20th April 1624

Proceedings in Parliament 1624: The House of Commons. Originally published by British History Online, 2015-18.

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In this section



[CJ 771; f. 153v]

Martis, 20 Aprilis 1624

3 divinity lectures this afternoon.

Sir Eubule Thelwell

Mr. [John] Bankes

Mr. [Thomas] Wentworth

Sir Peter Heyman added to the committee.

L. 2. An act for the naturalizing of Abigail Little and William Little.

Ordered, to be engrossed.

Sir William Cope added to the committee for the Fleet.

L. 2. An act for the speedier payment of the debts of men imprisoned.

Upon question, not to be committed.

Upon question, not to be engrossed.

L. 2. An act for the true making of serges and perpetuanas.

Committed to:

[f. 154] Mr. Comptroller

Sir Robert Phelips

Mr. [Edward] Alford

Mr. [William] Nyell

Mr. [William] Denny

Knights, burgesses of Norfolk, Suffolk, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall, Essex, London, Hampshire

Thursday next, 2 [o']clock, Court of Wards. And to consider of the labours of the commissioners for trade.

SIR JOHN SAVILE. A private bill in this House that concerns the poor tenants of Goathland. In this bill, all are to have voice, contrary to the order of the House in a private bill.

Sir William Herbert Sir Thomas Walmesley
Sir Clement Throckmorton Sir William Cope
Sir Dudley Digges
Mr. [William] Brereton
Mr. [William] Booth
Sir Edward Peyton
Mr. [Edward] Alford

The first committee to stand and these added to them.

Ordered, upon question, for a general rule hereafter that in private bills there shall not be that general clause for all that will come to have voice.

MR. [ROBERT] BERKELEY reports the bill for the true making of woollen cloths. The amendments twice read.

MR. [ROBERT] BATEMAN. This bill takes away the liberty and privilege of the City of London and gives it to strangers.

To have their counsel heard before this bill pass.

[f. 154v] That proviso, upon question, to be withdrawn from the bill.

And the bill ordered to be engrossed.

SIR EDWARD COKE reports from the conference with the Lords about the bill of grace for Wales. The question, that the proviso not so full now as [at] the last Parliament. Answer: that we put no proviso at all to it. They put the proviso to it. Prince moderated. To have a committee of both Houses to reconcile all differences.

Ordered, that the Merchant Adventurers shall on Thursday next appear before the committee for trade, with their counsel if they will, concerning the restraint or enlarging of trade.

The committee for the bill of subsidy to meet this afternoon and to prepare it for the House, and to take [CJ 772] into consideration the whole frame of the bill, the manner of the/

And all that will come to have voice. This afternoon at 2 of the clock in the Star Chamber.

MR. SECRETARY CONWAY. The necessity of going on with this very necessary. Delay will be very dangerous.

[House adjourned]


[f. 66v]

[20 April 1624]

In a private bill, all that come not to have voice by no order, now ordered.


[f. 164]

Tuesday, 20 Aprilis 1624

Ordered, that henceforth that clause of "all that will come to have voice" shall not be ordered upon the commitment of any private bill.


Ordered that the committee which was appointed to take into their consideration the preamble of the bill of subsidies shall this afternoon consider of all points of the bill of subsidies, and everyone that will come to this committee is to have voice, to meet in the Star Chamber.


[f. 40v]

20 April, Tuesday

Second read, engrossing. An act for the naturalizing Abigail Little, the wife of Robert [sic] Little.

Second read, cast out. An act for the better paying prisoners' debts and to free them out of prison.

Second read, committed, Thursday, [Court of] Wards, [knights, burgesses of] Norfolk. An act for the true making of serges and perpetuanas.

Order. It is ordered that to a private bill "all to come to have voices" shall henceforth not be named.

[MR. ROBERT] BERKELEY reports the bill of well-making woollen cloths.

[SIR EDWARD] COKE. The proviso for the liberty of all to buy cloths at Blackwell Hall after Friday, 12 o'clock, moves to be withdrawn.

The proviso is withdrawn, by question, and the bill recommitted [sic].

[SIR EDWARD] COKE'S report. The bill for the alteration of the laws of Wales is to be conferred of by a committee of this House with a committee of the Lords.

Order. The committee is named and ordered so by the House.

[f. 41] It is ordered that the Merchant Adventurers with their counsel shall meet here on Thursday.

SOLICITOR moves that a day may be appointed for the bringing in of the bill of subsidy and the first reading given.

[SIR GUY] PALMES moves that a committee should be appointed this afternoon to frame the bill and bring it in and to/

[SIR FRANCIS] SEYMOUR moves that we take into consideration what shall be done by the committee. We have heard what the Duke [of Buckingham] has delivered. We must advance that and our designs. The time when the subsidy was to be paid [was] within a year after the public declaration. It was intimated that the dispatch sent into Spain was a sufficient declaration. He is not of that mind. A draft of the manifest was appointed by some of both Houses. [f. 41v] That seems to sleep, but the cause proceeds from ourselves by saying in our petition that we acknowledge the declaration of the dissolving both treaties. He moves that the preamble of the act may be that "Be it enacted that the treaties of the match and Palatinate be dissolved".

[SIR ROBERT] PHELIPS moves that all possible haste be used for the dispatch of this business, and that the committee for all men to have voices and they to have power both to prepare the bill of subsidies and to take it into their consideration all the parts of the bill.

[SECRETARY] CONWAY. The necessity of going on strikes much at the good or ill of the commonwealth. Let it not be deferred now for so it is requisite.

[f. 42] [MR. THOMAS] WENTWORTH moves that tomorrow may be the time. It will not prejudice the cause. He sees nothing is done for the subsidy. Our petition has lain asleep. Let us be satisfied in our consciences and first see religion advanced.

[SIR CLEMENT] THROCK[MORTON] to the same effect.

[SIR DUDLEY] DIGGES. It is reason that we should have some recompense for the subject. He thinks it has slept the longer because we have seemed to delay the bill of subsidy. He wishes that we may begin this day with the bill of subsidy.

It is ordered that the committee shall meet this after[noon].


[f. 69]

April 20, 1624

Ordered, that at committees for private bills, all that come shall not have voice [?2 words illegible] because [2 words illegible] ...

... the means of strangers forbear to buy more cloth [illegible] the Merchant Adventurers may hold off their [?hands] a little, the interlopers must sell at [f. 70] what price the strangers choose.

Lord of Leicester had such a project in Queen's time, but in the space of 6 weeks forced to alter [illegible] ...

... is to make sudden [?3 words illegible] reformation may be done by degrees for Cockayne project, for which we suffer yet. If he had dyed a [f. 71] small number of clothes at first and so had gone on by degrees, he might have affected it. ...


[f. 73v]

April 20, 1624

An act concerning the discharge of prisoners for debts.

An act for the true making of perpetuanas and serges.

Two exceptions were taken to this bill:

  • 1. Against that clause whereby all perpetuanas were reduced to two sorts, because they would be of too great a value to be vented.
  • 2. Against the giving of the penalties to the town, lest a way should be left whereby the inhabitants might one favour another in the abuses.

A perpetual order was made that the clause "every man to have voice" should not be added in committing any bills wherein any particular men might have interest, though the bill were public.

MR. [ROBERT] BERKELEY reported the bill for true making of woollen cloth, in which he observed:

  • 1. Such cautions as were made in the continuance of the former statutes concerning this matter.
  • 2. The alterations in the bill itself.
  • 3. The additions:
  •      1. In the continuance of the statutes 4 and 70 Jac. was a clause of saving allalterations and additions to be contained in this new bill, and that part of the statute which concerns cloth made of lambs' wool and flocks discontinued because it has given occasion of falsifying.
  •      2. The alterations in the bill: the penalty for laying lambs' wool upon cloth given to the use of the poor.
  • 3. The additions:
  •      1. Overseers appointed to search cloths in all towns corporate.
  •      2. A clause of proviso against the abuse of tenters in Yorkshire.
  •      3. Every overseer to have his surname and Christian name in lead annexed to the cloth.
  •      4. A proviso against fraudulent pressing.
  •      [f. 74] [5.] A proviso that the market for cloth should continue in London from Thursday morning until Friday, 12 o'clock, in Blackwell Hall, and that all merchants, drapers and freemen and denizens may buy cloth and ship them beyond the seas.

This last proviso was added to redress abuses of Merchant Adventurers, who, having the sole trade in cloth, did set a stint upon the number of cloths to be bought and transported and likewise upon the prices, and they did desire to be heard by counsel before it should be passed.

Against the proviso was objected:

  • 1. As to increase the number of buyers may at first enhance the price of cloths in our own markets, so to increase the number of sellers beyond sea will pull down the prices there, which will have an operation back again and in the end debase the commodity both at home and abroad.
  • 2. This was put in practice in my Lord of Leicester's time, who set up a staple at Westminster, but it was found that the interlopers could not vent a tenth part and the want of government brought on a decay in the trade.

SIR EDWIN SANDYS. The point is now under consideration in the committee for trade, who have put 3 questions to the Merchant Adventurers:

  • 1. Whether they will undertake to buy and vent all the cloth. To this they answered that it will be unreasonable and subject them to such prices as the sellers will exact.
  • 2. Whether they will be contented to increase their company. The answer, they will for the fine of 100 marks upon admittance, so as their privileges may be confirmed by Parliament.
  • 3. Whether they will content themselves with the trade of white cloth and leave the rest open. To which their answer is yet respited.

His opinion was not to give them a by-blow but a direct, and to forbear at this time the rather because they have not yet given their last answer.

SIR JOH[N] SUCKLIN[G] added, they may perchance grow sullen and so the hand [sic] of this market grow worse.

It was put to the question for withdrawing this proviso and agreed; and then the question for engrossing and passed.

SIR EDWARD COKE reported the conference with the Lords concerning the bills [sic] of Wales. The exception was that we had left out a proviso which was added by the Lords the last Parliament concerning the jurisdiction of the President. We answered that the four shires annexed were no part of the Marches when the act 34 H. [8] was made, and by that proviso we should make the President absolute who was now sub modo. By the mediation of the Prince, it was agreed there should be a special committee of both Houses, with advice of the judges, to accommodate this difference.

It was ordered to send to the Lords to know the time and number and a proportionable company from this House to meet them.

Thursday next appointed for the Merchant Adventurers to make answer to the propositions of the committee for trade.

[f. 74v] Upon MR. SOLICITOR'S motion to expedite the bill of subsidy, SIR FRANCIS SEYMOUR propounded a doubt whether his Majesty's declaration concerning the breach of the treaties did satisfy the House, which was first to be cleared because our meaning was that all the subsidies should be paid within a year after such declaration, which he moved might be expressed in the bill.

Whereupon the committee for that business was appointed to sit in the afternoon.


[f. 151v]

Tuesday, the 20th of April

Bill for r[elief] of prisoners and payment of their debts out of their estates. Second read, rejected.

Bill for the better making of serges and perpetuanas. 2nd read, committed.

Upon occasion of the bill touching the manor of Goathland, ordered that to a private bill committed there should no more be added "all that come to have voice".

MR. [ROBERT] BERKELEY'S report of the bill for the true making of woollen cloths.

Exception taken against the clause inserted for any man between Thursday and Friday noon to buy freely in Blackwell Hall and carry it where he will, tending in effect to the dissolving of the Company of the Merchants Adventurers.

SIR EDWARD COKE. There was a project in the Earl of Leicester's time, 28 Eliz., for free venting of cloth, and a market erected at Westminster at the wool staple, but there being a damp, thereupon presently order was given the Merchant Adventurers should have it again. So Alderman [Sir William] Cockayne's project of dyeing and dressing of cloth, for which the kingdom suffers this day.

SIR EDWI[N] SANDYS. This a great business, heretofore questioned:

  • 1. Whether the Merchant Adventurers would buy all the cloth, etc. They answered it was impossible.
  • 2. Whether they would be content to enlarge their company. They answered, yea, if such would give as much as is given in other companies.
  • [f. 152] 3. Whether they would be content with white cloths. They answered negatively, for then, said they, the trade would be spoiled by interlopers.

Resolved, upon the question, to have that clause withdrawn, and thereupon it was passed to engrossing.

SIR EDWARD COKE'S report of the conference with the Lords touching the bill for repealing the statute H. 8 concerning Wales. The Lords desire a select committee to be appointed.


MR. SOLICITOR moved for the hastening of the bill of subsidy.

SIR FRANCIS SEYMOUR. Fit to consider:

  • 1. Of the time, within a year after public declaration of, etc.
  • 2. Of the end, a war.

We heard on Saturday of the King's writing to Sir Walter Aston into Spain concerning the dissolving the treaties. And it was supposed this was a sufficient declaration. We, in our petition touching recusants, do in effect acknowledge that the King has declared himself. The Duke of Buckingham said the King meant that the manifest should lie by him. If it be enacted in the bill of subsidy that both the treaties be dissolved, it will give great satisfaction.

SIR ROBERT PHELIPS. Fit not only to consider of that particular of enacting, but of the whole state of the business touching the declaration.

MR. SECRETARY CONWAY. A necessity of going on speedily in this business, otherwise great danger.

Ordered to be this afternoon.

Tuesday afternoon, [committee of privileges]

The case of the 4 new boroughs.

Mr. [John] Selden made report.

The case of Cirencester. Complaint of the undue election of Sir William Master.

It was alleged that the [under-]sheriff, without authority, came to the town at the election, pretending the freeholders only were to choose. Of those that were polled, 30 for Sir Maurice Berkeley, 35 for Sir William Master.

It was answered, true that the [under-]sheriff did interpose, but entreated by the bailiff. 4 being in competition, Mr. [Henry] Poole, Sir William Master, Sir Maurice Berkeley, Mr. [John] George. Mr. [Henry] Poole chosen without all question. And when Sir Maurice Berkeley saw he was like to go without it, said none were to choose but freeholders, whereupon the [under-]sheriff went to voices, and by oath, and then Sir William Master had 5 voices more, yet again they went to polling in general, and then Mr. [John] George giving off, all went from Sir Maurice Berkeley.

Mr. Strange testified that before they went to the election, there being speech who should be the electors, the [under-]sheriff said none should give voice but freeholders. And at the election took only the names of freeholders, and refused to poll the rest, Sir Maurice Berkeley having to his seeming the greater number of the generality.

[f. 153] Mills, another witness, testified the like concerning the refusing all but freeholders. And most of the generality crying upon Sir Maurice Berkeley, and that some that were inhabitants and no freeholders went away, being commanded so to do by the [under-]sheriff.

A third witness testified the same.

Sir Thomas Estcourt, who was present, a friend of Sir William Master, testified, the opinion of the under-sheriff and other gent[lemen] that none but freeholders were to choose, and so they agreed. The bailiff sat in the chief place. The [under-]sheriff at his feet. [Mr. Henry] Poole chosen absolutely for the first. For the rest some question. They went to the poll of freeholders only. Sir William Master had most.

Resolved by the committee, the agreement cannot alter the freedom of election. No practice in the [under-]sheriff. All the householders to have voice. Most of opinion Sir William Master's election was due.


[f. 106]

April 20, Tuesday

An act for the true making of serges and perpetuanas. Committed.

Ordered, upon question, that hereafter it shall not be granted upon private bills that all that come to a committee shall have voices, to prevent packing.

Long dispute about the buying of wool at Blackwell Hall against the Merchant Adventurers; they should buy alone all Thursday and Friday until noon, then the market to be free for all men. But it was not agreed upon because the Merchants were yet depending both for examination and advice before the committee of trade. Until that came to some issue this resolution would be unseasonable.