House of Commons Journal Volume 1: 19 January 1581

Pages 117-118

Journal of the House of Commons: Volume 1, 1547-1629. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1802.

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Page 117
Page 118

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Jovis, 19o Januarii, 1580

Members returned in room of those absent on Queen's Service, &c.

This Day the House being assembled, and the Speaker elect sitting in the Chair, the Matter began to be debated, touching the said Persons newly returned, in Places of others yet living; of whom Question was made the Day before: And the Case opened to the Effect following ; to wit, that there were some Members of this House absent in her Majesty's Service, as in Embassade, or in her Highness' Affairs in Ireland, in whose Places new were returned; some again sick of curable Diseases, as Agues, and such like, and new returned in their Places; One, that being the last Session a Burgess for one Borough, is now newly returned a Citizen for another City, in the Place of a former Citizen for the same City, yet living; and another Burgess now newly returned in the Place of the said former Burgess, so as before now newly returned a Citizen for the said City.

The Questions were, Whether such as be returned in Places of Persons absent in her Majesty's Service, or of Persons visited with Sickness, be Members of this House; and the old (in whose Places they be returned) discharged: And thereupon divers Arguments were made; some thinking that the old Knights, Citizens, Burgesses, and Barons, first returned, did still remain and continue Members of this House; and so not those newly returned in their Places; and that the said Causes of Service and Sickness were good Excuse for their Absence, but no Causes at all to remove or displace them, and chuse new; alleging for it divers Precedents, as that of Sir Henry Sydney being Lord President in the Marches of Wales, and of Mr. Doctor Dale being in Embassade in France; the Case in their Absences being brought in Question, and ruled by this House, that they were not to be removed. And some were of Opinion, that if such Matter of Service, or Sickness might in any wise be Causes of removing any, and of chusing new in their Places, yet the same ought not to be done upon Suggestion made into the Chancery, but rather by the Judgment of this House: Some again argued to the contrary; affirming, that in all the said Cases the new were to be chosen, and allowed, and the old to be discharged ; not needing to have such Discharge by Judgment of this House, but that it sufficeth to make Suggestion into the Chancery, and so procure the Writ; and that to do otherwise, were to discredit the Lord Chancellor; and that not only in these Cases, but also in all other of such Returns, if the Lord Chancellor send out a Writ upon any Suggestion to chuse a new, (whether the Cause be sufficient, or no, to remove the old, or whether the Suggestion be true, or not) if a new be returned, this House is not to examine the Matter, but to accept the Return ; and the old Person discharged, and the new to be received : And so, at last, the said new returned Persons, in the Places of the others yet living, were allowed to be Members of this House, according as they were severally returned. In the mean time, also, of which Arguments and Discourses, it was signified unto this House, that her Majesty's Pleasure was, that the Speaker should be presented unto her Highness on the next Morrow following, at Two of the Clock in the Afternoon, in the Higher House,