House of Commons Journal Volume 1: 27 February 1607

Pages 343-344

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

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Veneris, 27 Februarii, 1606

Tillage in Herefordshire.

L. 1a. B. FOR the better Provision of Meadow and Pasture, for necessary Maintenance of Husbandry and Tillage in the Manors, Lordships, and Parishes of Marden, alias Mawarden, Bodenham, Wetlinglon, Sutton St. Michael, Sutton St. Nicholas, Murton upon Lugg, and the Parish of Pype, and every of them, in the County of Hereford.

Privilege- Petition from a Prisoner.

Mr. Martin Lister, a Member of the House, informeth, that Sir Christopher Pigott, by Order of this House remaining a Prisoner in the Tower, is sick of a burning Fever, and in Danger of his Life; and therefore moveth, that the House would be pleased to take Pity on him, and to rest satisfied with this his Imprisonment, and Submission, and now to grant him Liberty, that he may use Means for the Recovery of his Health.

He shewed also a Letter, directed unto himself, from the said Sir Chro. desiring him to make this Motion; which Letter was read, in these Words :

Good Cosen Lister,

I WISH unto you the Continuance of that Good which myself am deprived of: And my Request unto you is this, that, by your Voice, that honourable Senate might, out of hand, be solicited in my behalf. Great Weakness, by Reason of mine Imprisonment, groweth upon my Body; if long it oppress me, there is no way but Death : Mine Enlargement would add that Contentment unto my Heart, that may prove my best Physician.

I hope you will not fail to do the Part of a faithful Friend : As for that worthy Assembly, I doubt not of their Clemency in the Commiseration of my dangerous Estate, especially seeing it was always far removed from my Thoughts to give the least Occasion of Offence to King or Commonwealth. Thus I leave you to God. who will, I trust, direct all their Hearts to favour my Cause.

From the Tower, 26 February, 1606.

Directed; Your very loving Cosen, and humble Penitentiary for my Delinquence,

Christofer Pygott.

" To my most assured loving Cosen Captain Martyn Lister, at his House at

Great St. Bartholomewes, by Smythfield.

Much disputed, what Course should be taken.

1. Whether to send Mr. Secretary Herbert, to mediate with his Majesty.

2. Whether to leave it to Men of Place, that would do a good Office.

3. Whether any Proceeding at all, until the King were made acquainted.

Much Fear of Breach of Privilege, sithence the Commitment was merely by Order of the House.

Report of Conference.

A Report of the Conference called for, but excused by the Absence and Sickness of Sir Francis Bacon, who was formerly ordered by the House to make it.

Moved, only that those Gentlemen, Sub-committees, upon whom the Charge was imposed, should every Man deliver so much as concerned his Part.

Message from the King - Attendance of Members.

Mr. Speaker interposeth a Message from the King; and the Report deferred.

The Message was to this Effect:

That his Majesty having entered into a princely Consideration of the Weight of the great Cause in hand, as also of the great Worth and Sufficiency of those Gentlemen, that have spoken and dealt in it; he was to put them in mind, that the Writ of Summons that called them hither, was to consult de arduis regni; that every Man did serve for a Town, or a Shire; that his Attendance and Service of the House was a great Duty; and that the Departure of any Member of this House was a greater Contempt, than any Nobleman's Departure, who served only for himself: That therefore he wished, and advised, that no Lawyer, or other Member of Note, might depart the Town, until this great Matter were brought to more Ripeness and Perfection; and if the House would enter into any Course for the Stay of them here, or for the Recalling of those that be absent, his Highness would assist them by his Proclamation, or otherwise, as they should conceive fittest.

It was hereupon moved, that many have Trials at the Assises, who by their Absence might receive Prejudice, if some Course were not taken to prevent it.

Propounded, that Letters might be writ by Mr. Speaker

Attendance of members.

Attendance to the Justices of Assise, for Stay of Proceeding against of any Man that would require it: Which was approved, and resolved by the House.

Mr. Speaker moveth, that a Time might be appointed for the Calling of the House, and a Punishment agreed upon for the absent.

Others, that the House might first be called, and then a Punishment thought on.

That the House being called, the Serjeant might be sent for those which were found absent.

That a Law might be thought on, to provide for this Mischief hereafter.

These Motions ended in these Three Questions; which, by Direction, was made by Mr. Speaker; viz.

1. Whether the House shall be called.

2. Whether the Serjeant shall be sent for such as are absent, having no reasonable Excuse.

3. Whether the House shall be called on Monday come-sennight, in the Afternoon.

Which were all resolved in the Affirmative ; with this further Direction, that the absent were to be sent for by Order of the House, and by Warrant under Mr. Speaker's Hand.

And, upon the whole Matter, a special Order conceived, the Copy whereof was sent to sundry Members, that were absent, that they might be more sensible of the Reason and Necessity of their Attendance.

The Form of the Order was:

Veneris, 27o Die Februarii, 1606

THIS Day Mr. Speaker delivered a Message from his Majesty, importing a Consideration of the Weight of the great Cause in hand; of the Study and Travel that hath been taken, in the Understanding and Furtherance of some good Success therein, by sundry Members of the House; of the Duty and Necessity of Attendance of every Member, representing, in his Voice and Person, a Shire, City, or at least a Town; the special Use and Service of the Lawyers of the House; the great Contempt in Departure; together with his Highness' gracious Offer of his royal Power and Assistance, to be added to the Authority of the House, for the Recalling or Punishing of any Member delinquent in this behalf:

Whereupon the House entered into Dispute and Deliberation what Course were fittest to be taken, as well for the Continuing of such Members as are here already assembled, as for the Return and Attendance of those absent, to partake and assist in the great Service in hand; and after many Courses, and some new Devices of Order, propounded to the House, it was at last resolved, upon Three several Questions :

1. First, That the House should be called.

2. Secondly, That, upon the Calling, such as were found to be absent, and had no just Cause of Excuse, should, with the Privity and Direction of the House, by Warrant under the Hand of Mr. Speaker, and by the Serjeant at Arms attendant upon the House, or by his Deputy, be immediately sent for, and answer Fees and Duties to the Officers, as in Case of Breach of Privilege, or other Contempt to the House.

3. And, lastly, that upon Monday next come-sennight in the Afternoon of that Day, the House should be called.

Examinatur per Ra. Ewens.