House of Lords Journal Volume 4: 1 December 1640

Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 4, 1629-42. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.

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'House of Lords Journal Volume 4: 1 December 1640', in Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 4, 1629-42, (London, 1767-1830) pp. 101-102. British History Online [accessed 11 April 2024]


In this section

DIE Martis, videlicet, primo die Decembris.


E of Strafford acknowledges the Warrant for Mr. Darley's Commitment.

Mr. Maxwell, the Gentleman Usher, gave the House an Account that Yesterday he did, according to an Order from this House, go to the Earl of Strafford at The Tower, and shewed him the Warrant by which his Lordship had committed Mr. Darly close Prisoner at Yorke. And that the Earl of Strafford did confess the Hand-writing to be his wherewith the Warrant was subscribed; and that his Lordship would return a further Answer this Day, under his Lordship's Handwriting.

Barnardo to be brought here To-morrow.

Ordered, That the Lord Chief Justice is to have Notice, That he cause to be brought before their Lordships Phillip Barnardo, an Italian, and a Popish Recusant, now in Prison; and that he appear before this Honourable House To-morrow Morning, at Nine of the Clock.

Freeman's Case touching Ship Money.

The Earl of Dover reported to the House the Petition of Francis Freeman of Wilby, in the County of North'ton, That the said Freeman, for that he, being a Constable, had not been forward to levy Ship Money, was sent for up by a Messenger, one Davenport, by the Lords of the Council; but, upon Freeman's refusing to obey unless the said Messenger would shew his Warrant, the Messenger drew his Sword against the said Freeman, and, coming up to London, made Complaint of Freeman and divers other Inhabitants in Wilbie; whereupon Serjeant Francis, Serjeant at Arms, apprehended the said Frecman and divers others, upon a General Warrant, expressing no particular Cause, and demanded Fifty Pounds Fees of him, and compounded for Ten Pounds. Freeman being committed to Prison, and lay Fifteen Weeks as Prisoner, all the Judges of the King's Bench (Justice Crooke only excepted) denied him Bail and Liberty, though they had granted him his Habeas Corpus, and no particular (fn. 1) Cause was given for his Imprisonment. He further signified to the House, That the Lords Committees had sent for the Lord Chief Justice, Justice Crooke, and Mr. Justice Barkley, to know why Freeman and the rest were not released. They answered, That the Return, as it appeared before them, stood in generals, and so did not know to the contrary but that it might have been for Treason: It was further alledged, That Mr. Attorney General had an Information depending against the said Freeman and others in that Court. Hereupon the Opinion of the Lords Committees being made known to the House, That it was unanimously resolved of by all the Lords Committees, That both the Warrants from the Lords of the Council, and also the Proceedings of the Judges, were directly against the Petition of Right; thereupon it was Ordered, for the present, That Serjeant Francis, the Serjeant at Arms, shall repay to Frceman and others the Ten Pounds in Money, which he received of them; and also that Mr. Attorney General shall enter in the King's Bench a non vult prosequt to the Information against Freeman and the rest.

Memorandum, That, for the regulating of Fees mentioned (fn. 2) in this Case, their Lordships do refer it until some other Time.

The House was adjourned into a Committee, during Pleasure, to debate the Business concerning the Earl of Strafford, which was deferred Yesterday until this Morning.

Order for the E of Strafford's putting in his Answer Abrogated.

The House being resumed; it was Ordered, That any former Order, made concerning the putting in the Earl of Strafford's Answer, be wholly abrogated.

Some of the Members of the H C to be present at the Examination of Witnesses in his Cause.

And it was further Ordered, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in the High Court of Parliament assembled, That such of the House of Commons as they shall make Choice of may be present, from Time to Time, at the taking of such preparatory Examinations as shall be desired by them to be taken, for the perfecting of the Charge against the Earl of Strafford.

After this, there was a Message sent to the House of Commons, by Mr. Justice Barkley and Mr. Trever, to this Effect.

Message to the H C for a Conference touching this.

That the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, in the High Court of Parliament assembled, do desire a Conference with the same Committee, and about the same Business, that the Conference was Yesterday, and this to be presently, in the Painted Chamber, if it stands with their Conveniency.


The House of Commons return this Answer: That they will give a Meeting, as is desired.

E of Salisbury's Privilege.

Clarke discharged

This Day was read the Petition of John Clarke, Bailiff, Prisoner in The Fleet, by an Order of this Honourable House, made 13 die Novembris last, for arresting a menial Servant of the Right Honourable the Earl of Saram, and for speaking scornful Words of the said Earl; whereupon it was Ordered, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in the High Court of Parliament assembled, That, upon the Motion and Request of the Earl of Sarum, to this Honourable House, it was Ordered, That the said John Clarke shall forthwith be discharged of his Imprisonment.

E of Strafford's Counsel.

It was signified to the House, That some of the Counsel that were assigned the Earl of Strafford cannot be for him; but such as can the House hath thought fit to let them know, by the Lord Keeper, that they are assigned by the House, and, in Case any should fail, and the Earl of Strafford desire other Counsel in their stead, the Lord Keeper is to present their Names to the House.

After this the Earl of Strafford's Petition was read, concerning Mr. Darley, in hæc verba:

"To the Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, in the High Court of Parliament assembled.

"The humble Petition of Thomas Earl of Strafford, His Majesty's Lieutenant General of Ireland.


His Petition touching his committing Mr. Darley at York.

"That he hath received, by Mr. Maxwell, your Lordships order of the 30th of [ (fn. 3) the last] Month; and, in full and perfect Obedience to the same, returns this most humble Answer thereunto. Your Petitioner acknowledgeth the Warrant, shewed unto him by your Lordships Appointment, to be his, and signed by him, for the close Imprisonment of Mr. Henry Darley, which was thus occasioned: Your Petitioner being then at Yorke, and having, by His Majesty's gracious Trust, the Charge of the Army, in a Time of much Distraction, by reason of the then late Passage of the Scottish Army over the River of Tine, and taking of Newcastle, was very credibly informed that Mr. Darley had harboured some Scotsmen, and concealed them in such a Manner as gave great Occasion of Suspicion and Apprchension to the Country; and that the rather for that some small Parties of the Scottish Horse had passed the River of Tees also, and come into Yorkeshire.

Whereupon your Petitioner sent for Mr. Darley, and sound him upon Examination so to faulter, and to give such uncertain and to-be-suspected Answers, as your Petitioner held it his Duty to acquaint His Majesty therewith, in regard of His Majesty's Proclamation inhibiting such Negotiations; and that this happened in Time before any Cessation of Arms, or the Treaties after assented unto, and begun at Rippon. Upon your Petitioner's Relation made to the King of this Business, it seemed good to His Majesty to command me to commit Mr. Darley close Prisoner, and to take his Examination in Writing.

"My Reply was, that I would commit the Gentleman, according to His Majesty's Direction; but humbly besought that some others of His Majesty's Privy Council should be joined with me in the Examination, which was assented to by His Majesty; and my Lord Privy Seal, and Mr. Treasurer Vane, appointed to assist me therein. Thus far your Petitioner no ways doubts but that His Majesty will be graciously pleased well to remember. Afterwards Mr. Darly was spoken with, and his Examination taken in Writing, and signed by the Lord Privy Seal, Mr. Treasurer Vane, and your Petitioner; which, howbeit this latter Examination differed very much from the former taken by me, as was then justified before Mr. Darley, by myself and another Gentleman of very good Credit and Understanding, yet was his Discourse so full of Ambiguity and Improbability, as we all Three thought fit to acquaint His Majesty withall, which Mr. Treasurer undertook to do; that Mr. Darley should still continue close Prisoner, till His Majesty's further Pleasure known; and in the mean Time some Persons, whom he then named, and whose Names formerly he had pretended not to know, might be examined.

"And for the Truth of this latter Part, your Lordships Petitioner humbly craveth Leave to refer himself to those Two Honourable Persons, and to the Examination itself, which is in the Custody of Mr. Treasurer Vane, and may be shewn to your Lordships, if it shall seem so good to His Majesty. And, since the Time of Mr. Darley's Second Examination, your Petitioner hath not heard any Thing of him at all, before your Lordships Message and Order this Day shewn unto him by Mr. Manwell.

"Finally, with his due Acknowledgement of your Lordships most Noble Justice and Favour towards him, your Petitioner wisheth all Continuance and Increase of Honour and Happiness to your Lordships, and your Posterity."

This being read; it was Agreed by their Lordships, That the further Consideration of this Business be suspended, until the House of Commons present Complaints of this Nature unto this Honourable House.

His Counsel.

These Counsellors following were assigned by the House to be of Counsel with the Earl of Strafford; their Names being read by the Lord Keeper to the House:

Mr. Richard Lane, the Prince's Attorney.
Serjeant Bacon.
Serjeant Rowles.
Serjeant German.
Mr. Recorder of London.
Mr. Anthony Lowe.
Mr. Robert Lewis.
Mr. John Lightfoote.
Mr. Chaloner Chute.
Mr. Timothy Stampe.

After this, the Lords went to the Conference with the House of Commons.

Thereupon the House was adjourned, during Pleasure.

Conference touching the Examination of Witnesses in his Cause, &c reported.

The Conference being ended, the House was resumed; and the Lord reported to the House the Conference; which was, That he had acquainted the Committee of the House of Commons with the Order made this Day, concerning some Members of the Commons to be present at the Examination of Witnesses in the Earl of Strafford's Cause.

LJ Conway to speak with him.

The Lord Conway moved the House, for Leave to go speak with the Earl of Strafford at The Tower; which was granted.


Dominus Custos Magni Sigilli declaravit præsens Parliamentum continuandum esse usque in diem Mercurii, videlicet, 2m diem instantis Decembris, hora nona, Dominis sic decernentibus.


  • 1. Bis in Origin.
  • 2. Deest in Origin
  • 3. Origin of this present.