Historical Collections: Or, An Exact Account of the Proceedings of the Four Last Parliaments of Q. Elizabeth. Originally published by T. Basset, W. Crooke, and W. Cademan, London, 1680.
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February 19th - April 9th
An exact and perfect Journal of the Passages of the Upper House of Parliament, holden at Westminster, Anno xxxv° Reginæ Eliz. Anno Dom. 1592. which begun there on Munday the 19th of February, and then and there continued until the Dissolution thereof, on Tuesday the 9th of April, Anno Dom. 1593.
THE Summons for this Parliament being returnable upon this Munday, February 19, it held accordingly. The Queen coming privately by Water, accompanied with Sir John Puckering Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, and many of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal; there being present this day these Peers, and others ensuing.
Episc. Covent. & Litch.
Episc. Bathon. & Wells.
The Queen and the Lords being thus sate, and the Knights, Citizens and Burgesses of the House of Commons, as many as conveniently could be let in; about two of the clock in the afternoon, Sir John Puckering Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, by command from the Queen, spake to this effect.
The Lord Keeper's Speech.
That though the assembling of Parliaments hath antiently been, and still were for the Enacting of Laws, and Reforming of Abuses and Grievances of the Subjects within the Realm; yet at this time the Queens Majesty was desirous to have the Advice of all her loving people, concerning the Defence and Preservation of her Self, her Realms and Subjects, from the Power and Oppression of a forreign Enemy.
Then he declared, that this Enemy was the King of spain, and that his malice was increased by his loss and shame received in 88. That his resolution still was to invade this Kingdome, did plainly appear by his building and getting together many Ships of less bulk, which would be fitter for service in our Seas, than those greater Galliasses and Gallions had been in 88. That he desired some nearer place from whence to invade England, and therefore at this time was labouring to plant himself in Britain, a part of France. That he had raised Faction in Scotland, and Conspiracies against the King there, finding him an enemy to his ambitious desires.
And therefore we her Majesties Subjects (said he) must with all dutiful consideration think what is sit for us to do; and with all willingness yield part of our own for the defence of others, and assistance of her Majesty in such an unsupportable charge. Were the cause between Friend and Friend, how much would we do for the relief of one another? but the cause is now between our Soveraign and our selves: seeing there is so much difference in the parties, how much more forward ought we to be?
The Ald formerly granted to her Majesty in these like cases, is so ill answer'd, and with such slackness performed, as that the third of that which was granted cometh not to her Majesty. A great shew, a rich grant, and a long sum seems to be made; but little it is, hard to be gotten, and the sum not great which is paid. Her Majesty thinks this to be, for that the wealthier fort of men turn this charge upon the weaker, and upon those of worst ahility; so that one dischargeth himself, and th'other is not able to satisfie that he is charged withal: these things should be reformed by such as are Commissioners in this service.
Wherefore it is her Majesties pleasure, the time be not spent in devising and enacting new Laws, the number of which are so great already, as it rather burtheneth than easeth the Subject; but the principal cause of this Parliament is, that her Majesty might consult with her Subjects, for the better withstanding those intended Invasions, which are now greater than ever before were heard of. And, where heretofore it hath been used that many have delighted themselves in long Orations, full of verbosity and vain ostentations, more than in speaking things of substance; the time that is precious would not be thus spent. This Session cannot be long; the Spring-time is sit that Gentlemen should repair to their Countreys, the Justices of Assize also to go their Circuits; so the good hours would not be lost in idle Speeches, but the little time we have should be bestowed wholly on such business as is needful to be considered of; and Thursday next is appointed the day to present the Speaker.
Assoon as the Lord Keeper's Speech was ended, the Clerk of the Parliament read the names of the Receivers of Petitions for England, Ireland, and Wales, and Scotland; Sir Francis Popham Lord Chief-Justice of the Kings-Bench, John Clinch one of the Justices of the said Bench, Dr. Awbery, Dr. Ford; and they which will deliver Petitions, are to deliver the same within six days next ensuing.
Receivers of Petitions for Gascoigne and other parts beyond the Seas and the Isles, Sir Edmond Anderson Lord Chief-Justice of the Common-Pleas, Sir William Peryam Lord Chief-Baron, Tho. Walmesley one of the Justices of the Common-Pleas, Doctor Cary, Doctor Stanhop; and they which will deliver Petitions, are to deliver them within six days next ensuing.
Triers of Petitions for England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Marquiss of Winchester, the Earl of Darby Lord Steward of the Queens Houshold, the Earl of Sussex, the Earl of Essex, the Bishop of London, the Bishop of Durham, the Lord Howard of Effingham Earl Marshal and Lord Admiral of England, the Lord Cobham, the Lord Grey of Wilton: all these, or four of them, calling to them the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England, and the Lord Treasurer, and the Queens Serjeants, when need shall require, shall hold their place in the Chamberlains Chamber.
Triers of Petitions for Gascoigne, and other parts beyond the Seas, and the Isles, the Earl of Oxford great Chamberlain of England, the Earl of Shrewsbury, the Earl of Huntington, the Bishop of Rochester, the Bishop of Lincolne, the Lord Hunsdon Lord Chamberlain to the Queen, the Lord Lumley, the Lord Buckhurst; all these, or any four of them.
Although the usual Custome in the Original Journal-books, is to place all Proxies upon what days soever returnable, before the beginning of the Journal it self; lyet I have conceived it more methodical, to place all such Returns in those days upon which they were delivered to the Clerk of the Parliament; and always upon the day on which the first Return was, to make some short Observations of that, if it be unusual and extraordinary, and so to refer the view of the residue to their proper days. On this instant Mon day therefore, being the Nineteenth day of February, and the first day of the Parliament, was returned only this one usual Proxie.
Nota, This is one of those Proxies I call an usual or ordinary Proxie, when a Spiritual Lord maketh but two Proctors, and a Temporal Lord but one, and those of their own Order: but when a Temporal Lord nominateth a Spiritual Lord for his Proctor, or nominateth more than one Proctor; and when a Spiritual Lord nominateth a Temporal Lord for his Proctor, or but one Proctor, or more than two; these I call unusual and extraordinay Proxies. And therefore at this very time, of nine Temporal Lords that sent their Proxies, but one named two Lords; of which see afterwards on Munday, March 5. all the rest naming but one. Indeed, of six Spiritual Lords which sent their Proxies, there was but that one set down in the Page before-going, which made two Proctors, all the rest naming three, or but one; all which, see afterwards on the 22. 24. 27. days of February, and on the 7. and 28. days of March: Where also it may be noted, That John Archbishop of Canterbury had this Parliament five Proxies. Now follows next in order to be set down, the continuing of this Parliament; which in the original Journal-book it self, followed immediately upon the names of the Lords foregoing, being present this afternoon: So that the substance of the Lord Keeper's Speech foregoing, and this also that follows at the presentment of the Speaker, was supplied by my self out of a very exact Journal which I had of the Passages of the Lower House this present Parliament; conceiving those Speeches, in all my Journals, ought more fitly to be referred to the Passages of the Upper House, than of the House of Commons.
Thursday, Feb. 22.
On Thursday, Feb. 22. the Queens Majesty her self came about three of the clock in the afternoon, accompanied with divers of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal; there being present this day the Archbishop of Canterbury, Sir John Puckering Kt. Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, William Lord Burleigh Lord Treasurer of England, the Marquiss of Winchester, twelve Earls, two Viscounts, fifteen Bishops, and twenty three Barons; being for the most part the very same that are by name set down to have been present on Munday last.
The Queen and the Lords being thus sat, the House of Commons having notice thereof, immediately came up with Edward Coke Esq; the Queens Sollicitor, into the Upper House, whom they had chosen for their Speaker; who being led up to the Bar at the nether end of the said House, between two of the most eminent Personages of the Lower House, as soon as silence was made, and the rest of the House of Commons had placed themselves below the Bar, he spake as followeth.
The Speaker's Speech.
Your Majesties most loving Subjects the Knights and Burgesses of the Lower House, have nominated me, your Graces poor Servant and Subject, to be their Speaker. This their Nomination hath hitherto proceeded, that they present me to speak before your Majesty; yet this their Nomination is onely a Nomination yet, and no Election, until your Majestie giveth allowance and approbation: For as in the Heavens a Star is but opacum corpus until it hath received light from the Sun, so stand I corpus opacum, a mute body, until your high bright shining wisdom hath looked upon me and allowed me.
How great a Charge this is, to be the Mouth of such a Body as your House of Commons represent, to utter that is Spoken Grandia Regni, my small experience, being a poor professor of the Law, can tell; but how unable I am to undergo this Office, my present Speech doth tell, that of a number of this House I am most unfit: for amongst them are many grave, many learned, many deep wise men, and those of ripe Judgments; but I an untimely Fruit, not ripe, nay bud a but not scarce fully blossomed, so as I fear your Majesty will say, Neglecta fruge, liguntur folia; amongst so many fair fruits, you have plucked a shaking leaf.
If I may be so bold to remember a Speech used the last Parliament in your Majesties own mouth, Many come hither ad consulendum qui nesciunt quid sit consulendum: a just reprehension to many, as to my self also, an untimely fruit, my years and judgment ill befitting the gravity of this place. But howsoever I know my self the meanest, and inferiour unto all that ever were before me in this place, yet in faithfulness of service, and dutifulness of love, I think not my self inferiour to any that ever were before me: And amidst my many imperfections, yet this is my comfort, I never knew any in this place, but if your Majesty gave him favour, God who also called them to this place, gave them also the blessing to discharge it.
HER Graces most Excellent Majesty hath willed me to signifie unto you, that she hath ever well conceived of you since the first heard of you; which will appear when her Highness selected you from others to serve her self : but by this your modest, wife, and well-composed speech, you give her Majesty further occasion to conceive of you above that she ever thought was in you : by endeavouring to deject and abase your self and your desert, you have made known and discovered your worthiness and sufficiency to discharge the place you are called to. And whereas you account your self corpus opacum, her Majesty, by the influence of her Vertue and Wisdom, doth enlighten you, and not onely alloweth and approveth you, but much thanketh the Lower House, and commendeth their discretions in making such a Choise, and electing so fit a man.
Considering the great and wonderful Blessings, besides the long Peace we have enjoyed under your Graces most happy and victorious Reign, and remembring withal the Wisdom and Justice your Grace hath reigned over us with, we have cause to praise God that ever you were given us; and the bazard that your Majesty hath adventured, and the charge that you have born for us and our safety, ought to make us ready to lay down our Lives and all our Living to do you service.
After this, he related the great Attempts of her Majesties Enemies against us, especially the Pope, and the King of spain adhering unto him; how wonderfully were we delivered in 88, and what a favour therein God manifested unto her Majesty.
His Speech, after this, tended wholly to shew out of the Histories of England, and the old State, how the Kings of England, ever since Henry the third's time, have maintained themselves to be Supream Head over all Causes in their own Dominions; and recited the Laws that were made in his and other Kings times, for maintaining their own Supremacy, and excluding the Pope. He drew down his Proofs by Statute in every Kings time since Hen. 3. unto Edw. 6.
This ended, he came to speak of the Laws, that were so great and so many already, that they were sitly to be termed Elephantinæ Leges: Wherefore to make more Laws, it might seem superfluous; and to him that might ask Quid Causa ut Crescunt tot magna volumina Legis? it may be answered, In promptu Causa est, Crescit in orbe malum.
The malice of our Arch-enemy the Devil, though it was always great, yet never greater than now; and that Dolus and Malum be ing crept in so far amongst men, it was necessary that sharp Ordinances should be provided to prevent them, and all care to be used for her Majesties preservation.
Now am I to make unto your Majesty three Petitions in the names of your Commons. First, That liberty of Speech and freedom from Arrests, according to the ancient custom of Parliament, be granted to your Subjects : That we may have access to your Royal Person, to present those things which shall be considered of amongst us : And lastly, That your Majesty will give us your Royal Assent to the things that are agreed upon. And for my self, I humbly beseech your Majesty, if any speech shall fall from me, or Behaviour found in me, not decent, and unsit, That it may not be imputed blame upon the House, but laid upon me, and pardoned in me.
HE commended the Speaker greatly for his Speech; and he added some Examples for the Kings Supremacy in Henry the second's time, and Kings before the Conquest. As for the Deliverance we received from our Enemies, and the Peace we enjoyed, he said, the Queen would have the praise of all those to be attributed to God onely. To the Commendations given to her self, she said, Well might we have a wiser Prince, but never should they have one that more regarded them, and in Justice would carry an evener stroke without acceptation of Persons; and such a Princess she wished they might always have.
To your three Demands, the Queen answereth, Liberty of Speech is granted you; but how far, this is to be thought on : there be two things of most necessity, and those two do most harm; which are Wit and Speech : the one exercised in Invention, the other is uttering things invented. Priviledge of Speech is granted; but you must know what Priviledge you have, not to speak every one what he listeth, or what cometh in his brain to utter, but your Priviledge is to Say Yea or No. Wherefore, Mr. Speaker, her Majesties pleasure is, That if you perceive any idle heads which will not stick to hazard their own Estates, which will meddle with reforming of the Church, and transforming of the Common wealth, and do exhibit any Bills to such purpose, That you receive them not, until they be viewed and considered of by those whom it is fitter should consider of such things, and can better judge of them.
The last, free Access, is also granted to her Majesties Person, so that it be upon urgent and weighty Causes, and at times convenient, and when her Majesty may be at leisure from other important Causes of the Realm.
After this Speech was ended, the Lord Keeper continued the Parliament in manner and form following: Dominus Custos Magni Sigill. ex mandat. Dominæ Reginæ continuavit præsens Parliamentum usque in diem Sabbati prox. futur.
Saturday, Feb. 24.
On Saturday, Feb. 24. a Bill for restraining and punishing vagrant and seditious persons, who under fained pretence of Conscience and Religion, corrupt and seduce the Queens Subjects, prima vice lect.
Eodem die Returnat. est Breve quod Richardus Wigorn. Episcopus præsenti Parliamento interesse summonebatur, & idem Episcopus ad suum præheminenciæ sedendi in Parliamento locum admissus est, salvo cuiquam jure suo.
Feb. 25 Sunday.
Munday, Feb. 26.
It seemeth by the Journal-book, that nothing else was done this day, but the Parliament continued in usual form: As on Thursday the 22th of February, and on Saturday the 24th day of the same month, two extraordinary Proxies were returned from two Spiritual Lords; the first constituting three Proctors, and the other but one: for the most ordinary use of the Bishops is, to constitute two Proctors. So also on the 27th of February, being Tuesday, though the Lords did not sit, yet was one unusual Proxie returned from another Spiritual Lord, who constituted but one Proctor to give his voice in Parliament in his absence; whereas it is before often observed, no Temporal Lord nominateth usually above one Proctor, and no Spiritual Lord fewer than two. This said Proxie is thus entered in the Journal-book of the 35 year of the Queen at the beginning of it.
Wednesday, Feb. 28.
On Wednesday, Feb. 28. two several Writs were returned, whereby John Bishop of Bath and Wells, and Matthew Bishop of Durham, were summoned to come to this Parliament; who accordingly took their places. Also this morning two Bills had each of them one reading.
Nota, That because the dayly continuing of the Parliament in these words, Dominus Custos Magni Sigilli continuavit præsens Parliamentum, &c. being but matter of course, is omitted in all the Journal afterwards, unless something extraordinary and unusual doth happen, in respect of the Person, time, or manner.
Thursday, March. 1.
Saturday, March. 3.
March. 4. Sunday.
Munday, March. 5.
Nota, This day also was returned a Proxie for a Temporal Lord, by which he constituted two Proctors; which because it is extraordinary and unusual, I desired to have it inserted; and the rather, because of eight other Temporal Lords, none of them constituted above one Proctor, according to the ordinary practice both in these times and since. The said Proxie before mentioned is thus entered in the beginning of the original Journal book of this Upper House of Parliament.
Quint. Marcii introductæ sunt Litteræ Procuratoriæ Henrici Comitis Huntingdon. in quibus Procuratores suos constituit Gulielmum Dominum Burleigh The Saurarium Angliæ, & Robertum Comitem Essex, Vicecomitem Hereford, & Dominum Ferrers de Chartley.
Tuesday, March. 6.
Wednesday, March. 7.
On Wednesday, March 7. Breve returnatum est quo Johannes Salisburien. Episc. præsenti Parliamento interesse Summonebatur, qui admissus est ad suum præheminenciæ Sedendi in Parliament. locum, salvo jure alieno.
There was also brought up to the Lords from the House of Commons, an Act for the naturalizing and making free of William sidney eldest son of Robert Sidney Kt. Governour of Vlushing, and Dame Barbara his wife; and of Peregrine Wingfield son and heir of Sir John Wingfield Kt. and Dame Susan Countess of Kent his wife.
And note, this day also was one extraordinary Proxie return'd from a Spiritual Lord, who constituted but one Proctor, whereas usually no such Lord constituteth fewer than two; which Proxie is thus entered in the beginning of the Journal-book of this Parliament.
Thursday, March. 8.
On Thursday, March 8. were three Bills each of them once read; whereof the first was an Act for explanation and confirmation of the Queens Majesties Title to the Lands and Tenements late Sir Francis Englefield's Kt. convicted of High Treason. Not long after this Bill had been committed to ingroffing, according to a certain Order formerly made by the Lords, Francis Englefield Esq; appeared before them with one of his learned Counsel; who were commanded to declare what they could alleadge, why an Act for explanation and confirmation of the Queens Majesties Title to the Lands and Tenements late Sir Francis Englefield's Kt. attainted of High-Treason, should not pass: And upon Allegations made by the learned Counsel, the Lords commanded they should set them down in Writing, and deliver them to the Atturney-General; and that on Friday they should attend on the Judges and the Queens learned Counsel at Serjeants-Inne, and shew such Deeds of Conveyance as they made mention of before the Lords, that the said Lords, upon answer of the Judges and learned Counsel, might proceed upon the said Bill as it should seem best to their Lordships.
Saturday, March. 10.
On Saturday, March 10. (to which day the Parliament had been last continued) after the reading of one private Bill, Prima vice, the Lords gave in Commandment to Mr. Atturney-General to bring on Munday certain Depositions remaining in the Exchequer, concerning the Cafe of Sir Francis Englefield, after they had first heard the opinion of the Judges; which was delivered by the Lord Chief Justice of England.
March. 11. Sunday.
Munday, March. 12.
Tuesday, March. 13.
On Tuesday, March 13. two Bills being each of them once read, the Lords, at the Bishop of Worcester's motion, condescended to a Contribution for the relief of such poor Souldiers as went begging in the streets of London, viz. That every Earl should give Forty shillings, every Bishop Thirty shillings, and every Baron Twenty shillings; and appointed the said Bishop and the Lord Norris Collectors thereof, and committed the bestowing thereof to the Earl of Essex and Lord Willoughby of Eresby.
Thursday, March. 15.
Friday, March. 16.
Munday, March. 19.
Tuesday, March. 20.
Thursday, March. 22.
Saturday, March. 24.
On Saturday, March 24. (to which day the Parliament had been last continued) was one Act concluded after the third reading; and four other Bills brought up to the Lords from the House of Commons, whereof one was an Act concerning the lawful deprivation of Edmond Bonner late Bishop of London.
March. 25. Sunday.
Munday, March. 26.
On Munday, March 26. were three Bills each of them once read; whereof the first was an Act for the grant of three entire Subsidies, and fix Fifteenths and Tenths, granted by the Tempo ralty, which had passed the House of Commons, and was sent up to the Lords on Saturday last. This morning also two other Bills were sent up to the Lords from the said Commons.
Tuesday, March. 27.
Wednesday, March. 28.
Nota, This day was an unusual Proxie returned from one of the Bishops absent at this time from the Parliament (as divers other Peers) by the License of her Majesty; in which Proxie he constituted but one Proctor, whereas it is the usual custome for every Spiritual Lord to nominate two at the least, and every Temporal Lord but one. This Proxie is thus entered in the beginning of the original Journal-book of this Parliament.
Thursday, March. 29.
On Fryday, March 30. five Bills were read; whereof the first was the Bill of Subsidy granted by the Temporalty, and the last the Bill of Subsidy granted by the Clergy : both which at this time, upon their several third readings, passed the Lords House.
Saturday, March. 31.
April. 1. Sunday.
Munday, April. 2.
Tuesday, April. 3.
Wednesday, April. 4.
Thursday, April. 5.
This morning also this Order was agreed on amongst the Lords: viz. Whereas the Lords of Parliament, both Spiritual and Temporal, assembled in the Parliament chamber at Westminster, have with one uniform consent, both in their own Names and the rest of the Lords absent, ordered, That there shall be a charitable Relief and Contribution made towards the relief and help of a number of Souldiers that are seen in the time of this Parliament maimed and so hurt in the Wars of France, the Low Countries, and on the Seas, for the service of the Queens Majesty and of the Realm; and for that purpose have allowed, that every Archbishop, Marquiss, Earl, and Viscount, should pay towards the Contribution the sum of 40 s. every Bishop 30 s. and every Baron 20 s. For collection whereof there hath been appointed the Queens Majesties Almoner, the Bishop of Worcester, to collect the same of Bishops; the Lord Norris to collect the sums payable by the Lords Temporal: which hath been diligently done, and received by them for all the Lords Spiritual and Temporal that have been present, and that have attended to their great charge on the service of the Realm in this Parliament. And considering the number of the Souldiers be very many to be relieved therewith, notwithstanding the Knights and Burgesses of the Commons House have yielded very good and large Contributions, according to their degrees, for the better relief of the said maimed Souldiers; It is by the said Lords Spiritual and Temporal, that have given their chargeable attendance here, and have charitably and honourably yielded to this Contribution, thought meet, and so it is ordered and decreed by them, with common and free consent, That all the Lords of Parliament that have been alto gether absent in this Sessions, and that shall not have contributed to this charitable Relief before the end of this Sessions, shall be required by Letters to be sent to them by the Lords that had their Procurations for their absence, or by Letters from the Lord Keeper of the great Seal, required and charged to make payment to be made according to their degrees and vocation, double the sums of money paid by the Lords that have been here present and continued their attendance: that is to say, every Earl that hath been absent 4 l. the Archbishop of York to pay as much, and every Bishop also to pay 3 1. and every Baron 40 s. And for such as have been here present sometimes, and yet very seldom, but have been absent most part, it is thought meet, That every such Lord Spiritual and Temporal shall, according to their degrees, pay a third part more than the Lords that have been present. All which sums of money they shall cause to be delivered to the hands of the Lord Keeper of the great Seal, to be afterwards by such Spiritual Lords of Parliament as are chosen for that purpose, distributed to the maimed Souldiers as shall be found to have most need thereof. The like whereof the Commons assembled in this Parliament have ordered for all the Members of that House that are absent, and have not paid, to contribute in double manner: which Order is thought very just, considering the Lords and others that have been absent, and have been at no charge to come up and give their attendance, may very reasonably, and with a great saving to their charges, contribute to this Order. And if any Lord Spiritual or Temporal shall refuse, or shall forbear thus to do, (which is hoped in Honour none will do) there shall be ordinary means used to levy the same.
Friday, April. 6.
On Friday, April 6. Four Bills were each of them once read. Eight Bills were this Morning sent up to the Lords from the House of Commons, whereof the last was an Act to make void the Spiritual Livings of those that have for saken the Realm, and do cleave to the Pope and his Religion.
Saturday, April. 7.
April. 8. Sunday.
Munday, April. 9.
On Munday, April 9. were Three Bills each of them read secunda & tertia vice, and so expedited. Also eight Bills, this Morning, were sent up to the Lords from the House of Commons, whereof one was read prima & secunda vice, and another read prima vice.
This Morning, finally, whereas a Bill entituled an Act touching Power and Repeal of certain uses of a Deed Tripartite therein mentioned, of and in certain Mannors, Lands and Tenements of Anthony Coke of Rumford in the County of Essex Esquire, hath been heretofore three times read, and assented unto by the Lords, in which Bill there is no Saving to the Queens Majesty, or any other person or persons, of their lawful estates or titles; there was a Saving drawn for her Majesty and all others, which was offer'd to this House. And some question and ambiguity did grow, whether the Saving should be now added to the Bill; and in the end it was Resolv'd the same should be added to the Bill, for that it is usual and requisite to have such Savings in every Bill; and for that there was nothing in the Saving contrary to any matter in the Bill, and that her Majesties Right and all others be saved thereby. And nevertheless upon weighty Considerations, the Lords have ordered, that this shall not hereafter be drawn to make any president.
Then the Lord Keeper continued the Parliament till the Morrow following, on which it ended; which said Continuance is entred in the Original Journal-book, in Manner and Form following: Dominus Custos Magni Sigilli continuavit præsens Parliamentum usque in diem Martis hora octava.
Tuesday, April. 10.
On Tuesday, April 10. In the Morning were two Bills read, whereof the first was an Act for Naturalizing of certain Englishmens Children born beyond the Seas, tertia vice lect. & expedit. And the second was an Act for the Queens most gracious and free Pardon; which was read only once, and then passed the House.
The Queens Majesty came not till the Afternoon; and therefore in this place, through the negligence of the Clerk, the continuing of the Parliament until some hour in the Afternoon is omitted, which should have been inserted.
Between 5 and 6 a Clock in the Afternoon, this present Tuesday, being the 10 of April, the Queens Majesty, accompanied with her Officers and dayly Attendance, came to the UpperHouse; and assoon as her Majesty, with her Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and the rest that have place there, were set; the Knights, Citizens and Burgesses of the House of Commons having notice thereof, came up with their Speaker, bringing with them the Bill of the Subsidy. The Speaker being placed at the Bar of the Upper-house, and as many of the Commons as could conveniently be let in; after humble Reverence to her Majesty spake as followeth:
The High Court of Parliament, most High and Mighty Prince, is the greatest and most antient Court within this Tour Realm; for before the Conquest, in the high places of the WestSaxons, we read of a Parliament holden; and since the Conquest they have been holden by all your Royal Predecessors, Kings of England, and Queens of England.
In the times of the West-Saxons a Parliament was held by the Noble Queen Ina, by these words: I Ina. Queen of the West-Saxons, have caused all my Fatherhood, Aldermen, and wife Commons, with the Godly-men of my Kingdome, to consult of weighty matters, &c. Which words do plainly shew the parts of this Court, Still observed to this day. For in Queen Ina, is Your Majesties most Royal Person represented: The Fatherhood in antient time were those whom we call Bishops, and still we call them Reverend Fathers, an antient and free part of our State. By Aldermen was meant your Noblemen; for so honourable was the word Alderman in antient time, that the Nobility only were called Aldermen. By wisest Commons, is signified your Knights and Burgesses; and so is your Majesties Writ, De discretioribus & magis sufficientibus. By Godliest men, is meant your Convocation-house; it consisteth of such as are devoted to Religion, and as godliest men do consult of weightiest matters; so is your Highness Writ at this day, Pro quibusdam arduis & urgentissimis negotiis, nos statum & defensionem Regni nostri & Ecclesiæ tangentibus. Tour Highness Wisdome and exceeding Judgment, with all careful Providence, needed not our Councels: yet so urgent Causes there were of this Parliament, so importunate Considerations, as that we may say, (for we cannot judge) if ever Parliament was so Needful as now, or ever so Honourable as this.
If I may be bold to say it, I must presume to say that which hath been often said; but what is well said, cannot be too often spoken: This sweet Council of ours I would compare to that sweet Commonwealth of the little Bees;
The little Bees have but one Governour, whom they all serve; he is their King, Quia latrea habet latiora; he is placed in the midst of their habitations, ut in tutissima turri: they forage abroad, sucking honey from every flower, to bring to their King: Ignavum Fucos pecus à Principibus arcent, the Drones they drive out of their Hives, non habentes aculeos; and whoso assails their King, in him immittunt aculeos, & tamen Rex ipse est fine aculeo.
Your Majesty is that Princely Governour and Noble Queen, whom we all serve; being protected under the shadow of your wings, we live; and wish you may ever sit upon your Throne over us; and whosoever shall not say Amen, for them we pray, ut convertantur nè pereant, & ut confundantur nè noceant. Under your happy Government we live upon Honey, we suck upon every sweet Flower; but where the Bee sucketh Honey, there also the Spider draweth Poyson: some such there be; but such Drones and Dore-Bees we will expel the Hive, and serve your Majesty, and withstand any Enemy that shall assault You, our Lands, or Goods. Our lives are prostrate at your feet to be commanded; yea, and thanked be God, and honour be to your Majesty for it, such is the power and force of your Subjects, that of their own strengths they are able to encounter your greatest Enemies; and though we be such, yet have we a Prince that is Sine aculeo, so full of that Clemency is your Majesty. I come now to your Laws.
The Laws we have conferred upon this Sessions of so honourable a Parliament, are of two natures; the one such as have life, but are ready to die, except your Majesty breathe life into them again; the other are Laws that never had life, but being void of life, do come to your Majesty to seek life.
The first sort are those Laws that had continuance until this Parliament, and are now to receive new life, or are to die for ever. The other that I term capable of life, are those which are newly made, but have no essence until your Majesty giveth them life.
Two Laws there are, but I must give the honour where it is due, for they come from the noble wise Lords of the Upper House, the most honourable and beneficial Laws that could be desired; the one a Confirmation of all Letters-Patents from your Majesties most noble Father of all Ecclesiastical Livings which that King of most renowned Memory took from those superstitious Monasteries and Priories, and translated them to the erecting of many foundations of Cathedral-Churches and Colledges, thereby greatly furthering the maintenance of Learning and true Religion. The other Law to suppress the obstinant Recusate, and the dangerous Sectary; both very pernicious to your Royal Government.
Lastly, your most loving and obedient Subjects, the Commons of the Lower House, most humbly and with dutiful thanks stand bound unto your gracious goodness for your general and large Pardon granted unto them, wherein many great Offences are pardoned; but it extendeth onely to Offences done before the Parliament.
I have many ways, since the beginning of this Parliament, by ignorance and insufficiency to perform that which I should have done, offended your Majesty; I most humbly crave to be partaker of your most gracious Pardon.
The Lord Keeper then received Instructions from the Queen, and afterwards replied unto the Speaker. The former part of this Speech was an Answer almost verbatim to the Speaker's Oration, very excellently and exactly done; and those things which followed, were to this or the like purpose.
The Lord Keeper.
HE said, That her Majesty most graciously did accept of the Service and Devotions of this Parliament, commending them that they had employed their time so well, and spent it on necessary Affairs; save onely that in some things they had spent more time than needed: but the perceived some men did it more for their satisfaction, than the necessity of the thing deserved.
She misliked also, that such irreverence was shewed towards Privy-Counsellors, (who were not to be accounted as common Knights and Burgesses of the House, that are Counsellors but during the Parliament;) whereas the other are standing Counsellors, and for their wisdom and great service, are called to the Council of State.
Then he said, That the Queens Majesty had heard that some men, in the case of great necessity and grant of Aid, had seemed to regard their Country, and made their necessity more than it was, forgetting the urgent necessity of the time, and dangers that were now eminent.
That her Majesty would not have the People feared with Reports of great dangers, but rather to be encouraged with boldness against the Enemies of the State. And therefore that the straightly charged and commanded, that the mustred Companies in every County should be supplied, if they were decayed, and that their Provisions of Armour and Ammunition should be better than heretofore it hath been used.
That for this offer of three Subsidies, her Majesty most graciously in all kindness thanketh her Subjects; but except it were freely and willingly given, she did not accept of it: for her Majesty never accepteth any thing that is not freely given.
That if the Coffers of her Majesties Treasure were not empty, or if the Revenues of the Crown and other Princely Ornaments could suffice to supply her Wants, and the Charges of the Realm, in the word of a Prince she doth pronounce it, she would not now have charged her Subjects, nor accepted of this they gave her.
The Lord Keeper's Speech being ended, after some time of intermission, the Queen being sat in her Chair of State, used a Princely Speech unto the Houses; of which, the greatest part was to the effect and purpose following.
This Kingdom hath had many wise, noble, and victorious Princes; I will not compare with any of them in Wisdom, Fortitude, or any other Vertues: but saving the duty of a Childe, that is not to compare with his Father, in Love, Care, Sincerity, and Justice, I will compare with any Prince that ever you had or shall have.
It may be thought simplicity in me, that all this time of my Reign I have not sought to advance my Territories, and enlarge my Dominions; for opportunity hath served me to do it. I acknowledge my womanhood and weakness in that respect; but though it hath been not hard to obtain, yet I doubted how to keep the things so obtained: that hath onely held me from such attempts. And I must say, my minde was never to invade my Neighbours, or to usurp over any; I am contented to reign over mine own, and to rule as a just Prince.
Yet the King of Spain doth challenge me to be the Quarreller, and the beginner of all these Wars; in which he doth me the greatest wrong that can be: for my Conscience doth not accuse my thoughts wherein I have done him the least injury; but I am perswaded in my Conscience, if he knew what I know, he himself would be sorry for the wrong that he hath done me.
I fear not all his Threatnings; his great Preparations and mighty Forces do not stir me: for though he come against me with a greater power than ever was his Invincible Navy, I doubt not (God assisting me, upon whom I always trust) but that I shall be able to defeat and overthrow him. I have great advantage against him; for my Cause is just.
I heard say, when he attempted his last Invasion, some upon the Sea-coast forlook their Towns, and flew up higher into the Country, and left all naked and exposed to his entrance. But I swear unto you by God, if I knew those persons, or of any that shall do so hereafter, I will make them know and feel, what it is to be so fearful in so urgent a Cause.
The Subsidies you give me, I accept thank-fully, if you give me your good wills with them; but if the necessity of the time, and your preservations, did not require it, I would refuse them. But let me tell you, that the sum is not so much, but that it is needful for a Prince to have so much always lying in her Coffers, for your defence in time of need, and not to be driven to get it when we should use it.
You that be Lieutenams, and Gentlemen of Command in your Countries, I require you to take care that the People be well armed, and in readiness upon all occasions. You that be Judges and Justices of the Peace, I command and straightly charge you, that you see the Laws to be duely executed, and that you make them living Laws, when we have put life into them.
Then were the Titles of all the Acts read in due order, and first, the Bill of Subsidies; to which the Clerk of the Parliament standing up, did read the Queens Answer, in manner and form following: La Royne remercie ses loyaule Subjects accept leur benevolence, & ainsi le veult.
The Clerk of the Parliament having read the Queen's acceptance, and thanks for the Subsidies given, as aforesaid, did then, upon the reading of the Pardon, pronounce in these French words following, the Thanks of the Lords and Commons for the same.
Les Prelates, Seigneurs, & Communes, en se present Parliament assembles, an nome de touts vous autres Subjects, remercient preshumblement vostre Majesty, & prient a Dieu, que il vout done en sante bonne vie & longue.
Nota here, to the Subsidy-bill, because it is the meer gift of the Subject, the Queen's consent is not required for the passing of it, but as it is joyned with her thankful acceptance; nor to the Bill of Pardon, because it is originally her free gift, no other circumstance is required than that the thankful acceptance thereof by the Lords and Commons be likewise expressed; it being but once read in either House before it comes thus at last to be expedited. Now to all other Bills, either private or publick, the Queen's express consent, though in different words, is always requisite, as followeth.
The Bills of Subsidies and Pardon being passed in manner and form as aforesaid, then were the Publick Acts read; to every one of which, allowed by the Queen, the Clerk of the Parliament reads in French these words following: Le Royne le veult.