contrary to that which she had forbidden. Wherefore with this she was highly offended. And because the words then spoken by my Lord Keeper are not now perhaps well remembred, or some be now here that were not then present, her Majesties present charge and express Commandment is, that no Bill touching the said matters of State or reformation in Causes Ecclesiastical be exhibited. And upon my Allegeance I am Commanded, if any such Bill be exhibited, not to read it, &c.