Proceedings in Parliament 1624: The House of Commons. Originally published by British History Online, 2015.
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FRIDAY, 2 APRIL 1624
I. JOURNAL OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS, PA, HC/CL/JO/1/13
[CJ 752; f. 99]
Veneris, 2 Aprilis 1624
L. 1. An act for the establishing of the manor [blank] Stratford.
SIR HENRY POOLE. A bill in this House that concerns Lord Danvers. Desires to have a copy of it, and that the committee may not sit upon it until a day or 2 within the term; and to have an increase of the committee, or all that will come to have voice.
Tuesday sevennight to be the day, and all that come to have voice; and a copy to be given to my Lord Danvers.
L. 1. Erith and Plumstead.
L. 1. An act for the settling of the manor of Goodnestone in the county of Kent.
SIR EDWARD COKE reports the bill of concealments. The amendments twice read.
Ordered, to be engrossed with speed.
SIR EDWIN SANDYS reports from the committee for trade. 6 particular effects show the badness of trade.
- 1. In matter of cloth, the staple commodity of the kingdom. Clothiers decayed in number.
- 2. Ill effect in the material. The price of wool fallen 10s. in a tod. Remembers the saying of [Sir John] Popham, that the diminution of every 12d. in a tod the diminution of 50 thousand a year. So that £500,000 a year lost.
- 3. Want of vent. Not long since 80 thousand lost, now but 50 [thousand].
- [f. 99v] 4. The transportation of our wools into foreign parts. But when we look to the importation of foreign commodities, that exceeding high. Reported that the importation exceeds the exportation some hundred thousand pounds a year. The native commodities decayed a third part, and the foreign increased a third part.
The care of the committee to find out a remedy for these diseases. Found 3 causes:
Now directed to report overburdening of trade. 2 kinds of burdens, partly domestic, partly foreign. Will speak of the first. Reduced to 6 heads.
- 1. Custom. That by law.
- 2. Subsidy of tunnage.
- 3. Impositions. That by prerogative. 2: one of undoubted right, but the second often questioned here. But thought fit not to enter into it now.
- 4. Impositions of subjects upon subjects by officers of the Custom House. The complaint from the outports. These have devised many new fees, which many times doubles the King's customs. For these, a bill to regulate them.
- 5. Burden from subject to subject, by the merchants themselves, upon native commodities, upon cloth. Merchant Adventurers brought in their patents and book of orders, but not their books of accounts and court books. They appointed a subcommittee to examine their patents, which are 6. Their last patent granted in 15 Jacobi, which has many strange clauses in it: power to impose and imprison; a command to all masters of ships not to receive the goods of any other merchants, and a bond to be taken of them; power to seize all goods; officers in every port; commands the patent be not questioned in any court at Westminster and commands all officers to be [f. 100] assistant to them; a proviso for the Staplers, but no benefit by it, for a proclamation prohibited them; take an oath also, and a bond of a £1,000. Then imposition. In their book of orders, found they begun gently, with 4d. personal. From that, grew to 8d. real upon the cloth and 12d. upon some cloth, but in the 14[th] year of the King, increased to 2s. and 4s. Upon the new patent, comes 5s. and 7s. 6d. upon the long cloth.
The opinion of the committee: thought to be a great grievance in creation, as prejudicial to all the merchants and to trade in general. And further, they thought fit to inquire of the referees in this patent that gave his Majesty information that this patent fit. So also a grievance in execution. For imposition.
- 1. Desire this House to search into the cause of this imposition.
- 2. The proceeding in the levy.
- 3. To know the present state of the debt at this day.
Cannot have levied less than a £100,000 by this imposition, yet but [£]14[,000] paid. This they find of such weight that they desire this House to sit Saturday afternoon to examine this business of the Merchant Adventurers; and to give them command to attend at that time and to command their treasurer to bring in at that time their book of accounts and court books.
Sixth burden: impositions upon trade contained in a new book of rates. Some new additions of 60 thousand of new charge to the subject. Lord Treasurer sent [us] a copy of the book. Said the book misprinted, these charges never intended. That the cause the book was suppressed. But in the book appears there was authority for the printing of it.
[f. 100v] The additions are reduced to 3 heads:
- 1. The pretermitted customs on cloth and draperies. Desire [Edmund] Nicholson's attendance at next meeting.
- 2. Upon the wines, for maintenance of the King's royal daughter; but in the book no such matter. Made perpetual and no time limited. A grievous complaint from some of the outports about this.
- 3. The composition for grocery. The Lord Treasurer said, mistaken: this to be only from the City of London. The book lays it upon the outports. A petition of the merchants of Exeter and another petition generally from the merchants of the outports. Sue to be relieved. Some things particularly complained of. More laid on London, by a third part, than other places, and instead of taking of salad oil, take it for all manner of oil. And a great abuse [CJ 753] also about the prisage of wines. Take upon the least quantity whatsoever.
These conceived to be the reasons of the decay of trade. The remedies they leave to the wisdom of this House. Conclude with 2 observations.
- [1.] If these burdens do continue, will tend to the utter destruction of the kingdom. And withal, this not a burden on the merchant but upon the whole realm.
- 2. Touching the King: they were very careful not to grieve him, either with question of right or diminution of revenue, but think that reformation may be without this. The extent of trade will recompense the present abatements. The true cause now that cloth vents not because so dear. Doubt not but that the subject being enriched, the King shall not want.
[f. 101] CHANCELLOR [OF THE] EXCHEQUER. Will clear somewhat in this relation. He delivered here that the imposition raised on wines for that end by the Council to continue no longer than the Parliament. This warranted [?by him] by the privy seals. The book of rates new to him and how this came in.
Ordered, upon question, that this business of the Merchant Adventurers shall be heard on Saturday afternoon. The House to sit at the same time, and Mr. Speaker to be here. And that the Merchant Adventurers shall attend at that time and bring in their book of accounts and standing court books, or else the copies of them. And Mr. [Edmund] Nicholson to attend at the same time. The treasurer of the company to be here then.
SIR ROBERT PHELIPS. This patent creates and invests a right in others of a wrong done to us. To have the referees found out and dealt withal. To respite any positive resolution until tomorrow afternoon.
Sir Edward Coke, Sir Edwin Sandys added to the bill of customers' fees.
Speaker went into his chair.
SIR EDWARD COKE reports from the committee [of the whole House]. They have taken into consideration the matter concerning recusants. Have appointed a select subcommittee to draw the articles that shall be presented to the King.
SIR NATHANIEL RICH. To have the committee only to draw and set down the heads upon which we shall confer with the Lords.
[f. 101v] The order, upon question, approved.
II. DIARY OF JOHN HAWARDE, WILTSHIRE AND SWINDON ARCHIVES, 9/34/2
Vendredis, 2 Aprilis 1624, le second jour del recesse
1. L. Bill pur establishinge del terres de [John] Stratford al John Hopkins.
1. L. Bill pur gaininge de mershe terre in Plumstead et Erith in Kent et settlinge de eux accordante al agreemente.
1. L. Bill pur settlinge de terres de Sir Edward Engham.
SIR EDWARD COKE reporte le bill de concealments sur recommittment.
Sur question, engrosse.
SIR EDWIN SANDYS report trade. 6 choses cause.
- 1. Cloathing decayed and cloathyers; 1,000 loomes to a 100; 100 todde to 40.
- 2. Ill effecte in les materialles de clothing. [Sir John] Popham: 12d. fall in a todde, 50 thousande pound per annum in terre.
- 3. Lacke de vente.
- 4. Portaction de woole in Scotland.
- [p. 234] 5. Importacion de forren commodities. Begette 2x micheifes.
- 1. Waste del bullian.
- 2. Enhansinge de prises par quil le native commoditie decay third parte [et] forren commoditie rise third parte.
- 1. Restraint de trade.
- 2. Burden de trade.
- 3. Want de monie; mere et file de trade.
Burden de trade: domesticall en 6 heads, fforen.
- 1. Custome par ley.
- 2. Subsidy tonnage et pondage par Parliamente.
- 3. Impositions par prerogative. Question in Parliament sepe; continewe lour claime.
- 4. Burden impose par officers del customes.
- 5. Impositions de marchant sur marchant. Le primer pattent del Marchante Adventurers in temps H. 4; [auxy] 12 H. 7, 21 et 22, H. 7. 4, pattent 6 Eliz; [?5 pattent] 28 Eliz. [p. 235] Poier de impoase et imprison. Le darrein pattent recite et include tout, 15 Jacobi: proclamacon, oathes, bonde. Imposition 4d., 8d., 12d. Increase 2s. short cloathe, 4s. sur long cloathe. [Ore] 5s. sur short cloathe, 7s. 6d. sur long cloathe. Par le committee agree cest pattente un generall greevance in creation et execution specialment in point d'impositions solement; referrees.
- 6. Burden, no name for it, impositions upon impositions.
- 1. Statute de 17 E. 3 dissolve impositions. Agree par le marchant, in regarde it laye upon all the people, in temps voet subverte le regne.
SIR ROBERT PHELIPS. D'avoir tout debate et order tomorrow in the afternoone, le Speaker heere.
Committee [of the Whole House]
Le Speaker by.
Sir Robert Harley.
- 1. Touts papists disarmed.
- 2. Confined.
- 3. Touts Jesuites banishe.
- 4. Restreine de vaant al ambassadors huises.
- 5. Lour forfeitures imploy par nous pur les guerres.
- [p. 236] 6. Spanish phisitian restreint al sone huise.
- 7. Restraint del Princes mariage del popish prince.
- 8. Pur generall faste.
Sir Henry Mildmay. [Blank]
Sir James Perrot.
- 1. Preists banished.
- 2. Forfeitures.
- 3. Disarmed.
- 4. 20 seminaries erecte; £30,000 per annum; 2,000 Englishe trained; 900 preistes in angliterre; women Jesuites; Jesuitres.
Sir Humphrey May. Shorte speeche est proper parliamentarie language; et descretion former petition.
Sir Edward Coke, in le chaire. Le former peticion lie.
Sir Robert Phelips. [Blank]
Sur question, subcommittee this afternoone in gards.
Le Speaker al chaire, SIR EDWARD COKE reporte.
III. DIARY OF JOHN HOLLES, BL, HARL. MS 6,383
Friday, 2nd of April
SIR EDWIN SANDYS'S report of the committee for trade. The Jesuits in the latter days of Queen Elizabeth thought they could not sooner overthrow this kingdom than by procuring the Emperor and other Catholic princes to forbid their subjects from receiving our cloths, wherein 9 parts of the 10 of our trade consisted. Our wool is fallen 12d. in a tod, which amounts to £50,000 a year. The commodities to be exported are fallen one third part and the commodities imported raised as much, which are the signs of a [f. 116v] decaying commonwealth.
The causes of the decay of trade and the restraint thereof.
- 1. The burden upon trade by customs, that is, by law.
- 2. By subsidies, that is, upon tunnage and poundage.
- 3. Impositions, that is, by prerogative.
- 4. The burden imposed by the officers of the Custom House, they having multiplied the fees and duties and thereby doubled the King's customs.
- 5. The impositions also from subject to subject, by the merchants themselves, upon our innate commodities, especially upon cloth, our chief commodity.
- Sixth item: six patents to the Merchant Adventurers. The first in Henry the 4['s] time. The second in the 20 [sic] of Henry the 7, whereby all merchants should be admitted into their company, paying 10 marks. The third in the 21 [sic] of Henry the 7. The fourth in the 6 of Queen Elizabeth. The fifth in the 28 of Queen Elizabeth, which runs in the negative, forbidding all others to trade in those parts that were allowed them but such as they would admit, giving them first power to impose and [blank]. The sixth in the 15 of King James: this patent commands that the patent be not questioned nor subject to law; yet that, in a proviso, not to prejudice the Merchant Staplers.
- 7. The seventh restraint of trade is the liberty given the Merchant Adventurers to take oath and bond of £1,000 to the King's use, that no merchants that is not of their company shall do anything contrary to their orders.
- 8. The eighth cause of restraint of trade is the power given them to impose five shillings upon the short and 6 [sic] upon the long cloth.
The additions in the book reduced to three heads:
- [f. 117] 1. The pretermitted customs.
- 2. The impositions upon wines, the old imposition and the new, and the compositions for wine which comes to more than the very price of the wines, some merchants saying they would trade for wines if in £1,000 bestowing they could but get 6d. in a cask.
- 3. The impositions upon grocery ware and compositions for them pretended for the provision of the King's house out of London, as under pretence of taking composition for salad oil for the King's house, they take for clothing oil and Seville oil. They vent not above 40,000 cloths in a year, whereas heretofore were vented 80,000. If this trade were set at liberty, the extent of the trade would recompense the abatement of the imposition.
SIR ROBERT PHELIPS. They that will reform rightly must as well look to the persons that give princes ill advice as to the ill effects of this advice. He would therefore have the referees of these impositions questioned.
It was ordered that the Merchant Adventurers should bring in their books, or copies, tomorrow in the afternoon at the committee, the Speaker sitting by his chair to take it when the occasion served.
[Committee of the Whole House]
Sir Robert Harley would have the papists disarmed and confined, to have their fires put out, to banish all Jesuits and seminary priests by a day, and restrain the papists' resort to the ambassadors. He said he would add a little label. There is a certain thing in the town called a popish physician. Let him be restrained to his house and go to no patients, but let them that can take physic of nobody else go to him if they will (meaning this by [sic] Dr. Moore).
[f. 117v] Sir Henry Mildmay. No foreign enemy can do hurt without a party at home, for it is the kernel within, not the air without, that corrupts it. The papists are making military preparations, pocket pistols, shirts of mail, etc. He would have them banished the town and disarmed, for while we sit here duly called, they sit every day unduly called to mar what we do.
Sir James Perrot. He desires no man's destruction, especially those that hold the fundamental points of salvation, as long as they do not seduce others. He desired to have all the laws against papists put in execution. They have erected beyond sea, since the King came in, 20 monasteries for the English and maintain 3,000 English, and allow towards it above £30,000 yearly. There are above 900 English Jesuits and seminaries in England.
Sir Humphrey May moved to have the petition read that was made to the King thereabouts the last sessions [sic].
The heads thereof were: to forbid them the court; to confine them within five miles of their houses; to banish them 10 miles from the town and to take away all dispensations of this kind; to disarm them of arms, powder, etc.; to put all the laws against them in execution; to forbid their resort to the ambassadors to hear mass and revise the law made to that purpose.
IV. DIARY OF JOHN LOWTHER, CUMBRIA ARCHIVE CENTRE, CARLISLE, DLONS/L/2/1
The bill of concealment put to engrossing.
SIR E[DWIN] SANDYS reports the decay of trade, the support of peace and war. Compares us to the Low Countries, who, having no commodity, abound by trade. We having all, have nothing. That the great man said trade is as great as ever but not as good, etc. It is like a great man in a commonwealth: if good a blessing, if bad a curse.
[f. 45v] 6 particulars in trade.
- 1. Cloth: 9 parts of 10 decayed and the clothiers beggared. At Barnstaple, from 1,000 to 140 looms of clothworkers are left. But a project by a Jesuit to banish our cloth out of their countries, to overthrow us by rebellion and decay of the trade. [Sir John] Popham said that 12d. a tod decayed in wool, £50,000 decay to the realm. Now 10s. decayed, so 80,000 was vented in cloth now [£]500 thousand but 40,000 mended but to [£]50[,000].
- 4. Our wool transported. Others enabled to vent and cloth set up in other countries. Importation brings in 2 mischiefs if it be more than exportation: loss of money, waste of our estate.
- 6. Every man's estate by the enhancing the importing commodity decayed. The home commodity being fallen a third part and foreign increased a third part.
- 3. Causes of the decay: restraint, overburden, want of money. The first and last not yet to be touched until the opinion of merchants be heard. For overburden, to be tender for the King's [?affairs]. It is 2 fold, within and without, which grows upon ours.
- 6. [sic] At home.
- 1. By custom lawful.
- 2. Tunnage by statute.
- 3. By prerogative, of which not now to dispute but to make our claim.
- [f. 46] Customers have [?devised] so many sorts of custom that they double the King's custom. They vouch higher powers for their warrant. Because a bill, we forbear yet to meddle.
- 5. An imposition, by merchant upon merchant, of the native commodity by the Company of Merchant Adventurers. They had 6 patents:
- 1. 8 H. 4 for good of all merchants.
- 2. 21 H. 7 an encouragement and a government established. By 12 H. 7 any to be incorporated for £6 13s. 4[?d.].
- 3. Patent limits it into the dominion of King of Castile's country.
- 4. 28 El[iz.] adds East and West Friesland and to Hamburg. Proviso not to hurt Staplers, and prohibited others not so before. Gave them power to imprison and impose.
- 5. And last: [?where] the grievance is, 15 Jacobi. Shipmen prohibited to carry others' wares. A power of seizure of others, no cocket to be made, all to assist. Proviso for the Merchant Staplers, after prohibited by proclamation. They take an oath and bond to observe this. They imposed, first, 4d. a cloth, then 8d., then 4s., now 7s. 6d. a long cloth, 5s. short. This patent a grievance in creation and (referees to be inquired) execution.
- [f. 46v] 1. To be inquired why these levied for a debt to the King, who had £50,000 of them when had gone into Scotland whereof, [£]14,000 paid, [£]36,000 to be paid of his provision for Scottish progress. But it appears they have levied £100,000. Therefore, they desire a committee of the House to examine these, and the Speaker to be present on Saturday next.
- 6. [sic] Imposition was without name. We styled it imposition upon imposition. Expressed in the book amounting to £60,000. The Lord Treasurer, hearing it easy to get a copy, sent us a copy. But we sent him it again. He said the book was suppressed because that charge not at all intended. But it appears to be by the King by privy seal, at the suit of the merchants and others by warrant to the Lord Treasurer (so he faulty). They be 3.
- 1. Pretermitted custom of cloth. Not to be repeated by [Edmund] Nicholson's default in appearance.
- 2. Upon wines. That was only meant to the next Parliament for the Lady of Palatinate, but the book expresses it perpetual. This as much as the wine, and they cannot get 6d. a cayrsey, which costs 27s. Composition, which is said to be agreement [f. 47] of London, is also wrong, and by the book put upon all outports by force, whereof they desire ease. London complains that a third more demanded for wine of them than others and composition taken for clothing oils which should be but for salad oil only for the King's house. The prisage likewise upon 20 tun 2. They take of 5 tun one and fill it up to be leaked.
These the griefs, the remedy to the House.
- 1. If these continue, destroys the kingdom. Not able to endure to maintain peace or war, for all lies upon the people howsoever set upon merchants, which Sir Edward Coke cited was done 17 E. 3 in Parliament, where impositions were cried down though the merchants assented.
- 2. That reformation may be made without loss to the King by the extent. And the multiplying of trade, if it should be as much as before, be abated to half though his customs, and if we enriched in Parliament, the King shall never want supply.
[f. 47v] A bill committed, Wednesday, [Ex]chequer, for this business.
Saturday afternoon, to attend the House and all commanded to attend to satisfy.
[Edmund] Nicholson to attend, pretermitted custom.
SIR ROBERT PHELIPS. Not to claim only as they to the kingdom of Castile and have no relief but to moderate as may produce effect. That the referees may be found out to be dealt with if within [?reach]. And no doubt the King informed right will rectify the error graven by information.
[Committee of the Whole House]
The matter of religion this morning at a committee of the whole House.
Sir Robert Harley. For abroad. We have provided now for papists at home. To disarm them, confine them. That priests by a day banished. That no[ne] frequent be to ambassadors, but the law for mass. That the King will give us the revenue of the papists or [?commute] them. The popish physician to keep his house.
That the Duke said that if he would give us leave to petition, that he would not hazard our religion upon a like match. Desires a bid day for fast as for the plague; now for the plague of injustice and impositions, etc.
[f. 48] Sir H[enry] Mildmay. That the kernel within corrupts of itself, not the air without. So we have no other fear. Our recusants provide as they abroad.
Sir James Perrot. Ad idem and to petition for the execution of laws.
The prophetical petition of the last Parliament was read to stand for our religion, the defence of the country and his children, and foreshows Spain's deceit and aim at monarchy.
A special committee this afternoon to agree of articles and a petition wherein the Lords to join to reform the recusants to secure us. To be presented to the King.
V. NOTES OF SIR NATHANIEL RICH, PA, MAN/9
[2 April 1624]
Notes concerning [the subcommittee for] the petition against recusants
- 1. Safety of the state consists in the safety of religion.
- 2. That this religion is the ground of sedition.
- 3. Now the fittest time because preparations abroad; we shall be engaged abroad and therefore dangerous to have a party at home to take part with them.
Sir N[anthaniel] R[ich].
- 1. The petition to be first for execution of the laws in general.
- 2. That the laws may not be silenced or dispensed with by mediation of foreign princes or treaty of marriage.
- 3. That commissioners may be appointed to see to the execution of the laws.
- 4. That the Lords may take an oath this Parliament to observe the laws.
Sir T[homas] Ho[by].
- 5. That all known papists may be in the statute of convict recusants to such as have their wives recusants and their eldest sons recusants.
Mr. Whitaker. The 2 politic ends. First, to secure ourselves from domestic treachery as from foreign invasion. [Blank] Secondly, to give content to the country, who will be satisfied in 2 things. First, that they may not be discouraged as heretofore by being bearded whilst others go in greater frequency to mass than they to church. Secondly, that the people may be eased from bearing of public charge. It costs every good subject a subsidy every year by collections in churches, also paying of all the parish charges. The papists have called them rogues, dogs and heretics, and that they hope to have a day.
Mr. [Richard] Knightley. The fruit of the sleeping of the laws is nothing but spreading of [?controversies] and sowing of faction. A game of ill example, for the good have been disheartened and the bad discouraged [sic]. The silencing of the laws have proceeded from relation to the treaty. Reason: the dependen/
Sir E[dwin] Sandys. 1,064 priests in England now, whereas but 400 priests and 60 Jesuits in Queen Elizabeth's time.
- 1. The sending of the Jesuits and priests and commanding of the subject not to receive them. And if they depart not by such a time, then the law to be executed against them, [?i.e.,] that they die as traitors. Those men are called locusts; let there be an east wind to blow them away. The priests and regulars write one against another, hotly contending who deserve most for their good service in converting the people in England. 2 laws in particular to be executed: the statutes of 50 Eliz. [blank], 350 Elizabeth [blank]. 50 Eliz. c. 10 against those that by printing, etc. This statute is appointed to be read in all sessions. 350 [Eliz.] against such as shall persuade [blank] or (to that end or purpose) these words to be left out. [Blank] For this tends to factions.
- Secondly, to disarm all papists, recusants convict (and all known papists).
- 3. To confine them.
- 4. Against those that hear mass the laws/
The recusants' lands came the last year but to £400. Moved the profit may be to the war but not liked, but that it may go to the payment of the King's debts. That commissioners should be appointed to see to the execution of these laws. But to this, the objection we close the King's hands from mercy.
VI. DIARY OF SIR WILLIAM SPRING, HOUGHTON LIBRARY, HARVARD UNIVERSITY, MS ENG. 980
April the 2nd, Friday
An act for settling the lands of John Stratford to John Hopkins and his heirs.
An act for settling and dividing certain marsh grounds formerly surrounded and now recovered in Erith and Plumstead in the county of Kent.
An act for settling the manor of Goodnestone to [Sir] Edward Engham.
SIR EDWARD COKE reports the act for the quiet of the subjects from all manner of pretences of concealments. It is put to engrossing.
SIR EDWIN SANDYS reports the committee of trade. That trade is as great as ever but not so good, as appears by the height of the customs, which are as high as ever, and that for six reasons. The first, for decay of clothiers. That at Barnstaple there was wont to be 1,000 looms, now not 150. The second is in the materials of wool, fallen 10s. in every tod. That [Sir John] Popham's opinion was that the diminution of 12d. in a tod was £50,000 through the kingdom. Third, the want of vent. Formerly, where 80 [sic] cloths have been vented, now not 50 [sic]. Fourth, the transportation of wools from all parts, north and south, whereby they make cloths of their own.
The importation of foreign commodities, from whence grows 2 insufferable mischiefs: that the native commodity is decayed and the foreign increased. The restraint of trade, overburdening of trade and want of money. The overburdening of trade is by impositions within the realm and abroad, for there they pay as much as here; by customs, subsidies, tunnage, etc.; by the officers of the custom, who have devised so may fees and duties as that it doubles the King's impositions.
Fifth, the impositions by merchants themselves of native commodities, as cloth etc. [p. 168] The Merchant Adventurers have had 6 patents, etc. The first, Henry 4th, the 8 year. The second, Henry 7, which gave them a governor and 24 assistants. The third patent directed where they should go. Fourth patent, 6 year of Eliz., and 28 Eliz. another, for restraint of any to trade but such as they should admit into those parts and power to impose penalties and to imprison. The sixth patent, 15 Jacobi, adds a forcible means to make the other patentees that they should not receive any cloths but the Merchants [sic] [Adventurers'] only. That they impose 5s. upon every short cloth and 7s. vide upon every long, which is a great grievance, and the committee desire that the cause may be inquired of why they lay any such imposition. It was computed that the levy thus was not less than £100,000, whereas they were out but £14,000.
The sixth burden of trade was impositions upon impositions, which is [£]60,000 new charge upon the subject in pretermitted customs of new draperies, and wines and grocery.
It is ordered that the treasurers of the Merchants [sic] [Adventurers] shall bring in their books of accounts tomorrow in the afternoon, etc.
[Committee of the Whole House]
Sir Robert Harley moves that consideration is to be had of foreign enemies abroad and a dangerous one at home. For the first, we have given a large proportion for our safety and defence against them. For the other, that the recusants may be disarmed and confined, that Jesuits and all seminaries be banished and the receivers of them to be had under the law. For such as resort to ambassadors, that the law may be inflicted upon them not only in this to be satisfied but that their revenues be employed for the wars, and wishes we may have a day of humiliation, as is usual in other places upon great occasions.
[p. 169] Sir H[enry] Mildmay. This state can never receive prejudice by a foreign enemy except he be backed at home. Here are none but papists that are of the Spanish faction. He saw a letter to a divine in the west parts of a great preparation made for war in foreign parts, Spain, against which he would have us prepare by disarming their assistants here.
Sir James Perrot wishes not the destruction of those that hold with us in the fundamental points of religion, but that petition may be made for the banishment of the Jesuits; next, the recusants be disarmed and banished the town. That there are 900 Jesuits in this land.
Sir R[obert] Phelips says there be 2 chief motives or reasons to induce this course to be taken, the one for satisfaction and contentment of those who sent us here, when they see that such as disaffect us are marked out, the other in policy that they may not disturb us here at home, and moves that provision may be made for educating of recusants' children.
Sir John Eliot agrees in the same motion, etc.
Sir Thomas Hoby. That consideration may be taken of the former petition, and notice had how many recusants have been put into commission since the last Parliament or convention.
Mr. [John] Pym. That such deputy lieutenants as have been made since may be taken notice of.
A subcommittee is appointed to draw up the heads of these points and to prepare them that the Lords with us may join in a petition to the King to have them executed.
VII. DIARY OF SIR THOMAS HOLLAND, BODL., TANNER MS 392
2 April, Friday
First read. An act for settling the lands of John Stratford to John Hopkins and his heirs.
First read. An act for the selling and dividing certain marshy grounds surrounded and now recovered in Erith and Plumstead in the county of Kent.
An act for settling and assuring [the] manor of Goodnestone to [Sir] Edward Engham.
[SIR EDWARD] COKE'S report: the act for the quiet of the subject from all manner of pretences of concealments. It is put to the engrossing.
[SIR EDWIN] SANDYS'S report for trade. Trade is as great as ever but not so good, as appears in the height of the customs, which are as high as ever. There be 6 apparent effects. First, in the matter of cloth, being the main staple of the kingdom. The first decay is of the clothiers, and it was reported that at Barnstaple from a thousand looms there is not a hundred and fifty, and where there was wrough[t] 500 tod there is not now 50 tod. The second is in the material of the wool, that there is fallen 10s. in every tod. [Sir John] Popham's opinion was that in the diminution of 12d. in the tod is £50,000 through the kingdom. Next is the want of vent; formerly 80 [sic] cloths have been vented, not now fifty [sic]. Fourthly, the transportation of wools into foreign parts, both from the northern parts and southern and foreign parts, make cloth of their own. Then our importation brings two insufferable mischiefs. First, that be import[ed] many hundreds more than exportation. [f. 75v] [Second], the native commodity is decayed a third part and [sic] in this land and that foreign are increased a third.
There is 3 causes: restraint of trade, overburdening trade and, lastly, the want of money. But of these things the committee/
For the overburdening of trade they are of 2 kinds, partly within these realms and partly in foreign parts, for whatsoever is laid upon here is as much abroad. 6 heads: first, customs; subsidies of tunnage and poundage; impositions: 2 of them have been usual, the third have been disputed on here. Fourthly, by the officers of the Custom House, who have devised so many fees and duties that they do double the King's imposition. The fifth kind is the impositions by the merchants themselves of native commodities, as cloth. The Merchant Adventurers excused their books of account. Their patents are 6: granted in the 8th year of Henry the 4; the second, 21 year of Henry 7, which gave them a governor and 24 assistants; the third patent gave a direction whether they should travel; fourth patent, 6 Eliz., which gave them but 4 with 24; then 28 Eliz., which was for restraint of any but such as they should admit to trade [f. 76] into those parts and gave them power to impose penalties and to imprison; sixth patent, 15 Jac., adds a forcible means to make the other patent that they shall not receive any cloths but the Merchants [sic] [Adventurers']. [Blank] Their power of imposer, that it be not questioned in any the courts at Westminster, yet by a proviso the Merchant Stapler was excepted, yet in the 15 year a proclamation to restrain the Merchant Staplers. They take bonds of £1,000. Upon every short cloth 4, 8, 12 impositions, then 2s. upon every short cloth and 4s. upon every long, but now they impose 5s. upon every short cloth and 7s. 6d. upon every long cloth, which is a great grievance.
The committee thought it fit that the referees should be sought for. They desire that the cause may be sought why they should lay such impositions. They computed that they could not be any less than £100,000, and they are out but of £14,000.
Sixth, burden of trade impositions upon impositions, which is £60,000 new charge upon the subject. In the book the additions are 3: first, for the pretermitted customs upon new draperies, which is deferred; second is of wines, which was granted but until the next session of Parliament, as has been here delivered, but in the book it is perpetual and comes to more [f. 76v] than all the worth of the wines; third, composition for grocery, which the Lord Treasurer said was mistaking, which provision was to be made within the city and not the outports, but it is otherwise for the outports for divers have complained that the composition is very heavy. Some points particularly complained of, that London has more imposition laid upon it than otherwise; then in grocery, that they take all manner of oils; likewise, where the king is to have 2 tun where it is above xx tun, and one where it is x, and none other.
There were t[w]o observations taken, one of the commonwealth, the other [of] the King, which if they be not suppressed the state cannot stand. 17 E. 3 was avouched. The true cause why cloth does not vent is extreme dearness.
CHANCELLOR [OF THE EX]CHEQUER to clear, that imposition of wine was raised for the relief of his Majesty's children. It was first three pound, after xxs.; and for the time, it was expressed by a privy seal, which was but until the next session. As for the book, it was a stranger to him.
Order. It is ordered that the treasurers of the Merchants [sic] [Adventurers] may bring in the ordinances and books of account tomorrow in the afternoon, and [Edmund] Nichols[on] to attend.
[Committee of the Whole House]
[f. 77] [Sir Robert] Harley. There are 2 considerations, a common enemy abroad and a dangerous enemy at home. For the first we have given a large [blank]. For the other, that our recusants be disarmed and confined. Next, for the Jesuits, that they and all seminaries be banished and the receivers under the law. Next, for the resorters to ambassadors, that the law be inflicted upon them; not only in this to be satisfied but that their revenues be employed for the wars, or that we may commute with the King for something. He wishes we may have a day of humiliation, which/
[Sir Henry] Mildmay. This state cannot ever receive prejudice by a foreign enemy except he be backed at home here. Here is none but the papistical Spanish faction. He did see a letter to a divine out of the western parts that they are making military preparation, against which he would have them disarmed and banished, for which he would have a short bill framed.
[Sir James] Perrot. Such as hold the fundamental grounds of religion, he does not wish their destruction, but for the Jesuits that the petition may be for their banishment. Next, that the recusants be disarmed and banished from this town. They have erected 20 seminaries, for which £30,000 a year they disbursed, wherein are 3,000. There are 900 Jesuits within this land; [f.77v] they have jesuited women.
[Sir Robert] Phelips. 2 parts. Reason of contentment of those that sent us here when they shall see a mark of those who are not like affected. The other in policy, that they may not be disturbers here at home, he desires a provision may be made, if there be not already, for the educating the children of recusants.
[Sir John] Eliot concurs with the aforesaid.
[Sir Thomas] Hoby. That we may take consideration of both the former petitions and see how many have been put into commission that way affected since our last sitting.
[Sir George] More moves that a short bill may be drawn.
[Mr. John] Pym. That the deputy lieutenants that have been put in since may be observed, etc.
A subcommittee is appointed to draw the petition, the heads and effects form of those articles, of such additions of heads to the former articles, this afternoon, Court Wards, 2 [o']clock, which we together with the Lords are to join to the King to put in execution concerning Jesuits, priests and popish recusants.
VIII. DIARY OF JOHN PYM, NORTHAMPTONSHIRE RECORD OFFICE, FH/N/C/0050
20 Aprilis 1624
An act for establishing the lands of G. [sic] Stratford to others in Gloucestershire.
An act for the dividing of certain lands in Plumstead Marsh, newly recovered from the inundation of [the] Thames.
An act for the assurance of the manor of [blank] in Kent to/
SIR EDWARD COKE reported the bill for the quiet of the subjects against all pretences of concealments.
SIR EDWIN SANDYS made a report from the great committee for trade. All people do affect the increase of trade, for which there is more reason at this time because we expect a war which will cause exportation of wealth, and we find a decay of that trade which should breed wealth. It is a shame that this kingdom, heretofore renowned for trade, having all materials, should decay and our neighbours that want all should increase. But as trade should be great, so if it be not good with the greatness it is a great evil, as a good great man is a public good, if evil, a public calamity. The greatness of the trade of this kingdom appears in the customs, the badness in many particulars.
- 1. The diminution of clothing and clothiers within 7 miles of Barnstaple from 1,000 looms to 140, from 500 tod of wool weekly to 50. In the last year of Queen Eliz., the Jesuits had a project to cause English cloth to be prohibited in the countries of all Catholic princes, which the[y] held the only way to overthrow this state.
- 2. Wool fallen 10s. in a tod, and if the Chief Justice Popham's computation be true, that every 12d. in a tod of wool is £50,000 in the whole kingdom, then is the land fallen in value £500,000 per annum.
- 3. Want of vent, heretofore £[sic]80,000 by one company, now not much above 40,000.
- 4. The transportation of wool.
- 5. The importation is swollen by two insufferable mischiefs:
- [f. 45v] 1. The excess in consumption of foreign commodities.
- 2. The enhancing of the prices caused by that excess.
The committee had sought for remedies of this badness of trade, whereof they discovered three causes:
Of the first and the last of these, he had no direction to speak at this time, and of the overburdening only in some few particulars, for the committee was wary in that part which concerned his Majesty. These burdens are either domestic or foreign, for it is a general rule when any charge is laid here it is done in other parts; hence grew the consumption of money. The burdens at home are reduced to 6 heads:
- 1. The customs due by law.
- 2. The subsidy of poundage and tunnage by act of Parliament.
- 3. Impositions by royal prerogative.
The first of those two were undoubted, the third had been questioned often but was at this time forborne by the committee.
- 4. Exaction by officers, which was the complaint of the outports, the fees being so multiplied and divided according to several offices and commodities that in many cases they exceed the duty to his Majesty.
- 5. Impositions by merchants themselves and that upon native commodities.
This gave them occasion to look into the state of the Merchant Adventurers, who, according to the command of this House, had brought their patents and book of orders, but excused themselves for their book of account and court book. The patents were in number six. The committee thought good to examine the quality and differences of them.
- 1. The first was 8 H. 4, for the common good of all merchants without any restraint.
- 2. The second, 11 [sic] H. 7, for the encouragement of merchants, and not disheartening as now it proves, was given them a government and 24 assistants, and whereas divers abuses insisted 12 H. 7 the law was made that all might be admitted paying 10 marks.
- 3. The third, 22 H. 7, by which was added an election of place for their government in Holland and Zealand.
- 4. The fourth, 6 Eliz., added a more solemn form of incorporation and four governments, East Friesland, West Friesland, Hamburg, with 2 provisos:
- 1. That they should not be impeached to the Staples.
- 2. Not to be/
- 5. The fifth, the 28 Eliz., whereas the former was in the affirmative, this was in the negative and gave power to lay penalties, to imprison, yet with some provision for the Staplers; and after this patent began the practice of imposing and committing men.
- 6. The last patent was 5 [sic] Jacobi, which contains divers new clauses for the strengthening of those former forcible [f. 46] means. A command to masters of ships not to receive the goods of any other men, for that purpose to take bond of them, which in their practice is taken to the King's use, and they take an oath; besides power to seize cloths intended to any of those parts contained in this patent, to constitute officers in every port, to impose to their own use, not to be questioned in any of his Majesty's courts at Westminster, commandment of assistance to all officers, and in this charter was likewise a proviso for the Merchant Staplers, which yet by a proclamation within a few days after was almost altogether frustrated.
In that book of orders we find the beginning of the impositions, gentle at the first: the charge was personal, 4d. a man, then 8d. a short cloth and 12d. a fine cloth, from thence to 2[s.] and 4s., and now last 5d. [sic], and 7s. and 6d. for these different sorts respectively.
The opinion of the committee was that this patent was a grievance in the creation and in the execution. Therefore, they thought good it should be examined who were the referees. And whereas it was informed that this last imposition was for the payment of a debt of £50,000, by computation, they have already received above £100,000 and yet allege that £36,000 of the debt remains still unpaid. Wherefore, the committee desired they might be commanded to attend and to bring in their books without excuse.
- 6. The sixth burthen consists in certain impositions contained in a book of rates lately printed, wherein there were new additions of charge upon trade, which come to £60,000 per annum. This book was printed secretly by Felix Kingston. My Lord Treasurer, understanding we wanted one of them, sent us his own copy, saying that the book was misprinted, expressing some charges which were never intended. But we found it authorized with Ja[cobus] R[ex] and with this title, "Here follows a schedule, etc., published by virtue of his Majesty's letters, etc. And Printed at the suit of the merchants and farmers by his Majesty's warrant." The additions within this book are of these natures:
- 1. The pretermitted customs, whereof the report cannot yet be made ready for want of [Edmund] Nicholson's attendance.
- 2. The new impositions upon wines, which were laid upon a necessity for the maintenance of the King's daughter with a condition to last but until the next session of Parliament, and in this book without any limitation are made perpetual.
- 3. The composition for grocery, which being voluntary and made only with the City of London, this book does charge upon the outports, calling it rates for composition, and this is alleged to be the error of the printer. However, it has fallen heavy upon some, for there is a petition from Exeter to be delivered of it.
There have been 2 particular complaints from London:
- [f. 46v] 1. That the impositions upon wines are not equally made.
- 2. That under colour of composition oil for his Majesty's house, they are enforced to pay for clothiers' oil and train oil.
One other complaint was against the course used in taking up the prisage of wine, for if there be above 20 and under 100 there is due one before the mast and another vessel behind, which they ought to take at all adventures; now they will taste of all and if the vessel be empty, force them to fill it.
The remedy of all these grievances were left to the wisdom of the House, only 2 observations were made by the committee.
- 1. Concerning the commonwealth, that if these burdens continue it will bring a consumption upon the whole land and make the people unable to support a war; for they do not concern the merchant alone but all the subjects. And therefore in 17 Ed. 3 a composition by merchants was disavowed by Parliament.
- 2. Touching his Majesty, for the committee was careful not to grieve his Majesty either with the question of right or diminution of revenue, they conceive this reformation may be made without loss and that it will so much improve trade in the extent as to recompense the abatement in the particulars, or if it only amend the estates of his subjects his Majesty cannot want what they have.
MR. CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER. The imposition upon wines was agreed upon at the Council table a little before his coming to Brussels; and at first £3 was now reduced to 20s., with a clause in his Majesty's warrant under the privy seal to continue no longer than until the Parliament. For the book of rates, he never saw it, and knew nothing of it.
SIR ROBERT PHELIPS. He approved the intimation of the committee not to meddle with the point of right, yet so that we should make such a claim that our posterity lose not that right hereafter. In reformation of grievances, we ought to consider as well the persons who give princes ill advice as the effects which succeed that advice. Therefore, it will be well if the committee deal with the referees, and if it shall appear that any man, to raise his own fortune, has given the King counsel contrary to the right of the subject, let us not spare him but appeal from the King misadvised to the King rightly informed. Our forbearance has brought upon us imposition upon imposition, in respect of two circumstances not to be precedented in any other time:
It was ordered that the further debate should be respited until tomorrow in the afternoon. That the books of account or copies of them (because they alleged [f. 47] the books were beyond sea) should be brought in.
[Committee of the Whole House]
The Speaker went out of the chair and the House was turned into a committee for the matter of recusants, wherein divers things were spoken and the petition of the Parliament read, whereof some were thought fit to be left out, the time not being proper for them, and some other to be added, for which purpose a subcommittee was appointed to meet in the afternoon and agree upon heads.
Eodem die, at a subcommittee touching recusants
- 1. Priests and Jesuits to avoid by a short day or else the law to be executed, and this to be published by proclamation, and his Majesty's subjects admonished not to relieve or conceal them.
- 2. All popish recusants to be disarmed, etc., as before in the last Parliament.
- 3. To be confined into the country, etc., as before.
- 4. A prohibition for hearing masses and resort to the houses of foreign ambassadors.
Mr. Recorder. There was not one stranger among all those which were killed in Blackfriars.
Sir Edwin Sandys cited a law, subditis negantur iura hospitalitatis cum legatis.
Dr. [Arthur] Duck. There is no such law of nations by which ambassadors claim to be governed.
Sir John Savile. The Recorder Fleetwood had sent some to prison who were taken at mass in the ambassador's house, and was thereupon committed.
- 5. Whereas divers of late have been made justices of peace and deputy lieutenants who resort not to church and are no communicants, that such may be discharged from those places and all other offices in the commonwealth.
Sir Robert Harley. All knights and burgesses to give the names of such as are suspected recusants and bear office in their counties respectively.
Ordered by the committee.
- 6. The penal laws against popish recusants to be put in execution and all judges and justices to be admonished by proclamation to look to their duties.
- 7. To present to the King the danger which we were lately in by the treaty with Spain, which would be like to ensue again if the popish party should by any occasion be drawn to depend upon a foreign prince. Therefore, humbly to desire that his Majesty will secure the hearts of his [f. 47v] subjects by making a declaration that for no treaty whatsoever, for marriage or otherwise, he will yield to any conditions whereby the execution of the laws concerning religion shall be slackened.
Sir Edwin Sandys. The laws now take hold of no papists but such as want wit and have honesty. The other sort, which are the greatest number, for temporal respects hide their religion and are most dangerous. It would be good, therefore, to set down some more certainty for the describing of a papists [sic].
Dr. [Arthur] Duck. Let us deal with them according to their own course. If they suspect any man of that which they call heresy, they will try him by confession by receiving the sacrament, cause him to make a public declaration of his faith and in all things to submit himself to the Church of England.
IX. DIARY OF SIR WALTER EARLE, BL, ADD. MS 18,597
Friday, 26th of March [sic]
SIR EDWARD COKE'S report of the bill touching concealments etc. Passed to engrossing.
SIR EDWIN SANDYS'S report from the committee of trade. The increase of trade adds strength both by the increase of able people and of shipping. This kingdom has flourished in trade, but now come[s] far behind the Low Countries though they have no materials. An honourable person said the last Parliament trade was as great as ever but not as good, but the greatness but a great evil, as a great man, etc. The committee has observed 6 particulars:
- 1. Of cloth, the main, being 9 parts of 10. The clothiers decayed in number and thousands; within 7 miles compass from 1,000 pair of looms come to 140, from 500 tod of wool spent to 50. A project of a Jesuit about the end of the Queen's [f. 111] reign to have all popish princes to banish our cloth out of their dominions.
- 2. The second was that of wool. The Lord [Chief Justice] Popham's computation that 1s. per tod abatement was £50,000 per annum, now consequently £500,000 per annum short. 80,000 cloths heretofore vented, of late come to 40,000.
- 3. The transporting of wools into foreign parts. The foreign parts thereby make the cloth itself. For importation of foreign commodities being increased brings a double mischief. The importation exceeds the exportation divers 100 thousands per annum. By this means the price of those commodities is enhanced a third, the native commodity enhanced [sic] [a] third, the foreign increased as much.
The committee thought on the remedy and first to find out the causes. The causes:
For the present, they considered only of the second, the burdens domestic and foreign. The rule is, if a burden be laid here, it is laid as much there. Home burdens:
- 1. Customs by law.
- 2. Tunnage and poundage by act of Parliament.
- 3. Impositions by the royal prerogative.
The two first unquestioned, but the last by way of claim in this House.
- 4. Exactions by officers of the customs, increasing [f. 111v] the offices and fees, so as these duties do sometimes near double the King's custom. These customers do sometimes vouch higher powers for their warrant.
- 5. Impositions by the merchants themselves on native commodities, and particularly on cloth.
Upon occasion of this particular, the committee considered the state of the Company of Merchant Adventurers. They have 6 patents. The first, 8 H. 4, without restraint. A second, 21 H. 7, granting them a governor and 24 assistants. A third, 22 H. 7, added an erection of place, Holland, Zeeland, Flanders, etc. A fourth, 6 Eliz., it added a more solemn form of incorporation, 4 governors and 24 assistants, adding East Friesland, West Fri[esland], etc. A fifth, 28 Eliz., the first with restraint, inhibiting all others, giving power to levy penalties and to imprison, but a proviso for Staplers; hence grew imposing. A sixth, 15 Jac., adding a strengthening the restraint:
- 1. Commanding shipmasters not to ship other men's goods.
- 3. Adds an officer in every port.
- 4. Gives a power to impose.
- 5. Commands the patent shall not be questioned in the courts at Westminster.
- 6. A command that all officers be assistant, etc.
Besides this, they take an oath and bond of £1,000 to the King's use. In imposing, they began with 4d. per cloth, from thence to 8d., 14 Jac. they increased to 2s. for a short cloth and 4s. for a long, [f. 112] now come to 5s. a short and 7s. 6d. a long. This patent by the committee thought a great grievance in the very creation, especially in respect of declining the courts of justice. Second, they held it a grievance in execution. The committee inquired:
Under pretence of a debt from the King of £50,000, whereas they confessed there has been discharged £14,000, so they have not levied less than £100,000 s[terling] to the disbursing of [£]140,000 [sic].
A sixth burden, impositions upon impositions. A book printed by one Felix Kingston, mentioning £60,000 new charge upon the subject. The book penned by direction, but they pretended it was misprinted in some particulars. The book has a preface, James Rex. There follows a table of rates and duties added to the former book of rates at the suit of the farmers, etc., of the customs by warrant from the Lord Treasurer. The addition reduced to three heads:
- 1. The pretermitted customs; this not yet debated.
- 2. An imposition on the wines particularly assigned to the maintenance of the Lady Elizabeth, but by the book it appears it was not so but perpetual. The impositions amount to as much as the wine itself. Some merchants would be glad to get six pence on a cask. [f. 112v]
[3.] Another particular, composition for grocery ware for his Majesty's household. A petition from the merchants of Exeter complaining of it. More laid upon the City of London than other parts by a third part. Under pretence of taking composition for oil, they take composition for clothiers' oil. Another complaint of taking prisage. They take it of the least quantities, taste, and choose and fill up, which they should not do.
The committee observed:
- 1. That these burdens, if continued, must ruin the kingdom, it being a burden upon the whole realm and not only on merchants. An act vouched 17 E. 3, the Parliament disavowed a composition made.
- 2. Touching his Majesty passing by questions of right; probability of reformation without any great detriment to the King. The reason of not venting the cloths is their dearness, and that is caused by the burdens.
The CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER. To clear the point touching the imposition on wines, the privy seal mentioned it was to continue but until the Parliament.
SIR ROBERT PHELIPS. The point of imposition a business of the greatest consequence in point of right and in point of subsistence, concerning us and our posterity. [f. 113] To continue our claim and no more is but to do as that Prince in Spain that comes once a year to claim the crown of Castile but still goes without it. The patent of Merchant Adventurers a great grievance. Fit as well to look to persons that gave the advice as well as to the followers. To find out the referees. We see the effects of our connivency, imposition upon imposition. That which made the House in 10 of the King to, etc., was, first, the vastness, second, the perpetuity. Motion, that this might not now be determined but referred until tomorrow in the afternoon.
The Speaker went from the chair.
The committee of the whole House for the debate of the business touching recusants.
Sir Robert Harley. Two considerations, a common enemy abroad, a dangerous native at home. For the latter:
- 1. Disarming.
- 2. Confining.
- 3. Banishing priests and Jesuits.
- 4. Restraining resort to ambassadors' houses.
- 5. The levying penalties on them.
- 6. Popish physicians to keep their houses and not to go about.
Another point touched by the Duke of Buckingham, touching petitioning the King not to be [f. 113v] drawn into the like treaties upon occasion of the match of the Prince. Lastly, reviving the motion for the fast.
Sir Henry Mildmay. A true position. This state like to receive no damage by a foreign enemy unless there be a party at home. The dangerous party here is the Spanish papistical party. I have seen a letter from a grave divine that in the parts where he lives, the popish party are making military preparations. The course which we should take:
This to be done by a short bill.
Sir James Perrot. 20 seminaries erected since the King's coming to the crown: £30,000 per annum, 3,000 young people educated in them beyond sea.
The petitions of both Houses to the King last Parliament upon the like occasion read.
Sir Robert Phelips. Two parts:
- 1. Contentment to ourselves, and to them that sent us, when a difference shall be put between us loyal and them.
- 2. Reason of policy, that they be not disturbers to our peace here at home.
Motion, that a select committee may be appointed to consider of the articles presented last Parliament.
[f.114] Sir Thomas Hoby. Fit to take notice what great men and others have been put into the commission of the peace of late.
A select committee appointed.
X. JOURNAL OF SIR SIMONDS D'EWES, BL, HARL. MS 159
Aprilis 20, Friday
An act for the assuring and settling of the lands of John Stratford and [sic] John Hopkins in Prescott in Gloucestershire.
An act for the settling and dividing of certain lands gained and recovered from the overflowing of the Thames in Erith and Plumstead in the county of Kent.
[f. 95v] An act for the settling of certain lands of Sir Edward Engham's, the manor of Goodnestone and other lands in Kent, upon his son's eldest son by his first wife, Sir Edwin Sandys's daughter.
An act for the general quiet of the subject against all pretences of concealments whatsoever. Engrossed.
A report made by SIR EDWIN SANDYS from the committee of trade, which there was never more need to support, for war will require wealth and is a decayer of trade which should bring it in. The Low Countries, which have no native materials, flourish yet by it, and we that have those materials in abundance yet thrive not by it. Trade is now as great as ever (view but the custom books), but nothing so good as heretofore, and there be 6 reasons found of it.
First, clothing, which is 9 parts of the 10 in the trade of England, and clothiers are much decayed. Where there were wont to be 1,000 looms near Barnstaple, they are reduced to 140 or 150 at the most, and so proportionally in other places. Eliz. ult0 there was found a project of a Jesuit, by the intercession of the Emperor, Pope and King of Spain, to banish all our cloths abroad and so to undo us, so mainly does clothing concern us. Secondly, our wool is fallen 10s. in a tod, and as it was well observed in the Lord Chief Justice Popham's time, the diminution of 12d. in a tod of wool is a diminution of £50,000 in the whole kingdom, so that we are lately fallen in one year that way £500,000 in the yearly profit of the kingdom. Third, the want of vent for our cloths. Formerly, we vented abroad yearly 80,000 cloths, of late between 30[,000] and 40,000 and now not full 50,000. Fourth, the transportation of our wools, because it cannot be wrought at home nor vented abroad, so the King loses his customs and foreigners make the benefit of our commodity and employ their own people about it, which were fitter for us to do ourselves. [f. 96] Fifthly, the importation of foreign commodities, which exceeds the exportation divers hundred thousand pounds per annum, which is a continual corruption of the wealth of this kingdom and a cause of the scarcity of money. Sixthly, the enhancing of foreign commodities, which are risen a third part as our native commodity is decayed a third part.
The committee conceived also that there were 3 causes of this disease of trade:
Of the first, he could not then make report because the merchants had not been heard that were enjoined to give their reasons; but for overburdening of trade there were 2 branches of that:
Hence it comes consumption money in one place and licence money in another, and one way or other the burden comes to as much as the commodity itself. As for the domestic burden, it is manifold:
- 1. That of customs due to the King by the common law.
- 2. That of the subsidies of tunnage and poundage due to the King by statute law and act of Parliament.
- 3. Impositions that are raised merely by prerogative, and in this we maintain our claim but waive the disputation.
- 4. Impositions by officers of the Custom House, the subject upon the subject, with such new fees and duties as often double the custom to the King.
- 5. Impositions by merchants themselves upon the native commodities and principally upon cloth, where he reported the state of the Merchant Adventurers with their several patents, grants and proceedings, vide antea, March 230. The committee had judged their last patent of Jacobi 150 a great grievance, tending to the decay of trade and impoverishing of the realm, and desired to inquire after the referees, who they should be that should advise the King or inform him about the granting of it. By virtue of this, they impose 5s. upon a short cloth and 7s. 6d. upon a long, and have done so for these last 7 years. Being asked why they did it, they answered to reimburse £50,000 given his Majesty. Being asked again how much of that came [f. 96v] in upon this imposition, they answered £14,000, whereas the committee conceived by the venting of between 40[,000] and 50,000 cloths yearly for 7 years, that imposition would amount unto above £100,000.
- 6. The sixt[h] burden of trade wanted a name, for it was an imposition upon an imposition. In a printed book without a name, October 220, anno 1623, issuing from the King to the Lord Treasurer, in which a new charge of £60,000 was added upon the subject, nor yet the printer's name at it, though it was found to be printed by Felix Kingston. The additions in this book are:
- 1. Pretermitted customs projected by on[e Edmund] Nicholson upon cloth and petty draperies.
- 2. An imposition upon the wines for the benefit, as is said, of their Queen of Bohemia, and by the privy seal, by which it took force to last only until the first sessions [sic] of the next Parliament, but in this book made perpetual and comes to more than the wines themselves.
- 3. A composition for grocery, which indeed was voluntary by the citizens of London for the provisions of his Majesty's household, and now they lay it upon the outports also, which error, said the Lord Treasurer, was the cause that the book was suppressed, and the outports' petition to be relieved of it and the city itself complains of his Majesty's officers exacting or composition for all manner of oils as well as salad oil, which only is for the provision of the householder.
Upon all this, the committee made a double observation:
- 1. That if this restraint of trade continue, all must run to decay.
- 2. That the present diminution of the King's revenues would suddenly be recompensed if trade were enlarged, for if from 40,000 cloths, which we vent now, we could come to vent 80,000, the King's customs must needs be doubled. Besides, the subject being rich, the King can never be poor. Edwardi 3tii, anno 7mo, the Parliament broke a contract which a private company had made with the King.
SIR RICHARD WESTON, who in the relation of his Majesty's estate unto the House had said the impost upon wines was to last no longer than the next Parliament, desired to clear [f. 97] himself that they were now made perpetual, protesting not to have seen the book of rates and wondering how this of the wines came in there.
[Committee of the Whole House]
Then went the Speaker out of the chair and the whole House became a committee in the case of securing our religion to consider what was to be done in it.
It was said that it was religion that had moved us to give so largely. What we had given was likely to be a means to secure us from our enemies abroad. We ought, ergo, now to take order that those within did not too much annoy us. It was, ergo, moved that they should be disarmed and confined within 5 miles of their houses, to banish the Jesuits by a certain day and take a course with such as entertain them, to restrain their flocking to ambassadors' houses. And yet, this done, some will be papists still, that whore of Babylon will have bastards for all this, ergo, extend the law to all such as are justly suspected, viz. who have not once in the year past received the communion. Consider your popish physicians about this town who cure the body but kill the soul. And petition to the King never to engage his son so again. And so the motion issued into a day of public humiliation throughout the kingdom, for we have many plagues upon us, and nothing but prayer can relieve and quit us of them.
Look to the ill-affected party within, for it is not the air without so much as the kernel within that infects and corrupts the fruit.
Look also to your fugitives, for there have been erected abroad since the King came to this crown 20 several houses, seminaries for English, endowed with £30,000 per annum, peopled with 30,000 of both sexes, and there are now thought to be no less than 900 Jesuits and seminary priest in the kingdom.
Ergo, order it so as no ill-disposed parties at home may disturb us in our present great engagements, and give content to the well-affected and good subjects for what they must now part with, and no content is like to the settling of religion.
Upon the whole dispute, a subcommittee was appointed [f. 97v] to draw a petition to the King for the performance of this, with reasons annexed thereunto upon what ground we did desire it.