House of Lords Journal Volume 4: 20 November 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: 20 November 1640', in Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 4, 1629-42, (London, 1767-1830) pp. 93-95. British History Online [accessed 12 April 2024]


In this section

DIE Veneris, videlicet, 20 die Novembris.


Money distributed to the Poor.

These Lords following were appointed, for to distribute the Money which was collected upon the Fast Day, to the Use of the Poor. videlicet,

E. of Huntingdon.
E. of Nottingham.
L. Bp. of Durham.
L. Bp. of Lincolne.
L. Mowbray.
L. Mountegue.

To meet To-morrow Morning, at Eight of the Clock, in the Little Committee Chamber.

Hospitals, etc.

It was appointed by the House, That Mr. Justice Barkley and Mr. Justice Crawly do prepare the Bill for Hospitals and Free-Schools, according to the Instructions given to them by the Lords Committees last Parliament, and then to acquaint their Lordships with it.

Absent Lords excused.

Bishop of Winton absent, excused.
Bishop of Landaffe absent, excused.

Lords to speak with the Earl of Strafford.

Earl of Huntington and the Lord Clifford have Leave, by the House, to go see the Earl of Strafford.

Lord Viscount Conway

(fn. 1) Lord Viscount Conway moved the House, for Leave to go speak with the Earl of Strafford, about his own Affairs in Ireland; which was granted by the House.

Lord Howard of Charlton introduced.

This Day the Lord Charles Howard de Charleton was introducted; the Lord Great Chamberlain, Earl Marshal, the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, and Garter, going before; the Lord Pagett on his Right Hand, and the Lord Howard de Estcrick on his Left Hand; and having delivered his Writ, on his Knee, to the Lord Keeper, bearing Date 19 die instantis Novembris, it was delivered to the Clerk, and read publicly; and afterwards he was brought and placed next below the Lord Mountegue.

The Earl Marshal signified, That he had somewhat to deliver to their Lordships from His Majesty, the Effect whereof was this:

Lords Commissioners appointed to treat with the Scottish Commissioners.

"That His Majesty understands that the Scotts Commissioners are come; and, as He hears, with full Power and Commission to treat and conclude of Business; therefore He desires that the Commissioners on both Sides may meet and treat with the like full Powers: To that End His Majesty holds it fit, and is so pleased, now to make Choice of the same Lords Commissioners that were chosen and approved by the Great Counsel at Yorke, to treat at Rippon, and hath now given them the same full Commission and Powers to treat and conclude Matters with the Scotts Commissioners as He did at Yorke; and His Majesty is likewise pleased to declare that, notwithstanding the Power that is given to the said Lord Commissioners, yet nothing shall be concluded without the Acquainting, Consent, and Approbations of both Houses, therefore desires the Lords Commissioners now may have the same Approbat on from both Houses as they had from the Great Council at Yorke."

Upon this it was thought fit to have a Conference with a Committee of both Houses, for the better Expedition.

In the Interim, the Gentleman Usher signified to the House, That there was a Message from the House of Commons; and the Messengers, being admitted, slood at the Lower End of the House, until the Lord Keeper, bearing the Purse in his Arms, and accompanied with divers Lords, came to the Bar. Then the Members of the House of Commons approached towards their Lordships; and, after many Obeisances made, Mr. Pim delivered the Message, to this Effect: videlicet,

Massage from the House of Cominous, touching the Examination of Witnesses in the Earl of Strafford's Cause.

"My Lords,

"The Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses of the House of Commons assembled, have commanded me to let your Lordships know, that there were divers Witnesses, which the House of Commons were to produce in the great Cause now depending before your Lordships, wherein they have charged the Earl of Strafford of High Treason; some of those Witnesses were Members of the House of Commons, and for those they had already made an Order to be ready to be examined by your Lordships when they should be required; others are Members, or Assistants, of this Honourable House; and for those they desired that your Lordships would order they might be examined upon Oath, if it should be required; and because some of the Witnesses to be produced in this Cause might be of His Majesty's most Honourable Privy Council, it was desired that your Lordships would take some such Course as should seem best to your own Judgements, that they may be ready to be examined upon Oath, if they be required.

"My Lords, Treason is such a Crime as, in the first Preparation and Design, for the most Part walks in the Dark; or, if it come Abroad, it is with such Disguises as it is hardly to be discerned; and therefore I am commanded to commend it to your Lordships just Care and Wisdom, so to provide, that, when any Witnesses shall be produced, they may be speedily examined; and both the Names of the Parties, and the Matter of the Interrogatories and Answers, may be kept private, till there shall be an Occasion to make Use of them; whereby subtile Practices and Combinations may be prevented, and the Truth secured from Corruption and Concealment. There is only One Thing more which I am to add, That your Lordships will be pleased, that some Members of the House of Commons may be present at those Examinations, to present to your Lordships new Interrogatories and Questions, if it shall be needful."

After this, the Messengers withdrew themselves; and the Lord Keeper reporting the Message to the House, their Lordships thought fit, for the present, to return them an Answer. And, being called in, the Lord Keeper told them, that he had Directions from their Lordships to give them this Answer: videlicet,


"That the Message is of great Importance, and their Lordships will consider seriously of it, and will send a further Answer by Messengers of their own."

A new Commission to treat with the Scots.

Next, the Commission under the Great Seal, whereby His Majesty gave the Lords Commissioners full Power to treat and conclude with the Scottish Commissioners at Rippon, was read publicly, bearing Date 1 die Novembris, 16° Caroli Regis; and it being read, their Lordships Agreed, That this Commission should be vacated, and a new one speedily to be sealed.

Huc usque per Dominos examinatur,
He. Bathon.
T. Lyncolne.
J Bridgewatlr.
Hfn Dover.
Edward Mountagu.
Th. Duresme.

This being ended, their Lordships began to think what Heads were fittest to be delivered at a Conference with both Houses; and the Effect was this: videlicet,

Heads for a Conference with the Commons, touching the Commission so treating with the Scots.

"That His Majesty hath thought fit to authorize, by Commission under the Great Seal, the same Lords Commissioners that were chosen at the Great Council at Yorke, to treat with the Scottish Commissioners at Rippon, and hath now given them the same full Powers to treat and conclude here with the said Scottish Commissioners: That this House doth now approve of the said Lords Commissioners, and, because it is always the Form of such Commissions to have Power to determine and conclude, this House doth allow of the Commission, but hath Ordered notwithstanding, That nothing done by them shall bind or conclude this House, unless the House be first acquainted therewith, and approve thereof."

Allowed by the Grand Committee for Privileges, 23 Nov. 1640.

And this the Lords of this Honourable House have commanded to be entered as an Order of this House, in their Journal Book; and further, to represent the great Calamity and Necessity which the Scottish Army doth at this Time sustain, of which their Lordships have been truly informed of, by Letters from some Lords of the Scottish Commissioners; and, unless some speedy Course for Relief be taken, Necessity will force them to commit those Acts which else they are unwilling to do: and lastly, to take into Consideration how to speedily accommodate His Majesty's Army with a Supply: And so to leave these Particulars to the Consideration of the House of Commons.

These Heads being prepared, Mr. Justice Jones and Mr. Justice Crawely were appointed to deliver the Message to the House of Commons, to this Effect: videlicet,

Message to the House of Commons, for the Conference.

That the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, in the High Court of Parliament assembled, do desire a Conference, with a Committee of both Houses, presently (if it stand with their Conveniency), in the Painted Chamber, concerning the Treaty with the Scotts Commissioners, which requires Expedition.

In the mean Time, the Lords Commissioners retired themselves into the Prince's Lodgings, to prepare themselves against the Conference.

The Messengers return this Answer from the House of Commons:


That they have taken the Message into Consideration, and will give their Lordships a Meeting presently.


After this, the Lords went to the Conference; and the Lord Keeper declared the House to be adjourned during Pleasure.

Their Lordships being returned from the Conference;


Dominus Custos Magni Sigilli declaravit præsens Parliamentum continuandum esse usque in tertiam horam hujus dier post meridiem, Dominis sic decernentibus.

Post meridiem.


Report of the Message from the H C touching the Examination of Witnesles in the E of Strafford's Caule.

The Lord Keeper reported the Effect of the Message from the House of Commons, delivered by Mr. Pim, concerning the Earl of Strafford's Business, in hæc verba: (Here enter it):

"And for the better and freer Debate of this Matter, the House was adjourned into a Committee, during Pleasure.

"After much Consideration of the many particular and weighty Points in it, their Lordships broke the Body of the Message into Five Heads; which, for the more clear and methodical Proceeding, and the better to draw each Point to a Resolution, their Lordships thought it fit to handle each Branch distinctly, and to finish one before they fell upon another, but, in regard it was late, their Lordships were pleased, for the more mature discussing of the Particulars, to defer it until To-morrow Morning; whereupon the House was resumed.

Heads of the Message.

"The Five Heads of the Message were these:

"1. The Examinations of the Members of the House of Commons upon Oath.

"2. The Examination of the Lords of this House and the Assistants upon Oath.

"The Examination of the Privy Counsellors upon Oath.

"4. To provide that the Proceedings may be speedy and secret.

"5. About the Members of the House of Commons to be present (fn. 2) at the Examinations."


Dominus Custos Magni Sigilli declaravit præsens Parliamentum continuandum esse usque in diem Sabbati, videlicet, 21m diem instantis Novembris, hora nona, Dominis sic decernentibus.


  • 1. This Sentence is not expurged in the Original.
  • 2. Origin. about.